A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)



Now that is word that a teacher would use (with a few exclamations after it, for effect!). More likely shout. :D… and shatter what little silence there could be. That would not be silence. It would be a pregnant roar about to be delivered through the painful labour of the innumerable spasmodic suppressed students. I know. I’ve been there, from both sides of the teacher’s table 😆

What I’ve been wanting to write about is a totally, ideologically, and profoundly different word altogether, that is spelt the same, but whose inflections and nuances are a universe away :D. I guess I’m waxing poetic. The strains of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” (youtube link) had been playing on loop inside my head from morning, this lazy Monday morning let me add, gleefully 😛 , that I needed to do something about it. That is the very systematic and methodical way this rambler works. The words and notions have to force her to do something about it; else they nag and nudge and will never budge, till they are displayed in all their eccentric splendour.

I like to think of myself as a ‘silence’ person. ( I guess some people may find this hard to believe  😛 , but really this is so 😀 ). Someone who loves the word, is comfortable with it, and is ok with its absence too, but not for extended periods 😀 The lyrics of ‘Sounds of Silence’ are eerily haunting today, for this is my state of mind.

Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seed while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted 
In my brain, still remains
Within the sound of silence

It began in the morning, silent and soft. I did not talk as in talk for the whole of the morning and well into the afternoon. Except for a few cursory phone calls. And I liked that so much. There was no music, nor was the TV switched on. Somedays, it is like that 🙂 However, talking was going on, inside my head. And I dreamed. 🙂 I wondered to myself, how long I could go without saying anything. I’ve got a pretty good record for long periods when I have not really (sometimes even wanted to) talk out aloud. For a teacher I guess that is to be expected, when not being silent is occupational hazard.

This morning, the silence was acute. And I practically touched it. Enjoyed its feel. Pondered on whether, if kept up for a long time, my voice might crack, or the words would not articulate themselves, or the pitch and modulation would go awry. I fancied myself stumbling, sounding hesitant, unsure and groping for words. I expected to feel a strange panic too, at that… given that talking is supposed to be my ‘thing’. A lot of colleagues at work say (in Malayalam) -Language kayyillinndd (she has the necessary proficiency in the language). Questionable as that might be, the oxymoron (or simply the moron 😛 ) that I am, I like talking too 😀 (Yes, I head those murmurs. No, I have not yet lost my sanity – would love to, though!; and no it’s going to take me a few more words before I shut up here 😛 😛 )

Silence and I are long time companions by now. Especially after the kids left to live their own lives 🙂 My littler kids, Kuttan and Chinnu would also understand silences, stay close, and ‘talk’ in their own wonderful ways. 🙂 Not barking, or even sniffling… 🙂 We knew. With one’s kids around, well, silences have to be sacrificed, haven’t they? To have to talk, and to have to listen to someone talking all the time, compulsively, has to be the worst sort of punishment 😀

The oft quoted “If you cannot understand my silence, you will never understand my words” really does make sense, you know 🙂 Silence, this sort, that communicates, and that gentles, that speaks, is precious. Most of us know this; but I do know others who have to have the ‘noises’ around them. Especially people talking. Music, one can understand, (though LOUD music is still a grey area with me 😀 ), but to listen to gibberish (well mostly 😛 ) and dish out the same, because you HAVE to… that is a condition, ain’t it? 😀

I realized too, all of a sudden, that I had written something similar (link) that reflects in part, the notions expressed here 🙂 That picture, with that write, is sometimes so me. To have to share something similar five years after that one speaks of the latent presence, I suppose! Maybe.

800 words plus, on Silence has to be the most ironical part of this ramble. I’ll spare you more 🙂 But before I go, could I add my own brand of philosophy here? Silences do heal and rejuvenate, I have found, just as they can do the opposite. Today, I’m here about the Silences that Speak… Just so you know 🙂 A perfect quote that summarises what I’d like to say:

When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning.

ECKHART TOLLE, Stillness Speak

29 April, 2013
The views expressed herewith are deeply personal, but of course, and the rambler is fully cognizant of the fact that it may be regarded as pure gibberish. She’s in that inner space, right now. 😀



The things they said about her! The things they wanted to know about him! This was the most urgent requirement of the office staff. She was in her thirties; new, smart, interested in her job (horrors!) and willing to stay back the extra half hour or so, after office timings. Now that was what piqued their interest. After all, he too was new, just as interested. In who or what they wondered. But, of course!

Damned if they did, and more so, even if they did not. They were clued in pretty fast. The sudden silences, clichés though they were in the larger scheme of the developments, and the avid watching eyes. These were more than enough! So, as was expected, they became circumspect. They, of course, avoided been seen together, talking together and working together.

The keeness  of the staff soon lessened. A B grade masala movie was what they expected to unfold as they wrote the script. They got an Art Film instead. Ha!

