Monday, September 24, 2012

Observations and role reversals

You know, when we were children, our parents protected us, safeguarded us, cared for us......well you know all that they do. I dont really need to list it all out. But I see there comes a time when we realize that a role reversal happens. There comes a time when we realize we need to fight battles for the ones that fought battles for us. Don the armour and brandish swords maybe. Dramatic no? But then even if I have gotten carried away there I somehow feel its true.

Mom has been a go-to person for several people at various junctures in life. For the way she has brought me up, the struggles she faced alone, and standing tall with integrity, dignity and a head held naturally high because there was really no reason to lower her head except at the altar. But then I am the kind that takes pride in saying that if God were to stand in front of me I'd look at him eye-to-eye and ask him a few questions. Most and if not all, on behalf of mom.

I have noticed one common thing in several celebs lives. The one family member who is involved in management gets a lot of flak. For something or the other. The thing js the world will counsel you to get an outsider. I mean seriously, an outsider will care for you wayy more than uour parents is it? And I am speaking of decisions I made, (my field, workdpace, et al. No comments intended for anyone else's life/career) and wasnt too keen on having a manager. AND the entertainment / music industry is not ready for a manager in my opinion. No singer has a professional manager. If they do, it is family. I truly believe thats the best. There's absolutely no reason for an outsider to know your life. Afterall this thing called loyalty doesnt exist these days, no? The doctor discusses your medical history with someone else, (I knew of a psychiatrist who discussed his patients), the auditor the finances, your driver the movements, your househelp discusses your views on your entire family (if you discuss things in front of or with them, that is) thats all there is to it.

I have also seen that when hanky-panky is not possible with someone a good group will go about labeling them as difficult :) Better be difficult, than easy. No? :D

Coming back, yet again, somewhere in between I ventured into my usual tangential randomness.

So the thing is I think, from an observation of someone today, there does come a time the cubs will have to realize they are grown up enough to protect their parents and I m not just talking of the physical aspect of it.

I am quite kicked I ll have a chance to sing naan valarndhuttene mummy to mom someday. And no one. Dare. Mess. With. My. Mom. (Just asking, Does that sound menacing enough? :p)

Jokes apart, I hope you the reader will know, identify and act accordingly on a day that might come when you need to stand up for your parents and go out, all guns blazing, if need be. Arent (i ll add, barring a few exceptions) our parents our best-est well wishers? And don't they deserve the care that only us children can give them?

And on another tangential note I wish no elderly person ever be unhappy and away from their children against their will, and in a retirement home. And I wish that every elder is taken care of and that every family in the world be happy. And that they all live happily ever after. Tathaastu.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A muted expression

One of the most important things any person in a public domain is told is to watch this and watch that. I mean, everyone has phones with a video recording facility. And there are twerps who install cameras in restrooms and upload them on YouTube. So much so that when we travel abroad on concerts, we don't stay at hotels.

And also, I learn that the fundamental right to expression and speech really doesnt exist, more so for people who everyone watches. But true nonetheless for everyone. You cannot freely discuss something for the sake of argument/learning wondering if it would hurt some said sentiment somewhere. 

Sometimes I ReTweet a link so that people (whoever is interested) could read an opinion about something. Now depending on sensitivity or perceived sensitivity, I would immediately get warnings, be careful, or you'll be trolled. Now I think I could have a masters degree on being trolled, especially because, I belong to a certain 'caste'. Its amazing how uneducated people are inspite of their NRI status.
Nonetheless I am just thinking/realizing that there really isn't anything called freedom of speech.  Not with your friends/family. One will only have freedom of thought. You can think whatever you want. We just need to watch how we (if we do at all) verbalize it into words. 

Lifetimes are spent, without expressing what we want to. We fade in. And we fade out.

And maybe even the concept of freedom is imaginary. Unless and until one is a realized soul. Only they have the good fortune after hours of practice, to be truly free. 

For most where self-realization is not achieved, life perhaps passes by and is lived, with the mute button on, in most cases.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A divine romance...

Sometimes this thing called divine romance is well, romantic. To romance the idea of being free of attachments and being one with the supreme being. The romance of imagining the freedom, bliss perhaps that may come as a result of one such thing. The concept of chinmaya. The supreme wisdom and realization that results in profound joy. Nirvana also I guess.

