Take a bow


Take a bow

The queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi hosted the first ever International Half Marathon yesterday, Sunday December 29, 2013. Its been a great day, for young and old, for runners and aspiring runners…and even for the spectators who were witnessing Kochi’s first ever International Half Marathon.

I signed up for Kochi fun run, not to race (obviously), but just to be be in the middle of it all. To be part of all the action, to see the joy, the sweat, the energy, tears of happiness if any…. just to see it all. For I thought, it would inspire me to go the distance, to feel it all in me, some day soon.. Soles of Cochin (Cochin Runners) were the players in my playground..

Boy, how little did I know! If I could transfer all the energy and action into movements, I would be flying thru a full marathon with all smiles…

Soles of Cochin, you guys and girls rock!

The vibrant green tee’s that they wore were a perfect match to their personalities. Handshakes, hugs and huddle, it started with it all… I was amazed by their enthusiasm and energy, just as much as their goofiness and friendly ways. Veterans and first timers, all excited to the max, no nervousness, no fear.. only anticipation and excitement…and off they went as the show started. As we started out for the fun run, I was desperately hoping to be back at the stadium before the marathoners came back!

Back at the stadium, it didn’t take long for us to spot the front runners of Soles. Congratulations and sweaty hugs.. It was an amazing feeling to stand along with the Soles family, cheering on every entrant to the stadium. You spot a green tee, the cheers go up.. And as you find the first timers running in, don’t know where the goosebumps came from.. Possibly its for the inner hope of becoming a first time marathon runner sometime in the near future… Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to get out of this visit..

As the results and announcements came in, Soles went wild.. Victory laps, celebrations.. But hey, the real celebration was yet to start. Someone had the nerve to invite all these wild folks into their home for breakfast! 🙂 We tagged along uninvited, but we were made to feel like family by this lovely couple and the rest of the Soles team! Breakfast complete with “Soles of Cochin” cake, a toast and plans for evening family get together.. Conversations led to identification of celebrities from among the group, and a strange way to get your fear out by conquering fear itself!

I may not have run a half marathon at Kochi yesterday, but the feeling was one of achievement. Being part of all this gives me a motivation, gives me hope that it is achievable, if I put my mind and body to it.

Does it really matter that much? To be a marathon runner?

I guess it is more about achieving something that you think is beyond you. And of course, it comes with a benefit of being healthy. So why not?

The experience of being at Kochi, and more importantly coming in as Tracs Trivandrum team, and yet being part of Soles of Cochin team, made it worth every second.

The goal of a run is now changed into a dream, and more importantly to an achievable dream. The discipline in the practice, the camaraderie, team work, motivation, support and most importantly pushing fellow team members to achieve a goal, while having a whole lot of fun, is what makes Soles so special.

As a virtual member of the group I have been witnessing it all, but being there physically with them changes everything for the better. I hope Trivandrum Runners Club (Tracs) turn into a such a group that act in as support system for one and all..

Thanks to everyone at the Soles of Cochin team! You all are an inspiration.. Take a bow, folks!

I heard multiple times someone or other say, “Its not hard, its all in your mind”. As I returned back to my real life at Trivandrum and as I glanced thru my email, I couldn’t help notice the email from TED, announcing the latest TED Talk by Diana Nyad, aptly titled “Never ever give up”.

Hmm… Mind games? Just what I wanted to hear? You decide. Spend 15 minutes to see what Diana has to say. Its worth it.

This experience with Soles and Kochi Marathon, keeps the thought of running and the possibilities of running a marathon alive. And as Diana Nyad sings “Imagine” and counts her strokes, I am gonna sing to myself Jason Mraz’s “Living in the moment”. For every time I sing along the song with Jason, target to run 0.5km or more…

As for the brothers and sisters of Soles & Tracs, counting on you to make the dream come true… Borrowing Jason Mraz’s lyrics…

“And if I fall asleep
I know you’ll be the one who’ll always remind me
To live in the moment
To live my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
Got peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home……”
– Living in the moment, Jason Mraz

Someday soon, we will celebrate..

Cake is on me, I promise!

Until then…. Living in the moment and attempting to run…..

Thanks everyone and here’s wishing you all a happy healthy New Year!

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The Way We Are…


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Memories,
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were
Scattered pictures,
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?
Memories, may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember…
The way we were…
The way we were… — Barbra Streisand

Two decades of togetherness!!!

Feels like just yesterday that the journey started…

It was raining in the morning… It rained at night… don’t you remember?

What did we learn from along this journey?

In many ways, we are opposites, than we are similar..

Isn’t that the beauty of  our relationship? 

We were together, we were apart..

Being away for a short time

Got us to where we are never apart.

The tears along the way

Made the smiles that followed, to stay.

The freedom that you gave me

Turned on my wings to fly

The words of wisdom that you shared

Led me to live my dreams.

If it weren’t for you,

Our children would not be the same

And who am I kidding,?

Even the food on the table may not be just as good….

And oh, our (my) arguments…

How can we live without that?

There ain’t nothing as sweet as its ending.

Twenty years, has just come and gone…

I wish upon for another twenty and more

All along with you, just the way we are.

