Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Motherhood: A Song of Life

Motherhood –I had heard about this song but never experienced myself until I came to know I was expecting. The news brought tears to my eyes and I didn’t know why. And then, as if in a click, nursing, caring and intriguing 9 months passed and a lil ‘Kanha’ (as we called him then) came to my life.

The song of my life is titled Vedang and the first beautiful moment with him takes me back to the hospital room where I first saw him and I questioned myself ‘Am I a mom and is he my son?’… And today when I play the reel of that very moment when I had first seen him I cannot conjuncture when did he grow so close to me…That question never needed an argument or explanation to bring the bonding between us; which I neither do believe would be a case with any mother.  The bond, the song, the life, the love –whatever you call it - it all became magnetically attached to this baby and it seems to grow everyday, endlessly.

One string of this song cannot weave a story of cherishment; it’s a song of life – bringing smiles, tears, fears and past reflections of our childhood. Every moment of his creates a prose to sing and rhythm to tune to. Those proses just envisage my world in him.

But with every smiling moment there have also been the moments of fear. Those fears - to discover if my baby could see properly, if he couldn’t have a birth defect, if he could walk, if he could talk and so on - have come to me hauntingly…and to each of this fears when Vedang brought success, it was ‘a moment of joy and tears, and a glory over the fears’. I remember when he said his first word apart from the gurgles and it was a ‘bye’ to our neighbors…that moment became a date in my history book. When he clapped himself on his birthday, it became a date in my history book. When he parted from me to go to school, that day of guilt (that every mother suffers) became a date in my history book.

Celebrating and cherishing every moment, today two and half years have passed and those tiny legs have become racing feet, those gurgles have become unending bundle of questions and those tiny lil hands have become artistic crave for painting. But each of his action is neoteric to me and untiringly keeps singing to me the lovable song of Motherhood.

This blog is an entry for the contest Motherhood: A Song for Life. Here I am embedding the required video for the contest which surely plays well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Busy in Coffice

I recently read an article about coffee shops turning into office for many and the concept appeared very fascinating to me. With freelancing becoming more and more common, the idea to grab your electronic gadget and move into a public place is gaining popularity. And the one public place brewing up is the office in a coffee shop – a cheap affair with caffeine on hand.

Imagine yourself sitting in a coffee shop working on your laptop, diaries or whatever, when somebody calls you to ask your whereabouts and you in return say ‘Oh I am busy in coffice…’ A new name for your workplace - ‘Coffice. Wow!

We search for innovation in a four tier wall called cabin; I really advice considering a coffice for innovation.  A cup full of caffeine and a room full of strangers –innovation could be ‘beaning’! It’s a place not only for writers but also for techies…with the Java incense! Even sales could steam over a cup of Joe.

Imagine a company who designs the whole office on the concept of a coffee shop. Our days would be ‘Cappuccino’, ‘Mocha’ and ‘Latte’.  Now that’s a ‘black coffee’ idea…let’s get back to work until the new entrepreneurs give it some ‘coffee beans’.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dream, aspirations will follow

Chapter 1

Looking back over the years, I realise the change that I have gone through in my thought process - The thought process to perceive goals and achieve them. I was really not thinking in those terms for some years now. And over the period I found myself blank about what I wanted to do.

This realisation struck me after I read news on internet about an old classmate of mine. I thought how she must have put her thoughts into concrete and built story to reach these heights and make news!! She was above an ordinary child but I would not recall her as an excellent performer or something like a student standing out in the crowd. Ok not moving deeper into her performance description, I was just awed with her success and that made me delve into myself…what happened to me. It was then I realised that I had stopped dreaming – dreaming about what I wanted.

I think most (infact all) of you would agree that it is our dreams that make us what we are. To be more precise - “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” - Gloria Steinem

It is our dreams that give us an idea what we as individuals want in life; in all sizes and phases of life – be it your professional success, or the way you wish to decorate your house or the friends you choose…probably I think eventually everything comes from dreams that we see awake. Infact the greatest inventions in this world came from those dreams that one visualised. Even a small kid also dreams of being a topper which energises him to persuade it.

Giving you a gist of my past madness on dreaming, I used to conjure new dreams everyday. Some of you might find it funny as I tell how I used to dream but somehow it really worked for me making it clear what I wanted and how I was required to move forward in that direction.

Everyday in the evening I used to take a walk in my lawn alone and I was most irritated when my mother or my sister tried to give me company during that time (though they haven’t known this until now.) This walk was my dream time when I used to visualise everything I wanted to do and walking with them meant I could not do the self-talk. Apart from big dreams like getting admission in a high-ranked college or getting selecting for a job, it also included small bits of details like my friends around (characters that I had never met, my own creations), my chitter-chatter with them, events happening in that college/office and everything about being in that scenario itself. It used to give me so much energy to put more to accomplish my dreams.

