The Black Cat.

It was a fine, Monday morning, and Elena was busy getting breakfast ready for her little one year old, Andy.

Andy walked around exploring treasure zones, peeking into cabinets, and rustling out all the colourful packages from the cabinets.

These were her favourite things, and as soon as her day began, she enthusiastically, tried climbing off her bed, remembering her favourite things.

Her mother looked at her cute little bundle, with mixed feelings.

She was cute, and spritely as well as naughty and a handful.

Elena looked at her in awe, however the awe turned into exasperation, when she saw Andy run out and ruin the shelf she had just recently tidied.

Andy was a handful indeed, but then, wasn’t that why she was so cute?,

Was it too much to pay for cuteness? She smiled as she wondered what was in store for her today.

As Elena bent to scoop up Andy and put her on her royal high chair, for breakfast, her eyes wandered towards the glass door, which opened into the back yard.

She was taken aback, at what she saw.

For perched on the parapet, she saw a pair of wild blue eyes looked right into her.

The eyes were frighteningly bold, and as she looked at the frame in which the eyes were set, Elena turned cold.

There seemed to be something very blood curdling about this creature.

It was a huge black cat, and it seemed to be menacingly gauging her.

Tired and weary as she was, she realised it was just the start of the day, and there could be lot more in store.

She was home alone since a year, and the prospect of stepping into the back yard with her little daughter, now seemed far fetched with the menacing cat in sight.

She wondered as to its gender, and as if to quell her curiosity, the cat stretched itself out too its maximum, revealing to her that he was male.

Her curiosity satisfied, she went on doing her daily work.

However Andy had other plans. She looked at the black flesh of mass, settle itself on the ledge outside, with its tail curled under it.

She went as close as she could, and would have loved to touch him, but then the glass door restricted her.

Elena heaved a sigh of relief, as she did not even want to think of Andy touching him.

Then suddenly something very strange took place.

The black cat got up, and came right up to where the baby was standing.

She lifted up her paw to hold Andy’s hand trying to shake hands with her.

The two were separated by the glass door, but suddenly it just did not seem to matter.

They looked at each other, and slowly Andy began to babble away in her own sweet language, the cat meowed in unison, and then continued a string of baby blabber and meows.

Elena was amazed as she watched, and it suddenly struck her, that all was not as it appeared to be.

A while ago she had thought

“How could a cat come in and create a nuisance, in her already very chaotic schedule? Did she not have enough on her hands already?

Why oh why was the cat here?

Her mind raced on and on, and before she could know it had crossed all bounds.”

She remembered all disasters which had befallen her, and felt, she was wronged enough.

Then suddenly as she stood still watching Andy and the cat exchange sweet nothings, her whole world changed.

Things didn’t seem bleak after all.

What was this? She asked herself, and then she realised that this was order.

An order she didn’t quite really understand.

For wasn’t it the orderly universe, to have all of nature encompassed within , a place and provision for everyone.

Was not the black cat, Elena and Andy all together in it? Then what was it that she was shying away from?

Oh yes, once upon a time, a few years ago, there lived an Elena, who happened to go on a wild trip, with a few wild friends.

The friends were as wild as the trip was, and the wildness in them was depicted in their behaviour.

They tried to chase a black wild cat, and hurled stones at her.

Well she was wild enough too, she unexpectedly turned around and sprang up at Gerald, the lead bully, and scratched him so badly nearly pulling off his eyes.

Elena was horrified, and that memory stayed on, as she had carried it along with her, and brought it here to where it did not belong.

Today everything was in order, but Elena brought in disorder to order.

Today, had this black blue eyed cat, and Andy admiring each other, as they were.

What caused disorder to the order was Elena’s memory of the happenings of yester years.

Fear gripped her, making her insecure, and she just wanted the cat to go away.

Well, well right now the cat was busy playing with Andy and had no intention to leave.

Elena went about her daily chores, preoccupied with fearful thoughts, that she did not notice, Andy trying to open the door separating her from her friend.

Fortunately for Andy, the door was not firmly locked, and she managed to push it open.

She went into the back yard and towards her black friend who took a few steps towards her.

