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On fathers

May 23, 2013

History speaks volumes, profoundly and prolifically, of the gentle and caring nature of mothers. Somewhere down the line, we believe that the sole aim of “the man of the house” is to earn money, and it is only the woman, who can nurture her child. Thus, I believe, throughout all history and texts, a father’s role in bringing up his children has been undermined.

While a mother may teach her daughter to be a good care taker and a good wife, it is the father who teaches her to regard herself, and what to look for in a co-partnering relationship. For most daughters, fathers are their first role model and their first love, a love nothing else in this world can replace.

As a child, I remember the times when I would cuddle up into my father’s arms; it was my protection from everything, my moms’ scolding, a bruised knee, a fight with a friend and anything else. He would hold me together, and throw me up in the air, only to hold me again tighter. I remember the way his cologne smelt, and how I felt like a princess in his arms. It was a perfect escape route from the outside world, and in some manners, it still is.

With time our relationship only grew. Today, and even as a child I remember having long arguments with him about anything under the sun. He would always listen to me calmly, and if he would not, I’d get angry and start all over again. He always taught me to stand up for myself, and to speak what I had to, with clarity and confidence. I’m sure it was a tremendously difficult task, for a person of his nature to listen so patiently. Today he tells me that there are times when even he is taken by surprise at the things I say. Thanks Pa, the credit goes to you alone. We all respect our parents, but respecting someone along with being a friend is something I’ve learnt only from him. It was an important lesson to learn back then, to understand and appreciate that even when you can be friendly with anyone in authority, you must never lose respect.

There is a lot more to be said, about negotiating, about being strong enough to face the world as it is, about changing, and growing,and I guess that’s a role most fathers play in their daughters’ lives.Being unstuck intime, however, is something that’s unique to uor relation alone.! I being 24 and my father some 58 years of age, there honestly isn’t much change in the way we communicate. We still fight, we argue and I still sit in his lap every time I go home. (Though he starts groaning under my weight now). He is responsible for inculcating in me a strong sense of right and wrong, and also for making me the honest, caring, and giving person that I am. And to do all this, without a single moral lecture, to do it all as a common way of life, is truly amazing.

I wonder how different this world would be, if everyone shared a wonderful rapport with their parents, where they could speak their minds out without hesitation, where every mistake could be forgiven and where everyday was only better than yesterday. I believe we would then be proud to have a self thinking and acting generation, with an aim of leaving the world as a better place than where they came.
THANKS PAA, for without you I wouldn’t be half the person I am. Love you.

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A Matter Of Perspective

May 10, 2010

One summer evening, lucid in sleep, I’m woken to the noise of chattering children….All of a sudden, in the darkness I’m troubled by faltering rotations of an old rattling fan, the sound of water gushing out on the floor, and the careless ticking of the clock…. The passing away of precious time. The break from my hectic, tiresome life, into my world of dreams has shattered. I lose hope of all sleep and get back and move, and that ugly feeling sinks in yet again.

We all identify with that, don’t we? The hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach, the aching heart, the burdened mind, the feeling of being mechanical, and everything good coming to an end….all leading to one conclusion, life’s tedious, it’s dragging and you’re in it alone.

However, it’s life, so it must go on, it doesn’t wait to hear, the song of the soul, steadily moves forward…Well, and so be it. I get up and move out in the open, so that all my senses wake up again, to continue work. I walk out, and hear the sound of the wind, the wind blowing against the leaves….I look up to a perfectly blue sky, and birds soaring through it, I hear the musical hum of bees, the chirping of birds and the chattering… which now seem like careless whispers of little children, their expression of the joy of life, portraying clear hearts and callous, unburdened minds. I drift back into the sands of time, and memories of my own childhood, the chattering in parks, the water fights, the picnics, the walks, all come back to me with renewed force. I leisure in my past, bask in it’s glorifying beauty, and intuitively, quietly, my eyes are filled with teardrops….. Maybe life isn’t bad after all.

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THE DARKER SIDE

May 10, 2010

In labyrinth allies, and pitch black nights,

I add the sparkle and the light.

Or in the lives of the rich you ‘ll find,

Ill fated things,just of my kind.

You look at me with hateful eyes,

Fill me  with shame and despise,

But that s the story in the sun shine,

In the darkest hour, you want to be mine.

From me you ll want your greatest pleasure,

Or simply share your secrets’ treasure,

Burn me with cigarettes  and act insane,

To watch me whimper and cry in pain.

To satisfy your deepest desire,

I’m served to you on a bed of fire,

Or keep you warm in the winter’s cold,

Every passing night, I change my mould

Purging the society, but yet impure,

The mother of a child you never bore,

I am a service and nothing more,

A pseudo woman, a slut, a whore.