But just dreaming wont help as well. As I said the energy accomplished by that dream need to be put into action too.

To continue with my story - I then went to college, got a reasonable job, got married to an excellent guy and then came into my life a terrific kid…and over this period the process of dreaming vanished. Everything else occupied me so much that I stopped dreaming, eventually not really knowing what I wanted and finally getting into a frustration mode.


Chapter 2

Initially I could not realise that I had stopped dreaming as all other stuff kept me occupied.

I am a housewife and a mother of one now. And over this phase I have at times felt frustrated with what I was doing. I really did not want to do what I was doing – cooking food, cleaning dishes and so on. I do not deny that aspect of my life and that I can completely exclude myself from these tasks. I even do not say that I hate doing these tasks but I needed to do something else as well that I could perceive as contentedness of achievement.

But on the other hand every time when I thought that I did not want to do what I was doing, the next obvious question was – ‘Then what do you want to do?’ And to be true I did not have answer to it…I was blank. And I felt so foolish of myself.

Slowly as I realised this frustration and blankness wasn’t leading me anywhere and that no one but I needed to help myself, I indulged into self-inspection... and I could perceive a lot of difference in my thought process…but mind you not really a difference for the good. This realisation that I have changed and changed not for good, has been quite depressive. I had to get deeper into my past and think what was keeping me happy then, how was I seeking for it.

Chapter 3

I wrote my story in the previous pages to reinstate what changes I have gone through. Many of you who are reading this might have had a similar experience and would really need a similar self-realisation like I did.

Going back to my dreaming phase, it would be necessary to mention that mine is not a ‘very-happy-ending’ story to say that I achieved everything I dreamt. But that does not mean I should have stopped dreaming. Dreams are our GPS Navigators driving us through the path to achieve our ultimate goal. They give us focus. Though I did not reach the ultimate goal but I was driving my own sketched path and discovering new beauties, pastures, adventures – whatever you like to call them as...and most importantly keeping happy!

It was when I stopped dreaming that I lost my focus.  It was like I halted on a free-way as one of my landmark and after that never pictured my future destination. For me what was missing was dreaming the next destination. So really never stop dreaming. It is just that when this ‘no-idea’ approaches, you need to sit down and think; may be going back to the past – what you wanted badly then and how much of it did you achieve. I am sure when you think of those past dreams you’ll get the push. For me it worked, I wanted to do something exposing my writing skills and then an instant thought pushed me to scribble these pages.

Just when you dream you get the energy and a pathway to follow.

It is a way to begin picture yourself on a new place again and make yourself move forward. You’ll realise when you start over again, you’ll feel the energy and new destinations will pour in. You need to just chalk out your landmarks.

If you don’t know what you want to do, it’s harder to do it. - Malcolm Forbes...Therefore you need to dream of what you want to accomplish.


Chapter 4

So in the last chapter probably you got the key. The key is to dream.

In a fast forward motion probably you might have even quickly dreamt what you would want to do. But as you might be tracking out your way, I am sure, most of you would be foreseeing the obstacles as well. Then I should tell you that the obstacles, or excuses as my husband would preferably like to call, would always be present on any path you choose.

There were obstacles even when we went to school. We never thought of the ‘flunking’ before stepping in the school. We were then in a phase where we could not even perceive those obstacles and we just began our ride on a high note. (And no doubt we were backed up by our parents then.) Now when we have grown up we put our initial energies into perceiving obstacles and sitting down as a failure much before starting our journey. It is how we find a work around to move past these obstacles that matters and is worth an applause.

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead. - Louisa May Alcott

I know so many people around me who before delving onto the road, they wish to travel, foresee the rocks and mountains ahead. And they never end up travelling that road because there are obstacles. But probably if they could recognize the adventure in climbing up those mountains and feel the beauty of their success ride, there could never be a reverse gear.

Just a thought - whether you would choose to be a fire fighter fighting the fire or you choose to cry over the calamity?

Everyone who achieves success in a great venture, solves each problem as they came to it. They helped themselves. And they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They keep going regardless of the obstacles they met. - W. Clement Stone

A bumpy ride is fun sometimes right? So let’s start the travel…


Chapter 5

There were times when I practised a few things to follow my dreams...those that had come to me as a natural instinct then and those that my parents taught. Even they had vanished. And now when I read some of those best-seller self-help books I recall them so well. You pick any of these books and you’ll find they are all full of such tips that are so ordinary tasks (and probably once were your daily practice). But when you grow into an adult, people say you get mature but sometimes with this maturity, synchronisation of these old practices’ get dysfunctional. And no doubt when you are losing the sync, such books help to revitalise your thoughts.

