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Not even during my wedding did I feel this kind of jitters or leap through highs and lows that felt like a roller coaster ride. Resigning ourselves to the rather limp and stuttering version of online cricket live telecast, ordering extra data usage and getting prepared for the match lest we miss out on the nation’s verve, we waited for the hours to turn into minutes and minutes to seconds. So when our friends invited us over to watch the D-Day Final at their home joining in on the spirit, to watch the Historic match on Live Television, it was with both hands that we grabbed the opportunity. Now all there was to do was go through the pain staking wait for the match to start.

On one side there is all this historic data pointing to some supposed results, while the other side of unpredictability depicts the recent brilliance of the young talent within the team beckoning a new era in Indian cricket.

Superstitions and Hoping against Hoping rife in my mind, I read on my Facebook page, a friend write – “1983 and 2011 calendars are exactly the same. And the million dollar question – India won the World Cup Final in 1983. Can History repeat itself???” My childish heart grasped at the illusion of victory in India’s arms this time round.

For that Coveted gold trophy

So when the Indian team started off great with fantastic economy in giving out runs, sharp fielding by the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli saving precious runs, containing the Sri Lankans, there was much hope within me that the Boys in Blue (Indians) can pull it off with the stellar batting line up they had. My wishful thinking declaring that we had a positive chance of bringing back the World Cup if the Target was under 250 runs. With Zaheer Khan going great lengths for economy of run rate, it was an absolute shocker when the last of the power play resulted in India being thrashed taking the Grand Total to a formidable 274.

“No worries’, I told myself. We still have hope with greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Virendar Sehwag who if they built a partnership can crumble the opposition’s defence or attack to dust. But that was not to be, with the careless Sehwag being given out for an LBW (Leg Before Wicket) on his very second ball. Well we still have Sachin and the youngsters to rely on. Let’s not give up hope yet. Enter Gautam Gambhir who was being pressured by the Lankan attack, he started off shakily establishing a much-needed solid partnership. Sachin treated the crowd to a couple of boundaries and some classy shots picking gaps intelligently for the much-needed runs between the wickets. But alas, another punch below the gut, he was caught behind by the wicket keeper. The equilibrium was tumbling and so was the Indian confidence.

In came Virat Kohli who’s bullish attitude can be misconstrued for arrogance or false bravado. He and Gambhir started stabilising the Indian innings by running between the wickets and building a partnership and keeping the run rate under control. But my developing faith in them again was shaken by Kohli’s exit. What an unlucky catch being caught and bowled by the bowler it was! But mind you both Kohli and Gambhir had put in place a foundation, something for the rest of the line up to make up for the remainder of the runs. Something to build on!

The partnership that gave Hope - Kohli and Gambhir

If you had been following the World Cup, you would have expecting Yuvraj Singh to make an entrance. Surprise Surprise! The skipper entered the arena. MS Dhoni decided it was time he stepped in, came in ahead to put a stop to falling wickets and build on a quintessential partnership. Gambhir trudged on bravely taking in the attack while the skipper quickly settled into a rhythm to complement him. Dhoni the ice man known for his ultra cool composure, made calculated decisions and risks playing aggressively turning the plates of pressure back on the Lankans. Once both of them got going, there was no stopping them. The Lankan bowling couldn’t infiltrate the Indian batting. No chinks in the armour. Of course no match would be normal if it weren’t for a couple of lucky turns, one of Gambhir being dropped early on in the match and Dhoni having a just miss run out ruling him safe after a third umpire decision.

The match was finally turning in favour of the Indian’s side with the duo piling up runs and not cowering under pressure. Dhoni inched on with selfless play leading his team to victory, and the crowd praying for Gambhir’s ton. Such a shame, the young man missed out on his World Cup 100 when he was dismissed by being bowled out when he moved away from the crease to go for a big one. Shy of 3 runs to the ton, the youngster exited but with much pride for what he had done for his country. He had done what experienced batsmen couldn’t. Given the Indians a new lease of life and a chance at a possible victory.

