Showing posts with label LiGhT HeArTed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LiGhT HeArTed. Show all posts

Friday, 19 May 2017

Indian National Anthem: Blog # 300

Indian National Anthem


Every single time I hear our national anthem, I get goose bumps. It reminds me ever so gently, the greatness of our fascinating country.  There was an ongoing debate if we should play the national anthem at the movie theaters or not. I saw some merit in those arguments. Where I did not see a merit was when some people were wondering if we should stand up for the national anthem at all. What is there to debate in respecting one’s national anthem? Do we debate if we should respect our elders? Anyway, the decision of playing the national anthem is already made. So there is no point going back to that debate again. The reason I am writing this blog is the way in which the National Anthem is played in the theaters these days.

I am a movie buff. I watch at least 3 movies a week. In all the theaters that I go to, all we get to hear is a usual rendition of the national anthem - nothing awe inspiring! It is a movie theater and the moments when the anthem is played can be made MAGICAL, to say the least. We have so many beautiful renditions of the anthem as below:



Have a look at another beautiful rendition of the anthem by a set of some incredibly gifted children.Watch this video from BIG Cinemas and I assure you that you will be moved. It is such a breathtakingly beautiful depiction that it will leave you a lasting memory. At a time when there is a lot of debate about the need for unity among people from different walks of our country and world at large, imagine what such a beautiful message on National integration can do!

  

Imagine watching your national anthem beautifully depicted on the vast expanse of the silver screen. What a beautiful moment that will be! This is a humble petition to the theater chains to include the depiction of our national anthem in a way that lives up to its greatness.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Mother's Love: Blog #299

Mother’s Love


From


The first breath to the last sigh… 
Mother, Motherhood, Children, Mothers love
The first cry to the last laugh…
The first step to the last stumbling…
The first word to the last verse…

Sunrise to moonshine, all day and everyday…
A mother’s love fills our lives like

A twilight ray,
A monsoon shower,
An ending tide.

Be Grateful, Be Humbled. 

Not teary eyed yet? Read this one :) ~ Amma


Saturday, 1 April 2017

Be!: Blog #295

Be... 

Poem, Be, Live , Literature, Story
Be Lost than Stranded
Be Concerned than Worried
Be Rebellious than Stubborn
Be Mysterious than Secretive
Be Expressive than Animated
Be Curious than Inquisitive
Be Responsive than Reactive
Be Alone than Lonely
Be Eloquent than Verbose
Be Willful than Adamant
Be an Explorer than a Wanderer
Be a Human than a Being
Be,than Was!
                                                                                                               Arun Babu

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Words! : Blog # 288

Words!


Words, Urban dictionary, Pop culture, Millennials  You know what is rare in the world we live in these days? Conversations. Thanks to the gadgets, we don’t even look at each other. Let alone talk. Rarer still are good conversations. Good conversations need good words. If you choose the words carefully, they have the ability to influence people. Carefully nurtured words make poets out of normal people.

Now coming to the way many of us talk these days. There is such a lack of vocabulary. It is either lack of awareness of words or just plain laziness. Here are a few examples:

I was surprised to see that – What the @#$%!

I was shocked to hear that – What the @#$%!

I am proud of your achievement – Dude, what the @#$%!

I was very happy to meet my friend – I met my friend and I was like, what the @#$%!

I met my family after a long time. I was so moved – I met my family and I was like what the @#$%!

My friend gave me a birthday gift. Something I have been wanting for a long time. I couldn’t thank him enough – My friend gave me a birthday gift. I was like what the @#$%!

I got very less marks in an exam I thought I will ace. I was very disappointed. – I got very less marks in an exam and I was like, what the @#$%!

If the above isn’t enough, the below words are used with such carelessness that will put a snail to shame:
Like
Stuff
Whatever
Bro
Dude (To be read as Duuuuuuuudeeeeee!!!)


