Friday, June 29, 2007

Tea Ceremony!

When ever I hear the word "tea" , there is an incident that comes flashing to my mind, and the thought of it makes me smile. Let me narrate it to you.

It was a very busy day. My father was ironing my costumes for the day, my mother hurrying over the eleventh hour preparation of the lec-dem she was about to deliver, and I was busy in front of the mirror , dressing up for the dance performance. My brother had to shoulder the responsibility of tidying up and give an appealing touch to our front room , for we were expecting a guest. He would be here any moment. He r he would have secretly appreciated the tea making abilities of his school going son.

Meanwhile Amma was ready and rushed to the kitchen to get a sip of the remaining hot tea, for she was having sore throat. I could see her gargling intermittently in the morning with hot salt water. She had to give a long lecture in front of a crowd ,
and she always relied on home remedies.As soon as I saw her taking her sip of the tea, she involuntarily spat it into the kitchen sink, her face filled with a strange expression, something nearing the "bheebhalsa rasa" ! I ran to her, worried
witnessing her strange behavior.
Amma was shouting at my brother, "Did you serve this tea to our guest ?". My brother nodded a yes .
"You made tea with the water I had heated up for gargling! It was loaded with salt , Oh! my GOD! how could we serve it to our guest? " she gasped.
His asking for water and his strange inquiries regarding tea drinking in our community did have a meaning! He had courteously finished his salt ginger tea , suppressing his natural facial expressions.
When my mother explained to him what had happened and mumbled her apologies he just replied, " I'll never forget this meeting!"

This was an incident which took place nearly 15 years ago. But how could one forget such an incident.
I wondered what tea I would be served,as I was on my way to Kajiyoshi San's house. I was invited by this gentleman,whom I greatly admired, to his house for a tea ceremony.Tea ceremony was an entirely new experience for me.

Kajiyoshi San and his wife Sadami San , welcomed me to their house , which reflected their aesthetic sense and love for Nature. As soon as I entered their house Sadami San directed me to a small water fountain they had fixed at their entrance where I was asked to wash my hands and face with a bamboo laddle.The cool flowing water was energizing and revitalizing. I was directed to a room which was sparsely furnished , but had something in it to elevate one's spirits.The room was a tatami room, the floor spread with reed mats.

There was antique pottery and unique calligraphy,and a humbleness and simplicity about the whole ambiance.

The tea ceremony first began in Buddhist monasteries and was known for its medicinal values.The monks had the tea made of bitter powdered tea leaves to keep themselves awake during meditation.The coming of Zen Buddhism , made it more popular. It was called " Chado or Sado".This tea ceremony lasted for 4 hours.The host would go through the detailed preparation of tea , giving emphasis to each an every movement. There was a perfect unison of the body , mind and spirit during this ceremony.It reflected Japanese spiritual tradition and culture.The guests will be first served a sweet, which should be eaten sitting in "vajrasana" on the tatami mat.Then the guest will be served the first serving of thick brewed tea.There are rules to be followed here too. The guest lifts up the fine work of pottery which holds the tea ,asking permission from the person seated at his left , whether he can have it.Carefully turning the front of the bowl , to face him he can sip the tea.He should now wipe the place where he had sipped with the small finger of his right hand. Then placing the bowl in front , now the bowl facing away from him, with his elbows on the knees one should appreciate the art work on the pottery.The bowl now is passed to the person sitting on the left.The second serving is a dilute version of the tea.The whole process is like a meditation which flows in a very soothing and slow motion.It is practiced as an entertainment for spiritual upliftment.It is a process where you are taught to think of others first.I went through this whole process , thoroughly enjoying every moment.At the end of four hours I was feeling lighter and purged.
I am grateful to Kajiyoshi San and his wife Sadami San for giving this taste of Japanese culture .
I too mumbled the words with a bow as I said oyasu minasai (good night) to my friends," I'll never forget this meeting!"......

Sunday, June 24, 2007

God is still working on her!!

As the Macro cosmic Omnipresence rejuvenates into the microcosmic creations ,
as Nature replays itself in its myriad forms,
as the first ever flower receives its first sunshine and enlightens the plant,
as the first reptile soars up in the sky freeing itself from the fetters of the gravitational pull tasting freedom,
as the carbon transforms into a diamond, the precious gem:
Consciousness unravels itself !!!

