Posts Tagged ‘#love’

⚓Anchors⚓

Posted: August 26, 2019 in Life as I see it...
Tags: , , ,

When I was a kid I used to find it funny when, at family gatherings to celebrate the birth of a child, all adults would gush to the beaming parents that the child takes after one or both of them. ‘He has the exact same nose’, ‘she smiles just like you’, ‘look at the forehead, she takes after her grandpa’, on and on the comparisons went and it was funny to me because a new born looked more like a Primate than a person to me.

As I grew up a little, I realised that babies and puppies are mostly always cute, no offence. Now, where, I could pick up and cuddle a puppy, I couldn’t do the same with babies. So, ofcourse, I loved puppies more it seemed.

My younger sister is about five years my junior and it would have been quite logical to develop those feelings of affinity and love when she was born but I was a jealous little prick back then and the only thing that her birth could mean to me was that my father’s attention would be shared now.

So my maternal instincts did not come to the fore until my most loved nephew was born in 2001. By then, I had been in the teaching line for a couple of years and, even then, I wasn’t comfortable surrounded by the kindergarten lot. I just couldn’t handle the tiny humans. I could relate to kids only after a certain age when they could hold their own in a conversation and understand the flow of words.

With age, I have learnt to portray an acceptable level of tolerance for the kids in the family but I still can connect with just three of them- my nephews and an extremely bright niece, who is just seven but seems to be 17 when she argues. These three, too, are more my friends than kids. They call me by my name as I have taught them to and interact with me as if I am a year or two younger than them.

Some would say that this, lack of motherly traits, is what has kept me away from ‘holy matrimony’ and the kids that follow but I just don’t care what people say and how they react to this. Having said that, the truth is that I did not get married and I don’t have kids of my own.

I wish I could say that it has been a loss, only if to appease the majority. But I don’t see it that way. I don’t feel a void in this case because of these three and an extremely important connection with someone who calls me Maa. The four of them have tethered my heart to their own and are my anchors, my reasons to live and carry on despite the struggles. They represent Hope to me. If there is genuine happiness in the world, I get it from this foursome and if there is a selfless bone in my body, I have it for these four children.

A friend of mine keeps quoting a punjabi saying “Apne hi baal te apniyaan hi maawaan” which, loosely translated, means that only the kids, you have given birth to, are your own and that one can neither become a mother to someone who isn’t her flesh and blood, nor can a child be as attached to someone who isn’t his or her biological mother.

I have always differed to agree on this. I don’t know what the future has in store for me. Sayings become popular for a reason. It is possible that at some point in their lives these four precious parts of my heart would choose something or someone I would not be susceptible or predisposed to. But I am prepared for that. After all, it is their life and after a certain point they are entitled to take decisions for their own good. These choices may or may not be acceptable to all the people in their lives. That in no way means that they would love me less. It would only mean that, with me, they would have the liberty to choose what their hearts really want.

I have no idea what good parenting is. I used to feel that having a kid means to have a person who is completely yours for life, someone who is one hundred percent yours and yours alone because you have given life to that being. But it doesn’t happen that way with your biological progeny too. What I have learnt is to control myself from holding them back. My heart bleeds when I see my children going down a path that would bring them grief but I have learned from my own life that no amount of convincing and cajoling would deter them from a chosen path just because a parent’s wisdom says so. Hence, it is judicious to let them make their own mistakes and learn from them. Lessons thus learnt would stay with them longer.

And years later, may be or may be not, some casual observer would say, look at them, they take after you in all but looks. Wouldn’t that be the happiest day of my life?

I have taken a sage friend’s advice and decided to write about boundaries today. The topic itself is limitless but as I write just about human behaviour and quirks, I might as well deal with it, my way.

Boundary as defined by the dictionary is the greatest possible degree of something or the line or plane indicating the limit or extent of something.

I want to speak about the ambit of human giving, be it emotionally, physically, economically or spiritually.

We are all aware of Daanveer Karna from the epic Mahabharat. No one, as giving as him, has ever walked the face of Earth, it is believed. He never thought what it would cost him to give up what a seeker sought. His ability, of selflessly pleasing every demand made of him, is legendary. Those were simpler times, moreover such men exist in mythology. Drawing a parallel are the Indian women of years gone by. Steeped in customs and bound by social norms, they never thought of their own needs and being. Their lives revolved around the men in their families – fathers, brothers, husbands & sons.

It is not the same nowadays. Thankfully, it is not the same. God has created human beings to be equal and hence our emotional and psychological requirements remain the same no matter what gender we are born with. Today, more than any other time, we need to set our boundaries.

Anyone who has been in love knows that boundaries don’t generally apply to certain relationships. Won’t we do anything for our parents? If we are closely knit with our siblings, there is nothing we won’t do to take them out of a tight corner. Our lives are so entwined with those of our friends that we recognise it as our responsibility to give them anything in our power to make them feel better. Our partners, better halves & romantic interests get the best part of us. Anything that’s ours is theirs for the taking.

I feel committing wholeheartedly to any relationship is a very special thing and mostly we have our Rubicons or points of no return. We cannot go back to being what and how we were with somebody, once we cross that line. Once we reach that plane, our happiness and sorrow, our mood swings all depend on the person we are in love with. They basically have the remote control of our lives with them. If they are happy, we are elated. If they are down in the dumps, we keen over too or sometimes we try and pull them out of the pit they find themselves in. All in all, they become the centre of our very being. This situation isn’t fair to either party. There might be a thousand different things happening to us, requiring our attention but we always prioritise them over everything else. Everything takes a backseat when the axis of our lives is in doldrums.

We consider all this normal. That’s how families have always been. That’s how romantic relationships have fared through time. That’s how human beings show that they care. I am no different. This happens with each one of us.

