I write so I can breathe. I am constantly evolving, mindless at times, frustrating even perhaps but heck, I wouldn't change the smell of freedom that comes with writing.

Friday, May 27, 2011

An Affair with the Rains

Fascinated, I can sit and watch the rain for hours. Better still, I could be out there getting drenched. The rain beckons like nothing else can…the haze softening harshness, cleansing the dust from leaves and from the dry dour people we become. It’s never a good day to work though. I want to be out there, splashing, dancing, and just letting the rush of raindrops pelt on my face. It stings, it soothes, it becomes one with my pain and joy.

I remember being a kid. My mom would make us sleep in the afternoons. It used to rain in the afternoons most of the time. What a waste to stay in bed! We would both sneak out without worrying too much of the punishment we would get later because we had disobeyed her. Both of us, brother in his shorts and cotton vest, I happily clothed in my chemise, not a care in the world. We would rush out, run, splash and jump about. Soon, Lucky, our dog, would join us. He was a pup then, eager to play and when it meant rolling in the mud, he was game. It was just the cat and hen that would sit a safe distance away at the porch and watch us with a certain degree of disdain and wonder what was wrong with us.

We would return after a point of getting drenched, to sneak out one of the old magazines to make paper boats. They would float, capsize. We would run across the street and call out to other children and soon there would be a bunch of kids having the time of their life. Until. Whatever! It was fun.

As an adult, I stare at the rain, sit by the window, a coffee steaming cupped by my palms that soak in the warmth while I soak in the beauty of what I see. I sigh sometimes. I sing too. I bet the frogs run away! On those rare occasions when the longing to be a child gets too much, I go out, and still get drenched. I’ve been out walking in the rain, making friends or sharing memories. Two really stand out.

One was with Rosy, a distant cousin. I was in junior college. It was a wintry afternoon and we were out in the drizzle. I asked her if she had ever had ice-cream in the rain. She hadn’t. the biting wind and the drizzle wasn’t half as amazing ever as was that day, with the two of us eating ice-cream and walking towards my aunt’s house. It has been a long while but I recall it was so much fun.

On another occasion, it was the day I met Ivan. He had come in straight from Pune that day. Life brings in the form of little gifts, unpredictable tiny things; the ultimate joy of simply taking a walk in the rain. I remember, the evening started with us meeting for the first time. I was being the non-stop chatterbox until mid-way I suddenly remember stopping abruptly. The realization hit me then that here was Ivan. I had met him for the first time. It was his twenty-fifth birthday. One of those absolutely embarrassing moments I have ever found myself in. Nothing could have silenced me in a better manner. The night before I vaguely remember the reminder on my phone telling me it was his birthday. Damn! And I forgot! All the while I was talking he sat listening patiently. Ivan the Silent called me a couple of times that day and I never wished him. I remember the pizza sticking in my palate and I sat speechless, red in the face, ashamed of an unforgivable crime. But then, that was the prelude to what I did next. While we sat at the pizza place, it started raining.

Rains! I had a thing about rains. It was Mumbai. It was evening, and it was pouring. I whimsically decided that a walk in the rain was a must. I remember stopping at Baskin Robbins, soaked. We bought ice-cream and we walked again, in the rain, eating ice-cream. I was laughing, gleeful, a five year old in the garb of an adult. The waffle was getting messier and I was happy. I think Ivan the Patient was bewildered. The rain soaked right through my shoes. I was having a great time. And then, Ivan told me he had lost his luggage. Damn! For the second time that evening I stood speechless. I at least had another pair of shoes at home. This guy! Oh my God! Well…we became friends. Ivan insisted it was his best birthday ever.

Why wouldn’t I love the rain??! I have the best of time ever.

More memories to come...more memories in the making. Some will imprint itself forever. I am a nutcase. So be it. I have no idea about my sanity levels but I am a happy person when I am in the rain. Little miracles of life. My single, life-long affair with nature…rains.

- Sandy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are we Afraid of Ourselves?

What is it that holds us together? What is it that makes us stop when we know what we are doing is right by our own convictions? Why do we need to explain everything? Why do we need to draw conclusions? How much time do we spend in running after money? How much time do we spend journeying within ourselves?