While Nature is still at its play creating and recreating , its flora , its fauna and its infinite variety of creatures,we do fumble upon mutations. Yes,mutations,that are still full of Nature`s artistry yet having a pronounced difference. Yes,different in form but still an embodiment and expression of Nature. Yes,different because of a surplus or lack of the building block,the chromosome.

Let me share with you this real life story of a gift of Nature,who is different and who is special. I am fortunate to have her as my dear cousin. I still remember the day she was born, when my uncle walked into our house with a beaming face of a proud father. I remember peering into her tiny little eyes, when I was a little scared yet wanting to hold her feather like body. She grew up in a warm atmosphere surrounded by love and affection. Her tiny legs refused to take her first step even at the age of three,her mouth unable to produce audible meaningful sounds! I witnessed the silent pain endured by her parents and the whole family .... They were unable to accept that they were blessed with a special bud, which will also bloom in its own special way. She was diagnosed by doctors of various disciplines, and she also accepted alternative therapies.... She slowly started to walk,started to talk....
I still remember clearly,the way she snuggled in my lap and stared at my face trying to decipher the sounds that I produced ...the way she swayed her body to any melodious music!

But time passed,she grew into adulthood, yet untouched by its complexities. Those legs which once refused to walk slowly took rhythmic steps of classical dance. The perfection and grace she rendered would not be measured according to regular standards , but still she danced,she danced before audiences without inhibitions. Her in born talents today unravel when she cooks,stitches ,memorizes phone numbers!

The child in her still alive : still frustrated on missing out something about the adult hood,She is God's rare creation, He still working on her. Don't we also yearn for the innocence and heart of a child,faded away or buried in our process of attaining maturity? Like the consciousness which is ever flowing in all the
creations, in you and in me and in all that we see around,the same inherent consciousness is latent in my cousin and all the special gifts of Nature too. Let us not read each others labels but rather look beyond it,to read something divine and sublime , reflections of our own consciousness.

Watch this performance she gave at the annual celebrations of her alma mater swabodhini, school for special kids !

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dear Sinnah , with Love !

Dearest Sinnah ,
" hoe hangeth methyo ?" I know what would be your answer ," hoot danky! , my sweetie!"

This is a letter that I always wanted to write to you , but never could.I was so much entangled in the ocean of life that I hardly found time to switch off my mind and relax . But better late than never . Though I know that you will never be able to read this letter , I'm sure that you will definitely get my message .
I remember my first day in South Africa , the day we first met .That first day our conversations just began and ended with a mere hello . My first assessment of you was that you were an unapproachable , distant , sober kind of a person . But appearances are deceptive .You turned out to be rather the opposite .We became fast friends , got along with each other . You never knew to smile but only laugh out loud. You always marked your presence .

I always secretly admired your insatiable energy ... you never stopped unless your job was done . Whenever I enter my kitchen , I think of you , dear . You were the best teacher ever !Though you had not seen University gates or ever dreamed of a bachelor's degree in education , I understood that it was the passion that mattered . You don't need the certificates for approving your merit . Yes , you taught me to bake ! You taught me to equally celebrate the successes and disasters .

Whenever my cakes insisted on keeping their rough hard demeanor, resisting to accept their natural fluffiness , you were smart enough to transform them into yummy desserts !Your fingers played the gimmicks of a magician ultimately tickling our taste buds !

I will never forget the day when you saved me showcasing once again your skills . One evening I got a phone call from PP declaring that there would be 8 people for dinner . How will I satisfy my guests at such a short notice? I panicked ! Then you took over . I saw you transform into a creative artiste with the power of an entrepreneur . I followed your instructions and with in minutes a big vegetable casserole was ready . You quietly withdrew from the scene leaving the whole credits to me . I felt like a puppet , but was relieved that you held the strings !

My baby was growing , and exploring the wide world around him , he was accepting every challenge of his new found mobility .The bungalow where we stayed provided an apt arena for his experiments and discoveries .I used to spend most of my time running behind him . I couldn't find him one day in his usual favorite spots , and was suddenly alarmed by a zooming siren .Then I spotted him pressing a red button which was a security alarm . I remembered what PP said , " All houses in South Africa had alarm systems as it was a highly crime prone area ."!

