Tuesday, September 8, 2009

“She happened to look into the child’s eyes…

...and saw how simple the soul behind them was, and that the little girl did not know of the wonderful power the Silver Shoes gave her. So, the Wicked Witch laughed to herself…” Now, which adult would not be tempted to read more? Just like many others, I also hovered over fairyland till the tornado carried me away with Dorothy, I wore silver shoes, got kissed by a good Witch, met a scarecrow who wanted brains, befriended a tin woodman who sought a heart, rode on a cowardly lion who wished for courage, drank the powerful smell of the poppies, flew with the winged monkeys, wore green spectacles, met the Witch of the North, vanquished the Wicked Witch of the West and came back home, refreshed and happy…. After all, that’s what I believe a good book should do- leave you feeling happy, refreshed and rejuvenated. And a book like the Wonderful Wizard of Oz couldn't but bring a smile on your face! If you haven’t yet read it, go pick it up. If you have read it before, pick it up again! Short, sweet and simple- a perfect book for a lazy afternoon- the ideal pastures for the mind to ramble into.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ganapati Bappa Morya!

For those of you who havent read this fantastic talk by Gurudev HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, I am posting it as is... Enjoy! The Symbolism of Ganesha His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ganesha is the formless divinity - encapsulated in a magnificent form, for the benefit of the devotee. Gan means group. The universe is a group of atoms and different energies. This universe would be in chaos if there was no supreme law governing these diverse groups of entities. The Lord of all these groups of atoms and energies is Ganesha. He is the supreme consciousness that pervades all & brings order in this universe. The essence of Ganesha is brought out beautifully by Adi Shankara. Though Ganesha is worshiped as the elephant-headed God, the form (swaroop) is just to bring out the formless (parabrahma roopa). He is ‘Ajam Nirvikalpam Niraakaaramekam’. This means Ganesha is Ajam (unborn), he is Nirvikalpa (attributeless), he is Niraakaar (formless) and he symbolizes the consciousness which is omnipresent. Ganesha is the same energy which is the reason for this universe, from which everything manifests and into which everything will dissolve. We are all familiar with the story of how Ganesha became the elephant-headed God. Parvati became dirty when she was celebrating with Shiva. When she realized this, she removed the dirt from her body, created a boy out of it and asked him to keep guard while she bathed. When Shiva returned, the boy did not recognise him and obstructed his passage. So Shiva chopped off the boy’s head and entered. Parvati was shocked. She explained that the boy was their son and pleaded with Shiva to save him at all costs. Shiva then instructed his helpers to go and get the head of someone who was sleeping with the head pointing to the north. The helpers then got the head of an elephant, which Shiva affixed to the boy’s torso and Ganesha was born! Does this story sound strange? Why should Parvati have dirt on her body? Didn’t the all-knowing Shiva recognise His own son? Was Shiva, the epitome of peace, so short-tempered that he cut off the head of his own son? And why an elephant head on Ganesha? There is a deeper meaning to all this. Parvati is symbolic of festive energy. Her becoming dirty signifies that celebration can easily become Rajasik or feverish and can take you away from your center. Dirt is symbolic of ignorance and Shiva is symbolic of the Supreme Innocence, Peace and Knowledge. So when Ganesha obstructs the path of Shiva, this means that ignorance, which is an attribute of the head, does not recognise knowledge. Then knowledge has to overcome ignorance. This is the symbolism behind Shiva chopping off the boy’s head. And why the elephant head? Elephant represents both gyan shakti and karma shakti. The principle qualities of the elephant are wisdom and effortlessness. The enormous head of the elephant signifies Wisdom and Knowledge. Elephants don't walk around obstacles, neither are they stopped by them. They just remove them and walk ahead – signifying effortlessness. So, when we worship Lord Ganesha these elephant qualities within us are kindled and we take on these qualities. Ganesha's big belly represents generosity and total acceptance. Ganesha’s upraised hand, depicting protection, means, “Fear not - I am with you,” and his lowered hand, palm facing outwards means endless giving as well as an invitation to bow down symbolic of the fact that we will all dissolve into earth one day. Ganesha also has a single tusk which signifies one-pointedness. Even the implements Ganesha wields are symbolic. He carries in his hands, the ‘Ankusa’ (signifies awakening) and the ‘Paasa’ (signifies control). With awakening, a lot of energy is released, which without proper control, can go haywire. And why does Ganesha, the elephant-headed God travel on something as small as a mouse? Isn’t that so incongruous? Again there is symbolism that runs deep. The mouse snips and nibbles away at ropes that bind. The mouse is like the mantra which can cut through sheaths and sheaths of ignorance, leading to the ultimate knowledge represented by Ganesha. Our ancient Rishis were so deeply intelligent that they chose to express Divinity in terms of symbols rather than words, since words change over time, but symbols remain unchanged. Let us keep the deep symbolism in mind as we experience the omnipresent in the form of the elephant God, yet be fully aware that Ganesha is very much within us. This is the wisdom we should carry as we celebrate Ganesh Chaturti." PS. I love listening to the Ganapati Atharvashirsha. Here it is for all of you as well. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Radhe Radhe Maan Bole

