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The Journey of a Writer

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It's been a while since I did anything crazy for love. But, I do remember a time before I was married and I was courting (isn't that an archaic word - do people court anymore?) my now husband.


We were talking over the phone and he told me that he was ill (which he really was). So I brewed him some chicken soup, packed it up and took it to him the next morning before heading to work. A few months later, when his birthday came around, I baked him two different kinds of cake and planned a little party for him. Yes, food was and still is very much a part of our relationship.

I don't know if you would call this stuff crazy. But, I have never done anything like it before meeting my husband.

I love to cook, we both love to eat and we're happy :)
Current Mood:
amused amused
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I think that when you live far away from home, the phone calls you most dread receiving, are the ones that inform you about the death of a loved one.

My maternal grandfather died yesterday. He was my last living grandparent. I was unexpectedly sad. We had a strained relationship, my grandfather and I. I was never sure how I felt about him and couldn't have predicted how I would have felt when he was gone. Unlike my other grandparents, he was not very affectionate and sometimes even unkind to those around him. I think I just wanted to feel loved by him.

Although, I suppose we did have our "special" moments. I remember a time when I was all but three-years-old, I upset him for some reason and he asked me not to come to his home anymore. I promptly told him that I didn't care to and would hereafter only visit my grandmother's home. I don't remember if he thought that was amusing or just plain rude, but we had a few similar encounters in years to come. If there was any indication that he cared or loved me it was that he always complimented my tea brewing skills and when he visited, he always asked that I make him his cup of tea.

Not many of his grandchildren got on well with him, but I do know that there were those who loved him dearly and will miss him.  I could not be there for his funeral being away in another country. But, I was told that everything went smoothly and many people came to pay their last respects. He seemed to have brought some kind of peace in death that he could not in life. Maybe, he had finally put his demons to rest.

It is the end of a generation, a new one has begun and with the birth of my daughter in a few months - it will continue. With sadness, there also comes joy. With endings, there are also beginnings, and so the circle of life continues.
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Does your current occupation affect your self-worth?

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 This is a rather pertinent question to my current situation. See, the country in which I reside in currently only allows me half a life. I am prohibited to earn a living. I can volunteer all I want, but God forbid anyone reward me monetarily for my hard work. 

Volunteering is not beneath me by any stretch. I am always happy to help. Although sometimes, if volunteering doesn't involve improving the quality of somebody else's life, well I am not really motivated to get out of bed early in the morning on a gray rainy day and make the 1 hour trek into the city to sit at a desk in an office for nothing more than the hope that some day....which is looking further and further away everyday...someday I might actually get paid to put in a full day's work or more.

Yes, today isn't one of those good days. I'm not feeling sorry for myself, just very frustrated. It's becoming harder and harder to do this. I don't feel like I am doing anyone any good including myself. 

All I do know is that there is something bigger than me out there. God has a plan, that I can't particularly see at the moment. But, mine is not to question, just to trust and know that this is all going somewhere. Like  Maria Von Trapp said in one of my all time favourite movies ( The Sound of Music), "when the Lord closes a door, He always opens a window".

So, although I'm not feeling very good about myself right now, and if nothing else comes out of this, at least I would have learnt something...in this case I'm thinking it's patience.
Current Mood:
hopeful hopeful
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 This morning I got the distinct smell of Dosas. Now, that would not be strange, except that I was walking past a diner on Beacon Hill in Boston, MA on my way to work.  Tomorrow will mark 3 years since my husband and I moved to the United States from Bangalore (India). I still get homesick, and sometimes I even miss dosas (although it never was one of my favourite foods). 

But, mostly we've learned to adapt in a country not our own. I've come to enjoy the four distinct seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Although I am partial to Fall, which I think is the most beautiful of all the four seasons. Winter used to be the season I disliked the most, simply because it meant walking long distances in tons of snow balancing bags of groceries and trying desperately to not slip and fall flat on the ice. In the last year however, a 1999 Toyota Corolla has made grocery shopping that much easier. 

The first year was by far the hardest, when we converted every dollar to Rupees and were dumbstruck by how quickly the money went on just rent and food. These have been simple years for us, but not devoid of great experiences, much fun, and warm, kind friends. If it were not for our new found family made up of a wonderful blend of Thai, Romanian, Polish, Iranian, Indian, American, and Puerto Rican people, our lives would not have been so rich. They opened their homes and hearts to us no questions asked, and the depth of their kindness will never be forgotten. 

it has also been 3 years since I have had a paying job. For now, I must be content with volunteering my services, in the hope that my time of routine, mundane work days will soon return. I have learned to enjoy the time I have been given, reading more than I ever have and working (not too hard) to become a better writer. It is in this strange land that i finally discovered what it is I want to do and the kind of person I wish to be. Many mistakes have been made, many lessons have been learned. I am a work in progress and I hope to grow stronger and wiser with each passing day. 

I don't know when I will eat a freshly "Darshini-made" dosa again ...I am sure there are several places right here in Massachusetts serving up the stuff, but it is still tailored to the American palate and not authentic enough for me. I could cook up a batch in my kitchen, but that's one of those cooking lessons I didn't take from my mother. So for now, I will be content with the frozen variety (Dosas, Appams, Parathas...). 

They say home is where the heart is. While Bangalore will always be the place I go back to, at this moment in time home for me is in a little town house in Beverly, Massachusetts. That's where my husband of almost 4 years lives too, and hence so does my heart.
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Now this one takes me back to a very good place. Summers as a kid were amazing. I was never inside the house for one. My brother and I were always outside with the neighbourhood kids playing marbles, flying kites, having little carnivals on somebody's terrace to raise money for a cricket set or a badminton net, just anything the entire neighbourhood could use.

