Knock Knock whose there?

Weary of life, I sat by the table at the window, my temporary coffee table, sipping coffee, when Sara joined me, with her cup of tea.

Yes Sara felt the same too, as discussing the current state of affairs, and hearing about the same, on the news channel, lead us nowhere, except to where we were, clueless and lower in spirits than we were when we enthusiastically began.

So I said to her “Let’s go home”

We walked out and headed to our respective homes.

This time I made sure I went home.

As most of the time, on my way home, I was always caught up knocking at another’s home, so missed knocking on mine.

So as I knocked at the door of my familiar home, a stranger opened it, and lo and behold before I thought it may be the wrong door I knocked on, the stranger told me that the home is mine alright and she being here was right too.

A stranger I never knew, and what was she doing in?

Oh come on I said “I don’t know you and how is this right?”

“You can’t know me, as you’ve never seen me”, said this beautiful girl out of the blue.”

“Are you joking?”, I asked seriously.

“This is your problem , you have no faith, go away and come back another day.” she said

“Why? Is it because you want to stay on , you are shooing me away?” I asked.

I was out so long, but was lucky to have not lost my way home. I thought to myself.

Angry that she occupied my home, while I was away, I told her that as an intruder she needed to explain her being here.

and she looked at me, with those beautiful eyes and said plainly but firmly “No”, I am not intruding”.

“Also I could explain but can you listen? “

Nodding my head , I agreed, cooling down and lent my ears solely to what she was about to say.

I was curious and could not comprehend how a trespasser could so confidently explain her stay in my home.

So as I sat down she spoke,

” Do you remember when you left, why you left and how you left?

I shook my head as she continued,

“As a child you saw stars in the skies, the fresh breath of the evening breeze, the waves in the sea, and then all of a sudden you stopped seeing ,didn’t you?

I nodded, and she continued , can you remember when?” she asked.

“I guess I was 5 or 6 when I saw these intently, and then all of a sudden I went blank.” said I.

“Yes , slowly then you got involved in the other attractions around you, and as you went deeper and deeper into the world, the attractions, got the better of you, and suddenly you started performing brilliantly, as per the definition of world brilliance, and yes there you were, trapped in the mesh of the world, no different from the others, as the grip of this mesh is just too much to come out of.

You were caught in the mesh of the highs and lows, as that me within is not just a name you call yourself, harmlessly, but it likes the adjective good attached to it, and when you get the title of good , it wants better and best too, and then as you reach the peak of brilliance, you fall, naturally, into the lows unacceptable by your me ego.

So stuck within ,you can’t know about the joy of being still, until you find your way home.

I was listening and understanding, and all of a sudden I felt pleased she was here.

Well why did I leave this wonderful haven at all?” I wondered.

As I struggled to find an answer she said” Hey, do you know, that we all leave home, and are expected to, as we need to find something more deeper”.

However, most of us do not go that deep and just leave home to earn a living, and then as we fulfil our basic needs we run behind the very attractions which come our way.

As soon as our needs are fulfilled we go for more and forget our way home.

In actuality this happens when we focus for our need for food, clothing and shelter, but really they are just by products, of a higher purpose, and they are fulfilled automatically as we move towards our purpose.

Do you not think there is enough for everyone, out here?

The problem arises when we lose out on the reason we are here, and grab more than our share of essentials.

Then comes the greed, and a division of yours and mine, and it is not only you, as you make up the whole so it is in all, this explains division of nations, religion, political parties etc. that is when abundant essentials become a shortage.

Unfortunately most of us forget that the highs lead to the lows too, the cause of unrest and misery.

By the way, you are lucky you’ve come home, but do you really see what is?

Do you see that beneath that superficial cloak and mantle, lies a beautiful soul who does not need any of it, and just needs to be who she is.”

” Well I don’t get you, I am what I am”, I told her off very offensively.

“I’m sure your not the real you, cause you never had anger or despair.” she stated.

“How do you know it “? I asked.

Well before you question me on this could you question yourself as to who you are? ’cause if you find that out then you have solved the whole mystery, she calmly explained.

As I questioned myself , it seemed suddenly evident that I definitely was not the me I knew all along.

I knew I loved differently, but slowly as I got caught into the whirlwind of life, I moved away from the things I loved, into the love of things I thought I ought to love.

Each of us are made, to follow the paths we love in our journey of life, thus reaching us to our goal.

Our paths, designate roles we play, as I saw myself playing the role of the responsible daughter, wife, mother and on and on… but it had to end when the show ended. As you play it well, it leaves you enriched, but only if you move on.

As you move on, then comes the realisation, that all your roles are done, and you need to go home.

If you do not understand this basic truth, and wander around like a wanderer does, getting just used to playing roles, and forgetting your real purpose then you are lost.

You did that too, took up a new role mantle, every time, thinking that a time will come, when you could go home.

But as you think it never is, as here time comes in, and fools you into believing there will be a time for you.”

Indeed she was speaking the truth, and as I went deeper, I realised I played the roles too seriously, forgetting my real self, my real love, which conflicted from within, and that was the reason of my anger.

I had disabled myself from myself, by trying to be the good person of the world.

In the eyes of a society , who were lost too.

So in reality I was lost as I followed a path determined by lost people.

As my habits memories and conditions got hold of me, urging me to play new roles , I forgot home.

Grace got me home, and then I knew who she was as she whispered in my ear, “Hi, welcome home, your time is here and now.”

Yes this beautiful girl was me, and I was home at last….

Coffee by the window… Coffee diaries 3

Intoxicated, I am at the coffee table , comfortable to be able to comprehend the nature of  my intoxication.

As you and me seem to be the same..

There’s a side of me I didn’t know in you, and vice versa.

So as I look at life’s different sides, out pops, from within generations of people, who beg to differ to unite.

Yes, today my coffee table is by the window, amidst a whole lot of my lovely friends enjoying the onset of the tail end of the Lock down.

Invited I was to join them, but I preferred to sit by the window and watch them walk enjoying the cool breeze.

