Saturday, December 18, 2010

Decisions for 2011

A very good friend ( in my son's kinder garten days he would say Bestest Friend), so my bestest friend sent me this list.  I added some and deleted some and here is my wish list for the year 2011.

Health:

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray and read the bible.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2010.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile. Pay attention to the sights & sounds around you.
Personality:

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't overdo. Keep your limits.   ( This one is definitely for me!!!)
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. ha ha
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Society:

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.
40.  Love with abandon
41.  Tell your loved ones you love them, you might not get a chance again.
42.  Be compassionate with everyone
43.  Dress well.  Dont save nice dresses for occasions.
44.  Blog more.  Pour out your heart.

Hmmm....  thats a good enough list.  will keep adding to the list.

See ya.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I tried hard...

not to cry.. but the tears wouldnt stop.  They were streaming down my cheeks.  When I suppressed they streamed down my nose  :-)

not to think of all that was said.  but couldnt help it either.  everything came back to me hitting me harder

not to be so negative - didnt help.  every damn thing looked ugly

to eat - not a morsel would go down my throat.  finally settled for a hot coffee.  It helped.

not to search for your face in the crowd - that was the only thing that i was looking for.  So I stopped looking at people

to be normal - the lumps in the throat kept choking me and I was far from being normal

to read dynamic relationships - I wasnt progressing beyond a line and anyway when eyes are full, vision is blurred.

strking a conversation with a old friend who I met after ages - and realised I was stopping every now and then and my thoughts were back to you. 

to make sense of myself - nothing, absolutely nothing made sense

not to think of last time - I was only seeing mirages all around

not to be angry with myself - I was so angry with myself, if I had a chance I would have slapped myself for being so silly.

Counting my blessings this Xmas season !!!

It must the harmones that are playing havoc, as usual every month or it could be the games people knowingly or unknowingly play with your emotions and end up leaving you like an island in an unending ocean. Whatever the reasons are, this being the Christmas season, I thought it is a good idea to list down all my blessings in life rather than feel rotten about myself and choked with a lot of unwanted emotional stuff.


Here we go with my list…

Life … I am thankful I woke up alive this morning
A wonderful partner – hardworking, sensitive, loving, practical, responsible and a good father to our son
Fantastic Teenager – listens to what Joe and I have to say and tries hard to please us
Adorable parents – who think that their daughter is the best!!
Loving inlaws – who think of me as their own than as someone thrust on them
Siblings – who I can call anytime and ask for anything in this world
A house to live in – and I love this house, it beautiful, spacious and comfortable
Vehicles to travel – and not just one
A cute garden – plants that smile at me when I come back from work
Green thumb – when I plant they grow, no matter how bad the weather is
Fishes – that has been in our tank for ages and they still wait for the food I give them
Maids – who are dependable, who cook and clean, help me to focus in my work
A job – that allows me to explore possibilities, meet new people, allows me to travel and a one I like doing
Family – that thinks my career as important as other things in the family and supports me through and through
Intellect – to see wrong from right ( whether I use it is a different question)
Gift of the senses – though some are beginning to show signs of ageing, it is a blessing to have these faculties
Friends – few but very very strong ones. I need to think of them and they call.. no kidding eh
Cousins – who are emotionally attached and are wellwishers and so much fun to be with
Financial stability – both at family & independent level. I don’t have to wait for anyone to buy my anything
Neighbors – who are supportive and friendly. Nambiar Uncle treats me like his own daughter
Food to eat – don’t have to worry about what to eat next, the only controls are the ones I put for my own
Sensitivity – ability to understand others and be sensitive to others needs
Empathy – I feel I am generally empathetic
Ability to work hard – my attitude to work hard Impresses me sometimes
Clothes – a sea of them, I can go on wearing a different dress every day for 4 months without repeating a dress :-)
Shoes / bags and jewellery – ahem ahem
Ability to see goodness in others – no matter what there is goodness everywhere
Positivity – my greatest strength, I am able to see positivity in almost everything and in the most negative things
A Past in which I have no regrets – a protected youth and happy childhood
Education and a liking for books
Hobbies – like gardening, painting and blogging that can keep me going
Ability to keep the house spic and span including the wardrobes – many of my friends admire me for that!!
Grandmom – at 40 years how many people have grandmoms who think that hers is the best grandkid on the block?
Potta house – where I can still go back to and relive my childhood
Rubber estates – the dark canopy of trees that we can fall back on during our retirement days
A Greatl husband – who loves me for what I am, complete with all my shortcomings and of course the bulges :-)
Last but not the Least ( probably should have been the first)
My faith in the lord and gift of Jesus – I don’t even know the dangers that he has protected me from all through my life. Time and again proven to me that he cares for me and shown his presence in multiple ways !!

WOW !!! this is a real long list..

Life is certainly worth living and tells me how blessed I am !!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Where has Trust gone ?

I was flying to Bangalore today. The day didn’t start well for sure.. I don’t know if it was the day that didn’t start well or the night that didn’t end well. Whatever.

I missed the flight – Yes, for the first time. And you know what ? I wasn’t hassled. I was cool. For a moment I was upset though, then, I thought what the heck. I have been working like mad and this is fine. I quickly booked myself into the next flight which was a good two hours later, and was all set to enjoy my solitude in the maddening crowd in the airport. I love observing people and of course thinking.

With Dennu having exams this afternoon, mom and dad coming home to be with Dennu, Joe going on a trip, my porgramme being affected by the delay, I was a more than a little preoccupied. I decided to put all these away for sometime and go on and take life casually, atleast for a day.

