Posts Tagged With: family

Pyaari Dimpi

Helping my parents pack their home of last 8 years or so and shift to a new place took both me and my sister on a trip down memory lane. All other times when they had moved, either we were too young or not able to come… each time, everything would get packed and somehow find it’s way in some corner of a cupboard or stacked away in the loft with an invisible table of “to be sorted later”. That “later” never came and the box was again moved to the next home as is.

This time is hopefully their last shifting as finally they are moving into a home of their own and both me and my sister came to sort, pack, unpack, and organize. Before the actual packing, we decided to go through each and every one of those boxes. One of the box had my name on it. It was a box that I actually had been looking for in my earlier visits home but never found and assumed it was lost in one of the moves. As I sat with it, I had mixed emotions of what I was going to find in it.

I knew I had packed it before my marriage and left it in a cupboard. Since then my parents have changed 3 homes and each time that box went into a loft. I opened it slowly and out came photocopies of Calvin & Hobbes that Sikander had made for me in IIT; some technical papers from my time in TI… most of them were of PLL and I remember how I used to be an expert in them and now it took me a minute to even remember their full form! :p There were neatly filed salary slips, bank statements, IT returns everything from those 5 years in Bangalore… and right at the bottom of the box was the most important package…

A simple poly bag filled with cards and letters. Letters from my grandmother, chachi, and school friends. Letters I had received when I left home for IIT. I am so glad that there weren’t any emails or mobile phones with Facebook, WhatsApp, FaceTime etc… Just plain old handwritten letters.

trip_down_memory_lane_handwritten_letters.JPG

My nani wrote to me on inland letter paper… the blue coloured ones with pre-printed stamps. Did you know, these inland letter papers are now discontinued? When I went to the post office to ask for some, they were surprised I even know of them! No one uses them anymore.

letter_from_grandmother.jpg
I am now sitting with a cup of tea and my letters. Reading each one of them one by some. Some are addressed to “pyaari dimpi” (my name at home) and some to “Dearest Ashima”.. some are signed off as “Love me” and it is a riddle to figure out who must have written that… some have brought back memories of mischiefs done in younger days and friendships that are lost because now “we stay in touch through Facebook updates”. Each of these letters is like a story that is wanting to come back from the memories deep down!

I can’t turn back time, but I do want to bring back the emotions a letter used to bring. As I finish this blog post, I am going to pick up a pen and paper and writing one to a loved one.

If you are reading this, I hope you write a letter or even a small note and send it to your loved one.

Advertisements
Categories: Family | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

The story of a forgotten toothbrush

 

 

Children Innocence, lost toothbrush story

Daadi’s toothbrush, Arjun’s toothbrush, Maasi’s toothbrush! 🙂

My 5 year old nephew is very attached to me and whenever I visit my sister, leaving from there is a heartbreaking task.

It is still easy for me as I leave but it becomes very difficult for my sister as for the next two days or so Arjun stays angry at the fact that maasi left.

This time I was there for 4 days and was coming back after two weeks. So I had left one of my suitcases at my sister’s place. I left when he was still in school and we said nothing to him the night before. When I was at the airport, it struck me that I had forgotten my toothbrush in the bathroom and will need to get one more. My thought was just that of the inconvenience it caused… but I never thought how that little forgetfulness will play out.

When Arjun came back from school, didi tried to explain to him that maasi has gone to Pondicherry and she will come back in 2 weeks. “See her suitcase is also here!”

He didn’t look at the suitcase but asked if the toothbrush is there and ran to the bathroom that he, his granny and I shared. He saw the toothbrush there and he was fine. Completely assured that maasi hasn’t left for good and that she will be coming back for her toothbrush!

Sometimes it is just amazing the linkages kids make. I never thought my brush lying next to his would matter so much to him or that was a reassurance everyday that maasi is still here..

I wish we could all just remain children :-).

Categories: Family | Tags: , | 2 Comments

10 lines on love

to zoya…

kids-jumping-playing-fountain

little bits of allah

frolicking here and there

spreading sunshine with smiles

telling the world to

“be happy, be joyous

life is beautiful

life is carefree”

holding out their little hands

“come dance with us

let us be love.”

Continue reading

Categories: around us | Tags: , | 5 Comments

So much to learn!

Today I started my day thinking the first thing I have to work on is the Moved by Love newsletter. But little did I know there were other plans for in store 🙂 I went out to water my plants. I had sown tomato and green beans about a week ago and every day I have been peeping into the seed pots to see if there is anything. Just like didi’s little scientists! To tell you the truth though I love to have plants, I don’t really have a green hand. I have never had a plant growing from a seed 😦 All my seeds till now have only resulted in weeds. All the plants that I have started with a sapling bought from a nursery or gifted from a friend like this mint.

apartment gardening

mint growing in my balcony! The plant was gifted by a neighbour when we moved in.

The now image of the mint would have been even more amazing but while I was away in India, all the people I had asked to water my plants somehow missed and it got water only for a week in those 4 weeks 😦 The plant dried up a little but then picked up again once rains started! I still wonder at the magic rain water has for plants. Continue reading

Categories: Family, go green | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Back in Nani house…

… like it was 25 years ago!

