Come pause a minute,

Sit with me awhile,

and share your thoughts...

06 February 2016

A very dear friend passes on...

Mrs Sunita Salvi

A beautiful person - a truly, truly beautiful person.

I first met Mrs Salvi when she and her husband, a beautiful person too, brought their darling daughter, Saloni, for music lessons with me. Saloni was all of 5 or 6 years old and through the years till she became a teen, and we left Oman, she came to my home every Wednesday evening for her music lesson. Mrs Salvi would often come to pick her up and many, many a Wednesday did we chat while Saloni went down to her Dad waiting in the parking lot. Mrs Salvi left us a few days back. I cannot seem to assimilate this in my heart. It just seems not true and I would not have believed it if Saloni had not sent me a note on FB.

The Salvis are a very loving family and Mrs Salvi was the center of the family. Beautifully turned out always, she was extremely poised and graceful. Soft-spoken and gentle Mrs Salvi was a tower of strength to her family and to those who knew her. She was deeply appreciative of those around her and in those long talks after Saloni's lesson, we covered a range of topics....After she would go down to join her family, often I wouldn't be able to remember what we talked about, but I would always recall the gentleness of her presence.

My DD was very much a part of their lives because Mrs Salvi would hold her up as a role model for Saloni. They were the first people who got my DD's school-leaving examination result and sent it to us. When my son-in-law was transferred to Muscat, the Salvis welcomed him into their home and family.

The three of them have always had a part of my heart...and always will.

I shall miss Mrs Salvi unbelievably.

Days begin and end
Light waxes and wanes
Friendships are warm and go cold
Life has untold ups and downs

Only death is a constant...

21 January 2016

There are times when we get stuck in a situation...

that makes us behave quite differently from how we know we should...

Sometimes, we find ourselves reacting to something in a manner we cannot imagine we just did...

We may also find ourselves, at times, responding with words that we can see are reducing the other person, taking away his/her dignity and self-worth...

We may stop right here, and try to salvage the situation. It is not good either to hurt someone, no matter how the other person has behaved towards us, or, indeed, hurt ourselves by our bad behaviour. Sometimes this reaching out works, sometimes it doesn't....and we hope we have not lost a friend.

However, there are times when we find we cannot stop and something just drives us on. This is terribly destructive for everybody involved.

The thing is, we cannot change anyone. People behave in the manner they are programmed to behave in. But, we can improve on our hurtful responses and bad behaviour with awareness and training. We have to learn - force ourselves, actually - not to respond in any way. There is really no need to respond to everything that is done or said. Some things we can let go. Some incidents we can file away, to respond to when we are in a calmer frame of mind. Some words or actions we can ignore. The demand on us is to be understanding of why the other person behaved in the way he/she did. This is not rationalising....it is just an understanding, or making a note of the bad behaviour, and leaving it be. However, this is also a time for us to examine ourselves - our words, our behaviour - and make the necessary corrections. We cannot always be right, and we may not want to admit that we are capable of bad behaviour, but the fact is that we are just as human as the next person.....

So,
First, stop any words or actions that may arise spontaneously to someone's bad behaviour. Just be quiet. You may have to exert all your will power to force yourself to keep quiet or walk away. Believe me when I say that there is a great deal of will power inside us - just that we seldom summon it.
Second, make a note. If you can find it in your heart to be so, then be understanding of the other person.
Third, see if maybe there is something in us that needs fine tuning.....kind of do a reality check on ourselves....and instead of going into denial mode, or pushing away the truth about ourselves, or blaming circumstances beyond our control, we can work on doing something about it. This is not easy, for we all have a tendency to think we couldn't behave badly. Fact is, we can, and we do behave badly/foolishly/unwisely and instead of not facing this fact, it would be better to take it out and look at it, no matter how painful, tell ourselves that well, it happened, but it is not the end, and then work on it.......transform ourselves....we'll be more at peace with ourselves and the world around us.

18 January 2016

Talking about habits...

Next time you unthinkingly slide into doing 'what you have to do' at 10 in the morning, just stop and think if you are doing what you are doing out of habit or because you want to or because you have to. Agreed some things have to be done as part of the day's routine. But, if it is not absolutely germane to your well-being, maybe it needn't be done just at that time? Maybe it can be postponed to another time? Maybe it needn't be done at all that day? Maybe it can be done another way?

Next, check how you feel: Horribly guilty? Unsure if you are doing 'the right thing' by postponing/not doing/changing the task? Liberated from the bond of doing that chore? A feeling of free-ness?

