Monthly Archives: June 2010

Will Somebody give me a Good Morning!!


Opening my eyes with the rising sun, vision searching for the Ganeshji poster on the wall…I pray to God to give me a Good Day…a 24 hours that are fresh and new.… specifically  a Good Morning…because a Good Morning heralds a good day…

A couple of ‘good mornings’ go over the phone….the numbers just rise and fall like a sine wave…But I just don’t want those words on the line…those voices over the Nokia 3600 I own …remind me ceaselessly “ You are precisely 36 hrs away from a place called home…”

The rest of the things fall in place mechanically until 8:45 am…as if I have been programmed and hard wired to do so…  I get into the bus stuffing my ears with the ear phones…and hush the voices inside me to a deafening silence….it’s unsafe having a wagging tongue these days…specially for me, I being a person who suffers from an ailment called Pressure of Speech 😛 !!

Perfectly posing a plastic curve on my chapped lips…and faking a twinkle in my eyes, confident that my glasses would keep the dark circles from the spotlight…  I try hard not to hear anything other than the music on my iPod … and neither the voices outside nor the voice within….both being equally disturbing for me….The lump in the throat keeps growing as I hear but cease to listen…and as I cease to listen, I cease to open my mouth….

Passing by trees, buildings, stray dogs, millions of vehicles, trillions of people doing zillions of stuff…something I struggle to pass by is Myself…

Then comes that India Gate…I’m not going to tell you why…but yes I don’t want to go around it twice a day….

With all those…and much more…the Head Quarters gate comes pretty soon….ready to gulp me down for the day…A nervous attempt at crossing the road turns successful… as I flounder my way to those Great Glass doors….

These days they hit my nose badly… every day these days… I push my glasses over my nose and wish myself a Good Morning….

I don’t know what his name was…I don’t know where & why he had to leave….I don’t know since when I had acquired such a liking for him….and I don’t know why I miss him too…

All I know is…he will never know …because nobody knows him, nobody would tell him and he would never read this…

O No! You don’t need to span your imaginations wild….He was just a person…a person who took care that those great Glass doors didn’t hit my nose….

I sometimes wondered…how could someone look so warm and hearty in the worn out uniform of a security guard…

I dedicate a whole 10 mins to my mirror, struggling to disentangle my curly hair…and all I have is a mess rather than grace, warmth or that hearty look…!!!?? Utterly Unfair!!

A booming Good morning would warm my ears…and that lump in the throat would instantly melt away with a …”Good Morning Bhaiya….Kaise hain aap?”…Instant exchange of innocent grins…a peek or two at the missing lunch packets and for sure the following frowns at our fast fading flesh…would all go by in just 30 seconds…

30 seconds…a good enough time for replacing that plastic smile by a silly grin…for clearing the lump in the throat and making way for my verbose version again….

Hmmm…The Great Glass doors would then be flung wide open and I would enter regally without hitting my nose on it….carrying that grin with me…. along with that Good morning….

Over the day…the number of questions we were put through by him, were directly proportional to the in and outs we made…they would usually range somewhere between “Khaana khaya ya nahi???….” at the lunch break…to “Kahaan jaa rahe ho itni dhoop mein….??” And then a “ Byeeeee Bhaiya” at the end of the day…

That was all….

We came to know one day…he was about to leave…the contract with office had concluded…It’s hard to say that I felt even a tinge of sadness…just that I and my friend thought we would gift bhaiya with something…he was one of those few people who would give a smile without the thought of having something in return….he would be happy if we did so ….

But we never knew why Lajpat Nagar seemed miles away…and his last day in office had already passed long back….silent and unnoticed…

It’s been months now… and there’s this new person at the Glass doors…He’s just perfect in every way a Security Guard could be….he has a good discretion of Designations and Seniority, gives the grandest of the salutes to the most senior of the bosses…the only thing is he knows it too much and he uses his discretion….

You can’t spot a crease or curve on his pompous uniform…but neither can you spot a curve on his face…

Millions of people walk in and out of our lives…touching our lives in million little ways…but while we go on….those little things seem too miniscule to be worth noticing…. Sometimes those million people go away… never even knowing they were something to us…and never even letting us know we were something to them….

