Perceptions… just musing…

I am who I am. Situations shaped me. Circumstances honed me. Perceptions created the ‘me’ that  I am… or perhaps… could be?

I was born to a lovely couple – always smiling, spreading joy, generous to the core. Honour and respect were of prime importance. Financial status was a pale cousin. The dictates of the Bhagavad Gita, the rituals of prayers and festivities, the ‘havanas’ and the ‘satsangs’ were part of my growing up years. As was getting armed with an education, aiming to excelling at all educational and co-curricular activities.

Family was the core of existence. And by family, I include my maternal and paternal grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and the extended family. We were all brought up to love and respect each other – irrespective of any individual or independent differences. That was set in stone.

Those were the constants I grew up with.

Then there was this other constant – that of change

Every three to four years, we were transferred to a new city. This spelt a new beginning. New school. New friends. New teachers. New impressions. Old was out and the new took me in its fold. It was fun! It was like shedding off the old skin and emerging like a beautiful butterfly with each move! But, as I grew up, I often wondered what my friends thought about me. For, I was always a touch shy. I wanted to know – but was no good at deciphering! And by the time I had opened enough, it was time to move again.

Mystery – that wasn’t me

I wasn’t shrouded with mystery, but my mind was – for there was no way of knowing about how I was truly perceived. Until… I got this email from a friend in response to one of the stories I had written (“Good Grief”). I had written it years after my mother passed away in 2003 – leaving the entire family shaken, devastated, uprooted…

This friend wrote, and I quote:

I don’t think anyone who has not gone through the pain & agony of bereavement can ever even begin to comprehend what it feels like to lose a loved one.  So I don’t think I will ever be able to say I understand how you feel.

However, what I will say is that it makes me proud to have known a woman like you.

My memories of you have always been of that cheerful, fun loving, effervescent girl, who was like a breath of fresh air in the otherwise muted lot that most of us were.  You always radiated warmth and friendliness that drew many of us to you, and made us admire you, love you, and cherish you for who you are.

Many of us saw you as part of a different world, where everything was pink, and beautiful, and cheerful.  Somewhere, I guess I also lost sight of the fact that deep inside, you too were just another girl, a mortal like the rest of us, who could also feel pain when pinched.

It took me a long time to see you for who you really are.  And maybe, just maybe, I am able to see you now for who you are: a lovely woman, who has not lost any of the warmth and affection that defined her. I see a loving wife, a grateful daughter, and a doting mother. And above all that, I see a strong and independent, yet loving and caring woman, who still makes me proud of having known her.”

All I can say to this friend is – Thank you!

I was a reflection of your perception – back then. And I am but a perception of your reflection now.

This is life! The ‘then and now’ can never be separated, perceptions can change – but the basis remains constant. And though perceptions quite often are divorced of reflecting reality; sometimes they are nothing but mere mirrors of reality.

There’s no way of finding out whether you are who you are – or who you seem to be! The reality I guess lies in the merge of the two realms.

Heavy, huh? Not quite 😉 Think it over again!







Think. Think… Thought!

Just BE!

Post the festivities, we’ve slid smoothly into 2016; wishing each other over get-togethers, phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat – you name it…

I’m all in for social media – trust me! How does it make a difference if I were to remember your birthday by having the date in my head or by receiving a social media prompt or an alarm on my smart phone? The idea is to convey my best to you. Chances are – if it weren’t for reminder beeps and alerts – I’d forget your special days – minutes before the day starts!

But that’s not what I’m getting into. I believe in moving ahead with the times – although I admit that I am a bit of a laggard.

So here’s the thing: sing-a-sing-along time has come and gone with Christmas.

Bake-bake-a couple of cookies-n-cakes – the churn-up-goodies marathon has also ended.

The first week of 2016 has lead to another mantra – think, think along.

I didn’t think of thinking – it just happened. I didn’t sit in a place and say, “I’m going to think now”. It happened pretty much on an auto-mode while carrying out the daily chores, working along everyday schedules, entertaining friends and family – and the usual. You know, how thoughts reel and roll… But strangely enough, unlike before, I gave thought to these rolling thoughts – again automatically and effortlessly.

I seem to be more clued into myself at the moment. I guess it was partly due to the blast from the past.

One of my closest childhood friends was over with her family. We got talking about school; our personalities back then, our evolution into wives and mothers. How we had changed, and yet how constant we had remained. I saw myself again as a 13 year old. I saw myself now. The two Me(s) weren’t exactly mirror images – but I guess the basic DNA of my personality had remained largely unshattered. So had hers. And that was a good thing! There was a child-like note of joy through her visit. We connected again as grown-ups without having lost our unique qualities as kids.

We had certainly walked out passage of time with grace. She went back home. We busied ourselves in our life with the knowledge that whenever we meet, we would pick up where we left of. This bond was too strong to be hampered by time and space. I share the same bond with a handful of others – for that – I thank my lucky stars.

I am, in some way. overjoyed with this realisation.

Thoughts – from the past and present – continued to traverse my mind, springing some surprises in their wake. Glimpses of the tumultuous times in my life came forth.

Uncanny as it was, a day before my mother’s ‘angel-isation’ (the day she transcended beyond her physical form), I happened to read a tweet from a young lady who was lost post her mum’s demise. I went on to read her blog. Her emotions were close to mine. Fortunately, I had been by my mother’s side when she made her move, while this girl was on her way, but couldn’t get there on time. Instead of grief or pain – I stepped back to say a brief “Thank God I was there with, and hopefully for, mama”. I was quite surprised at this transformed outlook, one day before I end up feeling low, sad and very short-changed on maternal presence!

Whether happy or melancholic, the memories and experiences I was currently having left me feeling grateful – as though I had suddenly ascended into a spiritual realm of perfection. I guess this is what people mean when they say you should be balanced and unattached in life.

Thoughts came and went. Reality reared its head – sometimes a beautiful one, and occasionally an ugly one. But that’s life, right?

I guess the birthday/wedding anniversary/ Christmas time contemplation that the old wise soul in me had unintentionally walked into, had lead me into a timeless mode. It wasn’t as though I had been thrown into a time machine. It was all here and now. And it felt good.

For once, I didn’t scurry about looking for paper to create my resolution list or make a mental note of what to do and not to do in 2016.

This year, there were no resolutions – neither to make, nor break.

No hopes – for that leaves space for doubt.

No must dos – for that adds an undesired focus on what not to do

No must-haves – for that adds pressure on how to usurp the must-haves.

No perceptions – for that would make me judgmental.

No beliefs – for it hurts when belief shatters.

This conclusion of thoughts at the end of 2015 was even strange and alien to me!

We know ourselves well enough to pre-empt all our ways – or so we believe. Yet – we remain strangers to ourselves!

So this seems to be my year to BE. Just be me – and know me – at least for now!

That wasn’t always so…. A new me, with the view to BE.