The Journey

 

My nerves are wrecking and blood is rushing with all the anxiety of where this post would end. BUT I have to start somewhere…

So I begin with reviewing my blog metrics. Total of 5 posts, 4 followers, 265 views by 175 visitors in last 365 days and not a single post or view in last 9months, quite a flop show I guess. Although, on the other hand this also brings a breath of fresh air because really nobody cares what I write here. This definitely helps get some pressure off tonight. Talk about being positive

While I am rejoicing the perspective, my puppetry fingers start tap dancing to the voice in my head. This last year has been quite a boat ride I would say. You know how you rejoice platter of blue water but at the same time have this scary feeling of boat turning and you drowning. You are making sure you row the paddles and splash water with force towards the opposite direction and give your boat a push forward.

I have to be honest that my fear overpowered any sense of pleasure I could draw in my boat ride of life! Each one of our lives is a story and mine could get very descriptive and long so will save you from all the details. Now that I am thinking about it, I realize the good way to evaluate these last 12months is to measure my dominant emotions in June 2015 compared to those today in June 2016. Here comes my comparative analysis of emotional state in last one year:

Jun-15 Jun-16
Fear Hope
Anger Calm
Sadness Thankfulness
Disgust Desire
Indifference Surprise
Frustration Patience
Sorrow/Grief Gratitude
Humility Pride
Jealousy Spiritual
Hate Love
Impatient Thoughtful
Confused Curious
Hopeless Aspirational
Crazy Balanced
Forget Forgive

I am so happy to see where I stand today!!! A round of applause would help ladies and gentlemen

Taking hold of my excitement I do want to analyze the metrics and understand what worked for me. I have to say it really didn’t take a lot of time to derive that. What make it work for me, I would say, are the three S’s The Surprises, Support and Strength.

Surprises paid their friendly visits  and couple of significant ones that introduced me to my own insanity. I don’t think without these events I would have had the opportunity to even act. So they don’t lie when they say if its too easy for you then you are doing it wrong!

Strength that you have to draw from within help you stand in your two feet and make the right choices. For me whether being persistent about finding my happy place, fending for my spiritual yearnings or taking baby steps forward, every day choice was a real battle but I chose to cling on to my core. Even starting with this blog was a tough choice.

 My Support system of family and friends deserves a fair bit of acknowledgement. I don’t know whether they held me tight or I didn’t let them go but I was and still am lucky to have them. And trust me your well-wishers are definitely around you when you need them. You just need to hold on to them and ask for help.

I did not know that this post would end in this preachy note but who says reflecting was easy!

To conclude I can say that it has been a year of evolution for me. I am not transformed and I don’t intend to. I would like to tread this journey and accept all that comes my way with open arms.

I wish you all happy journey and stay in touch with LIFE!

Happy Scars

She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf.

Ritika had had this sense of calm within her. This has been her favorite place and she knew this place is going to carry a special meaning for her after today.

Today she was there, alone and determined, she wanted to breakaway from all the resentment and helplessness she had suffered last two years. She picked a magazine from the holder at the corner of very quiet coffee shop while she was waiting for a very important visitor. There was still some time for him to come. As she tried to concentrate on the news of the day, high profile murder case, she looks at her scarf and realizes so much of evil in these so normal looking exciting human lives. Strangely she was able to empathize with all the characters in the news story.

She had seen the evil so closely; the one that would visit her and leave her traumatized and bruised and she would have to deal with it everyday all by herself. Her teardrop at the corner of her eye appeared as she slipped to flashback and went to a point where it all started.

She had lost her father in a freak heart stroke at a very young age. She was just three years old then and her mother had told her how dynamic and ambitious was her dad. He was so protective for his small tiny family that he would work late hours but would not allow my mother to go out and work and help him support the demands of time. It wasn’t easy to run a home and bring up a child in city after all! But then this tragedy had taken all the peace and happiness from my mother’s life. She was abandoned by her family and left alone to survive.

