Story of Gratitude

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well”. ~Voltaire

9 Tools & Resources To Inspire Your Gratitude Practice

Today, as a part of the Mental Fitbit challenge, I had to think of a story of gratitude to express my gratitude to a stranger or a loved one that made my heart melt. I had no second thoughts on this prompt, and it undoubtedly had to be this and this story.

Just like any other regular day, on the 10th of October, 2021, I called my mom in Delhi to check on her and everybody else’s general well-being. It was then that my mom informed me that my paternal aunt, who lives next door and has been a second mom to me all my life, was admitted to a hospital with a complaint of severe stomach ache for the past few days. Doctors had diagnosed her with inflammation in the bile duct and suggested immediate surgery. However, the hospital did not have enough facilities to manage the surgery. She had been continuously vomiting for the last 2 days, even with medications, and was getting weaker.

The doctors in the hospital suggested admission to AIIMS, the top medical institute in Delhi. However, being the most prestigious institute and most sought after, it was almost impossible to get admission there. Considering my aunt’s health, it was risky for us to discharge her from the current hospital and take her to AIIMS until we had confirmation on the bed availability.

I was in Bangalore and could not run around places myself to seek any help. All I could do from this far was to reach out to as many people as I could. At this time, I tried reaching out to every possible and impossible mode.

One such place I reached out to was my office group on WhatsApp. It was then that a colleague, Harini, immediately called me. It was the very first time that I interacted with her. She assured me she would try her best to seek help. And just like a miracle, around 4 PM, she called informing that there was a contact found in the hospital and we can take my aunt to the hospital.

After going through standard discharge procedures and everything, my family reached AIIMS at 10 PM. And to our surprise, they denied my aunt admission. We were all in a fix. I was really apprehensive about calling Harini at that hour of time, but I had no choice. Harini happily shared the details of the contact person who gave us the doctor’s details immediately. I felt awkward disturbing the senior doctor that late in the night. But this didn’t stop him a bit from helping us.

Finally, my aunt got admitted to the emergency room and was operated first thing in the morning. By God’s grace, everything went well. My aunt is still recovering from the illness and is in a much better state now.

9 Reasons to Be Thankful This Thanksgiving | LIFECOREĀ®

However, I cannot imagine the fate if not for Harini, her friend and the doctor who were godsent that day. Just one miss in a piece of the jigsaw, and it would have changed everything. I can never thank each one of them enough. They are always in my prayers and I wish them the happiest of moments and blessings.

Thank you so much, Harini, for making that extra effort that day, which saved my aunt’s life. A stranger in an earlier moment turned into an angel a few moments later. I am so glad to have met a person like you and really look forward to interacting more in the future. I pray for all the goodness that you send away to come back to you with a greater force and love.

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Day 4: If something frustrates you today, take a moment to reframe and find something that is going your way. (21-Day Writing Challenge)

Day 4: If something frustrates you today, take a moment to reframe and find something that is going your way.

Optimism Is a Happiness Magnet.. Recently, I saw the quote from Mary Louā€¦ |  by Deb Sofield ~ Public Speaker | Medium

What frustrates: Laziness and irresponsible behavior of people.

What is going my way: No matter the behavior of others, I am still motivated to remain positive and keep going ahead. This positivity will always help me face any challenge that comes my way.

Day 2: Find 3 positive ways to describe yourself, write them down and put them somewhere you will see them. (21-Day Writing Challenge)

Day 2: Find 3 positive ways to describe yourself, write them down and put them somewhere you will see them.

Stick These 30 Positive Self Affirmations On Your Wall To Keep You Going

I believe in humanity and goodness in people. Even with loads of negativity around, I find it hard to distrust the positivity in people.

I am a creative person who always keeps the creative juices in her brain flowing. Keeps experimenting with hobbies, food and everything about life.

I am highly persistent on things I believe in. I do not give up on things easily.

Day 1: Write down 1 thing you are really good at. (21-Day Writing Challenge)

Day 1: Write down 1 thing you are really good at.

The Gratitude Habit Journal: Grateful for Love and Support

I have so many good things it is just extremely impossible to zero on any one of them….. Hehehe….too much of self love isn’t it!!

