Soul Time

Sit

sit down

quiet

be very quiet

close

close your eyes

breath

breath deeply

see

see yourself

at close quarters

thank

thank the universe

thank your wonderful servant

the body at your service

thank each of your struggling limbs

wallowing in neglect

show

show some love

to yourself, your each limb

gentle

gentle

shed

shed expectations

it’s a good day, today

live it well.

PS: A friend of mine is suffering from Tinnitus but perhaps more from exhaustion, over thinking and running around. Sit down sometimes, just sit.

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New Mantra

Freedom

is when you walk away

with a smile twinkling in your eyes

shed a weight from your heart

make space for what is new

even when waistlines grow in girth

hold on to hope and happiness

and realize

what you thought was never there

go, get a new canvas

go, get some colours

go, get some souls

go, gather some experiences

go on live your life

onward to destination

some drop, some give up

yet the drive continues

renew, reinvent

most of all

keep up the smiles.

PS: Late but wise, new mantra

Tumbbad, ho jao barbaad!

When you meet your dearest girl after a long time, how do you celebrate, what we usually do is to catch up on a movie , with some pop corns and other celebratory items for the feel of it and so we sat down to watch Tumbbad and I told my daughter, it feels so good to have you back and to be able to do this’. We smile as we crunch popcorns.

Well, Tumbbad is what Indian cinema never had so far. A horror flick with a sound story line , not a moment of drudgery and gripping till the last scene.

What makes the film interesting is its very Indian concept. the setting, the social milieu as reflected in the film.

A treasure hunt is not alien to no Indian. We have all grown up on stories of treasures hidden in palaces, temples, homes, under ground and what not. In fact, even to this day, the greed for the boon of treasure is what drives a whole lot of us to our all-knowing babas.

I can’t help recall the urge of one such to meet babas who will answer all his existential queries and how it destroys what he had altogether. Sounds too familiar right!

The casting in Tumbbad is so perfect that the actors live their roles and the effect on the viewer is stupendous. This makes it difficult to pick up a favorite actor from the movie. It is definitely movie that is class apart and worth more than one watch.

I was reminded of how achan had taken me and my younger brother to Palakkad to watch My dear kuttichathan. We were staying in Ottapalam and movies were not so much our thing, but achan is an avid lover of arts and used to watch movies regularly and even attend all musical concerts, especially when we stayed in Vijayawada.

I remember the awe with which we watched huge bowls of ice cream, magically manifested apart from various adventures of kuttichatan and his friends in the movie.

Definitely, My dear kuttichatan was a path breaker in Indian cinema, the first 3D film in the country.

A good film is a story well told, let’s hope for more well made films from India.

But I should not miss mentioning Rangi Tharanga, a Kannada film which attempted something similar and perhaps equally successful.

Thank god for movies and those who know to tell a story well, how poor our lives would be without them!

divine Item

“These are the two, no three items left here. Earlier we had a variety of items”, the man was insistent on calling the gods in his family temple items, and I tried to look for reverence but did not find any, not surprisingly, though.

He was casual in his conversation,his attitude relaxed as if he was talking about some of his eccentric , some times unwieldy neighbors or friends.

“In the honor of these’items’, the man continued.” we conduct 3 annual celebrations in the temple”, his family temple, run by the family trust.

“Women,” he smiled, ” no, no, we only handle everything, of course they all support even the youngsters, not all, but there are some who are keen to help. So we kind of manage and the locals also come. So for so good.”

“The family astrologer looks up the horoscope and every now and then he finds a loop hole, a planned revenge by one of these”, no this time he didn’t say items?!. “Of course, the relatives, even those from far have started to believe and now every year, we have at least 3 major festivals. more like a get- together.”

One of the items,” he added “is Bhagavathy, but she is pretty docile, that is how she is in our temple. Otherwise it is not going to be easy, you see”.

Search, Research

Last week has been hectic. Time for continuous relentless travel. But it has also been ever so rewarding. While research was my reason to travel, what I received in return fills me with gratitude and joy.

A friend traveled straight from her work to meet me and as we talked we realized how much we miss each other and we parted on a happy note of a promise of more meetings with more friends. Maya, can’t thank you enough.

