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Overcoming Guilt

Guilt is an emotion which drags us downhill. This guilt multiplies itself within us, when we can’t forgive ourselves. Someone else may or may not forgive us, but when we don’t forgive ourselves the problem worsens. The guilt keeps pricking us inside, presenting us with tougher emotions.

Guilt makes us weaker, it kills us like a termite killing the furniture. As humans, we have been blessed with an ability to make wise choices. We humans unlike other living beings can think wisely about the pros and cons before making the choices. Guilt is not a pleasant emotion to stay with for a longer time. It is imperative that we kill this guilt and free ourselves sooner.

The three virtues that have helped me in dealing with guilt are acceptance, patience, and faith.

  • Acceptance: Accepting the fact, that we have made a mistake is the first step towards forgiving and presenting ourselves the freedom. An acceptance in our head also makes us aware of our actions and that helps us from repeating our errors. Unless we accept that what we did was wrong or a mistake, we will keep validating our actions as rightful and that does not benefit us.
  • Patience: Sometimes, we do take wrong decisions. We are human beings and we are bound to make mistakes in our course of life. We can aspire for perfection but at the same time, we can allow ourselves a scope for errors too. Attaining perfection is a matter of discipline and a learning process by itself. Patience to pave this way makes us stronger and wise.
  • Faith: Faith can move mountains is an age-old adage. Faith helps us remain stronger and tread the path painlessly. It gives us the clarity to see the road ahead. It gives us strength to keep moving.

I know a female who had to leave her job when her career was at the highest point. All her colleagues had moved much ahead of her when after three years she wanted to revive it back. She felt heartbroken in the initial months of her job hunt. It made her nervous and sad. Her confidence kept falling each day. From a confident woman to a helpless woman, she had turned miserable.

Her journey had helped me understand these three steps with clarity. She made peace with her circumstances in which she had to leave her job. Instead of blaming her loved ones and herself she accepted the situation and decided to deal with it. She held patience until she found the right job and at every step of the forward march, she saw people who were younger than her at much higher cadre. Her trainees at some places were now training people. She was happy with the progress of her ex colleagues, but about her own life she felt sad and at such times she kept reminding herself of one virtue – patience. She kept telling herself, “Start from where you are, at every step the destination keeps getting closer. When comparison was beginning to hurt her, she stopped comparing herself with others and instead begun to compare her today with her yesterday. Even a small progress each day was making her feel better and helped her regain her confidence. In the entire journey, faith had been her walking stick. Taking the support of this walking stick, she kept going ahead.

Finally, when she had reached her destination years after she had begun again, she visited the temple and read the lines inscribed on its wall, “Charaiveti, Charaiveti.” The Tamil words means, “Keep moving, keep moving.” She smiled at her Lord and with gratitude filled in her heart she vowed to keep moving.

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My tryst with anxiety

There are times when one might feel lost in this maze of life. The road and the journey ahead seem all in the dark. All one craves for is a speck of light and at such moments, even your own thoughts have the quality of intimidating you. These thoughts are all harum-scarum.

In such moments, where should we turn to for that ray of hope, for some fresh sunlight? The answer is having a defense mechanism, in fact not one but a few more. I have suffered from anxiety and mood swings for some time now. Often people have told me to avoid discussing it and especially on a pubic platform like this. Today, I choose to go against all these advises as I know this isn’t one thing, I want to be ashamed of. I never invited this upon myself, just like someone would suffer from a flu or a stomach infection, I suffered from anxiety.

How I coped with anxiety? After various trials and errors, I have been able to point my finger on what my defense mechanism is.

  1. I stopped reprimanding myself for every little thing that went wrong in my life and allowed myself doing some mistakes in life.

 

  1. Before giving importance to anyone, I decided to prioritize myself. As selfish as it may sound, I have learnt it the hard way, if people aren’t happy with you when you do everything as per their expectations, they will never be happy with anything.

 

  1. If a loved one treats you in a manner unacceptable to you, tell them and even then, if it continues, gently step out and give yourself the freedom to be treated the way you want.

 

  1. Gift yourself, your own company at least once a week for few hours. Your parents, your spouse, your kids, your colleagues, your bosses, your friends, everyone will handle life in your absence too…but you need you, so be there for yourself.

 

  1. Stay clear of any negativity around you.

 

  1. Streamline your thoughts, write them, watch them, monitor them, guide them.

 

After following these rules, has anxiety stopped visiting me? No, it still visits me occasionally. Has it increased my ability and given me the strength to fight it? A definite YES.

I was lucky enough to have my loved ones stand by me and understand me when I went through this phase in my life. Even now, my loved ones acknowledge my emotions and never belittle me by saying, it is okay, things happen, move on. I have seen this happening to so many people around and I wish to tell this people, moving on isn’t easy, your loved ones need you, be there for them.

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Posted in Wisdom Pearl

Silence

Silence is magical and dissolving into this silence is an enriching experience. Since I have come across Infinitheism and my Guru, Mahtria, I have practiced being in silence, in art of non-doing each day at least for few minutes. As a result, my thoughts are much settled and there is lesser chaos in my head than before.

His beautiful words are posted on my work table as a reminder,

“In the womb of silence, the paradoxes merge.

In your aloneness, you experience oneness.

In nothingness, you experience everything.

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Posted in Personal Stories

A beautiful conversation

Do you ever feel short of words for expressing what you feel for your loved ones? This happens often to me, especially when it comes to wording my emotions towards my husband darling. In a casual conversation with my best friend, I realized how much faith I have in this man.