Was I different from the lot?

For if I was alike, I would be doing what they did, walk down.

We were all in for nearly 3 months now, and now we all had  to use our individual discretion to move around cautiously, each one ensuring their own safety and protecting the other’s in the best way possible.

Seems a fair deal doesn’t it?

Well as I looked out I realised that I was one with them, and also realised that this vast diverse yet whole universe, needed us to be different and play different roles, to complete the whole.

Well just as you may think and wonder what this is all about, I unfold this little example of two buddies, as different as they were alike.

Paddu and Reenu, were neighbours in Calicut, and grew up together, exploring and playing games as every child does.

Childhood is that period  which allows you to be as you are, naturally, fresh, without any inhibitions. It seems as if you have just come in from the garden of heaven, and are enriched by all those qualities of love, and care, and uninhibited you exhibit yourself as you are. No pretence no mockery, just childish pranks.

Yes and exploring the world seems a norm with all of them, as they excitedly view the world as if it were an adventurous playground.

Now Paddu lived in a huge joint family,  grandparents, uncles, aunts and she had two siblings, whereas Reenu was the only child of her parents, and lived in a nuclear family.

Paddu learnt to help around the home, and learnt to be considerate to the needs of her family members, and also learnt to be outspoken and bold where it came to getting her way for the things she required to have and couldn’t compromise on.

So as she grew she was caring and sensitive of the needs of others, as well as her needs too.

She was loved by all and was never deprived of it.

Reenu on the other hand came from a wealthy background, but missed out on the wealth of relationships. She was provided with all the comfort and care at home.

Her parents were too busy juggling their lives with their unfulfilled aspirations, that her emotional needs were ignored.

However, whenever they met , and played they had the same likes, played the same games and enjoyed all activity, similarly.

Then as childhood departed they went their separate ways into their own worlds.

In their worlds they reacted to situations based on the outcome of their memories of experiences and teachings of the past.

Needless to say, their choice of life partners too depended on the same.

As they worked their way on the path of life, the many hurdles they faced the more determined were they to move ahead.

Paddu was indeed sensitive to the needs of all, and felt the need to work for the larger good, whereas Reenu took care of her home needs and loved her children deeply fulfilling their emotional needs, thus making them lovable citizens and good human beings.

Both of them contributed to society in their own way, and fulfilled their purpose.

They were alike in their fulfilment of purpose and differed in the way they did so.

Nothing was right or wrong, as the many paths in life are meant for its variety of travellers, each choosing the one they are meant to, as per their aptitudes and purposes.

Its only when the traveller gets waylaid and tries to follow a path not his, is when he misses out on his destination, the one he came in for.

When you believe in something have faith in that belief, and do not get waylaid by another.

This is exactly how Paddu and Reenu contributed to life in their own efficient ways, where each believed the path they walked on, unaffected by the path of another.

Now as I tell you this, I looked out of the window, and the cool breeze, chirping of birds and friends walking down, I enjoy seeing them from my place here as much as they enjoy their space out there in the cool breeze.

As we get along playing our various roles in this vast diverse yet whole universe, let’s realise that roles are many and all we need to know is that whichever  we choose, we need to do it wholly and with conviction. Then we reach our desired goal and unite in the whole.

So as the taste of the last sip of coffee, dipped in, it left me with a taste of positivity, as I acknowledged its taste and also the fact that we are only diverse to conjunct,

Deep in, this seeped just as that last sip of coffee did….

Bye for now, till we meet again…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change is in the air.. Coffee Diaries 2

Aw dear, reminiscing my coffee days, I hit upon our present situation..

Covid 19, am I dreaming, or is it true? well I pinch myself hard, and ouch it hurts..

Truly true… and then again I ponder on the sensational news that has whetted our appetites to a major extent, but only to the effect of asking for more. That is when sensations attack our sensibilities and reasoning.

Sensations have got the better of us, down to the worse,  let’s not let it take over..

Don’t you think as I do, that everywhere all over, we are fitted with a special power, a discretionary one, separating the wise from the unwise, the true from the false, the sensible from the stupid..

Well that is intelligence, a much higher one, which has  within, wisdom, truth, sensitivity.

The   story  of Evan below clearly defines it.   He let intelligence take over and sift out the grain of sensitivity, a feeling for others, from sensitiveness, the selfish me..

Evan and me,  met over coffee, to discuss a project we were completing together.

This was just before the lockdown had started , and it was interesting to note that the  otherwise very hyper Evan, had a strange calm on his face, as we entered our favourite joint Coffee by Di Bella , on a cool February evening .

As we went deep into discussions, I suddenly  felt that something was different,  this certainly wasn’t the Evan  I knew a few months ago.

There was no sign of him getting irritable, or conflicting, or arguing on the inputs I gave him.

Instead he listened to what I had to say, to all my inputs, and then with as if he was speaking from somewhere else and not his mind he said ” Deepi, looking at this project with your view point, I understand your feedback, and appreciate it, but if only you could see this whole thing from another view point too”. Then he added we could have a whole project, and not a one sided one.

So can we meet up next week again to review the project as a whole”?

OMG!!!! What a transformation!!!

Anyways I silently agreed, and we met up again the next week.

This time, the project was complete, as it was whole, each of it had every bit whole.

It was fool proof, and as we hit it off, together,  I insisted we meet up again, the next day, to have coffee without an agenda.

He smilingly consented as if he knew what I had in mind.

So, the next day, Di Bella opened its doors, to two new comers, new absolutely to each other.

We sat down on a different table, not the one we usually sit at, and looked at each other with unknown eyes, and that was when I listened to his story, the change he made in his life.

For a few years now, Anna ( His wife) and he were having problems in their relationship with each other.

They have a cute little 5 year old daughter, and both of them love her dearly.

However Anna being a headstrong woman and dominating had her own rules and regulations, and Evan started feeling suffocated living a life, where his space was encroached.

He was forever criticized and advised, and silently over the years he bore the brunt as he had that lingering fear that she would walk away with Diana, their little princess.

