At the beginning of this year, I had chosen the word ‘discover’ as the word of the year for me. One of the concepts I wanted to discover more was the Joy of minimalism. I have been consciously inculcating it in day-to-day life leading to many subtle changes. I discovered there is no joy in possessing more materials. I no longer feel the urge to rush to sales or the home decor shops. The real joy is in treasuring our relationships, our memories and our time.
I believe in using my time to make more memories. As that is what will remain with us throughout our lives. Tell me, do you feel happy when the bank sends you an SMS saying ‘Salary is credited’. Of course, you do. But, how does it compare with an SMS/Whatsapp from a friend, or that phone call from someone in the past.
“One day, your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”
I do not want to be on my death bed to think about a cherished life. I want to think about it now. It has to be the face of my sons when I saw them for the first time, the heady days of an innocent love, the crazy outings with friends. Everything to do with a rush of emotions, a moment to treasure forever.
As we grow older, we become more practical and cynical. And we wonder will we ever feel the same heady rush of our teenage years. Our outlook on life is now tinged with our life experiences. We hear of exhausted or divorced friends who will make jokes about relationships and forward them on Whatsapp. The friends who try to look younger with each passing year, competing with their children. Friends going on fabulous vacations around the world.
But, what I really treasure are memories. Some are downright silly. On Sundays, I like to wake up before the family. I like to simply watch them sleeping peacefully. I tip-toe onto my children’s bedroom, pull the curtains closer, watch them for a while. My elder son with his one hand on the ubiquitous mobile. The younger one with the blanket covering his head. Sometimes, running my fingers on their hair. I know this will change soon, in a not too distant future. Then I tip-toe back to my bedroom to see the husband snoring away to glory with hair sticking out on the pillow. I know this will not change. It is the loveliest sight and my most treasured one.
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. Today’s prompt is to write about a treasure.
The Prince’s Special Bride is a sweet love story between Prince Christian of Taragonia and Marie Kemei, an Anglo-African hotel manager working in the Maldives.
The book starts with a beautiful sunset in Maldives which Marie loves to watch in solitude. Her solitude is broken when she finds one of the hotel guests sobbing her heart out. Marie soon becomes friend and confidante to Olivia. Christian comes in search of his sister Olivia and finds her staying in the Malaysian hotel. Marie and Christian are attracted to each other. But, Marie comes to know later that Olivia and Christian belong to the Royal kingdom of Taragonia. It is a fictitious kingdom in Europe. Olivia’s distress is she is engaged to be married to the Prince of Visteria. Everything changes when Princess Olivia invites Marie a month in advance to her wedding and asks her to be her special Bridesmaid. Marie is awed by the grandeur of the palace and the way the royals live. Her exotic looks with darker skin and Afro hair makes her stand out in the European kingdom of pale skins and pastel gowns. She feels she is a misfit. It is only her love for the Prince and the friendship of the Princess that makes her stay pleasant. During the course of the month, she discovers a lot about the kingdom and also about herself. So, what makes Prince Christian fall in love with a commoner like Marie.
My only grumble is I wanted to read a little more of their romance in the beautiful palace. They are two very good people who are in love. But, I wanted them to have some lover’s tiffs, some misunderstandings, some distress. But, they truly are a match well-made.
This Cinderella meets Prince Darcy tale is a light, breezy read. It is perfect for an afternoon of good times.
These phone booths were much in demand in the pre-mobile phone era. In India, these were mostly at railway stations. At other places there were regular phones to make public phone calls. The advantage of this phone was, we could hear the person on the other side of the phone, but could speak to him only after dropping the coin. And with the Indian mentality of jugaad, it was abused in various ways to save the coin. Here’s my take for this week.
Rain is synonymous with Kerala. As a Malayalee (person from Kerala), I naturally love the monsoon rains. The title itself drew me to the book. This is not just one book. It has many books within it. The book is a mixture of 34 fictional stories, poems, non-fiction, essays, POVs from writers in Kerala, or writers writing about Kerala. Also, all the stories are not about rain.
The book starts off with the first story which tells us about where the rain is born. This short non-fiction account is taken from the book ‘Chasing the Monsoon’ written by journalist and travel-writer Alexander Frater. He recounts how he witnessed the rain being born at the southern-most tip of Kerala. He is at the Kovalam beach with a bunch of weathermen, journalists and other enthusiasts. The south-western monsoon clouds make it’s first landing here and thus the rain is born. This place Kovalam is just about 50 km from my hometown Varkala. Thus we probably see the first monsoon rains in India and never even knew about it.
Next is a short fiction by Shashi Tharoor called ‘Charlis and I’. I loved the way the author has woven the progress of the different castes through the various policies in Kerala. But still, it is a simple, heartwarming story about a few boys. His language is impeccable. On a similar vein is the story ‘A village before time’ by V K Madhavan Kutty. Continue reading