Sweeping Changes–A life-altering book

This is a life-altering book😊.

It is beautiful to look at, wholesome to hold, a delight to consume and easy to digest.😁

This book was gifted to me in 2002 and has always been in my line of vision, no matter how many new titles were added and subtracted from my library. I have read it three times and underlined more and understood better as I have grown.

It also makes me understand why books are called our best friends… It’s not only because they give us good company but also because they give us good advice and sound, age-old wisdom.

As the title suggests, the book is about finding joy in everyday living… It is about finding something wholesome and beautiful in the ordinary by cultivating an eye and an attitude to recognize it, the Zen way.

There are sentences in here that hold the book together much like the role gold plays in the Japanese ‘Kintsukuroi’ art of increasing the beauty and value of broken pottery. Not that the chapters are lacking in any way…😊

I love the idea of looking beyond the obvious… Giving respect and attention to what we take for granted, like windows, doors, water, cooking, mirrors, rooms, sharing, living, giving, … There is a whole world to rethink about and make new relationships with.

This beautiful book gives hope, urges you to slow down and savour your life from exactly where you are. It encourages one to celebrate what one does as ‘routine’ and finds ‘mundane’ by looking at these tasks with fresh eyes and a mind that is calmly present.

Printed word is powerful and if it is backed by playful joy and lightness, it becomes an instant ally. This book has given me hours of joy, it has helped me be more organised and it is because of ‘Sweeping Changes’ that I have a broom in my studio at all times… One that I truly enjoy using😁!


A ‘Thank You’ note πŸ™πŸŒΊ

Over the years
Over many
A luncheon
Dinner date
We’ve shared
A hot meal
Life on a plate

Meandering down
Of before and after
You’ve brought
Wise insight
And contagious laughter
To simple moments
Threaded together
Into days and years
Smiles and tears
Faith and fears…

An engaging tapestry
With care
Strong enough
To shelter
Wide enough
To share… πŸ’–

For all this
And more…
Thank you!

Value of Words πŸ“š πŸ€“

Many years back I made it a habit of noting down quotes or paragraphs from any book I was reading at that time.

Going down memory lane, I find out how my taste has changes, how I’ve metamorphosed over time (not necessarily to become a butterfly… 😊) Most importantly, it shows me the person I was, one that the mirror doesn’t reflect anymore.

Over the years, my ‘collection’ has grown and now when I travel, guite often, I pick up one of my Diaries that have handwritten, hand-picked words of wisdom and banter, spirituality and philosophy, mystery and poetry all in a slim volume.

Sitting at a waiting lounge or in a new city, this collection of words takes me back to the root of my being… It makes me realise that while the branches might grow unruly and wild, the core is unchanging… It is my friend that has grown with me, it has imparted its support at crucial times… It has connected me to my past in beautiful ways, one whiff from a sentence can remind me of where exactly I was sitting, which couch it was or which tree trunk against which I leaned….

Time moves on, as it should, and what moves with it, for me, are a trail of words that never fail to get me back home from all my wanderings….

#words #quotes #books

Call Me By Your Name… Book Review.. Andre Aciman

It felt like a friend walked away today… Someone witty and intelligent, someone who had a way with words and wizardry to turn sentences into little works of art that I was tempted to underline, read again and note in my journal for safe-keeping, maybe, frame them at some point 😊.

I will remember this book. I will remember it for the story, for the places it took me to, for the languid mornings and unhurried afternoons, for sunlight strewn gardens, wine and the conversations… And Rome and roaming.

I will also remember it for the thrill that first love brings along with the excitement and the ache. I will remember it for the poignant intimacy that the author managed to generate between his protagonists, Elio and Oliver.

‘Call me by Your Name’ intrigued me as a book title. I mulled over it and thought about it, it was just so beautiful… In what sort of a relationship does one demand this from someone, I wondered? After reading the book I understood it.

I didn’t want this book to end and yet I couldn’t wait to turn the pages…

Travel Tango 😊

My room overlooks a parking lot. It fills up gradually during the day and empties out in the evening. At both times, if I am in my room, I have a mug of tea in my hands.

My room also overlooks a half-way home for people recovering from addiction. When I cross this home during my evening walk, I see a face peering out sometimes. A stranger fighting battles, scarred and scared. When our eyes meet he lets the curtain fall back slowly and disappears.

I walk along my way, treading on strange streets with names like Elf, Elba and Erwin. A far cry from Khel Gaon, Balbir Saxena or Mandi Gaon. Yet walk, I do. In walking I realise just how much the body craves routine. So I start my day with some yoga. The gentle stretching seems to soothe the tired muscles and makes me more aware of what’s happening inside my body. The ankles seem strained, the neck could do with a gentle massage. The hair is crying out for a good wash with its favourite shampoo, the nostrils want a whiff of elaichi and ginger chai, even if its premixed.

Outside my shut door, I hear a family walk down the aisle. Little children scampering, chatting in foreign accents. A mother with a patient voice, a tone that is universally understood.

Travelling pushes me into unfamiliar situations and I am always curious about my reactions to them. Missed flights, lost baggage, endless queues for immigration when one only wants to move on…. Ending up with Uber drivers who tell their amazing stories of leaving behind wars and families, of starting over in alien nations with no way to communicate, no familiar face, no welcoming hugs. Total isolation, yet a strange will to never give in and never give up. In front of these stories I have nothing to say or add.

My last Uber driver was from Sudan. 

He asked me about how many colours Indians came in! Having observed a great variety of them. I told him that we came in all the colors that coffee can be made in 😊. We chatted about his time in the US and he spoke about his dream of clearing his citizenship exam so that he could go back home and marry the girl his father had selected for him. He said by Sudanese standards he was already quite old. At which point I asked him his age. β€˜Thirty-Eight,’ he replied. 

‘Whats yours?’ I pretended to look shocked and told him one never asks a woman her age. We both laughed and he told me that I was being very clever in not answering 😁

Then he asked me my name, which I gave him promptly and when I asked him his, he refused, saying that now we were equal! 

Oh, how we laughed! Two strangers in a cab, connected by peals of laughter. Before I left, he yelled out, β€˜Mohammed!’ 

And I waved back at him and said, β€˜I feel eighteen!!’

#travel #travelogues #durhamdiaries