The Child in us

Disclaimer – when I mention “us or we” I am refering to those who consider themselves as “grown ups” – irrespective of age.

Recently I got the opportunity to be one of the official photographers at a school annual day event. While taking photographs of small kids – both girls and boys, I found them to be really enthusiastic of getting themselves clicked, they gave their best smiles, posed gleefully infront of the lens. As the age group kept increasing, the students of higher classes were more conscious about getting clicked, some turned their faces away and some were not willing to get clicked. And this trend was almost as proportional as the increasing age group. It was nothing to do with the generation – it was more to do with the age.

I pondered over this usual yet thought-provoking phenomena – why the smaller kids were open to being photographed and not the grown-ups? Why the elder students were without the innocence so replete in the smaller chidren? Why the smaller chidren so full of zest and enegy!

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Carefree and Happy to be clicked. Photographed at The Mother’s International School Annual Function – 2016 by Deepanjan.

why the smaller kids were open to being photographed and not the grown-ups?

As I kept on wondering and pondering I realised – There is a child in us but we have suppressed it so much to behave as “adults”. We tend to ignore it owing to our pretentious self.  This child keeps calling us from time to time, keeps talking to us, keeps complimenting us for our successes as well as cautions us, it keeps suggesting us to let go off our ego, our vices, our misconceptions and be free. From somewhere deep down it wants to tell us to be a kid again, a child – carefree, simple yet determined to have fun.

img_4015Putting their happiest self. Photographed at The Mother’s International School Annual Function – 2016 by Deepanjan

From somewhere deep down it wants to tell us to be a kid again, a child – carefree, simplified yet determined to have fun.

Remember the days when we we went to school, we studied, we tried to follow the rules set by the school, tried our very best to discipline ourselves and yet have fun, so much fun! Yes we were bold sometimes to cross the limits and used to be suitably reprimanded for that. We had quick solutions for the situations that approached us, because our mind was agile, unassuming, simple and without complications. As we grew old we drew complexity in ourselves and then in our thoughts and actions. We all know that thoughts are precursors to our actions.

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Innocence lost – Elder students unwilling to get clicked.

In our daily lives we come across situations which make us lose this naive yet immaculate child in us, we pretend, we perceive things with a narrow vision, and this creates multiple thoughts in our mind, multiple dimensions and we fail to see the most simple and the most practical solution to the situations we confront daily. Do you remember when we were a kid, we hardly complained about problems but instead we demanded things not available to us – a toy, a sharpener, a new school bag, a comic? So rather than complaining about the situation we demanded what we needed. The big difference between what we did then and now is that then we had the solution in mind and now we have the complaints and the complexities of mind. That’s the wisdom of a child – they never complain about the situation, they mould themselves into the situation and demand what they need.

That’s the wisdom of a child – they never complain about the situation, they mould themselves into the situation and demand what they need.

When I see children – in schools, in parks, in shops I realise that how simple they are – it is the adult world around which spoils them, teach them to bring complexities, more viewpoints, more dimensions et cetera. And it is because of these false and misplaced complexities we have the troubles pervading our own selves, our families, our societies, our countries and the world all over.

If you ever see a child smiling while they are asleep, ask yourself – “When is the last time you slept so peacefully?”

There is a lot to learn from the child in us. Don’t let it fade into oblivion….

The eternal connection!

As a saying goes- Some relationships can never be defined, I completely believe in this. In our lives, we befriend, get acquainted to so many people. Some of them truly make a very special place in our hearts, though we may never remain in touch with them. It could be your siblings, your boyfriend/girlfriend or some stranger you meet on a journey. Have you ever wondered why we come across them in our lives?  The answer to this question was given by my closest pal, who has recently received lot of insightful views from a discerning senior on human relationships and their power beyond physical definitions.

He says, WE all are CONNECTED!!! WE ALL!!  This connection need not be defined by physical parameters, this connection doesn’t require any medium to get relayed. It just happens. As mentioned in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, our heart transmits and receives signals beyond normal modes of comprehension. And if we start listening to this voice of our heart, it can do wonders. Whenever we miss someone we actually are subconsciously conveying our feelings to them. This is the way we can get connected to anyone in this world we have met once or more. Though this is a very recondite area of discussion, I realised one thing while penning this post that we must never grieve the absence of someone, instead we should rejoice, as the person has established an eternal connection with us….for our entire life….

