A note of warning, though. This is not something you would like to read if you're on the quest for intellectual enlightenment. (Though I like to
1) The quiet of early mornings. When I was back in school, Amma and I would wake at 4 every morning. Having stayed in the Middle East for nearly seven years, the call of the muezzin for the fajr prayers, will always remain special to me. There was some kind of incredible solace, just sitting at your desk, and listening to the prayers, chanted in a language I neither spoke nor understood. After the call, the quiet that followed was profound. I liked to think of it as a form of submission to the Almighty's Will, that the day will unfold itself according to His plans.
2) The night skyline of Singapore. This is something I have noticed very recently. I'm sure I've seen it before, but not really, noticed. This morning at around 5, I was heading to the pantry to make myself a cup of tea, when I saw the skyline out of the window, and I just stood and stared for some time. Tall skyscrapers reaching out to the heavens, glimmering structures against the backdrop of a velvet inky black sky, that showed the faintest signs of dawn.
I remember when Appa had gone to the States a long time ago, he returned with lots of pictures. He showed me a postcard of the place where he stayed. At that time, I thought it was awesome- Just looking at the postcard that showed a brightly lit room decorated with beautiful furniture, arranged artistically, used to bring me a lot of happiness. I kept it at my study desk and would dream about it when I was supposed to be studying Hindi. (groan! This, a task I cannot believe I achieved, considering the fact that the only Hindi I can speak today is err, hindi thoda maloom)
I guess the grandeur of these buildings fill me with a sense of wonder, a sense of accomplishment. If this can be done, anything can be done.
3) The Nilgiri Hills and the Velliangiri Mountains. I spent a considerable part of my childhood in Ooty. The Blue Hills were always a part of my life. Suffice to say, I harbor dreams of going back to the Nilgiris some day.
The Velliangiri Mountains are located on the outskirts of Coimbatore. Or rather, the city is protected by these mountains, an extension of the mighty Western Ghats. I believe that there is something truly divine about this place. A temple known as the Dhyanalinga has been built here, at the foothills of the Velliangiri. I've had the good fortune of visiting the spiritual centre (It doesn't restrict itself to one particular faith) a couple of times and I don't think words are enough to describe the experience. So in my mind's eye, whenever I think of the Velliangiri, I associate it with spiritual bliss.
4) Sitting for hours together in a bookstore. I can never get tired of this! As a child, when we were in the Nilgiris, my parents and I would visit the town every Tuesday. No trip was complete without a mandatory visit to the Higginbothams Book Store. And from then, much to Amma's annoyance, I have not given up on this love. 'Just five more minutes, please please!' is what I tell her every time she signals to me that it's time to leave the bookstore.
5) The fragrance of the incense sticks at the prayer alter, mixed with the earthy smell of lit oil lamps. This has been a constant feature at home, and now that I'm away, I realize that I terribly miss it.
6) Putting my feet up the couch and reading Anne of Green Gables. This has become a sort of ritual for me every time I go back home after a long semester. I love, love, love Anne of Green Gables. In fact, when I was younger, I aspired to become like Anne Shirley!
7) Watching old Mohanlal movies with Appa. (Not the new Malayalam ones, please! And yes, I dislike the term 'mallu'.) Some of these movies can still tickle you, even after all those long years. My favorites include Kilukkam, Manichitrathazhu and Chitram. Even now, I often discuss them with Appa!
8) Blogging. I simply love blogs, my own as well as reading others'. Putting down my thoughts on this blog gives me a chance to express myself, and at the same time, encourages me, since I have always loved writing. Unfortunately, I realize that my posts are not that frequent when I go back home. Guess I should start working on that.
9) Earrings. Dangling earrings. Stud earrings. Any type. Any color. It's there in my genes- Amma and I go crazy when we shop for earrings. Sounds slightly superficial? See, I am no saint. (Far from it!) I have worldly loves also, okay.