The revelation of what and who we are and how we can address our own spiritual needs is a journey that is full of awe, amazement and wonder. It is like getting under your own skin to know yourself, to try and understand what holds you together and what limitations we bind ourselves making rules all the time about almost everything. We are such an opinionated lot. We judge everything that comes to us. Among all the things we learn we seem to take a much longer time to learn to just be…to just feel, to just touch, see, hear, smell, taste without making a judgment about what we see, hear, touch, taste smell, feel. There is a purpose to everything in life; a purpose to you and me existing, a purpose to our being, to our possessing senses, to having a body.

Why are we so afraid to look within ourselves? Some things are meant to be and some are not. Life’s never a destination, just a journey you take. Say hello to a Thursday...a large dose of philosophy may not go down well. Never mind. We are who we are and there always is more to things than what meets your eye. Truth is, I'm not even flinging myself against the wall for anyone. I am made that way really. I so believe that I am meant to be at a certain place at a certain point of time and then move on. A very unlikely trait maybe, but perhaps there is a restless Taurean once in a while that longs to belong someplace only for some period of time before boredom sets in because the passions seems to have faded away for the kind of life lived. Let me not muse over this longer than necessary. Let’s just say I'm a mixed bag. Hard to understand but the truth is that my basic fundamentals about life actually contradict most. These are not rules I set for myself. Rules change with a change in playground…mostly. This is me. I am made that way, I find satisfaction in giving even when I have to go without something for a while because of it and as far as giving a part of you is concerned I don’t profess myself to be selfless. I am not really like that. I am a whole lot of negative things but essentially I am also someone who does not focus on it so much. Why focus on the negative when you can focus on the positives?

One of my most powerful mantra when life pulls me down is this quote:


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson)

- Sandy

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hang in There

As kids we dream the most. The range is wide and we dream our most impossible dreams with an unwavering faith that remains unshaken. We fight battles that cannot be defeated as bravely as we walk places where the brave dare not go. We reach for the unreachable, tuck them under our arms, keep the moon beside our pillows as we drift away into slumber.

That's childhood. We play with shadows, think up and narrate stories believing them to be true. Even as we pass through those years, these dreams fade away slowly and more complex ones take its place. I often wonder why. Reality, perhaps, sets in. Knowledge increases and we get caught up in this real world's battles. With it, comes fear about so many things, times and situations.

So, what happens? We try to run to a more secure environment not realizing that shadows stay with us; shadows that effectively begin small and as time passes become longer as we see the sun set in our faith horizon. Suddenly we are aware of what was once a small patch of dark in the sunshine has turned into night. We turn, we pray, we hope to let the time pass by. The night lingers on trying to let the fear remain with us. In our darkest hour, we grope for something to hold on to, a reassurance that we shall not lose ourselves in those murky depths of our fears and despair.

In that darkest hour we perhaps remember that there is a God and we learn to pray. Really pray. Does not the darkest hour, like all others, last for sixty minutes?

Through the searing pain of our most anguished experiences is washed ashore a better and wiser human being. We do not reach the destination if we have not the will to walk that extra mile. Twinkling stars fade into dawn and the golden hue heralds a new day. Many miss the daybreak because we have slept away those precious hours. It is the person who has trudged the night away who finds the miracle just when the time is right.

However, if at the end of those dark hours you stay awake and find not the sun rising, how many stay on and persevere, knowing day still breaks because the dark clouds may have covered the horizon, hazed the vision, yet, undeniably, light pierces it all to emerge and guide our paths?

Pain is a tear that rips your heart, devastates your senses and releases from the deepest recesses of your soul a cry of agony, so primitive and unreal that it makes you want to die...and yet, and yet, courage can make it all seem worth the while. Pain is necessary to open our eyes to reality. Pain makes us value what we have and how best we can put to use what we have to become a better person, not in anybody's eyes but our own.

Hold conversations with yourself. There is a God within your soul who listens.

