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Monday, 31 December 2018

You know you are content when......

I'm blessed to have friends who send me uplifting messages every day. One such message I received on 27th December, 2018, was a quote of Swami Chinmayananda, and it said:

“They are rich who are content with what they have. Even a king is but a miserable pauper when he feels his vast kingdom is not enough for him.”

I put this quote up as my WhatsApp status and after a few hours, someone who saw this responded with a question…


“But when is the time you realize that you should be content with what you have?”

For once, I had no glib reply.

But I wanted to give the asker of the question an answer. So I thought I’d poll my ever-obliging set of dear readers. Replies came in thick and fast, and within two to three hours of asking, I had about 50 replies.

I sorted through them and  picked the ones that were clear to understand. I’ve edited some of them for typos/brevity. Here they are:

 

   

                    












You may also read this blog post written about his encounter with a barber that gave him some insight  
Here are a couple of more detailed replies.

Dr. Shreyas, Pharmacologist, wrote:

In the initial days of my career I too aspired to get promoted, incentives etc. But I used to be very stressed all the time and not happy. Then I started thinking why do I work? How much do I need? I realized that at the end of one year I was paying 1/3 my earnings to the government. Plus there were only so many investment options without risk so at some point we had to invest in risky options which as you might have guessed is quite stressful. I also realized that a clerk could also live decently within his means. So this meant that we were slogging hard for money which was surplus and which was also a cause of stress. So we both decided to slow down a bit and enjoy our earnings in travel. But I have always been content with few materialistic things and I really don't feel the need for any expensive things in my life. But my quest for improvement in self, art, and skills is always ongoing but whereas in my younger days there was some amount of stress involved, now I just do as much as I can and don't bother about the outcome so much.
This is an ongoing process since last 8-10 years.
Now I firmly believe 1)everything happens for the best. 2)Nobody receives either more or less than they are destined to. So we should do our best and let be.


Smt. Shailaja, Pharma professional said:

As life unfolds with its twists and turns, the priorities change and there comes a time when we seek beyond the materialistic goals. This shift or realization will be different for all people depending on the situations /circumstances we are faced with ...life , books we read, learnings from epics, history, near death, suffering, disease humbles us, trivial nature of wants and basic needs of pure joy, love warmth of being human and gratitude makes one appreciate LIFE! Being alive is a celebration in itself!


These thoughts are a true representation from the experiences of people in the real world. 

They come from different backgrounds, and have different personalities, and have faced different experiences. 

So, I’ve offered the asker of the original question – and all of you reading this post – a wide range of responses to illuminate the path towards finding your particular answer. I’m very thankful to all those who responded to my question – even though they may not have figured on the blog, they’ve helped me gain insight and grow.

A little footnote. Generally, when someone asks me a question, I always have a ready answer. Why not this time? I wondered at my behavior of not giving an outright answer. And I realized that this being stumped for an answer came from a truly deep acceptance of the fact that my answer would not be the one that’s best for the asker. Now, I always knew this at the intellectual level, but that day, the fact that I didn’t jump up to give my answer indicated that finally, the learning of all these years had translated into actual action – or, rather, inaction in this case!

The universe has conspired to make sure I’m filled with contentment, but that does not give me any right to say that my way has to be the best way – I can only say my way is best for me, based on my situation; so it naturally follows that there will be as many paths as there are individuals.

But I don't want to disappoint those who wanted to know my answer to this question. 

The famous poet Kahlil Gibran wrote:

"And what is fear of need but need itself.
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?"


So, here's my standard operating procedure to decide when to be content. 

First, I check to see if I have a well. 

If I have one:
 
1. I check how much water it contains.

2. I estimate if that quantity will satisfy my needs.

3. If it will, I leave it at that...

4. If it won't, I find ways to ensure sufficient water in the well.

If I don't have a well:

1. I think about whether I need one.

2. If I do, I go about digging one and letting it fill.

3. If I think I don't need a well, I leave it at that...

At every stage, I pray that God guides me in the right direction...and keep reminding myself that He is ultimately the provider of the water - well, or no well...

Writing this blog post, I’m reminded of that famous Leo Tolstoy story – How Much Land Does a Man Need? A poor peasant is told he can walk around to purchase all the land he wants provided he reaches back to his starting point by sunset. He sets out, covers a huge area and then, realizes he’s very far from the starting point, begins to run, reaches there just as the sun is setting and then, his heart fails, and he drops down dead. All that’s needed to bury him is 6 feet of land.

