Friday, July 05, 2019

Non-human friends...

The latest dog is Somu. Lazy fellow, just curls up, comes running for food, starts dancing when we come home after a gap of a few hours, wags his tail two times if we say, 'Eno somu?'. (I guess, he got his name from the dog Sridevi adopts in the movie 'Sadma', who was also called Somu). Has become a nasty old fart off late, ganging up with other dogs and barking viciously at anything that moves.

Thunder! !!! The heroic fighter who killed 2 snakes before succumbing in the third fight. Lovely yet scary fellow.

 Then....a street mongrel at Manasa, who would promptly visit us at food hours. Would understand and respond when we spoke to him. He had tears the day we moved out.

 Then the pet which my Sister had, 'Hershey'. Saw him just once. He was so much a part of their family.

 Two decades ago... 'Dolly' and her little breed of pups. Her small pup 'pluppy', who made us bleed with immense grief. Still remember that lovely innocent eyes, oozing warmth and love.

 Then tommy....the owner's dog in our rented house. When we moved to our new house, this guy ran behind us for nearly 5 kms and stayed with us. Would do a to and fro from our place and the owner's place everyday.

 And the one in this oldest pet in my native village. Have a very hazy memory of running off with him to drive away a calf which was grazing near my granny's newly built house, only to be admonished and driven away by the calf's owner. The way I'm holding his back...he must've been a dear friend.

 If you think back and remember all the faces that enriched your life, made you smile, gave you joy, taught you things...just made your life richer by their mere presence, these faces stand out along with the human ones. Sometimes, more prominently than the humans.

Monday, July 01, 2019

A dream comminity...

Last night I was in a dream.

It's a small middle-class urban community living next to a sea-shore, and I'm a part of it. The kids are asleep as it is 2 past midnight but most grownups are awake, indulged in one activity or the other. There are several families around coming from diverse backgrounds but we all feel like one big joint family! The love, bonding and relationship between us is absolutely real and genuine--nothing to fake.

I see archana sitting with the ladies and drawing rangolis - maybe it's a festive day tomorrow - and placing radiant earthen lamps at strategic points on the design. It could be a mandala she's designing as a part of some sacred consecration. I enter a big hall and see my mom involved in some banter with several eldery ladies. There's much laughter and joy over there. A friend calls out, inviting me for a midnight stroll along the beach which is shining in the moon light...there are othere friends as well who're already waiting. I tell them to move on because a new family has arrived and I want to be introduced to them.

It's a small family -husband, wife, kid. We introduce ourselves, the rules regulations dos donts are explained but it's all fun nothing rigid or strict. A good part of the community is over there, everyone's a friend to everyone but there's something in the air that's almost palpable, something you can almost touch and feel.

 And that is... a beautiful sense of well-being, joy, love and affection. Deeply experienced feeling of oneness between all of us, something like as if we all are a part of one gaint organism. Zero negativity - a literal heaven on earth!

Who doesn't want to be a part of such  a community!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Family time...

Off late, I've been enjoying small sessions of drawing room discussions with my family members. And it's turning out into such a soft, soothing and pampering experience -- something totally novel and magnetic -- that we all automatically gravitate towards the drawing room at the slightest pretext. If I'm half-asleep in my room and I sense folks on the sofa...sorry, bye-bye sleep. Second sister would've finished her work upstairs and come down. Mom will be reading some book or newspaper. If Dad's around, he quietly arrives and occupies a chair. Archana struts in and out of the kitchen -- kinda breaking the rythm of the 'mahoul' but also keeping it dynamic. A kid or two here and there. And if elder sister has come down from chennai, it's icing on the cake.

Now what do we discuss? Everything and nothing. Maybe a hot political debate.  Some event in the layout. An illness of a relative. Some meaty gossip in between. An important decision to be taken. A small blame game. Review of a decision gone wrong. What next? kind of topics. Events from the past. Plans for the future.....honestly, anything under the Sun. Many times, just enjoying the presence of each other in silence as hot tea gets served around to the background music of lashing rains.

The magical, other-worldly feeling I experience in the cosy comfort of my family's presence in that small drawing room....I wouldn't trade it for anything. We continue to sit, extending the time by a few more minutes. Nobody wants to get up. Loud laughters, tears at times. Hearts open up slowly. Gentle healing of long past emotions. There's magic in the air.

Family is such a precious thing, yet we take it for granted (I have). Kids grow up fast and fly to distant shores, pursuing education and employment. Bigger units slowly fritter into far-flung nuclear families. People move on. It's a gift and blessing to come together and enjoy the shared history and future in these rare moments. And I'm absolutely loving this growing bonding with my family.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

It's an extrovert's world out there...

...and introverts have a tough time coping up. People love a social butterfly, and view with suspicion someone who struts around unsure. Loners arent tolerated...and are marked for reforming 😁.

I've struggled with this all through my life, teenage onwards. Unable to move around and find my place. Being pushed around to 'open up', be more social and friendly, not to shy-up....and not knowing how the fuck to do all of this. Chided for not having many friends and being with myself. Struggling severely to become more outgoing, and losing the plot. Taking stupid horrendous decisions and losing years of my life. Boy it's been hellish.

Introverts, I came to learn later, process energy differently. They are recharged in solitude and aloneness. They enjoy the company of friends and close relatives but too much of social interaction drains them, pushing them to seek solitude again. I loved such solitude. Books opened up whole new worlds for me. Music soothed. Thinking and contemplation. Meditation. Solitary, long walks. And writing! Finding my voice through creative writing, and absolutely loving it. And severely hated and detested all attempts to reform me into a socially active bumblebee.

