Things That Keep Me Steady, And Make Me Happy :)

The little things that keep me going, that keep me steady and give me the happiness to look forward to, in every moment of my life.

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1. A few minutes in the front portico of my house, everyday, morning or evening, doing nothing – absolutely nothing. Just walking around, or sitting simply and letting my mind wander without any motive – it’ my ‘absolute’ time, it’s my way of letting go!

2. Paying my bills. Taking care of my needs – being independent. I’d feel the pinch when I’m broke, and learn to be more responsible then. Plus when I splurge on myself, I’d feel less guilty.

3. Reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. My favorite book of the series – it gives me a joy like no other. Though I LOVE ALL the books of the Harry Potter series, this one remains my favorite.

Harry Potter

4. Reading Enid Blyton’s, Roald Dahl’s and William Wordsworth’s works – they calm my soul and give me the peace I yearn for. They were a huge part of my childhood, they still are and will be, a big part of my life.

5. Listening to Mandolin Srinivas’s, Pandit Ravi Shankar’s and Zakir Hussain’s music – They soothe me, slow me down and steady me when I freak out and fidget.

6. Listening to Suchitra Karthik Kumar Speak/RJ/Sing. She is such a delight to listen to.

7. Listening to a few of my favorite singers and the most amazing songs in their voices – Benny Dayal, Harshdeep Kaur, Neeti Mohan, Shreya Ghoshal, Shalmali Kholgade, Jubin Nautiyal, Kailash Kher, Hariharan, Arijit Singh, Sonu Nigam, Madhusree.

8. Watching Shah Rukh Khan – his charisma works like magic on me. My playlist has Baazigar, My Name is Khan and Dil Toh Pagal Hai, among the few of the other SRK songs on repeat mode – not just because of the amaze music, but more because those songs feature him. I find myself watching his films over and over again – just to see him on screen. Yes, you got me – I’m literally obsessed about him.

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9. When I’m ticked off for something unnecessary, when people yap nonsense at me, bark at me for reasons I don’t care about, or try to depress me, I do this. I try and imagine my favourite people (people I drool about :P) talking to me. (Erm, to be read as  Barun Sobti and Namik Paul). Try it, people. It works – firstly, you get transported to a different world, and secondly, you always, involuntarily get to sport a smile on your face, without you knowing it.

10. Eating dried and delicately fried garden huckleberries. And Ladies fingers. And Pani Puri. Instant depression repellents.

11. Book hoarding, book shopping, book hauls, book mails – whatever you want to call them. Buying books and reading them make me happy.

12. Participating in contests/competitions and winning them all. It doesn’t matter to me how small or big the prize is – a prize is a prize, and it always brings significant delight to me.

13. Seeing my name in print – This has given me unlimited happiness in the past, and I’m doing my best to experience the same again, and again; until I die.

14. Talking to my real friends – friends who don’t judge me, who accept me for who I am, with all my flaws.

15. Blogging – My first go-to, every time I feel the need to express, or share what I think. Much gratitude to the source that helped me discover this awesome experience.

16. A trip to Bombay, even if it’s for a day. ‘Tis where I belong, Tis where I learned to smile, literally.

17. Reading Calvin and Hobbes, Blondie and Peanuts comics – I make it a point to read their comic strips each day in the newspapers. It’s amazing how all my stress ebbs away when I read them.

18. Binging on dark chocolate. Lots of them. Anytime. Every time. All the time.

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 So far, just this. Will keep updating the list as I hit on or discover more 🙂

Unrequited Love

An edited version of a little something – my lame attempt at writing a short story.

It was early evening. Mellowed sunshine and pleasant breeze. The perfect ambience for romance. Sameer jumped into his car, and sped off into the lanes he so well knew. On reaching her house, Sameer tenderly clasped her present in his arms, and raced into the garden – for that is where he had left her last.

The air reeked of romance. Sameer took out the fresh red chrysanthemums she loved, and knelt down. Leaning forward, he gently kissed her name and placed them on the tomb before him.Tears streamed down his eyes as he looked up at the skies, seeking an answer. When he couldn’t hold himself up any longer, he dozed off on her tomb – what felt like her arms to him.