Perhaps setting up our major life events in the context of this story will help us decide when it is time to be content.


On a lighter note….I recently read an anecdote that spoke of a king suffering from some grave illness. The astrologist said the king would be cured if he could be dressed in the shirt of a contented person. After a thorough search of the full kingdom, a contented man was finally found.....and....he didn’t have a shirt…..


Saturday, 22 December 2018

Fleeting Moments.............

December 12, 2018

I receive a call from Vidwan Shri. Ganapati Bhatt, the Samskruta teacher at S. Cadambi Vidya Kendra, where my son Sanath did his schooling. Just the previous day, we have received the school’s letter inviting us for the annual day to be held on 21st December. Sanath is to receive a merit prize for being the school topper in the May 2018 SSLC exams.

I assume the call is to confirm that we received the letter. And then, the unimaginable happens. I’m asked a question that leaves me flabbergasted. In my shock, words tumble uncensored from my mouth. “Why me, Sir, I’m sure you can find someone really good to come as Chief Guest!”

Pat comes the reply, “It’s because YOU are really good that we’re asking, Madam!”

Things move very fast after that. I’m asked to send my biodata. Within the hour, Bhatt Sir and the Principal Smt. Jayalakshmi Sharma turn up at my college with a letter of invitation, requesting my presence as the Chief Guest. There’s another request they have – I must keep this news a secret from Sanath. They want to surprise him on that momentous day.

“A student getting the prize from his own mother will be a historical moment,” they gush.

I agree because I don’t want to deflate their enthusiasm. Deep within, I wonder if this whole setup will be an intrusion on his moment of glory because teenage is a time when you want to establish an identity that’s independent of your parents. Because, although I don’t let it go to my head, the fact remains that people get impressed by me and my talk.

Anyway, there’s no point in worrying, so I do what I usually do when I can’t figure things out – leave it to Krishna.

On December 21st, I make up some story to avoid accompanying Sanath to school. I reach there alone and am given all the honour due to the Chief Guest. I do all the things someone in that role is expected to do – lighting the lamp, garlanding the founder’s statue, giving away the merit prizes, and addressing the gathering.

Sanath receives a hero’s welcome when he comes on stage. 


The ‘historical moment’ passes in a blur, but I notice that the kid who usually touches the feet of the guest from whom he receives a prize, hasn’t done that this time. Did he think, perhaps, that after all, the Chief Guest is Amma only?



By the time I get off the stage, he’s rushed off somewhere with his old school friends who’re now spread out across different colleges. They’re going out somewhere, and although he does call a few times during the rest of the day, it’s only to ask me to make some Paytm payment at an eatery/for the autorickshaw.

Later at night, we finally get to actually talk. Yes, it had been a surprise for him. But he doesn’t seem to be affected by it in any way – he is neither gushing with joy, nor does he feel I’ve intruded. He’s basked in his moment of glory and is happy about it. His friends have stayed back to listen to me speak and told him, “Your mother is superr!! Her speech was very informative.”

Where was he, I ask. Because he’s used to Amma’s talks at home, he had walked outside to catch up with yet another set of old friends – the security guards who’re standing outside the venue!

For the umpteenth time, I send up a silent ‘thank you’ to Krishna, for this cool teenager.




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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

My Complete Man by Gayathri Srivathsan

Gayathri Srivathsan (who is a cousin of my husband's cousin's son) sent me this write-up about her role model. There's much we can learn from this amazing person, and so, I'm sharing her writing here. 


All of us have come across the question of who is your role model? And the answer to that differs from one age to another. But once you gain maturity about life, your way of looking at life changes and that's when I identified my role model and I am blessed enough to be living with him. 

I once read that a person who can get up in the morning without snoozing his alarm can do anything in life, but I have never achieved it till date. But this man has never had an alarm clock but he has never got up late. 

Every morning 4 o'clock he wakes up with no alarm at the right time, and he has been doing this for years now. He is 92 years old but still is a working person and he has been serving a govt aided school as a correspondent for 50 yrs now. 

Every morning he wakes up with the same enthusiasm, walks to his school, and works there without a penny as salary. In a generation where people complain that work is monotonous, he stands apart to prove that if you're committed to a work, no matter what your age, you can still work hard. He has developed the school from a small thatched hut to a 2-storey concrete building now with help from others. The initiative he has taken is not an easy task at all. And yet, he is a definition for discipline and punctuality and the most independent person I have ever seen. 

