Saturday, September 29, 2012

What Salsa means to me

The first thing that comes in mind when people hear the word "salsa" is sexy ladies in sequined dresses and high heels twirling around the dance floor lead by a handsome guy on the beat of a saucy Latin number. But if you really get into the heart of it there is more to it than just the music and the steps. Its the emotions involved with those movements which makes the dance so special. Each step speaks a story in itself. It describes a relationship in all its stages.
First there is  the glance, the connections that the eyes make when they spot their partner. And if you can hold on to that connection throughout the dance, you know you got something special. Then comes the simple flirting. The back and forth game of both the partners testing the waters, with the Basic step. They want to see if how far can this game go. And then things get a bit serious and the fun begins!! 
Salsa is about flirting, about love, about passion about trust. For that moment on the floor he owns her. She is his to do what he wants and he takes that responsibility seriously and is a perfect gentleman. She knows that he will not let any harm come her way. He wants to show her off to the world. Show off the fact that she is with him. He knows that while dancing all eyes will be on her and he will just be a background presence and he is OK with that. She does her best so that she looks good for him.
With each turn he leads her into, he tries to imagine what his life would be without her and the moment she turns away he cannot bear it and pulls her back towards him. At the same time he knows that there are times when they both need their own space. And so, when he leaves her to do her shines while he is doing his, he knows that there is a chance that she might just walk away, or might get whisked away by another partner, but he has that faith in her and the confidence in himself that she will come back to him.. The same for her, she knows that when he is letting her go, it might be for good. But in the end they both come back to each other (or find a new partner ;) ). With each drop he lets her know that no matter how hard she falls he will always be there to catch her and lift her up. Every time they get tied in a lock they know that no matter how tricky the situation is they will come out of it sooner or later.
All these stories, these feelings, these emotions form the beautiful dance of Salsa, and  I have just listed a very tiny portion of it and I hope I have done justice to it. There is still so much to explore.
Ps. This is just my personal interpretation of the dance. There can be different thoughts too! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In one of my previous posts I mentioned how relationships are so fragile that they need to be nurtured like a baby. How, every moment, we need to ensure that nothing happens to rip it apart. At the same time, it does not mean that nothing will ever go wrong in the relationship. That life will be perfect and you will be the perfect made-for-each other lovey-dovey couple. Of course there will be rough times, there will be fights, and there will be moments of separation, moments of insanity when you hate each other so much that you would want to kill them! The balance between the good times and the bad, this is what constitutes a relationship, making it perfect.

But does this mean that we get scared of the challenges, and just turn our backs when something bad happens? Just take the easy way out and latch on to someone else? Then what, if something goes wrong in the other relationship you would leave that and go to some third person?? How long will this go on?? How long will you keep jumping from one person to another? This is not what committed relationship is all about.

Babies fall sick too, but that doesn’t mean we abandon them and try for another one! We take care of them; look after them, till they are well and happy again. Why cant people do the same for their relationships? Why cant they just be patient and look after it step by step. It may take time to recover, but recover it definitely will. Ok, I am not saying all relationships are worth preserving. There are some people who are just not meant to be together, for them I guess it’s just as well that they realize the fact as soon as possible and go their own ways before its too late. But then again, sometimes I also wonder if people hold on to something that is not meant to be just because of the fear of being alone.

There is nothing complicated about it, if you see the bigger picture. It’s either meant to be or not. If it is meant to be then you constantly work on it to keep it alive, if its not then its bye-bye. It’s just us who make it so complicated. Who bring in our egos, our pride, our fears, our insecurities in the middle and make a mess of the whole thing.

Sure everyone makes mistakes. It is life’s way to teach us important lessons. But do we really learn from them? There is a first time for everything, so of course there is a first time to fall flat in your face also. But does that mean you keep setting yourself up to fall like this? You will soon end up in a state where you will be too tired to get up.

