A Journey to Epiphany.

museThis trip seems to be doomed one of those things when life decides to make things uncomfortable for you. My journey from Goa to Bombay was pits, enough from to invoke the Egyptian god of creation and say,”Ptah” next day I was so exhausted that all that I did was to sleep, that in turn ensured that I had a splitting headache.

Despite that I reach JVLF on time, and guess what the bus is about 2hrs late, of course it the fault of the Delhi-wallah/Bangalore-wallah/ the aviation ministry and everyoneotherthanme and his wife that we had to stand under over bridge to regress to our college days! (I really wish we had an icon for snort)

We reach destination four hours later than expected, with stressed bladders and god knows what else. As we got ready at the dorm, people really took the trouble to be aesthetic, and here I was I had forgotten to pack a comb.

And now this morning I rush from Vile-Parle to Kurla to catch the 5.30 AM train my ticket says C8U90 and guess what…tralalaa…there is no C8 there are only 7 coaches, after fretting and fuming , and EFT and nineteen tables, I meet the ticket checker who tells me well madam for now sit in C4 lets see what happens, I scroll the mobile and here comes the epiphany, the railway chart was made last evening, a message was sent to me then my booking had translated to C6-..

As I wrote my morning pages I realize that there was a pattern and the pattern came into the environment from my own state of being. The delay, the breakdown was happening in my space.

After all Nirmal had sent us the mail quite a while back, I am too embarrassed even to check how long ago. Her follow up mail was very clear day 1 formals, and day 2 comfortable, mind you she did not say comfortable meant sloppy.

My delay- began there a delay in reading the mail, in acknowledging it and ensuring that it went comfortably. That meant I did not acknowledge and welcome the event into my space. Yet the universe was very kind. My brother Ramchandra PN (http://www.sonkfilms.com/) . Backing me up ensuring that I reached my destination without an issue, and I had to ask here was something that google-mata will grant, I had  fall back on Alexander Graham Bell’s invention.

The two and half hours on under the over bridge gave us such a bonding time; I had this reservation and resentment that I was an outsider to the Bombay group, but they actually treated me like a debutante.

chikkammanora gardi (4)Had I welcomed the event into my space with the honor it deserved, my handling of it would have been different, I would have been meticulous about the bookings, and I would have worked the logistics. The scenario then would be different. Of course then the learning would have been different too.

But for now the lesson was loud and clear… when the opportunity presents its self, take a moment decide whether you are going to accept it or not, if it is a yes, then all roads lead there. Then by lanes don’t emerge to create bygones.

As for the camp proper  will share it in a while.

Next is ask for help, and there is a hand that will extend.

At the end of the day maybe this is the lesson that I am meant to learn for now.



Traditionally Yours

“It is a family tradition”

Radhika looked up, every damn thing here seemed to be tradition, which end you eat the mango from to who dices the melon. It was rather irritating.  But guess that was what traditions are all about, the Deshpande family has been thinking, behaving and doing things this particular way, considering Radhika’s father-in-law was a travelling salesman somehow the Joshi traditions did not enter the zanana of the house, so Advait and Vedant grew up as good Deshpande sons frozen in the 1930’s.

The traditions had become the security, particularly when the mind is secure it is in decay. Coming from another tradition across time and space, Radhika seem to break traditions that were handed down over the papad rolling and pickling mangoes.

“How on earth do I tackle this” she wondered,

“Ring” the mobile rang, “Rads, I’ve had it,” Radhika smiled, somewhere her sister-in-law always seems to deliver the required right break,

“Yeah tell shruthi”

“It’s this army hierarch, I mean what the hell, the officers don’t sit until their wives don’t, the wives don’t sit until the brigadier does not, and the brigadier does not park until his wife does, and she is busy conversing with tunnu-munnu.”

Oh! Traditions again.

When they had been to see the movie Kabhi Kushi kabhi gum all of them had laughed aloud, but then there these small things that popped up. Coming to think of it, over the past 10yrs of marriage, the evening tea together had become a tradition since kids came back from school and Vedant from office that time somehow had set in. probably that was what traditions were all about, at the end of the day tradition is quite a fragile thing, in a culture built entirely on the memories of the elders.

