Friday, 20 October 2017
"You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both" - Brene Brown
And it is ok to choose comfort.
This is my first instinct when I read this quote. Not because I don't feel that choosing courage is the wrong choice, but because it is implied that one should choose courage.
Ideally, we would all choose courage and lead perfect lives.
"Life is unfair" - such a clichè and so very true.
As true as the facts that the world is imperfect, the destiny is not in our control, and that life is uncertain.
"You get what anybody gets - you get a lifetime" - Neil Gaiman
I think my instinctive reaction of 'it is ok to choose comfort' comes from my being a mother. I have spent years counseling my kids that at times, you choose what is right for you.
Many a time I feel happier waiting rather than taking any immediate action.
And waiting takes a lot of courage.
So, yes make the choice between courage and comfort. Choose courage even.
But decide for yourself what is courageous.
Do not let the world decide it for you.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."
Choosing serenity over courage is not always the courageous choice. At times, it is the wise choice.
And being wise comes from not having choices.
One of the quotes about courage that Brene Brown mentions as her own favorite is by Oprah Winfrey:
"You get in this life what you have the courage to ask for"
Choose for yourself. Do not judge others.
What you perceive as ‘comfort’ may have been the courageous choice for them.
Monday, 16 October 2017
The basic thought of this post comes from something I read.
Was it a quote? Was it an article? Maybe an interview? I don't remember.
If you have read about this, and know the source, please tell me in the comments below. Thanks.
Disobedience in children is not always a problem.
When I discuss with other mothers about the fact that 'kids don't listen', 'they never agree to anything', etc., I often repeat 'it's good to say no'.
To survive in this cruel world, it is important to be able to say 'no', to be able to disagree, to stand one's own ground.
The first place our children learn to do that is at home. With us, the poor, clueless parents.
If our children did everything we asked them to, if they never chose to stand up against us, imagine the spineless individuals they would grow up to be.
Parenting is about teaching the little monsters to balance between the (hopefully) many yeses and few nos, and to disagree without being rude.
Parenting is also about bowing down to the younger lot often enough for them to know that we consider them as individuals and not as extensions of ourselves.
After all, they is going to be disobedience anyway.
We may, just as well, make the best of it.
Friday, 13 October 2017
I don’t think I really understood the meaning of ‘Bated Breath’ before. Just as I had whispered into her ear ‘I love you’, her brother had cut into the dance. The look in his eye told me that he could sense the life-changing tension between his sister and me. I moved to the back of the room.
Our eyes met across the room. She smiled.
The brother looked around to see who she was smiling at, saw me, and scowled.
Monday, 9 October 2017
The word 'Terminal' reminds me of Tom Hanks and his long, unplanned stay at the airport... Yes, the movie, The Terminal.
The prompt, Terminal of Write Tribe Problogger challenge had me instantly thinking of the movie.
Because the movie ends on a positive note, much of the anxiety that I had felt during the movie drained off.
That is why I love my movies (and books) to have happy endings. Tragic stories, and even more so, the ones with cliffhanger endings have me restless. The duration of the restlessness depends on how much I loved the story in question.
Back to The Terminal...
The man is without country. When I watched the movie for the first time, I thought of my grandfather telling about his experience as a refugee after the partition.
The anger was obvious in his words, even decades after the experience - "We were refugees in our own country".
What is it like to be without country, without home, without a place to go back to at night...
Another instance when I close my eyes and say a quick thanks to God, to universe.
When I wrote the first 'Count Your Blessings' post on my blog, it was because I was feeling grateful. And feeling a little guilty about feeling so.
It was about consciously putting into words the many blessings of life.
The problem I am facing now is that almost anything I start writing about ends up being a 'Count Your Blessings' post. Not how I planned it, but I am not complaining.
Count Your Blessings...
#1 The Luxury to Mourn
#2 Pattern of our Choosing
#3 The simple times
Saturday, 7 October 2017
"Dil Dhoondta hai, phir wahi, fursat ke raat din"
(My heart yearns, once again, the leisurely nights and days)
I have always loved this song.
