Looking Back With A Content Heart


woman doing hand heart sign
Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com
  • Did I manage to check every item on my bucket list in the current year ? NO.
  • Will I able to do it in the coming days before I bid adieu to this year? No

Then what is the content about? I am alive and kicking, isn’t it something to be happy about? I am healthy and managed to survive this year without any major health issues, isn’t this something to be happy about in the times where every puff of air we breathe is capable of putting us in direct line of fire of dreadful diseases? My family, my near and dear ones are with me when relationships are volatile and vulnerable, isn’t this something I should be happy about? I have a roof over my head and heart free of fear, is there any happiness greater than this?

No, this is no spiritual discourse but the hard truth of life that I am trying to absorb as much as I can.

Coming to what I have done and what I got in 2019, few are tangible successes whereas few others are intangible emotions. How about a sneak peek, come with me 😊:

  • Beginning was superb: January 2019 gave me the requisite impetus to march towards my long pending goal of learning how to drive. I cleared my driving theory test (on second attempt though 🙈).  That really charged me well to take on the next challenge of setting my hands on the steering for the first time in 34 years of my life. That was something!!! (Now I am eligible for provisional driving licence, a step closer to claim my independence 😁).
  • Many first times: I mentioned it many times in my articles that my son is a non verbal autistic child. Every word he says is an ecstasy for us for obvious reasons. Every addition in his vocabulary is a mirror to his development and evolution. And when he said “Amma” (mother), “Nanna” (father) for the first time in eight years of his birth it was an altogether a different whirlpool of emotions for me. For any child Ma, Pa are the first words/ sounds but my ears yearned all these years for that call.  It’s not that those words give approval to the bond we share with our son but definitely they satisfy our  senses. It was during our flight to India. He was seated with his father separately. He was really worried as to where his mother and sister has gone and was constantly nagging the crew asking about me by only mentioning  “Amma, Amma”.  When the crew asked me I was clueless if it’s my son or not.  And when my doubts dispelled I was happy beyond my words could express.  Tears that I hid from co passengers can only explain which  I fail to do it here.
  • Amazing surprise: When our stay in India was drawing to a close I got a sweet surprise.  My brother in law broke the news that they will be soon our neighbours (Brussels and Amsterdam  are just 2 and half hours away) as they used to be four years back.  That’s pure happiness.  Nothing beats the fun and happiness of having family around especially when you are in far away lands.  They have been with us in our thick and thins and my co-sister is an amazing fun loving person to be around.  Looking forward for 2020 winter shopping gal! (She would know if she is reading this 😁)
  • Very important lesson learnt: Throughout my life I heard people saying “Karma catch you sooner or later” (can’t use the phrase millennials use 😁) but this year gave me first hand experience of that. In my growing up years I was upset (an understatement) with my father that he signed up as a guarantor for someone and we faced extreme crunch situations at home because of his action.  My reaction for that particular act of him was very sour.   I  always cautioned my brother, my husband, my close ones against being a guarantor to anyone.  I maintained “if you can help do it but don’t pledge it with a signature”. But karma caught me as I signed a subscription contract of telecom services of another brand other than what we are using now unmindfully (for the first and last time) only to realise few days later that my previous service provider severed my connection and I am left with no contact number. This is after I called the correspondent the next day and declined the offer. But who cares when the signature is there 😔. I got the taste of my own medicine. That reminded me of my folly then. I was harsh instead of understanding his position. Few moments are beyond your intelligence, pragmatism, logic and reasoning, simple. Perhaps I learnt two lessons: what goes around comes back and your signature might not be an autograph but definitely can buy you dire consequences if used without giving a thought. Fortunately no serious damage done this time.
  • I grew: Understanding people, keeping few close ones, confiding heart to them, drawing inspirations from every possible person, accepting mistakes, making new ones and learning from them, able to motivate myself, picking up from shattered pieces and commencing a new stride again and most importantly being happy – this is what I learnt during this year. And my journey is still on for the next year too. Schedule for the journey will be released next year 😁😉.

To be honest I don’t have much to write about but I started believing that life is better lived every moment than to strive hard to create moments. And I lived 2019 with content for I have life and I am growing up every moment.

I am Bound Till….


img_20161224_152545

I am bound till the time I test the strength of last strand of bond between us. When it gives away I am free.

I am bound till the time my fingers are engulfed by even a single bleak ray of hope. When it is shut down I am free.

