Drop the struggle and dance with life!

Feb 21, 2010

A state of mind.

Is happiness akin to destination? With some planning, preparation and piloting, with right words and gestures, with a little bit of providence and good weather, one hopes to arrive at Happiness.

But my dad says happiness is not a destination or even a journey. It's a state of mind. It's how you feel at that given moment. Why be in a gray, blue or black mood when you could be listening to a song or treating your taste buds, he asks me. It sounds more like mechanics- A twist here, a nudge there and you reset your mood. Aren't emotions supposed to be spontaneous? Something that bursts from within you naturally and is not contrived?

He was not talking about putting on a phony smile or masquerading a joyous disposition when you are feeling like crap (Pardon me, but it had to be said). Worrying, wallowing in guilt or withering in anger has never done an iota of good in alleviating the situation.

But since we are fortunate enough to live in a society, our needs and feeling come last. We pretend to be happy for our guests, boss, child or any other myriad number of people we meet. Because a smile is so conspicuous by it's absence and is always remarked upon by those near and dear, we put in so much effort into appearing happy.

Why can't we do this simple courtesy for ourselves? Be selfish I say!

How, you ask me. I asked him the same thing. How do you drive? How do you get up and persist to work everyday? Determination? Control? Obligation? Whatever it is, it's the same principle here. Make yourself happy. You wouldn't watch a bad movie or read a boring blog, then why would you foster a grumbling grouch on yourself and bear it's company, even if it is yourself?!

I'm a eternal optimist, an endless dreamer and a perpetual fool. I used have this rule of making five people smile per day when I was a teenager. I have, since then, expanded my horizon. I take a shot at making everyone I meet laugh, with the tenacity of a bull-dog. None must leave my vicinity without a smile on their face. Even if my jokes may fall flat and are timed badly, no one can fault me for lack of efforts!

Ah... The fact is, I sulk, snarl, snipe and sniff, just like everyone else. The difference is that I try hard, really hard, to experience it only once. I restrain myself from reliving the pain.

You don't waddle into muck with your eyes open (o.k., I do!) but it happens. When it does, you try to get yourself out of the puddle immediately, brush your cloths or wash or do whatever is necessary to clean up. Same here. Feel bad, but try to feel better - after all it's in your best interest.

PS: I'm not categorizing grief and fear with 'muck'. The feelings may be same, but the intensity is incomprehensible.

Feb 15, 2010

Those that were and will never be.

When was the last time I ran?

Let's see....
There was mad dash, slight shove, and yet more dash towards the empty seats on the train to NYC in November.

Then there was the 'control-the-cart-where-is-the-product?-there-it-is' Christmas sale marathon.

And the huffing and puffing like a choo-choo train on the treadmill everyday, even though the speed is set for a leisurely stroll; Thanking God that no one is here to witness my humiliation.

Not to mention the frequent, slightly awful, yet trying to be graceful, jog towards the spouse/child/friends awaiting me on the other end from where ever I am.

But some how, none are fun.

The best kinds of Runs are those that were and never will be.

The kind, where I run after swiping toe-curlingly unripe mangoes from my neighbor’s back-yard, balancing them in my skirts. Ignoring mom, who precariously hangs over the compound wall, yelling about under-pants and promising a good thrashing. All the while squealing like a duck, while the dhoti clad aaiya yells about naughty thieves and devil-spawns and flourishes his walking stick like a Force FX Lightsaber.

The kind, where your mom and dad pursue you with a bowl full of warm naala ennai (sesame oil), spiced with stinky and rough things like garlic and pepper. The impromptu crazy hip-hop waltz around the living room furniture as I try to evade them. I’m positively delighted by the irony - The oil I’m desperately trying to dodge, is funnily aiding me by being slippery when my dad grabs me. All the while squealing like a duck while mom yells about staining her embroidery on the sofa cover and ruining the freshly mopped floor.

The kind, where the cousin brother I despise is chasing me with scissors/ gulal /groom's photo, depending on what I have done to him. All the while squealing like a duck, while he threatens to seek revenge on me for teasing about his new mush/ ruining his shirt/ asking about his GF.

I haven't run like that in a long time.

Ah, the terror and urgency of being a child. And the freedom and the will to squeal like a duck.

Feb 10, 2010

Thank God for small favors!

Conversation between Him and me.

Setting: Living room couch.
Mood: Puri drooling over Saif, Him on a break from work.
Time: When Puri's watching Parineeta movie.

