Monday, 25 June 2012

Buying a Food Processor and simpler joys

I had, as close to perfect , as a weekend can be, as per my definition. The high point of this weekend was my venture to buy a food processor. I had one , a fantastic, irreplaceable one, when I was in Germany. I had a special relationship with that powerful and little food processor . I became aware of German technology. That little one became my best friend for not only the three years In Weil-am Rhein, but gave me much comfort of familiarity once I was back in India, that felt lonelier than foreign shores. There is nothing worse than a lonely marriage. Once the food processor broke down and I desperately tried to get it fixed. No one in India could even get the motor open, let alone repair it. I was heartbroken. So many things were breaking and falling apart. Now my faithful, familiar, beautiful, food processor was gone too. I held on to its jars and blades , hoping against hope to find another of its brand and model. Nothing turned up.

Years passed. I struggled to build from scratch my life, build a nest for my son and me. Work, broken heart, left me with little time to mourn, much less replace my little friend. I found a helper in the lady who came to wash the dishes at my place. If I was planned enough for the day, my menu ready early on, she would chop or slice or grate vegetables i wanted. I wasn't so planned. I like impromptu creations. I missed the identically sliced cucumbers and tomato slices. I hated grating for hours to get a bowlful of salad in place.

Now, this weekend, I wandered into a kitchen shop with my husband. I had wanted some basic stuff like a pepper crusher. Now that I'm cooking 5 times a day, I need all my tools back. I just happened to ask if they also kept food processors. I didn't expect them to have one with all the functions I wanted. To my pleasant surprise they did. It was not ridiculously expensive like I expected. But, this processor is huge. Its not compact and dainty as my old one. never the less, I looked at it, asked all kinds of questions, I've learned from my mother. My husband who loves shopping, was so enthusiastic, I made peace with the size and bought it. I let it sit there on the floor of our living room for hours, not opening the box. I finally did, just before bed time.
The joy that filled my heart is hard to explain. I had a simple gadget, but , it meant, my household was flourishing or on its way there at-least. I could afford to buy electronics, whereas a few months back I was struggling to pay my basic bills. This machine represented to me, the promise of a warm hearth, a home where fresh food was being prepared. It represented to me my home, complete with my son and my husband. It showed me, my husband wasn't going to deny me things. It meant the beginning of a new relationship. I would slowly get to know all the pieces, all the jars, understand without the manual all the settings, knobs and lights. It represented , to me above all, when something goes out of our lives, it may never be replaced, but sooner or later, we find something, that fulfills us equally. Spring does come after winter, and we do not go wanting forever.

I marveled at how happy a small gadget had the power to make me, and I realized, it wasn't the gadget, it was the gratitude within my heart that filled me with joy. The food processor just became a symbol for all that I was grateful for. There are far simpler things in life , that garner greater joys. A smile from a child, a kind gesture from a stranger, understanding instead of a fight from your spouse. A key ring from your son. A good book, a weekend spent with your special friend and husband watching you favorite movie, eating your favorite food....Some things in life are priceless...

I have yet to christen this one... my old one was "Philippe "


Karma, Destiny, fate, free will, choices, will power.... are  these purely words or are they real. If they are for real, on what principals do they work. How are we supposed to know the differences, pertaining to our individual lives?
First things first, yes these are all real.
This blog is threatening to become a chapter, if I'm not careful and so I choose brevity ( After all ,it's a large part of my book and I'd like to just whet the appetite :) )

Lets understand one thing first. Consciousness is eternal. Life and death are just syntax to this huge book.

 Karma is generally easy to understand. It the law of balance. What has gone out, comes back and balance is restored. As long as the balance is not acquired, the give and take continues. The cycle can be broken .(understanding whether its Karma or not is not important) To break cycles across lifetimes or from this current life, when something happens, work on the assumption its Karma. Accept it with grace, make a choice to forgive people/person who is your "tormentor" in the situation. Ensure you articulate the " Learning" from the situation. Make the appropriate changes in your attitudes, beliefs, behavior etc, as part of your learning. Stay positive. Karma, is not a punishment for something "wrong" one has done, its a natural order of balance.