Mr. V. Lakshmi Narasimhan
He is a man who taught me what life is. I remember him saying, "Gayathri whatever happens, remember to walk with your head up; right and wrong depends on one's perception and their attitude. Unless you feel guilty about anything you have done, nothing is wrong. Even when you feel guilty, put your head up, and say 'It's alright, I may be wrong this time, but not always.' Never try to be good to anyone and rather just be yourself - it's not necessary that people like you and praise you. If you are happy in your life, nothing or no one else matters. 

This complete man is none other than my grandfather, Mr. V. Lakshmi Narasimhan. I am blessed to have been living with him and now he is all set to inspire his 4th generation with my son. 

Gayathri, her husband and son with Mr. V. Lakshmi Narasimhan
Lots of love and respect to Thatha - my real hero and a role model.

A proud grand-daughter,
C.Gayathri Srivathsan

Friday, 30 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 30: A Humble Thank You

One day in November 2000, I sat inside a small temple near my house, with a mike in front of me, ready to deliver a discourse on the topic, “Spiritual practice for a blissful life”. 

The only problem – there was no audience! Not one person was sitting down, waiting to listen to me. When I turned questioningly to the temple personnel, I was told to just start, and that people who were interested would come and listen. 

An uncanny situation, one I had never encountered before in the 24 years of my life.

In that nerve-wracking moment, when every instinct made me want to run away, I found the strength to mentally surrender to the Guru. Praying that He take me through this weird test He had devised, I started.

I noticed some people turn to look at me and I hung on to their eyes. Slowly, a few of them came forward and stood around me. Some people sat down for a while. Even as I relaxed and got into the flow, some of them got up and walked away abruptly. The audience kept floating throughout the 40 –odd minutes.


Even as one part of my mind directed the tongue to keep talking, another part was trying to make sense of it all. Why was I being given this experience? Had I grown too egoistic from the praise I had got on previous occasions? Was this being done to teach me to be humble and realize that I’m a mere instrument and God is the actual Doer?


Overall, it was a situation that made me truly experience the meaning of the Bhagavad Geeta quote


Which means:

“You have the right to work only but never to its fruits. 
Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.”

In simple words – do what has to be done without having any expectations about the outcome.

                                xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Every night of November 2018, I sat in front of my laptop, keying in words, talking to yet another floating audience, this time in the blogosphere. 

Some readers responded regularly and some intermittently either on the blog, or through WhatsApp or in person or by a phone call – to them, I’m very grateful, for taking the time and making the effort to communicate. 

Because I learned my lesson of November 2000 very well; there is nothing more to say.

Every time I sit down to write, I send up a prayer, asking God to guide my words to be of some help to someone in some way. 

Whether I come to know what it means to someone or not; whether it even means something to someone or not, is, therefore, totally irrelevant.

Day after day, I’m realizing that all I can aim for, is to become an instrument worthy enough to be held in the hands of the Doer.

I thank all of you, dear readers, for coming along on this journey. 

NaBloPoMo 2018 is officially over.

I will, of course, continue to blog ...........  as regularly or irregularly as possible.


Thursday, 29 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 29: God protects his bhakta

January 2017. It’s 6.30 am on the day before Vaikuntha Ekadashi. My husband is going to visit the temple at Tiruvahindrapuram near Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. 



He’s running late - as usual - and still has to pick up relatives who're going along. As I see him off, I watch him hurriedly reverse the SUV out the gate. He miscalculates, and lightly bumps into the neighbour’s car parked behind. I shriek and tell him he’s dented it, even as I quickly sweep my gaze over the neighbour’s house wondering what will happen next.

No one comes out to fight. But I’m not comfortable and suggest we should tell them it happened and apologize, and offer to pay damages. He’s already late and has no time, he says. If they ask, act as if you know nothing about it, he warns me, and zooms off.

A little later, Aunty (elderly mother of the dented car’s owner) interrupts my rangoli routine. No usual chitchat of “Coffee aaytaa?” Cutting straight to the point, she accuses my husband of hitting their car. She saw, but couldn’t come out because she was going to the washroom.

Catch 22. Caught between my mantra of being truthful versus hubby’s instructions, I start to mumble something, then end up agreeing that it does look a little dented. I rush into a promise that he’ll come and talk to them once he gets back.

