Missing the hugs and the smiles….

The pandemic has affected the life of a common man the most, the life of ‘Aam Aadmi” like me who derive happiness from small things in life; small things like the hugs and smiles matter the most to me. But now all the 24 X 7 News channels having successfully sold the fear story that every man who hugs, will get a dose of Ms Corona free, (chances improve manifolds if the hug is given to a stranger) has ensured that  no one is willing to even come closer than two metres leave alone giving a hug. Corona ably aided by the over indulgent TV channels has managed to do something in a matter of couple of months which even an overtly possessive spouse could not do in years; blown the hugs and the kisses (the friendly ones) out from the life without much ado.

jhappi

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Live your dreams…follow your passion…

dreams

A few days back, I met an old acquaintance of mine after a long time. He was a sports enthusiast and during the course of our conversation he mentioned about an experience when his raft had overturned while negotiating a dangerous rapid in a mountain river and all occupants were thrown into the turbulent water. While others managed to get safety, he was carried away by the strong currents to some distance before he could get hold of a rock protruding in the middle of the river and hung on to it for nearly 30 minutes before he could be rescued.

When asked what was going through his mind for those 30 minutes that he hung on the rock for life, and he thought death was staring in his face, he said the first response was a desperate appeal to God to come to his aid and save him, but as he spent more time hanging on to the rock the past 30 years of his life flashed through his mind. His dreams, what all he had thought to accomplish/ do in life, condition of his ailing wife who required his support, his kids, the under- construction house, everything went through his mind. He had so many unaccomplished tasks/ dreams which he had been delaying for one reason or the other. He prayed to God to save him as he was just 30 and had so much left to do in life. After his safe return from that journey his complete focus in life was on completing the tasks he had set for himself, achieving his dreams. He had seen death from close quarters and realised the worth of life and more importantly he had realised the true meaning of ‘Living’ life, living dreams.

Hearing his story, I was reminded of a song sung by Doris Day (written by Carl Sigman/ Herbert Magidson) way back in 1950.

Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.

You work and work for years and years
You’re always on the go
Never take a minute off
To busy makin’ dough
Someday, you say, you’ll have your fun
When you’re a millionaire
Imagine all the fun you’ll have
In your old rockin’ chair

Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.
(Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself it’s later than you think)

Your heart of hearts, your dream of dreams
Your ravishing brunettes
Has left you now and she’s become
Somebody else’s pet (pity isn’t it)
Lay down that gun, don’t try my friend
To reach the great beyond
You’ll have more fun by reaching
For a red-head or a blonde

Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.
(Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself it’s later than you think)

There’s another thing I want to tell you too.

You love somebody very much
You’d like to set the date
But money doesn’t grow on trees
So you decide to wait (Foolish Fellow)
You’re so afraid that you will bite off
More than you can chew
Don’t be afraid, you won’t have teeth
When you reach ninety-two.

Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy yourself it’s later than you think…

Each and every word of this song is so relevant even today and I think will remain relevant forever. This is exactly what life is all about, we keep delaying things constantly changing our goal posts as long as the going is smooth, when suddenly an accident throws life out of gear and we are left regretting what all we have left unfinished. We carry the worries of our securing our future too far and miss out on living and enjoying the present. Why should it take a negative event to make us consider doing something good? Why should we wait for a dark moment to happen in life to show us the light? Life is so unpredictable, earlier we realise it is the better. Make your list, set your priorities and work to achieve your goals/ live your dreams.

Life is all about choices we make. Whatever we do/ achieve is the result of the choices we make. Do not keep waiting for the right moment to start/ do something. Every moment is right, just have the will to make it your own. One doesn’t have to throw caution to winds but certain amount of risk has to be taken to achieve something new. “Do not plunge blindly, but when the only escape route is the river in spate, just jump into it, there are high chances of you reaching the bank”.

Identify your purpose in life and follow it with passion. Time doesn’t wait for anyone/ anything.

“Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy yourself
It’s later than you think.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy yourself it’s later than you think…”

Separated by Corona…. United by Love (Helped by Internet)

Corona has forced the biggest lockdown ever on the normal activities the world over. The lockdown has brought families together and helping people to re-discover the ‘spark’ in the relationships which had gone missing kind courtesy the ever so busy life most of us had so got used to leading.

Quarrel

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COVID-19 …. Setting the ‘New Normal’ …..

