Tag Archives: Peace

Day 5: Silence

5 Jan

…coffee, and reassuring sunshine.

That’s all I want, and that’s all I would like to ask for just now.

Peace.

171: Time

21 Jun

It’s been a while since I started believing in the power of time, and that there’s a time for everything. It’s been obvious to me in more cases than one where sometimes things proved difficult, if not impossible to do; rife with obstacles, while there were times when I didn’t even have to do much, and things happened.

Time has always made its intentions and its mastery clear to me, and there’s just no fighting it.

Here’s yet another example; and one I can openly share with you dear reader.

A, my brother-in-law, and I went for a cup of tea to our regular hangout. As we sat there sipping our tea, the clouds cleared in front of us to reveal the mighty Himalayas right in front of us – a phenomenon that is completely rare during the summer since the clouds shroud these pristine mountains. They’re best visible during winter – they appear threefold larger, more domineering, more imposing. However, I’ve never had the luck of seeing them as clearly as this.

Needless to say, I sat opposite them in stunned silence while sipping my tea, taking this view as yet another blessing of time’s doing. :)

142: Cheating

23 May

Today I’m cheating, and confessing about doing so. Yesterday was one of the best Mondays I’ve had in a long, long time. The school is at its fractional strength what with all the kids, except the senior students, already off. It was quiet, calm, serene, and it had rained. There was no clamouring, no crowding, no shouting, no hurrying. If this is a blessing, then I feel blessed. I even got to walk back home in a faint drizzle and under an overcast sky; there’s nothing more a Bangalore girl can ask for during a harsh North-Indian summer May Monday.

And then my internet died on me just when I was about to ease into some yoga which I haven’t been able to indulge in for an annoyingly long time. Therefore, out went my yoga and out went any chance I had of blogging as well. So here I am, writing about yesterday, today. And therefore I confess.

Yesterday was meant to be enjoyed in its entirety I presume. So there was some uninterrupted tree and sky-staring time, followed by a long conversation with P which ended a good hour later when her baby had a poop-blast situation. Because A also got back home much later than usual and I had time at hand, I did what most self-respecting domesticated wives do – cook. I made today’s lunch, dinner, and perhaps tomorrow’s breakfast as well, last night. There’s so much food in the fridge, A exclaimed, almost in fright. I’d say there’s no better friend than boxes of fresh home food to tide us through days when the last thing I want to do is cook.

There’s a box of black chana stew, dalia (a savoury broken wheat pilaf), cabbage stir fry (made in a mixed north-indian and south-indian style), mangalorean egg curry, leftover rice, dal, one piece of tandoori chicken, and some other essentials – that’s enough no? :P

131: Glorifying Busyness

11 May

has been one of those ideas my mind has toyed with for a long time now…you know, the kind of busyness that seldom allows room for anything else to show face even? that kind of preoccupation where there’s no scope for anything else. It was something I’d wished desperately for especially last year when I needed an anchor for myself and the straying frays of my mind. I have that today, thankfully. Except I’m left with time to really.do.nothing.else. when I’m in the throes of this busyness I so wanted. Not even the time to breathe, forget sit or drink water or even grab a bite.

Which sucks to be honest. There’s nothing more uncool than this feeling of running against time no matter how smartly you’ve tried to schedule your work.

I’ve been on this self-preservation drive for a while now. Nothing can or should or will come before those things in my life which need to take precedence over everything else – my health; my mental, emotional, and physical stability; my time; my relationships; my peace. It’s coming at a cost unfortunately; sometimes in the form of either staying back to tide my plate over or just losing some chunk of work or money, or both. It’s always about weighing those options against what you can and are willing to compromise and compensate with. Each of us have our own circumstances, our own journeys, our own experiences to help us draw these boundaries the way we do.

Back then I remember wanting this because the combined force of leaving home, adjusting to a new life and a new place, apart from the various hoard of responsibilities that came rushing my way, made me want to seek cover, an escape, something to find refuge in. Work has helped me find that solace. And now that I have it, it’s a balancing act of propelling this busyness with glorifying the simpler and more important things in life as well – in groundedness, in stillness, in quietude, in being able to clear my mind when I want to, in being able to live in the moment, in finding my zen and thriving in it, and allowing absolutely nobody else to encroach into my zone of zen.

