Saturday, July 23, 2016

Finding Peace - Saturday Evening Gyaan

I am writing after a really really long time. I wonder, why did I ever quit? I quit on something that gives me utmost happiness. It gives me the freedom of expression, it helps me vent my thoughts and clear up my mind. It ensures I am sane. I wonder why I quit. Was it time constraints, was it the routine, was it the mood swings? Probably, all of this and more. I was so pre-occupied with my worries and life routines, earning money and trying to live a good lifestyle that I left all that that can help me be happy.

Does this sound familiar? Does it not ring a bell with you? Does it make you feel, “Yes! I have also quit singing or cricket or running or dance or some passion that I had once upon a time". Do we try to give ourselves the beautiful excuse of “I got Busy with life?”; we all do. We love giving that excuse because it’s the easy way out. 

I don’t disagree to the fact that with responsibities, especially after child birth, it gets really difficult for people to make time. Everyone is trying to achieve “work – life” balance. It does happen in a relationship as well, that if one gets selfish, the other losses out. If one focuses on themselves, the other is forced to fill in.

 There was a time your mother chased you to go to that guitar class or karate class or music class which we felt had no meaning in our lives. Your parents knew, that with the rat race, you will be ‘them’ someday and you will quit. Yet they hoped that this childhood practice may bounce back someday. More often than not, it comes to our minds. We pity ourselves and move on.

Funny ain't it, that one fine day, we all start asking questions to ourselves that why are we so unhappy? Who ruined our lives? Why do we keep yelling and showing our frustration all the time? When was the last time I had a hearty laugh? How is that all my friends on facebook have an awesome life and I am still "stuck"? 

What made us this, was it marriage? Wife/Husband? Having children? Job? Greed for Money?  
Ironically strange yet true that it was we, ourselves, who ruined us. No one else was to be blamed. We stopped living. We were just passing time or living the “I don’t have an option but to live like this”.

I ask, what does living mean? What is that peace we are looking for? Why do we start looking out for that peace in other men/women? In random sex? In our children? In our friends? Because we don’t want to face the reality that there was this one thing you loved and you stopped it. There is this one passion in you, that spark, that burning desire, which still awaits your attention. That thing which takes your soul to another level, which makes you peaceful. Find that one thing which you are missing. Is it love for the ocean or love for writing poetry or love for gaming or caricature.. whatever it is, its waiting for you. 

It’s a famous saying that travel makes you grow as a person. That’s not true. The realities and difficulties associated with travel are what help you grow. They make you less fussy and a more adaptable as a person. There are a bunch of people who travel on vacations to the best of places with the best of amenities and yet feel the void. Does that mean luxury is not the true travel? Or is it bad to have luxury? Absolutely not!

The very basic attitude of appreciating small things and big things in life is what that doesn’t get you gripped. Why are some of the richest people, the unhappiest ones? Probably, they were never happy with what they had. Does that mean that you should be satisfied with what you have and never try to grow?

No! That’s not what I mean. Financial growth is not directly proportional to your attitude to happiness. You may own a BMW but when your friend offers you a ride in his Maruti, to a local chai shop, just to catch up with you, what should be your attitude? You could happily hop on, enjoy your conversation, crack jokes, feel alive about this meeting or you may choose to think, “He still owns only a Maruti, thank god I have progressed so well in life. Why am I at this shady place? I would have taken him to a better place and paid, if he couldn’t afford etc.”

Being competitive, boastful and smart are excellent for your work-place progress. But don’t make these qualities, your attitude and core. Your void would never be filled, your peace would be never found, your happiness would never be met. Stop demeaning others to feel better and successful. Someday your child would show you the mirror and that would be one ugly face :) and one ugly truth.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan....

This is my third consistent attempt on writing something about my complete experience at Mumbai & every time I started the article, I would run out of ideas and words on how to express myself because of the unbelievable no. of incidents that have occurred during these 11 months. I was told to put my thoughts on this  blog a couple of times and finally I have been successful in penning down a few things without going overboard. 
I had always  heard bizarre stories about Mumbai. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I exclaimed that it had everything that would freak out a  "non-mubaikar"... Dirty, over-crowded, insensitive and "fast". Moving to this city was one of the hardest decisions I ever  had to make. I was advised against taking this step by well-wishers; Warned about the "fast-paced life" and the brutality of  this city and yet, I chose the hard way... Usual ain't it? 

