Thursday, December 02, 2010

Small and white

Idlis were never my favorite food when I was growing up. I complained a lot when these were made, although that didn't seem to stop my mother from making them. And then I grew up, moved away etc. As with most things, absence did make my heart fonder for  idlis. By the time I was a grad student, a plate of idlis with hot sambar and spicy coconut chutney was among my top food desires. Sadly this wasn't a desire that could be fulfilled often, given our crazy schedules and lack of culinary knowledge and equipment. We did buy the instant idli mixes occasionally when we made it to the Indian store but that was rare.  Mostly we stuffed our faces with cereal and bread.

Then I got married and acquired an electric grinder and a good blender (mixie) too. Suddenly I had the equipment. I still didn't have the time or more importantly the motivation. The thought of cleaning up after the grinder did its work was somehow a huge mental block. In addition, I had absorbed some of the 'diet' wisdom floating around and was trying to up my protein levels. Seen from that point of view, idlis seemed hideous - just blobs of flour, a veritable eating disaster. So I even had a good reason to back up my laziness ;-). So we stuffed our faces with a different kind of cereal (made with soy protein isolates and other such trash) and  bread that tasted simply terrible. The things we ate in the name of nutrition!

These days idlis are back in favour in our household. Why, you ask? Long story. Basically we are trying to eat more 'real' food and less processed stuff sold as food in the grocery store. To hell with all the other things - high fat, high protein, low fat, whatchamacallit. It's just another way of looking at things...a view that might change if things don't suit us. For now though, this is the view and the grinder is back at work.

If you are one of those protein conscious, idli-shunning, cereal guzzlers - here is a link that might make you pause between your spoonfuls of cornflakes.

Basically the author (who seems to know his stuff) writes that traditional ways of preparing grain reduces the level of toxins and anti-nutrients which are present to some degree in almost all grains. This renders them more nutritious and digestible. What traditional methods? Grinding and fermenting specifically seems to have been common among several traditional cuisines (such as ours). Fermenting action by the bacteria fills in the missing amino acids and elevates the protein quality considerably.  Pretty smart of our ancestors to have figured that out, don't you think? Yet another reason to not discard our traditions, just because the western ones seem more right..

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

In a world full of battles, how many do you pick and how do you decide?

I have recently been reading too much about environmental toxins and all the possible ways they get in. The air, the water, the carpet, the food packaging, the food... the list is endless and all pervasive. All this has done, is drive me crazy and paranoid.

What all can I do really? Can I with 100% certainty exclude all the toxins from my life? No. I have made some changes - buying less processed food, buying more organic foods when possible, cooking more, using far fewer cosmetics than before, eliminating non-stick cookware... They make me feel like I am doing something. And yet maybe all this is nothing. Maybe the jet fuel doses we get from living close to the airport are more potent than any of these positive changes. I'll never know...Makes me question the wisdom of even making the changes I've made. If we're headed to hell anyway, why bother?

I've probably repeated this kind of thing in my blog over and over...But some days the pessimism is just too much to contain within..


I bought a new computer recently. It was kind of thrilling, waiting for it to arrive, to open it up, install all my software, give it a name..whatever. So I understand the craziness happening all around me. All the spending and the buying...Gives a temporary high!
And then there are days when it gets overwhelming. All these discounts and giveaways and promos. Special discount days. Cyber Mondays. Friends and family days. Pre-Christmas sales. Boxing day sales. Holiday sales. End of the season sales. Winter sales. Stop this madness, I want to scream. Stop. Just stop. Breathe.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I just read an article online about random acts of kindness and it got me thinking. I have received several such acts of kindness from complete strangers - like help in pushing my car to a parking lot and lending me a cell phone(mine is never charged when I need it) when it broke down in an intersection. In Belfast last year, any time I went on a train or a bus, there was always someone who helped me with carrying my stroller (with my son strapped in) up or down the train/bus as needed. When I was a student in Troy, plenty of kind people invited us over for Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving and such. It was nice to be so welcomed by people who didn't know us to begin with. So plenty of  things like that. One relatively big incident happened about 13 years ago.

