Tag: dreams

For better or for worse

If I could just run and if I could just hide. From people, from the fakeness of the world, from the lies in the relationships, from the constant need to prove one’s worth. If we could stop living our lives on visiting cards and bank statements for just a few moments. But that is like asking the earth to stop rotating. For as long as we live, this is what will matter to us, the titles, the turnovers, the cars, the houses. It is quite pathetic actually. Because at the end of all this madness, we have to stand naked in front of ourselves, in front of our maker, will all our faults and follies. Tab kya karenge? Where will we hide then? and from whom? and for how long?

After so many years of being alive, I finally shouted at my mother. She was playing the same old tune. That of her son being the most successful child amongst all three as he had made the maximum amount of money and property. And it always triggers me. So I reacted. I told her that she was uneducated and illiterate, that she cannot understand what I am trying to do and that she never could. I am not proud of all that I said to her. It does not beehove me to go down to her level. But she has been humiliating me and all that I have been trying to be that I just wanted to hurt her once. For her to feel what I feel every moment. The rejection, the pain and the constant loss of self esteem because of my parents’ abandonment. I guess it would have been easier to accept the rejection if they were dead. There is a finality in death. A sense of loss which can be dwealt with over time. But with life, there is always hope. A possibility that maybe someday they would be able to accept me and love me just the way I am.

So I reacted, shouted and walked away. From all that could have been but was not. From hope and dreams and illusions. To reality. To what is real in my life. To Appu and my work.

Challenging projects in hand. Lot of reading to do. We have bought many books, Thank God we have the money to do that. We have Document 8168 ( vol I and II), Annexyure 14, Annexture 4, Aircraft operation manual, Jeppesen Charts. Ab padai karni hai. Between the bills and the admin, accounts, client call,meetings, sleeping, time nikalna hai. Very tough. It is a fight every day. To just read and digest a few lines.

The TV in the pantry is quite a distraction for all the class IV staff. The cook, housekeeping boy ,guards and office boys love being in the pantry. The admin is proving to be tougher than the technical part. The story of our country. Satellite launch karenge lekin bijli paani nahin hai.

The technical team is getting stable ( fingers always crossed). They experienced flying in the simulator installed at the Delhi Flying Club and I think they are just beginning to fall in love with aviation and hopefully GC.

Hope is a good thing. Hope is all we have.

For better or for worse.








A very good start

We are in the midst of some challenging projects. Thoda dar hai. I mean they are not conventional projects ( but when have we followed the conventional path in any area of our life?).  A lot of reading, discussions and brainstorming is required. We love it and that is what keeps us going. The fact that there are constantly new challenges and hidden threats at every nook and corner of the path.

There is money to pay the bills for this month. I mean that is great. Because the 7th of every month was a terror for so long. And all the bills (love letters) hold no fear for us anymore. That our lives are abundant today is a miracle beyond our wildest dreams. That we also have ‘respect’ is an added bonus. We actually worked only for earning ‘respect’ and somehow the ‘money’ came along with it. It has reinforced our belief that running after money is of no use at all. It comes to us when we are ready to receive it.

The office is running. The pantry is churning out three meals a day ( not to forget the midnight snacks) and is getting better at providing healthy meals for all ( from the peon to the manager, no discrimnation at all). There is water. There is work. Thank you God. Thank you very much. For everything. The admin is in place. The accounts is in place. The technical team is also strong. Amazing. Aewsome. We are truly blessed.

Appu has chosen to dance. Full time. Daytime. Nighttime. All the time. So be it. This is what comes naturally to her.This is who she is. A dancer. Just took me a lot of time to accept it in the ‘gut’. The ‘nut’ (brain’) accepted it but  takes time to travel from the nut to the gut. Wish you all the best Appu. Go follow your dream. Wherever it takes you.

