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.