Rendezvous with a Real Time Hero

How besotted and bewitched we all become when we get to see a glimpse of our Bollywood heroes and heroines. Most of us run to get a picture clicked with them to beautify our life’s memory album.
Cricket fever and Bollywood fever have engulfed our country men immensely. No doubt, they deserve this glory and aura around them.

But sometimes in the voyage of life, we come across men, whose life story is far better than a Hindi block buster and whose tales of valour may put a lot of our reel life heroes to oblivion.

One such real life Hero is Cdr Abhilash Tomy, KC, NM, whose grit and determination to pursue his passion of sailing around the globe, had put not only him but India on world reckoning.

There is nothing better for a teacher than to inspire her students with hope and positivity. And when those students get a chance to interact and meet heroes in uniform, the awe on their faces is priceless and to see them appreciate true heroism is an achievement for a teacher.

(Teachers beaming with pride )

Today, was one such day when I felt that an hour of their( students) time away from routine school did them really good. Majority of the times, when students are made to attend and sit through lectures and presentations, as a teacher I have felt it to be a waste of time. 40 minutes of your teaching period gets wasted.

Today, the students were indeed lucky to be a part of an audience for a beautiful and inspiring presentation by none other than the Indian Naval Officer Cdr Abhilash Tomy, who circum navigated the world in 2013 and again participated in Golden Globe Race 2018, and has been a source of immense pride not only to Indian Navy, but to the entire country as well.

( The smiling faces tell it all)

To be talked about in Prime Minister’s Mann ki baat and to be welcomed by the President of the country after the voyage,is an absolute matter of pride.

As a layman, it was such a pleasure to listen to him begin his talk with the history of sailing and the Golden Globe Race which began in the year 1968. His video presentation was very mesmerising. Clippings of the movie ‘The Mercy’ and pictures of sailboats and mention of all the sailors of those times was indeed a pleasure… something different than routine!

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of 68/69 times Golden Global Race and to pay tribute to Sir Robin Knox Johnston,the winner and only finisher of that first non stop circum navigation of the globe, the Golden Globe Race 2018 took place.

18 enterprising sailors from around the world enrolled for this race. Cdr Abhilash Tomy was the only Indian to participate in an expedition of this magnitude, which involved a distance of 30000 miles.

Cdr Tomy narrated the incident of how he had to convince his mother of allowing him to sail and I remembered Kahlil Gibran and his words that time – “Your children are not your own. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.”

It is indeed not easy for a parent, especially a mother to let go of her child to follow his/her passion and that too at the mercy of nature, amidst the fury of sea and waves. I am sure Cdr Tomy has great convincing powers!

To represent India on a global platform, and then emerge a winner and that too for a skill which Indians are not known for, is no mean feat.

The children were all ears to his narratives and applauded him every time his wit, humour and style of oration stole their hearts.

The naming of his boat as Thuriya( it originates from Sanskrit, meaning fourth consciousness) and assigning number 5 to it as his date of birth was all so good to hear. The stealing of the barometer incident( as narrated by Cdr Tomy himself) added a kind of humour to the whole brave adventure and one realises that incidents like these add that spicy touch to one’s life, which is so essential for the wheel of life to run smoothly.

Cdr Tomy was the only Asian to take part in that race and his narration of how the Irish turned their national flag from horizontal position to vertical position(both countries have the same colours, only the chakra is missing from the flag of Ireland) to cheer this Indian when he began his race from France also invited a lot of applause from the student audience.

There is no sweeter pleasure for any citizen than to hear his country or country men being applauded on foreign soil.

The rules of the race were tough as the yachts had to be of the same 68′ era with no modern technology, except for safety equipments. So the sailors had nothing but compass and charts to give them company and the moon and sun and planets to help them navigate their path. The race began on July 1, 2018 from a port in France.

Cdr Tomy slept and relaxed for a few days to come out of his exhaustion.( as he mentioned to the audience) The students enjoyed his humourous description of how he would come across merchant ships and how the captain of those ships would pass his message to his wife that all was well at his end.

To be at sea, with no communication with your loved ones , may appear to us as less daunting in nature; but ask the family of such brave hearts and one realises the intensity of such an adventure.

