Hey Mind! Why are you Monkeying around?

Mind is like a monkey, forever hopping from one place to another. It’s not pure-impure or good-bad. It just is.
“Is it a sin to have impure thoughts? How can I get rid of such thoughts?” someone wrote to me the other day. Before, I answer this question, allow me to share with you that I don’t believe in the notion of sin. There’s nothing called sin……I’m not suggesting that everything we do or think is right, but sin means you have done something that has led to estrangement from God, because of which God is now upset with you. I don’t think God would be God if He got upset. God’s love is unconditional. Sin is a religious concept whereas your true nature, and God too, is beyond any religion, book, or belief system.

If there’s no sin, does that mean, everything is acceptable? Not quite. Nature operates on a self-fulfilling prophecy……You plant an apple seed and it’ll sprout and grow into an apple tree. Nature is not punishing you or rewarding you for this karma. To judge as good or bad, right or wrong is the human way…… The divine way is to simply be aware, to be a witness. There is no sin in having impure thoughts, but acting on impure thoughts can amount to undesirable actions.

If anyone ever tells you that they can give you a practice, or a way to not have impure thoughts in your mind, they are lying…… No power in this world or any other can give you that guarantee. An average human mind goes through 60,000 thoughts in 24 hours, and, it is but natural that some of those thoughts are going to be undesirable…… To have an impure thought doesn’t make you impure, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s not the thought itself that matters, it’s what you do with it.

Everyone experiences thoughts of hatred, jealousy, impropriety. There’s nothing destructive about it, because a thought can come from any direction, at any time. One could be thinking about philandering or deceit while praying in a temple …….and the same person could be thinking of compassion and morality in a brothel. It’s possible. Thoughts are involuntary, they come uninvited. There’s nothing unusual about having impure thoughts. It’s not the thought itself but its pursuit that ultimately impacts your emotional and mental state.

Therefore, it’s not realistic to expect that you never have any impure thoughts…… but it’s quite doable to not pursue such thoughts nor act on them. When you get a thought you deem impure, simply shift your attention. Focus your mind elsewhere.

Once a disciple fell in love with her master. She felt guilty for feeling those emotions, but guilt could not help her emerge stronger than her ardor. With her heart ruling over her mind, she could contain it no longer……
“I’m sorry, master,” she said, “but, I have tremendous feelings for you.”
“Don’t be sorry,” said the master. “If you have tremendous feelings for me, I’ve enough discipline for both of us.”

Think of yourself as the master and your thoughts as the disciple. When they come to you, no one has to be sorry, you just have to be aware and choose a course of action accordingly…… Give your thoughts the freedom to approach you, while you keep the strength to direct them. If you repeatedly get the same impure thought, then, we need to get to the bottom of it. It could be because of deprivation. Those who are fulfilled in their lives are lot less likely to experience constant jealousy or hatred than those who never experienced true love.

If someone’s fasting, it’s quite natural that they’ll get thoughts of food more than any other. So long as they are busy, they may not feel hungry but, the moment they’re free, the thought of food will emerge strongly…… Similarly, when you give your mind a free moment, most probably, you’ll have an impure thought, a negative thought or a depressing thought. It’s natural. Why? Because, most people are constantly battling with themselves to not think impurely, to not be negative, to not be jealous and so forth….. You are fasting and you are trying to eliminate the thought of food from your mind.

Mindfulness is the key. Accept, don’t react, don’t pursue, don’t feel guilty. Just let it be. You can build mindfulness with meditation, with contemplation, with determination….. You never have to be sorry for your feelings or your thoughts. They are not pure or impure, they just are. You just have to watch out what you do with them.

When you simply draw yourself back to the present moment, all thoughts, both good and bad, vanish…… There’s no battle then, there’s nothing to escape in the present moment and this is the “SIMPLE TRUTH”.

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Calpurnia’s Crackling Bread

The Art of Eating Books

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As children my sister and I wrote short stories with long drawn out descriptions of food. This would have been forgivable had we written the rest of the story in the same amount of detail (apparently plot was never particularly important.) This uneven focus has continued into my adult life. Seeing a commercial or even hearing a passing mention of food can make me fixate on it to the point that I feel physical pain if I don’t eventually eat that particular thing. I also watch cooking shows when I’m hungry so that when I finally tear myself away from the TVsalivating, stomach churningthe food I eat will taste even better. I think I might be a crazy person. Or a sadist.

To Kill A Mockingbird at least pretends to have a plot (just kidding. Racial strife, yo. It’s important.) Food works on many levels: as metaphor for racial segregation (the…

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Groundhog week: I wish I was there…..

Well this is not exactly lmiast week,  but a week before that…..Since my daughter’s birthday was approaching, I was busy making all the arrangements for the party.

