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I have introduced you to most of my family members by now. May be not directly but indirectly by rumbling about them or gossiping (did I?). Today, meet another member of the family who has never been mentioned here before. Please forgive me for having the audacity to introduce him. He is omnipresent. But today, he will be here as physical part of our family and not the one you know.

He has turned 3 today, in the most beautiful and stunning ways, just as a child.  He came home unplanned, something that was decided on the spur of moment, just like most of our life has. (You all know by now, don’t you?).

The moment he came home, our pooja room and home turned special for us. We felt a sense of belongingness, a feeling of having someone elderly in our home, as A & I stay alone. His presence has been pure bliss. When feeling lonely, I talk to him, no…I blabber. I thank him when I am happy, I fight with him when I am angry; I complain to him about people who make life bit difficult, I seek his forgiveness when I go wrong; I crib when I have loads of work (at home or office); I crib when I don’t have much work; I seek his intervention when in dilemma, and so on.

In short, he is my punching bag, a friend, a mentor, a guide, and a partner in crime too. When no one understands you, when you are taken for granted by all, when life sucks, when life is a joy, he is the one who shares all. He doesn’t talk back in a way I can understand. It’s only in moments of bliss, the moments which are very very rare, that you can feel his shoulder to cry on.

Our food has turned into prashadam since the day he came. Five-star chocolates have become a part of our diet (and one of the reasons of my weight gain). Never was I so religious or spiritual to take this step. A was. A’s companionship has given me this greatest gift among all.

Ironically, Krishna, as the world knows him, is our father. But as ‘Baal Gopal’, his child avatar, or as our Shree Mohana (this is the name he has chosen), he is our child. We will be parents when the time comes, but before that, our ‘Bal Gopal’ has made us feel like parents, and children, at the same time. That’s his Leela.

A very happy 3rd birthday Shree Mohana ji! Happy Janamashtami!!!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

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Do you agree?

(www.youthconnectmag.com)

(www.youthconnectmag.com)

Read this beautiful piece in today’s newspaper and thought of sharing it with you. And no, it’s not the only reason to share (as I read thousand of things every day worth sharing that i usually don’t share). To be true to myself, I am sharing it coz somewhere deep down my heart, it reaffirms my belief in the kind of life I have chosen for myself. When I opted out of full-time job scene 3 years ago (and took to freelancing), there were only questions & questions from everyone I met. My answers (of there being more to life than just job) hardly convinced anyone. I have survived lot of negativity to continue my efforts of finding peace & happiness in my life. It’s a bit morale-booster when you read something like this that reaffirms your conviction in your beliefs. A small ray of hope of being in the right direction when all the voices around you say otherwise…

 

Read this…

We are living in a world of professions. In the present world, it is mostly your profession that defines your identity. Everyone is Mr Profession or Ms Profession. The profession-oriented life is the generally accepted lifestyle of every man and woman.
 
 
Having a profession means living according to the dictates of the “money market”. And everyone tries to develop a professional skill that enables him to be a sharing partner in the flow of money in the market. This culture has resulted in a new phenomenon that was absent in former times, that is, living in accordance with external requirements and setting aside internal requirements. In other words, you no longer live according to what is required by your inner nature.
 
 
The result is that while everyone is a developed personality in terms of his profession, in terms of his own nature, everyone is an underdeveloped personality.
 
 
Take anyone at random and ask him about his profession. He will readily give you specific answers. If you speak to him about his professional subject, he will give you a detailed answer for every question. But, if you ask him about those issues which pertain to human life, that is, non-professional issues, then you will find that he is not mentally prepared to discuss this subject.
 
 
Once I was in a city in Europe, where I happened to meet a learned man. When I asked him about his profession, I found that he was well-disposed to share information with me. I learnt a lot from him regarding his professional field. But, at the same time, he was uncomfortable with his wife and admitted that he had decided to separate from her. I asked him the reason. He replied with some confidence: “She is an adamant person and I don’t like adamant people.” I said that his wife was doing a very tough job and so she had to be adamant to be successful in it. But, I failed to convince him. The reason was that he knew the science of profession, but was quite ignorant of the science of life.
 
