Sunday, January 30

Silent Conversations

He comes and sits quietly beside me, so noiseless and still that I forget he’s there. He seeks no attention and is perfectly content not being spoken to. As I go about my tasks, he sits and plays games on his PSP or sketches in the notepad that he carries everywhere.

As he patiently waits for me to finish my work, I start getting restless for making him wait. I ask a few silly and relevant questions in a bid to occupy him and show him that I acknowledge his presence. He answers me calmly, aware of the fact that my interest lies more in not making him feel ignored than actually knowing the answer.

Yet, the simplicity in his tone and words (usually monosyllabic) is like a slap in the face. It takes me aback. I’m so not a person who will behave like that. I don’t expect anyone to be like that, though I remember having requested quite a few folks before for the same tolerance. When I wait for someone, I force him to wind up his stuff quickly, or head out to find something to do until he is free. Or I keep hurrying the person, interrupting him in his work and helping him if I can.

He does none of this.

Of course there are a few times when he decides to go somewhere, but he always returns to check if I’m done. Never does he complain.

He knows I don’t do it on purpose. He knows fully well how I behave when I’m avoiding someone or giving him the cold shoulder.

I promise him I’ll be done in 15 minutes. I share with him what I’m working on and why it is important. Not because he wants to hear, but coz I feel guilty about making him wait. I offer to call him once he’s done if he needs to go anyplace else. His response stuns me, “I’ll wait.” Said with such acceptance and softness that I want to get up right away and say, “Hey, you know what, all this can be done later. Let’s go, you and I”.

I do that sometimes. But sometimes I cannot. And he waits. Sketches. Plays games. Occasionally making a remark about something. And I reply. And we sit there doing our respective stuff.

When I can’t keep my word about finishing my work and spending time with him, my conscience eats me. He doesn’t protest. He doesn’t moan, “You always do this to me.” He just comes back another day. And then I vow that I will ensure I spend time with him.

The moment this sequence came to my notice, things started making sense.

Now I understand why he feels nice when I come to see him. He smiles brightly when I walk up to his desk, sometimes not saying even a word in greeting. He motions to a chair. I sit down, and he goes about his work. I have a feeling he rushes up for me. Nevertheless, I’m an impatient person. So I start fidgeting. I ask him if he’s busy and will take long.

He says, “Just sit, I’m done”. He doesn’t snap at me saying, “Don’t I wait while you work?”

But I realize it myself. And he probably knows I do. Which is maybe why he doesn’t say it.

Or maybe he just doesn’t see it that way. Why put words and feelings into another person’s mouth and head?

Some things are so minor yet so beautiful. I wonder if anyone else even thinks about all this.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I do.

And he knows it. He likes that about me.

Others say I’m being philosophical, or that I have all the time in the world to think and imagine all this.

That’s ok.

This is the way I am. And I know my thoughtfulness is appreciated by most and envied by some.

Isn’t that why you’re reading this?

Don’t miss the small things that people say or do or convey without saying nothing at all.

Have a good day!


- Princess

Tuesday, January 25

A visit to the circus

Indeed! This is no child’s essay on an entertaining day in his life.

That is party true, coz m no less (or rather no more) than a kid myself!

I’d been thinking of checking out the circus for quite some time, but for reasons that I can’t remember, I never made it there.

Until last week that is. Rambo finally beckoned, and I was only too happy to oblige.

I didn’t know circus tickets cost that much! The ones closest to the action were 250, followed by 150, 100 and 50 on the wooden stairs a distance away. However, I won’t say it’s not worth it, considering the number of people and the upkeep of the animals that form part of the troupe.

If you thought a circus was something related to animals, you could do better by changing your definition and expectation. Now that animals all around the world, including India, are scarce (the last I heard, there were less than400 lions and left in the country), obviously I didn’t harbor grandiose plans of watching docile lions being commanded by the ringmaster. The latter made a brief appearance only to play with the clowns and amuse the audience. What a disgrace!

