My Story: Lucky Me – Shilpee Rathinakumar

 Each of us has, at some point of time in our lives, received life advice from our personal life-coaches – parents, siblings, teachers, mentors, kids, the vegetable vendor or the stranger sitting on the adjacent seat on the flight. Something that moved you, changed you or made a difference to your perspective forever. India Pages brings to you these slices of life, shared by people from all walks of life … Writers, Photographers, Artists, Television Producers, Hands-on mommies, Entrepreneurs and Engineers …. Meet Shilpee Rathinakumar

MyStoryAdvice for me comes in silent ways. It comes through people, nature, signs or intuitive moments. It comes through them, rather from them

Shilpee Rathinakumar 2 I  have always been in luck to receive such unspoken reassurances, which my core believes in. Being an Indigo person, my awareness to my surroundings is quite obvious.So, simple messages float around me as autumn leaves. It maybe books pulling me towards them like magnets, a butterfly fluttering over my shoulder or merely the simple falling of an autumn leaf.They do answer my soul searching queries,leaving me doubtless of their existence.

One such message came to me on an autumn morning, while on my way back by bus after leaving kids to school. I must say I felt rather dreary that day … tired and helpless. Having recently relocated to Melborne for my hubby’s work had its challenges.

I call this next moment an ‘inspiration – A smile through those red lips’.

 Some old ladies climbed the bus. What drew my unblinking attention was this beautiful smile. This ‘lady in red’, a Korean by birth, being in her 80’s climbed with rest of her acquaintances. Though so old at face value, for me she wasn’t. She still helped others and climbed last. A mindful act indeed! What I’ll never forget till I turn 80 and hopefully beyond, is that smile on her red lips. She was dressed up with utmost precision – the red overcoat, the red handbag and of course the lovely shade of red lipstick with an admirable twinkle in her wrinkled eyes.

To me, she became a symbol of Autumn leaving us, but with full of hope and warmth to be alive every moment . That moment was a blissful awakening.

I realised Autumn and Spring go hand in hand.

Leaves though dry at their peak  still with hues of red, golden, brown humbly fall off to allow space for new ones, new beginning after a brief sleep during winter.

So also, becoming old is just to allow my children … the next generation, to have that space to Spring up and take my Autumny space.

Despite not receiving any wisdom teeth I feel I am blessed …. as this childlike ignorance makes me wiser each moment. That smile spoke a thousand words of reassurance to me

“Get up! Keep on going and SMILE.”

So I get up, dress up, go to library and read with my books around. Yes. of course with a smile on my red lips.

What changed in me that day is that I can’t stop smiling to myself, and to whoever with an unblinking smile, stares towards me………

That silver-haired ‘Lady In Red’ is now a part of me forever, virtually….

About Shilpee Rathinakumar

An Interior Designer, a mom of two little kids, a book lover and an artist,  Shilpee is temporarily settled in Melbourne where her hubby’s been posted for work.  Art, aesthetics, nature and Rumi’s Sufi poetry have always touched the sensitive soul in her, and she believes in gathering memories rather than material objects. “Own less, but own the best” is her mantra for life.

About the Author

Suhana Bhatia
Suhana Bhatia
Features Editor