Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Laburnum Blooms and the Arrival of Vishu!

 The splendid sight of the Laburnum tree at home in Kerala,fully bloomed was a gorgeous sight.But I remember with fondness a laburnum tree,at our home,which was cut down later because the inner wood was becoming hollow by some insect eating it out.Even the last vishu before it was cut,it used to flower.We used to have a swing around its arms.The old laburnum which was around 50-60 years,who rocked us in its arms,is no more.Its refreshing to think and dig memories and also feel lonely when we have actually walk down memory lanes.

Vishu has always been a much awaited day in my life since childhood.I still do hope the days come back to me once again.So much do I hold my memories close to my heart.Do remember helping my grandfather to clean the pooja room,and helping him to set up the Kani or the auspicious omen that is set up the previous night .It includes fruits, the indispensable laburnum flowers called kani konna', vegetables, jewellery, kodi vastram (new clothes), all spread in a bronze vessel (Uruli).A Typical Vishu day starts with my mom waking up all of us and reminding us ‘not to open our eyes’ (funny it might sound to those who’ve never celebrated Vishu).We are led to the Puja room with our eyes closed. And then, the opulence of the Kanni is silently revealed to us. As our eyes take their time to adjust to the radiance of the oil-lamp lit kanni, The elders give money as a token of good fortune….the only day when kids are legitimately showered with cash. This is followed by a sumptuous lunch. The food used to be heavenly prepared by my grandma,mom and aunties together.There used to be the typical Kerala sadya with two kinds of Payasam(Kheer) and then it was day full of stories to be heard,movies to be seen,games to be played and it was fun.

As the Kanikonna around our house have just bloomed ,it seems to me that its only nearing Vishu.I waited for them to bloom so that i can enjoy the new year with those pretty ones.

Laburnums are in a mood of silent indignant protest these days and refuse to flower timely.All changed in the development gone wrong ,recent changes in the global warming ,or the shifts in nature and yet we conveniently leave them unnoticed.The rainbow month ,sudden spring time showers and flowers are in full bloom, and the mercury is shooting up. The day is bright with golden rods of Laburnums and lots of pretty flowers.The delicious chill of the early morning is but a memory, and the days are blindingly hot. But what a profusion of flowers!


Sitting Miles away in this scorching hot weather ,memories like this drop you years down the lane, make you refreshed and leave you there,with eyes full of tears and an yearning to see all loved ones.........By the time i wipe my tears you enjoy Vishu and Laburnums.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's Raining Frangipani !

The flowers of Frangipani seemed inspired.
I could feel being warmed by the sun’s rays 

The Champa blossoms were radiant in the sunlight, twinkling against the impossibly clear sky.
Rows of white,yellow and pink blooms were dreamlike.
The return journey took always longer as I had to pick how much ever flowers I wanted.
We had our hands full with champa flowers.
The fragrance, twinkles like a light and floats like gauze upon the opening.The fragrance also possesses unexpected buttery and dewy qualities.

Its all in Dreams...The freedom to become a flower or to dance on the breeze.
It is nice to be allowed to dream.Sometimes,we forget what it is like to dream.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of us took the time to dream and imagine.
Could such a thing as a dream change the world?

"Where have I come from, and where did you pick me up"?
You were hidden in my heart as desire,my darling..
In all my hopes and loves in my life

When in girlhood my heart was opening its petals you hovered as a fragrance about it
Your tender softness bloomed in my youthful limbs,like a glow in the sky before the sunrise

Heavens first darling,twin born with the morning light,you have floated down the stream of the world's life,and atlast you have stranded my heart.

As i gaze on your eyes,mystery overwhelms me;you who belong to all have become mine
What magic has snared the worlds treaure in these slender arms of mine
My Thoughts and Reflections on The Champa take me down my memory lane at home,recalling my Dad reciting and explaining Rabindranath Tagore's famous "The Champa Flower".

The Champa Flower

Supposing I become a champa flower, just for fun, and grew on a branch high up that tree, and shook in the wind with laughter and danced upon the newly budded leaves, would you know me, mother?
You would call, "Baby, where are you?" and I should laugh to myself and keep quite quiet.I should slyly open my petals and watch you at your work.
When after your bath, with wet hair spread on your shoulders, youwalked through the shadow of the champa tree to the little court where you say your prayers, you would notice the scent of the flower, but not know that it came from me.
When after the midday meal you sat at the window reading Ramayana, and the tree's shadow fell over your hair andyour lap, I should fling my wee little shadow on to the page ofyour book, just where you were reading.
But would you guess that it was the tiny shadow of your little child?
When in the evening you went to the cow-shed with the lighted lamp in your hand, I should suddenly drop on to the earth again and be your own baby once more, and beg you to tell me a story.
"Where have you been, you naughty child?"
"I won't tell you, mother." That's what you and I would saythen.

Rabindranath Tagore,The Crescent Moon,The Champa flower
The lines and images would have taken all of you to a new level of happiness,as you spend your day happily,let me think more about the Champa flowers................

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Music,Memories and The Logical Song!

Sweet Memories are priceless. Songs that bring back those sweet memories are sensational.Memories through songs.I dont think there isn't anyone who doesnt have songs that bring back memories of their life from childhood.


Growing up, listening to the oldies radio station at home while calmly falling asleep at night is part of my fondest memories. The tone of music kept a memorable quality, a type of safe haven that made the sound create a sense of historic elegance. Hearing this now years later, the same feeling lingers. Music nostalgia is sometimes the greatest gift that can ever be shared especially when it brings you comfort.

