30 November, 2017

Truth be told

I have often, and on some days, multiple times in a single day, wondered if it is worth it to "present" the reality in a more palatable form. In our bidding to cushion the blow, or save the day, or sometimes just save ourselves from giving explanations, we invent the truth or maybe window-dress it... without realizing that it will all catch up with us.

With an already overburdened brain, one often tends to get lost in the various shades visible and forget what it really looks like, only to get a rude shock when a situation presents itself.

Though it might seem tough, and often tedious to deliver the truth, it is definitely easier in the long run, than to keep remembering what one has said so far.

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
~ Mark Twain

18 November, 2017

The Last Mile

I will drop dead some day... hopefully it won't be long and painful (fingers crossed).. 

Can't stake claims on any great achievements, so my send off, obviously will be inline.... I know I'd be missed by my near and dear, but I don't think I'd like a long a dreary ceremony to put me to rest....

I can just be donated in parts or to some medical college in full (if my health permits)... or simply be burnt down to ashes with all that is left put in soil with a nice plant/tree on top.. it feels like a appropriate final destination... Don't seem to like the idea of flowing down the Ganges, or being washed down the Yamuna....

PS: Don't worry... I am not in a suicidal mode... this is not a death wish... this is just what I ideally want done when I finally kick the bucket...




04 November, 2017

Parenting Reversed

I think most of you grow up wanting to be good parents.. in effect, we end up parenting not just our children but our siblings, friends, family, and even our parents. Little do we realize that most of these people never signed up/needed someone to parent them.

The realization dawned when my mother pointedly mentioned that their holidays are more adventurous and fun when I am not around with them, since there is no one constantly telling her to mind her step, or second guess if she'd be able to climb the mountain.
As much as I'd like to deny this, it is probably true. Call it concern, or pure-simple role reversal, we, as children are hard-wired to keep second guessing such things about our parents.

Life does come a full circle after all....
From our parents wondering about our well being when we as children sought freedom and adventure, to a complete 180 degree, where we consider ourselves as their care taker, and they seek a new horizon.

15 October, 2017

Discussions and Decisions

We work in groups... teams...
And each person wants to add value to the discussion.. to every decision...
till there comes a point where the point is lost..
And it all seems in vain...


The more people spoke, the closer to consensus every decision came, and the less responsibility anyone had.

~ Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

07 October, 2017

That drop when it falls...

I don't know why I started crying...
I worse still, I don't know why the tears aren't stopping... 
It's not like I've not endured worse and put up with it.. Or atop that drop from coming out of the corner of my eye....

Maybe the floodgates just got crashed, and now nothing is stopping them...
I guess it'll take its time to dry up...

But while it lasts, let it all get out...
So that nothing remains..
And everything can start afresh..

PS: Bottle up stuff, and the odds are that it'd present itself as anger or tears or both !

14 September, 2017

...

I'll not run anyone's life – nor let anyone run mine. 
I will not rule nor be ruled. 
I will not be a master nor a slave. 
I will not sacrifice myself to anyone – nor sacrifice anyone to myself. 

~ Ayn Rand
Textbook of Americanism

29 August, 2017

70 years of Independence, yet miles to go before we sleep

The recent Dera incident has made one thing very clear. Irrespective of what the underlying issue, be it Rape or simply reservation for few people, our instant reaction is violence and uncontrollable outburst. I am still unable to comprehend how any follower of the "god" men can react in such a way to support a rapist.... I wonder if even one-tenth of them with stand in arms with the one who has been raped. We are just pathetic.

But that's not the core issue.... why most of these people have such staunch die-hard followers is because in some other twisted ways, they have worked for the society... be it free hospitals or education or just basic meals. 
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate the guts of these people who claim to work for the society's betterment and behind curtains commit such sins.... 
But the point still remains... for someone who can't afford a square meal a day, if someone ensures clean food or proper medication or a roof to stay, the person will be given a demi-god status.

The absolute basics, roti - kapda - makaan, which the state should have ensured for each citizen by now, is still a far away dream even after 70 years of Independence. Till the state steps up and provides these essentials, there will always be someone/ some institution which misuses this weakness of the people to derive their end purpose.

