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Archive for the ‘Anecdote’ Category

My Pianist friend – An Anecdote!

It was the last day of my New Zealand holiday. I was in Queenstown and already quite mesmerised by the beauty of the place and the country. Since my flight was in the afternoon, I had booked myself in the TSS Earnslaw Vintage Cruise in the morning, so I can spend some relaxed time and also enjoy sailing on the lake Wakatipu. I checked out of my hotel after breakfast and reached the Steamer Wharf by 9.30am. The boarding had already commenced, so I queued to board.

The vintage steamship is 105 years old and one of the oldest one in the Southern hemisphere. The ship was quite big, and the crowd was mostly kids and families. It was freezing that morning in Queenstown, more so because I was near the lake. After I boarded and found myself a nice window seat in the upper deck, I realised that the kids had started opening the windows and were enjoying the icy wind. I was feeling cold and got some coffee from the onboard café. The cruise started with a classic hoot, the surroundings were breathtaking, snow-clad mountains, the beautiful lake and small houses across the lake. While I was enjoying the view, I was also a bit pricky by the cold and feeling a bit lonely in the crowd =(

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TSS Earnslaw Vintage Cruise, Queenstown, NZ

To my surprise, after the ship sailed, I could hear a beautiful music of somebody playing the piano! Never thought there could be a piano onboard, so I started walking towards the music. There was not only a vintage piano onboard but also an old lady playing the instrument with ease and beauty! She was lost in her own world and had a beautiful smile while she entertained the crowd. I was charmed at once and went and sat near her. She looked at me and smiled and immediately I felt a bond as well as found the companion I was probably seeking! I was lost in her music and forgot about the cold or the icy wind. She played old songs one after the other and after a while took a break when the ship docked at Walter Peak. Most of the people got down in this port making the ship almost empty.

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My Pianist friend

The piano player asked about me and where I had come from, we started talking and I got to know that she had started playing the piano as a teen and as she grew up, she had to give up her love for sustenance. She has been a farmer and her life were all hard work for family. When she retired from farming, she decided to get back to her lost love for playing the piano and here she was, playing the piano onboard, in the oldest cruise of the Southern Hemisphere! She said she will quickly grab a bite before her next session starts.

I kept observing her, she must be in her 90s, old, yet so elegant and graceful in her manners. She walked very slowly holding a stick, the fingers of her hand had bandages, may be due to playing the piano every day, her hands were shaky when she walked or when she made her tea but not when she played the piano, like magic! She sat and looked at the lake and the mountains while having a bite. Wonder what she was thinking, maybe she was thinking that she had a gratified life or maybe she was thinking what she will cook for her grandchildren whom she was meeting that evening for dinner!

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My friend lost in thoughts

She could say if it will snow or not looking at the sky, her favourite season was Summer since as a farmer it was tough for her to work in the fields in the winter months. She told me how March, April and May are the most beautiful months in Queenstown and also how much she enjoys meeting new people every day in the cruise  and playing the piano for them! I could have listened to her all day but soon we reached the marina and it was time for me to say goodbye. She gave me a song book and said I can keep this as a souvenir. I took my pen out and requested her to autograph the song book for me =) She was quite surprised by this request and seemed quite pleased too and smiled at me and then scribbled some words with her quivering, soft and elderly hands. I took the autographed song book and gave her a hug before I said goodbye, she said “The world is very small, we will meet again very soon!”

I disembarked from the cruise, took the song book out and read what she had written, “Best wishes from Elenor, Queenstown, NZ”. My heart melted by her kind words and the beautiful memory Elenor gifted me which will be with me forever. Suddenly there was a gust of icy wind that hit my face but this time I smiled and felt wonderful, life was good. Will miss you Elenor but like you said, we will meet very soon! =)

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The autographed song book

 

 

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My Fitness Mantra

I am quite a lazy person when it comes to regular exercise or workouts. However, one fine afternoon I decide to go for a walk and make my life a little better or at least get over the guilt of being lazy.

I put my headphones on and play my favourite playlist, get into my walking shoes after dusting them a bit and just go out along the walking tracks near my place. Initially I come across quite a busy area with some nice shops around and I feel this urge of going for shopping instead and get a coffee, but I voice myself to focus and keep walking. The beats of my music is slowing giving me a rhythm and I am feeling better already. I cross the hustle of the city and slowly get into a more residential area.

