Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Gym shym oh no!

I am not uncomfortable with my body. I am absolutely cool with being a little overweight. But when I started having trouble walking up the stairs and only my tummy kept growing, I realized that this was more about a bad lifestyle and not so much about 'loving your body'. Let me clarify that I am 'just' 60 kgs and 5 feet 3 inches tall (notice the 'just') ;)

Some say that unless I admit I have a problem,  nothing will happen. But the point is my weight isn't the problem! I am not obese. The problem is my lack of stamina and no physical exercise. And of course who am I kidding!  There are some incredible dresses I would like to wear which aren't flattering to my current tummy bulge. So I have decided to lose inches off my tummy and build some stamina.

I had decided this in the past as well but two days of gym and I was bored out of my mind. I made insane number of excuses - 'no time' 'have somewhere to go'.. I also said 'I will start from Monday' many many Mondays ago! 

So what has changed? I am trying to drive some accountability in my life. Exercise is one thing that I have been postponing. There are a number of things I told myself I would do but I still haven't.

1. Write on the blog regularly
2. Go to the Prince of Wales museum and Jehangir Art Gallery
3. Read
4. Learn music again

The list goes on.

I am turning 26 in a few months and a thought keeps popping up in my head - if I don't make time to make myself better or just experience something new then what is all this hoohaa about growing up? Age is just a number. I may be 26 but in reality my experiences will be exactly the same as when I was 25. 

So, first step --> Go to the gym thrice a week. :)

Monday, 30 September 2013

Home is a person.

My grandfather passed away on Saturday - 21st September 2013. I cried the entire night. And the night after. I also cried once at work and came back home early to cry some more. Then I stopped crying. I spent two days feeling intense anger at the world. I asked questions to myself that had no answers. And then the anger got replaced by nothingness.

How do I feel now? Sad. Just sad.

Before writing this note I kept thinking, this is a personal loss - should I even be posting anything about this? But I realized I want to share. I want to share why my grandfather was one of the strongest influences in my life. A strong influence in the lives of many people who met him. I wanted to share what I know about him. 

My grandfather was a poet... Is a poet? Poets don’t really stop existing do they? Poets live on through their words so I am going to try not to use past tense here. He IS a poet who wrote in Bengali. Honestly I don't know what he wrote because I am not good at the language. I cannot understand the nuances of the language. When I was younger and he was healthier he used to go for poetry gatherings where people would flock to hear him and his words. You could sense the unspoken respect. I may not have known or understood the depth of his words but I remember and cherish the beauty of his resonating voice, the smell of the papers in his warm study, the ink and the vision of him – always in his crisp white dhoti and kurta – writing away with his treasured fountain pens.

He gave me my daak naam (nickname) – Reetee - my first identity. My grandfather was also my first friend. He had the patience to hear my stories for hours. While he wrote I sat on the bed next to his study table and wrote too. He had handed me a notebook of my own and a pen, at an age when I was still trying to write with a pencil. My own pen and my own notebook - can you imagine the joy! A pen - something the 'grown ups' used, and a notebook for my private stories! He fueled my imagination. I was the 'paaka budi' in everyone's eyes but a girl with an opinion for my grandfather. He never ever - not once - disregarded what I had to say. He was probably the first person who showed me that I was the protagonist of my life. I told him everything - things I thought were wrong in this world, things I thought were wonderful and things I wanted to do when I grew up. I had never ending stories and he had timeless patience. He thought I could be anything and I wanted to be him. 

My mother tells me that he was a loving but serious and strict father. As a child I used to laugh and wonder how is that even possible! My Dadubhai was strict? Not possible. But snippets of stories tell me he was. He had responsibilities that he had to deal with at a young age. And he dealt with them quietly. My mother was raised in a joint family where no term called cousins existed. My mother and my aunts were sisters. That is it. When my aunts had sons, they were my brothers. And we have always been one big happy family. I don't think he knew what that meant to me. 

Even I realized the importance of this when I hit my teenage years. I was a child being raised in the Defence, moving from one city to another and starting life anew every three years. When I read books where the protagonists would wax eloquent about their childhood homes – the homes where the doors made a particular sound and the walls had tiny marks that had a childhood memory attached to it – I did not think of the multiple Air Force houses I had moved into and out of. I thought of him and where he stayed in Midnapur. The home he stayed in was my home. He gave me my roots.

Sadly, through the course of writing this post I discovered how little I knew about him as a person. Who was Amarendranath Sarangi? What was he like at my age? Was he idealistic like me? Did he think he was going to change the world? How did he feel when he had to take on bigger responsibilities? Was he prepared? What did he think in his quiet moments? What did he regret? What did he love? 

I don't know the answers. By the time I reached the age where I could ask these questions, Parkinson's disease had already gripped him. And it had gripped him good. I could ask but I would not have been able to understand what he was saying. His speech was slurred. His hands were not in his control. And he could hardly walk without assistance. But he wasn't a man that gave up. He wasn’t built that way. When I met him the last time – a few weeks before he passed away – he could still recognize me. He couldn’t speak or move, but he held my hand tight and smiled. He was still the man who continued to write even when his hands were failing him.

My grandfather meant the world to me. But - I, the eternal Google search maniac - cannot do a search on him online and discover the man that he was. This is the one regret I have. This is the one thing I promise to change. One day, when I have learnt the language he loved, I will find him in his words. I will find him in all those diaries and loose sheets in his study and in his books. And I will keep him alive - for me, for my brothers and for the generations yet to come.  