The tournament sweetheart Yuvraj Singh came with his breezy swagger, those face lines creased with determination, grit and steely attitude of taking his nation to the victory stand. It was a run a ball situation and the match could go either way still. The fear that Lankans could capitalise on one sign of weakness and could change the fate of the game did not go without consideration. And what finally turned the fates was the couple of boundaries that became the nail in Lanka’s coffin. With one more run between the wicket, Dhoni took stage for what would be the moment millions of Indians would come to revere. He blasted the ball to a Huge Match Winning and World Cup winning SIX

The World Cup winning sixer

making history in style. Yuvraj broke into joyous tears of disbelief while the first of the Captain’s smiles broke out just then.

Yuvraj's cry of victory

India had WON!!! Made history. Sorry, repeated History! But re-scripted the definition of what it was to be on a winning team. It was no more a case of Tendulkar shouldering on the nation’s burden like Atlas, but every man giving it his all to make this win a possibility. The known story of Indians crumbling if the great Sachin fell was no longer true, it has been disproved. The Indian team has been resurrected by a captain called Dhoni whose leadership greatness has reshaped the team morale, calibre, with talent being given the right recognition that they deserve leading the team to a memorable victory.

But on saying that what a dedication to the legend named Sachin who played his last World Cup. And about to retire from ODI. Although he did not get 100 Hundreds at the World Cup it was a poetic sunset on his career going away with a World Cup achievement under his belt. He had waited with bated breath for 21 years of his career. What a glorious way to end his career! Thank you Sachin for being a perennial inspiration to the young generation for giving cricket such a priceless legacy that cannot be obliterated till cricket’s dying days. May your legacy live unto eternity.

 

The Legend - Sachin Tendulkar

Here are some of my emotions that I shared on Facebook immediately after the match.

“WHAT A MASSIVE WIN!!! I AM SO PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN!!! JAI HIND!”

“I am reeling from the dramatic win by India….you’d think hope started dwindling after the first 2 wickets fell…but Gambhir & Kohli stabilised the Indian Innings and Dhoni rose to the occasion and gave the innings of a CAPTAIN….Hats off to Dhoni for keeping his cool till the last moment and what a six to finish off in style…
And its such a poignant send off for Tendulkar…..”

“Can’t hold back tears of JOY AND UNCONTROLLABLE HAPPINESS!!!!!!! It’s so amazingggggggggggg……”

“And wishing that India wins the same way in the Down Under as well in 2015!!!”

“It was so worth losing sleep if my nation could win….
Am reading and re-reading the cricket team reactions and fans comments trying to relive those moments of cricketing greatness…every word drawn out from the players and the people is so emotional and passionate! One can never doubt the nation’s religion is indeed CRICKET!!! Such an edge on seat FINAL!!!!!!! Well played Indians!!!”

“The World Cup 2011 finale is one match that I wouldn’t mind watching again and again.
And there has been only one other match that held me in such awe….it was the match when no sandstorm on earth was going to stop the Zeus-like Tendulkar display his exemplary brilliance at Sharjah against the Ozzies!!!”

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Tamil script - Photo source - http://www.southindianassociation.org

Here I was on a mundane Wednesday, twiddling my thumbs thinking what I should do next. I settled down with my laptop, decided that I will listen to Rahman and Ilayaraja hits.

The moment I started listening to the songs, I was awash in a sea of nostalgia. The mesmeric quality of the music and honeyed lyrics filled my spirit with a longing so fierce, I wanted to possess the beauty and the harmony, the music and lyrics evoked in me, yet I also wanted to release it free and wild so it can soar to even greater heights.

But what made this music even more special than it already was, is the language I heard it in. The familiar intonations and emphasis on syllables, stress and roll of the tongue on these words brought about the realisation that it was such a joy to hear my own mother tongue. To hear Tamil in its grandeur, lounging in the abode of literary heaven, in the form of poetry or in this case lyrics was most beautiful.

My awe for the lyricists and poets has amplified ten fold. I was struck by their power to give each word and sentence new meaning, creating new levels of understanding and interpretation, heighten imagination in ways a common man couldn’t possibly envision. These are the people who by the play of words could exaggerate and magnify the beauty of a simple flower and make it look like an exotic orchid.