         Imagine all of us talking to each other with a set of 10 words and nothing more to add. How limiting will that be! If this continues, that is exactly where we will land up. Let us please start talking with words and not just lazy profanity.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

He : Blog # 223

He


Theirs was a broken relationship. Like any other father-son relationship, it had also started with unblemished love and care for each other. He had fond memories of his father from childhood. His was not a typical loving, showering with care sort of a father. He was treated as an equal. For that matter, his father treated everyone as equal to his age – be it children or those from the generation bygone. Neither did his father shower love and affection towards children, nor did he show visible respect towards elders.

All through childhood, he grew up struggling to understand the dynamics of the relationship they both shared. It was so unlike what his friends had with their fathers. When he entered adolescence, he enjoyed the relationship thoroughly. At an age when one yearns to be treated as a grownup, when one’s own father does that, what more could one ask for? It was during the first year in college that he learned of the growing distance between his parents. When he came to know that the reason is another woman, he couldn’t wrap his head around the situation. His parents eventually got divorced. The books he read, his friends and even his mother after a while asked him to forgive his father for what he did. His friends told him that whatever he did, that person is his father and so, forget and forgive.  He asked his friends as to why is it so very necessary that one should forgive one’s father or mother? They said because that is the nature of the relationship. How would he know for he has never experienced that very nature of the relationship!

Time passed by like milestones do on a long lonely journey. He thought to himself that may be it is time. The unpleasantness is not helping anyone. Mother used to tell him that she was in a happy place in life now and so was his father. She asked him as to why he is bearing the burden of their broken relationship.  By now, age had altered his perception of righteousness. His idea of self and being selfish had undergone a sea of change now that he had a family of his own. His wife told him to visit his father on his father’s birthday. He asked his wife to come along. She told him that it was a journey he should sail alone.

He thought he will call up his father. Even though his father wasn’t one who liked surprises, he thought this might be one that he may like. He reached his father’s new house and he noticed how similar the garden was to one he had at his childhood home. His father’s wife opened the door and welcomed him with a broad smile. She rushed to call his father.

They had not met for many seasons now. He did not know where to look or what to say.His father looked at him and said “Thank you dear son. Today, I too forgive myself”.

Arun Babu

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Why marry a Sales(wo)man? : Blog # 221

Why marry a Sales(wo)man?


This post is dedicated to all my friends who are in sales and are getting married in the days to come. They can use this as a collection of USPs ;). If you are already married and are in sales, you might want to show this to your spouse.

To begin with, the biggest advantage is people who are in sales are almost always on the move. This means that your spouse will not be there 24*7 be it in the good days or bad ones. From whatever I learned from couples who have been married for long enough, distance increases fondness and more importantly, the arguments get cleared up on their own, thanks to the short absences.

Since a sales person travels far and wide, he/she will be aware of the best things to do, the best snacks to eat or the best places to go to in every nook and corner of the country. The roads and streets will be as familiar to them as your backyard which means you get a tour guide for free. Add to this, the contacts that they have in every single place. There will be one friend or mutual friend (in social media parlance) whom they can call up and get things done. Since there is a lot of travel involved, SOME of them will get gifts for you when they come back from a sales trip.

A sales person will be one who meets at least half a dozen people every day. This means that their ability to connect with people will be way above the normal. This will work in the spouses’ favour. Whatever one means to say through words or without them, they will understand it in no time.  Also, every marriage comes with a handful of painful relatives. They will handle them with ease as if they were born to do it.

It is said that conversation is key in a marriage. When you are married to someone who makes a living out of talking, you will never run out of things to converse about. On the contrary, there might be times when you want a bit of quietness. Don’t worry; just when you are about to reach that phase, it will be time for the seller to hit the roadJ.

A sales person is so used to chasing targets that if you want to get something done, all you need to do is hack their excel sheet and add that to their monthly target! Include a weekly status call about whatever you want and believe you me, by the month end, it will be done.

