Category Archives: Homes

The Age of Rude ?

She stared through my face as if she never saw me –  stunned, I waited. Maybe there was a mistake. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the woman wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t acknowledge my presence. It was as if I did not exist.

The next day we met again, this time in an auditorium. She talked to everyone else, but not even a nodding good-morning hint at me, as if I weren’t there.  These were new family friends, not even distant relatives, no histories exchanged. No I hadn’t stolen her best dress at school, no I wasn’t an artist rival, nothing. She was a mom like me, a citizen of this same earth, but she wouldn’t look at me.

Its possible she was just tired, or thought I had nothing of use to say to her, or be. Is possible she was having a bad day, is possible she was ill, is possible she didn’t like my face, or hairstyle, or work.

But the question followed me all day and night, it stood there between my mirror and me the next morning, it sat in my toothpaste and hair brush, my shoes and sandwich.

 

This morning, I looked at images from around the world images of waiting….
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What made something as beautiful as a human heart, such a refugee

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“Christmas like no other !”

408503_466640510051894_1511555378_nThis December I found myself saying, ” Dearest God  please  give us a Christmas like none other ( not imagining our dear friend Johnston Richard was onto an Album with the same  title , and asked if our visually challenged son Johann Noel would sing and do a small narration for him).

For those who know my family personally, much as we adore our kids and would promote them to the stars, there are often limitations..esp with 2013-03-24 10.20.36

Johann who has never really sung with studio headphones on, leave alone narrate  ‘cold cold snow’ not anything we have experienced. I now understand ‘snow’ is for the cold of the human heart…

Johnston Richard you raised the bar on this mother’s faith, on a  challenged kids’ sometimes lonely existence. Christmas is not exactly a festive season for everyone – for those who are disabled physically, emotionally, financially, socially,oh so many ways…

not everyone gets Christmas trees laden with gifts, banquets and new wardrobe, or Love…

1466022_1387241388187524_205367003_nnot every one is given a chance to be who they are. God reminded me/ us at the Noel home, He did create some really good people on earth, making for Peace, Joy, acceptance, of each other, and the Room for another to also shine.. ( rare ! )..

Listen to ” Cold Bethlehem” and our home visual -mix on U tube 🙂 of the song, also below, a brief from Johnston Richards

Talking about his new album and the Title :

JR  : People around the world give gifts to their loved ones and share the joy of family reunions. For many people, it is a season of give and take. However, the true essence of Christmas is the joy that comes from knowing the truth that you are loved unconditionally by God. No matter how others treat you or how you look at y0xourself. This love shatters all logic and liberates you from self-condemnation and leads you to self acceptance. Through the unseen power of the unconditional love that moves the universe, you are propelled to love ‘yourself’ and then other people unconditionally and give of yourself without expecting anything in return. Christmas like no other is the moment of history when time stands still and you experience selflessness and accept the intense and unconditional love of the creator of the universe who loved the world and gave his perfect gift of love to an imperfect world.

If you could make a wish for the world today – 

 JR    While Christmas is a time of joy and is celebrated around the world, to several people around the world it is a time of loneliness, financial hopelessness and emotional brokenness. But celebration and life doesn’t consist in the abundance of things or plethora of friends. Christmas is a message of hope. A message to the lonely : the Unseen power and love that moves the universe came down to earth in human form on Christmas day to save those who were ‘lost’. Without hope, without a future. Christmas is a time to go back to the basics and accept that love and feel the completeness. Love knocks on your door this Christmas and my wish for the world is that the people open the door and let the creator, who is love personified, fill their hearts with the completeness and euphoria of that blissful unspeakable joy.

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Johann with Daddy Noel at the Studio

 What’s the toughest challenge being  ‘Johnston Richard’?