Or one can romance the idea of living in a guile-less, deceit-less, pure, crystal clear world. Where green is the sparkling, bright, green that heals the eye and fairies fly near humans. Where morning dew is sprinkled with fairy dust and a rose with a scent heady enough to drench the surrounding town.

Sometimes I imagine floating up, into the inky sky speckled with stars, in the hope of finding that stillness. A stillness I really not know of but might be able to identify when I come face to face with it.

There are times I romance the tears, for there is no such thing as heavy while it rolls down your cheek, perhaps in a solitary trickle. Perhaps in two or three. And no such thing as the lightness it leaves behind as it dries out. 

There are times when I romance the fabled bliss that saints seem to have achieved. High up in the lofty Himalayas.

And there are times I romance the mountains, times I romance the lakes, times that I romance the imagination of watching the fast and furious world from outer space. 

I romance being away from myself. Far away and just watching this human being walking around in the name of Chinmayi. Doing all that she is supposed to do. 

Quite recently mom and I decided to do away with the concept of a Pooja room. After all, rituals are perhaps one of the first levels in God realization. There has to be a point where one has enough focus and concentration to do the pooja in your mind. My romance with temples and religious sites will never end.

The other day reading how Krishna explains the concept of Maya in an Amar Chitra Katha (Tales of Narada) made me think how weird it is. What we own, owns us. Ain't it? Or does it? 

Having read enough and more literature on past life regression on how people feel in the after-life, or even other than that, I am one of those people who speaks very nonchalantly of death. I mean I think its a liberating concept, based on all the literature I have read. And also based on some of our own scriptures that all this life and death thing is a cycle. Apparently even in the Tarot, drawing the card of Death usually means a new beginning is around the corner. 

But more than anything else I guess I romance the idea of the pitch perfect note and the truth in it. And truth itself. The agony would be in the wait though. The wait for the truth. And liberation.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Virtual proposals and other real stories

I have been meaning to blog about this for a while, since I am asked on a daily basis or congratulated about an impending marriage. Well thank you. But honestly I have no idea about the why-s and how-s of this news story surfacing now, all of a sudden. Yes every mother wants her daughter married and my mom is no different. She polambifies when she gets a chance. Perhaps someone thought it worthy of making it a story and also added we do maangalya pooja whenever we get the time. I'm now curious about the maangalya pooja, in all seriousness.(I also joked that they were kind to write I was going to be married and not planning on secretly eloping)

In all these years I have gotten advice on being extremely careful on finding the right person and be wary of traps. Non-famous girls get blackmailed, you better be cautious, I'd be told. And sooner or later one just had to read news stories to understand there are so many things going wrong and the number of perverts on the loose ... I despair for the girls whose back God didn't watch. (For the men who probably got wrong partners in women, my sympathies with you too)

There is a reason I am writing this post. To tell you about a couple of people I came across in the virtual world and whose mails would land on my inbox, all mostly uni-directional communication. There were times I would try and reason out and then figured it was useless and of course mom would be informed of all these mails. Interestingly these men would CC to mom as well, so it kinda cut some work for me. I shall be polite enough to not disclose identities, but this is an FYI to everyone who is finding a groom (I can only talk of personal experience)  for their daughters. 

So I am regular on Twitter. You, reading this post would know that, I presume. I tweet randomly about something under the sun, or RT something, Mr X1 assumes it is all for him. And sends me a mail, asking why I am indirectly tweeting to him. Initially I responded, since I usually respond to most mails, when I have the time, asking what this was in reference to. He says I know you love me and that's why you tweet all those things. And this was the beginning. It went upto "ASK AUNTY TO TALK because I am looking at what is best for OUR future". He also claimed his family knew about it. Now I don't understand how his entire family would go with "all her tweets are indirectly for me and she loves me". Some mails would be downright vulgar. Some abusive. Then he says "Your time is UP! I am going ahead with my life now since you failed to respond!!". Then he would blame me for the excessive depression for 2 years he went through because of me. Last heard a mail claiming to be from his mother lands up. I seriously doubt if it was from her, or if he mailed that himself too. Nonetheless that's that.

