Turning the final pages of Freedom at Midnight, I couldn’t help but marvel at the skill, sorcery & verve of these two master story tellers- Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins.

I had read ‘Is Paris burning?‘ by the same authors some years back and that still remains one of my favorite books on the Holocaust. But I always maintained that writing about one’s own country or region, researching the history, events and facts about it is a lot easier, less stringent, hence the flow of writing. Dominique Lapierre is a Frenchman himself, so probably that’s the reason the book turned out the way it did.

But “Freedom at Midnight” opened my eyes to the magic of their words. Right from the first page, one is absorbed in the narrative. The exhaustive research is evident in the minor details of the events that shaped History.

Partition of India and the communal tension that resulted is a hugely sensitive topic and yet they have told the story as History needs to be told. Their non~partisan attitude brings a crispness to the narrative which is so many times missing from Historical commentaries.

Finishing the book, a reader is free to choose his or her own hero. The writers have not been partial to any one character. They have been honest and sincere. They have written things and drawn out characters as they understood them.

If one is a Gandhian by principle,they will find that Gandhi is, infact, the hero here. If one has rightist inclinations, they will have Veer Savarkar, Narayan Apte, Nathuram Godse and their ilk to fawn upon. And if one believes in the contributions and impact of the British then they will have the Mountbattens to look up to after going through this book.

The authors have not colored their text with their own judgement on Indian history and its major players. It is for each of us to read and make out which YugPurush to idolize.

They have steered clear of any controversy by avoiding a major pitfall that all history authors face~ they haven’t caricaturised any of the political leaders of the time. They have been equally indifferent to Jinnah, Nehru or Patel. While they make it a point to mention them wherever necessary, these leaders are not the core around which their book spins.


These two are men on a mission. Their mission being~ to relate the story of the Indian Independence, Partition & the biggest exodus that the world has ever witnessed. The events leading up to 15th August 1947, the common people who faced the brunt of partition, the senseless killings, the loss of men & property, the challenges of these newly formed nations, the role of the parting British, the steadfastness of the Mahatma, his ultimate sacrifice for his people, the masses, the teeming millions of India, thus divided, are the real protagonists of their narrative. Riveting!! All 750 plus pages of it!!! Please get your copies now!!

I, myself, have been a history student for years now and I have always avoided being labeled a secular or a Gandhian or leftist or rightist. But one cannot remain unmoved & undecided after reading this book and I have come out strongly in favor of the Mahatma after going through the text. It, so often, happens in the history of civilizations that we crucify our Gods & Messiahs while they are living and build temples in their names once they are gone.

Nearly 70 years since his death, Gandhi and his principles have seen every reaction that is possible for a multitude to give. He was revered in his lifetime and equally hated in the aftermath of partition. He realised in the last years of his life, the futility of his methods in a newly independent nation. He saw his friends and protégé moving away from the ideals that had won them this precious Freedom. There was a surge in his popularity once more when he passed away. Years have passed since then. We have limited him to text books, postal stamps or currency notes. His principles, once the guiding beacons of hope to millions, have now been rendered obsolete. There comes a time in the history of every nation when they pay lip service to their greats. We have done that to the Mahatma. It is disheartening to see students and even older people criticise him for what he never was or never did. It breaks my heart to see people shrugging his contributions off or comparing his role in Indian independence with militant leaders or revolutionaries, to ultimately find him wanting.

Gandhi knew that history won’t be kind to him. He knew how the minds of his people worked. He had one thumb firmly planted on the nerve of India. He realised that the next generation might not accord him a position of respect when talking of the Indian Independence struggle. He knew but he didn’t care. He was perseverant right till his last breath. When told by a refugee to leave the Indian people alone and go to the Himalayas for his remaining days, Gandhi said, “This is my Himalaya”, referring to the post independence communal turmoil. He lived for the nation and he died for it. He knew no other way to live.

The light truly went out of our lives when he was assassinated but his light shines through, even now, for those who are willing to open their eyes and minds to see, learn & understand.

We, as a nation, should be grateful that he was born here and lived amongst us.


There will come a day when you will realise what you actually want. Your search will end, it will reach its culmination and that would be the day you probably would stop reading and writing. Whatever you write thereafter will be a complete thought. Your words will want for nothing. You will have achieved what your soul is so desperately looking for in the written word,” so saying, he smiled enigmatically.


But, I don’t think I am looking for anything in particular. I read because I love to and I write only when I have things to say. Yes, sometimes, I have incomplete thoughts that might need processing. Sometimes, I write things that are raw. I write of emotions, of people, of love, of loss. I write of things that are human. I read things that I find fun or that stir me. I have never thought of reading as a channel to get somewhere, it has never been purpose oriented, merely a means of getting to know stuff,” I riposted.

Ah! But you are young still, you will get there, eventually,” he reiterated.

What is it about thinking individuals that ruffles our set opinions so? It isn’t as if I change my thought process on every word of a book or a firmly stated opinion but both mediums compel me to re-analyse my approach. Sometimes I defer to the books or educated opinions thrown at me, at others I stick with whatever wisdom I have acquired over the years.

I maintain that I don’t read with a purpose in mind. I am neither spiritual nor religious enough to seek answers in mythological text, I am not condemning them or denying their significance, it’s just that they don’t work for me as well as a fictional work with deep rooted meaning does. I would rather read a Shantaram or To kill a mockingbird or Rumi, even for that matter a Brida, to get perspective on life, than to look for solutions in the Bhagwad Gita. I have read that too but probably I did not get it much.

I started writing as a catharsis for my broken spirit. I never felt that my pieces had or have any literary merit. I write because, there comes a time in each of our lives when we have things to say that we can’t express freely, even to the closest of our friends or family. Some keep it all bottled up or lock it all up in the deepest recesses of their minds, some choose art, music, cooking, travelling, gardening, keeping pets, chatting or even socialising to keep that inner voice down. To each his or her own.

I Choose to Write. I can’t, at times, express what I am going through even with my writings, for fear of being judged. I still haven’t learnt how to fictionalize my accounts so that I am finally able to pour my heart out without anyone finding out the trials I am going through. I, forever, dread the query, who is it you have written about in this piece?

Still, I choose to write to attain temporary relief, a sense of calm from my ever accumulating thoughts. I may stop writing if by some miracle I can stop thinking of mundane, everyday things. I am an ordinary being, a human with trappings like love, desires, wishes, hopes, friendships & relationships. I don’t see myself graduating to the bigger questions of life and existence any time soon.

