Tuesdays with Morrie

BOOKS_TWM_Mitch_and_Morrie_1_0

I had heard quite a lot about this Mitch Albom novel since I was in college but somehow could never lay my hands on it. Finally, I managed to finish the book last weekend and I am so glad that I did. Some things just got a timing and this was mine with Professor Morrie as he is about to enter the other side of world and makes everyone a part of his death journey, in a good way ofcourse.

There is no plot or drama in the book whatsoever. It is an old man’s death journey as he suffers through the terrible ALS disease but he is determined not to lose his mind as his body is losing every bit of life that is left in it. One of his old students gets to know of this and decides to meet the professor. What results is a series of meetings between the professor and the student every Tuesday until the last, where they discuss a myriad of topics concerning the very existence of human life. From talking about love, family, career, relationships and death, Morrie shares the basic wisdom of life and it is so heart-touching that you feel ashamed of being in an oblivion all the while. A sick, old man has to remind a healthy young man about the magic of human life and relationships; how it is extremely simple to maintain relationships and uphold the love, no matter who you are and where you are.

I was crying like a kid while reading the book cause it made me emotional about the weakening condition of Morrie and I was feeling sorry for not having to express to my loved ones so often. It is simple, beautiful and the most eternal feeling that you can experience ever. This book will stay with me for a while and once you read it, I hope it will with you too.

Beer hair! 

 I have heard a lot that beer does wonders to your hair but never really tried it due to my aversion to the residual smell that it might leave. But finally after reading experiences of people who have tried it and ways of getting rid off the smell, I tried beer for hair conditioning and bingo! It was one hell of an experience. 

To use beer as a hair conditioner, all you require is a beer bottle. 

-I went to a wine shop near my house and told him I want the lightest beer since I wanted to wash my hair with it. He gave me a bottle of London Pilsner.

  

-I uncorked the bottle once home and emptied it in a plastic bottle. 

– To get rid off the alcoholic beer smell, keep the bottle open overnight.

– After washing my hair with regular shampoo, I use some amount of the beer and wash my hair thoroughly with it and keep the shaft immersed in it for a while ( say for about 2 minutes)

– Let the beer get absorb in your hair cuticles and roots for a while and then wash it off.

– Just in case you feel the alcoholic smell is troubling you, use a bit of your regular conditioner. 

– And you are done.

You will notice that as you are rinsing off the beer, your hair feels soft and smooth to touch. After you have dried the hair, there is absolutely no beer smell left behind and you cannot stop running your fingers through your hair (atleast I couldn’t ;).

Go ahead and indulge your hair with some fresh cold beer. It’s absolute heaven. 

Erase

She rubbed her eraser hard, 

trying to erase the lines.

But, the creases remained,

for it had been deeply inscribed. 

No matter how hard she tried,

the faint yet vivid memories,

were to haunt her forever. 

#erase

Whiplash

whiplashThanks to the Oscar 2015 fever, this time I was determined to watch atleast all the films nominated in Best Picture category before the event, just to be updated with the presentations. And I was fairly upto the mark with all films ticked except Selma. Last night I happened to watch Whiplash and I couldn’t have been more impressed. Before watching the film, I just knew it was about this kid trying to make it big in drumming. But there is so much more that you learn as the movie comes to an end.

The kid, Andrew Neyman played by Miles Teller is learning jazz at the prestigious Shaffer Academy in New York. He is discovered by a senior conductor at the school, Terence Fletcher who selects Andrew, from among his peers to be a part of his studio band that goes on to compete at jazz competitions. Andrew is excited to have got the opportunity and eager to learn since he has always been interested in becoming a drummer from a young age. Fletcher, who is known for hurling abuses at his students during rehearsals, insults and almost beats up Neyman for disturbing the tempo of the band while practising a piece ‘Whiplash’. Facing public humiliation, Neyman is determined to prove himself to his teacher at any cost and puts in his blood and sweat (quite literally) to perfect the piece.

