August 27, 2015

A woman of habit

Yes, I am. Only if the society becomes a bit less sexist and includes it in the phrase "A Man of Habit."

I like to plan my day, a night before. Mentally I calculate tasks and time line. I try to stick to it and I feel sad if I can not. I am so punctual that I never start meetings/calls on time, I get ready well before the decided time. I call it the 'Buffer time' which is also added in my original mental plan every single time.

My usual time to get up is 6:30 am. Fourty minutes after getting up is 'my  time' where I hopefully work out. Generally when I am running out of time in the morning I compromise on this. Not good but no option too. I take/make tea with my parents in law. I start cooking with mom being there in the kitchen. Four hands in the kitchen and two hours to wrap up the act with packed lunch boxes is not even a joke, I am the one who is the last to take bath and leave for the office. I have kind of made peace with the fact that optimizing my productivity at office is better than doing chores faster than a super man can.

I prefer walking down to the train station which takes around fifteen minutes. I take a train and the journey gets over in flat three minutes. Walking down to the office takes another fifteen minutes. This route burns my calories and saves my time - pocket both. Yes, in Mumbai taking a cab at this hour makes you cut a hole in the purse and makes the watch ticking faster than ever. I kind of feel 'Singaporish' when I use such elaborated routes. It also gives me some time to think about life. And world peace ;)

My office building is one of the tallest buildings of Mumbai and I sit on 9th floor. Which gives me another opportunity to work out by avoiding lifts. When I enter,my team makes fun of my flexible mood which follows theory of 'Reaching office late but still before time of meeting'. Yes, they are scared of my wrath if any one is late for any discussions - including partners of the company!

We are deprived of personal desks in the startup but I have conveniently picked up a nice warm corner away from AirCon. My laptop stays there permanently with a mug beside it. The routine is to take or do calls while walking in the lobby. I try to leave at the same time almost every day. Again, being in call with my mom or Mr.ISB while I walk to the station is my daily ritual. Observing lives around for half and hour more and I am home.

Home is where our mother waits eagerly for us. We all help mom to finish her cooking and wrap up the dinner. It is the family time which attracts discussions about films, news and religions. A little bit of reading and then a very good night.

This long description of my daily ritual is some how getting affected now a days. I have to rush for every single thing I described. Multiple emotions grab me every now and then if any time is left for me at all. A disturbed cup of tea and a disturbed walk to home - both are not very good signs.

A woman of habit should go back to the basic, before she slips out of sane state of mind.

August 25, 2015

The Musical Night

I love languages, even when I am not an expert of many but Gujarati. Gujarati is my mother tongue and studying the same as the first language in my 14 years of schooling has made me quite an expert. Love for literature comes to me naturally, runs in the family in fact. So when it was "The world Gujarati language day" yesterday, amidst sneezing attacks every now and then- I decided to attend the Only Gujarati Musical Night with my family sans Mr.ISB.

The whole music troop was brilliant. They made me feel home, in fact many of them were from my town and my own community. Singers,Tabals, Dhol, Octopad, Khanjari, Keyboard,Guitar and meaningful beautiful Gujarati songs. What else do you need.

Listening to my favorite songs made me so nostalgic. I hardly get a suitable atmosphere here which can accommodate the after smell of such Gujarati songs being played in leisure, so it was a welcome change for me. I missed my dad every moment as many of the songs were of his choice. I could not stop myself from asking him to attend the same if he gets the chance.

The cherry on the cake was Raag, "Megh Malhar" with the attached historical face narrated by the host. This song was sung by two "Nagar" sisters named 'Taana' and 'Riri' when the great singer 'Tansen' was searching for the perfect "Megh Malhar" to be sung as a cure to the body heat produced by 'Dipak' Raag, It is said if a singer sings this Raag with a pure heart and the perfect 'Sur', it rains. I know this is just a belief but when I got up in the morning I saw Mumbai sky drizzling!

And I was still cherishing the Musical Night!

August 19, 2015

Urdu and I # 1

As an Indian  (even when I am a non Muslim by faith) , knowingly or unknowingly I had been exposed to this beautiful language. Ghazals and Hindi songs were the only sources of Urdu for us here. Having been friends with many Muslims did not improve the situation as well. I kept on browsing  meanings of different songs on internet and I do it even today.

