Fortune Favours the Brave!

When you cannot go to the pool for a swim, please bring it to your bathroom for a shower.

What a crazy time it has been for Texans!

Lucky we survived it all and be glad that we all learnt more survival skills and exciting tales to reminisce and share. We stuck to our house the entire time. Our house went to as low as -2C, and thanks to Texas Gas service for keeping us alive. Not to underestimate the power of prayers by friends and family that spread the ‘warm’th! In my neighbourgood, at one point only three households had people in them, the rest made it safely (❤) to safe zones! Frozen pool, the possibility of leaking pipes, and having our own shelter above us made us stick here and made it. For about one week with freezing temperatures, we had electricity for about 10 hours until it was restored when the energy company felt we deserve some despite having any ‘critical’ units around us! We are grateful for all your messages, care, and concern that made us feel that we have our backs covered. Have to thank some extraordinary people who shared some boiled water, water cartons, and firewood with us despite being in the same boat. (Sam, Ida, and Aroona ❤) And, to Michael for his guidance wrt our frozen pool. To my CEO for referring hotels to us, Bala’s company and HR are even willing to get us a truck to put us at safety. God’s grace, we didn’t need it all. We struggled and suffered but in a much better position than those who couldn’t relocate and did not have gas service! 

Overall, ‘survival of the fittest and ‘struggle for existence” put to the test and proven!

Here’s our story covered by Decibel, Austin’s Locally Produced Resource for News and Events Presented by Austin PBS, KLRU-TV:

https://decibelatx.org/science-and-technology/a-year-round-problem-winter-storm-outages-underscore-power-issues-for-one/

The Sunrise!

Smashing the obscure thoughts,

Solacing the bustling hearts,

Through the quietude of the Full Moon,

There appeared this glimmer of Hope.

The Sun beamed down, waking the long awake yet forgotten dreams.

Reposed reveries bounce back- Nothing more invigorating than this sunshine that’s flashing through this window!

A happy 2021!

The fights they fought, the paths they laid

It’s heartwarming to be able to honour labour day in the heart of a capitalist country. We can find lots of literature on the origin and why it’s not on May 1st here. But, the minimum wage policy, minimum hours of work per day, maternity & paternity leaves, the dignity of labour, were something I have experienced while in the UK, and I still can hear them here. Though the terms are not the same in the US, to commemorate a day for workers strengthens me. As Shakespeare says, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”!

I bow to the great souls behind the mass movements, the strikes, the sacrifices that they made, and the fights they fought to change our fate for good. Let’s not touch the subject of equal pay for both genders now.

Yes, based on the duration women work while pregnant, they can earn up to nine months of maternity leave, and a six-week paid holiday is a common norm in the UK. Now don’t let that smile fade away if you are in that part of the world.

Though born in a country where ‘dignity of labour’ is just a decorative phrase, I am fortunate enough to be nurtured by parents who have always kept their housemaids close to their hearts and treated them with warmth. I respect people based on the values they share than the degrees they hold.

Though labour day has become synonymous with consumerism (thanks to labour day sales), let’s remind ourselves of its origin, be it Mayday or the first Monday in September. Let’s grab a chance to think of those tireless labour who work in mines, roads, or deserts under the scorching sun, who go fishing in tornadoes, and those who work in the snow. Let’s thank our mail carriers, let’s honour those ground workers who make this world a cleaner and safer place.

Memoirs

Dating back to my early teen years, I could passionately recollect how supported were all my hopes and aspirations by my very conspicuous vigour and vibrancy. And, I presumed I was in charge of my life, and happiness seemed granted. Books, along with loving, caring family and friends, were my companions. Though waking up early to birds chirping was thrilling. Those street vendors knocking on our doors with fresh, organic, non-GMO veggies felt disturbing, and the paperboy hurling the newspaper sounded interfering. The postman’s appearance intruded into my private space as my dad would receive a dozen letters every day. An emotional reminiscence made me feel touched as I have had the best childhood. Now, stuck in a motor jungle, the hyped communications can be coded- a gentle horn is a hello, and a bighorn is for anger.

Generally speaking, people are associated with their car numbers, and everyone has a busy daily schedule. In this part of the world, big parties hosting a minimum of fifty families over weekends is the norm. Greeting every guest  is not even the basis of social get-togethers. Tracing back those street vendors’ affectionate smug in my search for healthy foods in shopping malls where plastic cards do all the exchanges, and organic food is far and beyond my reach. Forget Non-GMO’s. The postman wouldn’t be knocking on my door anymore, but letters, well, primarily sales and marketing flyers, and our monthly bills are left in a box at bay.  

Back then, physical handwritten letters were part of exchanging warmth and birthday wishes among cousins and classmates who lived farther or moved places. I moved to England with my husband in 2004. Until then, all those twenty-five years of my early life were spent in a small historical, cultural town, Vizianagaram. Hailing from a small town which was the home town for us since my great grand parents time, every year, I look forward to my town!  After nearly 14 years of my marriage, I still get homesick; I still have the foreigner-feeling wherever I am.  My roots are firm, so are my experiences. My best friend, my maternal granddad, regretted it when telephones became part of every household. “If it’s a handwritten letter, I will cherish reading my letters whenever I want to, whenever I yearn for that person. These phone wishes take away my happy memories, my best time pass and make me long for my grandkids more”, in his exact words.

My granddad was eager to learn about e-mails in 1999, but he didn’t live longer to try that ‘e’spect. I miss my granddad, who was my movie partner, my walking partner, my guide, and my stress-buster, my wall. I never understood his agony about the newly forming nuclear families then and the repercussions. His usage of cloth bags to reduce plastic/paper wastage; his willingness to walk any number of miles to stay fit and be able to say hello to his friends and work colleagues on the way. His philosophy towards vasudaika kutumbam- the whole world as one family – most of his life he had been a great host and rarely a guest. I miss my grandparents’ unconditional love, my grandmum’s innocence, my granddad’s willingness to accept whatever was thrown at him, with a smile on his face though it caused pain to his heart. I was part of the latter emotion, his agony once, and I bury my head in disgust when that thought surfaces in my memory. They taught me the importance of relations in life, and hence I try and maintain one-to-one relationships with everyone I meet and get to know. I try my best to be an agony aunt to any in need. Many forget me in their happy times. I was back-stabbed many times. Yet,  I trained myself not to change my core.  I am not that weak that any negativity around me could change me.

              I have realised “Life” is in charge of me. Lots have changed, but there are affections beneath all these hustle, bustles.  Fortunately, the world around me is very sane, and definitely, love will dominate hatred.. I am incredibly fortunate to have some friends, our extended family, who have the hearts of gold and have the Midas touch. Luckily, we all share the same principles. Love begets love.