“One Day, I want to honestly say – I made it”

Oh the Nostalgia! From dreaming to be a Doctor to being a Visual Merchandiser – my life is not what I wanted it to be. But it’s better. It has its ups and down. But it is perfect in its imperfection. There is no dearth of things that I want to come together for future. But as I write this, right at this second, I am happy.

Back when I was a kid, I wanted to study to become a Doctor. My grandmother used to be unwell often. Doctors failed to give an accurate diagnostic on what was really going on with her. I watched my mum get frustrated and upset over how much Grandma was suffering day in and day out.  That’s when little me decided that I would grow up to be doctor and treat granny of whatever was ailing her.

Things took a different turn and I didn’t even realise. I made the cut for NIFT entrance exams and graduated four years later with a degree and job offer in hand. Meanwhile, my grandma got better and my mum accepted the fact that with her age she is bound to get sick at times.

My current profession is as far removed from being a doctor as it can possibly be. Hopefully it’s all for the better.

“One Day, I want to honestly say – I made it”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Futures Past.”

Advertisements

I have a lot to be thankful for

Thankful for? Let’s see. This should be interesting.

First and foremost – My parents. Thank you for having me. No seriously – you guys were quiet young when mom conceived. No matter how many times I say it, it’s never going to be enough. Cliché – you guys are the pillars that I lean on in times of duress. I have put you through a lot. But both of you have always been there for me, undeterred.

Dear god – Thanks. I wish for a lot of things and sometimes don’t say thanks enough times. But don’t take it to your heart, alright? I hereby thank you for everything. I do have a lot to be grateful for and at the same time, could use a bit more of your attention.

Then there are those innumerable close, distant and extremely far-flung family members. Those visits, sweets and keen interest in my past, present and future has me where I am today. My childhood, though difficult would not have been the same without you guys around. I am always bubbling with memories of all sorts when somebody strings the topic called “Childhood”. So yeah, thank you.

Friends. Childhood, schoolmates, college gang and a few colleagues. Thank You.

Thanks to the stranger – who smiled or smiled back when our eyes met while walking. To the one who held a door open for me when he saw me clamber in with my hands full. To the stranger in the car who waited for me to cross the road. To the stranger who stood unwearyingly behind me while I attempted to withdraw cash using a wrong PIN. To so many others who still believe in humanity.

And last but not the least – to the person or circumstance who introduced me to reading. I mean real reading. I will be forever grateful.


Never Too Late

Deep Beneath – A Love Story

This is my parent’s story. The first time I heard it, I couldn’t bring myself to believe it. Even now, when I recount this tale of love to friends, I am filled with wonder about the enormity of the gesture.

Theirs is an arranged marriage. The girl was just a little over 18 and the boy was 3 years her elder. Grandparents from both sides pronounced the judgement that they wanted the bride/groom to be a part of their families. The boy and girl didn’t get a chance to see each other. The wedding was a lavish and much talked about affair.

The newly – weds first saw each other properly in the many family games that traditionally follow a Hindu wedding. It acts an ice breaker, between the bride and groom’s family. There, surrounded by the cheering family and relatives, taken by the each other, they fell in love.

A few weeks passed. The girl returned to her parent’s house to continue her studies and the boy turned back to his books. With no phone or internet to connect them back in 1982 in India, they kept in touch through the more time taking way – letters. They wrote long letters of their well-being, life and love, enquiring after the others life. They met once every few months.

In a few years, quite a lot of letters had been written, back and forth to each other. When it was time for the girl to leave her parent’s house, she didn’t forget to carry along the bundle. They settled into their new life together. They also had a new-born baby girl to take care of.

Not far from their dwelling, there was a temple that the boy frequented. Lord Hanuman is his special deity. Right in front of the temple, workers were digging the road. They were making way for a new footpath. In the days to come, the street will be one of the busiest in the city – never sleeping, never resting.

The guy had a plan. He went home, collected all the letters the couple had. Along with one of their spare wedding invitation cards, he packed the bundle into some waterproof material, finally packing it in a box. He carried it away, like a treasure.

He got his wish, after a round of requesting the construction workers around. He might even have had to bribe a few to get his way. He carefully placed the box in the hollowed pits, right in front of the temple. He stood there and saw it getting covered with fresh granite.

The way my Dad puts it, while my mom lovingly watches – After many years, when the road is re-laid or dug up, they will find that two young people, so much in love, survived so many odds to tell their story. They will believe in the instituion of marriage. God will always be watching over us – quite literally.


