Posted in Personal

I miss you

It has been three weeks since my world changed completely, I am yet to come to terms with it. Tears in my eyes betray me at their will now, and I have lost control over my own emotions. As I type this, tears are rolling down my cheeks.

39 years of wonderful memories, but all I can remember is his shaking yet unconscious head, which took a few sips of water from my hand and never moved again. Every time I close my eyes, I see my father’s head go up in flames and the black sooth forming on his neck.

Nothing can prepare you for the moment of you lighting your father’s pyre, and you will never go back to be the same person from before.

It has been three weeks, I have started to forget how my father smelt, I have started to forget how my name sounded in his voice. I miss him terribly.

ಎಷ್ಟು  ಬಾರಿ ನನ್ನ ಅಣ್ಣನ ತಟ್ಟೆಯಿಂದ ಅವರು ನನಗೆ ಊಟ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದ್ರು, ಈಗ ನನ್ನ ತಟ್ಟೆಯಿಂದ ಒಂದು ಹಿಡಿ ಅನ್ನ ಪಿಡ್ಚೆಕಟ್ಟಿ ದೊನ್ನೆಯೊಂದರಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಗೆಗೆ ಇಡುವಾಗ ನನ್ನ ಕರಳು ಕಿತ್ತು ಬರುತ್ತಿದೆ. ನನ್ನ ಅಣ್ಣನಿಗೆ ಊಟ ದೊನ್ನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇಡೋಹಾಗೆ ಆಗೋಯ್ತು. ನನ್ನ ಜೀವನದ ಬಲು ಕಷ್ಟವಾದ ಗಳಿಗೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಇದು ಸೇರಿಕೊಂಡಿತು   

The word “anna” now stands retried from my vocabulary. Who shall I call “anna”?.

Everytime I look at his photo, I wish he just pops back into our lives. I have literally picked up what remained of his body and immersed them in the river. Yet, my heart does not seem to believe it.

Anna, You were the first person to whom I said cheers. I know I have to wait a few years to meet you one more time, and when I do, you will welcome me with the big smile of yours.Until then, in every step of my life, I will miss you “anna”.

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 "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!

Posted in "Theory of pursuit", Children, Family, Kindred, Life, Moi, Parenthood, Personal, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Pop Culture.

Today is Father’s day.

I have not been big fan of celebrating things which have been alien to us, Father’s day, Mother’s day these seem made up to me, a means of certain corporations trying to sell things to people by playing on our emotions. That being said, i have to admit, they have been successful in doing so, and these so called “days” appeal to us in a way that they hoped it would.

Last few posts have coincidentally been about based on parenthood, I didnt plan it that way, but it ended up being so. I guess there are mainly two events in a man’s life which changes his perspective in life, one when he get’s married, and “he” officially becomes “we”, second when he becomes a father, and “we” officially becomes “us”. When we become parents, a very customary question which is often asked is “how is parenthood, has it changed you?”. This is one of those questions where a simple question has a profound answer, something which we will take years and years to find an answer to.

Fatherhood has definitely changed me, there is no doubt about it. I have had few people, who are not keen on having kids, ask me sarcastically what did I achieve by adding to the population of the world, even thought I respect their cause of not adding to the world population, I can only pity them for not having the pleasure of learning on their own, the satisfaction and contentment of living parenthood. I have carefully chosen word “living parenthood” because there are a few things in life where the experience in itself is achievement, and that no third person can make us realize that.

One thing I have realized in these years is that, the statement that children are needy, is a myth. I know they depend on us for certain things, they need us to take care of their social, cultural, educational, financial and all other needs, but they are not dependents, they are in need of “things” and not us. Parents are much more needy when it comes to children, then the other way round. They have material needs which end up being fulfilled by parents, it can be taken care by any else too, however parents are much more needy of their children, what we look for in children cannot be satisfied by any other person in this world. The amount of emotional attachment we develop over a period of them growing up is enormous, and they can only feel the same only when they become parents on their own.

I have been a child for my parents, I share a strong bond with my parents especially my father. However, becoming a father has made me realize the kind of needs I had as a child, is so much smaller and insignificant compared to the kind of need I now have as a father.

I have tried to distance myself from the “antu” [stickiness] to my relationships, specially to my son, who I can already see spreading his wings, developing his own mind, his own preferences, his own sense of right and wrong. I know the ball has already got rolling, the day he began his kindergarten, his world is expanding at a pace much faster than I am able to absorb, the kite has taken its flight, and I am just a person who “feels” is in control of the kite’s flight, it is going to be just few more years, before the gusts of life is going detach my wonderful creation into a wide open sky, and I am going to watch it with bitter sweet memories, at the same time as a father I will root for the kite to go beyond the seven skies.

Working from home due to this pandemic has given me a greatest gift for this year’s father’s day. The gift of spending quality time with my son, the gift of playing the role of a father the way I wanted to, holding his hand when I feel like it, hugging him when he wants it, feeding him things he loves, there is no better gift than the satisfaction parenthood brings.

Happy Father’s day!

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.