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2020 – What’s in store?

I hope you all are nicely settling down with 2020. How does it feel after spending craziest New Year’s Eve? Great, isn’t it? Though we are sitting on the 3rd day and 4th in some parts of the world, I can still feel the presence of freshness and newness in the air.

Ironically, I was little upset when I began to write this post. Originally, I had thought of writing my last post of 2019 on the eve itself. But I couldn’t. I missed the apt timing. I know and I would’ve regretted it badly, had it been due to some bogus excuse. The truth is that I was busy with my work commitments which ran throughout the night of eve and extended till the dawn of 1st day of the year 2020.

I wrote a couple of drafts expressing my disappointment caused due to emergency at work. It disrupted my normalcy a little. Each time when I thought of publishing it, I stopped. I didn’t know the reason then but realised it later.

I didn’t want to begin my first blog of the year in a negative light. In fact, in the hindsight, the gap of 3 days really helped me to settle down and think through. I recalled the adage used by my supervisor 7-8 years ago – Whatever happens really happens for your own good.

I discarded those drafts and contemplated about my first blog. Thus, I began searching for a topic and ate another day in the process. When my thinking cap couldn’t strike the chord, I decided to go impromptu.

I know my writing style and what’s my forte. So, I thought why not to put that in use. I know that I can express myself naturally better than when something is imposed on me. That is what this post would reflect.

However, I wouldn’t just leave you giving the gist of my candid expression. I would also love to share a brief highlight about how I’ve planned to deal with certain shortcomings in my life. My health is one amongst many other areas I want to improve on.

I am not much of a resolution guy. I have stopped making them. So, don’t even think this to be the one. This is rather concerning about my diet program which I had started in Oct’19 and mentioned a couple of times in my previous blogs.

Apparently, I deviated from my prescribed diet plan and wrote in detail about it on 28th Dec’19 in the blog post titled “So, I am still in the game”. In line with that I have decided to follow my diet plan constructively, watching my steps before and after each consultation with my dietician.

Hitherto, I applied a sort of blind approach and I was happy to see the amount of weight loss after each consultation. But going forward, I am going to give myself small targets and measure how effectively I am working towards my ultimate goal.

This will be my strategy to achieve desired result and keep me on the hunt always. Not only this, but I have decided to adopt this approach in my other areas of life. Though I haven’t worked in detail for those areas yet but soon will begin.

On that note I shall conclude, I think that’s adequate for my first blog of the year. Perhaps, it’s little lengthy. I can live that. Nothing supersedes the satisfaction I am able to draw after publishing this post.

Bye for now. I shall keep seeing you all here.

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SO, I AM STILL IN THE GAME…

“Oops! I did it again…” I don’t remember what Britney Spears meant or inferred when she sung this song almost two decades ago, but for me it is a bit on the negative light. Because I managed to put on a couple of kgs since my last follow up with the dietician. Her deportment and countenance said it all. She looked disappointed and I see no reason for why she shouldn’t be. Though I misinterpreted her to be tired initially, but my wife and brother later confirmed that she wasn’t. She wasn’t happy with my brother’s state too. We were sailing on the same boat. After all the hard work of following calculated calorie intake, constant reduction of my weight and all the expectation I built in the process, I, sort of, have screwed up the streak by putting on more weight.

During my last follow up, on the last day of November, I had informed my dietician about a possible deviation to diet-chart for at least 4 days. That was on account of destination wedding I had to attend. I did deviate but not much. I somehow restricted my quantity of intake by being watchful to what I was eating and drinking. I also managed to use the treadmill for two days to compensate, if not completely but avoid major impact on my weight.

On my return I was back on track and followed my diet for a week. That would have been okay if I continued the same regime further. But I didn’t or rather couldn’t. It was my wife’s birthday and we went out to eat. So, I thought it wouldn’t matter a much for one more day and it wouldn’t have really had if I stopped right there. Somehow, I consciously convinced myself why not a few more days and why not to resume the diet on the first day of the new year. Consequently, I went through an extended period of non-compliance to the schedule that my dietician had prepared on the first place.

I don’t know how you all are going to judge me. Valid or invalid, not sure, but I had my reasons. It is that period of the year when festivity supersedes everything. It’s in the air. I get emotional as well as in the celebration mode. And when I celebrate, I can’t ignore the good food and of course a glass of wine or a few glasses of it. So, I was slightly caught up in the righteousness of adhering to the prescribed diet or spoiling it for a week more and restart a fresh. Obviously, I chose the latter. Yes, I gave in. I couldn’t defeat the indiscipline entrenched in me for so long. It did look fair to me then.

The result was also apparent. Honestly, I didn’t expect my weight to go down by any means when I visited for my follow up today, but I was more concerned how drastically it would increase. Fortunately, the situation hasn’t gone out of control yet and so hasn’t my goal. That remains intact. With that I shall resume on the new day of the new year.

