Monday, March 28

Rabbit on a cigarette....

I found this story in one of my readings and looks interesting for sharing. 
There is an old story about a little rabbit who had been born and brought up in a laboratory. One night his cage is accidently left open and he escapes from the complex. As he runs away he is amazed to feel the grass beneath his feet and see a sunset for the first time in his life.A little further down the road and he ran into another rabbit, “Hello, I just escaped from the lab down the road, were you born free?”“Oh yes”, replied the rabbit, “I live just down the road, wanna see?”“Yes please” said the rabbit and they jumped down the road.Soon he was brought to a beautiful field full of lush grass and they began to eat“This tastes amazing”, said the rabbit“This is nothing, let me take you to the next field, its full of lettuce and carrots”Sure enough the next field was overflowing with vegetables and so the lab rabbit happily tucked in.“And now for the best field” said the lab rabbits new friendThey jumped a little further down the road to a field full of female bunnies. They spend the rest of the day there and had a ball. But as the sun began to go down the lab rabbit turned to leave.“Where are you going” said his friend“Oh, this is all so amazing, but I got to get back to the lab”“Why, you have all the food, freedom and companions you could ever want here”“Yeah mate, that’s true but to be honest with you I’m dying for a cigarette”
I kept asking , "Why rabbit cannot kiss goodbye to his cigarette?"

Sunday, March 27

... a guilty bystander indeed.

With the one-day cricket on, I sometimes am caught up with it. I am not crazy about cricket nor do I like to spend the best part of the day on live broadcast over TV. Still, occasionally I am stuck upon the TV, unable to walk away from the excitement.   

When India play against any nation, there is a strange calling to watch the TV broadcast. After the match is over, the batsmen walks away with accolades... or the fielders walk away with a broken cheer. The umpire gets his pay.  But soon I come back to my world of ‘things to be done’. I sit feeling guilty for watching the game so long...for wasting time in front of TV... and I walk back to my riddles in life.     

At home, the worst part is family’s inability to watch a losing game. When India trail, I watch until there is any hope. Then, one-by-one everyone disappear from the sofas. First to walk away from the scene is my son. ‘Oh, I am going. I have things to read’, he’ll broadcast. Then my wife walks way quietly. She for sure cannot stand a losing India. Then it is my chance to quit. Walking away, I will ask myself why I cannot bear a losing game the way I take a winning game! Why we humans cannot accept winning and losing in the same stride?

I am a guilty bystander indeed.  

This green cemetery by the beach is a favorite place
I frequent to pray and relax.

" What the soul has to do in the time of quiet is only to be gentle and make no noise...
Let the will quietly and prudently understand that one does not  deal successfully 
with God by any efforts of one's own " ..... St.Tresa of Avila

Buried by the sea side, they hear a million waves till they journey eternity...

Tuesday, March 22

Lenten rumblings...

Let MY thoughts come to you , when I am gone, 
like the afterglow of sunset at the margin of starry silence.

When DEATH comes and whispers to me

‘Thy days are ended,’
let me say to him, ‘I have lived in love
and not in mere time.’
He will ask ‘Will thy songs remains?”
I shall say, “ I know not, but this I know
that often when I sang if found my eternity.’ 

*** Poems of Tagore from 'Stray Birds and 'Fireflies'
Photos from personal files (Location:Kappadu Beach) *** 

Thursday, March 17

Lenten rumblings...

" Show me, O Lord, my life’s  end
And the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing befor you.
Each man’s life is but a breath.

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro;
he bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, 
not knowing who will get it"
....  Psalm 39 : 5 and 6  (The Bible) 

Photo: From personal files  

Wednesday, March 16

"So Lord, teach me the markets today..."

"Lord, Dawn has appeared with another day of uncertain markets.

These days it is terrific to be a spectator of these happenings. Worst than a war, the whole air is filled with uncertainty. I have never never witnessed world selling off so badly. Nevertheless, someone else is buying all these carnage...someone else is pocketing other’s misfortune.

