Mother’s Day Post

A few days ago I read a web article about a Teacher from a school in the Mumbai Suburbs about the dress code she follows to her work place. The writer referred to “ Many students and ex-students over the generation have written in saying that they have dreamt of my saris.” While reading this I realized this could have easily been my Mother talking. It took me back to memories of her getting ready for her college. I must have been 6 or 7 still going to primary school, and returning early to be able to see her get dressed for work. She also worked in a Girl’s College in the suburbs and took the college bus to work every day. She wore mostly Handloom cottons or printed cottons during summer, on rainy days she wore synthetics ( that’s what they were called then) and during the mild winter she wore handloom silks, printed silks. She accessorised her outfits with subtle jewelry. I know she had a collection of semi precious stone jewelry which I later inherited. She had her glass bangles. But they were rarely worn by the time I could remember. She wore light gold earrings and bangles and a watch with black leather band. She had progressed from the semi precious colorful jewelry to Gold, but the color wasn’t lost, she had rings made with different color stones, and matching earrings and bangles. We would go shopping for these in the city when we visited during vacations. And everyday when she got ready she would match her accessories with her saree. She seemed to do it without a hitch. I was awestruck by it. I thought someday I would be able to do the same. I remember she used to have her leather bags in the Black, Brown and Neutral color which she would pair accordingly. And her heeled Sandals, colorful and dainty but subtle at the same time. She stopped wearing heels after a freak accident at a railway station. But I still remember trying out her sandals all the time as a child.

She told me many stories of how her students would be in awe of her clothes and accessories. They would discuss amongst themselves what color outfit she would wear on a particular day. In the 80’s and 90’s the students were still respectfully afraid of the teacher so they didn’t talk about it to her in class. She found out from them during their  field trips or excursions or sometimes once they had passed out of the college and come back to join the department as juniors. The millennial student were more forthcoming. They would tell her in the classroom that they liked what she was wearing.

The day I read the article I posted it on FB and wrote a bit and while doing that I found I had more to say. So, I decided to write this post for her on Mother’s Day. For my mother, who inspired me to dress well, accessorize and show up looking ready for the job every day. I came to embrace this tenet of dressing well pretty in life. Mostly I didn’t care how I looked because I thought my sparkling personality would do the rest. In the past 2-3 years I have moved away from only dressing up for occasions to dressing right Every day. And although my choices and taste are a poles apart from my mother, I know that some part of the love for sarees come from her. I remember I was given I saree every year and slowly by the time I was working I made sure I bought one saree every year. For a young person of my generation who did not have too many occasion to wear saree I had a sizable collection and would enjoy wearing them to Family events much to the surprise of people who thought I was too young to wear a saree. The concept of saree being meant for only rare festivities is ingrained in some and hence they are surprised to see me wear a saree. However, my Mother has definitely inspired me to wear a saree at most occasions.

Thank you Mom, for the inspiration. As years go by I realize how much influence you have on how I shaped up as a person. Happy Mother’s Day!!

 

THE END.

In Memorium

This is not my story but I felt this needed a platform and hence, I am presenting it. On 27th April, I had a conversation with my mother on Whatsapp. I have tried to keep her words unedited here, adding only what is necessary to increase clarity.

Maa: Feeling sad My fav handsome actor is no more. Saw him at Manali in1973 with 1st wife and eldest son . All of them were really beautiful just can’t forget talked with him at o ne feet distance​

Me: Really u had met him   wow… I was wondering who you liked better Vinod Khanna or Sashi Kapoor…

Maa: We had gone for excursion from University to kulu Manali. After field work we went to a apple juice shop there he was with his family. He is so tall handsome actually the whole familywas beautiful. Akshay(e) was on his ‘kol’ ( lap), we touched the baby took pictures but I don’t have. They had no ‘gham’*(Airs). Sashi is good looking but vinod is too handsome.

Me: Thats a nice story you should write it on FB.

There is nothing off great importance in this chat perhaps for the readers. But for me, it had importance, a few thoughts crossed my mind. We are not so different despite what we call the generation gap. My mom reminiscing about her college days is just like how I would look back on mine. I haven’t met many celebrities but may be I would sound as wistful when remembering the first time I went to Eden Garden to watch Rahul Dravid play a test match. 

Life brings us two choices, one to be happy the other to be miserable. In her sadness my mom still found that memory that glowed in her mind like a beacon. That’s how it works. There are days when we are surrounded by loss or failure or sadness and on those days something bright in our mind lifts us up. I am reminded of a pop culture reference from the movie X MenFirstclass where Charles helps Eric harness his true power and strength by finding the happiest memory in his mind and brightening it. Our strength comes from our happiness. And happiness is not money it’s experiences to be treasured. 

My mom has not been a teacher for a while now but as I always say, she continues to teach me everyday in some little way how to live a fulfilled life. She is my greatest teacher. And that is why I thought it was important to share her remembering a man who was part of her life when she grew up. Idols like Vinod Khanna touch many lives in distinct ways. And only those who are touched understand the true loss. For the rest of us he may be a yeasteryear actor but to many he means a lot more than just a Cine Idol. In India Cinema and Sports are probably more influential than politics and hence, when a mighty giant falls in those spheres, people sit up , wonder , perhaps even quietly contemplate the meaning of life. I dedicate this post Mr. Vinod Khanna. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

Thank You Mom for sharing your bright and beautiful memory of Mr. Khanna.