My First Love!

” Huh! What dud of a fan you are! Even though she is in town, you don’t have the guts to go and meet her ! Atleast go and get her autograph” retorted my buddies when I exulted over my all time heartthrob being in town! They referred to Kylie Minogue, the international singer from Australia who was in Mumbai to shoot for a Bollywood film “Blue”. Though the happenings and information about Kylie can be found from the link below,  to me she is more than a singer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kylie_Minogue

My “association” with Kylie dates back  to 1995 when she featured in a beautiful love number called ” Especially for you” from the album “Everlasting Love Songs”. That instant I knew that her voice stood out from rest of the female singers in the album but she wasn’t famous then.The utterances and euphoria of love in the 80’s and 90’s had a magical feeling which is subtly expressed in this song. It was the age when there were no e-mails and no mobiles and the anticipation of meeting the person of your dreams was overwhelming.

Through the mid 90s when Times FM started in Delhi, they played some of the best English numbers and I could hear more of Kylie’s exquisite voice in many of her older songs like “I should be so lucky” – This song became her springboard to success and she started getting recognised in the international music circuits. I always treasured her songs and till today I keep the cassettes of her albums – Light Years and Fever, which I had purchased during my college days.  When I was in my first year of engineering, I had to write three exams on consecutive days and that meant I needed to give night-outs. The song which kept me awake all through these nights was “On a night like this”. And as lady luck would wish for me, I fared really well in all the three papers.

In 2002, she came out with the one of the biggest hits of her singing career ” In your eyes”  the song which I still listen while traveling to work or returning home because it peps me up so much. Kylie has a mystic voice and her songs usually have a perfect blend of Techno and Pop. Unlike an Australian her accent is extremely lucid and that makes her lyrics all that special to listen to.  But the song which swept me off my feet is “Chocolate” released in 2003 from the album “Body Language”.  This has a sensational dance performance by Kylie. And Boy! She looks drop dead gorgeous.

On International Woman’s Day, I dedicate this post to Kylie Minogue and  end it just these words- “I love Kylie”. And I don’t need her autograph to express it! Grapewine has it that she refused to meet her fans and even SRK. Now, thats why I say – Never be a fan, just love her for her numbers!!

 

The Voice Within…

Intuition, hunch, gut feeling  – haven’t we experienced these sometime or the other in our lifetime? Hasn’t it ever happened that you have been in dilemma, on crossroads of an important decision of your life, which would change the course of life altogether? And you have trusted on your gut feeling to take a decision?  Many a times intuition overrules emotion as well as objectivity. Trust me ! 9 out of 10 times the outcome is positive.

Paulo Coelho in his inspiring novel “The Alchemist” talks of this inner voice or intuition which we ignore through the course of our daily hectic schedules, the clutter, the noise and the hundreds of external chaos. This inner voice is the connection of the external world to our inner being which drives us, motivates us and takes us into the next realms of life. I have read somewhere that women are wired to be more intuitive compared to men as they evaluate matters based on emotions and feelings. I believe the sense of intuition has nothing to do with gender as it develops from past experiences and happenings. Intuition doesn’t merely happen due to emotions but it is a synchronisation of logic, wisdom and emotions in our subconscious mind. The more we trust our gut feeling the stronger it keeps getting. Such inexplicable is this power of intuition that though many a times the immediate consequences might not be very encouraging but over a period of time the positive outcomes start surfacing.

Life throws innumerable challenges at us, we sometimes are unable to decide the step we need to take. We ask our well-wishers, friends and seniors – parents, grandparents for opinions. There were times I had based my decisions on these external factors rather than listening to my inner voice. Yet over a period of time I have started realising how important our own inner voice is. No-one wishes wrong for someone but the variables in each of our lives are so high that the opinions on a certain matter vary immensely. Among all the opinions, the ones parents provide are closest to our inner voice because we are a part of them and most of the times what they advise yield positive outcomes.

