Flame

Shot by- AR

Shot by- AR

The first thoughts which come along in the mind with the word is a flickering candle or a lamp flame. In a dark night , just one flame is enough to lit up the room, to get everything done from cooking to reading. When I was young, I clearly remember studying in kerosene lamps whenever there was an outage , which was more than often but we never complained.

With the invention of inverters and generators,the usage of candles and lamps became less frequent. I don’t remember the time when it became a fashion to have candle lit dinners. Candles and their small yet meaningful flames lit across Jantar Mantar around the time when ‘Rang De Basanti’ was released. If I remember correctly, this trend started only after the film had a similar sequence. For every single time when people wanted to voice their opinion against the system, Jantar Mantar would be lit up in candle flames. Whether the issue was resolved or not , the mass had a way for their say.

Candles remind me of certain Diwali nights when diyas would get over or the oil would all be consumed before the night, when I opened a pack of them and put them across all windows and doors. They are less messy than diyas for sure. Birthdays are another occasions when you hunt for candles and blowing them in a room filled with lots of noisy friends and guests, hold special memories.

In terms of people, flames are always referred to ex! May be because , flames extinguish too fast. Although ex-flame always refers to an interesting, torrid and passionate affair even when it is remembered in a past tense!

The other flames that warm the heart and the entire surroundings are the ones that burn in the fireplaces during winters. Winters that are colder than a 1 degree or even lesser. I could understand the concept of a fireplace only in Shillong where each of the room has one and it has to be lit in the evening if one does not want to shiver in cold all through the night. Since India does not have the system of centralized cooling or heating, the indigenous methods like fireplaces work efficiently in colder places.

Last but not the least, each of the 10 evenings spent in Goa , 2 years back, were worth every single penny I spent on that trip. Thanks to the candle lit evenings which started as early as 6pm and carried on until mid-nights. Those wonderful nights are the one of the few extraordinary moments, I would wish to get  back to again and again…..and again!

Goa- 2014

Goa- 2014

 

 

Just books…?

still life in chiaroscuro: opened antique book, a swan feather and a red rose in a vase

It was a darn busy December as I was travelling to India with the baby and hopping from one plane to another the whole month and when I find myself writing this today….I wonder what motivates me really!

Okay , so about the topic. I’m not a avid book reader. In fact not a reader at all. There are just a handful of books that I must have tried and even fewer that I really liked. When I entered in my new house , it already had a couple of cartons full of books of all kinds. They were promptly sold off to the scrap dealer right before the new year 2013. Ani was not an reader himself but sometimes he likes to read certain kind of books, the practical , motivational and some business/intellect related books. So, I saw Outliers, Rich Dad Poor dad, Beating the Street,The power of now, One minute Manager etc which were neatly lined up on his table. He uses his idle time in the loo to read any stuff that he wanted to, not wasting his precious other times, which he thinks must be used in productive activities.

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He read “The Secret” the following summer and told me that I must get my hands on it whenever I have time. f course he didn’t know that I had cracked it before him!!He did not believe in suspense thrillers or any tales that he could not use in his real life. I on the other hand like to read History or fictional history as it takes my imagination to the bygone era. Anything that is real or realistic stimulates me. Fiction is a strict no-no although I have had my share of Mills and Boons times in my teens!

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I read some fictional stuff while I was doing my Masters in English sometime back and yes, English literature fascinated me at that time. Sometimes I think I should have done my doctors in English! But then , the life throws things at you which changes the course of your life itself.

So here I’m, reading books only when I’m not out to see places. I find it more rewarding and fulfilling to be a traveler and to experience the feel of a place and being with another human being in person rather than in the books.

Im a wanderer…!

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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?

outspoken-quotes-8

 

Green-Eyed-Monster

Peace Caught & Shot- A & R

Peace
Caught & Shot- A & R

Its been 3 years and Sara had been waiting to vent out her jealousy and anger for her current husband’s ex.It was the summer of 2011 that she met him for the first time. He constantly kept asking her out for coffee and after a month on a sultry Friday afternoon she gave in. They got on like a house on fire and before they realized Sara was spending every weekend with him and then 5 days a week !

