Thursday, March 27, 2014

If A Dog Were Your Teacher : Author Unknown

                           our latest dogs: Loki and Bumbilli

If a dog were your teacher
These are some of the lessons you might learn...

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face
to be pure ecstasy

When it's in your best interest
practice obedience

                                waiting for the their biscuits
Been asked to stay!
                             Been asked to hold

 Let others know when they've invaded your territory
Take naps and stretch before rising
Run romp and play daily

watch your home: playing the guard duty

Plan something naughty with your best buddy 

Then go about doing them, the other one looks on innocently, knowing that he is the one who going to get the beating
watch the world go by from the terrace
Play time
While you drink water, I can coolly rest my chin on your soft back
My Ball (our previous dog Toffee)
My tennis ball, I won't drop it from my mouth
( our first dog Cookie)

Thrive on attention and let people touch you

Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do
On warm days stop to lie on your back on the grass

On hot days drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree

             Afternoon nap under the shade of the Cashew tree

When you're happy dance around and wag your entire body

No matter how often you're scolded
don't buy into the guilt thing and pout
run right back and make friends, even if you are locked out. Try out all the tricks: they would surely fall for you...

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
Stop when you have had enough
Be loyal
Never pretend to be something you're not

If what you want lies buried
dig until you find it
When someone is having a bad day
be silent .....

...sit close by.

...and nuzzle
Do you have a dog/ dogs?
What did they teach you?
Though having dogs can be quite a handful, but somewhere deep within us they manage to make a beautiful space, which nothing on this earth can ever replace.
 When people say, that "our dogs are lucky to have us",
we say "we are the ones who are lucky to have had the good fortune of not only having had two dogs (they died), but continue to have two more equally lovable dogs now, who are both hale and hearty".
To our darlings Cookie, Toffee (still living very much in our hearts), Loki and Bumbillli!!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Women and Men Who Inspired Me

Today is Women's  day, and I can not only think of some women but also men who inspired me to be the person that I am today.
First let me start with my mother:
I have written many blogs about her. She was and still is my first inspiration.
I must say,  I have inherited her humor, her sense of never feeling old, always young at heart, her mimicry, her cooking skills ( though I am still to reach her level), her patience, her frankness, her art of enjoying her own jokes or jokes made at her expense, and last but not least her smile.
When I look back to the life she was forced to live, I feel she had managed pretty well, despite various hurdles thrown in her path.
She loved to sing, she had a soft, sweet voice, and she was a good story teller too. She used to have a temper too sometimes, which also I have inherited from her, though these days I don't get as mad as I used to, when I was younger. Like her I also love all the fun things in life.
Till I got married, I was always dependent on her to select my dresses and sarees for me: she had excellent taste.
From her I learnt to be more forgiving. She had sacrificed so many things for us, her time, her desires, her aspirations: only to make us happy.
I am sure this is nothing new, for all mothers are like that only.

 My mom and my eldest sister taken during my wedding.

My Sweet elder sister:
She is 11 years older than me, and she is almost like a mother to me. While she was very young, many a time it fell upon her, (when my mom was busy with cooking or other errands) to look after me. She would sing a beautiful lullaby for me, which she just made up for me. I can still hear her sweet voice,  filled with love and tenderness,  even after so many years.
She is an excellent singer, trained in both Carnatic music, and  Hindi Bhajans. Her voice too is very soft and sweet. I remember when she sang the song "Hey Mera Watan Ke Logo", (a patriotic song sung by Latha Mangashwar) in one of her college functions, I could see tears in every body's eyes.
She was also a brilliant debater, she stood 2nd in the All Assam Debate Competition in 1964. She was very smart, nothing was challenging for her; for she was ready for anything in life.
She got married  when very young, and the trials and tribulations of her married life did not make her a cribber. She faced everything, without uttering a word of regret, or complain, she was the type who, when given a lemon could make a lemonade out  of it and be happy.
Family was important to her more than her goals, desires and aspirations, which kept knocking at her door, but which she chose to ignore.
She is a real gem  of a person. A person who would never gossip, nor entertain anybody who likes to gossip. She was my father's favorite child. And she is our favorite sister too.
I always look at her and try to learn certain good things from her.

Then comes my 2nd elder sister:
                                  Here she is with my mom: taken during my parent's visit to the US.

