Only or already

I write this with a heavy heart knowing that the time for a dear family member might have come to leave the rest of us and begin a new journey on another plane.

As I pray and reminisce all the lovely times we’ve spent together over the years , the stories I have heard about her youth and I can’t help but smile through the tears .Her face has forever had the most radiant smile on it from the time that I can remember. Her ability to laugh at the simplest of jokes and mingle with all age groups stands out in my memories the most. Her love and concern for her family has transcended distances and kept the bonds strong over time even though geographical and political situations didn’t allow us all to spend more time together physically.

Yesterday only a young girl,trying a cigarette and singing carefree songs, laughing aloud with life, today she has probably  already run out of time.

Now is a time to weigh the scales, to calculate, was her service to humanity (something she did with love and fervor), enough, was the time spent with near and dear ones enough, was the time spent in devotion to the almighty enough? If not,is it too late already?

Time is such a subjective thing, Cy and I tend to watch tv before retiring for the night and many a times I’ve noticed even if he is tired, Cy will look at his watch and say ,” oh it’s only 10 o’clock!”. And we’ll watch some more until, he says,”oh it’s already 11:30pm” ,”let’s go to sleep”.

I began to realize and joke with him that we literally kill time between only and already. It doesn’t matter if it’s 9 or 10, the real difference lies between only and already.

If we are sleepy but it’s ‘only’ 10 we push sleep away until the ‘already ‘ time of 11:00 arrives.

From the last few days I have begun to notice this and realized that time is literally divided into 2 frames only and already. There is no real hour or am or pm. When I look at the time there is either enough time for me to complete my work or I have totally run out. Looking through this perspective it’s easier to plan and execute and live life and most of all prioritise,for I now simply know I want to complete things while I am in the only zone, as, if I don’t, regret will surely accompany already.

A couple of years ago,when I suddenly woke up to the fact that I was celebrating my 40th birthday (something I had blissfully forgotten ), I thought ‘God I am already 40 half my life is over’ (truthfully I thought it almost fully over), I rued over it until the day I said to myself I am only 40 the best is yet to come!

This change of attitude was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I now try and do whatever it is I am doing with more passion and heart than before for I know there is only so much time before its already passed!

None of us know which end of the spectrum we’re really in and so I pray that we all may enjoy this wonderful world the way it is meant to be ,whoever’s time has already finished, may they leave and transcend to a wonderful next, easily,peacefully, and joyfully, with a heart full of love and song!!

Best described In the words of Louis Armstrong . . . . 

(Song courtesy you tube )

Getting to know you

Summer’s here and although I had no real plans to take off to cooler planes,a situation presented itself and though the plateful of work I had on my hands made my head say no, the Sagittarian in me jumped at the chance and I found myself packing my bags for a short and much needed break. 

Landing at Brussels like I have number of times before but this time the presence of  extra security personnel around brought back  the recent ugliness experienced by the airport. 

I tried to shrug off the sadness and enjoy my holiday. 

Beautiful sunny skies, with fabulous cool weather and the endless patches of greens in all their varying shades welcomed me. I requested my driver to let me sit up front just to feast my eyes on the unrestricted vision of the endless trees, ‘the woods’ , they always make me smile and take me back to many a fairy tale.  


My driver was rather amused by my interest in the vegetation, something the locals take for granted, but do enjoy. Each garden has a different style and avenues with rows of trees lined with pink cherry blossoms or white flowers like snow flakes. 

Bye bye stress, hello holiday! 

The Gods were kind with clear skies allowing us to make a quick trip to neighbouring Netherlands. The cheese market tickled our noses and taste buds alike, and the fields of tulips felt like carpets rolled out by the heavens for us. We even had rain and hail for a few days which was a treat for one whose city only offers the seasons hot, hotter and hottest.


And finally as all good things come to an end so did my holiday. Back at Brussels airport we stood patiently in a temporary tent to check in our bags. Reminded again of the deadly attack,I couldn’t help marvel at how they had picked themselves up and continued with life ,while they simultaneously  repair the damages caused. A gentleman in line with us began to chat. He was from Ecuador, and we discussed how we were adviced by our friends respectively  against travelling and how it’s not possible to live under fear amongst other things. Saying goodbye to the new friend guiermo, we walked on to our respective  gates at the terminal nodding at more smiling faces.


