CONNECTING WITH OTHERS

The famous writer and philanthropist Sudha Murthy in the ‘Introduction’ of her novel ‘Something happened on the way to heaven’ writes:

‘I was filled with awe as I realised that the books I’ve been able to write are really not about me at all  – they are about the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been to and the lives I’ve had the privilege of being part of. I felt blessed – so fortunate to be in a position to help people, even as they found it in their hearts to let me inside their world and share their most private thoughts and problems with me. They’ve given me their stories and I’ve had a chance to be a character in their tales. Sometimes, I’ve been lucky enough to be the lead actor, but at most other times, I’ve been an incidental character or simply unbiased storyteller.’

When I read this I found so much of my thoughts mirrored in what she had to say. Of course, I am not a writer of her calibre or repute. I am a simple blogger but I have come to realise that I too have mostly written about the people I have come across in my life. The problems or triumphs or simple anecdotes from their life really adds colour to my articles. Being connected to people has really enhanced my writings. 

Not just in writing, focusing on people around me has helped me be a better person. I have come to realise there are phases in my life. There have been times I have been so bogged down by my own problems that I have withdrawn into a shell and lost touch with my own extended family and friends. During this phase I feel very miserable and I am not able to come out of my melancholy. Its only when I remove the focus from myself and actually focus on others that I am back to my normal self. Delving into our problems brings only more sadness but helping others with their problems or just interacting with them makes our problems go away too. This works for me, maybe because I am an extrovert. And I love to be around people and hate being alone. I feel connecting with others just enriches me as a person and makes me more interesting. 

Connecting with others is a sense of being open and available to another person, even as you feel they are open and available to you. Try connecting and it makes life much easier and lighter because we also receive the empathy and love that we give.

2019 – LESSONS LEARNT AND GIFTS RECEIVED

This past year gave me a very precious gift and also some sombre learning…

Gift: 2019 was the year when I got back to working again. After a huge sabbatical of 10 – 11 years I was back in a proper job. Not an internship or a struggling business but a proper 9 – 5 job. I got back something I really yearned for in the past years, appreciation for my work. All those housewives out there will agree with me. Being a homemaker is a never ending job and moments of appreciation for a job well done are very few and far between. Our work is generally taken for granted. No doubt we get all the love from our family members but still appreciation of our work is just not there. 

So back to my job when I joined this school initially I fumbled a little bit. Took time to understand the system. But when within 4 – 5 months of joining when I got a small note of appreciation from the Principal, I was in seventh heaven. I love the feeling of adrenalin pumping through me when we manage events and other activities. Actually I got my self-worth back. The feeling that yes I still have something in me, that I too can do a good job and manage things was a really big gift. So thank you 2019 for showing me my own value.

Learning: One of the biggest thing that 2019 taught me was value of money. I know this may sound strange. We generally hear all the philosophers saying that money can’t buy happiness or money is not everything. But I will tell you from experience – Money is important. It may not be the ‘Be all and End all’ of our life but it is still an essential thing required to survive. I have learned this year how to stretch a rupee. How to make the most of what I have. Maybe this frugality has come to me because I have started earning on my own. My own sweat goes into earning the salary I am getting. Now I get up early in the morning prepare food and get ready and I am out of the house when people around me are still completing their morning walks. All hard work and extra effort  has maybe made me appreciate the money coming into my account even more. 

Thanks a lot  2019. Hoping for a much much better 2020. Ending with just one last note a huge thank you to all my family and friends for the amazing support they have given me in the last couple of years.

ERUPT -IX

Jay stormed into the room. He was mad with anger. 

Reeta looked at him calmly. Strangely enough she could not find any emotions in herself. She was like a dead body incapable of feeling anything. 

And her dead pan expression enraged Jay even further. He was used to seeing fear in her eyes. It was like he was seeing a new Reeta. 

