Happiness

The golden era of the Marigold

Aren’t some flowers a real messenger of good times ahead? Their occurrence solely can fill the mind with numerous memories and hearts with immense joy. The robust yellowish-orange color marigold flowers are like tiny beams of the sun rays in the dark, foggy, gloomy days. Their bright colors are the symbol of happiness. As if they flash their colors in the sunshine shouting – “Helloo there! Look at me. I am so happy!”

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These lovelies bloom early in the morning unlike us, when most of us are hiding ourselves under those warm, cosy blankets, snoozing the alarm clocks, pulling our feet a bit more closer to our chests. They salute the rising sun with a dance of excitement, each and every day, till they live. Those magnificent golden beauties bring the message that the festivals are coming. The good times are almost here! Are you ready to welcome them?

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Most of the festivals which I can think of had these lovely flowers adorning our house, Puja rooms, courtyards, cattle and sometimes our neck or head too πŸ™‚ Those times had a charm of it’s own. Or probably the times were different then. Simple lifestyles, less complicated relationships, laid back attitude and foremost the zeal to really celebrate and be the part of a festivity! The robotic lifestyle was not in fashion then. People were less tired and had the enthusiasm to do things. Resources were abundant, loving was easy, living in peace and adjustments and a simple and humble life brought joy in our homes. Food, love curiosity and excitement, what else can a kid ask for during these eccentric times?

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Being in a joint family, every festival was celebrated in the most traditional ways. Every action was predetermined and had to be followed how it had been done since generations. In today’s world when we think that most of the traditions which were followed were nuisance and unnecessary, I still believe that it carried an old charm of its own with it. If we think then we can realize that most of the traditional rituals have been changed/ removed/ modified according to people’s need, surrounding and the availability of the resources. My parents always tried to include us in all the chores be it cleaning, buying stuffs for the celebrations, cooking or distributing. It was always fun to be a part of the festivity. As a new mother, I try my best to give my daughter at least a glimpse of what most of the festivals really mean to me and how much I have enjoyed celebrating it. I want her to grow up understanding the value, happiness, love, sharing and care which these festivities bring around.

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Of course, I can’t replicate what my parents and relatives did to make every festival look so alive and memorable. The amount of work and dedication which use to go in it, I really doubt I have it in me. But the good part is, I do try and cook a certain dish related to each festival or decorate or follow the rituals of every festival. If not the original at least the modified version. This year as I always do, I cooked Mutter Ghugni for Durga Puja and Thekua for Diwali. We also made the Diwali rangoli together.

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I try to show her and in the process let her contribute in her own ways. My daughter might or might not follow these rituals in her life. But I surely would know, that I have tried my best to show and make her understand and believe in spreading love, happiness, empathy and contentment in some way or other in whatever she choose. Don’t you in some way try the same?

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My little sunflower has started to bloom and I fear my greatest fear has loomed
Those tiny fingers which held me tightly most of the time, has left and started to tinkle like a chime
I wonder and can not fathom still, when did you become so big?
Did the time really fly or it passed across me in just a flick?

O my dear little baby, I still remember the day I held you up in my arms for the very first time,
I promised myself to be with you always, singing, dancing, eating, playing or just mime
But everyday is a question, something to worry about, I feel lost, doubt myself and get frustrated,
then I see you looking at me giving that angelic smile, and your those tiny fluffy palms gently caressing me my love, makes me feel appreciated.

Each day in every moment, I have felt alive, moments which I have cherished knowing you are mine,
You are the burning lamp of my life, a soothing flame who keeps me high
My heart tries to hold all the love and aches from those feelings which I can no more hide in my chest,
I flutter with the thought of you my heart, growing so fast and soon leaving me wondering about the times gone by

Everyday I struggle to give you the best, to make you feel loved, cared and to be blessed,
And when the day comes to an end, the day I know which I will never have with you back again,
I take you once more in my arms, hug you tight, blow a kiss on your pretty cheek and wonder
If at all I was able to love you enough today or failed at it doing meagre complain?

