Sunday, January 19, 2014

On a cold rainy day..

It is absolutely grey and hazy outside. Been raining for quite a few hours now. The month is January and I sit basking in the love and warmth of ma baba in Patna. Bengali parents' love almost always translates into a lot of food. So, over the past few days I have obliged by eating an impressive amount of fish, chicken and all things sweet. One's got to do what one's got to do! What is it about the rain that makes a hot cup of coffee so endearing? My third steaming cup of the day and I don't think I am done yet.

Well, that was yesterday and its still grey. I switched from the laptop to a book. Reading Simplicity by Edward De Bono. He says, that in small and big things in life, we get used to complexity. So much so that we don't even notice it anymore. And then we keep piling things on it. There might not always be a simpler way of doing things, but there is always a possibility. Which we rarely explore. Bono says simplicity is a choice. Always ends up as a tough choice, but the choice is yours nonetheless. Its food for thought, especially when trivial things in life have started taking up so much time that we have forgotten to focus on the more important things.

Oh I saw Sholay on the big screen and how much I loved it! The old world charm of these movies are unbeatable. There was a time when Ma used to say that in my times movies used to have a story. And I used to frown and say 'Ma! Don't be so old school!'. And now I am old enough to start sentences with 'in my times' and I could not agree more. When Gabbar said 'ये हाथ हमको दे दे ठाकुर!', everyone in the theater promptly screamed 'नहीं!!'. :D All dialogues were remembered verbatim. And the songs! Ye dosti on big screen. I was elated! I love the sing along kind of songs. These oldies used to be my only escape option when I used to be put on the spot for singing in family get togethers. Okay that's a bad memory. If you are a Bong, you probably have gone through it too. Anyway, all I am trying to say is those are the only songs I really know. 'Halkat Jawani' has never struck home as the sing along kind. So yeah, go watch it if it is still running somewhere nearby. Oh Sholay also reminds me of this one awful joke which always cracks me up. :D

Talking about ye dosti, I guess everyone saw the Google ad. Of two old men connecting after ages across borders. Beautifully done. Is it true that if you didn't talk to someone close, for decades and suddenly connected, it will be the same? Probably not. But when was being same and being loved the same thing? The years might change your behaviour, your marital status, the fat on your belly and your hairline, but what it can't touch is the way you feel about the person. That feeling is always there somewhere. And probably strongest for the ones you have known the longest. :) Its a relief that this is how it is, because most of my loved ones are incredible distances apart. Some I rarely talk to. And I know, when I meet them, its not the same but the happiness is intact and the jokes are always on me.

Grey days need to end on happy notes. For today, I am keeping it simple. A book, a cup of coffee and an hour of Math lessons for Ma (yeah she has an exam! How the tables have turned. :P). Hoping for sunshine tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Important Questions

In the time space continuum, celebrating the end of a year and beginning of another is quite silly. Actually, it is a tad daunting. Whether you like it or not, you tend to look back and take stock. And no year is ordinary. Extraordinary happiness followed by moments of despair. The most boring, unbelievably mundane days followed by days when you wish time came to a standstill. That's how 2013 was and pretty much every other year will be.

So, did you do a random act of kindness? Did you smile till your eyes shone and others couldn't help grinning along? Did you laugh till your sides ached and people frowned at you? Did you dance like no one's watching? The aapdi pode style or the kite flying stance..which one did you prefer? Did you tell someone how truly you loved, even though you knew they'd walk away? Did you forgive or did you choose to remember? Did you travel to new places and were you the one who was so overjoyed in that moment, that a tear escaped while you drank to the good times? Because you couldn't hold on to that moment. Did you sing, at the top of your voice, with no rhythm or rhyme and thought it was the best rendition ever? Were you a good friend this year? Did you listen when your friends complained with their silence or did you not understand their silence? Did you make choices where there was no going back? Then, did you regret, for one small moment? Did you run and allow the music to drown out the noise? Did you learn something new; something that made you like yourself a shade better? Did you see the sun rise and set beautifully in so many different places? Did you remember the setting sun or the company you had then? Did you hug someone in a way that chases away all things blue? Did you pray? Did parents teach you yet again what unconditional love is? Were you happy this year? Did you truly live this year?

In an age of social networking and gadgets, we have forgotten how to truly live. To feel the sand under our feet. To smell the whiff of monsoon in the air. To look into people's eyes and talk. Maybe these new year's eves are just a way of remembering the things that really matter. The letters don't come any more. The cards have been replaced by walls and posts. Smiles were long taken over by smileys. Words have become abbreviations.  And me and you, well we connected over whatsapp, facebook and google plus. We connected, but the smell of ink on paper wasn't there. Your stories weren't there; neither was my excitement.

So, here's wishing that this year is more human than the previous one. More loved. More time spent with family and friends. More of everything that you really wish for. :) Cheers to a good one!

Happy new year! :)