Proclivity

When I was a teenager living in Kerala, I remember standing at the bus stop with my father one day. My father and I loved to take the bus and head out to town, leaving our scooter behind. An elderly woman stood beside us. It was a hot day and she looked rather tired. My father started a conversation and soon we knew where she was going and much more. As the bus approached us, my father asked her to take care. I remember her looking at us and smiling.

During our bus ride, I asked my father, why he always talked to strangers. He replied, “A stranger could be God in disguise…always be kind and good to people, what does one gain by being the opposite?”. Over the years, my imperfect father taught me many valuable lessons. The one that has impacted me the most is – when in doubt, be kind.

I cannot understand a person’s proclivity to see the worst in others…what does one really gain?

 

Almost over

when i am seventy seven

i want to ride a train

cross rivers

watch the falling rain

take a walk

on the streets of Vancouver

listen to Bocelli

when the Christmas night is almost over

 

when i am seventy seven

i want to wake up in the morning

sip a hot cup of tea

and watch the lazy day dawning

i want to welcome the solitary nights

sleep like a child

dream of tealights

and baby elephants in the wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torn

was told i had lost

felt like a winner

was told i was a saint

felt like a sinner

when asked to stay 

chose to leave

when asked to celebrate

started to grieve

for all those moments

a smile was worn

when my heart 

was torn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living in vain…

“The Poetry of Emily Dickinson”  is one of my favourite holiday season reads (thanks to my son who bought it recently). So many beautiful verses in this gem of a book. I was really moved by this verse, I just finished reading:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickson’s sentiments are reflected in one of Dalai Lama’s latest tweets:

“Within each of us exists the potential to contribute positively to society. Although one individual among so many on this planet may seem too insignificant, it is our personal efforts that will determine the direction our society is heading.”

Living a life with purpose means different things to different people…at the end of the day, I think it is all about lifting others up, when they are down and taking the time to appreciate life and express gratitude.

What Makes a Good Life?

In the last few months since returning to Vancouver from overseas, I have realised how fast and furiously our world is changing. There’s disruption in every sphere of our lives and the future of work is at a crossroads. In the midst of all of all of this – people continue to ponder on the pursuit of happiness which seems more elusive than ever.

Dr. Waldinger’s  TED talk, titled “What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness,” in 2015,  has been viewed more than 13,000,000 times and is worth watching.  It’s good to be reminded that what matters most is meaningful relationships and connections to communities.

 

Meager

As a student social worker, I worked in the slums of Mumbai in the 90s. I worked with women and children who left their homes early in the morning to pick up and sort trash to make meager earnings. In the evening, they would return with a small amount of rice and occasionally, some lentils. A watery broth was served as dinner. When we sat down to talk about their lives, the women and children would share how hard and how long they needed to work to make few rupees…meagre earnings that helped them stay alive. I will always remember, small change can make a big change…

 

 

Legend

When I first read Rudyard Kipling’s “The Ballard of East and West”, I don’t think I fully appreciated the depth of the 19th century poem…reading it again, I think I do. I love the lines:

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

I was fascinated to read that the Legend of Bagger Vance and the Hindu epic scriptural poem Bhagavad-Gita, have a connection. We are all enriched when there is neither East nor West…just humanity…

Theory

 

there’s no theory

to explain why love

gets weary

how we give everything up to get close

only to run away

from the other and ourselves

there’s no theory

to explain why love

never gets weary

how we give everything up to get close

and stay together

in harmony with the other and ourselves