I write so I can breathe. I am constantly evolving, mindless at times, frustrating even perhaps but heck, I wouldn't change the smell of freedom that comes with writing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Those Who Made a Difference - 2

I am so glad that I sat down yesterday to begin to thank those who touched my life in such significant ways this year. It makes me feel blessed. It also got me thinking that in our daily lives we have so many special moments that we tend to overlook because we focus so much on what isn't happening right. Yes, it's fine to right a wrong. It is also important to acknowkedge a right. The best things in life are priceless. I do think it is also important that people know they have made a difference, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed then in their eyes.

So...the journey continues...

I also realise in the journey of thanking so many, I have, in fact, managed to erase the misery of some really troubled times because these people were around. I am smiling today. Much as I owe it to myself, I owe it to countless others who had to gently move me in that direction.

Reg Athwal. My mentor. I do not meet you every day. I do not speak to you every day. Somehow, I have managed to find you there right when I needed to. The BIRDS works for me. I always have those breakthroughs, those ideas, those reminders, those decisions starting at me in the face. Thank you for opening that window through which the light came in. It has helped me move to better days and I look ahead with so much of promise. Thank you for being there. You have some timing!

Rakhi. My twin. My sibling. Endless conversations on the phone has made such a huge difference. I like the fact that I can un-hide all my madness and be myself. I cherish that comfort and sense of belonging I get from you. A joke is funnier, men become hotter and colder, life becomes a bitch and then heaven...all depending on how we have felt...randomness and clarity. I cannot have that with another sibling. You are my rock. I love you!

Vivian. When I think of you, I smile. I know I have pulled your leg and always gotten away with it. I needed to joke around and you always made it fun. Hug your little one for me. I love you.

Rohini. Aha. It really doesn't matter how often people meet. You have been a source of laughter and fun somehow without us meeting each other all the time. For someone I meet so rarely, (and that's a blue blue moon) I feel a connection of life with you. Thank you for making this year one of smiles for me. You reminded me of how okay it is to be yourself....and one big lesson of...if you have a problem, its yours, not mine...that we needn't be so hard on ourselves. Here are big hugs to you. I love you!

Pinni Bhabhi. My sounding board. My motivation. I cannot tell you how much joy and spirit you bring to my life. I speak to you and I feel better and it begins with that first hello on the phone. A big japphi to you. You rock my world fabulously and you are one of my most favourite people on the planet! I love you.

Gaurav. Aarti. Thank you for not judging. It is never easy to do that. I love you both.

Mahesh. Rimpy. You are such big-hearted people. Thank you for some really good shared moments just when I needed it. Hugs!

Anuja Upadhyay. I met you after decades. I didn't think you would remember me. There is a reason while we are children, we look up to our seniors in school. Despite not directly spending any time with you in school, you made it seem the most natural thing to accept me for who I am. I felt a shared connection. Thank you for realizations. They help. Hugs!

Bindi. Sister. Friend. I cannot think of you without thinking of how much laughter is there in my life when you are around. Thank you for sticking by when most walked out. You are loved and cherished immensely. I love you.

Chitra. Parina. My women Fridays. You have gone out of your way to be such large-hearted people. Thank you for making my travels and stays in various places such a matter of convenience. Thank you for being there. Hugs!

Nitin. Little did I know when I met you that you would bring with you such wonderful set of people in my life. Thank you for making things quicker, for being there right when I needed you. Hugs.

Anupama Vinayak. You are a life-saver! And you know why. I couldn't have managed what I did manage without you. Thank you ever so much.  

Gul Mama. Nancy Aunty. Steven. Ria. Thank you for not making me feel like an outcast. Your support and acceptance of me for simply being me is cherished. God Bless. Hugs.

Ejemen. Fun woman. You made it all so easy for me to be the silly mad person I am when I am with friends. Thank you for lighting up my life. Thank you for also bringing to me a world of more fun people. Love you!

Haresh. Harsha. You were always supportive and quietly so. Thank you for all the times you have helped me in my journey this year. God Bless!

Jackie. You lit my little one's life and gave her one of the best days during the vacation in Dubai. Thank you for being there. Dubai is memorable because you made it fun and special. Thank you. It was much needed. Hugs!

