समय

यह घड़ियों की आवाज़ कुछ ऐसे गूँजती है जैसे

हर पल को एक नाम देने की कोशिश कर रहा है कोई

क्यूँ बाँटा है समय को इन छोटे छोटे हिस्सों में ?

ऐसा लगता है हर साँस का क़र्ज़ उतारता है कोई।

Convictions won!

In the battle of convictions and convenience, conviction won! Each time that happens I jot it down.

Days like this are to be remembered and treasured. An ordeal that started five months ago, comes to a positive end. More about it another day. For now, I am going to enjoy a good nights rest. I have deserved it. And for it I am thankful.

what’s with the dates

Life has a very interesting way of getting back at me. After 9 years, I will be in Delhi in October. I am traveling to India for work and the dates couldn’t be more interesting.

I arrive on the 29th. I spoke to my father for the last time on Sept 29th, 2010. I will spend this day with my Mom. I am in Hyderabad for next few days, and then I arrive back in Delhi on Oct 2nd. I should have been in Delhi on October 2nd, nine years ago. It’s the day I lost him. I will be with my family on the 2nd, as I should have been nine years ago. I guess it was meant to be.

I tried to avoid this trip so much. First because it is a long stretch without Tara. And second because these dates are too intertwined with a very difficult fact of my life. But we learn to face our fears. And hopefully I will too.

On the flip-side, I get to be there for a critical pilot, shadow some sites, meet the team in HYD. And also, meet the family. Of course we will be back in India in December. But it is always nice to see everyone. Especially those who are not keeping too well. And I get to be there at Durga Puja. Even if it is just for half a day.

Sigh! It’s been such an interesting year so far. And it keeps getting more interesting.

yo-yo ball

I’ve been swinging like a yo-yo ball this week. With my usually buoyant spirit oscillating between highs and lows at pretty high frequency. Without going into the details, I subjected myself to some arduous tasks to prove something to myself. I succeeded, but only partially. I should have felt great. And I did momentarily. But then as soon as I started to look at the moment from a distance, I felt worried. Worried about my restlessness, and its consequences. Worried about the tradeoffs. And worried about the people involved. But to be honest, for a very small moment, I felt validated. And that felt good. I don’t know if I can justify the labor with the momentary reward. But I like doing this to myself. And may be that’s sad.

Ever since the November of 2014 when I started my maternity leave, I have felt, like I need to go back to something. I have spent four and a half years at Google, and yet I feel like this has been a detour. And that I need to go back some where. It is a weird feeling. And it has led to a lot of discomfort. I have constantly felt short changed, and have carried within me some sort of a FOMO. After going through a rather quick, but very exhausting, and yet rewarding self validation exercise, I feel a little different. A little lighter. But also a little confused.

Mid week Randy and Vinay came over for dinner. Sheer coincidence that they were both in town the same day. At first I wondered if there was going to be anything in common, but it ended up being a wonderful evening. Yes, I went overboard with the menu. Goat curry and a spread on a weekday is beyond my stamina levels these days, but it was fun. Between the four of us we had three bottles of wine to help with the exhaustion. Of course we all had a severe hangover the next day. But a part of me was very thrilled. It felt like old times.

It is perf season. This season stresses out a lot of people. I stress about my own perf, and especially now since it has become unpredictable. But I love to read self-assessments, participate in calibration sessions, and representing the caliber, skills, achievements, and some times gaps of my team. It is a lot of work. But it is also a period of reflection for me, and for the team.

At pick up time today, I sat next to teacher Chris and joined the group of kids listening to silly rhymes. She is so good at holding a court of little toddlers and making them laugh. I enjoyed their company, especially the innocent eyes of the little kids and watched Tara play with her friends. Such a delightful scene. And so relaxing. I lost track of time while I was there. Very similar to how I lose track of time when I am at work during the day, or working at night.

That feeling led me to an interesting summary of my current state. I am uber spoilt by the high quality of people I interact with in my personal and professional life. Be it Tara’s teachers, her friends, their parents, my teams, peers and leads at work, our friend circle and of course our relatives. I fear that I am in a protected environment, a bubble, and the world outside might not be as giving, and fun. I also fear breaking this bubble by mistake. I don’t have a good relationship with regret. I don’t forgive easily. Especially not myself. May be I should be more kind to myself. Maybe!

Who knows what next week will bring. But at least I will still be in my bubble, as I deal with it. Until next time…

Photograph

Seldom you come across a movie that truly disconnects you from the real world and tugs on your emotional strings. A tad bit taut if I may add. Photograph, by Ritesh Batra was just that. A story of two souls who find comfort and companionship in the most unlikely scenario. With no future, no hope for their companionship to ever evolve beyond that, just that. So incomplete, and yet so fulfilling. So pure, and yet so desirable.

