I have always been in love with Gulzar. I'm always amazed at his wonderful ability to put down feelings in words.This song from the movie Khushboo is one of the most beautiful soulful songs in Hindi films.
It has been raining again, in fact, it rained all night. This morning while looking out of the window I spied my neighbor (a woman from Jordan) shouting at her four year old daughter for standing out in the rain. The child, oblivious to her mother’s irritation stood in the rain blowing soap bubbles and laughing as she watched those bubbles floating away. I watched her in fascination, rooted to the window…remembering this forgotten childhood activity and wondering when and where I had lost that childlike joy in life…the art of finding happiness in small and insignificant things in life.
A dam of childhood memories burst open, drenching me through and through.
I remembered floating paper boats in water puddles after a heavy rain.
I remembered climbing the tree outside the school premises in Port Moresby. Clinging to the branches, hiding up above while people passed by below.
I remembered wanting to be like Nancy Drew and observing people around me to improve my detective skills…!!
I remembered looking for small flat stones to skip on water ponds and betting with my brother on whose stone would skip three to four times over the water.
And amidst all those memories, I wondered..Why had I forgotten those small joys ? Why had I allowed myself to believe that they would never return ??
I have decided to go out in the rain next time it rains. To feel the rain on my face. To once again float a paper boat in the next puddle I see.
"Raindrops Taste Like Tears Without the Pain" – Queensryche Band
It’s raining today. Here in Salalah, the people call this the “Khareef Season”. I love the rain more than any kind of weather. The sound of those raindrops against the window is one of the most soothing sounds in the world. I love the smell of rain and the wet sand. It’s so utterly refreshing and renewing. The city looks cleaner somehow, as if it has been washed off..taking away all the negativity that surrounds it’s daily life.
I sit by the window looking out…with a cup of tea in my hands, while a Faiz Ahmed Faiz ghazal sung by Mehdi Hassan plays softly in the room..
” Gulon mein rang bhare baad-e-naubahaar chale
Chale bhi aao ke gulshan ka kaarobaar chale…”
The wind makes the raindrops swirl in this direction and that..Like notes of music floating around echoing the symphony of nature. I am totally in sync with the rain…I feel its emotions…and I become the rain.
Once again I’m in the process of packing my bags and shifting. It has become the norm of my life. So many cities, such different cultures, different values. Every city has made me learn new things while I had to unlearn others. I created a “Home” in every city that I lived in. Every time I shifted I left behind a part of me in that city. Sometimes I wonder, if I keep living this nomadic life, will I one day have anything left in me to leave behind ?
Often I’m homesick and look forward to my short visits to my hometown, and yet, whenever I visit my hometown, home no longer feels like home. The city has changed, the people have changed and the visits leave me disoriented. The city that I once knew, now resides just in my memories…and I’m left asking myself what I was homesick for.
I guess homesickness and nostalgia for me is more related to the relationships I share with people and certain incidents and time periods in my past, rather than location. I have created so many “homes” and I have so many memories, and yet, I truly have no fixed place I can call home and it leaves me wondering…can a person actually be homesick when one has no fixed address one can call home ??
I have always been a great fan of Ayn Rand. Her books – “Atlas Shrugged” and “Fountainhead” have been my favorites.
I have noticed that knowingly or unknowingly, I always end up comparing most people I come across in life to the characters of Fountainhead. And it’s amazing how I find so many people similar to Peter Keating. The kind of people who take credit for other’s hard work and who are more worried about seeking approval of others instead of developing their own mind who will do anything to please others in order to gain wealth and prestige.
Occasionally, I come across the Ellsworth Toohey types. The type who lust for power and despise the achievements of others, dedicating their life in degrading other people’s talents and ambitions.
There are hardly any Howard Roarks left. The kind who have strong character and who never deviate from their principles or compromise on what they feel is right.
I once thought I had glimpsed a Howard Roark but I guess I was wrong. I have still to meet a Howard Roark.
