Shades of Love – III

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The kid was a terror. And a bundle of joy. She just did not know what to do with him. So full of energy, like most kids. And so much more naughtier, unlike most kids. The naughtiness was definitely a genetic gift by his father, she thought.  No wonder.

Her days passed by so quickly, she hardly had time to sit and take a few breaths in peace. Cook. Look after the kiddo. Ensure he doesn’t get hurt yet again. Teach him stuff. Take care of the house. Help hubby with the office work. Life was busy.

But today was a special day. Though they had been married for six years now, Valentine’s Day was still a special day for her. Buying expensive gifts and going out for dream vacations was not her thing. She believed in showing her love in creative ways. Slipping a love note in a shirt pocket. Hiding a rose in the office bag. Teaching the kiddo to say “Daddy, mommy lovvvesss you” in his super cute voice. These little gestures of love that made you pause while living your every day life, and made you feel grateful for a wonderful life, and an even more wonderful wife. Yes. That was her thing.

Wondering what she could do today to show her love for him, she set to prepare his breakfast. And while she was still wondering, she realised that she had shaped the cutlets in a heart shape. Oh yes! That’s what she would do. His breakfast on Valentine’s would be a symbol of her love for him. Heart-shaped cutlets. Heart-shaped papaya. Heart-shaped halwa. And strawberry milkshake with heart-shaped strawberries over it. The hubby was going to have a hearty meal, for sure.

Having set the breakfast table, she waited patiently for the hubby to arrive at the table. Two minutes and he would be rushing to dining room. “Jaan, is my breakfast ready? I am getting late…”

He sat on the table, kiddo on his lap, having fun morning time. She could see the joy in his eyes, playing with his notorious, yet ever-so-lovable kid. Just then he saw the breakfast spread on the table and his eyes lit up, smile spreading wide.

“Happy Valentine’s Day hubby dearest” she said. And wondered – was she seeing hearts in the hubby’s eyes too?

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Shades of Love – II

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The entire week was pathetic. Work work work. No play. No fun. She was bogged down with so much work. And her colleagues were not helping either. Going on vacations. Burdening her with extra work. Leaving her with no time for self.

Not like she was complaining. Not like she had a hubby waiting for her at home. Or a boyfriend demanding her time. And she was in the best spot as far as her career was concerned. She wasn’t asking for more. Really.

She was just asking for a little bit. She was just asking for the so-called ‘love of her life’ to make an appearance in her life. At least sometime this year. Sooner the better. Just let her know that, it’s him she is waiting for. She would take it from there. And make him arrive faster.

But as the love gods would have it. No such sign. No such man. Such was life. Sometimes, she wished her life was a movie. A rom-com at that. At least the love would make an appearance within 2 hours. And the men were almost always gorgeous. Sumptuous. Delish….

“Hey girl. What plans for the day?” asked her just-out-of-the-college colleague. She gave the young one a dark expression that said ‘don’t mess with me, if you want to keep your job’. The young butterfly got the message and went on digging up Internet archives for story ideas to please the boss.

Wasn’t she tired already? Of waiting? For the ‘man of her life’. Her girl gang, her ‘best friends for ever’ had spent the past few days cheering her up about the never-ending wait. What was the hurry, they said. You are still so young. Enjoy life, free as a bird. Ya right, she felt like arguing. Let’s swap roles, shall we?

But she did not have time to sulk. Remember, she was bogged down by work? Not like the Godzilla of a boss was gonna feel bad for her and give her the day off, to go enjoy, or maybe sulk herself drunk, since it was Valentine’s Day. The boss couldn’t care less. And so could she.

“Ma’am there is a parcel for you. Please collect it from the reception” said the young lad who doubled up as security and tele-operator at her office. “What. What is it? Are they flowe…what is it?”. “Donuts, I think. Should I open it?” “Noooo. Wait, I’m coming.”

She rushed to the reception. And the card on the box did not make her smile. Instead, it made her heart swell. Who needs a man to make you feel happy and loved on Valentine’s? When you have soul sisters who think of you all the time. And love you. And send you heart-shaped donuts to cheer you up. And to let you know that you are special. And loved, always.

She could not wait to see the excitement transfer to the young-butterfly colleague of hers. Donuts will definitely beam her up, she thought. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. And packages too. And it is the best when it is shared. Yes, she would share the joy. And spread the love. While she happily waited for the man of her life to make an appearance. A hurried one at that.