It just angers me to see people treating something so beautiful, so casually. Just blame it on some external factor. I wish people would just realize the value of relationships, realize how beautiful life can be if they just cherish what they have. I wonder if that is a bit too much to ask for.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance

Today a friend of mine told me about a psychological term known as “cognitive dissonance”. In simple layman’s language, it is described as “the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.” This is what I understood about it:
I guess we can at times describe it as the conflict between the head and the heart. Your head believes in something that is right, defining how things should be and what is the right way to go. Whereas your heart, the impulsive, non-thinking decision maker, just does what it wants to. And if the head is not able to control the heart at the right time, you will end up in the situation which will result in a conflict in your mind.
This is all well and good. It explains why people at times say something and do something else. Why at times we see people going against their “principles” and end up doing what their heart desires. I guess when it comes to this; there is a dissonance in my mind too. What should we do in such situations? What is the right way to go?

On one hand, I feel that one must always stand true to his/her principles. If you believe stealing is bad, then you have no right to steal and then say the circumstances were difficult and I had to do it. I hate it when people will go around looking down on someone because of certain qualities that person might have and they themselves cannot follow their own principles.
On the other hand, I feel why should one be bound by the rules of the head all the time? What is wrong in listening to your heart and going with the flow once in a while? You cannot live your life as a rule book; you cannot just define how you would behave in a particular situation. You may think a certain thing about yourself, but when you yourself land in a certain situation, the circumstances might induce you to behave in another way.

I guess this is why my mind is forever in a conflicting state. What is someone did something like this and ended up hurting you? Would you be able to forgive that person? Would you be able to forgive yourself? Even if you forgive, would you ever be able to forget? Would the wounds ever heal? You would be able to move on yes, but would that person ever get your trust again? What is done is done, there is nothing you can do to change it, but do you really want to go on thinking about it? Or is it better to just forget about everything and vow never to make the same mistake again?
Life teaches us lessons with every experience we have. We must never let the learning opportunity slip by us. But at the same time, is it really that easy to forget the pain and the hurt?

Hmm I think I am digressing, I guess looking at everything in a broader picture, I would say that one must follow the heart yes, but there are times when you have to consider another person. In that case one must always take a step back and see if in following their heart, would they hurt the other person. If yes, then just let it go, stop listening to the heart. Listen to your mind.
But then, would it mean that this will drown this voice of your heart? Damn this conflict is never ending!! sigh!!

Note: My friend pointed me to this verse in todays paper which is coincidentally related to what I mentioned above:
The Battlefield at the Kurukshetra is the human mind. It is always in conflict, faced with the freedom to choose without wisdom. The owner of the chariot is the ego or jivatma. The body is the chariot, a vehicle by means of which a life of dharma or ethical living may be achieved. The intellect is the charioteer (Krishna), and with such a person steering the course, success in any endeavour is assured. The five horses are the five sense organs. The road ahead is littered with the sense objects the mind runs after. The mind is the reins, and when it is calm and collected, it can control the sense organs from running wild and taking the wrong paths.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A trip down memory lane

Ok so Ms. Adisha tagged me on this one..but unlike her I am not a i am not sure if I will be doing justice to this..but what the heck will try to reach the 25 mark....

1) When I was a little kid, and would go out with the family, the moment we would start nearing the house, I would pretend to fall asleep so that my dad could carry me in. I was caught smiling so many times, but he never seemed to mind :).

2) My mom had made me join Kathak classes, I would enjoy them so much that I would start dancing in the streets.

3) I always always always hated studying, would hide some book between my study books and read that in between when no one was around.

4) I had made my younger brother eat the leaves of some plant (dont remember the name, all I remember is that it smelled like garlic), telling him that it is very good for the teeth. Got chased by him around the garden when he found out that I had tricked him.

5) In one of the pool dinner parties at my dad's friend's house, one of the aunty's was making chicken starters, the moment the first batch came out, me along with 2 of my friends, finished up the entire plate before it even reached the others. We were banned from coming near it the rest of the night.

6) When I was in Bhopal, every year before holi, us along with some family friends would always go out in hunt for some special flowers which come only during that time. We would pluck them and get them home and try to make colors out of it. We never succeeded, but it was fun.

