Friday, 26 September 2014

Tip Toeing Her Way To Success

The sun had not yet risen, the skies were mellow. The golden sands of the beach were inviting..she hesitated for a moment. How pristine, undisturbed is the beach, unburdened by any feet on it. Swept clean by the change of tides the night before and unsullied by tourists who would come in later in the day. How dare I be the intruder, thought she?

She then gingerly tip toed with her arms swaying to maintain her balance.

One, two, three.....
step number twenty three...
twenty nine, thirty, thirty one, thirty two, thirty three,
few more, that will be fifty, I'll be free! said she

Forty six, forty seven...screaming she swiveled on her heels
A mean black German Shepherd was hot on her heels

The leash had by now restrained the dog, barking
Our lady not knowing this, kept running

The barking pierced the quiet, there was disarray
Footprints were now here, there, everywhere

She rushed straight into his arms panting
He embraced her, burst out laughing

How can you laugh at me, demanded she
Don't you know what this meant to me?

Hey, come on cheer up, said he
There's always a way, trust me.

They sat down on the beach. He kept his camera aside. She was wistfully throwing pebbles into the waves.

Turning to him she said, the rising sun glowing in her eyes, "I fell short by just three steps!" she ruefully turned around to see the messed up sand."You would have shot the perfect image for my story~ how expressive a visual metaphor it would have been! Footprints on sand have been done to death. Just the imprints of me tip toeing..Wow! Wouldn't it have been so symbolic and memorable for my own success story? I had even thought of a central theme that went perfectly with it~
"A woman quietly tip toes her way to success."

He put his arm around her.
"Nothing has been lost. We could try this out once again tomorrow. And not on this side of the beach where your doggy friend has a taken a liking to you!"

Then he looked straight into her eyes and said, "I have a better idea. Look, you are a renowned storyteller. You could always come up with a new, better theme for your success story!"

Friday, 19 September 2014

Like Father Like Daughter?

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised. Actually, that is an understatement~ I was overjoyed by my 9 year old daughter Diti's storytelling skills. She has always been creative and has a vivid imagination. (In the picture above she's seen painting the pot that she had crafted with help of a skilled potter).

However, the story that she had written yesterday surpassed any of her creative endeavours. It had been written as practice for her School exams and she was limited by the first few lines provided in her worksheet, which she had to develop further into a full story, that too within twenty minutes. Without bragging any further about it, I'll share her handiwork~ it's entirely her creation.

The Magical Sword

Once there was a merchant named Rasham. He lived in the hills of Himachal Pradesh and had gone to Jaipur in Rajasthan for business. After finishing his work he was riding back home. He had a bag which had a large sum of money. Suddenly there was a storm and it started raining heavily. The merchant thought " this cotton bag is full of money which will get wet in the rain. If I don't find a safe place I'll loose all my money!" He was searching for shelter but he could not find any such place. He thought God was cruel. But he did not lose hope and tried again to find shelter.

At last he found a hut and maybe he could stay there until the storm ended. A crying man opened the door of the hut and let him in.

'Why are you crying', asked Rasham.

"Yesterday some robbers came here and told me to give them one lakh rupees. If I did not do as they said, they said they would kill me. I am very poor. Where will I get the money to pay them?" cried the poor man.

The merchant felt bad for the poor man . He asked him where did the robbers live.

"Two kilometers from away from my hut"

The merchant went as he was told and saw the hut. From the hut people looking like robbers came out. The robbers told the merchant to give them the bag of money. The merchant tried to escape as he got scared. The robbers fired at him but because of the rain the pistol had got wet and did not go off!

Then the merchant saw a sword and with it he killed all the robbers! On his way back home, he went to the poor man's hut who thanks him for saving his life. Then he reached his home safe.

As soon as he enters his house he sees a wonderful sight~ he sees the same poor man as God! He then realises the truth and thanks God for saving his life.

God tells him, "The sword with which you killed the robbers was a magical sword"

The merchant replies, "Despite me calling you cruel, you saved my life"

"No, it was you who saved a poor man's life and with all your might you bravely fought with the robbers".

The merchant bowed before God.
~Diti Nallawala

It is not only Diti's imagination that impressed me nor her story writing skills alone. Does she also have that spiritual streak in her~ Like Father Like Daughter?

A story I had written with an uncannily similar ending (which she hasn't read)~
The Three Priests And Their Guru

Monday, 8 September 2014

Walking On A Beach

It's early morning
alone on the beach am walking

No one around me
as far as the eye can see

Except for the birds, charming
and the music of their chirping

And the stray dog, the vagabond
sniffing, rummaging in the sand

The swaying palm trees 
and their 
rustling leaves 

The crashing of the waves
and rhythmic exchange of crests

The swirling wind embraces me
scared, a crab darts away from me

The smell of the salt in the air
the sheer freshness of the air

Just the vast blue skies above me
bare foot, feel the cool wet sands below me

Eyes devour all the glory
even as each moment is a new story.

