Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saying Good Bye is and was never easy

I remember the minute I walked out of my college hostel in May 2002. Apart from the fact that the whole idea of parting from the college hostel life was tough for my mind to take, what I recall till date, is the fact that I didn't know till the last day, that some people would miss me.

The next time, it was when I made some friendships in my work places. Chance had it that I switched quite a number of jobs and so had to say good byes that many times. Although, I can say that the number of friends I could connect to in different work places were not as many as I had in college, it still was difficult to say Good Bye. With some people, I had a tough time battling with my emotions when I said Bye. With others, I didn't know that I would have made an impact that made it so difficult for them to let me go.

The next Good bye memory was when I left a city to move to another. It was tough to see the 'Thank you, Come again' board that caught my eye when my bus moved out of the city. I remember wiping off the tears that rolled out without my permission. I still don't know why I get so attached to some places and I don't think I will ever be able to explain.

Now, I am moving out of this city in a week's time. I cannot believe that its been three plus years in Bangalore and I will be leaving in another week. I met of my friends today. This time, although I felt the same difficulty in saying Good Bye, I was able to balance much better than before. I also noticed that this time, the people I met found it very difficult to say Good Bye to me..

What I have learnt about the associations we make with people :

Some people come your way to do something for you.
Some people come your way to take something from you.
Some people come your way to support you.
Some people come your way to take support from you.
Some people come your way to teach you something.
Some people come your way to learn something from you.
Some people mean a lot to you.
and
You mean a lot to some people.

And we will never know why we are put in the company of some people to go through some expriences. This association with people is the most unfathomable wonder in the world next to the Sun and Moon and Children.

Definitely you are what you are because of the people who have been around you. Both pleasant and unpleasant experiences that your life is blessed with, are due to people. The very idea that you are blessed with some people to talk to, to crib about, to fight with, to confide in, to have fun with, and to just be with is in itself a wonder. Imagine, if each of us was in an island and did not know the company of people, would we ever know what it is like to say Good Bye??

I know from experience that eventually we will all accept the truths of parting and moving on in life. I also know that when reason meets the season, we will get back in touch. I think, that's why we get to stay in touch with some and lose touch with others.

And one more realization is, we do not get to know the reason or season.. we do not get to decide who will stay in touch and who will move on.. All we can do is give our best to the people we meet, any day. Your best and your neighbour's best need not be the same level.

You never know how much you have actually meant to someone and someone has meant to you, till you say Good bye. All said, Saying Good Bye is never easy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

On dress sense

  • Dress-up to attract respectful looks.
  • Your dress defines you and defends you.
  • The cost of your dress does not matter as much as the impression it gives about the cultured person in you.
  • Its good to check your dress sense once in a while.
  • In a crowd, its best to wear dress that is comfortable to every one's eyes.
  • If how you wear a dress does not matter to you, then you must be willing to face consequences, often unpleasant.
  • Dress sensibly as much as possible.
I am ranting off like this because I chanced to see two improperly dressed pretty girls day before yesterday night. This is not the first time I see an improperly dressed young lady, but the first time when the girls behaved like there was no one else around.

I wanted to write a whole post about this, but right now, I don't have the time to reword my language to fit my blog's principles. Some topics are very sensitive and the scene I saw about dress sense surely is one of them. Cant take a chance now when I am in a hurry.So, just decided to write a splash on all that came to my mind about dress sense.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm feeling lucky!!!!

I am definitely not talking about clicking the I'm feeling lucky button on the google search page. I was in the best of my cheers this morning when I set out to office. I wanted to wear Jasmine flowers that according to me would compliment my hair style today. You cannot get out early in the morning and expect Jasmine flowers just like that in a completely residential locality like the one I live in. I knew it well, so just kept aside the thought and continued my walk.

Just when I shut my mind's non-stop questions on how to get Jasmine flowers at this time of the day, a flower vendor crossed my way. I stopped her and asked if she had Jasmine.. I have never seen any one's face brighten up so much, in a long time. She was very happy to uncover her bounty of fresh Jasmine flowers neatly woven into flower strands. I asked for some flowers and immediately pinned them on to my supposedly well-dressed hair.

Every time, I wear Jasmine flowers, I can tell you that my feel-good factor is very high and usually shows up as a Smile. This time, it was just me and the vendor lady, a gulmohar tree, slightly drenched black tar roads and clear morning air with no traffic. The scene was perfect and the smile constant on my face. The lady smiled too, as she counted the coins with her to hand me back the change for the rupee note I had given her.

