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from seed to seedling to tiny plant….oftentimes reaching full bloom. From earth, to wet clay to potter’s wheel…moulded into shapes unknown, putty in the hands of the Maker.
Whoever it is, whatever we are….there’s a shape, there’s a time……there’s the colour, there’s the smell, there’s the feel, and above all there’s love breathing thru’ life. Birthing is a process- like living is a process of birthing : ideas, moments, joys, sorrows, colours, aromas, moods…a world within worlds – choices in life and bets on how a life may turn out – both are like pots of clay; sometimes ready for the kiln, yet oftentimes still moist/mouldy and not quite happy to be burnt and get its ultimate sheen 🙂 It’s got to be Right, it’s got to be Ready….

Hello Now!

The little boy looked up at his mom and says, “Can we go to the water park tomorrow!” “For heavens’ sake my child, it’s a regular school-day, homework, a visit to the park and off to bed you go!” “But i’m bored with the routine momma, we could slip it in after school?” plea in his voice. ” Child, amusement parks are reserved for holidays and you know that only too well. Where’s the time for boredom, you have plenty to do, don’t you!” Momma replies with a twinkle in her eye. “But am bored, am bored, i hate school days when all i do is return home, eat, fiddle with my school bag and  there’s homework every single day, i want moooore!” tone of plea getting urgent. The little boy, that’s me, alas me even today (am an adult officially)…my insides constantly seeking excitement, now and forever.

Are we really that dependant on external stimuli? I, for one, believe i am alas. I think i might appear calm at a given moment or two, but am just awaiting the next stimulus to strike, before i go haring around trying to fill my time. It’s not conscious, am certain of the unawareness of it….however, i do not seem to recall any moment when i am quiet and not expectant of something about to take hold of my senses. I might go for a ‘quiet’ walk to the terrace, yet my mind is replete with a myriad thoughts racing with one another- trying to overtake one subject and take on the next one…is one ever done? I guess not. Mornings are calm, only to ready oneself to attack the day. I can sense my being enlisting what must be achieved, what one must get ‘out of the way’ only to refill my next day….the next 24 hours, the next week, the next month- plans are put in place constantly- what if there is nothing left to, fill, fill, think, think, do, do….get going lest the earth split and i was left with little or nothing to do! It’s rather funny and almost pathetic. I am because i do, that’s the idea that seems to reign supreme. Tch, tch…when did i become this overworked, hyperactive, self-destructive individual? Yet, to the world, i am all sorted and content. Surprise, surprise, i am deluded enough to believe i am too! Yet here i am, writing of my own accord, of my fears that i am too driven by external impulses and stimuli…surely there’s got to be something i can do about it, yes?  Striking Mantra :  internalise, calm, slow down. Oh! didn’t work?….mere words alas. I need action remember!

I created my Time; undoubtedly i can recreate, rebond, redefine what it means. Am i worried!? O boy, you could say that!

Why is it that one seeks excitement? Is it simply being human, or is it that the moment the milk has boiled and cooled, we need to boil something else…after all what does one do with cooled milk- drink it, or add it to our coffee and tea, right!? Yes, i do believe we humans find it nigh impossible to survive without some sort of action-stimulus-reaction modus operandi. Old age is lonely and bereft of any goal, because we live so fully immersed in hyperactivity that once that’s removed, it’s early death. Life as we’ve known it…was our life. Oops, forgot to really live…so stimuli gone, i am a goner. Stimuli equalled Life…alas.

I want to live, fully, yet living fully does not necessarily mean action….internal or external. It does sound like i wish to be more meditative, calmer and live more in the present. I had once been recommended a book about Being in the Present…it was exciting, yet again, because it made me believe that the possibility of being clearly and fully alive lay in the very moment that one breathed in and out..hear the breath as it escapes, hear the one assimilated, consistently too. The book was read and put away, and so was the present with it. As i write i see my past, and i construct my future….i can’t seem to help it. The habit of excitement is a difficult one to be rid of…it develops itself as we feed it. So i am going to begin the process by painfully unplugging the next stimulus that strikes me (no response)…i might meet lethargy for a bit…but that’ll go away as i gradually feed the process of unwinding my way out of “need for excitement”.

