Break

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Its just a break….

Catching up with life, crochet, cooking, baby, hubs, friends, shopping….

Soaking up life….

Will be back shortly…..wait for me…

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Baby no- 2

Dear Daddy...

Dear Daddy…

Just when I thought, I was done with making babies in this lifetime, I had to rethink ! As next 2 years of my life fast forwarded in front of my eyes, I could not help smiling, watching this beautiful Coke ad. Life will be chaos just once again. Messier, crazier and sillier….nonetheless I’m enjoying the smile I see on hubby’s face every now and then. Riaan does not know yet about his threatened position in the house…but I’m sure he will learn to be a good big brother soon!

Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely ad from Coke. They always make them awesome !

Urgent

Omaha Shot by- AR

Omaha
Shot by- AR

The only time when things were urgent was when I was leaving the house, for the second time. This time , I had an air ticket to San Francisco. Unlike last time ,I was not scared of anyone to find me out in the city. I knew , as soon as I would check in the flight, I will become ever more elusive for rest of his life.

The scheduled flight time was 0245 hours and I had stayed at one of my friend’s house the previous evening. I had left him a letter saying that I was leaving the house. It was with a copy to police station and my lawyer. I had informed my kids many weeks prior to that. I didn’t get any call from him while I was at my friend’s house the whole evening. He always took time to take a decision and probably he gave it a night before he could decide to take any action against me. Little did he know that one night was enough for me to move onto the other side of the world.

For me that evening and that night until the aircraft started taxing on the runway, was the most urgent night of my entire life. I still remember, when I was walking towards the boarding gate , I met one of my trainees on the way and exchanged pleasantries with him. I urgently needed the TIME to just zoom past and the aircraft to be in air at 35000 ft.

That urgency, I felt that day still gives me goosebumps…and I have never needed it anymore after that uneventful night.

California Shot by- AR

California
Shot by- AR

 

 

Waiting

Google Images

Google Images

I realized the concept of waiting only when I read ,’ Waiting for Godot’ pretty late in life. I’m sure most of us don’t even know that such a philosophy exists.

So this means that all we do in our lives is, wait for something to happen. It does not necessarily mean that we don’t live in the present but that we always always wait for something to happen and focus all our energies towards it. For example in my case, first I was waiting for my soulmate to arrive in my life, when he did come, I was waiting for us to get married, when we got married I waited for the baby to arrive, then I wanted to move to US, now I want to get the green card, besides I’m waiting for my kid to join school so that a I can start working. Probably when we get the green card we will want to buy a house of our own and then move into a bigger house, simultaneously I would want the kid to take up a sport or a hobby as soon as he starts with his schooling. I would also be waiting for my older kids to finish their studies and and then wait for them to come to US to finish their doctorates or work for a good multinational company, then probably I would want them to get settled in life. Meanwhile, once I’m settled with a good job, I would like to get involved in a charity and sometime between all of these I would want my parents to travel to US  and live with us for a few months.

Phew….that was just a summary of the major things that I wait for in my life to happen, I cannot even talk about the smaller things! Samuel Beckett expresses this concept of life in his play called- Waiting for Godot. Though I had to read it several times over as it is difficult to get to the meanings that writer wants us to know, nevertheless, I did finally!

Why do we have to consistently wait for something in our lives? Is it because that is what is called ‘Life’ or is it because we cannot really focus on something which is happening in the current moment? Or is it because we believe that better things happen only in future and not in the present?

How would it be if present could become the best moment of our life and we do not have to wait for a future moment to be happy?

Highway 1 Shot by- AR

Highway 1
Shot by- AR

 

Daring

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The Rockies at Denver Shot by- AR

Daring is someone who is adventurous, brave, undaunted and carries heroism in his blood. Daring is braving icy cold weather when you have just a tee and shorts on. Daring is appearing for an exam without any studies, daring is taking on a project which you know nothing about, daring is bringing up kids as a single parent and daring is looking after your old parents rest of their lives. Daring is standing up for your own self and also others. Daring is kicking off your job when your self-respect is on stake. Daring is forgiving an old friend and initiating the lost friendship all over again.

We have been daring in our lives atleast a couple of times. The dare increases with age when confidence of losing decreases or rather does not matter any more. As we grow older, we realise that we need to be more brave and let our indomitable spirit lead us.

So many times we are pushed down by our own perceptions of things and other times it is the unwritten laws of society that we so idiotically follow. Only when we cross our lines of courage and determination, we realise that its actually boundless, our body and spirits. These limits that are mostly self- created or by our family. The key is to know that each one of us is capable of touching the sky regardless of our family background, class, gender, country or education for that matter.

Daring is letting go and beginning a new life, even when we don’t know whats in store for us.

Denver

Denver

 

 

Rekha And Amitabh

Google Images

Google Images

Of all that I have read and heard about this couple, it seems like they did have a chemistry between them, a great one, in fact. Rekha was infatuated, in love and wanted him all for herself, but Amitabh opted out. I don’t not think he would have confided to even Rekha about his feelings so declaring it to the world is out of question. Or may be he did and later on backed out. It seems for someone who wanted to have a good reputation and class and was so ambitious, having an affair would have been a crazy decision. May be Rekha was just his ego-trip….or something to spice up his life as with Jaya it was becoming kind of complex. It may also be possible that Amitabh didn’t even listen to his own self in this matter and that’s probably why he can be seen so discreetly quiet about the whole thing until today.

That way it was easier for him to save his marriage and the family. Rekha, on the other hand ,to some extent and more than one ways has acknowledged the love between them but has stopped short of saying anything in particular. That saves a lot of explanation for Amit and Jaya really!!

If you ask me, I would love to see Amitabh Bachchan kneeling down to Rekha and asking her to marry him when he is say 90. Telling her that he missed her and he should not have done it. That also means that I think Amitabh did have feelings for her but just didn’t have enough courage to get out of his marriage. Which was okay in those times. But I would love to see them together sometime in real life too.

One way they  gave  us the most enigmatic love story of Bollywood, and in others they lost some of the best moments of their lives that could have been…

After a long time, listening to this song.

Appreciate

Winterset- Madison Shot by AR

                                                          Winterset- Madison
                                                                 Shot by AR

It was not long before I realized , there were no more birthdays cakes for me. In fact, out of those 17 long years, I remember, only the initial few on which I got them.

When kids grew up, they started saving some money to buy me a chocolate and when I started working, my colleagues would get a cake for me.Future years would go on to make up for all my lost birthdays though. As later on my kids would even save some money to get me a cake and some gifts. I still remember, a card made by my son which said it was for the best mommy of the world.

But father of my kids who was also supposed to be my friend, lover and life partner, never cared. A few years down the line in the marriage, I also stopped baking cakes for him on his birthdays.  I could not care less too. Of course, I never wished him a happy birthday, I mean, are you crazy! Kids also never did anything special for him and his birthday would pass off just like any other normal day of our lives. So, after several years of cake-less birthdays , on one birthday evening , he got a cake for himself.

It makes me think now, how mean a person could become when he gets a birthday cake for himself but never for someone who he shares the house with. Can anything get worse than this in a marriage. It also makes me think, if my friends a,colleagues and kids were not there in my life, I would have died of depression and loneliness.

If given a chance again, I would follow Michelle Obama’s mantra,’ When they go low, we go high’. I would probably buy him a big black forest cake now. That’s a better way deal with someone who belittles you and has never appreciated you. What do you say!

Winterset- Madison

                                                                Winterset- Madison

Bold

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Sunset – Texas (Shot- AR)

And I thought I was a conventional girl. I grew up in a lower middle class family back in 80’s and my parents were both working. To be able to instill middle class values in my system , mom didn’t have to do much. It was a campus life and everyone else in it had the same set of values: middle- class. The school too didn’t have a dynamic population and we were cropped to think alike. In fact, I still remember there was just one girl in the entire school who wore skirts above her knees and dated boys. Until 12th grade my hair was cut in a bob lest I spend more time in front of the mirror than studies. But once I went to college, which was a residential university away from home,I grew my hair into a blunt. That is the only adventure I did in college. Mom still used to style my clothes and send me packets of them every 6 months. No, I never had any complaints about my dresses, In fact after 25 years of school, a classmate told me I was the most well-dressed girl of the neighborhood….phew…!

Okay , back to the topic. So, back in college,I thought myself to be a pretty conventional girl of 90’s. Skirt hemlines were never above knees. Mom had put strict restrictions about dating guys and back then it was never the ‘IT THING’. So , I never dated anyone, either in school or college. Of course , I had my share of crushes , but then they just remained crushes all throughout those years. Classes and hostel, hostel and back to classes was the routine and in holidays it used to be Granny’s house which was at about 10 kms distance.

I was the only one in the entire hostel who had a bicycle and I used to go to my classes in that while everyone else used to walk down. I didn’t think it was being bold and but thought I was just being pampered by my parents for living so far away from them. I think ,I always had some extra perks because of the extra income that Mom was earning for the family.

Now there were a couple of groups of girls in our hostel who were fashionably way ahead of me in terms of dressing sense but even they didn’t wear jeans or trousers or shorts skirts. These particular girls were more attractive in all terms and had no qualms about short term friendships or relationships with boys. Now-a-days it has a name -‘Friends- with- benefits’. I must say that I was not aware of such things then and that these girls were way ahead of my intelligence too.

