Why So Serious ? It’s Halloween


Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
Edgar Allan Poe

Happy Halloween !

For us who have  darker side the day is special. A time to talk about werewolves, witches, ghosts, vampires  and all the creatures of the dark.  Time to be creative and do some masti around the house. As I was alone with kids we decided to freak out. The kids locked themselves in their room and attacked the make up kit.

With little resources they turned themselves in their favorite character The Joker 😀

Adi looked awesome in his Joker makeup and so did Shubhang . I decided to click some pictures .

The cute Joker  and the devil one both wanted to add some Gothic ,vampirish  touch to the Halloween night. What is a spooky night without a sexy blood sucking vampire 😀  .

Enters the queen of vampires with blood of batman dripping from her mouth.

Escorted by the Not so serious Joker she was ready to rock on all night.

The meeting of the dark creatures began

After a fun-filled evening we decided to watch some movies and relax. It has always been awesome to spend some wonderful time with my boys. These are the precious memories we will call carry with us and smile warmly remembering these beautiful days.

In the times when life is so full of stress and we are always struggling to make the two ends meet it is very essential to unwind. For sometime we enter the world of our fantasies, become something other than our boring selves and spin magic around us.

A feeling of togetherness that develops is unmatched.

We laugh, eat, drink and enjoy leaving all the cares of world behind us. Spooky stories of vampires and haunted houses

So Why so serious 😀  ?

ENJOY  !

Death : As I See It


Death says:

Fear me not

face me not with trepidation

Hold my hand

and

let me be your guide

let me lead you

to the next journey

This fear arises from uncertainty and inability to control a certain situation. We have achieved almost a total control over birth but Death remains a mystery. Fear of unknown  leads to questions about after life , and the clinging attitude makes us even more scared of losing that which actually is not even ours. I believe that the body is just a vehicle for the soul and the soul never dies , it continues to wander from one place to another using the bodies as stopovers. See life as an energy form that is continuously flowing, with birth and death mere catalysts changing the course of the flow.

Osho says,”To know life in its insecurity is to know life in its immense beauty, is to know life in its authenticity. To know life in its insecurity, without any fear, is to transcend death, because life never dies.”

I love going to the cemeteries. It helps me understand life and enjoy it more because I know that one day my body will also lie there. It gives wisdom to understand both the doors of one’s soul. Birth and death and the journey  in between.

We are insecure lot and the basic fear of death generates all the other fears in us. We can’t let go , we want to hold on even to life. In that process we choke it , stop its flow. Die a million deaths every moment.

When something ends it gives birth to something new. I see death as freedom from all the burdens we carry through life.

I am not a follower of any one person but I have come across people who have given a completely new dimension to my thinking.

One such person is Jiddu Krishnamurti .

Here is what he says about Death . I agree when he says Death is a word, an image  and that image creates fear.

He says ,”Thought, which breeds the fear of death, says, ‘Let’s postpone it, let’s avoid it, keep it as far away as possible, let’s not think about it- but you are thinking about it. When you say, ‘I won’t think about it’, you have already thought out how to avoid it. You are frightened of death because you have postponed it.

We have separated living from dying, and the interval between the living and the dying is fear. That interval, that time, is created by fear. Living is our daily torture, daily insult, sorrow and confusion, with occasional opening of a window over enchanted seas. That is what we call living, and we are afraid to die, which is to end this misery. We would rather cling to the known than face the unknown – the known being our house, our furniture, our family, our character, our work, our knowledge, our fame, our loneliness, our gods – that little thing that moves around incessantly within itself with its own limited pattern of embittered existence.”

I love these articles by Osho. He explains death in a very profound way .

http://www.oshoquotes.net/2009/12/osho-quotes-on-death-each-death-is-an-opportunity-to-be-awake/

http://www.oshoquotes.net/2009/11/osho-quotes-on-death-osho-quotes-on-death-and-dying/

Life is certainly a celebration and so is death. I see death as feminine  , as friend who will hold your hand and take you to yet another wonderful journey .

I am sharing an excellent article Dealing with Death by Prashant Karhade in this post. Prashant is a friend and compiler and publisher of Ripples . He is a wonderful writer himself and when hen he shared this article with me I immediately connected with it and decided to share it with you all.

A rather long post but do read it .

