Little Brother Marches Ahead.

Board Examinations.
Uff.
Ask any Indian student. Chances are this is the event they dread the most in their lives. In the last year of their life as a school student, to be more precise.

My cousin, six years younger to me,  is someone I mentally adopted the day I saw his face scrunching adorably behind the military hospital room’s glass, safely chugged in the nurse’s arms. For some strange reason, his hitting puberty has had little effect on me. For even the cracking of voice, him growing as tall as me, or the appearance of a thin moustache cannot shake that mental image and memories of the baby boy I planned my summer holiday shenanigans with.
Coming back to the episode, my little monkey sat for his first board examination today. Being the overtly possessive and protective elder sister, I was concerned about how well was he taking in the overdose of advise and pressure every third person gifts you for free in the troubled times such as these. Haha!
Now, the army brat lives miles away from where I put up, but distance doesn’t matter, does it? I decided to call him up a night before, post dinner, instead of doing it the next morning. For I know a thousand thoughts pester you on such sucky mornings, and it’s better to be the Buddha who withdraws into his inner world than being all engaging. So, this is how the conversation went-

T- Hey, Didi!

Me- Yo! How are you?
You know I feel so emotional right now. My baby is gonna give his boards. You’ve grown so early.

T- Hang on, are you going to start reciting sentimental lines now?

M- *laughing like a hyena* Yeah, I’m lined up with a whole lot of googled emotional shit to attack you with.

T- Yaaaaar… Havn’t started studying yet.

M- Whaaaaaat?
Oh! I get it. It’s English tomorrow, right? You are still early, little git.

T- How’s that possible?

M- No, I meant I am glad you decided to go through your syllabus tonight, instead of tomorrow morning.

T- Heheheh I know, I know!

M- You’re so lucky man! I had Physics as the first exam! Imagine my situation.

T- I’ll sail through Physics. Chill.

M- Ae! Stop bragging, ass!

T- How much did you score in English, btw?

M- 95. Not to blow my own trumpet, but yeah… Was the subject topper.
*both of us guffawed for 2 minutes straight*

T- Right. Yaar, I think time management would be an issue for me.

M- Don’t overthink. You’ll deal with it fabulously, baby!

T- Hope so. Hey, join me here in April! Who fucking cares for entrance examinations anyway!

M- Shuddddupppp! You’ll take them seriously. Remember I am dying to see my brother entering the golden gates of NDA, Khadakvasla.

T- Yeahhhh. Pray for me.

M- Always will.
Now go study. Score well tomorrow. And try and get some sound sleep. Love you. See you soonest.

T- Yeah, should get going. Goodnight. Shall tell you how it went tomorrow. Loads of love. Byeeeeee.

I knew he would pull an all nighter, no matter what. And he did. Elder sisters know everything. Everything.
Anxiously, I waited for his call today. And I relaxed only when his excited voice boomed onto the phone- “I am going to break your record, Di!”
“I hope you do, my baby,” was my sole response. My heart gushed out with emotions and prayers for my little one, who was not so little anymore. Quite a realization for an elder sister. Shit. *takes out the tissue to soak in the happy tears*
A toast to our baby brothers, who are out to conquer the world!
We’ve got your back, munchkins!

 

Women’s Day! Anecdote In The Making.

Women’s Day.
Not that I fervently believe in the relevance of celebrating one day for womenfolk, when it should happen all year round, it’s just that this day saw something unusual at my home. And quite an event it was. Now, now! I’ll borrow what Maharani Gayatri Devi had to say about her mother- “it is difficult to describe my mother without slipping into unconvincing superlatives.” I revere my mother in the same manner. She is the only woman in my family who has exquisite sartorial choices. She is, to be honest, one of the classiest women I know. Every female relative seeks her advise when it comes to buying clothes. Even my grandmommy waits for her nod to finalize any saree she drapes, something which makes me giggle, for it seems like a role reversal to me.
So a week before this day, I did something out of the blue and bought a dupatta for her. Big deal? Yes! Since I am the permanent member of the ‘we need her approval’ club, it was quite a move when I decided to gift her that on women’s day. And I proclaimed my intention loudly. As expected, her face scrunched up quickly, with a ‘I hope it’s something worthwhile’ expression sitting nonplussed all over. I had the same apprehensions. But anyway, D day dawned upon us and bang in the morning, I saw her wearing a Fabindia plain green silk kurti. Perfect, I beamed.

