The Little Big Moments Of Joy!

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

We’re always looking for the BIG stuff. The big car, the big house, the opulent interiors, the big bank account, the big brand names, the big donations, the big names we know ( may not know, but in this age of you-are-who-you-know as long as you can name drop, you’re happening dude)’ the big vacations, the big schools our children go to, the big clubs we’re members of, the big restaurants we eat at, the big thrills and experiences, the big book launch that we’re invited to, the big runs, the big everything.

Today Big is business. You may be small, you may be mean, you may not be humane, you may not believe in reducing your carbon footprint, you may not even know what TED stands for or never chide your fancy chauffeur of your big fat limo on how he’s not suave enough to slip past a traffic cop, but hey wait a minute, you’ve got swag, you’re the King of Mammon and whaddya know, you’re suddenly big.

But when you’re alone in your corner office, sitting in your car watching people struggle to reign in their snarls in traffic, or waiting for your next big appointment to strike the next big deal, it is in those infinitesimal moments that you sometimes have an epiphany ( if you grant yourself the permission to do so that is), about:

a) your child’s tubby finger not letting go of your finger when you were kissing her goodbye before leaving to sit in big meetings with big people about big decisions for big monies.

b) flaring your nostrils when the rains decide to vent their frustration only for the Earth to release her inimitable scent and envelope you in an unfathomable desire to dance with abandon.

c) dancing to “Y-M-C-A” and brandishing your ladle while stirring pasta in and relishing the aroma of your own unfettered happiness.

I won’t add to the list as I know that you’d have a gazillion more moments to dip into, so different from mine, and yet bound by one common thread – the thread of simplicity. My mon and I for instance squeal like 2 year olds when we change the cushion covers, hang up freshly laundered curtains, when Roger Federer unexpectedly beats Nole or when we have a lick of ice cream and go “yummmmmm” and roll our eyes, push out our tongues and look at each other and grin like Cheshire cats. Oh these moments I tell you, sheer Joy Inside ( Intel can go make another chip, while I enjoy the chocolate chip, uh oh PJ I know but see, couldn’t resist it)!

Have you wondered ever why you feel so excited when the traffic lights are all green on those inexplicably blissful days, or how the asinine security guard actually greets you or how your Outlook doesn’t crash and how you get an unexpected  email acknowledging your work on the presentation, or how when you get the call that the loan you applied for to start your business has been sanctioned or how when you go to the movie theatre, you manage to get the last 2 tickets and catch the movie, or how that really dishy looking guy actually smiles at you in the crowded elevator or how the retail assistant gets you a Size S when you are a size L?

It’s about the little big moments in Life that really makes us give a high five to Life, a little Hurrah, a little bow. Because if you really took a big pause right about now and thought about why you love Life and what makes it worth it, well, am dead certain you’ll be thinking of how the sun suddenly threw aside the cloud cover to bathe you in sunshine on a particularly dull day.

From now on, just count the little big moments of your life and when you add them up you will see that you’ve lived a Big Life. Small wonder eh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Inconvenience of Truth!

 “It’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness I lack. Not rationality.”                  The Bride in  Kill Bill – Vol.1 

The Inconvenience of Truth 1:
Firstly, apologies that I’m a day late on my writing schedule. The ‘silver lining’ way to look at it? Thank God, just a day late and I’ve got something to say :). My mother and I went to see this Hindi movie called ‘City Lights’ on Sunday last. The movie had got great reviews and the actor is from among a new breed of actors in the Bollywood pantheon who’s a find, a bundle of skill and talent, he’s the reel and real deal – Rajkumar Rao, take a bow. The movie lived up to some of the reviews and I liked it. Gritty and real with some extremely fine acting.

The long and short of the storyline – a young man, his wife and his young daughter leave their village in Rajasthan, a state in North Western India, come to Mumbai seeking hope, love, dreams and fulfillment – trying to live an honest dream. What the city does to them as a family in search of living, is the crux of the movie. The movie held me in thrall, most movies do as I’m a lover of movies and if a movie doesn’t hold me in the vortex of its storytelling then it’s a truly truly truly awful film. Because I can sit through almost any film, barring horror. That’s a genre that I abhor and have stayed away from. I value my sleep and I don’t need horror films to teach me about  beauty and love and gratitude and forgiveness and I don’t need arguments that without darkness there can be no light. Thank you, but no, thank you! Aah, I digress, woe be me! :). Blame it on the lure of the words and the seduction by the keyboard :).

