Saturday, January 28, 2012

A routine Saturday

I wake up to a cuddle from my daughter. She has been up for 30 minutes now, and is happy to see papa wake up. "Papa! Come! Toy room", she shouts, in a voice that will brook no opposition. She does part of her puzzle, part builds a tower and speed reads "The Monkey and the Crocodile". Then she grows restless, and goes off to look for Mamma, who is pottering around in the kitchen.

After a while, Papa has to go and see what the car cleaner is up to. She jumps at the opportunity to go down. Once down, she takes off towards the swimming pool, reminding her guilty father about his promise to take her swimming the last evening. The swimming pool has not been cleaned yet, but she wants to shower in the stalls next to the pool. Papa explains that she cannot shower because she has all her clothes on, and if she showers, her clothes will get wet. She finds that a good reason to not shower.

She is happy that papa is down with her. She opportunistically tugs me into the main road. She is very careful, watching out for big cars that come our way. She pulls me along into the by-lane next to the society. The by-lane has people squatting on the road and using the hand pump to wash clothes, utensils, themselves. She walks right past the squalor - her target is the rooster that lives there. She sees a brood of hens and is delighted. "Cluck cluck", she tells them. She looks for the goats, but cannot find them. "Goats sleeping", she tells papa.

Mamma has gone for grocery shopping when we return. She looks around for her mother, then settles down with papa. She demands a boiled egg. She won't eat the yolk. "Green", she instructs again, pointing to the white of the egg. Papa and baby sit together in the verandah in companionable silence. After the egg, she wants an orange. I peel one carefully and feed her the pieces. She feeds me in turn. Wipes her hands on my freshly worn t-shirt. We both sit and look out at the cars below.

This is a Saturday like every other Saturday. Doubt seizes me. Will she remember all this? Will she love me when she grows up? I think about it for a minute, and tell myself that I don't really care about tomorrow. I ask her "Where is papa's favourite laddoo?" We both grin, as she points to herself. This is the best Saturday ever!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Saw this on a wall in the kid's section of Crossword, and googled the lovely poem. For those who like this sort of thing, 'Invictus' means unconquered.


William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Patris est filius

No, I'm not trying to learn Latin. The phrase in question means "He is his father's son" and I think this is true for all of us. Perhaps more appropriately it should say "He is his parent's son".

Yesterday, on a long distance flight, after watching a very nice documentary on Steve Jobs, I was generally thinking about life in general and my tiny daughter in particular. I figured that a lot of her mannerisms, preferences and reactions to situations were very much like her mom's or dad's. And then I got to thinking about myself, and the same held true as well! As I grow older, and start settling into predictable ways of thought and action, I realize that I am very much like my parents.

This, of course, is not surprising. All the DNA that I have comes from the 2 fantastic people who have brought me into the world. Still, it is a bit humbling to know that most of my actions and reactions are hard wired, and that what I thought was my free will is actually the genetic code of a long chain of people before me. Some minor differences here or there, but substantially similar. Feels quite comforting at the same time as being disturbing.

Is there such a thing as free will? Or are we prisoners to our destiny?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Portents to a New Year

2012 has begun, and boy! has it been all wrong! Work, family, health - all fronts have taken a severe beating. Hopefully this is an aberration which will not last too long. Even my first post in the year is causing me trouble (i'm typing this on a blackberry and cannot get capital letters to show up)

Anyhow, ups and downs are part of life. Writing helps me vent out some of the stress, which is why I often find myself writing about generally unpleasant things. In keeping with my theme for this year, I'm trying to LET GO of all the stress and fears and unpleasantness. Why worry? I have gone through multiple situations in life which I thought would break me up (and perhaps they have!), but Hey! Tomorrow IS indeed another day

Another thing I'm trying to let go of this year is my desire to punt. Providing short term excitement, and always leading to long term pain, this habit is very pernicious. I have tried thrice before to give it up, and each time I have succumbed to the siren. Hopefully this year is going to be different!

In a random conversation, I was recently asked which were the best years of my life. Thinking about this, I was overcome with nostalgia about my time as an engineering student. Little money, no certainty, but dreams of world conquest! Anything was possible! My present was no obstacle to my future.

Now there is a big contrast. All my thinking is incremental and linear. My present is defining my future. Sigh! I sure hope my best days are yet to come. Otherwise life would have been pathetically futile!

Another random thought - is there a God. I mean, a plan? A method to life? And if there is one, is He benevolent? Or is He indifferent? Or, like the ancients of this country believed, is He all too human? So far I have believed in a benevolent God, but sometimes this belief gets tested.

Anyway, enough ramblings for the day. Tomorrow, here I come!