For example, I had lost my reading habit all these years and my obstacle (excuse) was time. I did not find time to read. Then one day I went to a book shop and bought a self help book. It was on Time Management. Of so many things that it mentioned, one was to initiate a task now that has been pending for sometime with you. And to start with the task, it said find every day a couple of minutes to do it initially. And it worked. I started the same practice with that book. And yes it was so simple…
Then in the recent past, for everything I could not do I had created an obstacle ‘I don’t find time’, as I said earlier. That is because I was considering the whole amount of task to be completed rather than a small chunk to be initiated. I wasn’t thinking of couple of minutes but was calculating hours.

I literally mean a couple of minutes, may be, five minutes or even lesser to start with. To get hold of a good habit is tough, therefore starting with a small amount of it, as a task, is a substantial effort. Slowly it drips down into your nerves and it did it in me too. I started with the ‘five-minute’ thing and today I find almost an hour daily to read a book!!

This was just an example. You might like to pick up some practise that has worked for you in the past. Such practises will help you initiate your steps towards your dreams and guide you further to approach the landmarks and finally reach the destinations.

So here’s the conclusion. Find a road that would lead to your destination and pick a practice to get started (to persuade your dreams). Then when a walk on that road becomes your practice find the first landmark that you need to reach. Gear yourself for the ride…DRIVE MAN!!


Chapter 6

Before I move a step further where we analyse molding those dreams into constructive thoughts, I would like to add - As a house maker you'll need a greater push to dream and give yourself a direction that defines contentment to you. It took me almost a year to realise, think and find myself with a vision of what I wanted to do.

Interrogating myself from older perspective I realised the negative changes reflected in me after I left my job.

To this change process in myself I would include a characteristic penetrating into me was the gossiping habit (Ya…sadly it did), which I had hated over the years so much. But over the past couple of years, no probably months, I realised that I have started inhaling it though not breathing. I might not be really gossiping around but yes I was getting myself into thinking of interpreting what one said; specially bringing up the destructive interpretations and then pronouncing it to my friends and folk as well. Oh my god…how could I do this!!!

No, I wasn’t sitting idle after I took break from my job. It was something else. Once I had an argument with my husband over this. He even thought that I was sitting idle and was putting my negative energy to kill time. But as a house-maker you have so many tasks on routine that there’s no question of being idle.

In fact I have an explanation to where these negative and destructive interpretations for gossips came up from. A house-maker is always physically occupied with activities but mentally there is not much to put in with repetitive routine tasks. So there goes your skill as to what you pick to engage your mind into – constructive or destructive thoughts while you are engaged in those daily routines. Like when you are vacuuming your house how do you master your mind – Do you think of:

How could I decorate this part of the room I am cleaning?
What did that lady mean when she said to me on the phone…

Sadly, slowly and unconsciously I chose the latter one, a destructive path, which conclusively led me to this entire interpreting and gossiping thing.

Therefore when you opt to be a house-maker you should be conscious of your thoughts (at least I feel it so). If you choose the right direction in the beginning…you might actually not need this story at all!! But if you have already taken the destructive path, you will need a greater push.

I recovered from destructive thinking though. This story is the best example of that. Oh you don’t understand that? What I am actually saying is that the idea of writing this piece came from involving myself into CONSTRUCTIVE DREAMING while cutting vegetables!! And most of the work here is part of that dreaming practice while on my routine home assignments. And I can no more complain that I do not find time.

“Thoughts Become Things... Choose The Good Ones!”  -Mike Dooley

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Escaping Reptiles’ Feast

‘No, I can’t row anymore’ I said, my heart pounding and eyes almost in tears, taking my hands off the oars as the canoe motioned towards the reptile. I could just anticipate its huge mouth opening and its jaws putting everything out of my sight as it would crawl towards me - almost a year back when we took this tour but the fear of those few moments is unscathed.

On a Friday night a friend proposed and the next morning we went for an adventure trip but with no clue of the whole concept of canoeing. All of us being first timers were enthralled by the idea of going down the river into a deep forest.

But when we reached the rental shop, we were surprised to find that we had to do it all by ourselves – no guide around to help us. A little skeptical…but the idea of boat, river and woods kept us moving. We bought the tickets and hopped on to the bus driving us to the point where our adventure would start. On our bus ride a guide walked us through a route map to be taken and talked about creatures that we might come across. All seemed whimsical except the alligators, giving our doubts a little more space.

