Thursday, November 23, 2006

Heart Filled With Love

He wrote

Love is the greatest feeling,
Love is like a play,
Love is what I feel for you,
Each and every day,
Love is like a smile,
Love is like a song,
Love is a great emotion,
That keeps us going strong,
I love you with my heart,
My body and my soul,
I love the way I keep loving,
Like a love I can't control,
So remember when your eyes meet mine,
I love you with all my heart,
And I have poured my entire soul into you,
Right from the very start.

I love you with a permanence
That will endure the passing years.
I love you with a joyfulness
That subdues all doubts and fears.
I love you with an honesty
That was born within my heart.
I love you with the calm belief
That we will never part.
I love you with a confidence
No earthly force can sever.
I love you with the certainty
That I’ll cherish you forever.
I love you with the humbleness
Of one who has been blessed.
I love you with the reverence
Of all that word suggests.
I love you with a passion
That time cannot reverse.
I love you with the truest love
That poets put to verse

When you'l not be here to share my days and nights
My life will be so incomplete
For you are my heart, my soul
The ‘oneness’ I had known to seek

Without you I will merely exist from day to day
With you I know that I will find
All that I have been searching for
My completeness, my eternal peace of mind

You are the keeper of my dreams
The girl who holds my heart in her hands
The one I want to spend my life with
The one with whom I will always stand

Stand beside through thick and thin
Through all that life will throw our way
Knowing that this special love we share
Will guide us, each and every day

This journey was started long ago
Before this time and place
The journey of completeness
As two hearts and souls embrace

Forever is what I want with you
For the search is at an end
Our hearts have found each other
As lovers, as soul-mates, as friends.

So often when I am embracing you,
It seems that you exist in this world
only because of me and I exist because of you.

It's not easy to wander in this world
and not lose one's way,
but the greatest happiness of all
is in giving joy to one's beloved.

And if the king can have his throne,
and if the bird can have his Spring nest,
and God can have his heaven,
then I, my sweetheart, I can have you!

All I ever wanted was to be part of your heart,
And for us to be together, to never be apart.

No one else in the world can even compare,
You're perfect and so is this love that we share.

We have so much more than I ever thought we would,
I love you more than I ever thought I could.

I promise to give you all I have to give,
I'll do anything for you as long as I live.

In your eyes I see our present, our future and past,
By the way you look at me I know we will last.

I hope that one day you'll come to realize,
How perfect you are when seen through my eyes.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

She wrote

One day in my dreams ....
I met God and asked him
"My dear
tell me something clear
about the little pranky guy ...
who is a shiny star in u sky "

The lord replied ...

He has
" The purity in the heart ,
The kindness in the soul ,
Beauty in the smile ,
and truth in the eyes"

He has
" The bundle of Joy ,
The ocean of love,
The freshness of dew ,
Like him the world does not have even few"

He has
"The sweetness of nectar ,
The fragnance of flower ,
The color of life,and
My blessings in disguise "!!!!

My dear child ,said the dear lord with a sweet smile
"Though Naughtness and laughter is his way of life ,
but its a reason for u 2 to smile,
Just be loving and nice to this sweet guy ...
I brought to u in u r life"

Miss Confusion

“Hello! Are you an Indian?” “Yes,” she said, “but my family is settled in America for the past 8 years.” “OIC, so what are you doing at the Vienna airport?” “Well, I am going back to India to visit my naanijee in Delhi and had to change my flight enroute”, the way she pronounced the word naanijee with a heavy American accent brought a smile to my face, I just wanted to burst out in laughter but somehow curbed it thinking she might feel odd.

Luckily we were to be on the same flight to India. Before we met there were still 3 hours to our fliht and I was really looking forward to getting bored, as another Indian student who I had met at the airport and got friendly with (I am addicted to being friendly with people I don’t know, it indeed is very adventurous getting to know strangers and then as you start getting familiar with them, it gives you the feeling of unpeeling of an orange rather slowly and seeing the real sweet fruit inside the outer protective layer which it weaves around itself)was about to leave by another flight. Though I have relatives in the US, this was the first chance I got to become familiar with a teenager of Indian origin settled in the ‘Land of opportunity’ as they call it. For me it was an opportunity I couldn’t have missed, as I had always been very keen to get into the mind of an India born, America bred, confused Desi” adolescent.

The 3 hours that followed at the Vienna airport were really very intriguing. I was so full of questions that I started shooting immediately. One of the first things I observed was, her slight inhibition in the beginning to let go, which is so characteristic of Indian girls. But on the contrary she was very comfortable and had no airs about her when chatting to a stranger of the opposite sex that was ‘Me’, this is so uncharacteristic of most Indian girls.

I noticed that her watch was still set according to the American time. The reason she gave for this was , that by doing this she always knew what was the time back home and would know when her parents and friends were awake, this was something which I found really amusing. Although she didn’t make it obvious, her eyes showed that she was missing her family. She was also very cautious about the flight timing, there was still more than an hour to the flight and she wanted to move towards the departure lounge, this again made me smile. I am sure like all Indian parents she had got strict instructions from her family to be careful and alert all the time (well, the same was the case with me, but you know ‘Boys will be boys’).This was more evident to me when I saw that she was carrying a piece of paper on which her father had so carefully compared the time zones in the US, Austria and India.