With all these thoughts filling my mind I was in the queue for the security check and saw a middle aged lady in the queue. Wrong queue. She was standing confidently on the queue where the men go their public physical smothering .. the physical security check. The first thought was she will find out she is in the wrong queue when she reaches the end of the line. But the good Samaritan in me realized that she is not a frequent traveler and might need some help and so I volunteered and told her, you need to come to this line and you are in the wrong queue. She turned around and looked a little doubtful, moved out of the queue and then whatever came over her, suddenly asked me, with a tone like “ who the < bleep> are you to tell me to move out of this queue” but the words came out were a loud “ WHY?” for which I answered, this is the queue for checking your baggage and move to security check. She didn’t budge from her queue. Kept standing her ground in the wrong queue.

I realized the ladies behind me were giving a look that said ‘ you asked for it’. I continued in my queue and she is hers. The woman who by now was kind of convinced that I might be planning to con her, got input from another passenger behind her to move out of the queue, so our lady walked the opposite side and to get to some other queue and not join the queue that I was in. I knew by then, wherever she goes, she got to come back to my queue. With Chennai airport being so small, there is just one queue for ladies and other queue’s would definitely shoo her away to the ladies queue.

Right enough, she came into my queue after a little while, with a real sheepish smile.
That was when I saw a easterner ( Korean or Taiwanese) in front of me very smugly standing in front of the ladies security check. I should have by now learnt from my earlier lesson with the short fair lady, which I didn’t, so I went ahead and told him, this is for ladies and pointed to the other side saying “that is the men’s queue”. I guess he didn’t understand. He smiled, nodded his head and stood his ground. Second googly for me.. actually third. Missing the flight was the first one.
I guess it is language issue or so I consoled. But someone else from other queue told him the same and he moved to the right men’s queue.

This left me thinking. These people, both the short fair lady and the easterner had an idiot like me offering help with a smiling face, and they were not willing to take help. I am not even looking at the gratitude that they should have displayed, for a stranger who came forward to offer help. They both just didn’t take the help, continued to stand in the wrong places, and realized their folly a little later.

Was it an issue of trust diminishing in general public or is it apathy for free help coming your way. I just decided that today is not my day but that shouldn’t stop me from offering help wherever / whenever it is needed, especially so this christmas season.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

If...

If is a wonderful, meaningful and thought inspiring poem by Rudyard Kipling.  I just love some of the lines here...

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And – which is more – you'll be a Man my son!

Phew !!!!  what a poem and what truth in every single line.  I really enjoy reading this again and again!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nostalgia in an Electric Train

I had an opportunity to travel by Electric train today - after a very very long time...

I travelled from Beach station to Guindy, a blissful 25 minute ride around Chennai with a whole compartment almost to myself, smiling at the chatter of a group of school girls going for exams, watching thorugh those iron rodded windows couples sitting on the benches, vendors selling, all that greenery and  multiple perspectives of Chennai from an electric train.  Even during my first ever journey in an electric train, that struck me quite starkly - the perspective of Chennai from a Bus and a train are completely different, I like the former better.

Talking to myself ( monologues have become a way of life, which makes me a great company for myself) during the entire journey reminscing about  the good old times in the past, I didnt realise how the 25 minutes passed by.

When the electric train crossed the highcourt busstand and I was reminded of a very funny incident that happened when I tried being naughty while I was travelling in a bus,( a moement when I forgot myself and my surroundings),  56H to be precise, after college with Jigila.  How I almost got caught and was let go by a magnanimous pillion rider who ensured that as one of the best moments of relief in my life. ( what a surprise, as I key in this line.. Jigila called on my mobile ...  Amazing!!) - I am thankful for these graces in life - friends who call me when I think of them, but Jigie is not just a mere friend !!!

Chetpet reminded me of MCC school, where I had my first professional training as part of my job, memories of all my friends there Suresh, Gokul, Jane, Jayashree, Uma, Bindu, and of course Khan ( how can I ever forget him).  Thats when I started travelling by train extensively.  Wimco Nagar to Central, Park to Chetpet and back.  I loved those journeys. I loved those training sessions, friendships, the bonding, the challenges, the fun, the camaraderie, the learning.. Whoa...

Egmore reminded more of the Doveton Corrie days of training, Khan and I used to manage the logistics of training, to Khan's dismay I ended up managing the finance,  Daniel, Binda, Naomi ( she passed away tragically), vijayalakshmi, Pearly,  Joe kuriakose, Chackochen, Austin, Jamuna, Jane, the corner shop, Waikiki complex etc.,  It used to be so easy to meet Petula there.  Its close from Perambur.

Nungambakkam reminded me of  my MBA days - Some of those MBA days i used to travel from Numgambakkam to Guindy.  It never used be pleasant, cos' I was most of the time anxious to reach home, teach dennu and complete hundred other things, always occupied, planning what to do next - but it reminds me of my grit, my perseverence and my potential.  If I put my heart and soul to something I will get more that what I aspire for.  My Gold Medal is a constant reminder of that and the grace of God.  I still cant beleive I did a part-time MBA. 

While it was the PTC bus that I used during school and college days, it was the electric train for 3 years while I was working but my favourite definitely is the greenish PTC bus.  I still love them - the green coloured ones.  they are so rare these days.  I dont connect to the the new range of  MTC buses that are now going around Chennai. 

Kodambakkam always had reminded me of Fatima, as there were so many stories that I have heard from Jigila about her journey and other interesting anecdotes about her journey from here to Wimco Nagar during her school days.  Later my sister also did her schooling there.  I used to remember Jigila's stories during my MBA journey days too!!!

The Mambalam station was quite empty today contrary to the regular sight of crowded madness.  Maybe because of the timing that I travelled...  I crossed CTI quarters near Guindy, which is the place where I went to first time on a bike with Joe to Chetan and Chechi's place.

