Walking with the Differences

They were two individuals.

He loathed some things she loved.

She loathed some things he loved.

Emotionally, both would be on different planes. Always.

Yet, they co-existed and were the best of friends.

They accepted and walked with the their differences with their arms around each other.

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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.

About a Long Affair

As soon as the bus halts at my stop, I find myself rushing to cross the road. Forgetting my fear of crossing roads. Rushing like a mad woman to climb the three tiny steps and stand next to this jolly man with his hair parted in the centre. Just this. The man with the magical stall of wonder. My Pani Puri walla.

He nods his greeting and silently thrusts a small bowl made out of dried leaves in my hand. He puts on his gloves, takes a puri from the stacked heap, cracks it open, fills it with masala aloo, dips it in the spicy tangy paani and places it gently on my bowl. 

The first Puri, when it touches my tongue and cracks open in my mouth, the flavours explode! Melting away all the frustration and stress of the day. I feel comforted. Sometimes, this spicy beauty soothes my soul better than the saccharin words of my dearest friend.

The flavour brings out the vivid colours of the darkening night skies, and as it starts refreshing my soul I can finally hear things around me. Till then it’s just my Pani Puri walla filling my bowl with my beloved street food, comforting me silently, without understanding the chaos in my mind. 

By the end of maybe ‘one plate’ or even two, I don’t even feel guilty about my indulgence. 

Rather, I feel happy. Content. Comforted.

Always!

That Goofy Face

There’s always this boy. I had a minor crush on him. Then we became, sort of, friends. Every time he opened his mouth, I would always feel that I like him lesser. But then, no matter what he said, this tall boy, when he would smile his full goofy smile at me whenever he passed me by, I could feel my heart do a double somersault no matter how hard I suppressed it. His smile was big and always seemed​ to reach his eyes. 

I would avoid his eyes every time we passed each other by. Especially if it was more than once in a day. Because he smiles his big smile every single time! Even if he was annoying and taken, his smile was contagious. His smile would leave a smile on my lips which would pass on to the next person passing me by. 

He is unaware and it will stay that way. It will be my little secret corner in a small room in my head: He’s that goofy faced friend, who notices it all, and makes me smile unwittingly ever time he smiles. And my day gets better.

Birth of Hope

The setting was perfect. The sun had just set. There was a hint of rainy clouds coupled with a light breeze. The sky was the shade of dark navy blue slowly darkening to black.

I was nearing my block, that’s when I saw them. A couple. They must have been in their late 70s. The first thing that I noticed was the way they held each others hands. She had a firm grip, maybe helping him balance. Maybe holding herself steady. Or maybe, just holding because she wanted to. He had his walking stick in his other hand. They walked slowly, one small step at a time. In perfect sync. 

I couldn’t help but smile. 

Even for a cynic, with all the distrust in the world, looking at them couldn’t help but for that moment believe that things could be as real as that couple who had grown old together and still seemed to be very much in love.

Discovering Old Memories

There is such pleasure in organizing things. I always feel like I am clearing some clutter and organizing things in my head along with the things I am organizing around me. By the end of the entire exercise, I feel at peace and satisfied. Another beauty of organizing, finding out things that are buried somewhere – maybe in dust or maybe under some pile of books.

Yesterday, while organizing, I found a book called “Simple Ways To Manage Stress“, which was passed on to me by my dad. Looking at its green and blue cover, I was transported back to the day when I was maybe 10-12 year old:
It was a hot summer day. My summer vacations were going on. That evening, dad had handed me some A4 sheets along the book and marked couple of pages that had some pictures. I was supposed to draw and color  those pictures in the sheets that he had given me.

I remember drawing a farmer with birds over his head and a conversation bubble over his head. There were some more similar simple pictures that I don’t remember right now. All that I remember is that I was having fun drawing them and then coloring them with my precious rainbow color pen set (I still have them. In working condition 😀 ).

He later told me that they were for his presentation at office and that his audience had understood the presentation better and interacted during the session because of the pictures that I drew. I do not know how he presented it in the conference room without using a laptop and a projector (I will ask him, once I finish this post), but when he told that, I felt so proud and pleased that I could help dad out with his work. Remembering this, made me happy.

Simple pleasures and simplest of acknowledgement were all that I needed when I was a kid. Reflecting on the memory, I feel it is still the same, even when I am all grown up. I still thrive on the simplest of pleasures and simplest of acknowledgement from the people that I love and care about. This is what that still makes happy.

Relationships might not be easy. I might not have lot of experience in this area. But looking back at this memory, I realized one basic thing – Acknowledge the person and the person’s efforts for you. Respect each other. Love without any boundaries or limitations. Elementary things. Simplest of simple things. But these are the things that matters the most.To me, to you and to everyone! This is what makes us all happy.

I still do not have the answer to “What is happiness?” but now, I can feel and understand what makes me happy. Must focus on it. Like Charles Bukowsi said, I must keep finding things that I love and let it kill me.
—..

Listen

Listen to yourself, even when people around you keep saying nay to the thing that you want to do.