22 August, 2017

Control Thy Tongue

In this age of impatience and impertinence.. where patience is treated not as a strength but as a weakness, I find myself wondering often, again and again, whether it is a good idea to spit out what is exactly on your mind, especially in a fit of rage.


But almost always, the realization dawns.. that it is... after all, better to control what comes out of our wagging tongue...  It makes perfect sense to think, and sometimes re-think what one wishes to convey.... I don't mean being secretive and not revealing anything... but the choice of words makes a world of difference...

After all, what comes out of our mouth, more often than not, comes and bites us in the ass....
Graphic Credits: Pinterest


20 August, 2017

The audition for a life partner

The whole idea of finding the ideal partner seems to be a lopsided affair, especially in India. 
Though times have changed, and thankfully the judgement is not just based on whether the girl is pretty or can cook good food, or sing well.... different things like education, job, upbringing etc are all seen.... it still feels like an audition....

And the most basic aspect is rarely questioned... that the guy comes to see the girl... as if it will be a test for the girl based on her skill set, and the judgement on the boy an be simply based on his demeanor..... I am not saying all arranged marriages (and even love marriages in some cases) are decided like this... the girl IS given the freedom to decide...

But I am yet to come across a case where the boy has had to prove his mettle to the girl and her family... I wonder when that will change..... 
In these changing times when men and women compete in all spheres including the corporate world, I don't know how long it will be before this process begins to feel like a decision amongst equals...


07 August, 2017

All - Mighty

I know I have harped on this issue one too many times in the past... but nothing seems to be enough... everyone seems to have such strong and uncompromising views on the issue, that it is difficult to explain your views....

But reading this article in Livemint really struck a cord... The underlying essence of each and every religion is the same... believe in yourself and have faith in the Almighty (irrespective of how you address your Almighty) and be an honest person... the rest will just follow.... However, more than half the battles in the world seem to be fought over who the true Almighty is. People tend to associate religion with identity, and hence the lack of a firm choice on the first seems to affect the other.

The author Natasha Badhwar rightly points out
"Often a question about identity is spoken as if it is a judgement in itself. Sometimes a question sounds like an accusation. It is fired to prove that any answer you give will be deemed wrong. Others are not necessarily curious about your version of your self. The question is more like an intangible boundary they draw around their own set of beliefs. They are threatened by realities beyond the ones they have allowed themselves to imagine."

I wonder when we will grow up enough to understand that whether I choose to fast during Navratras or Ramzan or Lent will not change the person I am. If only we teach our children just the core values, and leave the rest to their intelligence and choices as they grow up, I am sure this world will be a better place.

06 August, 2017

Leave and Let Live

We keep playing around with our lives, treating our bodies like some sack that can be punched around... or more appropriately like the hit me toy, which comes back even after suffering a punch...

But unfortunately, our body is neither.... its suffers each impact or neglect and non maintenance till it finally gives in... clearly, we indirectly keep inviting what we are not prepared to accept... that there is an end, and it will come soon enough....

So what happens in the end... will we rise up in smoke, or become a part of the earth once again.... What if we have an opportunity to help someone out... is it such a bad idea ?

Think about it



26 July, 2017

Belief and Non Belief

All of us have our notions, or imagination, about god...
Almighty exists... he doesn't... 
He runs our life... we do....
He has a form... he is infinite...
He lies in that corner of that room called a temple... he lies within me....

Whichever form/format one prescribes to... 
Whichever belief or non - belief one lives with...
It's a choice best made by one self...

It would be wrong to question the others belief or instigate the other... However, it is equally important to respect other peoples thoughts on the issue...
Somehow, we find it so obvious to explain our status/ line of thought on the issue that we often try and convince other to align their thought...

Whatever else might be different, but we are all human (or are atleast trying to be! )... 
And that should be enough to bind us...
Belief might be important, but isn't there a bigger commonality between all of us which should ideally be sufficient to co-exist...



25 July, 2017

Time - Distance - Speed ? Longing !

Distance makes the heart grow stronger... I had heard this line so often, but I always wondered if it was true.... I mean, doesn't all the distance add up into something cynical in that small contraption being carried over shoulders by our necks...

