Gone are those days when…!

Gone are those days when birthing babies was simple.Today we have “maternity packages” in specialised maternity hospitals called Cloud 9, Motherhood, Nest, Cradle and other such gimmicky stuff.

Gone are those days when people looked at you when they spoke (as against having their noses buried in their mobile phones nowadays).

Gone are those days when a sanitary napkin was just that, a napkin. Today we have long, extra long, with wings, tampons, dry, and more.

Gone are the days when people smiled, laughed and actually had emotions. Today we have emojis.

Gone are the days when letters were written, put in an envelope and stamped and posted in a postbox. Today we see the time:stamp on an e-mail in our Inbox.

Gone are the days when kids played hopscotch, hide and seek and 7 tiles. Today they play Warcraft, Battlefield, Hotline Miami on their XBox or whatchamacallits.

Gone are the days when reading a book meant lovingly thumbing the pages, feeling the texture of the paper, breathing in the smell, dog earing it, bookmarking it. Today we have the Nook, Kindle and well, does it matter?

Gone are the days when we valued money, be it 10p, 25p, Re.1/- or OMG Rs.10/-. Today we can’t wash our bums with Rs.1000/-.

Gone are the days when dining out was about choosing a restaurant carefully and poring over the menu for minutes imagining the smells and taste before placing an order. Today we have mega brunches and mass confusion.

Gone are the days when there was an unspoken rule that adult children could lean on their parents when things went wrong, for comfort, for support, for unconditional love. Today there are unspoken laws: don’t ask, don’t tell.

Gone are the days when divorce was a last resort. Today it’s the first.

Gone are the days when there children used to be taken to lakesides or beaches or national parks for a picnic. Today, malls are the thing or how about Bangkok?

Gone are the days of neighbourhood stores with glass jars full of peppermint candy in zebra stripes. Today it’s Kinderjoy or nothing.

Gone are the days when friends came over for a sleep over. Today, friends book themselves into a 5 star hotel for a ‘weekend’ package.

Gone are the days when life was simpler.
Gone are the days when life was a joy (not a chore).
Gone are the days when life was at peace (not an everyday battle of wits).
Gone are the days when life was about humanity.

Where are we headed?

That One Thing!

I’ve been struggling with that ‘One’ thing.

That “one” purpose.

That “one” love.

That “one” business.

That “one” blog.

That “one” assignment.

That “one” inspiration.

That “one” book.

That “one” goal.

That “one” passion.

That “one” song.

That “one” dream.

That “one” moment.

When will that “one” thing get resolved? “One” day surely?

Till such time, I wait. For that “one” action which will somehow change my world forever.

Yes, I wait for the “one”.

You?

 

Is now all we have?

Are you, like me, thinking of taking a vacation, sometime in the near future?
Are you, like me, saving up for a new car, sometime in the near future?
Are you, like me, thinking of writing a book, sometime in the near future?
Are you, like me, thinking that this life of yours (as I think of mine), is forever?
Are you like me, assuming that you will remain young forever?
Are you like me, pretending that Time can be your slave?

Lol. Such fools. You and me.

Look around. Cast your mind back to yesterday. Can you live that day again?
Look around. You have your tomorrow all planned out.
6.00 am – walk
7.00 am – meditation
8.00 am – breakfast
9.00 am – get off to work
9.45 am – 1st meeting of the day
10.30 am – mails to send, follow up on that estimate, remind colleague/ team member of the report, check with boss on leave, some more mails
11.45 am – time for a caffeine rush
12.00 pm – stop by at colleague’s cubicle and chit chat – while away time – make small talk, share a joke
12.30 pm – time to head for lunch
1.15 pm – rush to cubicle, engage with some social media on your smart phone
1.30 pm – meeting again – so sleepy…shit!
2.20 pm – got to figure out what to cook for dinner
2.25 pm – quick call to boyfriend on plans for evening
2.45 pm – stop by for water cooler gossip
3.00 pm – time for caffeine
3.15 pm – send a couple of emails, thank some people, start on that report
4.00 pm – attend a few quick phone calls, get some print outs
4.20 pm – head to the loo
4.30 pm – check time – another hour to go, mental check-list – refuel car, pick up some DVDs, pay the credit card bill, pick up some ice cream, start on the tax investment planning, must speak to the cable services provider – just too bloody expensive for bullshit service – got to order the gas cylinder, sigh! am going crazy – lots of things to do…
5.00 pm – start on the report – interrupted by a few more pings on the local office intranet, a few flirty winks, sign off
6.00 pm – still finishing that report – got to send it by 6.30 pm latest
6.45 pm – pack up and rushing to the car park – mentally cursing for the crazy traffic jam and how life sucks!(why the hell can’t life get better? why am I stuck here doing this when I could be writing a book, baking cakes, finishing up my creative writing course, learning to be a teacher, go on that hike)
8.30 pm – home – exhausted, tired, irritable, hungry – and I have to cook dinner…Gawd!!!
9.00 pm – boyfriend reaches home – exhausted, tired, irritable, hungry and has to make small talk with girl friend and pretend to be interested in her day or her cribs or her queries
10.30 pm – both watch some stupid TV channel zombie-like and grope each other…quick foreplay and then retract – too tired to make out really
11.00 pm – lights out!

