Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friends corner..

I first blogged @ rediffblogs and getting my frist comment there lead to some excitement. I replied to this commentator. I didn't know the rule of blogworld at that time (that every comment should be replied to), so my reply to him was an email and there started a conversation. I dont recollect how and when we became friends. Emails, chats, calls. Thank you my friend, for listening to me even sometimes when I spoke mindlessly. Let me tell you, even you were not sane all the time. Even if we did not contact each other for months at times, January would be the month of remembering you again. Both of us being Jan born and this is the month I finalized whatever little investments I had to do. So because of his accounts background (CA I guess :o), I would sweetly wish him and then seek his help in planning my investments to avoid paying tax. I know he wondered why would I think that he will sit and do the workings for me but he ended up helping. Sweet enough of him :) 

Its strange how somebody you have never met or known till then gradually becomes a part of your life. From general chit chat to serious matters of life, we discussed all and worldly gyan was shared or bombarded on each other. I am not sure what he will have to say about it but I liked the bond we had. One reason could be the fact that it was the groom hunt phase for me. It is not easy when you have rejection happening from either side for whatever reasons and if you have someone you can talk to about all that, you value that 'someone' a lot. After maybe a year or 2, I finally found the person I wanted to marry. The progress was being shared constantly with this friend and so was the news. If you have never had a friend who has just found her life partner, lemme tell you she cannot stop talking about him all day to anyone who can lend her a ear.. This guy was subjected to it on regular basis. He often told me to shut up and stop talking like a case gone hopelessly in love. But I went on. I will cut it short ;) I got married, moved to the same city as this blog friend, but before the plan of meeting could materialize, we moved to another city and I have a feeling he disliked that.

I have a bigger circle of virtual friends than real ones but even if I got a chance to meet any of them in person, I have hardly used it. Its nothing to do with them being girls or guys. Its not even about my lethargy... I think I somehow am not as comfortable meeting people as I am in other means of conversations or socializing. One does get little busy when life takes this big turn. Relocation, whole lot of responsibilities and etc etc. All that does leave you with lesser time for many a things that you earlier did. Initially when I was found online late in the evenings, some friends would tease and ask me to logoff and spend time with the husband. And then some would complain that I had no time for friends now. It was strange and I did not think much about how to handle it. As a result now while we are still in touch and connect well whenever we do, its just like once in a blue moon.

Today he is married for 4 months, to a nice girl. He invited us for the wedding but knowing me, he would not have expected to see me even if we were in the same country. But that did never mean I wish any less happiness for the couple. I hope he understands that there are no differences that come up in a friendship due to marriage. Its just that some people are lil bizarre like me.. And you still are a friend..

PS: This post is dedicated to my first blog friend, who has almost stopped blogging and who I wish gets back to it...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

gypsy? me too....

This gypsy conversation and life etc is like catalyst to make you go on a vacation.. but what do you do when there is none in the plan that you can look forward to around the corner? I suggest simply revisit one of those photo albums you cherish. It acted as a soothing balm for me. At least for now... 

Someone reading? Book your break at office please,,,,,putting them as wallpaper isnt enough, i say :P.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Alternate use of fish bowls - Picture Post

Before I am labelled as obsessed with fish and anything related like sea, swimming, bowls, tanks etc etc etc... lemme confess that I am and will always be. Just that lately its been quite often that I am writing or posting about them. So here is one more coz I have to show this here..

The bowls once brought home for fish have been abandoned as I mentioned before. But the make-the-best-use-of-everything nerve in me did exactly like that and then even took pictures of them... 

When one is better? First one is too crowded and second.. well pls note how I have bound them using a nylon kinda thread into this shape.... Please take your pick.. he he.. typical high heel style.. Thanks Roo for introducing me to that site... my husband keeps wondering why the jhulli wife of his keeps visiting there...

Friday, May 22, 2009

comeback post!

Almost a month of being away from the internet with just a 4 day access in between actually acted like a refresher. It reminded me of things I could do and enjoy if all time is not spent before the laptop.I have connectivity in the new house only since day before but I feel equally refreshed after reading stuff, seeing videos and interacting thru emails and instant messaging.. Conclusion: Everything has its own positive side but one must learn balancing it with the other activities. I usually tend to loose the discipline when there is no time bound responsibility, no family members to watch on me and an excuse of enjoying the break from work life.. 