COVID – 19 has affected the world like nothing else ever had in our lifetime. It is setting ‘New Normal’ in our daily life. Caution has become integral to every action we do. It is like word Corona has been added to the ‘Drop down menu’ of the mind and whenever we set out to do anything the menu drops down and a question is asked “Is what I intend to do going to expose me to ‘Corona virus’ in anyway”? There is a detailed in-house deliberation in the mind and if and only if the answer is ‘No’ then only we go ahead to execute what we intend doing. Such a fear had never affected the human minds before. Mask & sanitiser have become the permanent content of every briefcase and the handbag. Now more than’ Khana Khaaya?’ (‘Had food’) the mothers are heard asking the kids ‘Haath dhoya?’ (Have you washed hands?).

Precaution

My profession gives me the privilege of moving out and interact with people, exercising due precautions, so I admit that I may not be able to fully empathise with people who are experiencing the ‘locked down’ in real sense. My article is based less on my personal experiences and more on experiences of my close family members and friends.

My small family of four is normally split between four places due to our professional and educational commitments/ requirements. Kind courtesy the lockdown, my wife and son are staying alone at Delhi and Chennai respectively. I was a bit lucky as the daughter had come visiting just before the lockdown was announced and is with me as the college remains closed.

Being Single (With no help available)

My son is now managing his life and work from his one room apartment. He has learnt to divide his time between work, wash, cook, eat and rest. The single room functions as the workstation, bedroom and kitchen. Just goes out once a week, face covered, maintaining physical distance to get his supplies from local grocery. He has not felt the need of the ‘Swiggy’ or the ‘Zomato’ to come to his aid. I understand that like him many other single men and women must be similarly managing their lives but in his case the transformation has been so fast, and he has adopted to the new normal so quickly and easily. The young generation has adopted to the changing situation in no time, they are ready to face any adversity.

My wife also, like many other working women, is managing her office work and home single all by herself without any help at hand. Frankly, it is after ages that she has been caught in such a situation and she is managing it well.

Homes are the Safest & the Best

The homes have become the safest place to be in. The offices have shifted to home. The elders, kids, the pets, and the office have learnt to happily co-exist in a two-bedroom flat. The kids are not persisting with demands to go out and play in the park or go to a restaurant. Everyone seems to have understood the need of the hour – precaution (Except some men who were badly missing ‘The bottle’ and could not control the urge as soon the restriction was lifted).

My salutations to the ladies specially the ‘working mothers’ who are juggling the role of mother, wife, home maker and a professional within the four walls of the home without relief and still managing to smile.

Working mothers

Homes have become the best holiday destination too. It is not just the school/ college going kids in India but also those who had preferred foreign shores for studies/ work have either flown back or are desperate to fly back home.

Re-discovering the Lost Talent

In the absence of the maid, the mothers (in some cases fathers too) are exhibiting the cooking skills and the kids are loving it (hopefully). Many would have realised how much money they unnecessarily wasted in those restaurants when better food could be prepared at home. People are learning to ‘Live with less’. Brilliant recipes are being dished out with ‘Whatever available’. Fear of weight gain has put caution to eating habits too.

Besides cooking many more hidden talents are being re-discovered in each home. ‘Har ghar kuch kehta hai’ or Har insaan mein talent bhara hai’ is being realised. (every home (family) has a story to tell and every man has a hidden talent)

The Malls,Markets,Schools & The Internet

The Malls are closed, Gyms/ parlours shut and the movie halls non- functional; I, for one, am not missing them at all. I do not like too much crowd, do not have much hairs left on the head and was always happy with my ‘Zero Pack’. The E-Commerce is knocking at the door to become the way of life. Netflix and other OTT platforms have replaced the movie halls & TV soap operas with professional ease (Thank God, we have a break from those never-ending soap operas).

Online classes and the webinars have become the style statements of the educational institutes. Internet is connecting the world like it had never done before. The office, education, relationships, and friendships are all dependent on the Internet for survival. Now it should be easier to ‘Date’ two (or more) people in real time, isn’t it?

Survival of the Fittest- Immunity is back in Business

Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the fittest’ is coming true. Anyone and everyone who was prepared for ‘A rainy day’ both health and wealth wise has not been affected the way the ones who never bothered to save. Immunity is back in business but, not the type promised by all the packaged food makers who are trying to encash the opportunity provided by the pandemic by labelling every food product as ‘Immunity booster’; It is the ‘Stamina’ fuelled by the savings & good mental/ physical health which will take one through; provide the immunity. Optimal utilisation of available resources and surviving with minimum is the new norm for survival.