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You my tiny firefly, you are turning now into a beautiful butterfly,
And I can’t stop thinking and want the time to just stand by
Could you please pass a bit slow and let me see my princess for a few seconds more?
That angelic face, that mischievous smile, those curly hair, the tiny fingers which I love to adore?

Oh my love, the lamp of my life, thank you for choosing me above any other,
You have made me complete and I can not ask for anything more than being your mother
As long as you are there on my side my baby, I promise you, I will try to give you my best,
Here you are my darling, clinging to me, sleeping soundly trying to hold your tiny nest,
the chaos in this very moment is so real, I wonder how did the day get over or it just passed in a haste?

It had been exhausting, but I know in the end, “How”, “Why”, “When”, these questions won’t matter,
All we will have is laughter, peace, solace, and the aroma of the first rains which will splatter.
In those happy moments, I will once again embrace you in my arms tighter, hold my breath and say,
I love you my butterfly. You did great today!

-Gulomhar Doodles

— My Little Sunflower

The Holi Tales

Legend says that the holy festival of Holi started with an innocent question of a curious Krishna who was teased by Radha and the other gopis for his dark skin color. Bewildered, he runs to his mother Yashoda and asks why she made him black while Radha was fair. This was pure injustice. He felt really sad about this. Yashoda, hearing this, chuckles and rubs turmeric paste on his sapphire color cheeks and sends him off saying that now his color has changed. The naughty Krishna then run and plucks some kala Jamun fruit for Radha and asks her to close her eyes so that he can feed them to her. Instead, he rubs the dark juice on her cheeks and hands and declares that she too is now dark. On seeing this, all the gopis of Vrindhavan gets overwhelmed with love. They fill their palms with fragrant oil, turmeric paste, fresh butter and start smearing each other’s faces and bodies. They fearlessly throw cheese balls, buttermilk, butter, curd, aromatic oils, and water mixed with turmeric, different fruit juices and Palash flowers extract at each other. Every devotee looked very attractive with their smiling faces and glittering white teeth. Their happy faces seemed more beautiful than the mighty Palash flowers. This incredible display of affection, love and devotion was enough to start the colorful festival of Holi.

The nostalgic memories of this colorful festival always lingers in my mind. The hustle bustle of buying colors, pichkaari (water guns), new clothes to the big list of the grocery items everything was taken care with lots of care, enthusiasm and accuracy. This festival was something everyone looked forward to. Be it for the sumptuous food, family and friends getting together, exchange of gifts or smearing each other with gulaal or color. It was always a hit and never disappointed us in any way. We had a big joint family back then and everything was done in a grand way. The preparations for the festival would start well in advance and we would be gorging on the delicious food for at least a week. Apart from the memories, the other thing which lasted for a couple more weeks were the colors peeping through parts of our face, nails, palms and feet. The enjoyment did make us stand out in our school and each time a teacher saw us, he/she would ensure we are reminded of not studying enough πŸ™‚ But, who cares. Huh!! Its Holi!

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With the passing years, leaving home and being in a different city, I do get nostalgic each time a festival come by. I try to replicate some of the things, if not all, and try to rejoice the moments again. This year I made a full Jharkhand Holi Thaali. Now, my Maa might not agree to this. This is not even half of the Holi recipes. I know, some of the major things are missing in this. I will add them next year. Maybe. Till then, enjoy this please πŸ™‚

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I hope and pray that each one of you reading this now, your life gets filled with colors of joy, love, enthusiasm, optimism, faith and gratitude. You give and receive love with open arms. The joy and happiness never leaves your life and you can pass the harmony to others through your deeds.

Love to all!

Durga Puja Tales

Like every year, Maa Durga arrived on her special ride, stayed with us for those auspicious ten days and then departed, leaving us craving for yet another year of her homecoming again. Before leaving, she blessed us with health, happiness, food and loads of memories. For me, Durga Puja has always been a reminder that happiness find its way home. The rejuvenating and scintillating feeling of loved ones reuniting and celebrating the festival together has a charm of its’ own. Durga Puja means we are still alive, still together and still bonded.

