Shambhavi & me…..

As I end those twenty-one minutes of restful activity,

My focus settles at the third eye cavity.

As silence pervades the room and stillness pervades my existence,
A slim shred of air makes its entry and exit,
Opening the doorways to perception.

Breath…….

The only creeper between life and death,
Teases me with brief spells of unexperienced Truth.

This short bout of daily stillness
Is my small effort at experiencing limitlessness.

A Prayer for Syria

Syrian crisis

You don’t know me.

But I’ve been following you,

For a while now.

I try to make sense of what’s happening to you, everyday.

Yet, I never see sense.

I don’t see sense in your pain,

Your destruction,

Or in your loss.

I wish my government did more to help you,

Considering that we go back a long way down the timeline.

But wait, we don’t need to have a shared history,

For us to feel your story.

I am just so sorry.

I am sorry you lost your family,

Your home,

Your honour,

Aleppo…..

And with it, the last standing witness to your rich heritage.

But I pray that you don’t lose hope, my friend.

I pray that you don’t lose your spirit to reclaim what’s yours.

And I most sincerely pray that you don’t lose your ability to love,

To give better than what you got.

I pray, my friend, I pray,

So my tears aren’t my only tribute to you;

So I can conceal my inability to be one of the Goddesses of my land

With ten hands,

And take out the beasts on your land.

Just remember that there are humans outside your land,

Praying for you,

Crying with you,

Opening their doors for you.

Hold onto that thin ray of hope, my friend.

Today, we remain divided only by governments,

Or we wouldn’t need any armaments.

But there will be better times ahead,

Times when people like us who can care, will run the world.

No, don’t ask me when!

Until then, hold on, my friend.

Grab all that you can

To not give in,

And to stay alive.

There will be better times ahead.

Chain Reaction.

Sometimes some things just happen so quickly that they trigger a chain of thoughts in your  head that are simply hard to brush off. One such thing happened to me yesterday. Around 8 a.m yesterday, I was at this traffic signal in an auto. At a distance of say 30 feet, a young boy who was waiting with another woman, probably in her twenties, to cross the road, caught my attention. By the looks of him I could say he was probably 15 or 16 years old.

But the boy seeemed to have suffered through a great deal of cruelty. Or so it seemed to me. He was dark and thin. His face was completely disfigured. He was blind clearly, but the eyes seemed disfigured too. His face was full of scars and hives. I looked at him. I felt sorry for him. I had looked at him for not more than 3 seconds when the woman standing beside him saw me looking at him. I immediately diverted my object of attention to the signal lights. She crossed the road with the boy. Remember that the distance between where I was (the auto) and where they earlier stood ( pavement) was about 30 feet.

Now on crossing the road, I could see she was coming with the boy straight towards me, the auto that I was in. There were other vehicles too at that point in time. But she came straight to me. I knew instantly what was happening.
She came to me and asked for alms.
Yes. She ignored everyone else at the signal and chose to come to me first. And I knew she was going to do that the minute I saw her come towards me. Think about it. With just an exchange of glance from a distance of 30 feet, she recognised my vulnerability. Yet somehow I could only feel myself waiting to open my wallet and I didn’t wait after she asked me. I just gave her some money right away, all along knowing that she was probably exploiting my sympathy for the boy. But I just couldn’t ignore the boy. So I don’t regret giving her the money.
But after she and the boy left, I thought to myself  “How did she make out what I was feeling with just one glance at me? Am I so pathetically readable? Even from a distance of 30 feet? She sure has good judgement.  Or is that what living on the streets does to you? Watching people, and dealing with them, you know who is likely to behave like what. Or perhaps even form a pattern in your mind about which class of people is likely to behave like what. Such precision in judgement. Like a crocodile that knows its prey. But am I the prey really?  She may or may not use the money for the boy. But I had given the money to her well aware of the possibilities of what was happening. And I didn’t care. But I must admit I can’t stop admiring how she scooped down on me. I wish I knew the world as well as she did. But to know the world like she does, I would have to be living on the streets, not in this well gaurded and well protected kingdom that is inhabited by not more than a handful lives. Would I really want that? Absolutely not. But she knows so much that I may never know in my life. So am I really as better  priviliged than she is, as it seems?”
Hahahaha….. there!!!! Did you see? What did it start off with and where it has proceeded upto!!!!! Thoughts!!!!  They are simply so easy to get lost into.

Being human

I grew some plants in my balcony, watered them everyday without fail.Two varieties of jasmine, one was rose, saplings of guava, mango, jackfruit and avacado
And a few others whose names I don’t know.

Watering them was more than enough for me to love  them.
Being watered was more than enough for them to grow.

No words were said.
No embraces or kisses.

