I called her….

Life is a journey. We are all busy on our own ways, forgetting or neglecting to see others pains. We do this for personal gains. That is the saddest reality. I am writing here about an individual, I have known her for only less than 14 years. The most thought provoking personality I have ever known or will ever know. She was a warrior. Her life was so tough and she did not have a smooth path. All important occasions in her life had obstacles. Yet, She fought with her head high.

Came here as an immigrant more than four decades ago. Life was not easy back then. Working and taking care of family with minimum means was for sure a task. Failed marriage and not been able to take care of her youngest daughter must have broken anyone. She didn’t give up, the quality I got attracted towards her. Myself an immigrant we could connect so easily and she never treated me bad. We could talk all the rubbish in the world. We could connect with old movies and sometimes she did not have any interest in them, She listened and laughed at my silly jokes. I shared a lot from my childhood times. She enjoyed all the stories I had to say. I can see her eyes glow when I say my memories from India, She relates it back to me from Fiji. Our life style was similar and we did have a lot of common grounds. She always said “Here no life man. No life” She sighs always saying “Oh. Brother”. I felt that many times too. Here there is no life. We all live like robots here. Waste of life in a lot of ways. We both related easily because we both had experienced real essence of life back home in our own ways. Real struggles. That is why she survived here with all her hardships.

What broke my heart is when she told me “I went to a church where there was a wedding on the day my younger daughter got married”. So she felt she was a part of it. She coped and fought against her obstacles. She bought a baby doll, when her younger daughter had her baby. Took care of that baby doll as if she was taking care of her grand child. I salute this lady’s will power. I will never ever forget her. In my culture we call mother in law “auntie”. I never did. I called her… MOM. I realized she is a true form of a mom. A person with lot of patience.

Photo by Kristin De Soto on Pexels.com

This is my fare well to her. I love you so much. When we see again. We will talk more about Hindi movies and your favorite actors as we usually do, when we were alone.Thank you for coming in to my life and most importantly you liked my cooking. Peace.

SEASON FOR FESTIVALS

Image result for THRISSUR POORAM IMAGES

Every one will have nostalgia. Some memories. Some time in your life, you wish you can experience again. Or in other words, you wish you forget. The picture above is from one of the temple festivals. This particular temple, I have never been. But I have been to many temple festivals while growing up in south India.

The vibe we get there, cannot be translated over here in few words. You need to experience it. You need to live it. Now almost two decades, I never had a chance to participate in one of the temple festivals. Life has taken many turns in the last two decades. Do I miss them. Yes. I do. The culture, the traditions, the life experience, the energy you get from these instances are hard to forget.

When I was growing up, I should say, I am about 14 years old or so. Just like my older son now. I will go and spend all ten days in the temple. I never went home after school. Yes, my parents were not too happy. But I did it. My friends all did it. We had so much fun and life. Today, I felt like writing this, because it is festival season in Kerala. My home town has many temples. They all had festivals. Many artists come and perform. The crowd enjoys them with out any religion barrier. We all are one. Just humanbeings.

Most of the temple festivals end with a procession by elephants and fire works. As you can see in picture above all elephants will be adorned with gold ornaments and many other colorful decorations. Temple society will fight for the best elephants to perform those processions. They go around the town for the entire night. We kids used to follow them. I still remember, the baby elephants playing with the tails of older ones. Also, once they are full and not hungry anymore, they throw coconuts to each other. The experience we cherish, as a writer, I am not capable to describe here.

Rarely one or two times, elephants go mad. Those instances are scary. But, I still went with elephants every year. Families, even if they are separated and away from Kerala, they made sure to meet during this times. Just like Christmas, we see this as family re union times.

Fire works at the end of the festival is the most amazing part. Some temple committee organizes competition. Those competitions are a treat to watch. We never went home all these ten days. We ate temple food. Watched many programs. Some times even walked from temple to temple to see different cultural programs.

Everyone will have nostalgia…. Enjoy them….

Life is always a journey. One cannot plan or reserve tickets….

Giving Birth does not make someone mother

Last few days I am haunted by the news from Kerala. I am not myself. I cannot concentrate a bit. Every time I think about it, I am disappointed. I don’t know why human being these days are acting like animals. Even, I don’t know animals will behave the way some people do these days. I am ashamed to say, I hail from Kerala. I admit, we proudly once called this state “GODS OWN COUNTRY”. Hundred percentage literacy state, but no use.