7) When I was in the 5th standard, we had gone to manali. On one of the days we had stopped near a plum orchard, when all the parents were busy making purchases, we kids sneaked into the orchard and filled our pants with as many plums as possible. Soon our pants were sliding down. Our parents didnt notice it till the time we were in the bus, when they did, they were furious, and they made us go back to those people and apologize. Luckily for us, they were very kind hearted and laughingly told us that it was ok and refused to take payment for the same.

8) When we had shifted to Goa and I joined the new school, during the first music lesson, our sir had taught us "Leaving on a Jet Plane". I was so touched by it that I started crying in the class.

9) When we were kids and our parents would sit and watch movie and some scary scene would come, I would go and hide behind the sofa and drag my brother along with me. He used to have no clue about why the hell am I doing that, but would just come behind me.

10) When I was in the 6th standard, in Goa, my best friend had bought a dog. We used to go over to each others place to spend the day there. At that time I was very afraid of dogs. I was visiting her and I had asked her to tie up her dog before I entered. She didnt and the moment I entered the big furry German Shepard got all excited and climbed on top of me. His forepaws were on my shoulders and I was staring right into his barking mouth. I dont think I have ever screamed so loud!!

11) In the third year of our engineering, during the monsoon season, my friends and I used to just hang out around college, and wander around in the rain. We would keep our stuff in someone's room and just walk around in the rain. Then we would go to the cafeteria and have a steaming hot cup of coffee. *sigh* I miss that.

12) When I had just learned to ride a two-wheeler and had started going around on my kinetic, many times, I would just pick up the bike and roam around through the green tree lined streets of Goa, during the rains! All by myself!! :)

13) Our last holi in bhopal had started out very dull. Usually our family friends would all get together at someone's place and celebrate it. This time, while planning everyone seemed to be busy with something or the other so they said they couldnt make it. I was very disappointed thinking that it would be my worst holi ever. Since I would soon be leaving all of them and going to a new place. As the day went by, one by one, people started coming over. When more and more people came, we called up the rest of them and forced them to come too. Soon the entire gang was assembled at our place. We removed the cover of the water tank behind our house and poured color in it and jumped in it. It turned out to be my best holi ever :).

14) When we used to come to my grandma's place for summer holidays, we would sleep in my grandparent's room. In the middle of the night I would wake up many times with my grandpa's snores. I used to belive that there is a tiger loose somewhere out and if I make any noise it would come in. I would just close my eyes tight and will myself to go back to sleep.

15) When I was in the 6th standard, we had a group of 4 girls. After our lunch, we would get together in the school shed below and play the game of famous five. Only there was just the 4 of us. We called it our secret game, so holy that we had made a pact that we would not divulge the details of the game to anyone. And the person who does that will be banned from the group forever. (I feel so stupid now).

16) When I was in the 4th standard, our dance school was putting up a classical dance performance for doordarshan. Instead of playing the songs on the radio one of the teachers were singing all the songs. During my groups dance performance, she skipped a paragraph and went to the next one. Even though we had realized the mistake we decided to go ahead with our steps. My mood was off for the rest of the day. I did not go back to the school untill my sir called my mom and assured me that he is not angry with me.

17) Two years ago I had gone home for vacation and 2 days before I was supposed to leave for here, I slipped while coming out of the bathroom and got a hairline fracture in my foot. I spent 3 horrible weeks in a cast. I removed it a day beofre my birthday. When I came back from the hospital I saw that my mom had made the most wonderful chocolate-cherry cake. We all finished it in 2 hours. She had to bake another one for my birthday.

18) After I came back from my leg breaking vacation, there was a salsa party and a friend forced me to come for it. I was having a hard time watching others dance while I just sat in a corner. One of my friend then came over to me and lead me to the dance floor and made me dance. I didnt feel the pain of the broken foot at all :D.

19) I hate to admit this but the reason I had joined the salsa classes was because I had a massive crush on a guy. Later I fell in love with dancing, and keep falling in love with it everyday!!!

20) When I was in the 10th standard, I would sit out in the balcony and study. All the people around in the colony would see me study and keep praising me because I am study so seriously. Little did they know that 80% of the time, I would either be reading a hidden novel or be off in the dream land.