I was a student-intern in Ahmedabad with more emotion than reason (that part may not have changed much). Weekdays were for working and weekends were for roaming around, taking in the sights. And there were plenty of sights, especially for a student of architecture. I was lucky in finding friends who were also interested in roaming around, looking at buildings. One weekend we had planned a trip to Modhera to see the sun temple. The previous weekend we had gone to Adalaj to see the stepped well. It was a fantastic trip and cost us all of 10 Rupees each in bus fare.

We were supposed to leave at 9am that morning for Modhera. These were the days before cell phones. My friends lived in an apartment with no phone connection at all. I lived in a hostel with no phone connection either. I had to cross the road to get to the tea stall/STD booth if I needed to make a call. At any rate if I didn't reach their apartment around 9am, it would mean that I wasn't interested in joining them. I did get delayed that day though because of various reasons and I arrived around 9:30am to find them all gone. I was angry. Very angry.

I didn't know the language. I didn't know where Modhera was or how to get there. All I had was my fury. How dare they leave me behind? Especially when they knew I was so excited about going there? I had Rs.30 in my bag and figured that would be enough, based on how much our trip cost the previous week. I had no idea that Modhera was considerably further away. I headed to the bus stop and took a bus to the junction that we went the previous week. From there I assumed I'd find a bus to Modhera. However, at the bus station I came to know that I'd have to catch a bus to a place called Bechraji and from there to Modhera.

After I got on the bus and bought the ticket to Bechraji, I realized with a shock that it took more than half the money I had in my hand. What if the remainder of the journey cost just as much? I didn't have enough money to go back from Bechraji. If I made it to Modhera and didn't see my friends, how would I return? Perhaps my best bet would be to get down at some intermediate stop before the bus reached Bechraji. That way I might be able to get back. If I needed money, what could I do? Could I sell my watch? I had scratched it and beat it up to a degree that it was a marvel that it still worked. I doubted anyone would pay me money for that.

An elderly man sitting opposite me observed my confusion. I saw that he had a kind face. So with my broken Hindi I enquired where the bus would stop next and how much it would cost me to get back to Ahmedabad. Instead of answering, he asked me why I wanted to know and where I wanted to go. My story came tumbling out in bits and I didn't want to reveal too much about my situation. What if he was a creep?  He assured me that he would put me on the right bus to Modhera. When I tried to explain I wanted to get back to Ahmedabad, he didn't seem to understand. He did mention that the ticket to Modhera would be less than Rs.10. That was a relief of sorts. Hopefully I'd find my friends at the temple and everything would be fine.

So at the Bechraji bus terminal, he pointed out the right bus. I thanked him and tried to shake him off. However he was persistent that he wanted to come with me to Modhera and make sure that I met my friends. He also told me that if my friends weren't there, he'd accompany me back to Ahmedabad and revealed he had a daughter the same age. I don't know why but I trusted him. He insisted on paying my bus ticket to Modhera despite my protests and also insisted on buying me hot 'Chaa' (tea) from a tea stall in the bus station.

Everything did work out. My friends were still there at the temple when I arrived. Needless to say, I got a sound dressing down from them for my rash trip. My friend attempted to repay the old man for the ticket from Bechraji to Modhera but he refused to accept it. I was very moved by his kindness. He could have been a creep and things could have gone very wrong. But he wasn't and years later I still remember his kindness and calm reassurance in the face of my panic.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Apparently blog posts don't write themselves just as laundry doesn't wash itself or the house doesn't clean itself. I have been thinking a lot but somehow haven't managed to put those thoughts into words. Now I don't even remember those threads of thoughts. Maybe it was all terribly important but now we'll never know ;-)

Will write more often since I know from personal experience that writing almost always begets more of it. So is the case with a lot of other things. Reading about lighting begets more thinking about lighting which in turn leads to more reading and so on. When there is a break, there is more of a break and so on...laziness begets more laziness, but you didn't need me to tell you that. Or maybe you did.