We were standing close to the compound wall of a house. I realized this, when suddenly in between the smiles and counting of the change, an old lady gave me a beautiful fresh-plucked yellow rose. She was in her garden and had been watching the scene outside. I smiled, for I think roses are the best of God's creations in the floral world. I said a 'Thank you' to her and pinned up the rose as an added decor with the Jasmines on my tresses. We spoke for the first time in one whole year that I have spent in the same locality.

As I was just about to leave, the flower vendor, still smiling, gave another strand of jasmine. This one had some orange flowers too. I thanked her and added that also to my heavily decorated hair-do.

The first set of flower strands were because I wanted to wear them and it felt nice. The next two added collections were to share the 'joy of giving' extended by the flower vendor and the old lady. It felt nicer.The whole episode added an extra touch to my cheerful start today. Somewhere deep down in me, I felt that lady luck also seemed to be smiling at me.

It was a wonderful feeling... I logged in at work and typed a quick email to my lucky charm friend saying: I'm feeling lucky today... :-)

Some days are blessed with small joys that leave you smiling for a long time.. The Yellow Rose studded Jasmine flowers are still making me smile :-)

Every second person I meet, asks me" What's special today?".. There might be a thousand reasons, but I surely know that its just the feel-good factor in me (which I owe to the flower vendor and the old lady), that makes me look grand today. Makes me agree that God does send gifts in unique, quiet, and nice ways, without satin ribbons.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Drizzle, Rain, Laila

Bangalore weather has been awesome since morning.. As I enjoyed my morning walk on my way to work, I wished that my folks in Tamilnadu also enjoyed some nice cool summer time.. I am having a super-good summer morning and was reminded of my last weekend summer morning in my home town in Tamil Nadu. It has been scorching hot and humid there; reports on the phone from friends confirmed the same. So, I felt it a little unfair that one part of my world was struggling to cope with the summer heat and I am singing my way to office accompanied by cool breeze in a clear bluish grey sky background.

When I come in, my world changes and I am not too much of a news person. So, didn't have a clue about the rains in Chennai till my news-savvy colleagues started talking about it. Soon enough, I had a call from a friend in Chennai. When asked about the rains, he said " Yes, its raining. Laila has been troublesome.."...

I didn't want to ask who Laila was.. I am generally good at interpretations ( sometimes misinterpretations too) or so I thought. After a while, it struck me that he has already answered about the rain; so this Laila must be out of context.... I guessed later in the conversation that this rain was due to a cyclonic depression which has been named "Laila"...

Wonder why they personify cyclones, storms and winds and depressions as a female? [Indian Mythological tales have the wind personified as a God called 'Vayu'. There is no equivalent Goddess name.]

Agreed there has to be a name for the storm or depression for the reports and records, but I think there should be a better way to name them. Don't you think so??

Women are supposed to be gentle and kind. Even if you don't agree with me on this when talking about today's women, I think, at least its better not to analogize storm and cyclone with women. That way, if not as gentle as breeze and as caring as soft drizzle, women will definitely understand that they should not be as harsh as the cyclone.

Dear men who read this, if you are going to come up with one nice reason why the cyclone has been named 'Laila', without offending your women readers, then I can publish your comment.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nostalgic

The first greeting card from a school friend;
The first bouquet of roses from a colleague;
The first birthday surprise from a manager;
The first day in college hostel;

Each of these thoughts and a lot of such special thoughts can rewind your mind's film strip back to so many years of fond thoughts and memories.

For the last few days I have been getting back in touch with a lot of my old friends from school, college and summer vacation play mates. Each meeting, each conversation, brings back a lot of thoughts and nice memories from the past. Honestly, nothing seems to have changed between the old friends and me except that we have all grown-up to be taller, stronger ( or weaker, at times) and more responsible.

Earlier last week, I caught an old summer vacation play mate on the phone ( how I found out the number is beyond the scope of this post ) and before we knew we were discussing anything and everything under the sun... and when I finally hung up I realized that I had spoken to her for forty minutes.. Forty minutes after 12 years. Made my day..

Several instances with friends over phone has been happening for the last few months and each time I realize just this : The conversation today is the result of the treasured moments we had spent in the past.

I can conclude: What we do today will become tomorrow's treasured memories and at the end of the day, that's all we have. :-)

Cant go back to school now to listen to your favorite teacher's favorite English poetry session.
Cant go back to college now to sit on the pavement and tease a class mate crossing your way.
Cant go back to your first workplace and enjoy the tea break with the first set of colleagues.

