Monthly Archives: September 2011

“Free to be me?!”..trying to…

I have been in a pensive mood of late. More of self-contemplation, I guess.

When was the last time, I had put my hair down and danced to the music? (Not literally, I mean here!!) It’s been a long time.

Why do have to conform rigidly to certain rules of the society? Like not go for a walk in the middle of the somewhere, in broad daylight.
I mean I’m just walking; I don’t have to explain why or where I am from. Nor does anyone have to focus on me using a telescope; I definitely am not in league with anyone’s conspirators. I barely have time to sleep. I assure I am not paranoid. If you haven’t experienced it, all I can say is welcome to the “small town life!!”

Why do I have to paste a smile on my face when really that’s the last thing I want to do? No I can’t just get up and go, I have to do this social nicety else my Mom is going to clobber my hearing.

Why can’t I sing at the top of my voice when I am alone at home? And why can’t I hog myself on pizza and beer once a while. (Alright, minus the beer and add diet coke.) It’s very unladylike, says grandma. And no madam, no T-shirts and jeans at home. (Tsk, tsk and more unladylike sighs!!)

Well, that’s me. I am clumsy at times. And I love to do crazy things especially hollering at the top of my voice, in the college and freaking the hell out of my lobby mates. Or sitting on the terrace, with my legs swinging out (the matron had palpitations, I wonder why!!). Or fooling around on with my nephew’s Lego set and spraying water colors around (it’s washable, the clothes and the walls!!).

Looking down the lane, sometimes I wonder, why is it that we try to fit the role of a “perfect” lady or gentleman. I mean do we really have to be perfect 24 x 7. Why can’t we just say “no” once a while and just dance to our own tune. All we have to keep in mind is not to step on any one’s toes. Technically, there is no one holding us to the rope and telling us to do this or that. Yet there is silent need within all of us to conform to certain rules that we really don’t have to. Why? Why are we trying to fit into a certain type of mould? Why do we have to be stereotyped into a certain behavior or mode of conduct?

True, society demands us to adopt a code of conduct for living. But when it starts to get on my own nerves and question my own sanity, all I really want to say is why we have to let ourselves get strangled by perfection. No one is perfect. In fact, to err once a while at least, is human.

Sometimes, I think freedom is technically an ironical concept. We are all free as per the different laws in our societies and lands? Yet are we free to be ourselves. Are we free to make mistakes? Are we really free to follow our own mind and heart?

I’ve heard it’s not a crime to be perfect, but is it criminal to be “un-perfect” or rather different and yourself?

Who decides about perfection anyways?


My “me-time” here…

This is one of my favorite time of the week. (Oh yes, unfortunately, I don’t get to do it on a daily basis!!)

To give myself some “me-time” that is. Oh to do nothing, but blissfully close my eyes and drift into the spaces of my mind. Sometimes, I feel like listening to music, else drift myself in a book (speaking of which, I have a long pending list of books to be read. I really need some inspiration here!!) Or get engrossed in a movie, the good old classics would be nice. (Just saw My Fair Lady twice, loved it!!) But whatever it is; it is but anything related to work.

My recent new favorite cozy corner at home is my wicker chair. I know it sounds quaint, yet it feels heavenly to put my feet up and just feel the day swing by. We all need our own cozy corners to lose ourselves into. For me to maintain my sanity, give me my “me-time”, at least once a week. If you don’t cut some slack for yourself, who else will to do so.

For, “Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold.  But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.”  ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You’

Meanwhile, I really need to take my Canon and start uploading the clicked pics, when I click some that is !! Yet, laziness wins the round this time.

But for now, it’s just me and my wicker chair ….no distractions allowed.

What is your “me-time” like ?


Finding the way….

It’s near twilight and sitting on the porch, these thoughts have been running restlessly in my head for quite some time. And so here they are…

“Everyone says said that struggles are a part of life. Yet many a time, it seems unfair that things are going way out of hand.

Sometimes, each day seems like a struggle; a battle between your hopes and beliefs versus real life situations.

And then, the days become all about facing the struggles.

Nature echoes it by teaching us about it through its creations and mysteries.

