There’s something really odd about Farewells.
Especially the one’s that are your own.
Inspite of all the kind words people say about you , there’s that one thought that upsets you somewhere.
Do they value you enough? Did you really give it your best? Did that one professional relationship that turned sour did hold much better potential? And what’s in store? Is it better .. Or are you just escaping ?
So after the kind words die down. The questions remain.
But that’s change. However , good it may turn out to be , leaves you with some questions.
Its perhaps then one finds strength in these words. Lifes turning out exactly how you wanted. Don’t think too much .. Just live it up.
If there is one year in my life that defined – Gain, Loss , Joy , Sorrow , Happiness , Suffering , Discovering angels , fighting demons. And perhaps much more than oxymoron-like- descriptors can define . Then it was 2013.
An year when tough calls had to be taken that changed the course of my career. Tougher calls were taken that changed life on a personal front. Yet , 2013 like any other left me richer with a lot of unexpected treasures & twists.
There was watching ‘Lunch Box’ – a gorgeous tale of love , longing & dreams for a better tomorrow . One of the best movies I’ve seen in ages. Also basically , one of the very few movies ( in all 6 at my last count ) I’ve seen since my baby came into my life.
I am sure like every mother whose trying to give her best to everything she does – I found myself relating to the leading lady’s character . That perhaps was the beauty of the narrative. It just pulled you in , in its tiny little world . Without so much of a drama. Just a simple story , told in the simplest of manner. Tougher done than said any day.
Another gem was Catching Fire. A Love story set in the most difficult circumstances. Which is why perhaps you wonder – if they can beat all odds with death & suffering looming over their head , we certainly can in a life that’s definitely much less dramatic.
So those were Movies .
Another Top Moment for me on personal front was discovering ( or rediscovering ) Twitter.
So much so that the title of the post is a tag coz of two reasons. A tribute to my rediscovery. And also a memorabilia of my Twitter-Project.
Now like the other day I was jokingly reasoning it out with someone on give a marketing person a task , and they take it up like a project with long – term & short – term goals & objectives. And then want to beat everyone in a fictitious battle on who’s doing a better job — all conjured up inside one’s head. Now all that , with a slight change is how I’d define another interesting experience this year. The one I call Project-Twitter . The change being that it was a self-created task & not really assigned.
When I discovered Twitter & its potential to hold multiple conversations across various topics on one hand , and give you enough anonymity and space to have a soliloquy anytime , anywhere . Its a dear diary + agony aunt , all rolled into one. A pandora’s box – you put your hand inside it and be surprised with what comes out like a magician’s hat.
That’s twitter to me. A zillion possibilities. And one of them was curating a group of some 9K delhi individuals . The much needed spurt of inspiration – about reading , researching , writing & discussing . Things that are as trivial as #WhatTheBlahSongs to as curious as #11YearsOfDelhiMetro. As vivid as #Ghalib ( and his birth anniversary) to as apt as #TopMomentsof2013. One week of creating an agenda for the year to come . The prelude to my Project 365.
Travel has been too less and far in between. But a trip to Panchmarhi – the land of history & adventures , that has been in my list for way too long now , was surely a shining moment.
There are definitely many but having a TopMoment list finds its true meaning when there are few that stand out & not many that fill up your mind.
So long till I move on to elaborate of a long growing list of things to write about . A post of Resolutions – History, Ghalib , Etiquettes for Children are coming up next. Project 365 is beginning to sound like an actual possibility than just a fancy fad to me.
Of all the promises one makes , the ones to self are toughest to keep.
Keeping this one short , cos don’t want to break what’s started on such a fantastic note.
But closing with the promise that tomm , two posts come in — one on the importance of etiquettes for children & another on my #TopMoments2013 ( and I write that with a tag coz one of them was definitely discovering Twitter) .
So long till then. I ll sleep as an exhausted but happy person today.
Ah! The pleasure of keeping one’s promise to one self.
The topic should not be confused with ‘How to look smashing hot everyday’.
We are definitely not talking about a look-book here. But actually the oldest trick in the book when it comes to – Men Vs Women. Or actually , Girls Vs Boys.
Everyday Sexism. A term that I came across recently for a phenomenon that’s perhaps as old as patriarchy. How while on one side today we talk about Diversity , Inclusivity & women-power , it all boils down to how ‘we are actually perceived’ by the other side of the table.