I have been invited by ‘family’. Yes by my brother. It is strange as they have dis-owned me from the past so many years. My father has shared that my mother has willed the entire property in the name of my brother and that he wants to record my statement ‘ that I need no part of it and that I will never go to court to ask for my share’. Aisa bhi hota hai. How many laws can you make? If the men of the family do not wish to give the rightful due to their daughters/sisters, then all the laws are redundant and uselss.

We are working most nights. And attending calls/meetings most days. So we are all very tired. I guess that is the price we have to pay for earning an honest living, for wanting respect more than money. I hit a truck head-on in the early hours of the morning while returning from one such night out. The car got crushed and I have no idea how I got saved miraculously. Guess God has got some work planned for me on this planet Earth which is as yet unfinished. Thanks HP.

A lot is going on in the world outside. Politics, scams,dis-honesty,rapes. And it hurts. Yet, we have come to accept that we are powerless over everything except our selves and our actions. If we can live a good, clean, honest life, if we can each be a leader in our own area, if we can clean up our side of the street, if we can be self supporting and stop being parasites on the world, it will be a good start.

A very good start.


‘And why’

Work has begun in the newly leased office space. It is bareshell and a lot of renovation,fabrication,interior wok needs to be done to make it operational. Quite a job. Appu is coordinating with the architects and contractors and that is a major burden off my head. The biggest challenge facing us is that of building a good team. A team which has this ‘stuff of leadership’ one keeps hearing about. The stuff dreams are made of. We have a dream. A fantasy.

I think it is time we re-defined ‘poverty’. Poverty is not about having ‘nothing’. It is about having ‘everything’ and yet wanting ‘more’ by any means. It is about dis-respecting women and children. It is about hiding our true selves and presenting a painted mask to the world just to look good. It is about not confronting the truth for fear of loss of wealth or chair, even if it is staring us in the face. It is about producing bad quality work and getting away by saying that we are not educated enough. It is about selling our souls to make money fast. So the rich are sometimes poorer than the poorest. And the poor are often times richer than the richest. Bahut complicated hai.

We are also a country driven by bottomlines. Ten years ago it was ‘roti,kapda,makan’. And even today it the basics. The politics of this country is driven by the bottomline. Add to it ‘daaru’. So if the would be netas ( really?) offer khana,kapda and/or daaru, the promise of a few square feet of land, they get the votes. To achhi sarkar kahan se banegi? We are the ones selling our own futures so cheap. Whom can we blame? And the money to provide all this comes from the corporates. And hence politics becomes business. Based on M&M. Money and Muscle power. Mike par speech dene se koi neta thodi ban jaata hai. We have no leaders today. We have no one to look up to. That is a poverty that cannot be redeemed. Our younger generation is busy trying out the western culture. Whether it is clothes, lifestyle, drinking, smoking, girlfriends or easy money, they want it all and now. No spark. All plastic. I guess we are responsible. This is what we have created. Plastic people. Plastic money.

Where is the topline? What kind of a nation do we wish to be? What are the qualities we wish to live by? What do we wish to be known for? Can we just become clean for a change? Manage the garbage and drainage? Ensure clean water supply to all before creating more malls? Ensure enough parking space and open space before allowing more cars on the already overcrowded roads? Do good work in place of just trying to look good? We do not donate organs, we do not donate time and we certainly do not donate goodwill. Are we really human? The lawyers and judges are worse than prostitutes. Yes. The courts are worse than the so called red light areas where thousands queue up to buy and sell souls everyday.

More than money, we need to generate and achieve self-respect today. As a nation. As individuals.

So that our children do not turn around and ask us:

‘What the hell have you done?’

‘And why?’


The search

Dhoondhte reh jayoge. you will keep looking.

For care and concern, for truth, honesty and good work. Keep looking. All your life.

Everything is for sale buddy. Emotions,feelings,tears, products, illusions,dreams,humans. You should just have the capacity to buy. Have the money to pay the bill.

I guess I am getting old. That is why I am whining so much. Of course you are getting old sweetheart. The more real you get, the more old you will feel. Dreams and illusions are for the young.  The closer you get to the earth’s surface, the more you begin to believe in the old rules and regulations, in the laws of the universe. in life and death. In the cycle of seasons.