She was very excited to be visiting India after 8 long years. I think she still had a mental picture of India from her 8 initial years spent here. Her mind too, was filled with all sorts of questions about India. One of the first questions she asked me was that how normal was it to have a boyfriend/girlfriend in India and to hang out with him/her. I really wanted to laugh out loud this time. “Well, it’s very common as long as you are spending the days together and not the nights!” She just blushed.

One of the most interesting facts I came to know from her was, in spite of spending so many years in the US, most of these desi’s still hang out in the desi circles majority of the time. I also think that the range the word desi covers these days has increased manifold. Most of the friends of Miss Confusion are Indians, Pakistanis, Afghanis(her best friend is an Afghani girl who speaks hindi)and Bangladeshis(she calls them Bangaalis).This was personally very nice to know as back in India ,majority of people still don’t have a very good opinion about the Pakistani’s and to see how these south Asians live in harmony in the US reiterates the fact that there is hardly any difference between us ,we are all so same in terms of our language , culture, food habits, social values etc. Let me tell you that the boyfriend of my Miss Confusion is a Pakistani.

Now, as confusion is an integral part of the life of our desi’s ,in spite of all the peace and harmony I just talked about, her mom is dead against this Pakistani boy and has given red signals to our poor little gal that “No getting involved!!” From what I can make out, it has nothing to do with the boy in particular, it’s just the fact that he happens to be a Pakistani, more particularly a Muslim. Now this is something which I have never been able to figure out. I used to think that after so many years in the US these anti Muslim feelings (specially if your son/daughter wants to marry one or go around with one)might be getting reduced but I should have known, its hard to change us desi’s, no matter where we are , “Aakhir dil hai Hindustani.”

I always thought that it was these western people, specially the Americans who were racists, but my my…never underestimate us Indians. I donno whether its just she and her friends or the whole Indian community in America, but they call the white Americans the ‘Gore people’ and if you thought that nigger was a derogatory word ,then so is calling the African Americans ‘Kaale people’ !! The way she uttered these two terms with her heavy accent really made me laugh (Ya, once again!!), she really sounds cute speaking Hindi.

Finally it was 1:35 P.M and time for us to board our flight. She asked me what my seat number was and as I had expected our seats were miles apart. But being polite and a friendly smile always helps, and in spite of the flight being jam-packed the airhostess managed 2 adjacent seats for us.

“Are we on the right flight?” was her first question before taking her seat next to me. “No! ,this flight goes to Moscow and I am very sorry for lying to you for so long,” I spoke these words with such a poker face that I could see her getting pale and numb for a moment, but the last thing I wanted was to make her cry ,so I started laughing the very next moment. Once again the same thought popped in my mind, that she was just another Indian girl(no matter how Americanized she had become),very cautious and slightly nervous at being away from her loved ones for the first time.

As the flight took off, her grey eyes(courtesy, her contact lenses!!) could be seen gleaming with excitement and joy. I too knew what this excitement was, it had hardly been 2 months and 8 days in Europe for me and I was already having this strong urge from within to get back to India. I don’t know what, but there is something mystic about India which inspite of all its heat, population and the anomalies which the so called developed nations find, seduces you. For me, the thought of getting to see my parents, relatives and friends back at college was just too tempting.

I had been in Salzburg, Austria for slightly over 2 months for an internship at a research firm. Summer is the time when most of the European universities and technical firms are brimming with Indian interns from reputed universities across the length and breadth of India. These small stints give the Indian students an excellent opportunity to learn, not only in terms of their work but also in terms of getting familiar with new cultures and an altogether different way of living .The best part is that you don’t spend a single penny from your pocket as the stipend you get is more than enough. Moreover, the host company or the university takes excellent care of you and you also get a chance to see most of Europe if you plan your weekends well.

Since, I was unable to see a single Bollywood movie during my stay in Austria, I was really looking forward to seeing the on flight movie. But, as luck would have it, the film buff inside me had to wait longer. To be precise, I got to see my first Bollywood movie in over 2 months only after I landed in India as they were showing a really stupid movie ‘Love in Nepal(no hard feelings intended towards the makers!!) on the flight.

In one way it was good I thought, as I would get more time to interact with Miss Confusion. But the poor girl, she had not slept in 2 days courtesy the erratic flight schedules fuelled by the difference in the time zones. She was not looking very good, I could sense that there was something wrong. She couldn’t sleep and also didn’t feel like eating. “Are you alright??” “Yes,” her faint voice indicated that she was not well, but this is something I really find funny with people ,whenever they are not okay and someone asks their well being, they always give a nod as if they are on the seventh heaven. Within minutes she had to rush to the toilet to puke, now this really worried me. I just wanted the girl to reach India safely into the protective cocoon of her family. When she came back I asked her if she was really feeling okay, she smiled and said that she tried to throw up but couldn’t. However, within the next few minutes she was sleeping and this time I smiled, I knew she would feel much better when she got up.

