Posted in Kindred, Life, Moi, Realité, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Silent Weekends

Most of us are living now in a constant fear. Something which was frightening around this time last year, has become monstrous now. Take a stroll through any media, and you will be scarred for life. The amount of negativity, sufferings, and death around all of us around the world, and especially in India during this second wave of this pandemic has left us angry, scared, disgusted, and mostly helpless.

I hate being helpless. I know ‘hate’ is a strong word, but I have no less feeling towards this helplessness of mankind, where we cannot even help our dying friends and family. I feel so sad for feeling selfish enough about me and my family, which is preventing me from even helping out even my immediate family, when they are in need of help. Just look around you, so many people literally gasping for a bit of air to survive, and our hands are so tied behind our backs in fear that we cannot even offer the comfort of our company to our dying loved ones.

Amongst all this negativity, there is one thing which I am extremely grateful to almighty for. Every Monday morning, when I sit in front of my laptop and put my headphones on. I feel transported to this amazing alternate world, where I am in total control. A place where, when people around me bombard me with issues, I have a solution to most of them. When I don’t have a solution, I still know how to find one. I can clearly see where I am stepping into. I dont need masks to cover my breath. The work that keeps me busy from morning till evening is warding off all my attention away from this bad situation which is killing the whole country. 


I have been feeling guilty for my escapism. I seem to be feeling like an escapist in every aspect of my current life.


There has been no form of entertainment which has helped me take my mind off what’s happening to people in my country right now. My work is the only thing which has given me solace.


Monday to Friday, I look forward to drowning in a known world of my work life, silence weekends are deafening though.

Posted in Kindred, Memories, Nostalgia, poésie, poetry, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Magical Mirror

Young I was,

As I looked into the mirror,

Seeing things that I saw,

Things that were,

And a few, which ought to have been,

Some that shouldn’t have been,

A few convenient voids,

Some I was looking for,

Some that showed up,

Strange corners well lit, at times,

Striking features blurred occasionally.

The mirror has aged,

Lasted for more than I imagined,

People have walked in and out,

Adding themselves into my sight.

My loyalties to you may have strayed,

As you lay here in dust,

Still doing your job,

Giving me the best of my dirt,

A chance to wipe them clean,

A chance to regret and remorse,

And of course, watch my glee too.

A friend that you have been,

Leading me to several souls,

Some mates have lasted,

And some buried in sand.

Thank you, would mean nothing to you,

Or so it seems,

Virtual that you are,

A Ramblings galore.

*****************************************************************************************************

I complete 15 years of blogging today. I cannot believe Virtual Ramblings has lasted 15 years. Thank you to all you kindred souls out there, you have made me who I am today.

I did my first post on March 23rd 2006 here.

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

Memorabilia

Switching channels constantly and not stopping at one, is probably the most widely popular pastime for bored people. I am no stranger to that. As I was switching channels today, I came across a song picturized on a huge star of yesteryears, from his last movie before he passed away recently, I have never been a fan of him or his brand of movies, but just the sight of him made me watch the entire song, a horrible tune and lyrics full of cliché, yet my eyes were glued to a visibly old and immobile star in his last movie. It is funny how the mind associated him to this era of my past, when he was a star, when his movies were hugely popular, when he was young and famous. It was not him I was seeing on screen, but the idea of me from that era, people who were around, things which interested me back then, life I had, Bangalore that was, my world in which I lived, ah what a bliss of nostalgia the song gave me. My eyes were glued to this star on screen, feasting on moving talking memorabilia from my past.

“Hello’ was all he said, as he answered my phone. Growing up is not easy, when you are an only child. Only another single child can understand the feeling of missing out on the camaraderie which comes naturally to siblings. Fortunately I had loads and loads of cousins, who were around during holidays and vacations, family gatherings and functions. I can remember so many occasions spent with a level of happiness which no amount of money, fame, travel or any other delight from today can bring back. We were a close pack for a long period of time, even when elders in that group got married and moved on, or found jobs and became busy, still we kept meeting each other, having fun at each other’s homes. I never realized when it all slowed down, when it became so few and far, and we all got lost in our own lives. All of us now have kids of our own, again many of us have a single child at home who is going through the very same pain as we did as kids. Hearing my cousin today made me hear all the words and stories from those days when our house buzzed with us cousins, our songs, our plays, our fights. Memorabilia of sounds that I cherish.

