Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Jalsa , Mumbai Dec 2/3, 2012 Mon/Tue 1 : 17 AM
To Smita Buch … a birthday wish for today !! Love and happiness always ..
The house resounds with the chitter and chatter of grandchildren. They are all in now at the end of their New Year holidays and shall be with us for some days. They talk mature, they dress mature, they act mature – they are mature .. even at 11 and 14 !! There is a spring about the house from every member, a smile among the staff and an eagerness ‘to do’ rather than ‘it shall be done’. Suddenly all our energies are activated and shrill. Our reasons centered around what they may desire – their food, entertainment, clothing, places to visit, plannings of visits and events .. all done with such intense enthusiasm, one would wonder if royalty would ever get such treatment. But they are above royalty, above all else, they are ours and that is the biggest gift that can be given.
I may have dwelled upon this in one of my earlier posts, when they may have been here, but it is a subject that one never tires of. And I hope we never do. Finally they are in bed, tucked in personally by me, among soft pillows and cozy duvets, their soulful expressions as they shut their eyes, wrenching your heart strings. You sit there in wonder and a gentle smile on your face for long. And then leave them to their aspirational dreams, which you wish bear the comfort and happiness and the joy of bright and beautiful happenings.
There is something so divine about when children sleep. It keeps you riveted to their faces. It is strange but true. Nothing happens. Just a month old little one lying among all the niceties knitted and designed for her by Nani’s and Grannies and Aunts and Bua’s and Mamu and Mami’s. And also the generous thoughtful gifts of clothing from well wishers and those that come to greet. Lying there oblivious to the world except … when your need for the feed is due .. then all hell breaks lose !!
What a time to be born. When communication and science and development has very few questions to answer. When a solution presents itself at touches of buttons. But know of the time when I was born and the shock and wonder on how did our parents manage to bring us up. In Allahabad one night when I must have been about 11-12, my Mother fell seriously sick. My Father was away in England studying for his doctorate and I remember I had to ride out in the pitch of the night, in the desolate surroundings on my bicycle to rush to the doctor around 45 min away and inform him of conditions that prevailed at home. Today a sniffle a running nose and the doc appears within minutes, observes, prescribes medication and it is procured equally rapidly, to be administered !!
When a doctor describes a complicated situation, a terminology which tests your spelling abilities, the Googled assistance is readily there to ease the pain of not knowing what it was that the doc was referring to. Write a problem on the net and a million subscribers shall come back within seconds on how it could be solved. In 1952 we cycled to a friend’s place to receive a phone call from my Father calling from Cambridge, informing us that he had succeeded in getting his thesis approved for his doctorate. It was to be the only call he made in his 2 years that he was away !! In the 2 years that was the only opportunity to hear my Father’s voice !! A situation laughed off today in today’s times. How much has gone by, how much has changed. Yet there are many today that still suffer the vagaries of those times, today. That really is the pity. Sushil Kumar who won the 5 cr jackpot on KBC, had done something similar when he had to call in to register for the game. His first priority, after winning, was to pay back his friend for the hundreds of phone calls he had made by using his phone, the only in his immediate vicinity.
There is a sense of guilt when we describe the advantages that we have in our metropolis and what life has finally bestowed upon us with great generosity. There is a desire to work and contribute and put effort voluntarily for the benefit of those that are devoid of such. We do in our own small way. Publicizing it has in the past brought hope and trouble. Hope from millions of others, that suddenly look upon you as that savior and messiah, that has the capacity to bring change and solution to your life. And trouble because we are incapable of resolving that for an entire nation. Some yes, but all no. Who then to pick for benefit and who to reject. What credentials do they present to us. Do we really need to check and balance such situations. They are in your face virtually. There is that Mother with child in arm that you know well enough needs to be fed to survive. The handicapped, deprived of an arm a leg an important part of his system, that you can see needs help. But how many can one do ? They think we can, we know we cannot do all. But how does one explain doing for one and not the other. A dilemma of immense proportions, perhaps never to be resolved !! Sad but true !!
Thank you Lord for what we receive from you. For the generosity of possessions, for the kindness of health, for the care of want and desire. Allow us to relish this state, be grateful and not seek even more. To be content, to be happy for what we have and not despair for what we do not. There shall never be contentment in desire. The more you get the more you desire. Stop it then ! Have the courage to say it so in so many words and smile.
A genuine smile …
Good night … early morning .. it is past 2:00 AM !!
Jalsa , Mumbai Jan 1/2, 2012 Sun/Mon 12:05 AM
Wishing GS a very happy birthday for the 1st of Jan and … a collective prayer for Manoj Lahoti’s 9 month old son who suffers in hospital .. and wishing Bhaskar for his birthday on the 2nd Jan .. may there be happiness all around …
The year of 2012 begins with dusky clouds in the morning and a chill in the air .. Nothing quite like the chill of Delhi or the snow and winter of the Western hemisphere, but chill enough for this part of the world, which has acclimatized itself to a healthy 28 to 30 degrees even in the cold. A laughing matter for most of you that live in minus temperatures, but here the wollies and the monkey caps are out in good measure …
But a prayer and a fast later, the sun does emerge and gives us the feel of almost a fresh and new beginning of the day the year and more .. It becomes strange almost to print in the numbers 2012, being so used to the 2011 for an entire year. Also January has come by after some deliberation and effort, as has the beginning of the year activities – awards !! The channels and the print magazines have sent in their initial invitations to block dates. Media friends have begun to soften in the requests for our presence, promising an event that shall be ‘different’ from the others, with a great amount of surprises thrown in …
But the initiation to the year at midnight has been sober and quiet and contemplated and this morning as predicted the pages of information in the press have contained the celebrations, the fireworks, the crowds at beaches and squares, and the special items of dance and frolic at major Hotels and events …
Abhishek has been able to spend an entire day with us after ages – he being flown in every day to different locations for his promotions for ‘Players’ releasing in a few days on the Friday – a fast paced slick film with some rather picturesque and daring stunts in some of the more remote regions of the world – New Zealand to the North Pole via Russia … well almost !!