Kapil. My wingman. In all these years I have had you as a friend, you have always made it a point to ensure I always felt special. Thank you for making me feel gorgeous. I love you. Hugs.

Roy. Thank you for being my sounding board. I will always miss the perspective. Thank you for being such a huge help. Hugs.

Naren. Pops, thank you for the laughter you have brought to my life. You have such a big heart. Hugs!

Onir. Sanjay. I AM moved me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the I AM family. You guys rock. I love you!

Naresh. Thank you for being around. Thank you to Ankita for being such a sweetheart with Megs. God Bless. 

Barkha. We didn't meet half as often but thank you for lending me that ear when I wanted to talk. Thank you to Sallu and Vinky for being such sweethearts with Megs. I love you!

Saif. My first thought is a laugh. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being there. Thank you for the countless support on Twitter and protecting me from unwanted people. I am glad we are friends. Hugs!

Puja. Bindu. Vinay. Navtej.  Thank you for your constant support, the banter and the smiles it brought to me.Thank you for making me feel special. Hugs!

Alpana Jaiswal. You touched my life. Thank you for listening. Those phone calls made a difference. I love you.

Rinzin. Mwah! You have not changed one bit. I love you! Thank you for the fun conversations and the absolute silliness of it all. Much needed. Cherished.

Amarjeet. Thank you for the ease of friendship. I wish you success. Hugs!

Kaveri. Never met but always connected on a different level. You are a source of strength and touch so many lives. You touched mine. Love you! Yes girl, even when you didn't know.

Sakitya. Your creativity touched my life. Thank you for the endless conversations that opened up a world of wonder. You understand my soul and do make such a difference! Love you!

Sathyajit. Thank you for that fabulous document you sent me. It made me feel better. Thank you for opening important doors. Absolutely. Hugs!

They say, people come into your life for a reason. Sometimes when the purpose is fulfilled, they move on. Perhaps, that is why, it is important to thank people when they are around in your life. You never know when you may lose that chance.

- Sandy

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Those Who Made a Difference - 1

You know, it is very easy to not be grateful. This year has taught me the value of letting go what isn't worth my attention and being grateful for those I am blessed with. A number of times this year, I faltered, fell, fraught with despair and extreme pain and the journey so far could not have been possible without a whole bunch of people. It made me realize that while my personal life isn't going great, the support system I have of friends is absolutely amazing. I have been touched over and over again by such immense faith in my abilities as a human being even when I wasn't sure of it myself, that I can only thank God for this fabulous gift of life that surrounds me and the people who touch my life in countless different ways.

Thank you Guruji. Thank you God! Period.

Each time I find my strength waning, I look at my daughter who makes me so proud. She has this way of picking marvellous moments of telling me, in her child-like way of the reasons why I need to be just who I am. I cannot be a perfect parent but she has absolute belief in me as the best Mom in the world. There is no school one goes to to learn to be a parent. She has taught me to be a Dad and a Mom. Now, who cannot be grateful for that? Thank you Mickey! I love you! I will always love you more than anyone else. Always.

My Mom has learned more things at this point of time in her life than she has in all the years Dad protected her and pampered her. With the immense strength, resolve and resilence of spirit, I have learned that I do find myself wanting to be stronger for her sake, to listen. I have learned a valuable lesson by watching her all these years. Only those who are there when I am not at my best deserve to be around when I am at my best. I love you Mom. You and I have had a tough journey and I know, without a doubt, I wouldn't want any other person as my Mom in any of my future lives if such future lives exist. Perhaps, I'd understand better. Thank you for everything.

My Dad. My hero. My brother. My sibling and my die-hard spirit. There is no courage, motivation in me without you two. I would never ever give up on either of you. Ever. Those who thought I would ever do that have got to be kidding me. They have no idea of what you mean to me. They never will. I love you both. As for those who think I will ever give up on my family...well...up yours!

Kanan. Thank you girl. You have been an amazing sounding board for me through the past two years. I could rave and rant, sigh and cry and be absolutely whatever I wished to be. I love you.