JR            Writing and composing songs is a gift that God breathed into me. I am strongly compelled that the songs that I receive from the throne should not be kept under a bushel. As any trustworthy steward, as the guardian and scribe of the songs, I am strongly inclined to get my music out in the open and put it on a lamp stand. My mission is to play in what I call H.O.P.E, which stands for Hospitals, Orphanages, Prisons and Educational Institutions. The toughest challenge I am faced with is acceptance. The industry has changed and it is tough to survive, let alone thrive, as a Gospel solo artist. Somehow, I believe that bands gain favourable responses as compared to solo artists. When you are soft-spoken and humble, the world takes meekness for weakness and tried to ride on your back. People tend to judge a book by its cover. You can be judged by the colour of your skin, your nationality, and stature. And there’s another thing. It’s a catch 22 situation -You cannot become recognized if you don’t have enough people buying or supporting your music; and on the other hand, people don’t want to buy your music if you are not well known. So far, I have been funding my music from my own pocket. It’s a challenge to do  huge promotional shows on a shoe string budget especially when you have a family who depends on you. I personally know what sacrifice means. Through it all it has taught me respect for others in similar endeavours and has built in me strong values, character and  gratitude. I praise God for His faithfulness, and thank my wife and daughter, and my dear friends for their incredible support. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my story in here  God Bless what you do…

 
Richie Johnny This is the Best Christmas Gift I have ever received. Thank you so much. I am so moved that God could use someone like me to make something that turned out so beautiful this Christmas and for all other Christmases to come. I was 16 when I wrote and first recorded this song on a tape recorder;) God had his child Johann in mind and I am so overwhelmed with emotions for the love and support extended to me and my family. A special hug to Johann. Merry Christmas and a blessed Newyear. The best is yet to come.

Johnston Richard lives in Bangalore ; besides his 9-5 job as a Professional Writer, he is a singer-songwriter, worship leader, author, producer and a guitar teacher. He has written and composed over hundreds of songs and has released two studio albums.Johnston partners with Besso Orphanage for destitute children. WWW.JOHNSTONRICHARD.COM. His second album, which is a Christmas Album, was released on December 7, 2013

 

http://youtu.be/MvW2-t1ARME

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Earth Song

Colour me green, please, let the Light feed us, graze

our need, our greed ; with storms

of Peace, 

 

please ?

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Beautiful Bloggers

( This Post utterly inspired by a fun 20 mins ?  with Sakshi Nanda,Sfurti SinhaRekha Vikesh :
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thank you for responding to my Post yesterday OH – AM JUST A MOM    on Real Fiction. People like you remind me that there  is only one race : Humanity. That we must never stop being friendly, though we live in an age of Indifference, a time of suspicion and some chaos. Thank you for being downright brilliant-silly with me. I so needed a dose of that kind of decent madness, rare among people that never met before now. God Bless and may your tribe increase !!!)
We shared little words yesterday
and in that moment, we were not just moms,
or even women ;
were just people,
ageless, unlimited ;
strangers,
with this common thread :
homes, kids, husbands, work, words, life, likes
blogs,cupboards,fertile spaces, or infertile,
raves and rants, moms and 
places, profile pic.faces,
traces of lives we lived, and
live, and will ;
I saw your Will, to not just survive,
but do well,
to not just get by, but
excel –
and I need to thank you for the reminder
that when humans get together,
talk,
can laugh at self and each other
somethings beautiful
begin to make all things well…
so much happens when the human spirit within,
rears Its Head to
yell shout whisper
hey everything just shut up- downright proper – and just
get well :))
….
( I love your blogs – may they like you, live forever… 🙂 KUDOS!
( NOT TO FORGET ALL THE GREAT PEOPLE THAT WROTE IN WITH VALUABLE INSIGHTS…NEVER CEASES TO THRILL ME. THANK YOU SO MUCH).
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Dreams & Prayers

I build on dreams and prayers, have done it for so long, the two have become

one –  somewhere, there is a sieve, 

  filtering out the word impossible. Which was how I learnt to walk. Left to me,

I’d still be in a Walkie – chair !

 

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Aroma of Life

innerdialect

innerdialect

English: NASA image of Mahanadi River

English: NASA image of Mahanadi River

Some of my worst and best memories are flavoured with the same scents… funny na ? At least 10,000 known ‘smells’, in this shared space we call Life. 

