Friday, January 22, 2021

Forward The Message If It Spreads Love


Good Morning friends,

While we all want to wake up to a nice morning, sometimes it is just the opposite that happens. I too woke up one morning to horrid news. But soon, had to drag my mind out of the agony and stretch back to the routine and normal. And you never know, what may cheer you up! It could actually be those Good Morning messages on the green app that we most often read out very casually!


Most of us wake up winking to the green app and sometimes find positive good morning messages. I too wake up to a few like that, though I am not the person that will forward any of them.  Sometimes, I do not view all of them. As for me, the moment I click to open the app in the morning, messages pop out like random things from my handbag. Stuff simply shower, surprising me. And I am left rubbing index finger on the screen, deciding which ones to read first, or simply sort in in order!

But, there are two people. I read their good morning message. One is my mother who sends pictures of her floral garden. Another is my neighbor in Mangalore. Let's call her Auntie X. Our bonding is unique. She has grandchildren, but we are best friends despite our age difference. We can laugh and cry together.

And, I simply do not miss her good morning message. Many a time, the messages touch up exactly on what I need. It is just a casual affair yet effective to the core.

Few days ago, I woke up to this horrid news. My friend lost his brother to corona, after fighting for 45 days. This left me lost and sluggish the entire day. Earlier, if I heard such news in the media, the heartache was different. This time the strike was different. A dear friend! Simply thinking about them exhausted all my positive energy. 

But as is the norm, was there a solution to this Covid fear? We have to live with it and go with it. And I realized, I had missed Auntie X's message. Grabbing my phone, looking for it, and found this one today. So apt. The Foundation of life is love. And if love and positivity could simply erase all negativity in this world. This world is a place where money and power speak. So, why not spread little love ourselves. Why not forward this message, by saying good morning to everybody. 

You never know, it might actually lift someone's spirits one day.

It will, definitely will. So, forward that message.

Cheers

Sush


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Have You Got Kismet in your To Read Book List?

“Life presents many choices, the choices we make determine our future.” – Catherine Pulsifer

True to this quote, life presents us with several opportunities, choices, chances, and several important decisions to make at varied stages. Most people don’t know the profound effects of making life decisions. Often times, we go through life oblivious to what thoughts we are thinking and what actions we are taking. But what happens when a decision you make takes the wrong turn? Or if a few choices take you through serendipity after all? That is the story of siblings Akash and Deepa. And this is my debut book. Kismet or Destiny in Arabic.

Kismet Buy Now

Don’t we all often make life’s choices considering the interest of our dear ones and our family? What if life’s incidents reverse, overweigh joys, and throw disappointments at you?

We attempt and bounce back in life optimistically, don’t we? Or sometimes, these incidents themselves turn into serendipity.

Set across India(Mangalore) and the Middle East (Qatar) with a narrative that traverses from early 2000 to the current times Kismet is a multitude of experiences in life by Akash, the protagonist.

Akash Shetty loves his family dearly and lives up to their expectations and happiness. Why did his sibling devastate his family? What was the impact it had Akash’s life choices?


Akash lands in Qatar for a short term. What incident leaves him emotionally devastated, and how can he turn it into serendipity?

As a story of love, hate, culture, philosophy, and humanity, the book challenges one’s perceptions of life. Akash and Deepa's anecdotes can make your cry, laugh and ponder! There lives an Akash within many of us, who reminds us that Kismet or Destiny can be turned into a stroke of serendipity.

By opening a window into the life of Akash, the book takes you on a journey to self-discovery and self-actualization. As Akash’s outlook towards life alters, the book vows to create a lasting impact in the mind of the reader.

Kismet is now available on Amazon, Flipkart and the Notion Press online store

Grab your copy now! Leave your review  :)


Cheers

Sushma Harish


Share on twitter 

Face Book

Linkedin

WhattsApp

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Have you taken that step ahead?