My perception about myself was good. My grades were in between 7 and 8 and I think I was an average student and good character ed girl so to say. So, when parents decided that they had found a good match for me at 21, I was okay with it because I always obeyed them and I was told that I could continue my studies after marriage which of course didn’t happen. I would realize much later in my life that at that time of my life, I was neither a career-minded girl nor a strong- willed one to have refused to them lest I would hurt them.

Anyway, so much so for next 17 years. Then, I saw this conventional girl kicking her bad-ass marriage and a secure home with kids to free herself from all the shackles which were pulling her down all these years. Finally, I go out and find myself a guy and tell him, we are good to go. For marriage that is. So there I was, out in the world, once divorced and remarried and living according to my wishes finally.

All these years, I still thought I was a conventional girl, in terms of values that I held, the principles that I followed and of course the short term and long term decisions that I made every single day.

My dressing sense still remained simple, no hemlines above knees, no friends-with-benefits kinda relationships and a law abiding person at all times. So, when someone recently told me I was a bold person and not a conventional one, really gave me goosebumps. After a couple of sleepless nights, I finally realized that it is actually how something is perceived individually and boldness or any other characteristic for that matter does not have a contained meaning and can vary how it is perceived by an individual.

My perception of bold was different until today and I realized how one needs courage to be able to break free of a marriage.Especially in India, to be able to kick a marriage and fulfill your wishes is considered to be bold. Nobody dares it for society has unwritten rules and everyone meekly follows them however unhappy, discontent or sad it makes them. People may resort to extra-marital affairs but would not dare to get out of it. Now, that is what I don’t believe in.

I’m a conventional girl, I told you!

Elkhorn- Nebraska Shot by -AR

Elkhorn- Nebraska
                                                                                                                                                    Shot by -AR

Silence

Elkhorn- Nebraska Shot by -AR

Elkhorn- Nebraska
                                                                                 Shot by -AR

A million dollar word…Silence…!

Most of the times, it saves you a lot of energy, time and other expenses. But when you need to, you need to just get it out of your mouth and your system.

Haven’t we innumerable times vowed to ourselves that we would remain silent and would not utter one single word? But then, haven’t we found ourselves all fucked up from inside when we just hear all non sense and still do not fight back with words? Personally, I would not label myself a chatterbox or a talkative person. Having said that, I also am not a quiet and all-of-it-will-pass person. Till some years back, I was a no-nonsense person but now I have graduated to a-selective-fight-for-cause-only person. That saves me a lot of headache. Initial few minutes are difficult though, but then if we try a bit harder, its doable 😉 , being silent, that is.

Okay, so is it wiser to be silent or to be lets name….rise to the occasion? I believe, it really is better to keep quiet when the discussion gets going towards argument. I have started not to believe in defending myself unless its a dire situation. More often than not arguing has all the chances of taking it to another level ie., heated arguments.  Is it really worth it, spending so much energy and time on something when we can instead make use of our time in doing something more worthwhile. Even with a family member and a loved one…I have started believing that silence makes peace and does not let things go out of control.

Having said that, I must say that once in a while like in a couple of weeks though, you must speak up, logically though and for a reasonable cause. So that people wont take your silence for granted and think that things do not matter to you anymore.

So, be silent, listen more, see even more and observe in abundance!

PS- Silence should not lead to miscommunication though, stay careful.

Lake Tahoe Summer of 2013

Lake Tahoe
                                                                         Summer of 2013

Passionate

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pas·sion
noun
  1. strong and barely controllable emotion.
    “a man of impetuous passion”

Traveling

Colors

Crocheting

Hiking

Writing

Nature

Style

Historical Fiction

Realistic Movies

Kishore Kumar

Chicken Barbequed

Nectarines

Tea Assam

Shoes

passion

 

 

Cake

His first birthday  just after the month we had met. I didnt know what to do, so I asked one of my friends. She suggested a cake and a bouquet of flowers should do. I finalized the order , a chocolate cake and a bunch of 50 red roses. I made sure it was delivered right at the stroke of midnight. I got a call back a little later. He had to lie to his folks about the sender, nonetheless everyone lapped it up and were amazed at the huge bunch of flowers. Thankfully , no one had a sixth sense! He loved it, he told me next week in person.

Would I do it again? 5 years down the lane, I paid a surprise visit to him in his office at Omaha, Nebraska. Took a cab, collected a huge cake and a bunch of yellow lilies and took off to his office, with the baby in my other arm. He was surprised and could not stop blushing! His colleagues welcomed me in the office and we all went to have a birthday lunch together.

His birthday is round the corner again…Im planning a bigger surprise this time….shhh!

homemade-chocolate-birthday-cake

 

 

 

Together

New Beginnings Shot- Selfie

New Beginnings
Shot- Selfie

To grow old together with the person you love, admire,look up to and most of all respect, is the ultimate dream.

We have been together since last 5 years, which actually seems just like a year or so. Courting years were marred by troubled marriages on either sides but we sustained it all by staying together as much as we could. Staying together ,like all the possible hours of the day except while being at work, really helped get us that feeling of togetherness. It also helped us build the trust factor for each other despite the havoc s we were personally going through for all the years.

That determination of staying together no matter what , brought us so close that when it was time to leave as work demanded, I almost broke down. But then, those 2  years of togetherness would supply a lot of comfort and would further provide me a solid state of integrity. The never ending six months that we stayed apart saw us get back together atleast three times in total. We, silently decided, this was not the way we were supposed to be. Traveling across the country to be with each other was taking a toll on both of us. Moving in, was the next intelligent step. So there I was, chucking my job of 7 years to be with someone I knew only for 2 years. But, it would be soon that we would realise the importance being together. The year, that we spent together, yet away from our individual homes, away from the comforts of known surroundings and people, in a different continent made us get more closer than ever. That one single decision made us realize the importance of how much we could sacrifice for each other, just to be together. That also told us, in its own unique way that we were incomplete without each other, cliche of sorts, but true for our story.

Togetherness, in its own beautiful way has made our story. So the message out there is, go for it, if your hearts screams for it.

Make your own destiny with your beloved. You will know it how it turns out to be, only if you try it.

Cheers!

 

 

 

Recharge

 

Sunrise- Dallas Shot- AR

                                                                           Sunrise- Dallas
                                                                                 Shot- AR

Need it every once in a while especially with a toddler at home. Last 3 months were super hectic as we were relocating to US. Hubby came first to arrange for house and stuff before we arrive lest we are troubled. But the pain of separation for both, the wife and tHE son was much more than expected. Nonetheless, we roughed it out and were worn out after the journey across the continents.

To add to it was the missed flight at Heathrow and then to top it up was delayed baggage once we reached back. Yes the entire baggage was left at London, talk about the efficiency of airlines. Shopping for everything, jet lag, the toddler creating chaos, body ache and the need to rewind for the entire loop from last 3 months was necessary.

It took a whole 10 days to unwind, recharge and rejuvenate. Few shopping trips for the new home, some extra long hours of sleep, and extra cups of good old Assam tea helped. Hubby took care of the little devil with some extra trips to playground so that I was not hassled with his tantrums.

And I’m all set…for the American Dream!

Sunset by home Shot- AR

Sunset by home
Shot- AR

Moon

 

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Love it, when its full, love it when its new and love it when its half…. The shine of it when glitters over the sea and over the silver sand is plain awesome. It lights up the whole ocean and forces us to rejoice in the wonders of it.

Of late , have not got enough time to recuperate in the lap of nature but I still remember when I would sit in the balcony on a full moon light and immerse myself in the silver glow of it. Taking a walk on a full moonlit night by the beaches of Goa is ethereal.

Its amazing how moon has become a part of our lives through folklore, legends, festivals and dreams. Its imperative that we give so much importance to moon as it is an integral part of cosmos and more importantly of our planet. We see it every day and night barring a few hours and brilliance of its glow is unique and cosmic.

So, when I see the moon gleaming its shine from my window ,down to my bed, I only get mesmerized and wish it could stay longer.Its beauty is in its constant-ness, though everything in this world is bound to leave or go away, we can bask in the glory of a lifelong relationship with the moon.

Obsessed

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Well, I consider myself to be obsessed with freedom, straightforward communication and honesty. I have never come across anybody like me but yes, everyone, I’m sure is obsessed with something or other and if you aint then you lack spirit of life. Excessive obsession when hinders normal life, is termed as OCD but who cares as long as one is enjoying his life! Being obsessive about a certain thing in life gives you reason to live, to persuade one-self and to relish the joys of achieving that perfection which one craves for.

Some people are obsessed about health, some about neatness, some fuss about their loved ones and some really worry too much about being organised. Some women I have met, have been meticulously obsessed with keeping the house in a very certain way like pillows and cushions upright, tumblers sparkling clean, beds made 24/7 with curtains drawn or pulled apart at specific times of the day, some of them have been crazily involved in the lives of their husbands and kids (even when they are in their late teens).Some are crazy fashion addicts as they have to dress in a certain way for every occasion formal or informal.

Obsessions are involuntary thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in our minds. These obsessive thoughts are often distracting and when you turn them into a routine behavior and ritual and are considered harmful, they become compulsion and they then classify themselves as Obsessive Compulsive Behavior.