Yet, the jugglers and acrobats were fantastic, so were the jokers. I was laughing and clapping louder than the tiny tots, and I was subjected to raised eyebrows and surprised stares by most of the audience.

(Not that that discouraged me, I was not going to let anyone or anything get in the way of my complete gratification of the unusual experience.)

So, what exactly did I see? Umm, a lot of humans, showcasing their flexibility and skill. The trapeze and hula hoop artists were the show-stealers and there were also some international performers who stunned us with their gymnastics - such impeccable nimbleness and agility! A few times, things did get repetitive – I mean, human beings can be fascinating only for so long, right? Nevertheless, they were all laudable, and their hard work was commendable. Some of them made mistakes, but their attitude and perseverance was phenomenal. A big hand for them!

Oh, and for the DJ too; he kept the music upbeat and lively. Can’t overlook his contribution to the overall atmosphere. Good work there, mate!

Non-humans… well, there were some dogs (poms doing their usual tricks), two elephants and a pony. I saw some camels tied outside, but they were not part of the show.

My rating – 8 on 10. I’m going to ding them for making the show longer than necessary, and also for the irritating number of times my view was blocked by hawkers selling popcorn, coffee, cold drinks, munchies, candy floss, and what not… Grrr… I tried to trip a couple and intimidate a few… Didn’t work, of course… A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do :-)

You know what, you ought to go and watch it, with or without the youngsters. It’s fun. Brings back memories, laughs and gawks. Brings forth heartfelt appreciation and open incredulity.

It’s currently running in Pune, behind the Deccan bus stop. They got shows at 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm.

Enjoy!!

Life is too short to be serious and sensible all the time… go for it… You’ll love it :-)

Cheerio!
Princess

Thursday, January 20

Don’t Know …


I don’t know what to title this post.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know if anything needs to be done.

Maybe I’m just acting up, going on my usual over-analyzing trip in overdrive.

Been quite upset the last couple of days.

I don’t know if it’s ill health that’s pulling down my spirits, or lack of excitement in my mundane life.

Office, home, a given set of colleagues and friends, a given set of activities and plans… And that’s my life summarized accurately.

Ya ya, I know that’s what most people also live each day.

But the point is I am restless… And I would like it to be different…

It’s slightly awkward writing all this here, coz now the readership of my blog extends to more people than I initially would have expected or liked. And yet, I gotta write this… Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. I just have to…

My life seems empty.

Despite all that I wrote about how wonderful things are right now, there are times when I feel so lost and lonely that I wana scream like a maniac and run away.

Equally true is the fact that I start jumping animatedly at the teeniest of situations and possibilities.

I pride myself at being able to experience these extreme emotions – it shows I’m human, as I always say. I don’t control my joy, and I don’t hide my anger. If I’m sad it shows on my face and if I’m thoughtful, its evident as well. No scope of miscommunication or doubt there.

However…

(Yeah, there’s always a “however”, isn’t there…? Life…)

I’m a terrific person, if I may modestly and truthfully admit. Most people call me the girl next door - unpretentious, approachable and warm. My liveliness endears me to most, and makes some envious. And yet, I want to be on good terms with everyone. Life’s too short to be mean or angry with anyone forever.

What also has a bearing is that I look at things from varied perspectives, so I can easily place myself in someone’s shoes and look at how angles change and affect. The flipside of that is… I care more about others’ emotions than my own. For example, if I’m upset or angry, I’ll still keep my feeling on the backburner and ensure that the other person feels comfortable or calm. “Stay with the emotion” is a feedback I got at my ISABS Advanced Lab, and while I didn’t feel very comfortable accepting it then, I now know and confess it to be true.

My desire to make no one sad, my need to not upset anyone, makes me do things that I’d not do if I were to be me. You could call it growing up, you could term it fake. The reality is… I don’t know what it is. I don’t even know if I ought to change that. I do voice my opinion when I want, but I readily succumb to the other person’s response, without sticking to my guns and stubbornly holding onto my position.