Life Is ; Death is Not By Prashant Karhade

Here is a part of the article :Dealing with Death

Then one day I was at home, sitting out in the verandah, when I saw a spider weaving its web. I had never really seen a spider in action before. As I watched it closely, I couldn’t help but marvel at its skill and efficiency. And then out of nowhere, I felt something I hadn’t felt ever before. I felt one with it. I realized that it was the exact same life force that coursed through its veins and mine. It was at that moment that I truly understood the meaning of what Swami Vivekananda once said while talking about death. He said, “How can I die when an earthworm still lives?”

That day I realized that I am only one of the infinite manifestations of the indestructible life force that has no beginning and no end, “anaadi anant” as they say in Hinduism. And then everywhere I looked, I saw the same indestructible, omnipresent, and omnipotent life force in action. I had no choice but to accept that there is only one thing in our hands – do our infinitesimal bit and watch life unfold in front of our eyes. In a strange way, it reduced the fear of death which is what I was seeking in the first place. But it didn’t happen because of some grand spiritual enlightenment but due to a simple realization. Of course, UGK would say that at best I have only seen the fruit; I haven’t tasted it. But even that is not bad at all.

Today, death is still very much a part of my life; at least every tenth thought of mine is that I am a mortal being and am going to die one day. But it isn’t nearly as scary as it was before. On the contrary, it has brought a lot of positives into my life.

First and foremost, death has brought a sense of urgency to my life like only death can, and everyday it forces me to live life to the fullest. I always have this feeling that I don’t have any time to waste because I don’t know when life might come to an end, and therefore, I have to make every moment count. And it is this sense of urgency that enables me to do just a bit more than I would have done otherwise. That brings a lot of positives of its own.

Death also helps me keep things in perspective. Every time something doesn’t go my way, the first thought that comes to my mind is, “Never mind. I still have blood gushing through my veins. All my loved ones are also still around. So nothing is lost really. I am just gonna give it another shot. If it happens, it happens. Otherwise, it wasn’t meant to be.” It is the lack of this perspective, and the fact that we take ourselves and everything happening around us far too seriously sometimes, that is the root cause of most of our problems.


A straight from the heart masterpiece of writing. It stayed with me for a long time. It hits you hard and makes you ponder over those aspects of your journey called life  that you usually don’t think about.


I wrote this poem long time back

Death

Death, she waits for me silently,

on hunches.

Waiting for the day when I will lend

my hand to her.

And together we will explore

what lies beyond.

Death, my life’s twin

it’s with her I have to spend

the next part of my journey.

Where I shall be free of all bondage and fears,

where my spirit will sour to unknown heights.

I long to meet her.

My liberator.

And soon we will be one

cruising along to the world unknown.


I too have lost my loved ones and I did grieve for them for we are used to their physical presence  but ultimately I realized that the face, the body fades away from the memory and what remains is their journey of life , good or bad. I felt that my father’s life enriched mine in more than one ways and though I felt sad that he was no more there ,I did not grieve for him. My experience with him was total and complete.

I learned it hard way  and I am still trying to carry out it in my life.

One simple fact

celebrate life( yours and especially of those who have moved on to another journey of soul) , un”cling” , let go, enrich yourself from whoever comes into your life , be open and curious and just flow ….

Live

 

To Freedom and Love (A Story)


Lisa watched as the two men took off in their bright red jeep. She smiled and waved till the jeep was just a blur on the sun-kissed horizon.

She loved sunrises.

She began to hum her favorite song and walked back into the cottage. switching on the music she began to dance. A slow seductive dance. Slowly she dropped her gown and winked at the picture at the mantel piece.

The three of them. Best friends.

“Freedom at last . I am glad we could get away all by ourselves Danny, She can be very taxing at times” ,  Peter affectionately hugged his lover but his tone clearly showed the disgust he felt for Lisa.

“Hmm.. yea ” , Danny returned the smile.

“You seem distracted, buddy” Peter glanced at the man he had loved for so many years.

“No way, I am cool”  Danny Checked himself and gave that heart stopping grin.

Peter kept his arm around Dan as they drove on the long winding mountain road. Nothing unusual.

The two reached the lake in an hour . It was their favorite place .

Peter’s favorite place.
Slipping out of their clothes  they slid into the cool waters and lazily floated taking in the picturesque surroundings.
It was a vacation Danny had meticulously planned for Peter.
Danny got out of the water first and began to arrange the lavish spread Lisa had prepared for them.
He took out the glasses and poured the drink.
The last drop created a ripple in the still sparkling liquid. He watched the tiny blue waves as they slowly faded into the  colorless ness of the drink.Peter walked out of the water looking like Adonis .

