#LivingDeath is the nature of existence – the dynamism of life and stillness of death 🙏Embrace life as it is – in accepting everything is where life is #life #embrace
A year in Review – a memorable year in my life – so many wonderful memories and experiences, traveled to places which I never thought I would go – not even existent in my non-existent list … experienced the transformation of my life in an amazing way – the essence of the year is the profoundness of Sadhguru’s grace upon me. The amount of travel I have done this year and the places I have been to have never happened to me in my entire life. This year had another significance in my life – my 60th birth year.
The year started with my usual India trip in Feb, immediately few days after I landed in Hyd – we had a mini family vacation with 12 adults and 3 kids to Goa to celebrate Unnu’s and Prati’s birthdays. We have stayed at Taj Exotic Resort & Spa at Benaulim – staying next to the beach, chasing the Sun from Sunrise to Sunset, walk as much as I would love to, walking in the sand near the beach and going into waves as much as I can and bumping into one of the family members all the time, roaming in and around the area are some of the amazing moments I could keep it in my heart so fondly. I always always love to watch Sunrises, Sunsets especially when I am around beaches, and oceans. I make a point to wake up early just to watch Sunrises.
Then I went to Anakapalle and Vizag for few days after almost close to 40 years. Anakapalle – the place where I was born and brought up – the place where I spent most of my life in India – 18 years of my 22 years in India – so many childhood and adulthood memories, the places I visited there were the College where My father worked as Principal for 18 years and the college quarters where we lived. To my disbelief, I could not even spot the place where our houses were – all 6 houses were demolished, I could not even recognize the place except for few places. In my memory that place was very huge but somehow I felt it very small especially from my dad’s office to our house. I wish I could have stayed there for considerable time to visit and feel every little spot I have memories with, but I could not as it was very hot and the place is wide open. Thanks to Chanti (Yashodhara) who made it possible. And we visited Nookalamma temple at Kasimkota and returned back to Vizag. I met few of my cousins, had lunch with them all. As Chanti lives close to Rama Krishna Beach, we both went for a walk along beach side before sunrise to get a glimpse of Sunrise over the Bay of Bengal – moments to live for and moments to die for …
And a week after my return from India, Sekhar and I instantaneously decided over a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts to attend Inner Engineering (IE) with Sadhguru at Philadelphia in the first week of May. That is the best decision I ever made and wonderful things in my life have been happening since I attended IE.
That was a huge milestone in my life. When we were at IE program, we were shown a video of Kailash Yatra with Sadhguru and it touched me very deeply. Through out the IE program, a desire born like a seed and has grown into humongous tree – Kailash Yatra with Sadhguru – it was a burning desire – never in my life I had given any thought of being at Kailash not in my dreams.
So the Monday after inner Engineering, I have opened my FB, and it asked me what is on your mind Sarada – I immediately posted the following
“What’s on your mind, Sarada” FB is asking.
I would say #KailashYatra with Sadhguru; Inner Engineering course has a profound affect on me, every atom and molecule in me is longing for #KailashYatra; feeling highly emotional; whether I can do it with my knee issues🤔 ; but then remembering Sadhguru’s sayings – do not think of what is possible and what is not possible 🙏
And how my Kailash yatra happened – Shi-va alone knows – My inward journey to Kailash
This is what I would have said if I had to at Sathsang with Sadhguru in Kathmandu on our return trip from Kailash – SHI-VA that which is not
Everything happened in a matter of 3 months – IE, the desire to be at Kailash and finishing Kailash Manasasarovar Yatra. Truly blessed.
In between these two major events, I had another desire to visit Dhyanalinga at ISHA Center Coimbattore, India, that too on Guru pournami day. and I was reading at ISha website that only two days in a month – Amavasya and Pournami days all the devotees are allowed to do water and milk abishekam to Dhyana Linga and the desire becoming intense day after day. When I went to India before I started Kailash yatra, I had to stay at Hyderabad for 5 days awaiting for my group visa to Tibet. I planned a day trip to Isha Ashram at Coimbattore on Gurupournami day.
