The sound of thunder in ‘Heaven’.

“The first casualty of war is innocence.”

Innocence and purity of a beautiful place Jammu and Kashmir.It’s beauty I’ve only heard of and seen in pictures.It’s pain felt by everyone.

 In the seventeenth century, the Mughal emperor Jahangir said that if paradise is anywhere on the earth, it is here (the Kashmir Valley), while living in a houseboat on Dal Lake.”Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast”, which translates to “if there is ever a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here”. 


The conflict in this place for more than a century has rendered pain and torment among it’s people.

To attain anything we have to strive for it every step of the way..every kind word helps overcome the deepest fears,love always conquers hate,silence is always better than aggression for all these to have a positive effect and override the negative it requires patience,willpower and determination. Evil will prevail but the power of these positive forces will in time conquer it.So is the same for peace we cannot make a promise to it and not follow through with it at every step and the only way of achieving it is through peaceful ways.I don’t believe any war has been won by hate but the need for peace will always prevail first within ourselves and then in the world.


I wish too for Kashmir that it’s conflict be resolved in peaceful ways,that the sound of bombs be replaced with a birdsong,that the years of anguish on the faces of its people light up with that of hope and joy,that the countries involved       come together to rebuild new bonds and leave the past behind,that a soldier can walk through its streets not to protect it but just to admire with their families and most of all that it’s lost innocence be restored and that it be only remembered for its flawless,pristine and peaceful beauty.

I hope not only for Kashmir but countries in the world where rebuilding love and harmony should be the most urgent concern and people and countries should unite to strive for it.

But most of all I hope that I can walk down a lane in Kashmir one day and truly understand the chaos in its beauty.

*All pictures (wish I had my own) and factual information taken from the Internet.

Advertisements

Making it work!

“Happiness is working from home and being your own boss.”

A few years ago I had to quit my full time job as a teacher and trying to fit into a new place of work came with a lot of obstacles.I gave myself a complete break and then decided to do something on my own.I started a small elocution,speech and drama class from home last year now called Spotlight.

With the help of a few friends I got about a handful of students to start with.I was happy to be finally doing something although it was very little work and hard to get by but I didn’t want to give up on it.

January,2016 the new year and I was left with just one,sweet regular student.I was worried but I had faith I could keep this going and make it work.A dear friend of mine who has helped me set up the class right from the start came to my rescue again.I was able to revive the classes again and even had some tuitions to help me out financially.

The year has gone by with its ups and downs.I am thankful to have a few students in my class as the year slowly comes to a close.

Being your own boss means you get to make all the decisions even the tough ones.It has also given me time to do the things I love and most of all I’m healthy and happy.It always pays to stay determined and persistent on your goal even if all the odds are against it.Although the work that I do will always remain unpredictable I am blessed to have work and still be able to teach children.

My three favourite people who have had faith in my work and helped me along the way~

My mum who sits in on all my classes and gives me advice whenever I need it.

My sister always helps advertise my class and spread the word.

My ex colleague and friend who sends me most of the students I get to work with and constantly eggs me on.

My favourite student although I shouldn’t have favorites.Well she’s been with me for over a year and has been the most regular student.Little Rhea has been my one reason to keep the class running.

My favourite theatre game to teach has to be Zapping where the children take on different TV channels but talk about one theme.Zapping through the channels as if you were watching TV.

The children’s favorite skit to enact ‘The Hot Chocolate Shop’.

My favorite poem to teach ‘Spaghetti’. The children took time memorizing the lines but enjoyed reciting it at the end.

So if you have a dream even if small don’t let anything hold you back,walk on and you will find tiny moments of happiness happen to you miraculously on days you never expected.If you believe in your work be determined to make it work!

Friendly Tales

We make friends in every phase of our life.They are never constant,each playing their part and either moving on or staying a big part in your life forever.There have been moments of great kindness,where a friend has meant the world and getting by without them wouldn’t have been easy.