They say travel is the best teacher, and the one thing that has struck me on this and recent holidays is that people around the world are getting more aware of ethnicities, of different races, different cultures, and more accepting of each other.


 More people are becoming friendly, in the small town of Gouda the Hollander selling cheese, struck up a conversation with me and I realised she wasn’t just being polite, she was genuinely friendly and wanted to know more about India. Our German  steward on the aircraft couldn’t stop raving to me about how beautiful Iran is and the scarves people wear around their heads. There is a surge of pluralism in the world. All along I have noticed people getting friendlier, and more vocal about not approving or understanding the crazy terror attacks in today’s world. 

This vocalisation of condemnation is slowly bringing about a sense of oneness in the rest of the world. A oneness that’s transcending colour, class, race and creed.

I see a mix and blend of cultures coming about, and a more tolerant, kind and caring form of humanity beginning to emerge, maybe there is , after all a silver lining to this dark terrorising cloud, maybe one day we’ll bloom together like a field of tulips individual, but one! 


Is it my imagination or maybe I’m just a dreamer, I don’t know ,but I know I’m not the only one ….. !

Dear Drummer

a message for a young enthusiastic prodigy in the neighbourhood. . . . .

Dear drummer of the mount , we hope you’ll hear our plea,

“It’s started”,animal-muppet we think, as to work , we take our seats,

When everyday you pick your sticks ,and your drums you start to beat!

 

Your rhythm, let’s be honest, although not so divine,

practice we hope in time, will help to make it fine,

beating  the barrels for  endless hours at a time,

we pray should  give you chops,  that will eventually be kind.

 

Dear drummer we appreciate ,  your sense of dedication,

But once in a way maybe you could indulge in a permutation,

For it never really hurt, to have a variation,

maybe  sometime you can throw in a metric modulation?

 

Music they say is a healer for the soul,

But the notes from this ghost, are leaving us for cold,

Please dear drummer  spare a thought for the old,

We do tire of hearing the battering so bold.

 

We do wish you the best, and hope you stand loud in every single test,

And eventually pocket a grammy , when you are one of the best,

But until then dear drummer, could you sound proof your room,

So when you beat another, we need not hear the boom,

Let’s restore the peace and quiet, for most and many,

In our queen of the suburbs, good old Mount Mary!!

120213125317-grammys-2012-cbs-still-story-top

 

 something stupid

It was already midnight as usual,I was watching tv before turning in . It’s late I said to myself . Struggling before finally falling off to sleep. Suddenly I woke up, I couldn’t stop thinking of this bad investment I had made and ended up losing it all. As the thoughts swam through my head,sleep took wing and deserted me. Now like an owl I found myself up, thinking of all the goof ups I had made all my life . 

   
 How could I have been so stupid I thought. Every little thing that has gone wrong in life up until now decided to playback in my head. And how others had planned and orchestrated  theirs lives so perfectly well. 

I began to recall the most financially successful friend’s life, seemed so smooth and perfect. Like on a chess board he had made all the right moves to avoid any mishaps. The happiest family  came to mind next.The kids always did and said the right thing. Eventually I think I did drift off to sleep. 

Waking up next morning with the dull reminder of failure at the back of my mind I went about the day. During the course of the day I decided to catch up with a friend to discuss some ideas and exchange views on a certain subject that he is an ace at. As we spoke he said to me,”if I begin to tell you the mistakes I have made in my life and money lost you will laugh at me”, “really ?, I asked, “I did  such stupid things that I wonder how I didn’t realise it before doing it”, he confessed. “It’s too embarrassing to even say anything “! 

At this point I suddenly felt elated not at his losses but the fact that I wasn’t the only fool or the only one who had ever made a loss or a mistake in my life. 

  
Of course we all know that success is like an iceberg where most of the struggle is not visible at the surface. Sharing our stories of failures can actually be therapeutic and it is so important. We all hesitate to mention when we do something wrong but when shared somehow the mountain in our heads retracts into the molehill it really is,specially when we get to know we aren’t the only ones having done it.

Sharing stupidity is so important, it helps  solve a mistake, or just lightens up the situation enough to laugh it off. Just mention something that makes you feel sheepish there will be another to share in the feeling, mention a panic attack and the rest of the room will share theirs with you, speak of a childhood trauma and their will be another who has had it worse.