It’s my own creation, my own discovery, my own salvation to attain in this glorification of busyness that’s gotten us all spinning past scooting days on a calendar, completely unaware of time, space, or even ourselves.

This is an effort, and one I’m working hard at. Or that’s what I’ve promised myself and the dark circles I’ve brought upon myself, among other things.

*clinks her glass full of iced tang at the one you’re sharing with her*

Here’s some music therapy along with some iced tang therapy for dark-circled men and women who need a minute to be still.

 

 

Peace and namaste to you.

31: One Month!

31 Jan

One month, you guys, I’ve managed to clock a whole 31-day month. Thank you for stopping by, and for your support. I haven’t felt more gratified on this space in a long, long, time. I solemnly hope that this endeavour continues.

There’s actually so much distress all over the world, and I feel very ostrich-like for not engaging (for the lack of a better word) enough, or speaking out, or just participating, you know? Instead, here I am, wrapped in my own world, not oblivious, but focusing on other things that are more in my control. Moreover, I’m at a loss for words and feel a vacuum within me with respect to so much that’s happening all around us. What’s happening in the United States – does it matter? Yes, it does. But in my view, the US of A does not comprise the entire world; there’s far too much that’s already been happening for much too long in many other countries that didn’t choose to be in the state they are in. I just sincerely hope that we can work towards being more tolerant again, someday.

There wasn’t a plan or a fixed post structure I had in mind on logging in, here. Neither did I think I’d begin with matters that are too heavy to digest. But when you wake up to BBC’s banners with the stuff that’s making news today, it’s just a bitter and deeply disturbing taste to begin one’s day with. Too much, too often, and about the same stuff over and over again. It’s hard to wear blinkers, you know? But not all’s lost, and so I’ll hope, and keep hoping. In the meantime, and almost at the cost of sounding insensitive, I cannot believe I’ve written for a month straight. It’s a strange feeling of accomplishment, I’ll tell you.

When I began, the only thing I wanted, more than writing every day, was to inculcate a habit of consciousness and awareness into my space. I don’t mean to say that mindless writing isn’t therapeutic or healthy; not in the least. But making an effort to be conscious and be in-the-moment of what I’m doing, has given me more than I’d imagined it would. For example, it helps me focus on the positives, more; which in turn helps me experience gratitude more, which in turn enhances my perspectives and way of experiencing things, more. This cycle has shown to me, in just a month, and even during my bad days, that I’m capable of channelising happiness and positiveness; that I overlook the many rights that are overshadowed by fewer wrongs; that it’s so darn easy to miss the good stuff especially when they’re so minute and miss my radar because I’m so busy not looking or being aware. Most of all, writing for a month straight has given me something to look forward to; even on those horrendous days when I cannot put my thoughts into words. I’m not certain about what lies ahead, and I choose not to think about it because it’s not in my control, but I do wish to keep this going. Do keep reading and wish me bloggers’ luck, dear reader. :)

On to the other things, here’s me sharing what I’ve learnt so far (they’re in third person, again, because I’m talking to myself, as usual). Apologies, if there are any repeats.

Take things one day at a time. This doesn’t mean you don’t think about the future or plan for it. It means you set your goal, and then chalk your path towards it, one day at a time. 

Don’t be afraid of the goals you set. Be realistic and practical.

It’s undeniably easy to look at others reaching their goal and to marvel at their willpower. It’s easier still, to chide yourself for not being strong enough. Know that everyone has their struggles and faces their own challenges on their respective journeys.

Understand that bad days are on the same spectrum of okay days and good days. It’s okay to fail.

Befriend patience.