By the time Ritika was 12years old, she had already grown up enough to follow the stress in her relationship with her mother. Where was the time to bond and connect? There were no bedtime stories and good morning power hugs. Her mother, Payal, was always tired and would loose her temper on nimble provocation. Ritika too was following her mother’s footsteps. Both were confused when their hormonal changes would overlap with the lacuna in family. Ritika would spend a lot of time reading, being in her room and watching television and was quite used to keeping her own company. Everything was still ok, as books and school would make her drift from her realities. Somehow she could carry all the missing pies in her cake of life gracefully and not blame Payal for anything. She knew her mother had a lot to carry on her shoulders after her dad left.

It takes only one bad cell to become a tumor and if not treated lead to cancer that spreads in your body and destroys you. Kunal was that tumor for the two of them.

Ritika was old enough to understand that her mother needed some antidotes for loneliness and hence Payal’s late nights at work and long phone calls and indifference did reflect on that. That never was a concern for Ritika as somehow, two of them had learnt to ignore each other’s existence and find their own way to deal with everyday life! Ritika was 14years old when Kunal would make couple of visits to their home in pretext of dropping Payal home after office. The young daughter would not step out of her room and met him in person. She would sometimes notice his quiet exit from the main door through the balcony window or their sweet nothings from behind the curtain of her room. He was now a frequent visitor and in a way Ritika also started liking his presence. He was handsome and running a successful business. Payal was also much calmer and looked happier than ever. Time passed and Ritika was also kind of drawn to him and started looking at him as a father figure. She just wasn’t sure when Payal and Kunal would get married and they would have a complete family. Ritika was happier too as now she could now hear laughter at home. Three of them had even attempted dinners together. Such events would end without any drastic or dramatic outcomes and pleasantly peaceful. At times Ritika and Kunal would watch TV while Payal will finish her office call in the other room. Ritika would secretly also fantasize of three of them living normal life, like regular families but she could never gather courage to talk about her dream world with her mother. Everything was going fine and in two years time he was very much part of their lives!

There was nothing awkward until one day when Kunal was home to baby-sit and Payal had to be out for a day’s offsite. Ritika was already in her bed and sleeping tight when she heard her room door open. It immediately hit her what was going to follow and suddenly realized the darkness in her room that night was going to stay for a long time. He said nothing and she could not scream and just shut her eyes hoping this was just one nightmare that would pass. Next morning she was full of shame and hurt. She was confused, he looked so normal as he gave her glass of milk and kissed her good morning on her forehead. Is it normal? Is this how father-daughter would normally be? She was not sure! Something was not right and it was weird to see him walking around in the house fearlessly and unaffected.

Ritika spent next few days lost and just did not share this with anyone. It seemed like a little secret between the two of them. His coming to her room when she was alone became more frequent and in fact now he would at times come when Payal was sleeping in next room. Ritika wondered if this was the price she was paying to Kunal for filling the emptiness of her father at home. Whatever it was she just chose to live life that way. This continued for two years!!

Ritika was deep in her thoughts when she heard a knock at coffee table and she saw Kunal standing right in front of her. The same smiling, confident Kunal! She smiled back at him and asked him to sit and join her. She slowly moved the scarf away and moved the bloodstained knife out towards him. She bent forward looked into his eyes and was so close that he could clearly see her blood red eyes and hear her trembling but strong voice. “This is the knife that I used every day to hurt myself, as if the hurt given from you was not enough!” she told him and pulled back her sleeves and showed him the cuts and slits in her arms that he could never see when he would undress her in the dark. Ritika found this a neat way to get over her shame of cheating her mother by remaining silent and allowing this man to ruin their lives. “And now I wouldn’t shy away from using this to kill you!!! So leave my mother and me now and get out of our lives or else …” she continued and moved the newspaper towards him and he knew where she was hinting. He realized he could make the next headlines!

