Grandmother’s values live on

Written by Suraj Shah, inspired by the enlightened.

A grandmother is a source of great love, patience and kindness, subtly balancing lightness and strength.

Through her day-to-day presence, she keeps the family together, diffusing minor mundane conflicts and building bonds of support. We often taken it for granted that she will be around forever, but when she leaves, she is certainly missed.

Grandmothers are a source of wisdom and inspiration. Recently I met two young people whose grandmothers have been an inspiration to their new businesses (one sources timeless Indian jewellery and the other prepares luxury Indian chocolates).  At the heart of their businesses is a constant reminder of their heritage, and I expect wrapped within that are a toolbox of values for conducting themselves in amongst the demands of a fast-paced world.

Since a young age, certain values have been passed down by my grandma, which my siblings and I work hard to live up to and improve on, day upon day. These values include:

  • hard work
  • good judgement
  • courage
  • integrity
  • sacrifice
  • support
  • understanding

These are certainly the same values that I see shining through my brother, my parents, my cousins, uncles and aunts. These are perhaps the same values that my business-running friends also hold close to their hearts, the very same values that permeate through our Indian heritage, and the global village.

So I am thankful for the treasury gifted to us by our elders, and yet am constantly reminded that the time is now to continue the work done so well by those before us.

It’s been three years since you passed on, my dear Nanima.  I salute you for the values you diligently worked to blend into our everyday existence.

On this day in remembrance of our grandma, Smitamasi (my aunt) captured the essence of Nanima’s life in this one line: “your smile was made of sunshine”.  That just about sums it up for me.

Making the most of a sunny day

Written by Suraj Shah.

Things change.
Day to day, things change.
Moment to moment, things change.

It’s almost the end of June, but recently the days have been mostly cold and wet.

Today’s an exception. It’s gorgeous. The sun is shining strong, the air is warm, and yet there is a slight cool breeze. Perfect.

Some say that Britain is experiencing a mini heatwave this weekend, and by Tuesday it will be cold and wet again. They say the forecast does not look good.

Perhaps that’s why, rather than hearing so many complaints about the heat, almost everyone is outdoors and making the most of this sunny Sunday:

  • birds are chirping.
  • flies are having a field day in the garden.
  • the occasional butterfly if fluttering by.
  • kids are riding their bikes.
  • neighbours are painting fences and moving lawns.

It seems that everyone is making the most of this sunny day, perhaps because they know it will not last.

Neighbours have washed and hung out their clothes and sheets since the early morning, capitalising on the warmth from the sun to dry their clothes.

Friends on Facebook report loading their cars up with their families and heading to Brighton to enjoy time at the beach, or the local park, or to meet their brothers and sisters who have invited them over for a barbecue.

You just can’t ask for better weather on a Sunday.

But it won’t last – the sun will go, the rains will come, happiness and fun will be replaced with misery and complaints.  It’s what the forecast says, and they never get it wrong, do they?

Even now as I sit here to write at the dining table, with the patio doors wide open to enjoy the bright sun and the warm air blended with the cool breeze, a jet aeroplane thunders through the skies above my head, making it’s way over to the local RAF base.  The peaceful sound of the birds chirping has been rocked by the roar of the jet.

Things change.  Day to day, things change.  Moment to moment, things change.

Knowing this is perhaps the reason we make the most of a sunny day.

(Photo courtesy of kooklanekookla)