I have to learn to replace the stimulus, not by another one, but by quiet…by consciousness and an awareness that i can just be: just be in the moment, just be the moment…watch, observe, let pass. Good luck with that, because i suspect there’s a long road ahead, but who’s in a hurry- after all the process of slowing down has just begun, maybe i will end up with the turtles, these creatures live a long and unhurried life without much ado. Hello Now!

Parenting : ah well, the Things They Don’t Tell You, just as well…..

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They never did tell me that once a mother is always a mother, not a counselor or a friend in the making. Could I ever conceive of the impossible transformations that would overcome me, once I don the mantle of a mother?  It was nigh disconcerting, if not entirely smothering to my internal space. Once the wailing infant arrived, the world appeared singularly dissimilar to the earlier known one. It was moulded out of shape, turned highly unaccommodating and completely distanced. On one hand my external world swallowed me whole, the walls closing in on me, whereas on the other hand, the entire universe seemed to be applauding in jubilation; aah, mother at last, birthing the millionth baby to join the bandwagon of Indians, where little Indians abound! Stupefying! Well done, ole girl! Confusion!

Never was I told, that while all the above may be true, along with the thorns adorning the crown of parenthood, jewels lie concealed therein. That infants actually grow into children and then into thinking, individual adults was the great bonus. These very adults, our children, gradually transform into caring, loving individuals turning the tables on you. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, the adult-child is advising you, telling you not to worry and acting exactly like you – turning in the covers on your tired body at night. That our children can be our parents too, was a huge revelation!

Among the things that they don’t tell you, is that while you are struggling to be a conscientious, guilt free, loving and consistent parent, you are also pushing forth your own boundaries. You too are growing from strength to strength. I gained in years and wisdom, without the shadow of doubt.  Religion, or let’s just say, my  Faith came in handy and sharing worldly wisdom within the community became a habit. Were it not for the elders, that constitute a fairly large proportion of our society, doling out dollops of wisdom, our ship would have sunk. We tried it all; first when our kids were mere infants, then as they quite surely turned into little monsters. With gentle guidance, timely intervention and societal pressures, we got through the first one’s teen years without major mishaps.  The second one’s teens were a cakewalk!

Society continually threw up diverse ideas on parenthood, and as a young married couple, we were barraged about how best to bring up a child. Each piece of well-meant counsel seemed sane enough to us, yet how were we to the perfect set of parents never seen before! What a test, what pressure!  Yet none could envision what we actually lived, because it was our unique experience, as each experience necessarily is. Needless to say, we touched new spiritual heights because we constantly harkened to the powers that be. We sought help to wade through a particular phase, or to aid the process of easing the pain of our child’s  puberty; or simply to help us help them, our children.

Was I told that I would earn laurels, albeit surreptitious, garbed in intangibles? No.  What were these? A look of gratitude from my husband; a hand pressed in appreciation for my patience and wisdom oftentimes when he found himself drowning under a fusillade of unanswerable questions from our little ones. He attempted to demonstrate his admiration for my sleepless nights in service of future citizens of the world by a quick call from his workplace. In the meanwhile, his snoring remained persistent and indicative of intense part-time parenting. The crossfires were innumerable, but none insurmountable- together, armed and bonded, as it were, with love- all you really need, we always emerged, a little battered, but whole. A foursome gradually formed, unknown to us. The thread that linked us was what formed a strong nucleus- the family. Roles became clearer- as we realised they must. Father’s is the last word (after consulting the mother figure); areas of strengths were discernible and kids, no matter their age, quickly ascertain whose domain is whose. There’s no dodging a keen-eyed kid…who is yours day and night.

Fatigue is a word that we both quickly effaced from our dictionary. No, we weren’t told this either and it did not ‘alarm’ us to discover that we were  indefatigable!

They didn’t tell me that becoming a parent was embracing the wild, in real terms. While my own wild streak underwent much taming, the Ones to be restrained were let loose and their spirits, quite amply un-harnessed. I, along with the father, my spouse, yielded to their demand for freedom, as they continue to scroll out a steady stream of meanings of it. Gently, over the period quite ironically called ‘The Growing Years’ (ours naturally), the father also understood their whys and wherefores. Having fallen in line with their freethinking spirits and open minds, we avoided much heartache. We adapted ourselves to them, as they adapted themselves to us. We learnt to heartily encourage and vett their ideas, which may not have always been up our alley. They were and are there, at large, integrating themselves into a society we created; a community that helped us thrive in our roles, one way or another. 

