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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year- And some reflections

New Year 2009, is around the corner. A time for some quiet reflection, for the year gone by and some thinking ahead.....

2008 was the year when the world faced a 'Global melt-down', something that even the most hardened cynics couldn't possibly have anticipated..

With it, the loss of so many Institutions, jobs, people ...Then looking at the creation of some new ones.

For it is only when the 'Old order crumbles that a new one emerges."Or as the proverbial 'Phoenix' rises from the ashes, so will something new come out of all this.

On a more personal note, some changes, transitions, movement ahead..

The loss of some dear people, leaving behind a vacuum that will be hard to fill

And the finding of new friends, who give great joy and happiness..

So there's always hope., Hope for a brighter day, a brighter week...

And a brighter New Year..

So here's looking ahead... to New Year 2009

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sunset- A Time for reflection

It's true you know.......

The sun will set every day
And it will rise again, the next morning.

While I captured these moments on film the other day, I thought what a marvellous sight I could see unfolding right in front of my eyes..

And since I let it, one which touched a very deep chord within my 'being'.
Where for a long , long moment in time, I was all alone..
Just me, the sea, the sand and the setting sun.
A true moment in time, of being 'one with myself'
And the one we call 'God', somewhere around me too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unknown children at play-makes my day

Now that my own daughter has grown up, I sometimes miss the feeling of say,

Holding her hand and taking her out to the park. Just the two of us.....

Then putting her onto the swings and gently pushing her up, higher and higher.
And hearing her delighted laughter, as she feels herself going up, up, and then down.

Or then taking her to Baskin Robbins for her favourite 'Cookies and cream' ice cream, just becausdse she "felt like eating it now".

Even if it had to be done at 10 in the night, when sleep beckoned me- very, very strongly...
Or then to 'House of Prose 'where she loved to read books, more than buying them...

Or, Or, Or......

So what I've started doing now, is look for her in other children.

Children of the world, who are there, everywhere I look.

And everywhere I see a happy girl child , I see my Neha in her.

So Neha, these are who I've found so far. Among a few others...

Here's wishing you and all your friends in the UK, a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year as well.

We are Missing you, child...
And have set up your Christmas tree too. Just the way you would have done...

Lots and lots of love
MA and PA

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Random shots- A Fathers love

Why do most people always talk about a "mother's love?"

And so, somewhere we always end up doing injustice to the other person who is an equal partner in the creation of a child, the father.

Perenially accepted in the role of a 'secondary caregiver', a father can be so much more- if he chooses to. And yes, today's fathers are quite a different breed from those of one or then two generations ago.

Since, "Every picture speaks a thousand words", or so they say, this little blog entry is my personal attempt to correct this perception.

For what we have here are moments in time, of pure unadaulterated joy.

A father with his two daughters, on his day off.

When there are no timetables to follow...

Just peace, love and happiness

Out in the sunshine..

And the fresh air

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Like many of us I've often loved the thought of having 'friends'.

And thanked God for the many, many good friends that I've been lucky enough to find... as I've gone along life's journey.

The fact of the matter- we can all grow, and flourish only when we have friends who truly care.

Care enough to the extent of telling us off , if we are going 'off track'.
Or if we really have gone off track, being there to help us 'rise'.

Again, and again.... if the need be...

So let us just pause for a moment, and reflect, how many real friends can we count?

More importantly, how many people are we real and true friends to?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

545 PM Dec 12th, The Al Hajar Mountain range in the Sultanate of Oman.

Out in the wilderness, this is the most fascinating view that caught our attention...

Leaping out of the vehicle, this is what I managed to capture on camera.

Intriguing enough by itself. But what was more than exciting was the next day, when I learnt that the moon had passed closest to the earth that evening

Making this the biggest 12 years.

Talk of luck, or was it opportunity...?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eid Mubarak- The beauty of Islam and it's culture

Having lived in a predominantly Muslim country for almost two decades, has taught me about the beauty of Islam, its culture, it's love for all humanity, and it's broadbased approach, to people of all religions as well.

Living in Oman has taught me to sincerely appreciate and understand -how easy life really is.

Hindus go to pray in their own specially constructed temples, Sikhs to their Gurdwara, Christians to Church, and Muslims to their mosques.

Each- to their own, and a total acceptance of the others way of life.

Tommorrow as Eid Al Adha dawns, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone.May there always be peace -here in the Gulf, in India, which has so recently witnessed so much of bloodshed and carnage.... and all over the world..


Sunday, December 7, 2008

And so, towards the future..

It's been just over 10 days since tragedy struck Mumbai.
And it's a whole 'new India' that has literally woken up to that fact....

I rejoice in the fact that it's all sections of society, as well as all age groups that are involved in this silent, peaceful awakening.

