Hey Coffee, It is so innate That how bitter your taste But the roasted beans, for sure Blend well with the sweetness of sugar Frothed bubbles Hot and chilled, brewed and cold Aha! the aroma, nutty and chocolaty Cappuccino, latte, mocha, espresso and many It's lazy Sunday or Monday blues You are the reason to happily loose the snooze You have been just an excuse For the escape called "coffee-break" A witness of musings, witty, Head-to-head, Heart-to-heart coffee date chit-chats Apparently to be kept with a lid on Found in some pantries Are accidentally spilled coffee stories Unlike, others some Hello's end with See you over a cup of coffee, again! *** Composed by Vinit Desai ***
Ho Ho Ho ! 🎅 Memoirs of Merry Christmas 💫
Growing up in a neighborhood that was with a mix of people with different religions and their respective cultures brings back the vivid memories of today from the past, Christmas and the festivities that follow, the celebrations and preparations by young as well as old.
The kids were always excited about collecting items for Christmas tree, the crib, hut decoration, the list goes on with small statues of baby Jesus Christ, mother Mary, villagers, houses, dried grass, lighting, stars, shining balls, jingle bells and so on. Back then though, things were available readymade in the stores/market, unlike today, people believed in investing time in little things, call it a self-help or being self-reliant and satisfaction of doing their own decorations, however small or big. The afternoons a week before Christmas were spent mostly in the kitchen by women in preparing the sweet specialties with delicacies of mouth melting Dodol, Bebinca, the crispy Rose cookies, Kormolas etc.
Every locality had a group of zealous youngsters who hosted the celebrations which lasted till the new year and was open for public. The main attractions were the big hut with a unique scenery depicting Jesus’ birth and happiness all around, a big Star(bamboo stick make wrapped nicely with clean white cloth) with embossed “Wish you all a Merry Christmas” Christmas tree, big fat white Snow man, and an old man.
Most awaited daily evening game was the Housie(the game of numbers and luck), it could be bought as one ticket for two Rupees and three tickets for five Rupees. This game had two rounds, the first one was called “Jaldi Five”, which was over after calling out five random numbers from a glass jar and the next round went on till they got the winner. The last night that is the 31st December had special visitor Santa Claus, karol singing, games like treasure hunt and musical chair.
Here’s is to wishing all the readers a Merry Christmas! with these memoirs.
Tuesdays with Morrie and Life lessons
Recently, I happened to read a book entitled Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom in which the author narrates about his visits to his old professor Morrie on Tuesdays. The conversations of each visit turn out to be a learning about self, life, people and community. As I was in the process of reading and pondering my thoughts on life I realized that no-one is perfect and we have each day to be grateful towards life for giving us a chance to breath and cherish the moments of life.
Some of the aphorisms from the classic book
- Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.
- Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.
- Learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others.
- Don’t assume that it’s too late to get involved.
- Find someone to share your heart, give to your community, be at peace with yourself, try to be as human as you can.
- Love always wins.
- The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture does not work, don’t buy it.
- So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they are busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to community around you, and devote yourself to create something that gives you purpose and meaning.
- If you really want it, then you will make your dream happen.
- The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.
- Love is the only rational act.
- I don’t allow myself any more self-pity than that. A little each morning, a few tears and that’s all
- Sometimes you can’t believe what you see; you have to believe what you feel.
- What if today were my last day on earth?
- Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.
- If you accept you are going to die at any time, then you might not be as ambitious as you are.
- There is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today, if it isn’t the family.
- Don’t cling to things, because everything is impermanent.
- If you have found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more. You can’t wait until you are sixty-five.
- Money and power both are not substitute for tenderness.
- Love is how to stay alive, even after you are gone.
- Love each other or perish.
- The big things- how we think, what we value, those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone or any society determine those for you.
- Don’t let go too soon, but don’t let hang on too long.
- Be compassionate. And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place.
- Forgive yourself before you die. Then, forgive others.
- As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.
- Death ends a life, not relationship.
- The important questions have to do with love, responsibility, spirituality, awareness.
- You are not a wave, you are part of the ocean.
- There is no such thing as “too late” in life.
- Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you’re bound to do something else.
- As you grow, you learn more. Aging is not just decay…it’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand that you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.
Not paint everything with same brush!
One of my friends is shifting to a different city (which he and me had never imagined he would be shifting to) for his new job. So my obvious question to him was “Couldn’t you find a better location?” to which he replied “In fact, couldn’t find a better job opportunity anywhere else” as he was looking for a domain specific job role for last couple of months and the discussion about job opportunities, immigration and stuff continued…
Many educational institutions have been established in our country over a period of time but quantity of students pursuing degree outbalances the quality and skills. Reasons could be years old designed outdated syllabus, not suiting the current superfast changing market demands. In this mobile/internet revolutionized world its upto the pupil to be on the same page as the demands.
Anyways, jobs like glamour are overrated because if you are jobless with a fancy degree in your pocket frustration and shame follows parallely and uninvitedly. If you have a job, you are treated worthy of being self-dependent, in other words independent. Another big time illusion and fact in my opinion is that job description, JD as they call it, is not equal to the actual job execution. Sometimes, job opportunities are available but not worth the skills and other times its vice versa. The faces of jobs and their definition in most of the domain have been evolving in the recent past. Upgrade of skills and flexibility to accept the change to improvise the know-how is the need.
