Monday, 19 January 2015

Looking Through The Glass

“Nothing external to you has any power over you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

She stood there – her eyes widened. She saw this day after day yet her amazement glittered with the lights she saw. It was the same set up. She could hear a distinct Sarangi sound in her backdrop. Her eyes pierced through the tinted glass she could never dare to touch. A chandelier sparkled like so many tiny suns dangling together. Doesn't it dazzle the people in there? The question popped in her mind every time she saw it. The dull yellow walls were adorned with some canvas. The colorful lines etched on the canvas made no sense to her.She tilted her face to a side, hoping it might make some sense today but as always it didn't.

It was always lively at this time. The black and golden uniformed men with silver trays and expensive fragile white crockery maneuvered around with perfection. The speed with perfection, nothing ever broke, nobody ever bumped into each other. The food that came out of those metal doors gave a distinct white smoke; she always took a deep breath in a hope to know how it smelled.

Those tables with chairs and sofas neatly arranged; the soft fabric with intricate rich pattern and cushioned backs so that one could lay back and relax. The people sitting always looked so happy, talking, laughing. She could not hear them yet feel the vibrations through the glass. A cake appeared with sparkles burning bright and heads turned; smiles widened - all the lips moved together, hands synchronized the claps; how she always wished to know what those words were; hugging, kissing, wishing, it was always the same, the faces changed, that’s it! The chocolate crumbles were scattered on the off-white table mats. Everyone wished and settled down.

Her eyes moved to another table, the long glasses with golden bubbly liquid clanked together and everyone’s lips moved in sync with the hands that held the glasses up high. The excitement traveled through those sound proof barriers.

A couple in a corner, holding hands, A family with kids holding the menu card taller than them, everyday she saw something new in those old set ups. She didn't know what yet it was very intriguing.

A few silver haired were talking with half baked smiles, the wrinkles on their forehead would appear and re-appear. A few ladies huddled together in a group would smile, talk but she never understood why they touched other’s jewelry and why pride encapsulated that moment. Filling in between were a few busy in their own world with glow on the face; a white or a blue hue, coming from the phone which lit up their faces. They were not bothered with anyone present there; they were definitely not there. Their expressions never synchronized with rest. A few irritated gazes were passed on by the mothers who had given up running after their never tired kids to the never bothered fathers and the action to the reaction was worth not blinking!

The uniformed person would serve the food and everyone would be distracted. The shiny cutlery would now shine and people would now nod more and speak less. The hand gestures, smiles and neck movements made her understand the conversation more than before.

A hand touched her hair and she looked back and smiled. The hand with rough fingers - a familiar touch; she didn't hesitate to hold those fingers. A crumpled newspaper opened before her and she relished every bite. Someone extended her a half finished cup of ice-cream and she happily took it. Finally a cotton rug was spread on the pavement and she lied down with her head rested in the lap. The sarangi tune played once again, a soft and smooth lullaby that made her sleep. A smile floated on her lips as she felt those fingers moving in her hair.

I waited for my bill, I was suffocating; the loud music - why couldn't they play something soft instrumental. Those intoxicating food aromas blended with smoke and sweat and a room freshener failing to suppress those. I took a deep breath every time the door opened to grab my share of fresh air. Those fake smiles and narcissistic people who were judgmental about everything said and not said. Those irrelevant nods pretending to hear while their eyes were glued on the phone made me nauseous. I looked away in hope to see something beyond – and froze for a moment. All I could see was me in search of something in the reflection of the glass. Was that the answer? Look inside rather searching out.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Platter Is Served..Enjoy!

“Life is all about choices we make”. Yes, we have choices. We can choose. In this world where we live have a multidimensional kaleidoscope and I guess so has every single quote - a different dimension. Every mind has its own way of interpreting and understanding the world from its own dimension.

As a mother of two, I always chose to be mother above everything else. ‘Everything' – it meant my love for my kids was above the books I loved to sleep and wake up with, the unexplored world I dream of, the words I always loved to play with. I often had choices but I always felt that being the mother is the right choice.

The greatest lessons of life that we learn come when we least expect them and from people we could hardly imagine from. They need not rattle us instantaneously always; sometimes a soft nudge is enough to change the path.

It was the time when my son was six year old, old enough to understand the directions yet young enough to resist the temptations. His weakness for sweets made it at times tough for me to handle him but at the same time love him even more.

One fine day he came and asked for more than one dessert after his meal. He saw pastries in the fridge and knew about the laddoos I made for him.

