Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Many of you might remember the old NCERT textbooks which had one page right at the beginning sharing the Talisman propounded by Mahatma Gandhi.

At the time, I didn’t completely get the meaning of his words which are now crystal clear.
What Gandhiji meant when he gave us that mantra was – there are always people more unfortunate than us and that every step, every action undertaken by us should be carried out keeping in mind the welfare of those less fortunate ones.

My piece here lays down no such lofty ideals. I just want to underline the fact that each of us thinks that the troubles and trials of our lives are unique and beyond endurance. But in essence, life isn’t easy for any of us. We just have to make the best of what is given to us.

There are people who are enduring terminal illnesses, there are some who have been turned out of their own homes by their own flesh and blood, others still lead lives of penury and want, there are many who are either too fat or too thin, some suffer physical handicaps others mental ailments, there are yet others who have no talent or scope for education and few who are low on luck despite the degrees, some are financially well off but have no mental peace others can’t make their two ends meet. For some there are marital troubles for others relationships are difficult. Some are in agony because they are childless some worry because they have too many mouths to feed. There are some for whom their sexuality or gender is a cross, they are born that way, others still whose choices society doesn’t accept.

In nutshell, as long as we have human lives, we have desires. These desires are the root cause of pain. The unending want for more create a gloom and unhappiness that is beyond our control. We suffer because we always want something that has not been served to us. We suffer because we constantly compare our lives with others. For us grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We don’t acknowledge the fact that the grass is greener where it is watered.

We cry and make a hullabaloo about the suffering we have to sustain. We pray to our Gods to alleviate our burdens. We cut corners, we try and cheat fate and hoodwink our destiny. All in vain.

We have been given one life. True, it has some challenges. We each have our crosses to bear and carry but if we do so with a song in our heart and a smile on our lips, won’t it be more convenient and bearable?

In any case we have to live through the entire span of life given to us. Why not face it headlong without complaining and cribbing about it.. Why make it tougher than it already is? We can strive to improve our lot in life, that’s our right and prerogative but there really isn’t any use lamenting the things we lack or the burdens we have to carry. We won’t die before it is our time so why not live it up despite the tests assigned to us.

Think about it!

It was just that sort of a day when you need to remind yourself of who you are and what your core is made of. Actually, it’s been a series of such days end on end.

Being a bibliophile, I try and find answers in the written word. For me, there is nothing that a google search can’t throw up- from books on recipes to countering depression, from what to watch in which mood to what to wear and where & how to travel, from ailments and their cures to the composition and impact of medicines, I find everything when I look for it and more often than not, I end up reading on everything that goes on in my mind. That’s how much words rule me.

So, it wasn’t surprising when I noticed some discrepancies in my general behaviour and reactions, I immediately looked up the reason for the change and found out that there is something called ‘working depression’ & that I was quietly but steadily moving towards it. On delving into the problem further, I found out about (surprise, surprise!) a book- Pilgrimage of Desire by Alison Gresik.

Generally, I don’t read self help books but this is something that all of us can benefit from. I am still on it and I feel better because I realise that we are not alone in this. All of us go through lean patches and we have got to believe that there is a way out of them. And once we are out of them, we shine brighter. We may not come out unscathed but they are just battle wounds, the scars that leave a memory and a lesson.

Years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the marvel, that is, Jon Bon Jovi and one of his songs that is etched deep into my psyche is ‘Welcome to wherever you are’, the other being ‘Walk like a man’. I may have spoken about the latter in one of my previous pieces but the former is the one that inspires me in my current mood.

I leave you with the lyrics and will try and attach a link to it too.

Happy listening!

Maybe we’re all different, but we’re still the same..

We all got the blood of Eden, running through our veins.
I know sometimes it’s hard for you to see.
You are caught between just who you are and who you wanna be.

If you feel alone, and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning, is some beginning’s end.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far.
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Welcome, to wherever you are..

When everybody’s in, and you’re left out
And you feel you are drowning, in a shadow of a doubt.
Everyones a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say.

When it seems you’re lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody’s different
Just take a look around.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Be who you want to, be who you are
Everyone is a hero, everyone is a star..

