Monday, 19 November 2012

Life and Changing Perspectives

As I await winters and watch the sky go from bright to dirty and then perpetually overcast, it reminds me that nothing stays, not even our strong likes and dislikes. Life has a way of moving on. It was only a few years back that winter did not mean any change since I was in Bombay. It would go on being nice and pleasant and dry for about two months before heat returned bringing in its wake the rains.

Many years ago - almost a decade now, when I had relocated to Bombay, a north Indian friend had told me to dump back in Delhi the warm clothes and the blanket my ma had packed for me. Always a skeptic I took her advice with a pinch of salt and kept hoarded the warm clothes and the blanket for a year before I realized what she meant. I waited for two months awaiting the chill before realizing tropical climate did not entertain winter. It was as if a chapter from my school geography class had come alive for me.

It was a tragic loss for a couple of years while I missed winters with a vengeance. Another north Indian friend working with us wrote a poignant paean to the non-existent winter missing the early morning fog and misty windows. This pining lasted till I visited Delhi in the middle of Christmas season after two years and fell promptly ill with severe bronchitis. I had flown in one afternoon from Bombay wearing sleeveless clothes and though my sister had met me at the airport with clothes enough to keep one warm in Alaska, my systems went for a toss. Thereafter, I tried carting my parents over to Bombay during the months of December and January so, they'd give the chill a miss.

In the last two winters when I have been back in Delhi I have cribbed how it was always nice and warm in Bombay and how I hate the Delhi winters. Till this year, when I have realized, it is nice to get a feel of all the seasons. Though it is too early yet to say how long the feeling would last. But, this shows that I'm well and truly in the city now, since I'm looking forward to getting the coats, jackets and boots out of the closet already.

And, as I get ready to welcome winters by airing the warm clothes and taking some to the dry-cleaners, I'm reminded of a lovely pink Pashmina shawl belonging to a north Indian friend in Bombay being shrunk to the size of a handkerchief by a dry-cleaner there. She used to wrap it around her in the office because the air-conditioner was a torment. I made a note to self never to take any expensive warm clothes to Bombay dry-cleaners since they did not understand dry washing (never needed it!)

I remember having gone to Calcutta a few times during winters and laughing at my cousins because they tend to bundle up just because it is December. They in turn would literally freeze in Delhi winters which I found strange till I relocated to Bombay for a few years. These days, a friend who had relocated to Delhi almost two decades back from Calcutta scoffs and huffs at me when I give in to snizzles and pack myself in warmers even at the mention of the words, December and January. She never-the-less sends her own mom back to Calcutta for these two months so, she'd not suffer.

Humans are a strange species, we get used to anything if we try and even if we do not try, things fall in place and we adjust in time. However, it is always advisable to try rather than crib and pine wasting life.

Each one of us is unique and since we are the main characters in the story of our lives we, need to ensure that it does not crumble or shatter. As an avid dreamer and a writer of fiction as I am these days, I have realized that I often strive hard (mostly mentally) to change a situation to allow happy endings. As situations around us shift and alter we need to do the same - constantly. If something does not work out we need to try another tactic or try something else. To give up, to become bitter, to blame someone or some place for what went wrong goes against you. It tells that you continued being in that situation/ with that person/ in that place despite knowing it was wrong for you. To give up early is also a sign of weakness. One needs to try really hard to make things work out.

The Gypsies/ Banjaras right to move on when they get their fill of one place. Nothing can be more important than fresh inspirations that move life forward. Those who can should move or at least shift to allow fresh perspectives. If we cannot move too much at least our perspectives should be readjusted from time to time. Otherwise, our lives become stagnant and we start forgetting how much adventure it is supposed to be.

So, what are you waiting for? Take up that hobby, adopt that stray or just go on a hike on your own, just walking down the road smiling at trees and looking up at the broad blue horizon will infuse in you that which was missing in your regular life. Take up that challenge which you never did because in it may lie your true salvation.

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