Live Life – Audacious!!

Archive for August, 2012

Get Serious about FUN!

One of the first things that a baby knows (not learns) how to do is have fun. They are only bothered about food and drink when the tummy growls. They are only bothered about cleaning and changing when someone is attempting to put them through it; on their own, they may not bother. They are only cross when their favorite pet from the household (parent, grandparent) is unavailable. Apart from that babies know how to have fun.

 

Babies come with the FUN pre-installed on them. In fact, FUN is the operating system on which everything else runs. Everything you do with them must be FUN-compatible, else it does not run, and the program is declared defected. You need to be FUN if you want to feed them, play with them, change them, put them to sleep.

 

I have seen babies stare at the ceiling and laugh! I have followed their gaze and wondered what they saw in a plain old white ceiling that amused them SO much. I even asked a particular baby who was having much FUN staring at the ceiling above her crib – are the angels making funny faces at you? (She gave me a weird look and then resumed laughing at the ceiling. I know so because this one is my niece.)

 

When we grow up, we are taught responsibility, which is a wonderful part of growing up. However, by then FUN is something we do post-study, post-work, post-weekdays. It is reserved for the latter part of anything. In fact, fun is a part of celebration that is reserved to happen at the end of whatever task/project we are doing. What’s more, the duration spent in ‘fun’ is WAY LESS than the duration spent in ‘work’!

 

That is strange, though!

 

A baby is first given fun, and then taught responsibility.

Why, as an adult, do we place fun after responsibility?

Was it even intended this way or have we, in our ‘perceived order’ of things, made it so?

 

~*~

 

I was still wondering about this when I was reminded of something very interesting. It had caught my attention before and even then had held it for a considerable time.

 

In Genesis (Bible), the 7 days of creation are listed with events on each day. However, as the day’s activity description ends, there is an observation:

 

‘The evening and the morning were the first day.’

‘The evening and the morning were the second day.’

And so on till the seventh day.

 

The evening and the morning?? Shouldn’t it be the morning and the evening?

 

I researched a little bit and found that, while we start our day with Morning, in that part of the world the first part of the day was Evening. They started their day with fun, relaxation, togetherness with family & friends, rest, and then get onto work when the morning comes.

 

Wow! I thought that was Brilliant! Not just the system – the very way of thinking and approaching each day.

 

 

When we look at religion, the thing we notice usually the first is ‘festivals’. Surely if the Almighty was all about just rules and regulations, then He would not organize feasts and festivals.

 

(In fact, while still researching the ‘evening and morning’ fundamental, I found they used to have dedicated months and weeks meant for just celebration!)

 

 

In my country (India), it is said that in a week of 7 days, Indians have 9 festivals. However, we, with our super wisdom, have mostly so bound festivities that they are more responsibility than fun.

 

~*~

 

We have turned that which was intended to be fun into a responsibility.

Look at little children – They often turn their responsibilities into fun!!

 

Methinks they have a WAY better idea about how to live life. Life isn’t life unless it is enjoyed. Fun isn’t just whiling away the time. It is time for rejuvenation, relaxing, building up, and rest.

 

 

Musings:

 

I once saw this odd order of things – odd from my angle – and said to the Almighty: You know, You are strange!

I reckon He must have smiled and said: I am upright. It is you folk who are skewed, and so is your viewpoint.

 

 

Ah! That explains a lot unexplainables and twisted stuff.

Hmm…

The Grace to Choose the Right Lane

I think it is one of the even-out mechanisms of nature. When one entity attempts to overshadow the other out of turn, nature holds up the progress of that entity, till others catch up.

 

A classic example is a traffic jam. Your lane seems to move at turtle pace. You see the lane 3rd from yours moving comparatively faster. You inch yourself ahead of the car in the next lane, obviously getting irritated glares from the already frustrated drivers, and of course a lot of honking. Yet, you don’t give up. You brave, you! Somehow you manage to get into the lane next to yours. Ah! One more lane and you should be moving on with life, so to speak.

 

You do a repeat telecast of your ill-mannered lane changing tactics and finally, land in the place you want to be. Now, you’ll move. Apparently the driver in front of you, in this new lane, is not enlightened enough. This lane is supposed to move faster than the lane you came from! Why in the world is he not stepping on the gas?

