Father Friends

pretty sweet, huh
pretty sweet, huh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is already a beautiful morning here.  I sit in the quietness of my library, along my morning coffee, Its steam wafting up into the air. After I had prayed and was in midst of my meditation (who would have thunk?) I began to smile as I drifted to images and conversations of yesterday.  I had texted my friend Raj to keep a date open for Preeti’s birthday (perhaps a Beer tasting tour, perhaps a pub crawl), and I ended up giving him a lecture about taking care of himself. He is one of the best fathers I know. He absolutely without a doubt adores and loves his boys, but it’s the joy he takes out of it that is mesmerizing.  Yet more than that, he is also the most generous with friends and loved ones.  He is one of the few in my life who if more than 6 weeks passes by will make a huge effort so we can hang out. It hit me that friendship isn’t always about just sharing how your feelings, it’s about the little things we are willing to do to be around each other. I am truly lucky to have someone who has 10,000 things on his plate but makes me feel like I am still a priority. It’s a joyous feeling, and I wish him success in all aspects of his life.  I cautioned him not to forget himself while he took care of others.  Yup I have officially turned into my dad, giving advice to anyone I can catch! (love you dad!)

And yesterday got even better as I got to see one of my oldest friends from UCLA:  Rockwell.  Preeti was kind enough to suggest forcefully that I got and spend some quality time with him and his son.  I am so glad I did as I watched Rockwell treat his son like a young adult, and answer and respond to all of his son’s question. This is not new. Whenever I have seen Rockwell interact with his son, it is genuine interest , attention and love. It is this kind of attention that has led his son to know all the interacting friend and familial relationships in his father’s life. And it doesn’t stop there. When I watch Noel, Michael and their parents interact with their nephew and grandson, it is with such deep love that I am hypnotized. I don’t think I have met a more loving family than Rockwell’s. Each time I go there (and it’s not really ever enough) the parents greet me with such enthusiasm and love that I could spend hours just talking to them.  There is such a closeness that I feel like I am with family. And then there are Rockwell’s brothers.  Noel the oldest has always shown a warm heart and loving hugs that make me feel as I was a long-lost brother and the little one Michael has always made my feel like a loved old brother.

I guess what I am trying to say in my long-winded way that if I am ever lucky enough to be a father, I had already have 2 mentors in Raj and Rockwell. And I also have a family that I know I will be lucky to have for many decades to come. Lastly, the image I ended with was of Preeti as she spend the time to talk to me about the things we wish in our lives. I truly felt I have a partner who I can share anything with. So I’d like to say THANK YOU to the one ABOVE who made this all possible. I truly am grateful.

Myself, Preeti, Random

Bollywood And Bullshit

English: Indian actor Shahrukh Khan, arrival f...
English: Indian actor Shahrukh Khan, arrival for press conference of “Om Shanti Om” at the Hyatt Hotel, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mild Spoilers ahead. Also for those who don’t watch Bollywood, most of this will go over your head.

Preeti and I had the misfortune to go see Chennai Express. Within minutes of the movie starting, I knew it was going to be a  steaming pile of shit. However, we sat through the overacting by Shahrukh Khan and Deepika whatever her last name is (I am too lazy to go look it up), and I couldn’t help listening to the audience that was in the same theater with us. They were giggling and laughing away like it was the funniest movie they had ever seen. It hit me that perhaps they are such huge fans of SRK that seeing him in a comedy made more than worth their time. While I couldn’t help noticing how old he looked, and the fact that he had to quote his older movies to constantly remind us what a huge superstar he was, I couldn’t quite get over how disrespectful us North Indians are towards South Indians. The movie is full of every South Indian stereotype there is (idli anyone?), with a bare nod towards Rajnikanth  at the end with a song dedicated to him since he is a huge star there.

A quick glance at reviews online and I kept seeing the word escapism, visually arresting, blah blah. If you want to wade through glistening shit, this is the movie for you.  No matter what, with a big blockbuster like this, you can count on one or 2 songs being interesting especially the “masala” song which involves a girl with some flimsy clothes gyrating away as she has never gyrated before. It’s all in good nah. Never mind that it shows women nothing than sexual objects and things to look at.  God forbid, a Bollywood movie such as this show women as more than showpieces. Nope! Not happening.  Instead we get a mishmash of horrible songs, even worse dancing, and me wondering why the hell did I sit through 2 hours of utter bullshit.

