Posts Tagged ‘life’

A cold winter morning.. The Sun peeking through the mist, trying to bring some warmth to the wet & moist earth along with my jittering limbs & the deepest cockles of my heart. I sit in my balcony, soaking up the pink sunlight, with a hot cuppa tea. This has become a steady course to counter cold mornings for me. The isolation imposed by silence, of being surrounded by people yet remaining just with my thoughts, listening to nothing but the white noise of my indefatigable & unrelenting mind and observing the world go by, have become therapeutic. I have the guilty pleasure of snooping into people’s lives and imagining their stories just by noticing a tiny miniscule part of their days from my tenth floor balcony.

What remarkable lessons can be taken from seemingly ordinary existences!

I saw a child, barely five or six, rush to the terrace of his house, directly beneath my balcony, hence the movement caught my eye. He seemed to be carrying something. On closer inspection I saw a couple of rabbits, white & fluffy, snuggled up in his arms. He deposited his cuddly load in a deserted corner of the cold, bare terrace where the two lagomorphs, confused & scared by the intense attention, quickly found warmth in each other. The child stood up and for a while observed the inactive rabbits seeking warmth in each other. He mustn’t have liked the fact that he, the one who owned them, was being ignored. He tried to raise them from their cold & fear- induced torpor by stomping his feet hard on the floor, the sound made the pets snuggle even closer to each other.

The child tried again, this time with huge green leaves, to lure them to activity. And finally, when he couldn’t get any movement out of them, he lifted one and placed it away from its mate. Finding himself alone, the rabbit responded to the child’s stomping by running helter-skelter, this was not only fun for the child but also must have pleased him to see, something he was so fascinated by, respond to him. He began chasing the poor pet from one corner of the terrace to another. After about ten minutes, he got bored of this and chased the other rabbit around. Then, he called on his family members, his grandfather & father, to come have a look at his possessions, the pets. There must have been a child- like innocence and eagerness in this show of ownership. I saw him trying to force feed the animals, scaring them with all his foot stomping and repeatedly pulling & pinching them to show his tenderness and love. As his attention wavered, the rabbits, yet again, found a quiet corner to escape this ordeal. But the child wasn’t done with them. Weren’t they his pets? Wasn’t it their duty to acknowledge and reciprocate his love?

He chased them, played with them, cuddled them, fed them, showed them off to others and yet could not get a puppy like tail-wagging appreciation of his attention and love so he CAGED them.

I sat there thinking. We don’t change much as grown ups. Human love is possessive, protective and limiting, sometimes resembling a cage. We don’t let go of the objects of our affection easily. We don’t set them free & let them come back to us, of their own accord, instead, in order not to lose them, we chain and cage them to keep them safe and with us all the time. Our latent sense of protection and ownership smother the very people we love. Be it as parents, friends, spouses, or well- wishers, we always look out for the ones we love and there is nothing wrong in it. But too much of everything is bad. While ‘looking out for’ is a welcome emotion, setting boundaries and limiting someone’s range out of love, reeks of negativity.

Not everyone is the same. Every species put on this planet understands love and God has given each a different way to express that love. While puppies and dogs have a special way of making us feel loved, adored and wanted, not all of the others can express it in the same way. Same applies to humans too. All of us love but our expression and needs are different. We have been endowed with something that other species don’t have. It is the combination of speech and perception. Why can’t we, then, use it to our benefit and make our relationships happier and more content?

After all, however gilded, a cage is a CAGE..

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A seagull was flying over a beach, when it saw a mouse. It flew down and asked the mouse:

“Where are your wings?”

Each animal speaks its own language, and so the mouse didn’t understand the question, but stared at the two strange, large things attached to the other creature’s body.

“It must have some illness,” thought the mouse.

The seagull noticed the mouse staring at its wings and thought:

“Poor thing. It must have been attacked by monsters that left it deaf and took away its wings.”

Feeling sorry for the mouse, the seagull picked it up in its beak and took it for a ride in the skies. “It’s probably homesick,” the seagull thought while they were flying. Then, very carefully, it deposited the mouse once more on the ground.

For some months afterward, the mouse was sunk in gloom; it had known the heights and seen a vast and beautiful world. However, in time, it grew accustomed to being just a mouse again and came to believe that the miracle that had occurred in its life was nothing but a dream.

