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This week completes 6 years of married life along with a beautiful 9-month old boy to show how wonderful this journey is and it all started with the truth

 

Photo Courtesy: Sri.ram Creations

 

The Plan

“No, don’t do it man” . Srinivas scolded me. He was my colleague and a good friend.

“I must tell her”. I was adamant, due to a sudden need for righteous.

“If you want to propose  to Sushma , go ahead. But why do you have to tell her about Moushika? You are not in a relationship with her. You were just talking to her on the phone for 2-3 months and going to stop that anyway after you propose to Sushma”

“I see absolutely no reason to tell Sushma about another girl while proposing to her for the first time”. Srinivas said with a look of bewilderment, he could not understand why I planning to ruin a relationship even before it started.

It was true. I wasn’t cheating on Sushma or doing something that I will regret later in life. I met Moushika in an Art of Living class, she was a very nice person. We sat next to each other for the 4 day course and became friendly enough to exchange numbers.

I would call her sometimes and have friendly conversations. Later on I became bold enough to flirt with her over the phone. But it was going nowhere, I wanted a relationship and get married, she was just interested in having friendly conversations over the phone and laugh at my jokes.

That was it.

But somehow I felt and believed that any proposal to Sushma should eventually lead to marriage and I wanted to be completely honest  to my future wife!

“No, I’m going to propose to her today and tell her about the other girl”, I repeated my decision firmly to Srinivas, determined to cleanse my past deeds.

Srinivas was visibly annoyed and realized he could not help avert a disaster.

OK, If you are willing to dig your own grave and bury yourself, go ahead!

The proposal

That evening, I asked Sushma to meet at the coffee shop within our office campus. We talked over the phone just 4 times before that and she agreed to meet me expecting a friendly chat.

The minor details of our chat are a blur to me now, maybe because that moment was so terrifying, I was going to propose to the most important person in my life (at that time) and knew that I would ruin it  with my new-found honesty.

and so it happened…

The conversation started in a  casual tone and I tried to say it many times, the 3 words would almost come out and then I would lose my nerve just to continue blabbering about random stuff. This cycle would repeat and at that time it felt as if I tried saying it a 100 times and chickened out every single time. Finally, I could not hold them any more , I mentioned our recent conversations late into the night over the phone and looked straight into her eyes and said

I like you

There I finally said it. The 3 words to show that you are a cool and confident guy, but secretly meant that I was desperately in love with her and hoped she would feel the same.

But, she did not feel the same way, and to her, we were just friends. That was it.

Everything came crashing down, I’m sitting in front of this beautiful girl who was one of the nicest persons and I could NOT be with her. However, I expected this reply and knew this was true. Now, all the years of frustration and lack of courage to ask a girl out came crashing to me. Yes. I knew it! I would always be the friendly guy to all the girls and never be the man enough to attract them. This felt like someone sucker punched my ego.

Guess where this situation was heading?   I was on the verge of creating history for the worst proposal ever.

The disaster

“I know that you do not feel the same way. You assumed we became good friends because of our deep and long conversations” I was trying to save face by showing off my intuitiveness to read her mind. She was silent. I should have stopped than, but my ego was hurt. So, I rambled on.

“It’s fine, I understand that you don’t have those kind of feelings for me”. I was trying to act casual even while drowning in self-pity.

She looked apologetic. I was getting angry.

“It’s okay Sushma. I knew this would happen. But I didn’t want to just waste our time by continuing this so-called friendship, while secretly hoping to move away from the friend zone. So, I preferred being straight forward”

I was angry now, it was finishing before it even started. Temporary insanity took over and I vented out in frustration,”Look, I’ll make it easy for you to say NO. I’ve actually been talking to another girl for a while” . I said those words slowly and with coldness.  She was shocked. I guess she didn’t expect me to be an ass!

Then I stood up and walked away leaving her there without even a goodbye.

I was mad now and could not believe what happened. The situation was bad before and now it was a disaster.

On the drive home, I could not contain my anger or sorrow and called up Srinivas.

“It’s all over man”

“Why? What happened? What did you do?”

“I proposed to her but she was not ready. I got mad and said that I will make it easy for her to reject me. Then I told her about the other girl and before she could respond, I walked away”

“What!”. He could not believe I would ruin it so badly.

