Festival day

August 22, 2020 § Leave a comment

I messaged a friend today, whom I haven’t seen for almost a year now. She works in the travel industry and business is tough for the company where she works. In fact she’d helped us get visas for a trip to Dubai in October and that was the last I’d seen her. Today was Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the biggest festivals in India, and I felt like I should check on how she’s doing.

Mid-morning, my parents, who live in Mysore, said some prayers and lighted lamps at home which we were able to see on a WhatsApp call. My sister also lives in the same town with her husband my nephew so they were all able to get together for lunch. They had a good day.

Later, in the evening, we went to our best friends’ — the ones with the twins — and he and I went for our customary walk. My friend had to pick up a few things from a nearby supermarket and we went there first and I was waiting outside to avoid adding to the crowd inside, and took this picture below of the bananas looking a bit forelorn, while waiting outside.

We had noodles, khow suey and spiced rice for dinner — delivered from a restuarant called Singapore Street — and had vanilla ice cream and gulab jamoons for dessert. We’d ordered the gulab jamoons in the afternoon from Bhagatram’s a famous sweets shop on Commercial street that my wife and I used to visit every once in a while in our much younger days.

We then spent an hour streaming songs on to their large Sony Bravia TV — from old Grammy winners to recent south Indian cinema hits. This was quite entertaining. We alo watched a bit of Arya Dhayal, a young lady who has become a bit of a sensation on Instagram for her fusion of Carnatic classical music with western pop. She’s even done her version of Bella Ciao, which more recently was made famous by the Netflix series Money Heist, I think. Our son and the twins watched Boss Baby on a laptop in the dining room.

At some point in the late evening, it rained heavily for a short while and stopped. Thankfully, this was after the walk. We talked about nothing very serious, and at one point fantasised about driving to Bhutan. The two wives also entertained each other a bit by looking up beach resorts that they’d like to visit post Covid19.

#festival #holiday #leisure #travel #walking #smartphonephotography


After the rain has stopped

August 19, 2020 § Leave a comment

There is this song that I want to whistle next. It starts as ‘Male ninthu hoda mele’ (After the rain has stopped). It’s from a movie called ‘Milana’ (union), in my native tongue of Kannada. The film was released to critical acclaim and commercial success back in 2007. The song has a haunting melody and poignant lyrics. The lyricist is Jayanth Kaikini, a well-known Kannada poet and writer.

It is the vehicle for the message that the heroine, played by Parvathy Thiruvothu, has had a change of heart and has fallen in love with the hero, played by Puneeth Rajkumar. But of course there must be drama, and the song comes at a time when the two are playing newlyweds with the wife seeking a divorce. That she is unable to express her new feelings to him is what the song conveys, and makes way for the denouement of the movie.

However, true to the movie’s title, the film ends in a happy (re)union after more emotional drama that the audience in 2007-08 must have enjoyed, given that the cinema ran for over a year in some theatres.

In real life, such change of heart, is probably rare. At least that’s my limited experience. In real life, people often tend to hold on to their pride and prejudice, leading to all-round misery. Much of this even, sometimes, comes down to just that mundane thing that we call habit. We habitually react in set ways that can irritate or even hurt a loved one.

It’s very hard for people to see the intent behind a gesture or a decision. Often, in cases like me — with my anxiety and depression, and before that, three decades of repressed feelings of all sorts — those gestures and decisions can also send things awry. And they did, in my life. The road to where I am today is potholed with the repurcussions of bad decisions and impulsive ones that hurt the ones I loved the most — my family.

Today, I’m much more aware of who I am and what I want, but at the price of having been a poor husband and inadequate parent for a long time. In real life, we don’t often get the chance to right the wrongs we’ve made. We’re forced to watch in mute frustration and humiliation, the consequences of our bad decisions playing out. That’s probably why Oscar Wilde called experience simply the name we give our mistakes.

#anxiety #anxietyanddepression #depression #cinema #movies #films #music

HR, Lego Movie 2 and The Century Trilogy

July 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

The payroll/HR folks have sent me a mail saying parts of my profile in the company database are incomplete and I need to fill them up pronto. I tried, but the system isn’t allowing me to ‘save’ any of the data. Will have to try and talk to the ‘HR business partner’ tomorrow but I despair of sorting this out. My HR contact NEVER takes my calls and only sends me emails or calls me from her end if there is something HR expects me comply with. Expeditiously.

The wife and son are at the end of Lego Movie 2. In fact, they are watching the credits roll, I think. I’m in a different room typing this post. The second interview for my feature went okay as well. Yesterday was the first one. Now I’ve to cobble together a piece based on the two.

It was an okay day until after my walk in the evening and until after my daily call with my father — I began to call him in the evenings after he had a minor health scare recently. Then my wife got very upset about how I never get my parents to talk to our son on the phone. ‘You can’t do it. You just don’t have the guts’. My nephew, who lives in the same town as them, with his mom, my sister, and his dad, a musician/actor/photographer, gets the most of the grandparents.

I’ve been reading Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy. Slowly. I’m into the third part now — titled The Edge of Eternity — and I’ve just stopped at where Beep Dewar decides to stick to Walli, deliberately deciding to deny herself the chance of getting back with Dave. It’s a great read, the trilogy — historical fiction that covers much of 20th century, populating it with colourful fictitous characters, building their stories over generations, juxtaposed with historical events.

A close friend had to rush to hospital recently to help his cousin, whose husband died suddenly from a tumour in the brain. He came back and quarantined himself in a room. He has two children one of whom is my son’s classmate. The boys talk on Google Meet every evening. They miss actually seeing each other physically and playing together. I wonder when our kids will be able to play freely together again.

#HR #Legomovie2 #Thecenturytrilogy #anxiety #anxietyanddepression #depression

Empathy, boss, a movie and ice cream

July 24, 2020 § Leave a comment

I fought with a friend today, after she said some things about the poem from yesterday. She had the best of intentions of course, but anyway, that’s how it went, and later we made up. In other news, my boss called me to discuss stories and wants a calendar for the rest of the year — fair enough. He isn’t getting enough good content from those of us who ought to be delivering it more consistently, so he’s trying to push us a bit. On the whole, he has been a very good boss and I’ve been very lucky about that. Especially because I was able to tell him about the anxiety and the depression. He’s given me a lot of time and patience. Now it’s time to repay that and start delivering the big stories he needs.

One of the things about trying to get off the anxiety meds is that one has to deal with the physical results of stress without the aid of the drugs. One of those results for me is a powerful headache when the stress is bad, like today, because of the combination of the chat with the boss and the fight with theĀ  friend. Couple of years back, I didn’t know what was causing these headaches and some other symptoms, but this time I’m better prepared.

We watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge on Disney Hotstar, at dinner time. We’d seen it before, of course, but it’s such an entertaining movie. And the way Javier Bardem says ‘Jack Sparrow’ makes one want to try and imitate him again and again. I also learnt, when I looked it up later, that the movie was released as ‘Dead men tell no tales’ also.

One of the things today’s fight reinforced for me was that it is very difficult to see things from other people’s perspective. That’s how we lack empathy and often end up hurting those we love. This has been especially true for me with my wife, and if I look back at all our fights, I feel if we’d each found a way to see the other’s point of view and accept it, there’d be a lot less bitterness to deal with. We’re still trying and getting a little better at it now.

Oh, and my wife and son made banana and strawberry jam ice cream with condensed milk in it as well.

#empathy #anxiety #boss #piratesofthecaribbean #cinema #icecream


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