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 )

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

 

in reverse order

School’s out FINALLY, we’re done, no more mocks,pre-mocks, pre pre-mocks, pre pre pre-mocks, it’s over, finished, fin!

and true to my stingy nature (like my kids say “cheap”), i couldn’t help assess it all. So many years of studying, what did we gain and what did we lose?

The most glaring part of education in today’s times other than the ridiculous importance of getting a 90%+ score by every student is the need to take PRIVATE TUITIONS.

Nearly every child ends up studying with a private tutor in practically every subject, which makes me wonder what the kids actually learn at school?

(A typical schedule of many an indian child is, 8am-2pm schools hours, 4-7 pm tuitons)

Most parents are dissatisfied with teaching quality at school and if one has to really think about it, we spend DOUBLE THE MONEY,TIME AND EFFORT pursuing the same things(studies), while certain crucial aspects of growth, and learning are almost disregarded(extra curriculars). 

So back to assessing; schools years aged 3-16

ages 3-10 (when mind and body are in learning mode):learn to read and write by play,art and fun methods.

bags-main
no more back breaking bags, please!!

ages 10 onwards (peak years of growth physically and mentally): read and write, absolutely minimum or no more play!

galli cricket
let’s build their backs . . .

At 16 most kids should be pursuing and enjoying a sport or two,because within a few more years they will start working and the sporting years will be behind them,but Indian education system and the lack of space allows for none of that.  The few kids that actually do end up playing and enjoying sports and games  are thanks to their parents efforts or of the privileged few who can afford to be a part of a gymkhana or a club.

Many schools are denied or do not get accreditation because they lack infrastructure (play ground). I do understand the lack of space is a REAL problem, how do we combat that ?

The fact is that a SCHOOL building itself can be the answer to our real estate problems.

Why not convert our schools into play grounds ?

NO i don’t mean ditch the studies altogether, simply introduce a curriculum with books and all, but teaching and studies should be pursued by tutors privately. Then why go to school?

To give exams and pursue sports.

Being a hot country indoor sport is necessary. Dance, art, science- practicals, board games, and organised sport is what can taught in our schools. From Archery to ballet, skating to basketball can be taught in the existing infrastructure.

What this will do, is give every child the opportunity to play a sport /game irrespective of the capacity to join a gym, and giving parents the flexibility to pay for private tuitions based on their pockets and abilities.

Why sport is important ?

Other than boosting physical and mental health, discipline,unity,brotherhood, team-work, leadership, compassion, dealing with cheats, strategising,learning to deal with loss, learning humility in winning, are all attributes learnt through sport and games.

I do understand my concept might sound bizarre and crazy , but then again,breaking the mould is never easy, maybe just maybe, it is time we looked at things differently, and chased after true wealth. The rest will follow!

worldcup
HEALTH IS WEALTH

 

 

 

 

 

i know it’s hard. . .

a wish i wish for someone suffering from cancer,and for everyone out there struggling with what may seem endless, a simple wish to just be happy for this too will pass~

pierrot_3

i know it’s hard,

but smile you must,

for in the unknown we know we trust,

pain and pleasure are but one,

Soothing tears of hurt and joy we weep,

stemming from just ONE soul so deep!

sad baby

i know it’s hard,

but shine you must,

for the light that is you, is only true,

Knowing that things are meant to be,

for every caterpillar must struggle you see,

to emerge the monarch he was meant to be!

monarch-butterfly-c2a9kim-smith-2012-2

i know it’s hard,

but laugh you must,

for Mother Nature is kind and just,

she aches with you and holds up a rattle,

eager to hear that familiar chuckle,

your strength you bear will n’er let you buckle!

happy babylaughing babytoothless smile

i know it’s hard,

but glow you must,

the tide is high, but it’s changing too,

taking us all to places new,

the salt will burn as will the sun, but without a tan, now what’s the fun,

while we swim on, light house never out of sight,

she watches and knows how much we can fight,

just when we think we can do no more,

there comes a wave and washes us ashore,

safe at last we collapse with a smile,

salty and glowing on the sand we loll,

we burst out in laughter,

for this is just a game, like a roller coaster,

with no real end and no real after!

be_happy

reading between the smoke rings

cigarette between lipsThe setting was perfect, a carrom board set up on make do stool, easy listening music playing in the back ground, Cy my then dear friend, and Bruno (the most handsome cocker spaniel in the world) my dog  next to me on the floor with his head resting on my lap,and air conditoning (a luxury back then).

