Monday, October 26, 2009

Confessions of a Mother

I see that the children we have are miracles like any other. Like the bluish green tinge of the backwaters, like the blazing mighty sun taking its daily dip, far out in the sea, like meteors from space falling, sparing skyscrapers infested with all kinds of people, like the many acts of kindness that is bestowed upon us each day, we have nothing do with creating them: our children. Our job is to stand and wonder. Our job is to marvel and love. What has been given to us, as an ultimate act of mercy.
Today, my son walks up to me and hugs me tight, and said "Amma, I like you." His arms went around my waist and his cheeks rested on my stomach. He is all of five years. There in his eyes was a look of undivided, unadulterated, love. Just admiration and gratitude. As my eyes welled up, looking down at him, I wondered, do I deserve this. Like flashes. Quick repeated flashes, I remembered the moments I failed him. Failed him so completely. Like the time he came to me with his water colour painting of the scary deep sea monster, I looked at the pool of paint on the floor and big stain on my durrie, instead and said, can’t you be more careful. Or the time he came and said "amma, I want to take flowers for my teacher, she hugged me for naming all the animals", a pang of sheer jealousy and insecurity of the attention getting divided, I dismissed the act telling him, that she’s just doing her job. And many other thoughtless, cruel acts later, here is my son, hugging me and telling me I am the best.
My son is a good-looking child, well-behaved, courteous, loving and selfless. I look at myself everyday and wonder where he got all this from. Not from me. Not even from my husband. I look up heavenward again with tears and in silent awe, do I deserve this? I ask again. Then in an instant I get the answer. It doesn’t matter if I am worthy, it’s all love. My son loves me; it doesn’t matter if I am worthy. He loves me because the hand that made him is love itself. And today I saw the face of my God in him.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Telomeres of a different kind.

Some of the most amazing moments in life are the moments spent with friends. At least it’s been that way for me. Some say you rely on friends when you don’t have much of a family to hold on to. TRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIING, I disagree. Both are different equations. I would say you need your friends as much as your family. I think, to become a wholesome person, good friendships are essential.
All that gyan apart, I am here to talk about a person I stumbled upon virtually. Literally virtually. Through the World Wide Web. Besides from the fact that our relationship grew from being just ‘chat’ acquaintances to deeper levels of understanding, she has today become an indispensable part of my life. All this happened at frightening pace of just over three months. But as she became my shoulder to cry on, my soul/sole confidante, my reason for existence on some days...I learned over time that besides from being this generous human being, she had a side to herself which she(I quote another special person here) “ tries best to hide from the rest of the world”:her sheer brilliance! Her work in the field of science. Her road to accomplishment was a bumpy ride by any standards, both physically and emotionally, and today she has arrived. She is a scientist. We have a zillion of those in the world as she always makes it a point to remind me. Maybe there is, I don’t know and I don’t care. For I know only one. And this one surely made a difference in my life and I am glad to know she’s contributing to science as well.
‘Beautiful Mind’, worked on the enzyme Telomeres, which has gained popularity among the science illiterates as well. For which we have the media to thank for. It has been in the papers now for some time, about the noble prize in the field of medicine, going to the ‘richly deserving’ female duo Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Grieder. Their collaborative effort has solved one of the greatest mysteries of our time-how chromosomes are protected from degeneration as they divide continuously. They discovered that telomeres, the protective caps found at both ends of the enzyme prevent it from degradation. Pretty much like how the plastic caps at the end of the shoelace protects it from spreading apart. So this is where my friend ‘beautiful mind’ comes in. She worked on this very same enzyme, during her stint in cancer research. From what I understand, as she very patiently tried to explain to me, it is this discovery which helps us comprehend the nature of malignancies(cancer) as well.
I am in awe of my friend ‘Beautiful Mind’, fiercely proud of her. And more than anything humbled by her modesty. Beautiful Mind is not just another one more of a science nerd. Besides from being brilliant and successful, she has over and over proved to be a person who is not just good to her friends but to all who come in touch with her. Through several of her mails from our daily correspondence, I can see that her young life is filled with experiences and acts of kindness bestowed on all those who have come in contact with her. Even when storms brewed within, experiences haven’t hardened her, she continued to be spontaneous, fun, chirpy, gorgeous, fashionable, and last but not the least a pilot of tour de gastronomia (fabulous cook). Can you ever imagine a scientist being all that...She has redefined my image of a science freak. I realise that they can also be engagingly charming, heart-warmingly benign and out-of-the boxly fun. But only my friend here can be all that and even a sophisticated chic with a golden heart. She breaks all proverbial stereotypes. That of a science nerd being arrogant. Of a beauty being a dunce. Of an absent minded professor being a fashion disaster.
Kudos to you my lovely lovely friend. May your kind prosper and thrive and fill the earth with the fragrance you so bring in to the room you walk into. (She literally does that. A fan of Lush products, she smells heavenly too) Thank you for your gentle kindness, thank you for understanding. And most of all thank heavens you are a scientist, you sure manage to save their faces and make them glamorous. May you inspire many to join you, whereby saving mankind from degeneration like a chromosome would without telomeres. You are my telomeres of a different kind. Hugs and Muah!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grace Is All I Need

A friend teased me one day, how all the favours he did for me will add up in the big account book of good and bad deeds. When the list of good tides over the list of bad, St. Peter would turn the key to the doors of heaven for him. The joke was at my expense of course! Clearly, he did think that was how I determined the way I lived my life. There was an element of truth to what he thought of me too. That is probably how I tried to subsist. All my efforts focused on trying to add on to my list of good deeds, working hard at trying to do the right thing for all the right reasons. The effort was sometimes humungous and almost always ended up tired and sometimes even convinced being good is hard work indeed.

