Saturday, May 31, 2014

New beginnings

New beginnings come in different forms and shapes. Sometimes there is nothing changing except things which have a hold over your mind. Over the last two days, something is having a lesser hold on me and I guess maybe, just maybe I will finally get over my fear of failing and get started with something essential. My diet, my exercise, my physical and mental health.. I am waking up as of now and taking up responsibility for it. I am giving myself a chance. Here's a toast to new beginnings. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Falling in love

I guess its a life long process. I keep falling in and out of love with life and a lot of things about it. However, recently I have realized that there are somethings that i can never truly fall out of love with ever, because in one way or the other, they define a core part of me. Hating that would be equivalent to hating myself and my bloated sense of self will never let me hate myself. :)

I am falling in love with life all over again..
I am falling in love with conversations
I am falling in love with words
I am falling love with the music
I am falling in love with falling in love
I am falling in love for I have to
to retain my sanity
and to define who i want to be
who i ought to be..

Monday, May 26, 2014

The red robes of neutrality

In dragon lance chronicles, there is this interesting concept. Every wizard has a choice to don one of the three robes - the white of good, the black of the dark/evil and the red robes of neutrality. While most of the races admit that all three are needed, the elves treat the black and red equally. They say that wearing red is just a step away from the black.

I wasn't sure if I agree with the elves. Isn't it better to be neutral? But then I realized that its just an escape from having to take a stand. You can either be with me or against me. You can't be stuck in the middle. You might assume you're doing me a favor by not turning against me but I think you're doing me a disservice by not being by me.

I doubt I'll ever be neutral considering how opinionated I am but I hope I have the wisdom and the guts to alternate between the blacks and the whites as the situation dictates and that I don't stick to one always. I prefer the alternating color.. Maybe that's as bad as the reds.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Older.. Maybe wiser

I turn a year older today and I'm still coming to terms with it. Writing a different age at clinics, all silly databases, its going to take some getting used to. I love my birthdays n I still insist on cutting cakes to celebrate. I had a lovely time with few crazy friends last night and this morning. I did miss a few a lot but I know they remembered for they wished me.
It's strange growing older though I don't always feel the years. Its not like in the movies yet and maybe I'll reach that threshold soon. But I know clearly well what and who I want with me in this interesting journey called life. Thank you God. Thank you for everything. I can't express my gratitude for all that you've given me and all that I know I take for granted.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Letting go

I hate doing this but often in life I have to. I am always scared I'll run into someone wearing my old clothes or that old smile of friendship. Both are equally scary. To those who can't see the connection let me try to explain.
Just as your clothes know you intimately, some people do. Clothes can't talk so you miss them more I guess... Or less if you'd had your fun.. But people, well, they know what you think, why you behave the way you behave and I'm sure as hell uncomfortable when I'm forced to encounter strained ties. I really want to let go but the part of me which loves people doesn't. My rational cool head wins (usually) but in a few cases it wants to hear ,"wanna come home for dinner?" Or an "I'm dropping by you must be home now.." If life were as simple I wouldn't have to look away and walk away..

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy birthday!!

Today (in 10 mins rather) is the birthday of one of the most important people in my life. (i have lists for everything.) This is the 6th birthday well be celebrating together. Lifes changed so much since we met and in a lot of ways, we have contributed to the multitude of changes in each others lives. From a love of books to travel to food to dogs, somehow everything works out fine.

I am glad that some day I started talking to that deep thinker who sat near me at work and that some other day we decided it made a lot of sense to get married. Happy birthday Sachin - you are my constant source of inspiration and support. Though i know we can live without each other, I would prefer not to. Have a wonderful year ahead (with me by your side, its got to be awesome.) Lets strike off a lot more things from our to do list and lets add a lot more to it.

What makes you tick?

Laika ran away today ( I know!!! ). My constant analysis confirmed that she runs when we are bringing her back home from short walks on days she's not had enough exercise. I got what makes her tick - not fear of punishment or food but her love for the sun, grass and time outside..