 

The car beside you, in the lane you just came from, moves ahead. You turn to see that in your original lane, the driver behind you not only took your place (obviously), he’s now three cars ahead of you.

 

By moving out of the first lane, you shifted a lot of cars this way and that. Some equations were changed between the lanes and now, surprise! The lane you came from is speeding ahead than the one you’re now stuck in! By some unkind freak of nature, I have now become the cause of unmoving lanes – any lane I am in, does not move.

‘Fuming in frustration’ is a very apt term for this scenario.

 

 

While looking for a personal selfish gain, you unwittingly made life better for a few people. The disturbed drivers may have cursed and honked initially, but then they found that a new space was made and progress took place, but the instigator of progress – the troublemaker who started with a wrong motive – was left behind while others moved on.

 

Ah! Sometimes it works with different radio channels when you’re changing from station to the other and keep catching the songs you’d love to hear only by their last lines!

 

 

Should we be more lane loyal? Or Channel retentive!?

But about those wonderful days when you move to different lane and it actually helps you. Or the one ahead of you moves into a different lane and you end up being the one who shoots three cars ahead worth of the space. Or you just change the channel and they’re just playing the song you love.

 

I have often found an interesting Dominoes effect. If I start off in frustration, I tend to make the wrong choice. Instead of waiting for a couple of more minutes, if I change the lane, I still lose precious time, and consequently energy.

If it works like on the left, logically, it should also work on the right.

 

Just for an experiment – I decided to sit back. I felt, I’d move when the traffic moves. Every lane moves at its own pace. Just me moving to another lane, does not speed up or slow down any lane. The Radio channels have nothing against me. They are not in business to tick me off by playing my songs when I’m not listening to them.

I’m going to sit back and enjoy my day – even in traffic jams!

 

I made a fantastic discovery!

I was often complaining about not having time for myself. Wow! I had time and I didn’t know it. Now, I downloaded songs that I love and podcasts of people I love listening to (Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen) and yup! Traffic Jams were suddenly an awesome place for spending time with me-sweet-self. I would talk to myself – about my day, my family, my work, my team, my hobbies, my shopping list, my plan for the weekend (yes, I finally started to have an actual plan for the weekend rather finding myself in a weekend with things like laundry, arranging wardrobe, cleaning shoes on my list), et al!

 

Even more amazing thing: this time became a time to filter my mind off the ‘office’ material and prepare me for a hearty evening at home with family and friends!

 

This was 3 years back! I think I had the Grace to choose the right lane; only I wasn’t putting the Grace to use. These days more often, I am in the right lane; Why? – I have learnt, whatever lane it is, I am going to be in the right lane – and even if I have to change the lane on the road, I will still remain in the right lane.

 

While I do not find a jam every day, there is one at least 4 times a week – even if a mini one! Not all times am I able to keep me in a happy mood. There are times when I crash-land into old patterns. But hey, who says we can’t bounce back!

Conscience Strikes at Oddest Moments

Here I was working on my writing project, strumming joyfully at my laptop keys (Sorry about mixing terminology with domain; my conscience has temporarily wrecked my word usage mechanism.) when I felt the urge to want to drink something. Now I’d already used up my quota of 2 coffees per day, and exceeding it by 2 cold coffees as well, plus a glass full of rather fizzled out Mountain Dew. I remembered I hadn’t had my glass of milk all day.

 

I shut my laptop and brought back my warm cup of milk with a spoonful of protein powder (as I call it – it’s a health supplement), sat it on my desk and continued my music, occasionally sipping from my cup. Maybe it was the milk, but my mind started working rather well and I was soon immersed in my project. It was a while before I remembered that I’d left my cup unattended on the table. I picked it up and was about to sip from it, when perchance I happened to look into the cup and was glad to do so. Something triangular seemed to be sitting in it. I pulled the cup away from my waiting mouth to inspect it. And oh my, my!

 

A housefly was apparently attempting suicide in my protein milk. Quite an ironical way to put an end to life – pass on in a healthy way!

