My Parallel Universe..the GPS.

No disclaimers…I am braced up to face the bad world of challenges cause I have my GPS…bring it on!!!!

“Parallel Universe” sounds familiar? I have heard about it, used it, abused it and imagined it so often. . Either through sarcasm thrown by someone (Especially my children) or my own (Forever on run) imagination. After all those puns and figment of imagination (So called) I have finally seen the parallel universe. I seem to have finally landed upon my very own parallel universe and very much in my own hand…..

Voila!!!The GPS Universe.

Request to hold your horses before quashing this as spam and pressing escape (Though on second thought Escapism is another Universe to be explored properly).

Well, let me tell you about this parallel Universe, the GPS Universe.

Ahh…it is so soothing and soft. It makes me feel right at the top of the world. It makes me nostalgic about The Carpenters’ famous ditty on being at the Pinnacle. It gives me the feeling of an achiever (Though even the spellings of achiever go haywire at times). This is the only place I get to hear every time I use it “You Have Arrived”.  There is something very cathartic about it.

This Universe is far from being categorized cause it along with being weird and wonderful, it is also plain bizarre. And in the GPS universe  we find life throwing the most serious stuff in the most amusing way that challenges and may be breaking the very mould of existence (read the myth).

Think about “Life” and now think about yourself. You keep questioning it and IT questions you forever. Unfathomable war between the two ends when we use GPS. It is like that big sister who holds you and hugs you despite of all the sibling rivalry.

One is in the middle of all the twist and turns, the one way streets, and the detours and at times these huge jams (Figuratively speaking the challenges of life). All this reminds of an unrequited love. Right there amidst everything I hear these words “You have arrived.”

Now please be honest and tell me where else do you hear this so often apart from the GPS.

Unlike the Universe we live in, one does not have to rely on the cues and signs to solve the riddle of one’s life. It is plain and simple,” Drive a little ahead…take a left turn in 72.1 meters; your destination is almost there. So on and so forth and you, my dear friend, have arrived. It even suggests gives 2 choices and on top of it suggests which one is right for us. The arrow is like those astrologers who guide us without any fasting, pujas and some precious stone. Just keep following the arrow.

Tch, tch…it just does not feel right to be away from this. I never seem to arrive anywhere outside GPS Universe. I am sure even St.Peter would not have a garland in his hand at the Pearly Gate (The way it is going here in the mortal land).

The Divine Comedy directed by the Top Person has a very different script. Hello! This comedy has no guffaws and on top of it I am never able to do my maths right in the class of karma. There’s no division between the painful going and the joyous arriving. And our very own GPS keeps the “joyful arriving” going for us.

Of course I agree, that’s not how things work in the Universe we exist… Neither in our careers, nor in our relationships and not in most of our lives. Not all the time. It is always a tug of war between…You’ve always arrived and You’ve never arrived. Like a headless chicken we still go on and on. And people, in the GPS Universe…You have always arrived.

And now along with all these dilemmas we have to face the decision fatigue…to be or not to be. Look how our lives have become myriad of decisions. Netflix or Amazon or Hotstar…which spiritual guru among the hordes which are there….which selfie to upload… cook at home or order online….RAGA or NAMO…mandir or masjid…make-up or bareface….cows or pigs…fake or real.

Holy-moly…we go through the meltdown all the time.

Yes, we do…and there among all this fatigue when we follow this GPS we hear “You have arrived”

And then there is another decision to take…”Is it all about arrival???? Or perhaps it is only about the journey????

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COLLATERAL GAIN

My verse side:

To write this today, I feel right

To write this today, I gathered all my might

To write this today, I can see what was earlier not in sight

Today I do write as I feel very very light

 

I do remember the day, when I was asked to let go

I denied that I held anything for the causes I never got to know

Holding it was indeed a no show

A pull ahead and a push back kept me where I was years ago

 

Pain is sweet and embrace it, I was told

I was shocked as I was soaked in self-pity mould

Mock and disgust is all I had to give to those who belonged to that fold

They did nudge the depth in me without letting anything unfold

 

It was left to me to discover

I was a dabbler who pretended to be part of this endeavor

I seemed to take a step, never moved a wee bit however

It kept hitting me hard and I kept the pretense forever

 

Till that I day I woke up from the slumber

I realised that all my prayers went asunder

Cause the anger I carried was a blunder

I pretended I had forgiven people who ignorantly  hurt in the yonder

 

I knew no meaning of forgiveness

I forever blamed others for the unrest

People came and left but I remained enmeshed

It kept coming back, Let go and forgive for my best

 

I prayed a lot and asked lot of whys

Never realised, that these are answered when the faith is all high

I never saw what led to this lingered misery I deny

It was me and my way of life that I ply

 

