Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The other day I was chatting with a friend of mine and we started talking about relationships. He said to me, ‘Relationships should be nurtured, like a baby.’
What a simple way of describing something that most people don’t understand. How many times a relationship falls apart because the people involved in it didn’t spend enough time working on it, didn’t give it much importance? I am not just talking about romantic relationship here; it could be a relationship between friends, parents and children with anyone. They all need to be treated with the same respect and given, maybe not equal, but some importance.
When a baby is growing up, his each and every movement is watched closely, everything that can hurt him is moved out of the way, and everyone tries their best to always keep him smiling and laughing. Everyone takes care of him, love him, and protect him. Why? Because, babies are fragile and delicate.
The same goes for our relationships, they are so fragile that a small shred of mis-understanding, un-certainty can break it into tiny un-repairable shreds. In case of babies, everyone around them can see how delicate and how fragile they are and which is why they all rush to make sure that he is happy and taken care of. In case of relationships, it is not something that we can see, but something we need to feel. Something we need to understand. But most of us don’t and which is why many a times these relationships go for a toss. They are taken for granted and then gradually fade away.
People go running behind lucrative careers and trying to make as much money as possible in this short span of life. There is nothing wrong in that. Nothing wrong in wanting a comfortable lifestyle but in wanting that lifestyle people forget what is the one most important thing in their life. It is relationships that surround them and the people who are with them. When I talk about relationships I do not only mean the one that you have with the other people but also the one that you have with yourself. I believe that unless you are at peace with yourself there is no way you can have a harmonious relationship with anyone else around you.
But then I think for some reason everyone wants to see something tangible in front of their eyes in order to believe it or take care of it. “Seeing is believing” cannot be applied in every situation now can it? I guess these days the hopeless romantic in me has awoken again. It had taken a back seat for quite some time. But now that it is up and running, I have started given these things a lot of thoughts again. About why is it that people put money over their relations? Why do people take others for granted? When I talk about romance I don’t just mean the ‘girl-boy’ thing. It could be with anyone. Who says there cannot be romance between you and your friend? It is there everywhere, all around us, all we have to do is open ourselves up to it and feel it.
I am a huge fan of regency romances. All the courting and ball room dancing in the Victorian times. Every time I read any such book or watch any such movie, it makes me wish immediately that I was back in those times being courted with poetry, with music, with dancing. Yes, I do admit that the lives back then must have been pretty boring compared to what we have now, but boy all those fine gentlemen with their charms, the hand written letters *sigh*. In those days they believed in the romance, in the magic behind it. Now it has slowly faded away and I am afraid that it will die soon. I know I know I am a huge ambassador for change, and keep saying that change is the one constant thing in our life and we not only have to accept it but celebrate it. But one can still wish that some things remain the same through the times right? Even if its in dreams.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Today i was feeling very sleepy at work..three nights of not sleeping properly had taken its toll finally! So i decided to leave half an hour early and go for a walk in the garden. Just me and my music. I usually walk around with my head bent and lost in my own thoughts today was no different. But at one point i suddenly looked up, as if some force is asking me to. And the sight was something no words can describe. I tried to capture it in the camera but i dont think this picture can do any justice to it. Then i remembered that its full moon today. I must have seen it so many times in my 23 years yet it leaves me with a sense of wonder. There is something about it which is magical, and cannot be expressed. Am glad i decided to come out today :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Recently I read the following quote, “Life is a process of becoming, and a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” How true is this! Basically, in a simple language what it means that in order to live this life you have to accept the fact that there will be constant changes and you have to accept them. Not just blindly accept but learn to celebrate, to enjoy those changes.

At some point we all look back and see how it was earlier and miss what we had then but there are times when we fail to see what we have now. I always look back to my college days and wish that they had never gone away. But what I have now is not bad either. Yes, those sweet memories still remain and I miss the friends I had then. We all have our separate lives now and we have all moved on.

It is not easy to let go completely of what you had. The bittersweet memories will always remain. But that also does not mean that we have to live in our past. We have to learn to move on and to embrace new things. Unless we do that we will never be able to grow up.

There have recently been a lot of changes in my life and there are times when I look back at what my life was 2 months ago and how it is now. I miss a lot of things which I had earlier but then again I wouldn’t give up what I have now for anything.

I think more than the situations, we miss the people who were around us at that time. Some people come in our lives for a short time; they teach us so much and then slowly go away. We don’t like those changes; we want things to go back to the way they were. We want those people back. But in this wanting and longing, we forget to cherish the good times we had with them. Instead we keep concentrating on what we could have had more. It is hard to let go, I know. I have said good bye to so many friends. But I also know that no matter what I do those times will never come back. All I can do is close my eyes and think about those days, and let my mind wander to those places with those people. It never fails to bring a smile to my face. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The other day in office we were all seeing a forwarded mail which contained some pics of an upcoming movie called “Dostana”. The movie is about two guys who pretend to be gay so that they can get to live in the apartment they want. As we were watching the pics, someone said “There was a time when parents used to worry about their sons marrying a white female when they went abroad, now they would probably worry about their son hooking up with a guy.”

