Friday, November 24, 2006

Here and there

It's as if I sail between two separate worlds--temporarily.

For a few days I'm totally with my family, with archana, as she tries to cope up with the new role of a mother; observing how elderly wisdom scores over medical science sometimes and how the entire family comes round to cuddle the new mother. It's as if beyond these people and situations, nothing exists. Before I lose myself I'm back to work, back to the grindmill. The race against deadlines begins.

I settle down to the job of meeting the demands of an invisible customer, shamelessly pursuing an appraisal at the end of the year which determines which company I'll be working for by this time next year. The job sucks me in totally. As I ponder over whether my career is really moving in the right direction or I'm wasting myself in utter meaninglessness, the weekend arrives with a promise of temporary respite.

The conflict and contemplation stand on the other side of Sunday as I rest and relax for a couple of days.

Friday, November 17, 2006

First light........

Breathe in deep. It suffocates--the more I breathe, the more I feel I need the air. It's bone chilling cold... unlike where I was all along. What's that funny sound? I'm all hell let loose. I try to open my eyes and lo! there's a blinding light. It hurts. Not like the soothing darkness I felt inside. I close my eyes tight and continue to yell, gulping all the air around me. Someone holds me close and for a moment I feel I'm back--back to the closed comfort. The light hurts still. No, this soft, warm thing wrapped around me doesn't match that warmth, that comfort. I want to be back there, why did I have to come out.....

Tightly closed eyes. Soft skin. You want to caress this small head with sparse hair but mom says, don't, it's very soft and delicate over there. The lips part a bit and he licks the air, closes his mouth in a pout. Opens eyes a bit, stares at you for a moment and goes back to sleep.

Yawn. My tummy's tingling. I open my eyes and immediately that face over there lights up. I hear funny sounds and whistles--incoherent language! Why can't they speak properly, as I heard them from inside? Aahhh, I'm parched dry, I'm hungry...

You can't soothe a baby with all your learned tricks. The more you try, the more he wails. You hand over the kid to the mother and immediately he's calm. As you watch him feed hungrily, you want to be there, in her place. You want to know how it feels, to become the food of your child, to watch him draw his nourishment out of your self. How does one feel holding a piece of life that one nurtured all along? You are envious.

' You too were pregnant at a deeper level,' She assures. 'I'm his mother only here, but somewhere deep down, we both carried him.'

I'm full. And slipping into a stupor. Those faces over there stare at me intently, beaming, smiling. I wish I t..e..l..l.....t..h..e..m....

What wonderful comfort? We watch him drown into a deep sleep. What's he feeling? What do these sights and sounds mean to him? Apart from hunger-satiation, cold-warmth what else does he experience?

She's tired. It's late evening. You have to go home and come back to the hospital early morning. The day has been filled with a flurry of phone calls and wishes, visits by friends and neighbours. The rest of life is packed and kept aside for the moment. You can start unpacking the routine slowly but this moment is precious. You don't want it to end. You want to lose yourself into it, never to come out again.

As archana drifts into a sleep, she presses your palm and mumbles, 'Congrats dad.'

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Getting out....coming home....

A young man is driving to work. He looks out of the window and watches his dreamgirl standing outside her house, talking to a friend. As he turns round a bend, he loses control and the car rams against an electric pole. With a sudden jolt he loses consciousness.

A moment later when he opens his eyes things appear very strange. He's still in the same broken car but he's balded, has a moustache and also a pot belly. He's no longer the twenty year old in jeans but a middle aged executive in formal attire. The dreamgirl he saw just a moment ago outside her house is now sitting beside him--she's his wife and she's screaming at him for not being careful while driving. In short, in a small accident he has jumped out of time and has landed up in future, yet retaining his awareness of the past!

This was the storyline of a fantastic french movie that was telecast on TV5 Asie. The story then moves back and forth as the protagonist tries to make sense of what has happened to him--he's now the head of a multi-billion shoe manufacturing firm , yet his close childhood buddy is now his chauffer! Till yesterday he was dreaming about marrying his sweetheart but now his grown up daughter comes to his cabin to discuss her marriage plans! Everyone around him are going about their lives and he's the only one in a dilemma--stuck between past and present. His family and friends think that he's gone mad and although he's bewildered at the turn of events and tries to put the pieces together, he suspects that maybe they are right--he must have truly gone mad. The entire movie was told in a comic style yet nothing was trivialised, the tension between reality and fantasy maintained and heightened till the very end ( I missed the final part of the movie ). You realise the crap that's dished out in the name of entertainment nowadays when you're exposed to such works.

I remember this story because like everyone else, time is an important factor for me. We live within the constraints of space and time-- everything in our lives is time-bound. We may not exactly live by the clock but the clock is there always, deciding and determining our moves and ways of life. Mystics say that time is a river and one can get out of it and enter it at any point, either in past or in future. In that way, the future has already happened!

