Posts from the ‘Life’ Category
April 4, 2015
Is the mortar
Betwixt bricks of
Critique and praise
Plenitude and penury
Honesty and rogue
Mirth and depression
One would not
Be what it is
Without the other
March 15th 2015
At the feet of Masters who teach acceptance…
September 8, 2014
Dear Jungle Jalebi
Tears fall with you
As you fell
In winds that revved
Up a mighty squall
Your roots uprooted
From the earth
Your branches entangled
In electric wires
Bit by bit you
From all that upon
Which you rest
Your weary limbs
And taken away
The cat runs up your
Huge, sloping trunk
One last time
To flex his muscles
On Nature’s post
The parrots busy
Gobbling your summer-ripened
Red fruit – so much you
Showered this year….
You enriched my life
By your presence,
And yet so much
And soon I will have
To learn to live in your
This time there is no sorrow
Only acceptance of
Nature and her forces
Yes, my friend,
I will miss you
And so will the cats
And birds and all
Those who came
And sat in your shade
And tasted your beauty
May 15th 2013
The dear, old Jungle Jalebi had probably been around for over 50 years. Our house was built around it. Like a friend that must go, it went. Funnily enough, it is still lives on…
June 8, 2014
It is 1.10 in the afternoon and I have just settled down to eating my lunch in the TV room when suddenly I hear a phatak sound in the veranda. It appears as if something has collided with the glass panes of the living-room doors. Placing the tray on the sofa beside me and calling out loudly to Kuldip, the houseboy, I rush out to the adjacent portico. I see a little dove on the red chair. I think that I know what has happened. It has, in full flight, hit against the glass and is momentarily stunned. Not seeing it move or flutter at all, I pick it up. It still doesn’t move. Read more
June 6, 2014
Have you ever tried to pay attention?
Pay attention to what?
To whatever it is that you rush about doing?
I must be paying attention, otherwise how would I accomplish anything?
No, I mean, REALLY pay attention?
I just answered that, you know!
If you were truly paying attention, you wouldn’t rush.
Really, how have you come to that conclusion?
Because then you would savor every moment!
You know, Cat, I don’t have time for your silly purrifications!
That’s just it, you are not listening. You never do.
All right, try me this time, for a change!
Let’s see now – look at you rushing – can you slow down a bit?
You mean as I walk?
Yes. We could begin from there. Presently, you are walking.
What do you want me to do – the cat-walk?
Be Present in your walk.
I want you to put your foot slowly – one behind the other.
But I am doing just that – you idiotic feline!
There you go again – ranting and raising your voice. Be quiet.
Fine – here I am, placing my fee t – s l o w l y –
That’s better. Can you please smile, also, as you walk?
Here, can you see my pearly whites, now, you dumb nitwit?
Stop being judgmental and calling me names, please!
All right, I’m sorry.
Much better, you are developing awareness to my feelings, now.
Can you feel the earth beneath your feet as you walk?
Well, I’m certainly not moon walking, you silly thing!
There you go again. Walk with intense awareness in every step.
An awareness of what, please tell me?
An awareness of all there is in this precise moment.
Do you feel the earth come up to meet you in every step?
But I thought I was walking ON the earth?
Yes, yes, you are. As your toes press down, can you feel the earth pushing
up to greet the soles of your feet?
I am trying; I’m trying to feel just that.
Good, because the earth is a living being, just like you.
O yeah, then I’m a dinosaur!
It feels your weight; it feels your thoughts; it feels your feelings!
O yeah, and I’m a flying wombat!
It knows your positivity and senses your negativity.
Yeah, the earth is a psychic, it can read my mind.
You are neither a dinosaur nor a wombat and the earth is not a psychic.
Who am I, then?
That’s precisely what I’m trying to convey, if only you’d focus!
Focus on each step you take, focus on the softness under it.
Hmm, Hmm, Hmm.
Notice your movement; notice the earth’s quiet stillness.
Hmm, Hmm, Hmm.
There is something within you that is within the earth too.
Whatever can that be?
Remember, I said the earth is a living being?
Well, so are you.
I already know that!
Yes, but not in the sense I’m implying.
Okay. Come on, tell me.
Look at yourself as Life, alive, without a name.
I don’t know if I can do that.
Feel the earth as Life, alive, without a name too.
