And sometimes dreams do come true………
And sometimes dreams do come true………
The sun, an emblazed orange, a bit too bright before resting for the day. They say the setting sun always shines brightest , scorching the eyes ; just like the dying lamp, the flame shooting up angrily, one last time before the complete darkness. The wind rustling through the leaves and tall grasses and whooshing past one’s ears, a dizzying exhilaration, like the soft humming of bees. The sun continues to play hide-n-seek with twilight zone, its soft warm caress on the face of a 5 year old. Was she 5? or maybe 6. In her memory was the never ending field, a rush of adrenaline to cover it from one point to other, no obstruction slowing her down,just a gush of wind to plunge through.
To be able to reach the forbidden point and run back, that was the sole objective. This was the end of the field for her, because she was not allowed to cross the line beyond which lay an even bigger field and a waterscape. She never liked playing with the other kids, or the over-sized pink plastic ball. She would run, at times turning her head back at the figures on the park bench, growing smaller with every step forward, the tumbling and trotting and jumping, the abrupt taste of the grass, mud and salty tears, the wind the sun and the world going round and round and the sheer happiness of a breathless halt.
She knew wherever she went, no matter what she does, there is a set of anxious eyes from the park bench, following her, waving at her and keeping her safe and happy.
Last year during this time, I had bid adieu to my job. But more on that later. This change in life’s cycle of plan was preceded by months of work travels and a shift to Hyderabad.My initial days were spent staying at the Taj-Krishna hotel, living out of the suitcase, dining at the nearby Hard Rock Cafe, early morning travels to the factories and those unending training sessions, that I had to conduct. Life did not look so bad from the 10th floor of a Five Star Hotel, or those drives in the BMW (yes this Company did pamper the employees). It felt great, empowering in fact, to make the long travels all alone and feeling in charge.It is strange, but when you venture out of your hometown, the first realization of cultural change never hits you, if you are living the high-end way. The Banjara Hills area, full of posh malls offered innumerable dining options. I would take long safe walks in the neighborhood and explore the place more.
This life through the tinted glass phase ended soon and I moved into a flat, slightly away from this upper class area of the city, then again not too far, just two bus-stops away. This apartment was cozy enough, and apart from washing your own clothes I really had no responsibility. There was a cook to take care of my hunger pangs. Yet what used to really frustrate me was this living completely cut off from everything. I have seen people wonder, why I would resent a life of seeming luxury, with no household chores as such. But trust me it is this very fact that started suffocating me.When you move to a new city the best option is to go for apartment sharing. At least you get the chance of being in the company of new faces and new mindsets.But in this scenario my life became all about working all day and coming home to a big empty apartment at night where I would get my timely food but no one to talk to as such. It was getting pretty miserable, away from your loved ones and to sleep all alone in a 3 bedroom (quite unnecessary as you see) flat would really make me depressed post 7 pm. My constant source of survival was Skype and the complete FRIENDS series in my laptop. The worst part was being tied to your room on weekends. Now this I wanted to change soon, by venturing out a bit, to explore the city one step at a time. So i started taking rounds around my own locality, which did not help too much since I realized I was bounded within that territory by a thin line.
This particular location of my Company had only 1% female employee in the entire office, that also if you include me. On a daily basis, one very basic task was to hold yourself pretty high, as in a no nonsense, hardworking professional, who needs to be listened to, no matter what. I knew an image any softer will never get my work done in a mostly male-chauv world.(Frankly this mind set is not country specific and you will have to face this in any part of the world, and the key to rise above the rest is in your hand.) No matter who you are, no matter what surrounding you are in, no matter if you are surrounded by a host of big-shots, its imperative that you keep yourself in an elevated platform.
I think I was getting accustomed to it, the new place, the new life and the new role when the company decided that I will not have to stay there permanently. Thereafter the role needed me to constantly travel which I was okay with initially but then again, packing your bags and moving every alternate month was becoming too much of a pain and I had started searching for something of a permanency location-wise.
If there is any single-most crucial phase in my life so far, then this is it. I grew up. And not in the sense ,half of the Indian population looks at growing up. This was more of a realization that I have indeed grown up and I can keep myself safe in the face of adversity. Self- preservation is first step towards that, and all your talks of female emancipation becomes non-sense unless you yourself can figure out the methods. Day in, day out I had to travel all alone to remote places during this time. Empty highways, in the early hours of the morning to late in the nights, I myself feel surprised as to how I managed. But there are no regrets, really and in the end the feeling of achievement is a price-less one.
Needless to say, the blogs I have authored for a while have died with my writing habit.What a fad it had been to write blogs in college, when none of us knew any better way to express, than this. But then a life started where you are expected to win your bread, and much of the previous need disappeared. Or may be I have become better with spoken words. A lot has happened since then, that i never sat down to chronicle. It felt easier to take a snap maybe and use a micro-blogging platform, faster, hassle-free – the philosophy of life we are all subscribing to, currently. But three days into the year 2015,a few job changes and a relationship-status change later, I am back to facing the question that had haunted me the very first time I was going through a phase of self-realization. What defines me? What am I all about? It was in college amidst a lot of internal turmoil I had sat down to pen my first thoughts in a blog. Once again I faced this query from myself today. And here I am trying to wander back to the point I had left it all.
Multi-tasking is not my forte. Multi-thinking is not either. I cannot obsess over more than one person in my life. I cannot fathom the need of more than one goal either. I have not been injected with such a perception of life, but maybe from an early age I had been drilled into my brains to ‘take one thing at a time and finish the work in hand first’. Somehow such a stance got evolved into something quite self-destructive. I can not move on unless I have solved a particular crisis I am stuck in. For the outside world this can be a neurotic ailment, for me its an extreme loyalty to one’s cause. I guess it is a psychological problem whichever way one looks. I knew extreme obsession of loyalty will be the end of me someday. This could just be the beginning.
This is by far the best pasta I have ever tried. And the weird part is, I had done it from whatever was available in my refrigerator. I even used up the macaroni-pasta I had instead of the usual spaghetti or bow-tie pasta one should normally use. It is wholesome, healthy and the tastes quite like the one served at your favorite Italian diner.
Start by frying the onion in olive oil till transparent and add the garlic. Next add the sliced sausages, bell peppers and broccoli and fry well. You can add a little butter for taste. The tomatoes go in as soon as the meat and veges are done. Its good to add a packet of puree or ketchup and add a little water for the sauce else it goes dry. Salt and pepper and cheese to thicken and season the sauce. Near the end add the boiled pasta and lightly turn it in with the sauce while sprinkling a generous amount of oregano for the perfect taste.
P.S. Next time I will add some mushroom to this.