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, 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

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, My Past, Myself

30 Years

Last week, I got an invite to join a private Facebook Group that included the Class of 1990 from David Starr Jordan High. I couldn’t believe that my 30 year high school reunion was coming around. And then as I saw the cascade of pictures and reconnected with some of the Panther alumni, I realized how different I am from the Sanjay that went to that school. I have so much to be grateful for from there, but it took decades for me to grow up and own my voice and image. Yet, it was there that I learned about my passion about writing, and I truly believe it was my teachers and students in my writing class that put me on the path towards UCLA and then law school after that.

I got to talking to an old friend from there, and I realize that out of my core group in high school, I am still in touch with one one of them. I wondered what happened to the others, and then I got a chance to reminisce with one of them, and it felt wonderful. So much life has happened, so many things changed, but the warm feelings haven’t. I look forward to reconnecting with those who I have not spoken to in Decades, and also wonder about the ones who I have no heard or seen from since graduation. So much life, so many years, yet without the foundation of my experience, I would not be where I am.

And for that, I am truly grateful. Happy Monday!

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.