This was when Elena noticed Andy cooing away, stroking the cat and the cat in turn sat close to her purring in delight.

Oh what a sight!

Everything just vanished away, Elena’s fear, her insecurity, and the cold shudders.

Instead as she stood watching both of them interacting, she decided to let be.

Just as the glass door opened up, so did the barrier between the cat and Elena vanish.

Elena looked at the friends with love and compassion, for now she truly wanted them to be friends.

She just wanted Andy to enjoy and explore the world for what it is, and not through tainted eyes.

Don’t we all have similar stories?

Aren’t we all Elenas, who don’t seem to let go of anything?

Don’t we accumulate, almost everything , which ever happened to us?

Don’t we all live fearful lives, faced with unknown non existing fears?

Does the black cat in our life haunt us forever?

Why can’t we perceive its extended paw of friendship, and move beyond?

Just then Elena knew, she had perceived what is..

She smiled as she picked up Andy, and winked at darky, as she bade him good bye,

For she knew then that tomorrow would be another day,

Where in the backyard, the friends would play,

And she would be a silent spectator, who would look on….

There was a glow of love, all over her, as she suddenly felt a cheer in the air,

The cold dreary despair, had given way to a freedom unknown..

Missed the Bus… Have You?

Of course I have, said Anita, who was struggling over a family property for years, on end, with no results, and after days of waiting, came the day when she felt her struggles would end.

The judge seemed all ears, and things seemed quite bright, when all of a sudden the tables turned.

Her trusted counsel took up for the opposition, and stalled the hearing for another date.

This situation is familiar is it not?

How many times have we faced such situations in our life, and feel that we’ve missed our bus.

I’m sure most of you agree with me, on this.

However, how many of you will agree with me when I say, that all the buses we think we’ve ever missed were not ours to catch in the first place.

I’m sure you won’t agree with me, now, but will do so, when you read the below incident which happened recently .

Simple it may sound, but to me it was far from being simple, as I knew just then that I had missed my bus.

The actual bus home..

Just right now, sitting on my chair, gazing out, is me, a woman I didn’t think I knew a second ago.

I thought I was wise and careful not to fall into the “me” bracket, which invariably invites hurt and resentment.

A second changed it all.

For here I am, sulking as my husband who helped me clean up the kitchen, casually commented , that the kitchen was a mess, and that even the kitchens at hotels would not be as messy with their variety of dishes, as mine was.

This didn’t go down well with me, and I retorted back asking him if he’d ever been to one.

Disgusted I stomped out of the kitchen and walked to my desk.

As I looked out of the window, the scene was all new.

And it was then that I knew, I had missed my bus.

For only an hour ago, everything looked so bright and nice, and now it was all dark and dull.

Well could I not just take it lying down?

Could I not accept it so, and take it in my stride?

Why was everything around me centred in me?

Suddenly nothing seemed real, for what was real?

The bright and nice or the dark and dull ?

Who knows? Who cares, for at that moment I really didn’t. All I knew was that I live on as it is, sometimes in the light and sometimes in the dark.

We all do so don’t we?

Do we dare to look beyond? To a world beyond this, to the actual one.

No we can’t go beyond.

And why?

As whenever we try to do so, the me in me like the me in you, doesn’t let us do so, and you know why?

As if you go beyond, the me loses out.

How oft have we heard this wise crack, ” Come on, it’s not about you or me, it’s just this that is”.

“Oh what wisdom!”, says the listener, and there we go again, the wise man, forgets everything wise and then at the spur of the moment, remembers its all about him.

This is the bus we all miss, and this is the bus we all know nothing about.

The day we stand at the right bus stop, on the route which says” Beyond you”, there will be no bus we’ll ever miss.

As nothing else will ever matter.

Then with your heart and head in place, you will be able to see things as they are, crystal clear.

For as you go beyond you, the me centre then takes a back seat, and a discovery takes place,

allowing you to move on rationally, untainted by any image of the self.

Moving further down the path, the me centre suddenly disappears, and you clearly see what is, and not what appears.

Then what appeared as a missed bus , was just not so, as it was not a bus you missed, it just wasn’t yours.

