To grow up

I wanted to grow up, become the elder one I used to idolise. Father, mother, elder sister… Their busy- Ness amazed me. Their capabilities to decide, their control over situations used to amaze me. I spent times wondering my actions when I will be what they are. When I will be what they couldn’t be as well, perhaps. Time spent wondering brought the time to action. I was unprepared.. As I was wondering only. I wasn’t informed about what their struggles were. How hard was it to take a decision. A decision which affected lives, theirs and others as well. Why didn’t they share earlier that behind their decisiveness laid so much of stress, thought process, fear of failure, uncertainty of success and what not! I now realize it wasn’t their age that made them elder to me, it was their ability to take responsibility for their actions, their strength to take risks, their willingness to explore and prove their abilities that made them elder. Respectful. I still want to grow up and still want to become the elder one with the said abilities.

Cleaning the mess

Ankur hated the morning hangovers, especially the Monday mornings. He tried to remember the last night and could recall a few scenes of his colleagues in his 2 BHK company apartment, drinks, music, dance and food. Suddenly his thoughts were disturbed by a call.”Suman bai” the screen flashed and he picked up dreading what he didn’t wanted to listen. Maids don’t call when they are going to come! “Sir, my son is ill and I won’t be coming”. One cannot argue on that but only say Okay.

Ankur was tall, dark but not handsome. He had one sided three girlfriends in the college (all from his side). He never gathered courage to speak up and approach any of them. Brought up in a co-ed school also never helped him. He started his job realizing building his career first was his priority and ignored the marriage proposals, every year passing by. He was not sure if he could adjust with anyone or anyone could ever adjust with him. He simply made lemonade for himself and had a Disprin to reduce the headache and headed for office. He worked in a MNC in Bangalore. Ankur was busy in work when his boss pinged him on internal messenger – Ankur, just wanted to inform you that Gunjan, my new secretary will be sharing your apartment for a few days till he finds a place to live. I hope it’s okay” An information cum order from boss, short and crisp, again could be answered well with an Okay only.

The position of his apartment struck to Ankur only after he replied his boss and he exclaimed-Oh shit!. He rushed to call Suman bai realizing the urgency of the situation, he didn’t wanted his boss’s new secretary to find that he was partying last night and what a mess he kept his “company appartment” at. Suman bai didn’t pick up the phone the whole day and Ankur had no option than to reach his apartment early and clean up the mess. He informed Gunjan that he is leaving early as he was not feeling well and made him understand the apartment address and landmarks. The house was a mess and a mess when a day older, becomes a plight. He started with picking up the trashes, used a broom and cleaned up room by room, which also reminded him of his childhood days when he helped his mother in the household chores and how it made him feel contented. The house cleaning activity made him exhausted, tired and sleepy. The hangover also demanded the sleep from him. He was waiting for Gunjan to arrive and have his dinner, when his phone beeped. An unknown number read,“ Hi Ankur, Gunjan here. I was supposed to come over your place tonight but I will be going to my relative’s home, they  live far but are insisting me to stay there tonight. Sorry bro, see you tomorrow”. Ankur replied nothing, looked around, smiled and dozed off.

As you sow, so shall you reap.. Or your successors!

“Why doesn’t your son goes to college for higher education?” My grandfather asked his office accountant, in a surprise.

“He has completed his schooling, it is enough in our family, and now will help me in my work, I need an assistant to look after your company’s accounts. And sir, I cannot afford his higher education fees too. He dreams to settle out of India”. Mr. Sharma replied, hesitantly.

“No need of him to work here” My grandfather ordered in a high pitched voice, “Send him to high school, he is a bright student, I will pay his fees. You should have informed me earlier ” Grandfather added, and left to smoke outside the office.

My grandfather was a charming personality, with shine on forehead, smiling lips, eyes scanning people and places, and brain calculating profits and losses. He loved children. He was a chain smoker. He smoked partly due to addiction and partly to show off. And he thought why not smoke for show off, when then smoking was a status symbol and when he owned a house and a successful business in his name, 3 cars with a driver, all of this in the year 1984 when there was no one in competition against him and people struggled throughout their lives to build a house alone in their name. He was proud of his children, two daughters and two sons, and could imagine of passing his legacy to his two sons whom he considered deserving, able and efficient enough to improve and expand the business, mint money and live the life people admired.

But, as they say, Destiny has it’s own way.

1992, in my birth year, my grandfather died in an accident, he was a diabetes patient too and recovery from an accident was not easy for him. What he left behind him was his wife, family, his savings and his growing business which then required to be expanded and fight strong against the growing competitions with modernization, all this in the hands of his two sons who weren’t prepared to handle it immediately after his sudden demise. Albeit they struggled to overcome the challenges. They tried hard. Their family tried hard together.

Years passed…… business suffered, families suffered and so did health. The two brothers separated their ways, separate business and separate families. Children suffered too. The problem I and my brother-sister faced, among many, was delays in paying tuition fees of the school. We used to hide heads in the initial times when our names were called out to pay the overdue fees, but gradually it became so regular for us that when the school peon entered our classroom with a list of students whose tuition fees was pending, we used to come out by ourselves without letting him announce our name. Our teachers and friends became used to it too. We used to smile when we saw each other in the same line of such students called out by the school’s administrative officer. Life taught me that struggles, when faced and fought and are laughed at, by a family together, brings the family members closer and strengthens their bond.