My girl invited her classmates and few other friends…. yeah!  It was a huge crowd so I had to organise it at a big place. Since my husband was out of town the whole pressure was on me….although it didn’t matter much cause I love organising parties.

So ,if I loved organising parties, what was the pressure about??

My Dadaji. …… that’s what I called my grandfather.  He was around 85 yrs old ……

When he was young …..not a single day  did he take a sick leave. He was so passionate about his work…..he would call it his second family. He was in the pink of his health ……a very optimistic man. Me being his first grandchild ,I was more close and most  loved by him than the other child of the family. When I was a little girl he loved playing with me bring home yummylicous  stuff to eat . At times he would drive me down to his office . He would do his work and I would sit down with my story books or sometimes I would paint on the white A4 size sheets kept on his table…..😃

But now at 85 , he had grown feeble…. he  had experienced a mild stroke of heart attack before. One evening it started to pour heavily….. the commencing of pre monsoon showers.

We all were in the dinning area of the house , amongst our laughter and jokes  …..we heard a thud sound. Hearing the sound our ears stood  up and we all ran to the room from where the sound came. It was my Grandad’s  room ……his room was situated few steps diagonally to the dinning area . On reaching the room I was utterly shocked to see my Grandad  fallen flat on his stomach.  He was probably trying to get out of his bed when he lost his balance and fell.

My dad hurriedly dialled our family physician’s number.  Few minutes later the physician arrived , by now my dad along with other members of the family managed to bed him. The doctor examined my Dadaji and said ” its paralysis”.  It was a big huge blow on our face. We were all  terribly shaken when we learnt that the left side of his body was seized….. he was  immediately admitted to the hospital.

Now an then I would go and see him….. he grew weaker day by day,  his skin started to loosen…..falling apart from his skeletal frame. He was not eating properly and was on life ventilator.

I missed couple of days visiting him at the hospital…..arranging the venue , finalising the menu and buying return gifts for the kids.

Then came ‘The Day’….. my daughter’s birthday.  It was 5:00pm,  the kids started coming in ……within half an hour the venue place was bustling with Gorgeous teenage girls and handsome teenage boys all dressed up and to their best behaviour.

The Dj at the console played the latest tracks and the kids grooved to the music. The big brown table with the  candle lit cake was rolled in  the party room. All of us gathered around the table, with my daughter in the center making a wish before blowing her B’day  cake candle.

I stood by her side….. as she blew the candle and cut the cake….we all started to sing….”Happy birthday to you ,Happy birthday to you….. and the song continued. My daughter offered me the cake and in return did I also.

There was this heaviness inside me, something was not right…..The human  instinct as though something bad has happened or is going to happen. It was my daughter’s birthday and I should have been happy but no…..  I was feeling hopelessly sad .

After feeding my daughter with  the cake I turned around , it was my mother’s call blinking on my cellphone….. I received it and…..frooze. ” Dadaji left us” my mom worded in a low tone.

My daughter saw this and prodded me as to what happened ,who called. I narrated her what I heard over the phone.

Warm Tears rolling my eyes as I rushed to the hospital….. I entered his private room , in front of me was my Dadaji’s  still body on the bed with white sheet rolled upto his chest.

My heart was pounding fast;  I touched my grandfather’s hand…they had lost its strength. Every thing came to a stand still ….. this was the first time I had actually seen death in real. All I could hear was mourning family members.

As I kissed my grandfather’s cold forehead I was feeling guilty about missing out on those days when I didn’t meet him…….how I wish I had a time machine so that I could rewind and make up for the loss.

I can never forget this day” 5th of June”. ….my favourite family member has left for his heavenly abode…..

Dadaji;  I Miss You !!

Day Eight, Death Of Adverbs:: ‘ Eye Tonic’…….

It was a bright sunny day 🌞, while sitting on my brown leathered couch , flipping through the news paper….  I craned  my neck back and up to check what time was the clock ticking….”.quarter past 3″ ,  I said to myself. Since I was alone at home the only thing I  had for company at  that moment was  ‘The Daily Times’ .

I was on the 8th page and  by this time I was a little bored , nothing so great to dig my eyes  into……the same news of yesterday although amended. Blinking my eyes , I came to the second half of that page. My droopy eyes awakened….the second half of the page  had advertisements of movies running in the theatres.

Ahh!  Some tonic for my dehydrated eyes….oh!  by the way I’m a movie buff , …movies ?? Anytime ;.I’m always ready . I quickly picked up my cellphone and numbered my friends. Out of them only one was willing to go,  hmmm! never mind atleast  someone ……there’s a saying” One is a company,  two is a Crowd”.