There are so many moments we cannot regain now, but we surely have some memories. Let's not waste today trying to weave the entire future or dwell in the mistakes of the past or 'should-have-done' thoughts. Instead, let's live today and give our best to the moment right now, so it becomes a treasured memory, of the beautiful future, that is yet to unfold for us and our gifted circle of people.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dear Teens and Early Twenties

Let's take every chance to respect womanhood, in all the small ways we can:
  • Tease a girl if you feel like, but ensure you do not hurt her;
  • Flirt around if you must, but respect the woman in her;
  • Yell if you have to, but do not abuse her;

Due to an unexplained sense of responsibility towards college students. May be the outcome of a pending post, but this gist could not wait any longer.

Motherhood - a new dimension altogether

Last month, I had a chance to meet my friend who happily announced that her foetus is eight weeks old. The excitement is imaginable but I could not relate to it much until she told me about her first touchy experience of listening to the growing little one's heart beat. Now, I do not have a book reference to when in the entire gestation period, what development happens, but I do know that the eyes that were talking to me, were more thrilled, more sentimental, more joyous, more peaceful than they have ever been. We sat in silence to dwell in the moment - She, in her mom-to-be excitement and I, in my introspection of how her thoughts have taken a new dimension altogether. It seemed like the girl sitting in front of me was a new person, very different from the person I have known for the last three years.

Earlier this month, my niece kept me constantly marvelled at how every one's lives changed with her in our lives.

Last week, I had an email from a friend who has expressed her thoughts about being able to connect with the little one growing in her, on her first-ever blog post. I love the first timers' writings. And it is more interesting, if the writer is your friend. So, I clicked the link and was completely surprised to see the new person in her. She had expressed her joy of seeing the picture of her growing baby's tiny feet on the scanner's monitor - whatever that is called in Bio-medical instrumentation. I have not met her in a long time now, but I can surely say that she is different from the forever-teenager mind, I have known her as for the last 12 years.

Day before, I was visiting a friend whose three year old was keeping her busy. It was amazing to see how much energy these mothers can have when it comes to running after the children. Every minute is a surprise. Again, I was seeing a different person here - She and I know each other for about 17 years now and have been in constant touch, but for the last few years, I did see a lot of difference. I see her as an epitome of patience now.

The only answer that explains the unseen difference is "Motherhood". Presently, the dimensions of this subject is more vast than one can write and explain, is my take...

One word : If you cannot understand her, just accept her. For all that she has been through for you, sacrificed for you, done for you, you will never ever be able to repay her.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

That's the way to make the world a happy place...

This is my three-hundredth post. For a while, I have been postponing my posts because I wanted the 300th post to be special and more meaningful.

Just this morning, I started singing this song on my way to office. [ Song recalled from my high school music class]

Sing a song, Sing a song; Spread some cheer, Spread some cheer
There are sad and lonely faces every where...
Be a friend, Be a friend; Show some love, Show some love
It will lift them from the dungeons of despair.

Show a little bit of love and kindness,
Never go around with hatred's blindness
Take a little time to reach for joy and wear a happy face...
Sing a little bit when the days are dreary,
Offer little help to a friend who's weary
That's the way to make the world a happy place..

Sing a song, Sing a song; Spread some cheer, Spread some cheer
There are sad and lonely faces every where...
Offer help, Offer help; Bring some hope, Bring some hope
To the weakened and discouraged on life's road...

Show a little bit of love and kindness,
Never go around with hatred's blindness
Take a little time to reach for joy and wear a happy face...
Sing a little bit when the days are dreary,
Offer little help to a friend who's weary
That's the way to make the world a happy place..


Let's continue to do our minimal bit to our near 'n' dear and brighten up their life, although be it in small ways; That way our world will be a happier place..

Probably then, the explorers/government/funding agencies will stop looking for water in the Moon; stop thinking too much about the aliens; and start considering if something can be done about the prevalent problem of limited water supply in our neighbourhood and most places in the Earth.

Thanks, dear readers for encouraging me till date as I see my 300th post going online. Continue reading and posting your valuable viewpoints.

Monday, May 10, 2010

When 24 hours dont seem enough.......

When 24 hours do not seem enough, know that you need a break from all the tasks that keep you tied up and make you feel that the time is too less.

Yes, I am preaching here... I am currently feeling exactly that way.

Its not that I am working like a clock or like a rice mill's machine or like a traffic constable on the busiest signals in the busiest metro at the peak traffic hour, or like a four year old very enthusiastic child, or like an ant, or like a farmer's wife, or like the totally engrossed writer that I used to be.....

