Spirituality and Yog

 

King and Queen

Yog was a planned child. Before having Yog, for years, Pavan and I had talked, debated, and argued about having a second child. Then one fine morning, we just decide to take the leap of faith and welcome another child in our crazy litte world. Now that we had decided to be part of the most beautiful miracle in this world, we wanted to be thoroughly prepared for it – physically, mentally, financially and spiritually. I went on a healthy nutrtion and exercise regine, Pavan worked hard to grow the business and we both invested good time in spiritual learning. I remember reading the Bhagvad Gita, and elightening stuff from Richard Bach while I was carrying Yog. I started writing my first blogs to keep my energies positively channeled and Pavan and me went through deep meditation and spirituality classes as well. When I held Yog for the first time in my hands, I truly believed all our hard work had paid off. He was perfect! He was a miracle right there in my arms. His twinkling eyes and adorable smile won the hearts of everyone around him. He rarely cried, ate happily and knew how to keep himself entertained. Every day I used to wake up and thank my lucky stars for giving me this beautiful gift. Yogs entire demenour was so peaceful that I could easily fantasize about he growing up and running a spiritual ashram of his own, one day.

Hah!! Those were the days!!

I can’t recall when or where or how, but slowly and surely Yog outgrew the beautiful first year and entered the well known terrible twos. Now our morninings start with his screaming for attention and our evening end with he pinching and biting everyone because he is exhuasted. Our home is littered with food, toys, papers that he throws around when he is angry. He rolls around on the ground screaming and howling at the slightest thing that goes against his wishes. He hates eating vegetables and can survive happily on chips and chocolates for the rest of his life.

I have been through terrible tows with my daughter, so I am not as distraught as I was the first time. But every time Yog breaks down into another temper fit, I reminisce about those meditation and spirituality classes that I had painstakingly sat through with Yog in my tummy. Didn’t Abhimanyu learn the whole riddle of the Chakravyuh while he was still in Subhadras womb? Then how come Yog didn’t master any spirituality?? I am sure it is far simpler than the Chakravyuh!

Alas!! There are no easy answers to these questions! I am not Subhadra. Yog is not Abhimanyu. And we definetely do not live in war times. So maybe I was not destined to have this luxury. Nonetheless, I continue the spiritual process for myself, now more in the hope that I will survive this age with my sanity intact. But honestly speaking, no matter how moody Yog might behave during the day, as he sleeps peacefully in my arms at night, my mothers heart forces me to believe that one day Yog will outgrow this age and move on to show light and hope to millions out there.

I don’t know how many more scratched cheeks, broken cups and littered meals I need to see, before I can outgrow myself out of this dream. Maybe it is not Yog who really needs to grow up, maybe it is me!

Reptile Fascination

 

Reptile WorldI had just walked into the house from a busy day of shopping, when I heard loud hysterical shrieks coming from the kitchen. My instant reaction, was to search for Yog. I hoped he had not gotten into any trouble. I quickly lay my bags down and rushed to the source of this commotion. As I approached the narrow entryway into the kitchen, I almost bumped into Yogs Nanny still jumping hysterically and running out of the kitchen. Following her came out the housemaid, equally anxious, catching the broom in her hand, her sweeping job left undone. My anxiety rose as I was still not able to spot Yog. Where was he? What had happened?

Both women were now out of the door, under shock and not able to explain the crisis to me.  I rushed inside the kitchen. There was no sign of Yog. Everything seemed to be in order. I could not understand the reason for this commotion!! I implored Yogs Nanny to tell me the problem. She meekly pointed towards a corner of the kitchen where I think I saw something scurry quickly by. But I wasn’t sure. What was the problem? Did anything break? Was there a fire? Was Yog all right? For heavens sake, someone please explain the problem? Yogs Nanny took a deep breath and almost whispered, “Lizard!?!” I was sure I didn’t hear it correctly. How could a lizard have caused such a commotion? A small slimy thing couldn’t have possibly scared the shit out of two adult women, one of them even armed with a broom. Where was it by the way?