Kailash and ManasaSarovar yAtra in detail in another article
I wanted to attend Bava Spandana (BSP) with Sadhguru – an intense desire aroused- when I heard that Sadhguru would be conducting this program at Isha Institute of Inner-Sciences (III) at McMinnville, Tennessee in October. I was just praying it should not be the same weekend as Ram Sai’s wedding (my very close family friend’s son), he is like my child, he and his sister are literally like my own kids, I have seen them from their birth, celebrating Christmas times with them at their place and at my place year after year, a very strong bonding with those kids to me and to my husband. To test my intense desire, BSP happened the same weekend as his wedding weekend. So initially I dropped the idea of BSP and did not want to apply as I would not go anyways. I was in Hyderabad before my Kailash yatra started when the registration for BSP opened up and I have received an email with the registration form. I did not take any action and my cousin’s wife from Buffalo called me and my cousin mentioned about the BSP and he told me that he has applied and asked me to apply and I told him the same as I would not be able to attend BSP; nevertheless after the phone conversation, I have applied for it and knew that there were remote chances only of getting into it. Throughout my Kailash trip, I was trying to check my mail where ever I got internet and I was not sure with which email I have registered – personal or office. I was not able to open my personal gmail through out almost my trip and I was sort of concerned what if I miss the confirmation email. People I met during Kailash trip told me how amazing BSP was and it should be taken by Sadhguru only and was also told it would be very difficult to get a slot when Sadhguru is conducting the program and there was a rumor going around that he would stop conducting this program soon and hand it over to trained teachers. I was back to New York from kailash trip on 16 August and went to Boston with unnu on 18th August and returned to New York on 21 August. That night I was talking to Lakshmi and I asked her whether Sridhar had gotten any message from ISHA regarding BSP and she said they haven’t received any. After I finished conversing with her, I have opened my office email and to my astonishment, I have received an email from ISHA around 7 pm confirming my slot for BSP (19 October to 22 October). I was on cloud 9 or whatever high I could be at that moment. I had to respond to them in 4 days otherwise I would loose my spot. Then the real struggle started – how to convey this to my friend – I have applied with the real intention of attending BSP and I knew my chances were very feeble. I applied (even though back in the mind there was a strong desire to attend) not to regret later that i did not even make an attempt. the next day I called my friend and broke the news to her and she was not very happy. But luckily they were performing pellikoduku (making the bridegroom) function on Raleigh, North Carolina on 18th October and I told her that I would attend that event and go to McMinnville, Tennessee from there on 19th morning. She was not very happy for that. But for some reason I did not want to miss attending BSP as there was no guarantee that Sadhguru would conduct this program again and even if he did that I would get a slot. Then I started listening all stories from my ISHA Kailash yatra whatsapp group that they did not get their slot and have been on waitlist even last year also. So BSP happened to me in a very euphoric way. another article on BSP (not in detail but just to touch it peripherally) would follow soon. I really felt everyone I know or unknown without any exceptions should experience BSP. Looking forward to volunteer for BSP to relive those moments again.
Then with in 2 weeks after I finished my BSP, I had an opportunity to volunteer at Inner Engineering with Sadhguru at San Mateo, San Francisco on 3-4 November. So much blessed to be in Sadhguru’s presence for so many times in a matter of 7 months. Initially Inner engineering with Sadhguru at Phily in May, about 30 minutes in his sathsang at Isha Center Coimbattore end of July, almost 3 hours of Sathsang with Sadhguru at Kathmandu on my way back from Kailash yatra, 3 and half intense days with Sadhguru as BSP at Tennessee, IE at San Francisco – blessings to be grateful for.
I have volunteered 4 days at a teacher led IE program in New York on my 60th birthday – how blessed I was to spend at IE on my milestone birthday.
I had a nice birthday party with family at prashanthi’s place and she has made a cake for me with all the things and people I am so passionate about.
Of course I had a real surprise birthday party from all the people whom I would proudly, lovingly, and dearly called my second family Surprise birth
Thankful and grateful for all these loving people in my life …
Then came Christmas – wondering what should I do with ornaments as handmade and handcrafted have become my signature these days – then Unnu came up with the idea of family photos ornaments – actually she said I should make photo ornaments – 60 things I am very passionate about (to commemorate my 60th birthday) – here is the Christmas tree – No No family Christmas tree – have a glimpse – I was able to bring my maternal grand father, my mom with her sisters, my parents, my siblings, people very close to my heart – the big challenge is to select the pics and reprint them – I missed making ornaments of many other people those are close to my heart and take some space in my life, not overlooking them, but in the limited time and resources I had (time to go through my albums to pick their pictures, get them printed and also the availability of CD shaped clear ornaments).
and I tried to push my boundaries – baking cakes/cup cakes.
made#DoubleLayeredVanillaCoconutCake with lemon curd in between the layers and topped with blueberries and raspberries and dark chocolate covered Almonds;
Few of our office staff had planned a baby shower to our colleague Monica and there were not sufficient funds, so I have decided to bake a small cake for the party – Coconut lemon curd cake (which I have tried once for Prashanthi’s birthday). I wanted to make double layer but I could not handle it. So a single layered cake which received nice appreciative comments from my colleagues. For Thanksgiving get together at my sister’s place, I have made chocolate cup cakes and with all the appreciation I received, I made Sparkling Cranberry Vanilla cup cakes and Chocolate cup cakes for my office Christmas party. Actually 2 days before the party, I was talking to Unnu and checking something on the phone and suddenly these Sparkling Cranberry vanilla cup cakes showed up with the recipe. The pics were so attractive and I thought I should try it and they are instantaneous hit. Again I baked the same combination for the Christmas get-together at Prashanthi’s place.
