No group chats

That’s the new rule I’m trying to follow.

People are different. Some like being at the center of the widest possible social circle, others just like to keep up with a big social circle. And some, like me, prefer fewer but deeper social connections.

Group chat, like much of social media, is designed for the first two groups. Not just because they’re the heaviest, most reliable users. But also because number of connections (or followers, friends, or people in groups) is an easy metric to calculate and promote.

Depth of those connections is not such an easy metric to devise. And it is naturally capped. It’s hard to have real deep connections with more than a handful of people.

As I continue to clear the noise in my life, this is one more area where I’m making changes. I want a handful of deep connections, and reduce the noise from the many.  Continue reading No group chats

A day of too many calls

I have to call parents. Didn’t call them this week. That’s about 45 mins gone.

Then I have to call an aunt who’s visiting her injured son in the US. She’s been calling at odd times, I haven’t answered. I guess she’s bored and lonely. 30 mins.

I haven’t spoken to the sister in a long while. May give her a ring. 5 mins, if she picks up.

And it’s been 100+ days since I fell off the wagon – I was on a streak of calling one of my old friends once a week. 10-30 mins, depending on the friend.

It’s gonna be a long day! Glad that R is going back to London, sparing me some ear capacity.

P.S.: It’s still a ‘phone call’ if I’m calling most of them on Duo, right?

Getting stronger…

It didn’t rain today. Mostly. There were passing showers throughout the day, but nothing stuck around long enough.

Spoke to Ma. It was a long chat, and a generally happy one. It was nice to hear her sound cheerful, after 5+ years of sleep deprivation & tiredness, and a few weeks of crying, loss and loneliness.

We went for a run. I ran 7K on the road – to the cathedral and back up – and then took the boys for a lap on the ridge (~3K). It was better than yesterday’s run – legs felt better, faster. Felt a tiny bit stronger.

Continue reading Getting stronger…

Mama

My grandmom. She passed away today.

She had 93 long years. She lived a happy childhood – second of 5 sisters and 1 brother in a happy household. She married happily, to a handsome man, in to a rich family. She lost almost everything in partition, turned into a nearly penniless refugee far away from home, her families split across states. She brought 5 children into the world, but lost her husband and the eldest to the country I live in. They needed to earn to get the rest of family up off their knees. She raised her kids, educated them, got them married, moved towns, made a new house, had grandchildren, saw them grow up, move out. She had her husband return home, to finally live with her, after 30 years. She, they, fell in love again. They lived a few happy decades, again. Then he cheated her again, dying in his sleep while she was terminally ill. She was always the stronger one. She survived, she strived, she smiled, and kept her huge family together. She’d been ill for over 8 years. She’d been first declared “about to die” 5 years ago. He’s been gone 7 years.
Her eldest left too, slipping away from her while in this cold land halfway across the world. She couldn’t see him, in death, like in much of her life. Yet, she lived on. She didn’t fight anything anymore, but she never understood giving up either.

Today, finally she left us. Long after most of her body had given up. Long after many of her senses had stopped working. Long, long after the doctors thought she would go. Long after we went from dreading her death, to celebrating her life.

They’ll be happy together, up there. Sharing jokes, scheming, gossiping, hugging when no one’s watching.

Thank you, Mama! For being the strongest person I’ve known. And for being that, living like that, with a beautiful smile and an unparalleled spirit. For saving me from dad’s beatings, and papaji’s scoldings. For spoiling me with your pinnis and paronthis. And for that ₹100 and mishri you quietly placed in my hand every time I left home.

Enjoy, wherever you go, Mama. And give papaji a kiss on the cheek from me.


Continue reading Mama

Sidin’s 2018 resolutions…

Resolutions:
1. Run a half-marathon
2. Blog
3. Don’t be an asshole
4. Read a lot
5. Podcast
6. Don’t be an asshole despite having read a lot
7. Learn to drive
8. Write better
9. Shave more often
10. Call home more often
11. Walk Hadrian’s Wall
12. Make new real-life friends.

Sidin, on Twitter

As new year resolution lists go, this is a really good one.

I like this even more because it makes me feel good about the number of things on that list I’ve improved on in last few months and years. Here’s some notes:
Continue reading Sidin’s 2018 resolutions…

Everybody knows…

It’s the opening title song in the movie Justice League.

I’m haunted (besotted) with it. Can’t just get over it.

Especially love this line in the lyrics:

Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Written by someone whose understanding of family, and (fear of) loss is similar to mine :)

Continue reading Everybody knows…