But some days ago, I realised I may have missed a basic point. Maybe I should start living life with gratitude and awe of being a part of creation. Thankful everyday to be alive. Maybe I should open my eyes and look around and drink in the beauty of the bounty. Maybe I should live my life realising I exist because of love. The kind of love that says you love the other not because you’re loved by them, but because God loves you.

And as for being good and actually all about looking at the bigger picture. The ariel view of things. Looking at things the way God sees it perhaps. The view from heaven is the best. Because from up there you see more than from what you see from the eye level of one’s perspective.
Goodness is all about loving. The way the Almighty loves. Unconditionally and without reserve. Loving when not loved back. Loving when the self protests in fatigue. Loving when there are more reasons to hate. Loving when impatience tells you to give it up and move on with ‘your’ life.

Being good just takes me one third the journey to Him. What really takes me there is His love. And the grace that comes with it. I can’t even move my finger or even think a single good thought if not for the grace that comes from Love.
Therefore I learnt today, Grace is all I need!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Through an Open Window

I sit here by the window and look outside at the world. The view may seem limited but it still is a room with a view. And an entire vision of things for someone who seldom steps outside. I see people. I see things too. But it’s people who catch my attention. It is them who interest me. Things, I notice only when the people use them. Like I notice the girl in a pink slipper. Who jumps with glee for she got herself a pink pair to match her pink top. Actually it’s the girl I noticed first. Then the slipper. Then the top.
The girl was petite and pretty. She had her hair long and straight. She had it up to her bum. But what I liked most about her was that she had pretty feet and it looked pretty in her pink slippers. She looked up at my window and smiled. It was irresistible. I just had to smile back. Or she would’ve remained there just beneath my window smiling till I smiled back at her. Satisfied with my smile she nodded and walked away. Turning to look towards me a couple of times. Then she turned the corner and disappeared. And I missed her and wondered if she would pass by my window again.
Then I saw a man. A short man. With long strides. If January was the month he took the first leg forward, it wouldn’t be until September he followed it with the other foot. That long was his stride. Though great distances were covered it seemed like a slow walk. He looked around. He was watching people from down there just like me from up here. I wanted to tell him, ‘Come up here, join me, the view is great.’ But I am sure even if I did call him, he wouldn’t agree about the view. He would say his is better than mine. He would say, I am older than you, so I know. He would say, I have seen more of the world walking on my two feet, so I would know. Therefore I did not call him up. I would not be able to give him answers to that, even if I still think I have a better view from up here.
Then I see another man. This time, a man with a hat. He’s dancing along the way singing aloud. Not bothered that all eyes on the street were on him. As he rushed down the streets his gaze catches mine. Surprising me. I looked away. But then I looked back at him. He was still looking at me. Of all the people in all this time, none has asked me step down. He asked me with his eyes. He asked me to come down. And I asked why? What for? With my eyes. He said you look lonely up there. I then told him. I am alone but not lonely. I like it up here because I see things that you cannot. He wasn’t convinced. “But you just see the street below”, he said. “Come, walk with me”. “There is so much more to see”. I say to him, “the street below, that I see, is really a wedge of every street around the world.” “Though I have not stepped out, I know how things are out there.” “How can that be?” He asks.
I say to him, “Each of the people who walk beneath my window, have roamed the world on their two feet.” “And each of their gazes upward, I capture and I see in them what they have seen on their journeys. That is my vantage of looking from up here. For you begin to really see.” I said. Puzzled, the man said, “What is true for one may not be true for another”, and walked away. Shaking his head in exasperation as if to say “Will she ever learn.”
I couldn’t help smiling at his gait. He came without a worry, singing and dancing. Now look at him walking away like a deflated balloon. The girl in the pink slippers walked by just then. Their eyes met and he said to her “Come. Walk with me.” She gladly and willingly did. She looked at me and smiled and turned back to the man with a hat. I smiled back, feeling my smile spread across my face, feeling happy that life is a gift. And choices people make may seem dissimilar, but actually is the same, in truth. They walked away and disappeared round the corner.
I wanted to say to him, “Only if you could come up here and see, how beautiful that looked to me.” Then he will understand that I see more than he sees, without stepping outside my vista, through my open window. From a room with a view.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Romancing the monsoon

