What is life about? What is my purpose in life? How can I be happy always? Give me all the knowledge. I cant stand people who make excuses of time and money. It gets on my nerves. Yet those excuses are so genuine for most people. It is so cool to say I dont have time for some people. I seem to be in a total criticising mode today. Women have two more deadly excuses- my husband and my children. So those are used time and again for all the things we dont want to do. I know certain youngsters who say we are bored and everything is boring.

What is the ultimate deal? Hum kya karna chahte hain? Life is passing by and we are living it. How do I inspire people to do something more in their lives. Yes we all live, eat , earn, read, travel, party, shop, work,etc. What else now? Do we want to know our purpose in life? I am not talking of being a Sanyasi and renouncing the material world. I am just talking about looking at Now What? Material needs will be achieved and then we will just double our needs. After a point it is always about bigger abd better. The race to finish goes on. Am I looking at life beyond?
I go to the gym for my body, I go to the parlour for my looks, I go to shops to clothe myself and feel good, I buy food to cook and to eat, I shop good things for the house. Eternal quest for better house, better food, better body, better cars, better education. I have taken care of all my phsical needs, material needs, family and social needs Am I doing something for my soul?
It is so easy to say I have all I want or I do everything for myself and my family and I dont want to do any thing more. Then I have just stopped playing. Every learning for the soul heals me. Every transformation cleanses me . Every step I take towards transforming myself, shifts the quality of my life. It shifts my life and my family s life. I move, they move automatically. The question is am I willing to move? There is so much self righteousness that I do not want to look beyond what I know.It does not inspire me. There is no curiosity. And I of course know it all.

Someone said We die, when we stop questioning. Are we dead living our lives? Do we have an urge to do something for our souls?



Back to life and back to reality…… I remember this song from my college days. I am back from My Beyond Feng Shui workshop in Pune. Pune does that to me- so peaceful, so calm and oh so loving.
In the train the guy was playing the flute ankhiyon ke jharokhon se. What a movie and what songs. As a child I cried whenever I watched this film. The music makes me cry still. Films of that genre are made no more. Wonder who wrote the lyrics of this masterpiece.The blind man who was playing the flute and walking with his wife, what did he feel when he heard this song for the first time. You know the wife also smiled in acknowledgement if you put a coin in her hand. One rupee coin that is all I had and all I put. The generosity was in praising them in my writing not by giving them my ten rupee note!
On the pavement a guy was getting his shoes polished. As a bonus, the shoe polisher, polished his dirt filled rain soaked hem line of the trousers. Luckily the shoes and trousers were both black.
I went to my sis in law s office at nariman point. It was like a ghost walked over me. I used to come there often when I worked for the Oberoi. It was office for Enron, the US energy giant which is no more. Used to go to meet the CEO Sanjay Bhatnagar- really hot dude. He was an IAS officer who joined that company eligible and bachelor. The office was the same like ten years back, same dark green leather chairs and beige carpets and an amazing sea view. I think no place on earth gives a some view the way some nariman point buildings give. Not so high that the sea is a spec. This sea view is alive . You can see the small shanties, the fishing village, the navy housing,the plants in the building and your merc parked down.
The office had the energy of Sanjay all over. It is like people leave the place but the imprint is still there. For a few minutes I was completely lost in that time. Enron was rocking and we at the hotel got loads of business from them. They had engineers lawyers and bankers from all over the world staying at our hotels and flying to dabhol. The power project to us was a reality.I still remember one engineers from Bechtel talking about the schools they were opening at the site for the village children and their children. Could never believe the Dabhol project wont get started and the company will collapse. This office for sure had great energy,I wonder what energy Dabhol must be left with. When we leave a place, what energy do we leave behind?

Many Lives, Many Masters

Shivaji Park in the afternoon is really peaceful. The hot blazing sun showing off on its last leg before the onset of monsoons. My favorite temples where Gods are having siesta with the steady drone of traffic. The trees providing what no sunscreen or sunglasses can provide- breeze and shade. As I walk to the temple and then for a cab, I see couples sitting on the low parapet. This is the low seating which runs all around the park. Shivaji Park has two walkways one the broad pavement and the other is the walkway parallel to the footpath. The seating parapet divides the two. Couples are sitting pretty close to other couples.Some young and some not so young. Definitely no one looked like husband and wife to my rose tinted sunglasses. The boyfriends girlfriends were joking , giggling. The intense ones had the woman crying and man wondering now what. One was explaing his life fundas to her and she was besotted. I was wondering will he leave his wife for her. The young ones who had a fight were walking with a gap of two feet between them. The walk will surely cool them off. An old man laid down with his head on his bag and his wife at his head. He put his sweat filled shirt to dry. His leather belt brought tears to my eyes. It was old tattered, the leather gone and I could see the inside skin or rexin. That for me was abject poverty. We dont even let our belt fade before we buy a new one. He must be wearing this for years. They looked completely content as a man and wife.
The temple was getting its tarpaulin covering to protect devotees in the rain. The flower seller was getting ready with prasad thaalis for the tuesday evening rush. Some sales people were writing their accounts and sales call reports.College kids were laughing away. Some having kala khatta golas.I was wondering what happens to all of these people at Shivaji Park in the eveining. Each one of us accountable for so many things and answerable to so many people. Leave the peace of the park and go back to the humdrum of our lives or take a piece of the park when we go?????????

