First blog post

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Be you

I had always been a lost child, not lost in this world but, lost in my own world. I just went about life with no questions, seeking no answers. My world was depicted in the insides of my wardrobe, which had my musings, my paper cuttings, pictures which I liked and other personal paraphernalia pinned to the sides.

But one has to grow, both physically and mentally. So did I. College came and I enrolled in Physics honors, only because my dad was a physicist. I wanted to pursue medicine, but could not get through.
In my mind, a professional degree was important, so I joined CA as it did not have an entrance. Even without any knowledge, I had no qualms. I qualified and then, again without any formal training or study, I started my horticulture business. In between, I learnt cooking, various forms of painting, pottery and many other new things which I did not learn but ventured into, like photography.

Fast forward and I took to writing, which became a passion and a culmination of sorts. For this, completed the journey in a way. I could connect with the rest of my life through this, be it my love for nature, relationships, art or anything else. This was the medium which I was looking for and this connection held everything else in place.

Who am I, then? Bits and parts of everything I did or will do in the future. There is so much of knowledge which I have acquired and so much more which comes to me naturally, like a legacy. We worry ourselves out as to what we will do or what will our children do. That worry is useless for we come with our pre-approval programmed kits. These kits guide us through this mesh which we call life and they have the survival button already placed strategically. We just need to find it.

And when we are able to locate it, then this journey is an exploration of sorts. In the past week, I have learnt dot painting and am starting my Level 2 of Mandala from tomorrow. In the midst of this, the rest of my life flows in synchronicity. I think I have become like the river, touching the stones and the banks, yet changing myself each moment.
For nothing is the same.
As for me, is as for you.

Deja Vu

After almost twenty plus years, I visited the emporia in Connaught Place and it was a walk down memory lane. I used to come here regularly to buy Gurjari dupattas or skirts or file folders, just sit outside and chat under the sun. So much has changed yet, so much remains the same.

The typical attitude of the sales persons with not a care in the world, drinking tea or knitting or as an add-on, talking on the phone is absolutely old school. They have no interest in showing anything for everything is government owned and the stomachs are full. The earlier brightness in the wares has diminished, probably because of the fact that one is used to seeing it again and again.

It did feel that time actually stood still, except that the walls are new and have been decorated with lovely paintings from all over. The stuff in the various emporia is also overlapped with each other, so it is not clear as to where the original artwork is from. The skyline on the opposite side is all swanky, with the Hanuman mandir having been overshadowed by the tall buildings.

It was difficult to spot the old Mohan Singh palace and many others which were landmarks on their own. Change is the only constant but some things never change.

I grew up

Today I was talking to a friend and we were discussing about our idiosyncrasies and how to overcome them. How that I am a perfectionist when it comes to drawing the curtains or adjusting the cushions and keeping my plants in order, at a proper angle which only I can understand. On the other hand, my work table and my wardrobe is in a mess.
How each one of us is different and does things in a particular fashion, getting irritated if not done in that manner.

The conversation changed to various other topics but, a new learning came out of it and that is, that how I have grown myself up. It is not about anyone else anymore. It is only about me, my likes, my dislikes, my habits and my own sense of rights and wrongs. There is a part of me of course which is a mix of my lineage, my experiences and my patterns but the rest of me, I have grown myself.

And it is that part which needs to be worked upon, to be tended to and to be pruned and then, trained and cut at the right places. For otherwise, it will grow wild and when that happens, it will rot up itself.
So I need to grow myself up into branches, but at the same time, learn to cut away the dead parts.

How to do it is the lesson.

“Though I grew myself up
I forgot to tend
The wild mushrooms
Which spiralled
Without any tending

When did they become
Poisonous for me
I could not fathom
For they were my
Self-created parasites

And they fed on me
Till I became
Like a hollow tree
And the branches
Had no roots
For support

To grow is to
Prune simultaneously
And to twine up
The loose ends
So that I can say
To myself

That yes!
I grew myself up”

What if I had not moved out?

I often try a different recollect of the state I was in when I had moved out. I had had everything planned in my head and nothing, absolutely nothing had been left to chance. It was well rehearsed a million times over in my head. The date was not planned as yet but the opportunity presented itself on it’s own.

What would have happened if I had not moved out that day? There would have been a major fight for sure, which would have ended in me retreating inside with fear and taking my children with me as well into that hole. The next day would have continued in the same manner which it had for so many years,” I would be saying sorry for the things which had never been my fault, just to make the atmosphere normal for my children.

Things would have returned to where they were and would have followed the same pattern. Whether or not would I ever have gathered the courage to reverse this equation, I am not aware fully, but 99.9%, I would not have had. I would have let all the stress come to my physical self and would have had multiple diseases by now. And, of course I would have become home bound with zero confidence or would have become an irritating hag, constantly belittling everyone, Essentially a complainer, not for once realizing my own fault.

But was it my fault? Wasn’t I playing the victim card and telling the whole world to help me for my own weakness? However, this realization came only after moving out. I was thrown into a sea with high tide and told in no uncertain terms by the Universe that, “Get a hold of your life.” And, I did. The result is that I saved this ship. The children were not subject to that atmosphere anymore and they learnt to fight it out as well.

