It’s a Chakras thing

 

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“It’s a Chakra thing,” she said, her calm and serene smile making her look like one of the Mother Mary statuettes placed in various niches of the Catholic school Mama had sent me to as a child.

Our own goddesses looked fierce and had “Don’t mess with me” written all over them.  I wish I had the spunk of the goddesses.  With great effort I brought myself to the present, but tears filled my eyes.  I seemed to weep all the time lately, even into the dough I’d knead for our meals.  The first born kept getting into fights.  The baby tried to wipe my tears away, and failing that, he would sing to me or cuddle.  Just the other day, he had wept with me, scared and confused.  I had to snap out of it, for ther sakes.  This guru was my only hope.  I had heard she was good, but it wasn’t working.  She had told me “I can only help you if you want to be helped.”

Damn her!

“We are all creatures of energy.  We need to find our connection to the primal force, and once we establish the connection, we will shine. We will possess inexhaustible energy.”

I blinked and cast a surreptitious glance at the others sitting cross-legged next to me in our class, trying to visualize them as shiny round bubbles of something bright and pulsating, may be light bulbs on electricity.  Nah!  Too far-fetched.

That fat auntyjee looked like Pillsbury doughboy.  The old fella looked like a  candle with a dull yellow flame, bent, weepy and spent.

Here I was, age 28, mother of two kids, single and jobless.  And I had sold the last gold chain I owned to pay for this very expensive meditation course.  I had to make it work, or else.

“There are seven energy centers in our body. We have to keep them clean, powerful and pure.  They correspond with the seven colours of the rainbow.  They respond to external stimuli like music, simple music, wood sound, string sound.”

“I’m tone deaf “ my mind declared, rebellious and angry.

She continued, “Simple music puts us in a state of harmony, of peace.  Then we can meditate on the colours.  We will start with Red, the colour of the root chakra, and slowly progress upwards to violet, the top of the head.  Breathe deeply, inhale …. Exhale”

My mind was fixated on the colour red …. The colour of a bride’s sari.  Was it because she was stepping into a bloody minefield?  Was it because she was being sacrificed that she was wrapped in the colour of blood?  It was as though a dam had burst, I wept silent gasping sobs.

Somewhere music played, the simple soothing notes of a santoor.

Muscles of my back, neck and shoulders relaxed, the red lightened up, turned into orange, and then faded into yellow, transformed into green, the heart chakra.  I felt love, boundless love, joy, a connectedness.  The universe and I.

I was not alone, I had never been alone, I could never be alone.

The santoor kept weaving its magic.

Blue – communication.  The truth.  If we are brave to hear it, we can be truly free.  Free to understand the wind, the rustle of the leaves, even the blade of grass has a story to tell.

Purple and then Violet

Joy.

I smiled after being in a funk for almost a year.

I was reborn.  My life had begun.

Written for Indiblogeshwari’s That Tuesday Thingy

 

 

 

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7x7x7x7

This post is for the Write Tribe prompt 7x7x7x7 To write a post in 7 lines … for a novelist who writes a story in 80 thousand words, a challenge!

Grab the 7th book from your bookshelf.
Open it up to page 7.
Pinpoint the 7th sentence on the page.
Begin a poem/a piece of prose that begins with that sentence
Limit it in length to 7 lines/7 sentences…. I used the 7th word of the Dr. Suess poem I was reading which is YOUR.

You’re off to great places

Today’s your day

Your mountain is waiting

So … get on your way … Dr. Suess

 

Your lucky number is seven

Oh really, is it like that IndusInd Bank corny ad?

So … should I eat seven chapatis every day?

Or cook seven courses for dinner?

What does lucky mean any way?

Bad luck is also luck, so is normal or indifferent luck, isn’t it?

Ahh, forget it, got too much to do to  think this through.

Write Tribe Prompt

Why do you write?

“Why do you write?”

and

“What do you write?”

 

Common questions all authors face.

I write fiction.
I write adventure – I write of how humans deal with life and death situations.
I write of passion, even love,  but never ever will I write of  ever after, (that is a myth). 
I write stories
 
I write of personal challenges, things I have faced.
I write of the past, the now, and what I think I know about.
I write of family, of love and loss, of failure and successes. 
I write of my small family, of our bonding, of the crazy nutty interactions we have and celebrate the love we share.
 
I blog.
I write pedestrian poetry – totally inane verses

I write …

Because some nutty part of me wants to jumble the alphabets and come out with words that tell a tale

 

I write because there are people inside me

They want to live, they want to breathe, cry, love, fuck, fight and win

If I don’t let them, they’ll drive me nuts.

 

Why do I write?

 

To entertain, of course!