Having agreed to all the above, I would reiterate the wisdom of many these days, that self-love is important too. The longest relationship we have had or are going to have is with our own selves. No one, absolutely no one can be with us from the start to the finish. All that stays with us is our own body, heart and soul. The least we can do for ourselves, then, is to pay attention. We cannot keep ignoring what pleases us, just in order to keep others happy, however close they might be. I know once we reach the point of no return, it is difficult to think of ourselves first, to peel our attentions from nurturing, caring and tending to others and look after ourselves. It may sound downright selfish too but we cannot pour from an empty cup.

Self care is important. Healing is important. To put ourself first, is important. It’s only when we are strong, decisive and whole that we can care for others. So boundaries are important. Setting boundaries don’t make us less compassionate. Infact if you feel miserable, depleted and used then that compassion is killing you. We can have compassion for others without actually losing ourselves in the process. Saying no, when you really want to say it, is all right. Saying ‘it is fine’ when it isn’t is not okay.

One has to draw a line, erect a wall, not to keep people out but to protect oneself from the blows. Blows that inevitably come when we love or interact with someone. Setbacks, quarrels, disagreements, different opinions, misunderstandings are all a part of this life. They may test one’s reserve, they may try one’s commitment but they rarely end a true relationship. These are just hiccups. But even while going through them one has to care for oneself. If there is less happiness and more compromise at the end of this trial phase then it is preferable to make your distance, lick your wounds and move on. We don’t have to tell the people we love that we care. We won’t have to try and make them believe that we do. They would know it and they would acknowledge it and reciprocate and that’s when we know that compromises are okay too if at the end we feel loved and recognised.

💫Conundrum💫

Posted: February 24, 2018 in Life as I see it...
Tags: , , , ,

If we try and hold on to everything at the same time, we lose everything in the process..

How many times have we read and heard it spoken, yet it hurts when it actually goes down.. There is no perfect world out there. Every moment in our lives comes with choices. Sometimes they are simple and easy to make and give us a freedom to go with what suits us best but there are times when we don’t want to take the fork. We want the paths to merge so that we can have it all.

Every writer, worth his or her salt, has a Muse. Whether they know it or not, something or someone always acts like an inspiration or a cornerstone of their writings. They lay the foundations of their pieces around it and weave their magical yarn.

Our words flow when our Muse is somewhere in our minds.

To me, writer’s block comes when I lose that vision or thought on whose foundation my words stand. It’s true that I wrote earlier too but my writings started making sense to me with that presence in my mind. I realized quite late where the word flow came from. There was an extremely dry spell when I couldn’t put my thoughts into any coherent sequence and I quit trying to write for those few months because even if I did try, it came out as a forced effort. Not honest, not sincere!

What that sabbatical from writing did, was another blessing. I found my Voice in the mean time! I found that writing was not the only thing that could be cathartic if you had a willing ear to hear you voice your opinions.

But life happens when you start settling down to change. When you start to get comfortable in the little haven that you have created, BAM! life hits you with a test. And it is cruel at times. It gives you the choice of Either Or.. It’s more of a conundrum than a choice, actually. Either Or exists only when both the choices are hard to give up on. That’s the whole idea behind it.

By some turn of fate, if I get back my Words, why should I be posed with the threat of losing my Voice?

Why can’t both stay?

In a perfect world, they would!

A cold winter morning.. The Sun peeking through the mist, trying to bring some warmth to the wet & moist earth along with my jittering limbs & the deepest cockles of my heart. I sit in my balcony, soaking up the pink sunlight, with a hot cuppa tea. This has become a steady course to counter cold mornings for me. The isolation imposed by silence, of being surrounded by people yet remaining just with my thoughts, listening to nothing but the white noise of my indefatigable & unrelenting mind and observing the world go by, have become therapeutic. I have the guilty pleasure of snooping into people’s lives and imagining their stories just by noticing a tiny miniscule part of their days from my tenth floor balcony.

What remarkable lessons can be taken from seemingly ordinary existences!

I saw a child, barely five or six, rush to the terrace of his house, directly beneath my balcony, hence the movement caught my eye. He seemed to be carrying something. On closer inspection I saw a couple of rabbits, white & fluffy, snuggled up in his arms. He deposited his cuddly load in a deserted corner of the cold, bare terrace where the two lagomorphs, confused & scared by the intense attention, quickly found warmth in each other. The child stood up and for a while observed the inactive rabbits seeking warmth in each other. He mustn’t have liked the fact that he, the one who owned them, was being ignored. He tried to raise them from their cold & fear- induced torpor by stomping his feet hard on the floor, the sound made the pets snuggle even closer to each other.

The child tried again, this time with huge green leaves, to lure them to activity. And finally, when he couldn’t get any movement out of them, he lifted one and placed it away from its mate. Finding himself alone, the rabbit responded to the child’s stomping by running helter-skelter, this was not only fun for the child but also must have pleased him to see, something he was so fascinated by, respond to him. He began chasing the poor pet from one corner of the terrace to another. After about ten minutes, he got bored of this and chased the other rabbit around. Then, he called on his family members, his grandfather & father, to come have a look at his possessions, the pets. There must have been a child- like innocence and eagerness in this show of ownership. I saw him trying to force feed the animals, scaring them with all his foot stomping and repeatedly pulling & pinching them to show his tenderness and love. As his attention wavered, the rabbits, yet again, found a quiet corner to escape this ordeal. But the child wasn’t done with them. Weren’t they his pets? Wasn’t it their duty to acknowledge and reciprocate his love?

He chased them, played with them, cuddled them, fed them, showed them off to others and yet could not get a puppy like tail-wagging appreciation of his attention and love so he CAGED them.