I was reading ‘The winner stands alone’ by Paulo Coelho today & I happened to come across this excerpt. I realised that the same thing happens with us humans every single day. We don’t even have the excuse of different languages, most of the time, it’s just our perspectives that differ so much. We fail to understand the point of view of anyone other than ourselves. Even if we are shown the other side for a while by a well- meaning friend or acquaintance, we conform to our originality sooner or later.

No matter how happy or content we may be with someone or something, we get back to our comfort zones as soon as circumstances permit. We cherish the memories. We think that all that happiness was an unattainable dream. Sometimes we pine for those lost times and opportunities too but we eventually move on. We get back to our bland, mundane lifestyles because that’s what we are, that’s who we have always been. In the process we lose our real chance at a blissful, different life.

All we had to do was to grow some wings. Believe in the vision of another. Give up the safety of our perspectives, for once and take that leap into the unknown that could have landed us some place idyllic.

Alas! Our human stubbornness has been the doom of many a friendships & relationships. It has been the downfall of many a promising careers & success stories.

Two men looked through the same bars

One saw the mud , the other saw the stars..

True, we are each allowed to have and nurture our own sets of beliefs, our deductions, our logic. There is no harm in seeing things differently. But, differences in opinions are healthy only till they help us grow and evolve. When they start to deter our lives irrevocably, we need to sit up and take notice. We need to shun our prides, apologise and reclaim that little bit of heaven that we had found by some miracle.

Thankfully, there is a parallel reality for all of us. We just have to go through the looking glass and discover our own personal Magic ✨

Just a thought!


There will come a day when you will realise what you actually want. Your search will end, it will reach its culmination and that would be the day you probably would stop reading and writing. Whatever you write thereafter will be a complete thought. Your words will want for nothing. You will have achieved what your soul is so desperately looking for in the written word,” so saying, he smiled enigmatically.


But, I don’t think I am looking for anything in particular. I read because I love to and I write only when I have things to say. Yes, sometimes, I have incomplete thoughts that might need processing. Sometimes, I write things that are raw. I write of emotions, of people, of love, of loss. I write of things that are human. I read things that I find fun or that stir me. I have never thought of reading as a channel to get somewhere, it has never been purpose oriented, merely a means of getting to know stuff,” I riposted.

Ah! But you are young still, you will get there, eventually,” he reiterated.

What is it about thinking individuals that ruffles our set opinions so? It isn’t as if I change my thought process on every word of a book or a firmly stated opinion but both mediums compel me to re-analyse my approach. Sometimes I defer to the books or educated opinions thrown at me, at others I stick with whatever wisdom I have acquired over the years.

I maintain that I don’t read with a purpose in mind. I am neither spiritual nor religious enough to seek answers in mythological text, I am not condemning them or denying their significance, it’s just that they don’t work for me as well as a fictional work with deep rooted meaning does. I would rather read a Shantaram or To kill a mockingbird or Rumi, even for that matter a Brida, to get perspective on life, than to look for solutions in the Bhagwad Gita. I have read that too but probably I did not get it much.

I started writing as a catharsis for my broken spirit. I never felt that my pieces had or have any literary merit. I write because, there comes a time in each of our lives when we have things to say that we can’t express freely, even to the closest of our friends or family. Some keep it all bottled up or lock it all up in the deepest recesses of their minds, some choose art, music, cooking, travelling, gardening, keeping pets, chatting or even socialising to keep that inner voice down. To each his or her own.

I Choose to Write. I can’t, at times, express what I am going through even with my writings, for fear of being judged. I still haven’t learnt how to fictionalize my accounts so that I am finally able to pour my heart out without anyone finding out the trials I am going through. I, forever, dread the query, who is it you have written about in this piece?

Still, I choose to write to attain temporary relief, a sense of calm from my ever accumulating thoughts. I may stop writing if by some miracle I can stop thinking of mundane, everyday things. I am an ordinary being, a human with trappings like love, desires, wishes, hopes, friendships & relationships. I don’t see myself graduating to the bigger questions of life and existence any time soon.

May be, I am missing an essential ingredient. It is probable that I am lost. I may not conform to many things that this world lays down but I am ME. I will own up to my mistakes, I am the one who would take lessons from them. I might repeat some of them but I am content. My energy is my own. I regret nothing. Even bad decisions and failures were necessary. They probably were the most important things in my life when they happened.