From an agitated mind, to a restless soul- the journey is exciting, with numerous roller coaster rides. One of these rides was around Janmashtami this year- needless to say, the landing was safe and as usual, I am left with many happy sunshine smiles. Here’s an account of what did happen- The days leading up to Janmashtami were tumultuous, to say the least. Not just was there enormous activity happening all around me, but that wily mind of mine, loves the chaos and chose just those opportune moments to wreck my brains and make my emotions its new game partner. So, there I was, at the disposal of a whirlpool of thoughts and tornado of emotions… The rest of the story would be have been very different if it wasn’t for many years of boring sadhana and zillions of intimate moments, interactions and glances from my Master. So, I tried everything in the book, everything that had worked for me in the past… only that this time- all of these gave me only very sporadic and momentary relief. After many days of this internal strife and struggle, it suddenly came to me- the reason for this restlessness. And then, Aloha! I knew how to sort this out. It’s fairly simple you see. You are longing for your master. You identify the longing and then, you book your tickets and off you go- to meet HIM in person. But, alas! If only, it were so simple… Here I was in Hyderabad; HIM in Bangalore. I without holiday and HIM with Pakistan up his sleeve and many more sudden unplanned trips (that are so much a part of HIS life). But then, every cloud has a silver lining- mine had more than one- the upcoming TRM (for those of you who are new to my blog, I associated with The Art of Living and the TRM's are the masters’ gift to some of us) and a fabulous satsang with Swami Suryapad ji in Hyderabad itself! I thought to myself, the satsang will help me hold on till August end, till I finally do get to meet HIM. With such happy and hopeful thoughts in my head, Siddhartha and I made our way to an evening of bliss with Swami Suryapad ji on the occasion of Janmashtami. As obvious, a brilliant satsang followed and just when all was going very quiet in my head-mind, Swami ji in his melodious voice, full of devotion said to all of us, “Radha means longing. This Janmashtami pray that the longing increases. Pray that the longing becomes more intense.” Those words struck me like lightning… here I was, doing all that I could to overcome the longing and here is Swami ji saying pray that the longing increases… what an irony! When I mulled on this a little later, I stumbled upon something that Gurudev had said years ago (In the Knowledge Sheets) about most of us not experiencing any emotion in its intensity and how even studying and probing into physics and meta physics thoroughly will lead people to the classic ‘I Don’t Know’ as will total ignorance. He went on to say, “Attainment of the Divine depends on the intensity of longing and not on the time and qualification. There is a proverb among the villagers in India, which says that it may take some time to pluck a flower but it takes no time to meet the Divine! Abilities, qualifications are not the criteria. It is simply the intensity of your longing. Intensify your longing for the Divine right away. This you can do when you know that you want nothing and you are nothing” Strange are the ways of the Divine… May be in that intense longing, Sayuja can happen. This Janmashtami, I’ve prayed for the longing to grip my soul, my very being…

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I've changed!

I am posting something after very long... Actually, I didnt know what to write- so many things assimilated in my brain, but none took birth- looks like the gestation period is still on... So, till then, I thought of changing the look of the blog. How do you like it? Do drop your comments and let me know. I really want to see from all of you. Who knows, it might inspire me to write ;) See from you really soon...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Paths of Glory

Just finished a fantastic read; what a book! I am no more enlightened about the art of mountaineering than I was when I picked up the book, but what I do know is that there are so many people with fiery passion whose stories go untold, who might not make it into the annals of history but who have trudged the face of this planet.