And so, I booked the tickets online. By now it was 4:15 pm  and the show booked would start at  5:00 pm……I hurried through my dressing lifted my car keys with my pinky and strutted out of my apartment door.  Thanks to the less load of vehicles on road that afternoon I reached the theatre well in time.

My friend waiting at the entrance…. along with  me entered the auditorium.  We settled ourselves in the 10th row away from the screen. There was still 5 minutes for the movie to begin…..easing my shoulder I made myself comfortable getting in the mood to watch the movie.

Just casually as a typical human being would do,  I looked around……the auditorium was fast filling up , people carrying popcorn tubs along with beverages in their hand …..placing themselves in their seats.

Slowly the lights went dim…..movie’s  about to start , with the picture screen getting brighter came the introduction of the Film “HOLIDAY” A Soldier is never off duty. It’s a Hindi movie staring  one of my favourite actor Akshay Kumar. The movie is about an Indian army officer who is on a holiday to go home and meet his family. Back home he encounters  some terrorist activities ……Though he’s off duty ;  he wants to save his country from falling into wrong hands. And  so along with his  other army cadets he plans a strategic approach towards saving his country.

The auditorium was big enough to accommodate 100 people. …..  with red reclining seats. The temperature inside  was cool enough to soothe us. Though it was dark, the screen light was bright enough to notice activities in and around me. As the movie progressed people got engrossed watching the movie…..with their one hand popping popcorn in their mouth and the other hand  sipping chilled beverages ( alcohol not allowed).

Since it was not an ‘A’ marked film , some of the  them had their kids along with them. These tiny tots seemed restless and were running in the Isles and some of them getting up from their seats to look around . A bit annoying I must …..and why not, imagine you watching your favourite actor perform on screen and there’s this distraction ……you miss out on important scenes .

A while later It was halftime or say interval, I thought of buying myself  something to munch .So I headed to the snack counter . I could see , People thronged  at the counter like bees. There were two rows with 10 people in one and 7 in the other…..so obviously I entered the row with 7 people with me being the 8th. I bought a caramel and  salted butter mix popcorn with Lemon ice tea for myself. My friend bought herself a salad sandwich along with Coke to gulp it down.

We took our eatables and went inside the auditorium to watch the remaining movie. The movie starded and so I started feeding myself with  popcorns …..gaping  it by sipping chilled Ice tea. Our Hindi movies have songs in it …..which is an integral part of the movie. 

Personally , even I love watching songs in the movie otherwise I feel like  the movie is incomplete. There was applauding in between action scenes and  dialogues…. some people were whatapping their friends. Some updating their FB status as “at the movies. …watching HOLIDAY”.ImageImage

And how can I forget these two ladies along with their kids , non stop commenting on every scene.  Even discussing school home work of their kids Oops! Makes me wonder why did they come here…..to watch a movie or to discuss home work. Nope , I would never want to do that. Eventually they got tired of talking and their kids got bored and so they left.

Must say , what a relief….. cause now I could enjoy the remaining movie. The movie got over after some time. It had a motivational message for the people of our country…..I could see it on the faces of the people , they looked fresh and were smiling as they all enjoyed the movie as much as me and my friend did…..😃😃

 

 

 

A Character-Building Experience: “Little Lady”

“Momma;  Can I get some Choplate” ( read chocolate)? “Sorry sweetie, but you’ve just had two big scoops of Mint-O- Choco Ice cream and I don’t think your teeth can bear so much of Chocoture “(chocolate torture)….that’s what I said to her.

Yeah!  You guessed it right,  that was my little girl Shanaya ……she’s just 4 yrs old and  big Chocolate fan. She loves everything about Chocolate, from sweets to cakes to cookies, ice creams , milk shakes,  smoothies….. Chocolate colour nail varnish,  even Chocolate manicure and pedicure, …..phew!!

Must be wondering,  a 4 years old  doing manicure and pedicure😲 I’ll get to that shortly.

For Shanaya it  just has to be Chocolaty….. makes me think she’ll grow up to be a ‘Chocolate conosiuer ‘. Whenever her sister, my elder daughter makes muffins….Shanaya will sit on the kitchen table and sieve coco powder into the batter. She loves to coat her fingers with the creamy batter and liking them her big starry eyes widen in excitement…., “momma yum yum”😄

So engrossed is she relishing the chocolate muffin batter , that she even drops the pasty stuff on her Pink frilly frock….Aww!  So cute.

She’ll  even want to accompany me to The Beauty Salon, and why ??  Nodding her head she’d say….. “momma going Salon for chocplate pendure and mannor” ( chocolate pedicure and manicure).

My beautician will massage her feet with some body butter and then place her feet in a luke warm water with some foot shampoo and rose petals in it. Then she’ll clean up , since Shanaya is small and her skin is delicate. …. the beautician does not apply the actual stuff used for adults . She’ll  apply edible melted Chocolate on her feet…..you must see Shanaya, she’s ecstatic to have it done on her.