So finally this 25 minute journey turned out to be a Joy ride, reminding me of some good old days dating back close to 2 decades and during this thanksgiving weekend helped me remind of yet another grace of a happy, carefree and a lovely youth surrounded by friends, cousins, family and lot of beautiful memories !!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yet again !!!!

It was a rainy day - inconsistent rainy day.  It poured for sometime and then the persistant sun peeped for a little while and when we were getting into the mood of a bright sunny day, it poured again.

My thoughts were with you - rain or shine.

I cooked, cleaned, scrubbed, bathed, organised wardrobes, cupboards, cleaned the fish tank, fed the fish, relplanted some of the plants in the garden - just to distract myself, though it didnt help.

The rain and the sunshine alternated throughout the day and played pranks.

I continued working until I realised its happening yet again. So whats the excuse this time?

A far away memory !!

I am staring at it – it’s a group picture of some wonderful times shared in the past. A camaraderie that once existed, the group itself does not exist anymore – not in the spirit of the once flourishing vibes.

Work went excellently well in the meeting – In fact, the processes we developed then were the baseline for the entire group that I was part of and it was so successful. Late night working, the night walks, photographs, posing, yoga, synchronized massaging, the greenery, the ambience, playing pranks on others, the bonfire, the bright moon (oh yeah, that was lovely and I very distinctly remember it !!) and the journey itself was so very memorable.

When I look at myself then, I am reminded of the hurt that only I related to. How hard I had to try to look happy, joyous and smiling but deep within I was actually bleeding. I guess I put up a great show, no one ever suspected anything for they involved me in the gossips, laughter and jokes that caused me this immense pain. The group photo is a reminder of the great time I shared with some very good friends and also a reminder of how things can go awfully wrong at the same time.

It was so very obvious right from the first day when we all met together and thankfully, it was obvious to me probably in the first couple of hours. I distinctly remember the messaging part and it struck me out of the blue, in front of my eyes. Then the stories unfolded from each member of the group one by one, account by account.. how I gritted my teeth to fight back tears  I laughed along with the group, hiding the pain tactfully and cried when I was alone.

I remember getting into my shell then, and I took a long time coming out of it. I am still staring at the picture and looking at how gracefully I am sitting next to one of my friends. The picture is bright hued, everyone is happy and smiling. Me too – but deep within only I know why I chose to sit where I sat and why I was so hurt.

But Vincy, What have you learnt from it? Aren’t you back to square one?

Its time you grew up !!!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

What am I the most?

I was reading Preeti's blog and the blog titled come sit by my fire and I was answering a question that was raised by them on "  What are you the most".  Frankly I am confused about what I am the most.  But I thought of coming up with a comprehensive list of What all I am in the first place.. and a list was born..

Dreamer
Writer
Painter
Facilitator
Lover
Crier
Blogger
Mother
Gardener
Painter
Networker
Listener
Teacher
Preacher
Designer
Friend-er
Pray-er
Hope-er
Homemaker
Reader
Adventurer
Live-er
Cheater
Liar
Traveller
Neighbour
Owner
Employer
Philanthroper
Entreprenuer

What are you the most ?  Have you ever given that a thought?

Who am I?

The question popped up again today.

I remember a blog, years back where I started with this question and didnt proceed any further.  Today there was no escape.  Inspite of palpitations, heavy feeling and discomfort, the question came back to haunt me.

Who am I?

Who is this person called Vincy?  What are / were my dreams? Have I lived for myself?  Am I  living for the whims and fancies of the people and soceity around me.

What were my dreams and passions? What did I actually want to become?  Will my today's self match with my younger self?  Will my younger Self recognise what Vincy has become?

These questions brought to fore, that I am no where close to my dreams, a truth which I had skillfully avoided all along by not even thinking deep into that question. 

I also realise that if I do not pursue my dreams now, my dreams, hopes, desires and the true purpose of life will continue to remain underground, where I had buried them long back into the deep dark gallows of my past with the aspirations of people around me.

So, now what?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

All Souls Day

Was it the late monsoon rain or was it the flood lights around the Cemetery? The trees were greener and brighter all around.

Inspite of the noise and the lights there was an unexplained eeriness there. I was extra careful in my steps that I took within the cemetery lest I may wake the resting dear departed.

The parish priest of St.Patricks church was announcing in the mike – “ It is not only important that we take care of the houses where we live, we need to ensure we take care of our future home, which is a cemetery” - How very true!

Finally there is no escape for anyone from this final resting place. But do we ever ponder about that while we run around behind umpteen number of frivolous things in this world?

“Our God is a graceful God and is immensely patient. He knows your entire life is a small speck in the universe and is immensely patient towards you “ – the parish priest continued.

My mind was back again to the point of Cemetery being the final resting place – How long for each of us? In which order? How exactly will our end be? Who will come in for my funeral? How will I look then? Will anyone cry for me? Oh.. a lot of uncomfortable questions for which no one has an answer.

Prayer – the only option for peace of mind. But, do I have the time? What an excuse!!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Aquatic beings

They are such a pleasure to watch. They go around playing with each other and to me it seems they wait for me.  The moment I give them their due, they are all over the place gobbling up those tiny specks of coloured balls - with a little caution in the air, even with me.  It is interesting to watch them swim up to the surface, catch a food ball in their mouth and dive back to the safety of the depths of the little aquarium.

I am their full time care taker and their ardent admirer. To me they are such wonderful stress busters.  Watching them swim around gracefully around the flower shaped aquarium calms me immensely and clears my mind.

