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Saturday, 16 March 2019

Lost and Found- Part 1


"Think of it, that is what I feared all my life, becoming a NOBODY, a kind of a stranger whom your wavering eye might not even take note of, not even for a second, someone who can be pushed in a crowd and stamped on feet. I am that lost. I am such a loser. But today, something within is feeling so distraught. This is not how I wanted to write the story of my life."

Click on the link Dosa Batter to read the full story.

Image courtesy-Pixabay.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

In the Business of Life




My most precious Gratitude,

Your accent, your dialect, your jargon, your lingua franca is difficult to decrypt, decipher and understand. I have struggled all my life and realize that you can only be felt. I read somewhere today that you are dying a silent death. It gives me immense satisfaction to know that you choose to live in me. Is there something special about my heart or is it my stubbornness that I don’t let you go?

Either ways, I am happy. You see, you have kept me right where I belong- ON THE GROUND, IN DUST. I started a life with my parents where we were always ‘IN- NEED’. A humble life brings in its own grand challenges and turmoil. I hated the thriftiness then, despised the frugality which enveloped my life and once even thought of stealing a Barbie from a friend’s house because I didn’t have one. You saved me then. But I didn’t thank you. You see then, my eyes could only see that much.

Later, life blessed me with abundance, beyond my appetite, my needs, and my survival. You made another grand entry in my life and helped me feel satiated and content in more or less; the notion of each is relative. If that wasn’t enough , age and experience( which I fondly refer to as LIFE) alerted me from the uncritical gullibility of finding happiness outwards, in 'things' and presented me with eye glasses through which everything is far too clear even if it is not visible. I am thankful.

The way I see, you are not an easy partner to live with. A world teeming with temptations and a wallet teeming with cards, a world infested with ‘more, better, brighter, sleeker, smarter, classier’ products, it is difficult to make peace with ‘less’, ‘limited’, and ‘without’. A world diseased with ‘get, want, acquire, accomplish’ it is easy to forget the well- being that comes with the art of ‘GIVING’. I had once read somewhere that ‘the character of a person is known by how you treat those who can do nothing for you.’ I made it a motto of my life, a conscious choice to keep you alive.

So, when the rickshaw puller, with a tattered baniyan and pajamas, pulling me and my mom in the sweltering heat, woefully looks at the uphill road, I GET DOWN. You whisper something in my ears and I GET DOWN, MY SON GETS DOWN AND MAKES MY MOM GET DOWN TOO. 

When we reach home, I sneak in my Dad’s cupboard, take out his not so favorite shirts and hand it over to him, secretly. You see, my mom has lived a budgeted life, for her it’s difficult to let go. I do not blame her.
When the maid servant comes shivering in Delhi’s bitter cold, bare foot, heels cracked and sore, I do not overlook. She is as cold as me when she looks at the sink full of dirty dishes. I see the pain in her eyes and start washing the dishes along with her. Do I share her pain? I don’t know. I try to live it with her. When she leaves, a moisturizing cream, a shawl, a sweater, a pair of socks doesn’t make my wardrobe empty. I have learnt to give because YOU WHISPER IN MY EAR. Thank you.

It requires a conscious choice to  overlook the luxury of driving a car and be part of metro or carpool. You choose to not add to the woes of the city. It’s a choice I make to pray for the girl who got raped ,the parents of the child who got murdered or the pregnant wife whose husband died in a road accident and not for once think about ‘my life’ in that prayer. I cannot do anything to change their fate, but if I see a child in need, a family in distress, or the wife seeking a job, means of livelihood, I reach out, I take the step. You whisper in my ears.

The boy who sells rose flowers in bedraggled clothes, the girl  with hungry eyes who knocks at my car window to buy that one Christmas cap makes me resolve that Christmas is about giving and not buying more for the self. If my child gets a toy, so would another one standing in rags on the pavement.
To donate toys which are broken, clothes which are worn out is not a GIVING. Nobody coerces you to buy new clothes and donate but donating gently used clothes shouldn’t feel like a LOSS either. 

The gardener who mows the grass in our apartment community, the postman who delivers my mail, the old man sitting on the pew of the church staring blankly, the old woman trying to cross the street in her wheelchair or the maidservant daughter who accompanies her mother to my house, I do not let you die. A helping hand here, a smile and greet there, a glass of water to him, an hour of teaching to her, a cloth bag for grocery and picking my litter ... my life goes on.

Is it some way to salve my guilt? No.
I am not guilty. I am GRATEFUL and this emanates from there.
Is it BIG? Can it bring BIG change?