The gentle morning sun rises
paints the skies in riotous hues

The horizon rapidly changes colours
dispelling dawn, a new day arrives

Retracing my footprints, reluctantly
 walk back into the day, slowly

Monday, 4 August 2014

Travelling with my Eyes Closed

It is a typical morning. Seated in my room, my eyes shut. The darkness is familiar and comforting. At first the thoughts stream in. Without resisting I allow them to float about in my mind, knowing that resisting them won't drive them away.

Gradually the thoughts quieten and my mind is relaxed just like dust in stirred up water slowly settles down. I now begin my visualisation exercise, allowing my mind to embark on journeys which are invigorating. As my mind becomes quieter, my ability to create my own exotic reality expands ~ soon I can sense my physical being reach out beyond the dimensions of my body. Yes, this actually happens and experts say that is my Aura expanding. Practice of many years has strengthened my Aura.

It begins with my head (mind?) as I feel a bubble of sorts extending on all sides except that this bubble isn't filled with air, it is my consciousness that powers it. I first establish my whereabouts..feeling my feet which are in contact with the floor, the floor extends into the apartment building, the foundation of which runs deep into the ground ~ a graphic exercise in Mindfulness. In contrast to this I sense me being distinct from my physical self. I begin to rise above where I am seated, gradually at first, then completely breaking free, at first rising above the vast urban landscape, now soaring among the clouds.

I am actually seated on a fluffy white cloud, levitating, the soothing blue sky enveloping me. Unlike skydivers who are in a free fall, I rise above in a yogic cross-legged asana! The view is as panoramic as that from a an observer of my imaginary body many miles below me. Far below me, I 'watch myself in my normal world', I experience the joy of detachment, of watching myself from afar, devoid of emotional involvement. The bliss is for real and is exhilarating!

After having spent a good half hour thus, I find myself (and my consciousness) back to where it began. Having enjoyed the ride thoroughly, my mind is primed to let go of thoughts entirely for a few moments. Those few moments of utter thoughtlessness energize me beyond description. Reluctantly I allow myself to be drawn back to reality. Before I gently open my eyes, His image invariably forms in my mind and I say my prayer without words, a prayer of gratitude for the magnificent time I had.

My journeys explore many glorious vistas, enjoys many revelations each morning, rarely revisiting a previous experience.

So why not join me in my journey tomorrow? 

Friday, 27 June 2014

A Refreshing Walk Among Nature

Yes, like everything else, research now tells us walking among natural surroundings boosts creativity and reduces stress. Must the last of our pastimes be validated too?

'All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking'
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Any case, there I was on one late afternoon, enjoying a walk among the greens.The weather was just right: a light breeze blowing, rustling of tree leaves, the peculiar scent of the reddish-brown mud, bright butterflies flitting by and the chirping of birds was the only sound I could hear. I was all by myself. Idyllic setting! 

Enjoying these surroundings, drinking in all the sights, smells and sounds is a great experience: it helps me become one with nature and immerse myself in God's creation.

I must have walked for half an hour, lost in my own world when the noises began piercing the silence. A group of tumultuous young boys was running in toward me from the opposite direction. Laughter, shouting and the buzz of activity interrupted the tranquil landscape. I chose to continue waking on, knowing that they would walk past me in a short while, and let me enjoy my reverie once again.

One of the boys stopped and pointed at a large tree. He picked up a stone and hurled it at the tree. 
All hell broke lose then. He had stirred up a bee hive and the angered bees set after the boys. The terrified boys scampered away as fast as they could. I don't know whether they managed to outrun the bees or the the bees got to them first. I chose not to panic. I remained still. 

After a few minutes, things were back to normal and I walked on. I came across a small stream and sat on a large boulder watching the gurgling water. Couldn't help thinking of the incident. Of course, boys will be boys, I smiled to myself. Aren't we all often guilty of the same in our ways?

I realised that this incident was an excellent metaphor for the way our minds work. The walk among nature symbolises mindfulness, the ability to enjoy our immediate surroundings, take in the small joys, live in the now. One can excuse the small boys' misdemeanor to childish mischievousness.

Think about what we do to our minds. Do I need to be walking among the greens to be relaxed, fully enjoying the moment?

Thoughts are the honeybees that we ourselves stir up to destroy our tranquility.
Think we must, undoubtedly. However, is there any point in stirring up thoughts that rake up negative emotions, painful memories: that too without any provocation? Aren't we sometimes 'predisposed' to falling into this trap? Of trading away the peace of mind for an army of thoughts which will take us nowhere.

Sitting there, as I watched the stream flowing by , I said to myself: why don't we allow our past to go by us? Water which once passes downstream does not return, does it? Why do we choose to hold on to our past, refuse to let go of it?

Why then, do we this to ourselves almost everyday of our lives? If it is not the past or negative emotions, our next pastime is worrying about the future. I am guilty of this as any of you might be. To a certain extent, Meditation has helped me detach myself from such 'toxic thoughts' even when I am not meditating.

The reset button brings my serenity back.
A virtual walk in the woods, with or without the bees.
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