The roadways in Punjab and beyond

One fine day in 2004, I made a choice- infact I fought with the family and declared that I will travel by bus. With the school and coaching in Jalandhar, I would travel 25 kms from kapurthala by car. And it felt awkward, really awkward. I was 15 then and car seemed to be binding me. And borrowing this from what Zaakir says, freedom (Badal) important hai. It continued with 2 years of school and then 4 years of grads college where the journey lasted 9 hours at a stretch by bus and further, beyond my own state. This journey gave me perspectives, I met people- wonderful ones as well as creepy stalkers, helpful ones and touchy feely maniacs. I owe a part of me being bold to these bus journeys. It contributed to make me who I am today. The fresh breeze and sweaty smells, the rainy days and burning sun, the wet seats and shattered window panes. It was only these journeys/ travel times that I learnt:

  • You can be philosophical and easily, feel high on the roads πŸ˜‡
  • Personal space is important πŸš€
  • You can hit people if they touch you inappropriately. You can also abuse them. 😈
  • The bus drivers and conductors are sweetest people (it was just once/ twice or maybe thrice out of 1000+ journeys they dropped at a totally unknown stop at 5:45 in the morning & late in the night in Chennai )πŸ‘»
  • You can learn to write even when the vehicle is moving and so can You read πŸ“š
  • Punjabi songs/ bhojpuri songs/ Tamil songs/ Hindi songs and all the songs that You can ever remember 🎢
  • You can also travel to Guna (near Gwalior) from Shimla by a bus and so can you travel to chennai from Tirupati and so is Bangalore to mumbai possible. Mumbai- Shirdi is a common journey though. πŸ™ˆ
  • That I can travel for an hour standing in the bus and so can I, hang almost outside the door (your grip cannot be weak in this case) 🀺
  • Bonnet is precious for the driver, but if you’re nice, he’ll make space for you, put a cloth on it and let you sit there.
  • The best seat in the bus is seat no. 1,2,3πŸ’Ί
  • Seat no. 1 is conductor seat but you have to be nice to the driver and conductor to get that seat
  • You can pass a smile to your fellow passengers and the driver/ conductor and this isn’t hazardous for your health 😊
  • And, you can fall off inside the bus and right outside the bus- on your face 😭
  • Tips on how to get on or get off a moving bus (not recommended)
  • You can also propose your love on a long journey because they are a captive traveller now 😜
  • Buses are the lifeline when it comes to travelling within the state or even inter-state 🚌
  • And despite all this, you’ll get to over-hear some of the funniest conversations during your journey 🀣
  • I was always in awe of these conductors and wondered about their level of motivation for the job βœ‹πŸ»πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ
  • The best quotes and wishes you could find on your journey
  • Jee aayan nu means welcome😍

Cheers to all these journeys!! Cheers to Pepsu and Punjab Roadways!! Cheers to what they made me!! And to innumerable journeys I took!!

A.

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Birthdays deserve a post!!

No matter how unexcited I be
and the age keeps pestering me,
Someone said a Happy Birthday in advance
And my smile was back with a dance πŸ’ƒπŸ»

My Birthday is my most favourite day of the year; of the month and even of the week. Birthday is a birthday.
I feel less excited than I used to be as a kid. (Mind it, a single Birthday still is more exciting for me than probably someone's entire life incidents may be).
I start waiting for it in phases and I have my different set of countdowns for it:
As soon as the year starts.
27th June tells me it's just a month.
I love July and as it starts.
10th July is my sister's birthday and I just have to wait for another 17 days.
20th July and its seven days and those seven days are my happiest days of the year.

I cannot be calm, literally and figuratively and any adjective may be happily added to it- excitedly 😝
Ohh, how I wait for this day!!
As a kid, I would save my dress for Birthday. Even if it was a dress I got for Diwali. I had to wear a new one on my Birthday. It was never really a party but I loved distributing toffees, candies when in school- wearing the colourful clothes (which were mostly white- white being my favourite colour). And most of all, I've always loved the attention the Birthdays bring with them. I loved all of it.
I had a few rituals for the Birthdays (some remain, some just made peace with time- I had to grow up):
Visiting the temple (its on)
Toffees and chocolates for everyone (replaced by sweets)
Cake cutting (its on)
Calls and messages (they're on and I reply as enthusiastically as it's a kid enjoying them)
Oh, new clothes and dresses (so much more now)
Evening Puja (its on)
Counting of Birthday wishes (I understand they mean much more than the count now) (grew up 😂) – I count my blessings now

I love monsoons and rains and July.
Even when Birthday now means a number which tells me I'm getting old. It bothers me quite a bit only till someone tells me- Happy Birthday in Advance. The happiness of the Birthday is much more than the gloominess of the number which counts my age. There could never be anything which makes me feel like a kid as much as my Birthday.

