The day after my birthday…

The day after
is much better!
No expectations
Or bad weather!
Life is peaceful and sane
After that torrential rain
Of self doubt
That had me fleeing from clouds
And swinging emotions
Like a pendulums motions
Joy, sorrow, passion
Followed in quick succession!
My heart was tender and raw
From this wild seesaw
a soft orange left behind
Without its protective rind
But then…this magical thing has happened
A fragrance, a sweetness,
A lightness has set in
As I take stock
Of what I see
And come face to face
With my destiny
I realize: a year older
Not any wiser,
What I am, is younger
Stronger, quicker
To embrace my life
All of its offerings
The joys and sorrows
That make my heart sing!
I am here now
To enjoy this ride
So I lightly toss judgment
On the wayside
I take a bow
And then a deep breath
And open my arms
Extra wide!!!!


How much we take for granted…

Here is part of a piece I wrote based on Joni Cole’s prompt at the ‘prompt and pinot workshop’, finally getting a chance to post…

Sometimes it amazes me how much we tend to sleep through and take for granted. I come down in the morning ready with a critical eye of what needs to be cleaned up from last night, and how much paint from ‘blue blue’ yesterday – our painting session with eighteen-month old Anji (who I convince myself is a budding Picasso) is on the hardwood floor. But every now and then, I stop. I look around at my home – and it hits me. This realization that we created this home, this space, Abhi and I, we started this family. We came here from a land far away, went through the immigrant experience and all else that life threw at us this past ten years. And all of this adds to the beauty of now, this moment, this sweet hand tugging at my pants asking for ‘dudu’ and ‘cracker’.

Some days are crappy, and I forget. I get enmeshed in my own suffering and my own story, and I play my own drama over and over in my head. I go through all my grievances – but really I just want to be heard. I want to be heard for my humanness – simple humanness that also seems astonishing sometimes. The sheer experience of being human and always trying to control that which we can’t, and trying to keep sane with the changes that happen everyday, many of them small but that still leave their mark on the bodies so that at night when we finally sleep, there is a collective sigh of finally letting go.

When I’m in my suffering Zone, everything is terrible. But then something small happens – something almost like magic. That moment when my mind says, ‘nothing ever works!’ I hear a deeper voice – in all honesty – like a Mom saying, ‘honey that is simply not true’. That voice that reminds me of the smile this morning, or that unexpected sun streaming through the window, a surprise after the dour weather prediction. Or that unexpected compliment from partner or friend, or the moment when I pick up Anji from daycare and her face lights up. And in that small moment of reminder, something shifts. I get out of the drama, out of my own head and the movie ends. I come to the real life – and then it hits me again – how much we take for granted. How much is right in this moment.

With Love, S.

Hanuman’s magic…

I was about 12 years old, when I overheard my Grandma and one of my cousins talking about Hanuman. They were saying how chanting Hanuman Chalisa, in praise of Hanuman the monkey God, made one brave and courageous like him. At the time, I was quite shy and afraid of many things. So I took it to heart and decided to learn the chant. Everyday, I would chant Hanuman Chalisa while bicyling to school. I believed in the prayer. and I did become more brave – my faith in Hanuman was complete. I chanted the shloka every day through college. When I came to the US, I stopped, not by any particular choice, it just happened that way. And then when I got pregnant, I thought of Hanuman again. I needed to get through this new phase with love, and not fear. and Hanuman could help me do that. The Hanuman of my heart always did.

Stories of Hanuman abound – he is the mighty, courageous, brave son of the Wind God. And also generous, wise and humble devotee of Lord Ram. His devotion to Lord Rama was utter and pure. He climbed mountains and crossed Oceans for Ram. There are many pictures of Hanuman as worshipped in mythology – of him carrying the Sanjeevani mountain – the entire mountain of herbs to cure Lakshman, Ram’s brother. Of him by the feet of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman. The one I have, which is one of my favorites, is of him hugging Ram. The embrace says it all – the friendship, love and devotion that is possible on the path. The merging of the devotee with the God. A faith that is beyond doubt.

This morning, looking at the picture, my heart filled with that love and joy again. Anjali was in my lap, studying all the pictures in the altar studiously. And then as I explained the magic of Hanuman to her, she smiled at me – like she understood completely. She got it!

May we bring the Hanuman of our hearts alive…
with Love, Shuba.