I have lived in some extreme places – coastal, jungle, urban, mountain, island ;  through a Mumbai riot stuck in  first floor Kebab-Korner.

Kebab Korner was freshly painted, new enamel and incense sticks mingled with the seasoned masalas,  crushed pineapple..

A mob had gathered outside the restaurant. Mumbai riots, and it was late night. No one knew there would be a riot ; I would have stayed home !

Match Box hai kya… pooch raha hai..”,  ( do you have a match box, they are asking ) , our restaurant- waiter whispered to the five or six of us, in that tiny eatery. The mob outside were asking for matches to burn down this Joint. Was that a joke, was it real ?

Kebabs cooled in our plates…. then like they had come, the mob left. ( There was no smell of petrol or kerosene, or diesel. “Mumu tailors’ in the same street was burned, with three other shops.The riot and the silences that followed were never forgotten, there was that smell of fear, no music in the streets, no street pedlars, no vada pav, or lassi – wallah. Just the importance of water, milk, the morning papers). When the sun came out the next day I sat in our 1st floor balcony savouring the aroma of our sun-dried linen, as if It had pushed away the bad..

As I write this, the feelings  are real. They bring in Scents, trails, and I am unable to sort them out neatly. They’re like too many perfume bottles in one shop  : my mind ! Childhood and the in between years mingle, tangle, with surprising ease. Hey I didn’t know our noses and minds, worked together this much….

Odour Amour

Odour Amour

at a Farm last week,traces of yester- year re-visited like old mates  whom one recognised immediately. We kicked off  shoes, settled into the room and that familiar fragrance of sun dried- sheets filled my senses….

Jungle queen ‘ ( flower)  scents  sharp – pungent blew in from trees outside along with smells of a drying lake –  rain- thickened mud, mosquitoes. Lamps hung over tables in the open air misty with monsoon. ..

..Ghee rice and curries.Pickles seasoned in mustard oil ( ah the cook was from Orissa!) ; curd,sliced onions and minced green chilies, Kebabs. A bon- fire

Memories ran in on barefeet,  such a Tsunami of childhood memories.  Here now, at Morritt’s Farm ( near Bangalore), among geese and rabbits, there was a fun -bullock cart ride, bright yellow painted cart and happy bulls! Oh it brought back, as if real close up, my young fisher- friend Thandala ; we were 8 years old. ..

she  reeked of mustard oil and the sea. Of Jasmine flowers . Cow dung dried cakes burnt in an oven at their stove, there was pokhalo rice  – soured rice soaked  for days in rice water and served with onion, green chilly, a heap of salt, dried fish, or  coriander spiked curry .Ay, aromas  and associations are fantastic mates!   

I never really understood how I got to go on a yellow and black pug-nosed bus to school but Thandala stayed back and helped her mother sell fish.Sometimes we drew water from the well, sweet cool water when the water tanks went dry . Oh there were shells to pick – sometimes stinky shells sheeeeeesh! 

There was Chakrapani, Dad’s attendant who chewed paan : the lime, and tobacco in it  could hit you if you stood close, but he wore a  loud local village perfume ” Rojh !” ( Rose ). The night the mad dog bit him, Chakrapani was so drunk on local arrack he called it a  ‘ Mad Jackal ‘ ( the dog) .  Weeks after that he soaked himself in Antispetic lotions and dettol ;                                                                      Thandala’s mother, Achamma found it very funny ; she never drank but smoked bidis inside her mouth, oh she could talk with that clenched bidi, its acrid smoke drugged the air  as she helped my mother in the kitchen ;  they ground at a small round grinding stone, baked, made pickles and ghee …

English: Ripe & Unripe fruits of the Curry lea...

fruit of curry leaf

ummmmm…

home made ghee in horlicks bottles ( recycled !:),seasoned with curry leaf, roasting to molten  gold in the kadai, as we ran back in from school.  Sometimes Achamma brought us  toddy to drink, wrapped in a cone shaped out of coarse areca leaf…

English: Crayola Silly Scents

Dear God, how many flavours sift in. They say we can recall 10,000 easily, but here am flooded with things I forgot I remembered.