Summer Vacations…. Brings back memories of all cousins getting together at nani house for 2 months;

 of sweet sweet watermelons and mangoes;

of silly and creative games that the 5 of us designed;

of nani finally pulling her hair and asking our mom’s to take us from there 😀

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of those two months spent in nani house. And we (me and didi) keep telling stories of our mischiefs during those two months to Nandini. How nana used to put up a big swing in the quadrangle and all of us used to be on it at the same time! How Bittu mama and mummy used to make a boat of bedsheet and all three of us (me, sonu maasi and chinu maasi) used to sit inside it and cross the imaginary river running between rooms :). Ah! I wish those days, when imaginary tea served in toy cups tasted amazing, would never have ended!

And right now in Nandini’s childhood, we have the opportunity to recreate similar experiences for her and since there are no other kids, the chance to relive our childhood :).

We are back in nani house. Nani has made all the sweets to welcome the gang and nanu brings sweet sweet summer fruits everyday when all we want is a different ice cream for each day :P. But he still tries.

Nani house is so meant to be the big open place with lots of space to run around and create a new problem for nani every second J though this time maasi and mummy are keeping a little tab on them 😛

Every day is a day for a new activity… Making doll house using empty cartons and paper shopping bags… learning gardening and planting new seeds; every day we take our picnic basket out in the park. Some days nanu takes us for excursions outside and also some trekking!

summer vacations fun

Fun times at nani house during summer vacations!

I’m loving it! 😀

Categories: Family | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

How easy it is to forget …

We were once ignorant. We had to be taught everything. We asked way too many questions. Yet our parents answered them. again and again. no matter how often we asked. They answered them. How easily we forget that.

A friend recently shared this video and I couldn’t stop crying. The video took me back to a similar incident I had with my mother many years ago.

Every time me or my sister went back home, we would get our laptops with us and our mother was very fascinated. Then in between I had shifted to US for a year in 2005 and ISD calls were still very expensive so we told our mom to start using skype and that was her first direct interaction with computers. She was so amazed that she started learning computers all by herself. She even took like a 15 day course on computer basics. This is almost 8 years ago. She would practice at home and whenever she had a problem; she will call me. I would try to resolve her issue as best as I could but in most cases since I couldn’t see what was the problem, I would just tell her to ask one of my cousins who was staying close by.  This continued for months and once I remember I asked “Why do you always call me; why don’t you call didi?”

And then one day, I became irritated. I think I was trying to explain double click on phone. And I said “don’t ask me.. Find someone in Jaipur.” For a minute there was a silence at the other end of the line and then she just said “You know you didn’t come into the world knowing ABCD.”

And I was dumbstruck for some time and then I just started crying… Ever since that day, even the thought of losing patience with her didn’t come to my mind… I am amazed at how much she has learnt on her own. This was more than 7 years ago and I’m still saying sorry to her for that day and she keeps saying she doesn’t even remember 🙂 Mothers are so forgiving! and as her child I was so thankless :'(.

Categories: Family | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Just another story…

“What are stories but a way of helping us see the world and each other better.”

I heard this in one of Pavi’s talk on giftivism and wondering at the simplicity yet the deep meaning of it 🙂

I was part of one such story telling session (it was actually a class on upnishads at Shivananda ashram). When I was going for the class, I was a little apprehensive. I thought it will all be in Sanskrit and most is going to go over my head! But I still went because a friend had asked me to, and I can’t thank him enough. 🙂 And it’s so wonderful that this is the story that started my journey of travelling solo in the mountains and afterwards…

Gopi ji (the Vedanta professor) was talking on renunciation. And he said nothing but share this beautiful story.

Once upon a time there was a kingdom which had a unique way of choosing its king. The ministers will let go of the royal elephant with a garland in the kingdom. The person to whomsoever the elephant puts the garland on is chosen to be the next king. It is taken to be a divine decision by all in the kingdom. Continue reading

Categories: around us, Family, Travel | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Meeting Amma

