Week 10: List 5 things you like about you

This blog topic is tricky. But, come on. What’s the big deal about self-love?

“If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.”
― Charles Bukowski

Like, one of my friends, mentioned to me the other day, we all spend most of our life’s time with our own self.

In that context, it is imperative that I enjoy being with myself and appreciate the goodness in me.

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So, jumping straight to the list of things I like about myself.

  1. Learning:
    At any given point in time, I have observed and acknowledged that I always enjoy learning, in its truest sense. I strive to learn from my respective gurus / mentors. I also learn through my interaction with people, belonging to various groups.
  2. Trust:
    I like how I am wired to trust anyone and everyone without any prejudices. I give everyone, a fair number of chances. When things don’t work their way, I get, that it’s time to let them be. I like that, I have learnt through time, to pick myself up and move on.
  3. Time:
    I do juggle between work, family, friends and my own goals. I definitely like how I am able manage time for all these things. But, truth said, the folks in my life are extremely supportive and make this happen for me, seamlessly.
  4. Communicate:
    With life experiences, I have learnt to communicate well. I like that, I can clearly state what I have to say or what I feel. Again, a lot of people at various instances have made me this person I am today.
  5. Enthusiasm:
    For those of you, who know me well, you’d instantly agree on how crazy I am. I like that, I can almost laugh out loud on anything and everything. I hold a child-like enthusiasm which lets me explore, travel places, experiment on things, stay raw and radiate within.

The ‘hope’ run

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Today’s run was extremely special for many reasons.

This was my first run with The Wipro Chennai Marathon.

I’d signed up for a 10k. And, I was not at all motivated to run this morning, for many many reasons.

But, then, running is not just a physical pursuit but a mind game as well. I told myself, that I am not quitting and would participate. I labelled it as ‘Hope’ run in my head and reached the start point.

Through my run, I felt humanity, for others and myself.

I rediscovered myself through this journey.

It was a run where I sweated out all my negativity, insecurities, doubts, unpleasantness and everything that would not help me progress.

And, for the stats, I completed the run at an average speed of 6.31 kmph, which is by far my best.

I took 01:20:46 duration to complete the entire run.

P.S: I’d like to record my gratitude to all the amazing coaches at The Quad, especially Raj Ganpath for being an inspiration!

Also, Meera Sundar, Prasanna Kumar, Karthik Natarajan: Today’s run is dedicated to you folks! 🙂

‪#‎TWCM2015‬ was conducted today i.e. Jan 31 2016, to celebrate the spirit of Chennai, that suffered rain floods in Dec 2015.

Hampi – run, travel, food and all of that!

 

 

Hampi Heritage Run was announced and it was around mid December, that I decided to register for a Half Marathon. Little I knew about Hampi, but after experiencing this beautiful place in the last 3 days, I assure, it’s a place worth visiting multiple times.

The breathtaking Hampi, the huge boulders, temples that were constructed atleast 1000 years ago, the scenic views, it’s people, the fellow visitors, food, everyone affected me.

How to get there:

Hampi is closest to Hospet.

I took two trains to reach Hospet [Chennai -> Bengaluru -> Hospet]

How to reach Hampi from Hospet:

Hampi is about 14kms from Hospet. You could either take an auto that would cost anywhere between Rs 200 – Rs 300 for one way.

Alternatively, take a bus (301, 302) from Hospet bus station. Costs you about Rs 14.

Accommodation at Hampi:

There are plenty of options in Hospet and anything on Station Road is your best bet since its close to railway station and bus station.