Zeroing on any one of them, I would say I am good at making friends. I have been extremely lucky to have met so many people at all walks of my life and I always feel proud of the fact that I have been able to carry them ahead growing the circle even bigger. Every time I have a news to share, I have a big big list to share it with. Each one of them has different views of life and is spread out across all ages. From a 3 year old to an 80 year old, I have friends in all age groups, giving me such a wide view of life.

I feel immensely blessed and grateful to have met all the wonderful people in my life. Most of the times, people say they have met more mean and bad people in life and have a handful people that mean the world to them or have been the support they needed. But, for me, it is just the opposite…I have a handful of people that I do not feel connected to and I have all the world of people I have a special connect with.

Day 2: Story Writing Challenge

Go back in time and meet-up with the dinosaurs.

It’s not everyday that you get the chance to travel in a time machine. It was only when I went to my classmate, Sherman’s house for a tea party that he accidentally slipped out one of his father’s secrets.

Sherman’s father Mr. Peabody is an amazing innovator and this time machine is one of his greatest inventions. Sherman was scared that Mr. Peabody wouldn’t approve of him showing the machine to his friends. But we weren’t ready to believe Sherman till he actually showed us the machine.

The machine was truly a miracle full of a big TV screen and lots of buttons on the control panel. We insisted Sherman to take us to the dinosaur era to prove that the machine really worked.

Sherman with a heavy heart, pressed few buttons and in a whoosh we were time travelling. In a blink of an eye, the machine landed somewhere. When we came out of the time machine, what we saw were giant grass and trees and a muddy ground all over with big patches of footprints.

I have always been a big fan of dinosaurs and wished to be a dinosaur enjoying life free from all worries of homework and teachers and mom’s scoldings. Today it was like my dream coming true. I was free of all the things I hated the most and will be living among my favorite creatures.

I was in the middle of these thoughts and turned around to see a long necked herbivore dinosaur, a Brachiosaurus standing right in front of me and enjoying his food from a tree. Its beauty astonished me and we kept staring at it until it got scared by some loud noises and ran away.

Soon we saw Pterodactyls, flying dinosaurs covering the sky in a large group. They were screeching and making loud noises that seemed to have scared the Brachiosaurus in the middle of its lunch.

Still thinking what had been happening there, we felt earthquake like tremors followed by hundreds of mix breeds of dinosaurs running towards us. We ran for our lives and climbed up-to whatever tree we could get hold of. To our amusement, the dinosaurs ignored us and kept running.

We were confused about the entire scene when we heard a loud roar of a T-rex, the king of dinosaurs. He was gobbling on the smaller dinosaurs like a lizard hunting insects.

We were scared to death and pleaded Sherman to take us away. We ran and entered the space machine when Sherman pressed the button but nothing happened this time.

What had happened here? Why did the machine not move? Will we be stuck in this era forever and soon be gobbled by this T-Rex?

Among all the thoughts, I heard a bleak voice.”Get up, Get up!! It’s so late already. This is an everyday affair. I am sick and tired of waking you up for school everyday!!”

I woke up from sleep, hugged my mom tight and said “I want to go to school mom. I love you so much. I never want to be a dinosaur ever again.”

My mother stood amazed wondering what happened right there staring at me head towards bathroom to get ready for school.

Day 1: Story Writing Challenge

You take a trip in space and meet an alien…is it friendly, mean, helpful, unfriendly. Describe your space adventure in great detail.

c01.jpgIt was on the day I bid adieu to my family and friends that all my childhood memories flashed before me. I had been waiting for this day ever since my first meet with the space explorers from NASA during an educational trip in high school about 20 years ago. Just like those explorers, I was today the chosen one heading towards unventured zones of the Skyling Galaxy and its planet Zee. I walked towards the spacecraft and waved a final goodbye with mixed emotions.

Inside the spacecraft, as the control system began the reverse counting, I came back to senses and feeling proud of where I was, pressed the big red button for takeoff at the count of zero. The spacecraft left the earth with a sudden jerk but thereafter it went into a smooth sail. With the dark black sky around and to calm down my emotional roller coaster, I decided to put spacecraft in autopilot mode and take a quick nap.