How do I feel about it? Well, I think I’m being very mature and kind. That makes me feel pleased and proud. But what also comes to mind is that people might not take it the same way as I do, and I don’t want to be perceived negatively. Positive evaluation and tangible feedback are two EXTREMELY significant terms in my life.

I’m not sure if I’m making sense to you. But honestly, I think I’m making sense to myself, let’s leave it at that.

That’s only part of the story. The bit about not really giving precedence to myself and worrying about others.

The other part is… I don’t know where I’m heading. And I don’t mean with reference to my job. I know exactly well how that shall turn out. Besides, it’s not that complicated or harrowing.

I have this constant restlessness within me, which I don’t know how to tackle or ease. I don’t know what it is.

I genuinely have no regrets in life, though I can’t help feeling less or more blessed, as compared to others, on various occasions.

I don’t know what it is that I truly want. Like someone asked me the other day, what’s my ambition? I don’t have one. Does everyone need to have one? I’m living my life as well as I can, and I’m letting destiny take me wherever it intends. I’m adapting and adjusting where required, and I’m taking a call on things that I want and could do without. I refuse to follow what the others say or do, and I make my own choices and live by them.

What bothers me, is that my flexibility is making me less me. The person who used to have a fixed list of expectations from some folks now shrugs off anger and frustration in a laidback, devil-may-care manner when her needs are unmet. Is that nice? It’s definitely helping me cope better with those folks, but I still feel ignored and not taken care of. I feel like I’m not important or priority enough.

I express this to the concerned individuals, but then I ask myself if it really matters. For instance, I would be happy if you contact me ten times a day, and anything below five is criminal. So, if it’s not feasible for you to connect that often with me, let me know, but my expectation remains. And yet, when you contact me, I will feel like you’re doing it out of a sense of obligation, and I realise there’s really nothing we have to talk about, so why fool each other and waste time, just because my expectation says so.

You see?

It’s stupid, but it’s a dilemma nevertheless. One that causes me confusion and annoyance.

I want to be the cool dame who stays unruffled under any circumstances. But wouldn’t that mean killing the vivaciousness in me? And yet, if that makes life simpler for me, should I refrain from adopting this way of life? What attitude should one choose – the one that makes things easier, or the one that you’re born with?

I don’t know.

“Chalta hai” or “jaise chal raha hai, chalne de” has never been my maxim. I strive for perfection and desire the same from people, whatever their potential. Inspite of that, I see myself now saying things like chhod na / chuck it” or “naseeb / fate”.

People look upon me as intelligent and sensible, someone who gives good advice and shows the right direction even in critical times. People find it easy to share things with me, be it the most outrageous jokes or the deepest of secrets. I feel thankful for it all, for the faith and closeness.

And then, I see myself so lost… In need of a listening ear and caring shoulder…

Not that I don’t have any, but at times they are not the ones I want…

I see others living their shallow, superficial lives and merrily touting it as the best.

And I see myself, unsure, unhappy, unable to understand…

Am I a wreck?

I don’t know…

I just feel so lost…

Would a vacation help - a long sabbatical to someplace I’ve never been to, far away from friends and family? How about cutting and colouring my hair? Maybe a tattoo would do me good… Or a new hobby – swimming, Spanish, salsa? (is it a coincidence they all start with the letter “S”?)

I don’t know.

Over and out.

- Princess

Saturday, January 15

Book Worm’s Report

Honestly I could’ve written so much more about the recent books that I’ve read including EPL (Eat, Pray, Love) and PS I Love You.

I did write a little in one earlier blog, but not as much as I could have. Or should have.

I mean there are a lot of things that I should do and should have done, like spend more time with mum and be more tolerant and polite with elders, not be so blunt and caustic all the time, and so on.

But as a rule, I don’t regret anything in my life.

It’s a principle for me that I think about my principles before I make decisions and not after; that is so immature and futile.