I might have sounded extremely pholosophical but in these times of uncertainty, as the world warps into a more complex network I believe the voice of self speaks loudest and creates the road ahead in each of our lives. Listen to yourself and you will always be happy!! Because your own self is worth more than you can imagine.

6 is the number!!

Delhi 6 is going to be released this Friday!! From the trailors it seems that the film makers of this movie have done their best to capture the true auro, aroma, or the spirit of Delhi. Many films makers in the past have tried to do that but they have failed miserably,eg, Delhiiheights, which came and flew off into thin air without me knowing in which nearby threatre they were showing it. On the contrary many films have been made on the essence and life of city of Mumbai – like Bombay, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Mumbai Salsa, Life in a Metro, Salaam Bombay, and they have been superhits. Even Dus Kahaniyan more or less taked about lives of people in Mumbai. Then why do Delhi-based stories fail at the box-office. Is it a jinx for film-makers to make a movie based on Delhi? I am not talking of successful movies shot in Delhi- like Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai, Chak De India, Rang De Basanti or Ek Haseena Thi- they are different from the ones I am discussing about.

As I tried to delve deep into this pointless matter I started wondering why the latest movie is named Delhi6. What does 6 signify? Are there 6 different characters portrayed in the movie – something like 6 different lives converging into same climax at the end. That’s been the trend with many film stories lately. I guess I know the answer before having watched the movie. No! Don’t worry, I am not killing the euphoria before the movie is released. The number 6 simply signifies the PIN Code of Chandni Chowk in Delhi, which is 110006- Delhi 6 represents Chandni Chowk- around which the life of the people in this movie is based. How do I know that? Any person having born and brought up in Delhi would know that. Though Chandni Chowk is one of the most crowded parts of Delhi but the place itself has its own aura, which I hope the producers and director of Delhi6 have been able to capture. A visit to Chandni Chowk transports you back to the Mughal Period when Delhi was an infant. Infact the modern side of Delhi that we see today came up much later, somewhere in the early 1900 s when Sir Edwin Lutyens was made to be the architect of New Delhi which would become the headquarters and political capital of the British Empire.

Chandni Chowk represents the true aura of Delhi’s life. Relaxed yet busy, calm yet energetic, it is very difficult to sum up the spirit of Delhi in few words, unlike Mumbai – the fast city, Bangalore- the tech city or Calcutta- the bandh city(due apologies to Calcuttans). I remember that in the movie – Monsoon Wedding, certain shots were shot in Chandni Chowk and that added colour to the film, though most of it was shot in Lodi Estate. Chandni Chowk has a particular Parathe Wali Gali where you get really juicy Parathas freshly made in the afternoon. Then there is Nai Sadak, which is dotted with Books Shops, most of the class 10th and 12th Board Exam Students and IIT/DCE aspirants frequent this area for the best bargain on some of the most sought-after books of all streams. There is a lane called Chashma Gali where you get the best bargains on Branded and Contraband Spectacles and Contact Lenses, who else other than me would know that?? ;)..

So coming back to the main topic of discussion, Delhi6 should be a success, if the directors have captured the true essence of a city which is always in news for all wrong reasons yet a city which hypnotises you, which has the best education system in India, I will vouch for that, has the best winters in the country, a city which doesn;t ask your regional origin for staying and working in it. Time to dream about Mutton Kebabs at Golmarket….. Long Live Meri Dilli…

Crowded Space

Whenever I travel by the public transport of Mumbai – the local trains and BEST buses, I long for open space. Many times I have let two to three trains pass by before boarding into one which is less crowded with some fresh breathing space. And not only that, even the roads are extremely crowded. Mumbai is a true representation of how crowded our earth can get.

                  

I hail from Delhi and I have spent my childhood playing in big green parks which dot almost every residential colony in that city. In the 90s when I was in school I have done cycling through the empty streets of Chittaranjan Park, Greater Kailash, Alaknanda and Jahanpanah City Forest. My childhood buddy Rajorshi and I would spend the entire summer holidays cycling every early morning. Not withstanding the temptation another wonderful buddy of mine, Amlan joined our group in his old rusty milkman-type cycle. And, it was fun. Those days the fastest car you could see on the road was Maruti 1000. We would gasp in lungful of fresh oxygen after a cycle race.