When you wanna give up, and your heart is about to break.
Remember that you’re perfect, God makes no mistakes.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are.

Welcome to wherever you are

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.

Long before the advent of the internet and eons before the modern teaching-learning methodology evolved, the best and in my opinion, the only ways were to learn from either experimenting or observing & emulating our elders. People those days may not have been as qualified as today’s generation in the use of modern gadgetry or the world may not have been a small entity, the Concept of global village might have been a really far-fetched notion, they may not have been as suave, polished & glib but they knew ENOUGH

They understood how the world went around, they realized the value of life, virtues of patience, honesty, loyalty, respect, hardwork & perseverance. They experienced what it was to work hard and yet lose when their efforts were pit against divine & natural deterrents. They fathomed how to win against insurmountable odds. They appreciated that their children will model after them & their behavior. They discerned that they were the lighthouses that would steer the navigators of the future to a safe & sure shore. They  stood witness to a society brought up on so many virtues of good living. Their resolve,  when put against adversities was exemplary. Rarely ever, were they perturbed with the bouncers that life so unerringly threw at them. They were Pure Gold-those people, who inhabited our planet just a generation back. 

Many of them, aging & ailing though they may be, are still around. Sadly, we have sidelined their wisdom, forced them behind margins made by us-the freshly educated, tech-savvy, modern generation. Nearly all of us are guilty of undermining their advise and guidance from time to time. “You don’t know how the world works these days”, is the constant litany of the young & their easy excuse to escape the transgression of disregarding the oldguard- the parents & the grandparents. 

Time & again, our Oldguard gives us glimpses of their tough veneer & highly virtuous moral fibre, that they cherish above all and that has stood them in good stead all their lives. And in so doing, help us pull ourselves out of the quagmire of doubt, stress, dishonesty, low self-esteem and an ebbing confidence in the sustainability of our very lives. 

This afternoon, I was faced with one such low, having lost a much needed sum of money. I learnt an important lesson today. No matter how listless and uninterested our aging parents may be in the daily nitty-gritty of this fast paced digital life, they still hold the aces when it comes to being calm & composed when faced with life’s challenges. Here I was, lamenting the loss of a hefty (for me) twenty five thousand to thieves (girls, if I may add), wondering how were we going to manage our immediate needs and then there were my parents – my father, a septuagenerian & my mother well in her sixties, tranquil & even-tempered. I realised that they must have been perturbed deep down yet remaining unruffled for our sakes was their biggest gift to us. Without making a conscious effort, they bestowed a valuable life lesson to us, merely by example. 

My mother told me this evening, “what is gone is gone, may be it never was meant to be yours in the first place. Make all the efforts you need to, in order to retrieve what you have lost but then if you don’t recover it, just let it be. Don’t waste your days & spoil a good night’s sleep, moping, sulking & bewailing the loss of something that cannot be reclaimed. ‘What ifs’ just bring in misery & wretchedness. Crying over it won’t help. It will just cloud your judgement and prevent you from finding a way out.”
Such wise words, Spoken with such candor, in such Simplicity.. 

We are life long learners and we would do well to accord that, much-needed deference, honor, esteem, regard & attention bordering on reverence to our Oldguard. They truly, have been and still are the torch-bearers of our time-honored wisdom & sagacity. 

For hardships and how to deal with them, Master Rumi puts it aptly-

Don’t be Sad! God sends Hope in the most desperate moments. The Heaviest rain comes out of the darkest Clouds.


“Do you like Country music?” asked Prakirti. My last blog must have led her to believe that I understood the western music scene quite well, so I told her that my musical education was sporadic, at best. And that it was quite late in life that I had picked up English songs and artists. Hence, differentiating genres was beyond me. She said, “Let me send you a selection of songs, then.” She did. And I instantly fell in love with this beauty. 

Don Williams – I Believe in You

​I don’t believe in superstars

Organic food and foreign cars

I don’t believe the price of gold

The certainty of growing old

That right is right and left is wrong

That north and south can’t get along

That east is east and west is west

And bein’ first is always best.