Faith not in words but in action is what I need

The deep anguish against others is what I got to bequeath

Causes are me and the solution is in thee is what I need to accede

Pain for me is just to see a sweet lesson to feed

 

Today nothing has changed yet everything seems anew

The fears have vanished and struggles come with different hues

The pain is embraced and faith is renewed

Prayers will be answered or have been answered is something I brew

Near 50 Experience

 

Disclaimer: This article is purely to address (Read poke fun) the mainstream issues of turning 50 years of age. When I say 50, I mean the actual numeral  notwithstanding the fact this is just a number but the feeling expressed or emotions (Read gawk) hidden are purely the act and responsibility of each individual who would be reading this article.

Now tell me who says age is just a number (Actually it depends who is asking the age). I need a serious and genuine help with this fact of turning 50. Yes, I would be turning 50 in few years (Gasp!!). Tell me, what is to fear. However, after near fatal experience of coming of age, I do fear the coming of 50 (sigh only at times).

It is the environment which does not support us to do so. Nope…I live for myself and only my opinion matter (So to say) and yes, I love myself a lot. I even go to the mirror first thing in the morning and while ignoring my dark circles and those tiny freckles around my jaw line..I repeat and tell myself, “I love you”.

Totally man!!! I believe in self-love.

Of late my visits to salons have seen a marked change. The minute they ask my age, they suddenly change their focus to anti-aging treatments and products. If the facial women gets hold of my face, they look like those WWF women wrestlers who are there to force the outer layer of my skin to reveal the soft, glowing, taut and supple skin of mine. The blemishes and freckles just vanish at the very sight of these women.  Many a times, my dark circles around the eyes pose a challenge to these women. Well, despite their efforts to sell the lazor treatment and (I) almost falling for it ones…they just do not budge (Both the dark circles and those salon women).  I give the credit to my genetic disposition and rigidity for that.

If I ever get the pedicure done, this guy takes one look at my feet and is almost weeping. With a sad background score, he literally gives me looks implying the sorry state of my heels. I also look at my calloused heels and try telling him that obviously I am not expecting some Cinderella’s glass footwear from him. I am looking at those soft heels which feel like a sponge in the advertisement notwithstanding the fact that I walk barefoot all the time. Nope… He calmly quips, “Ma’am, ho jata hai is age mein”. I feel like throwing his rough tarred heels right on his face.

Hair spa guy starts shaking his head is slow-motion when he looks at my tresses. It seems as if he has finally seen ‘Ache din’ in his life time. These salons confuse the world. They are a complete face-on challenge to social media wherein women are constantly heaped praises for their beauty and eternal youth.  However, I must say that women do look very young of age nowadays. No one looks like going over the hill.

What made me write this article was a day at this store. I was clearly not expecting to get a compliment by flagging the fact that I have a daughter of 22 years while knowing that it happens all the time.( Clinically speaking) While she feels I do it so that I garner the compliments. Back to the store I visited, this sassy and audacious 30 something women took me to a section selling moisturizers, ointments to reduce age spots, wrinkle creams, Botox injections, plastic surgery, face and eye lifts. Hello…I still get compliments all the time. Tch, tch… it just precipitates the infamous “midlife crisis” in me and it struck to me this was like having a senior moment.

Someone told me that 40 is a new 20, so going by my forever Aryabhatic brain, I kept calculating what 50 then is. I think somewhere around 25ish. If it is 25, I wonder what would happen to those 50 shades of grey. I wonder why not black and white. Well..I am clearly not a pro there. (Wink!)

Medically, at this age there are lot of flashes but these definitely not make anyone hot. And also, these flashes give a license to do and say anything. I feel this is the right time to take all the frustration out and become a hard-core feminist. And simply blame it to the hormones. One can get away with anything….

One very good thing which is happening to me is, that I am developing a new sense while the others are fading away. That is the common sense. This common sense at fifty is so shifty that at times one feels that coming of age is better.

All said and done, I do feel new. Soon I turn 50 and shed my adolescence. These women who are 50 and are graying…a shout out to you. Those greys are highlights of wisdom. I think it is the “Focus on Me” time for all the mothers. And yes, a heightened sense of self-esteem which is attractive at any age.

So what say fear no 50. I think it is a start of new beginnings, a threshold of new horizons when my kids are out on their own and I look at the landscape of life in a broader way.

My Ghostly Rendevous

Disclaimer: This blog is pure work of narrator’s comedic fantasy. Perchance if it raises your ‘Spirits” high, please remember those of you who play connect the dots to the injury in the head would be distinctly called judgmental and unbecoming. No compensation will be given if you happen to suffer with the doozy of your own after reading this.