“It’s all over now. Screw it”

to be continued…

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We hope

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The best day of my life again! I’m too surprised to feel the joy as I stare at misty eyes and bumbling words, within moments it sinks in. oh wow! Oh no..again too many problems that need a solution . Bah! who cares, it’s just awesome. It was so cool that moments ago we were discussing the 2 most important life goals for each other while feeling despair in not being able to reach them. Now, it’s all changed…

I hope know that this post will break the most unbelievable streak of chronic procrastination. Let the words go….

 

Words

are

whispers

Smile

is

gentle

Eyes dancing

trying to twinkle

through a

misty joy

My questions

run into a

Surprise!

What do you say

when

you don’t know what to say

a kiss and a hug

is the only way

believe

life is here

 

Sushma

It’s Peaceful

Soft music playing

Eyes are misty

But

I don’t need them open

to see you

My fingers caress the air

now and then

I don’t need to actually touch

to feel you

But

My fingers still raise

I know not

Why?

and

Every-time they raise

 a surge,

of love?

Doesn’t matter what

“I smile”

After 4 years

I still feel the same

and

“more”

much more

it is no longer

LOVE

love doesn’t cause this

A

spontaneous welling up,

to my surprise

a drop falls

followed by another

This is not supposed to happen

I’m a man!

strong and willful

But

I now know

finally

what I knew all along

I’m just not in love

this is life

Mine?

no longer

what is life

without

A

Heart

Mine flew with you

So don’t despair

my love

You have company,

It is I

He was lying in the bed, thinking, for the 1000th time, it seemed – Why couldn’t he just write. “Why in the Hell’s name can’t I write. Damn you! . You are going to die miserable with the pen still in the pocket”.

The signals were all there. He couldn’t work, his life was in pause. His wife almost gave up on him and He…Well that was one thing he was NOT doing – giving up hope. He could never do that, despite all evidence of loafing around, escaping into the world of sexual gratifications, playing games for mindless hours, keeping busy with chores. These were one of the few things that distracted his mind from the real problem.

This was like the worst nightmare and just as in a dream, the real one could see himself running around trying to dodge the real questions. Just like the game he was playing, he was running towards his enemy, his worst ever. He just had to shoot down that doppelgänger who was causing all the misery. but in the last moment fear made him turn aside for a brief second and that was it. He lost again.

So many thoughts, thoughts just kept pouring out. The whole world around him was sleeping, but he could not, every night he made a wish “One day God. Just one day, I would like to get up and be the artist that I desire to be”. But then it would be morning and his groundhog day would start, just as in the movie.

“ENOUGH!”
“ENOUGH!”

Now there was screaming. It was his own, but for the outside world it never came up. His heart was tearing up inside, he was swallowing the scream of frustration and it was imploding inside.

and then calm….

He knew what he had to do for now, this night, this moment. A little sunshine through his darkest storm. All he had to do is just get up and write something.

He decided not to think, not to try hard, not to get excited or depressed, not to get hopeful. There is no emotion. He just had to type something.

and this is what he did and doing…”I’m ok now. You can stop!”

And so this piece is done and sent out to the world RAW…

Thank You Steven Pressfield for your wonderful book “theWarofART“. For all the people out there, who have even the slightest inclination or the desire to create something, this book is a wonderful gift to yourself.

Simple Truth

 

Words

were always easy

Truth

was always hidden

Simple

as they sound

 

Words pour out

just to

stop

at the edge of my

mouth

 

“Why?”

My Heart demands

“Not Now”

My Brain throws back

“But it is the truth”

 

The struggle

was a year

old

always losing

society, family, religion

were reasons

against it

love

was the only strength

for it

 

Twenty Ten

was all then

Now in ’11

is when

I tell myself

I CAN!

 

Tell

the world

what is

simple and true

in

my words

honest and humble

for

my angel

beautiful and true

 

I, as flawed as possible

love, as more than ever

You, for now and forever

Sushma, the first ray

of

my new dawn!

143

in our code 🙂

 

This was part of Jingle’s Thursday poetry rally.

Thanks Jingle

 

This poem won me the perfect poet award at Jingle’s week 37 Rally. I nominate Kavita for the next week.

 

A poem for you

is worth all the awards from the world

A word from you

is worth all the words from the world

A smile from you

is worth all the happiness from a flower

love from you

is worth all the good things of this life

Two Words

to

Jingle

From US

Thank You!

 

I was staring down a path which looked impossible to step into. Large dark boulders gleamed beneath the rushing waters. Standing on a 3-inch ledge, I was half a step away…This was the edge of my world.

One step would change my life forever or end it NOW.

and then I stepped back.

