Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ah! Freedom

Freedom! The very word imbibes the exquisite sense of elation unmatched by any other kind of happiness. We are at our best when we feel free-the feel which cannot be ‘given’ by anyone to us, no one can give us freedom. This feel is so positive in itself that we cannot say that it’s only the absence of feeling chained that makes us feel free. I think it’s in the mind that we first taste the beauty of feeling free. Sense of freedom, for me, is the real feeling of joy of being when soul celebrates its totality, when the whole being feels the elation of existence, when you cannot be happier than what you are with your mind unfettered. It is bliss which people leave the materialistic world to enjoy-the bliss which sometimes is resultant from deep meditation.

It’s not just enjoying the free will, free choice. ‘Being lonely and being master of our will is not being free. That’s anarchic. Real freedom is when you stay attached yet free to let your soul and mind breathe openly-not suffocated by the presence of other but supported and fostered and strengthened’, a friend opined. Then is it in relation to ‘the other’ that freedom is to be understood? In normal parlance it’s the tendency to break free when caging suffocates but I think we do not seek to be ‘allowed’ and let fly, it is inherent, natural in us to crave for the totality of togetherness which makes us feel we can fly and touch the skies. With all strings attached, we yearn for ‘mind without fear’. And this we need not for the asking but as a matter of course.

I was wondering what is it that we like so much about a walk in the morning or a walk around Brahmsarover? I think it’s being in close proximity with all or a few of the elements that we are made of that holds for us the feel –good- phenomenon: the sky, earth, water, air, fire. Basically we are bad masters and good servants but no way to deny how we have the tendency to spread, sprawl, break- free and how we love to revel in joie de vivre, the joyful abundance. And this is the truth which is also beautiful that in freedom lies our essence.

Nothing more or better than love can fill one with the joy of being, of totality, freedom of soul and beckon and bring forth the best we hold being what we are. We ‘tell’ that we love to be monopolized but it’s against our grain to be commanded and subjugated, instead governing and leading and flying and walking free come more naturally, for we are after all, born free.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This, my space, I love

The most cherished of all the fundamentals, I think, is freedom, independence, liberty. An inherent urge-live 24/7 is the freedom to be, to do and above all to feel free. Nothing is more sacrosanct, prized and precious than the fulfillment of latent burning for space-our very own, personal space, a sacred zone where soul revels in undefined joy. The independence of being and living, breathing free as a spiritual being does not really ever crave to be expressed. It’s the feeling of unfetteredness which makes us feel complete, total, not-lacking in anything. An infant wants to break free off any restrictions despite his love for huggy care and comfort the moment he grows enough to resist; a child wants to have all the freedom to play or do whatever he wants to do as much as he can without being told to do this or that; an adolescent hates to be stopped from going somewhere or asked to explain the why of an action in spite of the fact that he craves for the security and comfort of encompassing human relations. As we grow old, I feel, the urge to freedom, the thirst for independence grows and does not lessen. It’s but natural to find older people more vulnerable to hurts by being unnecessarily cajoled to do something or being thwarted from doing another. The need to be economically empowered is also motivated by the desire to break free while fulfilling the responsibilities we owe to family, clan.

With passage of time the awareness of our own space gets more defined and inexpressible boundaries get drawn more in the mind of course. Somewhere we know clearly 'thus far and no farther' and somewhere our actions, reactions, attitudes speak more loudly than any words ever could how much access is allowed to the innermost recesses of our heart to all the outsiders coz when it comes to gauging the impact of feel-free concept on our psyche, more often than not all the human beings we love so deeply, intensely, with all our heart become the people outside our special space the boundaries of which are fathomable only by us. And in our sway of being free- thinking-individuals we don't mind becoming (involuntarily, for sure) curt, discourteous or cutting other person short while silently we are busy drawing the lines!

All our lives are woven around building relationships as a mother, father, sister or brother and later as husband or wife. Throughout our life, the threads of kindredness keep weaving silently friendships, affairs, bonds of emotional attachments and we love it all abundantly, give us feeling of totality, completion at least from our own perspective we crave for the ultimate ! Somewhere uncompromisingly we are committed only to our deep seated sense of freedom and privacy of space and we cannot bear the brunt of any rude, harsh comment or an undesirable sarcasm, an unwelcome third- party-intrusion howsoever unwittingly and un-deliberated.

No wonder that the sacred space of ours is secret space, too to which only we ourselves have an access password. And that space means all the freedom we never feel need to define. We can take anything in a stride except the intrusion in our sanctum sanctorum where the deity of liberty resides and we are the guardian angels of this-the most sacred space of ours which gives meaning to our very being.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Are we really growing?

