Saturday, March 11, 2017

Nature's uniqueness!

Lying on the floor in open of my terrace with my younger son cuddled in my arms under the blanket on a cool cloudy day was a great feeling. In front there was a row of trees loaded with fresh green leaves wiped out of all dust due to early morning rain. In one those trees, the mulberry were turning red, in mid ripe stage, and the parrots were savouring over them. Other birds too found their own sweet fruit without being challenged by any other flock. There seemed no competition or struggle as the fruit was in abundance. It looked beautiful to see small red berries placed comfortably between green leaves and small twigs which swayingly held the weight of birds, which feasted without rush. All seemed to be harmony and peace.

What a delight was it to see the reflection of greenery in the cloudy weather. Rainy day is so romantic and if it is holiday it brings all sweetness and affection in you out to express. I was romancing with my son and puppy pug, which was hardly a month and half old. My wife was busy inside working on something. In this mesmerising moments, despite all bliss I was somehow falling back into office mode, which had not been very sweet in recent past. Habitually, I tend to get very philosophical in such situations. Love and affection transforms me into hard positive thinker and unfortunately that is what is spoilsport to my wife sometimes :) She alleges that I transcend to a different world when I am close to nature. Nature churns me inside out, draws my inner feelings outside and I start thinking loud. And, whoever is unfortunately next to me has to bear the brunt of my trance. 

All these trees loaded fully with leaves looked so vibrant. They were rejoicing their existence in close proximity, with branches of one another indisputably crossing into each others space. With breeze they would kiss each other, embrace and let go. The birds flew from branches of one tree to that of another tree and not a single tree complained of change of company by the birds. They smiled and swayed in acceptance, with belief that their love is being shared with more. Every leaf of a tree was different than other leaves of the same tree. And, so did every leaf differ from leaves of other trees. There were almost a dozen trees visible to me, making a humble crowd, and none of the leaves were same. They were all different. So, million of different leaves lay next to each other, embracing, kissing, playing without ever complaining. And I think it is possible just because they acknowledged the difference and appreciated it. The difference was essence of nature. 

Here, we struggled all our life to be critical about the differences existing in human beings. Why, for what reason, did we want to make the difference look unnatural and forcibly try to make unnatural look natural. That is to make people believe in what I think and what I perceive as right. I had no answer as to why I wanted everyone to be me, by disrespecting my uniqueness and uniqueness of others. To make someone to be me, in fact, I was compromising on my uniqueness. Uniqueness is Nature. And Nature is so simple and Simplicity is what we don't trust. We make simple things complex in an attempt to achieve simplicity. 

And, believe me, as a spoilsport I shared my thoughts loud with my ten year old son. He further drew towards me hoping for me to stop. Looked at the trees and birds to understand a bit. Looked back at me, and cried loud, 'Mamma are you calling me,' and took the puppy in his arms and left :)

 I was left alone again ruminating. I smiled loud again expressing my hidden feelings. I called him, 'Hey! It is not your mom. I am calling you. Come back dear!' 

He returned with a smile and said, 'I believe you dad. You are unique'

And, I laughed and said, 'So are you dear'.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Diagnosed of!

Our elder son had come to visit us from Mumbai this weekend. He is doing his undergrad from Xaviers College Mumbai. Our younger son, who is still a minor at 10, studying in grade five, misses his brother a lot, but is always in a denial mode. So, is the elder one, who snatches occasions to tease him full throttle, though it is loaded with love and affection. The age difference was eight years and eight days.

Whenever together, though they would be glued to each other as inseparables, they kept fighting with each other at the drop of a hat. The fight between the two would be hilarious, though sometimes this brotherly fight would get little irritating when the younger one would start shedding tears in gallon. His tears were not because of any violence but for failure to match the elder's absurd comments, which made no sense to anyone, except to the younger one. His defence to the losing verbal duel would be to hit the elder robotically and transform his smile/laugh into whine. The wet eyes gave him an excuse to vent out violently. The greatest of all was the 'never giving back' policy of the elder. He never reacted physically and to defend himself from attacks would transform himself into the foetus posture. However, the intensity of his tirades would keep increasing with increase in the intensity of physical attack on him by the younger.