Ritika would have probably continued to bear the damage forever but she realized she wasn’t getting anything in bargain. Her mother’s bruised face had not gone unnoticed by her as Kunal would beat Payal up and abuse her verbally in next room in last couple of weeks. When Ritika saw her in that state she realized how unacceptable it is to go through this and let a man do it to your self-esteem and dignity!

Ritika moved her chair back picked the knife, got up and left him struggling with what had just happened to him! She was now walking strong and head held high. She wasn’t till sure and kept scripting the entire story for Payal on her way back. She knew Payal had to be told all of this and get her mother out of trap of this daily shame! She rings the doorbell and as Payal opened the door she pulls Ritika towards her and hugs her tight. Ritika knew Kunal had already called and told Payal everything, Payal would not let her part and kept crying and keep her daughter close to her chest. She cried in her shaky voice “ I am sorry Ritika! I am sorry!” Ritika just held her tight, as she knew Payal needed all the strength and love from her at that moment. As they gathered couple of breaths, Ritika opened her eyes and saw the couple of shadows behind her mother. Payal held her tight from her shoulders and sucking back her tears caught said, “What he has done is not pardonable. He is not going home he is going to jail! I have filed the official complaint!” Ritika had never thought of doing this as that would bring dirty linen in public and could make life difficult for both of them. She felt relieved as her mother took her duppata and wiped her daughter’s tears, smiled and asked her to give her the knife. “We don’t need that anymore, not on you not on anyone!” Ritika moved the scarf, took the knife and placed it on her hand. Payal just called the policeman and handed it over to him “We don’t need this with us but probably Kunal would. It would remind him of my strong girl!” Everyone left the house and Payal and Ritika sat together for hours. Payal kept looking at her daughter’s cuts and scars they left on her skin. While Ritika’s mother was caressing her wounds she looked at her dads picture and silently told him that these were no more the cuts that helped her escape her shame and damage but are Happy Scars that are smiling back at her and reminding her of the strength that she need to build and retain within her always!

Everybody’s Fine!

resize

Like so many of us, Facebook has been an app at questionable status for me for quite sometime now! While I have been on it for more than 5years there is not one day when I have not accessed it and scanned it for few minutes. At times it’s quite a disturbance with these infinite notifications of my folks on friend list liking, sharing, updating or being active on their timeline!!

It caught my attention again one morning while having my first cup of tea in complete solace, well hypothetically speaking, because my phone was next to me and my multitasking was at its best with my tea sipping and scrolling through Facebook was gong hand in hand! I didn’t even realize and I got pulled deep into scanning profile mission! I scrolled through friend’s timeline; friend’s friend’s timeline and then friend’s friend’s spouses and it went on like that for couple of hours. Honestly I must admit I was a heck of a stalker that day. This went on for few hours and I must have seen about 100 profiles! This would mean that at least I have seen their profile pictures, scrolling quickly through some photos and surely their last few updates. It was like a chain reaction and I kept drowning into it without realizing that I would discover some fascinating facts!

I found that the most popularly posted updates were birthday greetings and special messages to ones spouses or children and occasionally to siblings or parents. I did not see special messages or declarations of affection for extended families or many friends. The next in line most popular status update is these numerous Facebook apps that tells you about interesting facts like which celebrity do you resemble most, what career you are meant for, meaning of your name, meaning of your child’s name etc. The other updates include visits to elite hotels and five star restaurant meals and of course one cannot miss upload of pictures from holidays, birthday parties, get together and many more such events. One update that is also not too far behind is the new hobbies that folks are picking with topmost being cooking, photography and travel! In some cases I do notice some political or religious fanatics but those are rare at least in my Facebook concentric.

What it summarised to me was that if you look at the profiles the pictures its all very positive, mostly happiness and sometimes silly and a full trail of albums with hundreds of pictures that does get irritating but also bring smiles when one notices some funny selfies, the desperate attempt of few to show their lifestyle and you get free fashion tips! I have to confess I do occasionally get addicted to the trail of sharing and sometimes suffer from comparing my boring profile with very happening profiles.

