Sep 28, 2011

The king I was

"Long long ago, very long ago, nobody knows how long ago, there lived a King!" was the best opening sentence in my favorite stories as a child. I could immediately visualize the king in all his glory sitting on a beautiful thrown next to his beautiful queen, or on his beautiful horse just about to go out to war, etc.

Then came the day when I became a king! I was nine years old then; studying 5th grade in St. Joseph's convent, Tirunelveli. I was made king for our school play. It was an interesting story how I got the role. It was a co-ed class and of course many boys were tall and strong fit to be a king but they couldn't memorize the long portions of the text the king had to talk and so ultimately they chose me to be the king!

It was an honor I so willingly accepted however, I was very shy about the moustache. When I raised my concern and said I would like to be a king without moustache, it only made the cast members and the staff laugh out loud. They convinced me saying moustache is the second best accessory for a king, only next to his crown. So there I was against my will, a king with moustache!

I had no problem memorizing my texts however I couldn't do the kingly laughter. The staff member who tried her best finally gave up and decided on an alternative solution that she would laugh from behind the scenes and I just had to move my mouth. Well then, that was settled.

Next problem was the king had to put 'his' arms around two 'men' and say something cheerful. I was so embarrassed to put my arms around fellow classmates who were boys. The boys were shy too. But since there was no way around it, we settled for it.

Mom's silk sarees were ordered in to make the royal robe and of course some golden paper, plastic gems and glue produced the impeccable 'crown'. Soon the rehearsals were over and it was the final play.

The entire neighborhood had gathered in our school grounds that night. The king was made ready with the royal diadem and the kingly attire and not to forget the moustache - a thick big moustache that even rolled up in the ends, drawn on the upper lip. Couple of parents who saw me behind the scenes complimented my looks and also my moustache in particular.

The show began. The king played well not forgetting any lines and even helping the soldiers with theirs. The scene for the roaring royal laughter was next. The king began to feel a little nervous and anxiously waited for the timing of the laughter and moved 'his' lips and alas no laughter came. The king tried again and no laughter to be heard. The nervous king looked hither and thither and the whole cast was lost.

Just then the thunderous laughter came over the speakers but this time the king forgot to move the lips. It's just that the director behind the scenes had missed the timing. The audience had a hearty laugh to the dismay of the poor king. It was curtain call!

The king became alright in the dance break in between and got back 'his' courage to go back on stage. All roles played out picture perfect. There was a scene where the king had to order someone to be taken to the gallows. This proud king ordered, "Take ME to the gallows" instead of 'take him to the gallows'. Once again the crowd was thrilled and it took a long time for their laughter to stop. The king absolutely had no clue why everyone was laughing. (got to know only after the show..).

Finally the show ended. Back stage where everyone changed out of their costumes the king refused to erase off 'his' moustache as he had come to like it much. Also he had plans to show it off to family members who had skipped the function altogether.

All the way back home the king was just basking in glory. The first thing 'he' did arriving home was to run to check in the mirror. To his horror the moustache was melting in the sweat and heat and looked nowhere close to what he had imagined. Poor king went to bed sad that night disappointed 'his' moustache was no more. It took a while for the king to finally get over it.

The End!

So what was the story when you were the king? Care to share?

Sep 27, 2011

Her Room

It hasn't been long since I first visited her, but I could connect with Kavita Saharia at once! She is one of my favorites and I am big fan of not just her blogs but also her personality - a down to earth, charming, energetic personality - one I can relate to - to some extent, admire - to a great extent and wish to meet in person - God willing.

Kavita hails from Assam and her blog is titled 'My Room' and that is exactly what it is - her room. You can see pictures from her travels, meet her friends, get to know her family and learn about local legends we have never heard of in the South!

She makes one feel comfortable in her room and no wonder her blog followers are growing in astronomical numbers - over three hundred and counting!

From her frequently updated blogs and travel snapshots it might seem hard to believe Kavita has a day job too! Yes, she does! She is a Dental Surgeon by occupation and still makes room in her busy schedule to connect with us through her blogs, which is much appreciated.

I strongly encourage all my friends to visit Kavita and make friends with her if possible. You will be lost in the beautiful jungles of Meghalaya and the simplicity of Assam in no time. Only thing to keep in mind is 'take' enough minutes with you when you go. It will be long before you are back to your chores as her blog just consumes you! It is a good place to be after all!

Hello! How are you?

Hello! How's everyone doing? Fine here and wish the same.

