Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tree of Life

"Hey Rahul! How have you been?", asked Mathew.
"Ah, I'm good buddy... It's been such a long time", replied Rahul.
"Yeah, quite a while, I reckon".
"So... What are you planning to do this weekend?".
"I heard Smitha is here from the U.S for a 2 week long vacation", said Mathew. "I'm thinking of calling her up and seeing if she has time to catch up".
"Wow! That's such good news!", exclaimed Rahul. "I'd love to meet her too... Are her husband & kids in town too?".
"Yeah, I think so".
"Good. Then let's find out if any of our old pals in town are free to catch up".
"Absolutely!", beamed Mathew. "I was just about to suggest that myself".
"It'd be wonderful for all of us to get together after such a long time".
"Let's make sure it happens then... ASAP". Mathew seemed as thrilled as a school kid.
"Yeah! With so many of us, it'd be one hell of a reunion".
"What do you suggest we do when we all meet up?"
"How about planting a tree for each person? Spouses, kids, all included.."
"Awesome bro! That's such an amazing idea... Let's do it!".

Sounds too good to be true right? Like an unlikely & absolutely unconvincing conversation between two old friends?? 

You're right! Such a conversation among friends would be something improbable in today's times. Wondering why?

Well... One simple answer could be that planting a tree doesn't feature in the 'fun things to do with friends' list we may all be familiar with. Why would someone want to 'waste time' planting trees when they can have fun with friends, right? ...Like grabbing a drink & catching up on what you've missed or maybe watching a movie together. Or perhaps a long drive or brushing up an old sport you thought you were no longer good at. 

While I agree with the fact that doing all those things with your friends would be absolutely fun & necessary, I'd like to emphasize that planting a tree (or more!) is no less fun as well as utterly necessary. In fact, it is the NEED OF THE HOUR.

We worship different Gods and fight with each other every single day and choose to believe that our Gods & our numerous religions need to be protected. What we forget in the process is that we are ignoring the one God that is around all of us -Nature. We don't realize the fact that it is Mother Nature that needs to be worshiped as well as protected equally by all of us. 

We don't forget to complain at every chance we get about the climate getting extremely hotter or drastically colder and sometimes even unpredictable. We express our displeasure quite vocally when there are unexpected rains or if the monsoon gets delayed. So, who is to blame for all that is happening around us? Think about it for a moment and I'm sure the answer will flash across your mind. Take a deep breath & try to recollect the last time you did something to change the current situation. If you have an answer, good for you. If not, then it's high time you did something about it. It is easy to curse the world around us and move on with our mediocre lives. What takes guts is to stand up on your feet and do what it takes to make it better!

Too much of importance is given to our gadgets and we have become slaves to the technology we created to aid us. The madness to outdo each other with newer gadgets has become the norm of the day. While it is important to stay connected with your work, family and friends, it is even more important to stay connected with your true self. How is that possible, you may ask. Take a break. Get away from the madness while you can. Go to a place where you're surrounded by nothing but trees. There may not be a Wi-Fi connection, but you'll definitely feel a far better connection. Someone once rightly said "If only trees gave out Wi-Fi signals, people would plant more trees. Unfortunately they only give out the Oxygen we need to breathe".

Go ahead. Plant a tree. Plant as many as you can. Plant one whenever you can. Get your friends, family and co-workers to do the same. It'll make you feel good for sure. If you're lucky, you'll even see it grow in your lifetime. Now, that would be an added bonus to your happiness.
Stay happy! :)

-Aakaash Nair.
(Oxygen Addict, Tree Hugger)

Originally written on 20.06.15

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Happy Husband

It was the middle of the month -and a week day too. Perhaps that was the reason there weren't many customers at one of the city's biggest clothing stores. A young man was walking about restlessly looking around, checking his watch and the handful of customers at regular intervals. He was also fiddling with his phone every now and then & checking out women's clothes on the line.

As he kept walking around, his eyes fell on a woman, who seemed like she couldn't figure out what to buy. She was holding the same set of clothes in two different colors and staring at them. He walked up to her & stood right in front of her. The lady took her eyes off from the clothes she was holding up in her hands and noticed that he had a charming smile on his face.
"Why don't you try them both on?". He asked.
The lady didn't know what to say. She seemed a bit startled at the sudden suggestion coming her way.
"Both these dresses will look really good on you... But personally, I think the red one would compliment your complexion better".
"Thank you". She said with a smile that was shy and at the same time a bit wary.
Before she could say anything more, he continued. "We have a whole new collection ma'am".
Pointing to one end of the room, he says, "I'm sure you'll find more than what you're looking for over there".
She smiled at him, this time not so wary as earlier and began to walk towards the direction the man pointed to. As if remembering something, she stopped abruptly and gave the man one of the dresses she was holding. She kept the red dress in her hands and said, "I'll take this one".
"Sure. Happy shopping", he said as he smiled and watched her walk away.

After a few minutes a young chubby woman came out of the trial room. He walked up to her and she showed him how her dress fit, posing from different angles. He gave her his approval as well as some more clothes to try on. As she went back to the trial room he waited outside patiently.

The lady who went to the other trial room earlier came out wearing the dress the man suggested. She looked very good & happy in her new set of clothes.
"Told you", said the man.
The lady blushed and gave him a big smile. She thanked the man and went back to the trial room. 
The man continued to walk around the shop. 

His gaze froze on a tall dusky woman who was taking out clothes from different sections and keeping them back almost immediately. She looked lost and confused. 
He walked up to her and introduced himself.
"Hello! Can I help you?".
She took her eyes from the clothes and looked at him doubtfully.
"I'm Aakaash. Fashion consultant. Almost everything you see here are designed by me".
Her face brightened up as she said excitedly. "Wow! Such a pleasure to meet you!".
She put her hand forward and said as she shook his hands, "I'm Shweta".
"So, what are you in the mood to buy, Shweta?" He asked.
She looked around unable to make up her mind and shrug her shoulders. 
The man went ahead & picked up a few tops and bottoms for her and handed it to her. 
She looked at them with dismay.
"Ohh, my husband is definitely not gonna like 'these' type of clothes", she said.
He looked at her with an amused expression on his face & said, "Well, no offence ma'am... But I'm sure your husband wouldn't have a problem if some other woman wore 'these' type of clothes!".
A chuckle escaped her lips as she agreed to his comment. 
She took a good look at the clothes in his hands.
"Also I believe, you are what you wear, and you become what you wear" he said. "If you are happy in these clothes please buy them. If not, you can try some of those boring daily wear Kurtas at 30% discount".
She looked at the Kurtas for a moment and then at the clothes in the man's hand. She grabbed the clothes from his hands & walked towards the trial room.

A few minutes later, the chubby lady from the trial room, came up to the man & showed him what she had selected. He nodded in approval & accompanied her to the billing section. The lady walked out hurriedly after paying the bill. The man took her bags and followed her outside.

Meanwhile, the other lady, Shweta looked much more confident and happy about her new clothes as she walked out of the trial room. She went up to the billing area and told the girl at the counter "You know, I've always loved shopping here. But this is the first time I've felt so good about it... Thanks to your Fashion consultant Aakaash!".
The sales-girl at the counter took her eyes off her work and looked bewildered at Shweta's comment. "Thank you for the kind words ma'am", she said. "But we don't have any in-house fashion consultants here". 
Shweta looked startled.

A little far away from them, on the other side of the mall, the man was walking with the chubby woman. 
"I'm so sorry baby", said the woman. "I took some three hours to shop. You're not angry no?", she enquired eagerly.

"Not at all. How can I be angry with you?", he said. "I'm always happy. I'm a happy husband!".

-Aakaash Nair.