I am bound till the time I garner strength to carry on in this lone battle every time I falter. When weakness embraces me I am free.

I am bound till the time I care to repair and iron out the creases from our worn out relationship. When indifference sets in I am free.

I am bound till the time I choose to suffer to make you win in front of the world. When I chose to make my own victory stride I am free.

I am bound till the time I decide……

***This is applicable to everyone who is making silent contributions in their lives yet never credited sans any gender bias ****

Recipe For Being A Good Neighbour


 

smiling man and woman sitting beside door
Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com

Originally posted on Candles Online

When we talk about the delicate issue of RELATIONSHIPS our discussions hover around bonds between spouses, friends, lovers, parents, in-laws too. But the most immediate relationship is often given a miss or rarely finds a mention in that list – Neighbours.

I think I don’t have to reiterate the importance of neighbours when there’s a commandment  in the Bible itself- Love Thy Neighbour!

Who are Neighbours? Rather who are good neighbours? Or what are default neighbour settings? Door bell rings, ding dong- “Hello can I borrow one cup of sugar? Do you have a glass of milk? We have guests at our home can we send them over? What is your son doing? When is your daughter getting married? Hope we haven’t disturbed you. Hope you were not busy.  How dare you let the speck of dust from your home flew to our gate?”  Yeah this is how a standard neighbour behaves 😁. Yeah I grew up among such amazing neighbourhood where people’s interest always lied in other’s business. In fact during my 10 years stay in Belgium I missed such intervening neighbours (😉 pun intended). And whenever I visit my brother in India the same void is fulfilled by his neighbours who always make sure that they never miss an update from what is happening within the four walls of his home 😁. I love that, I enjoy that.

Well, this was a dose of humour. But relationship with neighbours has a serious tone to it.  My father used to say “Neighbours are very important in our lives. Our friends, our relatives all stay away from us. It takes time for any information  to reach them and eventually for them to reach us. When problems, traumas, disasters strike us it’s our neighbour that attends us first”. This made a mark on my mind permanently. We often talk about Society but that’s our neighbhours and a cluster of neighbourhoods that comprise  our society, isn’t it? So cordial relationships are so important for a robust society.

On innumerable occasions I have seen my father reaching out to help neighbours without holding grudges (also fortunate enough to have had neighbours who stood by us in our thick and thins). Having seen him take a stand for others I understood that relationship between neighbours is as delicate as any other relationship that we cherish and vouch for.

How to be a good neighbour?

  • Don’t try to peep in their lives through the creeks in the walls: We all have encountered such neighbours I am sure.  But too much intervention in personal spaces serves only irritation and agitation. We live in times where people need space from parents and spouses then neighbours should behave accordingly 😁. Please don’t worry too much about the gold your neighbour buys or their kids’ education or marriage. They can take care of that.
  • Don’t hold grudges: Ususally people hold grudges for trivial issues like ” they didn’t invite us to their son’s first birthday party, we were not informed about the promotion Mr.XYZ got” and this comic list goes on.  This is human nature. But you will be called human only when you act human. When something goes wrong with your neighbour, when the need for help arises in your proximity you should act instead of taunting.  You might not be able to offer financial assistance often but then your presence also counts amidst the crises situation.  Think about it!
  • Use your tongue wisely:  Tongue is a powerful weapon. It can heal, it can hurt. We all know how and what I mean so won’t go into an explanation mode. Spreading rumours, gossiping, using foul language, talking nonsense and inflicting pain and fear are signs of the rotten mentality. Stay clear of this in both directions – neither be a spectator/ recipient nor a participant.  Use your words to soothe a person’s grief, to boost confidence, to support.  Be a good person, period! And remember Karma always catches up.

A warm greeting, a gentle smile, a sound advice (only when asked 😁), a steady hand stretched out to help – And here you are  –  A good neighbour.  Be it, Be the change you want to see and people will not only love you but might possibly follow your footsteps.

And not to miss cordial relationships with neighbours is important at all levels be it buildings or countries – just saying 😁😉.

MEN ARE HUMANS TOO


Candles Online

A day such as International Men’s Day makes us stop on our steps and give a deep thought to men. Women do need that extra bit of attention because all the world over, be it in developed or developing nations, they are the oppressed lot – in different but many ways. However, men are calling out too – their voices being doused by the stereotypes and mutilated by the rigid societal frameworks that have defined gender roles.