I stayed at Amrutha Residency, that costed me about Rs 750 per day. Contact details: +91 8394225225, +919880544559

Places to see in Hampi:

  • Enthrodwaraka Temple
  • Virupaksha Temple
  • Monolithic Bull
  • Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple
  • Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple
  • Chandrasekara Temple
  • Saraswati Temple
  • Narasimha Temple
  • Purandaradasa Mantapa
  • Vamana Temple
  • Vittala Temple
  • Tungabadra river
  • Hanuman Temple (Kishkinta, across Tungabadra River)
  • Laughing Buddha (Kamalapura)
  • Tungabadra Dam (Hosepet)

Food options to explore:

  • Moonlight Restaurant (near Virupaksha Temple)
  • Mangotree Restaurant (near Virupaksha Temple)
  • Andhra Mess (Station Road, Hospet)
  • Udupi Hotel (Station Road, Hospet)
  • Bikaner Sweet Stall (Station Road, Hospet)

P.S. This trip was made possible by some dear friends (Sriram, Bharath, Karthik) and I am extremely grateful for the experience.

Week 4: A family member

I have taken some folks for granted. This includes my family, some of my very close friends.

But, isn’t it how, relationships work?

Lately, I have realized the kind of sacrifice, unconditional love, one person has bestowed, to make my life beautiful, in every aspect.

And yes, there is just one person in this entire universe, who has seen the best and worst of me.

She remained elated, if I listened to her intently and made her proud.

She would gleefully cheer me on, when I was low.

She has been severely bruised with my words, actions at several instances.

She would still wear a smile, even when things were broken for her.

She is one of the smartest, talented, hard working women I know of and probably the nicest person I know of.

She holds a child-like enthusiasm to explore and learn, every single day. 

She’d go out of her way to make life easy for others.

She’s a blessing to everyone around her.

This she is my amma, friend, guru, family and sometimes, my foe.

She adorned several roles such as a daughter, sister, wife, daughter in law, colleague, friend. But, she did best as my mother.

Amma,

I am extremely lucky to have you in my life. And, for all the good things you’ve passed on to me, either through genes or through your actions, words can’t express my gratitude.

P.S: Now that, I had spoken so well about you, can we please fight? 🙂

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In picture: Amma and Appa (taken at Shimla)

 

Music and mostly prolix

Being born and growing up in a musical household meant that, I’d be encouraged to pursue Carnatic music even before I’d speak.

The following quote holds a testament for my upbringing. And, I am beginning to realize what a blessing it is to have lived life this way.

Music is there to enrich your life and make you aware of things in a slightly different way. ~Andrew Eldritch

Everyday, I was either made to listen to live concerts of reputed musicians, or listen to recordings from several tapes / radio relaying concerts of yesteryear musicians. My thatha (grandfather), my guru, Sri Thirupoonthuruthy Venkatesan would ensure that I paid attention to every little nuance and absorbed as much as I can. I reminisce these listening sessions with him which included Alathur Brothers’s (who were thatha’s gurus) ‘EmA Ni Ne’ in Mukhari, GNB’s ‘Manasuloni’ in Varamu, MLV’s ‘Nannu pAlimpa’ in Mohanam, Semmangudi’s ‘RAma Ni SamAnam evaru’ in Karaharapriya, M S Subbhulakshmi’s ‘SarOja Dala Netri’ in Shankarabaranam and many alike.

Until I turned 15-16, I knew nothing, other than music. I’d simply learn compositions taught by my grandfather, resume to endless hours of practice sessions at home with my amma following up on a day to day basis. 24 hours wasn’t enough but, amma ensured that I utilized every minute of it towards music and only music. Indeed, life was very different back then.

Sometimes, I begin to wonder the amount of things my amma has done, to make me who I am today. She was and is still a working woman. She could have progressed and moved up the career ladder. She chose to take it slow and never wanted to shift base from Chennai. She’d never retire on weekends, she almost single handedly managed home, aging grandparents, me and my erratic music schedules, very diligently. She missed being away from appa. So was appa missing all of us. But, they both made the conscious choice to do this, for me.

