The Envelope

Photo by Roman Koval on Pexels.com

It lay there on the table, untouched for a week, a seemingly innocent envelope that had become a huge source of discomfort to her. Whoever said letters got lost in transit was obviously wrong, as this envelope had travelled five cities – each time redirected via multiple addresses in hope of finding her.

P Shrikant, Delhi was clearly the original sender of the letter.

The name triggered memories of a tightly shut past. Why would he contact her after six years?

Six years ago she got married and left Delhi and severed all connections.

With Shrikant and all her college friends.

The graduation years were marked by a host of activities and Shrikant was always with her. They studied together, travelled together, and competed for the top spot. She felt there was something beyond friendship between them but was not sure if Shrikant reciprocated. Neither of them spoke and going with her family’s flow she married the chosen Boy as soon as her final year exams were over.

A clean cut was the best to settle into her role as a wife.

She was happy and content now.

A hundred possibilities crossed her mind. What if he wanted to reconnect… Was she ready to go on that road?

Her husband was curious about her sudden agitation. Who is he? Why don’t you open it?

Finally, she did.

With trembling hands, she unfolded the single sheet.

The envelope held her BSc Degree that Shrikant had collected from the University and sent to her last known address.

I am joining Vinitha in her Fiction Monday series.

Wall Flowers (Wordless Wednesday)

What do you see when you walk on the road? For me, the no brainer answer is Trees but very often it’s flowers that catch my eye.

Night blooming flowers may fall down and decorate a compound wall. These Wall Flowers make the structure more beautiful!!

I am sure you will agree!!!

These beauties last only till the Sun comes up!
Fragrant !
The lovely Plumeria!
Morning harvest! Flowers and PC Nilima (Hibiscus, and Magnolia champaca)
I am joining Natasha in the Wordless Wednesday Bloghop

Henna (ThursdayTreeLove)

Today I have a Shrub instead of a Tree but I am sure all of you will enjoy this plant!

The title has been the spoiler so no surprises about the identity.

Yes, these delicate flowers are of the Henna or Mehendi plant. Botanically called Lawsonia inermis, it belongs to the Lythraceae family (that is the family of Crape Myrtles). It is a native and evergreen species.

In my childhood days, I remember it was grown as a hedge plant – I was told that the leaves are bitter hence goats, cows stayed away. However neighbourhood girls always managed to pluck the leaves, grind them on stones and apply the paste on our hands. The red colour was sufficient attraction.. the design was simple – a circle in the centre of the palm and capping the ends of the fingers. There was no thought of making designs.

That’s my plant.. still very young..
Fruit of Mehendi

I do remember we used to put a dot on the forehead.. this is one part where Mehendi does not colour the skin.. the story was if the forehead skin took up the colour then that girl would be a Queen!

No… mine never did colour!

Over the years, this way of putting Mehendi has ended.. readymade Mehendi cones have replaced ground leaves and designs are elaborate.

I am not complaining.. I love the colour and the fragrance that Mehendi leaves on our hands!

Besides India, Mehendi is also used as body art is several countries. We also use it as a hair conditioner and to colour hair.

Here are a few images of Mehendi as body art.

On the top left, the artist is at work! The Peacock and Lotus are popular design elements.

I am sure most of you would be familiar with Henna/Mehendi .. Have you seen the shrub?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Priya had been thrilled to take up the Salon offer. Four sittings for the price of two. An unbelievable deal. At twice a month, she need not look for deals for their upcoming 30th anniversary. She could confidently accept compliments like “you look as if you were married yesterday!”

Appearances had unknowingly become a priority… and she had given in.. As an active member of the Tea party, Cocktail, Kitty circuit; she felt as if she had to look young 24X7.

But of late, this was becoming too strenuous. Suddenly the fine lines needed extra effort to be hidden and the greys appeared faster. Fatigue was setting in. In her fight with Age, the latter seemed to have the upper hand.

Priya was tempted to stop these frequent Salon visits but lacked the will power.

And then, out of the blue, the Lockdown happened. Everything was shut. Salons. Gyms. No parties either.

