Sunday, March 27

Ye Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai

You can’t make me hate him.


No matter what he does, no matter what he doesn’t do.


I know he’s mine. And he loves me more than anyone else ever could.


He watches out for me, takes care of me, and nurtures me when even I don’t need him.


Yeah, I do sense that sometimes he’s supporting someone else and doing more for someone else than he does for me. And nope, I still don’t hold it against him.


As long as he is with me, all’s well. Everything’s pardonable.


After all, he backs me whenever I do anything, and he forgives me a million times.


I owe it to him.


Our relation’s just like any other except for one fact.


We fight, we argue, we laugh, we talk, we abuse, we work together, we cry, we bitch and we appreciate... Just like others…


But we never let go.


I stick to him, and he stands by me all the friggin’ time.


Yeah, we have our share of tiffs where I divorce him every other week and ask him to keep off, calling him names and telling him he’s a no-good-sucker and I’m better off without him. That I don’t need him, and I would manage on my own, thank you very much.


He doesn’t sulk, he doesn’t justify or shout back. He just smiles.


And I say, “Grrr… why don’t you just FO…?!” and walk away.


A couple of days later, I find myself back in his arms.


He doesn’t call me, I don’t ask to be called. It just happens. I turn to him, and he quietly embraces me as if we’d always been that way. With the same smile on his face that I’d seen when I left.


Funny how his smiles appear to mock at times and convey strength on other occasions.


Really, I’m a fool to even judge his intentions.


He’s ALWAYS right.


And the craziest bit is, even if he seems to be wrong, situations modify themselves to prove him right! He can make miracles happen... and you can do nothing to stop what he bids...


Some conspiracy, I tell you. I don’t know how he does it.


I’ve threatened and blackmailed him. I throw tantrums and demand things that may not be quite appropriate at a moment. He either gives them to me, or staunchly says no.


Even if I cajole or fight back, he doesn’t do anything that would prove difficult or critical for me, either immediately or in the long run. He’s got a keen eye for detail and he can see far ahead than the most reliable prophet. Even if it means he’ll have to put up with my hatred and sorrow and anger, he still does what is right for me, not just going by what I want.


We do not meet up for ages. Just a thought is enough for us to connect. There are times when I forget him, and yet he’s always just a step away… No misgivings, no grievances or objections…


We scarcely have to say things to each other out loud. It’s all so telepathic, it’s spooky at times. This intuition that he gifts me without my asking for it…


He helps me help others, and I help him reach others’ lives.


I trust him blindly.


Yeah, there are times when I ask for answers or explanations and he shrugs them off. There are occasions when he does not tell me the complete truth and details. I can't say he lies, but he certainly doesn't always tell me everything. I'd like to change that about him (just like I want to change something about everything and everyone around me!) But I guess he's got his reasons. And I DID say I trust him... so the argument ends there...


“Thank you” and “sorry” are words that I sometimes utter, but I know he doesn’t need to hear them. My feelings matter to him, but not at the cost of my well-being. His dedication and loyalty to me are extraordinary.


Call it faith, call it being stupid.


I don’t care what you think about him. I don’t care what you think about me. You do not figure in our scheme.


Unless I ask for you to be protected.


And he listens to me no matter what you feel about him or us.


Maybe you don’t understand, and never will. Maybe you comprehend this better than me.


It still doesn’t matter. You still don’t figure. What’s between me and him is untouched and unaffected by everything that exists in truth or fiction, in opinion or experience.


I can’t say our relation is invisible; I can sense it, and so can others who care to look.


It’s beautiful, this thing we have.


I don’t know what I’d do without him.


Really.


And having known him so long, and so well, there’s no way we’re ever gonna part.


Come what may.



I love you God.



Yours forever,


Princess

Monday, March 21

Ignorance ain't Bliss

It is so easy to ignore someone when you don't know them.

Or for that matter when that person is out of sight.

"Dekh ke andekha karna" - now that is one of my weak points, or shall I say "Areas of Opportunity" in corporate lingo.

Doesn't seem so for folks around me though...

The people that co-habit a certain space with me fall in 3 categories: one, people that I am extremely comfortable and spontaneous with; two, people that know formally and adhere to limits with; and three, people that I don't really know and thus, don't often interact with.

Of late, however, I have sensed the existence of another category: the one where people from the first category go after things go awry between us, in major or silly ways.

I am, by nature, a very gregarious person. I like to be friends with everyone and I like to be on good terms with all. I feel extremely uncomfortable when I have to give or am given the cold shoulder by someone. The amount of stress I experience at such times is absolultely unbearable. And the worst part is, it does not seem to affect the other person one bit.

Or at least that's what they show. Mighty successfully.