The blazing LED lights, thousands of people dressed so elegantly in new stiff clothes hovering over the pandals and the different food vendors outside, chit-chatting excitedly and happily like the sparrows; makes me believe that if happiness is somewhere, it is right here, right here in this moment, the moment I am living right now!

Durga Puja is nostalgic. The essence of the festival, the holy atmosphere and all around happy faces brings solace, peace and the calmness to the tired souls. The feeling of being alive and not just breathing is divine. Every happy soul looks beautiful. It makes me believe that beauty still exists in people’s smile, a hearty laughter and in the glistening of tired eyes.

Being raised in a joint family, the arrival of Durga Puja meant new clothes, loads and loads of delicious festive foods, guests swarming over, hot discussions on which block’s (colony’s) pandal is the best, places (vendors) who are serving the best puchkas, chowmins, ghugni-chaats and other street delicacies. Loads of different shape and size balloons made a way in our home. The sheer excitement of holidays, friends, food, pandal visits and Maa Durga! Touching the feet of elders and getting a ten rupees new note along with their blessings. We often wondered seeing that note what all can be bought with that. Might be a whole dreamy world?

One of the other things which I remember and use to get really pepped up seeing was married woman wearing loads of bright red color sindoor on their neatly parted just washed hair, the sankha-pola and dozens of matching glass bangles, the bright colored neatly plated sarees and the alta painted feet. There is something really special about seeing ladies all dressed up like this. This is the only form I can fathom of my Maa whenever I think of her. The serenity, the poise, the calmness and the charming characters which she possesses, I wonder if I can ever be like her?

Every day of the puja is marked with a special food. Like Saptami having ghugni-chaat with lots of aalu chop and beguni. Astmi has to have poori, aalu dum, kheer, tomato-imli chutney, matar pulao and papad. Navmi can’t be complete without plain rice or tehri, mutton curry, thick homemade curd, salads and loads of mithai. Oh! The heavenly food!

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This year, while talking to Maa over phone, she did mention making these at home. She even subtly told me that she can not feel the same old charm, the excitement and the happiness of Puja anymore. I know the rapid downfall of joint families and kids migrating to different cities for different reasons leaving back their old aging parents, play a major role in them feeling lonely. I know that the four old eyes wanted me to be there, badly. I just hope that I will be able to fulfill their wish next year and make their souls blossom like old times again πŸ™‚

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Over the years, things have changed drastically. But I guess, the bottom line is the same. Be happy, celebrate happiness, eat, pray and love. Waiting for the next Durga Puja already. I hope everyone feels as blessed and happy or more as I feel today.


HAPPY DUSSHERA READERS!

Simply JharkhanDish β™₯

I grew up in a typical Jharkhand household, eating the rustic homecooked authentic dishes. Cooking was solely constrained to Maa, grandma and aunts. I remember the kitchen hustling and bustling from dawn till late night. We had a typical mud stove (of course apart from the kerosene stove and the gas stove) and all the major food was cooked in that. The kitchen was always filled with the aroma of different mouthwatering food. The steam arising from the different dishes, the tempering of different spices, the colorful freshly plucked veggies right from the home garden, the wooden fire and ladles dancing high and low to the tunes of the skilled hands are some of the memories which still lingers in my mind when I think of Jharkhand food.

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Back then, everyday food was mostly vegetarian. Meat, fish and eggs were either reserved for the Sunday afternoon or on the arrival of special guests. Everyday food was rustic yet delicious and fulfilled the heart, mind and soul. I barely remember ever going out and eating meals in a restaurant there. As any kid of that era would say, I loved only my Maa’s hand cooked food… and no, no one could make me think otherwise.

