Saturday, February 28, 2015

In My Wanderings

I read this poem today and it resonated with me totally. Here is why.

Doors and Windows- by Eduardo Galeano

From our fears our courages are born,
and in our doubts our certainties live.
The dreams announce another possible reality,
and the deliriums another reason.
In the wanderings the findings are waiting for us,
because it's necessary to get lost
to find yourself again.

Exactly 2 years ago, I made a huge transformation in my life. I quit my job, sold my apartment, said goodbye to a familiar lifestyle, and moved back to India after having spent over 13 years in Singapore. I didn't move to an Indian city to take up a job. Instead, I moved to a small Himalayan village to live with my mother, far removed from the cities and corporate life that I was used to.

What spurred me to take this plunge were my dreams for a life I had always imagined and a strong sense of rootlessness in Singapore, though many people thought it was just a mid-life crisis making me delirious. And all I felt for months before the move was not excitement, but doubts about who I really was and a terrifying fear of the unknown.

From my fear arose my courage. From my dreams arose another reality. From my doubts arose my convictions. From years of wanderings and rootlessness sprouted my roots. And yes, it was necessary for me to be lost so that I could find myself again.  

Friday, February 20, 2015


My paternal grandfather, a matriculate, was a postmaster in Leh Ladakh area. A simple self-made man, he described himself in his job application as a very good "typewriter", something he joked about with us later in life. As a postmaster, he saved up all his Travel Allowance by going everywhere on foot instead of on horseback, just so his kids could be educated. Of his four children, two became doctors and one an officer in the Indian Army.

My maternal grandparents were school teachers in Delhi. Grandfather was an English teacher and Grandmother a maths teacher. They were jobless for long periods during the turmoil of partition and had to send their kids away to their grandfather because there wasn't enough money for all. Even when they both found jobs, they lived frugally because school teachers were paid very little. My mother and her younger sister went on to become doctors, famous in their chosen fields.

I wonder if our great fortune of being born in well-educated, reasonably well-off families deprives us of opportunities to experience such great transformations. But then, because our circumstances are way better than our parents', perhaps we have a bigger responsibility to transform ourselves into better human beings! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Daughter of Special Folks!

42 years ago, my talented mother won a WHO fellowship to study and work in the US and visit a few other countries (Japan, Korea and some others). I was 7 years old, my brother 8 and my sister 10. At that time, mom and dad and we kids lived in a govt flat. We had grandparents on both sides in Delhi, but none lived with us. 
With 3 kids to look after, my father could have been forgiven for being resentful of the situation, but instead, he proudly and happily sent his wife to learn and grow. His reaction to the situation set the tone for everyone's reaction in the family. No one grudged mom's decision to be away for a year and supported her with pride.
Proud to be the daughter of such parents. Happy 55th anniversary mom. And daddy, wherever you are, please know you are loved and appreciated for who you were.