You know who we take for granted the most in our lives? Our moms.
Their happiness when we smile. Their joy when we achieve. Their sorrow when we suffer. Their tears when we cry.
They cook, they clean. But expect nothing in return. They stay awake till you get home, they let you be when you in a bad mood. But they say nothing at all, silently praying you will find your peace through it all.
Her true belief that you are the best amongst all the millions out there. Her trust that you are the most precious jewel she will ever possess. Her worrisome brow when you don’t reply to her messages or come home late. Her happy heart when you achieve success.
Oh ma where you get the strength to be, all this and more for me. Oh ma how do you love me so, without letting me know. Oh ma my comfort, resting place. I thank God for blessing me with you in His grace.
Ma can there be me without you? Ma can one heart beat as two? Ma you created a world around me, one which was beautiful and good for me. You gave me all you had. The last morsel of food so I could be full. The extra blanket at night so I could be warm. Being there cheering me on for every sports day at school. Telling me that I could be anything I want. Singing the songs of life togather. Knowing we can face anything in life as long as we have one another.
Thank you ma for love unconditional. Thank you for showing me what Ma really stands for…
You know who we take for granted the most in our lives? Our moms.
I was lucky to have been born in an era where we were already liberated, had freedom served in a silver plate and the privilege to vote for a government who will safeguard the sacrifices so many people have made to make our country independent.
We all have heard of the freedom fighters, their heroic stories and their martyrdom. We have seen movies depict reality and bring alive the suffering and ordeal they had been through. And if any of you have not seen that yet, please switch on your televisions to DD or to a more patriotic channel that will faithfully pay homage to some of the freedom fighters through a well depicted movie or series of movies. I must admit each year around this time I get caught up in the emotion of patriotism and filled with zeal and pride for my country. This year is no different. Just this time I decided to write it all down.
Freedom, Liberty, Autonomy, Autarky are some words we associate and use to describe Independence. Well 67 years is a long time for us to recall what price we had to pay to achieve it and rather easily take for granted what we have today. But has the struggle ended? Have we really stopped fighting for what is ours? Has all been done to be truly independent? Have we paid the price in full?
One must wonder why am I asking questions that have an obvious answer? Why am I on a day when we should be singing patriotic songs and rejoicing, being so cynical? My answer lies in the horror each Indian has been through since Independence to realize that each day some of us have paid a huge price to be free – Free from the fear of death, free from the fear of being raped, free from the fear of being mutilated and violated, free from the fear of terrorism itself.
Be it reliving the 1993 Bombay Blasts or the 2008 Mumbai Attacks. Be it paying condolences to the 1991 Punjab train killings or the 2010 Pune bomb blast. Be it trying to grasp the intensity of the 100,000 women who were claimed to have been kidnapped and raped during the partition of India or the gang rape of a 23 year old girl on a public bus on 16 December 2012. The various political scams and death of all the ones who tried to question the system. The fights each one of us fight daily against bureaucracy, sexism and casteism. How are we free when we are chained to the adversities of this nation? How are we free when we are bombed with terror each day? How are we free when we have no choice but to lead a life cribbing and fighting against the system that is supposed to be built for our convenience in the first place? My heart breaks when I hear people say, I can’t wait to go to America/Australia or anywhere other than where they are. I hate to see so many young graduates packing their bags to pursue an education elsewhere, where they will be valued. Why do we continue to live in bondage even after Independence?
Most or all countries grapple with this question each year they celebrate their Independence Day! Most or all individuals hold in their hearts to make a change someday. My country and it’s people are no different. We love our nation no matter where we are. We are proud to be Indians no matter what happens. This is evident when even after the worse terror attacks an Indian wakes up, puts on a clean shirt, boards the train or bus and gets going with his/her life. This is evident when you see an Indian aspire to go into the army. This is evident when a martyr comes home wrapped in the Indian flag. This is evident when you see our journalist posing our leaders with thought provoking questions, demanding an answer. This is evident when Indians are running successful IT companies. This is evident when an Indian makes his way in the worlds top 10 richest people list. This is evident when an Indian wins the title of Miss Universe. This is evident when each Indian whelms up every time the National Anthem is played.
