Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Perfect Morning!

Overlooking the tall buildings and the span of an entire city out of my window, the morning sun finally seen after months of cloudy,wet,cold winter mornings, new born leaves just sprouting on little branches that were lifeless just yesterday, the sky looking calm like it was at peace after a long time, a warm cup of coffee in hand, Pt. Shiv kumar Sharma's santoor playing in the back ground.... a perfect morning!

I've had many such perfect mornings and somehow all of them remind me of these mornings that came by at home. Lazy Sunday, wake up late, mom and dad on the porch outside, tea pot and the whole set laid out on the little round table in front, dad with the newspaper sprawled in front of his face, mom sipping slowly on a boiling hot cup of tea..quiet..just enjoying the fact that such a morning exists. Little drops of rain resting on the leaves, the earth with the typical fragrance of rain, the sun shy behind the clouds, yet radiant. An 8 yr old me...eyes half open, squinting to avoid the sudden brightness of the morning, sleepily walking, rubbing my eyes, oblivious to every thing around except the final destination of my mother's lap. Cradled in her arms, oblivious to demands of brushing my teeth and freshening up, drink milk and all other sundry, just feeling her heart beat against my cheek, smell the rain filled air, an obscure yellow orange ball image of the sun with my eyes closed... it's heat soothing... in the background Pt Shiv kumar Sharma's santoor floating in the air from a cassette that has lived life for a while now.

Through all the perfect mornings that came my way, I realise that the 8yr old in me never grew up. She still rubs her eyes, walks sleepily oblivious to everythign around in search of the final destination of her mother's lap.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


There were times as a 6 year old, I thought my world ended at whether I could swing higher each time without my heart racing as fast as it did. It was about whether this evening would be about playing hide and seek, run and catch or just a day at the swings and all the other bars that I loved hanging from and practice my budding gymnast skills.

Then I grew..taller for sure..mental development still under question! Life at 12 stopped at whether the teacher would be impressed with my homework, if my uniform was looking smart on me, if my friends thought I was cool to hang out with..and somehow the answer to that question didn't matter as much. There was a level of confidence that I would still have someone to go cycling with or play badminton with!

Come 17, life revolved around getting a good score at the boards, cracking the numerous entrance exams, getting into some fancy college and being the success story everybody around expected of me. Conversations with friends were always about what strategic step they had taken to live their success story..what career to choose, which tuitions to join, what exams to give. When the success story did happen and it was time to rejoice..we were all strewn apart. Life beckoned.

Then came College! We were adults now. Just that the elders at home didn't think so. There was a power struggle at all times. It made sense to decide little things about my life coz, I was grown up and yet there was always this lurking fear if the decisions made would be approved of or not. Somehow there still was always this necessity to ask before acting on the it small or big. Life now revolved around looking good, darting looks at the opposite sex, enjoying hostel life and all the freedom it threw at us..chuckling and gossiping with late night coffees as the rain poured down on the roofs, fluttering pages of the thick anatomy text book with a definite confidence in flunking the exam the next day, the little cups of tea between classes, the canteen-owner-claimed fried rice, zooming on the roads with a brash arrogance of playing the lead role in the film about one's own life! Life was lived by the day. Every moment gave a thrill.

Then came post graduation. Things got a little more serious. Life was about career and direction. The friends that had coffee and tea were carving their own niche. Jobs, wedding, further studies..the care free days were gone..buried in sand. Invitations in dozens came my way..."It would be a pleasure to have your gracious presence at my wedding with ...." Friends I had fun with were now playing more responsible roles. My life had taken it's own route. Further studies took me away from all these moments. Not one invitation I could honour, coz life happened.

New friends came along. Old friends not forgotten. New lives intertwined. I wondered if I would ever be part of any of my friends' biggest it graduation, wedding, first b'day of their little ones..just any occasion that means a lot to them.

And a day arrives, 11pm in the night, in the middle of a b'day celebration of a close friend, there comes a call. The other end says.." 4 pm tomorrow..I am getting married." " I have a mandatory can't get married." " But..I am. I would love for you to be there with me. Please make it" A moment's thought. " Gimme the address. I'll be there" Address given. Mandatory class forgotten. It took me the entire night to digest the information. An excitement at finally being a part of his big day. Sheer happiness that he had found his. An inexplicable feeling that I can only describe as a happy state! The next morning went in a frenzy as I attended to the daily routine called life. Come noon, all excited about getting dressed in ethnic attire, caught the train and landed at the court room. There he was. There she was. Looking gorgeous and beaming at each other and everyone around. Hugs exchanged, unspoken words somehow spoken. The group of friends that made it to the moment and it's celebrations along with the couple could no more wait to have it all happen. And finally it did. Papers were signed..witnesses, bride, groom and the mayor. A piece of paper was handed over to them with the words " by law, you are now husband and wife". They were made to stand, hold each other's hands, look into each other's eyes and take the vows of marriage..of being there for each other until death did them apart. As I handled the video camera, trying to capture every moment until posterity, I noticed a gleam in my friend's eye, as the face smiles away. Focus on the others around them and every body's eye had the same gleam. After a while I realized I no more knew what I was recording through the blur of my own eyes. Swallowing the big knot in the throat and flapping the eyelids to push back tears, I rushed to congratulate the couple.

There I was staring at my friend on his big day, floating in happiness realizing that even if life beckons, it's up to us sometimes to grab these moments and cherish them. It felt special to be part of his cherished moment and nothing else in the world could make me feel that way! I also realized, that a lot of the moments I have collected over years have always been with someone or the other...friends...and my life is the way it is coz of these very friends.