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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Parents- Random thoughts

Even at my age, I still feel like a 'child' when I'm with my parents.
Because just being with them, makes me feel safe and comfortable.

Just like I used to as a child.

Particularly after I'd insisted on seeing a horror movie, when I was much to young to see it.Then feeling scared at night, thinking that all the ghouls and monsters would "get me".... ..just like they'd 'got' the characters in the movie I'd seen.

Or then one night when I had this terrible, terrible pain in my stomach in the middle of the night and my father rushed me to the doctor, and I was secure in the knowledge that he would make me get better.

Which is what really did happen then.

Or then, when I'd not done as well as I'd liked to have done in my Class 10 pre boards, and my mother told me that it really was 'inconsequential'.
As I would definitely do better in the finals...

And just that reassurance, coming as and when it did, really made me do it. ...Magically perform so much better...

So many more thoughts, it's just that today I could think of these.

As we approach the Golden Jubilee of my parents in a couple of days..

Monday, February 23, 2009

'Slumdog' Oscar Mania- But we forgot 'Smile Pinky'

Now that we have won. Thanks due to A. R. Rehmans indisputable talent.

Which all of us Indians had acknowledged many, many years ago. And the Euphoria has begun to die down somewhat.

And India has got the Oscars that it has waited for..
Year after year after year.

We have somewhat forgotten that another Oscar has been picked up for another Indian story- set in the heartland of India- Uttar Pradesh. And must remind ourselves that it's yet another Westerner who has brought it to the forefront.

The story of a little girl with a cleft lip

Smile Pinky - Our very best to you too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What is it about a place of worship?

What really is it about a place of worship that provides a sense of peace and calm to all who visit?
Whether on occasion, or then on a regular basis?

Something that goes beyond what can be just easily explained in simple words, because it is something which comes from 'within'.

Ask any individual to explain what he/she feels inside their place of worship- temple, fire temple mosque, gurudwara , synagogue and you will come up with a whole of reasons....For sometimes it is to thank their lord, at other times it may be to ask for something.

Or then at other times, simply to be 'a part of a larger community' that believes in something.However one may choose to define it.
For all of us are social animals and that itself, is the basis of this particular way of 'bonding'.

But then as some others say, that in every man/woman, resides their God.Well that too is a way to worship.Each to their own.

As long as this faith and prayer takes us through.
To another day, week, year....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wisdom from the wise- Thank you Amanda

So much to learn, every day of our lives.
As I did, just yesterday, from my friend Mary Ann's mother Amanda.

A classic example of an independent, alert and aware octagerianian, Mrs Amanda Tarnawski lives in a specially designed apartment block which is meant for older people. And looks at life exacatly the way she wants to.

Staying in touch with friends and family via e-mail, she loves to travel, visiting her children, in various countries . And speaks exactly what she believes in. Without mincing words.

What I found paraticularly amazing was when she very simply told us the story of her 88 year old critically ill sister, who told her to just up and go on this paraticular holiday. Without looking back , and without worrying what would happen to her in that interim..

So much so that she could actually tell us what her sister had told her."Even if I die, just don't come specially for that, but when your trip is actually over. "All of this said with such simplictity. I learnt what a great bond the two sisters have.

But more importantly the sheer acceptance of the 'possibility of death'.

Which will surely claim all of us one day...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cinema- Where dreams can come true

Why do people watch movies, or then again, why do filmmakers churn out movies year after year, or then even, month after month?

Simply because this is a world where everybody's every dream can come true.Where the wekest of human beings can revel in watching the hero beat up twenty men, and emerge unscathed at the end of it all.The victor, of good over evil.

Or then again, the hero romancing the heroine, even singing songs in the park, or sometimes even better if it's in the rain.The stuff that everyone's dreams are made of....

Where everything that you can imagine can come true... well it certainly does mean good value for three hours worth of viewing time.

I for one,am a hard core cinema fan, and absolutely love my time in the theatre. From as long back as I can remember..

Viva la cinema and may the tribe of film producers increase....always!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Violin- King of the Orchestra

There are some musical instruments and then there are some others.

One of my personal and perennial favourites is the Violin, often truly called the 'King of the Orchestra'.Going back in time and recalling the effect of it's music on my mind, I clearly recall numerous moments, some of them in some of my all time favoutite movies, Thorn Birds, Gone with the wind, Love Story, Dr Zhivago and then Junoon, where the violin has been magnificiently used to convey a 'completeness and range of emotions-

Love, tenderness, pathos, sorrow, or then quite simply, happiness and joy.

