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

Learning to Live

The seed did not fall far from the tree.

Nine months later when the new sprout first took a lungful cry, It was
greeted by the warmth of the pleasant shade from its parent.

A deep rooted strong tree, it appeared, giving the new shoot an ideal to
follow.

With every growing year, he turned a blind eye to the rotting side of the
depleting force, and the brights of the beaming green was much too powerful, or
may be it was the shades of the youth that eclipsed eyes of the adolescent one.

The young adult now clearly feeding on its parent roots, blossoming into a
aping trunk.

It was is turn to seed and now they were a bunch.

The once strong parent living its life and the younger bunch loving it.

A day came when out of the blue the parent fell, catching the bunch off
guard. The grand tree had lived it’s sudden death

The bunch lived.

An old partner stood where the former had once ruled. The frailty of the
surviving partner apparent to the loved one.

Every day the loved one saw what it had not seen for years, the warmth of
the shades that it had once taken for granted threatening to completely vanish.

Every day the loved one, lived in fear of the loss, the one that was lost,
and the one which will not last.

Yet there was it’s own younger self, feeding of it’s root now. Living the
same life as it had once lived. Loved one’s rotting self, completely invisible
to its younger shoot.

The dual life of strong and week, the fear and the strength, the inner child
and the real one, the seeker and the giver.

Yet, the tree learns to live, it lives.

 

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 Children, Family, Kindred, Life, Moi, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Detach

With small deft hands he carefully folded the paper the way I showed him. The little kite that we were building, was taking shape before our eyes. I remember doing the same with my dad when I was his age. I too was fascinated by things which could fly. I can see the same curiosity and fascination in my son’s eyes. 

I have a way of making things less fun. I have been told this by a lot of people, or may be ot is mostly in my head. I have forgotten which amongst the two is real.

I start describing to him the act of choosing small sticks from the broom, which will form the spine of our kite. It has to have enough strength to give the kite ability to withstand the head wind it is going to face. He listens to the instructions carefully as he starts assembling the kite. We chose an orange colored paper, his favorite. I smile to myself about how he likes bright orange compared to my dull peach. I remember how my father has taught me the art of tying the thread (sutra) to the kite. That according to him is the defining part of making a kite. We do our best in tying the sutra, and lift the now complete kite up in admiration. I can see the joy on my son’s face as he looks at his creation. I can feel the joy in me, looking at mine.

We take the kite upstairs on to our terrace and wait for the right wind to give it the flight. After a few minutes, which feels like eternity to both of us, the wind picks it up and gives it a well deserved flight. As both of us look at the bright orange kite in the early morning sky, we can’t help but feel proud of what we have done. A big gush of wind takes it even higher and farther, as we see a tiny version of what stood in our hands a few moments before. The kite now flying with a new found majesty and with an apparent mind of its own, keeps finding new heights. 

We don’t even realize, it happens within a second, we realize much later what had happened, “detach”. The kite had detached from the thread and it was now flying on it’s own, away from our hold. This bittersweet moment left us with mixed emotions.

It was time to get ready, and drop my son to his school, It was his first day at kindergarten.

Posted in "Fifty Five Words ", Children, Family, Kindred, Life, Moi, Personal, Relationships

Alpha

Just thirteen more steps,
said the proud father,
as the little one huffed and puffed.

Kiddo had outperformed his father’s expectation,
he had reached this far,
keeping beautiful distractions at bay,
defying both the mother nature, and his own.

Old heart smiled, at the blind young one

Together
they had
hiked,
an unlucky
father’s
climb.

—————————————————————————————————

It has been while since I gave myself a creative writing challenge. I am back to my favourite format “fifty five words”, and I chose the word “climb”. I love to say more with a few.

Posted in Kindred, Life, Memories, Nostalgia, Relationships, Thoughts, thoughts to think

21 years is a long time

21 years is a long time.

No two friendships are alike, every friendships begins differently, it grows with different speeds, some just fade out, some age. Some are beautiful to begin with, some are sour to begin. It is as though each one of them is supposed to live different lives.

Time has dried up a really flourishing river. It had fed a numerous thirsty moments. I can see wet land at places, but somehow it feels like a mirage. I am still hopeful of a thunderstorm which can add life to this one.

This plant felt like a weed, it was just a tag along. Sometimes you ignore things as if they are unimportant, but they surprise you at times coming to the fore. The weed had turned out to be a nice flowering plant. The one which blooms not so often, but when it does, it has a pleasant fragrance. It never grew into a tree. It turned out to be a bonsai.

