Messages to my dear friend, Monica, as we share our experiences of being a mother, the things we learn from our little girls, everyday and the lessons we learn from life itself.
A Blog-dialogue across continents, countries and oceans of time and space...
(We last met in 2000 A.D, in India.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Spring in my Step....and a song in my heart...!

A Long, long time ago at the age of around 10 yrs, I sat mesmerized in a science class in Primary School, in Chandigarh, India. Our teacher was discussing the chapter on evolutionary biology. One of the students volunteered to stand up and read the text for the whole class to follow and I read an account of Origin of the Species, By Charles Darwin...

Darwin's 'Theory of Evolution' became a much discussed, interesting and very well expostulated, scientifically researched paper for us.... There was a group of us friends who stayed in at lunchtime, choosing reading, writing or simply chatting over the noise and dust of the playground. I belonged with  my books and with them, spending many a lunch hour sharing first the food and then something of what we were reading. We often discussed the textbook, catching up on revision plans for the upcoming tests or examinations... It was about this time that I first realised the connection between what we were starting to read in our history books, (Old Stone-Age or the Paleolithic Age, Iron Age, Neanderthal Man, Fossils, Volcanoes and more ) and what we read in our Biology textbooks... The way the Earth's Crust, Mantle and Core were changing; imperceptible to us with our blink-and-miss life spans but chronicled for millenia in the topography of the great big sphere we call 'home' , in the erupting of volcanoes, the rising of the oceans, the heaving Earthquakes etc.

As a student, I had always been in love with the Languages and Sciences...So, Science, Hindi, Sanskrit, and to some extent Mathematics were my favourite subjects. I enjoyed reading about history too, although, Geography  (Maps, especially!!) , and Economics, P & L (Business studies) were my weakest subjects. I 'evolved' into what I am today shaped by those predilections, passion for the languages and hunger for books that could whet and satisfy my appetite for knowledge.

Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution lists a few points that are necessary for the evolution of a species. These include 'Natural selection', and 'Survival of the fittest' , amongst others...Basically, I understood that in order to survive, Nature has devised her very own 'checklist'. Unforgiving and unrelenting as it was, Nature gave us many a source of Stability, Inner-Strength and Courage. That no matter where we look, there will be lessons to learn from, and things to follow...all life long!

So, if I were to list my Revival-Essentials, they would include:
Nature :
 Being one with nature, listening to the sound of the birds...feeling the crisp, morning dew on my tired face and aching head soothes me! This sense of oneness and peace is beyond the scope of any medicine, its works like a palliative on worn, stressed minds and tired, aching bodies...

Sounds of Nature: birdsong, the gentle caress of the wind as it blows, the sight of the changing seasons, the many, varied, ever-changing moods of light from dawn to dusk... Are all so invigorating and spellbinding!!
Watching the leaves on the trees change colour, fall off, only to be reborn anew in the spring season... when buds blossom, tiny leaves burst into bloom, and the trees begin to sway and dance in the breeze again...
In this life, my constant source of joy and delight is my family and the kids... as I watch them, interact with them, I learn something I never considered... If I need help or support, guidance or advice or simply a hug, I turn to my family..My sources of  inspiration and strength (Dad), love and understanding (Raj) and guidance (my brother)....never let me down!!
 My greatest ally would be my friend, my sister, Keya didi, who, despite living half-way across the globe from us, makes it a point to respond to each and every e-mail with love, kindness, thoughtfulness and great practical, helpful advice!!

Dad and Bachchi's in 2010.

My anchorRaj.

