The ‘If Only’s of daily life

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The city is dry, parched, thirsty for rain.  The colours of March are long gone.

The red, pink and the occasional purple geraniums and the orange nasturtiums have given way to greyish green leaves that fall ever too soon to the ground only to be raised by the hot winds from the west in a dusty swirl.

The Met department had predicted rains on Thursday evening. The clouds dutifuly gathered on the horizon darkening the evening skies and encouraging many a hopeful city dweller. But like the promises that are made but never kept, they floated away almost as quickly as they had come.

And we woke up Friday morning to yet another dry, dusty, hot day looming ahead of us.

This doesn’t seem to have deterred the forever hopeful met department from cheerfully making more enthusiastic predictions of rain for the weekend!

 

I often wonder how many of us are actually thankful for the constant supply of cool fresh water that (still!!) flow out of our taps all throughout the 24 hours of the day. And the electricity that keeps our air-conditioning running.

There are hundreds and thousands out there for whom these are  luxuries they can only dare imagine.

Like that group of impish little children at the inetersection a little distance away from my hospital. On regular days, they’d diligently pester each driver to buy whatever trinklet they were taking turns to sell in the few minutes till the light turned green or they got shooed away. Since the past two weeks, however, they’ve taken to asking for cold water.

It makes me incredibly sad….

 

It is amazing how cruel as a race we humans have become!

The other day I had a passionate verbal altercation with Mr.X ( For the lack of a better term, I call him my colony-mate)

X is of the opinion that the water bowls that the likes of me leave on the footpath outside our colony gates attract stray dogs, which are a menace to the humans. According to X, helping animals is ‘ fine and fashionable’ but humans are a far superior race and when it comes to the interests of humans, animal needs are to be sacrificed.

Hence the water bowls must go!

 

To say that the likes of him awakens my primitive destructivel instincts would be an understatement!

Leaving aside water bowls and stray dogs, it escapes me how a person can go through life living with a notion of such audacious superiority!

Of course it is entirely a wastage of one’s energies to reason with such a man about the number of thirsty living creatures ( in addition to the dogs that he hates) that would drink out of a small bowl of water – the small squirrels, birds, a line of bees that always line the rim and sip water unmindful of the crow that drinks from the same bowl, perched on the other side of the rim.

But I being me, did not let the opportunity pass by and mercilessly imparted a good amount of education on the necessity of being kind to ‘all living creatures great and small’, much to the chagrin of X.

The result?

He now pretends to be busy with his phone, the button on his cuff or the imaginary speck of dust on his shirt  whenever I ( or anyone remotely resembling me, I’m sure) cross his path..!

Instead he has taken to admonishing the security guards for filling the water bowls!

I wonder if it is the kindness that these simple uneducated men carry in their hearts, or my threat that I’ll call animal-abuse groups if anyone dares hurt these dogs that make them ignore Mr.X.

Anyway, for now, the arrangement is working!

The bowls have remained where they are. In spite of Mr.X!

 

 

 

22 Zen Wisdom You can laugh at!

Zen Laughter

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

3. It’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.

4. Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

5. Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

12. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

13. Some days you’re the bug; some days you’re the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like ‘The Force’. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night

Warmth…

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We bumped into each other on the stairs.

” Leaving? Home?”
“Yes You?”
“Oh, I got a small errand. Nearby. Then home”

” Okay. It has been very long..”

Quick excited chatter and giggly laughter, much to the amusement of the hospital staff leaving for the day..!
We remained unmindful, too preoccupied with snatching words out of each other! More giggles!
And shushing!

“I think I’ll walk you to your car.”
” But I thought you were leaving by the front door”!
” Yes, but you could drop me off at the front door.. If you don’t mind the detour?”

” Detour!!” HA!?
“Okay,okay. Call it an excuse to be together for a little while longer…”

“How endearing you sound, really!”
” Well..it has been so long..”
“Yes, it has…”

45.786 seconds later….

” So here’s the front door.What now?
Where exactly are you going anyway? I could drop you off,you know? ”

” But it’s less than walking distance..just behind the hospital. Besides,if you get off the main road now, you’ll get caught in this terrible traffic.”

” So are you saying I should come, or I should not?”

” I’d love you to drop me off..a little more time to chat with you. But..”

Hesitant honking behind us. Sort of a mini traffic jam on the hospital ‘runway’.

” Well, STOP being dumb and hop back in. I’m dropping you off. What the heck! ”

7 mins 54 seconds, giggly  exchange an eavesdropper would label silly, and two right turns later…

” That’s the place. I told you it’s shorter than a stone’s throw away.”

“Well, this looks nice.
So how do I get out on to the main road from here?”.

” You take a right, the first left ,then another..
Oh well..lemme come along and leave you till the end of the alleyways ”

“NO.Definitely not. You’ll be walking back a longer distance than that we travelled!”

” But I’ll get to be with you a little longer”

“Awww!
You’re crazy! But you’re sweet, really.”

End of the alley. Main road ahead. We had finally ran out of excuses..!!

Hugs. Byes. Promises to do better than WhatsApp messages, staccato conversations and chance meetings on staircases!

And I drive back home with the warmth that comes from a few short minutes of honest, shared laughter, unabridged chatter and the rare, blessed feeling of being wanted for just being you.

Thank you, P.
Stay blessed.

P.S.- Traffic? I didn’t really notice it today!