Thursday, December 30, 2010


From 2004, I've had memorable New Year Eve's. In the sense, I was witnessing something different.
Let me see if my memory serves me right.
2004 - My first New Year in the US. Watched the fireworks in San Francisco. My first visit to this beautiful city too. :)
2005 - Hiked to see the Elephant seals in Ano Nuevo SP, Ca. High fever. But did not want to miss it at any cost.
2006 - Heard the fireworks from our tent. Camped in Anza Borrego State Park, Ca.
2007 - SF fireworks from Angel Island. We backpacked & camped in cold 37F.
2008 - Quiet time in Palm Springs, Ca.
2009 - A quiet night after returning from a trip to San Diego.
2010 - SF fireworks from Treasure Island sans all the crowd.

2011 will be different. Very different from what I had in mind as different earlier.
I find myself in extreme gratefulness. Extreme joy & love. For nothing in particular.
I feel thankful to witness another New Year. So, I AM in a different place this year too. Just a different dimension, that's all. :)
2010 has been a very memorable year for me.
-Lost 25lbs of fat. :)
-Learning to skate.
-Sledding!!! My new love. :)
-A for-good move from the US.
-Entering the relatively smaller city of Calgary.
-starting life from scratch.
-Driving a SUV.
-watching my very first snowfall from inside the house. :)
-my very first trip to Banff.
-And many more trips to the Canadian Rockies.
-my very first trip to Florida.
-A roadtrip to the subarctic Yellowknife.
-My trip to the TN Ashram.
Really. Cannot ask for more.

On the personal front: I've become less of a planner. I still plan. A lot, by some people's standards. Still a lot less by my own. I have learnt to go with the flow, thanks to some people who worked hard on me.
A new me...did some things, I've never done before.
Broke a few limitations.
Had a chance to experience motherhood in a totally different way.
Met some wonderful people.
Lost myself volunteering for 3 IE classes.
Managed to find best friends after not having the need for it all my life.
Completely awestruck seeing S grow. She has been my best teacher so far.
This year has had ups & downs way more than any year in my life. I am grateful for the confusion it created in me. Thanks to the clarity I've had afterwards.
Understood how limited words can be...(but still make futile attempts to put experiences in this blog)
Truly in touch with my inner self(way more than before).
Above all, found my Guru.

I am not comparing my life with someone else's. I am just grateful & touched with what I have right now. I feel truly blessed. For everything that is around me. More importantly, for everything that is not around me. :)

2011 is a year. Another year. Of 365 new days. Which can be made any way we make it.
A Very Happy New Year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some man he!

So. I managed to read Robert Fischer's "Gandhi". For some reason, I did not want to read his autobiography(again). I wanted to read about him as a second person.
And since this book was the inspiration for the movie "Gandhi", I was able to relate to it better.
The whole book went all "Mahatma" about him. There were words that touched the heart.
"He did not want the British to have no strength to fight Indians; He wanted them to not have the heart to do so."

It may seem immaterial, but what touched me most about the Mahatma was that he was not born like one. He was a normal atman with all the crap like we all have.
In his younger years, he had told lies, got immensely furious on many things. But he rose over all of it. His vision made him do so.
What touched me even more was that he contradicted himself on many occasions. He never settled with one thing. He was constantly learning to do what is best for a given situation at that particular time.
And his blackmails to "fast unto death"...this man tortured nothing but his self. Whatever opinion I have about him would be an absolute understatement.

I used to wonder. No. I was sure. This man did not take up any post. He probably fell in the same timespan as Nehru or Patel & managed to get popular. But as the book said, his main tool was strength(and truth). And without him, now, I doubt if we'd have gotten independence via non-violence.
And, his diet...WOW! Really. Fruits, vegetables, nuts & goat milk? Call him crazy. But he walked 3-4miles a day at the verge of his 77th birthday. And he passed away one year later. That is something.

He accomplished so many things. So many. I just lost focus after sometime. Just the spirit of the man is haunting me now. I am so overwhelmed. How can someone be like this? Very difficult. No reason he stands as a statue at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
But. As Sadhguru says, we don't need any more Hindus, Christians or Muslims. We need Krishnas. Christs. And Prophets. Loads of them.
This guy lived like one.
I don't want to cry. But something is deeply moved inside. Priorities may have been altered. I am yet to wait & watch. Phew!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Ashram Life

I have had a very different notion of what an Ashram is, all along. Or I am not sure. Did I care about to even think of one? If at all I did, I would have thought that an ashram is a dull & boring place where everyone thinks & speaks of God. No one tells lies. Everyone would(should)be morally Mr.correct. Again, I did not think women lived in an ashram.
An ashram would be a painfully demanding place where you are inflicted with misery. It would be secluded from the outside world.
With all these assumptions in mind, no doubt, I would conclude that an ashram is the last place you want to end up at. Ugh!

I had the privilege of "living" in an ashram recently. A couple days only. Still. All I could think of it right now is, those few days were THE most happiest days of my life so far. And that is saying something. I will consider myself as one of the fortunate ones whose life has been blessed with many a child-like happy moments.
I will not consider myself as a religious person. I've always found myself going in that line, differ a little, completely reject it all along my life. Still, my questions were unanswered. I've debated on God & Religion n number of times with so many people. I wasn't even close to compromising with anything others had to tell me.
But since last year, I have been diverting all these questions inward. And now, at this ashram, I found a secret tool to aid in this process: SILENCE.
Everything I could not understand with asking questions, Silence is constantly helping me to decipher my questions & answers.
This place is no ashram, in fact.
It is so full of life. From 5.00 am until 10.00 pm you constantly do Sometimes, there is no time to even walk. You got to run. And those times are many. Be it working in the kitchen or doing your practices or helping out in the various activities...there was always something to do. And this one day would be so eventful & productive that I hardly thought about yesterday or tomorrow. What a freedom! And two whole meals a day kept me healthy & awake every single day.

The part of the day I always looked forward to was 4.00pm. Volleyball Time!!! The last time I entered a Volleyball court was at school. And that was a long time ago. I had almost forgot how much I enjoyed playing VB.
There was so much to do that I did not have time to talk. So, all those silent moments added quickly & there was a new me. I was never really known for my silence. Not until now.
The ashram has around 40 residents on an average & this number would hugely expand during programs. Obviously, the work-to-be-done would also increase multi-fold. But the best part is, the amount of work, the sleeplessness of the volunteers & residents would be kept unaware from the participants. They were...I was treated specially when I was a participant. It is very easy & comfortable when I was the giver. But when I had to was so difficult. I struggled. I did not want to be special. I wanted to be one among them. But then, I learnt how to accept gracefully. It was not an easy lesson, to say the least.
Of course, the obvious one! All of the residents & volunteers looked the same. It was as if they all shared a common heart & mind and not to forget "focus". No one uttered one unnecessary word out of context. So much awareness.
They are ever-loving, ever-patient & ever-ready to help...whatever work they may have. What a privilege to be amongst them!
But then again, they are not the boring ashram people too. They enjoyed sharing a laugh at every chance they got. Which they did.
Again, it is not an ashram, for any of you who have trouble with that word. It is one big joint family, only that there are no differences as it is a like-minded group.
Now, how many of us would've dreamed of such a place? I know I have.:)
That is the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences for you.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Guru Pooja

