Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Road So Traveled...

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision~ Helen Keller

Look, see, glance, watch, stare, gaze – some gestures we describe that our eyes do. But they do things beyond. They are busy creating a memory for us, sometimes without our knowing. I recently saw the movie 'highway'.I have been reading the reviews which are talking about the subtle messages, cinematography and lot more. But my experience was tad different.I always believe that everyone connects differently with things around him; may those be people or situations or the movies. While people around me were more engrossed with the story line, actors, music, dialogues or the subtle message I was really busy with the Highways. The roads they traveled and my memory played a parallel kaleidoscope for me.

I could connect with every road; as the sand infringed the concrete and the cars pushed them back; the mountains stooping over the road as if held by Hercules for us to pass; the barrage connecting two states with a dam barricades exactly underneath them with gallons of water on one side waiting for the doors to let it through.

I remembered my journeys – it’s been almost two decades now that I am sitting next to a person and have seen so many places together in different cars, with different co-passengers, in different seasons and reasons. I have seen sunrises and sunsets, laid back and saw us racing towards the horizon or at times stooping over the dashboard in a hope to pierce through the dense fog and look beyond. At some deserted roads where the birds were not used to of vehicles and flew so low that we had to slow down so that they could cross over safely or saw monkeys watching us zoom by. A place nearly 4000 m above sea level with mountains as a wall and nothing to stop us from falling down on other, a single road which was intentionally not repaired and was guarded by army or the waterfalls that flowed down the roads.

A place in India where we would not see sand or rocks on the sides but the nature would cover its black soil with white cotton; soft white long strands everywhere - on trees, sideways like a white soft blanket.

The roads which ran parallel to rivers – the flow of water could excite you and scare you to death, depends how you think. The coast lines that made the roads curve so beautifully that we could see sun drowning in the sea.

A few of my friends suggested that they felt the movie was bit depressing but for me it was different – it was a memory I never thought would have existed. Yes, the destination was important but the road we traveled was a part of me.

Eyes are the windows to our souls. They are two way roads; very few want to take the route to reach the other side. At times babies smile when they look in our eyes or sometimes they don’t – I feel they can read us clearly inside out. As we grow, we stop reading or at times feel have forgotten that art, but the truth is, it is there, just that we are so busy looking at everything else but the eyes.

Beyond all this, they do something which we don’t see but might see – dreams. Our mind think but they visualize, they make that idea a vision, a dream which we might change into reality. I dream with my open eyes, when I held my babies in my lap, and after years I now feel that my dreams might shape up the way I visioned them to be. I am still praying and my fingers are still crossed.

A few years back I was associated with an organization headed by a very dynamic lady in her fifties. It so happened that we had organized counselling session with an experienced guest speaker and participants invited in an open forum. The strength turned out good and everyone enjoyed the session.

Later an informal interaction over snacks was also organized. I stood happily with the head of the organization and the guest speaker when we saw one of the attendants pointing towards us and a young lady thanking him and walking towards us with a smile. She came close and wished us, then darted her eyes towards me and addressed me as the head of that organization and making the kind request to consider her for a suitable position. Well, I was bit embarrassed, at least appeared to be but from inside I felt the wings growing and flapping. Controlling my emotions I used my never trained Bharatnatyam eye mudras to gesture her towards the right person, and she was smart enough to take the pointers and redirected her rest of the remnants towards her. While she finished the guest lecturer and I were busy controlling our smiles from escaping, and avoided all the eye contacts. But our head was a seasoned lady; she very quickly and in a refined way clipped my wings saying the girl was a non-deserving candidate.

Duh! Just because the candidate made a small error, she was rejected. Was it such strong blow on her ego? This was not fair. I sulked but I had no justifications. I don’t know why the candidate made such judgement, what she was thinking. Could she read my eyes, felt her comfort zone with me rather than pride reflected in others, which any nervous candidate might look for. I would have loved to know it or may be not. I wish!