Paper….

fresh printed books. Old books in the library, the pages buttery thick with older prints and dust. My first box of wax crayons : what words can even say what that was like. Almost as good as rain on hot dry mud. Like grass heavy with dew.

Mahanadi River,Cuttack,Orissa

Mahanadi River,Cuttack,Orissa

Have you lay down in grass or flat beaches till they searched for you ?

False Point Lighthouse/ island, Paradip Port. We had to cross the Mahanadi river. Fagoo Behera the boatman shiny with sweat and dried salt, dark velvet skin and pure white smile.

Where am I ? Am on an angry river/ sea crossing in a tiny boat, the sickly sweet smells of river banks wet boats and reed. Baskets of milk cans from town – and my mother’s picnic food : Dhal, hot rice, or lime rice. Or biriyani…

Are you saying we have five senses ? Kiddin, right? We must have at least seven or eight. Am sure now there are rooms in our heads like galleries where we store things we do not know we stored. Scents, images, sounds, words, feelings all live together .. see I can feel the sway of that river licking at the sides of the boat, just recalling mud smells ! Okay yes, the brain is a terrific organisation, I get that, but ..

never mind..

here now,decades later, Bangalore looks like its about rain. Am back home, Lavender fresh and stored in a little Ambi pur vial in our car …. why do I love Lavender? Why did I ask for Lavender ?  Should’ve said , ” River mud” or ” First Rains”, na , Lady Moghli that I am !

What’s with the Lavender ?

It’s working for me and our  two younger kids. We are three hyperactive monsters and highly possible candidates for road rage, so, Aunty Moa said Lavender was a good choice, it calms people down.

What am asking is, where in my village/ island/ mountain ( we once lived on a mountain called Dolphins’ Nose, Visakapatnam, that Mt. was filled with Night Queen trees…) where was I….? 

.. oh yes. Where in all my travels and travails with ‘ match boxes ‘ and riot -mobs, mad jackal and bidi – smoking village women, could I have had an olfactory meeting with ‘ Lavender”… that it so draws me to it ?

Dear God, how many smells are there – good, bad, or ugly ? Wait I just remembered.  My first airplane travel alone, KLM, I was dying, positively dying of fright. The Air hostess told me it was just air turbulence, we would live.

” Look down, that’s Finland...” she whispered and looked at me half worried I was travelling alone.

I sat up straight trying to reassure her I was a big girl now. Yes I visibly calmed down. It was not Finland’s lush coast, or the Hostess’s smile. It was her perfume, Lavender.

Now I know.

It took an Indi-bloggn’ Ambipur moment here to understand why I  insist on Lavender all the time. Not just me, my little son who is blind and lives in a world of mostly four senses. For him Smells are Key. Oh so very Key. It leads him ,warns him of danger, or good. We share so much  when we can relate to rain or flowers, even the smells of a storm, he smells out people. And smiles. Tears. Anger. Fear. And sunshine.

Yeah I better shut up now, can go on and on on this…. 🙂

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ALL of the above Post is True, verifiable and as Unabridged as I could make it. 

Lavender

www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia

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Where are you ?

“You’re not in the Valley, not in the mountain,

not in the dusk or dawn …..

not in the Summer winds, not in the Rainfields,

not in the Sunshine not in the  Storm –

SO, where are You ?  “I ask,

turn around and find You,

right here;

You’ve been right here,

next to me,

all along

all along…

 

 

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Who Are You

WHO ARE YOU TO ME why then do you not speak, what are these silences we do

so often, what are these streets, where have we arrived after all this time, why

am I so at home in a place I will leave,

who are you O God, to me, that You know

everything

about me, that I cannot yet, see

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On A Broken Wing

  

 

How do You do that.

How.

Of all the things I cannot understand,

this one defeats me, that You 

fly me in,

on a broken wing,

to You.

Not just once, but

every time ; there’s always

You – within

Broken breaking Things.


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Faith that can move a mountain

..

faith that can make me see the impossible, 

that is faith. Else it is not faith

at all.

……

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