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SoftyPink n GloriousRed

…. the colours of life with my kids

N is for nail art

From the drafts… after having waited in vain for some pics !

Ammu has always been fascinated by nail colour. Come weekends or holidays her first request would be to apply nail colour and mehendi !! And boy! she would be the happiest when I gave her the green signal 😀

There was a time a couple of years ago when she’d become so obsessed with nail colour, she would apply remove apply remove until she felt satisfied with the choice of colour. I had to resort to hiding anything nail related 😦 She even went to the extent of taking the nail enamel to the bathroom so she could avoid scrutiny. I was shocked when I learnt of this. Later I decided to just let her be and gave her access to all the stuff. Thankfully, slowly she got out of that habit.

But, of course, her love for nail colour is still very strong. Now, also into nail art since almost an year or more. She also downloaded some game that allows her to paint and decorate nails!

On one occasion she was bold enough to compliment a neighbour for her nail art. And, not surprisingly, she was invited to have her nails painted too!! She knows quite a bit about nail art supplies and techniques too. Such a contrast when compared to her mom who didnt care much about nail colour or nail art.

I must admit though, that she is really good at it and has had good time with the different kinds of nail colours that are available these days, thanks to her indulgent chitti, who also loves her nails and nail colour. Its a aunt-neice combo thats hard to ignore 😀

These days, Ammu encourages to sport long nails and pampers me by painting them herself !! One lucky mom I am .. feel blessed 🙂

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M is for mist!

Pics from our visit to Ooty over the weekend. It was a fun family trip… a much awaited one as we were doing one after a gap of 2 years!!
The weather was awesome.. a lovely brief relief from the soaring temperatures in Bangalore.

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Linking this to the letter M at ABC Wednesdays – 18th Round

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L is for Light!

And leaves 🙂

Effect of light on fresh new leaves of the season… translucent and so very delicate…

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Linking this to the letter L at ABC Wednesdays – Round 18.

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K is for kisses :)

Yes… tiny tiny sweet ones ! The kids are growing up and there’ve been lots of changes. they’ve become more independent in their day-to-day activities and are learning newer things each day. But what remains unchanged through all this are the kisses n hugs!

At times… there used to be tiny wars too! On who kisses first and so on. Thankfully, this seems to have been resolved between the two 🙂

No matter what the mood , when leaving home or when entering home, the kiss has become customary… a ritual of sorts. Feel blessed and a sense of peace prevails…such is the power of the tight hug n the sweet kiss 🙂

 

J is for Jamun :)

Jamun, the fruit has been one of the favorites during our childhood in Belgaum. We knew it as Jambul then, and we would wait eagerly for the cart vendors to arrive with the ripened jambul. These were usually garnished with a bit of salt in order to enhance the taste. And, the fact that it coloured the tongue purple is what made it very popular with us kids. I guess these were available locally and hence we were able to get nicely ripened ones and they were inexpensive too.

Jambul. Pic from here http://www.vivekamexports.com/agriculture/fruits/jamun

I have this memory of a particular Jambul tree in the area we lived. We used to go there and look at the fruits and wait for them to ripen. Of course, there was no way we little kids could get hold of those except for those that would fall from the tree occasionally. One day after a downpour, we went there and found many of the ripened ones had fallen and we were delighted to collect those! Small joys of childhood !! 🙂

Once we moved to Mysore, these fruits were hard to come by and we never got the same yummy tasting ripe fruits again. It seemed the fruits were procured from outside and hence were not the same as locally grown ones. Once we moved to Bangalore, these fruits became a rarity, not widely available and generally expensive. We feel excited when we see Jambul, but somehow, its never the same as it was during childhood. Sigh! I know I’m sounding like my granma but the fact remains 🙂

An internet search on Jamun, brought this up… shows that Jamun has quite a few health benefits too!

While on the topic of Jamun, I’m reminded of the Gulab jamun, which is a very popular dessert here. Not only that, its the most popular sweet dish in our household too. Everyone loves it, especially the ones made by me 🙂 The kids generally do not like store bought Gulab Jamun and they make special requests on their birthdays and during some festivals too!