Shades of Love – I

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She didn’t believe in celebrating love on just one particular day. Love is an every day celebration, isn’t it? What was Valentine’s Day anyway? A mere marketing gimmick that never went out of fashion! Maybe. Screw Valentine’s (and any other saint who wanted to celebrate love)’s day, right?

Oh, who was she kiddin’? She loved the concept of celebrating love. Every day, yes. But on the day that signifies ‘love eternal’, definitely yes! She wrote love stories for a living, for Christ’s sake.

But it seemed like that her amalgamation-of-all-yummy-badass-heroes-in-one of a boyfriend did not think so. Coz he had work to do. She wondered if the boy was busy writing copy inside his mother’s womb too. Or maybe he was busy arming himself with the world’s worst original PJs ever, while his mother struggled to keep him healthy and safe inside. How else can a person be so dedicated to ‘work’, and not celebrate Valentine’s evening with his girlfriend, especially when it fell on a Friday. Friday!!

“Hi honeybunch…any chance that you changed your mind and we meet today?” she chirped on the call (that he finally answered).

“Busy. Call you later.” Brad Pitt hung up. (Not really him. But she thought that he behaved like he was him. Uggh, chuck the confusion, will ya?)

Fine. Who wants to celebrate stupid valentine’s anyway.

*

It was Saturday. And it rained! In February. God’s are definitely getting funnier by the day. Or maybe it was the Love Goddess who finally showed her wrath at the God who was too busy saving the world on Valentine ’s Day. (Girl, get back on earth. You are not a goddess. Remember that.)

Whatever. But the day began superb. And the BP BF (Brad Pitt boyfriend, in case you did not get it) was meeting today. “Girl. It’s ‘whatever you wanna do day’ today.” So she was chirpy. (Sighs. And it had rained too!)

She had a kickass plan. Cook. Eat. Chirp. Eat some more. Romance. Chirp. Go home.

So, she put on her ready-to-kill look, heels clicking high, and went to his place to cook his most favourite dish in the world. Maggi. Cooked by her, for him. And they played his favourite music, while she chirped on, on her favourite topic (the latest romance book she was writing). He relished the food and the company. She enjoyed the happiness of his presence. He enjoyed cracking the worst jokes ever. She went on and on about Krivi and his pursuit of love (Krivi was the hero of her latest book, just so you know).And she realised. Love was indeed eternal. To be celebrated every day. Not just one day. Yet, she had the best Valentine ’s Day ever (or day-after, technically. But who is reviewing here…).

Love is like that sometimes. You have to wait for it. And when you get it, it silently blows your mind away. Points to be added to the diary, miss romance writer. Point to be noted.

 

 

Tidbits from my favourite inspirer

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It was rather late in life that I stumbled upon his wonderful thoughts.

But since the time I read Paulo Coelho’s first book, he has been my very favourite go-to person. To get inspired from. To lift my mood. To wonder. And wander. To feel alive.

And thanks to social media, I have been able to enjoy more and more of his thoughts.

The one thing in his words, that strikes a chord with me, always, is simplicity. Simple words. Simple ideas to live by.

Here are a few I have saved over a period. I call them the “Dream” series. Hope you enjoy reading them. Though they all essentially give out the same message, I take the 5th one as my life’s mantra. And the balloon image gives a very happy feeling too, no?

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One min reading on how dreams make life worth it.

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/05/05/dreams-and-nightmares/

A little something to pin-up on your life board:

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What dreams are made of…

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Thoughts? Feelings? Achievements? Riches? Experiences?

What makes dreams?

For me, dreams are made of inspiration. They are made of the desire to possess something that makes others respect, admire and envy you so much, that they get inspired by you.

Like this amazingly talented young friend of mine. Check out her very first, live, sitar performance on one of the most revered stages of the city… in the midst of talent that has been at the art, practicing their skills, for years.

I am not much into classical music (you can officially slot me in the ‘music-deaf’ category). So, there is no way on earth I would have gone through the 10 minute ordeal. When she shared the link, I was planning to be the good friend that I am, and not watch it. I would compliment her the next time I met her, saying how her performance was ‘mesmerizing, to say the least…’

But I watched the entire video. It was that good!

I ended up respecting, admiring and envying her…and getting inspired. To get lost. In what makes you happy. In what will, in turn, make others happy too.