There is a line between healthy behavioral routine and an obsessive behavioral routine and we need to identify it so that we do not get trapped into a vicious cycle of obsessiveness which is alarming for us and people around us. Although the behavioral pattern of each individual is different and may have massive margins of variations, say for example, cleanliness for one person could be just sweeping or vacuuming once in a week but for another it would be like every time he sees dust on something he feels a need to wipe it clean. Both are healthy habits but it becomes dangerous when the later would put aside important jobs and would spend major time in cleaning the dust because he just would not be able to concentrate on other chores until he gets rid of the dust. To me, that is obsession.

Also,one of the major things that qualifies as obsession and is totally unhealthy for our mind and body is the inability to get over an ex. When one stalks, thinks, imagines so much about the ex that he does not live his current life, its obsession….dangerous obsession!

Obsession is good when it is used positively to get a goal in life such as a career goal or a health goal or simply when a goal for a social cause is set in one’s life. For me, I’m obsessive about having greens every day, going for hikes once a week, going real out of the way to help friends and setting day-to-day goals to get a most productive day.

Okay I missed it, some people are obsessed with food and others making money…!

PS- I’m obsessed about Mathew Mcconaughey and that’s because he gives 100 % to his work. He inspires me to work harder for everything that I undertake.

matthewmcconaughey

Apology

Sorry....

Sorry….Its not so hard

Small word but the most powerful one to make or break relationships, personal or professional. One word ,which if you genuinely feel , would change you forever towards some event or person or you.

Sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes we don’t, in either case when things go wrong one of the persons need to step back so that the relationship is not damaged. Most of us are caught up in out sweet little ego trips and are unable to render an apology, whether or not it is due. Over  a period of time and experience I have also realized that people forgive and forget easily if you apologize even when it was their mistake. Most of the times , its our ego which stops us from bending down but then why not if the person is an integral part of our life.

Sometimes I do remember the people I have lost because I burnt the bridges after crossing them. At times I miss them and wished I had apologized , they would have still been there in my life….

Life is short and crisp….no time for any ego trips really, lets just try to hold all the good people rest of our lives.

sorry handwritten

 

Dramatic

drama

Dramatic is Rakhi Sawant and the show called Big Boss. Dramatic is when you think you are are normally overwhelmed at some development in your life but the other person says,’ Cut the crap’!

Dramatic is when you have to be formal at some event or to someone, forcefully. Dramatic is, all the Indian soaps along with their soul stirring music. Dramatic is when you have to cook up a story to get work done in government departments in India. Dramatic is when you have to explain something which has not happened in real life but you have to because your boss will not sanction your leave otherwise.

Drama is bollywood movies which makes our lives so colorful.Come to think of it, without drama , life is lifeless and almost impossible.On this note, lets watch this one peppy number…Parineeti is one of my favorite new gen actor.

Broken ties

Aai Google images

Aai
                                    Google images

The first time Aai came to stay with us was for 2 months in January 2016. Because her son had stayed out all these years after school she never could stay with him.It had been more than 15 years that she had ever stayed with her son for so long. her son would come over to his mother a couple of times in a year or on a special occasion like diwali but had never stayed for more than a week. Aai longed to live with her last borne and hence as soon as her son arrived in India after a year of staying abroad , he sent for her. this time it was special, he had been blessed with a baby boy and Aai was more than ecstatic.

Aai was not keeping too well this year. she kept sleeping at odd hours and was tired all the time. she would not get into the kitchen for any purpose even to make goodies for her son nonetheless she tried playing with her grandson. Later on she would know that she was misdiagnosed for thyroid and was taking wrong medicines for a long time. after a couple of weeks of staying at her son’s place, she confided that in spite of her health, she liked staying in Hyderabad. She also started to confide in me. The bond between two women had started to begin and we would sometimes talk late into the night. Most of the times I would be asking for her secret recipes and the ones that her son loved while he grew up, sometimes the conversation would lead to people. people who were no more there in Aai’s life, her husband, her previous daughter-in-laws. Aai had 2 sons and unfortunately both were divorced and fortunately had remarried. She said at times she got concurrent nightmares about the divorces of her sons . She confessed her fear of her sons being cursed for their marriages.I would quietly would listen to the never ending tales of her and would encourage her to get out for morning and evening walks more often. She mentioned that she had one major regret in her life, that her younger son would not share much with her unlike her older one. I attributed this trait of her husband to the fact he had mostly stayed away from the house after school. Aai said , her son had been seeing his first wife for more than 5 years but he never mentioned it to her or anyone until they were ready for marriage. Although there were disagreements in the house about his choice of girl but eventually all agreed. Aai said , she had told everybody that she does not want to lose her son and its better that everyone accepts the girl and it really does not matter even if she was from another religion, caste, creed or state. Their family belonged to the upper caste in Maharashtra, the Patils, the warriors from the clan of Shivaji and were staunch believers of caste system since time immemorial. It was actually a matter of great disgust to everyone in the family that her would-be daughter-in-law was from another religion and caste. Somehow the family gulped it down with a pinch of salt as they didnt want to lose their son who they already saw so very less.

Aai’s health and the bond between us started getting better, she started confiding more in me. It seems , she never liked her son’s first wife for she dressed like a man and had no mannerisms of a daughter -in-law. She was totally overweight and would do nothing about her health. Aai also mentioned how she would make beef and meat disrespecting their family values of being vegetarians and that she would argue with her son about how she cannot leave eating meat ever. Aai resented these arguments between her son and his wife and knew she could not help the bitterness everyone in her family was facing whenever her son and his wife were visiting them. Aai resented the fact that her daughter-in-law never put Bindi or Sindoor or wear a Saree even on festive occasions and that she was always in salwar or jeans even if people came visiting them. On their first diwali after the wedding,Aai said her daughter-in-law went to sleep at 6 in the evening when it was time for lighting the diyas. All the relatives who came to wish for diwali were surprised why the bride was sleeping on the eve of diwali.

One time, Aai had been visiting them along with her older son. Both the sons were sleeping in the hall on a makeshift bed as Aai was asleep on the double bed in the master bedroom. Her daughter-in-law was supposed to arrive by an early morning train from Mumbai. When Aai got up in the morning she was shocked to see the daughter-in-law sleeping with her husband even while he was asleep with his older brother. ‘She does not have any sense , she is not of good character’ , Aai had concluded to me.

It was very difficult to comprehend why would someone hurt everyone in the family at one go. Why someone would or could slap their spouse, or even why they would carry on their ego trip when it was supposed to be a love marriage. Sometimes, when there are no answers , time decides to deal with the unwanted things. And so whatever had happened, did happen for good, I told Aai.

Aai visited us again this month for we were traveling abroad to settle down once for all. She looked good healthwise and mindwise. She told me to take care of her son and grandson. As I held her in a tight embrace, she got all her answers and I was content to see her equally content face.

Peace Google images

Peace
     Google images

Pleasure

Hogback Covered Bridge

                                                                 Hogback Covered Bridge

To be able to do the things that you love to do…is pleasure to me. People may have different pleasure depending upon their habits or hobbies.Habits like getting up late or smoking etc are not good for health yet they give pleasure to one who is habituated.

Come to think of it, pleasure by itself may only last for a few moments but it creates a good and lasting mood and memory of that good time which motivates us to look ahead with zest. Now a days with mostly hectic weeks ahead, we look forward for a pleasurable weekend which would unwind us.Sometimes even a good coffee gives us that break!

For me painting, writing, going for a 6am walk , reading a historical fiction book or having a phone conversation with an old friend is pleasure. Pleasure is driving Mom and Dad around for their regular errands or just cooking them a good meal when at home. Taking Riaan to the park or simply for a mid afternoon walk when he can go crazy running around is pleasurable! Pleasure is spending a week in a shack, losing track of time in the beaches of Goa.

Of course , nothing can beat the pleasures of grooving in a night club leaving everything back at home. But that’s been a while and Im not very hopeful of those good ol’ days coming back anytime soon!

Nonetheless, I find out something pleasurable to do every single day because life is short and we ought to relish every moment of it.

Goa Shot: Ani

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                                                                                    Shot: Ani

D for deja Vu

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Its that eerie feeling you get where you know, you’ve lived that moment before, but logic defies you…!

Déjà Vu is an expression derived from the French, meaning “already seen”. When it occurs, it reminds us of a place, person or an activity we have already experienced before. At times, it feels as if its a moment from our past life and at others as if we have already seen that sequence in our dreams before. None of these theories have any backing though.

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To first understand how déjà vu might have something to do with our memory, we need to understand how our memory works.

I have read that our brain is thought to have two memory systems- Short term memory and Long term Memory. The former has a limited capacity and processes incoming sensory information from surroundings. Information in Short term memory is erased fast unless transferred to Long term memory for storage.

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Our new experiences are processed by Short-term memory and transferred into Long-term memory depending upon its importance and impact on our heart and mind. So it seems that our Long term memory has an infinite capacity for information and is used to store knowledge of events that shape our lives and can be recalled in detail later.

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Though not fully proven, it is believed that déjà vu is down to a communication issue between Short term and Long term memory, like a circuit break. This theory indicates that the mismatch between knowing an event is new, but it feeling familiar, is because of sensory surrounding information is going straight into long term memory.This explains why a new experience can feel familiar, but not as substantial as a fully recalled memory.

To me this theory seems most logical and puts an end to the bizarre feeling I get, while being deja vu’ed!

So folks enjoy the glitch in the Matrix of our brains…

After all its just a short circuit and not anything paranormal 🙂

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C for California

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It was a dream…to step on American soil. Just that I didn’t know when and where would it be first. Since America had always fascinated me, be it ,with its vast mid-west , uber cool Manhattan or natural countryside of  Pennsylvania or its wild wild west….I was always in awe of its variety and its mixed culture.