Blame it on global warming, or just time, weather has changed. We got untimely rain today. Rain in February was never heard of, and yet it happened yesterday and today. As I woke up after a customary weekend nap in the afternoon, my nose immediately got the whiff of the rain. My nose took me to our balcony to a smell of wet mud, a familiar smell of wet mud from my childhood. Bangalore in early 90s was nothing similar to current Bangalore. I remember a year when it rained 3 days straight, and so heavily that we were literally struck at home, with no power and supplies. It has been a few years, since it has rained for more than an hour. In 90s Bangalore, June to August saw rains every day, it used to be my favourite season. Our school year began in June, and so did the rainy season. As I walked back from school, I used to be was greeted with heavy clouds almost every single day, the smell of rain on the plants, trees and grass gave a fertile odour, a smell that I love till date. If nature were to be a perfume, it would be this. I woke up to these familiar smell from my past, and right into my school days. What would I pay to capture this memorabilia into a spray bottle.

Recently I chanced upon a shop selling a fudge of sorts, something which used to be very popular in late 80s and early 90s. The shop even had the same packaging as it used to be sold in those days. A fudge[halkova] wrapped in butter paper, cuboid shaped, sold in all small shops around schools. ah those days of spending .25Rs to get two full fudges. I could not resist but buy a whole box of fudge from that shop. It has been more than 25 years since I last ate those fudge, as I unwrapped the butter paper and put the delicate piece in my mouth, the taste transformed me into so many memories from my past. There is something about elementary school, the years before the high school which we tend to remember more. The childish curiosity in the world, in people, in friendships, learning/seeing so many firsts. Tasty memorabilia is all I needed to liven up my palette.

My oldest memories about my father is how he had a big hole in one of his earlobes, something which was due to an infection from an ear piercing. As a kid it fascinated me, how could a person have a hole in his skin. and that I could see through. Whenever he carried me, I would keep touching his earlobes, ask him many questions about it, keep asking him if it pains, and if it is possible for me to get such a hole when I grow up to be his age. It just became a habit for the 5/6 year old me to keep touching his earlobe. Many many years later, the memory of how I used to hold his ears has stayed with me. My son was goofing around with me today, and jokingly he held onto my earlobes. The touch, though brief brought back so many memories from my early childhood. A single touch is all it took.

We collect tangible souvenirs, and material memorabilia. Our senses preserve many more.

Posted in Kindred, Life, Personal, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Delights

Extreme happiness gives us joy, extreme pleasure gives us delight. 

I chanced upon a podcast about delight, amidst other things it gave a brief introduction to “The book of delights” by Ross Gay. The book is a collection of essays on things which have given the author a sense of delight in his daily life. Before I read that book and get influenced by it, I thought, I should make a list of things which give me delight. I thought this could be a good exercise to cheer myself up. These days any source of a cheer is welcome, considering how depressed I feel most of the times.

Procreation is something which comes natural to living beings. I guess it is nature’s way of keeping itself alive. Procreation is also a game of patience. It literally takes months to see the result. Germinating seeds in my garden has given me immense happiness. Harvesting the seeds from some of my own plants, or our daily dose of veggies from our kitchen, sowing and tending to their whims and fancies, waiting what seems take an eternity, all these hardships are easily forgotten when you see those first hints of green, you know the best is going to follow. These little seedlings always have given me a sense of accomplishment, pure delight.

Children have this amazing ability to lighten the mood for everyone around them. My son can be very annoying at times, take my patience to its limit, give me chores that last well into the night. When he gets his innocent laughter going, there is nothing more delightful to the loving father in me. I find his laughter a reminder of those simple times in my life where life was good and with no conditions. The nonchalance with which he accepts happiness in his life and expresses the same in his laughter amazes me. I have tried to capture those moments on camera, in voice recordings, but in vain. They are meant just for living. My treasured delight.

I love travelling, I really love my vacations. Usually it gives me immense pleasure in planning my vacation. More than places to visit, elaborate planning goes into choosing places to eat on our vacations. I enjoy all types of vacation, solo ones, ones with my immediate family, and the ones with my extended families too. But there is one ritual in these vacations that I look forward to. This one has given me a sense of calmness and delight, which is the ideal combination. My vacation days begin with me waking up to a lazy morning filled with leisure, and me curling up on the balcony with my cup of hot coffee. The smell of fresh coffee adds a magic to these mornings spent lazing around in those unknown balconies. A delightful experience that I look forward to.

