Saturday, March 31, 2012

Joy of Giving or Receiving ?

Few months ago Sandhya ( my house help  ) was not just quite herself. She is a vibrant, lively, and jovial and not to overlook a bit educated as well. A self made, self motivated person, taking the challenges of life head –on. It was obvious that she was in desperate need of something, but was hesitant to ask for.  I had to put in a bit of my talking skills to get the things out of her.

She has been doing the household work for past 17 years now (since she was 20 years!!), and it is taking toil on her health. The reason we all toil day in and out ourselves is for our family and children, she is no different than us, doing the same, the only difference is we are privileged enough to have white collar jobs and she isn’t.

She has done all that she could do for her children (both boys!!) and now was looking in for some good job for the eldest of her son. She was searching for that hand, which could help her to get a job for her son.
We worked out something for her son, helping her resolve the issues. A few days ago . son joined her in Muscat, (with a job in his hand).

Yesterday morning she asked what she could do in return for all the help that we had extended. As all of us would do in such sort of situation , I just smiled and said “ NOTHING AT ALL “, it was our pleasure , and we were happy that we could be of some help .

She had that look of concern and fret, she kept staring at me (with tears rolling down her eyes!) and said again “but I've  got to do something to repay you”. Those look on her face, the feeling of not being able to pay me back struck me.

I could have one more time just said, the same what I had said before “nothing at all “. However, the look on her face, made me understand that she really wanted to give something in return for what she had received. I realized that the best way I could give anything to her was at this point was to accept her offer and say “YES “. By doing this at least I would make her feel honored, special wanted whatever you can say.!!

In that moment I just told her,” Do whatever you feel appropriate “
Finally she, smiled, agreed and started doing her work. For me the topic was over (at least for time being!!).

I  received a call this morning  ( I had thought of not answering  the call as it was reflecting an unknown number ), but my mannerisms told me what so ever I should answer the call  , you never know how important it can be !!!, to my surprise it was Sandhya’s son ,on the other side. He told me how well he was doing and how happy he was with the job.

While I was on the phone with him, the door bell rang, when I opened the door Sandhya was sending right in front of me with a BIG BOX and A BAG in her hand.
She said “How grateful she was and they just wanted to say thank you with a little something. And she handed me the box and a bag.

I was very uncomfortable and again mumbled the same thing that you don’t have to do this and so on and so forth...
Sandhya has been with me since past 2 years now and she knows my biggest passions are books and cakes. I took the box, it did not take me a minute to realize it was “A CAKE “and the bag contained A BOOK!!!!!

I was touched, here she was aware of how I appreciated both these things and here I was totally astounded..!!!!

When you do something for someone else (intention less to get something in return) they feel obligated to do something back. You can term it as “Law of Reciprocation “. By giving her the chance to give something back for what we had done for her, boosted her worth. I presume it made her feel better about herself and more worthwhile.

Is it better for us to receive than give in a situation like this? Yes, I guess by receiving you give more than you can imagine.
As far as I am concerned, this incident, of this day, has left me … SPEECHLESS!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dance Through Life

How would tomorrow look? How would my world interact?

When I look out the window at the bright sunshine, blue skies and magical clouds, somewhere along the way, I began to remember about the cause and effect. Suddenly some limitations came into existence. Continuing to grow and mature, I learned to reason and apply my own critical thinking to situations that may or may not happen. I start creating a new reality within the context of my mind and my past experiences.( Wonderful as well as some worth erasing )

Every day we would do well to forget many of the happenings of our yesterday. No bias, no fear, no limitations, no expectations, just wonder. Wonder and curiosity accompanied by joy and love. This intrigues me greatly!!!

How many times you really have said “YES “, when actually you wanted to say a “NO”?
Have you ever felt, that in the life’s ups and downs, we actually have stopped dancing? the life has become stale or is on a standstill ?

One day hopeful, the other goes in sheer destitute, one day in love, the next day hateful ( worth erasing ! ), one moment playful, the next moment serious, and one day success is at your feet , the next day you  embrace failure.

We're constantly moving and changing. The only constant is the calmness, the stillness, the silence, the quiet place deep inside where spirit connects spirit. We generally feel it in the closest moments of intimacy with family or significant others.

It is experienced in the greatest insightful moment of joy and all words, all senses; all intellectual capacity has escaped us. There is nothing left to figure out, there is only to forget. 