So to get back to the movie ‘City Lights’, the movie asked me a few questions to which I honestly had no answers:

a) What is it to be homeless and would I be able to sleep on a pavement besides a garbage dump with my mother if I ever found myself to be in a situation like that? {she’s the only immediate family though my close knit and extended family of aunts and cousins might take umbrage to that statement, but you know what I mean – like I have no siblings or a father (at least I don’t know if he’s alive and I’m hoping if he is that he’s fine, God bless his soul!)}

b) What kind of person does it take to cheat a naive, simple, poor soul of all his monies and leave him and his family dejected, homeless and bereft of hope or belief in the goodness of humanity? What would I do in circumstances like that?

c) Would I be able to dance in a strip club and have men leching, lunging and lusting after my body and objectifying me as a pure sex object? So what if the money’s showered on and over my titillating body? Would my pride, ego, intrinsic cultural ethos and conditioning prevent me from doing what it takes to survive especially if I was a mother with a young child?

d) Why do we teach “honesty” as a value? Why don’t we temper these values with riders and caveats with a dose of practical reality? It’d be so much more easy to live down our own truths. I mean, really, how honest can a person be in this world that we’ve ensured is dishonest? And then to seek honesty and goodness and spirituality in the Himalayas or Hawaii by doing yoga or becoming a monk or whatever else that you’ve identified is food for your soul, isn’t going to cut it is it? if it does, why are we all always seeking? I’m not deriding seekers, no, not by a long shot. Please continue to ask, seek, search and find whatever it is you are seeking to give you peace, purpose and pleasure and make the world a better place. I’m a seeker too for cyring out loud and it is in that seeking that these questions emerge. Why don’t we teach our children therefore, that be ‘as honest as you can by weighing the circumstances and the context’?
Because let’s face it, there are no absolutes, are there? We’ve all cheated, lied, and been dishonest at some time in our lives, white lies et al. So who are we kidding when we say, ‘be honest, don’t cheat, be good’. Really?

e)  Would you make peace quickly (I dare not say easily), with your spouse’s death even after realising that it was a deliberate sacrifice on his/her part, so that you could live with dignity and purpose, with the monies that can afford you those twin attributes? In fact would it be okay to live on the monies that are in effect ill begotten wealth so to speak, and on the memories of a sacrificed, tarnished life?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. The world we live in is the same. But it isn’t right? Because the prisms through which each of us lives it is so different. Therefore there are a billion plus realities, not just one. Your reality is different from mine. And yet, we come up with a Standard of Values, that’s supposed to be the underpinning of societal mores and values that drives us, helps us (supposedly) live civilised lives. Hrmph!!! What baloney! That’s why perhaps it’s liberating when we ‘break the shackles’, ‘break the rules’, and ‘do your own thing’ and sing ‘it’s my life’! And yet without rules and values where would we be? Still bludgeoning women with a stony club or a hand axe I guess and have incestuous lives or adulterous lives and run amok looting and plundering and not adhering to any rules I guess. Hmm…come to think  of it, put like that, it sounds terribly akin to 21st century no? Oh the conundrum of being human!


The Inconvenience of Truth 2
During my morning perambulations yesterday and my usual routine of listening to a podcast, I had an epiphany. The podcast I was listening to was The Unmistakable Creative’s interview with this amazing modern-day monk called Dandapani. During that interview, he asked a simple, oft-asked question: what do I really want? It’s not something that I hadn’t asked myself before, but there’s always something about the timing, the place, the context, the mood, that all adds up to a connection and a sudden burst of clarity – in short, an epiphany. What did I really want? The answer was: to know if I mattered!

——————————————————————————————————— Truth is inconvenient. Truth gives us an ulcer which no amount of Eno or other antacids can assuage. Truth is a tool for manipulation. Truth is malleable. Truth is bitter. Truth hurts. But in the end…

The truth always sets you free.

And while you mull that, here’s a query that can perhaps help you in that quest of the Truth.

