Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Soul Beckons....

I loved, I cried
I wept, I sighed
The tears were tides
That became harbingers
Of the ocean of my life!

My life a lie
Soaring high
Amidst the fantasy
Of dreams
Now seemingly
High and dry!

Foul cries the soul
Assuming that I play a righteous role
But alas,
The soul could know
That I need to shed the mortality
To relive the life of a soul!

Friday, January 29, 2016

TIME AND I......



Monday, January 25, 2016


"Memories are the beautiful kaleidoscope of our lives, every time we look back they have different hues and different patterns but the essence remains the same....To live in hearts we leave behind is perhaps the most coveted dwelling….and the memories are the precious souvenirs that remain with us forever…a special literature which we carry within us always to flip through its pages when our heart tugs at some forgotten strings…" Sonal

"I treat life as an enigma so it never hits me hard. I let it unfold itself day by day and rejoice seeing the bounties it offers to me every day. Life is like a boxful of gifts; some you love, some you already have, and some you just want to give away…Every day I get up challenging life and ask her “Dear, what’s up next?” She smilingly reverts, “Surprises are lined up for the day…enjoy!!!!”---Sonal

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A note from a secular Indian.....

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” I start with a quote from the Bible as I am a secular citizen of not-so-secular India.

We are living in an era of pseudo-secularism. It is an established fact that anything which is spoken or done in context of Hinduism is labelled as anti-secular. Secularism in India has become synonymous with ridiculing and humiliating Hinduism. The more you insult Hinduism, the more secular you are!  If Hindus speak to protect (protect is a strong word when spoken in context to Hinduism) or praise Hinduism, it immediately becomes a topic of national debate. It is termed as horrendous and a threat to secularism. In short, Secularism has become a game of political correctness. If you are secular then enjoy Hindus being insulted. It is the misuse of political and constitutional rights if we dare speak anything in the interest of the Hindus or Hinduism.
We cannot blame the political leaders or members of other religious sects for the plight of Hinduism. The modern and the so-called intellectual Hindus of India take pride in downplaying their culture and religion. There should be definitely no debate regarding being ‘broad-minded” and tolerant toward other religions, but it under no circumstances implies that one should encourage disrespect to one’s own religion.

Hinduism is one of the oldest known religions. Idol worship by no means signifies GOD is present in the idol. It is a metaphorical representation of the omnipresence of the divine forces. The human mind is naive. It wanders. It is difficult for the common man who is engrossed in innumerable problems pertaining to his sustenance to focus on an abstract force or thought. Idol worship is mere conversion of abstractness into concreteness.  People understand tangibility better. Therefore, our intelligent, foresighted, intellectual, and the REAL gurus of ancient Bharata found a way to make the concept of the higher power a little easier for the common masses to grasp and understand. Tangible divinity was introduced to help understand the intangible divinity. An idol helps one to focus on the intangible power he or she wants to invoke. It helps to channelize the thoughts in a given direction. Once, a person masters the art of concentration the need for idol worship is lost. If we look at our ancient hermits especially the ones belonging to the Rigvedic times they did not need any kind of idol worship because they had mastered the art of concentration.

The movie P.K is enjoyable but at what cost? It is well known that immense courage is needed to make a joke of one self. It is again the magnanimity of the Hindus and Hinduism that it tolerates all the humiliation and yet stands tall. This is what we learn from Lord Krishna. He saw and understood all the naiveness happening around him. Yet, like a true yogi never lost his demeanour. Could the makers of the movie expect the same generosity from other Religious sects? We all know the answer.   

The Hindus who watched and enjoyed the movie do need a little introspection. Respect begets respect! Wake up my friends!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Girl With A Twinkle In Her Eyes......

Somewhere in the world there was a little girl with such splendid understanding that she'd see the entire cosmos like a poem or story.  Whatever her name was, she was pretty. She had thick mane of black hair, a quick smile, and a pair of twinkling eyes. The world was hers to make new discoveries and lasting memories. Her father was her mentor who encouraged her dreams and assured her that someday she would be living out her fantasy.

However, as time went by the girl was gone, buried in the past. She knew she was a woman for better or worse who had to follow the beaten path. She was married. She could see her little world of fantasy falling apart,but she was no ordinary woman. She clung to her passion for writing. Her pen was her best friend and the words her pearls. None could understand her for they had not lived her dream. Some chided her, some scoffed at her, and some sighed at the effort they thought was futile.

She was not an ordinary woman. She was a genius who lived in her own world of tangency. It was difficult to understand her. She was a strong and a brave lady. She knew that the life she was leading could not get her where she wanted to be, yet she continued doing what was expected of her.  It takes a lot of selflessness and guts to give up on something one believes strongly in.

None could see her sacrifice or the silent pain she underwent. Several times, she was misunderstood and misquoted. It had to happen because none could match her genius to understand what she wanted or expected.Perhaps putting it across in the layman’s language was just not her cup of tea.  