Anyway I am still alive, still posting, still thinking my usual random thoughts...'Isn't that a pip?' (To quote my son's favorite TV show).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Relations and ships

Surrounding yourself with people takes the focus away from internal conflict and onto somewhat external conflict. Net result: Less angst from lonliness but more kinds of other angst such as interpersonal politics etc.

You need to be at some kind of internal peace with yourself, I guess.

Saw 'Eat Pray Love' yesterday and the message I took from it was that other people cannot make you happy or miserable, really. You need to learn to live in happiness with yourself before you can truly enjoy happiness with others. Not many of us get time to devote to this internal pursuit. Or have the necessary knowledge.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A guide to the good life

A couple of months ago I posted on a CBC radio program I had listened to on Happiness. I was finally able to locate the audio to it. Here it is.

Monday, August 09, 2010


There has been some talk in my family about my working part-time, our family not meeting its earning potential, our lack of a fancy car etc. Call me lazy, but I like having the freedom to work part-time, having some time to spend with my son, being able to do other things without feeling crazily burned out. As for the fancy car, we (my husband and I) prefer having the money to spend some on healthier (organic? local?) food when we can. We also like traveling and probably travel more than some other families that we know. I guess it comes down to priorities. As long as our current car can get us from point A to B relatively easily, a new car is not a priority.

People assume that we must be kind of poor because our priorities for spending don't match theirs. People assume a lot of things. I guess that's okay, as long as I can do my thing and live in peace. Sometimes when all the mental clutter from people spouting their bullshit crowds my mind, I mentally draw a circle. Inside the circle is my son's wellbeing and my own. I ask myself "Does this external stuff affect the stuff within the circle?" No? Well then, why should I spare any further thought on it? A lot of the clutter was self-generated anyway based on my reactions to other people's input.

Steve Pavlina, a personal development blogger, whose blog I follow is living an interesting thought experiment right now. For 30 days he is going to live as if he was in a dream and all other charecters were all projections in the dream. Perhaps inspired by 'Inception'? While there is an external world out there, we are able to preceive it only because of our senses. I suppose if I were blind, deaf and unable through any other sense to perceive you, you don't exist (to me). Not realistic, but still an interesting thought experiment, just in terms of classifying sources of mental clutter.

Here is the link of the day. An article from NYTimes about how spending less might make you happier.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Everything changes

Everything changes for me, based on the lens (of knowledge? of truth? what?) I use to view it.

I cannot eliminate the lens. I can and do keep changing it though, and not consciously either. What I believed in a couple of decades ago, or a couple of months ago or a couple of days ago is not what I believe in right now. It keeps changing based on books, the internet, friends, family and my own experiences. While I don't reflect on experiences often enough(at least in a manner of inspecting my beliefs), it has happened a few times.

Sometimes I worry that I will never know 'The Truth' (if such a thing exists) but will instead sway one way or another depending on the lens I hold in my hand. Mostly though, I lack even that awareness, the awareness that there is a lens between me(the observer) and the truth. I just believe completely in whatever I believe in. I think we're all caught in that trap and our personalities (and perhaps self-confidence) dictate how tenaciously we hold on to a belief.

Low self confidence could either make you extremely permeable to new beliefs, since everything must seem superior to what you belive in at any moment. Or else it can make you fanatical, browbeating everything else, because you are superior in comparison.

I suppose a confident person will have some level of balance, at which point the self-confidence is a non-issue.

Just some random musings while I wait for my dwg file to load.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The list of things to worry about just keeps growing and growing...Ignorance is bliss (kind of).
Bhisphenol A which was recently banned from bottles and such in Canada is found in much much higher concentrations in bills and receipts from stores (the kind I hoard in my wallet and handbags, so I can return something easily in the future). The culprit is ink from thermal printers. BPA can cause behavioural changes in children at even small amounts found in plastic water bottles.

Do I really need to hoard those receipts? How many things have I actually returned in the past couple of months? How many store surveys have I actually completed? Hmm..

This quote from the original article sums it up.

