Tuesday, July 7, 2015

the reverberance inside my lonely mind and the resulting outpour

This has not happened for a while, not because I never started to write but because after running multiple drafts on the notepad and on my mind, I didn't get anywhere.  Initially, I was confused about the story that I should tell, how I will vent my anger & frustration, my disappointments but then I decided to stay away from everything.  This hiatus from many things definitely helped my cause, so here I am trying to complete my first draft. The occasional weekend smoke has taken over my daily routine, from 1 to 2 to 3, this has become a crippling habit which I want to get out of, but for now, this occasional smoke is my buddy & companion, until I start gaining trust in my surroundings.  It gives me an excuse to get out on my balcony, in the middle of the night and stare at the emptiness, maybe I am not ready to get rid of those moments which brings lot of topics into my mind, maybe I will miss those sparks if I end up quitting.  I don't know the exact reasons but for now, I am loving the late night cigarettes and I will dedicate this article to those late night smokes.

When I decided to take my hiatus, I was thinking about staying away from my friends as well but the realization that it is unfair to those who stood by me during worst times, made me rethink.  The biggest and most important lesson to be learnt out of life is that no one owes you anything.  Every single one of us are out here for our own self, our happiness and to manage our own moods.  Now the question comes as an individual, how you will deal with it?  This list is just my own life reflections from the past few months which I wrote down because of a number of reasons and in turn another ridiculous page from my life,

Quit your job:
Before last summer, couple of my close buddies helped me initiate the job search but instead of continuing a full fledged search, I decided to put it on hold for rest of the year because of many reasons and maybe the fear of moving out of this beautiful state, Minnesota, played a big role including my inner call to stay close to those I really love. I finally quit my job this February and to be frank, I have never been this happier in my 8+ years long career. Not that I hated my previous job hardcore but switching job was like rebooting a system which was untouched for years. Getting out of comfort zone, a change of scene definitely makes you a better professional (and person) in multiple ways and most of the time, the fact that we are unaware of this makes us continue in that comfort zone forever.  If you haven't done it yet then think through, quit the job if it is sucking the life out of you and find something new.  The people you meet, the new ventures you get into, the new learnings, the aspect that you gave yourself a chance and the overall confidence you get out of this, is inexplicable.  In my case, this was a just a chance rather than a deeply planned one but looking back at the last 4-5 months, it was all worth it for a number of reasons.

Find the dreamer in you
Aren't we all dreamers? Don't we all have dreams?  As a teenager, I used sit on the shores of Vembanad lake and instead of going through engineering text books (sorry amma that I lied to you about studying), I will stare at the moving boats, making conversation with the locals and having casual conversation with the wandering tourists.  During all those moments, somewhere in the back of my mind, I started scribbling the things I wanted to do with life and list of spiritual/materialistic targets that I wanted to achieve in future. Our priorities change as we grow old, for sure many of these dreams take a back seat but at some point in life, the fact that you missed a lot of these will come back to haunt you.  Instead of waiting for that moment, I gave myself a chance, sat in silence to recollect some of them and decided to give it a try.  I didn't want to wait till I become successful to write my story because the time is now and moreover isn't success a trivial term?  Maybe we all had unrealistic dreams but the fact that we are giving a sincere attempt towards achieving it, will work like a magic and I am excited about the upcoming months.  I want to be a drifter who gets to explore more, who gets to travel wide & far, to take that road trip to Ladakh, to blend in with the waves on the Vivekananda rock, walk endlessly on the beautiful Andaman beaches but my commitments have tied me up for now.  I am hopeful of a day, a time I get to unchain myself and fly away… one day...