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So when it came calling, the first thing I asked was which state is it. Well it was the golden state of California. By now I have lived 2 years in a row in California and a year in Nebraska. Both has its own beauty but none of the states of America can beat California for its rolling hills, Vineyards of Napa, beaches of its west coast and mixed culture of Asians and Mexicans. The food I ate here was of best variety, the clubs were cool and the trips to the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are unforgettable.

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The lakes (actually the backwaters) in and around San Mateo, the parks, the spring blooms on the roads and the hundreds of hikes I took in the state parks were just so awesome.

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When I look back to my memories of California, I see the golden hills, the beaches of LA and the glitzy glamour of Vegas and also the most beautiful highway of the world- Highway-1.

Must be grateful to God for making my dreams come true! California is a must visit place on earth for one who likes to travel places.

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B for Bollywood

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                                                      Sholay-The Ultimate Movie

I aint a movie buff but I do like to watch movies every once in a while. Some serious stuff, some realistic and sometimes comedy too. But all should be logical, make sense and have a clear message too. I believe movies are a medium for people to learn, teach, dream and of course enjoy a few hours with a loved one.

Back in time when we were young and in our teens, movies were the only means for entertainment, socialize and outings. There were no theme parks, or restaurants or fancy malls to spend weekend. Thanks to Bollywood, we had an enjoyable childhood. I remember watching movies with Mom and with friends on weekends and during summer vacations. Movies back then used to be good and full of soulful songs. Masoom, Sholay, Nadiya Ke Paar, Love-Story, Tarana, Mr. India, Satte Pe Satta, Ek Duje ke Liye, Namak Halal,,,,,to name a few made my childhood memorable with their masala and songs!

So much so that even after 2 decades or so , I still feel like listening to those songs. I think Bollywood as such has done a great job in keeping us busy, kids, youth, oldies all alike. Must thank Bollywood for giving us fantasies, dreams and faces to our dream guys. Without it, our childhood would have been a waste really! Mind it we didn’t have TV shows like friends or a Game of Thrones series.

Though now a days Bollywood churns out trash after trash, some movies are still worth watching. Like Rang De Basanti, Dil Chahta Hai, Ishqiya, Zindgi na Milegi Dobara, Talash, Vicky Donor,Taare Zameen Par, 3 Idiots,  Gangs of Wasseypur, Queen, PK, Tanu weds Manu, Piku to name a few.

So even if I aint a movie buff….Bollywood does play a part in my life!

Hasee To Phasee

                                                                        Hasee To Phasee

Someone I got to meet…!

This was the year 2005. The place was “Scotland of East” – Shillong. I was working for a Japanese company and one day I had to visit the only star quality hotel in Shillong to collect some papers my boss had left with the manager. As I was sitting in the lounge waiting for the hotel Manager , he called me for a cup of coffee in his cabin and left to fetch those papers. I was enjoying my coffee when from the glass door I saw a person sitting in the lounge with a couple of people surrounding him. The face looked familiar…I turned my back several times to check him out. Meanwhile the manager returned and I asked him who was that guy. He said,” Fardeen Khan…he is here for a shoot and is staying in our hotel.”

Next moment I was in the lounge with the manager as he introduced me to Fardeen. I asked him how’s he doing and if he would not mind giving me an autograph. I didn’t have a mobile back then else I would have had a picture with him! So it was just an autograph on an official diary! I went back home gushing…

Fardeen back then used to be a bit of a poster boy of Bollywood. He didn’t own even a single ounce of the acting thing in him nonetheless he was cute !!

It took me several years to outgrow that “Fardeen Moment” in my life. People would show no reaction when I would mention this event to them and then one day one eccentric friend of mine reacted “Fardeen , who?” Well that was end of it and thereafter I never mentioned this incident anymore to anyone. Fardeen, like many of the Bollywood stars went into oblivion in a couple of years ,almost. With no acting or dancing skills he quite didn’t get  a hold in Bollywood. Later on, I could see him doing some silly B grade comedies.

There are no excuses for being a moderate, regular or average joe. Not even being Feroz Khan’s son would help. This also applies in general, for life. Whatever you do, you gotta be the best in it.

Nonetheless, I would not forget those 5 minutes of my life. That was the closest I would ever get to a star. Stardust….yes of course I still have some shining on my shoulders!

PS-Lovely pair, enjoy the song 🙂

The Chocolate Pastry

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They were next door neighbors in their teens. She loved his cat and looked forward to talk to him.They grew up together before she left for the university. Quiet, shy, dimpled…he had become her crush in their growing years. She wrote to him from University confessing her love.By the time he replied she was bethroted. He had taken too long a time.

Fast forward 20 years, they met again on facebook. This time they decided to have a cup of coffee together. She took half day off from her work and went to meet him in his office. As they hugged, his face lit up in that dimpled smile. She gave him the roses. As they sat in his car, the skies opened up to pour. The gods were happy too.
She was in an abusive marriage, he could see it. He was getting married in a month’s time. She asked him what took him so long. He didn’t have an answer. Together they remembered their childhood days over a cup of coffee. That day, he taught her how to savor a chocolate pastry, forgetting everything for that moment. “First take a bite, then close your eyes, let the chocolate melt in your mouth, twirl it around with your tongue….and swallow slowly….don’t open your eyes until the end…!”

That day as he helped her eat a bite from his hands, a teardrop fell from her eyes, he wiped it with his handkerchief, “Don’t cry, everything will be alright”, he had said.

Fast forward 5 more years. She is sipping coffee and thinking about him. Did they missed it twice already?
She smiled as she thought about her dimpled crush from high-school. There are sweets things from your childhood worth a treasure.

She will always remember how he taught her to eat a chocolate pastry. She sipped her coffee and reached for her cell phone to call him.

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Grateful & Guilty

 

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Much before in time , when I was not fond of sweets, I would wonder how could people eat Jalebis and Gulabjamuns… and that too so many!In parties where there would be lunches or dinners, I had to save some pace in my stomach to eat the sweet dish.I was fairly a non-sweet person! I actually never really enjoyed my food too.

I remember one time one of my school buddy took me out for a coffee and he taught me how to eat chocolate pastry…dig a spoonful, close your mouth, close your eyes, chew ,let it swirl in your mouth….and then swallow!

Things started changing in the fall of 2011 when Ani came into my life. He made me eat my meals appropriately. At times,he also made me indulge in sweets. I still didn’t develop that sweet tooth.The only sweet I relished was Misti Doi in Kolkata.

It was when I was pregnant with our son, I started craving for sweets. Ani used to bring a packet of lovely sweets from the nearest sweet shop every week. I realized, it had become an addiction when I could not do without having a sweet after every meal. If there was no sweet, I would make my own, Gajar ka halwa, Kheer or simply Halwa…!!

One time when Ani was out of station, I freaked out eating a huge an ice cream brick all by myself! Fairly soon,  I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This was something which required to control my insatiable crave for sweets. I had to eat controlled diet now. No more sweets until delivery!

I was upset for next several months. So anxiously I waited for D- day. Arranged for a Boondi ka laddoo box from India 2 weeks ahead of delivery. Finished it myself once I was back from hospital. Ate jam, jellies,chocolates, ice creams, Frappes and freaked out again for next one month!

But better sense prevailed and I controlled my diet again. Realized I was not pregnant anymore and there should not be any unexplained cravings! Whatever said and done, I had my bit of indulgence of sweets for a year! Of course I didn’t feel guilty once I was back to normal.

Rabri Jalebi

So here’s a big thank you to all things sweet, for keeping me sane when the hormones created havoc in my body and mind!!

I still go for that Salted Caramel scoop at the nearest Baskins every once in a while!

I read it somewhere , “You don’t need to eat sweets if you are a sweet person”….may be I was not…I sure am now !

Cheers for the sweet tooth !!

 

 

 

A Challenge I have overcome

 

I belong to the category of people who are straightforward , painfully honest and extra sensitive. That mak244654-1es me lose people , good and bad equally. I have realized and have been taught over and over again that one needs to be diplomatic,learn to give a silent treatment and insensitive to lots of things in life. While learning the tricks of the trade, I have hurt myself many a times and am left to question myself- Am I being fair to myself?

So what is the challenge that I have overcome in my life? Being outspoken. My core nature is being that but I have learnt to be quiet and give some time to things that I don’t understand and situations where I feel the urge to speak up and sometimes revolt. This independent streak to speak my mind has been genetic and comes straight over from dad’s. I have understood that, I don’t need to react and speak up my intentions in every situation. But at the same time, stand my ground and ultimately do the things the way I want and perhaps explain it later with logic.

I have been practicing this, for an year now. At times I don’t feel like being myself but I have to admit that it saves me from unnecessary discussions, most of which leaves me frustrated and without any viable solutions and to top it up I lose relationships because after that I give up on people. I don’t get worked up and hence save lot of energy. At the end of such episodes of restrain, I feel glad and say to myself, ” whoa…I would have racked my brains out on this….”

No, you don’t have to be painfully honest and speak your mind. You need to be quiet and explain logically why you think so and do that way…in a very few words. I’m glad that I don’t cause pain to my loved ones now and really don’t waste my time with general people anymore ! Just that sometimes I miss being myself…!!

Try it?

