Ambal’s Blog – Start Here

Grandpa’s (also referred to as Thatha) stories and teachings:

On Unchaining Yourself and Breaking Free

On Giving your Word

Somebody’s Fruit

The Mindset to Enjoy the Little Things in Life

Seat of Speculation

Remembering Chandra Patti

How would You React to the Wrong Order Delivered?

Culture. Traditions. Immersion. New Beginnings.

On Finding Peace and Strength

On Death & Survival

The VibHuti – The story behind the white streak on my forehead

Live Near a Place of Worship

My Most Memorable Childhood Experiences are with Thatha

The Starfish Story

Writing:

When I Write

Why do you Write? Part 1 – Paying it Forward

Why do you Write? Part 2 – Finding Meaning

Writing is very Lonely Work

Writing to Heal and Open Up

To risk making a fool of yourself

What can you learn from some of the best writers in history?

Rainbow Stories:

Rainbow Days – On Waiting

Rainbow Days – Meeting the Vet

Rainbow Days – The Dog Ate My Homework

Rainbow Days – Who is walking Who?

Rainbow Days – The Dog Whisperer

Rainbow Days – Smile All Day

Rainbow Days –Unconditional Love

Rainbow Days – A Man is a Dog’s Best Friend?

Rainbow Days – Falling off the Morning Routine Bandwagon

Wonder:

On Flying

Today, I let Wonder Win

Symmetry in Nature – What a Wonder?

Life through a 8 year old’s eyes

The UnReality of Reality – Fascinating Digital Images

Wildy Chasing Wildflowers in Texas Hill Country

Keep Looking for What doesn’t Meet the Eye

Poems:

5 LIFE Changing Poems YOU Should Read

Let me Lead a Purposeful Life

Remember to Forget

Desiderata – Desired Things

Your children are Not Your Children

Dear Human: You’ve got it all Wrong

Yours is the Earth and Everything That’s in It

A time to be born, and a time to die

On Vanity of Human Toil

Time & Moments:

On Time

On Waiting

Embrace‬ ‪the‬ ‪Metaphysical‬

Look at the Sun Rays

All Kind of Miracles Happen. Don’t they?

Experience Moments, One by One

Warm water of the Atlantic Ocean. Met my feet.

The Mindset to Enjoy the Little Things in Life

I would have bet Bolt hands down!

On What you are seeking and How it is seeking you

Thoughts of a Weary Traveler

On Moments that become Meaningless

Right place at the Right time with the Right person

Nostalgia Reminds us that some Beautiful Moments are Past Us

Moments eventually come to an End

Mad Rush through the Grocery Store Aisles

Life:

On Life

When all of Life seems Ablaze

Thoughts of a Weary Traveler

Life through a 8 year old’s eyes

Let me Lead a Purposeful Life

Summer Camp – How to Handle LIFE as it Happens

We are all creatures of our Life Experiences

First Anniversary Celebration of Life

Every Day Life is very Interesting

True Freedom in Life

On Running for the Hills

The Simple Pleasures of Life – Hot Chai

Friends make our Life’s one way Journey Extra Sweet

The Simple Pleasures of Life – Warm Sand

In reality, to live a happy life we need to know and practice very few skills

Isn’t Life about Second Chances?

On walking away from my Chariot

I would have bet Bolt hands down!

Right place at the Right time with the Right person

On Flying

When I was a little girl, I had this recurring dream.
I was a bird.
Sometimes, I flew over green and fields.
Sometimes, I flew over lakes and rivers.
I flew with a sense of freedom.

This uncanny sense of flying stayed with me for many years.
It also led me to dream of being a pilot or astronaut.
To fuel my dream, Appa encouraged me to write letters to ISRO (Indian Space Research Org) and explore opportunities.

On a beautiful Spring day in 2012, Adi, Kumar and I went parasailing together on 3 seater. Kumar was in the center. Adi and I were on either side of the parasailing seats to balance out the weight appropriately.