Immunity

Moving from ‘Religion to Responsibility’

Heard ‘Sadhguru’ speaking on the subject on one the TV channels. India, like many other, is a country of believers. Each culture, community, religion propagating their own belief. Two places where there was never a dearth of crowd (Should I say ‘Bhakts’?) was a Religious or a Political congregation. What one gained from there is a matter of debate, but people went there. ‘Corona’ has put an end, may be temporary, to all that. People, in general, have started taking the responsibility of their lives. The ‘GOD’ has come back to where HE belonged, The home. People have (hopefully) realised the true worth of the existing leadership, most of them ran out of ideas (Did most have any?) at the word ‘go’ itself. People are learning to live their lives their own way, within their own means. I hope this becomes ‘The way of life… A New Normal’.

Hugs & Kisses

The hugs and kisses have been put on hold. Though, I am sure, a new ‘sanitised version’ of the hug will soon hit the market but Kiss (outdoors) specially the French version might have to wait. Amir Khan was finding a simple spectacle to be an obstacle in kissing in the ‘Three Idiots’ here we have two masks in between and the fear of passing on the ‘Corona’. One never knows, the French Kiss may end up becoming the most ‘deadliest murder tool’ (Killing me softly with his love…becoming a reality?).

Conclusion

Change is what we all resist; Change is what the pandemic is persisting to bring; The choice is obvious; Change man change.

Corona – The side effects….

I am a dreamer and always had a strong wish to live some of my dreams and with Ms Corona catching everyone’s attention and imagination, nothing much to do there is more and more time to dream but off late the dreams have slowly started turning into nightmares. Har taraf hai viraana, “Yeh Zameen yeh vaadiyaan yeh aasman, gumsum hai bhala saara sama” (Silence prevails in the sky and on the earth….). The silence is killing literally ‘killing’ man.

Corona 25 years back

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My Dream Girl….Zara Tasveer se Tu Nikalker Saamne aa…

It’s a fashion among the married people to keep asking the bachelors about the marriage plans. Maybe, their own life having become a routine that’s the only variation the married guys find, rubbing in the thought of marriage into the mind of single men/ women, narrating the happiness the marriage and a life partner brings. And every bachelor has this thought “Arrey yaar, if you are happily married than you be happy, let me live my life and if you are not happy than let me be happy with my life”. But live and let live ka riwaaz yahan chalta nahin (The philosophy of live and let live somehow doesn’t seem to work here). My parents fortunately never pestered me with questions about marriage, but you know these friends specially the married ones, pushed by their spouses, don’t give up on such issues easily.

marriage Continue reading “My Dream Girl….Zara Tasveer se Tu Nikalker Saamne aa…”

My Date with Corona….

I bid farewell to my wife and daughter at the airport on 10 Mar 20 and as I reached back home late evening I had this mixed emotion of bit of sadness of having to live without them for a considerable of time and then there was a spark in a corner of the heart lighted by thought of imminent freedom (as we say in India- “Ek aankh mein dukh ke aansu …ek mein Khushi” “Tears flowed from one eye as the other sparkled with joy”). Having lived long under the ‘watchful’ eye of the family since quite some time the heart had secretly longed for these moments of freedom and finally God had answered my prayers so it was time to enjoy.

dreams

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Life is beyond earning a salary and paying rentals…..

The other day while browsing the internet I came across this lovely quote “You are not here to just work, wait for weekends and pay rent”.  It is so relevant today where most people are just working 9 am to 9 pm (some even later than that), there are no evenings; the day starts and before one realises it is night. Weekend is the only time left for catching up with lost sleep, friends or relations (Some use it for catching up with laundry too).

 

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‘Growth’ of parents is a must to enable ‘balanced growth’ of the child…

The day the child is born also results in the birth of a new set of parents; along with the birth of the child, a mother and a father too are ‘born’. The parents also grow, as the child grows, learning from their own experiences and from the combined wisdom of all elders and peers who keep guiding them from time to time. ‘Growth’ of the parents, or otherwise, affects the growth of the child most. There are parents who transform from being just a mother and father to being friends as the child grows whereas there is a vast majority which refuses to grow and as a result adversely affect the growth of the child; these are parents who never reach the stage of being a friend and continue to be just elders/ seniors. In my view parents can basically be classified into three types. 

enforcing a future

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My life lessons from mythology….

India is certainly a land of festivals and celebrations. The entire calendar is dotted with festivals celebrated across the land and breadth of the nation. We have just been through with the Navratris (nine nights) and today is VijayDashmi or Dussheraa (10th day), the day Ravana was killed by Lord Rama, a symbol of victory of Good over evil. All festivals are not just meant to be occasions for celebrations but the main aim of the mythological tales is to convey life lessons and strengthen human beliefs in the prevalent value system. 

ravan_dahan1

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