I think, therefore I write

Tag: Non-Fiction (Page 3 of 4)

An alternate angle

Everyone in the blogging world knows about The April AtoZ challenge, it’s been doing the rounds for quite a while and a lot of people take part in it. All the while, I watched as a mute spectator. I spent a lot of minutes wondering whether I should take part in it. But then who am I kidding? I honestly don’t have the time and I don’t want force myself to write some random post and title it even more randomly so that the title starts with the letter of the day. No offense to the challenge and the bloggers who are participating (who by the way are dishing out amazing fiction for this challenge) but such challenges are not for me. Yet.

As I was mulling over this, another idea struck me and I tweeted about it. Obviously, the AtoZ post concept is appealing but the challenge of posting one every day is what takes the fun out of it for me. Why stuff so many posts in that 1 month just for the sake of it? I will do AtoZ posts on my terms. I have a lot of things to write about and as and when the idea for a letter strikes me, I will tag it under this category and write on it. This will be in the span of a year, that way I can repeat this multiple times and have fun with it. So here I am, writing the first post of AtoZ2015.


“Decide on one soon na?” I begged hubby who was flitting between Domino’s and South Indies for lunch. Hunger makes me cranky and I lose all reasoning as time goes by. Knowing this well, hubby blindly decided on Domino’s. As we were entering the outlet, we saw a boy, in 12-14 yrs age range begging the customers for some food. His face and mannerisms rang a bell. I have seen him often in front of this Domino’s outlet begging for food and I remembered feeling disturbed by the irony of a child begging for food outside a restaurant. It’s a common thing that restaurants will have a lot of edible left overs but still the boy’s hunger was not met by any kind soul. At the same time, my hubby pointed out that a lot of people beg stating that they are hungry but refuse to take food when provided and insist on money. I had experienced such stuff too. This caused a dilemma in me. I couldn’t think straight because of my hunger and decided to be selfish and satiate my hunger first.

Soon we ordered a variety of dishes in no time. On second thoughts, I felt that we might have ordered more than we could eat. I shrugged the feeling with a “Who cares? We can always take home if there’s much left over.” As I was eating through the delicacies on my table, I couldn’t help but glance at the boy through the glass doors. And I kept wondering why life is so two-faced. On the inside of the glass door sat people like me, relishing the food and A/C that they could easily afford and outside was a poor boy in the scorching heat begging for food. I couldn’t bear it. I quickly took the box of Taco Mexicana I had ordered and poured out a glass of diet coke I had ordered and went out to the boy. I was skeptical if he would accept food instead of money but was relieved when he did.

Having relieved my guilty conscience, I ate my lunch happily, paid up and left. As I came out of the restaurant, I found the same boy begging again. I was wondering if what I gave him was not enough but I could see that he had not finished eating whatever I had given him in the first place. I got angered that my act couldn’t stop him from begging and maybe I couldn’t even if I give him more food. I left the place in a huff in a helpless state. But my mind kept going back and as my mind calmed down, I could see the rationale behind the boy’s act.

I provided him one meal. He might have a family with many mouths to feed. Even if that’s not the case, who guarantees his next meal? Who ensures that he doesn’t get beaten up by the mafia whose business is making children beg and take the money for themselves? Without knowing anything about him, what makes me qualified to judge him? The fact that I have provided him a single meal? No!

The situation looks entirely different from the boy’s angle. That alternate dimension or perspective is something that we often forget. What does it look like when you are the one getting the raw end of the deal? That angle is something that will make us shudder and thank our stars that we are not there. Yes, I can do an act of kindness but that single act might not change someone’s life altogether. Such people are fighting the battle of survival.

I resolved that I will never judge anyone like this again. Yes, there is a possibility that the boy falls into the category of greedy beggars insisting on money when offered good food or those people who beg to make enough money to get drunk or high or things like that. But there is also the alternate possibility of him having a family that depends on him, him being an orphan who has to take care of himself at an age when children should be pampered and protected. And I will respect that possibility, however low it is.

Until later 🙂

Setting things right

I want to set certain things right. In my own terms. This is not a topic that’s unheard of or unwritten of. Yet, even the most civilized of the lot make the same mistake time and again and that pisses me off.

I am a feminist. And there comes the question, define feminism. Let me put it in a way that everyone would understand and hope (I’m an optimist) that people would get it.

The first line on Wiki’s page about it is: “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women.” Do we see the word equal? Do we understand what it means? Then why is Feminism considered a taboo? Why are feminists being looked at as if they are aliens invading the planet and exclaimed at as “Ooh! You are a feminist!” with that sarcastic tinge in the tone?

I like it when a guy walking before me allows me to go forward as I am in a hurry because he doesn’t want to be a hindrance to another person irrespective of the gender. Not because I am a woman.

I like it when a guy gives a lady his seat in the bus not because she is a woman but because she is pregnant or carrying her baby in one arm and struggling to keep her feet planted.