- Sandy

Sold

Creeping upon you, growing, like shadows lengthening in the setting sun, the feeling grows that you've been sold; to other priorities, like a slave for a few pennies or perhaps a lot of riches; love and friendship sold so you could set your life in order, forsaken in a deal of a lifetime?

Perhaps.

You know in the deepest recesses of your soul you let yourself be sold, by maintaining a silence, by raising no voice of complaint at the way you were being treated, by selflessly letting yourself be taken for granted. You somehow begin to know when people begin to lie, when there is for that one split second the hesitation to say something, the gaze averts, involuntarily the hand goes up to either touch the ears or the nose, arms get folded before they open again, everything sinks into the pit of your stomach and pulls at your heart, for that one split second that becomes long and relevant enough for you to just simply know that the lies have begun.

So, there it goes, the feeling of a sense of belonging and all you can do is then stand there and see your beliefs walk away, get devoured by the darkness that simply fills you to the brim.

All you do is stare at what walks away in the setting sun, contemplate where life has left you, stranded. You remain frozen for a long time, not knowing what to do because you have no idea anymore of what you should do. You did not walk away.

You stand there, on that one spot, see your film rewind through, play over and over again, driving you insane with words, touches, looks and feelings. Then, a part of you simply dies. You exist. You don’t live anymore.

And then…you begin to live again! Better! 
- Sandy

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Love and all that it gives

(This really is an old piece in a new package)

Love is overrated. Actually, no! Love’s definitions are abused definitely. There are endless lessons in simply loving. No word encompasses the feelings if gladness, madness, anger and sadness more than love. It never quite allows you to realize the lessons until its way over the top or is over. So, why would love be defined as eternal if it gets over?

Ah well, if nothing, the lessons one masters becomes important at a far later stage in life than you realize. Let’s not mix love with relationships which most of us tend to do…committed relationships especially. Love transcends all of that and is above all of that.

So, what are the possibilities?

The things I have learnt of love in life are endless. They seem unimportant until something happens to give the lesson due importance at a later stage in life.

It is possible to separate from the person you truly deeply love and still remain connected forever, that too, not by making an effort at trying to forget but by acknowledging that such love and depth of feelings do exist for the person concerned. Then, no matter where you go, you never stop loving.

A friend can turn into someone you love very much but to turn a lover into a friend never happens. It is utter stupidity. In matters of love it works out best when you give your all and not want anything in return. The grief is not there then. It is just an inner peace that comes with the realization that you have the right to fall in love with someone but no right is ever given to you to expect the person to love you as much and in the same manner.

Breaking up always hurts. It’s something you have to snap out of. There is no weaning out really. You are either in or out. Subsequent to a break-up, you really discover the spiteful side of a person by the way you behave with the person you have broken up with. You also discover whether you are just as spiteful or not.

Love does mean having to say sorry, except, when you say so, mean it or don't say it at all. Love also means saying thank you. It does not mean you need to use just your vocal chords to do so. Use your heart and do please mean it!

Love has reason for making you do things that your mind will never begin to understand. Because, when you do something for the one you love, it is never an obligation. It is more of a wanting to do it and share the happiness it can bring to the other. It never is a second thought.

Love can make you do things you have never imagined possible. These can be the stupidest of things and the most courageous of things...It eventually all boils down to wisdom of love or the lack of it.

Why am I talking about love...? Well, we all have theories about love...the above are mine. For now. My conformity to what has just been written may or may not be there and I do not choose to argue my own points or contradict. The lessons you learn are not the end all and be all of life...it is what IS that matter. Always!!

- Sandy

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ice-cream



There is just something about ice-creams and feelings. Perhaps, it is unconnected. Why am I thinking about ice-cream? Oh well, I am sitting at my favourite place in Lagos. It is a hot summer afternoon, a Saturday afternoon, if I may add. The Paris Deli is a hub of constant chatter by day time, especially the weekends. It opens at seven thirty in the morning. Aha! Now, that is such bliss. Some place quiet to come to early in the morning. I was here early this morning and the place was deserted and quiet, just what I would like to do on a Saturday or Sunday morning…sit here and write about sweet nothings and tricky everything.
Anyways, that would take up an entire day. It is the ‘hot summer afternoon’ right now. I have with me a chilled glass of Lime and Mint….Yeah, that’s the picture. But some of the folks around me have ordered ice-cream. That is what got me thinking about ice-cream. Also, it is sinful. It can be such a comforter and bloody damaging… the teeth party with the pleasure of the chill setting in and melting in your mouth. ( I have also taken a sip of the Lime and Mint…it is absolutely refreshing…as imagined and visually perceived).