My reasons sounded lame and intangible to people around me but I was on an adventure spree. Living away from friends and  family was not something new to me. Independent, survivor and a fighter were common terminologies denoted to me by my loved  ones. I had lived alone (in the figurative sense) for a long time and presumed that Mumbai wouldn't be a "big deal". What I  didn't anticipate was the big picture. :) I was moving to a city where I had literally 'No One'! I thought I was tough; what  I forgot was, I was naive! :)

The city of dreams does not have time for your fears and tears. It has people from all classes, creed and kind. There are  fair, dark, tall, short, insensitive, sentimental, the dreamers, the aspirants, the atheist's, the believers, the vegetarians,  the egalitarians, the jains, the artists, the geeks, the nomads, the natives, the homo-sapiens, the 'wanna-be's', the poor,  the rich and the royals! In short, a perfect match of mismatches :). Yet, they all are surviving the wave of livelihood,  together! I see pride, condescension and belief in people who call themselves "Mumbaikars". The question was, Why? What  drives this city to call itself "Different"! What made people fall in love with it that they never looked back? Was it the  "Move on!" factor or was it "time is money" or the sense of belonging or was it simply the culture?! 

On a casual Sunday afternoon, I decided to explore the famous south Bombay and headed to the remarkable gateway of india. On  one of the local trains ladies compartment (the lifeline of a million people, over which I would for sure want to write a  dissertation or at least try and understand its exceptional management system[No puns intended]), I noticed a 'bora' mother  with her son and daughter standing quiet away from the door. There were laborers to students to working women to house wives  in that packed compartment, all eager and rushed to reach their destinations. As the train approached a station, the mother  held her son on her waist and held her daughters hand and advised her to push the crowd and make her way through. "Mera  haath chodna nahi aur dhakka maro doosre haath se!", was what she said. As a silent spectator I watched the little girl make  her way through even before the train stopped at the railway platform. That's probably the first step to their training  towards surviving in this exemplary city. As the train stopped, a mob of 40 women got off in 10 secs and another mob of 30  women approx. boarded the train in the next 5 secs. Unbelievable, yet true! I have known a few women at my work place who  avoid the lifeline as they believe, to survive the local you should be a local. :)..And i couldn't agree more.

I have always been lucky to live in 'Big' houses (the stress on the term is the after effects of mumbai experience of  cramped up concrete jungles) closer to nature and the small town living has today made me realize, What "cost" of living  essentially means! :)

Spending exorbitantly high amount of money for an old, dilapidated, freakin'ly small place with tiny bedrooms shared by 4-5  people has made me appreciate the Govt. of India; :) for providing the Indian defense officers with beautiful houses which  at once upon a time I used to crib about. The sense of achievement that people receive after buying a 1BHK or a 1RK (a  few terms which I learnt after moving to this place as there existence is negligible in any other city) here is remarkable, as though their life's goal had been fulfilled. You better not be thinking that am kidding my friend because  this is the reality of this city which hosts about 12 million people and today am part of that crowd! Acceptance has been  tough -- blunt yet true; whether it was from the people or for the people. 

Nevertheless, there are always two sides to a coin and optimism being my core nature I won't loose an opportunity to  appreciate this city for its open culture, the sea side, vada-pav n poha and the amount of respect that they have for the  female fraternity. This is one city, I literally feel safe, even if it was 1 AM. Although the feeling is relative yet the  sheer existence of such a city in this country makes me feel proud. Apart from being the financial capital, the city upholds  an amazing cosmopolitan outlook and various traditions which may not be visible in the other parts of the country. On one  hand, the vast geography may cause traveling hiccup's on the other hand the connectivity is astonishing. The complete experience of dealing with humble and  benevolent natured 'Rickshaw-wala's' (at least the majority of them), is so overwhelming especially for a single woman. This  is one city, where you ask someone for help and they are ever ready to guide you/even accompany you until you can manage by  yourself. I had literally 'no hopes' that I would ever make friends in this insensitive and deplorable place but I was pleasantly surprised that not only I made friends but one of my most precious memories and people today belong to this city. From work to relationships, I have had my share of joy and woes here and when I retrospect the past one yr and make a comparison to the rest of my life... This year seemed  to have been the biggest roller coaster ride I have ever had! Reason: There's no time for tears, When you live in the real world! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Disaster Management

When crisis hits and you stare into the face of a disaster, that's when you get to see true courage and sensibility... you see humanity and humility... you see Integrity...