Our residence was surrounded by armed guards with fierce sturdy profiles .They had their rifles , all set for an attack behind the closed remote operated gates !
You were the one Sinnah , who came to my rescue when I hesitated to step out of the house , fearing a rapid fire .I peeped out of the window and saw you boldly explain to them the situation created by my young one , in Africans !

Your face trying to hold back tears is etched in my memory , dear Sinnah . When we shifted to a different apartment ,you never stayed back to say good bye . But I know why !I have known the child in you , avoiding bitter scenes . Then I also cannot forget the ever glowing face of yours when you payed surprise visits to me with a bunch of wild flowers . How you waited on my kitchen table asking for more "achar"( my mother -in-laws home made pickles), to smear on the bread instead of butter .

When it was finally time for me to leave South Africa ,you were thoughtful enough to tuck in a soiled paper into my hands with your phone number scribbled on it . My most valued gift which I carried along with me was the baby pumpkin from your kitchen garden !I'm sorry to tell you Sinnah , by the time I reached India , your phone number was incomplete . The paper had torn and I was unable to decipher the rest that remained .

But Sinnah , let me tell you something ! I believe there is a store house above us , like a satellite , its the thought sphere ! Both of us can tune to the same channel !And enjoy the broadcast in our thoughts !My antenna is well tuned to the wonderful moments we had together ! So I am not missing you Sinnah !I wish you all good things in life.May wonderful thoughts hover around you , dear..tune to them and enjoy life !


My this post is a letter to my helping maid in South Africa . She started work every day at sharp six in the morning .She was an embodiment of energy and reflected through her simple deeds undeterred passion for life.We rarely come across such people in our life , who are content with their roles ;and accept life as both sides of the coin .

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Power of Now!

My five year old son always has an incessant energy when it comes to books! I had the notion that repetition results in boredom . But my son taught me that it was not so . He is never tired or bored when he has to read the same book again and again . The same buoyancy and curiosity reflects in his whole being each time he reads the book . I too experienced similar feelings when it came to reading the book , “The Power of Now “.

ECKHART TOLLE'S “The Power of Now “ is surely something more than a book . Its a treasure you can cherish your whole life time . I am very grateful to little light for having tagged me . According to this tag I'm supposed to write the 5th paragraph of page 123 of the latest book I'm reading .

This is not the first time I'm reading this book . Each time I read this book I was able to unveil new horizons .Even now as I'm glued to the computer typing about this favorite book of mine , I'm able to feel an inner silence and the ever glowing presence of Being radiating through me . I salute this great master Eckhart Tolle for having rendered this enlightening book to humanity .

“The Power of Now “ does not weave a story . Each of us can relate to this book , and reflect on our own story . I was so much touched by this book because I felt it resonated something which I already knew . Just keep your baggage of worries and anxieties aside , say no to your prejudices and judgments and read this book with your total being . You cannot read this book at a stretch . It compels you to reflect and contemplate after every few pages .It is an experience!

Now , the tag , the 5th paragraph of page 123..........

Love/hate Relationships

Unless and until you access the consciousness frequency of presence , all relationships , and particularly intimate relationships , are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional . They may seem perfect for a while , such as when you are “ in love “ , but invariably that apparent perfection gets disrupted as arguments , conflicts , dissatisfaction , and emotional and even physical violence occur with increasing frequency . It seems that most “love relationships” become love/hate relationships before long . Love can then even turn to savage attack , feeling of hostility , or complete withdrawal of affection at the flick of a switch . This is considered normal . Th relationship then oscillates for a while , a few months or a few years , between the polarities of “love” and hate , and it gives you as much pleasure as it gives you pain . It is not uncommon for couples to become addicted to those cycles .Their drama makes them feel alive . When a balance between positive / negative polarities is lost and the negative , destructive cycles occur with increasing frequency and intensity, which tends to happen sooner or later , then it will not be long before the relationship collapses . It may appear that if you could only eliminate the negative or destructive cycles , then all would be well and the relationship would flower beautifully ---------- but alas , this is not possible . The polarities are mutually interdependent .You cannot have one with out the other. The positive already contains within itself the as yet unmanifested negative . Both are in fact different aspects of the same dysfunction. I am speaking here of what is commonly called romantic relationships ------ not of true love ,which has no opposite because it arises from beyond the mind .love as a continuous state is as yet very rare---- as rare as conscious human beings .Brief and elusive glimpses of love , however , are possible whenever there is a gap in the stream of mind .