Suddenly nothing seems to matter, except the fact, that you lost you, in your strive to catch the outer bus.

The deep sense of freedom you will then discover is all that you ever need to hold on to .

Don’t miss it at any cost.

It’s the one you find when you take a route beyond you, and the self in you.

It’s that place , where hate does not meet hate, where violence for violence is not the call of the day, where you can hold on to a love so profound that nothing else exists.

Then the need to do, the need to perform, the need to have a purpose, the need to be occupied, the need to be acknowledged, the need to be important, the need to be useful and so on and on.. just do not exist.

It all just happens, for as you flow along, with an open mind, you are set to go with a focus which naturally comes without the strive.

Everything just happens as it should, as then comes insight, the divine sight which does not let you miss any bus.

By any bus, I mean the ones meant for you, to traverse across the worldly path.

Then you can clearly see that the ones you thought you missed were never yours to catch.

So here we are friends, where we ought to be, in a world where there is enough for you and me,

Where we have no other need but to just be, and enjoy our journey, play our part, without malign and grievances.

Let’s learn to live and let live, without any division of the you and me.

Then together we will journey across the world and beyond, not as you and me, but as we…

?

Underneath The Mango Tree..

On a Tuesday morning, I was on my way to the bus stand to go to office, when something strange happened.

A strong wind blew away the folder I was holding, and as I bent to pick it up, the fragrance of roses captivated me, causing me to turn my head towards the opposite direction, which was indeed the street leading towards the garden.

Daffodils swaying in the breeze, butterflies flitting from one flower to another, soared my spirits, and as the breeze brushed my cheeks, my joy knew no bounds.

I quickly changed my mind, and walked on the path leading to the garden.

Entering it, I turned right, and headed to my favourite spot, which was the bench underneath the mango tree.

As I walked towards the tree, I thought to myself, “Is this me?

I had never done something so irresponsible earlier, then what had gotten over me?

Was it the pressure of work or was it something else?

Pondering on this I reached the mango tree, only to find to my dismay, that it was occupied.

It was 8.30 am in the morning, and there on the bench sat a young man, in his 30’s. He looked forlorn and sad.

“What’s with him, doesn’t he have any work, or was he also someone like me, who preferred the mango tree to the hustle bustle of the office?” I thought.

However, I walked up to him and smiled.

As he returned my smile, I confidently intruded into his space, by plonking myself into the empty space beside him.

He looked quite perturbed, at seeing me do so, however I didn’t seem to care.

After all, hadn’t I missed office just to sit here, right under the mango tree?

The mango tree was not just a tree, it was my lifeline, a guide to the art of living.

Its strong roots, ground it, and as you sit underneath it, you feel grounded too.

It is indeed transitional, and helps you uproot that part which does not qualify as you.

I have always sought refuge under it and it has given me comfort and warmth, at a time when I have felt lost and forlorn.

It’s deep roots and content stillness always conveyed this message ” Embrace changes, and go along in life no matter what.”

However, today as I looked at it, it smilingly seemed to say, ” Ha ha you found a new work place, did you not?

Underneath me, did I hear it say,?

Oh, my what was it trying to convey?

Now as I sat down , I happened to look at my neighbour, who seemed serious and worried.

He did not notice me, as he was preoccupied.

His phone rang suddenly, and as he answered it, he looked hurt and dejected.

However what occurred afterwards, transformed everything around, for suddenly the whole vision of tranquillity vanished leaving an unpleasant trail of hurt and sorrow.

Looking at him just then, I guessed the caller was a woman, but then how would I know?

The chances of finding out seemed bleak.

However luck favoured me, as he suddenly looked at me and asked me if I would do him a favour.

He said, “Could you just listen to what I have to say?

I smiled and answered in the affirmative.

Then he began his story,

” I’m Dev, an only child to my parents, and have had my upbringing in a joint family , with my uncles, aunts and cousins.

I was the only one without a sibling, and my parents, never ever understood me or my emotional needs.

I was lonely, and looked out for a sense of belonging and love.

So I turned towards my cousins because I felt I needed to be one with them.

Most of the time, I did all sorts of odd jobs for them and went to any extent to save them from trouble.

