Love.Chai.Dhaba Momos

It had been like this for a while.

Dark, enveloped in a thick blanket of smoke, weighing down my shoulders with a massive load. The smile had not met the eyes and the eyes had not seen a smile. The confident stride had faded into a gauche walk, with shoulders drooping, almost touching the ground.

It’d just been like this.

Until today.

Until We decided to stroll down memory lane.

Hand in hand, the traffic merging into nothingness as the gear box shifts strained the muscles.. it was as if the radio stations had planned the sequence of songs to adorn the evening, faint, mellifluous melody in the background , as the car swayed to the tune of the evening so awaited.

Were we moving slow or fast? I don’t recollect. It’s immaterial. The destination doesn’t matter when the journey is so pristine, laced with such iridescence.

As we approached our destination, we chanced upon this road… the trees on both sides were in love, caressing each other as they stood tall but met high above, where no one could hear the sweet nothings that they whispered to each other.. where the entire world is just you both and them…

The dhaba stood right around the corner, a sequestered, little spot, where a phalanx of beautiful dogs guarded us from the outside world.. the universe conspired to play some beautiful music in car that stood in distance… as I spoke and saw the envelope of air I exhaled, it was no longer grey… it had metamorphosed into white, since the load had been shed, or shared…

When the clock struck midnight, I wouldn’t know.. sipping on my tea in the plastic cup, eating ‘momos’ our a steel plate, reminiscing, talking, falling ever so much in love, all over again…

Clicking a selfie also didn’t cross my mind!

Stealing a couple of hours from life, I realized what it takes to feel alive.

Love. Chai. And dhaba momos.

And then, some more love ❤️

Don’t forget to steal some moments from life for you today. You and your loved one(s).

I’ll see you in my sleep

A soft winter lullaby

A warm sun ray

A gush of wind

Made my day

That face against the window

The soft caress

The planted kiss

The gorgeous face that was a mess

A mesmerizing melody

A blue moon

A tree in the fall

They made me swoon

A garland on the black

Those old memories

You chose the heavens above

I’ll see you in my sleep….

L.O.V.E

As you start reading this, there are two activities outlined for you –

a)       When you think of the word love, what/who come/s to your mind?

b)      Take a minute to define love 

…..

…..

In all probability, you would have thought of 1 person. 

And in all probability, you would have a string of words, not pieced together, implying a potpourri of emotions that get triggered at the thought of love.

Love – this universe’s most over-burdened word. 

Love – noun or verb? 

Unfathomable, inexplicable, overarching – Love 

 Beautiful, kind, generous – Love 

You’re looking for a point, aren’t you? So am I. 

In all of my understanding (and of course I claim to be no expert) , love does the following (not only limited to – )

·         Makes the recipient a better person – like a wonderful superpower, love needs to enable a person to be superior to what he / she was without the possession of the super power

·         Simplify lives – simplify your life, simplify the recipient’s life – leading to simplification of existence which leads to greatness due to excess time at hand

·         Renders happiness – not all day, every day but definitely for at least a moment every day, make the recipient and you happy

·         Ensures you love yourself – as without you loving yourself, there is no way you can love someone else

Would the people you love say your love enables the above? 

Especially the person you thought of when you started reading this piece.

Did your definition of love encapsulate the ‘superpower’ version?

Love continues to be your favorite music, your best dish, your favorite vacation location, or your bedrock on a difficult day. It doesn’t cease to be the magic that shines through in the toughest times.

But sprinkling some pixie dust will only add to the magic – run these four tenets through your loved ones. Evaluate and evolve, love and be loved.

As Frank Sinatra said, ‘to love and be loved, that’s what life is all about’.

 

Hues of today

I love December.

The blissful joy of being wrapped in winter’s arms with the cold chill to romance, and a cup of coffee to snuggle with – inexplicable.

Now this cup of coffee happened to be very near my place of work, and just as the sky was metamorphosing into a darker hue, with me sipping my coffee, a young boy , with a backpack walked up and mumbled some-nothings to himself but the two nice people I was with, did lend him an ear.

All my life, a by product of being in delhi has meant that I’ve been taught to be wary of strangers – but this kid walked up, with overwhelming hunger in his eyes that pricked so many daggers at your conscience, we couldn’t tear ourselves from him.

Voices laced with skepticism, we asked him what he wished for, and he told us the usual – food. The usual stories about children being harassed for money were ringing in our minds, and we were stuck in a quagmire – when one of us decided to walk with him and buy him some food.

Everything is walking the usual course till now ( literally as well 😉 ) – but the kid had his heart set on ‘roti’ (a type of Indian bread) and some curry, which , as luck would have it , was not available nearby. So we handed over a hundred to him – with promises that he would buy the food from wherever he wished, come back to our table and sit with us.

By now, it was almost dark, and the cynic , especially in me, was gnawing it’s way out – he has run away with the hundred. Can you imagine how I would’ve felt when I saw him, walking towards us, with a sweet happiness across his face – I wanted to leap up and hug him, and at the same time, jump into a well and never emerge – adulthood had transformed me into a non believer but this little child, had once again re-enforced that innocence wins over all perils.

Merrily, he set his food down, and close inspection told us that it would’ve cost him around eighty of the hundred we gave him, and started eating away. We three, also content now, resumed our conversation about the worldly nothings.

