A random moment of joy

Yesterday I was feeling typically heavy after my therapy session, which ended at 4 pm.

I went out of my room, and sat in the balcony with my Mom and 3 year old nephew.

We were talking random stuff. And having fun, because – kid 🙂

And then, he randomly went to the kitchen, brought a plate and a spoon, and started banging them against each other.

Nishu Masi, dance!

Somehow, I got up and started dancing. And doing the cartwheel. He stopped banging. I stopped dancing. He started banging. I started dancing.

Lasted for 5 minutes. But something I will remember forever.

No lesson to derive from. All good. Just life. And moments worth remembering.

My father started working at 6!

Earlier this month my father completed 40 years of his shop.

He’s 67, and had already worked in multiple “jobs”, before “starting on his own”. Here’s a journey of his work, starting from age 6!

1. Worked for FREE in a bakery at the age of 6, used to get crushed powder of toasts as daily “stipend”

2. Worked at two general stores in later summer vacations at school.
He was so much into cleanliness that once the shop owner’s bag of cash fell off from a higher shelf!
Guess what, my father had such a repute of honesty that the shopkeeper never changed its place!

3. Worked at a readymade garments shop as he “grew up” 🙂

4. Worked at a crockery of a relative, created a huge repute and profit for them, however, later the relative had to sell it off due to financial crunch

5. Worked as a typist at the age of 18, at one of the reputed shops in our city

6. Got placed at a factory by his employer, where he almost died by sinking in a pit while riding his cycle back home, and “someone magically appeared from nowhere” and saved him! Yes, he and a friend went to search for cycle the next day and got it 🙂

7. He found refute that day at a nearby factory, which later hired him. That factory was JK Paper Mills. He was even hired by DCM, Waterworks, and all the factories but he was underage!

8. Along with working at JK, he opened his shop on 05 August 1981. Used to work there in the mornings and nights.

9. Quit his job in October 1982, while his kids were 3 and 4 respectively. Talk risk!!

10. When he started, his shop was in a narrow street. His Uncle, in 1983, suggested to buy one of the new shops coming up at the main road. He didn’t have the deposit money. The bakery shop owner, with whom my father used to work “for free”, lent him the advance deposit. Till date, our shop is exactly at the same place.

11. Not to mention, he also used to do “flipping” by getting socks, watches from Delhi and selling them in our home town in Kota. However, he felt he wasn’t playing it ethical by showing a low-quality item as shiny and that was unfair to customers’ money.

Last year, as I was freelancing, I had once suddenly lost a high-ticket client. One morning I was sitting in my room and thinking, I saw my father doing his prayer rituals as usual.

He was as tensionless, as free and as “let life come as it wants to” attitude on his face.
If 40 years of business could keep him tension free, I had no right to get tensed that day.

That day, my father gave me hope.
Today as I asked him this entire story, he gave me the power of resilience.
And every day, he gives me the power of love by getting apples / mangoes for me (instead of bakery stuff that both my parents love :D)

We are not the best of friends, but he accepts me when I’m doing a headstand in the middle of the room, and I accept him when he “turns on auto-download” of WhatsApp forwarded pics, and together, we all are imperfectly perfect!

Just as we should be 🙂

About Father’s Day

Last Sunday, we had a blast on Father’s Day. Nothing “special”. Just that since it was Sunday, I took my Kindle and sat in the living room, instead of sneaking into my room.

Had life conversations with my parents.

Got to know that my father’s first internship started at age 6.

Learnt the immense power of putting your head down and doing the work, even when you are not being paid.

And more than anything else, got the immense power of learning to spend some time together with family. Not everyday religiously, but at least consistently :))

Our generation is so cool!

Sometimes all I have is sympathy for our parents’ generation.

Their parents saw the partition of the nation – leaving their country, their childhood, all that they called “theirs”, to come to another place just to survive.

In this need for survival, was the generation of our parents born.

Thus, the upbringing they got was of stress, not having enough time, and always lack of means.

Which is why our parents are the way they are.
They have been conditioned so.
They were never taught to love.
Perhaps because they were never loved.
And then one fine day, we pop up and expect them to be cool because that is what we are surrounded by – cool kids just like us.