I like it when a man stands up for a woman to protect her when she is helpless because she is also a human. Irrespective of gender, the helpless should be protected. Again not because of the gender but because that’s what a decent human being would and should do for another human being.

I like it when a man helps his wife in household chores because there is no work label associated with the gender. We eat irrespective of the gender right? Or do you not eat because you are a man? So why not do the dishes too?

I like it when a man refrains from making cheap gender based jokes because jokes should never be at the cost of someone’s feelings. It holds the same for jokes made on guys too.

Image Source: plus.google.com

That is feminism for you. Feminism arose because the natural equality that should be present for any human being started getting skewed. If all of us had extended that courtesy of being sensible and unbiased, there would have been no need for feminism. Society and biased people are the reasons & root causes for feminism. When you see someone and judge them based on their gender or when you try to label a person based on gender, you create the unbalance and hence the need for feminism.If you don’t like feminism and terms alike, stop being skewed and biased.

So next time before you judge a feminist, rethink what she/he stands for. He/she stands for equality not for chauvinism of any gender. A feminist stands up to maintain that balance which the others chose to ignore. A feminist thinks about the human being and not about the gender. So I will proudly say again, I am a feminist! Are you?

Until later 🙂

Alone or Lonely?

I have heard people saying being alone doesn’t equate to loneliness. And I fully agree. There’s actually a not-so-thin line between the two which we often overlook. Don’t get it? Here’s an example.

Your parents/husband/roommate is out of town for a couple of days. You are pretty comfortable staying alone and hence you go about your work as usual. You use the time @ hand to do some reading that you’ve been meaning to do, watch re-runs of your favorite TV show, sing at the top of your voice without bothering anyone, sleep right on the couch without bothering about the next meal and talk to yourself just for the sake of it. That’s being alone!

You feel like there’s none to talk to or understand you. Not one of your acquaintances turn into friendships. You feel there is no one who matches your frequency of thinking. You miss your best friend who is unfortunately living in a different city or worse a different country. You miss your mom and dad and wish you could just leave everything and head back home. You have everything and everyone around you but all you feel is the sad feeling that no one’s around. That’s lonely!

The second case of being lonely can happen even when you are surrounded by people. People whom you don’t relate with or who don’t relate with you. Why am I now writing about this? Let me tell you. I am a person who is very comfortable with some alone time. I enjoy it. As much as I love my husband and parents, I have always carved out that personal space where I do things which I like without anyone’s interference. I don’t go in search of such time. It comes to me. Be it 10 minutes of a day or an entire weekend when hubby is out of town, I enjoy the time at the same level. I drown in a good book, watch re-runs of movies and shows, roam around the house cleaning and singing along with my favorite song which I can play on endless repeat.

My problem comes when people around me think I will get lonely because I am alone at home and start inviting me over. My MIL and grandma get concerned when hubby has to go out of town and start suggesting people whom I can visit so that I don’t have to stay alone. I appreciate their concern and at the same time politely tell them that I am very very looking forward to some ‘me’ time. After a few attempts, they understood. My mom calls twice a day to see how am doing. I tell her I am so enjoying it. My hubby still feels restless of leaving me alone at home while I am constantly assuring him that I am actually having a party all by myself 🙂 Of course, I will miss being with him but that’s natural. I will deal with it and get on with my work.

So next time you are saying that you are lonely, think twice. Are you alone or are you lonely? My mantra is “If you are not fully comfortable being alone with yourself, then you can’t be so with anyone else.”

Until later 🙂

Start a new life, many times over

I have heard enough cliches when it comes to change. Often in life, we all take a bold step and accept some change in our lives, albeit grudgingly. We have trouble accepting any change because we get neck deep in our comfort zones and don’t want to move. But when we stop and look back, all those changes we embraced were for a good reason. But more often than not, we do not acknowledge this enlightenment that retrospect showers us with. When I saw this topic #StartANewLife campaigned by housing.com, there were many things I wanted to write about. Love, Attitude, Career, Religious belief and otherwise etc. I am choosing a select couple out of many such things in my life to tell the world how I accepted change and how it changed my life.

My first job took me to an alien city – Hyderabad. When I heard where I was posted after training, my heart sank into my stomach. For one, I had my parents to assure that it is safe and that I can manage. Next, my heart was in Bangalore where Adit had got posted. Then I had my own insecurities to deal with. I set about preparing to go to Hyderabad with fears in my heart and tears in my eyes. It took all my courage to not quit my job then and there and return home. It was my first job and I didn’t want to be a quitter at the first step. With a heavy heart, I accepted what life had given me and set foot in the city.

