To God, With Love

Dear God,

We don’t speak a lot. I hardly every visit you or think of you or do any symbolic prayers/deeds like true believers. Honestly, I don’t even know what I believe. Despite my casual linkages with you, you have been very kind to me.

Thank you for the wonderful year. Like a fool that I am, I made mistakes, but it could have been worse had you not been there. Like a bigger fool that I proved to be, I repeated some mistakes, but it could have been even worse had you not been there.

Basically, I left no stone unturned in bringing distress and sorrow in my little, naïve world, but you always showed up at the right time before any permanent, irreparable damage could be done. There were times when I over-spoke and times when I didn’t say enough. There were times when I overanalyzed, and times when I didn’t think twice before jumping where it was bound to hurt the most. There were times when I overdid things and times when I didn’t do enough.

It’s been a year of big bloopers, big disappointments, and big misunderstandings. You were always there giving me hope, caressing my wounds, building my strength, showing me the light when everything else around was crumbling down.

You also brought some of the best gifts I’ve ever had wrapped in the finest of packages when I least expected them. You gave me a lot more than I deserved, or ever hoped for.

My life is a life of unspoken miracles if I look at it. You have been kind, you have shown your light even when I haven’t deserved it.

There are challenges; there are things that need your attention that I have been attending to in vain. I know it’s not going to be an easy road ahead. I hope to have you by my side, just like you have always been. I know I do a lousy job at acknowledging your presence, I hardly pray, my meditation routine has been erratic, almost non-existent. I regret not meditating the most. It’s just that it’s freezing! And it’s only getting colder. But I will get back to it, as soon as I can.

Thanks for the spectacular and exasperating 2012. See you around next year.

Best Always,

Parul

The Show must go on!

I have been thinking about how to go about this post for a very long time now. Nothing seemed convincing enough as the large number of discarded drafts in my folder would tell you. Finally I realized I can’t do justice to this year with the sorry number of words that I know and can think of at the moment. Anything I write about it won’t be enough. And that was pretty liberating!

It has been a very dramatic year to say the least. Politically of course we saw innumerable unrests and civil wars and the massive internal socio-political campaign against corruption. It’s been a year of redemptions and follies, cover ups and goof ups. But that’s not what I mean when I say it’s been a dramatic year. Being the self centered, irrational centre of this little cyber corner, I say this to sum up the events that played out in my life in this one year.

I had a premonition when the year started and when I took a contemplative walk in my neighborhood mulling over what lied ahead. But I have to say nothing I had anticipated came even close to how each day played out in the last one year. The rest of my post is going to be sermon like. But that would be in line with the theme of the year too. For at the risk of sounding like a demented follower of faith, I would have to say I got quite a few divine lectures this year.

Here are my notes from the past:

  1. “Stay away”/ “Don’t take it lying down” Sermon
  • Stay away from cynics.

Cynics have a way of rubbing into you how grossly overvalued every trace of liveliness and happiness in this world is. That everything at the end of the day is some chemicals unbalancing another set of chemicals. That we live waiting to die and after we die nothing really matters so we might as well live dead.

You know better than that. So steer clear.

  • Stay away from self deprecating thinkers

Ever seen one of those thinking man statues? If not you can check one here. It’s a great work of art. But I can bet the guy who made it did not sit in that pose thinking about making it. He made it. He thought of doing it, he did it. Period.

But there are people who take inspiration from the sculpture and not the sculptor and think endlessly about why not to do something when every trace of logic tells them they should do or at least try. It starts with “it’s too tough. I can’t do it”, goes on to “nah, it’s too lame, it’s not worth it” and finally reaches the stage of “I don’t think I can ever do anything in life. This world… it’s mean and nasty and it doesn’t deserve me. Let me think what I can do about it”. And the famous pose of course.

  • Stay away from Self inflating buffoons (no I did not confuse my Fs and Ls)

This is the most amusing breed of all. One I relate with the least and one that never ceases to amuse me. They are the centre of any universe they decide to visit. They are the know-it-alls who have been everywhere, done everything. They don’t harm, but they suck every trace of logic and reason from your brain every time they choose to open their mouth, which unfortunately is more often than you like.

You can’t stay away from them. They need people around them for survival. Staying quiet is not an option either because then you have lesser and lesser breathing space and you don’t want to end up brain-dead. So sooner or later you have to take a sharp, shining pin and make a nice puncture at one of the so many places bulging out. Peace out, till they fix the puncture at least.

  • Get Angry sometimes

Anger is good sometimes. In my quest to become a saint (that I can never be), I eschewed from this vice (as often as I could) to tread the path of patience and tolerance and realized after years of practicing (with little success) non violence and absolution that suffering in silence is plain stupid.

Break a few bones; kick a few rears of those who mess with you to get your peace in this ruthless world. One has to find one’s equilibrium and zenic space, but one should not get mowed down by other’s opinions or personal aspirations. Adjust, accommodate but don’t let everyone and anyone sweep you off your little feet. Avoid conflicts but don’t back off if someone comes hollering at you.

Post Sermon notes: You might wonder, if you have to stay away from all these people, you might as well stay under a rock. But that is not a solution either. Because more often than not, these little people with little agendas in life actually live inside you waiting to take over the saner you at the first opportunity presented. I too was taken over by these tiny Paruls in turns last year. But as I write this I can tell you for sure I am more or less free from them today(I don’t know yet what replaces my past tormenters but this one is pretty democratic in its approach) .

2. “Screw it, just do it” Sermon

  • You got a dream, pursue it

I have dreams. Some of them are more important than others while the rest are more urgent. I generally don’t feel too driven towards the urgent ones because they are not important and I don’t feel too propelled towards the important ones because they are not urgent! How crass of me one might think… And I am not proud to admit it took me a very long time to figure this out and do something about it.

Time will never be right neither the set up. If there’s a burning desire, an insane idea, some misconceived notions about yourself, try them at the first opportunity that presents itself, without waiting for a better opportunity to come by. I did it this year. I pursued some casual interests and some long standing ones. It has been a good change and the results were enriching and encouraging.

  • TAKE that Step 1 of N

My brain has a way of writing (actually writing and erasing and rewriting and erasing again endlessly) algorithms about what I plan to do. Then, like a true IT person, I make a mental flow-chart of my algo, crack my knuckles, do some stretching, take a deep breath and stare at the “START” box. (Sorry non IT folks, this is plain gibberish, but I am sure you get the gist)

This year I made an exception and moved beyond the “START” box for a few of the things on my list. For some I reached the “END” box too, while for others I am stuck at a decision box. But that is a gigantic leap of progress for the “analysis paralysis” prone me.

  • Messed it? Move on

I messed up big time this year on plenty occasions. Sometimes I found myself in a terrible mess with not a window of a gateway in sight. Then over time painfully I came out, sometimes bruised, sometimes scarred. But every day is a new day, and every new day comes with new hopes and new beginnings. Mull over the past but don’t overdo it. Can’t win them all!

…….

Summing up, thanks 2011 for heeding to my complaint of the last few years – “koi excitement hi nahi hai life mein, plain si hai. Years come and years go” (There’s no excitement in life. It’s pretty plain with years just passing by). I didn’t know you will take on yourself so seriously the task of making my life so dramatic that it will be the best movie I would have watched in a very long time! 😀

Sending wishes for a wonderful 2012 to everyone.

Stay healthy, stay happy, keep smiling and believe in yourself!

PS: Sorry for such a long monologue. I have never before written anything so self-centered, and believe you me, this is just an exception. All said and done, let me assure you I am not (never was, never will be) as conceited as I am sounding here. Just sharing my notes!  <…Sheepish smile>