Saturday, June 25, 2016

Thunderstorms And Rebirth



Standing on the edge of a cliff,
There is no way to go back.
There is no place to escape, nowhere to hide
I've been standing still for too long
And I can't stand still any longer.

It's not me, it's not who I am
If I want to be bigger than who I am
To become me again
Must jump off the cliff, even though I can't see what lies beneath
No option but to face my truth.

I must learn to fight again, must learn to die again
Learn to kill again, but this time with love
Learn to give again, with the same care and kindness
But without holding back, without getting hurt, without getting stabbed
Without getting run over this time.

I must fight fire with fire
Get my courage back
Not give up
Find passion again, this time for the right reasons

This time I'll do it the right way
I will wail, weep, and cry
But I will turn my tears, my sorrow, into my strength.
  
And God? If you want to send a war to my doorstep, bring it on. I am ready
 If I have to marry the love of my life again, bring it on, 
 I am ready....For everything I don't even know.


Once again, this bird is ready to fly
Broken wings, fierce heart 
This time leading from the heart and driving with the soul
The heart and mind will now speak the same language


What have I done to myself?


Now I know the answer.

I will undo the damage I caused to myself
I will live for myself,
I will live again.




Attitude does not define character. Resiliency does.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Alone or Lonely?

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. The two words are not synonymous and mean completely different things. A person can be alone and be in the company of oneself, whereas another can be amongst hundred people and still be lonely. 

It is true that man is a social animal but to think that company of family and friends will drive away loneliness, to think that our "incomplete" life will become complete after finding our so-called one and only one is, to put in mild words, nonsense. Things may in fact get worse after finding that company, because the company is not always right, and because we are human, the companionship inconsistent. We have to be complete ourselves in order to give others company, even if the companionship - or the relationship - is based on codependence. The expectation that once we will get company, our aloneness, loneliness, and boredom will go away, is just an illusion and a false expectation. 

Doing something while expecting something in return is not true compassion. It is selfish. Which is fine upto an extent because humanity survives and progresses on selfishness. But if selfishness becomes the foundation of doing something, then the giving - and even getting - ceases to remain whole and loses its purpose. Instead, doing and giving without expecting anything in return is the highest form of compassion. It shows us depths of ourselves and our capacities which we never thought existed. The day we do that is when we will truly experience compassion in its purest form, and start getting back even more than what we expected.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Of Family and Belonging

Someone asked me, "Where do you live?"

I replied, "Whatever piece of ground I stand on, that is my home. Whatever span of sky that's above me, is my roof. Whatever air I breathe, that is my food."


I innocently stood there, hoping they'd understand.

But they laughed and giggled.


Then they asked, "Oh really? You sound like a nomad, an orphan. Who is your family? Where do you belong?"


To which I said:


"Those who I hold close to my heart, who I speak with my soul, are family. I may or may not have ties of blood with them, but my bond with them is of a different world, of the spirit, and therefore many times stronger. I don't have to see or speak with them every day to know whether they are sad or happy. And the heart of these who love me back without expecting anything from me in return are where I belong. I know them from my past lives and was separated from them; when I met them I found peace... I found Divinity. I felt complete in my incompleteness. I felt perfect in my imperfections. I felt alive."


Humans are beyond race, color, gender, nationality, and ties of blood. We are all connected in some way or the other. The relationship of humanity is above all other ties. Nurture and protect it the way you would to a small child.

Faith and Magic

A very wise 40-year-old who I have the privilege of being acquainted with, once said, "Why are you looking for solid ground to stand on? Spread your wings and fly!"
Makes so much sense. We keep looking for stability and security. But what if we never get it? Will we lose faith? Rather, should we lose faith? Should we give up on what we love the most? Should we continue investing a lifetime of efforts creating that security?

What if the real answer to this question is a big, fat, NO!
Think about it – why run after something that eludes us? What if it eludes us only because we are running behind it? What if we are meant for something better?
What would happen if someday, we stopped trying to create that ground beneath our feet and just jumped off the cliff with wings of self-belief?
What if we led our lives living with a sense of righteousness and dispassion, not to forget while wearing the cloth of a genuine smile?

