Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hard to say goodbye....

Today I experienced one of the weirdest feelings ever. Sitting at the Mumbai international airport and thinking of what lies ahead...began to feel there is a lot being left behind. Felt like suddenly life has taken a completely different turn.

I can't even explain my current state. Right now I am about to take off and my heart tells me to step off this aircraft and go home. It is not even the time to actually move, yet these feelings...cannot think of a logical explanation for this.

Anyway, the flight is about to take off and I have no choice...

Goodbye Mumbai...surely this is not easy for me to say...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Those six hours....

Yesterday I probably had the longest ever conversation over phone with a very special friend. We almost spoke of everything under the sun....ranging from work to our college life, our present lives..and our future...and yet it seemed like this could easily go on for a few more hours with absolutely no dearth of topics to discuss.

To be honest, I was wishing this call never ends. It was after really long time that I was feeling extremely powerful mentally and open to speaking my heart out. It seemed like everything was just falling into place by itself and this talk was making all that come to the fore. Probably the person on the other end didn't even realize what it all meant to me...but such is the power of conversation I guess...it just does the right thing, for the right person at the right time. And certain people are just needed to get this going and perhaps the friend was needed for this to happen.

After I put the phone down, there was a sudden lull in my mind...a realization that a lot of this may not really be possible in a month's time. Living alone in a foreign land suddenly didn't seem all that easy. It is going to mean a lot of things being left behind...some may still stay...a lot may be lost. However, I need to take this hard call soon for sure. Thus went the 7th hour...thinking of what next to do...the night was silent and seemed like no one was really listening to my thoughts...it was more like a dialogue between my mind and my heart; each having its story to tell..

Pondering over the past few years of my life and looking at what future has in store for me, the turmoil of thoughts continued into the 8th hour. They were no longer rational thoughts...most of the arguments my mind was posing seemed baseless...so finally decided to put an end and try to get some sleep. However, my thoughts went back to the phone talk and how it had suddenly changed a lot of what I was thinking. Those 6 hours made a huge impact...and as I woke up this morning...continued to stay in my mind. Surely it was not just the talk, but more importantly the person that made this happen. I began to realize as well how much this friend meant to me and how things would suddenly change in a few days.

Of course, even now I have not come to decide what I want to do next...what my decision would be...maybe in a worse situation than before for deciding this...but I am glad that "those six hours" really brought to light what relationships really mean to me and how i need to cherish them and never let go. Decisions in life need not always be driven by rationale...most of them end up being driven by emotion(so has been my case always) and this conversation just reiterated that for me. Perhaps I may still decide to go, but now with more awareness and a greater ability to value what I have with me.

This post goes as a dedication to this special friend who helped me to come to this realization.

A few words that come to my mind now...for all those who have always stood by me at all times...

"I never know what the future brings, but I know you're here with me now
I'll make it through and, I hope you are the ones I share my life with"



Saturday, July 28, 2012

The choices we make...

Coming from a traditional Iyer Brahmin set up...one thing that always was and will be of prime importance to anyone and everyone in our family is EDUCATION! I remember as child, numbers always meant everything. 95% was never enough...as there was always someone in the family who scored a .5% more. If ever asked, "what would you do when you grow up?" it was almost like a programmed response..."doctor or engineer". Don't think our horizons ever expanded beyond that....yes it could probably go to the extent of saying..."Will do it from IIT"

However today, I see a huge transition in the way students are making their choices for careers. It is very heartening to hear someone tell me "I am planning to take up pure sciences and pursue my badminton"....or "I am going to get into actuarial sciences"... That's wow for me. We have started to think beyond our normal paradigms.

As a kid, though I was never forced to really study....I always did well. Took up science...though I was never asked to. Did dentistry...when my father (who is responsible for everything that I am today) tells me to take up a career in music...I guess I wasn't all that rebellious to go against the norms ..in my family overall..the peers around etc. I was not willing to risk a career! But today...I am into marketing in dentistry....feel really proud of the transition I made and enjoying it. Perhaps not something I imagined when I started off, but with the influence of a lot of well wishers around...here I am!

So every time someone comes upto me and asks me what career I should pursue..all I say is..do what you feel you can do for the rest of your lives. However even if you realize the choice you made was wrong...the world doesn't end there...you will always find ways to reach where you want to.

One of my cousins today is at the National Institute of Design (a little credit goes to me for pushing him to get there) and I spoke to him a couple of days back. Felt so happy that he is actually doing something different, off the routine and enjoying it! What more can we ask for. Another dentist called me yesterday saying she plans to do an MBA like me and get into business. And yet another crazy engineer doing his masters says he wants to pursue Occult sciences. I am really beginning to enjoy the fact that people are thinking radically different from what they were earlier taught to think.