As he narrated ” The other day as I was silently observing myself and my attitude towards life, I realised that I just couldn’t let myself down, after all I had earned this life, as we all have, and there was no way I was going to let it slip off my hands.

Then as I looked at everything differently, not with my eyes, based on my fears, but with the way things are, I saw that if I was ever living in this rut for my love for Diana, then I was just being sensitive of my need to protect her.

What sought of a shoddy life would she lead, if I lived a supressed unhappy life, and a life where her every day living would witness conflicts and arguments?

Would it not be better that I let Anna go?

Never mind if she took Diana, she loved Diana and she would give her the best, in the best way she knew.

So , I made up my mind, and went up to Anna, and said

” Darling we have had good times together, but right now I guess its time we bid each other bye, as overstaying in each other’s space we will be just intruding each other. So let’s call it a day.”

She was shocked and stunned, but her ego got in the way, and she told me that if that is what you want, so be it. However I will take Diana along.

I said ” I would love to have her, but if that is what you want, so be it”

Well in the next few days, there was very little communication between us, and what little there was, it was courteous.

I was hurt, but I stood my ground and painfully let  Anna and my  precious Diana go.

Well guess what?

A few months later, Anna called up, and asked if we could meet up for coffee, and here we came, right where we are sitting today.

That is when I saw a new Anna, there was understanding and compassion in her eyes, and when she spoke it seemed from the heart  ” Evan,  I have come to realise, that I  have behaved selfishly, and taken you for granted without ever thinking once about your feelings.

Just because I had a shoddy childhood with a stern mother, I thought I had earned the right to do as I want and behave shoddily with you too, as I had suffered a lot, so it suddenly became all about me, and mine to the exclusion of everything else.

I was sensitive to mine with the exclusion of you, sensitivity I had lost.

It was only when you let me go did I realise that you were the bigger person, sacrificing all, even having Diana with you, just to give her a better life free from conflict.

I know I have not earned the right to ask you if you would have me back, but if so , I promise you will not regret it, and if not please forgive me.”

I was astounded, Anna could change, I never thought so.

Anyway we are back and happy ever after.”

When in life you get on to the wrong path, don’t pursue the wrong  road, reroute, and set yourself on the right track where calm in body and mind, you move towards freedom.. ”

Change is in the air, and Change is the only way we die to the old and embrace the  new, isn’t it what life is all about?

Let go, please and experience life with the new found  freedom, its fragrance is like, he fumbled for words to describe and paused, as I continued

“Like the  fragrance of strongly brewed coffee, as you sip, the fragrance seeps in, and as it disappears inside you,  the fragrance remains forever….

So as you take a sip of the new life awaiting, sip it for what it is, and not for what you want it to be, as dear friends you are what makes you, limited as per your experiences, so to enjoy the whole, let go of you, and sip it with a new found gusto.

Evan smiled  and winked at me,  saying ” Bravo you’ve learned the math”..

Yes you got the math right too, and now as we step into this  new phase of life,

Let’s let go of old ways and get into this phase, with a new found gusto, die to the old and embrace the new.

I  thanked him and now  knew that some of his magic had rubbed off on me.       Coffee by Di Bella, looked like it never did earlier….  or was it my eyes seeing it for what it is like I never did earlier?

Awaiting the next  with strong coffee by the side ,brewed just right…

 

 

 

 

The Coffee Diaries….

Sipping my hot strong coffee, at Coffee by Di Bella, my favourite joint, in that wonderous space under the skies, my eyes met a confidant smart remarkably cool lady in her 50’s. She seemed familiar, and as she came closer, I knew now, no I didn’t, did I?  A little more closer, and yes I squealed she was Bela, my childhood friend. But wait was this the same Bela? The one I knew was not like the one I saw, but yes she was Bela alright, and then her eyes met mine,   and the next thing we heard were our voices, ” Aw Deepi , Oh Belaaaa, we excitedly squealed causing heads to turn, and as we smiled so did they, as if to say we too are equally pleased to see you both together again.

Wow sometimes wonderous things do happen, and today was one such day.

Bela and me were childhood pals, however, as we grew older, our paths separated, and now nearly 30 years later we met again.

A shy and complaisant girl she was never one of my kind, but there was a chemistry between us, and we hit it together, till we completed college, and then she went abroad for further studies.

Initially we were in touch corresponding through letters, and then slowly the letters diminished and discontinued. Those were the technology unfriendly days.

So now as we met, a hurricane of emotions leading to moments of  the past reigned the present.

We saw each other with the eyes of the past, knew each other, or thought so we did.

As we delved on the past, we were surprised that we recalled each incident as clearly as if it had taken place just then.

Then we moved on, to the various twists and turns our lives had taken, and I was shocked to hear, her story, of being over protected, to the extent that her parents got her married to a boy of their choice, she never had a say in it and neither did she ever think she needed one. Then her husband took charge of her life, ruling it the way he wanted to, and then came her children, whom she fended for, giving in the best years of her life.

She had accepted it all, as if that was to be her role in life, till one day, her husband came home all drunk, with another woman by his side, telling her to fend for the  new love of his life and also told her that from now on she was going to live with them and no questions and no disagreements were to be entertained.

Well this was indeed the last straw.

Something got into Bela that night. I guess she saw herself for what she actually was and not for what she was made to be.

Bela walked out of the huge mansion in Hampshire, London which was her home for over 2 decades,  early the next morning,  firmly, leaving a goodbye note, and  never  looked back again.

She had grit, and as I looked at Bela, her new self just appeared in front of me, and I suddenly discovered that I did not know her.

I knew her,  on the basis of her past, but I didn’t know her now.

That is exactly what I want to bring out to all of you, the past rules and reigns us.

We live in the present, based on memories, habits, ideas and conditions accumulated over the years, so actually our past reigns the present, and then when we reach tomorrow, our future,  it will be reigned by our today present, which is reigned now by our past. So the past will even rule our future, and that is  clear in the  term we hear and say oft ” History repeats itself”, it is not just a saying, it is for you to know and change it .

