Disconnect to connect ~ Part 2


Dissociation will come first. Then, the dissent!

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How much do we yearn for our own kind? Here, I talk about those, who not only agree with our plane of thoughts but also, disagree with us on some terms without malice, in the process accepting that there are 10 sides to a decagon, with each side facing a different direction. It is rare, I tell you. It is just rare. Now, I know why pagans that lived in the earlier ages felt superior to mere humans. It is because mere humans succumb to the fear of scrutiny. The need to not only look good but better than others, the need to feel appreciated and, the desire to rule people’s hearts and minds silences the very voice from within – “Is it even required in the first place?”

And then, there are those who do not fear dissociation and dissent. And, very few, mind well, the genuine few make a humongous difference without making much noise. No one comes to know about them. And yet, their actions walk miles and miles, cross continents and oceans and yet, they choose to remain nameless and faceless. Their names may stay hidden. But, not their actions.

Carrots make us rabbits.

And, it pops a question – “Why we do what we do?”. Sharing anecdotes, snippets from our lives and, whatever we do that we do becomes a platter of delectable discussions, debates, appreciations and criticism on social media? Apparently, I realized a little before a couple of weeks, how drawn I was towards sharing my posts on social media, the handsome villain I continue to flirt with. I shared one, even today. But in the past, I was on a spree. The simple joys in parenting, the challenges that made the journey bumpy, the mistakes made and learned, the art of parenting and, blogging about the countless blessings were some of my pet preach topics. Too much of positive vibes? No negatives? Well, let’s say the world is a sad place already. Let me not add my share to it. So, I love to write mostly about happy things. (I blog about the otherwise too. But you need to find which ;)).

And, I will continue to. Why? Well, writing on the virtual space brings me a sense of acknowledgement that some people out there relate a little bit with my head space which is often in spirals, just like my intangible curls! A few years back, when I was just new to blogging, I had set some high aims on the blogging aspect. I wanted an audience. Human nature after all. Appreciation is that carrot we all rabbits gleefully run after! I did, too. I got featured on Smart Indian Women. And then, WomensWeb gave me a bigger platform to express. Parentous featured my post in their Parenting Decoded manual. I won a couple of blogadda contests and won two beautiful shades of Miami Blue sunglasses! It felt good. It really felt good. And now, after almost a decade of blogging, in which an earlier chunk of years were spent in gaining visibility, now I purely desire to do it with the intent to connect with a few select ones. The ones I talk about are those who read without assumptions. I believe there are so many dimensions and planes when it comes to thoughts. What if those planes intersected at points that could be touched only by few. Won’t it be a great feeling to meet those who catch what you throw without a miss?

The said people could be from anywhere…. some adrenalin pumped solo female tourist sitting in a tapas bar of Spain thinking about seeing Aurora Borealis in the higher latitudes some day, or maybe a woman sitting and knitting a sweater for her unborn in a shack in Mexico, thinking about the taco food truck she wanted to start, or some teenager in Sweden who feels out of place like Lizbeth Salander, the most beautiful character created by Stieg Larsson (rip)  (Will I find them in my own country? Maybe. I am incurably optimistic about it.

Disconnect to connect is what makes a connection

A string of unconnected thoughts made me start this series – Disconnect to connect. And somewhere, it made me question the need for a connection. A connection between people doesn’t happen because one expects the other to be of help at some time in their lives. Connections that grow on obligations are not connections. They are bondage. Thoughts of dissent cannot be expressed freely in such a crowd. Rather, dissent would be sacrilege! There cannot be a voice that sings differently. Is that a connection? I don’t know.

But do connections between people happen despite them being in different zone of thoughts and actions? Maybe. Maybe, it happens rarely. It happens when a set of people not only believe in their thoughts but also in their course of action regardless of the fact that difference of opinions cannot affect their intent. Does that connection seem visible anywhere? In a family, that is next to impossible. After all, one is so tied with expectations from family, society and the extended network of friends that, even if one’s thoughts were to be radically opposite to the other, silence or resignation happen to be the only two ways to choose from. Why? Who wants a war over ‘trivial’ issues? There is already a boatload of reasons to instigate one against the other.

If you probably disagreed with your group of friends over an issue and, expressed your fundamentally opposite thoughts in a civilized manner, a few friends will still take offence. (The world is so antagonizing) Even if one friend goes manic over your opinion, you clearly get the cue – “Ok! This was enough to make him or her against me.” It is not a very comforting feeling. However, when it comes to family, you still take things in your stride. After all, blood is thicker than water. Right? Right? Maybe.

I have stopped putting forth deep seated questions. Because, most of the answers shall be what I may have expected already. Questions that are predictably misunderstood cannot have the right answers. And some shall advise on the importance of acceptance of the world, “the world is like that. Life is like that” and, that my questions are a mere rhetorical. Is it?

