Thursday, March 5

Indian without the dot...

I am not the health conscious types and d not go for regular workout but this weekend I was not doing anything special and I decided to just go for some exercise in the park. The park has different sections depending on what type of exercise you want to do. I was in this section where you could use poles to do all sorts of things. I am not sure what it is called.

After a while some kids showed up and one kid started doing a 270 degree flip around a pole. I always wanted to learn how to do it, I have tried doing the flip a few times but I usually have ended up landing on my big bum and hurting myself. Today, I thought I can try it with some help from the expert kids. I asked the kid if he will teach me how to do it and he agreed. As usual, I failed to do it properly a couple of times but managed to save my bum. I was about to give up but my reputation was at stake plus the kids really wanted to see me do it and kept motivating me to do it. I gave it one more try and did it. It felt really nice to know my body could do this and you know me, I am fat, lazy, foodie, lazy, fat, etc so it really meant doing something that special. We exchanged hi5s. The kids really wanted to do the upside down spider man but were really afraid. I taught them how to do it and all of us were having a great time.

I am talking about 7 or 8 year old kids. They were Singaporeans. An Indian kid walked in a little later. Now at that age, you don't expect them to know a lot and I am in no way criticizing them in any way but see how the human mind works. The first time the mind sees something it takes that as a reference point every other exposure to that concept slightly changes the mind's opinion. It is very rare that the image that the mind builds is completely changed ever and only dramatic events make it happen. Subtle daily exposure does not change the image that the mind built on its first interaction.

Coming back to the story, so as this Indian kid walked in, the Singaporean kid said, he is an Indian without the dot. What he was referring to is the bindi. It is worn by Indians especially belivers in the Chakra Philosophy who believe that forehead is the 6th chakra through which energy escapes and that putting on a bindi will prevent this energy loss. There are a lot of Indians here in Singapore and a lot of people of Indian origin who moved to Singapore a few generations back. I was surprised to see that some of the Indian communities follow the culture with more respect and dedication than what you get to see back in India. As part of that, you will see a lot of Indians wear the bindi and I am guessing this Singaporean kid in the park had seen these Indians here and his cute little brain made an image of Indians with these initial interactions. This image will not undergo massive changes at his age. Once he grows up and learns more about all this, he will realize that not all Indias were a bindi.

Maybe, he will read this blog post and learn the fact sooner :-) 

Anyways, I was thrilled to learn how to do a 270 degree flip and the events at the park gave me something to think about on an unusually empty Sunday. If you read till this point, take a step back and see if you remember something that you changed your opinion about dramatically and let me know what it was.

Sunday, March 1

Why do I fell on top of the world today?

If you have ever been to Bombay (I still call it Bombay) in the monsoons, you will know how heavy the rains can be and if you grew up there as a kid you know how much fun it can be to be out there playing cricket / football with your mates or running up to your apartment's terrace just to get wet and escape the humid weather.

I was eating my dinner and noticed some unusual activity. The curtains started fluttering at an unusual pace, clouds started pouring everything they had in them and making the thundering noise to make everyone take notice, crowds started running for cover not because they did not want to fall sick, they wanted to save the most precious thing in today's life: their cell phones.

Over the last few years, even I took cover every time I was caught unawares in the rain but today was different. This week at work was pretty tough on me and the weekend did not have a great start with my external hard disc crashing one day before I was planning to back up the data. I looked outside, then at myself and then outside again. It was clear what I wanted.

I threw my mobile and just ran out. It was strange at first because every other time, I have been out in the rains, it has always been with my buddies. Today it was just me and only me. And Singapore is pretty different from Bombay. People don't like the rains as much as we do back in Bombay. I even got the 'wtf is wrong with you' look, the 'tgiil (this guy is in love)' look, the 'saala Indian will always be an Indian' look but after the first couple of minutes, it started getting better. The fun I was having blocked all these stupid thoughts and I started to enjoy what I was doing.

I think this was the first time I went out and enjoyed the rain after I started working. 9 to 5 just changes you so much. I am not the same person that I was anymore and I think I have changed more after coming here but today was a day very different from the last few years and the chocolate ice cream that I ate after that was the icing on the cake.

But really, I feel like all the stress that was there just got washed away with that little time in the rain. I really feel like a new person. All of it might go away once I reach office on Monday morning but it is still better than every other weekend where I keep thinking about how bad the week was. So, my little piece of advice will be 'just go get wet in the rain the next time it rains' and I bet you will feel awesome too.