I got real mad when I heard this. I asked them why it matters who a person decides to spend the rest of their lives with as long as they are happy. They replied saying that it is “un-natural” and it is due to so much hype created around the issue many people are turning towards it. I felt like screaming then. It is not as if a person gets up one morning and decides “Oh you know what I think I am going to be gay!” That is not how it works! We are attracted to the people of the opposite sex, which is natural to us; just like that there are some people who are attracted to persons of the same sex. That is natural to them. Where does the “un-natural” part come in this? I can never understand how some people can be so closed minded about certain issues. For them what they believe is right and everything else is all crap! I just wish people would open up their minds and hearts a little bit more.

That day I got so frustrated trying to talk to them about it. Then I realised that I am fighting a loosing battle. They had their minds made up and nothing that anyone can say would penetrate through that wall and make them see reason. But then again, that is their opinion. I am not saying that they should change their thinking just because I said something once, I just wish they would try and broaden their horizons and see that the world is not limited inside a nutshell..it is so huge..so vast…that it can never be limited…

Gee I am not sure if I am making any sense…I am half asleep over here..just had to put this down tho.. yawn…

I have been meaning to write this from a long time but never got around to doing it...now will finally do it...

I have seen so many people around me..all working for big MNCs and getting good pay and benifits but all they can do is crib about their job and how much it sucks!!! Then as i travel to work everyday i look at the people sitting in the toll booths or the guy who stands almost in the middle of the road trying to stop the non PMT bus traffic from going in the 'special' PMT lane or the guy who is given the job of painiting the roads or the road dividers...all these people working in scorching heat...pouring rain...despite the heavy traffic blowing all sorts of dust and other gases in their faces..are they happy with their jobs? the other day i was travelling in a PMT bus and the ticket collecter was a young guy not more than 18 year of age..he reminded me of my cousin who is now in an engineering college....looking at him i felt shouldnt he be studying somewhere? instead of spending his time roaming around in crowded buses collecting money from the passengers..but then again i think...isnt it better tht they are at least making an honest living (even tho meagre)..they can go back home and relax thinking that at least they got something back...way way better than begging on the sreets and turning to unlawful means to fill their stomach....

But still..times like these i feel grateful for what i have....and go to bed everyday thanking the God for what he has given me...how can anyone complain about it? but then again isnt it their right to be happy? it is not their fault that they have comfortable homes while others are living off the streets. but i just wish that pepole would just take some time out and see what they already have rather than wanting and longing for more and more..

a long time back..when i was still in college..i was once sitting with my friends and we suddenly decided to go to a circus...we wanted to revisit out childhood...so we went there...once there instead of looking at all the shows being put up by people around..all i could look at was the dismal conditions which those artists were living in...the tents were visible when entering the place...i actually had tears in my eyes lookng at them...and i also felt ashamed for demanding all sorts luxuries from my parents..

i do believe in karma and the fact that you get what you deserve...but still it is not easy to accept the unfairness of the life all around u...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The dark rain clouds were gathering far ahead. The sweet smell of earth was in the air. The excitement related with the approach of the first monsoon was reflected in the face of each child who was running around. Some children approached a tiny hut in a secluded corner of the village very expectantly, but were very disappointed with the sight that met their eyes and so they walked away silently.

He had watched their approach with half-heartedly. He knew that as always they will just come, take a look and then walk away; searching for something else that would attract their restless minds.

There was a time when this place was the center of all activities. Little girls in their brightly colored dresses and shiny bangles would crowd around him begging for another toy. The boys with their sun burnt skins and worn out dhotis would watch him tirelessly work miracles with his hands. People said he was a magician, who made magic not with tricks but with clay, wood and colors. He never had to argue with anyone regarding the price of his precious toys. There were many reasons for this, he never overpriced his goods, his goods were worth every anna he asked for it, so people didn’t mind paying him and lastly he could not argue. He was mute. God had never given him the gift of speech, but he gave him another gift. The ability to make wonders with his hands. A gift, which brought joyful smiles to so many young faces.

