Posts Tagged ‘#people’


For as long as I can remember, I wanted to move back to the city. It wasn’t that I loved my home any less but to live away from society is a challenge in its entirety. There are daily struggles that one has to go through even to maintain the home and hearth. After quite a lot of deliberation and cajoling we succeeded in convincing our parents to give up their recluse- like lifestyle and return to the city. For twenty- two long years, they had been dwelling at the farm. It was home, it still is.

After looking for it high and low, we finally settled for this new place – a penthouse apartment that accorded my parents their much- needed space in addition to being a lot more convenient to us. We gradually started visualizing the home that it would turn into. All efforts went into making it the space that all of us dreamt of.

Moving in, though demanding & stressful, was the easy part. What we feared, were apprehensive about, but at the same time looked forward to, was getting used to the people, the newness of being around a lot of people, of dealing with them on a daily basis. I was wary of my social skills, for one. Having stayed away for such a long time might have rusted whatever people skills I had, to start with.

The people in our building all looked happy and welcoming yet there was a sort of breaking (back) – in required. We got the perfect opportunity to meet and greet and test our social skills outside our immediate community when we were invited by new flat owners moving into the building, just a fortnight after us.

It was a pleasant experience and everybody seemed to genuinely like and respect each other. I had heard my mother speak about neighbours being more family than families ever are but it was the first experience of the sort. Ours being a new apartment building, we were all trying to get to know each other but there was an openness, a comfort, a will to establish and build up new acquaintances.

There are so many aspects to moving in and settling down. Not only does one need to get used to the novelty of the new abode and its surroundings but one also has to adjust to the unbeaten and untrodden schedules and paths that lie waiting.
It is a happy coincidence then, that our move is working well for nearly all of us. The freshness of the routine, the zest to face each day that brings with it disparate experiences, recommencing the activeness that life was just a couple of decades ago, recapturing the beauty and essence of city life once again, are all things that we hoped for.

What the Move has made me realise is that deep down, under the veneer that we had on for twenty odd years, we are all people’s persons. There is a profound and unfeigned affection for people that runs right beneath the parched stratum of our personalities.

I hope the move does us good. Looking forward to many happy and content years here. May these be the verdant grounds where new and everlasting memories take root..

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As far as household chores are concerned, I particularly pride myself in the kneading of the dough. That was the first thing I learnt and mastered in the kitchen, even before I tried my hand at boiling tea leaves. The process of turning powdery, lacklustre flour into consistent, supple dough, gets me every single time. I am not going to bore you with my culinary expertise 😅 or interests further,  instead would get to the point in a jiffy. I am very obsessive about not leaving any trace of flour sticking to the sides of the trough after I am done kneading. I knead and knead and knead till the trough is sparkling clean. 

As it always happens when I am a little anxious, my thoughts flow in a rhythm of their own. Things as mundane and unremarkable as kneading dough may also trigger a profound chain of thoughts and emotions. That coupled with anything equally regular may result in a blog like this. 

 

How many people might an average person know at any given point of time? And I am not talking of the thousands that we seem to have on social network accounts. I am talking of people who we meet physically on a daily, fortnightly or monthly basis. Some of whom may be a significant part of our day, others still, also as important and relevant even if we don’t see them daily. I have some friends who respond to my good morning messages daily. We may be apart geographically but in that particular instant we are thinking of each other. So, may be a hundred or so people who we are in constant touch with.

Now try and remember how many of them were there when we were growing up or when we were at school or college. The number will dwindle. Rare and special are the people who have the same set of friends and acquaintances in all phases of their lives. As it happens, we fade out of some people’s lives and some people fade out of ours. It’s a completely natural process. Some go away rather quickly others gradually. The ones that just move along as our lives take us places, are the ones that don’t hurt. We treasure the memories they left us with, without even realising that they are hidden someplace inside the maze, our minds are. Someday we come across an old letter or photograph of them or we reconnect via Facebook and voila, the slideshow of memories begin! 

This happened with me today. I reconnected with an elder didi of mine who also happened to have taught me once, long back, and I couldn’t hold back memories. She was the first person I had heard speaking, effortlessly, in English. She had a beautiful handwriting.  Some phrases that I picked up while she taught us English and History, have remained with me ever since. I realised that everytime I have ever used those phrases, I have fondly remembered her. It had become so much a habit with me that my mind could never erase the mental picture of her I carried. Her face had not faded away like it happens with people who drift apart. I perused her profile and found that after so many years she still looks the same – well turned out, smiling, wise eyes, an air of intellect surrounding her that is not limited by the fact that I just saw a picture of her. Though short in stature, her personality looms large for me. I cherish what she gave me as a child. I was at an impressionable age and I am glad that I got to learn from her. I hold dear, her contribution in shaping me, however little it may seem. It is immensely significant for me. Indelible!! It’s true, we never realise how much space we take up in other people’s lives and minds. 