And I tried my hands on some healthy salads – my very own recipes
Of course I laid my hands on Photography classes another passion I would want to be proficient in – Prashanthi gave me beginner’s photography class (JP Teaches Photo) at Manhattan as a gift for 2017 Christmas and I have used it in March and then I got so excited and registered with them for 3 more classes. So much fun but I have to learn a lot. Mastering the art of photography is one of my ever lasting passions. and it has become a burning desire when volunteers at Isha going around with the state of the art cameras at Isha events especially when the events are led by Sadhguru.
And 35 years at the UN –
I have traveled a lot this year than in any other year of my life since I was born. Year started with my India trip in Feb – where I traveled to Goa and Vizag), then to Philadelphia to attend IE in May, then to Buffalo in May for few days, then again to India in July – visited Isha Ashramam in Coimbattore, kathmandu, Tibet, ManasaSarovar, Kailash, after my return, few days to Boston, and to Raleigh in October to attend Ram Sai’s pellikoduku function, then to Isha Institute at Tennessee to participate in BSP, then to San Francisco to volunteer at IE. I missed the last trip of the year to Van Cover with my vadina which was cancelled at the last minute.
So many accomplishments, so much to thankful for, so much to looking forward to – the profound effect of Sadhguru on my life changes the way I think, I act and I react and I move on with life as it happens – In is the only way out
I do not know how it unfolds 2019 for me but as an Ishaan, I am ready for life as it is happening and explore every possible dimension of life. My only prayer and wish is let Sadhguru happen to every creature on this universe.
In between these two major events, Inner Engineering and Kailash Manasa Sarovar yatra with Sadhguru, another desire borne – to visit Dhyanalinga at ISHA Center Coimbattore, India, that too on Guru pournami day as I was reading somewhere only two days in a month – Amavasya and Pournami days all the devotees are allowed to do water and milk abishekam to Dhyana Linga and the desire becoming intense day after day. When I went to India before I started Kailash yatra, I had to stay at Hyderabad for 5 days awaiting for my group visa to Tibet. I planned a day trip to Isha Ashram at Coimbattore on Gurupournami day. Even when I was still in US, I was making inquires (by sending emails to ISHA foundation) whether I could attend any of Sadhguru’s programs on that day as I wanted to see/hear him at least for few min. There was Sathsang in Tamil (apparently he was speaking only in Tamil) and it would start around 12 pm and goes until midnight as chandra grahanam or lunar eclipse fell on that day. Even though it is in Tamil, I just want to stay there for few min to have Sadhguru’s darshan and listen to him for few minutes even though I do not know Tamil. But I was told that once I sit in sathsang, I was not allowed to leave the place (I know how strict Isha people are in that
So I was there around noon time and i got awestruck looking at 112 feet Adiyogi welcoming me very affectionately.
I was in a rush to go to Dhyana linga even though my aid was suggesting to visit Linga
Bhairavi (there was a long line there too), I went to Adiyogi Alayam. I read that water abhishekam f
rom 6 am to 12 pm and Milk abhishekam from noon
till 6 pm. So I did not want to miss my chances of water abhishekam. But of course due to some miscommunication, I did not get a chance for water abhishekam. And I was just sitting there not to loose my chances for milk abshishekam. My aid suddenly came with a vessel full of water and told me that it was Kailsah water and I could do abhishekam and my joy knew no bounds. Then I got to milk abhishekam also – do not think of what is possible and what is not possible.
Around 2:30 pm I cam out of Dhyanalinga and had some lunch and wanted to visit Linga Bhairavi but the temple was closed and I was told it would be opened at 5 pm. So I went to dhyanalinga and sat for 2 hours – I was not in any deep meditation or any of that sort, but some how I did not feel like getting out. when we came out and went to Linga Bhairavi temple, we were told that there was going to be a special pooja for ammavaru and the tickets were sold out by then and we were told to wait and may be after 7 pm ( after amma vari procession around the ashram premises, we would get to go in the temple. I was sitting out side and all the mantras that are being chanted in the temple are very well audible to us sitting in the open premises out side. And it is was nice cool evening and listening to the sacred chants was an amazing experience. I was sitting little farther from the temple and more people are coming and sitting very close to the temple, I also went and sit at a corner. after I sat there no one was allowed to sit next to me, even if people were coming , they were being directed ny the volunteers t go the other side. I thought I was sitting at the back and to a corner. To my amazement, amma varu came out for procession and she just quietly passed by my side, just goosebumps and thank all my stars with such a blessing (as I was little bit disappointed (not very much though) as I was not allowed to enter the temple) as ammavaru came and walked just by my side to bless me and compensate for the little disappointment I had undergone.
