You know all my life I've been hearing that a human life turns a full circle. I never really paid any attention to this profound statement untill two major events that happened over the past couple of years. One is my father's illness followed by his demise and my daughter's birth followed by her infancy.
Having been with him towards the final years of my father's life and cradling my baby for about a year and half it's so amazing to realize that there are so many similaritles at the point when the two ends of the cirle meet.
Both couldnt walk on their own
Both were on a liquid/soft diet
Both needed someone to bathe and clean them
Both had to be taken to the doctor at regular intervals
Both felt happy with just fact that you are around
Both couldnt express their feelings thoughts and emotions
Seeing them smile brought a cheer to the rest of us
Even at the times when we were/are physically away, our hearts and minds were with them
The more I list, the more obvious it becomes. The interesting thing is that the people who take care of you when you are at the beginning of the circle are the ones you take care at the end of their cirle and then there's someone else taking care of you at the end of your cirle. It's too convoluted right?? I think that's the right term!! Too many circles weaving into one another - all forming a great human chain.
I recently completed 10 years of professional life. That's quite a lot by my standards considering that my professional education was half the duration. Anyway, when I stopped and contemplated on how these 10 years went by it was a sense of mixed emotions - love, joy, jubiliation, disappointment, accomplishment, hatred, disgust, sorrow, pity, excitement and frustration to name a few.
These ten years have almost been like the reverse lifecycle of a cucoon to butterfly. From being devoid of any strings to being living on the hooks of a million. There are no regrets because i know that I was at the liberty of deciding my fate and steering my life. I wanted it that way and I made sure I got it that way. It could've been a lot worse had it not been for the right opportunities and the right people that i encountered along the way.
The one thing that has always remained constant is the urge of wanting more, a sense of accomplising more and the greed to grow bigger. That doesnt seem to satisfy itself, no matter how much I earned or how high I went up the ladder. I hope it is for the better.
I made a lot of friends in these 10 years but I lost some too. Some because of my foolisness and some because of my own will. I hope to reconcile with them at some point and I'm hoping it's going to be sooner than later. And when I do, I pray they realize that the time away from them has only made me realize how important they were to my life.
How are the next 10 years going to be? I wish I knew. What new emotions are going to be appended to the existing list? I dont know but I'm looking forward to them.
Lent starts today and it ushers in a 40-day period of religious introspection if not anything else. I was talking to a friend on how for some this is a god-given(literally) opportunity to do some good doing to make up for the lack of it the rest of the year. That is approximately 10% of your time in a year.
That's interesting. Does the church have some affiliation to the number 10?
They suggest that we follow 10 commandments, they suggest that we offer one-tenth of our salary to the church as "thaith".
Anyways, as another season of lent starts here's wishing you that the 10% is worthwile and lets you survive the remaining 90% of sinful days. :)
Be pious people!!
So here it is finally. After months of deliberations and weeks of research, I finally did some keyboard shopping today. I am now the proud owner of a Yamaha PSR-I425 keyboard. It's definitely not the state of the art as far as a digital keyboard is concerned but hey I'm no Mozart either (actually I'm not even a small time musician).
But yes, it has been a long cherished dream to own one of these beauties right from the time I stopped my piano classes (somewhere in my adolescence) with Mrs. Lowe(read my earlier posts to know more).
Now I just hope I find enough time to get back into musical shape. This in no way means that I'm not going to be strumming my guitar. I love the stringed sound out of the wood hole. I just need to get back with my first love.
So long then..la la la.. :)
Of the many things that I've been ignoring, updating this journal is one of them. It's so strange, I feel as if I'm comitting a mortal sin and that St.Peter wont let me through the gates(well he surely wont for a lot of other reasons :)). Nevertheless, let bygones be bygones and look forward in hope that I will do my little bit of contribution to the web henceforth.
What made me come back to LJ after such a long hiatus? Well for some strange reason I had this notion that I should contibute to LJ only if I have a considerable amount of thoughts to dispel. Anything that falls in the parameters of one or two sentences should either be routed to Facebook or Twitter. But I realized that I'm beginning to express all that i wanted in one or two sentences just because it saves a lot of time (for everyone i guess). Not done eh?