"The uproar over nanograms and micrograms of BPA leaching from water bottles took place while millions of people casually handled receipts with thousands of times higher concentrations of BPA. Parents shudder over the prospect of a baby picking up a used cigarette butt, while a receipt on the floor may pose a more dangerous health threat."

Read more at Suite101: Bisphenol A Cash Register & Credit Card Receipts: BPA Free Baby Bottles & Canned Foods, but Thermal Printing is Source

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Interesting podcast

About weight gain/loss factors. It's rather long but very interesting! They talk about the concept of an adipostat, essentially an internal mechanism that regulates fat loss/gain (kind of like how a thermostat regulates heat), and discuss various factors that impact the set point of the adipostat. They go into some detail on low-carb diets but it's not just that. There isn't always just one thing, is there? They talk about omega-3s versus omega -6s, about the possible role of gut flora and so much more. 

Highly recommend listening to this, even if you're not struggling with weight loss issues.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another couple of links

Pertaining to my favorite topic these days - Food (as it pertains to health)

The first one is by a cardiologist, the other two seem to be researchers in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
When I have time to kill (or don't, like now), I visit their blog and almost always learn something new!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Couple of links

Baby shampoo is not as safe as we think:
Have to check today if Kuttipa's shampoo has these nasties. One more thing to worry about.
I did buy something for him that was supposedly 'Natural and Organic', but apparently that's no assurance of anything..

I do have the good stuff at home. Snana powder prepared by my mother-in-law. It is all natural and safe. I just need to get rid of my 'soapy bubbles = clean' mindset, and use this powder instead more often.

Another article in the same site discuss lead in lipstick. Something to keep in mind, especially since lead accumulates over time. Yet another article discusses perfume, which is actually pretty scary when I glanced through it. But I don't want to read it thoroughly. Go figure.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sometimes I wish I could say...

My plate. My food. My problems. Leave me alone ya'll.

Why did I write this?
Totally struck a nerve, it did!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Almost always when things go well, we underestimate how much luck has to do with it. Unless something crazy extraordinary happens like winning the lottery or escaping alive from a near-death accident. But think about it. Isn't it extraordinary that you made it back home safe today? Some people weren't lucky enough. Isn't it crazy lucky that you have a roof over your head tonight and food to eat? No sudden earthquakes or floods disturbed your life today. The people who went through stuff like that - sure they had bad luck, but I believe we don't appreciate enough how much good luck we experience everyday. Until we hit the bad luck, and lament about it..
How many times did we NOT die today? Just today alone..

Are we appreciating the life that we have gained repeatedly? That's a different question.

I am not saying its all about luck in life. Sure there is talent and hard work and free will and a gazillion other things. But it's also luck, is what I am sayin...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Feeling a bit angsty today as a former co-worker got recognized with an award. There are several issues resulting in the angst but the main one seems to be 'How come she got an award when I have done better work and never did?'

And of course one reason is I've not followed up and actually applied for the award, during the time I worked there.. Another reason is that at that time I didn't think my work was worthy of an award. In fact, it is only when I compare my work with hers that I find mine to be worthy too. Heck, yeah! Third reason- I've not marketed myself enough. That seems to be critically important today. Especially when you navigate through office politics and different personalities. When you are nice and agreeable and just going abt your business, it probably gets you liked but not necessarily anything else...There are exceptions especially when the management is intelligent and can spot value. But mostly it also seems to be about marketing. 

That doesn't mean puffing up and acting arrogant and jerky. But I am thinking, even that's not too bad. Sure, you're known as an arrogant jerk, but I bet most people wont say that to your face. And most people will bend over backwards to accomodate you, because you're inflexible and are being a jerk. Of course, the assumption here is that while you're also a jerk, you deliver value. The comparision here is a jerk versus submissive person who both deliver value. And there is a golden mean I suppose - the person who is not a jerk but is assertive and makes his talents known, and who also delivers value. 