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Grandpa’s House

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The other day I dreamed of my grandpa’s house. As kids we used to visit them every summer. Vacations meant grandpa’s house in the village in Assam , an eastern state in India.

The train journey back then used to be long, 3 days to be precise! But it was worth it…the bridges over the rivers, the towns, the villages and the fields on the way were beautiful. Me and my little brother would sing songs sitting by the train window and look forward for our annual vacation at Grandpa’s.

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It was a house made of bamboo, straws and some other organic material nonetheless it was big. We had like about 10 rooms in the house and a nice porch to sit out if it rained. There was a nice courtyard in front of the house and on the left the straw room for the cattle. On the right side of the house , my uncle had planted lots of fruits trees and we had plums and peaches in between some grape vines! There were wooden bird houses made for pigeons who would not fly away once they found this place with water and food all around!

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My granny used to cook wonderful meals for everyone and in those times food was cooked over wood and it tasted heavenly. When I saw this dream, I called up my dad and told him that I remember each and every room in that house and what fun times we had back then. As my uncle and aunts got married and moved out of the house, the house started to become empty. After Grandpa , my granny moved to my dad’s in town. There are times when I go back home, dad and me drive to the village just to look at the place that had this beautiful house and held together so many people of our family. Of course , the house is not there anymore but the memories of it is distinct. So much so that ,even now, I sometimes get a whiff of the house with everyone in it. If I had the time machine, I would go back and enjoy those childhood days in that house more than ever.

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I loved to move from one room to another looking at stuff placed in each room. Each member of the family had a room for themselves and there was a room at the back which housed the ducks and the pigeons in the night! There were two ponds , one in the front yard and other in the back yard and invariably we had ducks and swans swimming in it all through the day! The walk by the side of the house would take us to the rice fields and it was fun to run around barefoot, splashing into mud and water!! Playing with ducks, calves and eating raw mangoes, gooseberry and olives was so much fun!

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While taking showers in the bathroom that was made up of bamboo , one could have a look at the blue Naga hills at the border. The cranes at the rice fields would come to eat worms and tiny fishes. The cattle would come back home on their own at the dusk and get settled in their shed on their own. Life used to be so easy and fun back then. If I had a choice , I would surely go back to my grandpa’s house never to come back again. I’m happy that I can visit that house still , even though it is in my dreams now. The lesson is to enjoy the present for it never can be same again!

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Trip to Yosemite

With this another item in the bucket list was ticked off!!

This was in the pipeline for more than a year. But with the baby arriving, it always seemed next to impossible. Six months  later hubby decided , enough is enough….it was time to start our hikes and treks with the baby in the bag!

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We started on a warm Friday evening at 3 pm and drove to Fresno where our hotel room was booked. Munchkin behaved like a good boy and enjoyed the drive. Fresno was warmer than where we stay but I looked forward to the hilly terrain of Sierra Nevada and hoped for a pleasant weather next day morning. We always like to start at day-break but somehow with munchkin along , it took us a couple of more hours before we could be on the road. A very pleasant morning breeze welcomed us into the foothills of Sierras and off we started for Yosemite.

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With dreams and pictures of scenic sierra hilltops, I was with all my photo catching gears looking out of the window. I love to take pictures of the highways, clouds, skies, and greens along the road, barns and farmhouses all make me go weak in knees. Sometime while taking pictures , I lose actual scene to my bare eyes. In those moments I wish if I could have a cam in my eyes…may be one day I would own a pair of Google glass!!

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Splendid rocky bottoms of Sierra were in front of my eyes to devour and I clicked pictures like crazy. Once we reached Wawona, we decided to take a tour bus for Glacier point because Munchkin was not looking very good with the car seat!! That was one good decision and we hopped into the bus. It took us to see the majestic half dome and several other mountain tops which were visual delights. Of course, I had never seen such beautiful mountains all my life. There were lots of people with kids in tow as it were vacation time for kids. Kids were enjoying the cooler weather in those extra beautiful hills and redwood trees all around the way.Munchkin too, enjoyed his first bus trip extensively!!

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We decided to drive through all other points in the car. All other points at the Yosemite Valley -Tunnel View, El Capitan,Yosemite falls,Nevada Falls loop,Tenaya Lake,Bridalveil Falls,Valley View,Pothole Dome seemed out of the world. There were people camping at the designated camp sites, youngsters hiking through the hills and jungles and people strolling by the river sides. Though we could not do all of it but we did manage a few short hikes and strolls. I wish to come back here for a weekend camping and barbecue trip when munchkin grows up and is able to go for fishing with his dad!

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With pristine memories etched in my mind forever , I promise myself to come back to these magnificent mountains very soon.

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Something You Use Everyday- My Laptop

My laptop , which my husband bought for me 2 years back, has become an extended part of me.

Honest to my heart, I cannot function if my lappy aint working. My world revolves around it, be it updating my FB profile, checking friends, checking on world news, checking online pricing of commodities, finding out about people or places on wikipedia, places to visit, addresses, babycentre news, listening to songs and showing some videos to my bubba, talking to friends on Gtalk or FB, posting pictures on picasa, checking mails , learning new recipes…

The laptop is my saviour from having no knowledge  about things to having incomplete knowledge. Sometimes its a saviour from real world as it takes me to virtual reality of whatever I like to read, see and believe.

This year , my husband brought me I-Pad on my birthday. He expected me to discard my laptop and get on with new technology and be mobile with the I-Pad. Ironically, I could not graduate and I still cling onto my laptop.

So much so for technology….perhaps at the end of the day it is still the comfort of things that you have fallen in love!

My Desktop

My Desktop

Things about Summer

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Morning walks, evening walks, no winter clothes, frappes, icecreams , summer dresses, cool breeze ….

Wow, summer is my favorite time of the year…okay spring is the best one actually! Summers back in India are like scorching hot. But I still like them better than the cold of nothern India where I grew up. In Assam where I originally belong to, the summers are wet because the monsoon starts in April already! So the memories of rainy, breezy, and cloudy summers during my collge years are something that I fondly remember!

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Since we have moved to this part of the world, its been different and nice too. The winters are like bad but luckily I have not yet spent any winters here so this year its going to be my first. I dont like them…my husband always asks me what will happen to me if we were to move to mid-west or east of this country sometime!! I’m sure I will learn to enjoy the snowfall sooner than he fears!

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The onset of summer in California is marked with beautiful cherry blossoms and scores of other pretty flowers in the parks and on the streetsides.You know its summer when sunset is after 8pm and you have plenty of time to do your stuff. The feel of the cool breeze energises me while I take my evening walks now with my son and Ani joinning us on weekends. I can hear the birds chirping away at all times except in the noon when they too take a break and hide under the thick branches of the trees.

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Summers also reminds me of the onset of rains back in home. Back then , it used to be hot in Agra but childhood never feels it and we would eagerly wait for our school vacations during summers.

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I hope my affair with summer will carry on even if we have to move to a colder part of the country! Till then let me enjoy the summers of California which lasts almost throughout 8 months!

Last but not the least, a drive in the summers could let you see a lot more colors than anytime in the year!

Last

Favorite Physical Trait

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Well this one is tough…I do not want to judge people based on any of their physical traits. That would not be fair….

But when it comes to talk about the most important feature in our body , it has to be the physique. I like to keep fit and in shape. I have been using my size 28 jeans since 2 decades now. Okay I was size 26 then!

I have been walking like 3-4 kms five times a week since last about 15 – 20 years. That has kept my body and health in check. You really cannot do anything about other features that we have as per our genetics. Some people may complain about small eyes or thick lips, some may cry over fuzzy hair or a big nose.What can you do about it really? But physique can be altered as per your wish. You can put on decent weight if you are too skinny or reduce if you are on the heavier side. And then feel good about yourself!

I really detest people who are consistently overweight and feel no qualms about binging and being overweight. They do not realise that apart from being looking unpleasant and unpresentable , they also are in the process of harming their health. In due years, they would have numerous health issues. Fat and overweight people may be merrier or happier than their thinner cousins but are in immense health risk. They also are not able to inspire people to eat healthy. They really do not promote working towards good health.

So here we go….eat healthy, go for a walk and have a body to kill for ! You will inspire people, make some jealous , age slow and most importantly be happy in long run.

Cheers.

***I write this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

Simple Things in Life

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Honestly, a few good friends and some good place to spend the lazy afternoons…thats what life’ s pleasures are all about.

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Life’s treasures lie in simples things indeed. Mom’s food, a simple cup of her tea,sitting in the porch sipping it watching rains, giving grains to sparrows and hens at home…

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Watching a random flick on TV in the afternoon when alone, making that special cup of tea on weekends for both of us when Riaan is taking a nap, going for an evening walk and looking at the clouds and talking about future.

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Finding the phone number of an old friend and calling her and catching up with old times, wishing good day to a fellow jogger, smelling the rose on my morning walk, watching the clouds fly by in the evening sky, stopping by and talking to the old lady in the neighbourhood.

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Truly, life’s treasures lie in simple things. The very fact that life is short but sweet makes it even more important to love its each moment.

Cheers!

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Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day

It was the first father’s day for Ani. This time it was special for me too, for I was glad that Ani was the father of my lucky baby.

Honest, fiercely loving, caring for both of us like none ever, makes him a very special person.

It  was celebrated twice, one a Pre-Father’s day and then again on THE day. Who could be the best father in this world than Ani as he brought me a lovely pair of crystal earrings even though it was his day!