The video clipping of the route they had to undertake made all of us understand the competition in a better way.
And then came the description of the storm and choppy waters of the Indian Ocean and how his boat got capsized. His hanging on the mast and then falling on the yacht, was no less than a visual imagery. Tales of very high waves, white froth all around and the strong storm kept all of us on the edge of our seats.

All of us could feel the pain he must have gone through during those tough 4 to 5 days of his life. As he recalled those moments, by giving in depth details of his physical injury, I, as an individual applauded him for his unflinching faith in his own power and realised that no physical or mental trauma can mar one’s growth, if an individual has will power to come out of it. Self Belief and optimism is the bedrock of all healing.

His back had faced the brunt. He was not able to stand and his knees could not take his weight. His tale of experiencing hicups, then trying to vomit to feel good, his efforts in forcing himself out of his bunk and crawling to fulfill the basic needs was indeed heart touching. One could feel goose bumps, listening to his anecdotes.

Crippled on the bed for days and being a victim of the wrath of choppy waters and coming out of it like a true winner appears more of a protagonist of a Bollywood flick, than a real hero with flesh and blood. To hear him speak his tales of seamanship and how putting knowledge to practical use comes in handy during the tough times, was really motivating.

He talked about ‘ Solidarity at Sea’ and it was nice to see and hear about the rescue efforts made by France and Australia to save one important life.

Indian Naval Ship Satpura got the officer back to his country and the picture of the officer on the gangway spoke a thousand words. He told the children that he came to that ship on a stretcher and he had promised himself that he would come out of the ship walking. That was a perfect example of determination and he proved right that ” Where There is a will, there is a way.”

Multiple fractures in the spine did not deter his spirit of adventure. The love of the sea can be seen, heard and felt in his demeanour.
He did not emerge a winner in that Golden Global Race but for the country and its people He is a true Winner.
His story of survival is no mean story.
It is truly inspiring, to say the least.
The fact that students asked him
some amazing questions about his passion was proof enough that none slept through this talk. To keep such 13 and 14 year old students be glued to their seats with no restlessness, is also creditable.

( Students full of gratitude to have met him )

Ask any teacher how difficult it is to get hold of their attention span for 40 minutes!

The way he answered to their queries and willingly agreed to get clicked with them also reflected his patience; a quality essential in the recipe for success.

Geographically too, I am sure the
students were enriched on coming to know of Les Sables, a port in France, from where the race commenced, of Amsterdam island( unheard of, till date) and of the various sea routes that were shown to them on the big screen.
Vocabulary enrichment definitely
took place with new words like bowsprit and boomkin in their kitty. Knowledge on history of sailing broadened their horizon and last but not the least the usage of scientific and mathematical principles while at sea were also
covered during this lecture.

So, all in all it was a better form of education for the children rather than just sitting in the four walls of the classroom and being engulfed in the cobweb of books and blackboard.

Cdr Abhilash Tomy aptly fits into the description of the famous saying- ” Winners are not people who never fail but people who never quit.”
He is looking forward to the next Golden Globe Race in 2022.
Nothing can stop him from pursuing his dream.
Wish His story is told to more students because there is nothing more inspiring than to hear stories from the horse’s mouth and to be able to meet such real life heroes.
The students of NCS Goa, who heard his narration, were totally impressed with the officer’s sailing prowess. I am sure it provided them the right impetus which is needed for one’s growth and progress.

Cdr Tomy’s expedition, his tragic accident, his will to fight and desire to face the sea again is indeed encouraging and motivating.

As Pele said, “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.”
This naval officer reflects success in true spirit!

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A Ray Of Sunshine

When the parched lands and the dried hearts
Get their fill of the rains
One looks forward to a Ray Of Sunshine
To oil that wheel of life again.

The clouds and the darkness of the sky
The continuous downpour from above
The pools and puddles enjoyed all through
Now appear as too much to bear.

At times like these
When rains refuse to stop,
One begins to chime
An old forgotten nursery rhyme:
Rain rain go away
Come again another day!
We just want a Ray Of Sunshine.

This is the state we are engulfed today
The sun and it’s brightness seems to have gone from Goa
And I wonder why?

Is He angry at us for dirtying the pristine beaches?
Is He upset at us for littering plastic all around?
Have the Gods of Mercy turned their faces away from us?
Its for us to decide now.