Again, the question is why is this award so important? It's the recognition. The need for respect and recognition seems to be a basic human need. Especially recognition by someone who you respect, means a lot. 'Vashistar vaayal Brahmarishi' as my mother says. Some people mix this up with the need for love and intimacy and they say that all you need to do is go and have more friends/loving interactions. But the two needs are separate. And I don't know if that's such a bad thing. If most people have this need, it seems to be a part of the basic human condition. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What did I do today?

Had coffee and breakfast in the car, obtained from the drive-through on our way to my husband's office and to Kuttipa's play area. Lots of paper and foil and tissues that came with the food.
Drove to our destinations.
Came back and changed Kuttipa into his diapers which are always the disposable types - the ones that will stay in the landfills forever. Toilet training is currently in-progress. Despite my noble intentions, my inherently lazy self hasn't really invested time or effort into cloth diapering. This has been happening for 2.5 years now.
Didn't have time to cook in the afternoon/evening since Kuttipa skipped his nap and was cranky and demanding. So had a melt down early in the evening requiring food ASAP - so pizze picked up from shop with all its packaging.
Not sure what other transgressions I've made today. The breakfast and coffee thing from a drivethrough happens once a week. Used to happen much more, but have cut down consciously.

So what happens if my friend came and demanded that I don't dump diapers into the landfills anymore? How can I in good conscience complain about my friend's lawn chemicals when there is so much bad I am doing?

I can pluck dandelions because I want to. Any other reason would be hypocritical.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So I went and bought Roundup..

No I didn't! I wouldn't. Even if my entire yard is filled with dandelions, I wouldn't go buy Roundup or any other herbicide for that matter. And the yard is filled with dandelions already, almost entirely. And it's driving me nuts. So I go and behead the flowers (before they turn into seeds) and sometimes I will manage to uproot an entire plant. Which still leaves only about a million more of them left in my yard. Sometimes I pluck away all the leaves hoping the plant will spend energy in putting forth new leaves instead of flowers and seeds. I don't know if this is really effective though. And we tried dumping a bunch of grass seeds onto the lawn hoping the grass will overcrowd the dandelions. So far, I haven't seen any new grass... I know I cannot eradicate dandelions from my lawn but it might be nice to have fewer of them.

Why this war on dandelions? I am not entirely sure. I think I am trying to prove something albeit very unsuccessfully. A friend of mine recently bought Roundup and other such stuff to maintain her lawn and I got very annoyed. Not to her face of course (because I am not like that). But privately, I vent to my husband.
"Now all the runoff from her lawn will enter the water supply and we'll be screwed!"
"Why only her lawn? Surely there are tons of other homes in this neighborhood alone that use all these chemicals. Why are you singling her out?" My husband asked reasonably.

He is right of course. And yet I feel disappointed. I wish I could go tell her to stop using that stuff. But is the alternative a dandelion filled yard? What right do I have to lecture my friend, unless I have a reasonably well maintained yard myself? And hence my war on dandelions...

Let's say hypothetically that I do manage to eradicate all my dandelions and I have a pristine well-maintained lawn and garden? Would I really feel any more confident about telling my friend what to do? I might but most likely, I wouldn't. 'None of my business' I might think. Or I might feel diffident about telling her to spend so much time in manual labour when a couple of sprays in a few minutes can do it.

But of course it is my business. It is everyone's business. We're all affected. But I am too scared to speak up though. So I'll just keep making some more excuses and killing some more dandelions.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hell in a handbasket

I read this column in NYTimes today.

And it made me depressed and scared. Very scared. The information is not really new but everytime I read about it, I feel panicked afresh. Scared for my myself, sure. But more scared for Kuttipa. What kind of world have we brought him into? What toxins was he exposed to in the womb and what more has been exposed to since then? How has it affected him? Will he grow up and thrive? What about all the other kids on earth? What's been happening to them? Will humans survive despite their own efforts to self-destruct? Is the world going to hell in a handbasket?