That day was a very special day for him. He had made his best ever piece. A harmonium. It was a very special instrument, different from all the other ones. Why? Simply because not only did it churn out the seven melodious notes of music, he had also captured the seven colors of the rainbow and put them in this little masterpiece of his. He had worked on it for days and now it was complete. He could just imagine the radiant smile on her face when he gave her this gift. His Sugandha. He let a sigh escape him. How he loved her. He still remembered the first time he saw her by the banks of the flowing river. The soft tinkle of her anklets as she walked around in the grass, that musical laugh as she shared jokes with her friends, those long dark hair falling on her back and those big eyes which could melt a mans heart to mush. He knew he loved her from the moment he saw her and felt like he was on seventh heaven when she looked at him and smiled. He thought he had died and gone to heaven. He wanted to tell her how much he loved her, he wanted to pour out all his feelings for her but he could not. He could not say it. So he decided to tell her through his toys. From then on he would occasionally make a toy for her and bring it to her house. He would always tremble when her fingers would touch his while taking her gift. And he would revel in that feeling the entire day. She would just take the toy and line it up outside her house. And soon all the colors that he had put in them would just fade away into nothing. But he didn’t mind. His heart, blinded by love, failed to see the indifference in her eyes.

That day as he walked towards her home with the harmonium in his hand he was so sure that the moment she sees it she would jump for joy and run into his arms. He had imagined this scene over and over in his mind. His heart was singing as he walked along. It had been raining all day and sun had just come out. He had seized this moment to rush over to her place and give his gift as soon as possible.

As he was walking along he looked up and he saw something that mesmerized him. It was one of the most beautiful creations of God. It was a rainbow. He looked at it and he forgot all about what was going on around him, and all about where he was going. He stood there transfixed and his heart was filled with pure joy. He then realized something with a start and started running towards her house. He knew he had to show her. He looked at it as a sign from the heavens above. An opportunity, that God gave him to pour his heart out. He knocked urgently on her door and asked her through his signs to come with him immediately. She didn’t want to, she had just been gifted a new black dress by the Zamindar’s son and she wanted to show it off to all her friends. But he left her no choice; he almost dragged her with him to the banks of the same river where they had first met. He then pointed to the sky, the rainbow adorning it. She took one look at it and then started to admire her reflection in the surface of the water that had pooled up on the ground. He again tried to catch her attention and tell her how he had captured the colors of the rainbow in his little toy just for her. So that she would be surrounded by them forever. She shot him an irritated look and said, “But it is not complete!” In that moment he noticed her black dress and how happy she was with it. He realized that he could never be the one to bring color in her life. He was devastated.

It had stopped raining, but the storm inside his heard could not be calmed. Those rains had washed away the colors in his life too. That was exactly a year ago. Things had changed a lot since then. What used to be the life of the village now looked like a century old abandoned building. The magic was gone.

Today, as he sat and watched the raindrops fall from the sky, he was struck with a sudden idea. There was a light in his eyes which had been gone for quite some time. He jumped up from his charpai and rushed out of his hut. He ran from one hut to another asking everyone if they had any colors they could spare from him. The people of the village always had liked this magician of theirs. They readily poured their hearts out and gave him all they had. Soon his bag was full of colors. All sorts them. He then rushed back to his house and waited. As soon as the rains stopped, he picked up the bag and started running towards the river bank. Those who saw him thought that he had lost his mind. There was a crazy gleam in his eyes.

The moment he reached the banks, he threw down his bag and took out all his colors and opened them. He then took out his brush and started throwing these colors in the sky. There was a rainbow today too. It was an incomplete one. He thought that maybe, just maybe if he completes this, his Sugandha would come back to him and he would be the happiest person on this planet. He wanted to do this for her. But soon he realized that however much he tried, he just couldn’t paint the sky. Village magician he was, but not powerful enough to fuse his colors with the biggest magician there is. But he still didn’t stop. He kept going on and these words kept echoing in his head all the time:

Raang de do sabhi, dedo saare raang mujh ko abhi.

Indra-dhanush jo adhura hai, usse poora karana hai.

Aasmaan raangan hai, Mujhe aasmaan rangna hai

(Give all the colors, give me the colors now,

The rainbow is half done, and needs to be completed.

Have to color the sky, I have to paint the sky).

Finally his colors were over and overcome with the mental and physical exhaustion he fell onto his knees and started crying. He had failed. He could not complete the rainbow. His love would never come back to him.

“Your rainbow is already completed Suraj”. The voice was soft and sweet. It sounded as if all the seven notes were emanating from the throat and floating around in the air.

He thought he was dreaming and ignored it. “Just look in the pool beside you Suraj”. The same voice again. This time he did look up and look in the pool as it suggested. He clouded brain could not decipher anything in the beginning, but then the clouds clear away and he saw it. The rainbow that he had thought he could not complete was looking back at him, the full semi-circle of it. The colors that had fallen from his brush had completed the reflection of the rainbow from the sky. He eyes welled up with tears again. This time out of pure joy. The tears that fell from his eyes cleared away the colors from the water surface. And from those colors emerged a face, a face which reflected all the colors that he had painted. Whose eyes looked at him and only him. It was Saloni. They kept looking at each other silently for a long time and he knew that it was going to be all right. Life was going to be all right.

Disclaimer: The concept of this story is by one of my colleagues Ankit.