I have watched many many Pakistani telefilms and serials on 'Zindagi' and to my surprise I love almost all of them, if I ignore points like cousins getting married which is just not acceptable in our community. I was so glad to see roads and houses like India, family culture like India , people like India and above all graceful and meaningful title songs like what we used to hear in Pre-Ekta era. For a person like me, who distastes border politics from both countries and Pakistan's back stabbing every now and then - it was a shock, a pleasant one. While I try to balance the hate-love content in my heart for Pakistan, I make it a point to listen to all beautiful songs composed, sung and written by Pakistanis. Just to have the feel of Urdu.

This particular song called "Zindagi Khak na thi"is very close to my heart. Translation does not show the exact meaning but shows more of what I have interpreted.

***

Zindagi khaak na thi khaak udatay guzri,
Tujh say kya kehtay teray pass jo aatay guzri.


Life is not all about ashes, but was almost spent doing nothing special in a way.
What should I tell you when I felt it (Life) was/is more meaningful, when you are/were around.

Din jo guzra toh kisi yaad ki roh main guzra
Shaam aayi toh koi khuwaab dikhatay guzri


The day is spent dwelling in the story which is made up of your memories,
The evening comes and shows some (of your) dreams as well.

Raat kya aayi kay tanhaai ki sarghoshi main
Hoo ka aalam tha magar suntay sunatay guzri


The night arrives with whispers of loneliness,
It was a dessert but still I was talking to you.

Zindagi khaak na thi khaak uratay guzri,
Tujh say kya kehtay teray pass jo aatay guzri.


Life is not all about ashes, but was almost spent doing nothing special in a way.
What should I tell you when I felt it (Life) was/is more meaningful, when you are/were around.


***

In case you are interested in listening to this touching song,





August 18, 2015

Just like that!

The constantly itching left eye and leaky nose tried really hard to make me feel dull today. With my team at office,it is tough to feel dull or numb for more than an hour. In one of those laughter attacks crafted specially for me, suddenly I thought about what can be wrong with me,

I have become less grateful. I am too sensitive these days. I am constantly ill. I keep on catching cold and headaches. I can not sleep on time. I wake up being grumpy but do not show. I get tired before I reach office. Even when I want to finish work faster, I slog. I slog even when I love what I do. This disturbs me even more.

Either I am horribly falling into some health disorder. May be I am just being pushed in to the well of negativity. I am controlling the will over my life.

So today, while I am writing this before leaving my office for the day. I want to decide on something.

I am going to enjoy each and every moment, come what may. I would try to respond and try not react. I am going to take control over what I do in my life. I would learn to say "No". I am going to read a lot but I am not going to suffer from the pressure created by 'Information Over load'. I am going to invest in human relationship but not too much.

I am going to hog chocolate milk every single day as soon as I find the perfect brand of chocolate powder. ( I miss you, Tim Hortins!)

Just like that :D

August 17, 2015

aPOINTment # 6

I have so so so many things to say but my hands tie themselves up when I start writing about all of them. Today I am hell bent on blogging!


  • I am rarely ritualistic and the belief in the Supreme power who can not be named, does not stop me from feeling spiritual on this holy day of first 'Shravan Somvar'. May be memories, May be 'Sholokas' I was taught or even Criticism for wastage of milk on Lingas I used to hear from my grandparents make this month special. Today, when my marriage is inter-faith, I am observing the only fruit-milk fast which  makes me feel home, where my childhood memories were created.
  • I have decided to avoid conflicts in my life. I have decided to do what I believe in. I have decided to manage things smartly and without hurting people where it is possible. I was glad when an uncle at the near by temple willingly bought a bottle of milk from the vendor nearby and gave to the child sleeping on the street. When I smiled and appreciated other two people came forward to do the same. Religions are suppose to be live documents and not dead wisdom books. There must be a way to make people realize this without arguing with them.
  • I met my cutest niece who is now fourteen days old. The cutest ever bundle of joy I have seen. She is so small that I was scared to even touch her. I am a proud masi now, I need to learn to handle her now!
  • I had the most surreal Chocolate Hazelnut milk shake this weekend. For a foodie like me, it is important to note down the date and the venue. Many more such experiences are awaited.
  • I have been struggling to get up early due to the constant dose of Anti-Histamine I am taking since a week. The cold vanishes just to come back in a few hours. I am not going to do things like 'Putting milk drops in Nose' or even 'Drink X Y Z herbs' as I know I need an immediate relief. No more Ayurveda stuff. I want to get up early. I want to go out for jogging. I want to reach office very much on time. Well, but my nosy nose!
  • I am missing my own people even when I know they are a phone call or a mail away. This is how we learn to live alone. May be.
  • I miss cooking. For some reasons I have lost the spark which made me feel like cooking something really different every single day. I don't have my oven here in Mumbai and that means my will to cook something is halved. Rest of the will has also vanished without much ado. 
How is your life going on?