Now that we know, we can still do what we want to do, while being respectful of who they are. It isn’t just for them, it is for the acknowledgement of how much they are trying to adapt, because they care for you:)

Dear Maa Papa

Dear Maa Papa,

I understand I sometimes come across as a weird human being. Someone who does not think like you, lives like you or even loves like you.

But you know what, nevertheless, I do love you.

Because that is what you both have taught me 🙂

Maa Papa, sometimes there are disagreements between us. And that sometimes turns to always.
You want me to be successful. But want that to happen under your eyes.
How will I ever learn to walk if you never allow me to get off your lap?
How will I ever learn to face the world if you keep telling me to run away from the world?
How will I ever create my own identity if according to you my identity could be best created at home while Papa may still go to the shop daily and do his Internet-based business and save thousands on rent and administration expenses?

Maybe you think my need for wings is too much. But you know what, it is just a basic necessity. Because when you attempt to chip off my wings, you don’t draw me closer to you . You rather push me further away.

When you both talk with each other, wondering what is the best way to deal with me, let me help you out:

  • Accept me for who I am.
  • I won’t betray your trust ever. Yes, I have been in two bad relationships, but as I reflect, I was just searching for love outside because I didn’t get acceptance inside.
  • I really do not need the comforts of home. I want to figure out life, and come back to you when I am in pain. Right now, whenever I am in pain, I go to deepest of silences and figure out things eventually. You may believe I am angry, but in reality, I am just coping up with your absence despite your presence.
  • Trust me, when you say that it’s okay if I don’t make much money – I do not want to live on your money. I want to pay my rent, all my bills and learn how life functions. If comfort was all that is, why don’t we bring in all sisters and brothers in law to live with us? Because they are “settled”? Is settling down mean having your name on a marriage certificate? How about thinking of bringing back an “already settled” daughter because she is not married?

Like you say, it is difficult to talk to me. That is the reason Maa Papa, I have stopped expressing myself altogether.

Maybe this makes you believe that I hate you. However, the reality is that I ache so much for your love and acceptance that I have drawn myself inwards. That’s it! How will I not love you? I do! I love you both so dearly that I do not want to bring any proofs to express it.

But as I know I am capable of taking care of myself physically, I do expect you to accept me that way. That would make me want to come home more often. Right now, even when I want to, I just don’t – because you would feel I am not brave. I am brave, however, I miss home even at home.

Hope to be home some day 🙂

PS: I love you to infinity, Maa Papa :)))

Parents and kids

When parents force their grown up kids to do something, kids feel pressured.

When kids finally take their plunge, they feel guilty.

And I want you to know – in either situations, do what is right. It never goes out of style. When you do that, you don’t need to feel guilty. Do your best. And then trust yourself.

Ladkiwaale aur ladkewaale

This week, my health insurance premium is due.

I had started receiving calls and emails from Policy Bazaar for long, to pay the premium. But I had decided to pay it just before the end date.

Yesterday they called up my father for the reminder, after understanding the fact that I never receive my calls. (His number was my secondary number.)

So in order for them to stop troubling him, I finally renewed the policy. Policy Bazaar website wasn’t able to facilitate the transaction, so I went directly to Max Bupa’s site and paid it.

However, today my father got a call again from Policy Bazaar, despite the fact that my documents from Max have already arrived.

I told my father that the premium had already been paid, he was receiving calls from the mediator while I had directly paid it to the insurance service provider. He seemed to quite not get it. To which I responded: “Think of it like ladkiwaale and ladkewaale having their conversations by themselves, and they decided to put the mediator aunty out of it.” Papa finally understood! 🙂

Simplicity has power, relatability and magic in it!

To those who have failed in CA exams…

19th January 2015.
The day I became a Chartered Accountant.
I still vividly remember the day.

We had just returned to Kota (my hometown) after an overnight train trip from Mumbai, after attending a family function there for three days. So the winter was a harsh reality from the pleasant zero winter of Mumbai to being back to Kota. Because of this train journey, I had taken a shower quite late, around 10-11 am.

The moment I came out, I saw a miss call from a fellow article at the firm I did my articleship from.

Oops, my heart started pounding.

As I called him back, he picked up the call and asked: “Kya hua?”

“Result aa gaya?” was my surprised response, to which he said yes.