If you are wondering, what I am talking about, I will say a bit about this. I cannot even write this incident with out tearing up. I am sorry, those who read this may go through what I am going through. REAL agony and anger. But, as a citizen, I should try and give out this message. If I can change one person and if they stop from doing such an act, I am blessed as a person.

I will write incident in a few sentences here, Just to let the readers know. My intention is to not focus on the incident, but to encourage society not to follow the suit. Last week, one lady who is in her mid twenties with some marital problems. She also had extra marital affair. She decides to kill her baby by thrashing him on to the seawall rocks. She threw him twice to make sure he died, because she heard him cry after first attempt. She dis this to blame her husband and go with her lover.

I am sure, when a baby is born, their one and only person he or she trust is their mom. How much pain, that baby must have gone through? While going through that pain, who that baby must have looked for or cried out for? Definitely mom. How can a person especially mother could do that? She even brought her husband who was not living with her for the past many months to her house that very night, so she can portray this on him. Devilish act isn’t it?

That is why, I am saying. Giving birth don’t give the rights for one to become mother. That nourishing touch, that unconditional love should be there. A mother will give her life for her children. Fight for their rights. I have seen mothers fighting against their husbands to protect their kids. I have seen mothers giving food to their kids and stay hungry. I have seen mothers selling themselves, so they can give better life for their kids. But taking life, so she can go with her lover, cannot even think of. I saw her parents crying for this baby. They even saying, “why don’t you leave him for them and leave the house?”

I am devastated now and that boys face is still in my eyes. I want to say here, Please people, show some mercy. If you don’t want your kids, please give them to those who want them. Don’t torture them. Don’t kill them. Look at their innocent face. Before you take that leap, look at their smile.

This is not the world I want my kids to grow up. I will make sure, they know how to treat others, respect others. Children are the future of this world. Love them. They have no hatred in their hearts. Let them live- The most purest form of life. Babies.

I pray for you baby. Hope god is playing with you now up in the heavens. RIP.

Why people change?

We evolve just like nature evolve. Scars always happen, but we heal

We always hear people saying, he changed or she changed. He was not like that before or she was. Why is that? Does any one think about it? It is inevitable for anyone to stay in the state of inertia. We evolve. we change daily. If we really analyze closely, we can realize, we also changed. We are not the same as few years ago. Only problem is we just ignore ourselves.

Same happens at work as well. We hire some one who has all the skill sets checked. He or she is so Gung-ho at the beginning. Then the performance starts to struggle. Why? Rather than just saying, he changed or she did. Dig deep, what changed in the organization. Why he or she is not performing?

Lot of times experts says, communication is what breaks them. I tend to agree with this a lot. At the beginning, whether it is a job or in any other scenario, people listen to the new guy more. Slowly it changes. No more listening to the guy anymore. This causes frustrations and in most cases, they will become status quo. They will perform, but you will not see the same fire in them anymore. They stop talking. They will stop bringing in new ideas.

Not everyone gets motivated by money. Personally, I never get motivated by money. I get motivated when there is support. Achieve results together. Performing great sometimes leads to getting additional responsibilities. Not everyone seeks that. They want the job done well. As a manager, one need to understand that.

In short, nature, universe all change. Trees change their appearances. Same, people change. Depending mood, depending what circumstances they go through. Their mental status. Mental health. These all factors are there. But outsiders don’t see that.

Mental Health month, I want to emphasize, please don’t judge people. Try to help every one at work, house, society etc. Show empathy with them. We do not know what they are going through until unless we are in their shoes. Please understand that. Every one born in this world deserves a little love. Stop saying “He or She changed, Don’t know what is wrong with him or her”

Change yourself. Help others. Love others. Read more about mental health. Your loved one may be going through difficult times. Take first aid on mental health. I highly recommend it. I have done it. I am a better person after that. Thank you all for reading. Share. Support as always.

When Snow Falls…

Year 2000, First time I saw snow. I have already lived more than two decades in this beautiful earth. I realize then, universe have many hidden talents. Some you will never discover through out your life time. I was so happy, I still remember vividly, it was in the evening around 7 pm. I walked out. First time I felt snow fall on my face. Happiness at that moment is hard to explain in words.

