ADDING COLOUR TO LIFE IS IN OUR HANDS

Yesterday was a family day. The day when families of all our team members get together to celebrate. In my career so far, there have been quite a few family days but I never attended one.

A month ago when our Engineering Director called for a meeting, I had very little clue about what was ahead of me. People who were called for that meeting were chosen as organisers for family day. What? I cannot attend family day, let alone organising it. I stayed calm for the entire meeting and told my Director, “I am on leave for a couple of weeks, but I can help with the planning as much as possible”. A date was not finalised for when the family day is going to be and I secretly wished it falls during my vacation.

A team of 5 were to chosen to handle a massive team and extended family of 300 people. This job was not going to be easy. As much as I wanted to stay away from it, I couldn’t do so.  When it was time to finalise the date, there were two options, one during my vacation and the other one right after my vacation. I requested the organising team to not choose the date based on my vacation, but eventually, it happened so that the date was after I return from my vacation. 

Before I went on vacation, I thought of finalising most of the stuff, because when I am on vacation, I may not be able to respond to messages or take calls. As most of the things were sorted out, I went for my vacation rather relieved. By the time I was back in office, the organising team had done a wonderful job in procuring props, gifts and also the logistics. Last Wednesday, we went through the list once again, cross-checked the schedule and distributed our respective responsibilities. 

Wednesday I came home and still wondered if there was any way I could escape from attending the family day. I have a reason that I cannot disclose here, but the gist of it is that I don’t like to lie. I can give some reason to not attend family day, but being an organiser I did not want to disappoint anyone. I had a rough day on Thursday personally. I was quite disturbed and sleepless. Friday wasn’t great either. I was literally exhausted by Friday evening, almost cursing my life for the way it is in some respects. 

I had very disturbed sleep on Friday night as well and eventually, I woke up at 3.30. Today is a family day and I still not have made up my mind on attending it. Believe me, I sat on my bed wondering on the same till 7 in the morning. Various thoughts were doing rounds in my head – I have to drive for 50 km one way on a two-wheeler, I don’t know the route, haven’t had proper sleep, not in a good mood – how can I go out there and be normal ?? 

Something strange happened then at that moment, a thought that is extremely opposite to what I have been thinking. What if, just what if I set aside all these things for a few hours to entertain my extended family? Can’t I do so much? All I have to do is to switch off these thoughts for a few hours and just go out there. It is almost 7.45 am now if I quickly get ready and start, I might reach the venue by 9.45. Though I am supposed to be there by 8.30 as per schedule, I might be there by 10 am for sure. I messaged in the organising group that I would be reaching at around 10 so that they are informed. With no time to waste, I tried to stay on schedule. I reached the venue at 9.50 am, bang on!! 

My other organising counterparts were already on their jobs and they seemed relieved seeing me there.  It was 10.15 am when the families finished breakfast and gathered by the poolside venue for the fun events to start. Once I took the mike, and started off, trust me I forgot everything that was bothering me till then. The next 3 hours, I really did not think of anything else. Unfortunately, some of the props that we had ordered for some games have not arrived. Had to plan some spontaneous games but everything went well. Music, dance, games, laughter and lots of fun. 

After 3 hours, I felt dizzy and completely out of energy. I had a chocolate that was lying on the table. I looked around to notice empty space as families left to have lunch. The lonesomeness – the naked truth of my life was back with me. I had lunch alone, and took a seat under the shade wondering what would I do for the second half? The second half was time for families to enjoy the pool and resort activities. As I walked back to our venue, I noticed some kids painting and sketching. We have set up few desks for arts and crafts so that kids can unwind their creativity. I happily sat there and spent the rest of my time with kids, no,  budding artists and painters… 🙂

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

By the end of the day, it felt good when people appreciated the effort we put in. They enjoyed well and quite a few people applauded how everything was well organised. Some called me multi-faceted, some said I am a good orator and so on… It felt good. I would have really missed all this, if I would have succumbed to how sad I was or the thought that I might feel lonely when all others are enjoying with their families. If I would not have been the organiser, maybe I would not have been there and spent most of my day feeling sad. When I feel sad next time, I am just going to go out and spend some quality time somewhere instead of my home and try to forget everything else that is bothering me. A lesson learnt in practicals 🙂

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SELF-TELEPORTATION BACK TO NORMALCY

I have seen you are very particular in noticing stuff. You caught a friend for posting a black DP, you are always interactive in the group, you respond for sure and quick…You store memoirs well. You kept the picture and what all I had written on that picture for your birthday…Those are some beautiful gestures…Whereas you were very quiet, backing out, negative, etc., previously…

‘Transformation’, that I have seen in you over the last few months. What made you change so much? Can you reflect on what made you sad, grumpy and depressive in the past and what really made you a happy woman once again?

The moment Chiradeep gave me the task of the week, I was thrilled to know that just like me, he himself is good at noticing things because everything he mentioned about me is absolutely correct.

As soon as I get time, I check my WhatsApp, which sometimes gets delayed, of course, if I am busy. I notice distinctive stuff and if there’s something wrong with a person’s display pic or status, then it troubles me too because I care for those who care for me. I am not that great that I bother those also who don’t bother me 😉.

I have been like that ever since. I want people around me to be perfectly fine and happy and if I can help them in any way, I do.

I remember my sister Kuljeet once complimenting me about my good observing skills and buying unusual gifts.

I love preserving stuff- stuff that is close to my heart. The way Chiradeep described me in my picture was more than enough to boost my confidence and make me happy at that point of time. I have been keeping the memories since the snail mail age. I have letters from my childhood buddies- Kuljeet and Prabhjot. I have a handwritten autobiography of my late grandfather, which I typed later, keeping it safely as a digital document. From chocolate wrappers eaten while having fun with my friends, to the special golden edition of the newspaper celebrating our country’s 50th Independence, I have been preserving everything that I love. I even kept the bills of the café shops and restaurants, when I used to go out with Anuj, before marriage. I have also preserved the clamps with which the umbilical cords of my sons were tied after cutting.

Why I do this? Because it gives me sheer pleasure in safeguarding memories. Years later when I go through this old stuff, I feel so ecstatic. It’s so much fun to recall old forgotten incidents.

Coming to the main point “transformation”, I would like to correct here that its not my transformation, but I am back to my old self. When I joined Candles, I was going through a terrible phase. I am sure most of us have witnessed a phase in life when the career takes an upper hand than the family members, of course for the betterment of the family. Anuj did his MBA, along with his job. After that, he had to shift to another city, leaving me and kids. Tough and crucial period it was for him and for me as well. I am a very strong person, but my strength is my husband. I go weak if he’s not there with me. The world around collapses for me if we are not together. He’s my life and my soul. Distances don’t keep relations apart, but they do keep the people away from each other. No matter how hard I tried to stay strong, I failed. Thankfully, Anuj made me take up a job before he left, otherwise I would have gone berserk. Work keeps you so busy that you don’t have much time to think about the negative thoughts that dwell inside you.

My sisters kept counselling me. Kuljeet kept reminding me, “Its just a phase.” My friends were there to lift me up. Yes, it was a phase and I am delighted it’s over. Now, I am back to my normal self, because after a long time Anuj and I are together and are living a normal life.