Bela let the past rule her for 20 years, and then she realised this was not her, but an illusion within her, which lead her journey, and this realisation made her quit. History never repeated itself in Bela’s life. Today she is an accomplished journalist, and a confidant happy person, with no regrets.

Do not let history repeat itself, and special cheers to Bela, who could have continued her life the way she was accustomed too, and also compulsively brood over it for the rest of her living years.

However, surprising to note that despite all the disparity, the spark within her had not died off, and she rekindled it the day she decided to move out of her home of nearly 20 years, and begin a new life, where she did not let any of her past patterns, memories, conditioning, habits come in her way at that present moment and thus she created a future which was bright, and which led to an accomplished life, also  she did set an example for all of us to understand and conduct our lives the way we want to.

“Deepi, I learnt to know myself, understand myself and now I am here in front of you, do you know me?? she cheerful said.

Ha ha ha, Bela good one, I’ll cherish this for keeps”.

And as we walked out together, everything seemed illuminated, making life light and understandable.

You are not a bundle of memories, habits and conditioning. 

Discover your real you and live the life meant for this real you.

Bye for now…

Love you all, and more in the next, on the coffee table, side by side, with coffee brewed strong and just right..

Me too in herd ???

Ashita decided to  wrap up her simple humble career in the village, which though gave her a lot of satisfaction, left her yet unsatisfied.

She had studied medicine, and was a senior doctor in a hospital , at the outskirts of Sangli, where medical facilities were  limited and dedicated doctors like her were like blessings from above.

So when to the dismay of the whole village, she announced that she was leaving, the whole village was in a state of shock.

“She was happy and content, then what made our dear doctor Ashita take this step”, said Ramlal ,  to Sharad Chauhan, their  chieftain , known as  Sarpanch  of the village.

“We need to get to the bottom of this” said Sharad Chauhan.

So a meeting was held, where Ashita was asked to be present.

Ashita went to the meeting which was held the next day, that is a day after she had announced her leaving the village.

As she walked her way to the Sarpanch’s office she had mixed feelings.

She usually commuted on her moped, but today somehow, things were different.

She needed sometime to herself, and the best solution seemed to be to walk it up, and as she did so she pondered within what made her take up the lucrative offer, which came her way, all of a sudden out of the blue, from Mumbai, the glamourous city, which was also her home?

Maybe as she reflected, the offer was too good to resist.

As  she retraced her life, she discovered that even as a small kid, she loved gardening, tending to little saplings, watering them,  and as they turned into full bloom, she loved the way they blossomed, and flowered, admiring their each little flower, from the budding stage to the blossoming.

Then when her parents wanted her to settle down, she insisted on getting into the medical stream, and worked her way up the medical ladder, in order to serve people.

In order to serve people was that what she thought?

Then what had happened?

Was she not serving people?

What made her think of resigning?

As she went back into observing her thoughts, she came across another layer, of them, which came above the first one.

Well these thoughts were the recollection of  the conversation she had with her friends, her peers a few months ago, when she had gone home visiting her parents.

They had met up at a party, and as discussions were on, as to their careers and career graphs, all of them, Ruchi, Mathew, Ronnie and Sakshi, all who had graduated from the same medical college as she, were doing very well, monetarily as well as socially.

They had updated themselves and were constantly working on new upgrades, and new technological developments did not miss their keen eye, thus upgrades all along, put them on to the fast track to success.

When they heard about her work and how she treated villagers with the minimum of tools yet to the best of her ability, they were astounded till Ruchi, burst out at her and said” Ashita,  I understand your need to serve the poor and needy, but there has to be a limit, you need to come back home and join our team of dedicated doctors if you really want to grow and climb the ladder to success”.

Though, Ashita refused  their offer, adamantly, it did set her thinking.

” She knew now that her friends were not wrong and Ruchi had spoken enough on behalf of all of them.

Still pondering and in a state of dilemma, she went home and spent a sleepless night in bed.

She enjoyed being home and working from the home environment, and this could be the best thing which could happen for her.

She knew this all along, then why did she opt otherwise?

Well confused, she decided to give herself a break from deciding what could be best for her, and much to the dismay of her parents, she cut her trip short and went back to her village, where she practiced.

She had a choice to make, and this seemed to be the right time.

She was just 26 years old, and at the prime of her life and career.

Then as things would have it, sometimes in a dilemma, when you are confused, certain things come your way, and push you on towards making a  choice which seems appropriate.

She was in the midst of treating her patients, when all of a sudden Ramesh, the 13 year old, in her neighbourhood ran up to her, crying desperately that his mother was very serious and to please come soon.

Ashita, left her patients to run to the help of Rani, Ramesh’s mother, and on examining her realised that she would have to be rushed to the hospital, as there was an internal haemorrhage, and she was bleeding profusely.

She called for the ambulance, and knew she would have to admit her, in the BMC hospital in Sangli, which was at least 8 kms away.

The ambulance arrived in about half an hour, and despite the paramedics extended to her, Rani could not survive, as neither the ambulance or the temporary hospital at the clinic was equipped  to face major emergency  cases.

This incident shook her, and instead of standing ground, she broke from within, thinking it best to return to her home, where she would be able to do more justice to her profession as resources available would be plenty.

And now as she walked towards, the Sarpanch’s office, she had mixed feelings from within.

Was she running away?

Or was she carried away and wanted to join the Me Too gang, which includes most people, who miss their heart callings, thus miss the head start in life ,which always comes along with the heart and not the mind?

Me too, is the me in you, which loves being like the other me, that is the herd mentality, which leads you on, to a life in the herd.

Ashita had been on her job here since she graduated 2 years ago, and enjoyed being out of her herd, but now their was a pull to team up with them, and it seemed strong now.

Would she give up her individuality, and join the herd?

She slowly walked down the pathway, by the river Warana, and passed the little school in the lane ahead. The familiar route had a fragrance indescribable.

The cool evening breeze, brushed across her face, and she was glad that she had tied up her hair.

