As humans why are we so obsessed with conclusions?. All arguments need to be decided, stories need to climax one way or the other, even sentences need to end with a period. This seems to be so unnatural, as in nature nothing waits till the end, end just happens, it is as abrupt as an unfinished sentence, a story incomplete. World does not wait for completeness, it just works at a pace not know to humans, and end happens, not to a plan. It sounds almost foolish to expect all sentences
If we were to partition what we need/want from people/relationships into various partitions, Into how many of them does one’s spouse fit into?. Into how many of them do others walk in?, Into how many of them do we let others walk in?.
Should one be happy if the spouse fits into many of these partitions?.
Should one be happy if they dont, and he/she can add many others who fit in naturally into these?.
Should one try to alter the spouse by changing their interests and outlook to be able to fit into more of these partitions?.
Should one be happy letting them fit only into those, where they fit naturally?.
Memories are always cherished. They are the only thing of your loved ones that remain long after they are gone. Still why is it that, after a period of time, we wish we had more memories of people we care about? How is it that our parents have a long list of memories from our childhood, and none from our recent past? Why is it that we end up having to think hard to relive a memory of our time with our parents?
Memories are moments of life which survive the test the time. For moments to survive, they need to have occurred in the first place. Having said that, moments do not occur, they transpire over time. You realize moments, a while after you have lived them. The key here is the time factor. Unless you “live” them, you wouldn’t realize your moments. Unless you have your moments, you won’t have the joy of memories.
I was thinking about ways we could fill our lives and our parents’ with memories, and here is a list of things which would add joy to our time with parents.
Be a part of their activities:
Parents have their own set of activities revolving around their interests. Your mom might prefer going to a nearby temple, over dining out. Your dad might like taking a walk to the neighborhood market or enjoy the simple joys of working on a crossword or a soduku. It may bring a smile to their faces, when you volunteer to be part of these day to day activities of theirs. The small time spent with them, doing things which they love to do, can surprise you with happiness which you may never look for in these activities.
Include them in your activities:
You could just be watching TV on a Sunday, [Yes, watching TV is an activity, even though my wife disagrees], it’s nice to pull your parents along to watch a song which you know they love. They might be busy in their world, but I am sure, they wouldn’t mind dropping in to watch their favorite song, when its on TV. If you have plans for shopping, or even a visit to your favorite “chatwallah” round the corner, it would be nice to invite them to join you once in a while. It is possible they would want to avoid this intrusion into your life, but reassurance that they are invited whole-heartedly can work wonders. You would know many facets of their life, which I am sure you will treasure.
Discuss a problem with them:
Parents have loads of experience and would have faced a whole lot of problems in their lifetime. Having solved all the problems for their kids over years, suddenly they are of not much use once the children grow up. Times have changed, and world has changed a lot, you might feel they are not of much help in the problem you are facing today, which might be true as well. However, there is nothing like the feeling of being needed by children, there is nothing like having the satisfaction of having helped your children. Why rob them of this pleasure?
Discuss the problem you are facing, they might have some great insight which might help you, even if they don’t, just talking about the problem, might ease your burden, and bring them joy. Discussing a problem does not mean complaining to them all the time, or forcing your problems on them.
Try to help them out in their problems:
Many of the new age parents are financially independent; this does not mean they do not have financial problems or that they do not have doubts and dilemmas. Introduce them to newer financial products which they may not have access to, and discuss your idea of finance and it management.
They might have many issues, which they would not know whom to contact, they may not even be able to identify their problems. Lending an ear, can help them figure out many of their problems and issues. Its very common for the old people to dismiss their children’s advice, or not be able to follow what the children are trying to convey. Just like your children, your parents too can come across as adamant, and stubborn. Please not that you are trying to solve their problem, and just like the way you let your children make mistakes, you may have to deal with letting your parents make mistakes too. The experience of being a part of their problems, is as rewarding as being able to solve their problems.
Go on a vacation:
Living with your parents, or visiting them often, helps in spending quality time with them. however, thats not enough. Taking time off, and heading to a vacation, however short in duration it may be, helps you to spend a relaxed time with them. Many a times, with the amount of pressure on individuals these days, the time spent with family is either an aftermath of a busy day of work, or in preparation of the things to come at work the next day, even weekends are spent in attempts to rewind from a busy week, or trying hard to relax before the madness of the coming week. A relaxed vacation can bring a much needed open mind when spending time with your parents. A vacation also usually brings out the youth in parents, giving them another reason to smile.
Gift them needful things:
People usually have lot of occasions to gift their parents; there are always birthdays and anniversary, and fathers and mothers day. The clichéd saree from your first salary to your mother still lingers around. It’s nice to gift them big, but its even better to have an eye for their smaller necessities. Be it a pen which needs a new refill or a worn out wallet of your dad, a soothing gel for your mothers cracked heals, or even refill of their prescription medicine. It is not that, they cannot afford these, or that they can’t do these chores on their own, this just gives them the satisfaction of being looked after, and provides you of the joy of taking care.