NOTE: After I finished writing this, I called my mom and she told me that one of my uncles had written a beautiful piece about Dadubhai. This uncle of mine was in college when I was quite young and I remember him coming by and spending time with Dadubhai. They were quite close and shared a mutual love for poetry. Now he lives in the U.S. and I get to read his fantastic blog posts from time to time. Even though I did not really know him that well growing up, today, when I read his tribute, I discovered some shared memories and some new insights into the man that my Dadubhai was. For that I am grateful beyond words.

Thank you Gora Mama.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Love and growing up

I was reading all my old posts today. Some made me laugh, some brought back memories and some just made me cringe with embarrassment. But I realised that the one topic I've been consistently writing about is love.

Love has always been a complicated thing for me to find and understand. After all these years I still don't know what it is all about.

Here is to many more years of seeking answers :) And people who leave impressions behind.

Monday, 22 April 2013

It is 930 pm and I am at work.No. I am not dying under tons of unfinished presentations. I am actually just sitting and waiting for a friend to get done with work so that we can meet. Strange turn of events really. There used to be a time when I was in Pune. When the two of us were in college. There was no waiting. We would decide - let's go have tea at NCC canteen. And poof! We were there!And now... we haven't met properly in 3 months... maybe more. I don't like this part of growing up. Becoming partners of other people, getting overly engrossed in work, spending weekends in a daze because the week was too hard. I don't like it because I have started ignoring some people who have contributed to who I am today.Specially Ree. I need to meet her more often. I feel like a part of me has become lost in the chaos of growing up. Random plans are not made as often as they should be. I am not even meeting new people.This has to change. And I have to write. :)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Random post about stuff I learnt in 2012 :P

I turned 25 and I wanted to write a long post about all the things that I think I have learnt. I wanted to write about what I think turning 25 is all about because honestly it seems like it is a big deal. Strangely I have hardly been able to write a word. All my thoughts are in this big huge bowl looking like mashed potatoes. I feel like 2012 just whooshed by and I haven't sat down and sifted through all the events of last year to really feel anything.  

I moved to Bombay middle of 2011. But life really started in 2012. And it has been like a roller coaster ride (cliched I know...). But here is a basic list of the things I learnt/realised/discovered etc...

You will mess up royally when you will - there is no age when people stop making mistakes so you will make some of your own from time to time - so cut yourself some slack!

I hurt a guy with a bright soul but lost eyes. And he reacted in a manner that hurt me too. Pretty much haven't met him all of 2012. But the worst thing was that I lost a few friends who I still consider inspirations.

I got a job but I am still broke.

Trusted too much - got massively soul crushingly hurt. But learnt some life shaping lessons.

Gave a second chance - which so far has not proved to be a mistake of epic proportions.

Fell in love - in a way I define love.

Travelled a lot and that has probably been the highlight of 2012 for me.

Realised that some of my principles and beliefs needed a little tweaking.

I learnt, sadly, that I live in a country that is not very accepting of who I am. I mean as a woman I live in a bubble of false security.

Being educated and being literate are two very very different things.

People can judge and people will judge - mercilessly - and there is no escape from that. Everyone does not need to like me. There is only so much one can do.

Thin people can get fat so one shouldn't just assume - oh I will never ever gain weight! And working out  is really REALLY boring.

Parents get older as you do... so call back and reply to texts - and to make life easier just introduce family to Whatsapp!

Loving food is a legitimate hobby and I am proud to list it as one - THANK YOU people who tweet about food and review food - I love you people.

I hate the word 'quirky' and am finally ok with being called 'sweet'.

Letting go is important but some grudges should be maintained.

Always - ALWAYS - have a contingency plan in place for everything in life.

You can only love someone truly when you learn to love yourself - accepting the baggage that you carry.

There are some people who are there for life - so never forget to thank them. There are also some people who you meet suddenly but they feel like you know them for a long time - cherish them - specially the female friends. Girlfriends show up - no matter what.

Don't say or do things that will make you hate yourself later - basic stuff that one forgets.

Drunk dialing is bad. Drunk texting is worse. AVOID.

Make some more mistakes - you are just 25. 
2012 was a year of drama... of meeting some people who looked like clones of some of my Delhi friends... of being lost but trying to be happy... and of finding a way to be ok with being THAT lost. I had not imagined my 25 to be like this. I had stupidly assumed that by now I would have all the answers - who I am, what my purpose in life is, who I wish to become etc. That was stupid. But I am glad it didn't turn out according to plan. Where is the fun in that right? :)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

I like being anonymous. Why? Because it lets me express without the fear of feeling judged. Since I was a kid I have felt incredibly uncomfortable in the critical gaze of people who may know me very little but assume  that they have the right and the capability to judge me.
I can deal with people I know well. I can deal with people who are strangers. But the worst are the kinds who know you partially through stories and myths and people. They have the liberty to create an image of you the way they want to see it. Ideally I should be a strong individual and not care. Unfortunately, from time to time the insecure 15 year old in me takes over. And at those times I care a lot. But this time I have decided to continue the way I do and let them judge. It is ok.

I write the way I do. I am not an accomplished writer and I do not claim to be one. I do not promote this blog.

My anonymity has been compromised and that is my fault. Some close friends had the link and passed it on. Now people who hardly know me are judging my writing style and calling me theatrical.

Thank you. I am glad you came to my blog and took time out to read. But since my writing capabilities do not match your reading standards, I am assuming you have moved on.

I don't think it was important for me to post this but I had to do it anyway.