A quick plan of an hour nap soon turned into multiples and I went into deep sleep. On waking up, it dawned on me that it was a long while I had been sleeping and hence immediately checked upon the trajectory of the spacecraft. It did not take me long enough to realize that due to some atmospheric changes in the trajectory, the autopilot mode went berserk and the spacecraft is now headed towards Vazlak Galaxy instead of the Skyling Galaxy. The spacecraft had lost all communication with the control room on Earth. The excitement of my dream coming true suddenly switched to a panic state with sweat running down my spine.

Clueless about the galaxy I was moving towards and no alternates available, I decided to land on the very first planet that was seen in the galaxy. It took me another 2 hours before I saw a planet approaching. And to my amazement, this planet was unlike any other planet I had ever studied. The planet seemed to be a colorful circle from faraway and as I approached towards it, the colors grew brighter and richer as if coming from a celebration down earth. I immediately decided to land on this planet and stepped out of the spacecraft. The view was the most amazing one I had ever seen. The planet was rich in flora and fauna and everything around was multicolored. The plants were patched in different hues and weren’t the shades of green like back-home.

The planet was so beautiful, it lifted my mood instantly and I couldn’t resist myself from thanking God for this mishapenning. I had completely forgotten about the lost way and finding the way back but got busy enjoying the peaceful and serene beauty of the place.

I left my spacecraft and started exploring the planet. Suddenly, I saw a glowing streak of green light hovering from one place to another. I tried following it but it was too fast and soon enough I could see it approaching me. The blob of light soon grew into a huge ball and before I knew it a figure started forming out of it. I could suddenly see a large green and blue mass. It had no shape 9 but every step it took seemed to change its shape like an amoeba with giant 10 eyes hovering down on me with a wide big mouth which definitely wanted to gulp me down.

I was scared to death. This was definitely going to be an unfriendly creature. Why, why did I just have to follow him and make him angry.

The alien started changing its shape into a long pipe structure and began circling me from all around with its eyes shifting to different places as if to analyse me in all ways possible. I was so sure it was trying to find where to start gulping me from.

Suddenly, I could feel tickles all over my back. I went into a big laughter and hearing my voice the alien started jumping with a thud. I knew this alien was going to crush me to death and then gobble me down.

Soon enough, the alien started making loud noises which made me scared but still the tickles made me laugh even harder. And in no time, I could see many new green blobs approaching towards us with lightning speed. My fears and the blobs kept getting bigger and bigger as the noises around me approached a level that made my ears pain.

In a flash, there was a huge crowd of aliens surrounding me in different shapes and colors and tonnes of eyes focusing on me. The first alien, let’s name him, Allen started tickling me again but now with my fears and the ear-pain, all he could get out of me was a loud wail and unstoppable tears.

Hearing my cries, I noticed a sense of startle amongst the crowd. The tickling had stopped but my fear caught a strong hold of me and I could not stop crying for a long time. All this while, the aliens kept staring at me. Allen tried tickling me quite a few times which resulted in my wailing getting louder. I could hear some mumbling around me. The aliens seemed to be confused about what was happening to me.

When I finally stopped crying, I noticed the aliens moving towards me and my legs leaving the ground. I was being picked up by Allen and his friends but instead of being scared, I now felt a feeling of love and compassion. I was lost in the stream of aliens with no clue of who holding me when. I felt joyful and surrounded by so many friendly people. Inside my head, I started to scold myself for being so wrong about them in the beginning. These were definitely the most adorable friendly aliens one had ever heard of.

Allen offered me what seemed to me were big bites of plants and fruits on the planet. I tasted a few and they were heavenly. Soon, I could hear loud noises of fighting over who would feed me what. There were big sounds of thumping, pushing, hitting and shouting. The aliens who seemed to be adorable sometime back were the meanest creature I could imagine fighting over a toy they all found.

I began crying again in the hope of calming them down but this time my crying made them even more ferrocious and I could see big fights happening.

It was in the midst of this, I saw Allen approach towards me quietly with everybody else around busy with their own fights. I had the scariest of thoughts creep my mind all at the same time. When I was busy imagining what and how he would kill me, Allen gently picked me up and started walking away from the scene. Soon it was all dark around and when I saw light, I was standing beside my spacecraft with nobody around me.