But if you look at it each one of our profiles tells a story and has the potential of staying in touch with who I want to, the stories I can choose to read or ignore! Its also true that the stories it tells are not entirely true and may have some hidden aspects, the relationship lacunas, the struggles at work or sickness etc. etc.

I ended my day of stalking with some over strained muscles but it left me a very soothing feeling that Everybody’s fine even in the midst of daily odds! Nobody has a perfect life and with these small little sharing they surely come as a blessing to me and teach me to find my small little happiness for the day and stay loyal to Facebook till the time it proves otherwise! I really pray and hope that Everybody is doing fine and can look back at their eventful memories through this medium.

A Dog’s Life!

IMG_6982

This break from working life has surely given me ample time in my hands within four walls of my house. I realize I love my corner, my couch and two pillows and spend most of my time there, I eat at fixed hours and I can get agitated or playful with no instigation whatsoever, definitely unpredictable. I spend most part of my day sleeping and awake most part of the night! I do hear what folks are telling me but really can’t seem to follow lately and occasionally nod my head and trying my best to ensure they surely mean good to me. Doorbell rings and I am the first one to run to the door and hey I don’t like strangers on the door and definitely end up asking in higher tone ’Hanji Kya kaam hai’, of course it disturbs my peaceful nap and yes I totally get the role of home guard for sure! Birds finding their pleasure on air cons or canopies are my favorites and I find my unexplainable thrill to shoo them away, I love sitting and looking through the balcony and trying to figure out the sense behind this worldly chaos and excitement around me in the pool, walking chirpy group of ladies or young teenagers animated non-stop chatting!

I wiggle with happiness and showoff my full jaw smile when my family pampers me with some treats or take me for a walk …Really who said sabbaticals are torturous and unthinkable. I believe it’s much better than spending your time judging people, exploring distrusts around and navigating through negativities. Of course I do know its not that bad either when you work outside of home, it adds weight to your bank balance and extra ability to reason the world. This is what differentiates us humans from the animals J and I surely am going to get to work soon but for now I am living a dog’s life and I love it! I found my new master in doughnut, my dog, he is teaching me life lessons and sharing his unspoken love and makes sure I have a company to keep.

Don’t be surprised if you see two overgrown ears out of my head, I speak in some non-human language and stand on four legs. That’s called sabbatical leading to total transformation!! J ‘BEWARE RINKU IS AT HOME!

Vrindavan, the Holy City

IMG_7022

I am never too excited to make these holy trips that involve temple visits or deity prayers. No disregard, but I always fail to associate myself with the rituals. Not that I am not spiritual but just a little bit difficult for me to connect with idol worships, especially when there are thousands of idols and millions of stories around them! I try doing my own thing and have been on my spiritual path lately through reading or practicing few things related. As a sales pitch Rahul explained the entire duration of proposed trip to Vrindavan not extending beyond 24hrs. I pleasantly surprised my husband and accepted weekend getaway to Vrindavan, the holy city.

So here we go! Rahul and me board our car and make our move to Yamuna express way. It was morning hours and just two of us, so it was very quiet and amazingly peaceful. If at all we would be tempted to get into any sort of argument or displeased about anything, I had my book with me as backup plan.

The agenda was very clear and signed off even before we took off for the journey! We will visit bankey bihariji temple, ISCON temple and Maharishi ashram. I was very fine as it involved only 2-3 hrs. of temple and darshan and rest all will be Me Time! Rahul had a well laid out plan, the cab, our pandit Ji to escort us for special darshan and garden view room.

