2013 HIGHLIGHTS: Towards bigger purposes of life (POST 2)

I was introduced to Reiki in 2008, when I was dire straits about handling the pressures of life: A young child, a tough decision of leaving a corporate career behind for family, taking up teaching, sleepless nights, terrible back ache and anger issues. I decided to learn Reiki – Degree 1. You can read about it more here. To say that it helped me to be more competent to handle my life will be a major understatement. If I had temper issues rated at 9/10, I came down to less than 5/10 in a matter of maximum one month. My backache lessened by atleast 80% and it was a miracle for me. Not a single day went by without Reiki practice.

The last 3 years had been like a roller coaster for us. There were too many changes and too much of emotional issues to handle. It took toll. Somewhere I guess I was separated from my spiritual self. I had the deep guilt of loosing the spiritual connection between the universal powerful energy and me.

So when 2013 started, I vowed to settle the gap. I decided to go in for Reiki-2nd degree. Our Reiki master was sweet enough to take time out of his schedule to come from Mumbai, stay with us for 2 days and teach us. When he shared his spiritual experiences of the past 14 years (Can I mention here that he is 28 years old!), I was swept off my feet.
The experience came with a bonus. Anirudh got his first spiritual experience of Reiki-1. Yes, officially he can do Reiki now. But he will have to revisit the principles of Reiki and the details of it after a couple of years. At the age of 7, my son now understands what is Reiki, and what all magic can happen by channelizing this energy using his small hands.

Of all the things he spoke, there was one thing which struck me, which will remain with me for the rest of my life:

“If you are asking for something from God/Supreme, ask for something huge. Don’t get wasted in small issues of life, they will anyway be taken care of. Instead ask for wisdom, enlightenment and spiritual development, because that is the essence of life. It will lead you to the correct place.”

FYI, my Reiki lineage: Do visit http://www.cosmicrhythm.org/

2013 HIGHLIGHTS: Attending my first rock show with kids! (POST 1)

What happens when there a perfect cocktail of a Saturday evening + family + friends + sprawling ground of Primus Public School + progressive Carnatic rock band AGAM + Bangalore’s cool winds? You get the perfect KICK! 

When last week Anirudh came back from school with a circular about AGAM performing in the school grounds, there was not a second thought about our decision. I was taken back to the college fests  and the concerts I had attended during college and pre-marriage days.

When I went to the school to collect the tickets, the bundle of freshly printed tickets were opened in front of me. I was the first one to buy the tickets!

Manoj was super excited. Have I mentioned before that he plays Carnatic violin, is a trained Carnatic singer and also an amateur photographer? 🙂 So here he was with a perfect opportunity to listen to his favourite genre of music and take splendid pics of a concert. What more can a guy ask for…really!?

Then there was Anirudh, who wanted to know what a band is? I explained to him the meaning. After a due thought, he said, “So if I continue learning piano and become good at it, can I have a band? Papa can play the violin with me.” He understood it perfectly! 🙂

The evening started with the Primus school band: The Dreamers, performing for the first time. The kids were enthusiastic and real good. Keeping in mind that that they are budding artists in their own making, I feel they can go a long way, if  they believe in their calling. The parents of the band members had pride and happiness written all over the faces, and I couldn’t stop being happy for them.

It was later taken over by the electrifying performance by AGAM. Now, I have always been a big fan of fusion. I just love the blend of carnatic music with lyrics based on hymns and chants along with hard rock. I was brought up on a steady diet of Bryan Adams, Guns & Roses, MLTR, Skid Row, Eagles, U2, Aerosmith, Enigma, and the likes. My parents were not much of music lovers. The only time I heard my dad listening to music was a few rare Saturday/Sunday noons before lunch when he would put on his favourite cassettes of Janaki, Yesudas, Chitra etc.

I, on the other hand, had posters and collages of my favourite music bands stuck all over the walls of my room. The first time I did it, my dad came and ripped it, saying it chips the walls! I cried so much that he gave in. My school bag had favourite quotes of music bands written on them. My constant doodling were also that of music.