There is comfort. There is guilt. There is the sinfulness of it all.

I begin to imagine all the ways you can have ice-cream. Hey! Hey! I wasn’t about to go all over the naughty stuff you can do with it. I was thinking rain. I was thinking dancing in the rain. I was thinking getting drenched in the rain, getting really messy, eating ice-cream.

Versatile ice-cream. Sweet. Cool. Passion-driven. Guilt-trippy. Gluttony at its best. Fun. Sexy.

Ice-cream. And the Lime and Mint is good. Damn good.

-Sandy
(Lime and Mint Picture Copyright Sandy
Ice-cream picture - Courtesy Google Images)

Armed Forces - A Raw Deal for Women?

Is it an unfair deal or not for the Women Officers in the Armed Forces…

When the Armed Forces decided to take in Women Officer, not “Lady”, the initial commission was for duration of seven years, extend-able by two plus one more year, which makes it ten years in all. Agreed, all of us who joined were aware of just how long our career in the Armed Forces will last. It was a challenge taken up and women joined. It was entirely the individual’s call so the clarity in the extendability of the career in the Forces was pretty much there. No cribs on that point. I know that I joined for seven years with a fervent hope that the extensions may, in seven years time, change to a permanent commission. Call it patriotism or a show of it or whatever one pleases to judge it as; it was a matter of honour and pride to be given the opportunity to serve the country. Possibility is like hope. It keeps you going. Such honour to serve your country is rare. If you are given the opportunity to do it, do it right.

Why on earth did the Government even permit women to join the Forces if they wanted to protect their women? It is unfair to consider protecting them. The Forces are there to protect the nation not protect women alone. I have, during my commission, seen women perform way better. Only, they had to work twice as hard to simply prove themselves because, working just as hard as the men only would have produced terrible Officers. To touch upon something really sensitive, I have seen the gentlemen officers just sit and sham while the women worked. If a woman officer was ever seen not working and simply lazing it out, like any other Officer, it would elicit a statement like, “Whoever wanted them to be in the Forces? Look at them, good for nothing.” At the same time, if a gentleman officer was sitting around doing nothing, one would simply say, “Taking a break, are you?” Double standards and hypocrisy is what this is.

Why not combat? Don’t men get raped? If one believes they don’t, one is living in Utopia. Joining the Forces and taking the Oath for serving the country is the same isn’t it? We said the same things – did we not mean them? I wanted to be a diver, to join the Naval Intel Cadre – did I get it? No. It’s too dangerous! It simply is an underestimation of the guts women have. Deciding to join the Forces was as far as the risk went. After that, it’s not a thought to be considered. The men made the rules. The instinct of protecting their women in the Forces seems such a farce. The taxpayers’ money, which paid me my salary in the Armed Forces, was not for getting women into a fold and then protecting them. It is, I believe, more a question of mistrust. I went through the same tests to get commissioned. Why discriminate later? I remember ever so clearly objecting to being addressed as a lady whenever there was a briefing in office. Why Lady? Was I not wearing the same uniform? Was I not earning the same salary, enjoying the same allowances and perks and working hours? I’ve worked as hard as any other Officer, so why not address me as an Officer? If I only wanted to be a lady, serving in the military would not even cross my mind.

Yes, it is definitely being politically incorrect and medieval to say “ I would like to point out that even in this day and age, most women still think twice about going out for a walk, unaccompanied, late at night…. because of the probable risk of getting mugged or raped”. Brothers, cousins, fathers, uncles, husbands too rape women in their homes…save your protective instincts for them. When women join the Forces, they are taught to take care of themselves. I know I am sounding sarcastic but sexual favours and forced intercourse doesn’t happen in war periods alone. In the Armed Forces, how many are even aware of what goes on? Court martial happens, suicides happen, the media makes a great selling out of it and then everything dies down. Life moves on.