So to conclude: India is my country. I am proud to be an Indian. Through poverty and richness, through terrors and success, through pain and through hope, through good and through bad – I will stand tall, I will stand firm – safeguarding the pride of my country as I sing aloud tomorrow – Jana Gana Mana…. (Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people)
While the whole country gets ready to celebrate the 67th Independence Day
I saw the doctor beaming with pride, nurses rushing towards me with blankets to ensure I am warm, lights were dim and things looked very hazy. Then I felt a warm tender hand caress me gently. It felt familiar, like I had known this touch all through my existence. I could not open my eyes wilfully, I had little control over my senses and functions. Yet with much struggle I sneaked a peak – There I saw a lady, the most radiant and wonderful lady staring down at me. “She must be my guardian angel God was talking about” is what I told myself and immediately fell asleep.
A month later….
I laid helplessly on the bed. I barely could move and had no co-ordination of hand and eye or did not know exactly why my feet moved but did not get me even an inch closer to what I desired to get hold off. Once again the lady comes in view. I idiotically look up to her and look at the bright pink object that lay a few inches away from me on the bed. She immediately picks it up and brings it to me. Knowing my dilemma and also at the same time sensing what I needed. How did she know? It was affirmed that she was my guardian angel God spoke of.
Several years later…
The lady relentlessly worked with me. She fed me, dressed me, took care of me and brought me to health. Since that day in the hospital I knew nothing. I did not know how to talk or speak, or respond or walk or eat or drink. She taught me everything. Patiently each time I lost my balance she picked me up and did it all over again. She taught me to speak one word at a time. She taught me values, one moral a time. She taught me to eat, one morsel a time, She taught me to walk, one step at a time. She had to make ends, for her loved ones she had to leave me for sometime to go out and make money. I remember all those days when I waited eagerly on the balcony for her to return from work. I would shout with joy with just her glimpse, screaming her name as she drew closer to home. But my voice was drowned in the noise from the road.People around me told me she can’t hear and just when I was going to give up and be grim, she looked up and caught my eye. She heard what I never said, she heard my happiness and joy. She was indeed my guardian angel God spoke of.
Few more years later…
The lady never gave up on me. Her efforts and love made me whole. Even though we had both grown up in years, we were closer than ever. She could feel my pain even when I was covering it with a smile. She would take the blame even when she knew I was wrong but was truly sorry about that. She would hold my hand when words evaded me. She stayed awake all night worrying about me when I was away, she would give everything she owned only to see me happy and content. I look at her as she sits besides me, she is still that radiant and wonderful lady I met in the hospital that night. She was the guardian angel God spoke of.
Years have gone by since the day I first met her, but her love for me remains unchanged. She has grown old, but her care for me is forever young. She has nothing to give now, but she still gives me the world. She has lived all her life for me, but yet lives on to make me happy. Who is she? Why does she do so much for me? Why has she lived all her life to only make me happy, to see that I have a full life? After all these years I realised she is more than the guardian angel God spoke of… She is a ‘MOTHER’….
A word that defined her. A word that describes her life. A word that moulded me into who I am. A word that held in her hand the life of many. A word that made this world a better place for me to live in. A word that gave up everything so that I can have everything I desire. A word that smiled even through her darkest moments so that I would never know pain. A word that every child finds comfort in distress..
Thank you God for ‘Mother’. You have indeed blessed me. I pray that you bless her with much happiness and goodness all the days of her life. I pray I can be all that she was to me. And someday be a ‘Mother’ just like her.
