Art, Flowers And Conversations


It’s been an year since Duets got published. I am working on the Hindi poetry book but there are some other priorities that have kept me busy. The search for home continues as I map the autumnal landscape of my city. finding solace under the vibrant Silk Floss trees in bloom or overriding the noxious Delhi air with the heady fragrance of Saptaparni in bloom.

Delhi landscape never ceases to surprise you with its abundant beauty despite of everything that’s wrong with the city.

Apart from the glorious blooms the recent illumination of the ancient monuments of Delhi by ASI is breathtaking. I especially love the magnificent Safdarjung Tomb but the Qutub Complex looks stunning too. Will do another post on this initiative later but sharing a few pictures.

Meanwhile as I do my art and take in the beauty of the city I love some of my work got published and  new much awaited review of Wayfaring came in.

Rhiti Chatterjee Bose, an excellent artist/writer and an old friend of mine interviewed me sometime back about my art journey.
Today it got published in Prākṛti, the page for visual arts on the website Samskriya which has different branches for social work, languages, Indian history. Feeling deeply humbled by this gesture. I owe it to all the artists I’m learning from including my son Aditya.
Here is something about who we are and our initiative, your support means a lot to us. Please share our page and help us bring various art forms and artists to the forefront. Do read the full interview on the website.

The program Prākṛti is aimed at finding, documenting and promoting all such fine arts and artists who have been carrying a huge knowledge in their memory through generations, and also, presenting in a way which can be perceived properly in today’s global world while keeping its originality intact and making the young minds aware of their proud legacy. In addition to this, the program is also about exercising the fusion/adaptation/localization of other forms of all fine arts developed in the other regions of the world.

Here is the Link to my interview and an excerpt :

“What influence has art had in your life?

For a long time, I’ve been struggling with issues, mentally, physically and emotionally. Art keeps me sane in hard times and at others, it helps me channelize my energy both negative and positive. I’m not saying it has cured me of everything but it certainly has helped me in focusing on the right stuff. Sometimes one doesn’t wish to write. Words have their own burden but colours are fluid. It’s a different sort of high, calm and serene.”
Another art related article found home in a website that posts views about Mental Health, society and  culture. Here I write about how art is helping me to cope with various issues I face in my daily struggle to live.
Here is the link – How I Use Art To Stay Sane  
Excerpt :
“Painting by hand lets me express all my anger, pain and anxiety and not feel frowned upon. My everyday painting ritual has helped me focus and gather loose ends to some extent. I won’t say it is the mother of all cures but it certainly is a grounding process for me. Creativity does wonderful positive things to the mind, body, and soul if you let it.”
You can follow my Instagram Page for more work.
In the poetry world things are progressing at their own pace. I was delighted to find an excellent review  of my book Wayfaring   in Jaggery – A DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal. 
Shikhandin  is an exceptional poet fiction writer
Do get your copy if you haven’t read it. The book is available with all online book vendors worldwide
Here is the link to the review – Wayfaring By Tikuli  
And an Excerpt :
“The poet as a wanderer. This is what comes to mind when reading “Wayfaring” by Tikuli. Not as a wandering minstrel. Rather as one who collects snapshots of experiences and sketches of mental spaces, through seemingly aimless wanderings. Yet nowhere does Tikuli come across as footloose and fancy-free. Rather there is an oblique brooding quality to the poems.  The have history and landscapes running down their spines. And then there is protest, subtle, unobtrusive, but it is there. “
I will be continuing my series on Delhi Monuments now. Do look out for new posts.
Meanwhile, enjoy some fruits of love that my consistent effort brought. This is my first crop of bell peppers. Most are ready for harvesting. I am awaiting for other produce to show up.

Rejected Poems


Two of my poems did not find a home in any online magazine. They were not considered “poems” but a jumble of words. Well, what can I say, most of my work is a jumble of words.  I’ve been away from blogging for more than one reason but thought of sharing them with you. Maybe one of you will be able to unscramble these words.

1.

Somewhere in the thick of the night between sleep and wakefulness I suddenly found myself furiously typing away on my mobile. It continued till I got exhausted and then I cut pasted it an email draft before turning the device off.  In the morning I read what my possessed fingers wrote, rearranged the words and decided it was a decent poem. The poetry experts thought otherwise so here it is.

NIGHT THOUGHTS

In my search for a home

All I wanted

was two arms

that would hold me in love,

a quiet lap for my head,

fingers stroking my hair

a shoulder to lean on

when my heart was heavy

But that was asking too much

all they gave me

was four walls and a roof

A window to see the world

and a door that kept me in

Often

i would stretch my arms

out through the window,

close my eyes and free myself

of everything that held me,

often

i would try to fly

but would fall instead

my injuries seldom showed

Once

i found the door open and fled

as if my life depended on it

No,

my life did depend on it

I had no experience of freedom

there were arms, laps,

shoulders everywhere

luring as a spider lures a fly

to make the kill

With sinking heart

i searched for those four walls,

a roof, a door

that would keep me in,

a window that was closed

unless i wished it otherwise

I wanted to hide away in the dark

Away from prying eyes

but they found me…

Every single time

I wanted to bury myself in a hole

but they would only dig me out

Instead

I was a forever drifting

between what was

and what might have been

The only constants

were the walls and the roof

enclosing me,

morphing into arms, laps, shoulders

that pushed and groped and pressed

Till i was like a palimpsest

Absent yet strangely there

Sometimes

everything was a black expanse

Even in the searing daylight

from that blackness

They would pull me in

Deeper

deeper

Until my breathing failed

until my heart exploded

yet still i stretched my arms

Trying to find freedom

from all that held me

Sometimes

hands would pull me out

only to abandon me as i held tight

then i would fall again

invisible injuries hurting so much

Sitting in this black hole

desperately

i stare at a patch of sky

I feel the sides for hand and footholds

I find a few

but my legs

Have forgotten how to climb

I stretch my fingers

Press them hard against the cold

Hoping they’ll grow into vines

Vines climb upwards

Follow the light

Snip

Snip

Snip

A sound echoes

………………..

