Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Years Do Not Pass They Only Continue

Today, I let go this year, which as all other years in the past has been pretty good to me. I am really grateful, that I was blessed with goodness all around me in every aspects of my life. I don't think I have anything to regret, and that makes me very happy and fulfilled.

I had joined the Gym and thoroughly enjoyed working out there for the year. Though I used to do Yoga off and on, however this year, I really hooked myself to it on a regular basis. So 90 minutes of Yoga became mandatory for me, and that too I really enjoyed. Bikram Yoga is very tough, however, I saw myself becoming better and better in that. My Aerobics classes picked up a little bit, and that too gave me a lot pleasure.

Because of my weight gain, I tried to follow a much stricter diet than before, but alas, it turned out to be  "the battle of bulges", no improvement there. But never mind, I am sure that, all the good things I am doing, without losing faith in myself would definitely show positive results in the coming year.

This year, I had the opportunity of meeting my father in Chennai, after nearly two years, and I loved the time spent with him.

There was a new addition to our family: a cute Labrador, who came all the way from Mumbai by car, patiently bearing the discomfort of such a long journey( done of course in two days). He is our daughter's dog, who came and left him with a heavy heart in our care, for she is joining her husband Ram in London. She would have loved to take him with her, but the UK laws regarding animals are very strict, and also very few landlords in London allow dogs in their house.
Anyway, he is a
                                         The brownish one is Loki with dark, big, black eyes
                                                            The one in front is Loki

good company for our dog Bumbilli, and he is really adorable. He is as naughty as his name, which is Loki.

We went to Andaman Islands, and there I really enjoyed Scuba Diving. We also made short trips to Virajpet in Coorg, Poovar in Kerala, giving  us the much needed short breaks.

I was so happy when I heard that our son Janardhan had taken to Yoga, and had become a regular at the Bikram Yoga studio.  He has also enrolled himself for the US Yoga competition. He has already completed 30 days challenge twice, by going to the yoga class everyday. I admire his dedication, to think he comes back from work at about 5.30 pm and then goes to the yoga studio to do 90 mins of Yoga.
                         Our son after completing 60 days challenge:  with the Bikram Yoga Instructor

I am grateful that he has inspired me also  to follow the same line of Yoga that he is practicing.  We  often end up discussing the various yoga poses, and  the techniques of overcoming some of the difficult asanas.

I saw a whole lot of movies in the Youtube, both English and Hindi, all classics. I blogged a lot, wrote two stories, shared a whole lot of inspiring stories too.
Made many new friends in the blog world, and also lost some of my old blogger friends.

I am really happy that our political system has forced our politics to change for the better, because of the youngsters, the old hags are forced to be more accountable to us. I must say we have come a long way from being resigned to our fate, to actually becoming the architects of our own destiny: that is really  great!
It is just a beginning, though it might seem a little chaotic, however, from chaos to stability is the natural process, which we will soon see in the coming years.
I am glad that the media has become more aggressive, and there are lot of investigative journalism: nothing is hidden for long from the media.
All these and many other good things have happened, that has led us to believe, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

With the sweeping away of the old and worthless politicians, we can look forward to a clean and young government, which means a clean and corruption free India.
I wanted to concentrate only on the positives of the year gone by, and by doing so, I am sure I will attract only the positives in my life and also in my country.

I can never say goodbye to this year, or to all the years that have gone by,  for each year has brought something new and valuable in my life, something to love about it, something to cherish, many memories etched  within me, and all these years would definitely take me back to them often, and I will relive them again and again. Years are like our loved ones, who although may leave us physically at some point, can never leave us mentally.

                                                               Our second dog Toffie
                                                       Our very first dog Cookie
                                                 Time spent with my father
                                                           My aerobics class
                                                              My husband of 33 years
I am sure the coming years too would bring  their quota of good events, make me more evolved, make me a much better person, and leave me with memories to be cherished forever.
Dear old year, you are making way for the new year to come, but for me “Good bye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory and there you will always be.”

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Hues Of The Sky And The Sea In Andaman Islands: Simply Gorgeous

Pictures Of Enchanting Andaman Islands:

This was the Cruise which took us to Havelock Island: a very comfortable cruise, with videos showing the must visit places in Andaman Islands, it has seats like Plane, but with lots of leg room and also very wide. It is a 90 minutes trip.
                                                          The resort in Havelock Island

 All I can say is,  'enjoy the pictures'

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Little Acts Of Kindness

The Ice Cream Prayer

Author Unknown

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.

As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.

He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer."

"Really?" my son asked.
"Cross my heart." Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.

He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman.

With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already."

Chain Of Love

Author Unknown

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out.

His old Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry.

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you.

He said, 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.'

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, 'And think of me.'

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude.

The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be.

Then she noticed something written on the napkin. There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.'

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard.

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, 'Everything's going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.'

