Thursday, November 26, 2009

Terrorism

An year after terror was unleashed in Mumbai…
Its an year exactly after all those horrible things the terrorists did to the city of Mumbai, the Business capital of India. It did leave deep scars even in an very average Indian like me. The emotional and physical scars of those who endured the act is something beyond my comprehension. The loss of lives, the experience of coming close to death or even seeing death and violence in such close quarters will never leave those people’s minds.
I was watching some news channels and many of them were showcasing the memories of 26/11. It hit my conscience then. Surprisingly when I heard of the brave act of the announcer at Mumbai Chatrapathi Shivaji Station, my eyes moistened, I had goose flesh all over when I watched the much more technically trained black cats took out the parade on Mumbai streets, Wives of the police officers Vijay salsakar, Hemant Karkare were a picture of poise, though they must have found it hard to bear the loss, and finally there was Sandeep Unnikrishnan.
This youngster had touched a chord in me even last year – I have no pointed reasons. It could be because of the martyrdom he attained for the sake of people he never knew, may be because he resembled my brother, or could be because he hails from God’s own country. He was just like one of the youngsters I have come across in these ELTP programmes, had dreams and had a orkut profile. He had friends, relatives and cousins to whom he was so dear. Normal guy like many of us, but laid down his life in a brave act to save lives during the terrorist attack.
I still remember how I was disturbed to see the video shots of Sandeep’s mother caressing her only son’s lifeless body unaware of the world around her. How many times would that mother have caressed that boy when he was young? Did she ever think she will get to see something as gory as this? How can she ever, ever bear the death of her only child. What kind of dreams would she have had for this son of hers? Did she look forward to his wedding? Did she dream of his children playing around her house ? Did she wait to hear them call her ammama?
I don’t know Sandeep Unnikrishnan let alone his mother. But my heart went out for her. There were many many times I thought of her and said a little prayer to console that lady who probably has lost all her dreams.
I wonder if it is because I am a mother of a single child.
The commentary today about Sandeep’s parents spoke about they going to the spot where Sandeep Unnikrishnan died and the whole of last year they had spent visiting the places he had spent as part of his Army training’s and postings. They plan to spend the day at Taj at the very spot where Sandeep lost his life. They looked defeated.
As I watched the Jawans march by I wanted to stand up and salute. The least I did was to sit modestly on the chair as a mark of respect for all those who laid down their life.
May God grant the strength to all those who suffered due to the terrorist attacks last year. And May God also give wisdom to all those terrorists about the oneness of humanity and make them understand the value of peace in the short span of our human lives.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sandeep Unnikrishnan's MOM !!!

Ever since i saw the visuals on TV of the slain black cat Soldier, Sandeep Unnikrishnan, this thought of writing a blog about his mother has been running in my mind.

In ordinary circumstances, what happens is that a thought about a blog flashes across my mind, and the urge to capture the thoughts will be so intense that i note it down sometimes in a plain word document or sometimes on to an outlook email and then transfer it to my blog. If the flash of thought is not intense enough it might just die a slow natural death in my mind, not to be back, ever..

But the train of thoughts about this topic, has haunted me so many times, that sometimes, this being a very senti topic, i wanted it to die naturally.. The terrorist attacks happened in the fag end of November 08, but the images of Sandeep Unnikrishnan's mom caressing the lifeless body of the dead solidier has just not gone away from my mind..

I dont know Sandeep, let alone his mother... except the fact he is a common Indian like a billion others who crowd this small place that we call our motherland and that there were so much of media coverage to the family even in their most private moments the entire world was glaring at them. Sandeep is no more a common Indian - he is a Martyr, having given up his life, very willingly as a brave youngster..

What touched me the most was the fact that this lady, mother of Sandeep, kept caressing the face.. oblivious to the fact that the media was watching, camera was on, there must have been scores of media people creating commotion to capture the image of her looking into the lifeless body of her son..What thoughts might have gone through her mind? How many times would she have touched this boy when he was young and growing? did she remember all those moments. Like all the mothers she must have powedered his face and combed his hair and kissed him all over countless number of times.

Did she dream of her son's next visit to her? Did she plan in her mind a thousand times about his future, his marriage, her daughter-in-law, her grandchildren? How could she bear the loss of lineage, her only son to the cruelity of some men, almost her son's age?