All this while, I attributed my spooky fears during my childhood to naivety, ignorance, past life imprints, and four elder siblings. I had no clue that these would run amok and come back again haunting me when I am already handling the real-life ghosts. I did not know that I still possessed those fears though shielded under the garb of evolving self in knowledge, logic, relevance and tad bit of spirituality.

To be very candid, sleep has never been as issue. My sleep will put the logs non-existent and speechless while the sweet forty winks will lose their count when I talk about my nap per se. So to speak…as the aforementioned uppity notion went for a toss when the following happened one night.

I am in the habit of sleeping very cushioned at night. There are few around me and few tossed on my head all the time. I woke up to a strange ghastly geometrically straight streaming affair that night.  The cushions which were usually strewed around on my head were lying in an absolute straight line (From Euclidian’s perspective and theory) along with my oxygen tank(Laptop), my book (bibliophile’s habit), and my diary (No, I don’t write my life story but things to do due to the dementia setting in). I was sure I did not do it. I called my nocturnal friend who can scare the daylights out of any ghosts, living or dead. She freaked out thinking that someone had broken into my home. I was so terrified and numb. I was not ready to budge from that spot as I was sure a being from outside world had broken into. She started laughing at this and asked me to open my cupboard as well to be put in order by this entity. What levity and sass!! My wardrobe is always in a pecking impeccable order and it is only once in a day that the things fall out of it. Albeit…I did not mind this entity to help me in that sphere.

Digression. As is my wont.

Okay..I asked this sassy friend of mine to be awake and be on a call with me till dawn as I was sure some Poltergeist(A type of ghosts that moves objects and often causes damage) was visiting me. Yes!!I googled the type of ghosts visiting me. I needed to be prepared to face this eerie phase of the night.

The night after also did not go very well. This time my circadian watch woke me up at 1.30 am sharp and I saw the same cushions put upright in a very systematic way next to the bed rest. Why? I was speechless in the ghostly mileu.

I finally declared it to the freak sisters of mine. They concluded and pronounced that it was time I be shrinked with a shrink. The three of them had a special con-call around it.

A friend recommended that I should tie red chillies around my waist for forty days. If I smell these then that would mean that there was no black magic. God!!!! What happened to my olfactory senses?  I could not smell those and that made it a ghost of chance that it was really a ghost.

This also put me behind in the number of innate senses in me. I want six, however I invariably fall short by one somehow.

My domestic help came up with a red cloth to be tied on my side of the bed lest I get down from the wrong side of the bed.

During a get together with few friends, a good friend who lost her father few years back jibbed to check if it was her dad and if I could ask him for any bank account details oblivious to her. These wisecracks were cracking up my already battered spirits. What!!! There this ghost is taking my breath away and here I am becoming a butt of jokes. They also said that what if the ghost was like Patrick Swayze, all romantic. There was a meaningful smile which appeared. Hmm…. I don’t mind that…I thought.

Focus!!!My house is haunted and ghosts can be anything but aphrodisiac.

My gama in the land of lama speculated the presence of cherubs. Yes…those tiny angel guardians. Not helping…cherubim or Seraphim also sounded impish at that time. Do these cherubs come like those goblins!#$

My children bantered that these ghostbusters had become ghost dusters now. Supernatural was introduced in their lives by this same mother.

I wished all of these people could be deleted  like a delete option on Whatsapp. They were not helping. A therapist friend in a party told me get on the pills as it was clear hallucination and some sort of phasmophobia. Here I had lost all my bearings…

For the love of God! My ghoul was real.

I also got a suggestion to address them and during the kowtow subtly ask them to go back to light. What lights should I suggest when my own living daylights had been scared out of me. Anyways, the best suggestion I got after the beeline of chants and mantras was to throw the demon. Not the one which was outside rather the one inside. The inner demon had made a clique with the outside one and turned it larger than life. This was given by the shrink sitting deep inside.

So, I exercised to exorcise these ghosts…

And as everything happens for a reason, my daily runs followed by rigorous yoga and a very peaceful sleep started again. I became friends with the log again. The inner demon and I are not compatible and friendly…and need to constantly pushed out to save from the ghosts of time.  Hail Oscar Wilde when he said,” We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.”

And I lived happily ever after.

 

 

The Fall of Me

Disclaimer: All views expressed very allegorically by the protagonist are purely factual and there is nothing which is fictitious.  The protagonist is an officially cracked and stitched nut so hyperbole is allowed.