The dampness in the homes,
The sultriness in our hearts
Speak a language of unspoken words;

The umbrellas look tired of serving it’s master
It wishes to be dried and folded;
The raincoats have braved enough storms
It desires to be packed and go for a nice siesta;
The little two wheelers on the roads
Are fed up of being splashed again and again by the Big cars,
They too want to look neat and clean;
The poor old fisher women sitting with their catch of the day
Want no tarpaulins on their head
As they want to enjoy their customers, just like their catch.
The road side vendors and Paders
Whose sale is getting affected with this incessant rain
All of them pray for a Ray Of Sunshine.

The clothes and the clothes line All look in agony,
As if in unison
They want us to know
How desperate they are to brush themselves with a Ray Of Sunshine.

That glimmer, that hope, that light
Which all of us are waiting now to shine upon us
Will bring that smile
That has got lost in the dark clouds of time.

So aptly said by many
Keep looking up, your problems get resolved!
I look at the sky and smile
When I see the mischievous Sun peeping out of its cloudy curtains
And then when It sees me,
It Just hides behind
To make me sad again.

The shacks are waiting to welcome the tourists,
The beaches are ready to hug the visitors,
The cafes are tuning their musical notes,
Goa is getting ready for a new tourist season,
But if the Rain Gods don’t stop their fury
And the Sun God’s chariot refuses to tread it’s natural path,
We will just be sitting and dreaming
Of a time
When a Ray Of Sunshine would change to a heap of sunshine
And absorb the damp darkness away
To cheer up our hearts.

Wish we could all have harvested this rain water
But our helplessness in seeing it just fall
And then later in the months to come
We would crib to the Almighty
For a summer dry and long!

When will we learn to harness our resources?
When will we come out of the four walls of “not my responsibility”?
When shall we all work in unison
For a common cause?

I am sure, if we are together
To nurture this nature,
Then nature won’t take our test
Nor deprive us of our needed pleasures.

No yagya, no prayers, no miracles are needed
For a season to come and go it’s natural path,
It’s only man’s selfish attitude
That’s causing this excess and absolute aftermath.

A ray of hope
A flicker of light
A gleam of happiness
And a slice of sunshine
Is all we need today
To bid a warm adieu
To the monsoons, mad and bright.

The cycle of life
Is complete and full
When rains and springs
And summer and cools
All shower their blessings divine
In a rightful way
And make this planet Earth
A lovely combination
Of Green and Blue!

MY TEACHERS

The very first thing that comes to my mind when I think about a teacher is ‘My School’
Beautiful memories of yore years envelope me and those make me secretly smile.
Let me begin with my first memory of my school- St Francis School. It was a play school, is all I can think of. We went there to enjoy the peer group, play, be merry and be back home.
The verandah and the wooden horse on whose back I oft sat and played is what comes to my mind. Very faint memories of coming to school and going back home walking seem to appear on my memory screen. My cousin Ashima and me together!

And then comes SOPHIA GIRLS SCHOOL which has played an immense role in my upbringing.

Still remember getting some sweets from a nun as a token of appreciation after my interview( imagine a three year old being interviewed by nuns who had such an austere demeanour).

Those days of late seventies and early eighties, did not have this cut throat competition to get admission to a good school, which we all are privy to, these days.

So I guess, getting an admission in Sophia Girls School, Meerut was a cake walk for me and my cousin and we both were admitted together in the same class and same section.

Growing up in a joint family fosters a lot of oneness and bonhomie and the two of us are just a day apart in terms of arriving on this planet. She is a day elder to me but as luck would have it, I too have the same date of birth on my school certificate.
So we came to be known as Dublish Sisters! ( That included my cousin Priya, Ashima and me)

So our tryst with Sophia began in 1976 or 1977, I m not sure of, in class Nursery C…Section is an integral part of the class. A class stands incomplete without its section.
Big Golden Stars in report cards is all I remember now of those kindergarten years.

The school has an aura of its own. The red brick walls, the arched gate, the green curtains of classrooms, it’s staircase and toilets, the library, the labs, especially the home science lab, all seem to be a part of me.

To spend 13-14 years in the same school makes you attached to not only it’s teachers, but to its walls, classrooms and everything that forms a part of that institution.