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Of late, while having a conversation with friends about all the different things including food, this question popped up. “What do you mean when you say a Jharkhandi thaali? I have never heard or had one ever. Do you know any place where I can go and try it?” I had no clue where they can go and try a platter of authentic Jharkhand dishes. Forget about having it in a different state, I doubt if any restaurant or Dhaba in Jharkhand itself offers anything of this kind! Well, as far as I know. This left me with only one option, to cook some of the authentic recipes or try to prepare at least something and serve it to them.

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My guests were happy and so was I. It makes me immense happy to showcase a tiny beautiful piece of the beauty from where I belong. Love, food, laughter and friends aren’t they the best gifts? I have been sharing the food memories often and will continue to do so with you all. Leaving you with a sweet note today. May the sweet potion of your life always stay with you πŸ™‚

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Cheers!

Gathering the moments and making memories

We are back from our family vacation. The wedding, laughter, blessings, gatherings, food, love, gifts, laughter are all shared and imprinted in our hearts and memories now. The calmness, soothing and peaceful, lush green sceneries took out the tiredness and longing from our body and mind. We came alive again. We breathed and we lived after a very long time. I wonder how the good times always pass so quickly? Even before we realize that it’s over now we heed to our robotic lives again. I wish, we could stay happy, peaceful and content like this forever.

Peace, Memories, Love, Pondicherry, MomentsBalakrishnan K

Greenery, Fields, Paddy, Coconut plantation, Pondicherry, Love, Memories, MomentsBalakrishnan K

June as usual brings lots of happiness in my family’s life. Be it the long summer holidays back during childhood, meeting all the relatives, cooking, dancing, playing or now, celebrating our wedding anniversary and the birth of Gulmohardoodles. Five marvelous, happy and joyful years passed by getting married to the best husband I could have ever fathomed of. All these years went as if in a jiffy. We struggled, we fell, we cried, gathered ourselves and stood up again. The love primrose reached its heights and our bond got stronger and stronger. Holding hands, standing for each other, believing in our love and the uncontrollable urge to be in each others arms held us for these mighty five years. I pray to the almighty that with every passing year our love and respect for each other gets stronger and the bond unbreakable.

Bless.

Bless, blessings, Indian Gods, Hindu mythology, Vishnu, Laxmi, Lakshmi, Pondicherry, WeddingBalakrishnan K

Aren’t family gatherings great? All those moments, the times when we sit and “just be” with someone else talking, listening, sharing, laughing, crying, sitting quietly make the best memories. All of those moments are stored up as a potion against all the hard, dark and broken times in our lives. The silly talks with the toddlers and the kids. Making faces, playing games, running around, pleasing them doing silly things are all missed. The chit-chats with those who come back after long time from a different land, reviving the old memories, munching on the traditional snacks, hot-steaming cups of tea making rounds are the times to die for. We should never doubt the good we do when we listen to the story of a child or sing along an old song with our friend. Sitting with an old friend, each of us doing our own thing and still making memories…Such pleasures of life…

Sharing happiness, gathering memories, moments, love, happiness, bBalakrishnan K

With time and age, I have realized that one should never underestimate “the power of a moment”. That one moment can store a lot of happiness, strength, joy and love which could be used in the difficult times. These moments are the seeds of happiness. Which once planted again can bring back all the good times and memories again. Store them well. Make all the good memories when you can.

Give and you shall receive, Give, Love, BlessingsGulmohar Doodles

Few days back, on the way to the beach we met two kind souls. A old man and an old woman. Both were spreading random happiness calling people/ kids and giving them small little things. I found them very rich. Rich in their hearts. Rich in their soul and rich in their way of loving. I have understood that I should never question the worth of a kind word or a smile to a stranger. Never hesitate to share a laugh or encouragement or affection. They didn’t expect anything from others whilst they continued their act of kindness. They ensured that they have something or else to give even when they themselves had so less (probably). They blessed us and our daughter and I wondered if I could ever be like them? How I wish!

