Apr 30, 2010

Shall we dance?

Dancing is not our trademark. Our family doesn't dance. It is not in our blood, brood or culture if you will. But lately we are trying out some swaying of the hips and fanning out of the fingers - within the confines of our own living room. It only takes one to start and the rest of the crew jumps in, making it a performance of utter delight, perfect chaos and utmost fun.

It almost always ignites bursts of laughter if Mommy starts it. Occasionally if Mommy and Daddy start it together within minutes we can find three little heads sandwiched between us. It erupts crying and fighting if more than one want to dance with Daddy. Not that much demand for Mommy.

My favorite move is making a horizontal 'V' on both hands using the index and middle fingers, swiping it across the eyes and moving side ways with a broad smile and rolling eyes. Swirls are simply the best ending in ripples of laughter. Daddy would sometimes get the idea to use a broom stick for a standing mic and then all kids grab their own mics - often TV remote or a pen or phone receiver or anything handy or within reach. In no time, the performance would have turned into a musical.

Sharon is very good with pretend play and always comes up with new fun ideas which is interesting to watch. Rachel is like Mommy with lot of giggling and repeating moves. Joshua prefers to play silly with lot of shaking and making faces.

More often than not children would find something to cry about, fight about and quit about - which only adds to the merriment of parents who continue to sway their hips and fan out their fingers, swirl, step and dance on and on and on...

Ask your family, "Shall we dance?" I guarantee, you will not be disappointed!

Apr 28, 2010

No, I don't LOL!

I don't LOL! For that matter I am not a big fan of TGIF and don't think anything is gr8! I guess you got my point, I would rather laugh out loud, thank God it is Friday or amaze at something great!

Somehow the text message jargons used so lavishly these days is not my style. Call me old school, I don't mind; but I really don't think using these jargons would make one cool.

Does it really save time typing the syllables instead of the words? I don't think so as most of such conversations are a time waste in itself. I believe using the abbreviations also abbreviates the meaning, and the stregnth of the conversation.

Let's say you forwarded me some funny email and I responded with "LOL" what does it mean really? Was it funny or silly or what? How about "It made me laugh" or "Laughing out loud"? It is not the same - is it? ILU - Is that sufficient to express love? Does it make the most sense as "I Love You!"? I don't think so, do you? Think about it, how much time we are going to save typing 'thnx' or 'thnq' instead of a proper 'thanks' or 'thank you'? Don't you agree the words 'thanks' & 'thank you' are full of meaning and real gratitude whereas 'thnx' / 'thnq' just means 'whatever'...

Imagine, how will it be if the news was in the abbreviated language or how about real conversations face to face? We won't like a morning greeting of 'gm' or 'gd' instead of a proper 'good morning' or 'good day'. Why do we then use these in text messages? If we are in that much hurry it is better to skip the greeting altogether.

What I find very interesting is that people who are so fascinated by abbreviations while writing are almost always fascinated by using elongated words while speaking - such as 'Television' for TV or 'air conditioner' for AC. I have noticed, they also tend to elaborate descriptions of things, scenes, food, people as if to compensate for the tons of abbreviations used in their texts or emails...

A friend of mine recently wrote, "I am bored, LOL!" My response was, "If you are really bored then why not try laughing out loud instead of just LOL?!"

Now, if you feel like LOL, by all means go ahead... GBU! (no pun intended!)

Jargon reference: http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp

Apr 25, 2010

Who am I?

I often put myself in various scenes to imagine who would I have closely resembled in terms of the character or attitude.

In the case of Mary and Martha who invited Jesus to their home, Mary simply sits at Jesus's feet listening to Him while Martha is doing all the chores around the house and ends up complaining about Mary to Jesus asking him to tell her to come and help her with the chores...

I would compare myself to Martha more than Mary. Yes, I would often imagine if Jesus is to visit us, if I knew it ahead of time, I would be prepared making sure all cooking/cleaning is done before His coming. If it is an unexpected visit, I would make him sit at the kitchen table while I continue to cook different items while chatting with him too. If I had a Mary like sister who didn't help but got all the time with the Lord, sitting in the living room and chatting away to glory, I wouldn't have liked it much.