Stupid woman! You wretched, good for nothing woman… What were you thinking? Trying to sabotage my career at this stage. Never given me an ounce of pleasure. Always brought misfortunes in my life. Where were you the whole night? Do you have no shame? If you were not worried about your reputation at least you should have remembered whom you were married to…”  He shouted at her.

That’s exactly what I was trying to forget…” Retorted Reeta.

Upon hearing this an irate Jay lifted his hand and slapped Reeta hard on her cheek. She fell over backwards but this did not stop her from speaking her mind. “Yes” she said “I wanted to forget all about you I wanted to run away from you. I feel suffocated here. I can’t breathe. I want to leave.”

Oh! so now this is a new drama you have started. You want to leave is it? And go where? Remember I am the only one you have.” Jay curled his lips derisively. “You are my property… remember I will not let you go anywhere… You are my wife and you will stay by my side and show the world how happy we are together.” He took a step towards her and caught hold of her wrist, pulled her towards him. With his face inches away from her face he hissed menacingly “Believe me I will make you do this even if I have to kill you for it“. He loved the look of terror in her eyes. This is what he wanted to see. 

With his ego placated a bit, he flung her wrist, turned and walked out of the room. 

Reeta was left behind nursing the bruises on her face and wrist. Even tears had dried up in her eyes now. But the frustration made her cry out loud. She wailed and screamed into her pillow. Punched the pillow, threw the bedside lamp on the floor. But that rage just did not subside. She just didn’t want to give in today. Like she had been doing for past so many years. Things were not always like this. She had come into Jay’s life as a starry eyed bride and he too behaved like a loving husband. Things started changing when he started rising in his political career. She came to know about a wholly different side of his character. One who was capable of taking bribes and following other corrupt practices. When she objected to any of it the domestic violence started  supposedly to put her in her place. The rift widened when they realised that they could not have any children. She went through a lot of treatment and many IVF cycles but they were not blessed with a child. After that she became totally worthless to him. She became only the good looking trophy wife which he could flaunt in his political circles and a great body to satisfy his physical needs. 

There was absolutely no emotional bond left between them still she was carrying the burden of this marriage because she knew no other way of living life. With no family to fall back on she didn’t know whom to go to for support or help. 

But the final nail in the coffin was when she heard about his affair with a much younger girl. She was shattered. She felt like a tissue paper which he used and threw away without much thought. 

She felt no bond with him anymore but still he had control over her emotions. He could still instill fear in her. She hated the fact that he could still manipulate her. 

I really need to get away from him before he completely destroys me.” This thought crossed her mind again. She started obsessively thinking about it. “Of course I can’t be as reckless as I was yesterday. I need to plan.”

I will need help.” She knew she couldn’t get help from her current set of friends or acquaintances. They were all too enamoured by Jay and his greatness. They wouldn’t understand. As such the newspapers are out to label her as a mental case. “Who else then?” She thought.  “What about that guy with the car?” “Naah… He was eyeing me throughout the night and was too young to help me out… Anyways I wouldn’t know how to contact him and after what I did to his car I am sure he would run far away from me.” She laughed at that memory and then winced when the bruise on her cheek pained. 

Rex!” The name popped in her mind. “He seemed like a good guy… But he called the police and helped me back to this hell… Will he help…?”

WAKE UP

Wake up dear

this world doesn’t stay the same always

Get up smell the roses and get on with your work

make the best use of your resources or they may just dry up one day..

Humans are generally very wasteful. We have successfully wasted the resources bestowed upon us by Nature. Air, water, wood, oil, wind energy, natural gas, mineral, and coal we have managed to misuse and waste all of them. 

When early humans discovered the use of these resources they thought that the earth is so plentiful that whatever we do we will have an unending supply of all these resources. Our processes didn’t take the environmental toll into consideration and the results are very visible now.

The hazards that we only studied about have become a stark reality these days. Be it the flooding of our cities during monsoon, or the famines our farmers are facing, or the air quality being so poor that we need masks to breathe. All these things are actually happening in the present and they are all a direct consequence of our callous approach towards our natural resources. 

