January 20, 2010

Minting money....missing life

I am amazed at people who say 'Money isn't important to me. I just need enough for my necessities.' Well, it's another thing that "Necessities" mean different things to different people. For some necessity refers to the actual basics like roti, kapda aur makaan (food, cloth & shelter; for some it means the basic plus a weekly dinner outing or an annual holiday or covering the expense of education. For some necessity means a luxurious home with people at your service, a car porch that boasts of the world's most luxurious drives. For some others, like my help-at-home, money is very very important. Every penny adds to the monthly rent they have to pay (Rs 1500 which, for many of us, may seem a measly sum). Then there are the others, like some auto drivers here, who work until then can earn that extra for a bottle of their fav Rum. Once the pocket's done that, then they refuse to make even One extra penny.
Money is important...I Believe. I am not certain it's important enough to kill each other for it, or take your own family to court over it, or strain relationships over it. But for a common man, who toils to make every single penny, maybe money is as important as life itself. How else do you explain the main suicides in the name of financial crisis! For some one who is robbed of his lifetime's savings, maybe money is worth killing for. Children (often girls) are denied the value of education because of money, rather the lack of it.
Here I am, blessed with not just the necessities but the comforts of life, and still cribbing about not enough moolah. Here I am, looking up in the distance at things I don't have and forgetting to take a look back at the many things I have. Here I am, envying people who have bigger, better, more luxurious lifestyle and not sparing a moment to sympathise with those for whom every day is a fight for survival...struggle to feed the family and give them a roof. Here I am, instead of being thankful for all that I have...I am constantly cribbing on what I don't.
Being ambitious doesn't mean just adding to your bank balance...I need to learn this lesson. Yes, money is important. Money can definitely buy smiles. When I buy my son a toy, the smile on his face is worth every penny I spend, or even more. Enjoy the little joys money gifts and not run after the bigger problems it may cause.

January 17, 2010

Sunday, the official lazy day

Sunday is the official 'Lazy Day'. So it has been for years, and so it will be for years. Yes, everyone looks forward to the weekend, but it's really Sunday that we all await for. My choice of entering the media field gave me only one real reason to regret it...that here (in the big, mad and sometimes bad world of media) there is no SUNDAY. If you're lucky you get a weekly off which, in most companies, strictly cannot be a Sunday.
Now I've been away from the rush, buzz and fun of media organisations for the past couple of years. So technically every day is a Sunday for me. But still I cherish THE Sunday and sooo look forward to it. Of course, it's not as lazy as before, thanks to my little son who's up with the Sun even on this lazy day which ideally should start with breakfast in bed.
I hate making plans for Sunday. It's a lazy day and that's how it should be. Don't fuss over it and make a 100 plans for the day...numerous pending house visits, piled up laundry, the many-times-postponed home cleaning, shopping trips etc. It takes away all the fun of the Sunday as you're left shuttling from one stop to another, doing more than normal work, feeling twice as exhausted as other days and in the end of it all, flopping on to bed exhausted and weak and cribbing 'There goes another Sunday...Sigh!".
Well, this is exactly how my Sundays have been playing out most often these times. Today is no exception. After every task, I am asked: 'So when do we have to go there, and when can we go visit that cousin, and after that how will we find time for the super market visit, etc..etc..'. Hurry Up, Don't waste time, We're getting late....these phrases don't go well with Sundays. It's the day when we're supposed to go easy, waste time in bed and be relaxed and laid back.
Even as I write this, my husband is mentally making notes and plans for 'rest of the Sunday' or whatever remains of it. It's my son's afternoon nap that's keeping us home. The minute he's up, we dash out for more visits and more boring errands. And promptly have a fight over dinner plans, then get home and wonder how come Sunday's over. What did we do today. Well, we were racing to see how much we could stuff into our poor lil Sunday who visits us once a week.

January 16, 2010

Emotional Athyachaar...