   
 In conclusion I say there is nothing more healing that sharing something stupid over a cup of coffee with friends, living and learning is what it’s all about. None of us are getting out alive so even if it is something stupid like I love you, say it.For all you know they will love you back!!

  

Wheatish

You’ve heard of black,you’ve heard of white, you’ve probably heard of yellow skin too but ‘wheatish’, I bet that’s one you haven’t heard of .

I remember this term being used for me as a kid, specially as my sister  has light skin the comparison of ‘beauty’ was constant. From growing up as a person believing brown skin is not pretty with the constant feedback from most Indians, the first time  I began to  realise and appreciate my skin colour was when a stranger in Italy asked me where I got my tan. And although we didn’t speak the same language she did manage to convey the ‘colour’ was very nice. 

‘Wheatish’,I think back now , what a ridiculous term!

Indians unfortunately have a complex to anything white and will bend over backwards to oblige a white person. I have witnessed this in shops where all the salesmen suddenly wanted to sell to one white customer and the rest of us were left to fend for ourselves and ,in our school where we had a Dutch student for 1 year, she probably never had such a big fan following in her life before or after our school. This would never have happened to a dark skinned student even if she was a foreigner. 

I remember when one of my friends told me what a great guy my husband is and ‘so fair and good looking’ too. Cy and I still laugh about how an approval was based on his skin color.

We are a nation obsessed by fairness. In India fair=good looking. A car could’ve driven over you face and smashed in all your features but if you are fair, you will pass the test. The evidence of this is in the sale of fairness creams, the marriage ads in the matrimonial column, where a only a fair bride is invited to apply. A trend I have noticed over the last 40 years. 

When one of our’s is attacked racially in a foreign country we cry foul and yet with the recent attacks on the African students, in our own country some of our ministers have made  generalized statements as to the illegal activities undertaken by all the kids.(should’nt he have condemned the acts instead of generalizing ?) It’s so sad and shameful when I hear the foreign kids say they feel unsafe and are generally treated shabbily due to their race. Which many did on the news channels.

When in college I remember my own college mates passing degrading remarks when dark skinned students passed by, in Hindi no less,so they wouldn’t be clobbered by their bigger sized prey. I always thought this so pathetic ,to be mean to another just for their skin color. Once one tall,well built, student (who obviously knew some Hindi)turned around and asked ‘kya bola?, ‘ the bullies were hoping the ground would swallow them by the looks on their faces. That was one punch I would’ve been happy to see . He didn’t deliver, I’m sure because he is a guest in our country and decided against it.

We speak of being highly cultured but what happens to all that culture when we divide and further divide on class and race? Our culture teaches us ‘atithi devo bhava ‘ (guests are like god) and yet when they are black we don’t like them?! Hypocrisy to the hilt! 

As a kid my father always said to us ‘only if you accept your own mistake can you improve on it’. 

After hearing of the Tanzanian students attack and more so of the rickshaw driver spitting on one students face instead to returning his change, the fact that racism is deeply rooted in us is a fact we need to accept,IF ,we intend to change our attitude and tap into the humane side of our culture where we learn to accept all as our equal and respect everyone for their worth as a fellow human! 

  
It’s high time we peeled the fairness mask off our brown faces and made a few corrections in our mindsets. 

from behind the counter

i have been blessed to be in a family business that never fails to pique people’s interest. The mere mention of the field of work generates interest from men and women alike.Diamonds!!!

i have been in the world of jewellery for a pretty long time now and have dealt with various customers and thought i would like to share with you all some tips about jewellery,gems and diamonds, also some thoughts of what runs through our mind standing on the other side of the counter.

refraction

It’s not a torch: here’s a thing about diamonds, they REFRACT light. Ladies when you hold jewellery under a table, to check  how shiny your diamonds are, you are not as smart as you think you are,you look silly to us.

 

 

nose pin

Cleanliness is next to Godliness: please ladies please clean your jewellery regularly, it dulls with soap,cream and grime sticking to it in crevices. Also don’t take your nose ring  freshly off your nose for us to check the clarity of the diamonds under our eye glass, the stuff stuck around it magnifies as does the diamond in it,yuck!!