The years gone by have filled me with gratitude on many an occasion. When all else around me crumbled, the training I had undergone through parenthood, came to my rescue at all times. Distraught I may have been, frustration and despair may have overwhelmed me, and I may have even contemplated suicide at some point in time (outdone by acute physical and mental fatigue), but after my head bore the crown, never ever did I consider myself the full owner of my body and mind. The responsibility and restraint that comes with parenthood, the repercussions of bearing not one but two children, help you gather your forces from every nook and corner of your being and you just keep going. What a gift for life! Surprise, surprise, another one of those profound truths they failed to tell me….

Bound by our love and our children, we live on, my husband and I, proud that we chose the path of parenthood. Oftentimes weary, sometimes jubilant, we are above all, thankful for having chosen this path. This path that is perhaps overabundantly strewn with catches, yet heaps of rewards, grows upon you stealthily as you advance, willy nilly, in new and untested directions. Gratefully recognizing a fact staring us in the face, that had we been forewarned, would we have chosen otherwise? So, maybe it’s best that the wisdom of the years that was our parents, was kept from us and they did not tell us the finer details after all.

If only it were Yesterday……or….perhaps all’s well Today too!

yesterday's seed blooms today as a little bud

DSCN2490on a Golden Pond of leaves, i reach out, limbs extended, begging for more nutrition, more love, more understanding always….greedy for the Ultimate …

If only it were yesterday, i’d have planted many more seeds….happier seeds. Not all my seeds have bloomed, leave only become buds.

If only it were yesterday, i would perhaps have taken more time out for…..what…now let me see, for just being in the moment. Moments come and moments go…and yes, they’ve gone. SO would i have stood still and let each moment pass over me? Nope, I would have still done what i did, when i did it, but with a slightly more open mind- or let’s just say with more mindfulness.

If only it were yesterday, i would have been stricter with my regimen (can still be allegedly) …and been more disciplined with my song, my dance, my routine. I shall take it up today, say i with determination.

What if we were given a second, third, fourth yesterday? Would we really do it differently…with the knowledge of yesterday in our pocket? Since i have many yesterdays i would love to change today- maybe others have this feeling too.

Today i am wiser, but sometimes i feel this wisdom has come a day late. So yesterday, i would perhaps have gotten less excited and more skeptical about a road taken…or a compliment accepted (just getting flattered and feeling like an idiot later)…so many, many events that needn’t have happened. However, had i not experienced what i did back then- would i still be me, sitting at my laptop penning this piece?

What would you do- exchange, change, transform or just allow life  to take its course? I can dream up so many things, but change yesterday i cannot. I can be so many me’s…..today, not yesterday. Yesterday linked me to Today, this Day. I am who i am because of my yesterday.

Am i worried about how to go back, or am i simply pondering upon a new way of being, that which i am perhaps yet to be, or may never be? Fret, fret, fret…..that’s how newness is created. Dissatisfaction oftentimes leads to something new, borne out of boredom. So yesterday’s Today- is what it is. A different yesterday would have given birth to a different today, and that’s how it is.

Yesterday i was very young, sometimes silly, sometimes wise. So what’s changed today- i am still sometimes silly, sometimes wise…and not-so-young i’m afraid.

If only i could grasp clearly what my yesterday gifted me – i would rest easy on my laurels today. The worrying me only comes up with these questions when the comfort levels of the day drop down…yet, to look back occasionally is a good thing, especially if the lessons drawn are being applied and proving their usefulness.

Yesterday and today are friends for what they bring unto one another….and i , me, myself – am a product of this friendship.

Long live this alliance, as long as i live, because if there be disharmony, god forbid, then a very cross me would emerge to set their differences aside, and that would take some doing, some inner strife and a lot of patience. I’ve been down that road, and it was less than easy to restore the intrinsic harmony between these two mates, i assure you. So best it is to leave them be as they are, and to not say, “if only it were yesterday…….” Amen to that!

Now that’s me…..it would be interesting however, to know, from you, the reader, what your experience is, and would be…and what thoughts your antennae pick up from reading of my experience…today!