Why look for solid ground, what if the thing we thought was solid ground was actually rock bottom? Why be bonded by the chains of sustenance?
Maybe, a better thing to do would be to not care. Don't give a damn. 

Screw it. To hell with rules. To hell with sanity.
Don't run after what you may never have. Instead, look for happiness in madness... Be mad. Be yourself, be free.

There is no sweeter wine than freedom.


Faith is not just about believing that something will happen. It is about trusting our faith and surrendering our deepest desires to the Universe. And the day we do this, magic will start to happen. :-)

Sattar Minute ... Seventy Minutes

This beautiful scene from the movie Chak De India always continues to inspire. 

Spare a few minutes out of your busy lives and watch this video. 
Then, imagine your God or whoever it is that you have faith in, in place of Shah Rukh Khan. Imagine that He is having a conversation with you. And He is telling this to you.







What if God were to stand before you one day and say this to you? Will you follow His advice? :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Penance

It is said that a soul gets to be born as a human being after countless births in other forms. That we are lucky to be born as humans. If this is indeed true, then it may also be true that we taking the human form is an opportunity to attain liberation from the tribulations of living on earth and the pain of being separated from our Divinity.


What would one have to do to get liberated?

One would have to do one's deeds; karma. Not only do deeds, but also do them the right way... with dispassion. 

Then combine the dispassionate action with paying all penances... Prayaschit.. and paying them off patiently, smilingly, without complaining.

Finally, when the time comes, Tyag - sacrifice. Neither regret the sacrifice nor blame anyone else for it.

Manav jeevan hi ek anant Prayaschit hai... human life is an endless penance. At the end of it all, maybe, just maybe, we'll get a small chance to leave and never come back. Maybe, at some time in infinity, once again we will get to experience Parmananda - that pure bliss waiting for us in nothingness.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Chosen Ones

When you undergo suffering, don't complain. Instead, be grateful for the suffering, because only those who go through the furnace of life are His special children. 

Fate, Universe, God, or as I prefer to call it "neeli chhatri wale uncle," likes to leave some people "alone;" indeed, they are His special needs kids, (so to speak!) and so He personally takes care of them in His own miraculous ways. Some miracles are a mouthful of sweetness and others end up giving an unexpectedly sweet aftertaste.

Once we realize this, we will realize that there are no tough times and there is no suffering. Just turn your palms upward, open your arms wide, and tell Him, "Yes, I am ready. Give me all you want to give. Do whatever it is that you want to do to me. I'm all yours!"


Monday, June 6, 2016

Empathy and Understanding

The smile and silence of an understanding person may be easily misunderstood as fear or cowardice or happiness. But who knows, the silence is because they are strong and dignified enough, or worse, maybe they are still fighting the battles at their doorstep? 
Maybe they are still paying their dues. Maybe their wait for peace is a lot longer than anyone else's. Maybe their battles are so unique that they know no one else will empathize.

Be patient with them. Maybe all they need is their quiet space.

"Samajhdar" people - people who are understanding by nature are often taken for granted. "Samajhdar hai na, samajh ke lega;" "he is an understanding person, he will understand." Yeah right, imagine fifty people thinking like this for the one same person. That poor fellow must be dying from inside!

For those of us who know such understanding people, we may not be born with the ability to show understanding towards the pain and suffering others go through, but we all are gifted with at least a tiny amount of empathy and humanity, and as adults, a truckload of maturity. For the sake of that humanity, be kind to such people. They won't ask for us to be understanding because they know we are incapable of it, but be humane enough to realize that just because our lives are happy-shappy doesn't mean everyone else's is. 

Be the reason for one peaceful night of someone's sleep, or someone's smile, even if that is all we can do. Sometimes, that is all that is needed. And that itself can sometimes be a lot of good karma.