Sometimes Radhika wondered if traditions and habit are just that, comfortable excuses to leave things be, even when they are unjust and unworthy, sometimes but not too often,


Actually conventions are the death of real traditions, as they are of all real life and we tend to use the two synonymously. Conventions are the parasites that attach themselves to the living organisms of tradition and devour all its reality turning it into a hollow formality.

Traditions are alive and kicking, while conventions Aare passive and dead, tradition does not form us automatically, we have to work to understand it, convention is accepted passively as though a routine. That allows convention to easily evade reality. It offers us only pretended ways of slowing the problems of living, a system of gestures and formalities, traditions actually teaches us how to live, take responsibility for our own life, and often oppose the ordinary, but convention which is a mere repetition of familiar routines follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act without trying to understand the meaning of it all, simply because everyone else does the same. Tradition which is always old, is at the same time ever new as it gets revived—born again with each new generation to be lived and applied in a new and particular way.

Conventions are simply ossification of social customs. The activities of conventional people are just excuses for not acting in a more integrally human way. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention disguises its interior decay.

The only understanding that Radhika could gel with was tradition is the living faith of the dead while traditionalism is the dead faith of the living, and probably since people were rather caught up on traditionalism, it is traditionalism that gives tradition a bad name.

Who changed me…

image courtesy google
image courtesy google

My story by Kamala Das has a statement, “ask the books that I read why change. Ask the authors dead and alive who communicated with me and gave me the courage to be myself.”

… Did they?

I do not know, I was brought up by parents and grandparents who were voracious readers, membership to the local library meant that we had entered the adult world. Of course it did not matter that I was seven and my brother was 5, Monday’s were like high light days since we walked down to the library and picked up a book to bring home, you see Tuesday the library was closed so we could not walk down to read the book there.

Maybe the staple diet of Enid Blyton, AmaraChitraKatha and Mandrake did influence me with my opinion of gender issues, (by the way in retrospect Enid Blyton was racist and very gender biased.) Amarachitrakatha induced a strong interest in history and mythology and together they have created a inquiry-monster in me anyway what inspired authors to write what they did I know not, but I firmly believe in the Buddhist Philosopher Nagarjuna who says,”the books impart only enough knowledge that you can assimilate, also the same book tells you different things each time you read it.”

I remember my grandmother telling me that each library should contain this quote from Mark Twain on its entrance.” Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted: persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.”—BY THE ORDER OF THE AUTHOR per G.G.CHIEF OF ORDNANCE.

Books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you have finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it belongs to you: the good, the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, the sorrow, one gets connected to the characters, and experiences the weather.  So this experience would definitely change a perception, I would learn from a voyeur experience but what I learn and how it will act out in my space is my own.

Writers are actually of two types, one like architects and other like gardeners, the architect plans everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house, they know how many rooms are going to be in the house, the kind of roof/ they’re going to have, where the wires go what kind of plumbing is going to be in the house what kind of roof is it going to have where would the wires run, what kind of plumbing, I mean the entire blueprint is on. These are the kinds who have their NaNoWrMn all panned out, and come November 30th their first draft is out.

Then there are the other kind, who start on first November, dig a hole, drop in the seed and water it. They have an idea what the seed they have sown they have a vague idea that it could be mystery or a fantasy or whatever, but as the plant comes up and they water it, they do not know how branches it is going to have they find out as it grows.

As reader both are great to read, of course the Gardner is kind of more intriguing because we are not sure where he will detour. One thing I kind of noticed is that a book is always better if the author has been the story as a letter to himself, to tell him things that he would be unable to discover otherwise. What really knocks me out as a reader is a book that when I am done reading, I wish the author that wrote it is a terrific friend of mine, and I could call her up on the phone whenever I felt like it that has just begun to happen.

Calling up  Anand Neelakantan and telling him I am amazed with his thought process, or telling Krishna Udayshankar that I am waiting for her novel on Shikandhi   is really great. Both these authors gave their readers lot to mull over.

As for “Ask the books that I read why I changed. Ask the authors dead and alive who communicated with me and gave me the courage to be myself.” – From My Story by Kamala Das.

Well, not really we don’t really change, we are what we are but of course authors let us accept the choices we make to express our authentic self,  it is like,

“Buddy if this is your archetype, this is the price, are you willing to pay it.”

