of kinkies and idiosyncrasies!!!

Every few weeks or may be I should say months…… I encounter this feeling of things just getting out of hand and me losing grips of everything that I think is important to me. This is happening more this year than any other year of my life.

It very often starts with the love of my life…… my maid giving me trouble (in this case she has gone for a very long holiday), somebody invariably not feeling well (read dad and mom) and me running trying to find meaning to my existence as I am caught up between loyalties of staying put with hubs or running home. So as I continue my balance act on one leg in each boat I am confounded by situations….. in this case of people who talk of things which I must say are very irking to me. I consider emotional upheavals luxuries of life specially after I have faced situations of life and death. I consider some person talking vaguely about some emotional thing rather irritating specially when they additionally have a quiz competition of guess-what along with it.

So today a friend of mine mailed me talking in riddles about some stuff which I was vary of. I was waiting for some reports of my dad and was totally irritated by the objective test put before me. At other times I would have laughed along and joined in but today I was irritated and brushed it aside to concentrate on the more important things in life…… read dad’s report. Only to be called back by the friend to ask me why I had not answered and what did I think of it blah blah blah!!! Man was I pissed!!!!

This person is totally aware of my infamous anger but still he had to invite my wrath. Classic case of “Aa bail mujhe mar”. He was almost showing the red scarf…….. in this case a very very red double bed sheet to a very very very irritated bull and he was surprised when I lost it and very politely told him to lay off and do something useful. Some people just don’t take a hint!!! But guess what I deserve brownie points because I did not raise my voice, I did not sound rude and I did not even use the sarcastic note that I usually use…….. just plainly said to lay off and do something useful like digging like my uncles did…….. nope i did not suggest that but I really wanted to.

Now I guess I am going to have to face repercussions of this for a very long time to come. But honestly guys you don’t ask trivia to people with anger management problems. You steer clear of their path.

Talking of anger management guess what my very very cool headed hubs who never ever raises his voice also has anger management problems. Well he just bottles up and does not talk!!! So that means every body does have some or the other kinky habit……. and people blame me!!! I have a major cleanliness disorder and for every job that I do be it cooking or cleaning or……. anything. It is planned, timed, organised and conceptualised to the core, only then I can actually accomplish it flawlessly…….. otherwise in my ken it is a dissatisfying experience.

My maid can’t tolerate anything unorganized or cluttered so if I am not around she does more than she has to………. I so miss her!!!!

Hubs idiosyncrasies go beyond that. I have a habit of scribbling on my notebook when I am studying. Usually some flower in some corner of a page or some absolute work of art. I do that in all the official meetings when somebody goes on and on and on and does not stop and I have to appear attentive so I start drawing, painting and in some cases shading. Hubs cant stand that. Once he even tore a page that he was writing on because I had started to sketch on it. He says he cant think if somebody does that to his book or page. At other times you cant fold a book while reading it. You have to spread it out and then read!!! and you cant fold currency notes they have to be kept flat so much so that when I buy wallets for him I measure the contents with 500 and 1000 rupee notes. He even argues with bhajiwalas and rickshawwalas for torn notes.

My sister has to go to the kitchen of any household that she visits and she eventually starts cooking……. I call her cooker!!! she is so lost in any other room!!! My mom spends hours adorning the idols of the god’s with flowers. She hates it when she comes to my place because I have no flower bearing plants in my balcony…… the ones that are there don’t produce flowers everyday. My dad has a penchant for electric and hardware stuff. When he comes home or goes to any of my sister’s homes he ends up with some or the other electric component which is not working and sees to it that it works.

All in all I realized today that I am not so crazy after all and unless provoked quite sane. I also realized that everybody has their list of kinky’s. I am definitely going to list mine in another post but guess what I am not so abnormal after all. Some people sometimes look at me and make me feel that that I have developed unicorn like horn on my nose!!! Guess what everybody has a horn like me!!!

whats yours ??? what bugs you??? let me know !!!

Till then hoping that everything works out on home front and everybody becomes healthy and happy like before.

Take care

Ham he rahi pyar ke phir milenge chalte chalte!!! (yes I just saw SRK in RBJ)

See ya !!!

