I have been writing everyday on Facebook the positives about the new world we are in. Here are my top 10 most favorite ones 🙂

On Technology

There have been times I have cursed technology for the addiction it fosters in name of flooding us with information and keeping us connected. But in the new world I realize what a blessing Technology is for it’s ability to bring us information from all over the world and connect us to anyone anywhere in a click of a button. Today I joined back the Hawkeye toastmasters in all seriousness (I was fully awake and made the most of the meeting) and I was glad to get back in touch with each and everyone of them. I thank Technology for making this happen and to the new world for pushing us to use all possible means to stay connected.

Toastmasters Meeting Over Zoom

On New Neighbors

Off late I started to take walks in the evening after work to unwind and take in some fresh air for a much needed respite from hot, stuffy indoors. Usually I listen to some Ted talk or the other during such walks but last couple of days in a row I got to notice that I have a company of a new neighbour who poses beautifully for pictures. He always picks a leafless branch to sit on and gaze at all of us walkers with those large eyes. Probably he is a baby given his tiny stature and like with all babies, he is beautiful and adorable. He also reminds me of my Harry Potter reading childhood days and the good memories of those times. They say he brings in loads of good luck and is a symbol of wealth, not sure about that but for sure he makes me look forward to my walks more. I may or may not have gotten into the new hobby of walking in the evenings, but for sure I wouldn’t have noticed this beautiful grey owl in the old times. I have been living here for 5 years and not once I have noticed anything exotic about my locality. In the new world, no beautiful and exotic thing escapes my notice. Thank you to the new world for that.

My New Neighbor

Being like Mom

Off late I am doing more of things I have seen growing up. Multi tasking while cooking (when vegetables are getting cooked, I am cleaning up the scraps and preparing the masala paste), carrying a bag with me while going for a walk just to be able to hold the flowers I pick, reading books before going to sleep, decorating the doorstep in Tamil style with kolam and making a bouquet of the flowers picked and placing them on the kolams. In short, I am becoming like my Mother these days! Some years back I wouldn’t have wanted to be like her, for in my opinion she did too much of bad things and too less of good things, but off late I have come to the realization that she worked really hard and sacrificed a ton to keep the family together and always did her best for all of us at home and office. Now I know it’s noble to want to strive to be like her, not sure if I will ever match up, but I will try. Whatever I am doing now by imitating her is just a start. This is my first attempt at kolam, the art Amma is excellent at, the irony here is, I learnt this from youtube! Hope I take her for granted less going forward. Thank you to the new world for making me value my Mom more than ever before and for instilling in me the aspiration to be like her.

Kolam Outside my Door

On Selling my Soul for Money

Whenever I had to show pictures of my art work to my friends, I would have had to scroll down to my pre US travel days. I used to in fact joke that after I obtained my work permit visa, I ended up selling my soul for money and hence stopped art altogether. Maybe there is some truth to it as except for my Iowa days when I got hooked on to embroidery, I have never made time for art while in the US or while preparing for the trips to the US. With lockdown in place, how much could I cook, clean, watch TV and read without getting bored on weekends. So, on an impulse I got started with some easy art work and I ended up with these sun catcher butterflies made on ohp sheets using glass painting colors. Maybe I did end up selling my soul for money while in the US, and in the lockdown, while wanting to rediscover myself, maybe I reclaimed my lost soul through indulgence in art. Maybe… What I know for sure is, after this activity I did feel renewed and energetic like how I used to once. So the journey of life may not be about traveling to far fetched places, it could be about coming back to my natural self, wherever I am. Art, for sure is a short cut in that journey! Thank you to the new world for the opportunity to breath life back into my soul in the best way possible.

On Being More Mindful

Just to be able to write about one positive thing in the new world everyday, is making me look around more closely, thereby making me more observant and mindful of every moment of everyday. In the old world I wouldn’t have noticed owls, eagles or kingfishers in my neighborhood nor would I have known that when cranes fly they do so like eagles without flapping their wings. I might have noticed the butterflies, for I have always been drawn to them, but I wouldn’t have looked closely enough to spot different colored dragonflies – red, blue, brown – all of them as beautiful as the other and make the onlookers revel in the beauty and magnificence of Mother Nature. I might have enjoyed the May Flowers which welcomes summers like nothing else in a tropical country like India, but I wouldn’t have looked closely at all the other wild flowers which are as gorgeous as the bright red May Flowers on closer inspection. Even today, during my morning walk, I spotted this tiny yet lovely lady bug which in the old world would have definitely missed my attention. I am grateful for having not missed this moment and for being able to capture it beautifully with the help of the amazing camera in my Google Pixel phone. And yes, I am also grateful to the new world for showing me that if we look for positives, we will find them in abundance even in times of despair and crisis!