Happy Father’s day….to all you wonderful dads!

My Favorite Personality Trait

Being Humble

Being humble and kind is the  topmost quality I look in a person. The rare combination of being brilliant professionally and personally is hard to achieve. It is almost certain that with brilliance and success comes eccentricity and snobbish attitude. Almost all the people who are successful are rather harsh in their behavior and not so kind while treating others. That’s a baggage which comes along with success, I guess.

But today I want to talk about kindness. have you ever met someone who is super successful and yet super cool in his attitude? Kind and nice , all the more than others? I have!!

This person had been my General Manager at the corporate I worked for 7 long years. A fauji-kid, a bong , a dapper in looks, brilliant and a wonderful human being. It was such an awesome time to have worked with him. In the times that we are living, its rare to find such wonderful attibutes in the same person.

People say that you got to be strict and mindful in order to get the job done from your team. I struggled hard to follow it. Years later I knew, I need not be.

Cheers to the kind and humble people who make this world worth living!

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***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

Things I like about Spring

Cherry Blossoms  Caught & Shot- A&R

Cherry Blossoms
Caught & Shot- A&R

The pleasant weather, the sunny skies, the flowers, the butterflies, lush green trees, the breeze…

There are so many more things about spring! Well I think, it all begins with the festival of colors Holi. Somehow, in my mind I associate Holi with the onset of spring because after winters, that is the day when you can play with water and color.

Spring, back home in Assam, is sunny and breezy at the same time.  As pre- monsoon showers bid goodbye to winters and welcome rainy summers, spring brings the biggest festival of Assam, Bihu. People make merry, dance and shop and visit friends and relatives. Get-togethers are organised and in villages, the sounds of Dhol and flute mark the onset of spring.

This is my second spring in California.  Now the spring blooms can be seen everywhere and the temperature rises to even pleasant degrees. An occasional cloudy and breezy day alternates every second week or so. Its time for Barbeques, picnics, hikes and long drives on the weekends and people could be seen enjoying the season after a not-so-cold winter.

Spring is seen as a time of growth, renewal, of new life for both plants and animals being born. The term “Spring” is also used more generally as a metaphor for the start of better times.

Indeed, it is the spring of my life as we welcomed our newborn into this amazing world. Hope everyone receives their peace and joy in the spring of this year.

Cheers!

Bihu dance from Assam

Bihu dance from Assam

***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

A Smile that would not stop…

Daddy Time

Daddy Time

The most happiest moment of my life has to be the one after the birth of Riaan. No, not for me or Riaan but for Ani. The daddy would not stop smiling since he saw his first born ! The nurses, one in particular was gushing how the Dad was glowing with happiness!

After being with me for more than 12 hours in the hospital while labor was being planned and induced, Ani made a couple of trips back home to get my stuff. He was then back by my side holding my hands all these hours and supported me for every decision that I took while in labor. He would encourage me, pat my hands,  stroke my hair and kept telling me that its going to be over soon.

It was 2 am, when Riaan arrived, and Ani was beaming with happiness. At that very moment,I was so glad , I took this decision to have our baby. The baby has brought myriad colors of happiness in our lives. Riaan has brought us even more closer. Could there be any other magic than having borne a baby?

For me, life has become hectic. Its been a month now, the body aches and stitches have disappeared looking at the smiling face of Ani everytime he comes home from work. When I see the father and son playing, I realize there could not have been a better gift for us than Riaan.

A small hiatus from rest of the regular stuff of life and I’m back with a bang. Life is more happy, more fulfilled and with more hopes and dreams with two guys of my life!

5 things I like about Myself

Ahem...!

Ahem…!

  • Im an over sensitive person and that helps in being compassionate
  • Im perfect at things Im passionate about (painting/knitting/writing/cooking-sometimes)
  • Im a simple person and appreciate a straightforward attitude
  • Im health conscious and hence keep myself fit and healthy
  • I have limited friends and I can do just about anything for them

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Riaan- A Dream Come True

Riaan Anirudha

Riaan Anirudha

Someone Who Inspires Me

Be like Sunshine

Be like Sunshine

It has to be Tanmay. My General Manager from the company I worked for 7 years. He is a living proof that good people still exist in this world and that kindness, goodness, excellence and other super qualities can come in one package.

As a trainer whenever I used to train an experienced batch of executives or managers , I came across scores of  people who would swear by Tanmay’s name. Tanmay is a nice, warm person and does nothing which is loud or visible. His actions and his words were both in sync and the best part was that he also had pleasant looks! So while the girls would go ga-ga over his looks, I had the opportunity to work closely with him and realized he had a wonderful personality which was way beyond his good looks.

Tanmay was an inspiration to be good to all and be humble whatever stage or status of life or career you are in. He taught me to be honest at all cost, help people in trouble, inspire people to be good and treat all without any prejudices or pre-existing notions.One good quality in him was that he had all the time in the world for everyone who knocked his door. He never rushed through any conversations or tasks. I feel that’s a rare quality in today’s world.

Last time I spoke to him was on his birthday and he was busy making drinks for his guests. He sounded so happy to have received my call. He earnestly said he follows me with great interest on FB! It made me happy to just listen to what he had to say. I made sure, I told him that he was my ideal. He smiled and said , “Ab rulaoge kya…! ”

I strive to be like him, atleast bring in some qualities that makes Tanmay what he is.

Tanmay undoubtedly is one of the great persons of all times.

Be Good

Be Good

A Friend- Week 7

Aditya Clicking pics April 2013 , San Francisco

Aditya Clicking pics
April 2013 , San Francisco

My first memories of Aditya is of middle school back in Agra, in the 90’s. An irritating, lanky, weird, bi-spectacle d teen who had poker straight hair. He was in a different class but always was trying to meddle into my group of friends. I didn’t like him much because of his bitter straightforward attitude and his silly talks. He would not allow anyone else to talk when in a group and surprisingly even engaged teachers with his nonsensical philosophies! Nonetheless, he was well into my friends circle in a couple of months! He lived away from where we were staying but he would bicycle his way to play with us almost every evening.

Fast forward, 20 years, I come to live in Delhi and just when Facebook was invented. I got to be in touch with so many friends including Aditya. And because of the sheer coincidence of living just a few miles away in the same area of the city, soon we decided to meet over lunch followed by a movie. Aditya was not a crazy teen anymore and we both sat and chatted for several hours sharing each other’s live’s happenings over last 2 decades. He had become a Human Right’s Lawyer and was an active LGBT leader in India. He travels around the world to speak in seminars and meetings for the same.

Since then he has been there as a dear friend, helping , supporting and guiding me through the most difficult times of my life. It was he who made me finalize my decision when I walked out on my marriage. I remember very clearly when he said, ” Rinks if you never leave this rotten marriage of yours, you will never come to know what you could have gotten on the other side of this.” I’m so glad, I understood what he meant by his one sentence. I’m so glad that I have my soulmate by my side now and my life could not have been better. For me, life has taken a complete 180 degree turn and words like love, trust, faith, care, pamper, appreciation, affection , adulation, respect and fair has become meaningful.

From time to time I turn on to Aditya for advice, suggestions and to tell him how my new life is shaping up. He is happy for me and we catch up every once in a while whenever I’m in Delhi. He too is glad that I have found my peace and that his advice and efforts to reinstate my dignity has paid off. We may have grown up and lead our own individual lives making mature decisions and being good human beings but in our hearts we still remain the teens the way we were, in school !

I’m so glad that I met Aditya again after so many years and that life has completed a full circle since we were in middle school. Aditya helps me in soul-searching and like always has answers to all the things that I throw at him. Though sometimes the answers are silly , nonetheless it teaches me to take life less seriously at times.

He has been a thorough gentleman, a dear friend and wonderful human being.

Here’s to fun, friendship, school-times and gratitude!

 Aditya at Barbeque @ Parag's April 2013 ( Palo Alto)

Barbeque @ Parag’s
April 2013 ( Palo Alto)

***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

The City I Live In – Week 6

Sunnyvale (Silicon Valley, California)

Though its been only a month that I have arrived here nonetheless I can still do a decent job of writing about my city. This area is known across the world as Silicon Valley. The hub of high technology companies : Silicon Valley is a name given to the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay area of (Northern California’s) Santa Clara Valley. The cities that come under Silicon Valley are Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Hose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale etc and dozens of other cities sprawled across in this valley. The Fortune 1000 companies which have their Headquarters are the likes of Google, eBay, Cisco,Apple Inc, Intel, Netflix, Oracle Inc, Symantec etc.

Source:Internet

Source:Internet

Silicon Valley is the hub for high-tech innovation and development, accounting for one-third of all of the Venture Capital investment in the United States. Stanford University and its  graduates have played a major role in the development of this area.

The population residing in Sunnyvale is of mixed origin, mostly Asian (Indian, Chinese, Japanese etc) It also had Hispanic, Mexican and white people but the percentage as compared to Asians is much lesser. Sunnyvale is in a bit inland of bay area hence its less windy and chilly and as the name suggests ,it has lots of sunshine even in the winter months, which anyways the entire California can boast of always! But a trip to San Francisco , Monterrey, Santa Cruz or any beach side city would put you all wrapped up in layers and Jackets even in the afternoons!

Source:Internet

Source:Internet

There are lots of good restaurants catering to the diverse population of Sunnyvale and that’s a boon for its residents!

