Posts Tagged ‘pain’

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! 

Today, I just happened to pick a book at random for some quick reading. And what a book it turned out to be!! Every single word, a gem. So, here I am sharing some pearls of wisdom by Kahlil Gibran that he propounds in The Prophet.. The fundamentals never change, do they? They ring as relevant and authentic today, as the day they were written.

 

 

✨​On Love✨

 

When love beckons to you follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, I am in the heart of God.”

And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

 

 

 

✨On Marriage✨

 

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

 

 

 

✨On Children✨

 

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

 

 

✨On Joy and Sorrow✨

 

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

 

 

 

✨On Reason and Passion✨

 

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against passion and your appetite.

Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.

But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.

If either your sails or our rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.

For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion; that it may sing;

And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.

Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows – then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”

And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky, – then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”

And since you are a breath In God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.


 

 

 

✨On Pain✨

 

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

I choose to love you in silence

For in silence, I find no rejection.

I choose to love you in loneliness

For in loneliness, no one owns you but me.

I choose to adore you from a distance

For distance will shield me from pain.

I choose to hold you in my dreams

For in my dreams, you have no end.

-Jalaluddin Rumi

Endings are always painful & difficult. Be it anything. Any relationship, habit, time, custom, tradition, thing or trend that ends has once been a living, thriving part of our life, growth or routine. A definitive conclusion or how things play out is, thus, a significant part of our lives and needs to be written about.

It would be the most logical assumption that the end of another year has brought about such ruminative notions to the fore. In a way it is correct. One tends to sit and contemplate on the year gone by and the trials and triumphs that it brought along in its wake. Yet again, year ends are neither times to lament nor celebrate, as a year is just Time, it is constant, eternal. Time doesn’t end. It is just our reactions to the situations it presents that constitute the very framework of our being. 

There were so many different thoughts running about in my mind for this year-end blog that a few weeks back I did something I had never done before. I jotted down some notes with the intent of using them for channelizing my erratic ideas into a fairly coherent piece of writing. But some things are just not meant to be. I just couldn’t piece them together into a write up. I have always written spontaneously. Planned writing has never been my forte. I write in the moment yet I am going to share my notes here.👇

I am a firm believer in the power of grey. In my humble opinion, nothing is always ever completely white or black. Our lives cannot be classified or arranged in clear spaces or brackets of right or wrong, loss or gain, happiness or pain. Such gradation is just not justified. Yet so fickle is the human mind that we tend to forget the happy moments and concentrate on the losses.

The biggest loss that I had to endure this year was the parting of ways with an important person in my life. It was hard giving up on a relationship that I had come to value more than most. Never before had I fought so hard to retain someone in my life but then, never before had anyone called me Maa and gifted me with an overwhelming feeling of immense love and fulfillment while it lasted. His life choices took him away from me. We drifted apart before it became too ugly for him. But, love still remains. I hope & pray that his choice brings him love, peace & happiness and that the ensuing years guide him to the path of contentment and success. Although he has been a regular, inseparable part of my life and writings for the past many years, this is the last time he will find reference in my blogs because I am of the resolute opinion that if one cannot stay & if it has to be distant, it better not be. No use flogging a dead horse or watering a dead plant, the language is replete with metaphors.


This year, I witnessed some of my very close friends and acquaintances suffering irreparable losses at the hands of fate, destiny, Providence. The void that such a bereavement or misfortune leaves, is hard to be replenished by anything this world has to offer. No words of solace, acts of kindness or passing of time can completely heal the hurt. Yes, with time people get used to living in a certain way because this is life and if nothing else, it is never short on distractions. Yet the emptiness and gaping wounds cannot be palliated by any prescription. Even then, as they say, life is for the living and one has to move on and keep on living for the people who are and who care. None of us has the luxury to sit back and nurse our broken hearts and spirits. There is life to be lived, responsibilities to be carried out and people to be loved & supported. I hope & pray that the coming years give them reasons to rejoice, sooner rather than later- reasons that have the subtlety to soothe these troubled and shattered souls.

Recently, I had occasion to visit my native place and spend some days with my extended family. I always believed that life in the countryside is much simpler, relationships more pure and innocent than their counterparts in the cities. The rustic grandeur of stone paved pathways and dusty lanes crammed with cattle & livestock along with playing, laughing, screaming children held a special attraction for me. The sights, sounds, smells of the rural kind never ceased to amaze me. Their lifestyle, their food and the thought they put into each relationship by dint of being always in each others’ touch, drew me magnetically towards them. Many of these rosy-eyed beliefs of mine were in for a rude shock when I got a chance to spend some time with the rural folk. My mind initially refused to register the terrible intrigues & internal feuds, the constant back-stabbing & back- biting, the ubiquitous plotting & scheming of sub-urban people. It was worse than the neglect most city people come across at the hands of their fellow city-dwellers, on a daily basis because it wasn’t expected in a close knit community spread a little over three kilometers. The degeneration of morals and family values opened my eyes to new vistas of country life. My trust in the concept of family, filial & community obligations and the significance of kith & kin, that my father has brought me up with, was shaken to its very core. To say that the visit was a disappointment is an understatement of giant proportions. It was downright vulgar to behold such deterioration of human character in our own backyard. I hope & pray that in the year ahead, people, there, would realize the flaws, fallacy, laxity & errors of their ways and work towards restoring the bucolic charm of the village.

This year, I was a silent onlooker of the changes my sisters brought about in their lives. I saw my younger sister fight her inner demons and come out victorious at the end. I witnessed her transformation from a broken, tottering person to a strong, self-assured, assertive individual who doesn’t  pay heed to the censure of society. Societal norms and age-old patriarchal maxims don’t govern her life and decisions. No one, but she, regulates what is right or wrong for her and her child. I salute her tenacity in the face of adversity. I, also, greatly admire the never-say-die attitude of my elder sister. She dared to brave and confront life at its lowest and ventured into areas she had never dreamt she would have to go into, with extreme patience and grace. I hope & pray the coming years be kind to them and theirs. I pray for more strength, perseverance, tolerance and courage for these two indomitable, indefatigable and earnest women.

Last but not the least, a special mention needs to be made of two people who don’t  want to be cited in any of my write-ups and yet read them all, word by word. I know the written word doesn’t mean much to you. You are both assured & confident of the bond we share and yet here I am, being grateful to God that I got to know you better and that we have had such good years together. I am much obliged by the love and constant care you accord me. It is, indeed, a privilege knowing you. I hope & pray that you, my confidantes, receive all that you seek in life and that the next year or the years ahead would never leave you wanting in any aspect of your existence.

✨Happy New Year to all readers!!✨ 

Auld Lang Syne