Birthday Surprise

Mama and Toyna planned for a birthday surprise including balloons, flowers, chocolates and cake for Toynas Tatta (Grandfather). After the planning is done:
Mama: Toyna, you cannot tell about this surprise to anyone.
Toyna (giggling): I will not tell Tatta, but can I tell Bamma (Grandmother)?
Mama (with a serious face): No, you should not tell Bamma also. She will tell Tatta.
Toyna (trying to control her giggles): Ok, can I tell Tataamma (Great Grandmother)?
Mama (also trying to control her giggles now): No, you cannot tell Tataamma also.
Toyna rushes down from her room to Bammas room.
Toyna: Bamma, Bamma, we have a surprise party planned for Tatta. Don’t tell Tatta.
Mama (shocked): I thought we were not supposed to tell anyone.
Toyna (innocently): But I didn’t tell what the surprise is. I only told there is a surprise.
Mama (thinking): I should have known this was coming!

Why God made Destiny?

Just completed a great book about a prophet who is guided by the voice of angels. These angels used to bring him the word from The Lord and ordered him to carry it out. After doing so for years, he develops a close bond with The Lord and is considered one of the Lords favorite prophets. However, in the process, he loses everything that he had ever loved including his job, his respect and his country. Finally one day, in an attempt to carry out the orders of The Lord, he even loses his lady love.

 His faith by now has become the source of immense pain for him and he refuses to listen to The Lord anymore. He questions the very existence of The Lord and the purpose of the orders that he had fulfilled for so many years. It is then that The Lord provides him the answer.

The Lord explains that this is what he wanted his prophet to do right from the start – not follow orders just because they came from The Lord, but understand them, question them, fight against them and finally understand the purpose of them. Only when he had understood this purpose, would he be able to fulfil them earnestly.

The Lord provides our destiny, not so, because we are bound to follow it, but because he wants us to challenge it, to fight it and understand the deeper purpose. Most of us, like the prophet, accept Gods desires and call it destiny. We see ourselves small, insignificant and helpless, to be able to make any change, in the bigger scheme of things. If only we knew, that God made destiny so that we can fight against it and become stronger and wiser in the process, would we still accept destiny as we see it?

P.S. This book (The Fifth Mountain by Paul Coelho) is based on true stories from the Bible.

Night Story

It is deep in the night. I am tired after a long day and there is no electricity in the city.

Toyna: Mama, will you tell me a story before I go to bed
Me: I am very tired darling. Can we go to bed without a story today?
Toyna: Ok! How about I tell a story to you.
Me: Sorry dear, I just want to crash into bed.
Toyna: Ok! So, can I read a story on my own
Me: Darling, there is no electricity and you should not read in the dark
Toyna: Ok! So, can I tell myself a story before I sleep
Me (smiling): Sure darling, go ahead!

Sound of Silence

Pouring rain and strong winds lashed the city yesterday night. The power grid withstood these forces bravely for some hours and then gave in. As the city plunged into darkness, people retreated into their homes and the Sunday night revelry seemed to have ended sooner than expected. 

As I lay in bed surrounded by the shadows, I tried to listen to the deepest sounds of the night. After the fury of the storm had passed, the night was exceptionally silent. To add to natures silence, all man made machines slept silently without any electricity to keep them humming through the night.

The silence was so deep, that I could distinctly hear someone coughing two blocks away and water dripping down a broken pipe, few houses away. It was eerie and beautiful at the same time.

We are surrounded by a million sounds around us day and night, that we miss the unique beauty of each one of them. They all come together as noise that  serves as a constant reminder that we are not alone in the city. It is a rare opportunity, that needs both nature and man made forces to come together, to be able to hear the silence, feel the beauty and smell the freshness of life that surrounds us. I am glad I found that yesterday night.

Dive Deep or Fly High

We all make choices about how we want to live. No choice is right or wrong, good or bad, leading us towards success or failure. It is all about what we want to do and how we want to live.

Some of us live each moment fully as it might be the last we have. We live our lives slowly – soaking, pondering over thoughts, emotions, actions, dreams, ideas and people. For us, it is important to look behind the scenes, to discover secrets which no one has, to questions why things are so, and question what if things were different. 

Some others don’t worry about each small or big moments. They breeze through life flying high on a magic carpet. From above everything looks small, insignificant and fitting nicely into where it should be. They know things could be different but they also know that the new difference would also balance itself on it’s own. Then why bother think about it so much?

People often believe that those who fall into the first category have too much time on their hands, which allows them to be slow. On the contrary, people in the other category, don’t deliberate as much, because they don’t have the luxury of time. They have to continuously move fast. 

I believe this is not true. Time has nothing to do with how we chose to live. We live the way we live, because we chose to live like that. If we chose to soak in moments, there are million opportunities, each day, to do so, even in our busy lives. If we chose to live like the breeze, we will never be in one moment. As soon as we enter one, our mind would have moved on to another. 

Again, there is nothing wrong or right about either way of living. One of them is not happier or more successful than the other. As long as we are conscious about the choices we make, and not blame time for it, we will be happy in either or both of them.

Who are you scared of?

Today evening, I was out for a walk with my music and the wonderful breeze. As I walked along the familiar road, I had beautiful songs playing in my ears and in my heart. On this road, I could have even walked with my eyes closed as I know every nook, bend and bump like the back of my hand.