I am here to lead a simple, uncomplicated, knowledge – centric life and I feel that I am on my way pretty much the way I wanted to be. I love to wear my heart on my sleeve and won’t apologise for being the way I am.

It was my first job, teaching at my mother’s school. There was a cultural function just round the corner and while making a model for the exhibition or a prop for the stage, I don’t remember which, I had fallen short of adhesive and a colleague of mine had offered me some araldite, which they were using for some woodwork. He had playfully mimed its advertisement, Aralditesticks everything except broken hearts. Since then, I always think of this punch line and the product when I find things broken. 

Time has flown by since those green years. A late bloomer, I, had no use of advise on broken hearts till quite late in my life. By then I had developed my own coping mechanism. I had found solace in the written word. I found peace, quiet and a deep sense of calm in music. A book could cure me of anything that ailed me. So could music. 

When things got a bit more messy, I discovered F. R. I. E. N. D. S, the TV show. No matter what I was feeling, however low, anxious or broken, I could watch it and relieve my inner turbulence. 

I have grown since then too. I have realised that escapism of this kind, distractions of these sort have a limited shelf life. It’s not until we face our demons, look them in the eye, think, analyse, accept and come to conclusions, that we find peace within. No person, worth his or her salt, who has ever lived, can escape the challenges that life poses and we grow only when we take them on fearlessly, with an open mind and heart. 

I have recently discovered an ultimate Recipe for Respite – Cooking. It’s something that has kept women going, for ages. It’s what has kept them together. I am thirty seven, and for the first three decades of my life I had no or minimum concern with household chores, no cooking, no cleaning, no house keeping for me. I would instead read. That is the luxury of an extremely efficient elder sister and a doting younger one. Between them, they had the kitchen and household covered. 

I never thought I would ever say that, much less write about it but the kitchen has now become my sanctuary. Whatever my mood, it can be lifted just by being there on my own for an hour or two. In a household full of people and voices, it sometimes become difficult to hear you own self. Cooking gives me that, much needed, opportunity to shut out all other voices and just have a conversation with myself. It’s the most precious ME time I get. Many of my blogs have been thought and conceptualised while Chopping, Grating, Kneading or Peeling. 

Even if I do no thinking while cooking a dish, I end up feeling cleansed, serene and calm once I am through. It gives me immense satisfaction to think up new ways of making the same old veggies. It invigorates my mind, body and soul. I have experienced that cooking not only rejuvenates my mind, detoxing me of stress and anxiety but also relieves me of aches and physical discomfort. The sheer pleasure of making something while I can think and analyse ‘N’ number of topics, is refreshing and comforting.

It’s the place where I, Saute my Stress, Chop at Concerns, Grate Grief, Knead away Knots, Fry the Fears, Boil Boredom, Grill Grudges, Peel Pressures, Wash away Worries, Trundle Trepeditions, Cube the Qualms, Marinate Malice and Malevolence, Bake Benevolence, Chill Certainty, Ladle my mind into a Lull and finally Dish out Determination. 

And the best part is, I try not to avoid my apprehensions, instead I confront them, deal with them as best as I can, accept and move on

I am suddenly out of words so I am gonna give it a rest, until next time. 

As far as household chores are concerned, I particularly pride myself in the kneading of the dough. That was the first thing I learnt and mastered in the kitchen, even before I tried my hand at boiling tea leaves. The process of turning powdery, lacklustre flour into consistent, supple dough, gets me every single time. I am not going to bore you with my culinary expertise 😅 or interests further,  instead would get to the point in a jiffy. I am very obsessive about not leaving any trace of flour sticking to the sides of the trough after I am done kneading. I knead and knead and knead till the trough is sparkling clean. 

As it always happens when I am a little anxious, my thoughts flow in a rhythm of their own. Things as mundane and unremarkable as kneading dough may also trigger a profound chain of thoughts and emotions. That coupled with anything equally regular may result in a blog like this. 

 

How many people might an average person know at any given point of time? And I am not talking of the thousands that we seem to have on social network accounts. I am talking of people who we meet physically on a daily, fortnightly or monthly basis. Some of whom may be a significant part of our day, others still, also as important and relevant even if we don’t see them daily. I have some friends who respond to my good morning messages daily. We may be apart geographically but in that particular instant we are thinking of each other. So, may be a hundred or so people who we are in constant touch with.

