Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dinner for one: The power of solitude

Saute vegetables and herbs, bread, poppadom and herb soda on the rocks. What else can one wish for on a cool summer evening? Alas, not all people are so lucky to enjoy that, not because they cannot afford it, but because they do not know that is how it is supposed to be. People are literally unable to cook proper food for themselves and that is a shame. They own a degree, they can earn six figure salaries, but need to go a diner to eat every evening. Man has this basic instinct to survive, to find food and cook it - convert it to edible form. God has given us the sense of taste to enjoy the wonderful food we have on planet Earth, but people have just made up their mind that the experience cannot be found at home. It is taken for granted that only restaurant can give you such an experience. I strongly believe that it is wrong and the very instinct of man is in danger.

The table you see up there is for sure a great site to see, but one can have that in one's place as well. It is just a matter of learning etiquette and doing the right thing without showing it off. Even if it is to show off to friends when you welcome them to dinner, it is an effort. Although, not all are willing to make that effort. As for me, it is just something as simple to looking at an image like below and doing it.

I once read a wise man's writing "When you become a spectacular performer for long enough, 'spectacular' becomes your way of living".  If you try doing that for a month, you'll get used to it. You'll be able to do it effortlessly. In my country, it is a stereotype that all this is for women to do. However, learning skills in life like this makes a man into a gentleman and a woman into a lady. First, you become aware of how to feed yourself! Second, you learn how to "properly" feed yourself. Third, you know how to "properly feed yourself in a social setting". Three simple advantages, aren't they?

So to add, if you learn this in a social setting, not to show off of course, it shows a sense that you are aware what you are doing at that table with your friends or relatives or your colleagues! Your boss now surely knows you have your way of handling things! Your date knows you are organized person, and gives him/her a hint that you are capable enough for a more stronger relationship as well. Of course your friends can bitch about it, they are friends! But they will realize that you have grown up. You have cultivated yourself. And of course, you can treat the restaurant people in a more polite way like this.

However, coming to the point for dining alone. Why does it make sense to toil through apart from learning it apart from showing off and considering yourself as a cultured and organized individual? I guess I gave the answer in the question - "Individual". Life is tough sir! There come times when nothing feels right. A person dowses into depression and inactivity just because s/he finds himself/herself useless. Just like a nurse at a hospital would go tidy up towels after a bad day to release the stress and feel useful, so is cooking for a common man. Although there may be people who have their own ways of relieving stress, but why not a way that makes you stronger as well? You may play some game out there, you may sing, hang out or do anything you like. But, ultimately, one does get hungry. Why not relieve yourself of stress and fill yourself up with some good food?

Making yourself a salad or a cake or anything from scratch is a real achievement. Also, not to criticize outdoor activity, cooking also takes some effort, its not that you are taking in calories without burning calories. You cook, you eat and then you have to clean up! It takes time and energy. It is an activity in itself, an art and a way of self-realizing your potential. One could think over things while cooking or eating as well. When I see chefs like G. Ramsay (you know him well for his abusing, don't you?), there is perfection in their cooking in solitude. The way they chop things or handle the pan or cook is just so soothing to the eye! When they cook on a show, they don't ask for help, do they? They cook for themselves or one or more people and they relish it on the TV itself! Why can't you do that?! This made me understand what dinner for one means, and here's why I have written so much today. In all, cooking can be turned into an art and an act of relief: it will never seem mundane to me again after realizing this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mothers' Day: Why is Life Unfair to My Mom?

Evening 8 PM and I see an incoming Whats app call. I know who is calling me but somehow it doesn't feel good to pick up the phone. The rain patters on the glass window and the light from the phone reflects on it. Somehow I manage to pick up the phone. "Jai Shree Krishna" are my first words and hers are the same. She sounds worried and keeps nagging me whether I had lunch or not. Then she comes to studies and my lab work. But still, her concern has no effect on my indifferent tone. She complains all the time "Why don't you call me back?" and I have no answer. I keep murmuring a new excuse but she still is firm on getting a correct answer. I just get frustrated and sign off. 

The woman is my mother, no doubt about it. The woman for whom I have utmost respect in my mind and love in my heart, but still her nagging is something I cannot bear. In fact, I cannot bear any body's nagging and I do not even wish to nag somebody else. I do not wish to comment like a sage that life is all tiresome and I cannot get a hold of it. I have just grown into a silent person, and with each day my silence deepens with every second I spend alone. I just sit at my desk in the lab and work physically. But mentally, it’s a storm of thoughts that do not calm down. Wow! This is life! Now I am an adult. I am supposed to survive and pay bills. When I grow even older, I all have to marry somebody and make kids. Just wow! I wonder how my mother grew into such a sensible human being that she could raise two boys like us. I do not care if we brothers will be successful in life or not. That in itself is a different issue about how to motivate your children to leave the comfort zone. But growing yourself into a person as strong as this is just nothing more than an eighth wonder of the world. I am still in awe how does it happen.

