Category Archives: 2 Minute Thoughts

The Diamond Nose-pin

The diamond nosepin shone bright. His smile was tender. Her enthusiasm infectious.

‘You should meet him, you really should.’

She insisted when she came to know that I was going to be in town.

‘Miss’, she said and I teased her, ‘where did you pick this up?’

‘It is like that here miss, she said, no, mam..’,she struggled.

Why don’t you call me chechi, that would be really nice,’ I prompted.

‘I will get there miss, no mam’, she blurted and we all laughed.

Meeting her after 5 years meant that I was also meeting this young bright lady happier and in a place of contentment.

‘You know well, mam, what I have been through and maybe it is my good karma or my mom’s prayers that I am here today in this place, with this man’. She pointed to the young man sitting next to her,

‘He is my love, my savior, my friend and much more.

The young man blushed a little at the flurry of compliments hitting him. He looked like a gentle giant, protective, caring but ambitious for her and her daughter. They made a perfect picture.

‘My daughter is so happy mam, she wanted to meet you too.’

‘You know what, when I thought about a second chance, my best friends thought me silly’.

‘What if things go wrong again?, my relatives asked’.

‘Are you not too old for all this drama, some one commented, why can’t you concentrate on your daughter’s future?’

‘But mam, I wanted to find someone and live happily. I was insistent. I registered on a matrimony site and checked up profiles. With his, it clicked right at the beginning. Our first telephonic conversation was really special’.

‘It is worth a try, it really is’. ‘I tell this to everyone, I have almost become a brand ambassador for second marriage, my friends tease me!’.

The twinkle in her eyes brightened the shine of her nose pin and the diamond studded earrings.In the soft glow of the hotel lights, they looked adorably made for each other.

‘I like the slow pace of life here. I like to take Tania to tuition and karate classes. I like taking care of her guinea pigs.’

‘I am glad I took this chance, this girl has made me happy and her daughter has given me what I always wanted, unconditional love and respect. I am thoroughly enjoying this phase of my life and want it to last forever.’

‘We will drop you back, chechi,’ she said, ‘don’t worry, you are not going to miss the bus back to Bangalore’, he added reassuringly.

This is an interesting phase in my life when I am regularly running into my old friends and thoroughly liking it. When time or distance has not dulled the warmth of friendship then such friends are truly special.

So, I think. What would you say?

Shut up and listen

Youngsters walk in sometimes so hurt and unable to contain their pain that they struggle to say,’I need to talk to you, now’.

What is hurting these young people? Some of them who look so confident, courageous and proud to the point of being arrogant. The facade speaks nothing of their inner struggle, the struggle to meet expectations, their own , their parents, some snooping uncles and aunts and the teachers, of course.

How can we help them? I am not sure. But listening closely and being connected makes a difference, so I have noticed and experienced.

‘I look like this but actually I am ‘spoof, nothing inside’, said a charmer and I wondered why it should be so when she radiates such pure energy.

‘I am in a relationship and now my boy friend has broken up with me. He won’t pick my calls . It’s been five years and its always me who has to patch up. I can’t take it anymore. And my mom is so busy I don’t want to burden her with my stories. What do I do? I have no friends’.

‘I have been crying endlessly in the hostel room. Been alone since I joined. Not a soul to talk to. What do I do?’

‘No body likes me, you see. They just turn around when I come in. I can’t take it. The only boy who talked to me has now stopped even looking at me’.

Far away from their homes, in a totally alien environment most of these kids are going through much avoidable trauma, avoidable only if there was just someone to hear them out.

Mostly all they look for is a willing ear. A pat on the back and an idea or a task to work on.

‘I know I am really good. I was a topper. But this is not my thing. What do I do?’

Some times I wish all of us just stopped and listened to at least 2 people around us every day.

Perhaps we can help make this world actually a better place!

And I always thought college kids were sorted out somehow!

And I realize they are kids and need support, help, counseling and love like a child, in fact does not every one around us need that, some times at least!

Maybe, maybe not!

But just turn around and spend a hour a day listening. You will be surprised at what you are able to do for others!

A Happy Second Innings

My young friend was upset about her students. She said they make inappropriate comments and the management is not even ready to reprimand them. No body is, no one cares!

She asked me for my suggestion and we picked up our conversation from we we had left years ago.

Why would the management care? The revenue comes from the students and if the school was to complain to the parent it is sure to boomerang.

She has just put in her papers and feels that schools don’t deserve or respect honest, talented teachers like her.

I listened to her and suggested that there is no way she will be able to change the system by stepping out of it. Students are what they are, young and often reckless and usually don’t receive much attention or mentoring from their busy parents. Perhaps this is their vent!

Who is to blame them?

Who can blame the teacher who feels offended and disrespected to the point of deciding to quit teaching altogether. None, of course.

May be it is just enough to treat these as occupational hazards. School teaching is one of the the most rigorous and demanding of jobs but it too has its rewards.

While we closed the conversation, she spoke with a lilt in her voice of her second marriage, her daughter’s happiness and her own joy of good company and some laughter..’. and ‘it feels so right to have someone to care for you’, she added.

Why does society make such a fuss over second marriages ?She mentioned how she was vilified for her efforts to secure her home by friends and relatives but ‘the happiness I have now is mine. I need not explain this to anyone, ‘she smiled.

