I was thinking about the world. And about wishes- for wealth, fame, position, power and beauty. Would I want them if I was stranded and alone on an island? What would I want there? Probably drinking water and food. And then a way to go home to humanity. Wealth brings me freedom to get anything that money can buy. Including importance. Fame, position power and beauty? They bring me freedom to get anything that they can command. So who wants to be poor, sick, old or ugly? And why doesn't anyone want them? Because I thought, then one would be invisible. The opposite of important..... That's when the REAL answer came: Wait a minute! The trick IS to be invisible. If I have no wealth, no youth, no beauty, no name, then I would be invisible. I would be nothing. Then I would have to defend nothing. I would have to defeat no one. I wouldn't have to prevent anything. I would have to acquire nothing because to be nothing you don't need anything. I would have to protect nothing and no one because I would be no one and I would have nothing. If I want nothing, then I am free. In that freedom comes quietude. In the quietude I AM peace, happiness and gratitude. And I have compassion for those who dont
When your child announces that he or she is getting married you feel that surge and thump of your excited heart.
Then it all begins- guest list, email addresses, postal addresses, mobiles numbers, the design of the invitation cards, the overall budget, the budget for each "sub-header", the flowers, the events, the venues, the decorations, the who and what of gifting, the caterer with clean waiters.....
And dont forget....you may be in Delhi....in which case not only is it an occasion that you celebrate from your heart. MORE IMPORTANTLY it must LOOK like a celebration, it must be VISIBLE how much heart there is; you must be able to touchy feely it- clever pretty cards, tasty candies in personalised boxes, jewellery? yes unusual (yet impressive), outfits must be breathtakingly original, the family.... has to remember to be united :)
All this is par for the course. BUT the real thing.....the real thing lies....at the bottom of the heap of cards, flowers, family and candy, venues and events.
And NO, it is not the money- (the money provides the heap).
The real thing under the heap, we discover, is, you must find how to BE in your child's wedding:
A total of 3 things:
1. Be FREE to enjoy the wedding
2. FEEL the LOVE
3.Radiate all your HAPPINESS
So there you finally have it- the perfect ingredient for your child's wedding. :) :) :)
November....the dengue is receding and mosquitoes have buzzed off....just too darned cold to bother with biting, flying, making multiple manouvres in the air, around swatting hands and wafts of Odomos vapours.
Traffic. The fuel emissions are sitting in the heaviness of cooling air above us, wrapping in smoke from burning garden leaves, twigs, plastic bags, and garbage that have warmed shivering beggars and drug addicts all over the cold mornings and shivery evenings.
Welcome to Delhi in November......
But I still spy the green of trees all over above our heads, peering through their coating of dust and grime.
Hands grubbily gripped around sloppy cups of roadside tea bubbling with sugary recycled tea leaves as cars drive past on roads-Audis, BMWs, Mercedez, hermetically sealed inside sleek glass windows.
Street dogs sleep lazy and late through the mornings, steaming in the still warm sunlight after the new all night coldness.
The morning light is clear now , free of the lemon and saffron yellows of summer light.
We are toying with two thin, pretty Jaipur quilts joined together instead of just one.
Winter pickles are coming out. Clothes are darkening, climbing right up to people's heads and around their ears.
And I can hear life. It lives continuously in depressing Delhi. In the Bihar bumpkin at the bus stop with ear phones plugged into his mobile, in the girl in track pants feeding stray puppies bread and milk in the park, in the pretty pink plastic shoes with winking shimmer that my help bought for herself in the Saturday pavement bazaar and offered to buy for me as well.
It is God's world. Who am I to judge how he should keep Delhi? Or Beijing or New York for that matter?
I am continuing with "Swacch Bharat" on my part as I have done for years- keeping my back and front lanes clean . (Much before Prime Minister Modi coined this vital slogan)
I insist on enjoying the November smog- it tells me that there is life. It is trying to live. To flourish.
Okay it is doing it badly. But sometimes we do things badly. Before we learn to do them well.
There is hope. And hope is the mother of initiative.
THOUGHTS DURING DIWALI
What is good and what is evil?
-Divisions created by the mind.
GOOD- is everything that helps life, survival, safety
EVIL- is everything that can harm, kill, hurt, create insecurity.
What is SOCIETY?
-An idea of a group in which people feel safe; where survival is easier than when one is alone.