I sat there thinking. We don’t change much as grown ups. Human love is possessive, protective and limiting, sometimes resembling a cage. We don’t let go of the objects of our affection easily. We don’t set them free & let them come back to us, of their own accord, instead, in order not to lose them, we chain and cage them to keep them safe and with us all the time. Our latent sense of protection and ownership smother the very people we love. Be it as parents, friends, spouses, or well- wishers, we always look out for the ones we love and there is nothing wrong in it. But too much of everything is bad. While ‘looking out for’ is a welcome emotion, setting boundaries and limiting someone’s range out of love, reeks of negativity.

Not everyone is the same. Every species put on this planet understands love and God has given each a different way to express that love. While puppies and dogs have a special way of making us feel loved, adored and wanted, not all of the others can express it in the same way. Same applies to humans too. All of us love but our expression and needs are different. We have been endowed with something that other species don’t have. It is the combination of speech and perception. Why can’t we, then, use it to our benefit and make our relationships happier and more content?

After all, however gilded, a cage is a CAGE..


There will come a day when you will realise what you actually want. Your search will end, it will reach its culmination and that would be the day you probably would stop reading and writing. Whatever you write thereafter will be a complete thought. Your words will want for nothing. You will have achieved what your soul is so desperately looking for in the written word,” so saying, he smiled enigmatically.


But, I don’t think I am looking for anything in particular. I read because I love to and I write only when I have things to say. Yes, sometimes, I have incomplete thoughts that might need processing. Sometimes, I write things that are raw. I write of emotions, of people, of love, of loss. I write of things that are human. I read things that I find fun or that stir me. I have never thought of reading as a channel to get somewhere, it has never been purpose oriented, merely a means of getting to know stuff,” I riposted.

Ah! But you are young still, you will get there, eventually,” he reiterated.

What is it about thinking individuals that ruffles our set opinions so? It isn’t as if I change my thought process on every word of a book or a firmly stated opinion but both mediums compel me to re-analyse my approach. Sometimes I defer to the books or educated opinions thrown at me, at others I stick with whatever wisdom I have acquired over the years.

I maintain that I don’t read with a purpose in mind. I am neither spiritual nor religious enough to seek answers in mythological text, I am not condemning them or denying their significance, it’s just that they don’t work for me as well as a fictional work with deep rooted meaning does. I would rather read a Shantaram or To kill a mockingbird or Rumi, even for that matter a Brida, to get perspective on life, than to look for solutions in the Bhagwad Gita. I have read that too but probably I did not get it much.

I started writing as a catharsis for my broken spirit. I never felt that my pieces had or have any literary merit. I write because, there comes a time in each of our lives when we have things to say that we can’t express freely, even to the closest of our friends or family. Some keep it all bottled up or lock it all up in the deepest recesses of their minds, some choose art, music, cooking, travelling, gardening, keeping pets, chatting or even socialising to keep that inner voice down. To each his or her own.

I Choose to Write. I can’t, at times, express what I am going through even with my writings, for fear of being judged. I still haven’t learnt how to fictionalize my accounts so that I am finally able to pour my heart out without anyone finding out the trials I am going through. I, forever, dread the query, who is it you have written about in this piece?

Still, I choose to write to attain temporary relief, a sense of calm from my ever accumulating thoughts. I may stop writing if by some miracle I can stop thinking of mundane, everyday things. I am an ordinary being, a human with trappings like love, desires, wishes, hopes, friendships & relationships. I don’t see myself graduating to the bigger questions of life and existence any time soon.

May be, I am missing an essential ingredient. It is probable that I am lost. I may not conform to many things that this world lays down but I am ME. I will own up to my mistakes, I am the one who would take lessons from them. I might repeat some of them but I am content. My energy is my own. I regret nothing. Even bad decisions and failures were necessary. They probably were the most important things in my life when they happened.

I am here to lead a simple, uncomplicated, knowledge – centric life and I feel that I am on my way pretty much the way I wanted to be. I love to wear my heart on my sleeve and won’t apologise for being the way I am.

Ah! The grave anguish

Of meeting you again,

The mixed feelings of being with you,

the longing, the pain.

It has been a year,

we had that row.

And parted ways,

tried to let go..

Things didn’t work out

as I envisaged.

It’s probable, I am getting

difficult with age.

Don’t get me wrong,

I love to see you flourish.

Your triumphs, your laughter,

Your memories I cherish.

You flit in and out of my life.

This is your right.

Yet, fleeting is your attention,

blind, the sight.

The scant time you can accord

leads me to believe,

I won’t pass away with a regret,

the bond we forged will provide reprieve.

Overwhelmed with love and joy

of your company, I forgo the claim.

But do tell me if I deserve just

these Borrowed Minutes to my name..

How the Heart Yearns!

For things that are beyond our reach.

The notions that the elders never preach.

For love, friendship and relations that instigate,

our very souls, against what the world propagates.

For chances & opportunities that are on the take

but for the leashes, we could make.

We do what is expected of us,

for family- society, the whole corpus.

We yen, we ache, we pine, we languish.

And our hearts yearn for something to accomplish,

something to Cherish!!

Ah, What Anguish!!!

I don’t exactly remember the day I first met you. I have a vague recollection that I saw you first in Hostel 2s3 where you and your friends were working on a chart of toppers in the warden’s room and I, a new appointee, was asked to oversee the task. I didn’t do much of overseeing, just looked over the language and observed the ‘rowdiest group on the campus’ work with a nonchalance which I was far from feeling. It was in my second year as a teacher there, that I was asked to take your class. All sorts of horror stories were attached with Class X- A. I was told that I would be booed out of the class if I am lucky, if not, I could face cat calls, indiscriminate hooting or even a chalk missile from even the most innocent looking girl, while I was writing on the blackboard.