***************

What I’ve learnt is not over the top or even rocket science. It is simple, everyday stuff that’s, believe it or not, quite revolutionary. If I fail in seeing this goal through, I’ll know that I tried and that I learnt from it, the stuff that I did. Hopefully these insights will keep me going, and more importantly, sustain my motivation. And hopefully you’ll continue walking along with me, too. :)

Dear reader, I did intend for this post to be something else altogether, certainly more positive and chirpy, but I cannot, especially today, deny the heaviness that is in me, which seems to want centre stage. I don’t wish to brood or give it precedence over my entire day, and I hope to find the strength to push these thoughts away like I have been for sometime now. However, watching our world fall apart at so many levels is distressing. I’m not sure how many times I’ve used the word hope in my post today, but I reckon it’s also fighting for that centre stage position…and I really hope (haha!) it wins. :)

May we conquer the larger and smaller demons within ourselves and in this world, at large. May we give tolerance its due space on the podium. May we reach out and become more aware, more conscious, more forgiving. And may we learn to live, and love, and to live with love. Sigh. This is me saying ta-ta for the day with the help of one of my favourite people-artists, Molly, from Buddha Doodles. Her work has been hugely inspirational to me.

buddha-doodles_optimistic

Have a lovely day! :)

27: I’m Lost For A Title

27 Jan

The thing with writing everyday, or attempting to at least, is that the tendency to record the details of one’s daily life becomes a larger temptation. Sometimes I reckon it’s okay to consider this a journal, and treat it like one, but the main reason behind giving this shot of discipline a try was to be more aware, and conscious of what I’m writing about, whether it’s about my daily life or about anything else that strikes my whims and fancies. I did have a journal once upon a time, and in it featured what happened on a daily basis to the boys I hated and the ones I crushed on, the generation of a code language (which I’d become proficient in, I’ll admit), weird art and doodles, letters, stickers and what have you. My diary/journal had a name, and it was that of a prominent Disney character whom I loved ever so dearly. He was an animal, just to be clear, and I still love him, to be even more clear. :P

Moving on, I’m going to dismiss this disclaimer I began the post with, and tell you about the sumptuous morning I had instead. It was spent in bed, snuggled in the warmth of my quilt, well past when the alarm rang. Yesterday was an obsessively rainy day, and so it was the best and most delightful feeling to wake up at one’s own ease, minus any routine, on this overcast and grey morning that followed. It was indeed one of those experiences we dearly wish for, especially when it’s wet and cold outside, and one has to head off to work instead of sleep in. Well, the opportunity made itself present, and was well savoured.

Much of yesterday was spent horizontally, reading. I think I’ll continue the same today as well, for I do wish to finish this book before the month ends. Wish me speedy reading luck, please. Adding to my delight was the awareness that today is Friday, and not Monday, like I imagined. Maybe it’s a mix of yesterday’s holiday hangover coupled with the weather; which by the way, reminds me immensely of Bangalore’s. There’s something about overcast skies that is synonymous with my home city, and there have been countless times when I’ve revelled in exactly those moments, especially back when I’d be bumbling along the way in a BMTC bus. Those memories seem so distant.

Winter has begun its departure journey. The sun has shifted its position and timings, the cold doesn’t bite anymore, the air is frivolous with hints of warmth in it, and there’s just a general touch of springiness everywhere. This winter has also seen me more acclimatised to it than previously. It was up until just a fortnight ago when I started wearing my woolly pyjamas to bed, which wasn’t the case last year. The previous winter saw me warming my bed with an electric blanket well in advance, and hopping right in, woollies, socks, and all. This year was easier, even though it was colder. The things our body can do, and the strengths it has, are beyond astounding.

When I think of being more aware, more conscious, and more observant, it is but a habit I’m trying hard to instil back into my perceptions. I’ve been actively engaging in this change, and it’s made me more humble towards my own self, for starters. It’s overwhelming, almost. And definitely infinitely more peaceful. Perhaps you’ve already been on this journey of consciousness and insight for a while, but for someone who outplays the negatives over the positives, the wrongs over the rights, and who is more critical than necessary, it’s certainly been immensely insightful and calming.

This post has been of sorts; here, there, and everywhere. Even I can’t make sense of where it began and what I came here to write about. That I had no fixed agenda in mind, is crystal clear now. But that’s the thing, it’s not mandatory to have to have an agenda, or to try and prove a point every single time. I’ve to keep reminding myself that this blog here, and writing on it, isn’t a job or a fixture with routines, deadlines, and client inspections stuck to it. It’s mine; and what I choose to do with it, is my prerogative; as everything else that is mine, ought to be. While all this is certainly true and something I look forward to continuing with, something also tells me that this is an overdose of drawing parallels and being conscious. Haha! I’m sorry I took you on this rather long ride. It’s Friday, let’s get out of here, and make merry like Fridays were born to be made. Have a vodka with masala soda! Oh wait, do you love that too? I’ve been drinking this new favourite of mine like there’s no tomorrow; it’s so good, even in this weird, wet, cold weather. :)

Cheers and peace!