My Cab driver- my Paulo Coelho

The cab driver started talking as soon as I sat in the cab. Very soft spoken, neatly dressed in kurta pajama, even the beard and hair were neat. He spoke in chaste Hindi with a touch of Urdu. Said all cabs today want a minimumfare of hundred rupees per passenger so wont go if the fare is going to be less. He said all of them ride cabs par fark sirf parvarish ka hai. The cab drivers he knows earn from a lac a month to fifteen thousand a month. He said in twenty five years of working he has learnt a couple of things. One is Gyaan/ education or knowledge and second is tandurasti/ health. He said if you can give these two things to your children , it is a job well done. Yeh do cheezen aap ke bacche se koi nahin chura sakega aur inhi se woh aage badh sakega. He said you may have to give twentyfive years of your life and do hard work , then the child will completely be responsible. He kept saying whether boy or girl is born, maa ko dard utna hi hota hai. So she has to spend time , effort and energy on their health and education equally- no differentiation.
Later if your child does not turn out good , it is not your fault. When you sow the seeds, you always think is pedh ka phal meetha hi hoga. ( The tree will bear sweet fruits). If the fruit is not so sweet, it is not the parents fault. The world usually blames the parents. Par har maa baap woh paudhe ki parvarish aise hi karte hai ki yeh meethe phal dega. kami maa baap nahi karte. Har ek mein daag hota hai. Koi bhagwaan ke paas se pura fresh nahin aata. Yahi hai ki hum daag pe jyaada dhyaan dete hai. Daag pe dhyaan na do, parvarish pe do.
He said baccha nani ke yahan jaaye, dada ke yahan jaaye, use aap ko kapde mein lapetna hi padta hai. Baccha kaise bhi ghar mein jaaye, woh baccha hi rehta hai. Rich poor families dont matter.
Baki phir toh, beti ki shaadi ki chinta raees maa baap ko bhi hoti hai aur utni hi ghareeb maa baap ko hoti hai. Phir amir aur ghareeb mein farq kaisa?
He was my Paulo Coelho.

Things I still am trying to figure out……….
What happens to a woman when her son marries and she becomes mother in law ?
Are maternal instincts only for your own blood?
What happens to women when the house help doesn t turn up?
Why do I want to hide certain things till they are done?
How are people living in single families different from those in joint families? Do they love less?
Why do elders keep bragging about their times, their poor health, the lack of facilities in their times?
Why do I use the same tactics to discipline my children?
Do I believe struggling is the only way to grow in life?
Why is it that some people look fresh and clean all the time and I have to struggle?
Why are some houses warm and welcoming?
Why do some houses make me restless? Is it me or is it the house?
Ever since the mobile invasion, how come a call on the landline is never important? The same person calling on the cell phone is exciting?
Why do men and women marry when they dont love each other?
Why do men and women carry on their marriage without love?
Why do I want to do setting before going to Vaishno Devi or Tirupati Balaji?
Why do I use my children as an excuse for all the comforts I want?
How come I now get along with people whom I never liked before?
Why the brokers have no clarity when selling houses? Why no transparency in dealings?
Why people are sweet to me but I dread what they will say behind my back?
How some people have an eye for lovely things in their house?
Why don’t I like pets?
Why some people dont like guests coming home because they ll have to cook?

Venice Mumbai

Vadas in Venice and Sev puri in Vatican is what people eat on dealer trips.