It would be welcome if the Ef could spread the word around on the film ..
Stepping out to meet and greet the fans of Sunday .. they were large again in numbers and the controlling systems were in place unlike last Sunday when they had attempted to jump into my bed !!
With the son and Father now together almost ‘Sarkaar’ like in disposition .. ha ha !!
They come in all sizes .. cute and innocent until the doors open and they get pushed around ..but from today a system in place where the segregation of the sexes shall be in operation …
A side view outside the gate .. the family returns from Prateeksha after the Pooja and every car that goes in is received with shouts of recognition .. in fact I have slipped in from the back because the traffic has jammed and I am finding it difficult to enter my own home ..
More … and more .. systems gone out of place momentarily .. but better results than that of the other days
The system and the police in order, soon to be disrupted as the gates open …
a departure form the Sunday crowds, to the more lovable canine talks .. Shanouk and its owner up on the bill boards for the cover page of a magazine which we talked about earlier …
Injured … but happy to be at Jalsa ..
Seeking celestial presence .. wish I could be free someday to get to grow such beard, wear the ’tilak’ and the scarce clothing .. become saintly .. visit the snow capped mountains .. live in silent contemplation ..
Happy New Year .. be well and healthy and in great comfort to whatever you do …
My love with this day and the days to come .. however long ..
Jalsa , Mumbai Dec 31/Jan 1 , 2011-2012 Sat/Sun 2 : 23 AM
No ! That was not enough ! Just the wide and colored greetings ! Large in font and cut pasted with some haste. It was just the exuberance of another year passing by that prompted it. Perhaps the warmth of the quiet family dinner, perhaps the sudden burst of the fireworks from adjoining Hotel, perhaps just because I had to express something, perhaps …
The expectation of celebration for just another day going by is perhaps the greatest anomaly of our times. Perhaps there is need to indulge, to brighten the house with buntings and blinking christmas trees, to prepare a special meal, to smile and laugh away the year or the day gone by – one doesn’t do that routinely does one ? To wish, to pledge, to resolve, to bring in change in mind and thought – why one does it for this one singular day has always intrigued me. But in all honesty, intrigued me now, never before. Youth and the early years allow celebration and the anticipation of fun and games and an atmosphere that looks special. There is a need for it, perhaps because traditionally it has been executed year after year. As one approaches the latter years of one’s life one discounts its importance – better to get in some well needed rest than to be singing wildly on crowded streets. To mingle with compatriots, our own and join them in theirs and our festivity. There is a certain pragmatism that beckons us, pushes us into rethinking the entire idea of this mood, and helps us to succumb to some calibrated sobriety.
Did we, before we got influenced by our rulers particularly the British, the French and the Portuguese and would you believe from Denmark, celebrate the change of year as bounteously as we do now. I do not hear or read of such reference. But the British with all their pomp and character of pageantry, did bring in all that has still remained with us. Celebration necessities were introduced, formats, protocol and its ethics followed through ages became mandatory essentials. Words were constructed among the locals to be able to give the moment a certain respect. Christmas was dubbed as ‘bada din’ – the big day ! In certain institutions it is still addressed thus. Cities and locations that are still pronounced with their Anglo-Indian communities, do justice still to those routines. Calcutta, then, now Kolkata, was one such city, and in the year of 1962 when I had shifted base from a predominantly Punjabi Delhi to Bengal, many surroundings within which we moved and socialized, bore witness to modalities which reminded greatly of the Raj. In fact some of the private institutes still had restrictions on the admissibility of locals. One such being the Calcutta Swimming Club, membership to which even after Independence was scrutinized to an extent where the Westerner held preference over the local ‘browns’ !!
But I digress. A new year is a new year. It is time passed, moving on to the next. Maybe it does deserve respect and attention. But certainly after the 1st of January it is back to ‘atey dal ka bhav’ … the common needs of everyday life !!
The car hooters and horns still dominate the streets outside. Masses of young scream and whistle the night away, keeping the prying eyes of the uniformed attentive throughout. Tomorrow’s papers shall have a setting sun, or crowds of party enthusiasts swinging to the mid night hour, and God forbid if there has been mischief created by some over some, it shall be outrageously presented.
A summary of what the entire year meant for celebrities, politicians and the business world at large has already been documented. What shall come now, if it has not already, will be the expectations from 2012. Many shall fall victims to this query and give their interpretation of what the next year holds for them, many shall give serious consideration to it and delve into the whole mechanics that will go into operation for 2012.
For me ..
Another year has gone by ….
Remain good and remain healthy .. and do remain connected … to me !!!