Now try and remember how many of them were there when we were growing up or when we were at school or college. The number will dwindle. Rare and special are the people who have the same set of friends and acquaintances in all phases of their lives. As it happens, we fade out of some people’s lives and some people fade out of ours. It’s a completely natural process. Some go away rather quickly others gradually. The ones that just move along as our lives take us places, are the ones that don’t hurt. We treasure the memories they left us with, without even realising that they are hidden someplace inside the maze, our minds are. Someday we come across an old letter or photograph of them or we reconnect via Facebook and voila, the slideshow of memories begin! 

This happened with me today. I reconnected with an elder didi of mine who also happened to have taught me once, long back, and I couldn’t hold back memories. She was the first person I had heard speaking, effortlessly, in English. She had a beautiful handwriting.  Some phrases that I picked up while she taught us English and History, have remained with me ever since. I realised that everytime I have ever used those phrases, I have fondly remembered her. It had become so much a habit with me that my mind could never erase the mental picture of her I carried. Her face had not faded away like it happens with people who drift apart. I perused her profile and found that after so many years she still looks the same – well turned out, smiling, wise eyes, an air of intellect surrounding her that is not limited by the fact that I just saw a picture of her. Though short in stature, her personality looms large for me. I cherish what she gave me as a child. I was at an impressionable age and I am glad that I got to learn from her. I hold dear, her contribution in shaping me, however little it may seem. It is immensely significant for me. Indelible!! It’s true, we never realise how much space we take up in other people’s lives and minds. 

At times I am a little anxious of talking to people from my own past because try as they might people do change and I am afraid that the mental image I carry inside may not match with the stark reality of what time and space have turned them into. Nevertheless, it is still mighty fabulous to be able to recall so much of our past and people’s role in it, frame by frame. It’s a heady feeling to agnise that just like footprints on the moon, certain marks always remain, clear and incorruptible. 

It is a whole other story with the people we have to leave after a falling out of ways. They are the ones who stay the longest in our minds and hearts. Always at the forefront! They are like the hint of flour left on the sides and base of the trough after the kneading is done. We so want them to be a part of our dough, our life but as it happens with dough, so it is in life. We cannot accomplish the desired inclusion without tempering with the consistency of either. I hate leaving people behind, I would rather disrupt the harmony or regularity of my life than to let go of people that, once, enriched it. But all of us have to take tough decisions at times and that is where the anxiety creeps in. Anyone who leaves, takes a part of us with them. True, we adapt,  but we are never the same again. 

How I wish that keeping people close were a skill to be mastered, like kneading! I could have learnt that and would have never left anyone behind. EVER

I saw an animated episode of the famous Motu Patlu today. These characters were quite famous when we were kids and there was a series of comics of the same name. I remember reading them all. This particular episode I saw, had Motu trying to outrun a pouring cloud. He tried everything in the book and yet couldn’t get rid of the cloud. He tried paddling away on a bicycle and the cloud went with him, he disguised himself as a woman to deceive this cloud, that somehow had taken a liking to him, but to no avail. His friend offered him a vaccum cleaner to suck up the cloud, and yet there it was all the more angry and bent on following him. There was no escaping it. It was an animation and hence had to tickle our funny bones. It all actually turned out to be a dream, just the result of his over fertile imagination. 

But there are certain things in life that just can’t be escaped. Try as we might, we cannot outrun or outsmart them. They are what we call divine providence. Things we have to live with, no matter how. 

The circumstances of one’s birth is one of those things. We cannot choose who we are born to or who we come out as. Our genders, our race, our family, our position with respect to our siblings, are all things that are beyond our control. Some of these things may turn out to be challenging for us all our adult lives. It wasn’t long back that being a woman in India was cause for concern. Women were denied equal rights of life and education. There has been a monumental change in that scenario yet small town India is still not ready to give women their due. It is still an uphill task being a woman here. Even in educated, so called liberal families, the position of the male child is still preferential. The over protective nature of the Indian male, puts an invisible leash on the women of the household. Educated girls are also not supposed to enjoy the same privileges as their brothers. It’s debatable, as always has been, that all such steps are necessary for the protection of our women folk, the fairer, weaker sex. 