When I look outside my window...I see it raining in the sea. My face brightens, just when the sky darkens. The dark clouds gather far beyond the horizon and it slowly moves an African American model sashaying across the ramp. With her long legs deliberately and sensually , one, put in front of the other. Left and right. Left and right. Pitter- patter. Pitter- patter. A slight jig. Somewhere the music dances with her movement, not the other way....From afar her blue dress caresses the floor and then bounces off and swishes when she stops and takes a swift turn and glances at you in the centre. Her body turns away from you while her eyes still holds your stare. And she turns her head away almost reluctantly...and walks away, making way for the other raven beauty...
As much as I curse the rains when it finally arrives, there is nothing more romantic than the monsoons. Inconveniencing my daily routine, the lover (the rain) has arrived, nonchalantly, arrogantly, unapologetically at my door. You smile within. Can I imagine the clouds not gathering in the sky, as it hides the sun and my entire universe takes on a pale indigo hue? I smile and wink at the gloom for it does lighten my mundane existence. The habit of routine is broken, I need to change everything. I am forgiving for the break in my practice. I Wonder how my life would’ve been, if not for this visit, how mysterious, the plain and the simple looks now, as the atmosphere so pregnant with rain in its belly, waiting to wet me with its showers. When the rain reaches my vista...I run to my window stretch out my hands to capture the first satin it caresses my skin. I step outside, like a reluctant, shy, wanting bride...the cool breeze and I gasp. Then the spray. And then the torrent. The thunder and then the lightening...what a ruckus, chaos, madness....but such beautiful method to it all....teasing you, egging you forward and you feel so dangerously alive. Livid but nevertheless alive!
Next time I see my son dancing in the rain, I will tell him, “dance, dance all you want...for when you grow up, this becomes an indulgence and you become the mad one for wanting to court the downpour of God’s apparent blessing.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Memoir Of a ‘Wannabe’

I had the audacity to call myself a writer. The other day some people asked me an innocent question... “What do you do?” They asked. “I am a writer”, cringing within, because I couldn’t remember the last honest piece of anything even closely resembling ‘ literary,’ I had written. Hopefully they would stop with this line of questioning...I prayed. Smiling bravely I remained with the company, eager that their attention would now turn to the delicious meal we were having.
“What do you write?” they probed...
“Well! I write anything and everything.” That was vague enough. They would probably stop asking now. I thought. Intrigued they might move on and talk among themselves, “what an interesting person she is” they might say...I dreamed.
“Oh interesting!” They all said. By about now, their expressions were of serious awe...Encouraged... I continued.... “I write profiles for companies, people and services”... I should’ve stopped there, but pride got the better of me. There is nothing more seductive than attention of a crowd of people with every eye focused at you...”I write content for websites”....
“You’re a copy it?”
“You write brochures and pamphlets isn’t it?”
“Well! That too”...I said sheepishly. Feeling rather exposed. So much for referring to myself as a writer. I was losing ground. They were losing interest. Sniggering they started dispersing. Like a defiant drowning man gasping for air..... “I am a content writer”...but by then there was hardly anybody listening to me...
The appeal had clearly vanished. All their attention was now directed at the food, where it belonged right from the start. And I for one was forgotten and pushed to the oblivion.
But I didn’t really give up. To save the honour of every copy writer on planet Earth I bidded time...for some serious damage control.
“I should’ve just said I am a blogger...damn!”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Soul Cafe

"cantare amantis est... Singing belongs to one who loves" Music brewed for the soul. All are invited to Soul Cafe. 29th Of June, 6:00pm-8:00pm Avenue Centre, Panampilly Nagar. Ernakulam.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Writing is a balm

To be able to write is an act of mercy God bestows on us. For some days now i have been able to write...grace was overflowing. And grace often took the form of special people and tiny inspirations. One day it was an SMS on my mobile early in the morning. Another day it was a good laugh with a friend over the phone. Still another day it was a sad moment. Tonight it was a late night realisation that life is a gift...that beckons me at this odd hour to write.
(I can never claim to be a good writer. For that matter not even a thinker.But i wish to believe that some good can come out of me as well. After all God did create me.And for some crazy reason i have chosen this path of writing.)
The gift of life, always leads us into varied experiences. Tonight I experience excruciating pain in my soul.But for some unknown reason, the pain is accompanied by a balm. The balm being: By making a choice, i just might have let the bird free...., I might have just saved a life...I just might have returned to someone what was never mine.
And being able to write about it is like a balm that soothes my insides. Therefore tonight i have decided to smile at my pain and accept it. There is no conflict here. Just sheer joy of writing about my excruciating pain.
While Christ experienced pain knowing he was to die this terrible death, the conviction that His death can save mankind must've floated like fragrance among the rocks of Gathesmane.

What a world!

