Sunday, 9 October 2016

Autumn

The sky turns orange and mild red.
Leaves sever themselves from the trees 
They always belonged to,
Become one with the earth. 
When such beauty unravels beside me, 
With an unchanging rhythm, 
And pace, forever,
What need do I have 
Of the heat of raging fires, 
The sound of thumping hearts?
When such beauty descends beside me, 
How can I not stay still?

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Karma

Buddhism and many other Eastern philosophies talk about liberation. All that is very fine and nice and hope-filled. Warm. But they also talk about something really scary that freaks me out to hell. At times. No I don't think about it too often. But when I do, it worries me to no end. They say that we don't get rid of our karma even at death. Like yes. It haunts us even after our death. Thinking about it gives me the blues. Worse than my worst Monday blues. Death, as I would have had myself believed, would have been the end of it all. But no. It apparently, supposedly is not The End. It all continues. I continue. My karma continues. No end in sight. No final closure. Really, no. What's the alternative? An escape route. Do we have one? Forget about it and go off to sleep. Think about liberation the next morning. And do all you can, with all your might to walk that path. Enjoy until fear strikes you again.     

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Death

We're all moving towards our own death, aren't we? Death and destruction. Destruction of our bodies. When my body is destroyed, is something else born? Is creation another side of destruction? We're all moving towards it. In Buddhism it's said that the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana. Freedom. An eternal freedom. Only if I know this suffering. If I know it up close, I'll be free. I want to know it. But you cannot "know" it. It needs a huge leaf of faith. It needs faith. I'm moving towards death, destruction, creation, suffering, nirvana, through faith. I'm moving towards death. Towards freedom.  

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Touch

As I hovered my finger around the buttons inside the lift, my hand brushed against that of a young boy standing next to me. We apologized at the same time. He was as tall as I was and perhaps in his early teens. I pressed 11, he 12. I smiled at him, glad that he looked comfortable and no longer as apologetic as he had sounded.
In a chai shop that evening, while handing over the coupon for a regular-sized glass of ginger tea, a handsome elderly gentleman stood next to me. We reached out for a tissue paper at the same time. Although our hands did not touch one another's, we apologized, and waited for a few seconds to let the other go for the tissues first.

While walking back home, I noticed Anita, the lady who worked in the neighborhood parlor, at the bus stop. She was busy talking on the phone, her black handbag in one hand and umbrella in another. She's the one I went to for an occasional waxing or hair styling. And at times bikini waxing. She made me feel comfortable in my vulnerability. The pressing and lifting of her fingers on my bare skin, firm and thorough. My body responding to her deft touch like a new leaf to a shower.
They say that we all have a karmic connection, even with people who brushed past us, on our way. That we have always been connected throughout eternity. We have been connected. The teenager, the elderly gentleman, and Anita. The people who passed by me, who I never thought of, who I didn't know. And those I had or hadn't met, but who stirred my heart and affected my mind in ways and for reasons I would never know.
What about those who didn’t just walk past me? Those who lived around where I lived or who I met everyday. And what about those that had gently rubbed against me? Thrust themselves longingly, and pounded hungrily, inside me. Those who I craved to touch and tongue, in an eternal quest to be one with. What about those from whose blood and fluid I was born? Perhaps the connection is no longer karmic. Perhaps, I'm them. They're me. Eternally.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Rumi

They call this cafeteria Rumi. I don't know why they’ve named it that. Rumi was a mystic poet who wrote about the heart and all things love. But this wide two-storied cafeteria is a place where people, specifically employees of a mammoth IT company, gather to eat. I can’t think of Rumi and food at the same time. And you can't think of love here in this cafeteria. Or of poetry. A constant buzz of people chattering, eating, cleaning floors, cooking, dropping soiled steel plates will silence any inner voice that you might want to pay attention to. Utensils crashing, pans sizzling, water running, somber looking people queuing, munching, slurping, conversing.

For some reason, the area on the top floor of Rumi where I go for my breakfast today is decorated with balloons. In groups of three - red, yellow, and green, with shining silver and purple paper strips coiling down from them. They sway all over the white ceiling, around the fans, and along the railings. Even the lady at the billing counter is decked up in a heavily embroidered sari and more than her usual gold necklaces and bangles. I think of asking her what the occasion was, but then decide against it. I count the change she hands me with a bright smile and walk towards the queue for a plate of poha and tea. I look around the colorful cafeteria. As I sip tea, I feel glad that I didn’t ask her why the balloons were hanging up there and everywhere. Why do I have to ask? Why can’t I accept that they are just there? Full and swaying, where they are, while they last. Why do I always have to know?