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A Story to Read and Write!

19 Jun

Sometimes you need to bribe children for their own sake, yes bribe – and yes for their good.

I knew a 7-year-old who had to be coaxed for a doctor’s check up and some tests. Now, she had extremely articulate parents who tried to put sense in her; but this kid surprised them. At the end of the entire ordeal she made a deal – “Buy me a book on the way back and I will go to the doctor.” A seven-year old kid – not asking for a visit to the circus or chocolates or a new toy – but A Book, and a big, fat book she ended up selecting!

No prices for guessing – this was Me.

And till date I read – whenever and wherever possible, a minute waiting for someone, quick five pages before starting the day’s work at office, the loo, cheating through a conference call, on my lap-under the laptop in a meeting where I am sure nobody would notice me – I have prayed for people to turn up late while waiting at a cafe, I have deliberately missed getting down at my metro station so that I can finish the chapter, I have read with a torch in the blanket so that my parents don’t find out I am awake and bless the mobile and e-books during parties and sociadal (social -suicidal: one and the same! ) functions.

But  honestly I am not an avid reader –  I am gazillions of books behind being an avid reader and it pains – it pains right there where it hurts the most that however hard I try, I would eventually miss out on so many stories.

“Stories” – Precisely the reason behind that little kid to yearn for a book ! Stories – the reason for all those antics, just to pop my head into some pages!

Now this uncanny passion for stories governs my life to the extent of crazy!

My maid comes wearing new bangles – and I hear the clink of a story; a girl staring into space in the bus and I see a story; My friend returns from a trip and I want to hear the story; The aunty at the yoga-centre always seems so confused and I wonder what’s the story; A friend does not believe in love and I seek the story –  A birthmark, a marriage, broken glasses, love for a brand, beaches, a subtle hello, high-squeaked voices, faces at the doctors’ clinic, drug addicts caught, my neighbour’s shopping behaviour, crossed fingers and flying balloons, broken promises and soul-ripping eyes, lazy walks, an addictive smile, choice of a book, rash driving or a hug – behind everything, everywhere I sense a story: Feelings, Reasons, Incidents behind, Dreams ahead – waiting to be read, waiting to be told – stories in every molecule the universe holds!

Stories – the reason my every What follows a Why, details I seek behind every action and word – even a sigh!
Stories – the force behind Marketing – my career choice
Stories – that help me figure out things – virtue or vice!

Ha!

Quoting Kristin Martz: “We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too.”

“Stories” is why I attempt to Write !!

 

The Runway to Best Friends’ Wedding

6 May

No, the title (the apostrophe in the title) is not a grammatical mistake. Like any other female, I have few best friends and anyone would be an idiot to argue with me that “best” implies only “one”. Sorry dear, you are just going to waste your time.

Now that I have satiated the grammar Nazi in me by excusing myself for the “logical mistake”, back to the point.

Weddings are always a happy affair – okay, pardon the bride and groom who are being buried. So, by and large – Weddings are always a happy affair. But a best friend’s wedding is another thing.

I happen to know very few events that can arouse a tornado of emotions like your best friend getting hitched.

Yes, yes … you always encouraged him/ her to extend bachelorhood till his/ her last breath, but the instant you get the “good news”, a feeling of relief engulfs the entire being – you were shit worried that he/ she settles down. Relief-Happiness to the extent of being Aggressive-Umpteen phone calls to other friends-Excitement-Jumping with Joy-Worrying about all the sweets and junk reflecting on the weighing scale-Discussions-Screening the lucky girl/ guy for the millionth time-More calls-wondering about what to wear at the wedding-okay, some more calls. And finally, when you know there is not a single soul left who wants to talk on this topic, you find yourself smiling and beaming for no reason.