There was a time I confronted goons, to save my cousin’s reputation, while her own brothers hid behind me, and also went on to proxy all their wrong acts , so as to walk the extra mile, to be in their good books.

I did everything with a smile, so that they treat me as their own, however it was all in vain.

All this made me miserable, and desolate.”

I wanted to blurt out “Wasn’t that their problem? Why make it yours?”

Well but I had promised to listen, so not saying a word, I listened to him.

He then said ” Just a few days ago, I met Janvi, a nice and charming young girl.

I felt I could spend my whole life with her, and felt so secure , and happy ,until now.”

“Then all of a sudden, a few days ago she ignored my calls.

I needed some tranquillity and quietude so I came here to reflect on this situation, when as you just saw, this call came in, and she ended our relationship .

How could she just end it, is beyond my understanding.

I don’t know what to do right now, but your mere listening, gives me comfort and acts like a soothing balm.”

Nature has its ways, it got me here on an office day just to be the soothing balm, and as I looked up I felt the mango tree smilingly wink at me.

I said to him, ” Please don’t be dejected , and for now underneath the mango tree let’s seal our deal, of true friendship, the true friend indeed who is a friend in deed.

We smiled at each other, and I assured him all would be fine.

Then he looked at me and thanked me for being there for him, and we parted ways, that day.

A few days later, I went for a walk, and as I passed the garden, I paused.

I had absolutely no intention of going in, when I heard myself say ” Just go to the mango tree”.

As I went in, and reached the mango tree, I was pleasantly surprised, at seeing Dev there.

We smiled at each other, and I gave him my friendly bear hug.

We sat down and Dev then said, “I intuitively knew you would be here, and this time I am here to listen to what you say”?

The other day I spoke and you listened, today I want to do the listening”

Astonished at this I asked him” What’s up?

He said” After we left the other day, I thought that life would be more at ease now, since I do have an earnest friend.”

He continued, “Everything was alright for sometime, but today I went back to feeling lonely.

Somehow I knew you’ll be here, and I could bank on you.

Suddenly I was gripped with a feeling of overwhelming responsibility, and I was silent for a minute.

Then I spoke.

” Dev, trusting in the universe, is like trusting yourself.

You knew instinctively that I would be here, as something within you trusted in our friendship.

You trusted me, and so here I am, and believe me, I had no intention of being here.

It was as if something pulled me here, and now I know what?

Your trust.

When you felt restless you came here, hoping to find me here too.

It was luck or should I say divine intervention, that we did find each other again at the bench underneath the mango tree.

Actually more than all of the above, a part of you believed in yourself and so you found me here.”

I added, “Dev you are a very nice person, please know it.

Often in our journeys we come across various situations, unpleasant, and sometimes miserable too.

Almost always these episodes in our life, are instrumental in shaping us into what we are, but it is not meant to be that way.

Engrossed as we are in the ways of the world, we fail to see its true perspective.

This is where the mango tree comes in. It has seen storms and calm, but it is rooted firmly to the ground.

It does what it is here for, provides food and shelter, to the weary traveller, and a soothing balm to the lonely wary seeker, like you and me.

This is nature and nature’s call to you and me, to take things in their stride.

Your unpleasant memories have created an image, as to how you see the world to what it actually is.

However the image wall is hard to break, unless a constant effort to change from your part.

We could be friends as you saw me with no image. Time didn’t let you do so, as we didn’t know each other.

You could not see me any other than I am, and that is the whole gist.

Shed that image of the deceitful world, which you had once experienced, and you will find the true world.

Its open and empty, don’t dare block up the space with your delusions and illusions, of your past.

Instead ride in the open spaces with love by your side..

A few days later, Dev with his lady love Janvi, by his side, sat underneath the mango tree, and as it smiled down at them , it seemed that the whole universe smiled too..

Melody in Medley…

Life is a medley, but not all, of it is melody.

Is the medley of life different from the medley in music?

Is there melody only in music?

Or can life be a harmonious blend of tunes tuning into one long medley, leading to melody?

Isn’t it time we think on this one?