A faint music played in my mind… tore naina bade dagabaaz re … and I closed my eyes:)

Monday, 13 October 2014

A Date


Well, another usual day, another routine; just juggling with the keys, a water bottle, bag and a bunch of mails. One envelope caught my attention. Though it was simple, plain looking but it only had my name, no address, no sender’s name or any other details. Not sure of what next, I opened the seal. There was a very thin paper, soft and grainy, delicate. I took it out. Every grain had its own identity but yet fully attached to other, inseparable. It was translucent, and blank. I flipped it. Was it some kind of joke? I finally positioned it towards the window. The light passed through the paper. Every grain lit up. A few lit up even brighter, with a golden hue. They joined together and created a few letters. 


Dear Hemani, you got a date with time. 


Date with time? Is it a misprint or words have jumbled up? 


I looked up. He was looking at me, smiling. 


“Oh! I am not ready...” I muttered. 


“Will you be ever?” The smile was even bigger. 


And I looked back at the card. A few grains from corners seem to have disintegrated. A lot was going on to comprehend, to understand. 


“Well hello” I managed. 


“Very Well hello”, and he again smiled. And I looked at him. Not bad. Off guard, clueless. Not sure of what next? 


“Hmmm…” I cleared my throat. “So? I mean such pleasant surprise”. 


“You are missing me a lot these days dear. I hear it so often from you; you are chasing me, I am running very fast, you are not getting a bit of me. I guess you have complained about it to the entire world. So here I am, with you, for you. After all how can I afford to even breathe with so many complaints from you?” he was crisp. 


Was he sarcastic or simply buttering or genuinely concerned? 


“Well, I guess, that’s all true. Isn't it?” we looked at each other and I was falling in love with that charm. No wonder they call him biggest healer. I managed to hid my smile after imagining the wheel of Mahabharata or a big oldie with sparkling white extra extra long beard – what wild imaginations people have! 


“Of course you are running fast. I am tired of chasing you all the time. At one moment I saw my doll Muskaan in my arms wrapped in a towel looking at the new world and I blinked my eyes and I see Muskaan celebrating her 14th birthday.” 


“Oh please…I have seen you when you ignored me completely. Even I stood there for a moment looking at you, when you were chasing your kids in a garden, cuddling them or when you two were deep lost in thoughts with smiles on your lips over a cup of tea, and then I tip toed from there, so that I don’t disturb you. Rather I guess you have tagged me with good and bad, made me a hero and a villain. At times I felt so bad when I saw you praying that I should pass soon. I never wanted anything bad for you. I am and will be same for you always.” He looked at me again. 


I was speechless. I just managed to smile and looked at him. He was smiling at me. I sat beside him with a cup of tea and enjoyed the silent moments which were clanking happiness all around us. I looked at that invitation card, and the last few grains disintegrated in thin air, I looked up and fresh air kissed me softly. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Liar Liar!

“ Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it ” Adolf Hitler quotes.

Jhooth bolna paap hai!. Lying is sin – a basic lesson learnt, crammed and understood. Well I am not clear about the last one “Understood”. If lying is a sin, then would we all burn in the fire of hell, or is there an upper or lower limit which keeps us away from that excruciating fire. Well, if lying is a sin, then why do we lie? Does even a day passes where we don't lie? Why can’t we handle the truth? Why the truth is bitter and lies are sweet?

I have heard of lethal lies, white lies, bluffing and so many different types.

I feel the lies are much larger than we think them about. They are subtle statements with huge impact. They are in our blood. At times even the speaker cannot distinguish between a truth and lie. Well one category of lies is devastating, it is malignant and has a specific purpose of destruction in one form or the other. But then there is another category. The category where lies are not so deadly and they might lead us to the hell fire that might be bit less scorching.  Here are a few everyday lies:

Automatic lies : Got up late. Coffee spilled on important documents. The car refused to start. Phone fell over and over again and look like jumbled puzzle pieces And then someone asks: "Hey how are you?" 

And here comes a Colgate smile and the automatic lie: "I am good." Ding! Ding! Ding!

Conditional lies : She asks - "Hello Dear, how do I look?" (When she looks like a fat macaw!)
Now the answer depends on what is the destination?
His parents (A big grin): "Oh darling you are looking fantastic."
Boss’s Party (A big grin): "You have reduced; this dress suits you a lot." 
Friend’s get together (A big grin): "You are looking like a sex goddess." 
Her Parents, parties, get together (faint obvious artificial smile): "good." (You still want to live!)