I keep wondering why that visual, or that mother touched me so much? why does that visual refuse to get out of my mind.. I have thought of this lady, whose identity is not known to me yet, ( other than the fact that she is Sandeep's mother) so many times in the past few months...

Is it because that i am a mother of a single child? am I comparing myself with her? Is it because that like me she has roots in Kerala, God's own country?

I am praying that the almighty gives her enough inner strength to sail through this life, knowing fully well that her single child will never return to console her in this lifetime....

I am with you in your grief.. though i know fully well it doesnt help.. but still...

Learn to LET GO !!!!

No single person, no single event, no single experience has the right to sit inside my head and continue to disturb the peace of my mind.

No single person, no single event, no single experience should ever be given such exalted status as to have the power over the peace of my mind.

For the sake of my inner peace, let go of anything, let go of anybody, who continue to rattle me from within the chambers of my own mind and heart. My mind and heart should be the seat of my peace and not the seat of someone or something that keeps disturbing me.

Nothing at the cost of my peace. Everything for the sake of my peace.

Learn to let go, not in the physical sense, but in an emotional sense.

Free your mind and heart of any disturbing elements. Let go whatever. Let go whoever. Put your peace above everything. People hurt you out of their ignorance and their immaturity. And, you allow yourself to be hurt out of your ignorance and your immaturity. We cannot control the ignorance and immaturity of the world. But we can do something about our side of the story. In a physical sense, people or event that hurts you happen once. But you rewind and replay the hurt a zillion times. The more you process it, the deeper it hurts.

If at all anything or anybody is wrong, let them continue to live outside of you. Don't give them a presence within your mind and heart. Let your mind and heart house only those who are a source of your peace. The rest, let them go…

In letting go of your hurt, you will be living in peace. A peaceful you is a beautiful you. The good news is, you can be beautiful. The very good news is, it is in your very hands.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Bubble

I realised i have been living inside a bubble..

The funniest part of this is all along i knew that i am living inside this volatile bubble, but i have been living in denial. Denial of the truth and living in an imaginary cosmos. Innumerable number of occasions i have debated with myself that the truth is far from what is being actually told. I refused to accept the obvious and took shelter in this bubble time and again, even when it caused immense pain.

I am just looking deep into this pieces of my bubble ( after the fact that it finally burst) and am coming to the realization ( or I did have this realization all along) that this only had caused heartaches that I went through in solitude in exchange to shallow happiness in life. I am even surprised how I have managed to accomplish (whatever little i have accomplished), so long with all this in the background.

Did I very naively believe that this bubble actually helped me move along in life? I think so...... Now I realize that I have ( always had) enough inner strength and sense to go on in life without these crutches, which I thought were life support. How easily can some of these insignificant and baseless beliefs become part of your very existence?

It is a great revelation that as time goes by, I am still where I started believing in the basics, whereas the environs outside my bubble have moved on in life as if nothing has happened... Am I stupid, silly, idiotic or don’t I simply understand these norms of this greater expanse of universe? Now I am left with bitterness knowing the truth fully well.

Is it because that I am sincere in each little thing that I take up? Is it because that I think within the box? Is it because my exposure is limited? Is it because I am sensitive to these little issues? Is it because I am constantly looking for that something in life, which I probably missed ? Is it because I do not have the maturity of the mind? Is it because I am not thinking beyond myself? Beyond my small defined circle?

What is it that makes me, this person that I am?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Status Change

so what is the problem now?

If it is just to ensure that i am being paid back in the same coin ( to insult / taunt / hurt and to make a fool of me) - you win hands down.

but remember my intentions are far from that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quarantine !!!

Where did my resolve go?
Why couldnt I stop myself?
Is there a reason for the choked throat?
Why did my eyes moisten?
Why did i melt away?
Why did I smile in glee?
Was there still a tinge of happiness?
Why did it happen on my birthday?
Is it Gods' way of testing me?
Did I fail the assessment?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

If I told you...

If I told you the simple joys of life I have been through
Would you listen to me with that sparkle in your eye?

If I told you all the crazy things I have done,
Would you whisper my name that will make me feel young again?