Now to slightly complex destiny. Now not everything in life is destined. Somethings are. We are not made aware of them, for the simple reason, to enable us to reach there should not compound, compromise or prejudice our learning, our free will or choices. Our choices, show how far we have come. It reflects our growth, our inner attitudes. Choices have consequences. Its like taking the wrong exit on a highway. That was our choice, we then face the consequence of having to drive longer, get back on the correct path and perhaps reaching our destination a little later .

Yet we have been given flag posts in life, to kind of nudge us onto the correct path for our individual soul's unique journey. Astrology, palmistry, tarot are all indicators in different aspects. Horoscopes or birth charts are like the basic blue prints of life. They indicate the basic strengths and flaws that are inherent in us. We can work on the flaws. They also point to the major landmarks that are to occur in our lives, in order to enable us to be prepared. Being forewarned is being fore armed.

Palmistry is like a mini- statement, that reflects your last few transaction in this current life. What your thoughts and actions have been in the last six months reflect how your future will continue to shape up like if you continue to follow the same behavioral patterns.

Tarot and other such methods are ways of tapping into your subconscious for guidance and reflect more about your emotional health regarding an aspect or phase of your life.

Somethings are predestined, and no matter what road you take, that's where you will end up. The forks you come across will determine the kind of road you encounter, the passengers you meet,but the destination will be the same. Kind of like if you took a flight, ship, road trip or train. There are pros and cons in each mode of transport, and they will all get you to your destination.

The thing about Free Will , is like in college.There will be subjects that you're really good at, there are some you need to work hard on and sometimes you flunk certain subjects. You then have to attend extra classes or supplementary along with your regular classes to bring them up to a certain level. You know in life , the subjects you're flunking because you will notice the same thing happening again and again with minor differences such as person, place or workplace, The situation remains the same, getting dumped, unable to keep a job, financial crisis, you always seem to land where you started. This is an indication, you need work in this area. You need to unlearn, and relearn in this aspect of your life.While you are doing this your regular classes are continuing, you will have to keep up with them, take tests, do projects. Sometimes , when you do exceptionally well you get extra credit, you then get to chose what subjects you wish to pursue.

What I'm trying to say here is , in life, there are two layers that are definite. One from the past, the curriculum you need to finish. Certain relationships , bring the balance in the karma and the like. And second, live your current life, keeping in mind the lessons you have learned and applying them across all aspects.

Sometimes destiny could be as simple as , you're destined to marry a particular individual because you have a lot of baggage to clear with that individual. In another person it may no be important who they marry but destined to become , say a widow/er, in order to learn to move on. For some a certain career is destined, in order to restore karmic paybacks and balancing and in others, career may be completely on thier whim.

To understand, these concepts vis a vie your life. All you have to do, is sit in introspection. Write down all significant events so far. Mark the repetitive patterns. Try to see if any larger picture is emerging with your hobbies, passions, jobs, is it slowly leading you down a path , follow it.

One thing that is reassuring is, we are never allowed to go terribly wrong or so far from our path to the point of no return. The universe intervenes and nudges us, gently and sometimes rudely if we're not paying attention, back on our track. Loose the resistance to it. Flow with the changes. Try swimming with the current  rather than against it and soon you'll start getting a clearer picture.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Equality cannot be Forced

Politician of India and the people who make policies seem to be the kind of people who believe, if all appearances are okay, all is fine. First the divide among the classes were forged in for posterity by giving a certain class the title of " Harijan" , as though the rest of us were devil's very flesh and blood and then the double whammy happened with the reservation policy implementation. Please read my blog: "Crippling Reservations". Now there is a new issue. Most people will not say anything against this out of politeness and to be politically correct. Suddenly, our politicians seem to think by allowing "poor" children, into rich schools, all will be set right.

I have several points to raise on this matter.
1. The class divide will become even more apparent and not solved by any far stretch of imagination. How is a child not be jealous or compete or even befriend leave alone feel equal to another child who owns play stations, x-box, laptop, goes abroad for his vacations, has hobbies like swimming, eats sushi, pasta, continental regularly. How is there going to be camaraderie if even the lingo and lifestyles are pole apart. I don't even want to go into details of personal hygiene, problems of lice, stealing, resentment, street language.How are the parents of those "poor" children supposed to be 3 thousand rupees every time the school takes the child is taken out for an excursion, some of them earn that much in a month perhaps a tad more. How is the child supposed to grasp the concepts of internet when he has never laid sight on a computer?