The hardware in the office is OK. At least something is OK.  The PC’s and softwares are all operational. We are just looking for beautiful intelligent minds to operate them and be their master. A very tough job. Still looking for leaders. Which in this country is rare. We are so conditioned to being slaves. to ourselves, to others.

Appu has not been feeling alright. With all the stress around, we are bound to fight. It has been a difficult week for both of us.

Sab kuch kharab hai. Par baki sab theek hai. If you know what I mean.

Keep looking.

Keep searching. It is quite a job.

The search.

Not happening at all

We have a team. Seriously. As of now. We have work. But no money. I wish I could say that this was true vice versa. Of course tommorrow is always another day. Another life. And we have practically lived off miracles. So let us say that we are waiting for a miracle. Again.

The survey of the control points using DGPS is complete. The stereo satellite images are being worked upon for the extraction of building heights. Fingers crossed. We are doing this for the first time. I mean using this combination of GIS and photogrammetry to depict the shielding benefit as laid out in the guidelines for aviation safety. We are sincerely hoping that our calculations will be ranked and accepted based on their technical merit and not on history and prejudices. Chandrakant is having a tough time.

All the maps in the online shop are being re-worked upon. Chandan is scrutinizing each map and is not satisfied with the quality of most of them. So we are back to zero. In terms of products. I guess the  ’India maps’ are OK. The rest are under the scanner. Here is wishing best of luck to him and his team (yes, we have a team!).

I had a lovely ‘Mothers’ Day’ (which was thankfully on a sunday) recently. Appu did not allow me to work in the kitchen the entire day and night (specially the cleaning and scrubbing part). She bought a lovely mug for me ( owing to the muliple cups of tea I have morning and night, I mean I am not allowed to have cigarettes, right?). She also booked a pedicure for me  and forced me to go( me and  pedicure, strange combination) followed by a movie. And when I returned home from the movie hall, I find this lovely cake that she had baked for me herself. I was completely overwhelmed. And she had done quite a professional job of it too. With all the right ingredients and the temperatures and the icing. Thank you bebzer. I have not had such a lovely time in ages (decades) now. I do not know if I have been as good a mother to you but I certainly felt like one that day. Thank you for making me feel so special bebu. Love you. It is lovely to have daughters( except that one is constantly worried about the fights that lie ahead of them for pursuing their dreams). 

Appu also reminded me of a very powerful concept. ‘Everything is not about money’. When I told her that we had no money to run the next month, she was quite OK about it. She said that people could respect us for our work and that was a huge thing. Yes. ‘Respect” is a good thing. ‘Dignity’.  Cannot buy it overnight. Or with turnovers.

And where is there ‘ dignity’ without ‘honesty’?

Dignity without honesty.

Not happening son.

Not happening at all.

Just another bill

Just wanting to be quiet. To be silent. It is very tiring to constantly deal with people. With bills. With real life.

GC was invited for campus placement to an engineering college near Ambala. We were very reluctant in the beginning but due to persistent efforts and calls, we decided to go. Vikram was supposed to accompany me but he somehow could not reach on time to join the trip. So I went alone. It was good and it was also sad. Good because it was nice to see our company banners put up in the college and the warm welcome they extended to me. It was sad because I saw so many students who were just completing their B. tech at a huge cost to their parents with dreams in their eyes. I did not have the heart to tell them that most of their dreams could/would crash against the wall of reality. I tried to be honest but their innocence and naivety baffled me. We had the same dreams once. Of making it big, of honesty, of using technology for the benefit of people. And for the college they are just numbers. Every admission means fees and money. And more the number of admissions, more is the money. And nothing else matters. The lives of the students involved is definitely not on the agenda. They pursued us to come for campus placement as every company visit means publicity which in turn means more admissions. Every placement also means media attention and again it means more admissions. In fact the colleges are willing to pay the HR guys for every placement. Talk about education. Some education happening in this country. And then we wonder what is going wrong.

