Category Archives: Thoughts
All about what I think – SELF
I am in general lost when everyone keeps discussing about new year resolutions – Being brought up at a small town in a traditional orthodox family, new year for us was another day in which we woke up early as it falls on the Margazhi month of Tamil calender, make sure the Kolam (rangoli) on the outside of the house is grander than usual, visit the temple and wait for that traditional sweet dish of payasam(Kheer) or Sakkarai pongal to be served for breakfast or lunch at home. Then we just continue with our life..we do what we have been doing the previous day!
So, when I hear “new year resolutions”, “reflections of the year that passed by”,”partying on the new year eve”,etc – I just end up in a catch up mode…thinking hard on how I am supposed to handle these as a matured individual who lives in one of the happening metropolitan city now!. And then another year passes by with me wondering ….
Just when i was completely convinced about my views (lack of) on new year resolutions and past year reflections, I got bumped into a webpage listing the four zen quotes…and bingo, I know that I am SIMPLY ZEN when it comes to handling my new year!!!
Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and grass grows by itself
If you walk, just walk. If you sit, just sit; but whatever you do, don’t wobble
When hungry, eat your rice; when tired close your eyes.
And incidentally, i am now completely caught up with the rest of the world and can talk about the new year resolutions and past year reflections in a simple zen way!!
Before new year, live your life. After new year, live your life
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, new year comes and you experience life by living and being yourself
If you do something, just do it. Don’t wobble and question too much
When learning, learn it all; When living, give it all
On a serious note, i am in complete agreement of the original zen quotes and believe it is a simple strong message for everyone to carry through every day of every year they live – including the new year day!. For those who are interested to read in details – here is the link – Four confusing zen quotes.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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It definitely was an important day for me to remember – it became the MOST important day – the three unexpected questions in the unexpected situation from an unexpected person made it a superlative day! I will continue to wonder on why I became so lucky today to be aware of these questions and answers.
It sounds very cryptic, but what I experienced today was indeed cryptic at that time. It took time for me to appreciate that it was a unique happening and one of those significant times which I need to remember my entire life.
Barring all the details, here are the three questions and the answers – these made me feel connected with the universal soul which is always prevalent and waiting for me to acknowledge its presence.
Question 1: Do you know that everyone who is born in this world has to die one day?
Answer 1: Yes
Question 2: Do you think someone who suffers a lot due to a physical ailment or with a terminal illness will feel free and happy that they are dying?
Answer 2: They might be relieved of the physical pain and may be happy that they are getting free of it. They still would have enjoyed even that time of physical ailment as they could spend those extra time basking in the attention of their loved ones, being aware of the affection they shower on them.
Question 3: Do you think only the physical body goes away and the soul is still looking out for their loved ones?
Answer 3: Yes, the death is only physical – the soul stays and looks out – that is when you connect with the universe
Everything is oxymoron, from every perspective
‘Absolutely unsure’ and in a ‘calm storm’
A ‘real dream’ which is ‘attractively distractive’
And a ‘true illusion’ which is ‘out of norm’
Still, is an interesting journey to a ‘definite mystery’ destination,
‘Focussing to defocus’ on the ‘perfect imperfection’
‘Consistently changing’ to ‘connect the disconnect’ with the cosmic soul
‘Experiencing inexperience’ and living the ‘illogical logic’ which is in ‘chaotic control’!
It had been a long-standing challenge – practising the knowledge. It is an established documented fact (come on, I documented in this blog here….) that the outcome of any event depends on the response to that event. I am yet to put that knowledge to use 100%.
I had two such events in the last 24 hours….making me introspect on how long it is going to take to get ourselves practice what we know….
The first incident made me realize the need to strongly emphasize in my communications on how much I value my ideals. While I have my ideals, I also believe that it is an individual’s prerogative of having their own ideals (rights and wrongs) which will vary with every individual. Oxymoron belief!
In this context, it becomes very important to react to someone’s thoughts in the right way – communicating the intent is extremely critical – needs excellent clarity of thoughts and the choice of right words. “my ideals are different. while what you say/do are different from mine, I appreciate it is your prerogative to do/what you think as long as it is beyond my boundary”.
The second incident made me realize that in the fit of the moment, you lose your knowledge and just react to a situation in a wrong way – your anxiety kills your knowledge and just after that few minutes you kick yourself for reacting to a situation without applying your knowledge …… phew!
In both the incidents, a particular value or reaction of an individual is not in alignment with my thoughts/values. While I can still look at the big picture and appreciate how much value each individual carry, I am still a long way in ensuring my confident reaction to the specific incidents.
This challenge is really dodging me…..knowledge and practice!!
