Yesterday, in the midst of the busyness that seems to be an inevitable part of this season, I noticed that Rashmi of Soul & Spirit, hadn’t been by in a long time. I’m used to her going silent for a week or a few days at a time. Her life, with a military husband, has her on the road and moving around more than most people. But this was a particularly long silence … 12 days of silence.

So … recognizing my tendency to lose track of time and become completely absorbed in my moment — forgetting that other people are entwined in their own problems — I wrote her to find out what was going on and if she was okay.

She is okay, if by okay you mean alive. Not okay, because the area in which she is currently residing has been hit by epic floods, the worse in living memory. There has been much loss of life. Many people are homeless, so that even those who have survived have lost everything.

You can find out a lot about it by Googling “Chennai floods 2015.” It has been in the news in the U.S. too, but speaking of self-involvement, it hasn’t gotten much play in the press. Here’s the articles from Wikipedia and there is much more online.

This note from Rashmi gives a more personal picture.

“In our part of world Chennai floods have created havoc. Two of my friends have lost everything in the devastation. Their house was submerged, dogs drowned. Somehow, they were evacuated in time, save by a timely alert. A colonel & his wife could not be saved. We knew the couple and the news came as a shock. Army camp was badly affected. One of my friend’s son has not yet been traced; he was in one of Chennai’s hostels. We have an intuition they are going to receive only his body. Things are worst for the victims and there are so many. I’m feeling so sad. I’ll be back in a day or two.

Thank you so much for the concern. It reminded me I haven’t talked to my fellow bloggers for more than 10 days. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts. It means a lot, I swear.

Regards, Rashmi.”

soul n spirit

On 2nd of Dec. India woke up to watch dejected,  traumatized, hopeless faces of innocent people of Chennai. 

Everything was absolutely fine till 30th Nov. I posted my last post on WordPress and went to school in the morning, came back, felt happy to see the pictures of the couple, both senior army officers and dear friends, enjoying in Mumbai. They were to leave Chennai and now posted to Mumbai. All their stuff was packed and they had gone to Mumbai to do initial formalities before shifting finally.

God had different plans for them. On the very first day of Dec. Chennai recorded 374mm rainfall and it was supposed to continue for the week, declared weather forecast.

The scene was changed by the evening and Chennai was set to face its worst floods in 100 years.

As  I watched the mind numbing pictures on TV and scary scale of disaster…

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From Garry:

Every year, the town strings lights around the Commons. We first saw this in Boston, two dozen years ago. The idea seems to have caught on all over New England. So at Christmas, wherever you find a town Commons, you’ll find lights strung on all the trees.


From Uxbridge, to Boston, to Worcester, to all villages great and small around New England, see the pretty lights.


It’s a New England thing. Because you won’t find Commons in other parts of the country. I’m sure they decorate … but they do their thing. We do ours.


Marilyn and I went shooting yesterday evening. It was warm as springtime and clear as crystal. A good night for romantic lighting in the middle of our little town.


From Marilyn:

I used two different cameras – the Pentax Q S-1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and got quite different results. The pictures taken with the big Panasonic came out better, as regards color and contrast, though sharpness (or lack thereof) was about the same for both cameras. 

Garry used his Pentax Q 7 and his pictures came out rather better than the pictures I took with my Q S-1 … so maybe it was the photographer, not the equipment.


In either case, I suspect tripods would have dealt with all the problems — for both cameras. I have a tripod. I need to actually use it.


“Oh shut up. Can’t you kids ever stop squabbling back there? I’m going to put both of you on a time out, I swear I am.”


“Loretta, I am going to touch you and then you will have reason to cry. Joey, leave your sister alone.”


Voice of boy child with strong adenoidal whine: “But MOOOOOOM, she’s taking up the whole back seat and I can’t help touching her. And why can’t I touch her? She touches me all the time.”

“She does what??”

“I do not”

“Do too.”

“DO NOT!@!”

{Long pause.}

In a whisper: “Do too.”

“Do not.”


A booming baritone from the front seat, the Voice of Dad, speaks: “One more word out of either of you and I will stop this car and you will both be crying and you’ll have a damned good reason.”


“Do not.”

“Do too.”

{Pause, pause, pause}

The sound of vomiting fills the car along with a sickening and pungent odor.

“Ew. Yuk. MOM he barfed all over me! Make him clean it up.”



This show has been brought to you by Happy Family, the breakfast cereal that’s got it all … sugar, food dye, trans-fat, and gluten.

And no, we are not there yet.