She made me wonder about what makes people tick. If we could zero in on it then it would be awesome. I mean communication for one would be easier. Making people work for a common cause would be easier etc. etc. However unlike dogs people aren't simple and I am still wondering what makes a few I know and like/ tolerate tick.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Satisfaction

To the uninitiated, I am an analyst by profession. With enough data I can change your life( my super power). I love my job most of the times and I try very very hard to be good at it. Now that I've blown my trumpet enough, let me get back to what I was thinking when I started writing.

I try to avoid calls on tuesdays. I usually don't work much in the evening either. Maybe an hour or two. But today I've been sitting at my comp all evening writing an awesome macro and I just finished it a few minutes back. I am on a high. Same high I get from ice creams or swimming or playing. A job well done after your heart is such a beautiful thing. I have cribbed a lot about my life that I thought I should share this awesome feeling out. I've been dancing around ( oh ya my dogs tried joining in ) and have been very high on life. Such moments make my days. I'm going to document these moments without revealing the details so I can read it and jump in joy. Oh man, my life's awesome.  Satisfaction comes from such strange places at unexpected times.

Wisdom

I find wisdom in the most unlikely of places. One interesting place is with 2 extraordinarily naughty kids (a brother and sister) who live next door. Those who know me well enough will be surprised at this because i don't get along with kids. If anything they run away when they see me. But these two (and a few other kids in the community),speak with me everyday, greet my dogs and keep coming to call me out. The older one tells me today, "Harini - come out and see its so nice, what are you doing inside the house?" (the presence of aunty when he calls me depends on whether his dad is around).

When I come out to water the garden,he and his sister follow me around asking for the names of all plants. They have aloe vera at home and ask me why i haven't placed my plant outside(one of the many tips they have given me). When she asks me the names of plants, i stop and answer. She notices even the smallest cactus and doesnt let me be until i give her the name. I forget how much love i put in when i got the plants over time. Talking to her reminds me of this and I feel nicer for watering the plants..

If my cycle is unattended (most of the time), he keeps shouting till i come out and asks me to keep the cycle properly. Then he tells me cycling is very nice and I should come cycling with him and his sister. I used to use the cycle a lot and of course we were full of good intentions when we bought it. Its been neglected for a few months now and i am planning to go cycling today thanks to his constant insistence.

These are just 3 instances but every day they remind me of the importance of small things and how much peace and quiet i can get if i just look a little closer at the nicer things of life.

Monday, May 19, 2014

One of my hopes...

I hate hospitals. I have been known to faint (only once mind it) at the sight of my own blood being taken out with a syringe. Today, i had to ship Laika to the hospital, as madam had managed to get a gaping hole in her face - thanks to incessant scratching, overnight. I was already worried about her and to top it, the hospital atmosphere was so depressing.

It is one of the better hospitals in bangalore and the doctors are pretty sweet, but I still dont like going there. The dogs waiting patiently/impatiently with their owners, the horrible smell of disinfectant and medicine, and the white gleaming, constantly mopped floor just made me want to run away fast. To top it, Laika kept crying, something she hasnt done till date. She usually sulks and refuses to enter the building or just gives all the dogs a scare by going on and growling at them, but she doesnt howl her heart out. I just could not calm her down.

I really hope that tele-medicine improves a lot and that someday for nothing but serious ailments, we don't have to step into a hospital. Also, i hope that that day, none of us have ailments serious enough to require operation/stay in the hospital.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Apologies and forgiveness.

If it means letting go of ego to apologize
It also means letting go of biases to forgive
Some lessons in life are so bitter
That we choose to let go forever
Even things we thought valuable

Maybe we forget if the after taste
Is temporary or permanent.