And we go on…just the same filling our lives with all those things that are “worth noticing, worth considering, worth rejoicing”…But with all the delight we have for having those…why do the voids still gape??….the voids for those million little things…those trivial things…never worth noticing before…..

God!! You are too good at Mathematics!! How can you really work out so many permutation combinations that each entity in this world is so inimitable…so irreplaceable… that they can create a void in our perfectly filled lives…as they walk out…??!!….I’m baffled….

It’s so unfair that we can always look back…but can never go back…..

And today..just like every other day of my life…..I look back…being unable to go back and claim all those significant things worth noticing….worth bringing back to fill in the voids…

You have gone …and here…I don’t carry the Good Morning with me any more…I guess you always declared that for me… I took it from you prima facie and kept it within throughout the day…you gave me a Good Morning…and I made it a good day….

Today I have to find something good about the morning…before considering it so…I don’t know why…but I can’t declare it for myself… and I do find myself longing for that declaration…

Today as I walk on…rubbing my nose on the stairs to the 1st floor….I think I remember you….No I actually miss you…and I miss those Good Mornings…

I wish I could have them back….

Will Somebody give me a Good Morning??!!!

From God-fearing to God-loving.


“Om shun…Shanaischaraya Namaha”…is all that my lips chant since yesterday… Yesterday was a really auspicious day, the religious calendars said…with all those moon, sun, planet and star positioning….some great day that had come after a span of 170 years….isn’t it amazing??

I was amazed too…this day was called the Shani Divas….the day of the Saturn god….known to bring in hard times for people like you and I….

S o many poojas would have to be done…so many chants…so many rituals…lest we invoke Shani Maharaj’s annoyance and all that we would then have would be misfortune…

So then pooja’s had to be done any way…even the not so pious man would fear being an atheist this day….So everybody joined the bandwagon of devotees to please Shani Mahaprabhu and earn their share of the fortune cookie….

Thank God that it was my friend’s papa who had taken us to Mehrauli…the Largest Shani temple in Delhi…Had it been my papa I would never have been able to make it to the pooja mandap… 😛

From 7:45 to 10:45….we were in the queue…with thousand others….a small booklet of Shani mantras….a parched throat and a scorching sun above was all that we had…Me and my friend were taking turns reading that tiny book for a while thinking the queue would dissolve as we did so….but then we had to turn back and take solace at the increasing numbers behind us rather than the numbers before in the queue…

From dusty streets to green carpet strips….we never could know where the actual temple was for nearly 2 hours…as the media people from India TV and P7 thronged the place for an interesting capture….

The wait led to a relieve period as we saw the temple gate and the mist from the unusual water spraying fans touched our red hot faces….Maroon never seemed soo good before until we were shifted to a maroon carpet patch and came to realize this was the last part of the queue… 😀

Unitl then I had lost the last iota of energy…ceased looking back or front…had shut my lips indefinitely….and just kept the chant going within my head, knowing that I may swoon any time soon. 😛  My friend’s father with hair all gray and forbearance at an epoch was my inspiration to keep me going in the infinite wait….

I was surprised to see new entrants fighting their way into the mid of the queue with so much of an audacious shamelessness, in lying to the volunteers that they were there since the morning…. O great!! they really understood the essence of praying to God and visiting temples….chicanery and deception had seeped into our bloods so much…..that made us lie on days that we considered so auspicious….

As the queue ended and so did the wait eventually…we caught a glimpse of Shani Maharaj’s Gigantic idol….I could never explain the turbulence within me…the sight made us all forget that our heels were roasting on the heated floor…I had prepared a long list of family ailments and ”things to ask for”….soon that list started playing in my head…Rewind…Pause…Forward ….and Play…. 🙂

As we all bought Pooja Thalis…we were sure God would definitely hear us this time…. We had come so far…waited so long….and had held on to faith all our lives…. Yes…the pain was worth a reward….

