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....