She felt free, there was no hair coming over her face into her eyes, and then all of a sudden something strange happened,

As the hair was restrained, enabling her to enjoy the breeze over her face, she realised she loved her job, and if lack of  resources and technological updates which restrained her enjoying her work, were reversed nothing would ever come in her way and change her decision of staying back here and serving the people.

It was indeed the lack of proper facilities, which caused her to think otherwise.

Now by the time she reached the Sarpanch’s office, she had clarity.

She was an individual who stood by herself for herself, and that seemed final.

” She was definitely not a Me too person.

So in she went and met the committee members   Sharad Chauhan, Ramlal and Manoharlal,  warmly and as they coaxed her to change her decision, she came out with a brilliant idea, telling them that the only way they could coax her to stay, was by upgrading their resources, and she in turn as per her part of the deal would upgrade herself too with the latest technologies and procedures and together they would be able to turn the village into a healthy haven.

As they all agreed, and thanked each other, she smiled to herself, and with a sparkle in her eyes,  she winked at her familiar friends, the birds, the trees,  and the little passer by children ,  knowing very well she had struck a deal, a deal of joy, a deal for herself, one she would never ever regret.

So friends, its only when we observe ourselves without limiting ourselves, by our thoughts based on our conditioning, which teaches us to be competitive, win the race of god knows whose race, and in our struggle to be like the other, that is when you will have a clear vision of who and what you are, thus leaving the herd , the” Me too” gang and standing up for yourself for a joyous life ahead….

 

 

 

The best ever story…

The story I am about to narrate, did not begin when it did, it begins when it ends…

The story of Aaron Roy.

Aaron’s story may be the successful story of many, and it could end up as any, successful story would, with a  happy ending, but then as it ended so it actually began, unlike the others, where the strive is for a happy ending..

Aaron  grew up, seeing his parents struggle, to make two ends meet, and as he shaped up into a teenager, he aspired  otherwise.

He saw their struggle , he saw their strife, so he strived harder, to see that they reach a future away from struggle.

In the bargain he grew up, achieving, first small achievements, like smart sales at his father’s spare parts shop, seeing the stocks diminish and the cash drawers replenish.

Those were the days, when selling was the spelling of success.

Then as he filled his coffers, his requirements increased.

He achieved a little more, and in his enthusiasm to achieve, he slipped down the ladder, not once, not twice but several times.

Well achieving  was in his blood, be it materially or spiritually.

Anything to climb the ladder upward.

Doing so , climbing upward, and slipping down, and then climbing upward again seemed to be his meaning to life.

As if this wasn’t enough, being the Samaritan, and helping out in times of distress, seemed to be a calling, he always answered.

As loads of people benefitted by  his good  deeds, it seemed to give him another sense of achievement.

Living with fewer means than children of his age, and also experiencing deaths of loved ones at an early age,  had inculcated in him compassion, and with this special ability he was able to reach out and connect to people in distress, who worshipped him, which was another feather in his cap of achievements.

Name, fame and riches they were all his.

Then all of a sudden as time flew by, and as the body got weary,  he suddenly stopped on the steady ground where he was grounded.

It suddenly seemed shaky. Was it shaking or was it something within him telling him that what he thought was steady was shaky instead?

Well could he retrace his steps, or was it too late in the day to do so?

Achievements  were the worldly, milestones he crossed with ease, as despite the rough barriers on his path,  he never did cease.

It had become a way of life now.

Then suddenly what happened? What did shake him out of the firm grounds of success as per his beliefs?

Were his beliefs warped?  and if so had he wasted his time and life on their very grounds.

All of a sudden, instead of feeling pleased , he  felt an emptiness within.

Now what? he seemed to be asking himself.

Why was he restless, yet? Was it not what he wanted? Was it something else he wanted to achieve, or was it that this is what he thought life was all about, to live, and achieve, till you stop living .

Was that the definition of a life, so valuable?

As he sat down in despair wondering if this was his story and had he reached the end?

If this was his story, then he was sorry, for he knew now, that an entire life spent on a belief system could lead you to achieving your beliefs but then was it not important to live life the way it shows you to.

Aha but then again you cannot see it as it is, and cannot taste its nectar, as your cup is filled with your belief systems.

Oh my what had he just got himself to do, to be?  he so wondered.

An achiever of a story which was not his? or a non achiever to a story that was his?

Whatever, at this point of time his story did not seem the best.

Now he was restless and desperate to find an answer.

Then as his desperation intensified, he realised he was asking for another achievement, being the habitual achiever, who believed in achieving.

This time however, he knew for sure, that achieving was not what he was striving for, but for an awareness, without strive, of what is, and of himself and as he became aware of this achieving  tendency of his,

He Just Let Go.

He let go of all he knew, and all of it, the strive for achievement, the  feeling of must do to survive, the time table around which he revolved, and all of his belief systems, by just watching it all come into him, as he observed himself by himself.

Then suddenly all was calm, as  nothing mattered, except the silence which made him serene, calm, and opened up into another window, a dimension he had never seen.

Yes it was that intellect which surpassed all, and there was love, beauty, compassion, all there, and it was there all along.

He did not need to ever have strived to achieve this.

Was it a life wasted in strife, was it too late now?, he asked himself

when all of a sudden a voice said from within,

No its now and you are here at the very beginning…

 

To all of you my besties, can we do our best?

As I recollect , an incident my mom mentioned to me, which occurred during her early childhood and left a mark on her, and not only on her, it passed on to us too, as being her children, she firmly instilled in us, this special quality of discretion, bestowed to mankind to be used  by man during stormy times.

Today being one such weather, I recall this little incident and wish to present it to you.

My mother being the eldest daughter, lived with her widowed mother  Leela, and her two younger sisters, in Pune, with one of Leela’s many brothers.

They were all refugees from Karachi where my mother’s maternal grandfather had a sprawling mansion, and when they reached Bombay port, all of them  including Leela, her 5 brothers, their parents and all their families lived in a refugee camp at Bombay Central, before diversifying to different cities, Bombay, Pune and Hyderabad  in India.