On my return, we had to stop the car to fill gas. The boy filling it made some gestures which were not welcome and I got down to confront him and protect my dignity. Needless to say, there was an arguement and his behaviour became more and more rude and unacceptable. At some point I slapped him and he hit me right back. Forget that he was perhaps twenty years younger to me, forget that he was making uncouth gestures, forget that I was a client at the petrol pump and needed to be treated with respect. The cops came and a complaint was filed. Of course the manager of the petrol pump as well as the other men wanted to just hush up the incident but I insisted on filing a complaint. It just means that a woman, educated or not, with money or not, in a car or not, cannot retaliate. If she does, she will be attacked as the male ego exists in the lowliest of men. The driver, the petrol guy, the grocery man, the vegetable vendor, anyone whose only virtue is that he is a man, can attack any woman if she confronts him and/or refuses to ignore his unacceptable behaviour.

I guess this is our country. And the men still rule. Like it or not. Behind the polite facade is the male ego and a woman dare not challenge it except perhaps if she has some political backing or contacts.

There is some movement between the Ministry of Civil Aviation and AAI. Hopefully, they will come to some agreement on the protocol to be followed for the issue of the NOC. The training in the office continues. We are doing the best we can. Maybe the best is not good enough. Maybe it is. For now.

Beginning of the month. bills. salaries. rents.

Kuchh naya?

Just another bill.

‘Yo team’

‘Time nahin hai’ (There is no time). ‘ kaam bhi nahin hai’ (There is no work either). Kuch to chakkar hai. I mean we are working on two in-house projects, the online shop and the software development. But they are not paid projects and so in that sense we are un-employed and yet it could be said that we are ‘ gainfully employed’. Depends on how the situation is looked at. The good news is that the interface of the online shop has been launched on the new domain name which is www.prithvipraroop.net. There are still many small changes to be made and hurdles to be crossed but at least we are in the right direction (The right direction would be towards Nigambodh Ghat but then let us say that we are taking a detour for a while before heading that way). Ankit, Rajesh and Bhagat have been able to finalize a few maps for the launch and they have turned out alright. They are to scale with the lat-long in place. That is what matters in the end. In ‘maps’ and in ‘life’. The lat-long. Where we are and in what direction are we headed.

Appu has turned 18 on June 22 and it has been a milestone. She has survived eighteen years on this earth with a crazy mother. She has also survived school and the current education system. Hopefully, college will not be so claustrophobic or rigid. Appu is going through her own changes. I am desperately looking for ‘alone time’. Just need to be peaceful and quiet. I think I am done with the corporate world and with running the house.
Memories, broken promises,dreams,thoughts,hopes all crashing into each other in my mind. I should be feeling grateful. ‘Dal,roti,chhat’ hai. Of course, the ‘chhat’ is ‘rented’ but nevertheless, we are not on the roads. But it is just not enough to fill the emptiness inside. The inside is a vast infinite hole and material things can never fill it.

The team has been to a studio today to record a jingle for the online shop for airing on FM. There was a lot of speculation on whether they needed to add a ‘yo’ at the end. Ankit and Ashok were very wary of adding it as it took away from the seriousness of the ‘advertising’. However, they have been persuaded by the rest of the team to go along with the flow of the current generation and hence they have given their voices to the ‘yo’ at the end of the jingle. We have not borrowed any voice for the jingle and all our team members inculding Dimpi, Narendra, Ankit,Ashok, Bhagat,Kamakhya have used their own voices. The airing of the jingle is supposed to coincide with the launching of the shop. The team spirit is high and that is what is most important. ‘Feeling successful’ always precedes ‘becoming successful’.

‘Amma’ is back in the house (Not again!). So there is apparent manageability as far as the daily running of the house is concerned. I am hoping that it is not short-lived. We will need to put up false roofs in the office to prevent water from seeping in through the windows. The monsoons are round the corner and we cannot take a chance. The landlord has refused to invest (What’s new?). So the office will be open tommorrow and Rahim will supervise the work. Rahim, the HR guy is also wearing the hat of ‘Admin’ as of now. Nothing new here. In our team, everyone wears multiple hats. That is how we are able to survive with such a small core team.

A lot is happening on the outside. Narendra is designing the newsletter. Ankit is working on the X-cart being used in the online shop. Bhagat is learning Illustrator to be able to cartograph the maps. Ashok is working on the software and Kamakhya is building the database from AIP.

Have no idea about the ‘inside’.
And the ‘inside’ is always so much more important than the ‘outside’.
But where is the time to figure that out?

Would like to conclude in the same spirit.

‘Yo team’

Sanity and Silence

The bills, the salaries, the rents (of the office and the house), yet again. Money,knowledge,relationships,life- all are so unrelated to each other and yet there is this powerful illusion that one leads to the other. We are so used to living in illusions, in dreams of our own creation. Chal raha hai. Chalta to rahega hi. I mean events and life keep flowing. Like it or not.

A punching machine has been installed in the office. Now the attendance will be monitored automatically. Two fire extinguishers have also been installed in the office. One near the server room and one near the pantry. How much ‘fire’ can we create! Dimpi is not well and is on antibiotics. Narendra has taken up the daunting task of explaining the principles of photogrammetry to us. And we are still thinking of a name for the software being developed. There is passion and there is hope that one day there will be ‘time’ and ‘money’. A difficult combination. Because mostly we can have only one of them at a given point. Either we have time, in which case there is no money and if we have money, then time is a scarce commodity. Therefore, to have both would be truly luxurious.

We think that over the years people will change, things will change and thinking will also change. No one changes. We remain who we are, at the core. The outside appearances may change, the acessories may change, the possessions may change, the masks we carry can be modified but our essence, who we truly are stays the same. No amount of outside success or money or adulation can change the inside, the inner core.

There is a training course being offered  by ICAO in July. The only hurdle is that one needs a recommendation from DGCA to attend and to get a nomination from a government body is next to impossible, specially if one is from the private sector. So I am just keeping my fingers crossed. I have already sent a request to DGCA but there  is no precedence of any person from a private sector being recommended. So fingers crossed. There are no training courses being offered by AAI or DGCA and there are huge gaps in our understanding which need to be bridged to handle the aviation projects with precision. Let us see (that is all we can do).

Today is Sunday and the phone is not ringing. There is a semblance of sanity and silence in the house.

Sanity and Silence.

Occasional visitors to our mind and house.

Packup time

We wish to cry but cannot. we wish to shout but cannot.what greater imprisonment can exist beyond this. The imprisonment of the soul. Worse than keeping the body in confinement. Imprisoned souls. Imprisoned minds. What greater punishment could exist on this earth? Freedom of the soul is so much better than the freedom of the body. Sometimes the body is confined, yet the soul is free. Sometimes the body is free, yet the soul is screaming for redemption, for freedom.

Yahaan se wahaan tak. Kahaan se kahaan tak. From here to there. From where to where. Kyun. kaise. And why. And how. Dreams versus reality. sky versus the earth. take your pick.make your choices. either way. if we become too real, people leave us alone. pretty much. people are happy in a dream world and wish to have no connect with what is real, what is obvious. Guess it would be too painful, emotionally.

There are too many ants in the kitchen. Noticed them while making tea. That is all I make, well mostly specially when appu is not here. The plants are still alive in the house. So something must be ok about this house. Sarees, pearls, looks, all belong to a long (mostly forgotten)distant past for me. Each dropped somewhere along the path chosen.

The lease of this house is getting over. Time to pack up I guess. Once again. Pack up time always comes. whether for shifting or quitting life. Dekhenge as always. Faith. There is a roof today and there will be a roof tommorrow. To surrender completely is so frightening. Even though controlling brings no outcomes, it provides a sense of power (useless though it is).

Pack up time can come. anytime.

Good to remember that.


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