That's exactly what I'm inflicting on myself. Stare at me for a second longer, talk to me in 1 percent higher-than-normal decibel, or give me a anything-less-than-a-smiling look and my eyes just break its water bags and down they come while go sniff! sniff! trying to hold them back. Soon I have reached this state of hopeless sob...where am struggling to dry my eyes but it only gushes out stronger and stronger. Anything from not going for a movie, to cancelling dinner with friends to my son's tantrums to my husband declaring he's busy at work to my mom's constant corrections of my way of doing things to even my maid's reactions to certain things....any of this or even more trivial things could push me into a romance with tears for hours.
Me crying now doesn't evoke any sentiments of sympathy from any dear and near ones. I always tell people nobody or nothing is worth your tears. But here I am, letting my eyes do a downpour of salty, sticky water that stains my cheeks and if not cleared then could flow right down to my neck and into my dress. It's often referred to as tear drops but mine aren't drops...it's a whole flood. Caused not by nature's fury, but my mind's emotional handicap.
If crying was a way of weight loss, I'd be size zero by now, or worse.

January 13, 2010

Life without beeps & buzzes

Every time I see my mobile phone my hands automatically stretch out for it and I just have to check it for any new messages of calls I may have missed. Most often there's none 'coz this check happens in under 5-minute frequencies. So it's highly unlikely that any beeps or buzzes miss my ears. Of course there are those many many calls which I chose to turn deaf to and conveniently ignore.
This morning, like is the routine, I spotted my phone hiding under a pile of magazines and newspapers (probably seeking refuge from my constant caressing). Promptly I reached out for it, though I was already running late and was rushing to finish a quick shower. And lo! I slide it open and nothing happens, no lights, no display. Am already frantic and my face flushed off of all its colour. I press every key possible, try the switch on button, slide it open/close several times (rather harshly) and then finally scream out...."My phone...my phone...it's dead". My husband comes, looking calm (and secretly happy too) and checks the gadget. Says it's probably low on battery and we plug the charger on. No luck. I try calling on to my phone...the call's going through (the Hello tunes is playing on) but there is no buzzing or vibrating or any symptom of life on my Sony Ericsson.
I declare: "I need a new phone. Come, let's go buy a new one." Well, you'll have to wait till at least 10 'coz the shops need to open, says my husband with a wicked smile. At least so it seemed to me. It looked like everything and everyone was conspiring against me and my poor lifeless phone. He was back to his morning routine and here I was, continuously bragging about life without a phone and how I want a new one right away. I almost felt like I had lost a limb.
I couldn't bear to see my phone lie motionless, colorless and silent. I went in for a sip of water, then got back only to see my mobile flashing a mischievous smile at me. Profile: At Work flashed on the screen, the lights were back and the beeps too. Yayyyyy my phone's alive, I screamed. My husband gave me a rather annoying look and quizzed: "how did it work now?". Who knows, who cares....the point is it's alive and buzzing. But I did still add a liner at the end saying "Well, I could still do with a new phone!" which met with no response.
Until then I have my Sony Ericsson...to walk and talk.

January 12, 2010

Ms Peeping Tom

I scorn at anyone who seems uncomfortably inquisitive about my life or about anybody else's circle of life. Look at me now. Thanks to twitter, here I am constantly peeping into the every day details of celebrities. I could argue that it's not a 'peeping Tom' act 'coz they have put it up for all to see. But why would I care to do a search of Shah Rukh Khan, the follow him, then run through his list of friends and choose more celebrities from there...Abhishek, Preity Zinta and even Genelia D'Souza. Why would I care? Why should I care? The voyeur in me is peeping up, and rising up more and more.
Now I know that Abhishek is in Udaipur, Preity is off to Delhi tonight, Genelia has her hands full with promotions of DPC (I had to go back may tweet pages on her profile to figure out what DPC meant. For the still ignorant ones, it's her upcoming film Dance pe Chance)....and that Shah Rukh Khan is terrible tired, even his hair is exhausted. Just how does all this information make life more exciting or meaningful for me? And all this while I have 3 other windows open for my pile of pending works.
Is this voyeurism or harmless curiosity? I remember, while at my former company, I had to edit a package on Voyeurism (The Peeping Toms), and some psychologist or psychiatrist (never can differentiate the two) said there is a voyeur in all of us. Guess mine was in hibernation and is up and active now.
Now let me get back to the tweets and see if Abhishek is done with his shooting and if Preity manages to wrap her work and catch the flight on time.