And that is The Story of the Butterfly….

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge
and expand enough to support the body,
Neither happened!
In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
crawling around.
It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness
and haste did not understand:
The restricting cocoon and the struggle
required by the butterfly to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready
for flight once that was achieved……”

 

Struggles. The decisions. The changes.

Sometimes, they happen all of a sudden. One after the other, piling up and making us lose our momentum.

Most what we need then, is a gentle reminder to take a deep breath and to hold on.

For unless, we stand alone and face the wind, we never realize what we have in ourselves.

 We would never know our capabilities and gifts.

And we would never follow our dreams and reach the skies.

And though at times, the horizon seems distant…it is there like a thin line, which goes farther and farther away…

Yet each time a few steps are taken, it seems closer.

That’s what it all takes, one step at a time and soon we’ll all be there.

It’s all about finding your way……”

And these are my wandering thoughts for the night….

 


End of the days of summer…

Last week had been one of downpours. It felts like the monsoons along with summer in tow, were bidding an adieu. Frankly speaking, it’s kind of hard to believe that summer is getting over. For me, it was a wet rainy summer towards the second half, though once a while the clear skies did have a say. Yet in spite of the unpredictability of the weather, I had a wonderful summer.

Summer.

Agreed, most of the time, it’s searing hot and very often, I wish that I could simply live in the pool. Yet, there is something about summer. May be it’s the time when nature is at it’s best, or it’s the time when work is side-lined and the holidays start, or maybe it’s because it’s just the right time of the year to sit back and enjoy the waves and nature in full glory. As Longfellow puts it across, the essence of summer as,

That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
–   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Alas, it’s the end of summer days.

Somehow, I can never seem to know when summer is ending, until I certain signs (not as eerie as in “The Signs”!), like:

The Evening Walkers: Finally the evening is back to a pleasant swing. No longer hot and sweltering, evening walkers soon take up the pavement space. It would be a welcome change from the confines of the gym. For anyone who says, get up in the morning and go for a walk. That’s in the middle of summer. End of summer, to get up in the morning when the evening no longer tortures you, seriously?!

Invitation for the Summer Parties: Towards the end of August and beginning of September, does the mailbox suddenly feel full? Amidst the letters, bills and notices; (the latter two the most dreaded) lie some of the colorful invites I have seen this year. Aha, yes it’s the end-of-summer parties. The must-do rite of bidding an end to summer.

Rush hour: the restaurant and Café’s. Now when isn’t it ever rush hour out there? Factually speaking never, unless the Old Man Winter has decided to call in the troops. Yet, towards the end of summer days, the sidewalks suddenly seem full and café’s are booming. And restaurant reservations have to be made at least a day before. Guess summer evenings and the dinners have to end in style at the end of summer.

Picnics and beach madness. About the picnics, summer doesn’t end them (as I personally feel), though for the studying “lot”, (middle school, high school , college or university) and for those on vacations, yes it’s the end of them. Fall is nice, but not the same. As for the beaches, yes it’s the last days for the sunbathing, tanning, loafing around and not to miss out, the waves. No it’s not that the waves are saying goodbye, they are still there around, though it feels like an end of the days of fun and frolic.

Summer sales. Ah, no end of summer days, is complete without them. They signal that alright summer is ending soon, the sales have arrived. Whether it is the yard sales, sales of the summer-spring collections, sales at the local stores, the malls; it would be a sin not to even give them a passing look !! Besides, who would ever give up on discounted prices, the best deals, forgo the window shopping and walk away? Not me.

And so my indicators of end of summer have started blinking. Well here in the tropics, it’s really difficult to demarcate summer and fall; but hey the signs really help.

As once put across the web by anonymous, to quote:

Summer is like the ultimate one-night stand.. hot as hell, totally thrilling, and gone before you know it.

So here it is, goodbye summer. Hopefully, next year around it’ll be more of you and less of your nemesis, the rain.

Yet before I finish off, let me thank you summer.

Thank you for the sun sprinkled drives, hours of sunbathing, for the golden skies (whenever you could scare the dark clouds away), the waves, the lazy afternoons and the days of holidaying. And most of all, thanks for the memories.

