Posts Tagged ‘life’

Not Dizzy, It’s An Earthquake!

A two-minute tremor felt like a never-ending one. Father and I were sitting on the sofa – reading the newspaper, suddenly, we started feeling dizzy. In a fraction of second, we realized what was going on – we weren’t dizzy, it’s an earthquake! My mother and my little boy – both enjoying their conversation in the kitchen, came rushing to us.

The earthquake

The earthquake… the tremor

The floor was shaking – the entire room on the 2nd floor was vibrating, and the walls were swinging. I wondered, “Should we hide under the sofa? Or run outside?” It was the first time in my three decades of existence I felt an earthquake like this one. My child screamed out of fear – fear of the unknown, which alarmed us all. Father stood like a log for a second. It was then that my mother tried to remain calm and directed us towards the stairs.

I found everybody in our apartment eventually made it to the ground floor – on the road. There were so many others – a chaos on the streets, a thousand people in the lobby, as if the battle of Armageddon will just begin.

The tremor stopped after a few seconds. It began to pour from heaven, as if the rain was washing away every bit of our anxiety, every drop of our fear. We dispersed, quietly came back to our apartment… Life for us was usual the rest of the day.

My story is not massive and deadly – in fact we are the privileged one (this time)… We turned on the television, shocked to find the earthquake struck Nepal and sent tremors through several parts of North and East India, killing more than 1,400 people, touching off a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest and toppling a heritage tower in the capital Kathmandu!

There were reports of devastation in isolated mountainous areas after the midday quake of magnitude 7.9, Nepal’s worst in 80 years!

Television footage continued to show disturbing images of large numbers of offices and homes that had collapsed in Kathmandu, while roads had been split in two by the force of the impact. Internet is down, television not working and parts of Kathmandu having no electricity…

I came to my room and closed the door. Sighhhh!!! When such disasters strike, we are forced to take some time off our hectic schedule to think how minute we are compared to this large vast expassive Universe!

This again brings us back to the question of our existence, some thing I ask myself a lot these days! That we are just a tiny speck of dust in the vast universe, with just a life of breath in it and before you know it, everything can become nothing and man returns to dust where he once emerged from!

All I could do is, bow down before the Creator in deep humility, acknowledging the truth that we live because of him. My prayers with all those affected and whose lives have been disrupted by the massive earthquake!


Life is… Celebration!

Motherhood has made me a better person. The statement is cliché no doubt but true! It has not only made me more sensible, motivated and a better manager, but has also helped me see the world with the eyes of a child. That’s a refreshing feeling for sure. As my little one grows up, bit by bit, every day, i could see him get so incredibly excited about everything, and so do I get the energy to participate in the joy of life. It’s fun to be around him and kids of his age.

Celebrating life

Celebrating life

For kids the word celebration doesn’t mean ‘grandeur’ but it means life itself! Even eating a whole bunch of different fruits can be like celebrating every piece of the fruit they eat. I’ve learnt over the years, it is such a wonderful concept to celebrate life with our different actions. That is what life is – celebration and vice-versa!

In fact, think of it, this whole universe is a celebration of existence. Everything in the universe celebrates life in its own unique way. Why does a flower bloom? Why does it give fragrance? Why is it beautiful? The mind always asks these questions. What is the reason for this, or for that?

While everything in the universe has a rhyme or a reason, at the core… It is for fun, for joy, for pleasure, to celebrate life, its richness and multiplicity. In my yoga classes, we were asked to celebrate life with movement and breath. When you celebrate breath with every breath you take, and be mindful, you can imagine how alive you can feel by just breathing.

The same thing which yoga taught me in so many years, my six-year-old educated me in no time. So, with him, I have started to celebrate everything – the sun, the rain, the snow, a smile and a frown … and celebrate life in different ways: in the food I eat, in the air I breathe, in the people I meet, and in almost everything I do. And I pray that we have a lot more enlivening, carefree and happy moments together for many more years!

An Inspiration!

Sometimes ordinary people have extraordinary stories to narrate. Here’s one of those few people I have come across, and she really inspired.

Sometimes ordinary people have extraordinary stories to narrate

Sometimes ordinary people have extraordinary stories to narrate

Bella was wheeling an elderly lady paralyzed by a stroke. As a volunteer at the healthcare organisation, this is part of her weekly job. As she looked at the lady, she thought of her own father, already in his seventies, his health was declining. She was overwhelmed by a sense of regret and shame, as she thought of her own ignorance and lack of understanding of her parent. She was unable to stem the flow of tears.

Bella grew up in a small town in Bihar, the only daughter in her family; she was never pampered. As the oldest daughter, she felt a duty to help pay back all the debts of her family. In sixth grade, she started to help her father by selling groceries in the market; she could not even rest on Diwali days, when she had to earn a little more money to help her family’s finances. Fortunately, her two brothers were top students in the school, which made the family very proud. With financial difficulties, the family of six lived in a small house; they were ‘happy’ together.

