Monday, March 03, 2008

Down to earth

'Hold your left thumb between your fingers,' Ravi says.'Then squeeze it gently on an inhalation and release it while you exhale. Do it for five minutes and your headache will vanish.'

I'm desperate for any advice that removes this damn throb in the head. There's a long drive of 30 odd kilometers to be done and I don't know how I'll navigate the dusty, hot evening with this headache and drowsiness. Holding my thumb, I inhale and exhale, slowly. The nerves relax or it appears so. Before I start the car, I repeat the exercise for another 5 minutes. Feels better. I start off.

I've slept for most of the day, unable to tolerate the headache. I've skipped meditations, listened half-heartedly when friends were busy discussing, didn't smile even for courtesy when another friend joked---all my attention was captured by a silly throb in my temples. Maybe it's the body's way of drawing attention--'hello there, I've been here all along and you've bloody wandered off. Come back, a**h*le....'

After an hour and half of valiant effort, I reach home. Archana pours coconut oil on my scalp and pats rythemically. It's heaven! Slowly the pain subsides. Admonishes! 'Did you eat anything in the morning? I've told you not to drive on any empty stomach....' I reply something, all along watching my son play with his toys. His hair's grown and touches his shoulders--like that of the princes in ancient mythological tales.'Are you a prince?' and he nods. An hour later, after a hot bath, I'm back to normal.

'You are a body first.' The guy behind the mirror tells me. No, I tell him. I'm light, a spark of light, incarnated in this body. The body disintegrates, and with that, all that's associated with this body also goes off. This is temporary. I've been in millions of these bodies and one day, I'll leave this behind too. I'm pure consciousness..

'But first and foremost, you're physical. Ignore that and I'll screw you...' he mocks.

I ponder, a bit deeply, for sometime. I want to argue but decide against it. Maybe he has a point, maybe I need to pay attention. Take care of the body first. Be healthy to the point of becoming free of any physical concerns. Have that lightness in your body. That spring in your steps. Let the body be a tool, not a barrier, for your purpose whatever that might be.

The kid's fumbling with his shoes and making noises. He wants to go out and play with other children of the locality. 'Take him out, I'm tired,' she collapses on the chair, book in hand. The boy runs out and I follow him.


  1. Ah, Vishwa, I cannot count—tens of thousands?—the times I have ignored the needs of my body until the shriek of pain reminds me that I have a body in need of care. I have done my best to take no notice of headaches, backaches, leg aches to continue doing whatever seems more essential. Then the headache reminds me that I’ve neglected to drink water, or the backache that I really need to get out of my chair and walk a bit. I easily forget that cardinal imperative that I was taught so many years ago: balance. I truly need to maintain equilibrium of my mind, body, spiritual, and social needs—or I pay a high price.

    Blessings to the young prince!

  2. Vishu, guess you had a similar headache last week also and finally it was chased away.! You reminded me of this post so i went searching to read. it.
    Very nice to read our little older times. Will read them all one by one . All your write ups have the shades of life , happiness, joys, humor,pain helplessness which we have gone through with ourselves and in togetherness also. . I deeply wish us more delighted future and you are already that ! I deeply loved an article The Boat Man, too I may share that on fb.... My heartiest wishes to you for your writings now and always....Archana.,.