I am sure that the aforesaid approach would never turn into a new year resolution. I don’t intend to because I have stopped making them. We all know how new year resolutions fair universally. Instead I would want to consider this as my vacation, just like my time off at work and then return & continue. That’s how I am going to perceive the gap of few days, until the 1st Jan’2020.

SO, I AM STILL IN THE GAME…

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Special Day – Birthday…

It was my wife’s birthday yesterday. With that she turns wiser by a year more. My better half, who believes one mustn’t just have a single day to celebrate her/his birth, often says, ’Why doesn’t birthdays last for at least a week?’, in her opinion birthdays are special and perhaps it’s importance can further be augmented if it pervades throughout, for more than a day.

Well that’s her for you. I really like the way she thinks. It’s quite different. I haven’t came across any person till date saying that S/he would like their birthdays to last for a week. whether it should be literally done or not could be a separate topic for debate but I appreciate the innocence in the thought.

Having known her for almost a decade, I can tell, she is the most consistent and honest person I have ever met. Like any relationship, when it is at the nascent stage, there is ought to be a disagreement and difference of opinion. And that makes the people involved go crazy. Which was the case with us initially. But as our bond matured, with each passing year, so did our understanding. Though we continue to differ and disagree in a lot of cases but we don’t bash each other as we did in the early days. Now we respect each other’s thoughts. That I guess is wonderful part of our connection as husband and wife.

Especially on her birthday, She expects one thing and that is my undivided attention and some quality time. Guess, that is not too much of an ask. Being my wife; the co-captain of the ship called LIFE, it is fair and justified. In my capacity, I try to comply by slightly tweaking my regular disposition that spreads towards all, mostly reserving it for her during these days. And I do that willingly and wholeheartedly, and not just because I have to do it.

Dealing with mundane activities at work and other areas of life; personally and professionally, such affections may dry and in many cases may simply disappear due to the burden that we have to bear to survive. In my opinion, such special days or festivities, in this case her birthday, gives an opportunity to rejuvenate and revive the passion which often fades away. After all, this is important and should always be.

She is also not far off from what I do. She equally responds to these aspects I touched upon (above) in her own away. Notwithstanding what I said so far, many a times when I am painstakingly engrossed doing my work and shrug my shoulders to her affectionate tickles she would say, ‘You don’t love me anymore’ and simper in the end, not to raise an alert or complaint but to make me smile. That kind of refreshes me.

The above writ is my way of saying thanks to her for coming into my life. And what could be a better opportunity than her special day – birthday

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It is now or never…

Somewhere in the mid of October’19, I began my journey to be fit and healthy. You may wonder what kept me quite for so long. Why didn’t I care to write about it in the beginning when it all started.

For that, I have just got one simple reason; I have had many starts in this direction in the past. But whatever I decided to do, I couldn’t continue it for more than a week. if I am lucky then it would go on for nearly a week or else would nosedive in a couple of days. Too bad, isn’t it?

With God’s grace and family’s support, especially my brother and my wife, I am still in the race. In fact had it not been for my brother I would’ve never started this journey.

Well, it sparked through a normal conversation in my brother’s car. Where he wittingly brought up the topic concerning my physical state and overall health. It wasn’t for the first time he was bringing it up. Earlier, I could put him off easily but couldn’t this time. May be I didn’t want to.

In addition, he had complete support of my family members, especially my wife, who was really upset with me for all the rituals I followed to be in that state. Notwithstanding her numerous attempts I failed to acknowledge or consider it for my own benefit.

Mind you there was nothing wrong with my deportment. But that doesn’t discredit my doings. So, I reluctantly agreed to make an appointment with the dietitian-cum-nutritionist. It was her, under whose surveillance my brother’s health and fitness prospered. Anyways, I don’t think I had any other option. I had to go for it too. Also, somewhere I felt that it was high time and I should avoid hiding behind the curtain of excuses.

For festivity’s sake, I asked my brother to delay that appointment by a week and a half. The purpose was to celebrate that period the way I wanted. Because I knew I wouldn’t be allowed that kind of celebration again, not frequently at least. So, I drank as much as I could and ate what I wanted to eat like it was my last week of being alive.

On the D-day I met my dietitian. She examined my state of the body through some hi-tech weighing machine and asked me about my routine. I answered all of them honestly of which she made notes and asked for a day’s time before she could share my diet chart.

Since then, I met her thrice with a gap of 15 days between each consultation. And the results were definitely encouraging. I managed to lose 8 kilos by following the diet chart and 30 mins of brisk walking for at least 4 days a week as per her suggestion. Most importantly, I feel great and can make out the offload of fats from my body. I even tried my old clothes and I could fit in most of them comfortably. But I know I still have a long way to go.

In the hindsight, the credit goes to my brother for igniting much needed spark in me and of course my wife who takes care of my rigid meal pattern and for her unconditional love while doing so. Indeed, I am grateful to both of them and would eternally be so.

Hopefully, I will return here to platter at least once in a week and possibly provide you all the glimpse of my journey towards fitness.

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Talk the Walk!