She had a good life here in India, until her husband went to America to help his sister who felt she needed some family of her own. My sister too went with him taking her two small kids with her.
Life in those days was quite tough in the US. She was used to domestic helps in India , who would look  after her home, her kids, but in the US she had to do everything  by herself. As if that was not enough, she was forced to learn car driving, do all the household work, look after the kids their school, run errands, go to the bank, take her sick Father in law to the hospital for regular check ups, handle money and everything, which she never had to bother in India. Children were growing up, high expenses, and recession.
She started a Day Care Center for kids, had a Cassette lending library, and a travel agency. In the US it is mandatory for both partners to earn to live well.
She finally closed the other businesses and was only concentrating on her Day Care Center, which was very popular, and there was a high demand for her services.She is very good with kids.
Then her husband got laid off. But that did not make him give up, he took up Home Improvement projects,and he was very good at that.
When I look at all these people,  I am inspired, and wish them well. I don't know whether inspiration alone is enough, for I often feel I would have failed to come up as they have, if I were in their situation.
My Brother in law was not  only a smart engineer, he was also a very good man. He would help my sister in all her work, encouraged her to learn driving, to drive in the snow, to be a brave woman.

As if all this was not enough trouble, he suddenly got a Stye type of infection in his eyes, first the doctors thought it was just a regular,  harmless Stye, but after various tests it was found that it was a rare condition, where although there was nothing wrong with his vision, he would not be able to see because his eyelids would automatically close, some muscular problem there.( I don't know the name of this medical condition). They have still not found any cure for this condition.
This happened when he was so happy to get back his regular engineer's job in the same company. He was hardly in this job for 2 years when this eye problem cropped up, making it impossible for him to continue in the job.
He got some surgeries done, he  was on Botox, and that did not help him much, then he got some minor operation done by which he could partially keep his eyes open, but that has its own disadvantages too.
My sister became the sole earner, while he used to get some occasional Home Improvement jobs, and some finance from the various investments he had done.
He is still the smartest person on earth, he can travel alone, he can take good pictures of my sister, and he is very dependable man. He can see, but has to forcefully lift his eye lid.
The main thing about him, is that,  he stuck there, and did not come running back to India. One needs lots of guts and tremendous courage to stay there and somehow tackle all the odds and make a living and be happy under any circumstances.
My second sister and her husband are the people I look up for inspiration whenever, I am down and depressed. I also give full credit to my sister in being there for him all the time. She is also a person who has a real zest for life, making it a point to enjoy every minute of her life with her husband and her lovely grown up children, and grand children. They all simply adore her.

My Father:
Anyone can get inspired by him, for him nothing is impossible, even if it is he would somehow make it possible by hook or crook. Life has treated him pretty harshly, but has never been able to crush him.
He has a lot of will power to bear anything in life and he will always face the hurdles with a smile. I feel, I have inherited this trait of having a strong will power from him, and I thank him everyday for that gift.
He is 92 still going strong, manages his own affairs, like finance, buying his own tickets to go wherever he plans to go, travels by bus / train all by himself, and also ride his TVS Moped even at this age.

Finally my husband:
He never questions me about anything. He is always around as he runs his business from home. He is there to cut the vegetables for me,( he would cut them according to our menu), he would go to the market and get all the things for the house, he would also not mind, to cook if I wanted him  to cook.
He gives me all the space needed in our relationship, and is always a fun person to be with. He has been with me in good times as well as bad times.
His goodness is very inspiring, although whether I can ever be like him is doubtful.

No point in celebrating Women's day, if we cannot acknowledge some of the good men and also some good women who have had played some significant roles in our lives.
Cheers to all the inspiring women and men in our lives !!

Monday, March 3, 2014

What To Write?

A time comes when all of us stuck for ideas to write about: we end up staring at a blank page, with a big question mark ?

What to write ????

Some sites have come up with ideas like quotes to inspire you to write something like:

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ~ Toni Morrison

I would say:
There is a book I really want to write, but hasn't been written by me yet, and I will definitely write it one day.
So much for getting inspired.

Another quote: The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. ~ Neil Gaiman

Yes, I am going to write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only I can, but only when the time is right.

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. ~ Cyril Connolly  

This is the one to which I can relate the most.

That is so very true, if I write I would write for myself, write from my heart, I would never write on subjects suggested by others, for I am not the type to let others take control over my life. My life is my very own, to be lived in the way I want to live.

Also I like to write from own experiences, only changing it here and there for a little dramatic effect when need arises. Nothing can sound more authentic, than what comes right from our hearts.

I like to write about my memories, the things that moved me, to write about the amazing changes that I have gone through my life, to write about my initial resistance to change and my eventual desire to change. The humor, the sadness, the happiness, the surprises, there are so many things to write about from our own lives. Our stories can fill volumes and volumes if only we decided to write a novel

So I wait for that novel to happen, which is still in brewing stage right now, but one day it would be ready, that is my belief.

Some quotes from my side too to inspire all of us:

“To dream by night is to escape your life. To dream by day is to make it happen.”
― Stephan Richards
“No matter how small you start, always dream big.”
― Stephan Richards

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered - either by themselves or by others. ~Mark Twain
Do not let yourself be one of them.
If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ~Vincent Van Gogh

I like to change that a little bit like: "If you hear a voice within you say "you have nothing to write", then by all means write something, anything, and that voice will be silenced."
Did I not write something?

So how do you deal with the Blank Page Syndrome?