Cy was the mature street smart friend, who smoked. The smell of cigarettes in an a/c room was simply divine. So in between games he would light up, like the cool marlboro man. Having a fascination for smokers (who always had a certain air about them back then), i decided to try a smoke.

So under the guidance of my seasoned smoker friend, i took my first drag. Wow, not even a cough. I liked it!  And so my nicotine habit started. Of course having a friend who could supply me the cigarettes made it much easier, i dared go to the corner shop to buy one. Girls don’t smoke!!

Back then i couldn’t reveal that i smoked openly even to all my friends. The guys were either very protective or judgemental ,and felt it was bad for my health and lectured me in between drags (they all smoked) how bad it was for me physically, not to mention for my ‘image’. I guess thanks to this hypocrisy i never became a full fledged smoker, and restricted my smokes to my room, or when i was in the company of fellow girlfriends, who didn’t mind or smoked too.But it never deterred me, and i felt a twinge of anger at being told i couldn’t do what is socially acceptable of any male.

Many of the girls i have met say they smoke only on holidays. They usually prefer the mint flavours. It becomes apparent that the taste for nicotine is not always really there (some genuinely enjoy it), but the need to be accepted and free is. The need to feel free and not guarded constantly under the lens of  self professed authority, comes disguised in a  small white packet. What better way to break the rules, even if they are in the privacy of one’s own room, than to blow smoke on them!

girl smoking

Now almost 2 decades later, we are witnessing a rising number of lady smokers, who choose to smoke openly and not feel the need to be apologetic for the same. It seems like more girls smoke in proportion to their male counterparts.

This is not shocking,but an eventuality.  I have met many girls who will wear shorts, and enjoy a smoke and a drink, within the confines of their bedroom walls. Many have the support of their husbnds, but keep things under wraps to “adhere” to the laws of the in~laws.One young lady on getting married was told she now had to give her entire salary to her in laws and could not support her own parents.Where once women used to give in, she, took a stand, and decided to quit her job. Her in laws did realise their unfairness,and have now “allowed” her to support her own parents.

After generations of submission, theyoung ones are speaking their minds and expect to get the same level of respect as they give.In truth it has nothing to do with smoking and everything to do with being judged and controlled. It’s not the only change we are witnessing these days,a rise in womens’ roles in different jobs which were once only male driven, the high rate of divorce also signifies, a change. An attitudinal shift. Tolerance levels have plummeted, and women now choose to stand tall and not give in where they don’t wish to.

Change is ever constant and hopefully will lead to a more settled accepting society. Where mutual respect exists, and the rebellions don’t feel the need to rebel anymore and where;

‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ becomes a way of life,

until then for every moral confinement there will be a few more smoke rings rising up in the air!

 

reason-that-i-will

 

 

love thy neighbour . . . .

Good Sunday morning to all, groggy good morningunless some of you are waking up groggy from the heavy partying of Saturday night or worse couldn’t sleep because of others partying away until the wee hours of the morning.

No matter how many cups of coffee or tea you down , the restful weekend rejuvenation you looked forward to is written off, and maybe you can go watch that movie or go out shopping with your family another day, as the afternoon will be needed for that much needed sleep you lost last night.

Once again, the apparent  existence of  apathy in our society has raised it’s ugly head, in the form of a party having to be quietened down by the intervention of the authorities.

Why, I’ve always wondered,why, does it have to come down to this?

baraatSince we were young children we have dealt with functions being held on grounds in our neighbourhoods reserved for ‘green relief’, being rented out for weddings ,where the thumping bands, the deafening baraats,
and the early morning bidaai’s were a regular affair, leaving us sleepless and cursing every wedding that took place. Weekends came with dreadful evening. Endless calls to the authorities led to no avail, until we decided to pack up and leave.

In our posh new neighbourhood, we looked forward to some peace and decorum.

Well, well what a surprise we had in store. Just because people belong to a different strata of society doesn’t really mean that they behave much differently.

Culture of course is inherent and cannot be bought with money. So here too, we did have to contend with parties going on till the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes, the neighbours warned us in advance, “tonight we are having a party, so be warned “.sleepless Like that really is going to help. My 90 year old grandma lived with us at that point in time and one bad night of sleep meant many days to recover.

I too am guilty of having thrown a couple of parties,(even though my parents always warned us that we should be careful not to disturb others),but I guess at some point, I have suffered callous behavior and could not be bothered to care.If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Although, this adopted attitude by me didn’t last very long.