Image source : Google

NINETY TWO

“Use your words”. This is what I have been telling you, haven’t I? You think I am kidding. That’s why you avoid taking my advice seriously. That is evident. Now, stop doing that and please listen to me. Women do not like men who can’t talk. I am not asking you to become a chatterbox, I am asking you to show that you are a matured adult and can hold a logical , pragmatic, conversation on different topics. That brings me to 3 other things, one must read enough of literature and current affairs to be able to have a conversation, which i think you do, two, conversation cannot happen with monosyllabic answers, they mean you are not interested or plain dumb, three, a decent vocabulary helps. In fact, I can go so far as to say, in my experience, Never underestimate the seductive power of a decent vocabulary. If you are not reading enough of literature, and not that Chetan Bhagat crap, good literature, classic literature, if you are not watching good movies, you are digging yourself into a early intellectual well with no way out. So, read and just don’t keep that reading to yourself, talk about it, discuss it, bring your reading into your conversation. Stop looking like a poster boy. The branded clothes, the expensive watch and the 70000 INR phone works well, till you open your mouth and all that comes out is random words, incoherent sentences and zero opinions. Have an opinion, don’t be afraid to defend it? Don’t argue, have a conversation. There is nothing wrong with being intelligent, unfortunately in today’s world intelligence is measured by designation or salary or bank balance. Also intellectual pursuits are trivialized when held up against the all important material possessions. So, having a collection of good books is ignored and the point of discussion is about owning the new phone or the LED Tv. Mind you, I am not saying I have a problem with worldly possession. Hell! i want the worldly possessions but not at the expense of losing my intellectual possessions.

So don’t be like the imbecile in the mercedes at the traffic light blaring some punjabi song though his 1000 watt system. Be better than the Gucci flaunting dumbass at the multiplex who uses abusive slang to give instructions for his popcorn to be delivered to his seats. Don’t be that guy who thinks speaking in English defines someones value and position in the society. Stop being the random guys we see on the street, at work, in a bar, in the mall. Be better than them. If you want to emulate a hero, do it by all meand but do it intelligently. And that doesn’t mean emulating the face, the body, the swag. Well, if you have them, good for you but along with that have some brains. Be a SRK not a Salman Khan, be a Justin Trudeau not a Trump. Learn to speak, and if you already know how to, hold a decent conversation with friends, colleagues and women, yes, women. Women you like, women who you hope will like you. Try that. And stop winning that you don’t have a girl friend.

 

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THE END

NINETY 

You have to come up the stairs, go through the security check and then you will see me. I am waiting here. I turn back and enter the glass door wondering whether you will be able to find your way. I had specifically told you not to take the parking entry and come from the front facade. Now you are lost somewhere in the labyrinth of offices in this business Park. Should I go out to find you? Why should I serves you right for not following instructions ! Wonder where you are, let me check at the security point, I turn around to step out and someone else is walking in so I stop in my steps and then I see her. Well, correction, I see you walk in, you look compeltely different, like oh my God what did I miss, different. I can’t read that expression on your face. You look at me evenly. Yet somehow there is something more in your eyes. I can’t help my eyes slip away for a quick look at the rest of you. You look gorgeous, totally different from what I have seen. That’s whatbi want to say as i think it. But i don’t. This is like version 2.0. I do want to linger on taking in the new you but I know you hate when men do not keep eye contact. You say Good Morning, I can’t help smiling realising I have had to pull away my eyes and make eye contact. I cover that up with a Good Afternoon. I think you lost your composure for a second and looked away. I know you had seen me check you out but suddenly I wasn’t afraid. I knew what was happening. You playing a game. Before i can get in one more word you shrug your shoulder and walk ahead slower than usual. Well at least now I can admire you walking away. Yup that’s your plan all along. It’s quite evident.  I try to think of something funny nor smart to say but in my head that one moment was burned in. You walking in and how you looked and that unreadable expression. Are you angry? Are you pissed? What is it? My stomach has a strange feeling. Every little memory of the night escapes from the locked box in my head into my eyes. I got to keep a straight face.

After that very annoying conversation last time this you, New you is mind boggling and I am stunned. What’s going on in your mind?

I’m clueless. Where is this going?

THE END 

EIGHTY NINE

Yup, I saw that, didn’t I? Your eyes widened for that millionth of a second and there was a flicker of astonishment and amusement at the same time. You hadn’t seen me walk in but just as you turned towards the door I was right there in  your line of sight. And that’s when your eyes said so much and so little all at the same time. My nature is to avoid making eye contact but this time I knew I was going to look into your eyes and see something, anything.

I think I blinked first when I said “Good morning” with a plastic smile on my face and you caught me off guard with your “Good Afternoon”. I fumbled losing the eye contact but just before this I saw your eyes glide over me head to toe. What was there in that glide over? A bit of the aforementioned amusement and astonishment and may be a tiny little interest. You recovered at the same time I did. So we made eye contact again. And an amused smile spread from your lips to eyes with mine about to respond.  But I shrugged my shoulder and walked ahead letting you catch me walk away from you and the rest of view, as they say.

So who won that round fella? 

You say.

I think right now we are 2-1. The first time you took me by surprise and i lost a point somewhere in between the ‘beginning to like you’ and ‘we can’t be friends’, but don’t you worry I have been around longer than you and played this game more often.  Let’s see who breaks the impasse first.  And I can promise you I won’t make it easy for you.

TO BE CONTINUED …