RGB

What a sad day to lose RGB. The force that she was. The rage that she represented in her composure. Those intense eyes and that poised voice. We’ve lost a lot in 2020. She is the most precious one. I have admired her for decades. When Bill Clinton appointee her to the Supreme Court in 1993, I was still a young girl. And my father told me about her and what she had accomplished in her life. So much has been said, written in books and memoirs and narrated through movies about her. But to me she is the Mother Teresa of my time. Her impact is greater than any woman that I know. And she will be an inspiration for life.

I learnt from her life that you cannot have it all, all at the same time. These are her words that find their way in different feminism literature band often misconstrued.

It is sad that her death will become the breeding ground for partisan politics. But the timing could not be worse. I hope she had lived to see this country do justice to her moral standards. Or perhaps she just didn’t have the will to see us repeat our mistakes again.

RIP RGB!

Cleansed

The Devi returns! Shubho Mahalaya!

It rained today. Light showers. But they were enough. Felt so good to open the doors and windows and let the air come in. Cleansed. Should have asked for more? Not quite. This is all that I needed.

I stand tall

This hibiscus is the most ambitious plant ever! It’s been such a happy camper in this god forsaken year. Delighting us every week. Tara and I have a calendar where we mark a new bud and the date it becomes a flower. And the we do subtraction. Silly?! Cute.

Pralay प्रलय

The fire and thereby smoke is the Californian version of a pandemic outbreak that NY and Florida experienced. It’s a jolt to the human morale. It hits you to the core. I experienced more claustrophobia this last week than in the entire pandemic

We are unable to open the windows and doors. Kids cannot go out to play. I cannot even step into the garage for a run or a workout. It’s terrible for the businesses too. Outdoor dining is stalled. All the outdoor arrangements that were made by these restaurants are catching dust and in some areas, ash. We all need a wash down. Rain. It will be hard to stay indoors when that happens. I want to wash up in this rain myself.

We humans need a cleanse from time to time. But in California, even the sky needs one. So much for the Californian sunshine. It’s been hiding from us. As my mother would say, it’s been jinxed. नज़र लग गयी है जैसे।

The world quickly turns to the narrative that the earth is healing, and humans are paying a price for their acts. I differ. How is the earth healing? The earth is burning, and in this case, not just the humans, the plants and the animals in these burnt areas are hurting even more. Nature is at war with man, read one of the headlines when the pandemic started. I beg to offer an alternate headline. Nature is at war with itself. And the humans, animals and plants are all paying a price.

In Hindi there is a word प्रलय (pralay). In a pralay, the lower realms of existence dissolve or get reabsorbed in state of non existence. And the world gets an opportunity to resurrect. I am certain we are in the middle of a pralay.

I have not felt the part of a whole more than I do now. We are all equal in our struggle against these calamities. So surreal to feel connected to others in a lock down. Paradox!

Last night we watched #Alive on Netflix. It was a beautiful Korean movie. Beautiful is a strange word to describe a movie about a Zombie attack. But the movie is not about an attack. It is about our will to live, and if I may add to love. Korean movies are quite the trend these days. They have this unique cultural edge that Hollywood has not caught up on. Parasite was another such movie. And I’ve heard Peninsula is a new one to watch.

Last week was quite strange in so many respects. I didn’t sleepy Monday night due to food poisoning. And then I could not sleep on Thursday night either. With so much sleep disruption, energy levels at an all time low.

More hectic weekend ahead, but the sky is not Martian in appearance anymore, and the AQI is as bad as it is in Delhi every winter. So we are getting there, slowly and steadily.

I was looking forward to a week long break at the end of the month. But as luck might have it, I need to cut it short for a few more of the last rights. I should still get a 5 day stretch. I need a break to recharge, and to plan. And to enact my own प्रलय।

Last rights

Finishing my last rituals on the team. Done for the most part. Still two more steps to go for a few of them. And then I am done. I think I’ve built a strong team that delivers impact and I am so proud of their accomplishments. It’s a humbling experience to represent that body of work and ensure it is fairly evaluated.

Aside from that, I cannot wait to be done. I am exhausted. And burnt. Just like the Phoenix. Hoping to rise from my own ashes. Hah! I’ve always loved that analogy. Never knew I’d live it one day.

I experienced two very strong emotions today. And they both made me cry. One of support. I felt supported. In some ways validated. But more importantly, I felt supported by a group of people I trusted to make the right decision. And they did. I felt that embrace. The pings and chats that followed and the sheer affirmation of you are not wrong here. I cried. Because I needed that support for a very long time.