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The Ugly Truth

May 8, 2010

Mysterious are the ways of this world,

They make you fret and frown,

Turning the reflection of a crystal,

To a deep, murky brown.

The strength and conviction of a young girl,

Was now being put to task.

How long would she stay put,

Was something everyone asked.

Sincere, honest, rebellious and radical,

Was Ria’s way of life,

She put all immorality to task,

Even at the cost of strife.

An inspired writer, at the age of 19,

With morals standing tall,

Her works full of conviction,

Seemed to influence all.

“Ambition is good” she told herself,

But there is no hurry to succeed,

For seeds sown with honesty and trust,

Will surely good rewards reap.

She saw all her counter parts,

Rise at a steady pace,

For the “social contacts” that they had,

No talent could replace.

But young Ria’s ambition grew,

And she found it commonplace,

To talk of all the fashion fads

And the next big beauty face.

For the good or bad, we do not know

But a new column did arise,

“The Ugly Truth” as it was called

Instantly caught her eye.

She begged her editor to shift her on,

But sadly the post was long gone.

Sold to the son of a TV star,

Such were the games of money and power.

She wanted to work for the column so bad,

She couldn’t think of a thing.

Compromising on her ideals, though,

Suddenly made a bell ring.

And ambition began to take its toll,

On young Ria’s mind.

She slept with the son of the T.V. Star,

Leaving her morals behind.

Bribery, corruption, sexual abuse,

Societys’ two-faced ways,

Were brought to light by “The Ugly Truth”

Ria’s “prize” in her career’s maze.

And the column won her fame and power,

And money as money can be,

She went on exploring the ugly truth,

But ventured too deep in the sea.

What a wonderful story she covered,

Her editor was truly impressed,

Such reality was not for the masses however,

The young leader learnt in distress.

“The world does not need such truth”.

“It’s meant to be buried deep”,

The politician said, a wry smile on his face,

As he placed thousands in a heap.

The honest editor lost his job,

As he fervently stood by the story,

And Ria sold herself once again,

To money, power, fame and glory.

Ria became the youngest tycoon,

She grew at a maddening pace,

But everything that Ria stood for,

Had fallen far from grace.

Funny are the ways of this world,

Diamonds return to dust,

When gods’ angels on earth,

Perform deeds of mistrust.

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The Balance

May 8, 2010

As young adults, we experience much that life has to offer. Everyday, a new beginning unfolds, gets imprinted in our hearts and minds and wraps us over. Every moment is a lesson, a story, waiting to tell itself. It is only when we keep our eyes and ears open, that we are able to sense what is in it for us, and rightfully claim it. In meeting new people, in doing new things, in exploring a new place, there is everyone’s share of learning, a message. If we pick it up we become responsive to our environment and human in the right sense of the term. It is these big small experiences of life that are the greatest teacher. They serve to distinguish the right from the wrong. We must not be passive in living through these experiences or we deprive ourselves of the joy of being a human being.

The insignia on my school badge read “let your light shine”. It was a profound message with a profound significance. And, in reflection I realise that many unfailing truths of life were learnt in school and they can have a life transforming value for anyone who cares to unravel the mysteries behind them. The point here is that there is nothing like darkness, only and absence of light and similarily nothing like evil, only an absence of good. Personally, I would want to look at my life this way, believing in the power of good. I believe that there can be no evil around me if I keep no room for it. Whether we choose to let the positive take over the negative is a very conscious choice for everyone to make. Consequently, to make this a world a better place than what it was when we came , we must light a candle, instead of cursing the darkness.

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Having said that, I also believe that there is certain imperfectness in the universe. It is an inherent part of nature. Thus, for a human to be infallible is an unrealistic proposition. What, we can do however, is to strive for the best. And in doing so, it is important to bear in mind that everything cannot be judged in black and white. It is the shades of grey that make up most of our deliberate actions. Thus it is imperative to realize that extremes of anything, even good is unreasonable, as we may fail in applying the same extreme standards to ourselves that we apply while evaluating others.

There is nothing wrong in lacking somewhere, but acknowledgement of imperfection must be conceded to and a constant endeavor for improvement must be sought. And since every challenge is an opportunity and every failure a lesson, it is hard to go wrong.

I believe man is capable of having the most fulfilling existence, because no matter how much he accomplishes, there is always more he can deliver. He has an indomitable spirit, and that’s what makes him the determinant of the good and the evil in the universe.

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Just Another Day

May 8, 2010

Hi!! You enter my life in a phase where a little bit of the past becomes important to tell, so here we go.

