Thursday, September 30, 2010

TOW Perfection

She thinks: I have a perfect life. My husband loves me a lot. We enjoy each other's company. I have a good job. We earn, we spend, we love, we are what ideal couples are like. He does all he can to make me happy... only I wish he didn't have to work so much.

He thinks: I have a pretty wife. She trusts me, she loves me. I have the looks, the money and the charm. There are other pretty young things around. I have a perfect life.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

TOW Family matters

I often write about sad and gloomy things, how everything is just hopeless ;) Thats not who I am, thats just when I write.

Today happens to be different day... I am reading "
The Inscrutable Americans" and wondered what can be that one unique thing that makes us Indians what we are. Something that if missing can be called as "non-Indian". Many things crossed my mind... from our ability to accept others (afterall no other country can boast of so many religions, languages living nearly peacefully)... to our unique capacity to live happily undisturbed in chaos... and our assumed right to poke our nose everywhere!!! But family won :)

The fact that we are answerable to our parents far longer than world average... that we have some place where we can go anytime, unannounced without explaining.... that we do not cut umblical cord so easily.. is something I relate to as most Indian.

I have been living away from home for quite a long time now still my parents get worried if I am alone in the flat... to the extent of annoying me with their phone calls. My friends still don't smoke in front of their parents. We stay with family if possible, no matter how much we earn. Ties to cousins are as close as real siblings... you can always hide behind grandparents when you are being scolded by your parents ;)... the list is endless and wonderfully obvious. Guess this is what makes my India :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TOW Barter System

I happened to attend CMP after a long time today. This is a program by my company where we bring kids from child care centres to our office and spend some time with them. Kind of teaching them something and learning from them... providing an environment of love and trust and hoping that they would share therir problems with "bhaiya' and "didi" here.

Somehow it didnt feel the same now. Kids are the same, volunteers are the same, yet something is amiss. We teach them all that we want to teach... yet it doesnt seem to meet the purpose. And it made me think, why we volunteer ? A lot of people volunteer because it makes them feel good... a satisfaction of working not for yourself. A general sense of giving back. I wonder if sometimes this becomes the primary motive. That we are actually not working for "them", but for "us"... or that the lines blur. We convince ourselves that we are doing good... that we have brought a change in someones life... and we feel better... may be less sinned. We design programs and projects based on what people want to do... and not on what needs to be done.

Does it happen that sometimes you think you are doing good, while you may not be actually doing anything...not making any contribution or worse..ruining things. Dealing with kids is difficult. You spend sometime with them, gain their trust and then abandon them... may be your priorities change and you forgot to check theirs. You leave just like you came, unannounced and swiftly. But, you have changed something in the process.

Are we somehow trying to barter our peace and self-worth... trading a few hours for it? That we judge the sucess of a mission based on how much we feel better instead of how much we have positively influenced someone else's life?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

TOW in past

It just happens to be a random sad day. random like any other...sad for no reasons. Or may be sad for some reasons not to be described here and its ripple effect, leading to further troubles. I just wonder how things were so innocent and carefree as kids.

Happened to see some very old snaps... about 15-20 years old. When we were still in the custody of our parents. 5-6 years old, my brother and I fighting over all the possible silly issues and waking up best buddies again. Somehow that innocence is lost. Call it growing up, call it facing the world, call it learning things hard way... each has taken its toll. All the trusting faces of my childhood friends have turned into young men and women who know that world is not fair. I envy the smiling, naughty eyes that my 2 years old niece has. When you know that mummy will take care of every thing and papa has a solution to every problem. Now, you know you can escape the world and its reality for some time, go back home and forget everything... but you have to come back, take it all over again.

I now know that the 6 year old me was foolish in wanting to grow up. Its so much better struggling with standard 2 books than now. Life has its own sweet plans for us, not everything would turn out the way we want it to. Whatever, it is, I wish that 20 years younger me could trust the older me. 5 years old me could play with my 25 year old self... 15 years one could seek advice from 35 year old me and 25 years old me could believe in 45 years old version of me professionally. And some day a 65 years old could say I lived by the values I held...

Monday, April 5, 2010

TOW Screaming out loud

I am a pretty normal individual who just happens to have weird friends ;)

I am not socialist certainly... I don't intend to be a hard core capitalist either... I am not the most environmental conscious person around but I am not ignorant or unethical either... given a choice I would prefer to sleep peacefully not thinking about governance at all... doing the right thing and assuming or rather hoping that others would follow suit on their own.