January 12th is the National Youth Day in India. As well as Swami Vivekananda Jayanthi. Not to forget he was the key figure in introducing the Indian philosophies, yoga to the western world.

He taught complex philosophies of life in simple words.

On this day, sharing with you all the birth of the story of Akash. The protagonist of my story kismet (destiny), my first novel. A youth, tenderfoot's journey through serendipity is what it is all about. What steps Akash takes in his life and how the stories connected have a profound influence on our futuristic society.

The book has been launched. Whether I call it a success or just an outcome of several failures, I simply call it a part of my journey. For, I shall not stop writing or blogging. Yes, however, now I carry the responsibility of writing that can have a positive influence on the people who read me.

The entire journey has seen storms enormous. Needless to say, the first-timer has to go through struggles. So I did. Not to go through all those details (as of now), finally I found my way. Being an NRI and residing in Qatar, publishing in India is the challenge I have accepted and executed. 

Now, here in Qatar, my folks have poured in questions on me. What was that driving force for you to author a fiction novel from Qatar! The answer was simple. This was my childhood dream, which I cornered calling it silly. It was only my granddad with whom I had revealed and he had simply told me to chase my dreams. Do what you wish to! Today he is surely smiling from the heavens because I finally fueled my dreams and achieved them with the love from my entire family, husband, children parents, siblings, and my friend Anupama Rao, standing beside me.

Last week, as I stood holding my book during the launch event, the media person told me "you are inspiring". I said I have just taken another step ahead. And that has made the difference. 

Have you all taken that step ahead?  Do you feel you cant? Do you feel silly? Do you feel it is not important to chase your dreams? Whatever is your field, whatever is your open eyes dream, live it.

Let me tell you, feeling accomplished leaves you satisfied and successful. When you are happy, you keep people around you happy. I must say, If you have not yet taken that extra step, do it now.

If you want to be successful do not read success stories. It will only give you a message.

Read stories of failure. You will get more ideas towards success - Told Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam 

And so, I keep reading my own failures and pushing myself for more. Like Swami Vivekananda preached and practiced, we are the creators of our Kismet!


- Sushma


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Jnana

POST- 4 -BLOGATHON
--------------------------
Sociology had never been a subject of interest for deep study to me. Not much. It was just about in the backdrops of my being.  I always feel we all have our perceptions and personifications. But this year it mused me as my girl discusses her studies with me.
And, the subject progresses into culture, tradition, and religion, I realized I touched upon these topics only as a believer. I never studied strategically.

Being the festive time, yesterday, as I sat down with my two, with folded hands and taught them "shlokas" both countered me with several questions. Thankfully I could handle most of them without having to call my dad or mom. My little one could confidently explain to me reciting the following shloka with the meaning.

"Vakra Tunda mahakaaya, surya koti samaprabha. Nirveghnam kurume deva sarva kaareshu sarvada".
With his tenderness in the pronunciation and his cautious grin he can now say " Oh lord with curved tusk and a heavy body, please bless us and free us any obstacles in our lives".


    Now, I am sure most of our children relate to the Ganesh very easily after the "Oh my friend Ganesha" movie was released. After which children were more inquisitive. From the time this revolution of animated cartoon videos came into vogue, there had been much a mixed commotion about why were gods mimicked? 


Whereas, I, on the other hand, a decade and a half ago, was thrilled to find numerous animated stories of gods and goddesses. Apart from reading books and narrating tales, I would play these videos for my child then 3. She enjoyed all the videos she watched and what she is today as a teenager, she feels she is grateful having watched those stories which left her intrigued. As she turned 10  she began reading this version of "Ramayana". She took more than a year to accomplish it, as she needed a lot of supportive explanations for which I was responsible. In the process, I started strengthening my knowledge too.

However, like any fashion/fad or practice is at times a circle, these "animated videos" to is now out of interest zone, at least in my life. Reasons could be monotony or that the number of videos being available on the internet makes it impossible for me to pick up the "right" ones and those that I feel are inappropriate. So it happens that the children in my house are now happy with the stories from the books. 