I am amazed at how a bad book gets made into a feel good movie. Chetan Bhagat’s books should be stocked up in children’s section. They are nothing but local fairytales and with very basic English skills. I would not let a 10 year old child read it- as it would be an insult to his/her intellect. My post is not about bashing the writer or the movie as both lack imagination and sensibility. Come on people challenge your readers and viewers. I mean in India we only opt to watch movies to be able to sit in air-conditioning for three hours instead of the scorching sun outside or to see the drama that happens each day on tv or even better at home being potrayed by good looking characters (provided it’s a big banner production) on screen. If that’s not enough to create love in a delusional fashion at some exotic location with some really meaningless songs shoved in so that you can go out and buy popcorn or take a bathroom break. I remember a few movies we friends were fighting who would go out and get something to eat as sitting on that seat and watching the movie made me a smaller person with each passing scene.
I wonder who to blame, the ones making it or the ones making it popular. Are we creatures of habit or just the ever optimist? Take me for example: before watching every Bollywood movie I do my research. If I am going to spend three hours of my life and worse still my only day off of work in that theatre I need to know what I am getting into. So I see trailers, watch reviews, interviews etc. And I always hope this one won’t disappoint me.
I am not saying the whole cinema is bad. We make some really good and intelligent movies and if you will notice, people are now able to distinguish between an entertainer and an actual movie. And kudos to that. They make a Dabang or Singham or Chennai Express a hit for its larger than life potrayal of our idiosyncrasies. At the same time they recognize movies like Kartik Calling Kartik, Kahaani, Luck by chance, and many others for its simplicity and intelligent plot and storyline.
Yes you right we need both. But we need to maintain equal balance of both too. I mean right now every one in ten movies makes me happy about spending a fraction of my earnings worth it. Or tingles my senses and makes me go like wow.
Movie makers and now since we adapt most stories from bestsellers too I humbly request the writers too, to please raise the bar and try us. We will surprise you just how much we love our senses being picked and also don’t just makes movie for the masses but also for the classes. A sincere request from the ever optimistic bollywood movie goer.
As we grow older we have farther to look back. Maybe that’s why it’s easier to make mistakes when we are young we have too little to look behind and too far ahead to look. But that kind of changes as we grow older. You are in the middle of of what was and what will be. The distance between what is and what was has widened too much. Heartbreaks, broken friendships, lost opportunities, bad decisions made and those stupid mistakes that in hindsight definitely diagnoses you as a retard. How many of us when we take a stock of our lives can truly say that we have made good choices, that we have made less mistakes because of those choices?
They say live without regrets, but can we really? They say let the bygones be bygones, but can we really? They say we have this life just once live it as you please, but can we really? When we stand at the point of what is: we see that we have little to show for our past and very little to accomplish for our future or we maybe exactly where we always wanted to be. If you fall in the former category please stop reading. This may not interest you. But if you are the victim of the later, read on.
We always look back. We don’t necessarily want to, we may even try to bury it deep down inside and hope it will all go away or even better pretend that it never happened. Almost making ourselves believe that all that happened in the past happened in the alternate or parallel universe. But then one dreaded day it all comes back to you. Choices are hard to make. Not all of us are good at choosing wisely. But we only know that once we reach the outcome of that choice, so then where is the saving grace. It is in living wisely. There is no alternative. We can be as young and foolish as much as we want, as we are living the life we are so ordained to do by this world that accepts noting less. We laugh at those who live a life lesser than that. We aim to make choices that are naturally wrong at so many levels – morally, ethically and spiritually. But we do it anyway. Atleast we are happy in the moment – who has seen tomorrow right? How many of us make choices assuming that we should live in the moment, seize the day, carpe diem? How many of us take the quote by Gandhi “Live as if you were to die tomorrow” to the extreme? As we stand at what is: I realized that the choices we make bring us to the point where we are today not our circumstances alone. Circumstances and our choices are intertwined with each other in an obscure way. I am not saying the point you are standing at is necessarily bad, after all it built you up, it taught you to pick yourself up. You learned quite a few life lessons along the way, so I won’t say it was all bad. But if we had chosen wisely and asked ourself what if I do do this? How would that affect me years from today? Maybe we would have made a different choice. I am not discouraging you from living spontaneously or at the spur of the moment. I am not asking you to stop believing in destiny and what will happen will happen or stop humming to yourself que sera sera. All I am asking you is to evaluate your every thought, every action, every choice and every decision on whether that will edify you and the others around you? Will this build you up or break you down?
