Simple Joys of Life

Ever wondered about those simple pleasures of life that you probably didn’t give much importance to, but contributed to making the experience of your life pleasant and wonderful?

Ever realized how sometimes, very trivial and at times, even funny, experiences or probably some routine things you do, turn out to be that which uplifts your mind and soul from the problems and worries of daily life?

Today I thought of listing some of those experiences that were important to me – the simple joys of my life. (And no, this isn’t a forward I received, but I vaguely remember receiving something similar a long time ago :)). Here they are in random order – coming directly out of my memory:

  1. Enjoying the wind blowing in my face while travelling in an auto/bus – I deliberately remove the hairbands that keep my hair in place, because I love the sensation of the wind playing with my hair, and the strands dancing around 🙂
  2. Seeing a child laugh. Infact, anything associated with a child is adorable, except for potty ;). Their laughter is the most uncomplicated thing in this universe.
  3. Rain and all of its associated sensations.
  4. Vanilla Icecream. I love the texture of icecream, and vanilla is my fav flavour.
  5. Switching on the radio/to another radio channel, only to hear one of my favorite songs playing…
  6. Listening to music on the walkman/mobile, and dancing like crazy at home. At times, when I walk into my home in the evening, after the trip in the office bus, the earphones are plugged in, and there’s this amazing dance number playing on radio, I just go shake, prance and groove all around the rooms of my house. Yeaaaah 🙂
  7. Standing in a glass lift and peering through the glass with glee, while the lift moves up or down.
  8. Throwing my head back and laughing heartily after hearing a joke/anything witty.
  9. Hugging my cuddly n cute mum 🙂
  10. Watching TV till late on a Friday night…Its my way of rebellion 🙂 to compensate for the days I reluctantly drag myself into bed cos I have to go early to office.
  11. Going for long walks with a dear friend 🙂
  12. Taking a cool, refreshing bath (with sweet smelling soap) on a hot, sweltering, summer day.
  13. Floating, neck deep in water. As a child, I loved floating in a tub full of warm water, with soap bubbles all around me. In recent times, a place I enjoyed being soaked and floating in water, was Hoganekkal… and with me, was my friend – we just lay neck deep in water for hours, bobbing up and down and feeling the waves of the water course through us. It was amazing.
  14. The feeling of deja vu I get when I sense particular smells… I have always been able to associate many of my experiences, places and even people by smell – so much so that when I get a particular smell, I always have a sense of deja vu, and feel like I’ve been through it before.  It wasn’t till Balaji wrote about Synesthesia,that I realized what it may be :).
  15. Getting in touch with a long lost friend
  16. Cuddling in bed, wrapped in a blanket, on a cold wintry morning.
  17. Shopping for accessories – mainly junk jewellery 😀 – I am a total junkie when it comes to stuff that hangs on my wrists and ears… bells, chains, stars, tinkling things, stones, metal…you name it. I love looking around for quirky looking stuff that matches with my clothes.
  18. Discovering money (that’s been forgotten) in an old purse/jeans pocket. Ah! It makes me feel so rich in a moment :)…and sometimes, I purposely stash away some money somewhere for that experience of finding a treasure 🙂
  19. Coming home to a warm, lovely meal with the family… in my case, its with mum and dad.
  20. Getting a bouquet of red roses 😉
  21. Renting a video cd to watch on a lonely day
  22. Solving a particularly difficult puzzle. To this day, I feel the same thrill when I solve a complex problem at work, or even sudoku in the paper, as I used to feel when I was solving math (mainly algebra) problems in school. Its wonderful.
  23. Giving a compliment. I’m generally prone to blushing when I get a compliment – still don’t know how to deal with it :). However, I love giving compliments where they are needed. I’ve realized that it takes a very small effort to notice something extra special in a person. And contrary to popular thought, giving a compliment actually makes the giver feel much better than the one it is intended for… I think it brings about a connection between the humans: you feel appreciation/respect flowing out of it, and it is wonderful,… spiritually rejuvenating.
  24. Reading the Sunday newspaper,whilst drinking a hot cup of delicious tea. Its my favorite activity on a Sunday morning, and one of the most relaxing ones. In fact, tea features in a couple of my other favorite activities, and I love drinking tea at odd hours… way into the night :).
  25. Hearing an old song and being transported back into time. A lot of songs have that effect on me, and one I distinctly remember in terms of even the first time I heard the song, what I was doing, and what I felt, is Tere Dar Par Sanam from the movie Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi. To this day, when I hear the violin piece at the start of the song, I get transported to my room in Dammam, Saudi Arabia – on a cold winter evening in my bedroom, looking outside the balcony adjoining the room, while listening to this song for the first time on my walkman.
  26. The high of performing on stage. Dance is my passion.
  27. Seeing ducks/swans/lotuses in ponds. Often, as I’m travelling on a train to Kerala, once the picturesque locales of the Kerala countryside appear in the train windows, it isn’t uncommon to see ponds filled with pink and white lotus flowers. I also get to see ducks and swans paddling peacefully in the ponds, and I always wonder what lovely looking birds they are… so fluffy and cute… and clumsy, like me :).
  28. Going through old photo albums. Photo albums are the only way of holding time still. Which is why I like photography – because I think it is a way of bringing time to a stop and getting a slice of life in a picture… I have a lot of old family pictures at home, and in my school years, it was often a hobby (a very pleasing one at that :)) of mine to categorise the pictures and put them into different albums chronologically, or distinguished by the families they belonged to, or by events etc,to write labels for all the albums and arrange them neatly in a bag. Today, Flickr is the online equivalent of that for me.
  29. Poring over book titles in a library/book store, anxiously reading their summaries, biting my nails and wondering which one to rent / buy. I love reading books and it gives me great pleasure to curl up on a bed/couch with one and spend an entire evening reading it and musing dazedly on its contents.
  30. Watching my favorite TV shows – right now, its re-runs of Friends, Full House and Bigg Boss, to name a few.