I told him “You can have laddoo OR pastry” he nodded and went. Later I saw him enjoying a laddoo.

After some time when I checked my refrigerator there was an anomaly in the number of pastries I last checked.

So I asked if he had relished one.

He answered “yes”

It was for the first time he disobeyed me – yes it was bit perturbing.  

“Aryan I asked you to have either one but not both” I reasoned him.

He innocently replied “You said you can have laddoo OR (Aur/and) Pastry. So you only told me to have both”

I was not ready for this reply. “Aryan I meant OR – means either of two and not Aur as in Hindi that means ‘and’ ”

“How do I know that ma” he simply shrugged.

I opened my mouth but had nothing to say. It was simple interpretation.  Language was not a barrier; mind simply understood what it wanted to. I could not do anything but frown with the thought “Englis is a phunny language”

Although I made the concepts clear for him for the future but this Or/Aur conflict bugged me somewhere subconsciously. Why, I could not figure out.

A few days later it was a casual meet of the mothers in the garden area where kids,family and maids are the prime topics of discussion, rose a topic where I started ‘I wanted to do something but you know I had to choose being mother OR….

I stopped! I could not speak further. I figured out what was wrong. I had whole concept mistaken. Life is all about choices, but life has given us the opportunity to choose none to infinite. There is no lower and upper limit in choosing. We can choose nothing OR everything. We can choose this and that and the list might trail beyond the horizon.

In this world the word ‘choice’ mostly entitles us to choose between one OR another but this life has a different meaning of ‘choice’ – it lays a platter in front of us and smiles at us letting us pick one or handful – that depends on us. It depends on you - you can #UseYourOr OR #UseYourAnd

This time I chose to be a student who continued her studies and completed a two year degree with 8.6 CGPA. I chose to be a writer who always felt good after writing. I chose to be an independent person who explored the world around her on her own. I chose to be a teacher who always felt that her little contribution might make a small difference in the society. AND I never stopped being the mom I always was and will be. There is much more in store for me because this OR/AUR – has a different meaning now and I am still learning to pick my choices from the platter till my hands are full.

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.
Theme - Journey from ‘OR’ to ‘AND’

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Who Am I?

I, me, myself – most of our thoughts and conversations begin and hover around these. The world around me, the objectives and subjective I am part of and so on. But then someone today asked me to define. Define myself – well I stammered and paused because I was not sure of the question.

I can be defined as what I came here as and I can be what I will leave here as. I have no role in previous but I have an array of choices for the second.

I came here as –

A grand daughter ~ I understood what precious means.They pampered me; they made me sit in their lap and showed me the world no one else ever could ~ The world or fairies and angels; gods and devils. They sowed the seeds of virtues and nurtured them with love and let them grow and flourish with time.

A daughter ~ I understood what knowledge means. They gave me books to educate me and words to give me wisdom. They gave me freedom to enjoy the life and promises to stand on principles. Every victory shone in their eyes as a spark of pride. The reflection of me in their eyes made me happy from inside.

A Sister ~ I understood what sharing means. They sat next to me holding a bar of chocolate offering me their share or nibbling from mine. Fighting over share and yet feeling incomplete without sharing was the charm that still makes me smile.

I chose to be –

A wife ~ I understood what promises are; for better or for worse; in sickness and in health. A person who comes as a stranger in your life but overpowers all other relations that you stay with him till ‘death do us part’.

A daughter-in-law ~ I understood what family is. They accepted me as their own and showed me a path to tread. The support and warmth made me stronger than before.

A sister-in-law ~ I understood what bonding is. They stood with me like friends do and made me laugh on my mistakes. The taught me to let go and rise beyond. They helped me to look beyond where I could see and explore the world I could never see.

A mother ~ I understood what caring is. They say ‘son becomes a father and father becomes a son’ but a mother… I discovered she would always be a daughter, a sister, a wife and much more and still she will be a mother who has to pass on everything to her children that she has learnt till now and yet she dreams that they do much more. I cared for them even before they opened their eyes in this world; I feared for the things that never existed; I smiled and cried at the things that made no sense. The word ‘love’ has a different meaning now.

I can be whatever I want to be. I can be a teacher or an astronaut; I can be a singer or a doctor but I am… a woman, like any other woman. I am the reflection of what this society is and I am the foundation stone of what this society will be.  I am just a human wearing the cloak of a woman. They think they are different from us. Yes, they are different – they and we are the two sides of the same life without which it is of no value. Yes we all are… We all are different yet we connect because our existence and our choices ~ are same.

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“. 
Theme - Things that define me.