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Happy Independence day to MEEE!!


If you think you are going to find something about …”How India struggled to get its Freedom?…How efficiently have we been handling our precious Independence?…Have we flourished enough building Valuables..or building up  Values?…Have we been true to our state all this while..or have we made corruption as a core option??….Have we made Commonwealth bring pride to India or have we made Commonwealth the wealth exploited from common  people…..

Then …..I must Say SORRY…..!!!

Having made you read all this long…I want to admit I don’t know what’s happening in India…because I don’t know what has happened to me and why…So I remind you…on reading this you are not going to acquire the snapshot of India and its 63 years of Independence…But you may continue with your own fancy… 🙂

We had our Independence Day celebrations in Office…and it being India’s Premium Research organization… having the Minister for Science and Technology as its Vice President and Prime Minster as its President…we were expected to put up a great show…

Hot and humid as it was…I was getting confused whether I was nervous…or whether it was just everybody sweating profusely…as the ink from the papers I clung to… gradually began to fade away…

I had to compere the entire session… and sing … a solo and one in chorus…

It was just 40 mins that would suffice for all the show…as the Minister had to go…

So I began…the taste of Devnagri on my tongue and the melody of such pompous Hindi to my ears felt really great…I felt proud of myself… that I was doing all this …and that being presented to people  of such profile…

I would not say I did a commendable job…but yeah neither did the microphones….

But then filling in my eyes with the sight of a Minister who had graduated from Berkley …a highly Qualified Director General….. (all the while smiling at me)…and three top notch IAS officers…I said to myself…whether great..good or groggy..I would have to do it..because if I didn’t then nobody else would…. 🙂

And I held on…..

Well first time in the 11 months…we were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by the Minister…He whispered in a fraction of a second…You are running the entire Show?!…GOOD!…you sang well too…”

I couldn’t even smile back….had to run for compering the next event !! 😀 😦

So came the end…and the numbers dwindled away…I stood there confused as everybody gave their share of opinion…on what it was and what else it could have been…

The very people that I work in close association with said…It was too long…it lacked vibrance …It was too sad… you didn’t look glad…it was melodious but a bit too tad!!

In short BAD!! 😦

I knew it wasn’t so…as a bunch of people complimented me on how gracefully I had done Lataji’s  ‘Aye Mere watan k logo’..it being such a difficult song…some were really impressed at the way I compered and the contents of my script….some said I looked confident …and so on… 🙂

Well can’t say I wasn’t disheartened with the way people could play such great critics without ever caring for the other person’s feelings…I simply stood there gulping each word in…

The saddest part was people who said so were all those whom I face each day of the 7 day working week we have here…who knew how I was dragged to the office at 9 and came back home all withered and spent at 8…with the humongous task of compering in Hindi…last night…

I programmed myself to shield my sensitive heart…and told it…if it wasn’t worth appreciating…it wasn’t fair criticizing too…So my stupid heart just stop being so sensitive!!

We were taken to snack at the India International Centre to while away time as my boss didn’t have the keys to go back home…we were there..

On a call from Daddy…my heart again ailing …he was really down with a burning temperature for the past few days..He had come to Delhi..stayed at my place..washed all my clothes…stuffed my mouth with bread and Jam…as I typed an email for office…

On 14th He had a flight to catch up at 11:45 back home…and I had a meeting to attend at 10…So I had to leave him home with a hasty bye…to attend that really important meeting…

With the Dosa a few more words of analysis of Today’s show fought their way into me…as I remembered my Daddy…as I remembered how hard I had struggled last night…writing the script in Hindi ( ofcoz with tremendous help from one of my colleagues over the phone)..till 2 into the night…..

Who knows what worth it was !!