Finally we reached the park where our rowing adventure had to start. We got down from the bus to see what our next transportation item would be and it was a canoe. You would be aware, by now, that we went there blank…I at least had the poorest idea of a canoeing tour. Any ways, we received our sets of life vests and ores and marched closer to river for cursory paddling tips.

Okay, fine a canoe but I was still sure, if they had allowed a 1 year old (‘Ouch you had a 1 year old for a canoe ride’) to take the ride, they will provide some-kind-a-seat for him. I listened to basic instructions of paddling the guide gave while tucking in life vest to my son. And then the canoes were handed over to us (or maybe we were handed over to the canoe).

We were seated-in pairs and I paired with my husband. I sat, as a ‘front-warrior’, cross-legged so that I could keep my son in my lap and took over the oars. Initially it seemed that all five canoes mastered the route rather than letting us do the job. One canoe hit the other while another pushed into the bushes.  Closely watching, you could have easily made out that we made our ores beat the bushes rather than the water. The more effort we made the more we became doubtful of reaching the destination in time (Oh yes the trip we opted was a self-guided tour in set time).

Slowly as we started administering our boats, we found the first resident, an alligator, sleeping across the bank. Though the guide had mentioned that there has been no incident of an alligator attack for 20 years now, but I could bet that meeting this alligator each one of us doubted if the 20 year record would be maintained further!  We swiftly made our canoes turn to the other side of the river flow as the route marked on the map. We moved deeper into the wilderness and spotted turtles and birds like snakebirds, great blue heron, and vultures too. The beauty was captivating. We made our way through downed trees, clearing the obstructions with a surprising beauty at each bend. Floating logs and big mouth bass accompanied us at a few times. My son was enjoying his afternoon nap giving me the pleasure to view and mesmerize in the flora and fauna. I thought abandoning our doubts was a great decision.

We reached the finish point. Yes bringing the canoe to the bank and parking it was in itself tricky. As we got off our canoes we felt our legs numb and as we moved towards the benches laid there, we were taken over by mosquitoes. It was almost evening time and their strength kept increasing. While we covered our children in towels, some of the friends tried calling the bus driver as they were nowhere to be seen. But phone network seemed to be failing. Finally one of the friend got through and we got to know that we had to row a little more to reach the destination.

To escape the mosquitoes, first the families with children were helped to take off. My husband and I lead the team this time. My son was now awake and enjoying the clear sky and chirping birds. Moving around half a mile further we reached into a little populated area where an interstate road ran across the river and a park could be seen on the left side of the bank where few children were playing. From this park a few people watched us. One of them alerted us about the alligators on the other side. As I looked across three alligators were enjoying sun bathing. Here the river was wider, I think almost 50 feet wide in comparison to the part we had just explored where it would have hardly been 25 feet wide. So my husband and I kept rowing but somehow as we rowed, we moved towards the other side of the bank rather than moving the length of the river. Also the silence of waters was now interrupted by my son. He had started feeling hungry and started crying. I tried to hold him from getting up while still rowing. Though now most of the rowing was done by my husband but a few strokes were needed at my end as well because of the flow. I think my strokes moved us closer to the reptiles so that I realized that we were hardly 10 steps away from them. Watching them this closely put me into panic and I left the oars saying I couldn’t do it anymore. My husband still struggled making the direction with the bushes around.

It seemed the world was coming to an end for me and I could make a passable feast for one of them. I really wished for existence of a Spiderman to come to our rescue. I was panicking just not ready to listen to what my husband yelled from behind. He gave up on me and kept trying making way out of there. I realized in all this time that none of those alligators had made a move. Probably he had already had his weekend feast by then and was still sleeping over his hangover! Then as my poor husband struggled the canoe moved a little backwards bringing some sense to me. By then I had at least made an effort to calm down my son and fed him his milk bottle. I finally took the ores and once again started to row making direction with the bushes, my eyes glued to the alligator. Ahh finally we made through and rowed backwards. Gradually we came to the other side while our friends were still not close enough to watch what was happening. They had seen us but not the alligators and then when they saw those reptiles they asked us ‘What were you doing there?’ ‘Nothing, we were asking the alligators if they wished to have us for their feast’, I felt like blurting. In a few minutes we reached our destination where the tour staff was waiting to help us get off the canoe.