Don't words have a greater power than actions?
Isn't speaking by itself an action
Than how could actions speak louder than words?
I think through all tough conversations
My monologues which succeed
And I wonder if I ever truly apologize
I also wonder if I'm ever really forgiven

I want to let go - but some bonds are not so easily rid of
I want to move on - but some reminders are constant
As constant as the nameless faces seen around everyday and forgotten.
As constant as the voices heard and ignored.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dependency

You realize how dependent you are on electricity when something as minor as voltage fluctuation can screw up your dinner. Switching on the stove or the microwave or even the fan is difficult and after sometime you just give up and eat cold food in silence. I'll buy a match box and leave it at it then..

Tied to a device

I use my phone sparingly. I have a pretty funky one but the device I am usually tied to is my office computer. I hang on to it like I hang on to my life on weekdays. Checking emails, expecting some OC conversations, working on interesting excels and presentations. I am married to my device on weekdays. On weekends nothing charms me. Actually even on weekdays once I disconnect I stay away from my laptop and phone, when I walk my dogs, when I play and even when I am off to bed. I truly disconnect.

I had one of those major misunderstandings with a friend last Thursday.I am an expert at coming up with what someone is thinking when they make a statement. A scary hobby, one that while can defend me from those that I should be wary of, distances me from some who I shouldn't be. I had a bad couple of days, because the negativity usually hangs around. Then I tried to make peace and all my attempts met a stone wall. Phone calls were made and remained unreturned, messages did not get a response.. I know I don't sound very mature as I write this but all of us have the right to grow at our own pace and still be immature about a few things. At least I can identify it. I did not leave my phone out of my sight from last night. I stayed next to it when it was charging, kept it under my pillow while reading and even broke my most sacred rule and got it along to the dining table.

Finally 30 mins ago, I let my phone be and came up to the terrace to clear my head. I can't walk along because it's raining and though I love getting wet in the rain, in my current self pity state I don't want to encounter anyone. So like a wounded animal, I took solace in my terrace and just spent some time thinking of nicer things unsuccessfully. I have never been rebuffed for trying to make peace and I wonder how an India Pakistan ambassador feels. Maybe I should no longer be tied to my device. Or maybe I should. I don't know. It's strange and unhealthy and I just don't want to fight again.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A reason or a season..

They say that everyone comes into your life for a reason. I feel that they also come for a season. They bring the weather with them. Some represent the rain, some the spring, some summer and some autumn. Some stay for long, some disappear without a trace and some are there in the background, unsure what their role is. I remember someone who held me tight one day when I was on the verge of falling into an endless ravine... It never happened again but that memory stayed. Perhaps, they were meant to hold me one time and then disappear for that was their role in my story.

Falling in a relationship (for lack of a better term) used to be my favorite hobby as a naive girl in college (nah, i wasnt that naive, just stupid). I thought i had gotten over it. But lately when i look at the wealth of relationships i have gained ( i was creating an invite list for my bday party. :D) I realised, i haven't lost that habit as yet. :)

Right now, at this instance, I see those who have come for a reason. Maybe it is going to be for a season, maybe that season is over or maybe it is going to change right now. But until it changes, I am going to dance in the rain, enjoy the sunshine, smell the flowers of spring and gather the leaves ill preserve in a notebook from autumn. Everyone reminds me of a season. Some pleasant, some way too unpleasant and some undecided. But i refuse to stay put in one, no matter how pleasant or unpleasant and I promise myself to move on. Some of the best things in my life have come to me for a season and those memories have been beautiful