I guess we'll have to just wait and watch for the final verdict....
Keeping my fingers crossed...


12 July, 2017

Piecing it together

There is a lot of merit in piecing everything together, even if it is something as simple as a jigsaw puzzle to something life keeps throwing our way...

The biggest benefit, ofcourse, is that we are working towards putting it together, towards a final goal, an end result, which in itself results in lots of positivity..

Also, humans seem to have a tendency to play with puzzles... we like toying with the conditions to figure out what fits the situation best....

And finally, if the end result is as expected or better, the sense of achievement is incomparable.. the joy of completion with the desired outcome provides a sense of satisfaction which most daily activities are deficient of...

Ultimately, a puzzle might puzzle us... 
but once we solve the puzzle...
we are often puzzled as to 
why the puzzle puzzled us so much :)

11 July, 2017

An instant of opportunity

What would you do if you are unexpectedly given the choice of choosing you future... 
or atleast a form of it...
Would you jump at the opportunity, or just blank out like me...

Let me explain...
there were multiple thoughts running through my head just at that instance...
first, and foremost, as ironic as it may sound, I wondered if I might end up underestimating myself (like duhhh !)
the other one ofcourse, was wondering if life (or rather the circumstance) was playing a joke on me...

Effectively, the opportunity and the option was lost...

Maybe, sometime in the future, I'd wonder if I would've been better off making the choice !!!


28 June, 2017

Unfiltered Words

We are simpler and more honest people when we are younger... what is on our mind is what comes of our mouth... the blatant brutal truth...  added to that, we never bothered filtering any information with our family/loved ones.

But it seems like the older we become, we put in a lot of thought into everything we do, be it a simple good morning to conversation over coffee.... cheerful banter with friends or simple things to be shared... till a point where the thinking becomes over thinking... 

The joy of sharing suddenly becomes a well thought out exercise.... thoughts to be shared are treated like burdening the other person, wondering if the would affect the person too much (or maybe not at all)... leading to muted conversations and longer silences...

The urge to share thoughts is replaced by the thought of whether to burden a person... We know the issue is important, and yet we assume it isn't vital for the other to know....

Simple uncomplicated words and conversations, which were earlier treated as bridges to forge stronger relationships are now weighed down by the myopic view of whether the words will affect the other persons mind...

We were better as child... we didn't know right from wrong... but we also didn't have a filter planted in our head, weighing everything under pros and cons...... everything was so much more clear cut and uncomplicated.


19 June, 2017

Just Do It !!

We often have a longing in our life... for certain people, things, places.... We feel it... we absorb it... and sometimes we weep about it... But more often than not, most of us rarely do anything about it...

We lead such busy lives, that the standard excuse for not fulfilling this longing is that we don't have time... but more often than not, what pulls us back is not the clock ticking by, but our will to just do it...

We want to speak to our friends, but get caught up in our busy - mundane lives... and if our lives are not busy enough, we wonder if the other might be, and if we may end up disturbing them... This tendency to over-think an action is actually the true cause...

So the next time you are longing for someone, but pickup the phone/car to reach out...
All the fulfillment of a wish to visit a place takes is booking of tickets...

All you need is just an attitude to Just Do It !

03 June, 2017

Women = Men ?

All of us talk about gender equality, and woman empowerment...
How a girl is as good as a boy, that she can be treated like one...

I've heard lots of parents saying they've raised their daughters like sons... maybe with the intent that they have been raised to be as independent and self sufficient... 

But as long as we aspire for our girls to be treated like the boys... as long as the women are competing with the men... we can never be expected to be treated as equals... it feels like there is still something lacking...

Women who seek to equal men lack ambition
~ Marilyn Monroe


01 June, 2017

Help while you can

There is a secret joy in helping strangers.... those walking by the street... people fumbling in a market place... or simply some pedestrian trying to cross a road....

I try not to loose such an opportunity.... 
But truth be told, I have a strong ulterior motive for doing this...

It is always, and I mean always, with the hope that, in case my family and loved ones are having trouble and need help, some stranger will come around and help them out...


