Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Holidays - Well spent?

Here we are approaching the end of summer hols and the beginning... no wait! Its the continuation of the school term! Alas.. three months flew by like lightning... and the horror approaches rapidly!

The first day is going to bring the most detested and the most frequently asked question - "What did you do this summer vacation?"
That's right.. everyone stifle the groans and pour out your good deeds of three months... i.e. if any! =P
Here I go.. about my (well spent?) hols :

Oh mon Dieu.. the beginning of the days when the sun was at its highest peak were just so HORRIBLE! The MOEW was facing some crisis and decided to spread horror across the country by cutting of the electricity! Imagine! Temperature soaring past 50 deg. C and no AC, no fan! With most fortunate fleeing the country at a time like this.. I was left without anyone to agonizingly complain to or share the experience with.. on the phone.

And my good deeds?
Under the category of extremely good deeds comes.. doing the homework regularly, studying a teeny weeny bit.. (and promptly suffering from memory loss) :D , sitting in front of the computer with the internet on 24 hours aaaaaaaand reading a hell lot of books! Being a voracious reader, I happened to read over 50 books this summer (and spoiled my eyes extra more :/ ) which I am going to mention below :

Animoprhs # by K.A.Appelgate - 54 books in total.
(Mind you, the author is a female! )
Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Mediator # by Meg Cabot - 6 books
(An excellent read .. 'cause I read the whole series thrice.)
James Bond by Ian Fleming - 14 books in total.
Princess Diaries # by Meg Cabot - 3 books
(10 books complete the series but unfortunately I stopped at 3.)

... Thats it I guess. Totally = 79 books?

Yeah right.. that's excluding my school books you see :|

And my so called other good deeds include 'trying' to write a hilarious story, a meaningful poem and creating a digital yearbook.. all of which are incomplete due to the sudden loss of interest! :P
Thats the end of my 'booooring' holidays and now getting back to my books and jamming every piece of information in the amazing brain. :D

So long!
Wasn't that a extremely 'well spent' vacation?? ;)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sandpiper To Bring You Joy

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me.
She was building a sandcastle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.
"Hello," she said.
I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.
"I'm building," she said.
"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not caring.
"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand."
That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by.
"That's a Joy," the child said.
"It's a what?"
"It's a Joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."
The bird went gliding down the beach. "Good-bye joy," I muttered to myself, "hello pain," and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance.
"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.
"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."
"Mine's Wendy... I'm six."
"Hi, Wendy."
She giggled. "You're funny," she said.
In spite of my gloom I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.
"Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."
The days and weeks that followed belong to others: a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. "I need a sandpiper," I said to myself, gathering up my coat. The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. I had forgotten the child and was startled when she appeared.
"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"
"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
"I don't know, you say."
"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.
The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."
"Then let's just walk." Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face.
"Where do you live?" I asked.
"Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.
Strange, I thought, in winter. "Where do you go to school?"
"I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on vacation."
She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.
"Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today,"
She seems unusually pale and out of breath. "Why?" she asked.
I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, my God, why was I saying this to a little child?
"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."
"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and-oh, go away!"
"Did it hurt? " she inquired.
'Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself.
"When she died?"
"Of course it hurt!!!!" I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.
"Hello," I said. "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was."
"Oh, yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please accept my apologies."
"Not at all -- she's a delightful child," I said, suddenly realizing that I meant it. "Where is she?"
"Wendy died last week," Mr. Peterson. "She had leukemia. Maybe she didn't tell you."
Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. My breath caught.
"She loved this beach; so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly." Her voice faltered.
"She left something for you ... if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"
I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something, anything, to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope, with MR. P printed in bold, childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.
Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms.
"I'm so sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," I muttered over and over, and we wept together.
The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the color of sand-who taught me the gift of love.
NOTE: The above is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other. "The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less." Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas, can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a monetary setback or crisis.
This weekend, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment, even if it is only ten seconds, and stop and smell the roses.