The need to fit in, to be part of the crowd, makes us wear a mask and change not the books we read, but most of us do understand how dangerous masks can be, we all become what we pretend to be.

There are some of us who realize that rules are made to be broken, we are bold enough to live life on our terms and never apologize for it…believe me, I tried to conform and adapt, I even tried apologizing it made me a homicidal maniac”.. So we go against the grain, refuse to conform and travel the less travelled path instead of the well-beaten one. Yes some of us do have the ability to laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before we look. We march to the beat of our own drummer immaterial of who is watching us and stubborn refuse to fit in.

The price we pay is bouts of adulation and bouts of loneliness, somewhere we learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is… an opportunity to get know US.. To learn how strong we really are, to depend on one but MYSELF for my happiness… I realize that a little loneliness goes a long way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colourful me.

So you’re a little weird? Work it! A little different? OWN it! Better to be a nerd than one of the herd.

The first step.

from BlogAdda
from BlogAdda

Arjun drove all night

He had to reach Panchagani by morning he would check in to the hotel freshen up. Over breakfast he had just enough time to give final touches to his presentation. Not bad he thought the going was good.

Driving through the nearly empty streets unknowingly the speed had accelerated to 120km/hr.  The next thing he knew was there was huge sound and the air bag popped up, despite that he was badly mangled, he had forgotten the seat belt.

He was now recovering. Taking one step at time, that made life so much easier to navigate rather than looking at the big picture that needed total re-mapping. That kind of looked scary; the seminars that he was to conduct had found new people to take on, that made him vulnerable.

Arjun suddenly realized that years of life did not arrive all at once. It greeted us day by day. With the descent of each setting sun, each one of us rested our heads and let the world take care of itself for a while.  It was as if the nights rest ensures that the dawn would bring with it a chance to meet our lives anew, donning fresh perspectives and dream-inspired hopes. The hours that follow before we return to sleep once more are for us to decide how we want to live and learn laugh and grow. Our lives are sweeter and more manageable because we must experience this them this way.

It was a good to know the destination but it was not really that rigid. The hours that follow waking, before we return to sleep once again are for us to decide how we want to live and learn, laugh and grow. Our lives are sweeter and more manageable because we must experience them this way one day at a time.

To Arjun the future that stretched out before him, made him notice the overwhelming prospect of the journey yet to come, he had to make lifestyle changes, it all seemed so daunting. He had not been so daunted when he just launched his career or just got married, but now it was different. There was an underlying anxiety about his ability to succeed.

Meditating each morning and rendering gratitude each night had now begun to bring a measure of calm, and renewed confidence in his capabilities somewhere he had discovered that inner faith that the future will take of itself.

Arjun then realized that it was the way we showed up in our lives today and maybe tomorrow had great impact on the way we would experience life years from now. Being totally engaged in the day at hand, experiencing all that it had to offer whole hearted with joy and gratitude, just opened a new horizon for him.

“Sometimes you don’t know when you’re taking the first step through a door until you’re already inside.”
― Ann VoskampOne Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Self Value

fig tree at sringeriJust learnt a lesson, which is recognizing my own value is really a matter of significance and changing my thinking to knowing that my life matters and that I am important is also relevant.

Last evening I dread returning from rehearsal, the messy house and somewhere that I had was responsible for the house not being clean, or the food not being up to my families palate was eating me up, the next thing that I am aware off, is that I am angry and finally feel a victim.

For me passive-aggression was a way of making a point to the person who hurt me. But if I am honest I will accept that the only point it makes to anyone is my inability to articulate my point of view because deep down I know I cannot win. It might make sense to assert myself and tell the person that I am moving on without them and why, rather than leaving a lasting impression cowardness on my part, in a person’s mind by avoiding them. I realize that it is not about the other bullying me; it was about my allowing to be bullied.

My before bed meditation seem to clear lot of things for me. I realized if I spent my time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for me, what they did to my heart then I am allowing them to hurt me for a second time, since I am perpetually in that state the logical conclusion that has become my state of being.