It is really a mixed bag! Unfair yes! Raw deal? No. All women know what call they have taken when they join the Armed Forces. If it’s a test of nerves and I fail the test to enter combat cadres, it’s fair. If I am unable to hold a weapon and use it properly, it’s fair. If I am not intelligent or resourceful enough to be in the intelligence cadre, it’s fair. If I am incapable of becoming a qualified instructor, it’s fair. If I do not have the stamina to sustain and pass the divers course, it’s fair. What is not fair is not being permitted to even try even when you fit all the qualifications required to fit the profile and are not given a chance just because you are female and not male. Even the word ‘female’ has ‘male’ in it for goodness sake!

Raw deal is not what the women got in the Armed Forces, not entirely. Some just never transited from a lady to being an Officer. That’s where the women crib and not understand. Why seek excuses to be excused from carrying out duties because you have your periods? It’s not as if you will die if you work when you have your periods! I know the number of times I’ve been asked to repeatedly do night duties because some woman officer colleague of mine gave such a sorry excuse to simply bunk work! Have fun, yes, but never shun duties. Why crib about a raw deal when you make that for yourself?

One may question as to why then did I not extend my commission beyond seven years. I had personal and official reasons. Personal, I need not bring in here because it is my reason, and does not speak for other women officers. My official reasons were quite a few. All my Commanding Officers never wanted me to leave. I worked hard and I loved what I did. It was not enough. I did not want to stagnate. I knew and understood my worth. I wanted to do more, contribute more. I wanted to be in the intelligence Cadre or be given an opportunity to be an Instructor, or a Diver. Zilch! Despite recommendations from my respective Commanding Officers, it was never considered. Endorsements in the ACR and recommendations are filed away. What get exposed are just irrelevant opinions that make no sense.

I do not think any woman officer should have a complaint against post-commission employment possibilities. The Forces teach you management, behavioral sciences, security and liaison, communication, administration and discipline. I would rather choose to believe that all these are added advantages to what we are already qualified to function as by way of our education degrees. It is unfair to put the blame on the Forces and say it messes up your career. I agree here that it is much more difficult for the permanent service officers to leave the Forces. Getting a career in the civil environment is not a big deal. If we all look back and see what we achieved in the Forces, this is like chicken change. If you had it in you to join the Forces, be there, excel for whatever time you were there, you can be anywhere and be whoever you wish to be.

If you think, you are.

- Sandy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Conversations and the Silence in between

Conversations, like art and music plays on its own rhythm. My meeting and coming across so many people in life has added to the belief that each conversation is unique and has its own depth, shallowness, sadness and euphoria. The closer the relationship, the more definitive and distinct is its quality. I wasn't really talking about types of conversations really...I used the sentence to trigger off a chain of thoughts. Most times, it seems to be easier to have a conversation and then there are times it is really so much easier to write about things.

One such conversation was something I managed to recall verbatim (at least a span of it). And here it is. I had posted it years ago...I share it again because when I share it, I will re-live it all again and I know the person I shared it with will recall it and smile as well. There is no sense of something lost in the process anymore. I know and do believe life has come a long way from that beautiful night and I also know there is much more to today than there was yesterday. We constantly evolve and we constantly have the power to change what we do with our life...That power exists in each of us.

Profoundest of thoughts strike in the middle of the night...

Place: Lagos, my residence balcony

Participants : A friend and I, both blazed, both experimenting with respective cameras, both laughing ourselves silly

Time: I suppose 1 am ...who cares!