Advertisements

Appearance does matter!!!

Exam time and I feel like the jallad again setting paper to ruin the happiness of lots of people but honestly it is one of the perks of teaching. At least it is to me!!! Today I finished setting the last paper and I really feel so relieved. I went to college to submit the paper and I met my kids. Honestly I don’t think I can ever forget them. It was so nice to see them again!!! I was all dewy eyed and emotional when I left from there!!! I think I truly love them!!!

I was totally confounded by the sudden outburst of comments today when I opened my mail. I received comments from dhir, sucharita and varunavi and it made my day. The fear of every writer is “not being read”…… believe me the feeling is suicidal. With my feeds all worked up I was feeling just that until I reminded myself that I am no writer!!! Thank god for small mercies of the lord!!! Else like hoards of others I would have to dwell on the opinion of other people!!! definitely not my cuppa!!!

OK first of all a thing that I have been wanting to write since day before yesterday but I just did not have the time for it. It was something I saw……. rather someone I saw!!! Koena Mitra in Jhalak dikhlaja. Man she looks like a martian from some other planet!!! She is definitely a science miracle but I must say not much art involved. She looks like a quilt!!! she has been stitched and restitched. The entire geography of her face has been changed. All because she wanted to become more beautiful than she was and according to me she WAS very beautiful. I loved her in saki saki!!! Now she looks like a thanksgiving turkey all stuffed up with gel and silicone.

That brings us to the question…….. are looks important??? How much of importance do we give to appearance??? Is it so important that we undergo torture just to get into some kind of shoes or fit a role. We get stuffed up with god-knows-what and things are removed or put into our temple of a body. All of this to look good!!! Koena Mitra is just unlucky that her surgery went kaput else nobody would have realized that she had reconstruction work done on her face and she would be another bong beauty to look out for.

A friend of mine once told me it was only the packaging that people ever noticed. I never believed it simply because that wasn’t my funda for life. In fact the people I even had crushes on all my life were rather weird looking or normal looking. Nobody was drop dead gorgeous or even anywhere close to Hritik or Tom Cruise or George Clooney material…… Thank God for that!!! In the arranged marriage market too girls are treated like commodities up for sale and most often than not they are judged solely on looks and looks only.

Being fat is also part of it. People including me spend lots of time and money just to lose weight. But in most cases being fat causes a lot of health ailments and is not good. I never bothered about myself being fat until I started having serious problems with my health. When I was younger I was never obese (I wore a 26 jeans then) but family called me fat. Today I think that they should have had their heads examined and believe me I tell that to them. I gained weight because of some health problem and then the weight by itself started to cause health problems. I got into an infinite loop and the only way out was to lose weight. Once I lost weight the health factor was no longer a concern.

We always give a lot of importance to first impressions. What can we come to know about a person on first impressions apart from looks??? In my career as an HR person interviewing people, I can say one thing. First impressions are not always right. You make a set of ten questions on which you judge the candidate and believe me most of the times they aren’t really right. A person can use only one thing there….. intuition. The feel good ones are separated from the not so feel good ones and technically round pegs are matched with round holes…… that’s it. But would you give a guy who is dressed badly another chance. You might think that the person does not think that the job is important enough to dress properly and the people who dress up like a peacock for an interview are marked not very serious or professional.

My friend who heads a marketing division once told me that appearances in the professional front are very necessary. You have to dress up for the job-in-hand. Would you ever take a sales person who is dressed shabbily seriously??? Koena Mitra did the same. She was dressing for the job. You cant wear a lehenga to work or for that matter wearing cargoes to work are a catastrophe. What is necessary is to understand how far you are ready to go for your job.

Smita Patil and Deepti Naval and Vaijayantimala might not have done item numbers but they were good actresses and they looked beautiful. In the corporate work front you might not wear new clothes but you can dress neatly that is what actually counts……. I don’t think Armanis are necessary for that.

Its all about how far you want to go!!! All in all I think the most important thing is to be comfortable with your own looks and for people who have a problem with your looks……….. let them go to hell!!! They don’t deserve anything from you not even anger!!!