Me: I had visited the hospital yesterday for a tour for expecting parents. (Yes, I am pregnant.) It was scary to witness everything. I am anxious, nervous and happy of course, but the hospital air is scary.

She: Don’t worry everything will be fine.

Me: I told husband darling about my feelings on returning home and he said, I am there, what are you worried about. Together we will sail through this and return home healthy with our child. And there are professionals at the hospital to take care of everything. Every woman goes through this experience once in their lifetime at least. You will be fine, my sweetheart, don’t worry I am there.

She: Hmm…

Me: And then I was fine and smiling, rubbing my belly responding to my child dancing inside me.

She: Is it so easy for your husband to explain you. You get convinced so easily?

Me: Hmm, not usually. But when it comes to him, it is. The moment he says it will be fine and he is there with me, I know everything is going to be fine. Having him by my side is a strength and a matter of faith for me. Just his presence Pooja, makes me feel safe and happy.

After dropping the call, I realized how much me, and my husband have grown in this relation. How much the relation has grown in itself. I messaged my friend a thank you for helping me realize the beautiful side of my relation.

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Tale of a Mother

Two girls, Maria and Meera were sisters from the same mother. Maria was the elder among two and was a very active and extrovert child. Right since her childhood she knew what exactly she wanted and how she would achieve it. Meera on the other hand was a happy go lucky younger one. Not very high on ambitions and a very content little child.

As kids, Maria always insisted on having a Barbie and Meera would settle with any doll that she got as long as it was a new one and it smiled. Papa was a little short-tempered man and always found Meera easy to deal with and hence he loved her more. Mom, like any mother could never love her one child more than another. She loved both equally. Of course, she had her mommy moments when she would feel tired, exhausted with having to deal with two different personalities altogether, but no mothers ever give up on their kids.

There were nights, when she would lay awake in the bed staring at the ceiling, feeling helpless and clueless when Maria demanded something that they couldn’t afford or when Meera came home being walked over by one of her friend or school mate. She questioned her own parenting skills and often pondered if she was doing something wrong with her two kids. Papa, was an inactive parent and hence she never bothered him, despite her inner voice screaming, “he was an equal partner while manufacturing them, he is responsible too, involve him, consult him, hand it over to him, you need…no you deserve a break.” But she silenced this voice by ignoring her needs. She kept toiling herself as a mother and slowly, gradually the woman in her was being killed by herself.

As a girl, she had her own dreams and once she was married, her husband was always supportive of her aspirations. But things changed with Maria and Meera knocking the doors of their life. Without her attention, she had become a mother and her dreams had evaporated. Her husband had begun to think of his wife as a mother now and forgotten all about her dreams and aspirations.

After 25 years when Maria and Meera grew up and had their own careers charted out for them, they came and asked their mother, “Maa, you wanted us to become successful and have our victory moments. Did you ever feel about having such moments for yourself?”

She smiled and looked at her husband, who had guilt written in his eyes. He wanted to speak but was stopped by her as she answered, “Seeing the two of you successful in your lives, witnessing the happiness on your faces, is the biggest victory moment for me my girls. You are my life and what matters to a mother more than her kids.”

That night as the husband and wife laid on bed, they both starred at the ceiling and today was a night when he would speak. He said, “I am sorry sweetheart, I don’t know if I can ever make up for my mistakes, for my ignorance, for my selfishness. But I promise you to help you live your dream from here on.” She smiled and forgave the loving husband who had taken 25 long years to see the reality.

After a year today, mother of Maria and Meera is an entrepreneur who runs her own book café in the busy city of Mumbai. Maria and Meera along with their father helped her achieve her dreams of having her own book café.

Merrily and happily, the family sleeps each night now with love and gratitude filled in their hearts.

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Posted in Wisdom Pearl

True Love is Rare – Sheila Roberts

I am currently pouring into a beautiful book from the Icicle falls series, ‘Home on Apple Blossom Road.’ It’s a beautiful book, where two childhood friends are sent on a treasure hunt to find their inheritance by their dead grandmother.

Turns out that these two were in love and had broken off – credit to trust issues. I am still to read the end, so I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that they reunite in the end. Sad endings steal my smile, happiness and joy for a couple of days after I finish the book.

I came across a beautiful line in the book today. It reads, “There’s the kind of love you settle for, but the gold standard kind of love, the soul-searing, true love variety, that’s pretty rare. It’s also fragile. It bruises easily.” Something in my heart tucked when I read these lines. They made a connect with my psyche immediately.

Did they tuck your heart too? Go ahead and read the book if you like to read some light romantic books, it won’t disappoint you.

What are you reading these days? Let me know in comments.

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15 days to 2019, New Beginnings

2018 is nearing its end now. It has been a joyous year for me and my family. If I sit back and retrospect, I come to the conclusion that my conscious efforts to check the blessings in my life, over the shortcomings or problems in my life has led to a more richer life spiritually. There was nothing huge that I achieved in 2018, but the little things were in plenty. Compared to the 2016 and 2017, the nail-biting moments were much less in 2018.

To mark the end of this enriching and a four-star year, I am going to make a list of things/happy moments that I have experienced in 2018. I may even share it on the 31st December here, let’s see.

Closures are always indispensable for the new beginnings. In the next 15 days, we are going to enter the new year and to welcome 2019 on a grand note, to me it is imperative to close 2018 with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

In the comments, let me know if anyone is going to do the same thing. More, the merrier.