Being an ardent fan of Grey’s Anatomy, I always got impressed the way the emergency patients were wheeled in the hospital and looked after with all the cameras and light facing them. Least was known to me that the impressions become real at this tender age of 44. Psst…..middle life crisis is far over people, this is the ‘pausal’ effect now.(nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

I rose up from the fall in the bathroom in a pool of red water which I saw from the corner of an eye which could hardly open. I guessed an oddity but something in my head which was piercing hard said and signaled a clear ‘NO’ (that was the start of the rise in the fall). I shouted the name of my domestic help…I thought I was shouting but then realized I had for the first time become speechless and was literally at loss of words. So, I walked out and she screamed….” DIDI!!!!!” I thought this was the  effect of the over dose of Bollywood Schmaltz and Hindi soap operas.

My son and my friend took me to the hospital and then I was hit again but this time by reality. It started hurting and my son very casually quipped,” Now this is where the adrenaline rush ends!” I looked at him red faced and said, “Really!!” My friend drove like a mad rush and she kept telling me to hold tight. I wanted to tell her that I would hold something if her driving would let me.

We reached the hospital and suddenly Grey’s Anatomy became all real. While being wheeled in a nurse came prancing to me and said, “Are you hurt?” I glowered and wanted to say,” No, I am here to board a Virgin Galactic flight to space.”

With every shot they gave me, I realized that these people called the shots there and My screams were silenced.  The first aid led to the scanning of my head. The CT scan machine gave me the feel of baggage carousel of the airport. I must share that I have a strong wish to sit on this luggage belt and go around to find out that why do all the airlines deliver my luggage at the end. I want to see The CT scan gave me the same feel. Yes! I don’t know about this feeling but I am a human and I assume 90 percent of things around me.

The CT declared that I do have a brain and the grey matter needed to be saved (whatever left). The doctor came and started making small talk. Uraih heep part2. He said that I needed sutures as the cut was very long and deep. I at my pedantic best told him I know what were those as I watch grey’s Anatomy. He furthered our relationship basis. The nurse started shaving my head and I for the first time realised what was it to be under a razor. Everything seemed like a bald faced life thereupon.He started sewing me like his stitching assignment in schools. I felt like asking him what stitch was he using. Cross, French or Satin. By the feel. it was a running stitch. He kept telling me to be brave and then started discussing “Legends Do Fall”. Believe me, he could not get me in stitches there.

At this time, word had spread around about my fall. My friend asked me to send a picture. I clicked my first ever gross selfie and sent it to that group. I even put a title to it…A Bandana Queen. And yes…I did make that V.

A friend called me to enlighten me that this had happened for a reason and I needed to find this reason during my stay in the hospital. I did introspect that what could be the reason other than learning how to take a claim from the health insurance or how was it to get a running stitch on the head. I even silenced my thoughts to hear the message of the Universe. The chatter of the nurses told me all about the politics of the Indian Spinal instead. She then told me to be in the light. I felt the light for the first time, perhaps it was because of the gash in my head.  I was also told by another friend that this was cause my mind needed rest. Holy Cow (I am a nationalist so have stopped using Holy Shit or Holy Crap, it is only cow.)! I could have taken a holiday rather than hitting against gravity.

The doctor on my discharge gave me certain medicines and instructions. He asked me to go for good diet and strict bed rest. He said no exercise . I wanted to ask  him if I could jump to conclusions, put my foot in the mouth and run around in circles. I cannot live without these and I master them as well….Tch,tch. I felt I would be unnecessarily beating around the bush.

I had few Florence Nightingales around me all the time. Few Sherlock Holmes were working overtime to find how I fell.  I had to fire them saying that the fall of the toilet roll….rolled me over to a fall. Period!!

The fall actually taught me a lesson that the sky did not fall due to this fall.

My good friend Nietzsche said it and Kelly casted forth in her melody…What does not kill you makes you stronger.

Encore!

The In-Between

My Verse Side:

Yesterday, today and tomorrow…..

Something life always wants us to view…………

I wonder of the in-betweens

One says I am dead

One says I will be there

And the other says ignore the other two…………

The times bygone pretend to be baloneys

The times which will come seem to be blurred

The times in hand seem to be there but forever in hurry to bid adieu…….

If yesterday was no more than today

If tomorrow will be something I create

If today is something I will never get again

In some little place of that in between, everything I hold on to is just that I believe in me…….

I keep wondering if I will reach a day

Where I will stop discerning the differences in the three

That which was

That which is

And that which will be……..

Even when the belief in me is just what I have to see……

Do we destine ourselves…..

To suffocate in the silent seconds of life

Do we need to ponder over the wretched hollows of time?

The in betweens where the only thing I see is

What is, what was and what will be…

Question after question is all that takes the energy

So life, wait…

Can you do that for me?

Can you show me the picture of what I should be?

Life calls me and finally tells me…….

