Most of us and our days are determined by tiny wishes. Okay, let me re-phrase it and say most my wishes are simple and small ones like: hoping to meet a person, making time to read a book, a conversation, an intriguing discussion, a phone call, a delicious lunch, a warm tea, making time for exercise, watching my favorite series, and the list goes on. I am usually not a person who prefers to sit at one place for long if it is a confined space. I prefer outdoors. I prefer places that do not need a light at day time. I can sit hours and hours at the place if and preferably connected to the nature, also doing nothing. I usually check mark everything that I plan for the day – usually and mostly.
And I called my friend to wish him for his birthday yesterday which went on for more than 70 minutes and as he expressed, he wished and expected for my call. Last year I had closed with a text message and of course I never missed a year wishing, call or text, and not needing any social media reminder (he is not on any). And yes, everything else, between me and him.
Life is simple, when wishes are simple. It is beautiful when they are accomplished.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai has a long and continued history.
Well, now who would agree that the above wonder is the entry to a railway station? It’s altogether a different beauty with lights at night. For me, it’s one of the places that I stand for seconds (many) whenever I visit and feel the charm it carries.
I wonder the effort it took to make it look like that. I wonder what was in the designers mind to weave those intricate complicated designs. I wonder if each part in it has a story that we don’t have ears for. I wonder how satisfying it would have been on the day-end when it stood completed. I wonder for all the things that I don’t know and would never know the history behind. I wonder who will tell the lost glory!
I have spent a lot of time where I zoom the image and watch carefully each of its parts. I have many such in my collection and it’s this that inspire me to work hard and deliver better every single day.
When I started my teaching journey, in around a year, and since then, every single day has been me going back home with utmost satisfaction. There are days of distress and for me, they are part of satisfaction too. Over the years the process made me learn what to take in to make myself better. Between all this chaos’s, there are days where I feel proud of those 24 hours.
Starting the day with lot of interactions, to completing every commitment at personal ends, to professional work-lets, I love how some of my days pass by. My yesterday, I smile while I type this, was iteratively perfect. From being at work and managing the mongoose to running back home to finish my one hour exercise and bath and then coming back to the work to complete review works was an adventure at unlike level. Why all this? Because we had an evening movie to watch and all movie halls had 75/- ticket. I have liked quite a many movies directed by R. Balki and “Chup: Revenge of the Artist” was released with an amazing star cast. The movie is a creative mess and I loved it. There are tiny woven threads in the movie that go beyond the heart connection. The song lyrics are to the context and deep. I had a perfect company and ended the day with a peaceful dinner.
I love my days for all the smiles and hand waves that happen throughout the day. I love the days when everything is planned so as to welcome many and any unplanned in the day slot. I love it when day inevitabilities flow by and take you with the whole kit and caboodle that feel like this was a perfect plan for the day. I love how uncertainty makes the day reminiscent.
From not knowing how to start, to crafting this piece, while listening to my favorite songs and having a critical research presentation in next 30 minutes is perhaps what I mean by owning the day. When you pour in your satisfaction into the works, you will start seeing everything in different hues. The end results does not matter and what matters is what you fashioned through it. And that landscape is what I mean when I say – Own the day.
Everybody needs a mentor. With reverse learning and the current affairs, one, it’s hard to find a good one because every individual has specific needs and two, mentor is also a friend or eventually becomes one. We all learn from each other and that is the beauty of current generation. I don’t know where to draw the line as it all seems blurry. So, I believe, it is better not to draw the line and be accepting to the acts that play around. Be it professional work or the hobby endeavors I must say I have been lucky in several aspects. My count of good mentors and friends is a lot more than the otherwise. Eventually being friends within the spaces we create, I have been guided and put through proper direction to move ahead.
I have been part of NaNoWriMo community since six years now and it has helped me ace my writing undertakings, methodically with an amazing support from my team. As it’s a virtual event and we are spread across different parts of India, our interactions are usually online. The three of us who have been managing event every November in India from last 3 years are in different states, hundreds of miles apart. Please check out the community if you are into writing and need a company.
I recently got an opportunity to meet one of my co-ml (municipal liaison) who resides in Mumbai. Sonia Rao has been handling this event more than a decade now. Over time I have had a lot of learning’s from her. I was lucky enough to be invited for lunch and it felt like a meet of two friends who knew each other from decades. There was delicious food and as much more delicious conversations (my taste buds even today converse about the Thai curry, as much my mind reminds me of our conversations). Well, apart from writing, we talked about everything that has to do with writing. I am already in love with Mumbai and this only increased it, more and more-er. I also returned with lot of goodies and chocolates. I know there is a lot more of us in the bundles of the future.
I have had my share of travels – of all kinds. A stay in a comfortable five star room to a night at bus stand, I have had them all. From an end to end planned vacation to a what-next road trip, have lived them all. I have been with friends who were worried because stay was not booked and also been with friends who were totally cool with reaching a place and still having no clue of what next. I don’t want to be a judge between certainty and uncertainty and decide what is best. Neither have I had a responsibility to give my verdict on which is better and hence why, with no attached commitments, I unravel that a travel is a ‘travel’ – no strings attached. And that, is the magic ingredient.