The pandemonium called Social Media
The "beautiful one" asked me once, "why are you so secretive about your personal life on Facebook?".  I had a difficult time explaining to her & my other friends why any posts would turn out to be a poisonous arrow due to the internal culture at previous work environment.  The fact that many of my coworkers were making assumptions based on what they saw on social media was somehow affecting the daily routine and I was mostly unhappy about the untimely, unnecessary conversations that I had to get into because of it.  I understand the options I had around blocking people or removing them from my lists but the "rebel" inside me was not ready to do it and most of the time, I went into a "It is your problem" mode.  After I quit my job, I went on a spree with respect to updating anything & everything and posting whatever I want before I decided to take a hiatus from everything.  Social Media is a beautiful thing and no matter the cons people come up with, it has changed the way world connects with each other and it is not going anywhere anytime soon but as humans we will continue to evolve so do the applications we continue to create.  But if you are an active social media person who spends a lot of time on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat etc., then take a break for a while when you can.  The biggest change in my case is, I am much more attentive when I am around my friends - I no longer want to be "that friend" who is listening to a great story while staring at the phone or quoting my friend Tony, "Give him an LCD screen and he will stare at it for hours".  Now I only want to listen to that great story and if you are telling one, then I am all ears - social media can wait.

Sonder
I used to be that person who always put my struggle to the forefront - my upbringing, my early life struggles, my problems, all of them took the front seat when it came to making a judgment about another individual. Now I can admit that I was wrong all the way. When she was sitting in front of me and crying, I never understood the emotions (or anxiety involved) that makes someone go through that but I am much more insightful about the whole ordeal now. Irrespective of the background, I understand everyone has their own stories which they keep close to their heart and having a better idea of this will definitely help maintain the connections that you create with people you are meeting. I haven't read John Koenig's book yet but Sonder is my favorite word at the moment and I am happy that I took some time to understand the meaning, reflect into a lot of past experiences.

Path to perfection
I asked an old friend what she thinks is the definition of a perfect guy. I could imagine she responding to my silly question with a whimsical grin.  She said there is no such thing called perfect guy.  So what next?  Do we take some time off, look inside and have the courage to admit that you were wrong so many times, even if no one around you pointed it out?  I have so many such moments in my life, which I feel disappointed about.  When I look back at it, I realize how I could've handled that situation differently.  Maybe I didn't have that level of maturity back then or maybe I went chasing the moment.  I don't have the ability or extravaganza to go back in time to correct any of my mistakes but I decided to change some things.  I understand this is not a path to perfection but paving a way for myself, the right one.  She was right, there is no such thing called "Perfect guy" but you can always be a compassionate, cheerful human being who gives the best into every situation one gets into and as long as I commit myself to doing the right thing, I am sure it will be the happiest detour of my life. "From now on, be the right one" is the new mantra

Know your people
I lived around different places and made a lot of long lasting connections.  Did I do justice to all those connections I made?  Did I leave some important people in search of the so called "greener patches"?   I tried to think through and maybe I did, with few of them.  When I took time to recollect the long list of people that I met and relationships I build with them, it did bring back a lot of good memories.  At a point in life where I felt completely lost and disappointed, I didn't run everywhere asking for help and even ended up hiding the problems from a lot of people that were close to me.  But there were a handful of them who came out to help me during a bad period of time and that random unexpected connections really turned the screw inside me.  I want to payback all of them, even in the form of a simple gesture though most of them doesn't expect anything from me.  The list will start with my mother, a plan just for all the unselfishness she exhibited towards us and that random humane thoughts she shares over the phone.  As for my friends, I will continue to try and be the best one they ever ran into. I will definitely take time for all those who made an attempt to help me out, its my promise and commitment..

Next?
Throughout the past holiday season, I was able to hide all my worries behind a fake smile and though I was present every moment, my mind was absent knowing the new year is not going to be kind towards to me.  This past February, on a cold winter night, at the lowest point of my life over past few years, I went to bed with a mind in disarray but I got up the next morning answering a phone call, where I was informed about a new job.  Over the next few weeks, I occasionally ran away from the emptiness of my apartment, to stroll the beaches in LA, to walk endlessly through the Chicago streets, to get lost in a string of concerts around Minneapolis - in search of some inner peace.  I am not angry any more, I understand my disappointment was the outcome of a story I tried to create for myself and I have forgiven all those moments, I believe, let me down.  I am not sure about what is next or where life will take me but now I can say with confidence that my love is true, my smile is real, my words are sincere and my intentions are genuine.  I have learned to stop and listen to people, those who want to be heard.  This world doesn't have to know all the things that you do but try to make someone smile every time you get outside, whether it is a friend or a total stranger.  Listen to a lot of music, music that you love, that makes you happy, sad, think, jump in joy because the therapeutic aspect of music cannot be unmatched.  As for those who repeatedly ask me to start looking for love again, I asked them to wait because I am trying to discover myself, unearth the dreamer inside me and even though I am adamant to admit, I think I am still in....