Few days pass and nostalgia strikes: From strangers to friends to best friends: Hours spent in knowing one another, sailing together through ups and downs of life, Fighting like cats and dogs and then forgetting all about it over an ice-cream, discovering and sharing emotions that you never know existed, bike rides and bus rides and auto rides – well, just being together wherever, umpteen trips, talking till the wee hours of morning, blackmailing with all the secrets, being the one-man army when everyone goes against, discussing crushes/ boyfriends/ girlfriends, talking shit because you know the other person would never say -“You told so…”, the hugs and smiles and stolen glances, the care and pure love … the list is endless.

And then calamity strikes – envy that you cannot talk and meet as you wish and of course, keep calling till the phone is picked at 2.39 am in the morning because you had to share some bullshit.

It doesn’t last long when you suddenly start worrying and hoping that his/ her fiance is the right one ….

And so it continues … till the day you see them getting tied together for life. And warmth, bliss and euphoria sweeps over.

Amen – For the past, present and future of our lives and friendship…

Accidentally, in love forever

3 May

Well, a liaison of merely two to three hours daily for the last five days – and I am in love; Deep and Profound – doing activities I never imagined, feeling an unprecedented peace of mind every afternoon – hot and sultry weather dutifully ignored.

A love, that is forever!

It is Yoga this time – circumstantially thrown into the web, I started off on a neutral note and it is not even a week, I revel in the joy of having found something I know I would love and hold on to for lifetime.

(Okay, I am all prepared for the truck load of messages saying: “I asked you to start it earlier”, “I had said so, na..”, etc. )

Holding on to a sling with the leg , head upside down – hold for ten minutes! One leg over the other at 120 degrees – come on, it is only 5 counts, supporting the kilos of weight on one leg and an elbow – oh! just a minute.
All of it is a  feat for me – Dear Yoga practitioners, please pardon my pride – but people who share my plight of unspeakable extra fat and flab with laziness thrown in, will understand.

So why all this blabber?
This sudden love story has enlightened me in the ways of the world in many more ways
(Apart from “Bas, ab main bhi patli hoke dikhaunngi…  “ Shhhhh.. that’s a secret!)

1) Lesson No. 1 – We need to have a passion in life (which does not depend on another living soul) that takes us away from the loose ends of daily living and invites us for a dive into an inner peace.
Of course, not to mention – it helps in hanging on to the last string of sanity when nothing else in life is working out.

Well, not for long but the couple of hours take me away from all worries and I would love to discover more such activities. It also feeds the need to find my personal space amidst the societal demands.

It can be Painting or TRX or Cooking or Recycling for you!

2) The cause and cure behind the worst weakness of all – Procrastination

This entire feeling of liking an activity as much to commit to it for life has given me an insight into procrastination – I have started to believe we dither tasks when we do not really enjoy an activity to the core. If we really love something, we will feel motivated and find time for it.

Hence, if you are sick of lying around with the list of to-dos – please keep trying something or other, till you discover what you love enough to stop lazing around.

3) Bottom Line – Human Beings are meant to move around and toil hard. Sitting away to glory, thanks to all the technological progress, is just going to make the after-years difficult
(This one is especially for the professionals)

We really do not know what we can do, till we try. It is important to keep believing, looking ahead and trying new things (well, this holds true for people too) because you never know what (or, who) is waiting around the corner to fill your life with some passion and become a confidante forever.

After all, life is meant to be full of passionate experiences: well lived and not merely existed!

🙂

P.S: Do post in your comments, if there is anything you have discovered to be as fulfilling or if you have gone through the same emotions on finding a new love.

The Tug of War !

1 Apr

After more than 5 years of blissful independence and exploring life and self, being at home is being in another world you knew existed but you thought you would never completely immerse into. Well, life takes you through unplanned routes once in a while – I think I can put together a chronicle on this change: the virtues and vices, the hiccups and benefits, the laughter and the sadness…

Before I start ranting, this is one of the few non-fictional posts – it is real contemplation and well, on an honest note – it feels extremely difficult to put down your very personal self in public space. For some unknown reason, I know I have to.

The last three months have seen me staying under the loving, caring gaze of my parents – this carefreeness begets self-exploration of a different kind – the kind I only read/ heard and ignored – hearing to yourself when alone and accepting it.

