Family, Myself

A Strange Year


It strikes me as crazy what I have gone through this year. From brain surgery to running a 10K to working a carnival for the underprivileged and donating goods on Skid row, I feel as if this has been the most complete year in my life. I also managed to submit a short story as well as am actively praying and meditating. As much as all of this sounds like bragging (or perhaps repetitive), what I am trying to really say that I can improve my willpower just by sheer repetition and a desire to be and do better. I couldn’t have predicted the surgery, but the main lesson I did learn was that if not now, then when?

My wife and family got quite a scare, and I know they have been very patient with my crazy ideas of running the 10K or going on skid row. Hell, they have even accepted me promoting again.  I now see that I am only stopped by what my reluctance to do things rather than anything else. I have nurtured some relationships, and others, well I have let wither because I know now that spending time on things and people who don’t help me grow in some way just is not worth it.

I also see that my recent posts have been about my aversion to staying still. There is so much I want to achieve, and if I don’t keep move, I will stagnated. There is a part of my brain that has become a bit spongy, but I am not going to let the rest of it go to shit. I refuse to. So yes 2013, you had your fun with me, but 2014, I am coming for you.  Watch out, bitch!



Bridge Over Norwalk Blvd.
Bridge Over Norwalk Blvd. (Photo credit: savemejebus)

“Hey Mister” the latin accented voice loudly called out to me. I removed my headphones and glanced to my right to see 2 older gentleman in a dusty car looking at me expectantly. I leaned in towards the passenger window. “Do you know where La Mirada is?” the driver asked. I opened my mouth and drew a blank. Nothing came to mind. I wanted to say that I used to drive there daily to go see my sister and brother-in-law, but standing on Norwalk Blvd around 10am on a Saturday, it simply did not exist in my mind.  I have always been bad at directions, but after my surgery, I have become TERRIBLE. I seem to now lack the mental image we create to see one’s location, and have become so heavily reliant on the navigation that even getting off an earlier exit due to traffic causes me undue stress.

The men tried so speak to me in Spanish, thinking I didn’t understand English, and after I still faltered, they gave up and moved ahead. I walked the rest of the time devastated and angry at myself for failing at this simple task. Over and over, I kept repeating to myself what I could or should have said.  After 5 minutes. I realized they were headed in the wrong direction, and it seemed apt for a moment. I seem to point people in the wrong direction. At least for once, I was not at fault.   Yet I oddly felt unsettled as if all my work to make my mental abilities stronger, there were some black holes that I just cannot seem to get out of. I don’t know what other challenges I will continue to face, but one thing is for sure. I am not giving up.

Myself, Writing


I have this need to be read It’s why I have been writing since I was 16, and I often wonder what makes me want to share with others.  What makes me desire to hear the sentence “I read what you wrote” followed by “I liked/loved/laughed/cried/thought about what you wrote.”  I am open to criticism but I am scared of it as well. My biggest fear is not being liked but being ignored. As if I don’t exist. I write because it makes me feel as I exist. It is the only time that I am the uninterrupted. unadulterated me.

All my life. I have fought this nagging feeling of being a fraud, of feeling that I was meant for something different. The reality is that we are all a bunch of choices.  We are where we are either because of our own choices or others in our lives.  The others count only if your under 18 or just not willing or able to make your own choices. As a Punjabi, its easy to point the finger at my parents, but they didn’t force me to write, or go to UCLA or law school. Those were all my decisions so in a way I need to write to think out loud on paper. I have this need to inflict my opinion others. It’s perhaps the only time I feel as if intellectually I matter.

Yet even my writing is haphazard just like my feelings and thoughts. I have been unable to write something original in a long time. It’s as if I am afraid to really put myself out there or maybe just maybe I don’t have it in me. It is that last thought that drives me crazy. If I am not a writer, then what am I?  It’s the only label I have ever really wanted, and its the only that has eluded me now for over 2 decades.  I often the wonder if the feeling I am a fraud is actually who I am.  That perhaps in some way. my desire to be something other than what others think of me is what drives me?

I don’t know, and so I write even though I feel like a fraud.  IMG_1964


My Past, Myself, Random, Ziba


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)



Punjabi (Photo credit: John C Abell)

I have been meaning to write. I mean it. I really did.  If only somehow, I could have transcribed the words from my brain to the blog, life would be easy. No wait, on second thought.  That’s probably not a good idea.  I am coming to the end of a workday, and somehow it seemed fitting to close out the business hours with something on my personal to do list.  Something that I can say I am truly passionate about.  Before you say self-pity, I meant the new convictions in my life.

I recently turned 40, and let’s just say it hasn’t been easy to NOT feel sorry for myself.  I want to read more, work out more, write more, travel more, do all the things I have been promising myself now since I was 18.  Then it hits me. Why not start now?  What is really stopping me?  So here I go again (Sorry family and loved ones).  Writing, that is.  But there will be a change.  That much I promise you.  I am going back to my roots (no I am not going to write in Punjabi).  I will become a columnist. What will I write about, you ask? (at least,  I hope your asking)  The life around me, my new passions, things that piss me off.  Perhaps it will be much ado about nothing, but I will be writing, moving the fingers across the keyboard, keeping the writer in me on life support, because I know HE is dying.

So here goes to the new me.  Wish me luck!

Myself, Writing

Writing 2: A Blog Post

Story of I
Image via Wikipedia

Finally did my morning pages after a few months and thought I would share with you:

same, the random ideas come but nothing stays long enough for me to jot down.  I am still struggling with the idea of writing something and time is growing near.  I am almost 40 without a story to my credit. I want to be published dammit.  What can I do to seduce you back?  Why have you abandoned me?  What do you need to flourish inside of me?  Work is not me, you are me yet you hide, devise ways to stay away, making me seem incapable, unwilling to start putting something down for posterity.  It is as if you are afraid that I will misuse you, abuse your nature, blunting the truth down to ignorance.   What can I do to show you that I am more than capable, that I will be to true to you and no other?  Our dance has gone on too long, the flirtation now a joke.  It is time to commit to each other, to make it a real marriage.  I do not know how to get flush you out, to get you to give me the words to show my truth.  Instead, you have given me only silence and small teasers of what could be, wriggling away from my grasp whenever I come close to you.  Enough!  I need you. I want you.  I desire you like nothing else.  Come back to me. Make me whole.  Make me right.