Monday, March 16, 2015

Life...lived only forwards

The new year has begun quietly for me.  In a corporate lingo, it is the fag end of one quarter. It's as if the race has begun.  It waits for none.  Keeps its pace no matter what.

Some new habits have been added which makes it worthwhile:

1. Walks
2. Not consuming deep fried food after 6 (This is an interesting habit picked from Uma - one of the Toastmaster friends long time ago)
3. Not consuming rice or rice products on Thursday.  (This habit is picked from a very dear friend - Utpal)
4. No meals / any kind of food after 10 pm.  (This habit from an article/interview of Sameera Reddy).
5. Be optimistic - (My sole contribution :) )

I intend to add more and make the journey all the more stringent or fun.  Let's watch.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The new woman in his life!

I thought I ruled his life till she came along.  She was awesome to begin with.  But I never thought he would fall for her smile in less than few split seconds - that too overnight.  Well, being his well wisher and his best buddy for life I went ahead and accepted their love.  I allowed it to blossom and spread its fragrance in his life.

While it was interesting to see the fondness, bonding and attachment for each other growing, i was drowning.  But their love for each other was beautiful.  He a narcoleptic turned into a night owl just to be with her as much as possible.  She too was enjoying his attention, no doubt. I was a silent spectator waiting for him to notice me as well.

How long the infatuation could last, I thought. It will wither with time I assumed and I waited.  I knew, he will come back to me someday or later.  She had not only overpowered him, she had made him dance to her tunes. She had mesmerised him completely. He was shackled in the powerful clutches of her innocence.

Till then I was his model.  Now it is her
Till then my stories filled his world.  Now she fills his world.
My wish used to be his command. Now she started commanding.

How conveniently I became an unknown part of his life from being an integral part.  I could not complain. How could I?  I knew, he was struggling and juggling between her and me.  No doubt she got the lion's share of his time, attention and love.

Nothing is constant, everybody assured me.  She proved me wrong.  I'm told, when swimming in high currents, don't go against it but along with it.  I watched them even closer.  Their love was so pure, unconditional and was beyond any boundaries. I stepped out and allowed them to enjoy. They continue to enjoy their space and I smile in silence.

Trek to Baanantimaari Betta

Any experience, good or bad is a great learning is what I have always lived by.  Any trek for me is a welcome opportunity to explore unknown territories and flex muscles to prove the body how strong the mind is.

I just wanted to trek.  Any place did not really matter.  That is the beauty when one is flexible. When I signed up with Basecamp for a trek to Madhugiri hills, I could not make it last week.  The one that followed is Baanantimari Betta.  This place is approximately 75 kms from Bangalore towards Kanakapura.

We were 5 of us - the trekkers who had signed up for this journey, our guide along with our driver who hit the road early morning at 6.30.  The weather was far than pleasant and perfect for a trek.  Our group was quite unique.  A very interesting outdoor family consisting of an enthusiastic couple, their 2 wonderful daughters aged 13 and 16.

When we reached the foothill of the mountain, it looked calm, serene and inviting.  Any first timer would always doubt on how do I go about climbing this mountain when there is no path.  Trekking is all about making way through unknown territories.  Having a good guide is a must.  We started the trek heading towards a narrow path that led us into the forest.  Slowly but steadily, we kept going into the forest.  The path was not a very easy one.  Sometimes the terrain was plane, then it was uphill with rocks, then it was thick forest and then it was like a cave.  Our group kept walking while admiring all the beauty the place was offering us.

Interestingly, the forest does not have any trees that bears neither fruits or flowers except one tree which had a beautiful flower on the path way.  Our guide warned us not to venture into touching or plucking it as it is poisonous.  No wonder the flower is still intact we thought.  We got to know this flower is called as "Tiger Claws" and it looked really beautiful.

We continued our journey and it took 3 hours for to reach to the top of the mountain.  The view was just amazing.  From top, everything down looked beautiful, non-chaotic and insignificant.  Felt so good to be there..  We all sat there and had our lunch.  The 6 strangers had in no time become friends and we were sharing our lunch with each other.  We soaked ourselves amid nature and the silence. We just sat there and did not want to leave.

For me it t was that moment of quietness which I had been longing for.  The bruises on the legs did not matter.  Waking up early to start for the trek did not matter.  Staying away from home did not matter. Nothing mattered.  That moment was the present for me.  I soaked in it as much and nothing else mattered.

