Oh, to be able to keep quiet

Have you wished you could keep quiet in a situation which does warrant you/ make you itch to offer your take ? Are there times when you know things will work out on their own without your interference ? Surely there are are moments in your life, when you know this is what is to be done and offer advice, only to find it was not taken or that people did what they planned to do anyway? Let me give a few examples from my life:

  1. Daughter 2, who is home with me now, preparing for her college exams, told me her Physics teacher is leaving tomorrow for his native country. Without his coaching during these last few days before her exam will turn her preparation upside down, for she hadn’t factored in, his leaving in the middle of the year. She has to come up with plan B, which she hasn’t. She shared her concern with me Thursday( two days back). My first reaction was to plan on calling the teacher and asking, no begging him to postpone his going back for a month or so, until daughter was better prepared for said exam( her exams are scheduled for the first week of May). Deep down, I knew I shouldn’t get involved- I would only bungle things up. So I held on, with great difficulty. I had to bite my tongue( that is, hold my fingers back from typing a Whatsapp message to the teacher). I held back till today morning, when in a very soft manner, sent him a message, asking him if he was leaving and he replies- Ma’am I am still here and I will be here still. What a relief ! But imagine if I had called him up and asked him about his plans and the drama that would have unfolded. Thank God I held on against my better feelings. See, things do work out in the end.Whatsapp
  2. Daughter 1, who is home at another coaching place, called me up this morning telling me she came down to the common mess to find another girl eating from her plate. The plate in question is kept on the mess counter with her name marked on it, so it is only for her use. Apparently, the girl in question took the plate and served herself breakfast on it and when daughter 1 reached the mess, the girl was already eating on the plate. Let me add that my daughter is a vegetarian and cannot ever eat on a plate where meat or fish has been eaten. It is an obsession with her. So when she saw this happen in front of her eyes, she questioned the girl. The girl replied that since her name was not written on it, she ate on the plate. The audacity ! The cheek ! Daughter 1 called me, sobbing and crying aloud. She is 24. Girl cryingShe was offended. I was actually amused by the whole episode but made sympathetic noises at the proper times to show daughter 1 that I was empathetic but she had to deal with the issue herself. I was amazed at how I had changed over the years. A younger me would have taken the phone, called up the hostel and make a ruckus over someone hurting my daughters’ feelings. Today, I didn’t do anything of the  sort. I maintained a silence and did not share this with my husband or my other daughter who can easily raise up the drama quotient by rising up in arms. It turns out this was the best way. A few hours later, when I checked on daughter 1, she seemed to be busy putting in her application to a new college and forgotten the episode. I was left back in time, while she advanced to the next event in her life.         I am upset

 

I can write many tales of this sort from my life about when it was wiser and less-adrenaline secreting for all concerned when I didn’t open my mouth. I thought of Jesus drawing on the ground with a stick when people were accusing the woman brought in adultery to him and maintaining a dignified silence. There is dignity in silence. You can empathize with a person even through silence.  If fewer words are spoken, lesser, unproductive emotions come out and life becomes a lot easier because after all things turn out the way they were destined to turn out, in the end.

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Lost passport

After her SAT exam, daughter 2 called me to pick her up from outside the hall. I was in the library getting some books, and as it was pretty close, I told her I would be there in a minute or two.

I drove past her building, saw her standing outside and I am pretty sure I saw her with the folder in which she kept her hall ticket and passport but it was a fleeting glance. I went straight on, turned back at the roundabout, took a U-turn and came back to be able to get to my daughter. Rather a long way to get her, you think ? Its true but when I saw her with the folder, she was on the other side of the road and to reach the “other side of the road”, I had to follow the roundabout route.

The exam didn’t go too well. So we discussed her options as I drove homewards. I forgot about her folder and passport but somewhere, subconsciously I did remember her having done something with it in the car.

On the way home, since it was already 2 pm,we decided to go to an Iranian restaurant which daughter 2 had noted some time ago. So we found ourselves parking and went to the said restaurant. The food was good, ambience very soothing and service quick. During the meal, I asked daughter 2 about her passport and she said it must be in the car- so I let it go.

After the meal, when we reached the car, I asked her about the passport again and we looked for it in the car but didn’t find it. All we found were my 4 library books, my handbag and a bottle of water- no hall ticket or passport.

At home, daughter went off to bed, being tired but she did search for the passport cursorily.

Many hours later, I drove off to the gym in my car- I searched the car thoroughly when I returned but couldn’t find the passport. Now I was convinced, she had left it in the exam center and that I had to go tomorrow and if possible try to get if from the security guard.

These were my thoughts when I got out from the bath tub this evening. I went to daughter’s room where she was doing her homework. I asked her about the passport and she told me she found it in the car. What a relief !

 

Dear Lord

I am up this morning early. it is a habit to wake up around this time of day now. The sun is still sleeping but the early birds are chirping their sweet song. These bird sounds will not be heard much longer here for summer is fast approaching.

As summer comes closer and the winter/Spring weather recedes to the background, I am left with regrets. Where did the cold weather go ? The natural cold I mean. Our buildings are naturally kept cold through winter and even colder during summer, so there is no want for using winter clothes through the year.

H& M has sales and some discounts on winter clothes. Now is a good time to buy. But like King Solomon, at this moment, I feel – why should I ? What is the point ? I am going to hotter climates when I return home and there will be no need for such warm clothes there. If I move to colder climes for my Master’s program, I will need much warmer clothes than those I have.

My daughter’s mental state worries me, Lord. She talked to me openly yesterday. She said that she thought Medicine was a mistake for her. She wants to take up a creative line- something that involves writing and other means of creating things. She is in to photography now. She does not want to enter the rat race that is Medical practice and get lost or stuck in a rut that is predictable. She wants unpredictability and adventure in her life. She wants to see life.

To me, it reads as though she is lonely and is in want of a good friend. Till the time, she finds that special human friend, I pray that you hold her hand and give her life direction.

I pray that she sees an opportunity for what it is- a window to a new life.

I pray that she does not lose herself in the glitter of life and is grounded throughout her life.

I pray that she finds good friends to help her along the way of life. I pray that she learns to trust and to let go sometimes and that it is ok to cry.

I pray that her life gives her plenty of adventure and excitement but that she stays grounded through it all.

An old English prayer

TIME
I have just a little minute,
Only sixty seconds in it,
Just a tiny little minute,
Give account if I abuse it;
Forced upon me; can’t refuse it.
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.
But it’s up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it;
But eternity is in it.
 
 
Give us Lord, a bit of sun,
A bit of work and a bit of fun.
Give us, in all struggle and sputter,
Our daily whole grain bread and food.
Give us health, our keep to make
And a bit to spare for others’ sake.
Give us too, a bit of song
And a tale and a book, to help us along.
Give us Lord, a chance to be
Our goodly best for ourselves and others
Until men learn to live as brothers in peace.

– An Old English Wise PrayerAn o

Cat against blue sky

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Daughter 1, is into photography. With time on her hands, she is looking around for targets. Today it was the sky. She was on the ground, two floors below and trying to get a snap of the blue sky. See who photobombed the picture.

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Sunshine is part of a nature photo- daughter A realized when when she looked through her album that she had an unknown victim in her photograph.