There will always be people willing to hurt, put us down, gossip about us, belittle our accomplishments and judge our soul. This is a fact that we need face. However when we discover the divine within, and we choose to value ourselves the stones cast don’t hurt. Most importantly feeling worthless and feeling alone does not happen.

Each one of us matter—tremendously, our existences affects countless people in countless ways. Because we are essentially a microcosm of the large universe. Our internal experiences affect the whole life more than we could ever imagine. The world simply could not exist as it does now if you, me or any one of us were not in it.

Maybe like me on some level we believe that our life does not matter, maybe we are told that acknowledging self worth is arrogance and arrogance is a sin. In many of patients and hypnotherapy clients I have seen self rejecting or belittling beliefs being developed as a child to keep them safe or to make sense of confusing situations.  Going to the point when the feeling of insignificance first took root, addressing it healing the inner child did make a difference in the person’s life

The single belief that we are unimportant limits us and impacts our life in enormous ways. When this perception shifts around our ability to affect our lives and impact the world, we may discover wonderful parts of ourselves that we had forgotten long ago. There may be exciting parts that we never knew existed within us. As we gain awareness of how much our life really does matter new sources of energy can emerge and our sense of connection with world renews.

Here is something that I really like — Never rearrange your life in order to meet Mr. Darcy half way. If he couldn’t see your worth at the moment you met then he won’t two years later. May the halls of Pemberly be filled with his regrets and your life filled with thankfulness because of this revelation.” E
― Shannon L. Alder

Woman today

What does a women today need more equality or empathy.. As fellow human beings.

I do not claim to answer for all women, i can only answer for myself.

All t he same I did ask some women what it was all about it. each one seemed to have a different need.

T here was suriya wo wanted t he money that se invested into a joint back, she felt that there was need for financial independence.

T here are fisher women of curca who wanted to ensure t hat their kids were safe while t hey sold fish, the men would be a sleep, as they would have gone to t he sea in the early hours of t he morning.

T hen there are women w ho work as street cleaners, t hey want a safe place for t he kids too, t heir husbands work in t he fields were t he kids cannot be taken.

It is not about wanting or needing, it is a matter of right. Well who is to give this equality.. or empathy.. have you thought about it? and who instilled t he value in those men? Haven’t the mothers contributed to this belief system?

It annoys me no end, to hear people talk about women as if they are some outer space creatures, some subset, well folks its men and women who make this  community.

Ask the men up north were they have to kidnap girls to get married. Why go up north, the districts of north Kanara and Udupi, will tell you tales of girls refusing to marry men who stay back at home. It is like t he war time in England were the girls were so enamoured te uniformed men, tat they refused to marry the guys who stayed home.

Every man wants to protect women I cannot figure from what though! And women are though that it is right to be protected. Te issue is went e women are told it is your a right to be protected but it would entail you to be imprisoned and you have to pay for it, it is like the hafta that t he goons demand.

Honesty every human has to live his or her life or repent not having done so


Disarming the Know-it-all.

Disarming the Know-it-all.

My husband’s Guruji was explaining something, I kind of butt in to add on or comment or god knows what, that I have forgotten but what stayed with me was the feeling that I am becoming an God Damn Know All . I felt so ashamed of myself.  that I tried to figure what is that triggered me… to but in so unceremoniously the answer that came to was I wanted an acknowledgement, somewhere I was dealing with low self esteem.

Then I realized that it was the same with most know-it- all, that they are stuck in a pattern actually have feelings of low self worth. We have all encountered a person in our lives who can accurately be referred to as a know it all. This person seems to know everything that gets brought up and tends to dominate the conversation. They don’t take well to questions and they have a hard time ever admitting that they were wrong.

I realized that when I became a know-all, there was this tendency to put myself in the centre of attention; it must have been inevitably tiring for others because there would have been no shared energy between us. Attention and respect are probably the two things we all long for, and a know- all more so because a know-all has learnt that that way the needs are met. Overtime the pattern gets stuck. Despite the fact the somewhere it might no longer be working. The role listening, being receptive or learning something could be rather frightening because it is something new and unfamiliar.

On one hand there is this overwhelming need to avoid this person all together because it is draining to be around him/her on the other hand there is compassion that the persons insecurity demands. Maybe if we come from a place of kindness we can attempt to bridge the gap.