Rakshabandhan – I can do without both “raksha” and “bandhan”


Sacrilege is it?  Well , so be it.

I have never liked this concept of tying a thread for protection and there are many there are many other ways to express the love. The bond of love sounds like a business deal to me. The festival may have religious and  traditional significance in the past but in today’s age it nothing but a commercial activity.

Why do we need men to do our “raksha” (protection) ? I don’t need one. I have never relied on any man for protection. We were not brought up that way. For us the sibling affection, caring and love was and is a continuous  process not limited to a day. We never bartered a fancy thread for money and gift and an unsigned bond of protection from the brother.

Emotionally and mentally women are stronger than men and many a time these brothers need our “protection” than the reverse. It is time they tied the “sacred thread” if at all on the wrists on their capable strong sisters.

I understand that these festivals are normally times for all to get together and relax and I am not against that.

What irks me is the attitude of certain brothers towards their sisters when it comes to their freedom, freedom to think and make choices for their lives etc. It is actually more of a man – woman thing than sibling attitude. In the name of protection and family honor this “bandhan” becomes “bondage” instead of “bond” .  I never liked the word “bandhan” in any of its forms. There should be fluidity in a relationship I believe.

The protective big brothers smother the sisters by pushing them towards so-called socially “accepted and expected” norms . One can really do without this. We don’t need a gate-keeper, Do we ? All their lives girls face barriers and restrictions and many brothers just do not let the sisters decide for themselves. I find this contradictory that on one hand they check the very essence of the lives of their sisters on the pretext of protection and honor and on the other want them to follow tradition and worship them. Yes it is a kind of  ” male worship” in my opinion. Many brothers feel empathetic towards their sisters are  moved and driven to make a better life for the girls but  then it is an assurance that comes from an inner awakening and not by tying a thread. I have seen this in my relationship with bhai. We never celebrated rakshabandhan but there was always an unsaid undeclared understanding, respect and love between us , still is.

News like this  LINK   and this LINK  show how much brothers honor their sisters. To these brothers so-called ” family honor ” is much more important than the life of the sister who had been lovingly tying the ” thread of protection” on her brother’s wrist hoping that he will stand by her  through thick and thin. I find it meaningless to submit oneself in hands of someone be it the sibling.

It hurts me when I see my domestic help’s daughter getting a second-hand treatment from the family when it comes to choosing between her and the brothers. The boys, who aren’t very old, maybe 10-14 , believe that they are superior to the sister and have the unsaid right to dominate her. They get the best of food, clothes and unrestricted freedom which is completely denied to the sister and they approve of it by putting it under the cover of “protection and honor”. How pathetic is that.

Even in the so-called educated families I have seen the underlying partial attitude. The festival of Rakshbandhan is just another way to flaunt money, jewelry, a glam show.

In the society where relationships and in fact human life is losing its value these festivals seem like a ritualistic show to me.

I also think about all those girls whose lives were cut short before they could blossom. Killed at birth or in the womb itself. Those sisters who never saw the light of the day. Who stood for their protection?

I also hate this “muh bola bhai” thing which has come up in recent years. It also may have some past references in the mythology and history but in these times it is just a façade.

I don’t want to pass judgement on anyone or hurt sentiments. This is my personal view.

I feel the sisters would certainly feel more proud of their brothers if they stood side by side and considered them their equals. If they voiced their anger against the unjust traditions and customs, if they considered them as human as they are. It should not be a one day program.

I don’t wish to sound cynical but this whole business of rituals and religion and the paraphernalia attached to it irks me.

I feel in a country where female infanticide, honor killing, sexual and other kind of abuse, rape and molestation is rampant , where women are treated as sub humans and inferior such festivals do not hold any meaning.

I have been an atheist all my life and never followed these rituals and I feel good that my parents and brother encouraged me to  fight my own battles, to speak for myself, assert my individuality and un-warp my dreams and realize them.  Helped me become a better human being, a much more confident woman and a responsible person .