So, one of the biggest realizations has been the importance of people in my life – the kind you can talk to about nothing and everything and the biggest learning has been how to maintain and develop relationships.

Well, I have been blessed with absolutely wonderful people in my life, and I always appreciated that.

At the same time, I used to think I am this independent, liberated woman who can spend quality time all by herself but it all went into dumps in the past three months. I realized that I am madly and whole-heartedly dependent on my family and friends to the extent of being possessive, demanding, over-expecting and all other things people term as “insecure”. Talking to them, staying updated about their lives, craving for their time, waiting for the phone to beep – “Oh! God, please even a one-word message will do!” – became utmost important in these 3 months. Unnerving this realisation is – absolutely! Is it really me? Am I crazy? Was it me who earlier used to snigger at such behavior?
And being non-confrontational by nature just added to it.

Well, well – as many wise men have advised, accept the truth.

So, I accepted that I am not a happy loner – I need people around and then, it started feeling good. Now the difficult part.

Home alone, no deadlines, no real work, the ‘bed-food-books-movie’ routine, hence a lot of free time to wonder (yes, crave to wander too), remember, day-dream, quite some topics floating in the mind to talk and discuss and a lot of time in silence craving to be shared.

The flip-side: everyone except your parents are still living by their previous schedules and you have more time than they have. The previous perfect equation of time has turned into inequality. All it led to was self-doubt and worse still, doubt in relationships.

But then, I quickly got over it and learnt the ultimate mantra on how to maintain my relationships. When it comes to people you love, “you need to be extremely patient with them, and equally impatient with yourself.”

What? How? Why?

Yes, I am this super believer in love – every damn kind of love. And so, when it comes to your close ones, you need to be so impatient with yourself that you pursue perfection in as little time as possible with a passion little known – perfection as a friend, as a sibling, as a child, as a lover, etc., perfection such that you leave little chance of complaints, perfection that is so empowering that you know you have given the best, perfection such that the time you spend together with them is bliss of a different level – laughter and fun and memories. You become perfect in being secure, in being able to appeal to their best nature, in perfectly loving your own self to give them your best. Given that, I do believe in a little room for fights (which exist because you are “yourself”) as a part of this utopia.

And when it comes to the other person, you have to be patient enough to give some space, to let them realize their true feelings for you, to let them explore life beyond you so that they can decide for themselves, to allow them the time to unfold and see your depth of feelings for them, to let them just be and to accept them as they change when life progresses. Cliche as it may be – it is not in the amount of hours spent together but in the depth of feelings and immovable trust that relationships foster.

And of course, the best part is that now I am turning into a truly happy loner doing other things that I love, knowing deep down that I love my people and they are with me even when silent.

 

P.S: On a lighter note – Is this permanent, considering how constantly I change?

The God in ‘small things’

23 Mar

No, this is not remotely connected to Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things”, and my lines won’t propagate the role of smaller things in yet another rant on success vs. happiness.

Straight to the point. As I type these words, I wonder aloud about how sharing, discussing and communicating the “small things” define our relationships.

My observations and introspections have made me believe that the closer one gets to people, the closer one tends to share the smaller things in life. Take your family, your best friends, your partner, your lover – you would have moved on from discussing about the Gods and Demigods in life – the dreams, the insecurities, the past, the big moments to the smaller daily matters – the dog, the joke, daily menu, the boss, the same irritating neighbor, the same daily work day, the television serial, the ride back home, et. al. You talk daily about the same old things, you also want to hear about the same old things ever single day. And is it boring? – No! They feel like a tune, a melody that is a part of you, the fuel that energizes your everyday life and keeps you calm because you know everything is all right with your loved one, the world is still the same, somewhere you are still “you” and most importantly, there is someone out there you do not have to think about entertaining before speaking to – they revel in your sweet nothings.