Some list there, eh? I wasn’t planning on such a huge list when I started out, but as I started counting the pleasures of my life… one by one of them popped up on its own accord. Just goes to show that even though we may not know it, we would probably have many such wonderful things that make our lives so special, and make us blessed to be alive and kicking in this world!

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Rain

I love the rain. It is truly the most beautiful and sublime act of nature (if we ignore its capacity for destruction).

Some of my most vivid sensations are of the rain; I love

  • the smell that emanates from dry earth, when the first drops of rain fall on it…
  • the feel of wet grass after a sudden shower…
  • the sound of the rain, pitter-patter on the ground…
  • the sight of rain drops trickling from the roof and car windows…
  • cupping my hands to form a pool of rain, and wiping my face with the water…
  • turning my face towards the sky, and feeling the drops fall on my face…
  • the freshness in the atmosphere and the earth after the rains…
  • fresh silvery green color of trees, dewy drops on leaves and flowers, puddles on the ground that go splash…

A lot many of my fond memories of life are also of the rains. I remember going to school on a Thursday many many years ago… it had been pouring non-stop for many days and I was waiting for the school bus at a bus stop which was about 10 minutes walking distance away from my home. The bus failed to turn up, and someone then came and told me that there wasn’t any school that day (the school had been partially flooded); so I started walking back home in my school uniform. It was pouring cats and dogs, and there was water on the road a little above my ankles – I was so exhilarated with the feel and sound of the rain, (and the thought that I didn’t have to go to school ;)) that I closed the umbrella, started singing my favorite songs and splashing around in the water, while walking back home – the people on the road must have thought that I was mad 🙂 but I had not a care in the world…

Then again, during my college days, it was the day of my computer practical exam. I was walking to the bus stop, again with an umbrella since it was raining, and mid-way I realized that there was thigh-deep water in a huge stretch of the road that I had to go across. I continued walking, and slowly the water level rose till I was almost wading in the water, and my kameez was half-drenched. There weren’t many people on the road and most of them were standing in shops lining the side of the road… some of them called out to me telling me not to go on the road since it wasn’t safe… but I was having fun 🙂 holding on to an umbrella and walking in the middle of the road (or rather, in the middle of the mini-flood) as if I owned it :D. Thankfully the water wasn’t all that dirty (unlike how it would be in Bangalore, say), so emerging out of the road, I was still fit to go to college and attend the exam.

Another very beautiful memory of the rain was when I went to Bombay/Mumbai once, during the monsoon season. I went to the Juhu beach, and as soon as I stepped into the water, it started raining like crazy… and soon, there we all were, being showered with cold water from the sky, whilst being waist-deep in the warm water of the sea, and having the tide throw us around in the water… heavenly :).

Coming back to my post, why am I talking of rain now? Well, it is monsoon season in India now, and I’m feeling privileged to witness this miracle called rain.

Rain in Kerala is a beauty to behold – transports you to a completely different world altogether. I’ve often felt that if there is heaven on earth, it must be in some parts of Kerala during the rains. Below are some pictures (courtesy Manorama and Tata world) that may justify my statement :

Naalukettu Agathalam (Inner part of a house in Palakkad)

Part of a thatched roof

Raining inside the temple

See the beautiful drops of rain...

Football fever in the monsoon...

A fisherman going back home