Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life's companion

Sometimes you just let go. It is not possible to keep taking charge of life every now and then. And to be frank, life needs to go its own course at times. It's this little kid who'll get cranky if you'll dictate too much of his actions. What matters, is not the fact that you've let your life take its own course for a while, what matters, is how well, you take back it's control when you realize it's straying into territories you want to avoid.

Not always, will hardwork bear fruits, not always will efforts be recognized, not always, are you able to live up to your own expectations, or achieving your own goals. It's one of those times when you do everything right and yet end up wondering what went wrong. It's one of those times when life is testing how long can you walk the path of the right. How long can you keep silent and let your actions do the talking? It's one of those times when you live on the edge. Life goes on like a monotonous movie. Future becomes predictable and not exciting. It's one of those times when you realize your position in this universe. That you are nothing but an insignificant part of it. It's one of those times when you are humbled. Questioned. Shaken.

Life moves ahead, when you take control and steer it on to the path of your destiny. The straying of life is your vacation, your freewheeling holiday, life's holiday as well. But it's important you wake up, take charge and take control before you start blaming anyone else for what's happening to you. Set a few goals that matter, set a few sights that matter, list down things that bother you right now, but shouldn't matter to you because justice, fairness, truth will prevail  at the set of the dawn. Remember, work for what is the best, and the best will come to you effortlessly. The goal should not be about being the best. The goal should be about making the best use of things around you, to make your work, your life the best.

Yes, life is about you. And you can be selfish and think about yourself. But try letting that go, and life will not complain about your control. Because you, will be life's companion. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Left behind..

It's interesting to trace the journey of people coming and  going out of our lives. For some of us, we have childhood friends, who are a part of us. No matter where we are, no matter what we do. They are the ones who matter to us the most and who will stay with us for a lifetime.

And then there are some of us, who walk the journey alone. And there are a few fortunate paths where some extremely interesting people cross our lives. Walk with us for a moment or two. And then go their own ways. Initially it's difficult to see this come and go. And then you start expecting a pattern. You know every traveler in your journey of life, has come to go away. You become skeptical of building bonds. What about the pain when he/she leaves? Even after expecting the outcome, acceptance isn't easier. Sometimes we end up not enjoying that moment of a journey, in anticipation of the parting. It's difficult. To deal with the come and go, the break and make of bonds. Especially when you meet people, whom you know, and you would love to have as company for a lifetime. As friends, as well-wishers, as just about anyone who cares.

But then, you move on. On and  ahead to explore the unexplored territory of life. Who next? What next? How will it go? There's hope, there's optimism and yet there's that 'I know what will happen in the end' belief that somewhere restricts the fun, but also prepares you for the worst. Then on, either life will surprise you, or you will  surprise life, by being graceful in accepting it the way it is, by enjoying the journey, knowing it's meant for you to walk alone, meet people, delight them on the way, let them be, and move on, to delight the next one.
You are fortunate. Aren't you? :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A thank you note for my bike

'It's for your mom' said Dad, as I clearly remember staring at a white and blue fresh from the showroom Kinetic Honda, outside Dadaji Dhackjee showroom in Worli (of course, now it doesn't exist). This was in 1996. When it was brought to our building, I got a pic clicked standing next to it. It had this fancy, black velvet cover! I was, say a few inches, taller than it was. Hmm. Nice.

Over next few days, the bike became an object of admiration. Self start in the zamaana of kick, especially for my dad who was a Yezdi rider was bliss. Mom started learning it. And then, one day in the process fractured her arm. That's it. The poor Kinetic was rider-less. Unless you count dad, but he was more of a car person. Then, I was barely in 7th standard, but admittedly, quite taller than the rest in the class. (I think ever since then, height hasn't increased). I remember, I had just about learnt to cycle in standard 5. And one fine day, dad plonks me on to the Kinetic (legs, barely, but almost touching the ground), and says 'Chalao'. 'What??' I stared back 'Chalao. Accelerator karo dheere se. Break par haath rakho'. He said unfazed. And then started my journey with the Kinetic. Till I was in about 9th standard, I just enjoyed riding it in my society. Then I was pushed out of it. On to the roads. To get sabzi, to go to places 10 minutes away but which needed rickshaws to commute. I started off. Within years, I got my car and scooter license together. Vrrroooooommm I went. Every saturday I'd be given a to-do list of going across places and paying bills, laundry, groceries etc. I'd set on my ride. And be back, with everything ticked off. There were times, at 4 AM in the morning, when guests at home wouldn't get ricks. The Kinetic would come to the rescue. Why! Even when Dad worked in Thane, it was this Kinetic he took all the distance and survived his travel. I remember a period when dad went to the US for a long time. The Kinetic then rested with my cousin brothers who used it for going to their classes, colleges etc. It then came back, as dad returned. It has been unbelievable 16 years since then. And it amazes me, how the bike is so sturdy and refuses to give up. The body has rusted. White has given away to brown and blue. Almost fallen apart. But when the petrol pump guys fill in petrol, or the mechanic takes it for servicing, they just say one thing. "Madam. Isko bechna mat! Iske jaisa engine aaj ke zamane main nahee milega'. It's still going strong. Needs us to take care of it each month. But then... thank you. For all the literal 'burden' that you've taken on relentlessly! It's unthinkable of the bikes and modern machines of today. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Relationships that are not meant to be..

