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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Zealous Shopaholics Be wary!!!

Yesterday while walking in a mall I came across the store of one of my favorite brands.  Those were not my lucky moments as the dresses I really liked were not available in my size, while the ones which fitted me, didn't suit me either. I was about to leave the place when my eyes rested on the accessories on display. A small placard beside them read ‘40% discount’. Being a girl my hunger to see more variety arose.  So the saleswoman directed us to another corner, where some fifty or more pieces were shining bright.  Pointing at all the available collection of accessories, she told us that everything had 40% discount on them, while if we buy two we will get them at special price of $36. GK enthusiastically asked me to select two, since it sounded like a real bargain to us. He started probing for the best ones that suited me from the lot.  Being a picky shopper, I wanted only one piece from one store. I told him if I wanted to buy two, then they will have to be from two different stores. So we calculated their price after discount. It was $14 for one piece. I checked for the prices of all those I liked, and they were all the same. At the payment counter we again confirmed if all the pieces were on 40% discount on which the lady there said yes.  Hence, we would have paid six dollars extra (after adding the taxes) on the latter offer of two pieces at ‘just’ 36 dollars. We realized we were better off buying two of them separately than together. 
Thinking about it later, we were amused if people really fall for that. Probably to save oneself from the efforts of calculating the discounted price, zealous shopaholics do fall in such traps. The sound of latter offer was very inviting and convincing after all.  I never encountered such tricks back home in Indian stores because, Indians are good with numbers and want to be doubly sure they are paying the right price that is being offered to them. I am glad I brushed up my mathematics lessons at school despite the nightmares it gave me years afterwards.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

You are known by the company you keep

Have you ever wonder why people are judged by the company they keep?
This world is a muddle of diversity. Every corner of this world is composed of people with different tastes, priorities, natures, upbringing and circumstances. In this confused mixture of masses, we find solace with those who are in close proximity with us.

 ‘Birds of a feather flock together’.  While growing up, we were told by our parents to pay heed to those we hang out with. They told us that we will become like the ones we move around with. If we surround ourselves with intelligent souls, our orientation will shift towards knowledge. Our company throughout our lives will constantly, in its own subtle ways, be shaping our identity in future. It may also determine our social standing in the world. During all those years in school, college and job, our conversations, our psyche got tinted in the hues of those friends we accompanied. Those people who loved to indulge in extravagant life of materialistic pleasures, always tried to pull others on similar grounds to accompany them.  On the other hand, those who were interested in books and philosophy attracted the interests of others too to ponder deeper. People with lot of negative energy and thoughts talked about negatives directly or indirectly most of the times, while happy people attracted happiness. We are mirrors to each others’ reflections. Our natures, way to tackle our problems, our orientations and way of carrying out conversations are reflected in each other. That comprise our character.  

Some relationships have no flow of positive energy. They are full of ranting and negative thoughts. It is better to cut off those emotional strings of gloom and pessimism to be freed from uneasiness and tiredness they cause. 

Every friendship or relationship should contribute to one's progress. There should be an exchange of thoughts and good knowledge from both the ends. Luck and cheer follow the joyous beings, while difficult ones attract difficulties. Keeping a good company is good for mental and physical health. And good set of friends contributes to a healthy, happy and progressive life.

Friday, April 29, 2016

X and Y, beginning of more complex problems in life…

After my graduation, I received a call on my phone from my old school. Authorities asked me to meet them, telling me there was some confusion regarding my 12th board exam result. I was tensed, not understanding what possibly could be wrong. I reached the school office and met with the P.A. to the principal. He informed me they had found some error in my mark-sheet. My math examination had miscalculation and I didn’t get even minimum marks that are required to clear the exam. I had never heard of such a thing before. Three years have passed since my 12th standard results were declared and no one called me before for this. And now when I had cleared my graduation they were telling me that I am holding a faulty mark-sheet. I was told that I will have to prepare again for 12th class and clear the exam to retain my mark-sheet, else they will cancel my qualifications and I would lose my graduation degree too. I was sweating in terror, extremely tensed and I had no clue how in the world I will go through all those mind-breaking chapters of trigonometry, inverse trigonometry, differentiation and integration etc. What if I flunk this time too? A chill ran through my spine. All those chapters of mathematics in 12th standard and three years of my graduation started taking rounds in my head. When my head was about to burst, I opened my eyes in panic.
P.S. This was a re-occurring nightmare in my life that repeated at least thrice. I always woke up panicked. I dreaded this subject more when ‘x’ and ‘y’ accompanied numbers. Things never remain fun and easy after that, those alphabets began to clamor into complicated formulas and more complicated formulas. Have you ever noticed more complex problems in our lives began with the introduction of x and y!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

We, the women have our own names!

