Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just three words...

I had read somewhere sometimes, where I dont remember, just three simple words..that sum up the philosophy of life. It dint make much sense to me then...but today it does.
It said, the greatest truth about life is : " It goes on".
So simple, yet so profound. So true. So right.
So many goods and bads happen in life. Memories you cherish, memories that haunt.
So many people come into your life, they become a part of your existence, your routine. Then you part. You make promises of being the same always, promises to stay in touch. But it does not always happen. For those who dont consider you really close, for them,once you are out of their sight, you are out of their mind. You keep expecting the same kind of reciprocation of feelings as before, and you keep hurting yourself.
Your very faith in relationships gets shaken. It feels as if life has come to a standstill.
But life goes on.
To be continued.... :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An experience in itself...

I had never been to an old age home.I had seen in movies and all...but i had never been to one in real life.Thanks to a friend of mine, it was his birthday and the angelic soul wanted to celebrate it in a different way....so he went to a HOME FOR THE AGED along with his friends.i joined in.
Serene and beautiful it was. I was amused to see swings and slides in the park that was there in front of the home.i dint dare to ask wat it was for..
The youngest in the home was a gentleman 62 years old.he was our guide.
Right now, when i am writing this, my mind is getting flooded with so many thoughts and my heart’s getting overwhlemed with so many emotions...am just getting stuck...wondering which emotion to pen down first…as if each feeling is struggling with others to come out first..and i m afraid i dont want to miss any of them...
Before introducing us to anybody, the Guide uncle was asking us to guess their ages. And each time we made a guess, he was happily announcing that we were wrong.None of the people there were less than 80 years old!
He introduced us to a lady.She was 88, Guide Uncle told us. When he said to her that we all work for TCS, she said a confident and smilin"okay". i was surprised that at this age, she is so well informed about the IT industry and all...i was thinking about my uncles and aunts who know nothing, being a part of this growing age…
Her face had an enchanting glow. .her gait so confident and her voice so .no sign of self-pity in her personality. She was speaking in tamil/telugu as all my friends cud understand. I was engrossed by her smile and glowing face! She spoke a sentence in English.." All of them they were crying that i am coming to this old age home to stay...but i said, its like hostel only, i l be able to relive my youth again.."...I was dumbstruck!
While walking through the corridors, i was wondering..is it so easy to put up with life...is there deep sorrow behind these radiant smiles…the grief of being away from their loved ones…or the pain of being abandoned by their children....
In front of us, guide uncle playfully asked her.."mam ur age please..these children want to know..."
Prompt came her reply that" you should never ask a lady her age..".she turned to me, put her hand on my shoulder and asked with a smile.." should i ask you how much you get paid.." and all of us laughed! "These two questions should always be avoided". she said. I was so amused...
I have met people who derive pleasure in attracting sympathy...in dwelling on their misfortune..who consider their age as the most important deciding factor in doing/not doing things in life...
But look at the lady! so full of live and energy!
We all went on..I happened to see throug the door of a room..a lady..must be in her eighties was immersed into reading something..it seemed like she was doing some homwork..with a book in one hand and a notebook in other..writing something..i was so touched to see that...
I always think that i should have studied something else than engineering..whenever someone happens to suggest that i can still go on and study something i like..i say.." ..cannot happen anymore, i have crossed the age.."
On one end of the corridor we all stood, an elderly person was sitting on a chair at the other end.guide Uncle asked again" guess his age"...and after we all made wrong estimates, he said, he is 98!
We all went to him.He was a freedom fighter.he started getting up from his chair looking at of us. We asked him keep sitting. He spoke to each of us. I could not understand much of it as he was speaking in telugu. He was sharing his life experiences..about some military training he had undergone in 1942..about some acident..
he said..his voice loud and clear.." live with satisfaction, it will give you strength..". Dont bribe anybody!
Every now and then he wanted to stand up but we were not letting him, regarding his age..
Finally he stood up..started hopping and singing..saying that" see i m not that old..i can dance ..".
That moment i felt overwhelmed. So many thoughts crossing my mind..why must have his children left him in this place..he has seen almost the whole century... how must he be feeling to see the chaos going on in the country..scams, riots, inflation, terrosrist attacks...
It was a completely different world there inside the home. There was a community hall with a big tv in the centre. A gentleman, all this hair grey and a shrivelled body, was watching an action movie!
Well….if I go on narrating..it wudnt end soon..
For sometime, I felt I m into a completely different world…
I forgot all my worries… I was drenched with the calmness of the place…
All I could think of, while leaving the place was,Age does not make you old, your way of thinking does...

Monday, September 5, 2011

A small gesture...

It is teacher's day today.I remember one such teacher's day, some five years ago.I used to tutor a little girl. She was plump and tall, fairly taller than me. It had just been a few months I had started teaching her. I maintained a friendly relation with her, just to make sure she asks everything that she couldn't ask her teachers in school. That day, something happened that got etched in my memory..still so fresh that is making me write these lines...

That day, I was in a bad mood for some reason..I don't remember. I carried that mood along with me when I went to teach her. May be she could see that on my face. A usually cheerful little girl was sitting silently with her head bowed down.

I had asked her to solve some mathematics sums the previous day. I started evaluating. She had made some mistakes (this was not unusual). I started shouting at her (this was unusual). I did not realize how bad I was until I saw tears trickling down her chubby cheeks. I stopped, but I dint know what to say. I stayed silent.She didnot raise her head and continued scribbling on her notebook. I was still stern. and started preparing to leave.

As I stood up, she said that " Didi, please stay back for five minutes." She wiped her face and left the room. I was wondering what happened when she came back with something wrapped in a glittering paper. Still her head bowed down, she gave that to me. The sticker on it read, "Happy teacher's day, to my sweet didi ". It was her handwriting, I knew. The gift was not so neatly wrapped which meant she had done it herself.

I was speechless. For a moment, I froze. In no time, my eyes started getting wet.

I did not have the faintest idea that she liked me so much. Usually, she would speak of her teachers with disrespect and I would correct her that she should respect them. I had never known that she would be so thoughtful about me.

Still sobbing, she said, " Didi, happy teacher's day. I got this gift for you.And I had asked mummy to prepare your favorite dish. Please have it before you leave."

I could not hold anymore. The lump in my throat started getting bigger.I just hugged her and said sorry. She started sobbing hard. I don't remember for how long I kept on caressing her hair. Aunty (her mom) came into the room with bowl full of gulabjamuns.
She just asked me to have them, smiled and left.

I explained her the sums again. We both had the sweets together and then I left, happily.

I was touched. After that day, I never scolded her again, and she never gave me a chance to do that. Each day when I went to teach her is a memory worth cherishing.I am missing her a lot, right now....