Although, I was not a live spectator of the Carlton Towers tragedy at Bangalore yet I was fortunate to read/watch the live coverage of the whole incident. When I saw what was happening and how things got messed up further and we lost 9 valuable lives, I asked myself, "Why are we always under prepared for crisis?? ". Why do all of us just take it for granted that our safety is someone else's responsibility and feel relieved that we were not one among the crisis hit! I would like to recall my article on New year where a small incident happened at my place and how people reacted with an Oh! and Moved On!

When someone gets dumped, they weep, scream, howl & make life miserable for everyone around them but when a life is lost in such an incident, they sigh in relief and Move On! Ironical isn't it, that our own mediocre thoughts leave us as a hapless victim.

When I read that a trapped man tweeted from the building that "Our rescue ladder. It'll only reach the fourth floor. We're on the fifth!"... Firefighters asked people on the top floors to jump, and that when they did, the safety net spread below couldn't take their landing!!!
Firefighters having a tough time reaching the building!! Why?? Well a known fact about Bangalore..large traffic jams! The double tinted glasses were impossible for people to break open, in-turn got themselves injured while trying. 

Is the lesson learnt? Are we prepared? Why were people unaware of the Emergency exit? How many of us actually learn our building map when we move to a new place? How many of us actually know that when there is heavy smoke around, a reasonably clean, wet handkerchief can save you? How many of us actually apply common sense and realize that smoke has a tendency to move upwards and when you face it, try sticking to the floor... Well, I understand that disaster management is not everyone's cup of tea, but does that mean that we hold someone else responsible for our lives? Tears rolled down when I read that a lady in her 20's with 2 kids at home, named Benzy, died as she jumped out of the building because she had a wheezing problem and no one could help her. She saw people holding a bed-sheet below and thought that she would survive... survive to go home but in vain; she fell flat on the ground and lay in a pool of blood. Was she completely responsible for her death? Her belief in the helpless mob standing below, was it wrong? Why aren't we asking questions?

Instead of shedding blood and committing suicides for demented reasons like a separate state; Why don't we work for a cause? A cause that will serve the purpose of helping people and not making a fool of the in-cognizant innocent students who have disregarded the fact that tomorrow when they stand on the other-side of the University gates, no state, no religion is going to serve them a career of their choice. Why do we never revolt for the Right reasons? Why were the fire-fighters nets small? Why were the ladders small? Why don't we have good infrastructure to save people? Is Benzy's life only Rs.2L worth? Why does the govt. only provoke issues which can be a cause for riots and not work "For the People"?
Why don't we ask "WHY"? WHY don't we ever draw a line and say, "I will not bear this anymore!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Life is Unfair... Move On!

When I look around, I see agony, lack of optimism & suffering for the sheer pleasure of it. Life can be easy but complexity is what we seek. We fantasize perpetual misery and do not consider ourselves to be worthy of goodness. Why?

I see an old man crying on a mistake he committed 25 yrs back, I see a gal gawking at a guy in misery because he is 4 yrs younger to her, I see a group of friends,presumably close to each other, sharing their happiness with only a privileged one in the group and restricting her from discussing it with the rest of the "gang", fearing jealousy, i see a mother failing day by day, i see friendship loosing it's charm, I see a man always sweating for money despite his success, i see a girl avoiding her "home" to keep her freedom intact, I see a society driven by goons talking about caste superiority, I see a mother shed tears for a "mangalik" daughter, I see a wife who is a daughter too, tussle with herself to prove that she cares.. cares about her pre-marriage & post-marriage home, I see a best friend eventually forgotten, I see an ignored childhood for a bewitched life, I see money overpowering relationships, I see a gal wretched when she can't fit into her jeans, I see superiority always treated as an outcast, I see caste overruling love.....Why?

