Together we can achieve better

Anjali was gazing outside the car, but her vision was somewhere else. She was on her way to the capital city to attend the National Youth Award ceremony. Her work in the field of education and women welfare was acknowledged by the government and she was one of the ten selected to be conferred this prestigious award.

“Shall we stop at next restaurant for refreshments” asked Karan, Anjali’s husband who was driving the car.

Anjali did not reply as she was somewhere else. She was far behind in time, 7 years back, when she was 21. She was recalling her journey post her BSc nursing from AIIMS, Delhi.

When Anjali was in her internship, a marriage proposal came her way from a nearby village. Her maternal uncle suggested the match. A junior engineer in PWD, Karan, from a reputed family. Dayaram and Sunita had all reasons to say yes to proposal, and felt relieved. Anjali had no option but to say yes as there was no obvious reason to say no to such a good proposal (as per her friends and parents).

But Anjali was not sure about the marriage as she was confused. She said yes for marriage as she wanted her parents to be happy. But she had a hidden goal. She never talked to anyone about it. Somewhere in her mind, she desires to give her efforts for uplifting women and child health in her native village.

Anjali is the only child of her parents. Sunita had developed severe complications during her pregnancy, which went unnoticed due to ignorance and also lack of access to health care facility. Then in later trimester of pregnancy , she developed eclampsia (fits due to high blood pressure in pregnancy). She remained unconscious for almost 3 days. Doctors could save her life but because of excessive bleeding after delivery, they had to remove Sunita’s womb. In her neighbourhood and school, every one used to taunt Anjali for this, as if she was the reason behind all. It used to pinch her always. Everyone used to say if all this had to happen, God must have given the poor couple a boy instead of girl. Inspite of all taunting she faced, somewhere in her heart, she was nurturing the desire to do something for her village, to spread awareness regarding education and health.

Anjali and Karan started chatting and dating after their engagement. They both started enjoying each others company. Although love bloomed among the two but Anjali was fighting battle in her mind.. Her love or her commitment towards society…. She used to question herself every time that what she is opting for… She was not sure what is more important for her.. Only one month was left for the wedding day. She was facing continuous battle daily with herself. How she will achieve her goal if she marries. After marriage, may be, she won’t be allowed to persue her post graduation. Even if she does persue, may be she won’t be allowed to work on her own. May be she will be pressurised to go for some job. But as she came closer to Karan, she did not want to let him go from her life. What if she refuses to marry and later could not achieve success in her goals? What if she marries and later conflict arises among the two, then everyone will want her to pull out from her path. She even did not apply for any vacancies in state government or anywhere.

As she could not get her answer and fed up of fighting with herself, Anjali decided to share her concern with Karan. She thought it will be better to tell him. May be Karan himself will refuse for marriage after knowing her vision. She met him at CCD.

“hi, anjali…” greeted Karan

Anjali took her chair nearer to Karan “hi, Karan, I want to say something”

Karan nodded “ok”

“karan, I love you….” said Anjali in one go while gazing at Karan.

“ohh… I love you too Anjali” replied Karan holding Anjali’s hands

Anjali dislodged her hands from Karan’s “but…” replied uncomfortable Anjali

“but what Anjali…” chuckled Karan

“I am sorry Karan, but….” Anjali was anxious and bit confused thinking how to tell him

“Sorry for what anjali” Karan asked

“Karan, there is one thing that I want to share with you. I never told anyone about this…. I don’t know how you will react” perplexed Anjali

“Do you love someone else” Karan asked reflexly

“No no… Its not so, I love you…. a lot.. But, there is something else I want to tell you” Anjali replied sipping water

Taking a deep breath she continued “actually I have always dreamt of doing something constructive for my village, since my school days. I want to effort for women health, their empowerment, education…”

“oh.. Ok, I thought something else” laughed Karan

Then Anjali told everything how her mother had to suffer due to inaccessibility to health care facilities and ignorance and lack of knowledge on the part of her father. How these kind of mishaps can be prevented by making people aware.