Reba. I love you. It doesn't matter how often we catch up or don't. There is a side of me, unspoken, that you are such a huge part of. That equation ain't easy to get by. You have.

Amit. I do not feel I do not have a son because I have you. You are the light of Megs life and I am glad that you have been around when I have needed you. I love you.

My ex-boss Naresh Asnani. Thank you for healing my life. Without that book you gave me to read, this journey would not have been made easier. They say, books connect to you and come to you when you need them. Yes, indeed. Thank you for showing the light. I wish you are always blessed. May others light the way for you as you lit mine.

My ex-boss Ramesh Touraney. I have learned so much from you in the past two years. You have added that sense of fun and humour to my life. You have listened to me when I needed to talk and when I absolutely couldn't. Thank you for tolerating my emotional upheavels. You always helped put things into perspective. Be blessed!

Sonam. I love you! All the decades of being away from you didn't make it any tougher to whisk you away on a trip. Just like that. You added fun to the time I spent and I would be game for a holiday with you anytime. You made me forget I was going through so much. That was really needed. Hugs!

Pema. Shaan. Tenzing. Anuja. What amazing bunch of girls you are! I love you. There is a lesson in frienship that one learns only from those who knew you when you were in school. You suddenly discover, you did make a difference. You discover you are not judged for what you are up to right now...and that they will always be there. Hugs!

Sammy. Laxmi. Antra. Amar. You are really easy to be with. You guys (including Laxmi, Rebu, Amar) really got me back into social mode again after all these years. Thank you for making me feel like a fun person. I had forgotten about that Sandy.  Hugs. Love you all!

Raj. Thank you! You gifted me 'The Pilgrimage' and opened a world of self-actualization. It is rare to be able to pick a book from a personal collection and be able to take that as a gift. Boy! Did I choose right! It was a journey that taught me lessons. Thank you for the time spent. Thank you for introducing me to Sudha. Thank you for the ride to the airport. Hugs!

Shruti. You remember that evening you showed up to be with me while I shopped alone. It made a difference. I thought it was really sweet of you to do that. It touched me. Thank you girl. Hugs. 

Kannan. My sounding board. My kick-in-the-butt when I need it most. There is a world where everything is a discovery, a possibility, a new beginning, an experience. Through the years, you have been that. Time hasn't really stopped to let a conversation fade away. Thank you for not believing the shut door was a locked one. Thank you for the nudges and the hugs. Thank you for helping out with Tashi. Much appreciated. Love you!

Meenal. Dhwani. Vedaant. Thank you for being there for Tashi. For helping prepare her for what was one of the toughest things she had to face in a long time. In your own way, you made a difference. Meenal, thank you for taking such good care of me. I wish you happiness and peace. Dhwani and Vedaant...thank you for your hugs...for making me a child again in the time I spent with you. I love you all.

Gomati. My little one! It is always such a remarkable refeshing time when I meet you. I don't need to pretend. I don't need to be anyone but myself. Thank you for listening and not making judgement calls. thank you for being you...am glad you are back! Fun and laughter has a different definition with you. I love you.

Abhijit. Gone. But never forgotten. There are conversations that will never take place. There are poems that will not be shared anymore. But I know, you would have wanted me to be happy. Because, you knew just how sad I was. I bet you smile today. Because you know, I have, somehow, pulled through a hell lot. I miss you. 

Sudatta. You are such a bag of smiles and gladness. You are absolutely just how a younger sister is likely to be. Fun. Dreams. Sighs. Laughter. Silliness. Impatience. Sharing. I love you. Because of you, I have been thorough what an older sister would go through. It is not whose blood is in you. It is who cares about you. The painting you did has touched my heart. Hugs.

Kandy Sir! When someone is in the pits, it is difficult to be able to see how much there is in you to make it all work out somehow. You have been a strength and a huge support for me this year especially. I appreciate your presence in my life.God bless! Hugs!

Adannaya. I smile when I think of you. I haven't had so much fun working with anyone. I am glad you were in my team. I am glad I hired you to be a part of my team and took so much of time doing that. I wish I could have done more. I cherish the smiles, tears and the joys you have been a part of. Thank you. I love you.