I understand!!!

How many times in a day do you use the phrase “I understand” “Its OK” etc etc

Yesterday my niece called me to invite me to her birthday. She had asked me earlier to keep the day free. But I could not travel in the heat also i had some real unexpected jobs lined up for the day. So when i told her that I cant make it, she said “Its OK….. I understand!!!”

It made me think does why does she understand??? how many times in a day do we compromise with our situations??? Doesn’t compromising make one hell part of our life ??? When do we really start “understanding”??? I mean what age???

Adjustment and compromise seems to be the code word of all our lives!!! From our morning tea which is not just the way we like it to the time we go to bed we understand and compromise with our so called situation. We are taught young to do just that!!! In my family every compromise got us accolades by the family saying look how intelligent she has become…… She understands!!!

I did not want my niece to say that. I did not want her to “understand”. I wanted her to throw a tantrum and tell me to get myself and be there on time to cut the cake!!! But I guess my niece as is said in the family “is intelligent and understands”.

Her dad barely made it to the party yesterday. He had to work…… you know recession et al…… See even you “understand” !!! guess that puts you in the same category as all of us understanding and compromising citizens of the world.

Why do we all give the least importance to our family? We never ever say that at office!!! We never forgive a subordinate who did not complete his work in time or did not meet his targets. Even if we do let go at that point of time……. isnt that the first thing that comes to the mind during the quaterly appraisals??? We potray “perfection” at work!!! No we do not understand at work. The show must go on!!! etc etc. So why dont we give our family the same kind of understanding.

When it comes to understanding we always give the family the first priority and do all the “understanding” there.

Even with our daily lives we take so much shit from people…… politicians included. With the upcoming elections – my ma who is a total daily soap fanatic says that she watches news instead because it is more fun there than anything. I was speaking to my friend the other day who commented on the fact that the ads given by the various political parties are “touching” and they brought tears to her eyes!!! That is a whole lot of crap…….. all those buggers are using our hard earned tax money to give ads in prime time. Can you imagine how many remote villages in India could get basic ammenities with that money.

All these politicians should be made to do compulsory service in these villages. They should be sent to NGO’s run by Baba Amte and Anna Hazare and learn the true essence of the word “service”.

Somedays back I saw an unsung real heroes award given by CNN IBN sponsored by Reliance. It was humbling to watch these simple but great people. Their stories are truly overwhelming one of whom who runs a cycle repair shop cremates abandoned bodies, another fruit seller from bangalore who is illiterate himself but started a school with his meagre earnings selling fruit, one woman from bengal who washes vessels to start a free hospital for all, a doctor in Kashmir who helps get the widows remarried, an uneducated farmer who solved water woes, a couple who runs an institution for organ donation, one man who saves girls from entering into prostitution, two women who take care of abandoned children and one who makes and distributes free sanitary pads to women in rural areas etc etc.

The program was one of the most humbling experiences of my life!!! (I found one link here.) I could see that Mukesh Ambani and his wife who gave away the awards totally echoed my feelings. They could not look these people in the eyes. When it comes to making a change we sit back and say “Its ok…..very sad…… but I understand!!!”

Do we really understand or are we making excuses for our laziness to make a change!!! One of the awardees said “The first act – the first step is the most difficult one. The others will just follow. So take the first step. You just have to look around you!!!”

I guess we should really and truly stop understanding and take steps to not being “understanding” and teach the same to our kids!!!

thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai!!!

This is a re-post

Being sick and in bed really does have its advantages. I am finally getting back to reading and catching up on some of my favorite programmes in television. Keeps my mind occupied. Ya I do have meaningful conversations with Brownie (my softie) but then Brownie agrees with everything I say…. so there is not much conversation. So I have to watch some real stuff happening. The books I read these days do take me to my favorite pink cloud but then again i need something challenging for my grey cells. It is all pink there. My cells are in perpetual fear of getting white…. so I watch TV. Hey!!! i no that they dont make your cells grey, rather blue, white, red and even yellow (maybe the bile manages to reach up) thanks to ekta kapoor and himesh reshammiya. They seem to dominate every channel I surf. I so hate them. Thanks to discovery and travel and living. I get my trivia from there.