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Motivation?

I was dumbstruck when I saw my annual review - by the way year 2013 ended and how things have been going for the last 5-6 months, I didn't expect a miracle to happen in my life.  Due to some reason, I feel extremely sad and disappointed tonight so like always, I thought of taking refuge in here - that virtual world which was always there to listen to my loud cry.  I shouldn't be actually sad tonight, I watched an amazing band called "Yellow Ostrich" but somehow a lot of thoughts going through my mind.  Plan is to do whatever I love to do, whatever I want to do - I am keeping up with this small plan of mine in my own humble ways but somehow there is quite a lot of motivation that I am lacking.. search is on but for how long is an intriguing question..


After spending a considerable amount of time at work last year, most of which I remember and quite a lot which I don't even remember, I learned it was not "enough" and was not up to expectations. No one explains this "enough" factor.  It is always wrapped up in an enigmatic capsule which is locked and sealed, hidden somewhere far away. Those responsible for explaining me the reasons, somehow, is playing a mysterious hide & seek game. Me, I didn't even bother asking about the reasons or any sort of explanation.  The "ego avatar" inside me, decided to take it on myself and deal it on my own rather than going for meaningless conversations where I will be told about factors which I will keep writing onto my head.. I don't think it is worth it, so decision was to hold myself back from having a discussion.  Apparently, I was told that I am a very negative person something which surprised me,  something which I heard for the first time, something which messed up my thoughts for days. I don't know where this is going to end, but there will be light at the end of this dark tunnel - if not, I am going to create one which will lead me further!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

the incomplete side of things..

I have been looking at my drafts for the past few days but somehow not able to add a single sentence onto any of them. Reason? I don't know.. A feeling of being stuck somewhere... so after creating almost 7 drafts, I finally decided to start something which I can complete and it is all about a question someone asked me few weeks ago - "were you thinking about falling in love when you were in your 20s?" I didn't answer the question then.. to be frank, I couldn't.. but this question suddenly popped up on my mind few minutes ago and I thought I can write about it in detail, not with the intention of showing it to the person who asked me the question.. I don't think the answer matters to the one who posed this question, so as always I decided to get in here and explain myself..

the story: After completing my 10th standard in an "all boys" government school, I joined for Pre-Degree science batch at a college near my home.. the excitement around joining the Pre-Degree batch, the last one of its kind in the history of MG University, was pretty overwhelming at that point of time.. PreDegree was replaced by +2, handing over an additional 2 year school "opportunity" for everyone junior to me.. After the initial days of ragging from seniors, all the "shyness" that accompanied being in a classroom of around 70 odd students which included a lot of girls was quite an experience for someone like me..  We slowly settled down and everyone started to get to know each other.. The lean, fair girl with big beautiful eyes and loud voice caught my attention but I didn't talk to her for quite a while. I don't know whether I was shy or afraid of talking to girls but somehow there were no interaction at all.  During classes and tuition hours which followed, I have glanced at her umpteen number of times. At that point of time, for that 16 year old, she seemed to be the embodiment of what beauty is all about..

I don't remember when I started talking to her but we did talk, a lot.. During some breaks in between classes, I had to sing "Neele Neele Ambar Par" by the legendary singer Kishore Kumar and few other songs by the popular Hindi pop band, Euphoria.  Though I never attempted singing later in my life, those songs did bring in a lot of good vibes in our conversations.  I started liking her but I never told her about it (something I regret till date).  One day when I entered the classroom, I noticed that someone did me a favor and declared my love for her on the black-board.. As soon as she entered the room, she glanced at the board (guess she got to know about the news before she reached class) and started walking towards me. I was shivering as if I committed an "atrocious act" and to spice things up, I had a girl in front of me who looked more furious than my mother, when she gets angry.. Luckily I didn't pass out and had little bit of courage left in me to look at her.  She asked, "Did you write that on the board?" and I said, "No", followed by the question, "Do you have any such feeling towards me?", I said "No" again... She walked towards the board, took the duster and cleaned the sentence on the black board. I thought about this situation many times, rerun the second question over and over again, till date I have no clue why I said "No" to her.  Our conversation frequency reduced though we remained friends and I still don't know anything about the "beautiful soul" who wrote that on the black board spoiling a budding relationship.