Even today, when I happen to pass through that school, memories flood and nostalgia surrounds me.
The corridors and the office area where discipline was the bedrock, still hold a place of respect in my heart. With sweat trickling, one had to stand for minutes and minutes for the school assembly and bear that agony with prayer, news,hymn and then the lectures. An assembly even after the break was an integral part of our school life. The hymn book cannot be forgotten by any Sophian or ex Sophian.

Let me begin with my class teachers who have left an indelible impression on me. Not that the subject teachers were any less, but the special place of pride in our hearts always went to our class teachers. An extra special bonding of love and possessiveness existed for the class teacher.
Mrs Indira Khanna in class 1 and 2 was an extremely warm personality. I remember how often my friends and me often sat under the teachers table and enjoyed the warmth of her saree pallu. I so clearly remember her moral science classes where in one of the class, she talked about moon and how people die and can be seen on the moon.
Next day we got the news that she had met with an accident and she was no more. The entire class was heart broken and we sobbed and sobbed and I remember that I used to look at the Moon so many times, trying to locate her and feel her presence. This just goes to show how much a teacher influences even 3 and 4 year olds.
Her void had to be filled in and there came Mrs Rita Sharma, who became our class teacher in class three. A petite lady with stern looks, ready to shout at us and beat us too if need be. We oft compared her to Mrs Indira Khanna and found her un-motherly. Ofcourse, with time we developed love and respect for her too. Her son and his guitar, come to my mind as I pen those memories now.
Class 4 has some beautiful recollections. Mrs Das was another gem showered to us by God. Infact, section C was always lucky to have great class teachers. A fair lady with a Chinese fan in her hands is an apt description of her. She was our maths teacher and regular practise of sums by her students was her aim. More often than not, if I finished the maths sums, she would check those and then ask me to check a few of my classmates notebooks. Oh God! What a privilege it was to check sums of other children. It made you feel on top of the world. Soft voice and elegant demeanor is what comes to my mind when I think of Mrs Das.

Promotion to the next class always came with an anticipation of who would be our class teacher. Class 5 C was again lucky to have Mrs Manju Sukhu as the class teacher. A pretty Kashmiri with a lot of flair, style and elegance. She taught us English and social studies. An army officer’s wife, who wore hand painted chiffons stole our hearts. At that young age of 10 or 11, we indeed were mesmerised by her. Her flawless complexion, her zero size figure enhanced by her chiffons and her style of teaching English was absolutely perfect. She called me ‘chootu'( I was one of the tiny ones in my class) and loved me immensely. As the monitor of the class, I would do errands for her and maintain the discipline of the class.

Today, it dawns on me how a small gesture of kindness and love by a teacher creates a lifetime memory for a child.

Primary section came to an end and suddenly we were shifted to the secondary wing. The wing that looked so senior was ours now. We took pride in calling ourselves as class 6 students and the highlight of the class was the use of ink pen. Those days we didn’t have fancy gelpens. It was only ink-pens. Ball pens were not allowed in our school.
Inkbottles were kept in the class cupboard to be used in case the ink got over while academics was still going on. How often we smudged our hands with ink to let the world know that we were in secondary section.

How amusing it appears now!

Now when I look back at those anecdotes, they just bring a sweet pleasant smile on my face.

Mrs Aruna became our class teacher and she taught us Hindi. Oft she slept while reading of the lesson was being done by the children( at least that’s what we assumed at that point of time).Her pronunciation and clarity of diction was perfect. Those days were days sans computers and probably hand written question papers were xeroxed. I remember, seeing the Hindi question papers and recognizing Aruna ma’am’s handwriting and coming to conclusions about who set the paper.

Sister Verona taught us English and was such a sweet heart. Wish I could go back in time and meet all of them once again.

Miss Anita Sood, became our class teacher in class 7. She taught us English with great elan. I still remember the lesson Scarlet Pimpernel and the way she taught us.

Mrs Gomes as our drawing teacher and her phrase,” please open your drawing copy book, quickly quickly” continues to make me smile even after so many years.

Mrs Chandrelekha Jain became our class teacher in 8 grade …again an English teacher. Very elegant and stylish, immaculately dressed and still remember her way of teaching ‘Figures of Speech’ and ‘Mid summer nights dream’ ..Our first introduction to Shakespeare.

Her accent and way of explanation was often immitated by me at home. I owe my love for literature to not only my father but my English teachers as well.

