After Lunch

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after lunch
a time to feel blessed
for a morning well-spent
for the well-earned rest
the dollop of food
let the tummy digest

after lunch
a time to muse
to be somewhat loose
let the eyes droop
maybe even a snooze

after lunch
a time to feel blessed
a time to smile
a bit in the lips
more in the chest
a time to rest

#UdupiManipalDiaries

~ vani murarka


Image credit: The Timeliners: 6 Indian Products That The Hipster Western World Discovered

Best Words Any Friend, Family Has Said To Me

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Once upon a time, a wonderful kind loving man sent an email to a sweet silly scared girl.

She was upset about something, and in the middle of that upset she blurted out, “if that happens, I will lose all respect for myself”. Whatever that “that happens” might have been.

He did not interject and say anything while she was busy being upset. The next day he sent her an email which contained the best words anyone has ever said to me. Yup, that sweet silly but not-so-scared-anymore girl happens to be me.

I generally prefer to stay away from claiming that this is the best or that is the best. There is so much around that is so wonderful in so many different ways. However, I truly feel, in all the years of my life so far, these are indeed the best words any friend, family, fellow human being has ever said to me.

These words have stood by me and have been a source of strength at some of my most testing times – when I was in the midst of stuff that did not make sense to any of my near and dear ones, including myself, including that kind loving man himself. During those times these words gave me the strength to plod on, even if the plodding on seemed aimless, clueless. These words gave me the strength to keep faith in the choices I had made, keep faith in myself, despite dark dank depression.

This is what he wrote:

In our conversation yesterday, I did not say this explicitly. You would have tried to give an instant reaction. I wanted you to consider it at length later.

You said that if certain events happen, you will lose respect for yourself. Even in the worst case, never, never, lose respect for yourself. Personally, with my unshakable faith in life and God, my own respect for myself is not negotiable. I may fail, I may be stupid, I may be insulted, but I am a creation of God. I must have a role in this grand design of universe, so I must be what I am. Similarly my approach to life is that I have a right to want and ask, but whatever life gives me, I accept it with gratitude. Since I can express myself best in poetry, I wrote a poem on these convictions a few years ago. That poem is attached.

~ Vinod Tewary

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I put in the italics to highlight the words I now pass on to you my friend. Consider it, make it yours, use it if you wish.

Even in the worst case, never, never, lose respect for yourself.

Personally, with my unshakable faith in life and God, my own respect for myself is not negotiable.

I may fail, I may be stupid, I may be insulted, but I am a creation of God.

I must have a role in this grand design of universe.

So I must be what I am.

I have a right to want and ask.

But whatever life gives me, I accept it with gratitude.

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And dear friend, this is the poem he attached with the email. It is in Hindi.
This is the English translation of the poem.

If you feel these words may be of use to someone, please share this post with them too.

Love,

Vani


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Image credit: fungyung.com

No Longer Scared of My Mind

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Life and this world is beautiful and wondrous. Actually, how would I know. The only thing I ever experience really is the vast wondrous universe of my mind. Even if I get up and go somewhere – to some other city, country whatever – the only thing I am experiencing is my mind and all it is presenting to me.

I was in Seattle once – a beautiful city, lakes, parks, houses in a row each one adorned with flowers, gorgeous healthy food in the grocery store near Tableau’s office. Even then, the only thing I was really experiencing was horror – for that was the state of my mind then. I could see the beauty from the corner of my eyes but the only thing I was experiencing was horror.

This is not about Seattle or that experience. Yet, it is clear evidence to me that the only thing I am ever experiencing is my mind. That I can experience horror and ecstasy both (sometimes even simultaneously), boredom and everything in between itself is so fascinating.

There was a time I used be scared of my mind. I could see that it contained so much energy – energy that can engulf me. I felt it had the ability to destroy me. Overwhelmed by the rush of thoughts I used to want to wrap it in a newspaper and throw it out of the window.

I do not feel scared anymore. I feel fascinated. Our mind is so wonderful, so worthy of being explored with love, not fear.

It might seem like if I am focused on my mind I am too self-centered. Well frankly I have been self-centered all along. Might as well accept the truth. Maybe all people are (self-centered). The question is just how expansive or limited we make our self to be. Despite my self-centeredness, sometimes when I do see and sense the beauty of another being, that too happens via my mind. That light enters my mind and that is how I receive that message of beauty in a fellow-being.

It is a tremendous gift that has been given to us – our mind. And we really can choose what we want to plant there. There really is no need to be slave to our mind. I think we never are. When we are not consciously experiencing our mind, we are just being numb. I used to be that way all the time before. I did not know any better. We are not taught to “experience our mind”. Even in that setting, while we are numb, our mind works for us, on our behalf. Our mind always works on our behalf, as per our bidding as we have tuned it, irrespective of whether we are conscious of our bidding or not.

At the same time, our mind is our connection point to the world and the universe and the energy force that powers it all. The first thought that occurs to me, the first “idea” that I get, to build something (say Kaavyaalaya way back in ’97, or Geet Gatiroop for example) – that idea, that thought sure came from somewhere beyond me – I cannot take credit for that first seed thought. At the maximum I can say that I caught the thought and acted on it, but the first thought surely came from “beyond”. And that is the case even as I continue to work on a project – there does seem to be a greater force that directs operations – keeping on sending next step directions to me via the wondrous phenomena of the mind and thoughts.

Absolutely fascinating! So worthy of careful study and observation. So imperative too. For like it or not, we all have been gifted by this super-powerful thing called the mind. Even if you want to, you *cannot* throw it out of the window. And so we *have to* be observant of our mind, know it better and tend to it. It is a must. And when we do that, fascination and rapture is inevitable. Along with terrifying and exhilarating roller-coaster rides, that is. Talk about adventure!


Image Credit: 95C / 92 Images. Pixabay.com