The theme for International Men’s Day 2019 – ‘Making a difference for men and boys’ made me think whether any difference is needed for men and boys, and if so how can we (men and women) contribute towards it. Some stereotypes definitely need to be revisited to be modified.

#Men are supposed to be strong

What does ‘strong’ mean exactly? Well, in the context of men, ‘strong’ means physically, emotionally, financially and socially…

View original post 1,166 more words

CAN WOMAN BE THE VICTIM ALWAYS?


Originally posted on Candles online by World4womencom

“Me Too” movement has been  a phenomena off late that saw many skeletons tumbling out of the glossy doors that contained for long rotten corpses.  This movement that transcended to different countries, communities raised a strong voice and gave strength for many women to join the force against the sexual harassment in work place.

For more details we have wikipedia pages anyways 😊.

This movement has given a hope to many suppressed voices.  Women finally started voicing their horror experiences.  And the culprits – Men (not a generalisation) are being shown the doors.  That is something to be cheered up ans celebrated, isn’t it.

This movement is a minuscule part of a revolution called Feminism. Age long patriarchal dominance, suppression and submission is finally seeking freedom.  “We are no less than you, we are at par with you, we have been doing our duties now it’s about our rights.  We will no longer take it lying down” sums up it all. Fair enough! Much needed indeed.

But the problem is misuse of the concept or let’s say  the “Woman / Victim card” just to settle few scores, gain some popularity or simply sympathy.  Don’t get shocked, it is prevailing.

Let me give you two examples (out of many):

  • Rohtak sisters of Harayana were hailed by one and all as they beat an “eve teaser” who was harassing them in a bus.  A bravo act! And they repeated the act in another incident but now discrepancies started to appear in their script.  And recently the accused whom the sisters beat was acquitted by the court of law in  light of various testimonies given by the co-passengers and ironically they were girls too.  They just used Victim Card to get some attention and fame. Proved! But very late though. Boy was shamed everywhere to the point he lost everything.
  • Delhi’s Saravjit Singh Bedi Vs Jasleen Kaur case.  It was an altercation at the traffic signal. She (Jasleen Kaur) clicked his photo and circulated via her social account and accused him for eve teasing her and since then he was branded as “Delhi la Darinda” (Delhi’s Scoundrel). He was heavily accused, hated and penalised. Lost his job, his image was tainted, his family lost face and lot more. And amidst all this she easily escaped to a foreign land even evading the court hearing dates to prove his misdeed.  Strange, isn’t it?
  • Mohammad Shami, the cricketer was embroiled in a false domestic violence case because he is a Man!

False rape cases, dowry cases, domestic violence cases are on rise. When things don’t work their way few women unfortunately using their “weaker sex/ victim” card because they got the pulse of our somewhat flawed laws meant for their own betterment and our undesicive society who never battles an eyelid in shaming the victim irrespective of the gender and believes in hogwash rather than truth underneath.

What are the repercussions?  Using flaws in laws and popular movements for personal agendas by handful of scrupulous souls is definitely not serving any purpose (not taking the personal ones into account). This is in fact widening the already existing gap between the genders.  This is some how resulting in distrust that one gender has on another. If a woman finds it difficult to trust her male counterpart, a man too fears a possible exploitation at the hands of law meant for woman’s protection  which could be easily misused for settling few agendas straight. On the flip side the huge volume of false cases is making sure that those who actually need help from the judiciary are being denied or delayed justice.  And this is actually impeding many from taking action to demand justice.  So if being a woman, a woman wants to misuse the law for her benefit she is actually denying someone else the justice simply by slowing down the process.  Period!

Media’s Role in creating sensation / shaming: unfortunately the media is to an extent responsible for sensationalising issues without any analysis. In their stride to top the TRP charts they want news chops that can garner interest. Source never matters so does the truth.  They want to cash the trend. When the country is raged at the gruesome rape cases of Nirbhaya, Kathua news channels use clippings of Rohtak Sisters to sound relevant in their coverage. And that results in sensationalisation because we want our girls to retaliate the wrong and we shame the boy because we are in mindset “he must have definitely done something wrong to be at the receiving end”. And when the truth comes to the surface channels already have something else to showcase (elections 🤣), so no one cared about it whereas the boy is still suffering the impact of social ostracism. This is too dangerous, mark that.

