A goodbye…

Well, I have been thinking of shutting down this blog for quite some time now, and I have decided to take the plunge today, finally! There have been several reasons behind my thinking so.

I have loved my journey here, as I’ve talked about many times. I value the things I’ve learnt through this blog and the friendships I’ve forged through it. I have put up each post on my blog with complete honesty and from my heart, and greatly appreciate each one of your comments. I feel I owe you all an explanation before I shut shop here. I don’t know how to say this without sounding snobbish, but of late, I’ve been feeling my virtual and personal worlds getting too close for comfort. It’s all too easy for my personal, virtual and professional worlds to get mixed up, and I don’t think I’d be too comfortable with that. I hope you’ll understand.

I can’t dream of stopping blogging altogether. I love the feeling of discussing things with like-minded people, and I would like to continue doing that. I would love to continue writing, blogging rather, and talk about the various issues close to my heart. So, I’ve thought of writing under a pseudonym. Somewhere, on the world wide web, I’ll create another space and try to make it home.

Of course, I’ll miss this space and all you lovely guys who took time out to read and comment on my ramblings. Maybe our paths will cross again, maybe not. I’ve decided to let the posts on this blog stay; I don’t have the heart to delete them or close up the blog entirely. I just won’t be blogging here any more.

Goodbye all of you! Thanks a ton for all your suggestions, love, and for all the smiles. Have a great life! :)

With loads of love,

Priya

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Thursday Challenge 13

For this week’s Thursday Challenge. The theme for this week is SPRING (including New Life, Green, Melting Snow, Pleasant Weather, etc.)

These beautiful flowers were blooming on a tree in our neighbourhood a couple of weeks back. I used to love looking at them every day. :) Sadly, they are gone after the heavy rains in the last week.

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Wordless Wednesday 34

These pics were taken at Kemp Fort, Bangalore.

There is a belief among Indians that tying a red/yellow/orange thread and/or bangles around certain trees in temple courtyards leads to the fulfillment of one’s innermost desires.

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The Secret Garden

Soon after I finished Notes From A Small Room, I picked up Frances Hodgson Bennett’s The Secret Garden. I completed it over the weekend.

The Secret Garden is the story of Mary Lennox, a little English girl who is lives in India with her parents. A sudden outbreak of cholera renders her an orphan, and she is taken to England to live with her uncle and guardian henceforth, Mr. Archibald Craven. Mary has never received love or the right kind of attention from her parents and, as a result, is a rather sour-faced child who does not like anyone or anything. The ‘contrary’ Miss Mary is pale and sickly as well. Little does Mary realize when she sets foot in Mr. Craven’s huge countryside mansion – Misselthwaite Manor – that her life is about to take a huge turn.

Mary finds that Misselthwaite Manor has an air of mystery around it, and soon grows curious. She discovers the joys of living in the beautiful English countryside. She begins to explore the mansion and its huge lawns and, in the process, gains a healthy appetite and starts growing into an agreeable and sweet child. One day, playing about in the Manor’s lawns, she finds the key to the Secret Garden, which has been locked ever since the death of the pretty Mrs. Craven – as her husband cannot bear to enter it. Mary sets foot into the Secret Garden, which no one has gone into for a decade and is awed by the beauty of it. She realizes that the garden has been gradually dying, and is saddened by the thought that it might soon be completely dead. It is the Secret Garden that helps change Mary, by inculcating the love of nature in her and bringing her some close friends.

I must say this has been the most life-affirming and positive books I have read in quite a while. It is definitely a book with soul, where everything is alive and teeming with life. It is about change and the beauty of life. It is about friendship and recovery. However, I must confess that I was somehow not charmed by the book in its entirety. I did love the way parts of it were written – they touched me so much that I had to close my eyes and smile, as I imagined the scene in my mind. This book did make me imagine a lot – I could quite see the Secret Garden in my mind’s eye, and I even craved for one of my own. Overall, though, it did not make me fall in love for life, the way Paddington Bear or 84 Charing Cross Road did. I feel I read it with too much of a cynical adult’s eye and not the way a child would. Maybe I ruined the book for myself. Maybe I should read and feel it again.