21) The first time I ever sang on stage was for an office party. A friend of mine wanted to sing a duet with someone and he pulled me along with him. I don't have a very loud voice so when we were doing the final stage practice (the first practice with a mic), I found that even though I am singing my loudest on the mic, only the people who were standing around me could hear me. Fortunately I had got a very loud mic during the performance, in the middle of which my friend asked me to give him my mic. I absolutely refused to. Later he told me that he was asking me for the mic as there was something wrong with his!! I was so embarrassed.

22) A couple of months back, I needed a time away from everything so I decided to go on a trip alone. I went to Matheran. After a lot of initial hassles I reached there in the middle of the afternoon. I was tired, hungry and feeling hot as hell. Wanted to crash in the first hotel I could find. But they refused to give me a single room. When I was turned down by the second place too, I asked them for the reason and they told me that they do not give out rooms to single people because they are afraid that the guests might commit suicide. I didnt know whether to laugh out loud or just slap the guys face!

23) I had gone out for dinner with my friends. They had a 2 member live band out there and they were playing all sorts of songs ranging from oldies to rock. There were not many people around so initially we got up and started dancing in the little space that was avaialable. Then as we got tired, we just sat and listened to the great music, singing on top of our voices. We sat there and sang the night away. I was still on a high the next day.

24) Last June, we had gone out for a picnic during my friend's birthday. It was raining slightly, green all around. We pulled up on to the side of the road to cut the cake. Once we were done hogging, we put on loud music and danced in the middle of the road.

25) When I was in college and still staying at my grandma's place, my crazy friends had come over for lunch. A new guy had moved in next door and he used to stay alone and his friends would come over at times. I had told my friends about him. My aunt's kitchen opens out to the balconey from one side. And this balcony looks out into the balcony of the house next door. We were all in the kitchen and my friends wanted to look at the cute guy next door. They opened the connecting door and started walking out while peeping into his house. Only to see that he and all his friends were standing out in their balcony looking at us staring at them!!! We turned back and ran inside.

Phew finally done, its hard to stop once you get started. So I guess I will have to tag people now. Not many to tag, Dreamer, Ramer, Shal thats it I suppose.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The power above

Its really strange how at times you feel that the entire powers in the universe are coming together to make things wrong for you. But whats even stranger that there are times when these same powers come together to make things absolutely perfect for you. To bring a smile on your sad face. Times like these your faith is restored, and you feel lucky to be alive.
I have had so many experience like this, whenever I am feeling sad or lonely, its as if everywhere I turn around, there are things happening to make me feel better. To cheer me up. In some kinds of actions or maybe the words I read somewhere.
For eg, yesterday, I was feeling a bit low because I was saying goodbye to a close friend of mine. Or rather he was saying bye to me. I was hurt and angry, angry at him. My head was getting heavier by the minute. I just logged on to a site and casually checked my horoscope. It said "You will be saying good bye to someone close. It may seem that everything is going wrong but its for the best." The moment I read that I realised that its true, it is for the best. A little while after that I got a story from my mentor in a mail forward, the bottom line of that was "Never keep the key to your happiness in someone else's hand."

It is not a new or some extraordinary saying. It is something all of us have heard at one point or the other. But we keep forgetting about it. Reading that story, those words, made me realise something that I had forgotten. The fact that I had once decided to live my life according to this principle and somewhere over time it faded away.

It does not mean that you would be truly happy if you live your life as a hermit. All it says that wether you are happy or sad, its your choice. No matter what the situation is, its upto you to think how you want to react to it. Would you let someone eles's bad mood spoil yours? You have no right to blame someone else for your pain. Its you, its you all around. You just have to realise it.

And of course, whenever you forget, the big guy up there, is sure to send some signs to remind you. You just have to keep a look out for them. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Who would you pick?