Guy X2 calls my mother Athamma, has told his family he is 'fixed on marrying me'. And asks me "Why do you want to be a heroine? If you want to be actress you'll have to forget me and our love". Oh, he also believes all my tweets are indirectly for him. Now God only knows when I said I want to be a heroine. Don't even ask about the "our love" part. Then he graciously compromises and says "Chinnu you can be serial heroine. I ll be OK with that" or something to that effect. Then one day I just RT an image of a wedding ring which leaves the impression 'MARRIED" on your skin if you have worn it a while and have removed it. And X2 says "Our wedding ring super ra.." For a second I was taken aback. What wedding ring?, I shouted in my head. And then I put 2 and 2 together. I made 4. He made 7 1/2. I think its all because of some 7 1/2 that I am going through all this. X2's mails are particularly hilarious and worrying at the same time. I get a dozen mails a day from him.  Today's mail read, waiting eagerly for marriage with chinnu. Sigh.

I am not writing about this for entertainment value. But because, today as an adult, I shudder to think, that these 2 guys, (there have been a few others who were on this delusional trip including a man in his mid 40-s, but I shall stop here) who are educated, one of them studies abroad in a reputed university (!), seem to come from sound backgrounds and look absolutely fine, go on such trips and these are the kinda guys will marry some unassuming girl somewhere.

I even tell people, that being who I am, its extreemely easy to find out about me. For the said 'background checks' you know? I m in the public domain. Easier to find out about me. But I on the other hand, will never know about a guy or a family posing to be normal like X1 I mentioned above, I would never know if he was stalking someone, has some obsessive pattern of behaviour, what the actual intentions are... well I can go on and on.

To you reading this post, if you are single/unattached/about to be hitched, whatever. I ll tell you this, from all the advice I have got. I am not so sure about the better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I have seen people I know go through hell, when they lost. Some still do. Its perhaps easier to follow the heart and enjoy the butterflies. But please do follow your head. Think it through solidly. Speak to adults if you are young or even if you think you are old enough. There are not too many things in life that experience and sound advice can replace. Its great if that can come for you from within the family. I have mom first. We have made quite a formidable team as I see from general public perception, now that I am considered to be in 'the marriage market' (bleargh for that term).  And it is also funny to see how many people are insecure because of the kind of a bond mom and I share. Pah. Too many people cannot understand the Guru and the mother concept. We also have a few close people who are my mom's well-wishers and friends. A circle who has seen us through all these years. Non-judgmental and razor-blade honest. 

Follow your gut instinct and always, always listen to the inner voice. Don't ever ignore it. And be careful. Very careful. Please don't marry because your great-grandparents want to see great-great grandchildren. Or because of social pressure. Things were simpler until our parents' time I think. It is not so now as I am told and as I myself see. 

We marry not the individual but the families too. If you think you cannot like the family, then the marriage is going to be difficult, and if you plan on having children, know that you cannot tell your children later to stay away from their own family. This was another advice given to me and I have also learned from observation, looking at some unhappy people and children and decided that is not what I want.  A week back when I was in Hyderabad on work, a man married for 8 years said, you could know someone for years before you re married. But after you are married, you discover a whole new person. 

As for looking through matrimonial sites and getting to know total strangers and marrying them, I personally shudder at the thought. But I know there are people who are very happily married this way too. Perhaps its all destiny. And fairy dust. And all that. I do believe its better to be single than be in an unhappy marriage. 

I wrote about X1 and X2 because there are times when you may meet a seemingly normal person. But there are things one might never know. And during those times, they say some alarm bells ring, something doesn't feel right. Don't ignore that. Follow your gut instinct. And there are times when the background checks will never find out if someone had some behavioural anomalies like those I mentioned above. And finally to you reading this blog, if you intend to marry, may God give you a nice person and a beautiful family to marry into. If you don't intend to, which is an idea I court (mom is gonna kill me!:p) well may you be happy even then. Tathaastu!

Saturday, September 08, 2012


I was reading the Amar Chitra Katha title on Aushadha Kumar, a reincarnation of Bodhisatva. 
Thanks to his wisdom and his growing popularity in court, the other ministers became jealous of him and unsuccessfully plotted his downfall as often as they could. One of the ministers, Senaka, was usually the mastermind and incessantly tried inspite of his failed attempts to defame Aushadha Kumar. 

