Some things are meant to be, and some are not. However heavy it makes our heart, and however many times it makes us cry. For the most part, it should suffice that this too shall pass. Many years ago, I learnt that no matter however much we want, we really can’t control the feelings of others, or what they think of us. We can force obedience, but love and respect cannot be demanded, they are the givers’ prerogative. We can choose our course of action, but we can neither predict nor control all the consequences. Honesty is the best policy, but sometimes, silence is golden. Letting go is hard, but often, it is the best thing to do. And as Steve Jobs said, ‘You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.’
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The summer didn’t last forever. It was merciless, ruthless and left its marks. But it was over. Like the winter that had preceded it. All confused and mixed up, but a thread of happiness running through it. The feeling of being alive. Traveling and exploring a new life. New places, new experiences. As with all things good and bad, it was over. The ferocious summer had followed. And then after a few months, the weather got cooler and gloomier. And a shorebird wondered about the things it could hold on to. What else did life have in store? So much changed, yet nothing changed. That was the irony. Possibilities never ended, but the feeling of being mortal had struck it hard. How long would it keep flying? What was it flying to? What was it flying away from? What would happen to those ties, bonds and friendships? Would it still be sought? There were times when answers did not matter much. But at this point, they somehow did. It was tough to leave and stay at the same time. But the bird was trying.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
My blog completes five years today. June 17, 2007 was also a Sunday. Well, actually I started on Saturday June 16, 2007. But it was a New York afternoon, and translates to the morning of the next day in India.
I am blissfully humming 'wonderful, wonderful', since last night.
Can’t get enough of this John Mathias masterpiece.
Lovely, lovely words for a loved one. Love, gratitude, realization, all together. Do you feel like this?
Sometimes we walk hand in hand by the sea,
And we breathe in the cool salty air,
You turn to me with a kiss in your eyes.
And my heart feels a thrill beyond compare.
Then your lips cling to mine, it's wonderful, wonderful.
Oh, so wonderful my love.
Sometimes we stand on the top of a hill,
And we gaze at the earth and the sky.
I turn to you and you melt in my arms,
There we are, darling, only you and I.
What a moment to share, it's wonderful, wonderful.
Oh, so wonderful my love!
The world is full of wondrous things it's true.
But they wouldn't have much meaning without you.
Some quiet evenings I sit by your side,
And we're lost in a world of our own.
I feel the glow of your unspoken love.
I'm aware of the treasure that I own.
And I say to myself, it's wonderful, wonderful.
Oh, so wonderful my love!
And I say to myself, it's wonderful, wonderful
Oh, so wonderful my love!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Sometimes our best laid plans do not come to fruition, and sometimes things that we had never planned for, become the landmarks of our lives, defining us, creating us as we go.
Take for instance, the matter of love. We never really get to choose who we fall in love with. It can happen with the unlikeliest of people, in the unlikeliest of circumstances, in spite of all the obvious odds. Like a hundred butterflies fluttering in your stomach, or a million orchids blooming in front of your eyes, or sometimes it just grows over time till one day the realization strikes you, out of the blue – you know the feeling, right? It defies logic and rationale most of the times. And yet, there it is!
Commitment, on the other hand, is not just a feeling or emotion. It is standing by what you've felt. Sadly, I have not seen love and commitment go hand in hand as much as I would have liked. There is love without commitment and commitment without love. When I do witness them together, it makes my day. Nothing lights you up like the unlikeliest of love stories ending happily. Beyond considerations of wealth, power, position, religion, physical appearance and race, when people love and commit and keep their promise, it puts a rose tinted glass on my eyes, even if it is for a little while. As in the case of A, the boy and B, the girl, whose story I'm going to briefly touch upon here.
A was one of the newly joined juniors in my team in 2006. First impressions – jovial, friendly, helpful, happy-go-lucky chatter-box with a ‘laughing your guts out’ sense of humor. Hyperactive. Always moving, always exploring. An erudite family background. Super successful dad working at a very senior position in corporate India. A was also doing well. Umm... or well, so you’d think. Working for the proverbial Knox Business is not easy in the long run for someone who is hyperactive.
So, when he first told me that he wanted to settle in Brazil, I was slightly taken aback. I had heard US, UK, Dubai, even Australia as a preferred destination for settling down, from fellow Indians, but Brazil was a first. What Indian, in his right mind wants to settle in Brazil, I wondered? At that point, I was quite certain that he was a little touched in his head. There could be no other explanation.