While reading ‘Paths of Glory’ by Jeffery Archer, there’s one thing that I surely realized- you’ve got to have the courage to live your dream and more importantly, have the courage to let the other live his dream as well. The parts of the book that impressed me most were not when Mallory was trekking in inhumane conditions nor when he went to any lengths to live his dream… but when his wife, Ruth, made the choice of supporting him through his dream and put her convenience, comforts and emotions on the back seat.

May be it wasn’t Edmond Hillary! May be Mallory did actually summit… strange are nature’s ways, we can never know if Mallory did actually summit The Everest, way before Edmond Hillary did, but what we do know is that there was a man with such an outrageous dream such grit and determination that, I would like to believe that he did it. Such is the power of Archer’s words. ‘Paths of Glory’ is classified as a work of fiction, but to me, it’s a whole lot of facts sprinkled with some fiction; a book that compels you to decide in favor of the protagonist- not out of force, but simply out of respect for his dream and love for his passion.

The plot is unlike much of what Archer has written and what he has managed in the 400 odd pages of this book is truly worth a read. It’s no mean task- making a life story so captivating and enthralling, but Archer manages that with √©lan. He has the uncanny knack of bringing people and things to life such that reading about Mallory at 27,500 ft all set to summit his first love- Chomolungma- sets the adrenalin rush in the reader.

A work of fiction with so much fact in it, especially the end of the book when he gives details of Mallory’s family and friends, till when they lived, what they did and how his grandson did summit the temptress Chomolungma and place his grandfather and grandmother’s photograph on the summit.

A book worth more than just a read.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Some romance ;)

I wrote this two years ago. Thought of posting it only now...
April, 2007
Sometimes it amazing… and sometimes I wonder how and many more times, I ponder why??? Is it something that happens to everyone or am I an exception? Should I rejoice that I am compatible to various situations, that I am adaptable? Or should I shun myself for changing colors and loyalties? And that, at a pace almost as fast as the flutter of my eye-lid.
What a wired dilemma… it’s like asking are the monsoons cool or simply too murky and slushy??? Are the rains just right to drench and dance or to stay away from and never feel the water droplets hit against the dry skin and soak through the layers of clothes…? But all the same, I question myself… and why or rather why not???
Well, its only about 5 months since this man walked into my life… and it wasn’t exactly like waves go dashing into each other or like new blossoms touch each other and spread a wild fragrance… it was like meeting just anyone else… may be at work…may be at a party… just about anywhere… so, I met him one day… and when I met him I never once did expect my heart to do a cart wheel… and to that effect I was right. I didn’t shy, didn’t blush, no super fast heart beats… just nothing to bring an indication of what was to come.
And then, within a few minutes, a relationship was formed, a bond set and a new phase of life opened. It opened quiet so fast that I couldn’t exactly figure what was happening, except that I was smiling all the time, spent very less time at home with family, had no inclination to work, wrote innumerable emails… most one liners, to someone I met like a week ago, and then somewhere down the line, said the three magical words… and even when we exchanged those, it wasn’t like a hurricane of emotions… but was more of a solid grounded feeling; like I would have said it sometime sooner or later.
And then, there was a sudden rush all around me, people, places, relationships out of the blue… everything stood at a hair-pin bend and then, even as I took seven short, tender, yet firm steps safe knowing that my hand was held… everything changed. All within a couple of minutes, the entire scene, the whole world as I had seen it for 24 years… it all changed. Yes, my mum was still my mum and that she would always be. But… now I was also someone else’s daughter (in-law), the only 2 men in my life till then had been dad and bro… and now (legally, cause otherwise the man had walked in about 1 month ago and dad hadn’t spoken to me for over a week when that happened) there was another man… and probably the most important one. Also, the way the world saw me was now drastically different, with many more ornaments adorning me, with more color on my face than I ever wore… and most importantly as someone’s wife…
And after many tumultuous moments in the 5 months that passed since I took those steps and wore the black beads… today when I see myself, I feel more close, more connected to this man who hardly talks, who stays at office 3 nights a week, who is so totally different from me… and yet compliments me so perfectly. Not that it’s not the same with my family… its just that somewhere deep within it seems like he IS family.
And now, when he has gone away… now… don’t mistake that, he’s home for two days and already those two days seem like eternity… most girls would have jumped at that opportunity to go stay at mum’s place… but I… wouldn’t mind going there but would prefer staying at HOME… and when that thought crossed my mind, I set thinking… should I be happy that I am adaptable or should I shun myself for shifting loyalties… but then also, wouldn’t a wife be loyal to her better half… and so, I am to my hubby… he is quiet, peaceful, ambitious and amongst the most love able persons that I have come across… on the day, when I met him, I had no inkling that today, 5 months down the line, I would be swept by such a strong torrent of emotions… emotions of love, of longing, of adoration… all for my Siddhartha…