There lies sweet memories of singing and learning with my grandma,a Carnatic singer.I still remember the words she used to tell us,Practice,practice and practice.But studies took astep ahead in our lives,keeping aside all art forms.Then comes the school teacher who asked to write afew lines about our favourite "Hobby" and I promptly wrote "listening and singing".

But then the radiostation and its songs kept alive the hobby.I ve memorized hundreds of songs. Memorizing, learning the lyrics and sitting amazed at the wonderful lyrics was all a part of life in childhood ,teens and even today.I am often deeply moved, by the melody or by what the song writers said. I can feel that these words come from the bottom of their hearts: "All my best memories come back clearly to me. Some can even make me cry.Many listenings gradually used to encompass the whole song within me.Nainital,Uttaranchal
Winter,2007 Now time whiles away singing to my 4 year old,watch her sing and sing along.
Listening to this song brought back my memories vivid.Sitting in the sunshine and listening to a song,what else can be lifes pleasures?
This song was introduced to be by my husband,all credits to him. The first time I came across this song we played it all evening and night and in car and it became a staple for us there. It reminds me of my childhood and It reminds us of each other.It takes me back to all those wonderful memories of my time there at home. I always have to play these when travelling. They take me back to think about everything. I don't know why.

i am listening to this.,

The Logical Song
Song lyrics to sing along:)
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,

A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.

And all the birds in the trees, well theyd be singing so happily,

Joyfully, playfully watching me.

But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,

Logical, responsible, practical.

And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,

Clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the worlds asleep,

The questions run too deep

For such a simple man.

Wont you please, please tell me what weve learned

know it sounds absurd

But please tell me who I am.

Now watch what you say or theyll be calling you a radical,

Liberal, fanatical, criminal.

Wont you sign up your name, wed like to feel youre

Acceptable, respecable, presentable, a vegetable!

At night, when all the worlds asleep,

The questions run so deep

For such a simple man.

Wont you please, please tell me what weve learned

I know it sounds absurd

But please tell me who I am.

- Roger Hodgson

“Doesnt this tell you about a moment, a song and what it meant to you”.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sun,Rain and Memories!

The season seems so unpredictable at times,Sun,sunlight and rain here.
Every kind of weather is fun.
Rose up with the morning sun drifting into the living room,it washes the rooms.

Sun is "breaking" through in the morning.
Sunlight "glistens".
Sunlight "falling like snowflakes,gleaming yellow and so bright".

A Frangipani(Champa) flower taking all the attention from the Sun.
I look amazed at the shadow the flower has made,unusually long.
Suddenly Dark chains locked the sun away.

Afternoons are cloudy,overcast.
Then its time for "Umbrella fun".
Look through the Nelmohar,find the clouds ready to shed their tears.

Enjoying the beauty of the blue colour and the pattern of the branches the tree has grown into.

Rain is beautiful like a "Swan".

The "glorious rain" falls.A white Periwinkle drops from the plant in one of my pots due to the heavy rain.I enjoy the beauty of it.

Fallen Periwinkle flower finds a place in the home happily floating in a glass.
Cool rain and warm tea.
Nights are cold again and deep outside.
Manju Kapurs,"a married woman" keeps me company through the rain.
I am listening to rain and tasting the seasons.
As I listen I drift away to flooded memories.
As my hands entwined around a mug of tea,it takes me home near my mothers tea sets,part of her bridal trousseau.
They were sets in elegant white and gold,pink florals.
The sets speak of the volumes of tea which were served to the guests at our home.
Isolated pieces of them still remain.

At home there wasn't a separate tea ceremony as such.
I still remember the call at home "Bring water in the vessel to boil to make tea, please.Its raining.."The pan is put to boil whenever the craving strikes for a refreshing cuppa.
Enjoying the fullness and the emptiness in these small glasses.
Drinking tea,enjoying it remained an aesthetic experience even today.

Rain still haunts me ,brings back memories I cherish.
Hey all you out there,its morning and sun is shining.
The warmth of sun gave hope anew.

I stand waiting for the rain.
You all keep looking for more memories and have good days ahead.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Summer Morning,potting and repotting

Don't you all dream of Tulips on your windowsill and Peppers on your rooftop?I do dream of them day in and day out.Dreams without wings,where i dont have windowsills nor rooftops
For me even something as gravel in a ceramic tray, raked into a pattern,can be called a garden.

Balcony and my little terrace are the two hearts of my house.I am extremely happy for the luxury of having both.
A place of possibilities, of beginnings, of earthy aromas and work- smeared hands, where ingredients are mixed and marinated.This is where the day begins and ends, where plants get their start, where harvests are gathered,where i get wet in rain,hear to the birds chirping.

This is where I anticipate the coming of spring by sowing seeds, where I seek shelter from my nostalgic thoughts, and where I make notes of the week's gardening activities. 

All I need is a bit of functional space where you can comfortably work and wile away the hours.
Of course, sometimes I relish just sitting there -- relaxing in my rocker, listening to the patter of rain on the roof, patiently watching my garden grow.
Now Potting,Repotting and Propagating keeps me busy.

Whole summer morning on Sunday was busy doing all this.It was a pending work which had to done weeks before.
Broken pots serve as bedding and provide drainage,Money plant waiting to be repottedMy instruments for mixing and marinating

Ferns are repotted,they had really outgrown their pot.Coriander seeds waiting to be sownWhorls of the pot,Can you smell the earthen aroma,its intoxicating,I love itFavourite broomstick broom
Succulents basking in glory in sunlight
As the plants get rejuvenated,u feel energetic,try it urself.
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