Tuesday, November 15, 2016

When I didn't Facebook my perfect weekend

I love social media as much as the next person does. I like browsing through articles and checking updates among friends. I comment and like appropriately. I even Facebook all major events with pics and words and also some fun events. It's fun. It's also a good way keeping record. It's nice to see "memories" through the new "on this day". So  a while ago when I had a great, picture-worthy weekend, I was about to upload pics. But I stopped.  I remembered how I would record the moments in my memory instead. I recorded how I felt that day and what made the day "fun" rather what we wore and how we looked.  And I remember it better than many other facebook weekends. 

It's fun to take pics and upload and share them but some memories precious without that process also. That sunset, the wonder and feel of the wind, the smell of sea will not be there in your photos or video but if you capture it in your mind, you will be taken back to that moment many more times.  The same is true for the taste of that lovely looking meal.  Some moments just need to be lived and that's enough to record them.

PG Express: It's worth the wait

Hi! The time has come. The time which I strived for so long. The time which every PhD student dreams of. The near end of this journey. When work is complete  from my side and it has actually been approved. All those years of work, passion, tears and frustration and a wait...a wait so long ...all have finally been validated. It's all worth it if it finally works out. The better it works the more it's worth it. It matters how satisfied the people associated with your work are.

The beginning of the end started last year. A hattric of acceptances and a great presentation. There was a research plan in the first year where I was told "You done a good job. Do us proud". From there we came to a full circle when the same person felt that I had done good and sufficient work. There are people of words and people of few words. The latter give out certain gems that one cherishes forever.

It's one thing to complete the work of your PhD and quite another to complete your dreams regarding your work. I was lucky enough to belong to the latter category. There came a time when I had crossed out all the  ideas which I had wanted to try at the beginning of my research. Of course some worked and some didn't but it gave a great satisfaction to be able to try all. There came another time when there were more goals: a certain category of publications, a certain number of "good" (or reasonably good)  publications, being able to present at a certain kind of conference. I was able to wind up my work with those goals achieved.

Next came another beautiful phase...the writing. Writing your thesis, completing the story which started years ago, it's a unique kind exhilaration. To create that first index and then subsequently add all the little analysis that you thought of. I remembering celebrating that first index. Then to create whole chapters. And finally to create your masterpiece...a dream that probably  starts the day you first look at any thesis: the Acknowledgement.  I spent a few days on my favourite masterpiece to make sure it was perfect and it included all the people who had been part of the journey in some way or the other. Dreaming up lines of acknowledgement had been one of my favourite procrastinations. Writing the thesis is a happy albeit stressful time. It's worth giving a little extra time because this is where you summarise all the work that you did throughout the years. For a while I loved writing my 1-2 pages a day and let myself absorb the feeling of writing my thesis . Later of course I paced up. Later it also became stressful, painful and tiring beyond exhaustion. The sleepless nights turned to sleepless months. Till there came a time when I was ready to let go.

After a period of lull, starts a agony of the wait and the questions and the second guessing. How will someone who has never seen you work find it?  When will  they respond? Will they ever respond? (this starts after a few months of wait). Then if you are lucky, comes a glorious day with the most beautiful words ever :approved! To see the confidence an external shares in your work, to see the pride amongst the people who have seen you work, made you work and sometimes even pushed you to work and know that finally all those years paid off, well there's no better feeling. It gives a validation to every thing you experienced throughout the years, through the jubilation and the tears, through the work and the wait, the ideas and the completion, the panic and the mini-celebrations.

It's all worth the wait.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Dear Zindagi

Time to try something new! In this post, I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda

Here's the Zindagi  video teaser

Dear Zindagi

Hi! It’s been a while hasn’t  it, since I last sat down and reflected with you? Well I have been busy with you as you well know…busy living the life. The older we grow, the more hectic you seem to get and ironically the less time we have for you. We rush to clear school, college, get married, have kids and then wish for them to hurry and grow up. It’s as if we are in a rush to get to some finishing line without realizing that it IS the finishing line. It reminds of Polyanna when she asks  “ where is the time to live?’
Oh, of course I’d be BREATHING all the time I was doing those things, Aunt Polly, but I wouldn’t be living. You breathe all the time you’re asleep, but you aren’t living. I mean living—doing the things you want to do….. Just breathing isn’t living!’

So what I want to thank you for is all the living I got to do while being alive. The small joys you offered: reading the Sunday times with my favourite cup of tea, playing with children, meaningful conversations, writing to my heart’s content and sometimes just a beautiful view.  It’s just that which I am going to focus on now instead of waiting for some ideal moment. Those are rare. Most are just small pearls of joy threaded together to form the necklace of life.

I wish I had known this as a teen when every small test, every small gathering appeared so scary.  The times when 80% marks seemed bad, when a slight ridicule seemed like the end of the world and when friends were limited to a particular circle and thus luck!  I wish I had known then that it was just one perspective which you were showing me. Later I would understand true friendship, value good companionship and gain the courage to rise above failures or just bid my time through a bad phase. Later I would understand how little other people’s opinion would actually matter if one is content from within. Every roadblock seemed mountainous until somewhere along the way I started enjoying your company, life. The basics pieces of life fell in place and I realised the rest are all just speedbreakers. 

Good company of close ones, peace at home, work that you enjoy and occasionally something new to look forward to…isn’t that all that we really need along this journey? Being lucky enough to have these basic ingredients for happiness, I say thank you zindagi.