For the progeny, nieces and nephews!

I recently heard a tale of horror.

A family goes to a beach resort. Their 21 years old boy, decides to go out with some friends. When he doesn’t arrive on time the father calls, and a friend picks up. Says he is asleep, not to worry he will come in on time for the flight back home. Come morning, again a friend picks up and says he is a bit unwell, will take the next flight home. The father leaves for hometown. Lands, calls once again and friend says, “ Sorry uncle, your son is dead!!”

Overdose? I don’t know!

Every body has a different physical and internal structure. The same dose, which relaxes your friend, could be lethal for you!

When I heard this I was shocked. But soon got over it and went to bed. The story shot through my head once more and I got up panicking. My kids were 24 hours away. Alone. Left to their own devices – with pot and molly taking acquaintances all around them.

My niece and nephew are at a vulnerable phase of life. The younger ones, are too cute for their own good!

I wanted to immediately, wrap them all up in cotton wool. Then – in a layer of bubble paper. And finally corset them in a blanket and dump them in my largest closet.

I want to keep them safe. Hidden and away from the forbidden.

Distanced from trauma. Safe from harm.

I don’t want their hearts breaking, or their legs for that matter.

I would like them cocooned and nestled, in a comforting loving atmosphere.

Fear should never touch them.

 

But that’s not possible. And that’s not what I really want!

I want broken legs and hearts. I want thorns in their feet and thorns by their side when they get out of the protective shadows of their parents. They need fears and scares. They need to be tempted and learn to resist it. They need to go hungry once in a while. They need to live.

They have to face life. With all it’s little jagged ends.

Fear should produce fight and not flight.

Sweat will build their personality, and scars – character.

Heartbreaks will make them softer and choosier.

Hunger will teach them to be frugal. It might even teach them to cook !!

Overcoming trauma will help strengthen them.

A broken leg will teach my babies a lesson.

Failures will beget success and arrogance will beget failure.

Pride will come before fall, and happiness after sadness.

Some temptations will be yielded to, while some will be rejected. Each choice will teach them something.

And while they go through their turmoil and triumphs, they need to know they have parents (and uncles and aunts) who will hold their hands as well as cheer for them.

 

 

 

 

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Pangkaur Laut – Malaysia

I swear the babies were small, alien looking, fetus’ swimming in my uterus, not more than 2 years ago! Or so it seems. They are actually now, young competent adults and the hub and me just celebrated out 25th anniversary.

It had to be a very special get away, and we were highly recommended Pangkaur Laut, in Malaysia.

Its a 3/ 4 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. We got a local holiday, so the roads were clear and we were there within 3 hours.

Once the hotel is booked, they have additional (chargeable) services, and book you a taxi too. And a great taxi service it was. We had good comfortable seats, chilled atmosphere even before we sat in the car, a free wifi password, and a nice competent driver.

We reached the docks, where they had their check in and then ferry to the resort.

The resort itself is an island. Its not easy to go back to the main land very often. Two reasons :- 1) They charge each time you have to take a ferry. (Yup! even for your first time into the island!) 2) There is not much to do in the mainland. One has to travel all the way for an hour or so to reach some sort of non village area.

But fact is – unless you are there writing a novel, and intend to stay for a few months, you dont need to get out.

They have fabulous restaurants. All types of cuisines. The breakfast spread is crazy.

The cuisine supervisor, will guide to through the restaurants and make your booking as well. Most restaurants need a booking in advance. Not way in advance, but its advisable to go through the cuisines and book as soon as you reach.

The rooms- Amazing rooms. We stayed in the Sea Villas. All rooms are independent. they have mountain villas (I found it very tedious to go all the way up the mountain 3 or 4 times a day, but thats my opinion.)

The spa villas are towards the end of the property and great for someone taking spa treatments. They also have some garden villas. We loved our rooms. They were sea facing, with a small private balcony, and bang in the middle of the property. PS – No wifi in the rooms. You are supposed to chill!!

Spa- and what a spa!! I cannot wax eloquent enough. They have a knowledgeable doctor on board, who suggests treatments for you. The pre spa itself sends you into a stupor. We also had a couple’s spa. Really speaking, all the spas were amazing. One of the best I have been to.