2.

An autobiographical sort of poem written in moments of deep anguish. Sometimes this is the only way to release the stress, the emotional burden and the anxiety. My search for a place I can call my home continues, the struggle with my emotional, physical health continues and so does the constant effort to keep my finances stable. Many times I reach a breaking point and then pick myself up. Sometimes writing it out helps. A lot of people question my public writing of my personal struggles. Why do I write and share? Do they serve any purpose? Well, perhaps not to the readers but to me they do. They help me with many things and that I will keep to myself. On practical grounds writing may not helps, it may not get me a house or improve my monetary situation but it is a a stepping out of blocks that choke my mind.

There have been betrayals and backstabbing, abuse and gaslighting, there have been people who snatched what was truly mine but then one learns. It is all about moving on. Writing helps.

LONELINESS

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for being born when no one wanted me

not even me nor the womb that carried me

as I wrapped the placenta around my neck

as I tried to end what should not have begun

a son was enough to continue the family name

a son was enough for a mother to love

who needs a daughter

conceived perhaps to spite the mother

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for shuffling between life and death

a cause of utmost bother to caregivers

forced to revive a child

in almost vegetable like state

it snapped their backs and their feelings

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

            for abandoning that little pup

            on a side street many years ago

            a pup who had cried with me

            when mother was taken to the hospital

            her heart weary

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for that is all I had to call my own

as I wandered the streets after school

not wanting to go back to a loveless home

whose key hung around my neck like a noose

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for witnessing what I shouldn’t have seen

someone close and her lover

a man who played uncle

his hands reaching for places

that I was beginning to discover

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for trying to wash away

that dreadful touch

which scarred my innocence

which made me flinch away from men

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for giving it all

sometimes at will at other times forced

for retreating within my adolescent heart

as I was forced to atone for sins I didn’t commit

punished by my father every other day

the gaze of the neighbourhood scalding my skin

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

because that is all I had to call my own

my mother too busy

my father mostly absent

my brother indifferent

not much has changed

except my father is dead

he doesn’t come home every season

to replace his clothes.

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for marrying a man I thought loved me

as I wanted to love him

tied to his mother’s apron strings

he could never give enough

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for clenching my tongue between my teeth

so that no words escaped

for drinking the bitter taste of agony

as they fought for breath then gave up

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for crossing a line women in India

are not supposed to cross

better to die in the marital bed

than return to the childhood home

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

            for abandoning my sons

            for leaving them in a toxic house

            that I could never call a home

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for craving love either non-existent or forbidden

years of carrying a curse has turned me into one

though when I raise my voice in protest

I’m labelled with the choicest of names

reserved for women of my kind

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

things go full circle

a placenta wrapped around my neck

slowly and steadily tightening its grip

what begins has to end

loneliness is a curse I’m tired of carrying

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for it is still all I have to call my own

Stepping Into The Unexplained – Dream Diary


I have not updated the dream diary since almost one year. Last year had been very disturbing at many levels and I am still coming to terms with various aspects. Though there was always a certain kind of fluidity in my dreams all through the year and the nights were always live with  dreams that were more real than reality there wasn’t anything that struck me very strongly. Mostly the family members feel I sleep soundly but the brain is active or maybe I should say wandering. It is usually not connected with the daily living. The people are unknown, so are the places but there is a feeling a feeling of Déjà vu.  The accompanying male figure in many of my dreams is my elder son. Maybe because he too is very receptive to the unknown or maybe because he is an emphatic match.

This constant fleeting between dreams and wakefulness has actually disrupted the usual sleep routine but now this seems normal. Some may find such dreams crazy or even macabre but that is what makes them so profound. I feel I am always at the threshold of consciousness. I thought my long term insomnia has become a gross feeder for such events but then I do seem fast sleep to others which is intriguing. I’ve had dreams that have left very vivid impressions on my memory. More vivid than the physical reality we experience. I believe that the depth of the experience and the alternative reality is limited to select few but most of us are never able to validate it as we would an event in physical reality. We are never able to bridge the gap.

I have a strong feeling that science, society, religion has boxed us in by limiting our thinking. There is a lot that is unexplained and unexplored with regards to human brain and what we term as “real”.  It is evident that the brain does have some functions beyond what science has already examined. Society builds our box for us, we sometimes feel confined to it because we don’t want to look odd, feel silly or out of place. Personally, I love exploring and seeing what’s out there, beyond the confines of my box which is truly not defined. It may seem odd to others but to me that is  the essence of life. I don’t know how to articulate it properly but in my thinking there is a connect between the universal energies and us. That is why some people are psychic.

Every living thing has consciousness has a connection to everything else in the universe. We are all sort of wired together and sometimes we go beyond the realms of physical world. There may be many reasons for the sensed presence, intuitions, out of body experience or such other things. I read about quantum mechanics of brain and it is fascinating. “When people have a near-death experience, all that quantum information leaves the brain, yet continues to exist, which is why some people report out-of-body experiences and lights at the end of tunnels. I think it says a lot about other such experiences too. One needs to explore. Having said that, it may be the confirmation of our perceptions too.”

We all carry a certain energy within and around us and many of us can sense that. It is an intuitive quality which is inborn but many of us lose it because of the conditioning of our minds by the environment. We are programmed to think and feel in a certain manner and anything that does not subscribe to it is frowned upon. Just as the women healers, psychic, clairvoyant were termed as witches and killed since ancient times.

