- Raincoats, contrary to popular belief, can serve dual purposes – it shields you from the rains when you’re outside the car, and from the air conditioner or the winds from the rolled down windows when you are inside the car. Maybe that is what led to the invention of the windcheater. And here I thought I’d just come up with a startling idea! So disappointing that by the time you’re in the 21st century, all ideas seem to have been implemented already.
“Race! Race! Race!”
“Who do you think is going to win?”
Wait, what do you think I am talking about? Raindrop races! Roll up your windows, let the raindrops whip against You get to race raindrops and make clouds on breath steamed mirrors.
- Umbrellas were shown their true position. Because the two exact times we brought it out to protect us from the water and winds, it got possessed! The canopy was thrown backward by the wind, the rims got entangled and the handle had to be held on to by three pairs of hands so that the umbrella didn’t fly away. We then decided to let it stay in the boot of the car.
- One of the main reasons waking up early on group trips is a mandate because people end up taking lots of time to get ready – after all, you should look fresh and Insta ready! How else will you have your throwback moments to show? But for us, getting ready was the least of your worries, no accessories, no touch of lip colour or kohl, because how does it all even matter? It would all run amok, any which ways.
To be contd…
Henry Miller once said,
“One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things.”
Every trip I go on, firms this belief for me. And here’s a new way of looking at roads and rains!
- I recently went to Pune and surrounding areas – Google weather forecasts and the news channels had informed us well in advance of rains during my travel days. But when you say rains to a Calcuttan who’s staying in Bangalore, we think half an hour of rain. Who knew we would have to expect twenty-three and a half hours of rain and downpour?!
- Thanks to the incessant rain and wind speeds high enough to make your teeth rattle, all five of us are now proud owners of a raincoat! The last time we had one was when we were toddlers rushing to montessories and jumping into every puddle we found with our mothers or fathers or both running behind us to make sure we don’t create a splash we can’t save ourselves from! Sigh. If only they still ran after us. At least some of our mistakes could have been eliminated. If only.
- Talking about puddles, we are used to seeing them in the potholes on our roads but it’s a rare sight to wake up to a puddle in your hotel room! Our clothes and bags were so wet, despite the raincoats, that the process of drying them under the fan resulted in more of a watery mess than an evaporation exercise.
To be contd…
How you greet a person is often the lasting impression on their mind about you! But it also does much more for your brain and your hormones. A harried, impatient first look leaves a negative note. A blunt hello with no eye contact leaves the other person feeling unimportant – they may not be your beau, your banker or your next CEO, but no need to drill it into their senses. A dull hello defines the course of a duller conversation. And no hello or a greeting? Well, doomed there. Now imagine being greeted by a smile! A simple hello, a wave here, a handshake there. It does go a long way to show that you’re there, if not to share troubles but at least to bring a smile. That curve does go a long way – more so than we have ever thought about.
“There are four important chemicals in play in your brain: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins (we will shorten these chemicals to D.O.S.E. for the sake of convenience). When you smile, your brain releases a DOSE of these chemicals automatically.”
Now let us break down the workings of the four chemicals :
D – the joy of finding what you seek – The Happiness Hormone
O – the safety of social bonds – The Hug Drug
S – the security of social dominance – The Mood Hormone
E – the oblivion that masks pain – The Painkiller
So you see how important that smile of yours is! It doesn’t just release a DOSE for you but also for the one who responds to your smile. Baby steps to happiness!
Graciously ‘Smiling’ Yours!
What keeps you going on the less happy days? What keeps you from letting one night turn into yet another morning? What pushes you to breathe one more time even though it pains every time? The belief in God – whatever your religion may be, wherever your faith lies? Or is it destiny? Or karma – that you will get what you give around. Or are you one of those who believe in the power of humans and the ability to conquer the world – the rising supporters of humanism?
Me? For me, hope keeps me going – the hope that one of these days, I’ll figure myself out again. Someday the sun will be brighter, the world more colorful and the day happier. The hope that this too shall pass and l will survive it like I have all these years. Hope. It’s important not to lose hope.
Often times, I have heard the phrase ‘heart swelled with pride’ but in a long, long time, this has been a first for me. I feel full – full of pride and a truckload of tears which if they were to fall out of my eyes would make the rainbow look dull in comparison! That is how happy I am as I see you moving closer to your dream. I saw you struggle but you never gave up – maybe you did at times, but I was lucky to be around and keep you steady. I saw you smile through the worst nightmares and yet wake up the next day with enthusiasm. I saw you believe in me when both of us didn’t believe in ourselves. Maybe the faith in life is what paid off. Karma has secrets we don’t really know about. Karma is not always a bitch. Bad things happen, but so do good things. I know you don’t ask for much but life has its’ way of giving you what you deserve, and not just what you ask for. I wish you could see the goosebumps lining my arms right now and the headiness of such happiness. Who wants to get high when life can give you such shots?
