It’s been a year already…

Ever since I moved to Swansea, I guess I have fallen off the blogging bandwagon and have been posting here only once a year (approx), which is sad really. Because so much has happened since we moved here and I could have kept the record of all the stories behind it if only I took some time to post about it. Here is hoping to do more in the new year.

2021 hasn’t been any different to 2020 to most and I am not going to add to the doom and gloom of it because we have had enough of that. I have kept myself busy with my post-graduate certificate course in higher education, started training in yoga (online), prepared two new courses when I had a break for a term, visited a few places (safely and within the permitted guidelines) etc. etc.

Now coming to the end of this year, I have successfully completed my PGCE and am now a qualified yoga teacher. I have already started teaching yoga to a couple of my friends and have been doing so for the past few months (online, of course). I recently finished writing all about my travels on my other blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed travelling in and around Swansea and making sure we take breaks whenever we can and as safely as we can. Neither of us is getting any younger but the year-long training of yoga has kept us in good shape. I should say that I have never been better, health-wise, than now and may long it continue. I have also never written so many essays in my life. This year has seen me write so many essays (both for my PGCE and for my yoga training). I think that is why I didn’t feel the need to write anymore in any blog. People are surprised when I tell them about the essays in yoga teacher training. Those essays have enabled me to read various classical texts on yoga and have given me a lot of things to think about and reflect on. It also reiterates the fact that yoga is an all-encompassing thing, a way of life, not just a physical exercise.

I have also witnessed a few heartbreaks, a few disappointments, a few sad events, but who doesn’t. It is part of life and growing up, I think. Just recently my nephew had a breakdown because he wasn’t happy with his Christmas present 😀 and he thought that Santa could have done better. I had to tell him that his message to Santa about his gift was very ambiguous and in future, he would do well to remember that ambiguity would lead to heartbreaks and he better make it super clear as to what he wants.

At work, after being together for almost three years, slowly things started to change as and when folks moved on to better prospects and I ended up finally identifying who my friends are and who are just acquaintances and I am glad for my friend’s circle, which is very small but very good. I also had a good term recently where a very difficult module was totally redesigned and there were no tears. That is a huge success in my book. Even though I wasn’t super happy about going back to face to face teaching this autumn term, we did it and touch wood, no one got ill during the term. We maintained social distancing, face masks, letting people learn from home when they had any slight symptoms etc. What the next term is gonna be is anyone’s guess at the moment. All I know is I am ready for both online and in-person teaching and I have managed to keep the learning experiences similar-ish either way.

Another year without any choir to attend (not even an online one like last year) which is sad, but at least we were able to visit a few churches and see their nativity displays and enjoy a couple of Christmas markets. This is the first holiday where I haven’t been working or even thinking of work. All I have been doing is relaxing, doing odds bits and pieces that needed to be done at home, doing my regular yoga, and finishing some last-minute books for this year (according to GoodReads, I have read 130 books this year, which is quite good) etc. Just chilling out really.

To top it all, I have finally been offered a teaching job back in India in my hometown which I would be started during the next academic year (Indian academic year). That means that we will be relocating to India next year, which is going to be very exciting more for Mr M than me, as it would be like going home after a very long break I guess. The move might not be as smooth as it was when I moved to the UK as it was just me then and this time we are moving as a family. There will be so many things to sort out and on top of it I would have to start my work without much break, but I guess I deal better when I have things to do and Mr M is more than capable of dealing with the admin stuff anyway. My nieces and nephew are quite excited about my move back and are looking forward to it very eagerly.

This virus is not going to go away any time soon. It is in their nature to mutate and spread and then mutate some more and spread again. It is their cycle of life, just like we have ours. Having seen the worse of it in 2020 and then some in 2021, all we can ever try and do is be safe ourselves and ensure that we protect our near and dear ones as much as we can within capacity. Some things are beyond our capacity and control especially, how the governments behave during such a crisis (I am trying hard to not get political here), but we should do what is within our control and capacity and get through this together. I am getting my booster jab today and Mr M has already had his a couple of weeks ago. Here’s to hoping that these boosters help along with some common sense.

Looking back, this year has been jam-packed with loads of learning and travelling and the new year is starting with new opportunities and new experiences. Let’s hope and pray that it is all for the best.

May this New Year bring with it hope, health, and happiness to all of you. Keep smiling and keep spreading joy wherever and whenever you can. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! Happy New Year! 