“The utmost of a woman’s character is expressed in the duties of a daughter, sister and eventually wife and mother. It is secured by soft attraction and virtuous love. If a woman has to have a particular superiority for example a profound mind, it is best kept a profound secret. Humor is liked more but wit? No. It is the most treacherous talent of them all.”
An excerpt from Becoming Jane (A biographical movie based on the life of famous author Jane Austen)

In the era when humans were surviving on hunting and foraging, women enjoyed equality where they used to go to foraging while men hunted. With the development of farming, when women could not participate in plowing, they started staying back at homes. Since women were not physically strong, they took up the charge of raising children and managing household chores and men became providers. The work was divided into two equals. However, from that era their conditions started deteriorating. 

With the change in time, culture and traditions were introduced in our lives and different civilizations were formed. Here women, who were managing home, naive to the outside world, were bound into traditional dos and don’ts. One thing was common in every civilization, they were taught to be compassionate, quite, giving and enduring. They were discouraged to talk their heart out before others while men were left free and independent of such things. Women’s beauty became more of a duty than of a natural gift to them. While men started making marks in the world, women were like water- adjusting to the environment around, having no identity of their own.

The rules of marital alliance were simple. A woman should be good enough with all other qualities that a husband and his family can accept. She should abide by all rules of marital life and should always serve her new family, even if it means to be at her own cost. She should have endurance to stand behind her spouse in all thick and thins. She should practice patience to receive the love of her husband, no matter how much time it takes. Before her marriage she was known by her family and post marriage by her husband’s family and then her children. She dutifully followed her parents, her husband, her in-laws and her children. And meanwhile she lost her own self, amidst all. A time came in India, where after marriage she was given an entirely new name along with a new family name, to tell her that now she had a new identity, that she no more belongs to the parents and family she was born and raised in. 
And what after that? Sometimes she was abandoned by her husband, sometimes she was beaten by her in-laws, sometimes even worse happened. On the other side, her family, in the fear of stigma, pushed her back to her new home. She was repeatedly told; she could only leave her husband’s home over her pyre. 

Then time changed, she became educated and independent. Men started liking the ones who had their own say. Sharper, well-read, wittier women took over the shy ones. The measurements of beauty were no more their fair complexion or small waists, but their independence and confidence became priority. Although some males were still orthodox or traditional, but majority preferred to be in the company of exciting, knowledgeable women who stood as equals. Slowly women took the charge of their own lives and picked up the lovers/husband of their choice. The talks shifted from 'who will accept her' to 'who she will pick' as her prospective partner. 

Meanwhile old traditions continued to ferment in the families. “This is your new home! Now that you have left your old home and parents, you should forget them and start a new life here with your new parents.” After being independent having an identity of her own, she was still fighting for where she belonged to. Now she was allowed to keep her name but she should be known by the surname of her spouse. Patriarchy still dominated, feminism was still struggling in the clutches of old traditions. Now, her in-laws loved her even more than those in the past. Elder women were more accepting of their new independent daughter in laws. But somewhere, some scraps of orthodox values and thoughts stayed glued to them. She dutifully accepted her new parents, new home, and a husband as her lifeline. But now she retaliated harder, when her husband got involved in infidelity. Even now her parents asked her to woo him and take him out from the clutches of another woman and her in-laws blamed her as a reason that their son had to go outside marriage. She still struggled with dilemma of how to handle these things. Soon world around her advanced a little more and she was told that her own life should be her priority and till the time she is not tranquil with her present state, she couldn’t take care of others. The atoms of compassion, endurance, love were still in her with those motherly instincts that were provided to her by nature. 
But now she wanted to retain her own identity, the way she was born. She knew that only her parents will accept all the follies in her and still love her. She knew that even if she was tied with a man of her dreams, she still was the same human, with same genetic structure and upbringing with which she was born and raised. The fact that she was her parent's child was immutable, so she decided not to give up her family name. Traditions still tried to interfere in her decisions, and tried to find a midway of keeping her old surname and new one in that order behind her name. But she didn’t want to make a train out of her name. She had a social circle and old forgotten friends, who could still find her on social media with the name she had lived with all those years of learning and growing up. She didn’t want to change her documents from her old name to new name after marriage; then her new name to old one, if ever they part (due to any circumstances); then again old to new after remarrying. She knew that she and her partner were assembled in one relationship but she still was who she was. Her old home and parents still hold as much priority for her as they did before her alliance, and that didn’t mean she would ignore her new home. She decided to retain everything she was born with, no matter where she went.

