Word Play

P surprises me endlessly these days with the way he uses and observes words. While channel surfing this evening, we chanced upon a soap which showed a woman being kidnapped. My 4-yr-old immediately quips. ” Why is it kid-nap? It should be elder-nap.” I patted him proudly on the head. I am such a Mom.

A typical conversation

Morning as soon as Pranav wakes up, S measures his face with his palm and pretends to be surprised by how he has grown up. Then he proceeds to measure my face with his palm and tells Pranav that Mama’s face has grown taller. Face grown taller! I ran to the mirror to ensure that I was not balding. Once I had confirmed that my hairline was intact, I went and whacked him for how carelessly he spoke. Like the time he argued with me that obsoleted was a word.  Much to my dismay, he refused to accept that obsolete was the word in whatever tense you used it. And since then every time he uses a word carelessly or in the wrong context, I announce that the only thing obsoleted is his knowledge of English.

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

Who are you?

Time goes so slowly when you live in another person’s mind. Everything takes on a different meaning, is coloured a different shade. Reality is blurred because you are not seeing through your eyes. That’s what happens if you live your entire life through other people’s viewpoint. Spend the days and nights doing things right, doing things that will make them happy, make them feel proud of you, make them think of you as someone who is good-natured, adjusting, beautiful inside out , etc etc, making them feel that you put your home and family before yourself. Because that’s what a good woman is supposed to do. Be her parent’s reflection, be her in-laws reflection, be her husband’s reflection, till nothing of her remains.

But what about inside? Are you proud of who you are? Do you like what you see inside you? What is inside you? Who is the real you? Is you the person who runs a good home and does the daily chores and at the same time manages to have an identity apart from the one you have as a wife and mother or are you only a career woman. What if you look inside and discover you want neither or want a combination of both or simply don’t want to be anything.

What if the you is something that evolves constantly and so what you would really want to do changes very often. And so it makes you feel something different everyday. And that’s why you are sad inside. Because though inside is in constant motion, externally you continually try and define yourself, label yourself for the world. You don the roles, the world most easily understands and is comfortable with. To avoid questions, you silence the soul. To avoid conflicts you forget your own voice, listening only to the voice of others. And then you begin to live a life that is not yours. Only because you have forgotten to listen to your own heart. Forgotten to sing your own song.

Today can you pause and ask yourself who am I?

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.

It dawned on me

Its only when you let go of what you didn’t like, that you can begin to appreciate the positive aspects of the very things and people you disliked. The past few weeks have been one such discovery.

Like every family, mine too has its share of people who made me look like a devil or hurt me deeply while I was growing up. What pissed me off was that these were the very people I used to look up to. Its easy to forgive strangers ( you usually ignore them), but strangely it is very very difficult to forgive the people you love, who have scarred your trust in life and relationships. These are the people you love by default because they are related to you.

But with time I am trying to look beyond the incidents that marred my relationships with them. While I still strongly disagree with the way they have been with me, I also sense a willingness from my end to not hold onto the pain in my heart. I am trying instead to appreciate the positive in them and am thus beginning to understand them as people, who have their strengths and weaknesses. And so I choose to stay focus on the positive during the little time we spend together during the rare family events . But I also stay careful and try not to tread into topics that can be volatile. In the end relationships survive only if they are nurtured and from my end I am not going to cause a relationship to die because I let my ego clash with theirs.