Friday, August 5, 2011

A Special Rendezvous

Yes, you got that right...I am going to write about a wonderful time I spent some days back with a special person. was a very special on one, sharing my most intimate thoughts and feelings... the meaningless hustle and bustle of the world going by me in a blur...I felt so alive....
Well, it had to be so special....because it was a date with my dear old self :).

Hmmn, let me clarify it for my buddies, I have not become delusional. I am not having 3rd person hallucinations either...I am just referring to a small piece of time I spent just for myself. Doing things only for me, consciously and not out of compulsion. And I cherished it.

Now you will tell me what’s special in it? We all spend time with our own selves..that’s kind of "by default' configuration, isn’t it? Well, if you are one of those persons acutely aware of your being, love yourself consciously, are exactly aware what you want and what you don’t, then....CONGRATULATIONS (and this post is not meant for you)! But I and many people like me I presume are not so lucky to have got this right!

Most of the time we live life in a kind of "default' mode...doing routine things...juggling many responsibilities, finding 24 hours quite less to fulfill all our roles. Either we are always looking for happiness in other people...whether our spouse brought us the coveted gift...whether our dear ones treated us well...did our friends remember to wish us on our birthdays etc... or otherwise we are trying our best to make others happy...what to cook special for someone special...what to buy for our dear ones so that it brings a smile to their face...what to wear so that the spouse on and so forth...somewhere somehow we give too much importance to "others"..don’t you think so? The "I" within us becomes blurred...our own existence start taking a backseat.So much so we sometimes even lose touch not only with our dreams but also with our own weaknesses. As of we don’t really "live" but we float from one day to another with lot of superficial junk on our plate but nothing substantial. Though we are acutely aware of the coveted promotion at work that we are eyeing, we forget that once upon a time we loved to paint or sing or dance. Not to win a prize in a competition but just for our own happiness! We don’t want to face our fears, because where is the time to connect with our own self. It’s much easier to switch on the idiot box at the end of the day and keep moving from one meaningless day to another.

Since this realization has dawned on me in recent past, I consciously took some time out for myself. No family etc. Went to a shopping mall first (well you see the rendezvous had be in a safe place as well!)...roamed about aimlessly for a long while. Picked up a book which I wanted for a long time...consciously avoiding the thought of "what to cook for dinner" and thus the inevitable grocery shopping as well. Took a seat by the window in a cafeteria and tried talking to myself (well no..not loudly of course).

"So how’s it going buddy!" I asked myself."With all the conscious decisions that you have made in life, all the compromises, the selfishness that you have showed, the mistakes that you have made, all the love that you have shared...with all of is going so far?"

I consciously tried thinking of the nagging issues that gnaws at my heart every now and was a difficult situation. It was much easier to eye the young teenage couple who was sitting just in front of me (hand in hand..lost in their dreams!)...but I managed to come back to my own precious date (that's me! ;))...After 3 cups of tea and a steaming hot pasta, I did say to myself... 'Well thanks for the date and I think I am doing pretty good".

I am doing good because I could afford this rendezvous with myself. I am doing good because I am alive! I count each of my breaths to be a blessing. I thank God for this precious experience called Life! And I am ready to face the challenges that come on my way. I know I will stumble, I know I will fall as well...but as long as I enjoy the journey, I will never lose!

My special date came to an end not too long after this..but thankfully, I didn't have to bid good bye to my date and I promised to never again to lose touch of my own inner self.

I wish when we grow up, all of us are told to value our own selves first...not in a narcissistic/egotistic way. But in a sense that we are true to our be able to acknowledge our deeper virtues as well as vices. To be able to see the beauty of our mind as well as face the demon be able to not shy away to face our that we are accountable to what we we live.... so that we can answer our own self and not seek answers elsewhere.. So that we never let the tiny inner voice within us lose its existence!

Let me say in tune of a very famous song of Whitney Houston:

I decided long ago, never to walk in any one's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all.

(One one small word of caution....let us not only love ourselves..but also love ourselves! :) )

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The not so new year

It is no longer a time to write about welcoming the 'new year'. Neither it is the time to fondly remember the year that went by. But when all the new year wishes, celebrations and even the different 'New Year Sales' and 'New Year Offers' have settled down, when most of us have almost forgotten about the resolutions that we might have made on the New Year's eve, I thought it might be a good idea to look back and reflect!

There has always been a lot of hoopla around the time when a new leaf in the calender is turned. A brand new year. But apart from the obvious change in the date, does anything ever change? The same routine, the same challenges, the same insecurities and the same sources of happiness and unhappiness. What changes then? Why do we make new year resolutions? Why do we party? Well...I think we all know the answer. We need a reason to celebrate, we need a reason to feel that change will come..change for the better..the ever elusive better tomorrow!
Getting a bit personal, my New Year celebrations have gone through different phases (like many of you I guess!). As a kid I remember, the main excitement was that we were granted permission to watch TV till late night on New Year's Eve and that in itself was quite a feat! Then when I was growing up it became a day when you wish people, buy greeting cards and send to all of whom you perceive to be of some importance in your life. Buying cards for friends, for favourite teachers in school used to be a big event in my life during my school days. I still fondly remember those times, when I used to first make a list of people who will get a card from me, then coax my mom or my brother to take me to the shop, rummage  through the cards there, read every sentence that was written on the pages, select them carefully and then when back at home write the names and addresses carefully, post them and await their reply! Oh it was so much fun!

During my teenage years, the cards were still there, but now the list was smaller and the corner book shop was replaced by the Archies Gallery! But still there was a lot of excitement in that ritual. Once in Medical college, the ritual of cards almost vanished, perhaps to be replaced by a skepticism towards all the fuss and feathers associated with anything perceived as superficial and perfunctory. Very typical of Medical students overloaded with studies and anxiety, I suppose! Funnily the New-year fever was back with the bang during post grad days in Manipal..mostly I think due to the infectious "Manipal Culture"(no offence meant!), where students actually save money to buy that special outfit to wear in the 'New Year Disco'! ;-)

Well things have changed now. I no longer go to a stationary shop to buy cards, online wishes now suffice to wish anyone. Gone is the time of waiting for the special new year's TV show also (there is anyways too much of TV in my life), gone is the need to show off in a jazzy outfit on new year's eve and also gone is the skepticism towards those who celebrate! Well to be absolutely frank, now it is a mix of eager wait for the holiday on 1st Jan and a little bit reconnecting with people who matter in the guise of a sms or a email or may be a phone call (till the networks get jammed!).

Today I firmly believe that Life itself is a celebration! With all the challenges it offers on its way, all the tears that are shed, all the abundant confusion and the fleeting moments of happiness, Life indeed is the biggest party! And life does need to be celebrated, in whatever form and on whatever days that suit you! I don't need a 'New Year' anymore, I am willing to celebrate the not so new year and old year also. I have started feeling that instead of making resolutions on one evening and spending the entire year breaking them, why not make small resolutions anytime I feel like and celebrate a new day, a new week or may be even a new blog ;-). Well, that is what I just did!