Combining the Gratitude Texts Club with the 5 Am club led to some interesting results
GRATITUDE TEXT- Write a gratitude text daily. A good friend advised, elaborating that one cannot feel bad and feel grateful at the same time
FIVE AM CLUB- REMEMBERING MY MENTORS.
I belong to the 5 am club.
The first person of this club I came to know- was my father- an army doctor, who gave me the gift- of the morning hour, when night turns into day. In these times of COVID19 lockdown, when I do not have to get up to go for work-my family members were wondering if this 5 AM club would sustain.
One of my heroes- did not belong to the 5 AM Club. He was part of the 4 AM Club.
Before the morning walk, (6 am) he had already done some readings, reflections.
His instructions- before starting a session of study try to revise what you did in the previous session- what are your goals-aims of the present study session, and after the study session is over- try to see the points which you have studied and tidy up your desk and work place- have stood the test of time.
This person was my maternal grandfather- and over the years, through talks with extended family, I have come to know many different aspects of his life, the times in which he lived-the India of the 1940s/50s/60s..and what family life was at that time, and now, looking back-over the decades, one can see the shape of things to come.
GRATITUDE FOR GIFT OF THE WRITTEN WORD
Before I entered school, my parents got an encyclopedia for us. I read most of it over the years, and that gave me the gift of the love of the written word. This has stayed with me through the years.
One of my all time favourites, reading Ruskin Bond books gave a better sense of connection to the Hills of Uttarakhand, from where our family is originally from. We are Garhwalis- though a part of our family shifted to Shimla- the capital of British India- and we had a house in Upper Kaithu Bazaar.
Took out my copy of -Rain in the Mountains- and went to the woods nearby and went through these words of Virginia Woolf written in 1932- written by Ruskin in his notebook in the 1950s- which are a great credo to live by
I have sometimes dreamt that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statemen come to receive their rewards- their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble- the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms,
“Look, these need no reward.
We have nothing to give them here.
They have loved reading.”
My grandfather’s sister was married to a family in Meerut region. I have no living memory of my paternal grandfather, as I was around a year old when he passed away. However, listening to the talks of elder cousins, I came to know about the family’s relations and extended networks in Northern India region. One of them was the sister of the Bhatt brothers of Upper Kaithu Bazaar-Shimla. That sister’s grandson- is my dear Devraj Bhai. He sends me pictures – from his garden- Gudhal (Hibiscus) and we shared so many intimate family details.
On a trip to India-2016-December- I sat with my aunt- in the B Block Garden of Palam Vihar and we talked about old times gone by, remembered my parents. She is a life long educator, a Phd in Two subjects and told her name is mentioned in her department even now, after many decades of her retiring. Doctorate in Literature and Education. These teachings she passed on to her children ,grandchildren in many different ways.
Many lovely memories
Apart from the love of the written word- one of the things she has imbibed in her children is Compassion.
Moti- a dog who lives near his house- the dog does not have any particular master, but comes to different houses. One day -Moti- was run over by a vehicle and suffered fracture of the legs.
Devraj Bhai wrote about the treatment he got for a Moti
Dec 5-2019- Moti had an accident
Dec 12-2019-Was operated in a clinic in Moti Bagh
Jan 21-2020- Pin Removed
Feb 20-2020- Discharged from personal care of Devraj bhai
Great writers help us connect with different aspects of Humanity. We study literature to explore, experiment, expand.
Shakespeare’s – Prospero wrote
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on
And our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Our experience of the world is limited by time and place, and even the most resolute traveler can only superficially come to know the complex blends of cultures that make up our world.
As I went to the Lake near our house in the Naturalization zone –(Jan’s trail-Mississauga). Coming to know the story of Jan- made us connect with the history of Russian empire, the second world war.and the persons who made Ontario-Canada and the world we live in. This also reminded me of another Polish immigrant- who was the first Chairman of the Niagara Parks Commission -Casimir Gzowski.
The Lake at Jan’s trail has been one of our Thinking places over the years.
In John Maxwell’s book on Thinking- he says that if we get deliberate about having a place and time to think, and intentionally go there and think- it will help us expand our thinking. This suggestion has helped in many different ways over the years.
Here are some of the Thinking places and associated themes
2017- Discussing -A Passage to India-E M Forster- and the characters within
2019- Museum Societies- Royal Ontario Museum- intimate association since 2013.
Here in 2019-we attended a special exhibition on Jodhpur. I told my sons about our family connection with Jodhpur- their Bua-ji (Aunt) was born there on Feb 10,1969.
THEME OF GRATITUDE-TEXTS- SOME AFTERTHOUGHTS.
In these times of COVID19 lockdown, my friend helped me with a great idea- write a Gratitude text. This made me reflect on some Brotherhoods, Sisterhoods, Museum Societies , Five Am clubs, Libraries and walks for which I am grateful for.
Do you have a place, person, theme, institution, principle and related memory for which you are grateful for?
Żurakowski was born in 1914 to Polish parents in Ryzawka, which had been a city of the Russian Empire since 1793 when it was removed from Poland in the Second Partition.
For further details -see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janusz_%C5%BBurakowski
2-Niagara Parks Commission
On March 20th 1885, Premier Mowat introduced the “Niagara Falls Park Act – an Act for the Preservation of the Natural Scenery about Niagara Falls”. It was passed into law on March 30th 1885.
Casimir Gzowski became the first chairman of the Niagara Falls Park Commission. Other founding members included John Langmuir and John G. MacDonald.
3- Royal Ontario Museum – Exhibition-on Jodhpur