At one time it just meant free time - the literal meaning.
With time the meaning changed to 'me-time' - time to relax, to read, to meet friends.
Now it means a combination of these two and more.
It means the contentment of being alone... Not feeling lonely.
It means time away from negativity.
It means choosing to put myself first, sometimes.
And the possibility of wishing all of this without feeling guilty.
In that one word, 'fursat' (leisure), there are so many layers.
Things become complicated.
The good, old days of simplicity of thoughts, and the lack of worldly experience. A time when leisure could be just that - leisure.
When the possibility of there being anything more to it never crossed my mind.
Monday, 2 October 2017
There was once a man who would design new patterns of embroidery every day. He loved his job.
A colleague of his would embroider the same designs over and over again day after day.
The man pitied his colleague's monotonous job.
Before leaving for a week-long vacation, he convinced the boss to let the colleague take over his work for the week. The man thought he was doing his colleague a favour.
He returned from the vacation to some beautiful designs by a close-to-breakdown colleague.
Just as designing something new worked for the man, it was the repetitive task that his colleague was comfortable doing.
"Monotony is good"
I have repeated these words often over the last few years.
A couple of years of frequent traveling, followed by shifting house too often, and finally, a major problem in the family. For a while, it seemed that everything 'normal' I loved would be disturbed.
The unadventurous lull after all of this, and I felt thankful, which is where 'monotony is good' came in.
Every time I would feel bored, I would recite them.
This became my version of 'No news is good news'. Status quo means nothing has gone wrong.
Some of us relish adventure, others want the comfort of routines. And most of like a mixture of the two, in varying proportions.
I know people who can't stay at home through a single day. And many others who need time-off at home to get over the stress of a vacation.
The blessing is to have the life that suits your temperament.
Count Your Blessings #1 - Luxury to mourn
Count Your Blessings #1 - Luxury to mourn
Saturday, 9 September 2017
I have been blessed to have known you. I wish I had said these words to you.
I would like to believe that when we, as kids, surrounded you while you told us stories of Guru Nanak Dev ji, you knew we loved you.
When you recited poetry of Shauq, and I was riveted and asked you to go slow so I could write it, you must have realized how much you meant to me.
When you shared your experience of getting married at the age of sixteen, and we wanted to understand what you had gone through, I wish I had asked more questions and have gotten to know more about you.
When you were ranting about what a foolish decision Partition had been, why didn’t we realize that your experiences will become ash with you, if we didn’t listen to them more carefully?
There are regrets, yes. But more than that there is the gratitude that I knew you.
It’s Grandparents’ Day. Over the last ten years or so, all four of you left this world.
Is there any way to make the day special for you still?
It is reminisces like these that make it special.
When I choose to live life to its’ full, it is a celebration with you.
When I strive for the balance between the worlds within and out there and know that it is practically possible, it is my salute to you.
When I know that as an old person, being alone once in a while, is not a cause to be bitter. It just means that one should relish the time with family more, it is me hoping I will be more like you when I am that age.
When ‘actions speak louder than words’ is not just a quotation, it is your caring of me that speaks even today, when you never were one to say much.
By telling my kids to respect elders, always, I share this day with you.
By sitting with family, and sharing anecdotes – inspirational and nostalgic – we make you a part of us again.
By naming our Whatsapp group, ‘Branches of Your Name’, we make you a part of our conversations.
By following your recipe of halwa to the tee, and still failing to get the taste right, I miss you more.
By folding my hands, breathing deeply (as you taught me to), I express my love for you.
I am lucky that my grandparents left me with caring memories, inspirational life stories, and lovely family.
I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents Day. Do share a selfie with your grandparents on Sept. 10, 2017 on Twitter or Facebook with #LoveJatao & tag @blogadda to win a goodie from Parachute Advansed.