Red wine, Red wine
I don’t know why I whine!
Saw the up, saw the down
You are the only one my own!
Red wine, Red wine,
I think of you, when I dine.
After a day full of stress,
You are the only one I confess!
Red wine, Red wine!
Oh, don’t worry I am fine!
When the life turns its back,
I just change the track!
Oh, Red wine, I am fine!
“Mr. Funny caterpillar where are you going…
Mr. Funny caterpillar what are you doing…”
Sang my daughter as she got ready for school and the thought flashed in my mind like it did a hundred times in loop. “Had I placed the caterpillar elsewhere it would not have been alive”, I thought again.
A few days back after dropping off my daughter at school, I went for my walk. The pavement surrounding the apartment complex is good 500 meters, an excellent walkway. While walking I saw something moving on the pavement beside the parking lot. It was a big beautiful caterpillar wriggling towards the road from the pavement. I have never seen such a big caterpillar. I was amazed at the different ways in which the Almighty brings out life. So beautiful, so unique! I wondered how the butterfly or moth that was inside would look like. I clicked a picture of it on my phone and continued to walk. As I passed the little voice inside me said “help it reach the garden on the other side of the road”. “May be during the next round, the busy hours of traffic are over, so no worries” I replied to myself and left. As I came closer to the corner, where I found the caterpillar during the second round, I started searching for it. There it was smashed on the road. My heart broke into a million pieces. It was not far away from where I found it. Some car smashed it right after I left. I wish I had listened to the little voice. I stood there for some time as all these thoughts passed. Feeling guilty I walked towards my apartment.
While dropping my daughter off to school today, I saw another caterpillar. A cute little colourful one wriggling on the pavement going in the direction of nearby bushes. I started to search frantically for a twig or something to pick it up and place in the bushes. My daughter’s and her grandpa’s chorus stopped and the duo gave me a what-is-wrong-with-her look. I told I want to help the caterpillar. “Not needed” said grandpa, “I will tell you why, after we drop her off” he added.
On the way back, my heart was in my mouth as I neared the bushes. I searched for the caterpillar, there was no trace of it. I was worried and told my dad why I was trying to save the caterpillar. After hearing the whole episode, dad said “You do not have to feel guilty of not saving the caterpillar. The energy that kept the caterpillar alive must have gone into some other body to keep that alive. That caterpillar’s time on earth had to end, to take some other form. If it had to live, you would have just picked it up without even a thought. It was meant to die, as another form was waiting for its life energy. It is alive in some or the other form. Why worry? Lord Krishna says that in Bhagavad Gita. I think you need to read Gita again”. We both went silent thereafter. The song my daughter sang played with a very different meaning in my mind since then.
“Mr. Funny caterpillar where are you going…
Mr. Funny caterpillar what are you doing…”
I’d been to a shopping mall today. As I recollected what I wanted and moved swiftly past the shops, my eyes fell on the doughnut shop. It has been a long time since I had one. I made an instant decision of having one. I walked towards the shop. I glanced through the wide range of doughnuts and there it was in a corner, a very simple Sugar Doughnut. I ordered one and waited for it at the table. While waiting I scribbled down a rough list of what I wanted. There it came. I took a bite, like a gentle breeze flipping the pages of a book, it flipped back many years in my mind.
“What do you want?” asked my Dad,
“That one” I replied with a smile, pointing out to the Sugar Doughnut.
The doughnut reminded me of this conversation many years ago. I still remember watching it through the glass of the bakery display case. It was my very first doughnut. No doughnut I ate in the later years matched the taste of it. Not even this one. Thank you Dad.
That doughnut I ate opened a big box of memories. The one at the beach, is my all time favourite. I was scared of waves when I was a kid. The scare was wiped out through a trick. Dad used to hold my palms tightly, and wait for the wave to come. Once it was there near our feet, he used to lift me up. Then put me down gently, I felt the water withdrawing under my feet. Gradually the scare vanished. The trust I had on you during those ‘wave attacks’, has multiplied many times, as I encountered many waves in life, and without fail you’ve lifted me up always. Thank you Dad for being there and making memories memorable.