 

I recoiled in disgust and was about to put the cup back on the table, when I saw the thing flapping its many arms and legs. Ah! It was alive and swimming in my milk. Now, I’d heard of Queen Cleopatra bathing in milk (they say it brings a sheen on one’s skin) of some animal, crocodiles or camels (or whatever animal was available in ancient Egypt), I forget; but this was preposterous.

 

I was again going to put my cup back, when I saw the fly had given up. Intrigued, I continued to look at it. A couple of seconds later, it again attempted to flap its arms and legs, and then gave up. It was trying to swim to the spoon that I’d left in the cup. It was still not dead, and was trying its best not to die. Stupid fly! If it didn’t want to die, why dive into my milk. This is a classic example of biting more than you can chew. Obviously my house maid had left the back door of my room open longer than it was needed when she cleaned my room. It is monsoons, and flies and their clan would usually come visiting if we’re not too careful!

 

I was about to put it back, when of course, the Conscience decided to make itself heard. I tell you, Conscience keeps strange hours! Mine clearly lives in a distant country in an unearthly time zone!

 

‘Are you going to let it die?’ it asked me. I ignored the voice and put the cup back.

No! I picked it up again to check if it was still with me; of course it was, flapping away to glory and bringing me to shame.

Another thing about Conscience – I’m not sure if it realizes, but it always, ALWAYS, asks the most irritatingly difficult questions that nag you worse than would a fly. I decided it was better to be nagged by a fly than by Conscience. A fly would die someday, but this Conscience was going stay around till I die and move on. By the way, this is strange because I’m a huge promoter of killing mosquitoes.

 

Anyhow, I did something I have never done before.

I pushed my spoon underneath the fly and brought it out. It jammed its feet on to the inner side of the cup. I left it there, hoping it would crawl out. I put the cup down. This exercise had been enough on my gentle nerves. But, oh no! I had to check again to see if it had managed to crawl up. To my utter dismay, the thing had stupidly fallen back into the milk.

 

Dash it! Why me!!? And why my cup of protein milk! Why couldn’t it my irritating neighbor next door who refuses to sleep all night!

 

I again pushed my spoon under the fly. The scared thing swam away from me. Probably, it was upset that the last time I left it on the wall of the cup, so it didn’t trust me no more. I didn’t give up. I fished it out, the thing resisted; trust you me, it resisted! I wanted to ask really – make up your mind – Do you want to live or die? When it finally saw that I was bringing it out of the cup, it sat nicely on the spoon. I held the spoon in air, hoping it was fly, but it was sopping wet.

It crawled to the stem of the spoon lazily, dragging its sodden self. Very gingerly, I balanced the spoon on the mouth of the cup to let the fly do its crawling. After a while it landed on my writing table.

Good deed for the day done!

 

 

A while back I saw it rubbing its forearms (or whatever those are, pardon my wrecked word usage!); I’d thought it was flexing its arms to gauge its newfound muscles. Right now, I have seen the strangest thing. It is holding itself on it forearms and mid-arms, and flexing its rear legs. Goodness gracious! Never thought I’d live the day to see a housefly attempting push-ups!

But alas! It ain’t flying! It is still lying on my table. It attempts to walk, raises its body on its leg. I wonder; the protein doesn’t seem to have done it much good. Or, as they show in the movies, there is too much milk in her lungs. No, I’m not damaged enough to give it a CPR; besides, it is breathing and walking. Perhaps, it is waiting for its wings to dry, and then it’d hopefully take flight.

 

Lesson, little fly: The Almighty made you light so you could fly. If protein drinks were made for you, you’d not have gotten wings as tiny as these, probably larger ones to zoom around in a heavier body. Be thankful for who you are.

 

Well, at least I can sleep well tonight.

Relationships Replaced

A Mum is working in the kitchen when her young one strolls in with a request.

“Mamma, where is my truck?”

“It’s on your toy shelf!”

“It’s not!”

“Go and see. It is right there.”

“I did. It’s not.”

“Mamma kept it there, baby. Go and see.”

“You come and see.”

The Mum sighs and takes the kid by the hand to show the toy shelf. “There it is. Mamma told you it’s there.” She hands the toy to her child with a smile.

The kid smiled wider than his Mum, “Thank you, Mamma.” The Mum begins to leave for the kitchen.