If I told you all the sorrows of my heart,
Would you give me your shoulder to cry on?

If I told you all the fears gripping me at this time,
Would you comfort me with a warm hug which will make me feel safe?

If I told you all the abuses that I have been through
Would you listen to me without finding fault or judging me?

If I shared my pains and aches of my everyday life
Would you ease it with an understanding smile?

If I spoke out loud my innermost fears of uncertainity,
Would you tell me that I am safe with you forever?

If I shared my dreams, hopes and my childish desires
Would you listen without prejudice and help me find myself?

And If I shed a tear or two, while I spoke to you,
Would you value each drop and wipe it off with reassurance of Love?

If my heart skips a beat due to anxiety and restlessness,
Would you give me that look, that will pacify the core of my being?

And when I am down in the dumps, looking for a smile,
Would you give me that deep slow laugh, which can calm me down?

If I told you all about the ghosts in my mind and my unfounded fears
Would you wipe them out with your confidence in me?

If I told you how much I love you
Would you believe me without an iota of doubt?

If only I told you…..

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lines from a song (life?)

Arikil nee undayirunnenkill yennu njaaan
oru mathre verudhe orthu poyi..
oru mathre verudhe orthu poyi...

Friday, March 27, 2009

A friday in Lent

I decided to go for "Way of the Cross" today.

I was reminded of all the fridays in the lent season in my childhood and how my parents dutifully took me week after week to the Way of the Cross. That was a time when I never knew that these sessions could be missed ( optional) in the first place.

Not that I really enjoyed those sessions, but it became a habit and I dont remember a day when I complained to my parents about those visits to church. It was almost like Sunday mass - we just didnt miss a way of the cross on Fridays during lent. We had to walk upto the beach, thats were the church was, in Ramakrishna Nagar and we were always there before any service began. Going late to church was never allowed.

Today on the way to church, Dennu asked me if it was Good friday. To say I was shocked is an understatement. He has been thinking that Good friday is the day we go for Way of the Cross. ( It shows the kind of christianity he is exposed to ..) anyways i did explain to him, how on every friday of the lent, way of the cross happens and because of our schedules at we could not make it for the same on other fridays.

As the service began, I thought of Petula, Jane and Pauline and how religiously we all used to go for the way of the cross when we were at SHY week after week. I remember once we missed it and came back to our room and did the way of the cross inside Petula's room with the help of a small book that she had and we promised to each other on not missing it anymore.

When did I change from that person who felt guilty about missing a Way of the Cross to the person that I am today - I even forget that fridays in lent needs a visit to the church, let alone way of the cross.

I was also thinking of one friday a couple of years back ( more recently) Anita and I went to st. Theresa's Church in Nungambakkam for the way of the cross and how Anita yelled at a couple of kids ( 12 - 14 yrs old girls) who were giggling and talking all through the service.

Today made me go through some of my past - and how simple my childhood and my dreams were. And what I am today, how complex I have turned myself into. My simple beliefs are gone along with my innocence. I have grown up in more than one way and I cannot stand in front of my LORD, anymore, with that child like innocence.

But I am in a way thankful for this day for it brought back to me some of my very nice memories of how good I was once upon a time.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My space

Blogging is a way of self expression. To me this space is a canvas to express myself without boundaries. This is my Space - meant for me to pour out my feelings, emotions, raise doubts, answer queries or just come in and read my earlier posts.

Writing is like archiving your memories into words.. similar to photography. photographs capture visuals in a picture format and these expressions through writing helps to capture perspectives, emotions and feelings in a much more vivid format in the form of words. I can spend moments going through a photo album and recalling those memories of the past. And this blog offers the same comfort of going back to those feelings that you felt back then, whenever it was put down explicitly.

the comfort of going back to it and cherishing the moments of the past is a wonderful feeling. And hence I do not want to share this space with anyone.. I dont mind putting up a sign that says " Tresspassers will be prosecuted". This is my private space and i am not expecting any intruders into this haven.

This is My Space. and mine alone.

underlying truth

In an attempt to get you off my mind, have I lost myself?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chennai Marathon 09

The Chennai Marathon was on the 15th of Feb 2009.