January 11, 2010

A mess of a mask

Your face can deceive you at times. It could turn your attempt at pretension into a terrible mess by deciding to get honest and turn a fiery shade of red depicting your suppressed anger, or turn a shy pink and let out your secret crush, or droops to a sorry sight giving away the tears within, or break into a 'WTF' frown reflecting the inner irritation. If you're face is a mirror of the mind, then mine is a Saint Gobain at that. (Well Saint Gobain is the best I know of mirrors. Feel free to upgrade it to an even more superior brand in your list). 
Here I am, with a smile pasted on face, thinking am doing a good job and looking happy and normal, when someone walks up to me and asks: "Something wrong? You look a little upset or disturbed?". Sheesh...there goes my mask of Madam Perfect. And then another friend, and then another, and I had at least 5 people ask me if aal wazzz well. Of course, all was not well. I was bugged and irritated for a reason. But had decided I would be Ms Goody goody and play the part of an enjoying guest', which I had clearly failed. 
This is not the first time. I am terrible at wearing masks, I realise. Maybe I should try installing a dark glass, something life the sun control films, that will filter my emotions before it reaches the face!

January 9, 2010

Notes of Inspiration

A friend's recent Facebook (FB) status read something like 'inspiration comes from unexpected sources'. How true! It could be a face, a book, a place, a word. Words, it is for me. I recall conversations, notes exchanged that had inspiring words, some that even moved me to tears. You start respecting a person for what he speaks, you even end up falling in love with people for their wonderful way with words. Those were the days of letters, regular mails. Now it's the era of short-cuts. SMS and chat windows allow quick communication where it's all about shortest and fastest messages. Words have lost their essence, their honesty, their beauty. Not long ago, we could read a letter or mail and learn a lot about the person behind those words. Not any more. Today, we no longer write words, it's all a collage of alphabets: c u tmrw. brb. lol. and many more. I miss those honest, soulful words. It's so rare and few. Notes of Inspiration, my most treasured letters from some very special people. They still bring a tear to my eyes and some have me breaking into a laugh that's so refreshing.

January 8, 2010

The Idiot who spoke sense

Movies for me are masti! I don't expect them to preach, enlighten people, educate society or dictate philosophy. I definitely admire and enjoy movies that are inspired from real life, that attempt to portray the sweet-bitter society in all its authenticity and appreciate makers who strive to make meaningful and interesting cinema. At the end of it all...it's about having spent your time and money for something worthwhile...be it entertainment or information. I have been a movie buff and I am proud of it. Am game to watch any film, any language, any show and any number of times. Just need the right company and buttered popcorn. We've even attempted to catch one of the so-called Porn films in theatre but the very sight of the lecherous, frustration-oozing, professional gropers had us run for our lives. Back to last night. After much coaxing and cribbing, my husband finally relented to a movie outing. No tickets were reserved, we were already running late, hadn't yet decided which movie we'd see and just then he decides to have an official discussion with his father-in-law, then a quick shower, a stuff-swallow dinner and off we set for our show. 3 idiots, it would be, I had decided. And was hoping we wouldn't have to come back like 2 idiots with no tickets in hand. We made it on time, got our tickets and were comfortably seated. I decided the popcorn could wait till interval, coz my chapattis (which I swallowed from home) had still a long way to go before it would touch my tummy. Soon the credits opened and the audience let out broken claps. The movie started and then all I knew was that I was laughing at almost every scene, my husband was shaking in his chair laughing and people all around were clapping, slapping each other's back and laughing loud and louder. We laughed our way to the interval, and I had a winning smile on my face when I turned to my husband and asked "Aren't you glad we decided to watch this?" for which he replied with a courtesy smile. Hmmmmm.... The popcorn came, the movie rolled on. Soon I found myself trying hard to control the tear drop from messing my make-up. Actually I was more conscious of my husband or any one noticing the big drop on my cheek. I tried hard but it managed to roll down. And more followed. I decided to let them have a rolling time. Another hour and the movie came to an end. I had a smile on my face, a tune on my lips, and regret in my heart. This was a movie I should have missed. I may have been upset about missing it, but after seeing it, it left me shattered with the reality that I had missed so much in life. It took me to moments in my life where I failed to follow my heart. It reminded me of instances where instead of comforting my mind saying 'All or rather Aal is Well' I would always pressure myself more saying 'Gosh, why are things so bad?'. I was so focused on watching the train chug by and the plane fly high that I missed my own bus that rolled past me. It's the little things that make the difference, the bigger things will follow. It's the smile that matters, the claps will follow. It's doing the right thing at the right time that matters, and not trying for the best thing at the wrong time. It is you that matters, others will come by. Live for yourself, for your happiness, for your smile, and soon you'll see the world smile with you. You can keep others happy only if you are content with yourself. Live life with simple rule of 'following your heart'. This is where I faltered. This is where many of us go weak. By the time we realise this, we would come too far away to return. Be an Idiot, do it your way. Let your heart lead you, the mind will follow. hope at least my children have a chance to follow their heart, chase their dream, realise their love.