That meant her wonderful Salon discount could not be used.

After a few weeks of hesitation, she gathered courage to look at her reflection.

The fine lines and greys did not laugh at her.

When she smiled, they smiled back at her.

Suddenly the mirror became her friend as did Aging.

I am joining Vinitha in her Fiction Monday series using the word prompt Mirror.

Reflections on 2020 AprilAtoZ

Reflection #atozchallenge 2020

Hello! This is my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge and my was Experiences of a first time grandmother! 
Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! 
In case you have missed out, you can catch up here
Congratulations to all awesome bloggers who have completed this challenge. This year is unique as all of us around the world are facing the Covid19 pandemic. 


Luckily, the Internet Gods were kind enough to allow me to schedule, post and comment on many posts. The AtoZ master list listed 510 participants and 89 bloggers revealed their theme on the #BlogchatterAtoZ Theme reveal and I saw 144 awseome posts on the first of April!! Obviously I still have a lot of catching up to do, something that is top of my to-do list. 


I had delayed my decision to participate (its my seventh attempt) and once I did, I went into a frenzy of writing and managed to schedule all my posts much ahead of time. Y turned out to be most difficult and I was gasping for ideas till the last day! My posts were not image-intensive as it was more about my feelings and emotions and I did not make the effort of looking up memes to accompany the posts. Does it indicate a certain weariness? I cant say really! 


Visitors to my blog were generous with their comments and I Thank all of you! Even if you have not commented! 😉


Across all the challenge, I saw the popular themes related to writing, books, travel, cooking and best of all, I found 4 blogs about babies/kids and one by a grandmother one about future grandkids!! Yay! I was not alone!! 

Here they are..

This post is incomplete without mentioning Quilting Patch Applique by Frederique.. She posted outstanding quilting work and has even suggested an awesome knitting site that I plan to sign up for soon. Thanks Frederique!

A couple of wonderful Nature related blogs..



As in earlier AtoZ challenges, Keith’s Ramblings by Keith Hillman and Canvas with Rainbow by Anagha Yatin were outstanding with their fiction.  


The Lockdown has been extended in India as we try to accept an upcoming new normal in our lives.. that of always wearing a mask, carrying hand sanitisers. Greeting by way of Namaste and washing hands and feet have traditionally been a part of our lifestyle and I am glad the entire world is now adopting it. 


I pray that this calamity ends soon. 
I hope all you of are healthy and safe in your part of the world. 


Take care everyone!
It was nice meeting you all and reading your thoughts. 
Lets stay in touch! 


Stay Home! Stay Safe!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 
2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver

Z is to Zone Out

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

Zone Out
When I look back, the day when Daughter went into Labour and next 2 months are a blur. On the one hand time seems to have flown yet all days were almost identical. 


It was a period of intense happenings in our country.. major political decisions had been taken which naturally generated much discussion among friends and family. 


I had Zoned Out. 
Switched off from the world.


No reading newspapers or watching News on TV. No time for Facebook or Twitter. All my time and energy was spent on the newborn and first time Mom who we were hosting! 


These were precious moments that would occur only once in our lives..


And you know what, I realised I was not missed in the big world outside. Life went on – Trees blossomed, the Municipal Corporation functioned, the Stock Market fell and rose, roads got repaved … you get the drift..I did not miss them either.. 


In fact, I was so peaceful. So much so that I have decided to keep zoning out more often. Reduce the stress. Stay happy. Enjoy being a Grandma!!  

Have you tried zoning out? 
I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  

Y is for Young

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

Young

Every stage in a woman’s life involves a huge change.. its difficult to say which is a bigger challenge … 
– Puberty which changes a carefree girl to young woman 
– Marriage that makes her simultaneously balance the hats of a ‘daughter in law’, wife and professional.
– Motherhood which entails carrying, giving birth to, nurturing and then moulding the mind of her young one.
– Mother in law – this is equally challenging as she has to ‘let go’ of her child (son or daughter) to set up his own nest .. IMHO it may be more difficult for the mother of a son. 
– Becoming a grandmother.. again not something to be done lightly.. and this AtoZ is all about becoming a grandma..


