Thursday, March 19, 2015

It rained in March.

                                                                                                      Background from Webneel.com

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Days Like These

It is not easy to stay happy and positive all the time. Life is full of disappointments, frustrations, stress, troubles and sometimes you feel like everything is a mess and there is nothing to look forward to. These are very troublesome phases when it is difficult to be hopeful and optimistic about life. But then it never stays like that forever. Things look up, the sun shines and you feel it filling you back with positivity again. Such moments which bring back out hope and positivity are surely priceless. I am recounting one such recent day which has made me feel enormously positive about life.
I had come home after a long time. Although my father and sister were out of town, I still received the warmest possible welcome from my mother and my adorable dog, Brandy.  I reached late night and was dead tired. Also I had been through a bad phase so I was feeling very low. Home made me feel much better instantly.  I had the yummiest dinner in a long time and before I realized I was dozing off on my dearest bed.
The morning I woke up, everything seemed different. The usual tiredness and low feeling that I had been experiencing for the past many days was gone. It was a beautiful February morning. The sky was partially cloudy to keep the sun out of view but it was comfortably warm. The lace curtains sieved in just right amount of light to brighten up the room. The fan provided the perfect ventilation. Brandy was over the moon that I had come home and made herself comfortable at my feet as I sat down in the living room. Her unconditional love overwhelmed me and all my troubles were soon forgotten. Then mum brought me a divine cup of tea and promised me an awesome breakfast soon after.  We sat down together for a small chat that ended up being a full-fledged two hour amazing conversation where we talked our hearts out. By the end of it I felt like a different person altogether.  
After a scrumptious breakfast, mum and I decided to paint together. While painting, mum updated me about the family of pigeons that nests on our window. There was this beautiful smile on her face as she described it that me incandescently happy. It is really on days like these that one feels that there is little more to ask for.  All the pessimism and frustrations left my mind.
We often underestimate the magic that home is. Not only is it a refuge but also a place where we come back to ourselves. It is the place where love dwells and where wounds are healed. It is the place where our fears and troubles are laid to rest. Home is that comforting thought that comes to your mind when you feel tired and lost in a maddening world. Home is where you find yourself back. Always.

(Talking about home, do visit this site if you are looking for one. https://housing.com/in )

Looking Up

There are times when life seems to be unusually hard on us. Times,when existence itself seems like a brutal process of reaching nowhere. These are times when the urge to give up is the greatest. When you feel like surrendering just so that the suffering would end. You are tired of facing the failures and bearing the crazy stress. Nothing seems to fall into place. You feel like you have reached the threshold and it is impossible to go on anymore.  Disillusion and hopelessness seem to be the order of the day.  But it is this very threshold the crossing of which is capable of turning things around. It is the darkest hour before the sunrise.  As Thomas Edison had said, “Many of life’s failures are people  who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up!” And here is a small incident that taught me this great lesson.
I was sitting with a group of friends on a bench and we were casually chatting. While we were having an idle conversation and honey bee came hovering and sat on my leg. Even though I have a lot of respect for these very hard working and amazing insects, I dread their sting. So as soon as it sat on my leg, I started making funny scared noises. One of my friends then promptly tried to shoo away the honeybee with a rolled newspaper. Unfortunately, the bee got hit in the process and fell to the ground. It wasn't dead but seemed pretty injured and unable to move about. Since both me and my friend had no intention of killing the bee, we felt very bad and guilty about it. He then said, “Let us just end its suffering and kill it.” Although it seemed like a humane thing to do at the time and kill the bee, something felt wrong about it. The bee was struggling hard. I agreed with him that we shouldn't let the creature suffer but I had a feeling that something might just come out of that. So I stopped him.  He looked at me and wondered what was wrong with me.
“Why do you want it go through this ordeal? Let us just end it.”
“Wait for moment. Not just yet.”
And before we could say another word, the bee got on its feet and rose into the air steadily on its wings. It seem like she waited half a moment in mid-air to say farewell and then flew away. It will be difficult to explain the happiness and optimism this little insect left us with. Just when we thought that there is no hope and it is going to die, she proved us wrong.  When an insect refused to give up and returned from the brink of death, then why not us conscious human beings?
That day I realized how much there is to be thankful for. That giving up is surely easy and staying on very tough. But one must never quit. The dawn is just around the corner, and those who stay through the night will get to see the light. J

