August August

A song was playing in the car and my wife asked which was this song. That was the moment I was waiting for and said, “That is BTS and this is the World Cup special”. My wife, who believes in double validation asked my younger daughter, “Is this BTS”? It was music to my ears when my younger daughter said, ” Yes Dad is right”. A few years back I wouldn’t have known but now as comedian Amit Tandon in his latest Masala Sandwich episodes said, ” If you do not know about K-Pop you don’t know your daughter”.

The other day my elder daughter said, “It’s been one year since I left home”. My instant reaction was “congratulations”. Later that day I was thinking about how time flies. I used to get a lot of songs from her and the other day I was in a coffee shop they played Faded by Alan Walker. I must thank her for encouraging me to listen to Pitbull ( Timber), Avicii (Wake Me Up), and Imagine Dragons(Believer). Now I ask my younger daughter about BTS and Shawn Mendez. I must admit that I liked all these songs and are now part of my playlists. I do play them at will to lift myself up

August has been an “August” month, very special in many ways. Apart from seeing how my daughter is able to establish a home away from home, I was thinking how she is preparing to take on a new world order. I wish her all the very best in establishing her identity and challenging her self-limiting beliefs. I am reading a book titled, “Span of Control” and it reveals stories of a lady pilot of a fighter aircraft who believes in “controlling the controllable.”

After a long gap, we got a Sunday morning free and we decided to have breakfast together as a family. In fact, Onam was around so it was fitting that the South Indian breakfast was served on plantain leaves. It was the first time in my life that I had idli, upma, and vada on a plantain leaf with a spoon! The guy kept coming and pouring different kinds of chutney and I had to finally ask him to stop pouring. I was left to finish all the sambhar and chutney at the end. We enjoyed the filter coffee which came later and the vibes were also good. I had planned in my mind to have family time as it has been a week that will go down in history as one of the most inspirational weeks with the Chandrayaan 3 success and also the young chess champion who inspired all of us.

I have rediscoved Mukesh these days and this month some of his songs like “meine tere liye hi saath rang…” and “kai baar yunhi dekha hai..” have been constant on my playlist this month. Two lines of poetry caught my attention when we were in the coffee shop. To quote poet Firaq Gorakhpuri, who might well have written these lines for what Mukesh brought to a song:

Mutrib se kaho iss andaz se gaaye

Har dil ko lage chot-si, har aankh bhar aaye

I realised I pay more attention to Hindi/Urdu poetry as I am travelling more in North India. “Shaayad” from Love Aaj Kal is on my playlist and my favourite lines are “Na Chahiye Kuch Tumse Jyaada, Tumse Kam Nahi…”

We watched a sweet sports/branding/inspirational movie yesterday called “Air” starring Matt Damon. It had so many intriguing lines that I literally sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down quite a bit. This movie is about how Nike got Michael Jordan to sign up. The movie triggered something in me. It took me back to the 1970s and 80s when we as a nation were struggling in space. Our SLVs (Satellite Launch vehicles) were called “Sea Launching vehicles” as I heard from the podcast Mission ISRO. I remember the jubilation when it was successfully tested in 1981. My father, who worked in ISRO, got stickers of rockets and he would come home and hold his head high and put it on our glass showcase. Every time a mission was successful, my father and later my mother, who also worked in ISRO, would get a satellite sticker or a model.

Coming back to Chandrayaan 3, on Aug 23rd, 6.04 PM, the entire nation heaved a sigh of relief with the touchdown and celebrations followed suit. I had the opportunity to meet two scientists on Aug 25th and they told me about the extraordinary toils and tales of dedication and most importantly how this mission was configured with the error corrections from Chadrayaan 2. That was indeed a Buddhist aphorism at play, “Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure

In summary, August 2023 will be remembered for how I celebrated my elder daughter’s new level of confidence and engagement. Our younger daughter who turned 12 a week ago has entered her teenage years and it’s time for me to understand ” what’s cool these days” and keep up with the times. This August marks another chapter for us in space as we are “over the moon” because we are “On the moon”. I have started liking poetry and also looking for new songs. The best August message came while I was watching the movie ” Air”…

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