The world we live in is construed as such a bad place so often. The times we live in even worse. Have you noticed there is hardly any cheering good news in the papers these days? I don’t know if it’s because good news doesn’t sell that’s a whole different issue....altogether. Even if it means bad news sells, it does expose the morbid psych of the society. Our children grow up to believe that optimism, good cheer and beauty are merely illusions. Fantasies we weave. They truly believe that pragmatism means to be dark, cynical and calculating. That life is really a string of deceptions and there is nothing in the world that is for real. You start with the myth of Santa Claus. Prince and Princess living happily ever after are just fairy tales. Teachers are not really interested in you just their pay cheque. The discovery does not stop there. Then they grow up to realise success is all about knowing the right people and nothing to do with your talent. And that money buys everything. Even when the best things in life come free, you would rather pay for it. Like, you would prefer to pay a fat dowry and get married than fall in love and marry soul mates.
No wonder children laugh a lot less now. No wonder they rather watch Power Rangers than listen to Snow White and the seven dwarfs. They are born prematurely wise. They already know there are no roses, just guns. They know that there are no smiles just smirks. They know that are is no childhood just hopeless adult life.
Pity, don’t you think? We adults have sketched such a sorry image.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Love in Action

In my last post I pondered about love....but today I know what it is.

Maybe someday I will acquire the skill to write about it. But today I am humbled, overwhelmed, teary eyed most of all, finally at peace. For today I understood what it is to love and be loved. Today I know that it is humanly possible. Today i know that when Jesus died on the cross and said it was for love, and you can too..He meant it. Because today I saw somebody dying so that the one he loves can live. So fortunate for her to be loved like that. For fortunate for us, for Christ loves us thus. So fortunate for me that I understood finally what it means to love.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If love makes the world go round, what could it be?

I was sitting with friends for a brainstorming of a website the other day as usual in between business, everyday- life- conversations seeped in. And my friend, an elderly lady, was talking about someone whom she had a problem with. Her voice filled with emotion blurted out suddenly, “I shall love her, but don’t ask me to like her.” For a moment I thought the statement was absurd. But after giving it some thought, I was struck by its depth......

Love is a much misunderstood concept, I realised. But the Greek philosophers and the post reformation theologist say that there are different kinds of love.....But, now I don’t wish delve into those high thinking. I just want to try and understand this concept like a regular person.

What is love? Is love a feeling? An emotion? An expression? A person? A thing? Perhaps even a synonym for beauty? I continue to shrug my shoulder with every one of these questions. I simply don’t have an answer.

Could Love be a state being? If so can you love people without liking them?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

To My Writer Friends....

I’ve been moved to write. Sometimes these moments come and if I ignore it. I would lose it forever. So here goes....
What got the wheel turning or the thinking started was when I wrote in my previous blog about the limiting quality of words...I, for some bizarre reason thought words were so limiting. The language of the tongue, so to speak, is so restrictive.
But then I realised it’s also probably because of my lack of dexterity with words. I can’t seem to twist and turn them. To stretch and compress them. To make pudding and sand castles at the same time, with words.
I have seen some do it. Of course! A lot of them do it. All those Dead Poets did it. All the Dead Writers did it. Not to mention the living and the known. All the names on our libraries and bookshelves have all done it.
But I am curiously inspired by them, the lesser known ones. The aspirants. The teachers who never won. The fiercely insecure and utterly brilliant. The passionate and the driven. The procrastinators and the lily-livered geniuses.
I know some such. And one is an old friend who just completed the first draft of a novel. Of which I am reading chapter by chapter. The more I read the more I am convinced this is a narcissistic exercise for me because the pleasure I derive is that of the author himself. Complete with the sense of achievement but sans the insecurity and defensiveness. For some outrageous reason I feel a part of the process of creating this masterpiece. I am bulging with pride for being that reader who is privileged for being the first one to be reading, what could be a remarkable piece of prose, which just wouldn’t be ignored.
But then that is what every insignificant stay-at-home mom would feel when entrusted with a task such as this. Firstly she’s so taken aback for having been chosen from among the multitude to read the work. (She allows herself the luxury to imagine that it is because of some merit of hers...which, what and how, she can’t remember. But she is hoping against hope that there is some such reason.)
Dear Writer friends,
You have all enriched my life just being a part of it. It just moves me to tears, to think that I have all of you in my phone list and to have been able to rub shoulders with you. What more to have you as friends. My deepest hope and prayer for you all is that, you never abandon this path you have chosen for yourself. You are destined to spin yarns, weave poetry, expel your shadows and shun the ghosts that haunt you.
Like a good friend once told me you need to be either ecstatically happy or miserably sad to be able to write. Therefore I wish you much misery and senseless joy. I wish you madness and discipline. I wish you devotion and detachment. If that’s what it takes for you to set the pen moving. This could be your path to salvation. Therefore I wish you a good journey. God speed!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I am in trance right now. Everything appears so strange at this point . Defying logic and reason. I see it every day in my life and in yours. You could be so full of wisdom, ideas. The pillar of strength and the banyan tree for souls. At same time so vulnerable and insecure. Then I wonder how the same person can be both at the same time. Then I see I am too. And that they are too.
Right now I am writing this blog listening to some old songs, which is transporting me to a different state of mind. I am somewhere between nostalgia and that strange feeling that creeps in before one begins to feel alone. But the truth it is I am lonely and so are you. We know that. We see that every day in each other’s lives, yet we continue, not doing anything about it.
Then it dawns on me. That everyone is lonely for there is never a perfect understanding between people. That is when the lacking becomes obvious. But the lacking is a blessing. That which helps us seek and find our own truths. Perhaps it is this search that takes us to that higher plane. I think I have managed to put my finger on what my ‘higher plane’ is. For me it’s pretty much my search for God.
To seek His Holy face. I am very sure that when I manage to look at His face finally I shall be fulfilled. Therefore I stand in gratitude every day that I am never satisfied. That I am always wanting. This makes me look beyond my limited sphere, and understand that there is always so much more to see, to learn... and so much of love all around. The possibilities born out of loving unconditionally like the Almighty...the possibilities that come from the knowledge about our nothingness...
Right about here my trance ends. I feel transcended! ;-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank God for Words!