Closer to home…

There is so much happening lately here in the UK, specifically. 1 £ coins are being replaced. 5 £ notes are being replaced. An attack happened in a place just two days after we had been there for a parade. Brexit triggered. We saw a raging fire in a distance (at least it appeared so) one evening and it turned out that a flat was on fire a couple of blocks down and no one knows the reason. The whole flat was gone. Thankfully the neighboring flats seemed OK as per the news report. Saturday evening a news article popped up on my Google news feed, which surprised us. We live in the area of Camden and we pop into the Earth Natural Foods shop in Kentish Town for our organic stuff. I like that shop actually. Lots of organic stuff in there and their small home baked stuff are so yummy. I never come back without buying something for myself, except for today. There was this man working there who used to serve us no matter where we were in the queue. We always ended up with him at the till. He always had a nice smiling face, around 50ish, pleasant and even if he was busy with something else if he saw the queue he would drop his work and attend the customers first. Of course, we didn’t know him by name or anything but over a period of time, you tend to recognize the regulars (not just the customers but also the people who work in that store). We pop in there at least once a week.

This Saturday there was a news about a 53-year old man from Camden being held for deportation. At first, there wasn’t any photograph but it said that this man worked at the Earth Naturals shop. And with the description, I recognized him to be this man who always served us. And when scouring the net for more news on him, we found out one with the photograph and it confirmed our doubts. This man whose nickname is Stoly is being held for deportation tomorrow. More details on his case can be found in this article. There was also a #savestoly trending that day. It was kind of weird to suddenly learn about someone whom you see weekly and wave a hi and a thank you and realize that they are in the news and that you might never see them again. It took both of us by surprise.

Mr. Stoly’s story is kind of confusing at this moment. It isn’t very clear as to why after being here for 27 years, he is now being deported to Serbia (he was from former Yugoslavia). How was he allowed to pay his taxes and was allowed to work, if he didn’t have the legal right to do so? If he had the legal right, why is he being deported now? Some relate this to Brexit and Article 50 being triggered and this is how the migrants will be treated and all. No one really knows the background story to this and we are not likely to learn about it either. There has been news about such deportations off late. One more lady in her early 60s was deported to her home country Singapore when her husband (I think he is British) was waiting for her at the care home. No information was given on that either.

In this case, Mr. Stoly was from a country that no longer exists. He has lived in the UK for 27 years and made this his home and was allowed to do so too. If he was found to be illegal they shouldn’t have let him be here for that long isn’t. He has his old mother in his place which is now in Serbia. Will he even know that place anymore? What would he do there? Would the government of Serbia take him back when they do not have legal documents except for his birthplace details and his parent living there? Would he have to apply for another legal document from this new place? Where does he actually belong?  He doesn’t have a family here. But if he had and he was suddenly deported what would happen to the family and his belongings?  When I went to the store today, I hear a couple of ladies talking to the owner about how surprised they were to learn about Stoly and how they are willing to help them help him. Like someone commented, that after 15 years in that store he is part of the furniture now. (On a side note, is that how I am viewed in my current organization? I have been in that organization now for more than 16 years… phew! Time to leave, I guess)

No doubt that this news took us by total surprise. With the travel ban in the US and the families being separated because those who had traveled weren’t allowed to come back to their families and home…Nightmare isn’t.

Bee Hive

Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Taken at The Hive at Kew Gardens, London 🙂

Wall & Art – The End Of Season 1


Moments are precious; sometimes they linger and other times they’re fleeting, and yet so much could be done in them; you could change a mind, you could save a life and you could even fall in love. –  Cecelia Ahern, How to Fall in Love

This is the last photograph from the set I had taken in London during my last trip. I am here again (in London, of course) for a very short duration, but I am not sure how my schedule is going to be. I hope you enjoyed the series of precious moments that I had the pleasure of capturing through my photographs and sharing it with you. It was more fun to find appropriate and relevant quotes for each of these photographs. And I thoroughly enjoyed presenting each and every single one of them.

If I happen to capture some more I will make it to Season 2 😉 Until then, thank you for joining me in this Wall & Art series.

Hopefully I will find something else to start a series on, sooner 🙂

Wall & Art – 36


I wonder why does ev’rybody look at me
And then begin to talk about a Christmas tree?
I hope that means that ev’ryone is glad to see
The lady in the tutti-frutti hat.
The gentlemen, they want to make me say, “Si, si,”
But I don’t tell them that, I tell them, “Yes, sir-ee!”
And maybe that is why they come for dates to me,
The lady in the tutti-frutti hat.
Some people say I dress too gay,
But ev’ry day, I feel so gay;
And when I’m gay, I dress that way,
Is something wrong with that?
Americanos tell me that my hat is high,
Because I will not take it off to kiss a guy;
But if I ever start to take it off, ay, ay!
I do that once for Johnny Smith
And he is very happy with
The lady in the tutti-frutti hat!

You can watch the whole song here (and may be move your body a bit too 😉 ) It is a really fun one.