Is it a coincidence that we met or that we share the same birth date? That we have now been friends for about 21 years – much of our adult lives and have aged together.
Soon it’ll be 2nd September, the date that binds us together for many reasons – for one, it was the day in 1998 when my conscious brain first recorded your presence as a fellow student/ batch mate in our college pursuing our masters in Business administration. It was the day, when we first celebrated our birthday together in class, thanks to the thoughtfulness of another classmate – who I shall remember mostly for this reason. She bought a cake and bade us to cut it together. I saw you for the first time, registered your presence and as someone who shares my special day, and from then on there’s been no looking back.
I like to believe we were destined to meet – to support and love each other through this journey called life. To enrich it for the other, by adding flavors of love, shared joys, sorrow and understanding, the bright colors of adventure and the subtle pastels of poetry and music, fragrances of memories created by travel and holidays together, sometimes the grey of confusion & anger has clouded our relationship but then it’s always seen the clarity of white light.
Over these years as my friend, you’ve helped cultivate my mind, change it bit by bit. You have helped me unravel layers of my thoughts, opinions and mind. You’ve made me a better person, I have no doubt about that. I’ve drawn from your maturity and balance, your vitality and strength, and you I hope from my positivity and openness.
For this birthday, I thank the universe for your solid unshakable presence in my life and your love & I ask the same always.
Written gratefully and in response to Linda Hill’s #SoCS – Stream of Consciousness Saturday
I salt my life,
I try and preseve it,
Through you – my writings.
Some times I rush through the moment, other times I’m calm,
sometimes I want it all to get over, other times I don’t give a damn.
Through life I buzz, splutter, whirl or sway,
I wonder how it will be today?
Written in response to Thursday’s photo prompt Span #writephoto
As I nurse my fractured foot and spent a week at home, here’s my take on some things that happened in the days that slipped by –
- India made it to the semis of the ICC World Cup after beating Bangladesh. There was much rejoicing but I felt a little put out. While Bangladesh get my respect for giving India a tough fight, it would have meant something else beating the English to make it to the top 4 instead. Mehbooba Mufti said it was the saffron t-shirts that brought about India’s defeat, and I can only laugh at the length some people can go to politicize events and polarise people.
- Wimbledon 2019 is here finally! Yipppeee!!! My fracture doesn’t seem so horrendous to bear now.
- I tip my hat to the citizens of Hong-Kong. Civic activism bringing authoritarian law makers to their knees needs to be applauded. Salute their courage in challenging the bill of extradition to the Chinese mainland.
Just being mute bystanders or at best drawing room activists in India, we can only lament the death of hundreds of poor children in Bihar, blamed on lychees; the suicide of Pallavi Tadvi due to caste reasons; the oxygen deficiency in the Gorakhpur hospital case (though old – it comes to mind on events that could have been managed & avoided). We see a state govt wanting to grant bail to an accused of rape, and we don’t bat an eyelid. This is what we’ve come to expect from our shameless govt. The list is endless. There is minimal civic activism in India and it’s not surprising because we cannot come together and demand action. We are all divided by religion, caste and politics.
- The beautiful Mumbai rains poured down in earnest over the last weekend (end June) continuing into Monday. Sadly, and not surprisingly, Mumbai was flooded again, with people being killed due to water-logging, wall collapse, tree falls etc. Climate experts now say Mumbai monsoons will soon start in July. I’ve heard Odisha will again face heavy rainfall & a cyclone again due to a low pressure build up. Climate change is a reality but who cares, not us.
- Catchment areas got some rainfall and hopefully we’ll tide over this year’s water crisis. But what about the years to come? Who really cares that our children may not have clean drinking water in future, that they might point to a tiger and call in an extinct animal, that the mountains of waste we turn our noses upon, will continue to remain here for thousands of years after us? Live in the present, that seems to be our motto!!
- Anyway, onto some happy things in life – We celebrated by son’s 12th birthday over the weekend with family and friends. Went through some old photographs and videos to the delight of all around. Life is also about creating memories and looking back once in a while
- And finally, I’m happy with my progress on watercolors.
Hope you had a great week before and a more wonderful one ahead!
If you think I’ve missed out some events, please free to add not just the event/incident but your take on it as well.
‘Be independent, no matter what’ – This is what my mom once told me and it has stayed with me since then. I know there’s now no novelty in this piece of advice but the first time that someone hears and absorbs it, it registers as important.
She belongs to another generation where women did not have the freedom they have today. Not many were educated and most were confined to their homes and activities of cooking, cleaning ,sewing etc. My mom chose to work after her marriage to my dad. My dad also had humble beginnings but what characterizes him is his broad-mindedness. His determination to build a better life for himself and others. I know my mother’s income also helped things move along at home, but that wasn’t the reason she worked. She worked because she didn’t want to be dependent on others for anything. Be it on my dad for finances to run the house, or to buy that piece of jewellery she liked or go out somewhere or organise transportation or anything for that matter. She told me a story of how once she waited for my dad to send the car to her for an errand she had to make. The car didn’t come on time and she got delayed, frustrated that the work wasn’t done and that lead to her taking a pledge of being independent no matter what. She ventured out more and more – took buses and trains, travelled on her own, bought what she liked (sensibly of course) and things were so much better. Not just for her but for my dad as well.
I wish all women understand this. That somewhere love becomes tinged with contrary emotions if we do not have the capability to fend for ourselves. We feel tied down (physically & emotionally) and possibly let down if we are not independent.
Make life happy by living freely and by giving yourself that freedom – Become independent.
Learning is Life
Summer vacations are on in India & as usual parents (including myself) have a long list of the things/skills we want our children to accomplish in the short window of 2 months. There’s Swimming, Cycling, Skating, Drawing, Robotics (the ever-growing list of skills) to be learnt. But what disturbs me is that parents who want their children to learn so as to live creative fulfilling satisfying lives, do not spare a thought about their own life or growth. For a lot of us, our learning stopped with us becoming adults (and more so post parenthood for we had another life to be responsible towards).
Learning comes with the requirements of taking time out, moving out of your comfort zone, facing your fears and dealing with new situations and people. Some of us can’t even bear the thought of trying out something new 🙂 When I suggested to a friend of mine to take up cycling recently, she was appalled and said “Pagal hai kya! Nai re baba, I’m happy watching my serials at night and sleeping peacefully. Who wants any change?”Anything new is viewed with fear, suspicion and even ridicule. I’ve often heard comments ” You suffering a mid-life crisis? ” 🙂 So we want no risk, just happy to be left alone to continue leading that predictable life.
But that’s not life. What about living life to the fullest? Isn’t to Live – actually to Learn & Grow throughout? Isn’t it important to continue our evolution? Learn new skills, New matter, Feel New emotions, Meet New people?
Try and remember that thrill when you first learnt to balance on that bicycle or swim without that float. Wasn’t it exhilarating? Wasn’t it something you just kept doing over and over again till you were exhausted? Get that zest back in life (for time is short)-pick up a new hobby like photography or music. Or take up trekking or some new form of fitness. Or join some new art/ yoga group to meet new people. Learn driving now if you haven’t so far – same goes for cycling or swimming or even skating. I know that a lot of us do some new things once in a while & change our routine but I mean Doing something that tests & challenges you again and again & makes you feel young and new.
Every learning still gives that thrill – you just need to sign up for life again.