Of late, I have been ruminating over our abilities vis-a-vis ageing especially the issues related to our intellectual capacity, understanding and comprehension, communication, self confidence and our susceptibility to negativity, anger, sorrow or painful impressions.

Forty, I think, is a cutting edge when we start feeling hiccups in acceptance of things happening to us emotionally, physically, intellectually. The ability to grasp and understand enhances backed by life's experience. We are able to look into the heart of the matter but sometimes also mess up with our uncanny reading between the lines. The maturity asserts itself and we grasp more than we blurt that we do. We feel amused finding adolescent babbling immature and appreciate depth and intensity wherever we find it in expressions verbal or written. Acute awareness of 'growing old' does not go well with most of us and the fear of fading enthusiasm and zeal lurks loud, asserts and squirms.

Anger is difficult to handle with growing awareness of passing years. It does not increase or decrease in intensity but the diverse dimensions it takes in its display is something to be watchful about. Having become 'grown-up' as a parent or a sibling or a friend we find it hard to bridle it once it simmers. At the same time an avoidable feeling of being even slightly 'ignored' ignites it and this feel has the power to mar the joy of (otherwise) growing , maturing. On the other hand if anger is suppressed and ignored as if it really does not exist, it is bound to leap forward sooner than later with all its fury and rage that can cause an irreparable damage to one's own being, relationships, family life. Endurance is good only up to a certain point and beyond that it only enhances suffering raising serious issues relating to self -affirmation/ denial. We endure because we are sometimes afraid of losing on relationships but it only adds to and in no way lessens any suffering in degree.

The ability to communicate gets better with passage of time but I feel the will and desire to communicate takes a back seat. More stuff is prone to be put in account of so-called mutual understanding. Moreover, when it comes to explaining anything, the doors of communication are felt as closed more often than not. The years gone by might have witnessed one with one's heart on platter but heart has its reasons to shut up, behave and desire not to mess up. Life goes on and so does the desire to live it king size but the urge to open up, express and share stays in its sanctum sactorum not easliy accessible.

True, we are what we are but we are also ever changing in attitudes often learning the hard way. To me, the most challenging aspect seems to be our susceptibility to pain and gradually increasing inclination to sadness as compared to enthusiastic responsiveness to zestful, casual approach to life. I have seen friends reluctant to approach, afraid to communicate, apprehensive of being mis-understood with this our (sometimes hyper, sometimes even ultra-hyper)susceptibility to painful impressions, our incorrigible ability to draw negativity out of nothing and resultant icy silence that can make anyone dread us by the distant look we bear!! With growing years we should be having increased number of friends, persons who love us surrounding us but the loneliness we ourselves sow is something we owe to ourselves to reap -alone.

With fifty years already on my back I wonder if all that I am ruminating upon helps me overcome what is necessary to overcome for all the good reasons, the positive reasons so that the music could go on and so would I till the curtains get drawn on drama of life.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hindustan Hamara

It’s first of June and look at the weather!! The early morning sky welcomed with thunder and it has been pitter patter pitter patter since then. June has always been associated (in the North) with sweltering heat, dust storm (haneri), piercing loo and no hope of rain till time takes us to July. I recall how we used to sit under a shady mango or shisham tree to identifying old age pensioners, or holding Panchayat land auctions (in 1989-90) or distributing 'olavirshti relief' in 2002. Awfully hot afternoons with no electricity in villages can be quite an experience to remember for not all the good reasons. When I completed my post grad in Community Education from De Montfort University, Leicester my friends really tried hard to motivate me to stay on in UK. They laid so much stress upon better monetary prospects and quality of life while trying to motivate. I would then recall the hot June under the peepal tree experience and the very thought as such would make me sweat in 5ยบ C of angrezon ki bhoomi and I was quite clear that I would go back to the lands I belong to. It was not just 'pashchim ke paale se paala pada to /apna watan sach, bahut yaad aaya' it was also the variety of weather in our country which is such an attraction. In the foreign lands more often than not you would find them mildly cursing the weather calling it 'silly' or 'stupid' with not so unfriendly frowns. Weather is always the first mention in any of their conversations which they would amicably start with: 'nice weather, isn't it? You alrite ?' It’s a common belief that without the mention of weather, half the conversations would not take off. It’s the variety of hues and texture that fascinates me so much about weather in our country. For two three days we complain of 'whooof ! too hot!' And do our best to beat the heat with cold sattoo or lassi or paanna. And lo! we wake up to find it all drenched, cool wind, overcast sky, soaked leaves and road surface and sondhi khushboo after the droplets touch the dry hot crust! Unparalleled! And see! The sun is already there staring with June-ish smile!! Where else would you find such extremes, change at so quick a pace and all this happening so frequently? Something there is in the weather, too that fascinates so much and keeps us grounded and in love with 'hinduatan hamara'.