Save your ass lie : Mom is heard shouting - "who broke my favourite vase?"
 
and  the save your ass lies mutters out: "how? when? Where? I was not home! I was sleeping! I was listening to my I-pod!" And the story continues.

To make someone happy lie : A distressed friend holds your hand and cries "Oh No! What to do, I have been working out so hard for last two weeks but not lost even an inch." 

And the loyal friend who lives with the aim to keep his/her friends happy responds : "No no, you have lost. I could see it on your face. You are looking great now. That extra fat is wearing down." 

Phrendly lies : Ok, I could not get head or toe of what she writes, but since she is my “Phrend” I will comment on her post : "You write so deep. Your writings make my day. Fantastic, awesome, lovely" and hum saath saath hain :) (We are together for eternity)

Well, when lies make someone smile, are they still categorized as sinful? Of course I am not talking about crossing that thin line where they become deadly but the innocent lies, noble lies that make our tough lives a little less hell till we live.

Once, during the days when Japan Earthquake was prime news, I asked my son to keep all the toys properly in his cupboard. Next day they were in the same position I left them a day before. I asked him, why he didn't do it, so he enlightened me : "Ma, Just in case the earthquake comes here, the toys will be a mess again and my efforts will go waste!" 

Whoa! I didn't like the rarest possibility of truth. I wished he could have lied to me: I forgot, or my finger was aching. 

Lying is comforting or sinful? Whether the dynamics of comfort zones change with time or not, these lies made someone feel good for some time. Think about it.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

A cup of Tea!


It was a small town. Quaint. Content. It had all the qualities, which attracted a retired person to spend his comfort life there. 


A telecom company, which had many loyal senior citizens in that area, had a new cluster head. As he took charge, he realized the volume of such clientele. He thought that so many old people come from a great distances to pay their bills, which could be quite troublesome for them. He worked out with his team and decided that from now on, there will be door to door payment pick up facility for the retired people. His thinking and plan was well appreciated by his team. Quite motivated, he was feeling good for doing something on humanitarian grounds. 



Once the facility started, he started getting messages from those customers, requesting for a meeting. Curious enough, he asked the people who were directly involved in these dealings, if there was any flaw or complaint. They replied “Many were curious, whose idea was it. And they showed interest in meeting you”. Staying positive, he thought, maybe they are trying to be thankful for the helping hand extended to them. So instead of meeting one by one, he organized a small tea party for the customers who wanted to meet him. 



The destined day, people came, but he sensed something unusual in the air. They were not pleased. So without wasting time, he asked the reason they wanted to meet him. One wise man stood up and said “We all are really grateful to you that you tried to help us by door to door payment pick up facility but we would appreciate if you stop it from immediate effect”. Stunned by the statement, he didn't know how to react so politely asked for the reason. 



The old man replied “Such small things like paying bills, getting groceries, vegetables etc. are our excuses to get out of our house. It gives us a reason to talk to people. We come to your outlet, pay our bill, enjoy a cup of tea with your staff and a hearty laugh at times”. 



Even we all smiled as he shared this incident with us, saying “Neki ki aur joote khaye” (was cursed for a good deed). 



I am not able to get it out of my head. It reminds me of my family, the elders who are staying away from me, because career, money, better life made us move and because they don’t want to leave their hometown. Even we don’t force them, because it’s like uprooting a complete tree and forcing it to flourish somewhere else, which rarely happens. But somewhere, they might be also looking for such excuses or places to pass their time. Looking for a company which can bring some smiles to them. Some curious faces, who wants to hear the adventure they had once. Some appreciative gestures, when they proudly show their family as the trophy they won. 



Life is hard. I can’t be with them, but I can be someone who needs someone, where I am. 




Ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo yun kar le, kisi rote huye bachche ko hasaya jaye.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

That Orange Watch...


"There are times when silence has the loudest voice" 

Time pieces are my dad’s passion. He has an awesome collection of watches and timepieces. 


