Friday, December 31, 2010

A new year is unfolding – like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within…

New Year’s Eve is a moment when you happily and content-fully say – Good-bye to old year and welcome the new year with lots of hope and aspirations.

My this year’s 2010 New Year’s Eve was well spent with meeting my blog friend – Pria.
Yes, I always have made plans with my blog friends based on my visit to a particular city and so far I only got lucky meeting Pria and her family in my favorite city Toronto.

It’s so easy when your thoughts match on the blog world with friends, it doesn’t take much to connect with them when you meet in person and that’s the feeling I got when I met Pria at her residence.
The eve is leading to the new year with the hope and aspiration of meeting more and more friends from all over the world…and I am hopeful with that thought with a kick-start meet with Pria.

As I say good-bye to this city Toronto, I also wish good luck to my friends for everything to go well as the new year approaches…I am sure things will change for better and it will…

Happy New Year To All My Friends…this year’s motto is :

Drive yourself happy instead of crazy. Every minute spent stressing is one less minute being happy – so let’s enjoy and be merry

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We do not remember days, we remember moments…

Today I went around the places where I first landed and lived my initial period of life and it did remind me all the struggle days and those weak moments when I was home-sick and yet had the determination to make my place in this busy country.

It was very nostalgic and as the roads, street names and houses where I lived came across, it brought all memories live. I went through each place where I later rented, the place where I established myself in my career and finally the house that I bought in the city.

Today when I go through those areas, indeed I was in the heart of city where I lived but the con part of it that it has become old. The houses are same, people might have moved or passed on their heritage to their kids and what not. But there is no innovation. Couple of houses were re-built which did give the new look however city is always like that.

I felt content being in these places. I am satisfied with what I have and I really felt that I have moved on. To all my friends who got bored of my saying about things in Canada and the life about Canada…I guess this is it. I had to visit once to give a stop to my those feelings.

I am happy that this is the country and the city Toronto that I choose to be part of. It did help me in growing up in my life and career. It did teach me a different outlook of life and people. It did bring that element in me which made me think more than myself and gave me the opportunity to help people and love people in the way they are.

All this and more with experience I moved on in life towards USA to California with a new life and motto – and believe me I am happy.

Today I have this heart to say that I am happy where I am with my loved ones – in the heart of city where along with my loved ones I have mother nature to give solace and peace, new friends and new atmosphere to live on…I am thankful for everything.
Still with some nostalgic moments…yet a content heart…people move and progress in life only to leave the place with memories and more memories…

“We must always have old memories and young hopes”

Monday, December 27, 2010

Anywhere is paradise; it’s up to you ;-)

Visiting Niagara was a usual weekend activity for a person like me who never looked at what time or hour of the night it is.
Same spirit I have this time too – which made me feel I am still the same and not changed a bit. Quick decision making and preparing in the limited given time had always been my nature and I guess I find it thrilling.
My drive was amazing as going through the huge buildings made me realize how city gal I am and how I used to drive through these places so often.
Every thought was cherishing the old one and adding the new one to the current one. I always enjoyed the night part of Niagara as it lights up with lights and music bands. The winter never killed or took away the spirit of joy and fun – I witnessed it even today.
People covered with winter jackets, caps and mufflers and yet smiling and running away from the mist as it hit their faces.
Nature always gave solace to my heart in times then and even today. Speechless yet with mind full of thoughts. Unknowingly so many times it ran over to the past to present…the mist of life was getting spread all over and yet the feeling is refreshing.
Once again I felt like living in that freshness.

“By seeing the seed of failure in every success, we remain humble. By seeing the seed of success in every failure we remain hopeful.”

I always wondered what was that cold war between Canada and US and I always felt the attitude is what made them think about Americans.
This time coming from America looking at Canadians…I felt Canadians are more humble – no offense to any Americans but then coming from US this time I could relate it to one thing – People in Canada come as immigrants no matter how educated one is, they have to go through the struggle part of it which takes them from all ups and downs of life.
Americans do have immigrants too however, they are all well placed with jobs if not with status in the country – this small element does bring that big impact to one’s attitude.
To add to it when A Visa status moves to Green Card the attitude has no limits!
No matter what, one needs to go through a phase where it does bring the mankind to be down to earth and I think one gets there in Canada.

“Swallow your pride occasionally, it’s non-fattening!”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Garden is a Friend You Can Visit Anytime…!