Some places / people drain you out or make you happy, you feel comfortable in some homes or rooms and not in others  that is because you can feel the energy they emit, it is the same with things that we are unaware of or which are beyond the realms of our understanding. The law of attraction.

There is a fascinating world out there and within us and we know so little.

I remember someone telling me that I may be turning schizophrenic or may have a neurological dysfunction that I am not aware of. I don’t think so. Some people are psychic, intuitive, they have transcendental out of body experiences.

I have felt presence around me many times but they aren’t what the stories tell us. Not shadow beings, transparent apparitions with cold air around them, mostly there is a warmth. Some may say it is dues to the lack of it in the real world for me but I have felt the reverse too. It isn’t scary but it is definitely something I haven’t experienced before and yet there is always something which can relate to my physical life.

Some life energies take more than usual time to crossover and cling to this plane. They even feed off you at times. They prefer to stay earthbound. The reasons could be many. Sometimes they choose to stay  and at others they just hover because of some unfinished business. Energy can not be destroyed, it just changes forms and it is these forms we experience at times. We are like cosmic magnets and our viberational energies attract other energies from spaces around us. I think it is based on our thoughts and emotions and our receptiveness in finding our  matching energy. Our bodies are aligned with nature and the universe in the larger sense.  I am no expert so these are my personal beliefs. I think I never fitted in the norm and was always a little bit of an outsider. Maybe wit ha little bit of sixth sense.

This post may seem like a rambling and it is that. It is a portal for discussion for you. The dreams, the sightings, the intuitiveness,  precognition in a very limited or discreet way are some of the aspect of this being different.

We were having an interesting discussion about the two simultaneous photographs I took last year in the dinning area of my house and I just felt like sharing it here.

Here is the pic and it is open for interpretation. Play or light and shadow or something beyond that ?

 

These two pix were taken on a lovely sunny April afternoon around five o’clock. I was flirting with the mobile phone camera around the house and taking shots of light and shadows. When I focused on the wall in our dinning area I was rather surprised at what I saw. The chair was empty and yet there was a shadow image on the wall. No one was in the room except me. I opened the phone gallery to examine the pic again and could make out an old/middle aged man’s figure so I looked again at the wall. Nothing was visible to the naked eye. I positioned the camera and took a pic again. This time there was no figure. It could be a play of light but I was intrigued. A dream I had day before and a discussion about keeping the ashes of dead family members brought me back to this picture. So I leave you to ponder over this and one more question, is it proper to keep the ashes in the house? Is it proper to flow half of it in the river and keep the other half at home? Is it okay to divide cremation ashes? Are these beliefs tradition/ religion based? I know about keepsake urns etc.  

I must say again that I am not superstitious, just curious…

.  

Receiving And Giving – The Healer Friend And The Magic Of A Dream


This is a very special post for me. A token of love and gratitude to the friends who have made difference in my life. Once in a while you come across someone who touches your life in an unexplained way. Someone who is a giver more than a receiver. I feel that is very inspiring. Not many give so unconditionally and freely.

I came to know Penelope and Slim Chandra-Shekar via Facebook. I felt an instant energy exchange. Strange, isn’t it, how a social network can become a channel for healing, for receiving and giving, for sharing and expanding in all possible ways? That itself is indicative that life opens up many ways to heal and to blossom. Love changes forms, negative turns to positive.

Healing works through spirit guides. If you are open and receptive distances don’t count.   Even though I have known Slim for sometime, I met him, for the first time, in June. He was visiting India to celebrate his father’s 99th birthday in B’lore and after that for three days he visited Delhi to meet friends and relatives. His physical presence was such a joy. They say when the student is ready the master appears. It is the same with spirit guides. They will be there when it is time. In that short time we spent together, I learned some meaningful life lessons, had long conversations over good food, listened to his amazing story of life transformation and how he and his wonderful wife Penelope are touching one life a day to bring joy and love through their work.

The Magic Of Gayatri

You know, sound is a very powerful medium of healing. The vibrations can actually dissolve the negative in you within no time. You just need to be in right energy frequency.  I still carry the essence of the positive energy I received through our interactions. Slim is shaman, healer, nutritionist, hypnotherapist and a wonderful human being. You can know a little about him HERE. Meeting people who are selflessly doing healing work is a gift that life brings. Apart from the love, care and understanding Slim gave me a token of spiritual love that I will cherish all my life. The Magic of Gayatri.  Gayatri mantra has been part of my life since childhood and I am aware of the immense peace and light it brings when chanted the right way. You will find many versions of it on the internet but the reason I found this particular CD worth listening is the profound energy vortex it creates within you. The calming voice of Slim, the introduction to the mantra the soothing music and the sublime rendering of the mantra makes it a wonderful vehicle to meditate, relax or just be inspired. The mantra works at whichever level you need help – physical, spiritual or emotional. For me, it opens my mind and heart when ever I chant it.

This isn’t a promotional post and I am not being paid to do this. This post is in gratitude, in love, in honor of what I received from my friend. It is important to spread the magic of Gayatri so that more and more people can benefit from it. You can let it play in the background as you work or sit quietly and let  the words wash over you. Since ancient times people have always used and still use the sound-vibration of chants for healing purposes. Many of us just chant the mantra mechanically and are deprived of the true value of Gayatri Mantra. Listening to Slim explain it with such simplicity made me chant it with intent and with an open heart. I am not a religious person but this mahamantra is a universal prayer that spiritually connects us. Frequently listening to it creates a permanent template of peace in our consciousness and even if you are not chanting the mantra it stays in you creating the inner calm. This, of course is my personal experience. I believe that we are all energy beings and we are all fluid. it is in our inherent nature to flow. If we don’t we rot. We need to keep expanding our vibrations. I don’t know if this makes sense but do think about it. I also feel that one needs to be watchful about what’s being said or repeated and this is not just for mantras, chants etc but in daily conversations, the sounds we hear and produce for they impact us in a very permanent way. Gayatri Mantra is next to chanting ‘Om’. It unblocks a lot of energies as it permeates through consciousness. The knowledge of the science and philosophy of Shabd brahm is an integral part of Indian spirituality. The Gayatri Mantra has a specific sonic pattern coded in syllables and vowels to carry the cosmic energies of sound and act as a spiritual tool. I feel that the chanting of mantras scientifically helps in healing as well as strengthening our mind-body-spirit triad. Filling us  with eternal calm and love.