(Since we are talking about looking up, you might want to check this out- https://housing.com/lookup  :) )

Leaving the Nest

It is said that magic happens only when you get out of your comfort zone. But it is not mentioned in the subtext that stepping out of your comfort zone might just be one of the most difficult things you will have to do. Also it is not a one time event. If you do not want to stagnate in a world which never stays still, you have to constantly move ahead, reinvent and challenge yourself.

For most of my life I have been a very protected individual. I have the most doting parents and the most loving home, the comfort of which is so blissful, that the thought of leaving it would unsettle me. I did not feel the need to go out and explore the world. I was content to be where I was.
But life doesn’t always stay the same. And sometimes the smallest things can make you realize things that can potentially change your life. In my case, it was my 7 year old niece. One day while sitting in my lap, she told me that she wanted to be a pilot. She wanted to reach what she thought was impossible and she wanted to do it on her own.  Even though she was but a child, she shook me out of my illusory comfort.  Not that I was not ambitious career wise but I had never dared to look for what I thought beyond my reach.

That day I made the decision to leave the nest. No matter how hard it would be.  It had to be done. I was done with my graduation in zoology and the logical path was to ahead with post-graduation in the same subject. That is what everyone in their right minds was doing. I had also applied for the same. But in my heart of heart, I was not happy with the decision. I wanted to widen my horizons.  A part of me was always thrilled about stories.  I followed news with a lot of passion. But I had never given a serious thought to considering journalism as a career option. It seemed too challenging from my point of view. But after this realization, I began to consider it as a serious career option.
When I told my family, they thought I was joking. They tried to laugh it off. They even tried to discourage me. But when they realized that I was unflinching in my resolve, they became extremely supportive. I joined the Indian Institute of Mass Communication to do a course in broadcast journalism which would initiate me into the world of journalism. That was the first leap I took. Leaving home behind to embark on a completely new and uncertain journey. 

But looking back I don’t repent it at all. IIMC  is a residential institute adjoining the JNU campus. Life seemed very challenging at first. But eventually everything started falling into place. Today I can without a second thought that it was one of the most wonderful times of my life. I made my room a cozy place where we had maggi parties every weekend. It made me miss home a little less. In that one year, I learnt a lot, not only about journalism but also about life.  And I realized what a fool I was to be content sitting at home when the world had so much to offer. 

My Room :)
It is also true that no matter where life has taken me, I have always come home to my parents. It is both my heaven and haven. But I have learnt to strike a balance between the adventures I have to undertake to fulfil my dreams and the safety and comfort I long for every time the going gets tough. My life has taken a number of unbelievable twists and turns from there. But now I am never afraid to #StartANewLife. 

(Since I was talking about homes and change, you can check out this awesome place- https://housing.com/in. One stop for all your housing related dilemmas. )



Our Winged Housemates

The pigeons always chose our place to call their home. Always. Don't really know why. But apart from the poop fest, we really appreciate their company. Unlike squirrels who consciously plot your murder while they nest in your house (read dropping pebbles on my head while I would sleep), pigeons are more amicable. The grey variety that we see usually is called  Columba livia and are considered a pest for their adopting the rapid breeding program and their fondness for pooping.



We have all our windows and balconies colonized now. And its all the same family. The original pair decided to nest on my window. But these little rebels decided to not conform to the traditional nest building traditions. Why gather stuff when you have it all in you. So instead of making the usual thing with dried grass and stuff, they went neo urban and ultra modern by deciding to make a poop fortification. Trust me, it is exactly that.  A poop fort. And I have seen nothing quite like it before.
One very beautiful thing about these pigeons is that they mate for life and are very affectionate partners. Its a joy to see them engage with each other. Their love making has a very elaborate foreplay and their parenting responsibilities are pretty much equally distributed. It is another matter that they have no sense of family planning whatsoever and that the female nesting on my window has laid thirteen batches of eggs since last year. Even she seems a bit tired now. I am sure that they could talk human, they would ask us to foster for them. 