Extroverts are charged up in the company of people. But put them alone in a room, with books or music or nothing...and they go mad after a while. They need others, they need drama for energy exchange and survival. Try telling an extrovert, "why don't you be more alone and reflective? Why always restless for others' company? Why can't you be more introverted? 😀😁😂"

There's another breed of humans...a rare and lucky group-- the middleverts. They seem to enjoy the best of both worlds--intro and extroversion--moving with ease into either situations as needed. Opening up with selected groups of friends and acquaintances, and retreating into solitude when needed. Having skills to navigate socially, and also traversing the inner worlds. My kid fits in here, so do many kids I know, and many lovely adults.

This is the place a 'reforming'(?) extrovert or introvert may arrive at...but trust me, they arrive when left to themselves, and never by being pushed around. Like sexual orientation, like being a left hander, introversion is an inbuilt trait which you cant mess around with. Accept an introvert THE WAY SHE IS without trying nobly to lift her up..... make her feel comfortable in who she is...and watch her blossom beautifully in unknown ways. And gentle nudges, pointing towards things that help, and making them aware of the social consequences and rewards for different kinds of behaviour....these go a long way in helping someone avoid the dark places of introversion (social awkwardness, loneliness, depression), and extroversion (bullying, arrogance, interfering).

And absolute non-judgemental love! I received it from one lovely person, and in exchange lost a huge chunk of pain and hesitation in a short time. Strutted and stumbled in front of him and got in response a gentle knowing soothing smile. Have tried to follow his footsteps ever since. God bless His soul wherever He is.

So what do you do when you come across an introvert, and get an urge to improve them? If you have the presence, expansion, and capacity to hold space for another nothing. Your non-judgemental presence alone will soothe his hassled nerves.

Else...just keep quiet and leave them alone! They're just fine.'s you and your reformative urge that need counselling and help.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

 Last october, we were looking back at the year gone by and sighing at the major events, wondering at the two whirlwinds that hit us, and thanking the lucky stars and guardian angels. Little did we know what was about to arrive. Two months at the year-end have been the most interesting and awesome months I've seen my entire life (Okay...there have been other awesome/ful months as well :* ). What everyone passed through and came out from is still bloody unbelievable! Did it really happen? Am I still alive and scribbling all of this? And what else is in store in this year?

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

One morning...

I love this weather. Gentle drizzle that splatters for hours on end. A mild chilly wind blowing in, carrying a hint of moisture. Look out and you see an expanse of mist slowly descend on the distant trees. Gray clouds. Fresh morning that promises to remain all day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ran Prieur summarized it beautifully...say a year ago

....and I posted it on social media. And also scribbled it somewhere, but it's too precious, too important, not to make a note of, here, in my blog. So here it goes...

An accomplished guitar player says

To master any truly difficult skill it's not enough to just want it; you have to be obsessed. If you have to force yourself to pick it up you're screwed; if you have to force yourself to put it down you know you're on the right track.

You told me that the only thing you've ever had to force yourself to stop was video games. Ask yourself: why exactly are video games so addictive? Of course it's because of the constant reward system. Every thirty seconds you get a reward of some kind. The next question is: how can I duplicate this experience in other areas?

When I was learning to play, I always broke any challenge down into it's smallest possible chunks. And these chunks were easy to accomplish and showed immediate results.

By doing it this way, I was creating a lot of very small, quick successes for myself. If you set yourself a goal and you succeed in just a few minutes, the flush of success releases endorphins in the brain. If you continue to duplicate that experience every few minutes you get addicted to practicing.

And I have consistently found that students who listen to me and practice as I described above will progress ten times faster than anyone else. These are the students who become obsessed to the art...and they become obsessed because they practice this way!

Break your practice into a series of tiny goals, so they always get a feeling of reward

 Things are transitory, and you'll be gone in a 'whoosh' while the world will continue as it is without a problem, so stop being such a self-important's all a play, so chill and do what feels right and good and fulfilling without worry. That's one viewpoint, and it gives hope when there's struggle and you're facing bewildering dead-ends.

 The other view is equally appealing. It's a play alrighty, but are you here just to play and disintegrate into dust one day? Or is there a mystery, a design that you're itching to crack open, and that's why you've descended into this dream, blanketting yourself with a thick unawareness of your own roots and sources, to make things a bit tough and interesting? What's the mystery? What purpose awaits you? Or what purpose do you want to dig up for yourself and pursue joyfully while enjoying the fruits that this existence offers?

 I swing between both of these viewpoints..that is, while not wasting away 99 percent of my time in inertia and day-dreams where I'm a hero and everything is hunky doryish :D

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sounds of gentle rains
splattering outside the window
Hot tea burning its way past the throat
A soothing aroma from the pages
of this book,
and the ideas it holds
which are knocking on worn doors
 and opening new brain cells

What's missing?


Monday, July 10, 2017

 Most of the days you are fresh and active with minimal work and stress. Some days are stressful and tiring but still you're fine. Even an occasional long drive for the whole day leaves you with a few aches in your ankles and wrists, nothing more.

Then there are days you wake up with a heavy head and disturbed dreams. Half of the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You simply want to lie down and waste away, do nothing else. Your body is signalling to rest and relax although you haven't exerted much. Push a bit and a headache begins to throb. Like today.

If it's energies and churning and stuff, I can't feel it as yet. Of course there's a desire, an intense craving to look beyond this dimension, and surf the waves of my complete existence. Not to be bound by anything, but to be a master of self. To overcome inertia that holds one down, and fly the vast skies on the wings of freedom and joy.