Tag: god

Finding myself

I feel butterflies in my stomach. I try to take very long breaths, but they do not seem to slow down the intensity of a sadness that I feel at this moment. I try my best to gulp and swallow the orange that seems to be forming without control in my throat. I make my best efforts to push back the salty water that’s trying to gush down my eyes. Very soon, it’ll stain my face and start running down my cheeks. People would ask ‘What’s wrong?’ For which I have no answer or do not wish to answer. No, that should not happen. With one last effort, I sip a little water, use a tissue to wipe my eyes, and compose my face to something impassive, if not a smile…because that’s the best I can manage. I am surrounded by a lot of people, but never have I felt so lonely. I do not want to talk or be talked to, if that can be managed.

I look at the people around me..they seem to be happy and content. If not, they aren’t atleast experiencing this turmoil that I am going through.

‘Why can’t I be just like them?’

‘Why do I have to feel the way I feel’?

Is this a feeling the world calls ‘depression’?

Now, why am I depressed? Is it that my sweetheart doesn’t love me back the way I love him? Or the vacant feeling in my life? Or am I in a place where I don’t belong? Or a close friend betrayed me?

Or for no reason at all, but yet I feel terribly low?

If I even make an attempt to talk about it, I am afraid of people judging me and saying,

‘No, you should not be thinking this way’

‘You should be happy that you are blessed with so much. Not many people in this world are so lucky.’

‘You must be kidding! I cannot believe it. Are you depressed for such a silly reason’?

‘Heyyy, this is soo wrong! You are a very bad person’

I try to turn on the logical part of my brain and analyse: ‘Maybe I am blessed better than many others. Maybe it’s wrong and unethical to think this way at all. Maybe the reason is very very silly. Maybe I am really a bad bad person after all.’

As I am thinking these thoughts, this one thought finds pushes its way through full force and strikes me as a blow…’EVEN IF ALL THESE REASONS HAPPEN TO BE TRUE, STUPID, YOU STILL CANNOT STOP FEELING THE WAY YOU DO’ Probably because I feel these emotions at my soul-level, and not my intellect-level?

I feel a surge of tears again, but this time, I excuse myself and just go from that place. I keep walking fast, faster, and running with tears blocking my vision. But this time, I make no effort to stop or control them. They must just flow. They seem to have a mind of their own. The sun is setting now, a sight I would have loved before, but not today. Not now. I lean against a tree that I find. And I weep, weep like I have never wept before. I am not embarrassed to cry now. I am hitting the tree with my fists, crying, swearing, talking to the trees and rocks that surround me. After what seemed to me like an eternity, I feel better than what I had felt in days. I look around and realize that it is dark. But am not afraid. I feel as if something soothing and heavenly is wrapping me, working on my insides. I immediately feel a kinship with the tree that I have been hitting for some time now. The rocks, the wind, the grass – they seem to talking to me..trying to say something to me..

Am I being made aware of the omnipresence of GOD?

I walk back home, feeling better, peaceful with that graceful feeling that seems to wrap me 🙂

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My tryst with 108 contd

As told earlier, I have almost never done this sort of thing. As me and my husband got started, I started feeling very suffocated by the second or third round – too much crowd and not proper air circulation. I began to get the feeling – leave alone 108 rounds, I would not be able to complete even about 10 rounds. I might die of suffocation L maybe that’s how many accidents occur during pilgrimages. One small solace was that at two places in the temple, there was some open space where we could get some fresh air. As we continued, I would stop near the open space for a few seconds, get a breath of fresh and cool air and then continue my journey.

The initial rounds were the toughest. Time went very slow during the initial rounds. This happens only when you are unsure as to what might come up. As I went about, I started getting relaxed. The temple premises started getting more and more familiar and I just went with the flow of it. I was getting less and less bothered by the crowd and the lack of proper air circulation.

By the time I was doing my 50 or so round, my legs pretty much got used to it. And there was still another half part to be completed. Time goes very slow in such instances. All that the people were doing was make their round, count the number and proceed for the next round. Although there is nothing else or much to do, surprisingly I was not getting bored. It was a kind of flow with so many people doing a thing for a purpose..might differ from person to person, but each definitely had a purpose and that was the fuel to propel them.