Once that happened, I immediately found my way out to go out the ashram as I need to catch my flight in a couple of hours. When I was approaching Adiyogi, I heard Sadhguru speaking in English. He was having Sathsang in front of Adiyogi in an vast open space. I was in an extremely blissful state as I could see him, hear him in English. I was standing there for another 20 min. He was almost at the tail end of his Sathsang in English, there was guru stotra for another 10 min by the fabulous Sounds Of Isha group and then Sadhguru started his Sathsang in Tamil.
I am thankful for every min of my visit to Isha Ashram. Every desire fulfilled in a beautiful way.
This is the BIG question popping in my mind while I was on my way to Kailash – Shi-va, Kailash, Manasa Sarovar, travelling with some unknown people for 15 days (which I never thought I would do), dying for oxygen on those high elevations, chanting Shiva Shamboo through out my 14 km parikrama at an elevation of close to 16000 ft – even before I started for this trip, many questions were popping out my mind – why Shi-va, why ISHA, why Sadhguru, everything happened in a blink of an eye – in a matter of 3 months. I had wonderful moments at the processes performed at Manasa Sarovar and Kailash. But the questions were being popped out since then or even before. I even asked this question at #unplugWithSadhguru when there was a month long campaign where Sadhguru traveled to many places in India to have a conversation with youth of India #YouthAndTruth. I was little envy for the celebrities when they got their questions answered in an elaborate way.
I do not remember doing poojas to Shiva when I was a child neither my husband was a Shivite – He was more for Venkateswara Swami. We were doing Shiva rathris when we were kids so that we could watch back to back movies or playing games.
But for some reason, for the past 10 years, I have been observing Kartheeka Masam very devotedly – fasting through the whole month. But not doing any specific poojas nor chanting any Shiva Stotras during that time.
That is the reason the question has been popping of my head especially when any one says that I was so lucky to do this pilgrimage.
Then suddenly few days ago, I found an answer for my quest. It just got into me and I felt like Sadhguru has answered my question – the question that is bothering me a lot – where is Shiva coming into my life from ……
I read the same page, the page from which I have found the answer – (from the book Adiyogi The Source of Yoga by Sadhguru and Arundhathi Subramaniam) to my nephew while we were travelling to Boston immediately after I have returned from my Kailash Yatra. I was just flipping that book and randomly that content got my attention and read it to him. Even at my 60th birthday surprise party few weeks ago, I spoke the gist of that paragraph but some how I was not able to join the dots.
I really loved the essence of it and took a pic several weeks ago to post it in FB and Instagram, but did not do it for some reason. I want to write an excerpt from that page
“Shiva should not be kept in your home. Shiva is not meant for those who are simply seeking a little more profit, a little more advantage out of life … Shiva is only meant for those whose greed in unlimited, for those who are not willing to settle for life in installments, for those who want to become one with the very source of existence…. If you have the courage, you carry him within you. If you seeking the highest, you do not keep him in your home. You carry him in your heart.”
I was so overwhelmed with ecstasy. And today Sadhguru’s tweet made me very emotional and felt truly blessed. “If you have really been with me even for one moment, this is your last life.”
Shi-va is, but Shi-va is not something 🙏
This is what I should have said if I had spoken when you had Sathsang at Kathmandu with S1 group- returning from Kailash Yatra on 14th August.
It was such a great honor and privilege to sit before you, listen to you and talk to you. I should have opened my heart but then i decided not to as it was my very own experience I could narrate but not in a position to give any advice to any one – experience that is very personal and precious for me – those two days – two processes at Manasa Sarovar and Kailash – the moments to live for and the moments to die for 🙏
as a typical New Yorker, I daily walk 5 to 6 miles very easily. I have a little pride in that but a conscious pride. When I came to this Yatra – I did not wear that pride, I know that there is an altitude parameter involved in it but I have faith in the God I trust that He would not leave my hand on any day but after you (Sadhguru) came into my life – of course you have come into my life in a constipated way but after I got Shambhavi initiated by you at Philadelphia in May 2018, you are happening to me in a more conscious way – your saying resonates in my ears and in my heart – “do not think of what is possible and what is not possible” – align all four energies – physical, mental, emotional and life energies – and you could get whatever you want – this is the advice if I may, I would give it to anyone – and this is how I got into S1 group – initially started with S8 and then big NO for this year and finally into S1 – I have gone through all these stages with in hours to few days – do not think of what is possible and what is not possible …
Kailash was never in my list – for that matter I do not have a list – then Where is Shiva coming into my life from – SHI-VA – Is that which is not; is no-thing – I was not seeking for a guru at all – where is Sadhguru coming into my life – completely encroaching upon my life – I am not a very religious person – to be more specific not a very ritualistic person – I do my karma yoga – very consciously for the past 10 years – a registered New York Cares volunteer since my husband has left this physical world – teach math and English to adults of various age groups and SAT students – almost 4 days of the week after my working hours and during Spring, summer and fall months on Saturdays urban farming and parks revitalization projects, some times involved with handicapped kids playing basket ball – initially when I started 10 years ago I thought I would be helping them but in the process I have realized that they help me to be a better person every day.