On an entrepreneurial front, however big or small the business is ‘more is less’ to give a fight to competitors to outreach the right investors, marketers and finally the consumers. To be in the race, they need to continuously learn and unlearn current demands to help in bringing up the revolution in terms of functioning of industries and innovation in products and services. No body ever wants to be in a loss. But the face is, it’s a gamble and sometimes unfair, as life is.
These are my personal opinions based on experiences. So, not paint everything with same brush!
The Nandanvan Park
There’s a park opposite my window
“Nandanvan” is its name
Standing still, changing its shades with seasons
From vivid green to dry yellow tan
Through the clouds and cool shower of rain
Scorching sunny summer
And windy winter
Bushes of short shrubs, tall thick trees
Chirping birds calling each other, racing squirrels
Witnessing diversity all around
From lively kids to limping patients,
From gossiping women to debating men,
From a headphone stucked lonely stranger to couples in romance,
From casual strollers to disciplined joggers/runners
Selflessly, with no prejudice
Embraces warmly, one and all
Part of this park solaces them all
Haply, “Nandanvan” seems to be an apt name
After all 🙂
*** Composed by Vinit Desai ***
Memoirs from childhood
The kids had just made their return from their maternal grandma’s home with the new baby as an addition to their family. This was almost two and a half decades ago, when all three of them were chubby cute babies. Little did they know they shared a bond of siblings. All three wanted their share of love especially from their mother who was now the only person to be around them day out and night, doing house chores tirelessly in a diligent manner. The youngest among the siblings wanted the most attention, as he was an infant, just two months old; learning to make movements, cranky sounds, wetting clothes, bed, throwing tantrum at random hour were part of his early infant-hood.
Their grandma was most worried about how her daughter is going to manage all by herself, single handedly, the daily household chores – routine started with folding the bedspreads, mattresses, brushing teeth, bathing the elder kids, oiling and bathing the little toddler with utmost cautiousness, covering him with tiny ruby white cotton clothes, wrapping him in a swaddle(big white cloth), rocking him, petting him till he felt asleep and then putting him to bed, preparing breakfast, lunch, getting eldest kid ready for school, snacks, dinner, feeding the kids, changing their clothes, washing the soiled clothes and sometimes wet too, brooming/sweeping the entire house, cleaning utensils, making their bed and finally putting them to sleep. These were her daily set of activities. They never had the concept of maid back then and even now they do not have any. Her pure love, cheerfulness, dedication and commitment had conquered all the pain, merrily and relentlessly. In fact, their garden had blossomed into something more and more beautiful throughout all these years .
They had these naïve conversations with their mother
“Mummy, how did I come to this world?” to which their mother replied “Shanu, God sent you to us.”
When she cuddled them in her arms, they held her ‘Mangalsutra’ and played with it in every possible manner, grabbing it tightly, pulling it, twisting it and then unknowingly putting the locket into their mouth. Imagining that, there is something to eat inside the ‘Matka’ shaped locket which followed curious question
“Mummy, what is there in this?” (pointing to the locket) to which their mother replied “Your Pappa is their inside that.” Immediately there was a reflex action of releasing it away. Pappa is there inside, we should not put it in mouth.
Post lunch, when their mother got some free time for relaxation and used to have plans of giving time for her hobbies of preparing yummy snacks like ladoos(besan, rava, methi, coconut- abundant in variety), shankarpali, knitting crochet (sweaters, socks, winter-caps, scarf), stitching(her own blouses, tiny clothes for her kids, special ones for her daughter with different types of sleeves pattern). In the meantime, the carefree elder two kids had some naughtiness on their mind and laughed, ran playfully here and there with great joy. Their noise in turn woke the youngest one. This spoiled her plans most of the times. She used to whisper to her elder kids. “I have put him to sleep just now. Please, don’t make noise and wake him up. You two sleep for some time or go out and play after sometime when the sun goes down.”
They were being persuaded by handing over a hands full of home/mom made square shaped sweet snacks called ‘Shankarpali’ in a bowl by saying “Eat chocolate, take some more. Isn’t it very tasty and nice?” It was their father who had avoided getting junk food from market. He, himself avoided eating outside as he grew up eating fruits, natural resources. Both parents made sure to feed kids with natural and healthy food.
Their father provided every single stuff needed for running the household. So, rarely, did their mother stepped out of house. And on such occasions the youngest kid was the most reluctant to leave her and needed to be negotiated and convinced, somehow. For this, she had found a solution. Placing the doctor’s appointment card that had a picture of mother and baby on the bed, as she draped her saree she used to lovingly and convincingly say to him. “Mummy is going to visit doctor, she is not well. She will be back very soon. What does Shanu want? ” The cute little one had a face full of worry as he wanted to go with his mother but at the same time the thought of doctor and injection frightened him a lot. So he repeatedly said “Come soon ok, come soon.” He used to get a peck on his chubby cheeks. “I’ll come soon Shanu. You play with Baba and Bena.”
The eldest one, Baba was going to school during afternoon time. Shanu was all growing up, learning to crawl, managed sitting on the floor now. After their afternoon nap the younger two kids, Bena and Shanu used to play with toys and their mother’s bangle had turned into the most magical toy ever. As the bangle whirled fast it brought an unimaginable joy and laughter on their faces and as the swirling slowed down, Shanu stroked palm of his little hand, missing the judgement first two times to stop the movement completely. Then pleaded to his mother with excitement “Once more, once more.” After he was done with the magic, he grabbed the bangle and hit on the floor vertically to hear its sound. Then looked around joyously for attention.
To be continued…