Business had taken Joe to Ooty, leaving me to fend for Denny (during that weekend). the Marathon was supposed to start at 6 am, I had ensured that a driver comes comes home by 5.30 am. And we started with full Josh and a full a can of milk for Denny to drink on the way. Reaching Anna Square in Marina beach was a task by itself as all the roads leading to the Anna Square blocked by the organsiers with full police protection.

Finally Denny and I reached the road behind Chidambaram Stadium, from where we walked the short distance to reach Anna Square. Denny's friends joined us and I was surprised to see most of them came on their own taking the metro buses at 4.30 am.

I parked myself very comfortably in the middle of the road at the end of the median, while Dennis walked towards the starting point.

To my surprise i found some of my Satyam friends during the run. I cheered for most people running, but it was an emotional moment when i saw a 70+ year old man running to the finish line. A couple of men near me clapped and i joined them in cheering the old man. Dennu passed by me very naughtily, along with his friends and the look on his face told me that he hadnt run too far... anyway the most important point was that he was there on the track..

After a while of rest for Den and his friends ( schoolmates), we came back. I wished Joe was in town - i am sure he would have run the Marathon and I could have joined him too.. Anyways, I was somehow part of the Chennai Marathon, representing the city that I grew up in, representing a city close to my heart and the most beautiful place on earth.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Whats in a name ?? Vincy Mariam Vs Vincy Joseph

These two names, though they both are mine and represent me, are part of two distinct and definitive phases of this personality identified by Vincy.

These two phases are continuous with one fading out slowly after a major event in my life giving way to the other shining in…

The first one, my maiden name is a name which tells me that its, oh.. so long back.. was I like that? oh yes that was a phase in my life where I was this na├»ve, innocent, naughty, brilliant, sensitive, beautiful (?) and of course Young and sometimes lazy, dumb and idiotic. Hey how did I forget the key word – Slim?

Much thinner than what I am today. There was a time when I was so thin, I ate chocolates continuously in a vain attempt to put on some more weight just before my wedding. How can I forget my cousin’s advice on wearing two underskirts on the wedding day to make myself look a little more fuller ??? I actually did that !

Vincy is a name that has been coined ( like in any other common Mallu Syrian Catholic family ) from the name of my parents Vincent and Rosy – I am sure you got it.. Vinc is from my dad and the y is from my mom.. or should I say the phonetic sound of si is from mom? Together it made up my name, and it is a very common name in Kerala in any household and it has always been one of the biggest giveaway on my linguistic and south Indian keralite origin when I introduce myself anywhere. Not that I have any issues about it, but if at all I had ever wanted my origins under wraps, I could never do it.

Interestingly, people always remembered my name in school and college, because though my official name in the baptismal certificate was Mariam Putherikkal Kannookadan ( there is a nice background behind this, which I heard from my father with wide eyed amazement, when I was in college), and my school and college records spelt my name as Vincy (Alias) Mariam K, where the first name was forcefully added on to my official name when I was in school, I always labeled my books, records, and other stationery as Vincy Vincent. That was quite rhyming right?

I always have hated that alias part within brackets in my name, as it makes my name sound like a Crook’s name ( generally crooks have the aliases, right? ) and most people in south India pronounce it as Elias, without knowing Elias has biblical connotations. Very Christian even in my Alias !

Mariam is the name of my paternal grandmother and  my parents had no choice, infact they did it so willingly, that they named me, after her. I have very little memories of her though – she was a softspoken, fair lady with a lot of love for my parents and all of us children, especially my father, as he was her youngest child. I remember how my mother used to instruct us to hug and kiss her as soon as we reach Aripalam ( my dads house used to be there). She had the Mekka mothirams ( big rings on her top portion of the earlobes) and the lower portion of the earlobes hung down a bit with that part of the flesh overextended. She didn’t have teeth, that’s how I remember her and she keeps those nice goodies for my brother and me in her vettila cheppu ( betel leaf box) and used to call us and give it to us very secretly. I remember her feet very distinctly, because I think my feet have taken over hers. She wears the white chatta , jerinja mundu ( to be pronounced by twisting your tongue and in a good nasal tone and I used to call it the tail) and the potha mundu ( something like a shawl always in light hues).