My first tryst with fusion was when I attended a fusion concert by L.Subramaniam, Shiva Mani, Bhimsen Joshi, Indian Ocean, and few other famed musicians, when I was in 12th std. I remember shouting ‘Encore!!!’ in a crowd of a sophisticated audience, My parents were shocked! 😀

AGAM turned out to be the next level of fusion I had heard till now. They make music which is a blend of hard rock (Almost metal for my taste) and Carnatic. But I loved it! Their ‘The Boat Song’ made the audience grooving and head banging. Let me tell you here that the audience here was not the usual age group one finds in a rock gig. They were parents,grand parents, teachers, school management and ofcourse students ranging from the age of 3 to 15. And then ofcourse there were the siblings like my younger one who were as young as 2.5 🙂 The first time in my life where the dress code was not kohl rimmed eyes, tattoos and minimal clothing, but kurtas, salwar suits, and yup…sarees too!

(A little something about the band: Most of the band members are ex-BITS Pilani who found music as a common passion other than racking up their brains. 🙂 Good for us, I say. Today, they all have careers which fits their academic inclination, yet continue to feed their passion through their band. )

But if you think that any of these factors stopped the electrifying environment, you got it all wrong. People who knew headbanging did it, swinging away to glory, and those who did not know what is headbanging got a complete hang of it.

If you may ask, what was my best moment?

…Headbanging and dancing with my 7 year old. You may ask, how exactly is headbanging and dancing fun with a 7 yr old. But it was, totally! I taught my son yet another thing 🙂
He made mommy’s heart happy when he said, “I want that song to be repeated, so that Amma and I can jump.” He saw another facet of his mother. That of a thorough music lover who lost herself to an evening full of music, fun and letting herself go.

Oh ya, I did say a silent thanks to my son while putting him to sleep. Amma was able to attend and enjoy a rock show because of you…Shona 🙂

F for Family

I usually don’t watch soaps. It is too lingering for an
impatient person like me. But the last week, a combination of late working
husband + kids hitting the sack + all my friends ditched me by not answering my
calls + a rare mood of not wanting to read, made me switch on the TV. Cruising
through channel after channel, I stumped upon a particularly lovely scene in
the recent addition to Star World’s soaps: Packed to the Rafters. And sighhh…I
have been hooked since then.
It is a perfect blend of all that a family does for a
person. After a day full of A – Z activities, watching something so warm is
like soaking oneself in a little more than lukewarm mix of water, essential
oils and bubble bath. Aaah, don’t forget the scented candles. Yup, it is that
If someone asks me what is that one thing which I want to
see when I am back after a tiring whole day out, my only answer is: “Not
coming back to an empty home.” For many, it is a wish come true. But for me,
nah. I like to listen to the kids playing, some music playing, and someone to
talk to about my day…and ofcourse a neat home is definitely a perk. I had asked
the same question to my husband also. And to my delight, he also said that he
likes to see a full house when he is back from work. So, there is something
about having family there to greet you with a smile, or a hug or ‘Yayy…Amma is
If I had to pen down my favourite family moments I can
think of during my growing up years, here they are:
  • Coming back from school to hot lunch and Ammumma waiting
    with the same question every single day, “So what happened in school today?”
    And she would skip her siesta and sit with me listen to my unending blabbering.
  • Onam and Vishu: All the extended family would get together
    and have the typical Sadhya, payasam and a Malayalam movie thereafter.
  • On the Saturdays I had school, coming back to see my parents at
    home. (They used to work.)
  • The passing of chicken leg piece from the plate of whichever
    family member to me. ‘Coz I loved having a chicken leg.
  • The occasional movie watching with the whole family. I
    remember coming back home from school one day to everyone waiting for me with
    tickets to Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.
  • The family ritual of watching Republic Day parade on TV
    every single year.
  • Eating groundnuts on a sunny afternoon on the terrace during
    chilly months of Delhi.
  • Buying hot grilled corncobs and breaking it into half and
    eating it with everyone. No-one had a whole…only half. (I don’t know why?)
  • The treat of Choco-bar ice-cream and orange lollies during
    summers under the cool waves coming out of water coolers.
  • The card game after every family lunch on special occasions.
    (And I crying every time I lost!)
  • Hot oil massages by my aunt. She can beat a 1000 bucks head
    spa anytime.
  • The first family car we bought. A black Ambassador.  It was a monster and we all loved it.
  • The last point I can think of is best depicted by this pic
Let me explain. Back then digital cameras never existed. But every occasion asked for an entire camera roll getting exhausted. The best part was not getting clicked. It was after that. When the pictures came developed from the studio, we had the best of the laughs. Someone’s head would be out of the frame, someone’s eye would be closed, some would be adjusting their dress….oh! 😀

Family is like that teaspoon of ghee which you put in a hot bowl of dal and rice. Now, you get it right? …I know J