Walk Tall!

My mother placed a copy of Alex Haleys, ‘Roots’ on top of my head and followed it with ‘Gone With the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell… Together they must’ve weighed about half a kilo.

I was around thirteen that time.

She knew that I loved to read, but this was a novel way to add to my repertoire of books, even for her, who had a very active and naughty imagination ๐Ÿ˜Š!

“Walk,” she instructed.

Immediately I straightened up, balancing the precarious load on my head like a village lady with a ‘matka’ on her head.

Two steps, and the books tumbled around me. I scrambled to gather them, all she told me was that I had to keep doing this till I could walk around the house without so much as a quiver. At thirteen, these instructions don’t go down well, but she never relented.

I noticed my posture changing within days. I stood taller, my neck and head were aligned perfectly, my hands didn’t swing in an agitated manner and my back was straight. The books stayed on longer ๐Ÿ˜‚

I calmed down too, as I became more aware of my body and posture.

“That’s so much better… ” was all she said as she saw me stroll around our home with my load much reduced now, with just a thin volume of Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’, resting daintily on my head โ˜บ๏ธ.

“If you walk tall, it takes away more years off you, than any anti-aging cream.”

At thirteen, age is not even a concept, leave alone, anti-aging. ๐Ÿ˜

I remember her words now. How right she was! How we carry ourselves is pertinent to how energetic and youthful we look.

Whenever I slouch, I can picture her in my minds eye, one eyebrow raised questioningly ๐Ÿ˜Š

“Can’t carry your own weight??”

And I straighten up. Gratitude fills my heart for the way she imparted her wisdom to me.

She also enrolled me in a ‘Personal Grooming’ class around the same time.

“Don’t be a slob, remember, you cannot see yourself, others can!”

Ah Mom! I don’t know how you did it, but you did a darned good job if I still remember your instructions, decades later!!

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Life Lessons from Yoga

“Surya Namaskar kijiye, ” my yoga guru tells me with all calmness.

He has no clue about the turmoil within me.

“Aap hamesha karwate hain, kabhi routine change bhi kar diya karen.” I reply, a trifle petulantly, ruing the repetitive nature of the yoga postures.

He explains to me patiently, the postures are the same, what you bring to it changes everyday.

Routine makes you realise what is going on inside you. Today, if you are impatient, the first thing that will change is your sincerity to your task. Be aware of that.

By changing your routine constantly you are looking for easy excitement whereas by sticking to a routine that you have done a hundred times, you are bringing a new concentration to what your mind thinks it knows by heart…. And therein will lie your true growth, concentration, equilibrium, stability and patience.

Every day is new, you are new with every day, don’t take that so lightly.

“Ab Surya Namaskar kijiye….”

๐Ÿ˜Š!

#lifelessons

On Thin Ice ๐Ÿ˜

As a birthday celebration my daughter wanted us to do something we’d never done before. ๐Ÿ˜

I asked her to choose her activity and that I would be game for anything she decides… I thought, based on her interests, it would be a new art gallery or exhibition somewhere. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

How wrong was I!

She chose ice-skating๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฎ!!

I had skated as a child, on rinks with old wooden floors, but ICE!? On blades for shoes? Never in my wildest dreams ๐Ÿ˜.

So there we landed up on a freezing morning, snowflakes were still falling… Temperature was hovering around 0 degrees. We hired our skates and were given wrist bands to enter the skating rink and then left on our own. ๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜

There we were, two women who were suddenly gliding and falling on thin ice ๐Ÿ˜‚. It was the scariest and most exhilarating feeling I’ve had in years! The snowflakes added to the beauty of the surreal atmosphere as did the pounding music, exhorting us to feel our body connect with the frozen ice, to just feel the rhythm…. Dance, glide, fall, get up again ๐Ÿ˜Š. So beautiful, so simple, and so enjoyable…. Before I realised, I was swaying and gliding (not as gracefully as I would have liked to though๐Ÿ˜†! ) 

As I nurse every aching muscle of my sore body, I realise the importance of moving out of ones comfort zone…. Of just doing something for the sheer novelty of it!

For my daughter it was a gift that money couldn’t buy and for me, it turned out to be the most memorable and enjoyable part of my entire, winter in the East Coast experience ๐Ÿ˜€!


