Saturday, March 14, 2015

Change..When I discovered a new me..

I stared at the offer letter for a long time, thinking over and over again; unable to decide I called up my mother. “Hi Ma, I need to talk, will it be possible for you to take an early leave from office and I don’t want to sit at home, so let me meet you at that coffee shop near your office.”
This was what I had wanted from the beginning but now somehow I was very scared. All through the metro route the only thought that plagued me was how I will survive in another city. All through my 22 years of existence I had stayed in Delhi with my parents and now with this job I will have to Mumbai and I just wasn’t ready for it. By the time, I reached coffee place in CP, I had decided that I will tell the HR people that this is not possible and they give me another role, I will be happy to do anything they say.

“So what’s up?” My mother asked, as ordered her coffee, “I got Mumbai as my location” I replied in the saddest of voices I had heard myself utter, “But why? You always wanted to work in movies, isn’t it? You only took this campus offer because it was giving you an opportunity to do so. So why are you running away?” , I looked around and with a  heavy sigh I replied, “because it’s a new city, I have never lived away from you, I know this city, it’s my city, I have friends here, there I don’t know anybody, how will I survive alone?”

She smiled and indulgent smile and then took my hand in hers, “That’s called growing up, you need to live alone, understand what it means, it will show very different perspective of life, I am scared for you too but also very happy that you are getting this opportunity, take it as a challenge of starting over. Make new friends, in a new city with your first job, life is going to get pretty interesting for you.”

I had huge butterflies at the airport as she helped with my luggage, and suddenly I raced to her and hugged her deeply, “Ma, I don’t want to go, please, I don’t think I will be able to survive, I will miss you, bhai, dad and my friends.”, she hugged me back, “have faith in your mother and take this leap of faith, Just go for it, start something new”

Mumbai, was my new best friend, It helped me discover who I am, soothed me when I cried and celebrated with me my successes, something starting something new feels like the most difficult thing ever, sometimes change helps in looking up, looking at something new, like I felt when I finally found a second home after Delhi in Mumbai!

Like where they love change..just like in the new video of Housing.


Sometimes, when you feel all is lost without hope
When you can’t see the silver lining in the dark clouds
When there is no light in the damp dark corners
You wish, someone would come to comfort you..

I stood drenched in the rain, as the clouds thundered
Dampened and defeated, tears mingled with raindrops
The whole world had collapsed, and I was alone
I wished, someone would come with umbrella of hope

I entered the lonely room again, burdened and bitter
Why me? I asked several times as I looked again
At the termination letter, they called it pink slip
I wished, someone would come to wipe away tears

I stared outside at the gloomy night draped in rain
When the loud knock woke me from my reverie
Confused, who would come at this hour of night
I wished, someone who could tell me morning is coming

I opened the door, and my neighbor,  an old lady
Stood smiling, with a tiffin box in her hand, as I stared
“I saw you crying, from my window, let’s talk”
I wished, someone would tell me this is not a dream

We sat across the table as she laid the dinner for me
“eat, it’s the answer to everything”, “but, you don’t know”
I started to protest but she forced me to eat
I wished, the deep pain in my heart would just go away

She sat in silence as I gobbled up the food, just like my mother
“beta, sometimes we only make problems, and think,
You are still alive and healthy, just be thankful”
I wished, I could just stop the world right there

She took my hand in her old wrinkled ones, caressing
“I don’t know what is troubling you, I just know
That when you lose hope and belief that’s when you lose”
The wishes were coming true,  dark clouds were moving

And then I went on talking, telling her everything
She smiled and said, “You are like my child, the one I found
When you moved here, alone and I can’t see you like this
Whatever happens I am there for you always”

Just hearing those words, My wishes came true
“I am sorry aunty, I have not been spending time with you”
“relax beta, I know you are always looking out for me.
And I will always be here, your guardian grand mother”

And suddenly I realized, that pink slip doesn’t matter
It’s the time we spent with people, the bonds that we make
Which are not dependant on any letter or office
I hugged her tightly, as all my hope and strength came back

“this is just a small battle, beta, there will be bigger ones
And always remember I will still be there across.”
And we spent the night away talking, catching up
Suddenly the light was shining warm and bright

The night had finally ended, lighting the dawn of hope!

Just like to
Housing believes in the inimitable power of optimism. #together

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Group Hug..of Hope

Sometimes when there are small steps big paths are laid down easily,
Sometimes it only takes a few drops
to lay the foundations of big lakes
Sometimes it's only a few hands joined
that can stand against everybody...

It stood there always, from my earliest memories as a child to now, protecting the smaller plants and nurturing them in its shadow. It's a small park, the only one in our small locality which still has some green colour it. To me the small flowers and the big banyan tree serves as a reminder that peace is still present around me, something that I miss in my busy corporate life.

It started out like any other day, where I was rushing to office as usual late. Quickly remembering if I have everything with me, my wallet, my phone, ID card and run to the car when I heard the argument. Dismissing as the usual thing, people today have such less patience and such huge ego, these arguments are now an everyday thing, but a few words caught my attention, “the tree is my friend”, “you can get any order that you want”, “but sir, I have orders to cut it down”, “We need parking space”.