More on this during the day. Much love for everyone reading through!!
A. ❤️

We carry a world with us!!

Who you are, I will be. Whosoever I am, you already are.

We are a mix and match of our circumstances and our surroundings. An assorted platter of nuggets from people around us, with garnishing of our childhood lying beautifully over the fine plate. Coming across people in our day to day lives, we pick a few characteristics of each one of them- which may happen knowingly or unknowingly. It’s isn’t always a controlled action & reaction- until we’re self-aware to choose what we may like to have for ourselves. 

Every single day is an evolution in the life cycle of any human being. With every conversation we have, we become a little more intelligent and knowledgable than we were in the previous instant. Each day we’re an iota better than the previous day. 

Not only we need to surround ourselves with people who we admire- to gain from their company, to learn things we admire them for. It is commonly said that were a clear reflection of the five people we spend our time with. We need to evaluate which are the five people we want to look like- in terms of habits, character and outlook. In case we realise we need to change ourselves- we also need to change our company for an effective transformation. 

Apart from identification of the right mix of people, We also need to be grateful to each of those around us- for they make us what we would be tomorrow. Gratitude would bring abundance and thus grant us more. 

A lot to learn and heaps to be thankful for, 

A

What am I looking for?Β 

A requirement or a compulsion

I’m reading a book today (which is rare considering my concentration as well as patience levels). Just like everyone else, I have a mobile, a smartphone- rather an over smart phone. Keeping the discussion about my phone for some other day, We would rather talk about my reactions rather in this post. With no social networking apps except Quora and Watsapp installed on my phone per se, it is mostly a congestion free screen that exists on the oversmart phone. 

It’s a Sunday evening and I’m in the train, travelling back home from a 3-day trip. Nobody’s calling, there are no watsapp pings, no messages and absolutely nothing which pops up on my screen except a shopping website telling me what the user would love and what the user would not want to miss upon every now and then. There’s another music app which wants the user to bounce on the latest music playlist they’ve curated for me. 
I press the centre button, open Watsapp and there are no messages. Disappointment, even though everyone was clear with no pings on the screen. I can feel disappointed, despite knowing there’s not going to be any Djinn discovery. I open the browser and refresh the Facebook timeline, no notifications there. Next comes Quora and after going through a few answers on the latest newsfeed, I press the power button to switch off my screen and go back to my book. And this process is repeated, again, and again, after every 10-15 minutes. The entire activity takes a good over 5 minutes, every single time effectively- 20 mins every hour. 

There’s nobody who’s call is expected, there’s no one waiting for me beyond reasons, there’s no pressing need that requires my immediate attention. And I still feel the anxiety of not having a notification, not even a single notification. Is mobile an addiction or is it out of a compulsion I’m doing this? With being as clueless about what I’m looking for in my mobile phone or probably my life, there’s, for sure, something that is being searched and nobody knows what it is and/or where it is? For sure, it is adding up to the anxiety levels and is totally unhealthy. 

Trying to breakthrough the monotony of mobile, 

A. 

The Punjabipana- Art and culture of being a Punjabi

I’m proud of being a Punjabi as much as I’m proud of being my own self.

  • We’re a Happy lot- there need not be reasons. We like to be Happy. We love jokes- mostly on us and those around us.
  • We love to laugh- smile is too sober. We laugh heartily, with sound effects and all the muscles/bones- starting from our face to our ribs to our tummy- every part is involved.
  • We love food- our food, your food, any food. Ours is still the favourite. We think about food every morning and it goes that way, till the time we sleep. We sometimes may even dream about food and get up craving for it. We can travel places for the love of food and walk miles to grab on our favourite; we’re extremely touchy/ emotional We about food.
  • We’re a warm lot- all the world for us is our own. We make everyone feel at home when they’re with us. It’s a part of our nature.
  • We’re super cool- our parents are cooler, our grandparents are the coolest. All our friends love our grandparents. Beeji, jhayiji, waddema (grandma) is the favourite.
  • We respect everyone- Ji after haan/ na is a compulsory. Even after the names that we address. Gupta Ji, Sharma ji. That’s our way of extending respect to everyone. If someone says Haan/ Nahi without a Ji, that’s disrespectful and offensive.
  • We’re loud- we talk loud. I still don’t know how to talk softly on a phone that the other person in the room doesn’t figure it out. Just won’t happen.
  • We love colours- loud colours are OK. Subtle colours may be considered bland or colourless.
  • We love everyone that is not subtle- in food, we love spices. In colours, we love bright.
  • We’re carefree- we don’t make worrying a daily necessity. Sanu ki (how does it matter to us) is the question and that’s how we have the capability of ending any chapter.
  • We love to enjoy life- we understand it’s a small life and not going to last forever. We don’t make a fuss out of small things,
  • We pray for each one who exists when we say Sarbhat da bhala (wish for good for every living soul).
  • We are sorted- for any set of problems that disturb us; the simple solution is “Saanu ki“- how does it matter to us?