Our current delight is this pairs daughter who has just found her mate. We are sure of that because they are here all the time and we have been watching them ever so closely. She has built her nest on the window just opposite to her parents. Her husband doesn't seem to mind his in laws. Honestly, they make for such a wonderful couple. You'd think me mad but I am serious. Their affection and excitement about their new life together is so adorable. Eversince since she has laid her first batch of eggs, the entire family has been over the moon. Both ours and theirs. The would be grandparents have given their babymaking a break. Surprisingly, their daughter has turned out to be remarkably traditional in her tastes and preferences. Contrary to her parents, she has built a very traditional and elaborate non poop nest. Since she is a first time mum, she is crazy protective and nervous about her eggs and doesn't leave them alone at all. Her very caring mate feeds her, grooms her, cleans the place and stands guard all the time. The would be grandparents also assist and chit chat all the time. Sometimes they knock on our window and ask us to join them. We then go sit with them for a while then. Most of our interaction is through a kitchen window. Sometimes they come come inside too. Never for food though. Just like hanging around and stuff. And no matter how much my mother fusses over the mess they make, she will be the one who is the most excited when new kids come. 

The poop fort loving rebel would be grands... looking after their dear daughter.

The adorable husband on guard,

\Our dearest beautiful would be mum! (she is slowly fattening up)
There is something so beautiful, feminine and graceful about mothers. :) All kinds of them. 

Homies

The young pair.. the one on the right staring at the cam is the female, She always looks at me like that. As if I am a talking pumpkin or something.

Literally never leaving the eggs alone

                  That is how they usually sit.. :)
Little wonderful things happen around us all the time. Usually it is them which make all the difference between living life and merely existing. I am glad they find our place safe and warm enough to call home. :)

Our Winged Housemates

The pigeons always chose our place to call their home. Always. Don't really know why. But apart from the poop fest, we really appreciate their company. Unlike squirrels who consciously plot your murder while they nest in your house (read dropping pebbles on my head while I would sleep), pigeons are more amicable. The grey variety that we see usually is called  Columba livia and are considered a pest for their adopting the rapid breeding program and their fondness for pooping.



We have all our windows and balconies colonized now. And its all the same family. The original pair decided to nest on my window. But these little rebels decided to not conform to the traditional nest building traditions. Why gather stuff when you have it all in you. So instead of making the usual thing with dried grass and stuff, they went neo urban and ultra modern by deciding to make a poop fortification. Trust me, it is exactly that.  A poop fort. And I have seen nothing quite like it before.
One very beautiful thing about these pigeons is that they mate for life and are very affectionate partners. Its a joy to see them engage with each other. Their love making has a very elaborate foreplay and their parenting responsibilities are pretty much equally distributed. It is another matter that they have no sense of family planning whatsoever and that the female nesting on my window has laid thirteen batches of eggs since last year. Even she seems a bit tired now. I am sure that they could talk human, they would ask us to foster for them. 


Our current delight is this pairs daughter who has just found her mate. We are sure of that because they are here all the time and we have been watching them ever so closely. She has built her nest on the window just opposite to her parents. Her husband doesn't seem to mind his in laws. Honestly, they make for such a wonderful couple. You'd think me mad but I am serious. Their affection and excitement about their new life together is so adorable. Eversince since she has laid her first batch of eggs, the entire family has been over the moon. Both ours and theirs. The would be grandparents have given their babymaking a break. Surprisingly, their daughter has turned out to be remarkably traditional in her tastes and preferences. Contrary to her parents, she has built a very traditional and elaborate non poop nest. Since she is a first time mum, she is crazy protective and nervous about her eggs and doesn't leave them alone at all. Her very caring mate feeds her, grooms her, cleans the place and stands guard all the time. The would be grandparents also assist and chit chat all the time. Sometimes they knock on our window and ask us to join them. We then go sit with them for a while then. Most of our interaction is through a kitchen window. Sometimes they come come inside too. Never for food though. Just like hanging around and stuff. And no matter how much my mother fusses over the mess they make, she will be the one who is the most excited when new kids come. 