 

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Cruise Carnival Victory in News

One of our family friends had been on a vacation last week cruising to the Cozumel and Key West Islands on a ship named Carnival Victory. On their return as I was speaking to them, I asked them how their vacation was. They had enjoyed their entire 5 day vacation to the hilt until the last two hours. Just when they could see the Miami Port, where they were going to disembark and return home, there was an announcement made about a man who had gone missing. The crew management had searched the entire vessel for four long hours only to find a camera footage later on which showed the man jumping into the sea. No one knows if it was an accident or a case of suicide. The ship sailed back trying to search the man but the attempt was failed.

They returned back to Miami port after 8 hours again and for all the passengers on board the vacation had ended on a sad note.

After hearing this experience, aren’t we reminded of how short and unpredictable our human life is. We spend a cartload of time contemplating what would have gone wrong and how we could have done something else. We spend our times hating people around us, sometimes who matter and sometimes who are the insignificant ones. Amidst all these things, there are several instances where we miss enjoying the little joys of life. While asking and complaining to Lord we often ask, “Lord why me? Why am I facing so many troubles and hardships,” and in the bargain we often miss counting our blessings.

With this thought in my head, I am going to write a list of every small blessing that I am blessed with tonight and sleep like a baby, like a blessed child.

Love

Deepti

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Journaling

My daily journal is like a GPS to my inner self. For a considerable length of 2018, I made entries in my journal occasionally only when I felt like. Lately, when I found myself often lost in thoughts or in an irritated and cranky mood most of the times, and hence I decided to journal each day like before.

Like many people and I will take the liberty of mentioning, like many females, I love to buy diaries and notebooks. Each time I see a beautiful diary at a store, I walk past telling myself, “I already have enough unused one, I will buy a new one only when I am done using those.” But before going to the check-out counter, I go back and treat myself on the diary. I picked up my favorite notebook from the stack of unused diaries and decided to embark on journaling each day again. On day one, I could barely write a page and that too lacked any emotions I had felt during the day. Day two was better and so was day three. By day five, I had an emotional connect back with my journal and that was where I started to realize why I was feeling what I felt throughout the day. I could exactly place a finger on things or people that caused anger, frustration and mood swings.

After writing my journal religiously for a month now, I have helped myself in identifying that more than half of the times, I have always been affected by factors which were not only out of my control but also insignificant to my life. More often than never, we allow people who are not within our significant circle of life to decide the course of our temperament and emotions. When we map our lives and take a bird’s eye view of it, we come to conclusion that all the stress and the tension, anxiety that was build around it wasn’t worth it.

My Guru Mahatria has taught me, that check on what worries you today. Is that going to matter five years from now? If the answer is no, then don’t burn your blood and fret about it.

His beautiful teaching is summarized by Denis Waitley, when he quotes, “Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.

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Faith or Fear

As a child, we are born with only two fears, fear of dark and fear of heights. As we grow up, we keep on adding to this list of fears. Fear of water, fear of closed places, fear of exams, fear of interviews, stage fear and the list are different for each individual. A certain level of fear, my guru says is good, it helps you enhance your performance. But too much fear he adds, doesn’t let you perform at all.

I had a fear of giving interviews in the early days of my career. I was scheduled for an interview and a week prior to that a fire had broken out in my building. Me and my sister in law were at home along with my niece who was two and a half year old. My sister in law was pregnant and hence I rushed her out of the building first. The fire wasn’t a major one, yet I could not wait until last moment to rush her out of the apartment. After she had reached a safe point, I took my niece and rushed down to where all the neighbors had gathered. The fire department in our city was informed and the firemen were on their way.

While everyone in the building was doing every bit to extinguish fire with water and sand, I was keeping the kids in my building occupied. They had to be distracted from the chaos and panic that had stricken us. It was a scary moment, but I managed to keep the kids diverted somehow. Inside my head I had all the scary thoughts of what if?

The firemen arrived, and the fire was extinguished quickly. The damage was very little and limited to the house where the electric wires had been left open. When the firemen stepped outside, we all thanked them. My niece was tired by now and had her head resting on my shoulder. On hearing our voices, her tiredness had washed away. She too said thank you to the uncle and we walked back to our home. As we were climbing the staircase, she told me, “Auntie, that was Lord Krishna who came and rescued us and our house.” I had done my every bit to not let her know that there was a problem, but when I heard the word rescue, I knew I had failed. I asked her, “Why do you think it was Lord Krishna?”

“Because our Lord Krishna has a mukut on his head and mummy and grandmother say that Lord Krishna is our savior. He always saves us from all the troubles and protects us. And the firemen uncle too had a cap on his head which was mukut and he too saved us from the danger of fire, isn’t it? So, he is Lord Krishna.

I was amazed by her innocence, by her naivety. It was so easy for her to see God. We adults keep searching for God in every corner of the world. This little niece of mine had taught me how the formless God could be seen in so many forms around us.

That night when my brother came, my little one eagerly narrated her entire experience to her father. When he asked her if she was scared anytime during the fire, her answer was a moment of learning for our entire family. In her sweet, innocent way she said, “Daddy, grandpa had once told me that if we have faith in God, we shouldn’t be scared. God will always come and help us, we are his children and he loves us a lot. So I wasn’t scared daddy, I had faith and see how Lord Krishna came and saved us. The fire went off in few minutes of that uncle’s arrival.”

My father has taught us something which the little one reiterated that day, “Know faith, no fear. No faith, know fear.” With this experience in my mind, I went for the interview next week and secured not only the job but also, got over the fear of my giving interviews.

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Wordless Wednesday

Christmas is in the air. I love giving hand made gifts to people near and dear to me. For my neighbor’s daughter, I made this little fairy garden with the Christmas theme. I will gift her over the weekend. Hope she likes it.

