I love music,
i love dance,
i love the morning air,
i love the fragrance of first raindrops landing on the earth with a kiss.
i love to see my daughter smile,
and I love to see my son sleep in bliss.
I love selfies and I love daal-rice,
i love the plants in my terrace,
i love my vodka on ice.
I love Howard Roark in ” the fountainhead”
and I love Julia Roberts in “eat,pray,love”,
i love the colloquial punjabi in my village
i love the swaying, yellow mustard flowers in the unending fields.
i love riding the buffalo and slowly sinking with it,
into the village pond…..
i love listening to tales of Sikh valour from my grandpa,
and folk songs from my grandma.
I love the wind on my face as I race on the highway,
i love the dew-wet grass under my feet….
as as I sit back to reckon,
there is so much I love; people, places,things….. love seems to surround me.
simply because the heart is filled with pure, simple love.
not love for, or love because, but simply love.
this love flows out and is reflected in all around me,
love is all around because love is within.
Can you imagine life without social media ?Imagine waking up in the morning and not knowing being abe to update your status that another new day has arrived. Imagine dining at the finest restaurants and not being able to post pictures on watsapp or instagram? These events would become so dull and drab, without sharing!
What use is the phone if I can’t see the posts of my friends and compare how many likes her profile picture got as against mine? Impossible to imagine life without the virtual reality!
In showing “the thumbs up” to so many posts and inserting “muuahs” for so many pictures of friends, many times we do not even register what we really feel aboout the posts/pictures. The like or smiley comes so automatically that many times we do it in auto pilot mode! This brings me to asking a small but pertinent question: have we lost the sense of truth and honesty? We comment and appreciate so many things just to please! We do so because thats what is the “done thing”. Probably, over time, we have slipped into the comfort of white lies! We have talked ourselves into accepting it as a way of life. “if it is not harming anyone, whats wrong?” is the comoly accepted argument.
The liittle imp in me pushes me to think one step ahead. What if one day we lost the art of speaking the “untruth”? What if one day the program that prevents us from speaking the truth was erased and all we could speak was the truth? Imagine what impact it would have on our relationships and social media presence?!! What a social faux pas we would commit by telling a childhood friend that she is a narcissist and should give us a breather from her obsession with posting selfies!! What would happen to the college glam doll who despite have passed out from college more than 2 decades ago, still thinks she rules the hearts of all the boys in the class? What if she had a brush with reality???? Oh, I shudder to think of all the worlds that would come crumbling down!!!
Going little further and trying to figure out what holds us back from speaking the truth, I realise that not everyone has the gumption to accept and handle the truth. So we take the soft approach of creating an illusion and softening reality. Then the world becomes an easier place to live, each one creating their own cocoons and believing them to be true, everyone comfortable and everyone painting each others’ reality with softer colors to make it a livable place! Thats not so bad! Its a noble deed. So, whats wrong?
The error we commit is not in the intent, its in the method. We see the truth, but we color it as per the person we address or the relationship we share. But if we simply lost the art of telling the untruth? Maybe life would be simpler too, relationships would be more honest, people would expect and learn to accept the truth and maybe strive for being better, rather than living in a bubble that can burst anytime. Maybe it would bring more integrity into relationships and build stronger bonds.
I dont think I will ever know what would happen if we lost the art of telling the untruth… simply thinking and speculating, imagining what if ……
What would you die for?
It was a cool, breezy spring evening, with the fragrance of flowers in the air and butterflies of all colours flirting with the chaos of blooms everywhere. I still remember the sparkle in his eyes when he looked deep into mine, held my hand and said, “I can die for you.” My tender heart, all of 15 years beat so loudly that I was sure all the neighbour could hear it. I gulped down my nervousness, gave him a short smile, tugged my hand away from his clasp and ran! I ran as I had never run in any school race,I ran as if the devil was chasing me…. his words kept ringing in my ears, he could die for me… he could die for me… I was not sure I had wanted someone to die for me, I wanted him to love and live with me… but I could.not get any words from my dry mouth. So I ran. That was the first time I was faced with the words, ” I can die for.
That story ended as all teenage crushes do, and life moved on. But thereafter,over the years, I got to hear these words so often, in different places, diffferent contexts, from different people, for different reasons.
Today, I look back and wonder, do we really know the depth and immensity of the words we drop so casually…. what is it that is worth dying for?
What can you give up life for? And if to get that you need to give up life, then how can you get that and enjoy it? Is life so cheap that it can be traded for anything worldly? Or is any person worth trading your life For? Then what use would you be or your life be,to that person, if you a no more?
So, this question has followed me doggedly, over time,over millions of springs, million evenings and keeps prodding to me think, what would I die for?
The other day, I found an old diary in a stack of old books. It was the one I had used to write poems in, when I was in college, way back in time…. I found this poem on love and it set me thinking….
Love is blinding
The fog horn blew, its deep, lonely sound making the sailors at sea
Wish to be at home;
Its huge shining eye, blinking back tears of solitude.
It blew again, deep, d-e-e-p down in the sea,
The monster stirred.
Ah! After a long, long wait of a million years,
Someone had come at last!
The monster up above was calling him!
He began his ascend to the surface; a long, tedious ascend.
He made it and…..
There it was!!
The tall figure with a bright shining eye, so much like his own!
The horn blew yet again;
The monster rose to his full height and responded with joy.
But…… the fog horn stopped calling!