As the years flew by the little girl withered into an old lady. Somewhere deep inside she still clung to her childhood fantasies. The little girl’s flying gait was reduced to mere trudge. The faint old eyes replaced the twinkling eyes.  Her shoulders stooped with the burden of decades. While everything changed; only one thing remained constant.It was her pen! It continued to be her best friend which still understood her completely.

Her story would have continued but one winter morning decided to dispel her from the darkness of this world.  It was a beautiful conclusion of a great passion. The girl with twinkling eyes bid adieu assuring that death was just the beginning of a second chance to fix all that mattered to her and her loved ones.  The noble, logical diagram once recorded never dies.  She taught us to aim high in hope and work  for she believed that there is light at the end of every tunnel.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

                                               “I DEDICATE MYSELF TO HAPPINESS”


Today, after a long time I had a day off. The past few months had been really hectic. As I sat with a cup of coffee I started thinking slowly about the years gone by, the last year in particular. It was not a great year as I had lots of issues to confront both on the personal and the professional front. Every step which I thought was better than the last one proved me wrong. Amidst all the negativity happening all around me there were couple of things which I never let go off. They were hope and inner connection with my soul.

 I never stopped HOPING.  I kept telling myself that life had much better to offer and these setbacks were just to make me realize the importance of the good things awaiting me. I never let pessimism get better off me.

All of us are endowed with a vast well of wisdom. This source is embedded within the depths of our souls that connect to infinite intelligence and the capacity to heal all our wounds. This source always sends us messages but to listen to these messages we need to slow down, quiet our minds, and reach within. Once we attain the stillness of our physical being we can hear the soft ripples of our inner voice. We need to recognize these ripples and fine tune our minds to hear the inner voice clearly. Once, the connection is made there is no way to stop our inner voice from talking to us and guiding us. Whenever I tried to connect to my inner voice, it always said, “Let’s dedicate the next year to a year of happiness.” During that time I did not know what it meant nor did I have the faintest idea how this dedication would happen but I TRUSTED IT.  I smiled back to it and said, “Let’s do that! That’s a great idea.”

I promised to myself that this year come what may I would dedicate myself to HAPPINESS. I shall focus on only good things in my life---the best of them being my family. I will spend quality time with people who love and respect me for who I am. I will cut out all sorts of negativity from my life, be it in the form of things, people, news, or just clutter. I will create healthy habits, work on projects which are humane, and dream about creating a VIRTUOUS FUTURE for my family.

The deaths which occurred in my family last year taught me that LIFE IS SHORT. There is no point brooding over the past or spending time criticizing/gossiping about people who will in no way help me in creating the kind of future I see for myself. The only valuable and powerful possession we have with us is the present. The present gives us two choices ---- Create painful memories from the past or spend the time in visualizing and creating a beautiful tomorrow. The second option is definitely a winner.

The PRESENT is the only non-renewable resource in my life. I have come a long way since I was born. Till last year I was an adult who was struggling to make things perfect but after I promised myself “happiness” this year I suddenly feel like a kid again who is hiding in the cloak of a grown-up. I have rediscovered the little child in me who is curious, honest, and completely in love with life.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Mission Bee-Hive

Nature always beckons me with its immense bounties. I have always been fascinated by the diversity of our planet in terms of both flora and fauna but little did I know that insects were soon developing an affinity for me. Some stray mosquitoes and flies have been my unwelcome guests at times but honey bees had definitely stayed away from me so far.

A couple of days back, I found a swarm of bees in one of my balconies. I rushed back in, closed the glass door, and silently watched the bees at work. To my utter surprise within minutes a hive almost a foot long was ready. I panicked and started thinking hard about ways of getting rid of them. I ran to my laptop, which is what I often do to look for solutions for problems I fail to tackle. I browsed several ‘do-it-yourself’ websites. The methods were elaborate and needed some experience and loads of courage which I lacked at that moment. I had heard stories about getting stung by bees, the intense pain, and allergy caused by them. The thought petrified me.

Then, I decided about hiring some professional help to get rid of the hive but was again disappointed because our locality does not offer any such services. It left me perplexed. While retiring to bed I made sure that the doors and windows were locked properly.

The following morning I was greeted by a looming hive and I jerked out of my sleepiness instantly. I was alarmed to see some of them inside the house as well. It was then I thought that I have to do something about them. In a fit of panic, I grabbed an insecticide bottle and sprayed it on the stray bees. The bees collapsed in couple of moments. The spray had worked!