I do speak in my mother tongue at home, which is colloquial and makes it sound so drab. But there is a difference when heard in poetic form which gives me a sense of contentment. Its simply inspiring! To explain the difference between colloquial Tamil and poetic Tamil would be challenging. But here goes… If I speak Tamil, its like a danseuse practising in her track pants. But hearing Tamil in lyrical form is something akin to a danseuse in a splendid costume giving the performance of her lifetime.

There are so many songs with great lyrics. But listed below are the lyrics that set off this deluge of appreciation.

Tamil lyrics –
“Veerapaandi kottaiyilae,
Minnal adikkum vaellaiyilae,
Oorum aarum thoongumbodhu,
Poovum nilavum saayumbodhu,
Kolusu sattham manasa thirudiyathae”

English Translation –
“In the fortress of warrior Veerapaandi,
At the time that the lightning was striking,
When the whole town and river was sleeping,
When the flowers and moon were resting,
The sound of anklets stole my heart”

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Its not the same around here without you

This was supposed to have been published back in February. But never got around to it. But hey better late than never.

Ram had to go away on a month-long trip to Brisbane to train one of the new employees in his organisation. The plan was such, Ram was going to work out of the Brisbane branch for a month and I was to join him in the last week of February 2010 for a 5 day break. Fortunately he had accommodation close by and transport to work.

Left to my own devices, I obviously resorted to long phone calls with dearest hubby and skyping with my sister and emailing my family with updates often to escape the loneliness swamping me.

The separation was good and bad in its own way. For 2.5 years you have seen your hubby every single day and to have to wake up with a cold empty space next to you is awful. After returning from work, I was waiting to listen to the sound of his car reversing into the car park. Even while I knew he was not going to come home, my mind was a being stupid romantic, hopelessly anticipating his return from work. His loud clattering and clanging was sorely missed. His loud singing and ear-splitting shouts and crowing which I used to find irritating at times, made me smile. I thought even that would have been welcomed with open arms at that point in time.

But the flip side was I learned a bit more having to rely on myself solely, asked a lot more questions around to make smart decisions, became a lot more independent and felt great about it too. I was now the “Boss” of the house. (Not that I didn’t have my say! But still………..hmmmm…how silly of me :), who do I boss but myself!!!! But it was a good ego massage I tell ya 😉 ).  I could eat dinner any time I wanted without the worry of hubby dearest coming back home hungry from work. I could eat just about anything I wanted (And I pretty much lived on comfort food for a good month….Shhh!!!). Did everything at my pace or NOT!!! I had a lot more time to indulge in my hobbies having nothing else to do but stare at walls.

But nothing was the same without him around. Every single thing in our home reminded me of the warm memories  of our times together which I took comfort in but it’s still not the same.

Missing my husband won out eventually. Nothing compares to the constant teasing, arguing, bickering , nagging and loving of that of your companion. I missed him so much that I asked him everything and anything about his experiences in Brizzy just to make me feel as though I was living with him over there. And the calendar pages did tear rather slowly.

Finally all said, the distance did make us a lot closer. And like the saying goes “Absence did make our hearts grow fonder”. It was love a second time round, only this time it was across the Tasman sea.

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Date: 09/09/09

Location: Work place

Activity: Write an essay piece on “The Most Satisfying Accomplishment in your Life”

State of mind – Surprised that we had something to do other than our mundane work.

Staring at the computer my mind raced back through my mind’s pages searching for that perfect moment. Surprisingly, I could find nothing immediately. I thought to myself……what is the most happiest moment in my life?  I closed my eyes to visualise my memories, then there came from the depths of my mind’s black bottomless pit, emerged the image of my mother in eastman colour, smiling with tears of joy. Her hands pressing against her cheeks to control that plum coloured blushes rouging her cheeks.

I was transported back in time swirling through the mists of my past, so captured by the memory, I could literally experience the happy feeling seeping into me and I just could not stop grinning.

