29 June 2008

I've been reading, on the online newspapers and in the real newspapers, about the oil crisis and the consequent inflation and when you read the news, commentaries and views, the world seems to be spiralling downwards rapidly into a Great Depression and an end to life as we know it almost. It brought to mind a book, 'On the Beach', by Nevil Shute

a book which I found very compelling when I read it, way back in my youth, about the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. The story is based in Australia of the 60s (though published in 1957). As life as we know it breaks down, there is no more oil too. The story is one of despair though, as all life is extinguished gradually, due to radiation exposure.
But then, in contrast, I also now come across articles on alternate energy sources, about how so many people are coming up with newer ways of dealing with a life without petroleum and of newer ways to feed all the people on the planet and there is hope. But I do think that we have each of us to examine ourselves--if we are capable of it--and see how we can change our lives, albeit in small ways, to tackle the future, a future which maybe very different from what we were used to.

25 June 2008

Mallika, over at Eve's Lungs, had tagged me with this tag about myself quite a while back. It required a lot of thought and was done over quite a long period.
I hope this is what you envisaged Mallika.

I am: me, mother, wife, sister, teacher; the sum of all these and yet not just that. There’s an inner me, irrespective of my life roles, added to the sum, growing, learning, just me.
I think: therefore I am. Sorry for the cliché; just wish that I was better adept at keeping my mind still.
I know: that I am only an ordinary woman but unique all the same.
I want: very little--in fact I really can't come up with what I want.
I have: a life for which I'm very grateful.
I wish: for peace on earth, for people everywhere to know each other's humanness.
I hate: unpleasant scenes. I am a total wimp.
I miss: my mother and my mum-in-law.
I fear: nothing really, because I'm pretty sure that, with my family, friends and my God, i can deal with most things.
I feel: content with my life, but not with me.
I hear: the sound of the drip. drip after a rain, the call of a crow pheasant--oop, oop, oop
I smell: wet wood
I crave: nothing
I search: for my glasses on a regular basis.
I wonder: if there is other life out there in the universe. When I look at the night sky especially, I am filled with wonder at the thought of the size of the universe and the thought that there maybe life out there.
I regret: not having done medicine
I love: the sound of the sea, toddlers everywhere, my family, the lick of a loving dog,....
I ache: in all my leg joints after being inactive for a bit
I care: about all my loved ones.
I am not
: a wonderful person.
I believe: that I am a part of the universe, of the Infinite, and that It is a part of me.
I dance: when the music is my kind of music--oldies, well, if the music has a beat.
I sing: everyday
I cry : when I listen to beautiful instrumental music, when I sing songs my mother sang, when I'm very happy, when I empathize with someone else's unhappiness, but never when I'm in pain.
I don’t always : stand up for me.
I fight : my need to be appreciated all the time.
I write: badly
I win: my battles against irrationality
I lose: my courage when I have to scold people.
I never: run, when walking will just as well take me there.
I always: enjoy having 'alone' time.
I confuse: people's names.
I listen: to children. Youngsters are often talked down to, in a mixed age group. So I make it a point to listen to them as individuals.
I can usually be found: at home after 1 p.m.
I am scared: when I think that my children might have misfortunes.
I need: nothing really.
I am happy about: my family, the wonderful young people my children have married and I’m so proud of them all.

I tag Geeta AJ and Hiphop grandmom and anyone else who would like to do this tag.

22 June 2008

I read this story about Mr. Beattie in the New York Times. I suppose in the US it had already made big news a while back as Mr. Beattie had apparently appeared on the Oprah show.
I found the article interesting because of the way the issue was handled. It led me to think about the whole gender issue.
I examined my own attitude to the whole sexuality issue and how I might react if one of my children were involved in such a situation. I came to the conclusion that at first an expression of sexuality different from the norm would be difficult to accept. But that, I might, for the love of my child, have accepted their choice, because I felt that the gender and sexuality of a person does not in anyway, reflect on the quality of their character. What I feel are the qualities of a good character (such an old fashioned word I guess) came from other qualities, like an acceptance of all humanity, genuineness, humankindness, charity in thought and deed.
So what do you think?

20 June 2008

Two links to make you think

Please do take at look these 2 posts, blog sisters; this one from Agelessbonding and this one from Queen of Spain.