People were all frantic and flustered as Shani Maharaj was known to be an angry God… They should certainly perform all those rituals….and all the more religiously lest they displease bhagwanji….The Fear Factor frenzying the Diya hall…where the crowd kept on crashing into each other and each of us….at the peak of our panics….as our Diyas didn’t light…”O my God what a omen it was!!….Will it bring misfortune for sure…or was there any ritual that would compensate???!!!!” 😦

They said we were supposed to light the Diyas with our own matchstick and should not share the flame with another’s diya…as it would dump his sack of sins onto ours….O God!! Never  would I take anybody’s sins!! Was my share of sins less bothersome that I would crave for more…!!???!! 😛

…there was a separate queue for offering oil to bhagawanji….we entered that too…bought our offerings and set off…But Lo!! They would only allow Men folk to do so…and only when they took their baths and changed into a miniscule piece of red langot!!!…. 🙂

So all we could do was hand over our bottles to a someone in the queue and take leave…

….Gulping down the last sip of the lassi there and looking at the new people in the queue…we were delighted beyond measure….that we had finally done it!!

Dozing off in the car….I came back to my senses in the underground parking of Bangla Sahib…I wished for a bed but was bumped into the lift…. 😦

And as we entered the gurudwara compound…the moments were overpowering… fraught with flash backs of my entire life…

People say…” Hands that help are holier than lips that pray…But then I came to know this after coming here…after coming to you ….. to fold my hands in prayer…to open my lips for taking your name…. Your prayers have made me realize…I need to understand first and to be understood second….”

As I came to see those hands that not only joined in prayer but also helped the needy… those lips that not only chanted your name but also uttered words of compassion… I felt strangely relieved….I didn’t have to choose which was holier….which was better 🙂

As we kept our shoes in the shoe racks…I wished there would be any ritual to keep me consumed…to keep me away from this “difficult to handle” feeling…but I hardly could find any…I found myself gaping at the all sophisticated people who might have been dropped by a Mercedes and were polishing shoes here….cleaning the floor with a radiant smile emanating from their faces….

The water from the tubes at the feet of the stairs wet my feet…I felt it wet my heart too…cleaned my feet and cleansed my soul…. as I bowed down to kiss the stairs…I saw little girls of my age were offering the Amrit Jal…never had the water tasted soo different…We took the halwa Prasad into the gurudwara…and having done the parikrama….sat down to pray…

Then it just would not stop…dripping incessantly… as if determined to flush away all that I had…and never again moisten my cheeks….I suddenly had a running nose too…and I found myself floundering which one to wipe…the eyes or the nose??!!

Thank God that we drape our Dupattas over  our heads here…that hid some of the water flow…and Thank God…that she never questions too much….perhaps she was going through the same as was I…

They were chanting the Amrit Vaani…and I was startled to find my soul responding to a language that I couldn’t even remotely understand….The words Prem and Satya…..being repeated over and over …..and tears running down over and over…

I couldn’t take it any more and so decided to move out…as we got into the waiting hall for having the langar….I was still trying to figure out why couldn’t I ask Bhagwaanji for a single thing from my wish list….except a “samastanka bhala hou….May everybody have your good will….” How dumb I was to forget wishing??!!…the shani chant still hanging around my head….made me feel dizzier than ever before…..

The wait ended soon and we were made to sit in a commodious hall with an assortment of people from all layers of our social strata…

It was more than describable more than divine as a feeble old man kept reciting… “ wahe guru da khalsa …wahe guru di fateh….and something followed by a satnaam….” I switched off everything within me…even the chants…. and my lips repeated his words….

We finished the lunch and set out….

Everybody was smiling at each other…as if they had known each other since ages…. everybody seemed so fearless….the intrepid aura clearly warming each soul…there was no ritual that could go wrong…there was no folly that could enrage Bhagwaanji….there was no nothing that could stir up the serenity….all that pervaded was Peace….

As we were buying a few kadaas…the echoes of the amrit vaani was playing both loud and gentle….something which meant…”You have come here to me….with all your fears….but just don’t forget my child….you need not fear when I am here…. Just don’t worry….Surrender yourself….surrender….because I am there….and I will take care….”