 
This is true of every man and woman. Every person is living in a culture of duality. When it comes to their profession, everyone is well-equipped. But, as far as the science of life is concerned, everyone is ill-equipped. This is so common that finding an exception is very difficult.
 
 
It is not a question of balance; it is a question of priority. I am not saying that everyone should keep a balance between these two requirements. I am saying that everyone has to rightly set, or reset his priorities.
 
 
The problem is that when you try to reset your priorities, you fear that you are going to damage your commercial interests, because when your mind is engaged in intellectual issues, it will not be able to engage in money-related issues. You gain one thing, but at the same time you lose another. But, this is not a genuine excuse. You should not think in terms of money: you should think rather in terms of intellectual development. Intellectual development is so important that no excuse for neglecting it is acceptable. Adopt a simple formula: make intellectual development your first priority and then try to manage all other aspects of your life.
 
 
A lack of intellectual development is not a very simple matter. And it is the lack of intellectual development which has resulted in all those problems that are common in our present age, for example, tension, unnecessary disease, lack of peace of mind and losing that very thing that man so desperately wants – happiness.
Here’s the link:

http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-articles/new-age/living-in-a-world-of-professions

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By now, you all know how I met the love of my life two years ago. What you don’t know is what happened in between. There were many moments of shock & awe. I am confused as to how to share so much info with you all and in which chronological order. As in matters of heart, most of the things are left unsaid. Still, here’s a humble try to fill in the blanks. More than sharing, it is for myself that I am preserving those moments by recording them right here in my blog.

Day 1 (Nov 11, 2012)

A and his family came to meet me and my folks. I with my parents went to a restaurant on the highway. On the way, we picked up A’s parents and brother and sis-in-law, who were coming directly from Saharanpur. The first person I saw was A’s father and I must say that I was mighty impressed with his appearance. Tall, slim, as white as milk, French beard, topped with suit and boot…a complete aristocratic look.

A had arrived the previous day from Delhi and stay put with his brother in Chandigarh. He was coming along with them directly from there. After almost an hour’s wait, arrived A. It was nothing like love at first sight, not because something was amiss but just because (as I mentioned in my prev post) I was too skeptical about this arranged set-up.

This was the first day I saw A. He entered smilingly in a crisp white shirt. My first thoughts on seeing him were, “Not bad, a pretty decent guy.” One thing that stood out was his smile, which was quite attractive. I and A sat down for a round table conversation to discuss the most important aspect of our lives. To be honest, it was just another meeting with another guy at that moment. The conversation started with “So…what do you do?” and believe me, it was the only sensible question we asked each other.

Then we talked informally and the conversation veered from nature, the stars, the sky, our introvert nature and how we both avoid crowd and our needs to spend some quality time alone. Then, there was silence. What to talk next? I realized we talked nothing about anything that would help us in arriving at some decision. To take the flow towards some sensible talking, I asked him, “What kind of a girl are you looking at?” and laughed at myself for the question, as I hated this question from the core of my heart. Many people had asked me this before, and I always replied, “To whom my heart says yes.”
And oila, he gave the same answer to my question.

Day 2 (Nov 14, 2012)

We went over to their place. I and A were again seated across a table discussing all things but matrimony. We talked about all the vague things, from food to families to fun. Then, again a long gap. Now I thought what’s the use of this conversation? Is it helping us in deciding on something? I mean it’s okay to talk about varied things, but they should be directed towards some the aim. So, I say, “Is there anything you want to ask me that will help in arriving at some decision?” No, said A.

I thought now what? It seemed like a dead end. “Okay then, lemme know about further course of action. Is it Yes, No or you want more meetings to decide, just let me know whenever,” I said, because I was answerable to the families who were involved with us. “I toh like you a lot,” said A. I was shocked & surprised in that fraction of second. “No, still take your time and then decide,” I reiterated. He said I am saying I like you. I again said, “Good to know but still think.”

