Tuesday, September 21

The Art of Living? 

Imagine waking to several dawns spaced over every few months in a land unknown. Giving to it your fullest, and perhaps, in the minutest form of selfishness, even satiating your wanderlust in the bargain. Following your dreams. Living life the way you deem fit, not the way you can best. How many of us can do it unconditionally?

We dined with these friends of ours and only just found out they’re moving – to far, far away. From this land of many opportunities to one that’s barren, in every sense of the word. Where there are no words for trade, riches, or even the most basic of amenities. Only several connotations for people-to-people, heart-to-heart, in all agony. To envisage an opportunity-filled future for its hapless citizens. To work. To make it happen. To give. To learn. To explore. To satisfy.

Even with a prearranged move to a modern city, secure and in all its glory with its buildings, peoples and facilities, we often find ourselves consumed in worldly worries, typically those that concern our own well-being. Would it be absolutely outrageous if we just took off on a mission one day? To be with those the entire world has disregarded, to reach out to them, lend them a hand, and make a modest, if at all, difference in their lives? Would we do it even if we’d found in it our calling, our life’s work, our very life? Or would that simply be outlandish?

Wednesday, September 15


I’m almost a perpetual soppy cornball these days. Well, not so much ‘these days’ as ‘eternally since I can recollect.’ And I reckon not that it’s simply me, or something exclusively to do with my mawkish genes. It’s just this endemic that is so broadly rampant among Indians in these shores that are inherently and effusively so lachrymose. And all it takes is a jar of home-manufactured pickle to rev the melancholy up to its paramount state. Yes, this is also the exact cause of my misery.

It’s not like we don’t get pickles here in all sorts, styles and sizes for a meager few bucks. It’s not even like we have to drive miles away for those, although, if we did, there’s a fair chance we’d come upon a wider array of assortments of not just pickles, but all condiments of the like with a potential to bring home closer to us. It’s just a daffy little obsession we seem to have about home made food. The thought of our moms toiling in the kitchen for hours on end just so we could get a slice of their connoisseur cooking drives us wild with nostalgia. And the first bite out of a pack of homemade pickle can well satiate us to the extent of having had a heavy home meal, eaten right out of our own hands, lip-smacked and relished to the last bite.

Just the other day I received a parcel of homemade pickle, and pizzazz, if you will, from an aunt that flew in. And I am torn between savoring them to my heart’s content, and scooping just a little out everyday so I won’t have to be faced with empty jars one day, of a sudden. I am content on some days just stealing a look at them; arranged in fine order in the refrigerator. On others, I make do with a whiff or two. And even with strength of will so strong, some days turn out to be dreadful, and I feel like I’d die if I didn’t devour a bite or two. So I indulge and repent, and so forth. What I’m now left with is a teensy residue at the bottom of one jar. I look at it and mope desolately. And I gaze skyward, hoping to see an airplane that’s, perhaps, strictly carting pickles from home about…