Mercifully, none of that happened. What transpired was an instant connection with the entire class. Contrary to popular belief, I had never come across a group of girls so eager to learn. It was the quietest, most disciplined class ever. I remember, vividly, the Sunday extra classes too which you all attended with such gusto. Teaching history has never been more fun than with my Class X-A. I remember pretty much everyone from that room but the ones who have stayed beyond that classroom, beyond school, are few. You and Chhavi, the dearest among them.

When I look back, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, we started talking but somehow, by God’s grace, I found your little group full of potential, only the veneer of mischief and recklessness needed to be peeled off.

I am sure you remember the unfortunate incident that happened when you were in Hostel 3s2 and I was off for an exam. Once that happened, I wanted to see you win at all costs. By winning I don’t mean the argument or the strife, I mean to make it big in life. I dreamt that you all, closest to my heart, would take a turn for the better, write a new page and be exemplary scholars and achievers.

Neha, you have made all of us very proud by adding feather after feather in your beautifully adorned cap. The best thing about you is that success sits so lightly on your shoulders. You have managed to stay humble and grounded even after the accolades that have come your way.

For me, you are already a 🌟 that brightens my horizon. I recall your lament when you could not make it to the roll of honors but surely you too must realise now that, it was just a minor set back in the bigger scheme that God had for you.

Being meritorious all your life, you further proved your worth by coming out, unscathed if a little scratched, of the many tight corners that life has thrown your way. You made loss your strength and fulfilled the dream of your father, against all odds.

Today, I am proud not just because your perseverance has paid off and you have accomplished the goal of becoming a Chartered Accountant, I am proud of the person you have become. I am amazed by the sheer strength of your will, your humility and the grace that you have acquired along the way.

Do you know what your name means? It means love, friendship, one who is adored, the eyes that see, the innocent dew that laces the surface at dawn. You are amongst the rare few who personify the very traits of their name.

I am out of words for the emotions that are running pell-mell in my mind. I just want to Congratulate you on your achievement and for bringing so much happiness to all those who love you.

Stay humble. Stay the same. Keep Smiling. Keep Winning.

Love Always,
Lubhita

​💫 Our fingerprints do not fade away from the lives we have touched.💫

Wasn’t it J. K. Rowling who made the word ALWAYS mean much more than the Queen’s language could ever convey? 

This simple word containing two miniscule syllables came to denote a plethora of emotions. It became a symbol of undying love. It became synonymous with unconditional, unwavering, belief and trust in someone who wasn’t even there for you. It escalated the character of Snape from a regular love- jilted villain to a man who didn’t want anything in return, a man whose love was never reciprocated, a man who was devoted nevertheless, a man who never gave up, a man who never backtracked on his commitment, whatever the price.

It takes a lot of strength to be that person. It takes a lot of goodness to be able to give out that much love, affection and tenderness. I thought such characters existed only in books. Not getting what one vies for and still making something of one’s life, enriching others and still managing to keep that flame burning is Quixotic, it is unreal. 

I know a person who has given up everything for the love of his life. His devotion is legendary. His level of commitment, idealistic. He just doesn’t know how to give up on her. My piece today salutes him and his spirit. I want to tell him that – it’s when you are completely down and out that you get the motivation to rise up again and work for your life. Staying strong and making something of yourself when odds are stacked up against you, proves the mettle of a man. 

For me you are the Sun that shines, no matter what. May you get all the happiness in life that you so truly deserve. You embody the word Love. Just direct some of it towards yourself now. I must have done something really good or virtuous to have gotten to know you so closely. Your goodness rubs off on other people. I have been fortunate. 

Stay Calm. Stay Strong. Stay the Same. Flourish. 

Always. 

I never thought I would be choosing this title for my blog, EVER because I have always maintained that regrets are such a waste of time and precious energy. In any normal life, people do things which may either work for them or not. But regretting the ones that did not work out has never been my way. 
I have always owned my mistakes, learnt from them and moved on. Sometimes, my closed ones would agree that, I have been fool  enough to repeat some of those mistakes too. But isn’t that what life is all about? In my humble opinion, life is a blind deck of experiences. We never know what card will turn up next. We just do the best we can. Sometimes our best sees us through while at other times, we learn. 

I recently lost my uncle to brain haemorrhage. He was too young to have left us. As the Hindu tradition goes, we were there,  paying our tributes and condolences, giving support and strength to the family for twelve solemn days. Even in the midst of all that religious and social bustle, I had a feeling that the real test of strength and perseverance,  for the immediate family will begin after the customary rituals got over. After all, they would have to face empty rooms, an empty chair at dinner, the disposing of clothing and other day to day stuff, the inevitable pictures and memories that lie strewn about in any household, even the food would remind them of what he liked best or how much he enjoyed his little indulgences. 

Days have passed and today, as the societal norms dictate, we went to see them all again. To let them know that we are there for them in their hour of need. I learnt a valuable lesson from my grieving aunt because, make no mistake, her grief has just begun. She has a life time of solitude ahead. While recounting some of his last days, my aunt couldn’t control her tears and word after word of regret, of unfulfilled dreams, of a life lived in a way that left so much incomplete, so much to want for, poured out of her

She spelled out the toll that a public life takes on a family. She told us how he was always there for people who approached him for help, how he would ignore his health, his meals, his family for public recognition and to make a name for himself and leave a legacy behind. How he wanted to leave behind his humble beginnings and strained against things that kept him tied down. She told us how that made him irritable and ignited a latent anger in him. 

As I sat there listening to her say that “he kept running all his life, we kept fighting- I, to keep him healthy and he to challenge life and destiny despite his health,”  I couldn’t help draw similarities with my own father. He also keeps so much to himself. 

