Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Ode to the Husband :P

Husbands are good fun I tell you. Not like I have so much experience, but the one I have is simply fabulous! He presents an awesome win-win situation. I mean, sometimes I am caught wondering, is this guy my husband, is he my friend? You know, all that social and cultural conditioning kicking in, with the husband being the guy that one is supposed to treat with excessive awe and respect, bordering on reverence. A friend, on the other hand, is an absolute equal. But then, that's not fair. With my parents as examples, I always knew friendship was an essential component of the soul-mate concept. How does it matter anyhow? He is the guy with whom I choose to live my entire life and he is also the guy who is, today, my best-est friend.

I can go days on end without communicating with most of the rest of the world. But he always knows, perhaps unfortunately for him, everything that's happening in my life. Obviously, this means that he gets all the cribbing and the bitching, the oh-so-depressed lows, the bubbling highs, the furiously flaming tirades against all the idiots in my life. He gets all the chatty commentaries and the monologue-like conversations. He also has to deal with my "I am always right, so if you want to be right, you have to agree with me completely" dictatorship mode. He has to carefully make his way through the myriad, disconnected and apparently random topics I choose to discuss (in a monologue-like manner, obviously). He also has to fight to get a word in, because if he does not say anything, of course I am going to assume that he is not paying attention. And that can be rather fatal, albeit temporarily. But he has survived two whole years of all this madness. And has still remained relatively sane.

The last two years have been crazy fun, brimming with moments that shall be forever etched in my memory. The frantic adventures involving trains, buses and air-crafts that often threatened to leave without us, the leisurely journeys to snow-clad mountains with their quaint hill-towns and to the sea and the family, the stolen moments and the audacious plans. All of this crammed into a few days, snatched out of these two long years. The years were long, because they were spent mostly apart. And yet, it is in the course of these two years that I discovered my husband. To borrow from a cliche, my "Friend, Philosopher, Guide."

This is a toast to all those happy coincidences and the many twists and turns that have brought us to this moment. And a toast to all those moments to come, that shall be always drenched in laughter and happiness and togetherness. Lots of Love!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Not all those who hear can listen.

You know, there are so many people in the world who are always happy to share your happy moments with you. You can tell them the good news and can be assured of a smile in return, a pat on the back, even shared laughter. In fact, it is heartening to know how many people feel good for you, care for your joy and are ready to become a part of it.

But I realized that there are not really that many people in the world that you can have a major melt-down with. Those days when you want to rant at the world, bawl your heart out or just crib endlessly, till even you are irritated with yourself. Those days when you are feeling incredibly vulnerable, when even a glance could hurt you really bad. When you feel like you shall never succeed at anything or that you have hit the absolute pits. How many people in the world do you know that you can be your worst self with? People you can share your worst fears with? Most importantly, how many people who will listen, and listen well, and then love you just as much the next morning because, one awful day does not make you an awful person? And then I realized that these people must be simply awesome individuals. I mean, it must take someone special and strong indeed to listen to and see another person at his or her worst, lowest, crabbiest phase and then not judge them for having been that weak. I am lucky enough to have always had such wonderful people in my life. People who listened, because, more often than not, that’s all you need. You don’t need answers or advice or solutions. You can eventually fix your own problems, but it is the venting for which you need an audience. A silent audience, a receptive audience. A sympathetic, non-critical audience. Having put up my share of the dramatic my-life-is-a-tragedy performances, I hope to learn to be that kind of audience, some day. It shall be good to sit back and learn to listen kindly. It shall be good to learn to be silent and wise. Some day. Some lifetime. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

Are these really my thoughts?

Have you ever stopped to think, how many of your thoughts are really your own? Okay, let's modify that question, make it a little simpler. How many of your opinions are really your own? And I mean all kinds of opinions. About stuff that seems inconsequential, everyday, mundane. About all the profound stuff that you discuss as a passionate, to-be-revolutionary youngster. All those philosophical discussions and movie/music/random gossip. Just about any and every thing.

I lived my life believing in my individuality. Doesn't every one of us believe at some point or other in our uniqueness? Have you not had that moment when you thought you were special? That you had thought of something, the germ of an idea, that was especially yours? Those times of divine unawareness about one's place in the scheme of things. Or rather a skewed image of one's exalted status. Delusional, yes. But definitely confidence-inspiring. Those were times when I could have had (and often did have) an opinion on any and every single thing. And off course, it was a well-informed, well-read, rational person's unbiased opinion. Did I mention delusional?

And then the day dawned when I realized that so many of the things I heard myself say were things that my parents had said, or my teachers had said, or my friends had said or... I would have said that it was an earthshaking moment. But that would be putting it mildly. It is awful to find that your very definition of yourself (and yes, your thoughts do define you) is shaky, murky, lost in the voices and opinions of others. It is shocking, that realization. But essential too. Especially if you mean to grow up some day. And well, not a lot of us have a choice about the growing up. Life tends to make you do so anyway.

Anyway, since that day on, I have learnt to question. It makes me a non-believer, until I have believable proof. It makes me long to have faith, yes, blind faith. But it also leaves me knowing that most of my thoughts are really my own. Sometimes, another's opinions slips through. But then, it is all about living and learning. You see, so much of our childhood passes in trying to be like someone else that many of us never learn to be ourselves. I have decided to learn to be myself. The best myself I can be :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The girl who reads :)

My sister, Rhuta, writes, and writes beautifully, at that. So here goes, a post from her ...