Anyway here I am, hoping to stay from now till the end of eternity (this line is a result of an aftermath of Valentine's day).
Insurance agents freak me out.. No really, I'm shit scared of them. I try everything in my prowess to avoid talking to them. Well the reason being that - somehow everybody starts with the premise that I am going to die before I'm supposed to (usually in a road accident) or that I'm going to be limbless in a mishap(in their words "i'm neither dead nor alive"). The Hi, Hello follows later if I'm lucky. Otherwise most of their monologue revolves around my death and how my family will be short of money when that happens. I usually walk(read:run) out such conversations really depressed and frustrated as if the end of the world is near(i'm sure some salesman would've sold some policy's using this as a reason).
Well despite all of that I did manage to take a policy for which I grudgingly pay the premiums. But coming to think of it, I think an insurance policy is probably the only product:
- which is sold with death as the primary reason for someone buying it
- whose benefits you will not enjoy if you die and if you are alive to receive the benefits, you will be too old to do anything exciting with that money
- for which you keeping paying premiums year after year fully knowing that someone else might enjoy the benefits
- by the time you get the benefits, you realise that the policy was not good for you.
I think most people (including me) who take the policy's seem to believe that they will either die shortly(leaving their family in acute poverty) or will not have any money when they retire. When you think about it, our grandfathers and fathers didn't have insurance policy's and neither did have lakhs of rupees as "sum assured" for their post-retirement and yet they managed to live a decent life(atleast not one in abject poverty).
The funny thing is the only guys who really have a lot of fun with you taking the policy are the insurance agents who not only have the sadistic pleasure of scaring the shit out of you but they're good at it, they get a fully-paid foreign trip(with their spouse).
Now you know where your money is going..
As I welcome my 31st year it's only fitting that I talk about the single most defining moment that happened over the past year – Kyra’s arrival. Yes, it finally happened. After 4+ years of marriage, 39 weeks of pregnancy (thankfully not by me), and 12 hrs of treacherous labour (Oh God!! thank you for making me a man) our little bundle of joy had arrived.
As I was sitting holding Sammu’s hand watching the baby make her exit (or should I say entry) all I was anxious was she shouldn’t be dark complexioned. And to make sure this happened, I had experimented every little tip that anyone had to offer while Kyra was still inside. As a result Sammu had to consume the following everyday:
- One big pomegranate
- 100-150 grams of freshly powdered (by me) dry fruits
- Atleast 1 litre of regular milk
- 250ml of soya milk
- One big apple
- 12-15 strands of saffron petals(they said 6-8 was sufficient but I didn’t want to take a chance)
- One Carrot and one cucumber
Well as the doctor was helping Kyra on her way out, I began to realize that all that effort had indeed borne fruit. Kyra was more beautiful than I ever imagined her to be – impeccably fair-skinned, great big eyes (courtesy her mother), copious growth of hair (that’s courtesy me), and a smile that will floor a thousand charmers. At that very moment I realized what the phrase "a proud father" meant.
As the days passed by, my admiration for her just help growing by leaps and bounds and now as she completes 4 months it’s just so difficult to be without her. I could spend all day watching her laugh, cry, play, sleep, turn and tumble but it still doesn’t seem enough. Soon she will be old enough to walk and talk and I might be too old to match her pace. She will be old enough to start her school and I will watch her as she explores relationships other than the one between us.
It is the one that I’m hopeful will last till eternity and the one without which I’m absolutely hopeless. The one which completes me and the one without which I am totally incomplete.
I had never experienced the death of a loved one in as much proximity as I did last week. To lose someone who has been an inspiration, guide, mentor, and friend all my life is really difficult to overcome. It becomes all the more difficult if that person is someone you call your DAD. The fact that I will never hear him call my name again, or have him by my side during my moments of success and failures just wrings my heart in sorrow to no end.
