Happy New Year

The year of learnings passed by and somehow miraculously by God’s grace and the support of a few friends and loads of strangers, one managed to survive. One seems to have lost a lot but as the year ended one realized, one had gained as much. One learned lovely lessons about self love, care and worth and one gained a perspective that was beyond just one own’s self interest. One has much to learn about oneself and the world but by oneself, when you’re in the deep end you have two choices- sink or swim. Turns out I ain’t ready to sink, just about yet.

Of course the various therapies helped, in some way or the other but more than that Kashmir grounds one more than anything else. If you are an indulgent, depressive, privileged brat like myself one trip to Kashmir, gives you a reality check. Fatak se thapad and one’s dragged out of the hole one tends to fall into. Then of course, Jordan Peterson has also slapped the melancholy straight out of me. So, one’s rearing to go! Looking forward to what this year will bring.

One of the wisest lessons one learnt was when you feel like shit, try to make someone else feel better and that works like magic. That’s what made New Year’s Eve such a memorable night. Met a few people during the week but didn’t think, I wanted to be around anyone in particular on the last night of the year. Since, the workers at the factory are away from their families ( and almost as alone as I sometimes imagine myself to be) I thought I would throw a party for them, so I cooked them a meal. They were thrilled and how. The photographs they all kept clicking and the dancing on the street to Bhojpuri songs I will always remember but the most memorable part about the night was this-

This young lad lives close to the factory. For reasons one doesn’t want to disclose, people are rather nasty to him. He and I are now buddies, so I invited him, too. I think when he turned up in his red sweater and told me, that’s he’s informed his mum that he’s going for a party, till kingdom comes I think I’ll remember that look on his face. Ahh, that made New Year’s Eve-priceless! Shared a drink with Bhaskarji, chatted with a few friends and was off to bed.

The father was sleeping so. he missed out on the fun. ‘ Happy new year Dad! I hope you spend some time with your child this year!’ I teased him this morning. ‘My child is a 42 year old woman not a six year old girl, who needs my time.’ Some things don’t change however many years pass by so I’m guessing we’ll continue to pull each other’s leg this year, as well.

One came to the factory to spend the weekend, at work but stepped out for an hour to celebrate the 1st day of the year, with the one person who entertains me the most- moi. A lovely meal at Swagat where a man sung- ‘iss shahar mein kiss se mile? Humse to chuti mehfale!’ made me think- one rarely is part of the mehfil but one has a good time, nevertheless.

Here’s hoping one continues to make the most of any situation, continues to enjoy one’s own company and becomes grateful for the people who are there. Not just the friends but the domestic help, who yells into the phone when I’m travelling- ‘ Davayee khai he ke nahin?’ and the worker, who makes me a cup of tea whenever he sees me weeping in a corner or the little boy who keeps waiting for me to show up and grins at me the way my brother would, eyes all lit up. There’s much to be thankful for. My Dad says, ‘ people are just trying to isolate us by gossiping about us incessantly!’ but I always tell him, ‘ people can ostracise you, they can try to bully you ( and fail) they can call up everyone you know, each and every person but no one can isolate you. That one does to one self because realistically there are a billion people, you can connect with, so that ain’t happening.’

Here’s to new connections, kinship and hope. This year is going to be ammmmmaaaaaziiing!