What is surprising though is the fact that even though we all know that pollution is an issue (and one that we will continue to face with mounting urgency in the future), few of us have changed a lot of our simple habits to be more environmentally friendly. Why because we value convenience more. 

It’s time to wake up and take some really concrete steps. Small changes in our life style can help save a lot of water, energy etc. We all know what is to be done but right now we are not bothered enough. Guys time has come act now before it’s too late for our next generation.

One more definition of resources is “a stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively.”

We have seen huge conglomerates falling because they were not able to efficiently use their resources. The bigger the company the more the leaks. And more the wastage of their resources. We should realise that everything we consume comes at a price and is limited. The raw material, the  machinery and the staff should be taken care of and used optimally. Only then would a factory be called efficient. 

Look at an even bigger picture. Even humans are a resource. A country’s progress depends on how well they train and take care or their human resource. People tend to move out of a place where they are not valued or don’t have enough opportunities. Brain Drain aren’t all familiar with that… 

Stop being wasteful. Be it the resources endowed upon us by nature or the things created by humans or even the emotions. Believe me if this is the way we keep going these resources won’t be around for long. Preserve this beautiful world don’t help destroy it. 

Wake up…

DEEP WITHIN – XI

As they entered Aman’s house there was sound of laughter and singing emanating from the room. Manan and his mother were laughing whereas Mudit was singing a funny song and prancing around. Hot tea and samosa was there on the table. Punit was surprised to see the atmosphere in the house. It was just a one room kitchen house but was neatly kept. What touched him the most was the affable aura in the house. They all seemed so relaxed and happy.

Mudit stopped singing in mid sentence and gave an exaggerated bow on seeing Punit. “Here comes the hot shot captain to a poor man’s home” he announced. Manan signalled Mudit to stop the sarcastic tone. They welcomed Punit and offered him tea and samosa. But Punit was so uneasy he didn’t know how to react.. He just mumbled an excuse and rushed out.

On the drive back home the devil and angel on either side of Punit had a huge argument.. the Devil said “Look at that Mr. Goody two shoes.. In injury also this guy has earned points.” The angel on the other hand pointed out “Look at him and his family these are nice people“. And Punit didn’t know what to think.

The stadium was empty, the lights were on. Coach Sharma was sitting in one corner his hands on his forehead. Aman’s injury had drawn the worry lines across his forehead…
With his star player out of action he was really worried about the team’s performance. A niggling doubt was bothering him.. “I just hope Aman is not faking this injury just to strengthen Punit’s place in the team. I know from previous experiences, he is capable of going to any lengths if he thinks it is in the team’s interest.” Coach was still lost in thoughts when someone came and sat beside him. Coach turned to see Punit sitting besides him.

DEEP WITHIN – IV

Aman was walking down the footpath to the bus stop lost in his own thoughts. He was thinking about Punit’s little drama. 

“It’s not even official yet and Punit is behaving like this. He is surely going to make my life difficult as a captain. How do I tackle him. He is one of the star batsmen. If he revolts then surely there will be a split in the team. Why is he so headstrong? I should try to talk to him once again.”

Aman boarded the bus. And someone called out his name. He turned and saw his elder brother Manan and his friend Mudit sitting in the back seat. They were coming back from their tuition classes. Manan was 2 years elder to Aman. He was studying to be a CA. He was quite good at his studies. Both Aman and Manan were talented and hardworking. They were well aware of their father’s financial condition and knew that to improve it they will have to work hard and take the family out of this condition.

“Hey Bhai! The coach is considering my name for the Captainship of the team.” Shouted Aman excitedly even before he reached the seat. There was a hoot of joy from them and a round of Hi-fives… Aman settled in the seat in front of the Manan and Mudit and turned around. He rattled off the morning’s happenings.

“This Punit sounds like trouble.” said Manan. “Be very careful of him.” were the wise words of the elder brother.

