The Right Focus

It was a messy day because of a messy project at work. The work came back home with me, with its fingers intertwined in mine. It demanded my attention. It was clingy. It refused to let me leave it alone for more than 5 mins. An ideal messy day that not even a workoholic would like.

So, that evening I sat down with it right in front of me. When this little being of mine came running in. Her anklets tinkling was a dead give away of her arrival. She came squeaking my name. Climbed on my bed. Sat next to my work and started talking. Talking in a language that was clear and apparently coherent according to her. It was babble to me. It was so refreshing and tempting that I wrapped up faster than I normally would.

The kiddie, babble conversation I had with her later was the best part of the day. I had missed the most important part of my day till I narrated all the unwanted “ghory” specifs to him when he asked, “How was your day?” And he politely responded by reminding me how my little being fixed a messy day. In his perspective, I had an awesome day with the best work buddy in baby world.

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Vulnerability

She looked forward to the day. The exact time of the day, to be precise, when she would lay her eyes on him. It had almost been an year.

When he called her to announce, “I’m here!” she couldn’t hold back the bounce in her strides, as she walked towards him. And when she saw him, she hurled herself at him, and took the long pending bear hug from him.

Just the thing she needed.

He held the strings that bound her, untangled them gently so that she could slowly breathe. The first breath she took cracked the high wall of pretense she had built around her. She took another deep breath and she found herself unravel in his arms.

Her vulnerability lay bare in front of him.

They sat next to each other on the bench. Leaves crackled as they shifted their feet. The winter afternoon heat warm on their backs. His arms around her shoulder. Her hands resting on her thighs. They sat for a while. Her emotions finally found words and they flowed from her lips. The unspoken, unseen weight slowly lifting from her shoulders.

Trusting that he can take it all, she unfolded. And he did.

Though they felt stillness around them, the time kept ticking. Finally it was time to leave, with a promise to see each other soon again.

As they both walked away in the opposite directions, she walked away with strength and courage to live from him. And he, with a bit of her soul.

Ugly Truth

I guess I always knew it, but I refused to accept it. Untill I was forced to acknowledge it during a training session. It was an activity, the trainer had said. He handed out A4 sheets, a sharpie and couple of colour markers around and asked us to draw. At first it was guided. Simple drawings. When it came to combining those simple drawings to create something unique out of our imagination, everyone, including me, stopped.

He chuckled and asked, “Did you guys never draw as a child?” “No one is going to watch you. No one is going to judge you either. You do you.” He said.

It took a while, but slowly everyone got comfortable in their skin. Comfortable enough to show what came out of their mind. Merge it again with everyone else’s creative mind to create something absolute. Ok, almost absolute.

Thus, the trainer had emphasized, “Think Alone. Think Together.” Creativity isn’t dead. It still is very alive in every one of us. Just that there is a barrier that stops us from exploring our potential.

I made this with a play dough while playing with my 3 year old niece today. It was almost like getting into a meditative state and let my mind break the barrier. I knew it was ugly. But my little one found it funny enough to lift it. Look at it. Talk about it. Play with it. And then take pleasure in crushing it back in the play dough box.

I am now no longer embarrassed of whatever, in the name of art, comes out of me.

Firefly

She had “stolen” the light. She ran away. Stood by the door and slowly opened her arms. A white glow spread over her face. She had the light trapped between her tiny hands. It was hers now.

She smiled. Her curiosity piqued. She turned it up and then down. She shook it left then tried tossing it towards her right. The light still shone bright.

Finally, she clutched it tight and raised it above her head with a happy smile. Seemed triumphant. There was her firefly inside her balled hands.

The Right Questions

Summers are here. With it are all the flowers in bloom. And then there are paths like these, that you see here. I walk by this path. Everyday. Appreciating how pretty it looks.

Defined by the rules laid down at the workplace, I would refrain myself from capturing it. Because I thought I can’t. Even if it was outside the work premise.

Then today I asked myself, “But baby, what if you can?”

Partners in Crime

It was an excruciatingly hot afternoon for Bangalore. The AC of the Volvo bus was a respite. Usually, the driver conductor duo I come across are very normal.