While I cannot get a planet named after me, I cannot be the next Mother Teresa, I cannot be the Dalai Lama, I know what I can be……………………I can be ME. It’s a conscious choice to ensure that whoever and I mean WHOEVER crosses my path, his/her life is better because of my smile, my prayer, my words, my hope, my behavior, my actions, my efforts, my money….my GIVING. It may not change the world but it could mean the world to that someone who isn’t as blessed as I am.

I have understood in life that it is easier to manage the inflation rate and GDP growth but to awaken the moral consciousness of a society is an uphill battle. I am sure I cannot change the country and its people and their mindset and magically fix what is broken. I can only change myself, my thoughts, the family that I am a part of and ensure that we are not the evil fly in the Pandora ’s Box. We will not employ a servant and promote child labor, we will not employ a 15 year old girl child to replace her mother or put a price tag on our son when he reaches a marriageable age. 


But your legacy needs to continue...my son has been a kind soul…till now. :) He is 5 year old and I hope his heart remains that of a five-year-old all throughout. You see, his heart somehow understands what you whisper in my ears and I convey to him. We choose to have our birthday parties a close-knit affair, family, relatives, and close friends, people who care about you and people whom we care for. I do have the money to Chuck-e-Cheese his birthday but you whisper and I stop gladly. The Chuck-e-Cheese is spent on poor, underprivileged children in an obscure village of Uttar Pradesh. For one day, they know what a birthday treat is. Gratitude is a language which is not taught. It is a prayer that is lived every passing moment. There is much that goes behind the fervid chants and mantras. He has to decode it himself. I can only set the stage for him. He is the director of his life story. In the world of 'Instant' he has to learn the language of 'Patience', in the world of Artificial Intelligence, he has to unfold Human Compassion, in the world infested with 'Not Have', he has to find his 'HAVE'. 

Thank you for choosing my heart to dwell in.  I am at peace because you reside there.

Yours.

Image courtesy-Pixabay





Wednesday, 20 February 2019

HOMECOMING

"Whenever you feel 'fear' and I mean it from my heart and soul...Do what you are afraid to do because overcoming what frightens you the most ...strengthens you the most."

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear- Nelson Madela"

Click on Homecoming to read the full article.

Image courtesy-Pixabay.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Dear SOLDIER,


Tell me something? What were you thinking when you decided to stand at the LOC? You knew what was coming your way? Right? Your family knew what this job entails? Why didn't you choose a safer and secure option? Why? There are umpteen IIM's and IIT's around, Artificial Intelligence is on the boom, Robots are transforming life and look at you. Who goes for work on 14th February when Cupid Cuties are on the roll and hearts are going a flutter? 
Click on Dear SOLDIER, How did you Valentine Day go? to read the full story.

Image courtesy-Pixabay.

The Error of Hope.




'Naina gave a hurtful look to Samar. He was sipping tea with worried expression. “Fresh clothes, evening tea, what more does one want in life?” “What is wrong with you Naina? You can't see me having tea in peace? “No, I cannot see anyone peaceful when my inside is breaking. It's been 6 years Samar and I feel like a castaway, wrecked and stranded?” hollered Naina. I have fallen between the cracks and it hurts Samar,” Naina tried to raise her voice but the rivers brimming in the eyes flooded her throat. She fell on the kitchen floor, tears making tiny pools on the grey tiles.'

Click on The Error of Hope to read the full story.

Image courtesy-Pixabay.



Sunday, 6 January 2019

One 'Sobremesa a day' - There is nothing great about a family meal except



Except that in a culture of 'INSTANT' and 'DISTRACTION', one family meal is where


One disconnects to connect. A frenzied screen life(that's how I define our regular life today) finds some time to stop by and look beyond the screen.

Google university is replaced by life's important lessons shared via experience.


A meal is appreciated. They say eating is a necessity but cooking is an art. And the person who cooks for the family blends labour and love with art to present the plate that comes before you. How can one not appreciate and feel grateful? And food definitely tastes better when you eat it with your family.


And nutrition blends with togetherness to provide a complete experience to the body.Nutrition is not only about eating right and eating healthy. If the food on the plate does not have a sense of emotion to it, the nutritious meal can hardly matter. The emotions come from family.The emotions of sharing, bonding and connecting with each other. A connectivity which no telecom service or internet service can provide.
A personal story


'My father loved family meals. I do not know why and how he found this habit so essential. Morning breakfast use to be a rush, we didn't meet him for lunch., so all we had was a family dinner. He loved talking and was vocal about his emotions. He talked about everything, how his day at work was, the conversations he had with his colleagues and managers, his working style, work ethics, problems encountered and also his appraisals. He hid less and expressed more. Mum would contribute to his talks and also narrate about her day, some relevant and some irrelevant talks about neighbors and some relative phone calls, the maid servant and her school. And we would add our little tit bits of broken crayons and a pencil a friend had which glowed in dark.