For someone who has battled myasthenia gravis and, had almost walked a tight rope for two months in the hospital, with a two year old son then, husband and parents witnessing the life in me hanging by a cliff, acceptance need not be explained. Of all people, I know what it means. If I may add, my own near death experience has taught me to accept people for who and what they are. But, acceptance is not one answer to the many questions out there. It is important. However, seeking answers is important too.

I am sure, there are a few select people who can perhaps understand my abstract questions about the lesser known, questions considered taboo, questions that are not only misunderstood but also, damned….and so much more….And, I know those answers cannot be found on social media. I don’t seek answers in books. I seek answers from people. The keepers of those answers after all, are the ones who have knowledge to give, and the wisdom to know who to give. I wonder if I will ever meet such a breed. To sit among people who discuss civilizations and Nature, about seasons, stars and planets, about languages that are on brink of extinction and so much more…To even sit in such a sisterhood where, the camaraderie flows like a river with every tributary given its space to dance around is, indeed a gift from the Gods that I can only dream of (a wishful dream like that makes me a greedy woman don’t it?)

The more I think about meeting such people, especially women of class and few words, the more detached I feel from the crowd. One could say, I now associate with people only in certain phases and, not as a whole. They are not connections. They are mere stations that I am crossing. I may or, may not remember them later. But, there are those very very few (I can count them on my fingers) who I know, will understand my interests, my words and, my actions. They are keepers. Always.

Too many energies distort the thoughts

And, that brings me to the core – “Why does a crowd make me feel miserable?”  I have pet peeved the crowd for a long long time. But, I cannot quite remember the exact time in my life when my repulsion for crowd began.  Being a part of social functions like marriages, parties and night outs or even groups on social media drains me. Initially, it does feel good. Gradually, the crowd wears me out. And, I feel drained even though my tummy may be full of delicious food.

I might sound very rude when I say that I exited my school group on whatsapp twice (I was added back twice before I went vocal about my refusal) and people wouldn’t understand why. When I explained that I don’t check whatsApp regularly and that, I have nothing to contribute, it did not make sense to people. But, school friends are gems. They understand that there is a whacko hidden in every child! But, can it be done for whatsApp groups among relatives? I cannot become a stone. So, I am a mute audience here. The only thing that has kept me a part of these groups is that, I get to know the birthdays and anniversaries of people. Besides, I have this annoying habit of not remembering important dates. It is not that I am unable to remember. I just don’t feel like treating them important. Considering that my husband has a similar amnesia regarding dates, I have stopped beating myself about it. But that said, I don’t forget to thank God everyday for the good things in life, especially for the second lease of life I got in 2013. Thank you’s, I believe are important, very important!

The point of dissociation 

So, what draws me away from crowd? Is it the noise? Is it the actions of people? Is it the rules laid by a society formed by “I don’t know who”. (A woman never had any say in the making, I believe) Is it the discussions over mundane subjects? I do not understand propaganda. I do not reason with proofs for intent. I do not want to be a part of anything that forms a clique. That brings me to my next huge disappointment I have with the world. Cliques! I don’t fit in them. I detest them. I abhor them. Cliques destroy childhood. They destroy everything good. Cliques are what make humans weak, vulnerable, evil and reprehensible! It is these cliques that exposed me to the banal truth on how a woman can be mean to her own tribe and, how calling a spade a spade becomes more difficult than drinking water. I have exited groups because such group conversations made me burn. Visit some place in real or in the virtual world and, there is always some woman whose dignity is being torn to shreds even if she were a witch. Sometimes, the environment is negative. And, sustaining in a toxic environment created by women is like a closed room. You only meet four walls wherever you turn to. I have been pulled into such rooms of gloom too, where the walls close on you…. And, I have no qualms about admitting that I too have dissed women who have, at some point made me feel miserable, given their authority. But off late, something changed for me. There was this quote that used to pop on my timeline quite often. I don’t remember it but it meant something like this –

Try to understand why people are the way they are rather than, trying to fight the misleading arrogance with a misguided anger.  

And, the recurrence of this quote felt like a sign.

So, I am not aware of the potholes and puddles ahead. I am also not aware of the pastures to be walked and the mountains to be climbed either. But, I am aware of the connection I have with myself now. I have my choices intact.

Choice to ignore what drains me

Choice to fight the odds

Choice to be content in my space

Choice to be silent when the urge to retort feels like the itch on a healing wound.

Choice to read what I feel like and, leave what I don’t want to…

And, that is the best part. There is peace.