Now comes the biggest plus of all. Almost all the interactions you have will begin with a smile and end with one too J.

p.s.(clue for my fiancĂ©e) :  Recruitment, in a way is kind of a sales profile ;).

Arun Babu

Monday, 18 May 2015

Sleeping with a Lion : Blog # 219

Sleeping with a Lion



Please play and listen to the video here before you read the blog :)

Whenever I have read about or heard about people committing heinous crimes in a fit of rage, I used to wonder as to what can make people so annoyed or worked up. Yesterday, I got a taste of how such incidents happen. I was travelling by bus from home to Chennai after the weekend. I am among those who cannot get even a blink worth of sleep while travelling in a bus. Thankfully, it was a new bus and hence very clean. It came right on time and they were even playing a nice movie. I told myself “Buses aren't that bad after all!” Little did I know all that was going to change in a minute!

The lights were dimmed and I was adjusting the seat to get a comfortable sitting position. Right then, there was a growl near my right ear. My first instinct was to think “How on earth did Casper, my 2 year old full grown Rottweiler get in the bus!” I slowly turned to see my co passenger snoring away to glory. Usually, snoring doesn't bother me much. My friends say I too snore. So I am not exactly in a position to judge. Moreover it is a condition which the person cannot do much about.

But this guy’s snoring started off as a mini motorcycle being started. I told myself that it will stop soon. But it was just the warm up! Minutes later, it graduated in to a full blown concert of sorts. The movie got over. The only sound in the bus was this person snoring. It was so loud that people in 3 rows in front of us and equally to the back could hear us. My empathy prevented me from waking him up. Then he started doing variations (akin to arohanas and avarohanas in Carnatic music). It goes up and up and reaches a crescendo. When I thought it was over and as I heaved a sigh of relief, he started from exactly where he stopped. I lost it and woke him up. He was duly ashamed and apologetic and he turned to the other side. Just as when I was beginning to feel bad, here comes the growl!!!

What surprised me was that usually people snore and stop. This guy’s consistency was to die for. He wouldn't miss a beat. Now, it had become like a tractor on the road with a failed silencer. I even recorded it on WhatsApp and sent it across to my friends. They said they also haven’t heard anything of this sort. My patience was waning. I started thinking of ways to silence him. I thought of landing a punch right on his nose so that it will open up and stop the sound. Then I thought what if the growl becomes louder! At one point, I pictured his head being smashed in to the glass window. I even thought of going the CIA way. I had a blanket and there was a bottle of water too. I thought I will do a bit of water boarding. I started elbowing him every time he snored and he took that as frikkin encouragement!

The beauty of it was that he continued it all through night till 7:30 in the morning today! I have never been through an endurance test of this sort. He woke up and asked me “Where have we reached”? I had half a mind to tell him that he has reached my skull and another minute more of snoring, he would have cracked it open with that sound. I also wanted to give him some career advise “Go and do dubbing for the Lion in the MGM cartoon”!

Arun Babu

Friday, 27 March 2015

Happiness in Pixels : Blog # 210

Happiness in Pixels


A photograph is one of the most beautiful expressions of art. What makes it so likeable is that it is pleasant on the eyes or it ought to be when some of us click that is ;). I think what makes it so mystic is the frozen time about that frame. In spite of all the advancements mankind has made, time has always been elusive. It has always slipped away from our hands. A picture gives us the illusion of having conquered time although for a moment.
Photography, Camera, Photos, Pictures


It is indeed true that a picture speaks a thousand words. Is that why many a time pictures tell the most beautiful stories? What I like about the story woven through a picture is that it is open to the interpretation of  audience unlike a story woven through words. A handful of words can tell only one story. A picture on the other hand, can tell a hundred stories depending on who sees it and how they see it.