I was at my wits end when the elder one made a very absurd comment. Out of the blue I heard him say, 'You know, I was diagnosed of Madhav when you were born'. This statement, as usual, made no sense to me. 'Madhav' is the nickname of the younger son and 'Udhav' for the elder one. I questioned him the meaning. He, flat faced, said, 'As a person is diagnosed of some disease, I was diagnosed of Madhav when he was born'. It took sometime for the meaning to sink into me. But Madhav was quick to pick, as always, and retorted, 'And, I was diagnosed of Udhav the day I was born. At least you lived without any diagnosis for eight years, but I am suffering from the day I was born'. His wittiness was unexpected. And the expression was an example of great ingenuity. I laughed till I had spasm in my stomach.

Immediately, I started thinking of all the people I am diagnosed of, from the day I have come across them. I dare not name them here :)….. All of you are welcome to count your own diagnosed of lot.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reviving my dying habit

It has been long that I posted any blog. It is difficult for me to discern the cause of this gap. Is it because of writing block or just because I have stopped penning my feelings. For me writing in any form, fiction or non-fiction has always been my time tested way of venting out the pent up feelings. However, of late, unfortunately I have dropped my good habit. Now, the question arises how do I then release all that builds in me.

Through this I am trying to really find an answer to my own questions. If I look back, I have failed to address my problem. Things have been piling up within me and challenging harmony. And, to my dismay I have done nothing to solve it.

Life is so easy that we deny to accept and live it simply. Our favourite slogan is 'life is very challenging'. We prefer to be in denial mode. We have imported so much of cynicism in us that our suspicion eclipses the smoothness of the nature. Nature is natural but we force on ourselves to look at it unnaturally. Everyone here is a preacher and a failed practitioner. The gap in practice and preachings is covered by being a hypocrite. And unhappily I realised that I am one of them. I have denied all these days that my lens too is fogged. Not necessarily what I see is what it is. That is true because my mind says it is not and my heart wants to believe it is… My lens too changes colours depending on what I want to see and that is governed by strong emotions. I fail to control my emotions, and to justify my failure I proudly brag that I am too emotional.

I remember, in my childhood whenever I used to complain about a person, my mother would give a very simple solution by saying, 'Have you ever seen all five fingers same.' I would check my hand and acknowledge the difference then and there. But, as a grown up now, despite that I repeat those childhood lessons to myself many a times, I, as a habit, deny to accept that if I am thumb then another person has the right to be middle finger.

Every finger has its own strengths, forget weaknesses. I am asking to forget weaknesses because we do not appreciate our own weaknesses so we should ignore others too. Hunting for weaknesses in others is jolly good passion. We go on and on and on without realising that hunting for weaknesses in others is basically our main weakness.

I am through this writing trying to get back to my old habit to write what I feel. Feelings are not stable nor permanent, but at the moment they come, they leave their mark. In my writing I am trying to exhibit that mark in black and white. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

'Team India'- A vision starving to be a reality

Happy Independence Day! 

In speech today from Red Fort, PM Modi visioned 'Team India'. He said that 125 crore Indian citizens are in this team. Was it symbolic message, a sarcasm to mark the dysfunctional monsoon session of Parliament. Crores and Crores of rupees was spent in vulgar display of political hegemony. Inflated egos flew in air punching the helpless 125 crore citizens hard. This 'Team India' should not remain a verbose, but a reality. 

Wake up India! Time to be selfless apolitically patriotic in real terms. I appreciate the concept of solidarity, spirit of oneness, vision of inclusiveness and sense of ownership of this nation. This country is mine, yours, theirs and ours! Celebrate our strength and weakness, as they complement each other and gives us reason to move ahead!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cooperative Federalism: How do we achieve that!

Cooperative Federalism: How do we achieve that!