When I talk of calm and love my thoughts turn to Penelope. I have not interacted much with Slim’s wife but followed her insightful writing and lovely art work on FB. I think the meeting with Slim expanded my inner horizons to receive more. I had always felt connected to Penelope at a different level. Many times I would just browse her pictures with grand children, friends, her husband or look at her paintings and other artwork and it would instantly fill me with calm and strength. Beautiful and talented as she is, one can feel her paintings through the screen. Slim and Pen are perfect examples of people for whom age is just a number. It is an inspiration that one can pursue one’s passions at any age. You are never too old for anything.

Here is another example of how the fragrance of healing comes to you. When we are open and even when we are not or think we are not, we are in relationship with everything around us. It is for us to consciously recognise and choose the positive and be in it.

Abstract Painting is one of the gifts Penelope has. She works with acrylic and mixed media. Her art has this strange calling. There is much more that what is clear. Art as a medium to heal is a concept I love. I reviewed a book sometime back where a doctor has introduced and infused poetry, music, art with medical care. It is exciting to know people are opening up to complementing and alternate healing therapies along with the modern medical care. The mind, body and spirit need to be in harmony for a wholesome wellbeing. Art in all forms – dance, music, painting, creates that harmony. Neuropsychologists believe that art and music heal by changing the person’s physiology and attitude. It changes from fear and stress to deep relaxation and inspiration, helping the person to change his/her perceptions of their world. Art, prayer, music and healing come from the same inner source of our body and are associated with similar brain wave patterns, mind-body changes. They all are deeply connected in feeling and meaning and take us to our inner resources of healing as we know that all healing comes from within.

I am struggling with a lot lately. I have a nervous temperament and am very vulnerable to everything around me. Life is challenging when you are a woman, rebel and have a mind of your own especially when living in Indian society. The fact that I trust so easily and open too soon is cherry on top and yet that is all I know. I am still learning to consciously be attentive to my emotions. To choose which emotion to act on, which to drown in and which to let go. To love, and bring myself up again.

On one such day, caught between the emotional and health issues, I had a very beautiful and life affirming dream. It was about Penelope. She came to me as a mother, a confidante, a friend. Women, I think are born healers. Some of us may not know it and hence not use the energies in positive ways but those who know, do amazing work. I have never spoken to Penelope, nor interacted with her much but still she found me as I sought the spirit who could guide me and she responded, a healing inspiration across time and space. I am a lucid dreamer and have earlier also connected to spirit guides in various forms and each time is special. It doesn’t have to be a human. It can be a spirit animal.

Let me introduce you to Gyp at this point. She was a Dingo, an animal companion of my very dear friend and mentor, author and artist Kris Saknussemm. Kris introduced her to us on FB through photographs and little stories about her and I always felt a calling. It was as if she was there, in the shadows, watching over me. I told Kris and he was very pleased. She was an animal spirit guide for many who met her or came in contact with her in some way. I often go and read this Article Kris wrote in her memory. The moment I read it for the first time I knew why we felt connected. Another female spirit , brave and wild, who was inspiring lives through her energies. Do click on the link and read.

Coming back to the dream, I shared it with Slim over the phone and he suggested writing to Penelope. I was hesitant but at the same time excited. The love I felt needed to be shared so I wrote to her. Here is what I said,

“I have been through difficult times and am still dealing with challenges, trying to bring on the positive in my life and this dream is a new beginning, new insight for me. Positive warm thoughts coming from you.”

“In the dream, You were making a painting with bright blue, fluorescent colour butterflies, fireflies etc. A beautiful scene from around where you stood. Not sure of the place but it was some lovely hilltop. I am sitting on a rock watching you paint.
The creatures you painted weren’t around us. You said “Tiku, if you believe in goodness of life it comes to you. Even inanimate comes to life.” I said , I believe you Pen, but how can inanimate come to life. It can have a different life, an aliveness about it but it can’t live like us.

You said, “like this” and as you gave the final touch to a wing of a bumblebees everything you had painted began to fly out, crawl out of the painting. Birds, butterflies, fireflies, bumblebees, the air got filled with a fragrance I can’t explain but I felt it. The canvas became white again as I watched awestruck. The voice I heard was soft, motherly voice. Something I crave for. It filled my heart. Not a shrill sound but light as a feather.”

“Wrapped in the fragrance and the sight I slept but I remembered the whole scene after waking up. I felt relaxed and the message came to me so clear , to move on, to cleanse myself of all the negative about myself, people , places. All the while we talked and I watched you paint Slim was in my thoughts too, as if validating the good vibes we shared. I loved the healing bond we formed.”

She responded with such love. A new bond was formed. She was even inspired to paint the dream and trust me, it is exquisite.

Tiku's Dream

Posted with the permission of the artist. (Penelope’s painting)

What can be more fulfilling that this? A blessing from the universe. You ask and you

receive.

