Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

I was doing a bit of work and listening to some U2 when I came across this song (Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own). Beautiful lyrics. There's this opening bit which goes like this...

Tough, you think you've got the stuff
You're telling me and anyone
You're hard enough

You don't have to put up a fight
You don't have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches
For you tonight

Listen to me now I need to let you know
You don't have to go it alone

It's as if God was singing this song to me. It's the way I'd like to interpret it anyway. That's the beauty of abstract art forms like music, art and literature. The same thing can mean different things to different people. Coming back, it's a beautiful feeling when you know there's someone with you right through. Through life's humbling experiences, through highs and the lows. It's the wings of faith that have carried me through. I tried the agnostic bit way back in school. But there are just too many questions that are left unanswered and unanswerable. Faith makes you feel small and strong at the same time. Strange isn't it? Like life.

You never know where the road will take you.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ajeya Returns

Yeah, it's time to move on now. I'm back and will be posting more often.

Just came back from immersing my father's ashes in the sacred river, Godavari in Nasik. It was a nice trip. We stayed at nice hotel nearby with the family and all of us enjoyed being there. On the way back, we stopped at this restaurant at Matunga called Cafe Mysore. Food to die for. I loved the South Indian fare. Rasa vadas, curd rice and the works.

Took some pictures with my newest technological acquisition a Samsung D600 with a 2 megapixel camera. Will post them later today when I have time to fiddle around with the phone.

Good to be back. Expect more comments on your blogs! :-)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Picking up the Pieces

Yesterday was the twelfth day ceremony we had for my father. We had a puja, prayer in Hindi, in the morning followed by lunch in the afternoon for family and close friends. It went off smoothly and it is supposed to signal the end of the mourning period.

I thought last year's break up with my girlfriend was bad. I had no idea what was in store for me though. Experiences like this break you at some level before you pick up the pieces and get yourself together. They make you stronger and you grow as a person I think. But right now, I'm still getting myself together.

I'm just grateful for all the time I had with my father and I've been blessed with more than I could ever ask for. I thank that unknown Power for giving me everything I have and above all, the strength to take life in my stride.

I'm going to go now. I doubt I'll be posting as regularly as I was for a little bit. Here's a song by Sting I love...

Let your soul be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
He'll guide you well

When you're down and they're counting
When your secrets all found out
When your troubles take to mounting
When the map you have leads you to doubt
When there's no information
And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well

Let your soul be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
He'll guide you well

When the doctors failed to heal you
When no medicine chest can make you well
When no counsel leads to comfort
When there are no more lies they can tell
No more useless information
And the compass spins
The compass spins between heaven and hell

Let your soul be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
He'll guide you well

And your eyes turn towards the window pane
To the lights upon the hill
The distance seems so strange to you now
And the dark room seems so still

Let your pain be my sorrow
Let your tears be my tears too
Let your courage be my model
That the north you find will be true
When there's no information
And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well

Let your soul be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
Let your soul guide you
Let your soul guide you upon your way...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bye Papa

My dad passed away last evening. 9th June, 2006 at 5 pm. We took him to hospital in the morning to conduct tests because he was in pain and before we knew it, he was gone. It's all happened really fast. We cremated the body yesterday too and I had to perform the last rites.

We shared a beautiful relationship. He simply adored me and I, him. He wouldn't listen to my mother but he would always hear me out. I am really sad that he's gone. If there were two words to describe him, they would be 'a gentle soul', make that three. He kept to himself pretty much but the lives he touched, he touched very deeply.

Sometimes I would sleep in his room when Amma ('mother' in Konkani) was away and he would cuddle me, a full grown 25 year old, like a baby. And I would tickle him back. It made our day. He was like a friend. Advising me on what to do with women, discussing random stuff and cracking filthy jokes.

Fortunately, Papa didn't suffer too much. It started with a back pain last Saturday and culminated with death last evening. He lived life on his terms and he died on his terms too. And I am grateful for that. He died of an aortal aneursym (not sure if the spelling is correct) that was caused due to constant smoking over 30 years. We would always tell him to smoke and drink less. It would work sometimes and sometimes it wouldn't.

Do I have any regrets? Absolutely not. I loved him with my heart and soul. I was the one who tried to get him to change, to start living healthy while Amma was the one who would go soft on him. The three of us were great together.

While I am tempted to be selfish and feel sorry for myself in not having Papa around anymore, I know that he has gone to a place where he will be happier. He will get a fresh start (I believe in reincarnation) and get another chance to fulfil his amazing potential. It was best for him. And as I said earlier, he died dignified. No extra tubes artificially keeping his body alive while his soul was dead. He died a good man. A simple soul. A man who I will always look up to and someone whose spirit will be with me and Amma always.

