Summer Vacations and the “Chatter House”


864be43d8c44cffc537386291ad9a6ed_vector-kid-enjoying-summer-kids-enjoying-in-summer-clipart_1300-1220As I remember from my childhood; summer vacations – a nearly 2 month long break from school was the most awaited time of the year for both us kids and the parents. The Delhi summers can be cruel on kids, waking up a little later than usual, spending few leisurely minutes extra under the shower, playing odd hours, and digging into mango’s and melons timages (14)hat’s what we remember as “Summer Vacations”. At best we would go to our nani’s house ( Maternal – grandma’s) which would be like a hub at this time of the year for all the cousins to together. Accommodating so many of us was not always easy, but the mere fact that we were all under one roof was exciting enough to over-look sleeping on mattresses rolled out in the living room.

images (5)We had the craziest vacations ever (atleast we believed that always) with our mama’s and masi’s (uncle’s and aunt’s) and kids almost all ages. Their was always this inevitable boys v/s girls match for almost everything … like everything

Oh and those scary folklore and horror stories that the grown ups would narrate with all the dramatics once the lights were turned out… was the high point of the vacations. We knew we would be scared and their would be a lot of screaming and screeching but we still looked forward to those scary stories. We knew we wouldn’t go to the toilet unaccompanied all night … still we wanted to know who that lady in white was standing outside the graveyard or how the clock started working backwards…

The boys always coming out of corners to freak out the girls and oh what sadistic pleasures they got out of watching them run for their lives .. hahaha it’s all etched in my memory like a movie playing at a big screen. The pampering that we got from our nani was beyond any pleasure in the world. She would carefully select dishes each day to ensure she has included atleast one favourite for each of her grand children.

The small pocket money each one of us would get, was a small incentive from our nana ( maternal grand father) so atlest we’d wake-up before he leaves for the day. Rs.5 everyday to each one of us. The foodie would rush to the juice stall or the ice cream cart. The gamer would go spend it on a slot machine playing tekkin and smash down, and then their were the girls who would collect the money very diligently and then purchase a game or lots of candies. A trail of followers and snatchers through the house – through the day. And the family game of lotto to add to our saving, the hoots and the boogie calls at the end of the day . It was always chaotic, but my grandparents wouldn’t have it any other way.

…And then we grew-up; had kids. Vacations are a challenge now. It gives me sleepless nights to work our the intricate details for trotting a new global holiday destination. Their are no lazy mornings or leisurely showers or hut-tub baths. We wake up to the morning alarm from the hotel staff and rush-rush-rush all day to explore gorgeous new cites in the world. I  am not complaining, trust me if I had a choice i’d travel the globe already once by now and  be set to explore it yet again. But it’s the pressure that the society puts on the parents that puts me off. Suddenly holidays are about who is going where, for how many days, with whom, staying where, which flight has been booked & it has to be reported on a daily basis to authenticate weather you are really enjoying your holiday or not; by constantly posting pictures and streaming online videos.

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By profession I am a marketer I know we built social media in a way to get everyone hooked on to it forever. But in general I miss the privacy, I miss the simplicity, I miss the innocence. The giggles have been replaced by pouts, the cheers have been replaced by mug shots, the selfie stick has taken over the family photos and the relaxation has been overhauled by this desperate need to constantly be within WiFi coverage area to be able to upload the pictures.  We hashtag food pictures as #foodporn but we forget to savour the flavors while the dishes are served hot. download (4)And if this is not enough the school project is also based on what you did on your vacations this summers. We are catching them young – we are getting them glued on to talk about holidays and extravagant spending – we are training them to talk about what people want to hear and accept rather than feel and enjoy the small yet very important pleasures of life.

42ffd1340930f12b8c8cb71f3e01f6a6Travel is beautiful. It is the true medium of learning.

The right exposure at a young age can shape up the personalities of growing up children beautifully. Let travel be uninhabited. Let their be no strings attached. Free us all of the pressure to justify our holidays to each other.

Just so you know how crazy it must have been i’ll tell you – we were 9 children and 7 adults and the house was really a chatter house with extended family dropping in like hot potatoes. Summer vacations as I remember used to be about meeting family and friends and relaxing. It wasn’t as competitive as today. It wasn’t about #Facebook or #Instagram. I might have few pictures of our childhood but none are online. Being a mom and growing up in a joint family I know I had more fun.