Cooperative federalism is a concept that the new Union government is publicizing, as way to solve most of the issues of development in national interests. Simply, the concept advocates robust state governments focusing on growth, which would add on to the growth of the country. The idea is that, stronger the States in the federal structure the stronger will be the Center. So, cooperative federal partners would help build the nation.

However, the growth of the States in itself depends on the cooperative growth sharing of the local self-governments, that is the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI). So the thread of the cooperative federalism starts from the lowest level of PRI i.e gram sabhas at village or conglomerate of villages to Union government. Hence, the dream of Prime Minister, Mr Modi, cannot fructify unless the dream trickles down to the last straw of the federal system.

A million rupee question is ‘How do we achieve that!’ How can the central government assure effective governance at the last level of government?

This is what are the bane and the boon of the federal structure! Even if the Union government is non-serious or non-performer, the States can grow at great speed if the government at State is effective and efficient. At the same time, all the great ideas of Union government may go begging if the States do not cooperate. The arm-twisting mechanism adopted by the Union is through sanctioning of grants. With further devolution of funds to the States by the current government, the Union has somehow promised to promote better State governance. However, to what extent the States will be able to carry the spirit down the line to all levels of local self-government, and at the same time they themselves keep up with expected pace of the Union government, will determine the success of the drafted story of ‘Collective Federalism’.

The worst part of the Indian political system has been the poor responsibility and accountability of the representatives of the people. The only possible way to ensure accountability is when politicians are put on trial during elections. And, it is very common remark, coming from across the board, from majority of electorates, that one contestant is no better than the other. Which means that they are flock of the same feather. At the need of the hour, when some unethical and malafide practice is unearthed, most of them (political leaders), cutting across the political parties, scratch each other’s back and protect the perpetrator from any harm. Which is why prosecuting politicians for their misdeeds, for breaching the trust and faith of the electorates, is far cry. NOTA was one chance to show the mirror to unethical politicians, but that too turned out to be ‘no threat’ for lack of any teeth. It became a mockery of an experiment rather than being a challenging experiment to reform electoral process.


So, the system of cooperative federalism, which is largely dependent on the strong political leadership at all levels, will succeed only if the system of responsibility and accountability is put in order. The bureaucracy, which has become a ‘committed bureaucracy’ of the political masters than that of the law of the land, will have to be shaken out of their submissive mode and oriented to deliver according to the spirit of policy and demand of the beneficiary. The beneficiary who most of the time remains embedded only in the papers of policy and lost in all practical purpose of deliverance and implementation has to be brought into the fold of policy-implementation-evaluation (PIE) network. Once if it is worked out, we can sit and watch the wonders of hyperbole-‘Cooperative Federalism.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Baffled Father of a teenager!

Baffled Father of a teenager!



‘We are parents of teenager’, this was enough remark to gain sympathy.
In fact many would empathize loudly with number of stories to prove that none amongst us was exception. Immediately, a mutual sympathetic group would form with all members having teenager children in their family claiming to be sailing in the same boat.

I am certainly baffled! Baffled as to why do teenagers’ parents call themselves sufferers. No way I am a sufferer to complain. Instead I am enjoying this phase, as it makes me more nostalgic. My son is so similar to me in thoughts and does boldly what I dared not do as a teenager. I failed to act, as he does, due to baggage of values that people of our times carried with pride. I think this generation is brave and risk taking. I wish I was born with my son and lived his life with him, but of course, certainly, wouldn’t have liked to have a parent like me, who despite being liberal at heart pretended unnecessarily to be conservative with genuine intention to tame.

Take it for yesterday. Chilly cold day in mid of January, 2015.