Did I tell you, I am working again? Yes, this is week two! A work from home opportunity initially for a year but could go on. I am beginning to love it.

Children are thrilled to have me home when they return from school; Israel too is enjoying the freshly cooked dinner and I am happy that I get my hour of walking every day. So it works best for all of us. Now that I get ample time at hand I try new walking routes in our neighborhood which is very exciting.

The kitchen ants are thriving. Israel happened to read my post about them, and now blames me for their growing population. He is all set to rid them off. Even if by chance I leave a food particle on the counter top unattended he looks at me suspiciously; and if an ant runs by he looks to see if I smash it. If I don't, children rush to take care of it. It's like all against me and and my ants! :(

Coffee with Jesus turns a year old this week and I am celebrating it with a coffee mug give away. Let me know if you would like one.

Here in the East Coast we are counting down to colder days that we hardly let go of any sunny days unnoticed. However since I am tied up in a training for the next couple of weeks no weekend outings are planned.  I try to make the best use of the sun during my daily walks - making the routes longer each day.

Okay folks! I really didn't have much to say. Just wanted to say hello. Take care all of you!

Friend always,
~ NRIGirl

Sep 21, 2011

Last will and Testament by Charles Lounsbury

This is something I read in the book 'The Treasure Chest' - a library find; loved it much that I wanted to share...

I, Charles Lounsbury, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do hereby make and publish this, my last will and testament in order, as justly as may be, to distribute my interests in the world among succeeding men.

That part of my interest, which is known in law and recognized in the sheep-bound volumes as my property, being inconsiderable and none account, I make no disposition in this, my will. My right to live, being but a life estate, is not at my disposal, but these things excepted, all else in the world I now proceed to devise and bequeath.

ITEM: I give to good fathers and mothers and trust to their children all good little words of praise and encouragement and all quaint pet names and endearments. And I charge said parents to use them judiciously or generously as the deeds of their children shall require.

ITEM: I leave to children inclusively, but only for the duration of their childhood, all and every flower of the fields and the blossoms of the woods. And I devise to children the banks of the brooks and the golden sands beneath the water thereof and the odors of the willows that dip therein and the white clouds that float on high above the giant trees. And I leave the children the long, long days to be merry in a thousand ways, and the night, and the trail of the Milky Way to wonder at; but subject, nevertheless, to the rights hereinafter given to lovers.

ITEM: To lovers I devise their imaginary world filled with the stars of the skies and the red roses by the walks, the bloom of the hawthorne and the sweet strains of music and ought else that they may desire to figure to each other the lastingness and the beauty of their love.

ITEM: I bequeath the power to have lasting friendships, the capacity for courage, and undaunted faith.

ITEM: To our loved ones with snowy crowns, I leave memory, the peace and happiness of old age, and the love and gratitude of their children before they fall asleep.
P.S: On doing some further research I understand this was a fictional will drafted by Williston Fish, an attorney in Chicago. In the year 1897, he hit upon the idea of a perfect will and upon a wealthy, nonexistent client named Charles Lounsbury.

The will that Williston Fish had written found its way into print for the 1st time the year after it was created. It appeared in Harper's Weekly on September 3, 1898. It was picked up and reprinted widely. But in recent years, it has been forgotten.

Sep 15, 2011

He is a cop; He is a blogger; He is Bikramjit Mann!

The next one on my FavBlog list is not really a blog as such but the person behind the blog "Me and My Random Thoughts". Bikram is a blogger, a cop, an IT pro all in one!

Originally from Punjab Bikram is now settled in the proximity of London. He is a great person to get to know who is loyal to his friends online and offline alike.

Bikram shares a lot about childhood, college days, grandma, sports, politics, folklore, you name it! Whatever be your interest he has got it covered!

One thing you will notice right away is that he just speaks his mind out, aptly justifying his blog title. He doesn't hide his emotions which I believe is a down-to-earth quality. Next thing you will notice is the truck loads of comments he receives within minutes of posting, which shows he is much loved among his blogger circle.

There are too many favorite posts that it is hard for me to pick one to showcase from his blog. However, here's a picture I definitely want to show off. Bikram's picture on the 'Support your police' flyer. Isn't that cool? You may click on the picture to read the post relevant to that!)

Now think about that for a minute! How many of us want to become cops in a foreign country? Not too many I guess; at least not me. Just the fact that he is one, shows how much he cares for his local community and how much he wants to serve. Don't you think?

Bikram is surely one of the friends I do want to meet in person; he sure feels like a childhood friend. If you know him keep visiting. If you don't, please check him out...