Here is a page from my history. Dedicated to the most wonderful mother one could ever have. Mamitha, this is for you!!!

——-

It was my mom’s birthday!

I had started my first job just 9 months prior to mom’s birthday. With the commitment of a student loan on my shoulders, I still wanted to gift my mom something nice and useful to make her life easy. She was indeed a supermom who did everything for us, nothing for herself and never complained.

My sister and I were really short on options on what to gift her on her birthday. My sister and I had been exploring the list of possible options for a good two months. The list figured quite a few enticing options like Spa treatments, massages, gift vouchers, saris, cosmetics……but nothing seemed to please us. Nothing was good enough for our mother. We had reached a moot point!

Then I was scanning through Femina magazine and I saw a whiteware advertisement. I got it! Eureka! Fianlly! Mom had been thinking of buying a microwave for ages, but never got around to it because of ever changing financial commitments. With none of us in the family actively participating in the cooking chores, and not being accomplished cooks such as my mom, we decided let’s make that job a helluva lot easier for her. We decided on the microwave! Something pretty rare in most Indian homes back then, as most people prefer their food freshly made, piping hot and straight off the stove!

So I went on a saving spree! So I started by cutting out my excesses and started a microwave fund. On the eve before mom’s Birthday, dad had to go out of town on business. Both my sister and myself just mentioned the birthday in passing the morning before, and acted very nonchalant the whole day.

Mom mistook this and thought we were way too busy with other daily things and actually tried not to show her disappointment. But the bonus for mom was all of her sisters were in town, something of a rarity especially given that everyone lived in a different town or country and all. We had invited them for a sleep over. My aunts were in on the secret although they did not know what the gift was. They were very supportive in keeping mom at bay.

I told mom I had to meet a client of mine and headed out. No car! Just my trusty scooterette! So while my aunts and mom were busy making dinner and swapping family stories, my sister Divya and I slinked away to the electronic shop.

And what a proud moment it was for me! I paid cash in full.  Never have I held that amount of cash in hand and that too my own hard earned money. I felt so happy. Imagine me with a smug smile like a Fairy Godmother smiling on her benefactor after the “Happily Ever After” moment. Well in my case, I had happened to be the Fairy God Daughter, minus the magic wand…

Next part of the challenge, no delivery options. We had to smuggle the microwave home and we had only the scooterette. So with my sister on the pillion and the microwave on the leg space of the scooterette, my legs stuck out different angles, we balanced it carefully and rode back home. That was probably one of the days that I appreciated the “no road rules” policy in India.

We returned home in one piece. And we had yet to smuggle the microwave upstairs to our home without mom’s knowledge. So Divya went in earlier on and started messing up our room strewing a bunch of clothes in a pile. We snuck in and hid the microwave on the side of our bed and our study table chair providing camouflage, drowning the view under the pile of clothes. Nothing seemed amiss! Just a typical teenager’s room messy and chaotic.

After this we picked up the pre-ordered cake with our nick name for mom – “Happy Birthday Mamitha”! That went into our next door neighbour’s refrigerator. Remember mom did most of the cooking!!!! She was sure to notice a box of cake.

So the scene is such, we are all back home, finished our supper, clock ticking closer and closer to midnight. My sister and I were hanging out in our room. My mother and my aunts were in the lounge talking away into the night.
I had sneaked over to my neighbour’s place when mom was not around, took the cake (fortunately a sweet neighbour who also feigned a headache and declined my invitation), lit the candles and entered the lounge with my sister at the strike of 12 and yelled Happy Birthday and burst into the Birthday song!

My mom turned shocked at the sound and started smiling and was shaking with emotion and all of us hugged her and wished her heartily. Mom cut the cake and fed us each a piece. I could see happiness and surprise shining through her eyes. Soon after Divya and I went into our room and fetched the gift. Was so heavy to lug around. We carried it into the room everyone was sitting in and enjoying the cake.

Everyone turned around. And they had thought all the excitement was over! We brought the box and placed it on the dining table. Mom looked poleaxed, stunned and her eyes widened and burst into tears of disbelief and joy. And she held her hands against her cheeks controlling her darnest to hold back her blush. It was clear she didn’t expect anything from us. She was crying so much, she was almost inconsolable. We went to her and hugged her tight.

