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.

 

 

Black or white?

Zebra stripes, crossing lines, and inked pages

Dreams of subconscious minds, nights to days

Morals and sins, parting wrong from right

You hate, you love, you think and you do

Why everything appears black and white!

Look again! A drop of black emerging in white

Can you see the dance of light into the darks

On the horizon, no absolute truth or the perfect lie

People are not monochrome as they look

How can you tell life is black or white!

You insist to see everything in two shades

The dark colour for you maybe my white

Holes in the divider that you ignored

No complete black or spot-less white

Did I tell you? I‘m grey from the inside!

©Charu Gupta and Potpourri of Life

Online To Offline

Received a consent form from my son’s school.

Following the directives of the U.P Government to open schools for physical teaching

keeping the COVID protocols, from Aug. 16, 2021……….. This is being communicated to you, as a compliance to the directives of the State Government……..

Are you willing to send your ward to school from 16th August, 2021?

We filled the form and submitted it the same day. What did we write? Well, I’ll tell you at the end of this post.

Just imagine the happiness of the children going back to school, the classroom, playground, their desks, school bus, and most importantly their friends! That will surely be a moment of euphoria. Of course, it’s not going to be as normal as it was; sanitizer in the pocket, mask on the face, physical distance, and no tiffin breaks. But if you think this is the only change that students are going to deal with…wait, there is much more that has changed.

  • They have to face the teacher. Network issues, camera not working, voice is breaking, teacher is not audible all these excuses (real/created) will become inapplicable. 
  • They can’t leave or join the class at their convenience or will.
  • They won’t be having the privilege to be present in the class and dozing off at the same time.
  • Getting up early, bathing (optional), wearing school uniform, and reaching school on time will be the minor changes.
  • They will be directly questioned for not submitting the assignments. No more WhatsApp reminders or defaulter’s list. Actually, it had never worked as the phone was always with the child and the Dear Parents were in oblivion. 
  • One of the major disadvantages that the children are going to face is ‘No Mobile Phones In The School!’ That means no WhatsApp chatting/ cheating during the class!
  • No Google for their rescue! Google had literally become ‘Doraemon’ for these ‘Nobitas’. It has suddenly made an average child a genius who knows the answer to each and every question asked in the exams. And teachers need not spend a lot of mind and time as all answers are identical, copied from google, exactly the same word by word (raising their BP high).

Parents, time will tell whether we have made our children geniuses or handicaps by not keeping supervision or control. I hope we shouldn’t be held guilty in the future for supporting and building a more corrupt nation. 

Now, what was our answer in the consent form?

It was a No. We are not willing to send our child to school before he is fully vaccinated and until we are sure about the safety measures taken by the school. The school has lost a couple of brilliant teachers, many have lost their family members and more than thirty students have lost either one or both of their parents. 

I, as a parent, am very much satisfied by the efforts teachers are taking to provide education online. The onus of a child’s learning lies on both the teachers and the parents. 

We should hurry to vaccinate children rather than opening schools. 

Success ↔️ Failure

The meaning of success is very subjective. It not only means different for different people but also changes its meaning over time for the same person. Everyone wants to be successful in life and for that, work accordingly. How do you perceive success? My success can be a failure in your eyes and your success might mean nothing to some people. 

Success could be synonyms to wealth, fame and luxuries in life. It could also mean a permanent job, great career, well settled children and good health. For a social media influencer, success is a perfect upload, millions of followers and enormous response. 

I question myself, am I successful? I don’t have a conventional career, wealth and fame. Kids are doing good for themselves and my health is okay. Am I successful in life? Yes, I am successful. The parameter of success for me is – I am able to do as I wish without any social pressure or fear. Living without strings is success. The meaning of success has changed for me as I age. Ten years ago, running a rat race and performing better than others was success for me. Making everyone around me happy and working as per others’ acceptances was a success. But now success is not a burden anymore. Living life to the fullest is the success that many do not acknowledge. Being successful is so simple! 

©Charu Gupta and potpourri of life.

Timeline

The journey will conclude

And the travel will end

Standing at the last stop

I will surely look back

The trail I have travelled

Diversions I took, people I met

Some long halts, few rutted rides

Refreshing strolls, racing in time

All that I did, all that I said

Souvenirs I kept, gifts I parted

The last glance on the road

A smile will roll up

My eyes will sparkle

What a voyage it was!

Just to earn that moment                                                                            

I am investing in my timeline…

©Charu Gupta and potpourri of life.