Meanwhile, Yog hearing all the loud ruckus, waddled into the kitchen, his eyes curiously exploring the scene. His baby senses automatically spotted the lizard, trying to hide behind the kitchen door. Yog shrieked in delight on discovering something that was long, slim, grey-green and capable of moving! He immediately rushed towards it trying to grab its tail. Thank God that the lizard had faster reflexes than me. Before I could sense what mischief Yog was upto, the lizard had scampered a little further out of Yogs reach.

Using this opportunity, I managed to grab an excited Yog and move him out of the kitchen. I grabbed the broom from the house maid, and poked the lizard in the exit direction. As soon as it stepped out of the house, I closed the door behind it and took a sigh of relief. I turned around to face the two scared women, hiding behind the dining room wall. They were both red with embarrassment and smiled at me sheepishly. Yog, on the other hand, was upset at having lost the opportunity to play with something that could move.

I couldn’t believe the paradox of the world I live in. The adults that I assume will take care of Yog, when I am not around, are the adults who got so scared with something so small. On top of that, the tiny soul whom I would have expected to be scared of such beings, is super excited to welcome them in the house. The next time I leave the house with this combination of people, I am not sure whom I should worry about more – Yog, the Nanny, or the Lizard. God save me!!

Goal in Life

Dreams 2

A friend asked me a few years ago, “What do you want to achieve in your life?” My instant answer was, “My goal in life is to ensure my children grow up to be healthy and happy!”. My friend was considerably shocked, “That’s it!?! Isn’t there anything that you wish you could achieve for yourself?” I debated that being a mother was the most important thing for me. If I could do it well, that is all that I ever could want in life.

I am sure there are a lot of mothers who feel the same way. No matter whether we are house wives or successful career women, children are the end goal of our life. We are ready to compromise career, financial security, and even our spouse for the well being of our children. Somewhere in our minds, there is a very powerful doctrine that says that a good mother does not think about her own dreams. A good mother always puts the dreams of her family before her. The doctrine further states that being a mother is the most important role a woman can play.  We should therefore play the role with complete pride and discipline. So what if we din’t get a chance to learn the piano, or run our own business, we will always get the opportunity to live our lives through our children. We can put our daughters in piano classes and we can have our son setup his business. We are sure we will get even more satisfaction seeing our children successful.

I am not sure when I changed, but somewhere between juggling work, children and my own sanity, I started building dreams of my own over and above the dreams that I had fostered for my children. I sinned to create dreams for me, just me; not my spouse, not my children, not my parents, but just ME. I had never thought anyone in my family would appreciate my dreams but for some odd reason, my complete family supported me. Years later I now dream of publishing my books, travelling across boundaries signing books for my readers, becoming an accomplished dancer and being able to make a difference to a larger community.

Initially I used to feel guilty taking time out for building my dreams. After all, in the same time, I could spend an extra hour on the next school project. Or I could work harder on potty training. Or I could cook something special for my husband.  I could always choose to work harder on building/supporting dreams for my family than working on my own dreams. Isn’t that what mothers do best? It took me some time to realize that it was not my job to create dreams for my children. It was my job to enable them to create their own dreams. As a mother, it was my job to give them the confidence and courage to follow their dream no matter where it lead them. I then realized an extremely important game changing lesson of my life – How could I ever teach my children to follow their dreams, when I myself had never had the courage to do so??

Since that day on, I now take out time for building my dream each day at a time. I sincerely believe that having my own dreams does not make me less of a mother. In fact it makes me a better mother. It is because I have dreams of my own that I can teach my kids the importance of dreaming. As my daughter sees me blogging late into the nights after finishing her homework and story routine, she understands the importance of midnight oil in accomplishing the dreams. I respect myself and my time much more and therefore everyone else in the family tends to do the same. I can proudly say that my husband, my children, my in-laws, my mother, my sisters, my friends are all proud of me. I now realize that all along, all of them wanted me to be successful. They are all extremely happy when they see me becoming famous and respected in the world out there. I was never doing any one of them a favor by ignoring my dreams. I was just too scared of waking up and trying to make my dream into a reality. It was not that the family never believed I could make it big someday. It was me who never believed in myself.