What I can’t wrap my head around is the belief that because women marry and leave their parents’ home for their marital household, they have no role at all in carrying forward the name of the parents. Even progressive men feel that they should have a male child to further the clan’s name and ensure longetivity. Where I come from, all virtues of a woman are secondary just because she is a female and all vices of a son are tolerated because he is the one who carries the name of the father. It is hurtful to face this day in and day out. Despite doing everything right, one is still a secondary member of the family. The conservative mindset attached with this social evil is still thriving in our society. 

I may be more attuned to the needs and moods of my parents, I may have a better understanding of things around me, a better disposition, a better social circle, a better way of expression, better reasoning and logic, more adaptability, more tolerance, more moral and psychological strength but I am still not good enough. I am not the son. There are things that a daughter is just not capable of. And that makes all the difference. 

How I wish, it was a dream, I could evade by waking up just like Motu escaped his dark, angry, pouring cloud! 

I never thought I would be choosing this title for my blog, EVER because I have always maintained that regrets are such a waste of time and precious energy. In any normal life, people do things which may either work for them or not. But regretting the ones that did not work out has never been my way. 
I have always owned my mistakes, learnt from them and moved on. Sometimes, my closed ones would agree that, I have been fool  enough to repeat some of those mistakes too. But isn’t that what life is all about? In my humble opinion, life is a blind deck of experiences. We never know what card will turn up next. We just do the best we can. Sometimes our best sees us through while at other times, we learn. 

I recently lost my uncle to brain haemorrhage. He was too young to have left us. As the Hindu tradition goes, we were there,  paying our tributes and condolences, giving support and strength to the family for twelve solemn days. Even in the midst of all that religious and social bustle, I had a feeling that the real test of strength and perseverance,  for the immediate family will begin after the customary rituals got over. After all, they would have to face empty rooms, an empty chair at dinner, the disposing of clothing and other day to day stuff, the inevitable pictures and memories that lie strewn about in any household, even the food would remind them of what he liked best or how much he enjoyed his little indulgences. 

Days have passed and today, as the societal norms dictate, we went to see them all again. To let them know that we are there for them in their hour of need. I learnt a valuable lesson from my grieving aunt because, make no mistake, her grief has just begun. She has a life time of solitude ahead. While recounting some of his last days, my aunt couldn’t control her tears and word after word of regret, of unfulfilled dreams, of a life lived in a way that left so much incomplete, so much to want for, poured out of her

She spelled out the toll that a public life takes on a family. She told us how he was always there for people who approached him for help, how he would ignore his health, his meals, his family for public recognition and to make a name for himself and leave a legacy behind. How he wanted to leave behind his humble beginnings and strained against things that kept him tied down. She told us how that made him irritable and ignited a latent anger in him. 

As I sat there listening to her say that “he kept running all his life, we kept fighting- I, to keep him healthy and he to challenge life and destiny despite his health,”  I couldn’t help draw similarities with my own father. He also keeps so much to himself. 

I realised what a waste of life and opportunity we all make if we fail to acknowledge and appreciate the people who have always been there for us. In our bid to outdo ourselves, we tend to ignore our closest confidantes, the very people whose unwavering support has been with us throughout our journey. They have stood by us, albeit quietly and may be not in any extraordinary way. They have just been there, believing in us, depending upon us, feeding us when we are hungry, soothing us when we are in a turmoil, laughing with us when we can find no humour in life, sometimes laughing at us when we started to take ourselves too seriously, the ones who kept us grounded. We take them for granted. 

If this is not a cause for regret then nothing is. We don’t know what tomorrow might bring. We cannot change what happened yesterday but we have complete control on what is happening now. We need to get our priorities right. We need to pay attention. Instead of hurting the people closest to us by our blatant neglect, we should take sometime to recognise their efforts in our life, to be grateful for their presence. Most of all, we should communicate. Yes, speaking up is important. We have to put it all into words, sometimes. We cannot leave things UNSAID, not with people who are so close. True, we understand each other when we are this close, we can interpret each others’ silences but it doesn’t hurt to say it once in a while. 

If we are hurt we should let them know, we should share with them our disappointments- in them, in ourselves or in life, in general. We should let them know if and when we are happy, what act of theirs made us so. Our anger, resentment, grief, pain, should be passed on to them as much as our moments of glory, success, joy & contentment. Sharing a life doesn’t just mean living in the same house, providing for each other in the physical or monetary sense alone. It’s being there for each other emotionally, that is more important. 