Leaving me wondering if I ever mattered in the first place.

Is there some trick to it? Some special secret that I don't know yet?

It's just like the case where after being lovers, two individuals cannot be friends. But for me, this happens even with people that are my buddies.

I know the next question you will ask is that if you are so close, how can you suddenly become so distanced and detached?

Well, I can answer that. It depends on the kind of miscommunication that has occurred. On most occasions, I readily and modestly walk up to the "friend" and start talking, clarifying things that have caused a rift. And I do not hesitate in re-connecting even if it means I have to bend over. However, bend over backwards - that I shan't. I've got my own self-respect. And if the other person's ego is supreme enough to kill a beautiful relationship, then too bad. Your loss.

Except that it impacts me worse that it does you!!

I've been told more than a few times by my GENUINE friends and well-wishers that I ought to keep safe distance and not get emotionally attached to everyone in my social circle. Quite a sane suggestion.

But how do I explain that it's not voluntary - this decision to get affected by what people say or do... I get impacted by their words and behavior, they have the ability to make me happy or sad, and I like it that way... except when it gets really bad... and hurts... beyond my control...

I guess that's the price I have to pay for being so open and sensitive.

Big or small, I'm not saying. It gives me as many laughs as tears, give or take a few, and both are entirely worth it :-)

Having said that, I do wish that people understand that their actions and sentences might hurt others. Why make someone miserable? Why steal smiles if you are unable to give joys in return? In fact, why give sorrow at all irrespective of the number of delights exchanged?

I once heard, "it's not possible to cover the world with a carpet, so wear chappals". I also remember a saying that goes like this - "Expecting the world to treat you fairly is like asking a tiger not to eat you because you are vegetarian". While both these thoughts are bang on target, I still fail to follow them.

My bad.

Does that stop you from being mean to me?

I hope it does.

And I promise I'll never be mean to you no matter what...

Sincerely,
Princess

Wednesday, March 16

Dum-Darr

I marvel at people that live life on the edge - daredevils who engage in terrifying stunts and freaky adventures. The folks that they show in movies and TV shows, and also the ones that do them live putting their lives at stake, giving life and safety the middle finger. Call them bold, label them imprudent – they sure believe in adrenaline rushes and living life in the fast lane.

I wouldn’t call myself rigid or sissy, but I do have a preference to live a safe, organized life with a decent amount of predictability and control. I enjoy doing things out of the ordinary, but death-defying exploits and I aren’t exactly what you’d call on the same side of the coin. I’m not afraid of dying, and I do relish the occasional high that risks bring, but the fear of an accident occurring and marring me for life is more forbidding.

Life is treacherous, we all know it. My hair stands on end when I watch racing and adventure sports. Bike stunts appeal to me like no other. And yet, I get jittery when I’m riding pillion with someone who even changes lanes or takes a sharper than necessary turn.

(Have you heard this one? Anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot, and anyone who goes faster than you is a maniac. LOL)

How is it living each day as it comes without contemplating about the future? Be it soldiers of war, or a mere bus driver within the city – who knows what’s going to happen at the next instant?

For that matter, even a pedestrian in broad daylight isn’t completely safe. Haven’t we heard enough about drunk drivers injuring people coz they lost control? Sad but true. Which is why I always tell mum whenever she worries about me working late or staying out late at night – things can go horribly wrong even during the day, so let destiny take its course and live our life fearlessly. What’s bound to happen will happen. Nothing can change or stop that. Why handicap yourself by imposing restrictions when you can make the most of your days alive?

I have heard umpteen instances where people who do all types of crazy stuff lead happy and healthy lives, and those who go the extra mile to take care of what they eat, how much they sleep, what they do and don’t do end up with heart attacks and other diseases that prevent them from enjoying a normal life.

Thought for the day: Live life the way you want without bothering about tomorrow. Eat sweets - who knows tomorrow you might get diabetes. Watch movies, travel, visit temples and lounges – who knows if you end up blind or disabled for life tomorrow. Take up that hobby you’ve been postponing and deliberating over – who knows you might never get a chance to do it in the future. Talk to that person on your mind irrespective of whether you’ve met for the first or last time – who knows, either you or that individual may not be around anymore…

(Exception: The vices that get you addicted. Liquor, drugs, sex and the like. You need to draw a line there and be careful. Don’t let the heady stimulation wreck your common sense and logic.)