Silences

I used to have a pen friend from Kerala in school. We met in a science conference and connected. We wrote to each other frequently and taught each others languages. I used to eagerly await the arrival of her letters every week.
Then email arrived and the eagerness was still there as she could access it only on specific days. She's now lost to time but I remember the beautiful silences.
In college I used to email friends. I expected quick replies maybe a day or two and I loved to email my heart out. Those friends are far away too and from once a day, the conversations have come down to once a year and frankly those aren't that comfortable either. But I remember those silences with pleasure. The wait was beautiful in its way.
When I started working we did not have so many smart phones. I used to email folks and wait expectantly for a few hours for a reply as I knew they were busy working. Those silences weren't deafening.
But then I had this best friend and he was a multi tasker like me. He used to sit behind me and chat. My expectations were in seconds or minutes and he inevitably almost always made my day. It's been long since he left the country but I think of him at least once a day and I miss him and our conversations. I know I'll never lose him no matter how many years go by..
He set the bar on silences- a few seconds or minutes. When I don't hear back in that I get tensed. I wonder why I'm wasting my time on such a slow conversation. I forget my pen friend, my college friends and my earlier work friends and I wonder.
Why is impatience so easy to follow and patience such a virtue? I can't make peace with some differences maybe because the bars been set so high. Or maybe because there is an inherent insecurity? I can only wonder and miss those days when life was simpler and when I wasn't feeling rejected by so many mediums (fb, SMS, chat, etc..)and was ready to wait for responses which came..

Thursday, May 15, 2014

10 things I hate about you

I hate the way I notice you in a room full of people
I hate the way my ears light up when I hear your mellow voice
I hate the way I have to tell you every god damn thing that matters
I hate the way I feel when our conversations are never enough
I hate how much your opinion matters when I least expect it to

I hate how you miss the obvious and never understand
I hate how much you accept and pretend when you ought not to
I hate the lost look I often see in your eyes and want to erase
I hate it every time I realise how much you mean to me
I hate you because I know I can never walk away and forgive myself

The shortcut to success

The short cut to success is just working harder, longer and faster every single day of your life and constantly asking yourself if you have done the best you could have and not compromised on anything. In a world so dictated by contacts people have and opinions they have formed, this is the one thing that can save you.
The easiest way to screw it up is to talk because, no matter how well you assume someone knows you, they are ready to believe the worst and move on happy they ain't that bad. Maybe this is a jaded view of the world, but today, I feel it's better to protect yourself - than sit and cry first thing in the morning because you were misunderstood or because you weren't recognised.

Nobody will ever come to you without an agenda except perhaps for a few because they see you for what you are. Hold on to them and don't let them go. That's another short cut. The person who is there to wipe your tears is infinitely more valuable and real than the one who even unintentionally makes you feel like shit.

Vijesh, sachin, my family are some of my sources of strength and I don't think I can ever under state the role they play in maintaining my sanity and my happiness.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

To err is human

They say that to err is human and to forgive divine. I feel this particular line is often misused and the true message, "to err is human, to err again and again is plain stupid" is lost in translation somewhere. I have been ridiculously stupid a lot of times. Cases in point when i have trusted people i ought not to have, when i have tried to make conversations where silences were better and where i have discussed things that a monologue (where i play both the roles) would have solved better.

Of course it all boils down to speaking the right things at the wrong time to the wrong people. I think it stems from my basic fear of becoming horrible and too high handed. While I do not really bother about what majority of the world thinks, I have identified a small group which is brilliant in pointing out when i go wrong. They have the guts to call me "irritating", "snooty" and of course "dumb" to my face and I respect them and actually listen to them because of it.

Over time however, i have made the mistake of speaking the wrong things at the wrong time and being stuck in a bad situation because of it. Folks i assumed were in the small group have proven to either not notice my existence, or to not consider themselves a friend the way I had considered them.  I have managed to live with that - which explains my writing this and I will manage to live with a lot more. But unless i learn to control my tongue, i cannot go beyond surviving and actually start thriving. I think I want to thrive and for that, I have to go back to being careful about who I trust and why. I also have to remind myself that while accepting someone who is different is ok, living with the differences is not going to be easy and there is nothing wrong in being choosy about who to call a friend.

Divorce

Why is divorce such a taboo topic in this country? When two individuals identify that they cannot exist together, why question such a decision? If you feel it brings out the immaturity of the people in question, then why force maturity? Why cant they live in a way they want? Everybody wants to be happy. Thats a fundamental human need. But if the instances of happiness do not outweigh the instances of discomfort, whats wrong in splitting up? Isnt it a fundamental question we need to ask? I feel indians make a big deal of our family unit and when anything threatens the greater good, we want to nip it in the bud.