I realised what a waste of life and opportunity we all make if we fail to acknowledge and appreciate the people who have always been there for us. In our bid to outdo ourselves, we tend to ignore our closest confidantes, the very people whose unwavering support has been with us throughout our journey. They have stood by us, albeit quietly and may be not in any extraordinary way. They have just been there, believing in us, depending upon us, feeding us when we are hungry, soothing us when we are in a turmoil, laughing with us when we can find no humour in life, sometimes laughing at us when we started to take ourselves too seriously, the ones who kept us grounded. We take them for granted. 

If this is not a cause for regret then nothing is. We don’t know what tomorrow might bring. We cannot change what happened yesterday but we have complete control on what is happening now. We need to get our priorities right. We need to pay attention. Instead of hurting the people closest to us by our blatant neglect, we should take sometime to recognise their efforts in our life, to be grateful for their presence. Most of all, we should communicate. Yes, speaking up is important. We have to put it all into words, sometimes. We cannot leave things UNSAID, not with people who are so close. True, we understand each other when we are this close, we can interpret each others’ silences but it doesn’t hurt to say it once in a while. 

If we are hurt we should let them know, we should share with them our disappointments- in them, in ourselves or in life, in general. We should let them know if and when we are happy, what act of theirs made us so. Our anger, resentment, grief, pain, should be passed on to them as much as our moments of glory, success, joy & contentment. Sharing a life doesn’t just mean living in the same house, providing for each other in the physical or monetary sense alone. It’s being there for each other emotionally, that is more important. 

Our family, friends, our inner coterie deserve the best part of us. The part which is unspoiled by worldly considerations, the part that is pure and brutally honest. None of us is going to make it out of this life alive. So, let’s just make sure that we don’t leave any regrets behind. Finding people who genuinely care about and love us, is rare. Let’s make it our life’s motto to cherish them above all and make our time on this Earth,  worthwhile because the day we kick the bucket, it’s these people in whose hearts we will live forever. Let’s give them reasons to love us beyond life & death itself. 

I went to the general store the other day and decided, on an impulse, to get a different brand of tooth paste for myself. It was weird and at the same time exciting to add it to my cart, after all, for as long as I can remember, I have been using the same brand of toothpaste, the same red color, the same taste. This morning while finally opening the new tube of shiny yellow green paste with cooling crystals, I felt like an adventurer out on her maiden voyage into the unknown.. 

Hilarious as it may sound, most of us don’t venture out of our habits and comfort zones even for something as mundane as a new kind of toothpaste. It’s not brand fixation that keeps us tied up, atleast not in my case. It is just the comfort of the familiar. 

Sadly enough, consumer products are just an example of what we are doing with our lives. I cannot speak for everyone, neither can I generalise (I hate to generalise, as it is). But I have to write about what sparked this seemingly unremarkable or ordinary sounding thought process. 

I read quotes like – “Life isn’t supposed to be lived in one place.” – and being a thinking person I understand how right that is, both geographically and intellectually. One has to travel, one has to explore, gain new experiences, let go of the things and people gone by.. One has to grow.. And people don’t grow while being confined to their comfort zones. 

One has to try different things, be different people in order to find what one actually is. Experimenting, juggling choices, failing, learning in the process- Everything is important

While I know all this theoretically, I have never dared to try my luck outside the protective cocoon of my family. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t told what to do and how to do it. A set of instructions were always provided no matter what I decided to do. I understood quite early in my life that simply following the instructions provided, would save a lot of bad blood and complications. I did not know any other way to live. 

I had never learnt to live without my support structure. I had never been to a bank till I was forced to do that, at the age of 27 when I joined a job outside my hometown. I had never travelled alone, never taken a bus on my own, never even purchased my own clothing. Everything I needed was taken care of by my parents and the support structure that they had ready for me. I never thought I could have a say in my own life. I was meek, indecisive and confused all at the same time- a recipe for disaster

Eventually, I rebelled. Because it is crippling, too much love. It is suffocating. It feels like a leash. It leaves too less breathing space for us to grow. It breeds fear, distrust and some degree of lying and manipulating too. I developed a coping mechanism where I didn’t have to share everything I did, at home. I found new confidantes. I found solace in books. Sometimes my coping mechanism bordered on escapism. 

I once told my therapist (actually just a medical practitioner, I was talking to) that I am indecisive. I don’t know what to buy, what to wear, what to eat. I am left flabbergasted when provided with choices. That’s the reason I never order at a restaurant. I simply don’t know what to pick. I never learned to choose. He simply asked me, “Do you drive?” I said yes I do. “Do you ask the one sitting shotgun where to turn and which route to take to reach your destination?” I said, ‘mostly no’. “Then you are not indecisive” he said, ” you have to just convert that ‘mostly no’ to a resounding never”. 

Simple as that. So I started with the small things, case in point, my new toothpaste. I find a deep seated pleasure, now, in breaking stereotypes, the bigger things, none of that silly toothpaste stuff. I dream of taking it further. Life is too short to be left with regrets at the end. 

It is late but it is never too late to evolve, to give oneself a shot at happiness and fulfillment. It’s never too late to BE. 

Diwali festivities over, I had a wonderful day today with guests and relatives, friends and loved ones turning up to meet us. Yet another gentle reminder that life is worth living and celebrating only when you have your people around to share it with you and rejoice in it. 

The day started going downhill when I had this weird feeling of loss and emotional emptiness after we had all turned in for the night. While going through my Facebook timeline,  I came across a dedication , a condolence message from one of my friends in memory of one of his. 