For the nth time in 17 years, I mentally berate my husband for getting into such entirely avoidable situations. For the nth time in 17 years, I pray that God bless him with punctuality and discipline.

Later in the day, he calls and the first question is about what the neighbours said. Good, I think, at least it’s pricking his conscience, so he’ll be more careful next time. But I don’t want to alarm him in that far-off place, and also don’t relish the thought of being scolded over the phone, so I give some vague answers and don’t breathe a word of my promise to them.

He gets back home late on the night of Vaikuntha Ekadashi. He’s been fasting the whole day, and driven non-stop for almost 8 hours, so I say nothing. Next evening, I narrate what happened and he goes over to the neighbour’s house.

To my utter shock, he comes back full of smiles. It seems Aunty had brought the whole thing to her son’s notice. Instead of agreeing with her, he told her not to bother, for the dent was a tiny one, and could easily be repaired. According to my husband, the icing on the cake was that he also chided her for wanting to trouble someone who was such a devout, pious, godly person!!

I couldn’t help asking God, “Whose side are You really on?”


Wednesday, 28 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 28: When things don't smell right...

In the pharmacy college where I studied, the Girls Hostel did not have a canteen. We managed breakfast and lunch in the college canteen, but dinner was the problem because there was no eatery close to the hostel, which was far from the college. We had the option of going over to the Boys Hostel canteen but somehow, we weren’t comfortable doing that every day. So, four of us friends decided to start cooking together.

I don’t remember the specifics but from my hazy memory, I think I provided the stove, and another friend would bring the kerosene from home about once a month or so. Every Monday, after classes got over, we used to go shopping, buy vegetables and provisions we needed for the week, and hurry back in time to catch the college bus that would drop us to the hostel.

On our first shopping trip, armed with the typical austere mindset of middle-class families of the late 1990s, and a shopping list (in that order), we trooped into the supermarket. Price was the sole criterion that governed the buying decision.

Reaching the oil section, we plunged into a collective dismay. All the cooking oils were so costly! 


But one of us with a sharper eye spied an oil bottle that was almost half the price of the others; immediately we scooped it up, congratulating ourselves on our smartness and good luck.

Back in the hostel, we poured that oil into a vessel and started frying onions for the rudimentary pulav (which was our staple dish). A peculiar smell spread around us – unlike anything we had smelt before. Eternal optimists, or perhaps too hungry and tired to care, we enthusiastically took the first mouthfuls of our first-cooked-by-ourselves-in-the-hostel meal and instantly recoiled at the flavour that assailed us.

But the austere mindset of middle-class families in the 1990s was too deeply ingrained. So, gamely, we persisted in finishing the meal and not wasting the food.

Stomachs filled, all of us started brainstorming as to what caused that yucky taste. Studying the label a little more closely, it hit us that we had bought MUSTARD oil instead of the recommended groundnut oil. We had been so lost in looking at the price of the oil, and grabbing the least expensive one, that we didn’t bother to see which oil we had bought!

Night after night, for almost a month, we ignored our screaming taste buds, until finally, the dratted mustard oil bottle was empty. What a testimony to our austerity!

But I still remember this episode because it gave me a sense of perspective – when something sounds too good to be true, it’s best to check again.


Tuesday, 27 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 27: How do you talk to yourself?


I sit down to write today’s post and within a minute, hear a familiar horn. The master of the house is back. As I rush to open the gate, I feel a frisson of irritation. “There’s always some interruption just when I sit down to write,” I fume inwardly. Ironic, considering the topic on which I wanted to write.

With effort, I halt the mental diarrhoea that’s threatening to strike. “Check what you said just now. Always some interruption, you grumbled – is that really true? Today is day 27 of the blogathon – and except for two or three days, you’ve been left undisturbed to do your thing. 3 out of 27 is not ‘always’ – don’t exaggerate,” my mind says to me.

It turns out hubby wants dinner at once, so I make the chapattis and serve him. Then I realize it’s almost my dinner time, so I decide to finish my meal before sitting down to write. During this process of making, serving and eating dinner, I get a few more thoughts about what to write. Blood glucose levels rise, and I’m altogether feeling more cheerful as I get back to writing the blog.

Today’s post was going to be about negative self-talk. Thanks to this incident, I got an actual example to demonstrate it.