Expectations, demands, cravings, loyalty, fear, superstitions... these are a few terms that we fix in our mind as a prerequisite just as we start moving... Moving On from our past!

I expect my "best friend" to be always there! I get demanding with my dad for silly things ignoring the fact that he would be sacrificing his wishes to fulfill mine, I fear of things which were and will never be in my hands, to succeed I tame my mind to believe things which never made any sense... and finally, left empty handed. Who is to blame? Why is it so difficult for people to think rationally and behave sensibly?
For those who haven't heard Iron Maiden [Wasted Years], "I close my eyes, and think of home,
Another city goes by, in the night, Ain't it funny how it is, you never miss it till it's gone away".
We conceive that "Nothing will change"... we try clasping sand as long or as hard as possible and gradually find out that it has already slipped out, too late!

When I pull-up myself and think, Why? Greed is the only reason I see, We are people, who think that only we deserve the best and the world can go take a hike! If you are caring or thoughtful, "he needs something from me, else why should he do it" is the thought behind. If someone is kind and genuine, "Oh! she just craves for attention". Why? Is acceptance so hard to digest?

I was a loner at school, actually not always, only during my stay at Delhi because I was beyond the word "innocence", lived always in small towns and found it too hard to adapt to the careless and fast paced life of a Metro. I could never get accepted (I tried really hard) and the day I completed my 10th board exams, I bid adieu to that god-forsaken place (purely my opinion) and moved with my family to a comparatively smaller city[Then], Hyderabad. Strangely Delhi had trained me well so hyd accepted me with ease and I gradually made friends, good friends! I had learnt the art of building relationships and how to speak, interact and gel. Did that mean that innocence is unpardonable? No! that's not true. Act smart and be rooted and Most importantly, Learn To Move On :), that was what was missing.

In11th std, I made an exceptional friend who cared, loved and believed in me for who I was and by 12th std, I started forgetting the value of her friendship, I forgot to be there, I Moved On in front of her eyes. I hurt her, I was ruthless! Before I realized, I had come to the point of no return. Thereafter, whenever someone treated me the same way, I always apologized in silence, to her, and hoped to meet her again and Say, I am sorry! Though it is too late, but better late than never. So Next time when you think of a friend and feel like calling, don't think, just call! You never know how late you are, but it's better than never.

From school,college friends/foes to crushes to colleagues to crucifying managers to love; I have Moved On! I have learnt to accept & hopefully, will continue to do so. This post is just to tell all those who feel that Life is unfair :), look around and appreciate what you have, trust me, there is someone in this world who doesn't have all that that you do, so Smile. Live in the present, cut expectations & be there for others, kill demands, stop craving, be loyal, face your fears head on, superstitions are always stupid situations, care for your gifts and smile at the future because If you think it always happens to you, think again! :).

Friday, January 29, 2010

Money... Saving's ... & Me!

Day before yesterday, post lunch, I and 3 of my fav colleagues, decided to take a walk around the lush green, serene office campus as we vacated the cafeteria well before time. :) As usual, we are experts at discussing everything under the sun, In JD's terms, " Though I am unmarried and don't have any kids, I keep giving funda's to people on these topics, I wonder what will happen to me, the day I actually get married and have kids... who will be giving me funda's ?? :D"

So here we were discussing about our work, job profile and our all time favorite topic... MONEY!! When we started discussing that we have some decent no. of yrs work ex and not a single penny as saving and were amused at how people around us had saved up so much and even got married! The facts were actually astonishing & I guess, I have been the biggest jerk around :) undoubtedly.

"Where does the salary go???", was sri's question.. and we all were wondering that are we truely basking on a very exotic & lavish lifestyle? Well the answer was certainly not! To be honest, I know the reasons for my expenditure and barely any saving, but is that an excuse that I am giving myself?? In that case, it's high time that I did some retrospection and caught a hold on the situation. 