What about you, Cat? Do I look at you as Life, obviously alive, without a name too?
Yes, yes, yes. Now, you’re getting the connection.
I am? I’ll try to assimilate this. Thank you.
Meow – Purr, purr, purr!
Hmm, Hmm, Hmm!
April 29th 2012
May 27, 2014
In the evening, the garden comes alive with birdsong. The sun’s slanting rays casts shadows over ferns and bushes, one minute there and gone the next! The movement of light over the little expanse seems to dance to the music of bulbuls. A pair frequents the garden. Their warbles and chuckles lull and soothe as they flit and fly fanning their tail-ends, alighting on top of a swaying leaf or stem. Resting a bit and giving out a gurgle, they fly off again. I envy their flight as I do their apparent freedom! Bulbuls are known to be monogamous. This red-vented pair, I notice, has tried its best to nest in whatever is available in the little garden. A month ago, they had nested in the wicker basket that hangs over the front porch of the drive way. Soon enough, three eggs appeared which days later hatched into three baby bulbuls. I wondered how they would manage to survive the big-bad- world at large and decided to play grandmother bulbul! Asking the Mali to put green netting around the nest that would protect them, I imagined it would do the job! Kuldip and other staff kept an eye on the nursery. Toby and Tinker Bell the Siamese pair were forbidden to venture out on the porch overhead! Even the Mali refused to water the fern that housed them. The chicks seemed to be doing just fine. And I looked forward to the addition of new members to the bird orchestra in the garden very soon.Alas! Early one morning, as I stepped out of the front door, I saw the fern and lumps of moss in a heap before me. In a flash I knew what had happened, recalling that I had seen two stray cats lurking outside the evening before!
And yet the warbles and chuckles of the bulbuls continue. I am quite certain it is the same pair re-making their nest. They hover near the hibiscus bushes often. Four evenings ago I saw a stray cat roaming on the boundary wall. Tinker Bell, my crafty and thoroughly spoilt Siamese cat repeatedly visits the same spot on the wall.
Repeatedly I go out and bring her down. I am sure the bulbuls’ story isn’t over just yet. I instruct Kuldip to investigate and locate their nest. He peers and prods around in the bushes for a while but can’t find anything. I intuitively know he is wrong! The next day he informs me that he has located the nursery. It is in the hedge that overhangs the boundary wall but on the outside of it. I am delighted. Tinker Bell is forbidden to amble on the wall.
Bricks are brought in and the area on top of the wall to the left and to the right of the nest is cordoned off from the cats. Mr Crow knows something is up. He swoops down often enough and the pair flies about frenetically keeping up their shrill calls. We shoo the big black crow. The rain comes down heavily. A calm descends. I visit the outer periphery and take a peek. I see three glorious little ones covered in their fluffy down feathers huddled together. The parents seem to understand my concern and watch a little cautiously giving out a rather nervous chuckle now and then. The Mali decides to hang a bit of green netting on the outside in the hope of keeping them safe. I ask the Universe to lend its whole-hearted support to this little family. I trust that this time my prayers will be answered. Sure enough in a few days, the glorious fledglings abandon their nest to take their perch in the neighbouring branches, testing their wings to soon fly away into the universe.
May 21, 2014
Tell me how not to be pliant like a willow
When winds of deceit and subterfuge blow?
To stand correct and straight amidst
Overwhelming corruption and hate?
Tell me how to fight war and strife
With a white glove and no knife?
To cry a little more now and then
On seeing killing, riots and mayhem?
Tell me how to tolerate and bear
The mindless destruction of Life everywhere?
How to feel a wrenching pain
As hunters shoot down for profit and gain?
Tell me how not to turn my face away
From gnawing poverty and hunger every day?
Tell me how to experience the same
Of those tortured and maimed?
Tell me how to be a lotus in the lagoon
Despite muddy waters, in full bloom?
Tell me how to revere and hold sublime
All Life in its variety Divine?
Tell me how, O Sage, to pray,
Bringing Compassion, Awareness and Oneness
Into our lives each day?
Feb 15th 2011
Written after the riots and chaos in Egypt, January 2011 and the multitude of scams breaking out in India.
Yet it seems perennially valid ….
May 18, 2014
Opening her eyes to acknowledge and see
A smile and squeeze of hand is rendered to me