My mother was a very naughty and cheerful girl as my grandmother used to tell me. Yes, my grandmother was my partner in crime where my mother had absolutely no idea. But the stories that she told me in the hot afternoons in summer were quite intriguing, quite nostalgic as well. My mother was not a very smart kid at studies and so are we brothers. But she had this energy to dance, play and watch movies all day, which was an awe to my grandmother as well. I am talking about the childhood of a person in the 70's, so you could for sure imagine movies was not an affair as simple as Netflix these days or even for that sake, booking tickets online. You have to wait in queue, get inside and shout and enjoy and have fun! As simple as that. On the contrary, I am a person who is as lazy as a sloth, I have no idea how to dance. Movies, I think that's the only pass of time that matches my mother's.  

Well, she grew up, went to college, graduated in biology and ended up working in her cousin's technical institute. This is the most interesting part of her life. She was a FORTRAN programmer in her time and she also taught tailoring. You see, both are different forms of vocation. But she taught both with all the passion and all the energy. People actually enjoyed her sessions. If you ask me, I have not enjoyed any teaching session of hers. The taunts and the beating was enough to dissolve my taste in learning. But anyway, I managed. I wasn't a strong kid but I had strong parents. To add, I hate programming and my genes cannot accept anything cuter than a teddy bear. Tailoring is a distant dream, even a good painting brings burns to the feel I cannot hold my pencil properly. Duh. 

When she got married, she was stripped of all so many cheerful things in life that she loved. But, when we brothers were born, she swallowed that pain within herself. At times, she would express her joy in the form of jokes or petting us kids or dancing in weddings. That was her way when her bad-ass in-laws did not accept her cheerful nature. I have no idea why, and I became like her in laws anyway. I turned into a bore eventually and my mom hates me for that. "Mom, if you by any chance find this blog on the Internet, yes it's me. I know you did not expect a lazy ass son and I am sorry for that. Life's a bitch and I have no clue how to handle it as gracefully as you. That's the most honest opinion I could ever give you."

I am still in awe by the fact that my mom knows that I cannot even date a girl or maintain a relationship with full commitment. I know she wouldn't be so happy seeing me discussing this. She had to feel so troubled to mend us boys to the right path. She literally had to clean us up when we were babies, then you had to beat us up so that we could simply fill a page of an alphabet properly. You had to deal with the in-laws to make sure they did not affect our studies. You prepared us such that nobody could question our credibility. You made us into good humans, but so good that they become sad at people's miseries and end up doing mistakes and causing more trouble. Still, you do take care of that in the worst of times.  

The list is endless and parenting is a nightmare. I hope I am not screwing it up more for her by even speaking of it. I am a fool and I do not know how the relationship thing works. But sometimes I feel I have grown so old that I need some girl in my life to spend my quality time with. I do not know how dad and mom spend your lonely moments together because anyway we are a conservative family. We do not hug, kiss or do all that stuff show of affection. But we strive in life helping each other out, and that's more than enough I guess.

I have learnt how to take care of myself properly. But I will make sure I’ll be ready to take care of not only myself but others around me. It's just that I am nervous at times. I am still under the fear that I have just grown up so quickly or slowly, even the time scale is a doubt to me. Life has been so unfair to you and that is what I feel bad about for your life. But I am sure that I have turned into a good son and I will keep the legacy alive (although dancing still sucks, I am not doing that).

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Letter to My Future Wife

Dear future wife,

Life is hard for me and if you have chosen me leaving all the best suitors in the world, the first thing I would like to know is "Why?" I am really not sure how you will or have you already entered my life. I feel really astounded by the fact that a guy as heartless as me could get a girl who could love me without worrying about what I am. Why?

I do not know if you have already invaded my dreams or not, but there is this sudden rush of feelings that I feel in my dreams that you are so nearby. Every night these days turns into a sleepless night at some point of time and there is no explanation to it. This is my complaint. I haven't seen you, I haven't talked to you, I haven't loved you and still I feel your absence. Why do you trouble me so much at times?

I wonder at the creation of God. We are born, we grow up, we study and we work, but why are we supposed to make sure we spend our life with somebody else? Why do we need love? Some can make do without it for life and blessed and strong are such people. I do not understand why I cannot gather so much strength and strive towards making life better for people around me. There is just a cloud of desires and attraction that bounds me to your thoughts.

