Enlightenment @40

Have you ever done a meditation course? Something like the Art of Living or Deepak Chopra’s meditation…Well these programs never attracted me until a few days back one of my dear friends proposed to join one of such online courses (Yeah, online on WhatsApp! Calm your senses at just one touch!). I agreed not because of the course but for my friend and also to know ‘what actually they do to enlighten you in fifteen minutes!’ So the group was formed and dos and don’ts were dictated. No irrelevant message was allowed (mind it all the members were school friends) and the day one task was given. The first task itself got me mulling over. Somehow I cajoled myself to go for it with all the positivity. I must admit it wasn’t easy especially to shut up my talkative mind and focus on my inner self during the chanting of mantras. The background music was soothing and it did relax me for those ten minutes. I’m still moving ahead each day in the hope to see some change in my state (though I’m quite comfortable with my current disposition) and to test my endurance to complete this 21 days program. Yesterday I got a task to make a list of people around me or known to me who I feel are taking away my energy…people that make me feel uncomfortable. They could be anyone from family members to friends, colleagues or neighbours. I need to write a blessing in front of each name.

I sat down with the notebook that I have made for this 21 days course to list down the names. I was sure to make a long list as there were many who pissed me off and gave me sleepless nights. I started thinking, first from the family and I knew whose name to write but then…Does that person still bothers me? And guess what …No. I dropped that name to add later if required and moved to write few names of the colleagues. I wrote a name ….Does she still makes me mad? No. I erased. I thought of a so called friend who always tried to show superiority over my thoughts.  Again, that name did not make it to the list! Have I become sane? Suddenly all those creepy creatures who once rolled over my nerves become immaterial for me. A couple of years back I was not like this. It was so easy for anyone to get my blood rushing and my tone raising but today it’s only my kids and husband who occasionally experience my fierce side. Is something wrong with me? Or is it something to do with ageing?

I’m in early forties and for many it is synonymous to the term ‘Mid-life crises’ but turn your perspective a little, clear your glasses and look again…..’ Mid-life bliss’!  Yes, this is what I’m experiencing. I have become more enlightened in my fifth decade of arrival. Sample some of my awakenings …..

I have accepted myself – the way I look is just perfect. That broad forehead and little more than five feet height makes me beautiful. I love my reflection in the mirror with my imperfect nose and not so elegant jawline.

I know how to distance from toxic people– Arguments can’t change the other person and nor your goodness. Shut the door at them and don’t let their venomousness flow into your lovely heart. I love to be around with my family, friends and people who make me feel happy and wanted.

No validation required–  As they say life is a marathon between birth and death and I want to run my marathon as I want- No approvals required. This is my life and only my life and I want to craft it my way even if others disapprove my plan. If you like me, good enough and if not I don’t care.

No more heartbreaks–  The golden rule is if you want to avoid heart breaks then stop expecting. I am learning not to expect a return favour or compliment or action from people. No I’m not becoming a saint but I had troubled my heart enough with my expectations. It’s not that I do not expect but now I know whom to expect or rather demand. I hold those who love me close to my heart and they never disappoint me.

No meditation or program could make you a better person until you yourself want to be. I’m continuing with my 21 days meditation program but I guess my enlightenment has already happened! Hey friend I trust you as a well-wisher and love you for all the positivity but I’m sorry I am leaving this page empty…nobody can take away my energy or disturb my peace of mind.

© 2019 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.

I never thought to live it again

I never thought to live it again

The years that gone with age

But my dreams are turning true

With each glory to your name

You standing on the pedestal

And it’s me bestowed with the medals

The worlds you see, the friends you make

I travel with you in the snow n rain

The exotic meal at the café

And all the splendor of the new land

I’m there enjoying all the merry

As you soar to live your desires

And set to discover odyssey of life

I can feel the air and see myself flying

Live like there won’t be another day

And don’t let any dream fade

I’m there with you in your smiles

In tough turns and daring dives

I am excited to live in rewind

As today I turned nineteen again!