‘’The hollow of in-between of time

Is all that are we…..

Despite of the doubt you have in me…

I am in the realms of the time which was, which is and which will be….

The time which was is where the darkness ended

The time which will be is where the horizons will widen

The time which is, is the time which will efface in between

So don’t wonder… don’t blink

Or the belief in you will sink

Just carry on the ‘in-between’ cause

Yesterday was nothing but a fallacy

Tomorrow is holding your dreams to be

And today is what it is to be’’

These words made me believe the myth the time always creates for me…

Yet it is still about me and only me……..

Selfie…Thy Name is NARCISSISM!!

Well, a disclaimer before I go ahead (I know it comes towards the end but I don’t want to lose my family and my friends over this trivia ( read funny blog) and I will definitely send the link to all: All the views shared in this blog are purely to make fun and not meant to hurt anyone albeit if someone gets the underlying message then I would love to take credit for the same…..

Okay friends and family and my dear daughter and nieces, you can call me deli wala judgmental. However, I am not casting any judgmental gaze at any one of those who click selfies. I am just poking pure unadulterated fun at them. (Followed by a ghoulish laugh). I know you all call me names like weird, crazy and bizarre but I call that “Same ole same ole” (followed by a huh!).

Well to start with, Narcissus must be wondering why he was called narcissist at all. Today the entire world has come (Read stooped) to the same state. The only difference being that Narcissus could not live as he fell too much in love with himself and people in today’s world who click selfies increase their age by few minutes for every like clicked on their selfies posted on any social media. And please! Let’s accept it people….everyone does that. I know I am not on any social media but if I would join then how would I make fun of people who are there.

Selfies ..selfies.. everywhere. Yes everywhere. You go the washroom of a mall or go to the crowded parking place struggling to find a parking for my small old yet going strong car….and there you find someone in the next car clicking a selfie. Whoa! Few days back, at a crowded Chennai airport, I was hurrying to go past the long queue for the security check. This middle aged man suddenly decided to click a selfie. Right, you do that. Our democracy nowadays has granted few very new rights to all and clicking selfies while lollygagging anywhere and anytime is one of them. He did not stop there. He clicked selfies with his wife and then his daughter and then the entire family. Hello! What man! I need to get away…yes! I suffer from macrophobia which is way better than selficide.

Now let’s see how is the selfie clicked and then posted on the social media. It goes like this-Stop. Pose. Click. Edit- Type an inspirational quote/ philosophical captions (No this person does not have low IQ)/Use words like throwback/flashback/funday et al….then click the “Post”. Then…hmmmm,,,short killing haul …waiting for likes and comments….sigh. The world loves me.

And helloo…if you think this is suffered by the millennials…sorry my dear friend, what say about the parenting? Actually as a parent I give a blank and poker face look to my own question. This is not we started as but yes we have landed on some strange land like Gulliver. Personally…kudos to this present day generation. I find them much evolved ,much aware and much sorted .I love this present generation..their dudism and cooliolism but only if for these selfies.

I know I suffer from digression and also garrulous (ness). Coming back, so when the selfies are posted with certain expressions like duck-face or pout or smile or wink or with two fingers in a V (seriously why? What victory is this?)…these are certain comments which trend like forever…wow! /Amazing! /Why are you so beautiful!/You are mine? Will you ever grow old? / You look so young……so on and so forth. Tell me, isn’t there a feeling of ad nauseam.

Ok beat this one…a day at mall. I don’t like shopping but one off day I did. I took the dresses which I felt would be age appropriate yet sexy and make me feel that I am there. I went to the trail rooms. There was a long queue..I whistled,cracked few lame jokes at the strangers Trust me I do it) and whiled away my time. I finally get to know that these young cool dudettes with their posse were busy clicking selfies and sending it the next room for others to see. For the love of God!… hear me out. I suffer from macrophobia. We do have life, girls.

Anyways, I have to confess. Many a times I feel that I don’t (self) indulge in selfies as I think and I know I have dark circles and cracked heels. There, I said it all. This would not stop me from making fun of the seflinated world. “Hey I was here”/”Hey I am cool”/ “Hey I do have life”….sigh(cue gasp).

So hola! Next time you tussle your hair, extend your arm, smile and make a duck face and snap. No,this is blurry and look at my pout..no way. Click once more. Whao! This one is good….Add a caption: “Just another day!”. Please think of me before starting to count the likes.

Muah! Love you all. Enjoy the self love.

Please note: The above article is applicable to all age groups and gender.

WHEREFORE ART THOU ROMEO????

I am really thinking a lot about Shakespeare nowadays. My heart goes out to him. He must be twisting in his grave for creating this character of Romeo.