Our first stop was to be at Bankey Bihari Ji and pandit Ji was there at sharp 11:30am. It was a non-festive weekend and hence not expecting too much crowd. As we were driving to the temple, I was reliving my previous experience of annoyingly large number of people pushing each other, making noise and unforgettable sweating non-deodorant body odors! Last time we were innocent enough to make a visit to Krishnabhumi during Holi! Site was dreadful with millions of people crazily moving in the same direction. I was just hoping we do not have to face that again although Rahul assured me of that. In few minutes we are asked to get down and leave our slippers in the car! Eeeks! I thought gave my first unhappy glance to Rahul and he returned back the sorry or it’s not that bad kind of a puppy eye look. We gracefully managed to ignore the spits, beetel leaf pukes, fresh or dried cow dung splashes, and dirt, nothing mattered. We knew we could always come back and wash our feet. It was all temporary dirt and didn’t count when so many people were there to wash off their sins they have gathered in their lives for so long!

We managed our way through these thin lanes with old constructions on both sides. Even though it was bright and sunny afternoon these streets had their darkness. You can see some poor/needy old men, women and dogs sharing the same small counters or the floor to sit and shared their plight of innumerable flies and this smell that is definitely unexplainable for people like us who spend their lives in aromatic toilets with all those dispensers. These needy people on streets seemed to be used to the rotten smell and were very comfortable in their attires. All they are hoping are for few coins or some food that passersby like us would share, actually throw in their small bowls or bags. Anyhow, while doing this chase of panditji to find our entry to Bankey Bihari Ji, my mind just splashed into it’s disbelief for few seconds wondering how come in a city of god, there are so many poor people and how come even after so many years of spending their life in gods doorsteps haven’t been relieved of their grief! But then I immediately reminded myself of theory of karma and past life! Well they must be paying for past life karmas and hence they ought to be the way they are. So again I continue in midst of monkeys staring at any opportunity to grab anything that you may carry in your hands or wearing in your eyes! I couldn’t have ignored the eternal love of monkeys for spectacles/eye glasses.

After this short marathon we made it to the dwar and now that my mini marathon was over I got my attention back to surroundings and was shocked to see the crowd, I was again feeling human pushes! Feeling was same, plump and sweaty men and women finding their way to the entry!! It was some kind of cut the chase and is the first ones to enter! What was the rush for? Aren’t we all there to pray and ask for blessings and shouldn’t that be a matter of peace? What is the hurry all about? Bankey Bihari Ji has got his permanent residency there and he is not going anywhere. I had promised myself that this visit I am not bringing my thinking brain along. It was simple visit with no reasoning. But I could see I was struggling within too and wondering that god believers/followers also feel that if its god’s will they will find their darshan, no matter what! Why could not these so god believing Krishna bhakts remember their first lessons of any Bhakti! I would, although I don’t claim to be one of them! Well I realized this was my second look of disappointment to Rahul and he very peacefully held my hand and gave me his visual advice of being patient! He smiled and conveyed he wasn’t expecting this crowd but then pandit Ji clarified it’s weekend crowd from Delhi and now we realized the visits were more frequent from Delhi walas including Noida walas, Haryana walas because now it’s the convenience of express ways and matter of no time you have this wonderful drive!

I reaffirmed myself that this was also gods wish to have more and more people have faith in goodness and make these holy visits!

We got these two nice white flowers garland for presenting to Bankey Bihari Ji and pandit Ji also found a small thin built boy whose chacha was serving the god today and hence our garlands were guaranteed to make it to bankey Bihari jis neck…!

I was there to see if I can form connect with bankey Bihari Ji. While I was being dragged by Rahul’s pull to find the front most place to have darshans I was also being pushed back by crowd at the same time. In midst of this tug of war I was amazingly having this glimpse of craziness in Bhakti, the Bhakts including Rahul were busy making eye contact with Bankey Bihari Ji. I just overheard someone saying in great excitement that today was one of this rare opportunity when idol was placed outside and one can have clear beautiful darshan! We were lucky!