To add to that, it fascinates them when the storyteller in me narrates the anecdotes from my childhood. The celebrations of every festival, the temple chimes, the blowing of the conch, the soothing temple bells and the chanting of the hymns. It is endless. It has to be pepped up with tales about how I as a child made it for extra fun along with my friends.

And now, not just my children, but here comes the fact where I find that many of this generation children are learning their culture this way. The parent's narratives, their stories, few books, and of course the internet. 




Now, in phase two, touching upon another chord, we started reading the awesome book. Bhagavadgita (A handbook) by C. Rajagopalachari. I had read this alone and now reading with my children.

"The limitation of human knowledge is a familiar boundary in scientific and philosophical investigations. Dive into any truth or investigate any phenomenon or examine any distinction deep enough, and at a certain point, we reach the unknowable and further progress is stopped. We strike against God so to say is everything. The unknowable is all-pervading. The known and knowable makeup but a surface crust over a mystery-sphere of infinite dimensions."

These are a few lines from this book as an introductory.

My favourite lines from this book are: "Jnana manifests itself in the cultivation of a detached attitude in all work. Jnana is not fully expressed by "knowledge" or wisdom". It involves a complete transformation of oneself in accordance with the truth that is seen. Such transformations result from and at the same time leads to the progressive realization of one's unity with the rest of the world and of the whole world with God. Action becomes free and sinless once the motive of action is freed from selfish aims".
------------

So, as we discuss sociology, I feel that everybody has their own personifications. Jnana is yet a perception in the limits of liberty to each individual.  

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Spooky Journey

20 - 08 - 2020

POST -3 BLOGATHON

Greetings readers,

Here is today's bit with a pinch of thriller and humour. Do leave your comments here without fail. I appreciate all those who write to me how they enjoy some of the writing. Please do leave a line here too, so everybody connects to your comments.

Some people love old, Spooky, trains. (With images) | Train, Train ...
PC-Google

 

----------

We say do not judge a book by its cover. Do not judge a person by his looks. I relate to this closely by a train journey of mine. Yes.

In the Year 1996, I boarded a train from Chennai to Mumbai. 20 hours journey. In a hurry, I hopped in with one set of batteries in my Walkman ..and quarter kilos of grapes.  It was just about 8pm.

What a lovely train it was. Dirt smeared window sill, seats absolute antique, creaking fans, winking lights. Why! the entire compartment seemed to be mine. Just then a dad-daughter duo showed up. They sat a few seats away. Compartment now looked packed with their luggage and the amount of food packets they had. I was relieved looking at the food packets.

I plugged music to my ears. 10pm. I waited for some food from the pantry service in vain. 

I gave a smiling glance to the dad-daughter. Nothing happened in return. Apparently, they dint like me. They were engrossed in some troubled discussion.. So I grabbed a few grapes and dozed off.
Soon dinner came. In my dreams.

Next morning by 6am as my eyes and mouth opened together, I shut my mouth to avoid the yawn, squinted away to see outside the window, and settled my undone hair, I see the dad daughter enjoyed their food. Again.

My stomach grumbled against them. I did not even have a cup of coffee. I prayed to almighty.

By 9am my stock of grapes over. All I had to do was to listen to the "only cassette" in my walkman playing Aamir Khan's songs from Bollywood movie "Mann". Huh. Till today I know the lyrics in full.

And suddenly two men in full grey patched uniforms jumped inside the train, closed the doors, pulled down windows shutters, and stood guarding the closed doors with their 2 foot long guns resting on their foot.
My heart jumped into my mouth.

Was it happening? Was I imagining Bollywood scenes? Music had stopped suddenly. Drat, the batteries.  Stomach rumbling. And the dad-daughter duo serious discussion forever munching away savouries making obvious sounds.