Just water, some manure once a month and an occasional touch to feel the new leaflet or bud about to rise.

There was never anything I needed from them.
There was never anything they needed, for me to let them down.

Beautiful plants that make my balcony a paradise for those little ants.

I see them everyday, nurture them everyday.
Yet I can only let them put me to shame.
For I haven’t learnt the art of love or life from them.

I am merely human.
I am quick to spot the unpleasnt traits in other humans and reflect upon it.
I ought to be lethargic in becoming like the plants.
After all, there is just so much in this world that I need.

I am merely human.

Becoming the eternal giver can wait a few light years.

 

The search…..

In my previous post “The Witness speaks”, I had spoken of  ‘change’ and ‘experience’. Somehow, ‘change’ has again been occupying my mind for the past few days. It appears every now and then, inviting me to see it for what it really is. Much like the girl who knows, and lures the man she is interested in, into exploration. And like the man, I too don’t seem to be able to resist temptation. I go. I explore.
I see what she has done, and what she is still doing. And I realise she will continue to do what she is doing.
There was once a time when human civilisations had enough for themselves. People lived together. They lead a life that was in harmony with nature. Culture and art flourished. Women were equals with men. The aim and purpose of life was to experience  the highest intelligence that ever existed and the people were aware of this.
 But then, all of this changed, to what we are now – the polar opposite.
No matter how much we earn for ourselves and our families, nothing is ever enough for us now.
Community living is only a slogan that real estate giants use to sell their houses these days. Each individual today is an isolated island. We do everything to keep ourselves away from nature and/or ourselves. Very few people have the time or money or passion to promote art and culture. A woman does not get paid the same as a man for equal amount of work done by them. The purpose and aim for most people is money, power and fame.
No. None of this changed over a single night. It was a consistent, step by step process that took centuries for us to become what we are today.
Change – She certainly knows which part of the landscape she must pave for the river to flow.
What I was a decade back, I no longer am now. The mother I knew when I was 5 was certainly not the mother my brother knew when he was 5.
Change – She leaves her impression on everything – living and non living. Every single thing. Nothing can escape her.
So, I wondered. In that case, why do i get so carried away by the sorry state of affairs of society? It is going to change too, is it not?
Indeed it will. But remember Newton’s law of motion? Every object shall continue to remain in its state of motion or rest, until an external force acts upon it to change its present state of motion or rest.
Change needs an external force. In other words, an instrument. An instrument to change what is here right now.
So, is that what I am? An instrument?
what about Gandhi then? Is he nothing more than an instrument? And Osama bin laden? Is he nothing less than an instrument?
Perhaps.
Not just me or them. all of us. Every single one of us. We are all instruments.
It was at this point that I realised that I now have more questions to answer than ever before.
If I am just an instrument for change, then is all that I had believed to be me, not really me? I have my opinion and convictions. I always thought they defined me. My actions have been based upon my convictions. I thought I was going to bring change. But now, it looks like I am just someone change is using for her master plan.
I am merely playing a role in the drama that she directs.
So, I am just an instrument? Nothing else? Fine. Accepted.
Yet, why do I feel such strong emotions when i hear or see something?  Why does this instrument feel? shouldn’t I just stop with performing my duty? I am an instrument after all. I must only do what I am here to do. Why do I feel?
Is that how change motivates me to perform my duty? With my emotion? Does she use my emotion to have her presence felt by all that I come in contact with?
I understand change causes experience. Maybe they are an eternal couple. But if change brings about experience, who is it that feels the experience? The universe? God? The force? But I belong to this universe too. Does that mean it is I who feels the experience?
Hmmmm. That seems logical. So, this means I feel, to bring change and the change that thus happens causes an experience, which i again get to feel. This is true for everything and everybody, is it not?
Indeed.
So, this is a cycle? It certainly seems to be a cycle. But when would this cycle stop? If it did stop, what is it that will make it stop? To this and a lot many other questions, I do not have the answer. I am searching.
I feel like the child who knows nothing of the new world she has stepped into and all she wants is to know. I wonder if a grown up can give me the answers. A grown up who would parent me and make me aware of what is what. A grown up who knows I am full of questions, yet wouldn’t be annoyed, but simply helps me see my answers with an adoring smile.
Will I find such a grown up? Or will my years of growing up be like that of the snake that has just emerged from its egg, Completely on its own in the wild?
That is something only the universe holds the answer to.
DISCLAIMER : I am not responsible if you read this, went mad and got admitted to an asylum.