He smiled and said, “Ab toh aap na hi karwa ke manegi.” I smiled too & that was our fleeting moment of whatever you may choose to call that emotion.

Now all this was between me & A. I got no chance to talk to my family after this. We all then went to A’s house where we had tea and chit chatted. There were many family members in the house then and I think they were discussing among themselves about the whole thing. As a courtesy gesture, everyone approved of every other person and of course me & A. It was to be a normal meeting and my family was looking forward to going back home and seeing how things progress, when suddenly A’s mother said, “We like the girl a lot and would like to make her ours tomorrow.” What!!! I almost fainted.

Me & my family got a bit confused as we were not prepared for this. My mom in a bid to save the situation said, “yes, yes, sure. Let me ask my daughter first if she okay with everything.” Amidst this, everyone started asking me my decision. I said “Yes, I am okay with the guy.”

Now my family fainted. They were completely taken aback. How come their daughter (who used to fight with them over this issue of how can she say yes to a guy after only meeting twice, and that she wants at least 6 months with the guy before deciding on marriage) could say yes like this. Immediately, my mom came close to me and asked, “Tell me, are you okay with it. Should we say yes?” I said, “Yes.” She was still not convinced and thought it was just a courtesy Yes. Also, we were in minority as we just the 5 of us. A’s family was much larger in number and they were all happy, jolly & positive about the alliance and in such a large set up, it was tough to take a personal call on the issue.

I mean it was not that I had any doubts about my decision regarding A. It was just that we, as a family of 5, got no chance to discuss the whole thing. The families got taking about how to proceed further. A’s happiness was there for all to see & I am sure he would have seen mine. In this all hullabaloo, my brother came to me and asked secretly, “Didi are you sure about your decision. There is no pressure. Just tell me if you have any slightest of doubt.” I smiled and said no. I could understand his concern. Even I was shocked how could I take this decision so fast. It was just plain destiny, nothing else.

Before leaving, Dad told them that though we are okay with everything, we cannot say yes before seeking our Guru’s approval. A’s family got bit disappointed. They thought we were seeking time.

Nov 17, 2012

We met our Guruji who gave his blessings and gave dates for the wedding, 30th Nov, 2012 & Jan 17, 2013. The moment we came out after meeting him, my dad called up A’s and gave him the good news. The families sort of went into hysteria. Even I could not believe it was happening. A kind of riot broke out. Nobody could contain their happiness, it was overflowing. Our families decided to keep the engagement ceremony the next day, as it was Sunday & a day that suited all. It was too quick for me to swallow but it was a happy change. However, in all this over-excitement, our families fixed up our wedding for Nov 30th. I was not at all happy with such a rush. After all, I had met A only twice. I wanted at least some time to know him better. I tried to convince my family to postpone the date but they were too happy to listen to me. All my happiness vanished thinking of marriage within few days. It was totally unacceptable to me. When A called up to congratulate me, we were both amused at our engagement the next day. I asked him if he was okay with the marriage date, he said it was too fast but okay. I told him I am not okay and want to postpone it. He said he was rushing from Delhi to Saharanpur and would come to Ambala midway to discuss things.

The things went a bit out of control from hereon. It was 5 pm already and we were still in Chandigarh. Preparations had to be done for the engagement the next day at 11 am. On our way back to Ambala, discussions after discussions followed about the whole thing but the wedding date proved to be a dampener. I was lost totally. My family was in no mood to relent. They were shocked as to why I was not happy and I was shocked at their decision. It was an emotional turmoil. I cried & cried but got no support from anyone, except my brother who was in Pune at that time. He understood my point and tried to convince my family. They finally said if A is okay with postponing the date, only then they will do so.

A reached my home at 11 in the night. My eyes were fluffy due to all the crying. From there, we went to a nearby restaurant and discussed the turn of events. I simply told him one thing, ” Whatever happens will happen, but I don’t want to marry a stranger. At least we should be friends before we see each other in the mandap. Rest I leave to God.” He didn’t say much and told me to let the things happen as they are happening.

