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The Year That Changed Everything

2011 is an unforgettableyear in my life. It tossed up challenges that I’d never had to face before in my whole life. It was like making tea, custard toast, chicken do pyaza and packing rotis with sabji but never getting a whiff or taste of any of it till the end of the day coz one’s got two hands and both hands were doing kitchen chores and endless tasks. Got the drift?

Well, perhaps it was inevitable that some of the bread got roasted instead of toasted. It was also inevitable that the year roasted and grilled a few friendships too. 


No, honestly, I’d give my best to all relationships but sometimes things don’t work out because, well, birds of a feather tend to flock together. So, I guess plain pigeons don’t really stick with the eagles. Know what I am saying? And don’t place bets on whether I’m a pigeon or an eagle. 

So, between flying low and keeping close to home as well as juggling lots of work, it happens that I had to prioritize my peace of mind over everything else. 

Hell, it hasn’t been an easy year. But I learned to make decent food in little time. Now, isn't that something? Don't laugh, ok?

You should try the sinfully simple custard toast I make. You’ll dump decent food forever.

Isn’t that a temptation huh?

The Storms of 2011
In Orhan Pamuk’s book Other Colours which is basically a collection of his writings and essays, there is a chapter titled “After the Storm,” he writes.

 “It is in times of violence, times of storms, that we remember we all live in the same world. Later still, as I was looking at broken branches and bicycles that had been thrown from their resting places, this came to my mind too: When a storm hits, we don’t just understand that we live in the same world, we begin to feel as if we are all living one and the same life.”

2011, for me, was definitely a year of turbulent storms. Nope, my arms aren’t broken branches yet.

Adi’s bicycle is not broken.

I haven’t been thrown out of home yet.
  
But then, ‘what storm is she talking about’ is what you are wondering, right?

Storms that matter and leave an impact happen from within. They hit you the hardest because they have the power to. The power comes from within.

Remember, You are tested where it hurts most
From the written works of spiritual masters, I’ve read that you are tested where it hurts the most. For me, relationships matter a lot be it in real life. And that’s exactly where God chose to test me. I’d give myself a just-pass.

Gratitude & Thanks 
As the year ends and a new year begins, I believe in the ancient spiritual law that says, “The more grateful you are, the more will be given unto you.”

My humblest pranams at the lotus feet of my beloved lord and best friend, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for His love and constant guidance. Without His love, 2011 would have seen me crumbling, spiritually. Bhagawan's love, compassion and guidance has permeated my life for over three decades. All my family members are grateful to Him for His tremendous love shown towards us. Thank you, Swami.

For those who are cynical, let me tell you that ‘faith can move mountains.’
Each to his own spiritual path.

I am thankful to my family and all my friends whom I know personally, then on Facebook, and Twitter for their love, patience and understanding.  I am grateful to you all for reading my blog, spending precious time to comment as well. It helps me to grow as a better person and I am so glad that we are connected through this blog. Thank you, dear reader and friend. Your encouragement is what gives me the impetus to write whenever there is time. 

A Buddhist Prayer for Each and Every One 
In accordance with the famous meditation prayer that the Buddha taught His followers, I too offer that to you and your loved ones:

By the power and truth of this spiritual practice
May all sentient beings enjoy happiness and the causes of happiness
May they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering
May they never be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering and
May they dwell in the great equanimity that is free from attachment and aversion.


As rightly spoken by Avvaiyar, “What we’ve learned is like a handful of earth, what we are yet to learn is like the whole world.


Wishing you all greater happiness, prosperity and well-being in 2012.

Stay blessed always.

Comments

hi swapna, nice recap..

@No, honestly, I’d give my best to all relationships but some relationships don’t work out because, well, birds of a feather tend to flock together.

:) good description..

Wish u a happy new year..:)
Raji said…
Well written Swapna! Wishing you a happy, peaceful, blessed and wonderful new year!!!
Vidya said…
a wonderful recap.. Wish you a happy, peaceful 2012!
Priya said…
Happy new year wishes Swapna, regarding ur q'n about pulao,u can prepare them very well,but just before adding rice, add the yogurt and water mixture,bring them to boil and add the soaked rice, if you prepare this way,you wont risk anything..Also ur pulao will turn out prefect as like mine,hope this helps..
Thanks Pramoda, Raji, and Vidya for the warm, caring wishes. Wishing you all a fantastic year in 2012 too!

Priya, thanks a ton for sharing the tip with me. I LOVE your recipes and they've helped when inviting people over for lunch/dinner. Your recipes are 100% guarantee that it will turn out great. Thanks for commenting and for sharing that tip once again! Have a great year ahead!

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