” Maa” , that’s what a mother is called in Hindi. And I find this word more soothing, more musical and more melodious than other variants . So am addressing my letter to my Maa.
you are right now across the seven seas, and we have not seen each other in a few months and u shall be away for a bit longer . So I feel this is probably the best time to write to you.
It amazes me, whenever I think that my Maa can speak almost eight different Indian languages! Be it the north, south, west or east, you can find one common language and express yourself. What amazes me is the fact that two of those you learnt after you came here to Mumbai!
From Allepey in Kerala to Mumbai at the age of 22 , married to a man who was almost a stranger to you. From living in a house that was right at the beach in quiet and calmness to living in a house right outside a railway station , where every 4 minutes a train thundered by. From land of Malayalam to land of Marathi. How terrifying it must have been for you. From a nuclear family of four in a big house to a joint family of twelve in a two room apartment. How claustrophobic you might have felt.
And yet you made a place for yourself in everyone’s heart and a place for each person of your family in your heart. Like most women here, you too have slogged and sacrificed your life so that we, your children get the best of everything and move up in life. It is because you sacrificed so many holidays , did we get an education that took us places. It is because you woke up each day at 5 am, did we never miss any class or any meetings. I admire your capacity to give.
At the same time I wish that now our horizons have become so different that we maybe share and celebrate these differences. I wish I could , for a day, show you what my life REALLY looks like! That the bridge is strong between us and we can easily cross into each others worlds.
And mostly I admire you for being happy with two weirdoes like dad and me 🙂
Home is waiting for both you ! Come back soon!
Daily Prompt: Circle of Five
A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?
In school we often were asked to write an essay on topics such as ,” My favorite Personality”, or “My idol” “Whom i admire the most”. And I used to absolutely not like this exercise. How can one select just one person? I admire different people for different reason and would rather be a mix of their best. Would we not become too uni-dimensional if we just emulated one person and just as flawed? So invariably I would write the same name each time, like all these essay “guides” would : Mahatma Gandhi.
Ironically I would start with him again this time for my BIG FIVE:
I admire the sheer DETERMINATION this man possessed. Almost single handedly he got a “nation” ( i firmly believe India is a huge collection of multifarious groups rather than ONE country in the real sense of the word) up on it’s feet and moving. He gave the world the alternative of showing the other cheek. And for that I love him.
Ach Rumi! You teach me each time I read you, what it is to love and hence to live. The simplicity and yet the sheer elegance in your thoughts/ words have been an inspiration to me. Just like you said, your beauty has set my life on fire.
As clichéd as it sounds, my dad is also one of my BIG FIVES. I have not met a person as kind, as warm and as loving as he is.
He was warm, sharp and founder of almost all the biggest industries in India. He was way ahead of his time and India owes him the beginning of modernization. He was the first Indian to obtain a pilot license issued in India. He showed that you can set up an empire without corruption, without black money.
Babies and children:
Well maybe am cheating here 😉 , yet I know that children inspire me the most. No matter how much you think you know, they know and understand even more. They are straightforward and also know what to say when and where. Loving comes easy to them. So does forgiving. They accept people as they are. Think out of the box. Experiment. Get up easily when they fall down. So call me a cheat if you will, but They remain in my BIG FIVE
Your hair will look great shorter.
Blue really looks better on you than black.
That guy is not worth your time.
She is just using you to get to him. Just forget it.
You need to be more assertive.
Don’t get emotionally involved with people so easily.
i think maybe you should just give her a piece of your mind.
Think a little before you say something.
Look before you leap.
Etc. etc. etc….
How often have we been the speaker and the listener of these and many such words? Friends, elders, foes, teachers, parents, well meaning and not-so- well meaning people around us. People who want to give us a helping hand, people who, well, just like to say stuff.
My personal favorite comes from the story of the wise sadhu (sage, who has earned great wisdom after years of penance. Theoretically. Nowadays television helps. Apparently) and the king.
