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Filed under family, justMe, KalAajKal, unpleasant

Unshakable Bonds?

I was sitting with a friend and chatting with him about the resignation letter he put today, just after lunch. Had a cup of coffee on the table. I observe that there’s continuous shaking of the table. That’s when I realized that the chair was shaking too, I asked him “are you shaking your legs?” for which he responded with “No, but someone is surely shaking their legs.” That’s when we realized it was an earthquake. It was too much to ignore. We asked the lady on the other table and she confirmed the weird shaking too.

We got up from our tables and then we see people rushing out of the cafeteria in groups. All headed towards the elevators and staircase. The tremors had ceased by the time we got down the stairs of eight floors. I was jokingly telling my friend that he just put his papers and it made the earth shake, what would happen when he leaves. That’s when we got to know about the 8.9 Richter scale earthquake in Indonesia and about the tremors that have been felt across so many states in India. Within ten minutes the networks were jammed, with people trying to reach their loved ones. Such are the bonds of love and care aren’t they?

The whole incident brought back memories from childhood. My first experience with an earthquake was way back in school ( I am sure that people who are good with dates would still remember the year atleast, but I’ve forgotten it. 😦 ). We were all in class when we it was announced that there was an earthquake and we had to evacuate the building. All kids were rushed to the open grounds adjacent to the school campus. Being kids and it being theΒ only time such Β a thing had happened in Bangalore, we were terrified.

All girls were sobbing and wanted to go back home. Those being the days when kids didn’t carry mobile phone, we couldn’t contact anyone. I vividly remember crying and expressing the wish to meet my sister. When my friends asked why am I not concerned about my parents, I told that they would manage to be fine on their own, but my sis was alone at college. I wondered how she would reach home. I remembered her a million times and prayed and prayed for her to be safe.

We were so close to each other. We would talk about everything. Since the age difference is more, she was always like a second mom, taking care of me and reprimanding me for anything wrong I did, but supporting me at all times. She was and is my savior in a lot of situations. Times and responsibilities have changed. Having a full time job and a prankster at home, she is occupied all the time. We don’t speak for weeks together sometimes. When we do meet up, the tiny tot is the obvious one to get all the attention. Hopefully we get time soon to catch up and act like typical sisters. πŸ˜€

You tell me, what were you upto, when mother earth decided to do a jig?? πŸ˜‰

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Filed under Chennai, family, love, memories, nammaBengaluru, sis

Gowri-Ganesha

Gowri Pooja and Ganesh Chaturthi has always been celebrated with fervor and rituals in our family. Lot of planning, roaming, shopping, cooking and inviting-visiting happens during this festival. Most people often celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi but not the Gowri Pooja. At our place Gowri is worshiped first and then Lord Ganesha is worshiped. Some people also say that Ganesha should not be brought/worshiped until his mom Gowri is worshiped on this occasion.

The festivities begin with shopping. From bringing home the idols to buying new clothes, all of it is so much fun. πŸ™‚ As long as I can remember we have shopped for the idols from the crowded market place of Malleshwaram. The markets are jam packed on the days before the festival, so going earlier helps. The whole place is filled with the fragrance of flowers. πŸ™‚ Along with the idol comes home the different varieties of flowers, fruits and leaves of different types used for the pooja. The prices of these reach an unbelievable high just before the festival.

The day of the festival begins with the courtyard being washed with water and adorned with huge rangolis. πŸ™‚ The main door of the house is decorated with fresh mango leaves. This is called the toraNa.

toraNa at the entrance

 

Goddess Gowri

Lord Ganesha

During the olden days the poojaris or the priests were called home to perform the pooja with all the rituals. But now, we have moved on to modern times, with all the mantra and sholkas being recorded on to a casette/cd and the pooja is performed by playing the same. πŸ™‚

Obattu the popular dish in Karnataka, also known as Puran Poli in Maharasthra is the main dish which is kept as offering to goddess Gowri on the day of the pooja. Ganesha on the other hand is offered kadabu/modaka, chakkuli. These tasty dishes once offered to God are devoured the people in the house on the completion of the pooja. πŸ˜€

As children it was so much more fun when we used to celebrate the festival as a huge family. A single idol was brought home and all the uncles, aunts, cousins used to get together and perform the pooja. πŸ™‚ As years passed by everyone shifted to independent houses of their own making the celebration separate, smaller and lesser fun. 😦 The positive side is that now we spend the day visiting each others house and having a darshana (glimpse) of their idol. πŸ™‚

I have heard from my parents and grandparents that during older times, when people lived nearer to their own communities, almost people in every house used to celebrate the festival. During those days children used to go out in the evenings and visit the house of random people asking “Uncle Ganesha iTTiddira?” which means “Uncle have you kept a Ganesha idol?” and view the idol of Ganesha. It was said to be auspicious to view 108, or at the least 21 Ganesha idols on the day of the festival. πŸ™‚ Though we miss out on such things nowadays, we are more secular and live with different communities and get to see celebrations of Eid/Ganesh Chaturthi at the same time. πŸ™‚

Also another herculean task on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi is to stop yourself from looking at moon. 😦 Oh! The number of times I have failed at this. 😦 The story goes that, once Lord Ganesha had eaten a lot and his stomach burst due to this. He picked up a serpent and tied it to his stomach (this is the reason that there is always a serpent painted on the stomach of every Ganesha idol). The moon who was watching this, laughed loudly, enraging the lord. The moon was then cursed to be never seen again. On asking for forgiveness from the lord, the effect of the curse was reduced. The full moon was now to be seen only once a month and his power would decrease and he would disappear every fifteen days. He would regain his power gradually in the next fifteen days until the full moon day.