My mom had gone to take shower and I was virtually alone at home. So I opened up the laptop, connected it to the slow BSNL router we had and checked the result.

452 out of 800, result: PASS. (*Top 100 scorers in India then)

Wow!

The day I will never forget!

Throughout the day I did not feel cold at all despite returning from Mumbai back to shivering winters of Kota. It was in the evening that I finally realised I should be feeling cold 🙂

My mom came out of shower and started crying a lot. A lot. She basically missed my Nanaji for whom I was a source of pride and who had passed away eleven months back. The day was something me and my parents had been waiting for, for years!

But this is the success story. That I cleared CA Final (both groups together) in the first attempt that too with very good marks.

Here is the back story: I failed in IPCC twice. As on date, given the number of failures we get to face, this doesn’t seem huge.
Back then it was. Especially for a class topper like me since childhood, who ended up with this major jolt for the first time in my life.

You know what, my Mom cried then as well, for how could such a thing happen to me? (Yes now I know that I was responsible, but I just couldn’t convince her to see that part. Maybe I didn’t want to see that either!)

But I did clear the IPCC exam eventually. One group at a time.

That is the word you need to remember my fellow CA students: eventually.

The world isn’t going to be smooth even if you clear all three stages in the first attempt with AIR 1. It’s true that social media is not going to have your pictures when you fail.
It’s true that your neighbours will probably stare at you when you’ll leave home for coaching classes.
It’s perhaps true that a friend who was not expected to clear is a CA today and you aren’t!

All this is real pain.
And it hurts, especially if you worked hard.

But there is one more thing that is real: Your grit. Your persistence. Your belief in your capability that no matter what, you will end up with the prefix CA before your name eventually.

Feel sad as hard as you want to. Clean your nose with your sweater that your friend likes who is a CA now. Look at yourself in the mirror and just be, it’s okay!

But when you are done, don’t waste a minute pondering about what was and what could be. Just focus on what you are going to do next.

Winning in life is less about numbers and more about your attitude.

For example, I’m not a cunning person and because of that I sometimes get walked over (sometimes by my hashtag friends), and that feels very bad. But then I tell myself that my systems and ethics are powerful, so I needn’t be scared. NEVER ever has been a place in my life that because of not being cunning, rather being a simple human being, I hadn’t won eventually. Things always turn out to be in the favour of the person who works hard with the rights systems and the right mindsets.

And if you are worried about number of attempts, yes I did get a bonus of 1L INR extra back in 2015-16 because of being a first attempt passout. But today, 5-6 years down the line, almost everyone is earning in the same income range. Time is a great leveller and a wonderful thing to forget.

So keep up your spirits high my fellow CA students, it is only a matter of time that you will become a member of the reputed ICAI. Till then, focus on building systems and attitudes that eventually and undoubtedly lead to success, instead of letting things happen.

PS: In case you are wondering if I used some systems while preparing for CA Final exams after failing in IPCC twice, of course I did! I won’t blabber them here because the purpose of this blog is not to show you how, the purpose is to show you what. If you need help with systems and processes while preparing for CA exams, drop me a note at ngehija454@gmail.com and I’d be happy to help you out.

PPS: It will happen, eventually!

Our old home

Today in the evening as I was riding on the Activa towards the park, I passed through our old home.

Just like every other day.

However, we had sold off our home in March 2020. So it wasn’t officially ours now.

Today was special, though.

A crane was demolishing the entire structure.
It was bought by our grandparents at the time of partition.
My uncles left their respective parts in 2000.
We left in 2015.
Sold in 2020.

73 years, in five lines. This is how quick life is.

Think of life this way: The girl who lives in an 8,000 sqft home with Anushka and Virat in Worli, Mumbai may have come from slums or may have come from a kingdom in her past birth.

But we all have to leave our homes. Sometimes being alive, always after death.

Nothing to feel sad or empty about, we all are there for each other – isn’t that epic?

The only home is the home humans take less time to think about 🙂

Anyway, here’s some pics from our old home.

Nothing awesome, just a few bundles of memories. Enjoy!

That’s it folks!

I went deep down the memory lane. Without a tear. Just a beautiful smile, to show that life is too small. Enjoy it while it lasts 🙂