As I was looking out for the title of this blog, pop came in a thought

” A bouquet”, seemed apt I thought so, as aren’t we all presented with a bouquet in life?

A bouquet of different people, different cultures, different ideas, ideals etc..

Oh all so different! To top it all ,we are faced with different situations, the good, the bad, the nice the not so nice etc.. but then I thought “Oh no, everything different, where is the blend?”

Then this came in as if a continuous cycle of events in life, culminates into a medley.

This medley however does not appear to be in melody.

Medley to me always spelt melody, then why is life’s medley not in melody?

Rhythm darling said a voice from within.

Where is it I asked?

Then it came to me as suddenly as this question.

The hidden radar, showing you the way to rhythm,

Here it goes, when we move along the twists and turns life leads us through.

Love it as is, with the eyes of the perceiver, who sees things as is, and not through life’s situations.

I know this dear, I said.

So then what takes you away from it”, said the same voice from within.

Ah ha, this is a spot, ain’t it?

Then all of a sudden a Whats App message popped up, and I thought to myself again,

” Thank God for these messages, I need to distract myself from these heavy philosophical voices from within.”

And then it all came in as I read these messages.

One read,

” Happy b’day to you!” on my friends group.

It was from a friend to the friend whose b’day it was.

There were forwards of jokes, and some serious messages too, of the happenings all over the world.

Yet another message read ” I’m sorry for your loss, RIP”.

Oh Oh, who was this ?

Oh Gosh! it was my friend’s dad.

“I’m so sorry “, I wrote to her too.

Then it all came in..

It occurred to me ” Yesterday when I lost my mother, weren’t these the similar messages I received”?

So there we go all over again, as what happens to you or me, will happen to someone else, at a different point in time. So are we not all connected?

One after the other, a chain of events appears and suddenly nothing seemed different.

These chain of events, are different tunes, some of which appeal and the others don’t .They can blend into a harmonious whole, but they don’t and want to know why?

Cause each one of us thinks we are special , different and unique?

As what happens to you, is not something that will happen to me, I’m sure.

Don’t we sleep, breathe and eat on the same planet, using the same resources, irrespective of the other.

Don’t we all thank the almighty, that we are comfortable and sleep in our cosy beds, irrespective of whether the neighbour does or doesn’t?

Is not fear and insecurity, pervading around us all the time, that in our need to get out of them we think not twice in usurping that which does not belong to us.?

Also not to forget the greatest and most dangerous emotion of it all , and that is Desire.

Is not the desire for better, for becoming better, for achieving, for accumulating etc, ever going to let go of us?

Also desirous of nothing, leaves us with a subtle desire to attain something which desire will not let us achieve.

So now where do we go from here?

Life is a chain of events, appearing one after another, like the different tunes in a medley.

Is it not for us to blend in harmoniously, thus creating the best medley ever?

Contrary to the above, we cannot blend, as the different tunes, do not tune in as per our likes. Some of them disturb us and so appear to be out of tune.

Also remember, we cannot change, as we are quite secure in our own zones, and change compels you to get out of your comfort zone.

And mind you, your comfort zone is just the place you are accustomed to be in.

Hence do not be surprised to know that if you are accustomed to pain , suffering and discomfort, and are being pushed to a zone of comfort and peace, you may still hesitate to leave your pain zone.

So here we go, around the mulberry bush, facing all the tunes in life, without ever experiencing the melody of life.

Melody is indeed the lost ingredient of life, as we cannot get into rhythm, with its changing tunes.

Melody can only be when we merge with the music around us, no matter if the sudden unpleasant turn in our life, tunes into one big medley. The medley of life.

Also when we see we all merge as a whole, no one is different, it’s only a whole cycle of events coming in and moving away, depending on the position we are right now .

As the shifts happen naturally, so do we move on to face different circumstances and different experiences, which are different to us, but not different or new to the world.

Oh my God! look at her plight, this is sad, how could it happen?

Well sweethearts, its just the position she is in.

What has happened to her, is in the world, nothing new.

Maybe yes with deep insight, one can be lead to living appropriately , thus one can avert accidents, which occur out of human errors.

That is what I mean by rhythmic living.

And rhythmic living is to flow on , as the medley of life, takes you on , from one shore to the other.

