Yes, this week I’ve been more confined to my little world than ever, what with Sury falling ill and actually missing work for four days. FOUR whole days. That did not mean he did not work from home, but still – presence makes a big difference. He’s better now.
As usual, my friendly neighborhood heroes were wonderful at this time. Let me introduce you to just three of my favorites today.
Here’s Narayana – from my favorite condiments store. There seems nothing they don’t stock. This is the store I was talking about in the conversation I overhead. It seems to me this guy barely looks older in the last twelve years I have shopped at his store. Forever young. Gentle. Helpful. Kind.
Meet my bread man who gives me my daily bread. And makes sure I get a fresh pack from his truck. He’s the guy I talked about in my Fifty shades of life post. I see him every day and he always has a huge grin for me. He waves to me whenever he sees me somewhere. If I return from school two minutes before he gets to the shop, I see him having breakfast at the corner snack bar – and if our eyes meet as I wait at the traffic light, he’ll rise a little to acknowledge. So sweet. I swear he doesn’t look any older from the day when I first saw him, twelve years ago.
Ah, and now, my friendly neighborhood medical store. Ganesh Medicals at 17th Cross, opposite the Ganesh temple. No matter how busy he is, if he spots me, he’ll come out and chat. His name is Raja. And what a wonderful person he is. Through the years when my Mom was unwell, I’ve called his store at all hours to order medicines and no matter how late, he would drop it off at my place. Always, service with a smile. His shop is also now at a point where the traffic intersects and I naturally turn left to see on my way back home. Sure enough he’s there with a wave or a nod. I am very grateful to Raja for the solid support he has been in procuring medicines that were not available in our area or sold only by a distributor located too far off. I always love to chat with him. These are the things that matter.
Last week, I had to walk back home from a particular store outside our area. I preferred not to take my scooter because the route is thick with traffic at that time and I don’t relish accelerating from a stationary place. Ugh. Easier to use my two feet. I am big on walking anyway. So while taking our usual route, I came upon this temple. The last time I walked that route was some months ago – and this was only a concrete structure. I was stunned to see it now, beautifully painted and this lovely tableau on the side wall! It really looks quite stunning in person. I am planning to go that side during the day time with my digital camera when I expect to click a much better photo. So breathtaking! All the Gods are present. 🙂
Further down the road, I passed an old favorite point where we used to take Vidur when he was quite little. He loved those rides. Insert a one rupee coin and the ride would shake him up for about two minutes. Needless to say, we went with a big handful of coins back in the day. Ah, what memories! You see the back of the guy in the top left corner? There is a shop where the guy fries stuff and people come and relish the stuff. The smell of that oil drives me crazy.
The day before yesterday, while on the terrace for my usual sky-gazing, I was fascinated to see huge groups of kites. I only managed to catch a few pictures as they kept on gliding. I found myself wishing I could turn into a kite for a few hours and fly. Ah, flying kites. Pun intended.
We went up to get some fresh air the day before yesterday. And I was carrying my phone, as I expected a phone call. I found the sight of father and son very cute. There is something fun about photographing someone when they’re not watching. They were quite engrossed in their conversation.
And here’s something I brought back from Sikkim. Tibetan prayer wheel or the Mani. This one is unique. See the grey space in front of it? That’s a solar panel. I took it up to the terrace with me to charge it. When it faces sunlight, the drum rotates with a pleasing sound. The Mani always turns in a clockwise direction. The mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” is engraved, printed, painted on the mani. Rolls of thin paper are printed with the mantra over and over again and wound around an axle inside a protective container which spins. Monasteries have them in all sizes.
Tibetan Buddhists believe that reciting the mantra invokes the powerfully benign attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. Spinning the written form of the mantra around in a prayer wheel produces a similar effect – and many copies of the mantra multiplies your benefit. Isn’t that nice? Say “Om Mani Padme Hum” It is said that all the teachings of the Buddha
are contained in this mantra.
And now, please sound the drumroll! Here’s a pic of Vidur’s first chocolate cake. Yes, the cook has taken a bow. And we finished the cake speedily. Literally divided it into three parts and whoosh! Gone. So excited that he’s making another one tomorrow. Slurrrrp!