Status: Blazed with a bit of Baileys to add to the state of meta-physical being :)

Conversation:

Me: Guess what I was thinking of? (some place far in my mind...)
She: What? (lazy tone...still immersed in figuring out the digital Nikon she purchased on her trip to Dubai last month and bought because she liked the look of it)
Me: Haji Ali
She: Duh!
Both giggle
She: Waaat...(dragging tone)
Me: Yea, u know, the road that curves and goes towards Bandra....
She: Yea...except I was seeing it from the other side
Me: Hmm....(silence..pausing to think over that...its perspective after all!)
Me: (still thinking...)
She: That's because...
Me: Home was Colaba side for you....
She: Yea (tone is "Eureka")
(a span of silence here...each musing over the statement...and I see a theory here)
Me: There is a theory to this...
She waits for me to continue....
Me: Aha...so you see (smug with wisdom...giggling...) When we think of a direction to move or imagine it to move normally we face home...I used to be in Bandra...
She:(now frantic)...o...o...o...this camera has a voice recorder...let me record this...
Me: (laughing...the haze of smoke grows and I'm passing my fingers through it...) Hallowed smoke...
She: (giggles, nods,) yeah...O Shit, how do I get this going...where is it...I know it has a recorder...
Me: (thinking I wish I brought my cellphone out...at least I know how that one works)
She: WTF, how does this work...Sandy,...we will forget all we said...(tone getting more and more frantic by the second)
Me: (now trying harder than ever to get my mind to come back to the conversation we had...) What did we talk about anyways? (desperately seeking the thought!!!)
She: See...(still frantic) I know we will not remember...tomorrow we will forget, we wont remember any of it...
Me: Well...(struggling still) ...let me think...aw fuck...how will we remember tomorrow..I've already forgotten what we spoke about...such a profound theory...and its all lost...
She: (sick of the darned camera....puts it down and we continue smoking)
Me: I remember...we wont forget...

Now...I didn't forget...well the gist of it at least...I don't think my camera was there....no...it wasn't...I'm not editing this anyways....

Chill! Have a great life!!!!

- Sandy

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why Between Cups of Coffee?

Why is it "Between Cups of Coffee" and not "Between Sheets" or something half as sexy? It would have made such a better post...but then, it wouldn't have been half as serious or half as interesting...steamy yes...ah well! Alright! Let me tell you how this "Between Cups of Coffee" happened.

When you pass your darkest hour, the dawn breaks. My break of dawn has happened over the past few weeks. Over books I have been recommended to read, shoulders of support from friends who believed in me more than I believed in myself and between cups of coffee, I realized that I was in the morning of my life. That is how I felt it. Each day was an evolved perspective. When you hit rock bottom, all you can do is look up and rise.

So, thus, this blog starts off as between cups of coffee (and at times alcohol) I have had the most amazing uplifting of spirit. Err...pun was unintended but I seem to be paying way too much attention. Maybe it has to do with my sense of well-being that I am feeling now. I laugh more. I smile more. I pass by stuff unfazed and take what I wish to out of a conversation, share some, spread some of the inner gyaan, that sometimes makes utter sense and sometimes ridiculous, depending on who the conversation is with.

This seems to be turning out to be a purposeless post. Everything has a purpose. Even the things we feel has no purpose, has one. So, I am allowing myself to think beyond my own feelings about this one. It allows for thoughts to be expressed. All an attempt to read what I think and share with people who may or may not identify with it.

In the past weeks I have decided, if I have questions, I must also seek their answers. Answers, that may not necessarily come out of books. In fact, the best answers have arisen out of a vibrant conversation or utter silence after a thought has been expressed or a perspective shared. The purpose of my life has suddenly taken on a greater meaning. A quest, a dream, a journey outward, when in truth it has opened the windows to my soul and has permitted me to embark on the journey inward as well. This has come to me as a revelation and it has brought about a transformation in my relationships with people around me because I am relating to myself the way I have not related in a long long time. If I may use an extreme word to describe it, my life feels like a thought, brilliant in its hazy depth and ever evolving.

Not sure if this makes sense. But, it makes sense to me. Of course, it will. I am the one writing it and thinking it. Success to me, no longer means having a locker full of money or being famous or well-spoken about. It means being complete. It means an acknowledgment of one's own being, absolutely guilt-free.