Over the years, in my search to find the true me, I have been forced to look outside of me. Shifting my focus from watching myself to watching others. Like a poem I read on Face book. Where the poet says, the inside me stepped outside of me and watched.
Not in a rude obtrusive way. Not judging or studying. But then paying attention to people around. Trying to hear the words that gets caught somewhere between, their thought and their tongue. Or maybe the unfinished sentence. Or maybe the ominous silence that screams.
Then I also try hard to understand that sideways glance, the twitch of the eyelid that betrays disappointment when the lips part to smile. Sometimes it is sheer joy that comes in a second and disappears, and you wonder if you saw it at all. Then there is the eyes trying to look away, trying not to get caught between a stare afraid to reveal too much.
But that is not all. Then you have your body bending over. Hands reaching out to hug, same time pushing the body away as far as possible, from any real contact. The gesticulating arms trying to replace words. The touch that says everything. When a hand is placed gently on a shoulder when the occassion doesn’t demand it. The gentle pat. The harsh grip that loosens almost immediately, but alas the damage already done.
As my astral body roamed the streets of silent thoughts. I did wonder. Do we need words at all? Will words qualify your thoughts and put that legal stamp which confirms that yes that what you thought you saw in my eyes is exactly what I have to say.
And like the poet scurries back to his inside. I did too. Feeling safer. Inside of me than stepping outside.
The jungle of pregnant thoughts and straying glances. The traffic jam of flaying hands and pursed lips. The hideous shouts and screams of silence and the chocking of the unspoken words....Thank God we have words. It just makes life easier. Camouflages all that intensity which renders us breathless and rushing for air.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fred Quimby, How could you?

There's a rat in my kitchen. and I need brilliant suggestions to exterminate the rodent. I am open to all kinds of devious, cruel and inhuman (oops! we are talking about a rat here) I mean inrodent methods. I just need to kill it. Whatever you suggest has to guarantee instantaneous death.
Between. I have tried RAtol...the rodent's too smart. It just runs past it. It has sneaked away, everything I have delicatley placed on the rat trap. Ranging from cake to banana....and considering Jerry's craving for cheese, I tried Cheddar as well. Believe me that is a just a myth propogated by Fred Quimby. Rats liking cheese is a big fat lie. As big as the rat in my kitchen. They don't like it. To make matters worse, my five year old son looks at me in disgust, each time I suggest the rat's assassination. Thanks to TOm and Jerry. Jerry and everything that resembles Jerry is a hero. Though he doesn't say it, I can see it in his eyes, 'My mother is a witch. Rat killing witch.
Fred Quimby! how could you?? My son thinks i am the worst! and all because of you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A gooey yellow monster called lacking.

