” Maa” , that’s what a mother is called in Hindi. And I find this word more soothing, more musical and more melodious than other variants . So am addressing my letter to my Maa.
you are right now across the seven seas, and we have not seen each other in a few months and u shall be away for a bit longer . So I feel this is probably the best time to write to you.
It amazes me, whenever I think that my Maa can speak almost eight different Indian languages! Be it the north, south, west or east, you can find one common language and express yourself. What amazes me is the fact that two of those you learnt after you came here to Mumbai!
From Allepey in Kerala to Mumbai at the age of 22 , married to a man who was almost a stranger to you. From living in a house that was right at the beach in quiet and calmness to living in a house right outside a railway station , where every 4 minutes a train thundered by. From land of Malayalam to land of Marathi. How terrifying it must have been for you. From a nuclear family of four in a big house to a joint family of twelve in a two room apartment. How claustrophobic you might have felt.
And yet you made a place for yourself in everyone’s heart and a place for each person of your family in your heart. Like most women here, you too have slogged and sacrificed your life so that we, your children get the best of everything and move up in life. It is because you sacrificed so many holidays , did we get an education that took us places. It is because you woke up each day at 5 am, did we never miss any class or any meetings. I admire your capacity to give.
At the same time I wish that now our horizons have become so different that we maybe share and celebrate these differences. I wish I could , for a day, show you what my life REALLY looks like! That the bridge is strong between us and we can easily cross into each others worlds.
And mostly I admire you for being happy with two weirdoes like dad and me 🙂
Home is waiting for both you ! Come back soon!
Daily Prompt: Circle of Five
A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?
In school we often were asked to write an essay on topics such as ,” My favorite Personality”, or “My idol” “Whom i admire the most”. And I used to absolutely not like this exercise. How can one select just one person? I admire different people for different reason and would rather be a mix of their best. Would we not become too uni-dimensional if we just emulated one person and just as flawed? So invariably I would write the same name each time, like all these essay “guides” would : Mahatma Gandhi.
Ironically I would start with him again this time for my BIG FIVE:
I admire the sheer DETERMINATION this man possessed. Almost single handedly he got a “nation” ( i firmly believe India is a huge collection of multifarious groups rather than ONE country in the real sense of the word) up on it’s feet and moving. He gave the world the alternative of showing the other cheek. And for that I love him.
Ach Rumi! You teach me each time I read you, what it is to love and hence to live. The simplicity and yet the sheer elegance in your thoughts/ words have been an inspiration to me. Just like you said, your beauty has set my life on fire.
As clichéd as it sounds, my dad is also one of my BIG FIVES. I have not met a person as kind, as warm and as loving as he is.
He was warm, sharp and founder of almost all the biggest industries in India. He was way ahead of his time and India owes him the beginning of modernization. He was the first Indian to obtain a pilot license issued in India. He showed that you can set up an empire without corruption, without black money.
Babies and children:
Well maybe am cheating here 😉 , yet I know that children inspire me the most. No matter how much you think you know, they know and understand even more. They are straightforward and also know what to say when and where. Loving comes easy to them. So does forgiving. They accept people as they are. Think out of the box. Experiment. Get up easily when they fall down. So call me a cheat if you will, but They remain in my BIG FIVE
This is was an easy one. Really. For me personally there’s one “song” that kind covers most flavors one may get a chance to live in one lifetime:
I salute the thoughts, the power of this voice:
Everybody is free ( to wear sunscreen) by Baz Luhrman
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97,
Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term
benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis or
reliable then my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice….now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, nevermind, you won’t understand the power and
beauty of your youth until they’ve faded, but trust me in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of
yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous
you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra
equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind: the kind that blindsides
you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is
long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive; forget the insults. (if you succeed in doing this, tell me how).
Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people
I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of Calcium. Be kind to your knees — you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll
divorce at 40; maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half
chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body: use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it; it’s the
greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Dance…even if you have no where to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions (even if you don’t follow them).
Do not read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings: they’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in
Understand that friends come and go, but what a precious few should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps
and geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old; and when you
do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children
respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse,
but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you are 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia;
dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal–wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and
recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me, on the sunscreen.
I am a little impatient at times . Okay , am very impatient at times. Oh well, might as well admit it: am extremely impatient all the time. Then I rant and rave, yell, be rude, very very sarcastic , bite others and generally display all Godzilla or for that matter any of your typical Bollywood villain/vamp traits. The fact that I have extremely unruly and long voluminous wavy hair that fly all over the place doesn’t help. Medusa or the Hindu Goddess of wrath Durga have strong competition from me.
(the foto looks much kinder than I do at these times)
(foto courtesy: imagine)
This is more like me. Plus being a teacher I can raise my voice, modify my tone to make the other person feel what I want to. And of course am not talking of a warm fuzzy feeling. More like a I – want – to- crouch – beneath – the – sofa or dig- myself – a- hole – feeling.
And then the moment of insanity passes. And I feel terrible. Guilty . Full of remorse.
So I try . Not to loose my cool. I tried to count to ten. That’s over too fast. So I tried to count up to fifty. Too much counting.
I tried taking deep breaths. Didn’t help. Apparently they weren’t deep enough.
Tried to meditate. Too antsy for that at that moment.
Thought age would help. It did. It helped me to become even more impatient with people who i felt were not getting me.
Then one day i happen to catch a look of me when i was angry in the mirror. I saw how ugly I looked. How like a monster . And I knew what I was doing to myself. I was becoming that monster. Which I didn’t want to.
Of course i occasionally still loose it. Then I just hold a mirror , a virtual one and tell myself : it’s ok. Let it be
Recently during a late night tête-à-tête i was told by a dear friend that i wasn’t bold, rather not bold enough…Now that was a bit of a jolt. (Okay , so it was more like Zeus personally selecting a bolt of lightning for me . i could almost picture him pondering exactly how he should hold his master bolt so that the lightning strikes me exactly where he aims to and after it does, laugh).
i always thought that i was pretty bold, pretty “bindass”. So this statement kind of took me by surprise and made me sit up ( as much as one can after working with more than three dozen kids for over 6 hours straight) and think.
Since i wasn’t really convinced i asked him to elucidate a bit and well, i had to eat my words pretty soon when he pointed out that though writing a blog was a bold step , deciding to write an anonymous one, wasn’t “bold enough”…
Hence the decision to “mboldenme’….How is that exactly going to happen is still a mystery. And where the process is going to result in i have no clue whatsoever. That bit am not worried about. I don’t really want to know either.
What i do want to know: What does it mean, to be bold? And where does boldness end and foolishness begin?
These are the answers i hope to find during this journey…
And help from anyone would be very much appreciated! Any answers to my questions anyone?
Gute Nacht und Ciao!!!
P.S: One thing i do hope for: That my spelling , which have, thanks to auto-correct and smart phones, “gone for a toss” shall come back to me. Thanks to this blog 🙂