Thursday, June 28, 2012

What you do

No matter how hard you think
You are ... what you do
I am an organised person. I pride myself about being a supermom, going about my career, my family and my neighbourhood activities with aplomb.
until one day
I go shopping with a lady. While in the shop my cell phone begins to ring. I dig my hand into 'its place' in my hand-bag. But it's NOT there...
The cell phone's ring...rinnng....rinnnggg......gets louder
I dig into another part of the bag
and another
and another
meanwhile everyone is looking at me. and the phone just continues to pierce the silence.
and finally
i find the cell phone. its hidden below the coin pouch and the credit card holder.
the call is from a mobile service provider...asking me if i want to change to his service
duh...why would i want to??
after a few minutes of silence. my friend looks at me and says
ratna, please dont mind. but you should be more organised. keep the cell phone in a specific place. so you dont have to search for it.

i go red. i get terribly angry.
then i calm down.
I may think a thousand generous thoughts, I may like being organised, I may adore and value relationships
but what others see are not my thoughts. they see me by what I DO.
Their perception of me, is so different from, my perception of me!!

A person is known by what he DOES not by what he THINKS.
read about some amazing people of action here at Good News India

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A paint brush challenge

will you join me in some fun activity?
here is what we do
take a sheet of paper
take some water colours
a nice wet brush
and paint.

you do not necessarily have to draw two mountains and a river!
in fact, you don't need to draw at all...
let the paint and the brush have their say.
some washes of colour?
some splashes and blobs?

take a pic of your painting
or scan it
and send it to me at

i will make a collage and post it here.
the collage will appear on 2 july 2012

so what say - let some emotions flow?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mid week luxury

If Sunday is the first day of the week then how come saturday and sunday is weekend?
so we begin the week from its end?
or do we end the week at its beginning?
that's funny!

OK, guess what I did yesterday!
I had cereal
and slept
I had curd-rice with lemon pickle for lunch
and slept
i got up in time for the 4:30 tea. had it with biscuits. (Suffered) the maid while she did her work
and slept

but i experimented with pasta for dinner. and made some awesome pasta too! A first time for me.
marathon sleep
and pasta

what's the most decadent thing you did? or the most luxurious? or the most relaxing?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Choosing the Best

We take our grandson to Chuck-e-cheese in Lexington. We have won some coupons and he gets to choose a gift. There are tiger masks, attractive building blocks, puzzles,  large beads and what not. Our little boy places a finger at a 3 inch plastic blue car. I want that he says. We try to distract him with other 'BETTER' things. But he is determined. So we save most of the coupons and get him his plastic blue car.

We visit the super bazaar in Gurgaon. I am looking for rice. Plain rice to go with sambar and saaru. The helpful assistant tries to tempt me with umpteen options of Basmati rice. This has very good aroma, this one cooks in 12 minutes, this is special long grain ....   Arre baba, please! I dont wan't Basmati. I just want plain rice. But ma'am, he looks at me, pained, We offer the best. This is BEST rice.

The best?
Doesn't that depend on what I want.
The BEST varies with every person and every need.
Before we join the bandwagon let's get in tune with what is BEST for us ... in the given situation.
and go with that choice. Then there are no regrets.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jaya by Devdutt Pattanaik

Jaya - an illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata 
by Devdutt Pattanaik

How well do you know your Mahabharata?
The basic story?
Some popular anecdotes?
The whole works?

A cousin from Mysore came to spend a few days with me. We hop on to a metro and explore our part of Delhi. And at this book store she tells me, you must pick up this book on the Mahabharata... gift from me. she says.
I squint my eyes at her. Seriously? One more Mahabharata? aaah
But we go on and buy it. Now that we have shifted and sort of settled down. I begin to read the book.

You know how it is when close family has a chat. You can sail from Meena's flashy new sari, to Naren chachu's inconclusive bride hunting, to Pannu's pakora fiasco and Jaji's jasmine garden of the 80s and everyone is in total sync. for they have experienced it all. and know the connections.

