How (not) to spend June 21!

Today. June 21. What could be so special about it that people wait for it all year? Was some new movie going to release today? Was there going to be a supernatural event? I certainly didn’t know. Not until I happened to come across the word “Solstice” at 9:30 pm in my Geography text book did I realise the full magnitude of my blunder. So that was why I felt the sun was so reluctant to go down today. The longest day of the year had just flown past me, and I spent it lying on the couch thinking “Am I forgetting something?” I felt so angry at myself.

I had been studying solstices all year, and when the big day arrives, I watch it fly away. As I sat on the couch cursing my luck, I started to think of all the ways I could have spent this “long” day. I could have gone boating in the lake nearby, skiing down snowy slopes, or gone for a long walk into the woods. Instead all I did was complete my history assignment on Alexander the Great. What a great way to spend a Summer Solstice weekend.imagesM0RNUDNM

Now I begin my inquest for reasons as to why and how it slipped out of my mind. Could it have been my sister, who kept me busy with her tantrums? My WiFi router maybe, for breaking down at the exact moment? Or maybe the squeaky rat who had me on patrol of the sweets in the kitchen all day? How I wish some genius would actually invent a time-machine so I could actually go back and fix all my wrongs. Just when I am about to ask my mother for some reasons, she says “Hey, what about your 20-page Biology assignment?”

Could my day get any worse?…Oops, it already has.

A letter that changed my life

As I was walking back home after a long day’s work, I looked down to find a crumpled lying on the sidewalk. Cursing the guy who had chucked it onto the pavement, I was just about to toss it into the bin, when I saw a few words scribbled on the paper by someone who was certainly in a hurry. Reading the contents out of plain curiosity, I saw the following words that would change my life forever,

“Dear Son, I am longing to see you. It’s been so long. I want to take a last look at you before I say goodbye – Your loving father”
This letter is so close to my heart because it describes the aching of a father’s heart, her longing to see her son, and the desperation to look at her son for one last time. These words opened my eye to a father’s love, the vast debt that we owe our parents, who blessed us with the gift of life. Let’s dedicate this day to our loving parents in the wake of Father’s Day.

A childhood home

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The title for this post should actually be the place where I used to “sleep” when I was twelve, because I spent so little time at time. I was always out on the dusty roads, filled with dry leaves and shrivelled flowers, rolling on the mud, and living life king-size. Quite literally. Not that my house was ordinary. Far from it, actually. A 3-BHK, equipped with a swimming pool and my very own playground, near the city of Mangalore, Karnataka. After a long day, I would take a dip in the chilly pool and run around in my playground. These were on the back of the house.

Ours was a happy, nuclear family consisting of my father, my mother, my sister and me, of course. I get the title of the “prankster” in my family though. Plus, I had a lot of friends. We used to play all kinds of games, and I would return home looking as if I had rolled around in the mud for hours. Then my mother would prepare an exotic meal for supper I couldn’t wait to bite into. Then I would go up to my room and do my homework. My room looked less like a room and more like a football stadium. There were pictures of my idols on the walls, latest news on my laptop, whatnot. And when the FIFA World Cup would be around the corner, the place would go crazy.

Our home is so special because it embraces nature from all four sides. Surrounded by the bluish Nilgiri Mountains in the west, the the great blue sea to the east and rocky edifices all around, we friends often say we have been blessed by nature. In fact, 50 metres from my playground is a 350 metre drop into the depths of one of the deepest, darkest canyons on the west coast. Last thing you want is a 350 metre free fall into pitch darkness. It once nearly happened to me too. Thank my lucky stars I held on to a tiny branch, and lived to fight another day.

On the front of the house, there is a beautifully crafted, enchanting lawn, filled with the most exciting flowers on the countryside. Not that I am particularly enchanted by those flowers though, because I always get a nice talking-to every time my football knocks over an aromatic orchid or a beautiful daisy. In fact, there are so many of them there that you can’t walk across to the gate without trampling one beneath your legs. Coming to the interiors, our house is filled with all kinds of antique pots, trophies, and even a great, chiming 175-yr old grandfather clock with great lineage. Living in an ancestral home in Coastal Karnataka, India has its advantages.