I miss you Papa. Although every cell in my body wishes you were here with us today, I have faith that you had better things in store for you. Thank you for spending the time that you did with Amma and me. Our lives would have been poorer without you.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mind over Mattress

I've been out exercising since Monday after a two week layoff thanks to my illness. The antibiotics really affected my stamina. I struggled on Monday at football. I couldn't keep pace towards the latter half and it was a bit annoying. I was pooped after the game. By the evening, my body was aching all over. But it was a 'good' pain. You know what I mean? When you've had a good work-out and busted your muscles. I could feel the stiffness so I spent a longer time stretching the following morning.

On Tuesday morning my body was still aching. The back of my legs, all the way from the back of the thighs to the calves were crying out. So I stretched it out and went for a run on Marine Drive. It was tough. I was hurting for the last quarter of the run but I had to complete it. And I did. Seven kilometres after a three week break from running was a lot. I probably pushed myself too hard and I was a bit tired during the first half of the day.

Wednesday was back to football again. A longer pre-game stretch and another tiring, but not as tiring as Monday, work-out. Less pain after the game and feeling the stamina coming back slowly.

Today, a six kilometre run. Much less pain. Stretching was a lot easier and the body moved a lot, no I mean A LOT, better. The flow is coming back and it feels great.

It's great to back to the exercise routine. I've had to push myself to get back into shape but it will happen slowly. It's a process :-)

Amazing what a difference exercise can make to life! A healthy body. Now for a healthy mind :-D

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rain, rain...

Rain, rain come again,
Don't be gone another day,
For oft I wait for you in vain,
Hoping to get away from the heat of May.

You make the green leaves shine,
Pouring from the heavens above,
Giving glee to some, causing others to whine,
Could there be a better season to love?

You cleanse much more than the earth,
Lifting the Soul and giving it mirth,
The clouds, they lose and yet we gain,
Rain, rain come again.

Monday, June 05, 2006

To Pune and Back

I went on an impromptu trip to Pune with the family. My uncle just shifted back to India from New Jersey so he decided to have a house-warming. We had such a blast! You know how it is, each person in the family has their own eccentricities and everyone laughs at each others.

He lives in this really nice apartment complex in this place called Baner Road with a pool, gym and the works. More or less self-contained. We got there on Saturday afternoon. Everyone was lazing around more or less. We went and visited an aunt who has been bed-ridden for a couple of months. That was a bit sad because she was one of those energetic, dynamic types bubbling with energy. I only hope she gets well soon. The evening though was awesome. The house-warming party began at 7.30. The guests poured in, some 30 odd people including what sounded like an army of kids! At about 9 pm, my whacked out uncle who lives in Pune came by. And that's when the party reached a whole new level. He had us in splits mimicking the funny mannerisms of people in the family. And that's how the party continued until we all passed out.

All in all, a good getaway from the city. A good break. Good to be back.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Big Picture, Small Troubles

The past couple of days have been tumultous. I've been totally uninspired and lacking motivation. Like a flat cola, you know? When it's been outside for too long. That's how I've felt. Just letting life happen to me.

So today I decided I'm going to pull my head out of my ass. Amazing how often it goes back in but hey, it's a process. So there are two ways I look at it:

1. What are my troubles now compared to the other challenges I've faced in life? Invariably the answer is 'negligible'. And even if the challenge is bigger than I've ever faced, I'd always back myself to come out of it stronger.

2. What are my troubles compared to those some other people face? Absolutely nothing. I really don't have much to complain about.

So it's all about where my attention is really. Why do I end up focusing on the lacunae instead of the sufficiencies? It baffles me sometimes. But when I do end up going through a bad phase, it always helps me to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. A change of perspective. And suddenly, my troubles seem so banal. They are. I know it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Yes, the monsoon is officially here. The smell of wet earth, the vibrant green on the plants and trees, a great time for a nice trek and the time when the new academic year begins for thousands of school and college-going students. What fun!

The monsoon always reminds me of my first day in a new grade. The shopping that would precede the first day at school. The pencil-box with fancy buttons, the nice smelling eraser, the pencil that didn't need to be sharpened, gumboots for the rain. The list is endless. I'll never forget the suspense of finding out who our class teacher would be in school. It used to be such a huge event. We'd hope for our favourite teacher to become our class teacher. Sometimes it would happen and sometimes our nightmares would come true. But it was all part of the fun.

Then between classes we'd run down and splash dirty water on each other with our gum boots, play soccer in the garden behind school in our spotless white uniforms until we were caked with muck and run back up to class only to be disallowed entry for being dirty. Oh joy!

The monsoon is more than just another season for me. I take it to be symbolic of the cleaning I need to do internally. Weeding out the negative thoughts and desires and looking at life afresh, with new eyes and renewed enthusiasm. It reminds me of the return I want to make, the return to innocence.