But there is something more to this experience of life. Don’t you think we are confided to living a life sentence in our self created jail? We are just conditioned beasts of labor and love.

There is, and always was, so much more available to us. It exists everywhere, in the most extraordinary and ordinary. The only way I can explain the discovery, is to dance through the road of life.

Many things may seem unattainable, it is the peak possibility, of that there is no doubt.

But, a grain of salt brings flavor to the most tasteless things in the world, I want to be that grain of salt ( though very small ) and flavor each day for a fantastic experience of life .

I want to dance through  life ……and I am exactly doing that !!!!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rebuilding Trust - Not Easy.. Not Impossible Either..

In relation to my yesterdays post about jealousy, and what it could do to relationships. We all know how important role “trust “plays in lives of people.

We all believe the most vital ingredient for the healthy relationship is trust, and once broken or damaged is it really easy to rebuild trust? 

You lose trust you lose everything, it’s a painful experience which often involves a lot of hurt, confusion anger and sadness. And the worst part is dealing with them, when you are trying to rebuild the trust again.

I have always noticed (or rather heard) from people; they always want to get even with the partner. It may sound childish, but when someone does not understand our hurt and pain we try to make them feel what we are feeling, (it’s mostly and unconscious response). Not feeling understood leads to a game of inflicting mutual hurt.

Most of the time, the partners do not take that time to understand each other or even take that extra step to do it and other time they get defensive ( or feel  always under attack situation !!).
When in a relationship we accuse or we are accused of wrongdoing , it often is followed either by an excuse and explanation , sometimes apologies  or we tend to withdraw with vengeance with an idea to attack back ( just waiting for that moment or a chance!!!!!)

Do these strategies really work? The answer is a big NO! All these things fail to create an understanding. People need to be felt understood before an apology or explanations are offered or accepted. It’s virtually impossible to rebuild trust until you understand the person you have hurt or vice a versa. 

In such situations where one is trying to rebuild trust, we have to see it from a partner’s point of view. We have to acknowledge the other persons feelings and their interpretation of the situation. (Everyone gets hurt, angry and they have all the right to be upset!!).

To rebuild trust , I guess is not an easy thing to do , but if the other persons feelings are understood and considered as fair and legitimate and they are told you get what they feel, the road to regain trust is going to be much easier. When someone feels understood when they are upset, they are more likely to calm down and listen to the other side of the story. They tend to forgive and even get closer.

If you are not ready to give it all up yet and you have the energy and the will power to keep hanging in there you can survive this phase.

Talking and listening to one another is a key to getting through this. Talking to one another on a rational adult to adult level, leaving aside accusations and emotions , just telling each other how the current situations makes you feel.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and when you love somebody the journey to that light is a worthwhile trip.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Monster Called Jealousy

Few days ago a couple (who happen to be friends) approached us, we could sense that the purpose of the visit was more then what met the eye. After the hours of discussion about all the topics in the world, they came to the real reason of their visit.

They’d been having problems in their relationship, to be honest I was feeling good that they had chosen me and my better half to share something so intimate and they could trust and confide in us, but somewhere within I was feeling sad about the whole fact that such a thing could happen with them after so many years of marriage (happy marriage I would say, for them as a couple they were.) His wife  lately has been spending  time with me and the other ladies but I could never sense that there was something really wrong... rather so much wrong.!!!! 

The husband was fearful that his wife was having an affair.

He looked dreadful, tired and overwrought; he displayed to me all the classic signs of a guy who was being eaten up from inside out. His desperation and jealousy was not only making him sick and sad, it was driving her further and further away too! His lack of trust in her was not only insulting but was eroding anything good they’d ever had…..

Here they were at my place, to seek some help and try to get out of the mess they were in, and here we were understanding that there was an obvious problem at hand, but not having a clue in the head as to what we were going to do!!! (Not being professional marriage counselors!!). Hearing them with all the attention, we could derive that all the cause was from a seed called jealousy and nothing more ....

We did our best, which we thought was right at that point of time. Rest we left to them as being mature individuals they would be able to sort out …..And I am sure they will…….

They definitely stayed on my mind the whole night , I thought letting your jealousy show is a fail safe way to lose your dignity ,dismantle your self esteem and frankly , ruin your life !!!!. Nothing can ruin relationships (especially marriage) faster than jealousy.

I am sure; no one thinks straight and clearly when they are jealous. It creates nothing more then anxiety, anger, hate and fear. The end result transforming them from lover supporter, to enemy…..