#NewYorkDiaries #travel #travelogues #ice-#skating

On Thin Ice ๐Ÿ˜

As a birthday celebration my daughter wanted us to do something we’d never done before. ๐Ÿ˜

I asked her to choose her activity and that I would be game for anything she decides… I thought, based on her interests, it would be a new art gallery or exhibition somewhere. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

How wrong was I!

She chose ice-skating๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฎ!!

I had skated as a child, on rinks with old wooden floors, but ICE!? On blades for shoes? Never in my wildest dreams ๐Ÿ˜.

So there we landed up on a freezing morning, snowflakes were still falling… Temperature was hovering around 0 degrees. We hired our skates and were given wrist bands to enter the skating rink and then left on our own. ๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜

There we were, two women who were suddenly gliding and falling on thin ice ๐Ÿ˜‚. It was the scariest and most exhilarating feeling I’ve had in years! The snowflakes added to the beauty of the surreal atmosphere as did the pounding music, exhorting us to feel our body connect with the frozen ice, to just feel the rhythm…. Dance, glide, fall, get up again ๐Ÿ˜Š. So beautiful, so simple, and so enjoyable…. Before I realised, I was swaying and gliding (not as gracefully as I would have liked to though๐Ÿ˜†! ) 

As I nurse every aching muscle of my sore body, I realise the importance of moving out of ones comfort zone…. Of just doing something for the sheer novelty of it!

For my daughter it was a gift that money couldn’t buy and for me, it turned out to be the most memorable and enjoyable part of my entire, winter in the East Coast experience ๐Ÿ˜€!


#NewYorkDiaries #travel #travelogues #ice-#skating

As the Lotus Unfolds…ย 

There is something about watercolours. One can be as playful with them as children with their first set of paints or restrained like somebody overly trained. 

I find myself governed by my mood. Sometimes I am reckless and experimentative and confident enough to make the colours run riot, and at other times, like in the making of this one, I am almost sluggish. Enjoying every stroke and merging colours with a gentleness I don’t always possess. 

All I understand about art has come to me by my own journey of creativity. It has come after putting aside innumerable voices, some true and some false telling me about what I can and cannot do…. And quite like the blooming of a Lotus, one petal at a time, I have opened myself up to what lies within me…. ๐Ÿ˜Š
With every stroke I realise

Just how unique existence is

And how miraculous our life! 

A Little Magic on the Road :)

Driving down to my studio yesterday, I had the misfortune of having one of those real nasty drivers behind me… Those who drive bumper to bumper, literally sitting on the horn and swearing all the time. I looked at him in the rear view mirror and he looked like a dark cloud of anger. 
How can one hasten a traffic jam? I wondered. And then, for my own peace of mind I decided to edge into another lane, just to get away from him. As he came into the spot I managed to vacate, I looked at him again and to my utter astonishment he was smiling!

The reason was in the car ahead of him… Two cute kids wouldn’t stop grinning their toothless grins and waving at him.. They broke down his armour of anger and somehow their smiles and innocence touched him. 

He waved at them shyly and tentatively at first.. And was slowly transformed into a more joyful being, a magic that only kids can weave… ๐Ÿ˜Š

Amaltas Avenue!

Amaltas Avenue!
Cycling in the early morning hours takes me to places that have been in my neighborhood, but have been missed by me because I am always rushing by. As the cycle urges me to slow down to a leisurely pace, I notice the beautiful amidst the ugly. 


Summer, with its blistering heat, takes away every urge to be outdoors and saps out energy from every living thing. But it is in the relative morning cool that the frolicking strays and their pups or the loud chirping of birds or a peacock ambling his graceful way home, or young children giggling as they try and find an open patch to start their play, that life takes on a different dimension. It is this change in perspective that brings new energy into the mundane and ordinary. At these times I am a silent observer of life. The reality of my existence takes away the weight of expectations from me and in that lightness of being, I too come alive.

My morning forays make me miss the cool mountains less. In the silence and solitude when people and pollution are minimal one is able to see enough beauty to last one through the day and of course, to also look forward to tomorrow and wonder about what new sights it will reveal!

#Sultanpur #Amaltas #Morningmusings #recyclingthoughts