I remember how I realized with a shock that my smile had disappeared totally. I struggled to laugh and often spent time in slumber unless when I was occupied at work. A vacant look had settled down on my face and my body lost the sense of living. I wondered at this, and asked to be taken out, I said, ‘come with me’, ‘talk to me’, I was desperate to live and regain my smile.
From 2010 to 2020 I spent some of the most horrible part of my existence on the planet cringing in pain and crying out in disbelief, yet the universe being kind, showed me ways to find friends, breathe easily and slowly I started to regain my smile and then the laughter followed.
Eversince I also developed a love for selfies ; for a person who only had complaints about herself to a person who marveled at her own being, and learned to cherish and love herself, the change was dramatic, and it was evident, especially to my critical inner self.
So I went back to having some seriously good laughter ! I laughed when I was stuck in the deadliest traffic jams, I smiled in the BMTC buses, in the job that broke my back and sometimes my ego, I smiled through anything and everything, in the company of my beloved daughter or when alone, the smile that had come back, just stayed put….why lose a chance to smile?
Now that thathastu to thesisification is achieved, I intend to embark on thathastu to travels, coz the cities of the world should know me, one among a zillion, yet significant in my own way, then thathastu to writing and more writing and yes thathastu to earning and giving in good measure, so here’s thathastu to joyfulness….coz life has just begun!!!
Having spent years and years in some sort of rather weird isolation, for causes that were demanding, for reasons that seemed not to give courage to be sociable in the real sense, opening up my home to friends has been a slow process.
A process of slow healing, a s slow but steady building of courage to say to say, ‘hey, look, come over to my place, will you?’
For someone who has been cautiously quiet, fearsome of judgement maybe, I realize how some visits have warmed me up to the human race and trust building.
Some people are special aren’t they?
Some people who come with love and bring with them no judgement and but warmth, add to your lives and spaces and then you realize its a good world, perhaps you should have more people over, more often, perhaps…
Broken hearts heal but slowly….but they do when you give them the chance…. So I did and viola… it helped when I had a dear friend visiting me in August.
And I think of Ashwini and Nimmy chechi, who come running, without hesitation to share a moment, to spend some time, make the home wholesome somehow with their mere presence.
And now when Maya came home with family, the feeling that has been recently positive and joyous returned ……..and her friendship and her positive family, filled up the home with a warm glow of love, in which I now sit basking….and left Andrew my cat, purring in joy!!!
To good friends, to friends who last, to those that care and show that they care… cheers!!! You make life worth living!!!!
Oh! did I see my little nest blushing..nah! just an over imagination!!!!
So, which friend called on you recently, how did that make you feel?
We search for heroes, role models to look up to and revere and hope that some of that sheen will rub on us. If I told you I had such kind of extraordinary human beings at my own home you would be surprised, perhaps shocked even. But that is the story of my parents, the man and the woman you see to the left of this image.
A couple, life tested and tried many times over, but those that stood up with a smile, until life joined the party and smiled along. In fact, today my mother has many friends, those that admire and look up to her for her grit and determination not to be pulled down by the society, those who may or may not like her but have to grudgingly admit her irrepressible enthusiasm, resilience and tenacity. Something in her makes her the protective ma durga and she tells me’ It is important to live on, despite whatever happened.I just want to see a big smile on my husband’s face. Besides, you know it is good to travel.’ She adds with a chuckle!
Luckily, her spark is seen and known and those who know want to join and tag along. I have always known my mother as a fighter, a never give up person, who in the worst of times asked me to dry the tears and sport the smile. In fact, this is what helped me to deal with adversities that came my way, yes, our way, for my parents stood by me always and cheered me on… in my quest for higher education, in my desire to be a writer, every time, I have to just look at my mother’s face and know that ‘ it is possible, anything really is possible’.
Life is a bonus now, yes, at least two generations ago, living till 60 was good enough, 40 was the final climb down of active living, times have changed since then and new opportunities to age gracefully and actively are now available.
But the fact still remains that one can simply be happy about life itself, the opportunity to breathe, the chances to work, earn, love, understand and be understood then should be a boon, more than a boon, the divine ‘manna’ itself!
When I make friends today, have great experiences, experience kindness, feel impressed or receive or be able to give compliments, I know for sure that it is a gift, a token of gratitude has to now raise of my heart and a general sense of happiness has to envelope me, because you see, life is a bonus, any chance to experience it is a rare gift, and it indeed is.
So, well! relax, breathe well, stay happy, embrace life, love, friendship, adventure, learning, observations and anything that raises the quality of living because remember life is a bonus, living, a gift from god himself, so stay humble, express gratitude for the very breath of life.
In such a state of extended stay, would there be any need to break down at human excesses, inhuman stupidities, indifferences arising out of ignorance, so called high handedness, unwanted expressions of ‘love’, ‘sympathy’, ‘material promises’ and other immaterial stuff, generally not so genuine, because mind you, to show real care, all it takes to be available to talk and listen, isn’t it???? and how rare is that really, hmmmm…. but yes, the question is , do we need to break our heart, head, and go mindlessly insane over others’ insanities, no, there really is no need to do that, to lose your sense over the insensitivity of others, so what is left then but to observe life nonchalantly, cruise through joys and sorrows alike, and enjoy the ringside view of living.