In my last year of  school everything went spiraling down for me and while my true best friends didn’t quite understand how to deal with what was happening to me,two of my classmates who I didn’t speak to that much or hung out with turned out to be my pillars of strength.They never left my side during lunch break or class hours to school events.They empathized completely with what I was feeling and saw me through the year.Although when we all went off to college we headed out in seperate directions they will always have a special place in my heart.

In college we always have that one boyfriend who is more like a brother.I did too.Once we had a big project to complete and worked very hard to put it together.But I needed someone to sketch out a nice cover page for it and even though my friend wasn’t in our group for the project he volunteered for it.The day he was to come to my home to work on it,it rained heavily and Mumbai rains they create havoc .I thought he wouldn’t make it but he did really late.He patiently sat down to work on it and went home.It was the sweetest gesture to go all out of his way for me.

Examinations are something where every friend becomes competitive and studies on their own all locked up in their rooms.This one time I fell ill and needed someone to help me study.Three of my closest friends didn’t hesitate at all and formed a study group and motivated me to study and pass my exams.These friends have been through with me through the good and bad times.

When you want to speak your heart out about the weird,the whimsical, the worrisome,the heartbreaking,the crazy,the ‘Anything’ my best girlfriend is the world’s best listener and she will never judge you and will always have a solution or something really wise to say.I’ve spent all my teen years talking to her and also sharing a lot of laughs on the way.

There are some friends you stay connected with all your life and my three girlfriends from college have been through all my ups and down.The three of them have literally been my guides through everything.

Sometimes family make great friends too.My sister and mum have helped me through every school assignment,sickness,exam and we share an everlasting bond.

In the past few years my career hasn’t been going too great and my ex colleague has been there every step of the way from helping me start my classes to taking me out and keeping me happy.Love having her in my life.

There are countless friends to thank.I just hope that I’ve been a true friend too,almost like a guardian angel! 

 

For the love of a song.

Music has been a part of us always.We grew up listening to mum’s collection.She loved Cliff Richard ,Elvis, Jim Reeves,Pat Boone,Dean Martin,Connie Francis.We would wake up to any of these blaring loud.Then my sister had her 70s music.Then we were hit by MTV and it’s videos grew on us.

But there came a stage when songs attached themselves to a memory,a moment,lost love.

Nothing like some music when you’re out walking.Walking can’t be done without it.

Listening to Don Mclean’s Vincent late at night on FM and stay up just for it the next day.

Listening to a fresh playlist and discovering a song you fall in love with.

Then those rainy nights when you’re feeling lonely music helps you cry,smile and feel better.

The moments when you’re looking for answers music pulls you out and refreshes you with it’s sweet melody.

Music thrills you at a concert it gets the crowd moving to one thumping beat,a synergy and a common love.

Music gives you those ahhh moments when you hear a tune,a lyric beautifully sung.All you do is shake your head in wonder how a chord can touch your heart as much.

And then there are the times when music is playing and you just have to get up and dance..No joy so pure and simple.

Music you mean more to me than you’ll ever know.Thanks for embracing me in my darkest days and lifting me up high again.Hope that my dance with you plays on forever.Hope that the music never dies…

  

Finding a mate!

We all have fairy tale visions of what true love could be like,look like and feel like.Now I’ve never been one to whom love came easy.I never dated in my teens though would have loved to since I was so much fun back then.

As I reached in my 20’s with no hope on that chance meeting or bumping into someone kind of love happening to me,I had to get on the dreaded matrimonials.A website that claimed to have made a million matches all you had to do was click on a profile that you really liked.I think I’ve clicked on a million profiles by now and still haven’t met my match.

Apart from that is the old matchmaker lady who sends potential interests to you and she is left puzzled as why I haven’t married yet.I suggest she try date some of the guys.

An uncle once told me I have built a wall around myself and I have a standard that I somehow want to be met.Well I do have a standard I want fulfilled especially when I know men who know just how to treat a woman and make her happy.It gives me an undying hope.

