Tag Archives: happiness

oF GIVING YOUR BEST EVERYTIME

Which of us don’t fear? Don’t waver? Lose interest and want to run away. All of us do, again and again and then what is that will take us to a feeling of achievement, sense of inner calm and sense of joy in being who we are?

I am no guru, yet, life in her inscrutable ways has taken me to paths, twists and turns, I would not have ventured on my own. Bewildering me, breaking me into tears and gathering me in her arms, showing me hope and a reason to smile that I learned to live and be happy about who I am.

I look back and I see how life journey has moved me from one turn to another, (yes, even the life of an average Indian woman can be dramatic sometimes, ) posing challenging questions to me, egging me out of my comfort zone, and asking me to march ahead. I have felt lonely at times, many times, yet today as I see it, I know I have done justice to roles I took, causes I believed in , to people who leaned on me and have been able to leave behind the bitterness and embrace life with a smile.

I must have been in my 12 th standard when I heard one of my aunts disparage her partner with hurtful words, which in turn reflected her own feeling of misery and pain, I remember thinking I will never want to be a grumpy old woman, never.

But what brings the sense of calm to me today, is my learning to live in the now, constantly re-orient myself to the present moment, ask myself, what are you thankful for now, today? Having asked that question, a sense of immediate relaxation enters my mind and I regain my calmness and smile.

So, I decided that it is just role to simply do the best I can in every situation,, what my daughter calls a ‘breakthrough performance‘ every time in the various roles that I take up, well, try to do that at the least.

As I detach myself from my past and worries about future, I have noticed that there is no rancor in me, no agony, though sometimes, deep pain overwhelms me and I let it pass, because I ask myself, what is that you are feeling now, allow it to happen, you can cry, feel angry and feel happy at different times, it is ok then regain the composure that I am so loving these days.

Life I have decided is a process that allows you to experience and allow your soul to blossom to be its true self.

Yes, this new found courage to affirm my positivity has found me new friends, and hopefully new experiences .

Today, as I seek experiences, even new friends, maybe, I realize that I don’t seek anything make me happy but only to add to my already existent and thriving source of inner happiness,

Thathastu!

Hedge the hog!

Hurtling down the road to nowhere

at a rate that surprised her

a bump here a bump there

a turn here a tear there

then a fast fast run

a sudden twist

and a long long fall

into the blue blue waters below

heading into the azure land that spread beneath

she looked up to catch

a rainbow smiling from above

a smile that spread across the sky

and hit the earth hard that it bloomed instantly

into a sea of many hues

birds laughed

some trumpeting was heard

heavens had a belly hard laughter

at the antics of the hedgehog!

Pillion riding

the palpable joy of pillion riding

is to have your hair flying

to dangle your feet

to feel the breeze

to be taken around

to know that you are safe

to go places on your bum

to have a reason to pick a fight

too fast, too slow,too reckless

to not have to dirty the sari ka fall

picking every dust on the road

to reach on time

to pray that you are light

to feel proud in your heart

to turn your head up to the sky in thankfulness.

Ps: Small moments, big joys.

 

Sonnet 62 & the self

In his Sonnet number 62 Shakespeare says that his excessive love for himself is a sin, and that he has no cure for the malady which is rooted deep in his heart.

‘Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye, 
And all my soul and all my every part; 
And for this sin there is no remedy, 
It is so grounded inward in my heart. 

He goes on to add that there is no face as pretty as his, no form, no experience as worthy as himself. That it is difficult to judge his merit because he( his qualities, abilities, character, appearance) overpowers every other thing that may have any value to any one.

Methinks no face so gracious is as mine, 
No shape so true, no truth of such account; 
And for myself mine own worth do define, 
As I all other in all worths surmount.

Soon though he is filled with doubt and adds that when he sees his weather beaten form , tainted by age he begins to doubt his own value. The sonnet ends with a couplet in which the poet explains( or excuses himself by saying that) that while praising himself, he is actually praising his beloved whose beauty and charm he finds imported/ reflected in the his own frame  as he is ‘painting or covering his age with the beauty of her form’.

He has no reason to look upon himself with love apart the love he holds for his friend. It would be scandalous ( ‘iniquity’, meaning very unfair) if he loved himself obsessively after coming face to face with the reality of his appearance as shown by the mirror, ‘glass’. Shakespeare thus absolves himself of the sin, the sin of self-love.

But when my glass shows me myself indeed, 
Beated and chopp’d with tann’d antiquity, 
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read; 
Self so self-loving were iniquity. 
   ‘Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
   Painting my age with beauty of thy days.

But self-love to me is not sinful, self-loathing is.