I had tears in my eyes at the sheer helplessness & ineptitude of man when faced with fate. The young, handsome face of that unknown individual shook me to the core. Dedications ranged from calling him a hearty, jovial, ambitious, full of life person to his keen interest in photography and a general zest for life. Some of his friends had mentioned how he refused to get married before he made something of his life, how he wanted to become someone for his family- his parents before he embarked on a journey of marital bliss. He wanted to make them proud. 

To be taken away so cruelly in an accident on a day when most of us were celebrating the festival of lights, left everyone of his friends speechless. All the posts dedicated to him, tagging him carried his smiling, dashing pictures and all of them invariably wanted him back because so much was left unsaid, unspoken, unfinished… I was moved beyond belief. Tears came unbidden. 

We take so much for granted. We forget that this life we have is so uncertain. Just like Navdeep, we may be celebrating one moment, devouring ladoos, and be gone the next, leaving dazed family members and loved ones to pick up the pieces of shattered lives, dashed hopes and unfulfilled dreams. There is just so much riding on us, we fail to notice. 

We do not acknowledge that the final frontier may come to us sooner than we expect. Instead we while away our lives fighting with our loved ones, keeping grudges, leaving things unsaid, loving people and not letting them know. We think we have all the time in the world but we don’t. 

We need to re-prioritize our lives. Know what is important, acknowledge the people who are there for us- no matter what, stop fighting, shelf our egos, love without restraint, be thankful, commit to life & people and stop hurting the ones who have been there and who promise to stay. Believe me, nothing is more important than earning love and respect in your lifetime. After all, it is meaningless if people just praise you when you are gone. It is the difference you make in lives, while you are still alive and kicking, that counts

It may be a naive attempt at writing but my message is clear. Apologise if you are wrong, help if you can, try to understand the perception of others, be tolerant, save relationships, say it if you care, quit hurting people & be grateful for all that you have. Making money is important but at the end of the day , it isn’t everything. Judge what brings you happiness, true heartfelt pleasure. Is it the idea of being rich, of finding solace in temporary people or things, of validation from your peers or is it being blessed with people who love you, who are permanent in life, that brings true richness and meaning to your ordinary existence? 

Think and act now because what we can’t achieve before death knocks us down, remains as regret in one heart or the other. Choose well what you wish your life to be. 

“Do you like Country music?” asked Prakirti. My last blog must have led her to believe that I understood the western music scene quite well, so I told her that my musical education was sporadic, at best. And that it was quite late in life that I had picked up English songs and artists. Hence, differentiating genres was beyond me. She said, “Let me send you a selection of songs, then.” She did. And I instantly fell in love with this beauty. 

Don Williams – I Believe in You

​I don’t believe in superstars

Organic food and foreign cars

I don’t believe the price of gold

The certainty of growing old

That right is right and left is wrong

That north and south can’t get along

That east is east and west is west

And bein’ first is always best.

Well, I dont believe that heaven waits

For only those who congregate

I’d like to think of God as love

He’s down below

He’s up above

He’s watchin’ people everywhere

He knows who does and doesn’t care

And I’m an ordinary man

Sometimes I wonder who I am.

I know with all my certainty

What’s goin’ on with you and me

Is a good thing

It’s true

I believe in you.

I dont believe virginity

Is as common as it used be

In workin’ days and sleepin’ nights

That black is black and white is white

That Superman and Robinhood

Are still alive in Hollywood

That gasoline’s in short supply

The risin’ cost of gettin’ by

I believe in love

I believe in babies

I believe in mom and dad

And I believe in you.

Once again,  I was done in by the soothing music, the bewitching and entrancing strains of the guitar, the charismatic baritone of Don Williams and most of all by the lyrics – Words, weaving Magic. So simple yet of such import. 

Out of all the delightful things that the artist says, he believes in, I chose MAGIC as the title of my blog. I shall try and elucidate, rather justify my choice of title in my plain, ingenuous expression.

The writers of the song and the artist who made it so popular might have concentrated on Love, I like Magic. For me love is magic, faith is magic, music is magic, divine providence is magic, mom-dad-babies-children-old folk all Magic. 

Not even a week has gone by, I was down and out, suffering from despair. I wrote about it. Magic transpired. I got support from unexpected quarters. People who were long gone, without any contact whatsoever, reached out. Mere acquaintances came forward with their stories, experiences and suggestions. I was pulled out of the dark by so many helping hands. I received calls from people I had never spoken to and they made small talk feel so relieving (case in point, Prakirti, the child who gave me this song and set the ball rolling for this piece here.. Thank you. Grateful!) I was so happy to find so much love & care that indifference & ‘what can I say to this’ attitude from the people I expected relief from, also did not dampen my spirit. I had embraced HopePure Magic. Bliss

I have often heard people say- Do not be afraid. Go ahead, do your part and things will automatically fall into place. I feel a certain amount of fear of the unknown, of the outcome, of the process is a great motivator in getting things done. Fear is magic too. Just the right amount and you are on your way. 

The most splendid, resplendent, glorious of all Magic is the ability to connect with People. Family-parents, grandparents, siblings, sons, daughters, cousins, friends, co-workers, colleagues or even for that matter the strangers we come across everyday while walking down a street or entering a building, attending a concert or a show, shopping in a mall or arcade. People are everywhere. Just smiling down at them creates Enchantment– a mystic energy that envelops us and makes us believe in each other. It coerces, compels & drives us to be more accepting of our differences, of each other’s opinions & circumstances. Acceptance is Magic. Belief in each other is Magic.

I believe in Magic✨. I believe in You-my people💖, my circle of light 💫, my ring of faith.😇

I am not a huge fan of pop music from the 50s and the 60s. The first time I heard this beautiful song was in the movie Love Actually, some 9 years back. And,  about four years after that a very dear student gave me this song to listen. Since then, Joni Mitchell’s version of this masterpiece has always remained on my playlist and I have delighted in its cadence thousands of times. I have always admired the raspy timbre of her voice. The gruff, scratchy sound goes perfectly well with the cover of the album, with her holding a cigarette in one hand and a glass of red wine lying in wait.  