Gradually over the years it dawned on us that there is something different about English teachers. They are a cut above the rest.(I am an English teacher too…is altogether a different story though🙂)

Mrs Maya Singh, our librarian! Her melodious voice and one look at the students made the entire class sit in pin drop silence.
Now at this juncture, I realise how children observe their teachers consciously and unconsciously and absorb a lot of things from them. As teachers, we need to be impeccable at all times because we really don’t know who is watching us and even imbibing something from us.

Class 9 does not have very pleasant memories because of a lot of reasons. We were shuffled finally. Children of nursery C till 8 C were one family and then that class had to be divided in A and B.
A lot of tears were shed at friends being parted but to no vain. Convents are a very strict institution in themselves and no plea from parents also work there. Not that any parent went to the administration to get their wards section changed!
So it was class 9A with Mrs Sibal, who was our science teacher and she could not instil interest and inclination in me to pursue science. I remember her valencies and balancing of equations and her finesse for neat labelled diagrams in biology; but me and drawing were like parallel lines, who never met. Somehow managed to get diagrams drawn by class mates to avoid red inks and red marks in lab note books. The only thing that appealed to me in diagrams was amoeba, because one could draw it any shape and it always looked neat.
Class10 – I don’t know why I don’t remember my class teacher, may be there were others who influencede more.
Sir Bansal cannot be erased from my memory. His way of teaching maths was absolutely different. He made sure each of us practised at least 10 sums per day and if we didn’t, we had to stretch out hands and the thick :OP Sharma’ maths text book was placed on both our hands. To stand in that position for a whole period without an ooh or aah or without bending the hands was just not easy. Even to see a classmate standing in that position was scary enough and none of us missed practicing our sums. Our maths doubts were cleared only if we had practised.

Mirza Sir and Badri Sir were icons in their own respect. Love for gymnastics was inculcated because of them. They taught me true sportsman spirit which has helped me sail through all these years.

Miss Parul Bansal who taught us home science was secretly admired by many of us; at least me and my cousin Ashima have done so.Her way of tasting food made by us in home science lab was really very stylish, to say the least.
Ofcourse our batch was a cut above the rest. At a time when only science stream was considered to be the creme de la crème , most of the so called intelligent lot opted for arts. This was another shuffling time but by now we had become a tad maturer.
The strength of the Arts section was not much and this bonded all the girls well.

We had with us a wonderful economics teacher Miss Vandana Chaubey. As our class teacher, she really impressed us with her way of teaching economics. She got married mid session and we felt sad at her leaving us. Soon, this loss was compensated way beyond words.We were again lucky to have Mrs Mahendroo as our class teacher. She was again a motherly figure to all of us.
There was always a dearth of history teachers and so two professors used to come to give us lectures on Indian and World history. A young professor who taught us world history kept us awake with his dashing young looks and regular tests, while the other one with his age( with due respect to him)and way of teaching made us sleep during the Indian history classes.

Class 12 -The senior most class in school
We became role models for many!
Holding appointments with badges on your uniform instilled such pride in us.
And we were again blessed to have Mrs Renu Bhatnagar as our class teacher.
Ask any sophian of Meerut, she would tell you about Mrs Bhatnagar.
The most dreaded of all teachers !
Students ran awaywhen they saw her!
She taught us English
She taught us Hamlet
She taught us Macbeth
Registers and registers used to get filled with her notes.
Our note books were red with her remarks
If any one of us managed to get 60 or more in English from her, we would feel proud of our performance.
A truly devoted teacher who would take extra classes, during that time. A very smart lady who knew how to carry herself and her presence on the podium or dias would make the entire school stand in silence for minutes at a stretch.She was truly an epitome of what a good teacher should be.
Our vocabulary, grammar and knowledge of literature showed signs of improvement, only because of her.

Miss Manisha Mittal, our home science teacher had just graduated from Lady Irwin College, Delhi and she was as fresh as a dewdrop. Her energy and zeal rubbed on her students and we started looking forward to her classes. Infact, she was the first teacher whose marriage we attended as students.

Mrs Bendre, Mrs Gurmeet Kaur and there are many others who have never taught me but are a part of my school memories. Their presence made a difference.

My reflections on my school life is incomplete without a mention of Sister Linda. She was the Principal for many years and nothing escaped from her sharp eyes. Her stiff neck, starched white habit,and a wonderful demeanour cannot be forgotten. I am sure the name would still give chills to many of us.

