In Pursuit of Self Awareness … 2016


This morning on my walk, I looked up at the tall Eucalyptus or Nilgiri tree. It soared high. A faint aroma from the leaves filled the air. Parts of the old, silvery bark lay on the ground below, while the tree almost weeped as the trunk was peeling away. Tender, beige new skin making its appearance from within.

Nilgiri tree bark

Nilgiri tree bark

Taking in the aroma, a thought passed my mind. Can I too shed my old, negative and weary thoughts? Can I bloom with rejuvenated spirit into the New Year ? Can I too have aroma in my life and share it with others?

Come December, another year closes upon us. We are busy with resolutions, reflections, travel plans, financial notes, meeting our loved ones, doing charity, finish reading a book or adding the last row of stitches to the cardigan … a rush to complete the unfinished!

Year 2016 brought me a fair share of happy and challenging times. Quality time spent with family, caring for elders, learning new recipes and listening to (other’s) travel tales (for a change:) Crochet, books and friends brought the respite during stressful moments. Reciting my stotras or prayers while making small hand made gifts made time meaningful.


As a girl, I remember standing in a queue to buy movie tickets or sugar from the ration shop. That was in 1970’s! Of late, standing in long snaking queues outside banks or ATM’s seems to be the need of the day in India. Thanks to the bold move of de-monetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 by the government, the country is bent on eradicating corruption and black money. I admired volunteers who distributed water and biscuits to tired people in the long queues as well as praising the over worked staff. Reach out wherever and when, don’t wait for some exotic place.

India’s Currency Crunch:What are People in the Vegetable Markets Saying?

New Year, new ideas, new resolutions! But how many do we really succeed at? Well, at the beginning of 2016, I started a new series:Focus 12 with much excitement. Apologies, dear readers. I have not completed the intended 12 posts.

Focus 12 : Markets as Fun, Outdoor Classroom

Focus 12: Feel, Smell, Eat What’s in Season at the Market.

‘At the table with friends and family, you do not become old’… an Italian proverb.

Indian hospitality is known for inviting people to their homes. In fact, it’s rude not to burp after a meal in some communities, as it shows the host has not fed his guest sufficiently! At home, I’ve been busy trying out new variations to old recipes. The fruity twist I gave to a simple kheer, rice pudding was delicious. Though the kheer doesn’t freeze /stay fresh for many days, the pulpy sitaphal or custard apple lent a good flavour.

World Palate Recipes: Nawabi Style Sitaphal Phirni ( Custard Apple and Rice Pudding)

Festivals add cheer, colour and uphold traditions. Be it Halloween, Diwali or Christmas.

Year End and Festive Christmas Markets

Festive Market: Light up for Deepavali

As we fill our own homes with twinkling lights and invite family and friends to plentiful food, a thought goes out to those in need – homeless, disjoint families, children of war zones or devastating earthquakes. Now’s the time to look up worthy NGO’s and organizations and make our contributions. Share and care.


That brings us to Christmas and New Year. The bright red Poinsettia, in my neighbour’s garden is in full bloom, its red leaves(bracts) adding much Christmas colour. The story of a poor boy who offered roadside weeds to the God in church is a remarkable story of pure love and humble spirit. It was those weeds that bloomed into red and green flowers, known as Poinsettia!


Dear readers, fellow bloggers, family and friends.

May we all try to emulate the Eucalyptus tree. 









6 responses »

  1. Veena, thanks for your refreshing and thought provoking words. Yes, a lot has happened in 2016 which has left a very bitter taste in our mouth. Hope the New Year brings us the balm we need so desperately for our mind n body. Look forward to your notes. All the best.

  2. खूप छान ! आपलं जीवन समृद्ध आणि सर्वांगसुंदर असावं असं प्रत्येकालाच वाटत असतं . मलाही तसं नेहेमी वाटतं . असं तर आपला सर्वांगीण विकास व्हावा असं मला लहानपणा पासून वाटत होतं . आणि तसं करण्याच्या प्रयत्नास तुझे लेख वाचून आणखी प्रेरणा मिळत असते . आपल्या मनामध्ये POSITIVE विचार निर्माण करून तू नेहेमीच माझे मन आकर्षित करीत असतेस. नवीन वर्षाच्या खूप खूप शुभेच्छा ! तुझ्या हातून अनेक चांगले लेखन होवो .

    2016-12-10 23:19 GMT+05:30 Walk to Market :

    > Veena S. posted: “This morning on my walk, I looked up at > the tall Eucalyptus or Nilgiri tree. It soared high. A faint aroma from > the leaves filled the air. Parts of the old, silvery bark lay on the ground > below, while the tree almost weeped as the trunk was peeling away. ” >

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