I think I was ten that time. He came home, he was very happy. He opened a box, and took out a watch. It had an orange transparent cover. I could see all the screws and nuts inside, the tiny springs and the various sizes of wheels which were moving with my heartbeats. He showed it to my mother. His friend got it from abroad on his request; A very rare collection in those times. I wanted to see it, but since he was showing something to my mother, I was asked to wait. My patience was not with me. I wanted it badly. To add to my miseries, my younger brother, who was a toddler that time came and climbed up in my father’s lap. He was attracted to the bright orange colour and extended his hand, and my dad, out of love, tied it on his hand. That was it! I was furious. How could he do this to me? 


"No one loves me!" I shouted and stomped out of room. 

Within a few minutes, my brother came to me. He was holding the watch. He smiled and gave it to me. The furious me! I took the watch and slammed it hard on the floor. The watch shattered. It was made up of glass! The glass, screws, springs, wheels were everywhere. I was pale. I was sure it was not going to be good for me. So I ran and hid behind my grand mother. Even slept there, I was scared the next morning. As I knew, the moment I would get near them, it would be bad, really bad. 


But to my surprise neither mom, nor dad said a word to me. Though I felt bad but was somewhere relieved, that they have not taken it too seriously. I never touched the topic, assumed they must have thrown the pieces and the issue. 

Last year, I visited my parents. I was all set to go with my dad somewhere, when he asked me to get a watch from his cupboard as he forgot to take one out. 


I opened his drawer and saw the timeless collection of watches. I took out the watch he asked me to and was about to close the drawer when a box caught my attention. It was very familiar. Out of curiosity, I opened the box and saw those shattered pieces of that orange watch. I think every piece they were able to pick from the floor that day was in that box. I shivered. I felt a hard kick deep inside. I cannot explain that feeling. He has kept it all those years! Is it a souvenir he has kept to remind him of the bad temper of her daughter or the broken dream which he could never wear? 


Every piece pierced me deep inside, though still I don’t have courage to ask him, why he has kept those pieces with him? A bigger question that gripped my mind is, though I know he has forgiven me, but will I be able to forgive myself for this ever?






Tuesday, 7 October 2014

That Honest Man!


It looked like any ordinary village. People worked, laughed, fought and patched up. The whole day, everyone would be engaged with some or the other activity. But there was something different about that village. It was village of thieves. Every night, every person would go out for stealing something from someone else’s home. Since everyone knew it is going to happen every night, they stopped using locks. While they would be busy cleaning someone’s closet, someone would be cleaning their lockers. So by the time day breaks, everyone would be even, they gained what they lost. There was equality in the village, no one was above or below other person. Hence a harmony was restored. There were no accusations, as everyone was a thief. People were satisfied and happy. There was a crystal clear conscience, where no one was jealous of anyone, played politics or back stabbed anyone. Everything in that village was good, till he came. 


He, the honest man. He came and settled down there. The old wise men of the village could foresee some bad omens upon his arrival and decided to tell him about the regular practice. They urged that he should also start stealing every night. But he refused. 



Now every night people would break in his house and steal something or the other. Meanwhile he was able to influence some people and convinced them that stealing is a sinful act. Hence they also stopped stealing. But people who were not convinced would keep breaking in all those houses and take something away. 



The honest man could not bear things, and left the village one night silently. But it changed things forever. Those who were stealing became more and more rich. They now guarded what they earned. Locks and keys were in fashion again. Those who didn't became poorer day by day. With wealth, they became more powerful, started keeping guards, and started commanding rest. Poorer were tortured if they protested. Gradually, there were politics, backstabbing, jealousy and finally there was a king, his supporters, his army and slaves working for him. Now no one was happy, people who were rich were trying to become richer. The poor were unable to rise and cursed everything around him. 



Is sin always a sin? We are righteous. We believe that almighty gives us the power to fight against the evil. We can change things. But is it necessary that it comes to a perfect end? There is a larger picture to be seen, which at times people miss. For the harmony and balance of nature, it at times accepts the imperfections. Or else roses won’t have thorns. And there are chances that a thorn-less rose wouldn't have existed. Happiness is one factor which at times decides the existence of a sin or a virtue. Sometimes, life is complicated, we have basic learning and we are conditioned so that we can differentiate between good and bad. But as we grow, at times good doesn't seem so good and bad doesn't sound that bad. We look ahead, and choose the virtues, but miss the bigger picture. We regret. 