I came across this advert the other day of an insurance company who was selling the concept that everybody desires a little something more. It showed a young guy crossing a street vying for a motorbike that another guy drove. The guy who drove (oops rode!!!) the motorbike vied for the chipku girl who sat behind another guy on his motorbike. The girl vied for kids with the mom and the mom with the kids for a diamond necklace. The diamond necklace was being bought by a man who was bald who again vied for the hair the first guy on the street took for granted. Neighbour’s envy owner’s pride. Everybody today wants something more that he does not have and somebody else has. (grass greener on the other side). The whole economy is surviving on this very sentiment.

I am reminded of a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes :

Contentment
Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Man wants but little here below.”

LITTLE I ask; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone,
(A very plain brown stone will do,)
That I may call my own;
And close at hand is such a one,
In yonder street that fronts the sun.

Plain food is quite enough for me;
Three courses are as good as ten;–
If Nature can subsist on three,
Thank Heaven for three. Amen!
I always thought cold victual nice;–
My choice would be vanilla-ice.

I care not much for gold or land;–
Give me a mortgage here and there,–
Some good bank-stock, some note of hand,
Or trifling railroad share,–
I only ask that Fortune send
A little more than I shall spend.

Honors are silly toys, I know,
And titles are but empty names;
I would, perhaps, be Plenipo,–
But only near St. James;
I’m very sure I should not care
To fill our Gubernator’s chair.

Jewels are baubles; ‘t is a sin
To care for such unfruitful things;–
One good-sized diamond in a pin,–
Some, not so large, in rings,–
A ruby, and a pearl, or so,
Will do for me;–I laugh at show.

My dame should dress in cheap attire;
(Good, heavy silks are never dear;) –
I own perhaps I might desire
Some shawls of true Cashmere,–
Some marrowy crapes of China silk,
Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.

I would not have the horse I drive
So fast that folks must stop and stare;
An easy gait–two forty-five–
Suits me; I do not care;–
Perhaps, for just a single spurt,
Some seconds less would do no hurt.

Of pictures, I should like to own
Titians aud Raphaels three or four,–
I love so much their style and tone,
One Turner, and no more,
(A landscape,–foreground golden dirt,–
The sunshine painted with a squirt.)

Of books but few,–some fifty score
For daily use, and bound for wear;
The rest upon an upper floor;–
Some little luxury there
Of red morocco’s gilded gleam
And vellum rich as country cream.

Busts, cameos, gems,–such things as these,
Which others often show for pride,
I value for their power to please,
And selfish churls deride;–
One Stradivarius, I confess,
Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.

Wealth’s wasteful tricks I will not learn,
Nor ape the glittering upstart fool;–
Shall not carved tables serve my turn,
But all must be of buhl?
Give grasping pomp its double share,–
I ask but one recumbent chair.

Thus humble let me live and die,
Nor long for Midas’ golden touch;
If Heaven more generous gifts deny,
I shall not miss them much,–
Too grateful for the blessing lent
Of simple tastes and mind content!

Yeah!!! I no!!! me and my poems. But honestly I do not know of anyother method that expresses emotions and sentiments so well than……. poetry!!! Yeah pictures!!! Hey I am working on that so just settle for this till i start producing them. The poet here says I want a simple hut, one with brown stone will do which will overlook the sun. I will do with plain food but three courses and vanilla icecream would be nice. I dont want money or gold or land, instead a bank mortgage, bank stock, and some shares will do. I dont care for titles he says, but a chairmanship somewhere would be good. I dont care for big diamonds but i could do with some small ones on my pin and some rubies and some pearls. For my wife i dont mind her wearing cheap clothes but some heavy silks and true cashmere are never expensive for her. I do not want great horses, good ones, some of them would do for me. I would also like to own some pictures not much but of raphaels and titans because their style is impeccable. How could I do without them. I cannot understand the wasteful tricks of wealth he says. I am a humble person. I do not want much in life. I am grateful to god that my tastes are very simple and my mind content.