I will feel blessed if I have been able to inspire at least one person to read the book and feel your Being and transform yourself .
Listen to this talk by the spiritual master author , Eckhart Tolle .

I am supposed to tag 5 people.... so I tag ,naveen , susan , maddy,keshi and diyadear .Take it up only if you would enjoy doing it .

Friday, June 15, 2007

At the beauty parlour!

Dawn embraced daylight , Sun's mighty radiance gave way to twilight , tapestry of evening sky paced slowly into dark night's deafening silence . Days passed into weeks , weeks into months and months into years.... I bid adieu to my carefree years , and plunged into an entirely rewarding and responsible phase of my life , motherhood . As I cradled my new born , just feeling his soft tender body , just staring at his innocent little face , nothing around me seemed real except that single moment !

As I was moving ahead in this life's voyage , it was time for me to pack my bags for my next nomadic exploration . We flew to Taiwan , an island off the coast of China , with our 2 month old baby . This was not just a journey to a new culture and diverse surroundings : it was more of a journey within . It can be called a spiritual retreat . I was shedding my self centered thoughts which were now dominated by my new born baby . It was a time when my priorities unknowingly changed . I was never tired of the busy days and sleepless nights....My batteries never failed.....I was continuously charged by the unconditional love of my baby .

I loved our routine evening walks , when the tiny eyes brimmed with joy and curiosity , refusing to blink and appeared like cameras without shutters! I enjoyed trying to decipher the pictorial calligraphy on the roads , and was amused by the Chinese script . One of PP”s colleague was a victim of a very embarrassing situation once . He had once been to Taipei and was on his way back to his apartment . He was careful enough to have a slip of paper with the place he wanted to go , written in Chinese . In the bus stop , he stood with this slip of paper above his head like a placard , and his face brightened up with a smile . All passers by just stared at him as if they were watching an insane drama . He waved the large slip of paper to all the bus drivers , but in vain . When he could no longer stand the sarcastic stares , he ventured to try his hand at gesturing.... with expressive facial expressions and hand gestures he blabbered to a lady in the bus stop about his destination . She burst out into laughter at the mimicry , for she could follow English . She also pointed out that all the while he was holding his thoughtful placard upside down . How was he to know ? He made it a point to mark the top and bottom of his future placards .

Such situations can always be treasured for future entertainment .After our three months stay in Taiwan , we befriended a newly married Indian couple . We started spending our afternoon's together , our gossips filled with nostalgic memories , recipes and all girl's talk . She was a very beauty conscious person and came up with an idea of visiting the beauty saloon . Though I hesitated in the beginning , I was bribed by the luxurious thoughts of a relaxing facial .

I hung my baby on his sling and one afternoon the two of us marched towards the nearest beauty saloon . As soon as we reached there , we were pounced upon by two ladies like vultures on their well awaited prey . My friend wanted to shape her eye brows ! And she began exploring her communication skills...after a good fifteen minutes monologue she seemed successful in letting her audience grasp her thoughts ! She beamed with success as she reclined on the ornamented chair . One lady swabbed my friends face clean while the other went to collect her tools for shaping the eye brows . She returned with a new razor .....and started shaving her precious signs of beauty ! My friend was unable to move for she was soothed by a razor and my appeals seemed to vaporise in the air .Should I explain more on her looks and expression when she beheld her own reflection!

Now it was my turn...I needed a way out of this dilemma ....My only Saviour was my son who was fast asleep clinging to me ....I slided my hands on his thighs and pinched him....he burst out into loud sobs !I had succeeded ! Trying to cajole my baby I rushed out of the parlor....Shortly my friend joined me after having payed for her makeover ! She spend hours before the mirror with a black eyebrow pencil trying to make variations of curves.....and shut herself in her apartment for weeks till she thought herself presentable .

I thanked my darling with hugs and kisses , and couldn't stop my giggles at the aftereffects of handicapped communication!

