Posted in Dreams, Growth, Learning, Personal, Philosophy, Self-growth, Travel, Uncategorized

By the river Ganges

I’m out on an office off-site. The resort we’re staying at is right next to the river Ganges.

This trip has been a lot of firsts for me. I’m out without family, with office folks. Usually before this, the families were invited so it became more of a family trip paid by the company. If team-building is the agenda, it has to be sans family.

I’ve never been so close to a serene water body. Beaches and oceans is a very different experience than rivers. I’m so addicted to the sound of river water gushing, the view of ripples, the expanse of water – the thing a river is, the feeling is profound and awakening.

I recently finished reading Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and it has a long passage of experience with the river. I can so feel it flowing through my veins, through my breath. The view filling my soul, cleansing it, hopefully.

I went for nature walk and I saw quite a few types of vegetations – rice, bottle gourd, bhaang, phali… I found an open ghaat where the locals come for some quiet and general chit-chat in the morning. This is as early as 6 in the morning. I saw jugnoo lighting up the night together with the Stars.

Ohh, and the birds! How can I forget the birds. Chirping, flying around finding twigs for their nests during the day, and then drifting away to their homes at dawn. The parrots, the swans, the mynahs, the helicopters, the crickets, the unidentified, so many and yet so few.

I sang songs at karaoke, danced like a maniac wearing a onesie in front of my team-mates, played cards, flirted with the newbies, ran top-speed while playing with the team without wondering where the body parts (ahem!) are! Who’s watching and who isn’t.

Bedazzled the people. Throwing caution to the winds. Just being myself without thinking of consequences. Or that I’m a girl. Or that I’m a manager.

These two days have been magnificently beautiful. Liberating. Free.

And while I type this, watching over the Ganges, let me take a deep breath of fresh air, and live it a moment longer. Before I return to reality.

-Hope

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Posted in Uncategorized

Power to strangers

Dear Diary,

It’s amazing how much control I give to people, pure strangers, over me. On my life. On impacting me.

Despite all the heartburns (romantic or otherwise) I may have endured, I still carry my heart on my sleeve. I turst people. I share my personal thoughts openly. I share details about my life – my family, my opinions, my relations, with everybody. It’s mostly because I don’t care about others judgement of me.

But that’s where the paradox sets in. People who mean nothing initially, turn into people of significance. And then their opinions start to matter. And then their judgements about you, hurt you. And you, all numb with hurt, wonder, why did I ever give so much importance to this person in the first place!?

And that’s the vicious circle I call my life.

Hope

Posted in Adult Life, Ambitions, Depressiom, Dreams, Love, Patience, Personal, Philosophy, Uncategorized

Why marry?

In this fast pace world, where people have more social life on internet than real, life means mostly about goals and targets and money and living-the-high-life. Simple pleasures like watching your kids grow, or tending your garden have become the old-fashioned, outdated thing. You’re enjoying and ‘living’ life only if you’re doing awesome-ly well in your career, going up-and-up in the ladder, socialize with the high-circuit people over marathons or late-night parties.

In such high-pace fast urban life, people are slowly moving away from family, kids, and marriage. I have too many youngsters around me who question me on why should a person marry at all? And when life is less than perfect in your own married life (think of loads of clothes waiting for you back home after a long, hectic day at work), you tend to ask yourself the same question  – why marry?

So, I decided to list down what marriage brings to one’s life. Whether that makes it worthy for you or not, is well, your choice. Here goes mine:

A routine: Well, of course, doesn’t everyone hate that itself, in a marriage!? But trust me when I say, when my mind goes insane with all the hell that’s breaking lose at work or in family-drama episodes, the only thing that brings me sanity is that I MUST fulfill my routine. There are certain tasks which I must do and I cannot run away from them. Those responsibilities may seem crucifying at times, but those same duties save me when my mind just wants me to run away or hide in a closet away from the world.

If I was unmarried and all on my own, I am sure I have enough ways in my head, to dessicate myself in a cabinet. Just to get rid of the problems at hand. When you’re alone and not responsible for anybody, it is so easy to break the routine and just loop inside your hell-hole, for days, or weeks, forever.

A guarantee: In the life where nothing comes with a guarantee, knowing that there is one person who I know inside out, is a relief. In this world, people change with time. It’s a given. Having spent each day with one person, I know the changes in this one person, I know the person. And, no matter what changes around me, there is this one inner-circle, where I know what to expect. No matter how much you fight, no matter how much you hate certain traits of this person, and vice versa, you know you’re family. And you’ll be accepted. Despite there’s never complete acceptance, but there’s no running away. So, even if I’m at my darkest, evil-most, they have seen it. And, it’s not new. And, we commit to stick with each other.