I recently went to a gardening centre because we needed some advice on gardening and didn't know where to start. This was a large, large store filled with almost anything you could possibly need for a garden. There were plants of course and soil and seeds and other things you might typically expect. What I didn't expect to see were the sheer varieties of herbicides, pesticides and other cides. Do you hate your neighbours dog peeing on your lawn? There is a chemical for that. Perhaps you didn't want deer on your lawn? Or bunnies? There is a chemical for that. Or birds? Or ants? Or caterpillars? Chemicals, chemicals and more chemicals! Yum!

And then here is the ultimate irony. There were statues of bunnies sipping from a water fountain, Mom and baby deer nuzzling, clusters of birds perched on a branch, etc. I guess after you're done killing all the real animals and critters, you need at least statues to symbolize life in a garden. When you think of a garden, do you think of living growing things or the WMD?

And this is not one particular store. Just walk into any Canadian Tire or Home Depot or equivalent, and you'll see all these chemicals displayed proudly. What's the average consumer to do? The average consumer who doesn't spend his nights reading news articles, but wants something to kill his weeds, bunnies and what not? He pulls some shiny bottle from the shelf (probably the one priced lowest) and hopes it delivers on its promise of killing whatever it is he wants killed? Harmful to humans? What's that??

How does this change? The average consumer is not interested in advice beyond the immediately tangible, Health risks are intangible unless of course his kith and kin are injured. Even then, how do you prove these things? You just blame fate and go back to spray your garden with 'Weed n Feed'.

And that's why I feel so helpless and scared.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kuttipa updates

Kuttipa now counts till 20.
Can identify all shapes correctly, although he has been doing that for a few months now.

Has only just recently for a week or two started identifying colours. Mixes up red and green a bit. Fairly consistent with blue, yellow and sometimes even pink and orange.

Jumps with his feet off the ground and has been able to do that for a couple of months now.

Can put two words together like 'Amma bye', 'Blue car', ' car bithu', ' Neeru beka'?

Can climb ladders in the park. Has been happening for a few weeks now.
Used to be afraid of the slide but not anymore

Has a lot more words in his vocabulary (mostly Kannada and English) but also some tamil words like 'saami' and 'thanni'. What's interesting is that he can cross-reference sometimes. He uses 'neeru' and 'thanni' interchangably. Similarly 'Devuru' and 'Saami'  seem to be correlated in his mind. 'Truck' and 'Lorry' is another example. "Dirty' and "Koiku'.

Seems to be passionately interested in trains. Any empty carton lying around in the house becomes a train moving on a track, with 'Choo choo'. Else two blocks are combined to make a train. Sometimes,

He likes singing and songs. Can recite 'Twinkle Twinkle little star' completely. And several other rhymes partially. He knows the tunes more than the words and will often substitue nonsensical words just to get the tune right.

Likes elevators, escalators, automatic doors, buses, police cars. fire trucks...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ah, heaven

When I was young, my vision of heaven was a cozy but light filled library with a ton of books - specifically books that I was interested in. I'd dream of how I could spend the entire day reading and reading and reading.
I suddenly remembered that vision today, and you know what? It still sounds mighty appealing! I'd add a couple of things though, to this vision. An endless supply of coffee and occasionally a plate of samosas. ;-)

I have about 7 books that I've borrowed from the library that are due sometime in the next couple of weeks and haven't really read even one of them...Hence this book and samosa filled fantasy! :

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another take

Well...I was thinking about what I wrote yesterday and it seems a bit simplistic (duh!)

I mean, consider the example of one person not talking to another. While its true that the other person does not know what is going on and draws his conclusion, the first person might know the reason for his own silence. So in that sense, there is a truth which might be truer than some of the meanings taken by the observer.

But mostly we don't necessarily have access to this truth and we must draw our own conclusions. And maybe that's some kind of evolutionary thing - trying to match patterns and come to conclusions. Makes us understand who our enemies are and things like that. So assuming things based on events is not necessarily a bad thing - in general.

But obviously there are times we take it too far. My husband can probably tell you the number of times I've taken a simple remark of his and gone wild with it, perceiving it as an insult and using it to draw conclusions about him, about our marriage and everything. Oops! :-/

Maybe that's a woman thing. I don't know. What I do realize is there are times it's better to not draw our own conclusions. How do you determine which times are better for what? Alack and Alas, I don't know...