In one of his attempts, he asks Aushadha Kumar, "What must man acquire?" AK replies, "Truth" and then, Wealth, Mantra and finally the ability to keep a secret". How Senaka uses these responses to plot another wicked plan against Aushadha Kumar forms the climax of the story.

What struck me here was that, acquiring truth, which was mentioned as the first on the list of things AK says man must acquire. I am wondering if that was taught to us in school. Or while growing up. As we became adults, we learned first hand, that truth was usually the first thing to be sacrificed in several instances. 

One of my personal, most important quests is my search for truth. Of the past. The present. The future. Depending on the day, its either at the back of my mind or the only thing on my mind while I go about doing other things that I routinely do. 

We do everything possible to acquire wealth, some of us acquire mantra, depending on the family we are raised in and retention and practice of it depends on our own convictions we form as we grow up. The ability to keep a secret is truly rare as much as I know. I am not sure how many people I know one can trust with a secret.

There are some things I believe can completely change this world. And perhaps topping that list would be truth - in my opinion, of course. I could be absolutely wrong. Perhaps compassion and love would be better candidates in changing the world. 

Nevertheless I wish someday I ll know and realize the truth. Sigh. :)

And after typing out all this I have a feeling this post is so random. But then published it shall be.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Letters and etc

We happened to find letters that are over 2 or 3 decades old and reminisced about how, perhaps things were nicer in a different age. Mom said, we just pick up the phone and talk these days and there is no real record of communication and the art of writing beautiful, handwritten letters are just almost gone. 

Maybe out of wanting something belonging to an age that is not too long-gone, we got a landline at home. (I guess that was my secret intention. It was actually invested in for the purpose of an internet connection) And that too after perhaps 12+ years. I remember all the phone numbers and mobile numbers that we have ever had, including a pager (!) as well. Whatttttay(n) achievement, no? :p

Enough and more has been said about all this mobile radiation hurting the ears and the brain and all that. Whether that is true, whether there is scientific evidence, or whether that is a conspiracy theory or not, it doesn't matter really. I know its not possible to do away with the mobile phone, at least not yet, but I want to see if I can minimize using it. 

At times I feel like I am watching my own life go by. Like watching a train chug away. And at times I am the participant. Centre-stage, with the spotlight on me. Someone said Happiness is but a choice away. And I wonder if it all is really that easy. Or do we just pretend everything is OK, like we have become immune to all the wrongdoing all around us, happening to us, or to people we know or to strangers and move on to yet another day, yet another challenge or something mundane?

Someone I really respect asked me to smile more often. And told me to be happy. Just about a week ago. That's when I wondered did I really forget to smile often, or was I never really the smiley-face kind? Not talking about smiling for photographs but more so in real life. Coming to think of it, some photographers struggle to get the smile out of me. Poor things. Anyway. 

I guess, more than anything else, I am the kind that watches. Observes at times. And takes a lot of things in, silently. I look for signs of synchronicity. Or signs that signal something or the other. But then I do get some message or the other from the heavens above.

I guess at this point I want to veer into writing about following your instinct. But I shall reserve that post for another day. It will contain several 2 cents from various people. In an abridged manner hopefully, if I get around to writing it well.

Just giving this post a once-over, I wonder if I really got around to saying anything concrete, but, I do wish for you reading this post, that I hope you find what truly makes you happy. As soon as possible. I wish for you that you don't have to pretend to be happy (if you are that is) and can truly be joyous and may there be joy all around you. I wish for you that when you go to sleep each night, you fall asleep with a smile on your lips that radiates from your heart. I wish for you that when you wake up each day, you see sunshine and joy. And just so that as human beings, lest we forget, I also wish you a tear or two, once in a blue moon and that you'd have several hands to wipe those tears away and may you live happily ever after. As we all believed as children, in happy endings.

P.S.: Random thought. Do boys also read fairy tales? But then I guess if they didn't while growing up, I guess as fathers they would have read one or two, for their children... ah well. Me and my train of thoughts.