September 10, 2010

Smile? Oh, please!

If Paramahamsa Yogananda was alive he would probably finally believe that we have entered Kaliyug. For I find all around me people have such a hard time to exchange nothing more than a smile? Well, I am no one to comment on the Guru's thoughts because I know nothing much about him or this preachings. But what I do know is that the world is facing a crisis - Smile Crisis!

I meet a woman almost everyday. I would not want to mention where, but we do cross paths daily. And, it has been about four months now since I do so - sans smiles. I wonder how some people have the ability to look through, almost as if I were some sort of a trasparent wall. Or worse, air!

Seriously, we could all do better than that. I know in the Indian society, we are used to smiling only at people known to us. Our mothers and teachers have warned us about 'strangers' who we should stay away from. Agreed. But, we adults know better, right? That said, here in the United States, it is pretty obvious by the umpteen number of teeth I've seen till date that you need not know a person to simply exhange a smile. What does it cost anyway? It is sad, indeed, how the world has become such an evil place where even if one were to give you a genuine smile, you would doubt it! What if he has a secret plan to steal your wallet and is trying to divert your attention?!!

And there is another aspect of this whole thing. Ever heard the saying "A smile is contagious"? Once you get into the habit, you find that this quote is so true. And no matter how lousy a day you are having, just try smiling at a passer-by and you will find the air lighten around you - and, you would probably be passing on the good vibes to the other person, too! Take time to smile. It takes less than a second! Or have we become so fat-headed that we want a social networking site to provide us with a 'Smile at' button?

May 10, 2010

A Hymn For Slim

There possibly is'nt one webpage these days that does not sport at least a one line ad about some magical pill or trick that will help you banish your bulge for good. It is hard not to ignore those news-stands with books and magazines with in-your-face claims on how some celebrity lost weight. And it is almost the hardest thing to do - Drop excess flab!

I've been in the league a long time myself. Over a decade since I embraced fitness more as a religion than as a regime. Sadly for me, I am among the unlucky ones who does not look like I even know how to workout, let alone slog, sweat and burn calories. But, yes - I love doing it. Well, someday I hope to get slim....or at least fit. So, every now and then along this journey of blasting fat and counting calories I hit a big wall - which I think is normal. But, just a couple weeks ago I hit something more than just the breaks in weight loss. I saw myself in the mirror and I said "Oh God, just take away all this extra fat"!! And, the very next moment I was laughing at myself. What in God's world was I doing? Praying to the Almighty to make me fit? Hahahah!!

It was all my doing that I got here...okay at least a big part of it (considering I am a foodie!), but have you ever thought how we have prayers for just about anything one might want? Especially in the Indian context...When you're in school/college your Mom would give you a Vidya Ganapathi Shloka to recite, so that you get better schores. Cannot find a job - A prayer for that! Then if there is anyone unable to find a suitable soulmate, their parents would take them to astrologers who would 'prescribe' prayers. Not to mention the umpteen number of other prayers.. but never has there been a prayer to make fat vanish...How I wish there was one...Sigh!

Just the very thought of it had me in peels of laughter. Imagine this - You are desperate to loose weight. You workout, you meet docs and dieticians alike. Nothing works. Finally you turn to prayer and meet the famous priest. The one who helped your Aunt's son's sister-in-law's second cousin brother drop dress sizes like there were hot potatoes although he ate hot potatoes at every meal just by reciting a page long prayer three times a day - Ah, I really wish there was...A hymn for slim!

April 13, 2010

To Chance On A Dream...

I sat on the dentist's examination chair staring at the wall ahead of me as if there were some sort of an imaginary television playing a blockbuster movie...but my ears were listening to the sounds of drills, chisels and other equipment that only a dentist's office could boast of...apart from a carpenter's, perhaps! A lady walked up to me with a large paper bib and clipped it on me as she prepped up both me and the equipment that my dentist would use to perform the procedure that I had been there for. I watched her manicured hands moving effortlessly all over the place as she placed all the tools in appropriate positions. She seemed to me to be in her late thirties. Neatly dressed, short curly hair that stayed perfectly sprayed in place, make-up so neat that you would know she spends time to take care of herself. She looked me in the eye, her soft hazel pupils telling me she had done this ever so many times before, and said, "I will take an X-ray now" as she pushed some weird looking thing into my mouth. In less than a moment she went out of the room and was back again and said in the same matter-of-fact tone she had earlier - "The doctor will see your X-ray and start the procedure" in a heavily accented voice - an accent that I still am unable to place. French, may be, considering her dressing sense and flawless figure. But, her words did seem slurry and incomprehensible in places so I really do not know. I acknowledged with a nod as she walked away.

The dentist walked in and started his work. I lay there staring now, at the roof, for a change, trying to count the number of squares the false ceiling had. The local anaesthesia and all the tools that found their way in and out of my mouth had me drooling without control. Only ...there was no food in sight. So, that moment my dentist said, "Suction"...and that lady who prepped me walked back in. She forced down the suction tube into my mouth and cleared up all the saliva to allow the dentist to work and walked away again. He dabbed and pounded and drilled. Again in a few moments, "Suction" and there she was, Ms. Hazel-eyes. This went on a couple of times and I decided to re-christen her from Ms. Hazel-eyes to Ms. Suction. Or was the earlier name better? I really could not help but think about her role in the doctor's office. Had she once dreamt that one day she would be summoned by the word, 'suction'? I imagined her as a child. A little girl with unruly locks, running green grasslands in her pastel pink frock in the beautiful spring mornings of Italy. Oh, sorry France. Ah, wherever!

But, you get what I am saying? There should have been some moment in her life when she stumbled on something that she would want to crave to doing all her life. And today, from the look of it, she seemed very happy with what she was doing. I portrayed her in a different light, so you and me would see her as doing something so uneventful. But for her, she was an accomplished nurse at a dentist's office, who knew what to do and more importantly when to do it. She would have at some time in her life chanced on this dream that she would be a nurse and she achieved it. And, when I began to see her at every subsequent appointment my respect for her grew more and more.

I believe it is the same with all of us. We come across this one moment in our life when we know what we have to do and we dream about becoming 'someone'. Some of us grab on to those clues life throws at us and go all out to reach our goals ...while some of us get a wee bit unlucky and miss out on them. But there is always a moment in every persons life when you know what you want... the moment you chance on a dream!