I don't remember where I picked this idea from, but it's a brilliant idea! It involves listing down all the things you are grateful for, in alphabetical order. Gratitude is indeed a blessing- it brings joy and washes away worries. So here's my list of things I am grateful for:
Amma and Appa. What would I do without them!
Books and Blogs. I need them to keep my mind thinking, and to keep my 'creativity' alive. The former has been a constant presence in my life. I cannot remember a time when I never had anything to read. The latter has been a more recent discovery, and sometimes, it makes up for the lack of time to read books. Besides, (more importantly) blogs have given me a chance to interact with other blogger friends :)
Chocolate, Coffee and more recently, Caramel Tea. They are absolutely necessary to maintain my sanity :P
Dubai. I'm SO glad I have had a chance to explore this wonderful city, and still have the opportunity of going back there.
Earrings. Superficial, yes, but they are so pretty! :)
Family and Friends. I'm blessed to have an extended family- muthacha, amooma, valyammas and valyachas, elaiammas and elaiachas, family friends and of course, my dearest cousin clan. I may come across (sigh) as reserved to certain people. It's not that I'm an introvert or shy of talking- it's just that I tend to take time, before I can be a good friend. (You know, I'm trying to change!) As a result, I might not be popular, but the few good friends I have are treasured indeed. I'm very fortunate to have them in my life!
God's grace. Some people attribute their success due to hard work. Others, who are probably envious of them, believe that they simply were lucky. I do believe in the virtue of hard work, but at the same time, I trust in God. It's His grace that has taken me so far, and my faith shall keep me going.
Hilly Billy, my stuffed mountain goat. You'll find this silly, but this guy is one of my oldest stuffed toys. I got him when I was in grade 4, and ever since, he's accompanied me to most places. He's a reminder of my childhood, something that I continue to cherish to this date.
Ice cream. Especially chocolate and blackcurrant. :)
Joie de Vivre. Ever gazed at the flight of a butterfly? Basked in the warm winter sunshine on a sleepy afternoon? Watched the dance of the flames from a crackling bonfire? Tried counting stars against the inky black vastness of the sky? Stared at the beauty of the full moon? If yes, you'll know what I'm talking about!
Kerala. This might sound strange, since the longest I would have stayed in Kerala, where my roots lie, is a maximum of three weeks. But I have beautiful memories of my homeland, and I'm longing for the day when I get an opportunity to explore this lush sliver, huddled in the south western corner of the peninsula.
Lenses. Again, this might sound rather superficial, but I've been using spectacles for nearly ten years now, and lenses are a welcome substitute for them. Of course, you must ignore minor inconvenient situations like the time I nearly poked my eye, trying to remove a lens that was simply not there- it had slipped away, without me knowing, when I was trying to place it earlier in the morning. And the best thing is I never realized that I had worn only one lens!
Mountains. My ultimate dream is to live in a house on the mountains. If you're bored enough to go through old posts in this blog, you'll notice numerous references to the Nilgiris, the Himalayas, the Velliangiri Hills and the Hajjar Mountain ranges. Mountains remind me of the perfection with which this universe has come into being.
NUS. Looking back to nearly three years ago, before I joined the NUS Business School as an undergrad, I realize I have come a long way! NUS has given me an opportunity to move away from my comfort zone, become more independent, study in a different (and more rigorous) academic system, meet people from various backgrounds and cultures, and learn how to work with them. Sure, there have been several stressful seasons (there continue to be), but NUS has truly taught me that 'what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger'. I'd like to believe that NUS has helped me become a more confident person, backed by sheer determination and grit.
Oman. One of the most beautiful countries on earth; I've had the chance to visit Oman quite a number of times, and each time I come back, totally awestruck.
Purple. Anything purple teems with vibrancy and zest. Think of the burst of clusters of grapes in vineyards, the blossoming of lilacs, the sparkle of the amethyst, the brilliant purple of the sky at dawn and dusk... The colour purple rules my world!
Quiet. In some ways, I am grateful for quiet time, because that is when your mind has the best clarity and that is when you can hear yourself the best. Think of the quiet solitude in a cathedral or the stillness that settles in after meditation...I finally finished reading William Dalrymple's From the Holy Mountain, in a part of which he asks a Coptic monk why the monks prefer to dwell in the isolation of the Egyptian desert, rather than the city. After all, he argues, God can be found everywhere. To this the monk replied that indeed God can be found everywhere. But in the quiet harshness of the desert landscape, the monks can find themselves- 'And unless you find yourself, how can you find God?'
Rosewood beads. I was given a rosary made of rosewood beads, to help me in japa. I have not used it in a long while, but each time I look at the rosary, I feel blessed.
Sunshine. Every morning, as the first specks of sunshine reach my window, it brings in its midst new hope. And once again, it reminds me the perfect ways of the cosmos.
Teachers. Right from my primary school days, I have been blessed to have teachers, who have moulded me, guiding and inspiring me all along. Sister Ann, Sister Sheeba, Shyamala Miss and Priya Miss were probably my very first teachers, and I remember them all with deep gratitude. If I were to write about my middle and high school teachers, I could write a separate blog post on each one of them- even the words 'gratitude' and 'thank you' sound hollow when I try to put in words how much they have done for me. I'm grateful that my teachers continue to play an important role after school- at university, I have a chance to learn from some truly brilliant and inspiring professors!
Unconditional love. I had to think hard to come up with something for this letter. And suddenly, as I thought of my parents, I figured it out. A long time ago, I had a squabble with Appa, over which channel to watch on TV. When he didn't agree to my choice, I tried emotional blackmail- 'You don't love me!' And Appa explained to me that love with conditions attached is not love at all. Incidentally as I was thinking on these lines, I stumbled across this quote-
'Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth 'You owe me'
Look what happens with a love like that
It lights up the whole sky!'
Vacations. I cannot wait for my next one! :D
Wadis. A sudden burst of green in the form of a wadi in the vastness of the never ending desert is simply a miracle! Another sign of hope.
Xtra goodies. Each time I return to university, after my vacation at home, Amma insists on me taking a few goodies-usually murukku, unniappam, chocolate and cookies. In fact, when I once took a cab from the airport back to my hostel, the taxi uncle asked me whether my mother had packed in so many goodies in the suitcase- it was that heavy! :D
Yap Yap Yap. I might seem reserved, but that's just because I don't like to suddenly burst into conversation. I love to talk, and once I start, it'll be hard to make me stop. Talking makes me happy.
Zzzzzzz. There's never anything as good as sleep after a long hectic day, is there?