Posted in Children, Family, Kindred, Life, Memories, Moi, Nostalgia, Parenthood, Personal, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Gifts

I woke up with a smile on my face, it was pleasant dream, one of those, which kind of leaves you in a nice mood. I had seen my grandmother, the one who took care of me with so much care, I had grown up under her watchful eyes. She was trying to give me a gift in my dream, she was saying she does not know what to buy me anymore, she wanted to give me some money so that I can go buy something for my self. My grandmother never earned money of her own, my grandfather passed away when I was atoddler of 3 years, yet she saved from what ever little money she got from her sons, she made sure she always gave me a gift for “Ganesha Festival”. She passed away a year before my son was born. she is in my dreams albeit occasionally, this time around trying to gift me probably for the upcoming Ganesha festival. I vividly remember the dream how she wanted to give me 5000rs and wanted me to buy something which I enjoy. In my dream I was trying to not accept the gift from her, I was trying to persuade her how her gesture was enough, and she should use that money for some of her own needs. I woke up with a smile on my face.

I have never been able to relate to my dreams well, some times I get such unrealistic ones, and other times something which is believably close to reality.

Adulthood ruins simple pleasures.

Long after I started earning, my parents used to gift me occasionally, I always tried to say that I did not need anything, even though deep in my heart I loved a gift, more importantly their feeling of wanting to buy me something. Birthdays are no fun if you have to buy your own gifts, festivals are more fun if your loved ones buy you something. Call me materialistic for loving my gifts, I wouldn’t be apologetic for this.

Having enough buying power does not make me forget the longing for asking someone to buy me something. I love it when I can ask my wife to buy me my favorite cup of coffee, when she asks me what she should buy me, my face lights up. I am sure she knows how much I enjoy these things she buys me when we go for a walk, be it coffee or a lovely dosa around the corner. It just makes me feel a little younger, gives me a feeling of being taken care of.

My parents have stopped buying me things, they have stopped even attempting to buy me gifts for my birthdays and festivals. It has a lot to do with me profusely refusing their previous gifts, it could also be something to do with them knowing how much money I make, or them thinking I no longer entertain their gifts. I dont know how I can tell them I miss those gifts. I miss the freedom with which I could ask my father “Anna, please buy me that chocolate”, “Anna, buy me that shirt”.

Adulthood ruins simple pleasures. It has ruined the ease with which kid in me asked things from his parents.

As I watch my son grow, and every time he asks me something, I kind of think of this and feel sad, feel sad about how a time will come when he will not ask me for anything.

Posted in "Theory of pursuit", Life, Moi, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Quality Vs Quantity

When you talk about buying things what comes to your mind first? the cost or the quality?.

When it comes to buying things, many people probably start with a budget in mind, even when they do not specifically set a budget, there is a particular cost they are mentally willing to spend for the product, a lot of this is dictated by their affordability. There are a class of people for whom affordability is so high that the budget really does not matter. As I cannot understand their mindset, nor I have dealt in such a situation let us leave that class of people out of discussion for this post. Assuming that we have set an actual budget in numbers, or have a fair idea about what we are willing to spend, what usually proceeds is our look at the choices available.

We run various filters in our mind to narrow down our choices. some look at the appearance, some look at the brands, some look at cost. However one thing which everyone consciously or unconsciously is looking for is quality. There are many characteristics of the product which contributes to its quality. Durability, finishing, taste, richness in color, aroma, the look and feel, the texture, origin, handmade/machine made, the raw materials used, thread count, and so on. There are so many characteristics which are appreciated in products, and give a better experience of the product in question.

Many people have this notion, higher the cost better the quality. Few have the notion that, higher the cost higher the chances of us being duped in the name of quality. I for a big part of my life have been in the latter bracket. I have always eyed the products with suspicion when the same is available for a much lesser cost. In my case, I think most of it can be attributed to the fact, that for most part of my early adulthood I had a very low affordability. It could have been a case of fox and the sour grapes.

As my affordability improved, which coincided with my interaction with a set of people who grew in a different economic background, and valued quality a lot more. I slowly began to realize the significance of quality in the experience provided by a product. I began to see the perspective of people who were willing to pay for such enhanced experience. As I began to experience quality, I understood the idea of relishing it. What did not change though, is my willingness to spend for it.

Strangely when my affordablity grew, instead of seeking more of quality, I began to seek more of quantity. Instead of that fine cotton Park Avenue, I would end up buying three in house brands online, which I thought had better quality. I know the quality does not match the top brands, but I enjoyed having 3 numbers of quality I am used to. The satisfying experience of quality, was now felt via the happy feeling from abundance. I think again this has to do with the feeling of “not having enough” of many things growing up. A big drawback of minimalism not by choice, is a sort of unknown love towards maximalism. I am not a hoarder, but just the joy of buying in numbers more than what we actually need is satisfying. I would rather eat in inexpensive restaurants which I am used to, 5 times a month, than go to a high quality restaurant once that month. I know that restaurant uses best of the raw materials, the taste is exquisite, the ambiance is mind blowing, just the whole eating experience is much better than the joints I like to frequent. However I find it more satisfying to eat 5 times in a normal restaurant which I frequent. Your mind wants, what it wants right?.

I have moved from lack of respect for the quality, to a level where I understand its significance. I know what it feels like, but still quantity triumphs quality in my mind.

I guess few of our values never change, for good or for bad.

Posted in Kindred, Life, Memories, Moi, Nostalgia, Personal, Randomness, Thoughts, thoughts to think

A tale of two hobbies

“It’s funny how life turns out”  goes a Josh Joplin song, so very true. It is as though all of us are waiting curiously to check out what is in store for us. When life pans out, it is fun to look back and see what became of it.