“ When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.” John Lennon.
.

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Curious Case of Mr.Eyezzor Button!


Mr. Eyezzor Button – he is a walking definition of a perfect husband. The scholar with an accent. The encyclopedia of everything. Since looks could not kill people, hence he gets a lot of points here. Big spectacles, on a round face, with a Himesh style voice, who believes in pronouncing “kaaaan” from nostrils rather than epiglottis. He can sue you for being a racist, if you fail to acknowledge his presence in dark. 


Well, that was not exactly why he was categorized under “Neighbours envy, owners pride category” . While his wife would be busy chatting and gossiping with us, he would be holding his two hyper kids, which was pretty impressive. 



Well, many can do that as well, but this one stunt is his signature style. We discovered it one evening, when we saw her rushing towards her home. When asked, she smiled and said “ Actually we are leaving for Mount Abu in another hour or two, so I am rushing with my last minute packing ”. 



“ O, Wow! You are going by train? ” one of us inquired. 



“ Naah, Mr. Eyezzor Button is driving ” she mentioned with a smile. 



“ What are you saying? It’s a ten hour drive and its 7 P.M. now. Means you will leave at 9 at night. Do you think it is safe to drive that late? ” (As heard from my husband who is dead against late night driving) I gave a baffled look. 



“ O, yes, what is the problem? See kids will sleep peacefully. No hunger pangs, nature’s calls, sibling fights etc. We will reach there early morning, will rest for 2-3 hours and then will get whole day for sight seeing and shopping. ” 



(Wow! Superman!!!!) – The inner voice was all of a sudden too loud. 



“ Ya great, enjoy the weekend. And when are you coming back? ” We together wished her. 



“ We will start Sunday night and reach here early morning. ” She said casually.



She left, leaving us all green. We all envied her for getting the “Superman”. Why can’t we convince our husbands for such stunts? 



They follow the same pattern for any outing, a hometown visit (which is again 400kms from their residence). 



Once, we met Mr. Eyezzor Button at a parking. We were three ladies, getting out of our car, while he was approaching towards the next car, parked to ours. We all looked at him and flashed the Binaca smile and to our dismay, he ignored us. How could he? What a level of loyalty for Mrs. Eyezzor Button. 



“Fine!” We silently looked at each other with a mental note to kill her for this. 



“ Hello Mrs Eyezzor Button, we met your husband the other day in a parking and what loyalty yaar, he didn't acknowledge our presence in your absence. We are not that bad yaar. At least give him permission to smile back .” We wailed. 



She looked at us. The grave looks gave all of us a shiver from inside. She took a deep breath and said “Please yaar, there is nothing like that. Why will he not acknowledge, if he will see you guys. Actually, he is getting a treatment for his eyes ”. 



“ What? ” We almost got a heart attack. 



“ Ya, he is having a vision problem since childhood. These days he is taking a famous treatment from Chennai. Though it is not very helpful, but now he feels bit better. ” She continued. 



“ Oh, so he could not make out our presence that day .” We were trying to take a clear picture. 



“ Yes, he is not able to figure out things clearly. There is just an outline of the person, but the finer details are not clear. Also he is not able to judge the distance between objects ” She confessed. 



One of us was mentally fainted, other was almost drowsy, but I, the brave one, before passing out, muttered “How Mr. Eyezz-or-Button manages the night driving then? ” 



“ He has a deep faith in God .” She explained. 



“ So do we!! ” The swinging sign board behind truck flashed before my eyes “In God, We Trust” “Buri Nazar Wale

tera Muh Kaala” “Ok…Horn Please” …. tapluk, tupluk, thud – fainted! (Please sprinkle some water on my face – koi paani maaro re!!!) 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Love Thy Neighbor!


You can love them, hate them, despise them, envy them, but can’t ignore them. 

Homo sapiens being a social animal needs company. Since family, relatives come in a heavier category, where there is a big book of COC and every move has to be very careful or the consequences are dire, this creature invented friends. A different category with no obligations and expectations; there is a bond of trust. But with the expansion of galaxy there was an expansion of land on earth and it created distances. Now what? Now he created a particular category of friends as per his convenience. He called them neighbours; nearby, convenient, hassle-free, available 24x7. The greatest underrated social discovery of all times! 