Of Epiphanies and Elixirs

If you’re featured here, it means you matter more than a lot to me. Thanks for always being there.

Hoot! Hoot! It’s morning!
The sun’s shining and I’m still yawning,
I stretch up and jump out,
Thinking happily of the epiphanies I’ve dreamt about;
The elixirs I have in store,
Make me happy and I want no more;
It’s time I thank them, by one and by name,
For they are the reason if I claim some fame
God, My family and my sister,
Without whom I’d be nothing but a blister;
My friends whom I’d like to list,
Sans whom I’d be nothing but mist;
To Suraj, my thunder buddy,
My first reader and genuine critic,
To M.K., to Maheedar, and to Kishore my life time, all-hour friends,
To Bunny and to LK, my crazy culture crew,
To Sabaritha and to Divya Anandhi, my comrades in arms,
To Gayathri and to Ezhil, my partners in crime,
To Anushka and to Pooja, my soulmates for LIFE.
Without even one of you, my life –
Would be nothing but strife;
You are my elixirs, and every memory with you is an epiphany,
Thank You for every moment until now and the ones yet to come, which are and will be, equally uncanny!

The Stiletto Society… Or is it Us?

It’s time YOU decide what YOU want to do, and how YOU want YOUR Life to be. It’s time YOU take the reins of YOUR life in YOUR hands.

A few days ago, an elderly family friend had dropped by at our place to pay a visit to our family. He is pretty close to all of us, we like the rapport we share with him, plus the gifts he brings us everytime he visits. This visit, when my turn came, I composedly went and extended my ‘right’ hand to receive the gift. He swiftly looked at my parents, grinned at them appreciatively and gave me my gift. I politely thanked him, grimaced at no one in particular and went back to my room.
I was born left-handed. Trained and forced to become right-handed. So, impulsively and instinctively I reach out for everything with my left hand first. It isn’t in my ability to change it. And honestly speaking I wouldn’t want to, also. Although I now write and eat with my right hand, it’s certainly not possible for me or for any of us to survive with ease, without our left hands. But wait, some people find it easier to consider it a sign of disrespect without proper logic in place, than looking into how much discomfort the individual has to go through just for the sake of pleasing the society.
And talking of pleasing the society.. (which is next to impossible – unless you find it convenient to nod to every demand it makes – committing suicide seems to be an easier option for many these days) Yesterday morning, I met a friend’s mother. After the courtesy greetings and enquiring about what I’m doing for a living, she came down to the question she was itching to ask me – when I’m getting married – I’m amazed at how this question manages to put me off everytime someone asks me. I smiled at her, and explained at length about my views on independence and how I planned to lead my life. She looked startled when I was done and scuttled off even without a good bye. News about my “radical” and ” unreasonable” thought-process reached my mother’s ears who obviously told me off for the same.
Well, according to the society – atleast that’s what we are told from childhood – it’s radical and unreasonable when a woman wants to be independent – in literal terms and otherwise too, when she likes to decide for herself on how she’d like to live her life or when she wishes to be financially stable on her own income – for the whole of her life.
But what I find even more strange is, the society only yaps and keeps yapping all our lives, no matter what we say or do. It doesn’t give a damn if something goes wrong while following the rulebook it has charted out, for each of us, for every single stage of our lives.
And the rulebook keeps changing as per it’s comfort – the society doesn’t bother to check with us, if we are okay with what it calls it’s norms.
But not anymore. Let’s understand that we are answerable to no one else, but ourselves; We need to be honest enough to answer our conscience, and keep it clear – there’s nothing else that’ll give us a good night’s sleep. We needn’t be repenting in our ripe sixties or late seventies for not having done something we badly wanted to, just because the society wouldn’t let us. As long as we have our moral values intact, as long as we know what we are doing is right, and as long as it wouldn’t harm anyone in the process – intentionally or otherwise; nothing should stop us from achieving what we want to.
It’s high time we step out with courage and create. It’s time we explore and enjoy. It’s time we think. It’s time we have an opinion and express it. It’s time we try – and succeed in every possible expedition we can ever think of. It’s time we give a last ditch shot at everything we thought was impossible and find out it’s working, as well. It’s time we live and relish life like it’s meant to be. It’s time we don’t let the society – which comprises of you, me, the handful of people we ‘thought’ we knew; stop us from living our lives the way we want to. It’s time we stop blaming the society for our incompetencies and insecurities, and for all things that go haywire.
It’s time WE took charge of OUR lives.

