Category Archives: Life’s Lessons

Anchors Away!

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They say when haunted by a Ghost, there is only one way to get rid of it – accept it’s presence and then release it.

Life is similar. When our worst fears materialize, we need to accept reality and then move on. The fear will eventually diminish. Yea, it’s easier said than done. That’s why I’m saying it. It’s also easier to say it coz I’ve done it. 12.12.12 the date I thought I’d pull up the anchor and sail aboard ‘happily married’ to Wifedom. Too bad it didn’t happen, on my decided date. Too good it didn’t happen, till date. You see Life keeps telling us, “you are happy, wherever you are”. Too bad we are busy looking the other way. Wondering where the hell is the boat? Did I miss it? Guess what? You haven’t. Maybe because the Captain ain’t ready. Or maybe because he died on his way to the Harbour (yes, not everyone is made for someone. If they were, we wouldn’t have the crazy cat lady). You can call me sadist or cynical. I’m neither. I’m the eternal optimist. So what if I cannot be happy always. Who is? No, one one is, not always. Not every time.

So im gonna set sail on that boat either ways. What the fun in having a boat and not bumping it off some rough waves? The Captain be damned! I’ll not gonna only pull the blessed anchor away, but order full steam ahead. Change the name to ‘happily single’. after all, I’m Alice. No anchor, no date can keep me down. So what if i cannot be happy always? I’m gonna try and be. And that’s something right. Worse comes to worse, i’d atleast have an adventure out of it. What a story would that be now!

!Happy 2013!

The Punchnama of Life

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I came across this mutated saying last night. At first I laughed at it, as I assumed the person had forgotten the saying. As the wasabi cracker fired up my nostrils, the epiphany hit my brain stronger than the flavored cracker. So here it is, some food for thought. Do think about it, only then you will realize too.

Life has given you lemonade. You are making lemons out of it

Courtesy my Buddhist friend

The Birthday that Was …

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On my birthday 15 years ago, I had a very Aunty-Uncle type party. Not that I didn’t invite my peers. But it was that time of the day when the peers were sent to their respective homes, so that my Mum could bring out more food and Dad, well, we are all grown up now, so im just gonna say – the drinks. So everyone at that party was older to me – about 25 years. But these were nice folks, so they all wished me Happy Birthday and handed over a sealed envelope to me, which would ultimately land up in my Mum’s hand, still sealed. However, where there are rules, there always are exceptions. And there he was; standing 6 ft something, looked quizzically at me, turned to my Dad and said; “You know V, my brother’s wife’s sister’s son is 27. And you know how many qualifications he has? Seven. And he’s only 27. So Alice, do you think that by 27 you will have 7 qualifications?” Did I mention I was only 12? My Dad, being a Dad was ofcourse proud for his friend’s blah blah blah’s blah and his blah qualifications. But I wondered and yes, kinda started planning my life till 27…… after all, I am the perfect daughter and if anyone had to give an example of being the perfect daughter, it had to be mine.

It’s so funny where life takes us, right?  The journey, the destination, are all altered somewhere along the long winding road.

And just like that, this 30 Jan 2012, I wondered, sitting at the Airport again. Is the journey more important than the destination? I havent achieved the seven qualifications that the blah blah had achieved. But according to another Auntie, I have over achieved. And maybe thats why I’m so miserable, coz I have filled my life with work and books. “Bullshit”; says my Mum. “You have done what every smart person has and will do. We have given you such a strong base on which you can build your life’s multi storey tower – steadily and strongly . Yes, they have; no doubt. And I have always loved them for that and much more. So as I sat weighting my success in the 15 years that have passed, I asked Life if it was still willing to chick-cheque-shock me. The Wicked Witch replied saying; “As long as you need to learn something, I will continue altering your GPS. But if you think you don’t need to learn anything, or that you haven’t learnt anything from the past, then, in that case you don’t need me”. With Life threatening to leave me like that, esp on our 27th anniversary, I was forced to think of all Life’s Lessons.  I realized that I have learnt to let go of my ego, become a better person, come a long way with certain strangers who have become family now. I have learnt to be a better daughter/friend/mentor,learnt to shop on my own (it did come realllyyy late in my life, but better late than never), learnt swimming, snorkeling, learnt to love kids (well, just my nephew really), learnt to travel alone, learnt to care for the sick, learnt that no matter which guy leaves my life, my girl friends will always stay on. I learnt that the high tidal waves can be mesmerizing to watch, but if I stay long, the Sea Prince will wrap me in his arms and try to take me to his Water Palace. More importantly, I learnt that success is not measured by the direct proportion of the qualifications you achieved and your age, rather success is measured by the family you have made, it is measured by the 3d-ness of each and every foto with your friends, it is measured by how much you can give to everyone around you, without expecting anything in return. I wont boast (yeaaa I’m a modest monster) but I am glad to have inspired all the people who I have managed to, whether it was to take a break, work hard, work smart or just plain simple as to try different food. So turns out, I have measured my success at 27 and I’m more successful than the then 27 year old with 7 qualifications.

With that thought in mind, I walked back to the parking lot, as it was time to be at my birthday party, for which the only planning I did, was to set a reminder to sent out an e-invite!

The Wind and the Leaf

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It was a chilly new moon night as I sat in doors wrapped in a blanket; funny thing – I left the balcony door open. But then I always loved staring at the winter night sky, without leaving the comfort of my couch. As I stared into the darkness, I wondered what was so different about this night? It felt like any other, yet I felt the presence of Change around me. Maybe it wasn’t the night that was different. Maybe it was me. But then I had followed my daily schedule – corn flakes and milk while reading a book. As I watched the Wind ruffle the leaves of my new Mogra plant; I thought I heard something. Were the leaves whispering something? I decided to cross the threshold to hear better. As the cold breeze hit my formerly warm skin, I heard the leaves say to me, “We leaves sit under the Sun all day long, turn anew all week long. And as the first star is visible in the night sky, we slowly retire, just so that we can sit under the Sun all day long. But when the Wind comes, as silently as she does, we wake up and let her play with us. We dance and whirl and let the Wind sing her melodious song. She is silent, for she is sad. She never tells us her story and we never ask. Maybe that’s what friends do. They know and therefore, they are always there.”