Some days you get off the bed just because you have to. And I have wondered how my day would turn out if I decide to stay in bed. In all of my 34 years on earth I have not tried that. Something as simple as staying in bed, even when I want to, seems like such a luxury. And every waking moment is spend wondering, would I rather be in bed, than doing the laundry right now. Would I rather be under my blanket than wash the dishes? Would I rather dream my impossible dreams than sit here and write blogs.
The phone rings incessantly. I let it ring for some more time before I decide to pick it up. Even that seemed like an effort today. Every task at hand turns out to be Herculean. I just had to get out of this terrible feeling that was there in the pits of my stomach...or somewhere deeper. But it’s inside somewhere, can’t get a hold on exactly where it all begins....but as it rises the feeling turns into a physical presence, and I begin to taste it. It is bitter. So bitter that saliva gathers and it seeps through, my lips. I run to nearest basin to spit it out. Its nausea, I realise. I linger on near the basin. The dark presence starts small from the pits within...and rises up slowly gaining momentum and turning into this fluid monster. When it reaches the tongue I taste the bitterness. This time, it does more than seep through my pursed lips. It forces my mouth open wide. And out comes the yellow mass of fluid, bitter and sour. It’s bile.
With all of it vomited, I assumed that would be the end of my melancholy. Unfortunately it did not stop there. Though, the feeling does not turn into the yellow liquid monster I could still feel its looming presence. It was down there somewhere, bidding time. Waiting for the opportune moment to let its ugly face show.
I had to get to the bottom of it all. And get out of this wretched lethargy, pointlessness, and boredom. I was kind of sure the looming yellow monster was nurtured by these very same emotions. And benign as it would seem initially, it grew into this large liquid mass that couldn’t be swallowed. It had to be vomited, taking with it every small ounce of energy and optimism I had left.
So I had to put on my miner’s cap (the one with torch fixed on it) and a spade and got into the lift that miners use to get down to the bottom. So I did as well. As I went down, down, on either sides I could see the events of the day, week, month, as if, on a big screen. Actually it was quite an interesting ride. It was like one of those novel joyrides in Disney land perhaps. I looked hard and clear to find the hitch the root of it all...then there hidden behind all joyful facades was the stain of the yellow monster. Like a small yellow spill on the ground it lay....I am lacking!!! lacking was the yellow fluid, and it just grew bigger and bigger.
Some days the lacking is so conspicuous. Like today. On other days it’s forgotten. Like the days I am busy, overwhelmed with the volume of tasks at hand. Weighed down by guilt that accompanies working mothers. Like a loyal friend. There to remind you promptly of all your errors, shortcomings, absentmindedness, and most often selfishness. Beset by guilt it is interesting how I can forget my lacking.
But like once a dear friend read out to day on the phone...the lacking is not a bad thing. It is this lacking that urges us to seek and probe....this lacking is our birthright. This lacking is what makes us human and hungry.....
But the challenge is to understand that there is an inherent lacking. It is just there. And not to try and fill it with wrong things rather, seek for the only thing that can fill the vacuum.
Do I make sense???

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The wind in my hair...sand on my in my in my soul

I live in a small town, beside the sea. There are plenty of wide open spaces, lot of fresh air and the blue sea, from every vantage point. From the time I was young I’ve always preferred the picnic to the sea than the drive uphill. My dad’s side of the family had this fascination with hills, the chilly winds and plantations. With my mother’s side, it was always the sea. My maternal grandfather even owned a boat and had a house facing the sea. My rather adventurous uncles managed to get themselves a kayak. Those days it was a rare thing. To own a kayak in Kerala. (There was no need for it ofcourse, when we have kettuvallams) But for some reason they thought it was cool. And believe me it was. It’s very different from a kettuvallam. The technique of manoeuvring the boat is a different ball-game totally. Both required different skills, and one was not better than the other. But perhaps more novel because it was ‘foreign’.
Coming back to the romance with the sea, though all of us (my siblings) like to claim that our predominant genes are from our larger-than-life almost legendary paternal grandfather, my enthralment with the waters must be a genetic thing, that i inherited from my maternal strain.
And my absorption with the sea continued to grow as I grew out of adolescence, puberty, teenage, and early youth. My every fantasy had the sea along with it. My every day-dream featured the deep. At fifteen when I was this gawky teenager, with curly short hair, braces and stick like legs, not to mention dark and waif-like, I used to imagine that I would one day become this nymph. I would see myself (the model in the Old Spice ad that used to come on television in the early eighties). I would imagine that it I would look like this suntanned beauty with long straight hair. But even then, I preferred my hair black(the Old Spice model was a blonde) and in my dreams even though I had this awesome figure I still wore my sarong, never cared much for the bikinis. I would emerge from the waters, and slowly walk towards the shore. ...never got to dream further than that...but like I was saying it had the sea in the back ground.
And as I grew older, though I never became the Old Spice model, not even close(my legs changed from sticks to cellulite endowed). My reverie changed drastically. But the sea faithfully remained. I saw myself as this average built person who was happy about how she looked, even though she wore shapeless shorts and absolutely unflattering T-shirt, not bothered about her unwaxed legs, but just happy to be...with the wind in her hair, the sand on her feet, hands stretched out wide. The smile on her face reflected the simple joy of who she has become, and everything she believed in. Happy with life and most of all, always surrounded by this love-that-knows-no-bounds, kind of a feeling. It was picture perfect. This has remained my day dream till date. And the sea still remains in the back ground.
However , I may one day build a house on a cliff-top and have my very own, room-with-a-view. I may grow old to become a grandmother (still with my sarong) who walks the beach barefoot collecting shells with my grandchildren. And I pray that the sea still remains. Azure and blue.
Even if I mange to do all that, it’s the scene from the day dream that continues to fascinate me. It’s my perfect picture postcard. A snapshot frozen in time, of a life well lived and living.... (Sometimes I do feel the person I become when I am here (BlogSpot) is pretty close to what I want to be on the beach on that perfect day. )
Don’t know if it’s merely a fancy, a wishful thinking perhaps maybe even a distant dream. But I have made this promise to myself....the next time I am on the day dream will become a reality. Even if it means it will take another year, or a few, or maybe even a decade to visit the beach again!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Finding Joshua

