Tag Archives: courage

Be a happy story

Be a happy story

a story of intrigue

of intense feelings

of experiences galore

of new learning

of a lot of unlearning

of persistent curiosity

of continuous effort

of simplicity at heart

of relentless expressions

a story that deepens in effect

that does not break at the climax

but builds itself to a clinching finish,

a crescendo.

Its not the moolah you earned

nor the likes you got

or the accolades you bought

but just a handful of friends

a few loved ones

loving you too

that makes you a story of joy

for yourself as for others

so,be great in giving

go,be a happy story.

 

My mother at 66! Dedicated to Shantedathi and Appuettan.

Before driving from my parent’s

home back to Bangalore

I saw my mother,

behind me , at the gate

shining like the morning sun

an epitome of energy and enthusiasm

her face younger by many years

waving at me

she the go-getter

she, no more crippled by the pain of not studying beyond 10th standard

she, no more bound by the worry of what will others say

she, known as the Shantedathi, who helps all

she, the daughter of an ayurvedic physician

she,who has a name for every grass!

and she, who can cook the best food on the planet.

I then look at those young grass wildly clambering for the sun on the roadside

and at her face in the front mirror

my pride and my solace, my no-excuse for lazing around

she, who lost a son and yet found a purpose in living

with her man now learning to be more proud of her

they make a happy picture

she and he, living life to the fullest in 60s and 70s

making it best for those around

ha! pride swells my chest

to call these finest examples of strength, grit and gumption as my own.

 

At the threshold of another beginning

It surely felt like another beginning. The signs were the same.The brightness, the lightness, a certain sure-footedness. I looked at her clear eyes and the fixed gaze.I realized how determined she was. There was nothing to say. No need for consolation, no support, no vain good words of positive reinforcement, nothing.

“When life events had occurred earlier, it was never my doing, I was just the actor, playing the role laid out to me.” But “this”, she waved her hand with what may be called arrogance, “is  me. I charter the course of my life now. It feels good to hold the reins. It breaks my back sometimes, but, is there any gain without pain?”

We kept looking ahead, staring at a vague something. Having watched her struggle through low self-esteem, doubt, fear, loneliness I had almost given up on this woman.But she proved me wrong. Her bull-like resilience  helped her stand up  un-cowed to the walking away from responsibilities of others. When dialogues, advice, suggestions, hope and patience ran out, she took the spade into her own hands. She made decisions, entered spaces hitherto,oh-so-not-her -kind and well, made a niche for herself.

It was one such day that she decided upon buying a flat for herself. Flat, you? I asked surprised but how? You don’t earn enough? What if you lose job? Why so, over ambitious? I am not going to give you a penny, declared someone. And I never expected you to, she laughed.Are you crazy or stupid? Why do you want to burden yourself ?I asked bewildered at her stubbornness. The philosophess replies smugly, “I am just buying a bubble for myself in the transience of this life. It happens to be costly, but its my bubble, that’s all.”

 

 

As you step into college

As you step into the college,my love

I realise you are a lady in your own right

except for the bits of girlie-child-like part in you

hanging around like the fringes on your forehead.

(I am reminded of how I went to college

dreaming over a certain someone)

I hope you do better in man- grabbing as well as life- earning

those vital ingredients for happiness.

Even if you clue into someone,don’t lose your moorings altogether

for there are many other bye lanes to happiness & contentment.

Most importantly make the best of what is yours

own yourself and feel proud of who you are.

Believe firmly in the infinite possibilities of yourself

for always you have been a proud little one

sure-footed,kind and considerate

be the same.

You will meet men & women of all kinds

the smiling villains and the unsmiling ones

the gentle,the kind and the lovelorn ones

watch,make friends,enjoy the ride.

At times,lend a hand,stop to smile,pat a back,be a friend.

The dreams you hold are truly yours,trust them.

Let no man ever belittle you,your dreams, your aspirations

if they do, don’t hesitate to walk away.

I am around as long as I can, if I am not,believe me ,I am still around.

So long, go ahead,reach out, rule the world.

Of fulfilling a promise

A couple past their prime inherit an old dilapidated house, which was once home to a farmer, an ayurvedic physician, a sanskrit scholar,his beautiful wife and their worthy children.

The home inherited by my mother was in dire need of repair. My father,a retired banker counts every penny and could have just sold the house and  pocketed the change. Much to the disbelief of all his friends and relatives, the man and his wife spend days breathing life sustaining and nurturing the old home.

I am surprised at the effort that goes into all of this. The love and care that mom and dad are willing to invest into what looked like a lost case. Wouldn’t it be easier to sell it off? I wonder secretly. Many others raise the same concern and laugh at the eccentricity of the old couple.How long will you be around?. They ask indifferently. .

20 years ago when the house was set aside for his daughter, the fourth in the line,grandfather had extracted a promise from my father. He said,this house has been built with my sweat and labor. I have lifted stones, painted it and agonized over it. I want you to take care of it.

My father said,I could have sold it off but  I wanted to build something of it to return to it, its former grandeur. I expect you to use this space for the betterment of the society. I am humbled and perplexed at this suggestion. It is a huge responsibility.

Before taking this responsibility,my parents had already tided over the worst calamity of their lives, the loss of their son,the youngest, their life, their cheer and everything else.When Balu, my brother was diagnosed with mitochondrial cytopathy, which the doctor at NIMHANS told him categorically  was causing the degeneration of every organ of his body,the boy was devastated, so were his parents.

Yet through the years that he survived, my mother ensured that there was a smile on his face.My father nurtured him as if he were a small baby.His friends Babu,Mani and Koushik stood by him,visiting him every single day. Cheering him up with odd jokes and pranks,only they were capable of. Until , his death on 10th of July 2012, my brother knew for sure that he was loved and cared for.

Today as I watch the house limp back to life, awakening a new interest among the neighbors, friends and relatives, I am proud of what my parents are capable of. Of their never say die spirit.

Just the other day, my mother addressed a young audience at a government school in the locality.It was her first public address. The students loved the honesty of her words and cheered for her. The adulation is much deserved,earned by unwavering spirit,hard work and an optimism that does not allow tears to be shed at any cost.

When sometimes I am told of the smile that does not leave my face, I have to agree modestly. I cannot be otherwise, I come from a family of great strength of mind and the spirit.

I have heard my parents being taunted for not studying beyond 10th standard.How does it matter? I ask.

In the college of life they have earned their doctorate:-)

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