I wish I could say I had no idea why the leaves were telling me their story, but then sadly I did. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by friends who coax me into stepping off the comfy couch, getting out of my comfy pjs and heading out to a place where a party needs to get started. Today was no different, though it was different from last night, but well, I do step out on my own sometimes! 😛

So I get off the couch, switch off my mp3 player, replaced pjs with pants and the blanket with an overcoat and headed out to The Tea Shop. Unfortunately, as the Wind changes direction, I did too. Hey! the car needed a wash alright. Well, ask me again, why I didn’t land up at the intended destination and I’d say, maybe just like the Wind, I was sad and wanted to be silent about it. Or maybe I wasn’t meant to be there. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be there. Maybe I didn’t want to be there. No, I did want to. I did want to be there. So I head back. Retraced my steps only to realize that I had arrived a tad bit late – by an hour. And since there was nothing else to do that one night at the gas station, I got my car washed.

Freedom is always attained by those who wish to be Free

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Dipti Butani, hope you’re reading this one. Coz this ones’ for you! 🙂

At the stroke of the Midnight Hour, I shut the paperback that I was reading and head to close the balcony door. My neighbor had invited me for the ‘Independence Day Bash’ that she was throwing, but I decided it was wise to just curl up in my sofa and finish reading Midnights’ Children. Well congratulations folks! It’s another public holiday and for those in India, what a long weekend! I wasn’t born back then and nor were you; unless you’re my dead grandfather and reading this from wherever it is that they sent you (RIP); but the day has been scratched in my memory since childhood. I loved waking up at 5:30 AM (DST) only to switch on Door Darshan and watch the Prime Minister deliver his ‘Address to the Nation’. But now, I will just watch it on youtube! 🙂

India and Indians all over the world have achieved a lot of fame, name, blah blah blah. No doubt we are the world’s 10th largest economy and the 5th fastest growing economy; 1 point ahead of ChinaTown! I could go on and on and on about my home country. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make. You have Wikipedia for that.

The point being made is this – are we really free? (hey u have heard this one before? Guess what? Now u can read it too). On August 15, 1947, India may have obtained release from the shackles of a few men who brought us order, justice and prosperity. No, I’m not an Angrez left behind. Im an Indian, true to every mm of my Indian Heart. Lets go back in history and think about the various wars waged on the pretense of acquiring fertile lands, expanding boundaries and above all the penultimate greed of commanding absolute power! One man’s greed skilled thousands of Indians to fight against their own brotherhood. We were free back then too, so why couldn’t we choose any wiser? On the other hand, the chains imposed by a few Gora Sahibs, skilled millions of Indians to stand together and fight those against their brethren. No matter how short lived the freedom struggle (C’mon what’s a couple of 100 years compared to centuries of wars waged in the name of righteousness, God, the Emperor, and whatever you’ll have) ; it gave us this message – it is only at the brink of our tolerance do we find the courage to fight back!

But why wait – that long? Till we are pushed to walk the long narrow plank? Till our heads are pushed down, our backs broken and our foot cracked by tilling the soil for the Angrez Sahib? The answer, dear friends, we all know. Though our versions of it may be different, but at the end of the day, we are still Indian and even especially back then, anyone and everyone was superior to the brown man.

No matter what the history, I believe that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. However, it’s really sad to see today, the future that was worried about yesterday. We are back to fighting against each other. Be it at the Parliament House or the Ambani House. The Mango People (Aam Janta) are back to tilling the soil, only this time its filled with shit. But someone’s gotta work the plow to get the dough, rite? So we cock our great Indian head to the side, plaster the evergreen Indian smile on our face and get working on the shit; with our heads so low, that we have the world thinking its some new yoga-joga thingi.

I sometimes feel that Indians ought to be adopted by Disney coz we believe that someday someone will come and rescue us of our misery. Or even Yash Raj Films will do; after all, they too believe that someone somewhere is made for you! Bullshit! No Prince is coming, there ain’t gonna be another Mahatma and you know why? Coz we cannot be that Indian who followed the Mahatma wholeheartedly. Lighting a few candles, partying in khadi clothes and saying Jai Hind twice a year is not the India Gandhi led. Let’s face it, we are a different India, a different generation of ideas, but the best part is, we can still work the system, not because we are Indians and therefore born genius, but because we are a Constitutional Republic. In simple terms, the so-called government is a representative of We the People.

So it’s time to wake up my fellow Indians and those foreigners who consider themselves Indian at Heart! India is not corrupt; We the People are! India is not filthy; We the People are! It’s time We the People awaken from our fantasy and switch on the television/Laptop/Smart Phone as only few minutes remain for the Prime Minister to ‘Address the Nation’! I know the guy is a bit slow with his speech, but he’s old, more educated than us and more importantly, our ‘representative’, so let’s show a little respect, shall we?

Happy 65th Independence Day, O Mother!

P.S. Dipsy the Gypsy – got carried away in my own address! Every time we talk about being free, I often think how? It’s so complicated now a days, just like everything else… the speech recognition tool, getting the perfect mix of wasabi and soya sauce, men… blah blah blah. But whatever little sense my sabbatical has knocked in my bird brain is this – Be what everyone has been, be what no one has. However, you can only be free if you let yourself be!

On a totally different note, welcome home honey!