She bade her time. As did he. The nine day wonder, it led to the tenth. A weekend around the corner.Now that the fuss was dying, they could escape to the nearby waterfront beach shack together. That they would have to invent yet again, a new excuse for their families was nothing new.

Mr Office Superintendent, holidaying in the self same beach with his family missed seeing them. What a scoop that would have been. So, they live. And others, they forget to live, even through them.

27 April, 2013
Absurd, but delusionally real for me 😀


Limitless, Shail’s Sky :)

Shail Mohan's Photograph

Shail Mohan’s Photograph on her Blog, Shots and Captures. Click on picture to  go to the blog 🙂

The Sky is an ocean too …
Dying to be, more ….
Like the seas,
Sometimes blue,
Or is it emrald
A touch of stormy grey?

It has no waves, sadly
And yearns so much …
And then on wings of wishes
They come;

White, cottony, frothy
Selfsame, those waves…
And lap the edges of that
Nothingness, which remains

Quiescent, waiting.

Gently around the edges
Slowly spreading out…
So that, soon, it shall be
Blue no more …

26 April, 2013
Online, after yearning, here too 🙂
And thank you Shail, for the endless prompts you give this writing challenged rambler 🙂 by way of your wonderful photographs!


Celebrating a life lived well – Chinnu’s

Chinnu - 15 January 2003 to 23 April, 2013

Chinnu – 15 January 2003 to 23 April, 2013

For ten long years, which, all of a sudden seem to have flown by in less than ten seconds, she gave us of herself. Unconditionally, lovingly, without complaint, and with a whole load of her special brand of love. This one is for you, Chinnu, and for all of us, who have been touched by you, and known you, and known how special you were.

There is always this thing in our family; when guests, visitors, friends, acquaintances, refer to our pets as “cats’/”dogs” (poocha or patti, in Malayalam 🙂 ), we always get them to qualify – not cat/ dog, but Malu, or Chinnu/Appu/Paru/Kuttan/Ammini/Kunji … whoever they might have been referring to. That perhaps is the simplest way to tell you that they were family – much more, and never less than any of us. That is who they were.

Chinnu came to us on 15th March, 2003; picked out from a Kennel full of Labrador pups, the only one who sat in a corner, looking appealingly at us, while the others jostled for attention from the visitors. There was no doubt, we chose each other. Ashwin, my younger son and I, we were the first ones who she drew into her charmed circle of loved ones! 🙂

She worked entirely on her inner biological clock which was set to meal times, and meal times 🙂 Sharp snappy barks indicated it to us… A never let up till I get my fooooood kind of barking 🙂 Those who have labradors will empathize 🙂 Food, swimming and car rides… that is what she lived for 😀 Except for the part about food, the other two could change in order 🙂

I’ve already written about Ammini and Kunji (link) and My extended family (link), and a couple of years ago about the wonder of a non feline called Malu, who quite captured our hearts (link). I was just going through her pictures just now, when I could finally bear to look at them, and I wondered which ones I could share. And I suddenly realized I would not EVER be able to show you how she was, perhaps not even through these words that come through me, but yes, I do want to share, and find that peace in me, for her, and for Arjun and Ashwin, Mummy, Daddy and Vinu, and for all of those people who loved her so. Especially Ashwin’s friends, and her own special favourite, Chandrika.

Her first car trip was memorable 🙂 It’s the stuff of legends for us. I was driving my dad’s Ambassador, and this is ten years ago, with Arjun up front and Ashwin in charge of this two month old bundle of energy, at the back. She kept up a steady stream of barking, till Ashwin was directed to get a couple of biscuits out to keep her quiet. Ashwin blissfully set her aside and opened the tin to get a couple of biscuits out. In that fraction of a second, she had propelled out of the car window, right out onto to the pavement (from a running car, mind you!), done a couple or more cartwheels, and landed winded on the almost-not-there sidewalk. I screeched to a halt, Arjun off and running to get her before she got up and took off again. I thought she was done. Oh no! Not her. There she was, quiet, dazed, but well aware of herself, but, all of a sudden quiet, and docile. That was it, I guessed. We’d shut her up nicely!!! But guess again, is what she seemed to say – in a couple of hours she was back to barking like crazy 😆

The day she discovered water and the lovely feel it had, she was sold on it 🙂 If the gate to the pond at my parents’ place was ever unlocked, she’d find her way into the water and spend as much time as possible, swimming in lazy circles, with such enjoyment! I’ve shared a video on facebook, showing how much she loved this 🙂

The one thing that really put her off, and scared her was loud noises. She’d scoot under the bed and would not venture out till she was sure that the noises would not ever again come back. And she would wait as long as it took! That perhaps, finally, was her undoing.