You can plan victories, plan life, have dreams, win battles, achieve goals... but you can never and perhaps should never plan friendships or any other relationships. Because planning, goals and all that makes it so inhuman. They're all about wishing, hoping, wanting.. and then sometimes even letting go.

They're like rivers.. can dry up, flood, change course, and you can't do much except keeping your boat afloat in the tide. No matter how hard you try, some relationships are not meant to be. And you need backstabbing, several hurts to be able to realize the truth and the pain. It makes me question the idea of friendships and other such relationships. Who'd wanna marofy apne pair pe kulhaadi? But again, they're the river you can't help getting swept into.. its mildly interesting and highly disgusting. I guess in the end its about how you handle it. Do you stop getting into this river? Do you get a better oar to guide you well? Do you learn to swim and not need a boat at all? Do you just go away?

It's that part of life, that control freaks hate.. you know, the ones in movies.. 'I can't lose. I have never lost'.. but there's no such thing in the battle for relationships.. and that's when you leave it to time, to god, to it's own course.. What's not meant to be,will never be. What is meant to be, will keep you waiting.. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The problem of no problems

Stress free, perfect, sitting in the green lawns, early morning dew, hot cup of tea, delicious breakfast, swimming, meditation, parties... bus.. that's all that we look forward to in life. We hate dealing with problems. I mean we do everything possible to avoid this virus called 'problems'. For many of us, the ideal life is the problem free life where we can keep smiling forever. But you don't need me to tell you that, wishing for a problem free life is no solution. Obviously, if that happened, joy and sorrow, strong and weak, nice and bad.. everything loses meaning. Life loses meaning (Wah!profound!) !

Well, getting to the point. Living life problems free is no fun. Living life problems solved, is more fun. Problems make us uncomfortable, test our grit and determination, test a different trait every time they occur, so they manage to tense us, they are THE things that shake us out of our comfort zones. And register this. Every time you manage to solve a problem, you manage to pass that test of life. Some problems test courage, some test your patience, others, your thinking abilities. The fun is taking problems head on. Nah! That doesn't mean they'll stop coming to you. It just means, they'll be more fun. I know, I know. Fun sounds very optimistic. But you get the point. No? Oh alright. I just mean, you can then stop worrying about obstacles and start concentrating on larger goals, that consist of your dreams.. of all your 'someday I will' list.

It's very very very easy to settle down in comfort zones. Who doesn't love them. Bus, mujhe koi disturb mat karna.. this is how I want life to be. Perfect, pristine, magical. But then, I'd like to end your dreamlike trip with this  cheesy but absolutely correct quote from the Shiv Khera book, 'You can Win'. The toughest steel is the one that passes through the hottest of the fires. Are you ready to face the fire? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When perspectives matter

There have been times, when I used to be one of them. Pleasing people here. Pleasing people there. Actually, the idea wasn't pleasing. The idea was, not hurting. Anyway, for all intents and purposes, it gets to the same thing. There are many who can't stand hurting anyone else. That anyone else can be the enemy for all you know. Nah, it's not being coward. It's just not putting unnecessary strain on your own heart! Kyon bhai, kya zabardaasti hai.But slowly, as I realized, that stand only helped encouraging the wrong, not supporting the right. That stand, that people call diplomacy, the person, the people call diplomatic.. it started to get me damn irritated, including on myself. 