(Besides, writing about a book is easier than the other things I’ve mentioned some lines above. So, let’s start there. And I’ll get around to doing the other stuff, too.)

Before I begin recounting lines and paragraphs that touched me, I must say this… Pondicherry was on my mind throughout my reading. That fantabulous place I visited almost a year ago, and always remember with fondness and nostalgia... That was the one place where I had an absolutely smashing solitary vacation, and that was where I, akin to Liz Gilbert, went about exploring my pleasure, devotion and balance. Of course, I wouldn’t have given it these terms back then, but now they fit beautifully, like pieces in a puzzle. And the resemblance is unnerving.

I ate amazing breakfasts and lunches at some of the cheapest and most expensive hotels (like Liz in Italy), visited Auroville and spent time gazing at the Golden globe (my version of meditation, that Liz practices in India), and finally balance in the form of commuting on a bicycle and resting at the quaint Pondy beaches, churches and restaurants (you guessed it right, just like Liz’s Indonesian sojourn).

Liz meets some unforgettable people in every country, and so did I. We go about meeting millions of people in the course of our daily lives, and some stay on our mind either for a minute or a lifetime; no one completely goes unnoticed.

My most adored paragraph in the book, wait a minute, there are quite a few nominees for this one… It could be the delightful paragraph filled with profanities in Italian when Liz goes for a soccer match. Or when she describes how depression and loneliness straddle her and pull her down into the deepest hell of sorrow, in Italy again. And every now and then, how memories of her ex-husband and ex-boyfriend make her want to contact them and tell them how much she loves them, thrusting herself into the trap of bonding and exploitation again; how influential they are in her life long after they are physically away and gone, scarring her and her belief in men and relationships for life…

Hold on. You’re not beginning to think I’m identifying with Liz, right? I know I did mention that I have control issues like Liz, but as far as feelings and emotions go, more or less, every woman is 70% like Liz. It’s normal for our kind.

A few things that are different between me and Liz, are the facts that she does zero research about any place that she is traveling, and I read every map and book within reach upside down, till I know the city like the back of my hand. Needless to be told, I do a pretty good job of planning my itinerary and visiting every attraction that deserves to be seen. And my excellent sense of geography and confidence among strangers gets me where I want to be.

(That’s right, connect with me when you need to visit any place I’ve been to before, and I have been to most places in India. I’ll ensure you have a fruitful trip.)

However, I have no qualms in saying that the similitude outweighs the disparity by a huge margin. Her small concerns about not being placed at a beginner language speaking level, and later realizing that she would be more comfortable at that level, her fears about being lonely and unloved, her not wanting to be taken for a ride by the one she adores and wanting to be happy which invariably doesn’t happen when your thoughts and emotions are controlled by someone else… All these are very me…

Difficulties in trying to control the mind, inability to forget everything and focus on god, finding oneself to be incapable and strong in turns, finding something when you stop chasing it… all parts of Liz’s experiences in India that I can feel resonate deep within me…

And then, Bali. Sitting for ages with a simple old man or a loving young woman and chatting about everything and anything under the sun. Learning about love and healing, culture and traditions. Finding love when one least expects it, and trying to help someone unconditionally. Forgetting all your life in various places where you have lived and visited, and just staying at a place discovering beauty and peace in everything that surrounds you – enchanting, ain’t it?

While I write this, I wonder if I’m giving away the excitement of the book. Trust me folks, if you enjoy reading, and know how to appreciate good narration, this is your book. And of course, the movie has already hit screens. So, you could grab a DVD and check it out. Obviously, it’s not the same as reading the book, but something is better than nothing.

The other book - P.S. I Love You - made my lips smile and made my eyes moist in turns as I read about Holly and Gerry’s almost perfect life together, and how Gerry leaves behind some notes for Holly to be read and followed after he dies. Sounds depressing? Far from it. It’s beautiful. And moving.