On that note, I remember a bizarre show on television – 1000 ways to die. Heard of it? It shows real-life clips of odd ways in which men, women and children die because they do not anticipate their or someone else’s actions to be fatal. It is telecast on Fox Crime channel I think, somewhere around 11 or 11.30 every night. You should watch it. The last few times I saw it, I was taken aback, aghast at how we go about our daily or unusual lives without realising that death’s lurking around the corner… A mindless prank, a diet plan, a well-planned date, an unplanned rendezvous, carelessness at work – whew! And you thought there were only a few set ways to die – heart attack, accident, illness or old age…

You recall they gave us essays to write in school – topics like is TV a boon or bane? I wonder what to pick. While stuff on channels like Discovery and TLC is educational and enlightening, there are also a host of shows that are entertaining but counter-productive. Reality TV, which I presume is only second to the BPO boom in terms of being revolutionary, poses a threat to safety and integrity. Look at Emotional Atyachar and Big Switch on Bindaas, Breaking the Magician’s code on AXN, etc.

The first two have me flabbergasted at how teenagers are getting lured into testing the love and loyalty of their “partners” and family. While it’s good for those that are escaping a life of sorrow and regret, it’s also detrimental to the concept of trust and openness. The magic show – well, while it’s astonishing and engaging, as a friend rightly pointed out, they’re killing the fun of watching a magic show in real life by disclosing all their tricks and revealing the stark simplicity in their awesome “haath ki safai”.

Movies like Bunty and Babli, Oye Lucky, etc show innovative ways to dupe and kill people. Harebrained idiots watching the show would only be glad to take a hint or two and enact the same in their real lives, either to pull a fast (and sometimes lethal) one on friends and strangers or to actually take revenge.

Hmm… Looks like I’ve done it again… Jaana tha China, pahuch gaye Japan…

Time to say bye.

Cya later, alligator!

- Princess

Thursday, March 10

Just Gonna Stand There...

On the first page of our story, the future seemed so bright
And this thing turned out so evil, don't know why I'm still surprised
Even angels have their wicked schemes and you take that to new extremes
But you'll always be my hero, even though you've lost your mind...


Prayaas' alarm tone.


Sakina hated that song when she was with him.
It rang, menacingly melodic, reminding them they had to get up and part...
She was not ready to leave him yet...

She loved that song when she was alone.
It reminded her of Prayaas, and the warmth when he locked her in his arms... displaying no sign of letting go...

Sakina didn't know what was between her and Prayaas.
It went deeper than trivial words of justification and stopped short of real expressions of emotion.

All she knew was she liked him. And she knew he did, too.

She trusted him beyond reason.

More than once had she wondered why she felt so comfortable with him.
Maybe because he had never let her down.
Maybe because he'd been there when she least expected it.

Maybe because she knew he'd stand by her and hold her when she faltered.

It was beautiful, this thing they had.

She cracked jokes that nobody but she laughed at, and she looked at him, loving the look on his face - incredulity at her animatedness, frustration at the dumbness of her joke, affectionate acceptance and surprise at her being herself - all mixed together. That gorgeous smile. He looked stunning. She could look at him forever.

Their kisses were divine. They began at any instant, and there was no saying when they would end. They teased and giggled at the oddest times during lovemaking, and they invariably ended up making love no matter what they'd begun doing in the first place. Everything was so natural, so real. There was no pretense; no false promises to keep, no fake images to uphold.

She was thankful they'd met. He brought her happiness, and intentionally or unintentionally, he was teaching her one of life's greatest lessons - not to expect.

Not that she was mastering it as quickly as she'd like. But she was learning nevertheless.
And every small step counted.

He exuded confidence and a sense of peace, she felt calm and protected when she was with him.
And sometimes, lost in his independence and self-sufficiency.

The contentment and bliss that surrounded him like an envelope readily grabbed her and made her serene and tranquil.
And it also made her angry at times, because she was impacted by any and every thing around her.

Come to think of it, she was often either jumping for joy or sobbing with sorrow. Her life existed in extremes. In spontaneity and immediate confession.

His... well, he hardly ever gave it a thought. Why waste time and energy ruminating when there were so many other things to do?

Do opposites attract?
Were they really so opposite?

They were fascinated by each other.

He was quick to warn her that she ought to be wary, both of others and him, considering the kind of person she was and the way people were.

How she wished he'd be as speedy and upfront in telling her what was on his mind at any given time...

Or maybe as he insisted, he didn't think anything most of the time. She could be imagining his depth of feeling and joyfulness with her. She didn't want to believe that...

His answers more often than not disappointed her with their detached candor. As she'd observed multiple times, his honest answers were not the best answers she was longing to hear.

Yet, her questions never ended. Her vivacious curiosity never defused. Just like his frankness did not ebb.

His gentle side was surprisingly pleasant. When it rained, it poured!
It made her feel on top of the world - so calm and cherished, wanted and cared.

She relived the moments when they were together a million times in her head.
Each time a shiver ran down her spine...

How could she explain this?

She knew she was asking for trouble by analyzing this and setting herself up for sadness...