Life unfolds in so many magical ways. One can only be grateful for such events and imbibe from them. That is the true gratitude. To learn from what you seek and flow with it. Heart connections are always way above the geographical distances. I always believed in this and now it’s proven in yet another amazing way.

Thank you Slim for connecting me and Penelope. For bringing to me the Magic of Gayatri, for your friendship and for the tremendous love and light you bring in so many way to so many people.

Thank you Penelope for making me aware of the immense possibilities that lie within me, for the dream visitation, for the awesome support work you are doing to touch so many lives and for being a strength, a solace and a source of light.

Thank you universe for your benevolence and for the challenges that make me strong.

For the gift of vulnerability in me.

The more we journey inwards, the more we shine outwards.

Let us create more space for healing. Do please listen to Magic of Gayatri and if anyone who is reading this wants to help Slim in making the CD available in India, please leave a note in his ‘contact me’ on the site link above.

“The things you take for granted are the things others are praying for.” Be generous with  gratitude. Be in harmony with yourself and with all.

Digital art by me. All rights reserved.

Digital art by me. All rights reserved.

Empty Spaces, Inky Nights and a Sound Cave


This is just a collection of thoughts triggered by a fabulous photograph of an empty walkway, a message exchange of thoughts on the beauty of sunsets and nights, an emotionally charged lash-out from someone right in the morning and a gloomy rain filled day.

Words explode in my head pushing and thumping against its walls to escape, thoughts stumble on each other like perplexed mass but I could not bring myself to write a single word. Frustrated with myself I turned to reading but the words became a blur. Crying is therapeutic and I was filled since some days. Suddenly my eyes became pools of hot liquid and from under the closed lids streams of hurt and pain and utter dejection with self began to slid down my flushed cheeks. For a long time I just let it all flow. My temples throbbed and zillions of electric currents passed through my head sending shock waves down my tired body. Then it all ceased. Sleep is a healer too.

Words still kept their distance. When the walls begin to cave in and suffocate you light streams in from some crack somewhere. I chanced upon a lovely photograph of a walkway and a simple exchange of thoughts and a some comments reminded me how I miss the empty spaces in life. How all the life, even in lonesomeness, I am filled with an inner chatter, how I need to calm my self and embrace what I love. Go where love is. I have always been fond of long empty corridors, walkways. They give me a sense of intimacy. There are stories drifting in the play of light and shadows.Shadows that add meaning to the mundane. I remember how I would lean against a pillar , a tree or against the coolness of a wall and watch the deeper play than that which words can express. I would imagine the people who must have walked there once, their conversations, silences and then those empty places would fill with colors, textures, sounds and smells and as suddenly they would appear, they would vanish. Leaving a quiet silence and I would stand at its threshold not moving a muscle listening to the silence.

As I saw the photograph I was sucked into that place, that time and for a moment nothing else existed. The conversation drifted to sunsets and nights and I remembered what beautiful sunsets I had seen during my various journeys. Each one distinctly different from another. Sometime a carnage of dreams and memories, a sun stabbed sky turning  from Merlot to scarlet to shades of crimson, purple, blue and bronze which existed only in the box of crayons from my childhood. As I grew up I usually found them spread across the sky. A few of those brilliant sunsets I still carry in my heart. The orgasmic meeting of sky and earth at the horizon. The shimmering snow-clad peaks of Himalayas. The deepening evening shadows, the cacophony of birds, the sweet fragrance of pine or flowers riding on the back of evening breeze, the timelessness and a knowledge that we have a few hours of solitude ahead of us. It is surreal experience that remains etched in the memory for ever.

The sunsets led to the nights. The rich hues of night sky, the changing patterns, the calm that slowly seeps into the hollow of your bones. Night sky holds a very special place for me. I find it more alive than the day sky. I have memories associated with the night sky from my childhood, from my growing years and those years in between when it became my constant companion. The healing dark, I called it.

I often wondered what pulls me to the night and realized that just like memory it suppresses the idle details. Night is all-inclusive. Everything is draped in one single color.  A vast expanse of oneness that takes everything in its compassionate fold. There were times I felt choked behind the walls and curtains during nights and it loomed large over me like a hungry carnivore ready to take a plunge and dig its sharp claws in my soft flesh of my heart. I longed to step out and reach for the night sky outside my prison , lay bare my body and soul to it but then slowly I realized that all the serenity and calm that the night brings is inside me. Nights became the blotting paper for my sorrows, a playground for my desires, a confidante for the untold secrets and unfulfilled dreams just as it has been a fairy kingdom with stories written in stars and imaginary shapes and figures lingering in the drifting moon and cottony clouds during my childhood.

There was something about the darkness I loved then and do now. Every perspective changes as the night deepens and then fades with the first break of morning light. Laying in bed  just before the sleep takes over is the most rewarding time. It is a time  when the human heart , alone and unperceived, is full of powerful emotions and surrenders itself completely to the darkness. When all that is concealed is revealed.

City nights are harsh, artificial, haunted by neon dreams and smog that chocks its lungs and yet there is a time when everything stops. When one is pulled by the magic of the night sky. The few hours before dawn when I usually step out for deeper communion with self and whats around me.

Nights spent lying under the stars on terrace during summers still makes me nostalgic. The first thing that we lose when we grow up is the sense of wonder. I remember nibbling on a blade of grass and just watch the night sky. A million zephyrs, a lonely and frayed moon tugging the corner of a cloud drifting aimlessly, smokey wispy clouds,  sometimes  just inky blackness  of a winter night descending on everything under it like a widow of the universe it mourns in silence.  Its deep horizons yearning and longing for all that is lost.

The wild stormy nights of rain armed with jagged spears of lightning slicing the sky in two. Rainy nights that cleanse the venom inside and outside. I have spent hours standing under the night rain letting it out flow out.

