Food For Thought, Inpsiration

A Rough Day

Yesterday was not an easy day. It’s been over 8 months since Papa has been going, yet it still feels so raw. Mostly because I haven’t allowed myself to process my grief. It’s just easier to look at the unfairness of things, to be snippy at others at their “luck” of having dads still.

My selfishness knows no bounds when it comes to my emotions and thoughts. I buried myself in feeling sad and sorry for myself, yet it hit me as I hiked Hellman Trail yesterday that my father would have hated me this way. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who would try anything to make his loved ones smile. So not was I dishonoring his memory, I upset others with my crappy attitude.

Then a beautiful message from my wife hit me to my core, and I lived yesterday with a new sense of urgency: to not waste time and energy on things I cannot change. Then I also noticed how so many had reached out, and the most I could muster was a lame thank you. It is in times of need that I sometimes truly forget that I am never alone. I just make myself feel that way which only serves the selfish need inside me to dwell rather than take responsibility.

So each day will be a focus on less feeling sorry for myself, and then finding way to be in service to others. It’s what my father would have wanted.

Brownness, Family, Myself

Festival of Silence

The diwali diyas at Diwali Celebrations at Ban...
The diwali diyas at Diwali Celebrations at Bangalore 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still a bit high off the Kirtan at our house on Last Saturday, I was looking forward to Sunday evening’s Diwali celebration at the Buena Park Gurudwara. I was truly grateful for all that I had in my life, and for the friends and family that came to celebrate with us just because we invited them.  Still, I couldn’t help being disappointed at some who didn’t come, others who didn’t bother to reply, and several others who I counted on being there but were not. And then of course, there were those who I will no longer invite, and it pricked a bit.  It was that feeling I dreaded at the Gurudwara. I didn’t want to face them physically, and be reminded of their continuing betrayal, but most of all I was saddened that in my quest to become a peaceful and mindful being, there are some who will fall by the wayside…

730 am today. I ran 5 miles in 56 minutes, and it hit me that 8 months ago, I was waking up groggy from brain surgery, and I was just utterly grateful for the life I have been blessed with. I smiled as I remember the writers meetup I went to last night where the a person mentioned several times that he was an award-winning author (who does that), but again we are all on our own journeys. We make our own decisions, and what we think about them doesn’t really matter. It is a lesson that I have to remind myself as I am disappointed in others and in myself. I cannot do anything about the people in my life, but I can change how I feel about things. It is the one lesson of BK Shivani that has stuck with me. Ultimately, I am only hurting myself if I continue to focus on the negative rather than look at what the world has to offer. So I celebrate this new festival of silence rather than of mindlessness.


Bollywood High Heels

Bollywood & Beyond
Bollywood & Beyond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



What is up with Bhangra songs and hindi lyrics and whats up with white people speaking hindi in Bollywood movies?  That’s what struck me as I went to watch Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, and listened to Yo Yo Honey Singh‘s “High Heels” track with some painful hindi in it. I am the first one to admit that my hindi isn’t all that, but really trying to rap in hindi when your first language is something else is just plain dumb. The beat is catchy but wow can someone hire them a song writer or someone perhaps who can speak Hindi fluently at least?  Or perhaps it can be bad Punjabi like in Imran Khan‘s new track “Satifya” which really after 4 years is just Amplifier part 2.  What happened to meaningful lyrics and characters?  Which leads me to my next annoyance. What was up with the white people speaking in Yeh Jawani? I would think if it was pertinent to the story line, I would buy it, but to have them without so much as an explanation was just perplexing. I probably sound racist, but it just threw me off that there were white characters randomly in the movie who had substantial roles but no back-end story.  I need logic of some sort in my music and movies.

I have taken up my old passions and they are lacking, and it saddens me. I don’t even know where to find new desi urban music, and what am I finding is just plain unimaginative and not relevant to me.  Maybe I am just getting old.  Yes, or maybe I am old already. Either way it’s a sad.




