My Gamma and I

 

For most of y’all, your grandmother would be fondly addressed as pattima, patti, aachi or nana, but I called my grandma, “Gamma.” My Gamma died when I was in an age where I didn’t know what death was. She was less than 10 years from hitting a century and I was “just” 10 years old.

I came to know of this beautiful soul when I was born on this earth. Though she never held me in her arms since she was almost 80 years old when she saw her first grand daughter, but she had a strong heart. I went by the name “Paapa” at home by her.

Blessed are those who get to live with their grandparents, in my case I had my Gamma. We were a family of four. My Gamma was my dad’s mother, born in 1911, born and brought up in Chennai, studied Zoology in Women’s Christian College, and retired  as a School teacher. Now you know why I opted for zoology.

She was a woman who everyday at home would adorn herself in those soft beautiful sarees, bejewel her with elegant gold earrings and a chain, with her silvery hair perfectly wraped into bun. I found beauty in her smooth wrinkled skin.

Being a single child I never missed playing with a sibling, because there’s always my Gamma who would play dress up with me, make me do her hair, watch movies with me, excites me with her childhood stories and most of all protects me from amma’s  so called beatings, which by the way never pains. Which sibling would even do that? Ha-ha!

There are also times were I showed her my side of naughtiness. I remember her screaming for my mum because I was jumping on the sofa (the very sofa where I’m sitting down and typing this) like a crazy person thinking that she’s enjoying the jolts.

As many of you could see I have a strong connection to animals, well it all came from what my eyes caught sight in my tiny tot days.  My Gamma was the first person at home to take in a small Myna, and she affectionately kept it in her room. The myna was named as “Baba” since my dad repeatedly sung to her the rhyme, “Baba black sheep” and to our surprise it really sang it one day. There were also times, when Noel, my dog who is 16 years old now was a little puppy then, scared the bejesus out of me by just sleeping on the floor, and I deciding to take cover on my Gamma’s bed who was deep asleep. I was kind of a trouble back then I know, any less now. Ha-ha!

I faintly remember her playing the piano and singing few songs to me. Her time daily was spent in reading her Bible, watching old movies, for which she remembered all the dialogues by-heart, and sitting by our veranda in the evenings. She rarely goes to church, but if she does she attends the American college Chapel vespers.

And then, began the days, were she would forget things, see people of the past and start calling their names and resisting to eat. Her body started to wear out gradually. I remember my dad hand feeding her breakfast every morning before he goes to work.

As time went by surgeries had to be done to have her leg amputated. My mum looked after her needs so well. There were days when my parents would have to go somewhere and I had to tend to my Gamma with a bed pan when she has to go. We never planned on keeping a maid for my Gamma until my dad got sick temporarily. There were occasions when she couldn’t differentiate or indentify people. We had many of my dad’s colleagues, friends, students, help us in our time of need. Three of them I still remember are Premkumar uncle, Peaceponraj uncle and my aunt sheeba. We are indebted to them.

Her body started deteriorating as days went by. I vividly remember one early morning on October 21st 2002, when my aunt woke me up to tell me that my Gamma had passed away, I didn’t know what should I feel. Though I felt sad I didn’t know why I should cry and I never did too. My parents gave her a meaningful prayer meeting in memory of her.

It was 2003, an evening were my mum and I were cleaning our living room with beautiful tamil keerthanai’s singing away in our cassette player. There was this particular song called, ”ThevaPitha Enthan Meipan”which had no connection with my Gamma, started playing and I was moved all of a sudden. I had a hit of nostalgia. After a few minutes without my own knowledge I found myself crying over her memories. It took me one whole year to understand about death and for my feelings to come out. My mum saw me weeping and consoled me with positive words.

The time spent with my Gamma was short-lived but the experience she and the moments taught me was huge. I know you all might have had similar experiences as I had and I’m sure we have some lessons to take with us on our journey.

I planned to write this blog in memory of her last October but due to some incidents I couldn’t. So here it goes. I am lucky to have known her not just as a grandmother, but also as a woman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Two Magic Words

It’s been exactly a year since I started my online venture called “Libby Creatio”. We all experience ingratitude moments now and then and I sometimes would love to hear the two magic words from time to time and it would be so wrong if I don’t thank my buyers.

I am writing this blog especially to all my customers and well wishers for all the support and enrichment you offered me all through the journey. I love and appreciate each and every individual soul. A big shout out and a massive “Thank you” to you all.

The words of appreciation and all the “wowing” (I don’t even know if it’s a word) phrases you use to describe my works makes me sit smiling like a monkey on the other side of the phone, which obviously you have no idea because I would have responded to you very decent enough for you not to sense my monkeyness (and again, it’s clearly not a word in the dictionary).