We continued to talk but I was somehow hesitant to reveal how much I liked her.  Days, weeks, months passed by and I continued to have conversations without making any progress, slowly slipping out of focus on the goals I had set for myself.   The whole freedom which I got in the college, my father's transfer to a different state, I slowly went out of track and studies became my last priority.. Though I was aware that my mom scrambled the amount to enroll me for engineering entrance coaching, I still didn't give much priority to anything related to studies.. I continued to skip classes and went for watching Hollywood movies instead, at one of my favorite cinema theaters in the entire world, "Sridhar" located near Marine Drive in Cochin (I somehow get a weird grin whenever I think about those days - I do remember all the movies that I watched in the cheap front row seats but hardly remember anything about those coaching classes).. I think that is the beauty of life, we tend to remember only those moments which surprised us, those moments which made us smile, those moments which we shared with the ones whom we love, those moments which left a mark forever..

I was unsuccessful in getting a seat for engineering, I somehow got a seat for Bachelor's in Physics in the same college after a horrendous two years of Pre-Degree where my percentage plummeted surprising the entire family.  My idea was to finish my degree somehow and pursue a Masters in management but my father was not ready to understand this.  I had to listen to my furious father continuously when he came home for an annual vacation and literally broke me down at one of his friends places, kicking off one of the worst years of my life (Looking back, I find all these funny - the percentage of marks which doesn't stand as any recognition for the value of a student, the way parents try to enforce their dreams onto their kids, nothing makes sense, nothing)

Back to love - Once I knew that I won't make it to engineering, I decided to go back and join for bachelors.   I later realized that the reason for picking same college, course was not my love for physics but the knowledge that she is also enrolled in the same class. I continued to talk to her but noticed that she is hanging out quite a lot with one of my classmate.  That two and half year old "one way" love came to an end, after I came to know that they are dating.. I did find myself in a sad & gloomy situation for quite a while since nothing worked out for me and no one to blame but myself. I decided to dust up the entrance prep materials and after some effort got into engineering the following year.  Though I liked another girl during the physics course, couple others during my engineering days, I never went ahead and said "I like you" to any of them until I met the very beautiful 5 ft tall feisty.  After hanging out with her for a month into my job training, I asked her whether she want to be my girlfriend.   I said "I love you" to someone for the first time, to someone who believed I was one big mistake, someone who hated all aspects of my personality, someone who came up to me for the first time to reveal how much she hated me..

Now the question is "why I didn't go up to those whom I liked and tell what I felt". No, its not the absence of guts - being brought up in Cochin, guts and courage to do something is never a question for me.  It was a mix of various other things - I had basically nothing with me at that point and the fear of being involved in a relationship with nothing to offer might be one of the reasons why I dragged myself away all the time..  I now realize that there is more to love than flashy clothes, money and numerous other materialistic aspects but for that young guy, his inferiority complex would have played a major role in holding him back.  The obligation to pay back my parents for all the sacrifices that they made maybe a reason or the sense of responsibility to build something on my own maybe another reason.  I do regret the decision of not revealing my love at various points and always wonder where it would have taken me if I did - takes me to an intrinsic complicated world of possibilities, what I would have gained, lost..

Even though I give very little significance to the date, coincidentally it is another valentine's day around the corner and I don't know what I should expect from the one to whom I said "I love you", for the second time in my lifetime. What should I expect from her?  What else I have to do to prove how much she matters to me? I understand the constant struggles that accompanied my relationships, there is a beauty in enduring such pain.  People tell me about thousand reasons why sometimes love will not work - differences, likes, dislikes, distance, money, priorities, career, family, society, religion, caste, culture, this and that. I believe love is the idea of finding a spark that unites one to another, to find that one aspect and build on it, once you focus on that everything else becomes irrelevant.  You slowly build a bond that takes you forward.  I don't know whether time will prove me wrong but for now, this is what I believe in.. I am left with broken links on all occasions, with no one to blame but there is hope.  There is a spark waiting somewhere to weld everything back together but for now, my wait continues..

