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.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bounce

Bounce, bounce, bounce. The crux of the matter is that it’s not the ball that is interesting; it’s how you bounce it. Life's a lot like that. Sometimes you just bounce it lazily, like a stroll toward the hoop, lazy strides and an effortless basket and then you have it spinning like a top on the tip of your finger, you dribble tight, controlled, you move on random mode, you move and play in style. Basically it’s a ball of a ball. Alright, this is really stretched. The point was, you will make life the way you want it to be. It’s like drifting into a world of action, of romance, of tragedy and fun, of commas in the right places of beautifully worded sentences that transfix your sight onto wider horizons, take you through a fast paced thriller or a lazy summer sun.

So, where does it all really find reasoning? It’s the books you read, it’s the things you collect. Let me explain, relationships are like that. A book... you buy because you want to read it and have been waiting for that kind of a book. You make a friend and feel, well, here's someone I’ve been hoping I’d meet and soon you spend all your time with it...undivided attention, page after page, you sigh, you smile, you laugh, you marvel, you cry, lines that get embedded in your head, lines that blur, lines where you doze off and take a trip to dream land. You are on such an excited phase and then you finally turn the last page and know what the person is all about. Everything is shared and known. What really happens after that? You leave it on a bookshelf or perhaps introduce it to another friend of yours. The story is re-told and you share the book and you talk about it and a bond is formed.

Finally, it gets to rest on your bookshelf. What do you do with it then? Do you dust it every day? Do you open a page every now and then to re-run what's in it? Do you just leave it to gather dust until you need it again? Relationships are like that. They need to be dusted with care and looked after and nurtured beyond the first flight of reading. Life goes on and the books on your shelf remain. You lose some, some tear, some get exchanged for another, some lie there uncared for, like it’s become a part of your surrounding and even if you don’t really bother much about it, it’s still there...never mind the termites and the silk worms that eat into the pages, slowly erasing and destroying what was once a beautiful treasured sought after part of your life...or...is it still the way it was the day it came into your life, because you make it a part of your everyday life?

Bounce bounce, bounce,...play, read, do whatever, but always live with a sense of wonder and awe everyday...never take people for granted and do whatever you have to like there's no tomorrow...
because there isn't! 
 
Copyright@Sandy2012

Why are we so Afraid?

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 in by way of 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 judgement 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.

Sometimes there are thoughts, long hours of daylight and darkness, of looking for reasons why we are drawn to some people. What is it that makes it work? It is as if time suspends and moves, thoughts confound and reasoning floods over. There is peace and then there is restlessness, emptiness and a void too deep to fill. Languages, I read, are what restricts people from sharing of knowledge. Would I believe that? Yes, come to think of it…if we don’t have knowledge of the ancient times, what happened then, what our beginnings were, it is not because it happened long ago. It is simply because we don’t know the language completely; the ancient language where all that symbolism stated everything. So, while we have preserved our findings from excavations for instance, we never really can interpret it all…or can we? There is a universal language of aura, of energies, of waves all around us that blends and ripples, only, we are too drowned in the noise of our daily material existence to think about it or even hear it.

Okay, I know I am not really talking about anything specific here. I am just musing, writing down thoughts that have been nudged gently from sleep to awaken and cultivate, move and absorb and develop. It seems to me as if each step I take is towards a point where the magic of the energies will stir and engulf me and I will know what to do to make my life more worthwhile than what it is now…and then on the other hand, I wonder if darkness is better than light. Is it? Sometimes I believe that…why? Ah well…if you are already in darkness, all you can do after that is move towards light. I have paths to tread upon, yet not ventured nor made.

Why are we so afraid to look within ourselves? 

Copyright@Sandy2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Day in 2006 in Lagos

 (An old post I found...)

Our daily life leaves us wondering for a few moments about a lot of things, sometimes totally insignificant, sometimes totally significant but something that we haven’t yet realised…ah well!

I went to my daughter’s room this morning - four snoozes later – and snuggled up to her like I do every morning and lingered there smelling her baby fragrance and wanting and wondering if I will ever be assailed again by such a heady thing again drawn from my own womb.(I’m still wondering…sigh!)

I start my prayers in the bath and I wonder if I’m doing right.

