The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Tag: bliss (page 1 of 2)

Driftwood

Endlessly Still and Dynamic

Endlessly Still and Dynamic

It is a place of privilege, perhaps? Actually, that is not fully accurate. I am of the opinion (and it came to me one day, right out of the blue) that it is ALL well-deserved. Yes, the agony and ecstasy and glory and ignominy and bouquets and brickbats and self-flagellation and… We earn them allĀ in ways we only recall sometimes, but yes, we earn them all. So, no privilege… It is all earned and deserved, dating back to forever in the past.

So here I am, drifting along, simultaneously enjoying the view and pace and peace, and wondering about direction and progress.

As someone wise told me, (not verbatim), there is nothing static about human existence. Our perspective is limited, making us feel so. That we are stuck, going nowhere. But we are, oh yes, we are.

Maybe a few years (or months) later, I will look upon this period with a smile. Ahh, there I was… chewing over some BIG and small questions. Drinking in the quiet and bliss and contentment, trying to guilt myself (“Achievement! Progress! LAZY!”) but not really succeeding.

A Patch of Blue Sky, An Open Clearing

Ganesha TreeFor the longest time, I have been lucky enough that I get to find my own little patch of blue sky. Amid the tallest buildings, walls behind walls, work piling up and things to do… yet I manage to find my little space up above, the one that gives me air to breathe, keeps me alive… As I wonder about the where-what-how questions that haunted me in my younger days.

Today, I have that little patch of blue sky but the imagery has expanded to include a tiny clearing in the woods. It is always present, waiting and undisturbed. No one strays there. It is my space alone.

My Cozy-Time Reading

There is a certain ritual I indulge in at mid-day, every day. Actually, it takes place around 4pm. I boil a cup of water in a steel saucepan, add a teaspoon or so of sugar to it, then a smidgen of chai tea masala, some fresh mint leaves and grated fresh ginger. As the water begins to boil, I add a teeny bit of black tea powder, then some milk. As the tea lightens in color and little ripples appear on the surface, I turn off the heat, place a steel lid over the pan and allow the tea to rest. In the interim, I open the pantry door, take out my favorite fried snack (Khatta Meetha mix), a few pieces of Math or Bajri Khakra, and place them all in a small bowl. I sieve the tea into my little IKEA cup, take the cup-n-saucer over to the breakfast table where my bowl of snacks sits, draw up my favorite oft-read book, sip and munch and read alongside.

Cozy Time Books

Cozy Time Books

These are my few minutes of bliss. It is my favorite time of the day, the little period of quiet when no questions intrude. No thoughts of dinner or life or career or relationships are entertained. I love the sharp tang of ginger as it makes its searing way down my throat. I love how it intersects with the cool mint and the fiery chai tea masala. I love how hot the tea is, temperature-wise and taste-wise. I love the crunch of the Khakra, the sweet-sour notes of the Khatta Meetha mix. I love my old books – James Herriot, Ruskin Bond. I love that my books date back to a life and time that have long passed the world by but I can savor those days during these sweet moments, 4pm every day. I don’t seek anything to stimulate my intellect, only that which can soothe and nourish it. In fact, there are only a few books that can do the job. James Herriot’s animal tales are sweet in their sensitivity, innocence and compassion. Ruskin Bond’s stories of Mussourie are hopelessly hopeful, full of loving sentiment and good cheer and beauty. I don’t seek much else during my tea time. I don’t ask to be supercharged or revved up.

I love the coziness of it all.

What are your favorite cozy-time books?