Well, I dont believe that heaven waits

For only those who congregate

I’d like to think of God as love

He’s down below

He’s up above

He’s watchin’ people everywhere

He knows who does and doesn’t care

And I’m an ordinary man

Sometimes I wonder who I am.

I know with all my certainty

What’s goin’ on with you and me

Is a good thing

It’s true

I believe in you.

I dont believe virginity

Is as common as it used be

In workin’ days and sleepin’ nights

That black is black and white is white

That Superman and Robinhood

Are still alive in Hollywood

That gasoline’s in short supply

The risin’ cost of gettin’ by

I believe in love

I believe in babies

I believe in mom and dad

And I believe in you.

Once again,  I was done in by the soothing music, the bewitching and entrancing strains of the guitar, the charismatic baritone of Don Williams and most of all by the lyrics – Words, weaving Magic. So simple yet of such import. 

Out of all the delightful things that the artist says, he believes in, I chose MAGIC as the title of my blog. I shall try and elucidate, rather justify my choice of title in my plain, ingenuous expression.

The writers of the song and the artist who made it so popular might have concentrated on Love, I like Magic. For me love is magic, faith is magic, music is magic, divine providence is magic, mom-dad-babies-children-old folk all Magic. 

Not even a week has gone by, I was down and out, suffering from despair. I wrote about it. Magic transpired. I got support from unexpected quarters. People who were long gone, without any contact whatsoever, reached out. Mere acquaintances came forward with their stories, experiences and suggestions. I was pulled out of the dark by so many helping hands. I received calls from people I had never spoken to and they made small talk feel so relieving (case in point, Prakirti, the child who gave me this song and set the ball rolling for this piece here.. Thank you. Grateful!) I was so happy to find so much love & care that indifference & ‘what can I say to this’ attitude from the people I expected relief from, also did not dampen my spirit. I had embraced HopePure Magic. Bliss

I have often heard people say- Do not be afraid. Go ahead, do your part and things will automatically fall into place. I feel a certain amount of fear of the unknown, of the outcome, of the process is a great motivator in getting things done. Fear is magic too. Just the right amount and you are on your way. 

The most splendid, resplendent, glorious of all Magic is the ability to connect with People. Family-parents, grandparents, siblings, sons, daughters, cousins, friends, co-workers, colleagues or even for that matter the strangers we come across everyday while walking down a street or entering a building, attending a concert or a show, shopping in a mall or arcade. People are everywhere. Just smiling down at them creates Enchantment– a mystic energy that envelops us and makes us believe in each other. It coerces, compels & drives us to be more accepting of our differences, of each other’s opinions & circumstances. Acceptance is Magic. Belief in each other is Magic.

I believe in Magic✨. I believe in You-my people💖, my circle of light 💫, my ring of faith.😇

I am not a huge fan of pop music from the 50s and the 60s. The first time I heard this beautiful song was in the movie Love Actually, some 9 years back. And,  about four years after that a very dear student gave me this song to listen. Since then, Joni Mitchell’s version of this masterpiece has always remained on my playlist and I have delighted in its cadence thousands of times. I have always admired the raspy timbre of her voice. The gruff, scratchy sound goes perfectly well with the cover of the album, with her holding a cigarette in one hand and a glass of red wine lying in wait.  

Both Sides Now- Joni Mitchell

It is only recently that I got to know that Frank Sinatra, considered by music enthusiasts as one of the most iconic & influential 20th century artists, also rendered his voice to a version of the same song during his reprise years. Although his voice is timeless but I would still go with Joni Mitchell’s version any given day. 

Both Sides Now – Frank Sinatra 

The sublimity of this song lies not only in her rendition but also the soul stirring lyrics. It’s the words that resonate with me every time I listen to this song. I have posted the lyrics in hope that even if readers don’t click on the links above, they can atleast read the exalting text.