At times I am a little anxious of talking to people from my own past because try as they might people do change and I am afraid that the mental image I carry inside may not match with the stark reality of what time and space have turned them into. Nevertheless, it is still mighty fabulous to be able to recall so much of our past and people’s role in it, frame by frame. It’s a heady feeling to agnise that just like footprints on the moon, certain marks always remain, clear and incorruptible. 

It is a whole other story with the people we have to leave after a falling out of ways. They are the ones who stay the longest in our minds and hearts. Always at the forefront! They are like the hint of flour left on the sides and base of the trough after the kneading is done. We so want them to be a part of our dough, our life but as it happens with dough, so it is in life. We cannot accomplish the desired inclusion without tempering with the consistency of either. I hate leaving people behind, I would rather disrupt the harmony or regularity of my life than to let go of people that, once, enriched it. But all of us have to take tough decisions at times and that is where the anxiety creeps in. Anyone who leaves, takes a part of us with them. True, we adapt,  but we are never the same again. 

How I wish that keeping people close were a skill to be mastered, like kneading! I could have learnt that and would have never left anyone behind. EVER

Diwali festivities over, I had a wonderful day today with guests and relatives, friends and loved ones turning up to meet us. Yet another gentle reminder that life is worth living and celebrating only when you have your people around to share it with you and rejoice in it. 

The day started going downhill when I had this weird feeling of loss and emotional emptiness after we had all turned in for the night. While going through my Facebook timeline,  I came across a dedication , a condolence message from one of my friends in memory of one of his. 

I had tears in my eyes at the sheer helplessness & ineptitude of man when faced with fate. The young, handsome face of that unknown individual shook me to the core. Dedications ranged from calling him a hearty, jovial, ambitious, full of life person to his keen interest in photography and a general zest for life. Some of his friends had mentioned how he refused to get married before he made something of his life, how he wanted to become someone for his family- his parents before he embarked on a journey of marital bliss. He wanted to make them proud. 

To be taken away so cruelly in an accident on a day when most of us were celebrating the festival of lights, left everyone of his friends speechless. All the posts dedicated to him, tagging him carried his smiling, dashing pictures and all of them invariably wanted him back because so much was left unsaid, unspoken, unfinished… I was moved beyond belief. Tears came unbidden. 

We take so much for granted. We forget that this life we have is so uncertain. Just like Navdeep, we may be celebrating one moment, devouring ladoos, and be gone the next, leaving dazed family members and loved ones to pick up the pieces of shattered lives, dashed hopes and unfulfilled dreams. There is just so much riding on us, we fail to notice. 

We do not acknowledge that the final frontier may come to us sooner than we expect. Instead we while away our lives fighting with our loved ones, keeping grudges, leaving things unsaid, loving people and not letting them know. We think we have all the time in the world but we don’t. 

We need to re-prioritize our lives. Know what is important, acknowledge the people who are there for us- no matter what, stop fighting, shelf our egos, love without restraint, be thankful, commit to life & people and stop hurting the ones who have been there and who promise to stay. Believe me, nothing is more important than earning love and respect in your lifetime. After all, it is meaningless if people just praise you when you are gone. It is the difference you make in lives, while you are still alive and kicking, that counts

It may be a naive attempt at writing but my message is clear. Apologise if you are wrong, help if you can, try to understand the perception of others, be tolerant, save relationships, say it if you care, quit hurting people & be grateful for all that you have. Making money is important but at the end of the day , it isn’t everything. Judge what brings you happiness, true heartfelt pleasure. Is it the idea of being rich, of finding solace in temporary people or things, of validation from your peers or is it being blessed with people who love you, who are permanent in life, that brings true richness and meaning to your ordinary existence? 

Think and act now because what we can’t achieve before death knocks us down, remains as regret in one heart or the other. Choose well what you wish your life to be. 

“Do you like Country music?” asked Prakirti. My last blog must have led her to believe that I understood the western music scene quite well, so I told her that my musical education was sporadic, at best. And that it was quite late in life that I had picked up English songs and artists. Hence, differentiating genres was beyond me. She said, “Let me send you a selection of songs, then.” She did. And I instantly fell in love with this beauty. 

Don Williams – I Believe in You

​I don’t believe in superstars

Organic food and foreign cars

I don’t believe the price of gold

The certainty of growing old

That right is right and left is wrong

That north and south can’t get along

That east is east and west is west

And bein’ first is always best.

Well, I dont believe that heaven waits

For only those who congregate

I’d like to think of God as love

He’s down below

He’s up above

He’s watchin’ people everywhere

He knows who does and doesn’t care

And I’m an ordinary man

Sometimes I wonder who I am.

I know with all my certainty

What’s goin’ on with you and me

Is a good thing

It’s true

I believe in you.

I dont believe virginity

Is as common as it used be

In workin’ days and sleepin’ nights

That black is black and white is white

That Superman and Robinhood

Are still alive in Hollywood

That gasoline’s in short supply

The risin’ cost of gettin’ by

I believe in love

I believe in babies

I believe in mom and dad

And I believe in you.

Once again,  I was done in by the soothing music, the bewitching and entrancing strains of the guitar, the charismatic baritone of Don Williams and most of all by the lyrics – Words, weaving Magic. So simple yet of such import. 