Its not about being called the fairer sex, or the weaker sex too. Its actually not about being told we can’t do so-and-so coz ‘that’s not what good girls are supposed to do’.
Its not about judging women on behavior , appearances , attitude or professional /personal choices. Everyday Sexism is far more potent. Coz its far too subtle.
So , when in the next meeting in boardroom , every sentence spoken with respect to an ideal team player is ‘how he should behave’. How you struggle to find a loo /public convenience at a Petrol pump/Office ( that’s not locked like it holds some kind of treasure), when someone’s first reaction to the news – ‘ Blessed with a baby ‘ is Girl or Boy ? , you have experienced “Everday Sexism”.
A phenomenon when the differentiation between the two genders comes across as far more ingrained in our day to day thought-processes , behaviors & reactions than it probably meets the eye.
So am not looking questioningly at those who cat-call or whistle at women on the streets ( definitely not talking about the one’s who treat us like an incapable section of society existing only to serve the other half) . I am talking about all those very educated people for whom women naturally are at the butt of all jokes with racial undertones. For those who conclude before hiring a woman candidate that she’ll be an under-performer , or a woman-boss would be the she-devil in disguise.
These people surround us everyday , crack jokes on how we can’t do basic stuff like Math right , aren’t the greatest managers at work, are the worst drivers on roads , are the worst time keepers and are terrible at managing finances.
Am not going to dignify any of those assumptions with an explanation. Will only just laugh it off & close the day with this conversation I had recently with someone as per whom 2014 should be all about ‘The Girls Get Dumber’ Jokes.
Well dude , guess what – The Jokes on you.
Ever wondered how that line makes so much sense?
How powerful is that word? How it can be a conversation starter between two complete strangers. Be the most important word you learn if travelling to a new city or the first one perhaps when learning a new language. The word that makes or breaks your first day. At school, college, work, neighbourhood?
How it could mean the beginning of a long lasting friendship, even a longer relationship? How it could be all you say, when you say nothing at all, yet make so much sense to someone.
How an unexpected ‘Hello’ can brighten up a dull day for someone. Bring the possibility of a long awaited news. Is the high point of some one’s morning, noon or night?
And what’s amazing is, it needn’t be said out loud. A simple smile , a twinkle in the eye , a wave of a hand , a nod of the head — there are so many ways to greet someone , make the first contact or start a conversation — without even so much as saying the word. Yet meaning, hello!
A little while back, while I was exploring Twitter and it’s very many promising possibilities. I came across a contest by @hitours on the very many ways one can say hello (follow the tag #SayHelloToTheWorld & enjoy the amazing trivia it throws at you!)
Did you know, If one would wish to say “hello” to everyone on the planet, one would have to learn almost 3000 languages and greet at least 7 billion people.
Most languages have an equivalent to that term, my favourite being French. A ‘bonjour’ melts in your mouth like a warm blueberry muffin right? Even though it means ‘Good Morning’, while ‘Salut’ is more close to the term ‘Hello’.
A List of the most gorgeous sounding ‘hellos’ in different languages is a must – know for every traveller. ‘Ola in Portuguese, not to be confused with the hola (with the silent ‘h’ of course) in Spanish are another favourites. ‘Merhaba’ in Turkish makes you feel like a beautiful princess, so does ‘selam’ the more informal version. Close home the courteous ‘adaab’ in Urdu , ‘Namaste’ in Hindi , ‘Sat sri akal’ in Punjabi , ‘khamba ghani’ in Rajasthani & ‘kem cho’ in Gujrati ( languages that ive had the pleasure of listening to as I stayed in those states)
And the cute as a button ‘ne ho’ (pronounced as Nee-haw) in Chinese & ‘Konnichi ha’ (pronounced as ko-nee-chee-wha) in Japanese – are another essential entry in the discerning travellers must-know book .
Read the entire list here ; also check out the fun demo-pics through ‘wiki-how’ http://www.wikihow.com/Say-Hello-in-Different-Languages
Not just the languages that are spoken across countries – it’s also fun to explore those that are a bit away from reality. Did you know for the epic , Avtaar , an entire language was created called Na’avi ? well a ‘hello’ in Na’vi sounds like Kaltxì, pronounced “kal-T-ì”.. and just incase you wish to be in the good books of Sheldon ( from the Big Bang Theory) you better know how to greet someone in Klingnon. So here’s your cheat sheet: NuqneH?, pronounced “nook-neck”, which literally means “what do you want?” is how you’d win shelly over !