The second emotion was the joy of lighting a bulb in someone’s mind. About a different lens to apply to a repeatable problem. I caught the light in the eye of this person glow when he figured out where I was asking him to go with a certain idea. That click. That joy of multiplying. My thought will live on as his idea, and I know it will give shape to his projects. And I will be there to see it happen. As I have been, all this while. And the joy that it will give me is all mine to keep 🙂 I experienced that joy in a short 18min conversation.

I experience emotions to extremes. Some think that is my weakness. I think it’s my strength. I derive energy from these emotional highs. I am human. I am not a machine. I lose energy if I experience emotionally draining moments. It’s only natural to do so. Why should I be any different just because I play a certain role. I don’t think with emotions. I experience them. I think with my mind, but that does not mean my heart can’t feel. Being emotional and being logical are not mutually exclusive. It’s wrong to make decisions based on emotions. But it’s not wrong to be emotional.

Someday the world will be at ease working with people who think and feel like me. Until then, I am not changing myself. I’ve been confused for a long time. I’ve felt incapable for a long time. I don’t want to feel that way anymore. I want to feel my highs and my lows and those who matter understand and those who don’t understand should likely not matter.

Meh

Everything is so meh. And it’s not just the red sky outside. I did come to write. But I don’t have much energy. After vomiting my intestines out for 24 hours I am back to some liquid diet and I just don’t have the grey cells charged up to jot down anything meaningful. But then that’s the beauty in writing. It’s a vent. You let it out, so you can move on, and it does not sit in your system long enough to brew the toxins it can. Ok whatever.

Alright I tried, but my wrists are hurting and I need to conserve energy for one more day. I need to keep the energy level up.

Nourished

Sunlight sparkling on the water

An orange ball of fire pulling me towards the shore

A little story teller showing me her illustrations in her little journal

Exchanging words with strangers, evacuees and a waitress.

A decadent key lime pie

I am nourishing my wanderer spirit with a slice of local travel. So close to home, yet so far away from it’s strings. No chores, no work, no de-cluttering.

Three of us, our books and our ocean fanaticism.

Balance

Woke up to a sad news. A long term Googler decided to leave. He and I have had brief interactions but they were very rich in experience. I am sad that he decided to leave. But he deserves a second innings. And he had been around for 13 years. I don’t know how people do that.

But the news was balanced out by another delightful news. A candidate I recently interviewed was such a fresh breadth of energy, and she was a very classic Google fit. We had a bit of back and forth. I thought she could do multiple roles, and hence we tried matching her to a few teams. And in the end, she is back to joining my team. My current team that is. I wish I’d have the opportunity to work with her. But at this point it’s too late and I am sure she will have a fulfilling career at Google, regardless of which team she is on.

So the good and bad balanced out in the few hours of this morning. This is what builds my faith in just doing the right thing and rest will fall in place.

A good bye note to write and a welcome email too. Such is the balance I seek.

Transformations

We had a lovely afternoon with Tara’s friends. Three of them added so much chitter chatter and clutter to the afternoon that I practically gave up on trying to focus on my planning, and instead joined them for popcorn and smoothies, chalk art and giggles. To be fair they were not at all disturbing. I could put my headphones on and go on doing what I wanted to. But it was so much fun seeing tiny shadows in my backdrop and the sound of their tiny feet climbing the stairs up and down. They are so free willed. So full of love and energy and so innocent.

It was a good break for a Wednesday afternoon. I think I will do more of three. It breaks the week. I almost felt like it was Friday 🙂

Yesterday was a crazy day. I started my day at 7:30 and ended at 11:00. With an hour break for lunch and an hour and a half at dinner. I wanted to finish some work that can easily linger and pile on, and I did. In a way it was helpful that I was working from home. Lesser disruptions in the day. Tara and Agam cooperated and I made it through the hustle. It didn’t help that I had a series of night meetings too.

There’s a part of me that wants to go silent, and the real me that cannot stop. I need to start letting others take lead and stop offering my 2 cents on topics that I won’t be directly responsible for in 15 days. I guess that’s one way of letting go. But it’s hard for me to not contribute and add my thoughts, despite knowing some don’t care, and some don’t even trust my intention. Anyways I’m just doing what I know.

I have a few more Wednesdays like today and then that’s it. A much awaited fall break and it will be October. Can’t believe how quickly this year is passing by. At least that’s how I feel. I still remember April 3rd. It’s fresh in my memory. And that it was six months ago, is shocking.

Anyways, I am fortunate to have Tara and her friends in my life. I look at them and I am reminded of how innocent people are when they start this journey, and what characters they become as they grow up. No one stays the same. Even I didn’t. I am convinced that in a few years I will look back at who I was in 2020, and wont relate to my own self. Sigh – growing up is a curse.