Shakespeare could not have imagined in his wildest dream that after certain centuries in a certain state of a certain country called  India, the ochre draped man would kill ( Oops nab) all the Romeos. From a proper noun this ochred yogi has changed it into a common noun and that also as an antagonist.

He clearly stood out as a hero in this tragedy of love and feudalism.

I always wondered why Shakespeare made Romeo and Juliet a tragedy which our yogi ji has changed into a satire. I think probably he does not quite agree with the famous playwright. Trivializing the tragedy to an ill starred romance, our orchred Yogi ji proved Shakespeare wrong. From the famed days of animosity between Montague and Capulet has lead these to love-jihads (which by the way is basis a similar thought process).

Shakespeare as per our yogi ji has depicted Romeo’s annoying love and monologues as a caricature of the ludicrousness especially of these (Few Good) men with their hearts on their sleeves.

Our yogi ji has a larger picture of the good of our society. He has a mission which no one is able to see through and that is reducing the alarmingly increasing numbers of divorce. It takes a special kind of oaf and knuckle head to get married within three days after meeting a girl at thirteen years of age. Tell me where would these kids  land up. Undoubtedly, our Yogi is taking serious measure against making triviality of this institution of marriage. He is just trying to save the social structure of our society. Other ways being celibate like him.

Romeo must die… Alea iacta est….The die has been cast. This time not by the Capulet but by UP police helmed by our Ochred yogi. Pun is in addressing him as ochred as it sounds awkward.

The scene in the play has changed…..now the script goes like this (if we replicate the same scene):

The love stricken Juliet uttering these words while standing in her balcony expressing the pain of being away from her love, “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”

Romeo would respond to this one, “Psst….don’t take my name. There are cops all around. I am the most wanted one nowadays”

Romeo was so happy till few days back. . He could go around cycling in the streets…be an Adam or whatever the fetish was. Ah! Those days of cycle. Next poll mandate for the cycle era would be to keep the save the race of Romeos from extinction.

Another thought, if these boys are street Romeos why do they indulge in eve-teasing. Aren’t we getting the concept wrong or have we mixed the famous couples, Adam-Eve and Romeo-Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet can move to North-east as the ochred yogi’s fellow comrades have agreed to not trouble them there along with mutton.

Orchred Yogi ji is to be revered for being so compassionate and visceral for the good of the society.

 

WHAT’S IN THE NAME?

Tell me what is not in the name? Just imagine if I start calling Rose as Champa or even Chameli. How does it sound? Just think of it or in fact go to a florist and try doing it while pointing at a Rose. He clearly would defy Shakespeare’s “Rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

Name selection has become quite a task now. The new age parents have to sweat a lot over deciding the name of the child. Gone are the days when things were all around Amit, Vijay, Dilip,Deepak, Rajesh, Mahesh, Sunil  or for the fairer sex (I still wonder why  fairer) Geeta, Seeta, Anju, Poonam, Kiran et al. Life was simple and people simpler. Those generations of Amits and Anjus now follow an entire process of name selection.  After the tough  race of X and y chromosomes, these parents set themselves to  a herculean exercise of  flicking pages of books and surfing net  to select the most unique, most meaningful  (Also  most difficult to pronounce) names. Supposedly “The Unusual Names” These are to be rooted in conventionality yet sounding contemporary something A La Mode Modern (Oxymoronic). The names now sound like designer labels or brands. The more they twist the tongue the better they sound. The more difficult they are the better they are considered.

Hello Aartis, Preetis, Manoj!! Sorry friends…move on…. Make place for the millennial names.

Alas, one more thing which has effaced from our life is the culture of nick names. What days when we all had two names…Pappu, Manti, Tinku, Bunty, Manu, Sonu, Bony,Bittu, ….list goes on and on. Tad bit of modernity led to Ginni, Vinny, Silky, Sunny,Bobby, Tony,Pinky, Ruby,Sweety…the feeling lingers on.  The monikers of life.

All you had to do was, stand in the middle of any street and shout, for eg,”SONU”. Believe me ten Sonus would  pop out from their houses. And remember, this name boasts of most of the hospitality sector in Punjab. Most of the dhabas and tea staals in Punjab are after my nickname, Sonu.

Coming back,this selection of name has become quite a complicated affair. People earlier had limited choices. Names were selected in a very mundane way. It is now deliberated over and discussed for quite number of days of the child’s life. Not forgetting the part the family pundits  play in selecting the first letter of the name. Few are bribed to get the exact alphabet as well. And of course throw the epic battles between parents and grandparents here.

