Day 41 | Wonder

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I finished reading Wonder yesterday.

You must all be knowing what the plot is by now. The book is about a boy named August Pullman whose face is quite different due to genetic problems. He is homeschooled for the most part of his elementary but his mom insists that he gives middle school a try. How he gets used to the school and how the other children at the school accept him forms the rest of the book.

I took a long long time to complete the first part of the book but finished the latter parts in quick time. I bawled like a baby while reading about Daisy’s death. For me the most affecting parts of the story were not Auggie’s but his sister Via’s. How her entire life revolves around Auggie’s health and safety and how she handles it is what made for an emotional read for me.

I am now awaiting to watch the adaptation of the book on screen. Plus, I just realized that there are quite a few sequels to this book. There’s so much to read!

This is my favorite quote from the book. It’s from Justin’s perspective. ‘no, no, it’s not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn’t. it takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can’t see. like with parents who adore you blindly. and a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. and a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. and even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds.’

With that, I am going to go to bed. It’s going to be an early start tomorrow. Let’s see what tomorrow has in store!

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Day 40 | Create

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At the tailoring class I go to, the friend (who is the teacher) doesn’t just stop with teaching how to use the machine or how to do embroidery. She helps us ‘create’ something every class.

The first class I went to, we made a photo frame. She stood there giving instructions and I carefully operated the machine. ‘You are treating the machine like how my mom treats the computer,’ she teased. But when I saw the final product I was surprised that it was me who did it. It was not perfect in anyway but to see something concrete before my eyes after an hour and a half of struggling with alien things gave me so much joy.

Yesterday in my second class we made a small bag. It was more tricky than the photo frame and took longer. Yet, at the end of it all I was elated to see the final product.

I have come to looking forward to these classes. Not only because I am learning something new but also because of the friend herself. I haven’t known her for long but there’s a sense of warmth and energy when she’s around. Someday I wish to exude that much positiveness around me. Someday!

Day 39 | Cousin

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Yesterday was breakdown day. Sickness, uncertainty, old demons coming back to haunt us again.. I’ve learnt over time that I am not someone who can keep my troubles and stress within me for a long time. And I’ve come to realize that letting off steam once in a while is not a bad thing either; for me and for people around me. Everyone in the family now knows this ritual of mine and give me space until I quieten down a bit.

So while this was happening on one side, my phone was beeping incessantly on the other. As I angrily looked at it, I saw that it was from a cousin I adore. We don’t keep in touch as much as we should but his sudden texts took me surprise. My mom had apparently posted the zentangle of mine in our family WhatsApp group and this cousin caught sight of it and wanted to talk to me. A big smile spread across my face.

We chatted for a while. Spoke silly things. Pulled each other’s legs. As it went on for sometime, I felt my stress dissipate bit by bit.

When I finally hit the bed and snuggled with the sick children, I felt a sense of peace. Life will keep throwing stupid stuff at us but we can ward them off with the help of crazy loving cousins like this.

Day 38 | Bharathi

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As I sat down to type a post, I saw that it’s Bharathi’s 136th birth anniversary today. This man has been my teacher and inspiration in so many ways. On his birthday today, I gathered up a few sharpies and started scribbling this. This zentangle might not be perfect but it’s a small token of my thanks to this genius.

தேடிச் சோறுநிதம் தின்று
பல சின்னஞ்சிறு கதைகள் பேசி
மனம் வாடித் துன்பமிக உழன்று
பிறர் வாட பலசெயல்கள் செய்து
நரை கூடி கிழப்பருவ மெய்தி
கொடும் கூற்றுக் கிரையெனப்பின் மாயும்
பல வேடிக்கை மனிதரை போலே நான் வீழ்வேனென்று நினைத்தாயோ?

 

Day 37 | Positive

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For a few years now, as a part of the New Year’s resolution, I’ve been clinging on to a word. So my last year’s word(s) was letting go. I’ve written about how I fared.

This 2018 my word of the year is going to be ‘positive’.

People who know me in real life know what a skeptical (read pessimistic) person I am. I always assume that the worst is yet to come. It’s rare when I look at things positively. A small headache and I’ll assume it’s got something to do with my brain. (That the brain is non-existent is a secondary matter.)