We lived right opposite the military grounds and there was one patch of open ground that we were allowed to use to run around and play in. That piece of land now has a 3-story apartment complex on it. The noises of little children playing in the neighourhood silenced for all time. All that remains are the memories, and they sure are great memories.

As a family, and if my dad was home on leave (he worked overseas), we always went to someplace by the beach which for us was at least 12 hours away. I remember that my mom would pack up roast beef sandwiches and fruits and there would be an icebox full or soft drinks. If we drove down to Kerala, we always stopped by somewhere and got a bottle of freshly tapped toddy.

My first time ever on a beach was during one summer vacation when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. My dad took me by the hand and walked me into the ocean, teaching how to ride the waves and just enjoy being the water. He was always by my side holding on with that iron grip of his, like he is in life, always supporting, and loving. I loved those family trips.

Someday I hope to share the same kind of summers with my own children, whenever they are ready to come into this world.
Current Mood:
hopeful hopeful
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The last wedding I attended was way back in 2004. It was of a dear friend who once gave me guitar lessons. I have since lost touch with him and his wife. It was a simple, but beautiful wedding. The bride and groom were introduced by their parents, and couldn't seem more perfect for each other. The groom was beaming next to his new wife. It was wonderful to see them so happy.

Makes you think sometimes though ....in an age where a lot of Indians, me included spurn the thought of "arranged marriage" - There are so many out there, even in today's generation that have done well by it.

I swore that I would never let my parents pick my future mate, and kept my word. I married a man I picked, and while the first year of marriage was sheer hell - there's still no one else I would rather be with. I guess the initial years are tough for many people in an arranged marriage or otherwise. So much to get used to, and things that you once found endearing about your mate, now simply want to make you tear your hair out :).
Anyway,  I am not militantly opposed to arranged marriage anymore...and I do think it deserves serious consideration. You may say that's all very well for me to say since I picked my own spouse and am happier for it...in hindsight I'm thinking there were those relationships that went sour that my parents were right about. They were also right about this one, in that I would be happy.


So, the debate continues ....arranged or NOT...
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
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For too long, i have said nothing, but now i would like to share my opinion on a particular matter. I live in a country where I have no rights. I am not a citizen. I am here with my husband who is going to Grad school in the country. As the law states, i am not permitted to earn any money, and that being said, life is hard. But, whoever said life isn't. That is not my problem however. What i do get surprised at, is when people tell me that it is my choice not to work for money...like i made the law. But, yes I choose to not accept cash under the table, I choose to volunteer my services instead. Is that so bad? To this, I am often told that i deserve to be in the situation i am in.

I am in the situation i am in, because my husband and I, are two people surviving on one income, a student's income at that. But, i do not think that i deserve it. It is strange how people are condescending, scornful, and unsympathetic because you choose to not do something illegal.

Current Mood:
disappointed disappointed
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As I sit here on the brink of another new year, my thougts float back to another time. As a child, new year's eve was the most exciting time of year. It was a time when everybody i wanted to be with gathered together to celebrate joys gone by and toasted to future happiness.

Those days, we had a tradition, one that died out as dear ones went to their eternal rest or travelled away from home. We gathered straw from the nearby dairy. Old clothes were sought out and the "old man" was built. He was filled with firecrackers and set ablaze at midnight. I think as a tiny tot, it scared me, but as i got bigger, it was something I looked forward to with all the other kids in the neighbourhood. Ours was not a wealthy neighbourhood, we were all just simple people from modest beginnings and we knew how to have fun. Those days are gone now and i know they never will return. Maybe it was the people, or the simple joys of the tradition or maybe both, that made it all so magical. All i know is that i was happy then and life wasn't quite as complicated as it is today.

This New Year's eve, December 31st 2005, about 45 minutes away from 2006, I am in a country far from my hometown in Bangalore, India. The only family and friend i have beside me is my husband of the last year and a half. I can't say that it's all bad. True there's no festivity, but there is lots of love past and present to keep me warm this cold snowy night. To the past, i bid you adieu and to the future...here i come - stronger, more cautious, full of pluck and ready to rock 'n' roll. God bless all ye merry gentle folk and HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Current Mood:
determined determined
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Worcester, MA

For the last couple of days, I have noticed that at 5pm,the "bells" on campus (that ring on the hour everyday) have been chiming Christmas carols. Today i walked out of the gym just in time to hear the bells chiming winter wonderland and is if fate would have it, it had begun to snow. It was such an amazing feeling for the eyes and ears, that i quickly pulled on my fleece jacket, tugged it across me and stood out in the falling snow for a few moments, soaking it all in and making a memory for myself.

Current Mood:
hopeful hopeful
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My husband and i take a dance class together. Every Sunday for about four hours, we count and move and turn and piroutte making our way towards learning the Argentine Tango. I find it hard to coordinate my hands and feet to the music and my frustration often leads me to impatience.

My husband's rhythm on the other hand, is intact(although he insists on walking instead of gliding). But he does not know how to lead and when the frustration kicks in, i subconsciously start to lead. I am not sure how much of our daily life translates into those four hours each Sunday.

I feel that, for all of his life, my husband has let his mother lead his life. He is just not used to being the one in control. All my life, all i have done is follow someone else's lead and now left to lead on my own in a situation that really does not require me to lead, i am left confounded and clueless as to how to move on. It is all just so convoluted.

But over the course of the last month, i have learnt to be patient and my husband is beginning to learn how to lead. Whether this will now translate into our daily lives...well we can only wait and see and put into practice what we have learnt and maybe someday we will be in sync with each other.
Current Mood:
amused amused
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