Love spooky stories? Me too! So much that I wrote one. Listen as I narrate The Witching Hour exclusively for your listening pleasure. Be sure to turn the lights off 😉
Drink tea and be happy and healthy.
Enjoying the lovely weather in beautiful Coonoor, in the Nilgiris (blue mountains), in the Western Ghats, sipping a nice cup of piping hot tea and getting inspired to write a book. What else could I want?
I need no excuses at all but for those who like some scientific data a long term health study (7 years) published online by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology which followed more than 100K Chinese adults and compared those who drank tea less than 3/week with those who drank more. Those who drank more were found to have a 20% lower risk of heart attack and 22% lower risk for dying of heart disease.The findings don’t prove that tea drinking was responsible for those benefits. But both green and black tea are rich in compounds called flavonoids that help dampen inflammation, a culprit in heart disease. Tea drinking has also been linked to lower cholesterol and improved blood vessel function. Source: Harvard Health Letter.Continue reading
On ballerina slippers, temptation sneaks up from behind. Dressed in our disease, she does a silent soft-shoe, enticing us to turn around: to wallow in past mistakes, to bury ourselves in regret, to pull her out of the rearview mirror sheathed in the glamor of alcohol’s good times.
As temptation turns on her charm, she reaches into her bag of tricks and pulls out euphoric images of that first high. The one we could never recapture, no matter how hard we tried. Feeling little resistance, perhaps because we have become lax in practicing our program, she continues to entice us. Revving up her engine, target in sight, she takes dead aim at our vulnerabilities. If we start to feel edgy, she gives us a nudge, reminding us of that momentary relief that a shot of Jack Daniels gave us. Engaging our ego, she replays those feelings of superiority, lust, and pseudo-independence that were as fleeting as they were fallacious.
“Truth or consequences?”
“Do you think you are addicted?”
And my response to that question resulted in several more years of me, and the ones that I loved, and who loved me, paying the consequences. It was not an intentional lie. Instead, it was a skewed perception I had based on my keen ability to stay afloat in an ocean of denial.
Most alcoholics and addicts, even well into their addiction, sweat bullets as they strive daily to maintain that phony façade that supports their unfaltering battle cry that screams from the rooftops, everything’s just fine: And let me tell you, I can attest to what a grueling, demanding job it is trying to prove it.
Art is all about observation.
Recently I went on a hike in the foothills nearby (I’m lucky to have nature in such close vicinity, it’s a shame I don’t take advantage of it more often) and was arrested by this scene. It reminded me of the animated Studio Ghibli movie written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises. It was just this scene captured perfectly– the wind blowing through the meadow full of lush green grass and the sound. So beautiful and serene. I must credit the artists for their keen sense of observation, and thank them for bringing us citydwellers closer to nature and its miracles.
Do check out The Wind Rises and other Studio Ghibli movies. They are all pretty much masterpieces of animation.
I can say I’m also inspired to include nature in my writings, and bring in the small details which may capture the readers’ imagination.
There was a lot of information to absorb. Information for new parents; do’s and don’ts and how tos. I was overwhelmed though really I wasn’t doing any of the hard work. I couldn’t imagine what Ruhi was going through. She wouldn’t talk about it but appeared to be handling it pretty well so far.
I had to learn how to strap the baby into her new car seat. I was trying to do it without pinching her with all the straps and buckles. She was so tiny and delicate that every little twist of her face threw me in a panic.
Ruhi was upset. “But I want to hold her in my arms.”
“Darling this is not India. It is the law here. Besides, the car seat is the safest place for her.” She agreed albeit reluctantly and insisted on sitting in the back next to the baby so she could comfort her.
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Where did my sweet child go? Who is this stranger?
Adolescence– a period of stress and storm. A time of tremendous change and emotional upheaval. A time when your child becomes unrecognizable. Why is this happening? Is there anything I can do about it? Yes you can!
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Many of us lived too long in the slums of our mistakes. We lived in a gated community, that in the beginning, appeared to be both exciting and appealing. We roamed about freely in the fog of its deception, oblivious to the cost that it would eventually extract. In our false sense of euphoric meanderings, we stumbled over our broken promises, inflicted pain, and became burdens to those we professed to love. We abused ourselves and others and continued down a dangerous road without as much as a quick glance in the rearview mirror. We hardly noticed the retreating exits as they slammed shut behind us. Until that is, we were sealed in. Suddenly we found ourselves gridlocked, flailing about in our own crap.
Some of us searched endlessly for an escape route. We considered a variety of ways out. There seemed to be many options. Paths marked: You can do it alone; drink only on weekends, switch substances; only drink at home. Some of us traveled down each and every road but to no avail. It wasn’t until we were exhausted and beaten to a pulp that we saw off in the distance, a small crack in what had become our prison. It was just around the corner from the very last signpost. Unlike the others, it offered no excuses, led not to easy fixes, nor did it minimize the situation. It simply read recovery and attached to it was a key to unlock the gate.
For those of us who were willing to dump our false pride, box up our misery, and leave it behind in yesterday’s ruins, a new journey began. The road was less rocky, the scenery was paved with petals of hope, and we were never alone. Those who had traveled it before dotted each and every turn with outstretched hands and giving hearts. The journey is not a means to an end, but rather a never-ending path to enrichment that gets better and better, one day at a time.
Once clean and sober, we learn that in recovery we can participate in creating a brand new environment; one specifically designed to lift us out of the mire of our past and point us in a new direction. Suddenly, we discover that we have choices. A new future is spread out before us like pieces of a puzzle waiting to be fitted into the framework of our willingness to move forward.
Who would have guessed that we could move into a new neighborhood chock full of hope and promise?
Your wait is over!
Presenting Part 2/2 (concluding part) of A Cup of Chai!
This short story was published in my newest book Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree.
Roma, is a recently married young Indian woman, who arrives in the United States. This story is about some of her experiences. Please do check it out. And check out the book too.
A Cup of Chai- Part 2 of 2
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