All of our aunts were so thrilled and appreciated the fact that we had bought something so useful for mom. I can still picture my mom’s priceless expression as clear as crystal. Now that was an expression that I had never seen as often as I would have wanted to see.

That is the best moment I have ever ever had in my life. To see the pride and bursting happiness on her face that I had not failed her and grown up beyond her expectations and showed that her family cared for her very much. I think I’ll carry this memory forever.

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A chilled out Ona

Perplexed as to what Ona is? You’ll be in for one helluva surprise if you read further.

It was ages since I last met up with my aunt, cousin and her daughter. So I was trying to keep my adorable niece engaged while my aunt was cooking yummy aapams and chutney.

My cousin is pregnant and was filling me in on how she was getting my niece to accept a new member in the family. I was quite happy to learn that my niece was very welcome to the idea of a new brother/sister.

This is the conversation I had with my niece. It was quite special and a memorable one. And possibly one of the main reasons as to why I’d rather spend time with kids than pretentious adults. Their mind is so full of imagination and honesty, it is so refreshing.

Me: So sweetie, tell me have you chosen a name for the baby yet?
Niece: (She squints at me and gives me one of her nose wrinkling smiles and a toothy grin and says) – Ona!!!
Me: Ona???
“In my native language Tamil, Ona means a chameleon. And I was thinking, yes this kid is no doubt from NZ where geckos are famous, but to pick a name of this sort had me bursting into laughter. Pure genius!”
Niece: “Yes”! She reaffirms innocently but with surety like a decision finally made.
Me: I asked her- “Is that your friend’s name? Why did you choose this name?”
Niece: Ona is my friend.
Me: Is it a boy’s or girl’s name? Does Ona study at your childcare centre?
Niece: Ona is a friend! No, not in my school.
My aunt commented, on following the thread of the conversation, that she had asked the same question earlier and my niece had mentioned Ona!!! So she has pretty much named the baby Ona on her own.
Me: So when is the baby coming home?
Niece: Ona is coming home soon….

I was so pleasantly surprised by the fact that a 3 year old child could develop this level of affection to an unborn child and has thought enough about the child to even give the baby a name. On talking to her further I found that Ona was her best friend albeit unborn. I am going to have fun watching my adorable niece take on the role of a sister. I am so proud of you my ballerina!!!

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You will find that my blog is going to have lots of food related material from time to time – be it recipes, restaurants or cafes I have been to, experiments gone wrong, and brilliantly right, food try outs and a lot more.

Lipsmackingly delicious lunch at Wagamama

I just can’t seem to help myself. My love affair with food is so intrinsical I don’t know where to begin and it is indeed my biggest weakness.  With a relationship akin to that of a snake and a snake charmer, food has the power to entrance me!

So to cut a long story short, I love FOOD.

Foodie

We often grow up with fond memories and we do our own mind mapping of places that are special and food that you have eaten, be it food specially prepared by mommy dearest or even family traditions and outings on weekends or celebrations. So in my opinion, it is natural for our minds to be filled with timelines associated with food. And continue to do so even today. Most of us, am sure have atleast a couple of food related memories in relation to members of the family if not with your ages, to say the least. Like for instance, when I was maybe 12-13 yo, I used to gorge on oranges averaging like 6-7 oranges a day. I kept at it until one day, my mom observed this and commented on how my intake of oranges had gone up. Just imagine if the craving had been for cheese. Oh the horror of it.

Then there is the pampering of grand parents. I remember my grandmom used to make natural yoghurts for us in little earthen pots. Trust me not even the world’s best Greek yoghurt can hold a candle to that flavour and taste. I think there is that extra ingredient called love that makes all the difference to it. She used to make them for us specially whenever we visited her.