Our house was full of sweet memories. The legacy of a 300-year old family was established there. The true dream home.

A city of lights – Writing 101 Day 8

As I entered City Square, where a mini city of sorts, complete with food stalls, cafés and mini boutiques, is thriving with feverish activity. Thousands of football-crazy fans have flocked to the humongous screen which was due to broadcast the epic World Cup clash between Brazil and Spain in the pinnacle of arguably the world’s biggest spectacle of sport. However the occasion was not all about “The Beautiful Game”. People of all ages, ones in strollers, ones in wheelchairs, those who had never seen a game of football have gathered here at the heart of the city to witness this festival of life. 

 Soon I find myself a convenient spot in one of the nearby Starbucks cafés and settle down for a hot cup of the best coffee around. Taking a look around, I see groups of passionate teenagers chatting away about their dream players as well as middle and old-age people embracing the World Cup fever. I see that a giant “Fan zone” has been constructed through which over two million people have passed, over the last month and a half. TV screens are showing the live match, and fans are singing their national team songs. 

Outside, the match is just beginning and the heat is on. The frenzy seems to have died down, and the fans watch in tense silence as the players take to the field. Within minutes, the match comes to life. The fans roar as the ball whizzes into the net, and a sea of red flags engulfs the surroundings. The Spaniards celebrate their opener, and they certainly seem to be winning the fan battle hands down. 

I notice that a middle-aged man seated next to me is clearly in the thick of the action. He suddenly looks at me and smiles. I stare back, not knowing what to say. He says to me, “Amazing atmosphere, isn’t it? This World Cup has rekindled my passion for life.” The World Cup unites people of all linguistic groups, nations, castes and ages. So come, enjoy the beautiful game!

A letter that changed my life

As I was walking back home after a long day’s work, I looked down to find a crumpled lying on the sidewalk. Cursing the guy who had chucked it onto the pavement, I was just about to toss it into the bin, when I saw a few words scribbled on the paper by someone who was certainly in a hurry. Reading the contents out of plain curiosity, I saw the following words that would change my life forever,

“Dear Son, I am longing to see you. It’s been so long. I want to take a last look at you before I say goodbye – Your loving mother.”

This letter is so close to my heart because it describes the aching of a mother’s heart, her longing to see her son, and the desperation to look at her son for one last time. These words opened my eye to a mother’s love, the vast debt that we owe our parents, who blessed us with the gift of life. Let’s dedicate this day to our loving parents.

My room – My heaven of freedom

As I stretched my tired legs out on the mattress after a long, hard day’s work and looked out on to the enchanting world through my window of happiness, the room I lay in gave me the key to heaven – the creative, imaginative world where dreams come true and wishes are fulfilled. Where imagination weaves threads of innovation and magic captures the wandering mind.

The window in my room opens up to a view that encapsulates the freedom of life. The gushing stream and the roaring waterfall, the growling grizzlys and the dancing peacocks cast a spell that leave you in a trance forever. In the early hours of the morning, nature wakes up to another day of freedom to celebrate life in its full splendour. The carnival of life celebrates a new dawn, a new beginning that gives a new hope to life every day. As the afternoon drifts in life goes into a shell outside my window. The animals do what they do best – sleep! The birds retreat into their nests and the sun blazes overhead. Life comes to a standstill.

Late evening and the coolness of dusk brings about a re-awakening in life as the little ones break free from their bonds to rush out on to the gardens spread out beautifully, reminding one of a paradise on earth. As the little ones scream, cry and play, taking in the action with their tiny little eyes, I sit in my room visualising this world. This is where my mind lights up with new ideas, my creative instinct sparks up, and my imagination expands to new levels. In reality, it is not just a room of four white walls. It is a mountain of never-ending possibilities, a tunnel of dreams, a cave of magic and a spaceship to distant lands beyond the reach of human vision.