It Isn’t Time Yet

Paris has always lured people from all around the world. I wasn’t bereft of its enchantment either. And up on staying there on my week-long trip, I realised that Paris is worth all the hype. Love is actually in the air of this city. The smiles, the hugs, the happiness all around me just made a better, more positive person.

The window in my room gave a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. Its beautiful architecture enhanced the skyline so much that one could not not be in awe. So after some walking around the city, a lot of street shopping and a stop for coffee-and-a-quick-snack at Terres de café, I headed to greet the monument in the afternoon. The vast span of green grass bordered by lush trees on either sides surrounding the sky-piercing tower in the lovely spring season was blissful. I decided on a spot to throw my bags and sit there with my coffee. I tried to absorb the scene as much as I could, of course I couldn’t help clicking some photos and the mandatory selfie, but those can’t compare with the moments you capture in your head that will make for life-long memories.

As I lay there on the grass, I watched children run around and laugh, tourists posing for that perfect profile pic, couples cuddling, and then my gaze stopped at the highest point I could see on the tower. The scene was like a dream…but something seemed missing.

You know that feeling you feel when you host a party and everyone is enjoying but you have this nag in your head that something is missing. Or that feeling you feel when you’ve left for the airport after double-checking your belongings but still have an itch about something missing…that. That’s how I was feeling. No, I wasn’t missing my husband. Yes, I did think about him and we facetimed but it wasn’t that. It was a different kind of a nag…I wasn’t missing something in my head. It was from the almost-perfect scene before me that something was amiss. Or was I just too jet-lagged?

I tried paying attention to Agatha Christie’s narrative till the sun allowed me to. The sun-down sky looked alluring with hues of gold and azure. So though the sun went away, it did leave an awe-inspiring smile and a hidden promise to be back the next day.

And then, suddenly, the tower twinkled with all its might. And it continued to do so. It was like seeing a giant diamond sparkle. Mesmerizing!

That! That was what was missing. The sparkle added to the magnanimity of the tower. This is what I was waiting for. This is what certified an assurance that things will be set right at the right time.

There in the city of love, under the dusky sky, by the sparkling tower, I realised that things looked bleak at the moment because it isn’t time yet. ‘Cause when the time will be right, things will come out from the blur and shine bright.

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Can Love Get Lost?

Often we’ve heard of people having affairs outside of their existing relationships. And as sad as this is, I was more baffled upon knowing that their love had been lost and that is what lead to that affair.

So, two people who were very much in love with each other, are now not together anymore because they fell out of love with each other. And it could be either or both of them feeling that way. Love gets lost….does it, really?

While my electrician was diligently fitting a new one-switch board in the kitchen for my new coffee maker and was scraping the edges clean, it got me thinking how misfit one can feel at times. And is there a screw to fix that gap in our lives? Or are we just too happy and casual about screwing up?

I thought of talking to my friend about it, who, being a psycho-analyst, would have a more pragmatic and deeper approach. So one evening when I was at hers’ for our regular catch-ups-over-tea meeting, I brought this up. My fault that I didn’t prep her up and she got so concerned, almost panicked, thinking that things were not ok in our little nest. She promised not to tell anyone but to help and persuaded me to tell her what happened…friends are a gem, aren’t they? After ensuring a number of times that there was indeed no trouble in my paradise and making me promise her that I will confide if anything (god forbid) goes wrong, she put on her consultant hat. And her rationale outdid my sensibilities! She said it was natural to fall out of love. And that does lead to people trying to find solace in a variety of subjects – a romantic affair being a top favorite. I suddenly developed a slight dislike for her which increased when she showed me some of her research papers supporting her rationale.

Walking back home that evening, I was still stuck with this thought…So if a couple feels no longer connected to each other in a romantic way, they opt out? Whatever happened to ‘making it work’ and ‘till death do us apart’? And don’t get me wrong, I am not up for sticking together if they dream of murdering each other. In fact I supported a cousin when she filed for a divorce when things turned ugly between her and her husband of 12 years. And I am not questioning people who opt to part ways. My question is, how frivolous can your love for someone be for it to get lost?

Is falling in love a temporary business? Is ‘happily ever after’ really just a filmy epilogue?

What do you think?

Can You Help Me Forgive and Forget?

Often it is said that to find peace, we must make peace with our pain. And that to move on, we must not hold on to the grudges. This implies that we must forgive those who sin against us’. The question then is, is forgiving really in our hands? Is it easy to let go of the hurt, anger, disappointment, rage and anguish?

While we all know the theory that hatred solved never anything, are we ever in a state to apply that practically? Being the humans that we are, doesn’t the idea of revenge flash a thousand times before taking the plunge to make a sagely decision? And then, doesn’t our soul truly want revenge…or justice as it sounds niche? And truly want them to go through to the same torment that we were put through?

They say time heals every thing. But if you analyse it, then you will too agree with me when I say: No, it doesn’t. Time just makes us more strong to bear that pain and live with it. And time brings in more experiences of similar fashion, making us all the more tolerant to pain. That’s it really. Time gives us the time to face it. But again, we becoming stronger doesn’t mean that the pain has mellowed down. And it definitely doesn’t mean you are ready to forgive.