Now when I see my husband and daughter, I see my dad and me, the bond between a daughter and a father. It is a delight to watch them. I am reliving the experience through them. Like the shape of a Sugar Doughnut, in life, I have reached back where my dad and I started.
Happy Father’s Day!
I had been to Karkala this weekend. A small town in Udupi district, Karnataka, where my husband belongs to. Located at the foothills of the vibrant Western Ghats, this place during monsoon is a nature lover’s dream. All you get to see especially during rains is the fresh lush green growth as far as your eyes could see. I love that place for what it holds within it, people, culture, cuisine, nature and more.
I had ‘Alambo’ a.k.a. Thunder mushrooms, this time during my visit. Though the name sounds something thunderous, they are pretty small and delicious, stemless mushrooms. Its one of the seasonal foods that is available during the rainy season, especially during the rains accompanied by thunder and lightning. My mother-in-law was preparing Alambe Ambat, a sumptuous Konkani dish, made out of mushroom and coconut based gravy, that is loved by Konkanis in the region. She was cleaning the mushrooms, I learnt how to do it and I joined in. As I cleaned it, I was thinking of the many smiles that will come out of the melting taste of it. It has this little bit hard, clingy, rubbery outer skin, inside of it, is a white pebble like delicate mushroom. This is the face of happiness, I thought. Happiness in life is just like those mushrooms. We have to find those tiny bit of happiness underneath the soil even during those thunderous rainy days. Even though there is a little bit of rubbery layer of anxiety or fear that clings to us, tear it off! Enjoy what’s inside though its negligible and momentary! Gather them slowly so that it becomes a handful. Make something out of it so that it melts many hearts and gets those hard to find smiles out.
This place has made me so happy from deep within. Nature, the healer has blessed this place truly. My guide, there in Karkala and in life, is my husband. He takes me to various places there in Karkala. Never lets me sit idle at home. We have been to many eateries, and tourist places there before, there are some places you would want to visit again and again. One such recurrent spot is a Jain Shrine at Gommata betta. Its a rocky hill on to which a 41.5ft granite statue of Lord Bahubali is mounted on a platform. I was amazed to know that the whole statue is carved out of a single stone. To reach on top we have to climb the stairs carved through the hill. The view from there is breathless. Our favourite spot to watch the sun set. As we climb down each time, he asks me “Manchurian at Mallya’s Angdi (Shop)?” without fail, to which I never said a no to and I never will. It is that tasty. My husband surely picks up those small bits of happiness to bring a smile on my face. I surely am a lucky woman!
Loneliness! I loved those lonely times during those younger days in which I could shrink into a shell of my own. I wanted to be away from the usuality where no one interfered no one suggested or opinionated. But then it struck in the later years of my life. Years of it. I loved it at first but it started to eat me up, slowly munching down every corners of my brain, little by little and pushing me into greater depths of it.
It was a period of realizations, shocks and painfulness yet I loved it somehow. I loved the quietness and the stillness it had. I was cocooned, so much that years passed I did not realize what I was losing. I felt I was leading an invisible life around people who mattered to me so much. New relationships became difficult to make, already existing relationships were floating around as expectations did not match on either sides.
I was not alone, but lonely.
Then I decided to come out of the cocoon, years passed. In an attempt to snap out of it I tried many hobbies, many desperate ideas but withdrew and as a result faced many criticisms for not finishing anything I started. Slowly life was taking all together a different turn. My relationships became more and more turbulent. Then something happened – My daughter was born. A life long commitment where I cannot be superficial. She taught me how not to run away and shrink into the shell. She helped me make friends, acquaintance at least. When she learnt to walk, I observed how much she struggled, she got frustrated, called out a few names in her own language, but she stood up on her wobbly legs finally. I too must have struggled so much just to stand on my own, and many more struggles, now I am giving it away for a cocoon?. With her baby steps, I took baby steps back to life. She brought all sort of noise in to the quietness I loved and life moved so fast that there was no stillness.
Life took a turn, it started changing…