So what was my purpose? Why was I doing this? Did I really believe in this sort of things? The answer to the second question is No and Yes. If you do such things, GOD would get impressed and look at you with a kind eye, NO.. I am not the sort of person to buy that. Then, what was I after? It’s a new challenge for me. The sort of thing I have never done before and am not sure how it might turn out. That excited me.  I began understanding why so many people vouch to do such things as fast for two days or climb the temple steps on their knees. Keeping aside such things as serving the higher purpose and stuff, doing such things gives you a feeling of accomplishment. More often than not, a pseudo one. But definitely some feeling.  Probably because you have come out of your comfort zone and have decided to take the first step.

So, has some belief finally got into my nerves?  I myself cannot answer that question because, at this point, I have no clue as to what constitutes BELIEF. Although as anybody else, I am in the process of understanding or rather experiencing (as some wise put it) this whole mess.

My tryst with 108

You might think that this blog has something to do with somebody dear to me not well..ambulances..hospitals…tension…prayers..that last minute decision by GOD..and what that decision turns out to be..

Well, it has got nothing to do with ambulances and stuff. But, about the GOD part, I will come to that later.

Yeah, I just wanted to tell you that I had done something which is totally totally not my type of thing to do.  I have done 108 rounds or rather pradakshanas in Chilkur. Ya, I am serious. This thing happened last Friday, 7th Sep.

As you might know, I have not been a very religious person in my life. Or rather religion or practices, that are accepted and followed in my community. And sometimes forcibly pushed through my throat. I always denied something irrational and illogical. Come on, who in one’s right brain doesn’t want to.  Some practices as weird as starve for one entire day and sleep on a white cloth on the floor facing your head to the north and your legs to the south. Or is it the other way round? I can understand the part about the direction, but why white cloth? Why not some other color? And why the floor? I was told that if anything went amiss, GOD would get angry and curse me. Such were the practices I was told to follow since my childhood. I defied them. And defied them more.

I was not against GOD or something.  I was ready to accept and imbibe something with a rationality, meaning and something which would take me closer to GOD than away from HIM. At one point I can say I became a REBEL. Not a very wise thing to do. But I guess I couldn’t help it then.

As I grew older, I came across many experiences which were beyond logic and rationality. Were too much for a coincidence. Am sure I might not be the only one in having such experiences, many might. And then I came to a cross roads where things were just not moving …about what those things were, I will talk about them later as they were neither too big nor insignificant. I tried everything….logic, analysis, went beyond my comfort zone, but to no avail. And then…you know what… I started praying. I began to give my prayer all I have. My prayers did not change anything around me. But I began to feel a peace of mind, which I could not feel before.

And then I vouched that I would do the 108 rounds in Chilkur, something very very unlike me, if things start to move with me.

And then, one day things began to move. And I began to relax, relax like never before. Until that thought kept occurring to me that I still have an obligation to fulfil. I wanted to ignore it. And went about my life as best as I could with a guilty thought lingering.  It was like some alarm in me kept popping up saying that I still have that 108 thing to fulfil.  The longest I walked in a month was from our house to the immediate kirana shop, say a distance of 200 mts.  Although it might not appear as a big deal to many, as they are used to temples and pradakshinas, it was a BIG deal to me…a budding believer.

One day as a matter of fact, I told my mom about this..and immediately regretted. My mom is a real alarm who keeps reminding you time and again. ‘Be serious about things. Don’t play with GOD’ was all what she was saying.

In truth, I kept procrastinating because I never did such a thing before and was afraid to do so now. What if my legs swell so badly after I do the rounds and people tease me that I have got elephantiasis in both the legs suddenly? What if I faint in the middle of the rounds? And what if I am not able to walk forever after that? How can I ever explain the loss of my legs to somebody when questioned?

OK, has gone a bit too far! But I was really afraid.

Time had come when I really had to plan this. First due to my inside alarm and second due to the alarm outside-my mom.  I thought I’ll plan it on a Friday as there would be hell a lot of crowd on weekends. But what about leaves? My company hardly gives any leaves L and even has a swipe for the cafeteria J ya am not kidding.

The D day was finally decided, 7th Sep, a Friday.  The original plan was that I’ll go alone, finish the job and come home early. My mom insisted that she and Abhi (my 1 year 9 month old son) will also join me saying that if I go alone and faint in the middle of the rounds, then what? And my husband also joined us in the last moment.

If you plan to do pradakshinas at Chilkur, you BETTER plan the timing well. But we reached the temple at 10.30.  A huge crowd was already very busy doing their rounds. So, how I manage or not manage to fulfil my obligation forms a part of my next blog J