Viewing the moon on the day of the festival is said to be inauspicious. Anybody who happens to do so has to listen to the Shamanthaka Mani story which is also a part of the Ganesh pooja, in order to be prevented from being cursed. The moon on that day however appears so clear and keeps peeping out even if it’s cloudy. πŸ™‚

Done with the pooja, Lord Ganesha and Gowri reside in the house for odd number of days like 5 or 7, but mostly 11. On the completion of these days the idols are immersed in water with prayers to bring prosperity and return next year. The idols taken for immersion are sometimes taken with a huge scale procession. πŸ™‚ It is wonderful to watch and the organizers bring the procession through every street with music, crackers and drums. πŸ™‚

Added are pictures of the small celebration at my house. πŸ™‚ Hope you too had a great time during the festival. πŸ™‚

After the pooja

Threads ties as a part of the pooja

Entrance of the house

Tulsi Pooja

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Filed under celebration, family, special

ONE

You were asleep the last time I came baby…Β  And asleep till I was about to leave. You woke up with time just enough for you to wave me goodbye and me to smother you with kisses. No matter how much love I shower you with, it’s just not enough. You are the tiny soul who fills our life with happiness with just a smile of yours. All of us forget the worries, the tensions and the misunderstandings when we hold your in our arms.

Times when your cheek’s red with a mosquito bite or you get tiny bruises unknowingly or have running nose are the times of most distress for us all. Time’s running so fast and you are growing up so soon :(. You can already stand, speak words, wave, point out, recognize everyone, recognize toys and sounds and your food. You already have four teeth. πŸ˜€

You are already ONE year old. πŸ™‚

Happy Birthday my darling nephew!! God bless you with good health and happiness all your life… Love you.. πŸ™‚

 

There’s a song in Kannada which goes –

guDiyaliruva shilegaLLella devarante, guNaviruva manujarella makkaLante.

makkaLigu devarigu bhedavilla, ibbara manadalu kapaTavilla.

This is roughly translated to –

All the sculptures in a temple are said to be God, All the human beings with good nature are said to be children.

There is no difference between children and God, they both have no impurity in their hearts.

 

Though the translation takes away the beauty in the kannada lyrics, it’s so true isn’t it? πŸ™‚

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Filed under baby, family, happy, love, special

>GROWiNg up!!

>Watched dad becoming a kid again…. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

He recently joined a fifteen day yoga workshop, which happens to finish today.. Being home for the weekend, I got to talk to him about it.. He suddenly says “Oh god!! I forgot to do my homework!!” and starts searching for some book. I reacted with a puzzled “Homework???”. He then goes on to explain that they were given some homework everyday and quips “Yay!! there’s no homework since today’s the last day“. ( Aaah the simple pleasures…. πŸ™‚ )

We had a rushed visit to my sister’s place to see her and cuddle the little brat. Rushed because my dad had his class at 5:30 in the evening. When he was planning about what time to leave her place, I said it’s enough if we left by 4-4:30. He says “No.. It’ll get late and if I don’t go there before 5.30, they’ll make me stand outside!!“. :O :O :O

On getting back home he told that the workshop had also organized some sort of a 4 day program in some forest near Chitradurga. It’s going to be an isolated stay with no sort of communication with the family/anyone. He asks “Should I go??” and I react with a “No“, like I’m the parent. He agrees and says he’ll return the form. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ( I’m sure he agreed coz he had the same thing in his mind… πŸ˜› )

P.S: He was also reciting many of the nursery rhymes (with actions), trying to entertain his grandson. πŸ˜€

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Filed under family, happy

>The Baby Update

>He rules the hearts and the house!! He’s almost 4 months old and it’s already giving me the feeling the he’s growing up too soon 😦 The teeny baby which came to its maternal grandparent’s home in August, is now ready to go back home… He and my sis will be going back to their house in a couple of weeks… 😦

I hardly get to see him and when I do, I can’t get enough of him.. The time flies by when you sit next to him babbling nonsense and cooing at him. He smiles, laughs and gurgles in response. It’s such a delight to watch him do just that.