And as it takes you from the cosy to the non cosy, from good to bad, flow on , sweeties, as they are all tunes forming a big long medley, attaching to each other, to make a melody for you to see and know.

So tune in to the tune of today, thus enjoying the medley, of life, and before we know it tune Corona, is tuned in , and has joined the chain of the medley. Does that not ring a bell?

Remember that quote” Hark Ye all to the clarion call”

Is it not a clear message for all of us , calling us to listen to the rhythm of life?

Something you never knew is now a part of you, cause all you knew, is left behind,

and long forgotten as you tread the path, and tune in with life.

Then life just transforms into a melodious note, carrying you along from the dark shore on to the land of light.

On a rainy day….

What do we have here? Yet another rainy day.

Corona Virus, the Lockdown, heavy rains, storms, cyclones, I don’t see anything evading us now.

Yes what I see now is a hope against hope, of evading all of it just now.

Seemingly true is it?

No, it is actually true.

Just sat down on my desk, thinking of the wonderous ways of life, when a message popped up.

It read, ” I’m bored, with lots of free time on my hands”.

I thought to myself “Why do we call free time boring?”

Is it not like a breather, putting you off the hook, and out of the grind of mundane life.

There are no freebies in life, haven’t we heard this so oft?

So today is this free time a freebie or is it time to get free of the mechanical grind life has put us on to.

Does it pass on to you this message as it does to me?

It reads..

This certainly is not free time, it’s time which has come to free you of it.

To free you of time, yes, all that you have learnt and studied just drop it..

Go into what is now, as the now is wonderful.

Learn to establish yourself in it..

This is what it reads….

Succeed and you are successful as

Success means the non access to time.

And time, what is it?

Why have we invented time? Can it just standstill and take us to the timeless zone?

To go into the timeless zone, we need to be out of the time machine, which brings in everything of the past, and carries it to our future.

We see nothing but the images of what we percept, and not what actually is.

Is there something within us, which is beyond our image?

An image is what we have formed for everything, for eg, somebody hurt me in the past, and it stuck on in a corner of my mind, creating an image of that person.

So the next time I meet this person, I will not meet her as she/he is, but as an image that I have formed of her/him.

Similarly society has created an image of the rights and wrongs, the should be’s and shouldn’t be’s , the good the bad, based on religious norms and cultural conditioning.

These norms in society may have been made by wise learned people in the past, who felt the need to implement it then, but then time took over as we carried it over to today.

So time came in , the past ruling our now.

We cannot enjoy this moment, because as I sit back I remember “oh what fun we had the days pre lockdown, when we could freely move out .”

The irony dear friend is that when you could do those things as you can’t do now,

you still thought ” Oh wasn’t it better earlier”

So time moves on to take the place of the timeless.

Today we are not here now, as the past has come in and the future then is the now today.

Where then is the actual now, now?

It is buried under what we would call psychological time.

So actually we are not living now, we are living on the dead, and we are mindless to the saying,

“Let the dead past bury its dead”, from the poem ” A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Why do we carry it?

Is there something within us, which is beyond our image?

From, hurt to norms, to images created of you and me, to the good images and bad images created by a society no longer today’s, but as we carry all this, we create time, psychological time.

You may have been a different you yesterday, you have evolved since, but my image of you is the one of yesteryears, so I can’t see you as you are, I see you as you were, thus carrying forth time.

Today we have evolved, and we need to stand up to the need of the hour now.

The need today spells the need now.

The need of the hour is to take things in their stride, maintain a cool and calm balance of body and mind in your own simple way.

There is an element of fun, in everything to be done, and life just asks you to pause, and see it.

Is this not a pause in our life?

It certainly is, and you will see it, as you let go of the past, and future contemplation.

Now as this moment has come in all our lives, and as we sit by ourselves doing nothing, can we stop time from entering our space?

Can we give it a piece of our mind? Can we tell it that as an intruder, it will have to face trial, and then quietly leave our space never to tresspass again.

Then you and me can live afresh, in this moment, and now, seeing it wholly as it is.