That said, I am still a wanderer with a thirst for a sisterhood where ‘the camaraderie flows like a river with every tributary given its space to course…’

Dear Will-o’-the-wisp….Will I ever find my tribe?

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Gratitude.


What a beautiful feeling that is. Gratitude.

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It is that sunshine feeling that you get what you need and, get what you may have wished for but, haven’t demanded it, and you got it only because someone out there saw your work with the same silence that you did your work with!

It is exactly that feeling of being indebted to someone with a prelude of an innocent triumph over those small bouts of success.

It is a constant reminder of the fact that – Success is a beautiful butterfly that does not profess its loyalty to one. It fills its wings with the hues that belong to everyone around that one person aiming for the goal.

Small pebbles of appreciation. Kind words of encouragement. A pat on the back for overcoming initial hurdles. They all go a long way for everyone.

And, I am happy. A reason that may have recurred in the past prodded me today to see and, acknowledge the reason. Yes. I have come a long way from writing amateurish posts and rants to something that makes more sense and, is more about my experiences rather than I, me myself – the angry woman.

And, I have such a long long long way to go yet. But, walk I will along this path. There may be occasional stumbles and rumbles. There may be large pauses too. But, I shall walk the entire length, as long as it goes. With the genuine acknowledgements that have come from unexpected quarters, I know that there is a part of this world that believes in my dreams, my goal, my purpose. And, my gratitude towards all of them and, you – the readers of this blog shall be my magic wand that shall forever motivate me to pursue my goals.

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A big thank you to @BlogAdda for announcing my blog post as one of the winners of the WoW contest. And, heartfelt thanks to all who read my blog regularly.

And, this is what I have earned 🙂

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‘Give me a magic wand and I will…..’


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Give me a magic wand and I will….. bring the Jurassic world back to life!’

So, when BlogAdda came up with this interesting WOW prompt, I was glad considering the myriad wishes I could come up with in writing. However, a few minutes of pondering left me with absolutely no words. And, I gathered….writing on seemingly simple topics is more difficult than writing a research article..

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“How to begin a post?”, “How to headline?”, “ How to bring out the best of one’s thoughts?” are the Q’s that plague my head space when an interesting topic comes my way. And just look at the cue – “Give me a magic wand and I will…..” It is such a happy question that brings along such wishful answers. Had I been asked this a few years back, I would have demanded a genie in the split second of the time my eyelashes meet each other.

Well, the happy thought quickly entailed a plethora of doubts –

“A genie that would do just house keeping, perhaps….”,

“Can I trust the genie with taking care of my family?”,

“What if it goes rogue?” (My worst fear!)

It took me a couple of years to understand that human greed clubbed with doubts is as high as the sky and, as wide as the milky way. And, like a typical Indian homemaker, I might end up demoralizing the genie that the work could have been better without its contribution. So, I did not get a genie I wished for years back. Rather, I transformed into one – the feisty home maker. I did everything a home maker does, but at a slow and steady pace. There would be days when the home resembled a museum and, there would be days when people would have mistaken it for a birdhouse. And yet, all those moments of taking care of home, family and additionally, work from home (freelancing) made me realize how lucky I am, to be the genie of my life. The reason that I had absolute control over my home and my life, regardless of the chaotic manner in which it happened, gave me the peace of mind I needed. Had by the faintest brush of magic, a genie entered my life, I would have probably transformed into a fossil given that there would be nothing I would be motivated to do in life beyond the basic needs. After all, there is the genie.

Now, that I mentioned about a fossil, I remember my son’s fascination with the Jurassic era. And, I feel the answer to this wishful question is best answered by a child whose imagination is burning bright with countless possibilities of magic.

So, this was a small conversation between my son Arjun and I, that happened today.

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Me: “Arjun, what would you do if you wished for a magic wand and, you got it?”

A: “Why do you ask?”

Me: “I have to blog about a topic and the cue for it is this – “Give me a magic wand and, I will…“. I thought I will take your help. You will help me, right?”

A: “Blog is what you do on that laptop? Tapping the keys and, the words appear on the screen?”

Me: “Exactly! The same” (In Tamil, “Adhe!”)

A:hmm….So, what is a magic wand?” (Clarity first! I like it, son!)

Me: “Magic wand is a tool of magic that fairies use. They swish them with your wish and, your wish comes true. Just like the one from the story of Cindrella.”

A: “aaah! That is interesting.”

Me: “So….what have you thought? What will you do if you get a magic wand?”

A:Give me a magic wand and I will.……bring the Jurassic world back to life!

Me: (I should have know this was coming. Having watched every part of Jurassic series with rapt attention, my son has deduced that the ‘painfully wronged’ dinosaurs should be brought back to life.) “But seriously, why dinosaurs?”