 

The precious memories and moments of summer.

 


Back on the road….

It’s 00 05hrs here. Six hours later, ‘ll have to be back on the road, heading to my rural area of work. So there will my weekend and the rest of the week will be. One of the best things about life in the rural here is that, no one is in a rush. Each one has a story to share, various anecdotes and experiences to talk about in life both funny, enriching and learning.

As Mike Tawse says, “It is a great gift to be able to learn from other people, but any lesson that is worth learning will be strengthened, not weakened, if you have the courage to question it. If you do not, you will form no opinions of your own and your choices will be controlled by whoever is allowed to fill your mind.”

Meanwhile, happy weekend to all of you !! Hope I don’t go reverse on the highway.



Ten years and two days ago….

In two days time, it would be ten years since the event. Even today, many have not recovered from the aftermath. It’s not only about 9/11; what about the terror of the 7/7 London attacks, the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and the recent terrorist attack, 9/7 in Delhi. In addition, there are thousands of landmines going off in Afghanistan, parts of Africa. Looking even further into the past, is it still back to normal life for the victims post Hiroshima-Nagasaki and the Pearl Harbor ?

Time and history teaches in-depth, that war is not the answer to all conflicts or issues. Yet, civilization has evolved around war, colonization and revolutions. In all, one thing was outlined; targeting innocent civilians will only trigger more unrest. Frankly speaking, the days have come wherein nothing can be predicted the next minute. What might be a normal day at the office may not end so.

Death and life, they are the two aspects of existence. At the battlefield, death is inevitable. It is feared that all may not return, but yet the hope to do the duty and come back is there. Fighting for your country or the cause is different. Giving up your life for the cause or war is your choice. But targeting innocent bystanders is not; no matter how justifiable the cause may be. The “greater good” is relevant to some, yet when you step back and look at the bigger picture it may not be so. The “greater good” is always a relative concept.  A set of rules and laws have been framed for the purpose of co-existence. Your life is in your hands, but that’s your life alone. It doesn’t give you the right to decide others.

Though what perplexes me the most is that, can you breathe in life into a statue made of sand? Can you by self, create energy or matter out of nothing, and then create someone of your liking? Can you turn millions of years of evolution into a matter of minutes with mere energy? Can you clone yourself or replicate yourself without the aid of any media or stem cells? So if you cannot create life, how can you take someone else’s life away?

Alas, even if explanations’ or remorse comes, the damage is done. It is easy to extinguish a flame, just need one blow of air, or a sudden gush of wind, but lighting it again, is possible. Human life is more than a flame, once out, many a time; even science can’t bring it back.

Someday, there would come a day when we can step out and return safe. Till then, at least we can hope….


Mistakes. Regrets. Acceptance.

It had happened. It was a long time ago.

Whose fault was it? If either of us asks that, it was nobody’s.

It shouldn’t have happened. It wouldn’t have – given another year, place or time.

Yet, the mistake happened.

It was beyond correction. Then and even now, it is too late.

Looking back, for either of us, there is only one option.

To forget it, seems like a task impossible.

To live with it, is the only option left.

Weary is the mind, of bearing the burden alone.

Memories still linger on, difficult to be completely wiped off, leaving traces behind.

Forgiveness is an option says the mind. Forgiveness of one’s self is what the mind says.

Though it is difficult, it is what will give the self, peace.

Forgiveness will remove the regrets.

 Forgiveness of one’s self will change the guilt to remorse; to acceptance; acceptance of a lesson well learnt.

Acceptance. To accept one’s mistake, the consequences and the teachings of the experience.

For some things can’t be forgotten, but forgiveness is possible.

And that is what, gives the self another chance.

Life is all about chances and taking risks. For no journey can be travelled without taking a few wrong turns.

And if there were no wrong turns, it means that it was never your own journey to begin with. It was somebody else’s journey with instructions and directions at hand.

Making your own directions takes time, courage and plenty of mistakes.  Acceptance and changes is what makes the mistakes worthwhile.

Life is simply not about a bed of roses, but of fields of a variety of flowers, each with its own story to tell.

And that it is what I believe in.