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Things That Matter

by Vidya Sury August 5, 2012 44 comments
It always fills me with a sense of fun to take random photos whenever I am outside – which is usually when I am on my way to / from school. This week, I want to share some random photos off my mobile phone camera. (Click photo for original size)Here is a scene that never fails to tickle me. What you’re see here is a temple, right next to the side gate of the school. Before children get in, they make it a point to stop at the entrance and pray. The temple is open, but the priest is busy decorating the deity inside, so the grilled door is closed. The small kids are most amusing. And I always wish I could read their minds.
And this dude – wonder what he’s thinking, sitting comfortably behind his Mom on the scooter while they wait for the older sibling to come out of the gate? I was waiting right behind them on my own scooter, waiting for Vidur.
Remember my unexpected break on Friday? Here’s a photo of the shop where I bought flowers. These are garlands of different flowers arranged in a basket. They measure them out in yards when we buy them. Jasmine, Genda flowers, dahlias, you name them…they have it. They also sell garlands of basil.
More flowers. Pretty colors aren’t they? The flower vendors are very friendly and if we don’t bargain, they’ll automatically give you a few inches extra. 🙂
The flowers I bought were for my prayer altar. I’ve garlanded some of the photos, as you can see.  Those two little lamps are the lemon lamps. The large lamp you see in the right hand bottom corner is the one I light every morning.
What you see below is the special lamp I lit on Friday. In the bowl is a mix of rice flower, jaggery and ghee (melted butter). After I powder the rice and jaggery together I pat the mix down in the bowl with a little scooped out place in the middle for the lamp. I place a cotton wick in it and pour the ghee in it. And light it. This is special for Goddess Durga during this particular month. We light this and pray for the health of our family and friends. Yes, I prayed for you, too. When the lamp is about to burn out, we scoop out the burning wick and place it in another bowl. After prayers, the contents of the bowl are mixed and made into little balls. It tastes fantastic. I distribute this to the neighbors, who love it too. We call this “maavu vilakku” Maavu is flour and vilakku is lamp.
Here are some friends from our area. Casually strolling. I love the young ones. They’re very cute. Some of them can barely stand straight and they follow their Mom around. They keep running around to catch up with them.
And here’s my very own friend. Happily chilling on my verandah sill. Probably trying to look for the ideal spot to you-know-what.
A view of her from my window. I used to hate them. Now I don’t mind them anymore. In fact, I find it soothing to watch the pigeons.
My evening sky. Lots of crows. Mesmerizing to watch. I got lots of pictures of them. And Vidur wanted to know why I click photos every single day, of the skies. I told him, because I can.
And now, let’s head over to Unknown Mami’s place from where we can travel the world. A great way to spend the day, is it not?

This week’s great reads:
Just 12 Things – Kim Sisto Robinson of My Inner Chick
How to say no to problems – Farouk Radwan at Hiten Vyas’ Blog
What will you do when no one is looking? – Kaarina Dillabough
150 Ways to greet your fear and live a bold life – Tess Marshall of The Bold Life
Happy Friendship Day! 
Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Do consider leaving a comment – or just reply to this email! I’d love to know what you think.Cheers!


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Harleena Singh August 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Happy Friendship Day to you as well Vidya!Just as usual, awesome pictures, which is something all of us look forward to seeing on your blog whenever you are out clicking away!I loved the flowers and the boy on the scooter lost in his own world and wonder how you managed to come that close to clicking him. :)And yes, those kids outside the temple early morning is a common site our end too. So are the pigeons, which we had in abundance when Dad was in the Army. We just had a pair at first and they multiplied to a whole cricket team before we could think of what really happened!Thanks for sharing. 🙂

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 4:03 am

Thanks Harleena. 🙂 I love my friends every day!

About the boy – I was parked right behind them – so all I had to do was take my phone out and click :-).

Happy to see you, as always!

Leovi August 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Beautiful capture. I love all those beautiful colors with. Greetings.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 4:05 am

Thank you, Leovi! Your photos always have me enthralled!

Laurie Matherne August 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I love the idea of you scooting about on your scooter. Sounds fun.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 4:06 am

I love it too, Laurie! Can you believe I don’t have a car? 😀

Tara R. August 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm

The flower garlands are so pretty. The shot of the children at the temple gate is very sweet. I agree with you, I’d love to know what they are thinking.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 4:04 am

Tara, the lovely thing is some of them think aloud! 😀

Galen Pearl August 6, 2012 at 12:45 am

I love the insights into your life and your home. Thank you.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 4:07 am

Thank you, Galen!

joanne August 6, 2012 at 1:28 am

thanx for the wonderful virtual tour of a most interesting land and culture…..

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 4:07 am

🙂 Thanks, Joanne!

Keetha Broyles August 5, 2012 at 10:24 pm

It appears that you live in a very populated urban area. Here in the States, you would NEVER see donkey’s roaming down an urban street. Out in the country a herd of dairy cows might have to cross the highway to get to the barn at milking time, but NEVER in town.

So interesting these cultural differences.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 4:06 am

🙂 Keetha – those donkeys are special in our area. There’s a group of them – I suspect they’re being raised by someone. Of course in the old days they were used by the washerman. But I too am surprised to see them on the loose like this. They’re generally confined to one street, and I wondered how they got to the main road.

😀 Ah, India! 😀

BLOGitse August 6, 2012 at 7:37 am

We don’t have donkeys at all. (In zoo maybe)
Sometimes you can see police on horse riding in the city.
I can remember those beautiful flower settings…
Have a good week!

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 5:46 am

🙂 Thank you, BLOGitse – wishing you a great week too! 🙂

del king August 6, 2012 at 10:25 am

Happy Friendship Day!

