June 26, 2015

Experiencing happiness

Every one of us has days when we are down and about, and those days when you feel you can step up and do right about anything. On one of the down and about days is when I came across a friend who shared this course on LinkedIn, which was to be launched on Coursera, titled " A life of happiness and fulfillment". I thought about it a lot, and there has been many conversations which I have had with B about how I do not know really how to be happy and when I can be really sure that I am on a path to happiness.

And being one of those days, I decided to sign up for this course, and set my life straight, maybe with the help of this professor. All this was almost a month back, and I marked it on my calendar to not miss it too. This month the course started, and I saw myself watching each of the videos, answering the questions, making the effort to take up the course with all due respect. I did not even expect this from myself knowing that I am usually tired, or sleepy in between T and work and planning for my months ahead.

About the course, I was very happy with the way it was sectioned, delivered and the amount of research which went into it with guest talks etc. Defining happiness, assessing when and how you are happy, achieving that happiness, are all covered, and as a student, you are made to assess yourself and see the change in yourself with the progression of the course. One aspect of the course which I really liked was the concept of ' Flow'. It is very interesting to note how the same activity can result in a positive or neutral outcome, completely based on your mental state, and if you are in the ' flow' of matters.

Happiness in life is very much linked to your job, with over 50% of your day being occupied in your work environment, it is very important that the work that you are involved in, motivates and invigorates you from within. And what do you do if it doesn't? That is a question which we all know is for us to answer, but then there is a possible right methodology to employ to achieve this. That is something which I again found so beautifully explained in the second module of this course.

There are many times logically we know what is the right path, but when these have to be pointed at ourselves, we look at the path very differently. We deal with ourselves and our failures, especially, in a different manner than how we would otherwise deal with the same situation, when it has befallen a friend. Understanding how to deal with yourself is also a huge part in imparting happiness to oneself.

And the final deal which I am most thankful for is that I got around to thanking someone who made the most important impact in my life. I wrote an email expressing gratitude though these thoughts have always been on my mind, and it was simple for me to put it down. But, the fact is, this gave me the opportunity to get this doe and it did feel real good!

May 27, 2015

Book Review: The House that BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan

Anuja Chauhan's new book, The House that BJ Built, was sure to be on my to- read list after Those Pricey Thakur Girls, which I thoroughly enjoyed. She has a way of bringing in situational humor to play and setting a beautiful scene in your head through detailed descriptions.

The House that BJ Built, is a sequel, set almost 20 years after D gets married and the next generation is grown up and working their magic in the world. Their ancestral home being the crux of the story, as the title suggests, and how this home brings the once separated sisters (and their kids) from across various states and countries. B's daughter stays at the property with BJ and runs a tailoring unit catering to designer whims and fancies of customers abroad. A's son, Samar, is a new and upcoming Bollywood director, who falls into a row with the film fraternity and runs off to his step - grandfather's abode at 16, Hailey Road to sulk, lie low and spend some time with him after a long 3 year hiatus. BJ foresees how there might be property related disputes, and tries to dispose off the ancestral home and hand over the inheritance to the heirs , but that was not to be so, and we have his sudden death and Pandora's box being opened up with a rolling list of impediments in the face of the sale of 16, Hailey Road. And to top it, we have Samar, left with the responsibility of seeing to the correct disposal and disbursal.

As the story proceeds, one does get a whiff of Bollywood, not talking about Samar, but the plot and the twists and turns which roll out with it. Having said that, the writing and the flow is beautiful, which does make it a very gripping work. The eventual ending is predictable from way before the ending, but the turn of events which lead to the ending kept me at it.

The writing style and the author's capacity to incorporate humour is the same and to the same effect as with Those Pricey Thakur Girls. So if you enjoyed the previous work, this is a surely one you would not regret picking up.

Rating: 4/5

May 4, 2015

Week 3

By the point I was to leave for Trivandrum, I think I was more excited than what T was.

If you had asked me till a week before, maybe I was talking about the adjustment, killing the boredom, planning on activities for her and all. But, right then, all I was thinking was what all do I take for her from here :) And she has been away just a month.I had gone to the point to see what are the things she would have missed, things like her favourite triangle cheese, marshmallows, bangles and some new books. That was pretty much what I knew she would like the most.

When I went to pick her from her summer camp after getting home from the airport, I had a girl, running to me, forgetting that her ammumma was there right beside me. She sat glued to me in the car, and lunch had to be fed by me, and she wanted to colour with me and all. And this ran well into the next day too! But, yes I think after a month, I was enjoying the time we were spending together and she was thrilled to show me around my own parents place!

 But all in all, I know for sure that she was spoiled rotten with all the attention and everything practically left to her wishes, unless it is grossly wrong to be allowed. And obviously, like I always believed, Ruby was a real puller for her. She was so occupied with her that she really did need little else to be entertained.

Now for the re-settling into the routine life in Bangalore. But, for the girl she is, she is off to summer camp here after just coming into Bangalore the same day and happy at it too!

April 17, 2015

Week 2

As three weeks pass, now my parents seem to know the energy and activities which are required by T to keep her occupied through the day. Being Kerala, there was a state wide bandh ( strike) one of the days last week, which meant that her summer camp would be off for the day. Amma was truly worried as to what would the activities she would engage her in, and how she will be occupied sitting indoors. It is really hot and humid during the summer months, so moving outside during the day, was quite impossible. 

I was surprised with the solution Amma came up with!


She decided she is going to stitch a dress for her, using the time she had with her at home, and it being an activity which T has never been involved in, it was a completely new experience for her. Being measured, and then watching the fabric being cut, and sewn into the dress. She was thoroughly thrilled with her new dress and she even got to affix a stick on flower at the end all by herself! Anyhow, that was a day well spent by both of them, though Amma did say that she is certainly a handful and also, she did agree that if it was not for the summer camp, T might just have been bored and would have wanted to come back much earlier.

But after these 2 weeks, I see that her frequency of wanting to talk to B and me has certainly increased! Does that show boredom or missing? I am not really sure.
But she has asked me way more times as to when I am coming to pick her up and when my office has holidays. Now that I am just a week away from going to Trivandrum, so I guess now she has a date to look forward to and that should let the last week pass uneventfully.

And at our end... I think I am thinking last weekend around the corner when it will be just B and me at home... Its gonna be back to running and shouting and planning weekends. Must get to some awesome weekend brunches to celebrate this successful attempt for both of us!