Listen to them, if you do not want to hurt them. But, do what you wanted to do anyway.

Stand up to your fears and face them. Not many have the courage to listen to themselves and carry out things as they had exactly planned. Do not let anyone put across their reasons as to why you shouldn’t do it. If you feel strongly about it – that you should do it, do it.

There will be consequences to your actions, but do not worry about it now. Do not worry about how the consequence will turn out. Do what you have been planning to do. Because, once you go through what you have planned, it will set you free. You will feel light and peaceful.

Why am I saying this? Because, today is the day, I set myself free. I listened to myself and summed up my courage to take the step to do what I want. I did what I wanted.

I did it.

One step at a time.
—..

My Temporary Roomy

Her legs are folded sideways, with a file resting on her lap for the lack of board around, she stares at her notes and then furiously starts writing in her notepad. Then looks up at me with a serenity that I did not believe existed when I start any random topic, which would slowly steer towards psychology of a child. That is her passion. Her children. She is selfish enough to make sure she is living her dreams too by taking right step for her children.

Talking to her today, restored my faith in my thoughts. My thoughts are too mature for my age, but then they are my beautiful thoughts. My thoughts that would want to define my life. My thoughts which would define a purpose for my life. My thoughts which give a meaning to what I do. My thoughts which are eventually my actions. My actions have purpose, reason and are not aimless. My actions are beautiful and planned. My actions are patient and is rightly rewarded.

You would say, “What is the point anyways? To anything you would do.” But then hell, why not? Why shouldn’t it mean something? That is why it makes us human in first place. My thoughts are what makes what is me, me in the first place. Why would you want to stop that? Why would you want to tag an idea as “you are worrying too much? If what are you are doing now, is going to be pointless in any and every point of your life, why are you wasting your energy by investing your time in it? Why don’t you walk ahead?

Passion and pleasure. That is it. Passionate in whatever you do and taking enormous amount of pleasure out of it. That is life. A beautiful life. Doing what you love to do. I used to wonder if I should keep my passion apart from my work so that when I turn back to it, it will be like my fun paradise that I would want to visit when I am saturated. Now, I would rather be in my paradise always. I rather love what I do, rather than keep it waiting till I get time to touch it.

Life has a purpose. It has to have a meaning. My birth has a purpose. I am here to do something significant enough to make some impact if not on the whole world, at least a small world around me. But there has tobe an impact, there has to be an difference here, because of me. I want to be a change.

Walking ahead with an aim and a goal is anytime better than wandering aimlessly. Walking aimlessly is like insulting time. Time is very precious and very scarce. Why would you insult it? There is no forever, literally. You may as well simply enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Nothing summarizes what I am trying to say best about time and life than these few lines from a Ghazal:

“Waqkt ki quaid mein, zindagi hai magar
Waqkt ki quaid mein, zindagi hai magar
Chand ghadiyan yehi hai jo azaad hai
Chand ghadiyan yehi hai jo azaad hai
Inko khokar meri, jane jaa
Umr bhar na taraste raho..”
—..

P.S.: You will never read this, but thank you Mamta.
You were the first point of butterfly effect in my day (after a long time) today for the rest of my life.

P.P.S: A very happy new year, my beautiful lovelies 🙂
Small heart bubbles for you 😛
Too cheesy? 😀

My Ultimate Fling

What is life, if there is no risk?
What is life, if there is no adventure?
What is life, if there is no challenge?
What is life, if there is no passion?
What is life, if there is no curiosity?
What is life, if there is no moment of euphoria?
What is life, if you preserve your heart in a casket?
What is life, if you have not stopped to smell the flowers?
What is life, if you refuse to taste it at all?
—..

My Big Jump

One sunny morning, deep inside a forest, I find myself walking wherever my legs can carry me; until I reach the edge of a steep cliff. I turn around and see a beautiful meadow, with its tall green blades of grass and beautiful red poppies swaying softly to the warm breeze. I turn around to face the sky with a hint of smile breaking on my lips.

I take a step closer to the edge of the cliff with my arms wide open, breathing in the fresh air, letting the sun kiss my cheeks and the soft breeze ruffle my hair across my face. As I brace my legs to leap into the light air for my first big jump, I feel a hand with iron grip, clasp around my wrist and pull me back. I stumble and throw my hands out to break the fall. I look up to find your unsmiling face. Your lips finally move and softly whisper into my ear as you pull me off the ground, “Not yet. Just not yet.” Rest of the moment was a blur with the vivid image of your back fading away from my vision, leaving me gasping for air.

After what seemed like an eternity, I turn around again, facing the vast infinity of beautiful risks across the cliff, wondering what lies ahead. I hear your voice soothe into my senses again, “You belong here, with me.” My silence is an offence. With a soft voice you ask, “Don’t you?” I shake my head and break free from your clasp and make my big jump. I hear the wind gush into my ear.

Right now, my wings are as big as my strength. With my big jump, I now have the power to steer it in the direction I would like to glide. Just hope, the wind blows just right.
—..