Today, as I look back, I bow my head in gratitude, not only to God and my parents, but to each and every teacher who touched my head and heart and shaped me the way I am today.

Their reprimands and their canings have not gone wasted. I have learnt the lessons of life in a beautiful way.
And I hope to create such everlasting impressions on the heart and minds of those children whom I come across as a teacher.

Cradle of Camaraderie

There is a school nestled in the verdant Doon Valley called as the Rashtriya Indian Military Academy.

It is and will remain one of a kind.
How it grooms the young little boys to mature responsible citizens is beyond any doubt.

The spirit of camaraderie it inculcates in each one is what makes it stand out from the rest.

The world of social media has bridged whatever little gap existed amongst it’s brethren.

Facebook and Instagram have done good by strengthening the already strong bond.

Just one word RIMC is enough to give you a thousand helping hands if one is in troubled waters.
The bonding shared by the Rimcollians is inexplicable and a person not graduated from its hallow portals will never be able to comprehend and understand it.( Unless that person is a better half of a Rimcollian😚)

Since the time I have got married, I have been a proud witness to its strong bonding ….much much more than the Fevicol bonding …Kitna bhi joor lagao, yeh tutega Nahi!

I still remember with fondness our first posting after marriage to Cochin and how the Rimcollian fraternity helped us settle down and welcomed me in its warm fold.

My first visit to the school in Dehradun was an experience in itself. The aura the school emanates, is truly remarkable.

School socials in Dehradun are an event not to be missed, though have had the privilege to be a part of just two. One of the socials made me come to the conclusion that socials like these should be best attended by the Rimcollian himself and not his family, because you are left at your own mercy for those days and unless and until you like that space you are left with, or you have friends there, those socials lose their charm for you. Hubby dear becomes more than a busy bee and forgets that he has got this wife to school too. Friends, seniors, juniors and floods of memories leave no space for wife that time.

Nevertheless, RIMC comes with that special tag attached!

Even my children have got accustomed to its magnanimous bonding. Any extraordinary incident of help, or out of the way support, they understand that the person who has provided it is from RIMC.

Our vacation to Australia is yet another proud example of the very strong bond of brotherhood that prevails amongst Rimcollians.

Param Singh Chatwal, known as Babbar did more than required for us to cherish our vacation. He has a busy schedule with night shifts, yet he took out the twelve hours of his rest and made us see Canberra.
Looks easy and many of you would wonder whats so great about it?
The fact is that it was not a holiday for him, rather it was time for him to sleep and be ready for his next night duty shift…

He received us in his town Goulbourn, a pretty suburb of Sydney, and made us feel comfortable in his nice small cosy beautifully done apartment.
He drove us to Canberra and made us enjoy every bit of our drive.

At Goulbourn Station

Two Rimcollians who met after 32 years talked on and on about fellow Rimcollians and it was a pleasure to just be a passive part of their conversations.

More than the drive, it was nice to hear each one recall their school days with such pride and fondness.
It’s hard to find this anywhere else.
There was no exhaustion in his eyes, rather those eyes reflected the mischief, which I had heard about from my husband.

Despite being single, he was a super warm host who made our visit full of sparkle and glitter.

( At the Mint, minting memories)

Canberra, the Australian capital, has nothing much to offer to tourists as compared to Sydney and Melbourne, yet it became special for us because of Babbar…the way he hosted us and the way he took out time to make all of us feel special!

Long live RIMC!
May this kind of brotherhood spread all around the world!
Cheers to RIMC🥂
Cheers to Rimcollians🥂
Ich Dien!
God bless!

When a younger Brother becomes an Elder Sibling….The (Fevicol)Bond of Love

I was born the elder sister and this realisation dawned on me pretty late.
The beautiful memory that fills my heart with a rich smile is of me in my school dress walking to the hospital room( after school) and seeing my little baby brother.

Some memories are crystal clear and not even the mist of years rolled by diminishes its shine.That was 40 years back.

But all these years what I remember is that he was always my elder brother,despite being four years younger to me.

I think brothers are born with a prefix… The Big Brother 🙂

If I rewind my life’s recording, all I recollect is how my brother young in age, exhibited his love for me through his possessive attitude. Couldn’t step out of the house in a night gown and always wondered why ? What was wrong in that? It was after all a full length dress?
But, NO meant No.