I am one of those people who take a long time to warm up to a conversation. It is not easy for me to have a casual talk. I am not so good with alcohol either,  I do enjoy a drink or two but I don’t play a typical drunk, and in fact I am much more sophisticated in my choice of coffee than alcohol. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good drink session. You need the right kind of people, and the topics just build up. A right drink acts like a perfect lubricant to get me talking. There are certain days when everything is just perfect, it just leaves you wanting more and more of it. The people who share my heart form a big part of these conversations.They may not be the ones who necessarily agree with me, but they are three ones who have their hearts in the right place. They are the ones who can keep me interested in topics which we are passionate about. A drink and a conversation, a bitter sweet delight.

There are beach people and there are us the mountain ones. I love mountains. There is something about how they stand firm with and against winds for years and years without a break. The idea of staying in the mountains has always been a big part behind my vacation plans. I have been fortunate to visit the Himalayas a number of times, and seen the various shades of this beauty. The mountain life is definitely not easy on people there, but still they have an infectious smile on their faces. There is definitely something in the mountain air which gives a spring in your steps, making us stand up to anything that life throws our way. Every stay of mine in the Himalayas has been memorable, and I wish to keep going there more often. The morning chill and the fresh air of these mountains are a delightful delight.

I have always admitted the fact that I am impatient. I expect things to fall into place quickly. I don’t give enough time for people to learn, discover, and implement things in their own way. However, there is one quality of mine which I think kind of makes up a bit for my impatience, that is perseverance. When it comes to problem solving, I have a decent amount of perseverance which helps me many times to solve complex issues both at work and in life. The feeling that you get, when you have cracked a difficult problem is worth all the hard work. To me that is much more than satisfying, it gives me a pleasureful delight. A friend of mine had remarked that I was one of the few people she knows who is genuinely in love with their work. I guess she is right about me, my role as a problem solver has given me many days of delight.

They say that people should never live in their past, I disagree. Living in my past has helped me to get through many difficult times. Lovely evenings are more tolerable with a memory or two with our loved ones. There is something about  reminiscing that helps us extend a past delight into our present. The time is definitely not even, but it is linear. Times that are well spent may never come back, however their memories can do. Reliving my delightful times, my time with all bits and pieces across the world, across the people, across time always makes for a delightful evening. 

I look forward to more of these, and many more new ones.

Posted in Family, Kindred, Life, Moi, Personal, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Whom

I want to talk,

It is not easy being the tough one.

I need to talk,

My mind keeps going back to that dark day.

I wish to talk,

His face, his last movement, his last words.

I long to talk,

On the days when tears fill me up unexpectedly.

I should talk,

The fizz in me is on its brink.

I could talk.

Even though I have never ever been expressive.

I would talk.

If I ever found that one soul who would.

Sadly, without him, whom.

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

The Descent

I had heard this in a lecture that two sanskrit words “deha” and “shareera” both used for the ‘body’ mean that in completely opposite ways. Deha means the one that grows, where as shareera means one that withers. I appreciated the beauty of the language, and now I have started appreciating the philosophy behind it.

At one point in our life our growing body transitions into a withering one, and more often than not without any knowledge of it.

Lately I have been of the opinion that this concept does not just apply to our bodies, it very much applies to our minds too.

When I look back at various events in my life, I remember how through most of them I had the feeling ‘this is just the beginning, a lot more good stuff are bound to come.’ Every vacation I enjoyed, I had the many more that are going to come at the back of my mind, every moment in life where I felt the love, deep down I believed there are numerous more on their way, every friendship I enjoyed I never worried about not having a possibility of not making new ones, every place I visited I knew that I had time to visit the same again or better it with an even better place.

I guess my mind has realised the descent. It does experience a sad meloncholy about what were and may never be. More disappointingly, has given in to the fact that the peak may have certainly been passed.

I am not liking this.

The descent

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

Experience

With every year passing by,

I can’t help but wonder,

Am I going closer to end?

Did I do justice to the year that went by?

What did I gain?

What do I lose?

Am I wiser?

Am I happier?

Parenthood, leadership, struggles and worries, what did they do?

Blogging, books, podcasts and life, What did they give?

What did I achieve?

Knowing life, it must be a short answer.

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 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!