Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santa...I need you to be real...

I was on my way back from the gym walking through an underground passage. It was just 2 days shy of Christmas and NYC was glowing. People walking with co-workers happily sharing stories of their plans on how to spend holidays with family was all I could see and hear until I spotted a man. He was sitting near the door of a pharmacy store. His son - I assumed - was on his lap. He had a board next to him "For the love of god, please help me". For a person who has commuted to NYC for over 10 years, this sight is not unusual.

I stopped for a second and looked at his son's face. He was wearing a jacket and a cap and his eyes were closed. The man was holding him with both hands and trying to not disturb his sleep. His eyes looked full of love for his son.

I went back to my office. Hundreds of advertisements of toys, clothes and food flashed around in front of my eyes. I walked back speedily as if I wanted to run away from these thoughts. necklaces, rings, balls, apple pie, Santa, elves, elf of the shelf, Mrs. Clause, temperature below freezing, family get together, parties, drinks, food, dance, drinking, smoking, kids, accidents, babies, smiles, tears all circled around me until I reached my desk. I frantically searched my wallet and found 15 dollars. I grabbed all the chocolates I had and ran back to the elevator. Never help a person who is begging for money, they say. You can help them once and then what will happen next? What will happen next, Sangeeta? I do not know. Do you? The elevator was on the lobby level and I had to get out. What if this guy goes somewhere else and I can't find him? I need to run because I need to talk to him. I need to talk to him and look into his eyes. I ran down the escalator to the concourse level. Is Santa real? Jay asked me. What do you think, Jay? I asked him. I don't know mommy..He said. What is real is this. What is real is people are dying, starving, shivering, crying and people are laughing, eating, drinking, driving when drunk. What is real is people like me who want to help are not helping somehow. I spotted him again. There was some money in the bag next to him now. some one dollar bills, some change. I reached close to him and sat down on the ground. My nose was all red and voice shivered as I said hi to him. Is this your son? I asked. Yes, he said. How old is he? I asked. Four, he said. I looked at his face and then I looked at his son's face and reached out my hand to shake hand with him. How is he feeling? I asked. He is fine. He said. I handed him over 15 dollars and chocolates. Thank you and may god bless you, he said. Please take care, I said. We both smiled at each other and I left.

Santa, this Christmas, I want you to be real and explain me what gift is. Santa, this Christmas, I want you to guide me in finding out how am I a gift to others in this world..Santa, this year, I want your help to find out how can I make a difference in someone else's life...Santa, I need you to be real..

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Basmati Developer

One day long long ago yesterday when I was far far away from home 2 minutes into my driving, the phone rang and it was Nina on the other side.

N: We aaa oooo?
M: what?
N: we aaa oooo?
M: what?
N: aa nee ooo
M: heh??
N: aaaaa neeeeee ooooooooooooooo

At first I thought my gifted child is beginning to deliver some message from a parallel universe and it was..She introduced me to Shira. Shira  is a highly expressive responsive open source language created by Nina. Shira is a highly vagabond-ish and attitude-ish language with severe need of an interpreter. So I came with up with the name of interpreter - Basmati. The interpreter will come next. But name is most important thing these days. You see the theme going on here, don't you? So Shira can be vaguely interpreted by Basmati right now as follows-

1> The key words in Shira are never spoken fully. For example - need as neee, where as we
2> The key words in Shira are sometimes not spoken at all. It's entirely interpreter's job to figure that out and Basmati is smart at that. for example:
3> The words should all flow together. For example:
heneeooo is He needs you. AaaaaneeeOOOooooo is I need you. Do you see the explosion of harmony going on there? Simply breathtaking!!
4> Shira ignores questions asked and can continue to give same answers in incresingly annoying tone of voice. For example:

aaa neee foooo ( I need food)
what's that Nina?
aaaaaaaaa [pause and eye roll] neeeeeeeeeeee fooooooooooo ( [woman], I need food)

5> sometimes in Shira one word or sentence can be heard as totally another word or sentence and it is left to listner to face the consequences. For example-

aa neeeeeeeeeeeee taaaaaaaa (I need that)
Who is Anita?
aaaaaaaaa neeeeeeeee taaaaaaaaaa (I need that)
you have a new friend called Anita??