Fight against heinous crimes committed against women is not a fight against Men. This has to be emphasised.  When Jessica Lal was murdered by a Man there were hundreds of same gender who were out on streets to fight for her. When Nirbhaya happened the police “men” sweated it out to nab the culprits.  My Father supported me in my decisions throughout so did my Husband and I forgot to mention Chiradeep, my mentor who always guided me.  They are all Men. Right and Wrong; Good and Bad; Righteousness and Sin are free of gender bias. A woman can be wrong too – please take a note all the pseudo feminist out there who are doing more harm to women and humanity as a whole than good. “Feminism” as understood by few is not a fight against Males.

As a woman I feel that the strong wave of important movements like “Me Too” or “Feminism” shouldn’t be curtailed or restricted to ulterior motives of handful for they are meant for superior objectives of upliftment and serving justice.

PRECIOUS PRINCESS YOU ARE ❤❤


Candles Online

Talking about my four years old angel, my daughter Nandini.  2015, June, she came into our lives and since then it’s been a fantastic journey with her.

Four years of age but she is independent, smart and confident. Being a mother I shouldn’t praise too much about my own child because Nazar Lag Jaati Hai (cause jinx). Its too much fun with her around.  Few shades and incidents of her I would love to  share :

She is an independent girl in the making: Me “Nandini let me hold your hand while we are walking to school“. Nandu (we fondly call her):  No thanks. And that’s a subtle way of saying Mom mind your own business 😁. She chooses what she would wear everyday (of course I enforce a lot 😉 to convey who’s the boss 😎), from brushing her teeth to wearing her jacket she learnt…

View original post 521 more words

Too Much Dwelling On Past, How Helpful Is It?


Originally posted on Candles Online:

Time – an omnipresent factor that runs our entire life. Birth is recorded so is death in measuring units called hours, minutes and seconds which is basically Time. Past, present and future all have yardstick of years, months and days, it’s nothing but Time. We have bad times and good times, registered as moments and memories but Time nonetheless. Time never stops and ceases. If every matter is made up of cells then every matter is run by Time. Anyone from 1980’s era in India and who have seen Mahabharat on national television would understand and relate to “Main Samay Hoon” (I am The Time) pretty much summarising what I said 😁.

There’s a saying “Time once spent can’t be earned back unlike money” and it’s a fact to the core. We all have moments in our lives, where we dwell on our past and constantly wish how different the course of events could have been. A different action, a different desicion, a timely intervention, sometimes a delay perhaps could have chalked out an entire different picture to be enjoyed or cherished now.

Certain incidents/ desicions I regret the most in my life : I could have chosen computer science over commerce and that would have helped me fetch a job here in this foreign land, something I dearly yearn for. I could have done a certified professional course that could have added some volume to my dull CV. I could have had a bit prolonged career before I my wedding.

More or less I have more regrets concerning my professional decisions for I am unemployed for a decade now, something I have mentioned time and again in my write ups. Pondering over and over on those moments over a period of time now (see Time, I told you 😁) haven’t brought me any solace but some sense to say the least. Wondering how?

When I am lost in my search for answers in my past, my idleness in present questions me “you can’t anyways undo your past, what is your stand in present to make you stand in future? Why you are unearthing melancholy when your smiles and peace lie in discovery and exploration. When you have ideas, share them. When you have plans put them into action and see the drama unfold.”

Sounds too preachy right? But this is a reality I am living in. My tussle with time is on a different level. Every morning while busy in chores I think about my past, when done with morning routines my urge to relax myself overpowers my will to write blogs (in this context I thank Candles Online to give me impetus strong enough to write at least once a week 😁), paint or at least finish cleaning up of house (😁 but don’t jump to the conclusion that we love in shabby and unhygienic conditions, its just that it might not be presentable round the clock) to an extent that I end up procrastinating things on more than one occasion and by the evening I participate in a race against time to finish off pending chores before hitting the bed and on bed I toss planning to start a fresh day with renewed determination to make my own identity and announce it to the world and my family and again I loiter in the past (recent one though 🤣🤣) thinking I shouldn’t have wasted My Precious Time for once it’s gone it’s gone forever. It’s a cycle you see!

And it’s much vicious than that of poverty and complicated than that of a life cycle. Once you are a “procrastinator” then you certainly need a greater push to get out of that habit. Not yearly resolutions but we need a daily resolution to keep our “regret” mode at bay. And trust me my run is so on! 😁.

My Personal Realization: How I acted in past have strong reasons underlining them and thus they were apt then. My constant rant now can only earn me some sympathy sometimes but not useful anyways 😊. And I am not taking any or requisite amount of steps as an amendment, does it make sense?