There was a questionnaire I was answering at Kathmandu before we had Sathsang with you – one question – why you choose ISHA ? I have answered with all HUMILITY that ISHA has chosen me as I had many questions – why ISHA ? Why Sadhguru ? Why SHI-VA ? WHY KAILASH? Where is my life leading to … many questions – I got the answer in a very clear way – when I felt very sick at Kailash – badly hit by altitude sickness – I thought that it could be my last day / Sadhguru came before me clasping his hands in an intense prayer told me that he would not allow me to die – it would be a rebirth to me with a different mission – as Sadhguru mentioned if we feel the energies at Kailash for at least few moments, our lives would be benefitted immensely wonderful, I hope my life would blossom in such way to bring bliss to me and to people around me.
As I have travelled alone, during my sickness, loneliness and many humiliating moments I had faced or experienced during this trip, I had to cling on to Sadhguru and SHI-VA to become more stronger …
– i do not know whether I had left anything in Kailash but I had brought a big chunk of Kailash and Sadhguru with me to lead the rest of my life giving more profound meaning to life 🙏
Last week, when I heard of Sri Devi’s untimely departure from this world, and hearing different stories about it, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘Aging Gracefully’ with Amala Akkineni’s signature on it. and I have been thinking about Amala a lot – how she molds her life by embracing and engulfing in the things she is passionate about without compromising despite being a celebrity and part of an iconic celebrity family. I am sure there are many women who have written their beautiful signatures on their dreams and many more on their way …
and few days later, I saw Amala’s post on Facebook with the same title where she has poignantly poured out het heartfelt emotions about women in general and about women in limelight more specifically.
Will you let me age gracefully?
Will you let me age gracefully without needing to comment on how tired I look or the weight I have gained?
The shadows under my eyes are from reading glass lines and freckles change to age spots everyday.
Will you let me dress without feeling low self esteem that I am not size zero anymore, nor that I wear the season’s couture?
A washed handloom engulfs me providing market to the looms, comfortably accommodating menopause.
Will you let me stop colouring my hair, let me wear it short, without referring to my long tresses in Pushpak, at 19?
The bad hair days get captured, not the wisdom I carry, and that’s demoralizing. Surely cameras can show the depth of a person and not just the surface?
Will you let me discuss meaningful things without interrupting the flow with questions on how I cook or what the season’s latest gossip demands?
My inner being thrives on accomplishing things that make a difference, things I seek to complete before my physical form is put to rest.
Will you let me walk through my day with peace and calm without the endless messages to attend events teeming with emptiness?
I need to complete life’s mission, but I can’t if my head spins in endless carousels, important to you, no doubt.
Will you free me of the box office madness, the TRP wars, Page 3, the likes, the comments, the traps that menacingly surround everything we do?
You have caught me in a time warp, a cage of fame, while my spirit is free.
Allow me a life, some privacy, to engage with humanity and the universe, with purpose, truth, compassion and some respect for those now gone.
5 March 2016 stays as a memorable day in my life – met Nagarjuna – my everlasting dream – a very beautiful experience, I was completely in a different world the whole day, may be that is what cloud 9 is – nothing was sinking in, not able to understand anything going around me, just going with the flow – the day after and whenever I narrated that experience to my friends and family. It stays as a memorable day for ever.
I want to recollect those memories exactly after one year as they stay fresh and sweet as it happened now.
little bit into flashback …. Prologue …
Praveen has been asking me in every visit of mine to India whether I would like to meet Nagarjuna as he knows how strong admirer I am to him. I kept on telling him that I was not ready yet – Nagarjuna should be the one to say this – the reason behind it is I did not know what to talk about and I just do not want to meet him for just a photo op. For me, he should know at least a little about me as I know so much about him (atleast I thought I know), I keenly watch every interview of his (sometimes few times the same interview), every public appearance of his on TV, follow his Twitter account and the bottom line is I have my very own interpretation of him.
My passion for Akkinenis started almost 50+ years ago with ANR garu was my ideal hero. But my liking or admiration for Nagarjuna does not happen as a family lineage as I was not a big fan of his earlier movies but with Ninnae Pelladutha everything takes a ‘U’ turn (no looking back since then and even started appreciating and falling in love with his earlier movies). – his style, screen presence, his clothes anything or everything about him turned me into his big admirer.
