Sometimes the best thing to do is to pretend it didn’t happen

Title – Candace Brushnell – SATC

In the journey of life, we meet many people who dislike us.  Most of the time, the dislike is warranted…in some cases it is unprecedented.

Warning – Rant and Rave ahead

Background to this – I met some of gal buddies over lunch last weekend and I had a blast. During the conversation, one the girls mentioned that she heard one of my colleagues constantly bad mouth me. I was shocked, not because I am the nicest person and no one ever dislikes me…but because I always sort of liked this colleague and never ever done anything to warrant this.

By the evening, I still hadn’t gotten over this…and I was still thinking about it. I wanted to hate this colleague, if I can’t, at least dislike her strongly. But to my dismay I realized that I.Actually.Do.Like.This.Person.

I also realized, that somewhere deep down, I wasn’t questioning that fact that she bitched about me. I knew it was true.

I also realized that the dislike and disquiet that I am feeling is not about her. They are about me. She just didn’t matter enough to dislike her. But I did. I mattered. I had hitched ride with her when needed a ride. I had worn my heart on my sleeve, like I always do. Acted like a hick that I always am.

It sickened me to think, every time I smiled and asked her to drop me on her way, she must have snickered. Every time I experienced a professional low, this girl must have celebrated. And I continued to be the hick that I am.

Now, every day, when I have to interact with her, I will have that distrust about her.  I wear this strong skepticism colored glasses and worried that I will misconstrue even the innocent sentences. It’s a lose-lose situation for me either way.

So, that brings to my musing today. Is knowledge really the power?  Are you better off without knowing some things?

“It was not exactly love at first sight. But it turns out, it was love.”

Title – Dialogue from SATC 2

This Christmas brought with it a special gift for us.  A Puppy!!!!

He was a mere babe when he came to my doorstep. May be a day or two old. Almost mistook him for a big mouse. Surprise because there are no stray dogs in the locality we stay in, in Cochin.

We tried to get rid of him by leaving him outside the house and in a field behind my house. But due to some doggy GPS  inbuilt in him, he managed to find the way back into my backyard and eventually my heart. By now husband and I resigned to the fact that he will be a part of our household.

Husband and I kept trying to feed him with Dal, Rasam and rice, biscuits and whatnot, till we realized that he is too young a baby to eat any of these. Then began his Milk period. First  it was milk with sugar that he learnt to lick slowly and eat.

By now, both of us had promptly fallen in love with it, in spite of ourselves. That’s how this mangy cur had put us under his spell. This Shaggy, dirty pup would pull our heartstrings in a heartbeat and make us do things like I had never done in my life. Like scratch his ears and play with him thru the day and name him Shona, meaning “golden”. (His fur is sort of beige/golden. So I came up with this name all by myself. Yes…Yes…Very Clever)

It was heartwarming to see this fur ball running from nowhere the moment he hears any of us. Now he is a part of our household, still demanding time and attention from us. The only difference from the time he entered the house is that, now we are only happier, rediscovering a part of ourselves.

Twilight Zone Between Dreams and Reality

I saw her sitting on a stone bench under a tree with strange looking flowers. On the cold november evening when all the flowers were falling onto almost wet cold ground, she sat like a statue. Or so I thought, sitting on a cold stone bench myself watching another hazy evening melt into a dark night. It was strange, surreal even, two women, each distinctly different the other, sitting  alone on stone benches on a quiet evening.

She was wearing a white gown, if you can call it that. It was more of a flimsy singlet, falling just below her knees. Wrapped in layers and layers of thick sweaters, I wondered how she is not shivering to her death. She seemed oblivious to the chill in the air. Streetlight illuminating her features cast a yellow glow that seems to fit more in a cheap disco than here. She looked around like she was searching for someone and smiled. Not at me, but straight ahead. I looked around to see who she is smiling at. The  park looked emptier than ever.