The store bought gifts never give me as much joy as handmade ones.

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Swim or Drown

My mother called me, and, in her voice, I sensed helplessness and she sounded exhausted. She is not a woman who will tire easily, not even with her age. I asked her what was bothering her, and she told me how her best friend had called, and they had discussed a problem she faced. My mother is an agony aunt to all our relatives and most of her friends. This wasn’t the first time that my aunt had discussed this problem, she had been facing this problem for over five years now. Whenever anyone offered her the solutions, she would find a reason and say that it won’t work. Her problem we all knew was not because of people or factors around her but it was because she refused to change, she refused to accept certain unchangeable things or people in her life. Her problems were never with one person but with all her near and dear ones. Sometimes her son, sometimes her mother in law, sometimes her husband and now the latest addition was daughter in law, the new entrant.

She had passed on this problem to my mother and now she was a new worried and depressed person in the chain. My mother relayed the entire conversation that they had, and I was beginning to get worked up too. I too had tagged along in that chain and that entire evening and the evening after that too I roamed around with a sad face as if the distress had occurred in my life itself.

Most of the times we are the creators of our own problems and moods and this time I was to be definitely blamed for my own sulking nature. To change my mood, like that aunt I too turned towards my mother. I called her, and I told her to never ever again vent out problems that people come and share with you. You love to play their agony aunt, please continue doing that but don’t pass that to me. Laughing at me she says, “What Deepti? if I am their agony aunt, you are my agony aunt.”

“No mom, I am not as emotionally well balanced as you are. I get worked up more than required and I don’t like this sulking because of someone else.” I cribbed back.

She turned the camera and showed me the quote that was on her cupboard. It read, “You drown not by falling into the river, but by remaining submerged in it.” It was a quote from Paulo Coelho and I had found the solution not only to my issue at hand but also a smile back on my face.

My mother had forgotten the issue as soon she had dropped my call and discussed it with me, but it had stayed with me longer because I allowed it to stay. I remained submerged in the water instead of swimming out of it and found myself drowning.

I had learnt one important lesson that day and it shall stay with me forever from hereon.

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Love – Lost and Found

It was the night he most awaited for the entire year, the night of celebration, joy, peace and hope. The air was cool, and the winds were making the winters crisper by the night. His hooded eyes searched for someone special. All year this was his only chance to see her. Even when he saw her from the distance, his heart skipped a beat. His life was filled with everything one would desire – money, fame, success a swanky apartment in the heart of city, he had it all. He was the head chef of the restaurant that had chains across the globe. His hands created magic with the raw ingredients and people would pay anything to become his student.

Yet, deep inside the vacuum was unbearable. He felt powerless, he felt handicapped, he felt broken. He was clueless of what life had given him all the luxuries for. All he now wanted was her. They had spent their life together right since they were kids. His foster parents were friends to her family. Their families and friends thought that they were inseparable. People around them knew they were made for each other.

Running he went across the street where she stayed and in between his breath he said, “Sarah, I have made it. I always knew I wanted this, but I wasn’t sure how to tell you?”

She was excited, her heart was pumping blood with double speed now. She had waited for him to realize and say the magical three words for long now. Little did she know how the two were on separate tracks. “Tell me, Frank what is it? I am excited to know,” her cheeks were beginning to turn a color of crimson now.

“I have….I have,” he waited for the air from his lungs to slow down and give him a chance to speak.

“Relax Frank, relax! First take a few deep breaths and tell me what is it?”

“I have got admitted into the culinary school, I always dreamt of. I had applied, but I never told anyone about it because I wasn’t sure if they would accept my form and grant me the scholarship. I have been admitted into the NY culinary school Sarah.” And then e hugged her, he wrapped her into him and on his back, she cried silent tears. She had to accept the fact that his dreams were different then hers. He dreamt of a life he was never blessed with. Becoming a head chef of a Michelin Star Restaurant, he wanted an identity of his own. He had been abandoned by his father when he was three and then by his mother when he was five then. The feeling of abandonment had not left him in all these years.

Understanding his deep need of identity and acceptance she decided to let go of the love she held in her heart for so long. As time passed by, she had moved on with her life. In college, she had found a man who loved her immensely. Sarah had married Henry who she had met at college.

Frank had been busy at university and then with the internship under a celebrity chef. When he got a call from Sarah, he was busy and hence avoided the call. He called her after a week and that’s when he got the news of Sarah’s marriage. The marriage was in two days and he couldn’t attend the wedding. Since then they had never been in touch. Sarah was upset that Frank was too busy to attend her wedding.

Today years later, Frank found himself waiting to have just one glance of his lady luck. When he had succeeded in all hemispheres of life, the only missing thing in his life was love and warmth that only a family could shower him with. Without Sarah, he felt like a bird who didn’t know the way to his nest. Gradually after his success in his professional life he had known how Sarah was the love of her life and just when he had decided to propose her or take her for a date, she had announced her marriage.

Frank continued to blame himself for years and refused to move on in life. He went on date with several women he met, he flirted to his heart’s content, but love was still missing from his life.

Sarah on the other hand was struggling in her own marriage. Henry had become alcoholic and now his wrath was poured not only on her but even their daughter. Sarah did everything to protect her dignity and her daughter from the negativities in air, but she lacked the courage to move ahead in life. She had been a stay at home and finding work now was not her only challenge. Leaving her daughter alone was the bigger challenge that Sarah posed.

Today the entire town would be gathered at the church for Christmas celebrations. Sarah had her plans to go with her daughter and enjoy the festivities. Frank had plans to just get a peek of the love he had lost. This was the only time of the year, when Frank would give himself this opportunity.

