Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

The River

Recently, my sister insisted I listen to a talk  on Nanak Naam about “Hukam” and what it means. In a nutshell, it hit me that we spend so much of time of our time wishing or praying things to be different, but life is like a river and it only goes the way it is meant to. We can either accept that or be unhappy trying to change it. The power of acceptance of life’s unfairness or fairness was immaterial, because life would happen either way.

Too often, I spent my time wishing things to be a certain way, a fantasy as the talk mentioned, instead of accepting that life is what it is now now what I wish it to be. That’s not to say to give up, but rather work on my mindset and actions that I can control. I also realized that all I have in my power are my thoughts, actions and emotions. How I choose to use them is entirely up to me, and blaming others or life just brings dissatisfaction into my life.

It’s not easy, and I realize it is so much easier to go back to wanting life the way I want it to be, yet it continues like a river and I spend time trying to change its course by myself.  I get to leave the fantasy or I can be miserable.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, My Past, Myself

Family

The sudden quiet of the morning for once doesn’t feel soothing. Like a dull ache comes the realization I am home, far away from my family where I go to spend 10 glorious days gorging myself not just on pizza, but on love, laughter and memories. I truly cannot answer what took me so long to get back there. What could have been more important than creating such amazing memories? Work? Money? General busyness?  These past ten days I have laughed more, eaten more and been loved more than the entire year. And again I ask myself. Why? Why did it take so long to get back to this?

I got to spend time with my uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, old friends and all because I managed to say yes for once and got out of the way. Coming to this dull quiet, it hits me that with the loss of my dad and aunt, there are so many ways to keep their memories going that do not involve grief. Its sharing old stories, laughing at old jokes, and missteps and most of all, around 30 of us sitting in one room just sharing. It’s teasing each other, enjoying meals together, and it’s creating reasons to keep coming back to spend time with us.

I cannot help but count my blessings for the family that I have. I truly wish those close to me got to experience the kind, generous and giving family I come from. Sure, from the outside, it could be said we came for a 16th and 50th birthday party but truly we came to be together, to reconnect, to remind ourselves that with loss there are also gains. This trip became that reminder for me.

Happy Tuesday!

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Not Ready

Grief feels like a weighted blanket. It’s close to my body, but I put it away each morning and begin the day pretending it’s not there. Annoyance is also close by. The pitying question “how are you?” continues to grate. I don’t know how I am wish want to shout. How is it even after three years, I am no closer to feeling the hole inside recede. Grief is also tiring, mundane, boring even. Repetitive even. Well meaning people irritate with their questions, looking to see if you are whole when all you wish to do is scream, there is also now and before the death. They are just different.

So I continue each day, plodding along, hoping, praying, wishing even that my grief is no bigger or better than others, but the ache stays, the heaviness inside me remains. Only in this morning quiet do I allow myself the luxury of that blanket. But soon I must put it aside as the sun rises, ready to start another day, to answer that I am okay, because truth be told, there is no other way except to carry this for the rest of my life.

And so I begin the day with longing, remembering the laughing times, the old conversations, the many lectures, but most of all, I remember him waving goodbye in so many pictures. He was always ready.  I just wasn’t.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, My Past, Myself

Time Passes But Hurt Doesn’t

Another anniversary, another reminder of time passing, yet feels like no time at all.  Keep busy. Look down. Keep going. One task to another. Be in service to others. Remember him as the man he truly was not what I wished him to be. See him as a truly loving man who didn’t shy away from saying I love you. Heart full, head heavy. Yet images of him smiling always come to mind. Hard to imagine her pain, waking up to a day like this. Words and emotions flying inside me, but I dare not release them onto others. This is my suffering, to do alone, to serve as penance for not utilizing my time with him well.

But then I remember how much good and fun we did manage to have. Through the arguments, his unwavering support even when he doubted my crazy ideas about Desi music and Ziba, cemented our friendship. Yes, I could say I was friends with Papa.  Yet, the hurt stays, the pain never really gone, just a dull thud, but also the realization that I am the man I am thanks to him. His actions became my opportunities to learn. His mistakes, my pain to overcome and become better.

It’s tempting to build him up, erase the tension and the disagreements, the regret of not following his instructions. The day comes but he’s lasted for years and will for as long as I am here, and hopefully after. I Love you, Papa

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

If Only

It can be easy to delude myself that I am in great shape when I average 10 miles of running a week, and manage to hit crossfit two to three times a week. It can feel that I am at my healthiest, that I deserve to all that I want, and yet this week came the realization that perhaps, just perhaps, I am triggering in others and in myself a desire to over-indulge. I put in hard work, but this week it feels that loved ones around me feel I am wasting that effort if I gorge myself. Of course, the analyzer in me took up the challenge to figure out am I overdoing it?  If only, I ran more, worked out more, read more, practiced more, and it hit me that when I play “if only” game I am not as happy with my life as I should be.

When I allow “if only” to run my day, my thoughts and feelings, I never feel good enough, untalented, prone to mistakes. I ignore my best efforts. I don’t allow myself to feel pride in my accomplishments, and the fact that I am living pretty close to my vision.  When I only “If only” to rule my days, I lose sight of possibility in myself. Sure, I admit there are some positives because “if only” has led me to set up morning routines and exercise regimens, and be open to opening a new practice, however it can turn toxic when I allow others “if only” to permeate my thinking. When I take on their proposed ideas of how I should be living my life, I realize that I take on their idea of a what a good life is. It may be for them, but I workout to feel good and enjoy my life. I do the things in my life because I want to be a better version of myself, but not the best

That was never the goal. It is to live a life that I can call my own and not based just on “if only.”

Happy Monday and Labor Day!

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, My Past

Different Eras

Yesterday, I was blessed to be a baby shower of an old friends. I saw so many I had not seen in years, and we got to reminiscence about the bygone era of Ziba Music, promoting parties, out of state travels, being over each other houses all the time, I could not help feeling gratitude. Gratitude for still maintaining contact, for still having fond memories about the past, but most importantly, that we were still in each others lives. Sure, it’s not as frequent as it used to be, but it exists, and in the end, that’s all that matters.

This weekend turned out to be varying versions of remembrances as I heard my mom speak fondly of her dog who passed as well as the one who adopted her (our dog), and I was reminded yet once again, that sitting at lunch, around the kitchen counter, is this time that I will remember. I made note of it because I no longer take for granted that family lunches or dinners will happen endlessly. With old age, deaths now comes the realization that as each Era passes by, it is important to experience it for what it is not what I want it to be.

It’s strange to remember that Ziba music is no longer around, but it’s influence still present when I see my old music friends who bought many first legendary South Asian music from my father’s store. I count that as one of the major privileges of my life to experience so much great music, and to see so much talent blossom into great business for my DJ and artist friends. It took this past weekend for me to see different eras that shaped so much of my life. For that, I am truly grateful.

Happy Monday!  What do you cherish from your past?