Saturday, June 9, 2007


From the day a baby is conceived in a mother's womb, umpteen number of expectations and hopes hover around the unborn fetus . As the baby starts kicking and makes its presence felt , there dawns on the mother an innate joy of holding and experiencing divinity within . When the bundle of joy finally marks his\her presence with the first expression of sound the proud parents are once again elevated to the heights of untainted joy and unconditional love ! Each phase in the infants life now is appreciated and applauded like a miracle of existence .Like the bud which slowly blooms and blossoms into a flower showcasing its unique beauty accepting energy from the Sun and life source from water , the innocent baby too slowly treads into the cycle called life , accepting love , and care from the parents .

Too much of Sun's rays can wither and too much of water can decay the plant . Similarly too much of expectations showered in the name of love can retard the other wise abundant growth of your child's talents . All these thoughts meandered through my mind when I was just watching my kids play in our back yard . Today was surely a very special day for me , as my younger son turned two . I watched with wonder the two kids running about and falling on top of each other , listened with joy the sudden bubbles of laughter emanating from their tiny shrill voices , and felt with totality the joyous moments of motherhood .

Yes, today was my son's birthday . When I think of birthday celebrations, my thoughts snake back to a birthday I once attended a few months back . It was hosted in a five star hotel , and it was a first birthday . The AC banquet hall was decorated with giant sized stuffed toys, and the hall echoed with thunderous songs ! I was intently looking out for the birthday boy , but could only spot many cranky one year olds yelling at the top of their voices , appealing in their own baby language to escape from the scary looks from the giant toys ! With much difficulty I spotted the star of the day who was dressed up in his newly tailored blazer , the weight of which was quite heavy on him . He looked like a lost warrior who had given up fighting . What he needed was a warm cuddle and a kiss .....but what followed was a cake cutting ceremony and loud applause which confused the baby whose shouts faded into the surrounding excitement . Then followed a photo session , where the parents posed for snaps with their little angel forcing the well frosted cake into the well shut mouth. Murmurs and rolled eyes from parents was not going to work magic here . Next followed games ....and dance to rocking rhythms , where the parents tried to convince themselves and all around the heights of enjoyment by swaying to the music with their beloved bundle of joy clinging to them . What followed next ? A grand sumptuous dinner which covered both North Indian and South Indian dishes , with a choice of various desserts . The guests were happy but the birth day boy preferred to sleep after this dramatic event .

Which would be the best way the child would have wanted to celebrate his birthday? First of all a one year old is yet to know the concept of a birthday. Then why succumb to this birth day drama ? May be it has become a trend in todays society to have one accepted? Won't it be better to just spend a day with your precious little darling ? I asked my five year old, as to how he would like his birthday to be celebrated... He thought for a while.....then said he would want a hug , a special kiss , he would prefer his birth day on a weekend as the whole family could play Frisbee and ball in the back yard... I was amazed and relieved .” Don't forget to buy me a gift “, he added .

We did exactly that today . We tried to spend more time with our little one... played their favorite games... cooked some delicacies which we shared with a few friends . Instead of blowing out two candles we preferred to light two aromatic candles . It was nice to see my birth day boy admiring and bowing down before the lighted candle pronouncing “ Devabu” meaning God in our mother tongue .....

Friday, June 8, 2007

Taste of Japan !

The alarm went off and his hands involuntarily reached out in the direction of the shrill piercing beeps! These were not enough to motivate him out of bed , for he was weary after the load of work he had to tackle in his new work environment. He had recently come to Hiroshima , and hoped to bring his wife along in a month's time. Again the alarm dutifully beeped . It wasn't going to let him sleep. He finally dragged himself out of bed and suddenly realized that he had no time to waste. After getting himself ready he halted near his fruit basket for collecting his lunch . He always had a soft corner for the fresh and juicy fruits , and he was glad that he had an ample supply , here in Japan . Suddenly , he remembered that today he was invited for lunch into a sushi -ya . He wondered what that meant , but didn't want to offend or hurt the feelings of his Japanese colleagues .

He was always fascinated and intrigued by the traditions Japanese upheld . He was experiencing it even in his working environment . They always took a very long time in decision making , but once the decision was taken they always stuck to it. But today he was also going to taste Japanese food . He secretly longed for the ethnic Indian cuisine , roasted crisp dosas , idlis and the aroma of freshly prepared sambar haunted him . He always enjoyed reading his newspaper with the strong filter coffee accompanied by the subtle aromas from kitchen . He could easily make out the breakfast menu , just by taking a few deep breaths...It would be the right time to do pranayama! .