Nov 18, 2012

It was to be one of the most b’ful day of my life, but with too much of stress for us as a family. Booking a restaurant, managing the whole function, and to top it all, getting the engagement rings. We got a shop opened at 10 am and shortlisted the best from whatever rings we had. Whoa, what a day!

Finally, we got engaged and the WOW moment was when before exchanging the rings, A told me he has talked to his family and they have decided to postpone the wedding to Jan 17, 2013. Can’t tell you what a moment it was. It was the beginning of love & respect for the man who was to be my soulmate. It was the best gift he gave to me. For, the next two months were the most b’ful months of my life.

Finally, on Jan 17, 2013, amidst dark clouds, thunderstorm and rains, we took our sacred vows of marriage and began our b’ful journey of togetherness.

Happy Anniversary A! You mean the world to me!!!

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Why I Cannot Be Rich!

rich 1

Pic: From Net

After more than 3 decades of my existence on this earth, I am finally convinced that I cannot be rich (financially) in this birth. Few years ago, I had some hopes of making it big in life and being a part of the famous ‘rags to riches’ story that will take the world (okay…make it country) by storm. I kept hoping against hope that may be some day, my stars will shine, throwing away Rahu, Ketu and Shani out of my horoscope and placing Kuber devta in my life. But not anymore.

Now I am fully convinced that me & money have a long way to go before we become friends, and I have my own reasons for that…

rich

Pic: From Net

 

I don’t wish it from my heart

I am a firm believer of the fact that if you want something from deep inside your heart, you get it without a doubt (or jab kisi cheez ko dil se chaho to sari kainat tumhe usse milane me lag jati hai, it sounds musical this way, no?). You know what it is to wish for something with your heart & soul? When day & night, you feel a void and pray for “that something” to fill your life. It could be anything, something as inane as a good dress to a palatial house, some good professional position, certain kind of a lifestyle, some sacred relationships to a spiritual high. It could be anything & money certainly is not that in my life. And believe me, it cannot happen without God’s evil (or good) plans (I don’t want to upset God more). Whenever I decide that enough is enough and I need to pray to God and ask for money, something happens in my head and heart, and the prayer for money never comes. I have tried this many times but always failed. Hence, I am not rich. Sigh!!!

 I don’t want to work full-time

In spite of working for almost 10 years, I gave up my full-time job a few years ago and don’t intend to join the rat race anytime soon (God willing). I do want to work but not full-time. Since then, I have been taking up freelance & contractual projects, through which I earn peanuts. In spite of many decent options, I am not yet ready to give up my freedom to earn some bucks. I have earned the tag of “just being a housewife”, have been accused of “wasting my education” but none of these allegations have made me change my decision. My freedom is still my priority. So, at a time when most of my friends are employed and building on their assets like a house, property for investment, big cars, saving for kids…I am the odd one out who is just watching other people grow rich. Sigh!!!

P.S: To top it all, most of the time, it’s family & friends who want just some little help with writing, proofing or just polishing some work (remember my post on Parrot). Even now, I have work piling up on my table but (yes, you guessed it right) it’s all for free. Sigh!!!

Saving is not in my genes

Saving? Did I say saving? What is that…I think I read or heard this word somewhere, may be in a dictionary or business channel… coz this word does not exist in my word list. No matter how much money I earned, my bank balance never grew. It remained the same. Credit is what comes, debit is what goes, I learned this definition only after watching Fukrey, not before that. With such poor financial knowledge and planning, do you think I can be rich? I know the answer. Sigh!!!

If I have to choose between ‘Think & Grow Rich’ and ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ , I will choose the latter

(Pic: From Net)

(Pic: From Net)

(Pic: From Net)

(Pic: From Net)

Don’t know why but I will. I have been reading spiritual (it started with self-help) books since ages, even when the time was to read “Get rich quickly types of book.” May be I thought if God was on my side, who will need the money. The irony is I have become a perfect case of “Maya Mili Na Ram”. Sigh!!!