While amma was a disciplinarian, appa was liberal in every way. Possibly, because, I am the only daughter and he mostly got little time to spend with me back then. His enthusiasm to learn was infectious. He had an ear for good music and considered himself a fanboy of K V Mahadevan, M S Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraja and in that particular order (in current times, I tried influencing him, but that’s not affected him). He kept traveling on work and whenever he was home, he would narrate his musical influences mostly through story telling. It’s because of him, I got into exploring this side of the musical world (amidst a lot of resistance from amma).

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ~ Aldous Huxley

I grew up, and suddenly, I preferred silence over music. Which only meant that, I needed a break from this beautiful art, especially in terms of performances. And, maybe, this is part and parcel of a package called life. I got into academics. Was mostly an average student, but worked very hard to catch up with everything that I thought, I missed in the last 18-20 years. I just wanted to stay away from all lime light that music exposed me to. I never quit learning music, but took a break from performing, very consciously.

The last 5 years between 20 and 25 was a phase, where I listened to more music – of all forms. Call me a rebel, call me a fool, call me anything you want. But, this would be one phase that I’d call a liberating one. I listened more to Hindustani Music, Ghazals, Jazz, Metal, Rock, Fusion and to endless genres and forms of this art. I rediscovered myself through this journey.

Today, at 26, I continue to learn from Sumithra akka. She has helped me gain confidence and strength as a person. I see life coming back in full circle.

But, I am still confused, I am still insecure about what I should do, in terms of performances, my contributions for the art and a plethora of things. The battle is between art and art itself. Unless, someone who has gone through the last 26 years from my shoes, I don’t expect anyone to understand this, as well.

For now, I just trust that the art will take care of my being and help me sail through this phase and to a better one, at the earliest.

Through this journey, I had support and empathy from several musicians and I am ever grateful for their presence. You all know who you are.

Week 3: Family

 

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Who gave me life.

Who are reasons to live everyday.

Who have enriched my living.

 

Who gave me an identity.

Who helped me grow.

Who taught me life’s ideals, by their own action.

 

Who let me experience freedom in it’s real sense.

Who see only the best in me and are always encouraging.

Who are my support system.

 

Who would never give up on me.

Who would treat my success and failure equally.

Who know how to make me smile instantly.

 

Who make and break me.

Who get me completely.

Who I know, I can take for granted.

 

Who are simply the best.

And, indeed, I am incredibly blessed.

 

Week 2: Spouse / Significant Other

To my future soulmate, husband, significant other. (If you exist) 

Hey,

How have you been?

Hope life’s awesome at your end.

Phew, I have lots to say. But, let me get started with a few things.

Whoever you are, this is what I wanted to let you know.

I want you to be you always.

Pursue what you really want.

I hope you’re someone who is happy and takes pride in what you do everyday.
It could be an unsolved math problem or a signature dish you would like to cook.
It could be traveling around the world or sharing your experience with the next generation.
It could be a piece of art that you took months to create or serving patients all day long.
It could be anything that you do.

Whatever it is, please remember that I am already proud of who you are. Because, it takes a lot of courage to pursue whatever you believe in.

I am certain life has tested you and you’d failed many a times. But, what is success if you don’t fail, fall and rise back again?

I understand that you’d trusted people all along. You’ve been deceived too. I wish, you have the strength to trust with all the broken pieces. Or we could figure this out together 🙂

If you’ve not realized this already, believe me, you’re beautiful. You’re awesome. You’re rare.

You’re optimistic at one end, pessimistic on another.
You’re confused, yet you’re clear on certain things.
You care a lot, but don’t know how to express.
You’re simply a human. And I get that you have emotions too.

I sincerely pray that, we remain friends forever and keep company with a sense of mutual respect and admiration for each other.

I wish, I could learn a lot from you and be there for you.

I wish I could make your dreams come true and help you in every best possible way.

I wish to make your family and friends mine.

Lastly, I really do hope, you exist.

And, if you do exist, I simply want to say thank you.
For being born, being you.

P.S: Glad to meet you.