Both Sides Now- Joni Mitchell

It is only recently that I got to know that Frank Sinatra, considered by music enthusiasts as one of the most iconic & influential 20th century artists, also rendered his voice to a version of the same song during his reprise years. Although his voice is timeless but I would still go with Joni Mitchell’s version any given day. 

Both Sides Now – Frank Sinatra 

The sublimity of this song lies not only in her rendition but also the soul stirring lyrics. It’s the words that resonate with me every time I listen to this song. I have posted the lyrics in hope that even if readers don’t click on the links above, they can atleast read the exalting text.

Rows and flows of angel hair

And ice cream castles in the air

And feather canyons everywhere

I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone

So many things I would have done

But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow

It’s cloud illusions I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all


Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels

The dizzy dancing way you feel

As every fairy tale comes real

I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go

And if you care, don’t let them know

Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow

It’s love’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know love at all


Tears and fears and feeling proud

To say “I love you” right out loud

Dreams and schemes and circus crowds

I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed

Well something’s lost, but something’s gained

In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all

There are quite a few songs that can make the list if I start writing about them but my purpose today is to convey a message of love and hope to a very dear, affectionate person who needs it today. I am sure he will peruse this write up as he always does with my blogs. I think he’ll recognize the song and appreciate why I chose it, in the first place. 

To him I want to say- Whatever trials and confusion you are going through are temporary. It is just a phase. Love and life are illusions to most people even if they gain intimate knowledge of them. No one can claim to understand them completely. There is no fixed recipe for happiness. Not all our desires are fulfilled. That said, we still live our lives and find happiness in whatever blessings we already have. I hope you find peace and happiness too. 

May you come back stronger and better. 

I’ve looked at life from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all


Remembrance, Reminiscence, Recollection or simply memory- a thing or feeling that stays even after it is long gone. Sometimes such retrospective moments are so strong and vivid that one has no choice but to leave the present in order to delve into these cherished flashbacks-these seldom visible permanent residents of our mind. 

I have been ill for the past few days now and my ailment warrants a lot of massaging of my limbs, a task that inevitably falls on mom. She has such a pleasant bedside manner. To take my mind off the pain she keeps talking of more pleasant things and that’s how we got talking of my childhood today. Since our childhood, my father’s mantra for us has been- family first. And I live by it. But, in the course of our lives we chance upon many people and relationships that become inalienable parts of us. My write up today, talks about some of these select few. 

Today mom so fondly recalled my mischievous streak as a child, that I was transported back to those happier times when things were so easy, so uncomplicated. We lived on the first floor of a double story rented house. The ground floor was occupied by an extremely affectionate punjabi family. I was reminded of the lady of that house today. A small, dainty, loving woman whom my sisters and I called Mumma. She had three children of her own, all grown up and disciplined but the kind of love she reserved for us was exceptional. I remember running down the stairs to hide behind her everytime I did something that ordained a scolding or punishment from mom. When quite young,  I used to avoid oral medication of any sort.  When given capsules or tablets to swallow, I used to throw them down the drain. One day, mom found out. I was given the whacking of my life, I bawled like a street urchin and it was Mumma who came running to save me from further lacing. It was her, I used to run to when the compounder came home to give me a flu shot or something like that. She was our favorite hiding place. 

She passed on, a few years back but her memories that enriched our childhood will always remain fresh in my heart. 

While on nostalgia mode, I got thinking about the great times I had with my friends. The ‘garam chais’ and bread maska we went out for,  while teaching at Mody School. The long days and equally grueling evenings spent working at my desk but with so much fun. I remember friends, some of whom still are in touch,  others who have moved on geographically and emotionally. The unsuppressed, unaffected laughter, the mindless chatter, sincerely discussing things as mundane as they were irrelevant. Yes, friends are important. There are just a few, but all of them find a special warm corner in my heart. 

While on special relationships, I also thought of two people so close to my heart that I can barely breathe for the love and care I carry for them. My heart is overwhelmed with tenderness at the mere thought or mention of any one of them. Those two are the children I never had. Though I haven’t had the privilege of knowing them since their births and the time spent with them has been limited, at most but the bond is permanent, irreplaceable, irreversible and irrevocable. Fond memories of times spent with her and the long chats with him will always stay in my heart wherever they choose to go or even when life takes them away from me on a journey of their own, which will ineluctably happen.  

I had all the time in the world lying in bed for a couple of days and thoughts of days gone by kept intruding- some funny, some hurtful, others happy or sad. But that is life!! It wouldn’t be completely fulfilling if there was only the hue of happiness to color our canvases with. 

I am so deeply entrenched in memories today, thinking of people and events, places and friends, children & their choices, that I just wish I could go back in time to my happy carefree days or hold on to the ones I can still have. 

Beyond my wishes, the only tangible things I have are these Memories. 

For days now, it has been on my mind. Infact it is the only thing on my mind for the past couple of months. Like other things negative, I thought this too shall pass and probably it would but right now it is getting worse. I know that people who care about me might want to reach out after reading this. I fear that. I really don’t want sympathy. That is the reason I was shying away from putting this up on my blog. There might be some people who would find it in bad taste, writing about something so personal and putting it up for the world to read. There might be still others who would think me weak and snively for not being able to hold myself together in the wake of life’s challenges. Some would think it a highly pessimistic state of mind despite being so well read. Yet others would feel I am too young to be going through a crisis like that, that it is just a figment of my imagination or something that I have picked up from the various things I read on a daily basis.  