It’s the other side of the Red Sea; Moses has his hands raised to the heavens in prayer. With his gaze skyward, he seems lost in this string of undecipherable murmurings. A monotone. The murmuring ends and dollops of air is sucked in only to be followed by the next string. Joshua is standing a step below. He sees the drops of sweat running down Moses’s brow. As he looks at Moses with concern he notices that the tired old man can barely keep his hands raised. It looked as if Moses was pulling some invisible lever in the sky. ‘God must have given him access code to that lever.’ ‘Maybe the code keeps changing every ten seconds and those strange mumbling must be the code.’ ‘He must be saying it aloud so that he doesn’t forget.’ ‘Like how I call out to each of my sheep loudly. So that I don’t forget their names.’ ‘Isfahan, Aaron, Ebola, Tehila.....’ thought Joshua, as he watched Moses intently. His heart went out to the old man. But this is the only way the sea shall part. The people haven’t all reached the right side. ‘Will he be able to hold on till they all get to this side? Is it his raised hands, that’s keeping the sea parted?’ ‘I think it is. And I think he needs help.’
His eyes cringes as the setting sun lets the deep orange rays fall ever so gently on to him. Joshua once again sees the strain etched on the old man’s face. ‘I better help him’ , mutters Joshua under his breath, So Joshua rushes down the hill to find some sticks to support the old man’s tiring arms. He rushes back with two sturdy looking drift wood. ‘Must’ve floated ashore from some wreckage’, thought Joshua. He fixes the wood right under the old man’s armpit. ‘That should give him some support now' muttered Joshua to himself. But what was meant to be merely whisper came out a little too loud. Enough to be heard by Moses, who suddenly realised why he was feeling stronger. His eyes brimmed with tears and it glistened like diamonds in the twilight. Joshua smiled and nodded at Moses. The old man went back to his murmuring trance. The sea remained parted. The people got to the other side unscathed.
This is one particular part of the bible I see in Technicolor like a movie. My rendition of the scenes, are a little more detailed than the ‘Ten Commandments’. I see this in my mind’s theatre almost every other day. After this I remember all those who God send to part the seas for me.
When I had to get admission in college with my rather pathetic mark list, Eddy parted the sea for me.
When I was in a sticky mess of controversies and mishaps, Manoj parted the sea for me. When I longed to go to Austria, Rajesh (my love) parted the sea. God send me several Moses....and if there was a Moses, there must’ve been a Joshua....and I am trying to find my Joshua....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thank yous and Sorrys

Let me begin by saying that this post is dedicated to my friend who pushed me into blogging.
Now I go on to other facts. Is it always necessary to bother with nice-cities like thank you and sorry, with friends?
As the ode goes, friends are there for you, in good times and in bad times. A shoulder to cry on. Among friends there are no thank yous and sorrys. There are so many. If I start writing it all down, I might be guilty of plagiarising every card on Archie’s gallery shelves. It’s not that I think I am above these cards. How much ever I laugh at these cards, when I get one I do feel good about being acknowledged somehow.
Therefore I think to be thankful is one thing and to say thank you is another thing. Being thankful is a state of being. You can be thankful to a friend, situation, stranger perhaps even to God. Also you can live in a thankful state all your life. there is much beauty in that. But to actually say the words is a different ball game totally.
I was walking by the road the other day and a bull rushed towards me. I was caught in the space between the two horns and thankfully didn’t have the horn going right through my intestine with my innards hanging out from the other side. Who was I being thankful to here? To the bull?
I was just thankful for my fortunate situation and maybe even to my guardian angels and to God who appointed them....and to the saints who were praying for me....and the list could go on. Maybe even to the bull, whose intention was probably not to attack but to just scare me. And I could be thankful, that all it did was SCARE THE LIFE OUT OF ME!!! I did say ‘Thank God!’ more than once.
So the question is really do we have to say 'thank you' to our friends or just be thankful that they are there for you.
All of you who think we have to say the word do write a comment in my blog.

Now to what I think, after all this is my blog. I think, thank you is a word that has to be used more often. Something we often forget to use. It is just not used enough.
IT’s about two things. Firstly, you are aware that you are thankful, for better or worse. Secondly, you are humbled that it’s not just you who is responsible for this blissful state of realisation. Also that this state could not have been achieved if not for the other. (There seem to be more than two reasons) Thirdly, you are acknowledging the person’s goodness and admitting it to yourself. Fourthly, it is good manners, just like how you were taught in Kindergarten.

