Thursday, 26 March 2015

Your Love

It is You, and You alone Who shines the light on my path,
When I wander off the course, ignorant in the darkness of my heart.
It is You, who guides me, protects me and loves me,
Like no one ever has, and no one ever can, I can see.

You pull me to Yourself, protect me, and keep me comfortable in the warmth of Your Love,
Your Love, that has no end and no beginning, What no obstacle can hold back, is Your Love.
I stray away, every now and then, sucked into the world that is glittery but has no gold,
But You, my Father, show me the truth and pull me back into Your Fold.

I have no strength of will nor do any good deeds,
Its on misery, pity , fear and anger that my heart feeds,
But you my Dearest Bapu, see in me, no ill,
You drench me in Your Love, till I have my fill.

Meek and devoid of any virtue at all am I,
No matter what, my wants are always impossible to satisfy,
I fall, in the desire of material and wealth, of appreciation and good health,
I have not a good word to say, nor a single deed I do to help.

But You my dearest Dad, do not care, Your Love flows unconditionally to me,
You don't expect from me any returns, but to let Your Love fill my heart and me.
And I know, that when I let it happen, all that is ill, in me,
Will be washed away by this Love that belongs to Thee.

You are nothing but Your Love, Love that is unconditional and pure.
And it is for every living being, that I am sure.
You stop for nothing and no one, and care not, for what I have done,
When I call out to You, my Loving Father, You rush to my aid, no matter what wrong I have done.

It is Your Love alone, which makes the world on its axis rotate,
And at times of anger, you make our hearts placate.
Its alone Your Love that makes the birds sing,
Without Your Love there would be no Winter, Summer, Autumn or Spring.

Like a Father, You protect me from my enemies and every trouble,
And yet, like a Mother you wrap me in your arms, when I am lonely and miserble,
My only hope, my only strength, inspite of all my fouls, my only save,
Is, Your Love, Your Love, Your Love.

Your Love is the armour which protects the meek and feeble,
It owns up all those who seek it, no matter how full of vices like me.
You drench wretched creatures like me in Your Love and affection,
Removing all the ills and giving us virtues in profusion. 

You take away from me all the misfortunes I deserve, for all my heinous deeds,
For the tiniest act of goodness, Your giving, even my imagination cannot supersede,
And if I ever think about why You do it all,
The answer is just, Your Love, Your Love and Your Love.

It is only Your Love, that gives the Universe its joy and happiness,
I can only marvel at how You love me in all my wretchedness.
I am forever grateful to belong to Your herd ,
For a lamb like myself, Your Love, is the only shepherd.

I love you my Dad.
I am Ambadnya forever.
Jai Jagdamb Jai Durge.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

And a Beautiful Soul He Is

.... The BB that is. I cannot express in words just how thankful I am to Bapu for giving me The BB as my son. I am beginning to understand him just about now. He is so different from me in every single way, as he is from most other children his age. It amazes me, that he has been able to maintain himself, the way he is, so far, never ever giving in to peer pressure. And that is not even a struggle for him, because he simply does not acknowledge peer pressure, he lives by his own rules. Honestly I have had my moments of struggle  with trying to get him to do more mainstream kids' things, which never seem to interest him. He is as happy by himself, as he is to play with his friends.

Yes, I do write it as a parent, and I know it is a strongly biased view, but it does mean a thing, when his teacher (who is obviously used to dealing with plenty of kid his age), tells me, "He does not have a mean bone in his body."  And its true believe you me. That boy cannot hurt an ant intentionally. Not because he is scared, but because he believes its wrong to do so. His heart always goes out to the smaller and weaker, and he would always befriend them over the bigger stronger kid his own age.

But the reason I am writing this post, is an incident that occurred recently. A friend came over with her two little girls recently, and since it was the day of Holi, we decided to indulge a bit in the play of colours and water with the kids. The BB was the oldest, and once he realised it involved spraying others with water, or bursting water balloons on them, he just refused and hid behind a wall. Initially I just felt he was not being sporting enough, and tried to drag him into it, but he refused blankly, and then told me, that he does not want to hurt anyone, and burst a couple of balloons on himself instead. It reminded me, of when we had gone for a Tae-kwon-do trial class and he disliked it because the idea of kicking and punching, just did not go down well with him. I remind you, this boy is just 8. I definitely did not have any principles of such kind when I was his age, and I really wonder how many other kids do.

I am truly Ambadnya to be the mother of such a boy. I just pray that he never loses the essence of his being, and is always cared for and protected by Bapu. May his soul, his thoughts remain as gentle and kind as they are today, always.

Happy Holi Peeps!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Because I can express romantic love too.

The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.
14 years ago, we made a commitment on this day, which has turned out to be the best and most wonderful decision of my life. We never knew that the journey would include kids, homes, finances, travels, shifting continents, creating homes of houses, sleepless nights, ER visits in the middle of the night, or any of the big battles that we have fought together, standing side by side. And I am happy we did not. Because young love needs to be naive and brash, believe in the impossible, and try its best to attain it. We have had that bashed and banged out of us along the way when we hit hard bumps, potholes, or even complete road blocks. But together we have always found a way, and we have carried on and gotten the better of it all. We have fought like cats and dogs, but we have been the greatest support to each other as well. I cannot think of anyone, who would complete me, as wholly as you do, dear hubby!

And so I dedicate a poem to you, that is one of my absolute favourites, and its all about love, but not 'lovely' at all. Just the way we like it. Fun, not mush. Here is to 14 more lifetimes with you.