Ephesians 5: 15 says this: So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. Even more interestingly Proverbs 13:20 says this: He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Do you want to be someone who is known to be a fool, who would come to you for counsel or advice? Do you want to be counted among the unwise, who would like to hang around with you? Let your choices determine the person you are. Let your decisions be sound and wise not just as they affect you personally but also for those who are attached to you. Maybe today from where you standing in the ‘what is’ zone and looking back at all that you have done, makes you seem foolish. But that very thought right there, yes the one where you want to make a change just made you wise.
So don’t think its too late, you are only half way there. You can choose to be wise, to live wisely and choose it today….
Ladder 49 is one my favourite movies. Each time I see this movie I must confess I have a provoking thought – the thoughts would defer based on my circumstances and personal situation. So this time round I was stuck asking myself this question: Why would I or rather anyone want to be a firefighter?
The movie made it look like an esteemed job, a job that would bring one pride and sense of fulfilment. I only have the movie to compare it to as I have not really interacted or seen a firefighter at work (the later by the grace of God). But this time round I learned a different story. The movie portrays perfectly well the life, the threat to it and their selfless and relentless effort to save lives, to help people.But today something else stood out as I looked on. Why does one really work? Why do we so easily give up on our personal lives to be available for our employers? Why do we abandon our sick parents or lonely partner or neglect our children and their plea to spend time with us? What makes it all worth it? For some it maybe the paycheck, for some it maybe the sense of security, for some it maybe the sense of fulfilment or of achievement. While those maybe true, but this I can say with a surety that we all work for – Appreciation. In my 6 years of corporate work experience I have realized that people work for you (the employer). Their jobs may not be as life threatening and life changing as the firefighters but it is no less a sacrifice. How did I get this out of the movie you ask? Well the words “Good job” with a pat on the back by the captain is the only time you see the firefighter beam up a smile. They are too caught up in the series of events and actually saving lives that they forget that, that’s their job. The”Good job” reminds them that what they do is appreciated and recognized for what it is.
The people that work for you are much like them. On some occasions they leave behind their aligning parents to come meet your deadlines. At times they are unavailable to attend their best friends wedding because of a client deliverable. Sometimes they pop pills and drag themselves out of their sickness and put on their best smile for the clients you trying to impress. Their children go to bed waiting for them to come home and their spouses wait for their phones to bring in a message – only to say they will get late at work. They may not be saving lives but they are definitely sacrificing theirs. I realise you going in your heads – well we have promotions and salaries that take care of that and they do it out of their own will no one subjects them to? I completely agree with you upon that. But saying “Good job” when they actually have done so will not make you a less of a person will it now? In fact I see that it is so scarcely said. I have heard Managers refrain from saying those two magical words cause they are afraid of one: if the subordinate is indeed doing a god job and if the Manager so much so says it – his job is at threat- as now he needs to share the limelight and two: then there is the risk of the subordinate becoming overconfident and not doing a good job in the future maybe. I know they sound ridiculous but believe me that these are few of the major reasons why the words “Good Job” are so sacred in the corporate world. To get an appreciation you really need to deserve it. You should have done something so remarkable like gone to the moon or discover a new molecule in order to be worthy of those precious words. Why can’t Managers understand that it is the cheapest way to retain and motivate someone? People work for appreciation and recognition. Let your seniors know how well your subordinate has performed and what he has accomplished – for one it will show you in a good light (that you have taught him/her and guided him/her well) and will allow the person in question to experience a sense of accomplishment and pride in what he does.
I know you thinking: all this I learned from Ladder 49. Well not really I learned it at work but Ladder 49 made me realize it’s importance enough to write. Each individual each day gives up something so that you can achieve something. Each individual each day chooses to work for you so that you can become somebody. So why not let him be a partaker of that sense of accomplishment, that success that puts you on the front page of a magazine that reads -“Good job So and So”.