Since then have made quite a few enemies, or rather, from a person with a sweet, shy,  cutesy image, to someone who's taken a stand and spoken aloud of my concerns, thoughts clearly and without a shield, it's been a long way. Now, my opinion sort of shows on my face. And I make no attempts to hide it. In fact, I believe no one should. If you hate me for my opinion, you have every right to. I kind of enjoy this black or white in life till I stumbled upon grey. A time when my opinion was conditional. If this, then yes, if that, then no. And I suddenly realized, indeed, sometimes it does get difficult to maintain a stand that 'you don't have a stand'. I would go left right and center accusing people of diplomacy till I fell into that trap. I wasn't being diplomatic. It was exactly what I felt. But how do you show that? By taking a stand? Nah! What's the point!! And that's been a lesson for me. Respect even diplomacy! Every perspective needs to be respected. Every thought of every individual has a reason. Now if that thought irritates you, try to first understand why the thought exists.. if you can't understand, what are you doing there anyway! If you do understand and feel it needs to change, then work towards changing it. But do not ever disregard it. 
We all live our lives  in ways that don't stress our heart. And why not, we all should have a right to. Kisi ke liye the way to de-stress is taking sides of the truth and triumphing it. For some, it's watching the show and going back home to sleep. There's nothing wrong in either. It's like this, you'll never know how it feels, till it happens to you :) So respect and be respected! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Zidd

There are some realities that make you arrogant in life. For instance, what you aren't comfortable doing, is perhaps the smartest way to succeed. Is the best way to be happy. What you think isn't ethical, is the 'way' forward. Either do it or don't expect rewards from life. Life is about choices. Agreed. But it is about choosing the way ahead. It isn't a choice about sacrificing the destination, the outcome of the way forward. Everyone has the right to succeed the way they want. Yes, it is a right, that no one should question. It's a reality that everyone should respect.

When the society does not respect your way to success, just because it isn't a part of the 'bandwagon', that's when there's anger. That's when the zidd arises. To prove people wrong. To reiterate that nothing speaks like actions, like work and like deeds. Why is it a crime to quiety succeed? And quietness is often mistaken as arrogance. Sometimes, there are things you aren't born with. Money and beauty for instance. And there's a zidd to command attention and respect despite that. Many people have done it and how. Shahrukh Khan has no hero looks. But look how girls swoon and die for him now. Vidya Balan, that chubby actress everyone thought kya kar legi. She's quiety swept the definition of hot under the carpet and created a new one on her own. Must've been her zidd. Dhoni during the T20 worldcup was perhaps underrated. No one cared about team India going out there.Kya kar lenge! Yet again, proving wrong. Society's ways of ignorance are good. Coz they goad the quiet ones into proving the wise ones wrong. Tendulkar does it all the freakin time. You write him off, and he ensures you bite your tongue and take back all that you've said. He commands respect and never demands it. I think if any of us can do that to ourselves, with a zidd to show the world, that we did it only for the sake of those who are ignored like us, the world will learn to respect, break prejudices and break inhibitions about success.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Naa jaane kitne saadhu santo ne kahaa hoga, 'Don't expect and be happy.' Perhaps there's only one key to happiness in any relationship. 'Don't expect and be happy'. And today, that is the sacred mantra to attaining nirvana from pain, hurt and disappointments. But sometimes I wonder, is that really the answer? Do we really have to stop expecting? Because sometimes, setting no expectation from someone, can be a let down for them. Of course you expect your parents to be wanting to see you happy, Of course, you expect that if you've worked hard, you'll be appreciated. Of course, you will expect your husband/wife to remember your anniversary if  you're married. There are some things, which get character, which throw up the joy and thrill in life, only because of expectations. And other moments, become joyous, simply because we do not expect them to happen.

Expectation is all about striking a balance. In fact, when you expect from someone, you are indirectly telling them how much they mean to you. Disappointments are a result of expectations which are a result of trust and love. So then, they say, no expectations lead to delights every single time. Is it? Because then, you stop valuing the delight. Kiya toh bhi theek, nahee kiya toh bhi theek. What's the fun in that? When you don't expect, you don't feel.. and when you don't feel.. you don't remain human anymore. Do you? Expectations are about knowing who exactly you want to expect from. Not everyone you know, will strive to fullfill them for you. And that's where most people go wrong. Put the faith of expectation in the wrong people, and sink into the ocean of disappointments because they couldn't care less. But expect from the right ones, the ones you know care for you, and you know they will bend rules, to ensure you're not disappointed. Expectations are nothing, but telling the people you love, 'I know, you can do it.' or even better, 'I know you WILL do it' :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What is beautiful?

Conventional beauty is passe... today its about defining the beautiful. What is beautiful?