We Are Good Parents!

We are all good parents and we all want our children to be happy, isn’t it?

How to raise a child is a very subjective approach. Different methods and ideologies exist but each parent wants his/her child’s happiness.

There are various categories of parents. Based on my observation I have divided them into two broad groups. Before you read further, keep in mind that we are all good parents.

Group A-  I want to provide all the comforts of life to my child. I want to fulfil all his desires. He should have expensive gadgets, in fact, better than his peer group. Chocolates, chips, pizzas, burgers, colas, Maggie and all the food that he wishes to have should always be at his disposal. Best of dresses and accessories, best school and home for him. A good smartphone with internet should always be available for him (it should be provided as soon as the child is able to hold something in his hand…at the age of one!). I will protect my child from failures and no one can say a word to upset him. I will make sure that each moment should be happy for him.

Group B- I want to provide a comfortable life to my child. I will encourage him to work towards fulfilling his desires and make him understand that it takes time for some wishes to come true. I will provide gadgets according to his age and requirements. I will provide healthy food for his overall development and occasionally/rarely treat him with pizzas, burgers, chips (junk/fast food). I will make my child aware of the ill-effects of these processed foods and will discourage its consumption. Exposure to youtube, whatsapp and other social platforms will be after an appropriate age and it will be under supervision. I will let my child learn from his failures and make him respect others and their views. My child will find his own happiness, and I will be there to support.

There is no right or wrong formula of parenting. 

Hope we are all good parents! 

An Unadulterated Story – Happy B’day Sunny!

This film was shot just before the second wave hit India terribly hard. This short film captures a moment of joy that anyone can bring in the lives of those who are neglected in society. The intention to record this video is not to show what we are doing but to bring attention to the grave reality of many lives. It doesn’t take too much effort to bring a smile to their faces!

United…?

After the Covid vocabulary, the overtly used words are ‘together’ ‘united’, and ‘good citizen’. I was asking myself am I a good citizen? I am a law-abiding person, never broke any rule (never jumped a red light even on the deserted road). I pay tax on time. I practice my right to vote. I respect fellow countrymen irrespective of their religion or region. I do not harm public property.

(check out to know duties of a good citizen)

I am still confused, am I a good citizen?

And the reason for this confusion is whenever I point out what I feel is not right, people start telling me- “be a good citizen!” Whenever I express my disagreement with the policies or actions by the people selected by us (by the people), I am told – “be a good citizen!”

Is this phrase a homonym (same word with different meanings)? Or the phrase has changed its meaning over time? It sounds like- “shut up!” “Just follow the representatives of the country” “you are living in a democratic country but you dare not express your view!” So, essentially being a good citizen means playing dumb. 

 0And the other words ‘together’ or ‘united’, “we should work together to fight this pandemic”, “we need to be united in this crises”, “People and the government need to be together and united to deal with the present situation”

Seriously! Why do we need to be together or united only during the situations like this pandemic?? Don’t we need to be united always?

Divide and rule! This mantra was given by the British who ruled us for 200 years and our own representatives voted by us are following it to the T. They divide and like morons, we let them divide.

Unity, togetherness, and good citizen look like an illusion, a blindfold to ignore reality, a far-fetched dream.

Together we fought a battle against the British for freedom. Are we willing to rise again to be united in reality?

©Charu Gupta and potpourri of life.

Revive Your Conscience

We all know our present depends on the choices we had made in the past. Someone had made a choice to divide the earth into countries, people into castes and God into religions. Someone had made a choice to make nuclear weapons. This country made a choice to rule that country. That group made a choice to oppress this group. And we kept on making the choices to create this present world. Have we made the right choices? Only one person can tell and that is you!

Humans come with a navigating system called conscience, it tells us whether we are on the right path or on the wrong track. Our conscience always warns us whenever we turn in the wrong direction and gives us ‘go ahead’ if we are heading right. That means our conscience always makes the right choice? Yes! Then why is there so much anguish, hatred and destruction in the present world?

Because our conscience is not conscious. Some put it into slumber that is next to dead. Some people’s conscience is in a state of drowsiness; it may work sometimes. Few have fully awake conscience and it ensures that they are always on the right path.

Just imagine a world where all the choices are made by our conscience – watchful, alive and mindful!

We all need to overhaul our conscience to witness serene and beautiful sights on this journey of life and make this world a kinder place.

© Charu Gupta and Potpourri of life.