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

The Mindset to Enjoy the Little Things in Life

When I was very young, Thatha (Granpda TVS) told me that if a man is free of 3 greeds, he can live a happy live:

1. poon – Tamil word for gold – (love for gold – also means love for money and other good things in life

2. pen – Tamil word for a woman – (lust for a woman or man, in the case of a woman)

3. maan – Tamil word for a land/ground – (greed for land)

He told me that if I live a greed-less life…then, I’ll have the time and mindset to enjoy the things that life actually has to offer.

Lil things…like the intricate and delicate cobweb on a tree, a ray of sunlight, the laughter of a child….or the beautiful blue skies.

As the days pass me by, my adoration for Thatha steadily increases.

He was such a wise old man. I bet your Grandpa was a wise old man too.

I know he is watching me from those beautiful blue skies and saying “Atta Girl!”

My Most Memorable Childhood Experiences are with Thatha

They say maternal grandparents are more involved with the grand kids than the fraternal side grandparents. That statement is not entirely true. I have seen both sides rock it with their heavy involvement with shaping the lives of their grand kids.

My paternal side grandparents loved me. But, they weren’t heavily involved. My maternal side grandma had passed away when my mom was still a child. So, the grandparent who was very involved in my life and upbringing was my maternal side grandpa.

I called him Thatha. Thatha called me Chhayi. I think somebody (I still don’t know who it was) that he adored was called Chhaya Devi or something like that.

Thatha was tall, dark and handsome. He was what was called a Muncip (sort of a loss form on a Mayor) for a village called Ponneri. He also farmed (mostly paddy) for a living.

My most memorable childhood experiences are with Thatha.
Somewhere in the corner of my brain all the memories are still vivid. The white sand that formed the roads of Ponneri, the fresh green paddy fields, the tall palm trees, the pump set.

Thatha would put me near the pump set (where the water gushed out like it would from a fire hydrant). He would scrub me with Mysore Sandalwood Soap. The hot summer days and cold water from the pump set where the perfect combination for a gleeful little tomboyish girl who had collected every possible dirt from playing on the streets.

During the summer nights, I rested my head on Thatha’s shoulders as we laid beside each other on what was a called a kayir kattil (a make shift bed made out of wood and rope). We looked up at the starry night. He told me stories of his youth. How he had lost his lands because people had swindled him out of his own property after he had been orphaned. How he had worked hard and bought it all back. How his lost wife was very special to him.

He also told me about what entertainment meant to him. During his childhood, he had seen and heard theru kotthu (street side story telling…usually performed by artists who are elaborately dressed).

When I lost him in summer of 1991, I lost a big part of myself. However, I have often felt that he has protected me during ups and downs. During my CA days, I could have gotten into accidents on the notorious I-680/880 roadways that I had to commute on every day of the week. On many occasions, I felt Thatha had literally pushed away a car that was going to ram against my car. His hand and his love was in plain sight for me to see. It is hard to explain these experiences. The only way you’ll understand it is if you have experienced it yourself.

Whenever the boys do Silambam, I know it is their great-granpda’s genes at play.

Anyways, to end with the story, I am confident Thatha was hanging out with me at Austin Tamil Sangam Program this weekend. Why? Because, Bala and Balaji brought Thatha’s favorite entertainment (theru kotthu) alive in front of my eyes. They performed a piece from Virumandi movie. The drums, the voices, the energy in the room….was completely mind blowing.

Thatha (TVS – Thiruvengadapora Verrakutty Subramaniam) would have been awfully proud of Bala and Balaji.
I won’t still their thunder. So, here is the video.