Once while trying to find someone had a guy speak to me over the phone and tell me how his ideal day is tending to his buffaloes and tallying the bills at the end of the day.That is clearly not how I envision my days.This one guy who wanted to stay set in his ways even after marriage like leaving me in the middle of the night to hang out with a friend.Unheard of.One guy who walked up to me in shoes with practically heels on them and he was shorter than me and I’m really short.

Clearly none of the men I’ve met have tried to make me feel beautiful or feel like a lady.Though I may have a million flaws myself I will not stop looking for that one elusive love who will treasure me,accept me and make me feel no less than a queen.

So if you’re looking for someone don’t get on a website.Just wait if it’s meant to be he will walk into your life or you in his or you’ll just dream him into your life.Meanwhile I’ll be here still checking into a matrimonial because I’m now well past my 20’s and racing toward 40!

  

  

When was the last time?

I sit here with absolutely nothing to do and free for the entire weekend.My days go by peacefully and I’m happy I have work this year which means less worrying and a little more living.The mundaness makes me think a little,when was the last time I did something out of the ordinary? Something bold and adventurous or something to give me a sense of achievement.Something kind for someone or brighten someone’s day.Something to face my fears or to test my determination.Do something creative or something that’s unique that’s just me.

Well there’s tons of things I could do and hoping I get down to doing at least one thing that makes me feel elated,happy and accomplished this year.(My secret wish is to learn how to ride a bicycle and own one.Tiny wish!)

For the time being ,the simple joy of every little day and the fact that things are easier than last year brings over a certain calm over me.

Nothing like being content with today and every now and then I will give myself a gentle reminder of when was the last time you did something special?

 

The struggle continues.

Last year was a year filled with struggle.Through most of it I was on an emotional roller coaster.I had more low days than good.I fought on to survive.Kept my little drama class running which was my only source of income.

December finally helped release the tension with all the holiday fun.Friends to meet,functions to attend all made me feel relaxed something I hadn’t felt in ages.

But good things never last long.Here I am in 2016 and have the same problems of last year.

Here are three things that I wish for that would make me feel content and happy this year:-

Finding a job-Even though I’m a kindergarten teacher I really want to pursue teaching Speech and Drama in schools.It is what makes me happy and keeps me healthy.Although I have gone in for a interview it’s a really long wait until they call me in for a second round.Hoping it’s soon.Keeping my fingers crossed!! Finding a job will really help me feel secure and keep me active and occupied in something I love.It will definitely gain me some peace of mind.

Finding someone-There are times when being single can be so good.You have your freedom,no one to answer to and you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone.But finding someone I connect with,talk to and fall in love with deeper everyday would be really nice too.

Meeting people-I hope I continue meeting people and making new friends.There is great joy in being surrounded with people you like and who’s company you enjoy .

Three things I take from last year:-

Worry less-It really helps to worry less .It let’s you feel happiness.

Stay loyal-Good friends don’t come easy stay loyal to them and they’ll surprise you in many ways.

Family love-Stay close to your family they will always be the only thing you’ve ever got in this world.

So even though it’s Cheers to new beginnings I also know that it’s Cheers to all the struggles we will fight through this year!! 

This picture below is of a park nearby and it really helped me all of last year to come here to rejuvenate,recuperate and simply to just breathe it all in.

 

Cool change!

Holidays are a great way to rejuvenate,rethink and simply get away from the city blues.My first memory of being on holiday was in the quaint hill station of Panchgani.As children we have a lot of memories there of making friends and being close to nature.It’s hard to imagine the countless times that we’ve been to Panchgani over the years after that memorable first time.

This time around we were met with heavy rains and although that restricted us to being at the hotel room,Panchgani never looked as beautiful as when it was touched with rains.The rain and mist through our windows along with some deep fried bhajiyas for snacks made it an experience in itself.

It did clear out and we even took a trip to Mahableshwar for our usual boating and tireless shopping.

