Saturday, October 28, 2006

the dance


I've joined a dance class. I feel I love dancing. But I am so stiff in public and can barely move except like a block of wood. Yet I see images of myself dancing all night and day. Many-a-times I've stood up to imitate what I saw in my mind, but I'm unable to move at all. It feels like I've just forzen myself.

Yet everytime the music plays, I see images of myself dancing once again. But when I stand up to shake a leg, I do a really lousy job.

So I've joined dance classes. These classes are every saturday or for that matter every holiday. Sometimes they may be also held at nights..late nights. These classes are held in my own little bedroom. Where I have not much space. And I move about alone in my own little space back and forth.

Sometimes I lie on my bed which is adjacent to the window and look up at the green leaves and the trees. The dancing leaves are my dance teachers. I put on the music and watch the leaves dance. Depending on the music, they move so differently. I stare at their dance performance for long still lying on my bed. I then get up and dance to the same songs taking my steps from the dancing green leaves...my dearest lovely dance teachers.

And at night, I drown into my music and let myself loose getting totally mesmerised by the magic of song and dance. I go into a love-ly, light state of mind and just get up and move in my over-sized blue night gowns. Letting the soft breeze kiss me here and there. Let the (k)night be my dance partner. The stars sparkle through my dark brown eyes. Let the naughty wind knot my black long hair.

And when I've danced just enough to feel really full-filled and overflowing with boundless beautiful energy, I let myself fall into the arms of the lovely hard bed and fall asleep peacefully.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Garbage lit up with mud lamps


Its been such a wonderful week. I've been in festive mood. This saturday was Diwali, the festival of lights. And this wednesday will be Id. Festive seasons are so marvellous, aren't they? There is this fantastic spirit and enthusiasm everywhere. I've seen, experienced some really beautiful moments this week.

I pass through some of the most poorest localities. And in those polluted, crowded streets with traffic jams, I felt as if I'm learning some of the most valuable lessons of acceptance, joy, beauty and bliss.

I see people all around me doing what they can, with what they have and just being happy. There are lights and lanterns all around. Shops selling fire-crackers, sweets. I pass through some muslim localities and I see them all in the festive moods. Buying stuff, embracing each other. To me, I would feel, how can anyone live here? It is so stinky and messy and crowded. But then they dont percieve this as lack and bad. To them they are glad in this moment and happy.

I saw a garbage dealer on a lonely deserted pitch dark road, light a little mud lamp and place it in between the stinky yucky garbage. It changed my perception of garbage. It suddenly seemed to glow in that little light shining in the darkness. Garbage also has life. It was my perception of it which made me feel it is yucky and stinky. Now when I saw it in a the light of the little mud lamp, I could not smell its stench.

Earlier I had felt like, I want to reach out and comfort in situations like this. But then when I saw just a little more clearly I found that perhaps, the beauty is in his acceptance of what he is creating and (trying to) enjoy his creations. There was a certain bliss he portrayed like as if in his lack he found a little abundance in the mud lamp. His spirt and enthusiasm was so contagious, it spread to me and filled my heart

I'm learning to see abundance even in my lack. I realise then that there is no lack, there is no black, there is just joy and gladness. We have choices on what we want to focus on.

The things life teaches me through these little scenes absolutely astounds me . And every bit of this is real. To know that life, light and love graces everyone, it makes no comparisons and it has no favorites, makes me feel so beautiful.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

spirit of aikido


In yesterday's aikido class, there were just five students. No matter that there are just five or fifteen students, Sensei seems to be as enthusiastic as ever. He is simply so passionate about this art! I've never experienced that he is in town and yet asks anyone else to hold a session. He smiles while executing techniques, he puts us at ease when we are being his opponent. He is far from the most perfect trainer / master. But he is so authentic and real. He puts in all that he has in every class. Every class he brings his teacher O-Sensei's picture and places it carefully on a stand from the gym. I remember him telling me when I was new and I asked him what should I address him as? And he said "oh, call me by my first name!" He is one of the coolest guys I've ever known. I have tremendous respect and affection for my teacher.