Well everything has to end.. and we had to start our journey back with a heavy heart. At 12.30 pm we started trekking back.  On our way back, it was a different experience.  Generally in life going up is always difficult and coming down is easy.  But in trekking coming down had its own challenges.  We need to watch our steps.  We can't hurry. We need to walk horizontal and keep our feet firm on the ground as the plain could be slippery.  We walked in line like ants and ensured we followed our guide.  We would warn the person behind us if we saw or felt anything unusual.

The trek downhill was almost peaceful till I found a plastic toy kind of a thing on our way.  I was upset how some people have left some plastic behind and shared the thought with my guide.  My guide looked at it and said it is a Scorpio.  My feet literally turned cold.  It was a dark green scorpion which was idle and even waited till our fellow trekkers went ahead and clicked its pictures.

From then on wards, it was a lesson for me to be even more alert.  We hit the base in the next 2 hours and 30 minutes and headed towards Bangalore.

When I started, I was asking myself why am I doing this?  I had some reasons.  I wanted to test my physical stamina.  After all the yoga and walking that I've been doing I wanted to see how far I can exert my body to take some pressure.  My second reason being, I wanted to be with nature from health perspective.  Go to a place where there is not much of invasion of plastic and pollution.  Also my 3rd reason being, my quiet promise I made myself that I should go for 2-3 treks in 2014. :)

The reason could be any..what I got is something beyond all this.  Looking forward to many more. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

The sealed envelope

The year 2012 started with lot of hope and anticipation. The last 2 digits of the year "12", did look attractive. As always, the year threw open various challenges along with opportunities to learn and become a better individual. Now that am at the fag end of the year, when I look few things that really stand out include

a) Trip to Srilanka for TM District Conference.

b) Trip to Thailand - Cruising through islands

c) Trip to Ooty, Kodai, Goa and Coorg (oh yeah! different time frames)

Apart from that, some new people I met have been a blessing and are playing integral role in my life. Some bonds grew stronger and some I could not keep it going due to hectic schedule.

When I look back, I did manage to do what I like the most - a little bit of traveling. Unfortunately, have to stall my visits to LA - my Toastmaster club. Thanks to my office location and the traffic.

That said, something is missing for sure. The time that's gone by is just gone. Where have I made the investment is the big question I am asking myself.

Yesterday, in our year end dinner it was a fun exercise I was exposed to. The team in the last meeting of the previous year had to write

a) What do you want the same for the next year?
b) What do you want to be different the next year?

It was fun reading the then team's responses. The current set up was, most of the team was new and the people who had written weren't there. In some cases, they had predicted they would move on and in some it had happened as if it was a sweet co-incidence.

This year too, after the dinner we were all asked to write the same thing and all our responses were sealed. Our big boss will open the envelope next year after the year end dinner. Quite intriguing, interesting and fun exercise I thought.

I'm asking myself the same question again and again. I did write something and my response is sealed in that envelope which is safe in my big boss's cabin.

I still am pondering on the same questions:

What will be the same in the next year for me?
What will be different in the next year?

I guess it's time to give a thought to those 2 questions and live by those answers which I'm going to write and seal so that when I open the envelope, I smile that I lived true to myself. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shabana's wedding!!

A surprise call from Shabs made me look at the date and smile it is not Oct 8th. Invariably, I end up calling Shabana on 8th Oct of every year and she teases me her birthday is on 4th Oct.

Shabana and I go back 10 long years when we became friends at Indiainfo and fortunately been in touch. The call sometime in September 1st week was to let me know that she is getting married on September 15th. She said she will send me the details on email and asked me to text my “new” email id. I promptly missed and welcomed the wrath which followed.

My hectic schedule did not permit me to check and clarify where is Shabanan’s wedding till the evening of 15th September. On the call, I vaguely remember her telling me Richmond Circle. On September 15th, I promptly went and shopped for a gift and got decked up in a silk saree. Raised high hopes of yummy biryani at the wedding, along with hubby and daughter, we drove towards Richmond Circle.

On the way, my heart beat starting beating relatively faster when I did not have Shabana’s phone number stored. That’s when I realized all my previous contacts on the phone had got wiped out because of some reconfiguration on my blackberry. Slowly I whispered to my husband to go towards “Sacred heart auditorium” first. Given the traffic in Bangalore and one ways, we can’t go wherever we want but go where roads take us. As I neared Sacred Heart Auditorium, the empty hall failed to welcome us. By then, the lipstick had started drying and I did not have guts to apply another coat. :) I asked my husband to go towards St Patrick’s church and prayed to all the god’s and wished Shabana’s wedding was at St Patrick’s.