I know that we all have different opinions, and perhaps I just couldn’t get past the over acting, but what really offended me is how we continue to watch Bollywood movies that are broadly stereotypical (a tamil speaking punjabi guy anyone?) and promote the idea that only particular north Indians are the true Indians. What a load of bullshit. We are better than this. Bollywood needs to get better before it truly become irrelevant to the next generation of South Asians.  [Rant done. Drops mike.]


Conflict Clones

The Way to Save Ourselves
The Way to Save Ourselves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I have mentioned before, I have become enthralled by BK Shivani and her series. Currently, I am going back and forth between “Healer Within” and “Soul Connection” (why I don’t just finish one to move on the next, I don’t know).  Yesterdays episode of Soul Connection (Soul Connection 24) dealt with conflicts.  In this episode, her message was simple. No one is ever wrong. We are all just different. We have our own reasons for doing thing. The main reason conflict occurs is not that we are different, but we are convinced that we are right and they are wrong.  That dynamic causes the pain in conflict.  The truth is we all want people to be like us but really do we want clones? Imagine a world just of Sanjay Sabarwals’s, acting and behaving the exact same way all day all the time.  A drama where all the lines are the same, read and said the same way and acted the same. A bit boring, don’t ya think?

Yet, all day we are angered, annoyed, irritated and frustrated by others for not doing things they want we would do them. We spend so much time trying to be right that we lose sight of the whole point of being alive. Of being present, of loving the moments and people as they and accepting that they are just different.  I know as simple as this idea is, how difficult it truly is to implement. Truthfully. I do want people to change, to deal with things as I want them to. I want to be IN CHARGE, but really I have no control over others. The only thing I have control over are my thoughts, feelings and actions.

The other truth is that while I may feel as if I am right, what I am really doing by being annoyed, angered, irritated and frustrated by others is wasting time.  Time that I can use to explore, expand and energize myself.  So I start each morning with my Japji Sahib, enjoy walking my dog passing each blade of grass as if it’s the first she has ever seen, and then come back to watch BK and then maybe dabble in, and and may be just maybe work on the every growing very personal essay.   That’s what I have control over.  Everyone else, well, everyone else is different. And you know what, that’s alright.

Myself, Preeti


Cancun Beach
Cancun Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Remember Me.”

“People will forget what you said or what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Unknown [The greeting note from our hotel

Right now in Cancun, I sip on my coffee people watching from my room.  The pool is huge and people are milling about and already the booths are filled up at the swim bar. Swim up bar. I had read that many times before but I am truly fascinated at the idea of ordering alcohol in the pool and drinking it right then and there. Of course to the many who are getting beers, I try not to dwell on the fact that I don’t see them going to the bathroom too often. Hey, it’s vacation, nothing wrong with pee, is there?

The sense of serenity and calm overwhelms me while I watch my beautiful wife sleep. Paradise. This is what people rave about. I finally get it. For the first time, we have arrived at a perfect place for us.  Because really it is us.  Those words just make me happy. There was some trepidation coming to an all-inclusive. We wondered about the quality of the food or that the drinks would be watered down, but nothing could be further from the truth. Expedia, you came through big time. It also helped greatly that 2 good friends recommended the hotel and one in particular told us to book for weekends as the price is double. Booking Monday thru friday saved us almost 50%.  The reality as she explained was that every day is a weekend at a vacation resort. She hasn’t been wrong on one thing so far.

And the ocean?  A brilliant deep blue further up and light blue with white sands near the shore. I still cannot get over how warm and pleasing the water is as your step in.  Yet what really makes this a great vacation is our sense of joy being together and really reconnecting again, learning new things, and sharing this beautiful experience together.  I know my recent posts have been sappy, but I hope that you also get a sense of my gratitude I have for the life I was lucky enough to be born in.  I no! We are blessed to have the luxury of going places, having wonderful people in our lives but most of all the faith that everything is going to be alright.  Paradise is not just this vacation. Paradise is where your heart is.