This area is leafy and full of trees which have lost their leaves in Winter. I come across many oldies who smile warmly at me and some moms who are busy attending their kids while they walk holding hands. Reminded me of my mom and how I used to go for walks with her as a kid. I keep walking. I see an old lady trying to cross the road but is scared. I stop by and hold her hand and help her cross the road, she smiles and says “God bless ya child”. I smile back and feel at peace, I keep walking. I can smell the air around, the strange smell of the bark of the leafless trees, the smell of grass, or some seasonal flowers and the smell of winter in this part of the world. I can see a church a bit further up, I am quite exhausted for my low stamina but my lure towards old churches kept me going.

The Sun is about to set, the last rays of the Sun is falling on the Church and making it look so beautiful. There is no one around, but I decide to go inside the Church. I slowly push the Church door and it opens with a squeak. I am scared if am barging in. I see no one inside the Church, no wait, there is someone, an old lady. I walk towards her and then take a seat in one of the front rows and smile at her. I have to appreciate the old piece of architecture and how well it has been maintained over the years. I pray for a while closing my eyes and open my eyes to find that the old lady is decorating the church with some beautiful white lilies. She was picking every flower as if it was her child and then very carefully placing them on the wall.

When I told her that the flowers are beautiful, she said there is a funeral later for which she is setting them up. Does white symbolise death, it certainly symbolises peace, so maybe its for the peace of the departed soul. I was suddenly feeling very small compared to everything around. Death, that’s such a nonpareil truth. All we congregate in this world, all the wealth, possessions, relationships everything is perishable…someday. What will remain in this world will be the bonds we make and the memories in the heart of the near ones. I felt an unanticipated tear in my eye. While immersed in such deep thoughts, I didn’t realise I was being observed by the old lady.

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She looked at me and asked my name. She said she has been coming to this Church since years and to her, birth and death are like best friends who are inseparable. They go hand in hand and make a complete life cycle. How easily she explained it. She walked towards me and gave me a hug and said was great meeting me and that her name was Bevillé. I wanted to say the same but my voice was chocked. I ran on the way back, happy, fit and realising that the true fitness mantra is to be nice to others, smile and just live a healthy life.

Fitness is not only to have a healthy body but also to have a healthy soul. Mental health is as important as physical health. Everyone has their own battles, help others in need and smile when you see a sad face on the street, maybe all they need from you is a Smile 🙂

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My first day at the Swimming lesson – An Anecdote

My first day at the Swimming class. Chilling Melbourne but the nice and warm pool water, the friendly trainer , the sky above and the world under water. Firstly, I was taught to form bubbles by my mouth and nose under water. I was to take a deep breath and go down and form bubbles. It was like music under water..each bubble was like a new rhythm, a new beat, a new tone.

I was then told that our body is like a sea-saw and more we bend our head inside water, the more will our feet float and it was ridiculously true J! After few tries and holding the hands of my trainer and taking deep breaths and forming bubbles..I was sort of floating. It was amazing when for the first time my feet floated up and out of the pool water and I felt the chill of the air on my heels..was beautiful. Was like when you try and try and finally reach the sky and fly! Loved that moment.

Then I tried some postures where I was holding a floating yellow board and trying to get myself together like a baby inside the mother’s womb and then kick the walls with my feet and try and float clinging on the board. It was like taking your first steps and learning to walk. Amazing. Then I tried the same exercise floating on my back. The trainer said our lungs hold much more air than we actually think it does, so at any moment we are still less liable to drown than we think and shouldn’t panic.

Nice tips and the music inside the water kept me going. Every time I was holding my breath, it was as if to strain at the leash and was freeing the deep-rooted accumulated pain within. Every time I went above the water and took a breath, was as if the first breathe have even taken and thanked God each time for keeping me breathing. I valued life more than ever.

The final exercise for floating was the best. I was supposed to stand and put my head inside the water, form bubbles and then slowly cuddle myself up like a balloon and try and float. The first try was funny as I was all tensed and scared. In the third try, I managed it and closed my eyes and was like having visions and my brain was all numb and at peace. Then when I was out of breath, I opened my eyes and saw a big demon in my visions…was weird..was that the demon me? Or who was it…was it the demon inside us or was it some demon who had hurt me?. Weird. I then came out of the water and was coughing as water had got into my lungs and throat. Was so wonderful to cuddle myself up like a balloon as if a self-hug! Woo!

 

I was done for the day and while leaving the water, it felt like leaving a friend and hence promised to see the water again next week and have some more visions and listen to some more music and know myself more closely and love life.