July 30, 2015

Home away from Home - Work

Yeah. It is like a home for me. It is no more a place from where I try to escape every single day, like I used to do at my old office.

This small new office has a big conference table, some laptops and some chairs with air conditioned atmosphere as only capital assets. The biggest asset though is our team and our relationships. We are blessed with two good partners who are more like mentors elderly mentors cum friends cum fatherly figures of average age of forty. We three permanent kids keep on harassing them, some times work and some times they harass us.

In those morning hours when my mind is messed up with basic philosophies of life which I want to choose vs I am being asked to (or I feel so)- I get to breath in the office even after taking up a load of jobs to be done. As soon as I enter the office, the cleaning lady asks people to go out. Exactly the moment when one of us becomes the target of the first session of leg pulling. The day kicks off.

We have found our own frequency to work. We all get high on tea hot water. Two mentors (whom we conveniently refuse to call bosses or owners) prefer to be sober on green tea as well,while rest of us prefer traditional tea with lots of ginger which we procure from cafeteria once in a day. Well, I am a sucker for tea breaks but no more. I love having tea, working along with every sip I take and not to forget - chitchatting with my team.

When I am working in the office  positive vibes of this place make me take a detour from my problems if I am messed up. Sudden rush of energy flows in my body with each and every idea we create. I feel at my best when I zone out with the work for moments together. The kind of energy we resonate for each other, is a spiritual experience and not even a joke.

I sometimes feel like pinching myself to check if it is a dream to work at such a place. Of course I feel like punching others when we lose our frequency of working but nonetheless come across as one team after initial struggle.

Time flies when I am at  office. I have to really keep a tab on the clock so as to reach home before dinner time. Of course there are some days (Read: days with cold) when the air conditioned air kills me even after hiding myself away from the AC panels and covering myself with a good warm cardigan in Mumbai, I sneeze thousand times an hour. Those days make me reach home earlier than ever. Exception is always Mr.ISB, stealing time from work happens only when he is in the town.

With rough prototypes floating on the table, cords and cables of every team member getting tangled, snack boxes full of home made healthy food, mugs full of hot water and high mood I always feel, messier office make beautiful sites. May be just to Instagram?

Well some other day! :)


July 27, 2015

For the one who ignited minds!

The girl's tiny hands were moving on a drawing board with the crisp flipping noise generated by pages of the book kept beside which read the title 'Wings Of Fire'. There was something about this book which her sparkling eyes were resonating while reading.

Later on, her room was filled with hand painted missile poster. She was too young to design the real missile. So she made sure that each angle and each curve to be drafted should be precise enough to impress an engineer. Her artisitc friend was amused at her habit of drawing with drafters.

So was the author's influence that her interest in technical subjects had built up quite a lot. Her curious nature made her read about designs of ammunition and arms, missiles, war strategies and history.

She finished her Mechanical Engineering a few years later with the spirit that author created in her mind. She witnessed the spiritual side of science taught by the author. She witnessed the presidential term of this great man in her teenage too. She was not alone, there were many youngsters getting groomed under his influence.

Yesterday while coming back home, she heard about the demise of that very Author, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

She time- traveled back in past,she went back to her ambitions, her sense of spirituality and patriotism kicked in the endorphin for a few minutes. Just to realize that an era for engineering development, an era of linking science and spirituality in India, an era of building weapons to keep nation safe, an era of building power to be respected by powerful nations is over.

The little girl who read the book and became an engineer is me. The great visionary, the former president, the scientist, the spiritual soul and the kind teacher of Indian kids  is no more.

The same era and the aura might not come back, ever.