It was a sumptuous buffet, it had so many items for me to choose from. It fed me with so many tastes, some familiar and some extremely novel. It lead my senses into places in me which I didn’t know ever existed. It has been one never ending buffet. Then it was time for me to go home, with pleasant memories of course. I thought that’s it with this one. The buffet, slowly morphed into my daily diet. It stayed with me during morning breakfast, lunch and dinner. I got so used to it.

One day, suddenly, it became an expensive restaurant. You know you love their food, but you can afford to go there every day. Its just too impractical. Finally it ended up like your grandmothers recipe, its just not there every day, but once in a while when your mom makes it and you eat, it just takes you back into a happy place.

There are times when a long chat can take you back into what had been, and what can still be.

21 years is a long time.

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

Fatherhood blues

These are times when I feel guilty. guilty of chosing career our my life. The guilt was not much until I got a life, I had a family, I had a wife, I had a son. The guilt grew exponentially as my career picked up at the same rate. For someone who swears by his perseverence and determination to make things better at work, and feels responsible for all the problems he can spot and works his best to solve them, his personal guilt also ends up showing up like a problem which needs to be dealt with. This is just plain sad. The worse though are the strange things I end up doing to feel less guilty. Career is like any other dangerous addiction, it sweet poisions your life and body just like any other addiction, which atleast come with a warning on the package. Everyday I have this strange feeling of having to make this tough choice between being what I am at work, and being a father.

Sometimes I learn rhymes, I watch tv shows, I also listen to music which my son likes, just to make sure I am not left far behind from his world. When I am away at work, or going back late to our house, and I am feeling left out from his life, I have something to fallback to, to get a glimpse. There is also a secret hope, that in whatever little time I have with him, he doesnt think our worlds are mutually alien to each other.

Kids love their moms, and moms love their kids. There is nothing that a father can do which can count as a bigger scarifice than what a mother does without even realizing it. I wonder if there can be jealousy in parenthood. At the cost of sounding petty, I admit there is. I feel jealous at various times when I see my wife bond with my son without any effort, and at the ease with which he clings to her. As an engineer, I can write pages of reasons why this happens, and how or why I dont end up doing any of those things. There are times when your mind does not accept the nature, and just wants to compete against it. I have always believed that when someone says “its not a competion”, it is a way of covering up the loss. Parenthood is not a competition, moms and dads dont compete with each other. Why do I have a feeling that I am losing.

Parents are like mixed doubles team trying to win a championship of parenthood. Each pair have their own strategy, their good and bad plans. Some of the tactics are universal though. The idea of good cop and bad cop being one such tactic. World hates sterotypes, but how much ever we hate anything, you cannot ignore its existance. For ages fathers have been the bad cops. Kids predominantly are always told to tidy up or face consequences when daddy gets home. Many a times they look at us, and probably must see a cop with a baton. I hate being the bad cop. I would love to be the good cop, and be the one my son runs to when my wife plays bad cop. Like any good team, I guess all dads have to byte the bullet and assume of the role of bad cop. It is not easy.

I did not know I was an alpha male, until I realized I was, one day. I see that my son is turning into one day by day. It is not an easy task to deal with two alpha males in the family. I am sure my wife has already realized it.

When kids are growing up, there are many little pleasures they bring about. There is nothing better than your little discoveries when they have picked up your traits, specially the ones which you are proud of. The joy it brings is something which cannot be explained in words. I love my son’s obsession with time. He sets a time for everything that he does on a daily basis, and makes sure he sticks to it. More importantly he makes sure the other people stick to it too, and keeps hurrying up my family if they are running late. There are times when people can literally catch me smiling when this is running about. Yes, he also has opinion about everything under the earth, and he fights for his views till the end of the earth. I told you, two alphas are horrible thing for a house.

I remember few years ago when I was a new father, my wish was “I wish I could enable debugs for kids, it would have been so easy to solve their problems”. Children do not work as per our plan, in fact they hardly stick to their own plan. I guess they are not a project that parents work on, they cannot be planned and executed. It may sound dumb, but our minds have just got tuned to our professions so much that we deal with everything like we do at work.

Kids are hyperactive, and they love to keep jumping from one thing to another. When they are asleep they are the best things on this planet. The look of innocense on their faces, the unknown smiles in their sleep, how they cling to our bodies, and how they scoop into our chests. One of the best moments of my day, is when I curl up next to my son in the morning when he is still in bed. There is nothing worse then when they wake up and tear themselves away from you. < pun intended >

Bad fathers have too many expectations from their kids. All fathers have expectations from kids. I am not able to choose one.

