SIMPLY BEING

Tag: art of living (page 1 of 2)

Times we miss

Times we miss, even if we were never present in the first place. Days we wish we could have lived through – so what if they only transpired in our heads? Places we always saw ourselves in – in dreams, fantasies, and elaborately constructed plots and subplots with fantastic co-characters. Clothes I always saw myself wearing – sarees, flowers, jewelry. The presence I always want to be part of – and am part of even if I scarcely realize it, most of the time.

That’s my lame lament at having missed the spectacular Navaratri celebrations at the Bangalore Ashram this year. And last year, and the year before. And every year that I remember. Well, there will be another year. Another Navaratri. The Ashram. My most awesome Guruji.

founder IMG_0810

Women police officers in Indian films

… are always painted in the worst of colors. Not that women, in general, are depicted in a realistic manner as professionals. Take the case of a woman police officer. She is generally a firebrand, a haughty woman who literally begs to be ‘tamed’ (how it PAINS me to type that word but that’s the most apt description) by the hero who is obviously righteous, fair, and reasonable. And if he gets a little violent and ends up acting rough with her, it’s only because she asked for it. At the end of 32 reels, she has reconciled to her rightful place, next to her man, content to defer to him, and of course, when it comes to song-n-dance, she will be open to him slapping her butt, playing with her breasts – basically, making her look like a complete slave around him.

It was after taking a course on gender last Fall that I started viewing all these events in a whole new light. I can only be thankful that the leading men in my life, my Dad and Pinch, have never, not even ONE TIME, ever made me feel subordinate or weak, in any aspect of my life.

Reminds me of a time when I asked Pinch (this was much before we got married) about a hypothetical situation. What if I had a career that involved some level of danger (maybe an investigative journalist) and I had to go to a high-risk area for an assignment? Would he bar me from going? I still remember his response. He said that he would do all that he could to make sure that I was safe. Beyond that, if it was my wish to go, he wouldn’t disallow or discourage me from going.

Art of Living is doing such amazing work in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Trauma relief programs have been conducted with bombs going off in the distance. Yes, the work we do sometimes places us in situations where our very life is at threat. Yet we continue to do what we have to do – help those in need, provide support and knowledge to the ones whose very lives depend on it, be there. I am positive that if I were to pose the same question to Pinch (or even my Dad), the response wouldn’t be different from what it was so many years back.

To be a Karmayogi…

… is not simple. There is no escape from action, as Guruji puts it so aptly in his tape Contradictions in the Bhagavad Gita. And yet it is futile to keep your eyes on the result of the action. Do and let go, do and let go, do and let go… Another line by Guruji comes to mind, “If you’re focussed on the result, your action becomes weak.” Oh, it’s so difficult for me to even express an iota of my wonderment, of how much I am amazed by the beauty of the point. Many a time, I have felt that I want to go away – want to retreat someplace, want to get away from all that needs to be done. As if true joy and enlightenment can be found in the wilderness. I am sure that it can be found – and people have found it. But, as time goes by, I am more and more convinced that my path is here. In this world, among the people I love and possibly not love so much. Among the situations that test my nerve and the ones that make me fly. Among the bliss and the dumps, among Guruji and the other enlightened ones.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

When my dearest Guru is doing all this work, day and night, with the most benevolent smile on his graceful countenance, how can I complain? How can I run away – how can I sleep? That he is giving me a chance to be a part of his glorious work is itself such a blessing.

Oh, I am tired and spent of this mind – I am ready to throw in my towel and scram – I wish I didn’t have to do all this – but I am here to stay!