My quiet aunt who is a devotee and does not look beyond her home, keeping the treasures, the family property in tact for her children and visiting temples, donned her investigative hat as she joined me in my search for research. Valliamma, you are the best.

My sister and her husband who willing joined me in my trips to the unknown and helped me gather some valuable information as I am just about beginning with my field work were fantastic. I loved how much my sister and her husband talked to each other, needling one another, sharing anecdotes, they were the best of friends to each other, what a beautiful relationship you share! Bindu chechi and Ravi chetan,you are superb.

Then there is my dear Sofi. How does one describe walking into a home for the first time and feeling as if one belonged here. Sofi is a terrific ball of energy, ever enthusiastic, always positive and looking out for innovative ways to channel her stupendous energy to benefit those around her.As the day unwound, apart from devouring delicious food cooked by my friend in earthen ware! yeah! really! she has a dozen beautifully stacked earthen ware at home, I was lucky to be introduced to different individuals in the vicinity in the hope of collecting some valuable information. It was a collective effort at research, truly!

I thought I could have stayed over, when Sofi expressed the same. We sat together talking and joking and reliving past, discussing how life has changed all of us for better or worse.

I looked at the home so lovingly built by this wonderful girl and her loving husband and closed my eyes in prayer for their happiness and well being.

But of course, there are 2 kind souls whose sincerity I am at cross with sometimes, my dearest amma and achan, who do sometimes forget I am not a kid any more.

And amma was smart enough to get me to clean some grass, plant some yam, pick some greens in her efforts to keep me engaged and shed some weight.

Faraway in Auroville, my darling daughter picked up some skills in Film making while keeping a track of my day, it suddenly seemed to me that all is good, and that I should be able to do a good job at my research.

I have always wondered at the kindness of the universe, her ability to bring right people into my life at the right time, this week just sort of reaffirmed my faith.

Life is indeed beautiful. And I for sure have put on a few happy pounds….

Connections that matter

Connections that matter

are those where there is no yesterday

where you start off as if it was the other day

even after a long 2 decade hiatus

connections that are close

need speak little

nor show less

but just be

where you are welcome

no matter who or when

where you are not special

but just the same

there are no compulsory

good mornings

or birthdays

nor anniversaries

just sweet moments

hanging together like a bunch of grapes

aging well, changing color, contour even taste

but just the same

a few tears here

a few scorns never tired them enough

to turn heads and walk away

PS: of friends and friendship, life is beautiful

Kitty Commandments!

Ever since she chose to adopt us, our kitty has been busy training us, teaching us a few tricks of the trade of kitty management. She is a meticulous trainer with a clear plan of action and well defined expectations.

It was something like this.

‘Listen, I am the boss,you serve me well and I purr in return, or may be allow you to pet me’.

‘Just because you give me food, you don’t own me’

‘I know exactly what to do in my life, who to hang out with and who not to’.

If I had such clarity, I thought my life would have been a different ball game altogether!

Anyways, Kitty says, ‘I meow twice, you place the bowl’.

‘Any delay on your part will get you more angry impatient meows from me’.

‘I like to bring my friends home, not always but I expect you to treat them well.’

‘Better bring Meow food only, for me, no cost cutting!’

Kitty purrs,’After food, I will turn to the window and meow twice or thrice’.

‘In fact, I will go and meow at each and every window in the house to get you the message’.

‘It means you got to get yourselves up open the door and let me out’.

‘When I want to come in again I will meow at the window’.

‘ I will meow at all the windows in the house, till you bloody push yourself up’.

‘I will be checking from the window, and when I see you do that I will amble to the door, be there!’.

‘ And you better open the door fast, or you will get an earful from me’.

‘Well, food, you got to give me when ever I come, how many ever times that be’.

‘Don’t expect me to have left overs, please serve it fresh every time’.

‘If I see you sit too long with your stupid box,I might want to sleep on it, coz it does my bum good and my mood!’.

‘Again if you and your stupid girl are too busy looking up whatever, I better be out with my other friends’.

‘Once in a while I will gift you a roach, a lizard or a little rat’,’depends on availability and my ability, so no guarantee’.

‘Privileges of scratching my back, touching my face can be granted on the basis of your attitude and aptitude.’

‘That should do for now and please don’t lecture me on neatness and hygiene, I am the best in the department’.

Ok, meow to you for now!

Living to learn

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