As per my personal experience I am a born neighbourly person. My early childhood has vivid memories of sleeping, eating and being entertained at various homes. I even accompanied them to their parties and get together, while my parents stayed home. My parents attained a new level of treasure hunt in the non-techie era while looking for me in 10-15 houses each time I went missing. They were my best hideout when I was not in mood to study or did something worth getting thrashed. I got my first tutorials on beauty, styling and confidential subjects in my friendly neighbourhood. Till now I am a blessed person, for my neighbours have been always my extended family. They have always stood with me, with a special mention to an elderly couple who has selflessly helped me at every moment of my life. 

But is everyone blessed? Can we choose neighbours, or they come in parents and boss category? Sometimes we get The Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman type neighbours – they will pop in from almost anywhere, will help you whether you want it or not. Sometimes they are successful in pulling you out of the fire, but there is a load of cleaning work to do once they leave. Now, we are left with the eternal dilemma, do we need Spiderman or the world can survive without him, like it does without Superman? 

I often hear a complaint that comes from elderly people who go to visit their kids from a small town to a big city that people don’t have time there, nobody wants to mingle. Now I analyze and realize that first of all there is no Big 'Peepal ka Ped' in a big city that can connect people. For that Nokia is going good and steady, portable, easy and reliable in “connecting people”. Secondly, at times a housing complex houses more people than the entire population of one village. Knowing every person in a village takes a lifetime. But when the companies are looking for dynamic people, they are keeping them dynamic – so a transfer every 2-3 year can’t accomplish the Herculean task. So it superficially appears, that everyone is busy with themselves, deep within, there is an exchange of looks and smiles on the first day of arrival, where the eyes are looking for a resident who is a walking yellow pages and mapipedia of the new place. Bingo! And then….. A question pops! Am I a hunter or just got hunted. It at times comes with a cost, but for every luxury you enjoy, there is a price to pay. 

My best friend, my eternal neighbor – it was always mutual, a lending of tomato or borrowing of carrot – the last minute savior! But it is much deeper than that. We could read each other, just like Harry potter and Voldemort. But unlike them, we peacefully co-exist. From the above, you might feel that I am too lucky. It’s not like that. I had my share of bad neighbours as well. But somehow my memory is not so strong that it can adjust them as well. I am happy with all those bonds I have created so far and are with me, in my memory and phone book. 

Whether it is looking after the kids, if you are stuck in a jam or the tickets of a show, or a carpool or a recipe, everyone has a different story to tell, a different experience to share. Some are good, some are not so good. There are few rarities, where they walk with a spade, and expert in digging graves. They are the Sherlock homes, who sketch the entire ancestry and relate it to the nth offspring. Most common are the competitive spirits, who have inspired media world eternally – Neighbour’s Envy..Uski Kameez..And it goes on and on! 

Sometimes people come together after breaking all the barriers, and sometimes there is an invisible wall that keeps them apart. What’s your story? Will you be my neighbor :)

The Old Lady with a Shoe!

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong ~Mahatma Gandhi

I saw them enter the water. One entered quietly and other just jumped. How different and still so alike! As they splashed the water in pool, they got a respite from the scorching heat. I sat on a side watching them play.

It just happened on the other side of the pool; beyond the netted fence was a small group of young boys, around 8-10 years, who were just enjoying the game of cricket. Watching them was a complete entertainment as they were playing with their own set of rules. The underarm balls as requested by the batsman, no declaration of “no or wide balls”. With a tennis ball, they were breaking and making all the personal records. Just then the batsman got the ball in middle of his bat and hit a six.

Unfortunately, a lady, in her sixties, wearing Reebok shoes, trying to walk/jog, happen to be in the way of the ball and the boundary. The ball hit her back. She promptly took the ball in custody. Since it was batsman in the line of fire, he went to the lady and apologized. She grabbed him by his arm and took off her shoe. She raised the shoe to hit him. Suddenly all his friends gathered around him, made noise and fought for him. She had to let him go. The episode didn't end there. She made sure to sit in the vicinity. Soon an acquaintance of same age came to meet her. She narrated her story, and she called the boy again and scolded her badly. The boy silently listened. He went back to his game again. Again another lady joined the group and again the boy was summoned and scolded. Loud taunts echoed louder than every other sound. Finally the boy went home. The ladies also departed after he left. It was my time to go home as well.

