Looking forward…

I had to give up my swimming lessons in January 2020 when everything exploded and I can feel my fear of water dampening my soul,

but I am looking forward to the fact that I can pick up from where I left off in the future or even re-learn to conquer my fears.

I had to spend almost twice the hours doing that one thing I always hated, which is to record my voice (for my lessons),

but I am looking forward to doing the same but with acceptance of the fact that I, at least, have to listen to it only once (to check if it is ok) but it’s worse for my students ūüėČ.

I had a mini breakdown for the first time in my teaching in the Uni when some feedback from the students became too personal to be accepted as constructive criticism,

but I am looking forward to looking at them again for the next semester and continue my work with the same passion and hoping that one day they might get my jokes and my sarcastic comments ūüėČ.

I was amazed at how the youngsters took to the digital form of living (virtual schools, workshops, remote catch ups) etc. so easily with so many tools (Zoom, Teams, Meet etc.),

and I am looking forward for the elders to catch up with them and prove that they can mute their Zoom sessions without having to search for the button every single time.

I hadn’t traveled this year as much as I would have loved to, not just to my home country but also within the UK (except for one small one that we did in August),

but I am looking forward to exploring my city’s nooks and corners more and find those hidden gems and rubble.

I had the pleasure of indulging in my friend’s baked goodies which he experimented every week the bake off was on,

and I am looking forward to enjoying more of his baked goodies even when the bake off is off and also encourage other friends of mine who are good at baking to experiment to their hearts pleasure as I am only too glad to be their guinea pig ;).

I had to finally give up on my resolve never to buy a weighing scale as I was afraid that I would be only too obsessed with it and would end up measuring my weight every other day,

but I am looking forward to using it wisely to ensure I balance myself well on baked goodies and healthy meals.

I had been trying very hard to encourage Mr M to switch to the digital medium of books (aka using kindle) and buy only paperbacks for those which we might need forever,

and I am looking forward to buying him one as he finally came around to it close to Christmas. It is only wise to invest in it as he devours as many books as I do and we are running out of space in our home.

It is easy to look back and worry at how and what causes this shake up, feel angry at all things said and done, feel annoyed at people for their ignorance and stupidity,

but I think controlling what I can, taking pleasure in small things and small moments, being grateful and happy for the lovely people in my life, and hoping for the best in the future by doing the best I can to be part of it is the only way forward.

Wishing you all a Very Happy, Peaceful, Healthy New Year.

To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep stepping - Chinese Proverb.

Half Moon Bay – El Granada , Pillar Point

I have always loved the Half Moon Bay in California. So many beaches , small towns and light houses in between. This time, my first trip, once I got my rental, was to the Surfer’s beach (also called as El Granada Beach) along with the Pillar Point Harbor next to it. There weren’t as many surfer’s as I would have liked and the wind and tides weren’t in favor too. But that did not stop me from enjoying a very quiet time at the beach watching kids and the dogs play. Some kids were trying so hard to try to be on the surf board. It was a pity that the day wasn’t that conducive.

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Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses

In response to the Earth Day Challenge by K.E. Wilkinson.

I am obsessed with beaches. I just love them. I did a whole series¬†on the various beaches I have visited and how each of them are special to me. I called them ‘Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses‘. I don’t know swimming, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the ocean. Recently someone asked me the question as part of a psychological quiz (and yeah, we know how much I just LOVE them ūüėČ ) ¬†‘What is your view about the ocean?’. I replied ‘I admire them and find them very peaceful but at the same time a little intimidating¬†too’. It seems how we see the ocean reflects on how you view death. So yeah, I feel the same way about death too.

Here is my photograph of Drake’s beach in USA, where I am planning to visit this time too. I just love this place. I love beaches especially when¬†they are¬†empty. I feel as if the whole place belongs to me. Add a slight drizzle and I am in heaven. I would love to just sit there and stare at the ocean for hours listening to water crashing at the shore. I hope that this time too there will be very very less crowd (or no people at all ūüėČ ) when I get to visit (fingers crossed)

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A Yearly Round Up

A round up of this year’s activities in my blog, because I did a lot than the previous year and I am really glad about it. In fact there are a few more friends of mine who know about this blog than last year and for me that isn’t a small thing. I still don’t want it to be known to my colleagues though. I am still not comfortable revealing my real name, which I sometimes feel that I should do, but I haven’t reached there yet. I am still content with my mask on and the real me is more boring than the virtual me.

So here we go.

I started¬†participating in Steve’s Music Mix / Cosmic Musicology as it is called now, from Feb 03, 2014. Here is my first post. Since then I am a regular for that game. I listen to enough music to play and to use the songs as answers. Just check it out. Its real fun and you are most welcome to join. Thanks Steve for that brilliant idea and I am really sorry I still couldn’t get some good questions for that game.