When you think about it, Mary truly loved the Lord so much that she didn't care for anything else and just wanted to spend time with Jesus. Martha also loved the Lord that she wanted to make Him the best food, set the best table, serve Him the best drink, appetizers, snacks, desserts etc.  In this account Martha is ridiculed by the Lord. I believe it is because of her "complaining" and not so much for the errands.
In another account, Ruth and Orpah are daughters-in-law of Naomi and their husbands are no more, Naomi decides to go back to her birth place saying good bye to her daughters-in-law. Orpah kisses her and leaves Naomi while Ruth decides to stay with her. I would have been more of Orpah than Ruth. I would have prefered to return to my parents, my home and my family.

If I were Eve and got to taste a yummy fruit I wouldn't have been any different from Eve; I would have surely given it to Israel to try it too...

If I were among the ten lepers that got healed, I would have been the one that returned to thank the Lord.

Not always right, not always perfect, but can't help "being" me - just me...

Apr 20, 2010

A Mom's Perspective

Back in November I wrote A Child's perspective sharing with you Rachel's encouraging words on the last day of my previous job.

Here I am five months later, praising God for an offer for a full time position! I count it a blessing that I had a few months off to appreciate my family more. It is also a blessing joining back the work force - which I love much too. As I had mentioned in earlier posts, I am not much of a happy camper being all indoors - I need to get out to meet people, to breath fresh air, to dress up and feel better of myself.

It is true I got quiet comfortable staying home too, but doing just the chores around the house wasn't much fun and when there is so much chores around the house, I really can't do much fun stuff!

Looking back I can honestly tell you that I enjoyed my children more, and was looking forward to spending time together on evenings and weekends. We bonded as a family better rather than doing just mundane tasks.

Definitely the best thing accomplished during my break was starting my own blog and meeting you all! Thank you for making it all possible to make my dream come true!

Stay tuned for more posts... In the meantime, if any of you have started blogging, please share your links...

Apr 19, 2010

Feast fit for a King!

My only major concern when my marriage was fixed was, "Will he buy me plenty of fruits like my Papa?" Yes, he does! Papa always said fruits have "beauty vitamins" in them! I believe him! I love fruits - of any make and model :)

I believe Pomegranate is the most beautiful of all fruits - how lovely is the crown and the bright ruby like pulses inside... the arrangement is so perfect - not one missing in the order... It is like opening a treasure chest!
Jack fruits are yummy and have a whole maze world inside, It is almost like playing hide and seek finding an edible part in a densely knit jack fruit!
Papaya is a wonder of wonders with a bowl like design for the seeds, the bright orange/yellow/pink fruit is very generous and delicious

Looking at the Apples, how many different shapes, sizes, colors, tastes, texture...
Guava is supposed to be the best with much nutritional value...
Oranges, clementines, mandarines, tangerines - the carefully layered interiors, the array of juicey slices inside, I would say it is the best dressed of all fruits, can anything beat that?
Grapes of green, black, red, globe, seeded, seedless, wine, mini... can we even list them all?!
Strawberry - Wow! It is a perfect beauty - the fresh and crisp color combination is simply the best out there...
Mangoes - It's a delight - so generous and sweet
Dates - especially the fresh green ones will make you crave for more...
Blue berries, black berries, raspberries - so tiny, yet so uniquely delicious
Banana - ok, that's one fruit I am not all that crazy about...

The varying colors, taste, the texture, the nutritions they offer, not to mention the health benefits they provide, can it be all just natural? I don't think so. I believe these are all gifts from above... Fruits are a blessing - a heavenly bounty - a feast fit for a King!

I can be a fruit basket too - if I have the following characteristics in me - "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control"

My desire is to be a blessing - a heavenly bounty - a feast fit for my King!

Apr 17, 2010

Angels protecting me...

It was raining as I stepped out of Piscataway Library that evening - the year was 2004. I was in between jobs then and was running errands before picking up kids...

As I tried to reverse my silver Honda Accord, I exchanged pleasantries with this frail, old man. He got closer to the car and started asking me something... I stopped, rolled down the windows to listen to him. He asked for a ride to his home nearby. I told him I was very bad with directions, and couldn't spare any time as I was on the way to pick up kids. He convinced me his house was very close to the library and he came walking to collect his mail and since it was raining he couldn't walk back...

I thought for a moment, sensed there was no harm, and opened the passenger side door for him... He directed me to his home - he was supposedly a retired professor from Rutgers, originally from India, both him and his wife taught at the university, wife is no more, no children, etc.

Apr 14, 2010

Happiness is priceless - most of the time...