I think I have a stronger “bond ”  with my brother without the crutches of these “threads” called “rakhi”  and we feel no “bandhan” between us. Ours is a luminous lucid relationship. That’s how it should be.

Advertisements

10 Day You Challenge : Day 10 – One Picture


I really Enjoyed doing this tag and it helped me discover so many things about myself that I had not paid attention to in months now. Life isn’t all that bad and dreams can still be realized. Today this journey comes to an end and it is time to post one picture of me. I wonder if I will even be able to own this magnificent dream machine but I sure want to ride it once. Godji please make this one dream come true. :p

Phantasm


A vein opened and words began to flow, something  I have no control over .

Spirits, voices, callings … I don’t know what flows in my veins and make my fingers tap the keys. Delirious and feverish with something beyond my knowledge I flow. Out of a swirling black misty dream a path emerges for a while, then closes within a dream. Did I tell you I am a dreamer, a seeker ?

There are times  one needs to change the  path and move on to a different road. A more exciting road,which emerges out of nowhere and just goes on.  A  dangerous and mysterious road. Unknown, Unseen.That’s when you cut yourself loose.  Shed all inhibitions. Just be yourself and listen to silence of the spirits around you.

Am I fooling myself , they ask. Is it that I create these visions around in my dream space to feed my insecurities and fears. Who knows he reason. Who wants to know. They help me find myself.

I feel there are many ‘ Me’ inside this ‘ I’  that I am. They all reside in small little compartments waiting for their time .

We dream that is why we live or else we exist .

Someone asked me am I really what I say I am for I don’t connect with the poet me, writer me and my voice does not have the power to convince the thoughts I portray . I smile .

No, I am not that.

I have no idea who I am.

There is that Me which people see in flesh and blood but that’s just a body, a vehicle for my soul and a treasure chest that holds an unruly heart and a devious mind. I have the hell and heaven inside me.

I , is not defined .It is nameless orphan of silence.

Do not try to know me by my face or my aging sick body. It is nothing but a mirage. An illusion .

Look deep if you have eyes to see like I do.

Why is it that people do not believe when I tell them spirits and souls exist. They roam around and connect with right match.

You are plugged in with or without your consent . All is not love, sometimes you just get sucked in and have no place to run to and then they make you rise the storm , they spin you till all becomes a blur.

Battlefield

Unruly heart&devious mind at it again. Words as weapons are sharp. Loaded. I am watching from a distance. Scared of the result. This one time I trust the spirits around me. The storm is rising again. Swirling with great intensity every moment that passes. I try to see… just a blur. I know they are there. A vein is cut . I see the ink flowing like a river in rage. Red ink, the color of blood. What next?

The heart is unruly but very courageous. It bleeds so I can dip my pen and paint pictures with my words. The devious mind … oh never mind..

There is light and there is darkness. All within. There are monsters, demons and there are strong, courageous loving female spirits that ever walked in the universe. We just have to know the difference. A hard thing to learn.

I recently got connected with some beautiful souls animals and humans  each with an enigmatic aura. Reaching out from nowhere.

They just know and seek you out. Especially the female spirits. They have strong invisible blood bonds .

You break , you change , you expand and then there is a release . Sometime you reach that point of combustion and then  Nothing.. you wait .. it is not time yet.

Someone watches from behind the night’s curtains.

Some one I don’t know

A spirit which could be  manifestation of my imagination . A new birth of a crushed desire .

We take pride in knowing Love and affection .We talk about the beauty of it and yet we know nothing of it. Nothing at all. whatever you think Love is , is not actually .  Of course it is debatable .

We frown when words like Lust, passion and longings are spoken.

Hypocrites that we are.

Humans have made things so complicated.

Something life was never meant to be.

We have caged life in chains of so-called emotions.

When all it is to life is an uninhibited, unrestrained approach.

I long for that. The I that is really Me.

We are either spectators or exhibitionist and never ourselves. We are performer to please the rest and then we take our place in the crowd and watch others perform. An endless activity .

The dream catcher is meeting the word weaver and there is lots in store.