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

the leaning tower of 6/334 and the big fat Onida

I went to sleep after slowly placing the TV on top of that stand, which I adjusted by placing some paper under it, with a hope that it will not fall on top of the person sleeping under.  For that night, it was my turn and sleep was not an option.  When a lot of unwanted reels is running inside your head, when you are filled with anguish, sleep is a tough thing.  I rolled over that mat for hours, on which I slept every night, that "one man space" luxury available between the cot and cupboard.  I don't remember what time I fell asleep, but the tiredness caused by the earlier ruckus and the drama slowly pushed me into sleep.

TV stand:
My father started working as a site supervisor for a palm oil company in Willingdon Island and was one of their first employee.  So when the construction for their oil tanks started, he became friends with the contractor assigned to building tanks and their employees.  My father became so close to the contractor that we even went to his house to have lunch with his family.  So along with a gate for the house, the contractor agreed to build a TV stand as well.  Finally TV stand was delivered, two thin disks welded together to the edges of a small pipe.  The all metal 'thing' looked like a weird mold which can be used by a 15 year old to bench press. When placed in position it had a small tilt which we had to adjust using few pieces of paper. So it became our own mini version of "leaning tower"...

TV:
Television was a big luxury for most of the Indian families back in 90s and it was no different in my case as well.  As a kid, I remember going to neighbors house to watch sports, movies etc.  So when the TV at our house died (or taken away, I don't remember what exactly happened to that box), the viewership levels at our house went down drastically.  The women in the house were sad that they were not able to continue watching the soap serials/dramas that aired during that time (unlike today where they plague channel after channel during prime time, there were very few that I remember from back then - Good times huh?).  I was sad that our options to watch TV disappeared and had to go watch sports or basically watching what is 'ON' that time, at one of our neighboring houses.  This went on for years, I continued to watch TV at other houses which I picked based on what I wanted to see.  My father had to leave Kochi after being transferred for showing "over" respect to his general manager. From what I heard, he addressed him as "Kutta" (Hindi word for dog) instead of Gupta.  Poor guy, I'm pretty sure it was a slip of the tongue..

During the final stretch of his "life mission" to work all across India, initially posted at the company site in Haldia, West Bengal then at Jamnagar, Gujarat and finally at Ludhiana, Punjab - my father bought a TV.. So before one of his annual vacation trips back home, he listened to our cries and decided to bring back home the big fat Onida 'boombastic" (or whatever name they gave that model due to big side speakers on the rear).  I remember taking the TV box out of the train compartment - suddenly the pathway inside the compartment, it's door, everything seemed smaller than usual.  After a strenuous effort, we bought the TV outside and took it home.  Due to the weight of the box, I thought there was something else inside until "boombastic" came out.  We slowly placed it on top of our very own "leaning tower" and watched it for few minutes to make sure it doesn't collapse.

Furor inside house # 6/334:
 What we saw over the next few days was good times.  We get to watch all the sports and music, father watches news and others also got limited opportunity to watch their favorite TV shows.  After a month long vacation, my father went back to Punjab for work.  Now the real drama started - the rumblings of discomfort and annoyance around not able to watch the TV, favorite channels/programs started popping up slowly.  I believe, my grandmother was at the helm of boiling this up.  So one fine night, when the youngest uncle came back, he started yelling and shouting at us (I would be interested in knowing what brand of alcohol he guzzled that night - I will not describe the abuses that was hurled at me, brother and my mother) for not letting others in the house watch their favorite channels.  My argument was, TV came home based on our request, so others should be happy that they get to see something.  After an hour long debate, which involved adding a lot of new "words" to my personal dictionary and collecting quite a lot of "real life" experience, I decided to take "boombastic" and leaning tower back to our small room from the common space in the house. Though I was around 20 years old and felt like a ball of anger, I gave up on the argument with my uncle. So in one night, we added a TV and bumped up the luxury of our 10x10 feet living/bedroom (where me, my brother and mother slept) to five star.  My uncle continued to shout near the bedroom door followed by the big statement by grandmother to my mother, "You are not going to get this home - don't stay here hoping for that".  Before heading to bed, I went to my grandmother,  smiled at her and told that we don't need the house or anything from her.  End to an eventful night!!