Sarah was greeting someone when her daughter ran towards the Santa Claus. Frank was just a few steps away hiding behind a tree when he saw this. He followed the little one with an instinct to protect her from any harm. When the Santa went on his knees and asked her, “What gift do you want my little angel?”

Frank was shocked to hear her answer, “I want my mumma’s smile dear Santa. Papa troubles her, he slaps her too, he has taken away my mumma’s smile, can you get that back?”

Santa stroked the little one’s hair and pulled her cheeks. Santa was certainly not expecting this and tried to convince her with a happy doll. Removing the doll from his bag Santa smiled behind his beard and said, “Show this smiling doll to your mumma, the doll’s smile will bring a smile to your mumma’s face too.”

Little one believed the Santa and happily walked with the doll in her hand to her mumma. Frank sat there on the walkway and while the cold numbed his body, what he heard had numbed his brain and mind. He wondered if this was the Sarah he knew. Sarah who fought for herself, who was strongly opinionated and who had led her life on principles of self-respect.

He cried blaming himself for the mess in Sarah’s life. Had he not been a mean person lost in achieving his goals, he wouldn’t have made Sarah vulnerable enough to marry a wrong person. Sarah’s pain and the pain in her daughter’s eyes had taken Frank on a guilt trip. Sitting there and crying for long, he had decided to make amends. He drove to Sarah and Henry’s house. He sat outside and waited for Sarah to come. When he saw the car being pulled into the driveway, he waved out to grab her attention. When Sarah saw Frank there, she stopped the car with a jerk. At the back, her daughter was startled from her sleep, but the car seat protected her from getting hurt.

Sarah got down from the car and ran towards Frank. “How are you? I am so glad to see you here. How have you been all this while and in which part of the world have you been Frank?”

Seeing the innocence on her face and her curiosity to know every detail about him, Frank smiled. Last time they had met it was him talking in between breaths and today after all these years it was Sarah talking in between breaths and the tears had now begun to roll down her eyes.

He wrapped her again into her arms and this time the tears weren’t silent. She wept her heart out and held no bars.

The lights on the front porch flickered and pulled them back into reality. Henry walked aggressively putting Sarah into a defensive mode. She stood ahead of Frank to protect him from her husband’s wrath. Henry barked, “You slut, what are you doing with his man here in the darkness of the night?”

Frank could not stand the language that had been used and pulled Sarah behind him and held his hand on Henry’s shoulder to stop him from going near her. “Stay where you are gentleman, that’s no way one talks to his wife.”

“She is my wife and I will talk to her in any way I want, you are no one to interfere into our lives.” Henry’s mouth was stinking alcohol. He was clearly not in his right senses and Frank wanted to protect Sarah now.

“She is my friend, and no one harms my friend. Neither with their words nor with their hands,” Frank’s voice was stern and firm. His blood boiled to feel his Sarah hiding so timidly behind him.

Henry who was intimidated now raised his hand and took a hit on Frank. Without much delay Frank got back at him and punched him right in his gut. Henry lay on the ground in pain and that gave Frank enough time to call the police and rescue his Sarah and her daughter.

The police reached there, and this time Frank’s presence had given Sarah enough courage and strength she needed to take corrective actions for her life. The police cuffed Henry’s hand and that made Sarah feel free.

She went to the car and unbuckled her the car seat. The little one had been a witness to everything that unfolded in past few minutes. She hugged Sarah who comforted her and said, “Everything is going to fine from here my little angel. Don’t worry mumma is here.”

Next morning when the little angel woke up, she carried her doll in her tow and walked down into her mumma’s bedroom. Seeing her mumma smile, she smiled back to the doll and whispered in her ear, “Your smile is contagious, and you are my lucky doll. See how my mumma is smiling back just like before,” and she kissed her doll.

“Santa never lies,” said uncle Frank from behind who had once again had the chance to hear the little one say something like last night.

“Haww, you eavesdropped on my conversation with Santa uncle Frank? Not good, mumma says we should never eavesdrop on someone’s conversations.”

Frank held his ears and lipped a sorry to the little princess. “You got my mumma’s smile back uncle Frank, so I love you too and I forgive you,” she said.

The Christmas was merry for all three of them and Santa’s doll indeed had a smile that was contagious.

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Posted in Short Story, Wisdom Pearl

Patience – A short story

Mother Meenakshi has two daughters, Gia and Sia who are twins. Gia and Sia look a mirror image of each other, but in nature they are north pole and south pole. Gia is as cool as a cucumber and Sia is a glass of hot chocolate. Gia loves to eat sweets, while Sia loves to eat the spicy and salty food. Both are the apple of their parents’ eyes and are loved immensely and equally by mother Meenakshi and father Arjun.

Mother was gardening and both her daughters were keen on helping her. Meenakshi was very happy to see her daughters being interested in helping her and wanting to learn gardening. She gave them each a rooted tiny branch of a chili plant and jasmine plant. It was spring season and the time for the plants to grow and bear chilies and Jasmine flowers was just right. Gia and Sia followed their mother’s instructions and planted the seeds in the ground. They covered it with sufficient mud and watered them.

Each day Gia and Sia would water the plants and say their little prayers in front of them. They would even murmur their tiny secrets to the plant sometimes. After a week since they had seeded the plant, both were eager to see the number of leaves going up in their plant. Each their plant had 3-4 more leaves and that made them eager to ask their mother when the plant would bear fruits and flowers of their own.

