Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

Chandra, and hope

December 11, 2019

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It seems but a few days ago, O Moon,
That I saw you wasting away to nothing.
Yet here you are, sailing serenely in the clouds,
Smiling at the earth, and at those who see you.
When I am troubled, I should think of you:
After waning, you will wax again to fullness,
Bringing the shining light of eternal hope
To us mortals on Earth.

On our own…

November 17, 2019

We are supported, buoyed up
By friends, family…
But for many, many things,
We are on our own,
Though we may not be alone.
No one can bear the pain of my body
Except me;
No one can help me walk, limping, once again,
Determined to get back my ability to walk everywhere.
No one can take away the sorrow in my heart
That the random events of life fill it with;
I can express some of it to others,
But in the dead of night,
In the small hours when the body and mind
Are at their lowest ebb,
It is I who must bear it.
My sorrow at an insult I have suffered;
My sadness at some hurt I have caused:
Recollections of things I could have done better:
Many are the burdens, often secret
That I must carry myself.
Learning to set them down,
And laugh in spite of them,
Is growing up as a human being:
This, too, I must do on my own.
You may hold my hand, you may even hold my heart..
.But in the secret, innermost chambers of my being,
I am in solitude, and on my own…
And this is true of everyone.

My daughter’s thoughts, as a prayer before starting work.

September 22, 2019

*Factory Daily Meetings*
{It only took 3 minutes to deliver all this verbally in Tamil. Perhaps the language is just more efficient}

We have resumed these sunset and sunrise meetings and they need to happen every day.
It only needs to be 5 minutes, but in these 5 minutes we shall set the intention for our day, our shift, our work.
This is not a company where you just come to earn a salary and go unaffected by what you do.
You give 10 hours to the company every day.
We want every one to feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in what they do. Every day.
Take these meetings as a prayer with which to start and end your work.

Look at your hands.
Put your hands out and look at your palms.
These are your God given hands.
With these hands you can do great good or great harm.
With these hands you can respect or reject people or anything you touch.
Look at your hands for at least 10 seconds today. And every time you come to these meetings.
Let us use our hands to do great good.
To do the best that we can do with these hands.
What we do in these 10 hours and beyond depends on our hands.
Let us use them as wisely and as well as we can.

The products you make are your children.
Don’t orphan them, don’t disfigure them, don’t leave them nameless and tagless.
Treat them with love and respect for they are your present and your future.
Shape them with your hands to feel a sense of pride and satisfaction.
Each day as you complete your work, you should be proud of the whole hearted honesty that you have put in.

Our pride doesn’t extend only 1 foot around us.
It extends to encompass our coworkers, our areas, the whole company.
We want this pride to extend to everyone’s homes and lives.
Keep your area clean, keep the entire premises clean and take your discipline and learning home.
When you invite your mother to your workplace you should feel pride, not have her coming to clean up after you. On any day, every day.

Our pride, our positivity, our satisfaction is not ours alone.
We are a family and we are all interconnected.
Our energy affects everyone’s energy.
If one of us gets hurt, all of us are hurt.
If one of us has an an accident on the way home, it makes all of us feel vulnerable.
If one of us thinks negatively, it can sour all of us.
But on the other hand if we each focus, take pride and look to be happy with our 10 hours of effort, then it raises the energy for us all.
Let us make this a happy family that we are all proud to belong to.

Every day, at least once at the start of the shift let us remember these things and create a day that we want.
Let us look at our hands and remember to use them as well as we can.
Let us use these meetings as a prayer.
To create a day where we feel pride and satisfaction.
Every day.

My daughter, 300819

August 30, 2019

She was a helpless, mewling little scrap when I first saw her. She’s now grown into an independent adult. We laugh (and hopelessly giggle) at a lot of things together. There are many things on which we don’t see eye to eye, too. Once in a while the disagreement gets heated. Sometimes she thinks I am criticizing her, and sometimes I feel she is too critical of what I think or do….neither of us is a conventional person.