Coming from a not-so-traditional-but-yet-conventional Brahmin family, Sanskrit always intrigued me. Though I did not learn it, I've learnt quite a bit of Sanskrit words in the name of slokas as a kid. But nothing really meant any sense to me & I definitely did not know the value of it.
Now, after all these years, I have received something from a very sacred place taught in a very traditional manner. Two days of just uttering those words with others, gives me the shivers even now. This is what a Gurukulam would have been like. When there was nothing to write down. You just listen & sing(about a hundred times) until your whole being gets it.
I heard the Guru pooja for the first time at my Inner Engineering. It felt like something but I managed not to give it too much thought. There was already too much going on in the class.
But every single time I've had the opportunity since then, I would find tears flood my eyes. The pooja itself, the words, the way it is done, will bring devotion even to the most logical person. It did. To me.
When I received it last pournami, I felt a strange way. So much gratitude at just uttering these words. I don't know what the words mean. I am not interested. But everyday, as I start my day with the pooja, every single day has been different. Good different. I did not know a mantra could do this to me until now.
The magnitude of the privilege of uttering these words is still beyond me. And I am so glad they did not give out the benefits explicitly. Now I just do it without wondering if something is happening or not.
I feel so grateful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Calgary and most of the West is under a Winter Spell. It has been -20C for the last 1 week. Not so much snow, but the cold really gets to the bones unless you are dressed appropriately. It feels like Christmas already. All the evergreens are adorned with brilliant white snow. Just beautiful!
S says it is cold. She says, "winter is here". But no complains so far. I feel so gratified, though she is probably too young to complain. She loves to go out however be the weather outside.
The temperature read positive today(just on the border) & it feels so warm. Relatively.
I am amazed how I underestimate my tolerance limit. From "how are people surviving in that cold" to "It's not too bad", I feel like laughing at my own deceptive mind.
So, there is my first winter snowstorm & I survived gracefully. Will wait for the chinooks now. :)

I have been smiling at the snow for reasons unlimited. I am known to complain about the heat & now I learnt my lesson. Next summer will be warmly welcomed.
Though it seems oblivious, I seem to thank the man-made invention called "heater". The weather is probably making me philosophical, but I am thinking of the "bare necessities" for now. I sure have way more than I need. And I feel truly grateful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gandhi-the man & the movie

I think I have mentioned this earlier. But I was never a big fan of this man, thanks to my limited knowledge. I always believed that violence was an answer. But, today, when I heard this man say, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind" I truly hope I got the meaning behind his words. What powerful words & what noble intentions!!!! I dare not say so. By saying so, we can put him somewhere high up & continue to do our nonsenses. Today, the world is in such a state that each & every person should think like him. Maybe not totally. Extending out to the whole nation or the entire world may seem as a Mahatman...but we can surely extend our current periphery.
This man went on a fast-unto-death until the Hindu Muslim fight stopped. What will he do in today's world?
One Gandhi managed to get us freedom. But how many more do we need to sustain this independence?
I did not go "Boo Boo Pakistan" nor "Hurray India". Finally I have grown up, I think!
This movie, Gandhi, should not be played just on Gandhi Jayanthi(I hope they play it at least once a year). It should ring bells in our hearts every day. So much awareness. This man only did what was absolutely needed...his whole life.
I managed to listen to the interview by Richard Attenborough(Director) & it was painful to hear him say that they encountered problems shooting this film as no one wanted a foreigner to play Gandhi. I will join the millions in saying Ben Kingsley did more than he could in being Gandhi.
Reserved a copy of Gandhi-the book by Louis Fischer, which motivated this movie, apparently.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A joke

A recent joke G told me. :)

What do you call someone who talks only one language?
A: An American.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Does it happen only in Canada?

I get to meet a lot of people, thanks to the classes I take S to. The one thing that has not ceased to amaze me in Canada(among many other things) is the diversity amongst people. I meet 5 people & they are all from different countries. And yet, they behave like they are equally amicable. Like, yesterday, I met a lady from Pakistan. Being in India, I've never really had ill-feelings towards Pakistani's. Pakistan, maybe. But not the people. And I told her, "You and me talking like this...It can probably happen only in Canada." To my surprise, she told me that her husband is an Indian. Canadian now, but Indian origin. From Madras. That told me they haven't been home for a very long time. She did not know that Madras has moved to Chennai now:)
But seriously, all this boundaries, these limitations, who is stopping me from breaking it? After all, it is me who created it.
And these Pakistanis, they talk Hindi, so hell...I can even talk to them.
Is there any other place on Earth like Canada? I would really like to know.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Take Inner Engineering online

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Of all the things I've experienced in this life...anger, jealousy, love, affection, compassion, joy, misery, the best thing by far is Devotion. Shambho...

Monday, October 11, 2010


This is definitely a better movie-er, more like a documentary, real life story.
I saw one word, Everest on the DVD & picked it up. Turns out that this guy, Erik had climbed the Everest. If that is no big deal, which I think it is, here is more truth. He is blind.
Here is the IMDB rating.
The documentary goes about how Erik leads a team of 6 blind kids & their guardians up to the peak of Lakhpa-Ri, 23000ft, right close to Everest.
What this means to Erik & his team & how different do the Tibetans feel about this climb is potrayed very well.
Sabriye, a blind German woman runs a school, "Braille without borders" at Tibet
What she decides to do when 3 out of her 6 students had to go down the mountain at just 3000ft below the summit is mind-blowing. It feels right in every sense.
A must watch, I would say.
About Sabriye Tenberken. She is something.


This was the first time I knew so many south Indians live in this part of the world. There were only 2 shows. I have no clue how G picked up from his friend that it was happening in a downtown theatre. I don't know if I should call him a die-hard fan, but he enjoys all Rajni movies. He made me watch Sivaji as well. This one...well, let's see I survived because of Harry Potter. I was almost at the end of the last book & used G's iPhone light to read the book in the theatre. I would've been stoned to death if I was doing this in Chennai. That's for sure.
The first half was over before I knew it. I enjoyed the comedy a lot. Rajni makes a good comedian. His innocence comes out. Specially the first Mariyatha electro-magnetic mode. It was sooooo funny.
But I just hated so many things.
-Ash was used as a doll. Well, when was the last time she wasn't? Not sure, honestly.
-The songs did not stick to my mind or heart or brain. I hadn't heard it even once before watching the movie. And I don't plan on listening to it again. So, it is ot going to grow on they say for any Rahman song.
-Truly, I do not know the purpose of this movie. Hollywood movies are released in Chennai. Some of them are good & loads of folks go watch it. Why create another cheap T3? It so remminded me of Rise of the Machines.
-Having said that, our strong point is story & emotion(loads of movies to prove). But I do not expect such a movie from Shankar. So.
-When Sujatha's "En iniya Enthira" came out on TV, I think it created a craze. I remember watching it too. And I think I liked it. But not a full fledge rajni-like Robot.
There was some paper throwing, lots of whistling & yelling from some guys that G called as "bachelors". I don't know who they are, but they sure gave us a feel of Chennai.
I am biased. I have paranoia watching hit movies. And I am horrible with science.
I did not expect the movie to touch my heart, so I am not disappointed. I left the movie, or rather the movie left me at the theatre itself. Which is good.
I know I have quite a few companions here, but I have antagonized a huge majority. But really, just because it is rajni & just because it is screened for 2 shows, parents, you really did not have to bring kids in strollers into the theatre. I am sure you did not expect a lullaby inside.
It felt horrible to see all the toddlers/kids so sleepy having missed their afternoon nap.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

A letter

Dated: Oct 1st 2010
Dear Self,
The world is just so immensely beautiful. The sky is beautiful. Today, just a couple of minutes ago, I was out, looking at the night sky. The moon had not yet risen. But the sky was lit by billions of diamond-like stars. It was a perfect analogy to sing “Twinkle Twinkle” to S out by the picnic table as she fell asleep on me.
I am at Hay River, NWT, Canada. Above the 60th parallel. About 500 odd km S of the Arctic Ocean.
From where I sat, one of the long stretches of the beaches at Great Slave Lake, all alone, if I looked up, I had a 365 degree view. But my extended peripheral vision was a good 180 degrees only. Inspite of that, I counted…I saw 23 shooting stars. At that instant, I realized there were millions more shooting themselves out.
It was so still. OK. There were dogs howling that made me think of wolves, for an instant. But still, it was still. Everything. Including me. I did not exist. I just witnessed. Life is happening at this very instant. Life & Death, in a way. I was overcome by so much stillness that I was able to notice so many minute things. I saw many things moving. I don’t know if they were stars or planes(most not likely). I am not hallucinating. I saw them. But I did not know what they were or how they did that. I did not want to know.
Usually, I am the kind who loves to look at the stars from behind a telescope. I might eventually get one. But today, it is one of those days. I saw many stars forming various different shapes. I did not bother to know which is what. I just sat there, looking up, until I had a stiff neck.
I was not hunting for the Aurora tonight. I was not sleepy. It was dark. I was not scared. I was not hoping to do something specific. I was just there. And I did not plan on making any of the above happen.
I am at least 1500km from what I call as ‘home’. But tonight, I feel at home. Here, in this boreal forest, I am at home. As strange as that may sound. ☺

