Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

Human logic

April 2, 2014

We excrete, and then call those who clean the excreta, untouchables.
We rape, and then ostracize the victim.
We sit apathetically, and complain about the state of the nation.
We kill animals, and then pay high prices to see them.
And ….we pride ourselves on being logical and rational beings.

Not sweet dreams

March 29, 2014

I do not like the places
I go to, in my dreams.
My sadness at separation
From the beloved children
Is, while being worked on,
Hidden deep in my heart.
The sorrow of the end
Of more than three decades of marriage
Lurks there, too,
In the dark crevices of my heart
The wrongs I have done: the hurts I have caused
The many things I could have done better….
All these are not, as I thought,
Dealt with, and forgotten.
They hang, with little burrs,
In my subconscious mind.
Perhaps this is why I rarely dream;
Because, when I do,
I go to these places.
I feel, once again,
What I do not want to feel.
Scenes flash before my consciousness
That I thought I’d discarded…
No, I just seem to have buried them
Beyond the reach of my everyday thoughts.
They come out, and mock me.
Sadness, loneliness, regrets:
They once again assail me.
I wish they would not.
I do not like the places
I go to, in my dreams.

A walk and a climb in Highrisegaon, 260314

March 26, 2014

Yesterday I was far too knocked out by the migraine, but this morning, I did wake up in time to leave for my walk by 5.45 am. It was the lovely “ushat kAlam” ..the pre-dawn darkness slowly glowing into ambient light.

I went down the stairs…and it was dark enough that after a few floors, I had to go back to the lift and take that down to the ground floor. Out I walked, and with the tall buildings looming on every side, I walked along, being careful to get my various co-ordinates so that I would be able to find my way back through the Redwood Sequioas of Gurgaon.

Several things caught my eye. One thinks, perhaps, that each building is a compact “village”…but that is not so…most people living in the apartments are strangers to each other…they just share the cocoon, and the sense of camaraderie is pretty fragile. After I got no response to my third or fourth “good morning”, I stopped wishing anyone.

I went out of the apartment building I was staying in, and walked out to the “downmarket” area that I could see from the 19th floor balcony…from which the maid, who works in the apartment, comes. The area is divided by a “nullah” (sewage canal), with all sorts of filth in it, in which several huge-looking pigs (some actually having back-bristles like boars) were rooting around. What a difference between economic strata, separated by a road and a ditch! And yet, the residents of the building depend deeply on the denizens of this “pocket sector” (as one of Anjana’s banker friends in this area described it) meant for the “EWS” (Economically Weaker Sections). The drivers, the maids, the “ironwallahs”, the many domestic and menial services provided to the residents…they come from these “pockets”.

I noticed the early morning services in operation. Milk, in plastic sachets that were stacked in hard plastic crates, was being unstacked after being unloaded from the vans, and being delivered. Newspaper vendors sat in groups, with the day’s several papers in front of them, folding deftly, and inserting the various leaflets that make them a few extra rupees every morning, as well as the supplements of each newspaper. Maids and servants were walking to work, some with a shawl over their torsos, against the early morning’s slight nip. I was cheered to see some maids (yes) on cycles. In fact, at one place, I found several cycles, and the security told me that I could borrow a cycle if I wished, and return it after going around. That made me very happy!

I came back from the open road, and decided to walk along the buildings themselves. Between the high-rises were some even more opulent “low rises”…in this region of high real estate values, to have a bungalow or a low-rise building with just two or three floors must mean sky-high cost!

The spaces between the buildings were plentifully planted with trees and plants…and I was happy to see that not all of them were stunted and pruned to human domination…there were quite a few trees that supported a lot of squirrels, and birds…and as the sun rose, butterflies flitted along, too, as (did dragonflies. There were assigned walking paths, but I could walk along the entrances of the various grand apartments, and look up at the incredible variety of the architecture…some of which was pleasing to the eye, and some of which was…otherwise (“Neo-Gurgainyya”sums it up best for me.) The anonmyity of living in such apartments is, I suppose, both a comfort and a discomfort sometimes…but the greenery helps one in adjusting to this kind of city life.

I watched Bulbuls, Sunbirds, Pigeons and Wagtails; in the ditch, Lapwings looked incuriously at me; I saw a few Flowerpeckers in the Bottle-Brush trees, and did my chanting (108 names of Anjaneya, kanakadhArA stOtram, and some more slOkA), meditated in peace, watched some ladies doing yoga…by this time nearly two hours had elapsed.

The weather was just warming up by now, but I climbed the 19 floors to the terrace with ease, and was only slightly huffy and puffy when I reached the front door. I was happy with my morning walk, climb, observations and thoughts…

I walked into the apartment to greet everyone, especially the two children who are now the center of my universe. They ran to me and hugged me; the younger one showed his two teeth in a happy grin; the elder had some anecdote to relate….I was back in my present world..and I left behind the world of Gurgaon, the High-rise Village.