My grandfather is another story. Whenever we went to a restaurant, he knew what I liked best, and would say -“Shall I order your favourite Roast onion rava dosa and sambar vadai for you”?. And I’ll go “Yes please thatha” (grandfather in Tamil). I don’t think anyone knows what I like these days. People would only go onto suggest what they like or we should try but never know what you like and enjoy. So there it is, there’s that generation gap and changes in lifestyle rearing its ugly head.

Another example would be moms. Let’s take moms anywhere around the world, I am hundred percent sure that they would all say I am going to make this and that for my child, or bake the world’s best chocolate chip cookies, or a gingerbread man etc. Take my case, my mom used to make dosas in the all the diffferent shapes she could imagine and create – of stars, moons, suns, hearteens et al. Not just that she used to make smiley faces with ketchup even back in the days before advertisements started promoting them. And to this day, this is still an indelible memory that makes me smile at the mere mention of it.

Ok so enough of childhood memories, to prove my point further, I’ll draw some more recent ones. I got married and came to NZ in August 2007. The very first night here, my hunger pangs were according to dinner time in India. And it was barely 3am in NZ. I remember, Iwoke up and made some scrambled eggs and toast. But I still remember it because this was the first time my husband saw the demonstration of my culinary skills and even caught it on camera.

Scrambled eggs and Toast at an ungodly hour

Why even today, Ram and I went for brunch at a local Indian restaurant called Saffron in the Ponsonby suburb which was reminiscent of eating back home in the likes of Saravana Bhavan or Sangeetha back home in Madras. Though not on par to these restaurant biggies, Saffron had a hearty and sumptuous array of food that gave a feeling of content, gently nudging us with warm and happy memories experienced during our childhood.

I was sharing with Ram, how my family and I used to go to Murugan Idly for breakfast in Besant Nagar on Sat/Sun mornings which became a habit eventually ofcourse. Even Ram recalled some of his memories associated with food. One of them was that whenever they invited guests home for lunch or dinner, they used dinner plates designed with lots of small cup like bowl spaces to serve the various side dishes for the main.

Food and memories are definitely intertwined and still figures as a big part in our lives. So having said all of that, its not just our timelines that are put to the test but so are our waist lines too. LOL! Only for those who are not so conscious….

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Whitianga

It is funny how life changes or should I be saying how much I have changed!

I was going through some of my old emails to my family. I came across this mail that spoke volumes about my fresh uptake on my first time experiences in NZ.

To see the world for the first time is a sight so amazing. But to see the world with a fresh perspective is perhaps more refreshing. Many synonyms spring to my mind. Something akin to breathing mountain air after the onslaught of polluted city air. Or a feeling of the web of forgetfulness masking our eyes being dusted. Or wiping clean the dust off an old photo frame.

My life is NZ is no doubt blissful, with me happily bustling about my daily activities, going places, to work and back, doing this and that and what not. But come to think of it, my life is punctuated with lashings of monotones, more than I dare to admit.

But reading these old mails, made me pause and realise that I was so caught in the rut that I never stopped to reflect and appreciate the enthusiasm and energy of looking at things the first time round.

Here are some excerpts of my email to my dear dad, mom and my sister.

——— >>>>>

The Job Hunt –

How r u guys? Long time since I wrote to you guys. Have been applying for jobs. Things are warming up. I am getting calls for interviews which surely is a good sign. Have given one interview so far which was okay! But I dont know how the results will turn out.

Dogs on a leash –

On sunday – 16/9 , we went to this exotic place called Waikowhai park pronounced Wai – Ko – Fai. In maori if you see the alphabets w and h together make the fa sound! So we went there. It had wide spread vegetation with loads of native trees and plants encased in walkways leading to the beach front. On the edge of the beach near the cliff walls, one will find a dog exercise area where the dog owners can release their dogs from the leash and you can see them play in the water , running or fetching sticks with wild abandon.