The aquarium sits in the middle of our tiny space that we call 'Garden' and is an outdoor one. The whole bunch of them  are bright orange and one guy in there, the black demon is a survivor.  He was alone for almost half-a-year and now is quite healthy and energetic and have welcomed the new comers diplomatically. 

Initially while cleaning the tank I used a strainer to transfer them to a different container, but later I found that holding them with the cup of my palms is almost theraupatic in nature for me.  So I hold them, touch them, whisper sweet nothings to them during our cleaning sessions in the weekend and enjoy the ticklish feeling of these slippery ones squiggling in my hand.


I hope they like my garden and my care. My darling fishes are my only pets at the moment.  Dont they look cute?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Favourites

These are a few of my favourite things…..

Poetry
Fishing
Stilettos
Clutches
Blogging
Blue skies
Chocobars
Dads voice
Night Mass
OnaSadhya
Soft Pillows
Moms Love
Clean house
Finger Rings
New dresses
French Braids
Rocky’s looks
Cabin at CMS
Kalamkari Print
Long Road trips
My darling fishes
Rolly polly puppies
Monsoon in Kerala
Ammama’s fish curry
Butter Fruit milk shake
Ammachi’s Achappam
Everything  about  Potta
Self Made Prawn  Curry
Wheeling on our  old bike
Eating from a plaintain leaf
The vainly breaking waves
Unending deep blue ocean
Going through Photographs
Bonaventure Block at SMC
Silent Chapels and Churches
Watching TV with an abandon
Pillion driving on a bike with Joe
Passing clouds with fog and mist at Yercaud
Old Cemetries – I feel very philosophical there
Freshly made beds with crisp white cotton sheets
Pitter patter of rain from Potta house on the Kalam
PTC buses–have spent a lifetime travelling while studying
Smell of new clothes, books, Petrol and Mehendi
Theatre style classrooms at Stella Maris College
Walks in long winding roads in hill stations
Ancestral 85 year old house at Potta
The thick greenery and forests
Joe’s maneuvers while driving
Trichur Accent of my cousins
Symmetrical Body Massage
Neatly arranged Wardrobe
Fireworks in the night sky
Hands and feet of babies
Kanji and chammandhi
Well manicured hands
Driving in our new car
Butt cheeks of babies
Mooing of Manguuu
Taste of Blackforest
Talking to my plants
Home sweet Home
South Indian coffee
Room full of books
Listening to Music
Memories of Julie
Painting on Glass
Smell of Poison
Dennu’s smile
Teddy bears
Red colour
Polka dots
Waterfalls
Dreaming
Little girls
Solitude
Reading

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

~ Maya Angelou

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Marriage by Khalil Gibran

I recently stumbled on the following very intense verses on marriage by Khalil Gibran and I had to put it into my blog.

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

The verses say it all.  Amen!!

PETS

Did you deserve a blog post much much earlier ?  Yes, and no doubts about that !!!

So why did this get delayed?  I have no clue.

Lets not focus too much on why certain things did not happen in our past.  Hovering in the past for long does not help at all.

Today, 11, Foxen street flooded me with a lot of memories.  It was a place of comfort, warmth and friendliness.  After long periods of missing each other, (after our couple of years together in Yercaud, Pets stayed back in Yercaud for another two periods until she got married and went off to Kerala  and later to Dubai. ) we used to meet either in my house or at Pets house.  We always had so much to talk and never, ever  were we bored of each other.

So this time, I made sure that I met Pets before she left for Dubai after her holidays.  and thats how I landed at one of my most favourite destinations, 11, Foxen street.  I was greeted as usual by Pets with a broad smile, warm hug and oodles of love... there's no missing it.  There is yet another speciality with our bond - we might not have communicated for ages, but the moment we meet, we are able to connect up with each other as if we just met yesterday.  It comes with I guess matured Friendship !!! I always think if there is one similarlity with Wine and Friendship, it is how rich both become as they age.

As usual we slipped into a variety of topics starting from Nanna to Clive, to marriages, children, our parents, work, siblings etc etc.  I had my lunch with Pets and Rosanna, ( btw, she likes me a lot) and enjoyed the way Trevor was so cool when everyone else were going mad about his bus getting late, listened to Sunno's big talk and went around their garden.  4 hours passed in a jiffy and as always, we both felt that we didnt get enough time with each other.

One of the visitors while i was there was Flory Aunty, she reminded me of Petula's other aunts and Crescy, Juan and Caro. Aunty and Uncle was not around the day I visited as they had gone for a retreat in Chalakudy - wish they were around. 

Petula is a friend who is always full of warmth, generous, very aristocratic ( in her behaviour and even the way she walks - Typical of a Leo), very friendly, open and loving.  We get along with each other like an house on fire ( wrong example though) and most importantly we are connected to each other in our thoughts.  Over a period of time, I have realised my bond with her is so special, that the moment one of us, feel down ( upset, worried over something), we call the other - Telepathy, I would bet on it.

While saying bye to Pets, I was feeling both happy and sad :  Happy because I could see her and sad because she was going away.

On my way, alone in the car, reminiscing on our friendship, i felt assured that though we will be miles apart in a couple of days, our telepathy is alive and unconsiously we are  connected to each other like people who have a bonding that dates back beyond this life !!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First of its kind in my life - Someone wrote a Poem for me !!!!

It was yet another Personal Effectiveness Programme.  With the content too familiar, and the timings quite hectic, I was prepared for yet another hectic session that week. This session is especially hectic as it is spans 30 hours in the week over a period of 5 days and covers Communication, Thinking skills,  Time management, Business Etiquette and finally Goal Setting.  Also involves a lot of interaction, activities on all days and one on one sessions with most partipants.