Simple drive

We were just driving back to Hyderabad from my home city, Vijayawada.

We crossed a canal. It looked nice, brimming with water, but I was in a hurry. Another one came up shortly and I crossed that too. Only, my friend wanted a closer look.

I turned back….

The first touch

Just like most water bodies with bridges in India, this canal also had steps leading to water on both sides of the banks.

The water looked irresistible and we climbed down to dip our hands and feet. Water looked fresh and cool to our touch.

Anytime I get a feel of beautiful water, I get an uncontrollable urge to swim around.

But there was a strong current.

I never swam in large water bodies and the strong current brought back memories of news articles of drowning young men.

Kids embarrass me

This looked like fun

There were many locals around, bathing and swimming. A few kids were using our section of steps.

They looked perfectly at home swimming around the banks. A few started getting on the bridge pillars, climbing over the bridge.

Wow! were they going to jump?

and then they leaped into the water, and dogpaddlead to the shore. I was standing there with an open mouth.

The kids were living one of my dreams. I always wanted to try this and never had the courage.

(A quick background: Very few Indians learn to swim. I was part of a very small, exclusive minority in my country)

Seizing

You always hear the words “Seize the day” or “Seize the moment” . This was a good time to do that and JUMP!

“It looked scary, but the kids could do it.”

“The current! It looked too strong, what if I get swept away.”

“It was now or never.”

The kids were all smiles and egged me on. For the 100th time I asked them if it was easy, YES YES YES was all I heard then.

I ran back to the car and practically leaped into my boxers.

Chickening out!!!

I moved to the railing of the bridge. The water looked a long way off. The kids were all round me, supporting me.

Then I went over the railing and stood on the 3-inch ledge of the supporting pillar, never letting go of the railing.

Oh Man! Water appeared 50 feet away.

The current was very swift and I could see dark boulders below the water. I kept asking for assurances from the kids. They were very patient with me.

“Anna (elder brother), Jump to your left not to your right. It’s deeper”

I was frozen. This was the scariest thing I had ever done. One kid jumped from top of the railing to show me it was alright.

Suddenly my mind started making up all kinds of logical excuses, a cover-up for my fear. I wanted to test out the water with a quick swim.

I climbed back. chickened out

I went back to the steps, dived in for a quick swim. The water was cool and as expected there was a very strong current.

The cool water renewed my courage and I hurried back to my edge.

Leap of Faith


Once again, I was back at the world’s edge. My heart was going wild with excitement, fear, and what not.

I would have liked to say that my life flashed before me, but I just had one thing in my mind – the black “abyss” .

Damn! I couldn’t do it. I was frozen, stuck in this moment. Status – quo!

We came up with a countdown system

3

2

1

….. No Jump 😦

A 100 things were going in my mind..

“Jump! Keshav”

“c’mon you can do it”

“Jump for the blog post at least”

“Dammit! Dude, just move”

“JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!”

“J-U-S-T  DOOOOO……………..”

IT!..and I was off, letting go of the known world, flying through a dream, cutting through my fear.

In a second, I hit the water feet first, plunging through the depths. All sounds was cut-off. My mind blanked out, there was just one thought – I DID IT.

Even before I resurfaced, I knew this was over, I was going to swim to safety.

All of this happened in less than 2 minutes. I tried two more times. This was one my best adventures.

A video of my second jump

My support team

Next Target..Hogenakkal 🙂

 

Every Year

For 30

Always me

Boring me

Selfish me

 

This Year

there’s

NO

me

There’s just

words

sometimes

rhyming

strung together

joining you

and

me

 

Before you

thank

me

know that

this is from

NOT

me

 

An Angel

believed

in

me

Loved me

Helped me

Saved me

She

gliding along

with

her wings of beauty

and

a

heart of gold

Me

and my words

flowing along

up on cloud #9

in

2010

 

 

Image by Iantonana

3 AM. I’m out of my bed, with this intense urge to tell the world, while at the same time, I’m shouting inside –

Follow your dreams! Be Better. Do Better!

I keep repeating these words everyday, multiple times, consciously and subconsciously. It started as an affirmation, changed to an order, became a prayer, a background noise and finally a silent scream.

Most of us have a similar version of this running in our heads, a silent scream only to be stifled by our so-called “rationale” mind.

“It is impractical”

“Stop day dreaming”

“What would your family think”

“You know you will fail”

“No clue”

But in the end, as Seth Godin says “The Lizard brain” takes over at the slightest hesitation, shoving your dreams, your art, your right for creation down the abyss of day-to-day living.