Couple of days back, I happened to listen to my relative who said that they plan to settle down in Bangalore (that is a ten year plan from now!). As always, I was rambling and listing down the good things about Bangalore – ofcourse, the recent post I did was on top my mind – https://ireach.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/bangalore-the-best/
When I finished my ramblings, I saw my cousin giving me a condescending funny look….I felt it meant ” so, what happened to the morning ramblings about the place you spent your childhood ……..you seem to be liking all places….”….
That made me think…..looks like MY PLACE – whichever corner of the world it is in – IS ALWAYS THE BEST! – It definitely is a wise saying “East or West, Home is Best!”
Here is a list of what all I relished about my place where I spent my initial years of life (If you have lived or visited interior TamilNadu in India, you will nod in agreement!)
1. Early morning aroma of filter coffee with the background of MS Subbulakshmi’s “Suprapatham” – (Narsus coffee, it was always!!)
2. When you come out , the blasting sounds of Madurai Somu /LR Eshwari’s devotional songs from a neighbourhood temple’s conical speaker – if it is the month of Margazhi, you will hear the audio of movies like “Thiruvilayadal” – especially Nagesh‘s Dharumi/Nakeeran dialogues
3. “The Hindu” newspaper – If it is Friday, then you wait for “Ananda Vikatan”
4. Saroj narayanaswamy’s news in All India radio (” aal indhiya radio, dhilli vanoli nilayam, cheithigal vasipathu, saroj narayana swamy”)
5. Rajnikanth’s movie posters (“Udal mannuku, Uyir Thalaivanukku”)
6. Milkman milking the cow at the doorstep
7. The ringing bell from the temple (“koil mani osai”)
8. Idly and chutney breakfast
9. Mom’s continuous tracking about being on time (“Time aachu – kilambu, kilambu”)
10. Bicycle’s bell and the loud screaming of classmate calling your name from the road
11. Mom’s consistent advice to be careful on the road and to come back home straight (‘Jaggrathaiya patthu po, school vitta neera inga vaa’ )
12. Had your breakfast?(“Saapaddu aacha?” ) enquiries from neighbours
13. Smells of jasmine and mixed flowers (Malligai, kadambathin manam)
14. Lovely girls with turmeric glitter on their face and the traditional half saree (“Manjal poosiya thavani mugangal”)
15. Climbing the mango tree in neighbours house and eating fresh raw mangoes sitting on the tree (got to keep a watch for elders!!)
16. Cattle on the roads (need to balance the bicycle between them!)
17. Taking the neighbour’s kid in the bicycle doubles (“Supera irrundhu indha cycle roundu’ )
18. Friendly postman who makes a conversation while delivering the post and knows who has sent the letter – ” this letter is from grandmom? how is she?” (letter enna pattiammava? Nalla irukangagala?’)
19. temple diety’s procession on the road and the nice “maakolam” on everyone’s house
20. temple elephant
and many more………………… How does your list look??
Probably, identifying a definition to find GOD happened with little effort – but, here I struggle a lot to define ME for MYSELF – who am I?. While I think I am figuring it out, i never realized it will take 40 long years to even understand that I am yet to find out ME!
An easy definition of SELF can be ‘you are what you do when you know no one is watching you!’…………While this can be the easiest definition, i explored further to understand it better…
When i look at life, i have been under the constant influence of people who had typical values about the responsibilities of an individual – during my growing years, i have consistently been made to appreciate the importance of dispensing one’s duties of life – The Hindu mythology and the preaching of Gurus/Saints – all of them consistently reinforces these basic life values. Life as defined by theses sounds very simple……even one of the recent books which i read ( ‘FIVE PEOPLE WHO YOU MEET IN HEAVEN’) reflects similar ideas – when i tried to consolidate those ideas and add my experiences/understanding to those ideas, this is what i got….
“Do your duties – KARMA YOGA – do your duties with utmost care, respect — start every day as new day – dispel your duties in the roles you play in this world – as a child, spouse, sibling, parent, employee, employer and so on………….this slowly turns in as a self – discipline, synergized by family, family values and the influence of people around…..this in turns defines who you ARE and also lets you understand the purpose of your life”
So, i am busy and doing my daily duties in all my roles – then, i should be able to define ME and understand the purpose of my life!
But then, there are these crazy sides – the urge which develops when I watch a Romania travel documentary- urge to go and sit in the pub with all those foreigners – who are laughing, losing themselves in the country music, and getting drunk, living life as though it is their only day to live, showing so much affection to fellow human beings – I feel like that probably is what i want to do….
when you share these thoughts, you are not sure about what you are – are you the individual who puts duty in front of you OR you are the crazy person wanting to live your life?
it goes without saying that we have one life and it needs to be lived well – but at what cost………..we as a society are all taught to be living to others expectations and in turn performing our duties as children/spouse/parent/friend – so, we put others before us.
struggling to do the right things, struggling to be always right – putting all the efforts towards this – are we missing to experience our life ? are we missing the experiential learning?
conflict is LIVING FOR SELF Vs LIVING FOR OTHERS…….