The Pretty Lady Bug

On Every Color Being Important

In the last few days, my free time has been occupied with bringing nature into my home in form of drawings of butterflies, flowers and birds through glass colors on ohp sheets and pasting them on my balcony door, making me convert my balcony door into a canvas of sorts. The Fevicryl glass color has one white color as well which becomes transparent on application and drying. What a useless color, I used to wonder until yesterday, when I started using it to tone down other colors and get a better shade and in turn discover brilliant new colors which I wouldn’t have known of otherwise. That’s when I realized every color is needed to make the picture complete. No matter what our original perception of them was, no color is less important! This is when an amazing analogy that is very relevant in the current world struck me. Like with the colors in my glass painting set, every person of every color is needed to make the world complete and nobody is less or more important than the other. We are all not the same but we have to fill in our places to make the picture complete. Thank you to the new world for making me see a larger picture in everything I do.

My Art Work

More on my Art Work Inspiration

When I created something from the bottom of my heart and poured in all my love, I ended up not just making my living room beautiful but also made many long lost acquaintances and friends get back in touch with me. That’s the magic of art!What started with an idea to create just butterfly suncatchers, then went on to require grasses and flowers to make the butterflies not seem out of place which then created the need to fill the top with more stuff I encounter (used to atleast) in my everyday walks – all the colorful birds, yellow butterflies etc. I even went on to add hummingbirds, who always overwhelm me by being their tiny, angelic selves with grace, magnificence and elusiveness.It’s the new world which inspired me to create an art work of gargantuan proportions, (usually my art work is small and quick) and thereby helped me tap into my creativity the best way possible. Thank you to the new world for inspiring me with such great ideas and making me create something which brings me closer to so many people 🙂❤ This picture would help the readers relate to the process that went into making my balcony door art work happen 🙂

This is how my Art Happened

The Yellow

I wasn’t studious by any definition back in school days, yet there are some things I still remember from my text books for some reason or the other. One such thing I happen to distinctly remember is the poem in my high school English text book called The Violet by Jane Taylor, in which she talks about a modest and yet a lovely flower with its stalk bent and unlike a Rose which blooms proudly, the Violet doesn’t show off as much.When I encountered this yellow flower in my neighborhood, with its stalk bent, my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see how it really looks like. When I did, I was delighted by the maroon beauty underneath, but I wasn’t surprised that it could be so beautiful, for I was sure like the Violet that Jane Taylor encountered, this Yellow would be lovely too albeit a little shy 🙂 Jane Taylor’s poem is deep, she talks about how she is inspired to learn to grow in sweet humility upon encountering the Violet. I can’t say I am inspired likewise, for I cannot be humble to save my life, but I can say with certainty that I started appreciating the beauty of shyness these days and started accepting the fact that some people would want to keep their beauty (and other good things) only to themselves and that’s alright, doesn’t make them any less beautiful because they don’t show it off right ? Thank you to the new world for making me take an extra step to look for beauty even when it’s hidden ❤

The Shy but Beautiful Yellow Flower

The Colors of India

One of my most favorite things about US is the abundance of flowering plants gracing the towns and cities during spring and summer months. Had it been normal times, I would have probably been in Naperville during Spring this year and could have enjoyed all the flowers and the magnificent blooms. Sigh…I remember how at the sight of abundance of colors, I used to get so excited that I would die to show the beauty of those numerous colors to my folks back home. But, whenever I used to video chat with my parents to show them the flowers planted by the side of the pavements, they were not as impressed as I expected them to me. I always assumed that over the phone screen they weren’t able to appreciate the beauty of the US streets. When I stepped out to the neighborhood locality after more than a month of staying indoors, I realized why my parents were not as impressed with the flowers growing in the US, for India, especially the Garden city I live in has abundance of flowers as well and are as beautiful as (if not more than) their US counterparts. My parents definitely have been more mindful of the beautiful surroundings we live in than I have been. Staying in the same place for years together did take a toll on me making me take for granted the beauty just outside the window (quite literally). One of my new favorites from the multiple varities of flowers in my neighborhood are the multi-colored Lantenas, which are seen in every nook and corner in Bangalore. Yesterday I noticed there are many Lantena plants growing right outside my window as well. I wonder how could I have been so blind to all these beautiful things in my locality for so long. I am glad I am not anymore, and I owe it to the new world for that! Thank you to the new world for making me see how beautiful my city and the place I call home is 🙂

My Favorite Lantena Shots

My Li’l Birdie and her Buddies

I will not be able to travel for sometime, especially to one of my most favorite parts of the Western world. For the nomad in me that’s a huge blow but the new world (as always) has found me a coping mechanism.So what if I can’t fly to the US anytime soon, my creations could! This little birdie along with her butterfly and bee buddies would soon be flying to the US on my behalf. They would then meet and grace the home of my one truly cherished friend and show her every single day through a plethora of magnificent colors (and reflections) that she is greatly loved.Thank you to my newly learnt art form for making this possible! And thank you to the new world for making me take steps to reciprocate the love and care received from far far away.

A Gift I made for my Good Friend in the US

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