Now:
I found it funny that my grandmother was staying at "my home" when I left Cochin after a short vacation few weeks ago and my uncle visited our place couple of times.  Looking back, though I was filled with a lot of anger and disappointment over this whole commotion, I am glad that I don't hold any grudge with any of the characters involved after so many years and very happy that I got a great story to talk about.  We all live only once so let us make it a beautiful one and to quote Swami Vivekananda "all differences in this world are of degree and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything"

P.S. - I am pretty sure, with his 'Kochi' attitude, my father purposely called his general manager 'Kutta'!! Yes, I lied earlier about "slip of the tongue" - hey, someone had to support my father right?

Monday, December 30, 2013

To the land across two bridges, to meet the beauty called Kochi!! Part I

After a flight, even if it's a short one, I normally like to take a small nap if possible and if it doesn't work, try to complain about how tired I am after the flight.  After landing in Cochin, I reached home around midnight, dropped my bags and decided to take a short walk with my father towards a nearby junction.  Due to a temple festival, there were some restaurants that was open making some hot dosa.  After having a bite of delicious Masala Dosa, couple of Vada and a tasty chai, I returned home.  I couldn't have asked for a better kickoff to my vacation days than this one.  It's always about the small things, small moments....that's what matters!!

People, whether friends or acquaintances, teach us a lot. Every interaction leaves you with a good lesson.  Some conversations lasting few seconds might make more sense than those which takes hours.   Shyista, the beautiful young woman, an artist whom I sat with on my flight from Chicago to Delhi was an awesome personality.  After studying interior designing, she took up a job but left that career in between after losing her appetite for creativity due to the constant tug of war between the clients and her employer.  Shyista is quite a character, easy going, friendly, vibrant, joyous and happy about everything.  Some people leave a good mark on your lives, taking that extra time to observe you and leaving some positive feedback.. I like to wish good luck to her.  Hope her business becomes a huge success, hope her husband makes the film that he dreams about and hope, 'TSAR', her dog live long.. Only unanswered question was, who is the biggest chatterbox among us.. I will let future decide that.. I walked along with her to the gate where she was supposed to board her connection flight to Mumbai and said bye..

I slowly walked towards my gate, humming the song "Duur" performed by the very talented Pakistani band "Strings". After making a quick call home, I was trying to get some cash exchanged to pay for the call and that stroll in the airport terminal turned out to be a sweet one.  I noticed a stranger, with a familiar looking face, inside a store checking out the merchandise.  I walked up to him and asked whether he is the guy that I think he is.  He nodded his head and said "Yes". Mr. Faizal Kapadia, the vocalist from Strings was right in front me.  After a short but exciting conversation, I took couple of pictures with him, said Good bye, continued to walk towards my gate to catch my next flight.  How many times one get lucky like this?  The person who sung one of your favorite song,  one which you were humming for weeks, standing right in front of you - that was a priceless moment.   Unlike the Chicago-Delhi flight where most of my discussion with Shyista hovered around the beautiful air-hostess "Gayatri", my Delhi-Cochin leg was a sleepy affair.  All I remember was dozing off, tasty dinner and an old air-hostess yelling at another passenger to switch off her cellphone because Air India doesn't have "Airplane Mode" in their approved list.   AI needs to arrange some sessions for their flight crew to make them understand that while they were busy flying around, doing their job, world has changed for good and everything is different :)



After the walk, when I came back home, my mom was standing with an "I am not happy" face.  Turned out, she was disappointed I didn't eat anything at home but instead went out to eat with my father.  I promised her that I will eat everything possible over the next two weeks and went to my room.  Standing under the shower, when the cold water hit my body I realized how simple my life used to be before.  I had way too many things to look forward to over the next two weeks, to burst a bubble that I created around myself, to rediscover the happiness that surrounded me always.. To think properly, first I needed a good night's sleep. Lying under that ceiling fan, inside a room with a light touch of humidity, switching off the light, closing my eye-lids, I was well on my way.  Tomorrow is always beautiful because there is way too much to look forward to.. always!!