6> Basmati needs help from smart brains as Shira gets more and more complex. So I call out to anyone who can demonstrate true courage to the daily scrum meeting at 12 AM.

PS: Nina is almost 18, and can speak better than her mom and dad and is in no need to speak Shira, but hey, it's Nina!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thodasa Forrest Gump ho jaye...

People like me get fed up with the routine almost hundred time during a given day. People who live with people like me give up on people like me..They sort of let them wander around and about and then go crazy. Have you noticed crazy people are always looking around..and since I am one of them, I can tell you for sure, they are looking around to see if they can spot someone like them..

On one of such routinely boring day when my crazy mind was tired of thinking nothing in particular, the phone rang and "N" on the other side asked me a question to participate in an event. My mind said to me "hey there Sango, thodasa forrest gump ho jaye??" and just like that I became part of the sensational dance group.

Sensational dance group is created by "R". As I got to meet her and the other ladies and later knew about this name, I thought sensational is an understatement. A bunch of souls full of life are set out to find happiness in dancing here. It's a place where crazy is normal. Crazy is wonderful. Crazy is wanted. So my type.

Here is an ode to my wonderful new friends whom I will admire for the rest of my life. Your tenacity and affection humbles me....

Thodasa Neeti ho jaye
Eak pyarasa smile diya jaye
apne eak friend ke liye
thodasa unresonable hi ho jaye..

Thodasa Rashmi ho jaye
Eak sundar sa dance bhithaya jaye
raat ke andhere me
eak lamba chauda email hi kuon na likha jaye..

Thodasa sa Mugdha ho jaye
Photo me eak silly sa smile diya jaye
headache hai to koi baat nahi yaar
eak kadak chay hi piliyi jaye..

Thodasa Shalini ho jaye
Eak warm so hug diya jaye
hindi windi marathi warathi kya yaar
thodisi pyaar ki bhasha hi boli jaye..

Thodasa Minal ho jaye
bahut sara skype bhi ho jaye
steps weps kya cheej hai yaar
life hi eak beautiful dance ho jaye..

Thodasa Sangeeta ho jaye
eak apna vacation bhi ho jaye
aate hi yaaro vapas
thodasa practice bhi ho jaye..

Thodasa Archana ho jaye
aur understudy bana jaye
eak raat ko achanak
main role bhi accept kiya jaye..

oye thodasa rumani ho jaye
aur thoda crazy ho jaye
kaal kisne dekha yaaro
aaj to thoda sensational ho jaye...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life happens here...

NYC intersections are more like classrooms....a maze..everything and nothing all at once..I especially like the one right next to the port authority. 

It is huge. It is crowded and windy there. The signals are rattling and the life is bustling..As people reach the middle of the avenue or the street, they start guessing if there is a stop single or go signal or there is a flashing stop/go signal. Some speed up in anticipation and some slow down. For some, it does not really matter.

As people reach intersection, something magical starts happening. The intersection starts talking to people. It says, slow down.. It says..hey, slow down buddy. It says, make a choice..Some people speed up and make it to the other end. Others slow down and wait. There is something about that place when they wait. I can't exactly tell what it is..But when we wait, we suddenly start existing in our own world. Some take a sip of coffee. A mother carrying her little chubby son or daughter kisses him or her. A dad pushing a stroller looks at his son or daughter lovingly and sighs. Two people in love hold their arms and pull each other a little closer and whisper “I love you”s… A young man listening to some nice song starts dancing. Some look at the billboards and give a silly smile..ummm...life..life smells sweet there..life...life stands still there... until the signal starts beckoning us again, we make a little sweet spot for ourselves in this huge world and breathe..just breathe..

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mommy Brain

Since this planet is blessed for almost 40 years with my presence, I wonder that did I contribute and what I am supposed to be doing or contributing.

Flashback to long long ago...
Long long ago when some man (Yes!! man) had nothing and I mean NOTHING to do on his plate for months after months and years after years, one day he woke up and bam!!! He thought to himself..well may be I am supposed to think about - what am I doing here? and the philosophy was born..