We can't help everyone,
but everyone can help someone.
~ Ronald Reagan

14 May, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

From being critical about the Mother's and Father's days, to writing this today...

Our life goes through different phases... from being an infant, and holding their hands... to childhood heading to adolescence, where the hand became a finger, but the touch was still essential.... somewhere in the middle of the second decade, we long for independence, striving to break free (from I wonder what !) from the "hold" our parents wield on us... I guess life comes a full circle, when we actually set out to build a nest of our own, how much we depend on them...

Though I may not end up saying this to you face to face (you might even think I've actually lost it if I do ;))... but it is true...

Amma, I might have grown up, but I don't think I can ever outgrow you... 
You mean the world to me...  from being a child, and yet enjoying being treated as an adult by you; to now being an adult and yet your indulging my childish whims and fancies.. you just know it...

I adore you.. admire you and respect you, for what you pull off each day, each moment...
Happy Mother's Day !!!

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. 
Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.
~ Maya Angelou

11 May, 2017

Dali

He made paintings like Persistence of Memory...
And said things like The only difference between a madman and myself is that I am not mad.

It might sound like I am referring to a friend, but this is the most apt way to introduce anyone to the one and only Salvador Dali



So, on his 113th birthday (and to say he still sounds relevant), I borrow his own lines..

Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.

PS: A special thanks to my friend who introduced me to the joys of Dali :) May you find more like these.

09 May, 2017

The Anthem

Though these lines were written ages ago, I am still waiting for a time when all of us truly imbibe these words, and are proud of the nation we are a part of.

This is, actually, my anthem.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high 
Where knowledge is free 
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments 
By narrow domestic walls 
Where words come out from the depth of truth 
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection 
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way 
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit 
Where the mind is led forward by thee 
Into ever-widening thought and action 
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

30 April, 2017

Social Campaign

After a long time, a brand has chosen a strong social message through its campaign. 
Vicks in its latest advertisement has chosen an issue which has been debated in various forums, but with no outcome.



The last such socially relevant campaign was done by Tata Tea through Jaago Re, where it pushed all citizens of this country to vote. It helped that they covered the entire spectrum of issues faced by voters, from applying for a voter ids to understanding a constituency, and not just the ad campaigns.

Very often, these ads leave a message which might not occur to you at the face of it, but which successfully plays on your subconscious.

I hope Indians are able to churn out more such campaigns, which help Indians in becoming more and more aware.

29 April, 2017

God - I hope you hear me loud and clear !

I was suddenly reminded of an earlier post of mine when I read about the recent controversy Sonu Nigam got caught in. Loudspeakers at religious places have always been a pain, and suddenly now, media seems to have caught wind of the problem. I hope people like Babu Khan, who are fighting lone battles on the issue should be get more support from the public. Maybe that will set the right trend.

As The Supreme Court rightly pronounced earlier, no religion prescribes that prayers should be performed by disturbing the peace of others nor does it preach that they should be through voice amplifiers or beating drums.

Despite all the noise (literally) around this issue, The noise persists...
I wonder if we can ever learn.

12 April, 2017

Word Play

We often indulge ourselves in light banter and comments, without putting much thought into the impact of those words.

However, as an after thought, one would realize that each word falls into place due to a subconscious decision to say what we wanted to say. What most of us guise of slip of the tongue or unintended remarks are more often fully intended.

31 March, 2017

The Grand Plan

We are all planners. 
Some of us try and plan the minutest detail and the others plan just the milestones. But whichever way we look at it, there is some amount of thought and 'inception' that goes into it.

A believer would say that it is all pre-ordained and part of a grand plan... Each joy, each pain, each loss and each gain... But in that moment (of happiness or gloom) it is quite difficult to identify this plan. But if that's true, what's the point of our planning? Was it all for nothing?


30 March, 2017

Our Evolution

I know this reads like a repetition, but can't afford to under-emphasise the importance of what we pick up from our environment, subconsciously.

We are all like sponges, constantly learning and unlearning from our environment. We learn at home, work, with friends, through friends and gradually, sometimes imperceptibly, change over time.