One may wonder, why I call snow as nature’s talent. The way it is formed, I am always amazed by it. The white color of it. Unaltered. It is most purest form of everything. You want to hold it, but you cannot keep it for ever. It will melt. At the same time what happens to that beautiful white color. It vanishes. As soon as we touch them the purity goes away.

When it falls from sky, even the nature stands still. I always felt the presence of some power at that time. You can see the world is glowing at that time. The color of the sky, the light around the buildings, let it be night. Let it be morning, it has got some sort of presence, like halo. There is peace to it. I love watching the snow fall. Mind you, I hate cleaning it later.

This winter, we had quite a bit of snow fall. We had trouble getting to work. We had a lot of difficulties. But how many of us actually went out for a bit just to enjoy what nature has given to us. For those who did not do that, I am giving you all a few glimpses of it. Hope you enjoy my clicks.

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The Long Road by Daniel Oliver – Review

The Long Road – As the name states, it definitely is a long road for those who suffer with mental illness. Not only for the person who is going through it. The people around them, who loves them, also suffers a lot. Hank Galloway main character in this wonderful novel by Daniel Oliver suffers a lot. His agony, frustrations and not wanting to accept that he has mental problems are all well narrated by Daniel. I have admitted many times that I hate books and I am not an avid reader. This book captured my attention and made me read from the beginning till end without much trouble. Definitely a quick read.

Hank’s relationship with his Grandpa Joe is amazing. His words “Only doing what you believe is your calling will bring you peace with God and happiness” I loved that sentence and I believe in it too. Relationship with his father is portrayed nicely by the author. Hank’s relapses with his condition, nervous breakdowns. Going back and forth with his fear and instability. The story has a great pace and will keep the readers interest from beginning till end.

Recently I have taken a first aid course for Mental health. I have seen some ups and down with my colleagues due to mental health. Even a suicide. This story of Hank is a must read. Helps people to understand what it takes to help them. At this day and age, everyone is so busy with their own lives, selfishness. It takes a lot to understand mental health issues. Supporting them is what makes a society grow.

Daniel effectively get the reader’s attention or in other words give a great message to parents how they should not behave in front of their kids. How much kid’s life gets affected? Parents relationship with kids should be nurturing. This book opens up a lot of conversation around that topic. Hank says he can give up his right hand for a different decent father. That sums up everything.

The Long Road is a must read novel. Daniel captures beautifully one’s struggles dealing with mental sickness. Definitely a 5 star rating from me.

Ajay Nair

Author of Droplets.

What I felt today, When I got the news.

We children always want to do special. Same thing happened with Cutie Fox. He wants to do something special for his dad. The adventure he goes through is what makes this book interesting for kids.

Dravid and Jayenth- Age 7 and 14. Their wild imaginations created the idea. That is how this book took life. Dravid gave the character name. He was so convinced when he said the fox name should be “Cutie Fox”

Today the book is on sale and I have to say, I am very proud. This moment of truth will be there forever. My kid’s and their kids will read about cutie fox. The realization of this makes me want to cry. The moments of happiness and smiles on my kids face are priceless. I am already successful. Cutie fox get noticed or not, this moment will live with me till I leave this planet.

Thank you universe and the force out there to motivate me through out this process. I felt many times, that this book will never find light. Some how, somewhere deep in me, made me want to look for help. That is how this happened. I am sure, when my author copies gets to my home. There will be more excitement. I cannot wait to see my kids reading their book. I have only one word… CONTENT.

https://www.amazon.com/Cutie-Went-Town-Ajay-Nair/dp/1480885894/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1578377668&sr=8-1

Being a writer

When I started writing, I was not sure where I was going to go with it. Then it slowly started to grow in me. I wanted to write. Then finding time was not easy. Still not easy. Work, family and other chores always took importance and priority. Definitely not a bad thing. One should not leave all the above for writing. If they do, then they are not responsible to society. There may be many writers who have done that. This day and age, I do believe that we need to focus on our family first.

Many at times, I had great ideas, twists, plots comes to mind. I was told by many other writers, you need to make a note of it. The ideas may never come back. I still have not got that habit yet. I am working on it. I recently heard a movie director saying. He always leaves voice note in his phone. I think, voice note will work for me. I am sure, every writers adapt some unique ways, which works for them.