As for me I took a train ride at six thirty am and it was a first for me. People are all dressed to go to work. Bathed hair oiled, gajras in place and lipstick for the more urban ones. Food was being shared at seven am. One lady gave a part of her chapati bhaji to her friend . Standing some people could put full make up that is eye pencil included. There was a slight drizzle in Bandra. Well MET dept will be happy that the rain Gods made their prediction true. Mumbai is really gearing up for the monsoons. The newspapers are the first to start publishing last year s pictures and the havoc the rains created. BMC and MMRDA blame game starts in early May. This time till april they were busy with elections. I took a trip to Alfa and have got three umbrellas for my loved ones. Hannah montana for the youngest and she also chose a Winnie the Pooh rain coat. Elder one stuck to Pink Barbie rain coat. We also have Hannah Montana pencils, erasers, sharpners, colours, bags and pencil boxes for both the children. I have managed to see her song which is top of the charts. The only grace is that Miley doesn t look as dumb as Barbie. In fact she is a very smart girl. Hats off to the people managing her career. They are doing a fab job of it. I had never heard of her and then Devika attended one birthday party. She came back with Hannah Montana stickers which adorn my walls along with the Hussains and the Van Goghs.
Our local trains sure have improved and so have the people. No one complains of heat and crowd. Every one is happy talking, reading or listening to radio.This was all in the ladies compartment. The men have a long way to go. The general compartments were very very crowded.A ride without beggars and vendors is peaceful. The flower lady at Dadar managed to convince me to pray a lot for many days by selling lot of marigolds to me. Like the song Genda phool. I did not miss the Gondola ride.

My tryst with Spas

Suddenly news papers are full of articles of new spas opening all over the city. You read about power ladies at a spa brunch or ads with all non surgical face lifts, tummy tucks, back polishing. I also got an sms from some spa saying my teeth will get polished for free and 15% of on all dental corrections. After reading the sms, I ran to the mirror to check if my teeth needed fixing. Why cant we accept our selves the way we are? Why the changing , fixing or should I say the new buzz word transforming? The multitude of spas in the city scares me. Where have they all got this sudden money from and will they survive five years down the line.I also know that even a sev puri waala in Mumbai makes money, so these guys with all the marketing gimmicks are sure to know their job.

The Spa doctors are all hot looking chics. In medicine, if you are really bad in studies with poor marks and dont get admission for post graduation in the department of your choice then you are sure to get a seat in dermatology. All these spas run full page ads about what they can do. So the new Birla spa has a new flunky doc called Abhijeet Desai whose photo is in all their ads. What is the gentle man s fame to claim we are not supposed to know.
The older one in this game is Dr Jamuna Pai. SHe used to be on the panel for Miss India contests before the new doctors took over. Her clinics have become so aggressive. Once I took an appointmnet. They never tell you that the appointment is with a junior doctor s assistant. She checks you at a table in the lobby of the clinic itself. The clinic is an old small bunglow, well done up with plants and diyas. Then this women , can I call her a doc took over. SHe saw my face and immediately took out a camera and started clicking. I didn t get a chance to pose. She said that is for records to see how much my skin improves. She then filled a long form to know how may people in my family had diabetes, cancer,miscarriages etc. Then she came to the conclusion that I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome PCOS was written in caps on that paper and antibiotics were prescribed. So I told her look you have asked me about my family but nothing about myself. I have just had a baby and the skin eruptions is due to harmonal changes in the post partum period. I cant take antibiotics. Oh!b That was her reaction and she ran to some other doctor who was busy doing laser for one and all. That lady said Koi baat nahi dose kam kar de and some more whispering which I could not get. I was getting more pschyed out by the moment.Our junior doc s assistant comes back and says these are your medicines and show me your arms. i think your abdomen and arms have loosened after baby so you need a non surgical blah blah blah. The ordeal was not over . I still had to pay. At the billing, a fifty year old women next to me with severe skin acne was standing with her prescription. Her medcines were same as mine written in the same order. I paid and fled.I didnt buy those medicines.

Some time later I got inpired by the lovely Kaya ads. Three salons took more than a month to give me an app.I was terribly impressed. App was with doc to check your skin and then recommended treatment. i reached on time early sunday morning. The doc had not arrived and was then going to be busy with lasers. So why dont you take the facial and then meet the doc at a later date. I had to pay so was willing to be the bali ka bakra. The floor up and the rooms were like a hospital. All dressed like nurses. Various white powders and gels were mixed on my face.Some thick non breathable white medical paste was put like a mask. In the end the mask was pulled from the face like in that Tom cruise movie.I asked the nurse how come she joined this, she said she wanted to join a BPO but didnt get the job. Here she got in with no experience what so ever. I got a follwup call the next day. I gave my feedback. I was called for a free doc consultation. It was supposed to be free in any case.
I feel worried about how they fool the public. How some educated and aware people must be paying thousands for getting treated by junior most doctors assistants.

Last year for my birthday my husband decided to gift me a full day spa treatment at the JW Marriott. No, I haven t left him. He just owes me a birthday gift for last year.