Like in all sessions, when the session begins, the energy flows in automatically when I interact with the participants and that was a week of interesting effort.
This batch was no extra ordinary, a typical software crowd, but most of them  had the willingness to learn and interact and refine themselves. End of the week, the participants were happy, they liked the session and I was also content that I delivered a good session. The last day when we were winding up, one of the participants came and told me that he has written a Poem for the way I had handled the session.

And he went on to read his poem.  I was touched, happy and had one of those "emotional moments".   But you see, I was a facilitator and I guess I pulled it off pretty well.  

Here is the poem...


I am sure Haja Mohammed does not know, no one has written a poem exclusively for me.. till date !!!

For those who do not understand Tamil, ( in which the poem is written), he has described the five modules that i had handled poetically ( in chaste Tamil) and finally has said, " You will succeed definitely, since the facilitator is Vincy"

Thursday, September 02, 2010

To my bestest friend !!!

Surprise is your middle name – I have figured that out over a period of time.

Smiles, laughters, Surprises, Appreciations, Heartaches, tears along with all those long chats, small fights, periods of silence there has been a lot of ups and downs. I guess I know you pretty well, but you are always unpredictable. You turn up like a bad (good) penny at the most unexpected moment. How very true. The first time you said it, I never expected it to be so true.

You always made me see myself in a different light through your eyes. Bold, Adamant, Emotional, intelligent, quick wit, a sharp sense of humour, gift of the gab, love and care, the list of what I like in you goes on.

There is a bond that you and me share.. just U and Me.

Thankyou for being my best friend. Thank God for making us meet !!

Complete Gibberish !!!

This might look and sound like complete gibberish and it is intentionally done that way.

Airport baggage terminal – Is that where you claim stuff and how???

Geared bicycle inside Orange – unbelievable

15 minute trip to airport

Runway trip

Elliots beach and tharavaad

Tomato Rice and scrambled eggs …mmmmm

First Long drive in the Zen

A walk into Masha Allah

STC : a cool nights breeze on the shoulder

Maanasarovar – evening moon

I will turn up like a bad penny!!!

Is it Vincy comma Joseph or Vincy Joseph??

Surprise !!

It was an unexpected ride
an offer to drop me home
The ride was Joyous
and you dropped me at the gate
I got into our home
Plonked onto the bed
Wondering why you never came in
And then I heard the bell.

Looking through the keyhole
My heart skipped a beat
I was all smiles and blushing
At the unexpected surprise

Couldnt beleive it was happening
And asked you to have lunch
I held my composure
and in the inside I was dancing

I still remember what your eyes told me
And those keep me going
Even today
on days everything else looks grim and terse

Vincy Joseph

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Random thoughts

This month I turned 40 ( OMG !!!  Cant beleive it myself)  and this is my 30th post.  No relevance or connection between the two.  Thats the reason  the blog got its title.

This month has been an hectic one ( when was it not? ) but I guess with an RTL for an captive account outside my office premise and a couple of leadership programmes to co-facilitate, and the regular work that i got to do, this month actaully sapped a lot of my energy and enthusiam.  But with pain there is always gain - the learnings I have had in the last one month is incredible. Its brought me to a turning point in my professional life and I am looking forward to the change of gears.

Today for instance I am listening to Robin Sharma's audio on Greatness Guide and I am completely taken in by the content and yes of course by the voice of Robin.  I like the choice of words ( he has great vocabulary), and twirls in his accent and his voice has this mellowing effect and actually has the capability to build on me.  In fact, as I write this blog I am listening to his greatness guide and am really enjoying it.

Thats one of the things that I started doing new this month - listening to audio books and podcasts.  Contrary to my belief that its going to be boring and inefficient, I find the whole thing much more interesting than even reading a book.  Like for example the contents of Greatness Guide is something that I have read before, but hearing it in Robin's voice gives it a completely different perspective - his conviction, ingenuinity and the voice adds up together and the contents actually sink in.  I am in love with Robin Sharma's voice.

There are two people whom I need to thank for this new habit of mine.  First is my hubby dearest - he picked up a nice mobile with a lot of features as a birthday gift.  Initially I was a little releuctant to use an high end mobile but I got around that idea and have started using it and I am already using it more than my other mobiles.

Second is Bhaskar Natarajan - a very unassuming, young, inspiring intelligent individual with a strong intellect who has gone beyond his call of duty to help me out to see what I can do with myself.  He continues to inspire me every single moment he spends with me through his wisdom, maturity and simple acts of kindness.  He has been guiding me on the consulting assignments that I have partnered with him in the past few months, and now grooming me into leadership sessions that I will be facilitating.  His sessions and the way he handles customers, associates and senior leaders are all a source of inspiration and learning for me.  I feel I have learnt so much in such a short time than i have done in all my career.

As I listen to Robin Sharma today, he kind of reminds me that he is putting everything that he is heard from Robin to work.  I need to thank Bhaskar for inspiring me to look beyond what I am curently doing at work, for showing me the world of management books ( yes it is true that my love for books are limited to fiction and more fiction), in fact, Bhasker has gifted me atleast 3 books signed by him, and for the ebooks and the podcasts that he has copied into my mobile that I can listen to.

This June has also been hectic emotionally - some unusual things happened this month.  My maid, my support system at home, Ammu, tried immolating herself.  Luckily unsuccessful she had to spend time at hospital and is back at home.  I am so upset with her that she even tried doing that.  I had in the past told her that if she has good health and some will power, anything is possible in this world.  Anyways she is safe and out of danger.  Its left me with some lessons in life :

           1. Smile at  people you know and do not take any one for granted
           2. Build good relationships ( it helped me get another maid in a matter of hours)
           3. However busy you are, have time to look around and watch out for red flags.