In the aftermath, so many truths have come to light.

The most critical being the fact that there were security and administration failures.And repeatedly at that.

Then the fact that various politicians attempted to capiatalize on the situation, in ways that are crude and difficult to believe, even today.

Top of mind-remember Narendra Modi and his 1 crore rupees?

This is the time when all responsible Indians need to step back and think.

And think, long as well as hard.

What is the India that we would like to have? One that our future generations will be able to truly and proudly move many, many leagues further?

Or back into a regressive, and terrible situation where some of our own countrymen, will have to fear for their lives as well as their families?

Such as what happened to the Sikh community in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi's murder?

The horrors of that clearly and deliberately orchestrated pogrom return to haunt us, even today...

The saving grace that I clearly saw, was yesterday, the 6th of December.

When possibly few, if any, newpapers remembered to report that it was the Anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition...

So-There is definitely hope for this great country, India.
If only we all take control and follow through with our individual bit of responsibility

Friday, December 5, 2008

A memory from the past

It was one cold December night of our winter vacation in Delhi.The year must have been 2001.
We had just finished a family dinner at Punjabi by Nature in Priya's Vasant Vihar Complex.
And were looking for a 'paan' to conclude the 'eating fiesta.'

As everyone wandered from place to place, looking around, I stood near a Bangles/accessories pavement seller, looking at his wares.

And my eyes just happened to fall on an old lady, sitting on a nearby pavement bench.What particularly caught my attention was her totally sad eyes, and an expression of sheer desolation. She looked absolutely lost and alone. Though it was clear that she came from the upper strata of society.

The very next moment, she turned and looked at me. Our eyes met, and an unspoken communication took place. I willed her into some semblance of awareness of her surroundings.....and she managed a timid smile.

And then, something that has stayed with me -till today, and every now and then still returns to haunt me...

A younger woman, (possibly her daughter in law? )walked up to her and asked loudly- in Punjabi- "Bunty Kidhar Hai? Kidhar hai Bunty?"

And this one looked up, totally confused , for she hadn't even realised- that Bunty wasn't there!
She started stammering," I don't know, he was just here"...desperately looking around....

For she really had no clue.

All the while the younger woman continued her ranting...

Suddenly, a boy of about 6 came running up- straight to the older woman. And hugging her , he said, "Sorry, I had just gone there... for a moment."

The lady was relieved , and in that moment, tears spilled out of her eyes...

And I stood watching- having understood what I had just unwittingly been a mute witness to.

Gross disrespect of an older person. It was obvious that she was now without her partner. And that's why the younger woman had the audacity to treat her this way.

Life took over, and I went on with my family in the next few minutes, but not without turning to look back at her. Still alone, yet, the child was holding on to her hand...

In some of my quiet moments, I often wonder, what happened to her from that day onwards?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Moments that matter.

Talking to your friends, and really 'listening' to what they have to say.

Or sharing your own 'real' thoughts with them, without couching them in polite tones.
Because one does so much of it in maintaining a 'public face' anyway!

Stepping into another person's shoes, and just for a moment realizing where they are coming from, and why they think, feel and behave the way they sometimes appear to-(sometimes to your irritation, perhaps?)

Standing up for another person's rights, because you realize that they aren't able to get what they really, really deserve.
And having the courage to and persistance to ensure that you finish what you started.

Giving some of our time, and some of our enthusiasm to those are lonely.
For reaching out to a lonely person is probably the one of the things make us realize how thankful we really ought to be for all those who we have today.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What next?

Kerala CM Achutanandan refuses to apologise, so Mr Karat is forced to, on his behalf...

Ram Gopal Verma sees nothing wrong in what he did. Says he just "happened to be there" and wanted to see for himself.

Pranab Mukerjee's statement- New Delhi has not given up the idea of using a Military option against Pakistan.

And the President elect of the US Mr Obama, endorses that statement.

Pakistan's training camps continue to run, still churning out potential terrorists.

Those who escaped the attacks are slowly limping back.... to something resembling 'normal.'

And elections in India, will be impacted by all of this- whether anyone likes it, or not

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Aftermath

Today, we have a new Home Minister, and the Maharashtra CM has resigned, along with his Deputy.

The NSG finally has helicopters, and hopefully many more in the near future.

The two year old son, of a young Jewish Rabbi cries in confusion, having lost both his parents in a hail of bullets.

The ashes of the 183 dead people still smoulder...

Kerala CM Achutanandan vents his spleen on the slain hero,Maj Unnikrishnan's father, saying that if t had not been for him, even a dog would not have visited that house.

Some BJP leader objects to women "wearing lipstick and powder "and participating in a candle lit vigil, in the wake of this horrendous tragedy.

Can't help but wonder, what will tomorrow bring?