Tag Archives: brother

The success meter

Life could be so simple, if we expect very little from it. If we wake up each morning and thank the Lord for that roof over our heads and the hot food on our table. Sigh. If only…

It’s unimaginable what a big ‘if’ that is! It’s incredible how we as human beings manage to complicate our simple needs. We build prototypes into which everything in life must fit. Be it what we eat, where we live, what we wear…everything must be as we imagined it to be. Otherwise we suffer from heartaches.

Now…what brought this on, is a recent meeting with a very dear friends’ parents. This friend G has an older sister K. All through his childhood G was compared with K. She scored much more in studies, sports and extracurricular. G found himself running all the time to catch up with her achievements and his parents’ expectations. I don’t think he ever really got there. Now at this point I wonder – why it never occurred to the parents that their younger child cannot be a clone of the older one! Perhaps he had skills of his own that they never really got around to discovering.

Anyways the good news is that despite that kind of upbringing G turned out to be rather a cool kid and did extremely well for himself in life. He moved out of India and away from the shadow of his larger than life sister! We met him at this juncture – in Muscat. We had some great years together until the topic of his wedding came up. Being Punjabis – his parents wanted him to marry someone from their community. They kept sending him photographs of fair, robust, Punjabi girls and our man kept rejecting them. He could not fathom how he could agree to marry someone just by seeing their photograph. He at least had to meet them. So meetings were arranged with prospective girls – but he rejected them all much to his parents chagrin. Oh and his able sister in the meantime had found herself a wealthy Maharastrian and was well set in life with 2 kids, 2 dogs and a host of domestic help…

Finally G found himself a girl in Muscat. She unfortunately was not a Punjabi girl but a simple, homely Rajasthani girl. It took him nearly a year to convince his parents! Eventually his persistence won and he married his lady love. Though his parents – till date – have not really accepted her. She does not fit their mould you see.

Today G has two kids (no dogs, no palatial 7 bedroom bungalow and no parade of servants…tut tut).

So yeah, like I was saying, what brought this on was a recent meeting with G’s parents. They were staying in their daughter’s oh-so-cool bungalow. It’s a really, obscenely huge and cold house! A massive basement, a ground level which houses a living room the size of a football ground, a dining area, a huge kitchen, a study cum gym room and two bedrooms. I’m not joking when I say that voices echo around the cold walls of the house. No amount of smart furniture can add that warmth to it I feel. Then there’s upstairs – a den to watch TV etc and 3 bedrooms, the boy’s bedroom has a car theme and the girls’ has a princess theme. Don’t forget the bathrooms with matching blue (for the boy) and pink (for the girl) décor. G’s mom took us proudly around the house, panting, wheezing and waddling up the stairs. Every second word she uttered was about how huge and lovely K’s house was! She insisted that we examine every detail – even the thoughtfully done up bathroom tiles. Oh then there were terraces with mood lighting. One for small parties, one for barbeque nights and so on. Then we went up another level to a huge terrace (for kids’s birthday parties). There was room up there with a swank home theater and hold your breath…the bathroom here had a Jacuzzi. So wow huh?

We were there for almost 2 hours and all the time we heard about how big K’s house is. G’s house is nice too…but rather small, you see. Only 3 bedrooms and that too small rooms. They felt suffocated there, they are so used to large spaces you see. And…gasp….only one servant. Poor G with the small 3 bedroom apartment.  Some day, they hope, he will do well too.

But we, for a fact, know that G is doing pretty well for himself. He has a sweet little family and is happy. Now does that state of mind and heart add up to anything at all? Or do we need to measure happiness and success by the size of his home and the number of servants he has?

As we said our goodbyes and left…I felt sorry for G’s parents. They were so torn and worried about G. He is not as successful as K! They are so fixated in their definition of ‘happiness’ that they cannot see how happy he really is! Pity.

I thank my lucky stars that for my parents success is simply measured by how happy we are. That really, is all there is to it. Isn’t it?

The love affair continues

Rain and I. We had one of our deep, quiet moments this morning. I sat there in the balcony with my cup of tea and felt his tender kiss like droplets on my cheeks. I watched as he dropped down on the puddles in the road and created busy little whirlpools of happiness. Tiny droplets of joy that grew bigger and bigger and merged into yet another growing whirlpool of joy.

You really love to spread the joy don’t you? Now I’m ashamed that I ever doubted you. How could I have ever suspected that YOU would ruin my little princess’s birthday party! How could I? I don’t deserve those kiss like drops, what I need is a lashing for doubting you!

Thank you so much dear Rain God. (Or whatever forces that are up there. I do not understand why, but I’m so so grateful that you are being really nice to me and allowing me to indulge in my little whims and fancies.). Thank you. Really. I mean it.

In case you’re new here and don’t have a clue as to what I’m blabbering about. Please read this one first.