Image Courtesy – Pixabay

Things haven’t been normal since I wrote ‘What continues @2019…‘ I must admit this has got me to worry about my well being now. I realise, how stupidly I had been procrastinating actions or the decisions in this area of my life. Unnecessary though, I don’t know what made me choose some shitty lifestyle and habit over the importance of being healthy.

I am still clueless, what gave me this spark that I currently possess or why did it take so long bringing itself to me? I always had my people with me, trying to encourage and at times insult, just to get me moving out of the bed. No doubt, what an ass I have been so far.

I do not love my beer belly any more. Its time for me to come home. I think it is pointless to dwell on why and how and better to cash in through the current string of thoughts, which is just prioritising my health.

I knew I wouldn’t turn things around just by thinking or by preserving ideas in my head. I wouldn’t suddenly become better. I had to act and most importantly continue. I wanted to be the best version of me.

So, I picked carrot from ‘the carrot and stick’ approach. I decided to run my two goals together, my writing and health, in parallel. I made it a point to write about the steps I have taken or will be taking in the direction of my well being. That’s how the wagons are hitched.

Now, I had to start somewhere or some way. To do that, I spoke with my better half. Let’s see what she has got. As I knew, the response wasn’t straight forward. She touched upon the times when she tried to push me as well as lectured me for not realising the importance or value then. It was true and I didn’t know any other reaction than to nod in guilt, which worked.

Sometimes, you get the best from the ones you expect the least. Exactly, that is what I experienced. My better half didn’t just provide a simple solution but also volunteered to participate. Her plan was to walk with me for 30 mins every single day. Damn, so easy.

Next morning, we hit the park placed within our residential premise. We timed our walk to the exact of 30 mins and it wasn’t just walking because we talked too. I loved the fun part of exchanging a few naughty comments on the move. Indirectly, this was also raising my relationship quotient.

We continued since then. Now, the next thing is to watch what I eat. So far, I ate to fill my stomach and never cared about what was going in. That has got to change.

(I am open to any suggestion over what is best to eat or what should be the diet)

Possibly, you will see me blog about on similar topic for a next few days. I am sure, there are plenty of observations to make and share it over here. I think, it will require quite a few reiterations to become my way of life.

Till then, its goodbye from my side.

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Sports Day!

I woke up to a noisy doodle-doo of my folks at home. It was abnormally early for me, which in normal circumstances I completely ignore. Instead this time, I was up and walking towards my bathroom.

The occasion ‘Sports Day’ at my son’s school. I heard about their preparation and planning from my wife. I was happy to know that all the children were excited and looking forward to this day. We had also received special invites.

I remember my sports day. It indeed happened but surprisingly none of the parents ever received an invitation. The time has changed and so the approach.

I can afford to disappoint myself but not my son. So, I had a quick hot shower in the cold morning and draped in my regular wear in no time. My son was already at the school, they had to report earlier.

After reaching, to start with, I enjoyed watching a few overwhelmed and happier face of other parents. We exchanged looks and acknowledged being sailing over the same boat. Then we sat on the chairs preserved and reserved by my wife’s friends in anticipation to have a wonderful first half of the day.

Like each year, we had a wonderful time watching all the children perform different sporting activities. I was delighted to see my son participating in Yoga. Mind you, he is in a position to teach me a few Asanas now. All the kids were amazing and I could see proud parents with their broadened chests witnessing their child’s performances. Somewhere I felt my parents would have had the similar experience, had they ever watched me doing what these kids did, during my childhood or they must have had these moments watching us do different things in our lives. You never know!

They made it more interesting by getting parents to participate in a couple of activities. I knew about it and due to my shy nature I had decided not to participate, it wasn’t compulsory. I felt like that when I was at home but now on the field the atmosphere was electric. Then somehow, I managed to lift my spirits and ended up participating in one of those activities, alongside my better half. We didn’t win but we won our son’s heart. I think that was more than what any parents can dream of.

The hard work and commitment of the school as a unit showed up very well. I liked the structure and scale in which this event was organized. But, as we say no plan is full proof and there is a possibility of finding leakages and few ups as well as downs in execution. Here are the ones I observed –

  • Initially, the children positioned to welcome the Chief Guests, made to stand for a very long time. They arrived almost 50 minutes late
  • All the parents and staff were comfortable but not all the students. Some of them were unnecessarily made to sit outside in the open sun
  • In my opinion, there could have been more motivating stories and less of unnecessary speeches

It was great to see even School identifying these gaps and acknowledging what I could observe in such a short period.

In the end, It was worth being physically present and watch kids create history.

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Time To Review and Reflect

The countdown has begun. The year 2018 is inching towards its end and it is just a matter of time before it makes a way for the new one to come. It is almost time, when we all share the same hindsight i.e. this year has passed a notch faster than the one before, Don’t we? Well, we certainly do. The irony is we repeat this every year and we compare its pace with the previous year each time.   

In addition, we tend to retrospect in the flashback mode and we all have our own methods to revisit the happenings and doings in that year. I have one up my sleeves as well. I like to picturize each month as one column, 12 columns in the calendar sequence. It becomes very easy for me to preview and review.