Why did I want to write a letter to myself?
I was alone in that darkness for something that felt like eternity. I was so overwhelmed. I thought, “Wish Appa was here!” for a while(I learnt my astronomy basics from him). Maybe I wished for a couple other people to be there with me. But, in reality, only I was there. Just myself. I want to share this immense beauty lest I forget it. It is very easy to get lost in small things in everyday life. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

A milestone

Today,exactly a year ago, 17th September 2009 was my first day of Shambhavi. My association with Isha. The first 40 days, for some reason, did not look like a milestone. I continued it twice even after the 40 days. And then 2 months later, I took my first trip to the Tennessee Ashram for my Shoonya. And the 6 months target was also touched. Since then, no looking back. But now, 1 year. Sure seems like a milestone. Don't know why. But it does. I am aware that there are so many people with more than 15 years association with Isha. But this is my journey. And I feel many things. Mostly grateful.
Life has changed immensely. I'd have probably missed my daily practices for about 5 days in all of this 365 days. It did not seem easy to even think of doing 2 hours of practice every day for 1 year. But somehow, it happened. Between S. Between all our travels. It just happened.
It feels like the worst of the my life is behind me. I don't have anything to look forward to. Just honestly grateful for everything around me.
I've been fortunate to spend considerable time with some long-time volunteers & fellow meditators. I don't know what I missed. But the 1 year has been quite a learning experience. I've had moments of intense emotions, ecstasy & absolute confusion. With every single emotion, the veil was removed to reveal something way bigger. From a logic-understanding person to a devout, it's been quite a journey.
One year has been a good time for me to realize that this is my path. This path, where I have to constantly be aware & alert, lest I lose the joy of life.
At this point, I don't feel forced to take up other advanced courses(though I know they will find a way). Inner Engineering alone is enough to shed loads & loads of stuff I'd been unknowingly carrying for so long. And I feel so light today.
I used to get angry for everything. Something. Nothing. Now, I don't have a reason to get angry on anything. I don't have anger in me to share it with those around me.
I don't need to get to a beach, don't need to hike 10 miles, see the mountains, watch a sunrise to feel happy. I am just pleasant & happy by myself...though I totally enjoy all of the above.
This so-called world has shrunk or is it my world that has expanded? I am not able to point a finger at.
And of course the very "insignificant" side effects of Shambhavi.
1. I've lost 22-25 lbs of weight.
2. I sleep about 5-6 hours a night I wake up with so much joy & life.
3. I have very deep sleep.
4. I am enjoying finer things in life.
5. I've been told more than once that I look at least 6 years younger.
6. I've never felt healthier.

And now you can do the same course online.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Caught my act

I owe today's post to Deepak. I was alone at home in the afternoon. Someone knocked on the door. I opened to find some kids. Though soliciting is not entertained in our complex, I somehow did not feel offended seeing them.
One of the kids asked me to buy a piece of chocolate for $2 as donation for their school. I did not even think. Just said, "I don't have cash. Maybe some other time". They replied, "oh, okay" and found his way to the next apartment. I locked the door. But something struck me. I looked in my purse to find $20. So, picked up some laundry coins & went back after the kids. Fortunately, I found them.
"Found some change", I admitted sheepishly.
The boy smiled. "Thank you", he said.
The chocolate tasted divine, no doubt.

I don't know what made me refuse the first time. I told myself that it was ok(absolutely) to buy something unnecessary for myself. The kid's smile lit up my face. I am still smiling.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


What is love? Most times, Love comes off as an expression of a feeling. It means expressing it to someone. It always needs someone to show it to. Else, it feels incomplete. Whenever I've experienced this kind of feeling I would always look for someone to show it to. It is precious. It is priceless.
What if we have a feeling towards someone & that person is not around? That immense feeling that has a desperate need to be expressed, but is unable to because THE person to be showered it with is not around.
Ok, you can call, talk to that person. Tell "I Love you" a million times. But still, it doesn't settle. The moment you drop that phone, you want to call back & talk it out all over again.
The important fact is the pleasant feeling it leaves us with. It leaves a permanent smile. You want to smile for as long as you can.

BUT again.
What if I want to be loving? Not bothered. Not waiting for that perfect person to come around. What if I am able to just love. NO. I am not talking about universal love or loving this entire world. I am talking about a specific individual. ME. After all, isn't love all about me? If I can love someoNe soooooooo much, can't I spill this love around where I live?
After all, I really do not know what is permanent or impermanent any more. What if I just love every moment of this life? Whoever comes into my life, can't I just bow down & love them unconditionally. I really do not want love in return. I just have the need to love.
If this sounds abstract, forgive me. I am just back from being in Inner Engineering & amongst Isha Volunteers. I am in Bliss.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Volunteering with Isha

I know what made me want to go to Florida(from Canada) to volunteer for the IE class.
With the IE online happening, there could be some time before this class happens again.
But I was not so sure after making reservations. After all, I took the class in San Francisco & I have family & friends there. It made so much sense to stay with someone whom I already knew.
But there I was sitting on a plane in Calgary. Absolutely pleasant & joyful for no apparent reason.
A series of fortunate events happened. IE happened. Again! And I am blown over. All over again. In a completely different way. And how so grateful I am!
Today is the last day of the class. I've been living in close association with so many volunteers.
SO many things happened. I can barely find words. So, I am not even going to try.
But I am noticing one difference distinctly. The past is no more. The future is not here yet. I am living in the now - No, not even today. Just this moment. I have sometimes tried to remember what happened yesterday. Surprisingly & fortunately, I am unable to. It may not last forever, but I am thankful for as long as it lasts.

Every Isha volunteer manages to touch me the same way. Being here, it seems like I've known these people for eternity. And its been 6 days so far.

I expected something drastic from this trip & this class. It has been quite a ride so far, thanks to a few people. :)
I was also stunned to see a 15 year old boy taking the class. I can only imagine how much his life would change.

It has been a bliss so far. So much gratitude. I bow down.
Thank you Florida volunteers.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

crossing boundaries

7.00 am. I am sitting on a plane. Alone. I look behind. Calgary downtown lit up by the morning Sun. And the Silhouette of the Rockies in the backdrop. I wonder. No. Conclude. There is no city that has a landscape like this. Well. I always considered San Francisco to have one of the best skylines too. That counts. And this too. :)
In a while I am airborne. Got a twist in the neck looking out of the window hoping to follow the Rockies. I probably followed until what seemed like Denver(beneath the clouds) & then all I know is we were 140 mi from Houston. This is the first time I am flying into IAH. And all I could think of was, "Houston, we have a problem". How dramatic!
Geography is important to me. So, I was (actually)hoping to find the border from 37000ft high up. Where Canada meets the US. But I couldn't. It all looked the same. Until Houston. But Houston was different. All of a sudden a busy airport. Too many people(Pardon me, no pun intended). And steak everywhere. It should be hard to survive in Houston. And the weather. What's with the 90F?
I was getting ready to taste the worse(or better?)

IAH. Comfortably closed myself to the situation & plugged into the iPod. Ah. My world.
The second flight. A little bumpy. We were crossing the Gulf of Mexico. The geo freak in me was looking hard for the oil spills. Hallucinations helped in identifying everything brown as oil. So stopped at that. Landed in Tampa. Rains! Not so bad. But the cats & dogs(er, the rain) reminds me of Calgary-(subtract)the cold. And the humidity.
Good to see the beach. And the pelicans. And a couple of bridges. A toll bridge. Strike of horror!
1. toll $1.00
2. Gas price $2.50/gallon. Sweet!
Add no state income tax. Wow. Will I settle here? Nah!
To Calgary! cheers.