When you’re jealous you assume the worst. If the spouse is going out with their boss he/she is having an affair (why it can’t be just a simple lunch?).

He / she is not answering the phone that leaves the person thinking that the spouse is with someone else and does not want to take your phone (may be the person is in the supermarket carrying loads of groceries / or simply have left the phone on the desk and is somewhere else!!!)

 Wow, we sure make life tough for ourselves sometimes, isn’t it?

I believe such situations in relationship arises when for some reason you don’t feel easy to communicate openly and easily anymore , means something has changed……

Or perhaps one or both partners are manipulating their power by withholding things out of anger, hurt or may be plain thoughtlessness.

Whatever the situations, what it creates is communication “black holes “, easily filled with fury and fantasy.

Best way to handle the awful feelings of jealousy is you need to communicate, stop assuming the worst and ask, open the lines.

Stop looking thirsty for assurance. How on the earth can we can respect each other if you don’t respect yourself enough to control your fears and paranoia?

Most important of all , is to remind each other why are we together in the first place, and understand that a relationship is only worth keeping alive if u can trust each other.

And remember, jealousy is demeaning and embarrassing. It is a sign of weakness and fear.

In the end the fastest way to kill the monster has nothing to do with your partner, and everything to do with you. 

When you have great self-esteem, jealousy has no choice but to pack its bags, and leave town!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Celebrating Myself

When I think of being a woman!!! I ask the question to myself,” What it means to be a woman? “.

Every time we are asked to fill up the form of any kind, it has an obvious check box male or female. Separate but equal, different but equal. Men and women are different and I am not saying for good or for worse, but there is a difference and this difference should be celebrated.

When I truly look at myself, as who am I as a woman I am astounded. Yes, I love my femininity and the power that goes along with it. I am celebrating that …..

We are the representatives of creation, we create a form from the formless in the course of nine months, we are the giver of life and I am celebrating that…..

I am loving the journey , I have travelled so far as a daughter to my parents, a sister to my siblings , a girlfriend/a lover /a wife to my husband and most important role which I play now as a stay at home mother.
I do not work (how terrible it may sound to few!!!). But  I have lot of tasks to do , the laundry that piles as fast as it was cleared, picking the toys that litter around the house , the finger prints on clean  glass door, be a chef for the house and once in a week for the guests, , to check the foreheads of the loved ones ( to see if they are warm ), listen to the dream my son has when he is going to be an adult, do homework ( as much as that I can get a degree again ), play games ,( even though it means just to repetition of what we have done innumerable times ). But I don’t work!!!! I am not contributing to the family in monetary terms but, my contribution is beyond, from dusk to dawn caring, loving, nurturing, listening and I am celebrating that…..

I love to sacrifice what all I have or known for the people in my life, but I also stand up for what I believe in and fight to get what is rightfully mine!!!! And I deserve to have it.
I have enough sugar and spice in my life, the family plays the sweet part and I add up to the spice by being what t I am and what I want to be following my dreams. I am celebrating that…….

I spread warmth and love, I share a smile and I endure as well. I am tender yet strong, I feel the pain and I control the anger, I work hard and sweat and bleed, but just to see my family happy at the end... I am celebrating that…

The only thing I expect is I want to be appreciated for my accomplishments, admired for the love, and loved for my passion and emotions.
I am Me!!!  A bit different than other, and I need to be proud of that. I have a voice and I can make choice as well.

My life is moving in the direction I could not ever imagine. A choice to be a woman, proud of what I am and I am celebrating that…..

This article is for the Women's Web Contest 


Stranger's to................ Friend's

Early morning walks have become the way of life for many these days!!!  , I am one among them. (Trying to be health freak I guess). Actually I try to be away from the hustle- bustle and escape from the temporary worries of life for some time.

As it is a regular practice, you tend to meet a lot of people who are as regular as you are (few whom you know by name, few by faces) so a nod here and there, a smile here and there and followed by good mornings is a ritual we follow.

From among them, I noticed a new face a few days ago… whenever we crossed there was that eye contact (it seemed as if we both were trying to tell each other something). Days passed we started exchanging smiles. Every day she would make an eye contact and give a pleasant smile, I could sense that she was looking for a conversation; a bit reluctant to be the initiator (sometimes body language says it all). She was trying to adjust to the new place, surroundings and people, which was my preliminary understanding. 