                 

A few days ago I was reading an article in the newspaper which mentioned two big satellites crashing in space. One of the satellites was a Russian defunct satellite Cosmos 2251, which was orbiting aimlessly since it had gone non-functional. The other satellite, an American one called Iridium which transmitted telecom signals to millions of customers in the US. Scientists claim this as the first high speed impact accident occuring in space between two man-made satellites. A certain section of the scientists also warn of the growing debris which lies in the extra gravitational zone of earth. Several NASA scientists are talking of Space Traffic Regulations so that such incidents don’t occur in future since even a speck of debris, measuring only 0.33 mm , resulting from this accident could endanger a space shuttle carrying astronauts and travelling at 5000 kms per hour. As per latest figures by Space Security Index there are billions of man-made debris orbiting in space aimlessly since they can no more be controlled from earth.

So, such times have come where we human beings haven’t spared even the vast extra-terrestrial space which is invisible to so many. Blaming Mumbai or for that matter any bustling city for the lack of space seems like a mockery in front of the bigger picture the future holds for us.

Spit and Span!

Mumbai, compared to any other Indian city, is the most organised and disciplined. This is not my personal opinion but it’s a general one. And those who don’t accept this fact are themselves not organised. 😉 It is in Mumbai you will find people following queues for buses, the local trains (almost 90%)  run on schedule, the vehicles on the roads maintain traffic lanes, auto and taxi drivers charge the exact fare amount etc etc. This has become a way of life. When I had last visited Hyderabad and recently Kakinada, I was horrified to see the traffic culture. The drivers blatantly break rules, drive their vehicles in opposite lanes and show no botheration to move back to their proper directional lane even when a vehicle, on its approriate lane,  is approaching. Come to Mumbai, the roads are so much crowded, there are so many vehicles, you always find massive traffic jams at junction of Chembur-Sion-Trombay Road, Powai, Sakinaka Junction yet the traffic keeps moving.

But in this disciplined life survive many scoundrels, they are definitely not native Mumbai-ites. These scoundrels break the general public rules at the drop of a hat. And they feel proud doing that. They would break the queue and jump into the waiting bus, they would just graze past your vehicle and even shout back at you. I see that most of the times the common public never objects to such audacious acts since it doesn’t want to get into unwanted issues, arguments, brawls etc. That common public includes me but very recently two incidents happened where I (Yes I have to beat my own trumpet) in my hypercharged state gave back a piece of my mind to two such scoundrels.

Scoundrel 1 had all the temerity to break the queue where people had waited for 30 minutes for a bus. Though people in the queue shouted he turned a deaf ear. God knows what infuriated me to the extent that I sprang forward, caught hold of his back collar and pulled him down so vigorously that he lost balance and fell down. People thanked me and cursed him as he tried to regain his posture. Now when he finally managed to board the bus he threatened me of dire consequences. I simply asked him to shut his mouth. I prayed to God and finally nothing happened.

I encountered the Scoundrel 2 today. Scoundrel 2 had brought about 4 packets of guthka/khaini/tobacoo(God knows what it was) and had managed to get the window seat infront of mine. With all the expertise which only these scoundrels can demonstate he put the contents in his mouth, kept it for sometime and then started a repeat cycle of spitting. I could not bear the sight of it , I wanted to yell at him but I knew he was more capable of bashing me up. I kept my cool, counted 100 to 1 backwards and took out  a 10 Rupees note and handed over to him. He was utterly confused. In Hindi I told him, ” Bhaiya yeh chhota sa inaam aapke thukne kii talent ko dekhkar. Main chahta huun aap aur thuke.” My body had started shaking out of excitement but then as if like an angel, the conductor came and blasted him in Marathi. Whether our spitting expert knew Marathi or not , but he got down at the next stop.

But I can’t do this every other day! I really feel pity for this lovely city !