My younger angel- Ruhin would have heard the title song of the movie ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ and was humming at home. I told her that the song belongs to a movie. She wanted me to play the movie for her. Thanks to Youtube where the full movie was available.
While my daughter was watching the movie streaming on my hand phone, I, sitting next to her was quick to check the year. It was in 1998 when this movie was released.
I had loved this romantic story due to glamour and romanticism showcased, quite similar to my stage of relationship with my spouse. We were in love but miles apart with no access to internet or hand phones. We could not see each other for months together.
My mind ventured further into details of those years of my life, trying to recall all the details as minute as possible. My memory could not help me with much details though.
I was soon nostalgic about the whole event of my relationship with my spouse and how we finally got to get married. Then I sensed that my brain was attempting to rationalise the years ‘lived’ thereafter.
All the major events that I could recall seemed to me as ‘random’ with no measured effort on my part to make them happen. This was a sincere attempt to decode my past life since we as humans are masters of rationalising our past lives akin to a perfect story unfolding with all ups and downs as being experienced my daughter while watching the movie.
She wept when the child in the movie could not speak on topic ‘Mother’ in some competition and was weeping when the lead actor- the father of the child – walks upto her speaking on her behalf and then gives her a tight hug.
My daughter leans further into my shoulders. As a parent I did not want to influence her flow of emotions nor interrupt it with usual banter- it’s just a movie with actors playing it to a script – followed by laughs irritating enough to spoil her flow of emotions.
While I had my own regrets for not being able to recall full details of my life unfolding in last 18 years, I pledged to make it memorable and record everyday of my life penned here on a blog or in a personal diary.
I was visiting my long-time friend’s parents for the first time last weekend. They turned out to be very religious and hospitable. Within the first 15 minutes they gauged my interest and approach towards life and shared a bundle of religious books on Sikhism written in Punjabi.
I have no formal education in reading or writing Gurmukhi (official name for Punjabi language). But I learned to read the printed scripts in Punjabi while narrating the Jap ji Sahib, Rehraas sahib and Sukhmani Sahib prayers. My wife and cousin also guided me in a causal manner to master reading Gurmukhi.
I was done reading a two-page editorial in one of the books gifted to me. The article highlighted the reason for troubles in life and attributed it to ignorance/disregard to the teachings compiled in Guru Grant Sahib. A stanza was quoted from Guru Grant Sahib to help the reader relate to relevance of the text in today’s world.
However, I feel the writing lacked the depth thats is usually expected of well-read younger generations. They do not relate to notions of ‘Akaashwani’ when the Gurus across religions received the message from almighty and they narrated it verbatim to their discipiles. Even when we speak specifically about Sikhism the most important message is to lead a life of a human- have familiy, have fun but then do it in a manner that does no harm to others. In other words, it can be said that Sikhism preaches to keep God in perspective while dealing with the outside world as well as our inner self. It’s about being ethical in all our dealings.
So what should the text books on teachings of Guru Grant Sahib be written on? The answer lies in attempting to comprehend the dilemmas the life puts forth to the young today and then try addressing it using the wisdom of Guru Grant Sahib. The mention of Guru Grant Sahib should be as subtle as possible.
“We will never return to share the experience of death but atleast let us resolve to share the experience of life.”
7 years back when I posted this thought, I was not good at defining ‘sharing’, ‘experience’ and ‘life’. Since then I became a parent 2nd time, changed jobs, took debt to buy a house and toned down the expectations I had from my capabilities.
But one thing that has significantly changed in me is a far higher degree of selflessness and openess to know and engage with people. I have stopped complaining about many things including the usual cliche, ‘humans cannot be trusted’. I have built defenses in sub-conscious that have helped me deal better and live better.
I learnt from photography the art of seeeing and framing subject to be clicked in a right perspective. My attempt from this blog that I have been compiling for a decade now is to help my kids know the true personality of their father- what I thought, felt, worried etc.
Everyday when alive, we create and live experiences. This one thought will surely help us to be more conscious of Life while death is still not forgotten.
In my teens, I was an introvert with frequent enquiries- Do you like poetry?; Are you interesting in books?- from my parents and their friends. And to be true I was not very interested in books nor had dreams to be a poet. I liked playing cricket and hockey but not very passionate. Later, I picked up cycling as a sport but the effort was again a very measured one. I was sincere but I was unfortunate to have a single hassle free competition. Most of the times, I had a bike failure, a flat tire or a fall. Without hinting an explanation to my failure, I reason that I never desired to stretch my efforts to be in National Team of cycling.
My efforts in academics was just enough to be ‘knowing’ and ‘having clarity on concepts’. I never aimed to be a topper. I lacked the intent as well. Just being good is enough for me. This has given me lots of happiness. And when ‘Happiness’ is never quantified why to strive for more of it.
This may not go down well to an ambitious and passionate but then so be it. I believe I am ordinary. The only other trait that I have symptoms of picking up is being fearless to act original.
Being ‘ordinary’, makes me ‘Jack of all trades’.
And in 40s being ‘original’ will make me a true human.
I was in class 9 and on summer vacations. My parents had left me behind to stay with Aunty to attend a marriage in Punjab. It was very hot and I use to commute back and forth between our house and my aunt’s using a bicycle. Within the 3 days of my parents leaving, I had fallen sick. I was diagnosed for Typhoid but was being treated with homoeopathy medicines for 10 days.
My fear of visiting a hospital complemented the feeling of my Aunt and her family as well. A wet cloth on my forehead was constantly placed to keep the fever in check. I was helped urinate in a bucket close to bed since I was getting weaker with everyday passing. They took all pains but did not lose hope that I will recover without being admitted to hospital. All of this was not being disclosed to my parents and how could that be done since there were no mobile phones those days. The landline phone was also not at my Aunt’s place.
On May 21 1991 around early afternoon, I rose to hear slogans from group of Congress supporters in an open truck. My cousins told me that Mr Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. My cousins wished this was not done by a Sikh as in 1984 with Ms Indira Gandhi. Despite my illness, the focus had shifted to news on television. This was a distraction that kept me at relatively higher levels of energy.
But I had to be admitted to hospital on May 23 when my condition further deteriorated. I was looked after at hospital by relatives known only to my parents. They were best known to me as visitors for my grand parents and they did have tea before leaving. On the 3rd night at the hospital my father visited me rushing straight from railway station.
I was in tears but tried hard to put up a mature and bold face before him. Post my discharge from hospital a long recovery process started at home with I slowly gaining the strength and stamina. I was looked after as a toddler.
But then within two months I gifted a two-wheeler moped to commute to school with my father taking special permission from Vice Principal at Gulmohar High School.
Those were also days in my life…