The best thing about photography is that you can choose what you want to see and what you want to show. You might be looking at a pond with weeds spread all over. You spot a Kingfisher who has chosen to sit on a twig parched on a rock with water so clear around it that you can see the bottom of the pond. You can now click only that small periphery and make the whole pond look good. That is the magic of photography!

How can we not think of memories when it comes to photos. There are moments in life which one would want to revisit. I would say photographs are the best way to time travel. One look at an old picture is all it takes to bring the fond memories of the seemingly forgotten past to come rushing by. When you find time, sit down with your friends or family and go through old family albums. Believe me, it is like walking in to an old home where you spent your childhood in. If you are lucky enough, you will have someone to reminisce the story behind those photos with.

Photography used to be a selfless act until the selfie came along that is J. At every function, there used to be one family member or a friend who goes on clicking a moment of togetherness, happiness or celebration without them being a part of the frame. But on the brighter side, selfie has made photography more inclusive. The artist do not have to stand away from the art. He/she is also a part of the creation. It is like acknowledging the presence of the paintbrush on a beautiful canvas J.


Like any other art, photography too is an expression of the artist who clicks. I wonder how beauty is so obvious to them in the vastness of nature. I am amazed as to how they contain a story in an 8X10 frame. I wish if I will ever understand how they make a seemingly passing moment turn in to the memory of a life time!

Keywords: Photography,Camera,Pixels,DSLR camera,Photos,Photgraphs,Photographer, Shutterbug 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Pushpak Viman chronicles : Blog # 200

Pushpak Viman Chronicles          



If you are a frequent flyer, there are certain things one cannot help but notice about the way people behave in an airport and on board a flight. The pattern is so obvious that one has to be blind to not make a note of it.

            Let us begin with the airports. The first rush is to screen the baggage. Once the baggage is screened, we move to the check in counters. Many a time, this turns out to be a long winding queue. Some of us who are not used to standing in a disciplined queue make the frustration obvious by making random remarks. Most questions are rhetoric. “Why aren’t all the counters open?”, “Are the staff on leave?”, “Do they know what customer service is!” and it goes on and on. The person standing at the front of queue is in an LOC kind of a spot. He/she needs to be really alert and go in to the next counter which becomes free. Delay it by a second and the people standing behind you will start producing random sounds and rhetoric like the ones we saw above.

At the counter, the overworked – exhausted ground staff gives you a forced smile and a welcome greeting. If one is carrying excess baggage, one should pay for it. Instead what do we do? Random rhetoric comes here again “This is not the first time I am flying!”. “I am never flying by your airline again!”. During boarding, the ground staff announce clearly that the rows at the back need to board first so that there is less congestion inside the aircraft. But who are they kidding? Everyone from rows 1 to 16 will be at the counter demanding to get in first, shouting and arguing with them.

            More interesting things happen inside the aircraft. This starts with NOT greeting the cabin crew at the door. Again the over worked – exhausted cabin crew greets each and every passenger at the door. Most of us don’t even have the courtesy to look at them. Now starts the efforts to place the cabin baggage. Ideally, one should quickly place it in the overhead cabin and take one’s seat. But no! We take our own sweet time, place the bag exactly above our head and then look around and stand in the way! After getting everyone seated just when the cabin crew get ready for safety briefing, we feel thirsty and if the water is not served in the next 10 seconds, starts the rhetoric again!

The safety briefing is the most futile exercise I have ever seen. Right at that moment, many of us get occupied like never before. Some of us will be reading the newspaper or a book, others will be busy with the cellphones and some will look anywhere else but towards the person doing the safety briefing. The underlying vibe here is that I am a frequent flyer and I need not listen to the briefing! Don’t even get me started with the food and beverage being served. Yes I agree that most of it is so synthetic that you don’t feel like even chewing them let alone enjoy the taste. But there is a menu card and these are the only options available. Why should one start enquiring about the spread as if it were a 5 star restaurant buffet? Then there are some people who would want to visit the wash room exactly during take off and landing. I do not know what adrenalin rush they get from doing this!