On my way to work, I sit in the passenger seat, my ipod chanted away my morning prayer (before the other music takes over) as I did the rounds of the prayer beads, thought at the same time about inane things in my life, watched the yellow commercial vehicles pack in people like sardines, wondering if I was right in doing so many things at the same time while it was probably right to just focus on the mantra I was chanting. I wonder if I am just being a hypocrite.

I found no traffic today and I wondered if I should text the other colleagues in my office to take the same route so they could also reach early…scrap it! I did not but I wondered.

I came close to the last flyover that I need to pass before my tiny red Picanto turns into the huge parking expanse. Before the road climbs, in the median between the two roads, there are a number of squatters who have been there for over 3 years I presume. I presume so, because I have seen them there for this period at least. So, there is this woman who has twin boys. I wonder what they do when it rains. Do they really have a place to sleep? I wonder.

Just as I begin to climb the flyover, there sit a bunch of twelve young boys eating their breakfast together. This is a daily event. The garbage truck, orange, cant-be-missed shade of orange continues to collect garbage. Under a tree sits a twenty-something girl, talking to herself and I wonder if she is being abused every day, if her daily existence depends on how she makes herself available to the men around or if she is affected by AIDS and thus left there to fend for herself…I wonder if she has eaten.

I reach the end of the parking lot; get off my car, switching off my ipod, disconnecting it from the charger and adapter, having finished my morning smoke and cross the road, up the stairs into a fourteen floor glass building. The security greets me and I smile back and wish them all. It is a daily routine. I wonder if they do it because they are pleased to see me or if it is a means of getting to be friends with me so I can accept another CV for a relative or friend. I wonder…

I get off on the ninth floor and open the office door. I am usually the first to reach the office and thus have the key to the main door. I am a stickler for punctuality and hate myself when I am late. I wonder if it is such a bother for those who never are on time. I wonder if I would be an easier going person if I took the liberty of being late deliberately. I hold the thought for half a second, shake out of it…but, I wonder.

Three things I realised and try to imbibe in myself every day and I do just the opposite. Well, most times. I try not to have expectations, not to judge and not take people for granted or be taken for granted. At work, I achieve only the last of the three. I expect otherwise bright candidates to come up for interview. I judge, analyse, shred them thoroughly till I get one that fits the bill. I wonder if I can ever get to do my job and at the same time adhere to these things. I wonder and then I think it’s not for me to wonder because I am paid to do that. I feel okay for a while…and then I wonder.

I log in, check emails; official, personal, read through blogs, comment, take interviews, discuss and investigate problems, squeeze in time for breakfast or coffee, chat, work and personal, multi-task like crazy, and then wonder if I only worked, how much time would it take me to finish all of it? I spend eleven to twelve hours officially in the office and wonder…

I wonder next if I should spend forty minutes making my daily report or am better off using that time to finish off something else. I eventually do it and get the hell out of the office, glad to be through with another day, satisfied that I have earned my pay. I take off my ID card, the lapel pin on my jacket stays, go down the lift breathe air and then breathe nicotine and let go. I wonder if it was a good day, if…ah well…I wonder.

The Driver takes off from the dark desolated parking lot; I can smell the weed in the air, squatters everywhere smoking up their drudgery into the air. I think, will my luck run out today? Is it my day to be robbed or mugged? I pass by. Sometimes I am stopped by ruffians. I share my Benson and move on. I wonder if it was the Benson that did the trick or they simply think I am not worth the trouble. I wonder about the stories I hear of the number of people who have got mugged. I thank God in that moment and wonder if there will be traffic on the road. I wonder…

My daughter’s nanny calls. We go through the routine of what-will-I-cook-for-dinner what-did-she-have-for-lunch and decide the menu for dinner. That done, my ipod hums the tune to match my mood and off I go to pick my friend at the nearby island and we sit at the parking lot, smoking, and cracking jokes, bitching and getting the general frustrations out. We are still sober then. I pack off the driver with transport money. I wonder then about the traffic. When it clears reasonably I gun the engine and we drive home, relatively blazed, blazing across a thirteen kilometre bridge towards home talking inane things I wish I remembered the following day. So, on we go and I wonder if I will remember…among the more elevated wondering she and I do on a day to day basis.