Some of you may not agree to my crazy interpretations...and say that it's too much of instability if you can't decide on what you want to do quickly and keep letting go till you reach where you want to be. But comm'on...does that even matter when at the end of the day all we care about is a bed to sleep on and some bread to break ;)!

Once again I quote John Lennon..." You may say I am dreamer...but I am not the only one..."

Friday, July 27, 2012

A New Day Has Come

Getting back to work after a break today. A much needed break to recuperate and bounce back....well served I must say.

Feeling calm and relaxed after long and hoping for brighter days.

These words have been ringing in my mind....

Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new, new sun

A new day has come

Where it was dark now there's light
Where there was pain now there's joy
Where there was weakness, I found my strength

Wishing my readers a wonderful weekend! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Indifference or Hatred- what's more dreadful?

Just wondering...

We always learnt as a child in our language lessons...Hatred is the opposite of love

But is that really true? I have a different take on this.

Hatred cannot be the opposite of Love. It just means there did exist love which has now changed paths. I feel the real opposite of love is indifference, where you don't care a damn for the other person or what happens to him/her. That surely is more hurtful or rather dreadful than someone who hates you.

If someone hates you, it still means there are feelings...and that you are in still in their thoughts and perhaps someday those thoughts change path and come back to the path of love.

However, if the only feelings they have are those of indifference towards you, surely your existence doesn't really matter to them. You are simply no longer in their lives.

And that's the irony of human relations...so little time on this earth to live...yet the multitude of such complicated feelings...

But in the end, I know...."Love will keep us alive":)

Killing me softly

The day doesn't seem to end as well as planned.....no worries...I will bounce back soon.
For now I just end with these lovely words....

Keh de mujhse, dil mein kya hai..aisa bhi kya guroor
Tujhko bhi toh, ho raha hai...thoda asar jaroor
Yeh khamoshi Jeene na de....koi toh baat ho...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8t5aS-f1I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Music- the healer to my soul

Music is one such thing that has always impacted my life dramatically. I have songs or simply instruments I associate with each mood or situation. And somehow, like magic, they just work and get me back on track to face the world.

Today, while lying in bed- "my so-called bed rest after the broken rib injury",I have been listening to some of the songs really close to my heart, different genres, different kinds....but each seem to just outdo the other to elevate my mood.

Times have been tough for me emotionally, and I have been finding reasons to avoid certain things in my life. For those who know me really well, this change has been hard hitting. My enthusiasm to do something absolutely crazy, living my dreams and imaginations, going all way out to just get the silliest things done.....my trademarks..seem to have been kinda lost. And today, as I sat here, listening to the lovely music, I realized and am very happy....its all still there..just in hibernation. I almost had a mind to go down and literally "play" in the rain, like I used to....but thanks to my condition, it needs to be postponed :).

" Jeevan kya hai, chalta firta, ek khilona hai...do ankhon mein, ek se hasna, ek se Rona hai..." Today's inspiration for me! More to come soon. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My "To-Do" List 2012

For most people who know me, I am a "to-do" list person. As a student, I had a list of things to study each day- and unless I am done with those, my day wouldn't end. Today, I start my day at work with a list of things to complete. Thats the first few minutes at the beginning of the day...in fact I also have timelines for myself - though no one ever asked me to follow those. So for my friends- I am a timetable, checklist etc etc.

Unfortunately, I have never made an effort to have this To-Do list in my personal life. Studies and work overtook everything else- my fitness, my music, my personal time, my health...pretty much everything. I have been pondering over this during the past few weeks...am  I really doing justice to myself? Is it really worth letting go of all other pursuits in life for work....and the answer is definitely a No!
Perfectionist- a term that I have always loved to be addressed by everyone around me...somehow has never reflected in my personal life. I have never strived for perfection in this area. I have just let go. I guess most of us do this and reflect upon it at sometime in life- however not many of us act to change things.

So today, at the age of 27, which I feel is fairly early for such realisation, I decided to make a list of things I want to do....rather I HAVE to do. The reason for penning this is simple - if it is public, I am liable to deliver (just like how I look at my work ;-))

And here is the list....

1. Learn to swim - #1 Priority (Petrified of water)
2. Regular workout - 3 times a week
3. Rejoin Guitar and Music lessons
4. Take up dance lessons
5. Learn a new language
6. 30 minute for yoga everyday

Not too long a list to start off with I believe.