Weighing the two situations today, I would say that there is really no point in staying in an unhealthy relationship where there is no mutual respect and love. It is not a king and a subject relationship. It is an equal one. Do not ever keep on trying to float in murky waters for the sake of anyone. You will be killing yourself day upon day and will create that energy around you. Do not play the blame game. Do not wallow in self – pity.

Be courageous.
Be clear.
Be humble.
Be you.

For there is a time for each relationship. They do come with an expiry date. But, do not take the step if you are still carrying that old, decayed trunk in your head. Then, effectively you have not moved out.

Crisscross

My dad passed away when my mother was only forty eight. Two years prior to his passing, a little boy of about seven – eight came under her wings, to be nurtured and made to study. He was left with her by the local vegetable vendor at the Miranda House staff flats, as she was a professor there. In due course, his father had come to visit and knew that no where else would his child get such an environment and became relaxed that his boy was in safe and knowledgeable hands.

This little boy did more for my mother in that period of struggle as he became her source of inspiration in day to day life. This kind of nurturing flowered her from within and she poured all her musings into her writings, going on to become a famous writer. The little boy went on to do his grade ten, learnt to drive a bike and a car, could handle electrical work with ease and became a pillar in the household. He is now forty years old and is a brother to me.

He got married and had two children but, his wife refused to stay with him, demanding a lot of money for her family and he was torn between this game of pulling and constant bickerings, till he decided to break ties with her. He would now just ask about his daughters welfare from the neighborhood.
His name is Rajender.

I moved out twelve years ago and in the midst of all the turmoil, I got this wonderful homemaker eleven years ago, who became my support system and a guide in so many instances. Four months back, we got her sister and her four year old son, who are now with me.
This little one, Aryan has become a saviour for Rajender and it feels that they have a connect which spans lifetimes. All the blocked emotional pouring happens and I sit at wonder at God’s play.

The premise of this post is that we should learn to see the bigger picture. With every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. It is as if we are provided padding in various forms, so that we can take support when we are at our low moments. This cushioning is parallel to our sorrows and exists always. We have to recognize it and learn to realize that we are never ever alone. We are all pulsating beings and we will find our tomorrows, which may not be according to our choices but they will be there. We just have to look for them and create our own little world with this mix and match. For if we learn to do this, life will always be beautiful.

Join the dots. Let that joining be criss crossed. For life is not a straight line for sure.

Gifted

Riddhi was gifted since her childhood, but this was not something that her parents could foresee. They had a small hutment in the bylanes of Kumhar colony, in West Delhi. They were hand to mouth and had been unhappy that a girl child had been borne to them. They had always wished for boy, for they felt that girls were a burden. They did not treat her well and left her to fend for herself in the mud.

Riddhi became used to playing in between the mounds of various kinds of sands and clay and of course, the whirring of the potters’ wheel. The entire area was lined up with pots and figurines of various shapes and sizes. There were many other children like her for the parents had no time to look after them. The boys were sent to school, but the girls just played in their free time when they were not doing the household chores.

The fervour of Diwali would start almost ten months ago when the entire locality would start getting the special soil to prepare the diyas, the hatris and of course, the pair of Lakshmi- Ganesha’s, to be used for the Lakshmi pujan. They would come in plain terracotta, painted or clothed versions.

This was the first time that Riddhi was helping her parents create the mould and then, assist in the painting. It was only at this moment that they had realized that their daughter was gifted. When she would create the faces, the murtis would start speaking, as if she had filled life into them with a magic wand. Riddhi had created fifty such pieces and they had looked divine.

Diwali this time had been wonderful as all her designs had been sold off and that too, with a sizeable profit. She had also got orders for the next year from some of her buyers. Her parents had finally recognized the real Lakshmi, which was already residing in their house and they had started taking full care in nurturing her. This Lakshmi would now go to school with the help of a well wisher and her parents now wished her a different future.

What we look on the outside to welcome, is already residing there.

Diwali gifting

There was a time when I used to fret over the fact that Diwali was approaching, for it meant a huge expense. There used to be lists made at least a month in advance and segregated into slots. Since I needed dry fruits in bulk, I used to go to Chawri Bazaar and get them well in advance. Then the scouting for the right tray would start. It should look presentable but at the same time, should not be able to hold more than 800 gms to a kilo of dry fruits.

Times changed and dry fruits became out of range and I switched to the random gift packs of biscuits or chocolates, coupling them with a few diyas or assortments. The whole affair was still very expensive. The futility of it all plus the insane driving all over Delhi and Gurgaon, made me do a rethink. And then, I decided that this was not worth it.

This was a time, I realized that I wanted to enjoy with myself and my family plus a few of my close friends. This time the segregation happened on the reverse side. I cut out everyone who were on my only “Diwali- Holi” list. These were people I met only on these two days in a year without any interaction through the rest of the 363/4 days. Life became simpler.

The total expense yesterday was a mere thousand rupees, which included the tealights, diyas and flowers. For the prasad, I made halwa. This however excludes the bonus to the staff. The lights string is being used for the past five years and Diwali was beautiful as it was with it’s real essence.

The gifts is of course are the real ones: Love
Peace
Happiness
Joy
Bliss

No more gift packs. No more gifting required.
Spread the inner light