Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Love, Life, Happiness... = Happy Nest

I’ve often wondered about these; more often than anybody would like to believe. Once I got drunk at a friend’s place and quite seriously asked her to define love. While the incident was quite funny, the answer to this question is extremely important. There isn’t one definition that we can attach to love as love is not a principle of physics or chemistry. Love is as abstract as anything can get. And yet it is the defining moment in everybody’s life.

Love… It could be for anything or anyone around us. One could love a dog, a hobby, nature, an activity or a person. Love does not amount to possession. Love is like a nurturing soil that does not transform you but gives your soul enough food to grow taller and stronger. Love is, in fact, the essence of one’s being.

Today when I see my kid sister all grown and ready to step into youth, I think about the heart-breaks that await her around the corner, that are a part of growing up. These heart-breaks are inevitable just as growing up is and yet these are the heart-breaks that would give her enough wisdom to appreciate love, when that happens.

I see around, infinite examples of people living love with those who try to change their being. Who want to see a reflection of what they think is perfect in their partners and this struggle becomes an endless loop. So blinding is the initial glow of love that we fail to realize that what we are seeing is not what the other person is but, what we really want to see. And by the time we do realize, it’s too late for many.

People either go for a complete antithesis justifying the theory of magnetism only to discover revulsion at a later stage when all the Oxytocin has worn off. Or they find admiration in the extreme similarities that they share with another person only to realize that those were at a superficial level and that at the core they so different a personality that they stifle each other’s being.

The nurturing soil of love does not call for a code of conduct as the conduct comes naturally when there is compatibility at molecular level. The two people involved could appear as different as a night club and a Church on the surface but the inner architecture of their souls, the constitution of their existence just fits into one another. And such is the chemistry that they share that one could not tell them apart if one had to, for that is how they blend.

They blend not to lose their identity as some might mistake, but they blend to enhance each other’s identity to make better souls out of one another. All this, although, runs at a granular level where none of them is dictating terms to each other and none of them tries to bring about a “compromise”. This blending is so effortless and so flawless by its very nature that the outcome looks as if it was always meant to be this way.

This doesn’t mean that one has to look for a perfect partner. A perfect partner would be like God. And who can live with God! Perfection in a relationship comes with the blend that we create, together. Imagine a house absolutely perfect…perfect walls, perfect d├ęcor, perfect upholstery… Such a house could not be a home for the owners, pets or guests. Such a house could become a sample for perfect pictures in magazines but not a home. For home is where the furniture is slightly dented, where there are a few mismatched pieces of cutlery, where the pillow cases do not always match bed sheets, where the walls get scratches soon after whitewash no-matter-what.

Perfection is something to be achieved together. It doesn’t come from visiting exotic places or fine dining or fancy cars. It comes from sharing our sub-conscious thoughts openly, without the fear of being judged. It comes from letting our demons free and accepting each other’s demons at the same time. And this perfection does not come with insecurities; it comes with an instinct that you wouldn’t be betrayed.

It’s not about living love but loving life… That is when we can experience happiness and that is when we take the first step towards building a happy nest.

Friday, September 11, 2015

A tribute to single-mothers

Single mothers… The term single motherhood inspired an unprecedented kind of awe in me and always made me think on the lines of independence and power. Not just single mothers, fatherhood too, had an inspiring role to play in my life. I endeavored to become like my father. To express myself like him, to become an all rounder like him and inspire my kids like him. As a child, my favourite game used to be role-play, where I'd become papa and mumma and enact different situations.

When I turned 21, I told my school friend that I can now become a father. “Ab main baap ban sakta hun,” were my words to him. As destiny would have it, I became a father a year back. A year back, began a journey that I had never anticipated as, like all kids, I always took my father’s presence for granted. And in the last few weeks I eventually learnt about single-motherhood as well. That, because once again like all kids, I took my mother’s presence for granted.

It so happened that my mother, sister and dog fell ill at the same time, two of them suffering viral fever and the other with preliminary symptoms of dengue. What followed was a stressful period of nursing them and managing (read mismanaging) work. While on one hand the patients in the house needed proper meals. On the other, my work place expected my presence as my role calls for it to drive the business.

Given the circumstances, I did take leave of absence to be able to do the chores and run all the errands unhindered. But one cannot completely disconnect from the job that provides for you. Thus began a part-hilarious, part-frustrating roller-coaster ride that had me taking calls about where I have stored a certain file in shared folder while trying to buy a papaya plant at a nearby nursery. The plant chose not to survive… So, the next time I decided to visit that nursery to buy papaya leaves, I tripped on the pavement and almost nosedived into the shallow cliff where it is located. When my mom kept instructing me through her delirious fever to switch off all the lights before sleeping, and my dog decided to go on a barking fit just when I was about to sleep each night.

Looking at the recovering faces was enough to energize me and keep me going. Every morning I gathered myself and got into action as there wasn’t any time to sit back and think. This period also gave me a tad bit of time to discover that my mobile phone has a Hindi keyboard that supports Devnagri script.

But, this did show me the other side of the story, too. I experienced what my mother does as a single-mother and what every single-mother on this planet does every single day. Those seven days seemed never ending with the days starting at 6 in the morning and going on till post-midnight. Each day had me stepping out of the house at least five times and each day had me saluting all mothers who go through this without a wince.

And also, fatherhood… Men are always expected to be strong, to bear it all and never utter an expression of pain. To provide for the family, always appear energetic and look interested in the household trivia. To do what is expected of them and never to think of their own wishes or desires, wants or needs. Think of a person who goes through this entire cycle and is not even allowed to shed tears!

The last one week taught me that, I too, cannot afford to shed tears. The last week humbled me as nothing else could. The last week added a bit more to my ever-inspiring awe for single-mothers and fathers - It’s called respect!

#MeToo Campaign and I

The last week found all of social media flooding with the #MeToo campaign. The campaign that was sparked by the Harvey Weinstein allegatio...