A Gift

Take It From Me     What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone that you failed to take yourself?

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
Maya Angelou

Claudia concentrates to finish the last paragraph of her paper on Arthritis when she hears her mother.

‘ You did not eat anything in the morning and now it is almost six in the evening so come eat something.’

Claudia lifts her eyes, stretches both her hands and replies,’Yes mom. I will be there in five minutes.’

Claudia walks into the kitchen. Her mother has arranged all the delicious foods nicely on the kitchen counter. But the deep, mysterious aroma of the chocolate muffin mingled with caramel, topped with pistachio and pecan from the big container in one corner of the counter is hard to resist. Claudia walks closer, slowly removes the lid from the white glass container and takes not one but three muffins on a small white plate trimmed with dark blue vines. Her mother steps into the kitchen and glances at the plate.

‘ You should eat some real food not the sweets and too much sweet is not good for your health.’

Claudia smiles, nods her head, tries to swallow a big piece of the muffin and replies,’Yes I know. But I remember reading in one magazine that life is nothing without the sweets and it makes one stress-free.’

‘Sure’, said her mother and takes away the plate from Claudia’s hand.

Claudia celebrates her happiness, her frustrations, stress everything with the delicious taste of  sweets; cookie, muffin or any Indian sweets. At the same time she goes to extreme in her exercise routine.

One Friday evening, after the kickboxing class, Claudia notices a slight change in her joints; knee, shoulders and even the fingers. She is tired, her whole body aches. Claudia sits on the dining chair, tilts her head onto her clasped hands and thinks deeply. Her dog lays there close to the chair with her face resting on her front paws.The re- occurrence of  pain and stiffness in the joints make Claudia think on her research on Arthritis and its relation with sweets. Her carefully tended eyebrows draw together. She should have listened to her mother! Claudia pushes back her chair and gets to her feet. She is determined to change her food habit. The dog lifts her head and sighs. She is exquisitely sensitive and she can feel Claudia’s pain.

Today is another Friday; an exciting day. Claudia returns from her body combat class in the evening and continues with more yoga stretches at home.  Meditation has taken over the role to balance the stress of life. Fresh fruits, vegetables, spices as ginger and turmeric have started to make big wave in her kitchen. Claudia sits on the orange mesh office chair in the study with a hot cup of green tea in one hand and in the other hand re-reads and makes a few corrections on the  paper on Arthritis that she is going to  present in the community hall.