Life happened?!

Do you think the blue looks better or the pink?

Umm, you think the grey goes with the red?you sure?! Hmm, maybe you are right.

But then again, don’t you think the blue looks a lot better?

Now for the male of the species wherever you may be I’m sure reading this would be like deciphering a cryptic code.

and the ladies….well they already picked up the threads and are running with it.

This may well be a conversation about clothes, quilts or stilts (ahem, stilletoes I mean).

And this may well be a conversation between tweenies, millenials, 60-somethings (like someone said choose your poison)

The mirrors come out too…harmless wrinkles start looking like the markers on the runaway to guide a taxing flight (in this case the woman and her descent to old age); pimples and acne where once they were reflecting blooms of youth are now red lights of poverty (coz you obviously couldn’t afford the latest skin treatment procedure equal to a month’s pay, the pay of your local kaamwalibhai that is) ; barges and boats around your midriff are no longer the signs of a ‘kaathe peethe ghar ki ladki‘ but the signs of losing it (to laziness, sloth, overindulgence)  and where a flat ab is no longer the prerogative of the coolie but a proud gym junkie.

My dear ladies and gentlemen,  we are after all living in a world where being curvy is sinful but  being painfully thin is a virtue; where you can flaunt your money but not your brains; where more is so much more after all we believe in conspicuous consumption and prefer eating out at malls than in dining halls of our own homes; where we prefer being gnomes to someone’s sense of your worth or their definition of what makes you You instead of standing Tall like the giant of a man that Rudyard Kipling wistfully recited…If…

After all like the good man said in HONY (Humans of New York) , “One day you will turn 60,feel 18 and wonder what the hell happened”……

darling,  life happened that’s what, either you make it happen or it just does!!

Work Ethics

The earliest memories of my demure, 5’4″ mosima (grandmother) are always associated with sunrises, woody smoke, cotton sarees and the fragrance of Charmis cream. 

I’m nearly five I think, my summer holidays have just started and I burrow myself deeper into the thick blanket mosima has wrapped around me.

No books to be bundled inside my canvas bag, no homework to be checked by a hawkish uncle, no poems to be learnt by rote and no tests around the corner.  I will away the chirping of the sparrows, the woody smoke from the kitchen and the  morning light I knew awaited me. The chill of the morning along with the rhythmic snoring of my grandpa was enough to make me glide back to sleep where I knew I would dream of books piled high along with hot samosas and Boost.

But rain or shine, holidays or school my dearest would be up before the cock crowed. Yes, we had roosters at every corner in Bangalore then along with cowsheds. My city was truly a garden city. My road was lined with yellow and orange champa trees, their fragrance intoxicating and heady in summers; gulmohars in resplendent red during the monsoons and always, mosima pottering around the house like a goddess. She was omnipresent.

In the kitchen, making breakfast and packing lunch for a family of 8 that sometimes expanded to 15 and more. In the garden, watering her beloved papayas, pomegranates, banana, jasmine, hibiscus and all the other myriad bushes and trees that dotted our small plot. In the veranda giving a bowl of egg and milk to a stray dog we had adopted. She wasn’t a dog lover but there was just no way she could refuse to care for yet another creature. To her all of God’s creatures were to be loved and nurtured. She would be in the backyard serving coffee to the old lady who helped with cleaning vessels and washing clothes. To the market she would go with her cloth bag and me in tow. At times, I would accompany her on a 6 km hike to our ration shop to buy the monthly groceries of rice, dal, oil, sugar and wheat.

Till the day she was admitted to the hospital where she breathed her last my dearest never wearied of fulfilling her duties to her family, her neighbors and the ones she cared for. 

Always the first one to wake up and the last to sleep. Non-complaining, ever-smiling, quick with a hug and a patient ear. Non-judgmental and driven, to be the best she could for us, her thankless brood. 

Now as I pour over management books and read articles galore I realise my dearest had the traits of a successful entrepreneur and an inspiring leader.