Yes this is it, I by the window, enjoying the rains, and writing this down, and you too doing what you are doing and enjoying it to the hilt, without letting the trespassers , called good and bad, right and wrong, sad and happy enter your space.

Thus as you let go of them so do you enjoy this space and zone, which is truly yours?

So do I take the liberty to congratulate you on this achievement of yours?

Well to the ones who are on “Yipee, Congratulations dear friends, you’ve earned it all!

A tribute…..

From a mother in law to her daughter in law….

What’s gone wrong with you? said a voice from within..

Do you not know that this is a relationship which is impossible? continued that voice..

Forget it, however evolved you get, you cannot get past this.

A relationship far from cordial is what brands and seals the MIL – DIL, pair.

You really think so, do you? asked another voice, contradicting the first.

Then the first voice told the second one,

“Oh, but she just doesn’t listen at all.

“Many a thing I want to tell her,

Many a thing she ought to understand,

But oh my God, today’s children, they seem impossible.”

“You do not know how our times were? Do you? asked that voice to the other.

If you knew you wouldn’t be so childish in your defence of a girl who has just come today.”

Then continuing within the chatter goes on…

“How does she bring up her child? Oh my god, if I did the same I wouldn’t have been spared,”

“Today times have changed though, so is there anything to say? disgusted 1st voice goes on and on…

The other voice listened intently ,

I went deeper, and deeper and deeper…

Yes as I reached to the core, I realised this was just a score,

For as the deeper voice within said,

Deepi you need to be dumb not to understand,

But as you go deeper still,

You will see that underneath the shades of grey ,

Is the true woman of understanding, who understands the other,

Life is not a score you settle, and try to hold on to the mantle for as long as you can,

Yes this mantle is the mantle of seniority, sacrifice, and good will, a position you strived hard to earn in your yester years.

But then, just realise that they were yester years, and like seasons, they ought to change.

With the changing seasons, and passing of years, enters a new era, ushering the old away.

The romance of life is in its change, and as you change with times, its attractive light falls on you,

taking you away, into your new era.

Your new era begins when your daughter in law comes in to hers.

For as you change to accommodate her, you see things in their true perspective.

And then as you look at her with your eyes, you see you, as you were,

For were you not once a woman, who wanted her independence?

To do the things she always wanted to, to be able to run her house, and stand by her spouse,

Come storm or calm,

It was always a soothing balm,

To know you’ll were there together, in the journey called life.

You both walked , as two different individuals, supporting each other, in your onward journey together, never crossing each other’s paths.

Did you not want this too?

Well then as you did, so does she.

So does the boy who is your son, whose individuality you safe guarded for years to come.

And now as the time is come, to give him the life you sought for him,

Is your little me coming in the way?

Is it that feeling of “Oh I know best drowning it all?”, making you an intruder , the third , a crowd, in the cosy twosome.

For if so, know for sure, your me will get you nowhere but help you stagnate and rot,

And mind you , the one to help you move on, is none other than your daughter in law.

For the transition from son to husband could only happen , when she came in.

Is it not funny, that instead of looking at things in their right perspective, this transition is always treated as a threat.

So much so that a MIL /DIL relationship is treated sceptically, and each word any of them say to the other, is construed with hidden meanings.

The well meaning mother in law, always thinks she is the protector of the household, and is indispensable, and Oh my God, the trivialities become priorities thus making it the only way in life.

Sorry here, but the vastness of life is reduced to,

” What do I do?” & another one is “I’ll have to continue with less time for my activities as handling the household does not seem her cup of tea”, and so on and so forth.

These are age old stories running down from generations on..

Change it super MIL, cause super you are ..

As now on look within, and welcome her with the right intent.

Listen to the deep second voice which tells you

“This threshold, as you crossed years earlier, making it yours, pls open it for her, and let her feel she’s entered hers.

As she enters it, like a whiff of fresh air, a new wave comes in, new ideas, new ways, newer outlook to life comes in.

Its a new fragrance, and there is a wave of change.

Here is life beckoning you on to a newness profound.

Can you stand by her, hold her hand, and show her around.

Can you give her some of yours and take some of hers?

There will be days when many a thing you don’t like about her, as they don’t conform to yours.