I have been living in this city over 10 years and It was not that I have always been living here. I used to take vacation time off and go to India, South Korea and still when I returned it gave the feeling of coming home.

After 5 years of my visit to the city, why I remembered all the way back when I landed in this country all by myself alone? CN Tower always gave me the significance of strength and courage. Today when I see it gives me the same message.

Going around downtown, looking at those busy subways and the crowd took me back to my days when I was just few weeks new in this country going around the clock based on my work schedule. I have often craved for moments when I can sit in that food court and watch others rushing around. Today was that day – it brought tears and smile too.

My 11 years old kid asks me – “are you crying?” and, I am wondering if I can explain it though I did but the essence is only in one’s feeling which cannot be shared.
It was amazing to know that I still remember the roads to my home where once upon a time I used to live …memories are so touching that it takes you literally back to those days and everything looks so clear then about the paths that you come along.

Yes, as one of my best friend in Canada said to me – ‘You have come a long way and you are doing better now’ – I owe to this city everything.
Nostalgic moments only brings happiness whether from past or from present – it’s cherishing moment.

“Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: You find the present tense and the past perfect”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love

It was early March when Shirley got her job in the bank. She was quite excited and planning ahead to grow in the bank.
 She made few friends while they were in training. Shirley was happy about her new job, as her ambition and dreams were connected with it.

 Everyone was assigned their desks. Shirley took her files and binders and was moving to her desk. As she was moving towards her desk, she was looking around at other colleagues and was greeting them with her smile.

 There were people from all ages and races too. There was one guy who had a salt-n-pepper hair, who smiled at Shirley and greeted as welcome.

 Shirley thanked and moved on to her desk. She cleaned it and arranged all her files neatly.
 As time was passing she came to know many people who were senior to her by joining date in the bank.

The guy whom Shirley used to see as salt-n-pepper hair, Shirley got to know that his name is Irfaan. He was a gentleman, well groomed in London and he had moved from London to Canada.

 Shirley always looked at him with respect. Whenever she used to be in the break room she used to see Irfaan with his sugar testing instrument.

One day she stopped and said, 'Salam Irfaan ji'!
Irfaan said, 'Wasalam!' How are you pretty young lady?

Shirley: (smiling) I am fine thank you! How are you doing? 
and what is this instrument for?

Irfaan: (with a smile) I am doing fine thank you! I am diabetic and I always have to test my sugar before I plan whether to have a biscuit with my tea or not!

Shirley felt bad, it was not sympathy but she felt its so sad even if he want to eat his cookie he can't if the instrument tells not to!

 These thoughts were just going in the mind of Shirley, when Irfaan said you are looking very beautiful in that dress.

Shirley: (suddenly coming back to the break room as if) oh! thank you! I will see you later, take care (and she left the break room to go to her desk)

After this incident, Shirley used to make sure that she gives some time to Irfaan. At least to talk and see how he is doing. Irfaan, who used to be alone now felt that he did find a friend at work.

Shirley used to take subway to go home. That night she got stuck with her final documentations with the team members and hence she left immediately after finishing her work, to catch her subway to home.

She saw Irfaan was in the Subway too. Shirley went to Irfaan and sat next to him and said, 'oh! I didn't know that you also take subway to home.

Irfaan: (with a warm smile) Yes, I take subway too! 
Since then Shirley along with her other friends from work used to take subway with Irfaan. Everyone was very helpful and caring towards Irfaan. 

Irfaan, being with young folks, enjoyed his time and started thinking young from heart too. He used to compliment Shirley as Shirley was very professional in her behavior and attire too. 

Shirley took Irfaan's compliment as joke. As Irfaan started sharing his personal life with Shirley, Shirley felt how lonely Irfaan is.

Irfaan was born in India and his family moved to Pakistan during partition time when he was only 5 years old.
 His heart speaks like a Indian though his language is as polite and beautiful as any Pakistani would do with lovely urdu language. 
Irfaan moved to London as he turned 18 and did all his studies in London. He got married and got two beautiful daughters. After many years of staying in London, Irfaan thought to migrate to Canada with his family.
By now Irfaan had only one elder brother who was still in London. Parents had already gone on the heavenly board. His wife, who was a calm, quite and religious lady started seeing other man as she came to Canada.