Some people (like the one I live with) do not buy into all this C.R.A.P and they put their shoes on and put one foot in front of other and say "Hell with what I am supposed to do here..I am just doing to go do it.." But some people like me buy into the C.R.A.P and when they wake up in the middle of the night, they say to themselves..well..what am I supposed to do? Then when they are waiting for the bus, they say..well..what is my purpose of living?? then when they are looking at people in the meeting, they say..why was I brought into this world??
Is my purpose of living -
1> Pack three pairs of shoes for Nina so she can have a good day at school?
2> Keep extra water bottle for Jay because he is going on a field trip?
3> Provide no help to mom who is here to visit and ask her to bring me water?

You see..it's a boradway show everyday..I am the stage director..I am mostly working behind the scenes..I take care of lights, sound, dialogues, wardrobe. I prompt ..I dance as an extra when 2 kids are doing their main part..and when the show is over, and everyone is in the limelight, I say to myself..well?? Is the job well done?? And the answer is - The job is done for today. But could be done better may be tomorrow..

flashback to a week back..
A mom dropping her twins off at the bus stop for summer camp..She seems all happy and content and talking to me and suddenly all the colors on the face fade off..oh no..she was supposed to make her kids wear socks today because they are going roller skating..off she goes to get the socks and before she comes, the bus is gone with the kids in it..Her show was ruined..She ruined her show all by herself..She could see herself standing a few feet from her and say "You...missy..you totally messed up your kid's day today..You should be punished.."

When a mom goes to sleep, we should catch the things happening in her mind..It would be totally funny and scary. In fact why is the science not yet advanced so we can explore this yet? May be that is what I SHOULD be doing..

Anyways..so..back to mom's world when she appears to be sleeping..Here is what goes on in there-
I wish I had become an actress..software is so not for me..wait..isn't Nina supposed to have a show-and-tell about sports tomorrow? Show-and-tell tomorrow..show-and-tell tomorrow..Why can't I still try to become an actress? or a teacher? They say it's never too late..why is it always that they say "they say"? Who were they? Jay has to return library book..library book..library book..in case I miss a 7:26 I still have a 7:40 bus and then I can still make to the meeting tomorrow..summer camp admission..

and so on...and so forth...

Mommy brains are tough cookies. If I tell my brain this is all what I am supposed to do, may be half of the brain cells would agree just out of sympathy and other half would look straight at me and say "Really? think woman..think.." Isn't thinking brain's responsibility and not mine? Or has my brain out sourced thinking to some other agency that I need to get in touch with? I think mommy brain has pockets of cells which contradict with other bunch of cells in a weird way. Majority of them point out to you with enthusiasm that you are a bad mommy. Some group of cells there insists that they think by simply thinking you are a bad mommy, you are actually a good mommy. And some other bunch of cells indicate that you are observing this bad mommy and good mommy conversation between your brain cells and you actually know you are a good mommy, but you would rather prefer to be called a bad mommy anyways..

Do not worry of you do not get any of this, because, frankly, I don't get it either..but, oh well..

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The First Day Of Kindergarten - by Jay Dixit

Jay Jay wrote a book for Nina to prepare her for her first day of Kindergarten... here goes the story..

Thursday, May 29, 2014

March of Sangeeta...

Behold...I am about to turn 40. I have almost made it..I have been pondering on how to venture all "Sangeeta Style" into this very especial year of my life ..and boy have to admit Sangeeta Style is confusing. So then I took a deep deep deep breath and thought about something wonderful.

From now until my birthday, I am going to do 40 things for others. 40 things that involve someone else's benefit. 40 little/medium/big acts of selflessness..40 things to inspire the human being inside me. 40 things that have nothing to do with me. Then I stopped..this is not true. Everything I do or will do will give me something in return. It will help me find myself in return. The part of me which may be I lost while growing up each year of my life. 40 things will teach me hundreds of things I used to have as a baby and how I gave up on those things when I grow up to be this Sangeeta I am..

The big big big issue is I do not know those 40 things. The awesome awesome awesome issue is I do not know those 40 things. I know I need to start small and I need to keep my eyes and heart open. I am certainly not expecting you to expect big things from me. It could be just a simple act of opening a door for a mom carrying a kid and a heavy stroller or asking a co-worker how he or she is and really LISTENING. Small is Big - for me. Small is good - for me. Small is everything I am looking for. Small counts when I do it purposely and wholeheartedly...

