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A dream to remember

Is this your brother’s home’, Bappamma (Paternal grandmother) asked.

‘Yes Bappamma’, I said.

‘Take me around’, she said

My brother had recently shifted to his apartment given by the steel plant. The previous year he had got employed in Vizag steel plant. In some months my parents too had shifted along with him. But he had got his own apartment that year. I was studying in Mysore and was having my summer vacation. My sister too had come and we were having a nice reunion.

Mom with my sister and her son would sleep in one room. Another room was for my brother. Me and Papa would enjoy watching TV in the hall and would sleep there only.

‘So is this the hall’,Bappamma asked.

‘Yes’, I said and then showed her the rooms, kitchen and the balcony.’The balcony is quite big’, she said, ‘good for drying papads and pickles. Your amma must be happy’.

I nodded.

‘Okay time for me to go’, she said

‘No Bappamma, you can’t go. Stay with us’, I pleaded.

‘No, my dear I can’t stay. My home is elsewhere now’, she said

‘NO……….NO’, I screamed

‘Reema, Reema, get up’…..it was my sister.

‘What happened’. I asked.

‘I saw Bappamma in my dream, you were showing her around the home and then she left’, my sister said.

Saying that I was shocked is an understatement. At the same time both of us had seen the same dream. Was it a coincidence, some extra sensory perception I have never understood. Maybe she came to see if we were fine or maybe we needed a closure.

Over a period of years I have been visited by a number of people who have left the world. My aunt, uncle both have visited me and conveyed some message. But the visit by my Bappamma was the most bizarre one. And it was indeed a dream to remember.

But once I started my spiritual journey these visits gradually stopped. I read somewhere that some lucky people are indeed guided by the Lord in this way . So maybe I am the lucky one. Because these dreams gradually made me yearn to know about the soul and its position in this world.


 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

The King

The sun seems to be in its full glory. It shines on and on, till people like me, close the blinds or shut our eyes. The tiny drops of sweat are enjoying too sliding from all places imaginable and unimaginable. The clothes are happy too. In no time they get dried to their crisp selves. In fact all seem to be happy except we ordinary mortals.

While the pigeons hide away as soon as it is 7 am and the sun rolls up its mane, we humans sweat and sweat and carry on. I do not know what the camels or the horses do. Because none live in the vicinity and I do not bother to find out about them. Happy am I with my comforts within the four walls.

While the better half and the son return home, nicely browned as if toasted, I take care not to ruffle feathers. With the temperature rising the tempers flare up too.

And while the fruits look inviting and satisfying. They are indeed saviors. Who wants to eat the carbs and the heavy masalas. The smoothies and yes, the ice cream look more inviting.

But what is most inviting is the juicy, yellow and sometimes red varieties. Indian, Yemeni, Pakistani or whatever. Who can resist those juicy king of fruits, yes….the mangoes the saving grace of summer.

The worried and the worries

The Indian community here is always in a frenzy. The middle class is worried about tomorrow, or to be more precise, whether they will have their jobs tomorrow while the upper class is worries about which vacations to take. of course to spend the moolah they earn.

Of course there is another worry too. As the residency permit laws are strict and no one can get citizenship, parents have a different set of worries. Whether the children will be able to adjust in India? Understandably children raised in the confined and protected areas of Bahrain have problems to acclimatize back in India, both weather wise and otherwise.

The parents of girls have some more worries, how to protect their daughters. I understand their worries. If I had a daughter I would myself become a bodyguard for her. I keep a hawk’s eye on my girl-students, I have to, aren’t they my responsibility in the premises of the Institute.

It sometimes amazes me how we change. Just a decade and a half ago I was carefree, daring and well……. free. And now I fret even if a single boy is extra cordial to a single girl. Have I changed that much or have the times changed.

I remember the boys in my class thinking of me as proud because I was independent and kept my stand and of course kept them at arm’s length. I remember slitting a mans wrist slightly because he was acting smart in a movie theatre, I remember kicking a man on his shin because he was trying to touch me in the train…there are numerous other examples but today I am scared. Why?

I remember once I was homesick. I was working in Mumbai and my parents were coming to Mangalore to attend my grandmothers first death anniversary. I just decided to visit them. Of course I would not get train reservation. So I took a bus. The bus was su;posed to be delayed because of the monsoon but it reached right on time at 4.30 in the morning. Everyone got down, me too. The conductor asked me if anyone was coming to pick me. I looked around, there was nobody, so I said no. He hailed a rickshaw, noted its number and made me sit with my bag. Ten minutes later I reached home. I became a star of the moment for having dared to take a rickshaw in the dark of the night/morning. But then I explained about how the conductor had helped me. My parents were proud. Proud that finally their daughter could manage alone.

Times for girls I feel have remained the same. They always had to take care of their safety. But then earlier trust was easy and today it is not. As we move ahead technologically the basic qualities of trust, faith, integrity are all dwindling. Sad isn’t it.

But then I had been tough. Today when I see my girl students they seem to be in a world of imagination, obsessed with their lifestyles and their mobiles. And I worry, because life isn’t that easy or that straight.

So I will keep on looking out for all the females around me, you can do that too.

Hudhud and later

A number of catastrophes seem to be happening one after the other. The floods in Jammu and Kashmir, the floods in North-east and now Hudhud in Andhra and Odisha. Yes last one has affected me the most.

Why? Because it is in Vizag that my parents live. It is in Vizag that my brother and his family lives. It is Vizag that has been my ‘land’ for the last 20 years or so.

To tell you the truth I came to know about the impending cyclone only on Saturday Morning. And I called up my mother. ‘Are you all set for the storm’, I asked.