And when my little bundle is very happy,  she’ll jump and clap her hands. Her lustrous hair with curls springing as she jumps in excitement. Although this is just a glimpse of Shanaya, there’s lots to be explored.

She entered my life in the beginning of this year.  I know you must be thinking then how come she’s 4yrs? ? Oh! Maybe she’s adopted. No….Shanaya is not adopted, she’s not real just a ‘Figment Of My Imagination’.  Though fiction, but seems so much in real with me….sounds  spooky👻.

Since my daughter is grown up and busy with her studies,  I was missing a little member. Some one cute and cuddly ,  running around in the whole house …… I came across this idea of having an imaginary girl who would never grow ,  will always be of the same age, with me That’s” My Little Lady my daughter SHANAYA”👼

“Friends turn into Lovers”…..

It’s been more than a decade since I’ve been there….Although each year during rains,  I think of this beautiful incident which changed the whole equation of my relationship with my male friend.

As I watch the raindrops slide on my windows ,  I slide back in time …..I was getting  ready,

I brushed my hair , tied my hair into a neat pony and sprayed some deodorant.  I prefer keeping myself smelling good and fresh. And since it was humid outside  it felt mandatory to do so.

Monsoon had just crept in and  couple of us thought of going hiking,  I know nobody goes hiking in monsoon.  But as I said monsoon had just started, so it wasn’t raining heavily….. I did wear a raincoat, since it was drizzling snd just incase it would start raining .

Its a hill station named Lonavla  in Maharashtra (India )…. best for a weekend gateway. So here we were at the base of the mountain,  readying ourselves. I could smell the wet mud and the wood fragrance was so fresh.   I didn’t quite have any hands on experience of hiking , so this friend of mine gave me few tips on how to climb especially in wet conditions.

He guided me all the way up to the mountain. … and lo! What a heavenly view. My friend and I along with others chit chatted for a while. And then it started to get dark. … we had to make it fast to the base within an hour  or else   it would get too dark to judge the path.

While climbing down we  came across a small waterfall….. we splashed the cold water on each other….. As we moved out my foot slipped and I was about to fall steep down and into the valley.

This male friend of mine abruptly held my arm and pulled me towards him…..that very minute something sparked in me. He held me in such a way as I was his greatest possession .

We looked at each other, we didn’t utter any words, it were our eyes that did all the talking.

Hadn’t it been for that moment ,I wouldn’t have been here with him settled as “Man and Wife.”….if today I’d want to view a moment again , then it would be this amazing trip to Lonavla , which made me meet “My Man “…..:D:D

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Unlock The Mind….!!

 

Since I don’t have to be perfectly perfect here …I thought of sharing an incident which took place at my gym. 

But before I get started let me tell you that I have no gender bias as such ….. although at some point in my narration it might seem so. 

“GYM”   Ahh !!  The temple of gorgeous body…..Why gorgeous,  because that’s the main idea  for going to the gym. You work out ….get into proper shape….get healthy….. which in turn makes you feel confident and finally you end up looking Gorgeous😃😃. 

Well,  now comes the real stuff. …. A female member enters the gym…well dressed  looking fresh, just wants to exercise  and keep fit . Maybe that’s just the way she is with no special dressing for the gym . Across the room are couple of guys or should I say men who start eyeing this woman. Now this woman is unaware of the traits of these men , she’s is all confident  talking to other members of the gym.

There comes this man to strike a conversation with this women. He starts of casually getting to know her. The conversation is very simple and plain…. as days pass by,  his friends join in. At this stage things are pretty healthy ….they greet,  workout  and a bit of chit chat here and there.

 Now knowing that the women is already married and with kids, these men start getting closer to her….. Initially she took it lightly  and ignored it .

As she didn’t react much strongly to the situation…. These men thought she’s  available  , they started to get more friendly. There  came a  point where this woman felt smothered by their presence around….  so in order protect her self respect , she started to distance herself from them.

Now when she did this , they would try to create silly scenes around her…..miffed at their behaviour she stopped conversations with them. This didn’t go down well with them….As she would talk more to female members and less infact  no talks with these men, they spread the word that maybe she likes to be only with women ( read lesbian).

So devastated by their actions she complained to the management. Although there has been few improvement but nothing of  it has stopped completely. 

They still try to behave stupid around her;  though not as before….But Being hardwired , she has started behaving  as though they do not exist …..haha.

My question here is …. can’t  a woman  keep herself  the way she wants to?,   We talk about women liberalisation. ….then why is it that if she’s not comfortable with talking to certain men  she’s  been labelled  in a nasty way?  Is it wrong being confident and comfortable with ourselves , or are we obligated to entertain such goons??