Whether you realize it or not, you do talk to yourself – that is called self-talk. And our internal monologue has a huge impact on how we feel. When we’re feeling bad, we get upset; this affects our focus and communication, too, and often paves the way for more unpleasant stuff to happen.

So what you need to do is stop the cycle from going ahead. How?

Go back to my example.

First, I realized where my thoughts were going.

Next, I challenged a thought I had slipped into.

Then I said, “So what if there’s a small interruption?” and adapted to the new situation

I looked for what positive came out of the disturbance.

So, here’s my SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to stop negative self-talk.

1. Identify the negative thought

2. Ask if the thought is true/false

3. Question the possibilities with “So what?”

4. Change over to a positive viewpoint

5. Act accordingly

6. Look for the lesson

7. Repeat next time


There you have it – the secret to being more relaxed, less uptight, and feeling better about your life.

All said and done, some things will happen the way they will. Accept them you must. Whether you do so gracefully or are brought there kicking and screaming is entirely up to you.






Monday, 26 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 26: What your food plate says about you!

Did you know that it is possible to get an inkling about the nature of an individual based on their eating habits? Over the years, from my observations, I’ve developed a hypothesis based on two components – the order in which people eat the food in their plate, and the state of the plate at the end of the meal.

Hypothesis 1: People who eat what they like first, and then move on to the lesser liked ones are more likely to be impulsive. Those who eat the lesser-liked foods first, and then move on to their favourite food are the ones who’re more likely to be successful.

When you think a little more about this hypothesis, it makes sense, especially when you view it the context of the ability to delay gratification.

Of course, there mustn’t be any outside force that influences the order of eating foods – like, for example, in the famous story of the new son-in-law who went to his mother-in-law’s house and ended up eating only ………….. (fill in the blank with the yucky dish depending on which part of the country you come from) in his entire meal because he wasn’t articulate or assertive enough to put his foot down and say, “Enough of this nonsense.” Which is quite surprising given that in the times when this story was popular, the groom’s side didn’t hesitate to throw their weight around.

Sorry for the digression – let’s get back to part two of my theory.

Which plate is yours? 

Hypothesis 2: People who leave their plate clean, with no remnants of food, are more likely to be clear in their thinking, and decisive in their actions. Those whose plates are cluttered with left-over food at the end of the meal are more likely to be just as cluttered in their mind, and probably find it difficult to make up their mind when it is decision time.

The logic here too is simple – when you know what exactly you want, and what you don’t want, and apportion the dishes correctly, there’s no chance of anything being left over. When you’re not sure of what you want/don’t want, you end up trying to sample a little of everything, and in the end, there’s so much left over that you just can’t finish it all.


I’d like to know if you’ve noticed these things too. Even if you haven’t so far, you’re welcome to try it retrospectively and see if my hypotheses are proved or disproved by your experience. Either way, it would be nice to hear your views 😊


Sunday, 25 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 25: A Hairy Lie!


A young girl was brought to her mother’s native village for a prospective groom’s family to “see”. After a brief interaction, the girl’s family returned home to wait for the verdict.

A few days later, the girl’s parents got a cryptic message from their relative in the village. She told them, “If the boy’s relatives ask if your daughter has got some worm infestation in the hair, please say yes, and reassure them that it has already started getting cured.” Before the parents could understand what the issue was, this relative continued, “And yes, tell your daughter to grow her hair out fully, and not cut it ever again.”

Till today, we have great fun telling my fourth sister that if not for this elderly relative’s lie, she may not have been married into this particular family. That old woman belonged to the category of people who believe in the Kannada proverb “Saavira sullu heli ondu madhuve maadu” which implies that it’s okay to tell even a thousand lies to fix one wedding.

So, what was the lie told?

We were living in Goa, and this sister of mine, influenced by her college friends, had got herself a front flick cut. 


Sometime later, someone suggested this prospective groom from a conservative family in a small village called Hulikal in Karnataka.

After the girl-seeing, they were okay to go ahead, but they wondered about what looked like a haircut. Their concern – would a modern girl (one who was ‘forward’ enough to cut her hair) fit and adjust into their family?