Though I know the spider man would never come to my rescue, but I wish to go again to those captivating woods and absorb into the beauty (of course of the nature and not the alligators) one more time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Morning Expressions

On the harps of the waves
The sun opens its eyes
Its lazy stretch turned down
By the playful morning mist spritz
There the moon slowly bids adieu
Watching the sun set to kindle life
The air bestows a freshness stretch
As the sea-gull tweets Good Morning
Here a tree opens its door to shade
Its leaves ready to charm with their rustle
Waves bathing rocks now and then
While a car pacing the newly awake city
Here I sip a coffee on the shore
Ushering the morning mood to my prose

Monday, May 7, 2012

Robot Mommies

Lying down tired at 1 a.m. through a sleepless night I wonder what could give me rest and a good sleep. My inner self responds immediately in two words - Mummy's place. In another second I ask myself why not the breather come at my sister’s or my sister-in-law’s place, though leisure time comes down in buckets there as well. And as if I am playing a question and answer game with myself, I reply they could be as tired as I am...What about Mommy? Naaaah that’s out of question. She cannot be ever tired right!! (She would never make us feel so even if she is and so many times we fail to realize ourselves that she would ever be tired.)

So many times when I am drained out or infact just don’t feel like doing the household stuff, I have reflected back upon times when I was with my mom. I have tried to reminisce times when I had a feeling that Mommy would be tired and that feeling appears to be so out of place!!


And while I write all this about Mommy I don’t want to skip this quote - ‘My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it’ – Mark Twain

Mommys’ bring us to the world and they bring world to us. Pouring the day-to-day lessons and homework, running us to dance and sports classes, exhibiting the right and the wrong and finally tucking us tight to sleep – it all comes in Mommy’s package and not to miss, it comes untiringly. They run before us to grab the perfect time for us, working non-stop to make the ends meet. It’s an unselfish and magnanimous job that pays at length to the kids in what they become.

To all mom's who are their kids' robots

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Taglines Goof-up

A sight today prompted me to play with some taglines. It was an ad sign outside a small eatery. To be precise it was a handwritten ad made up of three different boards with a word on each. (Ohh how much better it would have been if I had my camera handy to show you rather than explaining it through words)

The words written on the signboards said -


…as I read them and I thought how incoherent of these people who say their first language is English. Then in a fraction of second I realised my over-sightedness – go back and read the words in reverse order and it all makes sense! I actually read the ad in reverse order and misconstrued it.

And how much relevant does it make the emphasis that is made in all work environments – ‘Give the product the customer perception’. The guy putting these signboards missed this perception and lost a potential customer (supposedly me) who did not get a word the eatery was trying to convey.

This thought set me to think about the readability issue I have had been working for in the past and frisk for some company taglines to goof up with. Here’s a list of them I played with:

  • Apple would say box the outside think
  • Bank of America would become an opportunist with a tagline ‘Opportunity of Bank
  • Barack Obama would get his mailbox full with optimistic replies to his questionNeed we change
  • Chrysler would go crazy with no mercy on its bankruptcy with clients claiming the product in taglineStandard comes Inspiration
  • This aint give any business to Expediaright travel travel just don’t
  • Men gonna get bloody with Gillette bringing up such products ‘Sharp feel sharp look
  • Ford’s minor quality observation ‘one job is quality
  • Yup GE guys needs to work in this order ‘Work at Imagination
  • This gonna give Jaguar and Office Depot a new avenue of business ‘performance of art’ and ‘business of care taking’ respectively.
  • Anyone could sue Gerber for this one ‘business our are babies
  • By the way to whom is Phillip Morris telling ‘Listen they’ll talk
  • And Lee is shouting it out ‘America built that Jeans’
  • Of all Budweiser played safe that way ‘Beers of King

And as obvious if you wanna read the original taglines read them in reverse…

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daring the Words

It is my small story...from conjuncture of dream of getting myself read to accomplishment of plaguing all with my words, from composition of words to penning down a story, from posting my scribbles to perceiving myself as an exemplary writer.

When I first created the blog I was unsure of making it viewed-how many readers would stumble upon and then be glued to it to read more or may be find it worth sharing. I still dared.

I wanted even the name of the blog to be enticing - a unique composition of words that sent an epistle to readers. I worked upon it…jotting down names while theming each construction on subjects
like if it was a dream that I wanted to accomplish, or was I just going out expressing myself to the world or what arena was my work going to encompass.........then I dared this (Beyond Dreams)name.

I scribbled through few stories, articles to be my first launch and every time kept it aside for another review. They all then rested in a folder in search of a better work. This time I scrolled through the folder and then I dared to show up this one.

Yes finally I have dared…prepared myself to plague readers with my words and to settle them down between my words.

Daring a step ahead of dreams….