21: Currently Thoroughly Enjoying

21 Jan

My life, at this very moment, feels like a scene right out of a movie. There’s the weather factor, which is oddly but expectedly, quite so very under. It’s an overcast day, which only spells cold and more cold. The sun has hardly been out, and when it does get the chance to show itself, it is but a mere shadow. But that isn’t the movie-ish bit, just a hugely contributory element, due to which the movie bit comes in on cue at present – I’m writing this post, all cuddled in bed. It’s one of those weekend afternoons, spent in the luxury of one’s blanket and bed. I was blanketed in, surrounded on one side by a lovely, comforting hot water bottle, and on the other side with my kindle, engrossed in the world of Anna Arkadyevna Karenina. I actually bought myself this classic a few years ago, and remember reading it with the exact same keenness as now, but stopped after the first part for reasons I don’t remember. A lot of me thinks it’s because I got tired of holding the book up while reading it; a hugely prominent factor because of which most of the bulky books I own, remain either entirely unread or abandoned.

Anyhoo, I was a fly on Anna’s wall, till the doorbell rang, just like how all doorbells ring when you never expect them to. In my very asocial case, I seldom desire doorbells to be rung at all, in the first place. I’ve mentioned my loathing for them quite abundantly on this blog – over here, here, here, and here – see? So, it did ring, and I was instantly and most irritably, transported back to this world, and far away from what seemed to be a very warm and lively ballroom. It was S, my istriwala (the guy who irons our clothes); and while I was disturbed from my very cushy position in bed, which takes a lot of adjusting to be perfect especially when you’re reading, mind you, I was also thankful that S not only showed up with my husband’s clothes, but also made me think about writing my post that was due today. I’d put it off for another day; the sheer blasphemy that ensues when you’re so darned tranquil and content, haha!

I feel like (a rotund) Meg Ryan from You’ve Got Mail. That’s what I meant when I typed the first line of this post out. I’m in my woolies, in bed, with my laptop on my lap, and typing away to glory, feeling very important, and purposeful. Also, the added sfx of my typing, makes me feel so inexorably complete that it had to feature in my blog post today. But that’s about it. The filminess ends here, for the post at least. Everything else in my life today, screams reality over reelity. A is under the weather, the hot water bottle is because the lower half of my body is on medical leave for the next few days, and my day since I first woke up, has been more organised and productive than any Saturday I’ve had in the longest time. My morning bevvys, tea, breakfast, and lunch were all made and done before the maid could leave; therefore ensuring that all my dishes were done and my kitchen cleaned before it struck 1030am; the bathrooms were cleaned, my bath was had, the house was cleaned, the laundry was done, post which K3G was watched uninterruptedly. I love it when I don’t have to get up in between watching something. It has all worked out well so far; even this blog post is up in time…and I couldn’t really care about dinner, so that’s an added bonus.

What I’m trying to say is that despite not having a genie to wait upon me, and make my domestic life a breeze, despite both of us being under the weather which is in itself not faring too well today, and despite forfeiting so many hours over a crybaby movie, all is well and to be thankful for. I’ve emerged feeling very well rested (because I’m still in bed), and like I’m in one of my favourite movies. Soon, when the restful headache begins to stir within me, I will make myself a steaming cup of tea, and still try not to care about dinner. After all, there’s only so much a faux movie star can think about, right? Besides, I’m that self-confessed precocious girl who thinks not all meals ought to be fussed over, or even thought about.

To sum up, I’m currently thoroughly enjoying:

this ambience that’s enveloped me
this wave of sloth that’s washed over me
this slight drowsiness that’s tugging my eyelids
this read that’s absorbed me,
and this Saturday, which feels like home.

Have a beautiful weekend, folks! :)

Picking Between Battles to Fight and Ignore

13 May

The one thing that’s hit me hard in my face the past couple of months is that peace of mind, while very attainable, comes at the cost of compromise a lot of the times. It’s seldom a my way or the highway scenario not because that’s impossible, but because it’s really not practical or helpful for that matter. It’s a concept I’m learning how to deal with because more often than not, it’s my peace of mind which I seek comfort in at the end of the day. And compromise, by default, indicates that you aren’t necessarily going to get your way, if at all sometimes.