You are not perfect, ( and so am I)

But you are perfect just for me…

A toast for years and years of togetherness

With the tears and the smiles…

Come, let’s grow old together…

Happy Anniversary dear!

In my daughter’s eyes….


An old photograph. The date reads July 1st 2007. Vacation time at Kerala. For me, it was the time for capturing the faces, that are likely to be seen in another 2 year…. Little did I know at the time that life does not go as per you plan.
Nor did I ever think that some of the faces may not wait another two years for me to be back…

Today, I am staring at one such face. I wish I had taken a close look at this photograph back in 2007. If I had, I would have seen the tired look on my mom’s face. I would have noticed the half circles around her eyes. The graying hair, the sinking cheeks…. but most importantly I would have noticed the happiness in my mother’s eyes, which was primarily due to proximity of her kid and grand kids…I missed it, missed all the signs….

Today, I wish she were around to see my kids grow. With a smile, she would have said, “Your kids are independent because they don’t have any other choice! With a mom like you, they don’t have a choice but to get things on their own:)”… She would have then gone to get my daughter’s favorite chips or my son’s favorite candy and would have taken good care of them. She would have taught my kids chemistry and physics thru lessons from every day life and I am sure my son would have loved to talk to her about science. She would have been so happy to have long conversations with me about every single person on earth that we know of. She would have shared some powerful messages for me to live my life without fear.

And today, I wish she were around..
I wish I could take care of her
Just the way she took care of us when needed.

She is a lucky woman. She left this world without ever giving anyone a chance to take care of her. “I don’t want to be a burden for anyone”, she used to say. And just like her wish, she was granted the wish of living a life just the way she wanted…Today, marks the 5th anniversary of her leaving us. 5 years, gone in a flash…

I wish I could be that lucky. I wish my kids would look at the faces as if there is no tomorrow. I wish every child in this world, do the same.

For mothers, they are the ones who molds you into whoever you turn out to be. They always bring love and happiness into your lives. They are the ones who lends the listening ears, when you need to be heard. They are the ones who raise you up, when you fall…

I wish I could be a good mother. I wish my kids would remember me with the same fond memories as I do of my mom… I wish, no I see, my mom smiling at me from up above ….. And she remains in my mind, in my memories and some photographs….


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Soar, This New Year!


End of a year, and the beginning of another. Wasn’t it just yesterday that a new year had started? How could time fly so fast? Leaves behind memories of good times and bad, of failure and success, of depression and of course an adrenaline rush which lets you soar. Most importantly though, there are moments of happiness….yes, just happiness.

The days ahead? Its the time for “Happy New Year” wishes, of “New Year Resolutions”, wishes on prosperous and healthy year and more. As we step forward to 2013, there is only one wish, I have for everyone – Happiness!

I wish you happiness. I believe happiness is relative. It is you, who can decide what brings you joy. Often happiness results from comparison, so does unhappiness too. So why is it, that our silly minds cannot use it to bring us happiness than unpleasant emotions? Who is setting the standards for comparison? Is it not you? Set the standards to make your mind feel the beautiful emotion of being content.

Wish you find joy of learning from mistakes, from each of your failures.
Wish you find joy of becoming stronger, from every adverse situation that you encounter.
Wish you find joy of gratitude upon counting the blessings in your life.
Wish you find joy of becoming healthy, as you fight from every disease that comes your way.
Wish you find joy of hope, from the unknowns and your anticipations.
Wish you find joy from the smile of a stranger, reciprocating to a simple gesture of a smile from your lips…..

Wish you find a reason to be happy, always.
For, happiness is relative to the standards that you set.

Life is a balancing act.
At times a solo journey.
Row up to the shore.
Let us not rock the boat.
Let’s soar!
Dream on, Fly away,
Touch the sky, and just smile!

Happiness, Happiness from everything in your way
Its the only wish for you… Soar 2013!

“Don’t be scared
To fly alone
Find a path that is your own
Love will open every door
See in your hands the world is yours
Don’t hold back and always know
All the answers they will unfold
What are you waiting for
Spread your wings and soar”…..

Solitaire


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A scene from the beach on a Saturday evening. ..

“Solitaire is the only game in town…..”,
I can hear Karen Carpenters magical voice in my ears..

No, not really.

Yet, I wonder, when the world around enjoys the beauty that nature presents, why, why does this man seem to be playing solitaire? 

I envy this man. I envy his happiness. I envy his ability to stand apart from the crowd, and enjoy whatever he is enjoying. Envy his attitude of telling the world, go where ever you want to, I care less for what you do…
Envy his game of solitude….

It takes courage to stand apart, to care less, for what others think. In a world, where everyone is trying to please everyone else, it takes a lot, for not to care.

Everyone should take time for themselves, enjoy what they love to, forget the fears and ignore the stares.

Take time to play solitaire.. Solitude does not always means loneliness. Your thoughts are keeping you company.

Enjoy the solitude, clear your mind and revitalize your soul…

Let’s play solitaire…. 

 

Happy for the Memories….


February 1st, 2011… The day my dear father left us. Cannot believe it’s been a year. Feels like yesterday.