Sadly, today Irfaan is alone who is working and trying to pay his bills only to see his daughters whenever he gets to meet them. 
Shirley felt very bad as she know what is loneliness as she was still single even though she had a huge friend circle at work. 
Shirley as her nature is, used to care for Irfaan and used to make sure he is also taken care by others at work.
 Everyone came to a point where Irfaan was not judged by his age but he was considered as a friend of their age and they used to joke around with him like any other 20s would do.
 One day as Shirley was working she noticed Irfaan's voice was shaky and the words were not clear. Shirley started calling Irfaan, 'Irfaan ji, are you ok? Irfaan ji...can you hear me?
Irfaan slightly turned his face and with a smile looked at Shirley and said, 'Yes! I will be fine. Don't worry!
Shirley saw that Irfaan was not okay. His eyes were rolling up and he still want to finish his work. Shirley quickly got out of her seat and went to see her manager. She said to her manager Paul, 'I think you should check on Irfaan. I don't think he is feeling good. He is not listening to me but I am worried for his health.'
Paul, immediately assured Shirley that he will take care of it and Paul ran to Irfaan.
Irfaan was sent home with one of the colleague in a cab. He was asked to take rest and if he feels good the next day only then he should come to office.
Irfaan came to Shirley before leaving and said, 'I will be okay beautiful! make sure you don't kill anyone else with your beautiful gestures' and he went away.
Shirley wondered, what a guy - he is so sick and still he is joking and smiling. She said you are in my prayers for sure.
Next day Irfaan didn't come to work. Shirley made a call to him and made sure he is okay.
Irfaan said, 'I am feeling a bit weak and hence I decided to take rest. But I will miss seeing you. Are you dressed to kill today also?'
Shirley laughed at this and wondered what is he talking about - has he gone crazy? and then she said, 'Irfaan ji, I think you really need to take rest and we will see you tomorrow all healthy and well.' and then she said, take care and kept the phone down.
Shirley that evening while going home from work, called Irfaan again to make sure he is doing fine. Irfaan promised her that he will call her and let her know if there is anything that is needed.
Shirley got assured and she came home.
Next morning, Shirley went to work and got busy so much that she couldn't even take her lunch break. Around 3:00 pm she felt so hungry that she decided to take a break.
As she was about to take off, her desk phone started ringing. Shirley first thought to ignore, but as always she worried -'what if it's something urgent?
She said to her other friend, 'you carry on I will join you after this call.
Shirley took the call and at the other end there was Irfaan, who had a very deep yet shaky voice - 'Hello dear Shirley, I wanted to tell you something before they take me from here'.
Shirley, got worried and said, 'what happened Irfaan ji, are you ok? You don't sound good. Did you call your doctor? I think you should go to the hospital. I am worried that you are not doing well.
Irfaan: 'I will be fine. The doctor said my sugar has gone into my blood now. I should be ok. Please let me tell you something which I won't be able to tell you once they come and take me away.
Shirley, thought they might be the ambulance people who might be coming and taking him to the hospital. She thought to listen to him and give company on the phone.

Irfaan: Shirley, I don't know whether it's right or wrong but I love you. Deep in my heart you are my angel who has always given me love and only love. Sometimes, I think it is destiny to meet you. You are a beautiful person in your heart and that reflects on your face and behavior too. When I used to send emails saying, - whom are you dressed up to kill? It was not a joke…as you did send those arrows to my heart with your killing looks.
Shirley, got worried and wondered what's up with Irfaan Ji? He is so elderly person and what has gone wrong with him to talk to me like this? She thought probably it's due to his sickness and she said, 'Irfaan ji ! I think you are not feeling well and I think you should not talk too much also as you need rest.
Irfaan: Shirley, please don't stop me. If I don't say now, I will not be able to tell this anytime later. I want to tell you this and after that I will hang up and take rest.
Shirley, didn't know how to react and she thought to listen and let him say what he wants to say.
Irfaan: Shirley, I love you and I had this dream to recite Shakespeare to the one I love.
Please allow me to recite this and after that I will hang up as they will come and take me away.
Shirley was all surprised and wondering what is Irfaan ji saying...
Irfaan on the phone:
"In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.
Mercutio's kinsman, noble County Paris!
What said my man, when my betossed soul
Did not attend him as we rode? I think
He told me Paris should have married Juliet:
Said he not so? or did I dream it so?
Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet,
To think it was so? O, give me thy hand,
One writ with me in sour misfortune's book!
I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave;
A grave? O no! a lantern, slaughter'd youth,
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes
This vault a feasting presence full of light.
Death, lie thou there, by a dead man interr'd.