Pardon me, A, for I know that you’ll be reading this! I had neither researched nor explored Brazil well at that point. To be fair to you, today, I’m not so surprised by your choice. The spirit of carnival, the absence of the mad Indian rush and a completely exotic geography has put it on my ‘must vacation there’ list!
It was a few days later that he told me that he had a Brazilian girlfriend. Okay, well that explains the love for Brazil bit for now. But settling in Brazil?
Now here, I must pause and add some personal tit-bits. My experience with Indian men, especially hailing from the northern belt has been pathetic. I’ve found them to be chauvinistic, superficial, deceptive, and cowardly. The kind who don’t keep their word. I'm generalizing too much, but well, that has largely been my impression. So you’ll understand my scepticism at A’s publicly communicated intent of settling in Brazil. ‘The kid is kidding’, was what I thought then, notwithstanding the number of trips A made to Brazil, his pursuit of Portuguese and the number of attempts he made at getting a job in Brazil. So, I was pleasantly surprised, in fact, overjoyed when he told me a few days back that he was going to marry B in a ceremony in India! Both the families are working together to make the arrangements. I still can’t stop smiling imagining the expressions on the faces of B and her close family and friends at some of the marriage rituals in India. I guess they would be prepared for the Indian style melodrama by then.
I can’t imagine the amount of work it would have taken A and B to reach this stage, against all the odds, battling time, distance, religion, ethnicity, family and society, in the last four years. Here is wishing them years and years of happiness, spiced with some cross cultural surprises.
For A: Thanks, buddy, for permitting me to write about your story on my blog!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
For the record – I’m angry, nay, mad right now!
Can I have one single conversation regarding a new job opportunity without being quizzed on my marital status and the reason(s) behind it? And listening to comments about how ‘unusual’ it is. Unusual? Yeah, right! You know what? I’ve had an unusual life. You have absolutely no idea about my life beyond my professional CV. So limit yourself to questions and comments regarding that. Don’t barge into personal territory. See, even if it is unfashionable these days to do so, I prefer to keep my personal life personal. You’d probably find it more ‘normal and usual’ if I was divorced or widowed, right? And, had I been married and didn’t have kids, you would have probably wanted to know all about my family planning philosophy. Or, who knows, perhaps you are merely envying my independence?
I find it rather outrageous that a person who knows me just by my CV, a couple of email exchanges and feedback from his team members who have cumulatively spent about two hours speaking to me over phone, has the audacity to inquire and comment on my marital status in the very first conversation. Mister, understand that it is none of your goddamned business. You don’t have the right to question me about it, and then expect me to answer.
You might be whoever; you are still expected to maintain basic professional etiquette. Especially you, with your education, background and experience. Being an interviewer does not give you the right to dissect my personal life. You can wonder about it in solitude, I don’t care, but have the basic decency to refrain from asking me my relationship history. Nobody does that. Not even my friends. Not my close family. So, who are you? Whether I want to divulge details of my relationships is my prerogative. Whether I want to discuss reasons why I have not married is my choice. Whether I’ll ever marry or not will be my decision. Keep your bloody nose out of it!
When I express my interest in a position in your organization, you have to understand that I would have obviously done that taking into account my personal circumstances in the immediate future. If I were going to marry Leo DiCaprio and migrate to Hollywood in the next three months, I would have obviously not expressed my interest in working for your organization in India. You can expect this basic professionalism from someone who has worked for close to ten years, can’t you? And well, even if you can’t, probably a gentler query or remark like, ‘I’m assuming there are no immediate changes in your personal situation planned that would make it difficult for you to work for us’ would have reassured you. You were looking at my CV, considering me for a position in your organization. Talk to me about my work experience. About what I have learnt. About how I handle situations. About how I plan and execute. Don’t judge me by the fact that I’m over thirty and not married, and ask me to explain the ‘unusual’ situation.
At least, I know that even if today was my last day on earth, I can look back at my dying self and be satisfied that I was never the one to walk away from a commitment, never the one to wilfully and intentionally hurt someone. Even in my last moments, I can take pride on the high moral ground I’ve taken. And I can take pride on the fact that I have not passed a judgement on people based on my views of how everyone’s life should be. Can you?