“How should I play with only a truck? I need the bus too!” the kid calls her again.

“It’s right next to it. Take it, then.”

“I’m holding the truck. You give me the bus.”

The Mum smiles. She sure gets the point. She pulls out the bus and hands it to the kid. The moment the bus is down, “And the two cars too!” comes the next request.

“Okay!” Mum knows where this is going. “Here you are. Now play with them. Mamma has something to do in the kitchen.”

“But I already have a bus and a truck. Those cars are for you. Let us race!” the exuberant kid tells his Mum – his offer is the best he could make; two of his own cars to race against his truck and bus.

Mum knew all along what was happening. She gave in. “Okay, champ! Let’s do it!” Five minutes, she reasons, she can afford that much from the kitchen. She plays for a while and then again attempts to leave. The kid comes up with a new plan, but by then Mum knows that neither would another game be enough, nor would the kitchen wait forever.

“Okay, who wants to see Doraemon?”

“I do. I do.” jumps up the kid. The Mum turns on the TV and sits with the kid. Within 5 minutes the kid is zapped into the TV show and Mum slips back into kitchen.

~*~

 

Have we seen that scenario being played out? A bit too often these days?

 

The characters may differ but the story is the same.

 

TV used to be entertainment. Since when did it become the distraction that a Mum uses to make sure the kid eats, does their homework, or even keeps them busy so that they could get on with whatever they had do to. Since when did it become an alternate for spouses, a substitute for friends, the occupation for aging parents and grandparents? Since when did it start filling up the space occupied by friends and family? Since when did it become a guilt- and responsibility-removing mechanism?

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in the finger-pointing-business here. This is just an observation that came my way today.

 

~*~

 

My family had to go for a luncheon today. I could not accompany them due to my swollen legs. My Dad opted to stay home with me. He told me he really did not want to go (he really did not want to go.)

 

We talked for a while when he asked me for a glass of water and I gave him some. He was telling me about his grandkids, my brother’s children. I wanted to get back to my writing. I picked up the bottle while still talking to him.

In an instant, Dad said, “Yes, I don’t want any more water. Keep it back.”

 

As I walked back to the fridge that just, sort of, stayed with me. Dad understood that I wanted to go back to my room. He probably could have gone on talking with me; Dad and I talk to each rather well. I get my writing streak from him; he used to write when he was young, and then responsibilities overtook and he gave up. When I started to write, I wanted to publish my first book and give it to my Dad as a surprise – for giving me that dream. But how could I surprise Dad. He knew before I did that I loved to write.

 

Dad didn’t stop me. He made a way for me. A bit of guilt made its way into me. I told him to call me when he wanted lunch. It was about 12 p.m. then. Dad and I are the same when it comes to meal times. We have our eating hours that we stick to. If we don’t get it on time, we may get cranky sometimes (Dad more than me, honestly!)!

 

I went back to see what he was going to do while I was writing. Dad had switched on the TV. Dad does not really like watching TV. It puts him off to sleep within a space of 15 minutes. When I saw the TV turned on, I was satisfied, somehow that he was going to be busy. So, now I could be less guilty.

 

Ah! That thought was like a dagger in the heart!

I decided I would not wait for him to call me when he needed lunch. I’d be up myself and prepare it for him at the time I know he likes to eat. A small idea – but it helped me survive the next hour.

I came back to my room. Started to write, logged on FB, put up a few messages, and then I thought, I’d better be getting the lunch ready because it was going to be 1:00 p.m.

 

I was initially just going to get the food microwave-d and serve it. But then, the idea evolved.

I cut up a salad, and thought I’d get some Raita as well. He likes a full meal. Again, I wanted to surprise him. But how do you surprise your Dad. He came to the kitchen just when I was finishing up decorating the salad, and he laughed. It was his lunch hour and food being readied made him happy. He said he was ready to eat.

 

I rushed to get the yogurt, got the meal served in two plates. I was going to give him his lunch, and take my lunch to my room to my waiting laptop.

But then, the idea evolved – “Let me eat with him. Else, he’d eat alone.” I turned off the laptop, joined Dad for lunch. It was fun! He loved it, I think. I didn’t do the Raita, because we both decided to have ‘meethi dahi’ instead (Yogurt sweetened with sugar). I cleared up the table.