Meaning and control and other such good stuff

Came back from an awesome book club meeting. On my way back, I was listening to the radio and caught a bit of 'Ideas' on CBC. Their guest on the show today was William Irvine, who was talking about his book 'A guide to the Good Life (the ancient art of stoic joy.)'

Whatever little I heard of the programme was pretty good. If I get hold of a transcript or something, I'll post a link. Because my paraphrasing just wont do! You've got to read or hear the real thing.

One of the things he talked about was control and how little we have of it. We can control very few things in our lives but our emotions are one of them. And stoics strive to do that. For instance we can't control if the sun will rise tomorrow but we can control how we feel about that...

He talks about how people are mostly unhappy because they always want to be somewhere else than where they are in life, all the time. And we keep blaming circumstances, other people's behaviours and external events for our unhappiness when in reality our happiness is in our control, in how we choose to think or feel. Again I wish I had his exact words here. He said it much better than this.

This kind of fit in with a video I was watching recently by Morty Lefkoe. Lefkoe talks about how events are separate from our reactions to them. If someone does not talk to you, you might interpret it as anger towards you. Or perhaps you might think they are being rude. Or you may think they don't know the language. All of these are meanings that you're giving the event. The event is that the other person didn't talk. But what meaning have you taken away from it? If you're a person with low self-esteem, you probably took a meaning that confirmed your low opinion of yourself. Except that you have now (falsely) attributed the meaning as coming from someone else. It's all in your head people! ;-)

How many meanings have you created recently from simple events that inherently have no meaning? As long as we're the ones creating the meanings, why don't we create some positive ones?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It was a fantastic day today! High of + 15 or something like that. Picked up Kuttipa from daycare in the afternoon and spent over an hour at Bowmont park. Kuttipa played on the slide, climbing up the ladder and sliding down on his tummy on the huge curved monster of a slide. He did this for almost the entire hour, never tiring of the climb up which looked a bit taxing on his tiny legs, or of the slide down which seemed to be fun every single time! Every now and then he played the 'drum' by banging his hands on the metal slide and smiling at me and exclaiming 'drum'! And me, I just enjoyed all the sunshine, the fresh air and the spectacular view of the Bow river. And I enjoyed watching Kuttipa clamber up the slide and thinking of how nice this parenting thing is sometimes.....

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Blue skies and sunshine

"What is the fuel that keeps you going?" I remember asking a friend more than a decade ago, a girl who I immensely admired because she seemed to have it all figured out. She was probably a little startled but tried to answer anyway.
"My family and my friends.. I guess."

Looking back it seems like a weird question to have asked. I remember the feeling behind it though. Or the lack of it. It was a time when I was feeling listless and absolutely unmotivated to even wake up each day and move. It wasn't a lack of physical energy but more a lack of mental energy. Why bother to do anything at all?
The feeling eventually went away and obviously I did keep waking up. It has returned at several points during these years. A feeling of hopelessness and indifference and feeling distant from everyone and everything. I have attributed it many times to being in North America, away from sunshine, away from family and friends.

And yet that time when I asked my friend the weird question I was very much in India. Close to family, surrounded by friends and tons of sunshine.

'It's part of being human" says my husband. "Everyone feels that way sometimes." Maybe he is right. But if that's true, why do we so seldom talk of it?

Since Kuttipa's birth, although there have been periods of hopelessness, it is much less intense when it happens. As if Kuttipa has given meaning to my life. Which is true. But it's also not true. Life has no meaning except what we give to it, right? So it could in fact be anything that I could choose to live for. A cookie perhaps. A leaf. God. David Suzuki. Seinfeld. Or maybe *gasp* myself?

Monday, February 01, 2010


I am working on a project and listening to Pink Floyd right now. Such amazing lyrics!

"When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
but I have become comfortably numb."

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Happy New Year

Wishing you health and happiness! Cheers!