My childhood rain memories

It is that time of the year, again (In India)! 🙂 Yes, the monsoon season, indeed. As my readers already know from several of my previous posts, I love the rain.

rainRain reminds me the most about treks, chai-pakodas, the ‘terrifying and soothing at the same time’ property of nature, and the romantic breeze, of course; but I have talked about those things previously. Today, as my life currently revolves around my cute little 2 months old daughter, I have decided to write about my childhood rain memories. I think I did have a gala time with the rains during my childhood, too. Doing what? Here’s my top 5!

1. Making paper boats

paper boats

One of the first memories I have of ‘fun in the rain’ is of making paper boats and releasing them in nearby gutters, and seeing how many reach the far end! Of course, most boats used to sink soon; and hence used to begin the competition of seeing ‘whose’ boats among the group of budding ship builders floated the most. As I grew older, I learned to make different types of boats:  those with anchors, those with a mainsail and a jib, and so on. I loved it – what wasn’t to love? Making them was fun, getting wet while putting them in gutters was ‘adventurous’, and watching my parents clean up the mess left behind was even more fun…hahaha! I guess that is why we stop making boats when we get older – we have to clean our own mess, don’t we! 😛

2. Jumping and dodging puddles

I don’t need to see a ‘daag acche hain’ commercial to remember how, despite warnings from my parents about the troubles dirty water could cause, I used to jump into puddles and splash water. (Not just on myself, but on unsuspecting and suspecting people, too) hahaha.Puddle I used to also try to dodge these puddles, but the more I jumped around them, the more I ‘accidentally’ launched myself into them. 😛 😀 Not my fault, no? [Evil Grin] 😀

As children we were really carefree! Now, I wouldn’t even dream of doing such a thing. However, I do remember that I accidentally stepped into a puddle on a Jersey City street while on a trip to New York, and felt happy! 😛 😀 Now whether that was from the nostalgia about Indian roads or about actually stepping in puddles, I do not know.

3. Playing while getting drenched

rain-wallpaper-5This should have been number 1, actually! What can beat the ’kick’ we felt when we played while getting soaked from head to toe, wiping our faces again-n-again to see what’s going on around? Ahhhh, coolness, freshness, adventure – thy name is ‘getting drenched’! 😀 My favorite rain game? Catching Cook, Lagori, and swimming. Funnnn! Oh, and coming home to a hot bath after playing our hearts out while getting drenched – heavenly!

 

 

4. Buying rain coats

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If you are telling me that you did not obsess over colorful umbrellas and rain coats when you were a child, I’d say you are kidding me! 😀 I remember getting all excited at the end of summer about buying new rain coats. Discussing latest fashions was not about clothes and shoes back then; it was about pencil-boxes, labels, and rain coats. How excited I was when the new skirt-n-top rain coats came in the markets! And when the transparent ones did, too! Mmmm the smell of new rubber and plastic…..mmmmm…

5. Singing ‘Ye re ye re paavsa‘ and ‘paus aala vara aala‘. lol… Did you sing rain songs as a child? Which ones?

What were your favorite childhood activities related to rain? Do let me know. 🙂

A Brand New (Mother of a) Role! :)

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Literally!

Yes, I am happy to announce that exactly a month ago, I assumed one of the most important roles I will ever play in my life. I gave birth to this sweet little girl that you can see in the accompanying photograph, Ananya. Her arrival was nothing short of a mini-tsunami of change in my life, and Mayuresh’s.

From the moment we had a slight doubt that the little present (or future, should I say?) was on its way into our lives, nothing remained same as before.  Lifestyle, pastimes, physical condition, mental state, plans, priorities… you name it and 360 degrees turn it made!

9 months passed with much hullabaloo. Girls, if you are interested in knowing more about those 9 moths, you can read all about them, in detail, in my newest still-under-construction blog The Mommy Diaries. (For those who prefer saving and browsing through the blog later, the URL is http://amrutasmommydiaries.blogspot.com/.) I singled out girls because I am very sure boys will hardly be interested in knowing the nitty-gritties of pregnancy – a phase they will never experience first-hand! 😛 Anyway, the new blog is not yet fine-tuned and ready for public viewing, hence this subtle mention.

But as people had told me earlier, the real adventure was yet to begin. And it now finally has. After experiencing the first few days of overwhelming physical agony and mental ecstasy, my mind now has finally reached a point where there can be emotional upheaval.

And emotions indeed poured like cats and dogs! From what it really means to be a mom, to what I want to be able to teach my daughter… From how I can never be carefree again, to how I can prevent my life from being one-dimensional… So many and Oh so many thoughts have firmed their roots in my mind these days!