The chaos in the mandir kept me away from connects with the almighty but I didn’t want to be later regretting and missing the action. So I forced myself to stop and looked into his eyes and made contact with those silvery eyes and black deity, I had never before seen such Krishna avatar! I was amazed at the sight and I had my silent conversation with him that he should form connect with me and I actually I felt as if he was giving me back that smirk and asked me to shut up so I actually did and started feeling the surroundings! By now I was quite comfortable with the atmosphere. To some secret orchestra playing I could hear this chorus of jay bankey Bihari ki and this not very well choreographed display of chanting with both hands raised. I mentally thought of imitating that but then couldn’t gather the courage to join the euphoria. Suddenly I saw my husband lying on the ground, managing to lie down and make his contact with the ground and follow the ritual of dandwat pranam, a way to express your utmost respect and belief! He was making most of this opportunity and ensuring all blessings coming his way! Though I was still not euphoric and feeling clash with my aryasamaji genetic mindset and latest Buddhist passion I felt very relieved and at peace! I was actually thinking it doesn’t matter it’s idol worship or meditation the idea for me was to find my peace and I did manage to get my share of peace in that chaotic environment!

We came out and I wouldn’t mind spending few more minutes there! As we stepped out panditji again made us go to this boy who actually had helped us with our presentation to almighty! He had this haldi paste which he generously applied on Rahul’s forehand and mine of course I did ask him to be less generous to me! We had our garlands around us and small yellow piece of cloth tied, looks like it was another expression of taking back your blessings from god! Suddenly this felt the right moment for selfie and here was time for us to move to our next destination ISCON! Again we were chasing barefoot our panditji this time with a feeling of accomplishment and full darshan satisfaction! Finding our way from monkeys saving our prashad, a samosa and peda each, we finally reached our stop.

Needless to say, on my way back to home from Vrindavan, I did find my connection not with the idol, may be, the innumerable stories I heard sound still unbelievable! But I connected with the spirit, the purity of Radhey-Radhey, that not only you hear as normal word of greet but also spoken by Rikshawallas to find way on the busy streets, the sounds of kirtans that play on speakers in distant temples or small temple at our resort. You also see on every wall, or a door in the houses an imprint of Hey Radhey. Unlike other places I visited this city is untouched of any modernity or urban mindset. The tilaks on our forehead seemed nice and gave me a reason to revisit this faith and come back again! Radhey-Radhey, I said silently to imaginary Krishna I could visualize playing in those fields on the roadsides that connect Vrindavan to Expressway!!!

Do you like it Indian, Chinese OR Thai?

Well my partner in crime, who actually for some reason is hopeful about my writing aspiration, helped me setup this blog !

I know!! Exactly, how I feel! Another blog?!  In my case I have time lately, can only think of writing mostly but unfortunately its limited to just thinking!! I am hopeful that this blog will be a good push and get me to some disciplined writing or some writing and hence a blog. After all, It is public, involves self -declaration and definitely and hopefully some live feedback so should help some procrastinating and dreamy people like me do some real work . I am sure I am not the only one who starts a blog thinking this but we will see…

Another important step in this process is finding an appropriate url name, title for the blog. So why Writer’s curry?

The truth is this was surely not my first pick , not second , not third … I thought it was like a baby name simple straightforward and no strings attached  I am just kidding of course, it strangely felt all that… Complex, emotionally taxing and really has to reflect on part of me!!! The most complicated aspect of blogging was finding a name that is available… Yes that’s something not experienced in finalizing baby names! I could do my search find my connection and meaning to that name and just announce it! But blog world is different. It seems blogging is like an epidemic.

Me and my partner in crime actually exchanged fifty names before we could close on writers curry. Looks like lots of us are suffering from this information sharing disease. Only thing that surprises me further is that this world where every medium is about sharing, be it Facebook, twitter and mother of all sharing, whatsapp, there is still a section of us who are craving for more through blogging.

Coming back to the Curry part, it suits well because as an individual I really have no clear preferences and no specific issues I wish to handle through this medium! As I said the whole objective is to get myself into habit of writing and it should be heartfelt, my perspective on anything that I see, experience or feel. If I can reach out to few and touch someone with my write ups I will be happy and motivated, so really when you do dare to hit click on my blog please be Not Sure if you will be served Indian, Chinese OR Thai.

I will try keep it simple and clean and No Pressure Really 🙂