Bella recalled that summer day when she was 21… She had lost her mother in a workplace accident; she fell from broken scaffolding and died of hemorrhage. The sudden tragedy almost shattered the family; her grandmother cried for days. Seeing the lonely figure of her father, she vowed to herself: “I shall never get married, so that I can dedicate my life to this family.”

While she held strongly to this idea of celibacy, her grandmother and father were hoping that she would find a good husband. Her grandmother said: “I will not die in peace unless you are married.” This changed her mind. She vowed that she would only marry someone from her vicinity, so that she could stay close to her family, and that her husband must help her look after them.

As fate would have it, Bella met Raghav, a circus performer. They fell in love and got married. They could also afford a big house in a couple of years and had a daughter. But the happiness was not meant to last for long. Her husband left for a show and she was informed after a week that while on the circus show her husband crashed to the ground and died when the trapeze mechanism failed.

The burden of paying a mortgage and school fees for the children was so heavy that she no longer felt the joy of owning a house. Bella sank into a depression, her mind was full of anxieties: “How do we afford the next meal?”

As time passed, her perspective toward her family changed drastically. She thought: “Father is finally able to lead an easy life; one of my brothers is a doctor and another a teacher. Their wives also love and care for them. My father knows my predicament very well, but why doesn’t he ever call to ask after me?”

When she thought of all her dedication to her family, she was deeply disappointed by the coldness she received in return. “I only wanted a call to ask ‘how are you coping?’ someone to show that they cared — but it did not seem that way. My father never cared.” From that time, she started to bear resentment towards him.

This resentment also turned her against her two brothers. “If I had not sacrificed myself to work full time after junior school, how could they have accomplished all they have today?” she said to herself. Her brother who was a doctor wanted to raise money to help her with her mortgage: and her other brother wanted to help share the burden of her daughter’s school fees – but she refused. She was obsessed with how her father never showed that he cared about her. Anger burnt within her heart; she could not see the kindness of her brothers.

It was then that she chanced upon a middle-aged woman who heads a charitable healthcare institution. She started to reflect. It was a casual meeting which changed her life forever. Meghana Madam as she calls her, made her escape from this obsession. She learnt to see things in a different way.

“Hatred and obsession are shackles, one should liberate herself from the binds of the senses,” Meghana madam told her.

In the next three months, Bella found herself actively participating in voluntary work, helping medical officers and nurses and joining the local study groups. She almost never missed a session. She willingly took up a job to make paper packets for New Year gifts for the institutions supporters across the country. Life started becoming better.

As she thought of her father and made a call, her heart was filled with emotions. For nearly a decade, her father had been suffering from poor health; his speech problem due to a tongue infection had prevented him from expressing his love for his dear ones.

Although he could not speak, he made sure that the brothers cared for their sister when she was struggling financially. Just because of her own obsession over the lack of attention from her father, she had resented him for years. She finally decided to let go of this resentment and re-build her relationship with her father.

Tomorrow she will be promoted as assistant to the Chief Voluntary Officer – her hard work and dedication paid off. It’s a proud moment for Bella – her family who would come to the felicitation event to boost her spirit.

Bella’s ‘once upon a time’ story ended on a happy note.

“Loving our parents cannot wait – I’ve realised we should fulfill our obligations and repay parent’s love,” she said with tears of joy.

It’s All in the Cards!

We have often heard people say “I need to play my cards right…” when they wanted to make the most of certain opportunities present in their life.

There are several other expressions that we commonly use in our everyday conversations that come from the ordinary deck of playing cards. Have you ever heard someone say that they don’t want to “get lost in the shuffle” or ask the question, “what’s the deal anyway?” Its all about Cards!

Life is like a deck of cards

Life is like a deck of cards

Life is like a deck of cards, you don’t know what’s next, but as you pick them up and include them in your hand you play them as best you can. Sometimes the card picked up seems of little value for the game you are playing. Sometimes it’s a nuisance, other times it’s a game changer for good or bad.

Our life experiences are like cards, we pick them up as we play the game of life, sometimes unsure of how we will play them or what use they will be. These cards could be difficult experiences that will take time for us to realize how we can use them to perhaps pay it forward.

As Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said: “Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.”

Magic In My Life

Celebrating life

Celebrating life

I wish I could simply seize,
The freshness of this scented breeze,

Is it the beauty of the golden meadow,
That makes my face just glow?

I feel the uniqueness of this azure sky,
Under whose cooling shade I could forever lie!

The beauty of the drifting clouds so grey,
Makes me dance and sing in every way!

The playful kittens bring a smile on my face,
As I drown in the beauty of this place.

I love to hum a soothing lullaby,
And taste the saltiness of the sea….

Is it the weather or there’s a magic in my life
That generously rewards me for my strife!