 I just imagined what my dad would have done under the situation and decided to take the plunge. I found an old army raincoat which had not been used for some years in one of the suitcases. I took it out, dusted it, and kept it aside. Next, I took two monkey caps of thick wool which were enough to cover my entire face except my eyes. I wore shoes and was soon ready in my ‘shining armor’.  I grabbed the bottles of the spray and went to the balcony. I closed the glass doors behind me. My hands shook, heart palpitated as I looked up at the hive with the nozzle pointed towards it. I said a silent prayer which I always do when I am stuck in a deplorable situation. I said to the count of three the spray should be on the hive.

I said, “I am sorry bees but you have to go!” and pressed on the nozzle hard. I could see the bees flying all over the place. I began dodging them without losing my hold on the nozzle. The ones who came closer to me were the first to go. I was revolving at top speed. At that moment, I just started feeling that I was in a war fighting my opponents and the bottle in my hand was the machine gun. The battle between me and the bees was on for a good fifteen minutes. I emptied the bottles and rushed in for another one. Now, I had to be more focused and could not afford to miss any of my targets.

For the next round, I was more confident as I had the experience of fifteen minutes, two emptied bottles of pesticide, and large number of my dead preys showing that I was well on my way of being victorious. This time, I stood on a raised platform and started spraying. Within minutes the bees were gone and a lonely hive was hanging. I had won the battle!

The sight of the ‘lonely hive’ with the dead bees lying on the floor suddenly made me feel guilty. I felt a pang of guilt in my heart. There was complete silence in the balcony. An hour back the same place was full of activity and now the hive stood like an old wax hill hanging from the ceiling. I was already regretting and asked the bees to forgive me for my callousness. I had gone against nature. Today, one queen of the house had defeated another, the ‘the queen-bee.’

I removed the hive with a heavy heart. I had killed the homemakers along with their queen. I do not know what I did was wrong or right. It’s for you to decide my friends.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hindu Wedding: The significance of the “Saat Pheres”

I have been to several weddings but never realized the importance or significance of these rituals. I used to just attend the ceremony, enjoy, and come home. My niece and I attended a wedding last week. She asked me questions related to the wedding rituals and to my dismay I was as ignorant about them as she was. I then realized that there may be many more like me who just blindly follow the traditions and customs without understanding their meaning or significance. Through this blog I want to share what I learnt about the most important ritual of the Hindu wedding, the “Saat Pheres or the Seven Rounds” taken by the couple during the wedding.

The Hindu weddings are mesmerizing. The wedding rituals find their roots in the Rig-Veda.  According to the Rig-Veda the life of a man is divided into four stages or “ashrams” that are : brahmacharaya, grihastya, vanaprastha, and sanyasa.  When an individual enters the second stage ‘grihastya’ he/she is supposed to get married and lead a family life. The Hindu wedding comprises mostly of Sanskrit Shlokas and innumerable rituals.  The wedding begins with the invocation of the ‘fire god” or “Agni.”

The integral part of the wedding is going around the ‘Sacred Fire’ seven times. The “Saptapadi” is one of the most important rituals without which the wedding is considered to be redundant. The couple encircles the “Sacred Fire” seven times with the bride leading in six of them. The “Seven Pheres” or the circles made by the couple are seven vows taken with the ‘Holy Fire’ as the witness. Fire is considered to be holy and pure because apart from spreading warmth and light, it is also capable of burning down the evil. The couples take a vow, “like this burning fire we would keep our relationship bright, warm, alive, and pure. The seven vows taken by the bride and the bridegroom are as follows:

1.      With the first step, the couple prays to the Gods to give them the mental, physical and spiritual strength to lead a healthy life. "Let us be happy and enjoy life. Let us walk together so we grow together in strength.”
2.      With the second step, the bride and groom invoke the gods for attainment of happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust in all walks of life. "Let us not forget parents and elders. Let us walk together so we get happiness by sharing our joys and sorrows.
3.      With the third step, the couple invokes the gods for plenty of pure and nourishing food. "With God as our guide, let us take the third step to live with honor and respect. Let us walk together so we get good food in plenty.
4.      The fourth step is for preserving wealth and prosperity in life. The chant at this stage means, "let us share joys and pains together. Let us walk together so we get wealth.”
5.      During the fifth round they pray for the welfare of all living beings in the Universe and pray for virtuous, noble and heroic children." Let us observe all acts of charity. Let us walk together so we have family.”
6.      While taking the sixth step they ask the gods to give them a long, joyous life and togetherness forever. "Let us live a long and peaceful life. Let us walk together so we have joy.”
7.      With the seventh, and last, step, the couple prays for understanding, companionship, loyalty and unity. "Let us be friends with love and sacrifice. Let us walk together so we have friendship.”

After the seventh step has been taken, the groom says to the bride, “We have taken the Seven Steps. You have become mine forever. Yes, we have become partners. I have become yours. Hereafter, I cannot live without you. Do not live without me. Let us share the joys. We are word and meaning, united. You are thought and I am sound. May the night be honey-sweet for us. May the morning be honey-sweet for us. May the earth be honey-sweet for us. May the heavens be honey-sweet for us. As the heavens are stable, as the earth is stable, as the mountains are stable, as the whole universe is stable, so may our union be permanently settled.”

