Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Adee Discusses Paris and His Bookmark to Life Worth Living

Yesterday I introduced readers here to New Delhi writer/poet/adman Adee Saini. What caused a connection between us when I first discovered his Delhi Dreams site was the emotive quality of his entries. Sometimes his words brought to mind the famous quote, "Writing is easy; just open a vein and bleed" which has been incorrectly attributed to Hemingway. Here is the rest of my exchange with Adee, plus his Bookmark to Life.

E: Your "Bookmark to Life Worth Living" is especially powerful. You draw attention to World Suicide Prevention Day at the end. It's a subject we generally evade, but is a serious matter in our world today. How did you come to be moved to make people note this issue?

Adee: The 'bookmark to life' was written in reference to a campaign my colleagues in McCann US did to spread awareness about the World Suicide Prevention Day. It was a difficult subject to write about. Though personally I've been untouched by it, it has always hovered in the consciousness as a question as to why or what drives people to commit suicide, what drives them so further down the line that they feel there's no sense in getting back? As I said, I've had difficult times in life, perhaps even moments when I could have contemplated it, but something in me never lets me go there. Perhaps I'm an optimist who wants to get up the next morning and see if anything could be done about the problem at hand. I wrote it because the best response that I could come up with on the topic was in the form of a poem.

E: How did you come to visit Paris? And what impressions did you bring back to India with you?

Adee: Paris? :) Paris was one of the good times in my life. I'd gone to Cannes to attend the first ever "Cannes Health" Lions and was chosen to represent McCann Health, India as a delegate. It was an official trip that I extended into a personal one. Since childhood I've been fascinated with Paris. (And Vienna and Prague.) I'm a romantic by heart and always look towards beauty even in not-so-beautiful situations. Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner has been sort of a talisman for me throughout my life. Whenever I've found the going tough, I've tried to pause and notice something beautiful in the world, in my life, around me. And whenever I've found it, I've also found a way out of the mess. And all said and done, Paris is among the most beautiful cities in the world. Unfortunately I could never synthesize what I brought back from Paris. I had to cut short my trip and rush back home as my father suffered a brain hemorrhage. The initial days after returning were all about his surgery and getting his life back on track so that somewhere I lost Paris and have not been completely able to think about it. As of now, it spells nostalgia, a sense of beauty and gratitude in me.

Bookmark to Life Worth Living

It’s just a bookmark! A simple piece of thick paper, printed replica of some really old Japanese painting. A couple of mornings ago, while rushing out to office, I put it in the book I was going to start and forgot how special it is.

Yes, it’s not just a bookmark. It is my time traveling ticket to Paris. More specifically to the hours when I was happily lost in the labyrinth that The Louvre is.

Traveling in the metro today, I pondered at a pause and used this bookmark to remind me where I’d stopped reading. And from the page I was on, I traveled back in time to my recent France visit, to Cannes, to the few wonderful days I’d spent in Paris.

That is when I realized (and not for the first time) how absolutely important it is to keep a tab on the good moments and memories in one's life. Far too often we focus on the negative, the depressing, the what-is-not-right in our lives and keep missing the little big things that are good, even great.

It is midnight in my corner of the world. Lemme see what can I feel good about from my day so far… sunlight filtering in through the window, my environment-friendly alarm app; giving last night’s leftovers to a stray dog, its joy was infectious; a meeting went well; stumbling upon a new music group and then it leading me to more and more songs that I loved; the bliss of a cup of masala chai; watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; the very fact that I got up this morning ALIVE and that I have a bed to sleep in tonight... life is literally filled to the brim with blessings worth treasuring.

And yes, I know that life is full of troubles and trials. Yours is, mine is as well. That said, it doesn’t take much to keep the good memories closer to our heart… what we need to do is develop a habit, a strong will to change how we look at life. There IS a silver lining to every dark cloud we face, sometimes the most negative experiences are an act of grace, life just tells us again and again to have faith… because someday we’ll look back at it all and wonder, how in the world we made it so far.

So yes, as the bookmark monkeys show, hang in there and please start bookmarking the little moments you’ll treasure later on in life. Because it is these memories that make life what it is…worth living.

It’s time we speak out and raise awareness about suicide and its prevention. To honor the lives lost to this mental health issue, McCann Torre Lazur invites you to tag your images, videos, or words that represent the beauty and meaning of life with #worthliving on September 10th, World Suicide Prevention Day.

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Thank you, Adee. Visit Adee's Delhi Dreams and bookmark it. 

1 comment:

ADITI said...

It always, always feels so good to read what Adee writes... it gives a sense of peace or rather a sense of serenity may be... a feeling that cant be put in words... be it something regular n a social networking site or his poems and blog.. everything that he pens down is so, so thoughtful and complete. i always wonder how can someone write so wonderfully.