Monday, January 26, 2015

Smile...Thats easy! :)

My son's new school starts at 7.15 . For someone whose bones are at their laziest avatars when the sun rises, this seems to be a great motivating factor. These days we are forced to wake up before 6 and suddenly the day seems longer and better.

We the parents, now manage to squeeze in some time for a morning walk after dropping him. We do have our second bundle of joy and mischief aka my daughter, tagging along, and so we take turns looking after her in the play area while the other walks around the park.

This morning during my walk, I came across a gentleman mostly an octa-or-nonagenarian holding onto an iron railing . He was quite frail and was doing a slight exercise trying to bend his knees.

Senior citizens trigger a lot of thoughts in me. After having been probably bold, strong, agile with a lot of likes, dislikes, interests , experiences and achievements, one fine day man gets pushed to a stage where he gets weaker day by day , more and more dependant on someone. These folks would become witnesses to their loved pals departing the world one by one. They would become more and more isolated with the younger lot having very little time amidst a whole lot of other things they are running after. Unlike earlier generations where the most aged in the family held an authoritative hand, today's seniors mostly spend their time without interfering much in the lives of their progenies.
In the years immediately after retirement they do have good times as they would probably be healthier. They group with friends and have a merry time. Once their health starts deteriorating and they are unable to go out on their own , isolation strikes hard.

 A girl was standing a foot behind him. I reckoned that she was their domestic helper whose main responsibility was taking care of him. She was making sure that she was there to hold him lest he should lose his balance and fall. An empty wheel chair patiently waited near them.

The old gentleman looked at me and I smiled at him. He gave me a gentle  nod of acknowledgement. The maid behind joined in , gave me a big smile and added a 'Good Morning Ma'm'.

It felt good. Period.

I had no idea who they were; knew absolutely nothing about them. Two individuals whose life paths had been brought together in a bond for some reason. I, a complete stranger to them whose path had crossed theirs in that one infinitesimal moment. Yet these subtle acts of ours, a smile, a nod and a good morning wish filled me with so much positivity. I went on and smiled at whoever I met in the park that day and at the end felt really rejuvenated.

We Indians very rarely smile at strangers. Possibly the crime stories that we hear makes us vary of them. There is a difference between genuine warm gestures and acts done with an intention to deceive which we as adults should definitely be able to perceive.

A warm smile is a beautiful thing. The receiver feels good and when reciprocated it lifts up the spirits of the giver too. We all have our own reasons to brood, to worry; Every single one of us, there is no exception to that. We all have our own share of troubles here and no one here is walking on a bed of roses. A smile from the heart maybe can spread some cheer around. As mentioned in so many fwds which we first received as emails, sms es and then on facebook and these days on Whatsapp

A smile is a curve that can set many things straight. 

Be generous with your smiles. That is a tiny contribution we can make without much effort to make the world a better place.

Image courtesy of kookkai_nak at

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy Bhogi and Pongal...Let it go !!!

Today is the day preceding Pongal or Sankranti and is called the Bhogi festival in Tamilnadu. Its a day meant for spring cleaning. People discard unwanted old stuff and some light huge bonfires and throw all things meant for disposal into it.

On my way to the market to get the quintessential sugarcane and turmeric leaves for Pongal festivities tomorrow, I heard some radio jockey mention that its also a day when you can cleanse your mind and spirit, let go of all all unwanted thoughts and start afresh brimming with positivity.  A beautiful thought indeed!

We all would have some regret or the other when looking back at the past. 

I could have chosen a different career. I made a mistake there and that has caused a huge financial loss. I should have never broken up with him/her. I should have taken up that job opportunity.  I shouldn't have done this. I needn't have done that!  So on and so forth!

The list is endless. I read somewhere recently that things happened the way they were meant to , with precision and accuracy. You were in the places you were meant to be and you have done things you were meant to do! Its all part of a much higher plan and direction.

It does sound a bit spiritual but its simply stating one thing. Let go of whatever from the past that you are clinging to.

Wear positive spectacles and view your own life and those of others. Live and let live. Forgive, forget and spread love and be warm and compassionate. Happy Pongal and have an amazing 2015. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Simple Sweet Act by a taxi driver

I was planning on starting this post with paragraphs on how I have not been able to publish new posts  blah blah blah but no, I better not !

Yesterday I had to take a cab for an appointment. With some initial difficulty and nearly half an hours wait I managed to get one using a hotline number . I was going with my two kids, one of them an eight month old baby. I was very late for the appointment and hence I got down in a real hurry managing the children along. In my confused hurrying state, I left behind a towel that I use to cover my infant girl in her pram. As I waited for the lift in the building I realized it. "That was a beautiful towel!Hmm" I muttered to myself.

Around fifteen minutes later I received a call from the cab driver . He had gone some distance and had then seen it. He took the trouble of calling me and then coming all the way back again. To return something that was not at all a valuable possession - a simple baby towel.

He did not expect anything from me. As I waited on the roadside, he drove past, lowered his window and just passed it to me and went away with a smile and a wave. He left behind something else. A feeling of warmth and admiration in my heart.  Its not difficult to go out of your way to be nice to people.  Small gestures can sometimes radiate a lot of warmth! 

