Wishes

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

Concrete Hope !

On a city jaunt, once, i spotted this small flat, in a middle class neighbourhood. And there was an impeccable image. Of an open window. A few clothes that were seeking to shed their water weight by seeking the sun.

Plastic cans which perhaps held something else before, holding the soil. The soil holding firm for the roots to take shape. And the roots supplying all what the leaves required to stretch and seek the world.

The makeshift window sill was thin, and obviously not designed for these. And the window pane in their shadowy soot, had a far worse tale to tell. A foot away, was an old drainage pipe. And the wall was bore tell tale signs of seepage. Or perhaps, it was leakage.

It could have been an ordinary sight in a strange neighbourhood. But for some reason, my legs refused to move. And the eyes refrained from the odd blink. The cars honks around me grew fainter.

All i saw was the leaf deftly dance to a wisp of a breeze and that lonely red bud, tease the wind. In some time, i realised i was deaf to the honk and blind to the seepage.

I dont know for how long i stood there. But long enough for friends who were with me to nudge me to check if i was expecting someone to step out and wave. Perhaps climb down the drainage pipe and run to me. Like the types they show in Bollywood movies.

But there i was. A stranger. A stranger to that window and to that green. But in that strange distance, the appalling exterior melted away and all i saw was a coat of hope, beauty and possibility.

Those green leaves, the deft move of a stem responding to the faintest of breeze, those washed clothes that were drying, the promise of the lonely bud and the thought of those simple folks who nurtured this all, brought an incredible amount of peace to me.

And that’s exactly how i feel about Obama’s inauguration tomorrow. Sitting many thousand miles away, i feel better for the world. Don’t ask me why. Call me a wishful thinker. Dub me whatever. I still feel so. I hope so. I wish so.

In the midst of seeping concrete, i found hope the other day.

Just as i will. Tomorrow.

Merry Christmas !

Clicked on MG Road. Bangalore. Dec ’06

The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication”.

Those were lines from a tale that i read for an English lesson in class eight. I think. In the melee of exams and studies, this story tugged my heart and left a mark. But my appreciation, back then was largely academic. (I think). Today, its meaning, importance and relevance assume special significance ! (Ok. Ok. Yes. I am slow… !)

In the ‘getting’ melee that all of us are in, i think ‘giving’ requires some attention.

Yes ! Its time to give. To heal the world. To spread some cheer. To help put some honest food on the table and some true cheer to the heart. Its time !

As the world seems to hurtle towards a far flung place, its time we realise that it is in us to perhaps help change course, from ‘Getting’ to ‘Giving’ ! Both, for the world and for us. Beginning with us. Yes, Us. You and Me. To show that the course that we chart is worthwhile and possible.

An honest, happy, fair and a ‘giving’ course !

The wise old Magi began the art of Christmas presents. Its time for us to look beyond the materials and malls, and look at giving. A giving that is beyond all that we have ever given in the past.

Perhaps just to see a small little smile in a remote corner that doesn’t matter to the world any longer. Or not even that. Perhaps because ‘giving’, is what will sustain us all !!!

Its Christmas time people. Its time to give. Its time to become the new Magi.

Clicked on Airport Road. Bangalore. Dec ’06

I clicked this a couple of years back. I have been brought up with the thought, that God lives everywhere. Especially so, in every act of human kindness. Jesus can reside between the Airport and Indiranagar. And i think i am well qualified to become the Magi. So are you.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas. We may live in distant lands and difficult times, but we are united in our hope for a better tomorrow and possibilities that lie within mankind ! The possibility to reach out and give !

So, here is a wish from Mumbai : May the celebrations bring great cheer and lasting happiness. To each of your families, a heartfelt, humble and true wish for a great Christmas and a fantastic time of peace, health, hope and great cheer.

Olympian Vow

The opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics was a spectacle to watch. With all the acrobats and the sheer scale of what they managed to pull out of a hat, or rather a birds nest. It sure must be an event to see and experience. Experiencing the electricity of the atmosphere must be something that would be unparalleled.

As i wrote earlier, the Olympics can well become a milestone. Some kind of a deadline. By the time the next Olympics comes around i will have knocked out all the extra flab ( that i put on watching the other Olympics that went by..) could be a worthy objective !

Four years later, i am reasonably sure that i would quip that it was like yesterday that Beijing happened. So, in essence having an Olympics to Olympics kind of milestone is going to help big time. Like we had 5 year plans before !

The Olympics usher in a different spirit. By some strange concoction, to see that many cultures come together, compete, hold hands, stand on the podium, cry on the sidelines, wave a flag…somehow makes the world come so much more closer. Somehow offers hope that we still can be one race ! The race of people !

