Saturday, April 28, 2012

One step at a time

I remember when i first started writing & reading blogs i used to look wistfully at the various awards decorating the side-bars.Now the time has come when i too have a few awards to flaunt.It is a very satisfactory feeling.
Imagine,less than two years back i was  apprehensive if i would be able to do anything on a computer.My grandson Shantanu Datta taught me the rudiments when he came over in the summer holidays.Then he had to go back & i was feeling so helpless.Slowly i began to google,to practice writing on the Microsoft,launched my facebook,opened an Orcut account,began to blog,then tweet,& finally there was this IndiBlogger.I forget how i came to chance upon it.But am i glad i did!Before that i used to click at the next blog or the best blogs but never did i come across an Indian blogger.It used to puzzle me no end.I certainly could not presume that i was the only Indian blogger on the web (Ha),but where were the others?This query was answered by IB.Now i have loads to choose from & i rue the fact that i don't have enough time.I certainly owe a heap of thanks to Shantanu & IB.

But enough of my musings,or i will lose the handful of followers that i have.This post is solely for the purpose of boasting about my Versatile Blogger Award.Ekta nominated me for it & here i am!In order to finish the formalities i am required to------
1--Thank the person who nominated me for it .
2--Post a picture of this award on my blog
3--Share 7 random thoughts about me
4--Choose 10 to 15 other bloggers to pass the award to
5--Inform them about it
The first & the second have been taken care of.Seven random thoughts are---
1--I like tea the way i brew it-no boiling it on & on.
2--I can't stay hungry for long.
3--I love Delhi & also my school there.
4--I dislike clutter & disorder.
5--I don't like dogmas,rituals & superstitions.
6--I have no faith in any guru except Swami Chinmayananda.
7--I love Urdu shayari.

Here is a couplet to wind up the last two---
Main khud he apni talaash mein hun,mera koi rehnuma nahin hai,
Wo kya dikhayenge raah mujhko,jinhen khud apna pata nahin hai.
Unfortunately i have not been able to come up with a passable translation of this verse;will anyone oblige?

Now some serious stuff,real stuff-whom to nominate?I still have to go through many fabulous blogs out there,but in the small sphere of my knowledge these are the ones in random order(this word random is picking up, no?)
2--C.Suresh@Life is like this
3--Akshay@The Eternal Fighter-The comeback kid
4--Swati Maheshwari@Espial
6--Spritual Sherpa@Humor Unplugged
7--Rajnish@Rajnish ka blog
9--Hariharan@Valady Views
10--Deb@Some facts Some Nonsense

I shall wind up now begging pardon for inadvertent omissions & congratulations to the nominees.Keep blogging friends!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another trophy for JEETE RAHO !

A very dear fellow blogger,Alka Narula has given me the chance to rejoice once more by tagging me for the AWESOME BLOGGER AWARD.Certain preconditions have to be met before i can claim it :

1--Link back & thank the person i got the award from.
2--Share 7 things about myself.
3--Pass this award to 15 newly discovered bloggers.
4--Contact these bloggers & tell them about the award.
 I have already done the first,now for the second. Here goes
1--Early to bed,early to rise-that's me.
2--I just can't sit idle.
3--I love to recycle things around the house.
4--I love sewing.
5--Love listening to gazals-esp. by Begum Akhtar.
6--I hate cooking.
7--And of course, i love blogging.

And now for the toughest part of this post.I am no connoisseur of literature,hence this list is going to be from the many blogs i read recently & liked.Unfortunately it cannot be comprehensive ; so please read it in that light.
1--Subhorup @ Subho'sjejune diet.
2--Raj @ A Beautiful mind
3--UMASHANKAR @One Grain Amongst The Storm
5--Pallavi.S@The Color Purple
6--Preeti@ A cluttered Mind
7--Sangeeta @ Sangry Words
8--ZEPHYR @ The Cyber Nag
9--Deepa@ Life through the lens of a kaleidoscope
10--Ekta @ Hust an ordinary woman's interpretations
11--S.K.Ayyangar @ Ayyangar's Blog--VYANGYAM
12--Dora @Dora's Unique Touch
13--Captain Awesome @ Story In Pieces
14--Good life @ Good Life
15--Nilanshu @Unfold the folded
My heartiest congratulations to all you winners.There are many more which i have read & liked.I reserve them for the next award!Well now that i have completed all the formalities here igo to end this post so that i can flaunt it on my blog!Cheers to all!!!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wow, this is truly awesome!

Kajal has nominated me for the Awesome Blogger Award.My very first award--it is a very fine feeling& i am sooo thankful to you Kajal.In order to get this award i have to do the following
1--Link back & thank the person i got the award from.
2--Share7 things about me.
3--Pass the award to 15 newly discovered bloggers.
4--Contact these bloggers & tell them about the award.

Now the first one has already been taken care of.Going on to the second-
1--I love music-listening to it!
2--I learned to strum the guitar but have neglected it since long.
3--I love reading.
4--And i thrive on 'mithai'& Ice-cream.
5--I dislike overeating.
6--I do Yoga every day.
7--I hate lies .