me_n_amma29/09/2013 Shivanand Ashram, Uttarkashi; 3pm
We were walking from Uttarkashi to Ganeshpur after listening to Col. Ajay where he shared with us few glimpses of the first few days of the floods.
Joseph ji has friends in all corners of the country and he wanted to introduce us to them, so we set out on a walking tour of Uttarkashi. As we were walking, we first crossed the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple. We went in for a quick darshan. Now, Uttarkashi is the abode of gods so temples are a regular sight. We soon came across Omkareshwar temple. The temple had a huge peepul tree in its compound. Since it was afternoon and the sun was very hot, we thought of taking a short break here. Pratyush sat inside the temple, I sat under the tree and Joseph ji, who it seems never needs a break, went down to the banks of river Ganga. There he saw an old lady and after asking her permission called both of us to meet her. I would refer to her as amma from here on.
Amma lived in a tiny room on the steps that went down to Ganga. As soon as we came, she put out a blanket on the ledge outside her room for us to sit, while she sat down. She asked us if we have had food. Even though we told her repeatedly that we’ve had food she insisted on making some lunch for us. “Sab kuchch hai, daal hai, chaawal hai, aata hai. Tum bolo main abhi bana doongi” (There is everything – pulses, rice, flour. You tell me and I will quickly make lunch) 🙂
I was thinking how we get so worried whenever there are unexpected guests at home and here was a lady who had little for herself and is eager to share it all with 3 strangers who just showed up at her door. Such unconditional love!
She obviously won’t have it that we not eat anything and gave me a biscuit packet. I couldn’t refuse it. It was a gift of love. She again asked “kya khaoge” and this time Pratyush replied “maaji gyan khayenge. Thodi baatein sunaiye” (we want knowledge. Tell us something).
Then she started sharing her life with us. Her pilgrimage to the mountains, her travels and stays at different ashrams. She had a smile that reached her eyes and her eyes were sparkling. For the last 40 years she has been living in the room waiting for the time when Ganga ji will take her away.
In between she looked at me and said “tu yahin mere pass ruk jaa” (you come and stay with me) and I sat down with her and I was remembering my grandmother so much. And I addressed her as amma. She held my hands and she started talking about how I should not worry about troubles that come in life because happiness does not come without struggles. And that only when there are struggles will we get closer to God. It was as if she was looking inside me.
She only spoke Garhwali but I could understand everything. It was like she was talking to our hearts. I had one of my most intimate conversations with a stranger, with her.
We went to meet her again the day after and as we were leaving she said fondly “aate rehna” (keep coming).
I am leaving from uttarkashi today and I dont know when I will be back but I say to her “amma I will try”.

Categories: Family, Travel, Volunteer | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

For my new blogging nephews :)

23 September 2013; 6:56 am; Uttarakhand, India
This one is for zaenu and faaiz!
First a very very happy birthday to zaen 🙂
And then I wanted to say I am so so proud of both of you. I had so mich fun going around Agra and Delhi and learning and exploring the Indian history with the two of you. At first I had thought this might not interest you so much but “you guys were sic” ;).
Walking along in intense heat and still listening to the guide with full attention. And also asking questions! enjoyed, loved and learned from your questions :).
And then you wrote about it, which was such a pleasant surprise. I take liberty in believing that amma pushed you guys because of me :D. So I had little role in it 🙂
Love both the blogs:
http://www.instazaen.wordpress.com and
http://www.omgitsfaaiz.wordpress.com
I shall be looking forward to more and more posts there! Writing is important because it takes you far and beyond the physical limitation of space. It connects you with interesting people and it also gives clarity to your thoughts… wish you both all the very best! May all your wishes come true.
Happy birthday to zaen again.
Love you lots
Ashima mami

Categories: Family | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

And that’s how the story goes…

बस इतनी सी थी ये कहानी…

yaadshehar-yaadon ka idiot box

That’s how Neelesh Mishra ends his story every evening. His show ‘Yaadon ka idiot box’ is the only show that I look forward to, on the radio. The regular FM channels are now just a few songs in between a lot of advertisements. And these days in Gujarat, it’s become particularly difficult to listen to radio as its predominantly mudslinging between Congress and BJP.

‘Yaadon ka idiot box’ is a radio play narrated and enacted only by Neelesh Mishra. The stories are regular, everyday stories from your or my life. The characters live in a fictitious small town called yaadshehar (यादशहर) created by Neelesh Mishra himself. A small town where all of us had once lived. Its neither too far nor too close. It’s in a time when  only Sharma uncle’s house had the telephone in the whole locality and everyone would go to Sharma uncle’s home attend calls. There were black and white televisions with wooden shutter doors (Oh! How I wish I had a picture of our’s). I still remember how mummy used to clean the screen and then close the shutter :). Every night after the prime time shows.

antique black and white TV with shutter

I don’t have a picture of our antique B&W TV, but this one comes fairly close 🙂

I discovered ‘Yadon ke…’ By chance and now, as much as possible, I try to be cooking during its airtime so that I can listen to it without any interruptions :D.

I don’t know if many would remember “hawamahal”, a radio play that used to (& still does) come on Vividh Bharati ( the DD equivalent of radio). Hawamahal is mostly comic story lines and there is a whole cast with different characters being played by different people. Unlike ‘yaadon ke …’ there is no narration.

When we were kids, we lived on the 1st floor and had a huge balcony-terrace. There was a tall eucalyptus tree, extending way beyond our terrace, on one corner. Every night after dinner, all four of us used to sit in that corner, enjoying the night breeze and listening to hawamahal on our antique radio! It was a red and silver color radio set, with three buttons, one for tuning, one volume and one power.

Those were the days of black and white TVs with wooden shutters & no remotes (there was only one channel so no issues of changing channels:)); small radio; one telephone and those were the days when we had time to sit together and enjoy a radio program and not just limit it to drive time.

I miss my childhood.

I miss my childhood, nostalgia

It was so much fun back then!

Categories: around us, Family, Old times | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.