I am shocked


I am shocked and I am writing because I am unable to communicate my shock in any other way.

You would laugh thinking I am silly, but I am shocked because I just read an India Actor Mr. Vinod Khanna passed away today – April 27, 2017.

He was a very senior artist and was a super star much before I was even conceived in my mothers womb. At 70 he scummed to death. I am not shocked because I am an ardent fan, no I am not. He had the #swag many years ago, that most youngsters only talk and sing about now. He was part of the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in #Bollywood. A personality I didn’t know in person or followed as a fan, but the positive energy his smile and appearance brought on screen was just so touching.

I feel that, “someone’s loss is always someone else’s gain.” When at the peak of his career Mr. Khanna quit the film industry to follow #Osho for 5 years, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan gained from the opportunity and became the #superstar. In my opinion it wouldn’t have been possible any other way. It’s #destiny – it’s about being at the right place at the right time ! And it’s about taking life with salt and a slice of lime.

I am shocked because it seems it was just too sudden. Their was no heads up – no preparatory time given to accept his frailing health. It feel’s like a loss ! 

You know the feeling of helplessness and being small and insignificant – the feeling that you get when reality strikes. Like hey “Life happens when we are busy making plans”, & “Death happens  when … whenever it’s planned”

#RIPVinodKhanna

 

Genius is to know when to stop


Why do we need to stop something …. ? Think hard, think quick … or don’t think at all 🙂

But don’t overthink, know when to stop overthinking, and just like overthinking know when to stop over drinking, over working, over playing, over resting, over sleeping, over partying, over slogging, over reading, over eating, over writing …. STOP

Just stop !

051515EIG_routine_fiZK4QhAre you waiting for someone to show you the mirror and then you’d realise you need to change something; that needs to be worked upon !?! But it’s simple, really. Map a week of your life – yes; you read it right, map your day-to-day for a week. From wake up to sleep, from coffee to pee. Map it all. Map the Mondays & map the Sundays too and then next week analyse it for a pattern. It’s no rocket science. Trust me you would be surprised to see so much of routine, you didn’t realise existed at all 🙂

Hmmm…. let’s get to the real deal

Did you find a routine ? Um… same time – same activity, something as small as a few cups of tea or coffee, or the sugar rush daily, or the OCD for washing hands repeatedly, or the lazy noon nap … was their anything that was a routine !

download (5)It’s time to break the routine, I know – I know you might think what’s the need, why disrupt the calm and peace… it’s all working just fine. Okay let’s test it then. Map yourself again the following week, and this time intentionally don’t do the things that were a routine the previous week. I know its not easy, but it’s no addiction right !?! We can handle this much, we are just not having – bed tea as usual, or cracking our knuckles or eating our lunch in flat 10 minutes, oh oh and those gossip sessions – include them in also please. So what if we are missing our work-out session for a week… is it that big a deal ? The work-out can happen at a different routine, the sky won’t fall “Trust me”.

download (6)What I am trying to say is – this pattern – this routine we so unknowingly follow daily, has us captive. It’s time to turn the table around and be the master. Don’t let small daily practices become the boss, and become a need. You’re not making an excuse to skip the daily chores, or do what you need to do – this is an acquired skill to win over your will 🙂

alberteinstein1Genius is to know when to stop so it doesn’t become an addiction. What I want and what I need, should not control me ! We can’t always have access to all our wants and we can’t let that overshadow us. But if their is nothing I can’t do without, if everything I need has an alternative – then their is least dependency. We all have our favourites – but they are just supposed to be favourites not “everything to me”

What should be everything to me is only my independence !

I love my morning coffee, but I make sure I break the routine and while I have morning coffee most days; I infuse a week of noon coffee breaks. Skipping my morning beverage is tough, the first day at work I feel like a zombie, the second day, like I carry the weight of a rock, and the third day, I know it shall pass 🙂

It’s takes only a few minutes of will power, and our mind knows how to take control. This is Genius – not the files I will close after my regular shots-after-shots of coffee.

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For the record #ilovecoffee