Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lemons into lemonade and tomatoes into pasta sauce!

One of the ways you can actually see how time has slipped by so quickly is by checking and realizing that the last time you updated your blog was like ages ago! So many months have passed, so many things have happened and changed since the last time I was here.

2010 came in and moved on with several ups: Got a new car, published a book, moved to a new place, went to visit our family in India and celebrated Diwali so joyously with our family in Malaysia and then some. All was progressing naturally and we were going along, enjoying the ride.

But our smooth-sailing 2010 ended so abruptly with a death in the family…just a few days before 2011. (May my dad-in-law’s soul rest in peace). Once again, we packed our bags and traveled across the globe only this time for a more solemn purpose. We were too somber to think about new resolutions for the new year as 2011 came the day after his funeral.

Now we are back at home and again we are moving along, being swept away by the wave called life. So far it’s been smooth ride.

Soon there will be a new beginning. And I am not just referring to spring that’s around the corner! Fingers crossed, 2011 be splendid!

Sometimes life forces you to move on, move along steadily with the tide. I just hope that all of us would be able to keep up with the momentum and have the strength to accept all that life throws at us and make lemons into lemonade and tomatoes into pasta sauce!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It is maybe easier to (pretend to) forgive but not to (pretend to) forget …

Being thousands of miles apart, my mom and I are often brought together by our chat sessions over the phone. Being totally involved in taking care of a young family away from the extended family and trying to set up a career in the writing field, I turn to these chat sessions to remind myself of how much love, care and concern there’s always been in my life…something which I am devoutly giving and receiving from my darling hubby and little boy :)

Our phone sessions usually comprises of recent updates: my mom updating me on things going on in my extended family in Malaysia and me on things mostly related to my son’s milestones these days to the excited grandparents.

Some days, we talk about past events: sweet memories that are so worth remembering and worth repeating in conversations to evoke laughter and pleasant memories.

Sometimes past incidents that are not particularly pleasant to reminisce crop up: all the backbiting, blame throwing, misunderstanding and then some. We usually end such topics by aptly reminding ourselves that it is no use wasting time (and precious phone card minutes!) talking about such unpleasant things – no point pondering about the past or wondering about the future but just live in the moment…the happening now.


It is not that simple to forget unpleasant things that had happened in our past or forget the people who were responsible in making the moments unpleasant because these memories tend to stick on the back our head, resurfacing at odd moments. Even when you are way beyond happy in your current situation.

Sometimes I wish I could just erase my memories of bitter incidents of the past and such unworthy people. Sometimes I wish there were a little black box in my mind that stores such unpleasantness that I could throw out.

Unfortunately, no…it is not that simple.

For instance, suppose there had been an unpleasant moment in your life many years back involving this person named…hmm let’s say Tom (or Dick or Harry!). You despise Tom and you never ever want to have anything to do with such a loathsome character. And time (perhaps a new job, a new life and a new country, even) has helped keep your mind off Tom until…yes, only until you meet someone else (only nicer) with the same name or watch a movie having a character (only friendlier) with the same name and start feeling the hatred all over again. Then you get composed and tell yourself to forget the person and move on with your life. So you do, well until Tom pops out again – somehow!

I guess that’s human nature – we tend to remember things, even the unpleasant ones to sort of remind us that facing people with repulsive behavior is a normal part of being a homosapien.

When I face such a moment now, I tell myself that Tom is probably not even thinking about how badly he had behaved to me (maybe he is torturing himself guilty…well, good then!) because when a person hurts another by their actions or words, they are just caught up being mean at that moment and then go on with life as normal as they are. It’s us, the victims who remember the moment because it was us that were hurt and had our pride bruised.

I may, over the years, have become mature enough to realize that perhaps Tom didn’t mean to do/say the things he did. People are different. People can be wonderful. People can be crazy.

I may, over the years, have become a bigger person by learning how to forgive such loathsomeness (because I know that God knows how to handle such characters).

Over the years, I have realized that forgiving people like Tom, the kind of species that are insensitive and oblivious to the feelings of others, is much more easier (and makes the heart a little lighter) than to forget the things that had happened.

So this is how I see it: just because I do once in a while think about Tom and the mean things he had done/said to me, it doesn’t imply that I am thinking about him or dwelling in the past. I am just glimpsing through the past memory, reminding myself of the experience, albeit unpleasant, that has somehow shaped my being today.

The recalling of past sour experiences that only make me more aware of the happiness I have now in my life and the bitter experiences that have made me more cautious when dealing with people with similar characteristics to Tom.

Oh yes, it is easier to (pretend to) forgive someone than to (pretend to) forget what they have done…
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