Skip to main content

Why I started Petals! blog


Six years ago, I began to blog on ‘Petals’ with no idea about what blogging was all about. My only reason for blogging was to document the little milestones, the highs and the lows of an ordinary woman’s life, in a way that perhaps decades later, my son would be able to read and understand about the person that his mother was and struggled to be.
My son’s journey into my heart would probably tell him more about who his mother was as a person and as a spiritual seeker than as a mother – which is truthfully a very miniscule part of me.
At some point of time, my writings would also convey to him how deeply his mother cared and loved him even when she had to leave him when he was just three months old to get back to work.
It may tell him about a mother’s inner conflicts, her core beliefs and her little joys in ways that he may not have known about her directly as her son. This is the reason I began to blog – to share my world with him, to leave a trace of myself for my son and his children and their children to experience in a way that I had not experienced with my grandparents.
But the whole experience that blogging brought me completely transformed my little world. I found bloggers who enjoyed reading the scraps that I wrote for myself. Across the world, I received interesting responses to what I wrote from people who liked reading my blogposts. The maximum traffic that I get on my blog comes from the US, the UK, India, Australia and the UAE. That itself is interesting to me because I never write with an expectation of getting an international audience. Most of the time I write for my son.  
Among the blogposts that I have written, the one that got me tremendous appreciation was the one on the Ramayana and the Gayatri mantra. People from across the world wrote to me saying that they had never been interested in reading the Ramayana but after reading my post, they want to do so with a different perspective. The same thing about Gayatri mantra.
This year, I was deeply touched when three very different people e-mailed to me to convey why they liked reading Petals! No one had emailed me before to let me know this so it really meant a lot to me. Also, I did not personally know them too closely.
I read each of their e-mails over and over again because it touched me deeply that these strangers who are not a part of my life have somehow connected to the real me.
And when I go through some really bad days like everyone else, I read these three e-mails because they bring me a sliver of hope and joy. Everytime I read them, tears flow because each word, so warmly etched, fills me with a happiness that I cannot begin to describe. Like a child, I read each of these emails like a gift that is waiting to be unwrapped. And for the first time, I want to share it here with you because now, you are the one I am writing for on this blog called Petals!

First email reads like this:
Hello, 

Hope all well at your end. I was reading through your blog on petalsfromtheheart.. I really liked it and ended up reading most of your posts.. Great thought and Keep rocking.. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts through posts especially on prayer, tradition and family values. 
Best,
S.


Second email:
Hi Swapna,

I crashed into your blog while googling for Sai Baba's words on the Gayatri
Mantra, for a Muslim colleague who works on the same Production Platform as
me in Offshore Qatar.

Your posts reads like poetry. Fluid like water over pebbles in a mountain
stream.

Thought of dropping a word to say I liked the style & pls keep the stream
flowing.

There might be many petals among the flowers in the flowerbed of your heart, but hardly any time to look at them. I guess Malayalees have difficulty expressing appreciation to one among their own. Maybe that could be one of the reasons, few bother to appreciate your work.

The content in your blog is definitely one among the best, especially the fluidity and the way you connect the sentences like a string & make an offering of a garland with your petals. I like the fact some of them are as short & simple as those subjects deserve to be (unless you are researching on it). A balance in the writing is a welcome relief, especially coming from a woman.

The creativity in your words do not reflect in the layout & design of the blog. A few images and color thrown in can make it a pleasure to visit more often. Even for you. 

We can't fathom, the number of blog-like posts people make & share on a daily basis with apps like these. Pls add photos to posts Swapna. Lets accept it we're all visual to some degree.

Kind regards,
A.

Third e-mail: 

Hi Swapna,

I’ve bookmarked your blog because I really like the Malayalam movie reviews on your blog. Keep writing.

Regards,
V.

Thank you friends for writing in to me and giving me a real purpose to keep writing the way I do. 

Whatever said and done, a good word brightens up everyone’s day. Who are the people who have brightened your life with good words? 

Comments

Paresh Palicha said…
Congrats! Keep more posts coming. :)
Chatty Wren said…
Discovered your blog recently and loved the post on Gayatri mantra. taking time to read your posts, like your style. Keep blogging:)
Oldfox004 said…
emails like these are oxygen for a blogger! Keep blogging Swapna and I believe you will discover yourself in the process of communicating with your son:)
Shilpa Garg said…
6 years of blogging! that's super cool! Congratulations!
Yes, even I feel that my blog will help my son know the world of his mom, sometimes down the years!
Wishing you loads of happy times and moments as your share and express on Petals! :)
Anupam karn said…
Small things do matter keeping the spirit alive - Be it, a complementary mail or a valuable comment! Yes, diversity of content does matter - it might drop your pagerank but help get in touch with broad minded people atleast on web.

Liked your Talaash review; thumbs up!
Hey Paresh, it sure feels awesome to get encouragement from you - thanks a ton!
Hi Chatty Wren, I am so happy to know that you loved reading the post on the Gayatri mantra. Do keep visiting, I'd love to have your feedback again.
Hi Vinaya, thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I totally agree with you - emails like these are oxygen for bloggers.