Curious I decided to go and find out, the voices seem to be coming from the nearby park. Reaching there I found out that my frail grandfather was standing next to two smartly dressed men and shouting at the top of his voice, quickly I rushed next to him to just solve the matter, “Dadu, what is happening, what's all this?”, he looked at me with a forlorn look, like I would not understand, “Nothing beta, these people have decided to reduce the size of the park, and build a parking space for people like you since the number of cars have increased and there is no place to keep them. For that they need to cut down this tree and a few plants and make space. I am telling them that they can't do this, this tree has been with me since my childhood and I will not let it be murdered”

One of the man then spoke up, “Look Ma'am, this is an order from local municipality and you all have agreed to it, look I have signatures and its not that we are destroying the entire park, just a part of it and please its not call a murder, we are just cutting this one tree, please make him understand, else I will have to call police to take him away.”

Before I could say anything, he replied resolutely, “Do whatever you want, I will not let it cut, you people have destroyed the entire planet in name of development, my rivers, my air but this is personal and if you have to cut this tree, cut it along with me.”

With this, he went and hugged the tree as three of looked helplessly, hastily I told them, “look, why don't you come back in the evening and we will sort it out.”

And I left for office, but I just couldn't concentrate on work. The question of whether it is a murder or just cutting of another tree, kept on troubling me. I left early for home to get it resolved. Just as I was about to reach home, I saw a huge commotion outside the park, fearing the worst I rushed inside the park, thinking I will need to take dadu home, even if by force.

Inside was a completely different scenario, all the children of the locality were sitting around the tree that my dadu was still hugging and a few other elderly people had joined the hug, the two officers of the morning were standing with an angry look along with a few police officers and the angry parents were calling out to children and their parents to come back home.

Seeing me, of the angry mothers started out, “It's all because of your grandfather, look they are not letting police do their duty, its just a tree. The space is so much needed, we are buying a new car next month and where will we park it, please ask him to stop the melodrama.”

I don't know what got to me, but I saw the birds resting and the leaves dancing to the breeze and I went beside my dadu and smiled, “go home, Its now my turn to hug my other grandfather, my banyan tree, Don't worry I won't let it be murdered.”

He looked at me with disbelief, then smiled, “Thanks beta, I am so happy” and then I joined the group hug as more and more of us joined, hugging the old tree and deciding we will not let it be murdered.

We sent an application and the authorities relented, we explained to everyone why saving that one tree mattered and now when I look at that tree, as it sways with the breeze as people sit underneath its shadow, my heart fills with hope, optimism, yes there is humanity and love still left. Let's protect our environment around us, we can do it with a few small steps..of HOPE!!

Let's revisit the CHIPKO movement and hug the trees around us!! Let's renew the HOPE and OPTIMISM in humanity!!

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Just like the optimism and hope that is reflected by Housing, check out

Women's day in India?? Really?? Ohhh I get it you are joking..

“No” the word echoed in his mind, how could she say that in front of everyone he muttered to himself, and the way she laughed with those other men. She needs to be taught “a lesson”, the man in TV was saying right, women are only supposed to do household work and not roam about in night, and she hangs out with men, laughs with them, he will teach her what it is to be a woman. He raced past her on the signal, opened the bottle and threw the acid on her face, as she screamed. “Lesson well taught”

Happy Women's day!! Ohhh the new discount offer, celebrating me as a woman, whereas hundreds of them are being “taught a lesson.”

She always wore tight jeans with that bright red lipstick, thinks of herself as that actress, he chuckled. “Women are like sweets, if you throw them the dogs will come” he read in the newspaper, nodding, “of course the man is so right”. He followed her that night when she got down from her cab, and called her names. She quickened her pace as she entered the dark lane, where he confronted her. He wiped off that red lipstick before “teaching her a lesson.” And did you say rape? But she was wearing jeans, doesn't she know? “Lesson well taught”

Did you say women have equal rights, of course its changed so much. Only the rapes and molestation cases have increased, but yeah let's celebrate “Women's day”

They drank alcohol and were looking to have fun, while she was walking with a man at 9 PM in night. They decided of course she is immoral, to roam about at this hour and must be having relations with that man, so she is spoiled. They called out names to her laughing, but to their surprise she replied back, answering them in equal tone. Furious they took out their anger on her, pulling out even the intestines, “making an example out of her”. They cried its inhuman, they looked shocked, “but she is a woman right? We were teaching a lesson.”

We are debating about freedom of press and speech, Do I even have freedom of being a Woman? But who cares let's have contests and post messages on Social Media, Isn't It Women's day, did you say respect?

Where everday of being a woman is a question,
what do we do for celebrating the women's day?
Just a token, just another hype of a day?
Or are we teaching our sons, brothers, husbands
what it means to respect a woman?
We sit in high chairs and dismiss all the noise
“these bloody feminists” what more do they want

Just the dignity to live with freedom!!

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