Is death the greatest loss? Or is it forgetting to live and passing each day unaware of how grateful we are to be blessed with life. The world is still reeling with the aftermath of the dastardly attacks on a city which is considered the epitome of love, the city of vibrance and exuberance, the paradise of romance- there are several posts flooding social media wherein people are expressing their solidarity, a few people who were amongst those present when the attack happened, recounting the horrific experience and how it has changed them as a person. One of them that particularly left a deep impact on me was a lady who happened to be in the theatre that unfortunate night. Though she escaped unscathed, she recounted those horrific few minutes when terror struck. She thought she would not survive the attack and her last thoughts were of her family, the people she loved, how she wished she could let them know how much she loved them, the best moments of her life spent with her loved ones which lingered as memories flashed before her eyes.
As I read her candid confession, for a moment I envisioned myself right there. In the midst of mayhem waiting with fear and knowing the dreaded truth that life that may be snuffed out any moment and what came before my eyes- the angelic far of my daughter and I wish I could whisper in her ears "I love you Angel and you shall forever remain God's best blessing in my life". My mother - to whom I want to say you are my rock I know I am rude at times and I have hurt you but I love you from the core of my heart and I am sorry for all those times when I could not be your ideal daughter. My husband who has patiently put up with all my mood swings and terrible outbursts after I became a mom, with whom I have hardly had a meal or a heart warming conversation since months, who might be wondering "Is this the woman I married 3 years back? Yes I am the one and so is my love. Love you to the moon and back. My little brother who till date remains my bestie, my dad, grand mum for their unflinching support and I wish to tell them I love you and I am fortunate to be blessed with such a great family.
Friday evening which is usually one of high spirits as its weekend time, was not a pleasant one for me. The long and stressful day at work, the ever piling up load of "To do" things on my plate and the worry of how do I clear them off next week and at the same time manage to balance my time for my family, my unanswered questions of where am I headed in my career, will I achieve my goals within the time frame I have set for myself, am I doing justice by spending so long hours at work, after all this do I get what I deserve- just too many thoughts clouding my mind. And then to add fuel to the fire, my thoughts wandered in the direction of friends who were once besties but each one moved on and are hardly in touch- made me think did I choose the wrong people? These thoughts threatened to spoil my weekend looming over like a dark cloud.
I saw my daughter's infectious smile as she came crawling towards me and the unpleasant thoughts vanished. But they did visit me in the middle of the night in the guise of bad dreams and I failed to completely shake them off. Saturday morning I saw #PrayforParis trending on twitter and read through what had happened. It left me deeply grieved for those innocent souls who lost their life, their families who were still struggling to pick up the broken pieces and mend them, fury and angst towards the men of Satan whom I cannot by any means call human. It made me feel vulnerable as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend for this could be my city, my vicinity. But on reading about the survivor stories and specially the one I recounted above, it made me pause for a moment and think- what mattered to me the most. My treasured possession is the arms of the people I love, the smile on their faces and the countless memories we have made and continue to make each day- When I breathe my last - how much I earn , what's my designation, what my appraisal says or does not say, did I get promoted a year early or late will not even matter . I don't think they would even momentarily flash before my eyes. So why do I waste my life grieving over them? It would be a sheer waste of this beautiful gift God has bestowed upon me. This attack has made me value my life much more and also resolve to spend each moment more fruitfully.
Life's greatest lessons come sometimes in moments least expected, in moments of grief, despair and sorrow, they come to make you realise there is hope, love and goodwill, They still exist in this world. May there be peace and love and may each one of us live and rejoice each moment and make the most of this gift of life.
Now let me confess- I am really NOT someone who loves watching
daily soaps. I know reading the tile you thought- what the heck, if it’s a
daily soap on TV it is bound to be stereotypical, full of nonsense and drama
and if you watch such stuff why complain, and if complain why watch? There was a
time when I was in college, all naive, and this was when internet was all about
going to the cyber cafe and getting all excited about entering the chat room
and typing asl (age ,sex ,location) and talking to strangers. At that time, the
only source of entertainment for young people like me was the idiot box so I won’t
lie- I used to watch the Ekta Kapoor soaps and probably even like that at that
point, that’s why I use the word Naive. As I grew up, met
diverse set of people, read and experienced new cultures, my thought process
changed. With a hectic job, I hardly found time for any TV watching. My Mom who
is also a working woman used to watch a few Marathi soaps. She always told me
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…