The confusion and the musings aside, this new role has also brought in a plethora of new experiences. Ananya is just a month old, and cannot smile purposely – I know; and yet when she coincidentally grins when I’m talking gibberish to her, I feel she is responding already, and we have this special connection. Such a comforting bubble it is! 🙂 Getting worried when she cries and happy when she clings to me, understanding her yells and wails (Oh yeah, it seems they have a different kind for every reason!), treating her like the most delicate thing on the planet, while hoping she will be really strong when she is older… I can ramble on and on about all these new experiences I am having, but then what would I write in later posts, if I do write them, that is!

Wish me luck for bringing up this cute little baby, and also for being able to keep writing this blog in spite of assuming this mother of a role. Well, who knows… it is said that when you are really busy doing something important, you find time to do all the things that you like doing. ‘Cause it is not the lack of time that prevents you from doing what you want to, but it is procrastination! The busier you get, the more efficient you become in handling things that you care about.

We’ll soon know if that is true! 😀

 

Soothed by Thrills…

Have you ever felt thrilled and soothed at the same time? Well, I tried skydiving a few days ago. Although the experience merits a whole separate post, there is one thing I’d want to distinctively mention here.  The skydiving experience was by far the most thrilling AND the most soothing experience that I’ve ever had!

IMG_6787 - CopyWhy thrilling? That is easy to explain – the adrenaline rush that I felt as I stood at the open door of the plane,  ready to jump; the goosebumps the size of elephants I got when I saw people before me jump and hurl spirally downwards; the anticipation I  felt as I was about to jump off into the huge space of nothing; the jolt of excitement I felt the moment I jumped; and the whole idea of being 14,000 feet above the ground with a just parachute and an instructor –  thrilling to the core!

Why soothing? Well, for three reasons… One, after I jumped and hurled downwards and posed (tried and mostly failed) for photos mid-air, I felt the parachute actually open! That is an extremely soothing feeling, I think you all will agree! The other possibility is harrowing! 😛 Two, after the parachute jerked open, and I adjusted my body and my safety straps, we just floated slowly in the air. I got to experience about 10 minutes of serene silence and beautiful panoramicIMG_6818 - Copy views until I landed. Viewing the amazing landscape (we were in Florida!) while slowing descending felt surreal, and very soothing. And last but not the least, when I took off the all the jumping gear and sat down (yeah, sky-diving is exhausting!), the success, the feeling that I had finally done what I always dreamed of doing, made me feel so content, so happy! Not to mention, the relaxed air pressure after about an hour in air was heavenly. It was like a perfectly soothing balm on all my aches and worries! 🙂 And during all this, the thrill of the whole experience didn’t leave my mind for a single moment!

Truly, sometimes feeling thrilled and soothed are parts of the same experience. Like someone said,

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I open my window, drops of rain fall on my face

I am soothed by their touch,  and thrilled by the freshness…

When a  cold gush of wind blows into my hair,

I am thrilled by its suddenness and soothed by the cool air…

Like a girl in a ballroom,

Waiting long to be asked to dance…

Arrives the nicest guy and chooses her,

She is both thrilled and soothed by the chance!

Jumping in the pool on a hot day in summer…

Climbing a tall mountain and looking down from it,

Winning a prize you have been missing out on for long

Oh, how thrills and soothing together belong!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Have you experienced anything like this? Do let me know! 🙂

My first blogging award! :-) :-) :-)

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Thank you so much Alyssa @ castlesineurope for nominating me.  :)   It means so much to receive an award from someone you have never met, based only on what they read on your blog! Thanks, thanks, thanks, again! 🙂 The rules are that I must post the award on my blog, share seven random things about me, and nominate seven people for the award.

So here are 7 random things about me:

1. I am a big, big, big Harry Potter fan; I also am a huge Paulo Coelho fan! 🙂

2. I love exploring places on foot, and I am very bad at directions. However, I am very good at remembering signs and landmarks, so I get by.

3. My husband is indeed my best’est’ friend 🙂

4. I am a very emotional person; however, I rarely put my emotions on display – most people think I am very cool and calm 😛

5. I love writing, and I am trying to be more frank and fearless at it. ( trying to go beyond – oh my Mom is going to read this – let’s dial it down a notch :P)

6. I am a foodie and a once-reluctant cooking enthusiast.

7.  When I was a kid, I always was scared that the tumbler would drown in the bucket! 😛

 

Now, here are my nominees for The Versatile Blogger award:

1. Shweta @ scribblingpad (she has a very casual but extremely effective style of conveying her inner thoughts)

2. Priyaranjan @ my two cents (churns out quality and quantity in equal amounts)

3. Rajesh @ destinationinfinity ( his insights on myriad topics are a good food for thought)

4. Ninad @ this is ninad dighe’s world  (his takes on philosophy, art, and culture provide for some good reading)

5. Anwar @ everymomentmatters ( he hasn’t blogged in a long while – hope this award charges him up to start writing his uncannily funny blog again!)