I felt a bit guilty about Ammu - Maybe if I had tried speaking to Ammu in my busy RTL schedule, I might have stopped her from this decision.

Bhaskar's grandmom passed away and he was quite close to his grandmom.  Dennu fell down from his bicycle and was injured a bit - had to take professional help in medication.  A tap opened up and flooded our entire ground floor - the hall, bedroom, kitchen inlcuding the carpets on a day when power was off for some 9 hours and left me completely stranded.

Adversity teaches lessons that never will be forgotten.  Good for me!!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Flora and Fauna : My Garden

There are some places where I lose myself.  Completely.  There are also some people with whom I lose myself, not completely though.  If I carry on with the topic of people, I would certainly digress from the topic of this blog so, let me focus. The teeny weeny 5 feet by 5 feet garden in the front of our house is one such place, where I lose myself and yet find my soul being refreshed.


Garden sounds quite an  overwhelming name  to the small patch of soil that I call a garden with no less grandeour and emphasis given to a botanical garden in hillstations or the hanging gardens of Babylon. When we bought the house that we are residing in now, Joe was quite unhappy about cementing the four unconstructed sides surrounding our house ( which was not much).  The independant house had very little space to move around and we barely kept minimal unbuilt spaces.  While we decided to pave the miniscule backyard with tiles, we decided to open the sides and this 5 feet into 5 feet space near the gate, so that we can be in constant touch with mother earth.

We started with major dreams around this garden like any beginner would have, such as  having a water fountain and paving it with Korean grass, having statues, seating arrangements etc etc., not considering the fact that this tiny place might not hold all these accessories, even one at a time.  However, we continued dreaming until the truth hit us, after we started living there.

I decided to make the most of this space and started with bringing in plants intiatlly nurtured and grown in my parents place, and then growing it here. Our garden had a splendid start with atleast around 15 well grown potted plants for our housewarming and then my lack of experience in dealing with plants started to show slowly, but steadily.  This was a couple of years ago.

But, I am quick learner you see and I started learning and growing these potted plants.  I read up material, asked the people who run nurseries for tips, took hints from my friends who had gardens and I started seeing the results.

Today our garden is home to atleast 30 potted plants, around 24 varieties of plants, flowering and non flowering both, and in the centre of our plants is my long time dream of a flower shaped concrete fish tank with a lots of ornamental fish.  The plants are lush green, bright and beautiful. And I almost forgot there are some terracotta pots and a figurine of a horse that I have put in a corner to make my garden look a little more pleasing.  I went along with a friend of mine to ECR, to pick up the pots and got it delivered to my city office and from there brought it home by car. I call this is "Terracotta corner".

Every morning one of the first things that I do is to water them, talk to them, cajole them, touch them and assure them that I am around for them.  One of the last things I do at the end of the day, actually in the night is the repeat of my morning activity.  It is satisfying to see a plant grow well and one of the most joyous moments is to see a bud coming out and finally bloom into a flower. 
Other than the plants and the fishes that I take care of, there are frogs, chameloens and little insects that I see occasionally there.  Birds do come, but they fly away as soon as they see me and there are these pestering rats that come and dig holes in the ground, which I promptly fill up during a weekend. On an average I spend around 15 minutes everyday watering the plants and feeding the fish.

I get my heart's fill of quality time with my flora and fauna during the weekends.  I spend atleast 3 hours on saturday working in this green patch. Armoured with the garden tools, manure, and gloves  I pull out every single pot, loosen up the soil by digging it carefully, in the process touch them, hold them and talk to them, and sometimes add some manure to the sides, so that they grow well.  The recent manure that I picked up for them is called Bio-enzymes that can help the plants in Climate related stress too.  :-).  Then I clean up the fish tank, initially I used scrub the tank till my hands hurt and ached, but now I use a little bleaching powder to make the tank look sparkling clean.

And every weekend, I also get the joy of rearranging the pots and plants so that I have a different garden scape.  It definitely is back breaking work, but the joy you get after this is worth all the pain that I go through and it also gives me the much needed exercise for the week.  I had recently put up the pictures of the garden in my website and I had so many compliments for my garden.


The best part of my weekend after all the hardwork is just looking at the garden, enjoying the greenery and smile at the fish playing... or simply staring at this little green patch in solitude.

First Compliments

Elated is an understatement  for the feeling I went through when I saw the first compliment on the Internet.  There are these moments which are frozen in memory, sometimes tears well up and sometimes there is a lump in the throat and automatically my thoughts run to thank GOD for the immense love that he shows through these simple acts of kindness.

I went through these moments of glory twice last month and I am combining both these moments as both these moments of exictement had one common ground...  in fact there is no ground as both were on Virtual platforms.

Internet these days are so much part of our daily life that many times we feel handicapped in the absence of it.  I use net to search for people, institutes, software, learning, knowledge and for information sakes.  One of these days I wanted to check what information is thrown up on the net when my name is keyed in...  And with a lot of curiosity I typed my name... and Voila....  there were loads of information not just about me but any vague phonetic sound that matched Vincy or Joseph.  

I was thrilled to see one of my blogs as part of the information and I kept browsing.  I guess it was the third page and I found my name and my eyes scanned the words Mahindra Satyam and so I clicked the site and it was a blog site of one of our associates in my organisation, Mahindra Satyam,  called Sakthi.  I do not know this associate, but what he had written in his blog brought that wide grin and that moment of glory.

Sakthi's compliments goes like this and I would like to reproduce it here verbatim,

"Vincy Joseph presented the show very well, and for the people who know Vincy, i don’t have to tell or Praise about her. She’s an extremely talented and elegant lady who can influence anybody as she makes a strong presence in all minds in a very professional way."