I love to read. I used to try to not let that define me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be known as ‘the girl with the book’. Surely there was more to me than that. But as the years passed, it struck me - what better description could there possibly be? Books are, in a word, magical - even when they’re not about magic. That girl with her nose buried in the book, she can never be one dimensional. There are so many aspects to her character, so much depth, so many things about her that you can only guess at. You might think she doesn’t have a life, you do not know how many she actually does! On the outside she may seem dull, boring, bookish - so to speak. Look a little closer and you might see that slight smile playing on her lips. Don’t you want to know what caused it? The secret is in those pages. Join her in them. Pick up a book! If you don’t have one handy, ask her if she has another. She usually will.

I am not defending myself, I’m trying to explain. Yes, I am the girl with the book. I’m trying to convey just how amazing it is to be that girl. I’m telling you why I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. It’s not because I can’t imagine being anyone else. Oh no! I have lived as so many characters in so many worlds that I can imagine being almost anyone. What I want is for you to experience what I have experienced, to share in the magic that these pages hold. I want your life to be enchanted, the way mine has been so far. I want you to at least give it a try.

If you ask me to pick between books past and books future, I don’t think I possibly could. There’s so much more to read and discover. So much joy to find! And at the same time there are all those stories in my past. Those books are my friends, they made me who I am today. I need the books I’ve read so far and all of those I shall read in the years to come. I relish the thought of coming across all those as yet unknown treasures. Unknown in the sense I know they exist but where and in what form, only time will tell.

The thing about books is they’re always there, waiting for you. I’m never lonely, even when I’m alone because I have them with me, always. If not in physical form, they’re there in my head. They’re a refuge, an escape, a haven. Nothing can compare to the comfort of curling up with a good book. It’s the simplest pleasure you can ever receive, and in my experience, the best. But don’t let me be the one telling you, come find out for yourself. Choose a book. Read.

It’s never too late to read a book. They don’t recognize age limits. Oh, you missed out on Winnie the Pooh? No harm done, pick up a copy now and you can casually walk into the Hundred Acre Woods. You see that door? It’s magical, it never closes. Anytime you feel like it, they’re there waiting for you, tireless and uncomplaining. They have so much to offer, give them a chance. Learn to love books and let them love you. As they have loved me for all these years. Make them a part of your world and they’ll make you a part of theirs. Embrace the joy of reading and no matter where you go, you will always be at home.

--- Rhuta Deobagkar

Monday, April 02, 2012

Fleeting happiness...

Is happiness the same as peace? Is it the heart-felt desire to stay right where you are, forever? Is it in being motionless or in being restless? Forever wanting to be someplace else. Is it in the exploration of places new and dangerously exciting? Sometimes I have felt, it is as simple as just coming home, being with the familiar. But then, the unknown and the surprising has meant joy too. A comfortably warm hug, a quick peck on the cheek, sometimes just a glimpse or a whisper is all it takes. A mother's unspoken happiness at having her kids home and safe and laughing. It brims in her eyes... perhaps you mistakenly think it is a tear. It is in shaking your dad's hand and smiling gently at his gruffly firm handshake and awkward hug. It is in discovering families and finding yourself within them. Shades of you, traces of you. It is in traveling together. Or sometimes just traveling alone, yet to the same place. It can stem from something small like a snatched conversation with some random stranger or the knowledge that it is really about a lifetime together. Scary. It is about growing old. About counting your (few! hah!) white hair and being thrilled that you have one less than him. Hehe! 
Am I always happy? I don't think so. But I know that there is so much that makes me happy. It is a good life when you know that you are always just a moment away from happiness. That you are thrilled to be happy, even for just a moment. It comes and goes. Ever changing. Yet never ending. I am loving it :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blah days!

Some days seem just lonely and sad. Like not much matters really. Even the passing of time seems dull, slow. Beloved haunts appear old and deserted. As if entire buildings and structures might crumble down at the slightest whisper of a breeze. Everything seems perishable, delicate, derelict. Dust seems to hang, stagnant, suspended in the air. The sunlight looks dirty, dusty. Even trees seem to have been drained of freshness and life, with wilting leaves that could do with a wash. The birdsong sounds tired. A smile takes effort, laughter seems a dream. Is this ennui? Do places and times influence your mood or do places and times reflect your mood? I have never been able to decide for certain. Perhaps this is just a sign, telling me to move on. To find newer challenges. If I get too comfortable in one place, I will stagnate and get bored and boring. How utterly dreadful!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A year gone by...

A year is actually so much time passing by. 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes or 31536000 seconds. Or so Google tells me. You get older, pretend to be wiser, meet new people, fall out with others. There is a certain comfort of familiarity every year. You know the sun will rise and set a certain number of times this year too. The seasons will change with spring gently bidding goodbye to harsh winters and hot blistering summers making the torrential rains feel like a blessing. You will enjoy festivals, look forward to days of celebration or say a quiet prayer for days of remembrance.

Yet what keeps you looking forward to another year is the expectation of something new, something different, something that shall make you happier. Not because the last year has been just old or dull or sad. Oh no! Surely the year gone by was new once. You looked forward to that year with a lot of expectations. You were blissfully happy, you cried a lot and you laughed more. You fought like crazy and yet fell in love, a number of times, all over again. You were praised and berated. You were unbelievably successful some days and a colossal failure on other days. It has been a good year for you, yet the new one beckons. It glitters with promises of more everything, better everything, happier everything.

The year that has gone by has been, for me, one full of moments that make wonderful memories. A year of firsts, of love, laughter, family, togetherness. Umpteen meetings and partings. Adventurous journeys with missed, delayed or cancelled buses, trains and flights. Time seeming to have a will of its own. At times I could sense it dragging along tediously, at others it was rushing by with a whoosh. There are regrets too. But the joys far outweigh these. I look back on this year and I feel thankful for all the wonderful people who have made this year easier, more joyful and memorable. Family, friends, colleagues and of course, the husband. A fantabulous guy. My best friend. Confidant, philosopher, adviser, lover, magician. Thank you for this amazing year. And here's to another beautiful year!