P.S.  I write more often about me and what I observe around me. Not because I’m vain, or my life is happening – but because I can relate absolutely to what I write. So I can vent, celebrate and cry with ease 😛

Que Sera Sera

While my keyboard is brusquely bearing the brunt of my anger, I’m furiously typing ’cause I need to vent.
This morning, I committed a huge crime. Something that made me bruise  my hand ( I hit my hand on the wall, ’cause I couldn’t control my anger), something that made me feel utterly helpless and useless, something that made me undergo an hour and a half of panic, and fear and frustration. And, as a citizen of THIS nation, it’s my duty and responsibility to warn you – to help you not commit the crime I so ‘shamelessly’ committed. Wondering what that is?
Okay. Enough preamble. Some days ago, I had blogged about what lovely bus rides I get to have everyday here -> Every Chennai Citizen’s Dream Come True .
I have an even more enchanting experience to add to this. So, this morning, after my joy ride to Thoraipakkam, I got into a ladies’ special bus to Karapakkam (Bus No.95) The cost of a ticket from Thoraipakkam to Karapakkam, in a normal MTC ‘Green Board’ bus is Rs.6.00 for one. I searched my purse for an exact 6 rupees change but had just one 50 paise coin. This happens rarely, in my case. So I gave the conductor a 10 rupee note and asked him for a ticket to Karapakkam. The conductor asked me to provide exact change. Which I didn’t have. My bad. So he decided to give me a Rs.8 ticket instead of a Rs.6 ticket and 2 rupees change instead of 4 rupees change. Which he did, without asking me for options. Though he had lots of change on him. I obviously got furious. But I thought I would give him some time and planned to ask him to return me my change when I got down – I intended to give him some more time, to collect some more change so he wouldn’t crib. So when the bus was approaching my stop, I politely asked him for my change. Without a glint of shame in his eyes he jingled the coins on his palm and responded “As you don’t have any change, I gave you an 8 rupee ticket. I also don’t have any change, and I can’t do anything.” (Translated)
I kept persuading him, only to get the same response, phrased differently and more rudely. He had decided to not give me my change.
And the bus halted at my stop. I was getting late at work. I got down, a tad too furious – at myself, for letting the conductor wind me up, for being so incompetent and so useless, that I couldn’t drive him into giving me my change, when he had said he had given me an 8 rupees ticket only to compensate for balance my 2 rupees change. I felt scalded. On an impulse, I immediately dialled one of the MTC helpline numbers. And then realised how smart one has to be, to become a ‘government’ customer care official. He wouldn’t ‘reveal’ his name – as is apparently the code. But he politely jotted down my name, patiently listened to my rant and assured me he will try his best and ensure the conductor begins to return the change back to the passengers, instead of selling them more expensive tickets to save himself from returning change. Meanwhile an odd panic seized me out of nowhere – not entirely baseless for all the reasons you might think of. A few phone calls and umpteen WhatsApp messages got me back to my normal self. Yet, the hitch remained. To you, the reader, it might seem like a petty issue of 2 rupees, blown out of proportion. I believe it’s not about the amount, but about the attitude – which doesn’t seem to change at all, only worsen with time.  What started with a complaint for a return of a due of 2 rupees cost me 5 times that, to realise there are things that ‘I’, alone, as a person can never change, in this country. Maybe a revolution can. Or cannot.
Que Sera Sera.