Mother Meenakshi had smiled at the curiosity in her daughters and told them, “Gia, Sia the plant is growing already. But for them to bear fruits and flowers there is still sometime. They will have them soon when the time is right.”

“Mumma, it’s been too long. We can’t wait to see our plants have their babies too. We want to see the chilies and jasmine flowers soon now,” said Sia.

“You will get to see them very soon my little ones,” she said pulling their cheeks, “continue to water them and ensure they get enough of sunlight and love them everyday and then very soon we will have them flowering.”

Both the girls excited and satisfied with Mumma’s advise ran back to the play area in their house. Next day as they were watering the plant Sia wasn’t happy with the growth in her plants and impatiently she pulled out the tiny plants and planted them in a different spot. Gia decided to let her plants be where they were.

After a week when Gia’s plants were showing the buds, it made Sia more impatient. She again uprooted the plant and replanted it in a different place. All the while she kept changing the places, she did it hoping the plant would get a better sunlight than its prior spot.

After a few weeks, Gia had her first harvest of three chillies and a bunch of jasmine flowers. Excited to see her plant loaded with their produce, she called out her mother. Mother Meenakshi was elated to see the joy on Gia’s face. She congratulated and applauded Gia for her constant care and love towards the plant.

Mumma searched for Sia and then asked about her plants. With a sad face, Sia told her, “Mumma, my plants do not have anything, they are still bare. They aren’t even carrying any buds yet.”

Mother consoled her, “That’s okay sweetheart, we will see what needs to be done, but where are your plants? Didn’t we plant them next to Gia’s plants?”

“We did mumma, but I thought I needed to give them better sunlight and hence I first planted them there,” she pointed out in the direction and continued, “and then I rooted them there in that corner again mumma. I thought they would grow faster there than their places before.”

Mother Meenakshi cuddled Sia into her arms, wiping away her tears and explained her, “My child, for a plant to grow it has to stay long enough in one place. Changing places very frequently doesn’t help them and in fact it harms them. Now let your plants be at this place for very long. Water them, love them and nurture them and they will flourish again.”

Sia did just as she had been advised and then her plants had begun to flower too. Spring season was in bloom and their house had home grown chilies and beautiful jasmine flowers.

Gia and Sia had both learned a lesson of patience with their gardening task. They now knew how important it was for one to have patience for anything to grow and flourish. They had realized how a lot of love poured into anything with the right resources would give them the results. And the most important thing they had learned was the lesson, “For anything to develop, bloom and succeed it needed to stay in the right place for long time.”

Often when as adults Gia and Sia aren’t happy in their lives and feel anxious and their thirst for success gets unbearable they remind each other of a very important lesson they had learned in their childhood. “For success to come to us, we have to practice the art longer than we feel and develop our skills continuously.” With an incessant flow of love from their families and their own hard work in developing their skills, Gia and Sia have reached great heights in their career. The plants they had planted still continue to prosper and give them the fruits and flowers.

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Parenthood

Motherhood, I know is one of the most wonderful things a woman can ever feel. The nine months that she carries her little one inside her is a feeling which can never be fully expressed in words. And yet motherhood I know comes with its own challenges.

When the child is a toddler, both parents may be sleep deprived at times and might always be on the nerves even with the first sneeze of their child. At such moments, the loved ones are the one who come to the rescue of the new parents. A friend of mine is expecting very soon now and she was sharing her experience with me today.

I found her worried more than excited as we conversed about the new arrival. She told me how her friends who were already mothers to their toddlers kept advising her and scaring her. One said, “Do whatever you love to now, like pursuing your hobbies and etc etc, later on in few months you won’t get time for these things.” Another told her, “Sleep as much as you want now, later on you are going to be sleep deprived.” One more says, “Eat good warm food now and sip hot tea too to your heart’s content, once the baby pops out, warm food and hot tea are just going to remain dreams.” Some scared her about the labor pain she would have to endure, few scared her about the ugliness stretch marks bring along and few read out the disadvantages of having a c-sec too. Many warned her regarding the post-partum depression.

What each one said is true to the core from what I have observed but do we really to emphasize so much on all the challenges that parenthood brings along. Along with the challenges, parenthood brings along with itself so many joys. Having your own child in itself is such a reason to celebrate. How many couple around us are struggling to have their own child, we are lucky if we are blessed to have a natural and healthy pregnancy.

Being a parent and witnessing a life grow in front of your eyes each day is a blessing. The toothless grin that a child gives to his parents the first thing in the morning brings joy that’s unmatched. When the baby tucks itself into your chest out of fears, makes a parent feel so important. And beyond every happiness that a child brings along, the most priceless gift of parenthood is the unconditional love that a child showers on parents.

So, instead of scaring the parents to be, can we share with them the joys that parenthood brings along. Challenges when presented to a human being, are capable by themselves to prepare one for the survival. I have decided to greet a pregnant woman with all the good news that motherhood is going to present her with, I know there are a lot of people out there to remind her of the challenges. I choose to spread positivity instead of fear. You make your choices wisely too, let’s bring joy and let’s be a reason for someone’s smile and not cause a fear in them.

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Let’s create memories

For some reason today, I was reminded of the summer vacation times when all my aunties used to come at our home and stay with us with all their kids. The nights were the longest and the days were never tiring. Summer sun was harsh, but it had little impact on our enthusiasm.

And when we were done playing every silly game we could think of, our favorite past time was removing the box of albums from the attic and reliving the moments that were clicked and printed on a photo paper now. Watching the video tapes of the marriage ceremonies of our parents was one more activity in our vacation agenda. Laughter, jokes, teasing each other would add so much spark and light to the room and our moods.

