Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Going Blank!!!

Of late, I have been thinking about this phrase : Going Blank!

  • A ''Fill in the Blank'' question in school..
  • A blank white paper..
  • A blank greeting card..
  • A blank cheque..
  • A blank Word Document..
  • A blank Compose page on an email window..
  • A blank canvas..

All these blanks have definitely posed as a "scare" or a "feel of void" or "don't know what to say feeling" to each of us more than once in life.

More scary is the feeling of going completely blank in the mind!!!!

From a recent read, I learned that : friends, books, movies, television, games, hobbies, cooking, travel, spiritual and emotional quests, children, work, and even crossword puzzles or Sudoku keep your head from going blank and insane!!!

Lets devote time for things totally out of our tangent in life at least once a week to remain sane.


Charity - Only needs a thought

Cart full of groceries, Bag of money, Cashless benefits, Wallet full of rich cards, Plentiful eats, Endless shopping sprees, Exotic vacations... These are normal in moderately luxurious households....

I recently met a middle aged lady who is into home nursing service.. I got to know that she is part of the management team of a Home for the desolates and destitute. She and sixteen of her friends run the place with their salaries. Each nurse sends all or most of her salary towards funding this place.  These home nurses talk about their initiative to their contacts and funds come in.

The lady I met earns 10000 per month and sends all of her salary to the cause. When asked if she needed money what she would do, she quickly says "Why would I need money? I live and eat in the place where I work as a home nurse. My travel is taken care of by the house where I live or the Agency. In the rarest of rare situations, when I may need money, my children will spare some cash or my benefactors will appear as God-sends from somewhere. Why worry about tomorrow when I can give today??"

Amazing... isn't this?. Can we all stop to think?

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Inside Vayu Vajra 1

Vayu Vajra, the air-conditioned buses that ply in Bangalore.

It was a moderately sunny day in Bangalore, last week. I decided to step out on a long journey. Journey from Whitefield to Koramangala by bus is definitely a long one especially if it has to be two hops in between.

A Vayu Vajra came by and I decided to just take the bus. I knew it was a longer route but I always prefer taking the first available bus than waiting for long hours in the bus stand. If I do, my patience battery generally goes low and I am known to invariably take an auto. This day, I didn't want to take an auto soon enough.

The best thing about this bus is its very spacious, or so it mostly seems. Less crowded in the off peak hours as it is quite expensive. Students and working professionals are the usual passengers in this bus. This also means a lot of things : You get to see fashion, trends, technology trends, styles, and books.

I took an aisle seat which I never do if I get a window seat during any of my travels - airplane, train, car, bus, or auto. Today, all window seats in the bus were occupied leaving all the aisle seats free for me. Just randomly took a seat next to an office-goer. It is usually very easy to find out, if you have seen the stereotypes in Bangalore buses - A hand bag which is mostly a hold-all, a laptop, a mobile phone, head phones, lunch box in a Tupperware bag, a head scarf to ward off dust on the "just then" moisturized face. I like it when people take time out for themselves, for it amazes me a lot. It is just so wonderful to be able to take care of yourself very well.

The lady seated opposite me seemed an office-goer too with all the aforementioned accessories of an office-goer. She also had a hair style that didn't suit her the least bit, but she seemed comfortable with it. That stubborn air about her style is easy to like. The details like manicured nails and matching
slip-ons are hard to miss. She had her ear phones on. Her eyes were on her mobile phone. Do what you think makes you happy as long as it doesn't bother the other person.

Her neighbor, looked 'fairer than fair can mean' and stood out among the rest of us in the bus. She was looking out of the window with her ear phones on as well. From their looks and the distance that their eyes maintained from each other, you could guess easily that they are strangers. I did notice that they had similar mobile phones, but that could just be a coincidence, I told myself. In two minutes the fairy told the high-airy something showing her phone's screen. The other girl acknowledged with a blank side look and immediately looked away. I would definitely have given a better expression to a stranger, was my first thought. And in five minutes, the airy leaned on the fairy's shoulder, the fairy's hands touched airy's head briefly with eyes off course looking out of the window still and the ear phones still on. You could see that there was a beautiful silence between them that definitely can only come up when you are with close friends.

"Next stop : Videhi Hospital" came the announcement.

Our ladies got off at this stop and a very beautiful girl took the seat right opposite me. Her dress was what caught my eyes first. A beautifully embroidered peacock blue semi-cotton kurti with a lemon yellow Patiala and a crepe dupattah to complete the suit added to her beautifully groomed looks. It takes time for SELF. I decided never to forget this statement, but that was just a decision on the fly.
She opened her bag and took out a huge, voluminous, nano-fonted text book with lots of images that looked medical to me and started reading through. I asked her if she studied in Videhi Medical college and she said, she works there. We went on to talk further and I learnt that she is a practicing doctor at Videhi Hospital. How easy it was to get someone's age all wrong!!! I got some information I needed from her regarding the hospital and felt fortunate to have met this doctor in person.