I often think about divorce because i see some unhappy couples and I know that their conflicts cannot be resolved because of the fundamental personality difference between the two individuals. Some are openly frank while some prefer stealth. Why struggle? ( I know some things are worth fighting for and if you are not happy with one, there is no guarantee you will be happy with another) Why not acknowledge that being alone is not so bad afterall and get used to living with the one person who is always going to be there for you and who is not going to wantedly let you down? (your own self of course) Why do we seek so badly for another to complete us when we can find that from within?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Observation

Today, I drove to work yet again and I observed something i found interesting. If i focused on the road in front of me and instead of racing down, if i pause to let pedestrians cross, i get a lot of lovely smiles and i actually dont lose so much time. I saw women with babies jumping over roadblocks, groups of children waiting to cross at intersections and even laborers with heavy loads to their heads waiting patiently for the right time to walk across. Of course a few of you might wonder why they don't walk to the signal and cross at the zebra crossing, but i realized that the signals in the route i travel are few and far between when folks want to cross and I was trying my bit today to make the roads a lot more habitable. I have decided to make it a habit because we do have to start somewhere.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday soul sante

We went to the Sunday soul sante for  the first time today and I really loved the experience. The sheer variety of things available there was mind boggling. I saw educated entrepreneurs designing things which were really chic, cool and unique. The charming background music of newbies trying their luck on stage, new varieties of soda, food added to the atmosphere. The concept is nice and creativity is worshipped in a beautiful way.  The number of folks using their talents to make money and to express themselves - gives me the inspiration I need to look beyond the obvious.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The worst cruelty

The worst forms of cruelty are perhaps borne out of a combination of kindness and ignorance. The intent to save a dog, by keeping it locked in a cage - seems to be an interesting case in point.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The rain

Today after a very long time, i got wet in the rain. It was accidental. I hadnt gotten lunch to work and i went to a nearby eatery as I dont like our cafeteria food. It had stopped raining and I was sure the clouds would disappoint me again. We walked happily and had a pretty hearty lunch marvelling at our ability to squeeze time between meetings. I looked up and I saw it was pouring. We had to make it back to work (a self imposed deadline. We dont work with cruel folks wholl kill us if we refuse to walk in the rain) and so we decided to walk in the drizzle. I walked for maybe 10 minutes and I loved it. I have never done this while at work and I am wondering if i should do it more often. But common sense tells me that drenched women are not considered professional and usually I "try" to be professional. This accident might mostly not repeat and a part of me feels sad..

We have just managed to change the facade of our house with a nice covering in the terrace. I am considering going out and getting drenched in the next shower. Just for the fun of it. Just to watch the look on my husbands face as he wonders if i have finally cracked.

I remember

Write 10 lines with I remember. I am surprised at the list that came. :)

I remember the white clouds that dotted the blue sky the day i chose to look up
I remember the bubbles in the swimming pool the day i learnt to breathe underwater
I remember the steam rising out of the pan when i made my first bajji
I remember the cold water that made me feel alive when i ran into the water falls
I remember the drops of sweat that decorated my brow after my first hike
I remember the happiness despite the pain when i cycled for the first time
I remember the melting ice cream when a friend held it for me
I remember the melted chocolate you secreted in your pocket for me
I remember the books my grandfather used to get me
I remember the sweets, the savories and the smell of diwali from childhood
I remember and I forget to.. but life gives me this and many more to celebrate

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Chilling in

I spent most if last week at home. I was out of office and due to some last minute glitch our trip dint materialise. I've never enjoyed my house so much. We spent weeks setting up the place to our taste but we've never truly stayed at home. We try to find life outside and hang out with friends on holidays.

This time we chilled in and truly loved the experience. I realised how much I lose out in the effort to find life outside and how much beauty and peace can be found within the four walls of a true home.