Now he was freaking out on fruits . But today being a Japanese treat he waved sayonara to his all time saviors and hurried to his office . At lunch time their team gathered in a sushi ya or a restaurant where especially sushi is served . Sushi is a traditional Japanese delicacy . Once you had agreed to participate and taste the Japanese food there was no going back .... The sushi they would be serving him today would be made out of raw fish, sea weed and rice. He had tasted Kerala fish curry once, when he visited his friends place , as he belonged to a family of vegetarians . Eating raw fish would be adventurous . He was not sure whether he was ready to take up the challenge but he was hooked .

He saw the strange appetizers being served on a conveyor belt . He politely took the Sushi which was meant for him . He was also served the "wasabe" sauce. He was told to dip the sushi in the sauce and eat it at a stretch ! He just did as he was told and saw the eager faces staring at him curiously . He put the whole piece in his mouth and found that the sauce was the most pungent thing he had ever tasted in his life . It was so strong that he could feel the pungent vapors spreading all over him. How was he supposed to eat it now . He had to keep a brave face and whatever was in his mouth should find a medium to pass through his gut ! His eyes caught a tap that was serving sake(rice wine )...With the Japanese delicacy still in his mouth he poured the sake into his glass and flushed it into his mouth....He was relieved , for he had managed the situation !

He saw his colleagues and saw their triumphant faces beaming with joy for having served him the best food ever . They were eager to serve him more , and just before they were about to help him with his second serving he grabbed a plate from the conveyor belt which was now displaying desserts!

This was how my dear husband PP , experienced the first taste of Japan.

I would like to share with you a humorous video which will give you a clearer idea on Japanese food etiquettes and traditions! Enjoy watching!

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Rain has always brought with it nostalgic memories! It has always taken me back to the bygone days..... my childhood! It was in the month of June, when schools reopened after the long summer holidays that nature greeted us with the first streaks of rain. Excitement of starting our first day in a new grade , meeting up with our friends to share the wonderful vacation we had , putting on the newly stitched uniforms and colorful raincoats......our tiny brains stuffed with innumerable unsaid anxieties.

Our school usually had a tradition of beginning the academic year on a Wednesday. I still wonder why we had to put on our white uniforms. Wednesday was a white day , when all students wore their spic and span white uniforms (aftermath of tedious hard work of mama's laundry).....which turned to almost brown at the end of the day and faded to light yellow by the end of the year. Monsoons were especially welcome for us kids because we loved to stick our feet into the running water of the temporary streams and feel the cold sensation. We used to splash water on each other unmindful of our mother's troubles. We beamed with joy when we overcrowded the streams with our hand made paper boats!We forgot to get our umbrellas to school on purpose so that we could drench in the showers , and dance like peacocks.....

Have you ever smelled the aroma of rain.... I love to just lie down listening to the soothing sound of is music to my ears.....but it is definitely incomplete without the tantalizing aroma...When the powerful rain pours with all its might and embraces earth , the embodiment of femininity and unfathomable beauty.....there is born gentle, calming aroma ! It is the chaste smell of earth conceived and born out of the purging spirit of water , Rain!

Rain has always urged me to a state of passivity!I just love to do nothing!... nothing at all.... rain had taught me just to sit and stare!Just now it poured cats and dogs and my toddler came running to me ...alarmed by the thunder's roars. The fear had gripped him so much that his innocent eyes were raining too!I grabbed him in my arms and cuddled him close to me..when we were interrupted by the thoughtful ideas of my 5 year old...I enjoyed seeing him trying to calm down his brother !

He said , “ the earth too needs to take bath .....rain is just the water from the Gods ....The sound that scared you is nothing but the clapping of God's hands! He is happy”! I heard both kids giggle after this wise talk....

The most precious gift that life showered on me are my bundles of joy.... my two little boys! How can I forget the day they filled my whole being with the sense infinite bliss. I remember the first time I walked into the labor room , trying to keep up the faint smile on my face in spite of the intermittent lightening and thunderous pain...nurses trying to lighten up my mood , pulled aside the curtains of the French windows . I felt nature fully participating and supporting this co creation! The lightening , the thunder..... all just reflections of myself...I silently invoked the powers of nature ., to rain on me! And when my baby finally arrived...his cry perfectly merged with orchestra outside. It might seem an accidental co incidence , or a tactful game of second delivery was a photo copy of my first one..... the same hospital , the same room , the same heavy down pour.... and once again a boy to take me to ecstasy !