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fairy tales will be just that...

Fairy tales will be just that… fairy tales. A stretched bit of imagination, a dream, a wish, a fantasy which life will never concede to you. Each of us grows up with a fairy tale concocting a sweet desire in our little heads. Some of us learn early in life- the difference between reality and the dream. Most of us, though we know that reality and dreams have palatial houses on opposite horizons, still choose to rely on that eternal feeling called Hope; a fleeting feeling that leaves a lasting impression- gives us a crutch that won’t take us far and leads us to a point on the cliff where both hanging and falling are just as fatal.
There is one such fairy tale with me too. A fairy tale that conjured dreams; those dreams spiraled into desires; the desires built dreamland in my brain… a dreamland that I wanted oh-so-badly as a reality; a dreamland that made me cling to the last shreds of hope and do everything in and out of the book to live that dream… only to know that the fatal fall makes life a survival… a survival struggle not worth fighting.
But, I am born a fighter and that’s half the battle. So true to instinct, I fought, I fight and waged this terrible war inside of me – a war that had defeat smeared all over it even before I decided to step on the battleground. After years of thrashing about, resisting the situation, I finally realized the truth in the statement ‘whatever you resist will persist’. Today, I am bogged down by the war, over powered by the situation and the dream has been broken; reality is staring at me and I can do nothing but fight back the tears and accept the situation. Like it or hate, but know that this is how it is and facing it would be the sign of a real fighter…
The broken dream weighs down heavily. A fable that told the saga of youth, of dreams unwoven, of radiant hopes, of roads less tread; a fairytale dream that will remain just that… a fairytale.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A strange emptiness

A sense of loss for someone I barely knew; a sense that something has left me… gone far away, never to return; a very strange sense of vacuum - so often did my eyes well up, but not a tear drop rolled down; so many fleeting memories flashed by- things I never remembered, never even probably registered suddenly presented themselves before me.

The last 2 days brought before me- in such close proximity, an event of life that I never really thought about, sometimes even joked about and more often than not thought I was prepared for… but then, no one can ever really be prepared for it… it is an event that walks in on tip toe and goes away with a bang. I am left with a strange sense of emptiness- a void- called Death.

They say death is a thing of grandeur; it suddenly brings to life a host of relationships that you never you shared with the one gone-by. I so totally agree. For someone who has seen death at workplace so often, I thought I could sail through this one… after all, I have seen blast victims, flyover collapse and dead bodies strewn around me, thought it always disturbed me, left me unnerved, I guess work pressure was so high that I never really had the time to grieve. Of course, images of the blast sites haunt me until date…

But, then I had never seen death of someone ‘my own’, ‘related’ etc… and when Saturday brought me the news, though I kind of expected it, something in me suddenly went still. After I saw him lying there, lifeless, limp, still and when they took him away and I knew I could never see him again, something changed… a realization that between the first in-breath and the last out-breath, this phenomenon called life, deserves to be lived to its fullest. Each breath to be utilized to its optimum and each word and action to bring more relief on this planet, we call home.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Birthday Bash!

Forgive my delayed post... I was still walking down from heaven, from a fantastic, fun vacation full of surprises for my dearest better half! So, what was the excitement about? It was Siddhartha’s birthday on Friday and the evening was overflowing with activity lined up for him... all of them surprises, starting with a trip to ISB where his (and incidentally mine as well) Art of Living teacher and friend was waiting to wish him. Ah! The look on Sid’s face when he met Vinod... after a long drive to Barista and lotsa catching up with Vinod, we let high and dry from Barista (welcome the Hyderabad power cuts!) to rush to Shalu and Kanishka’s place... there was an emergency you see! We were even made to give distant blessings ;) and when we finally enter their home, we find a bunch of enthu friends waiting to smear cream on his face. Ok Ok! I confess, I spear headed that team of butter facial providers... (I will post birthday pics once Ramesh, Shridhar and the others please pass them to me...)