Happiness is....

Nov 28, 2013

A question that is going through my mind for the past few weeks, a question to which I don't have a ready made answer.  I don't even know where to look for answers.  For me to endure such a pain for so many weeks was quite unacceptable and surprising.  Something which I discussed with couple of my friends here, something which I don't complain about.   I think discovery of oneself happens when you go through such experiences. At a point, you identify yourself as someone who is mentally tough, who cannot be emotionally broken down then next moment you discern that things are taking a wrong turn.  Unpredictability, the beauty with which it occurs, no heads-up, no warnings.  All on a sudden, you are turned against the opposite direction facing the oncoming traffic, against the onslaught of emotions that is flowing against you.  There will be unsuccessful attempts, to sway away, twist, turn but eventually there is no better solution than to figure out how to fit yourself back into the flow, to identify the direction that you should move in..

I always wondered what happiness means to my mother.  Lost her father at the age of 7, brought up by my grandmother along with 6 other siblings and all the struggles that followed.  I hardly know anything about her entire childhood except for few stories here and there.  Since she had to endure more struggles even after getting married, most of which witnessed by me and my brother, how many times was she really happy? What were those moments? I don't know but I can bet only a handful of them exist.

Knowing her very well, I believe she finds happiness in the small things that she does - when she goes to the temple, when she takes part in religious events, all she would be praying for is our well being and I am sure she will not ask anything for herself. How does one do that? I don't know.  How many times she has offered her share of everything to me or my brother and we shamelessly took that away from her without thinking twice.  How she acts so selfless? I don't know.  As always, that's the beauty of the mother.  For her happiness is of a different kind, for her happiness is to see the smile on her children, for her happiness is making sure family has everything, for her happiness is giving up on things without much complaints, for her happiness is dealing with the struggles without letting others know, for her happiness is dealing with the pain.. How you do that mother? I don't know..

When it comes to dealing with my petty problems, easiest way out is to look back to my past.. Luckily I had a roof above my head whenever I went to sleep, my beautiful parents made sure there is food/clothes and my friends, with the little amount they earned, took me around for movies, street food and what not... Saving every rupee was my personal goal and when the amount gets bigger I will hand it over to my mom.  At that point of time, I had mixed feelings about losing those small amounts but looking back, those were the best moments of my life.  Lot of craziness around, still you always flaunt a smile and you are happy for all the right reasons.  Whatever the kids used to have those days - bicycle, gold chains, flashy dresses, latest hair styles etc, I had none of those still I was happy.

Looking at present, whatever I have right now is something I never dreamed about.  With a job that pays me good salary, an own house back home and a car to drive around, I should be above cloud nine, if something of that sort exists.  Then I realize that I am not happy and slowly the reasons started appearing in front me.  While I was busy chasing momentary spurts of so called happiness, I slowly dropped all the virtues that was passed onto me by a lot of good people.  Then came the decisive moment, where I slowed down, looking for answers to all those things I consider as problems.  There was only one answer for my questions, Cochin.  One place where I can go back, to the ones whom I love and believe in, to the ones who gave me anything and everything, to the ones who taught me what happiness means.  I had to walk along those streets, those roads, visit those places to rediscover myself, rediscover my happiness....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the most awaited day...

11/16/2013

My work schedule is nothing less than insane recently.  When I thought things will settle down, everything is going from bad to worse with all the chaos at work.  Over the last few days, I am spending my free time learning Adobe Lightroom5 and editing some of my pics.. I have been away from writing and didn't feel like scribbling anything new..  I am looking forward to meeting "the very special one" on Saturday.  I don't know what "we have to talk in depth" or "I'll tell you some things in person" means.  With an engagement party and a concert in the evening, I am getting ready for an action packed Saturday.  Even though I got this unexpected text from her last Friday, I was completely out of focus due to the issues going on with my work.  But it did bring a smile on my face, something very genuine missing from my face for weeks now.  This suspense kills me and I feel like I'm at a knife point, waiting for something to happen. I don't know what the topics are and what I am going to hear, but I have decided to keep myself calm and listen. I don't know whether I want to elaborate to her anything, about what happened over the last one month or so.. Looking back, it's been a crazy few weeks and I never had my mind go out of control like this before, all over the place, in shambles..