A: “I like them, mum! I want them back! And then, I will raise baby dinos just like Sid in Ice Age 3 does. They are so cute!”

The conversation was not a spurt that happened in a day. Ever since my son watched the first movie – The Jurassic Park, Richard Attenborough’s research clubbed with Jeff Goldblum’s hesitancy over the entire plan of recreating Jurassic world, it created a soft corner for these fossil-ed reptiles in my son’s mind. The ending of the movie was exactly what he wished for, especially the scene wherein the banner of Jurassic park falls across the good T-Rex towards the end. For him, the ending felt like magic – The reptile had survived the acid tests of human times!

A few weeks before, I had given my son some work in Maths. And, I had dozed off since the cough and cold got to both due to traveling. For me, sleep was a need. And for the son, no sleep was a need. After an hour, when I woke up, I saw something that made me first angry and then, happy. Angry, because he had conveniently ditched the work I gave him. Happy, because he created this….

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Moments later, I had posted about it on FaceBook. And, I don’t mind sharing what I wrote that day:

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Can there be a more potent magic wand than a child’s imagination?

Dear son! You don’t need a magic wand. You already have it. And, it is called Imagination. Keep it alive even as the world of humans would try to kill it. And that, my son is your test, the test you actually need to pass and come out with flying colors! And, I am sure you will! God bless 🙂

 

Disconnect to connect.


It is a strange thing that I began writing about this feeling a month back and, I could not finish it for some reason. There were breaks, some inevitable blocks and then some well thought pauses. The intuition was perhaps not against writing about it. It was perhaps waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect time to pen down. And today, after a month of having thought about penning down my thoughts about it, I feel I am at a bit more better predicament for blogging.

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Blogging – this has been my life line for the past eight years. There are thoughts in my head that the real world may not understand. But, this world does. A world where there is some teenager in the wild wild west reading my poems and, leaving a compliment that my words touched her in ways she cannot express, makes me feel good about myself. For some stranger out there, my words may have meant a lot, the same way some random stranger’s words of kindness may have calmed my jittery nerves. And believe me when I say this – A stranger appreciating your creation is the most genuine form of compliment because it comes from an unbiased perspective.

Sometimes, a stranger may understand your depth in emotions better than the ones around you. And, sometimes, your own flow of thoughts that flood your word pads may make you a stranger to your close ones.

This is where, I have come to believe that each one of us is a book of unread chapters. You just know each other by the cover or perhaps, by the first few pages. There is so much more underneath. Layers of complexities and hidden emotions continue to unravel at each phase. And, as every chapter in life unfolds, every subsequent layer peels off itself to surprise the world.

It is a revelation.

It used to surprise me earlier when I would break away from a crowd all of a sudden. Most of the time, the unexplained and impulsive quits happened when the energy levels did not match for me. And, if it were me from a decade earlier, I would have probably rebelled or resigned to the energies that operated at a different frequency. But then, time changes a lot in each one of us. A few grey curls on the head do not bask in wisdom for no reason. Each one us comes with a choice to sync with the energies. Yes, the choice.

The choice to speak or, not to. The choice to be or, not to be. The choice to do or, not to do.

After all these years, I am far more content in my space. I am content with the fact that I may know few people but they are the ones that I can trust myself with. I am aware of the truth that it is more of those delirious thoughts than the others’ actions that could cause me harm. And, I clearly know the importance of walking away from a situation that I cannot help with.

Talking about social life, the phases for me have been vibrant as I see them, along with the grey shades. Or, let me put it this way – I had a better social life in the previous station than the present one. Currently I am in a station where my social life is limited to a few events and gatherings. Did it affect me in the beginning? Yes, it did. I started expecting the same energy bands in the new station. I expected girlfriends who could laugh heartily with no inhibitions, the ones that enjoyed the babbles and stories of my son who was a preschooler then, the ones that visited my chaotic home and yet, enjoyed with and accepted the flustered host in me, the ones that accepted me for who I am. Yes, I made good friends who understood the kind of conversations I indulged in and, took part in them. I can still remember how we waited for the husbands to push off so that, we could enjoy tea, home baked cakes and conversations that steered from evolution to geography, from natural to super natural, from relationships to spirituality, from history to politics and, what not. The conversations were everything but gossip. Every time we were pulled back in the grind by our husbands, children (two legged and four legged), the end of those discussions always left some fodder for thought for some new discussions. Agreeing to disagree was synonymous with accepting different perceptions of life with grace. It felt as though the truth in the world has many sides and, we will never be aware of every side in one lifetime.

Most of the topics that we discussed may have seemed quite out of place between women. However, for us such conversations meant deep. We connected at certain levels. And importantly, they were by my side when I battled a debilitating health condition. They understood me, gave me the space I needed and, importantly gave me all the optimism I needed to look forward. That is why, I call them my soul sisters. The ones that know me like not many people do.