*oh oh mom interruption*

Ok, now I’m sitting here sipping a cup full of sanity (no, It’s cuppa, not coffee) as I put down all my thoughts into words, and I’m having brain farts at the moment, because this tea is really good it makes me miss on what I’m writing. My brain is so out of focus now.

Anyway back to business!

Some of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received are from a person who wanted to find out what inspires them after reading my previous blogs. That moment of source of inspiration you bring into someone’s thought for a second is what we need to work on.

“Make people feel good” is the mantra I practice while doing business with my fellow humans. Just like the boomerang effect.  We are nothing but a form of emotional creatures craving to be felt special and treated with the nicest words and respect in the world, and that is almost love in plain clothes.

And I don’t want you all thinking that my venture is all rosy with only happy people appreciating, Nada! Life is not just complete with negative incidents waiting to sneak somewhere through the corner and tear you down for a moment. Just so you know, only for a moment! As you all know whatever you come up new in life, someone, somewhere is waiting to have a good laugh about it or throw a mean comment at you. That is how life goes on, and guess what? They have all the rights to laugh and snicker at you and you equally have the power to pay no heed to them. Overlook each negative comment with a positive vibe.

You folks have inspired me so much to keep working and hustle hard to new and greater things. And to all my 57 customers so far, thanks a million to you all for having the confidence in me and giving me those wonderful orders for me to work on and be a part of your celebration and happy moments.  I feel incredibly blessed.

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Just like how Rhonda Byrne says in one of her Gratitude books, “The more you use gratitude every day, the greater the good you will bring into your life”, I’ve done my part of gratitude to you, my buyers, now it’s time for you to go and make someone’s life you know a happy one today by extending your thanks to them.

Love and hugs!

 

I AM AN ARTIST AND I’M NOT UNEMPLOYED

Me: Hi, My name is Libby and I’m a doodle Artist. (Happy face)

Known person: Oh! (Total disappointment in their face) What are you planning to do with your life?

Me: Did I miss something? I already have a new start-up business. I make Customized doodle greeting cards, wedding invites and customized doodle notebooks and bookmarks. I will be adding more in future.

Known person: No, I meant, you are jobless, where are you planning to work? Or, are you going to pursue PhD or M.Phil? Should I get you a Job?

Me: Well, Hello, Did I speak Latin Just now? (Voice screaming in my head) I am an artist, which meant, I do something creative (Unlike you) and I earn money for what I use my grey matter for. And I’m happy!

Known person: But (Still sticking to their side of argument) it won’t give you a permanent job, it won’t put food on your plate, maybe you should try at least for school teaching, since you studied only M.sc zoology.

Me: I’m so happy we had this talk! (Smirks)

End of discussion.

Trust me I had infinite number of conversations with such humankind who come preaching about. Being Artists or Entrepreneurs doesn’t make us inferior from you, perhaps we far more superior than what or whom you work for. I wouldn’t say you don’t have the right to tell us, but you can at least appreciate for what we do, because we took the risks of life to gain recognition and not sit among thousands of employees in air conditioned space.  All we ask of you is guidance for leading a life and not advice and degrade us. What we lack most in today’s India is words of “appreciation and motivation”.

And does creativity have a place? No. Not in today’s world. We are brought up with a mind to reflect and mirror mediocre Homo sapiens.

For instance, we learn, sorry, study till 10th grade, and we are “told” to opt for Bio math or computer Science (Which are considered to be studious children’s major). Most parents even take pride in telling that. By the time their children get to write their 12th exams, they push them into a mental trauma to get the highest marks possible and make him\her sit in an engineering class room. As you all know how engineering colleges have formed to become a mini school, were you almost lose all the fun and drain your brain for the next four years, while the parents happily show off to their family and friends how their son/daughter is doing an engineering course.(God knows the struggle). Soon after you finish your 4th year, you get through campus interviews and land in an IT job, only to find after an year that you have lost your happiness, fun and freedom of creative thinking throughout your journey. Do they welcome creative thinking in IT sector? No! (As far as the IT interviews I have attended.) You are just a “techno coolie” to someone who sits in a far off country, who gets all the monotonous work done by you, whereas, he gets all the name and fame and what not. And no questions can be raised because we get the money for that. And for the other part, some end up preparing for exams (As we all know) which they take a zillion years to pass. This is the very reason why we vote for the party which is not educated enough to run our government, this is why we end up in It jobs, this is why we don’t create good movies, this is why we fight for caste and religion, this is why aim for high marks(which is useless, when the child doesn’t know the basic GK), this is why we oppose inter-caste marriage, this is why our education system is backward, this is why lack discipline, this is why don’t come in time, this is why we don’t dress appropriately, this is why we don’t read books, this is why we fight over silly petty actors or actresses, this is why we have poverty, this is why we don’t use our brains. Our eyes are blindfolded to the things we can create. Yet we take pride in having an Indian in an American company, were as we still function as mediocre. It is because he tried, we didn’t, he thought differently, we didn’t he differed from the crowd, we never.