One evening, I read an article by my friend Anamika about how she had filled her house with some photo albums and the guests instead of getting into the gossip mode had gone into discussing the family’s vacation and the fun times. Inspired by her idea I too created a folder of my favorite photos from my laptop, from my husband’s phone and from my phone and got all the photos printed. Next task was to put them in a album and I did just that and placed the album on the side table in my living area.

Now when we had friends over, along with the memories of our vacations, I had memories of my childhood coming back too. It was such a wonderful idea from my friend Anamika and I am so glad to have replicated it. Now, I do not miss any single opportunity to click pictures and then create albums from them.

The fun of having a copy of photo in your hands is so much more than the joy of seeing the pictures on a digital medium. I wonder if my children or the millennials are ever going to get and feel this joy. Well, I am certain my child will have this joy now and I hope many more kids get to feel this joy too.

When was the last time you opened a box of memories from your phone or laptop and relived the vacation, if it’s been too long, think about having an album again and a coffee table conversation next time you have friends and family over.

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Posted in Short Story, Wisdom Pearl

Parenting

A conversation I eavesdropped on today evening between a mother and her daughter.

Daughter: Mom, I want to go on a play date with my friend Mia today, can you take me there?

Mother: Mia? Is she not the same girl who you told me was mean to you the other day?

Daughter: Yeah mom, but what was between me and Mia has been sorted out now. We spoke and cleared the misunderstandings. She felt I was mean to her too.

Mother: That’s nice, I will take you there. But you are sure about it, right?

Daughter: Yes mom, I am sure. But why do you have such a question. I have seen you having conversations with your friends so many times. Isn’t it the same Mumma? You have only taught me to not hold grudges for a long time.

Mother: Yeah and I am glad you have heeded our advice and I am proud of you.

This mother has become my inspiration. There is so much right that she is doing in her parenting. Kids learn more by our actions than what we teach them with our words. Actions speak louder than words and when it comes to parenting, our actions speak loudest to our kids.

Happy Parenting!!!

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Expressions and relationships

There is something about expressing your emotions in relationships. Be it a parent-child relation, be it a bond between two friends or be it a relation of the lovey-dovey spouses, expressing what you feel in the relation is important. We ought to provide the other person in the relation the comfort and liberty of expression. We as humans have been truly blessed with the power of words, the power to communicate. Not all breathing and alive creatures around us have this privilege.

Some use this power and make others feel good, bring smiles on their faces and love into their lives whilst some use it and end up hurting someone’s emotions. At times, I have found myself to fall in the latter category of the two. But that was until I had realized it and then made a decision to be conscious of my own words. Once I had made this decision, it’s only with my husband and my mom that I take this liberty to talk whatever I feel even when I am angry. These are two relations in my life which have given me ample of liberty and comfort to feel what I want to feel and speak what I want to. I do not misuse this liberty but at times when I need to vent out, these two are the only relations I know have got my back.

My other ways to express myself is through gifts and appreciation letters. I stay miles away from my family and friends who have known me since my teenage years. In the beginning, I missed them, I craved for the affection and love and all the pampering that I received from them, but then I had to accept the reality and make peace with it someday. Today when I miss them, I write letters and attach some beautiful pictures to these letters and send them home. Sending letters overseas isn’t a very economical affair, so I wait for the pile of letters to gather up a size and send it to my mom and from there she dispatches the letter to people intended, sometimes to my sister, sometimes to my brother, sometimes to my friend and once even to my ex-boss.

After a while, I have learnt that if I don’t express, I feel choked, the relationship can’t blossom as much as it would if I communicate. Since the time I have learned and become conscious of my expressions and my communication, my relationships have bettered, there is more peace in my life and there is a much lesser space for misunderstandings in every area of my life. Yes, I have made myself vulnerable trying to express at times, but that is not a very heavy price for the luxuries I get in return. The explanation lies in the quote from Brian Jacques in his book Taggerung, “Don’t be ashamed to weep. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of is sealed inside to comfort us.”

What is your best way of expressing your thoughts, your emotions? Which is that one relation in your life which helps you to be yourself completely?

Image courtesy: Alamy Stock Photo

 

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Posted in Short Story

Revelations of an old diary

She continued with her Sunday morning chore of cleaning all by herself today as he was away for cricket tournament. Cleaning was meditative for her, as she cleansed her house and every nook and corner of it, she felt cleaner within. With rearranging the little pieces of furniture around, she felt she was realigning her thoughts too.

As she reached to her most loved furniture in the house, her book shelf she decided to rearrange and give it a completely new look today. And as she continued to do so, her hands fell on a diary which she believed she had written in her adolescent days. Keeping the dusting cloth and all her cleaning supplies aside, she decided to read the diary. She opened the first page and she found a sketch of a man with a perfect physique and smile. The sketch of this gentleman was splashing confidence. She turned her palms to watch back and forth quite a few times wondering if it was her own fingers that had created this sketch.

She turned on to the next page and she read the following lines, “One day in life, I will make it big and silent the inner critic within. One day I shall be the same confident image of the sketch that I have created. As she read that she was wonderstruck as to why had she sketched a man and why did she want to resonate the man in the sketch? She went back in the past and thought if she ever hated being a woman, but she could not recollect anything on the similar lines. She had always loved playing with the barbie dolls and kitchen sets and always loved to experiment with her mother’s make up kit.