I was home for the last few months on a full-time basis. Never realized looking for job would be a full time job in itself. I admit I lost track of time or how each day flew. It would be just morning, kids were out to school and already it would be time to pick them up!

Though I was working non-stop around the house, it got to a point where there was so much to be done beyond my realm! My husband helps the best he can but can't understand why some dust on the furniture or a toaster on the counter should bother me much... He handles everything outdoors where I don't even take a peek so I can't complain...

Everywhere I turned I could see things that needed to be cleaned, wiped, washed, fixed, moped, and it was overwhelming at times... my Pause button strategy would come in handy but it won't be long lasting as Play was sure to follow. I realized I am not made of "home making material".  My necessity for a clean home almost cost me my happiness...

That's when I heard of Angela from a friend. I called her at once and she came the very next day with an assistant and they together did an excellent job! I have tried different cleaning services from time to time; but never came close to anyone like Angela. She is a God sent I would say... There's not a corner in the house she didn't clean, nor a furniture she didn't dust... She was absolutely amazing!

I have never been so happy in a very long time... I don't really care for rubies or diamonds or for that matter manicures or pedicures;  what I really care for is a clean living space where I can totally relax... If it is within my reach, I'll do my best; but when it gets out of hand I sure need help!

Happiness is priceless - most of the time; but at times it is definitely worth spending a few bucks...

Ushpizin - Reviewed...

I just finished watching "Ushpizin" - a movie about the Feast of Tabernacle - the seven day camping festival commanded for the Jews to remember the Exodus. I loved this movie. It explains in detail the communion between God, people & their strangers.

Isralites are to live in booths for seven days ( ...On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Sukkot, seven days for the Lord. -Leviticus 23:34 & You will dwell in booths for seven days; all natives of Israel shall dwell in booths. -Leviticus 23:42 ), they need to take four species (On the first day, you will take for yourselves a fruit of a beautiful tree, palm branches, twigs of a braided tree and brook willows, and you will rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. -Leviticus 23:40) for wave offering, invite strangers in, and celebrate with a good feast - remembering how God led them for 40 years from Egypt to Israel.

Moshe is a convert and now a Rabbi; living with his beautiful wife. They don't have a lot but both love the Lord with all their heart. Feast of Tabernacle is near and they don't have a tent nor the four species nor guests nor anything good to eat. Also, they have been praying for a child for years.

Apr 12, 2010

Looking up a coconut tree...

There are few things as mesmerizing as looking up a coconut tree. The perfect formation of the huge leaves, the careful array of the baby coconuts, the  tender coconuts and the ripe coconuts - it is amazing!

The gentle breeze that flows through it, the ruffling sound of the leaves, the small but enough shade it gives, the naturally sweet & cold juice, the clear blue sky through the rich green leaves, these are simple pleasures of my Indian summers.

As kids me and my brother would rush to get the fallen coconuts and take it to our Grandma who would sweetly kiss us. I would look at my Grandma's worn out fingers or my Papa's beautiful fingers as they cut open a coconut for use... Papa tried to teach me the trick; but it was too big for my little hands then...

Our showers would mostly be under a coconut tree with a garden hose... Also, I remember as a child, helping my Grandma make broom sticks out of dry coconut leaves. We would also eat the baby coconuts that fall in the wind - it doesn't taste the same now but I used to really like it as a kid... Tender coconut is an all time favorite!

Grandma used the wastes from the tree as fuel to make hot water for baths or  she used them to steam fresh rice to make par boiled rice. I love the smell of smoke mingled with the rice being cooked.

I also remember my other Grandma weaving the leaves together to make partitions around the bathroom in our village house... Grandma used the coconut shells as bowls to mix salt or tamarind for her cooking or to beat an egg for omlet. Her preparation was so simple yet the outcome was so delicious...

Ofcourse we used coconut shells of all shapes and sizes as pottery for our play with mud and stuff pretending to cook with them. We also used to make a balance out of two similar size shells tying them to either end of a stick and pretend to be shop keepers.

It is such a sweet & simple life back home back then! This time I go, I promise to look up the coconut trees with my kids to share a glimpse of my memories!

Mommy Refined...

I was surprised when I saw the "Easy button" at Staples for the first time few years ago. It implied as though you can make anything easy at the touch of a button. I was always tempted to touch one - but never did - I was new to the USA and wasn't very confident...

These days when something spills or children break a valuable or the floor gets muddy or they dirty an additional pair of clothes, I go easy with the situation. Not much panic; not much anger; not much frustration, just ease...