In this uncertain future, I hear optimistic voices. I do not know if these voices are simply playing a guessing game. How can people make concussions when there are so many complex chains of uncertain events?  Tell me Lord, Is this the art of investment all about? How can I predict the behavioural aspect of investments when all models of rational thinking stop? Yet, it is said that, only during these types of violent swings people make money. Market superheroes are made and lost during these times.
I thought I knew many things in the market. But I am wrong. I have come to a simple conclusion: there are more things in the markets that I will never understand, than which I will always understand. 

So Lord, teach me the markets today.... because, dawn has appeared with another day of uncertain markets " 

Sunday, March 13

... thoughts and prayers from Santiago to Sendai

Seeing the tsunami hit the Japanese coast, two conversations rolled in my heart: the first feeling was my helplessness. Second conversation was to tell myself, “I have escaped this tragedy”. All the rest of my feelings were plugged between these two thoughts.  In the coming days and weeks soon  I will forget all about Japan. Moreover, a new story will sink in my heart. 

It is told that when Sakiamuni (Buddha) was dying, the last sentence he spoke was thus: “Everything in this world changes. Nothing is permanent here”.  

What is important in humans is that there is a congenital spirit to create and destroy...the spirit of endurance to do both good and evil. Nature too seems to do both: to create and destroy.

In ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, Hemingway writes about (Mr.)Santiago (the Old Man),  "Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same colour as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated". That is the spirit of human will : to remain cheerful and undefeated. Japan will soon prove that.   

Stamp Miniature Sheet from personal collection

Monday, March 7

i am getting there...

“ This life, therefore, is not godliness, 
but the process of becoming godly, 
not health but getting well, 
not being but becoming, 
not rest but exercise...

i am getting there... i am getting there...

we are not now, what we shall be....
but we are on the way.

The process is not yet finished, 
but it is actively going on.
This is not the goal, 
but it is the right road "

Words : Martin Luther
Photo location: Hampta trek

Sunday, March 6

Lent comes...

Lent comes every year. Some years it goes away unnoticed, crammed by the simmering heat of the summer. Some years Lent locks me in...getting deep into daily life.

Lent comes this year soon. Before it arrives, taking a little break before entering the disciplines of Lent has become an important act of self-care for me:  this season, I will cherish the deeper journey of Lent.

But every year I know that if I don't prepare for Lent, I am also depleted and exhausted by with it. One thing I love to do before Lent is to visit all the tempting dishes at the local eateries.There are those tasty Malabar cuisines that might tempt me unnecessarily during Lent. So, I will yield to them now and forget about it for a while.

 Is the discipline of fasting a ritual... something that I wish to accomplish to please God?  That sounds crazy!  Why is God bothered if I keep myself away from fried chicken or a grilled salmon? 
From 'dust' to 'dust'.... thoughts on Ash Wednesday 

Then, there is always a spirituality of imperfection and a deep yearning to put myself a little better.   Is Lent all about that? Is the yearly whisperings of the Lent a time to reflect about the ‘dust’ I am?


Saturday, March 5

...choosing how to live our own life story.

I am struck by how I cling to my own wounded self. Why do I think so much about the people who have offended or hurt me? Why do I allow them to have so much power over my feelings and emotions?

 Why can’t I simply be grateful for the good they did and forget about their failures and mistakes?
It seems that in order to find my place in life I need to be angry, resentful, or hurt. It even seems that these people gave me my identity by the very ways in which they wounded me.

It is important to understand our suffering. It is often necessary to search of the origins of our mental and emotional struggles and to discover how other people’s action and our response to their actions have shaped the way we think, feel and act.

Most of all, it is freeing to become aware that we do not have to be victims of our past and can learn new ways of responding. But, there is a step beyond the recognition and identification of facts of life. There is even a step beyond choosing how to live our own life story. It is the greatest step a human being can take. It is the step of forgiveness.

Words from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Forgiveness:the name of love in a wounded world)
Photos from  my favourite  beach at Calicut...