I am happy for the life I had with my parents, happy for the memories, and of course happy for the dreams(for that’s where I meet my parents these days).

And to the lucky ones, who still get to meet their parents in the real world, I say… create memories, treasure them…take good care of your parents and be there for them… You get to do this only once in your life….

Sharing almost a year old note from my online diary,…

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
വിട
ഫെബ്രുവരി 2 2011

അടിച്ചു വാരി, തുടക്കുന്നു തളം.
അരിയും നെല്ലും ഭസ്മവും ചേര്‍ത്ത് കളം വരയ്ക്കുന്നു.
അതിനുള്ളില്‍ വെള്ള വസ്ത്രത്താല്‍ പൊതിഞ്ഞ ഒരു ശരീരം.
നിശ്ചലം…

എണ്ണ ചേര്‍ത്ത് നിറഞ്ഞ തിരി ഇരു ഭാഗതെക്കുമായി കത്തുന്നു, നിളവിളക്കില്‍ ….
ഒരു പാട് പേര്‍ വരുന്നു നമിക്കുന്നു പോകുന്നു ….
എല്ലാം തീരുമ്പോള്‍ നഷ്ടപെട്ടവര്‍ക്ക് നഷ്ടം തന്നെ
എങ്ങില്ലും ആ നഷ്ടം നികത്താന്‍, അല്പം കുറക്കാന്‍ ശ്രമിക്കുന്നു മനം

നിശ്ചലമായി കിടക്കുന്ന എന്റെ അച്ഛന്ന്ടെ ശരീരത്തെ നമിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് ഞാനും വിട ചൊല്ലുന്നു,,,
എനിക്ക് തന്ന നല്ല ഒരു ജീവിതത്തിന്നു, എന്റെ നല്ല അച്ഛന്നു ഞാന്‍ നന്ദി പറയുന്നു
അച്ഛന്‍ ഈ ഭൂമിയെക്കാള്‍ നല്ല ഒരു സ്ഥലത്ത് എത്തി ചെര്നിരിക്കുന്നു
അമ്മയെ കണ്ടോ അച്ഛാ അവിടെ?
ആ മറ്റൊരു ലോകത്ത് ഈ ഭൂമിയിലെ ജീവിതത്തെക്കാള്‍ നല്ല ഒരു ജന്മം ആസംസിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് …
ഇനിയൊരു ജന്മതില്ലും ഈ അച്ഛന്ടെ മകളായി ജനിക്കണമെന്ന് ആഗ്രഹിച്ചുകൊണ്ട്‌ വിട പറയട്ടെ…
Posted by HM at 7:58 PM
Labels: Faces and Feelings, Family, Getting personal

Happiness, all in a dream!


My mom and dad were visiting our home. I was so happy to see them. I was sooo happy and was hugging my dad. I can still feel the hug, the happiness. Everyone was happy. Mom was talking about something. Then my dad was walking into a room. is it a bath room? I don’t know. There seems to be some water on the floor. Don’t know why, my dad’s steps didn’t appear very strong, all of a sudden. Wavering legs… I was watching him and I ran to him, trying to hold him. It seemed like he was slipping. The water was rising. I cannot hold him alone, he was sinking. I am trying hard… I tried calling my husband. Words were not coming out. Where is mom? I don’t know. Suddenly, I was shouting aloud my sister’s name, calling her, and the words did come out loud…….Ge—

“Hey, its ok.”, someone was shaking me, and I could recognize the voice of my husband. I opened my eyes, couldn’t say anything. I realized then, it was all a dream…. It felt so real. The closeness to my mom and dad, hugging my dad, happiness in seeing them, all felt so real. It could have been real, if my father and mother were alive. But the reality is, they are not.

February 1st is the first death anniversary of my father. February 17 2012, turns out to be the fourth year since my mother left us. According to the star on the day of my father’s death, next week will be his one year death anniversary. My brother had told me about it and I was supposed to confirm it with my sister. I hadn’t called her and was planning to, during the weekend. Is that why I was shouting out her name? On the day of the death anniversaries, we go to a sacred place, where we do the rituals, by the water side. We take the leftovers of the prayer, float them in the water, think about the dead, and then dip ourselves in the water. Is my dad reminding me of that? Is that what the water symbolize? I don’t know.

All I know is that I can still feel my happiness in seeing my parents at my home. I can still feel their touch. Even through the tears that are rolling on as I write this, I feel happy. Happy that my mom and dad are still with me. Even though he slipped away to death, I was there trying to hold him, protect him. It feels as if he is telling me it is ok, I tried.

I always have my mother and father in my mind, even after their death. Sometimes I feel quite normal thinking of telling them of things that happened in my life, talking to them about my kids, calling them to tell all the stories… only to realize that I am talking and they are listening (just like they always used to do, while they were alive) but I cannot hear them anymore…

Today I am happy for the dream, that made me cry. Yet, it leaves me feeling as if I’ve spoken to, been touched by, held by, listened to, by my late parents. I have never been happier to have a dream. Now dreams like this are the ones that I look forward to…

Happiness, all in a dream! I wish the dream would never end…..