So these days, i am watching competitions and learning new rules. Like archery. Where Korea beat China. And watched not only the game, but many other elements. Like how the bow string sits on the archers lips & i could almost hear the archer whispering a message to the arrow !

It is an electric spirit ! The Olympic spirit.

For a fleeting moment, the heart wished, that it would be the Indian team hitting the bulls eye ! But the very next moment, it didn’t matter. At all !!

It was man’s quest for excellence that was on display. That quest for stretch & excellence is not bound by boundaries of nations. That is a sight & spirit to relish !

So, here is the vow:

I am going to be physically present in 2012, London. As a citizen of the world, to cheer for them all. For mankind. To physically see the quest for excellence and those Olympian stretches.

Anybody wants to join ?? And for each Olympics to follow. A four year reunion would be great. And no, this is not wishful thinking.

Mark these dates in your calendar : 27 July to 12 August 2012.

Thamizh Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal. ( Tamil New year wishes )

The Thamizh new year came and went. The importance of the day cannot be re-emphasised. Well, its a new year. ( If you are not thinking it of as Sun TV’s anniversary)! And the new year offers possibilities. Like a fresh page. A new pathway. Virgin pastures. Possibilities. Friendships. And a ‘new’ thats indeed alluring !!

Wishing all readers Thamizh ( Tamil in the authentic way ) new year wishes. May this years herald a new thinking. A thinking that encompasses all within its overarching reach. A thinking that ushers in change. A thinking that broadens our horizons and launches us further !

I am approaching the new day after the new year day, with hope and confidence. That this year will be defining. That things will change for the better. And we will all be smiling that we had a year like this, as we usher in the next new year. One year hence !

Happy New Year !

Hues ’08 !

The new year dawns on us like a lotus that is blooming. Just as the first rays of the skin kiss the rose coloured petals shimmering in the blue water of a still lake, the lotus responds to the distant sun. Blooming and beaming. And that is a sight for the eye.

As the monsoon showers hit our mountain ranges, from every piece of land and & crevice ‘green’ sprouts. A green response to dark clouds that connect up with silver streaks of rain !

The red that runs beneath doesnt change colour despite sporting white, brown or black skin ! And envy is green and love is a shade of red ! And the human mind is multi-hued. Especially so, when not clouded.

As the white polar ice sinks into the blue ocean, the black dotted panther is feeling the heat somewhere !


As the one white light that gets split into many hues, the many colours dominate our lives, our thoughts, our moods and perhaps our actions. Just as we recognise the vibrancy of each colour of the world, lets also keep in our minds that what we see and relish is just one splinter of a broader hue.

All of us are connected. May the year ’08 show us the way to greater connectedness. Of holding to each other. Of being able to see all the different colours and see it with the belief & understanding that it is but a part of a broader hue. And that one colour leads to many other colours. And that a solitary colour by itself is small change unless seen with other colours !

Welcome ’08. May we see many hues when we are with you. May we accept all hues as extensions of our own. May each of us do our bit. That when we look back, we say, ” ah ’08, that was the year that the we saw all hues distinctly but remembered to put it all together. “


“Back together “.

Wishing all readers a very happy new year !

‘Come Back’ on Diwali !

Happy Diwali ! Whew! Its been a long time! Thank you all for the support and patient understanding. And i deeply appreciate all of the friends who called to check if i was doing ok, and to the others who sent stinkers of sorts…’if you cant maintain a blog, why start one..?’ Well…yes sir !

Am reporting back to duty !

This post is from Mumbai ! And a comeback post of sorts for me. Life in Mumbai has been rockingly steady. Atleast, I retain my likings for oxymorons !
People often ask me as to how different Mumbai is from Bangalore. It is indeed different. But it is after all part of the same wide wonderful world that we are used to.

The internet connection is yet to come in at home. And it is proving to be a wait of sorts. But life has to go on otherwise.

Just wanted to write in and chip in with Diwali wish. May our lives be touched by the spirit of Diwali ! Of the victory of good over evil. May it stay reminiscent in the way the world lives by bringing in victory of plenty over poverty.

Of good sense over fundamentalism. Of broad mindedness over narrow walls. Of oneness over boundaries. Of ‘all of us’ over ‘them’ !

Wishing you a very happy Diwali ! May the festive cheer bring a big broad & true smile!

Tamizh New Year ‘Wishes’

Today is Tamizh New Year !

May it herald new beginnings.

Prosperity. Fulfilment. Great Health. Peace all around. Contentment. Joy. Happiness. Great creativity. Fantastic Books. Wonderful blogs. Kind hearts. Productive activities. Warm fuzzy feelings. Holding hands. Break downs of walls and boundaries. A better life. A better earth.

A better tomorrow. All of us needed a beginning to make.

Lets make it now !