A society needs to be big on enforcing good and discouraging evil. This is called Law and Order.
If nothing exists outside the will of God then good and evil are more than ever proved to be created only by the human mind, out of a programming for survival.
Pain, sorrow, cruelty, injustice are as much a part of reality as compassion, joy, kindness, safety.
So then WHAT IS LIFE ABOUT?
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? Is it to eradicate evil? Is it to do Good? If so, why? Or why not?
Do you have an answer?
Wait for the next blog....... :) :/
I hate illness. But who’s asked me?
So last week I got a bout of the viral stomach ‘flu. One moment I was fine. The next moment I was drained of energy and health. IT had begun.
The stomach was burning, nausea rising, appetite teetering towards zero. I was filling up with dread and frustration. I hate illness!
But I can only say that. And do? There was nothing for it but to succumb.
I reached out for a big Airborne tablet, dropped it frothing in water to boost my immunity. I sipped. I thought positive. Rested. But it was getting its grip on me. I began to panic. I didn’t want it; the misery! And there were so many things lined up today, tomorrow, and day after and the day after that....and...........!!!!!
Accept, don’t fight.
I felt myself relaxing. OKAY.
I leaned into the nausea;
I kept a Digene in my mouth to help myself.
I got into my pyjamas.
Had my bed made for a four day sleep in.
Pulled out the thermometer and a Paracetamol strip and the doctor’s number.
And flopped weakly into my bed
and went into a spiralling stupor.
The motions took over (like a tap turned on full). Not a grain of overcooked rice would stay....
I phoned our Doc; I called him home for a thousand five hundred bucks; why not! I was worth it (ya I had kept the little, black, bucks bag next to my pillow too, while reaching for the Paracetamol)
Liquid diet for 3 days!!!!!!!! Weak as a balding man’s hair, and now liquids!
And antibiotics. A stomach churning with acidity, and now Antibiotics. Ohhhh noooooo
ACCEPT, DONT FIGHT.
So now a calm was setting into my sweaty, hot and cold and hot and cold, clammy body.
MAKE A MENTAL LIST OF LIQUIDS, DUMBO!
Coconut water, fresh lime sweet and salted, thin buttermilk, rice water, lentil water , apple juice.
JUST KEEP HAVING ONE OF EACH, MORNINGS, NOON, EVENINGS.
Observation one: I felt miserable in the body.
But the mind was calm, peaceful and content.
Then I began to feel grateful for the liquids. What if I could not have them liquids either?
Observation two: I could not make myself comfortable. I needed to demand everybody’s services because after all it was Me who was sick.
Would it lead to happiness and comfort? NO. - too many viruses beating me down for that.
So why not focus on others? Smile, appreciate, care, reassure. I did. It felt.....nice...pleasant.
Observation three: people are poor. They are ill. They are unable- my brief state of illness is their perpetual state.
I felt compassion, connection, affection. I felt oneness. Humility at their courage and forbearance.
On day two without a solid morsel in my body for 48 hours, I noticed that I felt peaceful and energetic and comfortable.
Marvelled at how little this brave body needs to hold itself together. I watched with wonder its ability to adapt and survive.
I was in admiration of this piece of creation; of That Creator which created it.
I was in awe. How happy and peaceful I felt while my body suffered through the viral attack! Sadness, yes. Unhappiness, no.
My husband observed that my face glowed and my eyes were shining. And I know a secret smile was flitting along the corners of my mouth.
On the fourth day the body had turned the corner; the virus was in rapid retreat. But I was in spate: Peace, happiness, gratitude, quietness had overflowed and bathed me through those days. I realised that if I can put my body out of my focus I can be awash in all these, all the time.
Illness had pointed the way to the eternal wellness that needs nothing; Wellness exists by default if I just be still.
For instance, this morning, I visualised my day as a glorious mansion belonging to the Universe. And I decided that I was living in this mansion called today Sunday July 27, as a housekeeper. So I am having a lovely day looking after my mansion called TODAY.
The surrender is in the fact that the day already exists. I am just doing my job in it. The mansion is not mine. The guy who owns it can worry about it-the universe. I'm just an employee. All I have to do is my best. And the wonderful thing about this job is that I can never be sacked! So even that worry is gone!
The day is fine because it's not been created by me- no responsibility. Only action. I'm free!!