Spirits move around me. Silent Observers. Is there a calling ? Let them decide the path

I felt it again some days back.

A male spirit at my feet when I was fast asleep. Usual time around four in the morning. I was asleep yet conscious of its being there. It wanted me to get up and insisted to sit up. Shaking my feet gently. Normally I would have opened my eyes and looked for it but this time I could not . Eyes felt heavy, drugged. I did not want to take any journey with it this time ( this time because I had a feeling I had gone on one before) I just played tired and lethargic and in a flash of a moment I was pulled to a sitting position . As if  pulled by both arms . I woke up instantly but still could not open my eyes . No feeling at all, just curiosity. I kept sitting, no movement and then rolled back to sleep. Something that usually doesn’t happen.

I feel it around at times , a caged desire ?

Spirits , they show the path themselves  , they send souls to unravel the secret. I AM WAITING

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.

.

Life After Death : What’s Your Plan ?


Heaven, Hell or Someplace Else????

We all talk about where we will eventually go after death and as I was chatting with my kids I realized that all we wanted was to lead a great life on earth and let our spirit find its own destination. This is what I felt about the choice between heaven and Hell.

I never want to leave this beautiful planet. I want to stay here as a spirit and make my presence felt on the earth for the people who love and care for me and especially for those who dislike me yet say sugary things on my face and cuss words, the moment I am out of sight.

I want to be here for all those so-called priests, shamans, healers and other exorcist who are minting money by supporting the superstitions and beliefs of the masses by practicing witchcraft and exorcism. Maybe I can be reborn as a witch and haunt these scoundrels who fool innocent minds.

In India and many places around the globe, even after such development people are still rooted to age-old superstitions and rituals which make them do long expensive pujas (religious ceremonies), beat the pulp out of women for being a living witch or to remove  presence of a bhoot (bad spirit) from inside a person instead of treating his delirium and fits, clinically. Many people die due to this lack of awareness.

As a free spirit I want to sojourn among the beautiful mountains, valleys and all those secret hideouts and much desired “you will not go there ever” places.

Being a spirit is going to be great fun too . Imagine the endless things one can do without being noticed. I leave the list to your imagination. That is one more thing one needs to set free.

I strongly believe in reincarnation and also that we wander across the timelessness in soul groups. I would rather make a cult called ‘Souls on wanderlust’ and conduct soul tours on earth.

I do not want my obituary to say “so and so went for her heavenly abode. May her soul rest in peace”.

I doubt if there is any peace in heaven.

I do not believe in this Heaven and hell concept but even if I did, who wants to go to Heaven anyways? If ever there is a question of choice I would any day prefer Hell. I guess atheists are not welcome in heaven for all that we know.

Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven.

Here are my reasons for my preference.

The heaven is too crowded with people who are confused whether they want to be there or elsewhere .Most of the people there do not fit into the rules and conditions laid for heaven goers. Almost all in the list of ‘went to their heavenly abode’ list have a dubious record on the earth .Everyone seems to be heading for heaven regardless of what they are .Imagine the list of people you will meet if you stay in heaven. You could not see eye to eye with them on earth how will you survive in heaven? It sure seems like an absolute madhouse to me.

Heaven is surely plagued by chaotic conditions with a heady mixture of saints and angles and our esteemed personalities from all walks of life .I marvel at the way God must be handling that entire crisis above that has shifted from earth during ages and is still continuing.

I often think if there are boundaries and LOC’s in heaven too, for hell is the same for everyone irrespective of religion caste or creed, Heaven on the other hand is seen differently by different cultures, religions.

There are so many Gods and so many views.

What is life without a dash of color in it! Imagine people roaming around in white robes surrounded by cherubs and holy men singing the praise of almighty 24/7 .That’s music to them. Not my kind of place.

Indian side of heaven will have more gods than people and there will be continues struggle for a little space for each one. Gods dresses in fine silks and laden with gold and diamonds. A scene straight from some Bollywood movie. There will be bhang (cannabis plant leaf), dope and sura (local liquor), apsaras (women), exclusively for our Gods. Won’t that break heart s of many living there? How frustrating.