I, of course prepare Jamun using ready to use mix and not the traditional method. But I’ve learnt how to make them real soft and to get the sweetness right. The consistency is what makes it a hit each time! With everyone at home and with friends at my workplace too 🙂

Interestingly,  Gulab Jamun is named after “Jamun” or “jaman”, the Hindi-Urdu word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape… the one I’ve referred to earlier 🙂

Gulab Jamun. Pic from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulab_jamun#/media/File:Gulaab_Jamun_(homemade!)_bright.jpg

Linking this to the letter J at ABC Wednesdays – 18th Round.

 

 

 

I scream.. You scream…

We all scream for Ice cream!! 🙂 yayy!!

Summer’s here with soaring temperatures and so are ice creams and fruit juices to cool us down. Ice cream is much loved by everyone in our family. I’m famously known for gobbling up my share and borrowing from sis always during our childhood days 😀

Dad especially encourages me to have ice cream every now and then. Me being a poor eater, he thinks I’ll at least fare better with ice creams since it is a favourite! Not only that, he even encourages me to have an ice cream to put an end to the cough! I’ve been prone to colds and coughs for sometime now and when i catch it, it just stays on for a prolonged period, making me week and scaring everyone out !

Last year, we gorged on ice creams regularly. Naturals, was a favorite haunt that we stopped at after our dance class every week! Sister’s m-i-l also indulged us with her special ice candies made using seasonal fruits like watermelon and mangoes !! what fun 😀

This year, we hope to get D trained on preparing ice creams, ice candies and different types of juices. Its all very doable now, thanks to www. She’s geared up for it too. Hope to click some pics before we gobble up everything, like we did last year 😀

Some favorite memories that involve ice creams

  • Mom getting me a biggg scoop in a cone and it falling off as a bus whizzed by! Ohh what a disappointment for a lil girl of maybe 5!!
  • Me and sis walking to mom’s office after lunch, during our summer vacation, just for ice creams from the ice cream vendor who would pass by at that hour!
  • Me and sis going for a stroll at night during our vacations, just to buy and savour icecream on our way back 😛
  • Family visit to the ice cream parlour which was one of its kind in those days! Mde us feel very special 🙂
  • Picnic…Rainy afternoon, ice cream with friends, under an umbrella..
  • Dad egging me on to have more servings of ice cream at the Ashoka, New Delhi. Dinner was at midnight after the event and dad felt we would be better off eating the yummy ice cream 😀
  • Sis craving for mango ice cream when she was carrying Adi and we checking everywhere for it. It used to be great relief when we used to finally find it and get it for her.

Linking this post to letter I at ABC Wednesday – 18th Round.

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Head vs Heart

Crossroads in life are all about this. Logic, that is, the head says one thing and your heart says another. There’s no doubt that we’ve all gone through such situations. The answer or decision is comparatively easy at times. At other times, its a real tug of war and we struggle to get out of the dilemma, we want to be sure we’re making the best possible decision.

The past year has been one such for me…

At work, I’d been feeling complacent and indifferent. I felt uninspired to give my best, attributing it to the fact that I’d been doing the same kind of work for a very long time. I thought about the alternatives that I could choose but was unable to come to a decision as to what to choose, since I would be a newbie in either fields/domains.

With the beginning of the new year, the confusion sort of cleared out for me. I chose neither of the options that I’d been mulling over. Without my realizing it, i’d begun to take more interest in my work and I got very positive feedback which made me realize that I have vast experience and expertise in my current field and it makes no sense to abandon that and start something afresh. It made me look at my work experience in a new light and lo! I made my decision to continue my work with more zeal so that it’ll help to move towards things that I could do without giving up everything that i have learnt so far.

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At home, I was having a tough time with Ammu as she was becoming more and more complacent towards her studies and was becoming very ill tempered whenever things didnt go her way. I started feeling really hopeless sometimes. I’d been telling her since a long time that I would send her off to sister’s place as b-i-l is the only person she would listen to and comply with. Now, it seemed inevitable. And, sis and b-i-l too were getting concerned, for me as well as her.

In Nov last, when sister’s in laws went back to Kolkata, they took Ammu home with them. It was a very tough choice for me to make. on the one hand, I wanted her to understand that I want the best for her. I wanted her to focus on her studies, which would be possible as sis would be around in the evenings, unlike me. On the other, I did want to stay away from her, even though its just 10 mins away! Finally, I just decided to go with their decision, and I’m glad I did that.