The boat took us out to the Pacific Ocean and we para sailed with for glee for a few minutes. That wonderful feeling of freedom I’m flying rushed back to my memory.

The rush of ocean wind on my face and my legs dangling free… the whole feeling of freedom…. the scent of salt water…. all of that was visceral.

To this day, when I take a flight, I am fascinated with the engineering and mechanics of what humanity has made possible.

What recurring dream did you have during childhood?

Somebody’s Fruit

When I was in middle school, I had the most fun and passionate English Teachers who taught poetry and prose. One of those poems was this: Somebody’s Mother

Speaking of mothers, Mommy told me a lot of stories of her childhood. One of them was about the fruit trees in her father’s (Grandpa TVS) fields. She described the low hanging mangoes and how she would lie down under the shaded trees and eat them. She also described the giant grapefruits that were too sour for her to eat.

Because of her stories, although I grew up in the outskirts of the city (concrete jungle) with dwindling vegetation, I grew up with growing love for fields, villages, shaded and fruit bearing trees. I found the whole concept of lying beneath a low hanging mangoe tree very exotic.

As I grew up, over the last two decades, wherever I went, I left a trail of plants and trees. That is not to say I have a green thumb. Far from it. I am a plant killer. But, I kept trying my best. I learnt from the best and kept getting better. Given that frugual is part of my DNA, I never (over-)spent on plants. I borrowed a cutting or got a sapling from fellow plant lovers and planted fruit trees and roses. Plant lovers were more than happy to drop by and show me the ropes and in many cases, handle my SOS “Hey…..run over….plant is drying out, yellowing out, tilting over” calls. One of those friends was an elderly gentlemen named Al who helped me plant peaches, pears etc during my Fremont (CA) days. Al even helped Kumar put in a sprinler system and drip irrigation, so I didn’t have to water the plants every day during summer. During my CA days, when the fruit harvest came in during Spring and Summer, I shared the labor of love with friends and colleagues.

But, as my life course changed, I moved around, and many a times, I didn’t get to enjoy my labor of love. I didn’t get to see the plants that I set in the ground mature…and bear fruit.

Such is life…is it not?

That brings me to today’s story.

For the last few weeks, I have been plucking persimmons and distributing them. I didn’t plant the persimmon trees in the backyard. My friend Thane tells me that persimmon trees are like the Indian version of tulasi (holy basil)…considered very auspicious for a family. The Chinese family who lived in our place must have planted them in the ground with much love and nurtured them. But, before they could enjoy the labor of their love, they moved away.

Leaving me to pluck these persimmons and distribute them with much love.

These persimmons. Somebody’s fruit.

End Note:

I bet Mommy is proud that she left her legacy of love for plants with me.

Leave a legacy. Plant something.

On a Fall Day

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. ”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
― Yoko Ono

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”
― Joe L. Wheeler

 

On Time

I had one of those serendipitous moments today.
It didn’t come easy.
I struggled for many decades because I didn’t even know what were the right questions to ask.
It only came because, over the years, I had gotten better at seeding the right questions in my brain.

Over the last 3 decades…by reading about time management, by using every time management tool there is possible, by optimizing, by juggling, by prioritizing and by trying to run my life as a project…..I haven’t actually been doing what I thought I did – Managing time instead of letting time manage me.

Due to my eastern learning, fortunately, I also know that time itself is timeless.

With that context, here is the realization that dawned on me today.

Ready for it?

I actual haven’t been managing time or let time manage me.
Something more.
I have been trying to OUTRUN time.
Did you hear that?
OUTRUN TIME.

How foolish?
How contrived?
How conceited?
How powerful?
And yet, how foolish and futile?!

In the picture, I am trying to outrun time and make it to Mt. Whitney 14,505 feet peak by noon.

Yes, I braved changing mountain conditions with a couple of hailstorms and indeed bagged Mt. Whitney one beautiful day in Summer 2010, by noon time, as I had willed it.