I am reminded of a poem my mirza galib (or may be of mir dont remember)

kisi ko mukkamil jahan nahin milta
kisi ko zameen to kisi ko asmaan nahi milta..

another one related

hazaron khwahishyen aisi ki har khawahish par dam nikle…..

Need I say more!!!! Some want money, some want fame, some love, some luxury, some material or for that matter some want GOD. The common thing in everything is WANT. You cant live in today and not want something. The something can be different but you do WANT something whether you accept it or not. You cant have everything. The disparity is created so that you want something and strive for it and to fill that blank in your life you have to work hard – physically, sometimes emotionally, sometimes both ways and in all this you look forward to tomorrow. Mostly quite bleak but then that is all you have.

Wants and desires are something that I guess will never end. When one want is satisfied another comes up. Humanity is surviving on this very sentiment. This act is justified by the fact that if you dont have wants and needs you will have to probably have to leave the common man world and take vanvaas/sanyaas. Man works hard day and night for this very purpose. With the market today booming with choices and options, Man’s desires to own the latest of everything keeps going up. Sometimes it even exceeds what you can afford. Sometimes it is to be in midst of the “IN” crowd and sometimes for the status symbol. Everybody wants that little extra. They strive for it. They push a little harder, work a little harder. No wonder I see people of my generation working so hard to be better providers for their families than I probably saw my father and his generation. They work a lot harder these days. My dad always had ample time for us. I dont think that today’s parents have that. Yeah they go for vacations…. lots of them!!!

I once had a friend who gave me a weird concept. He was neck down in mortgages on his car, house and even took personal loans. He told me that it is actually a motivation for him to work harder than he was doing presently. The loans motivate him to push a little more harder and work a little more. I wonder what will happen if there is a breakdown in his scheme of things…… something that he had not planned for. Is he really ready to face the repercussions for that or for that matter is his family ready to face the realities in case something happens to him??? Would they be able to sit on the leather couch and watch the LCD tv (brought on loan) thinking of him sick or something else??? I wonder!!!

I am not averse to more wants and desires. I once claimed to my aunt that I did not want anything in life, I had very simple tastes and could live in a meagre income. But that is not true like the poet I wouldnt mind the something extra but it does not mean that i cannot live without it. I can!!! But no I will not vie for what others have – materially or otherwise. That is something i would not ever do. I guess that comes with my middle class upbringing that I was brought up with and I am proud of it!!! I once heard someone say something on the same grounds and I actually scoffed him because just days back he had returned from a vacation with his family in Singapore, his favorite place for a holiday with his family and mind you all this on a personal loan.

I think a easier way to remove this frustration of running a treadmill of wants and never ever reaching anywhere, is to concentrate on NEEDS. The world of NEEDS is not different from the world of WANTS…. sometimes even synonymous. But then NEEDS are easy to deal with. But I think that before embarking into the world of needs and wants – one should check their balance sheet for both their assets and liabilites and make sure that their sinking fund can bear the burden of the losses incurred. I mean that both materially as well as emotionally.

Moral of the story : Try to be satisfied with what you have else you may not have even what you have today. I end today with a song from a bollywood movie khatta meetha (oldie) “thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai” somehow not able to get upload the song so posting the link watch it. It is beautiful.

thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai
zindagi phir bhi yahaan khubsoorat hai

jis din paisa hoga vo din kaisa hoga
us din pahiye ghumenge aur kismat ke lab chumenge
bolo aisa hoga
thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai

sun sun sun hawa chali saba chali
tere anchal se ud ke ghata chali
sun sun sun kaha chali
main chune zara asman chali
badal pe udna hoga
thoda hai thode ke zaroorat hai

hamne sapna dekha hai
koi apna dekha hai
jab raat ka ghungat utre ga
aur din ki doli guzre gi
tab sapna pura hoga
thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai.

chotisi ye duniye meri poori duniya hai
ang liye rang liye sang chalenge
sath hai hum sath hai sab sath rahenge

thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai
zindagi magar phir bhi yahan khubsoorat hai

I love teaching as well !!!