Rows and flows of angel hair

And ice cream castles in the air

And feather canyons everywhere

I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone

So many things I would have done

But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow

It’s cloud illusions I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all


Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels

The dizzy dancing way you feel

As every fairy tale comes real

I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go

And if you care, don’t let them know

Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow

It’s love’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know love at all


Tears and fears and feeling proud

To say “I love you” right out loud

Dreams and schemes and circus crowds

I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed

Well something’s lost, but something’s gained

In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all

There are quite a few songs that can make the list if I start writing about them but my purpose today is to convey a message of love and hope to a very dear, affectionate person who needs it today. I am sure he will peruse this write up as he always does with my blogs. I think he’ll recognize the song and appreciate why I chose it, in the first place. 

To him I want to say- Whatever trials and confusion you are going through are temporary. It is just a phase. Love and life are illusions to most people even if they gain intimate knowledge of them. No one can claim to understand them completely. There is no fixed recipe for happiness. Not all our desires are fulfilled. That said, we still live our lives and find happiness in whatever blessings we already have. I hope you find peace and happiness too. 

May you come back stronger and better. 

I’ve looked at life from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all


For days now, it has been on my mind. Infact it is the only thing on my mind for the past couple of months. Like other things negative, I thought this too shall pass and probably it would but right now it is getting worse. I know that people who care about me might want to reach out after reading this. I fear that. I really don’t want sympathy. That is the reason I was shying away from putting this up on my blog. There might be some people who would find it in bad taste, writing about something so personal and putting it up for the world to read. There might be still others who would think me weak and snively for not being able to hold myself together in the wake of life’s challenges. Some would think it a highly pessimistic state of mind despite being so well read. Yet others would feel I am too young to be going through a crisis like that, that it is just a figment of my imagination or something that I have picked up from the various things I read on a daily basis.  

However, I, myself, recently got around accepting the fact that it is indeed Depression that I am dealing with. And despite all the misgivings mentioned earlier, I have decided to once and for all write about it and face the consequences later. My decision to write stems from the belief that acceptance is the first step towards healing, gathering courage to share it, is the next. 

Such is human psyche that accepting something like this and then trying to talk about it or deal with it, takes a lot of grit & determination. I even wanted to use some other word in lieu of Depression but then that would have been yet another denial, yet another bottling up. The fact that I am writing about it should rule out all kinds of denial. 

I don’t want to go into the clinical aspects of Depression, they are best left to experts to ponder on. I would only share what I have felt and observed and the ways I would like to be treated by my loved ones. 

There is this constant sense of foreboding, of something bad happening. A weight descends on the heart and there is a consistent constriction of the chest. Over-analysing every decision and move becomes a tiring habit and the gravity of expectations, both from self and others, is immense. 

Socializing doesn’t appeal too much. A feeling of solitude even when surrounded by people, a rote- I am good or I am fine to people’s query of How are you?, becomes commonplace. I rather enjoy the company of people I don’t know intimately than the ones I do because it eliminates the chances of being asked too many awkward questions. It also helps avoid the possibility of being judged by people on the state of my mind. I hate to be called demented or doddery or stupid or mad or senile. 

If someone realises that something is not right, they keep asking me what is wrong and are disappointed when I say that I really don’t know. The truth of the matter is that I really don’t know what has triggered this or what is feeding it. I don’t understand my constant need to cry or being hugged  by someone without asking me what the matter is. Eye contact has become a problem, I can’t look people in the eye and connect. I lose interest midway in any conversation with anyone. 

There are times when I want to confide,  some of my surface thoughts, in people I love but can’t find words in absence of a strong enough reason for all this. I am also wary of disappointing them in my abilities as a human being of a certain age. It is a societal norm that by this time in my life,  I should have everything sorted out, but I don’t,  so people might judge. Most of all what I dread getting is Sympathy or Pity

All I want is a little empathy, care, love and an assurance that they’ll be there for me in whatever I am going through, no questions asked. I know, no one can change the course of one’s life to accommodate the eccentricities of another but isn’t that what genuine love and care is all about. If someone is reaching out to you for help, you must be pretty important to them. 

I love people who can convey with one hug what a thousand words fail to do- warmth, care, love, strength and a promise that come what may, they will be there, always. Sometimes, it is gratifying to be reassured, in words and deeds, by the ones we love.  

All said and done, I feel there is still Hope for me, that I will reach the light at the end of this tunnel, sooner rather than later.