At ten years, she was healthy, and full of energy. I had already started having this gnawing unspoken terror of when it would be that she’d decide to take off. Turned out too soon. The last week, just after Vishu, she fell ill. Because of loud noises. The crackers set off at Vishu had made her scoot under the bed as usual, and this time she remained there a whole day, without food, and without venturing out. It had happened before and there seemed no need to worry, except that the next day, she developed a mild paralysis of her left hind leg, and therefore found it difficult to walk comfortably, or even stand on her own, and therefore, inhibited her desire to mess up the place she was lying in. No amount of coaxing could get her to take a leak outside, or even inside. This in turn led to a severe urinary bladder infection. All of which she was recovering from, quite nicely.

And this morning, on the way home, from my parents’, in the car, riding shotgun with me, in the passenger seat, with Pratibha and Kuttan at the back, she just gave up and decided to move on to Pets’ Paradise. Just like that. It is still unbelievable … and I need to keep checking, pinching myself, and wondering it really happened.

As my brother says, time really does not heal anything, but lends a capapcity to perhaps live with the loss. We’ve been there before, and having lived through loss often enough, one would think that the next time one would handle it better. Wrong. Each time it’s new. Each time just as heart wrenching. And each time, no matter how much you tell yourself, it’s okay, you’ll get through it, you still struggle.

But then this is not a sad story. It is all about how much of a wonderful life she had, and how blessed we were to be touched by that wonder of her. Unlike our other ‘kids’ she did not ever wear a collar, except when she travelled – a harness usually. She never needed to be tied up or isolated. Indeed, she was the most social of all the people I know 🙂 Labs are like that 🙂 The trusting liquid eyes that are hers have shut, but will stay with me. Even this morning, it was with such enthusiasm that she got into the car, bad hind leg and all … and decided to go ahead of all of us, while she still felt the wind flapping up her ear 🙂

Peace, sweetheart. You are the best. The only human thing, if at all, you could not do, was talk. And you did not need to anyway, did you? 🙂 You loved us, just as we did you. And that is the greatest blessing of all.

But. Oh God. It hurts not to have you around, physically. Say Hello the rest of gang up there from all of us, won’t you 🙂 Till we meet again, Chinnukutty… here’s a big bear hug, and nosey nosey sloppy kisshey kisshey darling 🙂

Dr Brian Weiss (‘Many Masters, Many Lives” ) writes of pets thus:

“Our pets can come to us again in our lifetime, reunite with us in future lives, and greet us on the other side. Unconditional love knows no end.”

Absolutely. We’re going to meet up sometime, that is definite. Perhaps another lifetime, but meet up we will, Chinnu. We can’t not 🙂

23 April, 2013


Vishu, all over again!

I’d planned things for this year. Carefully gathered resources and gyaan, and kept a Vishu Kani Ready, to impress even the most traditional of people. At my own home, of course, where my son and his wife would come, for their first ever Vishu, after they got married; and we’d all happily see the elaborate arrangement, soak in our own glory of having created such beauty, and simply revel in the moment.

You know what they say about plans, right? I tell you sometimes I think I live not from moment to moment, but from cliché to cliché! To cut short a story you certainly don’t want to read on a lazy Sunday morning, and that too on a Vishu Pulari (a vishu morning), they could not make it, and, here it comes, another cliché… I was at their place visiting, because it was my son’s birthday a day before! The best laid plans of mice and men got a new shape. I decided to stay on. And we had the time of our life, re-creating the resources with the gyaan available 🙂 So we raided the Gujrati Market nearby for the stuff! Except for the jackfruit that was unweildy, and anyway would not be used afterwards, we got all the other items on the list.

We should have done the arrangements before we went out to my son’s friend’s place for dinner. But, the last minute people that we are, we did not… and airily declared to ourselves that we’d have enough time 😀 So, twelve midnight dawned, and we still weren’t home 🙂 We did, soon after, and got to work.

Even the Vishu Kani was hatke. It is supposed to be in a wide bottomed brass vessel, called the uruli, which you’ll find in the very first Vishu post I had done here (trivia: it’s the post with the max. hits on this blog 😀 )… my mother’s effort entirely. I had the uruli ready in my house, but could not hop over and get it here, since it would mean a journey worth 6 hours.


Instead, we got a clay uruli, that Pratibha, my daughter-in-law can use later for some other purpose either in the kitchen or even as a bird bath 🙂 And the rest of the items, were just the same. Except that it got assembled three hours before it was to be viewed 🙂 Well, what matters is the spirit of the whole thing right? 🙂

So Vishu Aashamsagal to each and every one. May the new year bring you peace and prosperity. May you find more wonderful things to smile about. And may we all be blessed to be more humane.

More, on 14 April. One of the most wonderful people I know celebrates her birthday- Elsie Abraham. One person who makes me understand the temporal nature of our own difficulties, a person who continually brings sunshine and laughter into the lives of everyone she touches. A soul of integrity. And one of the truly warmest persons I know. Every student in our school, who have (grrrr… typo! ) has been blessed to have been in her class would stand testimony to this as well 🙂 Happy Birthday dearest Elsie Teacher. May good health and peace and happiness hound you 🙂

14 April, 2013