Our family, friends, our inner coterie deserve the best part of us. The part which is unspoiled by worldly considerations, the part that is pure and brutally honest. None of us is going to make it out of this life alive. So, let’s just make sure that we don’t leave any regrets behind. Finding people who genuinely care about and love us, is rare. Let’s make it our life’s motto to cherish them above all and make our time on this Earth,  worthwhile because the day we kick the bucket, it’s these people in whose hearts we will live forever. Let’s give them reasons to love us beyond life & death itself. 

I went to the general store the other day and decided, on an impulse, to get a different brand of tooth paste for myself. It was weird and at the same time exciting to add it to my cart, after all, for as long as I can remember, I have been using the same brand of toothpaste, the same red color, the same taste. This morning while finally opening the new tube of shiny yellow green paste with cooling crystals, I felt like an adventurer out on her maiden voyage into the unknown.. 

Hilarious as it may sound, most of us don’t venture out of our habits and comfort zones even for something as mundane as a new kind of toothpaste. It’s not brand fixation that keeps us tied up, atleast not in my case. It is just the comfort of the familiar. 

Sadly enough, consumer products are just an example of what we are doing with our lives. I cannot speak for everyone, neither can I generalise (I hate to generalise, as it is). But I have to write about what sparked this seemingly unremarkable or ordinary sounding thought process. 

I read quotes like – “Life isn’t supposed to be lived in one place.” – and being a thinking person I understand how right that is, both geographically and intellectually. One has to travel, one has to explore, gain new experiences, let go of the things and people gone by.. One has to grow.. And people don’t grow while being confined to their comfort zones. 

One has to try different things, be different people in order to find what one actually is. Experimenting, juggling choices, failing, learning in the process- Everything is important

While I know all this theoretically, I have never dared to try my luck outside the protective cocoon of my family. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t told what to do and how to do it. A set of instructions were always provided no matter what I decided to do. I understood quite early in my life that simply following the instructions provided, would save a lot of bad blood and complications. I did not know any other way to live. 

I had never learnt to live without my support structure. I had never been to a bank till I was forced to do that, at the age of 27 when I joined a job outside my hometown. I had never travelled alone, never taken a bus on my own, never even purchased my own clothing. Everything I needed was taken care of by my parents and the support structure that they had ready for me. I never thought I could have a say in my own life. I was meek, indecisive and confused all at the same time- a recipe for disaster

Eventually, I rebelled. Because it is crippling, too much love. It is suffocating. It feels like a leash. It leaves too less breathing space for us to grow. It breeds fear, distrust and some degree of lying and manipulating too. I developed a coping mechanism where I didn’t have to share everything I did, at home. I found new confidantes. I found solace in books. Sometimes my coping mechanism bordered on escapism. 

I once told my therapist (actually just a medical practitioner, I was talking to) that I am indecisive. I don’t know what to buy, what to wear, what to eat. I am left flabbergasted when provided with choices. That’s the reason I never order at a restaurant. I simply don’t know what to pick. I never learned to choose. He simply asked me, “Do you drive?” I said yes I do. “Do you ask the one sitting shotgun where to turn and which route to take to reach your destination?” I said, ‘mostly no’. “Then you are not indecisive” he said, ” you have to just convert that ‘mostly no’ to a resounding never”. 

Simple as that. So I started with the small things, case in point, my new toothpaste. I find a deep seated pleasure, now, in breaking stereotypes, the bigger things, none of that silly toothpaste stuff. I dream of taking it further. Life is too short to be left with regrets at the end. 

It is late but it is never too late to evolve, to give oneself a shot at happiness and fulfillment. It’s never too late to BE. 

At War… 

Posted: May 4, 2017 in Life as I see it...
Tags: , , , , , ,

For all those familiar with Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, the scenario I am about to mention won’t be new. 
It was in this classic that we came across the grit and solidarity of the Southern women, ladies or otherwise. In a much loved scene, that happens many times over, the ladies of the household & neighborhood would sit together in any one of their homes and talk about mundane stuff, sewing or knitting, all the while actually waiting, eagerly, for any news from the front. They would sit and chat and backbite and criticise yet their minds would be preoccupied with the well-being of their men out to fight the Civil War. 