Oh, the agony!
After million years of waiting lone, he had found a companion,
And, ….. and now…
It refused to answer!
The monster, filled with desperate fury, his eyes reflecting pain and anger,
Screamed and struck the light house;
Destroying it before it could hurt him anymore.
The lighthouse crashed down, and the monster….
Now overcome with anguish and remorse,
Sank back into the deepest, deep,
To wait another millennium…..
Reading it after almost 30 years, I smiled in amazement. How my understanding of the concept called “love” had meta morphed! Life, experiences had helped to see it more closely, understand it and know what Love is.
Love is not blinding, it is not destructive, it’s not about possession. Love is not at all about someone belonging to you or vice-versa. Love does not mean conquering or owning. It cannot be propriety.
Love is a state of being. Love is born inside a person, in the soul, It sets you free, giving joy irrespective of whether you are alone or with someone…. Love is freedom. It is the birth of prayer; it is the light that illuminates the path of faith.
So often, we confuse love with lust. Lust is a need, making us dependent. A dormant state of the soul that doesn’t last long, leaving us with a feeling of emptiness and loneliness. On the other hand, love is like the awakening of the soul, its not a relation, its not in relation to someone, or something. It’s a state of being, a feeling of completeness within, of fullness and joy. When this joy overflows, it surrounds you with peace, exaltation and “gladness” at being alive. When you experience love, you do not limit it to a person or thing, there is no need to possess, to own or to control the thing that gives you joy. It is the knowledge of freedom and purity from within, so in that sense you can neither fall into or out of love…. It’s a state of being, being one with oneself, exalted, in bliss…..
Last weekend, we decided to take a walk down memory lane. We pulled out all the old photo albums, brought out the popcorn, chilled lemonade and sprawled on the cool floor, to relive the times captured in those albums.
I noticed that in some pictures I had a glow on my face, absolutely radiating and in some, i looked completely lack- luster. I looked again, a little closer this time, trying to understand what was missing in some pictures, as they were from same time zone. I pointed it out to my children and asked them if they noticed it too. Yes, they too felt that in some pictures they looked so radiant and “Alive” while not so much in others. We flipped through more pictures, trying to get a hold on what was the missing element.
Then it occurred to me, slowly, dimly. I looked back again, to reconfirm. Yes! The answer to our question was: a simple Smile! No, no, not the scientific twisting of the facial muscles when you stretch your lips and cheeks laterally and sometimes, even show some teeth. I am talking about the real, heartfelt smile, coming from the heart, and reaching up to the eyes, lighting them, sending a soft glow on the face; an honest, from-the-heart smile!
You see, its not just a physical movement of the facial muscles or a mask pulled on for the sake of the camera.Its not a pouting of the lips, looking deep into the lens. Its not even about the right angle of the light and turning of the face. It isn’t something you can achieve without feeling the emotion. The smile is a combination of the “happy hormones” (or whatever they are called in science books) triggered in your body by the joy you experience in that moment and this reaction is reflected on the face, in the twinkle of the eyes, the soft hue on the face, the peace in the heart and finally, the U-turning of the lips. Wow! It a chemical-emotional reaction!!
A smile is the best make-up and accessory for the face, turning you into a more beautiful person, in that moment, when you smile with your heart, your being. And you don’t need the camera, to smile. When there is a song in your heart and your mind is flooding with the “happiness hormones”, when you are comfortable with being you, the smile comes spontaneously! sometimes, you may even find yourself smiling into space, at nothing in particular! Here, I must warn you that if people are around, some may look at you with strange curiosity! Do not let it bother you. You just go ahead and smile!!!
As I stepped into the house last evening, my son rushed out of his room to greet me. The seventeen years old had a wide grin on his face, a sparkle in his eyes and a lightness in his step. I sensed there was something very exciting coming up, because this 6-feet baby of mine did not usually display so much emotion and come skipping out of his room to greet me. I waited, my mind racing, trying to guess a possible reason for this joy. By then, he had come and stood in front of me. He reached for my hand, put a 100 rupees note on it and stood expectantly, waiting for my reaction. I looked at him, looked at the note and then back at him, realizing this was an immense moment but unable to comprehend. He understood. Smiling, no, correction, beaming, he said that this was the first earning of his life!! He had earned the 100 rupees on his own, with his own efforts and with his own intelligence!
I looked at his hands and saw the tiny, pudgy, balls of pink, 17 years ago, which I had held in mine and slowly kissed each finger, the day he was born. I looked at his eyes and saw the huge, black eyes that shone many shades darker when he used to cry to be fed. I saw his tiny pink feet, soft and tender, kicking away into the air all day. I could still hear his gurgles of laughter and smell his baby- powdered skin. I could still feel his hand clasping my finger whenever we went out, how he would stand beside me, toying with my dupatta while I spoke to people we met, look up with his huge eyes and smile, each time I called is name. Time and again, he would turn and look at me, reassuring himself that mother was around, and then get busy playing.
I shook out of my reverie. Here he was, standing taller than me, having earned his first bit of money!!! How soon those tiny, pink hands grew into these strong, square hands, I did not realize…. How quickly he stepped out of my shadow, and into the world, I did not realize…… Yes, indeed, my baby had grown…. I smiled warmly, looking at him with pride, my heart seeming to burst with the flood of love that surged inside, I raised my arms and hugged him. My baby had grown up!!