Well the school time passed with this and other beautiful memories and it was the time for pursuing higher education.

I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant. I didn’t knew then, but was more than happy to learn that the course was the cheapest course in India for commerce students, albeit with highest dignity of a Chartered Accountant. Though cheap, but the fees was required to be paid in advance. It was not a school where delays will be allowed. The time was tough and my father was joining money from various sources to pay for the fees as we didn’t have savings then. My father did his best..

It was then when that accountant’s son (Mr. Junior Sharma) arrived India and wanted to meet his old friends, my father being one of them. Just then! Imagine the coincidence..! They met. They talked. The accountant’s son decided to pay for my education fees until my father managed from his own resources and would repay him. When asked by his wife of his sudden kind gesture for the daughter of one of his “just a friend”, he replied ” I was able to complete my science graduation because that girl’s grandfather paid for my higher education. A little money from his fortune then, helped me shape my life and now I would be able to repay that debt by helping them in their need”.

Through this post, I thank him for that support extended by him. I thank my grandfather for securing my future, unknowingly! I thank my father to instill hope in me and to believe that thoughts matter, so keep them always positive. He says-“If you do your best, then the rest will be taken care by god.”

I Thank God for making the ends meet, then, for me.

Truly, Destiny has its own way!

Understanding is an Understatement

Understanding is an Understatement when

You understand your mother worrying about you the whole day but do not sit with her in dinner and talk to her or listen her heart out.

You understand your father displaying confidence inspite of his ageing worries or sickness fear and you do not offer your salary or financial help or emotional support to atleast make him smile and feel proud of his teachings.

You understand your colleague fighting depression but you do not lend them your sincere ears under the rising work pressure.

You understand a dog shivering in rain but do not help it with shelter.

You understand your partner needs your love and appreciation and you waste time and their love finding their faults.

You understand you should keep your health as priority and you ignore it against junk food and laziness.

You understand that your vote makes a difference but are ignorant and plan holiday on a voting day.

You understand that first step is all we need to take to lighten up the path but you are afraid thinking of all the road ahead rather than that first step.

You understand cleanliness is godliness but can’t help throwing that plastic wrapper/bag out of the car.

-I understand preaching is easier than practise but I end up on giving advices only.

P. S. I am also under the process of actually understanding the things.!

Empathy- Word and meaning diminishing to obsolescence.

Empathy is a strong emotion where a person connects with the other on the same situation, with same emotions, same pain, same experience. It is though commonly used when all this is even similar with another person. It has to be same and the word’s significance is the emotion behind the word.

We come across daily news of deaths, theft, murders, accidents, mishaps, rapes, kidnaps and possibly all forms of damage including fire, earthquakes, storms, cyclones,floods etc. and we feel bad or sorry, discuss on debates, news channels, news papers headlines and controversies, candle marches, government support, NGO support etc where people often claim that they are helping the sufferes out of sympathy or as they empathize with them. However I believe no one can empathize the other person in sorrow or their loss as no one knows his or her emotions behind the situation.

In today’s time, where we have no time understanding our partner’s feelings or that of our parent’s who need our time to discuss their age and changes they experience on getting older, we falsely claim that we empathize some other person who suffers from a damage which may be a common news for all but a once in a lifetime event (precisely a mishap) for that person.

Empathy should be declared an obsolete word as it has no prevalent meaning in today’s age. We hardly sympathise with people, left alone Empathize.

Simple enough!

It was our father’s freind and his family who were invited to our house for dinner. My father’s freind’s daughter – with one of her girl child – was leaving for London in next couple of days and as our tradition teaches us to atleast call the people home for dinner (especially those who are leaving abroad and won’t be in touch that regular-irrespective of the prominence of social sites which informs you about the life of the other just a touch away.) So ya,but since this is a tradition to be followed to motivate togetherness as well, we had planned a dinner at home.

The family comes and we discuss about things, blah blah, how difficult life is there outside and their willingness to not to leave India as well but since life is tough and one has to do what they don’t want to do inspite of the fact that once they had to do what they are doing now in hope of a good life. I guess somewhere in the deep, every individual leaving India knows what they are losing i.e. Family. Which is the essence of Unity in India-among people. The trait of togetherness that we learn since childhood and the bomd we have within family cannot be described.

The dinner went well and I was playing with the little girl, and she wanted to go upstairs at our room, but was afraid of no light. However the fact was that we had sensor lights on stairs and whenever one reaches on a stair the light gets lit by itself and you can walk up. But she was hesitant to even take that one step. After forcing her, she went forward and was happy when the lights turned on and she could go up. This was a small incident which reminded me of her as me and those lights as God.. He forces us to take one step from our own so that je can light up the whole future for us which we await..

It’s simple but silly of us for not being able to understand whenever we are required to take that one step/decision /choice.