Out of all the delightful things that the artist says, he believes in, I chose MAGIC as the title of my blog. I shall try and elucidate, rather justify my choice of title in my plain, ingenuous expression.

The writers of the song and the artist who made it so popular might have concentrated on Love, I like Magic. For me love is magic, faith is magic, music is magic, divine providence is magic, mom-dad-babies-children-old folk all Magic. 

Not even a week has gone by, I was down and out, suffering from despair. I wrote about it. Magic transpired. I got support from unexpected quarters. People who were long gone, without any contact whatsoever, reached out. Mere acquaintances came forward with their stories, experiences and suggestions. I was pulled out of the dark by so many helping hands. I received calls from people I had never spoken to and they made small talk feel so relieving (case in point, Prakirti, the child who gave me this song and set the ball rolling for this piece here.. Thank you. Grateful!) I was so happy to find so much love & care that indifference & ‘what can I say to this’ attitude from the people I expected relief from, also did not dampen my spirit. I had embraced HopePure Magic. Bliss

I have often heard people say- Do not be afraid. Go ahead, do your part and things will automatically fall into place. I feel a certain amount of fear of the unknown, of the outcome, of the process is a great motivator in getting things done. Fear is magic too. Just the right amount and you are on your way. 

The most splendid, resplendent, glorious of all Magic is the ability to connect with People. Family-parents, grandparents, siblings, sons, daughters, cousins, friends, co-workers, colleagues or even for that matter the strangers we come across everyday while walking down a street or entering a building, attending a concert or a show, shopping in a mall or arcade. People are everywhere. Just smiling down at them creates Enchantment– a mystic energy that envelops us and makes us believe in each other. It coerces, compels & drives us to be more accepting of our differences, of each other’s opinions & circumstances. Acceptance is Magic. Belief in each other is Magic.

I believe in Magic✨. I believe in You-my people💖, my circle of light 💫, my ring of faith.😇

I have been an atheist since I understood the concept of God and religion. The idea of bowing and scraping in front of man- made idols always looked ridiculous to me. As a kid, I was made to tag along, when my mother visited religious shrines or temples. Even at that age, I had a weird feeling that people are watching me pray, that they could see right through me and the veneer I put up when I stood in supplication in front of the very idols that made me uncomfortable.

Gradually, when I became old enough to air my opinion, I turned openly agnostic, agreeing to some super power but still not ready to find it in idols and temples. As I grew in confidence, I even started entrusting my friends with the knowledge that their God had never been kind to me. Going as far to say that if He had made us all, He has to tend to all of us irrespective of whether one kneels in prayer or not, that blessed should also be the ones who do not kneel.

Recently, I came across a book on the history of philosophy and religion. An entertaining read at the onset, it soon asked me questions I had never thought about before. Being an avid reader, I have come across books that I stand behind and others that I disagree with. But never in my reading existence, did a book make me feel INSUFFICIENT, like I was missing out on some important piece of the puzzle that would finally complete the giant zigsaw, that life is. It was sheer helplessness to find that I had no faith or any power whatsoever, to put my faith in. It was not just the absence of God but also a total disregard for the bounties I had, things like life, people, comfort, dignity, things that I had always taken for granted, had never thanked anyone for.

I was perturbed. It was like I was in a huge dining room, bustling with activity, every seat taken, people eating, talking, laughing, sharing experiences and suddenly, everybody leaves. The hollowness and ineptitude that I felt, sitting suddenly all alone in that dining hall, was inexplicable. I could still feel the warmth of companionship, hear the tinkle of cutlery, a shadow of laughter here, a shared confidence there.. All gone in a jiffy!

What then, fills that vacuum? What comes inside and never leaves? Cause make no mistake- everything and everyone leaves, sooner or later. Wealth, beloved people, love, friendship and even life. What can, then, help us keep ourselves together? The more I think, the more I believe, it has to be faith.

I spoke to some people I could speak to, about such stuff and a pragmatic atheist friend said-” There is no God. Why do you worry about faith and in whom to put it? You got to have faith in yourself and if you have to put it somewhere put it in your abilities. ” Sane advice, granted!! But it didn’t stop me thinking and brooding all day long. I have faith in myself, I truly do but that doesn’t keep me going when people leave and I am all alone. Gradually, yes, one learns to pick oneself up, dust away the blues and get going again. But even that needs motivation because life does have a way of pulling us down to the rut again and again.

Now, I don’t know whether God exists or not, neither can I vouch for any of His miracles but lately something has been tugging at my mind- not religion or spirituality, nothing as lofty as the latter or as superficial as the former. But something deeper, more profound, something I have no words for. A deeper knowledge, may be. A lone thread of self-realization that might lead to consecration and eventual enlightenment and salvation of soul.

A week ago, this would have been impossible to write cause I have always felt that deeper insight into one’s psyche is a whole sack of mumbo- jumbo. But I am desperate to have atleast something STAY. Desperation may not be the best motivation to lean towards God but it surely works.

I hope once I find Him, He stays!!!