So how often do you Procrastinate and regret?  If you are like me, then join the club not to boast but to fight our bad habit and put our Time to a better use other than for dwelling and digging past for if its bitter it won’t be better now either.

Thumb Rule For  Procrastination: You lose your right to complain if you don’t act on time or at all.

Remember this and march forward for past is so over, let it rest in peace 😁.

You Can Never Be “Nothing”


fea-nothing

Originally posted on Candles Online

May not be the chime in rain drops,
But you might be the rainbow hidden in the water prisms,
just waiting for the beams to shine upon.

May not be the fragrance of freshly sprinkled earth,
But you might be the pot hidden in those particles,
just waiting for the hands to carve you.

May not be the breeze on a moonlit night,
But you might be the power of wind shattering the barriers,
just need the right direction for your flow.

May not be the apparent shine of gold,
But you might be the strength and value of a diamond,
just need fingers to polish and brush away the dust on you.

May not be everyone’s dream,
But you might be the music in someone’s life,
just need to usher the tunes of smile.

May not be everything you wanted to be,
But you might be something,
better and destined to be for you can never be “Nothing“.

I Don’t Want To Look Dumb


Originally posted on Candles Online

woman-learning-to-drive

Image Credit: Google Inc.

Year 2016, I failed my first ever examination.  And by examination I mean literally examination where candidates sit in a room and test their knowledge about a particular subject. (My conscience is knocking me at this moment “Are you sure FIRST TIME? What about the one or two competitive exams you appeared for 🤔?”  Pat comes my answer when the results are unknown I can easily state conspiracy theories😎).  But in this situation results were out instantly and I flanked. What an embarrassment! My head hung in shame and searching for excuses or you can solace in answers like “you are not alone, relax! Out of 20 people present there only one or two cleared the test. And there was one candidate who got it all wrong. And you were just 2 points away from the passing mark” and many points in the same league just to console my hurt heart which was crying deep inside “Ab kaise muh dikhaaoge gharwaalo ko” (how would you face your family now?).

Why I was ashamed? Is it because I had to shell out more money (I forgot to tell that it was a driving theory test) I preferred to give my test in English? Is it because my husband had to skip many lunches at home as I was preparing hard for this 🙈?  Probably because I was taking myself too seriously, trying too hard to keep up my image of a “topper”.  My failure in that exam was a result of my fear, pressure to prove myself, in short my insecurity (My good friend Rajnandini mentioned in her article “No Insecurity when God is your Security“. Result could have been different if I would have concentrated a little bit more on logic of driving lessons, just saying.

5de14bf5-a914-498c-bd0f-9ce6f3cea230
(Image Credit – Google Inc.)

Coming to the current year, 2019. I finally cleared my driving theory test with an excellent score. And comes the next stage, I am finally at the steering wheel. Thought practical will be easy but it’s been 16 hours, 4 hours per week but I am still at gear 2 and my instructor continuing his high pitched shrilled voice “Kalpana – what about maintaining your right? Look how close we are to the edge; look how far we are from the edge; Why is your car trembling? You can’t change the gear without handling clutch” and he continues.  At the end of every session he repeats himself “don’t drive with hesitations, pressure and fear. Driving isn’t that difficult.”

And a deep introspection of his words again puts me in the dock asking myself  “why do you fear so much? Why do you want to prove yourself ? Why not relax and let it sink?” Answer is probably  I am still in control of my insecurities instead of my car 😁 – I don’t want to look and sound dumb. I have the pressure of learning how to drive for my kids but the pressure of proving myself is greater than anything else.

All said and done I don’t have any inhibitions to accept that yes I am an insecure person. My insecurities stem from the fact that I want to guard my image, I fear people’s perception about me. To put it simply – I don’t want to look dumb. I am sure there are many more people with me on the same page, sailing the same boat. We take up things to prove ourselves, we hesitate to clarify our doubts because we fear mockery, we hesitate to say NO because we don’t want to come across as rude, in short we are too indulged in ourselves or take ourselves too seriously.

It’s time to break shackles of our insecurities and to breathe free.  Reason – our “image” is not of tad importance to anyone.  It isn’t a picture of  Mona Lisa decorating the Louvre Museum, distortion of which would make a huge difference to anyone. what say? Do share your experiences and start breaking and  breathing free because every iota of world’s creation and creature have it’s own importance. Just bask and soak yourself in that glory. Meanwhile I will try the same 😁.