Concrete Mixer and Combine Harvester

Bus

What do a Concrete Mixer and a Combine Harvester have in common?

They both are machines that we read about in Yogs book on machines. This book is undoubtedly Yogs favorite book and he keeps turning the pages and pointing at the pictures requesting me to pronounce the machine names. As I speak the name of the machine loudly and clearly, the dull dark machine take a life of their own; “CONCRETE MIXER”, “TRACTOR”, “COMBINE HARVESTER”, and so on. Though we read about a lot of machines, Yog has not been able to see most of them in real life as they are hardly found on the busy city roads.

A few months back, I was travelling through the hot dusty farm roads of a small village near our city. We had traveled there for a wedding. The heat and travel had taken a toll on me and I was almost asleep as we crossed a yellow stretch of farm land. A giant machine was busy harvesting and packaging grains from the farm. I didn’t pay much attention to it as our car zoomed by. It was only after we were 50 meters away from the machine that my mind jolted into sudden realization. I sat up immediately and craned my head to see the machine clearly, one last time. Yes! I was right! It was a COMBINE HARVESTER!!! Wow!! I had seen a COMBINE HARVESTER! How I wish Yog was there with me right now! What a big machine it was! I will definitely have to tell Yog about this when I get back home! I was so excited to witness this machine for the first time in my life that I was surprised at myself. What was wrong with me!?!

Few weeks ago, one of the old neighborhood houses was completely dismantled and set up for a brand new construction. Each morning as we walked down the road, we greeted new set of machines working on the construction site. Cranes, Trucks, Bore Drills, and finally CONCRETE MIXER all have been active on the site. While most of the neighborhood complains of the dust and the noise generated by these machines, it is a site of pure bliss for Yog and me. Yog walks around these machines, admiring their size, built and textures. He runs his hands on the bulky tires and the cracked mud. While Yog soaks in these machine, I, for most part, soak in the joy, excitement, and wonder evident on Yogs face.  His ears strain to hear more. His eyes try and see all the way to the top of the machine. His hands feel the rough, hard edges. And my eyes just follow him everywhere. When he looks at the big bucket of the Digger, I try and see what he is seeing. When he picks up another stone to rub it in his palms, I pick a similar stone too. We both listen attentively to the whirring of the engines as the machines slowly do their jobs.

Life is full of wonder and joy, if you can see it from the eyes of a two year old. The things that we don’t even see as we navigate our busy lives, hold so much beauty in them if we can just pause to observe them more closely. Yog has all the time in the world to observe and learn from the world around him. I am glad that on the pretext of watching over him, I too manage to see this beauty of life in the ants, flowers, concrete mixers and combine harvesters alike. I pray that as he grows older and starts to take more and more things for granted, he can still somewhere hold on to this power of deriving happiness from the simplest of things in life.

The Greatest Gift

The greatest gift

We all go through phases in life when we feel there is no point of moving forward. We feel alone, lost and completely helpless in the world around us. We believe that we have been chosen to play the role of a victim in destinies cruel game. We cannot do anything but accept what fate has written for us.

I have been through days like this when I have completely lost hope that there could ever be a silver lining to the dark clouds in my life. I have shut the windows, switched off the lights, curled inside my blanket and just cried myself to sleep. When morning came, my window has welcomed the shining sun and the barking dogs. As I have shifted myself in bed, I have been pleasantly surprised to realize that I was still breathing. Wow! I was still alive!

At the dawn of a brand new day, the biggest gift that God could have given me to help me change the world around me, is the gift of being alive. As long as I am alive, I have this extraordinary power to change anything in my life. My last hope for change would die, only when I was to die myself.

There is a joke that I share with one of my good friends, a highly successful entrepreneur in her own right. Whenever times are rough, we just remind each other of the fact that we are still alive. We congratulate each other on this gift and get back to resolving the crisis in our lives. As long as we are alive, we will find a way out.

On this Birthday, I have begged and borrowed many gifts from the loved ones around me. But honestly speaking, the greatest  gift that I could ever receive is the gift that I already posses – the gift of a healthy body and a healthy mind. Given these two things, there is nothing more that I could ever need to achieve my dreams.