  1. She worked harder than the rest of us, whom she united as family
  2. She never asked but gave willing of herself and commanded us with a gentle smile, never a tear or a threat
  3. She was always willing to give a second chance and yet another chance till proven wrong
  4. She was driven by an inner moral compass and higher principles
  5. She never advised without being sought
  6. She never sat on judgement but stood by your side to pull you up and get you going

As I look around me at  papers piled high, clothes strewn around, empty bottles of water and the clock ticking by I see a sweet lady pick up and arrange with nay, a murmur nor a rebuke.I hear her sing, cook and clean with never a care for her aching body or thankless brood (smaller though it be) and I think to myself, I can’t go wrong. For my mother carries on where mosima left off.

I have a long way to go but I know the work ethics I have imbibed from the women in my family run deep within me.

As I trace my career,  adventures in living, challenges and triumphs I realise it is my mosima I look to for inner strength and retaining my authencity of who I am and being the best I can be; of staying true to myself and bouncing back every time I fall.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be gorgeous, brilliant, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. …As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

 

 

 

 

Finding Nemo

Most of you must have seen Finding Nemo not once but a few times over. I did the same as well.

N

I’m revisiting this Disney-Pixar classic again ‘coz I find I’m Nemo now.

I’m lost and trying to find my way back. And I’m out hunting myself.

Sounds confusing, doesn’t it?!

After living life to someone’s perception of who I am, I’m discovering who I am and I like what I find. Hallelujah….all those years of carefully cultivated masks are peeling off, surely but slowly. This is but a start. And in the process, here is what I figured:

  • Respect yourself before you expect some one else to respect you
  • Love yourself more for some one else to love you a little
  • Be honest with yourself even if you aren’t with anybody else
  • Speak up, for if you do not, nobody else will
  • Blow your trumpet, it makes for pleasant music but don’t blare it out ‘coz then it becomes noise
  • Forgive yourself
  • Ask for help even before you get lost
  • Frown, sulk, get angry; you don’t need to smile all the time
  • Don’t rush in to fill empty spaces and places

I’m beginning an exciting new journey filled with frown lines, crow’s eyes, saggy skin, effervescent humor, sunshine smiles, greying hair and open, childish eyes.

 

 

Is it Me

or has the world changed while I was semi-comatose at the work station?

I find myself surrounded by teens who are rotund and getting rotunder with all the McDz and chicken snackers they are snacking on

I find more people older than I’m at the gym than finding young ‘uns

I find 50-year olds playing volleyball and planning their next trek to the Himalayas

while the 15-year old is glued to the blinking cursor

I find self control easily enough in the online dictionary along with all of its doppelganger but nothing within

I find I have a belly where once there was a waist

I find enough excuses to stay put at home on a weekend even attacking that huge pile of laundry instead of hopping out to meet friends

I find it easier to tolerate my folks and even appreciate their quirks and laugh as well

I find it easier to open my heart, close my ears and see the world with wonder

I find work is no longer a DIRTY 4-letter word

I find the thought of living life without the other half terrifying though I lived happily enough with my whole earlier

I find it easier to let go than hold on

I find the battle more exciting than the outcome

I find my mother is not my friend but the soul within, irritating in its righteousness but always there wherever you are

ahhhhh what is it…with me?!!

Feb 14…

So what? Just another day or so I thought?

Till my dear lady looks at Bambubhai and asks So what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Huh?! What?! Come again?!

Quizzical looks passed between Bambubhai and me. What were we expected to do? Roses, wine and chocolates. Couldn’t be cheesier we thought as we continued to fight over The Social Network and Zuckerberg’s potrayal. Wasn’t he a manipulative SOB or smart?!

Valentine’s Day huh?! What?! Come again?!

Bambubhai and I have known each other for a long time now. Wishing each other on a birthday is not even a priority on our list of things. The height of romance scaled…

a bottle of chilled beer shared on a hot afternoon

reading comics in companionable laughter

packing bags for a weekend birding trip

book sales with business biographies, kenneth anderson vying for a spot with jim corbett, archies slugging it out with Suppandi

blowing  soap bubbles

heading to the friendly neighbourhood acquariumwalla to see the latest catch and adding even more fishes to our growing collection of fishes

taking Malteaser for a walk

another argument..

on google vs facebook

on how much he hates facebook

about whose turn it was to fill up water in the loo

Golmaal 3 vs Love Story

home-made biryani vs take out from chung’s

NOW TELL ME FOLKS, kindly do, where is the time to commemorate St. Valentine when our days are full of the mundane?!