Thanks…..I do believe you will take care….all my life I have asked you for so many things..never realizing you already knew what I desire….what I deserve….and that you will take care….

I had feared all my life whether my prayers would be answered?? Whether the diya that I couldn’t light at the first stroke would bring me misfortune??  Whether consciously  or unconsciously I commit a folly…and what if the folly isn’t a folly, but a sin??…..Never realizing,  I was merely a medium….whatever happened and whatever would happen was all a part of your design….

Today I go back….and having taken so much from you…I return back all that I had been collecting since consciousness prevailed….Yes….I  give you all my fears….just one…that, “Do I deserve all that I desire??” for the first time in life I pray to deserve rather than desire….Well …I know..You would take care of everything….and you would make me capable of deserving whatever I desire in life…and beyond…..

I had come here God-fearing….and I go back loving you….loving myself…loving whatever you have surrounded me with….

I go back fearless….I go back God-loving……

Because I know…You would take care……

What Does it take to be Happy??


I know this picture didn’t seem pretty enough..surely not one to be put in this Blog…my blog…owned by somebody…who had been so choosy throughout her life…

But then…surely it was something that made me think again…about what I am …what I could have been …what I never was…or what I never would be…

Being too much fussy about the perfect shade of pink for my skirts ….other than the 8 other shades that I already had …I had rather forgotten to think…to think about those girls of my age…who would never know what a pink is…

The story of the little boy who ceased to complain about the shoe that hurt his feet..until one day he found one who didn’t have feet at all..seemed just too touchy feely …to shed a tear or two and quote as an ideal story to any sensible circle….the mails about how much food we waste and how much we grumble about the taste, while millions died of hunger…seemed just a thing to pass on to all those on my mailing list…and show how sensitive and humane I was….

It so happened that one day I came to know the value of a choice …how unhappy I was being able to afford one..and how glad they were..never been considered to make one…

As we set out to explore the New Friends colony near our apartments…I had no idea I would be made to face an inevitable insurgence within me…

After having a sumptuous dinner..the custom said an ice cream cone wouldn’t take too much space in an already overstuffed stomach…So we set out to the Gelatos an Italian Ice-cream corner…Fussying over the flavors and the scoop or the cone choice…each of us got to have their say…

Well Gelatos had to taste good after all the bucks we blew away for those meager spoonfuls…But Lo!…each of us screwed our brows over the taste and the middle class man in us began lamenting about the wallets being emptied over the cones…

And that made us hold on to the cones…trying hard to like the taste, convincing ourselves..it wasn’t all a waste….

Shops…book carts…cinemas… salons.. spas…food courts apart from the young funky mass thronged the place…After all it was the New Friends Colony…one of the Posh areas of Delhi…but then wasn’t it a part of this planet..where also lived many semi-clad, half naked, half-fed-hollow-eyed people…millions of street children…just like us but unfortunately so unlike us…

Time had taught them to know how to make the best of their surrounding…what if they didn’t have the best of the lives…they would still flaunt an animated curve under their running noses…Really time had taught them well…

Such a bunch was hanging around us too…a 7 year old “big” girl with her year old sibling hanging around her waist…and a couple of other under 10 boys …

well begging was their job…not that it was the best profession in the world…but they just had it…call it livelihood …or call it liking….

It wasn’t that great when you saw those blank faced children tugging at your tea-shirt as you licked on your cone…Not that I have poured out my sympathy to such children of the street all my life…not that I feel that’s the only option they have…not that pity is the only thing I can offer them…but yes…yes that it was easy for us to sit back and scorn at how lazy and sly these kids were to beg around…to shop for our sympathies…while I felt why couldn’t my mom offer me the glass of water as I sat gaping at the TV in an AC room…thinking it was too hot for me to step out….

It has always been like this for us and it has always been like this for them…each of us have inherited our fates and fortunes..and each of us are trying to convert it into something a bit different than what we have been handed over with….

