Sunday, June 23, 2013

Comfort in Simplicity

Why is it comforting to know that I can't be comforted? No emotional meltdown for me this time. No unexplained tears. No complex unresolved thoughts to be paid attention to and untangled jointly. No scope of lingering sadness. No drama.

There is such comfort in simplicity, I never knew!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beyond Strategies

Aloka's behavior has changed a lot in the last three months. I often find myself at my wit's end with her constant need for attention from me, and often from others. When she doesn't get the attention she wants, she becomes loud and rude, and who wants their child to be unlikable? And then there is the opposite. When meeting strangers, she becomes totally quiet, refusing even to greet them, and looking downright unhappy. It upsets me no end to see her so cheerless.

Concerned about it, I have been reading up a lot on kids' difficult behavior and worked out some strategies. I have put up a chart with actions I do not want her to repeat (not letting me talk to others, not greeting people, making a mess while eating etc). I have worked out consequences of such behavior (no ice cream, reduced TV time etc). And after reading an article, changed the way I appreciate or scold her (thanks for cooperating with me, I like it when we do not argue about things, can we please do this all over again and this time, let's be nice to each other etc).

But yesterday, it just struck me that I have got it all wrong. Mom and I were discussing how upsetting her behavior can be and I (as is my habit) defended her saying that she is reacting to the change and we should understand her. To that, mom said- "But how does our understanding the reason fix the problem?".

In that moment, I had a huge shift in my mind- our understanding the reason is only the first step. It is Aloka who needs to understand herself. Then I remembered another child who needed to understand himself 13 years ago.

At that time, I was going through the hell of divorce and not being a text-book good mom. I would cry often and openly. Atreya saw my misery and became extra protective of me. He would be upset if even my mother said anything remotely unkind about me in jest. It was obvious that he was very angry with his father for putting me through this pain, though he didn't say anything about him. 

A few months later, I had recovered enough to stop pitying myself and start thinking of this little person in my charge. So one night, maybe 6 months after the divorce, I asked him if he loved his father. The answer was a straight NO. I asked him what he would do if someone knocked at our door and it was his father, whom he hadn't seen for almost a year. His response- "I will not even look at him. I will slam the door on his face!" 

Of course I knew this was my little protector saying what he thought I wanted to hear. At that point, I asked him to suspend all thoughts and look deeply in his heart to find the right answer. He just shook his head. Then, I asked him to stop thinking of me, as if I was not even at home when his father comes knocking, and then look deeply in his heart for the answer.

Atreya, seven at that time, went all quiet. What he said next both broke my heart and gave me hope at the same time. He said "When I open the door and see him, I will hug him tightly"!

Of course, no father came knocking at the door and no child got to hug him tightly in 13 years. The child continues to search for the lost father even now (Don't Go Looking). However, it is my belief that because Atreya understood and articulated his feelings through this miserable affair, it did not have the power to overwhelm him. He turned out to be this fantastic person because of this understanding. 

What Aloka needs is the same. She needs to understand that this move has been tough for all of us, but perhaps the toughest for her. She needs to believe that she will have a great life here, even if it's very different from what she was used to. She needs to have confidence that though she has lost many people she loved, love happens again. She needs to know that life is beautiful, if you just give it enough time. 

Time to make her understand this basic fact, beyond strategies.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I have left all lofty, snobbish, intellectual matters in that corner there. I smile when I hear rustic rough words and laugh at the crassest of jokes. I don't care to be understood deeply. I don't care to understand deeply either. I don't need to write poetry to communicate- songs someone else wrote and someone else sang do that job. I don't over analyze what I am feeling. I don't have any expectations of unexpected depth either. I splash around in shallow waters and revel in it like a child. I don't link happiness to forever-ness. I do not demand magic or wait for it eagerly, but I am ready for it every moment of the day. When it happens, I let it beat in my heart for a bit and let it go. I do not judge, not myself, not others. I do not worry about holding on because I do not own and I do not belong.

This love has set me free.

Moonshine by Richard Murphy

All I can say to this is OMG, this is mind blowing. My thoughts 100%. 


To think
I must be alone:
To love
We must be together.

I think I love you
When I’m alone
More than I think of you
When we’re together.

I cannot think
Without loving
Or love
Without thinking.

Alone I love
To think of us together:
Together I think
I’d love to be alone. .
by Richard Murphy
from  Collected Poems
Publisher: The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, 2000

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tu Hai Rab Mera- Translated

Listen to the song here. It doesn't have the second paragraph for some reason. 

Tu Hai Rab Mera Rab Jaandaaye
Tu Hai Rab Mera Rab Jaandaaye
Mainu Kaafir Kehke Na Sateya Kar, 

Mainu Mod De
Mainu Mod De pave Lakhwaari
Mere Ishq Da Maan ta Rakheya Kar

Tere Dar Pe Baitha Main Banake Jogi
Jag Hasdaaye Te Hasada Rave 
Jag Kardaaye Koi Mahol Mera

Soniya Tu Na Aeve Hasaya Kar

Mera Makka Tu Hi Kaaba Vi Tu
Teri Deed Hi Chaand Nan Id Da Hai 
Saathon Parda Karke Woh Sajan
Saaddi Ruh Nu Dard Na Vandaya Kar

Hun Aur Na Meri Talab Koi
Main Kis Dar Ja Faryaad Kara
Dil Ne Tainu Haafij Manleya

Ho Na Panaah Rakh Dard-E-Sar

Tu Hai Rab Mera Rab Jaandaaye
Tu Hai Rab Mera Rab Jaandaaye
Mainu Kaafir Kehke Na Sateya Kar, 

Mainu Mod De
Mainu Mod De chave Lakhwaari
Mere Ishq Da Maan ta Rakheya Kar

I worship you like you were my God
Not only the world, even God knows that
Don't break my heart by calling me godless,
Turn me away a thousand times 
Refuse me, spurn me, rebuff me if you may
But don't dishonor the love I profess.

Like a madman, I sit and gaze at your door
This world laughs at me, but do I care?
I can brush off everyone's contempt
So long as you, my darling, don't scoff at my ways. 

You are my Mecca, my Kaaba too
For me you are a vision no less than the pious moon of Id.
It breaks my heart, it hurts my soul 
Don't hide your face from me, my love, I plead

I am left with no desire except for your love 
Tell me where can seekers like me go to beg without refrain?
My heart is like an orphan and you its unconcerned guardian
Why don't you give me shelter and relieve me of this pain?

I worship you like you were my God
Not only the world, even God knows that
Don't break my heart by calling me godless,
Turn me away a thousand times 
Refuse me, spurn me, rebuff me if you may
But don't dishonor the love I profess.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mine forever

I look at every woman, to see a bit of myself in her. But everyone's a stranger to me, living in a different world than me. Some look tired, some content, some nervous, some lost, some busy, some secure, some thoughtful, some shy, some giggly, some bold- but no one looks like me. I see no one with the same heart as mine, or the same eyes, or the same carelessness, or the same care. I don't see my reflection in anyone. I look everywhere I go thinking there has to be someone. But there is no one.

But I am no fool. I know that they are the ones who belong. I am the alien here.

I live alone in my lonely lovely gated world. A few people enter my world but don't get beyond the first gate. My secret is mine. That everything I touch, touches me back. That everything I feel, senses me too. And that everything I love, becomes mine forever.