My son, in grade 11th, was leaving to celebrate the farewell party of grade 12 students in his school.
‘What time are you returning back?’ I asked him.
‘May be Oneish!’ he exclaimed, excited in anticipation of grand party. He paid little attention to my attention and lifted his tee-shirt to self admire the new abdomen packs he believed was evidently visible.
‘Can you see these cuts, Papa!’ his excitement grew further with little further rise of his cloth and exposure of chest.
‘Yes!’ I jumped into his bandwagon of freakish body curve glory sellers.
‘This is because of my hardwork at gym.’ He turned towards me and with disapproving stare asked, ‘Did you start your workout. I had sent you a youtube clipping. Sixty year old carving muscles and getting rid of diabetic medicines by exercising regularly’.
‘It is too cold to go for a walk in Delhi, now a days man!’ I imagined the daily foggy, chilly winters that we were witnessing this year. The very mention of it made me shiver. I looked around for a cap to cover my head and ears.
‘You are still that old typo walker, Papa!’ no remorse for being brutally foul.
‘How dare you call me old typo’, I yelled. And typical of me, spread my arms and challenged him to test strength by wrist pressing.
Six months ago I had successfully challenged him, but now situation was different. He was two inches taller, six footer, broad shoulders like a boxer, heavy iron fist and long fingers. He was perfect model at sixteen and I was model, going waste at forty five. My diabetes was getting worse day by day, a victim of my hectic Delhi schedule, and laziness, without exercise mornings.
‘Don’t Papa’, he warned with sarcasm and pity.
We shook hands and started pressing each other. I could figure out that he was sparing me from embarrassment.
‘So, you can’t beat me’, I laughed appreciating reality.
‘Do you think so! You will hurt yourself dear’, he measured his biceps with his other palm even while being in mid of challenge. It did not distract him and I struggled to make out of this distraction.
‘Can you see my biceps. Are they not good now, Papa’, he unintentionally, humbly humiliated me by bothering little to my efforts to defeat him.
Tired, I suddenly pulled my hand and touched his biceps and sounded appreciative, ‘yes, certainly they are grown now’.
  
‘Smart Dad. So you quit on pretext of looking at my biceps. Do you accept your defeat’, his eyes twinkled.
All through he was staring himself in the full sized mirror.

‘You are Narcist’ my wife would tell him and he would say ‘How would then I know the impact of my hard work in gym, if I don’t check in the mirror’.

‘You are going to be center of attraction’ I teased. I did not want to talk much about loss. He put one hand in his pant pocket and with fingers of other he brushed his hair. For months he hadn’t touched a comb. His fingers would shape his hairdo, and that looked more bizarre than when he came out of bed in the morning.
‘Looking casual is in vogue. Fashion of our time!’ came unwanted remark.
‘I have to brush my teeth’, suddenly he ran to the bathroom. ‘Can I please use your razor. I have to give shape to my beard’. The door shut behind him with a thud. He did not wait for my response or to my approval. Water ran in the washbasin.
‘You sometimes forget to brush your teeth in the morning. How come you are so serious at this hour in the evening? Preparing to kiss someone’, I walked to the bathroom door and shouted from outside to over power the water noise.
On the door was written in ink, in his handwriting, ‘BEWARE, I AM INSIDE. ENTER AT YOUR RISK’.
I knew I was crossing limit of father and son’s conservative relationship.
‘Come on Papa. You too are teasing me like Mamma’, there was noisy brushing of teeth in the bathroom. He perhaps intended to shine his teeth snow white.
‘This wouldn’t help you with your dental colour. Yes that will certainly throw away the foul smell’, I teased him. My incessant devil’s tattoo on the bathroom door added to the music of the tap water.
He had no interest in replying. I knew now he was shaving. He came out bare chested, with smartly pruned beard.
‘Your both children are smart’, my wife who entered the stage unannounced whispered in my ears and spitted three four times in a row. This spitting she had learnt from my mother to ward off black eyes. She would always praise and spit around.
‘All girls will run behind you’, she teased. I knew this was purely motherly instinct, to consider their children as best.
‘This is new shirt. Where did you get this from’, I asked looking at the well ironed black and blue square check shirt lying on the bed.
‘I borrowed it from my friend for this day’ he said. This is what was difference between our age and theirs. There was no much thought running behind any action. Friendship meant informality and sharing without questions. Infiltration into the privacy of others life was taken for granted. And at our age privacy is what mattered most in our life.
‘I would have lent you mine’ I complained feeling betrayed.
‘No offence, Dad! We keep exchanging our things. Akshay is wearing my jacket’, he said to ease me. He wore a white tee-shirt and over it half buttoned checked shirt. And that is what it was.
My wife and me just stared at each other. Outside it was very cold. Since morning it had been raining. Still it was overcast and the ever non-reliable metrological department had predicted rain whole night.
‘Are you going to stay partying at School whole night’, I questioned with suspicion. ‘Who will be there in school till one in the morning’, I asked.
‘All Papa! This is how we celebrate farewell in the school. Even teachers and principal will be there. There will be some cultural performance and I am playing a real photographer. I withdrew from a role in the skit, so that I can catch some interesting moments in the party’. He sounded very professional and confident. I had seen him grow in the last one year. He certainly looked hunk.

