Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Sleepless In Bangalore

I am a night person. I can't sleep before midnight and the mere thought of getting up before 7 is laughable!

I wasn't always in love with night, growing up like most families we had 10 o'clock deadline (after all there isn't much to do as a 90's kid). Nowadays kids have too many things to do, play games in phone or pick a channel which play their programs whole day. Anyway that deadline got pushed further with college, when suddenly you have this awesome device through which you can chat with your friends all night for free ( good old days of 100 sms per day)

Although it's not habit which made me fall in love with nights, because I have often worked in morning shifts and never once enjoyed it. Especially when the weather is cold! How can one leave the comfortable warmth of bed and splash freezing cold water on the face?

But what I love the most about nights is that it's "me time". With each passing hour, the noise and chaos around you seems to fade away. There is an eerie silence, almost an air of melancholy. But even in this lonliness I find comfort. Even small mundane things like reading a book or listening to your favourite song is an experience of whole new level when done in the cradle of the night.

Sometimes in the middle of night, I step outside and watch stars. Often there is a faint breeze, a romance in the air! You see during day we have so much to do that we never think about things which doesn't require our immediate attention. But nights, that's another story... In the wee hours our mind takes it's own flight and heart can lose all it's rationalism. Maybe it's my imagination, but it's as if  the time itself slows down.

I know I can never convince a "morning person" to see the beauty of night, but you must try atleast once. Steal a night for yourself. Let the night spin it's magic wand and take you in a journey so splendid that the same old boring world transforms before your eyes into something mysterious and beautiful.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Why So Serious?

I go for walk couple of times a month (or year..but that's not the point!) in a neighbouring park. Being a residential area, the crowd consists of people staying around which is mostly Indians. Once in awhile you see a foreigner running or walking a dog. Now here's the thing, whenever a foreigner crosses you and you happen to meet each other's gaze, most of them invariably give a polite smile!

I was so shocked the first time that I actually turned my head back to see if he was smiling at someone else. Soon I noticed that it was not just a one off case and most of these people regardless of age or gender find it absolutely normal to smile at strangers. Initially I found the act uncomfortable but surely enough it felt good! I mean honestly if someone is to look at you, would you prefer them to stare at you and walk off or smile politely? Because I quite liked the idea. Only problem was it felt stupid that I have to wait for an outsider to show some friendly gesture when so many of my fellow citizens are walking next to me every day. So I decided that I would try the same gesture what these outsiders do so charmingly. After all this was a neighbourhood I was staying in and pretty decent looking people, so how hard could this be?

So next day I went for walk with mission to smile at at least one face and spread this positive vibe around me. Now all I had to do was find my target!It turned out to be pretty tricky because being a girl, I was not sure if a common Indian guy will misinterpret my smile for something else. Finally I picked an elderly lady who was sitting alone in park. As I crossed her I gave a subtle smile and imagined a beautiful smile back..which never came. All I got was an angry stare as if I was insane!

But it got me thinking how rude and indifferent we could be to each other. I remember back then when I used to work in shifts and had to eat alone in office, I used to go for lunch before noon because it was extremely intimidating to enter alone in a cafeteria bustling with people. I still find it uncomfortable to go for a movie alone (and have never done it). I remember once I had to go for lunch at a fine dine and every single waiter gave me a look as if I am odd one out. And by that I don't mean they ill treated me, rather they gave me too much attention! I do have friends (girls) who eat out alone or watch movies alone, but personally I don't think it's a very welcoming atmosphere..

In this current era, when our friends are mercilessly thrown all across the globe, when everybody is so busy that people schedule and reschedule to meet their own parents, I wish we had a place which was not so cruel to a single person. Is it too much to ask for a little act of kindness from a stranger? Would it be that creepy if you enter a train and fellow passenger smiles at you? Is it impossible to make a friend who is not your schoolmate/colleague/friend of friend? If so, it does break my heart because we never know how much fun we would be missing out in our life by stealing these potential moments from our lives.

I failed to bring that smile at park last year, but I refuse to give up. So here's my new year's resolution - go out and talk to strangers. Meet new people. Make new friends. Smile more and make others smile.