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Have you invested your money wisely?

It’s been more than six months since our daughter left home and headed to the United States for her higher education but the concerns of our ‘Friends and Relatives’ have not ended yet! Sample some-

“You guys have taken a very daring (stupid) decision…I would have never done such a thing (stupidity)!”

“Don’t we have good colleges in India? Why to the US??”

“OMG! So much money, few thousands would be enough for Delhi University, you should have saved money for the future.”

“Is it safe in the US? Drugs, culture, and guns, how will you keep a check on her?….hope your girl remains on the right path…”

Well, with our folded hands, we want to ‘thank’ all those who are so much concerned about our money and child. Their ‘worry’ for our future makes us filled with ‘gratitude’ but we are sorry we have no sense of right ‘investment’.

We have invested all our hard earned money and whatever little we had saved into our kids’ brains.

We are stupid not to leave behind jewelry, fixed deposits, property or bank balance for our children’s future. And without a thought we are ready to invest even the last penny into their education; that probably makes us morons!

I should have kept my girl tucked to my bosom to keep her safe instead of sending her so far to explore the world. She should have nurtured under our prying eyes instead of learning by her mistakes. Instead of providing a compact ‘safe’ Delhi environment we had sent her to the US to discover different cultures and people from all over the world…how insensitive we are! What if our girl goes on the wrong path and brings disgrace to the family? We must not have had so much faith in our upbringing and values. How could we have so much confidence in her to make her confident; she is a girl and we should always protect her instead of making her self-reliant?

We accept we are mindless foolish people to invest totally into our children’s education, to make them independent and to provide the world to explore, to trust our raising and see our future in their future. We feel obliged by all the advises coming from our ‘well-wishers’ and humbly request them not to take too much stress for our investment plan; we have already made an investment.

 

 

I believe in God

I believe in God but not in the idols you created

I believe in religion but as ‘humanity’

I believe in prayers but not diluted by rituals

I believe God exists but not kept in structures

 God is in you, within me and with me

My strength, my hope, belief and the truth

Don’t call me a Hindu, Muslim or Christian

Dare not spread hate in the name of my God

You can’t cage him in colours, books or symbols

He is a drop in the ocean, the breath and the universe

I am a free soul and so is my God.

© 2020 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.

Jigsaw Puzzle

A box, my first gift to welcome me in the world
Wrapped in a beautiful wrap and a bow on the top
It was always in sight, my tiny fingers tried to unwrap
Mom pushed it aside, “baby you have some time”
I cried and cried to hold it in my fist, the gift box
But mommy for some reason kept it out of my grasp
By the brush of time the box faded from my memory
Days and years passed by and turned me five
Can you believe it, that box again came to sight
“My dear, time has come to unpack the gift.”
I grabbed it with glee; finally it was in my reach
I tore away the bow and then the glittery wrapper
My heart was pumping fast as I pulled away the top
“Mommy what’s this, So many pieces and all uneven!”
My face drooped as I had waited to see a toy in the box
“It’s a jigsaw puzzle and you must put the pieces in place”
A perfect picture only if you don’t give up midway
Years passed, I’m still trying to connect all the parts
A smile rolls up every time I succeed in linking the bits
Slowly but surely pieces are falling in place
Coalescing into a beautiful picture as I solve the puzzle of life!

© 2020 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.

I am blank….

I am blank….

Nothingness enveloped everything

Thoughts vanished without a trace

Calmness never felt so unsettling

Emptiness occupied the mind

I am numb….

Grief diffused into the air

Stationed destinies refuse to change

Confined life clogging to live

Clasped hope kneeled down in fear

But

I am a seed…

Buried deep down in the gloom

Waiting in the endless wait

A drop of water, warmth and the sun

Certainly will shoot up again!

I in the times of this pandemic’s overdose

© 2020 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.

 

 

Zero Hunger

Oh Alas I lay here again,

On the same old footpath.

Nothing to make me snug and cozy,

Trying to doze off.