He took the glass and raised a toast . ” To Freedom and Love ” Peter said loudly and finished the drink in one shot.
In  fraction of a second he was gone.
Danny swirled his glass with a strange smile on his lips .
“To freedom and love ” He echoed his lover’s words and watched the virulent liquid from his glass create larger ripples in the stillness of the lake.
Lisa looked at the watch and smiled.
Even best of the friends have secrets.
All is fair in love and war.

 

 

Thursday Photo Challenge – Messy


The theme for Thursday Challenge is “MESSY” (Children, Rooms, Garage, Yard, Disorganized, Hair,…)

Well although I could have clicked anywhere at random in the Den 😀 as the boys prefer to call it  but then they would have strangled me for it.

So I decided to do something sweet.

Messy hair . Who plays with the doll in your house Tiku ? You will ask :p

Well , Actually no one. She is the daughter I never had 🙂 .

Very messy indeed.

Look at her hair.. Kids I tell ya !

 

Isn’t she adorable. 😀

A Poem For You


I wish I could

write a poem for you

a poem that paints my dreams

dreams that tell our story

each word a picture

a visual collage

of love and lust

pain and longing

hurt and anger

distance and closeness

meeting and parting

iconography.

I wish I could

write a poem for you

but

words shrugged their shoulders

and walked away

just like that

and I was left

staring at them

I beseeched them to stay

like I did with you

I did

Estranged words

if only I could catch them

thousands of words

some said some unsaid.

Now I stare at the empty screen

( strange that I should say empty screen instead of empty paper. How much has changed since then .)

My fingers caress

the smooth surface of the keys

my ears

long to hear that delicious clicking sound

 

Nothing.

The fog doesn’t lift

I push myself and strain

to see the fog veiled vision

a form

vague and abstract

I close my eyes and zone out

The poison flows through the eyes

leaving black streaks on my cheeks

better to flow out than stay within and burn the very essence of my being

my error of judgement, my follies , my fall

all clear now

There is a deafening, demeaning silence in the heart

that I try to figure out

and draw a blank

vexed with my myself

I leave the unfinished, untitled poem

in the drafts

 

Musings Of An Unquiet Mind


Silence of woods on a spring day

The heart is restless today. I am trying to calm my unquiet mind. A longing to escape is growing within. Escape to a world within. I rummage through an old diary tucked away among some forgotten pictures and notes tied with a lavender ribbon. Slowly I shred them and let the pieces of a long gone dream make a tapestry of words on the floor. Razor sharp edges of crisp paper even after so many years? I thank the person who invented email. READ, DELETE, TRASH AND EMPTY. Letters written on paper are difficult to destroy. They somehow manage to leave a mark. Burn, shred do what ever. They stay.

I discover these jottings at the end of the diary . There is no date . I copy it all here. Just as it is and light a funeral pyre for the memories rotting along with the pages.

Smudged words, blotted patches of ink crazily crisscrossed paragraphs.

I don’t need them now.

I need a  silent escape. My blog is the only place I retreat to at such times. I allow myself to flow with the words copied from the diary.

Silence of the woods on a spring day.

When the breeze sings the  symphony of pure silence and the sunlight filtering through the tops of the trees and lovingly touches the ground. The beautiful, magical dance of the flawless shadows on the forest floor surrounded by a mystical aura. Time floats free in the endless woods.

The silence in the rhythmic music of a mountain brook or in the  rustle of the leaves as the  tall elegant trees  sway like the dervishes  in a soulful dance. A green silence.

The fading moments of daylight dissolve into twilight bliss. The forest melts into an ebony haze. A soft misty nothingness is filled with serenity’s song of silence. Nocturnal darkness takes over silently seeping through the very soul of the forest wrapped in the essence
of luminescent splendor.

In nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls .Silence …to listen to the silence between the words, between the lines, in the gaps, to absorb, to become one with what you are doing.

Meditation or dhyan , silence of the heart and soul …It heals ..Creates a stillness and calm within …

It is when we are silent, we open up to life and it does the same for us.

Maun …. Embodiment of joy.
We do not always realize the implications of the quietness we unconsciously seek and enjoy when we take a walk in a solitary meadow or in a forest or on a mountain. By occasional contacts with silence, our nerves are soothed, energy is regained, and the total effect is bracing to our bodies and minds.

I enjoy being silent even if I am part of a noisy group, it’s not a forced silence like when you are alone.

For me keeping quiet and being silent are two different things.

When silent, one’s mind should be trained to become empty …you don’t even talk to yourself even in the subconscious …it’s a wonderful feeling which completely de-stresses you.

Once you start to enjoy silence you learn to listen to the unsaid, sounds you normally don’t pay attention to.

