A lot happened today, read the following three sections to find out how I grew in one single day. I should go to Nana-Nani's place more often :-?
"irrational", "impractical", and simply "wrong"
It's amazing how we judge people. Strangers as well as our family and friends. Many a times we become unsatisfied with our own parents or kids. Their decisions, attitudes, and practices start getting on our nerves. According to our set of beliefs and the way of mind, what they do is often "irrational", "impractical", and simply "wrong". But these views change, when we talk to others. It is easier to observe and learn about behavior from a third person's story, rather than our own because then our thinking is not biased.
Whenever I see Nani, she always asks me, "What is wrong? Why do you always look sad? Do smile. You should always he happy. When you share your happiness it doubles, and sharing your sorrows cut them into half." I'm not sad. At home I jump around, crack jokes, do all sort of crazy stuff. But at Nani's place, it's not that I just look at the floor without any curves on my lips, it's just that I don't say much, I'm a quite person around her place - don't know why. Nani always worries about us, all of her kids! That's human nature though. Taking care, doing everything you can do to make the lives of your loved one's easy, and of course worrying every single moment.
I have been told few chapters of Mom's life in bits and pieces by herself. Sometimes when she was mad and sometimes when she wanted Hansag and I to realize how easy our lives are. Hansag and I often share our unsatisfactions and unanswered queries regarding our parents with each other. In all times Hansag and I play the protagonists and our parents are the antagonists in our individual life's stories. Same is the case in Mom's stories, she plays the protagonist. Each time whenever such stories are being told and heard, no matter by who and where, the narrator is the victim of everyones attacks. In these short stories, life always takes a bad turn for the narrator and he/she faces it boldly. Today, for the first time in my life, I got to hear a small part of Nani's story. Of course the type from which she wants me to learn a few things and understand why adults are so controlling of their kids. Nani played the kid this time and told me a little about her upbringing. How she wasn't given much freedom, it was her friends who could come visit her at her house, but she couldn't because the people in the area she lived in knew at all times who was leaving when and who was coming back at what time. Her journey was from home to college and then back home. Even participating in extra-curricular activities was not a part of her life. But she did get compared to other kids like these days, "Look at him/her, he/she got a full scholarship and made a 5 on all of his/her AP exams, why can't you do that?!"
She had a friend who was given a lot of freedom and Nani often set her example in front of her Dad and asked, "Why can't I...?" To which her dad responded, "She is a good girl, but she is too naive." After graduating from High School when Nani was applying to Meerut University for her Bachelor's, her fried had decided to get married. This was a decision she made herself. When she attending Nani's wedding she cried a lot on her own situation, "what a big mistake it was, the guy seduced her, and now her life is hell." At last, with a little water in her eyes Nani said, "God knows where she's now." Just like myself Nani is also very emotional, or maybe I should say I'm exactly like my Nani when it comes to not being able to control my emotions.
In her younger years Nani was told by her parents, like many other, to pay attention to studies. There's a time for everything and this is the time to learn. She attended a co-ed University and majored in Political Science. Completed her Master's after marriage, while taking care of her two little daughters. Mom tells me that Nana and Nani used to go watch movies and often left the kids at home or at someone else's place. Kids get such things stuck in their heads, but if you take a rational view it's okay. They are married, they should get a little while to be alone. Also, after getting married was "the time" of living their (Nana-Nani's) life. Nana-Nani gave their kids a little more freedom compared to what they had as kids. Mom and Papa stepped up a notch with us. I'll do the same with my kids. But in any case, they too will find reasons to call my decisions "irrational", "impractical", and simply "wrong".
Times change and the culture becomes a little more mordernized. But from what I've been hearing, I can say that there is not much difference between yesterday and today. Climate changes on the surface, but deep down the earth's core still looks exactly like it did a thousand years ago.
Why in the world is life so damn complicated. Everybody does what he/she feels is right for himself/herself. Their souls get after them if they "don't do what they should have done." But what if these things that we feel are right to do, conflict with someone else's dharma? This question is what I've been thinking about from about 1:15pm this afternoon.
Is everyone's life a living hell?
Today I met Akhilesh Sharma, a very successful Ayurvedic Doctor from India. While I was in the kitched making some tea, he was telling Nana-Nani and Papa about a Sardar Ji who he met in New York. The surd was a limousine driver and asked Dr. Akhilesh Sharma whether he had ever rode in a limmo. Later, he offered Sharma a ride and started telling him his tragic story... He came to the US 18yrs ago. Never got a chance to go back because he's illegal. Saw his kids grow up through photographs. Now, his kids do not talk to him on the phone. He often earns $700 a day, but to him it's all waste since he has no one to spend it on. He goes back to an empty house with no-one to share his days happenings with.
Huh... and we all think our lives aren't worth living. Well this is story to let you know that someone's living in even harsher conditions.
I should get started on some serious Networking
Nana and I went to the Global Mall to pick up Dr. Akhilesh Sharma. There I met Kavita Chhibber, one of the writers for Little India. She writes one of those cover page articles. Nana told her that I sometimes write and am a good writer (don't know why people think that, I certainly can't change their thinking). She gave me her card and asked me to email her and said she'll surely do something. She's launching a website - www.kavitachhibber.com - which will contain a special section for today's young writers. I'll send her a couple of my compositions tomorrow.
Another guy, I think his name is Raj. He's starting a non profit organization that will target corporations to help improve India's poverty rate. Also, he is trying to make a movie. He was really excited about it and told us that he had a "vision". So far, he's gonna name is I.N.R.I. These words are found on the cross and stand for Jesus's name. His title, however, will be "I, National Resident of India". The movie will have two parts... first part - "trust God"... second part - "love God"... and at the end it'll say - "God is in you." Mel Gibson is his first choice as the director. Hmm... he didn't impress me at all. To me this project does not seem possible or maybe he has too high expectations. I guess, I wish him luck :-?