But yet again my stomach has other plans.

My mind full of agony and endearing pain,

My hunger, the greatest bane.

Oh I see people lavishing delicacies,

So much in their paunches.

But no one is bothered to hear

The groans of my tummy

As always, my eyelids refuse to shut,

Allowing my eyes to wander about.

I see a bowl of curry whom they call a moon,

Such grains of rice scattered all around.

But oh dear, they are too far.

My malnourished hands cannot reach the stars….

But something ridiculous that I hope everyday,

Of a day when You and I will be the same

Invited to the same table,

And eat and eat and eat….

Till I hear my tummy say ‘I have Zero Hunger’

© 2020 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life. 

A leaf is born

I gave up all hopes to bring back a dead stem to life. But I still kept watering it and let it rest in the soil. In fifteen days it was all dried up, leaves shrunk and pale. I don’t know why I let it be there in the pot. After one and a half months, the stem gradually turned green and one morning my eyes lit up with the sight of a rolled up leaf at the end……

When you think that all is dead, a leaf is born.

© 2020 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.

Consume me

A corner of my house invites me

I customarily sit down to catch on me

Gaze over the wide window in the west

Four yellow merging with the sunbeams

Balls of cotton floating on deep blue

Few flocks racing in arrays of harmony

Curves of greens peeping into the house

Waving in glee as wind murmur through

I just consume all the calmness in sight

Or let the serenity consume me…

 

© 2020 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.

Standing on the center stage

Standing on the center stage

You have to be perfect in each frame

No, you can’t blink, stoop or sit

Fix a smile, you must appear content

Enormous eyes are judging your act

You can’t fumble or forget your lines

Have to be flawless, engaging and sound

After all you are living for people’s applause!

Constantly perform the best role

One mistake is enough to jeer you down

Arc lights, make-up and this platform

You chose to live in people’s gaze

Can you dare to step down the stage

Washout the paint and sit on the floor

Away from stares, crowd and noise

Listen! Life inside you is whispering

I’m only yours and live as you like

Please don’t present me on the stage

 

© 2020 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changed Plans

Almost two and a half months back…

This year seems to be a year to fulfil our dreams or rather move in the direction towards a good change. Finally all the desires were converting into reality. To begin with our daughter got a summer internship with a renowned organisation in New York with a decent remuneration. Her tickets were booked for a short trip back home. We had reserved a five days holiday in the mountains to surprise her. Though I was doing a lot of online work but wanted to restart my job as a teacher and I got one with a reputed school; I was super excited! And the cherry on the top was an offer to buy one of our properties at a profitable price (people who know us personally can understand why we need so much money). Apart from these personal look forwards there were many reasons to be happy in 2020.

25th March, 2020

The pandemic took over the world and India went into a complete lockdown. International flights were cancelled till uncertain period. Schools were shut and classes went online. Summer internship contracts were annulled. Most of the businesses were held up.

All our plans collapsed without warning!

One by one all that we had planned was disapproved by destiny. I had never felt so much helplessness in life. In just a couple of days life took a different turn. Everything blurred and became uncertain. Days overlapping without date and time, life was choked but you were still living.

Now what next?

A firm belief that everything will be fine and God has better plans. A spore of hope germinated after many days of gloominess. Some voice inside me whispered…there is a reason for the changed plans and unfulfilled desires. And the voice was right! There was a purpose of my daughter’s cancelled flight and internship, her time and energies were needed more by her aunt (my sister). That is another story of my sister’s failed plans which I’m not discussing here. Just to mention she is suffering with some medical issue (not covid-19) and needs a support for daily activities. We are at peace at least my daughter is there to help as no one in the family could fly in the current scenario.

Now I’m moving with the belief that our plans are not failed or disapproved but changed. Patiently waiting and praying to see the sign board on the path to reveal our purpose. One more thing….life does not need a fool proof blueprint. It surprises you at every turn so just keep moving with the trust…plans do change and everything will be fine.

 

© 2020 Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.