I drop her five houses away from mine down the street and call a friend to inform that I have reached home safely. I climb the stairs, chirpy, dazed, and tired and I hear a delighted squeal as the door opens…I wonder if the day really happened.

I am home. 

- Sandy

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Day After


Ganesha, patron of arts and sciences, deity of intellect and wisdom has arrived at our homes, in our street, in our locality and in the city and country. What a versatile God, who sings, dances, writes, chants, plays, fights like a hero, being an obedient son, being a family person. In Mumbai especially, this is a day when irrespective of how much you would have annoyed someone, they come together to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. Oh wait, no. We do not come together anymore. We compete, for noise, size, donations, d├ęcor, dances, shows, and item numbers, what have you.

Was it really like this when it all began? Why did people celebrate it in the first place? Lord Ganesha’s department in the bigger scheme of things is to place and remove obstacles, lord of letters and learning, lord of intelligence, wisdom and intellect. (Do not confuse this with knowledge. I think Goddess Saraswati has a position in that.) He holds supports and guides people through life. I have to patiently explain this so as to get a macro perspective on this conveyed to you before I say more.

No Hindu home is without an idol or a picture of Lord Ganesha. No prayers are chanted from ancient scriptures without invoking his name and beseeching blessings from him.

Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated mostly in homes, quietly in prayer, giving free meals and welcoming one and all. It was Lokmanya Tilak who transformed this festival into a public event. So, what was being celebrated quietly in homes came out into the streets so as to bridge the gaps of resentment that people feel through the year. This was 1893. There was a reason for it. There was a purpose. It was to bring together the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins so that India could be free and the movement unified different castes of people so as to achieve that objective of a free nation.
 
Now, let me get to my question. Are we doing this right? For the purpose this started for? For bringing together a diverse lot of people so they can all unify and be the change? No. We are so not doing that.

Let me begin…

Here are two pictures of Mumbai’s most revered deities. These pictures were taken by me at different points of time this year in two different locations in Mumbai.


This picture is of a headless Sai Baba. How did I make that out? By the posture we have so deeply embossed in our heads of the special way he sat. So, a headless much-revered Guru, Spiritual Guide, God (whatever the relationship between you and Sai Baba is) is sitting in the receding and approaching waters of the Arabian Sea at Apollo Bunder. I won’t say much…but I think we need to think back about what we are doing. 
 


This second picture was taken at Carter Road a few days ago. It is a statue of Lord Ganesha. A statue that did not wash away. It was built with a lot of love; it was as solid as they make it. Now, a year later (I am presuming here), the statue is an integral part of the Carter Road embankment. It sits watching a swamp overgrowth, strewn with plastic (that will take more than 500 years to degrade), full of crows and ravens…Don’t even get me started. Does he wonder at the irony of it all?

I had earlier mentioned why this public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi started in the first place. Now, let us see how effectively we are celebrating it. No, no pictures here…look out of your window, yes, out onto the street and see it live. This is happening now. You don’t need me to feed images for this. You see it around you.

We bring home our most favourite God into our homes and vicinity with a lot of love. Before you step inside with Lord Ganesha, do you pause to look around you, at what needs attention as a human being to another human being and…oh well, all living beings?

The God of Arts and Science, dons a garb painted on him with poisonous chemicals, probably painted by a child who earns his living out of it or maybe not even that. My God of learning, wisdom and intellect arrives and I chant prayers, seeking his blessings to be wise, intelligent and blessed. Quietly staring with hungry eyes is a child that does not even afford an education, is working overtime and perhaps will never get out of his hell-hole. My God of obstacles removes my obstacles by extending his hand of grace through other people who are better off than me. But when it comes to the turn of the lesser accepted people who believe in him and pray to him as well (in their quietude) and my intellect begins to show me how I can do my bit to help my God grant these people their prayers, I choose to turn the other way.

I, a lesser mortal who believes that I can make a difference, spend all of what could be used for betterment, on the size, beauty and grandeur of a Ganesha that will win the competition. Did we really please our God? Did we really open our hearts to welcome goodness of spirit, love, compassion and kindness and be better human beings? Or…

Did we get trapped in the web. Jealousy. Hatred. Competition. Waste. Theft. Cheat. Mean attitude.

Did we indeed? 
 
- Sandy2012