Little something for the late bloomers.

Have a new year’s resolution ? well,I don’t have one.

If you are someone like me who waived at New Year without a resolution, it’s absolutely fine. No need for that guilt trip. What matters most is living with awareness and attention to daily life events .Invest your time and emotions in anything that you feel happy without a reason and play it by the ear.

Happy 2019.Photo Courtesy: Pexels

My reflections lead me to the awareness that there is a lot of happiness attached when you do things at your own pace even if that means a snail’s pace, even if that means taking the judgments of the whole world on you. Your trail is worth a million attempts and your emotions matters just because it matters to you irrespective of what the world thinks of it.

We have these most-loved resolutions like  lose weight, gain weight, reduce temper tantrums, change the job, learn to cook, hit the gym, go paragliding ,take life lightly, earn more money, diversify assets, call family and friends, a long list of forgotten  resolutions that chase us towards the last day of december leaving us feeling guilty of not attempting it.

As a professional, I am used to doing SWOT analysis of every situation, making SMART goals and converting it to milestones of scorecards. When I ponder over my goal setting style and discussed with the generation of 30- 40 somethings most of us felt that we were in active pursuits of unhappiness, chasing short term goals.

One day you find a dog relentlessly chasing you and to escape from that dog, you start climbing a tree and tremble upon success by reaching the top of the tree. Your only intent was to get away from a barking dog. Most of our resolutions and subsequent achievements are unfortunately driven by panic.

If you still can’t feel that soul-filling contentment even after achieving a resolution, does it mean that you never wanted it to begin with?

A rush hour life is a totally mal nourished life. Living in awareness to your innermost potentials and investing your attention in that direction can be a nice way for the 40 somethings to get rid of lifestyle diseases that may get life threatening; reducing the quality of life of our later years. Remember the metaphor of the slow and steady tortoise that wins the race against the fast and furious rabbit. In real life too tortoise wins by living for more than 100 years and the rabbit a max 7 years. Let’s live with awareness and in abundance without constantly panicking over what our peers are doing.

Image Courtesy: JAMES STEIDL/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

I want to give myself some lazy hours over a simmering cup of tea from the plantations feeling the mist and the sight of its endless green cover pondering over the second innings of life and the worthiness of its pursuits.

Second Innings, in my outlook, is a moment in life where you allow yourself to be second or third or fourth and even don’t mind being the last guy in the queue without making a fuss about it. You gladly give way to others. Generally, this phase does not bless us in our 20’s and 30’s and for some people even at a ripe old age of 90’s. This beautiful phase or mindset can hit you at any stage in life and generally when you reach 40 something or 50 something years. Your heart may open up to this awareness during life events when you hit the rock bottom of life where you lose everything you hold dear and survive with the strength of the small little voice in you that doesn’t give up. It doesn’t mean that you need to go through traumatic life events for that second innings moment. It can also emerge when you are at your current best, being aware of your inner self, aware of the memories stored in the cells, paying attention to the present moment and non -reactive when things do not happen as per your business plans or bucket lists.

Fresh as a flower blossom

Let’s breathe deep and bring in a lot of freshness and reflections in our perspectives.

Let’s bring in 2019.

Padmanabhapuram Palace, a Monumental symphony in woods.

A Travelogue

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram Palace, an outstanding 16th Century wooden palace is a time warped monumental marvel of visual poetry engraved on woods that resonates royalty’s footprint of a total recall of more than 500 years of survival story buried in the silence of the stones.

From the famed Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple which is located at the heart of the city capital of Kerala to Padmanabhapuram Palace is just 50-52 kms.

Driving route: Thiruvananthapuram > Neyyattinkara > cross border to Tamil Nadu at Amaravila > Thackeray > turn left > Padmanabhapuram palace.

Palace Timings: 9.00 AM to 3.00 PM all days, except Mondays and National Holidays.

An old granite fortress 4 kms long is visible from the bumpy village road with paddy fields on both sides with Rocky Mountains at the horizon. That’s your destination, a trance down the bygone days of Maharajas of Travancore.

Pay an entry fee of Rs 35/- you are inside this iconic palace built as per traditional vastu architecture of kerala with natural ventilation. Though without any fans and very little artifacts, there is a history of simplicity over opulence that’s felt in the air in the 6.5 acre spread of the Padmanabhapuram Palace complex within a fort of 185 acres located at the foot hills of Veli hills, Western Ghats.

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Outer courtyard of  Palace.

poomukham

Poomukham: The entrance of Padmanabhapuram palace is termed as Poomukham. Poomukhan leads to the antique door of palace. This is the place where the guests of the royal family are welcomed inside.

wooden ceiling

What greets your eyes inside the poomukham is a wooden ceiling with intricate carvings of unique craftsmanship.

hanging lamp

Thooku vilakku or Hanging Lamp: The hanging brass lamp with a king on horse-back is an ethereal attraction. What’s unique about the lamp is, it will come to rest facing the east even if we turn it in any other direction.

mantrasala

Mantrasala: One needs to climb up from Poomukham though a wooden ladder to reach Mantrasala or King’s Council chamber . This is the place where king conducted all important meetings with the top council members. The way in which natural lights enter the room is quite exquisite. The floor made out of burnt coconut shells, egg white, locally available mud, cow dung, leaves and flowers still glaze to glory.

ootupura

After Mantrasala there is a passage, which leads to the Oottupura or Dining Hall where over 2000 people were served meals abundantly on a daily basis from the royal treasury. The air still carries the smell of pickles from the huge Chinese jars of yester years.

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Ambari Mukhappu: Picturesque view from the spot built for King to view chariot races.

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Thai Kottaram: Thai Kottaram is the oldest of the buildings here. It houses the “Kannithoonu” which is a single pillar with the most beautiful carvings made of jack-fruit wood located at the most auspicious place of the palace supporting the ceiling.

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Palace Pond: You can see a flight of steps leading to the royal bathing pond. This is the spot where the Maharaja in his times, took his ritual bath before the daily prayers and worship.

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Thekee Kottaram:  Today this southern palace is transformed to historical heritage Museum, exhibiting various collections of old weapons, paintings, sculptures and antique households.

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Navaratri Mandapam:  This place built on solid rock is the only place made of stones and is a reputed hall of cultural extravaganzas.

 ”Ali veni yendu cheyvu hantha jnan ini manani

Nalinamizhi Sri Padmanabhan iha vanneelallo’’

– (Hey, bee-tressed nymph, Alas, what can I do now?

The lotus eyed Shree Padmanabhan has not come back yet?)

The subtle swaying movements of the mohiniyattam dancer   articulating the anticipation and longing of not seeing her beloved is a well-known royal composition by Maharaja Swathi Thirunaal  of Travancore Royal family .He has to his credit over 400 classical compositions in both Carnatic and Hindustani tradition.

The majority of the maharajas of padmanabhapuram palace were revered and loved by the commoners. Adoration of Lord Padmanabha pervades everything the royal family does and they ruled their kingdom under the custodianship of the deity.

Sometimes it is very difficult to separate the threads of history from the vast fabric of legends woven over decades. Still it is an exhilarating feeling to walk in the footsteps of an era lived by our ancestors. To step back in time just for a few hours to the distinguished destiny and the royal rituals of the palace is a personally rewarding experience and it’s a total recall of history buried in the silence of the wooden palace.