You can’t do this for random people. Or, people who came in your life like some months ago. You do that, or feel that, only when you have a sense of history, a pact to go forever.

A history: I know couples bring the history in their fights. And, that’s what people hate about relationships. But, history is not just about accusations. History also includes experiences. I find the history a reminder. A reminder of how much you’ve gone through together. And, survived. Life’s been a roller-coaster ever since I got married. So many changes. So many upheavals. But, when it all ends, time passes, and I look back, it surprises me that we survived it all. And, we survived it together. So, there must be something special. Building such a relationship requires sticking together for years. This is not something you build in months or an year.

The cliched steps to follow: People often say that the world conspires against you by giving you a set pattern of living your life. School, then college, then job, then marriage, then kids, house, marry the kids. etc etc. Yes, it’s cliched. I have followed the steps in my life.

Whether I wanted or not, well it doesn’t matter anymore, because I followed the steps.

But, I think it liberates me. Now, with my child-bearing responsibility done, I’m free to explore my world of opportunities. Yes, the family brings certain limitations, but the circumstances always bring some adversaries. So, I don’t think family is ever a limitation, if you really wanted to pursue or achieve something.

Plus, having followed the steps, I know, even if I fail in any experiment in my life further, I’ll always have what I’ve built. So, the family, the house, the degrees that I’ve already earned, no one can take that from me. And, it adds to my advantage while taking chances.

So, in a way, all in all, what I’m saying is there are always two sides to the coin. Which side you chose to look at, is your choice.

Love,

Hope

Posted in Growth, Learning, Love, Personal, Philosophy, Relationships, Self-growth, Uncategorized

Unequivocally

Remember the lines?

Waterwater everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink’ from the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’? The sailor was stuck in sea, surrounded by salt water, and had no water to drink.

Well, I feel the same way. Just with people. The world is overflowing with people. The population is growing at alarming rates and if you’re living in the developing nations like us, then you can practically see the overflow in front of your bleeding eyes.

And yet, we have reached that point in civilization, where people are more connected virtually, than in real.

I ache to find one person, just one person whom I can talk my heart out. With no fear of judgement, or payback, or consequences. You may have a plethora of relations – parents, spouse, kids, friends, co-workers, helping staff, and what not. But, is there anyone with whom you share everything? With whom you don’t filter?

Perhaps if you’re a teenager/kid, who still lives in the innocent world, this may hold true.

I recently talked and accepted my darkest fears and wants to a complete stranger. She was a Tarot Card Reader. I don’t know if I believe in her predictions/readings. I just needed to pour out my fears. I perhaps just needed to accept the state I was in, to myself.

I didn’t cry. I didn’t joke about it.

I just stated the facts. Some of them were rude, mean, pure selfish, dark thoughts.

When I returned home, I was surprised to think of how openly and freely I said all those things to her. She was also a pretty good listener. I give her credit for not letting her body language give away her judgement. Neither did her words. She just listened. And that was the best thing anyone could give anyone in pain. A listening ear.

But, I want to know, why do I need any listening ear? Why is it so important to have some other human being listen to your ramblings? It doesn’t change anything. The person can make no changes to your situation. The resolutions, if they give, will probably not work in the complicated thing called life. They don’t even have the complete perspective of your situation. No one has lived your life. No one will ever be able to fill your shoes and look at things the way you do. So, why is it so important to know what other(s) think? Why do I have this primal need of acceptance from another human being? And, when I already know that it’s impossible to be completely and totally accepted in this world, by anyone.

When will I be enough for myself? When will I love myself unequivocally? I wish I could.

Posted in Adult Life, Depressiom, Personal, Uncategorized

Looming diaries

Qatra qatra jeete the, qatra qatra marte Hain,

Zindagi hi Zindagi se Zindagi ko le gayi

“Lived every moment, now we die each one; Life took the life out of life.”

Dear Diary

There was a time when life was simple. It was about enjoying all moments of life. Enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Eating your favorite food, celebrating good marks in unit-tests with ice-cream, laughing loud on lame jokes, passionately strong friendships.

There were people around me who found life difficult, boring or complex even then when I enjoyed life. I was the most smiling person in the group. I would greet everybody with a smile no matter how crappy my day was going. I would look at the positives all time.

I still do. I still try at least.

But, with life passing, and experiences happening, with you becoming mature, even simple pleasures have become difficult to come by. I now seem to be just following routine. An evening of singing to yourself – even that makes me surprised that I’m actually having fun.