I am not able to forget this incident. I have tried to figure out what went wrong:

The Old Lady: An elderly person is treated with respect. But then they have to earn it. People look up at them for guidance and enlightenment. Is it really a tough job? We tell our kids, the elderly are the foundation of value education, so listen and follow them. Do we have to rephrase our advice? Taking off your shoe to hit an eight or nine year old boy – Was it justified? Is she yet to understand the meaning of honest mistakes and how to forgive? Was her method correct or she could have handled the matter in more dignified manner. Will that boy or any other kid who was part of that incident ever respect or wish her even?

The Boy: The age of innocence! When they are yet to learn manipulations. He could have fled the scene but he didn't. He still remembered and followed the value of not disrespecting his elders. And that’s why he took the bashing not once but thrice.It is the age when friend matters the most. All the boys made sure to defend their friend, to stand with him through thick and thin. 

Me: Ever since I was guilty. I should have defended the boy. It was an honest mistake. The boy apologized and still was treated so badly. I just sat there and did nothing. After a day or two I saw her again talking while taking her usual rounds. I just went to her, after politely wishing just told her she could have handled the things in a better way that day. She tried to justify, I smiled and walked away.

Every moment is an experience. We learn and unlearn with events. He learnt a few lessons that day. May be my non-intervention made him stronger. May be my help would have created another crippled butterfly. May be it will help him deal better next time. May be next time I will not wait for a day to react. May be the old lady will have more tolerance. May be …World will be a better place for us to live and learn.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Thinking?

I was thinking…..Maybe, well, perhaps, what if, mmmm…or simply a pause.

We all use this phrase, and then there is a pause , which is either blank or is filled with a word. It can be as short as a fraction of a second or as long as that it makes the listener die for holding their breath for so long, waiting for us to finish. But how we finish actually depends what processor the brain of speaker is using!

The pause is the most crucial point in such conversation. On the outer surface it represents absolutely nothing but on the inside it is like a workshop busy in creating another God’s particle. Underneath this pause, various tasks are being performed. It makes the speaker look in the eyes of the listener or read the body language or understand the expressions that have surfaced up and then work ferociously on the thought that he is holding; whether he should trim the edges or flower it up or fold it and put it back in the box or simply throw it out of the window or shred it in pieces. Whatever it is, it is a rare phenomenon when the speaker speaks exactly what he was thinking. Often the thought is manipulated, mutilated sometimes completely savaged in that pause period. Sadly people who speak their mind without hesitation are either the World Leaders or are in Asylum. For the majority the process of thinking is subjected to a sub process of thinking (refining and restructuring actually!)

So then why do we use this phrase I was thinking …. Is it a brief moment when we tried to be candid but then it is covered up because of fear of rejection, subject of mockery or lack of self confidence or concern for the listener or simply playing safe? OR Is it the trick our manipulative mind plays with the listener to grab his/her attention?

We keep thinking, endlessly. We never cease to think. Whether we like it, hate it but we do it. Why our body was not designed to lose weight as we think (wishful thinking!) We think even in our sleep. We think when we don’t want to think, and we think when we are already thinking something. We are depressed; we are elated basis on what we think. It is at times observed that the best ideas emerge when we are sitting on the royal seat (The Pot!). Does that imply that releasing the shit out (literally) helps you to clear your mind and think better!

Well, as the few of you, who are reading this blog, are simultaneously thinking:

Some of you are creatively thinking – yes why not to put some of our brilliant thoughts that are creating waves in our brain which we never realized before, in our blog.

Few are analytically thinking – What exactly she wants to convey? Has she gone nuts? (She is already nuts!) Will there be some who will really create a blog?

And a minority is doing some high end thinking - trying to read between the lines to understand what this blog actually means.