Living in a foreign country alone, away from your near and dear ones does that to you. However much you try to mix in, you remain an outsider. The strange language becomes a barrier, the different religion becomes a barrier, and yes, your own insecurities become a barrier too.
I crave the familiarity of my own people. The constant chatter that surrounded me, be it at home, or at the markets while shopping. I would visit the local store for bread, milk, butter etc and would be greeted with “ Kesi ho beti ? Ghar pe sab kese hain ?”.
The shop owners would not only know my dad, but my grandpa too. Mine was a small town. Everyone knew everyone it seemed. Loud music blared from the radios. The bhaaji-walas shouting out loudly selling their vegetables from hand carts. Women bargaining and arguing, all in good spirit. These were comforting sounds. I would feel at home. I would feel safe and loved.
There are no small shops here, nor are there vendors pushing hand carts. People here go to big centrally cooled malls to buy even the smallest of things. Rows upon rows of goods displayed on shelves. A different shelf for different item. You do not have to ask anyone where something would be, there are sign posts telling you what lies in which section. People here do not interact asking you how you are. They stroll about in a hushed silence with glazed hypnotized expressions, eyes fixed on the goods. The people at the payment counters go about their work mechanically; their eyes blank, resembling robots. Once I had overheard a couple talking softly in Hindi while they crossed me and my instant reaction had been to run after them, to say “I’m Indian too. Did you not see me? Do you too long for India? Do you too have a family back home that you miss terribly? Do you also tell your family that you are “fine” and cry softly to yourself when no one is looking?” Yet I had simply stood glued to my spot staring at them until they turned a corner and disappeared from my sight.
It sometimes amazes me when relatives back home tell me in envious tones what a lucky person I am to be staying abroad. Lucky? Is that how they define loneliness these days?
My highlight of the day is the return of my husband from his work place. His “kya kiya saara din? Phone aaya koi India se?” and his chatter about his colleagues, his work. His welcome voice finally making cracks in the silence that surrounds me. The familiarity of my language greets me, lifting the fog of loneliness that surrounds me in his absence. His complementing me on the food reassures me. The smell of the Indian spices and desi ghee and curry envelope me lovingly, transporting me back in time to Ma’s kitchen and her incessant fussing over me. I finally feel at home, until the next day, when the silence descends on me once again.
I have been awarded the Liebster award by Niranjan. Thank you !!
About Liebster in brief:
The Liebster Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
Go to their page and tell them about the award.
No tag backs.
Here are the 11 random somethings about me :
I love sketching
I love the smell of rain
I tend to be a jack-of-all-trades, master of none
I always set my alarm at weird times (e.g., 5:23 am or 5:47 am)
I love puns and clever jokes and plays on words
I have a deep rooted fear of darkness and hence I avoid visiting caves etc
I dislike parties
Books are not just “books” to me. They are conversations, places, pages, smells, looks etc. etc. I have never read an e-book
I sing constantly
I’ve been told for most of my life that I’m too sensitive
Cooking is my passion
Questions from Niranjan:
Q. Describe yourself in one word.
Q. Why do you blog?
A. I blog and write to give coherence to my thoughts.
Q. What is the difference between a blog and a personal diary?
A. Blogs are online diaries. You can decorate the pages with different fonts, designs, colours etc. while personal diaries are traditional bound, handwritten thoughts.
Q. What do you want to change?
A. What do I want to change? I once read somewhere that if you want to change anything in your life you need to do the following: change what you’re doing or change your attitude. I guess I want to try that out and change myself.
Q. What do you like the most?
A. Mentally stimulating conversations.
Q. What would you prefer at any time in your life, love or money and why?
A. Love. Love can see you through the good and the bad times...I dunno if I could say that for money..
Q. What is your weakness?
A. I have many but if I had to choose, I would say it is my extreme need for organization, as sometimes it upsets others around me.
Q. Who is your role model and why?
A. My dad is my role model. He has always been a pillar of strength for me and I love him for being there for me through every single step of hardship that I've ever dealt with.