The link where you will find the article is here..

Being a trainer there are many instances I have received compliments, but this one is in a public forum and this associate Sakthi does not know that I might even end of reading this.. and I kind of stumbled on this very accidentally. To hear compliments in private, meaning one to one or inside a group definitely is a happy feeling, but to see it in print, in black and white is definitely a joyful experience.  And that moment of glory lingers on.

The other moment of pride and glory was when I saw Bhaskar, our RTL coach and facilitator's recommendation on Linked In.  LinkedIn is a networking platform for professionals and it is quite common for people part of the network to get recommendations from their bosses, colleagues and friends on their quality and attitude to work.  I strongly beleive that asking for recommendation, especially about the quality of one's work should be spontanous and self-driven from the giver rather than ask for it.  Being part of Linkedin for more than a couple of years and not having a single recommendation was beginning to worry me and thats when I saw Bhaskar's recommendation, a rather forcefully strong reco at that.  And my eyes moistened, throat choked.

These small mercies in life keep me going and truly feel blessed for these small mercies.

Friday, March 19, 2010

ACHAPPAM

My mom and her positive influence on me is yet another blog topic that i will end up writing soon, but this topic deals with the way my mom can make Achappams aka Rose cookies to perfection. Among all the palagarams ( sweets and saviouries that are made during festival times and those grand occasions), this is one sweet that I love the most.

They are golden brown, crisp, dotted with those black seeds, wonderfully tasty and gets you literally addicted to it : you can never stop with one. I thought this was because they are my favourites, but i reaslised that they are addictive to even my friends at office, who haunt me to get them more.

Achappams are generally only prepared and sent to our house in hundreds, and especially for my son Dennu as snacks when he returns from school. I like them so much as i mentioned earlier better than any other tradional keralite sweets such as vatteppam, kinnathappam or Unniappam, that i devour them whenever i am home and hence Achappams go like hotcakes as soon as they come...

I personally have not tried making Achappams nor have I helped my mom make it when I was at my paternal home before my marriage. What i know about it is you need to be an expert at the mixture and consistency of the batter for these Achappams not to stick to the mould and to get the right crispiness. And i also know the making of Achappams need a lot of perseverence and patience, which i guess is a rarity with me and maybe thats why i never tried it.

So, this time when mom as usual sent us some crispy golden brown Achappams I thought of immortalising them with the help of my blog :-) I captured them digitally and put it up here so that i can have a look at them whenever i need :-)

Post script:

My Mom is an excellent cook. And my son thinks she is the bestest cook in this entire world. He says "There is noone in this world who can cook like my Ammamma". And I feel that is one of the greatest compliments she can get.



Monday, March 08, 2010

Can I ever Comprehend?

Who are you
Are you real
Do you exist
Are you just a figment of my imagination
Did I make you up in my mind
Is it just a wild dream
Are you an illusion or a Mirage
Are you an Angel or are you Devil's incarnation

Will I ever be able to fathom this mystery?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Manasvini

Today as usual has been an hectic day. Calls, mails, Teleconferences, meetings, learning requirements, ELTP substream numbers from various units and CEBC clarifications were making my head spin. And when my friend pinged me this evening during an official conversation saying , “ My daughter wants to talk to you” I didn’t realize what was in store for me.

As I was conjuring up in my mind how I can break ice with this little girl, to whom I haven’t spoken before, Manasvini ( guess she is 4 or 5 yrs old) started rattling off in her sweet childish blabber ( made a lot of sense of course) without giving me an opportunity to say a word. I was transported to another world in this vast expanse of our milky way enjoying every minute of hearing her voice.

Her voice was melodiously sweet, soothing, silky, comforting and her innocence was flowing through her conversation without her knowledge into my soul. Her voice sometimes moved from all these softness explained into a piercing high pitch especially when she realized I was not catching her point. At a few points she was gasping for breath but she did not miss out on the flow nor the thread of the conversation. If she completed one thread of a conversation, she did not have a problem, harping on to a next topic which had no relevance to the earlier one with such ease. For instance she was talking about her apartment and how big the campus is, and moved on with grace to the topic of losing her toy in a cab in Mumbai that she visited recently.

My stressed out mind without my knowledge moved from a slow easy smile to laughter and I found myself so much in peace with myself at the end of the conversation with this little girl.

Joy that children bring to our lives is immense. God touches all of us in different ways .. every day.. Today he touched me and showed me his presence through Manasvini.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Knight in Shining ( not so shining though) Armour

Every profession has its own occupational hazards. Mine is no exception.

Take for example my mornings. I keep thinking i have lot of time only to turn one of those powerranger characters by the time it is 8 am and I almost spin like a top and run / ride in the car or bike and rarely walk to get our bluish bulky office bus. Invariably I keep wondering " will I miss the bus today?"

Our profession also teaches us a lot of skills both at work and off work. I would like to focus on the skills that I learnt off-work. Ability to multi task in one of the primary skills - I learnt to cook, look at the clock, stare at Joe and yell at Denny all at the same.. and thats what multi tasking is all about. Crunching your time to fit in as many activities as possible into a short period of time is another. Like cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner in less than 40 minutes and also pscking them. Or brushing, bathing and clearing the bowels and the bladder related activities within 10 minutes. better still, closing the door, locking it and wearing a footwear in less than couple of seconds... Oh god, am I proud of myself?