So STOP! and just hear me out.

For the last few weeks (or months) a new rationale has crept into my regular dream, which by the way, is following my passions in life.

Children!

For all the fathers and mothers or the soon-to-be ones out there, think about this reason. Our children are the most important things in our lives. We transform ourselves to selflessly give to them.

Passing on

Your children will see what you’re all about by what you live rather than what you say – Dr. Wayne Dyer

One of the most important things we try to pass on is our wisdom, a hope for a brilliant future for them.

We teach our children to live an ideal life so they can become great artists or anything. We tell them that the world has no boundaries and that our mind is limitless.

Our children are smart, they can see right through. Their love shows them who we are and if your words say one thing and your life says something else, they would learn that.

For example, this post would be more valuable if I did/doing all these things . Words without action soon lose their sheen, the world needs proof.

Set an example

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means – Albert Einstein

We work hard to provide for our children. A good education, property, money and more. All to make their life easier and better.

Modeling yourself as an example is even more important.

Children whose parents have worked towards their dreams, have an easier time adapting to a similar life goal.

But most of us go after the money and we are willing to do any work (lose our integrity also) to get that. All in the name of our children.

My friends, that is the easier route. It is visible, you can tag it with numbers, 1 crore and your did it. But understanding our purpose to create or our right to realize our dream(s) is a much more confusing human aspect.

Harder, But Still…Just do it for them.

So the next time you find yourself arguing for sticking to the world’s most boring job, for your children’s sake, change tracks, convince yourself that you are good enough to pursue your dreams.

We are their first heroes. Lets follow the path that we believe in – for their sake!

I had to put this thought down, came up while I was reading the parenthood chapter from Simple Truths.

Before (starting) Update:This was a few weeks ago.

As I write this, we (Me & Srinivas) are all set to leave for my friend/roomate/college junior’s wedding.

Start Time: 9:30PM IST

Travel Time: 3.5+hrs

Distance: 200+kms

Mode of Transportation: My Car

Driver: 🙂

Wedding Muhurtham: 1:30AM

Would we make it in time?: HeHe…No Way

Would we make it in one piece?: God!I Hope so.

For the ignorant, Muhurtham is an auspicious date+time when the couple will be announced as married i.e typically after the Groom ties the auspicious Mangal sutra.

The round trip is around 8 hours with an hour or two at the wedding ceremony. Well we all know what that means – ALL NIGHT ROAD TRIP!!!!

Pointers  to myself

Don’t fall asleep

Don’t race with trucks

Drive slow (Yeah..Right!)

Don’t lose your way

Watch out for speed humps

Don’t fall asleep

Facts to ponder

I was the only driver

We didn’t know the way

I fell asleep on the wheel twice before

My spare tire was flat

Well the conditions were not favorable, but luckily, Srinivas was as ignorant (careless) about the problems as I was. We were just happy to go on a road trip.

After! (coming back)

We were off! But I had to warn Srinivas

“Keep talking to me or else I’m gonna fall asleep”

After an hour’s drive, we reached the 4-lane highway, not a common sight in India. This was a nice surprise

GPS – Follow the line

When I told Srinivas about missing out GPS on my bro’s iPhone, he grinned and whipped out his shiny Samsung phone with GPS. Wow! Now I got a chance to test it out.

FYI – I never used maps or GPS before. We always traveled the old-fashioned Indian way –

Go straight.

Ask a Guy.

Go ahead more. Stop.

Ask another guy.

Repeat this until you get to your destination!

Break

We took our first break at a small dhaba (kind of like a hut-sized cafe). One of the best things about a road trip is a casual chai (tea) right next to the highway.

After another hour’s drive we were at Nizamabad, 30 kms from our destination -The town of Bodhan

Hic Hic!

Naturally neither of us remembered the name of the function hall, and who writes down things today.

We used the old fashioned way to find out. Bus stops are the best place to find homeless guys. We did find someone who woke up….

“Hey..So..ummm…We need to go to a marriage. Do you know if one is happening now”, we asked sheepishly.

“Go straight”, the guy answered. He could barely stand.

“We were looking for this big hall owned by the local MLA”

“Go straight”

“Sure? Straight?..umm..ok”

This guy was dead drunk. Now can we trust a drunk guy to tell us the right directions. You know what they say – You always tell the truth when you are drunk!

Turns out he was right and we reached the marriage hall at 2AM.