Monday, May 05, 2014

The walk

They say that when you walk dogs, you need to master the walk. Walk like you are on top of the world. Walk like you are in control and everything is falling in place because you want it to. Imagine yourself to be bigger, they say. When i got Laika, i religiously followed it and effectively, i felt so much better after our long walks. Nowadays, i let the doggies run in an open area since my speed is not enough for their high energy levels. Hence the "walk" has been reduced from almost an hour to a maximum of 10 minutes twice a day. I dont feel on top of the world. I never thought that those few minutes worked so well to make me feel like a queen.

Anyway, we have reinstated the walk and are trying to make a ritual of walking the dogs around the community after their run so we learn to walk together. I love the walk for it makes me feel in control and whatever my day has given me disappears in a matter of minutes. (until laika makes a run for the friendly Rottweiler)

An act of kindness

I have been living in my current house for sometime and had this maid for most of that duration. She has been around and i usually dont speak much with her, except request for something to be done and ask after her kids. I volunteered to teach her daughter english and i had paid her fee last year. Yesterday, i was blown over by her gesture. To the uninitiated, i had taken a few days off and since my trip couldnt happen, i was spending time at home. She got us a huge box of home made bisibelebath, mixture, pakoda and Raita. She mentioned that she feels that i am very tired and am not eating properly and so she got her daughter to make food for me. I was dumb founded. I have a few sweet neighbours who share food with me on weekends and with whom i also share some of the things i make. But my maid doing this for me made me feel that i am doing something right after all. No matter how many call me an idiot, or a snooty female - terms i heard from folks i respected today, i will remember the look, the smell and the taste of the food and thank my lucky stars that somewhere, something is right.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Evolution

I keep stating that we need to evolve with time. Funnily I don't see too many examples. Today, I realized one staring at me.

I have a friend who lives next to my house. The day I got laika she was so scared to even touch her. She felt that the dog wasn't hygienic and it might lick her etc..I've managed to train laika to not lick to a large extent plus she's not the licker type. Anyway two months ago a puppy was gifted to her and I see her giving a lot of love and attention and training the Lil one. Today when I saw him, it hit me. Overcoming our fears and facing them is the biggest challenge of them all.

I'm scared of what life holds for me. The uncertain future doesn't reassure me. I reminded myself yet again that I need to face my fears and evolve without being too frightened of the consequences.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Scared

I was asked to write about the five things that scare me the most. I thought I'd take a shot at it and admit in a public forum like an idiot. But the thing is they don't scare me always so hopefully if you choose to use it against me it might not matter.

1. Cats - I hate cats. They repulse me. I am scared of them touching me even accidentally as I was once scratched by one.
2. Dumb asses- there's no shortage of these and I am scared of them. They're so dumb you never know what they'll understand and what they'll actually do.
3. Rumours - I am petrified by the potential rumours that can abound. I've been hurt badly by a few targeted at me and people who gossip scare me the most.
4. Power cuts. Yes I'm one of those that's been frightened at times by the dark. I can stay home alone for days on end but if I end up without light I feel rootless. Though funnily sometimes I welcome the dark.
5. Food - I am scared of good food as I end up over eating. Then I lose my sleep to a grumpy tummy. :)

The morning ritual

I love routine in one form or the other sometimes say a weekly ice cream outing or a sat night dinner date. But my least favorite ritual is waking up. I love my bed and I love staying put in it. Sachin would wake up and have an hour of calm before I decide to even open my eyes. Same was the case when my mom was around. Recently its changed and I have a new ritual. One of being woken up by gentle howls and exploring noses which try not to jump on bed and still reach me. Laika would go down if I refuse to wake up but the warrior princess zoya is persistent. She refuses to go down unless I get out of the bed and walk down with her. Their enthusiasm is contagious and I end up waking up with a smile and taking them for an early run.
Let's see how long this enthusiasm holds up. Till then I'll enjoy Sachin's grins as I wake up and walk down with my guardians.