Post Thanksgiving Thanks

Thanksgiving break week started off very rough.

I thank you all for sending your positives vibes to Ari (who was sick and in the ER last week) and the family.I do believe those positive vibes work. Because, thanks to all the positive vibes, our week did progress well and we spent the last few days surrounded by the warmth and cheer of friends and family.

Despite my ever present restraint in indulging with food, I ate more than I should have….but, that is only because the food was served with so much heartfelt love and so much care. My SIL Rema’s mango-fruit based dessert, my new friend Uma’s elaborate spread of vegetable curries, and aloo paratha, my girlfriend Sukanya’s bhel and vadai (which reminded my so much of Mommy’s vadai) and filter coffee, my enthu friend CK’s pulav, my buddy Vijaya’s sweet potato casserole (which is queen-of-all-cooks Jyotsna’s and her daughter Ashlesha tried and tested recipe; thanks to Kaushik for baking the casserole in Rohit’s oven), my neighbor Rohit’s besan laddoos and more.

Now, as if all that was not a big enough list to be grateful for…just as I was getting ready to call his weekend a wrap, our next door neighbor’s 10 year old nephew (visiting from New Jersey) who became buddies with the boys….brought over some fresh guacamole that he had made. (side note: He had left the huge avacado seed in the guacamole and when I asked him why….he quipped that it was to prevent the guacamole from browning too quickly. I am just so impressed with kids…they know so much….stuff that I don’t know!)

If you think I ate so much that my stomach hurt…that is quite not right. Because, my stomach hurt more from the non-stop laughter.

I am so grateful for this break and all the folks who made it the most memorable Thanksgiving ever (I know….I know…I say that ever year. But, truly, it was memorable).

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

Now, the race to the end of 2017. Just few more weeks….and than we can all take a break during the holidays. Hang in there.

On Bells and Chimes

Bells and Chimes are used in cultures throughout the world in ceremonies and religious places. There is many reasons for this. But, the one that I like the most is the following –

The sound produced by a bell is designed to strike a cordial balance between our right and left brain. The striking of the bell is believed to instantly halt all thought movement, creating a natural state of awareness. This also works to soothe the mind. The ringing of the bell produces a sharp sound which reverberates for approximately 7 seconds as an echo, long enough to touch on the seven healing centers or chakras in our body.

A well designed bell can produce resounding strains of the sound of “OM”.

With that background, let me recount for you what happened today morning.

It was a windy day here in Austin. I walked into the Sri Venkateswara Temple of Austin (which had the Maha kumbhabhishekam last weekend). As I walked into the temple courtyard, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound of the bells. I just stood there for several minutes focusing on the sound and taking it all in.

Here is a short recording.

I hope the sound of the wind and the sound of the bell brings you as much joy as it did to me today morning.

Start of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere

Tomorrow is start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Happy Spring!
Today, weather was great in Austin.

So, finally, I shed by my long hand shirts, my woolen coat, my woolen socks, my warm cap, my fleece pants and donned a skirt and flip flops.

Valentine’s Day Gift

I have told the boys that I don’t need any gifts for birthday or Christmas or Valentines Day.

So, they usually take me out to lunch or dinner or cook a meal…..to spend time together.

This Valentine’s Day, Adi surprised me by giving a Jawbone….it is some wearable gadget to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Its lean and mean….kind of like me.

Maybe, just maybe…. I’ll change the Kumar’s household policy on gifts.

Nah.

I much rather have the present (as in moment) rather than any present.

That said, I am going to let Adi see how much I am enjoying this by putting it to power use.

Live Near a Place of Worship

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. – Rabindranath Tagore

When I was a young girl, Thatha and Appa told me – “Kovil illa oril kudi irruka vendam”.

It means “Don’t live in a city or town that doesn’t have a place of worship.”

Thankfully, I have always lived near a temple during my lifetime.

That said, I have only seen one Kumabishekam thus far.

Kudos to Craig and Jill Edwards for making it possible for me to see the second Kumabishekam in my lifetime the weekend of March 3-5.

I can’t wait.