I experienced something like that today when we, my mom & I, visited my uncle’s place. The ladies of the family were all present, putting up a brave front, chatting about routine, everyday things, reinstating their faith in the almighty, serving tea and snacks to visitors; all the while waiting, keenly, for news or update from the hospital, where my uncle is battling the inevitable. 

It’s a war against Death; a war against anything that threatens one’s belief in God; a war for faith; a war for love, for family, for children. For the first time in my life, I hope that faith wins, that God persists, that life sustains..

May he win his battle against an inescapable destiny.. May life triumph.. 

For as long as he is breathing, there is HOPE.. 

Hoping for a Miracle!! 

Need all your prayers.. 

An ambiguous title, I agree!! But it was infact, A Crack that inspired me to crack open the mystery of my mind and take a crack at unravelling what turbulence lay beneath the presumably calm and quiet disposition that I portray despite being perturbed to the very core.

Last night, I was deranged to the point of being depressed and anxious. There might have been many factors attributing to that state of mind. I know I had read something that left a deep impact, an indelible imprint on my mind, may be it were the events, the people around, the presence or absence of some, the sudden realisation of a loss, a mental check and balance of life’s wear and tear.

As long as there is life, there’ll be no shortage of reasons. Whatever it was, it threw me off balance. I had a restless night, a cranky morning and because I had to drive around 300kms, a very tiring journey.

I was exhausted by the way my mind kept churning out thoughts after thoughts, some complete others partial & half-formed, with no seemingly set pattern or precedent attached to them. There was a stretch of road on my way where I drove at about a 140kms/hour, all the while thinking, what if I ram this car into an oncoming vehicle and summarily dismissing the insane idea. That’s how irrelevant things got.

But, you see, the human mind is a tricky thing. It is as layered as it is complex. It poses questions which might not have simple solutions or may be they do but are hard for us to see & fathom. At times, our mind provides resolutions when least expected. I have increasingly come to relate the inner design of my mind to the intricate interlacing of ribs in a spider’s web. I love the term mental cobwebs when used for my confused state of mind. Nevertheless, it would be negative of me to call it a cobweb because while the latter are deserted, dust-laden, abandoned structures, the former serves a tangible purpose of feeding the Creator. Both have an innate beauty. Both, works of art! One has life the other has outlived its life’s aim.

Coming back to my muddled thoughts and the sudden stroke of inspiration or light it received. While driving at this outrageous speed, a small pebble flew and hit my car’s windshield leaving a miniscule yet discernible CRACK on it. The tracery or the form that emerged right before my eyes had so much visual conformity with the spiral, orb- like way a spider spins its web or to be precise the plight my mind was in, at that particular moment, that instantly all my attention converged onto it. It was like a giant jigsaw, with all its pieces finally falling into place.

Straightaway, I mellowed down. Something had clicked into place like the right key for the lock. I was perceptibly more relaxed, pacified & at peace. I could finally, comprehend & make sense of my disquiet and conceive a way out. The cloud had cleared, rightaway. The spectre of doom that so overshadowed my reason, had lifted. I realised the fallacy of my conduct & thoughts.

I realised that life is for the living and that it will go on whether the people you love or choose to be with, stay or not. It will not stop even if there are errors in your judgement. You will continue to breath, in failure or success, alike.

Crumbling in the face of disagreements, inconveniences, losses or discomforts is easy. What is tough, is holding on, being courageous and letting go!! What is commendable is making something of yourself against all odds, controlling your mind & heart, not the other way round!!

Contemplating is wise & logical. Overthinking and suffering due to that, isn’t. ‘What ifs’ bring nothing but chaos. Whatever happens, happens for the best. I know it is a cliché but there is always something better, hidden in the ways of the universe. Losing hope and sanity is not an option. Last but not the least, ACCEPTANCE is the way to go. Once we accept things as they are, there is a lot less pain, a lot less expectation and a lot more forgiveness.

It was Rumi who said, “A wound is the place the light enters you.”

Leonard Cohen developed it into an anthem that goes like this~

The birds, they sang at the break of day
I heard them say – Don’t dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Ah, the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove, she will be caught again
Bought and sold and bought again
The dove is never free
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

We asked for signs, the signs were sent
The birth betrayed, the marriage spent
Yeah, the widowhood of every government
Signs for all to see
I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up a thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

You can add up the parts, you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march, there is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come But like a refugee
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in

That’s how the light gets in.