Remain connected to your roots…wherever you may live

October 20, 2016

Dear Little one,

In almost all my posts to you on your birthday, I have been, invariably, looking back on certain moment that remained so fresh in my mind. But in today I am in different frame of mind and really don’t know, why I am looking at the future where our association as parents and a child would be so very significant!!

mandi-shivratri-105-aYesterday when you made a stray comment about owning a “house”—a house of your own, I had mixed feelings. On one hand I was elated that you are a big girl on the other hand I was worried of how would we live without you all in our “home”!! It is because these days I am more attached to the house that you, till date, referred to as “Dadi’s house” and I would call “Gaon wala ghar”! Today, that ghar is empty…it has lost its soul as your Dadi has passed away. Staying there for a considerable time, I reflected on all the possibilities of keeping it intact and living but honestly speaking am no wiser than what I began at!

mandi-shivratri-110-aIt was a retreat for us all…remember “Gone with the Wind”…when Scarlette says that she would go back to Tara and everything would be fine! It was that house which suppled her with strength to face all that she was burdened with!

I, too, feel the same way! Houses are living entities…either they sap you of all your energy…mainly the positive energy or they zapp you up with positive energy. I wish the “house “you have fills your life with positive vibrations and energy. It makes your life full of love, peace and vitality. But whenever you feel that you need to refill the depleting source of energy…come back to your roots. I am sure that you would feel energized and full of life at “home” which is where you feel connected to.

mandi-shivratri-116-aRemain connected to your roots as these are what give strength to our very existence…our very being. And remaining connected to a “house” is nothing if one doesn’t remain connected to our very own who live there! I feel it all the more these days when I see the place occupied by your Dadi…empty!

Stay connected,  as you always have been, and stay happy!!! We all love you!

A very happy birthday to you my little one!

It is “the time” that our politicians Arise, Awake and Act…against the enemy

Running is in vogue these days. Every second person on Facebook posts selfies. And why would they not put selfies on social sites when it is so very fashionable to put their love for running. We, the friends of these narcissists, like these status posts and comment section is full of “Wows” and “Great” and “wonderful” etc. etc.  Marathons have become so common these days even in small towns or even peripheral suburbs of towns that people, putting on a cap, start running at the drop of a hat! They run for “clean India”, “green India”, “lean India” or even “Mean India”, or any other prefix/ qualifier attached to the word India. Such is their love for India that they put on their bestest sports gear and run. People of all size, color and shapes run to show unity for the country they love…India. Running is so much in our genetic makeup that we have started running “marathons” to shy away from core issues!

My socially-activated-self has become so accustomed and attuned to watch people running on roads that nothing less than a Marathon would come to my mind even when I would see a group of runners…may be running to save themselves from a mad dog. So, when a nitwit like me, who has such shortsighted vision, would watch young boys running on road, how could I think otherwise?

I don’t participate in Marathons so I do the second, most fashionable, act that is strolling leisurely on a road in my evening bestest clothes. I wave hands to people whom I meet in the evening…the people who belong to my social circle…middle class people, working hard to gain entry to the next band-width of town elites! Sometimes, when I go for a walk…a long walk, towards side roads, I see, almost, everyday some young boys running up and down the hilly roads surrounding Hamirpur. These boys were neither fashionable to look at, nor were obese…so why the hell they were running and panting like dogs  while traversing a few kilometers of running. I saw them every day, every single day. Running.   Bewildered, I asked one of them why were they running. What was the purpose or the goal? Was it some ensuing marathon that they were preparing for?  “Marathon?”  “What is that?”  Asked one of the boys who had stopped to answer my query. I could see plain innocence writ large on his face. He might have been seventeen years of age. His face glistened in sweat. I didn’t care to answer his question and put another question to him, “Why are you running?”  His face expressed excitement and pride. “For army recruitment”. Suddenly I, too, felt a surge of love for nation in my sixty-years-old heart! The boy exclaimed, “I want to join Indian Army!” “All my friend, too, are practicing for the physical test for army recruitment test.” The other boys, too, had stopped to hear what was being talked about. All of them had small stubs of growth on their chin…boys on the threshold of manhood! Eager to join Army, Indian army. “Why don’t you study further?” The teacher in me rose up to propagate “Padho India”! “Where are the jobs?” asked one of them. He was much mature for his age. “I have my young brother and sister to look after”, “if I get recruited in army, they could study”, he added wistfully! Now it was the mother in me that was awakened, “are you not afraid of wars and being killed?” “No” ,he replied. “I would fight the enemies and become famous like Vikram Batra!” His chest seemed to swell with pride. I was relieved and happy. Walking back to the coziness and warmth of my home, I forgot all about this small conversation.