Well, I don’t just stop there, I like to go a bit further and compare the doings and happenings with the previous year. Mind you, the list for comparison is long as well. Out of those, a few of them require a special mention. These are the ones, I can say, I will regret on my deathbed if left unfulfilled.

What makes one regret? Not having enough money – which will never be enough, or that luxurious life one could afford to live, NEVER! And I am sure you would agree. When my time is up, I would regret for not creating enough memories and moments, I would regret about love that I could offer and perhaps get in my lifetime. I would be happy if I did well being born as human. Now, the question is; am I doing enough to avoid what could potentially be remorseful for me? Forget about my non-existence, what about right now at this moment when I am alive.

Year after year, the importance of these memories, moments, love etc. is diminishing. The problem is we are still creating these, may be more than ever before, but certainly the not the way we did in the past. When I say ‘in the past’, I mean before our social lives were taken over by social media. Back then, we created moments with, amongst and for our dear ones, which we still cherish in the present. Now, we do the same, not for the ones who matter the most, but for the sake and interest of the world outside. Appreciations received through virtual likes and hearts prove to be far more important than what is being conveyed to us in person today. I fear we are losing too much to gain anonymous proximity in this bargain.

I have said enough. May be it is not too late for us to reflect and review our ways. Technology is certainly a blessing and I would like to keep it that way. Let’s not socialize virtually but in reality. Let’s not wear a dress to seek outsiders appreciation while there is enough beauty within. Let restrict some information for the knowledge of who cares for you.

May be its time to amend our ways a little that suits either side of our world. Let’s balance it out.

It is about time we change with the changing calendar.

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Emotional Push-back…

Has this ever happened to you?

You intend to do certain things for someone that makes you and the person involved happy. You nearly get through it until the last moment,when something dramatically happens that puts you at the backseat. If not literally, I endured through a similar impediment a couple of days ago after writing about a person with whom I share a deep emotional connect.  

I was delighted to publish my last blog – Recovery from Maddening Recklessness. I am not sure how you as a reader found it and I leave you all to judge, but it was indeed very satisfying for me. I can put it as ‘killing two birds with one stone’ although wouldn’t dare to do so literally. It wasn’t just recovery from sickness, but a recovery from abstinent period of writing.

I desperately wanted to revive writing in my routine. It is true;this was not for the first time. I had made a few plans in the past, stupid ones as it turned out to be, but I had a feeling this one somehow would work.

After all, there is no point in giving up. There is no harm in trying again. With that living thought I came up with another plan,tailor-made as per my convenience. Let us see how this one pans out in the long run.

The plan was, or rather, is simple – I would start working on my new blog as soon as I finish publishing the previous one. In order to make it work, I made a few arrangements too. I literally stationed my laptop, in a way, it is one of my utility, next to my cell phone, always visible to me as a virtual reminder. It is sort of a ‘You can run you can hide but you can’t escape’ approach.

When you prepare well the chances of failure is too minimal.This approach was proving to be already effective. It helped me to finish the draft of my potential post. It was quite late though and by the time, I wrote my last sentence my eyes gave away. Having no energy to re-read to check its flow and stability, I decided to push this activity for my fresh pair of eyes,next morning. May a fresh look in the morning would pick up errors that slipped through my tired eyes.

Next day the weekends’ errands kept me occupied for most of the time. I had to dodge my virtual reminder in grief for a couple of times but it still kept calling for it.

Finally, I got a chance to go through my draft one more time in the evening. Just to familiarize you with the content of that blog; I dedicated this one to my better half. I tried to capture ‘as-is’ version of how my heart felt preparing for a special day. That is when the lightning struck and it struck too deep.

Sometimes a minor spark let off accidentally burns the entire structure in seconds; in my case that spark was a spark of an argument that let off unnecessarily over the minor things. Soon it reached the foundation blurring my emotions that I had penned a few hours ago.

Suddenly, the words triggered during an emotional turbulence by either of us washed away the emotions from the words written in the post.Strange enough, how these are interconnected but I could not withstand all-of-a-sudden impact and scrapped the idea of writing that blog. It had to be vented out somewhere and it is better those words were at the receiving end.

The darkness is not permanent; soon it would fade away with the first light of dawn. At this moment, I have neither the strength not the courage to undo it, not at least now.

I foresee many ifs and buts, raised eyebrows and disgruntled sighs for my  actions. In the end, it is me who is the bearer of the brunt. Hope this get sidelined so that I muster the same strength and courage to express the way I meant it to.  

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Before I call it a day…

I was on the brink of having hell of a fabulous day after a long time. I hoped if its rhythm could continue for a couple of hours more. I wondered, if this was any short of a miracle, which made me further questioned, how can everything be so perfect? It was like scoring a goal on your every run towards the opponent’s goal post.

I am sure you saw that coming courtesy – ongoing FIFA Fever!