I have always wondered about the phrase “You bring out the worst in me”. I have never really understood it until one day I witnessed something that made me think and search the answer to the question that dwelt on my mind: “Are people what we make them to be?” Do we have the power to make them loving, kind, considerate and understanding just by our behaviour and how we treat them? I have seen so many couples not working out and then just working out perfectly well with someone else. How is that even possible? Things that were evidently wrong like short-tempered, possessive, stingy, uncaring suddenly change to patient, kind, giving and dotting. Either we are doing something wrong or something is setting off their wrong to become right by this significant other. It’s a very difficult equation to grasp I know. But it is still something that I am looking to research some more. Couples break-up all the time saying “You just not right for me?” Is this what they mean? Are they naturally bad or do we bring out the bad in them?
I am wondering if my theory can save marriages or relationships that are at the brink of their break-up. If not atleast I can have a reasonable reason to believe why some relationships don’t just work out even though they are meant to be. Let’s do this: Pick up any couple you know well and see what brings out the best in them? Is it their spouse or their children or their parents or even their pets? Then see how their ‘reason’ talks to them, treats him/her in front of others and watch his/her reactions closely. You will see the person who once would eat off the head of anyone who cut him on the road now just moves aside and allows him to pass. You will notice a guy who could barely express any feelings, throwing a romantic dinner for two at a open air restaurant with the works – violin, flowers, champagne. You will observe a girl who never once stopped to listen to what her guy had to say now sits with rapt attention savouring every word of her new beau. Can people change? Of course, you would say. But then were they always this way all along and we just failed to unveil that part of them? Or did we change them to be who they are not?
Being yourself in a relationship is key. Any relationship not just a romantic ones. These days holding up a friendship also is an act that requires Shakespearean expertise. So does that mean in order to find someone with whom you can be your ‘good’ self and in whom you can bring out the best will require many combinations and permutations? Or does it simply mean that you being a good person will set everything right? How hard is it? Don’t you think if you were loving, giving, selfless, patient, kind, forgiving, understanding, apathetic,empathetic, simple and caring, one won’t have an option but to love you with all honesty. You cannot shun such a person or hate someone who gives you all of that. Think of your parents who love you even if you haven’t called them all year or seen them in three years. They continue to love you with fervour.Let’s take a perfect example of true love – GOD. He loves us so much that even though we do not merit it He continues loving us (John 3:16). It will be hard to ever accomplish that ‘agape’ love. But we can try to at least be a close second best in loving those who are in our lives.
We always blame circumstances for things not working out – “it was never meant to be”. But are they only circumstances that makes relationship fail or is it time we take the responsibility of how a relationship shapes up? No relationship is perfect. No man is either. In our imperfectness we can make nothing perfect. We need God and his existence in our life to keep us concious in our relationships. It needs work, concious and deliberate work. Husbands you have to get ready for a long midnight conversation with rapt attention and a warm hug: when you are tired from work and do not want to hear her go off about how her friend or colleague did her wrong. Wives you will have to get ready to slap a smile on your face and bounce back to life: when you are swamped with housework and only now sat down in front of the TV to relax with a nice hot coffee when he walks in all hungry and grumpy. Sounds like I am suggesting you to put on an act. Maybe for the first two or three times it will take an effort but when you will see that smile on her face returning as you listen her out patiently or when he fondly looks at you with contentment and happiness, you will willingly do it for the rest of your life. It is indeed hard to put him/her before you. It is definitely tiring to always be kind and caring. But when you stop living for yourself but him, he will live for you and not for himself too. Such an attitude and willingness to give yourself to your significant other will come only from God (Bible reference: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Each day you will need to draw your strength and patience from his well of wisdom and word. You are in control of your actions, behaviour, moods and words. With that you can either make your relationship or break it. What will you chose?