This leads to a series of events where Andrew gets the opportunity of performing at one of the competitions as a core drummer until Fletcher gets a competitor, Ryan to threaten his position.  During one of the competitions, Andrew gets late due to unavoidable circumstances- bus breaks down, the car he is driving meets with an accident, he forgets his drumsticks at the car rental store; cause of which Fletcher is about to replace him with Ryan. At one point, when Andrew has to rush back to the car rental store to fetch his drumsticks and eventually meets with an accident since he is speeding to reach the venue in time, I felt he is not going to make it cause he is bleeding profusely. But the kind of competent lad he is, he cannot let go even an opportunity like this to impress his teacher and makes it to the venue anyhow(which impressed me immensely), only to disappoint everyone as he is not in a condition to play the piece. Post the competition, Fletcher agonises him by rebuking ‘ He is done’, that leads to a on-stage scuffle between the two.

Andrew is expelled for his unsolicited behaviour and gives up drumming since he feels that he isn’t worthy of becoming like one of his inspiring legends Buddy Rich. On his father’s coercion, Andrew testifies a lawyer’s statement who is representing a suicide case of one of Fletcher’s students leading to Fletcher’s dismissal from the academy.

Andrew and Fletcher meet again at a club where Fletcher tells him that his ways might be different but he only wants to push his students beyond what is expected of them. It is an inspiring conversation between a teacher and a student, where the teacher thinks that the two words in English which are utterly harmful is ‘Good Job’ since that would always deter a student from giving his best. Fletcher invites Andrew to play at a concert in his band where the so-called art loving critics of New York are going to be present, avenging Andrew with a piece, sheets of which aren’t present with him while drumming. A humiliated Andrew gives it back by playing an impressive solo piece of Caravan on his drums and stuns Fletcher as well as the audience by the sheer brilliance of his scale. The performance was worth an encore; sharp, electric and spellbinding.

Watching Whiplash made me question some of the core exigencies of modesty. Cause, sometimes, we authorize a force to govern our life to such an unimaginable extent that we forget our own inner voice or gut instinct, so to say. In this case, Fletcher was the governing factor in Neyman’s life, so much so that Neyman gave up his dream of becoming a drummer on being expelled and failing at Fletcher’s expectations. During the entire movie, Neyman was struggling with his insecurities and a constant threat of proving himself to his teacher. He needed Fletcher’s validation to ascertain the talent he had cause otherwise there was no source of inspiration for him to struggle and excel. I am glad Neyman came back after almost giving up and won everyone’s hearts including that of Fletcher. But, shouldn’t there be a line where you decide when and how you give up rather than somebody else imposing failure on you?

I think there should be and this movie teaches you that in so many ways.

 

Pain

Her hands were painted red,
Her face bore peace.
Now she could fly high,
for her only tormentor was gone.
The years of pain, now behind her.
She carefully lifted his body,
to give him a final funeral.
Not cause he was her father,
but to see him vanish forever!

#pain

Moment

The right is in the moment,
Take that step.
The wrong doesn’t exist.
Live the moment,
With all your conviction.
Don’t wait for another time,
There probably wouldn’t be one.
Don’t linger to seize the moment,
Let the moment seize you.

#moment

Maa

I loved my milk warm,
She knew it well.
And there it was,
Cold, covered in cream!
I shouted, she didn’t respond.
I yelled harder, in vain.
How could she?
Maa was 7000 miles away.
#maa

Happy Ending

Thanks to Bollywood, for a very very long time I was under the impression that a happy ending was where two people, madly in love with each other go beyond all societal hurdles and boundaries to be together for the rest of their lives. Somehow, nothing else but the love mattered. Sure it did on the silver screen. Not in real life. So often, we tend to visualize such happy endings in our real relationships similar to reel ones, that everything else apart from that feels like a loss. When you have been in a relationship for years, you perpetually start breathing each other’s air too (the analogy might be a bit off but yeah it is kind of true), so much so that even a twitch of the eyebrow is enough to tell you what is going on in your partner’s head. You learn from the mistakes, you grow together in the small eccentricities and evolve with the love that you share. The way you started out might be way different than where you have landed today. There is so much at stake, that being together feels like a risk that is worth investing. I have seen so many couples who might not be perfect for each other and yet end up marrying and then there are others who might be best suited for each other but don’t end up together. For a lot of reasons.