Service – was unbelievable! I was getting ready for a dinner, and my earring bounced off and slipped out of the room door, and straight into the sea. I went to the reception and asked if it can be retrieved and left it at that. The tide was coming in, and frankly I thought its gone. Within an hour, I was sitting next to the diver, who had gone in and fished it out from the moving sand, and clicking a picture with him. I mean – who would do that?? Fabulous service, great customer relations and they have in me a fan for life.

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The beach (Emerald Bay,  is on the other end of the island. If you are the trekking variety, you can go via the forest area. We just sat in the shuttle car, and went and spent a day there. They have a decent bar, food and service by the day. The water is protected by nets, a few kilometers down, so sea life like iguanas etc dont come in.

The island is spectacular. The have the sea on one side, and the tropical forest on the other. Great bird species, iguanas swim from across another island and bathe in the massive rocks. Great fauna and flora. I saw hornbills and god knows how many different varieties of kites and other larger birds. I also saw an otter, rolling in the sand.

Special dinners can be arranged. We had one by the sea, on the day of our anniversary. It was outstanding. The service, the food and the ambience. Something I will always remember and cherish. A dinner that will always make me smile.

Specially for our anniversary
Specially for our anniversary

Be water my friend!

I have known this for a while. I just could not explain it to anyone. Actually not even to myself. It was just an emotion I had learnt one fine day. Like a Satori. When it arrives – it arrives.

I was struggling with my work. Everyday was fraught with tension. My nose was permanently buried in paper work and accounts. Money had become the main focus of my day.

One day I just gave up. I bent my shoulders and said “To hell with it”.

Dad had always said two things – Maintain quality. If you do that you can never go wrong. And – his other conviction was – whatever happens – happens for the best.

I could identify with the first. It somehow made logical sense to me. So even when I lost hope in my food business, ever taking off, I still maintained very high standards of quality.

I could not accept the second belief, about things being really shitty, but for our own benefit.

Because I was no longer stressing all day about money, and there was time in hand, I started getting creative once again. My mind left the by lanes of accounts and traveled the misty forest paths of new food textures, novel recipes and more research. I was suddenly free and my clients could communicate with me. There was more easy time and especially, more easy happy times with the kids. Friends were more in touch with me. The hub once more realized he had a wife!

And Bingo! One day when I dipped into the drawer to pull out some money for a bigger purchase, I suddenly had notes strewn haphazardly. I was making money and I did not even know about it.

That was my Satori – the Buddhist word for “Sudden Enlightenment”. I mean there was no flashing lights and cello music. Just a ping, somewhere in the recess of the brains, which said, “Let go! Don’t struggle. And that’s the key to your success and happiness”.

I have known this a while, and used it very often. Most of the times, without realizing.

When my main oven just died in front of our eyes, my men panicked. I just cancelled all orders, called in favors and had a new one installed within two days. What happened in those two days without orders? Nothing! Heavens did not fall. Clients did not write us off. We cleaned out long due clutter, and my men got a day off.

Recently my son fell and hurt his legs. He is a tedious, twenty-four hours journey away from us. Once he went to the hospital, we just settled down and waited for the news. Of course, there were mild palpitations and episodes of the heart about to squeeze out it’s last drop of blood, but there was this resigned attitude of just accepting the fact that – Yes! The kid is injured. And he will have to learn to deal with it. And deal with it he did!

I love, admire and adore Bruce Lee. When I realized, that his form of martial art is not all about physical strength, but in fact a philosophy of living, I started reading about him. Only then was I able to put into words, the theory I have been trying to live by.

He quotes :

Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water.

When you put water into a cup, it becomes a cup;

When you put water into a bottle, it becomes a bottle;

When you put water into a teapot, it becomes a teapot.

Now water can flow – or it can crash.

Be water, my friend.

(Bruce Lee)

The nature of water is to adapt itself instantly to any obstacle in its path, and by moving at its own pace, begin a natural process of surmounting it. Basically it means, to flow with the adversity in our lives till we can find a way to overcome it.

It’s so convoluted. But so simple.

 

(The Warrior Within – John Little)