Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Life is precious

My boss's mother always told her that old age exposes your true self. So you need to work on yourself right now to ensure that you are a good person when you are old and senile :)

I so agree. I look at the old people I have been in contact with all my life; my maternal Grandma and her siblings are all proud, independent and strong people. My Grandma has always looked back at her life with happiness and always said that she lived a good and peaceful life. She has always been a rock, a beacon, a lighthouse for our family and till the end she fortunately didnt have to rely on anyone, she lived in her own house till the end and it was a peaceful haven for all of us grandkids and her children to go to.One of my aunt’s husbands was an expert chess player and an author of many books on abolishing superstitions. He should have been one for superstition, his life was fraught with tragedy, losing two wives and two sons in laws; but he contributed so much to the Abolishment of superstitious beliefs mission in Pune.

Even now, I look at my parents – my dad, who is retired and can really sit back and relax but doesn’t want to, because he loves to teach and is a consulting professor. My Baba who is hard of hearing, angioplasty done, an iron rod in his leg supporting an old accident wound, asthmatic and getting old but he still wakes up at the crack of dawn, prepares material, pores over new study material, prepares courses, grades exam papers and goes out and teaches and loves what he does. My mom has kept herself busy with her swimming, throw ball and her circle of friends with travel and cultural activities. They miss us kids but they are happy and satisfied in their lives.

I feel like happiness is within us, the day you start depending on someone else to make you happy constantly, that’s the day you are destined to be unhappy forever. Yes, I understand you need the basic requirement of your family being nice to you, being able to depend on them to some extent, being there for you and all that. But beyond that you need to form your own lives. And it becomes even more blatantly clear as one grows older.

My mother who was a stay at home all her life always always tells me and my sister to maintain our professional career and feels that our kids will be proud of us for what we do. We are proud of what our mother did for us but I think what she is trying to tell us here is that make something of yourself, have your own identity and your kids will love and respect you for that.

Now that I am faced with an unhappy dissatisfied bored person on a daily basis, I swear to myself that I will never be in that position ever. I will learn something new/read something new/ every year and develop hobbies and my own interests and lead my life peacefully happily and gratefully.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Being religious is uncool?

My Uncle and Aunt are long time Swadhyayis. They go on this “Bhavferi” to visit homes of Indian families and to give them information on Swadhyaya and to enlist new people to join this mission. They look like your typical short sweet smiling Indian Aunty Uncle. This time they visited couples in the 30-40 age group, Mami said that she saw one thing common everywhere, huge houses, both the husband-wife pair with professional qualifications and stressful jobs and an impatience towards everything. At a few houses, they weren’t even invited inside and were standing out on the doorstep on the cold dreary day. Mami thinks that the nicer people are in apartments and smaller homes. The bigger the home; the snobbier the attitude, and intolerance towards other people. I had written a similar blog post on this long back. I would like to think that if four older desis had turned up on my doorstep, I would at least have done the courtesy of inviting them inside; especially when you can very well tell that they are decent people.

Anyways that brings me to my next question – we have a huge group of friends and while most of them do the occasional Satyanarayan pooja and what not, no one does anything related to religion on a regular basis. Culture is limited to the Diwali parties and the Ganapati parties and dressing up and potluck dinners. Cultural events are tweaked for convenience and pampering of oneself. I am sure this is not the universal truth and it so happens that all my friends (and me) are like that. I don’t claim to be an expert on our Indian religious verses and scriptures but of late I have developed a healthy curiosity to know more about everything that has been written – I like reciting prayers for my baby at bedtime and she loves it too and demands prayers every night. I do think that we all try to do the best we can given our job pressures and family demands so it’s just an indication of changing times I guess. As my Aai tells me, even in India, with nuclear families on the rise, very few families actually make all the sweets and chatpata snacks for Diwali and mostly everyone buys it from the various stores who provide authentic snacks and mithais.