Chaos

There are lots of things that I get to see in the world I live in, that angers and saddens me. Maybe it’s because I live in a third world nation. on the roads, in the bus, the space near the water tanker that brings water every week, the poll booths, schools, colleges, RTO office, banks, all the way upto the honorable PMO and all the way down to the individual himself. There is chaos everywhere. Sometimes the chaos is visible. But most of the time, it is simply there all around you and within you, like an unknown figure that lurks in the dark. You don’t see it. You only feel it and you know it’s upto no good. It creeps you out and you want to cry for help.
Chaos. There are people who spend 500 crores on a marriage. And there are people who kill themselves since they have no means for the next meal. There are women who are fortunate enough to go all the way to the U.S to pursue their masters and there are women who had to drop out of school because they were women. Women who have the freedom to practise their free will and marry a man of their choice and women who get gang-raped and killed for wanting to marry a man of their choice. Children who excel in all spheres of academy and children who ponder over why they must. Children who get to treat their friends to a good lunch in a nice restaurant and children who clean tables at the same restaurant. The educated elite of the society that talks equality in public and yet assigns a separate plate, for the domestic helper in the house, to eat from. A society that says casteism must be abolished in the country and yet each household discourages inter caste marriages and supports their children in their views of reservation, whatever it may be.
A nation that has been slashed into a million fragments in the name of caste, religion, language and state and yet brags of “unity in diversity” in its text books. A people who take pride in belonging to their states to the extent that they make fun of and look down upon other states and yet claim they are proud to be an Indian when in reality they don’t even bother to educate themselves about India. A people for whom this democracy was meant and yet not a single soul has the maturity or responsibility to live or deal in a democracy. They don’t even try to inculcate the spirit of democracy.

Governments come. governments go. Just as the people come and go. Not one of them has bothered to give the people what they truly deserve – hope and faith without conditions.

But when I question all of this, they brand me to be a fanatic, a communist, a disrupter of peace and harmony.

They dont understand that the devil of chaos that they have provoked, is disturbing my sleep. I cant sleep. that’s why I asked the devil to stop. But the devil says that I am the devil, to shut me up.

Chaos. When will the noise stop?

The Alternative

I remember Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev once said that enlightenment can be achieved by the most simple and basic breathing technique if you simply paid attention to your breath at all times. Most of us don’t breathe right or even enough if I am not wrong. A healthy breathing would involve breathing into your abdomen when you inhale and empty it when you exhale. Do not mistake me for a yoga instructor reading this. I am not. And I don’t intend to become one either. But then you don’t really have to be a yoga instructor to share with the world what is essential for individual well-being, do u? Anyway that’s not the point. I don’t give a damn about whether you people breathe right or not. I am just writing this now because I got an idea that I wanted to release into a medium.
047
So, here it goes. Like me, anyone who has attended basic courses in yoga/pranayama would know about the emphasis laid on breathing into your tummy. But has anyone really paid attention to the way you feel when you do so? Most people pay too much attention in getting the ‘exercise’ right that they fail to realise the essence of it. Let me re-frame the question. Has anyone noticed under what kind of circumstances one tends to naturally breathe into his/her tummy without consciously attempting to do so?
Considering that all we humans are made in the image and likeness of each other, I am simply going to share my experience here. In my personal observation I breathe into my tummy when I am in the warm embrace of the people I love, when I watch my fish swim merrily to the surface to grab the food that I’ve just fed them, when I lie down on the sands of a beach during sunset with no one around to break the silence other than the whispers of the waves, when I watch my brother sleep, when I have one of those hours-together long conversations with my mom, when I have a walk in my colony watching the skies, the birds and the trees, every time I watch the movie ‘Amelie’, when I listen to music , ah……………. the list goes on. summary? I breathe deep into my tummy unconsciously when I am so peaceful and joyous that everything around me looks so beautiful. So splendidly beautiful to the extent that I become the true beautiful angel that I am. but what helps me become such an angel all of a sudden?
Love. I feel peaceful, joyous, beautiful, angel-like or probably even goddess-like when I am with the people I love or when I am doing what I love. It’s love baby.
When you’re full of love, everything is peaceful. when you’re peaceful, you breathe into your tummy. So essentially it is nothing but the reverse mapping of what yoga suggests.
So, I guess you don’t really have to be a saint to see God. I don’t know if A.R.Rahman truly understood the meaning of “I chose love all along my path” when he said it at the Oscars. But this much I know. When love is the only choice you make, there shall be peace and your breath turns into a smooth flow of air into your body, it’s a bliss to even be alive, you love your life, you thank God, and hence you see God.
For those of you who thought I was mighty confused when I spoke about being derailed in my previous post, this is the derailment I was talking about. To not choose our love over everything else is when we are derailed. I guess that’s why we suffer at large. because we make the wrong choice at large.
Anyway, I shall ensure I practise this theory of mine myself first. I don’t care if you people do.