My mother Pushpa was around 10 then and along with her mother and two sisters had a pretty adventurous, though rugged and tough life ahead, shuttling every few years from one uncle’s house to the other.

Since Leela had a very huge family,  after she was widowed at the age of 27, she shuttled between their homes, as in those good old days, staying all alone with 3 small daughters, was simply unheard of.

Anyway to get to the point, at that given point when this incident occurred,  mom and family lived with one brother at Pune, and her grandfather lived with another brother. It so happened that both the brothers were out of town with their families and on one fateful rainy night during this period,  her grandfather fell very ill, and was breathless requiring a certain medicine urgently.

Leela, acted fast, and  did not think twice before sending 10 year old Pushpa at night, in the rains to deliver the medicine to her ailing  grandfather.

Her Grandfather was alone at one end of town, and to reach to him she  would have to cross over the now known famous Rajiv Gandhi Bridge. Pushpa cycled  fearlessly and fiercely across , her only focus was to reach her grandfather safely and deliver the medicine to him to release his suffering.  She reached her breathless grandfather well at the nick of time, and administered him the medicine.

As she sat down with him, she noticed his eyes were moist with tears, he was overwhelmed, and kissed her forehead, patting her and saying “Shabhash, my Pushu Rani, as he fondly called her.

Then to her utmost surprise, he put his hands in the pocket of his kurta and fished out a fistful of notes and coin and thrust them in her hands, blessing her all along.

She was astounded but tremendously pleased with herself ,it was indeed a memorable night for her, and even more memorable as she realised, that neither rain nor storm nor the dark night, once deterred her from braving it out .

Her only focus was the need of the hour, fear and negative thoughts were all out then . It was a do and die situation.

I still remember  the way she described it to me one day when I took  my freedom for granted, during those  teenage days, when  I would cycle to school, and while coming home in the evening, would stop by visiting friends and staying back late at school, taking extra liberties.

That is when she sat me down to explain this incident, and as  she told me this story she added on ” You never get into an accident if you do what you are required to, no matter how dangerous it may seem”.

However, if you go out of your way to do things you are not required to, you may fall into trouble as accidents then come your way.

Nature keeps its balance, and allows you to get away with what you are meant to do.

However the day you surpass its kindness and destroy it by mutilating it, by your deeds and actions, bringing in unnecessary desires, and labelling them as needs, then dear friends watch out, it will furiously lash out.

So today as we  are on the verge of slowly opening  up, after nature locked us down for what we should consider as its wrath, for our uncanny  ways, lets understand, that before we open up and enter its space are we sure we know what we are doing?

Do we know why we are opening up again?

No nature again warns ,I’m not done, but I want to give you another chance, to put your head on your shoulders, and your heart within.

This is a chance for those of you, who can survive, without coming out of your homes,  then do the needful  “Please for heaven’s sake stay in.”

For those of you, who need to work outside  your homes   a chance to do so,  please come out and do your necessary work .

For those of you who need a breather, a chance to  take one, but only one,

Leave the other for the other one, and patiently await  your turn for a  second .

For those of you who have bread , butter and cheese everyday, have the cheese every alternate day,

For those of you who have cheese every alternate day, have it every third day.

For those of you who want sweet after every meal skip it once in a while.

These are  your chances to give back to an ever giving environment.

For as we do so , not only will we learn what we need and what we  can actually go without, but we will also  go a long way in helping fulfil that someone out there’s need.

The only chance we have is this.

Come on gather up dear friends, pull yourself together, conserve your energy and do your bit by just knowing what you need and what you don’t.

So the next time you pick up or do something, pause, assess and then go ahead.

If you find any of this difficult, then remember the days you enjoyed loitering out on the streets without a break, traversed and ate the best to your heart’s content,  come on know and remember you did it all and a lot of it, so then you can and will  willingly hand over the next six months to sitting at home, or doing your designated job only as per the need of the hour.

 For those who have to go out to work, to enable an economy from becoming disabled, and for those who need to be out to help the ones sick in need of care,  the need of the hour tells them to go out and do only that.

NO SPLURGING  PLEASE. IT IS NOT THE NEED NOW FOR ANYONE PLEASE.

The ones at home can succeed in breaking the chain of the virus, as they will enable space and social distancing to be maintained for those who have to be out of their homes, thus enabling nature to come back to its natural fertility traits, providing an abundance of all  to all, excepting the abundance of ill health, and tragic circumstances..

Lets all  in turn , do our turn and together will turn around the whole equation from Corona infested to Corona divested.

It indeed is a challenge. Lets fight the restlessness from within, and stand tall, to do  our bit, as each of our bits will sum up to reach out far and wide, making your bit the largest you could do as mankind for humankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Life overtakes Death….

Hear yourself say that to yourself?

Well as I sat by the window, my favourite spot, lazing around, scrolling the news, looking out of the window, and unable to see even the lone passer by I saw a while ago, something came up all of a sudden, banging into me, as if I was hit by a boulder.

As I pulled myself together, I heard my heart throbbing, a melancholy set in, and out of the blue , the air was pensive.

Wow… this was indeed amazing, I told myself as I watched the transformation of moods ,how did this just happen? I went deeper within..

I had started off enjoying the view outside the window, then what was it all of a sudden, that changed my pleasantry into melancholy?

OK, watching outside, took me on to the days before the lockdown, when sitting by the window sill, I would see a hustle bustle of people, all shades and sizes, some cheerful, some in a hurry, some just walking down in the garden, listening to their favourite music, or talk as they completed their exercises.

Some just strolled, while the other sat on the huge tank ,near the garden, enjoying the breeze, and gathering up for small chat.

Suddenly then came in the throbbing, that things weren’t the same, and off I went into a sad pensive mood, wanting to sing, my favourite Sound of Music song,

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start,

Then it all came back ,

This indeed is a new beginning, and ‘”When you know the notes to live, you can live through everything”.

