Monday, December 16, 2013

Conjuring up 2014

Its December, the time of the year that lends itself to an afternoon spent in an armchair, gazing out at the view, with the nip of winter making you huddle a little deeper into the chair pulling the softness of the shawl tighter. Curling your feet in below your hips and warming your hands around the cuppa of hot cocoa. 

Well none of the above is happening. I am instead plonked on a friends couch on a warm sunny day nursing nothing except the desire that there was a shred of winter in the air and a determination that there is value in the power of intention. What you seek is what you shall get. 

What then do I conjure for myself for 2014, not as resolutions but a desire list of things to achieve. 

By this time next year, I am sitting in a warm armchair snug and warm looking out at the view of the green landscape and the willow tree as it holds on to its last leaves, smiling at how many things on this list came through. Burrowing my nose in the blue muffler tickling my nose, I watch my daughter play with her cousins and marvel at the sync that created these moments.

I grin at my excited nervousness at taking the first flight internationally for work, my gawkiness at making sure that I was well dressed, eating well with the spoon and fork, making no faux passes and hoping that I managed to a good job of it. Flying like a business executive and getting the hostess to hang my coat was a mini kick by itself. Images of the niceness of the team I met greet me, the evening drinks that wasnt the stiff affair that I thought it would be but a warm melting pot of showing off each one the other kids pictures. Oh how I missed my T then.

Work, the place where I am starting to get a sense of completion and accomplishment. The small things that I wanted are there, the coffee machines, ac, laptops, the room, the plants in the office, the set of colleagues who are there and friendly, conference rooms and a clear role of getting things done. The payouts are regular and consistent, and happy. Benefits and trainings, family day and cribbing about the canteen ka khana. For sometime, the routineness of it may be something to look forward to.

T has grown up into a talkative little monster. Running up and down the house, she loves going to the park and hanging out with the children. Happiest when troubling Paul or playing with the bunnies in the play school, or snuggling between us. She is my happy dappy sunshining little spot

Mummy me is also doing justice to person me. New New New, 2014 has been all about new. New house, new friends, new social life, new forums I am writing for, new formats of yoga, new lenses, and photo styles, new healing community that I plug into.

The few concrete things that I can tick off the list are
- Visited 4 new countries, 2 of them on work
- Got a job which I like and is sustaining my interest and vica versa
- We have a club membership, where I am learning squash, and swimming. I am doing much better with that
- the short dance class was an eye opener. I am still gawky but am learning to let go a little bit at a time
- Cross training and the Bhava Sampadana

M and me rediscovered the silliness of life. Indulgences mixed with responsibilities giving us lesser knots in the tummy

Expanding my horizons of what I know and what I dont know. allowing Manuel to lead us as a family, the new car, and taking the trip with mom to thank her for her un ending support. The spectacular time we spent in Malaysia, and the Germany trip with tara and oma ops

It was a year of Growth. The company grew, we grew as people in our definition of responsibilities, and made a year of pheeeww. This works.

Appreciating Bangalore

I am going to live in Bangalore for a long time. If not Bangalore India for a long time. I have not had the balls to say that simple statement and let it be. To accept it without feeling a sense of dread creep up.  Its time to say - make lemonade my lady with the Bangalore/ India lemon in your life.

For starters instead of constantly feeling that the grass is greener on the other side, I am going to list down the things that make sense for me as a person in Bangalore. What are the pluses here that I can need to acknowledge and appreciate.

This is my motivational list. List down the worlds that I am glad to be a part of, worlds that I have no clue about and worlds that I would like to get to know.

So dear adopted city of mine, I am rekindling my love affair with you, permission to flirt?