People change, lives change but times change too! Your time, it seems, is here A!
Graciously Yours! ❤
He heaved deep breaths, silently. The room was lit up and the windows closed. How do I know this, he thought. He re-traced the conclusions his brain had arrived at. He couldn’t turn around but the steel mug placed in front of him reflected a light source, looked like a bulb. If he tilted his head slightly, he could see the outline of a bulb, yes. And the closed windows? The air was still and stale. He could feel the dampness of stale breath in the stillness of the room. Even his closed eyes could figure it out. His mouth was dry and his hands numb. As he sat with his head hung, fatigue trudged upon him. A door creaked open in the distance, heavy footsteps lining the carpeted floor, now an empty commercial space. He could see the reflection of a man in the mug in front of him. And that was the last thing he saw before a bag was pulled over his face.
A few weeks ago, I discussed with some of you here on the blog that you’d still love to write letters and be pen pals. So here we are in the guise of LETTERS OF INDIA.
Currently, it is being spearheaded by three crazy and opinionated women:
Uno. A Chartered Accountant who’d rather write over crunching numbers and can’t get awed enough of quantum physics;
Dos. An English honours graduate who’s handling social media accounts, deliveries and a husband with a twin; and
Tres. A would-be lawyer who does, well, would-be lawyerish things – bickering, doodling, procrastinating and sometimes studying.
We want to be pen pals with you! And we hope you do too.
And we’re finally launching it! Please fill out the form and sign up. We hope to write to you soon. 🙂
Sudipto was driving home late one night – later than usual, at least. The clock was ticking closer to welcoming the new day. The roads, broad and empty of the never-ending stream of cars, lit with street lamps on both sides, white and blue fairy lights trailing the silver poles. There were no buildings, no civilisation laying home along this road – only roads, statues and a wide, green patch in the middle of the city, fondly called the city’s lungs. He pushed the clutch and rammed the car into the fourth gear as he approached Red Road. Parts of his twelve-year-old ambassador creaked at the engine speed falling a decade or so short of a ton. He could never drive at such speeds with a passenger at the back – they called it rash driving – but this was when he enjoyed his bread earning life choice. It was always the bus and taxi drivers who drove rashly, never the rule admonishing pedestrian or the swerving bikers and honking and overtaking private cars.
He took the circuitous path home through Red Road, choosing to enjoy the wind rather than hurrying to park the taxi in the garage. The window on his side was already open, so he leaned to the left to roll down the passenger window too. The wind rushed into the car from both sides, driving out the smells of the day – the food, the sweat, the leather. He threw open a few more buttons of his front open shirt, unzipping his pants. The sudden touch of air on his sweat-caked skin made him shiver, a rarity in the humid city.
The next right would take him towards home. As he approached the turn, he still honked on the deserted road out of practised caution. The next moment he got distracted by someone waving out from the extreme left side of the road – he saw it out of the corner of his eye. He had slowed down for the turn but his head was now craned towards the left to see if he could help the person. He saw glimpses of white and then nothing more. Just like that, there was no one there anymore. He blinked his eyes rapidly, not sure if he was hallucinating before or now. His hands turning the wheel right and legs controlling the speed, he’d made the turn and sharply looked right to check again towards where he’d seen the hapless soul but nothing anymore. He’d heard stories of hauntings before but had never believed in them. He wasn’t afraid. He dismissed the incident and looked ahead to find the lane plunged in darkness. As if on cue with his sight on the road, the car’s headlights flickered off and the engine sputtered to a stop. Now he was afraid.
The only times I stepped into Post Offices was to buy postcards and stamps for keepsakes – be it the dusty but spacious one in Port Blair where on the wall was put up the expected days to deliver posts all across the mainland of India or the small house up a steep flight of wooden stairs in Landour, marked as a Post Office where a family of three resided and all things post office were neatly stuffed in a bag. But I have not been to a Post Office to post a letter in more than two decades of my existence in India. And how many of my generation have really? In all likelihood, the only letters we’ve written were in school as part of the curriculum or to relationship managers in banks and cover letters as part of our search for jobs.
I want to frequent my trips to the Post Office because I am craving to write letters and find myself some penpals! I’m sending an open invitation to everyone reading this – come let’s write letters to each other. I’d love to know how you spend your day, what you read, what holds your interest, what irks you, how cold is the ice in your country, what your culture finds appropriate. I’m looking for inspiration, more than glad to provide motivation and excited to ignite my creative spirits! Also, use my wrist a little more to write – the handwriting to going to dogs! So are you ready to write a few letters? Because I surely am!
For international contributors, I understand if you’d rather send emails, taking into account the cost impact – but you have to, you just have to, attach a handwritten note or a sketch or doodle as part of the email.
Reshare post! And leave a comment if you’re interested. ❤