But believe me its her way, her way of getting there to were you are.

Now it’s really up to you to give her this space, to bloom and grow forever.

For when she grows and blooms, you know for sure that the seeds you planted years ago have borne fruit.

Also as she blooms, so do you, into a new role, a new life, where you give up the mantle you’ve carried so far.

Yes the mother becomes a complete woman who can move on to discover the next romantic phase of her life carefree and light as she was when she came in.

To move on, change, yourself for you and her, and discover the magical moments which follow you in your onward journey towards light…

And now ,

An open letter to my daughter in law.

You darling can never be my daughter for sure,

However you are as much .

As you walk by your husband hand in hand..

My heart takes a leap,

As I see the truth in ” As you sow so you reap.”

The seed of love, has borne fruit,

And as you walk along with the man of your life,

I’m proud you are his wife.

Also as I go deeper within,

I find within a woman, who knew another one.

One who knew and understood the other for what she is..

Thus sealing a bond of understanding, and love , leading to a friendship of a lifetime…

Yes and this is it for you and me, as always will be…

A relationship so deep, giving meaning to living.

For as we move ahead together as friends, we’ve got to the very core of living,

Which indeed is the strong bond of its relations..

And as I move on,

I feel the winds of freedom, smell their fragrance, as I know for sure,

That my job here is done, and that love, care and compassion, will grow forever,

and will pass on to our generations to come, and in the environment around us, and also further away…

Thank you, for being you, as you are…

May you be always blessed forever…

Loads of love, and lots of smiles, as you traverse your miles….

On the journey to love and light….

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly…

Hi, there !!

This is just not about the classic movie of 1966, ” The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly “….

This just came in…

It’s different and is based on the movie of the mind..

This is when the mind takes over in deciding the good and the bad.

As we are constantly on the move, we encounter the good and the bad, everyday on a regular basis.

I’m not just talking about physical movement, but the movement of our minds, precisely our thoughts too.

Well dearies aren’t our minds working overtime?

Seeing things which aren’t actually actual.

Yes they do appear to be as we would like them to be.

What seems to be real, is the reflection of real, as you see it in your mirror.

Yes you reflect what you want to see, and then label it real.

And the good and bad are just other labels you add, as per you.

Don’t we prefix everything with how nice, or how awful?

Look carefully, and understand, is there a good or a bad?

Is there nice or awful?

As I see it, someone with the bare minimum cannot afford anything much, but what he can afford is to smile all along…

How come? ’cause he sees it as is, there does not seem like any label is attached.

There we go again…

Haven’t you often heard that what seems to be good to you, may not seem so to the other?

Well want to reflect on it?

If so then stand away from that mirror, and reflect not on your reflection of it, but on it.

And as you stand away so you see, a you in me, a me in him, and so on…

There seems to be absolutely no division.

All our characteristics are the same, features the same, only the reflection of light falling on us may vary from time to time, sometimes bright, and sometimes dull.

Its this reflection which portrays us as different, in being and in our situations too.

Then on the basis of this can good and bad be one?

Yes, they are whole, for there cannot be one without the other one.

They are a package deal, amalgamated in the whole.

Take it or leave it, says the voice from within.

Let’s live within this duality and accept both as they are, and then, want to see what follows?

A wisdom, which allows you to smile through your suffering and pain, thus letting go, of them as easily as they came in.

For dear friends isn’t it not that the way of life is as is?

It comes and goes, the waves on the shore, the high tide and the low , the day and the night, the dark and the light.

Happy today, sad tomorrow are you?

Well when you are happy you do not want to believe it can change, and when sad you want it to change.

Oh dearies, this was not the way it was meant to be. It was meant to be taken as is, in your stride, without a high or a sigh.

It is only when the good and bad , are not taken in as they are, then that is what turns ugly.

” When you are happy and you know it clap your hands, happiness or joy to me is that state of mind which is a constant. It does not invite a sad, for anything bad.

For if you know there is good in bad and bad in good, and see them as they are, you understand the simple game of life.

Then as the good and bad play hide and seek, and as you play on, there is one thing which gets omitted automatically, the ugly….

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…