Inspired by Daily Prompt 

It’ll Always Work Out Between Us :)

She put the key into the hole and coaxed the lock into turning. She breathed a sigh of relief. She was finally home. She put one tired foot after another over the doorstep, swinging the door closed behind her. It had been a really long day and it seemed to go on forever.

As she flicked on the lights in the doorway, she mentally corrected herself – it had all begun last night. She and her husband had disagreed over some trivial matter. Last night, the disagreement, fueled by a long distance relationship, had turned into a nasty shouting match, over the phone.

He rarely got angry. If he had raised his voice, it meant he had been pushed over the edge.  She wondered if she could have handled it differently. Her forehead creased and she absent-mindedly tucked a lock of hair behind her ears.

She had to make it right, she thought. Nothing in the world was worth this silence on both sides. She should probably drive down to his apartment. Surprise him. It was only a couple of hours away.

As she walked towards her dining table, she noticed a huge bouquet of her favorite flowers. Smiling, she walked towards it. No tags, no cards. Touching the petals of one flower, she reflected how another set of flowers accompanied by a box of chocolates awaited her husband at his doorstep.

She felt happy tears roll down her cheeks. It will always work out between us, always – she thought gleefully, before sinking down into the couch, feeling much lighter.


Inspired by Daily Prompt

Stay With Me

He walked in into the driveway of his home.

“That after game discussion took unusually long today” he mused.

Wincing slightly as he climbed the stairs on the porch, he cursed under his breath. The leg had started troubling again.

He walked into the dimly lit sitting room of his cozy little house. He squinted until his eyes adjusted. And there he saw, sitting on the comfortable leather sofa was the woman he loved, his partner for last 53 years, his companion in the journey of life. His wrinkled face automatically broke into a smile which was reciprocated from the other end.

He walked to the sofa, to her. He bent to kiss her lightly on the cheek as she inclined her face towards him. “It still makes her smile affectionately” he thought as his hand lingered to caress her hair for a second.

She shifted a little, so that he could sit next to her. He sighed slightly as the weight on his knees shifted in the process of sitting. He settled next to her and put his arm around her.

She pressed the play button on the remote in her hand. She gave him another happy look as if to say “Stay here with me”. The collage continued in a myriad of frames and colours. It was familiar, he had seen it before.

On the screen, it was them. Younger. The scene was from their wedding. All smiles, laughter, little bit of teasing. Next up, the screen played the moments when they bought their first car. The frames kept shifting to depict the timeline of their lives – together. Their kids, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation days – small clips from all the important events.

He looked at her. He saw a tear escape from the corners of her eye. He immediately took her face in his hands. He hated to see her cry. She sniffed. And continued to smile up at his face, lovingly.

He shook his head, forbidding her to cry. She gave a small laugh and turned towards the screen again, this time holding his hands in hers and resting her head on his shoulders.

He spoke, “What do feel, when you see yourself, us in those frames?” “Happy” she said. “I feel happy, I have lived a full life, had amazing companion in you. I am satisfied with everything in life. We have great kids, who have great kids. They respect us, care for us. We have lived respectfully. Life has been good with you”.

She raised her head to give him a light peck on his check. He smiled. “His smile is still so beautiful”, she thought.

Inspired by the Daily Prompt

Relive? No Thanks, I’ll Pass.

I usually try to keep myself happy. I smile often and easily. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  There have been such short springs of happiness in the last few weeks. But mostly it has not been great. Reason – You can read all about it here. Don’t want to bore you again with it 🙂

If there is one line that can describe what exterior I put up these fast few weeks, it is this line from one of Kelly Clarkson’s songs – “So together, but so broken up inside”. This has been a clear departure from last couple of years, where I was really happy with my place in life. So, nothing does really stay the same forever.

But if given a chance to relive the past week again, I would pass the offer in the blink of an eye.

My buzzword these days: “When going gets tough – the tough get going”

If you want to listen to the song I mentioned earlier – click here. And here if you would like to see what others have to say.

Happy Holi

photoshelter

Source: photoshelter.com

One of the few hitches of hailing from a place in North India and staying in the Southern part is the lack of festivities surrounding the Festival of Holi. There are hardly any streets splashed with colours with buckets and mugs strewn around. Nor are there people dancing and singing their heads off. Everyone is busy at office/college and the fun associated holy is nonexistent for all practical purposes of consideration.

