Friday, October 9, 2009

Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize

I remember shadowing Hillary Clinton for a race that - even with its most obvious diplomatic connotations - did not matter to the average Indian me. And how I was a bit bummed when this chappie called Barack Obama eventually won the Democratic nomination. Then I got to know him better, read him a bit more, understood why people got goosebumps everytime he spoke, had stingers in my eyes everytime I saw him and when I realised what he stood for: for America, for the world, for every individual, if you looked at it in a really intent way. When he won, I was proud - proud unlike how I've ever been for any Indian election winner - and I cried.

But I felt no pride or tears of joy today when I read that Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. There was shock, disbelief and anger. Shock at how much this puts into perspective the fact that what he signifies to me and the world and his country has done little actual, real-time difference, when compared to those who won the Nobel before him. Disbelief that Oslo, one of the world's few 'fair' awards, would spark such a massive international debate, honouring a serving president, one whose country is waging three wars currently, someone who has yet to cross even one major foreign-policy milestone. Anger, because there were far more deserving candidates: peace means and demand much, much more today. Anger, because this award has stinted Obama's chances of making real change happen - he has been stymied by this medal, which will take his every future effort to the bottom of the diplomatic cess-pool.

Give the Nobel back, Obama.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We've got incoming!

The cat-lady's just gotten a baby girl! yay!

Please head over and wish her, and the adorable Veeru and Basanti, a very very happy first step into motherhood!

I'm celebrating with lemon tea shots (Gujarat is a prohibition state - well, what the hell, actually I can't drink at work), but jeez, join me!

*skip, hop, skip, hop, skip, hop, wheeeeeee*

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A breakthrough, and some thank-you's

"Remember, the desires that are in our souls do not come from the nothingness; someone put them there. And this someone, who is pure love and only wishes our happiness, only did it because he gave us, together with these desires, the tools to make them happen."

- Paulo Coelho

I've, for a large part of my life and perhaps subconsciously, without giving it much thought, tied my 'identity' to what I seeked at that particular time. Seeker of wisdom, then love, sometimes strength, often patience.

Some searches seem eternal, overlapping with other things in life, sometimes they lie hidden underneath circumstances, coming up for air just when I'm concentrating on other things. That is why perhaps I feel like I've always been a mother, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law. My searches transcended my social or cultural status - and they remained, even when tags changed.

Love, of all these searches, remains one of the most perplexing ones. It's not easy to seek it, neither to ignore it, neither to remain unaffected by it. All of us give love our heart, our soul, our best shot: I give it my rage too.

I've been raging in love for what seems like forever now - actually if I read my diary it'll number in years, but I'm too scared to look back and actually acknowledge how long - and I've raged against and for, both.

I seek it all, in one person. Not an easy burden to bear, but one that Nino's Dad wore with ease once. Somewhere I changed too soon, and I felt he'd remained the guy I dated and fell crazily in love with. Perhaps that was the beginning of the rage, of my search for what I perceived as understanding of my changed self. Perceptions of change, change more frequently than change itself, so it was a flawed premise to begin a search on. Something like using multiple compasses, when often, it's the milestone on the road that you miss.

Over these last few months, the rage turned from supernova to black-hole, eclipsing my other searches, bits of things that make me the whole that I am. There were several precipices, and last week, a turning point like never before. But there was a breakthrough - one in which we resembled silhouettes of the same two people who'd first started out, acknowledging our differences and attracted by the learnings in them, sharing a cold kota-stone bench on a windless night. And we remained there sitting together, even though the silhouettes had changed so much in these eight years.

I wouldn't call it a truce. Far from it. My rage to fight for love remains stronger than ever. I don't know the directions ahead as well, but I know that for now, I'm in an oasis, after a blistering journey. One where I learnt to take the wisdom of the wise, and pick the lessons that fit me - not the lessons that were guaranteed to work, just the lessons that let me remain a seeker, and yet, sane.

I don't believe the breakthrough was co-incidental. Read Paulo Coelho above? In these last few months, unacknowledged searches had come to the fore - searching for purpose, for meaning, for friendship, for spiritual guidance. And I'd found my tools too: both within and those outside.

We call them different names perhaps, tools or angels or friends or guiding spirits or the yings for our yangs. And while I found a few, a few found me. T. Suj. MinM. Nitya. Swati. Dipali. Sole. And also Anjali, Chox, Ra, Alty, Broom, Neel Kamal, OJ, GonTB. And me.

I thought of some of you during the 8th day of Navratri, before the breakthrough (I like how I call it!) on Saraswati pooja day. A 28-year-old who din't need her pens, books, laptop blessed as much as she need some names on her blog-roll blessed. Blessings of the divine spirit for these givers of the wisdom that I've needed to remain who I am truly at heart: a perpetual, tireless, seeker.

Thank you. I wouldn't have made it this far without you.