So I am not sure what I would/should talk to him if I meet and every year I am just putting off praveen’s offer. But in 2016, some how I was very much determined that I should meet him, a matter of fact I was longing to meet him. I wanted to make a nice scrapbook and got some material from US and I have ordered some scrapbook paper and some art materials from Amazon.in and bought some stuff at Waldens. I have a habit of saving his or his family’s pics (from his movies or from any public or private appearances) or any reviews on his movies on my phone, iPad or computer. So I have a huge collection of his pics, it was a humongous task for me to choose the pics I could use in the scrapbook. It literally took me couple of days to sort out the pics I want to (may want to) use. But I managed some how and got them printed. So I started working on the book and every night I spent some time on this with an everlasting doubt creeping on the back of mind that whether I could really meet him or all my efforts would be going waste.
Finally the day came amidst confusion of few dates in the last week of my trip. And it happened to be the just the DAY before the day I left India – I was leaving India on 6 March at 10am flight and it happened on 5 March at 10:15.
I made the scrap book with some nice family photos and few beautiful articles published on Manam and Shiva movies and few articles from my blog. And by 10 am, I, Unnu, and Pragati were waiting in the car at the entrance of Annaporna Studios for Praveen to come. Actually the appointment was confirmed just a day before and I was just holding myself not to get too excited about, not even thinking of meeting my fav person which I wouldn’t even dreamt of. While we were waiting for Praveen, we have realized that I haven’t even taken pictures of my beautiful (at least for me) scrapbook, and we did not even brought a nice book to get his autograph.
After Praveen came, we walked to Nagarjuna’s office and sat in the reception area as he hadn’t come yet. Our appointment time is around 10:15 and he has another appointment for dubbing for oopiri movie at 10:30. So with zero hopes I was sitting there with least of expectations and excitement. Then he came around 10:20 and he walked into his office just looking at us. Then we were asked to come in and after introductions I didn’t even sit but just handed over him few ties I got from New York and the scrapbook and I was telling him something with regard to some incidents (articles) in the book as he also stood and browsing through the book. I was in a hurry to convey him something which relate to the articles and pictures in the book with the fact that we didn’t have much time to talk about. He asked me to sit and started conversation in a very friendly way. He has been with us for 40 min, made us so comfortable and showered so much warmth and love which I wouldn’t forget forever.
I haven’t planned about what I would talk and I am not sure how would I show or express in words in a limited time to a person with whom I haven’t talked before that they are almost more than a family to me and very deeply close to my heart – I could relate to their every emotion.
I did not even remember how the conversation started but it was endless – I did not even feel the existence of any animate or inanimate objects in that room except him. Few of the conversations among many of those I could recall – I told him about the message I posted on my FB when I saw Akhil very closely at New Jersey and said what would happen to me if he were Nagarjuna and my nephew posted a reply saying nothing would happen as he travelled with Nagarjuna sitting next to him when he was traveling to Bangalore the same day and I told him “nothing would happen to you but surely any thing could have happened to me if I were sitting next to him”.
And told him how many times I had told Unnu and Prati (they live across Mahesh Babu’s house) that I would have an heart attack if it were Nagarjuna’s house (even though I visit Hyd for a month every year); the conversation between our maid and my niece’s maid after I came home from watching Soggadae Chinni Nayana movie – when my niece’s maid asked me how was the movie, before I said anything, our maid said it is Nagarjuna’s movie and how would not Saradamma like it.
I even quoted his speech from Oopiri audio function – I have narrated exactly what he said in the speech – about if we wish for anything strongly that would happen for sure – he told Amala garu after watching the French movie The Intouchables his wish that someone would do the movie in Telugu and he would love to play the main character and how after 2 years Vamsi Paidipally came to him very hesitatingly with this story – my wish to meet him was very strong this time and it came into reality almost the last day of the trip.
He is very friendly and have a nice conversation with unnu and Prati too and asking about how they feel or agree or disagree or their emotions being twins as they shared mother’s womb for nine months.
We have picked up small pieces of paper from his office to get his autograph – when he was scribbling his best wishes to me, I had a thought came to my mind – when I looked at the way he was writing I felt like he was writing a prescription and he said the same thing that he was feeling like writing a prescription – it is really a PRESCRIPTION for me without an expiration date which I treasure forever.
When I expressed my wish to meet Amala garu, he told us he even asked Praveen to bring us to his home. And he made an open invitation to his house in my next visit but it seems like it may not happen but few more days are still there and I am very optimistic.
When I posted these pics on FB immediately, I have so many likes and comments/compliments, I was very much overwhelmed emotionally. Out of most compliments I received are about his fine hand writing 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻
And there are many more memorable conversations ….
The impromptu conversations and the incidents I picked up to tell him that how much he is part of my life hopefully conveyed the message which reflects clearly in his message.
Having a Christmas tree is an everlasting dream for me. I used to tell my husband that we should have one around Christmas time every year and December just passed away without having one. We had one small tree only once with all blue lights decades ago.
