Moments that count…

http://learningtolovelife.blog

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Its has been really long since I had a word with all of you. I have no valid reason or excuse for this. Sometimes some portion of your life is non existing for the rest. I guess it was the same. Lets leave it like that only:)

So the year this was, full of extremes! Positive and negative phases, losing friends and making new ones, new understandings, new experiences – both good and bad, a basket full of all sort of events. I loved few and tried to ignore few. All this while I just remembered one line that the show must go on. I travelled intensively, whether it was work or leisure and every journey was a learning in so many aspects. The first solo travel of my life and made me even more confident.

Meeting all sorts of people and listening to them makes us stronger. It is learning on every step of life. Today When I was posting a photograph of a baby taking its first few steps, I realised that we never stop taking baby steps. Broken relationships, losing dear ones, failing exams, learning new skills, making memories – everything starts with baby steps.When I started travelling solo, it was my baby step. Tawang, Guwahati, Tezpur, Jaipur, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Russia, Singapore, Raipur, Varanasi, Mukteshwar and the list is long. few of these trips were solo and a few with friends and families.

However, it was all completely impromptu!

I was looking at holidays list and places to go and suddenly I came across an amazing picture of Golden Temple and I just got stuck.

I wanted to start my birthday with some good amazing vibes as I was at worst of some personal crisis and that was my baby step towards a positive life. I chose Amritsar for the same and that was one unforgettable experience. While I was sitting in silence and watching others pray and dealing with their life’s problems, a kid of about 5 years came to me and asked if I would play antakshari with her. I was not sure what drove her to me but we started playing. In half an hour, we were friends. I looked around for her parents and they were smiling. That friendship I cherish a lot even now. I ate my first langar and wondered why I had missed out on this for so many years.

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The next day was for experiencing the food starting with Kesar da Dhaba – a name familiar to most that have visited Amritsar.. A close friend of mine suggested I go there to have at least one meal, a part of some unspoken ritual of Amritsar. When I reached there, my heart skipped a beat as it was a small hotel with very ordinary interiors. After cursing my friend and ordering my food, I looked around. People were waiting for their orders very patiently. I did the same and my food arrived after a long wait. Needless to say, it was so tasty that I forgot to take pictures:) The wait was worth it.

I came back to hotel and packed my bags to join my kids back home who were waiting for me to celebrate my birthday. It was a short and memorable trip indeed.

So many experiences, so many stories. I learn a lot when I travel. I will share them with all my friends here. Hopefully I will be regular now with my posts.

As this year is in its last few hours and a new year is peeping in, I am writing this blog for you, for me. Lack of party plans for an introverted photographer works well. I love to be in my cozy corner and feel the moments. For those who like to party, wish you a crazy fun party tonight!!

Wishing you all a very happy new year and lots of happiness in the year ahead.

PS: Being regular is one of my resolutions!!!

The Challenge..

If we were allowed to live without meeting difficulties, we would not be viable. Life gives us challenges to make us stronger.

I had heard a lot about challenges of life, but they used to be mere stories for me that I never experienced. Now, it was my turn. I was forced to face these challenges because of a major change in my life. I was a numb, emotionless and silent spectator.

After coming back to India, once everything was channelized everybody was back to their work and I found myself alone and lonely.  I realized my responsibilities had doubled. Loneliness makes you weak and tender. All my strength changed into unending numbness and tears. But it was far from over. Something even worse was waiting ahead.

I started losing weight and appetite. My mental condition was an obvious concern for my family. After three months, I was diagnosed with a serious illness and was hospitalized for three weeks. My children were terrified – they could not even think of losing me now. I was unavoidably kept on steroids for long time and it affected my health in a big way. My weakness didn’t even allow me to walk a few steps.

Being positive seemed impossible – I was weak and irritable, losing faith in God by the day. Preaches, motivational books or self help articles were not working – I just wasn’t ready. I was in the middle of the tunnel with no end in sight.

That New Years Eve, I had a resolution. The evening that I got discharged from the hospital, I promised myself that going forward I would be viewing life in a positive light.

After a year and a half, I have started improving and normalcy returns.  I have started running as a hobby. Although it was not easy, I wanted to be fit and get back to life. After all this time, I have learnt the lesson that being healthy is the only way to live a positive, meaningful life. I have learnt to smile again. My family and friends are there to support me in this fight. I did not want anyone’s sympathy – I wanted to be stronger and sympathies give you the convenience of being weak. Being weak was out of my charts now.