Solace In Nature, nature, love, memories, happiness, Pondicherry, greenery, sharingBalakrishnan K

I want to say a big thank you to all my well wishers, blog readers, friends and family to give me so many joyful memories which I have been tucking away and will pull back out when the storms approach. My blog completes its 4th year this month. I am grateful to all those who made it happen. Remember, YOU MATTER. Your words, thoughts, laughter everything matters. More than you can ever know or think of.

Love to all. Stay blessed.

Weaving Memories

Recently, I have been thinking and thinking a lot about the memories I have been gathering for a while now. The days are malleable and memories are bound to be created everyday. The irony is that some stay with us forever and the others get erased with the sand of time. I believe that we women are the guardians of memories. We preserve them like no one else does and then pass it on to generations. Don’t we stock all the memories which contains the fragments of love, food, stories, beliefs, joy, sadness, laughter and much more? Well, I do πŸ™‚

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As a kid, I loved to hear stories. I was bemused by the beliefs, bravery, love and the beauty of things said by old souls. I listened to them keenly and created a world of my own among them. It is fascinating how the memories, the stories, the talks cling to us and visit us often.

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Some out of boredom, the others out of sheer interest, I drew these. The happiness, the solace and the sense of doing something from the heart has lifted my spirit multiple times. There are days when things are hard and doing something like this lighten my mind and sets me free and I weave more memories. the memories which I know will remain engraved in my heart for a long time. The happiness collected and passed on, the encouragement given and inspirations taken, the beads of stories woven and gathered makes me believe that life can be full of happiness and contentment.

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I want to gather all the happiness and store it in my heart tight. I want to make good memories and use them as the light when the times of darkness approaches. I want to be the firefly who brings hope with its tiny light in the ravenous darkness. Like the wings of a butterfly, I want to bring out these joyful memories and spread happiness which are safely tucked away in the heart.

This world is a beautiful place and so is you. Please do spread random happiness till we meet again.

To Time, Togetherness and Beyond

It is a warm, cosy, bright, sunny afternoon today. Here I am, sitting with my legs crossed on myΒ bed and wondering about the time spent with my family a few weeks back. Time flies… Yes! it does. And it does really fast. The jokes, laughter, gossips, food once shared or just being together, together in that very moment… leaves back tonne of memories, love, happiness, solace and peace in the tiny treasures held tightly in our hearts. When these moments get over… we realize how much we miss them and all of a sudden our hearts fill with anger, frustration and bewilderment. And when these feelings too fade away, all what is left is Loneliness.

Loneliness, family, loved ones, happiness, joy, time, memoriesPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

How you feel in any one moment is more important than anything else, because how you feel right now is creating your life. ~ Rhonda Byrne

Together Forever, family, love, life, time, moments, precious, lifePhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

Whenever someone leave, they leave behind a big void in our heart… even if it is just for some time. We cherish, remember, cry, crib for those moments. Over time, I have realized how much change time can bring in a person. I wonder, is it the same person whom I have known or thought to be all my life? Change is persistent. I know. But don’t we, at times, want things to be the same all through our life? The same how we remember it to be, have believed to be, have cherished to be and have loved to be!

Vegetable Chop, street food, Jharkhand, Love for food, Love, Moms foodPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

Life isn’t always what we expect it to be. Being around with our loved ones weaving memories together is always a thing to cherish and behold. These classic moments if celebrated with food enhances the essence of these times. A month back, when my mom was here, we celebrated Durga Puja with some crispy, hot, yummy vegetable chops. It did help in removing some of the longings of being at my home town during this much awaited festival. Don’t we, in such times, need something to soothe our souls, something very calming, something very refreshing, something which connects us to our roots? Atleast, it was a happy ending πŸ™‚

Continue making memories folks. Adieu, until we meet again…

Motherhood is a dream, Motherhood, Dream, Amazing, Joy
Motherhood is a dream, Motherhood, Dream, Amazing, JoyPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

β€œThe moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.” ~ Osho

— Motherhood is a Dream

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