 

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I unfolded my surprise and as expected, her mouth twisted. I pestered her to pair my dupatta with the kurti. I told her if anyone wrote it off at her workplace, I’ll gladly take it back for myself. She was hesitant but looking at my determined attitude, she had little choice, I must admit. I, on the other hand, fervently prayed that it garnered praise or else she’ll remind me of my weird choice all my damn life. I was waiting for her to return home like anything. The moment her car entered the driveway, I dashed downstairs to get the verdict.
And voila! Everybody at the workplace raved and ranted about the dupatta, she informed me in surprised tones. I had the last laugh. Though adding bluntly that she  would’ve appreciated it more, had the work been done on a silk dupatta instead on a cotton one. But I just nodded sheepishly. I was jumping with joy. I even called up my grandmommy to gloat about it.
There’s something called a women code. We get overjoyed if a woman compliments our sartorial choices instead of a man. We women do dress up for ourselves and to dazzle each other. While studying at a girl’s college, we had days when we took extra care to dress up and if any classmate was absent that day, she was greeted with a ‘I looked hot yesterday, you missed out on that, lady’ remarks instead of a hello. Haha! Back to where I was, while we were having lunch, my mother was telling me about how they celebrated women’s day at work. I interjected her, politely informing her, grinning all the while ofcourse, that she just unknowingly followed up the International Women’s Day 2017 theme- Be Bold For Change. She looked confused and I took a bow while telling her you did a bold act by accepting that my sartorial choices are exquisite afterall. And we both laughed for what seemed an eternity.

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Keeping the humor aside, be bold. In your choices, ladies, be it for life or otherwise. Take a tough stance and decision, hold the reigns of your life in your capable hands and be confident of yourselves. Do what makes you happy and kick all the bullshit out of your life which threatens to attack your peace of mind and balance in life. Because we are women, and we are all supposed to celebrate ourselves, in every way possible. Love and Hugs to all.

Journey(s)

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And today is a special day. 1st March.

It’s been one year since I witnessed and experienced something magical.

I am talking about my journey to the Dargah of Nizamuddin Auliya.

Yes, I very consciously use the word ‘journey’ instead of ‘visit’. For I wish to draw home the point that there was no temporality attached to it. That brings me to another question- What is spirituality?
It is quite a broad concept, with room for a whole lot of perspectives to fit in comfortably. But to me, it is a sacred experience which touches you deeply, and makes you feel connected to something greater than your own being. As you might’ve read my post about the first encounter with the blessed place, today I stand tall with pride and happiness, as I feel I’ve managed to attain that magical level in my frequent trips to the dargah.
There is something about the Dargah that makes me go “I am here, I am here!” everytime I land up there. It’s the anticipation of something that makes me go alive there. I feel very peaceful just by being there, amongst other devotees. Not to sound pompous, but I feel the Mehboob-e-Ilahi has gladly invited me, as if wanting to see more of me in his home. I cannot say I have always wished for something or the other whenever I’ve been there, but yes, I do manage to have a ‘talk’ with the Auliya, discussing matters I am concerned about or the issues I am caught up with at the time. I just tell him everything and pray that he helps me see light at the end of the tunnel. And it does happen. He helps me everytime, in seeing the bigger picture, the broader perspective, something I feel I cannot, being a mere mortal.
Everytime I cross the Nizamuddin Basti when travelling somewhere, it happens automatically that my hands join in supplication towards the Auliya. I happened to read this somewhere on Instagram that “When God inspires your tongue to ask it, know that he wants to give.” And it’s upto us to believe that whatever his answer shall be, it’ll always be good for us. Allah tells us “I am as my slave expects me to be.” And borrowing these pious words to explain my state of connection with the Auliya, I tell you all that I feel the same for the beloved Auliya. There’s something else I want to tell you readers… If at all you visit the Dargah, do that with hope, love and lots of positivity. If you walk towards the sanctum sanctorum with doubts, fear and negativity, it won’t take you anywhere. Be full of trust. And believe in the magic of the place you’ve set foot in, for a few minutes vanish in a second there.

As a student of Literature, I might as well sound like I’m taking a cue out of Waiting For Godot (Haha!), but it is imperative I say what I am going to-

As a woman, I believe (or assume it’s safe to say so) that we womenfolk have a fancy world deep inside us and we all aspire to it (Be it the kind of life you wish to lead, or the soulmate you wish to spend the rest of your life with, or the occupation you see yourself befitting for, or be it anything else). Don’t ever doubt or question your creation of that pretty kingdom you’ve cherished in your head or on the basis of which you set your standards to choose, live and reject certain things around you, no matter what the world tells you. You have every right to keep close to that secret ideal, however unachievable or dazy it seems to be. All of us are waiting for something/ somebody to arrive. And that, I guess is a kind of waiting I’m referring to ahead. You don’t know when will “it” arrive, you might not know what it is exactly, but in the innermost chambers of your heart, you hope for it. You imagine and live your life for it. And for me, it is the Auliya and the Gods I kneel before to (for somewhere, spirituality and religion coincide for me), who have an answer to that.

And somehow, when I go to the Dargah, I pray my wait ends soon, and I come again and thank the Auliya for providing me with what I wanted fervently. And come again. And again.
May peace be with you all.
And if you have not set out on your journey to the Dargah of Nizamuddin Auliya, do so now! 🙂