A sigh of relief walked passed me when I heard music and lights at St Patrick’s. We promptly parked the car and walked towards the entrance. My hope sunk deep down when at the entrance the welcome board read some other name. Now my hopes had hit rock bottom. Few friends we have in common were out of country and one friend in Hyderabad. As I did not have their numbers, turned to “Google God” on the smart phone which looked handy. My first search criterion was “Weddings in Bangalore on September 15th”. The Google God, did not throw any results from India. It’s then; I tried checking my email on the phone. Well, that day the luck god was not really favoring me. When I entered the login credentials, the phone said it will not allow me to login as it does not recognize the device. Phew…. I stood there in front of St Patrick’s church not knowing what to do.

When all my attempts to find a way failed, the way forward was to go back. We were all dejected, disappointed and disheartened. All of us decked up for the wedding headed straight to Papa Johns as there was no food at home. Nemo was very happy she was getting a surprise Pizza. While Vinod and I had a "silent" dinner, the only thought on my mind was “where is Shabana’s wedding?”

Even as I write this, I don’t know where was Shabana’s wedding. When I told my neighbor friends this incident they only laugh. Finally, I’ve connected Shabana on Facebook and hopefully will ping her there to get an answer to “where is Shabana’s wedding?”.

Shabs, if you thought I missed your wedding – it’s not true. This is what happened! :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I love jig saw puzzles. Especially when they are scattered everywhere and how one bit at a time leads to the bigger picture.

At home, having a 5 year old means missing pieces of jig saw puzzles.  Today, it was cleaning day which is a ritual when the toys are all over the place. As I started segregating the various kinds of toys, I happened to pull a jigsaw puzzle pieces.  There were many.  I had to do something about it.

Once I got hold of the pieces, I started arranging them.  They were really tricky.  Sometimes it looked as if I was at an herculean task of arranging the puzzle with few pieces.  The mind was trying to deceive me by tricking me that most of the pieces were missing and I can never arrange the puzzle.  I was not the one to give up, I called the in house expert nemo to fix the puzzle.

That is the beauty of kids.  She collected all the pieces and started arranging it in her style.  It was amazing to see how she knew where each piece went.  In no time, she fixed it and ran to play some other game.

I sat there staring at the puzzle.  I couldn't help thinking how most of the times our life is like the jig saw puzzle.  While arranging it, half way through we feel like giving up because we are made to think some pieces are missing.  If we don't give up and continue to arrange is when we can see a shape or we reach our destiny.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Road to mom’s home

A random call on Sunday morning to exchange pleasantries with mom threw a surprise at me. My mom answered the call and she did not sound the same.  When I pressed hard to tell me where she was, she replied in a low voice that she is at a nearby clinic. I could just gather these three words “I am coming”.
There are innumerable occasions and times I have told myself I am lucky to be living so close by to where my mom lives.  20 kms is a big boon when compared to some of my friends who are 10 times more the distance and 100 times more helpless during the times of crisis or joy.  I took my car and set to my home, my birth home, my mom’s home.   

It was not a pleasant drive as the summer has set in to Bangalore already.  As I reached closer home, the road to mom’s house is closed.  There was some construction work going on and there was no way I could enter the territory.  As I am relatively familiar with the area, I took an about turn and went around the place to get to mom’s place through a different route to get closer to that road.  This was tough.  The roads were extremely crowded, narrow and congested.  The best part there was no road.  As I did not want to give up, I scraped through those by lanes and made it almost to the road which is parallel to where my mom’s home is.  The road further is closed.  Well, I too thought what anyone at my place would do.  I looked for a place to park my car.  The closest I could get was 1 km away.  I was at HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired) at that moment.  Partially helpless, I called mom to let her know my plight and asked her if she could come and meet me. My mom, being my mom said, “I’m busy cooking food for you.  Why don’t you somehow get here”?   As couldn’t find a place to park my car and get to her place by walking (I was wearing high heels), I reversed the car and got straight back to my abode.  

The whole week my mom and I couldn’t really speak.  Once that we spoke, she did mention how she is disappointed she could not see me.  I promised her I’ll meet her the next Saturday which I think consoled both of us momentarily.  

The most awaited Saturday did come by.  As a backup plan, I even thought how I should get to a place where I could part with my car and continue my journey in an auto. Saturday morning after my walk, I thought I’ll quickly catch up on my work and sat there on the couch with my laptop for close to 2 hours.  End of 2 hours a nagging pain started in the upper back.  I ignored and started getting ready to go.  After a while, the pain really troubled me so much that there was no way I could drive 20 kms. I called my mom to let her know I won’t be able to make it.  My mom said just three words “I am coming”.