“Ya! What the hell does he think of himself. If he is the son of the trustee of RPCA does he think he owns the whole academy. He is nothing but a rich brat… very arrogant… How dare he call you slumdog? I don’t trust him one bit. These kind of people only know how to climb using their surname. He should be thrown out of the team” added an agitated Mudit making a disgusted face. 

“Easy easy… Mudit you sound like you are getting ready for war.” laughed Manan. “Don’t be so biased. He is after all an exceedingly good batsman. He will remain in the team.” added the level-headed Manan. 

Aman was looking from Manan to Mudit and wondering what a deep muddle he had got into and how was he going to get himself out of it.

Meanwhile Coach Sharma was getting ready to submit his recommendation of the final list of players to the board of trustees. He was sure he had made the right choice and that it was the best team they had put forward in the last few years. This team would really go a long way in the coming tournaments. Hopefully they will win the cup too.

Coach Sharma entered the grand conference room of RPCA. It was a huge room with wood panelled walls and a long oak table reminiscent of the grandeur of the British era when this building was built.  All the twelve trustees were seated at the table. After all this was a very important meeting, the team was being finalised today. Mr Sharma passed out the copies of his dossier to all the members and waited for their response. At the head of the table Mr Vikram Shah opened his dossier and had a grim look on his face…

I AM SCARED OF HOSPITALS

“I am scared of hospitals”

I get really anxious when I have to go there. Actually I shouldn’t be feeling such things. The two times I got hospitalized and operated upon it was a joyous occasion, as it was for the birth of my two children through C-Section. I don’t have any bad memories of that time everything went smoothly and I went home happily with my babies.

But still whenever I visit someone who is in hospital my heartbeat increases. I shudder inwardly. I still haven’t been able to pin point why this happens. Maybe it is the atmosphere there, or the distinct smell of disinfectants or the endless wait for the doctor to come and pronounce his verdict. Most probably it is the pain of seeing your loved ones lying on the hospital bed and at least one or if not multiple tubes attached to him.

When my father-in-law was hospitalized I was a newly wedded bahu in the house. My mother-in-law understood my discomfort with the hospitals and gave me the duty to take care of the house and the small daughter of my sister-in-law at home, while all the other family members were taking turns to be in the hospital.

But it is not avoidable always. When my husband was in hospital for a unique combination of dengue and malaria, I had to stay overnight in the hospital with him. And at times I had this insane urge to remove all the tubes and just tell him to run out with me and go home. My brain told me it’s insane to even think like this but the urge was definitely there.

When a person is in hospital he or she is in a bad condition and is suffering. But here I try to bring the spotlight on the family members who are sitting outside waiting, hoping, praying. They too are suffering. Trying to strike a balance between making things normal at home and waiting outside the ICU in an usually uncomfortable seat. Waiting for hours for the next round of the doctor and who will come and give some news about the patient. The feeling of helplessness that a person gets because all they can do is wait and pray for good news.

When my nephew was born he was diagnosed with sever jaundice and was put in neo natal ICU. The mother had to sterilize herself, change clothes, wash hands etc to go inside and pick up the child and feed him. Everybody else in the family used to helplessly just look through the glass and see the baby.

Recently my uncle got brain hemorrhage and is in ICU fighting for his life. When my family and myself met the doctor we had a huge list of questions. Is he out of danger? How much time for recovery? etc etc. There was a barrage of questions directed at the doctor. After patiently answering a few of our questions. He effectively silenced us with only one answer. “I won’t be able to say the words you want me to say right now. We will have to just wait and watch.”

So our family is again facing an endless wait. My uncle is fighting a battle inside the ICU and the family is fighting a battle outside in the waiting room.

But there is only one thing that makes this wait bearable .HOPE. The hope that the patient is getting better slowly and steadily. Hope that we all will go home hale and hearty and life which had paused for a while will again be back to normal.