But, today when I listened to the gory and cowardly killing of our Army personnel in Uri, I thought of so many young boys aspiring to join army. What those young boys might be thinking of? Would I see those boys still running on the dusty roads with the same zeal as I had seen them some days ago? Come on India! Wake up and give a fitting reply. Our young boys need an action and not high-power-deliberations in the name of politics. We are simple people and need simple answer…simple and straight…hitting the target straight and swift!

Roles Reversed…

If I could peep inside your little heart, when you were small, I surely would have seen the strength that you had! But for me you were just a “second” child born to me and your being a “girl” child made you special but, sure enough, in a negative way! I had already my hands filled with so many tasks at hand and your arrival jeopardized many of the plans that I had for my life.

But it was now on “our” life. If on one hand I could see my ownself being reflected in you, I wanted you to turn up even much stronger than I was supposed to be. Like you, I too, was a second daughter to my parents, so how can I not understand your special needs! You looked at me for approval, appreciation and acceptance! A close hug was all that you needed at that time. And there was no scarcity of hugs from a mother to her Little one!

Despite having much on your frail shoulders…the baggage of expectations,the-trouble-maker.thumbnail you did splendid… much better than what my middle class upbringing could have thought of.

And that evening when you stood waiting for me at Rome airport, I could feel that the roles had reversed, I was taken care of you, so lovingly, by you my Little one! When we roamed together in the streets of Florence, when you wanted me to enjoy every little moment of life, I  lived another lifetime, when roles had “reversed”! Now I looked at you with admiration and searched for approval, appreciation of many antics  that made me feel outlandish. I was there in your heart so there was no need of any acceptance. You have grown in a way that would make any mother proud my Little one!

But I know for certain that inside you still lies a small girl, looking expectantly for approvals and appreciations and there lies a small girl lurking inside the veneer of strength waiting to be cuddled and hugged! Many hugs to you my Little one on your birthday! Happy Birthday my dear!

A small Jute-bag full of love unlimited….

20 October, 2014

Monday

I started, the once-in-a-year,  clean-home project. I started with a conviction to get rid of all the unwanted and unused stuff that cluttered my very being, little did I realize that what nuggets of emotions it would lead to!

There were a lot many things that occupied my cluttered cupboards. It needed cleaning. I would get so many lost treasures during this cleansing exercise.. But the most prized item that I came across was a small jute bag. It was small in size but it aroused such great emotions in my heart. I could see clearly two small hands with small long fingers deftly embroidering it….many, many year ago.

Small Jute bag full of love
Jute-bag full of love on your Birthday

Though I don’t remember the exact year or  the day but what I remember clearly that both of us had had some argument over some trivial issue. And you had stopped talking to me. A good decision it was as all talks result in altercations when tempers run high. The next thing that you did was even better. You searched in cupboards for some useless and discarded material as you were afraid that you might not use some cloth that I might have another plans for. I was watching you from the corners of my eyes though showing my least concern. I was intrigued. You searched for some colorful threads, sequins  and a piece of red cloth. I was sure that your little mind was upto something. Your little fingers deftly held a needle and started putting your emotions on a piece of jute!

This small jute bag—embroidered and sequined—is the result of that day.

My dear Little one, I learnt a big lesson of my life that day. I could see how you put your emotions to the best use. You stopped conversation when it was getting ugly and the negativity thus released in your system was put to use in planning and executing a very beautiful jute bag!

I wonder why do one need to go to a Management school to learn some very basic lessons that life, alone, can teach you. These lessons are in our very own genetic makeup, we only need t revisit them. This is a lesson for life. Life is beautiful but we do, sometimes, encounter difficult situations and the person who emerges a winner is the one who uses these tough moments to the best possible use.

How can I ever discard this small jute bag…it holds in it such a vast treasure of emotions.

Happy Birthday my child!

We have come a long way but have miles to go further….Reflecting on the Raising Day of NIT Hamirpur

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07 August, 2014
Thursday

Many years ago, to be precise, on 07 August, 1986, Regional Engineering College Hamirpur was established in a small rustic town of Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh. The small town suddenly came alive with girls and boys from the far off places—distant and unheard of for the people of Hamirpur! Girls and boys from Delhi, North-east, down South and all other places of the country thronged the roads of Hamirpur.The simple and rustic people looked admiringly at the students who would become Engineers! Such was the feeling of awe generated by the first batch of the students of the then REC that almost everyone in the town would recognize and applaud them I am sure my students from the First batch and thereafter batches carry some pleasant memories of their stay in Hamirur.
I was the first warden of the Girls’ Hostel. Being a local, I would be invited to many functions in the town. And whosoever would come to invite me would say, “Bring these girls also along with you!” and would add “where would they get an opportunity to eat our Dhaam!” And I would tag along all the girls and like a mother-hen would steer them to the Dhaam!
As the first Girls’ Hostel was situated in a building near HRTC workshop…almost all the local drivers of the HRTC buses would recognize the students. These are some of the positive outcomes that one gets in small town! Since the girls; would have to go to Baru, the Polytechnic, where our first batches had their classes, these drivers would stop the bus whenever the girls’ would ask for a lift!
Not only this, during any problem in the hostel like failed electric current or any other problem, the HRTC workshop personnel would be first ones that we would contact to bail us out!
Such was a simple way of life on and around the campus that we lived like a small family.
Today when we claim to have come a long way, I look back nostalgically, at the years gone by and search for all these things. There is nothing like the life that we had in the beginning. We had less of facilities and more of cooperation. We sacrificed more for the benefit of others. we were, in plain language, simple folks.
Now there is abundance of everything but, sadly, we lack trust amongst ourselves. Everyone is in hurry to grab all that he can…be it the students, the teachers or the locals!
We have lost contact with the world of innocence and have now reached the world of experience! We have come a long way in these Twenty Eight years and have miles to go further…. Where would this journey lead us to….I am not sure of….Honestly not sure of!!!