When I delve deeper, these are not the petty things alone – but the smaller things tend to lead to the smaller feelings and with that, there is only space for so much more comfort in your relationships day by day.

Think about how your best friend just knew how you must have felt even when you narrated the job interview hours later, how you can just communicate your slightest irritation by snapping at your mother, your lover can just identify the silence of your soul disguised in the high-pitched laughter … beautiful realizations that started by sharing the “smaller things” in life.

Aren’t there times when after closing the call – you wonder how far we have come? I also discussed the less “haldi” in the food today and did I really end up describing the stink of the garbage …

Well, well, well … the God in the smaller things … the immutable, irrepressible love that grows with time, that grows with sharing, that grows with communicating the small things … that permeates each and every moment of our daily existence.

Ironically, how vulnerable we get – how we seek the presence of the special someones’ every moment of the day. And the mayhem it creates when someone leaves or decides to leave, bringing with it a daily struggle to keep missing him/ her every moment of the day –

But then, the feeling of love that sharing your daily life with someone brings – isn’t it worth taking the risk?

P.S: Another thought: From the other side of the table – before leaving someone or giving up on someone by submitting to impatience, ego, misunderstandings, negativity and pride, always remember you can make or break people who love you. Spare a thought for the smaller, deeper things and feelings you shared.

 

Savour the Flavour !

15 Feb

Each person in our life is a distinct emotion
– each one as special as the other. Enjoy them to the tiniest possible iota.”
[Bhawana  :P]

– A realization that has made my life so blessed and beautiful!

Each individual is like a blend of different flavors, hues and emotions – mixed, ground and heated in varied quantities to form a completely unique blend! Yin and Yang, Good and Bad, Positive and Negative, Dark and Light … all sides equally essential and attractive.
These are not just idealistic or romantic lines but when you really think, it is very near the truth (if not whole truth). 

Getting to understand and imbibe this perspective has made me so much happier!

1) You know you will never get another same fellow again and you want to know him/ her more sans any judgment and comparison. It just makes conversations so interesting and relationships so pure! It is just you and the other person.

2) You are always on the lookout of identifying that distinct emotion and ultimately there is one or other part of you that identifies with another fellow.
Precisely the reason why I have quite some close friends – there are different topics, ideologies, characteristics that I can identify and share with each of them. And I cannot define the fullness one feels, when you can share almost every aspect of your life with one or other.

3) You are always open to people, open to listening, open to yet more love – It is like – “Okay, so the last emotion did not go down well with you … Well, do not worry – The next one, for sure, just won’t be the same. Open your heart up, silly.”

4) It just makes life so much more exciting and adventurous and vibrant. After all, the biggest cliché of all times: Man is a social animal 😛

5) We learn new things from each individual and add so many new dimensions to our lives!

And to further add to it, one fact extremely hard (yet, essential) to gulp down is that we just cannot force love or make anyone stay when they do not wish to – even if we do, they would be with us not in essence, but just in person. And this further enhances each relationship.

1) You do not know if one will stay forever so you want to make as many memories as possible. And when it comes between your ego and his/ her ego – it appears as a choice between your ego and happy memories. You are, of course, wise enough to choose what will make you happier!

2) Many of us have experienced this at one point of time:  We change for people, do everything another wants (whether we ourselves are convinced or not) just so that the other person stays and still, in the end we lose – not just the other person but ourselves! In hindsight, losing oneself and the time spent in mayhem seems to be the greater disaster.

Realizing that one will stay only if he/ she wishes to, just makes us so much more honest and we can just be. Happy in the glory that I will not change myself if my heart is not convinced.

3) You are just so much more secure of yourself, a little less scared of losing yourself even while expressing what you feel.

People argue what’s the point in opening yourself to others if there are chances of losing, of getting hurt – Well, I believe in clichés:

– Don’t we want to accumulate all the best things in life? Staying mediocre for the fear of getting hurt, which may not even be the case ! Silly, ain’t it?

– The more we interact with others, the more we introspect, the more we know ourselves.