That lingering pain from that particular experience which happened on that day fateful day does stay along. You don’t really forget what happened and how you felt. In fact, try digging those lanes and the same pain will engulf you which will carry the same impact on your nerves as on that day. And if those memories are so vivid that they bring back the same raging emotions which you haven’t yet forgotten, then have you really forgiven? Isn’t there still bad air?

Coffee Anyone?

Year 1998. 

I was trying to team up my new high-waist black jeans with a sexy-but-I’m-not-trying top. All us girls decided to go to this newly opened coffee shop on Mussourie Road. You see, growing up in Dehradun, we had a very outdoorish upbringing – picnics in the forest near a bamboo cluster by the stream, or trekking to any of the lush hills surrounding the valley was more like our idea of ‘hanging out’. I’m talking about the times when safety wasn’t a issue and when climbing up the trees for a fresh guava or a handful of mulberries was common. Our parents also ensured we had a wholesome engagement with the real world. So when we learnt about the coffee shop in the local daily, we got all curious. My mum couldn’t fathom what a 100 rupee cup of coffee would entail. Well, neither did anyone of us. I mean, I knew of ice cream parlors and fast food centers but what is a coffee shop? Do you buy a cup of coffee there? For 100 rupees? One could buy a 100 gms Nescafe packet in that amount. We had to figure that out!

That in-your-face yellow space with peppy music got us all groovy. The next three hours went by in analyzing the prospects of coffee shops in India, spewed intermittently with our career plans (we were in 11th standard) with a conscious and regular mention of how the eyes of that guy in the black sweat shirt on the opposite table were mesmerizing, all while sipping our coffee in yellow mugs.

Years passed by and our analysis on that day proved right. Consumerism and great coffee have since walked hand in hand. And it wasn’t just the coffee because you have a range of other beverages to choose from – both hot and cold. It was the whole package – good coffee in a great ambience served finely gained its way over other hangouts. Also, there weren’t many green patches in other cities. 

Besides being a preferred hangout, coffee shops are now almost an obvious choice for meeting a prospective marriage alliance. In fact, just last weekend when I was out with my mister relishing the Valentine season sale, we took a coffee break where a similar scene was in full play. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but the place wasn’t crowded and their conversations were quite audible. So, the scene…the girl in her blue kurta and the boy in his beige shirt were trying to steal a look with shy smiles when one of the aunties mentioned how she had met her now husband in a temple but look how modern they’ve become that they chose to meet here for her son’s alliance, and then they all did the obligatory laugh. I don’t know how their meeting went as we left soon after, but I hope it did end well. 

Things with a professional tag like multilevel marketing, webinars, and freelancing also seem to have found their Mecca in coffee shops. It’s rare to not find either of these on a table involved in their work while sipping on a hot cuppa or on a cold tall glass. On days when I am out on my own running errands or for a meeting and decide to take a break at a coffee shop, I make grocery lists, call and catch up with friends and extended family, read the trending blogs on this site, or even shop online. There is something about the coffee shops that gets you all relaxed so you can go about your business.

Who would’ve thought that a 100 rupee coffee would come this far. And Cafe Coffee Day’s tagline says it so aptly – A lot can happen over coffee. Friday nights, post dinner, my mister and I take a drive to a coffee shop. That’s our little way of shutting off the noise and welcoming the weekend. After all, a lot did happen over coffee for us but that’s a story for another time. Do follow me to know my coffee story 🙂

Tell me what’s your coffee shop story?

I feel lost without my cellphone

“Never on a weekday again!” I rambled between getting dressed to look my professional best and keeping an eye on the watch. I wasn’t worried about the meeting today but I surely didn’t want to be late. As I picked up my bag and keys, I promised myself never to make dinner plans on weekdays again. Plus, the lack of sleep took its toll on my recovering dark circles.

After 25 minutes of negotiating the traffic, I reached the office well in time only to realize that I forgot my cell. Oh no! It had the sms with the quotes for today’s meeting! And other reminders! Plus, I had to call my cousin and wish him a happy birthday. And no, I couldn’t do it from the deskline because I did not remember his number – thanks to cellphones!

“Relax, it’s not the end of the world”, said my colleague while prepping for the meeting.

Yeah, right!

On my drive back home, I thought to myself, “it really wasn’t the end of the world”. I mean the meeting was successful, got my cousin’s number from mum (glad I byhearted her number!) and the rest of the day sailed by pleasantly. But… there was a big void I felt all day…you know the kind of emptiness you feel after a bad fight with your best friend. I felt like an addict…desperate to see it…to hold it. I missed how it took care of my life. I don’t memorize anything anymore as my cell stores all the information, reminders, and to-do’s. Plus, it takes care of all my planning – vacation to diet to finances. My cellphone is actually my assistant!

But today, my day went as planned even without my assistant. So why did I feel the void? Why this desperation for a gadget? Maybe because it is not just a gadget. Maybe it is a desperation for a basic “need” – food, clothing, shelter and cellphone – not in that order necessarily.