Chika. That steady rock of reliability who has been with me for a long time. You are someone who can easily be the best example of how much a person can pack into a single day. You make it all seem so easy. I know just how hard it is. I admire your resilence and strength of spirit. Thank you for being there for me. I love you.

Precious. When she came into my family, little did I realize that she would BE there. Always there. She has taken such good care of Megs. Of Nike. Of me. I could have never managed my life in Lagos without you taking care of my daily issues at home. You have touched my life in countless ways every day. Yes, even on those days when I have not been a great person to deal with. Thank you for your honesty, for such immense loyalty and strength of spirit. Always be blessed. I love you!

Edward. I couldn't have asked for a better person to drive me. I also did not think that someone who drove me would be so dedicated and loyal. You have been there, no matter when I needed you to be there. Be blessed. I thank you for keeping me safe on the road.

John. Man Friday. Thank you for going out of your way to do things. May you and your family be blessed.

Annu. Thank you for being such a pillar of support. Hugs. Yes, I know.

Nena. Thank you for listening. Thank you for still being there.I love you!

Susheel and Arati. My fabulous friends. This transition would not have been possible without you. You have always been my haven. Always. I love you.

Karuna. Thank you for giving up your room and privacy for me. I really appreciate that! You will always have a special place in my heart. I love you!

Angsuman, Naheed, Amaan, Mita....thank you for the number of great evenings I have spent with you guys. I have always felt welcome. Hugs!

Pushpa. I know, we are yet to meet each other. But, you have had this immense belief in me when I could barely walk on a thread on my own. Thank you for being there. I love you! And yes...i will meet you soon.

Harrish. A brother. A friend. An amazing person who makes a difference in so many lives. You make a difference in mine too. A lot of the healing has been possible because you said the right things at the right time. I love you!

Arun. You have been a person who somehow has shown up and made me believe in myself when I needed to. Thank you for being such an amazing friend. Big hugs.

....this isn't over yet....the list will continue.

In utter humility, I bow my head in front of God and ask him to bless you and your loved one ten fold for the difference you all have made to my life. 

- Sandy

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Absent Voice of Reason and Sibal

Name: Kapil Sibal
Occupation:Union Cabinet Minister (Human Resource Development and Communications and Information Technology)

How far, we, the common Indian have come in the arena of tolerance! It amazes me even further that our politicians have really taken the cake though of testing this very invaluable quality. Mr Sibal, do keep in mind that while we have been a tolerant lot, your favourite pastime of ‘spreading scientific knowledge and reasoning’ have come to naught.

Do pay attention to your duties as a Cabinet Minister in doing some good for the country than try to be pushy and bring about changes that really is going to become one of those crucial final nails in the coffin for you and your party. Quite pertinently, may I mention that the two portfolios you handle are challenging enough and they have already displayed the inadequacies of your ability to handle them.

There is a lack of focus on the bigger issues that you ought to be handling. Harping about what gets around on the Internet and objecting to the objectionable content really isn’t what the ‘aam junta’ voted you to your chair for. (Mr Prime Minister, please do think about what portfolio you dish out to which august member of your team.) It would seem to me you have clicked on objectionable content that had a virus riding on it and it messed up your system, and quite apparently your head too. Aha! If that is what happened, who are you to tell us what we choose to view and what we don’t on the Internet?

Let me also remind you, there is a reason why we adults are called adults and parents are called parents and somewhere in between are the voices of reason of gurus, teachers and peers, not to forget one’s own mental faculty. Do you, in your futuristic vision look to parenting, monitoring and regulating the lives of a billion Indians personally?

We, the people of India believe you have a far bigger challenge in completing what you had initially set out to do when you took your oath. Let me remind you, that ‘to do list’ still hasn’t received its due check mark. We all have list of things to do on a daily basis, then there are short term plans and long term plans. For a major part of it, we do what we set out to do instead of meddling so much into the rights of others and not achieving our essentials. As an HR professional I know what I have been aiming to set right wherever I have worked and it definitely does not entail censor. If you got it in you to do it, you will do it in such a manner so as to keep the end goal in mind and respect the sensibility of the individual. What’s the end goal in mind here? Are you reading too much of negative stuff about yourself or is this your way of being in the news? Cheap shot Mr Sibal!