She knew she was making it bigger than what he'd prefer...

In her mind she knew that this was supposed to be nothing but enjoying-life-and-doing-what-you-like-and-taking-things-as-they-come-without-too-much-thought-or-planning.

Trouble was, she didn't function that way.

Yet she was trying - this cool, chill life with a focus on merriment and instant gratification without long-term aims and hassles.

She still remembered he'd told her - "Keep your expectations low and you won't be disappointed".

She couldn't help raising them, given the marvelous and unexpected way they had turned out.

But she knew this... For all his care-a-damn nature, Prayaas was a wonderful person, witty and genuine.
His heart was in the right place, and she admired his maturity.
She wished she was like him...

Though he reminded her that was not a great way to be.

Still...

Sakina knew Prayaas would always be happy. And that was what she wanted for him, too. Irrespective of what happened between them.

In this tug of war, you'll always win, Even when I'm right.
'Cause you feed me fables from your hand...


Friday, March 4

Purely Professional

So you think the perfect partner is elusive?

You think a particular piece of grocery, substance or garment is tough to find?

I’ll tell you what’s even rare…

Professionalism.

All of us know what it means. All of us know we desire it in others.

And yet, fairly often, we do not demonstrate it ourselves.

In the last few weeks, this fact has been so glaringly evident in most of my transactions. Be it at the hairdresser’s, at the mall, in company or public transport, or when I approached a colleague for assistance…

I’ve walked away fuming heatedly albeit helplessly on each of the above occasions.

And I’ve asked myself this: Is this the way customers are supposed to be treated? Is that the value that is being placed on someone who pays/justifies your salary? Do such people deserve to be employed or in business?

Unfortunately, the answer and the outcomes are poles apart.

When an auto or cab driver speaks rudely to a traveller for no reason greater than the fact that he’s ferrying the person across, it’s a shame. It’s not a favour they’re doing; they’re paid for it, and paid well, if I might add. Besides, they’re thugs who loot unassuming visitors to the city! The cheek…

Human Resources is a department that exists solely for the employees – both existing and potential. And yet, when they schedule and conduct interviews, they behave as if they’re kings and the poor candidates (the majority of whom are better qualified than them) are at their mercy! I’ve seen more than a few consultancies and corporates where applicants are shunted like prisoners and spoken to like slaves. Despite the fact that they’re the reasons why the recruiters draw their hefty incentives! The unfussy aspirants put up with their superciliousness and conceit just to land a position that they want… Grrr!

… The same story when an employee needs help with something in the HR domain – for something that they’re hired to do, the execs sure miss the mark on being dependable and approachable… and consequently likeable. I shan’t be surprised if an anonymous survey went out and 95% of the population badmouthed the one function that is created for them, of them and by them. Distasteful, ain’t it?

I went to this salon that I frequent, and I got really cheesed off when the newly hired hairstylist refused to discuss my haircut. For heaven’s sake, it’s MY hair and I WANT to know what you’re going to do with it! I may not be an expert at it myself, but I sure know how I look, how I want and how I do NOT want to look…

It gives me immense pleasure, therefore, when I come upon an extremely rare occasion when I encounter professionalism of the highest order. And it comes from the most unexpected quarters. Like jewellery stores (Kawediya in Raviwar Peth as well as Waman Hari Pethe on Laxmi Road), most Mumbai shops and ... (can’t think of a third). The one thing that they always say and embarrass me is, “Madame, don’t buy anything, but at least take a look!”

And I say this, because there have been umpteen times when I actually wanted to buy something and the seller acted pricey and arrogant causing me to walk out of the shop wrathfully and empty handed, in spite of liking the product.

I could go on and on about this. I know I am short tempered, but I am also extremely demanding when it comes to good customer service. Hell, if I’m paying you, I deserve excellent service, nothing less if nothing more. And would you blame me for it?

I make sure that anything concerning me is up to the mark – be it at work or at home, if I’ve taken up an assignment (voluntarily or involuntarily), the final result will be acceptable if not outstanding. Anything that has my name on it will be done in a way to not disgrace me. That’s my accountability and reputation at stake. And I do not take it lightly. All the more reason why I expect the same from others.

Which brings me back to my favourite topic – relationships. I know this is not exactly synonymous with professionalism. But it surely is connected to reliability and doing your best. If you expect something from your partner, ensure that you’re living up to their expectations too.

Gotta say bye before I get too meditative!!

But I’m definitely gona say this – do what you gotta do, and be good when you do it. You may not like doing it, but if you still are, give it all you got… Or quit. Don’t create a bad customer experience for anyone. If you can’t make someone’s day, at least don’t ruin it. You don’t have that right. No body does.

Sincerely yours,
Princess