What happened in the next 20 months was a lesson to me. I learnt a lot from that life. The city gave me so many things – A new language, lot of new friends, an entirely different culture and environment, the ability to withstand pathetic food at PG, the ability to adapt, the patience to figure out things and a lot more. I left the city when finally my transfer came through. When I think back now, I have nothing but good memories about the place. The reason I still needed a transfer out of that place was the sheer distance from home and more importantly, Adit’s office didn’t have his division in Hyderabad. So the onus of moving was on me to be together. Otherwise, I had no qualms about the place. This phase changed my outlook towards life. Ever since, when I feel that I am in a pickle, I remind myself that in retrospect I will be feeling a lot better about it and that I have to just give it time.
I have always wanted to live in a house owned by me. Rented houses were never for me, not to mention nosy owners,ever increasing rentals and compromises that come along with the fact that one cannot have everything. However, buying a house was always a daunting step for me given the cost of real estate these days. So I kept on dreaming about owning one but never had the courage to step into it. Finally, around the time I got married my dad encouraged me (in fact, he pressed me hard) to take the step. I wasn’t sure even then but then jumped into it with a rush of adrenaline telling me that it’s now or never. And I am glad I did.

The place will be ready in a few months and I cannot be happier that I stood up to it. I wouldn’t say it is all rosy because a lot of responsibilities came along with the house. The financial arrangements, budgeting were and are still a nightmare. But I don’t regret it one bit. Even if I had decided later on to buy a house, I would have to go through the same thing. Maybe even worse since real estate values only shoot up with every passing day. With this big step, my outlook towards being responsible and finances has changed. I have become a lot more responsible about my expenses. Yes, I am not yet as perfect as my parents who never wasted a single penny. But I am working towards it. I am reaching there, one step at a time.

pinterest_changeImage Source: Pinterest

There are many more such incidents that changed my life. All of you would have had such experiences too. Every incident conveys the same point – Embrace the change and start a new life. Over and over many times. Each time, it will not only be a little better but it will also start making sense to you. You can see the big picture forming out of the small pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle. Whenever you feel down, remember – One piece at a time and the puzzle will be solved in no time.

Until later 🙂

This post is for the #StartANewLife campaign by housing.com. Watch the video to know more.

The art that is communication

Remember those days when communication between two persons in different places meant writing letters, waiting for the letters or maybe for the privilege of an occasional telephone call? Yeah, I know that I sound cliched. But today I want to talk about this exact cliche.

I have lived in times when there was no mobile, no phones that are smarter than humans, no internet. I have lived in times when mobiles, smart phones, internet, computers were not so easily available to the common man and I am glad that I was part of a common man’s family then. I have experienced the thrill of writing letters and waiting for a reply. I have had my first rush when I got the first phone call from a friend. It made me feel important in the family to be able to give our land line number to a friend and to have her call it. We didn’t have anything to talk though. But I can still remember how we both giggled into the receiver of having done something grown-up.

And writing letters, ah! The feeling is indescribable, especially if the letter is to a budding crush/romance/love. My hubby and me were childhood sweethearts and were best friends right from the KG classes. So in the early teens, we had a gang of our own and all the usual drama in the class. So we had a code for writing letters among the members of the gang. Though there were other members in our gang, we two really hit it off with the letter writing, sometimes in code and sometimes normally. Starting from the silly “Have you done your homework?” to the then important “How is our enemy gang planning to prepare for the test?”, we have seen it all. The funnier thing here is it was almost always the action of writing and exchanging the letters that piqued our interest than the content itself. After all, what could a couple of school kids write about? 😛

Example of handwriting with gold pen
Anyway, I still have that feeling in me when I sit down and write something. If not physically, the closest feeling is typing up my thoughts. I know such is the case for many bloggers around here. My point in writing about this today is how the ease of communication has actually removed/replaced several prized feelings that still send a thrill coursing through our entire body. Today, we can reach anyone, anywhere at any time. The prerequisites are a smart phone and internet. Maybe even just a mobile phone. While all this has certainly eased our pain points of reaching someone, I feel sad. I feel sad that I cannot show my kid how “that feeling” would be. How the feeling of exchanging letters with your crush would be, how the feeling of waiting beside the telephone for a call that a friend promised you would be, how it feels to exchange coded notes with co-conspiring friends right under the nose of those who are busy trying to figure out what you are talking about, especially when all you would have been talking about is that your mom has packed aloo subji for lunch and that you would be willing to trade some for the delicious omelet that your friend’s mom packed.

Keeping in touch has now become so easy that the pain of farewell is diminished. When it is good that we can keep in touch with our old school friends to this day, we are missing that high which comes when you stumble into an old friend at the supermarket whom you have tried to keep in touch so hard but over time, lost it. Can any of the WhatsApp kind messengers or Facebook kind social media beat that feeling? I don’t think so. Today, the internet has changed the world into one big open book where anyone can peek into my page and read my personal feelings with no consideration whatsoever. Social networking was supposed to re-create the long lost bonds between friends and make them connect. But it went a step ahead and told us stuff about each other that we actually wouldn’t want to know or shouldn’t be knowing anyway.

As all this is taking us ahead, all we can do and are doing is sit back and reminisce about the times when we had more prized possessions in the form of memories and how all those would not be passed on to our next generation. The precious feelings are cursed to stay frozen in time while the human race races faster than ever.

Until later 🙂

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