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve come to realize that I live in a big privilege bubble of my own. The problems I encounter and complain are extremely trivial. The life that I am leading would actually be a blessing to so many others. So this 2018 I’ve resolved to look at things from this perspective.

I will start assuming that things will turn out well. I will try not to fret when things don’t go per plan. I will not dwell on the ‘what ifs’ but will concentrate on the future. I will assume the good in difficult people and the positive in every difficult circumstance. I will count my blessings every single day.

It is going to be a tough ask. But I am consciously going to try. Onward and Upward!

Day 36 | Snow

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Today was the first snow of the season.

I used to hate snow. But then, being around an excited offspring who cannot be torn away from the snow and a certain lady called Lorelai Gilmore converted me. Just this conversation of her with Rory was enough to make me like snow. Note that I said ‘like’; not ‘love’. Yet.

Our day today went like this. Snowman. Snowball fights. Hot tea. Mozzarella sticks. And just standing by the window watching the earth being magically covered with a white blanket. (I am not great with pics but hey, ‘everything is magical when it snows!’)

Day 35 | The Crown

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Season 2 of The Crown is streaming from today on Netflix.

It’s one of my favorite TV series. Based on the early life of Queen Elizabeth, it’s a brilliant view into the house of the Royals.

The grandeur and scale of it is just jaw dropping. Then, there’s casting. Everyone is so fit for the role. Particularly, I am totally smitten by Claire Foy. She’s so amazing!

So, here I am sitting and binge watching it like nobody’s business. But hey, The Crown deserves this treatment.

Day 34 | Playlist

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I have a host of songs on my phone. Ranging from extremely difficult ones to listen to (eg VIP2) to some of the best that warms my heart. I generally just go to the music folder on my phone and let it shuffle. There are times when the phone gauges my mood and plays accordingly.

Today was one such day. I’ve been instructing myself to smile but the mind kept replaying things that I don’t want to hear. I switched on the music for some respite and thankfully the gadget made me smile too.

The first song was Pacha mala poovu from Kizhakku vaasal. The awesomatically beautiful Revathi and the quite handsome Karthik. The emotion in SPB’s voice. The lyrics by RV Udayakumar.

Poonaathu Mugam Paathu Vennila Naana
Thaalaamal Thadam Paarthu Vantha Vazhi Pøha
Sithirathu Sola Muthu Mani Maala
Møthathula Thaaraen Dhukkamenna Maane

But beyond this, the flute portions in the song are just so beautiful no one can not smile while listening to it.

The next song my phone chose to play was Sollamal Ketpadhillai from Kadhal Virus. Again a beautiful melody with extremely evocative lyrics by Vaali. Is it just me or do you feel Unni Krishnan and Harini were smiling through the song while singing it?

Vizhichirayil pidithai vilagudhal pol nadithai
dhinam dhinam sumandhen thalirey
Nadhi ena naan nadandhen anai thaduthum kadandhen
Kadaiseeyil kalandhen Kadaley!

And the last song is Gone Inbam from Chennai 2 Singapore. I don’t know how many have even heard the songs from this album but if you haven’t you are missing something in your life. It’s got brilliant variety and each song is great in its own right. I like this song ‘cos it’s fun more than anything else. The lyrics are catchy and make you Lol at many places.

Nalla Neram Ketta Neram Sollikitta Varum
Saniyan Kooda Silent Ah Cycle La Suthum
Unna Thedi Enna Thedi Aappu Vanthaale Pothum
Peruneeru Perukkeduthu Pantkkulla Pogum

So well! When there’s nothing else, there’s always music to the rescue! 🙂

Day 33 | Letting go

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I was scrolling through my blog and figured out that my word for 2017 was ‘letting go’. Have I really let go this year, is a question I’ve been asking myself. The answer would be yes, to an extent.

Let’s see.

I started driving in the beginning of the year. Just when I thought I was confident enough, I met with an accident. Not a major one or anything but big enough to instill the about-to-vanish fear back into my system again. I still drive, but only when necessary. I have become a more cautious driver now. So the fact that that I started doing it despite the hurdle in between means I am in a better position than where I was in the beginning of the year.