11/23/2013

I am known among my friend circles for being someone who is always happy, fooling around with my silly jokes but surprisingly today was really stressful.  I got out of my bed early this morning with a bad headache. Couple of pills and some extra sleep didn't help much.  So instead of crawling in the bed I decided to get ready for the evening.  I don't know how I end up getting a head-ache every time I am around her.  My first stop for the day was Chaska, a city few miles away from my apartment, to attend the engagement party of the very beautiful couple, David & Angela.  I didn't want to skip that even though my mind was in a confused state.  David has turned out to be one of the most amazing friends I have met in a long time.  Someone who understood my feelings, someone who sensed what was going on, someone who stopped me and asked "How I am doing?".. I ended up talking a lot with him, especially about my past.  At times, I feel like, I am pouring a lot of myself onto him but he has always showed the patience to listen to me.  For that friendship, for that brotherly warmth, I wanted to make sure I go attend the engagement party.

For me, nothing is more beautiful in this world, than seeing a room full of beautiful smiling faces, talking to each other, sharing stories and spreading joy.  After spending some amazing time and eating some delicious food, I said good bye to everyone in the house, to go see "the very special one". (I later came to know that few of my friends at the party noticed that I am completely out of mood).  Those last moments were like preparing for the most important meeting of my life, something that I was looking forward to for the last one month.  The build up to this was really crazy and the anticipation whether I am actually going to meet her or not, was the most demanding part of it.  The excitement died down while I was driving the long stretch of 32 miles from Chaska to St. Paul.  It was an overwhelming struggle inside me thinking about all the details that she would tell me, what went wrong, where it all broke down.

I parked my car and walked towards the restaurant where she was waiting for me.  I felt a chill within me which I am sure was not because of the -13 °C temperature outside.  I walked up to the door of that Mediterranean cafe, Shish, opened it and looked around but couldn't find her (let me tell you one thing, this cafe has an amazing ambiance and I still don't have a clue how she picks up such spots).  Just when I was about to dial the number, I noticed her.  I don't know how it happens and why it happens, but my mood changed so quickly.  All the happiness that had disappeared from me, the smile that went away, everything was back on, just like that.

I forgot most of the things that I wanted to tell her. Whatever I told her, it was all in bits and pieces.  I struggled to put together my words, I felt like my sentences made no sense.  I asked her about what happened and it was heartbreaking to see her explain study related struggles with tears.  What I don't understand is, why she thinks I will be unable to help her out.  I think she lacks some moral support which I am pretty sure, I will be able to provide only if she allows me to.  The whole time, I sat there listening to her, looking at her beautiful face - I just forget my worries every time I do that.  That's a magic only a beautiful woman can provide.  I had nothing to contradict, just like our past there was no argument or fight, we just spoke.. More than anything, I was just happy that I met her again, her presence drags me to a whole new level of happiness..

She was all tears and I sat there giving her napkins, making vain attempts to cheer her up.  That tears always told me a story, gave me an indication of what is going through her mind.  I can see she still has the same love for me but she is putting up a courageous face, that eyes, they never lie to me.  I just wanted to make it clear that I still love her and I have no plans to forget her.  This is a painful part, but I am ready to deal with it because I am experiencing it for the first time, and for all the good aspects, I will let it roll.. I just wanted to make it a point that, I have nothing to prove to her.  I always gave my best to her, my intention was to make her smile and I treated her well whenever she was around me.  I always asked and listened to her opinion..

When I told her about the concert, she agreed to join me.  That hug during the concert, I know what it means.  Like the concerts I recently attended, I was not into the music but instead was standing there thinking about her the whole time.  I took her back to the place where she wanted to go and said good bye.  But I said it my way, the way she always loved.  For the person she is, beautiful inside and out, I really hope she gets better at managing her study balance and wish everything gets back to normal for her. I will wait for another moment to hear her magical voice, to see her gorgeous smile, until then back to my world, dealing with my monkey mind, my random thoughts!!