She walked in, looked up.
In the mirror, she gazed.
The woman of her dreams!
She walked in, looked up.
In the mirror, she gazed.
The woman of her dreams!
We’ve been married for over 3 years now and I’ve always taken pride in how well I’ve known my husband. I always know what he’s gonna say next. His responses come out of his mouth later, they are first muttered in my head.
In the last two months of lockdown, we’ve been together all the time, mostly. Be it working from the same living room, cooking in the kitchen together, cleaning together, sleeping and many other things that I need not mention here, it’s all been done together.
Lockdown has affected both of us differently. While financially it has hit both of us, mentally it has affected him more than me. We both have been working from home, so we are definitely strained between household chores and office work. And, we dearly and immensely miss our house help.
I have kept myself engaged with various hobbies like gardening, photography, blogging and bird watching. And like a super excited kid, I would go around telling him the titchest of my achievements like – spotting a new bird or getting a comment on my blog. I have kept myself excited and him involved in my eensy – weensy doses of happinesses.
Yesterday during a conversation, I asked him about his hobby (I anticipated the answer) and he instantly said “cricket”. He hasn’t played cricket in over a decade but that was his passion. He loved playing cricket as an adolescent boy but had to quit it unwillingly for higher education. He never took up another hobby after that.
The conversation was bizarre to me, somewhat indigestible. We’ve spent a substantial amount of time together, we’ve travelled together, we’ve partied hard, we’ve talked for hours together, we’ve been crazy together but in this togetherness I think he has been living with my hobbies. This irks!
So today I asked him to choose a hobby for the next few days and he couldn’t choose one. I was livid thinking that I was going to this person every other day with a new hobby and he couldn’t think of one for himself. I chose a few for him and he still did not show any interest.
I bought some plants today and have asked him to take care of those. I know he will, while not whole heartedly but he will. During these difficult times, it’s so important to have a hobby which holds your interest in life other than your work and relations. It’s important for your mind and heart.
Helping him choose a hobby for himself has become a mission for me. At times, adults are too busy being adults – taking care of their lives, the lives of their loved ones and following their goals that hobbies ebb en route.
Happiness is unquestionably not equal to hobbies, but if happiness is distant, will a hobby help, is the question? May be. Or May be not. But with certitude I can tell you, it would be far less stressful.
I stayed in Phoenix, Arizona for a couple of months, back in 2015. I was reminded of Arizona by one of the posts today on WordPress and it gushed me with loads of wonderful memories of the beautiful desert.
In my mind, desert was all sandy brown, full of sand dunes and perpetual sand storms. Arizona was a bit of all this and so much more beautiful than a regular desert. I dug out some pictures from my phone and thought of sharing a few here.
This posts brings lots of happiness to me and I hope you feel it too. ❤️
I woke up early today to a resplendent morning – clear sky, cool breeze, soft rustle of the trees and flocks of birds gliding through the air. It is these enchanted mornings that lift my spirit high for rest of the day.
After nine in the morning – work, life errands and chaos start wrapping my mind. There’s usually no time to gaze out of the window later in the day. And I elude windows as the merciless sun scorches until sunset.
Mid-afternoon I observed the weather change. Sun was evading behind the callous clouds and trees were bowing down to the roaring wind. It all seemed to have happened suddenly.
As I was sauntering around the house, a plant outside my kitchen window caught my eye. It was a slender yet tall newly planted basil which was on the verge of succumbing to the bend by the gust. I hurriedly ran towards the window and pushed the planter to a different direction. With this little change, the wind didn’t affect the plant anymore. It stood straight with mild gyration as if with a new sense of confidence.
This absolutely miniscule incident made me think about us – people. While most at some point in their life had people – who would love to see us snap, if only we could have someone who switched a door, a path or a direction for us just enough, for us to be a little stronger, a little bolder.
I was about twelve years old when my father who was then serving in Indian Army was transferred to Assam, one of the eastern states in India. My family shifted from Lucknow base in UP to Assam. We travelled mostly by trains those days and it took us nearly two and a half days to reach Guwahati and then from there another couple of hours to reach our Army accomodation.
Train journeys had their own charm. As kids, we would see clouds, trees and fields drifting away as the train sped up. The view of flooded fields, bright green paddy being sown by farmers who had their calves soaked in mud was quite intriguing. Witnessing the enormous Brahmaputra river from the train traversing swiftly on the bridge was frightening and super exciting. I remember people making wishes and tossing coins in the river. Brahmaputra woke everyone with its formidability. I vividly remember the tiny fisherman boats floating with the current of the mighty river. These are just a few things that I remember from my train journey to Guwahati.
Army unit was about six hours from Guwahati and bus used to be our best option. I particularly remember the red soil of Assam which was strikingly different. Mind you, I was a kid, so even the simplest and common things for adults were awe-inspiring for me.
In the next few weeks, we were pretty settled there. It was beautiful always. There was pitter-patter of rain every other hour. This place was superabundantly green. Sun rose way before five in the morning and days always seemed short as the sun used to set around five in the evening.
With so much of nature, came the snails which were harmless, however had covered the entire backwall of our house and were also hidden in the grass, in gravel and on pavements. I hated them and inadvertently crushed a lot of tiny ones and I could never see them amidst grass, I only heard them getting crushed which scared me and I would run and hear more crushings at a faster pace. While snails were harmless, snakes were not. I saw snakes every two days, they horrified me. By God’s grace, I never had to fight one or got bitten by one. I wouldn’t have ever won with a snake.
There are so many fond memories of Assam. On my way to school I used to just gaze out of my bus and witness the waterlogged fields blossoming with lotuses. This went on for miles and miles as my school was pretty far from my home.
Even today, when I close my eyes and I can still see the lotuses in the murkiest of muck, looking as fresh as the dew that sat on them every single morning.
A bemused mind on a summer morning, feet refuting every step;
With qualms and no zest, no brood and no rest;
Eyes wander through the shelves, hands approach yesterday’s rest;
Taste buds protest, not bowing to the wonted;
Heart screaming for a new, no servings of the same hue;
A loud growl jumped out, this is no residence of rats;
The dinosaur’s the king of here, and he must protest;
No sheen to the life, all gloomy, a growl again to sparkle the pain;
Think hard you slave, yelled heart. Desires have taken me afar;
Covid hit me hard, left me trapped with this barb;
Delight me with a lingering aroma, I’ll travel like a steam of whiff;
Whirling through the Tuscany or touching the down from cliff;
Will savour a souq through shawarma, and taste ocean with anchovies;
Give me enough to tantalize the heart, jostle aside the dull;
I’m ready to be awed, think through the shine;
Tired wrestling the heart and mind, I bow to appetence;
Curate for the soul, the body smiled devouring ennui.
Life’s been intricate ever since I left college, perhaps, it always was. Life’s pace has always been dramatic – sometimes so fast that I would live days without realising the time that passed by and then so, so slow that all I would do is rewind the lost time.
I choose to believe that I prefer the high tempo of life because it leaves no hole to peek into the past and lets you glide with it in the future. The other half of me craves for the low tempo of life, the one that heals the soul and illuminates it. This other part makes me delve into the darkness of the starry night. It lets me walk on the minuscule grains of ever unsettling sand where the gentle waves kiss the shore.
Apparently, I want it both. What’s your tempo? Let me know in the comments below.
We did and didn’t think about her,
And now we see the inevitable;
How mean and rude were we,
Don’t bother to even look back;
See what we’ve done, we’ve done enough!
Let’s give her some time to rest and heal herself.
After all, we thrive when she prospers.
What are we without her!
So let this be and let’s know, if not now, then will we, and how?
Happy Earth Day!