Days were better when we were still in college. We would abscond from classes to take part in Holi celebrations instead. Those were good times. A threatening text to the class representative from the faculty would send us all into frenzy and we would report to the class, soaked in colours and paints, dripping muck all over the way. Our exasperated faculties would look at our beyond recognition visage, would mark attendance for us, impart a few words of wisdom and let us loose. Again! And then, it was back to basking in the glory of colours and soaking in happiness and laughter all around.

But nothing beats the fun and frolic of Holi with family members and friendly neighbors  The preparations before going out for the riot of colours, the smearing of oils on every inch of bare skin and all over the scalp, the meticulous planning for an open area, inventory of raw materials, the pondering over what to wear and everything else. God! I could go and on and the list would never end. After the colourful riot in the morning, and attempt to coax colours off from skin and scalp all afternoon – it would be back to colours again by sun set – dry ones this time.

The laughter, the nakhras, the sweets, the drinks, the special dishes, the colours, the time management, the cleaning, the decoration, the planning, the singing and dancing, the history and richness encompassing the festival, the festivities surrounding the day- everything is ingrained deeply in our hearts, souls and minds. One would think that five years away from home would subtle down the twinge for the festivities at home. But my heart still aches to be with family and friends while I am going to try and have at least some part of the Holi that is now Once Upon a Time.

The Ball and the Lizard

All of us had troubles with our siblings; many of us have looked for it. Those are probably one of the best memories of childhood. But we always knew just when to get them into trouble and when to stand by their side and see the trouble cool down. Here’s one such story from my family fold from ages ago.

Once upon a time (yes, long back) there was a happy family. The family lived in a huge estate of a British India style house, replete with gardens. The house had a veranda where the family had dinner during the hot summer nights, soaked scarce sunlight in chilly winter afternoons and the kids played.The couple had five children, a girl being the eldest. Four brothers followed her. The parents worked hard to provide for their needs and at the same time give them a nice upbringing and instill good values.

So, this one day, the four boys were playing a game of cricket. The father was yet to return from work. Mom and sister were out grocery shopping. After about half an hour of game, one of the boys hit the ball hard and it traversed the boundary of accepted playing area. All of them watched in slow motion as the ball kept flying to hit the tube light on the wall. As the glass broke to shreds and splattered over the floor, sweat started breaking on the boys foreheads. Everybody looked up to the eldest brother for directions. Before anybody got back home, something had to be done. They set off to task. All of them cleared up the mess, cleaned themselves up and set to study. Meanwhile, the eldest concocted a story to relay to all the three elders.

Mom and sister arrived and were astonished to see the boys at study. As is the custom at our homes, the house has to be lit during the dusk time of the day. The sister switched on the ill-fated tube light of veranda, which was now deceased. One look at the guilty nervous faces and she got the whole story. All of them waited for dad’s return from office. He did return and not in a good mood. He discovered the same thing as his daughter. He turned on the boys, called them to his room and gave them a dose of importance of discipline, money and time-table. He dealt with them strictly and asked them to name the person who broke the tube light. He tried asking them all together and then asked them separately.

But there were only different versions of one story that he got to know. “While these guys sat watching “news” in the TV, they heard a crash outside. When they filed one by one at the place of the incident, they noticed that a lizard was running away from the scene and that the tube light had been broken into shards.”

Frustrated of hearing the same story from all the four, the father called back the youngest son who was 9 years old. He beckoned him to sit on his lap. The poor kid must have trembled at the thought of punishment. He sank into his lap. Meanwhile, the rest of three boys were sure their secret was out. The father tried to lure him into telling him the truth about the tube light. He offered him treats. He hugged him close. He kissed his forehead. He scolded him hard. He raised his hands to scare him in to telling the truth.

Next day, the father went to office with a heavy and proud heart. He still did not know who had actually done the deed. But the incident told him that these kids will stick around with each other, no matter what. He knew that he had good kids who will carry on his family name to greater heights. He was proud of his family.

And his faith holds true till date. Though all of them have their own separate families and have settled in four different parts of India, they are more connected than most of the families that I have ever seen.

How I wish!!!

I love my mom. A lot. She has been everything to me. Here’s a little poem I wrote for her when I was really homesick.

How I wish…

I could feel your hair on my cheek, when you bend to kiss my forehead,

I could smell your skin, when you reach to put your arms around me…

I could touch the folds of your dress, when I put my head in your lap,

I could hear the tinkle of your bangles when you put me to sleep.

At this moment mom, how I wish for your comforting presence right next to me

How I wish for your soothing company…

And to hear that voice call out to me…and tell me that everything is alrite…

I miss you mom and I love you more than anything else in this world!!