It appears too good to be true, isn’t it? In the end, the truth is what prevails. I am not a pessimist, but I was certainly not looking forward to such a great day, especially the day, which was so uncertain to start with. It will be unfair if I leave out the details. So, let me share how it all started.

Like my most of the mornings, I was awake getting ready to work, that is when I glanced towards the sky outside. Well, it had a similar appearance as it had yesterday, rainy and cloudy, but fortunately, not as devilish as and as harsh as, it was yesterday. It had disrupted the options available for travelling, so I had to stay at home. No, I didn’t miss my work, I am totally equipped to perform my professional activities at home, so that’s handled well. Although, today that harshness had subsided a bit, but its grip continued to remain on my unassailable mode of commute. That’s where jigsaw puzzle started for me.

I hate to lose out on time especially the ones that go unaccounted for, during such uncontrolled situation. I knew what my heart wanted, but my head swung frantically like the pendulum in the clock. They tussled for a while with each other, against and forth to convince unconvincingly, and I couldn’t reach a decision whether to continue, take that chance to travel or stay put and continue my work at home.

Somehow, I had to end this unfruitful endeavor of lousy exchange between my head and the heart. So, I broke the rally and decided to work from home. That was the kick start! Since then it multiplied contagiously over every other task that I undertook. It was like playing on a snooker table, potting each colored ball in a sequence with every single strike.

As the saying goes, ‘Nothing lasts forever’, my fate took a U-turn, tossed me back in the black hole of uncertainty again. In fact I was exposed to a vigorous situation this time, slightly intense comparatively. Unlike other situations that I had faced earlier, this one appeared to be highly unpredictable and unstable right on the onset. So far no colossal damage, as I have been playing it by the fence, standing still to heavy blows lodged over me and balancing to avoid a knock-out.

It is heading towards completely an opposite direction. Not sure if the day would wiggle any further. Hope to return in the desirable state BEFORE I CALL IT A DAY.

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‘Sure M’lady, You have My Attention!’

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‘I don’t want to talk to you at least for few days.’, she said unconvincingly.

‘Is there any problem? Is it about me?’, I asked while going through mails in my laptop.

‘Yes, you are the problem for every damn thing happening in my life’, she retaliated immediately.

I wanted to protest immediately, but a mail marked as ‘URGENT & IMPORTANT’ brought my attention back to my inbox almost instantly, so I chose not to respond.

‘See, this is very frustrating and irritating, you always want to control things your way’, She continued raising her voice a little.

I couldn’t ignore her and replied, ‘What is wrong with you? we always discuss before reaching any conclusion, don’t we?’, still looking at my inbox.

 ‘Never, never, you never seek for my agreement.’, she said. This time her voice grew many folds louder and she continued, ‘This is my life and I will decide what I want to do with it.’

I don’t want a person like you who pokes his nose into everything’, she added out of context.

I was immensely agitated and wanted to end this unworthy menace immediately.

I looked straight at her by slapping my laptop screen down and was about to blurt out loud in my defense, but couldn’t. I swallowed my words back instantly, you know why? because…

I found her staring at me with a smile and then she said, ‘Finally I have your attention’, Lets discuss about the place where you would like to spend your birthday, shall we?’

I felt dumbstruck and replied, ‘Sure M’lady, You have My Attention!’

(A short snippet basis my experience for you to read)

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Dare to Dare…

This is the post excerpt.

This is going to be my first virtual dare!’, I mumbled before setting my fingers on the keyboard. That moment an adrenaline rushed throughout my body in excitement and with some apprehensions.

The dare is to come out of the shell and express, right here in this platform – GO LIVE. I know It’s not new, there are millions floating here, one more addition wouldn’t matter. But it is quite a task for me, I have a history of multiple starts that stayed as start with no end – only half-baked work. Most of them remained buried or lost in the folders with no memory to trace it back again and whichever made it live perhaps made no sense. I doubt if this one does… see this is what the apprehension is for.

Anyways, I am putting my unworthy expressions and starts in the past to rest and set to make a new beginning, this time a positive one, being upfront in the real world where whatever I write will not be limited or will never be lost anymore.

So my DARE is to DARE and express to reflect me as a writer, right here!

(Had to let go my old published work in faith of new ones to come)

Infected or Not? We are in this together

I felt like a sitting duck. The rising cases of the deadly Coronavirus is indeed very disturbing. In a way, I am happy that it is just disturbing for me. I cannot even imagine what it is like to be infected and I never want to.

My son, who was busy bettering his bowling action as he swung his arms in the air, casually walked towards me. He saw my fingers tapping the keyboard while my eyes glued to the computer screen. That perhaps pulled him to look at the screen. He wasn’t reading aloud so; I didn’t expect that he actually was. After he finished, with his astonished look, he asked me a question.

“Papa, you are happy that Coronavirus is disturbing you?”

I laughed at his innocent interpretation of what I wrote. He was aware about this novice virus. Recently, he went through a session at his school where he was told about the benefits of washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. Hence, I felt the need to clarify and explain what I meant.