Rain is purity, chastity and pure joy.....listen to it , smell it, taste it , feel it and you will love it!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Those thirty seconds of my life!

The early hours of dawn...when everything around you is still so fresh and new...when nature welcomes you with its warm embrace and early melodies....when the world outside you have not yet usurped your thoughts....when you feel totally secure after the everlasting balm of nature , sleep......yes, this is the time of the day I love most....and I was already up from bed as usual. But wasn't there something unusual in the air ?...For the past one week it was not the chirping birds ,those tiny little ones who always reminded me of the Japanese shop attendants ,( tirelessly bowing down to each customer and endlessly singing thank yous and good byes) ,who woke me up;I would suddenly jerk out of my bed , holding on to the side stand for support , so that I don't fall. Once I even woke up and found myself on the ground....and experienced life on the floor!

Today was nothing new!But it would be all over in a few seconds...I could still feel the dawn and still bathe in its warmth. But today , I was sure to drag this topic into our daily gossips and discussions ,over a cup of coffee. It was Sunday and unlike all the working days ,the whole day was relaxed. It was a day when we skipped our breakfast and preferred to take brunch instead.....

After our brunch , I immediately put forth my experiences of the past week....and was disheartened to find no serious concern on any of them....They all seemed to have taken it for granted.....none seemed distracted ! Good... all of them seemed to be evolved now . I was sure all of them had experienced those same tremors , shaking the whole of Higashi Hiroshima ....but now it had become a daily affair...could you ever imagine an Earth quake taken so lightly!The past whole week we were experiencing tremors and still , those were no more hindrances to our sleep ?

The word earth quake takes me back to my school days .I still clearly remember Mr. Babu Vargheese, our geography teacher, walk into our class without even a piece of paper. He never failed to locate students who tried to shy away from his questions which were darted like infinite arrows... We had a chapter called Earth quakes and Volcanoes , and I still remember memorizing Japan as the world's most earth quake prone areas. Who would ever imagine living in that far off island after a decade and more and above all getting to know the real taste of earth quake !!! All the natural disasters seem not for us , until you have a first hand experience of it!

Today, it was one week since we experienced the real earth quake.It was a fine Saturday afternoon, and we had Tomito san and his wife for dinner.I was all set for dinner with the typical Kerala cuisine, Idiyappam and stew! I also prepared black channa curry (kadala curry), which is my husband PP's all time favorite!There was still plenty of time for our guests to arrive and we decided to take a stroll and visit our near by shoji market to stock some juice.I loved shopping here as , by now I had gained enough expertise in calculating which item was thrown up for sale on which day of the week.As we were admiring the freshly arrived vegetables we were awestruck to see all the vegetables and fruits fall from the racks....when we looked up we saw the ceiling fans shaking vigorously....yes I was also shaking!I saw many terror stricken faces running for life....they didn't know where they were running to but were still running. Some tried to hide under the shaking tables !I could see PP's eyes stuck out and mouth open!And what was I doing by the way? I was involuntarily chanting hymns but quite loudly (it must have been an attempt at warding off all evil ;a tradition that my brain could still replay in times of need ,that had seeped into me from my childhood family prayers around a lighted lamp). This phenomena lasted for 30 seconds which seemed to be endless....

[Watch the earthquake on You Tube - Ignore the music by the way !!]

This earth quake was rated 6.4 with an epicentre at Kure an adjacent prefecture.Window panes flew, roads cracked,few buildings collapsed robbing two lives.Japanese cities were earth quake proof and build to satisfy the outcomes of these unforeseen disasters....After those 30 seconds I was surprised to see life flow back to its normal routine... With in hours roads were re tarred, houses were kept moving on and people got back to their tasks.We reached back home and had dinner with our invited guests! The after effects of these earth quakes kept repeating in the everyday tremors....which lasted a few seconds....

This earth quake did open my views about the value of time...which waits for no man....each second is important, precious! Do not let it pass... live the moment!!!