Yesterday my blog did not have any of my favorite widgets (read music widget) working…… Man I was so depressed!!! I could not think so I just put up some very nice stuff that my friends had sent to me. But honestly I could not imagine not having music in my blog….. so much that these days I just cant do without Bryan Adams, Celion Dion, Kishore and Bethany crooning while I type!!! So I decided to install a standby just in case!!! specially with blogger going into mood swings worse than my PMS ones!!!

I removed a lot of widgets from my blogs thanks to my blog getting linked to sites which are not to my liking and my site got a lot faster. In fact yesterday without the music widget it was even faster!!! In my pursuit for knowledge as to what was happening to blogger I came upon some articles which said that some of the widgets were banned in some of the sites. I decided to take the intelligent route and decided to install an additional music widget by google!!! you just cant take chances these days!!!

Yesterday, I completed my stint of teaching English!!! I was completely touched and heartbroken…… touched by the love that my students showered on me yesterday and heartbroken because I would not see them again…… yeah for the exams but then it is not the same!!!

I had never ever taken teaching as an option in my career. I always thought that teachers are born but I was so wrong!!! My students made a teacher of me!!! I have to say that this was my second best job in my career after CASP!!! All my life I never considered teaching as a career option. I would sometimes dabble in corporate training and do some teaching in management college….. believe me it is not the same!!! They are poles apart!!! In management college, the environment is totally professional also at corporate training.

Here I almost felt like a mother !!! Just like in CASP, I always mentioned my wards as my kids!!! same here I always thought of them as my kids. I never ever felt like that in management college. It is more like imparting information to colleagues. This was exhilarating!!! I simply loved it!!! But then things that you love are like ice cream they have limited shelf life so they have to be savoured and it is to be remembered at all times that it is going to end soon.

Within a week’s time I knew all their names and also what each ones strong and weak points were. I always did like English!!! but I have to say in school I did not like the structured way it was taught to us. So did not take the conventional route of teaching English but a totally unconventional one wherein we just spoke – all of us and individually removed inhibitions that the kids had and we developed as a team!!! We also covered everything that the curriculum had!!! The kids really loved it and it was not straining for any of them. I have to say that D.Y. Patil college was really supportive of the whole thing. Had they interfered in my work I would have left!!!

I joined CASP (Community Aid and Sponsorship Programme) when I was in the middle of tremendous corporate politics and I was so fed up of it. I was heading the HR team at that time and management wanted me to get into the politics bigtime and play it the dirty way not only that….. within days I was also in midst of a strike and lots of other dirty stuff that I don’t think anybody would want to enter!!! I did it but I was so depressed that I did not want to continue working in HR. I put in my papers and was wallowing in self-pity when my best friend dragged me out of the house and took me to CASP. She was a social worker there and I was taken in for a three month stint. I loved it there so much that at the end of one year when they were going to renew my contract I had to leave on personal grounds!!! We were both apologetic, both CASP and me…… more me than them!!!

I looked forward to every morning!!! Going to the community talking to people about their problems….. being part of community activities etc. The best thing I liked was kids!!! I used to spend days just surrounded by kids….. playing with them, watching over their food, studies etc etc on a daily basis. 80% of my kids were HIV positive….. so I wanted to make whatever time they had left as happy as I could. It was a very nice experience….. CASP had given me to take my own kids so I had the liberty of doing just that….. and I was a success at that. I loved it there!!!

There was no politics there and if there was I was not part of it. My job was mostly in the field…. in the community and I saw to it that I did not get harassed by anyone and so I was happy!!! just like at D.Y. Patil!!!

Brainwaves usually come from unexpected quarters…… so did this one!!! This came surprisingly from Dhir who had once told me to go and teach kids!!! I thought he had gone nuts. But it stayed with me and when the offer came I agreed. I don’t think I would have agreed in other circumstances!!! but since the thought was already in my mind I simply said yes!!! So I think thanks are due to DHIR!!! thanks again buddy!!! I owe you big time!!! All in all it was another satisfying stint in my career….. so now I am going back to my beloved research and gymming full time.

Solitude

Three posts in a row….. Man I am really something!!!