He seemed satisfied with an explanation I gave and resumed to what he was occupied with before. I wondered what could satisfy those who are battling with this unbeknownst phenomenon out there.

In a way that virus has not just infected a few but all of us. Some were unfortunate to have contracted biologically and many of us, including me, mentally.

I read about it first a couple of months ago when I was on my way to Kolkata. I remember reading it in papers before boarding the flight. My folks had asked me to be careful. As long as its effect in India was concerned, I would say, it was at the very nascent stage. Not many people knew about it and I could sense by their confidence that it hadn’t reached us yet. As a matter of fact, I too took it casually at that point in time.

As we stepped into February, the spread picked up its speed and the news of many getting infected outside China made the headlines. Despite of being the neighboring country, India seemed to remain untouched. The experts who virtually gathered to debate on the news channels, shared their opinions from the small windows we see on the TV screen. Some attributed to the weather and some to the resistance that Indians have developed over the years, courtesy our irreverent habit or hygiene and peculiar way of living life. That of course is unacceptable globally. The foreign media even commented that it is good that the outbreak is not at large in India otherwise it will be difficult to control given the living condition and hygiene.

While the virus was strengthening its grip internationally, I went to Goa for a small family vacation. Inarguably, Goa remains to be the hub of foreign tourism. Every year, thousands from different countries travel to ‘Pearl of the Orient’. The month of October to March is reserved for tourism on which the locals thrive economically.

Till I returned WHO had announced this outbreak as Pandemic. India too had come into its grip with merely 20-25 cases throughout. Whereas the rest had seen tremendous surge in the numbers of infected. The outbreak spurted in the northern part of the country as some foreign nationals as well as native had been tested positive. The government took immediate control by quarantining those who were infected.

The city of Mumbai was yet far away from any detection. After my return, on the first weekend of March I met my friends for lunch and drinks in the town. I had heard about the shortages of masks and sanitizers in the city, the only identified weapon to prevent the contraction. Though questionable.

Since it was a casual and pleasure meet, we had lunch at the town’s renowned café. We ordered our food, a tower of beer and settled down chitchatting about the novice virus. In a moment, the waiter brought a vertically long cylindrical transparent tube-like container with the tap. The sight of chilled liquor inside was quite impressive and then he began to fill our glasses. While he did, the Chinese family including two kids, two women and a man walked-in and sat on the table next to ours. Any family walking in the restaurant and café isn’t an unusual sight, but in this case, the people who just got settled must have aroused the interest of the rest.

At one moment there were several pairs of eyes watching them. Each one of them from that family had worn the mask. I wouldn’t lie, for a moment even I felt the chill. Most of our minds were speculating whether they traveled recently before or post the outbreak. If it is before then no problem but what if they did after. However, the waiter didn’t hesitate at all. He did his job and provided what they asked for. Watching the normal interaction between them gave us a little confidence.

I resumed my conversation and discussed that we shouldn’t be inhuman during such a critical situation. We should understand the importance of life and shouldn’t venture out if at all we are infected and have the signs. That is our individual responsibility. Most importantly we should trust each other. Irrespective of the nationality or origin.

But do all know their responsibility. I doubt because of an instance that I read on the internet. A couple had returned from their honeymoon and were tested positive while screening at the airport. However, the woman escaped the eyes of the officials and what it said that she even deserted her spouse, traveled 800 kms and took shelter at her parent’s house. Not sure what triggered her to take that step but being an adult, she could have conducted herself responsibly. Hope she has an idea of the damage that she may have already inflicted on others, who may now pay for her negligence.  

As the week passed by the fear and scare further tightened its grip. Each day the numbers kept on increasing. And in the midst of this crisis, the news about a few puny people who valued money over life surfaced.  Several rackets were busted, where some pathetic people attempted to purposely hold the stock of masks and sanitizers. Their intention was obviously to profit from this calamity. I wonder, in such critical circumstances, some people simply fail to discern that not all opportunities are meant to cash-in.

We are at the stage where someday, we may hear about the breakthrough of this decade, a medicine that can help people to recover. Already two have succumbed to this virus in India. And on the brighter side, a few who were quarantined have got discharged upon recovery. Is there a guarantee that others too would get cured? Nobody knows that.

Today the most difficult question to answer is what do we do until then? While the brilliant minds are working arduously, round the clock, putting things together to create an antidote, we must comply to the directives issued by officials and the government. Unlike the past, I would say, the current government (state or central) can be seen taking all the preventive measures. There is no point panicking or to feel like a sitting duck; as I do or perhaps did. I agree, we are helpless as evidently the medical science is yet to find the solution, but rather than letting it dwell and drive our minds crazy, we can follow some of the basic things like wearing mask, carrying sanitizer – if possible, washing our hands carefully, staying clean etc.,

Fortunately, the government has already issued the directive of shutting the school till 31st March. Many companies are allowing employees to work from home, wherever possible. So, its time to remain patient and help to prevent the spread. If at all, any of us feel doubtful we should get ourselves checked and most importantly comply with the process. The least we can do for mankind.

