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?

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

365 Days

And just like that  a year has passed. Papa. I would have never thought I wouldn’t hear your voice again or that not see you comb your hair right before a picture. I hear you in my head. You  enjoyed life, and made it your mission to be silly and make others laugh, and I catch myself doing the same. I refuse to be melancholy or be sad every day because that is not my way to honoring you. It still isn’t easy accepting it, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Each morning in the Gurudwara, I acknowledge that I miss you, and then move forward and keep you in mind as I practice law, and do the things you wished for all of us. I regret that I didn’t get more time, but then again, the time we had been so wonderful that I count myself blessed.

One thing is clear that in the year you have been gone, I am different, but in a good way. Your absence a constant reminder that I get to honor you not drown myself in self-pity. I gotta tell you, it hasn’t been easy. The house of laughter you created had fewer laughs, but we are your children, and we have managed a few. Not much, but a few. And then there will be more laughter, more silliness, more love for music. more Ziba Music because you ensured you left a legacy with your family.

So although it’s been 365 days, not a single one has passed without you in our hearts and minds.

Papa Loves You.

Sanjay Loves You

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, My Past, Myself

Checking In

If you are friends with me on Facebook then you have recently seen an upsurge in my Yelp check ins.I always check in with a tinge of shame and guilt. The shame is usually that I feel as if I am bragging about what a great life I have, and guilt that perhaps I shouldn’t be posting so much. And why Yelp?  First off, it’s because I only check into places I enjoy and want others to have the same experience, and secondly any commentary I put there is because I want the people I am with know how much their company means to. These past few days have meant a lot as I was lucky enough to meet so many I care about.

Then there are also the non-yelp moments where I couldn’t check in.  A beautiful one hour conversation with an old friend in New York.  We have managed to keep going for almost two decades this way. And watching Star Wars on Kodi and then breaking into tears as I missed my father intensely to the self-loathing I feel for not doing more to better my life. The anger from an argument where it felt easier to blame another when in fact, they are a mirror into my life.

So don’t just look at the check ins and picture a wondrous life because the reality is that while the check ins are happy moments, they are plenty of emotional states one doesn’t get to see.

My Past, Myself

Emotional Writing

an-opportunity-to-rebuild-yourselfI have been blessed to be part of a great writers critique group (The Long Beach Writer’s Critique Group) that has helped me to want to continue writing.  One small change that I made last year was to submit more often to the group. Initially, I was hesitant because like most writers, I had the fear that my writing was not good enough. Although the feeling has not gone away, the feedback I have received from the group has made my writing exponentially better.

That still has not changed the fact that I am a “pantser” (one who writes without an outline) or, in my case, someone who looks at a blank page and has no idea what is going to come out. So last week, I volunteered to submit a piece, and at first, it started with me describing my brain bleed which then got me to a dear mentors death due to anesthesia which took me to the deeper hole about my stroke then to my jaw surgery in high school and then to my cornea transplant, and suddenly I had pages and pages filled in and I couldn’t take a breath. The words poured out, and what started out as a simple essay about a simple surgery (I thought) suddenly choked me, and I froze.

I have heard about emotional writing, but never experienced it in this manner until now. What seemed easy suddenly became the hardest things as it hit me that there is so much I have not dealt with. So much stuff I just bottled up and treated it as if it was in the past, and then the old quote came up(paraphrased here): “those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it..” So hit me that as much as it hurts, I have to keep writing. If for nothing else, just so I can finally know what emotions are still there.

 

Cancer, My Past, Myself

The Stench of Self-Pity Part 1

Is there a better feeling than waking up to the quietness of a beautiful morning?  When the eyes are still closed, but inside you feel full of gratitude and love for all that is in your life?  Think I am full of shit? Few years ago, I would have agreed and perhaps even said that I was just trying to be a creative writer.  Yet, last year around this time is when I was still recovering from my brain surgery and prior to that, my wife’s illness and then before that a stroke  around the time a loss of a dear dear friend reverberated through  my soul. So I could say life was not fair. I could have whined, and been angry.  And honestly, I did. I cannot even read some of the stuff I wrote around that time because the stench of self-pity suffocates me.  I felt so sorry for myself that I engaged in soul deadening behaviors like avoidance, and pretending all was well. I stopped reading, writing or really doing anything that gave me true joy. I fought with people in my life with such a vengeance as if it was their fault my life was where it was.

I probably would have continued if some of the strangest things came together to salvage who I used to be. It began with a subscription to The New Yorker. I have been buying books all my life, and there are always piles of unread books surrounding my homes, but subscribing to the New Yorker was a new commitment for me. I had no idea that each week, a magazine that was extremely well written with VERY long articles would come to my doorstep.  Each and every single fucking week. So I began reading. Around the same time, a forwarded You Tube link of BK Shivani’s “Healer Within” caught my eye.  At first, I was uncomfortable with the Indian accents, but her words struck me into submission with their clarity and accuracy.  I also began doing Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way as well as doing Lumosity brain games while trying to learn Spanish (still struggling).

I didn’t realize at the time, but I had begun constructing a new me….

To Be Continued….

My Past, Myself, Random, Ziba

Music

Anokha – Soundz of the Asian Underground
Anokha – Soundz of the Asian Underground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These past few weeks, I have started to delve into my playlists again, and realized that I have become stagnant.  Each playlist is a compilation of the same songs as well some new albums that I thought were interesting.  My playlists are the height of my laziness. I no longer hand-pick the songs. Instead, I am content believing others that this is relevant music.  Worse, I have even tried to convince myself, yet the playlists have become dustbins of music that I wish I liked but don’t really.  Just like me to rationalize that all recommended music is something I want to listen to.

Are they all bad?  Of course not! It’s my lack of willingness to sit through music so I can fall in love with it. Instead, I rather cursorily go through it, and added them nonchalantly.  So there the music has languished and so has my willingness to engage with it. In the process, I completely stopped listening to music.  Period.  I didn’t quite miss it till much recently as I began writing. I felt something was missing.  Music has always been my soundtrack, the thing in the back that goads me to keep punching these keys. It takes me on flights of fancies, and remembrances. Listening to some of the original playlists, I see how each track meant something to me, a bookmark for a particular person, time, or event.  Some had instrumentation that shook me like A.R Rahman‘s theme music for the movie “Bombay” while others like Talvin Singh‘s “Jaan” featuring the ethereal voice of Amar hit into my soul.  Each song had personal meaning or connection.  They were friends.  They were there when I needed them.  Yet. I had abandoned them so thoughtlessly. So now I am back on Spotify, You Tube, Podcasts, looking for music that will feed me.  That will make me dance across this page, keep me sustained as well as entertained.

A tad romanticized? Of course, what would music be if we didn’t add our own meaning to it?

Jaan By Talvin Singh Featuring Amar

Kehnde Ne Naina- Devika (Reshma Cover)