That was one place, one time and one atmosphere in a day where we connected with each other not only through common food on the plate but through a unifying emotion of belonging to each other. I still remember how I kept thinking about my father's  poor appraisal rating and how worried he was. I didn't know about appraisals then, I was all of maybe 12 or 13 but I was with him in my own little way. When I lost the elocution contest, he was there with me in his own little way. My elder brother was with me in his own little way when I had my Maths exam next day. That is what family meals were about- STORIES. These stories were shared every day. Stories of hard work and success, stories of neighbors and relatives, stories of failures and disappointments. Stories which held us together, stories which reverberated within us long after dinner was over and we retired to our rooms. Regular life stories shared on a dining table over a simple or an exotic meal. Not every story was beautiful. Many times the dining table has been witness to silent family meals interrupted by a clatter of a serving spoon or somebody asking for a second serving. Even in that silence, stories were heard. But as they say, every story had a lesson and I learnt the most important lessons of my life on the dining table. Not to forget that these stories shaped my thoughts about my career and I owe a lot to the dining table for what I am today.


Today when I see my 4-year-old sharing his little tit bit and my husband getting distracted by this tiny gadget in his hand, I wonder whether I would be able to carry on the tradition which my father started. I fail to understand the power, the potential and the omnipresence of a tiny screen in life which is ready to put an end to what I consider a priority of every family. As I give a stern look to my husband, he hastily shoves the device and asks my son ‘So, what were you saying?’ My son replies, ‘I told my Kaushik that my father can fix anything in this world. He is the best.’

As I keep away the dirty dishes, I find myself fighting a battle in my mind. My biggest enemy today is that tiny gadget, a small screen pinging incessantly and the world ready to gratify me instantly. I am Applefied, I am Facebooked, I am Amazoned. Will I learn to live again or is this the new life? I sleep with this battle, checking the FB messages that came while I was cooking, putting an alarm on my phone to wake me up and placing an order for a Lego blocks on Amazon.


Sobremesa

It's what you do in Spain after a meal, but is there anything that stops you from trying it where you live especially when it gives you a window to connect with your near and dear ones? Maybe the small device, the gadget.

While sobremesa literally means "over the table, it's the time spent after a meal, hanging out with family or friends, chatting and enjoying each other's company. A meaningful and quality time spent at the dinner table chatting on various subject of interest.



Tuesday, 1 January 2019

May your 2019 fly like Bugatti Chiron @261 MPH !!!




You see A PARADISE DOESN’T EXIST. YOU MUST CREATE IT.



And to top it all, rule your thoughts with tyranny and dictatorship. I have never seen a worse master than our THOUGHTS. You let it loose and it rains mayhem. Make it your slave, choose the thoughts that facilitate your well – being. You leave the gate opened and serpents will enter your living room, pull out your favorite wine, take control over your TV and have merriment at your expense. CHOOSE WHAT YOU THINK AND THAT WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.


I wish you all a busy year ahead... have an overflowing plate. To read the full article, click on Mompresso


Image courtesy-www.wired.com/2016/03/bugatti-crafted-chiron-worlds-last-truly-great-car/

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Your child's fascination with the the big G.


"This is your private part. Nobody should touch it or see it. Only your mom, dad and your doctor can. Never touch your friend's private parts and do not allow anyone to touch yours. It’s private.”
"What is private mamma?"
“Private means, it belongs to you only and nobody should see it, touch it. Also, we do not talk about it with everyone. If you want to talk about it, come to papa or me.”  That's my chant to my child.Blaming the other child for all the ills my child develops, is NOT ON MY AGENDA.


Click on the link to read the full article on Mompresso

Image courtesy-Pixabay

Monday, 17 December 2018

Gujiya- The roads never end.


It is another thing that you do not want to look at the one opening in front of you, that you are not able to gather courage to take that first step, that you are so attached to your previous road that you do not find any other road worth it. Click on the link to read the winning story-----------



Image courtesy-Pixabay

Indian Mom-American Motherhood

Indian or American is not the question anymore. As my identity pendulates with every day news that comes in – ‘Go back’, ‘shithole’, ‘Yes to Asians’, ‘legal-illegal’, ‘skilled-unskilled’, I have been sitting on the biggest seesaw of my life. Never had the alphabet H, the numerical 1 and the B for ball unnerved me as it does now. On the top of this stockpile is the battle I am facing post motherhood.

Click on the link to read-----Indian Mother-American Motherhood

Image courtesy-Pixabay

FourCloverLife

FourCloverLife
Four Leaf Clover