But I somehow find myself in arguments or getting views from people on a lot higher moral ground than me. People who are rare and who are out there to fix the world (so far so good)... kinda people who would not sit unless everyone in the world is at peace (great people... must say)

I must be inspired and honored to be around such people... but I guess I am one bad person.... I find it being overdone... Well... I totally agree that we are ruining the environment... that there are people who are living in poverty and without basic amenities because "the bad capitalists" sucked their blood out.... that there are far more deserving kids begging on the streets and not getting education because ..... And that we all must do our bit... that we can really change the world if we want to...

But is there any limit to how much should you give up??? I know I should use public transport and save fuel... but please can you improve the public transport system of Delhi... and yeah the people too. Yeah I know I am not helping the poor by buying that Levis.... but pleeeeese lemme have that one good fit.... Somehow the more I hear about how much we are privileged and how I don’t deserve the salary I draw I feel like saying...fine I earn a salary I don’t deserve but that does not mean I have committed a crime...stop preaching me....

I do want to contribute my bit.... but I demand an equal contribution from people who are on the receiving end.... I don’t intend to sacrifice my pleasures for people who do not realize that they are living a less than ideal life and they need to fix it first. It is not as much a concern for me as it should be for them.... It does not require a degree in finance from IIMs to figure out that 7 kids surviving on a salary of 2000 per month is not a good idea. Poverty does not take the brain out of your body; you are still allowed to think. So many people rise out of poverty, and do well to their lives. I am not saying I could have done that or that it is easy. But it’s not impossible either. There should be an age limit up to which you can blame your parents and upbringing for your condition. At some point you have to accept, that you are responsible too.
It shouldn't be some random NGOs having the responsibility of setting things right, the initiative must come from within and move out.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

TOW Salute

I was recently told about a female who lost her child because of negligence of creche where she left him while she worked. She then started a creche of her own. She also spent a significant amount of her savings on her relatives, who abandoned her family when they needed them. She gathered whatever broken pieces she still had and rebuilt what she could. I could not even guess this in spite of meeting her several times.She is one of the most gentle persons I have seen. She can look after children, caring as her own beyond time limits, beyond eccentric parents. It certainly is not money that drives her. She is not bitter, nor has she lost faith in goodness.

When I was told about her story, I was lost wondering what does it take to stay sane. To accept things as they come. So many of us breakdown. We give up on ourselves and on others. We distrust, we hate. We lose faith. Troubles leave us weaker than before. But some of us react differently. They emerge stronger each time they are tested. I wonder what is that differentiates and empowers them. That they come out neither bitter, nor sad or jealous. Rather they come out as fearless souls at peace with themselves.

I am sure it takes more than any strength I can fathom. A lot more trust than I can measure. To fall freely, no strings attached, knowing that the power will catch you, will not let you break, even if you get bruised. It takes more... a lot more to not break. To not let your spirit die. To stay good. To forgive. To stay human.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

TOW Loss

  • A 3-year-old tribal boy's fingers are chopped off for being an alleged Naxalite..... say two good friends of mine.
  • China has annexed substantial amount of Indian soil in Leh during past decade..informs Army chief...
  • Harmful chemicals found in plastic toys sold in India. Nothing can be done because we don't have a standard to measure this.
  • Environment minister loses his cool in answering questions related to introduction of GM food in India. No decisions taken yet on this. Govt. will take a decision on this based on some unknown or undisclosed parameters.
  • Copenhagen meet on decision of Kyoto protocol ends in total disaster and almost name-calling.
  • 16 years after he harassed and drove an innocent teenager to suicide, ex-DGP Rathode is finally convicted to 6 months of imprisonment and then granted anticipatory bail.

    These are some of the things making news these days. Its not that there are no happy news. I am sure something good must be happening somewhere. May be we have found a cure for swine flu... may be somewhere a bandit has given up arms... may be somewhere women have been given their due rights...

    But somehow I find more sadness and in general negative happenings than positive ones. Its sad... but I find it worse that I don't care anymore. That I don't feel burdened... that it doesn't matter to me now... that all that I need to do is put the paper down or change the channel... that most of the things don't agitate me any more... that I have lost the will to try or the hope of change... I have begun believing that we are on the downward sine- curve of human race evolution life cycle... that it can only go worse...then hit the downward datum and start afresh. I think I have lost something or may be I have lost. But who cares. :)