I think my mind is going senile. It keeps playing tricks on me. Not with one thought or problems but just like that, the mood never feels relaxed or happy. There’s a loom.

It seems the life happening to me has taken the soul out of my life.

I wish to give a happy person to my family. A smiling, content, happy person. I realize that is the best thing one can give to their family.

-Hope

Posted in Adult Life, Challenges, Growth, Learning, Love, Patience, Society

Finding joy in house chores

When living in urban-India, if you do not have 2 or more maids working in your household, then you’re probably having financial issues – This is the general Delhi-mindset. Working woman, working in corporate, have kids at home, you ought to have a cook and a cleaning help. Sometimes, a full-time help taking care of the kids and general dusting. This has become a social norm.

I’ve belonged to the same category, ever since I started living separately from my parents.

But, recently, I moved into my new home. As fate would have it, my cook bailed out, and I didn’t get anyone for dusting either. Now, let me tell you, it all was only a phone call away. I just need to call the society guard and I would have a queue of maids ready to take the job at my doorstep. Somehow, my intuition kept telling me otherwise and I did not make the call.

It’s been two months now since my cook had to leave urgently for her hometown. And, I’ve been cooking ever since. Preparing two meals, sometimes three, every day, is no easy task. There were days when I returned home so exhausted, I didn’t have the energy to even prepare rotis. (The veggies I cook in the morning itself.)

And, cooking is not all that’s to be done at home. Clothes, general cleaning, stocking up your house, dusting, the list is long. Plus, the unpacking of the boxes in shifting. I can keep writing and will never finish.

So, why did I do it?

1. In a new house, unless you work yourself in the kitchen, you can never get it set the way you want. You need to use it to make it functional.

2. With a cook taking care of my kitchen for almost 2yrs now, I wanted to take control of my kitchen again. See if doing things myself made any difference.

3. The cook was very good. I wanted to wait for her than let a stranger enter my house and teach her.

So, that’s how the two months of cooking, cleaning, owning my house started.

And, as unbelievable as it sounds, even to me, I’ve enjoyed this. The feeling of contributing to the general care of your house is amazing. To see your child say ‘yummy’ to food you cooked, you have another level of satisfaction. To see your husband’s appetite go up, you know this is making a difference. The wastage in my kitchen has significantly reduced. The general hygiene that I can take care of, no employee can. Cleaning the glass doors and see them gleam, to find your body toning just with that physical exercise, you are surprised! It shouldn’t, but it does.

Today, I and Anay cleaned all our house glass-doors. I’m tired and exhausted. The job wasn’t completely perfect either. We need some improvements in the steps we took. But, the whole activity was satisfying and enjoyable beyond measure. To see your child learning that not everything needs to be outsourced and house work can be done yourself, its deeply satisfying. Reminds me of how I used to see my Mom and Dad do stuff. Nothing was what they couldn’t do.

I don’t know how long I’ll be able to continue this. My exercise and yoga has stopped because my time is all taken now. The time I and Tarun spent walking, talking, is now gone taking care of the house. So, probably I’ll need to get the maid back.

But, I enjoyed this. I hope I’m able to find a balance.

Love,

Hope

Posted in Growth, Learning, Patience, Self-growth, Uncategorized

Learning the art of patience

Have you ever missed a trait in yourself? I mean, a very basic trait like patience?

Well, for the longest of times, I missed the bone of patience. I would get the feedback from various sources. I saw that being impatient, I would make wrong choices and regret those bad decisions of impulses, later.

Everyone tells you that patience comes with experience, maturity.

Well, I couldn’t wait (pun intended) 😀

So, I searched on Google and guess what! Google told me simple steps on how to learn patience.

PS: I re-searched and the steps have changed. Screw Page-ranking!

Well, anyhow, when I searched, one way of learning was – to practice a slow activity and be at it. I tried knitting an embroidery patch. It’s a big scenery, lot of details. And, with the amount of free time I get, I’ve been at it (off-and-on) for an year already. And you won’t believe when I told you, but I think I did increase my patience levels. When I’m doing it, it takes hours at a stretch before the results even are visible. And, while I’m at it, it takes my mind completely off the regular mundane things. So, it relieves my mind of stress too. Unbelievable!

This was an amazing revelation for me.

For all trait-issues, there are simple steps that one can follow to overcome them. One doesn’t need to live with a bad habit just because they were born or brought up with it.

Same happened with my problem of overthinking. I saw this video and it really resonated with me. It tells me exact measures that I need to take to stop my mind from whirling in a loop. Focus on work at hand. Live in the moment.

And, the trick works. For me. An addict at overthinking.

Isn’t that awesome!