Sep 14, 2011

Great Blogger & Story Teller - KParthasarathy!

I always admire people who can write fiction. How is it that they can imagine a personality, set the scene, bring about a dialogue, and finally affect your emotions one way or another?!

To reiterate something that happened doesn't require great skills; but to make up a story from nothing surely requires a lot. For the very same reason I admire KParthasarathy.

If you have ever visited Random Thoughts or மனதில் தோன்றியது or Reflections then you have met KParthasarathy already! You would agree he is a great blogger with great stories to tell.

KP hails from Chennai but visits his daughter in the US. He has helped me connect with a lot of great bloggers out there - Deeps, Chitra and Dr. Saravanan to name a few.

KP's 55 words stories are my favorites in his Random Thoughts. His Tamil stories are also very popular among readers. He sets the stage and takes you to the scene where the story unwraps right in front of your own eyes. His Reflections are thought provoking inspirations which helps look at things from different perspective; teaching a lesson or two on the way.

If  I were to pick one post out of his three blogs that I like the best I would say it is: Learn to cultivate your own garden. There is clearly a 'Before' and 'After' me, after reading this post. 

KP is special in the sense that he is the only blog world friend I have ever spoken to - over the phone! He has been a great friend frequently sharing inspiring emails, interesting tidbits and why not recently some mouth watering recipes too. These little gestures I truly appreciate.

Check him out yourself when you have a moment; I am sure you will not be disappointed!

Sep 12, 2011

"Common" sense?

"Hephzibah! It is common sense!" lectures Israel from time to time; that is to put it mildly, to say his tone has become increasingly impatient would be closer to the reality.

The latest incident happened yesterday when I thought it was a smart idea to warm up rasam in the glass pot on the stove top, while reheating other items on the microwave. My idea was that both would be done at the same time.

But to my shock just when I used a ladle to mix up the rasam the pot exploded sending shredded pieces of glass all over. Thank God, none of us got hurt. Israel had to rush in and rescue me from the mounting clean up work following that; I am so very grateful for that!

Another time early in our marriage Israel had asked me to clean a table fan while he was away at work. Gladly I obliged, taking it to the bath tub, standing it tall and turning on the shower head. Within minutes it was sparkling clean but alas it had stopped working in the process. Israel couldn't hold back his bewilderment at the "smartness" of his new bride and had to blurt out, "It is just common sense!" Is it?

Not to forget I once left my phone "charging" in the car while I was at work not realizing that the charger in the car is meant to work only when the car is on. Another time apparently I had fed the parking meter next to my car not knowing that my meter was the one on the right hand side of my car; thus getting a parking violation ticket on return as my meter had no funds. "How am I supposed to know?!" is my only defense during times like this.

Growing up when asked in school what caste we were I had proudly answered "Israelites!" (As in Sunday school I had learnt Israelites were the children of God). Then there are incidents I am not at liberty to share as it would embarrass us all.

Let me ask you one thing, is common sense that common?

Sep 10, 2011

Where were we on 9/11?

Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy here in the United States; which makes me ponder over where we were ten years ago on that fateful day...

I had just reached work and called in Israel to convey I had arrived safely in office. It was a customary habit we had been accustomed to.

I went and grabbed myself a cup of coffee and was just about to login when Israel called back with a kind of panic in his voice - "Mone! A plane just flew in to one of the world trade center towers!" and suggested I go watch the news. Within minutes he called again with the news of the second plane hitting the second tower.

Just then I heard similar hustle bustle among my colleagues and everybody rushed to the conference room where CNN was playing in the big screens. The first tower had collapsed already and they were showing play backs of that when right in front of our eyes the second tower came tumbling down too! My head was spinning. Holding my head with both hands I slid to the floor in slow motion  - sitting flat on the floor. It seemed like I had no energy even to stand and felt like the whole world was closing in. I had just delivered a child and may be that too played  a role in my discomfort.

People in the room were crying silently, sobbing in whispers, and no one was talking. Everyone felt helpless, void of any hope. No one went back to their desk. They were all glued to the TV. When I gathered the strength to stand up again I took permission to leave.  I just wanted to reach back home to my babies.

Israel too came back home soon. Lot of our friends worked in New York but we were not sure if anyone actually worked in those towers. Tried to reach out a few in vain. More news was coming in on the Pentagon bound flight. There was a widespread rumor at least one more flight was missing in the air. America under attack was the headline flashing across the network. Our hearts melted in fear. Mostly fear of more impending danger.