I let go off sugar. As someone who doesn’t believe in any kind of abstinence, this sugar detox totally surprised me. When I thought of giving up in between, people started telling I’ve lost weight. What more does a girl needs to hear? So I went back to it. (Although there are still days like yesterday where the neighbor tempted me with Srivilliputhur Paalgova and Tirunelveli halwa all at one go and I had to give in ‘cos what’s life without that bit of sweet anyway!)

I started singing on stage. It took a lot of overcoming fear on my part to do this. Even though these performances are only ‘groupula dupu’ level, I learnt that there’s quite a bit of effort involved in doing this.

I began drawing zentangles and mandalas. I used to draw and paint in school but I was quite average at it. There are quite a few people on Instagram who do things like Madhubani and adult coloring which made me try these things out. Again, I am not too good at it but the fact that I take the effort to try it is a big plus for me.

I joined a tailoring class. A friend of mine has started teaching both machine tailoring and hand embroidery and I got tempted by it.  Today was the first day and honestly I suck at it. But then again, I am not going to give up; just to see how far I can go.

The big thing I failed in doing is letting go of laziness and studying further for bettering my job prospects. For that, there’s 2018 anyway. Well, today I am happy about how far I’ve come.

Day 32 | Kindle

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The kids have been asking for a Kindle for a long time now and so we thought we’ll order it for them during the Cyber Monday sale. When a good offer with a discount came by, we ordered one for them (with a gift card they’d gotten from their mama) last week. We told them it would double up as a Christmas present and they shouldn’t ask for anything more.

Son wanted a black paperwhite one while the daughter opted for white. We ordered both together. Somehow, the next day we received an email that there was some problem with the son’s card details. We tried it again the next day and thankfully the payment went through. On that day, it was given that the son’s Kindle would arrive a day later than the daughter’s. The son was unhappy for a while but then, he accepted the situation and began counting days.

The daughter’s Kindle arrived a day later, as scheduled. We requested her not to open hers and wait for the son’s. She gladly accepted. But then, life had other plans. The son’s Kindle didn’t arrive as scheduled. The arrival date was revised by another couple of days.

This upsetted the son to no end. He would refresh the Amazon website at least a dozen times a day to check what the status of his Kindle was. The daughter became impatient too and began pestering us about powering up hers. Finally, we gave in to her demand but told her that she shouldn’t download any books until son’s Kindle arrives. Every day (for about five days), the son tirelessly checked the website only to find it not updated.

Finally, after a week of restless waiting and whining and crying, the Amazon website showed yesterday that the item was out on delivery. He was so happy in the morning and asked me to keep the box unopened until he got back. But, there was no parcel until he came back. He kept the window open and looked out for delivery trucks. But none stopped near our house.

Finally, at 8PM he looked the clock and gave up all hope. ‘The website says Arriving by 8 PM, no Amma? It won’t come after this right?’ We didn’t know what to tell him, so we got him engaged with reading and nighttime duties and finally he was off to bed by 9PM. I finished up my work and went to bed too. At around 10 PM, I heard the bell ring and the husband shuffling to the door. I was half asleep by then and so wasn’t quite sure if it was a dream or not.

This morning, I came down to the living room and there it was sweetly smiling at me from the tea table. It was quite early and I didn’t want to wake the son up. But after a while, even I couldn’t contain myself and went to his room to wake him up. ‘Christmas Present Christmas Present is here!’, I bellowed. He didn’t even open his eyes because he didn’t quite believe me. I then thrust the box into his hand. By this time, the daughter was up and smiling wide. Finally, after about a couple of minutes, he realized I wasn’t just joking and there was something in his hand. He woke up with a start but as soon as he laid his eyes on the box, he started grinning. Slowly it turned into the widest smile I’ve ever seen on him. The brother and sister got down and danced with their respective gadgets.

I was so happy to see that happy smile on his face first thing in the morning. I am also glad that he learnt that patience makes getting something more sweeter than ever.