Every year during summers I and my son take off to Mangalore. All the same, we are there to be with our tribe ; but we do not wink at way out engagements like weddings, naming ceremonies, house warming and you name it. We are driven to remain sane and folks need not break out in sweat over our solitude. Although, we uphold our self inflicted isolation there is my mom who is equally committed to her family ties and rituals. So while we can shut out the entire world we are clay pigeons coming down to mom. Incidentally on our part, we were sent on a temple visit. We went along to invoke the blessings of the deity to keep us on the path of remoteness. That was satire. At the temple while performing our ‘parikrama’ our feet were burning under the blazing Sun beating down the stone paved floor. My son was quick to jump over to the shadier segment of the temple canopy to complete his ‘parikrama’. I was tickled when others followed suit. It set me thinking. People often advocate adherence to faith and belief but they want to walk in the shade themselves. Supposing we did not have the choice of walking in the shade, wouldn’t we opt to walk in the Sun? We probably would have, as it was important for us to comply with the ritual.It occurred to me that while we walked under the temple canopy we missed the sky. To have a slice of the sky we have to step away from the shade. On our journey, walking in the shade may be comforting but we are likely to miss the blue. The path we pick leads to a destination but may be different from what we had pictured. It is upto us to hang in there and make the most of it or else retrace our path back to where we started. The best option would be to weigh our chances at the journey’s end, the one that we have arrived rather than wasting time in hoping madly to be at our dream destination. Whatever the pick we have to burn our feet for our slice of sky.
The angelic élan vital on this planet was knocked together with great precision and care.It was cast on to this macrocosm to hold faith together. This soul could have been marauded by oceans of emotions but can still put up an assuring smile. This being can thumb through tea ,juices and left overs. It has the resilience to heal itself if ever it took ill and run the errands like rolling out ‘rotis’, get the you under the shower, pack the tiffin, tidy up ; when it could barely stand on it’s feet. It has a pair of hands to hold you to the bosom when you have a bad dream, spank you when you are being difficult , pat you when your right, help you with your projects and nevertheless helped you scribble the first letter.It is soft on the exteriors but exceptionally tough on the interiors. It can kiss away the pain of a broken leg as also the fiasco of a failed love affair.It has that pair of eyes that can check you behind closed doors and amusingly pop the question ‘What are you up to ?’ knowing what you are up to; look into your eyes and say,’I understand you completely ; it’s okay ‘ when you have failed badly; without uttering a word.It has the intellect to perceive thoughts that are unexpressed, can think, kick around and accommodate new expectations. To express cheer,contentment,heartache,indifference,setbacks, grief and pride it uses tear as a tool.It’s a great piece of artistry and is called ‘mom’.
I’m not barely flesh and bones
But lies inside a soul profound
I’m not just elegance
But an entity of aspirations abound
Feminity is my pride
And my dreams alongside
Fortitude is what I wear
And prejudice I dare
Sincerity and fairness I adorn
Deception I scorn
A woman that I am
Adept and Clannish
Undaunted and endowed.
We all are products of our pasts. Everyone of us has ‘should not have done that’ thing behind us. Our pasts may have been bleak or a mix of both good and bad. We brush away few things under the mat and hope mad that it remains there forever. All we are trying to do is to put away the past behind us to move on in life or atleast, that is what we think we are doing. The fact is we are actually avoiding the problem. We are still carrying the baggage from the past. We set out on our journey leaving our past in the closet. We succeed in our goals and there is no stopping us, but the fear of our past tumbling out of the closet haunts us. It makes us difficult to trust people or confide in them. We don our jogging shoes and keep racing away from our past. We run until our lungs finally give away. It’s a nightmare to run away from anything. We run probably because the bruises caused by fragmented chunks of us are deep and are still hurting. There comes a point in time where we essentially need to stop and take a breather. We have to trust someone. We have to allow that someone to re-assemble those broken chunks of us for us. We know for sure that we cannot change the past nor do we have control over the consequences arising out of it. It is pointless to swap our peace, order and balance in life with chaos, disturbance and imbalance. The only option we have is ‘mai pen rai’ the Thai philosophy of accepting and moving on. We need not flee anymore. Give up the jogging shoes and rest your hand on your knees. Put the curiosity to rest by being brave enough to place the facts before the world. Take the load off your chest. There is only one life and we have to figure it out well.
Returned to blogging after a long break. It’s been raining and gazing at it from my indoors is the only acceptable thing about this season for me, given the fact that I live in Mumbai. The muggy days, they don’t lift my spirits be it indoors or outdoors. Life seemed to be jammed and world-weariness was ripping me apart. But come what may I never let my curiosity sink. I keep seeking change and have always been open to new horizons.
