For a while I wondered what I should be writing this time. May be about another travel that I have recently been on? Or should I wait till I complete another next week? Should I review a movie or a book I just finished watching or reading? Or should I write another article about life or a general topic? But then I realized that beyond the travels, beyond my gardens and paintings and general topics there hides a life; that of mine, which hides between words like a crossword puzzle. “So why not write about myself this time.” I thought.
Lots of work kept me busy for the last three months. Every day there were new challenges or a milestone to be achieved and to work with your friends in the US it requires several late night calls almost every day. During weekends, my French class kept me glued to the curriculum, preparing for test after tests to clear my first level. But in between them, there I was trying to find time for myself by continuing to write restaurant reviews for my office monthly magazine; preparing for the first sports magazine edition for the year 2011. I watched some good movies, some BBC human planet series that bring to light the adaptability of humans in extreme conditions.
We had a nice felicitation on the last day of my French class and our teacher treated us at a good French restaurant in UB city – Café Noir. Owner of the restaurant, a nice middle aged French gentleman greeted us pleasantly; introduced us to his master chef, who apparently started his career at the age of 15, traveled across France and studied under 7 different master chefs who handed over their legacy to him and after all seven of them approved, he received the title of Master chef. This is also a way to keep alive their cuisine for generations to come. Unfortunately so many Mangalore dishes that our grandmothers and mothers are making may slowly disappear without such structured approach to transfer legacy.
He also talked about foreigners who come here and find it difficult to cope with busy traffic, noise and chaos. They, he says travel back to their countries every two months to release that stress themselves and return back. But he has found a place here and believes that the best way to know a country and its culture is by living there for a longer duration.
The food was good; I tried quiche, Louvre sandwich and Creme Brulee for dessert. During lunch we spoke a lot about class and ourselves. After a break for 3 weeks, I join the next level. I have chosen a new timing this time to suit me better. That means I will not have the same classmates for sure but that’s fine, more new faces.
Thoughts never leave me, several thoughts kept appearing like waves in an ocean bed; not all seemed peaceful in this beach and there are varying tides until one finds a balance. After a long time, during my break I was able to attend to my garden to de-weed the pots and refill them with some good manure and now I see a Mangalore jasmine bud ready to blossom at an odd time of the year.
Having written so much about myself, I realize that my hobbies and I are integral part and one cannot differentiate between the two and we actually become what we do.
There is a poor man who comes to the street next to my house and chalks a beautiful picture of lord Ganesh or Hanuman on the paved road. He would pick a new street every day. In the evenings, while I return from office, I spend some time appreciating his art, ask him a few questions and make a very very minor contribution towards his fight to sustain the life of him and his family. Sometimes I would think of buying him a box of chalks; may be some colored ones too. Several months passed and one day I noticed that I have begun to ignore his existence. Was it because of my hectic schedule? Mind with preoccupied thoughts that bother me daily? Is this due to my selfish needs or people related to me have taken priority? Is this because of a restless, peace less mind? I then noticed how much I have changed over the last few years. Often such events take us away from being human… This is one of the many examples that are driving me away from what I once wanted to be; away from what i envisioned myself to be. Every such change that takes me away from being human should be curbed and rejected.
The waves from a high tide hit the sand hard; water gushed as far as possible to cover the maximum amount of sand. It wet them and infected them with an illusion of dampness; but little did it know that in the process the sand had soaked it and as the sun rose next morning the water had evaporated into nothingness. Thus, one of the waves from the ocean bed was silenced.
It’s been almost more than a year since I stopped writing my diary that I maintained since 1997. On the day my painting teacher passed away, I was lost in thoughts and I remembered all the good things about him. It also brought back memories of my grandmother, another dear one I have lost. And I realized that they live in my diaries too, in those words of mine that I felt for them then. I immediately picked a pen and started writing my diary so this thought would not get lost in the maze of thoughts to follow.
But having written poems, stories, diaries or blogs; having painted the reflections of my mind; having traveled away from few thoughts and bonds, it is interesting to notice that there are still some thoughts that can never be expressed and shall remain in the mind locked forever, lost in time, lost in an illusion.