P.S. I told my husband that I would not change my surname after marriage, that made him curious. He had never thought about those age long traditional subjects before and hence he asked me for reasons behind the same. I gave him my reasons, and told him if all of a sudden he changes his surname, how would he feel, he understood what I meant. He felt proud that I wanted to retain my own identity in the world. A lot of my cousins also appreciated the fact and decided that they too would not force surname change on their spouses. Even if a woman leaves her home for you, she still belongs to the place she was born in. Her parents and siblings still are a priority and most prized possessions for her in the world like yours are for you. A marriage is merging of two families together and no one takes a backseat in the process. Respect that! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Vitamin-Sufficiency! #Smoothies

Back at home my mother always used to grumble about us not eating fruits. She was anxious about how we will satisfy the need of vitamins in our body. “You will live on supplements and pills if you don’t get careful with what you eat!” She always reprimanded us. 
Post wedding, I realized there was no one here to discipline me and put that plate full of sliced fruits to eat in my hands. I was now my own nutrition-tracker as well as of GK’s. Being a health & weight conscious couple, we both have almost no tantrums when it comes to choice of food (provided it is vegetarian). We both prefer home cooked food. For two weeks I took good care of balanced diet full of protein and minerals, along with a glass of milk to ensure the intake of calcium. But soon I realized we were missing on fruits in our nutrition. We started eating them but soon got bored. So while my fruits were about to rot in boredom, I decided to churn them up into smoothies. 
I am sharing here fruit based drinks that have successfully satisfied our tongues. Try them and do share here how they tasted!

Mixed fruit Smoothie

Contains: yogurt, 1 kiwi, 1 frozen banana, 4 sliced strawberries, frozen blueberries, a little orange juice, mango pulp and a scoop of protein powder.

Triple berry smoothie
(contains yogurt, blueberry, kiwi, strawberry and a little orange juice, whey protein powder)
I read somewhere it helps in weight reduction too.

 Banana-strawberry smoothie
Contains frozen Banana, frozen Strawberry, yogurt, orange juice and whey protein powder
(Note: Freeze fruits one hour prior to churn them)

  Watermelon Drink
This one is GK's favorite. Churn seedless watermelon, black salt, mint leaves and squeeze lemon in it.

Upgradation…the real upgradation!

I was planning to change my handset, when GK gifted me an I-phone. Some people are tech-savvy, some are mad for I-/phones while some are status conscious, I was none. 
“You know with that kind of money I would have bought one good phone and two additional lenses for my camera.” I gazed at GK. 
“Can’t you just thank me for that surprise?”
I smiled, “thank you. But seriously a good android phone with the latest technology would have costed much cheaper and served the purpose.  I am not tech-savvy. There was no requirement for this.” 
He was staring at me, straight-faced. 
“I am sorry, thanks again.” I bit my tongue.
My new phone had some trouble in it. So I was asked to use my old phone for the time being and he will take care of the product after getting back to US. 
We went to the mobile store, the very next day after our arrival in US. While getting our product exchanged, GK told the lady at the counter that I was a fan of android, and how he told me that I-phones are really comfortable, especially when you are in America. 
She took my old phone in her hands, looked at it for a moment, took out my card, looked at me, and talked in a very convincing and insightful tone, “You know you are getting a real upgradation.”, raising her eyebrows. Somewhere her tone had a hidden meaning in it.
I was oblivious to what she meant with those words for a moment. I still didn’t know what she said was about my phone-set or my status, but no one has any right to comment on either of them. I was soon fuming in rage.  Since I was very new to the place, I couldn’t respond to her at that time. But then I thought that ignorant lady doesn’t know the meaning of real-upgradation. My upgradation does not depend on these trivial things. It is no one else’s business on earth if I use a basic nokia phone or an android or an iphone, that is entirely my choice. It was time to call home and rant before my sister…

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tell me that is not romantic for you, please!