Revisiting an old friend – 2

When in trouble, turn to an old friend and all will be right with the world. Yes, that is exactly what I’m doing and happily, unashamedly and guilt-free. I wrote this post in Sept 2011 and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s amazing how some of the things that touched me then still resonate with me today. I guess that’s moi :). Well anyway, let me know if you enjoyed this piece and oh yeah, what’s your word for the day/week/month/year? Think about it and don’t hold it in. Let it out. :).


“I decided on my word – attraversiamo. It means ‘let’s cross over.

Elizabeth Gilbert from the movie Eat, Pray, Love


My BYTES

I’ve heard about the book Eat, Pray, Love that was doing the ‘Bestseller’ rounds. I know my friend Sweta bought it at the Delhi airport or was it Bangalore, when we were heading out to Leh, Ladakh in 2009. 2009 – a year that will remain forever, imprinted in my heart and my memory. A year, which was my 40th and I remembered a long-ago promise I’d made to myself that ‘The day I turn 40, I will quit my job even if I have 5 rupees in my bank account.’ It was time to test my courage and see if I’d actually stick to my resolve and promise made to myself many moons ago. I just about made it by the skin of my teeth. Yes, I quit my job in November of that year just 2 months away from my 41st year. Wow! I remember a queer feeling in the pit of my stomach – of exhilaration and of apprehension, of unexplored adventures of life that lay before me, of seeking and perhaps finding my own inner demons, slaying them and emerging victorious, of perhaps, finally leaping from my comfort zone and headlong into an unknown and maybe, just maybe, discovering who I really was. Yes. All of this lay before me as I, a good South Indian TamBram (Tamil Brahmin ‘Iyer’)  girl, with good upbringing and morals (the question of morals is very personal and more on that some day), duty bound and hemmed in by traditional, cultural and societal mores, was giving up a job. To see if I could do what I wanted to do, nay needed to do. It was an emotional, rational, impulsive moment all rolled into one. I knew I didn’t want to chase the ‘big bucks’. I knew I didn’t want to get caught up in the ‘competitive race’ that I’d been running all my life without much success. I knew I didn’t want to be or sound like what I was doing was righteous and slip into sanctimonious lectures, nor did I want to be the ‘loser takes recourse to quitting’ mode. I just wanted to do my thing. I wanted to find my balance.

It’s been 22 months since that moment on November 9, 2009 where I remember driving past the security guards of the office that was home for so many months prior to that. Walking out from one chapter of your life can be a strange experience. You know that when you turn away from something, you automatically turn to something else. So what if that something is hazy and undefined. Light from a tunnel is light and signals hope, an impetus to keep digging yourself out from whichever tunnel (aka hole/ rut/ moment/ space/ darkness/ path) you are in, and move towards that light. It’s been fascinating these 22 months.  Surprised. Happy. Calm. Unflappable. Divine. Meditation. Spiritual. Friends. Family. Wishful. Anger. These few words have repeatedly sprung up during this journey among a trillion others in what has been, quite honestly, a surprisingly delightful experience thus far.

I haven’t read the book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, but I find it has interesting quotes by the lady author. I happened to catch just the last hour of the movie on TV and I found this last dialogue in the movie very profound. For me. And it just seemed to lend itself so naturally to the earlier ‘Go beyond borders’ that I just had to share. I don’t know what my word is or will be. But I like the idea of ‘let’s cross over’ however you interpret it.

I know I did. In November 2009, I did. I crossed over. Maybe it’s time for another ‘attraversiamo’. I don’t know what or where.  I am seeking an answer. Maybe I will seek it forever. Does it matter?

Aside: Javier Bardem is a wonderful actor. He’s my definition of a ‘sexy man’. He’s not  ‘drop dead gorgeous’ like George Clooney or Brad Pitt but by Jove, he’s sexy. Earthiness, intelligent and sensuality with a body and a dimple. Sigh!If he wanted me to take a boat and ride into the unknown, I would give him my hand.  Attraversiamo baby!

 MISCELLANEA

Did you know that:

EPIPHANY (Capitalized) means: January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ.

It also means an illuminating discovery, realization or disclosure.


What’s your illuminating thought, word or feeling today? Go ahead, make full disclosure, no one’s going to hang you out to dry. The Universe has your back. More importantly, do you have yours? If not, listen to the song and hopefully suddenly you’ll see…