Reshuffling that cupboard of yours

26 days into the new year.  I can hear people talking about their resolutions and how they are keeping or well… er.. not keeping it. But it’s interesting how people need January 1st as the day when they want to start something afresh. I don’t want to be a spoilsport, but well, its just another day of a year. A resolution can begin any day, isn’t it?

So when a few of my close buddies asked me what my resolution is for the year, I was blank. I am a planner by nature, I like to plan everything. But 2015 taught me that we need to give space for abruptness and preparedness for the spurts. A very dear friend of mine repeatedly told me (and still tells) to take each day as it comes. I have absolutely not given up on planning, but yeah I have definitely eased out a lot.

So no, I have no resolutions for the year. But I have done little somethings in the past few days of 2016 beginning. I compered a show for a dance institute’s Argentram function. I held the mike after close to 15 years! I took it up as an instinct but found my new found love for performing arts. I have always loved dance, drama and music, but being a part of it is a totally different world. I planned a sleep over for my son’s friends on his birthday. A turned 10 a few days back. 2 digit age has begun. Pre teens. Am I prepared… well, No. But am I ready? Yes, bring it on. I have picked up a lot of different books. At the moment, I am reading 3 totally different books. One is mythology, the other is based on Afghanistan and the last one is The Speaking Tree. Absolutely loving it!

After being an incomplete family for over 9 months (M being away), the one thing I really wished was to tank us up on family time. Then came Netflix. Damn! M being a movie lover and sucker at watching English telly, he grabbed the opportunity in the first go. I stood, sat and slept silently as I watched my husband being stolen away from me by back to back episodes of Arrow and How to get away with murder. Today morning, I gathered my marbles and announced that Netflix needs to make a clean exit out of my home. Surprisingly M obliged. As I write this, my home is peaceful and calm. Kids are sleeping and M is reading The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. Life is good.

Good start, I must say, because none of this planned. It just happened. Maybe “just happened” is better. The transition is sudden, quick and less intimidating, Like a vaccine shot. Quick at the blink of an eye and done with.

Let me make use of the teaching principle: From concrete to abstract,   to share with you a little something.
There is a cupboard, It is filled with things you have accumulated. Then you bring in something new. You open the door and stare at it as you see no space to fit this new thing that is an absolute must have. What do you do? A few things which have been there for long yet not doing much, you give away. Then a few things which you treasure, you move it a little to the side, adjust the spacing a little bit and keep the new thing. You look at your cupboard and smile.

The cupboard is your life. Make space for something new. You may reshuffle a few people and activities to accommodate new ones. And then some you may have to let go. At the end, you will look at your little cupboard and smile.

So, am I prepared to make that reshuffle in my cupboard, maybe, maybe

not. But am I ready, yes…bring it on. 

Look Amma….The White elephant !

Our kids are in a totally different world. Not that I don’t know about it, but the fact was thrown at my face recently when we traveled to Kerala.
It’s a usual norm when we travel anywhere by car to hear A scream “Audi Audi Audi!!!” or “Merc Merc Mec!!!” It doesn’t matter that my mother would suddenly gasp for some air, hearing the sudden intrusion into her busy moments while she is staring outside the window. It definitely doesn’t matter that N would make a face and snort, “This boy is mad, Amma!” And oh well, “I” dont matter anyway. So, I have stopped reacting.

While driving in Kerala, A and N were looking at the cars and doing an extremely important job of keeping a count of all the luxury cars on the road.

Suddenly, A asked, ‘What is that???”
His dad: “What?”
A: “Pappa, that…see there.” We look in the direction and see nothing in particular. After a few seconds, “That… That! That car.” We miss it again. By now, A has lost patience.
“Arrey, it’s a car. I have never seen it before. It looks big but weird. It looks like a baby elephant. And it’s only white in colour.”
M and I exchanged looks and said together, “Aaah, that’s an Ambassador.”
“A what???”
“An Ambassador. It’s a car, an old one. I learnt driving in that car. Its gear is attached to the steering wheel.” M boasted.
“Oh Man! That’s cool.”
“And that was our first family car too!” I too added, I didn’t want to be left behind.
“Huh…we had that car??” A makes a sad face.
“No, ‘we’ didn’t, ‘I’ did.” I am having fun now.
“You both are so lucky. You had such cool cars. And I am here sitting in a Hyundai.”

I wanted to say, yeah, we were truly lucky. Those days, when having a car or not did not matter. Many other things mattered, which have become obsolete now, just like the good old baby elephant.

The Butterfly Heart

When I visit Kerala, while I love the shopping spree, people and nature, the one thing I am not a huge fan of is the involvement of the number of people with what I want to do. Example, the other day I was walking with my husband within the boundary walls of his huge house in Kerala. What I wanted to do was wear my pair of walking shoes and go for a long walk with music playing in my ears. And then the other time when I wished to window shop. The task of having to involve M or his family so that I could make my way through the traffic infested roads was so putting off. I wished to get away again.

Is this the need for independence? I would say No.

How do I explain?

Well, It’s like having a butterfly heart. Light…Fluffy… Wanting to flutter… Fly… you know what I mean. Just being able to do those little nothings when you want.

About 12 years back one of my dad’s colleagues and a very good friend got married. He brought home a very sweet, yet a lady with a spunk. She and I hit it off immediately. She was new to Delhi. And being a Mallu born and brought in Kerala, had a Hindi accent which used to make me giggle every time she spoke. We expected a demure young girl in her early 20s who had left her home for the first time and come to the Hindi-land to duck and wait for her husband to do everything for her.

But oh dear lord…. we were in for a surprise! She went the very next day for grocery shopping all by herself, and in her words, made a complete fool of herself. But came back home with a hell lot of grocery and veggies. In a matter of few days, she had more friends than my mother who had lived there for many years. Language was not a barrier. Nothing was.

She taught me something:

In order to make the world your friend, sometimes… sometimes go ahead and shock them!

I learnt another thing:

There is a certain beauty in being able to have those little moments to yourself. It helps you grow immensely.

Wherever I go, how much ever I go to an exotic place, no matter how much I enjoy, I always want to come back home. Someone truly said, Home is where heart is. This is where my heart and soul gets its nourishment.

Recently I saw a video. It was about connecting with nature and yourself. I will try to put it in my own words. It goes something like:

Beneath that kohl rimmed eyes, the branded clothes, the high heels, the shampooed hair and the dash of Nina Ricci perfume…Before I deck myself to meet the world, meet deadlines and give a peck on my friends’ cheeks…. I am just Nature. I am just mud … air and water. I am just Me.

To remain myself, I need a little more of those moments.