(Adjusting his glasses perched on his nose)
Him: "Why is he pushing her away?"
Puri: "Uh?" (Still drooling)
Him: "That guy? Pushing her away?"(Insistently tapping her shoulders)
Puri: "They are married, but he doesn't think so." (Not taking her eyes off the screen)
Him: "What?!" (Pondering whether he can claim that he isn't married to Puri)
Puri: "They married in a mock ceremony." (Wishing her's was)
Him: "Who?" (Contemplating settling next to Puri on couch)
Puri: "Shekar and her." (Nodding towards the screen and surreptitiously scooting towards the vacant space and trying to look as sprawled out as possible)
Him: "Who?!" (Nodding towards the screen, trying to grab a few popcorns)
Puri: "Shekar." (More interested in rescuing her popcorns)
Him: "No, no, who 'her'?"
Puri: "Oh, uh... That one, Lolita." (pointing to the screen)

(Him disappears to logon to work again. And pesteringly comes back in an hour)

Him: "Who is that?"
(Eying the couch)
Puri: "Girish." (Rolling her eyes)
Him: "Who is that?!" (Rolling his eyes)
Puri: "Lolita's fiancee." (Afraid of rolling her eyes as they might go into an endless spiral)
Him: "Isn't she married?" (Eying the now-empty popcorn bowl)
Puri: "Yeah." (Smirking at victorious demolish-ment of popcorns)
Him: "Then why is she..." (Sighing as his comp pings)
Puri: "Lolita believes they are married." (Positively smug at the thought of peaceful view time)
Him: "To Girish?!" (Eying his office room)
Puri: "To Shekar. But no one know this." (Replying to Him, eying the screen for Saif's appearance)

(Him goes away and returns another hour later to see Girish taking some sense into Shekar and declaring that he is married)

Him: (Pointing to the screen)"Girish is married?" (Rubbing his head)
Puri: "Yeah." (Smacking his head, in her mind)
Him: "But Lolita was already married to Shekar!"
Puri: "No, no, Girish is married to Koyal, Lolita's cousin."
Him: "Who's marriage is this?" (Sighing, settling)
Puri: "Shekar's." (Feeling bad, but still wants to watch in peace)
Him: "He is finally marrying Lolita?" (Closing his eyes)
Puri: "No, he is marrying Gayatri." (Distracted, feeling bad about the ending )
Him: "But he is married!" (Eyes wide open)
Puri: "That was a mock ceremony, he doesn't consider it binding." (Watching in suspense as married and estranged hero and heroine meet after a long time. Biting her nails, on the edge of her seat)
Him: "Then why did Lolita refuse Girish?" (He should receive an award for persistence)
Puri: "Because she loves Shekar." (Softly sniffing)
Him: "When he loves her, Why did Girish marry..."
Puri: "...Koyal.. because Koyal loves him."
Him: "Bu..."
(At which point Puri rudely places her palm over his mouth, cutting off the annoying questions and wonders why she so desperately desires and begs Him to talk to her. Turns out, He can be really annoying once He starts talking. And then, she also remembers to thank God that He is Tall, Dark and blessedly Silent!)

PS: In case you are wondering, that 'Him' is my husband. Name withheld upon request.

Update: Puri forced Him to watch the whole movie, sans songs.

Feb 6, 2010

Child talk = Mom blushing

It's wonderful to 'ooh' and 'aah' over babies. The ratio of cuteness is inversely proportionate to their age - the older they are the less 'oohing' and 'aahing'.

I have discovered why today.

As you all know, my social calender is busy over the weekdays with Chini and me; and over weekends with Arun, Chini and me.

I always assumed my child loves playing with other kids, discovering new toys, relishing tasty food and visiting new places.

Sadly, I did not realize how, and how much all this affected her.

We were at a over night poker party at a friend's place. After breakfast in the morn, the following conversation took place.

Me: 'Come on Shri, eat. We have to go home'
Chini:'Whose home mommy?'

And a second later, as everyone burst into laughter, it struck me what she had asked.

This has to be funny. If it isn't funny, then it's tragic.

And this, in turn, brings me to the conclusion that as babies grow older, they start thinking. But they have not yet learnt the social norms and conversation don'ts. Thus, with least encouragement, ample enthusiasm and lack of discretion, they come up with toe-cringing truthiness to the adult's utter mortification.

Who, in the above case, was me.

BTW, truthiness is not a real word, in case you decide to use it.