Prashanthi keeps asking me about the tree and two years ago, I told her I would have one after I renovate my apartment. Obviously I did not have one in 2015 even though I finished renovating my apartment before summer last year. This year in November, she has asked me again and I said that I was not in the mood to have this year either.
A week or so after I spoke with her, I saw a beautiful floral Christmas tree on Pintrest. And instantaneosly I fell for it as I love flowers. But unfortunately they did it with artificial flowers – silk flowers so that the flowers need not be changed frequently. But that decoration has inspired me intensely and pushed me to make up my mind.
When I decided to have Christmas Tree this year, I thought of Christmas tree with white lights only and decorate it with #FreshFlowers – NO IFS and BUTS. I know I have to keep changing flowers at least every week, but I decided to go that way only. I do not want to do regular stuff. Something must be unconventional – with #FreshFlowersOnly – a moment here and there I got tempted for plastic flowers, but NO. It would be so very artificial.
Karthi has bought the tree for me and he came to my place last Saturday and set up the tree and set all lights.
I did not have any plan until that day how to do it or what to do. One of the reasons for that I could attribute to is how actively I was involved and be a part of my office Christmas party; another blog story I promise.
#White just flashed in my mind when I was in a shop picking up some extra lights I needed for the tree. We have put 400 lights 🙂
Fixed in my mind – White is the color theme – started with peace 🌲🎄⛄️🕊 I guess,
So #AllWhiteFlowers – decided
But how to arrange them – NO IDEA, which flowers to buy – NO IDEA, how many bunches to buy – NO IDEA. OK
I was very lazy on Sunday to go out to buy flowers until 4:30 p.m.. By the time I stepped out, it started snowing. For a few minutes I gave up moving further. Then I checked a few florist places near my apartment and picked up #WhiteMums – two different types, #WhieSpiderMums, #WhiteCarnations – big, small, #WhiteOrchids.
I wanted to pick #WhiteTulips and #WhiteRoses – I do not think Roses would stay for a week, I got an idea to keep roses alive for few days, for that matter, any flowers. I was running among few places before I ended up buying those flowers. While I was getting home, some thing popped into my mind (I could see an image – a plastic tube which I could fill up with water and put each of these floral stalks). I do not know their name or any sort but I came home and I was searching on Amazon.com with different search criteria. Baba, He always always stays with me and be with me in every move I make, in every act I do and in every word I speak, helped to figure it out. Grateful for ever for His Intense grace and love. Without spending much time, I found what I was looking for and I just saw the image and I did not even read the description, I placed an order on Prime expecting them to be at my place by Tuesday.
I was really clue less before I started decorating, and I pray to Baba to guide me which I do in every thing I do, and He just helped me to do as per HIS wish, half way through, I was so excited and took some pictures and sent them to Karthi, Prashanthi and Chaitanya, Prithi and Lakshmi as I could not hold my excitement. I was really so excited as it was turning out so beautiful.
To my surprise and to my distress, the spider mums seem to be drooped by Monday morning. Carnations seemed to look fine. I did not have a clue of how to keep them alive.To keep my faith in HIM alive, the tube like structures I have ordered from Amazon arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and my joy knew no bounds. They are the perfect solution for my problem. I have bought two more bouquets of spider mums and big carnations and used my water fillers (I made water solution with flower food) and these flowers stay as fresh as the day I bought or even better even after 5 days.
So this weekend I have decided to clean out some of the withered flowers for which I haven’t used water fillers and then fix the tree with few more carnations and may be some roses and tulips (white) and make a beautiful decoration with flowers with vibrant colors for Christmas (very close to Christmas day – may be on 22nd) and one more for New Year and one for Pongal before I wind up this project for this year.
I still have another desire/dream yet to fructify – to have a train set around my Christmas tree. My husband and I love these Christmas trains. I can not find the one that I am looking for yet – hope to find it before Christmas – crossing my fingers.
I do not know how I would decorate my tree for Christmas – but vibrant colors for sure. And again I have the biggest support anyone can think of – Baba – He plans things for me in the best way possible. My husband had a staunch belief – thakkuvaemi manaku Baba okkadundu varaku – He never leaves me – so much to be grateful for 🙏 – thanking for all the blessings 🙏 …
This is the link for my shared album My Floral Christmas Tree – Week 1
thanks to Baba to help my every move 🙏
My everlasting dream has come into a beautiful reality !
For every person, there are many oopiri moments – they are not mere amazing, magnificent, breathtaking moments, but they are life changing moments, faith assuring moments, heart touching moments …
like any other person, I too have few of them. I do not remember giving any of those moments to my parents but I am very much blessed to have some.
the very foremost one is meeting my husband in my life – our relationship is very very unconventional but it is Baba who brought us together and it is His blessing that we should live a life together on our own terms. I have learnt Many things in life from my husband. I can attribute everything to him for what I am today besides thanking my parents.
i want to dedicate this song to my husband for everything he had given to me.