The first haircut, 160314

March 17, 2014

AM writes:

Today my little baby transformed shockingly into someone else. The head shaving ritual served me a spiritual lesson regarding the mortal body in multiple ways. Hair gives our bodies a significant amount of identity and character. Without any, my little guy seems shockingly different, even to the mother whose body he is still a part of. As he glanced into the mirror I saw surprise in his eyes, but there was also a disarmingly fast acceptance. As though he has a much easier time disengaging from the attachment to our specific familiarity with earthly “clothes”. I am not able to articulate my lesson today. I have a sense of loss for the mischievous little baby whose wispy, soft hair frequently enhanced his mischievous eyes by hiding them. And in that loss is the voice of God trying to tell me about the body being a utilitarian vessel, a vehicle of the soul (Side note: with hair – Acura, without – Scion XB). Hair loss through age, or treatment of a disease also seem to speak to me about the fragility of what we embrace as the manifestation of a person. It locks and limits

read the wiki entry
the spirit to that particular look. Picture every birthing center and maternity ward as a runway for the fashion designer Gods in charge of birth (most of them), and your soul is forever zipped into whatever was in vogue the week that you were born. I find myself disturbed that I am not more connected to the spirit of my own son. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to today’s actions, so as to invite myself to recalibrate.
The Wiki says: “In Hindu tradition, the hair from birth is associated with undesirable traits from past lives. Thus at the time of the mundan, the child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into the future. It is also said that the shaving of the hair stimulates proper growth of the brain and nerves, and that the sikha, a tuft at the crown of the head, protects the memory.”

read the entry

Thoughts about homosexuality

February 27, 2014

Homosexuality has been around for as long as humanity has. Hominids and other primates exhibit it, too. As a naturalist, I find it prevalent in many other species as well. It’s only human beings who see the need to attribute moral values to certain forms of behaviour.

Heterosexual behaviour shades from rape,abuse, and casual sex on one side of the spectrum to committed, loving, long-standing relationships on the other. In my experience…so, too, does homosexual behaviour.

I feel that any behaviour (of any kind) that harms others is morally and ethically repugnant. But any expression of love between two consenting adults (of any kind) cannot be bad. Love is so difficult to find, why abominate any form of its expression?

And if we think that gays or lesbians do not exist in India, we are putting our heads in the sand.

I feel that life would be simpler if we accepted people as they are, without worrying about who they are sleeping with, or judging them for it. It’s always comforting to adopt a moral high ground upon which we stand and condemn others…but life would be simpler if we accepted our fellow human-beings as they are…and condemn only behaviour that harms others.

Well, that’s my opinion, and I understand that there will be many people whose views differ diametrically…or to different degrees.

Thank you for making me think about this, and articulating my thoughts!

Reading poetry in solitude….

February 24, 2014

These words occurred to me:

छोटे शब्द , और उनमें कितनी गहराईया। छोटे पल , और उनमें कितनी तन्हाईयाँ।

chhotE shabd, aur unmEn kitnI gehrAyiyAn. chhOtE pal, aur unmEn kitnI tanhAyiyAn…

In Tamizh: சின்ன வார்த்தைகளில் எத்தனை அர்த்தங்கள் . சின்ன கணங்களில் எத்தனை தனிமைகள்

chinna vArthaigaLil etthanai arthangaL. china kaNaNgaLil ethhanai thanimaigaL.

Both mean…

The depths in small words, the solitudes in small moments…

sun in the clouds 310509 sten photo IMG_1116.jpg

Peace and quiet

February 21, 2014

I thought it must be lovely to rest, with the winds from the field blowing one’s way, the sun shining around, and open to the elements:


When the colours are washed out, it’s not monotony, but a serene, peaceful monochrome.


But then, I felt that the departed soul might mingle with the Everlasting, and might not identify with just one spot. The memorial is not for those who are gone, but for those in whose memories the departed live..

When sight begins to falter…

February 17, 2014

I’ve been having sudden flashes of “light” at the periphery of my vision; as I’d received a warning from my opthalmologist, in 2012, to go to him if ever it happened, I went immediately.

Yes, there has been retinal detachment in my right eye, but luckiy, it’s not accompanied by a tear, so it does not require surgery. However, there are developing cataracts in both eyes (a very slow growth process, though) and I have been advised a surgical procedure to dissolve and remove them.

I have been noticing just a slight lessening in the clarity of my vision over the past year, and difficulty in low-light situations.

I am now getting my insurance papers in order (quite a long and daunting task in India!) and seeing if I am eligible to claim insurance for this procedure. But meanwhile, I was pondering on how life might be if, instead, I had been told that I had a progressive condition that would lead to my blindness.


cortical homunculus

shows the amount of information about the world that we derive from our various senses, and parts of the body…the eye, and sight, play a major part in our sensory inputs.

I remember, while doing a training program for teaching blind and low-vision people, having an Orientation and Mobility session where we were blindfolded and asked to reach the main road, from the venue (Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind) where the training program was being held. The main road! Most of us couldn’t even make it down the stairs to the ground floor from our classroom, without falling several times, and suffering deep trauma about our ability to manage, and getting quite disoriented.

Everyone glibly claims that “those who are deprived of sight develop the other senses to a remarkable degree” but surely this cannot be true of every single person who loses sight…so I wonder how the world, and life, would change without the magic of sight. I am able to shrug my very slight discomfort off…but what must it be like for a person who knows that s/he will lose the ability to see?

It makes me grateful, all over again, for the wonderful gift of having a body and mind which are “normal” and do not need constant care. My thoughts go out to those who have to get along without one (or more) of their senses.

Pushcart vendor, Manipal, 090214

February 10, 2014

I first saw the pushcart in the evening glow.


The sun passed through the bottles, setting them alight.


Who was buying? Were they buying the liquid, or the light?


At night, the colours, instead of melting into the darkness, were even more vivid:


Together in the wilderness

January 6, 2014


The King and Queen lay together
In the mud and grass.
In their separation from the pack…
The loss of their subjects…
They were still united
Perhaps, these royal Spades
Will dig up the ground
And sow the seeds
Of a new kingdom.
Togetherness is beautiful to see
In the middle of adversity.
In death they were not divided:
They seem to say
That if two heads are better than one,
Surely, four heads are better than two.


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