It is a loss not just to my family but also to the hundreds of others whose life he touched with his kindness and compassion. Everyone who tried to offer their condolences had one common thing to say about him - That when they needed help he went out of his way to serve them and always placed himself and his family second to the cause. I always wondered if I can ever match up to his stature and be even half of what he was. I now realize that it is a gargantuan task to even try to emulate him.
Irrespective of all that we both shared a special bond. Something that can neither be explained in words nor be expressed in any form. Of all the things that I'll lose because of his death, I think I'll miss this undefined bond which usually answered all unanswerable questions, which spoke volumes without either of us saying a word, and which always held us closely together all my life.
As I held his hand while he let out his last breath, I knew in my heart that he still has some unfinished business, few unfulfilled desires, and an unending urge to serve others.
Here's to the man to brought me to this world, raised me the best way he can, and defined me the way I am today.
Bye Daddy, I'll miss you terribly.
A trip to Velankani is always memorable. It brings back memories of a childhood where a summer vacation meant a trip to the holy shrine at Velankani. Those who don’t know about Velankani it is the equivalent of Tirupati for all Christians and has the shrine of Mother Mary. It is situated on the shores of the Indian Ocean and falls within the Nagapattinam district (remember Tsunami?).
We usually used to visit the place in summer and its probably the worst time to be in Velankani. A combination of heat and humidity will suck you dry and if that doesn’t, the salty water will. Actually that’s one of the first few things that will hit you – the weather and the water. You have to survive on bottled water only and the weather you can’t do much about it.
Now when you would like to plonk yourself on a nice cushiony bed of a hotel room after a tiring journey, you will be in for another surprise. Like any other pilgrimage the hotel rooms are not something that you would rave about. Infact some of them don’t have a geyser or a/c and the rooms are pretty small for the price they charge. Room service is an alien concept in those parts of the world. Anyway, the need was ours and we had to live with what we had and moreover the mindset was that we were on a pilgrimage and not on a leisure trip to the Bahamas.
After a visit to the church and performing the ritualistic prayers, we would be ready to dive into a nice hot meal. In this respect we were a bit lucky and thanks to our culinary preferences. This place can be a Non-vegetarians delight. You’ll get all kinds of sea food and even some unheard of dishes. As a child and even now the only thing I really relish is the food. I pity all those who prefer vegetarian food.
All in all it’s a place where you shouldn’t plan to spend more than a day. Because that’s all there is to that place. But yet everytime I visit that place there’s a strange bonding and sense of déjàvu that I was never able to explain.
For many decades now there has been a thick smoke at the roof of the world – Tibet – but the last week has seen it go in flames, literally. Ever since the Chinese military ousted his holiness the Dalai Lama and his followers there has been unrest not only in Tibet but all over the world wherever Tibetans took abode. What was once considered the epitome of peace is now witnessing wide spread violence which doesn’t look like it’s going to subside.
The Chinese claim that Tibet always belonged to them, the Tibetians cry from the top of their voices that they were independent and will always want to be, the Indians (who incidentally gave asylum to the Dalai Lama) want to be neutral between a very powerful nation and a tiny town-country whose entire GDP is solely dependent on religious and leisure tourists (not really a cash cow), and finally the rest of the world (read: USA) just wants to be quiet maybe because probably there’s no oil up there.
The Tibetians were caught in a very strange situation where any of their protests cannot have even a hint of violence because it is totally against their religious beliefs and moreover a large number of tibetians are religious monks. But no protests will be aired across the world unless there are the usual TRP hiking bytes – sex, violence, or scandal. Unfortunately these protests had none of the elements so far, but not until now. Now the world has some blood to look at, some infernos to gaze at, and consequently it has a nice number of people dead so that they can sit up and take notice. It’s sad but true.
Let’s hope the violence in the buddist temple town ends soon and this doesn’t fireball into another major incident. Knowing the Chinese administration, they will stop at nothing to make sure that things are under control – their control.
How much more will it take for the world to react and liberate Tibet?