“so, whats your concern now… I mean, whats puzzling you now” asked Karan

“karan, I want to do my postgraduation in Community Public Health Nursing, I mean I want to tell you, I need your help. I am not willing to opt for any job. After marriage, I am not sure how will you react. After marriage I will be expected to bear baby soon….all the responsibilities of married life may not allow me to persue my postgraduation. May be you don’t want a wife who is working in rural area for public welfare. This work requires commitment. I am concerned, may be I will not provebto be a good, obedient wife. I love you and don’t want to hurt you later so I decided to tell you all… ” Anjali completed

Karan laughed “Anjali, I too love you dear. Being close to you makes me feel worth loving. Now, I feel more lucky, after knowing how beautiful you are at heart. I too come from a rural background. I understand all your concerns. In fact I am really impressed”

Anjali asked in hesitation “what about our marriage”

Karan replied holding her hands once again “we will marry. Marriage is not about gaining command over you. The partners are complimentary to each other Anjali. I want a life partner not a bonded woman. I am with you in all your decisions. In fact why do you restrict only to your village, we will outstrech to larger area dear. You continue your studies. We together will achieve your goal…. I love you” and Karan put his lips on the hands of Anjali…..

Anjali felt so delightful recalling the past, that she decided to talk to Karan about her apprehension before marriage. He was the first person with whom she shared her idea. How much she was struggling before talking to him. But Karan always stood by her in her journey through out. He became her strength. They got married, she went to UK for her postgraduation. Karan convinced his parents and showed trust in Anjali. It was easier to achieve her goal only because of Karan. May be alone, it would have been a difficult path. But Karan made it possible. Together they started their journey with foundation of love, trust and respect. She cherished the joy of journey on unknown path with her soulmate that eventually leads to her destination. Now Anjali has plans of expansion of her work to other areas as well and she is confident that ‘together we can achieve better’ on the path of life.

Ego and Love, love fails

Life seemed so beautiful as I achieved what I was aspiring for, MBBS seat in AI CBSE PMT (although now I realise that there is no destination in life, infact its a continuous journey). Considering the direct connectivity by train, Aurangabad was the choice in the options available in counselling.

I joined the college in August 1999, the session was already underway. The first periodical exams were to start after 4 days. I had no time to settle in a new city, professional college and my new life. We all started preparing for exams because the result will be counted in internal assessment of final university exams. Our immediate seniors helped us in our anatomy exam preparation (its considered one of the difficult subjects in MBBS ).

Day in day out, we studied for our exams, trying to give our best. After many days of exhaustive studies and exams, we felt so much relaxed on last day. As recreational activity we planned to go for a movie (whats better than a movie plan in hostel life that too after exams).

TAAL, we were excited to watch this latest Subhash Ghai directed movie starring Aishwarya Rai, Akshay Khanna and Anil kapoor. It was raining, but we girls managed to go to Nupur theatre for 3 pm show after having quick lunch at our mess. We all wanted to celebrate our MBBS admission, which was left in between because of our unexpected exams.

I enjoyed the first half of movie. The romance of Mansi (Aishwarya) and Manav (Akshay Khanna). The innocent love blooming on Himalayas with soul touching music. Then the twist of misunderstanding by Manav and how his ANGER and EGO defeated his ‘so called love’. I mean how could he not give his love a single chance to explain whatever happened. Every person deserves a chance to give explanation, to keep his or her point of view.

I was happy infact that Mansi in time gets to know the truth about Manav’s love for her. Although she was hurt, but because of Manav’s betrayal, she got the opportunity to meet Vikrant Kapoor (Anil Kapoor) and prove to herself what she is. The man who believed in Mansi and stood by her and her baba. He trusted dad-daughter talent and invested his energy to make them a success.

Vikrant supported Mansi when she was broken by her so called true lover. I really wonder that she considered Manav as her true love. The person who did not give her even a single chance to explain or even put forward her point.

What would have happened if Manav could never come across the truth of insult of Mansi and her baba. How they were used by his dad in the deal, and how they were made to sit outside their house and treated as beggars. He would never have realised the blunder because he did not trust Mansi.

The end I could not digest then and after almost 20 years later, now also, I really wonder why that end to such a wonderful movie. Why Mansi left Vikrant for Manav. I mean as per my opinion real love was by Vikrant as he was not attracted by the beauty of Mansi but because of she as a person. He acknowledged her worth and love for her when they worked together.

Manav was infatuated by the beauty of Mansi. It was not love because he could not understand the personality of Mansi as he was only attracted by her beauty and could never see her as a person beyond her face.

Mansi was also wrong because she felt rejected by Manav, a rejection that she was not responsible for. When Manav approached her again, she felt this as her victory, victory that now Manav is missing her.

At that time, I was of the opinion that Mansi made decision out of ego satisfaction and not love. After 20 years, now I am double sure that she was wrong in her decision to tie nuptial knot with Manav.

I felt that the end reflects that the love lost the battle against ego. Emotional attachment lost against infatuation.