Sometimes after class some student asks Sensei a question. And we all sit around him and Sensei talks. These talks include stories of his masters, his beliefs and his learnings. I listen to Sensei with rapt attention, sometimes even without battling an eyelid. Yesterday was one such day. B asked Sensei about Khokidoze (I've still not figured how these Japanese words are pronounced). And in his explanations, Sensei said something wonderful which I understand and interpret in this manner -

"when we come to the class to practice, we try and empty our mind of all thoughts. The moment we step on the mat, we leave all our fears, insecurities, dissapointments, frustrations, successes, failures, highs and lows outside. We walk in with an empty mind. We have no preconceived notions. Every single class, no matter what be our rank, we still hold a begniner's mind. That is perhaps the only way to learn and grow. Today when I call upon any of you to be the Uke (the defendent) to execute a technique to the class, I ask you to grab myself and I can feel the tension in your hands. You guys hold me so tight that it feels like you'd gladly crush me to the last drop of my blood. But aikido (and for that matter life) works, when you are relaxed. Because that is when you are in tune with yourself. When you are relaxed, you are not at the mercy of your attacker. When you stand stiff refusing to budge, if your opponent is really strong, you might end up with broken bones. But if you are relaxed, you'd let him throw you. You'll take a fall. There is no shame in falling. And is it really a fall, for that matter? When you stand stiff, you just have your two legs balancing you. When you take a fall, when you let go and relax...you fall into the arms of earth. Now you are not alone anymore. You have the entire earth with you. It is you and earth against me. And I dont think, no matter how hard I've trained, I can beat you to that!"

The same principles, perhaps applies in life also. Having a kidney disease is not a failure. Having no prince charming to wake you up with a kiss in the morning does not mean that you are incomplete. Having no great job does not mean that life is not working. Having a hard time, does not mean that one must be unhappy.

Like Sensei said yesterday, "So what if you are good at aikido? So what if you are not! It dosen't matter. Perhaps it matters only to the ego. But it does not matter to the real and authentic self. You could spend years trying to master a technique and yet do it all wrong. And you could get it on day One and brag about it. It does not matter either ways. If anything matters, it is are you having fun doing it? Is this process enjoyable to you? Are you passionate about it? Do you wonder about the mystery and magic in it and are you mystified in the millions of possibilities aikido or life can offer you? If yes, then you've already mastered the art. If not, it matters not what Dan (rank) you are, you're wasting your time."

It is the process that matters. Not the outcome. The outcome or the endpoint I crave for so desperately, is in fact 'not there'. It is an illusion. There is no end. One universe expands into another and another and is ever expanding, over boundless milky ways. If only I can learn to fully appreciate and enjoy the process and not worry or brood about the outcome...perhaps I'll be really living...I'll be really alive and happenning! Just being alive is the biggest miracle and wonder of all. I should not need anything else to sustain myself.

Perhaps it is in that spirit that, no matter that I am the weakest student in my class, I still land up there for every session. No matter I'm still struggling after six months to still get my rolls right and that I've already broken my finger and toe bones, I'm still excited to fall. I never miss a single class. Whether I have my periods, or a fever or I've skipped dialysis or that I've to travel for one hour to reach my class, I'm still there on the mat ready for my experience of the day. I'm ready to give life a chance. I'm ready to take a chance and follow my heart. I'm ready for the experience...pure, innocent, mindblowing experiences...inspite and despite of everything else!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

friday!

The guy who used to ill-treat and abuse me at work (when I used to be a part of his team two years ago) has put in his papers. One of the reasons my kidneys failed is because I could not handle the stress and strain of this guy then and I had stopped eating food and drinking water. All I used to do was work, work and work!!

Today the new girl M, reporting to him (she joined a month ago) was confiding in me that this guy was so filled with negativity and he actually brain-washed her yesterday. He told her that she will be needing to fudge figures and create falsified accounts to win laurels. Further, she will have to present a very rosy picture of how the company is doing to the management. She will have to lick asses and feed egos. He further said, he is kind enough to tell her these things and many others would have just left her in the lerch. Having said all this, he has not given her any hand-over and is not sharing any information with her. She says there is something so very sadistic about him, he is so humiliating that she feels sick in her stomach to even think that she'll have to go to take over from him!!! Further he is spreading news all around about the company's performance as he has access to all confidential financial data of the company. This is so very unprofessional. It is surely an unpardonable mistake!

This was the same situation, about two years ago. When finally I said I'm going to write to the parent company about harrassment and I was reluctantly moved out from his team. Today I listened to a similar story from M. If there is one thing I can't figure, it is that why are some of the assholes at the top so scared and spineless!!!