But what if the changes ultimately become drastic, and one fine day, you realise you don't like parts of what you've turned into! Then is my evolution (which is supposed to be for one's better) counter productive.

What do I manage my acquired aggression, talkativeness and flamboyance. I am wondering if it has become a part of me now.

11 March, 2017

Good wishes and Blessings

Some would call me selfish...  But somehow, I associate great value to the blessings we get...

At the end of the day, it isn't the food we eat or the air we breathe that keeps us going, it is the good wishes and blessings we get... earn... deserve that take us through the day, and life in general.

So if I see my grandmother waving her hand, I ensure it firmly lands on my head :)

07 March, 2017

Smile

A wise person once said..

"Just because my eyes don't show tears, doesn't mean I don't get hurt...
Just because I come our strong, doesn't mean that nothing went wrong...
I often choose to pretend to be happy, so that I don't need to explain to people who will never understand...
Smiling has always been easier than explaining why I am sad...."

This is so true.... 

05 March, 2017

Tears

We often put ourselves through so much pain, both physical and mental, which we face firmly, without loosing our mind, unscathed... despite the pain, we don't leave teary eyed...

And then there are days, when all it takes is a tumble, and the eyes just let go...
It's like the mind just looses control...

28 February, 2017

Anti - Social Media

As a part of evolution, looks like we are on our way to becoming more social people... not that we have suddenly started bonding with our friends or interacting with our neighbours... but by simply sharing every possible event and non-event of our life on "social" media... 

Be it Facebook, which seems to have successfully found means and ways to even ruin a special holiday by checking into the resort, or Linkedin, through which Microsoft seems to have taken on Facebook, and created a timeline of its own. What was once a professional network, and again become a sequence of posts.  Whatsapp seems to be the latest addition with its segment on latest status update.

Despite creating the misnomer called being a "social" animal, as a society, we seem to be lonelier, more cut off from not just friends but even family. We claim to be extroverts, shouting out to the world, without realizing we aren't even capable of listening to ourselves most of the times. It is as if we are telling the world, with the hope that someone will respond....... 

It might be time to build back the bridges of actual communication. Meet the people you care about. Touch them. Or atleast Talk or Write to them. Don't let them feel hostage of this new age of social media (which increasingly sounds to be an oxymoron to me).

At the end of the day, they won't remember that you posted a selfie taken with them at a party. What they will remember is what you said to them.

04 February, 2017

02 February, 2017

Love and Being Loved

We were recently having an arbitrary conversation recently about who are our real loved ones, besides our parents/children. It was fairly amusing to see, as I deliberated on my choices, that my answers would have varied at different points in my life.

The change can partly be attributed to the change in environment around us, and hence the different people around us, but it also has to do with the change in our interpretation on the concept called love and being loved.

The only people who will probably steadily rank high on this list, despite time and age are our parents.

22 January, 2017

Choices and Aspirations

This is an important question... There is no right answer..I think it is each woman to her own...

Though they haven't provided the answer, Titan has managed to capture most of the thoughts growing in our minds...



We all have our thoughts on what kind of parents we'd like to be... what all we'd aspire for our child, and what in turn we achieve ourselves...

But in most cases, becoming parents (especially mothers) suddenly changes their lives where all hopes and aspirations are for the child, almost neglecting oneself... 

I wonder what I'd do when the time comes !!

21 January, 2017

Words... Play...

We utter the words...
and then bite our tongue...

We often wish to ask a question...
and then debate if it our place to pose the question...

It is not always the courage...
It is often behind the words, that often don't get uttered....

Hmmmm.....

08 January, 2017

Trials and Tribulations

The push.. The pull...
The trial.. The failure...
When the multiple unsuccessful attempts give you such a surge...
I wonder what finally getting through would feel like !

07 January, 2017

What Women Want

You don't need magical powers like Mel Gibson What Women Want
> to be able to hear what goes on in her mind. All it takes is sometime in the Ladies compartment of the Delhi Metro or Mumbai local.
You'll find women of all shapes, sizes and ages giving their immediate neighbour a piece of their mind or brooding themselves.

Eitherways, you'll know, and you won't even have a choice about it :)