Live now, why wait

It was the month of January. Mercury dipped to its lowest ever with chilly waves. News channels were following this story in the evening as it was the coldest day in past 20 years. Moreover it is expected to dip down tomorrow as weather experts speculating snow fall in hilly areas and rainfall and hail storm in planes next day too.

Sunaina’s son, Aarush, on hearing news asked his mom “mummy, tomorrow will be a rainy day, a holiday?”

Sunaina replied with a warm smile “lets see the weather in morning, n we will decide then accordingly”

“mummy you too take leave tomorrow from work, we will enjoy the rains at home”

“hmmm, lets see” Sunaina replied with smile on her face “will see”

Sunaina was a Medical Officer in Military hospital. Her husband, Colonel Rohit Chaudhry is posted now a days in Assam. She used to live with her son and mother in law, Mrs Babita.

Next day morning she woke up at 5 am, as usual. She did her routine 1 hour of workout, inclusive of yoga and cardio. Then she prepared tea for herself and her mother in law.

“mamma, your tea is at the side table” Sunaina told her mother in law.

“Hows the weather outside, is it raining?”

“doesn’t seem like raining. But I didn’t see outside. After tea will see n tell you mom” Dr Sunaina replied

Done with her morning tea, she went to balcony. It was dark as its only 6.20 am in a chilly winter morning. Neither it was raining nor the stars were twinkling in the sky.

“Mummy, its not raining, but there are clouds”

“What about Aarush, is there any message from school about the holiday, there is a hailstorm warning in weather forecast” asked Babita

“No such message” replied Dr Sunaina while checking her message inbox. She added “but dont send him, its going to rain heavily today, so better let he be at home”

“are you also taking leave today, Aarush insisted yesterday.”

“no mom, he is a kid. There are so many responsibilities at hospital, why to take unnecessary leave”

“hmm, you are a better judge.” replied Babita “but he misses you both, when he is alone at home. He is only 10 years old”

“I know mummy, but work is also important and the responsibilities that me and Rohit share are part of our as well Arush’s life, and he will understand this ” replied Sunaina proudly, as a doctor and as any army officers wife.

Dr Sunaina was a dedicated doctor who opted working at government hospital, so that she can give care to maximum public. She was not only professional minded but a best possible spouse too. As her husband was posted mostly in distant locations, she stood like a wall with him. She never complained him that almost all festivals and family celebrations he is not with them, because she understands what work commitment is.

When she was about to leave for hospital, Aarush woke up n wished his mom a warm good morning..

“good morning Aarush, go get fresh and do some skipping. Revise your school work today and also read news paper in loud voice, ok” commanded a mother out of Sunaina

“ok mom, is it raining outside, my school is off today? “asked Aarush in excited tone

“not raining now, but it will, so you remain at home only” Sunaina winked at him with a smile “ghar par maje karna”

“mummy you please take a leave today and be with me….. Please ” Aarush requested with hope

With a sigh… Sunaina replied “no son, there will be patients waiting at hospital, and just think, rain will not stop all essential works. If everyone takes leave on rainy day, how will things keep working”

“ok mom” sighed Aarush

It was cloudy when Sunaina left. Soon after 5 minutes, when she was on highway, the dark clouds gathered in the sky making the morning almost as dark as a full moon night, and immediately started raining with hailstorm. Her speed halted to 20 km/hr and almost zero visibility because of heavy rains. She reached hospital. On her way, she was thinking that she could have agreed with Aarush for a leave. So much rain,who will come today to hospital.

After punching her attendance, she moved to her room. She saw 3 patients already waiting outside her room. She felt really happy that she did not take leave today. She just thought how she would have felt if she would have gone to any office and work denied there because the concerned person took leave because of rain.

Sunaina, examined her patients and advised them the priscription. After 30 minutes, the rain stopped and inflow of patient started, although less as compared to other days. But at the core of her heart, she was aware that those who are coming today are really needy and for emergency care only. She felt blessed by God, that she is able to give them medical care today in such bad weather as well.

To make it enjoyable, Sunaina ordered online pizza for her son at home and also for her staff at hospital. As per the policy of pizza ordered, the delivery occurred within 30 minutes.

Her mobile rang, it was from home. Aarush on other side “thankyou so much mummy” in excited tone, as she did not tell at home while ordering to make it a surprise.