2. Why must the "haves", be constantly penalized by the government in the name of the "have nots". I fail to understand why even though we pay taxes through our noses, after our merge earnings after a lot of hard work and struggle, we now need to sponsor the education, stationery, uniform and other requirements when we can hardly afford the steep prices of our schools. With the exorbitant taxes why doesn't the government open school or pay teachers decent salary that they might want to come and teach in government schools? We have seen how well that worked out in the case of building homes for shanty dwellers. They moved into houses allotted to them, sold them or put them for rent and built brand new shanties!!!So much for good use of the taxes we pay.

3. Why doesn't the government come up with solutions to over all raise the economic state of this country. Why are they hoarding all the money in swizz accounts and not distributing out of their pockets to these "poor" people, if they care so much? Why aren't they creating job opportunities? Why not work to lift the living standards, the sanitation available and salaries for the parents of these children?

4. India is a democracy ( so they say in our Constitution but I don't think so any more), since when have we become a communist country? We are forced at every step to comply with stupid rules , written by prudes living in some 18th century, treating us like truant children an not adults. From being told what we can or cannot do in the privacy of our homes, to how long we can stay out, now we have to put up with our children being forced into the proximity of children (not their fault), whose education so far, is not at par with the children of these private schools, hence leading to a falling in the teaching standards .

The Solution :There are far better solutions to this problem. One of them was implemented way before these moronic laws were passed. In my school, we had the literacy league programme. Here we children would volunteer and teach street children, post our school hours. Not only that, this movement was so successful, our Principal started a school for them. Once we left school around 2:30, the second shift school was run. They got access to our classrooms, desks, benches, we donated books, stationery even clothes. This was a win-win situation. This makes far more sense. Soon the children would be at par, they studied well. They were given the opportunity they needed. We even cajoled their parents to allow them to attend school. We provided the infrastructure to lay a solid foundation for all the children, with harmony. Their was no resentment from either side, one for becoming aware of how much they lacked, and the other for being forced to do something against their will. I suggest all schools use this module and actually help every child to live with dignity, without facing bullying, ragging or teasing.

Equality is something that has to be created over time and it can never, ever be forced!!!!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Nobody Loves ME!!

I am not being gender specific here, although most men would prefer to say "Men" don't think like that. Yet "Nobody love me", is a thought that plagues a lot of us, at some point or the other, and specifically after the end of a significant relationship ( long term affair, live-in or marriage). What makes the thought worse is, when going through this phase of feeling sorry for ones-self, the happiness of the couples we see around, seems highlighted and out of proportionately happy.

Since we are small children, feeling sorry for our-self, get imprinted in our minds. We get fed, our diapers changed or even get attention when we cry. We grow up with the belief , if we cut out a sorry figure, we will end up getting more love or attention. Yet as adults we become aware that we cannot become whining people. We end up internalizing our poor me feelings, we cry inside our thoughts and hearts and want someone to come and reassure us.

We also grow up learning rejection is a defeat. We make everything into a matter of Ego satisfaction. We must get what we've worked so hard for or what was the point, Everything is a competition. Everyone I know is in a relationship, is getting married... what do I lack that no one loves me?

We torture ourselves by asking negative questions, where as we should be asking what our lesson was, where do we need to grow, why did we attract that situation and above all be grateful for not being in a relationship that would have grown bitter and wearisome by the hour.

We always want what the others have, yet we are not aware of their journeys, their struggles. Everything comes with a balance, something good and something that helps us grow attached together ( the yin and yang principle)

This feeling of "Nobody loves me", is also something that the runt of the litter, the youngest child or in someway disabled people carry all their lives. It is but natural because, they have grown up feeling inadequate, hence UN-deserving.

The law of attraction ensures you get exactly what you think and feel, and the more the thoughts linger on I'm not good enough, I don't deserve, Nobody loves me...the more it will get validated in your life.
Some try to become attention seekers or people pleasers or simply withdraw into their shells, the end result is always the same, bitterness, loneliness, self loathing leading to the same thought process to start all over again.

If you want to be loved, I can't stress this line any have to begin by loving yourself, as you are, down to the last bit. Loving yourself does not mean you turn into a megalomaniac or an egotist or and egoist. It simply means, accepting yourself, exactly as you are and knowing that, you were meant to be exactly like that. Once you love yourself, you open the doors to the universe to send more love your way.
Second most important thing is to shed pre- conceived notions, pre- determined solutions on what kind of love you want/need. Friends love you, family does, pets love you too. Once you revel in the love of these relationships, you are almost ready to find that someone special....