So friends, here is a request. Keep checking on me and my progress....I need this motivation badly.


Wish me luck :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Why are We this way?

Its been a real long time that I got an opportunity to pen down my thoughts. But something has been in my mind and has been bothering me for quite some time and felt that time has come that I figure out if there any others who think like I do?

I wrote a research paper last year saying why Indians are unique and why Indian businesses need to be viewed differently from the rest of the world. I wrote in that paper, that we Indians are born innovative; and we need to capitalise on this and get ahead in the global marketplace. I have always been so proud of being an Indian.

But today, looking at the state of affairs, I really doubt if we have any potential to get there! I am not talking of Indian politics; thats a different story to write on all together. And governments come and governments go. What remain are the citizens...but what if these citizens themselves don't care for themselves? What is a government or a politician going to do anyway? We say many a times during the day...Arre yaar, yeh aise hi hota hai...chod do? Do we ever react to any situation with the intention to solve it? We all have issues with many things in our suroundings...but we just move on with them.

Something that has really been disturbing me over the past few months has been the habit of people spitting on road. TB, Swine Flu...or whatever diease..you name it and it spreads through saliva. We all know it. But everynow and then I see people on the road happily spitting. I usually stop these people, fight with them as to why they lack this civic sense. Some say sorry and some even retailate saying yeh jagah aapki hai kya? I can't really expresss my frustration and disgust at such times. People chew paan. well educated ones too; and not only harm themselves but also harm others by spitting. Why do we lack this basic sense? Do other countries who boast of cleanliness and hygiene have aliens residing there? They too are humans; how do they manage not to do so? In fact, its a sad picture to see that the Indian government had to impose punishment for spitting; however who follows it? I have seen policemen do the same. Forget spitting, even urinating at public places!

Can't we learn to respect human lives? Can we not realise that a developed nation is not one which merely shows a growth in GDP? We can't even follow rules and laws. I really feel helpless at times that I have no role to play to improve this nation. But from my heart, I wish I do find a set of like minded people, who could help me do a small part atleast in making people of our nation a little more sensitive and sensible!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Strangers Come To Rescue!

How often have you experienced that when the whole world is against you (or so you feel), there is someone who comes out of nowhere and soothes you?

I don't know about you, but I have had such occurrences quite often. There are times when I am so low that I feel very let down with myself and don't know where to go. And at such very times, there comes an angel to my rescue, who tells me its not all over. And this person has usually never been one of those from whom I would ever seek help or for that matter someone with whom I am always in touch with. Hence I wish to call it "Strangers come to Rescue!"

It was a perfectly normal day in college. As always lectures were taking my toll and I was just waiting to sit down and have a good coffee. Then it was told that a lecture has been called off, much to my happiness. I rushed to grab a coffee and then decided to work on some pending projects that I had left behind long ago.

I set up a few appointments with a few people for the same evening and the next few days for this very project and was amazed that all of these calls were successful. It was almost time to leave college when I met someone in college who came up to me and told me a lot of things about how my career may not be so good after all. The markets are bad and I am not experienced with business (being a medical professional) and somehow my so-called individualistic nature (again his perception) may pose hurdles for me.

Though this did not usually matter to me, as I have become immune to such weird comments and especially negative ones, thanks to a few so called close friends (those who know me well,would know who I am referring to). However on this day, it put me to think. All the way back home, I was trying to tell myself that probably I am not so good after all. All those people who keep saying amazing things about me are just doing so because they wish good for me.

A few people who know me and who maybe reading this might wonder....how is it that this girl can also think all such things? This is because there are very few instances that I would feel low on confidence. And seldom do other people's comments affect me as much unless the person is too significant (teachers or seniors). But I kept thinking, almost had tears in my eyes.

And then, out of nowhere, I had a conversation with a friend, almost like after ages. I just happened to meet him online. It was general at first, but I guess somehow this conversation was destined to happen. While talking, I mentioned about what I had been through during the day....and how very upset I was. And this person simply told me...."You don't have to change yourself coz anyone says so....you are good the way you are...and if at all you think there is a need to adapt and change someday, i am sure you will be successful at that too" Maybe someone might say that I am feeling pleased with my ego being massaged and that is why praising the friend so much. But for those who really understand the importance of such a conversation and the pleasure obtained would surely be able to gauge what I felt at that point in time.