Have you ever heard someone play soulful music on a wooden flute in the stillness of the night? Ever felt the warmth of human body next to you on an endless summer night without even touching? Ever thrown your arms open to the sky as if fishing for stars? Even looked at the mist moving like a ghost in the night from behind a glass window. Ever stood in an open filed, a lonely beach, a moonlit desert, at the edge of a cliff jutting across a deep valley drinking in the night? Ever walked the smoke-filled, neon lit, city roads at night? If not then you haven’t lived to the fullest.

I have walked the meandering , winding roads in the hills with sweet intoxicating smell of wet pine filling my lungs and puddles dull of moon light creating a magical scene after a sudden mountain rain. Roads hold me captive but we will talk about them some other time.

I woke up to a rain-soaked day today. When you stir a dying fire there are chances of some spark turning into a flame. Some questions burn like embers and should be left alone. Relationships are complex tangled web of emotions. I watch an emotional outburst turn bitter  and pungent with rage right in the morning. With heavy heart and tear filled eyes I took the blows , scared that one wrong word may spin the thing into uncontrolled roller-coaster and it was the last thing I want at this point of time in my life.

Brimming with pain I tried to stop the deluge that waited to be unleashed. The best option at such times , and I have faced many of them, is to go into a sound cave.

This is something I learned over the time. To switch off, disconnect, choose some music with drums, guitars, preferably rock, heavy metal , turn up the volume, put on the headphones and go into a sound cave. My favorites in such times are Enigma, Nirvana, The Rasmus, Evanescence etc. I used to listen to soft melodies which acted like fuel to fire marooning me in deeper in sadness. Music can be a great stress reliever as well as an escape into another world which is far remote from the grim, heart wrenching reality. Wearing headphones acts like  insulation from outside world – a sound cave where nothing else exists. In times when the world seemed too much for me I learned to slip into this sound cave. For an hour or so I sedated myself with music giving myself time to emerge out of  the incident that shook me. I often play some music according to my mood and listen with headphones on. It is my way to kill loneliness , to disconnect with the unpleasant and to connect with the sounds and rhythms , to absorb the lyrics which may or may not really have any relation with my current situation and mood but it soothes my inner.

I realized that doing this cleared much of the blocks within me including the writer’s block.

The sand is slowly shifting from under my feet. Uncertainty is looming large. Am at the edge of desire. I tell my heart that everything will work out well but I know certain things are elusive, distant dreams that may never get fulfilled. Sometimes we are at a crossroad of emotions and all we can do is either push through the fear and go ahead with the flow where ever it takes or become a cynic and get caught in the web of “what if”s and “if only”s .

Last one year  has been a journey within. I discovered facets of me that I never knew existed. I found myself doing things I could never imagine doing in wildest dreams and yet I am still unable to cut that one thread that is rubbing against my soul and making it bleed.

There is also something else tugging at my heart apart from losing my new-found economic independence. Something which holds the key to my life.  Love is a many splendored thing. Right now , with my muse back, I am letting the universe take over. I have slipped the questions to the universe. I know the answers will come .

Leaving you with a song I love

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6qLNnxGDaA&feature=related

Photograph : Part of the collonaded walkway that surrounds the Plaza Mayor at Salamanca. Photo Credit  James Goddard  . Many thanks.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell…


The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
~Rumi
There is such a beautiful message in this 13th century poem of  Rumi. Sometimes it needs a special person to connect the dots and awaken you to realize the true essence of what you read. I have done affirmation and healing techniques like EFT etc since some time now. Doing daily affirmations has changed me from within. I am not saying that I don not go into low mood swings or do not get emotionally upset over things but I am able to get over them and move on quicker than before.  We all know that there is an energy source within but rarely do we pay attention to it or focus on it.
Rarely we communicate with our inner child, rarely we look within and look at. We find it hard to forgive, hard to appreciate others and harder to forgive and appreciate ourselves.
This post isn’t a discourse on positive thinking or healing and transformation nor am I pushing you to go do what I am doing but simple little things sometime are life changing. Reviewing life, changing thought patterns, writing a new story, letting go of anger, hurt, pain directed towards people has helped me get out of negative weak fields and given me courage and clarity to make conscious choices which are rid of guilt. I have been able to make that shift in my priorities and consciousness and feel the improvement.
Forgiveness has helped me raise my awareness towards myself and others. It wasn’t easy, still at some point of time I slip back but the moment I do I realize and make an effort to rise again. I have not been consistent in re-balancing my energies and it showed greatly on my physical and emotional health.  But, they say, when you ask for it , you are given. Something changed dramatically the moment I got connected with this thought.  Everything began to fall into places. The process has begun. What I desire is on its way and I very strongly believe universe will guild and help me get it.
Sometimes change happens gradually , over a period of time. Nothing is a waste, we have our rooting years and then we bloom but at other times it is sudden. It is essential too to release the blocked or interrupted energy and make it flow.  I have seen how effective it is in body healing.
To some it may seem silly but I have seen that when faced with something I have no answer to , I just surrender it to the universe and the solutions come on their own. May be not at that moment but they come when it is time t act on them. The problems dissolve naturally if we don not make a fuss about them.
I also feel that if you are passionate about somethings, you are propelled towards it. That great feeling of doing what you want to and doing it right becomes the motivational force. I am not quoting any of my teachers here, it is something I have experienced since sometime. Nothing can stand in front of a passionate desire to achieve something. People cooperate, co create , door begin to open, It works if you direct your energy towards what you want so much.
Someone asked me , if that is so Why did it took you so long to take a step in that direction ? I said, I did not want it so badly I guess.
Everything has its time and it happens in that time frame, you just can not hurry the process. It is something we never learn from nature, maybe because we never look.
When I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer’s  recording of  ‘Inspiration‘ among many others I realized how my desire to connect was manifested. How I was shown the path by a friend.  How I discovered one link after the other. There is nothing more blissful than friends who connect to show you the light. Sometimes you know them, sometimes  you don’t but they appear out of no where and change the scenario, they help you set the stage , to chart your path.  One is suddenly more aware and able to grab the opportunities , to see the signals and use them.
I am  immensely grateful to all those who helped me and are still helping me in my journey of life. Do listen to the recording of Dr. Dyer’s  Inspiration- your ultimate calling by clicking at the above link.
The fact that I wrote this and you are reading it confirms the belief that somewhere the universe wants us to connect and find our calling. Each of us is just a tool. For those who think this is all a gimmick and money-raising activity by motivational teachers or metaphysical healers , all I say is Never judge . You never know who opens the window for you to reach out to the real  “You”. It is all about Believing  and rising above the ego.
Rumi’s poem came as an answer to a question I was pondering on since last few months. Why do I always wake up between 3AM to 4 AM  most of the nights , sometimes half an hour ahead or before too ? We call it “Brahma Muhurat”  , a time best suited for meditation and connecting with self and the source energy from where it all began. Usually I would say some affirmations and try to go back to sleep in vain. So, I would toss and turn and log into internet or read. It just did not strike me as a calling to step out and meditate on oneself. To recognize this body clock and body rhythm and know what it’s telling.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell, do not go to bed .. 
 