At least in hell there is no such system .It is each one to its own and there is always scope for home improvement .We can always make it a better place to live in. The best part is that I will be ‘greeted by loved ones’. As far as the raging fires and boiling oil drums go, I think that’s a publicity gimmick by those who stand for heaven, just to attract more people.

Heaven is no place for honest fun-loving people. Too many rules .Too much ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

No bars, no clubs, no adventure and no sex, no romance. The place seems to be worse than our earth. The pleasure factor is totally missing.

How we going to live man?

To all those who will say that the things I mentioned will end with the body and the spirit does not seek pleasure or experience pain, I want to ask one question.

If what you say is true then, why this over powering urge to crowd heaven? The unending rituals, ‘one good deed a day’ and that entire eye wash that we do to attain nirvana and ensure our place in heaven. Why not settle for hell or some place else? Why not just enjoy our stay on earth and let the soul take its course after death.

This discussion is endless and controversial too. I, for one, do not want to be a permanent resident of any of the two places .Though hell would be a place to come back to in case of emergencies. Most of the time I want to tour with my ‘Souls On Wanderlust’ (SOW) buddies and I am sure there are hundreds willing to join me, they just need to connect with each other. So, I am not going to heaven, see you in hell buddy. Hey do not forget to join my cult.

I already have two members.

This seems to be a great job for a jobless person like me .

Poem: Animal Inside Me


Lazily you stretch yourself

your sinews strengthening mine

O Tigress, your power runs through my veins

and the gleam of your alert gaze

reflects in my eyes

You are the mother

serene and quiescent

at the sight of your blissful cubs

but fierce and ready to battle

if the danger strikes

Your resilient power

like a spring within me

uncoils to fight injustice

prejudice, and crime

Your presence grows stronger

With each passing day

Beautiful, wild, untamed

you reside in me

We abide in healthy bounds

aware of our limitations

merging beautifully

Me as you and you as me

Wet Street – Memoir


From the window of my apartment I look down at the gleaming wet streets in contrast with trees suffused with misty light. The twilight effect is mesmerizing. It has rained all day as if the sky wanted to share my hurt and loneliness.

Now the night is slowly slipping in. The neon lights have made a pond of brilliant bluish white light around every light post. A lonesome dog shivers and looks around for a dry place to spend the night.

Shadows fall on the glistening wet street, a magical display of dark and light. A car zips pass making a splash from the puddle. The water slowly settles down again. The loneliness stretches its dark shadow over the slippery wetness.

The dark clouds have moved away leaving a cleansed night sky. Soft thin cotton clouds drift lazily revealing a yellow full moon. I can see the naked stilettos of trees dark and mysterious against the lights in valley below.

The lights like fire flies seem as if a galaxy of stars has descended on earth. The sweet pine-needles are scattered on the wet streets release an intoxicating fragrance mixed with the smell of the wet earth and tar.

I decide to walk the lonely road. My bare feet feel the cold and wetness of the dark serpentine street. They seem to be numb, devoid of all feelings like the street itself. A little ahead the street glistens in  reflection of a solitary gaslight. I seem to be the only person living. The dark, lonely, dismal, deserted wet street weighs upon my spirit and sorrow.

I try to see my reflection in the moonlit puddle on one side. A phantom like image stares back at me. I pick a pebble and drop it in the water disturbing the dark face filled with agony and pain.

My shoes make a squeaking sound at every step which echoes through my mind. I try to cut out the sound. I love silence of the quiet wet street. I stop at the turn and gaze at the winding glistening street flowing down the valley. It is time to return. Reflecting on the events of the day and thinking of how we had walked in joy those very rain splashed streets I let a tear fall and mingle with the wetness.

The brilliant moonlight had draped the wet dark street with a thin silvery sheet. It gives me a sign of hope, of a new day about to come. Of a change that will help fade away the darkness of my soul and heart just like the moonlight did with the wet street. My feet shine as I walk on the wet silvery street of hope.