While attending a U2 concert is extremely cool, going to a Gnyaneshwari discussion is considered very boring. Why is that, I ask? Can you not do both? Do we have to fit into one kind of an image or the other? I would love for my baby to grow up with her belly button pierced and a fit body and wear the most awesomest coolest clothes and then sit down and recite the entire Ramraksha in one go and to be able to talk about India’s history, culture and religion with ease. I would like to be that too!! Yes Yes I want to have my belly button pierced one day – post babies and when my tummy is flat like an iron board :) Anyways I am rambling and rambling…………what I feel at the end of the day is – this life is so precious, there are so many things in life of which we are completely ignorant of, instead of wasting this valuable time that we have, why don’t we all try to learn something new, read something new, help someone new and when we look back at our life ten, twenty, fifty, seventy years from now, be insanely proud of how we have lived it?

Now I need to practice what I preach so I will stop here and work :)

Monday, September 21, 2009


1) Snobby girl who ignored me during volleyball is at it again. Unfortunately we got paired up for a volunteering event and before I could walk over and request a different partner, she had switched me before me. War is on babe!
2) I am going to India!!!! Tickets are booked, daydreaming and actual dreaming at night (Yes, I have India dreams every night now!!) has counting down the days!!
3) Renewed relationship with mother in law. Distant yet respectful and (gasp) affectionate one.
4) Blog is making me anti social, feel like posting updates on blog than sending emails to family.
5) Looking forward to meeting in person my gay best friend who came out to me over phone.
6)............will stop here and write a nice email to family.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I like to move it, move it.....

My mother was a housewife and I remember running up the stairs home after school to find out the entire house in a state of motion, a huge project unraveling, it used to be such a rush! Such excitement! My sister and I would immediately jump in and help our Aai move cupboards, beds around the room. She would be on this deep spring cleaning initiative and it would also involve reconfiguring the set up of the room. I would just love it. We would change the sheets and everything would sparkle and gleam and look brand new! That simple act of dusting, cleaning, reaching previously inaccessible surfaces and most important of all, the rearranging of the furniture felt like a fresh breath of air. We would all be smiling by the end of the exercise. I remember one of my mother’s friends visiting with her daughter and she happened to stay in both the before and after states and was so enthralled – she had asked me, does your Mom move furniture around all the time, its so cool, I am going to go home and do it too :)

When life gets too routine now and when I am stuck in this never ending cycle of alarms, get R ready, drop offs and picks up from daycare, work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, weekend clean up the mess lying around the house mandatory exercises, there is little time and energy left to take on a new project. But its when life is too routine that I miss those days, the days of coming home and opening the door to a new room; not exactly new, but newly arranged, you get it, don’t you :)

I have tried to do it here but its so difficult now, Godrej cupboards could be pushed from one end of the room to the other but what can you do with built in closets here! TV cable and power outlets are fixed and predetermined and the whole room kinda revolves around the TV. I scratch my head and try and think of which room can I move furniture around in and come up with nothing :(

So my ambitious plans over the next couple of weeks are to first finish filing the towering piles of bills/receipts accumulating and taking over the study. Then paint the room :) Then on to R’s room and get curtains and pretty rugs and what not and then move around the paintings and other knickknacks in my house and take out all those new bed sheets which have been languishing in their original plastic covers in my closets. I am keeping a goal of having a gleaming, organized house by the end of the year and starting the New Year with a new outlook and new house :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Scary story born out of my nightmare yesterday

She soared through the skies pulled by the distant chanting of the shlokas. It had been ages since she had heard Sanskrit words uttered. The rhythm and the vibrations from the chanting washed over her like the warm comforting waters of her childhood Alibaug. She looked through this house and that trying to locate the origin of the recitation. Finally she saw her – a mother holding her baby in her lap and reciting the Ramaraksha. She swooped in and settled in a corner of the ceiling captivated by the scene. The baby was clutching her mother’s fingers while her eyes drooped sleepily. The mother was patting the baby and was engrossed in reading and pronouncing the shloka in the accurate manner. She had an idea; this was a good host body to stay in for a while. For a second the mother’s screams pierced the calm environment then she pushed the thoughts away. That would be for tomorrow, for today she was just going to soak in this calm and peace which she had yearned for so long…..