He has recently started turning over to one side and sleeping. The smart fellow lies straight, turns over to the side, again turns to lie down straight and keeps repeating the same, having happily found out that this trick makes him go round in the bed πŸ˜€

His best friend till a few weeks back was the cieling fan, which my sis lovingly calls the “Fanny Boy!!”. He used to watch it with awe and talk to it in his baby language. He has suddenly started getting scared of his Fanny Boy and starts crying at the sight of it rotating.. 😦 I heard recently that he cried terribly on seeing the rotating fans at a function they had taken him to… 😦

On the first day of my two day weekend visit, he spends staring at me wondering, “Who is this?? Seems familiar. She keeps turning up every two weeks!!”. By the second day he figures out that I’m his chikki and happily talks to me and laughs on seeing me, making it difficult for me to leave later in the night.

All these months almost all the activities in the house depended on whether he’s sleeping, he’s awake, he’s crying, he’s playing, he’s hungry etc. My parent’s especially are gonna miss him terribly. He being their “Kullanti” and “Bangari”, they are used to spending their day around him. They now have to go back and get used to staying in the same old empty house. 😦

Gonna miss you so much sweetheart!!!

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Filed under baby, family, love

Power Cuts

Come summer the common things we hear of are the high temperatures, water scarcity and power cuts. With trees being cut down without a forethought, leading to untimely rains and unpredictable weather cycles, power cut is a thing everybody is expecting and is prepared for during summer.

Power cuts are a thing that people detest. Firstly, people are accustomed to using fans and air conditioners during summer. They have to bear the heat during power cuts. Secondly the television in almost every house is running all the time whether or not anyone’s watching it. No chance of watching the tv during power cut. If there’s an IPL match being telecast during the power cut, then God save the people working in the Electricity Board from all the curses that are cast on them by the people. Have scheduled power cuts, people come up with ideas of finishing all the required tasks well before the scheduled time. Make the cuts unscheduled, the parents start complaining of how kids are unable to study for exams.

Majority of the people today are prepared for the power cuts having Inverters/UPS facility in their residence and work places. The only time they are probably in darkness is when they sleep or when the UPS stops working for an unknown reason. The city life is such that there’s traffic and lights at all times, even at night. People have become so used to this kind of a lifestyle that probably they cant even imagine staying in the darkness for a couple of hours.

I on the other hand like power cuts. πŸ™‚ Call me insane if you want. But I find it weird that people want to have lights around them at all times. Some are such that they can’t even sleep without a bed lamp :O. I like power cuts (especially if they are during the evenings) for various reasons…

* First and foremost is that, it is to save power, of which we have a scarcity.
*Β  I think every person should and must have an experience of being in the darkness for a while. It is beautiful… πŸ™‚
* Darkness lets me be with myself, even if it is for a couple of hours or minutes. I think it is the time to contemplate and think about oneself and the others.
* I love the way the brightness of the moon becomes prominent during power cut which at other times is overshadowed by the city street lights.. 😦
* It brings you closer to your family members.
* It makes you realize how bright and beautiful the life is at other times.

I have many fond memories associated with power cuts… πŸ™‚ Back then when I was in school, the time when our family and my uncle’s family lived in two different floors of the same house, power cuts meant fun time!! πŸ™‚ Me and my sis would gleefully run upstairs to join our cousins, uncles and aunt. The entire time was spent playing Antakshari, Word Building, Quizzes and what not… πŸ™‚ The elders would team up against kids or it would be be boys versus girls. It was so much fun.. πŸ˜€ We would stop the game when the power is back and continue it from there the next time. Thats something that I badly miss from the time my cousins and their family shifted to a different house… 😦

During one such dark evening when we were playing Antakshari, there was a knock on the door of my uncle’s house. Since I was nearest to the door, I went and opened it. It was pitch dark outside. It scared the hell out of me to see no one there.. I banged the door shut and ran inside. I was just telling that there was nobody, when there was a knock again. I almost wept out of fear. My uncle, who’s a civil engineer went and opened the door to find one of his workers outside. This worker I’m talking about has a very very dark complexion. I hadn’t seen him coz of the darkness outside. The worker said “Avaru nanna nodi baagilu haaki bittru !!” (she saw me and shut the door!!). How my cousins and everyone else laughed at me that day, is one thing I’ll never forget.. 😦 . One thing that I’m thankful for, till date, is that the person outside didn’t smile, else I would have fainted seeing a set of white teeth in the pitch darkness… :O

I was a very fidgety kid, unable to sit in one place and study. My sis on the other hand would sit for hours and would get up only when she finished a chapter atleast. I would keep making trips to the kitchen, looking for something to eat or drink, or would go disturb her. But I loved to sit and study in the candle light during power cuts. It was just to show off to my parents, that I’m so hard working. ( Now I feel, its probably one of the reasons I wear spectacles and my sis doesn’t πŸ˜› )

I’m so thankful that even now we don’t have a UPS system in our house. I hope we don’t need one too… But the candles have been replaced by an emergency lamp. I avoid the light and go sit in the dark room during power cuts. πŸ™‚ It brings back to me all the good memories and makes me like it all the more.. πŸ™‚

PS: The only time I get upset with a power cut is when my computer gets switched off (poof!!)and I haven’t saved the file.. πŸ˜›

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Filed under family, justMe, memories