The funniest thing happened the other day. I switched on the TV while enjoying my hot cuppa ginger chai, and voila! PS ILU was being aired on Star Movies. Just like they say about the Secret, I’d wanted to watch the film, and here it was – I began watching it at the exact point where I’d paused my reading.

Unfortunately, my fascination with the characters died after I saw the actors. Holly (Hilary Swank) and Gerry (Gerard Butler) and Daniel (wonder who) slaughtered my joy and anticipation – I’d imagined them to be really dashing.The only saving grace was William, as far as looks go.

But then, we all know books are always better than the films. Be it Harry Potter or the Twilight series or the Omen.

Wondering which book to read now… Possibly Kane and Abel that I've never read...

Take it easy!


-Princess

Sunday, January 9

Buyaeeeeekkk!!

That’s a term my best friend coined for the occasion when you want to vent out something so bad that it’s like vomiting out everything that’s within.

That’s the title of this post, because I want to vomit real bad about how I’ve been all this while.

Am I happy? Extremely. I love my job, and my job loves me right back. By that I mean my work is noticed and appreciated, and my colleagues acknowledge and like me as an integral part of the team. My life revolves around this aspect of my existence at the moment, and I won’t deny or discount that. I’ve met some wonderful people at work, and I’m genuinely thankful for that.

At home, things couldn’t be better with my mum. We’re the best of friends, and she is undoubtedly the most beautiful and admirable person in my life. The rest of the family is fine, too, but I hardly get to see them as my baby and bhabhi stay in Mumbai, my brother in Binsar, and my dad who lives with us works a human day shift while I work late nights.

Socializing with friends is great as well, though not as much as I’d like it to be. People are busy or not in touch, and when they are available, I have other commitments. Primarily, family expectations that I get home early, and spend time with them. Fair enough.

My health is erratic. I’ve been unwell almost all of last year – the occasional cough and cold seem to have created a permanent abode in my body. Sneezing was always on my suffering list, and now, I’m in such terrible shape that I can’t talk let alone sing or sip cold coffee. Of course, I can easily charge the silly weather in Pune that hosts a million different viruses, but let’s admit it, my immune system is to blame. And I don’t know what to do about it. Folks say that physical illnesses are connected to our mental state, but honestly, I don’t know what’s bothering my mind and culminating into bodily discomfort.

Well, that’s that about what’s visible and evident.

Coming to what’s eating me within.

I BLOODY DON’T HAVE TIME!!!

I have no time to read, and I’m afraid I’m losing inclination, too. I began Picaddily Jim and Kane and Abel a good 2 months ago, and haven’t been able to read halfway through either yet. This coming from a bespectacled girl who used to polish off entire novels in a week flat (or less), reading day and night, ceaselessly.

I watch TV when I get time off and of course, log onto the net (yeah yah… Facebook and Gtalk). Or chat up with some friends / relatives that have been calling me only to be told that I’m busy and will call them back later. Apart from these three activities, I genuinely don’t have time for anything. Unless there are bills to pay.

I want to do so many things. Like… like… exercise. Go swimming for instance. But pools in the vicinity shut by the time I wake up at noon. I could go for a walk but midday’s not the best time to be doing it, that too on the main road abounding in traffic and pollution. And gymming, well, I don’t want to join a gym. That’s that. I’d rather join a Spanish speaking class. Or learn the Salsa. But what good is either without a partner?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking for excuses. I REALLY want to do something outside the ordinary routine. Ho nahi pata…

I mean, what would you call it when I can’t manage to go shopping – one of my favourite pastimes (being a woman, so what if not as silly as the others that make up the majority of the species) or even visit the doc when I’m dying with a hundred aches. What else would you say when I can’t find the time to meet my uncle several times after he’s insisted on seeing me or watching movies that simply keep hitting the box office week after week? I haven’t even written a blog in ages! All the ones that get published are those that I have posted weeks, sometimes months in advance. I don't even get time to read the newspaper even; can't recall when I last held one to catch up on the current events and accidents (or maybe they are synonyms).