            The funniest part comes during the landing. The moment an aircraft lands, people get up as if they are poked from beneath the seats! They start opening the overhead cabin and pulling the bags with absolutely no concern if the baggage is hitting an elderly person nearby or a child. Everyone knows that the door will open only after a while and until and unless people in the front rows get out, people in the subsequent rows cannot move. But no, neither will they sit down nor will they stop taking out their bags. You might think they are trying to save time. But these people have to go and stand at the baggage belt till their bags arrive. However fast these people arrive there, it takes some time for the baggage to reach the belt from the aircraft. Not to mention, ignoring the cabin crew who thank us continues during exiting the aircraft also.

            We do all this and wonder why the foreigners look down on us at the airports!



Sunday, 9 November 2014

When I woke up a tad bit too early… : Blog # 197

When I woke up a tad bit too early…


I woke up listening to my Grand father’s slippers tapping against the floor. He started wearing to ward off pain in the joints which he thought is due to the cold floor. I could hear ‘Rangoli’ blaring on the TV which meant it is a Sunday. I woke up from the bed and saw the Mosaic flooring of my house and felt something was different. My mother asked me to brush and come for the tea. Near the wash basin, was kept the toothbrush and Cibaca toothpaste. I went downstairs and took up the day’s Newspaper. There wasn’t anything which interested me.


We all had breakfast together and dad told that we will go for a movie in the afternoon. After breakfast, we all sat together and watched ‘Sri Krishna’. When the last advertisement post the program was running on the TV, the power went off. We knew it won’t be back for at least an hour. My sister and I took our cycles and went over to our friends’ places. My friend Ravi’s father had bought a Maruti 800. What a car! It did not even make a noise when it moved. The interiors looked very modern and plush. Both of us reached home for lunch. After lunch, we went to the theatre in a bus. There was a long queue outside the theatre but thankfully, the ladies’ queue was smaller.  We got the tickets and went inside the theatre. We got some chips and a Campa cola. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was becoming a huge hit with relatively new stars, Shahrukh Khan and Kajol. After the movie, we went for a walk on the marine drive. It was a pleasant evening. The road was full of new Maruti cars. The Premier Padminis and the Ambassadors stood the ground even though they were fighting a losing battle as my father often said.

We were home by 6 o clock just in time to catch ‘The Jungle book’. It has always been a mixed feeling to watch this show for it meant that Sunday is coming to an end. Grandfather sat down to watch the 7pm news and we went to check if there is any pending home work. Thankfully, there were none. Turning my Crompton greaves fan to full speed, I went to bed by 9 after dinner.


I woke up with a start. I checked if my cell phone was near my pillow. I swiftly checked if it was connected to net and if I had any notifications on Facebook and whatsapp. The air conditioner was working and the flooring was familiar grey marble. I ran down and asked my mother where the newspaper was. It was the 10th day of November of 2014.I let out a sigh of relief. Father called out to me to book movie tickets for an afternoon show and to connect the laptop so that he could skype with my sister. Before I could think about what had just happened, my whatsapp pinged continually for my attention.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

An Actor’s Diary : Blog # 193


An Actor’s Diary

        My life as an actor started on a Friday and I know that it will end on a Friday. I am aware of the reality that all I can do is to push my last Friday as further as I can.

            I vividly remember my first release day. I have always heard of people talking about being happy, worried and scared all at the same time. That day, I learned what exactly it felt like. It was strange. I wasn’t sure if people would like me. The first time I saw myself on the silver screen, I cringed. All I could see were the flaws in my appearance and acting. My first film evoked mixed responses. Some people liked me but I knew most were being polite when they said I did well for a debutant.

            By the time my second film released, I had a faint idea about the craft of acting and how things worked in the industry and among the audience. That film was a success or in industry terms, a super hit! More people appreciated my work. I started showing up on Google much to my surprise and my social media presence increased considerably.

