The Cinderella Woman

They are still counting; the number of people that fought with my grandmother because she told them to eat, as soon as they finished their meal.

She didn’t make it look like an obligation on others around her. Rather, she always insisted, tortured, urged, asked, ordered, pleaded, blackmailed, demanded, requested the people that visit her, to eat ! And there it started. Because, she is just a heartless woman, because every time she cooked, she melted her heart and blend it in her scrumptious culinary delights.

If she were with Adam in place of Ewe, her first talk would have been, ‘Would you like to eat something?’. And if I were to go to coma, I would wish her by my side sitting patiently and when I wake up, she would hug me with tears and would say those words I’ve waited all years. “You must be hungry, eat this” !

It looked repetitive but it’s that God had blessed and programmed her heart to care and feed people around her. Every time I visit her, she would go like “Breakfast is over now, we’ll be having lunch in another couple of hours. In the meantime I’ll cook something for you”.

Such is the heart of The Cinderella woman, my grandmother.

Indeed, God has willed. Al-ḥamdu lillāh.

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Peekaboo with the Past

If I could go back in time, I would re-visit my old school for making amendments. First of all, I would do anything in all my power and influences to stop my history teacher from teaching history classes. The reason is, he didn’t like history. And I didn’t like history because I didn’t like him. I’d rather choose Ridley Scott or may be Nicolas cage. Dont’ ask me why.

Nevertheless history was far appealing then in my school days, but to a certain extent; exams and grades. But now it makes me realize what kind of influence could it make. Its important that the legacy should be preserved and taught. It always leaves us with two options; we either learn mistakes from the past or try to imitate them for its grandeur and glory. And also the history is full of conspiracies. In fact half of the truth is engulfed into darkness, deliberately.

But sady, we are a bunch of people with no sense of history. Damn, the whole world is archived into the history books. Every reputation in the present has its own story and  every glory has its past. It helps relate to things and get the chain of events. How astonishing if history would have taken me back in time every time I visited it. I could have lived a thousand lives through history.

All the answers lie in the past, don’t they?

I’m trying to learn the lives of the revolutionary humans of the past. How did they do it? What were the circumstances? What was the situation then? Who all were involved? who actually gave a thought? The wars. The motive behind wars. The civilization and the inventions. The artistry and the conspiracy surrounding them. The Egyptian Pyramids; they are might. The English colonies; they didn’t spare any land; The Romans; their astonishing warfare. The Mughals; they orchestrated culinary masterpieces .

To cater to educate this in my world, I would build historical libraries as much as shopping malls. Seriously! I want people spend lavishly on their knowledge and intellect. People would flock to get into these malls after work. The malls would have libraries and research museums where people can stop by, look into things and learn. Others would pass by the windows. May be I would introduce season sale on ‘Harappa and Mohenjadaro’ researches. And every day of the mall would have a theme attributed to any event in the past and I cannot stop imagining on this.

Again, the past brought us so much and we still thrive on them all. We hold responsibility to understand these splendors of time. Although we are far far from the the midieval and old ages in all aspects, we are just a group of boastful redundancies, because we always build on top of already existing entities than rebuilding from scratch; reusability. Remember?

On this ground, all our recent innovations are just an enhancements, I reckon.

I would continue to think on this and write further. I’m dozing to travel back.

Letter writing with my ‘great grandmother’

Back in my school days, I remember the frequency of letters that people used to write for communication. Be it in postal card, or sealed inside envelopes, people could write pages of messages for the dear ones located far from home. Letters traveled across globe delivering hand-written messages, with love.

I remember those letter pads stacked in the shelf, that mom used to write to my father.  Along with it were different colors of pens, sticking out of the pen stand with other stationery objects placed on the top slab, just visible enough for me from I stood. The shelf tickled my curiosity as a school boy, to climb up the top slab to explore and steal some for school, which mom was watchful over me whenever she opens it and rarely allowed me to climb.

It was in my 7th or 8th grade, that I could recall those fine afternoons helping my late great grandmother, Umm Salma,  in writing letters to her daughter and to her grandchildren. We called her with love as Umm’amma, literally meaning ‘grandmother’. She was a lovely woman, independent, living alone in her house located at a stone’s throw away from our house.

She must had been in her late sixties or early seventies that time. She could not write and sought my help which I happily obliged. I go on weekend afternoons. The moment she opens the door, a happy smile would flash to welcome me. The notepad, with writing pens already kept at the table indicated that there wont be any delay to begin. We both would sit in the wooden rectangular swing in the hall, spacious enough to accommodate more than couple of people. The brass rods are suspended to support the four ends of the swing.