What say you? Have you read this book? How did you feel about it?

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Kaleidoscope

The kaleidoscope of life

Has more colours

More patterns

When I look through it

With you

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And I go mushy once again for this week’s Magpie :) The image is courtesy of Tess Kincaid.

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And the potter’s wheel turns…

We also had pottery classes as part of the interactive sessions at office – aimed at trying to bring out the hidden talents among the employees and to bring about a refreshing change in the routine work life. Neither of us knew head or tail about pottery, but we enjoyed the session nonetheless. And we all took away quite a few lessons and some cute clay masterpieces. :) It’s fun to challenge yourself once in a while with something that you do not do in your daily life. The pottery session went on to prove just that.

The potter who visited our office has been making clay pots and pans for years, probably since childhood. He only had to put one finger to the wet clay on his wheel to give it a shape, to widen or narrow the neck of a pot. The pots started breaking the minute we tried to do the same. How much difference a trained and knowledgeable hand makes as opposed to an untrained, unknowledgeable one! Isn’t that the case with us, as well? A gentle, loving and knowing hand makes all the difference in the world to the way a person is moulded?

It was amazing how the potter went on creating different things using apparatus as simple as a tyre, a stick, a pole, an iron plate and some wet mud. I had an amazing feeling as I looked at him, happily creating his little masterpieces. We all have some wet mud given to us too. We just need to turn the wheel to make it something beautiful and meaningful.

Have you ever laid your hands on the coolness of wet earth and tried to shape it into something, while the wheel furiously turns away below? If you haven’t, I would recommend that you try it some time, as it can be one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. The feeling of holding your own creation in your hands and feeling the weight of it, however twisted or ugly it might be, is one of the happiest feelings, too.

Thank you, dear workplace, for giving us this opportunity to learn! :)

Images Courtesy: All pics in this  post are by my colleagues.

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Creativity Galore

I think I was in college when I last tried my hand at fabric painting, and gave up. The ‘masterpiece’ I wanted to paint then didn’t turn out to be one. I got a chance to try my hand at fabric painting once more at the interactive sessions held at our office. Our workplace had arranged some fun activities over the last 2 weeks, and one among them was a T-shirt painting session. I LOVED these sessions, fabric painting et al. :)

The creative sessions made me realise a lot of things. I realised that I love the process of creating. I love the feeling of creating something from scratch. I love filling up a blank canvas or paper or a T-shirt with multiple hues and make it something different from the one I started with. I love the process of learning – I love it when someone guides me and helps me add finishing touches, perfecting my raw finished product. I love a mix of work and play. I love the feeling of living life, doing something creative, bonding with people in the midst of a busy day.

I always knew that there’s more to people than meets the eye. These sessions reminded me of that. We were amazed to see the talent in people shining through tough exteriors and normally subdued characters. I realised, once again, that seeing passion and creativity writ large on the faces of people touches me, impresses me, inspires me.

I realised that there’s a lot to learn -if you want to and are interested enough. I learned that learning something new can work wonders for you. I realised that once in a while, you should throw a little challenge to that part of the brain which does not get enough work in a monotonous lifestyle.

Enough said. Before I bore you people to death, take a look at some of the T-shirts that our team painted. :)

**Drumrolls**

This is the one I painted, doing full justice to my fascination of sea horses. :) Yeah, I know it’s not a masterpiece again, but I liked it. :)

This one is an angel-cum-devil by a colleague. 

The inimitable Calvin & Hobbes by another colleague.

The lady who painted this felt she ruined it, but I think otherwise. I loved the colours and the Indian feel of it. :)

The Mysore Palace came alive on another colleague’s T-shirt. I loved this one – it looks so professional.

I loved the creativity in this one – it was done with just one pot of paint and a few brush strokes. No pencil, no marker.

You like?

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Image courtesy: All pics are by a colleague.

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