Wednesday, January 14

Dear N

Till about half and hour back,I believed that being strong had a lot to do with the number of muscles in your body,or the amount of weight you could pump or number of hours you could jog on the treadmill.Well,I know it isn't that way,but just that somewhere down the line I had forgotten about it.Just this morning the greatest worry on my mind was that k.g and a half I had acquired over the vacations,why I was sprouting new white hair suddenly.....why My son couldn't get a perfect score in his exam....
As I reached back home, this evening(after visiting a number of banks with a close friend) who is trying desperately to get a loan,I realized(shamefully) I wouldn't be able to deal with even one tenth of what she was going through)
Even though in the middle of a severe personal crisis,it's miraculous how she manages to put even a smile on her face.However,she never lets her problems spill over into the classroom.Her students love her.She inspires them,motivates them and pushes them to do their best,each and everyday.Her sense of humour keeps me alive and in splits.When I complain about the weather or about my maid not coming since 2 days,she puts me to shame,by quietly saying(without looking up from her papers)that she hasn't heard of the word called MAID since 1965.She manages her own two kids,pesky neighbours,car troubles,pot holes,an irritated principal,severe backache,paper setting deadlines(every week),screaming kids,anxious and more childish than their children- parents.....without a sweat !!!!
Dear N.....
I don't know where you derive your strength and patience from,but I just pray that that source grants you oodles of it.Meanwhile,I shall try and pray that I never have to be in your shoes,because I 'm too mortal to deal with a situation like this.

Sometimes I wonder if our physical strength has anything to do with our being mentally tough.

Sunday, January 4

Sun,spirits,sand and solace

The sun never sets on Goa.
Technically every evening it may,though.The spirit(s),soar after sundown,when people get a little more serious,with food and drinks.(and are less distracted by the sun.... sand...... swimmers and sun baskers).This was my sixth vacation in Goa,and I can say that I am still no authority on it,for every time I manage to discover something new in the old here!!!!It has never ceased to amaze and surprise me.Although,facing the inevitable crush of commercialization,it still maintains the old Portuguese charm(though you will have to venture into the heart of Goa to find it now).
There's always something for everybody here.

1.Head to South Goa,to escape the rush and crush of people(try the lesser known Betalbatim,Varca,Majorda beaches)

2.Go green,take a bike and peddle down the beach.It's an unforgettable experience and believe me you just can't keep your eyes on the road!!!!)

3.If you wish to feel truly intimidated,swim in the sea(deep into the sea).Be sure,you go with a group or at least with someone else.It's therapeutic,excessively salty but reviving(and worth the sun tan!!)I finally managed to defeat the last and final remains of aquaphopia,this year.

4.Visit the local churches on a Sunday.You may not understand the sermon,but will still feel blessed like the locals.

5.There's plenty of fish in the sea.Give the naans and dals a miss.Experiment and taste the local fish and cuisine,sprinkled with Goan hospitality.It's red and hot and spicy,but worth it.

5.Sad but true.Recession...terror attacks and then the subsequent panic attacks both in minds and pockets have hit Goa visibly.A little known fact.That friendly waiter in the colourful "I love Goa" tee shirt is probably a Bihari,working for a measly Rs.1500 per month,@only 5 months a year.The rest of the year,he packs off home and eagerly awaits for December.For an economy that balances precariously on THE SEASON,this year has been crushing.The life guards and police are paranoid.The mood is festive but dull.Let's hope Goa can bounce back to life,at least ,for all the people,who have their livelihood depending on it.

CHEERS TO THE SPIRIT OF Goa(and I don't mean the alcohol here!!!)

Thursday, January 1

The New year prayer

After a week of overindulgence a.k.a Goa,am tanned beyond recognition, resemble an over baked potato, both in colour and size, still have sand in my hair and an even more enormous amount in my shoes, my butt hurts thanks to the exhaustive cycling trips ,I took on the beach, and my blood contains high levels of seafood.

Despite the holiday hangover,like all(ahem),most bloggers, I am eager to put in something on my blog,dated Jan 1,2009 and shamelessly admit so.I can proudly say that this post has been places,for I scribbled on whatever I could lay my hands on.... paper napkins,receipts,bills,while waiting at the Goa airport.

Every New Year, I say the serendipity prayer to myself.It works like magic,Right from the first time I heard it,and it gives me hope and new energy,each and every time I say it to myself.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference."

This year I added a little footnote to god as an attachment.

Please also let me know the difference between right and wrong, between the good and bad….between a friend and an acquaintance and the courage to accept all of the above.

In all my greediness,I know I have asked for more.If all good things must come to an end,then all bad things should never have had a beginning.Isn't it??Wrong.For I know,that its impossible to see the what is right,unless there’s a wrong.The brightness of good,without the chill of evil.
Similarly it requires more than accurate vision to judge and recognize a friend(s) and family and set them apart from the crowd of people,we know and come across.Only time and adverse circumstances have that kind of power.

So,till god decides how much to grant out of this prayer,I’ll be optimistic(like always) and will assume that this attachment has been successfully delivered.

Wish all of you a very very happy New 2009……