But I'm glad glad glad that this guy is leaving. I can't wait for him to go. We three girls, (two girls from his team and myself) are Chartered Accountants and perhaps, I shall speak to them on Monday and we shall hold meetings among the three of us to share information and discuss things so that we can start to frame strategies and work in the direction to the benefit of our company.

On the lighter side, I saw a beautiful big pink ball of sun waiting for me when I walked out of office yesterday. It was such a pretty sight that I was tempted to stand there and stare till the ball dissapears. The sun was of course blushing seeing that I could not take my eyes off him and the color of his cheeks spread all over the sky making the sky rosy pink. What a magnificient sight. I slept dreaming of the sun and myself gliding through the rosy pink sky. What a wonderful Friday I've created...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

the most priceless moment

There are times when I cry. There are times when I am utterly lonely. And there are times when I am helpless. And those times bring so much pain and desperation in my eyes an d heart that I wonder if they will ever pass.

But you know? I feel the sheer pain in those moments not becoz of the moment by itself. The moment like all moments is wonderfully silent, sure of itself, magical and wondrous. It is generous, giving, self-fulfilling and with all promises.

Then what goes wrong, anu? I wonder!

Perhaps I am not in the moment at all. I am feeling the pain living in either the past or feeling anxious due to the insecurity of my anticipations in the future.

The pain is not bad! The pain is not to be detested and cursed. The pain is not to be run awayed from. The pain is a communication from my self to me.

Why is the pain there? Perhaps I am trying to say something to myself through the emotion of pain, the communication.

Why does it need to be so painful? Perhaps I want to bring something to my own notice.

Why, won't I listen if I say it in love? Perhaps I have tried to say it in love but I have not listened to myself. Hence the pain.

So what must I do now? Listen to myself. Listen to my body. Hear my soul out. Quieten myself.

How may I do that? By living in the NOW. In the moment in the present.

Why should I live in the present? So that I am no longer pained.

And what may happen if I live in the present? When I live in the present, I am aware of what I am doing. I am conscious of my choices. I create my own reality.

When we live in the moment we are living in the NOW. We are not bound by the past neither by the future.

In that moment we create our own world, in a new fresh way. Flowers live in the moment. The star sparkles just for a moment in a moment. The birds fly flapping one wing at a time a moment. Fishes swim in the moment. The single blade of grass itself stands tall without any support in just a little moment.

Perhaps, we might be totally transformed if we live in each and every moment. Perhaps, we might unleash our unknown, unseen strengths and powers. Perhaps, we might astound ourselves!

I'm going to try and live in such a moment. Emerald Eyes (http://thisisthecatsmeow.blogspot.com/) is going to live in such a moment.

What about you? Would you like to join us?

We are waiting here with open arms..with the most priceless moment for you...it has a name, you know. It is fondly called "the now".

Friday, October 06, 2006

oh to be sick is wonderful..

I've been unwell since this tuesday. I haven't reported to work too since then. I had a bad cold which used to give me burning tempretures which don't show so much in the thermometers.

But I just realised today there is something so wonderful about being unwell. Perhaps I'm crazy to say so. Perhaps I'm glad to be crazy also.

You see, I've been very tired, weak and sickly for the last two days. Normally I would fight my feeling of dis ease by struggling to do things with great effort. Like reporting to work, getting mentally stressed about the probabilities of not being able to complete my tasks, sniffing coughing away all throughout the day and taking in compliments given by people as to 'how so sick I am, poor me!' Further I'd venture out in the pollution and traffic and let them both irritate me to no avil. I'd be unable to eat nice hot simple food being at work and I'd end up eating something which further does not agree with me. I'd be late to arrive home and be tired and get hardly any rest.

This time I was quite different. When I was at work on Tuesday I realised I'm sniffing and my cold has aggravated due to the A.C at work and the hospital visit the previous day. I wasted no time. Probably I was not interested, probably I was indifferent. I dont know what it was. But I actually went up to my boss and told him I'm unwell and I want to leave for home to sleep and rest. The next day I'd been scheduled for dialysis. I know the A.C is so powerful there that I'm going to be sufferring for the whole of 5hours and noone, absolutely noone would help me except that they may be only too willing to give me injections or medications. So i just skipped dialysis. I told them I'm not coming. Normally patients are SO scared to skip any dialysis at all as the doctors have terrified them saying 'they'll die if they do so'. Perhaps I was even ready to die, I dont know but I just didnt go.