Cheers to gratitude, that which grounds the soul and helps the heart to grow in compassion to self and others.
Working on a Saturday is not one’s of my deepest desires, but a compulsion which you succumb to after much hesitation, especially when your throat is aching badly and when 3/4 th of your colleagues are off duty, only because the fear of a pay cut looms large!
So, I walked to the car pool stop, dragging my feet like a kid, remembering lines from The Seven Ages of ‘As You Like It’, the school boy dragging his feet like a snail or something to this effect, I was still mid way, looking for a pebble or two to brighten me up when a scooter stopped nearby.
Self esteem begins when you own up your only home on the planet, the body that the soul inhabits, not by choice but by a happy/unhappy coincidence. With the acceptance of your only home, will you be able to stretch yourself, move out of the inner workings of your mind, to see what lies beyond. Later, you will come back with thoughts that wandered outside your inner realms and mull over it all, to see how it makes or ‘umakes’ you or how it adds to who you are or takes away small portions from your being, to chisel your life into exact measures of the soulful, albeit clueless, life journey that you are in. But again, acceptance of the body that you live in, majorly comes, I believe, by accepting, acknowledging where you come from, your parents, your immediate family, those extended craziness in your family, the place you belong to, the language you speak, the faith you are born into, the food that you grow up eating, the social hierarchy in which you are placed, the identity you are sometimes given or some times that which you make and so on. Well, acceptance of these aspects that are beyond your immediate control, does help in being at ease with who you are, and then you will surely start to explore the light that your soul truly seeks. If you are lucky, you will find a mate or two on the way, but the journey of your soul will continue, till the last breath lasts. Well! then, it makes sense to keep the smiles and embrace who you are in order to grow into who you want to be, doesn’t it?
#Embrace who you are to grow into who you want to be – Sreelekha
I often think of how asking ‘why not’ has changed my life in ways that are beyond my comprehension but definitely to my liking, yes, most of it, I must admit.
So when I am asked will you participate in the Toastmasters? ‘why not? ‘ , I go and end up reaching the finals. That experience in 2014 sort of cemented my urge to say ‘why not’ and I have landed up in most unlikely places eversince.
From the recent dandiya to the upcoming webinar on Enviornmental Communication to bringing out a book to what not? The why nots have definitely led a lot of what nots… and often has me surprised!
I hope to in the near future be only writing and doing my research of communities and community practices in Kerala with a bit of teaching for sustenance. To that end, I thought of putting up the invite to the upcoming webinar here and get some solid feedback so that I improve and continue learning.
Here it is!
Coz like Andrew Marvell told to his coy mistress a few centuries back
‘Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near:
And yonder all before us lye.
Deserts of vast Eternity.’
In the wake of swiftly changing climatic conditions its time we all did our bit, and hopefully the universe approve and watches over us!
I sit at home grumpy,sad and irritated. There’s no friend in sight. Nobody. Not a soul.
Friends, colleagues families have packed and left for the long weekend. I knew this was coming. I knew I am going to feel low. I knew it is going to hurt big time and it did.
But it is difficult to reconcile with reality even when you know what is and why it is so. Except for Andrew’s long and short meows there is no noise at home. Instead of research that I should do I am angry and upset for no particular reason.
I wait for a friend to turn up. Friends have friends and families !!!! I am busy playing the victim, the god forsaken soul, left on an island… why? why?
Fine. I decide enough is enough solo is not solitude and like Matteo Bocelli I will find my way.
Besides I am good at taking care of myself. I will do it. So I set off to get a bicycle yep to ride to glory.
Its been years since I did it but it should be good. The cycle shops are not selling cycles anymore but a fashion statement and my purse is going to be stretched too far… I come back now less gloomy!
Anyways, back home I have a visitor, ‘ would you like to dance for the dandiya?’ dance, me! Well, I wanted to invite your daughter but since she is not here, why don’t you come, said the neighbour in a compensatory tone.
‘Ok!’ I say, desperate for company, ‘I would love to, nay, I will’ and end up attending 2 practice sessions and go all the way to hit the dance floor literally!
My body is not amused at such onslaught of vigor, ‘what for’. it demands angrily and sulks big time!
But dance I did in my effort to find new friends and some new spaces outside the books, research and I must say I enjoyed it.
Walking in alone into a space of families did make me feel awkward initially but soon I got over it and relaxed, I counselled myself and said, ‘its ok, afterall alone is no crime, you are in a happy space, don’t you see that!’
I did of course, and soon lost myself in the dance.
Sometimes you got to shake the statusquo! So I did!
And found a surprise visitor at home!
And a promise of a friend who said, ‘I come when I say I will’ and I had to laugh!
Then says my dear chechi, ‘Lekha come home tomorrow ok!’. ‘I will’, I say happily.
Who does one thank except the universe for such unexpected offers of good company!