It increases your power to listen, makes you in tune with self and your surroundings.

Listening is a dying art.

Most of the time we just hear the various sounds without paying any attention to them. Being “maun” is also a method to enhance your will power . We always want to escape to a peaceful place looking for ‘SHANTI’  but that shanti lies within us, we just have to look inwards.

Silence is also very beautiful, I have experienced that by being completely silent I become one with nature and that’s a wonderful feeling. It has a calming effect on soul.

Silence has helped me take many major decisions in life, to do things in the right way guided by my inner. It has improved my concentration power and though still I need to work quiet a lot on it, it has tremendously helped me discover myself. So SILENCE for me is self discovery and a very important part of daily living.

For me

Silence is not

lack of words

lack of music

lack of curses

or  lack of screams

Silence is not  lack of colors

or voices

or bodies

or whistling wind.

Silence is Not  lack of anything

Silence is resting,

nestling in every leaf, every root, every branch of every tree,

it is in the breeze that nibbles at these leaves

or sometimes swooshes around them

Silence is the flower sprouting upon the branch

In the drizzle that tickles them

or the pouring  rain that drenches  them to the core of their being

it is also in the still air that hangs around them on a hot sultry day

Silence is the long winding forest trail  fragrant with the intoxicating aroma of sweet pine

Silence is mother’s song to her  newborn child and  her  cries for her stillborn one.

Silence is the roar of ocean waves and  the sandpipers dancing on the shore.

Silence is the vastness of  green rolling plains and it is a blade of grass.

Silence is the flight of a solitary eagle

A colorful kite soaring in the vast blue sky

A dog curled up under a shady tree on whose trunk furry squirrels run up and down.

Silence is sound And silence is silence.

Silence is love, even the love that hides in hate.

Silence you share with someone you love, so cold, so sharp, you could cut yourself on it. There is nothing so hurtful, nothing so bare and forlorn as the silence that falls like swords on two people who no longer know what to say to one another, and it is the kind of silence that tells you that you are no longer of any importance to that person, who really is no longer even there; it is a silence that renders you invisible.

Silence that hangs heavy in the air. A dark cloud of silence. Where the words strain to touch the  fabric of  someone’s silence. When words become strangers , the thoughts freeze and we are rendered speechless – silence of death of loss.

Silence of pain , physical, emotional pain that’s leaves you numb.

Silence of the suffering heart.

Silence  is  the eyes of poor, hungry children

It is the lover’ s sex exhausted fall into sleep.

It is the call of morning birds.

Silence is the lucid moonbeams kissing a wild flower.

It is a word, a hope, a flickering flame of candle at the window of a  home.

Silence is everything –

in the renewing sleep of Earth,

the purifying dream of Water,

the purifying rage of Fire,

the soaring and spiraling flight of Air.

It is all things dissolved into nothing

Silence is with you always

Sometimes as Shanti sometimes as khamoshi and sometimes as a mook cheekh ( a silent cry) a silent cry of a woman.

.

Full Moon and the Peachy Pink Mysteries


Yesterday was Sharad Poornima or the kojagiri poornima as we know it. The auspicious winter full moon night. The legend says that the divine Raas lila of Krishna ,Radha and Gopis took place on this Night in the Hindu month of Ashwin some 5000 years ago. It is believed that the moon is closest to the earth this day and it’s rays contain nourishing, cooling energies ( nector or amrut).

I remember as children we pent the night under the moon light. A special Kheer with puffed rice ( poha) or plain rice, milk and sugar was prepared and kept under the moonlight . In the early morning hours it was given as Prasadam to everyone .

For me the full moon is a mysterious wanderer of the sky. There is something  magically captivating about the full moon.

Last evening Delhi received it’s first winter rain an I thought we might not see the glorious moon but the dark mourning clouds gave way to soft pink peachy clouds as the moon in all its glory began its journey in the sky

I could not go out to take photographs due to fever so decided to make the most of it from my balcony .

 

The clouds were a beautiful shade of peach with a slight lining of white . The sky looked absolutely divine.

For a long time I stood enveloped in the brilliant moonlight. The lovely breeze , the nip in the air , the rhythmic swaying of the trees made me wonder what the divine cosmic dance would have looked like  when Krishna danced along with Radha in all his splendor.

Soaked to the core of my being in the divine lucid moonbeams I felt calm and relaxed. It is amazing how nature heals you in silence.

The night  with all its mysteries always fascinated me. I was never afraid to walk alone in a starlit sky or on a full moon night. I guess those who are not afraid of the dark see the most beautiful night skies.