Two people who when together don’t feel like misfits. Each scene feel as if you are watching two silhouettes dance around each other, with no chance of a union, or even an attempt to build one.

A realist love story is what I’d call it. But even that is too strong a word for something as delicately woven as Photograph. I put it in the same category as The Cairo Time, Once Again, and maybe Before Sunset. Conversational love stories.

Powerful acting and a beautiful backdrop of a city I love to hate, but also love to catch glimpses of, onscreen. This was a delightful watch on a Thursday night!

Swinging back to the real life…

Kauai you have been so kind to me on this trip. I came here with a very tired mind. And you calmed me like never before. With your purity, simplicity, and the greenery, you soothed me and cradled me back to a state of bliss.

Sitting here on this lanai as I hear the ocean waves crashing and the rooster go around wishing everyone a very good morning, I feel like I have been here forever. Like it has been this peaceful forever. This is the state of mind that we all deserve. There is joy in knowing that even a busy mind like mine can achieve this state of rest. And there can be joy in re-creating this state even when I don’t have the ocean at my door step, and the sound of birds to anchor on.

In the past five days we enjoyed the North Shore of Kauai to its fullest. Kauai is my favorite Hawaiian island. And North Shore is my favorite part of it. It is lush green and tranquil. Also, magical. Puff the magic dragon lived in a town called Hanalei. And for sure did Puff find the most amazing place on earth to make home. When it rains, the waterfalls come gushing through the peaks, there are plenty of rainbows and at every time of the day, and the clouds take over the town in the evening, creating beautiful patterns in the sky, at the time of sunset. And not to forget the Milky Way also makes its grand appearance over the Hanalei Valley look out on a clear night. There are no shopping centers like Wailea and Poipu. Just a few coffee shops. ice cream shops, and a handful of restaurants for dinner.

There are a few things I love about the islands – the ocean, the waves, the sunshine, impromptu rain, sand, night sky, clouds, sunsets, sunrises, and the island breeze. Add to that a sailing trip, a few nature walks, delightful food, beach time with Tara and Agam, and quiet times on the lanai, and you have a recipe for success. We went back to see the Napali coast this time. The waves were rough, and the company splendid. I call Napali the temples of Kauai. The conical peaks and the layered patterns make the temples of Kauai special. You have to see these peaks once and you will fall in love with them. I did almost six years ago, and then I dragged my familia back to enjoy the temples with our little Tara, again, on this trip.

I am a romantic at heart. No surprises there. But Kauai brings out the best in me. I choke up when I look up at the green valleys and the wide calm ocean. There is nothing as beautiful as Kauai in the world. I hope it stays that way.

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi. When I was in Nagpur it was my favorite time of the year. A few years ago when we were in Kauai we found a Hindu Monastery. It’s a Shiva temple up in the mountains. We plan to visit it today before heading to the airport. I am not religious but I am spiritual. I am amazed at the series of spiritual coincidences we have encountered on this trip. Spotting the Milky Way, right before it started raining and now visiting the temple, in Kauai, on Ganesh Chaturthi, being a few.

Something is telling me this was a trip I had to take for reasons larger than just a vacation. Although it seems like the trip is coming to an end, this culmination is a beginning of its own kind. With the blessings from the stars, with the ocean wind in my heart, and a rain cleansed mind, I am refreshed, and revived. With blessings from the one who will remove obstacles along my way, let’s swing back into the real world, and start afresh!

Kauai skies

So this just happened – while walking towards Ama, our latest find on Kauai for amazing Japanese food, I told Agam that I love coming to Hawai’i because of the sky. It’s a different sky and it always makes me feel I am disconnected because I know that the sky above my head is not the same. We laughed about it, but the thought lingered.

After dinner as we were driving back, I looked outside the window and there it was, the Milky Way, right there in my view. Tara and I rolled our windows down and enjoyed the show and finally Agam also decided to park on the side of the road and join us in our starry splendor.

I have seen this splendor once before, also in Hawai’i almost 8 years ago. It was our first trip to the Big Island. Agam missed the show since he was driving and we were driving through back roads.

So it was best to keep going. Ever since then, I’ve been looking for the Milk Way every time we are here. Just so I can show Agam what I saw. Because when you see something as stark as a galaxy, you just cannot unsee it.

And tonight the three of us enjoyed the splendor together. What a memory. One for the keeps.

Just as soon as we got into the car, it started drizzling and in seconds the star studded sky was gone and the clouds took over the night sky. What are the odds?

Aug 29, 2019 shall go down in the books 🙂

Mahalo, Kauai skies for making my wish come true. You never disappoint.