Then I decided what worth it actually was…hurrying through the dosa…

He said coffee for five to the waiter…and I yelled “ No a TEA for me please!!”…

I never was this happy sipping onto tea before…

Since Sept 15, 2009…I had loved the Coffee…I had loved the dosa…idly …and Upma too…I had loved to claim “YES SIR!!” as my favourite words…I had loved to see my puffy eyes doing both the horse and donkey stuff late into the night…I had loved to console myself…”a sincere try never fails…my work would certainly speak for me one day…yeah some day he would certainly utter my name first when he had ultimately remembered it…yeah someday I would make all of them happy……”     HUH!

But then I had forgotten…touching my pillow each night I should have atleast made one person happy in the day…either them..or me and that one person was certainly never them…and that one person certainly wasn’t me either!!

So…I sipped on delightedly as I formulated and engraved onto my mind…the decision of a long fought battle…

The glass doors of the IIC…shut behind us…stepping onto the sun…I gaped madly at the laal Batti on  Sir’s vehicle…as if seeing it for the first time…I smiled a smile…a smile that swung me off and onto my dream… 😀 🙂

I said to God…will you give me that one??….although Red’s never been my favourite colour…And Pink is what I like most….. But I would love to have this one in red….!!!! 😛

I sighed..some things/people have their value recognized…only when we come to know we can never have them again… But then…… SO BE IT!!

Got down from the car..there was an assortment of kids…all sizes, shapes and colours available…trying hard to put up an Independence day show for the Apartment residents…

Parents were lined up in the scorching sun…

I had nothing to do…Nothing here in Delhi..No Friends..no family..no kids (ofcoz) 😛 !!

So I stayed back..clicking on the camera..absent mindedly…

I could see kids perform…their eyes searching for their maa on the stage…mothers more anxious than their performer kids…

I could see children running back to their parents…who would then proudly say..how great their performance was…how sweet her voice sounded..how smart he seemed while he danced….

Which if one fairly judged was partly true and partly not….But for parents there is never any partly ….they are just entirely..entirely for their kids.. 🙂

I was reminded of school…of my Mommy who would dress me so aptly for each and every performance that I did….how she would drop me anywhere and everywhere I wished for with her zooming black Kinetic Honda…how she would yell at Daddy who was too shy to tear the crowd and step to the front for clicking my pic while I performed….

I missed them madly…tears flowed down my cheek…I had been yelling at my Stupid heart for being so touchy feely since the morning….I had calmed it down too…But these memories just broke me down beyond repair…

Suddenly the job…the life here seemed meaningless…

I opened the keys into my flat…the past 11 months had made me forget myself…my family… as if I had locked myself up and thrown away the keys…

I had forgotten how I hate to be so lonely…How I should miss home more often…so that I don’t miss life… and How I should respect my likes and dislikes as much as I did so for others…

I had almost forgotten…”How much I had loved to be myself…before…Before I earned this fat salary…”

While at school…money never filled my pockets…but Individuality and self respect filled my soul…

Having struggled in Delhi alone for the past 11 months had given me an illusion of Independence…of freedom…But I had never realized what a poor miserable slave I had become..trying to please those who were not even my own…how I had curbed my freedom…  my dreams….for the sake of others…..Shame on me!

Now I have all that money and all that money can buy…But I just couldn’t buy the ability to dream…the pride in being myselffree…fragile yet fearless!!

This Independence Day…I will buy myself some freedom..Shop for some expensive dreams…. that when I keep in my wallet will not let me sleep for the fear of being lost….and I would hold them dear…

I would give myself some Independence to be the one I have always been . This Independence Day….I would make myself realize how Independent I actually should be!!

I laughed to myself…as I unlocked the door…I will unlock myself today too! 🙂

I promise Daddy…I would get that one for you…I hope you don’t mind red..as you have always been colour blind!!

I promise Mommy….I would never grossly deviate from the way you had manufactured me Fragile…yet Fearless!!… 😛

I promise myself….I would never ever love the Coffee again… 😛

Hey!! Happy Independence day to MEEEEE…!!



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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……