Growing up, in school, I was a nerdy nerd. I was always focussed upon scoring well. As I was trying my level best to make a future for my life, there were few things my mind had worked out. One of them was, “it is a waste of time to read for pleasure”. It sounds very idiotic, doesn’t it, but pressure of modern competition can do that for you. I thought, why waste time reading something which will not help me in scoring well. What it clearly meant was I had no idea about what entertainment was, and how much it is required for a healthy mind. The idea of “books” being the best wholesome entertainment  one can get was far from me. When I was in my early 20s, my life changed completely, I was now a working professional, with much lesser “scoring” pressure, I had some free time which I could use to do things which were “fun”. I was looking for ways to entertain myself, something beyond television and movies. I was not an outdoor person ever in my life. I chanced upon, what you may call a crossover book. A cheesy romantic comedy which was later made into a movie, and not a book I am proud of to have begun with, but “five point someone” was my first read. I actually liked it at that time, something which was very similar to many movies which were popular. At the end of reading this one, there are a few things which I realized. I could now actually read an entire book without having to worry about comprehending it, I could now spend time doing something imaginative. After reading children classics during my summer holidays during my schooling, I had not really thought of reading as a hobby at any time, however my success with this one book made me want to read more. I am a man with a lot of prejudice. I am not proud of it, but I am what I am. So when I started reading, my immediate judgment was, I should read non fiction. Fiction is for people who are not so serious in life. It was “time” in my life where I should do some serious study. I stuck to my non fiction books, it started with self help, I read a lot of books which were bordering on self help, books which have a lot of thinking to do, I slowly moved on to travelogues and then memoirs. Still sticking to my non fiction clause. I dont realize when the “border” melted away and I was not fully into books of all kinds. I was enjoying all kinds of books now, infact I was trying out new genres, new languages each time. I had now started reading books in my native language “kannada”, I was reading translated books, even topics and subjects which were alien to me like “science fiction”, “horror”, borderline “erotica”. You name it, I was willing to try it.From a person who considered reading a waste of time, to a person who is totally invested in finishing the project “Around the world in 80 books”. I have come a long way. This is one hobby I am happy to have picked up in my 20s. One thing, which I will probably take to my grave.

There are people who love nature. There are people who don’t care about nature. I was one of those who are indifferent towards it. I am no big animal lover, pets were a big no no. They still are. When I was in my early 30s, many things were different. I was now a married man, with a lot of responsibilities at work, and some at home. I had my reading, I had my travel, I had a married life, I had too many things happening to think of adding anything new to my life. Well life does not really shape things at our will. Let me tell you growing up, we had a very small house, with hardly any space for us people let alone any plants. We had no soil anywhere around us, and I had no inclination towards plants whatsoever. When we reconstructed our house in my early 20s, I was still trying to get a decent place for us to live, and with accommodation just enough to fit in things which I had missed all my life, like a bigger kitchen, decent living space, a place to eat, a bathroom of my own. I did not think of creating some space for a garden.When a tenant vacated a floor above us, they left their pots on our terrace. I tried calling them multiple times for them to pick it up. After waiting for months, I gave up on them picking up. I always felt these pots were a nuisance on the roof, as it spoiled the water proofing. Now left with a choice to give/throw them away, I chanced upon an idea of trying to grow something. I started with two simple plants. Tomato and Chilli. The whole process of planting the seeds, tending to them, the joy of sight of the first green shoots, to the flowering, to the time when you see the first little green veggies in them. I was just in awe of this nature. I did not know how much I loved this creation process. Within weeks I was hooked on it. I had repotted all the remaining 4 pots with good soil, and I was planning to start a garden of my own. It really helped that my wife was super supportive of my developing hobby. Starting with a few pots, to my full fledged terrace garden, my new hobby has come a long way in my 30s. I have grown fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and even root veggies in pots. Watering my garden every day, and tending to it on the weekends has become a routine in my life. Potting new plants, and seeing them grow is the most satisfying feeling that I have known in recent times. It is almost like becoming a father over and over again. How protective we become, how parental we become with them has been surprising. The pleasant effect of the greenery on our eyes, and the proud feeling we get when my wife and I get to walk on our terrace is something which is beyond my ability to describe. 

Curious to see what my 40s has in store for me.

Posted in "Theory of pursuit", Kindred, Life, Moi, Personal, Randomness, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Conversations

It has been a long stay at home, I am not just speaking about 2020 with all its problems and challenges, my mind has been home for a lot while longer. I guess it is common to miss things when we are home. The last sentence sounds almost unbelievable isn’t it, we are known to miss home, what do we miss when are home?.

I feel home when I am with myself, I feel home when I am thinking, I feel home when I am cooking things I love to eat, I feel home when I am with my family, I feel home when I am solving complex problems at work, I feel home when I am watching my favorite comedy, I feel home when I am reading books I love, I feel home when I am home.

Having said all that, why do I miss things, and what do I miss.

Monologues are my thing, being a single child has spoiled me with an alpha ego, which is hard to suppress, I am used to getting my voice heard, I am used to getting things done my way, I am used to speaking.

This post feels incoherent so far, so is my mind these days.

I would be lying if I say, I am not anxious about the current situation around us. Who isn’t anxious.

Despite of all of these distractions, and routines. My mind is missing something deeply.

One can always arrange the right setup, perfect food, great lighting, favorite drinks, lovely snacks, but can they assure joy?

To all those of you who have crossed my path, and given me this gift in the past, the gift of what I have been missing these days, it is time, surprise me!