Please, do not dis-respect our sense of what is right and wrong. Your sense of ‘wrong’ really isn’t our sense of ‘wrong’. We do not regulate the web content you go through. We do not do that for our kids either. What we do is share the wisdom of growing net savvy and safeguarding our self-respect on the Internet and in real life. Basics Mr Sibal. Absolute basics. It is not just what you do it. It is how you do it. Endearing yourself to the masses is definitely not happening here and you are only opening yourself to further scrutiny of what you haven’t done over the years than what you have. Every problem has a solution and this is not really one. It also doesn’t mean the easiest solution in your line of sight is effectively the best. Please do heed what the people are saying.

I am not someone who actively gets involved in the politics of it all. Please do not let your august chair become a thing of the past by next August. This is a gentle reminder that the masses will tolerate impositions only up to a limit. The freedom of free thinking cannot be limited because you choose to snip it with your ridiculous ideas simply because you are in a position to do so. Please also be gently reminded that the people who have placed you on that chair can pull the carpet from right beneath the place where you have placed your bottom. Don’t fall hard on your backside before you open your eyes to what you are doing here. Focus on what makes a difference positively. Really.

Communicate right. It is in your portfolio to do so. If you cannot, please do step down. Your time is running out. Be wary. You may not be there in the ministry for long…there will be elections again. Do not mess with your own political aspirations.

Reading is also believed to be one of your pastimes. Please do read this post. It is simply my way of telling you that you have a service to the nation. There are major contributions you can make while sitting on that chair. Do that damned chair justice!

Copyright Sandy@2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Counting my Blessing

Mumbai. Mumbai wakes you up, she puts you to sleep. She lets you be surrounded by noise. She lets you be lonely. This city's canvas is cruel, nurturing you in its harsh realities and yet tempting you to dream of better tomorrows. 

I walk. Alone. Lying on the street, asleep, oblivious to me and others who may pass by, is alseep, a three, perhaps four year old child. He has no care beyond the lullaby of loud horns, a sigh, an occasional laughter or scream breaking through this sultry December night. For a moment, my heart skips a beat. Those tiny fingers are stretched. What if those tiny fingers crush while a drunken father, sleeps, unmindful that the little boy is exposed to the footfalls of the pavement while he chose to sleep against the wall? 

A heart-breaking sense of shame overwhems me. I, like many others feel my guts wrench...but, what do I do? Nothing. I pass by. My stomach flips. I may perhaps not eat. That is fine. What right, though, do I have, to crib endlessly about what I do not have?

I remember, times when I knew exactly how it was to be like that. I was more blessed. At least, there was a roof over my head, leaky as it was, but, it was there. That is the thing. I may go to any place, visit and live everywhere, sometimes in the comforts of a huge home or a small shack, but I never forget. I never forget just how it is to go hungry, to barely have a decent meal, to pretend you are not hungry any more so it is all taken care of and there is nothing to worry about. 

I am blessed. I remember where I came from and boy am I blessed! 

Little things. Little lives. Little things. 

- Sandy

Random Muse

A search for the perfect love
a reminder of beliefs set in mind
like bards, singing songs
of lonely nights and frozen hearts
a loveless relationship
destined to pass...

Senses dormant while eyes
rove roads that may show
a significant taste of endearments
tempting to unknown trails
...naught satiated like the winds
in deserts of parched throats.

Nudges from the past
toiling to survive today
a passing of grief over yesteryears
of what might have been -
rants and raves
silently screaming in the soul.

A mystic dance of light and shade
embers burn to warm
outstretched palms
while fingers clam and joints pain;
mirages of hopes and dreams
keeping me alive.

Copyright Sandy@2010

Grey Scraps

of words in simplicity
in the spirit of the thoughts it spews.

Hungry for wit
and the unusual
…seen it all
been there.

Hungry for meaningful substance
yet to learn
to unravel,
to muse over.

of thoughts
that will evoke
wonder and disdain.

Hungry for the fragments
that can move
and nudge me…

that lie in buried rarity
of the unusual and sublime.

Copyright Sandy@2010