It was two in the morning, when I entered our room and GK was still occupied with one of his papers. It had been a month to our wedding. I was about to snooze, when he asked me if I would be interested in watching a movie. It was certainly not one of my insomniac nights. After fighting with my sleep for almost an hour while talking to my in-laws, I was feeling too drowsy. Even though I was least interested in watching a movie, I said yes. That is the beauty of being newly-weds, they eagerly oblige each other in starting. 
“What type of movie you want to see?” He probed me for my preference.
“Anything that is not heavy on head. Some rom-com or comedy!” I said smilingly, holding back my yawn.
He surfed through Netflix and played a movie.
I widened my eyes, “Why did you ask for my preference?” I said in a complaining tone, “That is not a rom-com, I don’t want to see any of those slow art movies. Well let us watch some nice romantic flick.” 
“Oh! I am sorry. Let me explore and find something else.” He apologized and started a new search.
“Ah! This one looks awesome, let us watch this.” He exclaimed, and played another movie.
I looked into his eyes, sharply, intensely with a stern face. And after a second turned my face to the opposite side and slept. He had selected MI-3, an action packed movie this time.
“What happened? You don’t like this one? Is it not good?” He was asking me. “Are you upset? Why are you not answering?”
“Let me sleep.” I spoke hiding inside the quilt, “switch off the lights.”
He had heard about abrupt female mood-swings. 
That was his idea of romance. Men are certainly from Mars. Within a month I realized I was married to a Ph.D., they have a very different idea of romance!!! 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sea Lions, Seals and Sea Otters

I am very fond of natural excursions and enjoy the flora and fauna around.  Gk knowing about this fact, planned a trip to Monterey, California for my birthday celebrations. Our plan was to do whale watching, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium (among the top ten of the world’s most amazing aquariums), enjoy 17 miles Drive (famous for its scenic beauty along the pacific grove) and visit some more nearby places. Unfortunately, all the tours to whale watching were called off due to bad weather condition, but despite the continuous rains we visited all other places. 
At 17 miles drive I was awed with the picturesque view and looking at sea lions and seals for the first time added to my delight. They were in many, resting on a distant rock mountain in the middle of the sea. 

The very next day while walking in the city, I saw seals again lazing and smiling, enjoying the weather outside. This time they were closer, pretty closer. I couldn’t stop smiling looking at those cute creatures. We had a thing in common, I noticed, for both of us that afternoon nap was a bliss. 

On our stopover to Monterey Bay Aquarium we saw a huge number of visitors were standing outside with lot of oohs and aahs. After reaching there we found out that pregnant wild Sea Otter took shelter in the premise of the aquarium to give birth to a new born.  After giving birth, mother Otter was constantly licking her newborn for hours to fill the pup’s fur with air so it can float and not sink. 

Life comes up with such lovely surprises that makes us a story teller. We had witnessed one such surprise a while ago…

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Red Truck...

It was the evening of Saturday. The clock struck six. After a busy day we were going to the office of our internet provider to return our old set top box. The vehicles on the road were moving at their regular speed of sixty-five miles per hour without much traffic around. It was a pleasant evening, city was basking under the warm sunshine that was coming out from partially clouded sky. We both were tied up in our regular conversations with a zing of perpetual humor. As we slowed down our car after noticing the traffic signal turning red, a red truck surpassed us in a hustle. And then it stopped with sudden jerk at the light. We were slowly approaching the signal. 
“This man, he looks foolish. He is going to hurt somebody,” soon as GK spurted out, the man turned his red truck from middle lane to right one in haste, pressed break, pressed race, pressed break and BAM… a brand new navy blue SUV, which was calmly waiting at the red signal, was knocked in its buttock. This blue beauty that didn’t have a number plate yet, evidently had its first steps on the road. 
The man reversed his red truck a little and promptly escaped from the event. 
“Tch! Tch! Oh my God! That has happened with me too, back at home.” I paused a little, “but not this bad!” I said looking at the deep dent that new SUV had just witnessed. Two minutes later the owner was talking on phone, standing beside his wounded car on the other side of the signal. 

“Do you know some people have told me that Red cars have higher rate of insurance in America, I am not sure though.” he informed me. 
I took out my phone and checked the internet. It was a myth! 