We all have felt that sometime or the other whenever we have moved places…..and we also know that we have hundreds of questions in our mind... unfortunately with no answers…!!!

I decided a night before, that I would take the initiative to introduce myself get the conversational ball rolling.   On approaching her and with those, formal hellos and exchange of speck of personal details... I could tell that she was seriously looking for someone to talk to ( but was a bit shy and scared to talk to stranger ) and I felt great that I was able to be of help and answers to lots of her questions.

The thoughts that stayed with me through the day were.......

Walking up to a stranger and striking up a conversation is social equivalent of sky diving its fun, interesting and risky. But there are people for whom ( I was also among such a few years ago ) it’s not easy to  start a conversation with new people,  like Vandana ( the name of my new friend ), the thought of trying to make a conversation with people who are new makes them break into cold sweat !!

We as children are taught that “Never talk to Strangers” we seem to follow that even when we are adults.

People who find it difficult to go and start a conversation , I think it’s just because they are putting too much pressure on themselves, they think they have to put up a great performance to impress the other person .. Is it really so???

They just have to let themselves be what they are, just be ordinary and talk about ordinary things .when you think that you have to be at your best and perfect in your conversation, you ruin it all. You are more focused on what you have to say and less focused on the person you have just met.

The person or the people you have just met are not looking for brilliant conversation. What they are looking is someone who they will be comfortable with, fun to talk, and most important interested in them….Listening to them.

After all, majority of the conversation between two new people don’t go anywhere, so what if the encounter does not turn into the great friendship. It takes time, effort and mutual interests to turn casual strangers to friends.

Remember, that all of the friends we already have were strangers to us at one point in our life, until we started talking and found out what we have in common.

Learning how to make conversation with people you don’t know well can be the first step in making many new friends, that’s how I have added one more in my friend list ……

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fear of Losing .......

Today while having a general conversation among friends (rather ridiculous ones!!), we moved on to the topic which I fear the most to discuss.

I have this feeling, the thing I don’t want to think about or I don’t allow myself too. I have this whisperings inside, “What if all the people I love and care are gone? What would I do?
There is nothing that scares me more than losing people I love and care about. (I know it’s kind of freaky).

Next month is my dad’s 17th death anniversary. I miss all the goodness about my dad, his simplicity, his sense of humor, fighting spirits, laughter, joy, and hard work ethics and doing best with what he had in his life. Some umbrella of protectiveness shut with his loss. It was hard to pick up the pieces of the shattered heart and it took years to get to the point where I felt stable footing again. I missed that feeling of security that having a father allow you, whatever age you reach in life... I so envied those who had that. (Truth be told, I still do!!!! ).

And about 6 years ago I lost my uncle, who I was so close to after my father’s death. His death showed me, anyone can be taken away from you when you least expect it .I can’t seem to let go of him either. His death effected me differently and became a sad abstract experience for me living far away (The biggest disadvantage of living out of your country can’t reach in time when you want too!!!!!).

What remained with me is the fragrance of his hair cream and perfumes which made a fantastic combo, and coupled with the smell of cigarette smoke to his clothes. His scent was a signature, which I will never forget!

When you lose someone whom you hold most dear, you don’t lose them all at one. You lose them in pieces over time. Their thoughts aren’t what you can immediately wipe away.

It has been years, and knowing that when I will go home, I will never see my dad and uncle greet me at the door is devastating and does not seem fair. But who ever told us life was fair?
My loved ones are no longer with me on this earth, but I remember them in memories and moments now, looking back on things they taught me and things we shared.

I have lost people….

I have come very close to losing people…..

For some reason this is my biggest fear of not losing the ones I am left with…..
When I am separated from people I really love, I tend to think the worst. I am terrified, may be its anxiety... I just can’t handle loss very well. It’s the insecure part of me that worries and makes me out of control.

One is stunned when it happens; you slap and pinch yourself to wake-up from a horrible dream because you think it cannot happen. But it becomes clear that God had made other plans.

But somewhere I do know Life is short, and we don’t know how much time we have!!!! Life is unpredictable, it is here one second and gone the next. It’s important to cherish the moments with the loved ones, and enjoy the bonds. This helps me to see the things in different perspective, but not always.


I know we have to shed the tear, get back up and keep going without them.
I know that even though we love them deeply we can not make them stay…..
God breaks our hearts to prove us ....
He only takes the best…………..