After a delectable dinner conjured by our very own star Chef, Shalu... (Thanks for that lip smacking sattavic pav-bhaji) we left for a long long drive to a location that the birthday boy knew nothing about... he was merely following driving directions you see... and just before mid night... we checked into a weekend of pleasurable pursuits ;) (Now, don’t you get your minds working overtime...) At the Pragati Resorts, we played, swam, walked, relaxed... had tonnes of fun... got ayurvedic massages done, sang, danced, meditated... (Yes...we did meditate. So, there is a Knowledge Sheet by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji about vacations. He says, something on the lines of... you can go everywhere, see as many places as you wish but don’t forget to make breathing and meditation a part of your vacation. So, well, we did meditate!)

PS. By the way, the resort is beautiful... must visit... only please DON'T go on weekends, when all the corporate houses will bring their bunch of over enthusiastic employees who cant see beyond a swimming pool and loud, obnoxious music

That was a sneak peek into our holiday!

Friday, March 20, 2009


It's finally here... after a long wait, counting days, hours & minutes... it's finally here. For four days, I simply couldn’t contain myself, was bursting with excitement, day dreaming, imagining, planning, re-planning and planning again... new dreams, the exhilaration, it was palpable! And now, that the day has dawned... am still excited, but not quite as much... It’s true... the fun lies in the waiting, the love dawns in the longing... Anyway, let’s put-off the gyaan for another day... right now, I am on the verge of doing shoulder-stands and cartwheels... the surprises are in store for the evening... I can’t wait to see his response/reaction to all that is lined up! All of that and more when we are back next week... with lots of pictures! ;)

Monday, March 9, 2009

So hard to swallow

The healthy, humble Ragi Mudde
Why is it so hard?

It’s that time of the year when sun comes beating down upon you and saps you of all your hard earned energy. If you are living in Hyderabad and are already cursing the heat under your breath, brace up for the future, the sun here has barely begun shining... forget scorching :( Its the season when the A/c’s, the coolers, the matka’s, the barley water and the Ragi drinks come dancing to the forefront.

Oh yes, Ragi reminds me of a very interesting story I did during my journalism days... a story on the variety of foods in Karnataka and finding prominence in that story was the humble Ragi mudde. Yes. Yes! The same healthy breakfast food that Deve Gowda (the son of the soil) put in the international media’s frame. So, in the story I did, I not only helped make the mudde, but also did an interesting Piece to Camera while trying hard to swallow the Ragi cake... and that’s when the question popped into my head for probably the first time, “Why are the good things in life, all so hard to swallow?” In this case, quite literally so. Anyway, to cut a long, sometimes hilarious and mostly throat hurting story short, I finally did manage to swallow the mudde without a visible scorn on the face and smilingly spiel for the tube... a story that won much applause from most of my critics! Mission accomplished; and the chapter of the mudde and the question of why so tough to swallow were closed... until, in Hyderabad, the sun started to beat down upon me and the Ragi story began all over again.
Only that this time, I chose to drink the malt and ponder on the question “Why are the good things in life, all so hard to swallow?” All the good things in life: - waking up early in the morning (yaaaaawwwwwwwwwwnnnn!), eating fresh fruits and green leafy veggies (Eeeekkkkksssssss!), doing an hour of exercise (Ouch! that hurts)... all these “good habits” are the toughest to take on though we know extremely well that they are the only ones worth having!
The exercise especially, barely a week or two ago, the angel in me kindled the good thought of inculcating a good habit of waking up at the crack of dawn, doing some yogasanas, meditation, cooking, chatting with my plants et al. Since the angel was at work while I was in the best of spirits, I decided to act upon this thought! Next morning on, up I was fresh as a daisy at 4:30 am... I was exercising, breathing fresh, unpolluted air... wow! Such was bliss. Arduous as this was on my body, I thought to myself, “there is no such thing as a free lunch! I need to work for all these pleasures... I’m doing what is really good for me! I am emerging victorious in this battle against the bulge... I have arrived” the habit is now set, my life is now disciplined.
In the evenings, during those lovely early morning days, I was happy but sleepy... fresh but a little irritable... and sometime in that sleepy, happy state of mind, a thought flashed my mind, why not wake up just 20 minutes late tomorrow... you know what happened next. Within 4 days, I am now back to waking up at 7 am... gone are the early morning walks, exercises and meditations. But the ragi drink, just brought back to me the question, why is it so tough to inculcate and maintain a good habit? The answer came to me, when I was doing what I do best- munching on (what I like to believe is) health food! Time and again, we let the small mind, the little sly, cunning fellow overpower the all encompassing, all pervading big mind. The big mind always bids its time. It’s like a mother, caring, loving to its children, warm and smiling at the small silly follies we make. It gives us stern warnings, and when we still don’t follow, then the mother comes down to action- often, that’s when we regret not having followed the ominous signs. But till then, our small mind has a ball of a time finding every little nook and corner and loophole to skid out of the regimen/ discipline that we are struggling to fit into our lives... and every time that we let this small mind win, we loose the game of life... loose the larger perspective, confine ourselves, restrict the blossoming!
So, how do we overcome this small mind? The answer to this question came while Rajesh (a good friend), Siddhartha (my better half), Aditya (my darling brother) and I were having dinner (food again) ;) in Bangalore. Unnecessary details aside, here is what we figured; we don’t have control over our thoughts or our feelings. But we can control what thoughts we act upon and what we let pass. This discrimination power, to decide on what to act and what not to come with either the awareness (which can be heightened by regular sadhana) or by making the same mistakes again and again, till we finally see what we are up to and then, that awareness will enable us to overcome the pattern of making the same mistakes over and again; that awareness will ensure that we read the signs, follow the Big mind and never don’t over step the all pervading consciousness.