  Image: Google

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Quilt Maker

Sitting at one corner of her small shack, she was devotedly working under the dim light of a lantern at one in the night. For past few years she was dreadfully trying her best to get out of the abyss of poverty and hunger. She knew nothing except sewing and she has been surviving on the denominations she earned after hemming the clothes of people in her locality. Her fingers had turned red and numb and the impression of needle could easily be seen on her index finger. Her vision started becoming hazy, but there was no sleep in her eyes. She moved her eyes around her room, squeezed them a little with her hands and resumed her work. She was sewing continuously for ten hours now. It was her second quilt in a day, trying her best to do it perfectly and as quickly in time. She hadn’t eaten anything since afternoon, not even a drop of water. Two days back a man saw her work, and gave her an order of fifty quilts in a week. He told her he would sell them to people in the city far from her village. This was her chance, a chance that life gives to everyone at least once, to get out of one’s miseries. Her shack was colder than the weather outside and she could continuously hear the sounds of strong winds passing by. But she could hardly feel those chills, her mind was warm with the thoughts of better tomorrow, the days she had been dreaming about seemingly from the ages. Now was an opportunity to get rid of her wretched life, for the better life of her only daughter who was silently sleeping besides her. If only she could sew fifty of those in a week, she would get her next order after its successful sale. 

Q is for The Quilt Maker on April 20
Image Credits: Google

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Perks and Costs of living with a Ph.D.

Surrounded majorly by Ph.Ds, I have decided to dedicate a post to them. Hopefully many of you would be able to relate with atleast one of them and have a good laugh over it. 
Here are the Perks and Costs of living with a Ph.D.

P is for Perks and Costs of living with Ph.D. on April 19

Monday, April 18, 2016

Omen- A tale of an inauspicious man!

Once a man in the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar became unpopular as a bad omen. The news spread in the entire kingdom that whoever looks at his face in the morning, encounters a day full of disasters. People started abstaining themselves to came across him. Soon it became challenging for him to step out of his home. This news soon spread like a fire and went into the ears of emperor. Akbar thought to himself that no man in this world could be unlucky to others. That was a thing of superstition. So he called him to stay for a day in his Palace. He decided to see his face first in the morning to prove that superstition wrong and do justice to the poor man. 
This man, in a loss of hope, was happy to think that life was not so cruel to him, that after being forbidden by friends and society, his King was there to take care of him and to prove everyone wrong. 
Next day, as was decided; he was presented before the emperor soon after the sunrise. Akbar welcomed him and assured him that he will prove everyone wrong. He asked him to relish his stay in the palace for the whole day. 
This man filled with gratitude, thought to himself, “How many people are fortunate enough to live with a king in his palace for a day!” He thanked his God again and again. 
An hour later, while using a knife, Akbar injured his finger and blood started flowing out. Looking at his wound, he became so mad, that the face of that unlucky man came in his mind first. Filled with rage he asked his servants to tell his family and entire kingdom that a man who brings bad luck to the world, has no right to live. Hence he will be hang on to death in the following evening before the entire kingdom. 
This man after hearing the news, started asking for forgiveness, thinking about his family, his children.
When his wife heard about the news she ran to Birbal for help (who was one of the advisors of the Emperor, famous for his presence of mind and wits). She pleaded him to save her husband and told him about the whole incident. Birbal assured her that he will do something. 
An hour before the execution, Birbal reached the palace, and heard the whole story from the mouth of emperor. “I saw his face first in the morning and had injured my fingers. He is the sign of bad omen to the entire kingdom, he brings bad luck to people.” Akbar confirmed in a robust voice. 
“Respected emperor, if you permit, can I ask a question from this man too before you hang him to death, “ Said Birbal.
Do that soon, we need to be freed from him as soon as we can, declared the king permitting Birbal for interrogation.
“Dear man” said Birbal, “our emperor saw your face in the morning and you have brought such a bad luck to him that he wounded his finger. Whose face did you see first this morning?
The man had a smile and ray of hope, “The emperor’s”. 

Birbal then moved towards the emperor, “Whose face is more inauspicious, his, who caused you a wound, or yours who has brought him near to death?” 
Emperor realized his mistake and the man was released. It was declared that anyone who will regard this man as a bad omen would be imprisoned.
Later Akbar thanked Birbal of stopping him from the sin he was about to commit.
O is for Omens- A Folktale

P.S. An excerpt from the very famous folktales of Akbar and Birbal, I read during my childhood.
Image Credits: Google

Sunday, April 17, 2016

No English Please!