I see you in many women that pass my way and I try to find one or the other things that I imagine would in someone belong to you. Some one's smile, some one's sweet voice, some one's enthusiastic attitude towards one's passion, some one's beauty and dressing sense, some one's way to express love and desires, some one's sense of humor. The list is endless. But whenever I closely try to observe a woman that attracts my attention, there is some part of you that I always look for, and that gets embedded deep into my mind. However, it is not that I want you to become that. Right now, I am not even sure if you do exist.

I want to apologize for whatever wrong I have done to you without knowing you. I have betrayed you by wrongly thinking about being intimate with numerous women. I have betrayed you by actually being intimate with a woman that did not deserve my efforts. I have betrayed you by thinking you will be the source of all love and support that I have been looking for by ignoring my family and friends. You, by any means, are no object of giving me love and support. It is by time and experiences of life that I have come to know that I have made mistakes that have made irreversible damage to my life. Although there is no way the past can be corrected, I believe in many ways I have done wrong to you and I hope you will accept me the way I am.

Neither I am a perfect person, nor are you. Yes, people dream of things being perfect, life being perfect. I have seen none enjoying something perfect. It is time and circumstances that affect the state of mind of a person. A person feels happy or sad, full of life or empty, determined to continue through the course of life or end it. You must be expecting this man seems so nice to me, but writes so boring. I am sorry for that as well, time and tide not only wait for none but leave scars that are not easy to erase. But in all my capability and strength, I will try my best to keep your state of mind the way it should be.

I visualize you as a sensible, strong, independent and affectionate woman. I believe you can lead your life better alone than with me at times and I am the chains that bound you. I believe you are the person who can accomplish anything she desires, even a person as recluse as I am and turn it into something better. The pain of my life has narrowed down my sight so sharp that I cannot see but money, fame, and work. I cannot enjoy the sweet morning sounds that make a day feel like a day. I have lost all love and appreciation that the people surrounding me demand. It is just that life has pulled  life out of me. Time has hardened me like a rock to withstand the ups and downs, but I have no idea how to love such a wonderful person as you.

Yes, you expect a lot of praise and love from this letter. Be patient. I am coming to that darling. I am sorry once again, but you are the third woman in my life that has turned my life to corners that I would never have imagined (The first is my mom and the second are a whole lot of ladies who taught me at school. Yes they are to the date very doting women.).  I have never had a sister and I have never had very close female friends. I do not know how to express love to you, but want to. I have no idea what gifts to buy for you as I have bought none in life. I do not know how to take somebody out for dinner or party or even host a party. I was never brought up to do all this. But an inner voice tells me I need to change a bit for you. 

Let me tell you what that inner voice tells me. It tells me that this woman is courageous enough to leave her family and come to live with you for life. Love her, caress her and make her feel home. Make her feel warm and lively. Give her a reason to smile when you both return home from work. Take her to places that she'll never have seen in her lifetime. Make love to her during weekends (without her asking) so intense that she forgets masturbation. Buy her gifts that not only signify your love to her but also help her make her life easier. The voice also tells me you are a naughty person, and you won't wake up early in the morning. It tells me if she doesn't improve, do not get frustrated. Kiss her and wake her up with breakfast in bed. When she is sick, take care of her and make her feel better in pain. Give her a massage often whenever she is in pain. Let her roam around with or without clothes on, let her be free as a bird in the wild. Fight her hard but love her back harder. When she is sad, hug her so hard and make her feel so warn that all broken pieces of her heart turn one piece with all the warmth and love. Do not ever force her to leave her job or do household chores if she doesn't want to. Do not force her into having kids if she doesn't want to. But love her the way she would never imagine leaving you. It is a bond for life.

I am just so foolish at times I cannot think things on my own, but my inner voice tells me a lot of things. Darling, at this moment, know this: I am not ready for you. I am not responsible enough to even pay bills. I do not have a job or the efficiency that an adult has to have. I am weak at heart at times, irresponsible, lazy and a procrastinator. I want to be the person that makes you feel safe, secure and ready by your side when I meet you the first day. We unite not for the dependence of money or household chores, we unite for the love of each other. We shall lead our lives with all due respect without feeling hindered or bound in unnecessary emotions due to each other. Love is the only central aspect that binds our relationship, but with a firm resolve to achieve nothing but the best in life. When we walk in society, we walk with due respect for the people around us but make sure our respect is intact as well. We make each other proud.

Dear wife, I have opened up my heart through this letter and I hope that answers all your questions. If you do meet me and you have any questions, two cups of coffee at Starbucks will be waiting for us some sunny morning, or rainy afternoon or a chilled winter evening. We both will open our hearts out and try to unite in the best time of our lives. Till then, please spare me of your dreams and let me work. All this work and effort will ultimately lead me towards you. My sweetest wife, I love you. We shall meet for sure.