The poop fort loving rebel would be grands... looking after their dear daughter.

The adorable husband on guard,

\Our dearest beautiful would be mum! (she is slowly fattening up)
There is something so beautiful, feminine and graceful about mothers. :) All kinds of them. 

Homies

The young pair.. the one on the right staring at the cam is the female, She always looks at me like that. As if I am a talking pumpkin or something.

Literally never leaving the eggs alone

                  That is how they usually sit.. :)
Little wonderful things happen around us all the time. Usually it is them which make all the difference between living life and merely existing. I am glad they find our place safe and warm enough to call home. :)

Sunday, March 08, 2015

They said it.


"Pakki Paaji"

"You look exactly like your father."

"You look so much like your mother"

"Your mother is so beautiful. What happened to you?"

"There is a difference between being nice and being a fool. Know it"

"I am not talking to her because she is not making eye contact"

"I want to talk to her and know why she is not making eye contact"

"Only you could be nice enough to make our beds"

"You are a mini Meera"

"You are tamsik"

"Punish a man if he does wrong. But never take away the source of his bread."

"Forgive him. You will do yourself a favor"

"You are gutsy kid"

"You have roots till hell"

"Do you want to be a nurse?"

"You look like Pritam."

"I like your chappals"

"You haven't seen enough grief to write poetry yet. What? Teenage Heartbreaks?"

"No matter what. People always look beautiful when they smile"

"Your mother is not only the most beautiful woman I have known. She is also the strongest, most fearless, most morally upright and honest person I have come across. Two things set her apart. The highness of her cheekbone and the strength of her backbone."

"I will never give up on you."

"You look like a queen whose kingdom has been taken"

"What does Prabhjot mean?"
"Light of God"

"Pagoli Suali" (Assamese for Mad Woman)

"Par meet na mila!"

"Why are you so attached to the Earth?"

"My meiosis slides look like a cheap photocopy of yours"

"Why does everyone seem to realize your importance after hurting you?"

"You give teddy bear hugs"

"Mis-singh"

"You'd be McGonagall"

"We are different because we are compassionate."

"How do live with the noise Rohini?"
"I don't realize it"

"You are passive aggressive"

"Baki sab tap tap..Rohini..dham!"

"Odd man out Shubham!"

"If you like me, I must be doing something right."

"Sometimes, I feel you are a woman from a different era"

"How many people are you?"

"Only you give yourself trouble."

"You look like you don't have a worry in the world"

"You have a suppressed anxiety disorder"

"Didi please don't ever scold us, It will break our hearts"

"I like English when you teach me"

"You should have been a teacher"

"You should have been a doctor"

"You should have been a cook"

"You should have been a nun"

"You should have been a counselor"

"You should have been a comedienne."

"Prolonged drizzles are always better than brief downpours"

"You are the sort of person who'd be happy to live in a cottage on the hills"

"You are play dough around an iron rod"

"I don't take your compliments seriously"

"If you like it, nothing else matters"

"Are you the girl with the ponytail and specs?"

"Aaj kuch toofani karte hain! Rohiniiiiii nahiiiiiii!!!!!"

"Jaldi aao. Phir Ghalib ki haveli le chalungi main."

"Monkeys and Chimpanzees. Do they get along?"

"Fir I realized. That if you are sad, I will also be sad."

"You were looking for me all your life"

"You are my favourite bua because you are huggable and you teach me how to bake"

"You don't know how to recognize people"

"I have never seen mosquitoes bite anyone like that."