English in India has its own form. Based on the local accents, they write the way they say it. I am sharing here three images that may tickle your funny bones.

This is how you translate in Punjab/i... Tiny Tots becomes  Tinni Totas!!!
Photo Location: Karnal, Punjab.

 In Gujarat this joint preferred to write English in their Gujarati accent- Non Vage & Chineez- Test of your choice! (Non-Veg & Chinese- Taste of your choice)
Photo Location: Junagarh, Gujarat

And there was this place in Allahabad/Pune I don't remember it now, where they manufacture special Beer for children!

I missed clicking a few photographs. There was one shoe shop in Delhi where the beautifully made sign board read Sleepers here in Bold! ,
Probably you have witnessed these a lot in India while traveling. If you have any such memory and can't get it out of your mind, do share it here too :)

Image: Google
N for No English Please
If you want to add your image to this post, do write to me on any of the links on Find me section of this blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Monkey Connection

“You know you have a monkey mind…”, He was speaking to me over phone.
“That doesn’t sound like a compliment”, I squeezed one of my eyes and raised a brow upward, “we are not married yet. So you should weigh your statements knowing about the possible repercussions of the same…” I cautioned him mischievously.
He chuckled. He explained further in a diligent tone, “You do exactly opposite of what you are told. You are indecisive, you jump from one thing to another very quickly. That is a monkey-mind!

“Oh Please!” I became defensive, “I don’t always do the opposite of what I am told… I follow my mind which is not of a monkey for sure.”
That day I googled the definition of Monkey mind. 

And that night I introspected intensely, whether or not he was true! 
I have been a little indecisive for sure, but I am not restless and blah! 
A year passed, we were married now.
He came from work, fairly amused on something, “Show me your wrist.” he said enthusiastically.
“Why?” I was perplexed.
He grabbed my hand and headed me to the couch of our living room. I will tell you something really cool about yourself.
Being interested in palmistry I smiled and showed my palm with a cheerful face, ready to listen something cool about me.
Now touch your pinky finger to your thumb… 
I did what I was told to, staring at his face, still beaming with excitement.
“Woah! Look at that”, He exclaimed in exhilaration, “You got a monkey gene still left in you…”
“That is gibberish.” I was frowning annoyingly. My expectations and imagination went kaput suddenly.
He showed me his wrist it was plain while mine had a small muscle emerging out after joining my thumb and my pinky finger. He showed me this video:

In a heat of revenge all I could say was, “You love eating bananas and I hate them, you have a hidden gene too…”
It was even, at least in my own mind!

Lagging Behind…

We fanatically run hard. Hard enough to stay ahead, trying our best not to come last. Because the word ‘Last’ is a stigma in the society, in fact in the entire world. We have been taught since our infancy that ‘last’ is associated with ‘losers’. While we either look down upon those who lag behind or we push them hard to run with us. We never think that it could be possible, a person, who we condemn as a failure, actually may not be the part of this mad-rat-race. One of my uncles, my father’s close friend Mr. Anupam Mishra gave us a wonderful perspective of looking at people coming last with utmost ease and simplicity. I have mentioned him previously in my post about Wastage- Habits, Lessons and Introspections. He is an environmentalist and water conservationist [Read his full bio here: Anupam Mishra on TED or find him on wikipedia]. He said, why parents today can’t accept the last position of their children anywhere. They harass and burden their children sometimes to score highest instead of motivating them to learn and gain knowledge without worrying about their scores and position in the class. If my child comes first, somebody’s will come last too. Why do we think that someone else’s child should come last and not ours! Why we can’t accept it is our child this time who lagged behind. We always expect it should always be our child at the top, may be because we care about this world a little too much. We should surely motivate our children to perform better, but we should accept them graciously even if they are not able to. There must be something unique about them that we can’t see today, that the scores can’t tell us either. 

Everyone finds their own path sooner or later in life. Every one succeeds with their own pace in the world, at the pace one wants to, not the pace other’s think one should. No one is lagging behind, they prefer to stroll and enjoy the beauty around than running fastest and missing out on most precious life events.