‘Yes’, she said, ‘Children have been given a holiday, we have stocked up on essentials’.

‘Get some extra milk packets, store some water, charge up your mobiles’, I said. ‘And in all probability the cyclone will just pass away with a whimper because every one is so prepared’, I joked.

Vizag is used to thunderstorms. It does not have any ‘rainy season’ as such and there is rain usually when there is a depression in the Bay of Bengal. The intensity of the situation did not hit either me or her.

And then till Monday evening, there was no news absolutely. Scared, anxious, I sat online surfing through news, afraid to read the obvious.

Until I got a whatsapp from my sister they are safe.

I started breathing again. The glass doors had been unhinged. There was no power (still there isn’t). Water they have because they arranged diesel somehow and operate the generator now and then to pump the water up. Their two wheelers are damaged. Milk is scarce. But the important thing is they are safe and together.

But the city is devastated. The steel township which has been our lifeline has become a skeleton. The thick vegetation which surrounded it is no more. The Steel plant itself has suffered badly and if it does not start operations soon, will be a burden on the economy.

What is heartening to see is that so many voluntary organisations working on the scene. And so many others too. Residents who for once have stopped cribbing and started lending a hand, people have come out of their cocoons to strategize on finding out ways to come out of the situation.

Yes there are black marketeers, there are people who want to make a fast buck but today at least the people doing good far outweigh those who are selfish.

But then the thought comes to my mind who has to be blamed for such catastrophes, man, God who.

It is said that there are three-fold miseries of our lives adhi daivik (divine-problems caused by external forces) , adhyatmik (problems caused by self on the mental platform) and adhi bhautik (problems caused on the material plane, physical). And I am confused as to whether this is adhi daivik or adhi bhautik?

Why??

Isn’t it we who have destroyed our forest covers

Isn’t it we who have digged into earth incessantly?

Isn’t it we who are building so many structures? Often competing with each other in terms of how high my building is or how many buildings/ flats do I own.

In Bahrain we have witnesses so many landfilling exercises. So many areas have sprung up where there was previously the Sea. I am sure if we compare the picture of Bahrain 30  years back and the present, there will be no similarity at all. Doesn’t all this constitute an ecological imbalance.

So is this an adhidaivik vipada or an adhibhautik? Is this a misery caused by some external force or man made…..who knows? And does anyone care?

This and that

It feels good to be back. To be tapping away on the keyboard. Putting words to ideas. But I am glad about one thing… that finally I am free of this addiction called blogging 😛

There was a time when I just had to post three times a week. There was a time that I just had to read whichever blog I glanced upon. Not anymore.

I read a few, I comment in a few. And that’s it. There are a number of reasons for that. One is that my interests have changed.  In my spiritual pursuits there is so much to read that I really cannot afford to reach much online. Second is over the years blogging has changed a lot and it is not a scenario which I like a lot. Thirdly my commitments have increased and exciting things are happening personally.

So what I have been doing the past two months is generally having a good time 🙂 Doing my duty as a daughter and a daughter-in-law. Making sure that the son has a good time, battling the rains, enjoying the festivals etc.

So thats it for now. How have you all been doing??n

Will be back soon with a story.

A single drop

Have you noticed that how people change around you. I mean you change a job, you develop a new interest and suddenly you find the regulars around you disappear and a new set of people around you. You may say that those who left your company were not really your own etc etc but then it is fascinating to see this change and understand human psychology.

As humans it is difficult to accept others as they are. We are looking forever to categorize us and others.

Don’t we say, she is not my type. Or she is too behenji/ she is too forward in her thinking etc.

Why am I rambling all this?

Because I have been experiencing this ‘phenomena’ for some years now.

In an age where it is fashionable to say that I am agnostic or atheistic, I developed an interest in spirituality. And then I came to know that I do not belong. Some asked me, “why? what is there in it?’ And some said, ‘It is alright if you develop an interest but don’t get too involved’

But that is not possible with me. Imagine standing on the seaside and being told, no you can’t get wet.

I don’t blame anybody. If  they lost interest in me, it is a fact that I too lost interest in them. But then I am human, I have to feel a belongingness.

Recently in one o f the lectures, I heard this analogy which gave me a new direction; please read on:

There are three sets of devotees:

One, those who are like dewdrops on the petals of flowers. When the sun rises overhead, the dewdrops evaporate. Similarly such devotees, come, eat, listen. It takes a lot of time for them to absorb facts, most of the time whatever they learn evaporates and so it takes them a long time to change.

Second are those devotees who are like water droplets on lotus leaves. These devotees come; eat, listen and go. Nothing affects them. They will stay on as they are.

Then there are water droplets in oysters. They stay on for millions of years and transform into pearls.

So my wish is to be a droplet in an oyster. Let that water drop change into a pearl. Let my bhakti increase day by day. yes I will be isolated, yes I will be left alone but then finally one day, I will be ready to serve my Lord.

Amen to that.

Still searching self

When you realize your true calling, there is a calmness in you. There is hope in the world and more tolerance towards all. And most important you see beyond the outward appearances of others and yourself.

Something of that sort has happened to me. Though I have enough ideas to write, the mood and mind are both complacent and take it easy. Some months back I would take on any challenge/prompt that I could see but not anymore. Why, you may ask. Simple it does not interest me anymore. I want to write for myself, I want to read what I learn, I want to reach out to people and tell them what I have learned. I know in that process, my readership may drop but who knows I may help someones quest.

So that is what I have decided for me and my blog. My blog will have snippets of what I learn, maybe from the classes I attend or from Bhagvad Gita and Srimad Bhagvatam. I may write fiction but then as usual it will  have some lesson in it.

And so I embark on a new journey at the service of Srila Prabhupada