But the reality dawned on me soon. We were all nomads. We all moved to different places. And yet, we chatter endlessly through whatsApp, and pull each other’s legs like minions!

They say, expectations are the root cause of human’s worst disappointments. 

So, expectations, when I came to new place filled me with desires to seek the same tribe. Not that I did not know it. But the experience was nevertheless draining. It took me a while to get a drift of the paradigm shift in my life. Hubby used to console me in those days – “Look! You cannot find good friends everywhere. And, soul sisters….not a chance! That is why, they are rare. And consider yourself lucky that you know what you seek. I know how you feel. But then, we all have to move on, look forward keeping in mind the good times and, hoping for them to happen again.”

I am a staunch believer in the importance of girlfriends in a woman’s life. If husbands are soul mates, girlfriends are soul sisters! Although I could extend an olive branch and, make friends and acquaintances in the new place, I believed firmly in taking the pause. And, I am enjoying the pause period yet. In the past two years, it has healed my pain, my ache, my anticipations. Sometimes, not being a part of a big crowd is also a blessing in disguise, especially when in a crowd, there are so many things one comes to know, things that do not make much sense in the real world, leaving aside the talks of the town. The realization is at the moment, comforting.

Surprisingly, after two years of limited social activity as compared to the previous station, I have started enjoying my own company immensely. After seeing the son off to school, I have these morning hours to myself, few of the days in a week when my work load is less. And in those hours, I work out at home, have a good breakfast, read a few books and, browse through quotes on social networking. The quotes always give me a cue to write about something. On some days, I take my laila – my activa and, go around the station side market, pack myself some nice piping hot moong dal kachoris and jalebis. On some days, I just go without a wallet and, just for fun to see how a city comes to life in the morning hours. Routine – the much needed aspect of a human life.  It gives you the motivation to hope for better things in life. And, different kind of breaks in the same routine give you a perspective (my pet preach).

And then, there are some lovely segments of my routine that shall never change. To joke with the hubby about my goof ups remains an integral part of my routine (hubby is currently out of station and yet, he patiently hears my rants, poetic musings and sweet nothings! Did I say, his word play is simply magic! I could hear him speak all day. Unfortunately, I was the one born with the habit of incessant talking!) Then, to cuddle my son while he sleeps at night, to speak to my parents each day and hear them out (they are my pillars of strength) and, to listen to Vishnu sashranamam and skanda sashti kavacham every morning and evening are those parts of my day that infuse me with an optimism that remind me that no matter how rough the tides play out, the verve to surf on must burn bright all the time.

I am not a religious person. Neither, am I a frenzied temple hopper. But, there is one thing I strongly believe in – The Omnipresence. True its meaning, it is everywhere and, it watches over all of us all the time. And for some reason, this quote on FB reminded me of gratitude. And, I thanked the Omnipresence for not just having given me things that I wished for but also, for those He gave me without me asking Him for them!

blessed are we.

Every day is a blessing.

Every moment is a times space where there is some lesson being written.

And, each person I meet was ordained to be known to me.

On that note, a good night to all readers. May you have beautiful dreams and, good thoughts. Night, Night….Sleep tight….. 😀

************cUrLs & CuRvEs***********


We all have that one friend with whom we are enchanted to no end and yet, detest them equally. I am not sure if it is anything close to friendship. But, that sure defines a bond where both kind of accept each other in a way none might comprehend even remotely. Something like Cady and Regina’s relationship from the movie – Mean girls! Mean towards each other with some mushiness hidden within.

And, I am no exception. I too have this someone, with whom my love hate relationship goes up and down the roller coaster, giving ways to situations where in I look and be exactly what I don’t want to look like!

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This is exactly the relationship my curls have with me, every time I use my hairbrush. Some strands just give up on both of us and leave my head!

*****************Ouch! My curls!*************

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A couple of days back, I had attended a social event. Normally, I tie up my hair. However,  that day I had oiled my hair and, given that I was in two minds on whether to grace the event or not, I postponed on the idea of washing my hair. Finally, my mum pushed me – “Wash that damn hair and, attend the damn event! I am so tired of your procrastination!”

Curls and Curves are something that have come to me with no invitation. I was never skinny and my hair was never straight. My late granny once regaled me with tales of how my mum looked when she was born – “A pink bundle with deep set black eyes and, a big tuft of the most gorgeous black curls on the head. She surely was the most beautiful infant!” I have heard tales of my mum’s beauty from many in the family. Although years of duress and struggles did dent her physical attributes, her inner beauty still shines bright and sunny making her look as striking as ever. So, when I was born, although I was many shades darker than mum in complexion and took to my father’s auburn colored eyes, I did inherit the feisty black curls from my mum. But unlike her soft silky curls, mine were the rough and tough kind! And so, my struggle with curls began as early as that. The struggles with curves shall follow later, which were, needless to say, as aggressive as the curls!