Devdutt knows the Mahabharata like that. He sits down at the courtyard to watch the princes throw dice, he takes a stroll with Krishna as he discusses strategy, he watches Kunti helplessly hold baby Karna in her arms, and reaches out to Duryodhana as he trips into the water-pond.

If you know the stories of the Mahabharata, then you must buy this one. It takes you from one story to next, breathlessly weaving in connections and analogies. And you gasp and say O ya .... hey I had never thought of that.
And the line drawings are endearing. You can see the love that Devdutt has for his subject by his drawings.
I like this one.
it's re-a-l goood.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sufficiently efficient

We move into this new location in Delhi in the hot summer month of June. We have 5 air-conditioners to be fitted. We are frantic and sweaty.
The AC guy comes with a black tool kit. He takes note of the ACs and counts off the 5 rooms into which they are to go. He peers into the ACs and shakes his head, like a worried headmaster. Service karna padega. They are dirty. they need service. OK do it. we say.

He takes the one window AC into the bathroom. Half and hour later we look for him. Where is he?
He is still with that one AC. Going into every curve and crevice with a fine toothbrush that he has attached to a thin wooden rod. The AC is shining. clean and happy. cleaner than it was even in the factory it came from!
we are impressed.

Two hours sail by. He is with the third AC. Why don't you fit in one AC? Let all ACs get service. Then all ACs get fixed. He says firmly, as if to an 'unreasonable demand of an impatient kid'. I don't want to mess with his feelings. he is doing a fantastic job. By 7 in the evening Our wallet come out. And notes get counted. Kaam ho gaya? Job done? we ask. ready to pay and send!

He ignores us. He walks up to the ACs with a clean cloth and wipes off marks that he has left while fixing it. In true spirit of the Japanese ACs he has come to fit. aaah! OK. done? we ask and open the wallet again.

He traces steps to the hall. He re-positions the stabilizer. snap! the wire link is off. So he connects  it again. and wipes it clean. Now are you done? the wallet is open again.

He almost has his hand out. But no. He remembers that he has left the bathrooms messy. He asks for a broom and cleans up the mess. Ooof! this is way too much efficiency. NOW are you done?

He marches off to the various rooms where he has left the ACs on. Come saab. See the ACs working. He says and diligently turns them all off again... keeping the remotes securely in place. Aaaaah! now he is overdoing it. OK GO! Thank you we tell him. and open the wallet

He stands erect for the first time. Looks up and says... What ever we do, we must do well. Kaam saaf hona chahiye. Our work must be clean and good.

I ponder over my feelings. I admire his commitment. But I am not willing to give him the time. If a job has to be done well, it demands that much time and attention.
How do we reach that optimum point of sufficiently efficient?

  • economy of time 
  • coupled with perfect completion.


Friday, June 8, 2012

The purpose of life

I now wonder
what is the purpose of my life?

life is like a game of 4corners
during the school years,
friends, teachers, books and family make the 4corners (in decreasing order of importance?) ... and the day whizzes by as you race between them.

Then there is marriage
spouse and profession and kids and social circles scramble for attention. So grihast-ashrama (family life) consumes our thoughts and days

Suddenly the day you have been dreaming of arrives all too soon. And the kids leave home for marriage or study or work. Leaving a twosome at home.

Aaaaah! you scream. The house is large, persons only two, but you keep tripping over each other!
and then a vigour sets in...
to relearn each other
to explore new horizons
still the fact is, ... that we do most things
to please each other or
to irritate each other or
to impress each other

and suddenly the only pillar that mattered in life-game of 4corners goes away.
and I now wonder
what now is the purpose of my life?
everything has a reason they say, what then is the meaning or reason of this aloneness?
Have I a job that the Universe has marked for me?
That I am yet to discover?

I hope so. For every life must have a purpose.