To my children

For Sairam,  Pranav,  Aanya,  Nethra,  Rishab,  Parv,  Jathin, Ved and all kids

I Pray

That you find courage, to be brave
That you nurture compassion, to be kind
That you choose honest,y to be truthful
That you believe in goodness, to be virtuous
That you encourage innovation, to be different
That you discover meditation, to be peaceful
That you believe in simplicity, to be unique
That you behave without prejudice, to be tolerant
That you attach, to be independent
That you look for equanimity, to be stable
That you accept strife, to be tranquil
That you let go of pride, to be dignified
That you learn the value of gratitude, to be rational
That you dispel ignorance, to be aware
That you respect people, to be admired
That you treasure relationships, to be loved
That you understand disappointment, to be content
That you listen to your inner voice, to be successful
That you live, to be yourself

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Realizations about relationships

So much joy all around that it is easy to forget the silly little things that mar happiness. There is a meaning to everything. As the world around and inside renews bonds, forms new ones, I rejoice. Then I watch the distances that have made their presence felt in other relationships. The heart does not like it but the head says, maybe that’s nature’s way of balancing life. After all closeness is a matter of choice and time. Maybe now is not the moment to be present in their lives. But at the same time, I need to remind myself that sometimes life keeps away those you really care about. That’s just how things are.

Over years I have sensed that relationships with others are either about acceptance, rejection or sometimes just a silent presence. Acceptance is participation by all in enriching each others lives. Silent presence ensures a measured response, neither with you, nor away. It adds nothing, takes away much or adds a lot and takes away nothing. But when there is rejection, the heart aches. But the one thing I have learnt is that we can’t strive for acceptance when the person in front doesn’t himself know the reason for rejection. We can’t force people to love when they choose to remain focused on doubt. We can’t help people smile when they are confident that life is out to hurt them. We can’t help people admire others when they are unhappy about themselves. We can’t help people understand others when they don’t understand themselves. Jealousy stems from unfulfilled desires; suspicion stems from a lack of trust in love; arrogance stems from an absence of joy for how varied creation is. We are all so similar and yet we crave to establish our uniqueness. But we are all unique and that really requires no propaganda from ourselves.

It is so easy to love others when you love yourself. But if you choose to believe that the joy you require must come from the validation of others, you only set yourself up for misery. When you finally realize how much creation has filled you with, when you choose to explore the true potential and scope of your world, when you find yourself able to move beyond walls the world creates of success- you will find happiness. When you find yourself, others in that same space will find you, enriching your life in magical ways. Remember, the ones who are distant are people who are travelling on a different road from yours. If they join you sometime during the journey, your goals are the same. If not, that is their road to walk. You walk on yours.

Taking stock

The year ended on a sweet-sour note. December was an eventful month; the only upsetting part of it was my FIL’s illness. I went to Bombay/Pune in the middle of the month and came back just a couple of days ago. And like all my trips, this one too was filled with lovely moments with friends and family. This trip was about reconnecting and renewal. I have a global group of family and friends. Everyone lives in a city different from mine. And this trip brought us together on several occasions. Talking till the wee hours of the morning teasing/questioning/laughing, reminiscing with family about how we used to be, playing silly true or dare games with friends, enjoying and revealing each antic and sentence of my little one, taking him out on his auto rides/to the garden/to the play area in the mall, shopping with the girls- just so much that gladdens the heart.

Part of the wisdom that came towards the end of the year was the need to constantly renew my mind. As we learn something new, it is important to let go of something old. And this extends to all spheres of life. Buy a new book- donate or get rid of an old one, buy a new dress-donate an old one, have an new idea-remove a negative habit from your daily life. The idea is to unlearn what stops you from being your best, as you learn something everyday. The world is constantly bombarding us with so much, that there is many useless and unproductive a habit or information that we can get rid of everyday as we take in something new that appeals to us. The process just keeps you lighter and happier.

The year has dawned bright and cheery. There is nothing new about life per se, but everything is alive with optimism. For me it is not a time to make resolutions but to simply pay attention to my life. Now that I am back in Hyderabad I have the time to do so.

Our lives

It took a 1/3 of a lifetime to unravel the many lessons life teaches. We started off with such innocence, optimism and defiance, saw life in the eye, stared into the harshness and chose to either walk ahead confident, still trusting life or refused to listen and walked on stumbling.Four people who have had such different lives. Between us I think we have made all the mistakes possible growing up and experienced the worst that relationships bring with it. Not that we are enlightened souls now, but somehow we have tided over much, together, alone or with others. Two are still on that road and two of us have reached a place where we can feel some pleasure at the way life has eventually turned out for us.

A after denying her mom’s cancer for years, lost her mom when she was 16. Soon she spiralled into depression and denial. Making the wrong friends taught her some right lessons; her brothers and some other valuable experiences kept her sane. For the next 5 years she strove hard to see sense in mistakes and eventually learned to love and respect herself, discovering the best in her. After breaking her heart to bits, when she chose to focus on herself she found in the most unlikely way possible, the one person who saw the real her and loved her. With love, came marriage and a different set of trial and tribulations. But the journey has only gotten better.

D chose to spend her free years committed to a boy who everybody believed was wrong for her. She bore the crap that people offered to her. She made a choice, and with a strength that only women possess went about fulfilling that commitment. She lost and then later regained her friends and family in the process. Years, marriage and a new born baby later, she lost that man who was the centre of her world. When everyone thought she would break, she instead rose up with unbelievable grace. What she had missed out on, she found: fun, friends, family and later the perfect partner for her. She got married and everyone believes that he is the one she was always meant to be with.

K, the kid of the group always had her feet firmly embedded in the ground. She lived her years as any teenager did, but she chose not to let dreams get the better of her. As she grew she walked on the path she had always dreamt off. She moved to a different country, studied and moved into a career where she excels; like she always did in everything she took up. But love has evaded her over the years. She has been unable to find it where she looks for it. She believes she will find it but also gets dejected at what she sees. But she believes in living her life and her world is full. Her journey though has just begun.

S was the one people either loved or hated. She spent her childhood trying to epitomize what the world believed a good girl should be like. Everything from the bird to the bees to boys was foreign territory. Defying parents wasn’t part of her vocabulary and she was often stuck with guilt even with the choices others made. But boys came to her like bees and many misunderstandings and experiences years later, she fell in love. Only this guy had ‘mistake’ written all over him. She stuck on, only to be abused by him and his mother. Her family rescued her, saved her from near death but the shadow haunts her. It touches every relationship and threatened to destroy her faith in life. Ironically, she is also one of the smartest and astute people when it comes to running a business. Professionally she soars high while emotionally she floundered, expecting someone to come heal the pain in her heart. Finally she looked inside herself to find all she needs. Now she knows what she wants, but doesn’t know what life wants from her.

Each of us is unique and yet the same. We are everyone – women of yesterday, today and tomorrow who face life head-on. We cry, we laugh, we shout; but we always remember to be strong. As we grew distances came in the form of relationships, work and life. But we always found each other. We live in different cities in different parts of the world. But sometimes life does throw us together to celebrate the special bond we share. When we are away, we miss each other sorely. And today is one of those days for me…