As an individual, I have had the fortunes of being in a relationship. I call it my fortune since there is a lot that you take by the end of it. I think it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Like other couples, I have fought, abused and made up with my partner on numerous occasions and the moment post the fight always felt that we are meant to be together. There have been compromises, all for the betterment of the bond that we share cause any effort that makes us happy was worth it. As conventional humans, we have got so used to the notion of holding onto each other that letting go seems like a rarity. We always feel that love is about holding on to your partner and constantly communicating to them how special they are and to what limits you love them. But sometimes, letting go is also another way of loving your partner. You cannot always cling to them and expect them to breathe. Life will never go as per your way and every individual, more than anything else in this world deserves to live life on their own terms and conditions. Cause in the end, it is our battle and we need to survive, fight and win it on our own.

It might sound crazy to let go off someone with whom you have invested so many years of your time. There is a whole bag of memories, places and people to remind you of their existence time and again. Agreed. Also, letting go is perhaps the most difficult decision during the entire course of your relationship. Specially if it happens on peaceful terms. Many a times a couple is used to indulging in nasty fights and accusations that letting go during such times seems easy but later there is so much of grudge involved that it will not let you live peacefully. Arriving on a decision mutually sort of helps in the long run cause it ensures, if nothing else but the mutual respect for each other prevails over other issues that you might be facing in the relationship. And if two people have objectively assessed that at the moment, this is the best decision and works in the favour of both the individuals then it should be respected above emotional and other feelings which might seem to interfere with the decision.

So what happens next? Well, if you have stayed with someone for so many years, you must know this as a matter of fact that it is impossible to ignore them completely and that is also not the wisest thing to do. You must respect each other’s space while making sure that you are sensitive towards their feelings and emotions. It will take a while for their absence to sink in but sometimes this absence will make you respect them even more. This could very well be the beginning of a great friendship and if you deserve the love it will always come back to you, no matter what. And if it doesn’t, you have to move on wishing them all the luck they deserve. You will feel like going back to them when you come across pictures and reminisce certain moments but, you need to as of now respect the decision and move on. There will be times when you will need them and if you want to, you must not stop yourself from expressing your feelings. You need to be careful of not letting any negativity seep through you cause believe me, even if you get married to someone else tomorrow, this one person will still be there in your heart and you cannot by any means, feel ill towards them. It is hell lot difficult to achieve a state of normalcy but just the fact that you have spent some really beautiful moments with this person and the little hope that it might now work out cause you have tried everything else that you could, will help you sail to the shore. Nothing in this world should be stretched beyond its capacity. Relax and sit back. It will be back to original if it was meant to. This is also a happy ending. Life is a happy ending. It is how you see it.

On this note, I can’t help but say the famous Amrish Puri dialogue from DDLJ which you kind of can tell your partner during such times, “Ja Simran/ Raj jee le apni zindagi.”

Memories

She sat by the sill sipping on her coffee,

Her body taut to her surrounding.

Flipping through the pages of memories,

She quietly smiled and reminisced;

thanking the Almighty for all the moments.

The moments defining her metamorphosis,

from a girl to a woman.

Chanced upon a dusty picture,

of a ride from her romancing days.

Quietly, sliding it beneath the covers,

she wondered if they’d make a perfect couple,

with all their incompetencies and imperfections.

Now with different partners,

fulfilling their societal responsibilities.

Deeply etched in her soul forever.

-Anonymous