However, I, myself, recently got around accepting the fact that it is indeed Depression that I am dealing with. And despite all the misgivings mentioned earlier, I have decided to once and for all write about it and face the consequences later. My decision to write stems from the belief that acceptance is the first step towards healing, gathering courage to share it, is the next. 

Such is human psyche that accepting something like this and then trying to talk about it or deal with it, takes a lot of grit & determination. I even wanted to use some other word in lieu of Depression but then that would have been yet another denial, yet another bottling up. The fact that I am writing about it should rule out all kinds of denial. 

I don’t want to go into the clinical aspects of Depression, they are best left to experts to ponder on. I would only share what I have felt and observed and the ways I would like to be treated by my loved ones. 

There is this constant sense of foreboding, of something bad happening. A weight descends on the heart and there is a consistent constriction of the chest. Over-analysing every decision and move becomes a tiring habit and the gravity of expectations, both from self and others, is immense. 

Socializing doesn’t appeal too much. A feeling of solitude even when surrounded by people, a rote- I am good or I am fine to people’s query of How are you?, becomes commonplace. I rather enjoy the company of people I don’t know intimately than the ones I do because it eliminates the chances of being asked too many awkward questions. It also helps avoid the possibility of being judged by people on the state of my mind. I hate to be called demented or doddery or stupid or mad or senile. 

If someone realises that something is not right, they keep asking me what is wrong and are disappointed when I say that I really don’t know. The truth of the matter is that I really don’t know what has triggered this or what is feeding it. I don’t understand my constant need to cry or being hugged  by someone without asking me what the matter is. Eye contact has become a problem, I can’t look people in the eye and connect. I lose interest midway in any conversation with anyone. 

There are times when I want to confide,  some of my surface thoughts, in people I love but can’t find words in absence of a strong enough reason for all this. I am also wary of disappointing them in my abilities as a human being of a certain age. It is a societal norm that by this time in my life,  I should have everything sorted out, but I don’t,  so people might judge. Most of all what I dread getting is Sympathy or Pity

All I want is a little empathy, care, love and an assurance that they’ll be there for me in whatever I am going through, no questions asked. I know, no one can change the course of one’s life to accommodate the eccentricities of another but isn’t that what genuine love and care is all about. If someone is reaching out to you for help, you must be pretty important to them. 

I love people who can convey with one hug what a thousand words fail to do- warmth, care, love, strength and a promise that come what may, they will be there, always. Sometimes, it is gratifying to be reassured, in words and deeds, by the ones we love.  

All said and done, I feel there is still Hope for me, that I will reach the light at the end of this tunnel, sooner rather than later. 

I have been an atheist since I understood the concept of God and religion. The idea of bowing and scraping in front of man- made idols always looked ridiculous to me. As a kid, I was made to tag along, when my mother visited religious shrines or temples. Even at that age, I had a weird feeling that people are watching me pray, that they could see right through me and the veneer I put up when I stood in supplication in front of the very idols that made me uncomfortable.

Gradually, when I became old enough to air my opinion, I turned openly agnostic, agreeing to some super power but still not ready to find it in idols and temples. As I grew in confidence, I even started entrusting my friends with the knowledge that their God had never been kind to me. Going as far to say that if He had made us all, He has to tend to all of us irrespective of whether one kneels in prayer or not, that blessed should also be the ones who do not kneel.

Recently, I came across a book on the history of philosophy and religion. An entertaining read at the onset, it soon asked me questions I had never thought about before. Being an avid reader, I have come across books that I stand behind and others that I disagree with. But never in my reading existence, did a book make me feel INSUFFICIENT, like I was missing out on some important piece of the puzzle that would finally complete the giant zigsaw, that life is. It was sheer helplessness to find that I had no faith or any power whatsoever, to put my faith in. It was not just the absence of God but also a total disregard for the bounties I had, things like life, people, comfort, dignity, things that I had always taken for granted, had never thanked anyone for.

I was perturbed. It was like I was in a huge dining room, bustling with activity, every seat taken, people eating, talking, laughing, sharing experiences and suddenly, everybody leaves. The hollowness and ineptitude that I felt, sitting suddenly all alone in that dining hall, was inexplicable. I could still feel the warmth of companionship, hear the tinkle of cutlery, a shadow of laughter here, a shared confidence there.. All gone in a jiffy!

What then, fills that vacuum? What comes inside and never leaves? Cause make no mistake- everything and everyone leaves, sooner or later. Wealth, beloved people, love, friendship and even life. What can, then, help us keep ourselves together? The more I think, the more I believe, it has to be faith.

I spoke to some people I could speak to, about such stuff and a pragmatic atheist friend said-” There is no God. Why do you worry about faith and in whom to put it? You got to have faith in yourself and if you have to put it somewhere put it in your abilities. ” Sane advice, granted!! But it didn’t stop me thinking and brooding all day long. I have faith in myself, I truly do but that doesn’t keep me going when people leave and I am all alone. Gradually, yes, one learns to pick oneself up, dust away the blues and get going again. But even that needs motivation because life does have a way of pulling us down to the rut again and again.

Now, I don’t know whether God exists or not, neither can I vouch for any of His miracles but lately something has been tugging at my mind- not religion or spirituality, nothing as lofty as the latter or as superficial as the former. But something deeper, more profound, something I have no words for. A deeper knowledge, may be. A lone thread of self-realization that might lead to consecration and eventual enlightenment and salvation of soul.

A week ago, this would have been impossible to write cause I have always felt that deeper insight into one’s psyche is a whole sack of mumbo- jumbo. But I am desperate to have atleast something STAY. Desperation may not be the best motivation to lean towards God but it surely works.

I hope once I find Him, He stays!!!