May be, I am missing an essential ingredient. It is probable that I am lost. I may not conform to many things that this world lays down but I am ME. I will own up to my mistakes, I am the one who would take lessons from them. I might repeat some of them but I am content. My energy is my own. I regret nothing. Even bad decisions and failures were necessary. They probably were the most important things in my life when they happened.

I am here to lead a simple, uncomplicated, knowledge – centric life and I feel that I am on my way pretty much the way I wanted to be. I love to wear my heart on my sleeve and won’t apologise for being the way I am.

There is this advertisement doing the rounds on television these days. It’s about home loans being offered by a bank. What I like about the ad is its story and concept.

It shows a well educated mother – son duo, in all probability living in a metropolis, discussing the concept of having separate living solutions once the son gets married. She tells him to listen to her and get a place of his own, somewhere nearby, to avoid unpleasantness & tough choices, between mother and wife, in future. The son is bewildered at the thought of living away from his mother but out of confusion dawns comprehension of what she is trying to explain to him in such a matter of fact way.

The emotional ebb & flow giving way to relief and a solid decision, is evident on his face. What appeals to me is – first, the mother in the driving seat, both literally and figuratively. Second, her profound wisdom & deep rooted understanding of the way things are in families these days and the ease with which she imparts that to her son. Third, and most important, we see a parent, a mom, relinquishing control over the offspring, in an effort to keep him close.


Not very long ago, the Indian family system was unique in the world. We were the benchmark with which the world compared & learnt of filial duty & responsibility. I am sure all of us in the late thirties or forties have heard our parents go on and on about living in a joint family. How the patriarch, or in some cases the matriarch, of the family presided over the lives and decisions of all the members. How elders were free to correct the conduct of any child in the family.

How meals were always a time to come together & rejoice. How similar opportunities of education and jobs were open to every child in the family. Family picnics and outings did not need to be arranged over the phone. Any one of the elders could take all the kids out to a movie or picnic. They stayed together, ate together, travelled together.. In essence, their lives were intertwined with each other so much, that the concept of cousins or half siblings was lost on them. They were all brothers and sisters. Their parentage, their identity was not confined to their sets of parents, it encompassed the entire family.

Where on the one hand, parents or the elders, came to expect a certain conduct and attitude from the children of their family, on the other, children too relied heavily on the decisions of their elders. Married or not, every young person had to conform to the ways of the family. Even new brides got to learn anew and adjust their upbringing and disposition according to the family they were married into. The basic principles of being respectful towards all, remained unchanged.


Sadly, what we see around us these days is something completely different. What we see are ruins of the old family system. Gone are the joint families and the way they nurtured lives within, the way they passed on the legacy. No longer are elders free to point out misconduct or mistakes of the young who are not their sons or daughters by the privilege of birth, in some cases even that is not possible. Brides these days prefer to stay nuclear. They prefer to look after their husbands and kids and don’t want to be burdened with the complications of an extended family. Parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters -in-law, remain just that- in laws.. They don’t become a part of their families.


We take it in our stride and move on, accepting it as the need of the hour or something that is happening with everyone these days. Not all families or elders are as eager as the mother in the ad, to let go of their children to make a family or a life of their own. Most parents tend to stay on even in adverse circumstances. I have witnessed sons and their wives throwing abuse after abuse at these aging parents. Nothing they do, seem to the young as coming from good intentions or a sense of love and responsibility towards their children and grand children. The same son who was lovingly and so painstakingly brought up by them, turns on them as soon as he gets a wife.The children of the family suffer the most. Their childhood is scarred and their lives shape up witnessing the strifes between their parents and grandparents.

Resultantly, there are either sob stories to tell if the parents decide to stay home & deal with insult after insult hurled at them or old age homes filled to the seams.

Neither case resembles the old glory of the family system that we were so proud of.

We talk of western influence in such derogatory terms most of the time but I feel their family system is much more sorted than ours. They have accepted that once a child starts earning or going out in society, his/her identity as their child alone, ceases to exist. They become their own people, capable of taking important decisions of their lives and dealing with the repercussions. They know that parents can guide them but can’t protect them forever. They understand the need of letting their children be. They may not turn out exactly as their parents want them to but they are happy and satisfied because they become what they are, on their own steam. Staying separate does not come after marriage. It comes as soon as the child starts to earn a living. The love and affection that they have for their elders is not feigned because the constant bickering and nagging is absent from their daily lives.


I am a complete sucker for joint family systems but with the way things are these days it is infinitely better to follow the west and live with respect than to stick with what is expected as a societal obligation and stay unhappy. This holds true & goes both for parents and kids..

Just a random thought.. Would love to have your views.

Ah! The grave anguish

Of meeting you again,

The mixed feelings of being with you,

the longing, the pain.

It has been a year,

we had that row.

And parted ways,

tried to let go..

Things didn’t work out

as I envisaged.

It’s probable, I am getting

difficult with age.

Don’t get me wrong,

I love to see you flourish.

Your triumphs, your laughter,

Your memories I cherish.

You flit in and out of my life.

This is your right.

Yet, fleeting is your attention,

blind, the sight.

The scant time you can accord

leads me to believe,

I won’t pass away with a regret,

the bond we forged will provide reprieve.

Overwhelmed with love and joy

of your company, I forgo the claim.

But do tell me if I deserve just

these Borrowed Minutes to my name..

I had heard people speak about it and I am sure I also must have, at some point in my teaching career, provided lip service to the sentiment of ‘following one’ s heart‘ or ‘doing what one is passionate about’. I have examples galore of the fact that people do give up on their dreams when life happens. The race to earn and accumulate wealth to support a desired lifestyle or to provide for a family takes prominence in the larger scheme of things. An extremely gifted writer friend of mine, Prerak, muses thus-

Our passions and interests take a back seat. Things that once gave us immense pleasure or those that brought out our creativity and latent instincts are all but lost. True, the flame doesn’t extinguish completely but the heat is gone. We tend to take them up as hobbies and then we write, paint, sing, dance, cook or travel when time and circumstances permit.

Few amongst us have the fortune of really doing what we were cut out for. And such people shine through any crowd. They have their life sorted out atleast in the way they want to lead it. They are not compromising on their dreams and thus their work speaks. There is a special aura around them that attracts people wherever they go. And some of it rubs off on people like us, with association. The past couple of months have been one such mystical journey for me, thanks to such charming friends who simply love what they do and are eager to share their exploits or take us along where their Vagrant Minds or Itchy Feet take them.

