Tag Archives: understanding

Connection chaotic

Everyone seeks to connect, to make meaningful relationships, be it with a friend, spouse, partner, children, colleagues and so on. Yet, it is one of the most difficult thing to achieve in life.

I wonder why in a world filled with lonely people, it is so difficult to find the right people to connect with.

Why do we struggle so much in making the right emotional connect?

Is it that we are all guided by some impractical, fancy notions of connections that most of us tend to feel incomplete and continue looking for making the right connect.

Well, I often think when love and affection and understanding is what a human soul, even Andrew(my cat), truly yearns for, what is that stops us from accepting love that comes our way and look for what is not available?

Complicated!

Perhaps real love or that soul connect that is talked about is just fanciful.

Couples who stay together for a long time, having weathered many storms even tend to look alike, some how changing themselves even in appearance, it is really something!

To grow old with a soul of your choice is what each individual looks forward to. Someone who would sort of stand up for you, or someone on whom you can lean on and not be judged.

Yet, it is one thing that is looks to be most difficult, besides, there is no school teaching this either!

In ‘The Glass Menagerie’ by Tenesse Williams, the mother nostalgically talks about the many’gentleman callers’ who routinely turned up at her home.

Yet the man who she married remains visible only in a portrait hung up on the wall!

So well it is not many trials that lead one to the right soul. Maybe, maybe not!

Besides, one can’t always be at a ‘whole sale market for souls’, with cries like ‘le lo’ ,’le lo’, ‘ selling at half price!!!’

Seriously, because in giving, there is a lot of taking, in taking there is a lot of giving, that is the reality of the soul exchange!!!

W.H. Auden’s Miss Gee is a sarcastic take on a woman who is unfulfilled, because she is unmarried, therefore she is unloved, and has therefore cancer eating into her flesh and soul, with no bosom, thin lips , she is a non-entity until she reaches the anatomy table to be mocked at by Mr. Rose, the surgeon and his students.

https://www.poeticous.com/w-h-auden/miss-gee

That is how single woman came out in public imagination, whether it is films or poetry or novels, the rude spinster, who holds a grudge and is loud and foul mouthed is a stereotype all too common.

Her solitude is her failure, her lack of charm, her lack of worthiness, lack of desirability making her a sort of social outcast out to ruin marriages, relationships and what not!

Well, a single man is not considered a loser, he may even be a philosopher, a writer, an ascetic, a noble soul, given to charity and other humanitarian causes, where as a single woman is a thing to despise, to not trust and to generally keep away from, especially if she also happens to be confident and comes across as courageous.

A gentleman talked about ‘ khuli gaay’ ‘untethered cow’, in a discussion about women’s safety and security.

What said the women, who, what did you just say???

The man sort of stammered, fumbled and cut the talk, perhaps realizing he belonged to ice age or maybe slyly thinking the women might be horrendous, especially the ‘talking types’!

I realize I have been meandering but unless there is acceptance of people as they are, the real connect can never happen.

Also, why do some of us, want to connect to the self same people? Hmmm… not sure!

Where would we be without them?

Do you watch serials on the TV? Do you see that the rich, palatial mansions which are inhabited by the characters in the serial, have help for every other task? A servant for the mem saheb’s massage, another for the kitchen, yet another to assist in the car wash and more and more. Hiring helpers  is indeed a more than a status symbol for most of us.Indeed, ‘the more rich you are the more helpers you have’ is perhaps the one take away from any serial you watch on the Indian Television.

My mother is in her 60’s. She runs the show at her home single-handed. If she does take a maid’s help for some time, she is most courteous and considerate in feeding the maid, inquiring after her family and some times even helping her with a little extra pay. 

What I find irksome about some of us who employ house help is the way we treat them.Agreed that there is no labor law to protect their rights or that they themselves may not be aware of it, still, as educated modern Indians we should be able to be a little kind and understanding to those who work for us or better still, help us survive and earn our bread.

There are of course instances when the employers go out of their way to help the maids. Geetha bai for instance, worked with me at Indore. She picked up the importance of monthly savings and had started a postal account in her name, thanks to one of her employers. She sent her son to one of local colleges. When her daughter met with an accident she was assisted in filing a case against the criminal. She was quite the woman of the times and often chided me,’Didi, you know nothing!’

I picked up the importance of being courteous and pleasant from my parents, my ever smiling- father and ever ready to help-mother. I cannot definitely claim to be as good as them but I do try.

