Showing posts from January, 2022

I was waiting

I was waiting. To hear from you. This is a condition that we have all found ourselves in. Back in the days when we operated with postcards and aerogrammes the wait was expected and anticipated. There was no point in me getting impatient to hear from a bondhu or a parent because we knew that the wait will be long. It will take weeks for the letter to reach. Waiting was easy. Waiting was not accompanied with attributions where the delay had to be interpreted. So many things could cause the delay that it was not usually taken as an intention to ignore. The letter could have gotten lost, the postal system was slow, there was snow on the ground and the mail truck did not make it, or there was a flood somewhere. The systemic delay allowed for believing that even though there are good intentions, there may be delays that need not be interpreted as a signal of rejection. We assumed that there was good intention to respond but circumstances are coming in the way. It seems things have changed no

I love you

I love you. Did you know that according to some research 73% of Americans want to hear those words from their partner every day. I got thinking about it sitting at an airport waiting for my son to arrive. I watched the people as they met the passengers they had come to receive, and I heard those words uttered many times. There is plenty written about these three words and its use and abuse across the World. Many people, much wiser than me, have commented extensively on this. It really got me thinking about what the words mean in my life. Do I have to say the words to the people about whom I might feel a connection that is truly deep and meaningful. And therein lies the conundrum, who can these words be used with? And when? And why? Are these just words that have become so routine that they are meaningless or are they needed as a reminder of the contract between people. It is as if not saying it regularly calls some contract into question or saying it is sufficient to keep the contract

I am jealous

 “I am jealous” I have heard many people say, “I am jealous.” Indeed, I say it as well and if you think about it, I am sure you have felt it at times, if not actually said. A bondhu recently asked me, “why are you jealous?” Because I am. But the bondhu remined me that I need not be. It is a recognition of one of our most fundamental emotions, and as we see the World around us, it is not unusual to feel that there are some ways others are doing much better. Does a person who gets Covid get jealous of the person who has not got the disease? The more I look around me I see jealousy expressed in so many ways. It is an emotion that ties in with the fundamental sense of personal insecurity and in an age when there are numerous tensors that constantly test us, and as we repeatedly fail, we look at the ones who have succeeded and the sense of jealousy creeps in to cloud our judgment. Way back, I remember when nearly everyone in my high school class appeared for a competitive examination to ear

Shue poro – go to bed

Shue poro – go to bed. Simple words. Often said. But in these words there is embedded a deep affection that few other words embody. I am told this often, by many people, given that I have the weirdest sleep cycle I know among my bondhus. I have chosen to operate in two time zones. This is not unusual for many people. I remember the days of my research, and later practice, with the “outsourcing” industry operating out of Gurgaon and Okhla and how the notion of sleep was completely upended as the labor in India would adjust to the time of the customers in the USA. Americans controlled the sleep cycle of the youngsters in India. With horrendous outcomes. Global capitalism at its ugliest expression without conscience. I had promised myself then that if ever I found myself in a situation where I had to live a similar life, I would seek a balance. My time is as important as their time and this chronological colonialism must be stopped. Thus I sleep when I can, and when someone says, “shue po

Who is a bondhu?

Who is a bondhu? I ran into a bondhu today and the person expressed some confusion about the word. And that got me thinking. Indeed, I use the word frequently in my writing, and way back I had tried to clarify what it means. But perhaps it is time to revisit the unique relationship that the term implies. The crude translation to English is “friend,” but it is closer to the Italian word “Paisan” the rustic, the peasant, although the Italians would focus on nationality, the word “bondhu” represents not a person but an emotion. A bondhu once reminded me that even things have emotion and that is true of a bondhu. A bondhu is a person with whom you can sit over a solitary cup of coffee and spend hours that seem like a blink of an eye. Time goes by with a bondhu, because you can look each other in the eye and see congruence. With a bondhu, a debate, even argument, eventually leads to a happy place. A bondhu makes you happy. There are no pretensions, no attenuation of behavior, no judgment, a