When I'm just sitting around reading, hanging out at home or on a normal day in school, I feel that maybe I'm not too bad, and that I'm kinda worthwhile. But when I really interact--whether it's hearing what someone else did, or when I read blogs, I begin to feel that my life is so not worthy--as in when I see how well someone puts across a point, or at the good things they do for others, at the way people might be tackling their personal growth, at the wonderful social work so many people do, I feel that I am so not good enough. It takes a while of self-talk to be able to rationalize to myself that whatever my life, there are at least somethings I've done which are worthwhile and that it's not necessary to be the best in the field to be worthwhile. 'They also serve who only stand and wait' is a line that is always of comfort. It's from a poem by John Milton.
Here's the poem

On His Blindness

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait."

17 June 2008

Yesterday I heard that a young man I knew had died, 3 months ago. It was a shock.
This young man was somebody who had worked in my house around 5 years back. He was with our family for a little over 3 years. His name was Santosh, which means content or happy. He certainly wasn't a content person. But he was generally a happy person considering his life and circumstances.
Santosh was from Bihar, but had gone to Delhi to his aunt, in search of work. It was from there, thorough a close relation of mine, that he came here, so far away from his home. He was sent to me because I can speak Hindi fairly easily, so that communication with him would not be a problem. When he came to work with me, he was about 19, though he looked around 15 at the most.
He told me that his father had died many years back, and that he had been an alcoholic. He said his mother too died soon after from some illness. He said that his paternal grandparents were also no more. There was just him, a younger brother and a sister, who was being looked after by his maternal grandparents, who continued to live in his village. He said he had drifted through many jobs, from his childhood, including working in a factory somewhere. But it was after a fight with his grandmother that he went away to Delhi.
He was illiterate and I did try to teach him to read Hindi with whatever material I could get. But I wasn't very successful as he seemed to have a learning problem.
all I was able to teach him was to write his name.
Being a happy-go-lucky young man, he wasn't weighed down with any of this. In the 3 years that he was here, he made a number of friends somehow, though the majority of them could not have been able to speak his language. [But then again, here in our state, most literate people can understand some Hindi.] But with his smile and wave, he made friends. Finally, it got to the point where we were known as 'the people from the house where Santosh lives'.
He had his faults, being irresponsible, with no thought of the morrow. I started a bank account for him, mainly so that he would not just fritter away his month's salary. But he was affectionate and when ever a guest came, was the first to ask what they would like to eat and was good at making Bihari food. His aloo parathas were delicious.
His attitude to the law was a little dubious, since he seemed to feel that the law was only for those who couldn't bribe their way out. He used to be quite amazed that we were law-abiding, when, in his opinion, we could just as well have circumvented it. As an example, at that time one of my nephews was not yet 18 and so could not get a driver's license, although he knew how to drive. So, after driving around the hill, (which is private property), he would park the car at our house, before walking down to the road. When Santosh was told that my nephew did this as he wasn't eligible for a license, he was absolutely shocked. 'Why can't he just drive anyway and pay a bribe to the policeman? After all, you people have money.' It took quite a bit of explaining to make him understand that we didn't do things that way in our families.
Anyway, after being away from his home for over 3 years, he wanted to go back to his people and after my sons' weddings, he left, promising to everyone that he would return after 5 or 6 years.
After he went back to Delhi, I heard about him from family that lived there. He drifted in and out of jobs, even going back to work in the fields in his village. But he was back in Delhi and it was there that he died, three months ago, apparently in an accident.
From what he had told me I doubted there was any one to really even mourn him properly. So I felt the least I could do was write about him. May his soul be at peace.

12 June 2008

A book tag

I'd been tagged by La Delirante a while back. Sorry I took so long to do it :(
This is what the tag is:

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

' But it was weirder that science fiction, it was hallucinatory. By the time we reached the terminal stop, I was ready to float off the train and drift across to my parents' house in a fit of transrational magic. It was extremely annoying to find that actually I had to use my feet to get down from the train. peyote and a teacher were both necessary to enter the world described the author. I had felt vaguely cheated.'
This is from 'Getting There' By Manjula Padmanabhan
I don't much like tagging anyone. But maybe Hiphop Grandmom and Ageless Bonding and Onedia might like to do this?

05 June 2008

Hi I'm back!

I've been almost completely off the Internet for the 2 months vacation I had. It's been the busiest 2 moths in a long while. Now the schools have reopened and things have sort of quietened down at home and so I've been busy catching up with mail, blogs etc. So I hope to be able to read more blogs and maybe post occasionally.