Ok. Time to confess. Maybe I just don’t intensely feel the need to do so, and hence, I see myself falling short of time.

As I always tell others, you’ll always find time for things that you really want to do.

I’m great at time management, but I think I’m doing a shoddy job at priority management.

Hell, I think I’ve just decided to focus on a very few fixed priorities, and I’m ignoring everything else. No wonder then that I keep meeting some friends more often than I do others and surf the internet at the cost of other recreational activities.

But you know what… I’m going to try… Starting now.

I’m not convinced about my promise myself, so I’m not expecting to persuade you either.

But I’m surely going to give it a shot.

Wish me luck…

Cheerio!
Princess

Tuesday, January 4

When You Know…

They were the best of friends and lovers. Both of them knew each other inside out. However, she being a girl was extremely sensitive to the smallest of issues and he being the guy could never quite figure out why she got so worked up about seemingly trivial stuff. Fights were plentiful, but they always got back with each other knowing fully well that they could not bear to be apart. There were many times when he went out of his way and nature to accommodate her needs and wishes, and she tried her best to be as calm and flexible as he desired. Time passed, and they went from being buddies to being soul-mates.

A few months ago, she would not have been quite so tolerant. Time and tide can make the hardest of us malleable and patient. Even he, known for being a truant and miscreant at the most opportune moments, had surprised folks who knew him, by being sensitive and determined. They both needed to make this work. And it showed.

It showed when he spoke to her. It showed when he looked at her, a wide naughty grin plastered on his face. It showed when she saw him, often as he returned the gaze. It showed when they walked hand in hand and did not say a word. It showed when they spoke about things informational, emotional and critical. It showed when she spoke about him to others in the family and friend circle. It showed when he held her and refused to let go. It showed when she did the wackiest of things just to make him smile. It showed in a million ways.

First love? No, not for either of them. Love at first sight? Not for her, at least.

She often thought of why and how she had managed to like him in the first place, forget accepting him in her life as a deserving and able partner. He was not perfect in any way and she knew that she wouldn’t recommend him to any other girl for sure. He had done the craziest of things and he had an opinion about everything, frequently based on nothing but stubbornness. What, then, had moved her to believe that it was this guy she wanted to spend her life with? She knew for a fact that there would be tough times ahead, given his procrastinating and dominating attitude. But did that deter her from saying “I do”? She didn’t think so.

After all, she thought she wasn’t as beautiful as his previous girlfriends. She also knew her temper was tough to tackle, and his love for her was true. (How did she know that? She just KNEW.) She knew she felt special and safe with him, and he was trying to be what she wanted him to be. She knew it would take time, and she was willing to give him his fair chance. Why? THAT she didn’t know...

He, too, had his own misgivings about whether things were going the way they ought to be going. Were they really meant to be? Was there being together a mistake or chance? Was their life going to be disastrous once they took their vows? He had so many dreams - what would happen to them once she became a part of his life? Was she really what she showed, or was it all a fa├žade? … Somehow he thought he knew the answers, but that did not relieve the anxiety or resolve the issue.

Yet, he knew that what he felt for her, he had never felt before. Of the many girls who had been with him, he knew that it was she he would miss if things didn’t work out this time. She challenged and annoyed him in myriad ways, but he only loved her all the more for it. The same confidence about her that had attracted him to her also became a pain in the wrong place when she turned against him for some reason (that he thought was mostly silly and unreasonable). And yet… he knew that together they would be ok.

Neither of them wanted it any other way.

Are soul-mates supposed to be perfect for each other? Are they supposed to fill each other’s gaps or are they supposed to fit together in the same mould? Do opposites attract or do birds of a feather flock together? Some answers are not easy, nor are some decisions.

You just have to KNOW what you want… and what you can’t do without…

What would you regret not having in your life… and what would you miss till your last breath…

And once you think about it… you just KNOW…

Do you?

- Princess