Beautiful Blogger :) and Seven Beautiful Things – A Tag and Award


UmaS Tagged me and gave me this beautiful award. Thank you Uma , your token of love is very precious to me. Love and hugs.

It is a lovely feeling when  a fellow blogger and a friend sends across a little bundle of joy across so many miles.

The award has a Tag too .

So here it goes:

7 things I find to be beautiful around me :

seven things were difficult to pick. I love everything around me.

1. I love the  colors, fragrances, smells, sounds  that each season splashes so beautifully around us. The amazing variety of winter blooms, the yellow and reds of summer, the brown bare trees and the showers of golden yellow leaves of autumn , the shades of soothing greens in the rains and much more. Also the endless sky where each moment unfolds  a poetry painted in various hues by nature. The smell of wet earth after the first summer rain and the flashes of lighting and thunder and all the drama in the sky.

2. Music- When I listen to the temple bells on a beautiful morning in a sleepy little town in the hills it makes me feel calm from within. Music heals and anything which is not noise , which touches my soul from M.S.Subbulaxmi’s ragas to Pt. Jasraj or Neil Diamond and Talat Mehmood and Hemant Kumar , I love it all. On days when I want life to be extra beautiful I go for Clarinet, flute, Saxophone, even Arabian music  adds so much more to my life in may a ways.

( I also love to get charges with the new found music that my boys have introduced me to . Each melody , each note is a new discovery)

3.  Children –  These Little people are the mosr treasurred gifts that the universe has given us. I love to just watch them blossom. Every moment, every expression, thought, word, gesture is worth it. They live in their own world of fantacy , untouched, unspoilt  just like  wild flowers . I call the moment spent with these cherubs ” my moments of rejuvination”

4.  Books- Be it my Lady Bird series or the volumes of classics in Hindi and English I love to be surrounded by books. One reason I visit book stores and libraries is to inhale that musty , intoxicating smell of old books. The touch of those yellow pages and the faded covers. I love to read and I think we all have our special collectios of books. I have some very old collector’s first editions which were handed down to me by mom and my grandfather and are priceless.

4. Chocolate – Oh , I know  you all know my love for chocolate. Ranging from bitter dark to flavoured and liquir filled, chocolates make life worth living. Give me a chocolate and a book and I am happy woman. I leave you with a picture and want you to let your imagination go wild. 🙂 What more can I say. The drool pool near by feet and the dreamy , misty eyes are not helping me to write more. will be back shortly. 😉

5. Silence – Now this may come as a surprise to you but have you ever experience the beauty of the silent night under the starlit sky lying on dewy grass watching the clouds drift aimlessly or see the play of moonlite, maybe just close the eyes and breath easy ? I find that blissfully beautiful . Have you ever stood at the edge of a rock jutting out into the valley watching the  sun melt into an exquisite molten red and gold or just sat with eyes closed absolutely quite ? I bet if you do any of it you will know why I love silence so much .

6. My mom – When I look at her face I get a feeling I can not describe. Is it the old age, the spirit of life, the soft understanding eyes , the assurance , love and enrgy that flows all the time from her to me ? What is it ? I guess you all know the answers. She is beautiful within and has made my life glow with inner beauty. That’s ma.

7. Life – Life is beautiful if we open unconditionally to it. To its pains and sorrows , to its joys and beauty. Living is  tough job , most people just exisit and forget to see and feel the beauty around them, in them. I always feel that in all our unending efforts to ” live” we actually miss out on : Life” I don’t know if I make sense  but If any of you even vaguely understand what I mam sayin , it will be worth it.

I am supposed to

1) Thank the person who gave you the award
2) Paste the award on your blog
3) Link the person who nominated you for the award
4) Share 7 things you find to be beautiful around you
5) Nominate 7 bloggers or more

I think it is a tag for all the beautiful people out there. So please accept the award friends and do the tag. love and hugs.

Indivine post. Do vote