Whatever were these gunmen up to? They appeared to be army security but, it appeared like they were talking about me, pretty sure I was, they were. And I was hating their looks.

Bulged up mustache, creepy grins, munching peanuts. I was just barely in my 20's vulnerable, alone. I shivered till my bones. My brains froze for a few seconds.

What if something bad happened to me. What!  Just then the dad daughter, with expressionless faces walked up to me, sat beside me.

Next few minutes the duo sat with me. In absolute suspense. I now had my benefits of doubts. To trust the army men like guys or this stingy duo. Absolutely flabbergasted, wish I could open the window. I was quite lean built yet not enough to wriggle out of the window though. No. No way.

So what could a hungry tummy and frightened mind do? I sat like a potato in hot water. Shaking with the rhythm of the train and frighted to death.

 The dad-daughter sat for another 30 minutes until the gunmen left in the next station.

My slow train continued to whistle and crawl on the tracks leaving me frustrated.

By  4pm something, am not too sure of the time, the train arrived at Mumbai station. I hopped off after letting out another prayer to almighty.

That evening as I got off the train in Mumbai I learnt, gunmen were army personnel guarding we passengers as the slow train crossed the dacoit feared area. One mystery was solved. 

Now for the other. The dad-daughter duo neither smiled nor talked. They appeared grumpy. But they showed compassion when I was feeling terrible and scared. They made me feel safe and secure without breathing words, in spite of their problems (I am guessing that). They did not share food in spite of having so much.  

So, judge a person’s attitude and aptitude by their actions. Appearance deceives, is just for our identification of legal existence.

  

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Itch

 19-08-2020

Post - 2 Blogathon

And today, as I was in my study working on my laptop, my hands kept itching. It is not new for it to itch this way. This ticklish itch is different. It isn't synonymous with any blind beliefs of "gaining wealth when your right palm itches" or lack of blood circulation in my hands.

No.

This is only my habit basically. Every time I see a pen on my book in my study (as you see in the picture) my hands have to grab it. And then I either create random graffiti on the book or scribble my own name a few times or get spiritual and write an "Ohm" few times. Some times, I just draw a few smilies.

But I can not resist the itch at all. Now, as it is said, old habits die hard. From very old school times I am accustomed to this. At the same time, my passion for writing.  Anything. As a school goer, I would love to write my notes neatly and not leave any opportunity.

Soon, I had begun to pen down poetry. That is when my dad too jumped in and encouraged my itch. He would take me to the corner book store. As he indulged in a conversation with the owner being his friend, I would stroke different pens and colourful books and would take some time to decide on what I would take home. A red velvet diary and a hero pen was my fantasy one year at age 12. 

So, I continued with my love for the pens. Most college notes were not spared too from the little graffiti or designs my finger worked on. And till today, I stop by at the stationary section and pick up a pen as an obsession. You will always find one in my bag. Always. Some of my friends hate me when I hold them at gunpoint when they borrow my pen. 

"I want my pen back please"- Little notorious for my tantrums. But I am a manufactured product that way. That was Brahma's strategy else who would buy pens often and stock two boxes full of them at age 40, that too in the age of smartphones!

My laptop is accustomed to being accompanied by a pen and a notebook. It absolutely looks incomplete without one of them on the table.

Wait, till you know this interesting aspect of the spouse's point of view. Some times, when he peeped into my study, he reads out what I have been scribbling on my book.  Sometimes, when he saw "Sushma Harish" all over one page of the notebook in a different font, angles, and styles, he grins and tells me you are writing our names like a teenager. I have to roll my eyes and remind him, this is my legal name and my "fingers itch". I am just writing my name. After hitting on the keyboard for a while, I can't stop my original itch.