 I follow a blog quite closely, , which is always full of good, interesting well-versed stuff that any entrepreneur should be aware off. Although I show no signs of a capable entrepreneur, knowledge always comes in handy :)... accidentally happened to read this fascinating article on Freelancing by Ali Hale and decided to view his blog which speaks about getting more out of life. For a day-dreamer like me, I thought it would be fun to read someone's thoughts/opinion and see how much I can relate to it.  Ali Ventures was an amalgamation of my four years of engg. hostel, knowledge sharing sessions in some or the other room :) but there was one article which caught my eye.. More for your Money . It's an e-book written by Ali on how to practically make an effort on monitoring savings and where is the money going?

In my opinion, she has blended her thoughts well and suggested some good, practical methods to make a difference in your monthly budgets but this is for the beginners (i.e. people who have recently started getting the feel of the currency and their hand's are always twitching to grab some new stuff) . What I liked best? "Don’t fall into the trap of spending a lot of time to save a little money"... I think this is something I should remember. Anyway, it's a good read for all and hence, I decided to share it.

Hope this helps some one, some where :)


Thursday, January 28, 2010 "I saw you there.. and I thought.."

Blogging is Passe, welcome to "I saw you there .. and I thought..." :)
When I read about this concept in the Hindu, I was taken aback by the whole idea of this kind of macro blogging and felt that this concept made no sense. To my surprise, is setting a new trend. Indians, who are often branded as stereotypes, are actually breaking the norms & utilizing a site like to post there opinion on strangers decorously.

The concept...quite simple and neat.. it's a short blog service which allows you to post macro blogs about random people you meet/observe. When I first saw the posts, they were hilarious. :) People have provided some amazing information such as when and where they saw the person which lets the readers identify themselves and connect with it. The good thing is, it's uncontaminated ;) yet loud; so makes total sense! But how is going to maintain a healthy platform for strangers interaction is something we would have to wait and watch.

The idea has great potential in today's socio-networking site savvy world & hat's off to Samson Manickaraj, the creator, who claims that this is bigger than twitter and facebook. Considering the fact that it's just 4 weeks old, it will be exciting to watch it's flow. Check it out people :)


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome 2010!!

Why me?? Why today?? Couldn't this have happened yesterday or tomorrow? were some of the questions that my sis asked me on 31st dec '09, a remarkable day in her and my life! The world was preparing itself for the great surprises in store for them in 2010, people looking forward to finding new partners & settling down :), getting into schools of their choice for higher education, finding a new job with a new pay package, getting back to hobbies long gone, making resolutions to loose or gain weight... We (I and my family), were blessed by a shock... nerve reckoning incident which totally re-enforced my belief in the super-natural power.
Home, a place we all feel safe, our habitat! What happens when someone nasty has the key to your safe zone? Some one insane keeps a track of every movement of yours? What would you do, when suddenly, one fine afternoon, you open your door and find a stranger waiting for you??
On 31st dec '09, my sisters budday, the remarkable day when she got placed into a company during this recession, a day when she was more than happy receiving gifts and best wishes.. she walked into our house which was apparently locked, by opening it with her keys & was resting. Fortunately, after 10mins, my mother also came back home. They both, as usual, were having a discussion on her gifts in my mom's room when a shadow passed behind my sister. My mom freaked out and started screaming, they started looking around, when the ghastly creature, who was hiding under the dining table, pushed them and ran out. My sis froze! My mom kept screaming and I was not surprised that no one came for help.
There were too many questions running in my head, when I heard about it from my weeping and howling sis (after a minute of the incident) who had lost her senses for more than a day. Though I asked her to triple check no one was there in that small 2bhk and if any grill was opened.. I was more than glad that they were unharmed.
This was not the 1st incident in our building, it was the 3rd... and despite the fact that someone from the building was surely involved, the guard was never changed! Nothing was done to make the building more secure. I have never seen such terribly insensitive and non-nonsensical people around who thank god that it was not their house and just walk away, leaving the situation totally unattended! What a ridiculous way to leave yourself to the mercy of some stranger who knows you are helpless! This was an incident in the broad day light where no one say him coming or leaving the building. How ironic is that????
What I learn't: wherever you buy a place to live, first make sure your neighborhood has Humans living and not morons!
This post is totally from the heart and may contain mistakes (language wise)... pardon me!