I would only recommend that one must experience every part of it. A ride on a horse to a ride on airplane, everything has its own essence. There is no comparison. Each of those modes has indigenous responsibilities that rinse you the life protocols. You get to live moments that no photographs can capture. You get to live the time where you can’t share it with anyone because you don’t know how to. A travel is lot about one’s personality and lot more about one’s identity.
From a travel of no bath for 3 days to the ones with more than 2 baths in one day, everything has its beauty. A bus has. A train window has. The people have. The ones sitting along with us have. A lot of adventure has been talked about when it comes to travel. Here I am, sliding back to the messy thoughts of which among the ones I had is possibly my favorite!
Imagine, you are in a bus with open top and yes, it’s double decker and the weather is perfect. Now, all of us have our own definition of a perfect weather and for me, its drizzling with breeze. And you are having a tour passing through your most loved place of the city. How dreamy can be that?
And not once, but twice. The bus takes to and fro via the same place and you get to stand, watch and feel it like there is nothing else that matters. This happened during South Mumbai tour and the bus passes through the entire Marine Drive lane twice.
It wasn’t afternoon and it wasn’t evening. It was raining and it wasn’t. There was sun and there wasn’t. There were people around and they weren’t. And with all of that, I had all the tiredness being swept away by the winds.
And that is exactly how you start falling in love with a place!
The train journey from Mumbai to Pune makes you appreciate your life. The rocks have been carved for kilometers in length just to make way for the train. There are even places that make you wonder how the tracks were laid. Though I took ample pictures during the journey, I deleted them because they did not justify what I was actually watching. One can easily tear up looking at the wonders. And at places, I was so much lost in seeing what was outside that it did not even flash me that I could take a picture. It was breath-taking.
The picture I am sharing is nothing compared to what you see. It’s steep and beyond imagination. And you know why everything felt so heavenly, satisfying? Because I had a perfect company with me, and that made all the difference in the world.
Saw this girl, maybe in her early twenties, sleeping near to the toilets of the train. Beside her was her son, maybe four. The clothes might have been dirty, the stomachs might have been empty, but they were having the most peaceful sleep with no bed or bed sheets. I don’t know what got them there and where they were heading next, but I saw that they were looking for food. And food is all that mattered to them. Not for evening, not for tomorrow, but for right now – the lunch. There was nothing put forth as demand. Anything would do. How do I know? They looked for it after an hour-ish long sleep.
We were hungry too but I knew there was a difference. I could feel it. Our hunger was from the one of not having the breakfast and theirs might be from I don’t know when they had a last good meal. Or do they even know what a good meal is? Then there were these kids who put their hands forward with the eyes that shouted out hunger. I don’t know how the last box of bread filled the hunger of six kids and how much it did.
I told my friend (well, lets say that) I needed a pen and a paper. The hours of standing did not matter anymore. Or it would not further ahead. But then I said, when I go home, I will put myself here again and write. I don’t know what this will bring, but for me it is compromised peace.
Is life too simple when hunger is all that matters? Or is it too complicated? There is no one who evaluates you, who judges you, who defines you. It doesn’t matter what the world does and what the world thinks. All that matters is what do I get to eat? Will I get to eat? Will it fill my stomach? And that’s the quest for life. I will leave it here, being thankful to everything I have and striving hard to make the best of everything I have.
And we have many universal problems that cannot be solved, altogether.
Most of the cities that I visit often or that I often did once, I have my favorite spots. I really don’t have any reason on why they become one, but they do. For some there is an instant connection, and for other it’s the repeated visits or a company that makes it so.
In the regards, I am not sure when and how I fell in love with Marine Drive. To be honest, with Mumbai itself. But if I had to pick one from Mumbai, with no second thoughts and in flash of a moment, I would utter Marine Drive.
My first ever visit was in 2011 and the next visit in 2022. Though a lot had changed in second visit, it felt like nothing ever had. I look forward for many in the future. For I have some of my treasured memories connected to the aura there. I can sit hours and hours and never get bored. Want to listen and feel more? I recommend to make a plan and visit instead!
I have asked that question to myself several times and my mind has toggled between the worlds of ‘live the moment you don’t need a picture’ and ‘also take a picture while you live the moment’. While over the years, being varyingly random, now I usually take a snap that reminds me of collective satisfying moments. We live several moments that are worth being reminded. Isn’t it always a pleasure to return to them and smile because that happened? Pictures do a great deal when it captures everything we had in mind. I have a special collection where they mean more than those moments to me.
A lot of times, okay, all the times, I take them because they mean something to me. Any other likes when on social media is an additional idolizer to it.
I love the above picture because it overflows happiness. It brings out the architecture. It is calming. It’s hassle free. It reminds me that there is nothing more beautiful than witnessing the moment and carrying it ahead with grace. It reminds me that we lived the time and we were part of it. It makes me virtually wander in the streets of Jaipur.