Between rich husband and love, I chose Love

(Pic: From Net (cartoonstock.com)

(Pic: From Net (cartoonstock.com)

If you cannot be rich, marry a rich guy or vice-versa. I, however, went the other way round and chose love. So, whatever last hopes I had of money flowing in my bank account, were dashed. Sigh!!!

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Beautiful Beginning!

Beautiful Beginning!

DSC_666618 nov 2014

It was a usual day. Same life, same people but with an unusual excitement in the heart and a feeling of disbelief. I was getting engaged after meeting a guy only twice, within a span of one week. This day, 2 years ago (gosh! it’s been 2 years?). It’s hard to believe it happened this quickly. I mean, imagine a guy comes from nowhere and becomes the center of your life, and vice versa.

Destiny, you do whatever you want to do man or woman!

It all started with one matrimonial site, which my dad used to scan with utmost dedication in the hope of finding a suitable match for her daughter. Amidst endless pics of guys, all eligible bachelors, I used to wonder, “Will my prince charming come out of these pics?”

The story began in year 2011 when this guy, let’s call him A, sent an interest on my matrimonial profile, which was rejected by my father for the reasons best known to him.

An year later, my dad sent him an interest, which was accepted by A,  who later claimed that he kept waiting & waiting for an interest from my side, as guided by his inner instinct. Both (my dad & A) decide to take the matter a step further by sharing more details when A suddenly disappeared from the scene (as he had caught dengue). Dad thought A not interested anymore and forgot about him.

One day, dad receives a mail from A, saying he was not well,  that he apologize for the delay and now wants to take things further. My sis reads the mails and asks dad to talk to the guy once again.

Dad told me about A and as usual, I was not much interested in meeting anyone. I was fed up of this process and not interested in marriage,  that too an arranged one. To top it all, when dad told me that A was from Saharanpur, UP, the remaining interest vanished (no offence intended). Saharanpur??? I mean, “Never,” I said.

My brother convinced dad to at least fix up a meeting and say “No” after meeting the guy. There’s no harm in it,” he said, and dad bought to his argument.

A meeting was fixed for 11th Nov, 2012.

Day 1: 11th Nov, 2012

Venue: A city restaurant in Ambala

No. of people at the venue: 11 (what!!! 2 people are to meet and 9 people to help them in the process.) It’s another thing that these 9 people played a key role in hooking us up.

Everyone ordered food…A separate table was laid for me & A…(My dad says, “aa jao beta, sit separately and chat aaram se.” (I wanted to vanish as I hated this set up from the core of my heart). We (me & A) shifted to the adjacent table and began the formal chit chat. All the others who had come also tried to bond and pass their time eating & chatting, while looking at me & A from the corner of their eyes. Meeting over…we joined the family table…smiled to all…with everyone trying to behave as normal as possible.

Now, A’s family invited us to Saharanpur and we meet for the second time there.

Day 2: 14 Nov, 2012

Venue: A city restaurant

No. of people at the venue: 15 (no comments)

Same process is repeated. We sat in a corner of a restaurant in an attempt to make the biggest decision of our lives. After the meeting, me & A gave our nod for each other and the families rejoice. My family seeks some more time for the final approval, as we had to take our Guru’s permission. After his nod on Nov 17 at 3 pm sharp (I still remember the exact time), my dad calls up A’s dad and our engagement was fixed for the next day.

Day 3: 18 Nov, 2012

We exchanged rings with lots of love in our hearts, the blessings of our family members and the dreams of a happy future. In one week, my status changed from “Single” to “Engaged”. In next 2 months, it will change from “Engaged” to “Happily Married”!!!

{PS: Dad, (more…)

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god's plansWhat an eventful year it has turned out to be. It was one hell of a roller coaster ride, the most dramatic one I ever had in my life. Full of lots of downs and downs and a few ups. It was the year that almost reached a nadir in terms of everything I had in life; job, money, my friends, my identity, and many many things that defined me and my life, socially. Almost everything was given up or taken away, depending on the way one looks at it.