January 1, 2010

I Promise...A New Me

It's official. It's 2010. The fireworks said it, the loud cheers said it, the hug from my husband said it. It's the New Year. Unlike many New Year nights in the past, where I was out dancing and dining with friends and strangers alike, this New Year was at home. The frown didn't leave my face until late evening as I continued my whining of having to spend the last day of this decade at home, with nothing special to do, and no one special (read friends) for company. Thankfully my cousin got here armed with an attractive looking bottle of intoxication. Can't recall its name, but it smelled tempting and he claimed it was of superior quality (which was seconded by its label that said that it was an award-winning brand [whatever that means]. Since am not much of a coloured drink person, I chose to stick on to my colourless vodka. We had the snacks ready....cashewnuts, chicken, sausages....quite a spread. We settled ourselves down on the floor in front of the TV and raised a toast to the year to come. Cheers! If I was gonna miss out on my dancing and dining, then I had decided it was going to be a night of drinking and getting drunk. It's been years since I actually allowed myself to drink to the 'tipsy' stage. Last night I managed to border the 'tipsy' line, though didn't cross it for the sake of my little son. When he woke up for his bottle feed at night, I didn't want him to see a mom who couldn't walk even as steady as him. There we sat, me, my husband and my cuz (who was celebrating his last New Year as a bachelor). The toast was done and before we knew it, we had downed our drinks, cleared half the snacks, fought over the TV channels and so it went on. More drinks, more snacks, more TV watching and some story-telling. It was 11.30 p.m. and the calls, SMSs started coming in before the mobile networks got jammed. The countdown began and it struck 12. Happy New Year, we let out a hushed scream (lest my little one woke up). The hugs, the handshakes, the liquor-laced kiss, and I ran to the balcony to catch the fireworks. Bursts of reds, greens, golds were all over the sky...here, there, everywhere. Each second the sky burst into grains of gold sparkles. A beautiful sight. There were loud cheers, screams and claps to be heard from near and far. Shouts of Happy New Year reverberated in the air. It's a moment I have always enjoyed..those few minutes of the New Year where everyone's smiling, hugging and all look happy, putting their sorrows, tensions, worries behind. Ten minutes later, the celebrations calmed down. I felt a little ache at the moment; still don't know why. I still feel it. I think I know why. I need to act to relieve myself of that ache. While the world celebrated, my little son was sleeping peacefully, unaware that the world around him was welcoming a new decade, a new year. Kids....... I have made promises to myself, I have made plans for myself, I have set goals for myself, I have dreams for myself. I hope to fulfill them for my good and for the people I love. If you aren't happy, you can't keep others happy. A new dawn, a new beginning, a new decade, a new start, a new me....I Promise.