"You will make socialists out of my kids. You'll make them wear khadi coats over their Prada shirts."

"I like how you talk to dogs"

"Your bag is nothing like a woman's "

"Say Awwwle again"





Sunday, March 01, 2015

Letter to the kid on the hills

To you who smiles like a cherub,

I had come to your hills to escape the heat of my plains. I had also come to give myself some rest. My life had been a chaos and disappointments were strewn all across my mind. Nothing went the way I wanted it to go. Happiness was elusive and nothing seemed to fall into place. It was then that I had come to seek refuge in the mountains. It was supposed to be temporary relief. But I went back with something much more than that. Just because of you.

We were on our way to Khajjiar. The previous afternoon had been very hot but not this one. The clouds came almost unannounced and took us in their gentle embrace. They danced all over the valley. They caressed the eager Deodars with their wet loving palms. They rained to nurture the valley's soul.. and they also washed away a lot of my fears. 

All along our way, those breathtaking wild pink blooms greeted us. Exuberant after the rains. Unaware of how beautiful they looked. Unaware of how their casual presence all over the mountais filled me with awe. It was almost the same feeling like I would step out for a walk at night and i would see hundreds of stars casually scattered along the path. What do you think of them kid? Does your valley fill you with the same awe? Or have you got used to the miracles?

There you were. Standing in the waiting shed at the bend of the road. Clad in your uniform,with your bag still on your shoulders. Hugging the pillar and waiting. Was someone to come and pick you up? Or do you walk home by yourself? Home to your mother, who'd be waiting anxiously. Whose eyes light up with the light of her soul when you come back to her. Then she would feed you hot food and ask about your day. Were you thinking of her? Or your siblings? Maybe an elder brother who teases you all the time or a younger sister you are very protective about. Or your father.. of how you want to be or not want to be like him?
Dear kid, i don't know what came over me the moment I saw you. Your innocence, your solitude, the way you leaned on the pillar. Before I realized it my hand was up and waving to you, desperately seeking your attention and my lips had upon them the most genuine heartfelt smile I knew I was capable of. And you looked! You waved at me without as much a thought. Without a trace of surprise in your eyes. And with the most beautiful smile I have ever beheld on a face. Darling kid, you healed much in me in that fleeting moment. You made yourself priceless to me.
I don't know what you thought of me. But I can never be grateful enough to you for gifting me that smile. I haven't felt that sort of happiness in ages. It was so pure, so unadulterated.. something I never knew I could feel. I was myself, just myself in that moment. No one's daughter, or sister, or friend...nothing..Just myself.. not dependent on any identity.. I could have been no one for all I care. I don't even know what happened. Your smile dissolved itself in my soul..rushed through all over my being and undid the knots that held my chaos into place. I laughed and cried while my family wondered if I had gone crazy.

You would probably laugh and be amused if you were to read this letter you little cherub. Or would you just smile like you did then? Do you know how beautiful you are? That your presence filled me with more awe than when I saw the wild pink blooms. Do you know how proud your parents must be to have you? Do you know that your presence has made my world a better place. I have never been the same again. You taught me one of the greatest lessons I have learned in life. That true happiness is not dependent on the conditionality of things to fall into place, of acquiring things or losing them. That true happiness comes to us at the most unexpected moments, in the most unexpected circumstances. That the only requisite to realize it to have love in your heart and open windows in your soul. 

Its not that I have not been sad after that. I have had very dark phases. But I have understood sadness better. I don't loathe or fear it now. So it cannot threaten or harm me the way it used to. You have turned my grey many shades lighter. I have opened up myself to feel joy in the tiniest things in my life. I don't know if there is a God kid, but if he is there, I have no doubt that he has your smile. 

Grow up to be a wonderful man. I know life will not spare you the wounds, bitterness, hurt and scars but let none of them touch the miracle that lies within you. I wish that your smile keeps changing lives like it did for me. Be kind to life even if it is unkind to you. 

I love you.

The crazy woman who waved at you on the rainy day.