Living in a city has its disadvantages but when there is a will there is a way.

 

I remembered a poem by Davis which I read as a young girl.

Enjoy !

The Moon by William Henry Davies
Thy beauty haunts me heart and soul,
Oh, thou fair Moon, so close and bright;
Thy beauty makes me like the child
That cries aloud to own thy light:
The little child that lifts each arm
To press thee to her bosom warm.

Though there are birds that sing this night
With thy white beams across their throats,
Let my deep silence speak for me
More than for them their sweetest notes:
Who worships thee till music fails,
Is greater than thy nightingales.

Heirlooms : Treasures From The Yesteryears


When I was a small girl I used to wait for that sun drenched day when mom would open her black trucks and lay out the treasures. The fragrance of cloves which were normally tucked away wrapped in small bundles of voil. The carved wooden boxes with tiny velvet compartments. The heirlooms , the tiny silver spoons and bowls from our childhood , locks of hair and the umbilical cords ( yes she still has them ) all had a special place in my heart.

Ma would sit on the dari or chatai and I would sneak in from behind the door and wait for the cue. ( she has eyes at the back of her head too ) 🙂
Then her sweet voice will drift through like the morning winter breeze filling me with joy and I would rush to sit by her side.

The scene is still so vivid that every time I think about it my eyes fill with tears of joy. There was something magical about all that.

I did a post about it long ago The Black Trunk Do read it.

When my first child was born ma gave me some thing very special.

A silver power box with a geese feather puff for the little darling. It was special because it was my granny’s. My grandfather ( nana) had bought it when mom was born. The eldest of all the siblings. Now 80 years later it lies with me  neatly wrapped in the same voil piece from my granny’s old sari as I had seen it as a baby.

I never got it cleaned though it has beautiful engravings all over just for the simple reason that I wanted to preserve the antique look. The soft powder puff still smells of a fragrant lavender body talc which was used for me. I did not use it for my sons for some reasons so it remained inside the cupboard all along.

I noticed that all children have this habit of exploring 🙂 . One day I found my sons going through the contents ad blissfully  enjoying the touch of soft feather against their skin. I think if I had a daughter the things may have been different. Girls love such things. I do.

Mom  also gave me something priceless. I never saw my paternal grandmother but knew her to a very strong-willed woman. In those times  women of upper caste ( zamindars) were not allowed to step out without escorts and especially in Allahabad where she stayed there were many restrictions. My granny made her own rules and went alone for her early morning bath at the Ganges . This created a buzz in the household and the men did not like it at all but no one had the courage to speak against her. She was a religious woman like many others of her time but a very learned one. She stood for her rights and that of women in her household and made sure the new rules were accepted.

Ma never met her unfortunately . Theirs was an inter-caste love marriage and granny died before dad actually got married.

In her last days she took sanyas and went alone to live in Ayodhya where she stayed on her own till her last breath. A  life of dignity and self-respect.

She was a very talented woman ma tells us. An excellent cook, a woman with a generous heart and an open mind.  She gave me one of the very few things that were handed down to her from dad’s close relatives. ( His parents died before his wedding)

A long hand embroidered strip of black velvet. These strips were made with hand , a very laborious task , to be used as borders for saris .

 

I love the vibrant use of colors and  the fact that it is one of the three-four things left of my grand mom. A priceless piece of hand work. Sometimes I sit with these things and build stories around them. Imagining what kind of life she must have had. This sure  must be made in early 40s if I am correct.

These heirlooms are precious treasurer for me.  I will be doing two  more posts on such priceless things. Priceless not because they are valuable money wise  but because they hold a very special place in our hearts.

When ma fell seriously ill sometime back she called my children and handed them two silver bowls and a sindoor dani ( a silver box meant to keep vermilion powder} . These bowls are from my childhood and she wanted my kids to keep them as remembrance .The sindoor dani is mom’s . Dad had got it for her when they got married. Some day I will tell you about this inter caste love story 🙂

I am still looking out for more such treasures.  Old books  now not in print, baby clothes from our childhood, old B&W pix from mom’s childhood , old music records now a thing of the past and much more.

Keep looking out for the new posts.

Each of these things has a fragrance of the person who is associated with it, love that drifts in air around you and envelopes you in warm embrace.  Each has a story behind it , a memory of that time period . The people are long gone or old like my mom. Some day these very things will stay for generations to see and connect with their past. I don’t know what will happen to them when I am gone but for now they remain with me encased in a cocoon of love.

A fragrant memory.