But through all of it runs the bedrock of deep affection and mutual respect. She’s stood by me through the worst moments of my life, not been judgemental, accepted me as a person in all my facets..good,bad and ugly. She’s wise beyond her years, and a very good mother (in fact, I sadly think she’s a much better mother than I ever was.) She did a lot of her growing up far away from me…but the UC (Umbilical Cord) is strong.

It’s just an ordinary day, but I join many other mothers who love their daughters deeply and unconditionally. If I’d gone to a supermarket to select a daughter, I could not have done better than the model I’ve got.

And if she makes another crack about Nityananda after she reads this I will kidnap her children.

Kitchen musings

July 10, 2019

On Monday, I was chopping the spinach the workers in the field gave us on Sunday. They gave us a big bunch and wouldn’t take money for it, so we divided up the bunch between ourselves.

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As I chop, I muse on the fact that all this respectable-looking amount will boil down to just a few teaspoonfuls. So, too, it is with ambitions and desires….the overwhelming, dominating aims and longings of today will melt down into tiny, insignificant things, in the entirety of life. And like the spinach, other wants and needs and must-haves will take their place!

Every day heroism

June 13, 2019

In the past week, I have spent time with: someone bravely going through a painful divorce, someone recovering from a stroke, that someone’s daughter who’s taken the load on her shoulders, someone who’s taken care of his father and family through the father’s severe illness, and struggled to get ahead in academics (and succeeded in both), someone who’s been swindled by family members, and is trying to bounce back, someone whose children may lose their vision, someone who is dealing with a spouse’s cancer..and perhaps others whose secret trials and burdens I will never know.

Heroes? I walk among them.They are everywhere, my every single day heroes and heroines. Everyday bravery, that is silent, is the toughest bravery of all.

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Mr Gay India

April 25, 2019

My friends Stephen and Gordon sent me this link to Franklin’s interview of Samarpan Maiti:

http://www.khabar.com/…/mr-gay-india-samarpan-maiti-breaks-…

My response to them:

Samarpan comes across as such an honest person. The social stigma across the spectrum continues, since the British infected us with their Victorian prudery and morals. Somehow, I feel, before the British came over, we were far more accepting of all kinds of orientations.

I have gay friends here who are still very much “in the closet” or who are open but oh so prickly (er, rather a terrible word to use!) about themselves; I have one friend who finally moved to Germany, married and who says he will not return to India to live, because of the difference in the attitudes of acceptance. I do not know even one woman who is openly gay. Apparently they do not exist….not in my middle-class world, anyway.

In India, we actually go a few steps further. Open expressions of heterosexuality are also frowned upon (except in urban pockets). The front of the bus is for only women and the back of the bus is for men. (I am not joking.) We like to pretend that sex, of any kind, does not exist…our storks are overworked … bringing all those billions of babies to our country!

Looking forward to animated discussions when you come here. Hugs to all of you, since you are all in the US right now! Steve, Gordon, following all your posts on FB, and I wish I could attend the events on Vashon! …and I follow Franklin’s posts on FB, too…I enjoy his sense of humour very much.

Franklin, thank you for a well-conducted and articulately-written interview.

The 64 squares of war

February 27, 2019

In every chess game, it is the pawns who get sacrificed first, and then, maybe, some of the others up the heirarchy.
The kings remain, stodgily moving, perhaps, a square or two…and the game ends before any king can be slain. We mourn our soldiers, and similarly, the other country will also mourn its brave soldiers.
As for the terrorist training camps…I weep for the poor youths who are brainwashed by evil ones. It is the evil that must be wiped out, and it is the youth that get wiped out instead….these are my thoughts on the 64 squares of war.

