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“Ichigo Ichie” and the truth of routines….

It’s nearly midnight and looking back, today was just another ordinary day, filled with the usual routines at home. My sister just called and classified my day as “boring”. Well, I wouldn’t say that, ‘cause after days of madness there is a comfort in doing the usual daily chores. Maybe that’s the beauty of routines.

Routines. It becomes a part and parcel of your life. And in a way, there is some comfort in routines. Getting up and heading to the porch, with my morning cup of tea in hand, armed with the newspaper in the other, to connect to the world outside and to watch life go by; that is my day starts. Routines are an essential part of life. It brings some kind of order and balance in the daily buzz.

Routines and monotony. Not necessarily. Sometimes, monotony is needed to bring life to normal. Imagine every day, if it was filled with uncertainties about what would happen next. As it is, every day has the usual surprises and shocks. Minus routines or the regular daily stuff, it would feel that every day is like a roller coaster. You don’t know if you would be sitting tomorrow or hanging upside down. Thanks, but I would rather stick to the routines, whenever possible and not let my stress levels go skyrocketing up.

Besides, monotony gives a sort of regularity and “systematism” to the day. And it’s when you deviate from the regular monotony that creativity happens too. No art or task can be repeated exactly in the same manner. At least humans can’t. That’s what machines are made for. Every mundane chore, when you give it a slight twist once in a while, i.e. Make a small variation and viola, there is a difference. And that makes the day interesting.

“Repetition and routine leads to boredom!!” But who is doing the exactly same intricate precise actions daily. Consider the daily
morning chore of making tea or coffee. The procedure is a set of movements that have been mentally thought as the same, yet no action is the same. That’s why the Zen philosophy says, the day is based on the philosophy of ichigo ichie”, i.e. “one time, one encounter”. And that each moment is unique and cannot be repeated in the exactly same manner.

In fact, I feel that repetition is a concept; every action has subtle differences that make it different from the previous one. And deviating once a while from the routines, brings the creativity to light.

In a way, sticking to routines helps to bring your day into track and makes it productive. Besides, even daily routines have surprises. You just have to look for them to find them. Routines, monotony, balance, creativity…they all go hand in hand. What do you say ?


Unpredictable as always…

Almost nearing towards the end of June, it would have been the ideal start to the rains, the monsoons. But as usual, being unpredictable as ever, is its charm. It had to start right away, at the end of May. And since then it’s been a fight for the skies, of the rain and the sun. After all, regularly irregular is in vogue for Mr. Weather at the moment. Apparently, his turf is not only in England.

Monsoons. Ah, interesting topic of discussion, but after hiding the sun for two days at a stretch, it deserves a word of appreciation at the least, hence the post.

I’ve heard of rainy days and sunny days, but of a sunny rainy day!! Well now I have. The most irritating part is that one minute you are on the road, next minute you are wading through the muddy waters. No, I don’t live in a swamp nor did I enter the forest area. You see, it just rained.

Rains. Or rather, the monsoons. I love it. It brings me back to nature.  Especially, the fresh smell of earth, jumping in mud puddles, setting the paper boats on sail, and of course, getting drenched. And not to forget, the hot cup of tea or coffee, while watching the rain at work. The rainy days have some of the best moments.

But not, when I have to go for work. En route to work, after wading in muddy ponds and walking in slosh, my attire becomes a piece of modern art. Worse is the mud splashes greeting us, the pedestrians. Forget covering the distance from my quarters to the hospital on wheels, by the time I beat the traffic, it would be mid-day.

And to add to it, the tireless chore of getting rid of mud prints on the floor; it’s a mix of paw prints and foot-prints!!! And of course, with the sun in hiding, trying to get the clothes sun-dried is almost next to impossible.

Worst of the worse, is allergies. Well, I beat Rudolph this time.

Anyways, no matter how tedious rainy days may be, they have their own importance in a special way. I guess, it’s just a matter of getting used to the changing weather. So at present, here I am on my day off,  after battling today’s rain along with the hours of traffic and the roads, finally at home.