I left the doctor to continue studying while another beautiful woolen top caught my attention. A pale yellow colored woolen top with designs of baby pink and sandal over a formal black trousers made a perfect office outfit, or so I presumed. The girl with this outfit had a sling bag which didn't suggest much on where she could be going; there was a laptop beside her; again, I couldn't tell if it was hers. She had the most blank look. Its when I landed on her look that I noticed the careful accessories she had chosen for the sweater. Her ear rings had pearls and the neck chain had tiniest of tiny white stones.. My next halt was on the bracelet and the watch.. white metal or silver or something mimicking it; I couldn't tell, but they did fit the picture perfectly well. I couldn't stop wondering for the umpteenth time how people had so much time for themselves and it sure is a feel-good to take time out for yourself. Isn't it? The blank look and the very carefully chosen attire do not match. Do they?

Next Stop announcement deviated my attention and I saw a very casually dressed young man standing up from his seat, supposedly to get off the bus. This carefully dressed girl also stood up, picked up her sling back, the laptop bag and a lunch box which appeared from where I didn't bother to recall... This man stood transfixed looking at her and she was busy collecting her belongings to get off.. The bus came to a gentle halt.. Both the young people got off and walked off in two different directions. The transfixed look suggested that they had known each other, but they didn't even meet at the bus stop. Not all that easy to tell anything from what you observe .

The bus moved on and a lovely girl dressed in black casual wear stepped in. She had a purse and the usual smart phone with her. Found a seat and bought her tickets. I looked around and thought I should have brought a book with me to kill time in the bus.. So much of internal gossip is happening in my head, I thought. Just then, my phone buzzed and as I was talking I casually looked up and found this girl weeping silently. After quite sometime, when I finished my call I looked at her hoping she will have finished the talk too but the call was on. She was talking so quietly ( amazes me time and again how people can talk so softly and still be heard) and was shedding tears and I just wished someone is beside her to comfort her. I hoped she would be okay soon. She got off the bus at the next stop which was a college. The last sentence that was loud and clear was, "I will come over for lunch and we'll sort this out. I promise." So, it was a friend and the tears were about a misunderstanding which looked like it was close to resolution at lunch,. Friends are easier to deal with than the rest of the relationships. I agreed like you just did!!!.

I looked at the watch . It was Noon. Which means I get off in the next few minutes..

Six people, Six thought lanes, Six attitudes, Six types - multitude of angles to write a story. Wanted to try short story writing someday. If ever I do it, this bus journey would be my inspiration.

In what I would call a very short journey, I realized that

  • Often we have no idea of the unspoken words in one's heart, unexpected twists in one's story, unheard dreams in one's mind, and untold miseries in one's life.
  • Often we are totally incorrect in judging people, understanding people, knowing people and advising people.
  • Often we are all about ourselves; may not be our fault, but let's stop complaining that people are the way they are.
In an extremely complex maze that we are travelling through, the least we can do is say a word of prayer, flash a smile of gratitude, give a nod of understanding, and feel a sense of empathy towards the other. Lets live easy with less of the pointless EGO wherever we go. Easier said, but that's what I learnt.

Monday, December 14, 2015


A simple word as it may sound, Recall simply keeps happening in my mind. Not sure, if its the same for everyone my age and kind, but thought its okay to share anyways.

I looked at a sketch that my daughter made and recall how some of our precious books back home had similar scribbles - those of mine, my mother told me later.

I heard two college students talk about Voltage, Shunt and Series and Parallel Controller and some such highly "Electrical Engineering" like words this morning. Could not help recall how I was in a similar position fifteen years ago discussing and studying same subject.

I bought coconut cookies yesterday for my children and recalled how I used to be crazy about them back in childhood.

I got dressed in a saree the other day and my daughter asked if I would buy her the same color saree some day. Recalled how I had asked similar questions to my mother when I was of my daughter's age.

I take the children out today and they hail an auto immediately. I recall how I loved auto travels too back in childhood, and even today.

Recalls are good if they make you smile. Recalls make you connect with the past and the people of the past. Recalls ascertain that nothing of the basics change over the generations or decades. The stage that you are in makes the decision and not YOU really. And its good if a child behaves like one, a teen ager behaves like one, a college student behaves like one and a working professional behaves like one..

After this stage is when the RECALLS really happen more often... When we realize that the wheels keep moving just the same way always . Today or Yesterday or Tomorrow.

Life is a Wheel. The Tyre on it may change over times but the concept of the Wheel is quite old and stands tall. 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Cuddalore - Pondy - Chennai

There was a time when I used to travel from Chennai to Cuddalore every month at least once. So, I knew the roads too well. We have had several cyclones, almost every November and heard this November-December episode has the town shattered completely.

And Chennai.. Although a short stint of three years in Chennai, I have relatives living in Chennai, which means my association with Chennai is more than I have with any other city in India. I love the city for all its highs and lows, plus and minus, facts and fictions. It was an interesting phase of my life. I saw the tsunami times in Cuddalore and Chennai and kind of know how bad it can be to the people who live close to the sea.

The current torrential rainfall in the East coast, India, makes me go back in time and I keep thinking of Chennai more often than I want to. I like the people's strength and the standing up together for each other and the city to get back in action.