This reminds me of the days of the yore in the western monarchy. Wow! Life was easy as far as selecting names of the children. Henry 1 to Henry Nth, Elizabeth 1 to Elizabeth (can’t count), Edward II to Edward (Gosh what was the number man!). Life was so simple for them. This is very regional. One could not have done this in India. Imagine Rahul Gandhi being called Rajiv the 2. Or go bit back in history…Circa something…Akbar 1, Akbar 2 oops sorry they too were not natives of our country. Now I have to really go back in time…Well who?

Let me tell you the name process in Punjab till sometime back. It was very simple . There were prefixes and suffixes and rhyming names in the family. The suffixes had more prominence along with the rhyming structures. For eg. My mother has five sisters. So very simple..keeping the ababab rhyming pattern and suffixes..they were named…Jaswinder, Patwinder, ravinder and varinder. ..so was the case with most of the families. Another thing which made them lead simple life was that most of the names were unisex. Prime suffixes being Jot, Deep, Jit, Inder and Preet. All one had to do was to match it with the available prefix and the job was well done. No questions asked.

I would at this juncture like to share a saga of my name. I have been through lot of name keeping ( Also name calling now;))Well, to start with two names were given to me. I was born defying all the medical precautions one could take 44 years back. I was the fifth child. I was called Sonia and Samanjot. Sonia was the nickname. Samanjot…had both the suffix theory and also to rhyme with my sister’s name Aman which is Unisex (survey says that most of the auto drivers’ in Delhi are Amans).

Sonia changed to Sonu..God knows how. Being Benjamin or the runt of the family had hundreds of other names by each member. Samanjot did not go well with my Irish Nun Teacher. She summoned my parents and asked them to change my name to Sumanjot as Saman sounded more like summon. And what!!! My parents agreed. My name was changed to Suman. For the next many years, I was confused among four names Sonia, Sonu, Saman and Suman. The saga continued…my name was yet again changed by deleting Jot.  Then came that famous movie…Maine Pyaar Kiya..wish going by the trend I could name it Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya. That Heroine gyrating to those balmy songs….I died hundred deaths. I had just started getting used to Suman. Why top person why?

Well…that was a long digression.

I do wonder why such hue and cry over  names …sounds very pseudo people.  Hoi pollois or the hoity toities..we all abhor simplicity in the names. We all in the quest of the unique and new names…name our kids as a brand. The  fact is that this exclusivity of names gets contradicted  as each is  travelling in the same bandwagon and also part of the same herd. We have even started parenting our children as brands to be marketed.

Time to ponder?

Now tell me what is not the name ! Bunkum..is it?

BOARD MOM

Board exams!!! Finally there,a sigh of relief or more distress? This depends on case to case, very idiosyncratic.

Well to start with, this is my second experience of being in the same position but the parent in me refuses to budge or transform.

The day arrived. My maternal instincts started pestering me. I went straight in a prayer mode. “Show the miracle!” I ordained the top person,” Irrespective of all the preparations. Today my son needs to do well”.

I even challenged the top person’s presence in the world. Lest, I hop into the electoral list of atheism. The top person cannot get into the karma mode of the parents and the children today. Need to shed it off!!##

I sent the prayers (Read a threatening message) and I hoped (Read Expected) for the best result.

I woke my inscrutable son. Yes, inscrutable as he carries the same expression all the time. Happy, sad, excited, dead pan, anxious all are given away with the same look. I am on it to be more comprehensive. I blame it totally on puberty not on me being a dumb mom. Yes!

Sudden rush of the epiphanies or hormones, can’t say, but yes, today dahi-cheeni seemed an ideal devotional, cosmic,koshered,dietary, satvic, epicurean gourmet for that day. All old wives tales now have significance and also sudden respect for them as these do depict our customs. Irrespective of the fact that the dahi-cheeni prices always shoot up during the boards, I still went for it. My inscrutable son was finally ready! His mother too was ready, with the God’s blessing in that little spoon( dahi-cheeni) in hand. This is what would bring the best out of you my son. His blank looks showed a change and I took it as a sign of God. He quipped, “Please, let’s go.”

Alas!

I gave up and finished the dahi-cheeni myself( the umbilical cord figuratively speaking still exists so it might just work).

I thought of getting a cab as my alto is turning very hormonal cause of over running. Though the maintenance is good and periodical. Still, like a menopausal woman, it becomes bit whimsy and just stops wherever we both have reached in action and our position is. My inscrutable son expressionless face maintained asked me to drive him down. At this moment, he asked if I have vomiting medicine. What!!! Queasy!!! At this moment…. “Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles”.

I took a deep pranaymic breath, Inhaled enough oxygen for my asthmatic lungs , still holding on as an evolved being , I Panicked!!! I yelled and went to get some medicine. Next step, gave a hyper freaky call to my prodigal sister who too due to our genetic disposition freaked out and said, “I knew it! Now, what! We have lost it, Our effort of bringing him up single handed would be thrown out by this one vomit”

My son gauged that that the storm would soon engulf him along with the third sister too getting in. He gave up and suddenly felt all fit.