So, starting tomorrow, the early mornings begin again... this time, I choose to ensure that big mind emerges victorious! All the same, isn’t it amazing, the introspection that can happen over a cuppa Ragi!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Enter the spring of bliss!

It’s the night of Shiva; the Lord of all Lords; the Maha Yogi. A night celebrating the silence of Shiva, the power of HIS presence; imbibing the supreme knowledge- Shiva; rejoicing in the spring of bliss- Shiva.

Shiva- the destroyer; Also, the cause for creation! Shiva- the Lord of meditation; the Lord of awakening! Shiva tatva means ‘to be awakened’. A night to shake up, wake up from all slumber; to dispel ignorance and bring in light- opening the doors to bliss! To freedom! For me, this Shivratri is about freedom. Freedom from all the inane, mundane worries, pains, aches that have tortured my body, mind and soul for lifetimes... Freedom from the numerous, sly tricks that my mind plays, successfully digressing me from the path. Freedom from the boredom that haunts me time and again. Freedom from routine; from everything that binds me, holds me... Routine- it binds; make something a discipline and all your freedom is restricted. The mind hates it... it will never let you hold the reigns in your hand- will wander here and there and ensure that the leash you so sternly tied around it, slowly and gradually falls away- rather you throw it away. The mind is very cunning- the more you tie it down, the more loop holes it finds! It doesn’t seem to tire of this game! Well, it wins so often, no wonder it loves the game, add to that the fact that we get fooled so easily and fall prey to its tricks. No sooner have we started on a routine, a discipline... than we feel constrained, restricted even stifled... and we stop the discipline... there- the small mind won again! How much longer? How many more such victories to the small, sly, wily mind? There is a very beautiful knowledge sheet by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Freedom and Discipline (Intimate Note to a Sincere Seeker- Vol 1). He says that the defence is regimented. There is no freedom in the defence services. Yet, they protect the freedom of the country. We often mistake freedom for freedom in action. That is the cause of the problem. Freedom is of the mind. Discipline is of action. So, this time, the wish is for Freedom in the mind, discipline in action. The prayer is for discipline... cause in the depth of the discipline is hidden the spring of bliss...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Something about that evening

The deep lines along his forehead, the dark hollows of his cheek, the shallow feel of his skin hanging limp by his face, the depth of his eyes… they saw the pineapple yellow of the setting sun, but those rays also brought along with them a setting boredom in those deep eyes. After all, he had seen many a yellow sunset, many an autumn and felt a few too many times the warmth of the cool evening breeze. And yet, that sunset was special, was different, and was nothing like he had seen before. The breeze wasn’t like the one he had felt in the many passing years.