She defines Art as the medium of the creative & Artists, for her, are people who have the vision to see beyond the obvious. In no way she believes Art to be elitist.. Meet Dr. Sangeeta Singh, artist par excellence, creating waves on the Jaipur Art Scene for years now. Her brand of Art is inclusive of the laymen. To her, Art is finding a charm and beauty in the mundane, everyday things.. It’s one’s perspective that gives a different meaning and scope to things that are otherwise unremarkable or ordinary.. Come to think of it, even ordinary is art..

I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing her for a decade now and in all these years I have seen her grow as an artist. I am an ignorant when it comes to art so much so that I can’t even draw a leaf to save my life but she never looked down upon me. Working together, once we had to make some invitation cards. She had an abstract concept of shades and strokes and weird eye catching combinations that gave life to those cards. What is significant is that she didn’t do it by herself, she motivated us to participate. What fun we had! Added to it was the satisfaction of having made them ourselves. That was, some eight years back.

I was recently invited to one of her Art Exhibitions, that she had put up at the Kalaneri Art Gallery, Jaipur, in collaboration with numerous other artists and students of Art. Having missed out on couple of her previous exhibitions in as many years, I decided to visit this one, come what may. It turned out to be a sound decision on my part.

The central theme of the exhibition was to create best out of waste. Her corner, according to me, was the most creative and interactive. And I am not saying that because of my long standing association with the artist but because her passion for her work was evident even to an unskilled eye and mind like me. Her vision was not just for what is, but also for what can be and what should be!

She had a female mannequin buried in a huge wooden crate filled with sand, depicting Mother Earth with blue ribbons running out of her hands, depicting the flowing water or rivers. Her message of sustainable development wasn’t lost on anyone who cared to wander in. With one stroke of genius, one little corner in the exhibition room, she not only underlined the reckless and brutal misuse of earth’s resources by Man but also the need to conserve them – our forests and water.

Her blue line (ribbon) symbolically flowed out of the hands of Mother Earth, climbed up the steps of the gallery and continued to flow beyond the premises. She made sure that the guests understood her idea and participated in it by planting little saplings along her blue line. Her acute sense of Art and spirited presentation of this seemingly ordinary concept, was extremely impressive & remarkable. We left the venue, enriched and happy to have shown our solidarity with so grave an issue in such an artistic yet simplistic way.


Sangy has moved on to yet another venture. She is putting up her work for the Delhi people too. She recently had an inauguration at ITC Sheraton, as part of Classique.

May she have further hues to add to her already vivid, vibrant montage of life.

Another, much younger inspiration came to me from an ex-student of mine who has now made a name for himself as a web designer, photographer & a cinematographer with sharp skills & a keen eye for details.

Sourabh Gaur, hails from the sleepy town that is Bikaner yet he didn’t let his dream die. His aspirations became his motivation and as they say no hurdle is big enough for a sentient mind and a willing heart. He set out to scale a mountain – both literally and figuratively.

(https://www.facebook.com/saurabh.sg2/videos/1512598828805878/)

In the picturesque locales of Himachal, the peak he aimed at, stood some 18,750 feet high. To reach the acme, was going to be a test of one’s grit and determination. He tread, on foot, the path deemed too risky for nimble footed animals too. His eyes open only to the Vivid Vistas stretched out before him.

So complete was his will to be one with nature that he ignored the risk and just concentrated on the goal and along the way made good use of the journey itself. He chose to look at the ethereal skies, verdant vales, lofty peaks & the beauty that lay beyond the rough, slippery terrain. And how true the words ring- The best views come after the hardest climb.

His pictures are proof enough of the exciting trek he embarked upon. He is reluctant to share the details & the location of his adventure because he feels that the pristine, almost virginal peace & beauty of that place wouldn’t remain intact if more people knew about it.

Yet another venture that makes one believe that our future is in safe responsible hands, is the Bikaner City Blog.

( https://www.instagram.com/bikanercityblog/ )

Aimed at promoting and nurturing the culture, history, food, lifestyle & young talent of the city, this non profit organization is run by highly motivated youngsters fresh out of colleges. They organise events to popularise the legacy and inheritance of our colorful yet quiet city.

They are working hard to provide a platform to the youth of the city to showcase their passions and talents. In the same spirit, they organised a Musical Meet a couple of days back. I couldn’t make it to the event but saw live updates on various social media platforms, that have knit our lives so closely together, and once again I was in awe of these nestlings that are so eager to give wings to their imagination.

The meet, first of its kind in our city, was a resounding success. It was heartening to witness Art in such raw, pure, unadulterated form. The satisfaction and bliss of following one’s own heart was written large on the smiling, shiny faces and in the sparkling, expectant eyes of the performers. They sang and played their hearts out.

A group of three friends got together to begin the Golden Sand Production Company that is fast becoming a household name in our torpid little town. Away from the humdrum & glamour of big cities, ours is a laid back society that is nevertheless rich in tastes and talents. The idea behind Golden Sands is to bring forth the vivacious, lesser known facts about our city, to acquaint the people, young and old, with the eccentricities and idiosyncratic tendencies of our Bikaner. They churn out music videos, promote acting and dramatic talents, organise events, and take up socially responsible tasks in their bid to fulfill their dreams.

It is not as if these are the first amongst us to break away from a well – paved path to attain what their hearts really desires, neither will they be the last. But wherever they feature in the hierarchy, they are worth a mention because they are doing what they do best. They have digressed from the prescribed and recommended courses to carve out their own. They took a risk to dive head along in the labyrinth of life and have come out tops.

People who do what they are destined to do, are a different breed altogether. They don’t shy away from the challenges that life, inevitably, throws their way. Nothing can stop them from persuing their cherished fantasies. Their simple charm in being what they truly are, cannot be hidden, anywhere they go and whatever crowd they mingle in. There is no mediocrity in the work they undertake. They stand out as resplendent representatives of mankind.

When they write, it is Lyrical. When they paint, it is Sublime. When they sing, it is Soulful. When they dance, it is Synchronic. When they cook, it is Heavenly. When they travel, it is to explore the Unknown. When they pick up the camera, it is to capture Glory. When they create, it is Magic!! ✨ 💫

How the Heart Yearns!

For things that are beyond our reach.

The notions that the elders never preach.

For love, friendship and relations that instigate,

our very souls, against what the world propagates.

For chances & opportunities that are on the take

but for the leashes, we could make.

We do what is expected of us,

for family- society, the whole corpus.

We yen, we ache, we pine, we languish.

And our hearts yearn for something to accomplish,

something to Cherish!!

Ah, What Anguish!!!

✨Memory✨

Posted: July 31, 2017 in Life as I see it...
Tags: ,

It is in the Music that lies forgotten in my soul,

It erupts in the Moody rhythm of my dejected heart,

It lies in the Musings of my Muddled Mind,

It reverberates in the empty Minutes of the hours we talked for,

It finds voice in my Melancholic words,

It echoes in the word ‘Maa’ you so lovingly called me.

Alas, with you gone, your Memory is everywhere!

I didn’t realize what I was missing till you came along.. Now that you are gone, the vacuum is intimidating, the silence deafening.. I miss you.

I don’t exactly remember the day I first met you. I have a vague recollection that I saw you first in Hostel 2s3 where you and your friends were working on a chart of toppers in the warden’s room and I, a new appointee, was asked to oversee the task. I didn’t do much of overseeing, just looked over the language and observed the ‘rowdiest group on the campus’ work with a nonchalance which I was far from feeling. It was in my second year as a teacher there, that I was asked to take your class. All sorts of horror stories were attached with Class X- A. I was told that I would be booed out of the class if I am lucky, if not, I could face cat calls, indiscriminate hooting or even a chalk missile from even the most innocent looking girl, while I was writing on the blackboard.

Mercifully, none of that happened. What transpired was an instant connection with the entire class. Contrary to popular belief, I had never come across a group of girls so eager to learn. It was the quietest, most disciplined class ever. I remember, vividly, the Sunday extra classes too which you all attended with such gusto. Teaching history has never been more fun than with my Class X-A. I remember pretty much everyone from that room but the ones who have stayed beyond that classroom, beyond school, are few. You and Chhavi, the dearest among them.

When I look back, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, we started talking but somehow, by God’s grace, I found your little group full of potential, only the veneer of mischief and recklessness needed to be peeled off.

I am sure you remember the unfortunate incident that happened when you were in Hostel 3s2 and I was off for an exam. Once that happened, I wanted to see you win at all costs. By winning I don’t mean the argument or the strife, I mean to make it big in life. I dreamt that you all, closest to my heart, would take a turn for the better, write a new page and be exemplary scholars and achievers.

Neha, you have made all of us very proud by adding feather after feather in your beautifully adorned cap. The best thing about you is that success sits so lightly on your shoulders. You have managed to stay humble and grounded even after the accolades that have come your way.

For me, you are already a 🌟 that brightens my horizon. I recall your lament when you could not make it to the roll of honors but surely you too must realise now that, it was just a minor set back in the bigger scheme that God had for you.

Being meritorious all your life, you further proved your worth by coming out, unscathed if a little scratched, of the many tight corners that life has thrown your way. You made loss your strength and fulfilled the dream of your father, against all odds.

Today, I am proud not just because your perseverance has paid off and you have accomplished the goal of becoming a Chartered Accountant, I am proud of the person you have become. I am amazed by the sheer strength of your will, your humility and the grace that you have acquired along the way.

Do you know what your name means? It means love, friendship, one who is adored, the eyes that see, the innocent dew that laces the surface at dawn. You are amongst the rare few who personify the very traits of their name.

I am out of words for the emotions that are running pell-mell in my mind. I just want to Congratulate you on your achievement and for bringing so much happiness to all those who love you.

Stay humble. Stay the same. Keep Smiling. Keep Winning.

Love Always,
Lubhita

It was my first job, teaching at my mother’s school. There was a cultural function just round the corner and while making a model for the exhibition or a prop for the stage, I don’t remember which, I had fallen short of adhesive and a colleague of mine had offered me some araldite, which they were using for some woodwork. He had playfully mimed its advertisement, Aralditesticks everything except broken hearts. Since then, I always think of this punch line and the product when I find things broken. 

Time has flown by since those green years. A late bloomer, I, had no use of advise on broken hearts till quite late in my life. By then I had developed my own coping mechanism. I had found solace in the written word. I found peace, quiet and a deep sense of calm in music. A book could cure me of anything that ailed me. So could music. 

When things got a bit more messy, I discovered F. R. I. E. N. D. S, the TV show. No matter what I was feeling, however low, anxious or broken, I could watch it and relieve my inner turbulence. 

I have grown since then too. I have realised that escapism of this kind, distractions of these sort have a limited shelf life. It’s not until we face our demons, look them in the eye, think, analyse, accept and come to conclusions, that we find peace within. No person, worth his or her salt, who has ever lived, can escape the challenges that life poses and we grow only when we take them on fearlessly, with an open mind and heart. 

I have recently discovered an ultimate Recipe for Respite – Cooking. It’s something that has kept women going, for ages. It’s what has kept them together. I am thirty seven, and for the first three decades of my life I had no or minimum concern with household chores, no cooking, no cleaning, no house keeping for me. I would instead read. That is the luxury of an extremely efficient elder sister and a doting younger one. Between them, they had the kitchen and household covered. 

I never thought I would ever say that, much less write about it but the kitchen has now become my sanctuary. Whatever my mood, it can be lifted just by being there on my own for an hour or two. In a household full of people and voices, it sometimes become difficult to hear you own self. Cooking gives me that, much needed, opportunity to shut out all other voices and just have a conversation with myself. It’s the most precious ME time I get. Many of my blogs have been thought and conceptualised while Chopping, Grating, Kneading or Peeling. 

Even if I do no thinking while cooking a dish, I end up feeling cleansed, serene and calm once I am through. It gives me immense satisfaction to think up new ways of making the same old veggies. It invigorates my mind, body and soul. I have experienced that cooking not only rejuvenates my mind, detoxing me of stress and anxiety but also relieves me of aches and physical discomfort. The sheer pleasure of making something while I can think and analyse ‘N’ number of topics, is refreshing and comforting.

It’s the place where I, Saute my Stress, Chop at Concerns, Grate Grief, Knead away Knots, Fry the Fears, Boil Boredom, Grill Grudges, Peel Pressures, Wash away Worries, Trundle Trepeditions, Cube the Qualms, Marinate Malice and Malevolence, Bake Benevolence, Chill Certainty, Ladle my mind into a Lull and finally Dish out Determination. 

And the best part is, I try not to avoid my apprehensions, instead I confront them, deal with them as best as I can, accept and move on

I am suddenly out of words so I am gonna give it a rest, until next time. 

As far as household chores are concerned, I particularly pride myself in the kneading of the dough. That was the first thing I learnt and mastered in the kitchen, even before I tried my hand at boiling tea leaves. The process of turning powdery, lacklustre flour into consistent, supple dough, gets me every single time. I am not going to bore you with my culinary expertise 😅 or interests further,  instead would get to the point in a jiffy. I am very obsessive about not leaving any trace of flour sticking to the sides of the trough after I am done kneading. I knead and knead and knead till the trough is sparkling clean. 

As it always happens when I am a little anxious, my thoughts flow in a rhythm of their own. Things as mundane and unremarkable as kneading dough may also trigger a profound chain of thoughts and emotions. That coupled with anything equally regular may result in a blog like this. 

 

How many people might an average person know at any given point of time? And I am not talking of the thousands that we seem to have on social network accounts. I am talking of people who we meet physically on a daily, fortnightly or monthly basis. Some of whom may be a significant part of our day, others still, also as important and relevant even if we don’t see them daily. I have some friends who respond to my good morning messages daily. We may be apart geographically but in that particular instant we are thinking of each other. So, may be a hundred or so people who we are in constant touch with.

Now try and remember how many of them were there when we were growing up or when we were at school or college. The number will dwindle. Rare and special are the people who have the same set of friends and acquaintances in all phases of their lives. As it happens, we fade out of some people’s lives and some people fade out of ours. It’s a completely natural process. Some go away rather quickly others gradually. The ones that just move along as our lives take us places, are the ones that don’t hurt. We treasure the memories they left us with, without even realising that they are hidden someplace inside the maze, our minds are. Someday we come across an old letter or photograph of them or we reconnect via Facebook and voila, the slideshow of memories begin! 

This happened with me today. I reconnected with an elder didi of mine who also happened to have taught me once, long back, and I couldn’t hold back memories. She was the first person I had heard speaking, effortlessly, in English. She had a beautiful handwriting.  Some phrases that I picked up while she taught us English and History, have remained with me ever since. I realised that everytime I have ever used those phrases, I have fondly remembered her. It had become so much a habit with me that my mind could never erase the mental picture of her I carried. Her face had not faded away like it happens with people who drift apart. I perused her profile and found that after so many years she still looks the same – well turned out, smiling, wise eyes, an air of intellect surrounding her that is not limited by the fact that I just saw a picture of her. Though short in stature, her personality looms large for me. I cherish what she gave me as a child. I was at an impressionable age and I am glad that I got to learn from her. I hold dear, her contribution in shaping me, however little it may seem. It is immensely significant for me. Indelible!! It’s true, we never realise how much space we take up in other people’s lives and minds. 

At times I am a little anxious of talking to people from my own past because try as they might people do change and I am afraid that the mental image I carry inside may not match with the stark reality of what time and space have turned them into. Nevertheless, it is still mighty fabulous to be able to recall so much of our past and people’s role in it, frame by frame. It’s a heady feeling to agnise that just like footprints on the moon, certain marks always remain, clear and incorruptible. 

It is a whole other story with the people we have to leave after a falling out of ways. They are the ones who stay the longest in our minds and hearts. Always at the forefront! They are like the hint of flour left on the sides and base of the trough after the kneading is done. We so want them to be a part of our dough, our life but as it happens with dough, so it is in life. We cannot accomplish the desired inclusion without tempering with the consistency of either. I hate leaving people behind, I would rather disrupt the harmony or regularity of my life than to let go of people that, once, enriched it. But all of us have to take tough decisions at times and that is where the anxiety creeps in. Anyone who leaves, takes a part of us with them. True, we adapt,  but we are never the same again. 

How I wish that keeping people close were a skill to be mastered, like kneading! I could have learnt that and would have never left anyone behind. EVER

I saw an animated episode of the famous Motu Patlu today. These characters were quite famous when we were kids and there was a series of comics of the same name. I remember reading them all. This particular episode I saw, had Motu trying to outrun a pouring cloud. He tried everything in the book and yet couldn’t get rid of the cloud. He tried paddling away on a bicycle and the cloud went with him, he disguised himself as a woman to deceive this cloud, that somehow had taken a liking to him, but to no avail. His friend offered him a vaccum cleaner to suck up the cloud, and yet there it was all the more angry and bent on following him. There was no escaping it. It was an animation and hence had to tickle our funny bones. It all actually turned out to be a dream, just the result of his over fertile imagination. 

But there are certain things in life that just can’t be escaped. Try as we might, we cannot outrun or outsmart them. They are what we call divine providence. Things we have to live with, no matter how. 

The circumstances of one’s birth is one of those things. We cannot choose who we are born to or who we come out as. Our genders, our race, our family, our position with respect to our siblings, are all things that are beyond our control. Some of these things may turn out to be challenging for us all our adult lives. It wasn’t long back that being a woman in India was cause for concern. Women were denied equal rights of life and education. There has been a monumental change in that scenario yet small town India is still not ready to give women their due. It is still an uphill task being a woman here. Even in educated, so called liberal families, the position of the male child is still preferential. The over protective nature of the Indian male, puts an invisible leash on the women of the household. Educated girls are also not supposed to enjoy the same privileges as their brothers. It’s debatable, as always has been, that all such steps are necessary for the protection of our women folk, the fairer, weaker sex. 

What I can’t wrap my head around is the belief that because women marry and leave their parents’ home for their marital household, they have no role at all in carrying forward the name of the parents. Even progressive men feel that they should have a male child to further the clan’s name and ensure longetivity. Where I come from, all virtues of a woman are secondary just because she is a female and all vices of a son are tolerated because he is the one who carries the name of the father. It is hurtful to face this day in and day out. Despite doing everything right, one is still a secondary member of the family. The conservative mindset attached with this social evil is still thriving in our society. 

I may be more attuned to the needs and moods of my parents, I may have a better understanding of things around me, a better disposition, a better social circle, a better way of expression, better reasoning and logic, more adaptability, more tolerance, more moral and psychological strength but I am still not good enough. I am not the son. There are things that a daughter is just not capable of. And that makes all the difference. 

How I wish, it was a dream, I could evade by waking up just like Motu escaped his dark, angry, pouring cloud! 

Today, I just happened to pick a book at random for some quick reading. And what a book it turned out to be!! Every single word, a gem. So, here I am sharing some pearls of wisdom by Kahlil Gibran that he propounds in The Prophet.. The fundamentals never change, do they? They ring as relevant and authentic today, as the day they were written.

 

 

✨​On Love✨

 

When love beckons to you follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, I am in the heart of God.”

And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

 

 

 

✨On Marriage✨

 

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

 

 

 

✨On Children✨

 

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

 

 

✨On Joy and Sorrow✨

 

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

 

 

 

✨On Reason and Passion✨

 

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against passion and your appetite.

Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.

But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.

If either your sails or our rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.

For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion; that it may sing;

And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.

Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows – then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”

And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky, – then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”

And since you are a breath In God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.


 

 

 

✨On Pain✨

 

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

From times immemorial, we have heard this and most of us believe that – “Actions speak louder than words.” May be they do but being a logophile myself, I feel words are way important. There is something about words, both written and verbal, that tugs at my heart. They don’t have to be heavy and impressive all the time. Even the most mundane, regular, unremarkable, simple words, used effectively, do the trick. There is a rhythm to well-strung sentences and phrases. I believe in the beauty of words weaving their magic, their Mystic aura.

Even if I don’t talk about the technicality of a well- written piece or a well- expressed speech, I love the way words help us communicate. They bridge the gap better than any other form of communication. I grew up learning that “Speech is Silver while Silence is Golden.” As I gained some experience in life, I felt, one needs to speak up, verbalize one’s thoughts as much as one can. It clears up the air. It prevents us from ASSUMING the possibilities and makes life a lot easier.

I was going through a Quora thread yesterday and there was a question – Which one line has influenced/ had an impact on you? A very popular Quoran brought up this line that had me thinking. It is so elementary yet honest. The line was- How would you know unless I tell you?

No one can tap into our imagination. Our minds are complex and multi-dimensional. We may be thinking of any particular issue from our point of view, effectively disregarding the view of others. We may believe that we are right and as it, generally, happens in such scenarios, we make up our minds that people around us will react in a certain manner to that particular stimulant. But we will never know, for sure, unless we speak up and share our musings. Things might actually turn out quite the opposite from expectations.

I am not a life guru, far from that actually, I appreciate all the help I can get in leading my life. But there are certain things that I have learnt from experiences. Relationships, for instance, be it with parents, siblings, friends, significant others or people in general. I make it a point to say out loud what I feel for the people in my life. I say – I love you- a lot. EVEN IF IT IS OBVIOUS. Infact, more so when it is obvious. My parents know that I love them, so do my siblings and friends yet I vocalize my emotions, again and again. Some people find it weird. I think it is important. They know what their status in our lives is yet being acknowledged and openly appreciated for always being there, gives them the energy to face their own battles or demons. Who doesn’t want to have people looking out for them? I, for one, am extremely grateful and happy when I realise that somebody has my back. So, speaking up, vocalizing, gives further impetus to the one listening. Life remains the same, there is just an added spring in the step when people know that they are adored and valued. A kind word here, a hug there, is all it takes.

How many of us keep it to ourselves when we are upset or disappointed in the people around us? We either yell out our frustration or avoid being in direct line of contact with such people. Meaning, we either vocalize our dissent or make it plain through our actions that we are distressed. We make our feelings known and what a relief it is to have that negativity off our chests!! Why can’t we do the same with positive, life- affirming emotions? Won’t that spread a whole lot more joy, happiness, love and understanding in our lives?

I have a motherly figure in my life. I call her Maa. She exemplifies vocalization of the obvious. She is such a charming, generous person. One cannot be anything but full of affection and tenderness around her. I know she loves me and vice versa but she never misses a chance to say so and sometimes that makes all the difference to my dreary day. The good thing is that she balances her words and actions in such a way that whichever philosophy we follow – action or words- we know we are held dear.

Say it if you feel it. Even if it is a tough call, don’t worry how people will take it. Being human, each one of us is bestowed with intelligence and emotional quotient to listen, analyse, accept and understand another’s point of view. We, eventually, learn to deal with onerous, awkward and irksome matters too. Never hesitate if it is Love you are vocalizing.

Life is short. Don’t leave things unsaid.

How would people know unless you tell them?

Think about it.

​💫 Our fingerprints do not fade away from the lives we have touched.💫

Wasn’t it J. K. Rowling who made the word ALWAYS mean much more than the Queen’s language could ever convey? 

This simple word containing two miniscule syllables came to denote a plethora of emotions. It became a symbol of undying love. It became synonymous with unconditional, unwavering, belief and trust in someone who wasn’t even there for you. It escalated the character of Snape from a regular love- jilted villain to a man who didn’t want anything in return, a man whose love was never reciprocated, a man who was devoted nevertheless, a man who never gave up, a man who never backtracked on his commitment, whatever the price.

It takes a lot of strength to be that person. It takes a lot of goodness to be able to give out that much love, affection and tenderness. I thought such characters existed only in books. Not getting what one vies for and still making something of one’s life, enriching others and still managing to keep that flame burning is Quixotic, it is unreal. 

I know a person who has given up everything for the love of his life. His devotion is legendary. His level of commitment, idealistic. He just doesn’t know how to give up on her. My piece today salutes him and his spirit. I want to tell him that – it’s when you are completely down and out that you get the motivation to rise up again and work for your life. Staying strong and making something of yourself when odds are stacked up against you, proves the mettle of a man. 

For me you are the Sun that shines, no matter what. May you get all the happiness in life that you so truly deserve. You embody the word Love. Just direct some of it towards yourself now. I must have done something really good or virtuous to have gotten to know you so closely. Your goodness rubs off on other people. I have been fortunate. 

Stay Calm. Stay Strong. Stay the Same. Flourish. 

Always. 

I never thought I would be choosing this title for my blog, EVER because I have always maintained that regrets are such a waste of time and precious energy. In any normal life, people do things which may either work for them or not. But regretting the ones that did not work out has never been my way. 
I have always owned my mistakes, learnt from them and moved on. Sometimes, my closed ones would agree that, I have been fool  enough to repeat some of those mistakes too. But isn’t that what life is all about? In my humble opinion, life is a blind deck of experiences. We never know what card will turn up next. We just do the best we can. Sometimes our best sees us through while at other times, we learn. 

I recently lost my uncle to brain haemorrhage. He was too young to have left us. As the Hindu tradition goes, we were there,  paying our tributes and condolences, giving support and strength to the family for twelve solemn days. Even in the midst of all that religious and social bustle, I had a feeling that the real test of strength and perseverance,  for the immediate family will begin after the customary rituals got over. After all, they would have to face empty rooms, an empty chair at dinner, the disposing of clothing and other day to day stuff, the inevitable pictures and memories that lie strewn about in any household, even the food would remind them of what he liked best or how much he enjoyed his little indulgences. 

Days have passed and today, as the societal norms dictate, we went to see them all again. To let them know that we are there for them in their hour of need. I learnt a valuable lesson from my grieving aunt because, make no mistake, her grief has just begun. She has a life time of solitude ahead. While recounting some of his last days, my aunt couldn’t control her tears and word after word of regret, of unfulfilled dreams, of a life lived in a way that left so much incomplete, so much to want for, poured out of her

She spelled out the toll that a public life takes on a family. She told us how he was always there for people who approached him for help, how he would ignore his health, his meals, his family for public recognition and to make a name for himself and leave a legacy behind. How he wanted to leave behind his humble beginnings and strained against things that kept him tied down. She told us how that made him irritable and ignited a latent anger in him. 

As I sat there listening to her say that “he kept running all his life, we kept fighting- I, to keep him healthy and he to challenge life and destiny despite his health,”  I couldn’t help draw similarities with my own father. He also keeps so much to himself. 

I realised what a waste of life and opportunity we all make if we fail to acknowledge and appreciate the people who have always been there for us. In our bid to outdo ourselves, we tend to ignore our closest confidantes, the very people whose unwavering support has been with us throughout our journey. They have stood by us, albeit quietly and may be not in any extraordinary way. They have just been there, believing in us, depending upon us, feeding us when we are hungry, soothing us when we are in a turmoil, laughing with us when we can find no humour in life, sometimes laughing at us when we started to take ourselves too seriously, the ones who kept us grounded. We take them for granted. 

If this is not a cause for regret then nothing is. We don’t know what tomorrow might bring. We cannot change what happened yesterday but we have complete control on what is happening now. We need to get our priorities right. We need to pay attention. Instead of hurting the people closest to us by our blatant neglect, we should take sometime to recognise their efforts in our life, to be grateful for their presence. Most of all, we should communicate. Yes, speaking up is important. We have to put it all into words, sometimes. We cannot leave things UNSAID, not with people who are so close. True, we understand each other when we are this close, we can interpret each others’ silences but it doesn’t hurt to say it once in a while. 

If we are hurt we should let them know, we should share with them our disappointments- in them, in ourselves or in life, in general. We should let them know if and when we are happy, what act of theirs made us so. Our anger, resentment, grief, pain, should be passed on to them as much as our moments of glory, success, joy & contentment. Sharing a life doesn’t just mean living in the same house, providing for each other in the physical or monetary sense alone. It’s being there for each other emotionally, that is more important. 

Our family, friends, our inner coterie deserve the best part of us. The part which is unspoiled by worldly considerations, the part that is pure and brutally honest. None of us is going to make it out of this life alive. So, let’s just make sure that we don’t leave any regrets behind. Finding people who genuinely care about and love us, is rare. Let’s make it our life’s motto to cherish them above all and make our time on this Earth,  worthwhile because the day we kick the bucket, it’s these people in whose hearts we will live forever. Let’s give them reasons to love us beyond life & death itself. 

I went to the general store the other day and decided, on an impulse, to get a different brand of tooth paste for myself. It was weird and at the same time exciting to add it to my cart, after all, for as long as I can remember, I have been using the same brand of toothpaste, the same red color, the same taste. This morning while finally opening the new tube of shiny yellow green paste with cooling crystals, I felt like an adventurer out on her maiden voyage into the unknown.. 

Hilarious as it may sound, most of us don’t venture out of our habits and comfort zones even for something as mundane as a new kind of toothpaste. It’s not brand fixation that keeps us tied up, atleast not in my case. It is just the comfort of the familiar. 

Sadly enough, consumer products are just an example of what we are doing with our lives. I cannot speak for everyone, neither can I generalise (I hate to generalise, as it is). But I have to write about what sparked this seemingly unremarkable or ordinary sounding thought process. 

I read quotes like – “Life isn’t supposed to be lived in one place.” – and being a thinking person I understand how right that is, both geographically and intellectually. One has to travel, one has to explore, gain new experiences, let go of the things and people gone by.. One has to grow.. And people don’t grow while being confined to their comfort zones. 

One has to try different things, be different people in order to find what one actually is. Experimenting, juggling choices, failing, learning in the process- Everything is important

While I know all this theoretically, I have never dared to try my luck outside the protective cocoon of my family. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t told what to do and how to do it. A set of instructions were always provided no matter what I decided to do. I understood quite early in my life that simply following the instructions provided, would save a lot of bad blood and complications. I did not know any other way to live. 

I had never learnt to live without my support structure. I had never been to a bank till I was forced to do that, at the age of 27 when I joined a job outside my hometown. I had never travelled alone, never taken a bus on my own, never even purchased my own clothing. Everything I needed was taken care of by my parents and the support structure that they had ready for me. I never thought I could have a say in my own life. I was meek, indecisive and confused all at the same time- a recipe for disaster

Eventually, I rebelled. Because it is crippling, too much love. It is suffocating. It feels like a leash. It leaves too less breathing space for us to grow. It breeds fear, distrust and some degree of lying and manipulating too. I developed a coping mechanism where I didn’t have to share everything I did, at home. I found new confidantes. I found solace in books. Sometimes my coping mechanism bordered on escapism. 

I once told my therapist (actually just a medical practitioner, I was talking to) that I am indecisive. I don’t know what to buy, what to wear, what to eat. I am left flabbergasted when provided with choices. That’s the reason I never order at a restaurant. I simply don’t know what to pick. I never learned to choose. He simply asked me, “Do you drive?” I said yes I do. “Do you ask the one sitting shotgun where to turn and which route to take to reach your destination?” I said, ‘mostly no’. “Then you are not indecisive” he said, ” you have to just convert that ‘mostly no’ to a resounding never”. 

Simple as that. So I started with the small things, case in point, my new toothpaste. I find a deep seated pleasure, now, in breaking stereotypes, the bigger things, none of that silly toothpaste stuff. I dream of taking it further. Life is too short to be left with regrets at the end. 

It is late but it is never too late to evolve, to give oneself a shot at happiness and fulfillment. It’s never too late to BE. 

At War… 

Posted: May 4, 2017 in Life as I see it...
Tags: , , , , , ,

For all those familiar with Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, the scenario I am about to mention won’t be new. 
It was in this classic that we came across the grit and solidarity of the Southern women, ladies or otherwise. In a much loved scene, that happens many times over, the ladies of the household & neighborhood would sit together in any one of their homes and talk about mundane stuff, sewing or knitting, all the while actually waiting, eagerly, for any news from the front. They would sit and chat and backbite and criticise yet their minds would be preoccupied with the well-being of their men out to fight the Civil War. 

I experienced something like that today when we, my mom & I, visited my uncle’s place. The ladies of the family were all present, putting up a brave front, chatting about routine, everyday things, reinstating their faith in the almighty, serving tea and snacks to visitors; all the while waiting, keenly, for news or update from the hospital, where my uncle is battling the inevitable. 

It’s a war against Death; a war against anything that threatens one’s belief in God; a war for faith; a war for love, for family, for children. For the first time in my life, I hope that faith wins, that God persists, that life sustains..

May he win his battle against an inescapable destiny.. May life triumph.. 

For as long as he is breathing, there is HOPE.. 

Hoping for a Miracle!! 

Need all your prayers.. 

An ambiguous title, I agree!! But it was infact, A Crack that inspired me to crack open the mystery of my mind and take a crack at unravelling what turbulence lay beneath the presumably calm and quiet disposition that I portray despite being perturbed to the very core.

Last night, I was deranged to the point of being depressed and anxious. There might have been many factors attributing to that state of mind. I know I had read something that left a deep impact, an indelible imprint on my mind, may be it were the events, the people around, the presence or absence of some, the sudden realisation of a loss, a mental check and balance of life’s wear and tear.

As long as there is life, there’ll be no shortage of reasons. Whatever it was, it threw me off balance. I had a restless night, a cranky morning and because I had to drive around 300kms, a very tiring journey.

I was exhausted by the way my mind kept churning out thoughts after thoughts, some complete others partial & half-formed, with no seemingly set pattern or precedent attached to them. There was a stretch of road on my way where I drove at about a 140kms/hour, all the while thinking, what if I ram this car into an oncoming vehicle and summarily dismissing the insane idea. That’s how irrelevant things got.

But, you see, the human mind is a tricky thing. It is as layered as it is complex. It poses questions which might not have simple solutions or may be they do but are hard for us to see & fathom. At times, our mind provides resolutions when least expected. I have increasingly come to relate the inner design of my mind to the intricate interlacing of ribs in a spider’s web. I love the term mental cobwebs when used for my confused state of mind. Nevertheless, it would be negative of me to call it a cobweb because while the latter are deserted, dust-laden, abandoned structures, the former serves a tangible purpose of feeding the Creator. Both have an innate beauty. Both, works of art! One has life the other has outlived its life’s aim.

Coming back to my muddled thoughts and the sudden stroke of inspiration or light it received. While driving at this outrageous speed, a small pebble flew and hit my car’s windshield leaving a miniscule yet discernible CRACK on it. The tracery or the form that emerged right before my eyes had so much visual conformity with the spiral, orb- like way a spider spins its web or to be precise the plight my mind was in, at that particular moment, that instantly all my attention converged onto it. It was like a giant jigsaw, with all its pieces finally falling into place.

Straightaway, I mellowed down. Something had clicked into place like the right key for the lock. I was perceptibly more relaxed, pacified & at peace. I could finally, comprehend & make sense of my disquiet and conceive a way out. The cloud had cleared, rightaway. The spectre of doom that so overshadowed my reason, had lifted. I realised the fallacy of my conduct & thoughts.

I realised that life is for the living and that it will go on whether the people you love or choose to be with, stay or not. It will not stop even if there are errors in your judgement. You will continue to breath, in failure or success, alike.

Crumbling in the face of disagreements, inconveniences, losses or discomforts is easy. What is tough, is holding on, being courageous and letting go!! What is commendable is making something of yourself against all odds, controlling your mind & heart, not the other way round!!

Contemplating is wise & logical. Overthinking and suffering due to that, isn’t. ‘What ifs’ bring nothing but chaos. Whatever happens, happens for the best. I know it is a cliché but there is always something better, hidden in the ways of the universe. Losing hope and sanity is not an option. Last but not the least, ACCEPTANCE is the way to go. Once we accept things as they are, there is a lot less pain, a lot less expectation and a lot more forgiveness.

It was Rumi who said, “A wound is the place the light enters you.”

Leonard Cohen developed it into an anthem that goes like this~

The birds, they sang at the break of day
I heard them say – Don’t dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Ah, the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove, she will be caught again
Bought and sold and bought again
The dove is never free
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

We asked for signs, the signs were sent
The birth betrayed, the marriage spent
Yeah, the widowhood of every government
Signs for all to see
I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up a thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

You can add up the parts, you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march, there is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come But like a refugee
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in

That’s how the light gets in.

I came across these beautiful lines on the internet today and couldn’t resist sharing.. If I put my heart into it, I can give a million other reasons Why to Write but I guess these lines pretty much sum it all up.. 

Write because you want to communicate with yourself.

Write because you want to communicate with someone else. 

Write because life is weird and tragic and amazing. 

Write because talking is difficult

Write because it polishes the heart. 

Write because there is a blackbird outside of my window right now and oh my god isn’t that the best start to the day? 

Write because you’re trying to figure yourself out. 

Write because you might not ever figure yourself out. 

Write because there still aren’t enough love poems in the world. 

Write because everything is not always talked about. 
Write because some things are left unspoken. 

Write because it calms your soul. 

Write because it rests your mind.

Write because you don’t have a friend who understands.

Write because you have a lover who understands.  

Write because words are necessary to paint the unnecessary things in life. 

Write because words don’t go wasted. 

Write because life is too delicious to not be tasted.

Write because no one can ever understand your messy mind.
Write because there’s a lot of poetry and songs in your heart.

Write because your words can strengthen someone’s life and yours as well.
Write because you have a lot to say and nobody is there to listen to you.

Write because words can feed your soul.. 

Write so that All is not Lost…