Something banged again, this time the boulder fell of my shoulder, as in came this with a bang…

I’m starting at the very beginning, are you on?

In the beginning, I came with the only thing,

which could sustain me, all along,

And as you look within, you too will see what I see,

What we brought along, was the faith to see us through.

Through in our journey of life.

Was  not faith our vehicle, to tide across this vast ocean?

Cause was it not the reason, why we crawled and walked, into this vast jungle of life, without a fear .

Was it not the reason, we learnt to run, drive, swim and fly?

Was it not the reason, we advanced on to the path, and experimented on with various experiences?

This ocean we truly call life.

Where in its darkness and uncertainty

Faith changed it all.

Well then why as we walked on and advanced on to the mainstream of life, did we lose it?

Why all of a sudden faith gave us the slip?

For as we plunged into the main stream of life,

we slipped from being ,

to the ones who would be.

In our quest for the very best, we were insatiable,

And running behind more, life suddenly became unsuitable.

Suddenly in the rat race of life, death was overtaking it,

As were we not dying, in a life meant for living?

Then all of a sudden a screech, a sudden halt.

We were grounded, and now,

As we all sit , locked down at home,

I am sure this comes to you too, as it comes to me.

Apart from memories pulling you into wanting the life you just had a few months ago,

Apart from the worries of what you perceive as an uncertain tomorrow,

As you perceive your now as it is now, do you not see what I see?

A wonderful time, we never knew of,

Of a family which is truly one, and not just by name,

The time to bond, love and be together,

With good thoughts for friends, family and all around.

For compassion, which is just not passion,

The eyes which see the relentless work carried on selflessly all around.

For care and concern for the ones who serve us and all brethren.

When anger and jealousy gives way to peace and empathy.

When suddenly you need so little, that as you sit back and wonder,

“Was it for this did I wander away from myself, gripped in fear, as I felt I needed more, to survive this huge ocean called life.”?

I had indeed mistaken desires for needs, and as I sit back I realise,

I can go back to the very beginning, when I was peaceful, blissful, without a care,

All I had with me was faith, my faithful friend,

Faith made me trust myself,

A trust a belief so unsurpassable,

I knew I had it all, that was why I took the plunge,

into the deep sea of life.

Now as I sit by here, I know like you do too,

We’ll come out of this situation unscathed, and clean.

Set to start again, a slate clean, never to fill,

With the memories of the past,  wants and  desires,

Just to be, live and enjoy the moment as it offers,

And then at night when I sleep, my slate is not foggy but clean,

hence so will be my vision,

For me to take in, what comes my way as it is .

Then dear friends, nothing matters nothing ever will,

Cause the taints are off, and faith is on,

Then we know for sure, that we are on the road where life overtakes death.

So let’s get together and make our lives meaningful, wonderful and joyous.

Cheers to all of us and to a life of blissful freedom..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When your business becomes mine…..

Dear friends,

I know that minding ones business  has been the norm of the day, until now, and may it always be. I want to admit that though I very much wanted to mind my business, my heart did not permit me to do so. So this is my heartfelt request to you all.

Here we are together, working as a team to ward off a common deadly enemy, the Corona.

All of us, young ,old and child all have the same agenda.

However the way we understand it is very different.

Our  dear  doctor friends, their young 10 year old daughter, Anushka Nagare, just wrote a poem yesterday which touched my heart.

Here’s it :

“Corona corona go away
Don’t come back another day
All doctors need some rest
Cause they really are the best
We all need to stay inside
Only then will corona wait outside
Corona will go away one day
Don’t worry, there is a way
If you don’t wash your hands
Then corona and you will wear friendship bands
Don’t go out, just stay in
Do this and then surely we will win
Don’t fret, stay calm
There is no need to be alarmed
Stay home, that is all you need to do
Come on, this is all up to you🤗

Now as adults can we not go a little deeper and understand the gravity of the situation?

The solution is simple to understand.

By staying home, washing our hands often,  and maintaining social distancing, we will be successful in warding off a disease which is unseen by the naked eye.

Where the virus is lurking no one knows?

Yesterday,  I saw an elderly lady going out of the gate, on the road, to buy fruit from a vendor,.

She had a  mask on, and everything just seemed acceptable till I discovered that her whole family was quarantined as they had tested positive initially, however were negative now. Did  you know that the family could be infective for 14 days?  She was in close contact with the vendor and other customers who had come to pick up fruits.

On confronting her, she told me innocently that she was tested negative, so not to worry, and said” What goes of yours, you are sitting in the cool confines of your home, please mind your own business.”

I was shocked, as I then realised that I couldn’t just do so.

Her business was suddenly mine, and if I did not act now it would be too late.

Well I got a very dear and helpful friend from the building she came from, to set things right. She acted promptly thanks to her, by involving the secretary and chairman of the building, and the corporator of the area who put down strict norms on the same.

Also we sent the vendor home, as his standing there invited more customers, from different buildings, with unknown contacts. We told him to give deliveries at the gate only, in slots of one or two , and to please inform in advance so exact payment is handed over.

Well we all need to be contained in our specific areas as of now.

We think we  know what to do, and think we are sacrificing all,  but we know not how.

Could you ever imagine that a pizza boy handling deliveries  of pizzas  happened  to get  infected, so now the whole chain of people, he delivered to, would have to be looked into and checked ,and till that is done, another link of infected people could be joining the chain, enlarging it , as is also done, as his colleagues who were also at the same  pick up outlet as he, got infected and joined the chain.

So where is all this leading to?

Do we want to get out of this maze once and for all, or do things half heartedly, thinking we are doing it all.?

Could we all just not shut up and stay still, for some time, till we tide across?

This is a state of crisis, and we all have to work together to ward off Corona, it is attacking from all fronts and can come in from anywhere.

So be aware to beware of the lurking danger..

I am not here to dishearten you, but in a situation like this I can’t say anything heartening unless and until we manage to combat the virus.

For now all of you please mind your neighbour’s business.

It is your business to see that people around you maintain social distancing.