How oft when men are at the point of death
Have they been merry! which their keepers call
A lightning before death: O, how may I
Call this a lightning? O my love! my wife!
Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:
Thou art not conquer'd; beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death's pale flag is not advanced there.
Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
O, what more favour can I do to thee,
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
To sunder his that was thine enemy?
Forgive me, cousin! Ah, dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
For fear of that, I still will stay with thee;
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again: here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!
Here's to my love!"

Shirley, you there right? are you there still..?
Shirley: Yes, Irfaan Ji, I am listening. I think you should take rest as I am worried for you.

Irfaan: Shirley, you know this is by heart to me. I am not reading from any book. It is all in my heart and today is the only day that I was able to recite it and that too to someone I love - May Allah give you all the happiness and peace in life.
Now, I will go and sleep. Let them come and take me away but Shirley don’t feel anything bad, for me loving you so deeply.

Shirley: Irfaan ji, you take care. Those ambulance people should come and take you to the hospital. I will call you tonight to check how you are doing. Take care

Irfaan: I am a free bird today and I will fly to heaven as I believe and you are the only one who has made that path easier for me. You always have been with me in my lonely and painful times. Now I don’t have any hesitation to say that you are a beautiful woman and I am deeply in love with you. Someone else will be lucky who will marry you.
Alvida! (Good bye in urdu)

Shirley with a confused and shocked gestures! She got out of the phone and discussed this with her friend who was supposed to be taking break with Shirley.
Her friend laughed out saying Shirley, you made that guy crazy - gal, leave him alone and she laughed and walked to her desk.

Shirley’s mind was occupied with Irfaan ji’s talks and she kept on telling herself that he is not in his presence of mind and hence ignore it.

In the evening when Shirley called Irfaan went to his voice mail. Shirley left a message, ‘ Irfaan ji I hope you are feeling better and are getting treated in the hospital. Let me know when you get this message, I would like to hear from you till then take care!’

There was no response or no calls were returned. Shirley through out called and left messages until on Sunday the message she heard that the mailbox is full.

Monday morning, Shirley went to office and first thing she went to see was for Irfaan ji at his desk. The desk was empty.
Shirley ran to her manager and said, ‘Paul, do you have any update on Irfaan? I have been calling him but he never called me back and now his mail box is full. You can’t even leave him a message.
Paul: Actually, we also called him and his mailbox is full. I have sent someone to his home. We should hear from him soon.
Shirley: thanks Paul, I will wait for that.

Shirley went back to her desk without any mood to work. Through out she was thinking about the last talk she had with Irfaan ji.

Suddenly, Paul came close to Shirley and with all caution he said, ‘Shirley, we came to know that Irfaan died on Saturday around 4:00 pm

Shirley: what? 4:00 p.m.? It’s impossible because he was talking to me till 4:00 pm on the phone. How can he?
Paul consoling Shirley: Listen, I understand you were the last person with whom he was talking. After that he had his last breath and till Monday morning his body was lying in the apartment. No one came to know about it. Cops came and they took care of the rest. His brother has been called and he will be visiting to do the funeral rituals.

Shirley couldn’t believe all this. She was shocked though in the office all her colleagues were crying and talking about Irfaan as how good person he was.

Some how Shirley never cried, her manager made sure that some of her good friends visit her home and give company that night but it was no use.
Shirley never cried - may be she feels he is still there, the love that he showered upon in those 45 minutes of time that he spent on the phone that day, cannot die just like that.

How strange it is that you come to know about a person when he is actually gone out of this world...

You never know where life comes and knocks at the door to say Hello or Good bye!

PS: This is a real story - May Irfaan’s soul RIP.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Light is good from whatever lamp it shines… ;-)

Happy Festivities Friends - When I say that it speaks about the festivals that have come and gone but still left the fragrance of it yet, other festivals are on the way.
In all this my birthday too came in and this year I felt I am born again and hence the childhood days and memories kicked-in once again.
Dia was born in the year of Diwali - the festival of light. Her name indicated that when her father insisted on naming Dia (lamp).
A lamp is very symbolic in everyone’s life which spreads and gives out light. It takes away the darkness and brings you in light to see things clearly.
Dia had those qualities as well because she used to bring the cheerfulness and happiness with whom ever she met and been with.
Life was so easy that she didnt realize when she finished her studies and when she took the serious steps of life to get into married life.
Life only gets complicated when we make it. So did happen to Dia also. The girl who had the dreams to fly and live them, couldn’t continue to it as the family need came in front of her eyes.
She burned like a lamp to give the light to the family. All the ups and downs were taken care of and yet she didn’t made realize her family the pain that she is going through to bring that light to the family.
Family had no clue as things were going normal and as usual. Everything was rosy and dandy until when Dia had a stroke.
She was rushed to hospital in the emergency and by the time family reached the hospital - Dia was declared to be bed-ridden for her life.

 Imagine a person who has lived life by her own terms and ways, what could this bring to? She wanted to show her anger and frustration but sad she couldn’t even do that. Her body doesn’t respond anymore. Her eyes were the only source which kept the communication on.
Tears rolled out again and again. She looked up in the sky thinking why did God do this to me when he knows that I am needed for my family. Why he had to cut this source in such a brutal way - can’t he see my kids? can’t he have mercy on them and could have saved me from this situation?
There was no God present who could have given answer to all her queries. She cried and cried and begged to all Gods in the world to make her better for family sake.
But as they say, the lamp keeps burning until there is oil in it. After that it gives only darkness to self and to others.
Life can become a tragedy from comedy if you don’t keep an eye on your lamps. Make sure you oil them and take care of them if you need that light from them.
"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark" ~ R. Tagore
I learned this from my parents that if something is precious to you make sure you keep it properly so that you have it all the time with you and available to you!
Happy Diwali, Happy Thanksgiving To All My Friends! I will be back again ;-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There is more to life than simply increasing its speed

After 5 to 6 years of gap, I was visiting India. The eagerness is always there as what is changed and how well the country is progressing as we read about it all the time on the net.

All this makes real sense when you actually land in the country and observe things closely. As I was passing by from one city to the other, I felt if I had started blogging daily (provided that I had the net accessibility all the time), I had so many stories to tell but then in mind I had thought of one liners which I will make a list of to express what I observed and felt about the New India and its people.

As we all know that growth and its diverse impact goes parallel and hence there might be justifications for many things but then at what cost? I will make the list and would like to hear from others too as these could be one observation and comment but it could vary from people to people. Let’s dive in…

  • The speed of progress is going so rapid that at the other end if anyone is dying there is no action to it.
  • Replica of west is what east is changing towards – why?
  • Malls are the theme of the country – but then why take away the India out of it?
  • Constructions everywhere whether it’s the malls, metro rails or even houses – with poor housing facility, transportation to the common people and to add to it pollution of all kinds whether air, sound you name it.
  • Progress of a country but people are suffering due to the environment – for whom are we creating?
  • Looks like there is a race and we have to win no matter what – even if at the cost of the lives of people.
  • There is no feeling for each other, neighbor or so – everyone is in the rat race and want to reach the sky – I don’t care even if I am crushing someone’s throat as long as I am moving on the right path.
  • It seemed like there is a barometer of who is rich and how can one be richer – the show business is so much that it is already getting into the minds of next generation.
  • Kids evaluate situations based on money in mind, as the schools also they go shows the class system as who can achieve to get admission and you cannot!
  • Surprised to witness the thought process of two kids who are raised in two different countries – one talks of safety and one talks of affordability.
  • Man has reached to the moon, plans to buy and sell property on the Moon yet we are stuck with our caste and religion and the differentiation with the mankind.
  • Country is doing everything to make sure the standard of living be as same as of western countries – from one aspect it is good that brain drain will be stopped but the way it is being done needs some planning and preparations.
  • Real talent and skills are dumped on the side track – no one cares for anyone’s talent as long as one is able to fulfill others requirements – what’s in it for me?
  • The kind of feeling and sentiments people have developed outside of the country – is missing as if the heart is completely removed from the body.
  • Metros are either busy building malls or fly-over and metro rails – in the name of these constructions politically all tops are enjoying the benefit already
  • Poor is still poor and the rich is trying to be richer – where is my developed India?
  • In all these, the true culture still exists in the hearts of people as I was witnessing the Ganpati visarjan (Lord Ganesha Idol immersion in the sea), the unity, the love and cultural aspect evolves the depth and closeness of it in people. I did experience the sentiments while the people are going with the procession – the sadness that after visiting us for 10 days Lord Ganesha is departing from us – is a sad part.
  • The people in the forces are taken care that’s what I am proud of my country and the government.
In the end, all I have to say is I still long for my country and would like to settle somewhere, that’s not metro and where it’s not too backward under-developed place. I want to live in the heart of the country where all these malls have not taken over yet I have the internet connectivity to be able to be connected globally with my friends and relatives. I long for that place in India and would love to reach back to the roots where I come from. As all the rivers no matter where they flow at the end they all join together to make a big waterfall!
“Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure” ~ Aldous Huxley

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons

I still remember my first day in 2nd grade. It was a new admission for me in KVK NDA. I was kind of nervous entering the class as the 2nd A class was in a different building altogether. I had reached after the prayers hence the filled class made me more nervous. Everyone was staring at me. Those eyes were screaming and telling me as if ‘you’re late!’.

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how”.

My class teacher Mahajan Maa’m called me close to her and introduced me to everyone in the class. She was very nice, I felt someone knows me here.
The teacher asked me to be seated and asked our class monitor Arunima to help if anything is needed.
Arunima, was a tall girl in our class and her caring nature always made us felt like she is our elder sister. She used to help with sharpening our pencils and making sure we have our homework done. If not she will ask us to do and when and where ever needed she will help us.
The boys in the class were naughty and hence I don’t remember a single guy from my class except A.R. Manoj.
Manoj was a short and cute guy. Our parents knew each other and hence we felt it’s okay to be friends.
I was so afraid to walk around in the class as I remember one of the classmate Anagha who used to scare me out with her big eyes. She was my bench partner. Arunima made me feel so comfortable that I wished if I could sit with her but she was sitting at the last bench as she was the tallest girl in our class.
I remember telling Arunima about it and she used to make sure Anagha behaves with me.

“Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are”.

I can say I learned singing and dancing from there. Arunima used to make sure that all the girls are engaged with one or the other task. Arunima and her sister Gaitry both were in the same class and we used to dance on the number that they used to sing – Dhitang -Dhitang bole oh madhurletal tole – a bengali number which Arunima and Gaitry used to sing and make all of us dance. It turned out to be a action song for us.
I used to be amazed when I first heard Arunima singing the song ‘My heart is beating’. She was like our role model. I used to do things that will make her happy and never missed an opportunity where she used to smile and give a hug.
We became so close that after school Arunima and Gaitry used to visit my home and all evening we used to play until it’s 6:00 p.m. when they used to pick up their school bags and say bye to go home.
Evening always brought those parting sadness. But the next dawn was with hope to meet them in the class.
Arunima was one of those monitors who not only used to monitor the class but always took care of the classmates as if they were her own kids. If anyone fell or not playing… sitting hungry or alone, she used to make sure that child is taken care of. A very soft spoken with a melodious voice – that’s the Arunima I have in my mind even today.

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

I still can’t forget those ‘booth (ghost) dance’ in Arunima’s own words…she used to make sure that after our lunch time we don’t go and mess around outside hence she used to tell all of us to let’s play ‘booth dance – ghost dance’ – but the way she taught us was all like the tribal dance. We used to make similar noises and jump around and dance like the tribal in South Africa. In short, there was a not a single opportunity where we didn’t enjoy.
How life passed since then was never noticed as happiness takes you through all ups and down and then she was moved to Southern Command KV school.
She came back to our class again but this time she was a matured girl only to be reserved.

“Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things”

I always cherished – Arunima of 2nd grade. Never got to know what happened but inside our heart we had that warmth for each other.
Today after many years I happened to talk to her and I could feel the same soft voice of hers which used to sing and make everyone soothing.
It’s true, we say past is past but how much happiness they bring to present is a present in itself.

“Bring the past only if you are going to build from it.” ~ Domenico Cieri Estrada

Thank You Arunima for bringing those moments alive once again in thoughts!

This post of mine is dedicated to all my school and college mates – with whom I have spent my best of childhood and teenage life which brings back all that moments alive as I am meeting them one by one.

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older” ~ Tom Stoppard

Thursday, August 05, 2010

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else

Life is so complicated, that I always refer back and wonder there was nothing wrong with my childhood. Why life doesn’t remain a child always?

As a kid we fight with our best friend and we also know how to make it up. But its only when we grow up we don’t know how to make up and why is that? Specially, when we say kids don’t know anything they are still growing..they are still learning.

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today” ~ Stacia Taushcher

I think it’s time for a change in understanding that kids are not mere kids who don’t know anything. In fact we can learn a lot even if we have grown up we have our kids or kids around us from whom we can learn.

I always like to go back to my childhood and many of my friends say that I am going in my past. There is nothing wrong in taking tips and learning from past – isn’t it?

My dad many times supported me as a child on my decisions and I think he knew exactly what he was doing at that time even though it looked to my mom that my dad is unnecessarily spoiling me!

This reminds me of an incident it was my 12th birthday. I remember I had few friends who used to fight to be my best friends. Why if you ask, I am not sure may be because of my fun loving nature or something else but they used to make me say it and make me write it on my rough book that – so and so is my best friend.

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget”

I remember my nature was that I used to do it just to make them happy. Because prior doing that I always used to tell them that you all are my best friends and one is under one arm and the other is another and I used to put my arms around them. I realize still they had this insecurity of loosing me as a friend.

Hence I used to write it and I think this nature of mine make them take me for granted! Something that we all complain today about it isn’t it?

In all this we had another rival friend who always wanted to be the boss. I am pretty sure these things exist even today in school with kids. The names might have changed like a popular group and not so popular group.

Anyway when this ‘want-to-be’ popular person tried to influence my friends it didn’t work out in her favor and it so happened that she tried to play in a bad way – which we might call it as bad politics! See even kids know how to play politics and those who don’t will never learn anyway!

This friend – why I call her a friend is because she used to act as our friend and we trusted her. She tried to influence my friends and it so happened that they all came for my birthday celebration – wished me, brought presents, sang with me and had a ball of time. Everyone went home and around 10 p.m. we get a knock at our back door. When my mom opened the gate we see all of my friends along with this ‘want-to be’ popular friend and they started complaining about me to my mom.

Your daughter said this about her and that and what not and it came to a stage where my mom was getting so furious that she called me with anger and said, you call them your friends? Now on you are going to school only to study and no friendship. You don’t go to school to make friends. Hence forth you will not talk to any of them.
My mom told my friends that hence forth my daughter will not talk to you anymore. Please don’t make any friendship with her. If she is so bad then you shouldn’t be having such friend.

That night was a terrible night for me – the fun and excitement of my birthday ended as if a beautiful piece of glass vase was thrown down from top only to crush it into tiny pieces.
The night went in thinking as what made that my friends who were looking for me to be their best friend changed them so bad that they were complaining about me to my mom? and then my mom’s decision that was just thrown at me. No one asked for any explanation, nothing as if I don’t have a say!
I was very upset and waited till the night took me into the darkness till where I unknowingly went to sleep.

Next day when I woke up it was rough and sour – the feeling. I was kind of unhappy and was angry with everyone I suppose and hence I got ready for school. When my mom was about to leave for her office she came to me and said, ‘so you remember what I said yesterday? I don’t want you to be friends with such kids who come on your birthday and complain about you. You don’t need such people as your friends.’

I was like mom, now in school what will I do? When everyone is going to play I will have no one to play… !
My mom said, ‘you have only these friends as friends in school? You don’t have any other kids? and this made me think…and I just took my bag and walked out of my house to go to school.
I felt the way to school was longer today than the other days. I was feeling as if every one on the way, every shopkeeper from Gole Market and the people around there knew what happened yesterday night. I was some how looking down and walking towards school.

I reached my class and kept my school bag on the bench. My friends so called who just added cherry on my birthday cake last night were sitting and observing me as what will be my next move.

I am very scared of my mom’s anger and hence to follow her instruction is the only way and hence I went to other friends in my class and started talking to them. I went for my assembly with them. I didn’t look at anywhere else and made my self comfortable with my other friends. These friends were the nerdy ones who are very good in studies – very good in the sense they don’t come below 97%. Some may find that very good but I always felt education is not all about percentage. Probably I used to understand life’s core ethics from my dad’s heavy duty proverbs that we live for today and live it fully as we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

One thing I noticed that I started completing my homework in school during the free time as these kids were like that. When I used to go home, I used to walk home with these kids. Though life was a bit different but I didn’t mind the change. Some how my dad always taught me to adopt the life style of ‘when you are in Rome be like Romans’ !
“Life’s not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow” ~ Terri Guillemets

I didn’t even come to know how time flew away that it was the year end where I had participated in a fancy-dress competition and guess what none of my nerd friends were there in this.

It was awkward for me as I was dressed up as a native from State Kerala – which is in the southern part of India. I had worn the traditional sari and I had to say two sentences – ‘I am a lady from Kerala and I am proud about its culture.’
I had to say this in the native language of Kerala – i.e. Malayalam.

It will be funny to say that no one was with me yet I got first prize and it started raining like cats and dogs.
I was very happy. The day was done for all the students after the fancy dress competition and other cultural activities. My so called friends who spoiled my birthday didn’t participate in anything but I saw them coming behind me.

I was walking in the rain with my umbrella as that was part of my fancy dress, these friends behind me whispering – call her – you go – you talk to her.
I was still walking without letting them know that I know now the tables have turned.

I crossed the road and the school seemed to be going far and the Gole Market came near by, the smell of sweets like balusha, jalebi and ladoos from Karachi Sweet Mart.
Suddenly, the so called boss came in and said we all want to say, sorry to you’ and they gave me a greeting card which I still remember had a blue peacock and inside was – We are sorry, please forgive us. We will be friends forever.
I stopped and looked at all of them and smiled – it was a feeling where I had already forgiven them in my heart. Life is much more than this and I had these realization when I was ten and hence at that time I just smiled at them and said, I would like you to come and tell this in front of my mom so that if she allows me to be friends with you only then I will re-unite with you all.

We all walked together and reached home. We didn’t talk through out as we were walking in the puddle and splashing water. My off-white sari was getting spoiled yet the feeling of getting wet and playing in the rain is something you can only feel no one else!

Today mom had a weekly day off and hence when I knocked the door she opened it and excitingly she asked, how was your fancy dress competition?’ and believe me I was all excited to show her the trophy and certificate that I got. My mom gave me a big hug and that’s when she saw my these friends.
My mom gave a look at me as – what’s all this about now? and she asked them – did my daughter do another mistake this time?

And, I was like mom please, they want to be my friends again! and I showed the card that they gave me.

My mom invited them and we all had the sweet porridge that I love – it was a celebration.

All I can say is my mom was happy that I kept her word and everything turned out to be as she expected. But my question was, what made to happen all this?

The so called boss was way elder to us and it was her mind that created all the differences among us. I maintained my friendship with all nerds and these ones and never showed any difference but my friends came to know what one should believe in and what one shouldn’t.

Kids learn from their mistakes but elders not necessarily!

“I brought children into this dark world because it needed the light that only a child can bring” ~ Liz Armbruster

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dad, you’re someone to look up to no matter how tall I’ve grown

On this day, I want to wish every father a Happy Father’s Day!

These days, due to lot of lack of time, space, work, personal issues, ego and what not…we tend to move away from the concept of unity, family and togetherness.
Everything is a race! People either live in the family saying they are there for kids sake or they get separated and come together on certain occasions only to make kids happy!
But I have only one question, ever the kids are asked what they want? Ever those kids are given the freedom as what they want to do? I am not saying giving freedom in other ways…but only to spend their time with whom they want to!
Father or mother, they have ego the moment they see their kids love the other parent than them…I say why?

There are parents who have separated and the mother will not allow the father access to meet his child, OR the family lives together yet the mother will control the kids as whom they should love more?
I am thinking where are we heading to?

“The greatest gift I ever had, Came from God; I call him Dad!”

I always love my dad 1% more than my mom…not because I don’t like her…I love her..she has taught me some of the things which probably I wouldn’t have ever experienced in my life time.
But my dad, I admire him so much due to all the challenges that he has taken in his life…the decisions that he has taken for his wife and kids, the social elements, the courage to stick to justice and shout against injustice and cruelty – all this make him an idol for me.

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters” ~ George Herbert

My mom often used to say – oh! you love your dad more than me! ‘
and I would say, mom! you know that I love you but Dad, is also so nice…! So many times I repeat all these elements to my mom as how he loved her, proposed her, married her and then all his deeds followed for her happiness and she will feel proud about her husband…!
That is what I miss in today’s family and relationship.
I would like to wish those father’s a very happy father’s day – who have kids yet they are not able to meet them due to legal issues or others, or who live with their kids yet they see how their kids are not able to express the love because if mom will see that she will feel bad!

It’s tough to live like that and I salute those father’s who live with that love in their heart!

“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons” ~ Johann Schiller

Think and reflect upon!

No matter where we land No matter what we hand  There is a way of expression One can look and feel around A speedy racing time-b...