Thursday, January 29, 2009

A must visit site for women

Following upon a web article a friend of mine sent me the link to, i stumbled upon this really cool website : My Inspiration Lounge

Created by a woman, it has tons of links to very interesting websites, thoughts, ideas, practical tips and everything you possibly need while you are looking for inspiration. The inspiration you seek could be to start a venture, go travel, save, go green, get healthy, cook and entertain (that's the one that got me) and even references for books, movies and films. I loved the idea and I loved the look and feel of the website. A must see for all my women-friends

The aroma and feel of special connections

There is an ecofarm called Aikya in Bangalore where I have stashed special memories i share with an incredible group of women i met over five years. Each year the group would spend 10 days together working with oneself on aspects of living and leading. In the process some of us bonded deeply with each other. Although I live a few miles away from this farm, I never visited the farm after the 5-year program ended. Until recently, I went there with two other women from the same circle, this time to offer yet another learning space for a circle of women who trusted us enough to gift themselves the workshop!

While I was really excited about going back to Aikya, strangely, I wasn’t caught by a surge of nostalgia when we finally reached there. Yes, there were great memories but nothing to set my skin tingling, my stomach churning and me getting all goose-bumpy! Until my morning bath the next day. Since Aikya does not have any geysers, water is heated outside our rooms in two black pots from where we then take it to our respective rooms. The water catches on the strangely pleasant aroma of the wood and dry coconut shells, which I had quite forgotten. When I poured the water over me, the uniquely “Aikya” aroma of the water brought back the sounds of the laughter and tears, the confronting and the comforting, the struggling and resting, all of it.

Another memory comes fleeting in with the call of the ‘atira’ bird. Yet another unique connection in Ahmedabad where I first heard this bird calling in the middle of a deep conversation with a friend. I had never heard it, not that it was melodious or soothing in anyway – just very strong and unlike anything I had heard before. My friend, who is as clueless about birds as I am said, “ arre yeh birds toh hamesha ATIRA ke paas dikhte hai” (you can always see these birds near ATIRA). And so the bird became the ‘atira’ bird for me. I have heard the calling several times afterwards, in Ahmedabad and other cities that became home later. I still don’t know what the bird’s real name is, not that I am trying to find out! It will always be the Aitra bird for me – with memories of a very special phase of my life resonating in its calling.

With all the moving and reinventing I have done with my life so far, I often forget special things I have shared with people. Conversations with my friends, people I worked with – many ordinary yet special moments that define me as a person today. And though the mind forgets, the body remembers. She has so lovingly and carefully tucked all these special moments in her different senses bringing them back to me in moments I least expect. In the aroma of lavender oil, the grainy texture of sand, the dampness of the night rain, smokiness of burning firewood, aftertaste of cold coffee, strange harmony of off-key singing, simple taste of masala bun and chai, rough warmth of old cardigans – each bringing in special times with special people. And with a sense of gratitude for this power of my body, I breathe in deeply and touch and feel intensely all these special connections in my life!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Year beginning blues & purples!

After all that self-praise on losing weight, i woefully realized that i have actually regained a lot of the weight i had lost over the year, given my reckless eating through December and foolishly cutting back on the swimming.

Thankfully, the energy of new beginnings and the 2 hours i spent creating my list of resolutions for the year (41 and counting!) stopped me from slipping into a depression. Track shoes in hand, i set off on a hunt for the perfect gym. The effort sure paid off! I found an all women's gym pretty close to home. The whole look and feel of this place is so different from the kind of gyms i have visited in the past. What appealed to me in my first visit to the place were mainly:
1) special aerobic floor boards that have some kind of buffer to avoid impact on knees and back
2) a 10 min stretching routine at the end of the workout to minimize muscle soreness.

But the biggest selling point for me was that the entire gym is done up and in blue guessed it - purple :)!! From the walls to the door to parts of the furniture all have my lovely purple. The colour has seeped in so much that even the little PET bottles they have filled with water are purple (no points for guessing this time!) Ever since i have started this blog, i am convinced purple is the colour for healing. And all those purple patches all over the place (did i mention the ceiling?) sure help me feel upbeat while i workout.

So now its 3 days (and counting), since i have started going to the gym.. Hope to continue with all earnest so i can get to my ideal body weight and buy that little black dress (Resolution # 4 and resolution #39 respectively on my long list) by the end of 2009!