I happened to be included in my school group. We parted in 1993 to re-unite via this whatsapp group in 2015. I was lucky to have stayed in phone memories of a couple of them to be back with my kindergarten friends with whom we completed full 10 years of schooling.

One of friend Lokesh mentioned about my interest in sketching.

I was surprised tto hear from him that I was quite good at it. I know I was not but yes when I resorted to sketch landscapes I got lost wondering if such place existed somewhere.

A couple of years I took up photography quite seriously and then learned about mid and high tones. I began to understand light and the shadows it formed. 

My wife gifted me a drawing book and there I go at attempting it post two decades. 

I am now focused on replicating what  I see in a  

  

 sketch guide book.

I look forward to keep repeating this along with my photography.

2015- the year that was

बेखुदी ले गई कहाँ हमको

देर से इंतजार है अपना

                 ……मीर त़की मीर

2015 was an eventful year spent in wilderness of Ladakh and jungles of Ranthambore National Park. When in Delhi, the weekends were spent shooting on streets, cycling on alternate days and blogging when idling at home. 

First couple of weeks of the year were spent settling at our new house and attending to work at my Company’s manufacturing unit away from Delhi. It was my Mom’s visit sometime in March that helped us get organized. 

March was the month when during casual talks of adventure- during rides to office- the idea of making it to Ladakh by bike occured. The idea was to go all alone – just two of us- rather than being part of the group trips. 

“You need to have a bike and a driving license, Durgesh.”, I said. “It will be a long ride spread over 15 days so difficult to manage on a single bike. Durgesh decided quickly to buy one but it took him a couple of months before his parents allowed him to own one. 

My wife allowed me for the trip. I asked once every couple of weeks to go all alone leaving them behind in summer break. And true to her nature she never changed her mind. It was still March when I had my boss’s approval for the venture.

Before our trip to Ladakh was due, my younger daughter’s birthday in April was celebrated with a magician performing at home. I have lovely pics of a white pigeon on heads of my wife and Mom.

A week before May 31 was when we shopped at Karol bagh for the trip. We missed out on a raincoat and water proof shoes. 

A full fortnight of June was lived while biking some 3500 km and enjoying the beauty of Ladakh. 

My elder daughter’s birthday was celebrated in June. We were all at Chandigarh. I returned same day from Leh. I suffered from food poisoning the whole night but that did not deter me to drive further 270 km the very next day to be back home. 

The following week we headed to Ranthambore where my family gets to see the National Park that I have been frequenting for some years now. 

July was when I surprised my wife with a new laptop wishing her well in advance for her birthday. 

August was memorable for behaving carelessly as a couple. We also went live on a personal mission defined for ourselves. 

Whole of September was spent with a subdued mood. I was again lucky to take a break on my birthday. 

Plans for Varanasi failed in October. Even bookings for flight to Nagpur had to be cancelled when I could not secure booking for Pench Tiger reserve. 

We continued on our goal, for third consecutive year, to travel to my parents’ place for Diwali break. Bookings for Pench Tiger Reserve was cancelled again due to illness. 

Decemeber will be remembered for getting back to normalcy. Sometime since beginning of September I had lost my peace of mind. 

I am busy working towards meeting the targets defined  before 40 on September 29 2016.

When my brain was overworked

 

brain

I had returned from Diwali holidays from our home town Jamshedpur. Our return to Delhi was planned to have a full weekend to acclimatize to Delhi winters, clean the house and catch-up with work and thoughts that my brain was pre-occupied with before seeing my parents. I exercised everyday at Jamshedpur and spent good time at my avocation of street photography, though not to my full satisfaction.

On my return I quickly got back to  my usual routine. I opted for a 100 km ride on Sunday before visiting my friends from school at a re-union. But by the evening I fell ill. It was flu with high fever. Whole of following week was spent on bed experiencing extreme levels of weakness. But that was not the case for my brain. It was mindful with experiences, thoughts and worries and did not let me have a peace-of-mind and further aggravated by limited physical activity.

This situation of mine was very different from my usual dexterity at multi-tasking and transitioning effortlessly from vocation to my avocations and then back and then forth. All of this changed when I happen to discuss this with a psychiatrist. He prescribed a set of two tablets (dietary substitutes) of amino acids that provide protein to the brain.

I was back to normal calmness and stable state within a day. I am happy now. We have doctors who can cure our mind as well. Why shy away from them?

She has the simplest of answers

I was finishing my daily morning regime at the central room of our house while she was getting ready for school. I asked, “Why will someone cheat on money that does not belong to him?” Her simpl reply, “It’s not wrong as per the mindset of such people.”

There are numerous such instances when she had the simplest of solutions to problems that bog me down. But the very instance I hear from her, I emerge clean and dry from the wet mud I found myself stuck in.

Almost two decades back she said, “‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’ cannot be defined universally. It’s  contextual. At another event in my life she said, “There is no such ideal moment in our lives. Live the way you want to.”

“All your worries in life stem from the constraint you perceive due to lack of money. Else you are difficult to contain.”, she has been telling me for years.

She is my wife, my friend and mentor.

Spoilt for choices

  We all desire ample choices in every sphere of life, simply on the premise that we know what is ‘best’ for us. But then how many of us were educated to evaluate choices. We were instead trained to do ‘best’ in what is available.

Born to parents who were too young – 21 years old was my father and 18 years was my mother- to know enough about parenting and the choices they had. Giving  me birth as a first child may have been the default option, especially when my mother migrated from a remote village in Punjab to an industrial town like Jamshedpur. She was yet to come to terms to the this major change in her life. Forget about she even having second thoughts on being a parent within first year of marriage.

We all demand enough to choose one from. On finding a job post my MBA program my mentor remarked ( he no longer lives in this world), “Why do you judge your probability of success by number of interviews you face? It’s not like that. There is a job for you and when it comes, it would be the best one on offer.” He went on to say, “You can work for one Company at a time so how does choices help you?” I believe he was right. 

We read about swayamvars being organised by Kings for their daughters where the probables attended the ceremony in hope of being garlanded as the chosen one. Why did we have this luxury of choice for females only? May be it points to the fact that if, at all it comes to handling choices, females are best at it.

A professor in engineering college when asked by students on he wearing same dress everyday to college replied, “It’s not that I have a single pair but then I do not want to waste time chosing what to wear in morning.”

So it’s better to be constrained rather than spoit for choices.