Why am I here? Will follow. For now, enjoying the bliss of being here.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Front of the class

One of the best movies I've seen lately.
The movie is based on a book by the same name. It is based on the real life story of Brad Cohen who did not allow his Tourette's syndrome to win over him. He still lives in Atlanta, GA doing what he wanted to do all his life, Teach.
I had similar emotions when I watched the "kadavul ullame" song from Anbulla Rajinikanth long long ago.
More read about Tourette's syndrome here.

It is really wonderful to see how the 2nd grade class kids had no issues with their teacher's syndrome.
The movie gave lot to ponder about.
A wonderful watch.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Many Lives Many Masters

Definitely not "just another" book. I cannot call it inspirational but would willingly agree to say "life transforming"(to say the least). But it can shake you completely if you will.
While reading the book, I cannot deny, I started to believe what was being told, at least a part of it, but now, as I sit and write, I am...confused. All the more. And as I know, confusion is good. Better than a conclusion.
A friend mentioned that she read this book as she would her Ph.D thesis.
The book belongs to the same genre as the one I read earlier, but it goes a level higher with scientific proof. ie., if you consider Psychiatry as science.
It is very easy to dismiss the content of this book as illogical(even with the scientific proof) because the content is such.

"A life cannot be rushed, cannot be worked on a schedule as so many people want it to be. We must accept what comes to us at a given time, not ask for more. But life is endless, so we never die; we were never really born. We just pass through different phases. There is no end. Humans have many dimensions. But time is not as we see time, but rather in lessons that are learned."

This book, like the previous one I read, also talks about everything being energy. Will I be able to eventually grasp what this mystic is telling? Or maybe it cannot be told. I am becoming a big I DO NOT KNOW. And that is okay with me. :)

The author.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Code Name God

I came across this book through a friend. The name sounded interesting & hence reserved a copy at the library. I had no idea what this book is about & did not bother doing research either.
Only when I had the book in my hand did I know it was about Quantum physics. :)
The author, Mani Bhaumik, the brains behind the LASIK invention writes about his poverty-stricken life in India & his journey of getting out of that "black hole".
He successfully managed to become one of the millionaires of Los Angeles. But.
That was not enough. That did not mean anything. The book is about his journey inward. It was a page-turner to say the least.

And now about Quantum physics. I've heard Sadhguru speak about science. But never really thought it significant enough to look it up & verify his quote. Science on some level, never really mattered to me. But Mani speaks of Quantum physics & the presence of energy, only makes me smile. I do not believe anything. I do not not-believe anything. That's all I can do when things go above my head. And I truly doubt if it would make a difference to me if Science says something different from Yoga.

On a side note, I totally cherished Mani's thoughts on Gandhi. As a kid, when I did not believe in non-violence, I really wondered what this man did to get us freedom.
I cherish Mani's words, "Gandhi is not a human. Gandhi is the spirit/energy that longs for peace/freedom for ever"...(something in that context).
Now that I am making efforts to learn about this man's life, I also realize how easily we keep him up on a pedestal & make him a great man. I think he would be happier if one of us followed what he lived his life for.

Trust is very different from belief & I hope some people could understand this.
In all, a good book. Loved it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

S planted her first seed 2 days ago. She was so excited trying to dig a hole, put the seed in & pour water.
It's a given that Canada is populated with immigrants. And the Government is doing so much for the new generation.
They have art programs, gym time, indoor play area, movie days, Help me grow times for kids. And it is all free.
I learnt about this recently & have benefited greatly in just 2 visits.
S absolutely loved being in the garden. They use organic fertilizers(I am yet to find out what they are) & the parents get to reap the veggies. I picked up a bunch of spinach & mint leaves. My cooking yesterday costed me nothing, we all ate organic food & I am also glad that we contribute to the community. Next week, we will go check on the zucchini that we planted & plant some more.
From the post, if it is obvious that I had more fun, maybe you are right. I am getting to learn so much from all that is available.
Hopefully, I gather enough information to sustain an organic farm when I build a home.

S also had so much fun running around in the Jungle gym. It is similar to Pump It Up in the US. Wish they could do something like this in Indian schools.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The day has come

when I am really happy. For my Mother mostly, but also for so many things untellable.
Amma has just returned from Isha Yoga Center for an advanced program & she has been raving ever since she got back yesterday.

Amma did her Inner Engineering 3 months ago. She has been regular with her practices. And in just 2 months time, the family doctor has reduced her sugar medication to almost nil. While I wait for the day it actually becomes NIL, I am so relieved, satisfied & grateful that this has happened. She has also dropped all other medications that she was on.
She has been peaceful, energetic & happy for no reason apparently & I can definitely see a big change in her. And the way I am sharing things with her, I told her that I've never felt so close to her, ever. And it means a lot to say this when she is 60.

But yesterday, when she was sharing her visit to the Ashram, my heart just wanted to be there. How privileged are some people!
Amma has an extremely low tolerance to cleanliness. If she says, "Clean" it should be really clean. And the way she was describing how "clean" and "organized" the entire Ashram was, I was a little stunned and very happy.
I would ideally call my mother extremely logical & practical but she is also open to anything unknown. She knows that she does not know many things & has no problem in accepting it or trying to learn something new.

I should mention that I specifically told her not to take up the IE program for some reasons. But she registered(after the exposure she had with me & G) & then told me. And then she said, that's it. Nothing higher. She was happy. But one day, she volunteered for a similar program & she told me that she was doing her BSP. She was very determined about it & I could not be happier.

It has been over a year that I stopped believing and turned away from the so called English medicines. My experiences with Isha only reinstate that belief. While I don't know what Yoga does to my body & mind, I realize that it is something way more powerful than I can even imagine. Maybe I'll know some day, or may be I won't. It doesn't matter, really.
Good health is only a side effect, says Sadhguru. If the side effect is so unbelievable & truly amazing, I can only imagine the magnitude the main effect.

Frankly I am not sure if I am jealous or happy for Amma. She has done the program I've always been wanting to do & it has not fallen into place yet(for me). It is a mixed feeling, but mostly happy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A tribute

I've known 2 father's in my life pretty closely. One was mine & one my daughter's. One I know as father alone & the other, have the privilege of seeing one become so.
Though it would've been tough, I think G took the transition to fatherhood pretty well. Now, all I see him is as a father & I say this with deep satisfaction & gratefulness. And the reason to that is probably my own father. While I will wait for my daughter to write about her father, this post is about my father. The person I looked up to as my Idol; My hero in my own right.
My memories about my childhood days are vivid. I have special memories about my school, my home, all those travels up North, my astronomy time with Appa, all those books & rhymes he got & enthusiastically read out to me. A large part of this vests with Appa.
The reason he is still fresh in my memory is probably because he has affected me very very deeply. And continues to do so.
He took his work seriously. He was a professor. An Economist. Not just anyone at that. Education was everything to him. His college, his life. He treated his students as family but would never get any gift from them for as long as he lived.
He took his family seriously. He was a good father, a good husband & a very good human being. He often saw us as his responsibilities & he showed his affection through that. As a result, his affection was crude & rough; He loved his family nevertheless.
He took his life seriously. He lived a life that touched people around him. When our servant maids had issues with their husbands, they would always bring their husbands in front of Appa. And Appa's word held. My school teachers looked up to Appa. He was a learned one & behaved like one. A very courteous gentleman. Chivalrous, not so much, but that much more gentle. He would foresee Summer water shortages in Chennai & make us all use only one bucket of water throughout the year. This rule applied to my aunt who came over during Summer too. No one thought of not following the rules. Appa always said, "When I come to your house, I will follow your rules". And he was true to his words. I've never seen him lie under any circumstance.
He took care of his aged mother. But handled the MIL-DIL issues so well. He always checked on his mother, every single day as soon as he entered home. But if his mother complained anything about Amma, he would always ask her to stop it(not change the topic). My mother was a working woman & he respected her for that. He would help with all he knew at home. Never waited that Amma should give him food/water.
Amma has always told me that Appa has never let her down in front of his mother, but his responsibility towards his mother was not based on his mother's behavior.