It means not allowing anyone who does not reside in your  building to come in, as we do not know whom he has contacted before he enters the premises.

Also everyone in the building stays in, in order to avoid contact with anyone else, who might have met yet another anyone else, and so on and on, as we all are linked by an endless chain.

I know essentials are important for each and everyone of us, that is when you diligently look at options which require minimum exposure to the outside environment.

Your local vendors who have been serving you all along, are the best option today.

Your first option would be to contact them and get your requirements, at your door step.

Also please do not forget to wash all essentials with water, if washable, like fruits and vegs, and the other provisions you could use sanitising wipes or even plain wipes, and then of course wash your hands too.

I know this sounds cumbersome, but believe me, a bucket of water at the entrance could do the trick.

Slowly we will also get used to consuming only the bare minimum, and avoiding extravagant purchases.

Some of us may feel the local vendors are more expensive, however right now, it should not matter, as other costs are all cut, with no restaurants, parties, cinemas etc, we can henceforth afford to pay a little more for our safety.

We are entering a new phase in our lives, where we can  just discover our true selves. Believe me, we can go back to the simple living our fore fathers once enjoyed and if we have the patience to wait and taste it, it is going to be beautiful and tasteful.

Love, laugh, enjoy, with family and friends, far and near, however distant , we are close as we all belong to one family. Today the more distance , the more closer we are, in ending an otherwise,  never ending chain of a dreadful virus, which can claim unending lives and can cause havoc to the ones who survive.

As we do so, let’s sincerely pray and contribute for our not so well equipped brethren, who are struggling to live closed in their cramped up hot and ill ventilated quarters.

Remember this is not the end, and life will return to normal soon, however as for now, let’s break the chain, corona wants to bind us in. Come on all of you, you are not giving up anything except a  miserable existence you once called life, that existence which was full of anxiety, stress, heartache, ill health and sickness.

Now as we set free of the Corona chain, we will set ourselves free and live each day, where each day will be worth living for..

 

 

 

Sour Grapes…

When I was just a little girl, I was told by my mother, that “Adversity has its advantages”.

We were going through very adverse times, with financial restraints, Dad’s ill health, a legal dispute and so on … The list seemed never ending.

Out of the blue, one day, mother sat me down and told me, very simply but firmly,

“Listen here, do not get restrained or bogged down by anything, just go on, adversities in life are a must, cause you will never be able to shine and glitter if you are not put through red hot flames.”

I looked at her in disbelief.

Wondering whether there was another adverse effect coming out of all the adversities we were then facing, I told myself ” Oh, no looks like she’s lost it too.What am I to do?”

Well all I did was tell her this, “Mum do you not think you are going too far with all this philosophical teaching?” As she looked into my eyes in curiosity, I continued

“I’m sure at this point you are thinking like the fox , who cleverly labelled the grapes he could not reach out to as sour.  To you today favourable times seem like sour grapes, as you know we cannot reach out to them and they seem far away. ”

She sighed,but looked at me with that meaningful smile of hers, telling me silently, “One day you will agree with me”.

Today I do, as I realise now that what I felt then was far from true, the truth is not bitter, it is a sweet realisation, that no matter where you are, what you are, sweetness, sourness, or bitterness, underline you.

The truth is this, it is only in adversity, do you get a chance to see the underline beneath the circumstances,and that is when and only when do you catch a glimpse of the truth, when you can watch the reality of life.

Now again there is a cache here, the one my mother told me years ago.

Take it or leave it..

As adversity sets in, you can open up to seeing the silver line underlined between the pain, hurt, and suffering.

There is a chance, and you got to make your choice here, see it clearly as it is, or fill up your eyes with tears of sorrow, pain and self pity, and get so blinded by the pain that you cannot see the actuality which stands beneath.

Well favourable times, obviously leave you with no choice but to enjoy it till it lasts, and leaves you asking for more. During those lovely favourable times, you are still gripped with fear, the fear of losing the sweet taste of nectar.

The assurance of continuity always grips us, and no matter what you do, reality alludes us during those times.

Today reality stands facing us stark on the face, as for the first time we are all , all of mankind into the same situation, locked in our homes. Funny is it not?

No not so funny for some, too limiting for others, peaceful for some, depressing for others, terrible for some, terrific for the others.

Some find it scary, others are reassured.

Your reaction to this situation can lead you to knowing  you.

Did you find adversity sour, bitter, a suffering which made you always feel “Why you?”

Or did you take it in your stride, and learn something out of it, knowing very well that this too shall pass, and you will definitely take something valuable out of this too?

Well if you turned down adversity like sour grapes, and took the support of the sympathy devil, feeding you sweet poison, then you missed out on taking advantage of adversity, thus turning this period into a nightmare.

But to the ones who took adversity in their stride, they will take this too in their stride, and will shine through, knowing that this too shall pass leaving behind a silver trail only they can see and follow.

For a start can we put away that demeaning habit which gets us to hold the TV remote, the whats app and face book information , for sensational news of who did what and why, what is happening and contemplate on what will happen. Are we squandering our technological brilliance in obscurity?  Are we using these for sensations to feed our sympathies and whet an appetite for the growth of pleasure instead of happiness?

Come on guys, we can do without sensation, false messages and forwards in our lives, and the more we listen and read the more we fall prey in the hands of a world cashing on our susceptibility.  Yes the same news is repeated  over and over again till it enters your brain and gives you some news to exchange at the coffee table, making  you feel well informed, and important. Beyond this if we could be helped with all this, we wouldn’t be here together, sitting in isolation without the coffee table.

Just before I end, I want to put across to all of you, that being in a never before situation as this one all together, confirms we are one.  It is the faith we have in one another and ourselves, that will tide us over, on to a new horizon which is the zone we are destined to reach together. The zone where the grapes are sweet.

Come one and all!  Let’s keep up the spirit, the positive attitude and not give up.

Let’s do what is required now, staying home, and enjoying this part of our journey with the same gusto as we would with the exploring out of home journey.

Then our grapes can never be sour…