Our elderly relative who knew this family well, understood the suspicion behind the innocent-seeming query about the girl’s hair. She did the best thing she could – she lied and said the hair was looking like that because the girl had some worms in her hair. Because having worms was a temporary phenomenon, not in one’s control, and seemingly harmless as compared to the loaded possibilities that a girl with a haircut implied!! 😂😂

Time has proved how adaptable the girl with the haircut has been, playing a vital role in steering that family towards greater stability. Today, she heads the quality assurance department of a global pharma company and is recognized as a dynamic leader, with several achievements to her credit. To give them their due, the family that was worried about her haircut has also been very supportive of her.

All said and done, I guess we must thank that elderly relative for the lie she told! 





Saturday, 24 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 24: What's your Hug-o-meter reading?

Trying to formulate a theory about why people behave the way they do, I’ve stumbled upon a small observation. I think people who are quarrelsome, always complaining, on edge, irritable, easily offended or in a general state of anger, are often those who do not have anyone being nice to them; not much affection comes their way.

At first glance, it sounds like the chicken-and-egg story. Are they irritable because no one is nice to them, or is nobody nice to them because they are irritable? A vicious cycle indeed, so, perhaps the only way to find out is to break the cycle somewhere?

As I looked for information about any research that will support my theory, I found something about hugs. Someone I met recently also had told me that hugging makes one feel good, so I read on.

It seems the famous psychotherapist Virginia Satir, who was an expert in family therapy, said, “We need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs a day for maintenance and twelve hugs a day for growth.”

I also chanced on this article about “Hug Therapy” – it explains how something as simple as hugging can work wonders – for the one receiving the hug, as well as the one giving it.

Of course, in these loaded times of #MeToo, I suppose a warning is mandatory – before you lunge to hug people, please ask them if they are okay with it and if someone says “no” please keep away.

I’m sure all of you reading this know at least one person who falls into the personality profile I described at the beginning. 

So, here’s the homework I’m prescribing – for the next one month,  start being nice to them, no matter how difficult it is? There are different ways of being nice, and I leave it to you to figure out which way you want to use – all of the following qualify:

- Giving a hug

- Smiling

- Not stopping communication

- Going out of the way to do nice things

- Talking pleasantly even when provoked

- Ignoring irritating things being done or said

I chanced on this picture today, and it triggered the writing of this post.


 As I looked at the picture, I thought – it sounds so easy in this pic, but reality may not always be so rosy? Then, I looked again at the picture, and I realized something – the one saying, “It’s ok” doesn’t have the blindfold saying “Ego” across his eyes. Are we ready to take off that blindfold? Are we ready to be the one who goes the extra mile without whining about, “Why should it always be me?”

Being both the receiver and giver of kindness, I know the methods I've outlined, work. I’ll be waiting to hear about the results of your experiment!


Friday, 23 November 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018: Day 23: It's later than you think!

Like most of my peers, I’m a busy woman.

I’m saying this despite being in what is considered a “comfortable” teaching job that involves no unmanageable work pressure.

And I live right next to my college, so I can’t even complain about time wasted in traffic.

Yet, between the umpteen things on my “To do” list, it seems like 24 hours in a day is not enough. Now, some people will say that I’m the one that creates some of the busy-ness with my writing or volunteering or reading. That’s ok – I’m too nice to call them out on how they create their busy-ness with their shopping trips, or watching Big Boss, or catching up on the latest gossip 😜

Often, I daydream of a life where there are no “must do’s” and “can’t afford to not do’s”. Have patience, I tell myself, your time will come too.

About a month ago, a conversation suddenly changed my perspective on these “boring” jobs that seem to be eating up my time.

My eldest sister’s husband is a National award winning writer. He’s very active in poetry-writing, drama and theatre too, and has performed on All India Radio in the past. He retired about a year ago from his work as a Manager in Canara Bank, and since then, has greater time to pursue his interests.

A few days ago, another of my sisters remarked to our brother-in-law that it must be nice to be retired, with so much time to devote to things one has not had time to do while busy with a career. It seems he agreed with her, but then, also made another point. He told her how it sometimes gets boring too – how much reading and writing can someone do throughout the day, day after day?

As I tried to imagine the scenario he described, I realized that indeed, having a lot of time on one’s hands may be quite a difficult situation. Besides, it’s the things I do every day at work and at home and outside that provide inspiration for the things I write, and also bring readers to my blog. If I didn’t have those, what would I write about? For whom?

And there’s a kind of thrill when you try to beat the clock and get a lot done in 24 hours. So, it’s worth enjoying this process, too!

Even as I’m writing this post, I remember this old English song I heard and memorized in my childhood….makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?