As much as he was a silent person, he would get absolute child-like excitement when he found someone to talk about Economics or Medicine or Politics or Budget or Gardening or construction. He was all about learning. He would spend hours helping his students with their M.Phil or Ph.D thesis.

He lived his life as per his rules. I've never seen him being influenced by anyone.
And he had a short temper. The temper would go as soon as it came. And I used to be the main reason for his temper. :)
Somewhere he wanted me to be successful & like every father, he feared that I might not. My interest in sports(& every other thing) only added fuel to fire.

Times other than studies, I've really enjoyed him the most.
-Those long astronomy sessions where a jute ball was Earth, another big ball, the Sun where he showed me Rotation & Revolution, I'm sure I could've never learnt from any School/Teacher.
-I can never forget those umpteen hours spent in working on the garden. I would be so tired, but loved every learning moment with him. No one could spent one moment with him & not learn anything in return. He was so much wealth.
-Or those times, when he showed me how to change bulbs & fuses around home. I've learnt a lot about construction through him. He had a book for every subject. He never feared to say, "I don't know" in spite of a Ph.D behind his name. He brought reading into my life.
-Not to mention the "softy" ice cream he got for me when I walked for as long as he walked. Those were many many days.
-Those days he took me to the beach & got only "Cholam" as everything else was unhealthy. He was pretty excited about the water they sold in the beach. He would show me how fresh water is dug out from the beach sand that houses salt water.
-Those pillow fights where he would never let me win. Huffing & puffing for air, we'd call out to Amma.
-Those carrom/chess games where he would always win. I would always win the "Bluff" in cards, though.

Me & Appa had tiffs all the time(he would tease me a lot) & I've always run to Amma for support. And she would support me unconditionally, every single time(& run back to Appa once I become alright). But if there was a slight debate between Amma & Appa, I'd always support Appa, hands down. Amma knows this, but she is still the same. Always my support.

There are moments when I felt he was obstinate & stubborn, but those came out because of his passion.
He passed away while I was still at school. Probably that's why he did everything in a hurry. He spent so much time with me, maybe because he wanted to make every moment count. Thanks to that, so many years later, even now, I can still talk about him like it was yesterday.

It was not until I joined the college he worked did I actually know how many lives he had changed. I'd be called in the middle of a class to be introduced to someone who knew Appa well(a retired Prof, an old friend, an old teacher/mentor). I always was the pearl of all my teachers; I think they showed their love & gratitude to Appa this way. I always felt welcome when I went to the Department room. If I had an issue, that was the place I'd turn to.
When I left college as "Class First", I felt rather relieved, because that was what my father always wanted for me. I knew I made him proud.
There were times in my life when in a situation, I used to wonder how Appa would handle it & then handle it the same way.

And so, it was only obvious that I wanted a husband, who was something like my father. G has taken this journey from "nowhere near" to "pretty close". But I know I cannot compare.

Everytime I see S & G bond, I smile. I know that G would be the Hero in S's life. He would be the man she would look up to. He would be the man who always has the answers.
Everytime I look at them, I look at me & Appa. I smile.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Distance yourself

A couple months ago, I was extremely fortunate to host a friend for a couple of days. Two days spent in her presence & company is possibly the richest memory I can ever treasure. I learnt lessons by talking to her, listening to her & observing her.
One important lesson I learnt was to "Distance myself". From anything. From everything. Specially from other people's lives.
When I was told this, it hurt. Quite a bit. The situation was such. A common friend was going through a rough patch. And this common friend is very dear to me, almost like family. So, I was a little(okay, very) concerned that she would end up with a wrong decision, for her or her family. It is not one of those poking-your-nose scenarios. I was genuinely concerned.
But this friend, asked me to distance myself from the whole thing. She said, "Let her figure it out for herself". I was not convinced that that was the best solution at that point in time. But I have extreme respect for this person. So I stopped poking my nose. And guess what happened? My friend eventually figured it out.
And I was like "Duh!".
Fortunately, this friend is not the kind who says, "Told you so."

I used to feel & live other's misery as my own. I thought that was feeling responsible & being there for them. Ever since I learnt this valuable lesson, I just let them(whoever it is) be. And I know that is the best thing I can do to them.
The liberation I get when I say this is immense.
I am able to be unattached to the person & the situation while still feeling responsible. I don't carry anyone's emotions with me when I walk around anymore.
It is like living life without any judgements. Experiencing life as it is!

Very easily said, you may say. I said so too. But when I thought about it, there is actually nothing you can do to another to help them make the right decision. You can definitely not make them take YOUR decision.(It is their life & they need to lead it their way, remember?) So the only thing you can do is accept the situation. It is not being helpless or indifferent, but probably the most intelligent way to live.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

One year ago

I walked to a small temple nearby. It was a special day for the little one. A quiet moment for us. S loves to play with the kittens in the temple.
I bought an archanai plate from a vendor outside. He was the first one I saw. But another vendor, a lady, a usual(vendor) was watching this & as I entered the temple started abusing. Usually my mother buys from her & today we bought it from someone else. I reminded myself, "A quiet moment...". I patiently told her that it was not intentional(& I am not a regular at the temple nor was the archanai). She was in talking mode- not listening. So I continued my way into the temple. The temple took my mind off a little from the incident. This place is almost like how it was when I was a child. I had spent days eating lunch here.
On my way out, I had to pass the same lady. Now, she was wild. I told her, "I was going inside the temple...Do you have to be so angry? Next time I will remind myself to buy from you." What I said passed right through her. Another lady walked her way into the conversation & in the process of sorting things out, shoved a bunch of drumsticks in my hand & demanded Rs.10. ??? If it was me 6-7 years ago, I would have fought my way out of both these ladies. Somehow, I did not want to. It made no sense.

This incident stayed in my mind & I started developing horrible views on Indian's sense of religion/spirituality. Everything has come down to money. This is what I thought. And never really bothered to look around for an answer.
Two days ago, I was reading a friend's blog. It is not totally related, but he quoted Sadhguru, "we cannot talk spirituality when we have a hungry mouth around". Bharathiyar & Swami Vivekananda have also quoted on this.
Something struck me. And this one-year-old incident cropped up. It was no rocket science to tie both ends together.
They care a damn about Gods or Religion or Spirituality. All they need is something that could buy them a day's meal. And I took away her day's meal from her. If I was her, I'd probably do the same. If I look back now, she seems to me as the most honest human being. She was not being someone else. She was not trying to impress anyone.

And this thought made me face truth. Unless humanity can get themselves out of survival mode, we cannot dwell in something more or even start looking for something beyond.
The painful fact in the solution overrode any satisfaction in finding a logical answer to my inner query.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Simplifying life

This is also an irony! All through our early adult life we add things to our life assuming it will make us more complete. And after realization sets in that those accessories were the ones that created stress in the first place, we get down to "detox" our lives by learning to simplify our lives.
We have restarted our camping vacations now & it is life changing, to say the least. Canadian hotels are expensive. For the sweeping array of places that we would love to see, camping proves to be a decent-budget option, if not the only one.
Earlier, we always carried a laptop so that we could stay connected. But these days, we just love the fact that the places we go don't have access to the rest of the world. With the phone & internet turned off, we turned "ourselves" on. And all of a sudden it looks like we got new self's.

Weekend comes & goes. No doubt we end up working more than we usually do. But the fact remains that we enjoy every bit of what we do & hence only feel rejuvenated. Ready to take the routine of the 5 days ahead.
How beautiful would it be if we do only that we enjoy? Shouldn't we be doing only that? Wouldn't that be an insurance for leading a stress-free life?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My stupidity exposed

Ok! Here's how stupid I got last night.
G was working late last night. He came home after I went to put S to sleep.
I heard some sound outside & conveniently assumed that G had returned.
As usual it turned out that me slept with S. About 2 hrs later I heard some noise, like someone bouncing a ball. Wondering why G would bounce a ball at 11pm, I was wondering if I should get up. Just then G entered the room & whispered, "I came in after 2 hours". Half asleep, I was like, "whaaaat??"
Then when I asked him, he replied, "The door was locked from inside. I tried to open since 9pm & came in by 11pm. So went to eat at Tim Hortons. It was yuck! Filled up gas & came home. Planned to sleep in the car but was concerned that you may get worried not seeing me when you wake up".
And he said this with no anger or frustration.
This taught me a lesson or what...