To have a substandard clean house versus having a clean house the way you want it to be…
To have house help who are infamous for doing things the way they want to despite training and supervision versus having no house help at all…
To find objects in positions xyz because you want them in positions xyz versus finding them dusted and cleaned but not in positions xyz thanks to said house helps and their habits…
To do all the cleaning and cooking yourself just the way you like it versus not finding your standards matched up to but with help which is a blessing in its own way…
To inculcate the habit of picking up after oneself at the cost of a squabble or two versus doing the picking up yourself and getting rewarded with peace (which is an art and comes after much practice, I tell you!)…
To have your own peace time to do as you wish, when you wish versus rushing to get things done just in time for the house help to arrive…

The list of compromise and battles is ohmygawwwwd endless. Every day holds a new surprise, if you ask me. Whether it’s sounding like a broken record to the guy who cleans your house, to the point where you hate yourself for opening your mouth more than you hate his daydreamy attitude, or putting your hands up and giving up at the cost of not having things the way you want them, is such a bargain of both mental peace and the need to have things in a particular way.

I’m not sure it’s about being rigid as much as it is about not understanding just why it is so difficult to do the regular stuff, especially like keeping things back from where they were picked up at. This really isn’t even a husband-bashing post because one thing’s clear – I’m used to a certain way of doing things, and he, well, let’s just say the traces of his bachelor days pop up from time to time as some sort of brotherhood assurance or whatever the silly reason may be. It’s a line we have to draw ourselves and walk equidistant to arrive at a point where we learn to give and take some. It’s a task nonetheless and we’ve had our fair share of squabbles…change isn’t so easy to handle especially when each of us believes we’re right. In my honest opinion, men, if left to themselves, would make a fine man-cave out of their surroundings where everything’s within reach and all over the place. No, I don’t hate men, but this is something which has more truth to it than falsehood…we’ve seen it on television shows and we’ve seen it in reality – there’s no more proof one needs. A lot of them do not get our ways and a lot of us do not get their way of doing things. Ah, balance!

Many conversations and discussions with friends in the same situation yield the same conclusion and solution – i.e. picking which battle to fight and which ones to forgo the effort over. Growing up has its mean share of lessons to learn – mean because who loves having someone else get their way so much? But to know better and walk away when you must, even when you really just want to stand there and hold your ground, has its benefits; and worthy benefits at that.

We two are a continuous work in progress and while we poke jibes at each other from time to time and turn on the switch when the shit hits the fan, I know we’ve come a long way bearing lessons learnt and a fair share of occasional resentment as well. Learning how and which battle to pick has been my biggest milestone; one that I’m taking a while to linger around at because I’ve far from mastered the art of keeping my cool and finding that balance between what both of us want. I’m constantly learning how to give in and how to be assertive on what’s necessary.

What prompted me to come here and spew these words out, was of course my house help and his complete ineptness, his lack of care and his silly daydreaming ways. A scolding and some self-loathing later, here I am, involving you in my daily shenanigans which, I guess, are a regular feature everywhere…because it’s a universal fact that if I’m not doing the things I want done, then I’ve got to be okay with slight change and compromise for that coveted mental peace.

Sometimes I wish playing house was as simple as putting a bed sheet over my head where all was well and everyone + everything was clean and free. Haha!

Notes

4 Mar

I’m almost always thirsty for anything and everything that will give me my shot of peace, quiet and positivity; often-times behaving like this crazy sponge who will reach out for just about whatever it can soak up just to feel a little full, a little complete again. I wonder where all that I desperately soak up, goes, and so fast, because I’ve never been this thirsty before. Never.

Through my multitude searches, I’ve managed to make some mental notes and checks – markers that I hope to stumble upon every time I walk down this much sought after path – to feel more prepared than the last time I visited that very same place. Sometimes it works; I can see it. At most other times, my notes lay crumpled, erased, forgotten, and even strewn around from the violent storms of my very own overpowering thoughts. Every day is a battle. And every day is a choice I find myself making between picking a battle versus settling for whatever I have or with whatever I do not have.

