Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles fascinate me. There is something so compelling about those scattered pieces that together make a picture. While my favourite site is jigzone I have tried several other sites too.
I find that the speed improves when I assemble small patches that fit together and then combine these to make the larger picture.
Getting the bits together has an instant Ahaa effect. Perhaps that’s what’s attractive about it in the first place.
Sometimes it appears to help in thinking clearly or in problem solving too. Though how this works I fail to understand.
There is this assignment that I am stuck with, I solve two jigzone puzzles and then somehow everything is more neatly arranged in my mind too!!
I find that I am partial to nature pictures and avoid people or animals pictures!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

2 poems …….For the Child in You

Lunch Time for Hippo
Said Hippo to his mother
‘I can’t eat anymore.
I’ve had carrots and beans and
all the cabbage in the store

…two baskets of nuts
and some corn in a bin.’
‘Eat some more’, said mother
‘You are really very thin!!’

Talking to Grandpa

Grandpa! O! Grandpa!
Will you come with me?
To run and jump
And climb the tallest tree?

Grandpa! O! Grandpa!
Will you teach me how?
To dive and swim
And a little boat, row?

Grandpa! O! Grandpa!
Will you show me please?
How to ski and surf
And fly a kite in the breeze?

Grandpa! O! Grandpa!
I love playing with you
You stand on your head
Making me dizzy too!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The shiny black crow

There was this shiny black crow strutting about on the sand. He tilted his head to one side as he concentrated on a piece of bread. He picked it delicately in his beak, lifted his head and swallowed the morsel in a gulp. He then strutted to a stone and seriously sharpened his beak in practiced strokes. He had everything he wanted and life was peaceful.

All of a sudden he became still, his legs stretched, his claws pressed firmly into the soil. He leapt into the air and was off in a flutter of wings.

There was a sharp line between the safety of firm terrain and the thrill of flight. There was that moment of decision that would change his perception of things. He had to give up one for the other.

That firm push is required to propel us from what is to what can be.

I recall a sound advice that we received from a senior. ‘We are very good at planning to do things. We forget that we need to pick ourselves up and start doing those things!’

We often find ourselves at a threshold. The call of new adventure and the excitement of the unknown offer the thrill of flight. What we need is the courage to press into the soil, to jump and then to fly.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hiring You

About hiring You - To get things done!
There is this small room upstairs that has no claimant. So by default it has become a dump room. It all started with –

Where shall we keep these books?’
‘Let’s leave them in the small room for the time being……..’
Soon the odd chair, the unused swing, extra blankets all found their way into the small room. The room almost called out to every passer-by! It badly needed some cleaning. But no one had the energy or the will to do that.

A chance comment by my 12 year old niece triggered me off. So last week I decided to ……… Hire Myself for an hour.
Yes! You read the right. I hired myself for an hour.

You could try that too........ Hiring You for an hour!

Hire yourself
 Donning an old kurta, and with my hair protected in a dupatta, I set out to do what I had been hired for! As a hired help  I had some restrictions. I was

Not allowed to dawdle and waste time
Not to read books that happened to open at interesting pages
Not to leaf through old albums
Not to pause at curios picked up on vacations
Not to ……  you get the picture!!

I was amazed what the lot of cleaning got done in that hour.
Ever since I have been hiring myself for just 15 minutes a day and I continue to be amazed at the result!

I thought this might work in other area too.
You could hire yourself to take yoga classes for a group of one!
Or hire yourself as a cook to churn out some great dishes!
Or become a consultant and take a no nonsense decision about something quite personal!
Or work as your assistant to complete tasks like paying bills, filing receipts etc!

We end up doing a more thorough job when we do it as office work. At office we seek approval and credit and there is a thrill in doing commendable work. Perhaps that’s what makes this idea click?

At least – hiring myself – seems to work for me!
Tell me if it works for you...... Hiring You!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If you can sing………….please do!!

The soothing aroma of burning camphor, flowers and incense filled the small temple hall. We squatted in small groups on the cool stone floor to witness the ceremonial celebration of Lord Vishnu’s wedding – ‘Kalyanotsava’. Betarayaswamy and his two consorts were in decorated splendour and the priest was enacting the wedding ritual. We were at Turuvekere, a fairly large panchayat town in Tumkur district of Karnataka, India.

Conversation and interest varied from
‘How lovely the lord is looking. There is some charm in this entire ceremony…..’
‘This ear stud is lovely. Is this the one your husband brought for you from Bangalore?’
‘Have you heard……N’s daughter has refused to marry her Mama’s (read uncle) son. She wants to study further!!!’
‘Oooph! It’s too hot here……..’

It was almost 2 in the afternoon… We were hungry and fidgety… Hands and legs stretched out stealthily… Wrist watches were given hasty peeks … Contents of puja baskets were rearranged meticulously… “How much more” was the unasked question on every guilty mind!!

Narayana ninna namada smaraneya… A gentle voice began the Purandaradasa kriti
Conversations stopped
Restless yawns were hastily muffled
We craned our necks to see who was singing
Many who knew the song hummed along.
It was a waft of fresh air

Two young sisters – who were dressed exactly similar – whispered to each other in serious consultation. As soon as the song ended they began softly, haltingly, a devaranama. ‘Sing louder…sing louder’…their grandmother encouraged them proudly, glancing at the admiring audience.

A lovely song to Krishna ……
A simple one to Sharade
Some more popular kritis from Purandara Dasa which everybody knew……

Gruff voices, melodious voices, tuneful ones and painfully tuneless ones…..all joined in the soulful praises to the Lord.
Music united divergent thoughts and for a few moments brought us all together
Music made us feel ‘fine’ and ‘in control’

To be able to sing well is a truly Divine gift.
Music makes anyone who is listening, forget all doubts and concerns, and float in a region of harmony and peace. Music soothes connects and heals.
If you can sing………….please do!!