 

I was washing the dishes when I remembered that I’d made besan ke ladoo the previous day. I brought them to Dad. He took one and laughed again. His meal was complete now.

 

~*~

 

There was a time when my Mum and Dad would work together to make me eat if I was angry and refused (as a child). I was a pampered, stubborn kid. Though, if you ask my parents, I was their perfect daughter. I’d sleep without food when angry. They’d wait for me sleep, and then pull me from sleep and made me sit up. Dad would hold me in his lap while I was half-asleep. If I’d resist, Dad would gently whisper to me, “You’re with Dad! You’re with Dad.” Somehow, that calmed me immediately. Mum would continuously talk to me, tell me stories, and make me talk. And in all this, small morsels of food would find their way to my mouth. Half-asleep, I’d forget that I was angry and was not supposed to eat. Then, they’d talk some more to make sure I was sitting long enough after the meal, and then put me back to bed. It usually got late for them, because they’d have to wait for me to sleep.

And in the morning, they’d laugh because they’d gotten me to eat and I would be angrier because they tricked me into eating.

 

But it was fun! It was a memory of childhood where my parents were allowing me to be the child, and helping me grow up.

 

Do I see that happen now? Rarely.

 

My mother still does it sometimes with her grandkids. Her 4-yr old granddaughter, my niece, is like me when it comes to being stubborn.

~*~

 

Scary: TV took this place in our lives?

Scarier: Since when did relationships become a pastime, which could be replaced by TV?

 

No, I’m not trying to paint a sordid picture. I was myself a victim of it.

 

But you know what? One’s a victim only as long as one chooses to stay a victim. When one resolves to walk out of chains, one finds the way out. Our busy schedules, our lifestyles, or even our pleasures should not become our excuses. If they are to be enjoyed, then they mustn’t be allowed to chain us down and rule us. I may be wrong, but that’s what I feel. Why doesn’t TV come with family, instead of being in lieu.

 

I had a nice insight into it today. It was a blessing. I didn’t sit the whole day with Dad. We just lunched together, and then he took his nap and I took mine. I’m not really a promoter of quality time with family over quantity, if it becomes an escape route – but I do feel that something is better than nothing. If the there is willingness, there is hope.

What is it about love?

When you’re not in it, you wanna be

When you’re in it, you want out

And when you’d rather be alone,

There’s one you can’t do without

 

Just when you set it in your mind

You won’t fall for it – it knocks!

Pulling down at boarded windows

And battering off the locks!

 

You pretend to not have noticed,

It screams at you – SURPRISE!!

I tell you it’s hard to ignore the thing,

When it looks you in the eyes!

 

Crush, suppress and bottle it down,

It’ll leap right back at you

More often than not, i tell you what,

At all the wrong times too!

 

You wish just once you could attack

Love – just as it’s knocked you out

To let love feel how it makes you feel

Whether you’re with it, or without

 

And finally you do give in

The white flag does go up

On your knees, nay, on your face,

You admit – shucks! I’m in love!

 

And then wonder of wonders,

The darkness turns to light

The silence seems to speak,

Whoa! The black holes look so bright!!

 

‘Birds screeching’ turns to singing

The wind turns into breeze

Small things ignite the best in you,

Like cats stuck on the trees

 

The world becomes a better place

And heav’n looks not too far

‘Hopeless’ looks so promising

You’ve peace in midst of war

 

Apparently it’s the best feeling

To be loved and to love

To know you fit with somebody

– As a hand fits in the glove

 

But …

 

A gentle, nudging of the heart

Its power you dare not doubt

A force to reckon with it is

Gives in, but won’t give out

 

To the weak and to the timid

It empowers out and out

It stands its ground and humbles

The mighty and the proud

 

What a wonder of all wonders

A feeling so very light

Can lend to you the massive strength

To lead you through the night

 

It’s worth being in love, my dear,

And though it brings some pain

You won’t believe it till you see

It’s a blessing and a gain

power in love

 

What is it about love?

That makes it worth the dive

You die to self, and to the world,

And then you come alive!!

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