            I remember feeling awkward while giving the very first interview. I kept on thinking why would people want to know about my personal life! What interest it is for to them? More strange was the first photo-shoot. Having never been an obviously good looking person ever in my life, I had to tell myself repeatedly that I am in a photo shoot and my face would grace a magazine’s cover which I grew up reading.

            I also remember walking on to a stage once and people screaming my name. All I did was smile in wonder. A senior actor standing next to me was kind enough to tell me that I should acknowledge their love. He asked me to wave at them. I did it reluctantly and saw how much people enjoyed the reciprocation! The brand manager of the product that I endorsed was “Your face sells. You need to understand that and start leveraging it”. My manager, a veteran in the field nudged me and told me later. “This is a make believe industry. An actor needs to believe in oneself first. Only then will you be able to make others believe the parts you play.”

            Although I knew I was becoming popular, the realization of it never sunk in fully. Strangely enough, it was the first minor controversy that hit me made me understand the scale of my popularity and the responsibility that it brought along.

            Now I know why people never want to quit acting. There are very few professions which are as gratifying as this. Even fewer where one gets appreciated for one’s work on such a large platform. Yes, the failures are public but then everything in Life comes with a price. The greatest thing about being an actor is that everyday, one gets to laugh, cry, be angry, be lonely, be hated, be loved; all for reasons of not one’s own. Every day, one gets to be a new person. Every day, one gets to live a new life.

See you at the movies!
Arun Babu

Sunday, 21 September 2014

At Home in East ~ Agartala, Tripura : Blog # 192


At Home in East ~ Agartala, Tripura

        Having finished the recruitment process at a college, I was getting ready to leave for home. It was about 7 in the evening. When I saw a message blinking on my cell phone from my colleague and friend, Mr. Pai asking me to call back immediately, I knew I should start packing. I called him up and he said that I need to travel to Agartala the next day morning. To be honest, it took me sometime to place the state on the map. All I knew was that it is in the East.

            The next day, one of the connecting flights got delayed and I had  to stay the night in Calcutta. When the hotel manager gave me the same room that I had stayed in, the last couple of times, I knew that Calcutta was slowly becoming a friend from an acquaintance. On board the flight to Agartala, I couldn’t stop admiring the landscape. There were little water bodies strewn all over amidst lush green patches. The moment I landed, I got a call from a spirited young student, Gangu who was to surprise me time and again over the next two days with his wisdom beyond his age. Enroute the campus, we talked about almost anything and everything under the sun. How Agartala has a large Bengali population to How people tend to think of it as a much smaller city than it actually is to How your phone can go on International roaming due to the Bangladesh border which is about 3 kms away to how sparsely populated the city is!

            The roads and the landscape reminded me so much of my home, Kerala. The similarities were striking. Vast fields, little streams, winding roads in between, cattle roaming about and the tress that lined parts of roads – all of it reminded me of Kerala. The moment I reached the institute(NIT Agartala), I knew I was to stand corrected about many of my stereotypes. To begin with, the infrastructure of the institute was really robust. The college was on an expansion spree to the extent that one of its buildings was turning out to be the largest in the city. What interested me was the fact that local labor wasn’t easily available.  They were few in number and they were mostly interested in Agriculture and fishing. Every home had a small pond in their backyard.

            The next day, I woke up with a start. It was as bright as if it were 10 in the morning, thanks to the proximity to Arunachal Pradesh. It was only 7 o clock and I stepped out to the balcony of the guest house where I stayed in. A spectacular back water view welcomed me. The picture here doesn’t even begin to do justice to its beauty when seen live. What did not quite go as per my expectations was the weather in Agartala. It was quite humid. But I hear it was pouring the days before and the days after I left. May be it was East’s way of making me feel at home. I must say it did make me feel like I were in Chennai of March J.