Many of us have complained and suffered, with noisy parties.

noise cancelling headphones neighbour noise

What has always perturbed me, is how does it not occur to people that their actions are the cause of distress to others. Why would they want to be a nuisance to others. I’m sure even they have been through times when they have been disturbed by others’ actions, shouldn’t this be a lesson of what not to do.

Celebrate, throw a party, by all means, but be aware of surroundings and neighbourhoods. If a party must be thrown with loud music, keep it contained so it stays within the four walls it’s meant for.

Have the grand wedding you’ve always dreamed of, but don’t let it become your neighbours’ nightmare.

Life is short, let your celebrations be a time where everyone wishes you well, not a time of dread for all.

It’s time to start making a noise, about not making a noise!!

noise2

on a wing and a prayer

 

Germanwings-plane-crash-567556

I opened my eyes and said the customary good morning to Cy, and the rest of the family members. Settling down with my morning cuppa.  Reaching out for the newspaper purely out of habit, I thought, now what has the harbinger of bad news brought to us.

Germanwings had gone down mysteriously the previous day and now they had to determine, why the pilot had done what he had.

CY being from the profession is always at the receiving end of many questions , particularly  when an incident in aviation takes place. Questions range from , What work do you have , all you do is switch on auto pilot right? ,to, Have you had to deal with any emergency while flying?

Most people are unaware of the responsibility, the grueling training, the hours of reading (continuously as weather and circumstances for very take off and landing are different), that go into a job of this kind.

do-it-rightThe hours of work range from all nighters crossing different time zones , eating whatever is available, sleeping at times permitted by the roster. Coupled with the fact that one may be doing a flight eastwards before being sent westwards, during the span of 7-8 days, which could mean extreme hot to cold conditions within the same week. Listening  to the crew’s flying hours, schedules, time patterns of sleep and food, can be tiring in itself. Their blood reports  even  give  doctor’s palpitations.

The usual is prescribed along with medicines, “regular” sleep to counter fatigue,  “regular” exercise, “regular” food habits. The medicines are swallowed and the rest is tried ,by fitting it into the irregular pattern on their work. Sleep time is anywhere between landing time till the next day take off. Meals are adjusted as per the country one is in. Anyone, who has been hungry in a hotel and tried to order ‘diet’ food, would know the challenges there.

I have immunized myself to the fact that there is a risk involved in my husbands  job, and do watch and understand Crash Investigations, a program that   throws light on reasons as to why crashes have taken place.

Most crash reports where ‘pilot error’ has been known to be the main cause, has had a further history behind it. The reason why many of the highly experienced pilots have gone down has been because of cumulative fatigue , studies of  their flight patterns or schedules of days leading up to the crash. In a job where when needs to be highly alert, lack of sleep and extreme exhaustion can lead to that one tiny error that affects so many lives.

blame_gameStrangely though, the issue of fatigue has not been addressed at all. The motive behind the investigations is primarily to pin the blame so that companies may not be held responsible. The case of an american senior Captain, when he lost his sanity temporarily, was linked to fatigue. His name was cleared, he was allowed to fly after 1 year of investigation, on condition that he report fit before every flight. Again, the fatigue factor was over looked completely.

The most recent germanwings  crash has brought on a new angle , mental health of crew will be checked. Seriously??? Isn’t it ludicrous!!

exhaustionHealth checks on a regular basis is for company benefit and precautionary, but the ROOT CAUSE leading to the health issues whether mental or physical are many a times PURE FATIGUE.

The companies in a quest to make ends meet in a fast paced highly competitive environment  are trying to get every ounce of work worth the salary out of their staff, while the staff have no choice in the game of survival to keep going till they burn out.

Introducing , marriage laws (because apparently married crew are more happy and sane-solutions by Turkish air), or checking for mental health, are silly balms for superficial healing , in a hope for a miracle cure.Unfortunately, there is no quick fix.

The situation no doubt is a ‘Catch 22’  and faced by most industries in today’s times-this tug of war between staff and management will keep bringing one or the other down if a deep rooted balance is not found soon.

Young management professionals will keep collapsing trying to work 14-15 hour shifts, and trains will keep derailing every now and again, planes will continue to fall out of the sky, heart conditions will become a problem for the youth, unless. . . .

We  slow down the pace globally, if not, the only roses we will stop to smell will be the ones on our graves, sooner rather than later.. . .

stop and smell the roses