He had blossomed in this school. In his previous school he had been suppressed and his hyper energy level was misconstrued for indiscipline. Here he was left to explore possibilities, and soon became popular for his documentary making, fun loving and penchant for new ideas. The management admired his innovativeness and creativity and that fuelled his desire to perform better. He was loving his new found popularity. And we too felt elated, as we had longed all our life to hear words of praise for him. He was known for his hyper activity, and conventional schools failed to acknowledge his out of box thoughts.

His documentaries carried great messages. In his vines he made mockery of himself, to convey deep meaningful messages. We could not believe his sense of humour; they had perfect timing. He had amazing understanding of camera positions, and talent to direct non-artists and prompt them to perform. He scripted, told story, directed and edited. So he was one in all, at this tender age.

I remembered how I was forced to take science subjects including Math. I was uncomfortable with the subject, but science was meant for bright students and humanities were for duffers. To prove their children’s brilliance my parents pressurized me to take science. I had suffered with science all through, though when it came to scoring in exams I came out with flying colours. That performance, my output, was more to make my parents happy than myself. Now here was my son, who had quit science and Math, and taken humanities when in grade nine.
‘How can you permit your child to quit Math before twelfth?’ sarcastically acquaintances questioned. Even co-passengers in trains and flight, casually introduced during journey, would show their surprise. In their tone they were clear that we were fool or were toying with child’s future.
‘Math is important for foundation building of the child’, they would say with ‘n’ number of stories in support of their argument. 
How scary math was to my son was not a concern for anyone. What mattered was practice in vogue. Without Math an Indian was not baptized.
And, my son lacked the Indian flavor right from his birth. In our culture, laissez-faire attitude of parents was not proper parenting and laissez-faire attitude on the part of the child qualified him as a dumb-buffoon-good for nothing-spoilt brat (DBGSB). I had failed to graciously qualify as DBGSB, as a kid, because I had no guts to pursue my liking, though thousands time I would had loved to do that. I envied my son for his strong headedness, and was proud of myself for letting him do, what certainly I failed to do. However, honestly, I felt that my son never acknowledged our (me and my wife’s) magnanimity, to dare sail against the tide.

His friends came to pick him. A girl and a boy! Both were dressed for party.