Wise people call it mismanagement of time. anyway this is my routine and I have gotten used to it. I barely manage to have a bath and  wear pressed clothes ( thankfully for the neighbours and general public) and comb my hair before getting out of the house. I keep thinking if only i could run in my home clothes to pick my bus and the one hour i spend in bus could be used for mundane stuff like bathing et all.... forget it, thats very nasty !!! and there is No Make-up : absolutely nothing. Deoordarant sometimes. I have all the necessary stuff in my bag which I efficiently use within the confines of my dark cabin at office, once i reach there.

Most of the days, I manage to huff and puff and stand in the place where the bus temporily halts to pick me up. Few days I have the luxury of standing for a minute or so. Most of the days I run behind, chase the bus or stop it midway and get into it. I wish the driver does not change for some time. He is a nice chap. The place where I wait is also close to the public transport bus stand and 8 am is those terrific times when that place is overcrowded with people and vehicles and people share almost equal space in the place where I stand.

Now it was one of those days Joe dropped me at the regular point said the ritualistic bye and moved on. His mind is generally preoccupied in turning into a superman and completing his tasks within much lesser time than i took and leave for his work. Intuition, that day, kept telling me that I missed my bus, but my conscious mind would not agree and I was turning towards the direction in which the bus generally arrives. It must have been telepathy, I suddently looked in the opposite direction and found the " Knight in Shining Armour" just that in this case it was Joe in his home clothes. A sleeveless white T and a grey tracks. Surprised I kept looking at him, completely spell bound. Spell bound because he was looking smart number one. I didnt expect him number two. and yes there was one more reason.

He did say something that i didnt hear, but later realised that was about my bus leaving me. He took my laptop bag put it on his shoulder ( reason no 3 for my open jaws) and walked so fast in front me with those broad chests and i guess it is the sleeveless, I could also see his hand muscles. I had to cross the entire crowd in the bus stop who wait for MTC, Auto, share Auto and other IT company buses, some of whom are regulars at 8 am in the morning. I could feel all eyes of me ( no.. US)

So there was this Knight in shining armour walking in front of me carrying my laptop bag and I when went near my office bus I realised that my KISA had stopped the car in front of the bus and blocked it for me. Thankful, proud, happy, sweating, I just mumbled a thank you with a broad smile but that image of Joe coming and picking my bag and the sight of our Car in front of the huge bus in an successful attempt to stop its accelaration so that I could get in, is in front of my eyes.

One of the many moments that I was thankful for a wonderful husband. My kinght in Shining Armour :0)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ammama

Let me begin my first post in this new year which is the last year in the first decade of this millenium about a person who actually belongs to the last millenium. My Ammama.

When I held her wrinkled hands today that was so soft unto touch, and kept holding it, very consciously without letting it go and realised she held my hand too with a lot of love, I traversed back in memory of the days when I held those strong, hard hands( I distinctly remember the hardness, she was a very hard working woman) and tagged around all of that house, parambu and the canal in her ancestral house in Kerala. I was a little girl then.

Today I am grown up, but when I held her hands I transformed into that innocent little girl and wished with all my heart that I was with her in that house in which i have spent numerous summer vacations and was smothered in love by my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. I remembered the taste of the curries that she makes so very painstakingly in the traditional utensils like the Chatti and after preparations places them on the Uri that hangs in the kitchen to save them from the menacing cats around. ( I have always had a dislike for cats probably inherited the dislike from my mother). I told Ammama about the Uri and Meen curry and she laughed shyly showing her toothless mouth.

Ammama is all of 92 years old and her age shows in the lines of her face, though the colour of her hair defies her age. It is still dark and there are only a few grey hair here and there. Infact, my mom has more grey hair than her. I guess I have almost as many grey hair as much as she has, but the number of grey hair that i have is not the topic of this conversation ( he he..) and even if there were any, Revlon Top Speed has hidden it so well... lets not digress.. back to Ammama..

So Ammama has come to a stage where she cannot live alone and hence she is shuttling between her children's houses in Kerala, Chennai and Bangalore. She is leaving to Bangalore this week and deep down I was feeling so sad that she is going away. She is an integral part of my childhood and among the few people who really mattered to me when I was in those rather juvenille years.

Achan was at home when we went to see Ammama and we were together remembering all those times of our times spent in Potta house. On the comment that Achan said about Appappan telling God, that he will go back to earth if his wife comes up, Ammama was ROTFL (finally i got to use this term.. ). Her body was shaking, her face had a wide grin, not much of noise, typical ammama laugh. She had spent most of her energies in cursing Appappan while he was alive and maybe thats why she was able to laugh when we discussed Appappan. She showed a clear yearning to go back and when i told her lets go back to that Potta house, you and me together, i saw her eyes glisten with hope and i didnt linger on that for long since i know its just false hope that i will be giving her.

When I told her that Joe keeps telling me that i would look like her when i grow old, she immediately retorted a little angrily that i will not look like her. I had a chance to tell Joe and Denny that they cannot take me for granted when my ammama was around. My mother was enjoying her grandmother moment when she figured out Denny had grown taller than her and Ammama very naively asked Denny you are just 13 years old? You look much older than that.. Den was secretly very happy about that. This was over and above happiness of being in his grandparents' house. Denny could not beleive that Ammama used to smoke Beedi's when I was young - he had that sweet mischeivous smile on his face when he repeatedly asked me if it was true.

I told Ammama that she looks good only with those Mekka Mothirams' she rebuked my uncle saying that he is not giving it to her and very confidently said that she knows that she does not look good without them. I cannot but agree with her, as I know she is the last person in my family who would wear a traditional ornament such as that.

And thus my Ammamma is still travelling in her journey of life to my uncle's house in Bangalore this time.

My maternal grandmother with Mekka Mothirams et all
I hope she will be happy and I hope she will be fine.