I felt so bad. How more stupid could I get? Could I have not checked the door before I went to sleep? Would I have taken the situation in the same way that he took it. How much frustrated he should have been!

This though disturbed me for a while at night. In the morning, I asked him, "How did you not react? How did you not want to shout at me?". He replied calmly, "I thought about it & realized that you did not do it intentionally".
I found a paper near the door, "Don't get worried, I am sleeping in the car or will probably go to office". I could only imagine what all would've happened in those 2 hours.
I concluded that I had lost all privileges of getting angry on anything at all!
A very humbling lesson from G. And I am grateful for what I have in my plate as a family.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I've known some people for so many years. Yet feel so distant from them at times. Some people, I've hardly met, but I seem to know a lot about them & actually feel their intensity & pain. Ironic, isn't it?
In that context, I am thankful to the Internet & WWW. It has made it a small world. You live in some corner of the world & are able to connect to a person on the equator. I think it is brilliant. The virtual world has indeed brought the theory of all-inclusiveness to a different level(I wanted to use "dimension" but refrained).
Wherever I am, I never feel alone.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A thought

What is a thought?
I looked up. Says Wiki

I was being raided left & right by thoughts during my Surya Namaskars today. I bring back my mind. Another thought! And the process goes on. After a point, I just wanted the mind to sleep or go away somewhere.
I used to love psychology all though my later childhood & early adult life. It seemed intriguing. But today, I just did not want to learn the history or geography or the psychology of my mind. I just wanted it to go away so I could do my practices.
As Sadhguru says, "You will have to become illogical, understand what I have to say". For once, I am able to understand the magnitude of this statement to some extent. And this comes from a man who can live without any thoughts for days together!!!
Our lives these days are dominated by the mind. Definitely not hearts, for most of us at least. The fact is we do not realize it as much. And when realization dawns, it is like, "Duh! What were you thinking?"

Earlier, I used to try hard to not think. That was supposed to conquering the mind. And then I hear a man that said, "why do you want to conquer that which does not exist?"(mentioned in a different context, but works well for me here too)
And today I read that mind is nothing but self-created. If there was no body there would be no mind. Is there an answer in that? I don't know just yet.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Isha Vidhya

A friend's birthday wish is here.
And another friend donated two kid's education for this friend's birthday.
Something in me shook. I trembled. I hit my forehead. Why did it not occur to me earlier? Why didn't I do it earlier? Why didn't I give education to 2 kids? Why did I stop with one? I gifted a child her education & I felt so gloated about giving something. It probably satisfied my ego well.
And I spoke to another friend about Isha Vidhya & told about this first friend's wish. Something clicked for her & she offered to gift education to 2 kids in the next 2 months for her kid's birthday. Wow! I like this chain reaction.
The way I see it is like this. How many kids can we give birth to? I am happy with one, thank you. But nothing stops me from feeling like a parent to so many others.
And these kids, maan, they are smart or what? They are dreamers. They dream about becoming a Doctor. They dream about becoming a Teacher. Can't we make their dream come true?
If it is a moral issue, I've heard the age old saying, "Your left hand should not know what your right hand gives in charity." But I am able to relate to Sadhguru's words better, "Charity is vulgar. Only when there is no love can you do charity." That man never fails to drive a nail hard.
So, is this post about sharing to the world what I did? No. NO! I want to spread the word. Because, at the end of the day, common, it is not about who gave how much. It is all about a child's education. And we owe it to them. To ourselves.
Isha Vidhya

I cannot stop wonderful it would be if one person who reads this donated towards at least one child's scholarship. And that person in turn made another person execute...
I just saw this chain reaction. It works. And fast at that.
So, please. Please.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I got this as a fwd. Felt so nice that I wanted to share it with everyone. But that FB...wouldn't allow such a long set of characters!!!

Mommy to Mom to Mother
Real Mothers don't eat quiche they don't have time to make it.
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.
Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of carpets.
Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.
Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?' and get their answer when a littlevoice says, 'Because I love you best.'
Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade....It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother....

The Images of Mother
4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE - Mom doesn't know that, either.
16 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother? She's clueless.
18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman?!
25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!
35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom thinks about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Breaking free

For the last 6 years, I considered a dishwasher as the most inevitable part of my life!
I just could not imagine washing all those dishes, everyday. Plus I also blame little S a bit for that. "A child in the house means more dishes."
Ridiculous. No. RIDICULOUS!

But since last month, I have been living without one & I realize how my mind made me believe that it was THE most important part of my everyday routine.
When I settled up the house, I bought quite a bit of boxes & I had to obviously wash them all at once if I needed to fill up groceries in them. That seemed like a never-ending process. And how much ever the label on the dish liquid yelled, "soft on hands", I found it hard on my hands. Well, I am not used to this...not this much. That made me kneel down in reverence for all the maids that worked in our home as I grew up.
I stopped whining. I geared up with a pair of gloves & started doing the job. With some music in the background, I am actually starting to enjoy this whole process.
I am not sure how much water I am saving by doing the dishes myself. But I am sure I would save at least some. At the end of the day, that is all I need to get some good sleep.
There goes my bondage with the dishwasher. [ROTFL]

Thursday, May 06, 2010

More Calgary

Finally Settled! Kinda.
Settling so soon has everything to do with IKEA. Just a weekend in that one stop shop. God, I love the store. As much as I'd like to get a local store experience, I am so relieved when I see a Costco, IKEA & Walmart. With these stores, I know what to buy where.

This is the view outside our window. What's not to love?

I seem to have forgotten Bay area already. That's funny.
Because, when I left India to settle in Bay Area, I was holding on to India like it was my life. And every instance G showed a slight hint that he had forgotten about it, I'd remind him all about how terrible a husband he was for having brought me away from Amma, my city & my country. If I was G, I'd have sent myself happily back home. Poor G!

I have loving people back home("home" is now a relative term). I still love them. But I don't seem to miss them. Not that much where it would kill me.
I have realized that everyone has their way with life & I am happy where mine is taking me. Part of it has to do with the impossible fact that I am in the city of Calgary. One of the prettiest cities I've seen. Though I love SF, I wouldn't fancy living there. Calgary, well...given a choice I wouldn't live anywhere in the city. But the gas prices are so high that you are forced to live close to work. I definitely like my current residence better than the downtown apartment hands down.
The library system is great here. Though the membership is not free(a meagre sum), they have a whole lot of stuff for kids the age of S. And all their programs are free(S has a library card too- of course, that's free).
As I gather more information on this city(& country), Calgary is still a large town & they have a lot of community awareness.
Every small town in this large town has leisure centers. And these leisure centers live up to their name. They have a wave pool some 1000+ km from the ocean.
And these leisure center is a stone throw away from home. Of course this becomes a far throw when it is snowing outside, which has pretty much been the case since we landed here. :) Driving is not too difficult, so long the low speed limits don't bother you. Side note: We have not yet driven outside the city.

We now drive a Subaru Forrester. With the extra AWD, snow is not a big issue. Even otherwise, what snows at night hardly stays on until morning. The air is so moisture-deprived. You would need a single salary to sustain your moisturizer purchases. :)

But having said all of that, I read Bay area's temperature as 80F(in May) & I am only happy that it is snowing here. What I once guessed came true. I am a cold person. [I can hear myself say, "Ok dear. Wait until winter's near." Well, will wait & see.]