Raj and Shivangi

Some of the most inspirational people have been constants in my life only after Raj and I got together. He and I shared our memories of childhood, our youth and inspiring people we idolised, seeing them in films or reading about them in their autobiographies..
Some of the most well-known of these are:

 My Inspirations:

Bruce Lee, his life, his writings, his Jeet Kune Do his philosophy...  
Bruce Lee

Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls is inspiration personified!! A Martial Arts Expert,  Ex-Army (Special Forces, 21 SAS) the youngest -ever Briton to Climb Mt Everest, daredevil adventurer, a loving husband and Daddy of three boys, presenter of Discovery Channel's most popular adventure shows: Born Survivor, Man V/s Wild, The Island, Running Wild, and the latest Mission Survive, to name but a few!
As a parent ourselves, my husband and I spend a lot of time sharing inspiring TV programmes, books, music and Films with our children these days. So obviously, Bear Grylls is a family favourite, always!! Not only is he one of the most charismatic men I care to watch, read or follow, his simplicity and selfless attitude to sharing his love for nature and Adventures with the people of the world is truly commendable. That he happens to be the most well-known Britons the world over is a testament to his courage, strength of character and his devotion to his family and friends. Whenever I feel stressed or shattered, I pick up one of his many books that I and Raj have gifted each other over the years, and there is always something deeply inspiring in his writing. Reading his books has been a great shot-in-the-arm for me, personally, in tough times. Bear's grounding in his Faith (he reads the Bible on many of his journeys, including his trip to Mt Everest as a 23 year-old climber, his bond with his family, his Armed Forces Background, and the respect and love for his family echo my own experiences in life. I often read bits of his books to my husband, (who is something of a book-o-phobic man!) He'd much rather watch Bear in his Series, whether it be the Classic Born survivor series, the Gruelling Escape to the Legion, or the Wild Adventure of Life trips- amusing journeys where he took a few celebrities like  Jonathan Ross (Bear's Wild Weekend)!! 

Inspiring us all: Bear Grylls.

The Crocodile hunterLate Steve Irwin -Australian Conservationist, who grew up on a Zoo owned by his family... His Nickname is misleading, because not only did he help rehabilitate Crocodiles, working and campaigning ceaselessly for their natural habitat, he also shower us all a much different side to these terrifying reptiles. His series on Animal Planet was a favourite of ours for many years. 

The Dalai Lama ... his simplicity, his smile and his messages...truly inspiring! 

Prachi on the walk!!
A walk or bike ride gives me a great feeling of peace. This morning, my sister-in-Law, Prachi, walked with me around their village near Swindon. felt rejuvenated.

I DID IT! At the finish line, with Prachi and friends. (Cycletta South, 2011)

Taking the girls outdoors is another great 'pick-me-up'per!! As they play, explore, munch and crunch, sip or dip, tumble or rumble, I remind myself that this is a God given opportunity for me and also my responsibility as their Mum... I immediately begin to try and gauge where the 'slack' is, in my line and pull up the reel taut, to haul in the fish of my  spirits from the waters of despair!! My children love the freedom of the great outdoors, revelling in the natural 'feel' of things, the way the earth 'gives' under their weight as they jump, into sand-pits, and the way the wind whistles in their ears, sometimes! They're naturally attracted to animals and birds, observing unafraid, approaching them in response to a primal calling... knowing just how to touch,  how to play.... and when to stand back and watch!!

picnic in the park


Paddington Station, London: Travels of a nomadic soul...!
 I love travelling and exploring new places- journeying by bus, train, bicycle or on foot....As the miles stretch on, so does my mind, my questions, my thoughts and my imagination!! That is why I started writing, to give form and face to my thoughts and tales, anecdotes and observations...! In a lot of ways, this trip to see Digvijay and Prachi has been a Godsend.  I got a chance to unwind, detach from the kids and stress of my daily life, which was weighing heavily on my mind, and this gave both of us a chance to re-evaluate the ' Biggies' in our lives together and come up with answers, solutions and strategies to help make our parenting skills more effective.

...watching the Swans on the Bridge, in Watchfield.
 Reading a good book, listening to my favourite music, sketching or drawing and looking at pictures of family... these are some of the things I also do, to revive myself and relax after a wholesome day's work! Life is uncomplicated and blessed, and I have a lot to thank God for...