Sunday, February 21, 2010

Flying without wings...

I travelled in a flight for the first time, a few days ago. I was excited the moment I saw my tickets!! It was a Kingfisher ticket!! "Wow!", I thought, "Flying for the first time and that too KF!! Ah! Life is a blessing!!"
My sister was as excited to know this as I was! She told me quite a few things that I should keep in mind before, during and after the flight. I did not want to know how it feels when the flight takes off, or lands. Since, I already had heard about nausea and such stuff!!
Putting my foot down at the airport, and knowing that I have to board a flight, felt so good. I was like a kid, smiling and excited all through. That great feeling of being waved at by my sister when I was getting in, was unmatchable. Even getting through the formalities in a rush, since we were late for our flight, kept me smiling. The morning fog welcomed us, when we were being taken towards the airbus. Felt fresh after a long time, and that too on an airport!!
Luckily, I got the window seat. What else could I ask for! When the flight took off, it felt like a roller coaster ride!! And snap! I was flying almost instantly! It was like a dream come true for me! In a few minutes we were between the clouds! It was as if the clouds accumulated to form a new land....
I kept looking out of the window throughout the flight. So much so that I sprained my neck!! :) We were flying over Kolhapur when I looked down at the mountain ranges. They looked exactly the way I've seen in books. Beautiful. Geography lessons would be much better and interesting this way, I thought to myself.
The experience somehow reminded of my childhood. We could see the Nagpur airport from the terrace of our apartment. So clearly so that the runway, the signal, everything was visible. Everytime a plane would roar by, we would rush to the terrace to see it wandering in the sky for a while, and then land. The take offs were more interesting as the plane would turn a few times on the runway and zoom! It was in the sky! That was a regular schedule, running to the terrace for that view. Especially during nights, when we would judge the flight's existence by it's colourful lights. And here I was, sitting in the same plane I always saw from my apartment.
Yes, the kid in me came to life again. The excitement, the joy, the realisation. The smile and the grin on my face could only be justified by me. And I didn't care what other people thought about my excitement or happiness. The experience mattered to me a lot.
And all through the flight, I couldn't help but remember the lines, "I'm flying without wings...."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lessons learnt in silence....

(This was written by me around a year ago or more than that....)
My dad used to say, "The second child among the three always gets stuck!" He was the second among three brothers. Not that I believed him, but even I encountered his point in very few aspects of my life. My grandma was telling us that day, that my dad used to write with his left hand, but he was scolded & sometimes even beaten till he got into the habit of writing with his right hand. Probably he didn't like it, who knows! But he never expressed his feelings about that, as he always suppressed his feelings later in life too. He hardly told what he felt, especially when something he didn't like would happen. He was made to do what he didn't want to do.
I guess most of the kids (at least in India) are bound to do what they don't like to do, just because the parents want it (the scenario is changing now though). Dad never pressurised us in any of the matters. I loved my dad from the bottom of my heart. I appreciated whatever he did. I always saw him smiling & in a positive role, & I know that is how he was. I don't remember a single time when he was negative in any way. Not even when he was going through the pains & sufferings later..... As my uncle said & I agreed,"He fought like a tiger." In those years of his treatment too, he always smiled his evergreen smile...
I liked the man he was - a perfect son, brother, husband, father, friend. To him, friends mattered a lot, like they matter to me & my sister. He had maintained all kinds of relationships really well, & in a way - charmingly.
My family recalls how he used to hang out with friends. Their 'adda' was Coffee House. All of his friends & him used to meet & get into discussions. It was like a ritual for him. Their group was called DONKEY which had a full form too, but I don't remember it. Me & Di are like him in this matter too, except that our groups don't have names! Just give us a cup of coffee & friends! On we go chatting about all sorts of things. I like the fact that we are similar to him in some ways. Recently I started visiting Coffee House too, quiet frequently.
He was a good author in terms of whatever he wrote. His writings reflected the creativity inside him. He used to write introductory paras for Di's debates & speeches. And she won most of them. I somehow think that his contribution was a major factor for her winning. After all, the intro matters a lot in a speech. I too won a few prizes because of him. After his death, Di caught his style of writing the introduction of her debates & speeches, & her skills of public speaking added feathers to her cap. Dad must be so proud of her....
He always used to make both of us feel that he's proud of us....though he never said it....we knew. As my family tells me, he wanted only girls when mom was pregnant. He was proud since the day he became the father of two girls. When both of us were born, he distributed sweets to most of the staff in the hospital!! He had decided that his first girl will be named Anupama (after the movie by that name). It just amazes me how confident he was that his first child (& later the second) will be a daughter!!
He brought us up making us feel that we are the apple of his eyes. Infact, he always said,"Anu is my right eye & Niru is my left eye." When he told me that, as a child I would be immensely happy, & I still am. I still feel the excitement of those words & I'll cherish them all through. At his funeral, I didn't cry much....till Di came & reminded me of these same words....I was unstoppable after that.
His death made me feel less powerful. May be because I lost his support, his faith, his confidence. Whenever I am down or feel undecisive, I miss him the most. Because I know, that he would've smiled at me & my decisions. He would've believed in me. It would've been much better if he was around....I miss him...
I used to hear my friends say (& still do), that my father scolded me or beat me....And I would say to myself,"Dad never scolded me, forget beating!!" Infact when mom used to scold us or raise hands on us to beat, few times he would tell her to stop! That's how he was. I specifically remember one time when Peddamma came & asked dad to scold me because I was teasing her or something....He just said "Niru" in a slightly raised voice than ususal, & that's it!! I teased Peddamma all day saying that I told you he wouldn't do that.
He used to give Di & me different pet names, which changed periodically, sometimes based on current affairs! Like Akdu - Pakdu from Jungle Book, Budapest - Bucharest, Trinchomali - Battikalova, etc. Di was more than happy when she visited her Pet name City recently (Budapest). I am waiting for my turn....
Dad taught us everything about life in his own ways. He gave us freedom at the right time, & restricted us when he felt like (which was hardly ever). We learnt our freedom & limits quite well, & later he didn't have to tell us!!
He was a very calm man. Less talkative. But still silently eloquent. I could see the charm in those eyes, the love for his family, for life....
He took things in life as they came, but with that unmatchable, evergreen smile.
I learnt that from him.