She smiled to herself and stood up. Moved few paces in a walk that was more of a dance. Her eyes darted around like glow of little oil lamp in the wind.  I could see she was talking to herself. Like she was having an internal debate. Sometimes agreeing, nodding; others, disagreeing, shaking her head. Finally shaking her head several times, like she has done it so many times in different lives, but still not able to conclude.

A few minutes of quiet and then she tilts her head ever so slightly. Like listening to music played somewhere far away. Something like Solitary Reaper’s song. Then sways like she is waltzing to that music, just content to be with herself.

She does that walk-dance to the bench she was sitting earlier and sits quietly. Hugging her knees, she shivers ever so slightly. I almost consider walking to her and offering one of my jackets. It seems sacrilegious to disturb her in what seems precious time with herself.

We both sit quietly, few benches apart. There is no movement in the entire park. Like someone just took an invisible remote control and pressed pause to the entire world. As I sit, mesmarized, i see a lone tear escape the corner of her eye.  Of happiness or sorrow, I cant tell.

A van pulls up with an eerie screech somewhere. Few men, dressed in white as well, suddenly grab her from behind. As I tried to go near her, the man supervising this warns me that she is certifiably mad. They are taking her back to asylum. I just stare at her when at last she turns and looks at me. Into my eyes.

Suddenly the entire circumambient noise melts away. The entire world melts away. Its only her and me in a vacume. She smiles, walks a few steps towards me in that slow dance of hers. I ask her, who she is. Without saying those words. No words are needed.

She said, I am but a figment of your imagination. Your dreams. Your Insanity. Your Happiness. One half of your choice. Your choice between insanity with happiness; or sanity and wisdom with despondency. your choice between chaos in the outer world, or calm in your inner world;

I blink against the chilly wind, when I open my eyes, I am sitting alone on a cold stone bench in that gloomy park.

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone

I grew up on a healthy dose of books. I remember asking my mom to show the pictures in the comic strip series from her Kannada magazines and asking her to read them for me. Books always held this fascination for me.

Every time I go into a book store, I experience  Nirvana. People who come out shopping with me are aware of this and take extreme measures to avoid bookstores.

Although I started reading fairly early on, I did not get to read any English books for entertainment or pure joy of reading till I was almost eighteen. That is probably because English was not my first language and I wasnt quite comfortable with the language for a long time.

So, my Enid Blytons were read at the age of eighteen, followed by Nancy Drew series and Hardy boys and such. That probably explains my fascination with anything simple and has childlike innocence to it. I have read and re-read William Blake, Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain etc, multiple times; each time the book revealing a new facet of its characters, some hidden meaning or changing my own perceptions.

I remember reading “The Treasure Island” opened a new world to me. However the one that makes me go nostalgic is a poem by RL stevenson called, “Sing me the song of a lad that is gone”. There are times I feel like resigning to my adulthood and go back to being a child again. This poem embodies all that whimsy.

Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
      Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
      Over the sea to Skye.

 

Mull was astern, Rum on the port,
      Eigg on the starboard bow;
Glory of youth glowed in his soul;
      Where is that glory now?

 

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
      Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
      Over the sea to Skye.

 

Give me again all that was there,
      Give me the sun that shone!
Give me the eyes, give me the soul,
      Give me the lad that’s gone!

 

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
      Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
      Over the sea to Skye.

 

Billow and breeze, islands and seas,
      Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was fair,
      All that was me is gone.

 

 

Its one life, make it large

I am a big girl. Literally and Figuratively. That means, everyone who sees me has an opinion or a question about my size, my eating habits, my should-be diet, my exercise plan and in my pre-wedding days, who my husband can be, because he is also, Lo and Behold, Fat.

Over a period of time, I have kinda gotten used to these well-meaning (?) people conferring their unsolicited advice. Or so I think, until someone comes along and makes another one of those comments, which sometimes infuriate me, sometimes amuse me and sometime thoroughly exasperate me. Most of time it’s a combination of two or all of the above.