What I am asking of you all is, why do you have to follow the crowd? Why not do something which you are capable of? Why do you have to write exams which are of no interest to you? Why can’t you “learn” to do creative things. Well, if you say that you don’t know what you are capable of, why don’t you go into the world and find out yourself? If you start thinking differently, the same parents who push you to do what the neighbour does will take respect and value in telling about you.

Make up your mind now, this very minute, believe in yourself and do what you want to do.  You can be what you sincerely want to be. Choose a path and focus on that one thing and move along the journey. Never get doomed to failure. Self confidence grows when you meet occasional failure. Think of success and you are a successful person already, before anything happens. Start dreaming Big and act small, you’ll be in greater heights soon.

So this is how I made up my mind. To be an artist or an entrepreneur, you should never leave anyone or anything move or shake your conviction.  I decided to maintain a strong positive mind when I have discouraging conversations. Be a person who hurdles over roadblocks, and achieve something great for yourself. I’m sure you don’t want any regrets in life. Don’t walk the walk of an average person. You were never born to be ordinary. Be creative, be you! Do anything that makes your heart content and the world a difference.  It is not too late, Go create yourself!with brave wings (1)

 

And for  all the people who is waiting to ask me the same question next time, “ Your idea of life is not mine” use it to run yours. Because, I am born unique and different.

I am a doodle artist. I am an entrepreneur. I am a proud human.

 

The 4 Letter Magic word – “BOOK”

Early today morning, Facebook reminded me that, today being April 23rd is “World Book Day.” What better reason do I need to write my blog ? So let me tell you, I was a normal kid in school just like every other child studying and learning just my school books. Trust me, if I had read only those text books you wouldn’t be reading this. I would have murdered English by the time you reached second line (I mean, seriously). I remember my mother trying to teach me English grammar and going crazy on one side and I on the other side sitting with a confused face “What’s wrong mom?” So yes, she had a hard time (I suppose). And when those glorious summer holidays arrived, I can hear my dad persistently telling me to read books. And to my dismay every time he said that, my school books came to my mind and the fear of reading it again.

So when my English was going at stake, my parents decided to get me some brand new books to read which included, from famous five to hardy boys, Nancy drew to Goosebumps, Lion king to Pocahontas and all other lovely fairy tales. In each story I envisioned myself to be that persona, and pictured all the beautiful adventure. So that is how my childhood reading journey went on.

And after I reached college, I read few books, from Indian to international authors (Mostly novels). I was not an avid reader, maybe I was distracted towards more fun (sometimes the word laziness also fits). What shocked me is, when my fellow people started asking for help in language and grammar, I found that I was communicating quite in good grammar without even my knowledge. So all those childhood reading was really beneficial and advantageous.

Recently I have been into business, self – help and spiritual books, rarely novels. I would like to share some of the world class authors, who brought out the best in me through their writing, which involves, Napoleon Hill, Robin Sharma (my business guru), Joseph Murphy (the one who explains bible so beautifully), Brian Tracy, Rhonda Byrne, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen (My life guides), and the list goes on. And I have this wonderful Friend named Harine, who along with me is taking up the book challenge 2016. And I’m happy to get her as my reading partner, as we share so much knowledge with each other. We’re discovering ourselves each day through the books we read. And today being the “world book day”, I decided to give her a book by Robin Sharma, one of her favourite authors and mine too (how could anyone not).  So if you’re planning to give your friend a gift or something, a book is the perfect choice. (maybe its time people start educating themselves to differ from mediocre people). Garrison Keillor once said “A book is the gift you can open again and again”. What more than you need than a book full of wisdom. Who knows you can even start your own business like I did, or become an author or improve yourself in your work place, anything can happen with all the motivation you acquire from it. So devote yourself to reading at least 30 minutes a day to differ from the crowd.

As for my mindset, the more the books a person has, the more rich he is.  Learning does not end upon graduation. Be a lifelong learner. I assure you, boredom will never show up on your doorstep as long as you have something to learn.

A house that has a library in it, has a soul. – Plato.

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A book opens a door to your heart. – Libby

A house is a not a home without at least one book shelf with books. I have mine. Do you have yours? If not, bring that book shelf into existence.

Go get yourself a book and see yourself in it.

“Book” is the magic word all you need in life.