Mum and I spent a lot of time in the garden on the swing set catching up on old times and admiring all the nature around us.

Panchgani has become more like home over the years and I simply enjoy clicking pictures each time.It is a place I share some sort of karmic bond with and know for sure that I will return to it yet again!It will always be my cool change.

    
 

Gone in a flash!!

October has gone by in a flash and it hasn’t been a great month but it’s left me with a special gift.Just today I woke up feeling peaceful,thankful,contented and yes all at the same time.It is a feeling I’ve been struggling for.Today I found myself release and let go of all the things pulling me back.

I find myself suddenly looking forward to tomorrow again and making it into yet another perfect day where I accept what is and be happy.

I found myself smiling,singing even doing a funny jig.I felt calmness.

October I thank you for all the emotional outbursts which sometimes are a good thing I think.It makes you feel pain and then suddenly you don’t feel it at all.It gets washed away.I hope the serenity I found in me lasts because it made me feel beautiful again.

Four things that I did in October that helped me overcome feelings of self pity,loneliness and attachment to the past.The healing-

1.Crying my heart out.Even though I felt like a big baby being on the verge of tears every minute of the day.It did help me gain a clearer picture and gain focus on what’s important for me now.Boohoo actually led to a yoohoo!!

2.Talking about my pain to my family even though it meant whining and complaining and making everything seem bigger than it really was.Driving my family up the wall did eventually work out well for me and I could get them to smile too at the end.

3.Walking helped me feel energized again and I wish I’d be more regular at it.We are blessed to have a park facing the sea and I’m glad I can look forward to more regular workouts there.

4.Watching the broadway musical Beauty and the Beast.I’m still dreaming of it.I love a good play.

I leave October behind but with a smile.November I have to help my little ones at my drama class come together and put up a little Christmas Show at my home.We are going to send the parents video clips of it.Its a little difficult getting the children to learn lines of a poem,skit and carols.But I just want them to have fun with it.Six adorable children rehearsing in November and then at the end of it I go on a holiday with mum and dad.More on that later.

So thank you October,let’s start November and December will bring it’s own bag of goodies!!  

   

 
Got by this year with a little bit of luck!!

Does God watch over us?

I’ve been going through a low phase and my sister went to our place of pilgrimage in Udvada.She said I prayed tons for you.I shot back at her and told her that I had read somewhere that God is only there at a macro level and he doesn’t really help or can’t at the micro level.So our small wishes and prayers to God will always remain unanswered.

She said God watches over all of us so have faith.

Does God really watch over all of us?What about the millions of men,women and children in war torn countries who wake up to the sound of bombing and fear in their hearts.

Does God really watch over us? When there are millions of children who die to starvation.

Does God really watch over us?When people live in abject poverty and don’t know how or where there next meal will come from.

Does God watch over the homeless,the young who fall sick,the abused?

Does God watch over the lonely or the old who just need someone to talk to?

Does God watch over you when you lose a job or you’re mentally ill?

Does God watch over you from making a mistake that will turn your whole life around.He let’s you make that mistake,let’s you fall to never recover from it again,let’s you struggle to survive,to live each day with pain,let’s you fight until your soul is tired and beaten.

I am angry at God today that is obvious because I made a mistake three years ago something small and insignificant and I am still trying to find that lost spark in me,find balance in life,love life again.It should be easy you would say put the past behind you. Maybe I have but it has made me weak and has made me believe that nothing will make me positive, healthy and happy again.It has triggered my bi polar disorder where I have mood swings every second of the day.

Even then I try to get up and go about my things but at the end of the day I feel trapped a sense of suffocation.I hit a different kind of low everyday .

If God watched over us the world would be a better place to live in.We would not have to fight each day to make it better.We would be like children happy for no reason.

Does God really watch over us or do we just want to believe that he does?

Even then I shall pray till I find that happiness in my heart that has long gone,till I meet God again because I too want to believe that he is watching over me.