Within a day or two we were back up and running as normal. Here and there people were sharing how someone they had known had escaped the ordeal or how someone reached home walking over the bridge etc. For a while it seemed like good stories, encouraging stories and I was heaving out a sigh of relief when our phone rang.

It was Keol, a friend of Israel, his former colleague. When I picked up the call she was sobbing on the other end and said Nath hadn't been home yet. It was Day 3. She added that there was a subway train stopped underground and people were still returning home. She hoped he was on it and was on his way home. She had spoken to some priests in Nath's hometown in India who had assured he was alive. 

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months but there was no sign of Nath. Our hearts sank further. Keol was still waiting and hoping. We didn't know what to say. Then one day she called and said she was ready to accept Nath might be no more. She had a family gathering to bid him farewell, sold her house and moved out of New Jersey. We invited her over to come and spend some days with us; she obliged. That was the least we could do. That was the last we saw of her.

She had deleted her email account, changed her phone number and didn't share her new address and so we had lost touch with her. Over the next nine plus years she has been in our thoughts and prayers more often than she would ever imagine.

This past Christmas there was a cheerful greetings from her in our voice mail; unfortunately there was no call back number so we couldn't reach back to her. But we are now comforted she is fine.

Keol is much loved and we wish her strength through the rest of the way; Nath too is fondly remembered as always...

Sep 7, 2011

Conversations with myself

It hasn't been long since I visited 'Conversations with Myself' but instantly I took an affinity towards the writing that I have gone back and read ALL the earlier posts!

That is very rare for me to do, however much I like to read the blogs I newly follow. Since the posts at Conversations with myself are short and sweet and to the point, I was able to read them all in one sitting.

Please allow me to introduce the soliloquist - Dr. Saravanan to you. He is a gynaecologist in Bangalore with a lovely wife and a little son and of course a busy schedule as you can imagine.

Whenever possible he visits and shares in the blogosphere - mostly in the form of poetry. He is good at that. He often writes about his son Adi and refers to his better half mostly as She. She is an anesthesiologist with an equally busy schedule as He.

Quotes below are from his poems that touched me. You may click on the links to read the full poems.
I do secretly hide back
A few of borrowed dreams..
And I know that without dreams
My heart would've turned to stone
~ The Dreamer
I danced with joy and madness crept
My life, my life, with joy I wept
~ I do believe in miracles
all my dreams
held close to heart
to blow them
away n far
~ Farewell... My little darling...
While there, please don't forget to say hello... He is gone on vacation now and would be thrilled to see tons of comments on return. We will keep this as a surprise for him, shall we?

Sep 6, 2011

It wasn't picture perfect...

It wasn't picture perfect...

The hair is not perfect
And the form too is not
No sun in the backdrop
No flowers nor frills

Least care was given to
Pause for a smile
No effort was taken to
Adjust the frame

Kids wouldn't join
We cared for it not
T'was just the right moment
To freeze for the still

Raindrops as backdrop
Umbrella as home
Just for that moment
We stood still as one

It wasn't very picture perfect at all
But turned out a perfect picture of all!

Sep 2, 2011


Anil Kurup's blog stands out from the crowd - not only in content but in the looks itself. When you visit Musings - Anil's web home - the first thing that welcomes you is this looming ice mountain and a little climber at the foothills only as a shadow.

Is it symbolic of something? Well, that is one question I have always had but never had the courage to ask. His blogger 'about me' says nothing much; if you won't take my word for it, check it out yourself.

As you scroll down the mountain, you would wonder what is there in store for you that day. Some of his posts are way serious for my simple mind, however, the posts where he opens up himself about his dreams or pasts or happenings, it is such a treasure to read. These are my favorites. I guess it is because real life amuses me more than discussing politics or serious affair. Anil has started to open up more these days as we can see from some of his recent posts...

I normally read these posts very slowly - word by word, forming the sentences and musing over them and going back to read the last two sentences together and then move a little forward only to come back to the beginning of the post to repeat all the same... I cherish these posts and enjoy his language. Oh! not to forget, I'll always keep a web dictionary open on the other tab for looking up some of his words; the fun he has with words is amazing.

If you are a serious reader who loves politics and the like, you would be in love with most of his posts where Anil welcomes your comments for and against his views thus enjoying a hearty discussion. On the other hand if you are a light reader like me who likes real life stories, following are my suggestions for a must read at Musings!

* August 23,1988
* The odd couple
* A journey into fantasy
* Little romance
* Sweet Caroline

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