Putherikkal Kannookadan is my dads family name which is automatically passed to the children. All Christians were some generations back Hindus in India and our forefathers ( and ofcourse the mothers too) were the high class Hindus with a illa peru and a veettu peru. Illam is basically the name of the Tharavad ( I know it rings a bell somewhere .. there are restaurants in most cities with names like these) that you belong to. In my name the Putherikkal is the name of the illam and Kannookadan is the name of the veedu ( house). I have never used this elaborate and flamboyant name ever, except that it is has a prominent space in my baptism certificate and my name always used the shortest form of the house name for my initial, K. So my name had versions, as per my whims and fancies like Vincy K Vincent, Vincy ( alias) Mariam K, Vincy Vincent K.

Marriage always takes you by surprise, it presents to you various perspectives, at times puts the family of which you were a part of earlier, in a completely different light. You walk into a new family and are expected to make that family your own. My uncles’ advice before marriage comes to my mind now.. he said marriage for an Indian girl is like pulling out a plant from the soil where it has grown and planting it elsewhere where the territory, soil and surivival conditions are different. The plant initially might droop, but after a little while will get used to the current conditions and will grow up to be bigger one that bears flowers and fruits ( I never asked him what if that was an ornamental plant that never flowers or bears fruit)

The best thing I like about my post marriage name is the fact that it has no aliases. Just a simple name mine and my better half’s. No initials no threads attached.. oops no brackets attached, no full stops either. It gives the comfort of the support given to me by my hubby, making me stronger physically and emotionally. Acceptance of his love reciprocated through the inclusion of his name in my identity forever. Does he ever realize what an enormous thing it is to be part of someone’s identity?

Even as a person there are so many changes that one experiences, as in change in priorities especially when a child comes by, or sheer pressure of playing so many different roles all at a time, with that smile on your face, such as that of a wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, mother, sister-in-law, co-sister, aunt sometimes even that of a grandmother ( I am one already with Joe’s niece delivering a cute daughter and so to her I am a granny J).

Other than external repercussions ( no negativity intended here) there are quite a few changes that happens internally, you become a mature person, stronger, more confident, less sensitive, bolder and have realized that this name, Vincy Joseph is with me to stay for the rest of my life and represents a stronger me. The part of life which made me proud of the fact that I am a mother, part of gods creation and how beautiful it is to hold on to the tender feet and hands of a new born child. And how the worries that bog me down can just vanish like a thin mist when I see the little one’s smile or touch!!

On second thoughts, these phases that I mentioned above are like these ads that you see in paper, advertising about slimmer waistlines, chestlines, thigh lines and what not, after a particular slimming treatment that many people go these days, more as just a fad…with the treatment name such as VLCC Before and After, or the more historical and popular BC and AD just that in my case it can called as the BM and AM indicating the before Marriage and after marriage. The changes though are reverse in my case Slimmer before and fatter after ! but the changes that come by emotionally, can never be put down that easily !!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Decision

I heard Narayana Murthy, chief mentor of Infy, the other day on TV, say " The softest pillow is clear self conscience" - I am not sure if I was looking for the softest pillow when I took this decision.

But my decision certainly has more to it than the softest pillow part - it is taken out of love, care and consideration ( of self ? which one?). Is that what Jeevan Vidhya taught us anyway?

I took this decision strangely on a day when everything was going on fine. I was so happy and amidst all that happiness, I thought it is time to decide, now or never.. It was my decision a decision that came from deep within my soul and I had to prepare myself psychologically, run it over and over again in my mind, write it down and get myself to accept it so that when that moment came, i could just go ahead and do it.

I thought of all the pros and cos - like what I will lose in life ( that was quite a bit ) and what i will gain( noone will ever know it, though ). It was a herculean task with surprisingly pro's and con's balancing out making it all the more difficult to ensure that the decision can be taken at all in the first place..

But triumph was mine. I stuck to my guns ( atleast till this moment). It was difficult to start with, it is difficult to continue. Pain, ache, sweat, tears, anxiety, tempatation - name it and I have gone through it all in a short time.

I asked for divine intervention, gave it a new year resolution's tint and what not, just to ensure that i go ahead with it.

Everything is going as planned - hope it will continue. Results are showing as expected and lets see how long i can hold on to this resolve..... and for those who are breaking your head on what the decision is - its some load shedding.. He he he