Our anxiety started building up when there was no news till midnight. My wife was impatient, and we both kept creating more wrinkles on the bed by turning sides every now and then.
Worry for our son always translated into unhappy situation. Romance between us would just vanish. My wife would blame me for not controlling him and I would accuse her of giving him too much liberty.
‘He is with his friends in school. Certainly he is safe! Let us call him’ I said to reassure his safety. I always tried to save the situation by sounding positive at the onset, however that hardly lasted for more than couple of minutes. My wife’s tirade provoked by her anxiety would force me to react.
‘Do you think the school will be open at midnight. He must have moved to some of his friends place or driving around with friends. These youngsters are reckless drivers’. The very mention of driving by youngsters made my wife nervous. She would be petrified. Honestly, even I would get jittery. Driving car or two wheeler, the mode of transport would not help ease out the intensity of uneasiness. What mattered to us was that a reckless teenager was driving. Both would invite equal worry.
‘Why don’t you call him’ I asked. Annoyance was clear in our voice.
‘I have tried but he did not pick phone’.
A message popped up on her phone.
‘I am alive! Going to a friends place’.
That was weird message, but that is what our son was. Plainly adventurous! even in his messages.
Such messages were funny retrospectively, but at that moment it would further fuel the fire of anxiety.
‘I am with my friend Mama. We are going to one of our teachers place to enjoy’, he was brief when my wife and son were connected.
‘Who is this teacher, ready to host children at this hour’, she threw her suspicion in the air, hoping I would come out with definitive answer, after she was disconnected.
‘How do I know! Didn’t you talk to him?’ Lying on the bed with one of my hands folded on my forehead I gave a semblance of being in deep thought. I was staring at the ceiling, feeling left out. He had neither thought of texting me, nor he had expressed his wish to talk to me. His communication had been with his mother. And, she had in turn communicated their communication to me spiced with her own feelings. So, obviously my reaction was directed to her, my wife.
When mind dwells on anxiety, the discussion drags unnecessarily to all issues, which is not contextual.
‘I don’t know if he is serious at all towards his studies’. Now, why we discussed his studies at this hour was inexplicable.
 ‘I am fed up teaching him. I have put my career, my personal time and space at stake for his studies, but he never responds properly’, my wife’s strongest weapon in her armour was used.
‘Let him bear the consequences. Leave him to his destiny. If he would have been so serious with his studies then he would have done miracles’, I mused. We never failed to be judgmental.

Studies were the best weapon to use against a child. Comparative accusations or merely describing gaps in expectation and in delivery, the topic would put the child in defensive. And, we never failed to use that often, whenever we wanted to convey our dissatisfaction with his performance, social or educational.

At one thirty another message flashed ‘Still alive! Will be coming in half an hour’
The content of the second message brought some smile on our face. It had dual effect on us.
One that he was coming back soon, and, second was his sense of humour, which we admired silently.

At two fifteen in the morning he returned. He called on my wife’s cellphone, indicating his arrival. I went downstairs to open the door.
‘Who dropped you home?’ I asked him.
My first concern was if he was intoxicated. There was no sign, and I did not want to embarrass him and myself for asking that stupid question without any evidence. A normal teenagers parent thinks everything abnormal.
‘Who was driving the car’ I asked
‘He was on his scooty’, he said
We had by this time reached our bedroom, upstairs on this duplex home.
‘Didn’t I say that!’ she exclaimed sitting on the bed.
‘And where is your shirt. It is cold outside’, I had missed seeing his missing shirt.
‘My friend driving scooty was feeling cold, so I gave my shirt to him. I was sitting behind and shielded by his body’
‘It was so much fun. We enjoyed sooooo muuuuch!’
That was enough to melt us down. However, we wanted to hold our fort that it was not fair to be so careless. Unfairness was on three counts: firstly, staying out for so long without proper information, secondly, driving recklessly in the city on scooter and thirdly, inappropriately dressed for winter. We did not need any proof to aver that boys drove recklessly, if at all it were boys. Our statement was made without any scope of clarification.
Deep inside I was feeling that our interventionist blabbering would play spoilsport. He was back after a wonderful evening with his friends and we were hell bent to dampen his spirits. But, as parents did we not have the right to correct him. We did not want to dilute our rights. Both, my wife and me would regret later for unnecessarily reacting, but at that point it was very hard to contain our outburst, as for hours we had concocted all sorts of stories against him. We needed a vent out. Enough we had fought with each other. Now we had a soft target to attack.
However, we tried to sound mild and perhaps that was pleasantly unexpected for our son too.
After unexpected little dressing down, I invited him to sleep next to me, on my arms, and then indulged him in gossip. How much I wanted to know what kids of this age do. How much I yearned to be of his age.

I tried to justify our uneasiness and pacified him by quoting many stories published in newspaper, which put the patience of parents on dock. All such stories made us believe that world was too cruel.

He opened up soon and started sharing his excitement. The music and dance! The drive on the empty roads of Bhopal, in pitch darkness! Yelling and shouting! Fun frolicking!