When my friends and family came to know about my writing. Lot of them asked me, how is it being a writer. That sparks me to write this blog. The first one for the year 2020.

I started this to get my mind off of things. That was the start. I find myself immersed in it and not to think any thing else. Slowly, it started to give me a lot of happiness. I get in to this strange world when i start to write. Right now I am working on a novel which is set in the year 1890 to about 1915. I get this rush when i create characters. I feel like I am living with them. More like seeing a movie. The characters starts to speak. They have their own attitudes which I start to see in front of me. I feel like, I am making them to say certain way OR at some times, I feel like, they are making me to believe that they will respond certain way. This is very unique. I love when that happens.

Some days, I sit and write for few hours. Some months I don’t touch. There are days, I cannot stop writing because the characters I created are in full swing. They are going through many traumatic situations. I feel like I have to rescue them. Then they get killed all of a sudden. You know, I live with them. This is what I feel being a writer. Strange isn’t it!!!

I do not think any thing else during that creative time. I relax myself. I do see myself rejuvenated once I finish about a thousand words. That is a huge reward. Reading back what I wrote so far gives me so much pleasure. Some days, I cannot even believe myself, that I have created such a bad character in my novel. How could I? That is the most funniest part of it all.

At the end, i have to say to all my readers, who wants to write. Just start. You will not be disappointed. Reward is not money, not fame. Pure pleasure of creating stories. I do not regret a bit that I started writing. Last year “DROPLETS” a memoir got published. Every one who follows me knows this.

This year Cutie Fox Went To Town will come out. An illustrated children’s book. I hope I can give you a good news by the end or middle of the year. There is a novel, I am working on it. I cannot reveal much about, But it is a period piece. I am sure, readers will like it.

With that, I encourage every one to read DROPLETS available in all major online sites. Leave notes, messages. connect with me. via Instagram, Facebook or Amazon author page.

Superstitions

I grow up hearing and practicing a lot of superstitions. I have to say I believe in them. Reason is simple, it is engraved in our breath. We followed it religiously. Our parents and grandparents made sure we practiced them. Nowadays many years living outside country, I find these superstitions we believed back then lost its importance. I started to think why our generations from the past practiced them. There are many reasons as to why already out there. But I want to reason myself why this has started at least my interpretation. I could be wrong.

I have seen one of my neighbor who owns a shop always waited by his gate in the morning. He will not walk until unless he see a bike coming from his right side. He also makes sure it is not a milk bike. He believes that if bike passes by his right side when he walks towards his shop, that day he will get great sales. This happened every day until he passed away. This is actually a superstition. Even my grand parents practiced this. They will never walk out of their house if they see a milk selling bike coming. No one had good explanation as to why? I thought about it a lot. I have no convincing reason either. I have walked out when a milk bike came, nothing happened that day. I was just nervous a little, reason being, I was told many times it is not good. Readers, if you know any valid reason, please input your comments below.

If a crow sits on your front fence and cry, then people believed there will be visitors that day. I have seen people prepping extra food on that day as they are convinced there will be un announced visitors. To tell you the truth, I have myself experienced many times this comes true. Now living in a country there is hardly any fence, I really couldn’t try this out here. This one I do have some explanation. My reasoning to this is simple, Usually people says this during the month of wedding season. I have noticed this all the time, people do not say or anticipate visitors, when crow usually cries by sitting on their entrance fence, but they will comment only during wedding season. It is a common practice in India to invite all the relatives, if someone getting married. There are certain months good for getting married as well. People usually expect at least 3 to 4 weddings during that time. So crow crying and visitors coming does not really have any connection. But it did, during my childhood. Any other explanations please do comment and share.

Asking for a prostitute to come from the opposite direction of your path, if you are going for an important matter, such as a land deal or court case. I have seen this happening during my younger days as well. Not sure why they did. But it was a common belief that if they pass a prostitute everything will fall on their favor. This superstition, I have many problems with. Usually the very same people will not let prostitute to come and attend any functions in their house. They consider that as bad. But when they want to go somewhere, then the presence of them will become good. Does this make any sense. Till this day, I couldn’t come up with any reasoning. Readers, if you know why, please do comment and share your thoughts.