The letter writing starts like this. She would start dictating the words as if she was talking with the recipient of the letter, as I begin writing. The beginning of the letter to anybody remained same. The salutation and the prayers to the recipient never changed.

‘Dear . . . . . , May almighty give you long healthy life, enough wealth with bounty of happiness. Aamen . I’m doing great with God’s grace and hope everyone is good too . . . . . ‘  and the story goes on.

She was very careful with her words, and make them clear for me to understand and write. I have never taken proper classroom notes and don’t remember doing so, at any point of life. But then I was careful and it was not a hard task. She would dictate as if talking with the person while I’m hurrying with the writing not to miss anything. She would wait for me to complete the sentence. When I’m done she would begin the next. I was like a reporter interviewing a celebrity, careful not to miss a word of her quotes.

She at times made me write more than couple of letters. It used to be a quite long, covering pages after pages. After every turn, intending to take break, my arms weree stretched and knuckles bent, that made her smile and ask ‘Oh dear, are you feeling pain in your hand ?’, to which my replies used to be ‘No Umm’amma, I’m just stretching them’. She would convince me that it will be over soon. As a token of gratitude, she would ask me to mention that I’m helping her in writing this letter, to which I proudly include at the footer. When we are done, the instructions were to carefully fold them and tuck them in the envelopes, bearing the recipient address.

She would thank me and always used to ask me if I would need anything to drink. Then before I take leave, she would say words of praise and utter prayers to God.

It’s one of the precious moments spent with her, that I’m able to relish now and thankfully I did not refuse to do at that age. Its certain that she taught me how to write a letter.

She had an amiable smile, a wide grin that one could never get tired of watching. So lovely and so motherly, warm and comforting. I at times joked with her, to which she would never scowl. She was the nightingale of our family, ‘A lady with love’ 🙂

Grandparents are the blessings of our lives and so lovely, aren’t they?

– In remembrance of our Umm’amma

#Letters #Mail #HandWritten #GreatGrandMother 

Authentic living

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I do remember answering the generic questions asked by my primary teachers, when they had nothing to do in the class or when there is a visit to the classroom by the school principal.

“What would you like to become?”. Sounds a familiar question?

But I would never have replied that I wanted to work the dreams of the software firm on quality product to a piteous customer, who is in need of a business solution he could barely imagine. We make them believe that its possible. And then rest is what we do.

Yippee! I’m a software engineer!

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All I need sitting in front of the machine for long hours, is a smooth execution without bugs so as to take my hands off the scrambled alphabetical pad. I’m trying to work on the dreams of the firm. I barely do.

It’s not very common that people become what they really wanted to. Or what they are passionate about. My idea of this long haul is to arrive at the term ‘passionate living’, that makes our life ‘authentic’.

Ironically, I’m the living proof. It did not occur to me that, what I am really passionate about. And by the time I come in the realization phase, I am already a programmer filling the void. My codes are partially cursed from the inner whine but I enjoy the work. I really do.

I have a business card bearing my name but the soul knows nothing of it. The materialistic profession keeps the body alive and fills the monetary account but the soul is clueless. My work becomes routine, and the unexciting mundane routine is indeed lethal. #Dangerous.

This makes me feel that we don’t give enough room for the innate qualities to develop or we don’t discover that something exist within us. We don’t listen to our hearts. How many of us are good singers, writers, players and are gifted with born talents? And when are we going to realize that we just trade these talents for money?

Indeed, it’s not easy for an individual to try and succeed in something, unless there is a voice of encouragement. We don’t dare to try alone and then we become accustomed with society and the way we have been raised from birth.

How parents should raise their kids. They must say ‘be yourself kid’.

Rather, here we go. The Indian dad says ‘Look at Sharma’s son. He got A grades in all subjects and he is going to become an engineer. You should be like him’.

And then we go like, ‘Yeah dad, he is going to be my role model ;)’. #MiserableVictim

The shepherd in ‘The Alchemist’ is my favourite and bravest of the characters, which risks and goes in search of the dream following his heart. If I remember Robin’s philosophy deriving the book, it is believed that if when we go in search of our dreams, the universe helps us to achieve it. We sense the presence of something called ‘a sign’ that would help us to accomplish our dreams. Things work positively.  That’s a nice book.

We can’t refute the fact that there is a lot to risk and much to lose while going in search of dreams that we don’t experience in our comfort zones. But I say, do the work and also bring the life to the born-talent. Let’s be someone besides our professional tag. Lets not merely exist, but Live !

I’m trying. Wish me luck.

If you live a life you love, you don’t need a vacation to escape‘.