Last night I was sitting with my roomie and we were talking about the kind of person we would want to be our life partners. It all started with her meeting a prospective guy over the weekend. She is a lot like me, likes her freedom, is independent and would like to have a fun partner. This is how we categorized the male species:

The first type of guy very interesting, he is spontaneous, and you have great conversations with him, very open, very independent and adventurous. But, you cannot be sure of having that security with him. What if he just comes in one day and announces out of the blue that he has quit his job. Would he be responsible? Would he take care of you? Would you feel secure with him? Yes, there would be a lot of fun times with him, lot of laughter, lot of adventure, one wouldn’t get the cagey feeling you generally feel with the typical Indian men, and he would respect your space. He will let you be independent and he will not enforce his views on you. But on the down side, he would think about himself before thinking about you, he would be so very lost in his own world that he might not sometime realize that he has hurt you, he wouldn’t understand these things unless you directly tell him, and at times he might not be considerate towards your feelings either, you cannot have any expectations from him because you will end up with a broken heart. But then again, if you tell him honestly and directly how you feel, he would make sure that he does not repeat the same mistake again. He would take care of that. But to get there, you have to go through a lot of heartache. I have had first hand experience with such type ;). There are a few people who fit in this category.

The second type of guy is the alpha male of the pack. What he says goes. Oh he would

prefer a house wife but if she is working, of course, she has to be home before he gets home. She has to take care of him, his family, their home and her job while he just sits back in front of the TV, after work, and relaxes. Of course, since he has had such a long day he has every right to relax! But life with him is secure, also in other words boring. Nothing new, nothing different. He will care for you, provide for you and life will go on. Yawn! These are the most commonly available types.

Then there is the third type, well you really don’t know where to fit them. These types of guys are very very very rarely found. Maybe one in a thousand. But they are there. They would love you and care for you till no end, but at the same time expect you to know who the boss is around. They like your independence and respect it. They might even lend a hand in sharing the responsibilities of your house work, but not take over completely. You have some amount of fun with them, but life is not an adventure. The fun might be there initially, but it could wear off. They may be the fun and spontaneous types but when it comes to family they would know when to stop acting wild and take over some responsibility. Wow they almost seem perfect, but then there is just one flaw here, which I have mentioned above, that they are VERY RARE.

We kept thinking which category we would want our guy to fit in. Personally, I think that despite of all the heartache and pain I would still go in with the first guy. They don’t try to change you; they accept you for who you are. They are very open about everything and expect you to be also. And as long as you are, it’s a smooth sailing. So yes, I would go with category #1. But then again, even though there are a few guys who fit that bill, they are still not easily found.

NB: I listed these categories just based on what I know, if there are any additions/changes, feel free to add.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"But" & "And"; "What if" & "so what"

A couple of weeks back I was really upset about somethings going on in my life. I felt hurt, angry, upset. I kept quiet about it and the pain increased. When it had reached the boiling point, I knew I had to talk to someone, and then I spoke to him. My mentor, friend, guru, call it whatever. I told him what was bothering me and he told me the funda of "But & And". He said, it is the way you use these two words can make a lot of difference in your life.
You can say "I have XYZ but I dont have ABC". This way, you are telling others as well as yourself that you are unhappy with the way things are. And, if you keep repeating this to yourself, or keep thinking about it, the unhappier you will get.
Or you can say "I have XYZ and I dont have ABC". This way you are accepting the fact that you dont have that ABC and you are OK with it. It is the reality and you know it, and you have made peace with it. You know that there is nothing you can do to change the fact, and you are content with being where you are, with what you have.
The moment I heard this, it was like a weight is lifted off my chest. I was feeling lighter, happy and definitely more cheerful. Two simple words, but really powerful. They can make a world of a difference.

The next day, I was talking to him again and we started talking about regrets. We all have them, cannot escape them, but it is how you look at them matters.
You could say "What If I had done that, I wouldnt be in this position right now". Your mind would keep mulling it over and over and over and all you will keep thinking about is the time/thing you lost. You loose track of what is in front of you now.
You could also say, "Well it didnt happen, so what?" You just dismiss it off thinking one of the many things that happened to you or could happen to you. You dont want to dwell on it as you have other things to think about. You have moved on.

I had heard a lot of times before about how powerful language can be, but this is the first time I actually understood the difference a few words can make in your life, in your happiness :).