May be the physical power led him to think he was the care taker. He was just younger to me in age but otherwise in all aspects, he emanated a kind of father figure touch.
I feel it is because of our festivals like rakhee, bhai dooj and dusherra where sisters are supposed to do a tika on their brother’s forehead and he promises to take care of her.

I feel so now because this kind of tradition makes the brothers in a family feel more responsible and this lends them the power of protecting their sisters.

I so vividly remember the days of my growing up where my brother took charge of me. Physical fights were always his prerogative because somehow I could not match up to his strength. His husky voice added to his physical growth.

Anytime I had to go to my friend’s place for recreation, I was escorted by my brother.

Even the so called girls arena- the kitchen was his forte. He was great in preparing amazing cold coffee and great breakfasts if need be. Like the best chefs are males, so was my brother adept at cooking tasty meals when required. It was he who took care of breakfast if the parents were away. Namkeen sewiya and pulao were his favourite. With dollops of ghee and oil, these dishes tasted divine.

I so clearly remember him making the bed too. It was a daily ritual in our house to remove the day time bedcover and put a clean white sheet on the bed, before sleeping. He was meticulous in doing that too.

And Me? …I just lazed around or should I say I pranced around like a princess!

Though the flip side to being a princess of the house meant that I never enjoyed that elated feeling of being the elder sibling.

His dominating voice made me look like the under dog and I easily succumbed to his instructions.

Being the elder of the two, I got opportunities to help him with his studies and throw my weight around by scolding him but there too, he would make his way and prove his dominance. If he went wrong while studying and I checked him or reprimanded him, he would still be able to dominate me and shut me up. My sharp nails were my only saviour during our hand to hand fights; but that too didn’t last too long.

But those were the days!

Fights and arguements coloured the canvas of life. Parents used to get fed up of our fights but we didn’t !

This is the only relationship that doesn’t get affected by marriage. Our sibling fights did not decrease, due to my marriage. Infact, my husband was initially shocked to see us argue and fight but then he too gave up. He realised that no one can come between a brother and a sister.

Now, it’s only memories that remain. They bring a sweet smile on my face. The pillow fights, the screams, the hand to hand fight, the nail bites( the only weapon of a sister that acts as a saviour)etc are all vivid in my mind.
Festivals like Raksha Bandhan bring back those golden days which seem to be lost in the firmament of time. Now all I can do is to post a rakhee and talk with him.

Domestic responsibilities have burdened life’s shoulders to such an extent that even if one wants to, it becomes difficult to be physically present on such occasions and soak in the pleasures of tying a rakhee yourself and then being treated to tasty sewai and traditional food and that too the entire extended family sitting together for lunch, fun and gossip.

We get to choose our friends,

And even our partner for life,

But it’s God that decides our family

And showers us with a sibling nice….

Thank you God for giving me such a wonderful brother!

To all the good times and beautiful memories that are a part of my wonderful life🥂🥂

Independence Day

The unfurling of the Tricolour
And humming to the tunes of Patriotic songs,
Putting on green and saffron dresses,
Is all that is left today
To mark and celebrate a Day as strong.

This freedom which we enjoy today,
Came with great sacrifice,
This is known to one and all,
But appears to have lost it’s significance
In the firmament of time.

History lessons remind us of those struggles,
Some Bollywood flicks spark that fire too,
But the veneer of dust
That has covered those brave lores,
Seem to have rusted the locks
That could open the progress doors.

We indeed are lucky,
To be born in a free era,
Where we breathe fresh air,
And live every day, without any despair.

Imagine the condition of our forefathers,
Who struggled every day to survive,
And willingly gave up their lives,
With a hope of a future bright.

Indeed those sacrifices,
Did not go in vain,
As the Brits who ruled us for years,
Were pushed back, from where they came.

But this isn’t just sufficient,
To be called as independent,
For beauty lies in that country,
Where peace and prosperity reigns.

Its hence our moral duty,
To expand the horizon of independence,
Not by changing boundaries,
But by uniting hearts in good camaraderie.

Many of us are passive,
Most of us at peace,
Just a few, who feel the need
To do something beyond the call of duty,
For their country and its creed.