Painting the pebbles –

Walking further, one will find the rim of the shore encrusted with pebbles, sea shells, rocks, sea weed, algae of different variety . One can only take back a certain amount of those things.I picked up as many as 10 pebbles well rounded and smooth in a pale jade green algae color. It was fun. I am going to do the same thing I did when Jaanas gave me those stones from Bali. Paint them green 🙂

Watching the turning of the tides –

Then we suddenly come onto an area where you will find only pebbles that the area almost looks like white sand but it is actually sea shells strewn about. Unbelievable colors, shapes and formations makes me look at them with wonderment what with me having grown up in a coastal area and thinking there is nothing more different you can find about seashells. One needs to see them to believe what I am actually talking about. Then comes a huge rock along the coast where one can sit and watch the waves during a low tide.

Flying Fox

Flying fox –

We then headed back to the parking lot. Near that was the park. Do i need to tell you further. The child in us made us go on the swings. We headed to this contraption near the play area that my cousin was grabbing and trying to do latch onto. I was observing quietly as to what it was. It was something new and I had never seen in my life and I waited with baited breath. And wheeeeeee………..!!!!!! she goes screaming to the other side. I ask her what it was. She tells me it was a “Flying Fox”.

OK this is the part where you understand what it is. Two poles set on either side on a slope about 15 feet over the ground and gradually decreases height joined together with a cable. A metal rod is hung at the steep part with a seat kind of thing on it which is used to park ourselves and cling on to it. You grab on real tight and jump. This has a spring that can carry our weights and we go wheeeeeeeeee like on a cable car but with more  speed and less protection. There is a rubber padding beneath it in case of mishaps. When you think Damn! I am gonna hit the pole is when you realise the other end of the string is padded with 4-5 tyres which brakes and stops you from hitting the pole.

A child from Enid Blyton’s books come alive –

You feel like a child flushed with excitement and reckless to the point that we kept doing it until we got tired. After that we all drove down to the beach again. One good thing about these public places is you get a spot to sit with family like benches or picnic tables.  We had come geared with lots of munchies which we snacked to our heart’s content and ofcourse had coffee. You know how Enid Blyton describes these picnics and adventures. My day felt like a day right out of her books – a fiction that became a dream that turned into reality.

Dwarfed by the Muriwai

Dwarfed by the Muriwai –

Then yesterday, Ram and I had gone to a place called Muriwai beach[Moo-ree-wai]. Muriwai gives one a feeling of being dwarfed by the magnificence of the sea. It is so vast one can only merely begin to imagine what might be on the other side. It is so huge that it keeps going on and on for such a distance – like they say in tamil – kannuku ettum dhooram varai.(which means to the extent of one’s eyesight).  And the vantage points are so gr8 that you feel like you are standing on top of the world and observing the sea, its whole expanse with life thrumming below.Can you imagine the feeling?One feels like a tiny micro organism compared to the vastness of the water body. And to add to that splendor is the myriad shades of blue and greens on the sea. You turn away from the sea one finds ranges and trees and clouds and birds and hint of sun’s colors. The scene looks like something out of an oil painting. I know it is trivializing the beauty of nature to an oil painting but the point is such shades and beauty can be captured in an oil painting best.

Gannets galore –

One other attraction are the gannets. They are white birds with a yellow head. The yellow part looks like someone put a dollop of yellow butter on their head that not only does it look yellowy soft but it is glossy as well.Along side below the vantage point are rock spaces where gazillions of these birds and their colonies can be found. July to November is the mating and hatching season. During this period one can actually see the birds’ behavior patterns. If two birds are putting their beaks together and rubbing their necks it is courtship. If one dives like an arrow southward to the ground they r jus going to grab their prey and so on. The young ones hatch in January and no one not even their parents teach them about hunting food or flying. The beauty about these birds are they have only 1 partner for life mostly. The male gannet flies around and gathers food while the female gannet sits with its webbed feet on the egg.No siblings or any future kids. One and only one egg for a lifetime for the couple. These birds come here to NZ for hatching and fly back to Australia once the young ones are born. And those young ones when they are probably 4-5 months old they fly to Australia (remember no one teaches them this) and when they have seen the world and had their adventure they come to the same rock looking for their mate.And the cycle begins. Isn’t it beautiful?