It was pitch dark now, when the kid wanted water. He got up to get some, to quench his thirst-

And we waited.

And waited…

And waited….

His food went cold.

Eid Mubarak :)

I am a sucker for celebrations. I like to celebrate anything and everything. Birthdays, promotions are obvious. And so is Diwali. And Eid.

Raised eyebrows?

That, my friends, is what this blog is about.

There was once a marriage I witnessed in my family. A Hindu girl marrying a Muslim boy. The marriage was boycotted by most of our family.

Guess what? Today we all are one big, happy family, and I think he is by far the best son-in-law, husband, father one could ever be.

Sounds familiar? Been there, done that?

I think this whole Hindu-Muslim angle creeps into existence when we (all of us) forget the underlying premise of existence – ultimately, and over archingly, we are all humans. We almost always feel the same things and think the same way. We breathe and operate the same way.

Mass killings hurt all hearts. Epidemics kill everyone. No one escapes natural disasters. Birthdays are celebrated by everyone, so are festivals. Everyone is impacted by all ailments.

All of us, and all meaning all, are cut from one fabric and woven in different ways. Circumstances make us who we are. Families make us who we are. Friends make us who we are. And yes, education.

If at all you were to rate the top five influencers in your life, think for yourself where religion would feature. And remember that, as top of the mind recall.

Let’s propagate the good things this Eid. Let’s cut out the negativity, if at all, and spread love, cheer, happiness. Let’s be One. Let’s enable our friends, families, bosses, team members, stake holders towards the direction of one-ness, in the hope that one day, this chain of one-ness would engulf the most non-trusting non-believer too.

Love is and always be more powerful than hate. Good always emerges victorious over evil.

Because that’s what is meant to be. Let’s start today.

Eid Mubarak you all.

Freedom… to Me

1. On the one hand, there is an advisory against women stepping out alone at night. On the other, in a bandwagon of astronauts venturing into space, we have only one Indian, and that too a girl

2. Female foeticide is growing leaps and bounds due to very many of them not being recorded. But, for the first time, we have three women ministers in the cabinet

3. We still believe in purdah and the need to keep our women away from public light. But, we have Indian women donning glam avatars across the world

4. Dowry still exists, and unlike the popular myth, is way more rampant in the urban echelons of the society. But, in those very households, we have women earning and fending for themselves and their families

5. We’ve CXOs who are women. Those very women go home and get physically,mentally abused by their husbands. Sometimes, the whole family.

So you ask me what is Freedom.

Freedom will be when the positives exist, only without contradictions.

It is deplorable that on the 72nd Independence Day, we are still needing to talk about how women are important for the sustenance of the economy. How we need the emotional balance of women to keep families alive. How she is as strong as him. And how she is as needed as him, if not more.

I hope you feel as strongly. If you do, do educate a few young people. And old people. Educate the society in general. Because, ultimately, it is not about you or I. It is about us, marching into the india we build, with the mindset we inculcate and the spirit we imbibe.

Where she can walk alone, freely at night.

Jai Hind.

Happy Friendships’ Day

Let me tell you a story today – a story of a young girl, one that I’ve witnessed very closely –

She was a young, vibrant girl of 17. And despite her best efforts, she fell in love. All encompassing, overpowering love. Mind boggling, earth shattering love.

Her own life felt like retribution, without the love of her life. He was of course, a young lad, like any other 17 year old. Distressed with the overpowering sense of needing to be united with someone else’s soul at such a tender age. The girl started slowly, but steadily relinquishing her own steadfast life, and began forming her core in him. She ceased to be her own self, and began picking her life from the pieces of his. And he, wise beyond his years, knew that he had to let her – as she couldn’t function without him. Yet, somewhere, something was gnawing. The poor boy couldn’t place it. And it took him several years to figure it out. He was absolutely not ready to take the ownership of someone else. In spite of his best efforts, he just couldn’t.

Gradually, the pieces started falling apart. She probably didn’t want to sense it. Or acknowledge it. Each one going his and her way was inexorable.

But imagine existing without ( or seemingly without) your core. That period got the worst of her. Absolute low. Absolute worst.

And this is where the beauty of life seeps in. Like a phoenix she had to reinvent herself. It may have taken years. Years of constant conversations, years of discovery and years of pain. But if you met her today, you would know in an instant, her core is her own.

God knows it was tough – and not something she could do alone. Her entire existence had to be shaped again – the value system, which was totally shaken had to be built from scratch. For a 21 year old, young girl, life had thrown a curve ball, and she just couldn’t dodge it. Fathom the unfortunate passing away of a life partner and then fathom the young age. And in that context, fathom the pain, confusion and the disorientation.

The foundation had to be laid again and the person had to be built. It took, what seemed like eons, to get to the point of self belief and self confidence.

But why am I writing this today ? I am writing this because it’s Happy Friendship Day. And God knows her friends, who are family, were the ones who let her be. Be herself. They checked the flaws and built on them. Strengthened the core so much that irrespective of who walks in, or walks out, the core remains. Solid. Unwavering. Strong.

Friends are the soulmates one must have. Friends are the family we create. Friends are the ones who make you believe, come what may, there’s always tomorrow.

She could live, knowing if she fell again, she would be caught. She has a long way to go.. but then, who doesn’t 🙂

Let’s be the friend that we would want to have, in adversities and, in celebrations!

Happy Friendship Day!

Cheers!