As humans we must remember that WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.

That kid next door…

Just as I was thinking about the topic of my blog today, my thoughts were interrupted when I heard a knock at the door. I wondered. Why would someone knock instead of using the doorbell? When I moved closer to the door to unlock, I heard another sound. This time being near to the door I could ascertain the noise, that intervened my thoughts before, wasn’t of a human knocking the door but the sound of a plastic ball that bounced off it. That followed by a huge cheer and giggle which I could clearly hear despite the closed doors. I didn’t recognize the cheer but a giggle that came from a little boy who stayed next door. Thus, I couldn’t resist and ran my hands swiftly through the latch to unlock the entrance.

As soon as I opened the door, I saw a tiny; one-and-a-half-foot fleshling running wildly in the lobby. His small foot’s repetitive and short strides matched to the duckling’s hasty steps. The little boy was accompanied by his father and the other gentlemen who stayed in the adjacent flat. He was exuberantly enjoying the little game of play in which he would throw the ball at random directions and others would try to catch it. He purposely tried to force the ball in the gap so that none of them could catch it and every time they missed; he would burst laughing out loud. Perhaps, one of their misses let the ball slip to bounce it off my door while it was closed. I stood at my doorstep and watched him play intently. I didn’t want to disrupt the flow. I am sure the others were also thoroughly enjoying the cuteness that the little boy displayed in his act, like I did.

Initially, when he moved in with his parents, he stayed a little aloof and hesitant to interact with any of us, apparently, because of the new surroundings.  After all, for his age that is too much to expect. We know that the little children take time to adjust. But as the days passed by, slowly and gradually, he acknowledged the presence of people around him and began to converse in his stuttering tone.

He often saw me going out and coming into my house while he stood at this doorway. His innocence couldn’t keep me away for long, as he reminds me of the younger version of my son to whom I adore more than anyone in this world. Lot of his habits, body language, conduct and bubbliness, in particular, often found in small children, matched with my son. That was adequate to tap the preserved fondness in my heart.

I still remember, earlier, whenever I tried to initiate baby talk with the neighboring little boy, he would instantly run away. He considered me as a stranger then. But one fine day, when he observed me conversing with this father, while he held him in his arms, he became confident and perhaps thought that I could be trusted. Since then, he held his fort and stood still with the plain face, no expression at all and no response absolutely. As if he was trying to tell me, “I am okay with your presence as of now but not too comfortable to baby talk.”

It was only after I became regular visitor and stopped by as usual, he started exchanging pleasantries. It began with coochy-cooing then induced to a limited gesture, mostly to show his possessions and thereafter a calculated acknowledgment when he addressed me as his uncle in his mother tongue. His father used to often indicate when I communicated through him.

However, he became hesitant again after he returned post his month-long vacation along with his parents to their native place. I couldn’t deter enough but as much as I could understand, I think it is pretty evident in small children, they take time to detach and attach themselves with their surroundings. The continuity is the key. At present, he is very comfortable with my wife and son but still sometime appears to be hesitant with me. He doesn’t get to see me that much while I am away at work and my folks stay in his proximity.

It seems he likes making others happy. I could observe this quality recently though that worked adversely on his father. Being a restless child, he always needs someone to look after him which is why his father could be seen around him most of the time. In fact, he is always present during his playtime. Like I mentioned before, he likes to throw the ball in such a way so that no body could grab it. This, in reality, began with an instance in one of his playtime sessions. One fine day he was playing with his father and observed my wife enjoying and cheering for him each time he succeeded in making his father miss the ball. Consequently, he was making him run the distance to fetch the ball by throwing it in a different direction. While doing that, they reached the area near to the staircase next to my door. That’s when he tried to take his naughtiness at another level. Therefore, he went ahead and threw the ball in the direction of the staircase. As a result, his father required to descend a couple of floors down through the stairs to fetch the ball and walk back. The sight of this game play made us laugh heartily. On the other hand, our euphoria encouraged him to repeat the steps again and again and again. Now, he does that by design whenever he sees my wife watching him play.

I think I would never stop talking about him. It is too overwhelming, and I feel that way for only one reason. There was a time I saw my son do numerous things at that age. Probably by watching this little kid do such things makes me relive my son’s memories, which I enjoyed before and still cherishing it now. It kind of secures my bond with my son in a positive way. Furthermore, this makes me shower my love towards my son in abundance. If I wouldn’t be too harsh in saying this, that kid next door, apparently, has become a portal for me and by virtue of that I can switch to the former and the current world that revolves around my son quite easily.

Commuters life-line…

Oh boy, What a relief! If I had to stand in that position for a minute more, God knows what would have become of me. My temporary distorted posture was on the verge of becoming a permanent one. Thankfully, the seated gentleman had to alight at the next station and I was up next to sit.

Well that’s the perfect picturesque of struggle every bourgeois Mumbaikar embraces without any complaint during their commute to work. As more and more people pour into this city to fulfil their dreams, a little inconvenience, as a cost, in exchange of flooding the demography seems justified. Either you get into the groove or get wrestled down. There is absolutely no room for petty petulance.

