Unexpectd lie

Well, this is something that happened on March 3, 2011. I could not publish this at the time because I could have been in serious trouble with my company. But, I did write this on March 17, 2011 and scheduled this for a year later.

On March 3, 2011; I was scheduled to fly to US for the second leg of my assignment that started in July 2010. Since July 2010, there has been a lot of unrest within me and with my family over my travel. Of course, I had never been away from home for more than week, this was for about a year when it started. Now, it had come down to 5 months until July 2011 when my assignment ended.

However, I got ready with bags packed and everything. Dad and Preeti (my wife) accompanied me to the airport. I left my daughter home crying because she wanted to go with us to the airport. It was late in the night so no point bringing her along. She was 3 years back then and did not really understand that her Dad was going away for a longish period and she would only be able to talk on phone or a video chat.

I had left home in a state of flux and unrest, but this time it was more than what it was in July 2010. As I was driving to the Airport, everyone was silent and thinking something. I knew what I was thinking – “What can I do that this trip can be canceled?”.

As we were walking from the Parking I popped a question to Preeti – “Can we manage our household in case I do not go and get fired?” She was not sure. However, we continued to deliberate on this. We reached the Gate and then I asked the same question to Preeti and Dad. And next 20 minutes were hay-wire. Eventually the following happened:

We decided to cancel the trip and communicate on medical grounds to my boss. To safeguard my position, we spoke to Amit and Aparna who recommended that we go to a hospital and report the situation and get a medical certificate of the checkup. We started our trip back to the hospital and my dad called up Krishna and informed him about the same.

However, the events for the evening were not to end there. When we reached the hospital and I had my blood pressure measured (I have been recording a high BP for a week now); it was 160/110. And it was alarming. Eventually, the doctor suggested an ECG; which came to be normal. I was recommended some medicines and I came back home.

Since, then there has been a lot of thinking around should I go or not. The Blood pressure eventually normalized. I guess it was because of anxiety for last few weeks. These two weeks gave me time to think what to do and also to search for various jobs and see if there are opportunities for elsewhere to find.

I have never done this in my entire career and it took a lot of courage to do it; however it never went away and until now this comes back to haunt me – like I did something wrong.

I do not know, if what I did was wrong or right. It seemed right for my family. I am not sure, if it can be right for someone, if it started as being wrong.

P.S.: If you are wondering what happened after that, that is a story for another day.

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Coming home – part 2

If you are interested in reading how the first half of the trip went read this post here.

After waiting for more tan 5 hours at the Chicago Airport, I finally boarded the flight to New Delhi. The boarding was quick and timely; but as we waited in the Aircraft for 30 minutes, the Captain announced that there was structural damage in the Cargo and it was being inspecte. After a while, we were informed that the damage was not that bad and they will not use the cargo hold (which was damaged); but it is safe to fly. It was a relief that this flight would not be cancelled, but there was a nagging worry about the structural damage. However, I was not going to get off this plane; I wanted to get home. So, we waited and waited until Captain told us that they were too heavy to Fly (HAHAHAHA); and they were figuring out what to do. This was a new one but was an interesting one. So, finally after waiting for 2 hours, they had figured out everything and we were on the runway for the take-off.

On the flight I met Rob, he was sitting next to me. We started talking and as it was his first trip to India, he was curious about many a things and I shared anything I could about Delhi and India. However, after a while when we touched upon what he did for a career, we started to talk about a lot of things that I have been thinking lately – religion, faith, spirituality, healing. It just seemed so weird to me that I was thinking of all those things just yesterday and here I was discussing all of that with him. Nevertheless, I spent almost 2 hours discussing various things with him and I have to admit, it was the most fruitful session of my life. His thoughts, made me go look deep inside of me and understand how things have been playing around me (another post about all of that will come along soon). But, it was evident that “the universe” had bigger plans for me and maybe my flight getting cancelled was simply a way of making me meet him. The flight was a very pleasurable one – I had no stress at all. Chatting with Rob helped me be at peace even more from where I started a day before.

After some chats, music, House MD and some turbulence, we arrived at New Delhi just an hour late. And, as I exited the plane it felt like Home already. The feeling of at the New Delhi Airport was like a Lion who just reached his own territory. Going through Immigration was hassle free, but after a long wait at the baggage, I came to know that my two bags had arrived already and were in the Customs Hold Area. Then the Customs was a big pain in the ass and I eventually had to shell out $200 to get through it. It was worth it given all the stuff I had brought. It was only after 90 minutes that I met Papa, Preeti, Timmy Bhaiyya and Aabu outside. Aabhya looked so very different in person. Finally we left the Airport to reach home in not so much of traffic. Met Mom at home and after that I was just so relieved like a cork had been blown off the top and any remaining stress was gone. Dinner tasted so delicious and it was followed up with Mango – I think I was eating it after a year. But, after that it was playing time with Aabhya and showing wat I got for her and making her understand that she has to wait until tomorrow to open those up else she will miss her school.

Finally, around it was sleeping time and with Aabhya next to me and asking me to hold her hand. It was a realization that this is what heaven was for me, and I want this every single day in my life.

Death and Faith

It has been a while since I have thought about this topic. For some reason that I am not aware of, I have been hesitant to write about this or discuss this with anyone else. I vaguely brought this up with Preeti early 2011 when I was about to travel to USA in March. However, I did discuss this with Samita Thakur on length. I just was unable to discuss this with Preeti because I knew she would be completely psyched about it and just didn’t want her to get upset.

For a decade (2000-2010) I have maintained the place that “I am not afraid of death”. I believed that everyone has to die one day and once I die it is over for me. Death will not affect me because I am gone. I have always wanted a swift death; didn’t want to suffer. I don’t know when, but my thinking changed and I realized it when I started to travel so often to Hyderabad for office assignments. This was in the year 2010 itself (January to March). And, then later that year I had to travel to USA for office work. I had 2 trips planned in that duration and flying just made me so stressed out. I was paranoid about flying and the second time (March 2011), I was just over the top. It was so much so that my blood pressure was up to 130/100. It was that time when I discussed it with Preeti and Samita.

Of course, they both did mention the same thing that I had believed for almost a decade – why do you care? you can’t control it; if it happens it happens. If something bad has to happen it can happen anytime anywhere. I knew all that, yet air-travel has just been so stressful. Around time of travel, I would find reason in everything about why it happened this time and why not last time. A few examples:

  • Aparna’s mother-in-law asked to come to meet me especially in March just before travel and I was thinking – “why now? why not last time?”. Preeti told me she wanted to last time too and I was relieved;
  • I didn’t want to pick up a flight and just wanted to be assigned a flight to travel.

And there were more. It was a huge thing – I was challenging every event in March just before travel. Yet, I did travel and did arrive in Plymouth safely and now I am sitting today writing this on the eve of my travel. This time the travel plans have changed unplanned and once more I am asking myself the same question.

However, some part of me has always asked me this question – “Why would God bother to kill me in such an unusual way?” I don’t travel much, so why make all this trip on work assignment just to kill me in an air accident or put me through a misery. He can do this when, where and how He wishes it. I can’t explain myself why would he do this now; I have a daughter to take care of, a wife who thinks of me as her life and two parents who would be devastated if anything would happen to me (I just can’t imagine what would happen to them).

To top it all, I feel so sad just thinking about this. As I write this post, I am trembling from inside and I have a feeling that I have never had before – I can’t describe it. The saddest part is my realization that I am not trusting God and His decisions. Where I have faith in Him, I still think about this and in a way challenge His actions. He has done so many good things for me, and if He has decided to do this to me then who am I to question His deeds. I never questioned when good things happened; why about this. This is something out of my control and if it has to happen it will happen. I just can’t do anything about it.

I just need to find peace around this topic – if I continue to think about this that I am letting go of my Faith in Him; my faith in Him that he will take care of me; my Faith in Him to take care of my family. For a very long time, when I pray, I asked for one thing and one thing only – “Please do what is best for me”. When I start to think of all this, I let go of my faith in Him and his decisions around me.

<side-thought>Next few lines should help me understand and put this topic to rest for ever</side-thought>.

I have started to believe in Karma more strongly in recent times and believe that what we get is a result of our actions. I believe that God keeps a score for us – good deeds give us points and bad deeds take away points. What happens with us is a result of what our score is. I believe that Death comes when we have fulfilled our purpose in this life. I don’t know the purpose of my life, but whatever I do is in that direction – I just don’t know it. I don’t want to digress from topic, so I am going to end it by accepting my Faith over my fear.

I want to carry on with my life believing that God is going keep a watch over me as He has done in the past and He is going to do the same for my family too. I will just go about doing my stuff and try to do the right thing. I will try to choose my purpose and make people around me happy. Rest I will leave to God. He has brought us to existence and He will do what is best for us. Death is just another way of tempting me to let go of my Faith, but I will not. I will not stop doing what I am should do (Karma), and I will do it using my best judgement. God will judge me for my actions.

I have had doubts if this I should share this thought and what is the right way to share these thoughts with my parents, siblings, wife and children. So, after thinking for a long time, I am going to publish this post, because this is the easiest way for them to know what I believe in and what I have gone through for last 2 years. This is the best way for me to pass on my Faith to them especially in times when God is testing us. I just want everyone to know that I don’t think of death all the time, and I want to be around to fulfill my purpose of a son, a brother, a husband and a father. But, based upon my actions God will decide when I have served my purpose. And to let you know, as I end this post, I feel much lighter that I was a while ago. I know now, that I need to fix a few things in my life and do it while I have the time.