Why I like FaceBook

December 14, 2018

Here I dip into someone’s thought.
There I see what someone’s bought.
I admire someone’s photograph.
I wish someone would cut their rant in half.
Read someone’s movie review.
Muse on someone’s political hue.
I tarry over someone’s art;
Someone’s music, that is a class apart.
Satisfied, I go to bed.
My friends…you fill up most of my head!
I’ll be back again tomorrow.
To check on you, in smiles or sorrow.
A lovely way to look and see
What’s up with you…. on FB!

When does old age begin?

October 24, 2018

I turned 64 yesterday, and was musing on what old age is, and when it begins.

Certainly, as I grew up, the horizons of old age shifted. In my childhood, 60 was an unimaginable old age, and life expectancy being what was in India then, a man who turned 60 would have a big ceremony to mark the occasion.

When I first started travelling abroad, I was much struck by the fact that people in the “developed” countries of the west…and many people in eastern countries…seemed to be hale and healthy at what I considered an advanced age. The trains I took in Switzerland were full of 80 year olds, having a good time as they enjoyed the relaxation of a life after work and career.

Of my immediate family, my parents both died at 66, and my mother in law at 59. None of my parents’ siblings made it beyond 70. My father-in-law an inveterate walker and cyclist, lived up to 87, but it was dependent and sick old age for the last few years, after a series of strokes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s took their toll on his physical and mental health.

In spite of all that, the increase in the average life expectancy began to reflect in many other extended family members and friends. As I grew old, 50 became the new 40, and now, 60 took up the same position too. I have friends’ parents who are in their eighties, living independently and enjoying reasonably good health.

One of the most unusual example of old age I have seen was my WASP son-in-law’s paternal grandfather. With the help of two consecutive pacemakers, he made it to an independent 101. And then he did something which I have not seen anyone else do…he took charge of his destiny and After a few episodes of congestive heart failure, decided he’d had a full life. He asked his pacemaker to be switched off, and passed away the next day after that.The only parallel I know for this was the story of Bhishma in the Mahabharata, who had the boon of “icchA maraNam” (death at one’s own will) and exercised that will when he decided that his life’s work of protecting the kingdom was over.

Today, I am surrounded by so many people of my age, or older, and what I notice is the importance of good health in their happiness. Independence of life, and good health, are the essential parameters, I find, of a good quality of life in one’s sixties, and beyond.

But an intangible which I think very important …is…the ability to also get along with people younger….and much younger….than one. I can truly say that I don’t seem to consider someone’s age in interacting with them; I have very close friends who are 20 years older than I am, and 30 years younger. I am so lucky in being able to enjoy the company of children so much that I find the thought of a senior citizen’s home, where there may not be many children, not appealing at all….yet!

Another intangible is the attitude we bring to age. Far too often do I see people who are young, thinking of anyone beyond a certain age, to be “old”. Also, many of the people I see, of my own age, seem to think they are “old”, and begin moaning and groaning about their small ailments. At 50, a friend told me,”Our lives are over, now we have to live for our children!” I disagree. I love my child, but I can’t live only for her! In fact, perhaps my keeping up my own interests and activities, and the fact of my having friends of all ages, has kept me healthy…I am not so sure of this, though!

This is because good health, unfortunately, is not always the guaranteed result of regular habits and a disciplined life. Illness and disease come out of nowhere and strike hard, making a mockery (mocking a makery?) of one’s will to be independent. Dependent, and sickly, old age, is a daily torture. The ageless personality in the suffering body chafes at the restrictions that hedge and control life.

So what is the point of all this musing? Er, nothing…it’s just musing…meandering, and possibly a sign of old age. Three sure signs of mental “old age”, according to me, are….1. A perpetual harking back to the good old days, and a feeling that the quality of life has gone down in all ways; mores and values have deteriorated. 2. What a wit called anec-dotage…the tendency to live in that now-glowing past, and recount endless stories of one’s prime.

And 3…the tendency, in the age of the internet, to keep on forwarding stuff! When I start sending you forwards (instead of sharing my own thoughts) regularly, can you come and snuff me out,please? Thank you!