A moment however is nearing when I will get the feeling that this break has been good and life must take some direction now...

Thats one thing. And then there are many more.

-Having moved to a picturesque place which is called Discovery Gardens and in the real sense of the name.. Even the negative side of it has something good. There is no grocery shop nearby :( as in the earlier place which means for every small thing we need to make a visit to a nearby mall, one of the world's largest themed mall, which on the side note has 21 screen megaplex too. & We watched Angels and Demons on the day of its release here. I loved the movie.

-Started working out daily. There is a gym just 2 floors above ours in the building and within a week I have noticed an increased endurance while doing my situps, running, cycling n stuff. 

-While we are indulging in eating out regularly, I am excited about the machine showing a magic figure of 51-52 kg for we have been walking & walking & walking outdoors, enjoying the gardens, beaches etc. Due to sea nearby, the place we have moved in has cool breeze in mornings n evenings, even in the hot month of May & this is Dubai :), I must remind myself.

-The heart breaking season of seeing our fish die went on for a month. We have finally got a tank with oxygen and the fish seem to be happier in the past one week. They look more energetic. I have 5 of them now. I wish I read Nancy's post with BIG NO-NO advice for fish bowl earlier. But I am thankful for she gave me some more sound advice n shared her experiences.

(A shot from the back side of the tank with all 5 of them)

-The latest beach visit this week for a morning jog was fun. While Amit walked, I ran and also collected a great variety of designer seashells. I am wondering what to do with them now.. Should I place them in the fish tank... any ideas?

(a few among the many)

-House is almost set, with all the basic stuff in place (we still managed to stay away from the temptation of buying a TV though). I am growing coriander @ home and soil sounds like a precious commodity here you cant find it anywhere.. I also got an indoor plant and some bamboo which is like food for the eyes. This reminds me to mention something- I think, plants and fish bowl make good gifts.. maybe bowl should be upgraded into a proper mini aquarium. I want to gift one to our parents (FIL loves them I am told)

-We have put a dart board in the balcony but not much time is being spent there. Goofy Mumma's nursery idea has put me into thinking how to convert the balcony into something interesting.. lets see..

-But the icing on the cake is the pool in our residential area. Its at an ideal 10 min walk from the house, that too a walk in a lush green bio-friendly residential area. I am learning swimming. 5 lessons, and I was in the deep end of the pool managing all on my own. I am happy and excited.. Like I recommended trying Vipassana meditation to everyone I cared for, I now recommend swimming to all as it is the best exercise for the entire body and more than that its such a relaxing fun to glide into water like a fish. 

Thats life for now... and I am catching up on all the blogposts i missed among the other things..

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Moving today..

we have a shifting happening today.. basically to a place nearer to his office and the rents here have come down by 40% from the time(5 months back) we took this rented apartment and this house's kitchen is too small with very less storage. There were reasons for staying here till now else we would have shifted two months back. 

Between yday and today all dust n grease has been washed off, stuff has been categorised, all delicates have been wrapped carefully and cartons are being sealed one after the other with proper labels indicating the contents. Consuming fruits & other perishables from the fridge and not buying anything additional just happened naturally, without particularly thinking about it. Amit has a back pain n is undergoing physiotherapy so I thought of keeping him away from the this. I am home all day long and there is not much to pack anyways coz most of the clutter was disposed off when we moved from Delhi few months back. 

Now I am done with most of it and relaxing a bit and a thought comes to mind. If recession continues like this, maybe i have an alternate career option. I can maybe start a packing n moving bz :o

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Budham Sharanam Gachami....

Not really... but thats where I was last 10 days!! happily so.. and happier to have learnt something great and be back. As cutlet mentioned, this post is about the choice i had made...