The rains and the peace that I am deriving from it are getting me into a state of lonely bliss. Every time I get into the rat race of life and as life swirls around and within me, I am again and again confronted with the fact that I have so little time for myself and the fact that there is always a list to be completed. Some work somewhere which I have stowed away for the time being which eventually has to be brought out and done with.

I read this something about Solitude and it got me thinking!!!

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great person is one who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e. lack of contact with people. It may stem from deliberate choice, contagious disease, disfiguring features, repulsive personal habits, or circumstances of employment or situation. Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one may work, think or rest without being disturbed. It may be desired for the sake of privacy. A distinction can be made between physical and mental seclusion. People may seek physical seclusion to remove distractions and make it easier to concentrate, reflect, or meditate. However, this is not necessarily an end in and of itself. Once a certain capacity to resist distractions is achieved, people become less sensitive to distractions and more capable of maintaining mindfulness and staying inwardly absorbed and concentrated. Such people, unless on a mission of helping others, don’t seek any interaction with the external physical world. Their mindfulness is their world, at least ostensibly.

Remember Solitary reaper by William Wordsworth??? I did that in school – A poem, with a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, which was recollected in tranquility by the poet. I don’t know why but all through this poem has hit me big time!!! Something like getting back the calmness in the soul and I love it most when it is whispered – One of my all time favorites after marriage of true minds by Shakespeare.

The solitary reaper

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travelers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?–
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;–
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

“The Solitary Reaper” begins with the speaker instructing us to look upon “Yon solitary Highland Lass” who is “Reaping and singing by herself”. Thrilled by her song, the speaker compares the girl to a nightingale whose “melancholy strain” welcomes “weary bands / Of travelers” to “some shady haunt, / Among Arabian sands”. Yet he does not understand the words of her song and impatiently cries, “Will no one tell me what she sings?” He wonders if the subject is of “battles long ago” or of commonplace and universal things “familiar matters of to-day”, perhaps “some natural sorrow, loss, or pain.” Then he dismisses his own musings — “Whate’ver the theme,” he says, “the Maiden sang / As if her song could have no ending” -and refocuses his attention on the song. He listens, “motionless and still”, before finally mounting the hill and leaving the solitary reaper, still singing, behind. Though his ears cannot hear the song anymore, the sound of the Highland Lass’s music will forever be a fresh and evocative memory in his heart.

The last line “long after it was heard no more” keeps echoing in my heart long after it has ended. It may be a poem to some but to me it is a beautiful piece which brings back the peace back into my soul. I was told that there is a lot of peace and happiness in the world and that I must find my own. I guess in such a quest for peace and happiness I long for the solitude. Sometimes when I am in my thoughts and suddenly hear somebody humming a familiar song or a song which I cant really understand but the song is haunting I often stop never really bothering the singer but just stop and listen. The poem has the same effect on me. It brings me out of my reverie and forces me to step out of the realms of my thoughts and just stop and wait…. That for me is my idea of solitude….. a time for me and myself!!! Main aur mera saya!!!

In today’s demanding generation we need to maintain some semblance of balance and some sense of the direction in which we are steering the ship of our life. Otherwise we feel overloaded, overreact to minor annoyances and feel like we can never catch up. I am very often faced with this situation and in my quest for the balance I often end up doing things that I regret later. I am never lonely with myself. I long for the time when “Main aur mera saya” can spend time with each other. It can be on a rainy day like this when I do not venture outdoors or it could be on a day when I and my hubby spend time either studying or reading or just driving by oblivious to the world. I don’t need to be talked to nor do I need to listen to music just the chirping of the birds or the humming of the wind will do for me. The other day when I was talking to a friend of mine I heard the voice of a cuckoo….. a cuckoo!!! It has been ages since I heard the voice of that bird. I asked my friend to stop talking and just let me hear. Sometime the voice of jagjit or pankaj udhas really haunts me so much that I stop doing what I was doing and spend a moment with the song.