Hopefully, tomorrow the rains will ease up a bit for the sun to come out from hiding. Then, it’s a maybe again. No point in trying to predict the unpredictable. Just trying to enjoy the moments as they happen. Happy monsoons !!!

I’m staying from “this little Bee” for a while….

Here are the snippets of a long distance video conversation with my cousin and my 7 year old neice…..

“So how was school Julie-Ann?”

“Oh it was great aunt. I qualified for the Spelling Bee. I’m representing my school for the finals at the state level.”

“That’s great dear.”

“You wanna know my final word aunt.”

“Oh yes, what was it?”

“Paraphernalia. And aunt Ky, there was a tie breaker with Chris, one of the guys from the third grade. We had to then spell misogynist. But I won,” bubbled a very gleeful Julie-Ann…..

All the while in my mind, I kept my fingers crossed hoping that I wouldn’t have to spell any word put across by my neice, on the spot.

Spelling Bee. It was one of the most awaited events at school. Eagerly awaited by some, but dreaded by the rest of us. For me, it was a so-so event. I could credibly keep my head above the water.

Though today, I would rather feel better if one didn’t ask me to spell certain words, outright on the spot. ‘Cause, you see there is particular icon in my Microsoft Office  Word software, which is there in the review bar. The icon, which is seen as a “tick mark” with ABC written in capitals over it. Oh yes, it’s the indispensible “spelling and grammar check” option. This is one icon that no document is complete without.

I know my basic spellings but while typing against time, I don’t even know what order the type keys are getting pressed. The speed of my thoughts, usually outrun my type speed. So that’s where this little icon becomes real handy. True, that time gets spent on editing, but at least there is no outrageous spelling mistakes sent via email.

Another thing is the language. I’m talking about English, but more specifically, the British English and the American English. When I have to type reports and publications for the journals, that’s when the problem starts. So now, it’s just a matter of setting the language to U.S. or U.K. Thank goodness for office software.

So these days, though I’m still fond of spellings (but I’m staying from this bee for a while), I’d rather not go unprepared as far paper presentations and work is concerned.

Guess I’m being spoilt by this “little icon”!!

A la chocolat !!

Alright, how many of you can ever say no to chocolate…any hands raised up?!! None, i guess.Its the world’s best and the most scrumptious delight. Old or young, busy or jobless, there is always time for a dose of chocolate, melted or in blocks, bites or spread, cakes, pudding, biscuits, cookies..any form you name it!!!

The happy moments, patch up moments, celebration, reminders of home….

“What is the meaning of life? All evidence to date suggests it’s chocolate.Check out any of the surveys, you ll know what I am talking about!!!Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.”

Momma always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. – Forrest Gump

All of us diabetic, chocolate in moderation is alright. Not to mention that it is go0d for the heart as well. Besides elevating the mood and reducing the stress…not a bad comfort food actually.

So what are you waiting for, have a bite of that rich dark melting simply wonderful chocolate…the first on the list of the world’s best comfort foods!!!!

Cookies and Milk…..

It’s around midnight, and the hunger pangs began. Rummaging through my dorm, I came up with the world’s best combination of comfort food– cookies and milk.. Guess my luck didn’t run out, after all !!! This was and still is one of my fav foods. The best mood changer ever. Dunno, what’s so cool about, but it does soothe my mood to the more “happier” times….

There is something about the way the different cookies come out, the shapes, colours, and the various combos….you can take your own pick and never get disappointed.  School times, sleep overs, “family bakes” and growing up, all these memories are embedded in the cookies.

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap. – Barbara Jordan

Personally, I kind of agree …somehow life seems like “all these cookie times”. You get to taste the different varieties of cookies- the simply scrumplicious and delicious ones…yummy !!!!, the crunchy ones, buttery ones, weird ones….But the flavour is yours to choose!!!! You get to make “your own” right combo. The awesome part is that it goes in every season – ‘xmas, exam times, parties, tea breaks, lover’s corner….May be life ain’t so hopeless as it looks….!!!!