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Coming back to present, I decided to wash my hair. For people who know me not in person, I would like to tell you that I have curly hair that begin as low tide on the scalp, transform into high tide somewhere in between and finally transition into spirals towards the end (You know how beautiful, spirals look on your telephones and books!)

Towards the end of the strands, the spirals are acutely stubborn and, simply refuse to show up as long, beautiful and wavy tresses, much to the chagrin of the head that sports the hair. But, that is not what bothers me. What bothers me is my hair decides to let me down exactly on days when I would love to come out with those beautiful curls falling on the right side of my face. Never does that happen!

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However, on this particular day, my curls decided to trouble me less. I washed my hair and, livened it up with some serum to make it look less frizzy than it actually is. I guess, my hair stayed put for most part of the event until, I plonked myself on a chair oblivious to the fact that there was a pedestal fan right behind me. How my hair enjoyed its freedom needs no guesses. And how, my face resembled a running faucet because the evening chose to be humid only strengthened my hair’s verve to make me go red, blue, yellow, brown and all shades I could possibly think of! I thanked my stars that evening for one saving grace – my bindi. I had made a spiral between my brows with an eyeliner. The idea of a spiral bindi came from the thought that something on the face has to match the something on the head too.

(Take a peek inside my head and, I guess you will find the same –  A labyrinth of spirals…..Shh…..)

Thankfully, the lady who sold the eyeliner to me kept her word on the bluish black liquid as it definitely proved to be water proof! Surprisingly, the ladies at the event were more enthralled with my curls. They looked at me and sighed– “Wish we had those curls! They look gorgeous! ”. If only I could show them the startling visions of reality of severely aching arms and hair infested hair brushes and, the many that died on me, sacrificing their bristles for them! Someone had rightly said – “Wishful thinking is so full of greed”.

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And so, the curly hair saga has been my Achilles’ heel since the time I began with school. And, here are some of the choicest comments/compliments that followed suit from school life till now.

 “If I threw an eraser at L’s head, the eraser would slide the way down in a jiffy! But try doing that on N’s head, the eraser shall be imprisoned for life!” (L at school had the most beautiful auburn colored straight shining hair among all the girls. I always professed my intent to exchange my hair with hers…..By the way, I did go for a mushroom cut in 1998)

“If a cockroach or a bug gets into your hair, it is surely going to die of suffocation! And, even if one went inside, how will it warn the others?” (Laughter is good for health. Is it good for the hair too, I wonder)

“So many antennas on your head? Are they for good reception?” (I was academically fine in school. Maybe that explains it)

“Why is your hair so wavy on the scalp? Maybe you should straighten only this part. The rest are natural. You don’t even have to perm your hair!” (At the parlour)

“May be you aren’t oiling your hair a lot. You need to oil the scalp every day” (When the elders have to say something)

“You know….these curls can serve as good pencil stands. Like those carpenters who slide the pencils behind the ears…..you just have to use these curls!” (Something that I have come to accept. Seriously, I tried this. And my pencil refused to fall!)

“OMG…..Look at your hair! I have been brushing through the same patch for the past few minutes…and there has to be some obstacle all the time! And, look at your comb! Your hair is breaking away so much!” (No guesses…this has to be Mum!)

“Those are called copper wires, little copper wires!” (Hubby whispering into the son’s ears….the suppressed giggles are just not suppressed at all)

The litany of comments is endless. I have been so much used to hearing about my stubborn curls that, I have suddenly began to change my attitude towards them!

The curls shall be unfurled on important days. On those days, I shall not come in their wild ways!

But, on regular days, they shall be tied into a bun, no more tangles and no more runs!

(Sorry if you did not like the rhyme. But, I had to.)

That said, I stand firmly by my curls today.  You see, mutual appreciation goes a long way in the act of peaceful coexistence.  And just as the curls and I entered a truce, the other evil twin is peeping through the side, beckoning me – “So, you tamed the curls! But what about your curves?”

A long way to go….a long way to truce!

P.S: By the way, Medusa was beautiful, you know!

*************cUrLs and CuRvEs***************

 curl 5

 

 

 

 

‘No offence’ TO ‘Offence’.