I love this city called Calgary in this country of Canada. I love it as much as I miss sitting in an IE class! Well, there's always hope.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More finds

Just fixed a new car. Then the move to the new apartment. So, would be a week or two before we start our travels.
In the meanwhile, about Calgary:

1. This city is definitely developing infrastructure-wise. Construction everywhere all the time(maybe they can do it only during Spring-Fall).
2. Calgary seems to be the hub for oil sands, internet & technology.
3. Weather is obviously the best in all of Canada. Never seen no rains here. It is either sunny, cold or it just snows.:)
4. Easy to spot a Canadian. He always ends a conversation with an "eh?".
5. There are pubs everywhere. (a quick reminder: I live in the downtown, eh?)
6. People smoke. More than I am used to.
7. People do not look that they are doing a favour by making a conversation with you.
8. Customer service in banks, offices are way better(than I've known).
9. When it snowed yesterday, we were the only people who were watching it out the window like a natural wonder. People were going about their business as usual, if not faster.
10. Volunteering is big time here.
11. There are a lot more immigrants here than I imagined. Chinese, they are everywhere.
12. Locals call this a big town. Not a city yet. You are never far from anywhere. But the traffic can be crazy. Not many lanes on the freeway(inside the city) contrary to what one would expect from the 2nd largest country in the world.
13. The icing on the cake: Canadians seem to have a work schedule. 9am - 5pm. Good thing in itself! Bad thing: When everyone leaves office at the same time, what do you expect? Yes. A traffic jam!!!
14. Apart from all of this, there is enough space to get lost here.
And right now, I am all ears for getting desperately lost. So, I am absolutely loving it here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Strings...of emotion

It is difficult to put in words what I am feeling. More & more truths surface! Another parallel universe seems to exist...or is this that one?

A yearning, to make myself useful. To grasp this entire world.
A burning desire to know what the heck am I? And what am I doing in this world?
There exists more love than is going around. A horrible feeling that poverty is obscene & I am a part of it as much as the people who are in it. It may seem silly, but by not doing anything significant to eradicate it, I am only being a part of it.
And there is no sense of modesty or humility associated. It is blatant truth.
As more truths come up, the more I realize that the truth was always there.

Dissolution of the I, making yourself a part of this world, the possibility of knowing thy self, everything that once seemed distant, illogical, unwanted, looks possible, within reach.
I can never forget my first Inner Engineering class or the subsequent classes I had the privilege of attending. If I had to thank some people for all of this, my thank you's would be endless.

P.S: I am not going insane or being philosophical. I know I am not. For those of you that may think that, please be assured. I am finer than I've ever been.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This is

around where we live now :)

Where we go for a walk everyday(notice the warning for coyotes...I was a little amused the first time I saw it)

Where S plays almost everyday - on princess island park

I haven't done this city justice through photos. Still settling down. But will post a new entry in the travel blog soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Is water emotional?

I received an email fwd from a friend that read,
"Can water be affected by words?
Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist, believes so.
And he has proof."
"Dr. Emoto took water droplets, exposed them to various words, music, and environments, and froze them for three hours. He then examined the crystal formations under a dark field microscope. And he took photographs.
The results were totally mind-blowing.", reads the email with lots of pictures of water crystals.

I looked up this guy's name on Wiki & I was a little surprised that he is true. :)
I looked up his website.
Now, from what I read, this guy is not a champ or a pro in what he says. His words may seem illogical & ridiculous too. He may not have credibility to prove his own experiments. But that does not necessarily mean that it is not the truth.
What if water does respond to emotions?
As the email read, we have 70% water inside. That makes a huge difference if what he says is truth. This is one more instance of our age old moral-science classes that the kind of words we use affects us as much as it affects the person it is aimed at, if not more.
May not be a fact, but it is the truth.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hinduism is not an 'ism'

I was a happy Brahmin as a child. Rather, happy to be a Brahmin child. It has got nothing to do with my caste. But it has everything to do with my parents. My parents were really unconventional, broad-minded, service-oriented(with limitations, of course), never-say-go to a temple(never-not-say-go to a temple either). We'd travelled a lot as a family. We have visited most important temples in India. But never once did my father or mother insist that I should pray or do any of the things they believed in(or not believed in). So, I assumed if this is how a Brahmin is, I am happy to be one. At that age, I believed you are never born as a Brahmin. You become one by your actions. Anyone can become a Brahmin. It is a way of life.

But with all the things that started cropping up as a part of this religion or caste, somewhere I started experimenting with everything I came across. I had to try it to make sure it worked for me. With time, I started to lose interest in rituals & religion itself. All of it does not make sense to me anymore.
C'mon, what is the point of going to a temple with 5000 others just to see a glimpse of a statue?(when your religion says God is everywhere)
What is the point in circum-ambulating a mountain for 14km with 10,000 others when you hear them talk about nothing but crap. I could not find sanctity in that.
It did not make sense to follow some rituals & not be able to explain its significance.
This is when I felt that religion should not come by heredity. A person should have the choice to choose a religion(as a "way of life") he wants. At least this way it is his path. At this point, I am a liberal or a rebel, I don't know. And it doesn't matter which one of the two I am.

When I heard Sadhguru say that Hinduism is a culture but not a religion, somewhere something seemed to make sense. Something inside me felt so relieved. What if it was true? What if we are making a mess out of religion(s)? I understand that rituals hold certain significance, but I am not there yet experientially. So, I am not scared to say, "I do not know".

Hinduism as a religion is very liberal. We all know that. We can do everything we want & still be a good Hindu. We can do nothing & still be a good Hindu.
Hinduism as a culture is even better. It seems a higher possibility.
It works for me!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Calgary - my first impression

It truly amazes me to know how much accepting I can be when I just don't resist. When I just let things be.
This country, Canada & its people are soooooo friendly that words fall short. People at the Federal office really don't need to please people. They don't have the need to bring in customers. Today, I had been to their office to apply for SIN card & I had no palpitations when I met the officers - which is straight opposite to my every single experience in the US.

My last name is pronounced close to what it should be & I don't feel familiar or alienated. Fewer people in a city than I'd ever see in my entire life(I'd been to Alaska in Summer- so that doesn't count).
The Bow river borders the downtown & for a change the downtown feels relatively safe. The buildings are not as unique as San Francisco, but they are not grey & blue like in Vancouver. I am not ready for Toronto, yet. And so! There is nowhere else I'd rather be now, than here.
I'd never stepped out when the weather read 4C(would never ever dream of taking my daughter out at that temp). But I did it. Today. It wasn't so bad, actually. And she loved being out. So, there's to new beginnings.

I am as ready as I can ever be to face my life with an open heart. And it feels so gratifying to say that.
A friend often says that we are not bubbly & happy all days. So, today is my bubbly day & I am enjoying it. Tomorrow, if I am not, it is still okay.
And believe me, I am still surprised at the new me. :-)

Monday, April 05, 2010

The move

Revelations about the move.
1. We were not as ready as we thought we were...for the move.
2. But after the initial jitters, I think we know this is what we want.
3. I am truly happy. I'd rather be here & complain about not being in Bay area than otherwise.
4. Isha has become a bigger part of me than I knew it to be.
5. I need a few more moves to feel more detached, but I am getting there.
6. Money is needed, but is pushed to the very last rung in my ladder.
7. There is divinity in everything around me. I have just turned a blind eye so far.
8. Help comes from unexpected corners, & such help is never forgotten.
9. People are extremely friendly here. Maybe it has got to do with the weather.
10. Me & my family are so darn lucky & I am soooo grateful for that.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

To G!

For a while now, G has been telling me that my blog has become an Isha blog. Isha has affected us as a family in such a deep way that I cannot help notice the changes.

But as I went for my usual walk with S today, I just realized how much we had grown together as people. Being the cashewnut that I am, it helps having a level-headed person such as G around with me all the time. G is never biased. He never cares what I think of what he says. He just says what he feels is right. And I should say that he has made me rethink many decisions.
It is not our anniversary, nor G's birthday. But I felt so strongly about him today. The past couple of days, he has been so patient with me, just being there. He probably would not have understood anything, but he was there, supporting me. It meant a lot, then & now. Over the span of our six years together, he has come to be one of my trust-worthy friends. Even if I know he would not agree to what I did, I have the need to share with him. I feel him as a part of me.
I would not trade what I have now for anything else in this world. G & S are my wealth.
Thank you G. I am so glad I share my life with you. At least our horoscopes were not horrorscopes.
ps: I am sure G will blush after reading this & come home to ask me all the details that made me write this about him. Sorry G, this is all I have to say! :-)

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Last week, I had a ladies night out. Probably the first in my life. We went to watch "My Name is Khan".
I laughed & cried
And sang & smiled.