So I am asking your help my virtual friends. Close your eyes and pray for me that when Sangeeta starts her day she has a burning desire to find a cause and when she sleeps she has a smile - well - on most days..

If Sangeeta has what it takes, Sangeeta will come back to her blog and blog her journey. small step..one step at a time..slow and steady..

Thursday, May 8, 2014

remembering you...

Dear S,

It's been years I wanted to write to you since we can't talk now. The more I waited , the more the guilt I felt and then I waited some more.

I remember my first day in a new company and I felt like a country mouse lost in the city. Amongst a bunch of new co-workers, I was somehow able to make it till lunch time and that's when I ran into you. I noticed your bright white teeth and big happy eyes. They invited me right away. As I walked towards you, you did the same. I noticed you limping a bit. As we stood close, I noticed your smile was perfect. Warm and simple and inviting. We hit it off right away. From that day on, you became the only constant in my changing professional world. A place to rest. A person to talk to. A friend to share with. I waited for lunch times so I could see you and talk to you for a few minutes. I wanted to know how was your day when I came to office. I missed you when you took days off. All this while I wondered if I should ask you about your leg.

One day as we were out for a walk and taking escalator, I asked you. You grinned and said you had a visitor in past. The big "C". He is all gone now with this tiny itty bitty thing left behind as a sign. You shook your head and looked at me. I knew you what you were saying to me. You were just you. You were not someone who has something or had something. You are your usual jolly self. I never brought it up.

A year later you stood next to me in cafeteria while I picked strawberries to fill my plate and waited patiently. You nodded and said "Ignore people waiting. You crave for it. You get it." A few months later, you called me in hospital to wish me luck as I started motherhood. As I got all wrapped up in work and home, you kept calling and I kept being busy. A few months later, I caught you near the exit door. For the first time, you looked lost. But then you smiled and told me they no longer want you here. As I wrapped up my busy days, I thought I should call and check on you every day.

A few months later, I got a call from you. You sounded tired but still happy and content. You said I need your help. Suddenly, all the work I needed to get done flashed in front of my eyes and I said to myself, now what? You said the big has "C" visited you once more and this time its brutal. My eyes welled up and voice choked. My words were frozen and I looked at myself with pity. You needed help from me to fill your official work.

A few weeks later, as I sat all tired in bus going back home, you called me and said you were still fighting. Fighting with all your might. And your kids are suffering. I sat there shaken. thinking about my kid and your kids. I told you I will come and help you.

A few days later, I felt I need to talk to you right away. I need to meet you right away. I missed you badly. The bad feeling surrounded me whole day in it's own busy way. I emailed you. I called you to get your voicemail. I sent email to your friend asking where were you. Why are you not responding. I refreshed my email often to see if I got any word from you.

A few days later, your friend emailed me back saying you are no more.

My friend, I missed talking to you before you left merely because I thought I was too busy. I postponed calling you because I thought nothing can happen today. I failed at being a good friend because I thought I was already too good. You taught me such a big lesson without saying a single word.

This is for you "S" - so sorry...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why am I the way I am...

J and N,

One day when you wonder why you are the way you are, this will help you…

I have fear of failure. It makes me not want to do stuff. I remember all the times I have failed..I remember everything very clearly. What made me fail, people around me, my reaction, my sentiments…everything like it happened yesterday. Fortunately for me, I have just enough memory to remember that the number of times I have succeeded is far more than the number of times I have failed.

I have fear of commitment. At times I get anxious about the smallest thing possible…I might invite people over for lunch and just a day before they are supposed to come, I find myself finding excuses to cancel it. Fortunately for me, I know I always go through this loop and somehow  have always come out of it with brighter colors. So I just let it be.

I am afraid of heights. I have lived on the sixteenth floor of a building for many years now. Every time I look out, I remember my fear for heights. Fortunately for me, every time I look out, I have found something in the sky that does not fail to amaze me.

I consider myself born broken with label “Extra Fragile” on me. I have never been able to be practical in any small or big situation until now. My heart breaks throughout the day on many simple things. Fortunately for me, I love being broken, fragile and vulnerable.

