Lessons from a movie

The lesson is this: it never is anyone’s (or the person’s) fault for not treating you with respect. Nor that ‘good’ friend’s fault who is being sleazy with you and then yells at you with indignation saying, “it was a joke!” It’s not that person’s fault either for not giving you the time from his/her life. It’s not their fault for treating you, the way you are being right now.

It’s yours. It was mine.

Why?

Because, you (and I) let them. You let them talk to like that, because you thought it’s fine and allowed them to. You let them talk/treat you like that because you wanted to please them and not cause any conflicts. You didn’t respect your own time and then expecte others to respect yours? I did too.

The thing is this: What have you done to make it stop? Have you first treated yourself right? Have you spoken your mind, without of course hurting the receivers’ sentiments? Have you stood your ground, with your beliefs, without wondering if this will break the relationship?

Let’s do that first: Treat ourselves right. Then let’s see if things change.

The movie by the way was a Marathi movie called, “Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy“. Overdone, but with a great, great lesson: You don’t demand respect. You earn it.

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Intensive Care Unit

White lab coat hung loosely over her navy blue scrubs. That was her superhero suit hidden behind her civil wear.

It was after midnight and she was needed. The stethoscope hung around her neck as she ran to tend to her patient. Her white coat almost fluttered like a cape behind her.

“What is sleep?” She wondered as she tried resusitated a failing man’s heart at the wee hours of the morning. But his sickness over came him and the man in black took him away, without a second glance at the woman sitting in white with her hands on his heart.

She quickly got up. Accepted. Took the next steps and tended to the next patient in need.

Time passed by. She didn’t realise. And just like that, it was the end of her shift. It was time to take off her white coat, get back in her civil wear.

Breathe. She could finally breathe.

She fought against death. She saw death. Every day. Yet, she walked back home. Pulled her 3 year old in her arms and celebrated life.

Such is the circle of life.

The Strain

It didn’t work out. You put yourself out there, got out of your bubble and took a chance. It still didn’t work out.

There will be a lit bit of tightness in your chest. Find it difficult to breathe when you think of it again and again: That it didn’t work out. That you’ll have to do it all over again.

“Failed”, you’ll think.

But, so what?

Feel sad for a while. That’s ok. Like John Green said, “Pain demands to be felt!”

But stay in there. Don’t do anything hasty. Feel it for a while.

Then pick yourself up, get back in control and start all over again.

Remember that small window when you put yourself out there? The window that reminded you of how beautiful life can be? Hold on to that. Fight for that.

Live for that window.

It’s not over yet.

Actions Instead of Words

Sometimes you don’t tell, just do.

An act of love.

A decision in action, silently taken.

Maybe an impulsive one. Maybe out of deep hurt. Maybe out of kindness. Maybe because you’re biting back words, so as to not scar another human. Maybe out of a silent protest. Maybe out of passion.

So, sometimes, you don’t tell, just take actions. At times they are louder than words. If not, at times they serve better than words.

Silent action.

Silence at times speaks the loudest.

The Devil’s Handshake

Easy way out at times, rather most of the times, is deceiving. It might seem shorter. It would also appear to provide a respite, because would seem to be very convenient. Very, very alluring to jump on it when that bus stops in front of you and imagine all the lighter days ahead.

Untill you take it.

Most of the times, it will leave you with a broken back and an irritated soul.

Yet, at times you would hesitate to let the easy way go. Even if it’s the right thing to do.

Let go.

Better to walk down the hard path with a satisfying journey than shake hands with the devil.

Embracing “Noise”

The “noise”, as I called, bothered me. It was chaotic in my house. Bedtime was the time where “peace”, as I called it, was cherished.

Silence and calm was much craved for.

One day, I got what I wished for: A full day and half of silence and calm.

But after an hour, it was unbearable. It felt empty and hollow. I had thrived in this particular chaos, I realised. The one or two hour of silence before bedtime was perfect and enough to recharge.

I realised: I missed the life in my house, that thing that I had once called noise and chaos.

What good was the peace without family and their voices and TV channels booming in the home? What’s anything without their existence?

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.

The Face in the Mirror

One dark room. Faint shimmer of white light falls in the room. Bright enough to make out the faint silhouette of the things in the room. At the left corner, there is a mirror hanging on the wall.

I stood in front of that mirror, in the almost darkness. I could see my silhouette. My hair. The faint shape of my face. I could see it. But, I couldn’t see my eyes, my lips or anything that defined my face.

Blank.

Have you ever stood in front of a mirror like that and wondered when all your features are wiped clean, what would be your identity? Would a description of ‘what makes you’ by a trusted friend satisfy you? Would the shape of your eyes or the plumpness of your lips define you?

I found myself standing in front of the dark mirror longer than I should. Trying to squint my eyes and see if I can still see something. Maybe a ghostly shape? At least a faint sketch of my eyes.

Nothing.

I wondered, why did it matter so much?

Then I asked myself, “Who is she?”

The defined face in the light or the silhouette trying to discover and define herself in the dark?

I walked away with no answer.

The uncertainty still remains. And I’m learning to be ok with not knowing right away.

The Friend Who Cared

He had met with an accident recently. He had hit his head. It was so severe that he had no recollection, not even of the accident. A month’s worth of memories was blank to him.

I had met him at my workplace. I liked his simplicity and naivety, his innocent approach to the world and the strong hope he bore and carried in his heart about humanity and his trust in them. It was refreshing to see it and let hope take birth in me: A sense of wanting to trust.

His head injury had taken a toll on him. I couldn’t meet him. Rather, I didn’t want to meet him. I wasn’t sure I could see any human in that state.

Then, one day he messaged. A wonderful surprise. I didn’t think he even had the mindshare to tell me his story of what happened that fateful evening. But he did. Ugly truth and all. He opened up, kept his heart out on the table and bared it all. I was at loss of words.

He messaged me again today. To tell me his success towards recovery. Mentality, emotionally and physically. He even told me he is catching his fears by its horns and marching forward. He’s taking his time, but there he was. Ready.

Now, we aren’t close friends. We are just friends. Who smile, wave and wish each other at work. Maybe have small talks now and then. But not close enough to have this conversation. If I were in his place I would have thought millions and millions of times before I wrote an open heart message. When he told about himself, he sounded a bit like me. Yet, he did take this step, which I wouldn’t.

One would wonder, “Why the heck is he telling me this?”

Some would think, “Wow. This man is strong.”

Some would genuinely wish him well.

Some wouldn’t give two hoots about it.

Yet, he got out of his comfort zone and he shared. All his vulnerability exposed. I know the effort and courage he would have mustered.

He was that friend who cared enough to share. Cared enough not to care what me or others would think of his message.

He cared enough to trust me and share a part of his life with me.

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.