So back to the ode. Friends may say that they don’t want to be thanked. But that’s just another way of saying welcome. Please go ahead and thank people.
Now about saying the word ‘sorry’. Well! The above rule applies for that as well. Now do you want me to go over the whole thing again?
Oh! By the way I forgot. Thank you dear friend, for being my muse!!!
And sorry I took so long to say that.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Duped by Ego

I decided I had to blog today. I just had to. Something compels me to express my thoughts. Talk. Expound. Offer free advice. Preach. Admonish. Tell you how wrong you are and how you should really do it. But I realise that when I do all that I could turn out to be this avoidable person. The kind we don’t want to stick around with. The one we avoid. The kind that makes us want to turn around and walk the other way.
But there is always the possibility that I may even look a lot like someone who actually has something to say. Something that may after all make sense. Something that may help you. Something that may surprise you for depth, beauty and wisdom.
Or I may simply resemble somebody who is lonely hasn’t talked to someone in a long time. Someone who needs to be listened to. Someone you can help perhaps. With a little bit of attention. A kind word maybe. Someone whose life may change just by your words.
I guess what I am trying to say is....I can be all of this sometimes or some of it in the least. We all can be. Our vulnerable moments make us....lonely, weak, and shallow boring. But our better days make us kind, loving, wise and helpful. Some God forsaken days make us proud, arrogant and full of condescendence. We can be all of this sometimes. Some of it most of the time, and none of it rarely.
It took me a while to be humbled by the fact that.....I may not be as good I think I am to somebody. It did disturb me for a while. The fact that I may seem ‘not’ good. It took some more while to accept what is really disturbing me, is not whether I am really good or not. But what I ‘seem’ to people.
It humbles me even more to understand that my ego is so clever that it fools me all the time. Blinds me from the it’s (the ego’s) existence within. It’s such a fine line. Don’t let the ego dupe you.
Be good. For it’s simply the best way to be.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Holiness and Spirituality. And my problem with both.

I don’t consider myself to be holy by any standards. But to be truly Holy has always been in ideal or an idea i have in fact been fascinated with. I am also caught in this stange kind of web. That of deception of sorts, I think. It surrounds my life today. I am confused with what true holiness means. Does Holiness have anthing to with goodness and virtues? Does being Holy mean to be always be in pursuit of doing the ‘right’ thing? Or does being Holy mean being able to love the other just as much as yourself. Or does it mean to be simply in union with the Almighty,so then by default you become good and loving and virtuous because God is Love ,good and virtuous!?
I have also noticed that Holiness is no longer something people look upto these days. Nobody wants to be ‘Holy’ anymore. It is uncool. Boring even. Prayer and any kind of religious affiliation is strangely looked down upon. Atleast the traditional kind. The kind that believes in the divine quality of self denial is regarded ridiculous. The one which calls to die to self in oder to live fully and free is passe, a strange and archaic concept.
Spirituality is now all about the ‘ I’ factor. Discovery of self. Self actuation. The power of ‘me’. And all that. This is a very seductive concept and appealing too . As humans we like all the attention anyway. And with a spiritual angle to this exercise it somehow becomes ...alright to put in all that effort and time to that sacred ‘me’. Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t have any problems with the concept per say. But I am strangely intrigued by the shallowness and limited scope of the notion. Honestly it seems to hold zilch challenge for the human spirit, which I think is so large and all encompassing and is the ‘image and likeness of God’. That which embraces the ‘other ‘ as much as the ‘self’.
Again does sprituality and Holiness have anything do with each other? Is it one and the same thing? Or are they mutually exclusive?
Now coming back to my very own spirituality. Am I spiritual ? I spent a lot time and energy is thinking about and reading about things that are not ‘earthly’...also about the the ‘Almighty presence’, I call God. Now does that make me spiritual? At this point of time in my life I don’t know. Does that make me a Holy? I don’t know. Does that make me religious even? I don’t know.
I have to admit that, what i thirst for most is being able to experience the security , faith in God provides. I must confess, if there is anything that I seem to be doing right, it is only by Grace. The kind of Grace that comes from the Mercy of God. And it is only by Grace that I thirst His presence. I am discomfited because, I don’t know if that makes me; holy? Spiritual? Religious? or simply human?
Guess the name of the game is trying to be fully human first, then perhaps we can consider..... Holy? Spiritual? God Alone knows!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

If The River Could Fly and Not Flow: Just My Thoughts

Just My Thoughts

2008- A guided tour.

Have you ever felt this way....Like as if God has a hold of your hands and is taking you for a guided tour of life. At least 2008 really seemed like one such tour. I lived almost on the edge. Atleast walking on the edge with one arm tightly tucked under His armpit. He did let my other arm free. We were walking..and sometimes I was so taken up by the sights and sounds that I heard and saw on the other side that I even forgot, I had this one arm with him. It has occured to me several times on this tour, what it would be like to cross threshold to the other side...but even when I tried to, there was this gentle tug, that i felt, just firm enough for me to glance at Him. Then it would all be alright. Then I would realise I am in a better place now. and He has allowed me this tour, for me to realise, how better off I really am. But sometimes He did let go of my arm...perhaps because I was too curious....or perhaps because...that's what He's like. A gentleman. And ofcourse He has after all gifted us all free will. But when He does let go of my hands...I am overwhelmed by the trust He has in me. Inspite of all the times I have wandered off..He still trusts me enough to find my way back. Maybe's not really me finding my way's love, always beckoning us back 'home'. Back to have that one arm tucked underneath His armpit. Where we are safe and content. Really.