After some gannet watching we went down to the cliff area where people can fish. You can find hoards of kilinjil here. Some rocks have holes and cave formations that when a huge wave hits the cave the water comes fountaining out of the hole. It looks like a geyser. Also something we will enjoy is the drumming sound created by waves when they hit the cave walls. After enjoying the spray of sea water for awhile we headed back feeling elated and dwarfed at the same time by the effect Muriwai beach had on us.

Sun, surf & sand

When the sun’s out –

And when the weather is good and sunny, you cant find a kiwi in the house.You will find them at the beach. Doing something. Not like us all sitting or walking in the beach. They swim, surf, snorkel, build sand castles, boating,fishing, gliding….you name it.they do it. it is almost considered a sin not doing anything in the beach.We saw so so so many surfers with their surf boards and them all going surfing and floating in the sea. Wow!It is a phenomenon to watch these things for real.

Having Hokey Pokey –

After a bit of surf gazing, we stopped over near the car park on a picnic table and had snacks and coffee. This time we took some snacks as well. And we chatted for about an hour or so. By then all the snack also got digested. And no one leaves Muriwai beach without ice cream. I had hokey  pokey. It is a vanilla based ice cream mixed with oodles of honey and butterscotch crisps. Yummiest ice cream ever. Ram had vanilla and boysenberry, perima had choco-nutty ice cream and peripa had passion fruit ice cream which is yellow and white in color.

Pristine beauty

Guilt of not sharing the joy –

Then back home the journey was pretty much reveling on the ice cream and of course the beauty surrounding us. I missed you guys like crazy I almost felt guilty that I am so blessed to be enjoying all of this alone. But I pray to God that some day he gives me the privilege and strength to bring you guys here and enjoy it all together as a family and live our dreams that were held so close to our hearts.

Love you guys so much. Missing you guys that the physical distance/void is almost as a physical pain or irritation.

Loads of love,
Rats

– —–>>>>>

Comparing then and now –

Job Hunt – Yes I got a full time job.

Dogs on a leash – I want a dog quite badly, but now is not the right time. Probably when we move into a bigger and fenced house. Hmmm….to see that day.

Painting the pebbles – I have not done them yet. I should probably add this to my To-Do list 🙂

With hubby dearest

Watching the turning of the tides – Fortunately my husband and I have a love for long drives and walks by the sea. Nothing like a walk in Orewa and a coffee at a local cafe to recharge ourselves. I cherish these moments and  not to forget our long talks about our dreams and aspirations.

Flying Fox – In Waikowhai is broken. But our memory isn’t.

The Boy next Door by Enid Blyton

A child from Enid Blyton’s books come alive – I think its thanks to my dearest hubby, he still has preserved that side of me. I think it’s good that he lets me be me … And oh.. I recently purchased one of my most favourite Blyton novels -The Boy Next Door that introduced me to Mysteries and Adventure. This book still leaves me craving for more.

Muriwai – Muriwai’s one of the entrances from the beach through cliffside is closed. Access to the Gannet colony is through the Maori Bay track. We have also found another breathtaking vantage point which we go to whenever we visit Muriwai.

Gannets – I noticed recently that the gannets are coming more closer to the Kiwi border or hedging closer to it atleast. Wonder how they are going to be this winter!

Beautiful sunlight

When the Sun’s out – I used to hate the sun back home, NZ has left me craving for more. And I have become more Kiwi this way not wanting to spend my day away from the glorious golden rays. For people visiting NZ during summer, do not underestimate the sun, do come geared with oodles of sunscreen, jandals and ofcourse your sunnies.

Hokey Pokey – Hokey Pokey still remains my most favourite ice cream till today. However there has been a recent contender in the form of NZ Natural’s White Chocolate and Raspberry icecream. Ummm, heaven!!!

Road to Mt Ruapehu

Guilt of not sharing – Now I can really enjoy life guilt free as my parents, inlaws and my darling sister as well have been here. And we had a wonderful opportunity to share this Green Heaven on earth with our families. I am hoping to arrange a big reunion someday over here in NZ.

Wow….that list is quite the height of the Waitakere ranges. My Season tree in front of my window is a silent witness of not just the seasons but my life as well. Will be back with more musings!

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