 A time for cosmic connect. Time for inspirations to flow in. Its been three days since I have started to get myself out of bed  the moment my eyes open ( it’s always around the same time between 3 to 4 am) and stand in the balcony. I haven’t ventured out of the house yet.  There is something miraculous in spreading your arms to the early morning sky , breathing deep and relaxing the mind ,. body and soul in that tranquility of pre dawn.  It is a feeling to experience for it may bring a new meaning to each of us.  I never felt so at one with myself , so calm and serene within. There is this magical hue in the sky, a deep silence and immediately one closes the eyes and is inward bound.  I really felt closest to the source energy. Many thoughts kept floating in my head and with them came many solutions. I was able to let go of many of people and things , accumulated hurts and regrets from the past. The first morning I felt tears roll down my cheeks but I was not in pain. I knew it was a cleansing process.
The breeze does have secrets to tell.. only we have to be receptive to listen to them. I think this is what a fully awakened state of mind means. Each day is a different experience. It comes on its own. I have had such moments during nights, when I get this sudden drive to write something. It is a compelling force from within. The reason I keep a pencil and notebook next to my bed. These thoughts never return.
I have made this a routine now.  What ever time I wake up between 3 to 4:30 I just let go of myself and surrender myself to the universal energies. It really is helping me to have a much calmer and peaceful time with myself and others.

The Miracle from Nature: Salt


From ages salt has been used as a healing agent. It sure plays an important part in our daily life .We have seen our elders do the “remove the evil eye” ritual with a little salt taken in the fist and circled 7 times around the body .It nothing but absorption of negative energy.

Rock salt has the power of neutralizing negative energy so do many other salts. Salt therapy has emerged as a great alternate healing technique all across the globe. In India it has been there since ancient times. It was even used in Egypt, Greece and China.

A swim in seawater substantially cleans the energy body. Sea salt stimulates the circulation, removes dead skin cells and polishes the skin to perfection, leaving one feeling absolutely refreshed and regenerated. Alternatively, a bath with salt and water does the same thing. The bath can be taken as follows: If you take a shower or bucket bath, after cleansing yourself with soap and water, rub your entire body (when wet), gently with fine salt. Then wash it off after one to two minutes.

Or, alternately one can put about one kilogram of sea salt or fine salt to a tub of warm water, and soak oneself in it for a few minutes then wash it off.

The salt helps in blood circulation and removes the yin from the body making it charged with positive energy. While performing this, the thoughts should concentrate on washing away all the worries, strain, stress, pain and hurt or any negative emotion. It also increases the energy levels.

Salt is used in witchcraft and spells also. It gets rid of evil spirits and circulation of bad energies

Eye Care

For tired eyes, one can bathe eyes in warm water to which ½ teaspoon of table salt has been added.

For puffy and swollen eyes, soak cotton pads in a solution of 100 ml water and one tablespoon salt. Wring the pads out and place on eyes. Then lie down and close your eyes. Relax and allow the solution to work wonders in a few minutes.

Skin Care

Mix equal parts of any good baby oil and table salt and gently massage this mixture on your face. The salt will remove the dead cells; the baby oil will soften the emerging skin.

To soften work weary hands

For hands that are tired and wrinkled with washing and cleaning up, here is a natural healing secret which is truly effective: Salt Soak.

Soak hands for 5-10 minutes in a basin of warm water to which three tablespoons of salt have been added. Rinse and dry. One can do the same for tired feet and cramped muscles.
Take half a bucket of hot water and put a cup of sea salt or normal table salt. Dip your feet in the comfortably hot water for 10-15 min. remove, wipe and apply baby oil. It works wonders.

Space Cleaning

Some times we feel that there is some negativity inside our home. We feel uncomfortable and stuffy. It is a good idea to first air the home. Doing a salt space cleaning session helps in this condition. Negative energy gathers and compounds to create more negative energy, that’s why it becomes essential to remove them when you feel that your space isn’t quite right. Our houses are charged with electromagnetic devices and these highly charged devices disturb  balance of positive and negative elements. Use of salt as space cleaner helps revive the balance.

Ignoring it is to allow more negative energy to build, and this can impact your health, your career and your finances, and even cause depression.

