In the middle of the night sometimes, I stretch around him quietly to watch him breathe. Now and then, I lean in closer hoping to catch a smile or a jiggle of his little finger. The apple breath, the candy skin, his butter love, the I-love-you smile – it’s hard to go back to bed even at 4 a.m. And almost always, I wonder. I wonder if I can or how far I am gonna have to try to make him believe….in life, in life despite the heartbreaks, in simple ways, in the world, its craziness, in people, in goodness, in honesty, in grandparents, in love, in trying, in faith, in failures and that it’s inevitable, in losses and that it’s imminent, in smiles, in hugs, in home, in friendships, in Santa Claus….
Monday, January 5, 2015
What do we do when we run out of inspiration? What happens when our mind is too comfortably dead that it almost feels like it’s not worth a drop of sweat to push yourself any harder? What happened to that thing that once ignited fire in your soul? Simply put, what do we do when we end up becoming lazy ? You know, on her ‘The life you want tour’, Oprah Winfrey said something like if you really do have a passion, then it’s a crime to spend your life ignoring it. If you don’t have a calling, then go do something new every single day and make your life a journey of finding your calling. Well, there is still a chance you might end up never finding it, but if you have really spent your life looking for it, that should be enough too. But I am not sure that applies to my situation here. What I need to know is what if you are completely aware of your true calling but just lack the spirit to pursue it every single day of your life? Now that I have given up on prayers and all that stuff, who should I contact to buy some real, soul-awakening, mind boggling, breath-shortening, better-than-everything-else-kind-of-feeling inspiration ? Books perhaps? Travel maybe? Sounds ridiculous ! Or do I just drink up some unadulterated caffeine and stick my ass onto the chair until I’m done with that business, for a few minutes every day? Yeah, I think that’s what I need - I need to chain myself up for twenty minutes every day and work on that damn passion. I will write a book, or learn to crochet. Whatever. But twenty minutes. I need a chain….
Monday, August 25, 2014
I met a young, Scandinavian girl today who was asking me for directions to the nearest TJ maxx. I gave her directions and asked her if she was able to follow. She gave me a helpless ‘no’ because she had just gotten to the town the day before. Curious, I asked her if her first day in town was any interesting. She first went to see the big, Hollywood cemetery. I felt embarrassed to admit I had lived here for five years and not been there yet. We gradually slipped into some chit chatting and I learnt she was from Texas where she lived with her boyfriend and was visiting the east coast for a month. She started with Florida and had covered the islands of South Carolina and had gone farther up to the outer banks. And she is halting in Richmond just so she can visit the Montecello and drive down to Williamsburg because there is nothing more in this world that excited her as much as history. Now, these are two places I go to when they have a sale happening on denim or Egyptian cotton. Later, she plans to cover Rhode Island, New York and the little town of Concord in Massachusetts. That was her itinerary. Three weeks of connecting the dots between her favorite places from the east coast. I stood there unable to help the feeling of wanting to be in her shoes, just travelling to the places of my choices, at a time of my choice. A few minutes into the conversation, I must admit I was blown over in utter amazement at the kind of passion she had for life. She was about ten years younger than I was and was choosing places to go to, that she was fascinated by as a child or read about in her favorite stories or simply heard about from other people and once she was done with it – here is the thing that knocked me over my heels – she was gonna go all the way to Dubai to work as a flight crew member in Emirates. I mean – she had a life here in Texas. She had never been to Dubai before. And she knew nothing about servicing or stewarding. This is one of the things about human stories. You can never predict the kind of inspiration anyone carries with them. Here she was looking, in her shorts and a cotton T shirt, worn out from her travels, telling me she had decided to dive into a world because she just felt like doing it. And I on this side of the conversation was trying to remember the last time I didn’t have to get confused about what to wear to work. I couldn’t let this person just turn around and walk into her plans. She might be possibly the most inspiring soul I had come across. Ever. So risking the probability that she might just shrug off saying, ‘That’s a little personal,’ I went ahead and begged her to tell me a little about her history – where she was from (clearly, she didn’t look American), her family and the like. She was born in Sweden (those pretty Swedish freckles around her baby pink skin, literally spoke for her descent) and lived with her grandmother until she was ten as her parents were part of Christian ministry that travelled a lot. And moved to Britain to live with her parents through her teenage years and eventually ended up in Texas and met her boyfriend who was a sushi chef. She had quit her job a few months earlier and was now taking the time to travel. I was so blown by her persona and her story that I can’t now remember what brought her to the US. But I’m sure she gave a reason. I told her I was originally from India and that I moved here with my husband and found a job. Never ever have I felt before in my entire history of life that my biography could be a one-liner. I couldn’t believe it. But that’s all I had to my life…born in India, travelled to the US, now living here. Period. Oh ! And became a mom in the course of things. I decided to skip the –who-is-back-in-India-still part and gave her my favorite places to visit from the east coast. She listened to it all with the same kind of excitement I had had when she was telling me about her life, and said “Well, I have always wanted to visit India. It’s one of my favorite places. I want to go see the Taj.” Later, I gave her a hug and wished her well for the adventures that were awaiting. She giggled and wished me the same. And we turned around and went our ways: she to get a Platypus water bag that she could carry while hiking and I to a Christmas Tree shop to look for construction paper…
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Monday, December 16, 2013
Even Christmas is a thing of choice – you see, there is an option you can sink down under the blanket thru’ the entire light of the day and wake up to a cheerio brunch and throw your aching knees on the recliner and watch television, thanking heavens for a day off – or – you can outdo the first light of the day, crawl to the Christmas tree to reach those tiny, shining boxes with the restlessness and the impatience of a child and have some loved ones over to cut into that fruit cake you spent an entire evening on and let the glasses spill some eggnog and make smiles and laughters of love. Everything about life is in reality a thing of choice. Everything – happiness, love, laughter, friends, holidays, or a simple scoop of ice cream - any single thing of beauty- if you see is never an accident. Neither is it all simply sachets of gifts thrown from above. It is what you choose, what you make of. And we all have potential as gigantic as this universe to turn an empty window of time into a bracket of sweet memory....to make our own stories....to fill our heart with love. And no matter how brutally life hits you down on the head with a sledgehammer, make yourself a promise to fearlessly come back for a lot more of life and never ever give up on happiness and to create many smiles and laughters of love. Happy holidays.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Memories from mom’s last days, you know, from the hospital, are kinda like those dementors from Harry Potter – they come in masses, knock every ounce of strength away and blow me down to tiny, wobbly, brittle pieces until I become nothing but a miserable puddle of tears once again. And I succumb another time, this time worse than the last, until I’m so blind from pain I can only weep like a child, lost in the woods, not knowing which direction home is. All the resolve to be strong fails. All of life’s logic flops in front of my own eyes into ripples of nothing more respectable than some cheap magician’s humbug. All of it, like God and other animals of life, seem such a spectacular waste of time.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I want to be happy. I want to forget and be just sage enough to keep the good things. I want to go to bed and not be afraid of thoughts and loneliness creeping in from under the pillow. I want to sleep so sound my lips part open to eat all the air, one cheek dug deep into the pillow. I want to listen to the radio and shake a leg. I want to sit with my closest confidantes and cry my past out, empty out the Kleenex box, wiping every drop of tear away and feel like I’m through. I want to wake up at dawn and step out in my tennis shoes to feel the sun on my shoulders. I want to see the birds and the geese and the squirrels and the pink sky slowly rising; it’s been so damned long I can’t remember what that feels like anymore. I want to walk so long and feel the strength, feel the youth, feel the love, like I’ve still got it all. I think I just want to be happy.