I wanted to live through him this age. I wondered if I was suffering from dual personality. I wanted to enjoy, fly like a free bird and explore the world, without getting stuck in the hassle and pressure of professional chores. I wanted to live with the same fervor, excitement and enthusiasm that he lived with. However, at the same time I wanted my son to get bogged down and sucked into the vortex of unwanted educational and societal pressure. There was some gap in my desire and action, preaching and practice! I was, like other millions, a baffled father of a teenager, who wanted best for his child, and to fulfill this aspiration was killing the ingenuity of the child. Conditional freedom is what we teenagers father advocated.

I am surely enjoying this phase of my teenager, as I said at the onset of this confession note. But, I am honestly baffled, not just because of people’s mindset that we are sufferers, but also because factually we parents of teenagers do attract pain for no reason whatsoever. I am struggling hard to come out of this predicament.  








Thursday, March 19, 2015

'Character'

Character


I was wandering on the beautiful golden beaches of Goa, with an aim to aimlessly loiter, to lose myself, unwind the stress and gather the freshness, and steal some beauty from surrounding nature. I was trying to count the relentless waves hitting the shores, witnessing the froth on the waves eaten up by the beach sand, looking at the small sea shells rolling up to the sand on the waterside and slipping down under the water with the waves, and formation and disappearance of my footsteps on the wet minute gravels.

I was mumbling, whispering and thinking loud. Perhaps, alone I intended to give company to my solitude. Suddenly, I felt I missed to hear myself, as my voice got submerged in the sound of waves. This was a challenge, and I shouted full throttle to dare bury my voice. To my surprise I soared my throat with couple of challenging yells, but the sea continued teasing me with its roaring laughter through waves hitting just above my ankles and below. It pitied my miniscule presence and dragged the sand beneath my barefoot, tickling me and solacing me to forget my ego and enjoy where I was, what I was, who I was and when I was. It hinted me to empty myself of all thoughts and try to think to be thoughtless. It prompted me to enjoy my presence, in the presence of the beauty of unbridled nature. However, it was easier said than done.

Now, my thought process shifted and strayed into new dimension. Of course, I couldn’t become thoughtless and drift into vacuum. In fact it further agitated me, coursing my musing to identify myself in this vastness. I started wondering how can I be egoless, presence less, motion less and in a state of thoughtlessness. Wouldn't that make me a non-entity. Would it not pose a challenge to my existence and create an identity crisis in me. What character represents all these factors? 

Another wave, a bigger one, more powerful, came and hit, dis-balancing me. In an attempt to hold my ground I looked down. Water was greyish, loaded with sand. As it settled back while returning to main seabed, the colour changed to blueish. Froth riding top of another wave towards shore was whiteish. Farther I looked, darker the colour became. Same water looked different at different places, in different situation and different dynamics. Did it turn its colour like chameleon to protect itself or was it too magnanimous to be bothered by its surroundings. Did it behave as nothing, above the struggle of identity crisis?

I went on thinking and water conversed with me loud!

For anything living on this earth, water is indispensable necessity.
‘You are animate because you have me!’
However, I knew, itself it behaved ‘inanimate’. It did not bother about its taste, colour or identity. It silently merged with the identity of its surroundings.
‘Love or you hate, I do not care!’
‘The way you treat me, the way you get me’.
How do we explain a character, which doesn’t have any of its own character? Or was the character so strong that it knew that its presence couldn’t be compromised with, neglected and overlooked.
‘My presence is not because of you, and my existence is independent of my surroundings. I let you overtake me because I have no identity crisis!’

Was that arrogance of water or was it confidence. I walked a mile on the shore, with every wave hitting me with smile, oozing confidence, and prompting me to converse more. I laughed and agreed. My hearty noisy laugh merged with hearty noisy laughter of uninterrupted, intermittent waves, creating and subsiding itself at will. It never bothered if it was humbly touching my feet or I humbly bowed to take a dip with reverence. It swayed and danced at will, without any concern. All along the beach, tourist poured in to take energy from it. I realized it was time for me to backtrack with a lesson learnt.