A family meal:
One shared meal with the family everyday is easiest way to build memories. Even most silent of the families open up over a dinner table. Dinner table conversation involves everyone in the table, it can vary from discussing a cartoon character, to worrying about the country’s financial and political woos. Sharing a meal, provides a common ground for sharing opinions, and sharing each other’s highlights from the day. There are many a laughs and smiles which always remain long after the eaten meal has left your system.
Request a dish:
A family always knows each other’s likes and dislikes, and food has always been a big part of Indian households. Even today my uncle sends my favorite peda from Ahmedabad, whenever someone comes over. Why not make it a point to celebrate food once in a way. Why not request your mom to cook your favorite dish, amidst your busy week. Why not ask your dad to decide the menu for the Saturday’s lunch, believe me, even non foodies love to decide the menu.
A small get together:
Most of us do not share our social lifes with our parents. We never have time for people who are important to them. We do not consider it important to share people who are important to us with them. How many of our friends really know our parents, or have spent 10 minutes over coffee with our parents. It might be worth organizing a small get-together involving both worlds. You can keep it intimate with few of your best friends, and few of your parents friends.
Just because I have mentioned these points over here, does not mean I practice all of them. I may have followed some of them, and might have thought of trying some.
As I collect my memories of my parents, I would love to discover more things which I can do to earn them.
I use my work transport to get to work everyday, I have always loved to use it. Not because I am big supporter of cause like global warning, or conservation of fuels, even though I believe in all that, I am one of those useless average Indian who cribs about all the issues, and does not really take any steps to actually do something about them. I use the transport mainly because I hate driving, I have never liked it, and I don’t know how to drive my car.
Anyways, coming back to the topic, I take my transport provided by my work place to get to work. I am one of the last ones to be picked up and first ones to be dropped off. [Yes, I know I am fortunate, and I thank my stars everyday for it]. The bus I take is not a crowded route, so the bus is almost empty most of the days. Usually when I get into the bus there are plenty of choices of seats for me to choose from, and its the same picture every single day. The first day I ever rode that bus, I had to choose my seat. So what do I do?, I go and choose the least preferred seat, the one on top of the wheel. Its a known fact that its gonna bounce a lot if I sit there.
I walk in the next day, I have a lot of choices, but this time around, I walk directly to the seat I took the previous day, as though its my designated seat, and the pattern continued. I always go and occupy the same seat, even when the bus is empty and I have a seat right in the front, I just go and sit in that seat. For no reason it has become ‘my’ seat.
One day I went in to find my seat taken, I developed an instant hatred towards the person who had taken up my seat, not that I didnt have other seats for me, but they are not ‘my’ seat. I must have looked up like every 10 minutes, knowing for sure the seat will not become empty, but still I looked at the person like 100 times and cursed him for taking up my seat.
This made me realize how much possessive I can become in the name of attachment.
I guess there are three kinds of people,
a. People who choose the same seat every single day
b. People who make sure they find a new seat every day, and try to experience novelty in the seats
c. People who dont really care about this, and just want to find a seat to sit.
Even people who belong to category a, have different levels of possessiveness, some might just feel bad that the seat is taken and curse the person once, and others like me might be so possessive that they curse the person every few minutes.
On second thought its not really possessiveness, I think its more to do with our routine being broken. Its as though we want life to become a routine, we want smaller aspects in life to follow a pattern, and for some reason when the pattern is broken, we don’t like the change, we don’t like the idea of having to do something out of the norm. Why does our mind like ‘known’ so much, what is it that we fear about the ‘unknown’, How much of a problem a new seat can cause me?.
When I am so icky of the new seat, I can’t even imagine how I am gonna take the break in my routine when bubbles is going to walk into my life fully
Have you ever wondered where we get to make the easiest of the choices?, a single word “wardrobe” comes to my mind, of course some of my choosy friends might disagree with me, but then I am sure no one would argue with the amount of choices our wardrobe has to offer, at least in pure numbers it has to be the single biggest place for our choices. Have you ever wondered what if, we had a wardrobe of emotions to choose from, you wake up in the morning and go into your closet, and choose, ah there it is, this is the emotion I am gonna feel today. Wouldnt it be wonderful?.
I think its been a week now, since this thought came into my head, or rather should I say ‘our’ head, it was one of those short chats with a blogger friend, where we both at a point just fell for the idea of a wardrobe of emotions. If not her, I am sure I did.
I wish I could go to apple store, and they would say “We have an app for that”, wouldn’t that be amazing?.
I find people dancing in a wedding very funny, or rather embarrassing, I always wonder why do they embarrass themselves in public?, why would one want to dance on streets, I never saw the point. When people hug and kiss at airports, or for that matter when people cry when someone is going away, I used to feel why do people need to be dramatic, isn’t this a little too much?.
If you ever thought human emotions are very complex, and many a times its difficult to even emote our real emotions, let me tell you I couldn’t have agreed with you more. But just that, guys, we are so much wrong. Human emotions are very simple, and we make it complex by not accepting them, or by trying to deny our urge to emote. For example a dancing in a wedding, is such a simple emotion of living one’s happiness. If someone [read me, or people like me] wants to just not act upon their emotions and just try to feel it half heartedly, then yep there you go, we successfully complicated such a simple emotion like happiness.