The best part of becoming a grandma is that I can play, sing, dance with Grandbaba without inhibitions.. Baby talk becomes a norm as does miming nursery rhymes and stories.


I can easily avoid household chores and spend time happily playing with the baby. 
😉


Hide and Seek, Catch Catch, Hopscotch (my daughter used to call it Stapu), making sand castles and card towers. Finding joy in a weirdly shaped stone or chase the butterflies in the garden. These are just a few of things I am looking forward to..


Its my time to a revive the child in me.. to become young again! 

I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  All posts are from a maternal grandmother’s point of view!

X is for eXcitement

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

X has always been a challenging alphabet in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge..
So today again I will use X to outline my version of what I felt and did…

eXcited 
eXercised 
eXhausted (on a few days)
eXplained
eXalted
eXplored
eXamined
eXuberant
eXpressed
eXasperated
eXtrapolate
eXpedite
eXamine
eXhilerated
eXquisite
eXplosive
eXperiment
eXcuse

eXcellent for SAH Grandma!!

All eXtraordinary and eXceptional feelings!


I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  

W is for Wear

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

What has been your experience? 

Wear
Considering that I have showcased my new found tailoring skills (you can catch up here at my E and M posts), I am sure you expect me to talk about clothes that I made for new Mommie or the baby.


Well, not quite.
I am going to talk about Baby Wearing.
Rather my feelings about it.. because there is plenty and more about it on the Internet. 


Buying a Pram was on top of my list of purchases for the baby and Daughter was quite opposed to it. Storage space was among the last of her reasons for it. Baby wearing is her chosen method to walk outside.. 

I freely admit my reservations to this. When I saw the carrier, I was in a tizzy… it will be too hot… baby’s nose will be covered… there will be too much pressure on baby’s spine… 


I read up about advantages of baby wearing.. and continued to have reservations despite having accepted so many other innovative ideas…


Suddenly, I started noticing many mothers in Pune wearing their babies.. at the local temple, at the store, on the Walking Track and one who was riding as a pillion on a scooter.. Whoa.. and all those babies and Mommies looked so happy. Besides it allowed Mommie to be hands free .. It was at that point when I began to cave in.. maybe there was some substance after all.. 


And there is a huge range of Slings to choose from.. best of all, Pune actually has a Sling Library where Mothers can try out different types to help identify the ideal Sling for them. 


This Grandma is yet to ‘wear’ our baby but I will get around to it soon.. Promise! 
Till then, I am scouring e-commerce website for a suitable Pram for baby and me to go  for a walk!!


Have you been wearing your baby? What do you  think?


I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  All posts are from a maternal grandmother’s point of view!

V is for Visitors

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

Visitors!
While at any other time, I love for people to visit us, I dreaded any one to call us with an infant at our home. 
I can almost hear the surprise in your mind, dear readers..
Let me clarify..


Traditionally, the new Mother and her baby were kept almost isolated.. Washing feet and hands was mandatory for anyone who wanted to see them.. obviously to protect them from infections. 
In our modern set up, it is a tricky job to ask visitors to do so..  People were actually offended when I asked them to. 


Of course Corona has now ensured everyone has reconnected with this particular and important hygiene aspect at all times. 


Then came the next hurdle.


Let me clarify again, at any other time, I am a welcoming host (I hope) but with a new born, my priorities had changed. Babies dont like to be held by strangers and many end up being upset with all that talk and laughter in the house – especially in the Flats that are now the common abode in urban India. 


Guests forget time – I take that as a compliment – but I had to choose between being a good host and a caring grandmother. I was way behind my chores. Asking guests to stay for Lunch or Dinner (or the meal at that time of the day) usually worked like magic! 


The mental anguish of doing the right thing, not hurting people was too stressful for me.


Of course all come with only best wishes and love for us and I appreciate the gesture. All had words of advice, some of it very useful. 


I know what not to do when I next visit a newborn. In fact its best to wait till baby is at least a month old. 

What has been your experience? I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you after the weekend folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  All posts are from a maternal grandmother’s point of view!