Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random memories...

In the middle of a cold winter evening, we're sitting in a small room and chatting, when he arrives. It's a close-knit extended family, consisting of uncles, aunts, daughters-in-law, grandchildren.... When he enters, everyone gets up automatically, show him to a warm corner, wait until he settles down and then they all sit. It's a simple and natural response but the gesture is truly heartwarming.

Months later, I suddenly remember this and ask his daughter about it.

'Everyone in the family have a high regard for Dad. It's because he respects others and hardly interferes in their affairs--so they have the same love and respect for him'.

And I don't remember him waiting for this response from others; he never seems to bother what others think of him. Reminds me of one of Hugh mcleods dictums 'The best way to get appreciation is by not wanting it.'

I've had my share of solitude and loneliness. While Solitude enriches, Loneliness kills your spirit. The difference between the two could be subtle at times. You're away from human company in both--in solitude you wish to be away and your focus is turned inwards, you are in communion with your deeper self, either in contemplation or in silence. Not worried about past or future, you're savouring the present moment. The opposite is the case with loneliness. You feel uncomfortable for not being with others, and crave for that association.

Anna's posts on Solitude makes me ponder about the desire we all have-- to enjoy one's aloneness amidst a never ending barrage of human association. And also walking the delicate line of not allowing it to slip into loneliness. Balancing!

A magical morning. A hazy drizzle. Misty air. I want to stay in bed a bit longer but it's already 9 . I send a message to my team lead, tell him that I'm not well and will arrive a bit late. I laze. Drink tea leisurely, play with my son, read randomly, go out and pay a bill or two, drink another tea at a roadside hotel and finally reach office at noon.

Fayaz asks,'How're you, what happened?'

'A minor headache' I blurt out and wonder a bit later if that was a good enough excuse.

The bewildered look on his face will remain in memory for long.

One of my most loved books in childhood was Mahabharata, written by Kamala markandeya. A huge book of 600 odd A4 size pages it was thoroughly entertaining and rich in detail. My love for reading and an interest in mythological tales must've been watered well by repeated readings of that book. So it was a matter of surprise and delight when I stumbled upon a similar but diverse rendition of another Epic--The Ramayana, in a blog. This is a four part review of Ashok Banker's Ramayana. Well worth a deeper look.

He's a small boy--barely an year old. Untouched by the pretense and diplomacy of the elders in the house. When he gets angry he shouts. Fearful and hurt, he wails. Bored, he ignores and goes off. Maybe he laughs silently at the demands made on him by the elders.

'He has crossed one, yet he doesn't walk independently.'

'Not enought if he just blurts Daa-daa. When will he learn to speak?'

His granny brings her face close to his, asking him to plant a kiss on her cheek. He gets irritated and whacks her. Gestures wildly to be left alone.

'Arrogant fellow,' she retorts. 'You don't know about granny. Wait, I'll show....'

Reminds me of similar incidents in my childhood, when I too wanted to whack people, wanting to be left alone. Such small incidents, such tiny gestures have a subtle impact. Like, 'What's so great about his smartness? Even my son used to do these, when he was much younger...'.


We want him to grow up strong, unhurt by these retarded gestures. Allow him to be joyous and playful inspite of a hundred unconscoius impacts on his growing self. Give him an atmosphere of Unconditional love and freedom to explore and learn. Not force him into any mould we think best suits him, not push him into retardness, narrowness, confirmity. Not to put any obstacles in his path to become the person he's meant to be, he wants to be.


'We'll see how you bring him up....'

A strong and nagging thought hits again and again-----everything that's happening at this moment is perfectly fine---no problem at all. It couldn't have happened in any other way. I'm here and at this moment I'm supposed to be here and doing what I'm doing right now(noting down these thoughts--no problem with that). Life is perfect and in a wonderful harmony. There ain't a bloody need to worrry, to fret, to pull out one's hair in exasperation....

If I'm unenlightened as yet, that's fine. If I've to spend the best hours of the day, funnelling all my energy into a job that appears utterly meaningless, that's fine. If I'm far away from my wife, son and family, keeping them company only for a couple of wakeful hours everyday, that's fine too. If there's non-awareness and pain, no problem, it's perfectly acceptable. What's more, not being aware of all these, not having this feeling of 'Fineness' is also okay. Nothing wrong with that!

I know that this thought will not stay forever, and with that, the sense of peace and carefreeness will also recede soon and will be replaced by anxiety or forgetfulness. Even that's fine. Accepted.


  1. I really had a great time reading the post.Not many people know the difference between solitude and loneliness and the definition you have given is real meaningful.

    I like your lucid way of writing.Your words are evocative and i will come back here for updates.Look forward to acquainting with you.Keep the words flowing!

  2. New Year's Blessings, Vishwa.

    May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
    the foresight to know where you're going
    and the insight to know when you're going too far.

  3. Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

  4. Lovely post ! And wonder about many things which are crossed over , yet things have beautifully changed !
    Let your inner stillness and calm show you your courage to let go all nagging.
    Best is yet to come, just visualize it, more with clarity , Be open to GRACE in your self .. JDU