But this duo, this duo was something. They were partners. I saw them sit, the way you see here, and enjoy each other’s company. There was lot of laughter and banters exchanged. They became partners in crime when they opened the front door and had a fun fake fight with the duo of the bus next to them. The door closed. The bus moved forward.

The laughter and animated conversation that ensued between them was a treat to my eyes and ears. The language barrier didn’t stop me from understanding the chemistry.
Things that make work fun.

Morning Sunlight

Have you ever observed, how sun rays stream through the gaps between the petals of a flower or the leaves? The gentle caress of the early morning sun rays, brings out the colours. Yellows seem brighter. Greens seem flourescent. There are shades that are treat to the eyes.

Maybe when you’re rushing or running in the morning. Stop for a second. Feel the warmth. Catch that one stream before it hits the ground.

Bread Samosa

I was on a vacation in Hong Kong. We had spent the day walking. It was a very good and satisfying day. It was so good, that I had found my old appetite rumbling in my stomach. And that appetite brought this strong craving on my tongue: a strong want to eat India Chat. I had traveled down from India to explore this place, and yet this thing in me wanted to eat desi street food. But, I kept mum. Thinking this isn’t what he would like to eat. And yet, this man, to my great surprise and happiness asked, “Would you like to eat dahi puri?” I was wondering if he could read my brain waves.

There in Hong Kong, when we were eating the dahi puris with some addition of samosa chat, I got hit by this strong wave of nostalgia:

I would wait eagerly for my parents to come back home from work. I would be in the garden with my pupper. Waiting for them to walk inside the green gate, just to run close to whoever comes home first and ask, “Can we have bread samosa for dinner?” The day we would have it was like a picnic at home, but at night. Would be noisy, cosy and fun. Like some kind of celebration. The walk with my father to the shop to buy fresh out of wok samosas. Holding his fingers. Walk back home to eagerly eat the hot samosas, flattened and pressed firmly between two breads. And the satisfaction once the first bite was savoured…

I missed it.

Then today happened. We were out, my father, sister and my niece. While each ran their errand, I entered a small shop. One place which came close to making samosas like the samosa shop in the place I grew up. And I had the question in my head again. I turned around to find that my father had followed me in the shop with his cup of coffee. I asked the same question, “Can we have bread samosa for dinner?”

He smiled. Maybe the nostalgia had hit him too. And he answered saying he was just going to ask if he should get some bread for the night.

It was a celebration again. This time it was for my new job. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate.

Somehow, the mood was better. Like we had grip on something and that it wasn’t lost. I saw the old me. The old, easy bond I had with my father came back. He was happy. Genuinely happy. Happy to do this. Let his grown up be a child.

We were excited.

My mother was excited when I told her. It made me happy. Somehow the atmosphere felt familiar. It was warm, cosy and celebratory again. Though it was disastrous: the samosas were too spicy for our taste, yet it was the emotions that mattered.

It was about the simple pleasures. Most of the time works like a charm.

Tough Decisions

One fine Sunday morning, when I was making French Toast for my father, I wondered – What am I doing with my life? Is my decision the right one? Did I make the correct move to accept a job that would shake my life?

And then, I heard my 2 year old niece talk to her mother. She had trouble making her own decisions. She wondered out loud with her mom – Should I wear the blue underwear with Lola on it or the red underwear with a yellow teddy on it?

Tough decisions.

Simpler times. I wish I can go back to making such decisions.

Yet, I love our lives.

Mindnight Lullaby

The room was dark. She had just closed her eyes in an attempt to fall asleep. But suddenly there​ was a gush of strong breeze. The curtain rose in the air, sending the wind chimes in a tizzy. And then she heard someone jump. Startled, her eyes opened with a start.

She consoled herself that it was her mind playing dirty tricks again to steal her sleep. Stopped the anxiety before it burst out of control.

The breeze blew again bringing a relief on this night of hot summer. The wind chimes tinkling in a rhythm. Lulling her back to sleep. 

Her eyes drooped shut.

All was silent again.