Sometimes the very idea of silence can make us cringe because it can force an encounter with truths about our life and ourselves that we might not feel ready for. It amazes me how the things we need most often seem elusive or even undesirable.But we do need a safe space to unwrap our wounds — and to let the healing begin. Solitude suggests peacefulness stemming from a state of inner richness. It is a means of enjoying the quiet and whatever it brings that is satisfying and from which we draw sustenance. It is something we cultivate. Solitude is refreshing; an opportunity to renew ourselves. In other words, it replenishes us. My idea of solitude in the broadest sense would be to sit beside the sea or sit beside the calmness of a lake or a water body and let the placid water or the sound of water seep into my being and gently but surely take away all the hurt and confusion and in its place keep only peace and quiet. Solitude gives us a chance to regain perspective. It renews us for the challenges of life. It allows us to get (back) into the position of driving our own lives, rather than having them run by schedules and demands. There is a very fine line dividing the concepts of loneliness and solitude in fact the line is so thin that one can easily thought of as the other. Where loneliness is a negative feeling, Solitude is a way of replenishing the heart, soul and the body for the challenges that life brings to us. Solitude is necessary for anyone who wishes to find peace….. And when I mean peace I mean the peace that emanates from within us. For I refuse to believe that anybody can get any peace elsewhere and even if they do the peace in question is absolutely short-lived. So when I say find the peace and happiness…. I mean find it from within yourself and it is such a blissful feeling that seeps into your body and soul and makes you happy and keeps the happiness there all the time and believe me you can put the whole cosmetic industry out of business. Revel in solitude and cherish the quiet within you….. For that is the only way to happiness and peace.

GOOD vs BAD

Two subsequent blog entries make me wonder whether I am after all metamorphosising to something different…… something GOOD!!! That again makes me wonder as to what is GOOD!!! GOOD according to the dictionary would mean “having desirable qualities especially those suited for a thing specified”. That itself would mean that the meaning of the word would depend on the perception of the person using the word GOOD.

Some people say that I am GOOD whereas there are lots others whose entire lives depends on proving to me that I AM NOT GOOD!!! I come across both types of people on a daily basis. But if I were to run into a popularity contest believe me I will lose miserably. I generally do not base my life looking for appreciation of people but again I am always careful that I do not hurt anybody intentionally or unintentionally…. I am not really successful in that regard and anyways I have realized that I cannot really make everyone happy…… but I do try to…. specially the people close to me but I am afraid I fail most of the times……. Eventually I have given up even trying. But time and again I am faced by this dilemma which makes me think if there really are some parameters in which I could define the word “GOOD” and if there was a code of conduct…… believe me the world would be so much simpler….. in my attempt to make my life and the life of all the people attached to me simpler I think I really complicate the whole thing.

I stopped getting into the good books of people a long time ago….. A useless venture…. because eventually people believe what they wish to immaterial of what you wish to convince them. The last one I got was my temper and me being selfish and tried as I could to convince that it was infact…. PMS……. I don’t think anybody bought that. I believe that when you accept a person you should accept the person with all the qualities that they possess…. GOOD and BAD. The good quality is always accepted but people do not wish to accept the bad.

I am a Hindu. In the Hindu way of life we are taught to believe that the GOOD and the BAD always persist alongside each other and where there is GOODNESS there is also the element of BAD. The good becomes good only because of the bad…. so when we worship DURGA we also worship MAHISHASUR because even though he was a bad person, he met his end in the hands of GOODNESS……. for that itself, he had a lot of goodness within him.

Most people are looking for a certain element in a person and they do not wish to see rest. They want to “slot” the person into something. Most of the times the person does not fit into it and then “hell breaks loose” and the questions of good and bad come through. When I was younger I tried to convince people about the misconceptions they had about me……. nobody ever understood….. Eventually I gave up. I sometimes I wonder whether the problem is with me that people don’t understand me because so many people could not be wrong. But I guess this mystery will always remain unsolved as I have given up on people trying to “understand me” and simply live my existence.

I think my hubby is really fed up of answering this question for me over and over again everyday and so I guess I should just stop asking him that and just be!!! So if I lose the popularity contests most of the times in my hubby’s eyes I ALWAYS WIN….. Guess he has no choice than to get me to win!!! yes i am spoilt!!!

%d bloggers like this: