Wishes

A Riot Of Colour

A riot of colour and a rich fodder for thought!

She is in a sparkling pink and I in an odd blue. Her eye for colours catches my ear. For every time she chooses one, she exclaims aloud. “Red” “Blue”. And so on. She paints with tentative strokes first. Then come bold ones. After a while, she says “Over”. A riot of color is all that remains as she darts away to play. I look at her work. Her strokes fill my heart with happiness. This moment has been the highlight of this festive season.

Festivities are about colour to the senses. You feel a sense of completion to be with close ones and do simple things. A feeling that escapes description and begs for it to be let easy. Diwali especially is a feast for all senses. Homes get lit. After being cleaned and washed. Sweets get made in abundance. And There are no reasons to not tuck in the extra one. There is noise in the air ( not to speak of discounts and offers in every shop and website ). A ‘cannot be missed’ warmth in people. The security guard smiles a little extra even as the stern neighbour nods just a tad more in acknowledgment. You are benign with the odd gasbag who spams your inbox with a ‘Happy Diwali’ message, consigning his message to the recycle bin with a smile.

As the festival wind thin, a thick question remains. A question that my little miss posed to me: “Why can’t every day be Diwali?” Indeed, I thought. Why can’t it be?

Why can’t there be this richness in our daily life? A richness that exudes colour, space and that little bit of warmth that can add so much more to our lives. Kindness, acceptance, some accommodation. Some peace. A way of thinking that is inclusive and respectful. That after all is the spirit of Diwali. For that matter, that after is the spirit of all major festivals of the world!

As I gazed hard at her random brush strokes, the gaiety in her question only pointed to possibility and choice. We have the choice, I told myself. To live it up in a simple, kind way. Perhaps we need to be reminded that this choice exists until we don’t have to be reminded. A choice that we can consciously make. A choice to revel in abundance and to forever seek to live a life that is of meaning.

A new energy coursed my veins. A riot of colour, as I call this piece, will be my north star of sorts, I told myself. A north star that reminds me that in a world that leans towards mono-chromatic rhythms, multicoloured richness is important. That is being human by soaking in all the richness we come endowed with.

So this Diwali, I have a wish for you. A wish that comes from my daughter and everybody around. May the festivities never end. May we lead a life soaked in colour and joy. May we have the courage to wander yet be decisive. May the humanness in us overpower the insecurities that seep in. May our life be something to someone. May we be kind to one another. May there be a riot of colour.

 

A riot of colour

 

 

A new year swings in! Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017.

2016 has been a heck of a year. I still remember the same time a year ago when I sat down to see a new dawn. It seemed to run in along with a lot of a promise and hope. And suddenly it is today and a brand new year is at the door! Just as what was the case last year. This year hustles while it waits. So much so, I can hear its wait! 

The little miss is all about the house as has been her wont. I have spent some part of the last year, growing up with her. More often than not, becoming present to how fast time flies away by just watching for every minute change in her and succeeding to spot a few as they happened. For large part though, I must confess, wondering how it happened!

Like when she asks me what is an ‘office’ and ‘what happens in an office’? And of course, the next inevitable question: ’What is Work?’  I am sure this isn’t unique to her or me. It must be on the lips of many kids as they stand up and begin to explore the world. It is easy to give ‘some’ answer but then the real answer is a bit beyond cursory search. 

‘Can you be a teacher in my school?’, she asked the other day. With half a popcorn in her lips and a sparkle in her eyes.

‘Sure’. I said. It is the most inviting approval I have had of 2016. Something that I can gloat about. ‘Can we begin tomorrow?’, she asked. If there was ever a heart that skipped a giant beat on hearing a job offer, it would pale in comparison to mine that day!

Or of this time, when she said ‘Push me higher Appa’. On a swing by a lake in idyllic Mount Abu. I was a tad scared, for this was a swing that was just there in the midst of undergrowth and uneven ground. A plank of wood, two pieces of a rope all on one sturdy tree branch. That made the swing.  ‘Dont be scared, Appa’ She said. With a silly smile as an enduring accompaniment as the swing climbed newer heights.  ‘I am going higher on my own Appa. You don’t be scared’.

For a moment, I didn’t know if I should clap in joy or wince in despair. After all I was expecting these lines down the road. After many years!  I brought a smile on plastic dry lips and clapped.  ‘Letting go isn’t easy’ I told my missus over dinner that night. Silence stayed tall in the room as we munched on some veggies. ‘It isn’t easy at all’ added the missus in-between all her munching. I wast sure if she was talking of the veggies. That’s part of the plan for this year. Munching more veggies that is. And yes, ‘letting go’ of stuff that we have been holding on to is also part of the plan! 

A couple of days ago, we were at the movies with the little miss in tow.  Dangal. The movie that everyone is raving about. The movie about a father who lives his dreams of winning a gold medal for the country by getting his daughters to do so, long after his prime.  The melodramatic storyline with wrestling bouts that go on predictable lines to leave India with a gold medal and left me with a stern headache. A headache that only loosened up when the little miss looked into my eyes and asked: ‘Appa, they did all this for one medal?’

I smiled ear to ear.

As the same Sun rushes in a new year, these and her other questions dawn on me with new meaning.  I don’t have all the answers. But the very fact that the questions are here is enough to keep me on the swing of life. For that I am thankful.

I wish you more questions and deeper conversations!

Happy New Year 2017! Here’s to a fabulous 2017

Happy New Year

I am in search of a word. One word. That would help hold the array of thoughts and emotions on a string. It remains elusive. I am searching for one word to encapsulate the time as 2104 says goodbye and 2015 chirps in with a hello.

Its the night of the 31st Dec. There are fireworks that light up the night sky. Puppet shows. Loud music. People on the road genuinely wishing each other. Lights. Parties. Cops on the road. Bizarre brawls. TV shows. Discounts and offers. Three and a half tonnes of whatsapp messages. And such else!

A flurry of activity on how the world went by in the past year marks pronounced presence across all media. Both the erstwhile and the new media. People are acknowledged. Events are recalled. Comments are regurgitated. Photographs dug out. Videos showcased. Sometimes, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. At other times, the bridge has shifted. Or seems irrelevant.

At the other end of the spectrum there are experts and commoners making a set of predictions for the new year. For the times ahead. Sometimes with glaring audacity that causes an involuntary gape in awe and at other times such stark pessimism pervades that you would much rather want to go back to the previous year.

I take the lift to reach my home. Today my neighbours dog looks at me in the lift and it seems to ask me what this fuss is about. What ‘Happy New Year?’ he seems to say, in-between his hefty panting.
I peer into his eyes and shrug. Hoping that he catches my sentiment. That life is a seamless continuum. The ultra heavy importance accorded to one single day seems rather tame in a naive sort of a way and misplaced. Must you not seek to be happy on all days?

I continue peering into his eyes as the neighbour, the good lady that she is, continues to speak into the phone to a person of importance who she is on first name basis with. I am sincerely impressed, for the lift has never shown me any mercy ever before. All my conversations on the phone stand abruptly terminated the moment I enter the lift.

As the lift makes its slow climb upwards, I continue to peer into his eyes and a thought strikes me. If there is any reasonable use to this day, it is this : It represents a transition. Ah. Transition. Maybe thats the word.

A punctuation mark, if you will. A comma for some. A period for some others. Maybe it’s a new sentence. A new paragraph. Perhaps a brand new chapter. Whatever it is, a year singing out and new year breaking is a transition that helps the world keep collective score.

footprints

An opportunity to sit down and take stock, if you will. Of wins and losses. Of joys and sorrows. Of fears and hopes. An opportunity for renewal. Of ties. Of hopes. Of oneself. While footprints thus far shout out where we have been, where we will get to is a function of the direction and distance we train our sights on. Now!

I wonder if the Retriever reads my mind. He seems far more composed as they alight at their floor. The lady still on the phone.

Later that night, at the strike of the midnight hour, the little miss sees some fireworks in the sky and said, “Papa, the lights are tickling the sky”. It is her extension of a thought that’s been on her mind for a while now.

I stare into the night sky and wonder how the next 365 days will pan out. I am not sure. I know for sure about one thing though. The new year will arrive at blistering pace with syncretised assortment of events, that will appear as fleeting as the fireworks that decorate the night sky. Intense. Fleeting. Colourful.

For me though, every new year is a push at the punctuation precipice. I can choose to stop. Start. Or keep going with a comma. Begin a brand new sentence. A few chapters. All of it in a varied dizzying array of possibilities. Ah ‘possibilities’, I think. Perhaps that is the word I am looking for.

The next day morning, as the night sky turns a brilliant blue, it dawns on me that it is rather foolish to attempt to encapsulate it in one word. Even with a wide all encompassing word like ‘possibilities’! With ‘change’ holding us as life prisoners of sorts, perhaps what’s required are a string of words. Transitions. Possibilities. Perpetual beta. Amoeboid movement.  And such else. Many more come to the mind. A string of words that will need us to stay alive to the moment and yet stay true to our dreams. That will also be deeply personal! As it has been every year. Wonder what it will be for you.

Whatever it is, here is my wish for a great time. Happy New Year! And one last thing, Stay foolish. There is merit in that.

Smiling Neigh #WINS

These horses hold their sway at a small temple in the interiors of rural Tamil Nadu.  They convey colour and sense of raw presence through the lens of the camera. 

Through the lens of the eye, the statues almost jump at you with a neigh of a horse in motion. Especially when you see multitudes of people thronging the precincts with hope and fervour. Cooking the traditional pongal , dancing to hard beats and an alien but alluring tune.   All in reverence. In honour of the lord.
For the ill to be warded. A child to be cured.  Or even a prayer of thanks, for all that has been and in subtle way, asking for the ‘nice’ to perpetuate! 

Today, for some reason, these horses with their vibrant colours and reverberating neighs come before my eyes as I review an assortment of thoughts that I want to share at #WIN 

There are a heap of real cool people coming in today. I have had great fun putting my thoughts together, not to mention dealing with the countless memories that came rushing back of Sundar, Ghost Particle, Manu and several others! People who I aspired to hang out with on blogs ten years ago and who went to become wonderful friends. Yes. Its I hope My Story will resonate with a few that come. 

Follow #WIN on twitter today. And of course, wish me some more luck! 

Renewal Time!


A brand new year has come our way. Yet again. Like it always does. Here is another opportunity to seek renewal of promises made and conversations had. With others and ourselves too.  ourselves too. 

Here is a wish. Actually here are a bunch of wishes for you. For me. And for the rest of the world. A set of disparate wishes that perhaps form an incoherent bouquet of sorts. Delivered with love, which is its only redemption. Perhaps!

Here is a wish for moments stolen from the frenzy of daily living to pause and ponder. At the marvel of creation and the simple joys of life and living too. 

A wish to keep reality of the large world firmly in our midst even as detest even the slightest seconds that we are disconnected, from the internet that is!  

A wish to stay healthy in the mind & body, with a resolute belief that ‘things have a way of working out’. A wish in tow for good sleep. Good habits. And great choices! 

For patience with our fellow people. For acceptance. For passion, consistent effort and zealous work to strive for progress.  

I look at my daughter and the words flow on to the screen with greater ease. 

A fervent wish for each of us to be filled with curiosity about what’s possible. A child like laughter. Togetherness. And a devout hope for a better future. 

And then, to look around and pass these, better wishes and some cheer, at the first available excuse to our children. And their children. Year after year. 

For now though, its Happy New Year 2014. Heres wishing you the best! 

A time for renewal !

Its time to change those calendars on your desks. Its time for a new year. While the sun and sea, the frog and the fox, the bacteria and the blue whale could wonder what the big fuss of changing calendars is all about, its time for us to seek renewal. In the name of a new calendar, if not for anything else !

2012 provides us an new opportunity to wear a fresh coat of joy that comes from pausing to ponder and pandering our curiosity about the simple things that life asks us often.

2012 offers one more the possibility to disagree honourably, to agree with grace and help us anchor relationships at an arc that is higher than mere agreements or disagreements.

2012 will lead us down new roads, if we care to take them! May we be blessed to take long walks. May we run. May we do whatever we can, to exercise muscles and wholesomely engage with the brain. May we laugh and be ourselves when we do these and everything else.

2012 will get us new gadgets while offering us another chance to put gadgets, tools and technologies in their rightful place : Along with other, tools, gadgets and technologies. May the focus shift to connecting with one another, from the tools to be used for such connections.

2012 could well see the death of the quest to find a superheroes in the world to put an end to the problems we face. May we realise that each of us are superheroes when we do what we need to, with joy, passion and in a spirit of just doing!

As we dash from deadline to deadline, may we find new diagrams and decipher answers to grand questions that comes from young children. Like ‘why is the sky blue’. Or ‘Why cant I be named ‘idli’?

May our children grow stronger. Drawing strength from the resolve of our characters rather than the latest gizmo they were presented with or the sight of the fancy car in the garage. May they learn to soak in every moment, and erupt in joy and learning. May they see a life that has a greater end than mindless competition. Oh yes, may we see it too!

May our worlds emerge far more clearer, when we take stock at the end of the year. May our lives resonate with a spirit of having made an difference to someone. Or to someplace. Or to something !

Heres wishing us all a wonderful, peaceful and fulfilling new year !


Lets Fly !

The first day of the year has sneaked into us. Offering warmth and hope of a brighter tomorrow. Like the first rays of the sun that spreads and reaches out to all, urging me to break free and fly ! On the strength of a deep wish and the sincerity of a real prayer !

A prayer that extends all the way to the heart, for reason to prevail. On me. And you too. And your neighbour. And his neighbour too. And so on. Until we form a chain of reason that breaks the chains that holds us back.

May 2011 be the year when peace and harmony become permanent coatings on all our walls. A wish escapes from the soul, for sensitivity to the person next door. However similar or otherwise he is. Or she is.

May there be abundance of health, love and cheer in our lives. May it travel far and wide, and become the only permeable infection in this world. And may there be no antidote that found for that infection!

May there be peace. May goodness be our permanent companion and fairness be our passport to higher orders. And let there be challenge enough to strengthen our backs and solidify our resolves.

May there be laughter. Dance. May there be reading. And writing. And a constant strife. To take our collective futures, forward!

May our children grow stronger. Drawing strength from the resolve of our characters rather than the strength of our bank balance. May they learn to see, understand, and appreciate life and living. May they see a life that has a greater end than mindless competition. Oh yes, may we see it too!

May our worlds emerge far more clearer, when we take stock at the end of the year. May our lives resonate with a spirit of having made an difference to someone. Or to someplace. Or to something !

If that sounds like a tall order, perhaps we should leave it at a simpler wish for all of us : a renewed energy in the going about doing all what we do, with character, love, honesty and joy!


May this year be the year that we came to that edge of the cliff, cast a glance at the ravine below, and had it in us to take a leap of faith…leaping to fly off towards a better future !

Happy new year ! Lets fly !

A wish & wisdom by the window


The Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu, has some real pretty faces and often presents to your eyes meandering queues of Nepalis packing their bags to work overseas. ‘Demand for Nepali workmen is high’ says a fellow traveler while lifting a bag that could weigh as much as my provisions. For three full years and more perhaps.

Work done in Nepal i am on my way back. A kind colleague who sympathises with my attempts at photography tells me that the view of the peaks ‘is a good thing to get on the lens from the plane. If you are lucky’.

His words firmly in my radar, I specifically ask for a window seat. Smiling one of the most beautiful smiles and after saying ‘ofcourse sir’ and a little later ‘have a wonderful flight sir’, flashing that pretty smile, the lass at the Jet Airways counter gives me hands over the baording card. Which after getting into the aircraft i realise entitles to everything else but a window seat ! An aisle seat with two young nepali boys on the middle and window seats for company. GREAT.

Soon we are airborne, and the peaks show up on the window in such majestic splendour that I let out a gasp of surprise laden pleasure. Hastening to pull out the camera and attempting to get a few snaps. Aiming and dodging my two young row mates on the middle and window and ensuring that their noses or hands don’t form part of the picture of the snow clad peaks is quite a struggle.

They can see it too as I hoover-up as many snaps as possible as they give me a look that I would reserve for corner cockroach. And fiddle with the entertainment panel and watch an Ajay Devgun movie.

For a second, I cant believe this. These young boys could actually trade the beauty and majesticity of the mountains and the snow capped peaks for a Ajay Devgun movie on the entertainment panel! Alas, what has the world come to !

Without much ado and a presumptuous air I dismissed their intellect, intent and everything about them.

Soon the peaks vanished and I retired to my world of books and work. The next couple of hours vanished like a sugar laden sweet disappearing down the oesophagus. Not very later we were all set to land in Mumbai.

An announcement that was accompanied by what best could be described as a mild frenzy of of nepali boys peering through the window in other seats.

Greatly surprised I turned to the window on my row, which is when I noticed my own neighbours had pulled out their simple cameras and shared every bit of the window between themselves, cheek to cheek.

Perhaps they were sure they would see someone like Ajay Devgun outside the window, I thought, and suddenly they yelled ‘samundar’ ( ocean ), describing the waves and boats on the Bay of Bengal, with such energy that perhaps dwarfed my attempts to capture the peaks on the camera lens.

It was my turn to fiddle with entertainment panel and theirs to dismiss my intellect, intellect and everything else about me with presumptuous élan.

At that moment, one of them turns to me, grins a sheepish grin, points to the Bay of Bengal and says, ‘Samundar – me first time’. I broaden the sheepish smiles further and point to myself to say ‘Himalayas – first time’. The sheepishness of both our smiles intensify. He returns to look at the Bay of Bengal. And I to the entertainment panel.

I keep smiling. Realising that in the sheepishness of our smiles lay an acknowledgement of our different pasts, a happiness at the present and a deep wish for each other for the future.

I realise that there cant be better wish on Christmas day ! Merry Christmas people !

01.01.10

A new year arrives. Brand new. When the sun comes out of the night, he brings with him a new morning. And a new year too. ‘Its time to change’, the morning seems to scream. Change. If not anything else, the calendar and the notepad needs to change.

Taking care to write ‘2010’ when habituated practice auto veers toward ‘2009’ every time the date has got to be written ! Wishing you oodles of health, happiness, healing, fulfilment and great joy ! A wish that’s soaked with emotion and dipped in sincerity.

Perhaps devoid of the pomp and show of a five star party, but howling with hope to preserve the promise of a better present ! A 365 day present that offers itself for use.

Every single day ! May we choose to use this present well. May we find meaning with grace. Perhaps some grace with love. Maybe love with gratitude. And gratitude with fulfillment. Lets throw in all our best intentions and make a bonfire of warmth that will lead us to action.

May there be balance, in all that we do.

May we LIVE. In 2010. Soaking each second and relishing every moment. May we see beauty in life and living, in Earth and in sky. In all colour and splendour. And by the way…, may we learn to have a good laugh at ourselves. Missing that could well mean the biggest joke of the year !

Happy New Year !

Such are not made often.

Through the meandering journey of life, there are are many that we meet. Some are acquaintances. Others pass by. Yet others pass through. And you realise how true this quote about life being a stage and the many actors who jump in and out is..

And of course, some stay. And out of the some that stay, a few touch you. A few others make you laugh. A few others make you think. And of those that make you think, there’s this handful that make you stretch and discover your horizons.

Well, this post is about one such man who did a bit of everything.

Who just stood tall by being himself. Who towered by discovering and getting people grow taller. Who continued standing for whats right, and instilling a sense of right and wrong in the people around him.

A man whose passion for industrial relations knew no bounds. A man for whom development of people was an inherent program which treated this English word spelt ‘b-o-u-n-d-a-r-y’ as unrecognisable code.

A man, who never lost the child in him. A man who has kept at lifelong learning. A man who took to blogging and tweeting rather late in life. But has gone the mile in these journeys.

A man who has touched many lives. Across many strata of society. In his own quiet way.

A man who is busy reinventing himself as i write this. Plotting a new career. And pushing his own limits ‘to pursue things that he always wanted to’

Just as he retires, today, from the organisation that he served for 33 odd years. A man who celebrates his birthday today.

And as he moves into the sunrise of a new life, he carries with him the good wishes & sincere thank yous, of the many that walked the journey along with him.

And of course, carries with him, his own way of doing things !

And as one part of his moves on, the other remains. In the people that he walked with. Who he changed. Forever.

Here’s wishing him a great birthday and a fabulous fulfilling time ahead.


His blog is
here