To clean your space of negativity you can wipe the walls with salt or sprinkle salt into the corners of the room. Be sure to sweep up the salt and throw it into the trash outside of your house or collect it and wash it down the drain. Do not touch the collected salt with bare hands.

I have very successfully done this and seen the difference.

Salt is used to treat many local ailments especially muscle cramps, sprains, body aches etc. It is now also used in spas as a treatment. There are many types of salt available in the market like the Epsom salt, crystal salt, pink salt, black salt, rock salt and Himalayan salt which is also biodegradable. As they cost big money, one can effectively use regular table salt also.

I have been using this now for three years and it really is amazing. Hot salt fomentation reduces arthritis pain and any other joint and muscle related pain. For that use a cotton cloth maybe the size of a handkerchief .Put a handful of salt on it and make it into a pad by tying it around. Heat a girdle or an iron and warm the pad. Apply that hot pad and foment the affected area. It really lessens the pain.

In alternate healing therapies salt is used as a healing medium. I experienced its beneficial effects during the ‘Reiki’ and ‘Pranik Healing’ sessions and they are simple enough to be done at home too. It helps remove all the toxins from the body.

There I learned that keeping a bowl of salt water near the patient or circulating a fistful of salt over the patient’s body 5 times and then draining it under open water, without opening the fist helps in reducing the fever I tried it with my son and bring the fever come down from 102 to 98 degree and it also made my son relax and sleep.

During positive affirmation or Reiki session at home, keeping the feet in hot salt water helps the negative energies to flow into it.

The natural salt has lots of minerals and has tremendous health benefits. Saline water gargles can sooth any sore throat, cutting down pain and inflammation in no time. It is helpful in respiratory ailments like sinus also.

For the wounds in the mouth, gargling of salt water is recommended. Salt stops bacteria and acts as a cleaning agent, removing dead skin cells and dirt from the wound. Homeopathy also uses a certain type of salts called cell salts as remedy for many ailments.

Apart from its healing properties salt has millions of other uses in our daily life. It is not simply just a taste enhancer.

If we light the candle and sprinkle a little salt near the wick, the candle light becomes brighter and wax does not melt as easier.

Adding salt to the water used for boiling eggs ensures that the eggs won’t break.

Adding salt to the fresh water aquarium inhibits parasites; it helps fight diseases in fishes and helps those who are stressed due to body salt loss. I do it regularly with my aquarium. Salt replaces the lost sodium and chloride ions that sick fish need. Adding salt to the water helps fish to cut the amount of salt that their bodies are losing, it is like providing patients with saline drips. It also detoxifies and improves the environment.

Sprinkling salt on kitchen shelves helps keep ants away.

Put salt in the vase of fresh flowers to keep them glowing long.

There are endless uses of this wonder from nature and we can say that it is worth its weight in gold. So keep some salt handy at home to keep the bad energies away.

The Muse .. Last of the series “The light , The Healer and The Muse


I had been wanting to write this post for a very long time now but whenever I began to write somehow my fingers stopped working, my mind went blank and something told me to let it be for some more time.

I guess I have lost the link to the previous two posts in the series but then it was all beyond my control. I still do not know what to write in this post .. Is it a post about love, or is it about inspiration? Is it about my inner feelings or just a gratitude for someone special. I have no idea.
It is a time for some serious introspection I guess. I had been living in a wonderful dreamland of being a tale weaver, a poetess and imagined that I have a muse to guide me and all that .. This looks like the biggest joke I ever cracked on myself..

I am a creative writer .. Ha !

I guess I just managed to use some images some poetic phrases to pour my heart out.. Therapeutic for me I guess.. like writing a diary..

Sometimes the life changes dramatically because of some events. Mine did. They say it is all inside you buried deep and when the time comes it all flows out like a gentle stream or a rebellious river.

Someone special, Let me call him my muse, walked into my life some time back and my emotions, hopes, dreams and thoughts started to rise from the depth of my heart and take shape in the form of a blog.

I rejoiced in the fact that slowly over the last two years my blog roll went up and there were lot of friends who appreciated my writings and gave encouraging responses but lately I realized that there was a dire need for critique.. Appreciation came in abundance but I felt a void.

Going through my work I realized that most of it was mushy stuff apart from some travel experiences and a few articles on social issues.

The poetry especially seems to be going nowhere. It looks like an unending saga of heartbreak and self pity .. maybe it was the inner turmoil. I can not bind myself to rules but I feel like just a chunk of wood that needs to be chiseled and carved and polished so that a beautiful carving can emerge.

I need my readers to leave the MAS ( mutual admiration society) and give some constructive suggestions.

My muse.. well .. I will let him guide me as and when .. I was growing in his shade but now I feel it’s time to spread wings and cruise along in the endless sky..

To explore the immense possibilities and rise from my ashes like a phoenix…

when the inspiration dies, the phoenix rises, the phoenix that is in me, the inspiration I can be

all the poems I have written in Hindi and English are my gift to my inspiration. It may just be prose run wild but it helps me find my roots, it gave me courage to dream, to reach out from my cocoon and face the world out there. It taught me to love.

Talking of love …. I still feel that it is something like a spiritual experience.. I know I laugh at it myself.. such good actors are we.. mask over mask and playing each role to perfection..

All the time we engage in a battle within ourselves as if the ones raging outside were not enough.

I had decided this to be a great post but somehow it never materialized to be one..

Never mind I wanted to complete the post and I have found some good kind people who may help me learn. I am an open vessel and laugh at myself.. we are no Gods and every time it is a new experience, a new learning..

My inspiration is there in me in nature in people and things around me and in the unconditional love which was born sometime back through my Muse.

Guess I can move on and enjoy myself at my own expense and for others I will write when the time is ripe and I have sometime appealing to say.