Brownness, Journal, Myself, Random, Writing


shalimar the clown
shalimar the clown (Photo credit: dltq)


Cover of "Bombay Time: A Novel"
Cover of Bombay Time: A Novel


Cover of "Junglee Girl"
Cover of Junglee Girl



I still cannot believe the words that come up on this screen.  My cup of tea steams, waiting for me to drink it down.  The dog watching my every move, believing any second now I will take her for walk.  The quietness of the morning, interrupted only by rare passing cars or the random barks of dogs who think they can take on the cars, seems loud.  The hardness of the chair I am sitting on, digging into my butt deeper and deeper as if looking for something inside me, makes me realize how much effort it takes to put on these tiny words onto this screen.


The remnants of a dream come to me just now. An old couple I am visiting insist I take the 2 books I was admiring in their library. I don’t know who they are, but I confidently tell them to feel free to come borrow anything from mine. I also brag that mine is bigger (Freud anyone).  At that, I look around and see what I have.  There’s Bharati Mukherjee‘s The Holder of the World right next to by Bombay Time by Thrity Umrigar.  Then there is Junglee Girl by Ginu Kamani, overwhelming Love from Punjab by someone named Dhillon. My Indian collection is a source of pride for me.  I used to visit the book store, and look for any Indian authors because I believed it was important to have them in my library.  I don’t know when my enthusiasm waned, or when I stopped buying any books.  Perhaps it happened when I realized that I had more more than I could possibly read in 6 months or maybe it came when I look at the titles, and most of their stories don’t come to me.  Lately, my memory is not what it used to be.  It is a fact that I am painfully aware of, and makes me want to reread all the books in my library especially the Indian ones.  Salman Rushdie‘s Shalimar the Clown beckons me, and does the anthology Our Feet Walk the Sky. But then I realize it’s not just about the Indians, it’s about all the words that surround me.  They all are staring at me, almost wishing for me to create my own. Silence…




Travel Prompt

Travel by Chris Guillebeau
If we live truly, we shall see truly. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

(Author: Chris Guillebeau)
I hadn’t thought of this aspect for my life and I realized that I had very vague notions of traveling, preferring, instead ,to surprise myself by visiting places I have heard of but no know about it.  Now that could be the simplistic  travel the world but that seems like a cop-out and did not really answer the question, but then it hit me that I did try once to travel all over India so perhaps the short answer to visit India, I mean really visit, travel the country, but various methods of transportation, get to know the country in a more intimate way rather than half-remembered places and figure out what makes me tick coming from a country of billion.


The Ride


by Jemal Yarbrough


I know how that bird feels.  Sometimes. all we can manage to do is keep ourselves dangling on a small branch just so we don’t drown.  Much like that bird, I felt alone and surrounded by weak branches that looked like they could not hold my weight but they can as the bird proves.  We do not see the deep roots or the strength these branches have under the water, and perhaps we are  not meant to.  We just have to have faith that they will help us survive.

If you have read my blog, you know I have struggled often with my conflicting thoughts about friends and family.   From wanting No! demanding love and attention to anger and sorrow at seeming indifference.  I cannot read minds, so I used the actions or lack of actions to speak to me.  But then it hit me that I made this about others when it should be about me, us, what we need now and going forward.  The ones that care will be there, and the ones that don’t either fake it or just pretend all is well.  Either way is fine, but I know I need to put some things to bed, that some friendships have run their course while some are just beginnings and others getting stronger.  I cannot pick which is which, the reality being that whatever is meant to be, is.

That’s the tough part knowing that what perhaps what I did either contributed to the demise of the friendship or made it better.  Either way it keeps coming back to the same idea: you cannot force what’s not there, and whatever is meant to be will happen, and it will happen exactly the way it’s going to happen.  The what if’s, the would’ve, could’ve lay by the wayside.  The hurt will be there for now, but I forgive myself first and then others for causing it.  The only thing I am sure of now is that I have to keep moving.  The ones that want to be along for the ride will climb on board, the ones that do not will either say they meant to come or pass.  Whatever they decide is by me.  I cannot no! will not force them.

I have a new life starting soon as husband and wife, as brother-in-law, and a son-in-law.  My main goals are to make my family stronger, spend more time with loved ones, and to keep writing.  The rest will sort itself out.  I have faith in this ride called Life.