For us, the scuffle begins at the platform of the railway station, where mostly all the office goers gather to board the train. The pressure of reaching at work on time makes the process more interesting. We all line up, unceremoniously, a couple of paces ahead to sprint into the coach even before it stops.

Such a hurried and chaotic approach is essential to maximise our chance to occupy the available vacant seat, if any, or at least be the first in line, legitimately, to become the contender of the seat to be dethroned by its original occupant during the journey.

Unlike the trains or tubes available for commute abroad, you will always find the the doors of Mumbai’s local train wide open. It doesn’t closes for anyone and you will always find someone clinging to the thick iron rod at the center. S/he will also get down briefly every time the train halts at station to make way for others to get in. It mutually works really well just like an implicit design.

Often things go out of control. Sometimes commuters get involved in an unnecessary brawl and at times sadly or unfortunately meet with an unexpected mishap that 7 out of 10 times leads to mortality.

No matter how hard it gets at times, Mumbai’s local trains are known as the life line of daily commuters. Notwithstanding all the shortcomings it still prevails to be the most efficient and effective means of transport. And I strongly believe that.

Well it gives me immense pleasure to talk about my experiences. I may have written on the similar topic in the past but can’t recollect when. However, I am happy to outline most of the points, especially, after receiving the place to sit. And that made my commute memorable and meaningful.

Just another come back… no

Not sure, if the place, people or leave from work made this blog possible. Whatever it is. I announce my come back, here.

I have an habit of making my come backs look grandeur; just run through some of my post in the past, written after a small break. You would get your proof and I would get some views :-)…

No doubt the place is beautiful. I am put up at the hotel close to the adventurous park. Indeed for an adventurous event; a relatives wedding. In fact, nothing can get more adventurous than wedding and what follows it. By no means I want to sound ungrateful to the family who invited us. It is just my notion, generically, that stands true in my case too.

Now cometh the people, yes they are good and especially their hospitality has been impeccable. It’s human to feel good when you are made to. It’s nice. Also, meeting new faces and lots of old is good. I couldn’t think much about people. They are umpteen and describing kinds may not fit the bill.

Ah, being away from work… hmmm… Can it bulldoze the above two? Nope, don’t think so. In my case, it is welcoming to enjoy some shut eye from work. What’s piling from behind is definitely case of worry, which I am ignoring now. I think that’s okay. An absence of couple a days will not make much difference and I can always bring myself to speed, once I am back.

I guess, it’s the pleasure of aforesaid trio, put together, made this instant writ possible. Just like two minutes noodle which is never ready two minutes but quick enough to provide something at a shorter time. This work serves the same purpose. Quick enough and short enough.

Hope you all enjoy it.

A Reflection of an Outcry

As the days unsteadily unfold,

While I am on the look out for gold.

People are surprising me from everywhere,

With their wits, passion and ugly affair.

I assume my days are chalked challenges and competition are strong,

But the movements, struggles and imbalance of others prove me wrong.

I feel to have blocked the outside world and remained within my sight,

There is much more to learn, feel and avoid by the other’s plight.

I ask; have I become selfish or forlorn in my struggle?

Why is it so hard to digest that others may also be in trouble.

Is my pain enough to numb my heart in the box?

Or am I too naive to make sense when their ship hit the rocks?

It is hard to believe, as I pray for all who surround me,

Then why the darkness is bestowed on the ones around me.

I feel and realise the need to stay humble,

As much as I can lay the helping hands while their hearts rumble.

Avenging My Obliviousness of AVENGERS

I was not an Avenger fan, but I am one from now in. Thats my immediate reaction after watching ‘Avengers: End Game’.

There is no need to worry. I am not going to spill the beans. Like I mentioned to one of my friend on a Watsapp convo, it is difficult to resist and zip my lips. There is so much to discuss yet so little opportunity to express. I respect the fair expectation of keeping silence for those who have not watched it yet. But it is a question as well, WHY!

Being a newbie in Avengers fraternity, I was thinking where to start. Having watched the End of it, I am curious to know where it all started.

Fortunately, I had seen a few of the movies in the past and that is why I could connect some of the strings but not all of them.

My friend has shared with me the list of those movies that one should watch in sequence to connect the dots. I am sharing it as an image of this post.

I believe, like me, there are many who don’t follow the herd mentality. So, they may not pay any heed to the new release. I consider myself from that category and I went for the new release for my son.

Before I watched the new one, I felt they are creating an unnecessary hype. One of the tactics from the big franchise to cash in. Well, it could be that but still worth watching.

During the movie I discovered there are so many characters and like I said I didn’t follow the sequence, having watched a few made me realise that they are a piece of the same pie.

As I am told some of the movies from this series are available at Netflix. So, the first task is to identify them and watch those during the interval of my commute for work, to and fro.

I am not sure how the rest can be found. Since, I have begun I am sure to connect the dots and Avenge my obliviousness of AVENGERS.