It is hard, but I am doing it because these are the only choices I have right now. The feeling isn’t as limiting, as it is overwhelming.

Here are some notes or reminders that I’ve made for my very own self over the last few days:

  • Time isn’t waiting, and neither must you. If you miss one bus, one moment, make sure you’re ready for the next. It will not wait. It never has. It really never will.
  • Not fighting a battle doesn’t make you weak, no matter how much your mind may urge you to believe otherwise.
  • Starting all over again may be the only choice over stagnation. Take it, no matter how debilitating, tiring, stressful and sometimes humiliating, it may feel.
  • Peace is not going to come from all the plans to feel at peace that you made. It only shows you’re not at peace with what you already have. And what you do not have right now has never made a promise or an assurance to come your way anyway.
  • Turn to something higher, something bigger, something more all-encompassing and just surrender. Not every bag needs to be carried on your shoulder.
  • Surrendering and letting go in no way implies that you’ll get what you want, but only implies that you’re short of one bag to carry should you have really, actually let go of it.
  • Be selfish for your own self. You are responsible for your happiness, sadness and for your own peace – an empty cup can never give.
  • Do not mistake patience for promises. Accept patience for what it really is.

Validation

26 Feb

It is so easy for someone like me to pinpoint the negatives, to put under spotlight all that isn’t going as per plan or to even channelize my energies into brooding over anything and everything. A true cynic and brooder, it really isn’t hard to wallow in the have-nots of my life rather than celebrate the many things I am, in fact, blessed to have. Let’s not even go down the road of how these constant existential quotes and memes out there make me feel; because no, they do not make me feel sunshiney or motivated or even remotely unicornish. They just lead me to question two very simple things – a) how much spare time do people really for this sort of stuff, and b) is this world really so sad and demotivated and high-strung that it turns to no one else but the internet to get itself gratified, so to speak? Anyway. It’s a real wonder.

Sometimes it’s unimaginable how time flies and where my day goes. Having worked or kept myself occupied with some routine or the other all my life so far, this new break of sorts is sometimes welcome and mostly questioned. No, I haven’t walked down the (very discouraging) what is wrong with me path and I’m trying to stay very far away from it since that is a black-hole to avoid. Neither have I asked what’s taking so long for a routine to fall in place. What I have, however, pondered and brooded over is why this is such a bother to me. When did having free time become a bad thing? When did not being employed (yet) become a question of one’s worth or talent or capabilities? Most of all, why are we so quick to be this harsh on ourselves?

It really isn’t easy, especially if you are someone who always wants to have something to do; something you automatically seek validation from. It really is hard. And it is so easy to begin that blame-game and throw oneself into the throes of negativity. It is a task that I indulge in on an almost daily basis to inform myself about the vagaries of time and its effects; that everything definitely has a meaning and a reason behind it. I do believe in that sort of stuff so it makes it a little easier to tide the waves of panic that sometimes wash over me. However, in the midst of it all, I do have my conscience ringing its bell as and when it pleases, because complacency was never really a favourite and not something to be tolerated in the least.

What does help me are the things I love doing; things that take my mind off its thoughts; and things that channelize my energy into more productive and meaningful expressions. With a very supportive and encouraging family, I have indeed turned inward and sought that which makes me feel at peace with myself — because it comes from within me, is by me and is always going to be for me… those precious reserves that we stock up all our life but never open because we never give ourselves the time to look within them and experience ourselves for all that we are, and more. It is the stuff that is mine and encompasses all this time which is my time – something that sadly is such a rarity today. I’ve no idea when and how we started attributing free time and me time to being useless and jobless and worst of all, worthless.

It’s taken some effort and lots of coaxing, but I haven’t ever felt this sort of absolute peace with my own company before. It’s triply thrilling because it doesn’t involve the company of a second or even third party – just me and my self. Because of which, I’ve never drawn my heart and mind out like I am now. With every curve, with every bend, with every line, there is a release that’s hard to explain and a crime to control.

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So here’s what I’ve basically spent a lot of January, doing. Be it doodling, drawing or even just writing – this time used to let my inner self speak and this opportunity to mingle directly with it minus any interference, is, I have learnt, most satisfying and validating.