There was something about that evening which held him spell bound, which made him want to breathe deep, to sing like he had never done before, to play, to dance… the light that the setting sun was taking with it, in that light, he wanted to immerse himself. He wanted to bathe in those rays, to laugh while the sun tried to steal them from him… cause he owned those rays… he was their master… today, he was the carrier of light. His heart was dancing, not even waiting for his body to move an inch. His heart was overjoyed, was pouring love and bliss. His smile got wider with every passing breath… his mind raced through the past, through moments of joy, through the pains of birth…

There was something about that evening, about the breeze… there was something about those setting rays that weren’t the same as he had ever experienced. There was something about that evening when he wanted to dance, to laugh, to play… something that made him want to live and yet, his eyelids felt heavy, he simply couldn’t gaze into the distance, something closed his eyes… something about the sun rays - burnt through his supple skin… something about the warm breeze - chilled him to the bone… taking away all that he ever had… leaving behind a smile that froze… there was something about that evening that took his breath away… never to bring it back…

PS. I don't know why I wrote this... yet, even while writing it, I realised for probably the first time, how beautiful and intriguing the mystery of death is- a secret that can never be unravelled! What also came to me, was the importance of living each moment to the fullest- like its our last one... being 100 per cent in each moment! (The Guru never ceases to provide us opportunities to reiterate and live the knowledge!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Flowing with the notes…

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan live in concert
As he strummed on his instrument- with the tip of his finger nails… everything fell still. Forgotten were the careless whispers, the loud guffaws and everything in between. The occasional clearing of the throat or even the rustle of his crisp turquoise blue kurta were drowned in the sound that emanated from that shining instrument… a sweet, delicate yet sharp sound that permeated the environment. Ah! Wasn’t it bliss to hear the maestro at work? Anyone who has heard Ustad Amjad Ali Khan ji at the Sarod will know what it is like to be transported into a state of peace and joy. One can’t but help flowing with the notes and yet, the mind comes to a rare stand still! Such is meditation- flowing with the breath and watching the mind come to a halt…
It is amazing the effect that sounds have on living beings- everything ranging from plants, water, animals to of course- the social animals ;) It’s true that singing to our plants, talking to them can make them happy and encourage them to grow faster… I tried it with my little rose bush- for some reason, it didn’t bear flowers in the season that it should and after a few days of chatting with it, viola! There were 3 beautiful buds- bursting to bloom… J just by being a happy rose plant! Anyway, that’s another story for another day- how sounds and vibrations affect the plant kingdom.
Coming back to the sounds and their effect on the human body and mind complex; each sound has a distinct impact on a designation region in the body leading to an overall sense of well being and relaxation. There is a lot of research going on about this, about sounds and how they affect the body- a science that our ancient Rishi’s, Muni’s, Ustads had mastered and handed down over generations through the ragas and mantras. Each chakra (energy center) in the body responds to a particular sound, a particular vibration and through those sounds and vibrations, we can unravel the mysteries of the universe. By just meditating on those mantra’s we can get a glimpse of restful awareness of Samdhi… all we need to do, is flow with the notes, with the sounds, with the music…
Like the wise one has said-
Stretching sound is music
Stretching movement is dance
Stretching the smile is laughter
Stretching the mind is meditation
Stretching life is celebration
Stretching the devotee is God
Stretching feeling is ecstasy
Stretching emptiness is bliss!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another 45 rhythmic breathers!

Sajita and me- 2 rocking teachers on the course
Participants sharing heart warming experiences on the last day of the course
45 more people in whom the seed is now sown, who have opened another doorway to work with emotions, thoughts and feelings. 45 more people, who will breathe free, smile more and live better! Am just done with another Part 1 course – another opportunity to spread the ancient knowledge that His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji has revived on this planet. Every moment of donning the teachers’ role, of allowing the Guru to talk through you was an experience that refreshed the mind, rejuvenated the body and soothed the soul. Each moment on the course was so special for me. A moment to treasure and yet not hold on to; And for me, another reason among the millions I already have to be grateful to my Guru, to bow down to HIM… another opportunity to see the event and appreciate the happening.