Come to my new home mam, she said happily.

Stay happy, I said wishing her well.

Talk about sliding doors!

A Severe Case of Engineerititis

After the deadly meningitis or brain fever that attacks the brain is the equally deadly, slow and steadily degenerating impact of engineerititis.

It is usually common among parents with kids of colleageable age. In such cases, when the child, only or the other wise, approach this all important age, the mother or the father or both together under the all important advice of the omniscient neighbors, uncles, aunts, teachers and other such luminaries tend to commit their child forcibly to engineerititis.

Infact, the more averse the kid is to this way of lifelessness, the more adamant the so called well wishers are to compel the child to follow the path of engineerititis so that whatever part of the brain that is still functioning can go numb, number and numbest… if you know what I mean.

The impact of engineerititis is such that a parent with a new born child or a prospective arrival of a child is already looking for institutions of absolutely no thinking and only rote-learning where they will admit their darling.

This they do with the sole intention of saving any sort of thinking hazard to the child who will be subjected to problems after problems with no play or breath.

This can definitely create problems for normal people but in the case of a family affected by the deadly virus of engineerititis, the more glum the child, the happier the parent, after all no time is wasted!

In this manner by periodically and systematically stuffing the brain of their child with matters of the highest non thinking order, they equip the child to face the world sorry, hit the desk job.

The process said some thinking children is painful, infact, very painful.

But the advantage is that you don’t lose your brains, I mean, you don’t kind of use it because life is all about short cuts and easy solutions and if you have the solutions, you get it.

PS: Leave the child alone!

Soul Time

Sit

sit down

quiet

be very quiet

close

close your eyes

breath

breath deeply

see

see yourself

at close quarters

thank

thank the universe

thank your wonderful servant

the body at your service

thank each of your struggling limbs

wallowing in neglect

show

show some love

to yourself, your each limb

gentle

gentle

shed

shed expectations

it’s a good day, today

live it well.

PS: A friend of mine is suffering from Tinnitus but perhaps more from exhaustion, over thinking and running around. Sit down sometimes, just sit.

divine Item

“These are the two, no three items left here. Earlier we had a variety of items”, the man was insistent on calling the gods in his family temple items, and I tried to look for reverence but did not find any, not surprisingly, though.

He was casual in his conversation,his attitude relaxed as if he was talking about some of his eccentric , some times unwieldy neighbors or friends.

“In the honor of these’items’, the man continued.” we conduct 3 annual celebrations in the temple”, his family temple, run by the family trust.

“Women,” he smiled, ” no, no, we only handle everything, of course they all support even the youngsters, not all, but there are some who are keen to help. So we kind of manage and the locals also come. So for so good.”

“The family astrologer looks up the horoscope and every now and then he finds a loop hole, a planned revenge by one of these”, no this time he didn’t say items?!. “Of course, the relatives, even those from far have started to believe and now every year, we have at least 3 major festivals. more like a get- together.”

One of the items,” he added “is Bhagavathy, but she is pretty docile, that is how she is in our temple. Otherwise it is not going to be easy, you see”.

Search, Research

Last week has been hectic. Time for continuous relentless travel. But it has also been ever so rewarding. While research was my reason to travel, what I received in return fills me with gratitude and joy.

A friend traveled straight from her work to meet me and as we talked we realized how much we miss each other and we parted on a happy note of a promise of more meetings with more friends. Maya, can’t thank you enough.

My quiet aunt who is a devotee and does not look beyond her home, keeping the treasures, the family property in tact for her children and visiting temples, donned her investigative hat as she joined me in my search for research. Valliamma, you are the best.

My sister and her husband who willing joined me in my trips to the unknown and helped me gather some valuable information as I am just about beginning with my field work were fantastic. I loved how much my sister and her husband talked to each other, needling one another, sharing anecdotes, they were the best of friends to each other, what a beautiful relationship you share! Bindu chechi and Ravi chetan,you are superb.

Then there is my dear Sofi. How does one describe walking into a home for the first time and feeling as if one belonged here. Sofi is a terrific ball of energy, ever enthusiastic, always positive and looking out for innovative ways to channel her stupendous energy to benefit those around her.As the day unwound, apart from devouring delicious food cooked by my friend in earthen ware! yeah! really! she has a dozen beautifully stacked earthen ware at home, I was lucky to be introduced to different individuals in the vicinity in the hope of collecting some valuable information. It was a collective effort at research, truly!

I thought I could have stayed over, when Sofi expressed the same. We sat together talking and joking and reliving past, discussing how life has changed all of us for better or worse.

I looked at the home so lovingly built by this wonderful girl and her loving husband and closed my eyes in prayer for their happiness and well being.

But of course, there are 2 kind souls whose sincerity I am at cross with sometimes, my dearest amma and achan, who do sometimes forget I am not a kid any more.

And amma was smart enough to get me to clean some grass, plant some yam, pick some greens in her efforts to keep me engaged and shed some weight.

Faraway in Auroville, my darling daughter picked up some skills in Film making while keeping a track of my day, it suddenly seemed to me that all is good, and that I should be able to do a good job at my research.

I have always wondered at the kindness of the universe, her ability to bring right people into my life at the right time, this week just sort of reaffirmed my faith.

Life is indeed beautiful. And I for sure have put on a few happy pounds….