Posted in Family, Life, Moi, Personal, Randomness, Relationships, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Random Randomness #201901

Its a new year, and a happy one so far, and as they say “all is well that ends well” so 2018 was a happy one too. I can’t complain much, can I?

I wish all my blog world friends a very happy new year. For those of you who are contemplating on getting back to blogging, you are right, 2019 is the right year for it. Those of you who have been silent lurkers of my blog, thank you for being around and as we have known all these years, we will continue to know each other, albeit silently.

I usually do not like to begin a new year with a randomness post, I love heavy topics, and the usually the first one is a heavy one. My mind is rebelling against all rules, and here it is, the first post of 2019, it is a random one.

Traditions

The word gives us a feeling of something ancient, something which is being followed for ages, however it is not always true, we keep developing new traditions all the time. One of such recent traditions of mine is that for the new year. Its been a while since I developed this new way of celebrating new year, every year on 31st December I go to bed early around 9:30pm. [usually 10pm is my bed time], I get a full night of sleep and wake up late by 7am [usually 4:30 am is my wake up time], I go for an early morning walk around the streets of Basavanagudi for about an hour, and end the walk with a cup of hot coffee at Upahara Darshini. Being someone who loves have a routine in life, having these traditions and sticking to them gives an immense pleasure. Watching the daily life of hundreds of vendors and street walkers, to whom the 1st of January makes absolutely no difference is an added bonus.

Reflections

December was a month of loss, as we lost my uncle to cancer. My uncle, being a very live person, with a huge zeal for life, was an active member in our lives. He had a lot of love for music, for food, for culture for everything you could think of. Seeing him go from being fully alive, in person, to being a picture on our walls within 15 days was a big lesson in life for us, on how impermanent life is. On the day he left us, as we were seeing his body being shifted to the crematorium, I witnessed something which has struck with me for a lifetime. I saw my cousin sitting in the vehicle next to a body which once was his ‘appa’, he sat there with his eyes filled with tears, and his 2 year old daughter continuously crying and shouting ‘appa’ for her father who was leaving her behind to go see off his ‘appa’. Till today, it fills me up with tears. Our loved ones can just vanish with such short notice.

Resolution

Whats a new year without resolution. I am a person who loves new year resolutions, and this year like any other, I did resolve something. Last year, in one of the farewell speeches, a colleague of mine had a fun description of one of our common friends, he said, “X is such a person, if he sees his house is on fire, he will go back to his bed thinking he will worry about it tomorrow”.  It made me introspect a big deal, I am kind of a person who would be worried, if a house is on fire in the neighbouring town. My resolution for 2019 is “Stop worrying, you can’t change the world”. I have had a good beginning so far, I have stopped worrying about work, at work. I wish to stick to this resolution as much as possible, and try to enjoy my days.

Indulgence

Being conservative is my forte, I would be the last person to spend on indulgence, If I like something very much, I would probably check the price tag and settle for something which is 1/4th the price, and at the end of the day be happy for having done that. I attribute my conservatives for my middle class upbringing, and am very proud of it. 2018 ended with a piece of big indulgence as I bought something which was on my mind for a few years now. I had loved this ‘easy chair’ for a very long time now, the one which is of the folding kind, and has a plush cushion and a comfortable and relaxed seating. I had looked at the price tag on it for about four years now and pushed myself away from it thinking it is not for my kind, and may be I will buy it when I retire from work. I walked into the store this time around, and finally made up my mind to buy it. My wife was in for a little shock, as I bought the chair this time around, she did admit later that she was pleasantly surprised that I finally bought something which I had been eyeing for a long time. I have to admit, I felt guilty for a week after buying it, and now when I sit on with a big smile, the guilt is somewhat buried.

 

Posted in Life, Memories, Moi, Nostalgia, Personal, Randomness, Relationships

Game

For as long as I remember, I have been playing this little game on my walks. Mornings, on my way to the bus stop, many a days I revisit this game, which brings a smile to my face, almost instantly. The rules of this game are simple, there are no rules. All you do is let your mind walk through some memory of yours, and relive the minute details from the past.  Here is one such day, and some of the memories which lit up my face that day.

Motorcycle rides with a good friend. Everyday he used to stop at my place on our way to our university. I stayed just 5 minute walk away from the college, but still he used to be my ride every single day. I used to stand at my window watching the street, and as soon as he arrived I used to hop onto the bike. It is funny that we had so much to talk about in those days. EB-1356 has stayed on in my memories long after it was sold, long after the window was raised down, long after my friend moved out of this country.