Sunnyvale has consistently ranked as one of the safest ten cities in the United States according to the FBI’s crime reports. From 1966 to at least 2004, Sunnyvale never placed below fifth in safety rankings among U.S. cities in its population class.In 2009, Sunnyvale was ranked 7th in U.S. by Forbes Magazine in an analysis of America’s safest cities.(Wikipedia).

Source:Internet

Source:Internet

During my last one month stay, I saw only one Police Officer on his bike. I have not seen any Police cars, Highway Patrol or random police in the downtown of Sunnyvale and this undoubtedly is the best feature of the city.

As of now, I’m enjoying the beauty , weather, food and safety of this wonderful city. Seems to be one of the best that California has and feels like next one year its going to be all the more fun and exploration as our baby joins us soon in Sunnyvale!

Also Sunnyvale will be always special to me for our baby will be born here in a couple of weeks 🙂

Source:Internet

Source:Internet

***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

Ringing in 2015

Sunset by the lake Shot- A & R

Sunset by the lake
Shot- A & R

Its already late to write on this topic nonetheless…better late than never!

The new year eve which coincides with my birthday is usually spent dancing,shopping and ends with a dinner of my choice. Of course then a cake cutting session in the middle of the night! This was happening since last 3 years, thanks  to my sweetheart and this year I wanted it to be a quiet evening. Because I was expecting , I wanted less noise, less people around and a quiet dinner. So we decided , we shall go camp in our favorite hotel a previous day, spend the evening there and ring in my birthday and the new year from the quiet room overlooking the lake of the city.

With 2 bags , we drove into the hotel and took a room at 10th floor. Down from the window, the preparations for the New Year Eve’s party on the dance floor was on full swing. I just wanted to relax on the sofa and listen to some soothing music and watch the sun go down the lake. The year had been pretty hectic with lots of good things coming in. There were a few incidents which caused a bit of heartaches too. Nonetheless, I wanted to decompress and unwind and create a still better beginning for the coming year. Dinner was sumptuous -Palak Paneer, tandoori chicken and Rotis with a green salad and Ani disappeared from the room to hunt for a birthday cake! We went down and had a look at the hotel bakery. It was sensible to buy the cake from the hotel then driving down to another bakery through maddening traffic of people getting out to celebrate new year’s eve. The traffic was bumper-to-bumper , the parks were crowded, the hotels were brimming with people….my goodness, India is exploding with people!

I convinced Ani to get just a chocolate pastry as cake would have become too much for two of us.

The ceremonial cake was cut at the stroke of 12 midnight, as the people down the dance floor started hugging each other and the hotel sky was lit up with a string of firecrackers!  Three years of togetherness and much of bliss and peace. Next day was spent quietly lazying and taking stroll along the pool.2nd of January saw me doing some shopping for husband, baby and some essential items for the trip to US. And by evening we were at our home sweet home.

Im glad this new year was quiet with lot of time for introspection and retrospection. There should be days in our life when one can sit back , relax , do nothing, feel the life go by, moment by moment and just live in the moment. Life is short and we have lot of aspirations.If we do not sit back once in a while,we will not realize and life will zoom past us.

This one is for everyone to take a break from routine, if its on the birthday, its all the more great!

Chocolicious... Shot-  A & R

Chocolicious…
Shot- A & R

Something Someone Gave You- Week 5

Time is a Gift - by Ani

Gift of Time – by Ani

Giving is always a bliss. Receiving is a pleasure too. Long time back my brother told me to never go by the price of your gift. Gifts are bought for you with some thought, money and energy and that is what should be appreciated. I have always valued the gifts I have received and have treasured them all.

Friends , parents, colleagues always give you gifts with or without occasions. My sweet hubby has been showering me with gifts since we met and some of them are totally invaluable. The most precious would have to be the gift of my life that my parents gave to me. I would certainly thank them for having decided to get married and have me as their first born ! For its’ because of them that I’m able to see this beautiful world , live and love it in all senses.

One that I would never forget is a hand made birthday card my kids gave me when they were very young. It was for “The World’s Best Mom” with lots of scribbles and colors inside! I treasure that and keep it close to my heart always!

Gift of Love

Gift of Love

***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

Family- Week 3

Love Forever

Love Forever

When we say family…the first thing which comes to my mind is Ma and Papa. The people who gave me the gift of life , brought me up, made me good enough to be independent,self reliant and dignified. We do not appreciate our parents until we leave our nests. A few years in college hostel or another city for your first job make you realize their importance. You start coming back to them, along with maintaining your study or job hours. Then you get married  and the parents take a back seat in your life , again. It almost a decade before you get out of your husband/wife/kids/career (read – a vicious cycle) mess that you are a bit relaxed to pay attention to your parents- your first family !

Ma and Papa are the epitome of love ,discipline and integrity. In the best years of my life that I have spent with them, they have molded, guided and loved me to become who I have eventually become as a human being. They, my family has played the most important part in my growing years. The fact that I’m able to live this beautiful life as I should, is because of them. Parents are and should be an integral part of our family.

Parents role do not end once we grow up and get married and start our own families. They remain in our lives as grandparents to our kids. They help them grow with their intense love and care. This time , may be they are a bit relaxed about disciplining them! But that’s okay, that bit is left for us to do.

I cannot imagine my life without my parents.They are and would remain my first family because I know even at this stage of my life, every heartbreak leads me to them and they do everything to get me out of it. Always giving and never asking for anything in return….isn’t it what a Family actually should mean?

Given the fact that there are no schools to learn parenting, I guess all the parents do an excellent job by making their family happy and by providing for each one of its members. Raising a good family is not an easy task however it remains the only way to know what our family has done for us and to carry on the tradition forward.

Family

Family

***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

Spouse – Week 2

I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

This is an  easy topic to write about now, at this current time of my life. But it was not always as easy. My life was a tangled mess of complicated emotions for a decade in my previous  marriage. It took away all that I had in my life , my heart, my soul, my kids, my belongings and most importantly my emotional balance. It took me long to realize that I needed to get out and get myself a life before I breakdown. I did what I needed to do but it took me a while to realize that .By the time I had bailed myself out, I was bankrupt by all means. I didn’t take a penny from him, I let him keep the kids, I paid for my own attorney and moved into a one bedroom apartment. Life has seen a drastic changes since then. I’m happy,  I do what I want to, my heart remains intact and I relish every moment of my life.

All this would not have been possible if I had not met my guy. One who let me know that no one has to live a tormented life as I was living and every single person deserves to be loved and nurtured. Spouse, better half, significant other, soulmate….whatever we may name it, is that person who brings in peace, tranquility and love in your life. He balances your life with his and takes care of each of your emotions. He is there around you every moment and selflessly dedicates his time for you. He teaches you, he learns from you every day of life and walks besides you in this journey of life. He loves you for what you are and more importantly  he respects your wishes. He gives due respect to other people in your life and never lets you down in anyway. He is that person who knows your mind without you having to speak about it.

He is my significant other, he is my guy!

My Better Half !

My Better Half !

Gratitude – A Blessing

Gratitude

Gratitude

I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

While Im a novice in blogging, Bikram is an old timer, I thank him and all such people who encourage me to do something worthwhile in my day to day life which is zooming away pretty fast!

Why start this Challenge-

  1. Life is Short and we tend to miss small moments. This will help in freezing the beautiful moments of life.
  2. To be Grateful is a good habit, it keeps you grounded and does not let ego enter your head.
  3. Ready made prompts always are blessings as you can start writing without having to break your head on what topic to write each day!

Something So strong

Lost...

Lost… Shot- A & R

Circa 2002 :I was teaching in a school and life had not been treating me good at personal front. The only thing good was that I had a job and my work place was 5 minutes drive away.I was managing 2 kids at home, a job and a broken sou,l after 10 years of marriage.

Amid st all the chaos that was happening in my life, one fine day a girl joined the school as my colleague. A beautiful, pretty young thing in her mid 20’s had a dimpled smile and a cheerful attitude. I liked the style she carried herself with. During initial conversations she told that she is a Hotel Management Grad and had married a doctor. And because he didn’t want her to be in hotel business anymore , she had joined this school. Ouch…that was pretty harsh. Leaving a prosperous career in Taj midway and doing something else just because your man does not fancy it. Well , it was a love marriage and I assumed that’s how they do it when in love. They respect each other’s wishes and life becomes easy.

It took several months before Payal and I would become friends.Once the ice was broken,we would go for evening walks in the nearby DDA park. I would ride my scooter to her place,pick her up and then enjoy the walk in the evenings. Sometimes we would go t the nearby cafe and treat ourselves with some lovely pastries! The friendship grew and there would be days when she would spend a night or two with me when her husband was working night shifts. Then there would be times when I would drop in at her place with my kids and she would make some lovely tea and snacks for us. Payal became a solace in my otherwise wrecked up life. No, I didn’t share any of my agonies with her during that time. She would not be able to comprehend and I would be too embarrassed to tell her my woes more so because her life was perfect and I didn’t want to cast any shadow on it.

After 2 years, Payal moved to London, it seems her husband had passed the examination to do his MD at London. She went away and gave me lots of her stuff which she could not take to London.She did visit me once in the school about 2 years later and told she had a 2 year old daughter and had conceived again. She got me some gifts  and went back to London…that’s about it. There was no contact with her thereafter.