Well, now i come to the hardest part.How do i choose 15 blogs from this treasure house of blogs ?Like Kajal i too will choose from IndiBlogger only.The list is random & certainly incomplete--
1--Vijay Shenoy@Mind's eye of Life

2--Debjyoti Ghosh @ Some Facts Some Nonsense

3--Spiritual Sherpa @Humour Unplugged

4--Amit Aag@safarnama

5--Vikram Karve @Academic & Creative Writing Journal

6--Poorvishrivastav @Look Ahead

7--Ashu @Chaupal

8--Sowmya Swaminathan @Myspace

9--Purba Ray @A-Musing

10--Nabanita @Random Thoughts

11--Purushottam Pandey@Jaale

12--Giribala Joshi @ The Grist Mill

13--Induravisingh@ Hridayanubhuti

14--Sujatha Sathya@Conversations

15--Deepak @World of Deepbaazigar

My my! that was not easy.My apologies to those i  have had to leave out because of rules.

Happy blogging & cheers to all!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Life after mid-life.

I remember vividly the day i decided to start my own counseling centre.It was a turning point in my life.Before that day life had been-what should i say-dull,placid & rudderless.The kids had moved out after marriage & we two were left to entertain each other.It is not as if i was short of things to do;i have plenty of hobbies & there was lots to do around the house.But the purpose of life,which had hitherto been to rear the kids & place them on a sound footing;was now gone.This not only left a gaping hole in my routine &"things to do list",but also slashed at my will to live.I felt as if i had become redundant.It pinched me that i was wasting my life away,living only for myself.All these thoughts impelled me to do something about it,hence this decision.

From that day onward the story of my life changed absolutely.No more the listlessness.There was so much to do-planning,execution & the final starting of "SAHYOG" my anti-suicide helpline & counseling centre.I will not bore you with the details,but the whole venture has enriched me so profusely that i would like to share this aspect with you.

The maximum impact was on my state of mind.Gone was the diffident,shy,reclusive Indu.In her place was a new 'me',full of thrill,happiness,pride,self-confidence,self-worth,& satisfaction at doing a good job.I did not feel useless any longer.

The body too, was not to be left behind in soaking up the benefits accruing from this change.I felt fit & energetic.Gone were the aches & pains which troubled me earlier.Better appetite,better digestion & better stamina transpired automatically.

I learned many soft skills too.Relating to & empathizing with different kinds of people in myriad states of mind,coming from various strata & backgrounds was a new learning experience for me.At the administrative level there was the task of networking with the media & publicizing 'SAHYOG'.

When i came in touch with clients going through enormous stress & facing excruciating situations,i evolved as a person.I became more patient,understanding & forgiving in my own relationships.And THANKFULNESS, lots & lots of it.So many times was i forced to think "There,but for the grace of God,go i ".Those were sobering experiences.The whole trajectory of counseling was a two-way traffic--i benefited as much as my clients did.

My social circle expanded appreciably.I came in contact with many influential personalities of my city, & many people came to know & appreciate me.

Now that i look back at my life after SAHYOG,i wonder how could i have ever lived those years if this anchor had not held me in place.There comes a time in life when mundane matters are more or less settled.Living a day through & retaining your sense of worth becomes a daily challenge.You could term it the 'the empty nest syndrome' or maybe it has something to do with menopause-both male & female.But this much is true,that after middle age ,most people need to take stock of their lives & decide how to enrich them once again.Those who are unable to do so slip into a rut.For want of something to do,they could obsess about their health & see abnormalities where none exist.Depression & Dementia could be waiting in the wings to trap them.Many become cranky.hostile & quarrelsome because they are dissatisfied with their own place in the scheme of things.

My friend Kamini was on the verge of such a decline when she shook herself out of stupor & decided to do something about it .She took up her old hobby of sewing once again.Since she used to make her own & the kids' garments herself(this was before the craze for ready-made & branded clothes)she had many remnant pieces of cloth big & small.She decided to bring down this inventory to zero.She began to stitch frocks,vests,diapers & small sheets out of those materials & gave them to children of migrant laborers.Another friend Sumati,is fond of knitting.Seeing Kamini,she began to knit small pullovers & gave them to poor children.No longer were they bored with life.Can you imagine their sense of pride & joy when their handiwork went to warm tiny babies?Then there is this neighbor-a frail old lady.Her highlight of the day is putting out feed & water for birds.Then she sits by with a cup of tea,watching them hopping & pecking at the grains.She recounts happily to me,which birds fight a lot & which are gluttons.This is enough to motivate her to leave the bed & start the day.Currently she is into reading books on ornithology.

I think men have even a greater scope where choice of pastime is concerned.Hooking up with residents' welfare associations,religious organisations or philanthropic institutions is taken up by many to fill their empty hours.This throws them into the thick of things & they forget all about loneliness.

Learning the ropes to operate various gadgets coming up almost every day is also a very satisfying & pragmatic step forward.I remember when i first tried to grapple with the various functions of a TV remote(don't laugh please)i was flummoxed.But after i mastered it,i was able to graduate to more difficult lessons.There is no dearth of new technologies with which to exercise our brains today.As we senior citizens learn to operate a mobile,a computer,an i-pod, or the ATM;we experience a never-before exhilaration,a reassurance that all is not lost yet & the grey matter still works!Research shows that the more we attempt to master new skills,the less is the chance of us becoming a fuddy-duddy.It gives concrete benefits in addition to boosting our morale.

In nut-shell a healthy,happy life demands that we have a purpose in life.It is like oxygen for the mind.It does not matter if the purpose is big or small,self-oriented or philanthropic.The only condition is,that it should click with the person enough to drag him/her out of the armchair & provide gratification.All the time,energy & thought given to searching for such a goal is validated when the positive effects begin to show.Life suddenly takes on a pink hue.One forgets that one is past his/her prime.Drudgery & ennui are  replaced by enthusiasm,confidence,cheerfulness,satisfaction & good health!