With the confusion in her head as she turned to page 3, she read about a nightmare that she had one of the nights then. It read, “The man pushed me into what I thought was a valley, I screamed as the man pushed me and I remember being unable to breathe as I looked down. I thought I would be dead once I hit one of the mountains or the lakes there and I thought I would die. But when I landed there, I was swimming amongst the most beautiful sea creatures and there was a mermaid too. Good Lord why such scary falls and once the fall is over the miraculous landings. What are you trying to convey me Good Lord, please be a little clearer with this confused child of yours.”

With this page she could resonate a little though not completely, she still had this habit of addressing Lord as Good Lord. As she turned to the next page, again there was a sketch and this time the sketch was that of a backside of a beautiful and graceful lady. It appeared as if the lady was sitting on a seashore and enjoying some peace. The long traces of the hair were very feministic and displayed the grace of the female in the sketch as well as the one who had drew it.

Out of curiosity she fanned the pages to see if there were any more sketches there and she was surprised to see not one or two, but half the diary filled with sketches. Some were of females, some were couples and some were plain scenic nights which had moon and stars and clouds floating on the pages. Some pages were adorned with beautiful flowers which were even shaded with pencil colors and this time she found herself scratching her head with her little finger trying to recollect if she had drawn them all or had this diary magically fallen into her bookshelf.

She went into the kitchen, made herself a nice cup of steaming hot tea and with that cup she settled onto the porch at the front of her house. It was a sunny morning with sun shining in its full glory and the garden had just gone greener with all the attention that it was being sprinkled with by her and the gardener.

She opened the next page of the mysterious diary and read the following lines with intense feelings in her heart and even intense looks on her face, “Tonight I witnessed a mother giving birth to her little one for the first time and maybe it would be the last time too. I have never seen home deliveries, and this was one, with all the modern and high-end facilities at the hospital who decides to do home delivery in this era. This couple must have been one of the rare couples who still believed in home delivery. I was passing through this house and I suddenly hear some loud noises and I thought a man was forcing herself on this woman who was trying too hard to escape so I rushed near the window sill of this house and I see a few women who were helping this mother to deliver her child. With all her might she pushed, and she screamed as if she wanted to get the baby out of her system soon. Her hair was all frenzied and her entire forehead was covered with pearls of sweat. And suddenly there was a sound of a baby weeping…the tired face of the mother had within no moments changed all the tired look to a smile as if she was gifted with the most precious gift.”

The next page she assumed would be of a baby and as she turned she found that it was of a mother carrying the baby in her arms and breastfeeding her. This time she searched the sketch for some peculiar strokes that would help her identify if it was sketched by her or not. She remembered seeing a home delivery from the windows while hiding but she didn’t remember a lot of emotions and the details that she had just read.

The next few pages were just sketches. She turned to the page that had some text and this she thought was the most interesting one amongst the pages so far. “Today as I saw him, I felt like I lost a piece of my heart to him, he was a man who every girl would ever dream of. Okay, maybe it is too early to call him a man yet, but he was the most charming boy I have ever seen. His eyes – they talk, his smile – it lightens the darkest room. He is cuteness ever loaded. Good Lord must have dismantled the mould after he was born because there cannot be anyone like him ever. Will he be the same charming person when he turns to be a man from boy, or will he also change with all the adult madness.

Adult madness is madness that permanently screws up everything, it screws up the naïve being and makes him or her a total maniac running behind an illusionary success. This illusionary success seems closer each time but the moment one goes to grab it, it seems farthest than before. Its illusions, its hallucinations, its imaginary…what is the success which makes you pay the peace and happiness of your family. My dad is running behind an illusionary position in his political party and I am wondering if that position gives him the same joy as my little smile, I wonder if he cannot see the loneliness in maa’s eyes. How long will his political success last, longer than his family? Will maa and I be able to accept him after his important political position is achieved or will it be too late by then? I am beginning to feel happier only in maa’s presence, dad’s presence once in a month is also forceful smiling session for me. Its burdensome to be in the same room with him. I don’t hate him, or should I say I don’t hate him yet, but I don’t see that day too far from here now. I have already gone from feeling love to feeling neutral towards him.”

With this page she closed the diary and decided to not read it further. She recollected the fond memories she had with her dad which had soon disappeared because of his political aspirations. She just saw the sketches in the diary that had beautiful images of only a child with his mother and only the feminine sketches.

Gradually, she was able to understand everything that had changed for her. All her older diaries were ruined by her and she wondered how this had escaped the ritualistic fire. She was glad this hadn’t been swallowed by the fire as it reminded her of the beautiful sketches she could make.

That night she created the sketch of a beautiful female holding a baby in her arms and a man holding the mother and the child together in his protective arms. He entered the room and saw the wonderful sketch that his wife had painted.

“Ahh, I didn’t know my girl had artistic fingers along with a green thumb,” he exclaimed as he admired the sketch.

“Well, sometimes there are more ways than one to speak you see,” she said.

“Argh, you women, why do you have to make it so complicated, why can’t you just communicate with words,” he argued.

“Because sometimes our words won’t do justice and that’s when we need our man to decipher these kinds of expressions,” she said as she tossed his hair in a playful childlike manner.

“Now tell me, what is this picture meant to say my lovely wife?” he reciprocated.

“You tell me what your first thoughts are as you see this sketch?” She tried to help him.

“Well, it’s a beautiful family sketch I would say where each one is happy and content.”

“Perfecto” she said, see that’s the reason I chose you to be my husband. You can decipher my silence and now my sketches too.

“Well honey are you trying to tell me that we are ready for a family now?” He asked with excitement written all over his face.

Today after six years, she feels elated to see their daughter try and draw a few sketches and vows to give her a perfect family life for her life…forever.