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”– Dennis P. Kimbro

In the end, I have come out as a winner though it has taken me two long years. With the support of my children, I learnt that it is never too late to begin a new journey. I always regret that I could never ask them how they were dealing with the changed circumstances. Further, I put them in increased stressful situations by not keeping well.

It was a difficult win for all of us. I could finally see a smile on their faces.

I am back to my photography, my passion. Manu is with me, everywhere, every moment, giving me strength to be a perfect mom and fulfil the dreams that we saw together. We have learnt to take life as it comes, in its all colors, shapes and sizes. Our little dog, Juno, is the new addition to the family.

Life is again on a positive track and to prove it, Shreya got a placement offer from Microsoft. The feeling of Manu being around got stronger. I felt him with us, smiling with pride.

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This goes to you Manu!!

We love you. We are having a new start together and we know that it will be a successful journey with you in it.

It all started like this…

http://learningtolovelife.blogIts not easy… It was never easy to think of my life without him, but I am trying to live with our dreams which were meant to see together, trying to see them from his perspective too.

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Being youngest of three siblings, I was pampered a lot in my childhood and it continued even after I got married. It was an arranged marriage. Manu, as I used to call him, used to treat me like a child and he continued to pamper me. We did have our share of shortcomings in our personalities but we were complimentary to each other. Numbers were french to me and he was a serious finance person. Being interested in artistic stuff was my forte and he was quite naive in that matter. But as usual, opposites attracted and we developed a strong bond over a period of time. We started our journey together, with unspoken promises, unexpressed feelings and untold respect for each other. He respected my immaturity, I respected his sincerity.

Love was blooming and so was our first child. We were waiting for its arrival so eagerly. I wanted a girl and he wanted a healthy baby. And Shreya came.. She was so tiny, he was scared to hold her and I could feel his sense of fear and responsibility for that tiny creature. His eyes told me thanks and my eyes were teary. We had found our third partner for the long journey we were in. Shreya filled our life with so many feelings. To handle a small child one needs to have patience which I was severely deprived of. Manu and me started to learn to be good parents and Shreya really helped us in that:).

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Now we were three to experience the life together. Shreya was almost four years. We had lived almost in four cities by now. Goa was the current city we were living in. That was the time when we decided to have another baby. By this time Manu and I had developed a great compatibility. We had our share of fights as well but respect for each other and feeling of being emotionally secure in each other company was enhanced. Having a child increases the sense of responsibility and commitment. Shreya being quite an independent child was an added help to me. She was a perfect child for two of us.

With Shardul, our son, we achieved the milestone of a complete Indian family:) Unlike Shreya, Shardul was a very quiet child, easy to survive with. In all standards, we were a happy family. Two adorable kids, handsome charming and loving husband and a descent lifestyle, what more I could ask for.

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People say that time flies. And it really flew away. Kids had grown up to the children. We were stable in life. Manu had planned a secure future for us. We were not aware then that “ life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” Life had certainly other plans for us in store.

It was May 2015, Manu was getting a better job opportunity, and we planned to shift overseas. He went there before us to join. We joined him on may 23rd, 2015. We had no idea that we were going there for something we could not even think of.

I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfil our destiny, but our fate is sealed.
–Paulo Coelho

It was Wednesday the 27th. We had reached there three days before only and were trying to set our new home. After a long day of arranging the home, we were planning for a movie and suddenly he complained of some discomfort. Being in a new country, I did not take any chance and immediately called some friends. They helped me to get him admitted in the Hospital. Next day he showed some sign of improvement and we were happy. But this happiness was very short-lived. In the midnight doctor told me that things had started worsening. It was fateful morning of 29th when he took his last breath. I was numb. In five days my world was changed. I was just standing with my two children in the hospital corridor of an unknown country amidst strangers. I had no sense of any feeling. I was standing there with a feeling that he had cheated me by leaving like this. With no family members around, I had no liberty of crying as I did not want my children to feel helpless. “You need to stand strong Seema” my mind was saying while my heart was urging me to cry. And I was standing like statue. Why me? Why Manu? My questions to myself were knocking at the door of my mind. And I had no answers.

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Life was shattered, everything was changed in one moment. I realised that now there was a long journey to travel alone. I looked at him and he was smiling. Probably he wanted to say goodbye with a smile only. Or he might had that confidence while going that I would be able to manage. I wanted to tell him that I wont be not able to manage without him. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t want to manage without him. Please come back Manu!

Continued…