            Once the drive was over, I retired to the guest house. The placement coordinators joined me for dinner. A bunch of bright young guys – Alam, Nipun, Gaurav and Gangu. Their clarity of how to go about life reminded me of how much in contrast how I was when compared to them. To say I was clueless at that age would be an understatement. I think their sensibility and sensitivity came from the situations that they were brought up in. Gaurav’s father was in BSF due to which he has travelled far and wide. Nipun lives in a joint family and the kind of learning he has had from that ecosystem is tremendous. Alam who comes from a large family with many elder brothers and sisters would have understood the meaning of selflessness from that upbringing. Gangu had his way with words and getting things done which reminded me time and again that this guy like three of his friends is going to do really well in Life.

            Alam and I talked over dinner and he said how happy his family was with his job. His elder brother called from Sharjah and talked for almost an hour and how emotional all of them were. When he said that he wished if his father were there to see this achievement of his, I also had to fight my eyes from getting moist. Then I realized yet again that I was doing a job which had the power to change people’s lives. At the same time, I reminded myself that it was not I who was changing their lives, I am just a miniscule part of it.


            We went on a walk around the campus. It was close to midnight. The night there was so refreshingly different from what I am used to. The silence was strikingly conspicuous. The moonlight was indulgently doing graffiti with the huge trees on the lush lawns. The lake resembled a canvas when it reflected the moon in all its glory. For as far as my eyes could see, it was nature at its best.

            The next day morning, Alam and I started for airport. The number of cars on the road  was countable. It was so relieving to not having to manoeuver through clogged traffic. I badly wanted to take a piece of Agartala with me. We chanced up on an art gallery on the way and I picked up a statuette which looked like a woman at work from that part of our country. When I reached the airport and was about to board, I found myself strangely going to miss  Agartala. In two days, I had grown fond of this place and its people. It is for a reason that they say one cannot help but fall in love with East once you visit that place.  

Arun Babu.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

In Love with my Baggage : Blog # 177



In Love with my Baggage


                  By virtue of my profession of being a recruiter, I spend more days in a hotel room than my own rented house in Chennai. I have come to travel more in the last two years of my Life than I have travelled in         the whole of the quarter century of my Life! 

        I am not someone who has enjoyed travelling from quite early on. But now, a bit of wander lust has set in. There is an interesting thing about travelling. As much joy there is in seeing new places, when you are away for quite long, one looks for a hint of familiarity. This might be the reason why people prefer hotel chains to those that are standalone. Apart from the hotels, there is one constant companion for a wanderer. His/her baggage! My slice of familiarity is my American Tourister bag. 

             There is one more thing about travel. The smallest of discomforts can turn in to a major hassle. One such is tugging along the baggage where ever you go. In my case, I frequent most of the railway stations and airports. Quite often, one can’t help but feel like pulling along a bullock cart. Worse is the case when the baggage needs to be pushed around. One feels like a vegetable seller on wheels. 

              And enter, the four wheeled bag! I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. It just glides along ever so smooth. The effort required to move it around it near to zero. Moreover, it looks pleasant on the eyes too. Akin to that quote about friends, it chooses to glide beside you. Neither behind nor ahead, thanks to its wheel design.

            Coming back to the familiarity bit, Once I reach my hotel room, the sight of my baggage puts me at ease. The fact that there is something/someone that goes through the same journey lends me a sense of calm. Isn’t it the same with emotional baggage too? Even though we all love to shed our baggage, there is a sense of familiarity we develop towards our problems. We know how to deal with them. We know when they will crop up and how to pacify them.

            Some problems lend us a sort of identity too. We would have grown with them. They would have moulded us in more ways than one. There would have been times when they would have made us weak but only to emerge stronger. Over time, we learn to handle our baggage thereby becoming a better person. It is in a way true when they say our problems maketh us. 

             But yes, one needs to know when the baggage becomes a tad bit too heavy for comfort and hesitate not to shed the extra pound.
Arun Babu.