While she slept I listened to some music and did some thinking, that’s when the term Miss Confusion struck my mind like lightning. In her own words, “I am so Indian yet so American.” “I am really excited to be visiting India after so long!! But I miss America and my family too.” She loves wearing salwaar kameez but wears it only when she goes to a mandir or on some special occasions. She celebrates Christmas and the 4th of July (which also happens to be my birthday) with all her passion but doesn’t celebrate 15th August. On diwali they generally do a barbeque, ironically most Indians don’t eat non vegetarian food on diwali!! When I ask her that whether she celebrates rakhi, she says that she is not that American not to celebrate rakhi!! She loves her independence, supposedly has her own car and a partime job in a shopping mall, but says that working in a shopping mall is okay but McDonald’s is out of question as it is considered cheap or low class working there.

Before this encounter I always thought that movies like “American Desi” were just too exaggerated but after looking at things from Miss Confusions perspective I was forced to change my opinion. If not all then at least parts of movies of such genre really succeed in portraying the dilemma, call it culture clash, in the lives of teenagers of Indian origin living in America.

Talking of movies, I really think that Indian directors should stop making films which have Pakistan bashing, considering the fact that Bollywood movies have a huge market especially in Pakistan, America and United Kingdom. As I mentioned earlier we have so many Indian’s and Pakistani’s in America and U.K who hang out together and share very friendly relationships, now the situation really becomes embarrassing if they go out together to watch some of these movies. One such situation occurred when Miss Confusion, her Pakistani boyfriend and his mom went out to see ‘Deewar’ which is about Indian P.O.W’s escaping from a Pakistani jail. I can well imagine how embarrassed she must have felt. One thing which I would like to mention here is that personally I have always loved watching such movies specially since my father is in the army, but now I strongly feel or at least partially that we shouldn’t be making such movies.

As I came out from my world of thoughts, I saw that she was getting up from her sleep, she looked much better. “How are you feeling?” “Nice,” and this time I felt that she really meant what she said! Within minutes we were on with our chatting and an interesting term was added to my vocabulary. I thought that it was only back in India that we made fun of these Indians living in America, but I should have known!! She told me that if I were to come to America sometime and make friends with some of these desi’s I will be called a F.O.B(fresh off the boat).People will find my accent or to be frank everything about me funny. The only positive point about F.O.B’s is that they are considered to be smarter than the desi’s. F.O.B is a term these desi teens use for Indians who are new to America and the American way of life.

Due to the air pressure I was having some pain in my ear and told her how it would have helped if I had a ‘toffee’ to chew, she just smiled. I asked her what was the smile for, to which she replied that it had been very long since she had heard the word toffee, she was now used to the term ‘candy’, this made me smile too. I thought that from each others perspective we were both so different and yet we could relate to each other. This definitely had something to do with the Indian gene in both of us.

We could see on the screen in front of our respective seats that we would be landing in India pretty soon. I could see the tinkle in her eyes and perhaps she saw it in mine. I knew that my father, chachajee and cousin would be there at the airport to receive me, for them I think more than anything else it was a matter of immense pride that I had taken up the right path in life at such a young age. I just hope that I continue on this path and climb the ladder of success not for anything else but to make my family proud.

Both of us were giggling like 5 year olds, it was the excitement of landing in India that made us feel so happy. I could feel it in my stomach that the plane was descending, I clasped hands with her and said “Welcome to India!”, she just kept laughing.

As we landed and came out of the plane, I could smell India and also feel the heat. She was smiling but looked lost, she had all reason to, afterall she was more or less a firangi now having been away for more than 8 years. As we cleared immigration and moved towards the arrival terminal to get our luggage we hardly spoke. I guess both of us were engrossed in our own thoughts. Her mausijee was supposed to receive her and as we waited for the luggage she turned up from behind along with her husband and hugged Miss Confusion. Then there was the usual “kaisee ho?”, “kitnee badi ho gayee ho,” flight kaisee thee?”, “koi problem to nahee hui?” I said my hellos to her mausi and mausa and answered the usual questions like what do I do and why was I in Europe. My luggage arrived in the meanwhile and I was feeling kind of odd in this family reunion, moreover I had to buy a bottle each of Johny Walker Black Label and Chivas Regal for my dad who is sort of a connoisseur of liquor. With a smile on my face I said goodbye to her. ”Write me an email,” she said and smiled.

As I walked out towards the exit, my eyes constantly searching my father, I thanked god for showing me my own country from a different perspective. I was suddenly feeling more mature in terms of my thoughts and I had a logical justification as to why our young desi’s in America were so confused, they really have a reason for it. As I pen down my experience, I have greater sense of respect for these Indian teens leading their lives in America and still trying to preserve their culture. It shocks me when I look around as to how some of my own age group living in India are forgetting their culture and traditions in the race to become more hip and cool and I thought that Miss Confusion was confused!! Now who really is confused??