Every second person talks of meditation today and its being practised in different ways ever so long. Many like me, also claim to have meditated by sitting on the ground with folded legs for trying to concentrate or say keep our mind at one place which could not be continued for any longer than 5 or 10 mins.... As a kid I also had various objects for meditation like a candle flame or a white paper sheet with a black dot put on the wall etc..  Here was an opportunity to take a course and understanding it from an established org. And I just got back from there, Vipassana - a 10 day residential meditation camp in a farmhouse near Dubai (in Ajman) away from the hustle bustle of noisy life, which provided an conducive environment for the serious hard work that was involved.

Meditation and hard work? yes while learning, it is.. and I mean that. 
Getting up at 4am and sleeping before 9:30pm, no outside food- meals available at fixed timings like 6:30am, 12:30pm and the snacking up at 5:30pm being the last. No communication with the outside world or with the students there, not even a smile or eye contact and no reading or writing either. Getting instructions verbally through the teacher or thru audio/video tapes on how to work. Meditating the whole day with 5 min breaks after every one hour to get up and 2 one hour breaks in the morning and afternoon for anything else you want to do like bathing, cleaing, resting, walking-stretching, thinking and wondering :). 

I am sure it sounds tough enough.. What kept us up and going were the video discoruses given by the teacher every evening. It was kind of Shilpa channel of Indian reality tv show big boss. You know what I mean? Just that there were no live cameras but we were watching ourselves even more closely but we were not doing cooking and we had those stringent code of conduct to adhere to.

Having done all of that and still feeling so refreshing and satisfied makes me happy I did this. The entire practise is actually a mental training and the technique is unfolded step by step per day to the students so that there is a complete understanding of the theory and practical at the experiential level and no doubts remain about what, why and how.

Just as we do physical exercise to improve our bodily health, Vipassana helps to develop a healthy mind. There is a lot of self observation in the literal sense. Working within the mind body framework, even though sounds technical is so simple. By focussing on the deep connection between mind(conscious and sub-c) and body, one understands how clearly our miseries arise from simple craving and aversions in life. Then most importantly one learns a solution to that which lies in one self. It indeed is all in the mind... 

I think everyone must do some form of exercise for the mind. It might not be easy for most to make up the mind and go for this course as cutting off urself from everything else for 10 days sounds too much but I am certainly feeling the urge to recommend it to everyone. On one of the days, my mind was wandering while I tried to focus it on the task at hand, it was going like - I must tell my parents about trying it too, this friend should do it and that one as well... However much I say or write, it cannot be same as the experience of it by self and once you have experienced it in these 10 days, it sounds completly believable, practically applicable. If someone believes in liberation and life after life, it even talks about it in the simplest of ways. 

Gautama Buddha practised and taught this technique and if I were to summarise it using the pali terms:
Sila or sheel (5 precepts of NO "stealing, killing, lying, intoxication and sexual misconduct"), Samadhi( 'Sama' = equanimity and 'dhi' denotes intelligence) and Panya(Wisdom). These are the three pillars of this technique & by this Panya it is possible to eradicate the ingrained habit pattern of mind which generates, multiplies and accumulates the miseries i.e reactions of raga(greed) and dosa(hatred) out of moha(ignorance). 

I missed google when i was there and wanted to look for more on what we were doing. I did that once i got back home and found this post where a blogger sums his experience as "Agony Bliss Agony Bliss" Read here for his account of a day and I will also write more on my experienes in the next posts.. These 10 days undoubtedly are among the best days of my life :)

For now I will close it with some more links. here are centres across the world. One can browse through their official site here.

How can I not Thank this blogger who put the link in her blog and thats how I got to know of it. If you know her, let me tell you knowing dhamma-the teaching of this technique is definitely a major reason for the good vibes you get reading her stories on the blog...  I also want to link it to her words on the experience here. I always wanted to do a silent retreat kind of thing so it just took me a second to decide on attending this myself once i was reading her archives last month. 

I plan to include a lil bit of meditation in my routine now, but yday when I sat at home thinking of not moving for an hour putting my cell on silent, the doorbell rang!! And I realized it sure was easier there.. Maybe i should try at a differnent time.. 

In the meantime, may all be happy!! 
(a regular practise of this course which coincidently has always been a part of my prayers to god as well.. )
Note - Thanks Solilo for noticing n pointing out - i just corrected