Your happiness lies in listening to you.

So I guess you got to be true to yourself.

It is  true that your obsession with your happiness will be vilified as an indulgence, as an indifference, as a whim, a fancy, an epitome of selfishness,so on and so forth.

In the pursuit of things you love to do, you may have to some times stay away from certain people, certain circumstances and you will be perceived as a vamp, a vampire and what not.

But nothing in life is to be had easy, so just go with it.

The things you love to do could be simple, like may be having good food at good places.

Interestingly, you will hear a lot of stories about your addiction to good food, you will be called an epicurean, you will be laughed at for your veneration of food.There will be comments of how careless you are in spending on eating and if you catch a flu, it will most certainly be because of the food you ‘ate’, that day, at that place, and how!

You might otherwise be addicted to reading, reading! huh! what a waste of time,to rust and not to act! It will be told that your reading got you your glasses, and your fat around, you know where and more such wisdom!

Your choices for reading will be scrutinized as being too classy or too easy, essentially a ‘waste of your time’. You will be told stories of how people achieved a lot more with never having to  lift a book and of the need to save future generations from weak eyes.

Or  you may be this rather harmless creature whose joy blossoms in the garden, among the earthworms, the dirt and the grass. You might just want to spend your life weeding out weeds, obviously! from your garden.

All that you ever aspired for may be just a piece of land and some peace. Trust me you are most unlikely to find it i.e unless you choose to have the wisdom to ignore the nose diggers!

Your inability to set aside time for what you absolutely or’ some whatly’ love to do, could manifest as anger, frustration, constant cribbing and general dislike for others’ happiness.

So, gather yourself, put your foot down and get to doing what you ought to do.

Don’t wallow your life in repentance guilty of doing what you ought not to do!

PS: A sonnet is a poem of 14 lines.

 

 

Of a smiling survivor

The young mother who always radiant and eager to learn, sparkling with humor and the heaviest dose of naughtiness stunned me into silence with her announcement. ‘I have breast cancer. I found it out myself and without waiting for my husband had a check up. When the doctor confirmed, I felt sad’.

She said it in the most calm composed manner as I struggled to take in the truth, her small lithe frame clad in a causal skirt and top,her curly black hair grazing her shoulder and her eyes bright as ever. It was just 2 weekends back when we were all talking nonsense and laughing our heads out at her jokes. I was so taken aback that I quietly stood up to leave still unable to digest what I just heard. Almost a week later I visit her, next week the chemo will start she said. I am just worried about how my son will take it.

At the chemo the doctor is  surprised by her chirpiness. An elderly couple weighed down by the same, look at her almost annoyed. ‘I can’t help being happy, chechi’, she said innocently. ‘I hate sad endings’!

As the Chemo progresses she steadily starts to lose hair. Together the husband and wife decide to buy her a smart wig. ‘It was important to sport the wig, my boy was touching my balding head with a sad look in his eyes. Why should I trouble the little one’?

She was almost unrecognizable when I saw her a few weeks later. ‘See this wig’, she laughed merrily. Her husband stood by smiling indulgently. The straight hair seemed to suit her better. She looked like a model on a ramp walk. A little weak may be but mostly happy. When you meet her it is not her disease that hits you, it is the overwhelming joy in living that she spreads.

You take home that lingering fragrance of joy and smile to yourself.  Some people are like that.

A year past the disease now, she has fully recovered and is bright and smiling even more ‘I am going back to the classes to learn to help my child live his life fully and the school has been kind, they are willing to absorb me as a teacher!’

Why would the school not take her, wonderful as she is? What a positive difference the girl will continue to make to the lives of others?

This year has been about resilience, about survival, about finding hope and dreams where there were none, of finding love for self, for living. My young friend is a brilliant example of the finest human spirit. Many cheers to her long life!

Heroes are real and they are all around us, look out for them! Stay heroic!

Would you be the same?

Would you be the same

if you were not tested and tried?

Would you be the same

to those who trampled

you beneath their feet?

Would you be the same

to those whose indignities

caused you pain?

Would you be the same

to those who turned their back

to you in your distress?

Would you be the same

if you had hoarded hate

forgotten to forget and move on?

Would you be the same

if you had not stood at locked entrances

waiting for chances that never came?

Would you be the same

if you had not learnt to gather yourself

and move on to heed your heart’s calling?

Would you be the same

if breaking upon the slightest blows

you had not mended yourself?

Would you be the same

if life  had taken a kinder path

and showered you with kisses?

Would you be the same

if love, appreciation and fame

had greeted you at every turn?

Would you be the same

life turned to ask

if I had not led you through paths unknown?