Like a famous writer once said, "A writer's life is full of revisions." We keep learning and discovering ourselves in the process of writing.
Thanks so much for the encouragement,Shilpa. It means a lot to me. :)
Hi Anupam, Thanks for the comment. I had thought about your point on diversity of content. You are right. Initially, I'd tried hard to focus on one or two subjects but I find that it feels as though I am suffocating myself when I do that. The world is full of diversity. There is so much to discover, explore, share and write about. After all, time just flies by.
Reshmi V said…
Hi Swapna, I came across your blog when I was surfing the net. Congratulations!! I also am a mother and only when I had my baby did I realize...how about sharing my everyday experiences with the world? Parenting teaches you so much more, right? I then started Humpty Bumpty Kids: http://www.humptybumptykids.com/. Do visit my blog and share your thoughts.
eTokari said…
Visit www.etokari.com to get best deals when buying old/new books for yourselves or for your loved ones.

we are in process of uploading our inventory, In case you donn't find your book, email on support@etokari.com and we will source it for you!



Happy shopping. Don't forget to send a feedback if you have one!

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he became very enthusiastic about chanting the mantras. Following this, my mother taught him the Maha Mrity…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Sukhamo Devi: Directed by Venu Nagavally

Not just as a fan of Venu Nagavally but as an avid movie watcher, I have to admit that Sukhamo Devi is a path breaking Malayalam movie that influenced many youths in Kerala. A campus romance with a most heart wrenching narrative and happy moments, by his own admission, Director Venu Nagavally called it a true portrayal of his own tragic love story.



The campus movie paved the way for a great shift in the realm of story telling, scripting, music and even the characterization of the protagonists. The way this movie reached out to touch and influence young minds cannot be expressed sufficiently in words. It changed our perceptions about campus romance, friendships, relationships and even the intimacy of our experiences in campus once we have come of the mould and learned to separate ourselves from those whom we once considered central to our happiness in life. 

Remember, the song ''Sukhamo Devi'' and see how it just transports you into another world altogether? Mohanlal, Sh…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]




Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your feet. Your feet will sparkle an…

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

Conversation with a friend: How to deal with the death of a loved one and Three Lessons I learned

The simplest lessons are always the toughest to learn.This December, a classmate passed away and I was totally shocked to hear the news. Another shock came my way. I heard that another classmate's husband had passed away and when I received the news, I felt very deeply for her.
[Image: Pexels.com]
1. Reach Out, Show You Care and Be Honest
For me, my classmate is someone whom I had shared countless jokes and conversations with when we were young. Our conversations and happy moments have never faded though we have become different individuals with completely different journeys in life.  So, yes, I plucked up the courage to call and show that I am with my friend through this moment of grief. The experience of the conversation we had humbled me like a lesson of life and the blessing was that I felt much lighter within. 

2. Honour the need of others to grieve in their way
I believe that the ''body'' alone perishes but not the soul. I don't offer my beliefs  to those who …

Mumbai Police Movie Review: Prithviraj breaks the typical 'hero' mold, challenges sexual stereotyping

Exploring a completely different dimension in his latest film Mumbai Police, Director Rosshan Anddrews delivers a fast-paced, thriller film after his award winning fims such as Udayananu Tharam, Notebook and others.



To flesh out the script written by Boby Sanjay, Rosshan Anddrews ropes in actors such as Prithviraj, Rahman and Jayasurya to portray three police officers: Antony Moses, Farhan and Aryan respectively.
The story begins with a phone call that Antony Moses (starring Prithviraj) makes to Farhan (starring Rahman) saying that he has solved the murder mystery of Aryan (starring Jayasurya). Just as he says this, there is an accident and Antony Moses loses his memory. From then, Farhan's attempt is to take Antony through people and places that are likely to trigger his memory so that they can solve the murder of their close friend and colleague Aryan. A series of events happen, almost hurtling us towards it.
And I am taking the liberty to hand out trophies for the following:
'M…

Childhood is the best part of life

Memories have a funny way of coming back into my head, sometimes when I am about to get ready to go to work or sometimes like a flash from the past. It happens to me all the time - swathes of childhood memories flooding back. This time, as the first touches of winter began to make itself felt in Delhi, I went on a trip to Goa with my son and close friends. From the moment I landed in Goa till I got back, I was on a happy high, like a teenager who's going on a much awaited holiday.  Let me tell you a funny thing. I even went and bought myself a swimming costume to wear for the first time since my teenage years but guess what? The funniest part comes now - I never got to wear it. Maybe the idea was just to feel like a teenager again as I am growing older, not wiser! Hahaha!  [MUST-READ: Mahashivaratri - I'm loving it!]


[Image: Pexels]

The Goa trip was an incredible experience that took me back to where I really came from, where my heart has always been - Blantyre. That's where…

Balanced diet for ladies: Eat according to your body’s age

Experts say that as years roll by, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients decline, so it is even more important to formulate a balanced diet and eat according to one’s age.

The following age-specific information (excluding the details given under ‘Expectant Mothers’) is a summary from an article I read in the popular UK food magazine called Delicious and the article is titled “Eat your age: Wise up to your changing needs.” It is written by Anna Montague and published in  March 2011.
Balanced Diet during Teen Years Iron deficiency is seen as a pre-dominant condition in most teenage girls and this trend is increasing. Teenage girls are not getting enough iron from their diet.

200gm of low fat yoghurt every dayLean meat, fish, pulses and eggsDried fruitsLeafy vegetablesFresh fruitsSay no to sugary drinksHaving a daily sufficient calcium intake is important for girls as it is like having ‘bone in the bank’ for the future.
Balanced Diet in the 20s’ Fortified cerealsHave fresh and dried nutsFrui…