Sunaina replied “you must have thanked to the delivery boy my son. In such bad weather he came to deliver you a pizza…. hmm”

“sorry mummy, but i got your point, that what ever the circumstances be, life does not stop, if that pizza delivery boy would have taken a leave, how i would have enjoyed this rain, thankyou mummy and love you so much”

Sunaina enjoyed the pizza in lovely weather with her whole staff at hospital. Aarush enjoyed at home.

…. Life does not stop, whatever the circumstances be…… its pace may slow down, but life goes on. If you stop, you loose life. Life’s precious moments, nature’s precious moments doesn’t wait for anyone. You just keep on moving and enjoy the little moments, enjoy nature, wherever you are, with whom you are.

If you wait for SOME GOOD PERSON, OR SOME GOOD PLACE to enjoy little moments, then you may keep waiting always. The nature may not give you opportunity again. Keep working, keep moving, and enjoy where you are, with whom you are.

Finding happiness

Friday morning, it was a new day. I woke up as usual, feeling of something missing from life was present as usual. I had a robotic life, wake up early, go to work, look after kids, household work and go to sleep.

Today, i was very much sure that I am going to find my share of HAPPINESS in this universe. Day passed as routine and with sun ready for illuminating the other side of globe, i prepared myself to begin my search of HAPPINESS.

I was desperate and determined. In donned a yellow colored dress from AND, with my Liberty sandals, funky danglers in my ears and red lipstick. I was sure that I will succeed today.

As most people find their HAPPINESS at malls on weekends, I decided n went to Mahagun Metro Mall, which was hardly 2 kms away. My daughters dressed in their favourite attires were full of enthusiasm. With full energy and desperation for my achievement, I entered. Started roaming there aimlessly, glancing the showrooms and the displays.

My elder daughter asked, mummy now what? Which shop mummy? I looked around and saw Mochi showroom. I got the answer, come on lets buy our HAPPINESS here. We entered and after trying few, i selected one pair of sandals for myself. While my card was being swipped, I asked myself, “so, ultimately u found”.

I replied “yes, of course, i bought my happiness”

My inner self laughed at me. As soon as i paid the bill, I kept asking myself, “is it really the one u were looking for since so many days?”

I kept on telling myself “yes, of course, it is…” but i myself knew that I spent in vain as this did not filled the emptyness of myself.

Now, what next. I looked around, there were so many fun rides for kids. I saw many parents are having smiling faces when they are looking their children enjoying the rides.

Idea! lets buy this HAPPINESS. I mean, every parent is happy to see the kids enjoying, surely this will bring me too. I bought the tickets, my daughters enjoyed a lot on multiple fun rides, I clicked some pictures as well to share on my FB profile, as a proof of achieving my HAPPINESS.

I again asked myself, “are you sure, it is achieved?”.

I replied “yes, of course. See every parent out there is happy, why not me. This time i am an achiever.”

“Then why dont you look satisfied”

“no, i am satisfied….. But…”

So, back to where i started.

We three wandered in mall, had dinner and returned back. “you failed again, such a stupid lady, you cant find HAPPINESS, IS IT SO DIFFICULT?”

“I will give my best next weekend again” replied to self.

I wore my payjama and t shirt. My daughters too changed their dresses in semi sleep mode, as they were exhausted. I helped them get in bed, soon the fell asleep.

I was looking at them, feeling so lucky to have them in my life, but not that lucky to fell asleep as i was saddened that i failed again. After so many attempts, how could not… I mean, where the hell is my HAPPINESS….

I went to the living room, put on the tv, searched the music channel. There was a dance number playing on it. My feet all of a sudden started tapping on their own.

“hey, whats this, are you mad? You want to dance alone at 11 pm in your house”

But, i could not resist, stood up, and started throwing my hands and legs in different direction, slowly i started to dance in rhythm. What i noticed it when the song ended, there was a big smile on my face, without even attempting to smile, i was smiling. My heart was running fast, face sweating, breathing too fast, but with a big smile on my face. “yes, this is it, my HAPPINESS. I was looking at all places but never realised that it was within me. Its not like, I can buy it or get it from outside, it resides within me. Every small thing in my life that brings by itself smile on my face, is my HAPPINESS.

Since then, I have started admiring my surroundings, and got released from that robotic life.

A new beginning

Every day sun rises and makes as feel awesome, we have a new beginning as a day. Yesterday is past, so are the things that happened. Future will always remain future as it has to come tomorrow. So what do we have… Its today… A new day, giving u another chance of a new beginning… Its my day, today, i live here, this moment, feel the power that you are still alive, live life your way, make today better…. Its my new journey, i started it today, neither yesterday nor tomorrow, because today is my day…