As our life gets more and more faster and hurried with every passing year, you sometimes wonder if everything you're going through makes any sense. It's as if you're caught in a raging current of time that's pushing you ahead; the only thing you can do is stay afloat and allow the river to carry you further. Everybody's in a race but how many know why we're running this race of life-- or how many care to know? Very few of us have the time and interest to stop on the way, sit down under a tree and figure out what all this is about.

We speak of education, empowerment, ending poverty, providing justice for all, equality and what not. Rarely are we bothered about the mystical side of life where everlasting solutions to our dilemmas and illusions lie. And when we speak of meditation, it's more of a healing or stress-busting exercise rather than a tool that can connect us to the Supreme power and transform us into the divine beings we truly are!

And how wonderful would it be if one could get out of this dimension of time and enter it at will at any point! Going back to the past or visiting the future or experiencing the vertical dimension of time in the present moment--not just in our imagination but in reality! Maybe this is possible for spiritually accomplished masters. But if each one of us carry the seed of enlightenment within, this should be a possibility for everyone some day or the other.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Of drizzly days and wavering moods....

Rain droplets on the glass pane.
My hand stops before I reach to the wiper.
Let them stay a moment longer.
They look beautiful and unplucked flowers smiling on a creeper...

It's a drizzly early evening. An overcast sky with gathering heavy clouds. How I love to sit by the window, book in hand, a steaming cup of tea nearby.....but I'm in the thick of a traffic clogged road. Mom has some shopping to finish before our little guest arrives by next fortnight. She is tireless and extremely dynamic, totally worldly and unbothered about the philosophical questions of life.

Sometimes her simple outlook on life seems attractive--go to work, come home and eat, watch tv, read a bit, go to bed, get up the next day and carry on, worry not much about anything. Talk to her about transformation, about expansion, about finding your purpose and you'll give her enough to laugh for a whole day.

Maybe I'm totally wrong in my assessment. Maybe she's much more than the everyday ordinary woman I think she is.

Three blogs I'd love to read end to end and grasp completely. Bird on the moon is now a four-in-one multiblog. And the other one-'How to save the world'-- a fantastic blog and I think this is a good place to start reading it. And of course, my blog hopping is incomplete if I don't have a glance at what India uncut has to say everyday.

And an accidental stumble into Eckarte tolle's interview. Wow!

Without reason I fall into a depressive mood. Things appear meaningless, all my pursuits look like childish endeavours. I know that this is a temporary mood, and after a while I may probably laugh off this emotion but when it's there, it sucks out your energy. I pick up the phone and call a friend, chatter a bit, try to feel better as I listen to him blabber his head off....

There are occasions when friends call up and talk, or just listen--trying to come out of their temporary low moods. Talking to someone, not necessarily sharing your sorrows and seeking solutions but just emptying yourself, unburdening, knowing well that there's an ear which is listening to your mundane worries--maybe this soothes you and unconsciously lifts
up your spirits.

Stuck in a traffic jam. Sky above is threatening to open up...... Overheard this :

'How's work?'
' Good '
'Hmm...I remember you said you had some problems, that you didn't like your job...'
'No, it's okay now. I'm fine with it,'
'..... Do you find time for other activities?'
' Not really. Work's a bit hectic'
' But you said your work's fine...!'
' Yeah, no problem with my job. Only that I have little time for other things.'
'So you really have no problems with your job?'
' Nothing. In fact, I've begun to enjoy it of late.'
' Mmmm'

I stop short of judging the two guys involved in this. Maybe it's just an ordinary chatter.

Winter is about to creep in but the rains have announced an unexpected entry. I'm just recovering from a sore throat and body aches and soon there are friends falling sick. One guy turns up after a week with an unkempt, unshaven face and with a painful look, not to mention his deepening philosophical outbursts.

'You look like Jesus christ,' I say very seriously. He does look like christ but he's confused, probably wondering whether to feel happy or retaliate at the joke.

She's a bit scared although she doesn't speak it out. The joy of becoming a mother will only be attained after passing through a mini-hell. I talk to friends who've gone through this earlier

' The pain is unbearable but once the child comes out, you just relax, you don't even remember that agony...'

' You may as well opt for ceaserian. It's easy, why the bother of going through such labour...'

' If you're going for a ceasarian, why not decide the day and time of child birth? My friend's husband knows astrology; in fact he suggested a particular hour and I had my kid in that auspicious time...'

' Let there be pain, so what? When we gave birth did we go for all these short cuts?'

Many reassuring words while some provide good entertainment. As we discuss this at night, Nana patekar stands in the law court and thunders--' Every citizen should compulsorily undergo military training and serve the country for at least one year. We've taken for granted the hard won freedom of our country.'

Me says: 'Every man should go through this pain of childbirth at least once in a life-time. We've taken her for granted for too long...'