Well…it didn’t take them long to realize …the ice-creams didn’t taste that great to us…and perhaps they could have a day with it…as one of us handed over the cone to one of them with an expression of relief of getting rid of that melting thing….I found my insides melting away…yes an inevitable insurgence gaining pace within me…

I had a tough time explaining my never understanding self…it wasn’t the 80 bucks that would go away…if I gave away that thing to that creature near me…It was The knowing…that how can she like something that I detested…how can I accept that I was sooo Lucky that I was not her,…when all my life I had grumbled about the things I never had…. about the happiness that God gave me so little….about the fate that was never right..and so many things that made me sooo unfortunate…..The Knowing that how can she be happy taking something in …that I was so happy getting rid off….??

The Knowing hurt me badly….it really did…

I gave her the thing anyway as did the others…the pale-faced jumped off in delight…having had her delicacy of the day….

I was losing myself again….

The winter couldn’t chill me…neither could the ice-cream as I watched the goose bumps on their naked bodies and felt too hot inside my jacket…Huh! The jacket wasn’t right of course!!….or perhaps right wasn’t I…..

They went away merrily…but I couldn’t have my calm…not that I had my calm earlier…grumbling about things I never had…rather than being grateful for the things I had…was my habit or perhaps my hobby….

Well food was not something I ever put in garbage bins….even the lights and the fans I always put –off when I left the rooms irrespective of office or home…Squandering away resources has never been my virtue…

So this story gave me a different lesson…

The question that disturbed me was “What does it take to be happy…??”

I had all the stuff that I wished to have at some point or other in my life…I had all the people I ever needed,… caring for me at all the walks of my life…I had all of the everything that was tangible and intangible…virtual or real….

But something I never had was happiness…Now tell me what does it take to be happy…I was utterly confused about all the choices I had and always disturbed about the choice that turned out to be not so commendable….

Here I remember a video that I so proudly added to my Orkut…called as ‘Chicken –la –carta’…it had won an award in the Berlin Film Festival for the best Documentary…

A worker in a restaurant brings in the left-over chicken bones in a big bin for the poor and hungry children of his village…and as the children pounce onto the Chicken bones…with so much of hunger and so much of happiness…this is what the video says…

“Let me tell their story,

You won’t think it’s true..

I have not forgotten ..

So I am sharing it with you…

For all the things we know …

What have we really learned??

Though I close my eyes…

The images remain…

And their story begins again…

Let me tell their story

That no one else can hear…

How can someone’s’ laughter

bring me close to tears….

And you will never know…

Cause you have never been there…

After what we have seen…

Can we close our eyes again…???


Well how true…”How can someone’s laughter bring me close to tears…??

For all the things we know…what have we really learnt…??”…

Yeah…I really doubt what I have learnt…and I am really confused as to why their delight was despair to me that moment…Perhaps because they were happy with something I was so unhappy with ….Perhaps because they knew what could make them happy and I didn’t …Perhaps because they knew their choices well or Perhaps because they didn’t have any choice at all…

yeah with all the things they could never have …they only could have a choice to rejoice…with whatever they had…

Usually as I pen down my thoughts…I become clear by the end of the last full-stop…about what it was… that was so very disturbing…about how to handle the thing…the feeling …or rather the fact that it was disturbing me…

But unfortunately it isn’t so this time…I am utterly confused as I had never been before…I still don’t know how to go about the choices in my life…and I still find myself wanting sooo many things that I do not possess today….I still don’t know how to have The choice to rejoice as the only choice in life….I still don’t know whether I am happy…and I still don’t know…how should I go about if I am unhappy today…..

Well Happy or Unhappy…I consider myself fortunate that I am not her…

I consider myself fortunate that I can afford to have a choice…what if I haven’t figured out which is the right one…there would certainly be hidden The Choice to Rejoice in the choice heap….and one day I would certainly find it in the pile…

But then apart from the million other questions that have remained unanswered within me…this one would take me a life time to figure out….”What does it take to be happy?? ”…..

Tell me ….”What does it take to be happy??”