Look around you. White light. Blinding light. You feel weightless. You look and you see yourself, sitting there in your room, thinking, planning, for tomorrow. Worrying sick about the day after tomorrow. Angry about all the miserable things that happened yesterday, no, 10 years ago. Look around you. There’s nothing, just a feeling of weightlessness and the unbearable lightness of being. You can see your body, you can read your own mind. Worry, fear, pain, guilt, shame, lack of confidence, worry, fear, pain, guilt, shame. For what? For tomorrow? But, look, I planned out my tomorrow, I was grappling with my yesterday, but I died today. I slipped and fell in the bathroom and hit my head on the commode and had an internal hemorrhage. I just lay there lifeless, with a pool of blood slowly spreading around my head and crawling toward the ivory commode, with my eyes lifeless staring at the ceiling, my body twisted. I died today.

Such fools you and me. We plot and plan for days that were never ours to plot and plan for. We had today, sorry, now. But we were too busy giving the now the short shrift. Move over bitch, make way for a tomorrow that is going to be rosy, and healthy and rich and happy. Yeah right!

Who has the last laugh?

Look around. You and me. Such fools.

Are you like me, thinking, that tomorrow will always come? That tomorrow is another day?

Such fools. You and me. (“now” winks at me slowly, hands in pocket, whistling a tuneless tune, merrily leaving me as I chase a dark shadow called tomorrow).

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

What moves you?

Movies.

When I see the nuances of a relationship in a movie play itself out – daughter and mother, father and daughter, husband and wife, brother and sister, girl friend and boy friend, friends….I have always wondered why some scenes move me? Death, intense love, intense desire, separation, sacrifice, romance – am like an ice cream in an oven – sniffing and snivelling away and my throat is all constricted with unshed tears and I am transported to moments in my life when I have been desperate for luck, love, understanding, relief.

Music.

Every time I fell in love the lyrics of songs would somehow take on an extra special meaning. I have made mix tapes for boy friends, girl friends and self with specially selected songs and little notes tucked into the Sony or TDK 60 or 90 mins tape cover, hoping the man would never forget me every time he listened to the songs peeking out behind the spool. Of course the folly of living in hope in a failed or distant relationship cast its long dark shadow unrelenting and winning.

Children. Ads. Great deeds. Family. Human spirit – Sherpas looking out for the mountaineers rescued from an avalanche with worry and wondering if he/ she is alive. A heart transported from a hospital to the airport where the police, the authorities are all on standby to ensure that a little baby somewhere gets a chance at life. And so many other such stories of courage, selflessness and extraordinariness.

Why do these slice of life moments move me? Because I live a little through these experiences. Vicarious pleasure. Transposed emotions. And the throbbing of my heart becomes louder every time I see what life is, what life could be.

When I saw this movie today, I felt that the woman, a daughter was playing me in many ways – looking after her cantankerous old father – and that was her raison d’être. Parents can be selfish without realising it. Parents can be worried about being alone in their infirmity and how illness could affect their lives. When their children, especially a daughter looks after them selflessly, however acerbic, caustic or frisson-ridden the relationship may be, you do feel for the woman right? Her loneliness can burrow a hole in your soul. You wonder if there will be a great big romance. If there will be friends with whom she can share a brownie and talk about her sexless unsexy life or unshaven armpits or the need for sex the without sounding maudlin or pitiable or desperate. If there would ever be a great man-woman friendship which could turn out to be a comforting duvet enveloping her with its warmth. You wonder if she could ever take a vacation and meet someone who would be the great big adventure and soul fulfilling episode of her life.

Yes. I realise I am unbelievably alive and human when:  my 18 month old niece shouts out my name and apes evey action of mine. When my nephew and niece come straight home from the car park when they come visiting their grandmother it fills me up. When that guy in the car next to mine in a narrow lane waits patiently and actually allows me to make that difficult turn, it fills me up. When someone holds the lift for me, or someone at the cash counter doesn’t worry about the 50p change that I don’t have and tenders change, yup, it moves me.

Yes, little instances fill me up, move me to tears. In a world where basic humaneness and goodness and compassion are becoming rare commodities, think about what moves you. All the little things add up. It makes for a life beautifully lived. It restores faith.

Move it, move it, move it. Feel it.