P.S. Thanks heaps, Maheedar and LakshmiKanthan – 2 of my favourite all-hour friends, for being there. It means the world to me, and beyond.

Time to Shun the Sham

I’ve, for the longest time, cribbed, lied, and made excuses for the silliest of reasons. I know I don’t exactly give a good picture of myself, but that’s okay, ’cause I don’t intend to. But there’s one thing I haven’t done, and will never do – be fake; to myself, to anyone else. I’ve observed a lot of people throwing around words like ‘sweetheart’, ‘honey’, ‘darling’ and the latest among them, erm,  ‘dear’ – left, right and center. Hmmmphhhh.
Sugar-coated stupid adjectives.
Also, the plastic smiles – I don’t mean the cordial, courtesy ones which we put up for the acquaintances, the seniors or the bosses at work. I mean the giggly, overtly friendly smiles which don’t necessarily convey anything, but look a tad too meaningful- ’cause anyway, afterward, there’s a lot of bitching that’s going to happen behind our backs, so where’s the need to fake it? Why the pretence when nothing good’s going to come out of it for either?
Yeah, you got it, I’m not the friendly type. But over the years, I’ve learnt to be honest. And sincere, to those who mean the world to me. And to those who don’t, I don’t go around pretending they are. I don’t necessarily snarl at people either – that’s totally uncalled for, I try and be my courteous best where it’s necessary. And where it’s not, I casually avoid. Because I know the namesake Facebook friends’ count isn’t going to be of any help to me when I’m in need. And I definitely don’t want to show off to the world how big my WhatsApp chat list is, or how hugely popular I am, when I am actually not. I’m happily contented with the handful of people whom I can call my own, who wouldn’t compromise on me, who wouldn’t judge me, and who’ll stand by me through thick and thin – shunning all the sham and fake smiles and honey-glazed adjectives.

Let’s face it people. We can’t be Mogambo and Raj at the same time, to the same person, can we? That would be too much to ask for. If it’s necessary for us to be a Mogambo for some, then let’s be. If that would invite too much trouble or if we can’t really help but pretend, then let’s learn to be an Amol Palekar instead. But let’s not fake a Raj when we don’t want to be one.

P.S. I can’t please everyone, every time. I end up hurting myself a lot when I do that. Plus, in the process, I’ve hurt people a lot more too, intentionally and otherwise. So I’ve decided that if I’ve to choose; which is the case all the time, I’d keep myself on top of the heap and please myself first, by doing what would give me real happiness in the long run – happiness sans even a tiny bit of regret.

The BIG Charisma

Read this, because you should. Read this, because I penned it. Read this, to make a difference to yourself and to the world 🙂

When the world outside,
remains dark, 
just for you;
when the people outside,
remain furious,
just with you;
when the place 
around you,
tells you,
you are a “nobody”
think “BIG”!

when you lose,
when your luck fails,
when you are miserable
and you are misunderstood;
when people forget you,
or tend to ignore you,
or intend to hurt,
just think “BIG”!

when you are not listened to,
your presence is not felt,
and you feel lost——
when you break down 
and lose your self confidence
or feel bitter,
dream “BIG”!

when people step over you,
or make you cry hard,
and you think you are—
“A LOSER”, “A GONER”
and you forget to smile,
just dream “BIG”!

when nobody you like,believes in you,
and they lose their faith in what you can do,
or throw away hopes of what you are capable of,
become “BIG”!

BE YOURSELF,   BELIEVE IN YOURSELF,
ACHIEVE “BIG”:FOR YOU ARE BORN TO WIN!

(YOU ARE THE BEST ALWAYS!!!)

BECAUSE “BIG” ALWAYS STANDS FOR

B   – ‘B’ecause

I     – ‘I’m    (THIS ‘I’ IN “BIG” REFERS TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL READING THIS POEM)

G   – ‘G’reat!   

(P.S. I have also published this in my old blog at
http://annapurani-thinkbig.blogspot.in/2013/11/the-big-charisma.html?m=1 )