Saturday, December 31, 2011


Take 12 fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly cleansed from all old memories of bitterness, hate, and jealousy.

Cut these months into 30 or 31 equal parts. (This batch will keep for one year. Do not attempt to make more than one batch at a time-many people spoil the entire lot in this way.)

Prepare one day at a time as follows:

Into each day, put 12 parts of faith,
11 parts of patience,
10 parts of courage,
9 parts of work
(some people omit this ingredient and spoil the flavor of the rest),
8 parts of hope,
7 parts of fidelity,
6 parts of open-mindedness,
5 parts of kindness,
4 parts of rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad, "don't do it")
3 parts of prayer,
2 parts of meditation,and 1 well-selected resolution.

If you have no conscientious scruples,
add a teaspoonful of good spirits,
a dash of fun,
a pinch of folly,
a sprinkling of play,
and a heaping cupful of good humor.

Pour love liberally into the whole and mix with strength.
Cook thoroughly in a warming heat.
Garnish with a few smiles and a sprig of joy;
then serve with quietness,unselfishness and cheerfulness.

A Happy New Year is a certainty.

Adapted from

Friday, July 22, 2011

MAI and Me

This is a blog hop from 'Hearts at Home' about the similarities between our mothers and us.

Thanks Jill, for giving this opportunity to share my small world in this big world made small with the help of technology.

In India the general population address mothers as 'Ma'. I called my mother 'Mai' as thats how we address in Konkani a language in the state of Goa, India.

My mum expired in January 2010.

As I am trying to figure out the differences and similarities, I feel I am reconnecting with my mum whom I miss very much. I did'nt thank her enough for this wonderful gift of life she gave me, so I take this opportunity to do so now.

'Mai' thank you and we miss you!

1. We are both Virgos. Her birthday was 7th and mine is 3rd September
2. I am a peoples' person especially kids and so was she.
3. My kitchen is my sanctuary and it was the same with her.
4. My priorities in life are 'faith – family – friends.' This is what I learnt from her. She sacrificed much to keep her priorities in order and I try to do my best.
5. I am careful with finances and my mother was extra careful.
6. We both traveled abroad on work for approximately 13 years of our lives.

1. I stand tall at 167cms and she was barely 150cms
2. I am a slow doer and she was in a mighty hurry to get the job done.
3. I am late for most occasions and she was well ahead of time
4. I think I'm hardworking but my mother was much more hardworking. In the days when there was no automation, our clothes were hand-washed squeaky clean, all the spices were hand ground, chapatis (Indian breads) were prepared daily at home, never ordered take-aways – but I use machines to run my home.
5. She was so well organised that after her visit to my home I would have to call her to find out where she had kept my things. My husband calls me 'bullakad' which means carefully careless.
6. My mother's marriage was arranged but I knew my would be husband for six years prior to exchanging our vows.
7. She wore a white and silver bridal gown. It was tailored in such a way that waist downwards, it could be re-assembled to be used as a saree (An Indian garment). I wore a white and gold brocade saree which I later used to my daughter's christening ceremony and is still kept wrapped in a muslin bag.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fringe Benefits of Failure and Importance of Imagination

On this beautiful rainy morning, as we eagerly await the the SSC results for 2011, I would like to share with my precious daughter and everybody to whom these results matter, a few excerpts from the following:

J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivered her Commencement Address, "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and The Importance of Imagination," at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association on 5th June 2008.

'I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that could never pay a mortgage, or secure a pension'.

'Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies'.

'You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default'.

'Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision, that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared'.

'Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates'.

'As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters'.

'If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better'.

'Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality'.

'The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned'.

I am unable to quote this speech in its entirety for obvious reasons, but I recommend to google it and read. Its relevant for today's youth as well as the ones graduated many moons ago.

Don't be surprised if you find me walking funnily now, just a few hours before the results, as my fingers and toes are crossed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

SSC results Mumbai, Maharashtra 2011

The past three months has been a long break from our routine school and home life of approximately twelve years. No more frenzy to pack lunch boxes, irritability over missing the school bus....AAHH what a relief!

And now finally tomorrow 17th June 2011, yet another milestone in my daughter's life will be accomplished with the declaration of her SSC (Secondary School Certificate) results.As a mother, it is a milestone in my life too.

The headlines on almost all newspapers today read 'Know your SSC Fate Tomorrow' This news has eased some of the anxiety for parents and students alike as it's the first public exam students appear for.

I had got hold of a write-up on the internet dated 19th May 2011 that SSC scores for 2011 would be in the form of grades and not marks.

Following is a part of that text.
“The secondary education department issued a GO (Go Rt No 119) to this effect on Wednesday. The GO stated that from SSC-2011, students who score between 92-100 marks in an examination will be given A1 grade. From 83 to 91%, the grade would be A2,75 to 82% B1, 67 to 74%, it would be B2, 59 to 66% C1, 51 to 58% C2, 43 to 50% D1, 35 to 42% D2 and 34 and below E. The grading system introduced is similar to the one followed by CBSE.”

How I wish the same is true here in Maharashtra State Board SSC results 2011 as well. I am definite there would be a drop in psychiatric and suicides cases and a rise in the morales and general well being of a large population.

I'm sure most parents in India will agree that our education system is archaic to a certain extent, more so the state boards.

Recently, I visited a new home in Mumbai allotted by the government organisation her husband works for. Everyone present there were aghast at the waste of precious space in space crunched Mumbai and we all opined that the design was definitely not planned by someone who values space.

It's the same case with our education system. It's surely not planned and executed by the well wishers of our children.

From a tender age they are loaded with bags heavier than their body weight, made to write before their fingers and hands have developed properly, kept in captivity indoors on narrow hard benches for long hours while they should be more outside than inside, forced to learn by rote senseless topics till their brains are twisted – I could go on and on, but I know unless like the correct house architect if what I ramble does not reach the right education architect will not change anything for anyone least of all our precious youth. Nonetheless, I will say now what I should have said earlier as it only takes a spark to start a fire or to keep it going.

All the very best to you my dear young ones and parents too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


After a rather long hiatus I've decided to resume updating my blog and I hope to be more regular.

The previous two posts have been on 'Mothers'. The first post was on my 'Earthly Mother' & the next on my 'Celestial Mother'. This post, I'd like to write generally on us 'Mothers'

I believe we've come a long way since our previous generations. I remember living in a joint family with my parents, siblings, uncle (dad's brother), his wife and their children, and also my widowed aunt (my dad's sister) with her daughter. My grandmother was the head of the family. My dad and his brother made all their decisions after consulting my grandma and not their wives. My mum and aunt obeyed my grandma without any resistance - not out of fear, but out of genuine respect. That was a different era, where age was respected. Mothers were most importantly the nurturers of the homes.

Cut back to today’s mothers - We are multi-taskers, sole decision makers, some of us even having higher educational qualifications and are a lot more self confident.

I am not an advocator for modern mothers or our predecessors.

Even though my husband and I are more often on the same wave length, parenting today is a challenging vocation. I often remember single parents' struggle.

Sometimes, I wonder if we are nurturers or routers to provide material comfort.

I thank you for going through this topic and would greatly appreciate your view points.