5 kids on the rooftop, do you need any more fun?. I remember climbing onto windows and then onto to rooftop, and creating a slide out of a bedspread, and me fearlessly pushed onto it, from the top, as not so sturdy hands of my cousins held the top and the bottom corners of a make shift slide.  I would kill my son, if he tried this, but how ignorant we were then, and how much of a bliss it was. I remember some of the best summers with my 4 cousins, at my grandfathers old place. We have all grown up and apart, we no longer share that close a bond, each one living their own lives with families to take care of, with problems of our own. I close my eyes, and remember the slide.

The day at a coffee shop, she sat opposite to me, her eyes red with sleepless nights, and swollen big with all the crying. It was the first time I was trying to console someone close to me, and I had no clue how. I knew the people involved too well, and it was tough for me not to be partial. As she spoke to me, tears rolled down her cheeks, she did not care to hold them back. I have known her for a large part of my life now, and we still get meet once in a while, but that day I felt really close to a friend.

What is better than watching a movie in a language you dont understand as a kid?, coming back home and enacting the whole thing from morning till evening. We were pretty professional about it too, we had a producer, a director, we had makeshift costumes, and to my absolute disliking a wafer thin villain, me. Being the youngest came with all bad side effects, you are the loser villain who gets bashed up by the hero through out the movie. All through one summer we played “shooting” as we called it. I remember locking ourselves for the whole day from breakfast to lunch, and then post lunch to dinner shooting stupid scenes. I truly wish we had recording our version of “jagadeka veerudu atiloka sundari”.

Studying was fun, it really was for the geek in me. More than studying, I loved my month long schedules before my semester exams. I used to spend a lot of time, preparing complex schedules about how I would spend my time leading up to my exams. I remember how they used to have plan Bs in case I miss, and how I used to love when I used to challenge myself to go faster than my plan. One sad thing about anyones life, is that you cannot go back to it at any cost.

Coded letters from my dad. what would I give to be able to get my hand on one of those today. My father used to work out of state, and he would send these wonderfully hand written coded letters to me. The backside of the inland letter would have the codes spelled out for each letter, and I had to substitute the codes to be able to really make sense of the letters. I vividly remember my joy on decoding the letter, and how satisfied I went to bed on those days, when I got his letter.

Ah the bus stop is here, and I get myself back into my kindle.

Posted in Personal, Relationships, Uncategorized

Many

Relationships have always fascinated me, and it appears that they will continue to do so. As a an awkward nerd, I have had years of experience when it comes to fantasising and daydreaming various aspects of a relationship, ranging from the initial meet, to an intimate affair. Years have left me with bits and pieces from my life, which in retrospect have taught me such wonderful aspects of human interaction, which have ended up gracing various relationships in my life.

Being a foodie has left me with some wonderful moments of sharing my favourite food and beverages with people I like. Nothing better than that cup of coffee to bring out those deep thoughts, and nothing like that mug of beer or any other drink to loosen up my restraint with people I have cared about. I have always known within few minutes of these sessions, if it is going to be just food or anything beyond that. It has been fun to revisit many of these sessions with the same people over the years, and see how we have changed.

Books have played important part in many lives including mine. When it comes to people, taste in books have been as unique as their own persona. Over the years, I have shared my taste in books with very few people, and only a handful of those have actively contributed in building my taste in books. They have come from corners of my life, from where, I did not expect any sort of a meaningful contribution. Few of them have stayed in touch with me, and few have just taken off.

For a person who is extremely opinionated about each and everything, people have passionate ideologies and firm philosophy have intrigued me. I may not agree with their thoughts and opinions, but they have held me captivated by their passion. Topics did not matter, be it feminism, Indian mythology, language, technology, or even routine work stuff. I have been blessed with partners who have had a ‘loud’ say when it comes to matter close to their heart, and eventually mine.

Many of my cherished relationships have been with people who are shy and reluctant both physically and mentally.  It has just made the progress slower and more enjoyable. A touch has lasted longer, and the feel has turned into a memory. Strangely many of these permanently etched in my mind, are still lovely to get back to. With time, many of these people have faded away into an oblivion, but these moments of reluctance have remained forever.

A movie I watched recently had an interesting observation that once we get married or fall in love with someone, we put an insane amount of pressure on that one person, to provide all those things which have received from so many different people in our lives. It is completely unfair on them, and practically impossible for any one person to do that. It made me think of what I love about my wife, and what I love about others in my life both past and present.