Monthly Archives: April 2012

Chasing Happiness #14

A drive to nowhere.
Ideally last memories of that drive to nowhere should date back to college days. Speed and stop at your will, drive to nowhere on a road to nowhere, but race to the imaginary finish line. Drunk and drugged, wasted enough feel nothing but the adrenalin pumping through the veins to keep the wheels turning till the sun shines on the eyes, clears the fogged vision of the world, peeling one layer at a time. I don’t have such memories. Destination has always been in sight and the path always well charted. Someone responsible with me, or someone I have to be responsible for. I don’t have the luxury of driving to nowhere, sloshed.
But in my recent recurrent dream, I drive to nowhere.
I don’t know where I am going to, I don’t know where I started, but I know the road I am driving on.
I drive a black Lincoln SUV that I don’t own yet.
Things are so clear, I remember the license plate- 7DQT570.
I wear a white and pink top that I don’t own yet.
My children are both in infant seats, but they are six years apart.
They are crying like babies, but both can whine like teenagers.
I turn back to check on them, and the phone rings, I press ignore.
I take a left turn on a familiar street, and that’s it!
The SUV tips over. I hear loud thud. I hear screams. I feel the pain. I feel metal cut through me. I bleed. With a sharp pain in the neck and arm, half of my body slides through the windshield of the SUV.
The SUV has rolled over to the side of the street and there are pink, yellow and white flowers.
I open my eyes, and I see the children standing outside, both now looking like teenagers.
I hear sirens in the distance, but it fades, like the image of the people standing in front me.
I hear my phone ring again, I know who is calling, but I can’t move my fingers to reach the phone.
I want to say something, but my mouth goes dry and I close my eyes.That’s where the dream ends, and I wake up to life with a dry mouth and severe pain in my right arm. I get a drink of water and try to sleep while the images of the recurrent dream keep flashing like pictures of a crime scene. The next morning we analyze my dream over a cup of coffee. A drive to nowhere, because the Bohemian wants to break free. A black SUV because the cello next year wouldn’t fit in the trunk of my car. Two little children, because in my mind they will always be needy and whiny. It tips over, because two months ago, on the same spot, my co-passenger had hit the gear narrating an incident animatedly while I was turning left. I had lost control of my car, and luck was in my favor that I was able to stop at that curb where pink, yellow and white flowers grew. I feel the pain because I sleeping on the side that I have carpel tunnel. Dreams are a reflection of your reality, dreams are a reflection of your hidden desires, he says.  I agree, the desire is to find a closure for a lot of things, the desire is to finally let the heart find it’s way, but such is compulsiveness, it’s hard to let yourself be. The hats rule over the heart.

I am driving to nowhere metaphorically too.
On a cold February night, I began writing my new novel, a historical fiction. Twenty five thousand words flowed on a word document, dancing with joy, to find a place of their own after struggling for space in my head. The finish line was almost visible, but then I decided to get lost in the fog and lose my vision. To clean up the clutter of alphabets, to organize the thoughts, and to edit those mistakes I made, it’s taking forever.  I am not going to blame the ‘mundane’ of the life for clouding my ‘magnificent’ though. I am not going to label myself a quitter either. I know I will do it, one fine day, when I feel inspired enough, when I feel challenged enough, but somehow today is not that day.

While there is no beginning or end in view, here is a milestone, a random paragraph from the story I am writing. Just like my writing, she is on a road to nowhere, with no end in sight, beginning long forgotten.

I will never forget who I was, and I will never become who I am reduced to be. In between both the identities, I will find a world that will bring happiness to me in its own way. When I was born, there was a purpose for my life. When I opened the door that day and gave my hand into his, I was reborn again, and there should be another purpose to my life. There is hope, there will be peace and there will be victory. Everything has happened for a reason. Hopefully, good reason.

Gathering my car keys to get the mommy shuttle rolling on the streets, I decide….

Today is the day to enjoy the drive to nowhere.
To start several projects simultaneously.
To give them the choice to pick their own tempo.
To let them draw their own finish line.
Today is to derive happiness in marking a milestone.

Tagged ,

Chasing Happiness #13

Today while locating a lost document on my computer, I found a folder titled “Chasing Happiness” and realized that I had committed to write about the 3-6-6 ways I chased happiness in my mundane life, but got distracted somewhere in February. It happens. They say if you really want to write, you will find time. Women have written best sellers sitting in the mommy van shuttling kids from one activity to another. Women have built empires with paltry seed money of five thousand dollars.  A friend and his wife sold their wedding rings to start a business.