I love reading such stories, and whenever, I come across some really good ones, I just love to share it with all of you here. 
Don't you feel like showing some kindness to others?
Do you have some experiences of kindness shown to you when you were really in need?
Or did you have the chance to help somebody, when they desperately needed help?
Please share it here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Magical Sea World : Havelock Island in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Recently we had been to Andaman Islands for a short holiday. I am sure many of you must have already visited or plan to visit it sometime or other. For those you are yet to visit Andaman Islands, I would say visit as soon as possible, for already there are tourists coming from all parts of India, and it is slowly becoming like any other tourist spot in India. However, it has still not come to that level, so plan your holiday to this wonderful place soon.
Here are some pictures of this beautiful place, take a look. You would love Scuba diving, snorklling, sea walking and many other activities offered there. There are lovely beaches to visit of which Havelock Island is the best.  You can brush up history too at Port Blair.
 For the next 45 mins. I was going to enter the sea world, which I had seen only in Discovery Channel.
                                                         I was so excited

                                                With my Guide/ Instructor

                                                       The sign meaning 'good'

                                I will post pictures of the beautiful beaches in the next blog.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Birthday: A Time For Reflection And Gratitude

Today is my day:  My Birthday!

I take this opportunity to acknowledge all the good people in my life, the roles they have played  in making me the person I am now.

 As always I am reminded of my parents who brought into this world. They are the most lovely people in the world. Both my father and my dear mother have done so many things for me, really going out of their way to make me feel happy and loved all the time, being proud  of even the very insignificant achievements in my life, always encouraging me, inspiring me, and guiding me to do even better.
I thank you dear parents for being with me all through my journey of life.

To you my dear father:  I am thankful for inheriting certain traits from you like, being very open, frank, to stand up and fight for whatever is right, the never to give up in any kind of situation, the ability to laugh at myself, to forget all the disappointments and only think of the positives in my life, to always have a natural smile. Father, I owe all these and many more qualities to you.
Although today you cannot hear me, you have become totally deaf, I still communicate with you in my mind and can surely feel your advice coming to me telepathically.

Your simplicity, your value for money, has really rubbed itself on me too. Thank you for making me understand at a  very young age in my life that " money does not grow on trees".

My dear mother:
I thank you for giving birth to me, and taking such good care of me, which I feel more and more now, that I wasn't really worthy of. I am still plagued by guilt in not being there for you when you most needed us. I know as a mother, such things never really bothered you, but still I feel I could have done better. Not a day passes when I don't think of you and talk with you in my mind. You may no longer be in this world, but you are always living in my mind. Now after years, I still remember how you used to feed me Rasam Sadam with potato curry in my early school days, I still remember, how tasty your sandwiches used to taste, how good your cheese pakodas used to be: how they really melted in my mouth.
I remember learning the trick of making Tomato Juice, which will also taste like sugarcane juice, one juice with two taste.  I am also thankful to God for making you come to our place in Bangalore just 10 days before you unexpectedly died. The last days spent with you was spent in so much happiness. Perhaps you loved me the most, that is why you felt like coming to our place and spending some quality time with us. Without knowing that it was going to be your last visit to our place, we somehow made you very happy doing the  things you wanted to do. I thank God everyday for those precious ten days you spent with us.
It is from you I learnt, how to cook, your magic touch, somehow has rubbed itself on me too, at least to some extent. I am mighty pleased when people tell me I look a lot like you, though in my teen years these very complements used to irritate me.
I have inherited your patience, your art of becoming friends with anybody, your art of mimicking people, your ability to choose sarees/ dresses well. I was so lost after I got married and didn't know whether, I was capable of choosing my own sarees and dresses without your help. But by and by I developed that talent, for being your daughter, how could I ever go wrong in my selections. I still thank you for that.
I thank you for inspiring me in so many ways, mainly in not letting anything come in the way to dampen my spirits when things don't work my way.

Mom I really, really love you and miss you very much.

You look pretty thoughtful and sad here. I often wonder what was going in your mind. you had so many worries, but still you kept on moving ahead in life with your positive attitude.

                                                    How lovely you look in this picture
How I wish I had one of those digital cameras : I would have clicked many many pictures of you.

I never fail to thank God for blessing me two lovely children. They are so matured, and I always listen to their advise. I thank them for pushing me into blogging. I know they would go to become very good parents when their time comes. Despite my struggles with the trial and error method in their upbringing, they have turned out to be pretty decent individuals.
I really am proud of their achievements, and although they live far away from me, they too are always in my thoughts.
I can't thank God enough for giving  me such a wonderful Son in law too.

I am forever grateful to the universe for blessing me with 4 dogs, (two dogs have already left this world).
Now we have one dog which is ours (Bumbilli) and one our daughter's dog Loki, cute and naughty as his name. This fellow taught me, how to adjust to a different home and yet be very happy and loving.
From all these adorable dogs I have learnt the meaning of patience, loyalty, and unconditional love.
Last but not least my dear, dear husband Ananth:  A big thanks  to him for always supporting me, inspiring me, and looking after all my needs.
He is best gift I have got in my life, and I thank God everyday for blessing me with such a good human being as my life partner.

I think there is a reason why all these lovely people have been and are still in my life, and I thank each and everyone for being there and making my life so meaningful and wonderful.

Finally, I thank all my friends for being there for me, advising me, encouraging me, and inspiring in ways they cannot even imagine.
I somehow felt that acknowledging all the good people and all the good things that they have brought into my life was the best way to make this 55th birthday of mine more meaningful.

It's My Birthday !