I have heart, soul and mind. Heart is where everything is created. I might know what it is until my soul lets it in. Soul is where the assembly is. With band and music. Soul invites my mind over there. Soul says “Mr. Mind, Today I am extremely happy and filled with all sorts of positive feelings. You can be happy and you can work too”. Other times, Soul says “Everything sucks brother brain.. Sorry Not a good day..You can take a break today..P.S:I still love you…” My heart and soul have always won over my mind. My brain has never worked without my soul’s permission.

I believe there is a like a real fire truck engine inside my heart somewhere. No kidding. Its bright red and I can’t ever ignore it. When I meet a stranger, sometimes the fire engine starts speeding to some destination. The siren is blaring and the lights are flashing. I hear it..”Fire in Sangoville…Code red..code red ..” I drop everything and pay attention to this true calling. May be this is the connection I can’t ignore. If I do ignore it, the fire will eventually consume all the  Sangeeta-ness in me. So I surrender to it. Without worrying about space, time, outcome..any of it..

Someday you will wonder why you are the way you are…you are the way you are because ..

And it is not just okay, but extremely positively absolutely okay to be the way you are…


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A so called detective..

I took it upon myself to find out why I wanted two kids to begin with. I must say looking at the result I am amazed how naive I was. Then I started closely watching them and making some notes in my mind.

On a typical weekend when I expect two nicely fed and rested kids to play, Jay complains "I am bored." Then Nina complains "I am bored.". Then I turn to Jay and say "How come you are bored? That was the whole reason I wanted two of you." Jay does not even wait for a second and says "I want one more..third one." I do not even wait for a second and say "Then three of you will get bored seperately. Whats the point of going through all this pain again?" Jay gets it. Smart kid.

When the kids are not bored, they are fighting. It feels like they fight until eternity. sometimes eternity times eternity. Then I took it upon myself to find out if there is any time of any day in any week of any year they are not fighting.

On a typical weekend morning, two nicely fed and rested kids were fighting about which color belongs to whom while painting while I was in the kitchen listening to them fighting about which color belongs to whom while painting. Then suddenly I hear no words. Silence for a few seconds. And a few more. And then a few more... I grew increasingly curious what could have happened and emerged in the hall to see two nicely fed and rested kids sitting on the sofa in harmony watching TV. point noted. Some unanswered questions still remain in my mind. What made the kids to stop fighting and suddenly turn the TV on? Were the kids bored of fighting? How come they did not fight about who will turn the TV on? and so on and so forth ..

On a typical weekend afternoon, two nicely fed and rested kids were fighting about who will go hide first while I was gathering the laundry and listening to them fight about who will go hide first. And suddenly I hear no words. Silence for a few seconds. And a few more, and then a few more... I grew increasingly curious about what could have happened and emerged in the hall to see two nicely fed and rested kids sitting on the chairs side by side eating ice cream. point noted. Some unanswered questions still remain in my mind. What made the two kids stop fighting and suddenly eat ice cream? Were the kids bored of fighting? How come they did not fight about who has gotten more ice cream and who has gotten less? and so on and so forth..

Let's just say I am not a good detective..or am I?

Friday, March 7, 2014

nOt nIcE !!

To my dismay I found out yesterday that the season names in English are not capitalized..thanks to Jay. I was in shock though. If H in Halloween can be capital, T in Thanksgiving can be capital, then why not S in spring? I mean I know kids love Halloween and holidays in general, but who does not love Spring? anyone??

I pray to the goddess of English grammar or some agency on the second floor of a tall building on Broadway and 67th which controls the English grammar in the world that they pay close attention to a mother with south Asian origin living in east coast of USA about my plea to change this immediately.

Here is what I propose for spring - SpRiNg
Here is what I propose for summer - SUMMER

What makes me think I am missing something here?? oh..yeah..I know why because I do not consider winter and fall as seasons. Winter is torture and fall is semi-torture. Here is what I propose for the both of them. Also I am introducing a new concept of crazy case letters here (Upper case, Lower case, crazy case, get it??)

Here is how we write winter - w n er i h a t e u
Here is how we write fall - fa__  (those two dashes are the fallen “l”s in the fall..crazy right?)

What do you say? With me??