I gave up my full-time job (or was forced to) at the beginning of this year due to some adverse situations. Blessed that I always was, I got work-from-home option for three months to avoid resignation. Still, nothing could be done much and in March 2012, I quit. Among many other reasons, the need for a sabbatical was a dominating factor. After 9 years of work, I wanted a different perspective on life. Never wanted my life to be defined merely by my work and hence, I am happy I took that decision.

To earn my bread and butter, I took up part-time options and freelancing. This gave me a life I was carving for. Ample time at home and with myself, less work pressure, freedom from negativity and no more interference of all and sundry about what I should do with my life.

However, pitfalls of this decision were more than the perks. There was less money to survive and the social identity (about which I never cared though) was lost in this mayhem. The question marks were many, sarcasm was evident in everyone’s words.

Thirty-two, single, and now unemployed, the statistics were not getting any better. It hardly mattered to me but somewhere affected my family. Though they always supported me fully and gave me the strength to go ahead, but still as my parents and siblings, their concern was natural.

My plan was clear: after a laid-back 2012, shift base to Delhi in January 2013 for a full-fledged professional life and earn well to lead a single woman’s life. But before January could come, God intervened, as he always does whenever I dare to plan. I got engaged, against all hopes and odds! Life took a 360-degree turn.

What I had planned was thrown down the drain and God gave me a new life altogether, something I was not anticipating at all. Fortunately, “I am loving it!” and at this moment the only thing my heart is saying is, “God’s plans are always better than ours!”

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Life is all about learning what the title of the post says, ‘How to turn obstacles into an opportunity’, and it’s not so easy.  But if  you learn it once, life is fun and full of rich experiences.

My life too has been a roller coaster one, with ups and downs in plenty. Only when  things go beyond control,  you realize you are nobody. Life gives you what it has to…you like it or not. Strangely, my life at the moment  is just what i had always wanted, except a few things. And still, these few things make all the difference. It’s very strange but I have to admit, in the past few months, whatever i asked for was given to me. I said God, please do this, and it happened. God , please this too, and amen…i was amused, but the feeling  was shortlived. H gave me all i wanted but took away some of the things i had. Got the point? I kept getting all i wanted and kept losing some of the things i had.  God is a smart player, he never gives you 100 %.

The past few months have been very trying, and it’s usually in the bad times that you learn the most. The cycle usually goes like this:

1. Something bad happens (only as per our perception, you later realize it is a part of God’s larger plan)

2. You refuse to accept it, find it extremely tough to deal with

3. You then do everything under the sun to change it

4. You crave for things to be normal

5. All your efforts fail to  move things even to an inch

6. Slowly and slowly you realize it’s beyond your control

7. Gradually, you start accepting the way things are

8. You still question your life, and millions other things, and start looking for answers, rising above the mundane living.

9. You learn patience, gratitude, how to be calm even in trying times and endless other things that nothing else but suffering can teach you. ( you realize it only later)

10. And after that long period of suffering, one fine day  you come to know that you have started loving this new life of yours, and it’s just a matter of time before you realize, “Hey, this is what i had always dreamt of! I so badly wanted my life to be like this. Thank God for this wonderful life.”

11. What was it, how did it happen, u felt you were suffering and today you are rejoicing in its outcome.

12. That’s because your suffering was the transition period, nobody loves change, we fear it, we prefer living our life the way it has been for all these years just coz we fear failing, what if things don’t happen the way i want? What will people say? What will…and many wills…

13. That’s why God takes charge, as he knows you will prefer same life rather than experimenting with it.  He wants you to experience everything, not just good but the bad too and all that in-between.  He wants to give you something priceless, and he knows you won’t be able to get it for yourself because of our limited perception.

14.  To get something worthwhile, even the suffering has to have some level.  And it’s something we never chose for ourselves, the timings are entirely his.

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