Neekaina adi telusuna
Naa mounam neeku telipena
Neelo navvu choodaga
Thanalo bharuvu theeraga
Innalluga naakuda leni nennu
Eerojunne kothaga janmincha
Nuvemichavo telusa vethike kala
Neevalle kadha kalisa nanne nenila
Nuvvemichavo neekaina adi telusa
when my husband passed away in 2008, my life was very void, but then again my husband showed the path to me to lead a purposeful life – volunteer service – enrolled in different projects – education, environment and many more. That was a completely new #OopiriMoment to me when I lost my real oopiri – another life changing moment. (Neevalle kadha kalisa nanne nenila)
when one of my students (through my volunteer service projects) gave me a beautiful card when he passed the GED exam Another life assuring moment – assuring me that I am on a right path.
There is one dialogue in the movie The Blind Side which really hits deep into my heart (actually a slap on my face) and changed my perspective of my very own life. The conversation goes like this:
One friend of Leigh Anne says to Leigh Anne “You are changing that boy’s life’” and immediately Leigh shoots the bullet – “No, he is changing mine” – very powerful dialogue. People may not pay too much attention to this dialogue but it is so striking to me as I always tell people relating to my voluntary activities (especially teaching, that is where my main focus is) that I would be happy if I change the lives of at least few people. After I watched this movie, it changed my perspective of my very own life – Actually they are changing my life. Another #Oopiri moment.
and then Unnu and Prati – they just walked into my life physically when they were eight years old, I could still remember that day when they both walked into my room holding two chunnis. I haven’t thought at that moment they were just walking into my life to give so much love unconditionally. I believe strongly some #Manam factor with in our relationship. Another Splendid #Oopiri moment.
I just want to share a precious note Unnu has written on the eve of my birthday few years ago.
this piece of her emotions is quite assuring that someone loves me as much as I love them. Very emotional moment and invariably I cry whenever I read it. Love you Unnu and Prati for being there for me and thank God for bringing you two into my life. Ever ever grateful for this blessing🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
i have an everlasting passion for Akkinenis. I have grown up watching AnR garu’s movies and he was my matinee idol. I have a humongous admiration for Nagarjuna for ages … And finally this month I met him – that was a real breathtaking moment for me. He was such a warm person and made us so comfortable that I could talk to him whatever was coming to my mind at that time spontaneously and felt like talking to a friend – a friend that I have met after a very long time and I had to share so many things with him. That was quite an exciting moment I had in the past 10 years. He wrote a nice message for me. I wouldn’t say this as a #oopiri moment but #LifeAssuringMoment – it assures my admiration towards him, he just stood as tall as in my expectations about him, #BreathTakingMoments for me – that meeting gave me immense happiness.
Neekaina adi telusuna
Naa mounam neeku telipena
Nuvemichavo telusa vethike kala
Neevalle kadha kalisa nanne nenila
— my favorite song in oopiri – thanks to sirivennela garu 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
This is something that happened during Christmas 2015. As part of my New York Cares Winter Wish Program, with the help of family, friends and colleagues, we as a group answer letters from kids, teenagers and senior citizens for almost 8 years. This time one lady asked for either a fruit basket or food basket. Somehow I felt like making one by myself for few reasons – it seems little expensive online; not exactly sure of what fruits or food items be included in the basket; and also I want to do it (my #DIY project). I have included many different fruits, chocolates, spaghetti, sauce etc, spent around $40 to $45 but I was so happy that I could add whatever I felt like adding. I could have actually made atleast two baskets with the stuff I had put in one. And then taking this humongous basket to the center is another major task but as I always trust and have faith in Baba’s helping hand, He came to my rescue and I made it through successfully. Somehow I felt like having a pat on my back or a warm hug from my husband to appreciate my efforts by going through so many hurdles in achieving this goal. I know he must be very proud of me but I want something physical which I could felt. and then He did react, never ever failed to show his support to me. Actually I had to handover two gift cards to two other ladies and I bough the cards. So I was looking for greeting cards to keep these gift cards inside rather than keeping these cards in blank envelopes. My husband used to send New Year cards to all his friends, family members and acquaintances (in US and in India too) for almost thirty years. and I stopped it after he passed away. We used to buy boxes of cards every year. I have some left overs from many years and luckily I haven’t thrown these while I did a massive clean up during my apartment renovation last year. So I opened one box which has few cards and I opened one card and that one has my husband’s signature. This is the only card amongest 10 different cards I had in that box that has his signature.
I was so emotional as he was talking to me and wishing me all the joy, peace and love. Thank you very much Bangaru and thank you very much Baba for your everlasting kindness and love