With completion of the “Saptapadi” or the “Seven Pheres” the two are pronounced husband and wife.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s clothing…..

Human beings by nature are ‘social animals’ and any normal person with some conscience and sympathetic nature feels the pain and suffering of others. Sometimes, we get so carried away by the “situations and facts” presented to us that we want to help the aggrieved person.  It is very important to do your homework before you finally decide to befriend such a person. Sometimes, your gut feeling will keep warning you about the integrity of such persons but then their “ fake holiness and goodness” will make you question your doubts. It no way means that every troubled person is fake or manipulative but unfortunately you may come in contact with a person who will be a professional emotional manipulator. Yes, professional is the word for them because they have mastered the art of emotionally fooling people. It is better to be safe than sorry or else you will not only burn your fingers but your entire self.

Some of the ways to identify emotional manipulators are as under:

1.     Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior - it is always about what everyone else has "done to them". One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the "hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me" variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable.

2.     Emotional manipulators are fantastic guilt mongers: These people can make you feel guilty for speaking against them or for them. They will make you feel guilty for their wrong doings. Emotional manipulators seldom express their needs or desires openly. They usually get what they want through emotional manipulation. Guilt is not the only form of this but it is a potent one. Most of them are pretty conditioned to do whatever is necessary to reduce their feelings of guilt.

3.     Sympathy: Another powerful emotion used by them is sympathy. An emotional manipulator is a great victim. They inspire a profound sense of needing to support, care for and nurture. Emotional Manipulators seldom fight their own fights or do their own dirty work. The crazy thing is that when you do it for them (which they will never ask directly for), they may just turn around and say they certainly didn’t want or expect you to do anything! Try to make a point of not fighting other people’s battles, or doing their dirty work for them. A great line is "I have every confidence in your ability to work this out on your own" - check out the response and note the bullshit meter once again.

4.     Smooth liars: Emotional manipulators are smooth liars. They can lie so smoothly that you can sit looking at black and they’ll call it white - and argue so persuasively that you begin to doubt your very senses. Over a period of time this is so insidious and eroding it can literally alter your sense of reality. If you find yourself in a relationship where you figure you should start keeping a log of what’s been said because you are beginning to question your own sanity --You are experiencing emotional manipulation. An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying and explaining things away.

5.     Emotional manipulators are dirty fighters: They don’t deal with things directly. They will talk around behind your back and eventually put others in the position of telling you what they would not say themselves. They are passive aggressive, meaning they find subtle ways of letting you know they are not happy little campers. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear and then do a bunch of jerk off shit to undermine it.

6.     They successfully change the emotional climate around them: When an emotional manipulator is sad or angry the very room thrums with it - it brings a deep instinctual response to find some way to equalize the emotional climate and the quickest route is by making the emotional manipulator feel better - fixing whatever is broken for them.

At some point, most of us come across such “emotional manipulators.” There is no point in being sarcastic or angry with them. All we can do for such people is to “feel sorry for them” and pray that they come out of their “mental sickness” soon. It is better to keep off from such company because if we stick with these types of losers for too long we will be so enmeshed and co-dependent that we will forget even we have our own lives. There is no point in trying to change such types of persons because all you will get in the end is some “dirty bullshit from them.” It is a waste of time and energy in trying to fix their lives. If dealing with an emotional blackmailer TRUST your gut. TRUST your senses. Once an emotional manipulator finds a successful maneuver - it’s added to their hit list and you’ll be fed a steady diet of this shit.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

9th December............

9th December..........

9th December....
Yes, it was the date
Chosen for me to be separated from Divinity,
To steadily grow, see, and believe
In the law, religion, and materiality.

I grew unhappy with all that surrounded me
Perplexed and depressed by the hypocrisies present
In varied forms of relationships and spirituality.
My physical body was exposed to pain, fear, and tears.
The endless toil to make a mark in this world
Resulted in remorseful tears.

I realized I was just existing but not living
With a fractured soul
And a tarnished heart
I looked up to the creator
And pleaded,
“I seek release, please help me restore”

Soon, I was filled with light
That pierced the darkness of my soul
It filled my body, heart, and mind
With highest reflections of  
The forgotten Divinity.

Now, I know
This 9th December
I will be free, blessed soul

As I can feel
The divine light, love, and inspiration
Cascading toward me.
To help me seek the lost soul
That lies embedded within me.

Yes, this December
My dream, to be simply free
Is going to be a reality
Because the healer and restorer of my soul
Promised me so!
From then on
I will not be simply existing
But living a soulful life
Enriched and blessed
By my creator’s beneficent grace!