To My Valentine
More than a catbird hates a cat, 
Or a criminal hates a clue, 
Or the Axis hates the United States, 
That's how much I love you.
I love you more than a duck can swim, 
And more than a grapefruit squirts, 
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore, 
And more than a toothache hurts.
As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea, 
Or a juggler hates a shove, 
As a hostess detests unexpected guests, 
That's how much you I love.
I love you more than a wasp can sting, 
And more than the subway jerks, 
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch, 
And more than a hangnail irks.
I swear to you by the stars above, 
And below, if such there be, 
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes, 
That's how you're loved by me. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Stop Violence Against Women - My Take

Domestic Violence is no joke, neither is rape. Its on the rise, and its unacceptable. No, I don't need to shout this out aloud, I don't need to tell this to anyone I think. But I am wrong, because if everyone knew and felt this way, such crimes would never occur. I want that to change, I want everyone to understand and realise that its not just wrong, its simply unacceptable. But how? Do I donate money, do I write, do I paint posters and hold them, or stand nude on the streets with a banner saying,'Still can't Rape Me'? I see many, much more moved and motivated about this cause than me, but has it made any change? How often would a a man who hits his partner, stop, because he saw a sign, or read an article. The chances are slim I feel.

First off, let me say this in loud and clear VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS WRONG, IN ANY FORM, SEXUAL OR OTHERWISE.

A top down approach to solving any problem hardly ever works, I think. We need to work bottom up, understand the causes, and try to prevent it, or rather in cases like this, reverse situations, and thinking. A man who hits or rapes a woman, is just showing power, because he can. It may seem like venting his anger, or satisfying his lust, but the fact remains, its a simple show of power. 'I am stronger than you, I will abuse you.' Its as simple as that. But then we all do feel angry, frustrated, upset from time to time, and I am sure we can all find beings weaker than us, to vent it out on, but we don't. We manage our emotions differently from these men. The key I think lies in understanding how that is.

A few years ago, I had an amazingly enriching, and eye opening opportunity to volunteer at WIRE. I underwent a training, to inform and sensitise me to the various issues faced by women. The statistics of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault were shocking. It was scary to put that information into my existing view of the society we live in. To realise that every third woman I saw, was a possible victim at one time or another in her life. I had to change the stereotype I had in my head of what kind of men do such things. WIRE training was also where I was reconnected to the real issues Feminists are fighting for. (Back story to this, which is an existing pet peeve of mine, are the pseudo feminists. I hate those designer wear donning, french manicured hands waving out and talking about feminism, while they brag about not knowing how to cook to save their lives. Talking loud about feminism, with expensive drinks in hand, partying in posh locales, with nannies and cooks and chauffeurs in tow all the time.) Equality, a feminist truly seeks, I think, is equal respect as another person, a fellow human being. Its not about sharing home chores, or equal pay for equal work, or not being violent, but simply respecting the female as you would any other person, the rest will automatically follow. And do we think respect can be brought in with a top down approach?

In India, the society is divided into many bits, and a top down approach is the last thing that will work in bringing about a change in this regard. Though not impossible, it is difficult to change a grown man, the change needs to occur from how they grow up, what they see, what they learn and most importantly, how they learn to think. And I think that holds true for anyone, anywhere. Seeing the widespread existence of  these issues, we have to realise, that locking up a few people somewhere,or punishing them will be of absolutely no use. Its suppressing the symptoms of the disease, and letting the virus thrive within. And that will just allow the virus to find other ways of attacking, and it will only get worse.

The question is, how do boys grow up, so highly desensitised to women, how do they lose the love and respect that every fellow human being deserves from us, how do their hands not stop and tremble before it lands a hard blow on the body of another human being, man or woman irrespective, unless it to defend themselves, or someone they love? We need to think hard about that. Its easy to pass the buck, saying oh well, I am not like that, my kids wold never be like that, but the fact remains that each and everyone of us are a part of this very society. If we want anything to change, it has to begin with us. Every good move, will inspire another. We need to respect other people, not just because we need to maintain a facade in society, but because we have the right values, and do the right thing. We are way past the stage, where we can let it go. We need to make a change, a true change now.

I see kids being physically aggressive, and parents watching it happen. You need to stop it then and there. No, this is not a parenting lesson, but a hope of changing our world for the better, one step at a time. Teach your child to respect people, sensitise them to the fact, that the pain they feel, is felt by others as well, what hurts them, hurts others as well. Create empathy, empathy that is so strong, that they will pass it on to everyone they come across in their lives. Parents, schools, teachers, they shape the world. We need our boys to grow up with respect for women and men, and our girls to grow up with strength and confidence, to know they have the right to be treated with respect and dignity at all times.There will always be a few odd ones. The girls who will think equality means, being free to drink till they are wasted and act crazy, or boys who will argue, equality means the women should be topless, if men are, but, then what is life without a few nuts sprinkled here and there?

But the important thing is we bring up mankind, humanity to be a respectful, empathic lot that we are meant to be. Teach our boys to be chivalrous and kind, teach them, that girls are to be loved and respected, they are different, but in no way any less than them. It is time we took up the cudgels to rear our boys right, to bring about a world, where there exists love and empathy, not fear and mistrust.  Here is to a change we all want, and let us begin with ourselves. Let us actually do what we can to bring about a change, instead of waiting for everyone else to do it. 'The government should pass stricter laws, the law enforcement agencies should be better', so on and so forth, are things said by the armchair activist. How about becoming a real activist, being the change you want to see? Each time you teach your child to be sensitive and respectful, remember you are creating a better world for all of mankind, especially the womankind.

Let me add,  everything good in life is a gift of God, and if we have faith, and seek His guidance, there is not one step we would take, where He would not guide us, protect us and bless us.The more we lose touch with God, the more evil creeps in, in and around us. I hope He blesses all of mankind with more love and respect for each other. I pray that we all learn to love, and stop the hate.