Drunken Elephants, Wild Horses and Blogging

This week has been a week of great learning. I was fortunate to have been at the receiving end of hateful discrimination. I say fortunate because it helped me see how I respond when I am threatened. It is still too fresh and raw for me to be able to write about it at length but I know I will. Reading and hearing about writers who have had to face similar challenges and enjoying the festive air all around has been of great help. This post is more of a filler as I allow the several piqued selves within me to settle down.

The goodness of Himalayan Mist tea, SF '11, unfurling as they brew

On a more positive note, for those who follow our work and our life, here is some news. Our long-dreamt-of project, the tea outlet, is finally shaping up, initially as an online outlet. This has kept me a little busy and we will be out on a tasting and sourcing expedition next week. I cannot tell you how excited and grateful I am for the way the universe has brought us to this point. I hope to be able to update my blog during this time, though I am not entirely certain. I will keep you posted as it evolves.

On the writing front, this week, I had the opportunity of writing guest posts for two bloggers whose work I follow and admire. I had a lot of fun writing these posts, and they are different from what I usually do. Do take a look.

A Gift From a Guest at Crack The Sky, a post on how blog posts really get written.


Three Easy-To-Grow Plants at Rachna Says, a post about a different kind of gardening.

The Larger Lunacy

Much of what is put out here is stuff that makes you stop and think awhile about where we are headed as a civilization. Or at least, so I tell myself. So I try and vary the pace a little sometimes in the name of blogger social responsibility. They say failures are the pillars. The successes lie above. And yes, I have heard of Stephen Leacock!

I tried my hand at humor a couple of times, but it turned out to resemble a botched liposuction procedure. So I thought it was better left to the professionals - our politicians. I tried the other extreme - dark satire, but the corporations beat me to it by miles. Who can beat a vibrator with your newspaper? I tried doing plain vanilla informative posts, but it seems that I need to qualify for a reservation quota to be able to do that. I must admit that I have not tried tech and fashion often enough, since every time I think of something to write about, it turns out no one is "doing that stuff" any more. The only avenue left to me is plagiarism, or as close to it as my conscience permits. Damned thing, this conscience business. Like an appendix!

Ways to Teach Your Children the Value of Respect

Ongoing research continues to reveal astonishing facts about the developmental journey of infants. They observe and absorb language and behavior from their environment far earlier than people used to imagine. There are studies that show that they can differentiate words and feelings within a few months of being born. As they grow, they continue to acquire social and interpersonal skills. While some of it can be imparted through direct instruction and disciplining, much of it is picked up by children observing those around them. What frustrates and puzzles parents is how difficult it is to teach children the value of respect.  Guest blogger Kelsey Masterson offers five ways to teach your children the value of respect.

We all know that toddlers and preschoolers aren’t always the perfect models of respectful behavior 100 percent of the time. Sometimes, they come across as being very trying at this young age. Teaching your children the value of respect is a process that can start at a young age, and it won’t be as hard as it seems.

Start Early
As soon as your child is born, they should start hearing the words “please” and “thank you” when you are around them. When they get to the age that they can play with other children, teach them all about sharing with their friends. Show him that taking care of his toys will also teach him how to respect property.

A Walk in the Mountain: Tirupati to Tirumala

I wrote and rewrote these first few lines more than a dozen times. Then I realized that I cannot express in words what I want to share and gave up. I am grateful to several people for the courage to do this post the way it has turned out. The first, of course, is my father, who taught me all that I know about looking through a lens. The second is Sandeep of Crack The Sky, whose simple yet profoundly touching photo-essays can make you rethink all that you believe in. Third, to Bhavana whose photographs are comprehensive narratives by themselves. Fourth, to Aarathi Selvan for introducing me to the concept of contemplative photography. And finally, as the music fades in and I know I am in the crosshairs of the man at the back of the dark auditorium, I am grateful to the man in the mountain who makes all things real, grateful to life itself.

Last Saturday, while having breakfast and looking out at the pigeons bickering in the grey morning, we decided to go to Tirupati. We bought bus tickets online and threw some clothes and toothbrush into a case.

The overnight bus dropped us at the Tirupati APSRTC stand at 6.30 a.m. We found a room, washed up, and set off on the 9 km walk to Tirumala, located 3200 feet above sea level. We set out at 9 in the morning. By the time we began the climb it was about 9.30 a.m.

Small Joys: Life Lessons from a Two Year Old

In hosting guest bloggers, one of my challenges is to be able to say no.It is easy when the post is poorly written. The problem arises when they are well written but either deal with topics that are not in sync with what this blog is all about, or if they are extremely complex and theoretical. When Clarissa sent in this guest post, I was struck by the simplicity of its message and how it captures an aspect of life that all of us tend to lose as we grow up. Enjoy!

Life Lessons from a Two-year-old

At some point in our lives, we have all thought that life is just too complicated. Some may think that it is a mystery to be solved or even a race or contest to win. We live our lives aiming to achieve more, getting bored easily and wanting to do more, or less. We are never satisfied. We think having things “bigger” will make us happier; have a bigger house or car, earn a bigger salary. The words “more” and “bigger” will cure the emptiness in our hearts, the heaviness in our shoulders, and the silence in our homes and it will solve all our problems. We all know that is false and yet, most of us continue to adhere to that lie.

As a new mother, I am learning things from my two year old daughter. And this is what it is: I have learned that life is actually easy-peasy, lemon squeesy.
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