I have written over years about my issues with physical touch, I mean hugs are a big no to me, one can visibly see me embarrassed, in fact I am so much embarrassed that I would feel awkward if someone sent me a virtual hug, have many times wondered why. I always reasoned that hug is a very intimate way of expressing emotion, and I have had issues with intimacy. But guess what, its all bull shit. I had a junk yard, for a mind, and had too much in there to realize its just a simple way to emote the bonding.
Why do we do this?, why do we get embarrassed to emote, why are men embarrassed to cry, why do we think twice before hugging a friend be it the same or opposite sex, why do we think a hundred time before telling someone we missed you, why do we just don’t pick up a phone and tell a friend we need to talk more often, why are we afraid of taking our parents for an evening walk, why do you shy away when your grandmother wants to break a piece from her share of a sweet?.
I guess here’s the app I was looking for. It’s more than the wardrobe, its our hesitation to carry off, or flaunt what we have, which makes us hide things in our closet deep enough to make it not visible. We have to search for it because we have hidden it behind all our pseudo beliefs and restrictions.
So what say guys, anybody wants to try this with me?.
After a long time a new 21 day rule,
Its been 12 days and still I haven’t got a good word out of me, not that I am running low on thoughts, just haven’t been writing. I keep telling people who ask me about my absence from the blog world that I am busy, which I actually am, lots and lots of work, but when I can make some time to read not one but two books in a fortnight, watch two movies over the weekend, hit the state fair, why is it that I am not writing. The question still puzzles me a bit, why I am not writing.
I guess one way to deal with it, is to just forget about it and spit whats on your mind.
Well this is not something which is on my mind right now. This is more of something which will be on my mind for quite sometime from now. It all began with one wise lady making a statement. Here I quote her “There is a thin line between wanting to know everything and caring“.
I have been thinking about it for a while now, how many times have I crossed that line, how many times have I asked too much, how many times have I intruded someone in the name of caring, how many times have I told myself that wasn’t intrusion but just that I am a little more passionate.
It’s tough to answer these questions isn’t it, because if we were to know it was intrusion may be we wouldn’t have gone ahead with it, if we knew this question takes us past the line we wouldn’t ask it.
Here comes the tricky part, when you see your line is being crossed, and your loved one is crossing the line, and he/she doesnt even know about it, would you let the person cross the line?, or just be a little stern and let them know about it.
I know the obvious answer, does seem to be, to let them know about it. It’s always good to be honest in a relationship, but then we have to take one thing into consideration here, you might be hurting the other person. Nah I dont believe that the people should be strong enough to take the truth, the truth is that no man/woman really want to know the truth, not when it is bitter, not in all its bitterness. I guess most of us like our truth to be given to us with a little sugar coating, in right dosages and in sort of a way which would boot start us in the right direction. If it weren’t for the sugar-coated pills, so many of us would have preferred to die a horrible death, then take the bitter medicine.
Coming back to the topic of intrusion, I am one of those who hates being questioned. I have always hated when my mom’s questions, and never answered her with a straight face, but then when it comes to asking them, am worse than my mom. I can be really inquisitive. The statement the lady made really made me wonder how many times I have come across as being intrusive.
One just doesn’t see under their own nose, do they?.
Have you ever wondered why you felt so bad when an idol of yours is no more?, or when a favorite singer of yours bows out of the race due to competition, or a favorite actor of yours ages horribly and still hangs around annoying the hell out all movie goers?. Have you ever felt, why on earth didn’t I move and replace the idol the with the current crop of people, have you ever wondered why you never got impressed as much as you had before?. Its not that the new people on the block or less talented, just the could never mean as much to you as what the earlier person meant. Have you ever wondered?.
Recently when I heard Sonu Nigam do his bit with Kylie Minogue, it pained me a lot to see what he has become. He is and will remain my favorite singer for long long time, but then look how limited number of songs he has been getting lately, and the quality of them, least said the better. There was a time when his songs in movie like “Tere Liye”, which never saw the light of the big screen made me listen to them with all my attention, there is something in his voice which just appeals to me. Today its just really painful to see the horrible songs he gets to sing.
Salman khan, the bad kid of bollywood, the least liked actor amongst the intellectual movie watchers, one who doesn’t know how to dance well, nor even have courage nor ability to do different kind of roles, but he is someone who I loved watching on screen. I just liked watching his movies, period. There was no logic behind that. But lately watched in couple of trailers, which made me think, this is it, the end is in sight for this fellow.
Whats interests me the most is that, after them I don’t see anyone influence me the way they did, I will never be waiting for an album from another singer like the way I waited for the album “Mausum”, or the way I wanted for the movie “Khamoshi” to release. I just dont see myself that way.
I guess it has to be the age, the age when we are open to be influenced, once we move out of it, we just dont care about these things like the way we did. We no longer form this larger than life images in our head, you listen to you a song its just music, you watch a movie its just an actor. The idea of idolism is long gone with that age.
I now understand how my dad never grew out of Rafi, or why my granny never grew over rajkumar, or for that matter a teenager never gets of Patrick Swayze.