Those who have survived till now, for them we all think and analyze, we judge everything basis on what we see, hear, feel, speak or inhale. And then every sensory fragment is sent to the top floor for analysis where it is fed with the knowledge and skimmed with logic and reasoning. Basically what we casually say “to think and react.” We see the world the way we think rather than see the world and then think. We adapt, change and grow emotionally and mentally basis on our thinking process. So it is thinking that makes us what we are. Since it s a dynamic process it can make us what we want to be. So keep thinking and make this world a better place to live :)

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ? Henry Ford

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Cooked!

Last couple of weeks can be classified as "Bizarre". It was so subtle initially that I didn't notice but then gradually it became evidently obvious.

I can cook. Not that I have won any competitions or awards but yes, my food stays balanced on the fine line between raw and overcooked, bland and over-spicy, pale and black and yes, it is edible as well. People have filled their plates and loosened their belts. But now things are no longer what they used to be.

The food I was perfect in was now perfectly imperfect. Food comes to those who can cook. But now the food was going away from me. Oh God! Does that mean I can no longer cook? The food was completely out of sync, either it was raw or burnt. Whatever I do I could not stop the tea or milk from getting spilled. The worst was when the pressure cooker spitted chilka dal (lentils) on my face! It didn't kill me, but yes, kept me indoors. I was worried, scared and puzzled.

Suddenly Dr. Freud’s ghost entered and controlled my soul and senses. He made me realize that I have been cooking for decades. Now my body does this mechanically, whereas my mind is revolting. My senses are hence on the verge of biggest mutiny. Monotonous cooking! Yes, that’s it. I immediately logged in in my FB account and directly went to foodie pages. The talented cooks showcased and shared their fabulous recipes, the secret ingredients and tips for the perfect turnout. I can’t miss on this one. I picked up a few vegetarian dishes, feeling ecstatic for bringing peace within and expecting some praises. My heightened senses were brutally slaughtered as I tasted the result. Oh no! What went wrong? How can I serve this, and poor waiting people had to satiate themselves with some grilled sandwiches.

As I was dishing out the beautiful recipe that I turned into a disaster, the TV behind me shouted in a hoaxed voice “ Ek Chudail Ki Nazar- Utaare nahi utarti” (You can never ward off an evil eye!) My poor little fist sized heart sank. Was I cursed? Those floodgates were crashed by salted Tsunami waves and consumed the entire tissue box. Dr Freud’s soul suddenly vanished in thin air. It was an Indian chudail (witch) - where he had no expertise, this credit is proudly shared by Ramsey brothers and Ekta Kapoor. Now I actually knew the problem. I was under a powerful spell - about to be squished and spatula-ted! Nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! The drama queen revolted! I can't let it happen to myself.

The remedy is where the problem is. The salt grains spurted all over over and were drained down with water. The seven ‘complete’ chilly roared in the air choking the humans in the vicinity to near death experience…may be they were also under the spell or were they part of conspiracy theory? My mind was transforming from Voodoonian to Feludian. Who? How? When? The questions started hovering over like little chirp-lets over pearls of millet. I questioned the oracle; inquired Mary Poppins; tried to read between the lines of words of wisdom they spoke but alas, I bid farewell to Feluda.

I sat on the chair, looking at my hopes departing from the window. Now, I cannot cook. Let the milk spill the way Aamir zoomed out with his bike and I gave the loser Uday Chopra look waving sadistically.

The bell rung! It was like the temple bells in a stormy night. The thunder and lightening and the miracle under construction! I opened the door and a mystery man came in my misty vision.

He assured everything will be fine - Asha Ka Kiran. err. Ki.ki.ki.kiran! Black magic, voodoo, Sanjeev Kapoor, Genie…Who are you? My mind asked me to put the thoughts in words. But before I could frame, he read my mind.

“Madam your gas stove needed servicing and the residue choked some of the gas lines, making the temperature go haywire; sometimes slow and sometimes more than expected. Hope it will now run smoothly!" He wiped his dirty hands with the dirtier handkerchief. My wisdom kept me mum with nods as only reaction allowed to be reflected!

He happily charged the service fees and I gladly paid the amount needed to end my misery!

Loosened Belts and belches are back in fashion:)