But on deeper thought, looks like LIVING FOR SELF is the best policy……….because it always ends up in LIVING FOR OTHERS!!
Gibberish, but makes sense little bit……..a reconfirmation that i have a long way to go before i understand who I am!
Discovered the definition of GOD ……….it is the 7 point definition
- You are available to me all time – You do not need any formal invitation
- You do not get your bad mood come on my way
- You listen and give me the confidence that i can share everything with you – the craziest of any thoughts
- You do not judge me and accept me as I am
- You understand
- You do not force your ideas on me
- You guide
Now, think of the 7 point definition and check if there is any one person whom we know and fits that defintion – it is extremely very likely we are already interacting with that person on a day to day basis – it is just that we need to identify them……..
So, GOD is around in the form which you can identify – all the time……..it is just that we got to identify who HE is!
I know it is the IPL time of the year and it is absolutely normal that it is cricket rain all over………………..But, for a non cricket person like me……. it has been an unbelievably CRICKETY week ………
The first one is the chance viewing of the movie DIL BOLE HADIAPPA……..It was a sunday night……i just was toying with the TV remote before hitting the bed…….jumping from one channel to another…….not really interested in anything………and then, i see the cute RANI MUKHERJEE…..and i end up in front of the TV till 1 am……..
the movie was a mix of right masala ingredients……..the ubersexual hero from UK……. the lovely, innocent, colorful ‘punjabi gudi’ of the soil…….passion of cricket…………..combined with the peaceful sunday night (weekly chores are all accomplished and kids are already asleep)………..the quiet ambience at home……..!!
Cricket made the movie more lively for me……!!!
The next day…….i have an easy monday evening..i am early from the dentist appointment, than what i had planned…..i almost had an hour before anyone at home is going to miss me………..
I decide to check on my little one, who was playing cricket in the badminton court (!) ……i spot him …….very busy playing cricket….only difference was it was not his usual group of friends, but senior boys……10 to 11 years old….i was bit concerned that he was not with his usual group and decide to sit through their match………..
Believe me, i spent the next one hour engrossed in their game……..not that i followed their runs or wickets………i was absolutely awed by the team spirit the kids exhibited……….or, whether they just impersonate the real world cricket players on the field?……….i will never know…..but, it was an unique experience to watch them …….play seriously…….each one doing their role perfectly……..clapping the hands when a bowler ended a maiden over, giving hifi after a sixer, patting on the back……
when my little one took two wickets in a row, the eldest boy came running to him and pats him on his back and quips ” Awesome, baby!! you are on a hat trick!!”…………….i just could not stop smiling…….if i think of it, i could feel that more than the skill on cricket, the young ones are definitely picking up much more cues on leadership skills and team bonding…………
again, i never thought i am going to be absorbed into cricket like this!!
probably time to check with my kids on the IPL schedule!!
The other day I came across this short Sanskrit verse
Achaaryaath paadam aadatthe
Paadam sishya swamedhayaa
Paadam sa brahmacharibhya
Sesham kaala kramena cha
It means a person can get only one quarter of knowledge from Achaarya – the teacher, another quarter by analyzing self, one quarter by discussing with others and the last quarter during the process of living by method addition, deletion, correction, and modification of already known aachaaraas.
How true it is…Knowledge is always only one fourth of learning….but looking internal, discussing with similar minded persons and practicing makes the learning complete.
Reiterates that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life!!
I was literally not sure of how i felt – it was mixed feeling – 10 years is a long time, considering that these 10 years had brought in much more changes in me than the rest of the years in my life!
The feeling of ‘LOST’ is still there…the imagination of “how will it be now if she had been still around ?” is occupying my mind..at the same time, the feeling of visiting home town, especially the nostalgia is overwhelming…
i am sharing stories with the kids, making them see how it was when we were young….but, still in the back of my mind the confusion persists and nags – how i am going to take these two days at my home town after these 10 years?!!
Then came the right input at the right time ……….
“use the simple technique to overcome the feelings of ‘Lost’. Just think of all things you are grateful for (half-full vs half-empty)”
This cleared my mind and by the time i reached, there were no doubts on my mind…I went around the town making the best of what i have…lived in the present and let go of the past ……… thanked that i have what i have….and ofcourse the feeling of being blessed continued!!