In my apartment, the other day, we ladies were deliberating of creating a fund to help our maids so that they can get their children admission to college,schools or for medical emergencies. In the past there have been instances of such understanding and compassion on and off but its time to institutionalize the true spirit of give and take by making it more formal. Imagine, how many families will actually benefit if we can together bring in a culture of taking care of some of the needs of those who work for us.

Those among us who have enough to share should now look beyond giving away old books and old clothes to the maid. It is just not enough.What will actually help them is may be a fund to use during emergencies so that they can lead their lives with dignity.

I wonder if it is the general belief that ,’if you give them an inch, they will take a mile’, stops us from being nice to those in need.

Some times, some of us will have a sour experience or two while trying to be good to others. That is but natural. What it should not do is stop us from being kind to another person.

The security guard at the college I work brightens up every time he is addressed in Assamese. It is a recognition about who he is and where he comes from. Definitely his day is brighter.

Give a smile, speak with kindness, address with respect, make someone’s day better, especially those of the ones who help us.

And most importantly, where would we be without those who help us live?

PS: My daughter just now enlightened me of my own bias in calling someone a ‘servant’. Thanks for that piece of learning!

Grow up!mom & dad

“I can’t stand this.I lost sleep and appetite.Life has become a dull routine for me. There is no meaning to it.”

I hear these words often, coming as it were from the depths of despair, causing me to tear up and say, so tell me what do you want me to do? But not this time. I had just gone through the trauma of ending  a  relationship that never took shape, in spite of the 7 vows and the 3 rounds of the ‘katir mandapam’, with  the sanction of parents and blessings of elders. I remember how the whole process was. I had to doll up for almost 17 men, their inquisitive parents, undergo scrutiny and investigation before my parents and every body else chose this man, Raju, as a life partner for me. This was done after a lot of deliberation.

In front of the tears that mom shed and the silence that my father withdrew into , I had to finally give up my defenses and had in good faith agreed. My parents were ecstatic and I too had reconciled to the goodness of life, after all they said, only good things happen to good people!Perhaps there was no other go. I have never been smart in getting along with the other sex and had no clue when it came to social skills. I kind of froze when I had to socialize. Considering everything, I decided that all was well. Life was set for the best.

But it was not to be. When I moved to Bangalore after marriage, I was in for a huge shock. Raju returned home from work drunk. He was violent and abusive. I did not complain, not until he branded me with hot iron one day, because I had not served him breakfast. My parents rushed to Bangalore and were aghast at my condition. They took me back home. Raju’s parents tried to cajole and ask me to return. But in those 3 months of marriage, I had come to know a lot more about the person I married than even his parents ever knew. Finally, his mom  begged to be forgiven. They never knew this about their son, she said. My parents were clear that I deserved a better life and we decided to file for divorce.Having taken the decision, my parents were now fearful of what will happen to their daughter, what will the neighbors say, how will they face the relatives?

I had kept my quiet and had found work and was fully engaged. I made friends and was quickly overcoming victim hood and was learning to live again. I found that I am a pretty confident person, I had great talents and men did find me interesting.  That’s when the divorce procedures came to an end. While I breathed a sigh of relief, attacks of panic set into my parents hearts.

There they were already, visualizing a lone some sad life for me. The many cruelties the world inflicted on divorcees and so on. In jest when I suggested that I could find some one again, they started sermonizing, we can’t allow you to do that. You will ruin your life.You can’t choose someone just like that. You can only choose divorcees etc.  Hello, I said, you have done that already, haven’t you? Can we talk about this later? Can you just leave me alone? No, mom said, we are concerned about you and you have become selfish and don’t even try to understand us.

I am exasperated with these people. I  literally want to just go off alone to some place.

Meena looked at the walls. Her beautiful huge eyes now  dull and on the verge of giving up. Her colleague and friend sat near by . His caring eyes noting  those frowns on her otherwise cheerful face. He said simply, come, let’s go for a walk. She got up wearily and joined him. From a distance, one could hear her lively voice again.

Human spirit is an incredible thing. It does not require much to heal and bounce back. That evening walk and a few cups of coffee later, there was laughter and smile in Meena’s life. But some times, her heart cried, grow up mom, grow up dad. Come on, let’s live this life! Forgive, forget, let go.

You & I

So, we sit

you and I

our eyes fixed

on a faraway thought

not a single word is uttered

there is no need

no glance exchanged

we know each other too well

no need to reach out

having been together in separation

a sigh here, a sigh there

silence speaks.

Then at the first peep of the world

we depart

until time sets another trap, another place.