Thanks for sharing your day with us. Your photos have reminded me so much of my time in India and how much I want to go back and visit my ‘families’ there, to learn more and to experience such a rich and wonderful culture.

Have a great week.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:38 am

Wow, you have family in India? I would love to meet you next time you visit! 🙂

Barbara August 6, 2012 at 8:51 am

Oh, that sweet boy oblivious of his surroundings, is he dreaming of being a knight and living exciting adventures? And the beautiful flower garlands. I love the way they put flower petals in a flat bowl filled with water in Kerala and always stopped to admire them.

Thank you, Vidya, so much for inviting us into your home and sharing your life with us.

To an inspired and happy week!

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:34 am

Barbara, that child was so sweet. I actually called out to him – he looked at me and then turned right back to return to his dreaming. 😀 I loved the photo like that.

We do that every once in a while, especially with flowers that don’t have a stalk – I have a huge flat earthenware bowl in which i fill with flowers. Looks lovely.


Zephyr August 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Trust you to find the most unusual in the ordinary. Loved the flowers and the maavilakku. We do it on aadi krithigai for murugan.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:40 am

There’s wonder all around us, Zephyr. 😀 How could I not notice! We do the maavilakku in Aadi for Durga and in Purattasi for Venkateswara.

Elle August 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

You’ve got to stop this Vidya. I love your pics so much…my desire to visit your country is getting out of hand. I’m beginning to look at travel sites, and talk about it and listen to the sitar!

Joking aside, I love the view you show of your life and city…just beautiful.

Thanks Vidya.


Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:40 am

Elle, (giggle!) I love your comment!

So…er….when are we meeting? 😀

Fran Sorin August 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Vidya….Oh my. I’m ready to take a flight over and spend a few days with you and your daily ‘musings’. You probably know that the garlands of flowers blow me away. I would have to buy dozens of them if I were there….such beauty and delicacy.

Your altar and the rituals and prayers you shared are moving. Did I ever tell you that I wore a sari to my seminary graduation? xxoo-Fran

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:42 am

Ah, Fran, you know you are welcome! Mi casa es su casa. I’ll bet you looked fantastic in the sari. Do you have pictures? Hugs! I am serious. When you visit India, come stay with me.

Terri Sonoda August 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Absolutely enchanting peek into your amazing, colorful, and beautiful life, Vidya. I am a sucker for pretty flowers. I would go nuts with the flower vendors there. And your prayer altar is so inviting. I also love the pictures you capture of children. And the fact that you always wish you knew what they were thinking. You are just a joy, my friend! Thanks so much for sharing. XOXOs

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:43 am

Huggs, Terri. How I wish you could visit! I would take you everywhere and pamper you thoroughly! Love you so much!

Betsy at Zen Mama August 7, 2012 at 3:16 am

I’d forgotten that yesterday was Sunday since I’m in New York and away from home. Great shots as usual. Love the little boy on the scooter. And you’re prayer alter is peaceful and colorful – makes me happy to see it. We’ve had a wonderful time and I can’t wait to share next Sunday.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:45 am

Betsy, I am so looking forward to hearing all about your trip! I am happy you’re enjoying it!
Much love!

Praveen Rajarao August 7, 2012 at 3:20 am

Vidya – This was a nice flashback into the days I have spent in India. The pics are too good and original.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

Thank you, Praveen! Do you visit India recently?

Unknown Mami August 6, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Those garlands are magnificent. I love that even if I don’t have my “camera” with me, I can always take pics with my phone.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:44 am

Claudya, each time I see something I want to “capture”, I feel so grateful my phone can take pictures too! Much easier than lugging a digicam around, although I do that most of the time, too! The phone IS convenient!


farouk August 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm

you just reminded me that i need a vacation Vidya
i need to travel to a new place and seem beautiful things like these
thank you for sharing your experience with us

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:47 am

Farouk! So good to see you! 🙂 I have a vacation at least for a little while every day when I see these beautiful sights!

Happy you came by!Take that vacation!

Hiten August 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Hi Vidya,

What lovely photos. I really enjoying looking at them and reading your words alongside.

The photos made me feel excited and remember what it was like when I’ve travelled to India. I love watching people and life in India. I always find it amazing how people will go outside the temples and say a little prayer on their way to work.

And my family always find the kids on the way to school so cute!

Many thanks for mentioning Farouk’s guest post.

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

Hey Hiten! 🙂 Thank you for coming by. India is so colorful and interesting! I love watching the children talk to themselves 😀

Bill Dorman August 8, 2012 at 1:17 am

Great pics; so you have a scooter? Cool beans; got any motorcycle gang tattoos?……:).

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

🙂 Love motorbikes, Bill. Was part of a group years ago! Also used to be a bit of a speed demon. Not anymore though. Tattoos? 😀 Yes, some peel off ones. So tempting to get one though!

Happy to see you here!

My Inner Chick August 8, 2012 at 1:42 am

Ooooo, I have NEVER observed flowers arranged like that before, Vidya. Such a feast for the eyes. Do you buy them like that?
the donkeys. OMGggg. Do they just walk around freely? the babies are Aaaaadorable.
the candle w/ the coconuts!
And the bird lounging on your
window sill….that is ME loving YOU. Xxx

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:51 am

Kim, it is a joy to see those guys pick up one end of the garland from the basket and swing it around to cut off the number of yards we want. (after the bargaining, of course). And yes, the donkey babies wander around quite happily.

Some day we’ll meet and eat and talk and talk and hug and hug!

StarTraci August 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm

The flowers are lovely but I especially love the pics of the kids. The earnestness is so sweet.

Happy Friendship Day (Belated)!

Vidya Sury August 9, 2012 at 7:52 am

Thank you Traci! They are lovely! And i am lucky to see them every day!
Happy Friendship Day to you, too. Never belated!


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