Enjoy the Rare Solstice FULL MOON Tonight

 A solstice is an event occurring when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere.

Today, Dec 21, 2018 marks the winter solstice. Not only that. It is all a glorious full moon. This is a very rare occurrence and won’t  happen until the turn of this century.

Since this day marks endings and new beginnings, I am going to be reflecting on 2018 and making plans for 2019.

You do the same. Enjoy the moon.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

The little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

On Sangam

In Tamil, there is a Thirukural (sort of like a 2 line poetry) that goes like this

sevikku unavillatha podhu siridhu
vayirrukkum eeya padum

It literally means, food for the stomach can follow when there is no food for the ears. Today, I had the honor and fortune of being treated to both stomach and ears.

Here goes the story.

I got back late evening on Friday after week long travel and will be heading out again on Monday for another week long travel. I hadn’t had anything on Friday after lunch except for coffee. I was so sleep deprived when I came home. I just spent a couple of hours with the boys and went straight to bed without dinner. I slept in for about 10 straight hours (thanks to Kumar for juggling boys morning routine) and woke up Saturday morning and had a cup of coffee. Then, I did some quick house cleaning and caught up on emails and work.

Kumar Nagarajan suggested we take the boys and head to Sangam for lunch. My friends and colleagues had all been urging me to go check out Sangam…so, I immediately said YES to Kumar. By, the time we got to Sangam, I was starving.

Within a couple of minutes of us settling down, one of the waiters came by and took my order in Tamil. I was delighted. As if that wasn’t enough, my buddy Rathan Raja came by to say hello and told me if was his family that was running the business. Rathan introduced me to his wife, sister and sister’s husband. I was very pleased at how the family was actively involved in running the business and serving the customers. I gave Rathan and family a quick update on all the rave reviews I had been hearing about Sangam.

Food arrived and the boys and I started digging in. I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious food. The beetroot halwa was to die for. My favorite was the sambar….it tasted as if Amma had made it. You all know I don’t say that often.


As we were eating lunch, my favorite Tamil songs (vaigai kari kattru nilli, vellai pura ondru, oran all unnai naan, prove samosa, henna satham etc) started playing. What can I say? I was more than delighted to spend Saturday afternoon with the boys at Sangam….with feast to ears and stomach.

As I left with the boys, I conveyed my hearty congratulation to Rathan’s family members and wished them the very best.

Sangam is located in North West Austin (intersection of Parmer Lane and McNeil Road). Go check them out at 6001 W Parmer Ln, Austin, TX 78727

https://www.yelp.com/biz/sangam-chettinad-indian-cuisine-austin-2

On Him Growing Up

Days turn into nights,
nights turn into days.

They come and they go,
Rather predictably and cyclically.

School years starts turn into school years ends,
School years ends turn into school years starts.

They come and they go,
Rather predictably and cyclically.

Winter turns into Spring,
Spring turns into Summer,
Summer turns into Fall,
Fall turns into Winter.

They come and they go,
Rather predictably and cyclically.

In the midst of all that predictably and cyclicalness,
I stand in utter awe of how nature and nurture are turning this wonder of a baby into a fine-&-refined young man.

And, how grateful I am to know and to feel,
that I am a very minuscule part of this grandiose life as it unfolds, right in front of my eyes.

Life…..so predictable and so cyclical…..
yet, not so predictable and not so cyclical,
blooms, grows and takes form in unpredictable and uncyclical ways.

On How Love Manifests in Hidden Places

Love manifests in a zillion ways in zillion places.

As the firm voice that says “Don’t do it..or else”.

As the pat on your shoulder that says “Atta girl (or boy)”

As the peck of teary kiss that says “Good bye…be back with me soon”.

As the glance of a friend or a lover that only you know and understand.

Let me give you an example of how love manifests under my roof in the least of places.

I hope with this story, I will urge you to notice the love that unfolds in unforeseen places and circumstances.

The times I grew up in, taught me that one never really wastes any resources or dumps stuff away. One makes the most of what one has.

I have had the same kitchen mittens for over a decade. They had worn out and when I pulled something out of the oven, I winced due to the heat.

The boys immediately rushed to my aid.

One got a towel dipped in cold water to wrap around my hand.

One got an ice pack and put it on my hand.

One yelled – “How many times I have asked you to throw those worn mittens out?”

A few months ago, Kumar got a sturdy pair of mittens from Costco and gave me a firm look and even firmer words. “Look. I am dead serious. You are going to start using these mittens when you stick your hand in the oven. I threw away the old ones. They are gone.”

I gave him a sheepish “Yes Sir” look.

I asked him in my sweetest voice possible – “Those mittens. Remember? Those were the ones we picked out long ago. Did you really throw them away?”

He said -“Quit it. I am not going to fall for that melt your heart look. Those old mittens are gone. Start using the new ones.”

Fast forward a few months. I have been using the new mittens and getting used to them.

Yesterday evening, as we started preparing for Thanksgiving get togethers for the upcoming week, I reminded Kumar to take stock that we had enough disposable supplies (plates, spoons, cups etc). He didn’t.. despite my nagging. Disposable supplies are typically stacked away in a tall cupboard that are difficult for me to reach (remember – I have a 5 foot lean and mean form). I had to go find the step stool from the garage, place it underneath the cupboard and lean over the refrigerator to take stock of supplies.

Guess what I found?

Guess where Kumar had put away my old mittens – out of sight…and out of my height 😉

That is right…on top of the refrigerator…below the tall cupboard.

What transpired next…I’ll leave it up to your imagination.

Like I said earlier, love manifests in very simple….yet beautiful ways…like buying you new kitchen mittens and putting away (not throwing them out) your old ones beyond your reach.

Our view of love has been colored by what we are led to believe is love by popular media.

Don’t over romanticize love…because, love is hiding in plain sight…right before you….or, in my case, right above me.

Love.

May you find love.

May you give love.

May you get love.

May you revel in love.

May you be love.

To love…my friends.

 

On Puddles

It is a cold, wet, dark, rainy and gorgeous day here in Austin.

As I took my morning walk today, I noticed that Austin’s greenery was soaked in beautiful rain.

I am still stepping (rather, carefully) in all the watery puddles with my sandals on.

Are you?

Adi asked – “Amma, what if this is all the rain and beautiful greenery is a giant simulation?”

I asked him to rewatch Matrix and Inception.

“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you’re just a reflection of him?”
― Bill Watterson

“Childhood is that state which ends the moment a puddle is first viewed as an obstacle instead of an opportunity.” – Kathy Williams