But no, not me.

May be my desire to write wasn’t as strong as my desire to shuttle my kids around the city. May be my interest in certain business ideas is limited to attending score workshops and checking if I can write myself a check to do what I believe in. May be the swings of the stock market are so soothing, I have found a rhythm, a soothing pattern to seek happiness. May be the Caramel Machiato with suburban wives tastes better than the chai tea latte date with my computer. May be I was just not motivated enough to step out of my comfort zone and take a risk even though I can afford to take a risk.

I made my choices, and I am not regretting my distractions. I have enjoyed each moment of my distractions. I call them mundane. Sitting in the waiting area, watching the kids kick-punch, repeat-rinse the same actions in the class. Feeling claustrophobic in the piano room listening to my children play one note after another, off key until they master the tune. Being bossed around by Mr.Darcy telling me that I am setting myself up for another failure, but still stubbornly charging ahead to learn from my own sweet mistake. I wouldn’t trade the world for any of it. It must get boring, someone said, as I see through your writings. I did not have the have the heart to tell her to read between the lines. I whine, only because I am entitled to.
Coming to my risk-averse life, last summer I decided to take a risk. After staying the same size for almost twenty years of my life, I decided to let myself go, and have my own ‘eat-pray-love’ moment. Without guilt, I polished off every little piece of Tiramisu and Flan I got from the Wholesale market. Without guilt, I ate food notorious to spend a moment on lips and forever on hips. Without guilt, I read books that had nothing to offer intellectually. Life after forty, most of them, even though forty is far for me. I loved them women, who pulled themselves together as they reached a phase in their lives where their children no longer needed them, and husband had learn to live without them. I binged. But I enjoyed. Until I was ready to shop for the next size.

Mother Superior basked in the moment of glory, repeating “I told you so”. Every instance she got, she told me I was ballooning, and I should watch it because I no longer have the metabolism of a sixteen year old. The more she teased me, the more I got defensive, telling her that my husband wouldn’t leave me if I was a little heavy, and since I was done having babies, I had nothing to worry about. I tried hiding in sweater dresses. I wore Kaftan tops and high heels. But California is unkind to a woman bursting out of her skin(?). The sun shines, the beach calls and you realize it’s not a pretty sight. One such day came a very harsh realization that my entire confidence depended on the size of clothes I wore. It sounds vain, but we all have our own dependency. I am not ashamed to admit mine. I might be a thousand things that I can be proud of, but if I am not that particular size, I am not good enough for myself.

Mr.Darcy surprisingly didn’t smile and say I told you so like Mother Superior, but he did get me a two year membership to the gym. I told him, I will buy kettle bells, and I will lose weight miraculously, just like they show on TV. I told him, I will buy shape ups and they will shape me up. This time it was his turn to be stubborn and before I went out to shop for clothes, he pushed me on the treadmill and told me to huff and puff, at least three times a week. You will be fine, he said, just have some discipline, and may be some faith.

Reluctantly I started. It felt good, to sweat. It felt good, to see that I didn’t have to struggle to get into the pants. One thing led to another, and I stopped eating things that I didn’t have to. Tiramisu and Flan included. If the kids ate something, I didn’t feel the need to nibble with them. I accepted the fact that I can’t drink a can of coke, and eat a pack of Oreos and still look my best like a decade ago. This week I will kick it up a notch, and join the yoga classes also to keep them desi woman curves intact. I may be only one pound lighter from the start line, and the finish line might be far away, but I feel good about myself.

Where did I find happiness today?

Today was another ‘mundane’ day of my life, the market opened on time, kids went to school, husband to office, I went to Starbucks with mommy friends to sip a Caramel Machiato and came home to more work. I started a load of jeans in the laundry and sat at my desk to accomplish other tasks on my check list. As the clothes dried, I realized that I had to see someone right after the pickups and I might have to look a little presentable. I changed my shirt, and pulled a clean and fresh pant from the dryer and wore it. Snug! Sung like a sixteen year old’s. Suddenly I got worried that I was drinking the wrong protein shake after working out, and I might have bulked up. Then I realized I was wearing the daughter’s jeans.

Happiness today is knowing you can fit into your daughter’s jeans just as she can fit into your tops.
Happiness today is knowing there is wiggle room in my life, to eat-pray and love.
Oh, happiness today is I wrote a thousand words after a gap of two months!