Taken from: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Punjabis-so-proud-of-being-Punjabi/answer/Ana-Aggarwal?srid=26Yv&share=639099e8

Keep Rocking the world, 

A

Life is fragile!!

Is life a never-ending concept?

We must rather fear life than fearing death. When we go back to any of the Hindu scriptures or documents, all of those mention death as the ultimate reality. Following the course of last few days around me and listening to the discourse arising out of it; I realised life is unpredictable. We plan till infinity only to find that life itself has finite plans. That’s finite is undefined though. 

We must do good, relentlesssly towards ourselves and our fellow human beings. With this uncertainty; it states; do good till you have a chance. You are clueless when suddenly the game will be paused by the The Force. When you’re aggravated or upset or dejected, make yourself understand- this is all temporary and would never last long. Death is going to knock the door one day and wouldn’t even give you a chance to peek or shut the door on the face of it. We, all of us, will have to embrace death, without a second thought. 

A recent incident planted in me another thought that Life is Fragile too. It is so fragile that while we keep it safe and secure most of the time, we aren’t sure if it would break all by itself or any other external force. This force or pressure many a times would be even beyond our control. Life is delicate and not only you must take care of it, but you must look after to protect the lives of those around you. A crack or a bruise which isn’t superficial will break/ shatter it beyond repair. 

The thoughts are scary, yet, can never be learnt from someone else’s experiences. And once you witness this phenomenon, there’s no going back. 

Peace be onto the world,

A. 

Soulmate- who’s the One?Β 

I looked for the word “Soulmate” in my phone without an expectation. And there in front of me was a mail sent out to Geetanjali dated 6th Sept,’13, around three and a half years back which read: 

I read a new concept about Soulmates today.

β€œPeople think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. 

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. 

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” 

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Continuing with this mail- You don’t really feel their presence , in a way which is meant to be, when they enter your life. You don’t realise what they hold for you. You may even have no clue if they’re going to be one of the most important people you were to meet in your life. You might avoid them, love them or even hate them in the first go: for you’re clueless about them, just like anyone else you meet.  

I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with some of the people who I could call my Soulmates. My set of realisations after meeting my soulmate: 

  • I am one person who’s lived with their ego and have been proud of themselves. I realised how small and petty I am. I’ve felt small in their presence: with them being just one person; there might be so many others of the kind
  • Knowing your work well and being in love with whichever work you’re doing is of paramount importance 
  • Life has been easy on me- touchwood and I’m grateful for it. People have such stories and journeys which may be unimaginably tough and life changing 
  • Good times bring a lot of relatives and friends- not necessarily your true companions
  • People who stand with you in your testing times may be entirely different from the ones who you look up to today
  • I realised the superficiality in terms of knowledge and education I’ve been living with
  • There’s so much to learn and so many avenues to grow around 
  • I have my own insecurities to work about and transform myself into a better person  
  • Inspiration to take responsibility of my life and my surroundings 

And I’ve no qualms in confessing the frustration it built in me- I looked for help, desperately. Without an iota of solace, I headed out in all the directions only to find my closures within. I struggled, I asked for suggestions, but this wasn’t something I could ignore and move on with. I just couldn’t be the person I was before meeting them- I had to change. I’ve started off this journey of helping myself in ways beyond my expectations. I’ve done things I never believed I could and I’m wanting to do many more. 

People I thought have been my soulmates have left but I wouldn’t forget the lessons they left behind; those are worth pursuing. So, Be grateful to people who come into your life to change it once and for all. Don’t ask them to stay back- their purpose was very different than normal walk-ins and walk-outs. Believe in them and more importantly, believe in yourself. 

With lots of love and Best Wishes, 

A.