Happily ever after

Wedding hall


My friend, OKC was happy to see us.  He was sitting on the stage, right next to his soon-to-be wife.

OKC works in Australia. His marriage as most marriages in India, was an “Arranged Marriage”. After a careful screening process (Family background, education, caste, financial stability) a bride/groom is selected by the parents and children generally accept that choice.

A tried and successful system that’s been working for ages.  The couple looked great together and OKC had a beaming face, trying to suppress the excitement 🙂

We were in time to see him tie the Mangal Sutra around the girls neck and all the elders trooped onto the stage to bless them by sprinkling holy rice grains on their heads.

Groom tying the mangalsutra

The marriage (anti)musical band tried their best to deafen the crowd. They managed it very well with a lot of drums. I guess the louder they are, the more, they get noticed.

Journey back

Highway Dhaba


We started back at 3AM, a dangerous time to drive. Sleep always tries to overpower you at this time and you never know if a truck driver is half-asleep.

After an hour’s drive, I was feeling drowsy and so we stopped at a bhaba. This one was cool with make-shift beds, a loud TV in the background and a sleepy woman.

I love to see these beds, they are so crude and very useful. Anyone can take a quick nap on them (I think).

A chai (Hindi for Tea) felt good and refreshing and we were back on the road.

Chai (Tea)

Still using firewood for the stove

Men and Women

I needed to bring up something to keep us talking till we reach home. We found a very debatable topic – Can Men and Women become good friends?

The good thing is Srinivas said “Yes” and I said “No Way!”. That started a very animated debate. It didn’t matter that we were both relatively inexperienced, we considered ourselves subject matter experts.

I won’t dwell on the details or the outcome. But I do think that I was right 🙂 (My Blog..so I win)

Srinivas concluded that I had ego issues and had to read “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle.

The last test – FAIL!

We got so involved with our conversation that we didn’t even notice dawn coming and just like that we were in Hyderabad! The time was 6 or 7 in the morning. I dropped Srinivas at home.

But the dangerous part of the journey was yet to come. It happened before and it was happening now. Now that I was inside the city, my body automatically relaxed too much.

I was falling asleep behind the wheel. My eyes would close down and then half way through snap open again.

What the !!!!

I think my brain registered that being in the city was like being in my home, so system was shutting down.

In the 30 minute drive through the city, I dozed off for 5-6 times. One time I just followed a bus into the bus stop with my eyes half closed.

This was scary, I was losing control. I did the only thing possible – called up Srinivas and asked him keep talking until I reached home.

and then I was home, a quick bath and I was off to bed for the next 9 hours.

Lets make this short!

Do you write?

Did you ever write?

Why don’t you?

Everybody has a story to tell. For most people it runs in the head, a few people (family,friends, wife, children) close enough will hear it.

Some are experts at telling their stories, they get animated, lively, their narration draws a beautiful picture in the listeners minds – quite a talent!

Then some write their stories and bring joy to the tens or hundreds or thousands or the millions who read them.

But a bigger story is about how they struggled to bring out the “story” to all these readers. Sometimes the journey is even more fascinating.

The words

have no flow,

yet they pour out

for the world

to follow.

Groomed in their prime,

sentences crafted in their midst

A string of words

it seems

But a story

it is…

and as my friend, ollin says “It is poetry”

Ollin is one such artist who crafts his words into brilliant yet easy-to-understand symphonies on his blog – A story of his first Story (Novel).

After reviving my blog, I searched the blogosphere for professionals who can inspire me. Ollin’s blog captured my attention – He was writing down his journey while he was creating his first novel.

His blog is aptly named as Courage 2 Create – It does take great courage to create a novel.

Give Him-A-Break!

Ollin is trying to support himself while he’s establishing himself as a writer – no easy feat. He’s gathering support for a writing job on a professional blog.

As a BIG Thank You for all his writing, this post is a request to my readers to vote for him as a writer for a “Happy Mood” blog 🙂

http://www.sam-e.com/job/entries/668

(For the enthusiastic – You can vote separately from different browsers)

He’s in the top 90 and aiming to be in top 20 for the job. Voting ends in 2 days (Should have posted this earlier Ollin)

But don’t just take my word for it, check out his wonderful writings at his blog – http://ollinmorales.wordpress.com/

Update: Ollin has not made into the Top 20, but it was an overwhelming experience for him from all of you

Final Rank: 62

Votes: 1000+

Thanks for your support guys

Oh BTW I had a **BLAST** in Vijayawada this Diwali

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