Sunday, October 3, 2010

Little Joys of life

Life is full of ups and downs. There are periods when we feel on top of the world and there are occasions when we are down in the dumps. Nobody, just no one, is spared this life cycle.

But irrespective of the phases of life that we go through, we do derive pleasures through little things that we do and experience on a day to day basis, which make our life worth living. I am listing below a few things which constitute the little joys of my life.

 Getting up early (4 am) with a spring on my feet. These days I have to be careful lest I twist my feet while jumping out from the bed!
 Completing the morning chores before Prabha gets up. Keeping a hot cup of `Kumbakonam degree coffee` ready for her! She will invariably cool the coffee under the fan before she starts sipping the strong brew.
 Using the golden hour to do some thinking and writing with Carnatinc music playing on the radio (Rainbow FM) in the background!
 Going for a morning walk on the beautiful Elliot Beach Road in Chennai, breathing fresh air and watching the sun rise, (except when the clouds play spoil sport!). It is also fun watching people of different sizes and shapes crossing you with their idiosynchrasis on full display. These days you have to contend with many of them talking loudly to themselves- actually they are busy talking on their `hands off` mobiles!
 Shopping in general (!) but particularly shopping for vegetables keeping in mind a pre-determined menu. Cutting the vegetables ready for cooking (yes! I have been doing this regularly for the last 10 years)
 Cooking a meal whenever Prabha permits me to enter the kitchen. I am willing to do this on a daily basis because it is a creative pursuit and a great stress buster (though after retirement I dont have any stress to burst!). But unfortunately my presence in the kitchen creates great stress on Prabha. So I have to contend being a Sunday cook!
 Making a check list of things to be done for the day every morning and reviewing the same at the end of the day – feeling happy if I have managed to complete more than 50% of the checklist. It is another thing that my check list is reduced to just a dozen items as compared to the list running to several pages in my hay days!
 Making people happy – with little acts which touches them, very often when the person is least expecting it. Like a simple compliment, a little gift or suggestion for getting over a problem. Seeing the surprised happiness on the faces of a coolie or an auto driver, or any skilled labourer as and when I pay them a little more than what they are demanding (if it is a reasonable amount they are demanding)
 Like partying and giving parties – prefer to host my dinners at home where I can flaunt my well equipped bar to guests, especially those who love the cup that cheers. Old age and fatigue have brought down such occasions drastically! My bar also looks considerably depleted?
 At the club bars which I visit for my occasional drink alone, I enjoy sitting on the bar stool nourishing a drink while reading a newspaper / magazine available at the bar! Needless to say that I am an oddity at the bar.
 I enjoy the company of youth. They make me feel young. Because of this I enjoy teaching which helps me to be in constant touch with the younger generation. It tickles my ego when they compliment me on my high energy levels and my passion for the subject I am dealing with.. Though I know that they are not telling the truth when they say that I don’t look my age?

 Love to travel seeing new countries and new places, meeting people from diverse traditions / cultures. Though I am often accused of visiting a place only to tick it in my list by Prabha who enjoys savouring new places, wanting to know every detail about the new place.
 I love the ‘man vasanai’ – the smell of earth immediately after the first rain of the season
 I love to go to hill stations for holidays more than the beach resorts (since I see the sea everyday during my walks)
 I love to visit temples when they are least crowded so that I can have total concentration on the presiding deity of the temple. I find too many distractions on festival days.
 I love reading books more than watching television. My choice is biographies or fiction by Indian authors in English. Like to read one book at a time and get totally immersed in the world of the characters described in the book!
 I love to take on big projects and see them executed well with the help of a dedicated team. I find I am generally good at identifying the right man for the right job
 I enjoy problems and challenges. There is no greater joy than what I feel after taking on a problem like the proverbial `bull by the horns` and leaving it behind after taming it No wonder I am known as` Crisis Rajan `- I don`t create the crisis but solve it!
 Enjoying family get togethers – especially when all my children / grand children spend time together at home / outstations. Though I find that the grandchildren who are becoming adolescents, whose priorities have changed, have no space for grand parents.

With so many things to keep me positively focused, I have have never experienced boredom in my life! This is the secret of my positive approach to life!