It's very important not to allow ourselves to be hooked by tasks....by anything, actually. Albert Camus has this to say: Though habits give shape to our inner lives, they can mutate into the rigidity of routine and create a kind of momentum that, rather than expanding our capacity for happiness, contracts it.

Beware, then and kick anything that may tie your heart and soul down...

15 January 2016

Something I heard...

and which explains a great deal...

We absorb a great deal of information from our surroundings, our environment, the media, the books we read, the movies we see etcetcetc.....Some of it stays, some of it disappears altogether and some of it gets hidden to surface at a later point of time. How we process all this information inside of us depends on what we are all about. This is then what becomes the body of our knowledge....Fantastic, isn't it?!

How the face changes...

I've been thinking about this ever since I read how when we are young we resemble our parents, but as we grow older our face changes. This made me pause and I wanted to search my own thoughts on this.

How does the face change? How do looks become different? What happens?

I know all of us have, at some time or other, thought of these things. For me, I realized that this train of thought made all kinds of things that were buried deep under many, many layers of my consciousness, surface. Pulling them out and examining them has been quite painful at times, and surprising at others.

Here are some of the things that change the way we look:

The experiences we go through
The lessons life teaches us - some scary, some painful, some beautiful
The books we read, the films we watch, the courses we choose to study
The developing of our likes and dislikes - sometimes quite, quite different from our parents' likes and dislikes
The consciousness that dawns on us about talents and personality traits that we never dreamt we had
The consciousness that our dream about ourself or the belief that we were this, that or the other isn't really real
The consciousness that how we viewed ourselves is very different from what we actually are
The choices we make - some simple, some difficult and more complicated...some matching what our parents would have wanted us to make, some very different from what we were brought up to make or very different from the 'done' thing in the circle we grew up in

Our thinking changes as we realize that we are not the person we thought we were and around and on which we had built up the whole structure of our lives...And as this seeps into our consciousness the lines of our face change and we come into our own.....we are of our parents, but we are different from them....we are our own person. Scary......but true....and this opens a whole world of possibilities....gives us the chance to dream more realistic dreams, as it were....

Could be this is why some people look better and better as they grow older while some never change at all from the time you knew them as a child. Some actually begin to look like copies of their parents while some become totally different with just the shades of their parents showing beneath some contours...

23 December 2015

A deeply touching message at Christmas...

from the Atlanta Homeward Choir...

Donal Noonan, who serves as a church musical director at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Atlanta, started a choir after for the men who shelter in a church basement.

Noonan wanted to bring them some joy – and a purpose.

On December 21, in the grand entrance hall of the White House, Noonan played the mahogany 1938 Steinway grand piano for two hours as his choir performed for people touring the East Wing holiday decorations.

Neal, 61, one of the oldest of the group and the longest on the streets, says: The choir is a reminder that there’s more to life than being homeless.


Baby Jesus had no home to be born in.....he was homeless too...but the little babe comes year after year bringing joy, peace and love. The least we can do is to stretch out our hearts to enfold those who this night are homeless, those who feel unloved and uncared for, those who feel lost.....

15 December 2015

Learnt something yesterday...

when I was watching an interview of Arun Jaitley. He was talking? being quizzed? interviewed? by Dutt of NDTV.

I realized that he was hedging giving direct answers. He was either hiding behind a deluge of words, or he was deflecting his answers into the regions of 'we'll see tomorrow' and 'I'm not saying anything definitive' and other replies along the same lines, which were neither here nor there. In short, he was not willing to commit to anything - neither to what his party was doing, nor, worse, to what he thought, or believed to be a fact - There were just large numbers of words all floating around in the ether....and none of them were coming together to form cohesive replies...

By extension, I realized how often an adrenaline rush causes us to blather....or how sometimes, our adrenaline-charged moments cause us to say all kinds of things we don't mean...

How much better to keep quiet. Or, if one does want to express oneself, then it is infinitely more satisfying to ourselves, to say what we think or believe or mean. It's okay if it's wrong and we have to eat our words (they are OUR words), or change our thinking ( they are OUR thoughts), or do a mid-course correction in what we plan to do (they are OUR actions). It is all right to retract and try again. It is perfectly okay to go back 10 steps and then move forward one. It's also okay to go back many times, till we get the right note....It's much better to acknowledge we are wrong, change our thinking and go forward, rather than drown in our own sea of meaningless words...We ARE human - and as humans we have thoughts, beliefs, views, opinions.....they may be wrong, they may be right....but they are OURS....they show who we are....they express what we think, believe, feel....they connect us to other humans....they help us create the contours of our mind and thinking and feeling...they make us different from other humans.....they make us US - special, unique...