Now, you have to wait to know the kid's point of view. One fine morning, my daughter took a glimpse of my book, settled her gaze on the page, and plonked on the chair. Standing a little away, I observed her lip movements. No audio. She was apparently reading something from my book. I walked up to her and realized I had written a few lines from a prayer I say every day in Kannada. My girl put all her abilities of her bits of Kannada knowledge and tried hard to figure out what it was.

As for my son, in this lockdown, he dreads when I pull out "his book" and my pen.

"Oh no, more homework, you will give me. I know. You are so bossy. Even the teacher does not give so much work". So accused, I stood there for judgment by his sister and father. Both have to diplomatically judge. Hence, I am now advised to give him a regulated amount of writing, and stop buying colourful notebooks for him!

I must admit, only my fingers itch. Not his. 

However, I have little or less control over my obsession. Last week, I was to submit my formal introduction to someone who would add it out on some website. I wrote it down in my book as usual and drew out a nice border and sent her a picture of it on WhatsApp. I was glad she accepted it and did not ask if the entire picture had to go as my intro.

Again today, I know many of you would relate to such incidents and all those who are like me hi-five. 

There is an anonymous quote I happened to read "Writing to me is thinking through my fingers" and I feel so connected to this.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Let's Talk

18-08-2020

Post -1 -Blogathon

 Greetings dear readers

A few months have rolled by now since I blogged. The lockdown too is phasing out now in Doha. The city is opening to be as before, in phases. But we have been glued to  "COVID anxiety" and yet to open up completely.

And this morning, I simply wrapped up in a warm blanket decided, I will do up a "Blog marathon". The reason for this again is, that, of late when  I did not blog, many friends have come up saying " you have not written anything recently". 

One said we loved to read about your trips. Another liked the monkey tricks of my son that I ranted about. A few more were curious whatever happened to my sarcastic or the humour posts. It so happens that whenever I pen down a conversational narrative or a routine anecdote, friends often relate to it. Most times, when I meet a friend at a party, someone would be talking about a post that I probably had written a year ago and could not place it from the points the friend remembered.

But it is a heartfelt love that leaves me elated.

Overall, with so much love showered upon me, I feel blessed and grateful to you all.

In the next few days, I will write every day. On what I see, feel in life. 

So, Let's talk.

Well, so here I go. This morning, I sat down to prepare this collage above here, and post it on my social media pages. 

Now, I have three reasons to do that.

1) I often write random lines and link them up with my favourite pictures. 

2) Being stuck to the "Stay home" exile, I decide to haul my archives and unearthed the favourite pictures from my solo trip to Pondicherry.

3) Yes, so I adore the "sea vibes". The picture makes me nostalgic.


Besides, sometimes, I stick my nose to the window at my residence, to notice the different variety of activities happening in my garden patch. Few tiny sparrows wandering for water and some feed. I ensure I keep ample out there outside the windows. Few mynahs that apparently lost their way. And most times this brown fellow in the picture here, who clinches his body to the cold glass that perhaps is soothing in the hot summer. 

The picture justifies how he must have felt when I left a bowl of milk for him. Am not a cat lover and unfortunately do not feed them generally. In fact, every day, I find the cat sly around in the garden patch in wait for the sparrows and pounce on them perfectly. Perfect prey that its paws manage to deal with. I sulk watching this. And my daughter grumbles it is the rule of nature and advises me to go do my work and leave the cat alone.

The question is how much work? I have been missing the outings like all of you and was looking for entertainment right at the window. Even the idiot box doesn't allure me anymore having ticked all the Netflix movies.

And today, we in Doha, have crawled out of our homes to take some long drives, creep up to the seashore for a fresh feel and many have enjoyed the mall outings. 

Friends, remember we are not "marked 100% safe or out of the COVID danger" and hence remember to take your precautions. Hygiene habits. Wearing the masks and to counter small flu symptoms with home remedies.

Let us hope the new season of 2020, called not summer or winter but "COVID" ends fast and we all return back to our "real/physical" world and clear off the virtual life we are leading.


Love to all.