Every year I spend summers at my ancestral home in Mangalore. For the most part of summers, the place is abuzz with annual celebrations at the temples and homes. I hail from a family that is always upbeat to keep up with traditions and rituals. I have unceasingly wondered, why are the folks dead set on following these traditions and rituals? I remember reading eminent writer Shyam Manohar say, “Traditions are not to be preserved nor are they to be deliberately broken. They are to be reformed by making unknown known.” May be my clan was doing just that, making the unknown known.
Getting back to my downpour blues, I was just looking forward to find some cheerfulness and motivation to muddle through my day to day grind. Finding myself off the path I realised that it was my chance to build my own trail and walk over it. With the onset of festive seasons the mood changed favorably. I happened to be at my cousins place for ‘Rakshabandhan’, to celebrate the brother-sister bonding more so my family bonding. This is something I accept without kicking up a fuss, I am never let down. Being there with the brood, discussing big and small things in life was much of a soul lifting experience. Somehow it showed in the highly desired ‘Hygge’ into my life.
It occurred to me that traditions are noteworthy. They link the folks and give them a sense of being part of an extensive lineage. Beliefs and ideals of a clan can be metamorphosed into effective channels to initiate enduring and expressive traditions. They need not be imposing with long drawn preparations. All that counts is the aura and vivacity one invests into making it happen. Traditions let the hoi polloi bred into an everyday existence, get hang of the occurences that handed out to them an individuality and a virtue sufficient to renounce the unwanted. It is then, amongst the jostling hordes of emotions the right one finds pride of place. Cheer cannot be hunted for, outside of self nor can be bought. It comes about when thoughts are clearer and souls are lighter. I have set myself on to that path, an odyssey of the obscure to the obvious.
Ofttimes we reason the purpose of life,
We brood over, if it is success or happiness to end the strife,
And cross heart, happiness it is !
Life is momentary,
Passing and slight it becomes,
In the quest for happiness,
For happiness we misconstrue as fortunes,
Although it is a measure of favorable
elements within us.
Happiness should be the pick,
To make life authentic,
To let go the fake
And ease out every heartache.
Happiness is reminiscing the moments of mirth and joy,
And bringing to mind all that lifts your soul,
And renouncing all that blows you out,
And disheartens you throughout.
Happiness is showing in fulfillment,
And casting away obsession to perfect,
And eyeing opportunities to effect.
Happiness is making time,
For relationships to last a lifetime.
For sharing the opulence of love and
And everytime leaving hearts renewed.
Happiness is resting the cares,
And fears of being blown out,
And not being in the race throughout.
Happiness is working towards ceaseless well-being,
For our life to hold out.
These days I have my eyes peeled on an abandoned nest. It had been a flurry of activity few months ago and now it is placid. I am alluded to this perpetual fancy of watching this forsaken nest. I am actually awaiting it to break into activity all over again.Reasonably so ,as I had witnessed a remarkable workmanship of intricately woven grass and twigs,leaves and feathers. An architectural marvel of elegance and endurance on the well-hidden crotches of the tree. The bird gave it up without demur once it was done with raising it’s fledglings. How I wish I could have been like the bird !.
I had to encounter the agony of giving away the only home I grew up. My growing up years , brief as it was , was spent in that house, exquisitely touched with laughter and tears. I had accepted separation the day I was married and was exclusively in the process of building a new home. But was never adapted to giving it away altogether.I had assured myself to retreat to this place whenever I wanted my moments of peace and had to take an edge off from my worries. But I was shattered , when my parents decided to sell off the house and move into our ancestral home. The very thought of never coming back again to pick up the strings of memories was harrowing.When the final day came, I picked up a quiet corner and shuddered away, as tears welled up. Downhearted unlike the bird. The ultimate farewell was so full of sadness.
As the years passed by , I acceded to the fact that it was not just about the house but the special and beautiful place I held for it in my heart. I didn’t have to say ‘good-bye’ and give into the misery of that word. A thought crossed my heart that I just had to look back on the moments of liveliness, solace and at times euphoria spent in that house. I merely had to lock away those memories into the sunny corner of my heart.So whenever I had to endure separation from anything as dear as that, I had to reach deep within me and bring back that moment from the sunny corner. Instantly I knew the meaning of never saying ‘good -bye’ and putting myself into blue funk. Possibly the bird too took away the such moments of joy and happiness!