This business of writing is an altogether different ball game. Yes what is said here is true: When you are least ready to write, ideas, words and what not – everything rushes in at a whirl-wind speed. And when you have all the peace, quiet and time in the world – Blank! Continue reading
The famous quote by Winston Groom states, ‘Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you are going to get’. This is very true. There are so many flavours and varieties, all covered with chocolate, that unless and until you bite into one, you don’t know what you are going to get.
After walking quite some distance along the path called ‘Life’, when one turns around to look back, life appears like a box of potpourri or a mélange of many many things. (Unlike chocolates) It is not different flavours of a same type of thing, nor are all the moments/experiences coated with chocolate or sugar.
Innumerable diverse things, like – happy moments, sad feelings, sweet memories, bitter experiences, spicy seasonings, gentle happenings, harsh shocks and many more are randomly mixed together in this box of life.
When we glance around, even in the nature we find that the beautiful rainbow is comprised of seven different colours. As pretty or bright a single colour may look, but only when all seven colours come together a striking rainbow is formed.
Similarly, there are seven notes (sur) in music, whether it is Indian or Western classical music. Just like our life has high and low moments, there are high as well as low notes in music. When we experience a real low in life, that makes us appreciate the value of the high points.
A life cannot enjoy only a good run all through-out, and in the same way, no life would suffer only and only bad phases. Every hue and shade of all possible things are woven together to form the fabric of life. And so, in my view, Life is like a box of Potpourri…..
Many a times we travel during night, or we are away from the comforts of our home for some work or the other. And the night hour gives it a special touch as we collect these moments in our memory box.
Years ago we were travelling from Mumbai to Goa by road. It was a night journey. After hours of travelling we took a halt at Chiplun, a small town along the western coast. It was just past 4 O’clock in the morning, still very dark.
I sat on a side wall, enjoying the cool breeze of a summer night. Then some soft tinkling sound drew my attention to a narrow side-road near the main highway. A row of bullock-carts was slowly proceeding along that way. Not much could be seen in the darkness.
Pairs of white bullocks with long, pointed horns were pulling the carts. The bells around their necks were creating a rhythmic tune. This was accompanied by the creaking sound of large cart-wheels. A small lantern was hung beneath each cart and it swung with each movement, throwing patterns of shadows around.
It was just a simple scene, perhaps found in any village. Nothing spectacular. But the fading night gave it some magical touch. And the scene gained a special ring around it as it found a place in a corner of my mind. Now, whenever I’m out at that hour, automatically the sound of rhythmic tinkling of bells rings in my mind.
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore is well-known as a great poet and writer. But he is also renowned as an accomplished painter. And to think that he was seventy years of age when he took first steps towards this art! Continue reading
Here are two different sides of the coin called — LIFE!
She glanced around her pretty new nest
all neat and everything in place.
Heavens had all broken loose out there,
but was so warm and cosy in this nest of hers.
Wind crashed on the windowpane
with crazy whirl of lashing rain
she smiled and hummed,
waiting for him to return.
And then came the call, so sharp like that bolt…..
one more life had been claimed by the insane downpour!
…….Once, on a rainy day!
Darkness gathered and the clouds lowered on the earth,
the pain and the raging storm all began at once.
All by itself, their shanty stood on a desolate dot,
no one there to call and no vehicle around the spot.
Waves after waves of that killer pain,
hit her like the thrashing of the rain.
Helpless and trembling old parents,
only could watch in distress…
Cried aloud and she wreathed in torment,
but no help in sight at that moment….
Then above the thunder of the storm,
slowly whimpered a tiny little cry….
Fighting the odds and the elements,
a life had dared to enter the planet!
…….Once, on a rainy day!
I had never imagined that I would take up an office job — that too, after being only a home-maker for twenty eight long years.
It was not a conscious decision just to break away from the comfort zone. But it definitely was a big step, because it is not easy to take up a 9 to 5 job after spending 28 years in the confines of the four walls.
Someone informed about a vacancy in a science academic institute, and I thought of giving it a try. Almost all the family responsibilities were fulfilled by then, so why not? Of course, only my decision did not count here. I had already crossed 50, so any employer would have thought twice (or more) before appointing someone nearing retirement age. Luckily, they too did not have any issue with a 50+ worker.
Thus started a new phase of my life — balancing household work with an eight hour job. It surely wasn’t easy. The house-work, purchasing daily requirements etc., which earlier I could comfortably spread over a span of 8 to 10 hours, now I had to cramp it all within one and a half hour in the morning and 2 – 3 hours in the evening. This, while managing a demanding job in the 8 – 9 hours in between.
Along with the time crunch, the other major hurdle was commuting in Mumbai’s notoriously crowded local trains and buses, at the peak rush hours. It was difficult, however, I did manage, not for just days or weeks, but for four years.
The job itself wasn’t a cake-walk; it would have been foolish to expect it to be so. Though I had a masters degree in science, I had never put it to academic use. It was not just brushing up my knowledge, but also to learn many things anew. New type of work, new people and to learn and adjust to all this new environment — each thing was a challenge.
At 52, I was the oldest among all (including the employers), yet I was well-accepted by all; but still, there was quite some resistance and feeling of rivalry from a few whose work profile was similar to mine. Some even tried to create trouble for me. But things changed and later we all became so friendly that now years after me quitting the job, they are still in touch with me.
All in all, it was a great experience. I learnt a lot, I enjoyed even more. Most important, this experience helped boost my self esteem.
I would have missed out on all this, had I not taken the risk of stepping out of my comfort zone.