Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Family Matters: Rohinton Mistry

I am spending my days reading whatever I can get my hands on. 'Family Matters' by Rohinton Mistry is a poignant tale about a Parsi family. This one is not a must-read, but there is something about the book that stays with you. Each family has its own set of problems and probably when you compare these problems, they're mostly in the same vein. That's why maybe we connect with these stories at some level or the other. A Parsi family with its fair share of ups and downs. Skeletons in the closet that keep surfacing time and again in the nightmares of Nariman Vakeel..the dying protagonist of the story.

We are all flawed in many ways..sometimes by choice and sometimes by circumstances. Living with a dear one who is dying. Choosing between food and medicines for the limited amount of money available. Job frustrations. Indian families are well versed with such conundrums. This family is no different.

What I liked in this book was the grandkids' unadulterated love for Nariman. Their inability to understand why adults behave the way they do. Their simple point of views..their gestures. We forget simplicity when we grow up. We get caught up in the humdrum of our daily lives. We forget that a smile goes a long way. That holding hands sometimes is the only way to let someone know that you're there.

There are moments in this book. Well written ones. Ones that make you smile. Ones that make you take a pause and think. Might get a tad dull at times, but like I said...bits of it will stay with you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

That sinkin' feeling!

Suddenly the only kind of time I know is free time. I know I know..my last post had an entire list of 'Things to do to kill time peacefully'..but that list also has an expiry date. Can't say I didn't see this coming. I mean what was I expecting anyway. MBA check. Partying check. Traveling check. Spending time with friends...never enough..but yes, check for the time being. So once my bucket list (which in this case was a list of to-do things before going home for good) ran out, I knew I had to board that train. Good old New Delhi-Patna Rajdhani. With its motley bunch of crass politicians and their hooligan sidekicks. Yes, I had them for company and no, I was not abducted.

Its been around fifteen days here, and the strange bit is I took this long to settle down. Settle down at home..I know it sounds quite ridiculous. But its the truth. Almost a decade away from home has made me a stranger to everything familiar. A couple of days or a week entitles you to guest-like treatment. But more than a month at home is the real deal. So I groped around for familiarity in the beginning..got psyched out..psyched out my folks..cribbed like the world was coming to an end..sulked...I was a 'moron' in every sense of the word. I wonder sometimes why do parents put up with their kids. Kids who can be such a pain! And then I settled down. And then it all sinks in. It fits. Blazing heat. Electricity cuts. Water cuts. Fights with dad. Awful jokes with dad. Ma's school. Ma's cleanliness fetish. Relatives. Marriage. Sermons. Don't know when did I forget that this is home. This is where I belong. This is who I am.

This post of mine has taken a serious turn. That was not the intention. If only I did things by design! :) Now to fill up the empty hours in a day, I have started taking swimming lessons. Anyone who remotely knows me would know my love for water. Last I took lessons..some six odd years back..I had managed to drown in six feet of water. Thrice. To my instructor's utter horror and my fellow swimmers' utter joy. She did save me each time. I think I had increased the membership of that swimming place..for my time slot atleast. I was such a sight..shouting 'Help!' the moment my feet couldn't touch base.

Now fast forward to New year 2010. We were in the sea wearing life jackets. There was NO way anyone could drown. Good ol' me had to down a couple of beers to let others convince me to take that ride...and still I was pretty sure i was heading towards a watery grave. Then Rishikesh happened a month back. My indignant friends had to row upstream in Ganges because I was twirling in the eddy and refused to swim towards the boat (I was wearing a life-jacket again!).

The point is I am really scared of water. So scared that the thought of swimming scares the living daylights out of me. I guess the pics make it evident enough! So I thought how much worse can it get. And so the swimming lessons here (Yes, for all you prejudiced folks...Patna has clubs with swimming pools in it!). I am learning. Floating. Splashing everyone around me doing what I think is swimming, while they shield themselves from the aqua-attack. Instructor says I am doing good. She is a kind lady. Six days down and many more to go. I hope not to give up this time. They say its child's play. And I am a hopeless optimist. :)

 Its been a while since I last blogged. So the long meandering post. Missing the life that was. The friends I adore to bits and pieces. Liking the 'home'ly feeling. Looking forward to the new life, which is still a month away. The past, present and future. We live in each one of them everyday..in a round robin manner. Way past the home curfew hour. More later!