20 things to love about this city in complete random order. Also my comparison benchmark in Delhi, so excuse the lowness of the threshold.
  1. The weather. - Enough said. For most of the year it allows me an outdoors if I choose so
  2. The supermarkets that sprout everywhere, making the trolley based shopping so simple 
  3. the casualness of the dressing, Sometimes the sloppiness is border line too much but the ability to be you simply overall
  4. the fact that there are friends who are like family and that they live close by
  5. cheap south indian food. bhajji wallas, idlis in the morning. 
  6. rangolis made by neighbours on the front porch. leaves me with a feeling of old india every morning
  7. proximity to run away to green spaces within a 2-3 hr drive
  8. the huge circle of healers and sincere practitioners who live so close by
  9. the outdoor cafes and resteraunts
  10. so many music hubs, the new theatre scene, comedy scene, the ability to do more if one moves up
  11. yoga clubs. so many everywhere
  12. Active meetup groups
  13. the start up vibe, means that you can work in a small place, wear pajamas, loll on bean bags and its perfectly acceptable
  14. nice pet shelters
  15. Lalbagh, a small hole of sanity
  16. The sense of cultural mix that is effortless churches standing next to mosques, and temples next to churches
  17. Availability of fresh beef. I am a vegetarian, still makes it easier to feed my husband
  18. number of expats living and settling in at home, makes the mixed couplesness very very normal
  19. air asia flies out of here!!!!!!! yeyeye!!! and so does Tiger airlines
  20. its home. its from where i shall grow. to getting to bitch about you less and like you more
  21. availability of maids!
For now this should be what I should focus on, while i will try heard to stop the dream machine of my brain to stop thinking of the possibilities of living in cities where there are there parks, swings that work, public transport that is safe, paved roads, clean air, walking areas, a culture that fuels work and personal growth, new undiscovered outskirts, food not eaten before, activities not undertaken before. 

I shall try to polish the old and get it to shine brighter and brighter
and bury the make believe in a sealed box.

Today is what counts. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


What are your dots? What are your lines?
How are you living... what troubles your mind?
Who is your confidant?
Who is your friend?
what are the dreams you are letting go off
What dreams are you willing to mend?

when will you wake up
and realise the time has come
To shake off the disbelief, dust off the crumbs
the mirror lies, all that you see, isnt all that there is
There lies inside, an restlessness, a zeal a yen

Lying in the morning, are you waking up alive
is there fire in your belly
a determination to succeed
or a silent force that is forcing you to pay heed

I ask because I am lost for the now
Voiceless, Passionless, Zealness
Not sure what to chase
Not sure how
Know that today cant be all that there is,
But dont know what else, where and how

I read too much. Haven't read enough
I dreamt too much. Haven't lived enough
I thought too much. Haven't risked enough
I cried too much. Haven't laughed enough

Its not a lament, nor is it a whine
Its a reminder to myself
Get up. Wake up. Shake yourself and smile
There is so much to do
There is only so much time
Stages come, phases come
Changing in an neverending dance
Sometimes its slow, sometimes not
allow its rhythms to play
Dont change in the middle of the song

Belief and Strife. Be you. Be true
Let go of the safety lines
Something shall happen,
trust the divine.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Letting Go

Today was a normal day with normal things cluttering up time. Amongst the numerous things on the to do list, most of them trivial daily things was to share pictures of a dear aunt. (aunt sounds like such a formal distant kind of a term.. far away, like a strange pearl necklace wearing person with perfect hair) she wasnt an aunt but more a cute cuddly granny rolled into a friend. 

My cute cuddly granny rolled into an aunt had passed away last week. Last weeks, I had acknowledged it, but sitting in another city I somehow didnt get it get it. In my head, she was right where I had met her last. In her room, by the bed, with the light streaming in having her afternoon chai with the three marie biscuits....

As I rummaged through the snaps taken on that normal afternoon, doing random nothings it somehow struck me. There were no more snaps to take. There were no more random afternoon chais to have, there was no goodbye I got to say.

What did I say to her that day as we left? I dont remember. Did I hug her tight? I dont remember. 
A tear rolled down as I wrote these lines, she remains in my mind right there grinning her happy smile. 

Tell me about her, my husband just asked as he saw me shed my tears. 

I smiled. Where do I share? Where do I start?

She was summer. In her cotton sarees and smell of talc she sat in her house in Kolkatta beating the heat below the fan. Every summer holiday night, when we visited Calcutta, my mom would escape - being a mom- and run into her sister in laws house for a voracious gossip session. We kids were sometimes allowed to join in and sometimes were left with Uno and carrom for company. 

The nights we were allowed to sneak in was lovely. We all plonked down on the cool red floors and tuned into the adult banter that was oh so much fun. Inner family dealings were discussed, advice shared, childhood tales of everyone heading to Victoria for a late night kulfi crammed in one Ambassador laughed about for every year. Every year they talked about the days when Petrol was Rs 2 a litre and exchanged notes on how the old friends were doing. 

All this, while possibly there was a mini party on in the living room, where someone else was hanging out. I was too young to understand that my aunt wasnt ordinary, she was an exception to the rule. She was open in her thoughts in how she raised her family and how she handled crisis. 

Standing now, I can appreciate just what a rebel she truly was. 

Its strange - how we can never see the person in front of our eyes as a younger version of themselves. I wonder will my daughter connect to my teenage years. I see pictures of my parents, standing in bell bottom pants and think of them as different people than the mom and dad I know. You see people only in the mould that you cast them in. Dadi, nani, papa, mumma are who they are. They are not people with fears or insecurities, at least they weren't in my head like that for a really long time. 

Writing this I take solace in all the Brian Weiss books that I have been reading. That souls travel together and we meet over and over again in different ways and for different reasons. Maybe soon she shall be here again, maybe we meet again this time as friends in a college campus. The possibilities are endless.

For now, for today. I need to say goodbye. I miss you, your presence and your joy. Your wisdom and the - saab cheek ho jayega - vibe. Your silence and your knowledge. Your laughter in the night. The cordless phone and the unique 'haaallooo'. the chai and the sarees, the dhai alloo subzi, ganga ram and the rain, my childhood is linked to you. Beta tension mat le, your counselling sessions and patient hearing. To being the my surrogate granny. thank you. 

Miss you. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

bucketing it

We sat down in the middle of a fancy club house. The agenda of the night was to make our bucket list. To ape the concept promoted by Hollywood and list down that which we thought we really wanted to achieve in life.

There were only two rules.

Rule 1 - That we would out down on the list things we really really really deep down wanted to do
Rule 2 -  Every year we must aim to attain at least one thing from this list. If we were not getting down to crossing one thing off the list then either the list was bullshit or the life was bullshit.

The intention set. We started out.

Fight 1- Excel or Word.
Person one could think best when an excel sheet was spread out before him. coloums, filters ability to set timelines, numbers made sense. Person 2 looked at the boxiness of an excel sheet and the brain froze in the maze of structure unable to think freely.

A compromise was reached. First step of free thinking would be done in excel and step two of detailing in excel.


Word document opened. The pair proceeded to vomit out the deep desires that had been stored for so long and needed no thinking. Cliches poured out - Travel to 1,2, 3, 4... 10 different places. Learn the guitar, be a part of a band. Buy a house, see the making of a beer factory, do this, learn that, experience this.

The pauses soon became longer than the comments. The list felt rudderless. Anchorless. We sat back and asked ourselves - is this it? is this really what we want to do? sky diving and walking through the Amazon.

I feel a little small in my own eyes. The bubble gum philosophy of Paul Cohelo and the Alchemist came back to haunt. What did I truly want? What was the impact that I could make? Was life to be lived only for the sake of my gain and my experiences?

Yes Indeed. Person 2 retorted. Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Do what you want to do. Be what you want to be. Legacy, Impact. Power, Making a difference - is all good and fine but eventually they too fade. Maybe they are remembered for the next 20 yrs, maybe 50 but then its gone, discarded and disappeared. Even is its remembered forever and ever what is the point of being heralded in the long run. You become mis qouted and mis understood. From the Tipus to the Jesus the real person remains lost and unknown.

There was a point to that. Besides he rationalised. If there is no great passion or a cause that beckons one from the insides of your soul, its best to acknowledge that and do what you can to live a true happy life. This isnt to be mistaken for becoming a boring person but instead living in a way that you keep learning, experiencing, living it up.

The other side were voices that I heard from others. What is the purpose of life if there is no difference made to others? You are not remembered for doing things that you were expected to do. Ask yourself the legacy question. Create a ripple of change. Help. Live a life of passion, all of this came up

At a recent job interview, the interviewer threw up the ; what are you willing to take the pain of life up for question. The most important question to ask question.... and I truly have no honest answer. At some level this annoys me, at some level this is what I have come to expect to be ok.

Deep down I dont know. I remain a seeker. There is no point to the post really. There are only questions that I can ask myself. What do I really seek, what do i really need. The candid admission is that I dont at this moment in life need much, what I seek is what remains a mystery.

to having the courage to ask myself some important questions soon