Payal was gone and I was all by myself again. The pain and agony taking over my life again. Even though I didn’t share any of it with her, her mere presence in my life was soothing and I would forget about my problems. A couple of years later we were transferred to farthest corner of India. Life was pretty laid back there and I again managed to fulfill one of my dreams here- working for an MNC. As I immersed myself in my new found identity, I lost contact with Payal. There were no chances that I could have her number or she could have mine. Much later when we met again, she would tell me, her initial years in London were struggling.

Two years later we had shifted places again and this time it was in central India. I do not remember how much I missed her as I touched another crucial milestone of my life- working for a Telecom Giant where I would eventually work for next 7 years. Her thoughts kept coming to my mind every once in a while and I would talk about her to my current colleagues.I had kept her memories alive in my mind and heart as I knew it would be almost impossible to get in touch with her again.

Life was a struggle. I had been making up my mind these years. To be strong, without real friends and with 2 kids to take care of at home. Again, work brought in some respite.

One fine evening , on the way back from work, as I got down from my scooter and walk towards a shop to buy something, a man came in front of me and looked at me, I stopped and he said ,”Rinku ??” Oh my god, it was Payal’s husband and what on earth he was doing in this city? He was supposed to be in London! I asked him,”where is Payal….?” He pointed to the car and there she was! We hugged and were surprised at the way we had met in a new city. She told me her Parent-in-laws stayed there and she came there to visit them. That week went off like crazy. She visited me with her kids and husband and then I visited her in-laws place. It was so wonderful to have got in touch with her all over again.  We had missed so many years in between since she left for London but this chance meeting made up for it. We exchanged numbers and emails and promised not to lose contact again. We also had each other’s dad’s contact number in case we lose contact again.

Two years later, I was back in Delhi, the place where we first met 7 years before. We kept in touch via mails and if we could not then we would call each other’s dads and get back in touch.

Year 2012, I had made up my mind and had recently filed for divorce and had moved out.One evening , I got a call from Payal saying that her husband had divorced her a couple of months back and she needed my help. I pulled myself out of my struggles and told her to stay strong and that I too was going through the same. From that day , we kept in regular touch and supported each other emotionally. A year later, I had sorted out my divorce and was in US vacationing. During these 6 months in US, I could call her everyday and the bond between us got even more stronger. We both were recuperating from  divorces. We had different issues in our marriages but something seemed to be similar- the pain. Sharing each other’s pain and then trying to lift each other’s spirit in this hardest times of our lives brought us even more closer.

If I think of how we met a decade before and how we tried to stay connected to each other in different continents and how we have maintained and loved each other …..it seems amazing. When we met the first time in school staff-room , none of us thought we would become best friends forever-BFF’s….that’s what they call it right!

Ironically Payal and I share a similar life but to be each other’s rock has been a beautiful thing to happen to us!

So here’s looking forward to some more amazing times including growing old together.

Cheers to friendship!

Way back Home

Way back Home

Roseman Bridge

Love Happens...

Love Happens…

The Bridges of Madison County is the only book which has mesmerized me so much so that I have read everything available about Iowa, Middle River, Winterset, Des Moines and Madison County and all the covered bridges in Winterset. The book was casually brought home from DSOI library by Naom and she just threw it on my bed saying its a good one, since you love “Love Stories”. I never knew the impact of the book would have on me until I finished it reading it in flat 2 days. Then somehow, over the weekend I downloaded the movie and saw it on my desktop. I cried my eyes out…and Francesca and Robert have never left my mind ever since.

This was way back in 2011 and I had just met my guy. We had just began dating and the realities bit me hard. The attraction and connection with him were challenging my conscious and my heart was saying something totally opposite of what was shown in the movie/book. Probably that was the reason why I got so overwhelmed by this book. I was in a dilemma about being right and wrong at the same time.

“The Bridges of Madison County” is about two people who find the promise of perfect personal happiness, and understand, with sadness and acceptance, that the most important things in life are not always about making yourself happy.

The story  is set in a country side in the town of Winterset, Iowa ,where the farmers grow Corn in their fields.Their lives are monotonous and based around agriculture and some farm events round the year. Francesca is an Italian woman, who met her then future husband ,an american World war II soldier in Italy. They fall in love, get married and eventually, John brings her to his ancestral farmhouse in Iowa. The main characters Francesca and Robert are brought to life on screen by Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.

Such a story could so easily been gross and untasteful , could be reduced to obvious elements of seduction, sex and melodramatic parting. Streep and Eastwood weave a spell, and it is based on that particular knowledge of love and self that comes with middle age.Older ones do not declare themselves. Unlike their younger counterparts, the pair exercise restrain and wisdom. Particularly Francesca ,to save her family the shame that they may have to face in their small town where everyone knows who is having an affair with whom. Also there is a moment in the movie when Francesca tells Robert that if they decide to spend the rest of their lives together then their lives would return to the same old mundane things and they would never realize the love that they have or felt for each other. The only way to treasure their love was to stay apart rest of their lives so that they can hold onto that love for each other forever. What a beautiful thing to feel!

Richard and Francesca are not falling in love with each other exactly, but with the idea of their love, with what Richard calls “certainty.”

Clint Eastwood made the film from the point of view of Francesca. Her loneliness, her dreams, her desires, her frustrations, her day to day routine, her decisions and her life. After the success of the book, no one ever thought the movie will have more impact than the book but it did. It showed emotions of two people experiencing love at an unlikely stage of their lives and how they cope up with it and pull on with their existence, rest of their lives. When Francesca receives Robert’s will , she comes to know his last wish. “To be under the same Roseman bridge where they came to know each other.” She too wishes her ashes to be sprayed under the same bridge in the Middle river so that after life they could be together.

Heart wrenching, mind blowing power of love written by Robert James Waller and legends of cinema, Streep and Eastwood casting a magical spell on screen!

Visiting the Francesca’s Farmhouse which is open to tourists in the season and the covered bridges of Madison County are pending items in my bucket when I visit US sometime next year. Iowa it is next summer…!

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

Contrasting Cultures

Love My India

Love My India

North and East and South. West and Central parts are almost similar to North. It is India.

Different cultures, different food habits, different temperaments, different climates. Only thing which is similar is patriotism.

Dad being in Defence services, we got to travel extensively while we were growing up. That experience made up strong and resilient as well as tolerant towards differences between various cultures. I quite don’t understand whats the hullabaloo about being North Indians and South Indians. People got to understand , north Indians and Aryans and south Indians are Dravidian. East is a mix of Aryans and Indo-Tibetian-Thai-Burmese descent.

The recent video about being a south Indian is a funny one which actually depicts the geographical locations,foods and some personalities from film/theatre. Anyone who has passed 1oth grades already know where Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Cochin is! Those who have visited these states or stayed there for sometime also know about the details of the cultures and food habits. So who are these ignorant people who do not know a thing about this region called South India? The illiterate ones or the ignorant ones? They are the smallest fraction of the population and it does not matter what they think!

Artists like Rekha, Hema Malini, Kamal Hassan, Sridevi and so many more would not have been accepted by mainstream cinema if we didnt know where they are coming from. Mani Ratnam, A.R Rahman, Revathy,Tabu are the most talented people of India and they have made their mark in Bollywood and worldwide even though they are from down south. No one ever said that they are south Indians or Madrasis! The scientists from ISRO and other DRDO organisations (mostly based at down south) are full with south Indians and they are contribution for the growth and development of the country, so do we ever call them southies?

The food habits are way too different still in almost all parts of India you will find a south Indian shop selling dosas! In Hyderabad, I see local people throng for north Indian food everywhere. The cultures are vastly different but they are appreciated both ways. The people from northern part of India like the traditional culture of south. However people down south are giving up their conservative ways of life and younger generations are adapting to changes happening in the society.

Society will always have various bands in its spectrum. Its up to us who we choose to be.Getting out of the narrowness and black holes of our minds to ensure better thought progress towards the betterment of society is the key. Looking, thinking and wasting energy at what a bunch of negative people will do will not realize any gains.

So lets just move ahead with the changing times and so something substantial for the society.

Education

Some people confuse intellect with education, others do it with values. A high set of values, ethics, inborn intellect, civic sense, mannerisms, honesty etc are some traits which possible cannot be related to education. These are somethings we get as a result of how we are brought up as kids.They say,some of these traits could even be coded in genes !

There are times when we come across some “Educated” people with nasty behavior and harsh language they speak in their regular life. Then there are some who take several years to pass out from college and try to impress others saying that they are highly educated or doing higher studies! In my entire corporate career,I have met more nasty people than otherwise. All of them were highly educated from prestigious B-schools!

Good behavior is not about knowing what to do with the fish fork or learning how to fake social graces. At heart, good manners involve looking outward rather than inward, attempting to understand, and respond to other person’s wishes and experience. Respectful behavior is the opposite of bullying, cheating and entitlement.  Good manners embody concern for the comfort and well being of others.  Respect grows when an appreciative spirit is nurtured.

Respectful behavior can become a foundation for personal power: the power to achieve, to grow, to be a positive influence. All of these attributes begin at home. They are nurtured, enhanced and appreciated at schools, homes and society and a positive individual makes it a part of his personality. Those who unfortunately do not get these virtues at home from parents are the ones who lack them all throughout their lives. They never become aware of that they are missing because they have never known them.

So its important to teach, value and treasure kindness, honesty,behavior,manners to our next generation rather than depend upon society or universities to do this job. This cannot be taught by environmental features, it has to be inherent and one needs to just polish them while growing up, by parents and society we live in.

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