I met this friend, over a cup of coffee and the air seemed buzzing with vibrant energy of positivity. This is coming from a friend who recently was very ill and had a near-death experience. He and I probably had planned this coffee conversation for eight years. It finally happened. Sometimes, life keeps some things from happening until the time is right. I do not decide it. I think somehow Providence plans it and destines it for a specific time. We have stayed in touch and met so many times but it was always, we have to have coffee together. There is something fascinating that happens when one has coffee together.

The time you will get to spend having a conversation with a person gets decided in the time a coffee gets ordered and sipped. Everything that takes place in that short span of time will decide whether you are going to be lingering on for another cup or we are going to walk out and move out on our separate ways without adding meaning to the time spent. That is the fascinating thing about coffee and what happens between cups of coffee.

The conversation drifted to spirituality and God. Obviously, as this happened soonest after his near-death experience. Strangely enough, I find people who have had near-death experience are somehow re-born and how! They suddenly seek happiness above all and seem to have understood the meaning of life. No amount of understanding of life as we see it can replicate that understand that one has after having had this event take place. There seems to be a message that God wants to convey to the world and it comes through the shared experiences of these people.

I could visualize a meeting he had with God. We all have free will which is a gift from God. What the world was and what it has come to is really a result of the decisions we have taken out of our free will. We are responsible for what we do and we are answerable to God for it in the end when we stand before Him after we die. Eventually, life is all about being happy. We are a prejudiced lot of people, strongly prejudiced in our opinion and boxed into little enclosures we are too fearful of treading out of. God did not create this enclosure. We did. We thereafter, live in it, crib, rave, rant, do wrongs and blame others for it.

Each of us, no matter how good, bad or ugly we are, we know, we have brought it upon ourselves to what we have become. the journey of life can either be that of a slave to the rules, systems we have ingrained within ourselves or limited ourselves to or spread genuine happiness around us which is neither feigned or obligated.

All said and done, he had been through something amazing. I felt the aura of someone enlightened to a better degree than most of us who are living our lives foolishly. Yes, I include myself in that crowd but hey, I am trying to break out. Someday I will...and it will all come together, between cups of coffee....and spirit (as well). Eh!

- Sandy

(ps) He told me he had the most amazing feeling of utter contentment and bliss while his meeting lasted. Lucky Dude!

Friday, May 6, 2011

For a Start

For the record before I go into anything I want to write about, I have something to say. This is not a conventional piece of writing. Not that I have to justify myself, but what the heck...I might as well, knowing that everyone is entitled to an opinion about everything and everyone does have a perspective to anything and everything in life. Probably, the only time you do not have a perspective is when you are dead...or perhaps, then the perception, well and truly, is crystal clear.

These pages will someday turn into a book. I cannot categorize it. I wrote it for my benefit and for those like me who have so much going on upstairs in that grey matter that they are compelled to share. There are no wrong answers and neither are there right ones. As these posts progress I know I will be self-contradictory to something I may have said earlier. That's okay really. I am not here to stint my progress and limit my perception to what I felt years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes or seconds ago. Soak up what you will. Let it make a difference to you. If you come out feeling excited, I am glad. If not, it's really no sweat because I did not write all this stuff for anyone's excitement. I wrote it primarily for my own and then because I got excited about it, I shared.

This year seems to be an important one in my life. I feel as if I have been in hibernation for a while and now that the dawn breaks, I want to contemplate before the brilliance of the daybreak. I am not too worried about that brilliance turning into evenings, sunsets and dusk, twilight and darkness. For, you see, the evenings have a charm of their own. They permit you to mellow down after the energies are spent, to mull over, to think and soak up, in tranquility, all the learning. It makes you select what you wish to learn and what you wish to un-learn so you may learn again.  It allows you to stop, enjoy the beauty of the evening, calm those crowded loud thoughts and allows you to cherish what you have done and linger thereafter, feeling a sense of closure on another day spent well. Why else would one wish to do anything? It also allows you to sigh and savour the beauty of being alive, the aura of everything around you and everything that has made you who you are today. Come night, those dreams come, nurtured by your thoughts, of what you have yet to tread on, do and be. Every phase of the time we have is in its own merit worth every bit of it.


That is, for a start.

-Sandy