6. Chandni @ Bohemian Rhapsody (truly versatile!)

7. and last, but not the least, Alyssa @ castlesineurope ( her blog posts have some of the best illustrations that I have ever seen)

Do go through their blogs; I’m sure you’ll love them!

 

Where the mind is without fear!

Just remembered my school prayer..thought you all would appreciate it too… It is an extract from the great Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel-winning Geetanjali…Here it goes…

Where The Mind is Without Fear

    WHERE the mind is without fear and the head is held high
    Where knowledge is free
    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
    By narrow domestic walls
    Where words come out from the depth of truth
    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
    Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
    Where the mind is led forward by thee
    Into ever-widening thought and action
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Ten Thousand!!!! :-)

So finally, my blog has been able to register 10000 hits!! 🙂 Whoa!!! Amn’t I glad!! It’s been quite some time since I started it, so this event is all the more special to me! 🙂

So this is a big ‘Thank You’ note as well to all my readers, and a promise to myself to write more substantial stuff now! 🙂

Thanks to you all, and best wishes to me! 🙂 Bye for now!!

What is Success?

Another poem I came across and really liked!! Enjoy! 

 What is Success?

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

 — Ralph Waldo Emerson

My priceless gift!!!!!

This is a world of give-n-take!!! Gifts, as I have lately begun to realize are not meant to express happiness, gratitude, encouragement, or even love. In today’s times, its just business. I, as u must’ve realised, am strongly opposed to this. Anyways, yeah, so receiving gifts these days is no longer an excitement. But it was not so yesterday. We had an Independance day event with the kids of the school where I go to teach.(You must’ve got an idea about what I am talking if you have followed/read my earlier blogs, so won’t dwelve further into it!)I was very tired after the event, and was standing there, lost in my own thoughts.

We had distributed chocolate bars amongst the kids during prize distribution. Suddenly, one of the kids, Ketan, came to me and told me, “Tai he ghya chocolate tumhala majhyakadun, tumhi itkya chhan ahat mhanun!!” Which means, “Here’s a chocolate from me to you, coz u r soo nice!”

I was floored, seriously!!! I didn’t even know what to say!! I didn’t even know what to do!!! Having an under-privileged kid sacrifice his chocolate because he appreciates you and your efforts really gives you a high, doesn’t it?? I went ahead, and took the chocolate, and gave Ketan a bigg hug!! He smiled, spoke a few things wid me, and went away, and I stood there, overcome with so many emotions, one of my most prized <or should I say, priceless> gifts, and the reinstated belief, that the good you do always comes around!! 🙂

Two Thousand!!! :-)

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Hi all!!! Another milestone achieved!! My blog hits just touched the 2000 mark! I am soo happy, especially because just around 2 months back, i.e. on 29th March, I was celebrating its 1000 hits, and now—its already reached 2000!!  Highly encouraging!!! 🙂

Ofcourse, I must admit, that a major portion of these hits is accounted to one casual post on my blog- that on SMS Shero shayari…… there were many many hits on google to search for shero-shayari, and thankfully google showed my page to them! But whatever the reason, I am all charged up now, and promise to give my readers continuously better stuff. And I hope the next milestone is more accredited to meaningful stuff that people read on my blog!! 🙂

No… There are surely rays of hope!

{Author’s Notes: Updated on October 28, 2015}

As I wrote in my earlier post, something else soon happened, which made me feel good about life, about others, and about myself.
One day I had to walk over the same bridge I mentioned, while going to work. As I passed over it, the snapshots of the other day’s incident kept flashing in my mind, and I was really feeling low. As I crossed the bridge, I saw a family of laborers walking a few meters ahead of me. There was a man carrying a lot of heavy stuff in his hands and on his back. Walking alongside him were two women, also carrying quite a few heavy things on them.

And there was a small girl, dirty and barefoot, but cute, nevertheless, as all kids are! She was lagging behind for some time, and then started pleading with her father to pick her up. As the man was already overloaded, he kept walking ahead, and the girl kept crying and running after him. I was about to sink deeper in my depressed state, when one of the women, may be the mother, turned back laughing with an endeared look. She took from her husband the things that were in his right hand, and told him to carry the girl. The girl’s joys knew no bounds; and I mean it – the happy chuckle that she let out as she was carried by her father was really music to my ears!
It had that power to instantly haul me out of my negative thoughts. The man picked up the girl, and the small group went ahead. I did not look at them afterwards; I was only looking within, wondering how such small and day-to-day happenings can create such huge and long-lasting impact on my life…