It was like the Rain God held his breath for my little princess. A tentative sun shone through the clouds on Friday. And we kept fingers crossed. Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny and cool! It was really a perfect winter day in Chennai! Not warm. Not cold. Not raining. Not humid. Not hot. Just perfect! So it stayed all through the day as we gleefully got the terrace cleaned, summoned the electrician and got extra lights fitted. A cool breeze kept us company all through the afternoon as we worked to make the terrace presentable. By evening – it looked dreamy!

The party itself? It was incredible. It just took off from the word go! My brother – the sweetheart that he is – was in glorious form. He had the kids running and dancing and screaming merrily. He organized impromptu games and twisted twenty odd kids around his little finger. They were ready to do whatever this funny man said!

It was absolutely perfect. The music and my brother set the mood. The kids were dancing, singing, running, laughing, giggling, playing…and my brother was the hero of the day. He really pumped up the spirit and kept the high octave maintained right through! Princess Mahima had a ball so to speak. She could not stop grinning from ear to ear. It really was her happiest day to be surrounded by her best friends and to be having so much fun!

Sigh! Yes it was perfect. I could not have asked for a more fabulous day. Thank you to all the forces that made this day perfect. Thank you to all the friends who remembered and called. It simply was an amazing day. And yes…my love affair with the Rain God continues…

Did I tell you…at around 12 am on Sunday morning it started raining again and has not stopped ever since. Call that uncanny? I call that a ‘out pouring’ of love! :)

Oh, I’m but a slave!

One day I decided to switch off my mobile phone. Actually it switched itself off when the battery ran out. So I said tiddle dee dee and went on with life. Working peacefully without disturbance. Until…

A panic phone call from mom to my office landline (how she ever got hold of that landline is still a mystery). “Are you ok?” was the first thing she asked me. I pinched myself, jumped a few times. Yup – all vitals working fine. Me ok. Wassup at your end? I asked her flippantly. “I have been desperately trying to reach you since morning! Why is your phone unreachable?” She chided me.

“Ugh..it’s out of battery. Tell me amma, what’s the problem?” I said immediately concerned

“Problem? Who said there is a problem?” asks mom, still irritated.

“Then why were you trying to reach me so desperately?” I wondered

“Oh that…you know our banana plant at home…well..its got its first batch of fruits! Yeah! A whole bunch of tiny bananas!” She said excitedly.

I was like “that’s it? You were desperately trying to reach me to say that?” My turn to get annoyed.

“Well…yes but I got worried because I was unable to reach you since morning.” Mom said a trifle sheepishly.

“Oh c’mon ma we just spoke this morning at 8 am! Why must you panic! Ok let me get on with work now.” I said disgustedly and put the phone down.

A little later my boss called me into his room and asks me if I had checked my mails. I shook my head saying I was busy with so and so work and did not log on. He sighed and said “go check your mail. Everything is now sorted out though.”

I checked mail. Panic mails from the most annoying client in the world. All to the effect of agency is being uncommunicative. The concerned executive is unreachable. All the work has got stalled because the person cannot be reached. This kind of attitude will not be tolerated. How can any deadlines be achieved at this rate…well…you get the drift. So I picked up the phone and called the dude.

“What’s the panic?” I bark into the phone.

“I could not reach you. Something urgent!” He blubbered

“What is it? My phone was out of battery and I was out all day.” I lied efficiently.

“Well…that layout you sent me yesterday…it’s approved. I need the artwork by tomorrow.” He said like it was the most urgent thing in the world.

“Is that all? For this you sent all those mails? And why din’t you simply communicate this by mail instead writing all that nonsense.” I yell – for this had now become a big issue where my boss had to intervene and ‘sort out’.

“And how have we missed any deadline? You will get your artwork tomorrow.” I screamed before I slammed the phone on him.

Next a call from my mother-in-law on the office landline. It seems my daughter had been trying to reach me and was now crying because she was unable to talk to me. So daughter comes on line and we coochie coo a bit. After I have pacified her I ask her why she was trying to reach me. “Amma what is that Dress up games site? I want to go online and play that game. You have not bookmarked it in Firefox – so how can I find it!” she accuses me.

That sorted I try to focus on work. My brother calls on the office landline. “Are you ok?” he asks me concerned. “Amma was worried and she called me 10 times today to ask if you had called me for anything. She was not able to reach you.” He explained.

I sighed. “Yes I spoke to her. My phone was out of battery. Nothing to worry.” And then we exchanged sibling notes on why-is-mom-so-unnecessarily-worried before we finished the call.

Another phone call from my mother-in-law comes. A friend has been trying to reach me all day. She finally, somehow got my residence number and left a message. I call the friend right away! It was my schoolmate Devi – she was down from the US and was in Chennai for just a day. She had tried reaching me all day in the hope of meeting me. She was off to Bangalore that night – but had some other plans for the evening. So no hope of meeting her. I was disappointed. I would have loved to meet her. We chatted a bit and then I vaguely promised to try and make a trip to Bangalore.

I realized then that I was a slave to that instrument called the Phone. People controlled my life through that phone. My day was shaped by that phone. I shall hereon and henceforth label it my Master. And me the humble slave shall always keep it charged and ready to take orders!