Q. Are you spiritual or religious or none?
A. I am deeply spiritual AND religious.
Q. What is your goal?
A. To travel and experience all that I can..to die with no regrets.
Q. If God asked you three wishes, what would they be?
A. That's a tough one..let me just quote Mirza Ghali here..."Hazaron khwaishen esi ki har khwaish pe dam nikle..bahut nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhi kam nikle.." :)
Now by the terms of the Liebster Award, here I name my 11 fellow bloggers followed by the 11 questions for them.
The lone bench in the park has been my constant companion. I have spent hours sitting there just enjoying the peace, the scenery and the activity around me. The kids throwing a Frisbee, the woman walking her dog, the senior couple walking along the path holding hands, and the old man who sits there smiling and greeting all those who pass by him.
It was here in this park that I saw you sitting in a corner . Maybe the fact that you were not a regular here was what had made me notice you, or maybe it was the fact that you were sitting there with a notebook and pen, oblivious of the activity around you, staring at the blank page, that had made me curious.
You kept staring at the blank page. At times you would pick up the pen and hold it above the page but not write anything. At times you would look around in desperation, running a hand through your hair in frustration. It was then that we both noticed the bird sitting across you and staring at you. I saw the smile and a look of tenderness on your face. I could feel the sudden excitement in you. You picked up the pen and started writing furiously. Time and again you would look at the bird and write more. Suddenly, the bird flew. You looked at it flying away in despair. A look of pure desolation on your face.
You picked up your pen once again to write but after just a word or two you stopped. The anguish apparent. Once again the frustration crept back on your face . Finally, you gave up. You closed the notebook, got up and left.
I have been closely following the IPL/BCCI/Match-fixing/Betting saga. Fact is, the more I learn about the IPL the more I hate it. As for the BCCI, Its rotten through and through. But amidst all this was the news coverage on the Times Now News Channel.
I confess I am an ardent fan of yours and I love your way of asking direct questions and voicing your opinions (and I am a News Hour addict) but I must say I was worried at times and I prayed that Mr. N. Srinivasan would resign for your sake if not for the sake of cricket or the millions of fans expectation of it.
It got to a point where I had horrific images of you breaking things in the studio in anger. There were times when you pushed up your coat sleeves and loosened the tie and I worried if you planned to undo the tie and strangle or punch the pro BCCI guests but thankfully that did not happen (maybe it was wishful thinking on my part :D)
There are certain people who claim that you are opinionated without knowing facts, or that mature journalism is about objectivity and blah blah blah,,my advise to them - chill, go take a walk, no one asked to watch this news channel ! Fact is, most people don’t have the guts to have an opinion and stand for it but you do that and in full public view. I admire you for it and hence I request you..please please please..get a grip on that rage and anger. We need you around to control those pathetic politicians who hardly ever attend a parliament session but never miss a chance to be on national television..even if it is to be humiliated and exposed.
The Internet has affected our daily lives and the way we communicate with each other dramatically. Why am I blogging about this you ask ? Well, It all started with Yahoo Chats (remember those chat rooms, random chats and weird Ids like hot_hunk, sadhu_in_jeans etc etc).
Yahoo chats had people addicted to them for years (yes yes I confess to being a part of that scene too, though I swear I never had an Id like that) and people were dependent on the emoticons to express or convey their feelings. But all that is in the past now. Yahoo has long back shut down the chat rooms and most people have gotten over the addiction of staring at their computer screens for hours and hours ( yes we’re now addicted to blogging, posting, voting and promoting posts…hehe)
Though we have got over the chats, what simply does NOT go away from our minds are the emoticons. A friend recently confessed that not just on text…she has to make an effort not to make her face go :O when she’s surprised or :)) when she finds something amusing.
And it’s not just the emoticons, we have still not gotten over the ROFLs and the LOLs ! How many of you are affected by these ? How many of you use acronyms/emoticons in your writing ? Do you find yourself
writing ";-)" or web acronyms when using pen and paper ? Own up people ! I’d love to know your thoughts !