1. When your parents give you pocket money, even when you've heard them crib about bank balance. That's beautiful

2. When your sibling starts crying when they see you crying, that's beautiful

3. When you see your grandparents face light up seeing you get an award, that's beautiful

4. When you are lonely and yet feel happy listening to a perfectly awesome piece of music, that's beautiful

5. When you surprise someone with a gift and they give you this super surprised reaction, that's beautiful

6. When unexpected people shower care on you, that's beautiful

7. When you fail and you push yourself to rise above the rest, that's beautiful

8. When you feel jealous about someone but back it up with respect for the person, that's beautiful

9. When you have complaints against someone but don't insult them, that's beautiful

10. When you can smile even while u rage a lonely battle inside, that's beautiful

11. When you are hurt by a friend, but can't stop being fond of him/her, that's beautiful

12. When you know you are not exactly the best, but you love yourself, that's beautiful

13. When you know that beauty is what you make it to be, that's a beautiful realization indeed

What's beautiful in your life? Do share. May be we all need a few reasons to feel beautiful :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Time is the healer

Today, I am writing about forgiveness. Actually, I am totally 100% the wrong person to write about this beautiful topic. But then, I have an average human's view on forgiveness. So, while I don't believe in 'forgive and forget'.. or rather, let me say, it's pretty conditional. I find it easy to forgive and forget, if amends have been made, efforts have been made to make up. But just like that? Oh I dunno. I believe in forgiveness, definitely lies the merit. It helps you more than anyone else. It makes your life easier. So that, is a given. But it's the forget part that bothers me sometimes. And that's where time plays the healer. I believe, the trick to forget, is to let go of grudges with time, to people who haven't made an effort to reconcile. Time changes, people change. And beneath all this, lies one firm reality. Every single person has that something special about them, is good at heart. There's something good about everyone. As I firmly believe, every single person HAS to be respected. The way they act, the way we act, is pretty situational, circumstantial.

There are people I've held horrible grudges against. But when I meet them after eons, I think, no wait. That was then. What is it now? Now I give a smile and if I get one, bingo! I am on the path to becoming lighter in the head. Well, that's my mad fundaa. Dunno how's it with you. Do you do that too? Or you decide never ever to bump into those offenders again? I tried to do that, but hey, life is short, world is a small place. Avoidance is certainly not the solution. Every person you forgive with a smile, is every heavy nerve of your brain freed of all that strain. It still takes me time to practice forgiveness. It's damn hard. It's like swallowing a bitter pill. But then I think of all those who have forgiven me, for numerous faults of mine, and I think, what am I? the eternity? the divinity? of course not. That brings me to this very simple and beautiful phrase.. what a pity, it gets lost in the world of intelligence, but treat others the way you'd like to be treated. It's just that. Wouldn't we all want forgiveness.. a second chance? some trust and some love? Ok, I am not getting back to the spiritual happy ending of nirvana and forgiveness. All I am saying is, be open to changing your judgments, letting go of your prejudices and allow time to heal. Forgiveness, will then just follow. :) 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dream. And that's when the story begins...

What would life be without dreams? Dreams.. that help us be what we aren't. Dreams, that help us achieve, what we don't. Dreams that help us do, what we can't. No wonder, when reality fails to make us happy, we take the help of dreams, to avoid putting a full stop to our needs.

Many believe dreams are dreams, not meant to become a reality. For them, dreams have a sacred and sacrosanct place in life. It helps them de-stress, feel better, but they do not expect anything from their dreams. It's like coming back to reality and saying 'forget it.' That's a pretty widespread bread of people.

Then there are some, who know somethings can never happen, and make them happen in their dreams. Here I am talking about love, relationships and more. Actually, love is something, that should never be taken as a goal, you can't achieve it, you can't succeed in it, if it is not meant to happen. Ditto for all other relationships. If there's anything that has to be left to the flow of life, it's relationships. And hence, we often dream about the perfect relationships in our lives... because what will happen in reality, no one has ever known.

And then, there are those, who dream and then pick up the dream to be an object of obsessive desire, just like a 2 yr old child would set his eyes on a fancy toy and go non-stop 'I WANT THAT'. These are dreams that you HAVE to, WANT to and are WILLING to convert to reality. These are in short, what we call, 'Dream come true'. These dreams are perhaps the hardest to achieve. They have a path which lingers for years and they require dedication that sucks up all the will power and determination that you'd have. They teach you the power of hope. They test patience. They are not something everyone will set to achieve. But those who do, will win a landmark in their own lives, inspire others and set the tone of truth to this wonderful tagline Nike has. Impossible is nothing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Being Correct

Correct people are irritating. You can't do anything about them. You will mostly hate them, but there is this string of conscious mind that will keep pulling you towards them. You will seldom love them but you will always respect them and if you have to believe someone blindly, it will be them.

Because, being correct isn't easy. We lose correctness in the bid to being diplomatic. We give relationships and networking more importance than we give the honesty and correctness of our work. Oops.. we don't want to rub some people the wrong way. But we don't mind going the wrong way. Being correct, is courage to be indifferent, rude and tough so that you are deceiving nobody, not even yourself. Being correct means doing your own thing, doing what makes you happy, doing what you think is right for you, even while the world is busy adoring itself in the mirror and busy charming others.