Ammu is now much more regular at studies, is helping her chitti [my sis] with some household chores. Even though her outbursts have not disappeared altogether, she is slowly but surely becoming more patient and sensitive to others. She misses me a lot and is waiting for vacations to begin so that she’ll be back home. The countdown has begun!

As for me, I’m thankful  for all that has happened and I hope the fruits of this effort remain. Especially amazed at the willingness of sis and b-i-l to take on this additional responsibility in the midst of their own hectic lives.

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I’d been having to deal with dilemma on another front too. A personal one, that seemed to go on and on with no resolution in sight. By mid Nov, things seemed to sort out all of a sudden and by Dec end, I had a feeling that 2016 would be different. That things would change and move forward finally. Things did move forward but in a completely unexpected way and in a totally opposite direction! I was stumped… at yet another surprise from Life!

Just when I thought I got my answers, life showed me that indeed Life is in control, not me! I realized that I had the answer all along but had been reluctant to accept it. The situation did not go away, but with acceptance, things seemed easier to deal with. There is a kind of emptiness and the sometimes nagging thought but I’m more at peace with myself for having made up my mind to stay aligned to my nature and to give up on things that did not give me joy.

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Growing up!

Its 7 years and 400 posts, since I started on this journey of blogging !! Long time indeed. I had not thought that I would keep this going for so long. But thanks to memes such as ABC Wednesdays, I’m able to infuse some amount of life into it from time to time and keep it going.

The kids are growing up and there is less and less of them on this blog. Nevertheless, their witty come-backs are still in place and they continue to amaze and entertain us. Just that I’m no longer able to keep ace with them, in terms of writing it all down! They make life worth living, in-spite of the feeling of exasperation that they lead us to from time to time ! 🙂

And… along we them, we as parents, are growing up too! Its been a journey of learning, unlearning, relearning , not exactly in that order though. Its like a constant state of flux , sometimes happening in an orderly manner and sometimes, all at once , like epiphanies!!

The intent is to grow up as mindful parents. Though there are many difficult instances that test us and question ourselves and our decisions, we believe in our kids, in the fact that they’ll turn out OK. We trust in God’s grace and in our intent to groom them into sensitive and responsible individuals. And, being mindful is what I believe will help us grow into the parents that our kids need, to grow in an environment of trust and support.

Speaking of growing up, here is a poem that I love and one that I try to live by over and over again… In bold, the lines that most speak to me…and the lines after those are very powerful ones!

Sometimes Growth Is Just Seeing It Sooner

Sometimes growth is just seeing it sooner.

You see sooner that you are silencing your voice.

You see sooner that you are acting out of fear.

You see sooner that you are projecting the past on to the present.

You see sooner that you are the one acting crazy, not them.

Because you did the work, you see it sooner.

Until our last breaths, we’ll keep missing the mark.

We will dim our light and betray ourselves.

We will cause harm to those we love.

But if we stay awake, we can learn to course correct sooner.

Stay awake and you might see it this year — and not let it extend for a decade

Stay awake and you might see it this week — and not let it extend for a year.

Stay awake and you might can see it this hour — and not let it extend for a week.

Stay awake and you’ll receive those moments of grace, those crystal ones,

when in the instant — before the first choice, the first word, the first act

you will catch it

right the moment of its beginning

and choose differently.

The turnaround is the most important part of the flight path.

When you make it, you move the whole world forward.

You plant a seed of love in the ground,

and all those who come after you thank you.

This is a poem by Tara Mohr. Hope you liked it  too 🙂

Linking this one to the letter G at ABC Wednesdays – 18th Round

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Flavour of the season – Tabebuia

I’m here with flowers again 🙂

I do not seem to tire of flowers and thanks to the avenue trees here in Bengaluru, I am treated to various lovely blooms all through the year. Right now, its the season of Tabebuias and Jacaranda. The pink Tabebuia rosea is especially awaited eagerly, year after year!

The loveliness of the soft pink colour and the way the petals/flowers float down to the earth in this windy season, the tree covered with blooms with sparse or no leaves at all… makes this one stand apart I guess 🙂

This Sunday, when we ventured out, we deliberately took this route to check if the flowers were in bloom. And what a sight greeted us! I was thrilled to the core and thanked us for taking the detour !

Here are pics clicked by sis, while I drove slowly savouring the sight and taking it all in.

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Linking this to the letter F at ABC Wednesdays – Round 18.

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