While the Internet is busy running updates on the newly elected President Ramnath Kovind and, how the Indian cricket team of women played their best (despite the loss), I have been spending a considerable amount of time teaching the son about nouns, pronouns and verbs. Yes, he is learning and, so am I. Did I mention how much I love making lesson plans for my son? And, how much I get annoyed to watch those lesson plans bite the dust when, my son in his absolutely charming tone quips– “If I keep studying all day, when will I play?” Now, before you judge me as some aggressive type A parent who sits on the child’s neck to make him study, I would suggest you visit my home and, take a look. On most days, you will find my mischief package doodling away to glory on my unused scrap books resting on my back!

Apart from the home front, a lot bigger things have been happening in the big wide world with some good things taking their pace to grab the much needed limelight as much as their entertaining counterparts. Rally for Rivers, for instance is one of the motivating campaigns by Isha Foundation which is aimed at saving rivers and vegetation that protects it. I would have loved to be a part of something like that on ground. But then, I do my bit by keeping water for birds and, watering trees in my garden – the little I can possibly do where I am stationed. Good that many people are gradually becoming aware of the fact that there is a far bigger issue with our environment than with politics and religion.

And so, the world is currently abuzz with news, anecdotes, controversies, convictions, acquittals and a lot more. I, for one have been in deep conversations with own self for the most part. Let’s say, my thoughts have been piling in my cerebral matter and, I was desperately in need of an MS word to unload. (Hubby is out of station and, my laptop has accompanied him). Then, I come to know that MS Paint is retiring. I am hurt! As such I don’t like Cortana! I don’t know what is going to replace MS Paint that had been my doodling board in my growing years.

And as usual, I am digressing. If you follow my blog, you would know what an incessant talker I am in this space. And, try sitting in front of me and, you would probably label me socially awkward. Sigh. But, this post as the heading says, is not about why I am no social butterfly but a seemingly uptight lady bug! It is about the swing that sways from No Offence to Offence in peculiar ways!

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immo

Approximately a month back, I had posted one of my blog posts in a closed group. It was about a very personal experience of my baby steps in parenting and how, I have learned, stumbled, fell, unlearned and relearned a lot with my son. (You may read the post here). And, it made me happy that many people liked it. None criticized openly. But, in a group of more than ten thousand women, it also felt weird that I did not face any untoward comments coming my way. So, just when I thought, it was my lucky day, a separate post appeared and, it covertly took a dig at my post. The lady who posted it pointed out how amateurs and less experienced parents have been dishing out advice even when it is not asked for. The post invited a lot of comments, some that concurred with her thoughts and some, that didn’t. I read the post, went through the comments and had almost typed a reply. But before hitting the post button, I took a pause. And, it dawned on me – “What am I doing? If she has a critical take on something that is personal to me, it is not a big deal. It is merely a difference of opinion and, I need not make it personal. So, why am I trying to justify with a counter explanation when the post I have written was read but not understood the way I wanted the said person to. Everyone out there is as free to perceive matters differently as I do”.

I did not hit the post button.

But, that lady had a point. Unsolicited advice in any form is unwarranted. I would hate it too. Unfortunately, my writing skills aren’t good enough as they failed to catch up with my intent. Maybe, I have to just hone them further to make my personal experience an experience rather than an extension of amateurish advice. Do my words sound as if I am offended? God knows, I know whether I am or, not. And, the ones reading this post may have already decided that for me. Right? Right.

This was not even the slightest of offensive, I tell you. This was a mere difference of opinion. That is it.

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And then, a couple of days post the incident I mentioned, I came across yet another post on a news page. The news was about the recent surge over the language war happening down South. Hindi has recently become an issue with a certain rigid section that is demanding that it be ousted from the education system down there. Being a south Indian and, having been raised in North West, I have a penchant for languages. I love listening to different dialects and regional languages as I feel there is some warmth associated with every native dialect. And, I love Hindi as much as I love my mother tongue which I am very fluent in. So, I had posted my opinion on how removal of a language not native to a state cannot become a solution towards preserving native dialects and language. (This time I gave in to the urge to respond and, I did think for a long time before posting it)

As predicted, the intent to react always supersedes the intent to respond with rationale. Although I had enough people backing my opinion, there was one reply that not only did not agree with mine but went on towards comparing the invasion of Hindi as a forceful infiltration into the education system. Truth to be told, the analogy was far worse and I cannot even mention the exact words the stranger used, as they were in a very bad taste. Yes, offence was taken. And, I was not offended by the stranger in question but, by the misguided anger that tore the integrity of a language to shreds with those feral words.

Sadly, I am oblivious to what is happening down South. But, hatred for any language to this extent is very disheartening. For some reason, these very self proclaimed patrons of regional languages are unaware of how many people from South who migrate to North and abroad refuse to teach their children their mother tongue, because they are desperate to ‘fit in the crowd’. I have seen a majority of both extremes and, I can only pity them. I deleted my comment which deleted hers too consequently as it was a reply and, I was not comfortable with any more nasty interactions on that page concerning languages.