This king, a kind one, was suddenly attacked by his arch enemy. The king in question suffered a devastating defeat. (Much like the Indian cricket team does so often). He lost his kingdom, his wealth, his soldiers. Practically everything. But he does manage to flee the battle scene and hides in a cave. He is in total despair. He doesn’t know what to do. Should he kill himself? Should he go back and surrender? Each option seemed dreary. While mulling on this he remembered the small piece of paper his Guru, the wise sage, had given him when he became king. The sage had asked him to keep it in his ring and open it only in the most desperate of situations. This advice would give him the solution. So the king opens this piece of paper. On it are four simple words:
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
The king feels as if a bolt of lightning passed through him. As if the sky cleared up after a storm. As if the sun suddenly burst on in the sky. With new found hope and courage, he managed to gather the remaining soldiers, appealed to another king, who was friendly and won back his kingdom and wealth.
Of course there is a great celebration. The entire kingdom comes with gifts and showers blessings and praise their brave king.
During the day of the celebration of this great victory , the same sadhu comes up to him and gives him another piece of paper as a congratulatory present for the King and asks him to read it. Full of curiosity the king opens it and reads something familiar:
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
The King experiences the same sudden insight, the same clarity. He rules his kingdom wisely and justly. Late he too gives up his kingdom, goes into the forest and spends the rest of his days in serving the poor, meditating and sharing his knowledge.
I love this story. And each time am euphoric, am down in the dumps, am angry, am elated, am impatient, am nervous, am afraid…i tell myself and others: this too shall pass.
I calm down a bit. And then after a few moments, the feeling passes. The feeling of calmness. The golden words pass out of my memory and i am back to where i was. And then i remember this story again.
I am coordinating and partly conducting a paper theater workshop (with the Papertheater Nuremberg from Germany) for about 40 kids from different schools and between the age group 12-16. The workshop is an auditorium where it is loud, dark, dusty and a bit dingy. There are no microphones. From 9 am to 3 pm we try and teach them basics of Theater, music, and simple German. I also have to organize the food, take care that none of the kids kill each other, tear each others clothes or hair apart. Then after the workshop plan for the next day, answer questions like, if they can wear a black shirt with a purple bow (!) for the performance, if they can come half an hour late…
Then i have to travel an hour and a half to get back home, check my mails, finish other office correspondence.
And then i see this challenge in the inbox. And this was an offer i couldn’t refuse. I am tired, hungry, have no food at home, have loads of work waiting for me. But this challenge i couldn’t refuse. I loved these 10 minutes. Thank You Michelle! This got my brain rolling!
Then conscientiously he bundled everything back and was much aggrieved by Ethel’s reproaches later in the day.
Well, what else could Ethel do? She was William’s sister. Have you heard of him? William Brown? He was a living proof for a “diaster-will-happen-wherever-his-shadow-falls.”
He regularly, very systematically, though without intending to, destroys Ethel’s hat trimming. He can single-handedly, rather single”mouthedly” raid the kitchen and finish the entire weeks cake and cookies. In one afternoon, of course. When he feels that some “poor” child needs “rescuing “, he and his band of Outlaws would rise to the occasion without another thought. No, literally without another thought.
School was considered a waste of time. It cut in to all the hours the Outlaws and William could have spent catching tadpoles, playing Red Indian or chasing crickets.
Adults were naturally enemy no.1. They did all sorts of mischief themselves, make mistakes, get into scraps and break stuff. But William and his friends were punished for as much as breaking a window pane or getting all muddy. Really. Life was unfair.
(Richmal Crompton created this wonderful character. Its one of my most favorite reads. Thank you, Richmal Crompton, for making my life more humorous, more interesting, full with ‘William’)
Since i’ve just very very very started blogging, like a couple of weeks ago, if this had to be my last post, i’d probably feel DAMN! And i’ve just started. Just two people following my blog. Hardly any views at all, just 6 posts, just about 20 comments, not even a single “Inspiring Blogger Award”. And i have not even scratched the surface of my writing skills yet.
But i do guess it saves cyber space and makes way for another unsuspecting blogger 🙂