Started participating in the Stream of Consciousness Saturday post, hosted by Linda, from Mar, 1, 2014 and have continued since then, because it is pure fun and its interesting to see how different people interpret the same prompt and also how people from different parts of the world think and post alike for a given prompt. I am no writer, but am glad to take part in this prompt. Thanks Linda for this wonderful idea and hope to have the same fun in 2015 too. She is also starting a Just Jot It January, if anyone is interested. I am planning to take part, but am not very sure.

Did two mini series this year on my own, just for the heck of it ūüôā One was about the way I got introduced to various genres of the books (which still needs a lot to be covered, but then didn’t want it to be too long a series) and was named Portable Magic¬†and the other one was about my love for beaches and about the various beaches I have been to and my jog through the memory lane which was called¬†Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses.

I did cross 1000 followers this year, Yay!!! and started following some awesome bloggers too. I follow some on Bloglovin’¬†too. As usual the top 5 posts are related to the Weekly Photography Challenge but this year, the ‘Minimalist‘ Photographs I posted, scored me a lot of comments. I was very happy to see that my favorite photograph was appreciated by all. ‘Baralikadu‘ still seems to be the top search term in my blog (guess no one else wrote about that small quaint eco tourism place) which is followed if not closely by ‘beer shampoo‘ (urgh, I still feel the smell of it) and Chotta Bheem (I ain’t fond of him and his group, even now)

So that is it. I am sure I might have missed a few details here and there, but these are the big ones. Its been an awesome and fun year with respect to blogging and wish the same for 2015 too.

 

Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses – Finale

I wasn’t sure how many posts I would publish with respect to¬†this series¬†‘Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses‘. I have exhausted all the beaches for which I had the digital photographs and there were totally 9 of them. Today being the end of this month, I thought of completing this series with a final post. I always had a thing for nature. When I first went to Ooty (or rather a small village in the hills) to stay with my friend in her tea estate for a couple of days, I fell in love with the mountains and calm and serene environment. I live in a land locked city. And the only region other than plains I have been to is the hills. I wished to live in a such a place if the opportunity arises.

And then when we visited the beaches, I loved the water too. I liked how the waves sounded when they crashed at the rocks or the gentle way they would caress your feet. I love it when it slightly rains while I am at the beach, something like the circle of water being complete at that time and the way the sea looks a little scary with the dark clouds closing in. A balance of the calm and the commotion. (Yeah, I am sort of obsessed with the theme of balance I think). I wondered if I had a choice where would I choose to live, will it be the huge and mighty mountains or close to the deep and intriguing sea (or any water body) ? Of course, I never got that choice, but it is better to be prepared right (did I tell you I was 50+% optimistic?). I have my answer now after all these years. I would choose water.

I am scared of it, combine it with the fact that I can’t swim, it is not a nice prospect. In fact, when we visited Ganges, my father and mother both had to hold me and push me into the water to complete my rituals. Really, they did push me into the water literally, I thought they were getting rid of their sins, but¬†guess I was wrong (or was I ?). We have many ponds at¬†temples in Kerala and every time we go there we are expected to take bath. But I am scared of those fishes biting my skin and I am a little shy to take bath in the open spaces. So I would always skip that ritual (even ready to incur the wrath of God, if it comes to that) and have never done it till now. So given all that, all I ever do is dip my leg in the water and sit and watch the waves. Watch people enjoy. When we were in Goa, the guys had such a blast and it was fun watching them enjoy it. There were so many kids who were so ecstatic in water. Seeing all those gives me so much happiness and joy. My sister is so fond of water. Doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know how to swim, she sees the sea,¬†she has to get inside it.

If I am near the sea, you can see me like this (except that I will be looking out at the sea) contemplating all things or sometimes just thinking nothing

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or enjoying this small girls wonder

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or smiling at this dog’s enthusiasm and strength to try and invade the ocean to get what he wants1-IMG_9105

even enjoying the rise and fall of the people who try till the very end their hand at¬†conquering the waves (this was my friend’s attempt at kayaking. They almost reached the shore waving their victory when a huge wave decided to humble them ūüôā )

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Yes, my choice is decided. I would choose the sea side to live my ever after, how ever long it might be. But will it happen ? I don’t know. ¬†But will I dream of it? Yes.

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Langston Hughes

I dream of lying on the sand with the sky growing dark and the moon shining high and bright , the waves creating a symphony in the background and my mind emptied of all thoughts except for enjoying that moment of nature and calm and ecstasy. This image would be my patronus. 

I would like to end this series with this poem.

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
      And the tide rises, the tide falls.

 

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
      And the tide rises, the tide falls.

 

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†And the tide rises, the tide falls. –¬†HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW