Years back when I had just joined the teaching profession and was brimming with fresh ideas and ideals, I remember feeling indignant when a cousin of mine spoke to me about the caste card he would play to, in the upcoming elections. My cousin had some years on me and had pretty clear ideas how democracy worked at the grassroot level. I was shocked and indignant because his ideas did not match the ones given in the text book.

Some years on, when I had gained some worldly experience and knew of rage, oppression and fate dealing a lame card, I was still shocked when an extremely mild- mannered colleague of mine belonging to a marginal community, spoke harshly with an almost wolfish snarl what he thought of being secular. His venomous hate for an entire community, though coming from personal experience, did not feel justified to me.

Quite recently, the brouhaha about the release of a movie on a long dead queen also felt unnecessary and roguish to me.

But isn’t this where we make mistakes? What may be clear as crystal to me, may not even ring a bell with someone else. It’s the perceptions that we form that make us the people we are. And even if it has taken me years to get this simple fact straight, I now realise that respecting other people’s way of looking at things makes life uncomplicated and hassle free. We cannot expect even our closest ones to feel exactly as we do on issues, both ideological and otherwise.

The more we read or expose ourselves to unfamiliar notions in any form, through any medium, the more we grow as a person.

While going through Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf, I got to know why he hated the Jews so much. I may not agree with his beliefs, ideas & deductions but he wasn’t wrong in his own eyes. His perception gave way to the Holocaust, the biggest genocide the world has ever experienced, and yet he was convinced that he was right all along.

Our beliefs are rooted in our own experiences. However bad a person may seem to the multitude, he is worth praising if he sticks to his beliefs. The ideas and notions of some may be repugnant to us or many others but they are there because they stand on the firm ground of experiences of that individual. That doesn’t make it wrong. They may not be justified but are true for them.

What I don’t get is being so impressionable that you can be swayed from what you truly believe, by dint of great oratory, fine language or the personality of a person.

Some of us have it easy. We haven’t had bitter experiences to shape up our thinking but for that very purpose we have been endowed with the faculty of brains, cognition, comprehension, logic, deductions and free will.. If only, we could use them instead of being blind followers to anyone that can wield and plant a thought in our minds, the world would be a more peaceful place and our relationships more transparent.

There are chants and wishes for a Happy New year today wherever we go..

There are celebrations galore..

There are hopes, dreams, aspirations & resolutions even for those who don’t or won’t party the night out to ring in the New Year..

And why not!! Do these changing dates on the calendar not fill us with hopes for a happier, healthier, brighter & better tomorrow? They do.. It’s hope that make the world go round.

Amidst all this hullabaloo, let’s not forget the less fortunate ones.

A compassionate friend of mine always says- “नानक दुखिया सब संसार” We think that our pain and our troubles are all that there is to this world.. But it isn’t so…… The world is full of all kinds of suffering and misery.

Let’s not overlook the ones whose life is a graver struggle in the absence of resources that we take for granted. Let’s clear some space in our hearts and minds for those whose suffering never relents. Let’s wish for a better tomorrow for them too. Let’s be grateful for whatever little or plenty that the Almighty has bestowed on us. Let’s resolve not to complain about our circumstances when there are others who would gladly swap lives with us. Let’s try and look beyond ourselves and do something worthwhile this year for the ones who really need it…

Let us make this year count for us & for others..

I wish you and your family a very HAPPY NEW YEAR..

May this year see you through your trials, may it grant you courage to face adversities & overcome them, may there be triumphs and reasons to rejoice. Have a good one..

A cold winter morning.. The Sun peeking through the mist, trying to bring some warmth to the wet & moist earth along with my jittering limbs & the deepest cockles of my heart. I sit in my balcony, soaking up the pink sunlight, with a hot cuppa tea. This has become a steady course to counter cold mornings for me. The isolation imposed by silence, of being surrounded by people yet remaining just with my thoughts, listening to nothing but the white noise of my indefatigable & unrelenting mind and observing the world go by, have become therapeutic. I have the guilty pleasure of snooping into people’s lives and imagining their stories just by noticing a tiny miniscule part of their days from my tenth floor balcony.

What remarkable lessons can be taken from seemingly ordinary existences!

I saw a child, barely five or six, rush to the terrace of his house, directly beneath my balcony, hence the movement caught my eye. He seemed to be carrying something. On closer inspection I saw a couple of rabbits, white & fluffy, snuggled up in his arms. He deposited his cuddly load in a deserted corner of the cold, bare terrace where the two lagomorphs, confused & scared by the intense attention, quickly found warmth in each other. The child stood up and for a while observed the inactive rabbits seeking warmth in each other. He mustn’t have liked the fact that he, the one who owned them, was being ignored. He tried to raise them from their cold & fear- induced torpor by stomping his feet hard on the floor, the sound made the pets snuggle even closer to each other.

The child tried again, this time with huge green leaves, to lure them to activity. And finally, when he couldn’t get any movement out of them, he lifted one and placed it away from its mate. Finding himself alone, the rabbit responded to the child’s stomping by running helter-skelter, this was not only fun for the child but also must have pleased him to see, something he was so fascinated by, respond to him. He began chasing the poor pet from one corner of the terrace to another. After about ten minutes, he got bored of this and chased the other rabbit around. Then, he called on his family members, his grandfather & father, to come have a look at his possessions, the pets. There must have been a child- like innocence and eagerness in this show of ownership. I saw him trying to force feed the animals, scaring them with all his foot stomping and repeatedly pulling & pinching them to show his tenderness and love. As his attention wavered, the rabbits, yet again, found a quiet corner to escape this ordeal. But the child wasn’t done with them. Weren’t they his pets? Wasn’t it their duty to acknowledge and reciprocate his love?

He chased them, played with them, cuddled them, fed them, showed them off to others and yet could not get a puppy like tail-wagging appreciation of his attention and love so he CAGED them.

I sat there thinking. We don’t change much as grown ups. Human love is possessive, protective and limiting, sometimes resembling a cage. We don’t let go of the objects of our affection easily. We don’t set them free & let them come back to us, of their own accord, instead, in order not to lose them, we chain and cage them to keep them safe and with us all the time. Our latent sense of protection and ownership smother the very people we love. Be it as parents, friends, spouses, or well- wishers, we always look out for the ones we love and there is nothing wrong in it. But too much of everything is bad. While ‘looking out for’ is a welcome emotion, setting boundaries and limiting someone’s range out of love, reeks of negativity.

Not everyone is the same. Every species put on this planet understands love and God has given each a different way to express that love. While puppies and dogs have a special way of making us feel loved, adored and wanted, not all of the others can express it in the same way. Same applies to humans too. All of us love but our expression and needs are different. We have been endowed with something that other species don’t have. It is the combination of speech and perception. Why can’t we, then, use it to our benefit and make our relationships happier and more content?

After all, however gilded, a cage is a CAGE..

A seagull was flying over a beach, when it saw a mouse. It flew down and asked the mouse:

“Where are your wings?”

Each animal speaks its own language, and so the mouse didn’t understand the question, but stared at the two strange, large things attached to the other creature’s body.

“It must have some illness,” thought the mouse.

The seagull noticed the mouse staring at its wings and thought:

“Poor thing. It must have been attacked by monsters that left it deaf and took away its wings.”

Feeling sorry for the mouse, the seagull picked it up in its beak and took it for a ride in the skies. “It’s probably homesick,” the seagull thought while they were flying. Then, very carefully, it deposited the mouse once more on the ground.

For some months afterward, the mouse was sunk in gloom; it had known the heights and seen a vast and beautiful world. However, in time, it grew accustomed to being just a mouse again and came to believe that the miracle that had occurred in its life was nothing but a dream.

I was reading ‘The winner stands alone’ by Paulo Coelho today & I happened to come across this excerpt. I realised that the same thing happens with us humans every single day. We don’t even have the excuse of different languages, most of the time, it’s just our perspectives that differ so much. We fail to understand the point of view of anyone other than ourselves. Even if we are shown the other side for a while by a well- meaning friend or acquaintance, we conform to our originality sooner or later.

No matter how happy or content we may be with someone or something, we get back to our comfort zones as soon as circumstances permit. We cherish the memories. We think that all that happiness was an unattainable dream. Sometimes we pine for those lost times and opportunities too but we eventually move on. We get back to our bland, mundane lifestyles because that’s what we are, that’s who we have always been. In the process we lose our real chance at a blissful, different life.

All we had to do was to grow some wings. Believe in the vision of another. Give up the safety of our self – imposed confines, our perspectives, for once and take that leap into the unknown that could have landed us some place idyllic.

Alas! Our human stubbornness has been the doom of many a friendships & relationships. It has been the downfall of many a promising careers & success stories.

Two men looked through the same bars

One saw the mud , the other saw the stars..

True, we are each allowed to have and nurture our own sets of beliefs, our deductions, our logic. There is no harm in seeing things differently. But, differences in opinions are healthy only till they help us grow and evolve. When they start to deter our lives irrevocably, we need to sit up and take notice. We need to shun our prides, apologise and reclaim that little bit of heaven that we had found by some miracle.

Thankfully, there is a parallel reality for all of us. We just have to go through the looking glass and discover our own personal Magic ✨

Just a thought!

Just this morning, while surfing the internet in my customary fashion, I came across the definition of the word Nostalgia.

Having used the word to great effect over the years, it didn’t seem quite extraordinary, specially when I read it for the first time. But as they say, some things are better understood when felt, words just can’t do justice to them.

At 37, I have been lucky to experience various facets of life- its triumphs, its joys, the memories of togetherness, friendships, relations, and simultaneously and very obviously-the trials, the tough times, the breakups, the leaving behind of places and people.

Every ‘rich’ life has its ups and downs. The mind, invariably, misses and remembers moments of glee and grief alike. There are triggers that set off the flow of memories and emotional people, like me, love to delve into them, relive them, sometimes to my own chagrin.

I am not a methodical writer, never have been. If I deliberately try to pen down something, it comes through as an invested effort, which is fake, at worst and dishonest, at best. My words flow only when they are inspired by something or someone. I am a handicap that way. That’s the reason I am so irregular in my posts. The daily nitty-gritty of life, the mundane blandness of living, hardly give us reasons to invest into words. It’s only when a memory strikes and I long to go back into time to experience, once again, the joy of that moment or to freeze it so that it can be a physical part of me, that I write.

For days now, I had been lamenting the fact that I wasn’t able to create anything. Granted, I have been busy but isn’t writing or creation something that we do to feed our Souls not to fill our pockets? Time or lack of it should, then, not be an impediment.

My current move to the city fills me with so many new experiences every single day. Be it the presence of people around or the cacophony of traffic, the blaring loudspeakers belting out song after song celebrating weddings or religious ceremonies. The lights, the sounds, the sights – every little thing fills me with wonder. Try as I might, I can’t write about them. Or atleast I can’t start with writing about them. It’s only things that I long for, things that have come to pass for better or for worse, that stir up my imagination.

I saw a familiar face today. Someone I had had to leave behind, not on very good terms too. Miraculously, I couldn’t remember anything bad about our association even when I happened to glance at him. True, there was a longing to shout out for attention but good sense prevailed and there & then the realisation of moving on struck me. I have already accepted the turn of events. I am aware that self respect and happiness are the most important ingredients of a fulfilling life and that some people are meant to meet us only to give us this lesson, they are there merely to make us understand what we don’t need in our lives.

We are life long learners, the human race. Too much information, too many words, too large an exposure to recorded and written life- lessons make us immune to them. After a while we stop sorting & sifting through them, a perfunctory read is all we accord them. Doesn’t it happen with too many text messages or motivational quotes that we come across on social networking sites? We read them, if we have to, but reading is far from assimilation. It’s only when we endure a certain situation or come face to face with reality, that we learn. And as I said, we learn everyday, even without books, without quotes, without religious, inspirational or motivational communes. Life is a hard task master. It has its exclusive way of getting through to us.

All I have learnt in recent years is that Self – love is important. Self-respect is an integral part of it. Someone who cannot respect us, isn’t fit to be loved by us. If we don’t love ourselves, we cannot channel that love outside, towards someone else. It isn’t selfish to put ourselves first. It is a prerequisite for sound mental health and eventually, one’s physical, social & psychological well being too.

I am grateful today that I got this life and that I have lived it the way I have. There are so many things to be thankful for, so many people that form the crux of my being, myriad events that shaped me into the person I am today. There is no place for Regrets. What and whoever is present, is the best that has happened to me. Whatever existed fleetingly, enriched me with experiences.


So, while the event that sparked off this train of thoughts might be intense nostalgia or a very strong memory, it surely isn’t Regret and what it definitely is, is Grace.

And, Grace changes Everything..

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to move back to the city. It wasn’t that I loved my home any less but to live away from society is a challenge in its entirety. There are daily struggles that one has to go through even to maintain the home and hearth. After quite a lot of deliberation and cajoling we succeeded in convincing our parents to give up their recluse- like lifestyle and return to the city. For twenty- two long years, they had been dwelling at the farm. It was home, it still is.

After looking for it high and low, we finally settled for this new place – a penthouse apartment that accorded my parents their much- needed space in addition to being a lot more convenient to us. We gradually started visualizing the home that it would turn into. All efforts went into making it the space that all of us dreamt of.

Moving in, though demanding & stressful, was the easy part. What we feared, were apprehensive about, but at the same time looked forward to, was getting used to the people, the newness of being around a lot of people, of dealing with them on a daily basis. I was wary of my social skills, for one. Having stayed away for such a long time might have rusted whatever little people skills I had, to start with.

The people in our building all looked happy and welcoming yet there was a sort of breaking (back) – in required. We got the perfect opportunity to meet and greet and test our social skills outside our immediate community when we were invited by new flat owners moving into the building, just a fortnight after us.

It was a pleasant experience and everybody seemed to genuinely like and respect each other. I had heard my mother speak about neighbours being more family than families ever are but it was the first experience of the sort. Ours being a new apartment building, we were all trying to get to know each other but there was an openness, a comfort, a will to establish and build up new acquaintances.

There are so many aspects to moving in and settling down. Not only does one need to get used to the novelty of the new abode and its surroundings but one also has to adjust to the unbeaten and untrodden schedules and paths that lie waiting.
It is a happy coincidence then, that our move is working well for nearly all of us. The freshness of the routine, the zest to face each day that brings with it disparate experiences, recommencing the activeness that life was just a couple of decades ago, recapturing the beauty and essence of city life once again, are all things that we hoped for.

What the Move has made me realise is that deep down, under the veneer that we had on for twenty odd years, we are all people’s persons. There is a profound and unfeigned affection for people that runs right beneath the parched stratum of our personalities.

I hope the move does us good. Looking forward to many happy and content years here. May these be the verdant grounds where new and everlasting memories take root..

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.