Now all that is ofcourse when you meet some one face to face. How can we talk about the word ‘hello’ and not mention its significance when it comes to speaking on the phone?
Its difficult to imagine that the word ‘hello’ that’s now a natural reaction when receiving a call was coined ( and I use that term to signify that it didn’t exist before hand )by Thomas Edison & not Graham Bell who invented the phone. The choice was between ‘ahoy’ & ‘hullo’ – and needless to say – which one won.
Read more about this interesting story – that remained a mystery for the longest time here: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/05/garden/great-hello-mystery-is-solved.html
Before I close this entry for the day, how can I not leave you with some classic scenes that use this word beautifully?
For a change after a long time , I actually have a lot to write.
Only that am not able to compose this gorgeous piece of prose with pictures and fancy tag lines , just about right now.
But its the 1st of January of a brand New Year. And this time am sticking to my resolutions.
So in my long list that I’ve been more or less carrying fwd from one year to another for quite a while now – there is this idea in my head.
An entire post on where that idea came about from , will come soon.
But this one’s about a whole other thing- My New Year Resolution- so let’s just stick to that line of thought.
So Yes. Project365 is quite simply put – one post per day. NO matter what. For the entire 2014.
Now that is essentially taking commitment to the next level. Coz not only it means , I take out time everyday for something I supposedly ( or claim to ) LOVE more than most other things in life , Writing.
It also means – I read , research & contemplate about interesting things to write about. So see , its so much more than just motivation. Or inspiration. Its a full – time job. If done , seriously & wholeheartedly.
Which is the plan.
So , over the next one year – 365 days counting today, I’d be sticking to my New Year Resolution through Project365.
Now , I am not gonna cheat my way into this one and end this post here . Considering my Project is making its debut today- it better be Grand!
So during my Project Twitter , I did a bit of reading on New Year Celebrations & am going to flaunt my newly acquired knowledge now.
What is Project- Twitter ? Why are we talking about so many Projects? Questions like these are being parked aside for the time being, coz we have a long year ahead & there will be rainy days where in quick-fix stuff would need to be pulled out of a hat to save the day.
Back to New Year. And no , I am not going to talk about my new year resolutions in painful details! What we talk next , is about THE concept of New Year & Resolutions as such !
So that just in case you are wondering New Year Celebration isn’t a ‘Modern’ phenomenon. It dates back to some 4000 yrs. to the Babylonian era around 2000BC . Only that they quite logically followed the custom of celebrating a New Year with the change of seasons & the solar cycle In March.
The Romans thereafter shuffled things a bit & moved the New Year Date to Jan 1. Now they believed in Janus- the God with two faces who quite interestingly signified two years – the one gone by & the one that is coming up.
Now contrary to Babylonians who were predominantly agriculture oriented , Romans weren’t, so the choice of moving the New year to Jan 1 had little seasonal significance other than the fact that the new council came into action on this date .
Many centuries later , the christian church accepted the same date as the new year date as well . Now I say ‘accept’ here coz , another surprising trivia – christian church for a long time didn’t encourage New year celebrations coz it was considered a pagan practice.
Eventually to encourage more and more people to move from pagan practices to Christianity the call was taken. But only as the celebration to be as the Feast of Christ’s circumcision.
And that’s how the New Year as we know it – with the midnight mass , fireworks & grand feasting came about. Not something modern, but quite ancient.
And that brings us to New Year Resolutions. Which as a concept are as old as the New Year celebration as well.
The Babylonians followed them, So did Romans & so do we now. We think about things we wish to change / correct/better & we promise to do so at the start of a new year. Only that , back in ancient times they weren’t as trivial as losing those 5kgs that you’ve been trying to for 20yrs now!
They were morally driven. So the Babylonians promised to return Farm equipments , The Romans resolved to forgive their enemies & the Christians tried to be better people ( Refer an ancient NY postcard )
Infact to all those people who look down upon us – the NY resolution enthusiasts shrugging us off saying Resolutions are meant to be broken! There is actually a man who converted it into an art form.
Who was this man? What was it that he did that was historic ?
That and a lot more on New Year Customs , Trivia , Popular Resolutions — in my next post tomm!
Not bad for a first day right :)