The third most important thing is to stop searching, stop settling, basically stop being desperate. Just know, There IS someone out there for you and you will find each other when the time is right and when you're ready.

Feeling sorry for yourself drains you of all hope, enthusiasm an positive energy. You are unable to put your best foot forward and you take a huge dent in your self esteem. The bleakness of the dark hours is not something to be taken lightly. Yet you can be your best friends , you know best what uplifts your mood, what makes you feel good about your self, who are the people who value you. So do whatever it takes to become the best YOU possible, no one else can do a better job....Nobody loves me just isn't true, if you love yourself. If you love yourself, respect yourself, be gentle and caring toward yourself, keep working on you keep walking what you think is a lone journey, your tribe will keep increasing...more and more will join "The Loving YOU Club"

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Accepting changes....

Changes are often difficult to accept. Yet wise men have said change is the only constant in life. Sometimes changes are for the positive and exactly what we wanted, and yet when they happen, it takes time to adapt to them. Last week has been challenging for me. After a vacation of 2 months my son's school reopened, my husband started his new job. Both are good things right, and I'm so grateful for them. Yet these two things meant a change in my schedule. Now I'm a night person, and you can keep up all night and I'll be fresh as a daisy, but to wake up early and for me 6 am is like mid night!! I find , it does strange things to my body clock. I end up sleeping more than ever during the day.

I love cooking too, but to be inspired to cook that early in the morning when the only thing my body wants to do, is turn over and go back to sleep is the other challenge. I finally found my bearing today and so I'm back to writing my blog. The best thing I've realized is to take one step at a time. Its ok to take a little while to adapt to the change. As long as you do what's needed to do and keep resistance and excuses at bay, it takes about a week -ten days to start moving with the flow.

Change is not new to me. In-fact, I don't know about you, but in my life, the story so far has been something like a major change, in life, lifestyle, place, country even occurs almost every six months. I never know what to expect. Just when my career was going well in 1999, I was engaged and life placed me back in my parental home, where I had literally nothing to do, post marriage I was thrown into a different country with different language ,food, culture everything, to top it all i couldn't work yet again. Every time I got comfortable in a relationship, something came and changed the whole scenario. I was married, separated, living in, a single mother, working woman, working from home mother, unemployed, remarried all in something like 6 years. Today the fact that my challenge is as simple as adapting my body clock tells you how far along my journey I've come.

Every time you resist a change or a situation, you just end up prolonging the duration of it. The only way is to see the good in that situation and accept it gracefully. In this situation, the good thing is ...oh you won't believe how much I've longed for these simple pleasure of a family life. I've longed to make breakfast for my kid and husband, pack lunches for them, give them warm, handmade dinners. Today I have it. I'm relishing it, enjoying every moment. i am feeling fulfilled in my role as a nurturer to my family. I am already back in my groove of writing. You know something, when you accept easily, even disappointments are easier to take. It just makes sense to you, how it might not be the right thing or the right time. you just know that tomorrow is another day. It comes filled with surprises, some you like , some perhaps were not what you ordered, but none the less, they all eventually turn out for the best for all concerned.

The biggest challenge for a girl whose been independent for too long, single and used to taking all her decisions by her self, is to re-learn co-dependency. It was a challenge that my husband and I am still enjoying, both having been married and then single before. our roles now entwined with the family. We suddenly need to ensure the other person is ok with our decisions or choices. We both are very individualistic characters, with personal hobbies, likes and opinions. What helps is like my husband said, its good to have opinions and yet one should not become judgmental and prejudiced. He loves watching the news. I on principal stay away from news, because all they seem to cover are bad new!! Its like manifesting only bad things across the globe every time millions watch something negative over and over again...

What I'm saying is change is going to happen, in big things and small, the dynamics of relationships will change, so will the rules, your financial conditions, health everything will change sooner or later. the best thing to do is just take one day, one step at a time . Keep aside all resistance and preconceived notions about good or bad. Take it as a blessing and sure enough, it will turn into a blessing. Pssst, the easier you take to a change, surprisingly in my experience, the sooner the phase goes away.....Its your attitude that makes all the difference...