L is for Lagging behind on April 14

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Krishna- about a house-maid in India

“Krishna, she is getting married. We will need you for whole days here.” My mother was speaking to our house-maid, “Don’t take any leave in December.” 
“What! You will not be here.” She stared at me with a little distress first. Soon after she realized it was actually a good news she congratulated me. 
“Where will you be going after marriage?” She asked me out of curiosity. 
“Very far from here Krishna. It will be outside India, as they say to a land that is across the seven seas.”

She is not much educated and hence she cannot comprehend much about Geography. Krishna is a hard working woman in her mid-forties. Born to the poor class of India, she earns her bread from cleaning homes of the people. While working, her mind is dedicated and her hands move hurriedly. On her single handed earning (which is approximately Rs. 100 per two hours of her time she spends in cleaning every home) she pays her dues and feeds her children.  Along with this she has to look after her husband suffering from lung infarction, admitted in a government hospital from many months now. Even after her hardships there is no sign of despair and fatigue on her face. 
“Krishna how is your husband now? Is your daughter happy back at home?”, were the regular questions from us. Sometimes while changing the television channel we used to laugh together on some specific movie scenes, or sometimes she used to share her views on the current news that was being aired on television. 
From last few years we became too dependent on her with our household chores. Her nature suited us the most. She never took a day off without informing us in advance. 

After my relocation, I received a call from a close friend. 
“How are you doing miss? Enjoying Amrika? He said exuberantly.
“Ah! People say life is better here. But we have to do everything on our own. I miss my maid Krishna here.” I said frivolously. We both laughed at that moment. 

But when I thought about it later, I felt bad about myself. How easily I talked about my own comfort, especially when we are provided with the machines for everything. There is no daily cleaning and mopping the floors either. I didn’t realize at that point of time I enjoyed such luxury because someone was so underprivileged in my own land that she had to clean the floors and wash dishes to survive daily. Probably life is much better here that more people are self-sufficient and no Krishna has to live such a marginalized life.

P.S. Some people contempt their house-maids and speak with them in very condescending tone. For those, they always should remember, there is a never-ending story of tough times and hardships about them. They have been beaten  mercilessly by their fathers or their husbands or both. They were deprived of the equal rights in their childhood. Some of them starts working at an early age of eight years. After working throughout their lives they are not able to save enough for their old age and are sometimes abandoned by their children in times of need. Life never gets easy for many of them. They should be treated humanely at least!
Image Credits: The Hindu, Google

Monday, April 11, 2016

Juxtaposition- A face behind every face

We all have untold tales, concealed truths, suppressed feelings, unrealized dreams and longing for liberation, which are veiled behind our face...
J is for Juxtaposition- a face behind every face on April 11
P.S. I haven't sketched this image perfectly but I think it is clearly speaking what I wanted to say.

When I doesn’t exist

I was still procrastinating to prepare dinner, which I always do an hour before GK comes back at home from his work. Lying on my stomach I was so engrossed in reading something online that I lost the count of time. That day he came home early than usual.
“Hey! Why didn’t you call me before leaving from there? You must be hungry.” I was startled with his before time arrival, “Let me quickly make something for you.” I rose from the couch hastily. 
“Relax.” He said, urging me to sit back, “I will prepare dinner tonight.”
“I didn’t do anything today. There was no work at home. You have just arrived, give me only half an hour.” I insisted.
“Even my day was relatively less demanding today. I am not fatigued. You should sit and continue to do whatever you were doing and I will cook for both of us.” 
I always marveled why some relationships stand unruffled during highs and lows in life while some of them fall apart even in the most ordinary circumstances. My still new, four month old relationship has made me realize about something good. I have noticed that ‘I’ doesn’t exist between us. That day he could have simply said that he was tired and rested thereafter. Who doesn’t like to laze around! But he chose to work instead. We cooked together that night. That often happens here along with many other such things. And there is no expectation between us either. It could be the initial phase of our relationship, but the beauty of it today is that there is no ‘I’ between us but ‘we’ or ‘you’. Life becomes much easier when one knows that other person is there to take care of them, and then one doesn't feel the need to ponder about oneself. 
Image: Google
I published a story a year ago from our old Hindu Texts about Selflessness (you can read it here), which concluded:
We can become totally selfish, thinking about our good, our comfort, ourselves, ignoring the other person. And in long run remain dissatisfied, unattended and isolated. Or we can care about others and get love and care in return. The one who works selflessly never walks alone.
I is for When 'I' doesn't exist on April 11.
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