Knits and Knots of LoveΒ 

Some of the most cosy additions in my winter wardrobe have been knitted for me by my Mom in law 😊.

There are booties in various colours and shawls in brilliant red and emerald green. I have entire woollen bed spreads made by Mom one patch at a time, at the bookshop that she manages ever so efficiently. She loves keeping her brood warm and we love this about her.

The recepients of her woollen creations range from foreigners who visit the shop and fall in love with what she is giving finishing touches to, to distant relatives who keep reminding her that they are still in queueπŸ˜ƒ.

Mom never says no, and nor does she hasten. In her own pace, with her own joy, she just labours away calmly.

Bit by bit she has created entire bedspreads plus cushion covers for all her grand children. They lie beautifully wrapped in her meticulously kept cupboard, waiting for the time they can be gifted. 😊

She has been known to undo ten inches of a sweater because she spots an aberration in her knit 😢. Restarting something is never an issue with her. But living with a less than perfect creation, is.

In the winter, when I wrap around me, a beautifully perfect shawl knitted by her, I am instantly warmed, not so much by the wool as by her love that I feel surrounding me… 😍

#mom #love #warmth #knitting

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Pets and Life πŸ˜Š

We adopted an adult pet a week back. 

He needed a home and somehow, it didn’t take much deliberation. As a family we decided to go ahead.

My son and I went to pick Mitthu up. He, being the friendly fellow that he is, greeted us with warmth and some tail wags. After sitting with his family for about half an hour, we had to head home. He accompanied us happily, his family coming out in full force to see him off. Even as he sat in the car, it didn’t strike him that he was being taken away from the only family he ever knew in his little life. All the attachments he had formed, were severed in that moment when I reversed the car with Mitthu sitting happily on my son’s lap, looking out of the window with glee.

Our journey home was uneventful. Reaching home was a different matter altogether. There is already a pet there who has staked a claim over our home and hearts. How difficult it must be for him to relinquish some of that love. He lets us know this by shadowing every member, as best as his little legs permit, his eyes confused and worried… Seeking reassurance. 

Mitthu had been rechristened Motu. He has marked his territory with all the fervour of a young gun. I have raided pet shops for sprays, that promise to prevent “repeat markings”. Little realising that “marking” is the only thing he wants! So all corners of our bedroom, most curtains, office bags, wrappings from Amazon, have fallen prey to his determined spray 🀨.

A new bed has been brought for him, New toys too.. But its something else his eyes search for, his expectant gaze looks for someone else to walk through the door. Meanwhile, Bob, our older pet, tries hard to hang on to our affection by trying to snarl this invader away.

Through all of this, I see rays of hope. Everytime the two share a water bowl or cuddle in one bed, is a small victory for the spirits desire to seek love and make its peace with altered circumstances in life…. I am learning so much about loving, losing and loving again… I am learning about acceptance and hope, all through two of the smallest members of our family… 😊

#pet #Bob #Motu #life

Down Memory Lane…Β 

I remembered my dad today.

He used to sing old hindi songs while taking one last walk around our home before he slept off. It was like a collective lullaby he sang for all of us. We drifted to sleep either with some Gurbani or a song. He had a mellifluous voice. Completely in tune and with a deep baritone.

Though I was very young, I can still hear him sing, “Mahlon ka Raaja Mila, Rani Beti Raaj Karegi…” It was a poignant song even then, set to a tune that was guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes.

When I was getting married, that song played in my head… I was certainly not marrying a “Mahlon ka Raaja” 😊 But I could feel my dad’s blessing surround me as I left my home for another.

I wonder sometimes about what feelings went through him when he put me to sleep with that song… Was that his way of making sure that the future he dreamed for me entered my subconscious mind too…? That I should treat myself no less than a queen, and carry myself with the dignity of one….
I will never have answers to those, but maybe some questions should just remain unanswered… Because the answer would change nothing… And his blessings could never be diluted ☺️ 

#memories #dad #downmemorylane

Peace be with you…Β 

This is a permanent fixture in my bedroom. All the pieces have come from different places as gifts from loving souls. They go well together, therefore, whatever else changes in my room this remains the same. 

In the early morning hours, this arrangement gets the first rays that enter our room, systematically lighting up the leaves of the money plant and then the silhouette of the peaceful image of the Buddha.. 😊

This calms my mind. Quite often it is surrounded by paints and paper and brushes, but nothing affects it.. And therein lies the biggest lesson  it imparts me… There will be times when you are surrounded by chaos and mess. Remain centered, remain peaceful and calm… This too shall pass…. 😊

It takes a Village…

Little Buda peeped from behind a broken wall, eyes alight with curiosity. When I looked up, he retreated behind the wall. After a few minutes of this game, I beckoned him to me. I was sitting on the roof of our homestay in Sikkim and sketching the vast and endless mountains visible from my perch. As he approached me I asked him if he would like to draw something. He nodded shyly and became excited when I gave him a sketch pad and pen. We both sat quietly, each lost in a private world, drawing and colouring. Later, he was called down by someone, who I presumed might be his mother. 

It was as we were leaving, that I found out that Buda’s mother had abandoned him and he was being brought up by the entire village. They made sure that he ate, went to school and had a home to come back to…

In our parting photograph with the family that we were staying with, Buda was on the hip of our hostess, smiling into the camera with glee 😊

Any woman can have a mother’s heart, you don’t have to be one to embrace another with that kind of love…
#sikkimdiaries

India…. My storybook.Β 

From the most basic of kitchens come the most delicious of meals! 

On a recent visit to a small village in East Sikkim called Budan, we had a homestay at the simple abode of one of the villagers. Our presence was celebrated as a big occasion for the whole village and a lot of respect was accorded to us. From the traditional welcome, to the performance of local dances, we enjoyed everything. 

Absolute silence and abundant natural beauty just added to the whole experience. 

In such situations, when city people visit Eco villages and homestays,  the whole village rallies around the family that is the host, providing manpower and help when needed. The status of the family is also elevated. 

The more I travel into the interiors of my country the more clearly I recognise the beauty of the human spirit, it’s desire to please and give respect to other beings. They come from a place of dignity. It is a beautiful and symbiotic relationship…. 

The diversity of India never ceases to amaze. Every corner has stories, told and untold. I am blessed to have the opportunity to read these, one page at a time. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•