Symptoms of being correct are evident. Most often than not, those who are correct are victims of jealousy, isolation, accused of being snobbish, misunderstood or skeptically judged. If you face all of this at once, and you remotely think you're correct, yes, may be you are. Correctness and coolness do not go hand in hand. True, what is correct is subjective, but then you know what I am talking about.

How important it is to be correct? Now that is a discussion. Because many would say 'who cares?'. After all its my favourite quote, life is indeed a matter of choice. If you choose to be correct, then you shall face the consequences. While most of these consequences don't look too inviting, correctness is the road less traveled, and roads less traveled often lead you to the most marvelous places. So go on :) Enjoy your journey while the world broods over you. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Health is a choice we make

Over this ongoing period of my diet, I have realized, health is a choice we make. 'Will you be able to do it?' asked my dietician, with complete cloud of doubt cast over her face. 'Eating out 4 times in a day! How will you do it?' she asked again as I stared dumbfounded at her. Ab kya bolun! I knew I had to lose weight, 'but when?' is something the whole of zamana kept asking me. I had no answer. And finally I was there. I thought hard, like exam hai bhai, kuch toh jawaab dena padega. And then I looked straight in her face and told her 'Listen, all 25 years of my life, I have had all kinds of food.. sweet, cheese, oil, baked, fried, toasted, everything.. everything I always wanted to have.. no one's ever stopped me. I have enjoyed my food for that period of my life. Now, I want to see how it is to lead a healthy life. So yes, I am on.' I finished with this Oscar type speech. She blinked. And recovered. 'Okay. Let's start'. And there, I have begun working on my unfinished dreams of years.

They said it would be tough, in the beginning to let go of all the junk. But somewhere, I had achieved nirvana. I had plonked so much crap into myself, that dieting seemed like having a bath after being dirty for ages. It was fun. And today, intelligent nutritionists do not abuse the word diet. It's not starve and crave wala diet. I was secretly abusing my dietician for giving me cheese, paneer, bread as a part of my diet, my family thought 'WHAT THE HELL'. But I realized, I had to trust her. Coz whenever I put my foot on the weighing scale, she was palpitating more than me! She used to cross her fingers hoping i've lost weight. And sure enough, it worked. She still ensures I get what I like.. of course, when I see those pasteries, puffs, ban maska, cakes, rolls and burgers, my heart lurches back to those days I used to hog.. wowwwww.. but then, the famous hindi dialogue, 'kuch paane ke liye, kuch khona padta hai'. What is also working for me is, people around me support me more than myself. It's beautiful how everyone wants you to be healthy. From mom who makes omelettes early morning to my colleagues at workplace who keep an eye on my sneak peeks with fried snacks. It's just wonderful to see everyone care.

So then I do my bit. I had given up wanting to be an early riser. And lo! Behold, I get up, go for a walk almost every day. It's a choice I've made. It's a sign I have read, an opportunity I have clung to. Of course, there are miles to go before I sleep, or even celebrate a teeny weeny bit. Yeh picture abhi baaki hai mere dost ;) Cheers to a healthy life!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What does it take?

What does it take, for the world to sit up and notice you?
Good looks? If you have some, you're the apple of the eye. Else you're the onion that can make others cry.
Then may be, good fashion sense? Ah that makes up for the looks part of it, if you dress well, you must be someone worth talking to.
Or then, position and power? After all, power doesn't come to just about anybody! If you have the power, surely you're special.
Or how well you're networked may be. Hmm. Sounds good. I don't care who you are. I love the people you're around with.
Or then, may be you have famous parents? There you go, you're labelled as one among the spoilt brat generation
Oh and ultimately, if you've got the riches, you've got the world at your feet.

But what if you don't want to do or don't have either of the above? And yet you want to achieve fame, get noticed and respected?
The world is a place full of hypocrites and superficial people. Deep down they value much more than just what's stated above. But they need to be bought to their senses. Superficial judgement will give you superficial winners. Many say 'beauty matters. beautiful people get noticed and that's the truth'.. And many forget, 'beauty is a weak magnet. And when this magnet loses its power, the consequences are terrible'. If you're one of those seeking a voice and trying to get the world to notice you, don't give up. Let your work speak. Dream your dreams and live your goals, get where you want to, while the world fights to please the above. It's not about getting yourself noticed. It's about sticking up for all those who get ignored, just because they're not beautiful/rich/fashionable/powerful/well networked etc.