I’m Stuti, and I’m an aspiring MBA student. That’s not who I always was, that’s just who I am right now. Earlier I was an aspiring journalist and a social activist. Unlike the rest of my life, I figured this one fact out, quite early, in the seventh grade itself. Being brought up in a broken home (back then there were huge fights, today I stay with my father, who is happily remarried.)I pretty much grew up on my own, and I didn’t really have an extremely defined culture, manners, and traditions to live up to. I was always my own best judge. Anyway, in the fall of 2008 my dad married Sophie.

Now, Sophie is really nice and everything, I mean there is no conventional step motherly treatment that I have to face, in fact on most matters we get along pretty well. However, once it comes to my independence, her intervention acts more like interference in my life. So, sometime back, we had this little family talk…

“Success, respect, satisfaction, fame, power and then the money.” I said.

“In that order??” Sophie asked, a little cautiously, “That’s what you want from your career?”

“Why of course!!” I said (as if talking of a universal truth).

“Well, you’re a girl, darling, and journalism is dirty business.”

“But…”

“Come on now, you’re a bright intelligent child, why choose a profession below your mettle? You remember Mrs. Gupta’s daughter, Subhash?(yes, we were a family of S’s )  That good for nothing girl is a reporter today!!! She couldn’t frame proper sentences for Christs sake!!!”

“But I want to be  a journalist !! Paa,why don’t you say something??”

“Beta,journalists are sold for a dime, you know that,and I know you, you’ll never take bribes…so there’s no good chance for you to do any good journalism anyway, you see.” There, for the first time he spoke, and that too against me.I was beginning to lose hope here.

“So, what do you think I should do?” by now I was keen on knowing what they thought was the perfect profession for their supposedly industrious daughter.

“MBA !!!” said Sophie, with pride ringing in her tone. “That’s what people of your calibre are made for!!”

Sensing my anxiety, dad tried to appease me, “Oh,don’t worry, you’ll grow to love it!! And just look at the money !! Come out of any of the top 20 and you’re nothing below 7-8 lakhs.”

Okay, so the money bit of it was alluring, guess I could give it a shot. And anyway, It’s just a degree, I can always come back to what I want to do if I don’t like it.

“Well, I guess I can try…”

Well, that’s settled then!!” smiled Sophie triumphantly.

And so, for the next one year my fate was sealed. I was an MBA aspirant.

I could get into how boring it was to study for this MBA thing, but I guess there are other better things we can talk about. So, coming to the point, I scored a 90 percentile in CAT ,a good, but not good enough score.

What followed was a wave of group discussions and interviews, and frankly I was quite bored of it all. However, it was at one of the interviews that I met Mr.Choudhary.

I was at the interview for IMT Nagpur, where I saw this anxious, nervous looking man ,who was probably in his late thirties.

He looked  at me and said, “Hi!!” I managed a hello and smiled politely.

“So, apprehensive?” he asked

“A little, maybe…” (he was only adding to it by talking anyway)

“Little?? I have butterflies in my stomach!! I hope this really goes well.”

“Okay, all the best.” (You’re  almost 40!! And you’re apprehensive about an interview? Loser!!)

“Well, it’s the third time I’ve taken the CAT, and this is my best shot.I’m not saying, I won’t try again, but if I get it, I’ll be glad!!” he said

“ I hope you make it through.” I said,with sincerity in my voice.

“Mr. Sunil Choudhary, please, come in” said the usherer.

And slowly it was my turn. When I came out, to my surprise, he was waiting there for me!

“So,how was it?? I guess mine was nice, they seemed to like me!!”

“Okay, I guess” I said nonchalantly.

“So you hungry? Mind if I take you out for sandwiches?” he asked

Considering the fact that he was almost forty, and looked pretty genuine, and that my stomach was almost growling with thunder, I accepted the offer.

And so we talked about a few things over a coffee and sandwiches. Sunil Choudhary, as I later learnt, had a nice, well settled home, and a lucrative business, passed on to him from his father. And yet, he had this dream, and he was almost fanatical about it. For the past three years, he took the CAT regularly, managing his business, his home and his life. And he never gave up, no amount of rejections could convince him, and he was determined to follow something he had realized. In his words, “There are few in this world who really know what their purpose in life is, and I was lucky to have figured out mine. Now if I don’t put my heart into this, I’ll be doing myself a great loss, one that no profitable business can cover up.”

And it was then, that I realized just how lucky I was. I had figured out my dream when I was young, and I had let it slip out of my hands as I got older!! How foolish it seemed now. While luxury and comfort might come with money, satisfaction is something very personal.

On my way back home, I thought over what I really wanted from life.

It was a wonderful day, not only because I finally placed myself where I wanted to (with a lot of arguments with my parents ,of course) ,but because I met someone who was struggling to keep on moving in life. It doesn’t matter ,whether he actually gets through or not ,what matters is that he’ll never stop trying.