Vibrant, challenging, supportive and definitely inspiring…that’s how Instagram comes across on my mobile. However, time has a way of flying past while listening to old songs and scrolling down, down, down till the hours and sunlight vanish, so some ground rules have been laid down and I am trying to stick to them..
March is the month of yellow flowers and pollen dust clouds, of pine nuts wafting in the forest breeze, of spring cleaning and cotton yarn emerging from my stash. March energy erupts into resolutions and ideas and plans and I am not immune to the charms of starting afresh..
So then, my readers, here’s my attempt at taking on a challenge floated by Joanne Hawker. I have never followed or heard about her prior to this month. However, a young poet who charmed her way into my life a couple of years ago, mentioned this challenge, and it seemed tailor-made for me…and I begin with these ten random facts about me.
- During a summer vacation in Chandigarh, my brother and I hosed gallons of water into large canisters filled with the two month ration of atta.. It was our sincere attempt to help Ma, so that she wouldn’t need to knead dough every day. My parents were out on an early morning driving lesson for Ma. We were SO excited to show them our good deed, but that chalky-white, shocked face of my mother told us how wrong, totally wrong, we had been.
- My first love has always been reading. From Enid Blyton to Greys Anatomy, Love and Bailey, Leon Uris, Nevil Shute, PG Wodehouse and many many more– I have moved to reading blogs, newspapers ( especially the yellowed old ones which emerge from cupboard shelves), knitting books, Vedanta and more of non-fiction than fiction. I knit better when I am reading, and a page weight is a necessity.
- Women have inspired me, supported me and encouraged me to find myself. I would have sunk into this grimy-gloomy-victim-mentality if it wasn’t for the huge safety net of women who have been there to catch me when I was falling, toss me up into unimagined spaces, and be there for the girls and me. I have women who watch movies with me, craft and knit with me, give me a talking-to when I need one, listen to my rants, laugh and cry with me, feed me and provide everything else in between.
- Knitting came late into my life…I like to think that I took forward my Dad’s medical legacy for three decades, and now, I am taking forward my Ma’s craft and art legacy. Even when drugs and diseases were my life, there was always time for some cross stitch, crochet or sewing. The high which I get from creating something from some cloth, some thread and some needles, sustains me.
- During their teens, the daughters would say, ” our Mom is mad about the moon and the mountains”. After 6 years in the hills, they have added ” jacaranda flowers, horse-chestnut trees and the Himalayan view” to my mad-about list. “Knitting” and “dogs” are too obvious to be stated.
- One word which represents the last three decades of life…Choice! Every reaction, every decision, everything is a choice and I have to thank Stephen Covey for making me see this fact, long before positive statements sprouted on social media. The word dodged between the growing up years, moods, and the ups and downs of life, to become a tattoo for my daughter.
- I enjoy talking to people, watching people, and being around people. In fact, if I travel anywhere, its the people who interest me, not museums or buildings or gorgeous scenery. Touristy trips are not for me. Solitude and my-own-space is as vital as oxygen. I can enjoy people only after I withdraw for my quota of privateness and peace.
- Childhood years spent in cantonment homes, years of rural practice in Oman, and the decision to leave the big city have been a natural progression. I have not missed the anonymity of a city, the zing and bling of cultural shows and first night shows, the ease of commuting and travel by public transport–these were the beloved bits of city life which I fondly think of on grey days of winter rain when the road is quiet, the Wifi has gone and there is nothing worth watching on TV.
- Words strung together in a perfect sentence are delightful. There is a term for sentences in which all the words begin with the same alphabet…its gone from the mind, but the joy derived from reading them, remains!
- Six decades (almost) of living on Planet Earth have been eventful. Memory loss has erased many a dark time, but the heart remembers and sadness can well up in the most unexpected ways…I cannot recall what pushed the grief out, but I can now accept the essential “downs” of living. Its gratitude ( for this life, for the daughters, for friends), creativity ( ravelry, knitting swatches, cooking) and exercise ( dogs chasing sunlight or monkeys) which bring the “ups” into focus again.