There I am done ! I have broken the hibernation I somehow got into and have managed to write something. For this I owe him a lot more than for returning my little girls towel! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Guest Post on TF's blog - RamayaPranavayaLavanyaSimhan the Indian Rumpelstiltskin

Karthik L better known as 'The Fool'(TF) who blogs at "Three Realms Of the Mind" and at "Lucifer House Inc" does not need much introduction and is quite popular in the blogosphere. He specializes in fiction specifically fantasy and science fiction.  TF requested me to retell a fairy tale as a guest post for his blog. This is the first time I have been asked for a guest post and it makes it all the more exciting.

The evening sun is slowly melting into nothingness, the French glass containing black tea on my mahogany coffee table glistening in its rays. I take a moment of thoughtless look at it; Some simple routines have also been passed on in the family - this evening cup of black tea for instance!

My name is Samraat Dinakar, Sam-D for short. Force, Power and Money - these are the synonyms for my name in this city.My grandfather is believed to have taken a gun in his hands when he was twelve. It was an empire he built; now, a legacy I have inherited. The police don't mess with us, the government follows our orders. In short we rule this city - vice or otherwise.
A cooing sound announces the arrival of my six month old son. His eyes light up with delight on seeing me and he giggles as he is handed over from the nanny's hands to mine. He has all my features except for those hazel eyes. Deep and mysterious like his mother's! The diamond on the pendant dangling around my neck glitters and captures his attention. He looks at it with an amused curiosity and breaks into peals of laughter. Its in his genes,I suppose. This love for wealth! Something that was the reason behind my meeting his mother, Vidya.

Read the rest here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fiction 55:The Attack

This post has been written as part of Write Tribe Festival Of Words.

Jeet was nervous. He was accompanying his dad for the first time on their mission. They carefully moved, dodging past the obstacles, with an eye out for unexpected attacks. Suddenly, a huge cannon ball landed near them.

The lady in the kitchen bent down to lift the fallen apple as the ants scurried to safety. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A real life hero - Narayanan Krishnan

This post has been written as part of Write Tribe Festival Of Words. Today's exercise is to share an inspiring story.

I dont remember where I first read about Narayanan Krishnan. But I knew that there was this man in TamilNadu who had set upon himself the onus of feeding the homeless old, and mentally ill people on the streets of Madurai everyday. I did a search on the Internet to get further details in order to write this post.

Krishnan, was an award winning chef with the Taj Group of Hotels Bangalore. On witnessing an old man being pushed to the extent of eating his own waste out of hunger, he felt this awakening inside and quit his job. From then on he has dedicated his life to providing food to so many helpless souls on the streets. He even dignifies their appearances by giving them haircuts and baths. He was selected as one of the Top Ten in CNN's 'Heroes of 2010' list.The below video from YouTube is very inspiring.

"Everybody has got 5.5 litres of blood. I am just a human being. For me everybody is the same", he says.

Like Krishnan, we need not quit our jobs and dedicate our whole lives to some cause. There are trillions of ways in which we can serve society.Service to others is a very noble thing and we call such acts selfless. To me, everyone should help people in need for a purely selfish reason.The happiness and joy that we would feel in going out of our way to make someone else's life better is unparalleled. For this feeling of happiness, for this selfish reason we all must try to help our fellow human beings.  Lets all do our parts in some small way.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review: Bombay Rains Bombay Girls

This post has been written as part of the Write Tribe Festival Of Words 

Book Title: Bombay Rains Bombay Girls
Author: Anirban Bose
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: Rs 199

I mainly depend on the library system of Singapore for my reading. Every locality has one with a vast collection of fiction and non-fiction. The best part is you can borrow at any location and return at any. But when it comes to works by Indian authors, the choices are limited. I really like reading them because it feels close to home and its very easy to relate. Flipkart also does not do any overseas delivery if I am not wrong. If any of you know means by which we can get Indian books overseas at affordable prices do let me know in the comments section.

A friend recently lent me this book and it was quite a good read.

The story is set in a medical college milieu. The protagonist Adityaman Bhatt alias Adi, travels all the way from his hometown Ranchi to Bombay in order to pursue his studies in medicine.The rest of the story is about his experiences there with his coterie of friends ranging from ragging to politics to the tragic death of a close pal. Love blossoms between him and one of his classmates and a significant part of the story deals with that too.

Anirban has dealt with myriad of issues in the book and some sections are really thought provoking.
There is one instance where Adi simply removes a safety pin from a patients bed that has been pricking her foot and the chief doctor tells him that this act would be more remembered by the woman than any other treatment she received.
"Today what I want you to learn is what wearing that white coat and carrying that sthethoscope around your neck means. It means you provide relief. Soon you'll realize how little we can actually do to cure diseases in patients, but we can always bring relief by simply listening to them." he says.
Anirban also touches upon how the poor in the country are at the mercy of the doctors in the government hospitals and how no body's permission is sought when using them as objects of observation for the medical students.
One of the characters Toshi is from Nagaland and some light is thrown on the issues faced by the people in the North East . The problems they face in getting accepted in the rest of the country and the tension that prevails in the region are mentioned in the narrative.

I could not find any major shortcomings in the book. The narrative style and the language are quite good.  I would not say its a not-to-be-missed book but i liked it - not too heavy, funny in parts with a fair dose of sentiment and romance.