Some time ago, I had this amazing book on my shelf—full of nifty cartoons and deep common sense. A book which had chapters on “how to say NO”, getting past tough times– one hour at a time and other such smart lessons. I loved that book and would quote from it to anyone who would listen, or catch some unsuspecting soul and spout out appropriate phrases.
The one chapter which has remained glued to my mind has been the one about getting tested…the way every resolve or vow is tested by Nature in the most mind-boggling and teeth-rattling way. Its about the delicious, big, darkly chocolate-and-thick cream-icing cake which a friend sends over when you vow to cut out the extra calories, the premiums and payments popping out of the inbox when you decide to invest and save some moolah, the big fat pimple emerging on your face when you have to look your best for your wedding/your friends sangeet party/the big interview/that TV appearance, the car developing strange noises when you are ready to take off on a weekend drive (inspired, no doubt, by those lovely ads for new cars, new Titan watches, new bank accounts etc).
The testing times never leave me, maybe because I keep trying to embark on a journey of change..it has its good effects too—one just has to be smart about figuring out what the change factor should be. Last year, it was this decision to de-clutter my wardrobe and pare it down to the best essentials. Lo and behold, I was tested immediately with some lovely gifts of clothes …smart woolies, bright T-shirts, comfortable shoes and a couple of beautiful shawls to wrap me up!! Inference reached by crafty me? Whenever I need new clothes, I am going to decide (very firmly and sincerely) that I need to de-clutter..Right now, I love the new additions to my stuffed wardrobe. De-cluttering has been put on hold.
That brings me to the present situation—The-Regular-Posting- on-The-Blog-Situation. And yes, my dear readers, the testing has begun! A few candies and goodies have been thrown in to sweeten the experience, so that I don’t go running out of the house, screaming “No, No, I cannot do this!!” etc etc..
The best candy has been the appreciation, the affectionate encouragement and the good feedback which has come into my life. It makes me “gird my loins” and get down to some more keyboard punching hours. Other lovely bits of candy include an amazing SLR camera being gifted to me by my amazing daughters, a new habit of walking around with posts being written in the window of my mind and a great feeling of accomplishment when I click the “publish” button.
So where is the “testing bit”? It’s in the way Life unfolds and envelops me in this lovely coat of home, family, festivals, spring planting, cooking and dog-walking.
I am savoring some “family time” this week..The girls are here, with their laptops and books, their stories and laughter, their music and their joy at being home. I want to spend all my waking hours soaking them in, so that the next six months remain full of their presence.
I want to cook all the family favorites—the black Chocolate Cake, the gooey Khichdi, the fragrant Stew, the Sooji Halwa, the Pasta and other such items which have been perfected through practice.
I want to go for long walks and talks with them—the doggies trotting along with us and sniffing every stone and grass blade. I want to laugh myself silly with re-runs of “Community” and “Modern Family”. And, I want to sleep late….much later than my routine 9 pm.
Its spring time. I need to re-pot some plants, try and coax my brown fingers to become green, and wait for the new shoots and flowers to emerge. I want to stand and stare at the new pine-cones which my immediate neighbor is nurturing and I definitely want to figure out the bird-calls which are echoing all around me.
And in all this, I want to write, to dig out stories and incidents which whirl around in my memory, to figure out the entrails of this new beautiful camera which has dropped into my life, to click every perfect, six-petalled, yellow flower which is carpeting the slopes. Bear with me, my dear readers, while I tackle this test of “so many things to do, such little time!”. Once I pass, undoubtedly, with flying colors, the blogging habit will become stronger and merge with the “to-do” list of life.