And Wish You a Happy New Year

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”

      As usual I ushered the new year the Army way, dancing to the tunes (what’s new???) of DJ wala babu’s collection of songs, exploding in our ears. I reckon it’s a ploy to awaken & shock into action, every laid back or sleepy cell sitting pretty inside us (& our next-planet neighbour) & gear them all up for the coming year. Fingers crossed, this is the only kind of blast or explosion we get to hear or put up with this year… Amen.

       I believe that we have the capacity to make every year better, equipped with the most powerful weapon ever – Experience; thrust forcibly on us by the ‘old’ years. You don’t need a license to use this weapon, just some common sense to learn & perseverance to apply what one has learnt. Learning from your experience is priceless, but applying those lessons in your life, that’s the prize. I too have learnt many precious lessons from my experiences down the years, enough to make me the next happening spiritual guru & more than enough to ensure new years to come overflow with joy, if & only if… I fully & successfully apply these lessons in my life. Unfortunately that bridge is still under construction & lessons like ‘Be the Master Of Your Mind’, ‘Live in the Present Moment’, etc, are much bigger projects than the Howrah bridge & moreover I am in the land of ‘forever under construction’; India. God help me.

      I have learned some simpler lessons too, ones that can be easily applied to our difficult lives, ones that are making merry go rounds on whatsapp, thanks to more enlightened souls like me. But only a lucky few get a posting to God Forsaken places like Sagar… so that has taught me a lesson or two extra. Now I know… it’s not necessary to go to a Mall to mull over ways to spend hard earned money & find yourself in a Catch 22 situation, all in the name of catching a movie. Sprawled up with your entire family, in pajamas, on your 6 by 6 bed, with a bowl of popcorn & a warm blanket… watching a horror movie (my children vouch that is from where I pick up my finer nuances) is just unbeatable. Now I know… going clubbing with your phubbing friends every week is not half as exhilarating as cycling the winding roads of Hawk hill, chatting with your better half, better still for health & wealth. Now I know… it’s not necessary to visit Nations to have awesome barbecues, it’s more fun to indulge in a tandoor evening back home, with family & close friends, ambient music from a santoor or your son’s guitar. Now I know… it’s not necessary to go on a luxurious vacation, on or off a cruise ship, to bond with your family. Going for a long long drive without any specific destination in your mind, your entire family cooped up in your four wheeled cruiser, along the dusty lanes of villages in MP, where folks have not even heard of a mosquito net let alone Internet, would work just as well. Now I know… the lesser the distractions in life… greater its attraction. And now my children know… their mother is getting old!!!!!

     Enough of philosophical insights, now for some creative lessons. Stopped at an abandoned stone quarry during one of our long drives, picked up some nearly ‘geometrically’ shaped stones (did not tamper with the original shape of the stones, hence they are bound to look slightly rough on their edges), created some tea light holders for my tiny garden.

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      The half-moon shape of this stone, coupled with the dent in the centre, inspired me to make a diya shaped tea light holder (assisted by a local, willing blacksmith). Fabricated a base and a detachable diya shaped tea light holder using wrought iron. Joined the pieces and applied a coat of black paint. Placed the stone within the metal frame.

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Similarly, got the frame made for this triangular stone, which simultaneously holds three tea lights.

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For this nearly round stone with an orange tinge, fabricated a frame resembling the Sun. At the end of the rays, placed  seven metal discs to hold the tea lights.

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image Placed the tea light holders along with my pots and this is how they lit up my garden.

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Additionally mounted two stones onto a wall to resemble a boat. Got a boatman made, whose hat substituted for a tea light holder.

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Now you know…You don’t have to be stoned to swoon in a creative coma, you just need some STONES. Light them up and watch them set your garden party ablaze!!!