Its just that there are too many thoughts running on my head; each of which can translate into a whole excel sheet of planned activities requiring a date and time against each of the line item.

For those people who are wondering if I am beginning to sound like a confused, preoccupied, disorganized mind, please be convinced that I am fine, just that I am in one of those rarest phases of my life " When 24 hours don't seem enough"....

By the way, this definitely does not mean I do not have time for food, people, and prayers :-)

My quick lesson in the last few days : No matter what, you still cannot say 'No' to certain duties in life.

I do have quite a lot of thoughts that need to be posted here for us to read, but its the 'feeling too occupied' in mind that keeps me away from the web pages. Today, I decided to confess this on my blog. At least this way, I hope to be able to take time out for all the important tasks that I have to do and still be able to catch up on my blogging priority.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Juggler at the Coffee Counter

That's how I see the guy behind the coffee counter in my office cafeteria.

1 coffee!!!!
2 tea without sugar!!!
1 Badam Milk!!!
1 coffee strong!!!
3 coffees, 2 teas, 1 badam milk!!!
4 coffees -one without sugar, one strong, 3 teas, 1 badam milk, 1 Boost!!!

One of these orders was ours. We were paying cash, some were paying the vendor's coupons, some others were paying sodexho passes. And none of us were tendering exact change.

The guy at the coffee counter is a super-quick juggler, I must say. You should see the speed at which all these orders were processed.

  • The change for each payment were given out correctly.
  • Coffee or tea or badam milk... you got what you asked for with the right specification without having to repeat your order.
  • Everyone seemed to get their orders immediately. The wait time is almost negligible.
In the three minutes that I stood there today, I noticed how swiftly his hands worked on filling up the coffee ( strong or light ), adding milk ( with or without sugar) and then attending to tea and badam milk and boost requests; all in a quick sequence and closing the cash/coupon/pass transaction too...

The requests kept flowing in and this person was working on each of them with the same speed and cheer and order. There was a complete harmony between the mind, the hand and the cheer on his face.

This is truly an art that only a very few people can manage to when under extreme work load. This guy reminded me of a juggler for some reason.. either the cheer or the quick juggle of things to do at hand, or the multi-tasking ability.. dont know which one caught my eye and attention, but all I can say is, however routine the job is, how much ever used-to he can be with his routine, it truly takes an attitude to keep up the efficiency with a harmony that he only can explain.

There is a lot to learn from this juggler at the coffee counter. We all have a chance to work in better work profiles and environments, but do we do our job as good as this guy? Think about it.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

All that I needed to recall....

I've heard parents telling very often about how challenging it is to take care of kids. To me, it has been more of a handed over thought, and nothing more, until this morning, when I met my one-year-old niece.

I reach my cousin's place this rainy morning, tired from an all-night journey, preceded by yesterday's long and busy work day. The little one was up and busy in her own world of smiles and cheers, quite early in the morning. It was quite a sight to see. The smiles of a baby is so contagious that I brightened up almost immediately. Then, for the next two hours or so, all of us were busy trying to keep close to her.

You better be around to watch, else you have absolutely no idea of the child's next move - Up the wall, on the carpet, on the table, to the TV showcase, on the sofa, to the balcony, on the window sill, on the tea table, to the book shelf...Anything that seemed worth exploring to her wonder mind and forever wonder-filled eyes, she went for it.

I saw these traits in the little one that amaze me:

1. Curious to explore things.
2. Hard work to really achieve what she wants.
3. Never give up on attempts.
4. Just believe the parent.
5. Agree to polite requests.
6. Never stop wondering.
7. Be active.
8. In disagreements, just disagree.
9. Understand love.
10. Know your people.
11. Seek help when needed.
12. Say 'No' when you must.

I have just written the top catchy points that could not wait till tomorrow. May be every little one has such traits usually, I have not really thought about that.

What I have noticed is that over the years of life's experiences, we have all lost one or more of these qualities. At least, to an extent. Blame it on experience or situation or circumstance or whatever, but then, don't you think we'll be better positioned to handle life's challenges, if we were to consciously continue to be aware of all these qualities in us?

Think about it. We had all of these traits as kids, and where did we lose them all now? Now that, there is no going back, is there something we can do to revive these basic qualities in our lives?? I am sure we should be able to, with a little help from near and dear. Help is around, we just need to know when to take it.

All that I needed to recall, I recalled today in the company of this one-year old wonder-filled child.

Slow Down...

Slow down.... Once in a while, Slow down a bit... In the heavy traffic, to let a fellow on the road take over you. Once in a while, Sl...