Blessing come for free from a mother….

A complete year! A full one year. The last post I wrote was on 20 October, 2012 and today is 20 October, 2013! A year passed by when not much was written or say posted publically. But today is not just another day, it is a special day–special for many reasons and the topmost being the day when my second daughter was born! 

Dear Little one, the year had been significant when we spoke very little to one another. Perhaps it was because of preoccupied minds where so many things cluttered our minds that we missed the small marvels of togetherness. When I say togetherness, it is not physical proximity but mental closeness, We were thousands of miles away.I had no or little access to internet and calls were costly affairs for me but we sensed each others’ inner feelings even when they remained unspoken! Your “hmmm” would say so much to me and similarly my “achha” and “theek” would communicate so much to you. I could read and listen the unwritten and unspoken text as well as you could. This is what binds us together in a special bond.
A bond that only a mother and a daughter can understand and appreciate. I know that had I not posted this small customary note to you on your Birthday, you still would have felt the unconditional love and blessings that overflow through every pore of my being for you my child!
May God be as merciful to you as He has been to me!
Happy Birthday my Little one!

Vaishnodevi Yatra: Banganga to Charan Paduka

The first stop was Banganga. Banganga is located just after the police check post. Two long queues for men as well as women passed through the routine checks. Our bags and belongings were frisked. We came out to an open space which meandered towards the first stop of the Yatra.  The Banganga river is said to be associated with the miracles and legends of Mata Vaishno Devi. Water remains in the river throughout the year except when there is an acute shortage in rainfall or snow during monsoon and winter seasons. To my dismay I found little muddy water in what was called a river! It was a pahari nallah!

The legend has something of mysticism attached to the place. The name Banganga is self indicative of the origin of the place. It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi on her way to holy cave created this river with an arrow from her quiver. Being sacred, devotees take a dip into this holy water before proceeding their journey.

I looked at the ghat but was aghast at the muddy water and despite all that I had thought of decided to go on walking without having even a splash of water from Banganga. I could see hordes of yatris taking a bath in the river which had very less water in it.

The entire road was full of pilgrims, old and young. The mood was of devotion and piety. The heights above beckoned us and we swiftly crossed Banganga. We had covered only 1.5 Kms of distance from Katra but we felt as if it was a long distance. The ascent to the Bhawan started. It was a wide road with shops of various kinds on both sides of the road. Most of the shops were of photographers who had the interiors decorated in the form of the Vaishnodevi shrine complete with the lion of Mata and these shopkeepers were shouting to attract the pilgrims to have a snap shot taken. I looked inquisitively and found some pictures where the devotees were shown to be performing puja before the pindi  of the goddess in the very sacred cave! These pictures reminded me of my daughters’ pictures that they had displayed on FB where they seemed to hold the leaning tower of Pisa with the touch of their one hand! I was happy with the ingenuity of human mind and the craftsmanship of our own people!

The other shops that were conspicuous by their sheer number were of dry fruits. I had never seen such a huge variety of dry fruits as I saw in those shops. I made a mental note to buy some during my return journey.

The main focus of our mind was to reach the next stop –Charan Paduka. about 1.5 kms. from Banganga and at an altitude of 3380 feet, the place where the imprints of Mata’s pious feet are believed to be imprinted on a rock slab. Though the Darshans at Charan Paduka do not take more than a few minutes on a normal day. One pays obeisance at the footprints of Mata engraved on a rock slab and proceeds further. Symbolically, it means touching the feet of Mata and seeking Her blessings at the start of the journey. But sadly I didn’t know about this legend and Charan Paduka was just another step for us.

We crossed Charan Paduka without paying any attention towards what it was all about. I am feeling guilty about being so focused to reach the temple as to overlook the small details on the way.

But looking back, all that I can say is, it was but natural as whole of my attention was concentrated to save myself from the mules and horses that literally swamped the path! 🙂

…to be continued