The violin is a bow string instrument with four strings usually tuned in perfect fifths.It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the 'viola' and 'cello'.Usually, however, the strings are not plucked; instead a bow is passed over them to make them 'vibrate'.

No instrument can do all the violin can do.At different times these are some of the emotions that I have associated with the violin. It has made me feel sad, or then, at other times, warm and good all over.

By playing slowly or fast then faster,it has sometimes made my heart feel a whole host of emtions that are sometimes quite difficult to define. Because there are simply just so many of them.

All at the same time, or then, one following the other, in rapid succession.

At times like these, I simply let the music flow over me, taking it in, and can't help but marvel at the skill of the player whose music has such a major impact.

On my mind as it must surely do...
..........On so many countless others.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Euthanasia- The controversy

Sometimes one thinks about every human being's "right to live. "
Or then equally, every human being's 'right to die."

And that is really the crux of the issue- Euthanasia, or the act of "mercy killing"

A debate that really has no end in sight and one that can go on forever. Depending on which side of the debate one chooses to position oneself on.

My personal belief- Every individual has the right to be able to decide how long they wish to live. But more importantly, under what conditions they wish to live.

Living wills
allow people to specify what treatment they want if they become mentally incompetent - if they develop dementia, for instance. the UK the government is drawing up plans to give them legal force.

In Holland the same line of reasoning applies to soft drugs and euthanasia- people will smoke soft drugs, so it might be better to educate them about it openly; doctors will be faced with requests from people who would prefer to end their suffering, so perhaps better be realistic about it.

This is really an extremely practical approach to follow.One seriously wishes that more govts. worldwide would take note of this and perhaps follow....

Broadly we know of- passive euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and active euthanasia.But I suspect that there are many more variations...

Finally, like in so mnay critical issues, govts can only take lead and perhaps give a direction.Much will of course depend on a 'case to case' basis..

And so the debate will go on....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Global Meltdown-immediate repercussions

It is term that has by now begun to symbolize real tragedy, hardship and sadness.
In ways that are quite visible.

And I can refer to the Gulf in my immediate context....

Every weekend usually meant 'party time', when Malls were filled to capacity,as were the restaurants.

Not so any more,for every time we go out, the crowds are less and then, somewhat more so....In Dubai,we know of cases where brand new cars with their keys in their ignitions are deserted as the people literally flee,from there.Not beingable to make ends meet any more.

Construction has come to a grindng halt and everywhere there are signs of steady deterioration.

Leaving us with the thought.........
.................And this is just the beginning...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Nostalgia Lane

Going through life at our normal/hectic pace we tend to lose track of moments that matter. Now.

Or then, sometimes even moments that have mattered.

So I take a trip down 'Nostalgia Lane' every now and then. Simply by sitting down with a steaming mug of tea, in a quiet corner of my den. Looking at albums that have been put away. Or notes that were written, but are now half forgotten.

Simply by looking at these reminders, I can easily transport myself to a time when things were different. Our baby growing up year by year, our friends, now scattered in various parts of the world, our parents, their friends...

And so much more to delight in.

Then there are the people who are now no more. But who mattered so much then. And do too, even now.

And remember all that has gone by. Feeling good, or sometimes even a little sad.

Then I put all of that away, and come back to the 'now'.
Re-charged and re-vitalized.

For so much of what I am today is because of all that is there..
In all those albums
And all those notes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shame Shame- Police caught on camera beating a five year old in India

We all watched our TV screens in horror and shame today as we saw a small girl of five crying in agony as her ears were brutally twisted by a cop in New Delhi.

Repeatedly, his face displaying evident enjoyment.

Followed by a few slaps delivered almost nonchalantly, as if it didn't matter in the very least.

The reason,the little girl, from the lower strata of society,was suspected of havaing stolen a few hundred rupees....

The thought that stayed with us- This probably happens in thousands of places in India, with thousands of little children, every day.

Only this one was caught on camera.

Then aired on National television....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Rat race, vis a vis 'Me time'

We all know the feeling.

When we feel the adrenalin rush, of wanting to complete something that we have set our heart on doing. Or then what has been assigned to us, to complete within a deadline.

And sometimes we get so caught up in just doing that , or opearating in that particular mode
That we forget what relaxation really is..

So that when we finally do have time on our hands, we are left wondering as to what we what can really now/next.

That is the time when we must stop
And make ourselves "smell the roses."

For this time may never come again
As tommorrow is always....always... another day

When the goalpost may have moved further and then even further ahead..