We have learnt to take this freedom,
For granted;
Cos we have not faced the yoke of inhuman submission,
And this Loss of understanding,
Is responsible for our present condition.

Corruption and hypocrisy,
Have become the norm of the day,
And those not synch with the above,
Are put to rest, without delay.

Poverty and unemployment,
Casteism and communalism,
Are some of the sore blots,
On our country’s 73rd Birthday slot.

Education to all, still remains a distant dream,
And low Literacy Rate,
Appears to be the culprit,
In the country’s Hall of Fame.

Gender bias, child assaults,
Religious conflicts and adulteration,
All of them together,
Hurt the heart of the nation.

Plastics and pollution,
Seem to hover around,
Without any solution,
And if this continues for another decade,
There will be an end to all our accolades.

Its high time, each of us learn
To shoulder our responsibilities
As a true citizen,
And realise that Independence Day
Is not a celebration
Of hoisting a flag
And wearing Patriotism on one’s sleeves
Just for a day,
Its not just a holiday from work
To sit at home and bask in the glory of the sun,
Rather it’s a day of retrospection;
To measure what we have done,
For the country’s growth,
And what is still left of us
To help our country
Tread the path of progress
Without a single drop of bloodshed.

If all of us together,
Unite in head and heart,
That day is not far away,
When our country
Can put on its forehead
the glittering tiara,
Of the Golden Bird
Which seems to be
Just a tale of the past.

So, let each of us promise
And each of us pledge,
To do the best for our country
And never let the oars of our hard work,
Row the boat of our lives
In a direction,that is meaningless.

More of Goa during Monsoons

Monsoon Magic doesn’t seem to end in Goa. Rains make the state more beautiful and pretty. The verdant green trees and leaves all around look so appealing to the eyes. A drive in any part of the state mesmerises you and #yeh DilMaangeMore!

Salaulim Dam is one such place in Goa which leaves you speechless and breathless ( after climbing a couple of stairs)

It’s a must visit during monsoons. It is situated on salaulim River,which is a tributary of River Zuari in South Goa. It’s beauty lies in not being on the tourist map of Goa and hence unexplored and pure.(The Damn Dam )

The sight of the dam during the monsoon season is absolutely breath taking. The view of the green mountains surrounding the dam and the hazy cover of clouds covering those mountains is nothing less than being in a hill station.
The flow of the water is unbelievable and the mist and the vapour add that pristine beauty to the entire surrounding.( Force to reckon with )

The crystal clear water wading its way through with great force totally bewitches you and you are left spell bound.
The spill way at the dam is a unique duck bill type and not heard of or seen before.The beauty of nature is at its zenith here and one realises, that no matter what height man attains in his creative prowess, nature cannot be imitated or copied.
It’s a nice walk, both sides of the dam and the lovely breeze brushing you, makes it more charming and bewitching.( The pleasure of sitting on a road is priceless)

It’s a paradise for shutterbugs, especially those who feel Goa is all about sand and the sea, it’s a must visit.( Happiness is being in the lap of nature )

Be prepared for thick showers, so carry a rainwear or an umbrella with you; though the strong winds make it difficult sometimes to walk through with an umbrella.( The perfect recipe for enjoyment)

Sometimes, it’s good to just pose with colourful umbrellas; just like we did.( Pure Fun )

One can choose to enjoy the rains too by getting drenched. That’s another fun altogether! But in that case, don’t forget to carry some change along.
The Botanical Garden is very well maintained and the pruned bushes with the sage green lawns and emerald green grass enchant you totally.

Everything around is so picturesque, that one instantly falls in love with nature.( Surrounded by natural beauty)The area abounds in picnic spots and on a dry day, one can enjoy a nice lunch here with friends and family.( So much to do and so much fun)( Who doesn’t want peace ?)

A small temple of Lord Shiva adorns the garden. So for all the people with a religious bent of mind, the visit to the dam would definitely cater and fulfill religious pursuits too.

Ralph Waldo Emerson rightly said,”Adopt the pace of nature;her secret is patience.”
Enjoy the natural beauty of Goa at your own pace.

Capture those Kodak moments of life!

Soak in the little pleasures of life and you will realise every day is special and beautiful!( Our Smiles reflect our thoughts)

So go ahead and plan a trip to the dam!

You will not regret it.

#beautifulgoa

#beautifulsalaulimdam