It was not that because someone is saying good things about me, I should feel happy. But the fact is that, this boosting of confidence helps you to look at the problem in a more practical way than with the sulking vision you did before. In a state of mind when you are low and thinking negative, there is no chance that you see positivity easily. You would continue to be cynical and feel like the world has ended....however when you get back to the positive frame of mind, you can analyse better why some said something to you and how you could possibly work on it better.

And more often than not, it is a person who I call a ...STRANGER....who helps you get to this frame of mind. So I am thankful to all these Strangers in my life who have brought me back to life time and again......you are my angels!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chandrabhaga- An Inspiration


It was a damp rainy day in the month of July as I left to Kedambe, a village in Satara district. The objective of my visit - a Stanford University associated project on alternate sources of energy used in rural India. The deeper objective - a get-away from routine and a possibility of learning more on rural India for which I feel so deeply and have an great inclination to work for.

With two other colleagues from college, I was travelling from Satara bus stand to this remote village(20km from Mahabaleshwar) with Nilesh, whose house we were planning to halt at. The smell of the earth, moistened by the just arrived rains made everything around so pleasant and blissful...such journeys are always a must-awaited vacation for most of us here in Mumbai. While approaching Nilesh's house, bypassing the greenery, the anxious and surprised faces of people in the village, came to my notice an old lady, walking with 2 pots of water on her head. She greeted us with a wide smile and by the time we could talk further, she had already left.

A few minutes later she was back....inside our house welcoming us to their village. She introduced herself as a distant grandmother of Nilesh...and everyone fondly called her "Aaji." Something was very striking about her personality; draped in a dull ocher saree................her unkempt look ................old age signs did not stifle her soul.....Her smile said a lot about her...her sense of humor beyond what we could have thought of. I wondered what was this that made me feel so attracted to this woman. I did not know where she lived in this village, but I said to myself, I shall visit her house.

The night that followed, we sat chit-chatting with Nilesh's mom, brother and grand mother, when Aaji walked in. She had some sweets for us. She was amused at the way we spoke marathi, especially at a colleague who was really trying hard (being gujju) and cracked funny jokes on us. She told us she stays across the street and we must go to her place for the morning tea. So I assured her I would. That night, she asked us what are we carrying in our laptop; is there anything in it for them to see."Taare Zameen Par" was what we played for them. The way these villagers sat around in the room, glued to the screen just reminded me of the movie "Swades" and I could probably very well relate to how Shah Rukh felt as he saw the entire village experiencing thrill while a movie as old as "Yaadon Ki Baraat." But more than the movie, it was the oneness that this family shared with us. Would you and I let any outsider stay at our place that easily....moreover make food, ensure we have a comfortable sleep and ask nothing but a few moments of fun, enjoyment, happy conversations.......

The next day morning, I went to Aaji's place. It was worse than I had anticipated. She did not have any electricity, she had no proper bed/mattress to sleep on, the kitchen was poorly ventilated, lack of hygiene and cleanliness was evident. I asked her about her life and I could not help a few tears trickle down my cheeks as I heard her. Her elder son had left her house with most of her possessions; the daughter-in-law did not want her with them, so she would never feed her in their house at Malegaon. Her daughter lived in Mumbai in a not-so well-to-do family and yet offered to take care of her; to which Aaji refused. Her younger son stayed with her; but due to the lack of ability to educate him, he had not yet got a job ...so again a liability on her. So who earned the bread?.....Chandrabhaga...i mean...Aaji. She worked in a nearby flower green house and earned 30 rs per day...and sustained her living. Isn't 30rs the cost of a Jeera rice in our college canteen? She made her own food, she cleaned her own utensils and washed her own clothes. She had a lot of sorrow at heart, that her elder son, for whose education she had even sold her gold bangles is no longer bothering about her. Yet she managed to bring a smile on my face and on everyone's face around in the village. She was simply loved by all. In spite of her poverty and her inability to buy fresh vegetables, she made a small meal of chapati and moong ki sabzi for me for breakfast. I couldn't swallow a morsel of that....I really had a lump in my throat.

As I walked back from her house, I started to think. how blessed I am to have all the luxuries in life. All my life I have had the choices to eat, drink, speak, play, study whatever i like. I never had faced hardships like her....and yet I crave for so many things in life. I agree there is a huge difference in my lifestyles and hers and maybe my demands could be more; however this woman taught me a lesson. She stood for herself; was not ready to bear the cruelty of her near ones. She took a stand to be there for herself and her younger son, so long as she could. She chose to live a life of dignity.

I salute to her spirit....I dunno what I learnt from her in real....but she inspired me to be like her someday. A woman of true substance!