Anshika, you make it to my very personal “Real-life Heroes” list. I wish you courage. I wish you more and more dreams. Go girl!

PS: She is the tiny happiness in the center. 🙂 She has started learning the instrument only six months back. Now you know why its such a big deal!

PS 2!: I love the way all the performers are having a great time playing. See them winking and smiling at each other, sharing secrets we would never know?

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This post is first in the series of my very personal ‘Real-life Heroes’ list. Watch this space for more, well… ‘real-life inspiration’ 😉

A life less ‘ordinary’

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It never interested me. Like an irresponsible citizen of the country, I never bothered to think beyond my own life, surrounded by family, friends and happiness.

I even ignored the ‘ordinary’ man, who fasted, fought and yelled for my attention. Steadily, he was making heads turn, dialogues start and hopes rise. He was creeping into my personal space, assuring me that there is a way out of this madness. There is a way to make things better.

Again, I never gave it much thought. I had become so used to the way our country functions – where every little task seems like a project that requires strategic planning – that I wasn’t even thinking about how great it would be if things were a little easier to get done. How great it would be to live in a country that makes you feel like you mattered. Of course, I wished that things were better, but like I said, I never actively thought about it and did not really believe it to be possible.

It took a book, written by an author far away from the ways of my country, and the voice of a 16-year-old fictional character, for me to wake up. And to follow what the ordinary man was trying so earnestly to tell me.

Hunger Games, written by an author I had so far ignored, shook me up. My country is heavenly, as compared to where the book is set in. The state of the people in the book is appalling, to put it mildly. It makes you wonder whether we, as humans, have progressed so much that we have gone back in time. A time where ‘civilisation’ as a term had still not found a place in the dictionary.

It takes the burning earnestness of a very ordinary, very young girl, to trigger an uprising so massive, I wonder if it is possible outside the fiction world. And that’s when I am jolted. Back to reality. Back to where the words of the ordinary man still linger… “Main aam aadmi hu… ek aam aadmi kya chahta hai…” And I realise, that this man, who toppled over a decade strong government, could do so, not because the people had no other choice but him; he could do it because of that strong earnestness that is there in every suppressed ordinary man. Only, he didn’t let it get suppressed. He made it his strength. Just like that ordinary, earnest young girl in Hunger Games. The Aam Aadmi party brought the fictional world alive for me.

And so I awaken, once again, to the fact that resigning to fate is the easiest thing to do. But to do what you so eagerly feel for, and let fate take a backseat, is a simple act of courage. You only need to realise that you matter. And take things from there….

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 Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi party was quoted saying “…who would have thought that a one year old party would win 28 seats…” Maybe, I would have imagined. But would never have believed. Now I do. In this, in his part, and in much more.

Little drops of joy…

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It was my kid sister’s birthday. She was turning an age where, everything around is either just perfect or just not right at all! She was turning 16.

As an elder sister, who she admired and looked up to (oh, the joys of being admired by little sisters…you gotta give your best to maintain that cool air around you!) I was really nervous about finding the right gift for her. Especially ‘coz I had only a few minutes to think of a gift, buy it and show my face at her party.

Just then it struck me. She loves nail paints. So, I got a big pack, filled it with nail paints of all shades, brands and sizes. Let her paint away to glory, I say! Who knows, she may make a kick-ass career out of decorating nails for people…she surely did it for me!

She was thrilled. I was glad.

Years later she tells me that she wasnt really so much into nail paints  at the time. But my gift kindled that quirky need to paint a new color every day. Yes. Every day. (More than the time, I wondered how she had the willingness to…) She told me, because i had ‘put so much thought’ into what would make her happy, she was determined to be happy. And she genuinely was.

That made me think. Was she the elder sister, or I? Never mind…

The whole thing came back to me when my very dear friend gifted me a never-ending supply of Gems this Christmas. Yes, those lovely, tiny buttons of joy. The little here-now-melted-the-next-moment sweeties.

I must admit. Every time people give me Gems, knowing my love for the little sweets, I am ‘compelled’ to like them more. Just like  my kid sister. But this time its different. The joy is genuine. Especially ‘coz they JUST DO NOT GET OVER! 😀

Gems! :D

GEMS! 😀

 

I think my kid sis likes boys now…Wonder how do I gift her a pack full of those yummy ones! 😛