I wasn't like that at all. I feel bad that I ever behaved like how I used to! I am ashamed to say I have even yelled & spanked them for things that have happend accidentally. Children would be very upset and afraid if they broke something or spilt something or dirtied something.

To them it comes as a surprise that I am on an "Easy mode" these days. Their facial expressions change so vividly from fear to freedom! When they say sorry now I am able to reply, "That's ok, it was just an accident" without increasing my tone! It is almost like I value everything much less compared to the sipirt of my little children! Nothing seems so fragile than their little hearts.

Even if they intentionally break/spill/dirty something these days, I am at ease... In few more years they will grow up and take care of all the mess around the house I am sure. For now, I need to go easy and let them be kids...

P.S: Be assured no more button stories... :)

Apr 9, 2010

To Blog Or Not To Blog -That Is The Question

Note: This is a repost for the friends and family members who have expressed interest to write a blog. By all means, go for it!

Here's to folks who are wondering if they should blog or not! I know this is nothing compared to some of the life's decisions one needs to make. Sharing my two cents:

I love my blog! I am thrilled to be a blogger. Blogging gives me a sense of belonging in the cyber space. Blogging gives me the same satisfaction I might have got from writing a book. May be even better than a book as it is a living document -  I can blog about anything, anytime, anywhere as life unfolds... It is so liberating. It feels like I am breathing fresh sweet air. And it is FREE!

If you want to experience the same joy of blogging, you may visit http://www.blogger.com/ to sign up and create a blog in few easy steps. It will be made public instantly!

Here's a tutorial with detailed instructions to start your own blog in minutes: How to Start a Free Blog at Blogger.com

Happy blogging! Care to share your link?

Israel! Israel! Israel!

ISRAEL is my most favorite of all places in the world! No, I haven't visited it yet but I am sure to go some day! I would say I am in love with Israel!

I love watching Israeli movies just because I love to see the places and the people. When I see someone tall and handsome, I would imagine King Saul would have been like that; when I see someone not-so-tall, but very fair with curly hair and beautiful eyes, I would think King David would have been like that. The beautiful women remind me of Esther, Ruth, Abigail, Bathsheba - the women of beauty in the Bible. A young, solemn, pious girl would remind me of Mary...

Apr 8, 2010

"Cloud Bursting"

It's my favorite travel passtime to look at the passing clouds and visualize what it looks like... It will be quiet interesting, the same cloud that looks like a turtle to me would very clearly be a beaver to my husband. If he sees a lady I would see a rabbit!

In my native tongue we have a saying, "If you find a rock you won't see the dog; if you see a dog you won't find a rock" ("Kallai kandal naayei kaanom; naayei kandal kallai kaanom") It could have other meanings but to me it makes perfect sense to my cloud visualizations.

There is never a dull moment in our long distance travels as we look at the clouds most of the time. It could be an array of cotton balls or chefs hats or chubby babies or fluffy pillows or a flock of sheep or whatever it looks like to you...

It would look like an elephant from a distance but as you get closer it could take shape as a dinosaur or two swans or whatever else you shape it up to be...

Sometimes we get to enjoy picture perfect - painting like illustrations by Artist Almighty from our backyard. He uses the trees nearby and the hills far off to make it breathtakingly beautiful! It is amazing with extra color and light effects, nothing can beat that!! It always reminds me of the scripture, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

In my eyes a cloud is never simply a cloud, there's a whole new world out there... Would you like to join me for "Cloud bursting" sometime?

Stuck on the Pause button...

Occassionally I get stuck on the Pause button a little too long bringing everything to a stand still -  mostly it happens when I get too busy at work or too lazy at home or really sick... which is few times round the year...

When that happens it's total chaos! Everything is upside down, we survive on fast food, fruits are overripe, daily calendar is out of synch, scattered shoes/dirty socks on the floor, backpacks/school papers/crayons all over downstairs, curtains not tied, fish tank is yucky, dining chairs are out of order, closets are messed up, dirty clothes pile up, lotions/comb not in its place, streaks of paste in the wash basin, tooth brush/paste not put away, phone receiver is lost, can't find the car keys, napkins would be done, trash bins overflow, cups/bowls everywhere, kitchen sink is full, not a single clean plate, counters covered with cereal boxes, milk cartons, bread crumbs, used glasses, toaster, butter, jelly, juice boxes - you name it...
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