I started driving carefully avoiding all the cats on the roads and by lanes as well. For PETA!

We reached the center. The name of the center was as holy as my son or all children there,” Holy Child Auxillium”. Now the final instructions which would be the deciding factor of this exam. Good handwriting ( He has a very Eucaladian handwriting, all in circles and lines. He leaves it totally on the readers’ ability to decipher it. His handwriting leaves legible wonder,”why do I even exist?”). Leave and draw a line after every answer ( This is for the poor examiner who would soon be fatigued after going through the pages which have no demarcations defined). Please for me..for the love of your mother BE NEAT.(I am neat!!! It is not me I wonder, where did he get this from). My son ordered me to leave at once.

I came back and sent another silent prayer to the top person. Even stopped my car in front of a temple, church and a gurudwara.

Clock ticking away….

Time: 12.45 o’clock

Time for the exam to finish was 1.30pm. I wanted to avoid the board traffic rush. The FM channels were even giving live updates on the board traffic rush. So following these I drove and reached well before…eh the time. Only 45 mts before.

Whoa! I was not alone. Colossal rush of parents. All standing and catching up. All dressed in their Sunday bests on a Monday with their branded bags on their arms which refused to bow down. Their designer glasses giving them denser look of the world. The sartorial nuances boasting of how despite of an exam day they took care of what their image to the world should be, Self-Love at its best. All discussing how we have become calmer parents. Few so delighted to see the other one and throwing kisses in the air. A very sophisticated elegante crème da la crème population of Deeli. Yes, this is that crowd. I am a misfit or I missed to fit…too late to think and decide.

One of the parents standing next to me as a loner too, passed a perfunctory smile. I smiled back and we bonded. After a bit of awkward silence , she asked me,” Modern mom or Sanskriti mom”. I did not know how to respond. All I could say was,”Well, I am modern while being rooted in our Sanskriti”. Good one, I told myself. She looked at me with a very sympathetic look,” I was asking about the schools”.

Oh! I felt the ground , held it and said, “Modern Mom”

I soon found that my new friend is a Sanskriti mom and going through this experience for the third time. I thought first or third she was still the same,”Hyper”

What a serendipity for the nationalism wave in our country, Modern and Sankriti Students sitting in the Holy Child Auxilium School Tch,Tch..bad joke!

I started sauntering around. Another woman dainty dressed said, “ Bored mom” Hello!!! Was I looking bored? I am very interesting. I read, I party, I am spiritual…I am happening. I am interesting. Sudden rush. My expression gave all I thought. She went away from me. She meant “BOARD MOM”

I took control and gave her a meek and a sheepish smile. She never did and I lost a friend in making.

The gate of the heaven finally opened. The kids who were held hostages for the three hours started coming out one by one. The parents hoarded the gate. All hustling to get and judge the first look of their progeny. One of the parents closed his eyes and sent another prayer. To be or not to be!!!

The kids walked out like the warriors coming back from a prolonged war. I held my position where I was.I was sure that I would be able to find him from a distance. The tallest, 6 feet 2 inches high with the hand in the hair styling it forever would not be difficult to be noticed in that crowd. No!!! My heart too was giving up. Stop being a glib!! Go and find him and judge the top person.

I gathered all my courage and entered the throng.

Some were laughing, parents laughed too. Some were not making any eye contact and the parents gave up all hopes of life. Some parents were least bothered as the proud heir was going to amreeka so board exams..don’t matter. Some walked with thumbs up and the parents bloated with pride. There was this mother with gatorade in hands…she saw the thumbs up and popped opened the Gatorade like a champagne. She forced her son to drink it to the glory of the lord.

A child came out with a droopy face, a sudden rage arose in the mother. I could see she was seething and saw her motherhood going totally wasted due to that one exam which did not go well. She told her child,” Let’s concentrate on the next one.” She refused to talk to the Gatorade mother and pranced towards her big car.

Finally….my son! The same expression…how do I say how was the exam. All I could ask was,” How was the handwriting?’ “It was good,” inflection-less he said. I sighed and thought I knew the top person loves me.”But” he added…what? I am an atheist. You lost me top person.

“But towards the end my handwriting was quite bad. So I wrote Sorry for bad handwriting in the paper”he causally added. He said sorry to the examiner in the paper and never felt sorry for seventeen years for the all the times when I tried hard for him to write a straight letter. Say sorry to me!! “ Don’t worry, will get above 90” I think I am confused … an atheist or a believer.