For all those out there, I hate SRK. "Some" may call that prejudice :-). But it is a fact.
There is nothing unique in that guy. At least from where I stand.

I was truly open to the idea of watching this movie with the girls, though. Wonderful company where I could truly be myself.

Anyways, the movie started OK. But at one point, where Ammi teaches the little autistic boy about good people & bad people, I cried!
And that was not the only moment I cried.
For every time when Rizvan bombards Mandira with "Marry me", I laughed!
And that was not the only moment I laughed.
For the songs, "Sajda" & "Tere Naina" I sang my heart out.
And those were not the only moments I sang.
And the scene when Khan(from the epiglottis) asks the President for his phone#, I smiled. And that was definitely not the only moment I smiled.

And I find myself at sufficient deficiency to express all those San Francisco moments. I just love the city!

I will not testify that this is a good or a great movie. I love this movie because it touched me like no other & will stay with me for a long time. Part of it has to do with whom I watched it. :-)
I cannot look at the "Sajda" song any other way than the 'intense' way I'd been exposed to it last week(thanks, you-know-who). Now I listen to this song whenever I want to feel rejuvenated.
Thanks to a friend who was kind enough to send me the entire lyrics & the meaning for the lyrics. Call me crazy, will you?

I am Grateful

because, my mother got initiated to Shambhavi a week ago.
because, she is feeling ecstatic so,
because, I can already see the transformation lo,
because, I am able to connect to her in a totally different way, so.
Because I am so grateful, I bow!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I was so tired that I was not sure if I would be up until midnight. I had to be somewhere next morn at 7am & I was sure I did not want to wake up the whole night & crash at 6am.
When I turned on the webstream from Isha, I was in for surprise. The whole program kept me up, awake & energized & I found myself swaying & dancing & embracing the night to the best I could. I should've known it earlier. It was Isha, after all. What else did I expect?
Meditating at midnight with Sadhguru was something I never thought of at last year's Shivarathri.
The dogmatic ideas of my logical mind seem to get weaker. Maybe I should toss them out myself :-)
Instead of going into the details I can sum it up, "This is one day, er night that was something like never before".
Thank you Isha for the oppurtunity. Turned out, a lot of us were dancing to Sivamani's & Vikku Vinayakam's tunes. Absolutely fantastic!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Volunteering with Isha

Why do I volunteer there? With Isha?
But every time I hear of an IE program in the area, I just have to be there. The one that happened 2 weeks ago was life-changing. Yes. It was like attending the program all over again. The depth of each word said sank deeper. I am going somewhere. I know not of my destination, but I have begun this journey. A journey of self-discovery.
When it is such a journey, who cares about the destination anyways.

I have let go of(so many of) my mental blocks. I still own quite a bit, but it is probably a matter of time before I can let them go too. I am doing things way over my capacity. Me & G are juggling between things in such an easy manner(& with so much happiness & acceptance), that I find it hard to believe it is me. I am a planning/control freak that I cannot do anything without planning a few dozen times over & over again. The very fact that I am not alarmed by most things(not everything, yet) that happen without my planning blows the hell out of me.
The human beings that initially did not want to do their IE because they could not spend 30 min in a day for themselves are now doing ~2 hrs every day. It is amazing how much we can underestimate our potential!
As parents, we look forward to each morning where we can figure how to do our practices & manage the active little angel. Wow, Life is so much possible!
Every day is a new beginning. Each moment a new adventure & we welcome it with open hearts. Change is happening every day in every possible way. Instead of scorning at it, how beautiful it is to embrace it & merge with the flow?
I possessed anger for over a decade now. I could get upset or provoked at the most simple things. Now, I am able to laugh over it. "How more stupid could I have got?"
Life has become that much more effortless. Carrying myself around has become that much easier & lighter. And I did not know I carried such a heavy baggage all along.

Thanks to Isha & my Guru who refuses to be called so. If she reads this, she will know it is her. I am at a total loss of words to express my gratitude or devotion(or whatever else it is) to her. If Love is what I have for her, then I am probably belittling the emotion. It is way bigger than the heaviest emotion I can even mention.
It is so overwhelming & humiliating all at the same time.
I am not judging it;evaluating it; figuring what it is. For now I can say that I am able to experience it as it is. And it is so darn beautiful!
There is only life, life & more life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I am not a big fan of SCIFI. So my initial view on this movie was totally on the negative side. I refused to watch the trailer but made a judgement based on my short-sighted perception. How wrong? Oh, so wrong I was.
But when I started getting good reviews from friends, I started reading about it. Looked up that somewhere the movie talks about everything being one energy & how the Navi people live in tune with their world. That one thing made me say "OK" to G who was actually hoping I would turn over to his side.
Thanks again to my mother who stayed back home to watch over the sleeping bundle while we hit AMC. The crowds were all oohing & aahing. At 8pm we were in the middle of the long queue(show timing: 8.45pm) that started to take shape.
I haven't visited a theatre in almost 2 years. So seriously, I did not know if I would be able to keep myself awake & in one place for 150+ minutes.
Then the movie started. I am not sure if the 3D(or even the IMAX) made a big difference. But it certainly felt good to watch a movie on the big screen. And this movie, made me sit in one place for all that time, without making me bore/sore even for a minute. A fantastic movie & I am glad I budged myself to watch it on the big screen. The Navis that seemed "yucky" from the 1 scene of trailer I saw now look cute & sweet to me. Oh, my monkey mind. A lesson well learnt.
I learnt so much from the movie.
And these English movies that solely run on the story/director is truly amazing. Either these directors make anyone act well or there are wonderful & talented actors all over Hollywood, I don't know. But somehow most movies end up with the right combination of both. Avatar is a must see, people. Truly a fantastic movie.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Into Thin Air

I came across this movie somehow. The movie is pathetically made. The Everest 1996 expedition is apparently very famous for being the worst season ever. The movie failed to show important details behind each person. In the movie, the disaster seemed avoidable in simple ways. They made it look that each person was incompetent in whatever they were doing. A classic recipe for no one doing their job.
But once I heard that it was from a book, I reserved myself a copy. The book is by far better than the movie. Rather, it depicts the day's events & the history behind everything. These guides, Fischer & Hall were extremely unique people in their own way.
Everything seemed to have gone wrong on May 10th 1996. So many people lost their lives.
I love mountains, nature & generally adventure. But after reading this book, I had this feeling, "Maybe Everest is not meant to be climbed". Some questions too...Why do people do this? Why to leave behind their family for 2 months only to feel extremely happy to get back to them? Why suffer all that nerve racking weather & climb a mountain? After all, at that altitude, your body cannot digest anything. So, when you are on top of the world, you are hungry, tired, bitterly cold & extremely scared about getting back down alive in one piece. So many people have lost their limbs, other parts of the body to frost bite, have fallen awfully sick & most of them seem to have strained relationships back home.
But then, if they knew all this but still wanted to climb Everest, it is something like Do or Die for them. But this book made me realize that every person on this mountain wants to turn back alive. They fight the forces of Nature with so much fear & some eventually succumb to its fury.
Jon Krakauer has written this book more like a catharsis, as he wanted to get it out of his system. He was affected mentally, physically & emotionally(he probably still is-that's Everest) at seeing his friends lose their lives & unable to do anything.
This book has been criticized by many. Nevertheless, it was a page-turner for me. One of those books without finishing which I could not get to anything else with a committed mind.
Culture-wise, Buddhism is so close to Hinduism & the books details on Sherpas prove this. And any day, I would bow down to these hauling Sherpas. As Rob Hall said, "Climbing this mountain would be impossible but for them".
Maybe I should take a hike to this base camp(I just read that it takes 9-10 days). I met a man who did & he mentioned that he was breathless at the base camp itself(17600 ft on the Nepalese side; The base camp on the Tibetan side is 500 ft lower, but being in China, they have a road that gets you there)
It should be something just being there. But I am sure(today) that I will go no further than that :-)