If people gave their native languages the importance they deserve, no matter which part of the world they live in, no one would have to feel this insecure about conserving regional languages. And, I have to mention how proud I am of my parents who saw to it that I am as fluent in my mother tongue as I am in English, Hindi and Gujarati. My son is fluent in his mother tongue too. Mother tongue for me is synonymous with roots. And, roots should never be forgotten.

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The two above mentioned experiences for me were two different kind. In one, I seemed to offend someone (I guess, annoyed would be a far better replacement). In the other, I got offended, pretty bad. But then, every experience has something to give. And, the two experiences above gave me a lot of fodder for thought.

point

The world cannot be appeased. And, offence shall be taken every now and then. If on some unusual day, I sneeze all of a sudden because the notoriously annoying sneeze decided the most inopportune time to embarrass me in a party, offence shall be taken. There will be murmurs. There will be looks of disdain to make me feel miserable (Whether I choose to feel so is my choice) But then, there will also be this minuscule section that utters – God bless!!

So, while balancing on the tight rope of not trying to offend the world (NOT POSSIBLE), times of perplexities shall come in batches. The urge to sway from No offence to offence shall be too high to bear, at times. Those are the moments when, letting out the not so positive feelings may feel like the best thing to do. Haven’t we all done that at some time in life?

But then, what is the purpose? That is the question we have to ask ourselves every time there is an urge to contradict, an urge to react, an irrepressible urge to prove that we have a point. Debating was a good idea in school. It always had a closure. Prizes were distributed in the end. Everyone went home either happy or, motivated for the next one. But as adults, debating over issues and, getting embroiled in nasty confrontations with known people and strangers does not offer any solutions. Rather, it wastes time. Freedom to express comes with a heavy duty.

And that duty is, to ask oneself – “Am I aware of all sides of the truth?”

This one question should put every doubt to rest.

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It is easy to be offended. Sometimes, it is also natural to be offended. But, what matters is whether the matter that is offending us is close enough to destroy our inner peace. If it is not close enough, it only means we have a choice to overlook the content that may seem sensational but is absolutely not worth a dime in your real world.

ch

By the way, Kamal Hasan’s recent statements have left me at a loss of words. He has quite easily gone from becoming an Ulaga Nayagan to an Ulaga Komali! Artists are eccentric and, he is a shining testimony to that. And no, I am not offended by his talks these days. Just bewildered. After all, he is no part of my circus! 😀

Things that still overwhelm me.


Have you ever felt how waiting could drive you insane? Especially when those moments when you are waiting for your loved one and, even if the wait period is just stepping on the end, you find the final moments quite agonizing…. I remember a dialogue exchange between the Preacher and the diver  from the movie – Deep Blue Sea

Preacher: Einstein’s theory of relativity. Grab hold of a hot pan, second can seem like an hour. Put your hands on a hot woman, an hour can seem like a second. It’s all relative.

Tom Scoggins: I spent four years at CalTech, and that’s the best physics explanation I’ve ever heard

I second Tom Scoggins. I get the theory whenever I have to wait for someone 😀

Overwhelmed might be the word. Whenever I go to receive my parents at the railway station, whenever they visit me, I am engulfed by a wave of fast running thoughts that do not even stop over for a siesta! I prance around the station like a tigress with an impatient cub in tow (who is far more impatient when it comes to receiving his grandparents). Last time, the train ran late by thirty minutes and, I had to purchase Miss Funny Bones not because I had wanted to feel the emotion of Twinkle “Blimey!” but to kill the longest 45 minutes on the platform (a 15 minute addition last minute), and from running out on patience on my cub that was busy crafting recipes for disaster. And, when the train arrived, I felt overwhelmed……

It is not just about receiving my parents, but also when hubby returns home after long work assignments, or when we have to travel to a place by train and, the destination is a couple of days away, or even when I have to go for a normal medical check up, I can feel hormones running a circus within me. However, the moment I get through the phase, I feel ridiculously calm. The joy of feeling the mere physical presence of loved ones is the balm that pulls the brakes of the emotional train.

Why do I feel overwhelmed before the moment of calm? I do not know. Maybe the mind has actually imbibed the Simian traits from the avatars of the Monkey King that prowl around my home with the gait of the Gods!  So, I do have a loud mind and, a tongue with an iron curtain. But then, who can stop the monkey mind from venting? And so, the overwhelmed Sagittarius is unstoppable where there is a desktop, an Internet Connection and, a six year old effectively engaged in rehashing the decor of his grandparents’ home!

Stay tuned for more rant-ilicious updates from this overwhelmed Sagittarius woman!

P.S: This is probably how we look while waiting…..

tigress and the cub