As I crossed a dark patch of road, hidden secretly between two ill placed streetlights, I was suddenly taken aback by the sound of feet running towards me. In front of me, I could make out shadows growing rapidly closer to me, approaching me from behind. I was no doubt scared, my heart skipped a beat and my brain instantly started to build up defenses preparing for the confrontation.

I stepped on the side of the road as the shadows came upon me. Up close, I could now see clearly the intruders who had ruined my peace. They were three of them, huddled together, heavy bags on their backs and desperate look on their faces. They drew close to me, their eyes imploring.

I tried to see the reason why three children on the way back from tuition would be so scared. Clearly they were looking at me to protect them from whatever it was that had  shaken them out of their wits.

In no time, my fear had turned to confusion and my eyes scanned the darkness trying to catch a glimpse of  this new unknown enemy. As the children hid behind me, the enemy approached, running, skipping and darting off as quickly as it could into the night. It was a poor dog so frightened by the sight of four of us that it could not waste a moment trying to decipher what had scared us. 

As soon as he disappeared, the children heaved a sigh and quickly scuttled off into the darkness, without any nod or thank you, obviously relieved but in no mood to be gracious.

Alone again in the darkness, I couldn’t help but wonder and replay the last 10 seconds in my mind. What had seemingly scared me in the first place was actually seeking my help from something that it had managed to scare. How amusing life can be!

The Scooter Ride

After lying in bed for two days, I was sick and tired of feeling sick. Sometime late in the evening I forced myself out of bed and decided to take Toyna for a drive. When we started, I was still low but had this determination to make up to my darling for ignoring her for so many days.

The instant we drove out into the roads on our scooter, the breeze caught my hair and Toynas’ small hands came around my back to hold me close. The roads were bumpy, the traffic loud and smoky; but she didn’t complain. In fact the bumpier the road the more fun it was on the scooter. With each bump we would sing out aaaawwwww, awa, awa, awwwww. Each big bump and her hands would close tighter around me, confident, loving and so sure that I would get her out of it, unhurt. Her faith in me, even when I did not have any faith in myself, touched me inside. How could I afford to doubt myself, when someone was relying on me to be in charge? If I faltered now, I did not mind getting physically hurt myself, but could I ever let her get hurt. I lightly tapped her hands with mine, and smiled.

 As the next turn approached us, the traffic thinned, the breeze became cooler and my mood much lighter. We flew into the wind, my hands confident on the scooter and hers around my stomach. We stopped at a book store, searched for good reads, bought tons of junk stationary, blew a small amount of money and turned back home.

I had started the journey thinking I was doing her a favor.  By the time we came back, I knew she had done me a huge favor,  by just believing in me and holding on to me tight. She didn’t say a word, but the silence told me what a million words could not have – The road might be bumpy, it might be dark and lonely, you might be feeling a little crazy; but as long as we are together, I trust you will find the way!

Tick Tock

The clock on my wall hums the silent tune – tick tock, tick tock. Night after day after night, I can hear it beating silently in the background, oblivious to the madness of the mornings or to the serenity of the midnight hours. The pace consistent, the mood somber, it continues to beat till its small sources of energy can provide. The rhythm of the wheels is now a part of me; my heart trying to keeping pace with the mute beat. 

It stands witness to all my eccentricities, desperation, happiness and even tears, but it never blinks or tries to share any advice. In all times good or bad, it just looks down upon me, singing and dancing to it’s own tune. In moments of despair, I have often thought it is running too fast. At other times, when I am waiting for someone dear, I think it has just completely stopped. Logic tells me, it can’t be so. It is supposed to go on at the same pace. It can’t change that, it is not supposed to.

Yet, when my heart refuses to match the pace, I find an easy target to vent my frustration. I admit, I have changed my clock ever so often, hoping the new one will provide what the earlier ones couldn’t. With every change, I have found a more expensive and beautiful clock. The sound of the beat changes a little each time, but the pace arguably remains the same – tick tock, tick tock!

A New Life

Just when you think you are settled with your existing life, have learnt to be happy about the good things and happier about the missing things, life decides to turn around a brand new corner. What awaits you ahead, down that corner, is  a mystery, sweet and exciting, which only a fortune teller could ever predict for you. 

The amazing fact is that you don’t even want to know what lies ahead. You are happy in the believing that this new corner starts the journey towards the best part of your life to come. Even though it is pitch dark right now; even though you seem utterly alone on this road; you know deep down, just a few miles ahead lies the light, the dawn that will show the way and bring the joy that you have always been searching for. 

Your worldly eyes can’t see the light till far and there are no signs promising that the dawn exists; however your belief is strong enough to guide you through the darkness, taking you step by step, a little closer each time to the light. 

Where does this belief come from? You have never been down this road before and you have never before witnessed the dawn. How then, can you believe that it exists? Why don’t you go back the corner into the life that you knew? Why do you still keep moving forward?

The dawn is there, it has always been there waiting to be discovered. This final corner makes it come closer to me. You don’t see it with your eyes open, but with your eyes closed. It is so bright that your open eyes would be blinded if you were to see it now. The long road, the slow rise, the anticipation, just help you get prepared for it. It is right ahead, it has always been, where else could it rather be.