I stayed at home. My net was down for an entire 24hrs. All I did was sleep, eat simple food, do pranayam (breathing exercises), watch the garden, count the butterflies I see, read the couple of children's books I'd purchased again and again and oh yes! watch cartoons...loney tunes (bugs bunny rabbit being my favorite). Oh and I'd switched off my cell phone (by mistake).

Today when I woke up in the morning, I was feeling quite lovely. I was feeling refreshed and very energetic and enthusiastic. It felt like my body had been kissing the toxins out through the heat I'd been burning in during the past few days. So I sat here wondering the delightfully fresh lively feeling I'm basking in right now.

I'm feeling that it is really wonderful to be sick. For if I just accept it and not fight it, then I realise that being sick is not bad. It is a way in which the body relaxes, sits back and takes a little vacation. The mind relaxes. Becomes a little child. There is nothing to be done. Nowhere to go. Nothing to be accomplished. No dreams to be fulfilled. No wishes waiting to be granted. No skies to be reached. Without having anything and perhaps only a body (that too quite sickly), somehow there is a feeling of abundance and vitality, as the body cleanses itself.

the fire in heat of my body burns the unforgettables of the past,
the waves in my tears wash away the hurts and pains,
the headspinning headache spins my self into a transition to a new level,
the purity in my food and water weeds out the adulteration of my heavy thoughts,
the cramps in my stomach strangles the sickly hidden frustrations,
the sleep in my drooping eyes, urges me to forgive myself and everyone else

Sick is a way to wellbeing. A normal natural body mechanism to restore balance. Being sick perhaps means we are just almost close to a newer level of wellbeing. Just about to merge with a newer consciousness. We are in transiton. And such a transition I've felt in the last few days...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

a day at home

I'm a little unwell. Down with a bad cold which is making mybody hot but when I checked with the thermometer, there was no tempreture. I could not work at work yesterday due to the intensity of the A.C. And I decided I don't want my condition aggravated by going to work again today as the A.C. is centralised and they wouldn't be able to reduce its force just for me.

This is so strange. The week before last, I went for a picnic and got wet in the rains for 7hours and I was perfectly fine. Infact I was all chirpy, happy and bubbling with enthusiasm. In contrast, this Sunday I oiled my hair and took bath in the evening, while there were heavy rains, thunder and lightening outside. The next day the cold tempreture in the hospital presented me a bad cold.

I am sure there is something so magical about nature. Nothing ever goes wrong with her. And even if it does, she seems pretty much in sink with what is happenning to her. I'm hoping some day the trees and butterflies would talk to me. For now, I'm the one who is doing both the talking and the replying. [wink]

I'll perhaps go and sit near the windowand listen to the crows and sparrows. And then maybe take a hot water bath, eat my lunch and fall sleep reading my story books.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pata

My grandfather before he died (about two years ago through Parkinson's disease) he used to be everyday chanting mantras, vedas and shastras, keeping my image in mind, praying for my health. I wish I had spent more time with him. I had just been diagnosed with a kidney failure and I was in a relationship and between the two of them, I was totally confused. I did not visit him as I could not bear to see him in pain. I did not know how to handle pain then. I would run away from it always.

Two days before he died, I met him and he said "Anu, you are meeting me after one year, aren't you?" I can never forget that line. So much my grandfather missed me. I was SO stupid and selfish. I am in such deep pain and guilt when I think of this. I almost start to cry.

Even when he died, I did not cry. I pretended he was alive as I felt I would be shatterred if the one man who loved me most died!

I'm still pretending. But once in a while, when some friend innocently and loving asks things and I remember him, I momentarily let myself expreience the feeling of pain.

But now, my grandmother is very old and misses my grandfather. Every week no matter what happens, I visit her on Saturdays. I listen to her...all stories of her aches and pains. I talk to her about grandfather and I know she waits for the entire week for my visit. I know she adores me and I love her a LOT. I'll give her all the love I have.

Grandfather has told me many mythological stories of bravery and goodness, magic and mystic and also old Indian fables of Panchatantra (based on animals and birds, which I love) and Aesop tales. I'll post some of them in the future and also some wonderful chants with meanings.

I used to call my Grandfather 'Pata' which meant 'Grandpa'. This is not a word in my native language, I created it as that was all I could pronounce as a kid and all my cousins followed me in that.