Now, if you are fat, and want to become thin or if you are fat, don’t care either way, you will understand the below statements.

  • People on the road, who wear these weird badges “LOSE WEIGHT NOW and ASK ME HOW” or carrying little pamphlets that promises wonder drug for weight loss, think you are a beacon in the dark and find you somehow. They manage to thrust a pamphlet at you in traffic light, crowded buses or any family vacation.
  • Your eating habits are everyone’s concern – You will see your friends frowning at an occasional chocolate or a piece of paneer. Of course Aloo is a taboo word and its blasphemy to enjoy pizzas. Hey, you are fat remember??
  • You will get exercise and fitness regimen tips from everyone – You will be surprised, your neighbourhood granny can suggest you to visit VLCC or some such slimming centers, while your friend suggests Yoga, and of course there is gym and power yoga and astanga yoga and pilates and aerobics and water aerobics and whew
  • Slimming secrets – weird ones that will make you want to throw up the moment you hear them – like drinking cow’s urine every morning. Then there are some sure-fire ways to lose weight, like soak fenugreek seeds and drink water in the morning, No No, you must try honey and warm water, actually no that doest work, you must have this Japanese technique of having 4 litres of water every morning in 15 mins.
  • People who find you CUTE – The most irritating of all. They marvel at your stubby fingers, calling them cute. They want to pinch your cheeks, because, you are sooooo cute. They want to slap your arms, its so cute. Now these are the people I find most annoying, while I smile politely at them, I am devising torture methods in my dreams.
  • People who want to know what you eat – If tall girls hear “ Hows the weather up there” every two days, fat girls hear “What DO you eat?”
  • Aunties and Grand mommies in the family make it their business to look for a Fat Boy for you, if you are still not married. I have lost count of how many times I have heard “He is the perfect Boy for her, because he is also fat”. True, that’s the only compatibility factor. (But the truth is Fat Girls DO.NOT.WANT.TO.MARRY.FAT.BOYS and I am sure it’s the same other way round)

 Okay, That’s all I can remember off the top of my head. All you other plus sized girls, anything I have missed?

 I was feeling quite bad about being fat, till one of darling friends told me that, fat girls are fat, because they need more place for their big hearts and bigger brains..So, if you are plus sized, More Power To You Girl.

Trust in god, Lock your car

Quite an interesting advice – that one. I have been re-reading all my old Readers’ Digests (again..Yes), and recently came across this wonderful set of nuggets of  Wisdom, that a father wrote to his son who was leaving for college. They are so easy to do, yet so profound in thought.  It’s written by H. Jackson Brown in the “Life’s Little Instruction Book”. Who can resist falling in love with instructions that  tells you to “Call Mom”. It was in the July 1994 edition of RD.

So I was wondering if I were to give instructions to my little sister, what would I tell her?  Here’s my own “Life’s Little Instructions” for my little princess..My true Joie-de-vivre.

  1. Wake up early. You will be surprised how good you feel and you will accomplish much more.
  2. Patience is a virtue. Indeed it is. Don’t lose it.
  3. It takes  wisdom to do the right things. Takes courage to right the wrongs. Takes serenity to accept what you cannot change. Pray for these.
  4. Say graces before every meal.
  5. Play with a baby.
  6. Never underestimate the power of good sleep, healthy food and good exercise.
  7. Hate is a strong emotion. It burns you more than the person it is directed at.
  8. Forgiveness is divine. More importantly, it cleanses your soul.
  9. Family comes first. Michael Corleon wasn’t wrong then, he isn’t now.
  10. We are defined by how we treat people. Be nice to salespeople, thank your cabbie after every ride.
  11. Spend less than you earn. Always. Never spend in anticipation that you will earn more.
  12. Donate some money to your favorite cause every month/year.
  13. Always remember – you wear clothes, not the other way round.
  14. Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes. It makes you a bigger person.
  15. Pray – Everyday.