Dropping mustard seeds will bring in poverty to your home. I am not sure how many household have done that and nothing happened to them. I can understand, mustard seeds are very small and if this gets dropped. It is hard to collect them. If you do also, dust will be there as well. So my assumption is that, if in any case, mustard bottle fell down, It is almost impossible to get everything back and on top of that cleaning is difficult. So most of the household must have thrown them away. Most likely the older people decides to add some scare to it. And people became more cautious when they handled mustard seeds. At least this superstition of bringing poverty did it. Again this is my own assumption. I could be wrong.

If anyone bring food to your home in a container, then it is a must you return that container with some food in it. People say, if you give container back empty it is not good for family. Not sure why? We practiced this and saw my parents even doing this. Also some family even put a piece of chilly, when they returned the container, if they did not give food. This prevents bad eye falling on them. Again, this particular superstition, I find it hard to come up with any sort of reasoning.

Wake up in the morning to your right side, not on your left side. I still practice this. But I have never instilled this to my kids. I am not sure their days are bad, when they wake up in the morning and roll to their left side to get up. I got that habit because the society I was brought up had all these superstitions and they religiously follow them. I cannot think of a day, when I got up by rolling towards to my left side. You may wonder, why don’t I? No idea. Do I think, my day will be bad if i do? Yes, I do think that way!!! Well, it is hard for me to change.

Droplets- Memoir by Ajay Nair. Available thru Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Superstitions usually sticks with you because of the culture you are brought up in. Regardless how much you got educated and how much you tend to analyze how this all started. I will say, if you are born and you practiced during your childhood, that fear in you will stay. The day you did not practice and some thing bad happened to you, it is very easy to relate to the superstition.

I would love to hear from you readers, if you have a different take on this. Please do comment and share your thoughts. If you like my writing, please support my memoir DROPLETS.

Please support my first humble effort.

Suicide- Students in India

I am so lucky….. You know why?

I could be one of the stats from India. Daily one student suicide because of the pressure they go through. Can you believe it?

It is true. I have been in this situation. Hey, I can say this much. I never thought of taking my life. I did want to run away from home. Many times. Today after many years, when I look back. I think I had some one looking up for me. Some people call it as God or some supreme power. I still don’t know what it is. I am lucky…

Why? This much pressure. Society is so blind in India. Never changed, this many years and still the same. I thought, situations have changed. But NO guys. I am furious. Recently I read in the news paper, that parents paid some person to arrange strangers to write their kids entrance test to get admissions to Medical courses. Now what happened, they got caught. Now kids got debarred from colleges. The parents are in Jail. Again- Why? What did they got out of this? Kids lost their education. They lost their parents. Now for their entire life, they will be horrible.

I am sick and tired of this. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji is doing a lot for the country. But it is high time for him to take a look at this situation. Students are our future. He should reform education system. He should find ways to educate society, that other careers are needed for a well balanced community.

Why, they are forcing kids to do only certain courses? Why the parents are forcing the kids to do the courses they don’t like? Also, why this much pressure put on kids when they are at colleges? Why they have to perform so much? Why they cannot just be kids?

All these talent, these parents create by forcing kids to develop. Kids do it just to make their parents happy. Then they leave country. So what does this society of India really get out of this? I am confused here. Every time I think about it. I am sick on my stomach.

We are ruining our future. Our kids will never live in peace and they lose their childhood. My generation, most of my friends went through this pressure. I thought when we grow up, atleast our kids will not go through this kind of pressure. I thought we will let our kids be kids. Trust me, I am doing my best to give my kids the best childhood they can get. I am living with them. I am getting my childhood back with them. I am re living my dreams, what I used to dream about when I was a kid.

Shame on you all guys, I am calling out all my friends back home. I know many of my friends still running after education institutions paying big donations, securing a seat for their kids, SO the kids get tortured in the system. India has not changed. STOP IT.

Still kids suicide every day because of the pressure we put on them to perform. We don’t give them choice and make them believe, if they don’t become doctors or engineers, they will not make it in their lives. Shame on me as well, I am not able to change the society I came from. I am doing what I can by writing this. Please stop. Let kids live, Let them chose their paths. Let them achieve their dreams. Let them pave their own fate. Guide them. But don’t force them to give you happiness.

I wrote my book, DROPLETS thinking one day the words in my book will open some people eyes. Who knows? My parents realized now, what I am saying. They are not forcing their grand kids. They love them who they are. So, guys, you all can change. We will save kids.