Yeah…cellphones have become a basic now. Just about 15 years back, cellphones fell into the “luxury bucket”. And the lack of it did not cause a wreck. In fact, people were smarter and remembered things – phone numbers, bank accounts, grocery lists, important dates. I feel cellphones are that technological development that has contributed to marring personal growth. It not only changed the way our brains function, but also have made other electronic gadgets – camera, watch, alarm piece, iPod, and even TV – redundant, deeming it fit to be termed as a disruptive technology.

Cellphones have the tendency to fill you with a sense of incompetency and lack of confidence when you don’t have them. No matter which brand, though I love my iPhone 6S, just carrying it around makes me feel complete. And growing up, I thought that falling in love would instigate that ‘complete’ feeling in me, weird eh!

That void…that sense of incompleteness which hovered over innumerous times today vanished the minute I saw it resting on the pillow. Oh! It looked so lonely without me. And there on its glistening display screen, along with many messages and calls, were “pay rent” and “eat your sprouts”. See how much it cares for me. Oh! What would I do without my cell!

Soul Mate

image source wels.net

Soul mates – two little words, one big concept.

A belief that someone, somewhere has the key to your heart. And your house. All you have to do is find them!

Books and movies had ingrained this idea in my head. And I started believing in the fairytale-like life. That sparkle in the eyes, that popping of the feet on the first kiss, that proposal on one knee with the perfect princess-cut diamond ring, and that walk into the sunset. All seemed the future reality of my life and I was prepared for it. Now, all I had to do was find him.

But wait! My logical mind hammered for a covenant. Though the emotional half dissed the thought and focused more on the feeling. But the latter was smart and asked an emotional question: So when you found your ‘someone’ and it didn’t work out, then does that mean that they weren’t your soul mate? Were they then just a runner-up contestant in this game called “happily ever after”?

I would be devastated, yes, but the undying faith in the concept of soul mate will help me come out of the contorted mountain of grief. And I will continue to look for “the one” again. And won’t give up till I have found him and have that walk into the sunset with a sparkling diamond on my finger that he would have proposed to me with on one knee that I’d have agreed to with a smile after our kiss.

But my logical mind threw another question at me, this time not so emotional one: And, if time just kept rolling on, does that also affect your chances of finding that soul mate? In that case, is this big concept of soul mates then even a reality? Or is it, in fact, a torture device?

What do you think? Or have you found your soul mate?

Pulwama Attacks: Stop This Cowardice And Grow A Spine

Reema woke up to her brother’s phone call. Hearing her groggy voice, he asked, “You alright?”

“Yeah yeah, I was taking a nap…was feeling heavy since morning. Bolo”, said Reema rubbing her eyes and reaching out for her water bottle kept on the bedside table.

“The convoy was attacked…on the highway…”, rambled her brother.

Before he could finish, Reema flung on the other side of the bed for the remote and switched on the TV. There was news flashing on all the channels about the CRPF convoy attack.She felt her heart sink with every new information that was being displayed…about the attack…about the explosives…about the casualties.

The pictures of the site showed pieces of charred body parts and a mass of mangled metal which was the bus that the jawans were travelling in…that probably Rishabh was travelling in. Her mouth went dry looking at what had been and wondering what couldhave been. She shifted her gaze to the photo on the wall, said a silent prayer and wished with all her heart and soul for Rishabh’s safety. She smiled feebly at the photo…it was her smile that had stolen Rishabh’s heart. “I promise to never let this beautiful smile fade away”, he said when he proposed to her 6 years back.

Her tears found their way out of her big brown eyes when she blinked at the news update. The number of jawans martyred kept increasing. Though they were being rushed to the nearby hospital, the attack was so massive that experts being interviewed by the news channel wondered if anyone would make it. Reema continued to chant her prayers and hoped to hear a ‘good news’ soon.

Being an army wife, Reema was a brave heart and was immensely proud of her husband. But she was also a human…a loving wife…a doting mother of their unborn. Yes, Reema was expecting and this news made it very difficult for Rishabh to join back his duty. He exclaimed like a child when she broke the news to him and spent all his holidays pampering her.

As the tweets from eminent personalities condemning this attack were shown on the TV, her phone was flooded with messages…one phone call after another…everyone consoling her and standing with her in the prayers.

A thousand things flashed before her eyes…Rishab’s last hug…his excitement on knowing about her pregnancy…the cuddles…the late night binges on the terrace…the proposal… “I’ll never let this smile fade away”…his dilemma while leaving. But Reema had to be strong even as the anticipated fear struck her…a box wrapped in tricolour… No, she had to be strong and not think of…NO.

Reema strongly fought her fears, wiped her tears, gulped down a glass of water and waited to see the names of those killed display on the channel.

Hundreds of Reemas live through a mental battle everyday owing to our miscreant neighbours and their cowardly acts. But these Reemas are not afraid of war as they know the valour of their deshbhakt husbands. However, they are definitely disgusted by these miscreants’ incessant cowardice.

You want war – we will fight a war. We’ll be the happiest to end this once and for all. Come, pull up your guns, face us in the eyes. Stop this cowardice and grow a spine.