– Pure joy of being with people. And life is meant to be joyous!

So ‘Savour the Flavour’ while you can and yes, while being yourself do your best to ensure that you retain every ‘distinct emotion’ in your life. But if they walk out – you know you did your best and you have tons more to know out there and you better get going quickly.

P.S: It may seem like an odd post , but the three reasons that prompted me to write these musings: 

1) It was Valentines’ Day and I saw a fair amount of disguised hate messages on Social Media among the mushy ones – indirect messages in the hope to maybe communicate one’s rage/ feelings to another person they are no longer talking to or to let people know they were in the wrong and are not needed anymore or perhaps just to proclaim out loud and make themselves feel better about not having few people in their lives anymore.
Very human and honest, I feel. But we can do better.

2) Two of my closest friends love pulling my leg over one topic (as often as they can, well sometimes – mixed with sarcasm too):
“Every other person is your close friend.” -> “Your phone was busy. Oh! You must be talking to a ‘very close friend’ …” -> “So, what is your no. of close friends, now?” etc. etc.

3) Most people I know find it hard to believe that there exists even a single soul who does not want people who left or lost over years  to be back in their lives. But there are such people – and I know some of them.

Badtameez Dil !

14 Feb

A short auto ride from home to office … less than 2 km … You pay the auto driver – rush into the office building – screaming high-spirited Good Mornings and Hellos across the room, all buckled up to take the day by storm and woo the toughest of the clients with your skills  …

Switch on the computer – type in the password – reach out for your bag –  “Damn! Shit! How can it be?” – you squeal.

You cannot locate your mobile phone – An instant – and each of those positive emotions change into PANIC! … You frantically search your bag, pockets, dial the number again and again – switched off – mentally rehearse your journey from leaving home to reaching office the millionth time to ensure that you were carrying the phone in the auto. You gather a crowd of people with your drama – 

And by now panic compounds into DISTRESS !!

I am sure you can relate to that feeling – as if the clock has stopped ticking, you feel handicapped and lost and think how are you ever going to make it through the next few days and more !!

To my utter dismay, I am great at losing things and have gone through the above scene quite a few times!!

And the most humorous episode (in hindsight, of course) was when I actually could not hold back my tears while in office – that was the sort of attachment I held to the little gizmo! 

My ‘oh! so emotional’ excuse was : “It held my memories – precious photographs, messages from loved ones, blah, bah, blah.”
And I am sure, this is the case with a lot of people today.

And still more humorous part is that ironically, I do not even remember those photographs or messages today 🙂

On the other hand, I have vivid memories of the best moments of my life – to the extent that as and when I want, I can relive them as if they are happening right in front of me, with me – I can sometimes, in my fantasies, travel back in time even to when I was five or six !! 

Rolling in the rain, Papa patting away to sleep, the crazy photo-shoot with friends, the compliments, that special message, the romance with nature (with the chirping birds intact), seeing your sister as a bride, mummy’s special smile reserved for you, look and feel of love in those eyes, the first book, the best jalebis .. well, the list has no end.

Ah! And how I felt I lost a chunk of my heart when I lost that phone

This tiny realization reaffirms my belief that it is not in the overt where life and love lies – Real people, Real experiences,Real stories, Real talks and Real emotions – those make home in our hearts forever – doors of memories ready to be knocked, whether we are with others or when solitary so that we can relive the times and those words again in our minds, through our imagination – our inner lenses! The moments that take us into haven of day-dreams!

And those are real memories that transcend time – captured forever in our sub-conscious, not the ones captured in a gadget.

Jee, Dil toh badtameez hai – Bina samjhe boojhe – kaheen bhi kuchh pal ke liye cheezon se dil laga leta hai !

🙂

So, at the end of the each day, go pull yourself away from the demons of daily ordeal you may have faced and make sure you gather moments to be treasured your whole life. Of course, do not forget to gift others some memories too … !

 

P.S: It is just a co-incidence that it’s the day for celebrating love (pun absolutely intended)

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