I immediately understood what Allen did. He helped me get out of the mess before things got dirty and I got hurt in any way. He did not even wait for me to get my senses back and give me an opportunity to thank him back.

I headed towards the spacecraft again with a heavy heart and mixed emotions but I knew this adventure was one of a lifetime. I would never forget Allen and his friends and the whirlpool of emotions I felt during my stay at this beautiful planet. With all my gratitude towards my new friend, I named this planet Allentown and began my journey back home.

Parenting with no regrets….

I am a mother of two lovely daughters Zoey, aged 3 years and Elina, aged 1 year. The journey in the past 3 years have been no less than a roller coaster ride.

Having two c-section deliveries and a bed rest of only 20 days at both times, it wasn’t a cake walk.

I had joined a baby group at the time Zoey was born. I was sometimes jealous seeing the other mothers enjoy the pampering or help with kids and other stuff. But then I also saw these mothers struggling to raise their kids the way they wanted to.

Among all the chaos, tiring days and nights together, I had that inner satisfaction of raising my daughter the way I always wanted her to. I was the one deciding if i wanted to save my child from evil eyes or to give her solids or cow’s milk or water early, delayed or as suggested by her paed. It was me taking each and every decision and it was me and my daughter facing it’s consequences.

I was tired to the core but Zoey being one of the most hyper kids, rest was nowhere to be seen. With all these challenges, I went ahead and planned my other little wonder, Elina, when Zoey was 1.5 years.

As I progressed with my second pregnancy, I was a bit anxious and requested my mom to leave everything that was on her list and come help me around the time Elina was to deliver.

But life had other plans. With all the complications and stuff, Elina wished to arrive almost a month early. The first time Zoey embraced Elina in her little arms, I was teary eyed and instantly knew these two were meant to be together.

My mom arrived in this emergency situation but as no one was prepared for something like this, she had to leave after 15 days. And then it was me and kids again.

With Elina around, definitely challenges were tougher, but I knew I have done it once with flying colours and I can do it again. I took each day as it came.

With both my hands full, time just seemed to vanish and I saw my little toddler turn into a beautiful sister. Zoey was too young but she loved being an elder sister to the core. Zoey cannot stand it if someone wishes to take Elina away. She would go ahead and tell people to play with her sister for only 5 min and give her back. There were times I had to use the blackmailing card that Elina will be given back to the doctor to get Zoey to agree to do things. She is as much of a mother to Elina as I am. With occasional sibling jealousy and whinings, we still make up to be the happiest threesome.

The early morning cuddles or the afternoon tingling fights or the stroller walks, each have laid their own memory stones.

Elina is already one year and now when I look back on time, I see myself grown much stronger and happier over time. I wouldn’t have wished this journey to be any other way and never will. No regrets for any of the challenges that came my way or that will be coming in future, that’s my parenting with no regrets….

March Blogging Challenge Day 6: Something You Miss

As one grows, things keep coming and leaving….So many of them you keep looking back at….So many of them you keep piling into your WHEN I WILL GET THE TIME list…..So many of them you tend to forget over time….

For me too, there is an endless list of things I miss and crave…..But one thing that is irreplaceable and I will never stop missing is my story time with my grandma……My memories of my grandma are of a lovely jolly lady….She was one perfect figure of a grandma…….Loose wrinkled skin, Toothless, Short….. 
Whenever she came to live with us, my night time routines were packed of excitement where I looked forward to hearing a series of stories one after another….And she catered to all my demands one after the other…..Without fail….I would doze off anytime in between….But I would have a long list even before she began….And she never resisted any of them….I would always tell her I would be awake till the end today….She would give me a warm smile and continue with the stories….And one or two stories later….I was down and about in my dreams weaving her stories in my own visual way…..
Till today whenever I remember her or dream of her, her only image that comes to my mind is of the same granny….Telling stories, dancing or having a hearty laugh…..Rest in Peace Granny…..I m sure you would be sharing a special place with God or would have taken a rebirth somewhere to bless some other child with all your love and laughter….Thanks granny for giving me the memories I will cherish all my life….Love you loads….