After a couple of months went by, one night at 11 pm his cell phone constantly rang for an hour , when asked he said it was his sister and he does not want to take her call. Growing suspicious Sara started keeping a watch on his calls and messages. She realized , there were at least one missed call in the morning and wake up messages everyday. She believed him and took this to be utter sisterly love for him. Since there were no hugs, love or kisses,  she had no reason not to believe him. But it was after 7 long months she saw a text message which said, hugs and kisses. Sara grew suspicious now and confronted him. He pleaded guilty and said it was the girl his parents wanted him to marry. After a couple of more months not able to hide any more he accepted and bared out the truth. It was his wife of 3 years and girlfriend of 7 years. His marriage had broken down (earlier when he met Sara, he had told her that he was going through a breakup with his girlfriend!) and he does not want to stay with her anymore and it was already more than a year that he deliberately stayed away from her.

Thick into the relationship , Sara didn’t have a way out and decided to stay put to see if it works out. Meanwhile she gave him an ultimatum, no more lies.It was too much to handle , to know that he had hidden his wife from her all these months! But now she’s glad that he lied and that saved their relationship. Had he told her at the beginning, she would not have been able to endure it. She would not even have gone to meet him.

Next one year , Sara’s life went into a spin of sorts. Though it felt paranoid , but she kept a tab on him and his calls. He also confessed that in first year of courtship, his wife had visited him twice and stayed with him in his hotel room. Of course she was his wife and she had a right, but the jealousy pangs hit Sara hard when he disclosed this. That they were together and she did not know it. Now she realizes, if she knew it, she would not be able to handle it back then and would have broken up for sure.

That year 2012 was difficult as Sara kept thinking about their years of togetherness before and after their marriage respectively. He confessed, he loved her dearly but she took him for granted after marriage and it became too nasty. A man of few words, he didn’t explain much but whenever he did, he would be sad and quiet after that. Though during these times he remained with Sara day in and day out, she would still be jealous of her. He received her calls,texts and messages which he never returned lest Sara gets worried. She had clearly told him, no return calls or messages if he wanted their relationship.

There were times when Sara would see him get worried. She used to call his parents/brother/ sister and complained that he would not call her and be with her. It resulted in him getting emotionally tortured by his family. They were getting worried if this marriage would also end in divorce as his brother’s had a year before. Watching him get hassled, Sara would let him speak to her for sometime. On his birthdays and after every 2-3 weeks. It used to be a difficult decision but still Sara wanted him to speak to her so that he was not troubled by his folks.

Sara was spending days and nights with him and still bothered imagining her with him when he would go back home and his wife would also join him. Though this happened only in the year 2012 for a couple of times but she felt jealous that during those times he would listen to her, be with her ….He told Sara several times that there was nothing left between them and they didn’t even talk like before leave alone sleeping together. He had apparently asked his wife for some time to think about their relationship and told her to wait until then. She didn’t have any other choice but to trust him on this. She held tight to hope midst the feelings of insecurity, jealousy and envy. Here he was Sara’s guy for just a year and they had been together for 8 years if not less. Sara was so darn jealous of their time spent together. There was no explanation or justification for her feeling green that way. In those times she didn’t even know he existed in this world, but no one knows why hearts behave , the way they do.

It was not long before , when he totally stopped going home or even calling them. It took Sara the entire year of 2013 to convince herself that he now belonged to Sara. And that their past would never ever come back if she nurtured the relation ship carefully. Meanwhile, once he decided for the divorce,things became easier for him .

Jealousy is a green eyed monster and it does more harm than good. Sara had innumerable number of sleepless nights because of it. Its better if we can just let it go somehow. The insecurity, the envy and the possessiveness for people who are close to heart. Better said than done, it requires guts and bravery to overcome it  and be calm when such things happen. All is well that ends well but Sara could not comprehend it back then. He would constantly comfort Sara and let her know that all he wants is her and that he wants to grow old with her because no one had ever loved him like she did.Slowly and with lot of hard work, Sara became alright and was able to kick this negative feeling from her mind. It would not have been possible without his efforts.

So if you see someone getting jealous or envious, instead of leaving them on their own, help them out. It may not be possible for that person to get out of that pit on their own. Your help would go a long way!

Cheers for positive attitude and love that conquers all!

 

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.

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