Shopping does not an expert make: If you have been buying diamonds all your life it still does not make you an expert and when you hold the eyeglass the way you do, we suppress an inward chuckle.

Reality over fantasy: When your budget is limited do not try and tell us you are getting your fantasy diamond elsewhere at a fantasy price, we are aware of rates and personally feel, if you are getting a good deal there why are you here?

antique ringAll that glitters in not gold:Most people feel the diamonds received in inheritance are of a very high value, because their forefathers only bought the best. Not true people not true, get your jewels evaluated on inheritance.

Good vs Bad: There is no such thing as a bad diamond.Diamonds are valued as per certain characteristics they display.

You are not a trader: Do not try to be a trader by exchanging your diamonds and calculating the appreciation you will get, you will likely get burned. Jewelry is a luxury.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is: Don’t get swayed by cheap deals , you get what you pay for.

Clipart_MastermindWe are not a walking price list: Stop asking for rates of diamonds whenever you see our face,we do not walk around with the latest price list in our head all the time.if you have a serious enquiry do come to the office and check.

Business not Trickery:We do work hard for our money, which is what we work for. So don’t grudge us for making it, or try to offer us gifts instead of profit. We are not cheating you,simply running our own businesses, so when there is a difference in buying and selling rate its the basic rule of business.

craftsman

Everything in life is not tangible:the gold does not melt itself into a fine piece of jewellery,making charges are due to the craftsman,he deserves it,don’t cringe about it.

Half knowledge is dangerous:either you do a course on diamonds like we have, and learn the trade OR trust your jeweller,

and lastly,

It maybe the hardest substance on earth but it can crack or chip, It has natural fissures sometimes too.

Now that you know all there is to know from the other side of the fence;

Luxuriate,indulge,flaunt,relish and enjoy,the baubles you hold!!

queen

Don’t forget to clean,polish and get them checked regularly!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

yours truly

So while January has brought with it some exciting times with evening racing set to become a regular feature at the turf club, and a great place for the likes of me to hang out, it has also brought with it the sagging economy which all governments are trying to lift as is ours with our latest ‘make in india’ theme.

I too am trying to make, a little blue book, the one that’ll help fulfil all my dreams of seeing the world, just like our premier does.

I won’t dive into the saga of the no. of trips one has to make back and forth between different offices for the love of seeing it through.

images

But I will speak a little about who i really am. Well i am female, not too tall not too short (just right in my eyes hehe), i pay my taxes, i am an account holder, i am the owner of my own properties, i am the mother of the children, the daughter of my parents, the wife of my husband.

But who said so ?

I mean who is to say i am who i say i am ?

So, for the last few weeks i have been gathering up all these documents that prove that i am really me.

i’ve had my little blue book all my life, which has been issued after much scrutiny and verification, my birth certificate states i was indeed born, the cops have checked me out, turns out i was good, the tax authorities have checked me out, my taxes paid, my school says i passed, yay, my bank says i belong, and my documents say i am an owner,my finger tips scanned, my eyes captured on camera, my ugly chicken pox marks made note of, so each and every time they can stand testimony for my authenticity. So i finally had my little blue book which proved that all those facts are indeed true about me and i am who i am.

Biometrics-Image

In the recent times, having to produce documents after documents along with a valid blue book, made me really wonder about it all. Why was a verified document being further verified with supporting documents which were submitted for the issuance of the final verified document which should now be the only document needed to verify me !!

When sometimes after scanning all 10 finger prints, and eyes, and self attestations of documents provided and notarised by the honourable courts can still not be trusted, then what can ??

It did cross my mind that in future we might have to deposit a dash of blood, a sample of skin, a strand of hair, a pint of pee (in case of spillage), and a lump of poo, along with all the documents for verification.

pee-in-cup-400

And that my friends will not be the hard part, what will be more difficult will be finding the officer incharge who will verify and stamp the fact that the blood, skin, hair,pee and poo are actually yours.

poop in a box

So all you unsuspecting innocents, when going for any such work in the future, remember, pack the stationary shop in your bag, a needle and syringe to draw the blood(sharing in this case is not caring),a ziplock to put your hair in, a bottle to pee in , a box to poo in, and for all those thinking it’s not on the website, well trust me, the website is always up to date, even if it doesn’t say so!

A Happy happy making to all !!