 

It delights me when someone – even a single someone emails me or calls me …

 

And says he or she loved my book or a character in my book

 

My crazy heart goes Whoopie-do-a-do!

 

I have made a connect!

 

Yes, I do something nice.  I write stories

 

Write Tribe Prompt

Women Bond

I kept the title of the post Women Bond to get search engines, yes I did.

To celebrate the bond us women have with each other was secondary. Search engines, yes, they are all important 😛

Sorry but I am not going to add a photo of a Bond bombshell here .. this pic is a delightful one and more apt

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Traditionally men were hunters, women gatherers. Male bonding was absolutely essential for hunting , it threw the hunters into life and death kind of situations, and they had to form bonds, so that someone watched their backs as they went for the kill. Total drama, which required partnership, it also required men to kill or die for each other. The movie industry has made millions tapping into this basic need of men. Male bonding is celebrated, it is immortalized.

Females, as gatherers and the sex that gives birth to and raises children, also had a critical need to build cooperation and trust with other females. In the olden days, a pregnant woman or one with small kids was highly vulnerable, and weakness often resulted in death. Women bond did take place, but it was informal, bonding at the bathing ghat, washing clothes together at the river, while harvesting, while cooking.

Women sang songs, helped each other. Trust was needed, but it wasn’t as desperately dramatic like the men had it. The Women Bond was based on cooperation, reciprocal helping and sharing of day-to-day tasks – and child-minding, providing care and support around childbirth, during illness and at other ‘weak’ or defenceless times. Women bond is not the ‘I will risk my life for you’ rather it is the ‘I will care for you’.

And that is what we need. We are the nurturers, we are the care -givers. If we form a Woman Bond that gives us the assurance that we will be cared for, we are blessed. Somehow movies and television shows love showing the bitchy side of the female nature and not the way we care for each other.

Male bonding is formal, every corner of the world has Men Only games, Men Only clubs, associations. LOL, and they have such pompous fusses, coat tails essential, ties only etc etc. Women have no such fusses, we simply bond. We don’t need cricket, we don’t need fencing or martial arts clubs, we don’t need card games. We are there to share what comes to us naturally, care and love.

For the past one year, I have been a member of Indiblogeshwaris, a group of bloggers. I just have one regret, why did I not have a support system like this when I was young, going through grim times? I don’t remember who added me to this group, but it has truly enriched my life. I had to celebrate with my fellow members today, but could not go. This post is my tribute to all the intelligent, strong, wonderful women in the group ..

Ladies,

Years ago I was absolutely alone. The one who was supposedly my partner was out of my life. The people I trusted shared with me a bond of blood, but did not support me. Those people who I shared a blood bond with also sabotaged all the friendships I tried to make. I leaned heavily on my sons for companionship. Then they grew up. In an effort to set them free from the crippling burden of being a companion to a parent, I turned to blogging. And then I found you, my community of women.

We are so different. We come from different walks of life, we live in cities and towns all over the world. We have one main thing in common, we blog.

But scratch the surface, and you find so much in common …

We are opinionated, we have no hesitation speaking out our mind. We are quick to anger, we are equally quick to sarcasm. But we are quicker at letting what angered us go, to forgive and laugh it off. We are quick to lend encouragement, support someone in need. We are quick to give and take love from each other. The frankness, the honesty, the love and companionship is something I truly value.

Thank you my sisters, for being there for me.

I will never know loneliness again.

When Parents Grow Old

Nothing prepares kids for the time their parents grow old; nothing is as devastating as that. They react to it as though the parent has betrayed them. My personal take on the subject is rather like Anthony Powell’s who said “Growing old’s like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.”

My kids groan and talk down to me, they have more information and they do not hesitate or mince words when they tell me that.
It is very strange, growing old is inevitable, but the reactions are so strong against it. One has to accept it, and I do, for most part. My hinges and joints need oiling, I need my pills, my brain is chock full of old incidents and concepts, which growing information and technology has made redundant, and I can get repetitive. My kids groan and talk down to me, they have more information and they do not hesitate or mince words when they tell me that.

Read the rest here

If music be the food of love

“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”
 William ShakespeareTwelfth Night

 

The old bard nailed it.  There was a time in life when I could hold a tune, passably well.  Well there was a time in life when I could stand on my head and my waist was 20 inches, but those times are long since gone.  So has love … when I do encounter that creature, I am tempted to get out my ancient dissection set and cut it open – just for the heck of it.

 

No wonder I can’t sing any more.

 

This coming from a woman whose name featured largely on the DU campus radio.  I had songs dedicated to me, yes sirreee!  I had SONGS dedicated to me.  John Denver’s Annie’s Song was dedicated to me by ex.

 

Kind of prophetic, considering his marriage to Annie Martel Denver was rocky and did not last.  The guy saw the future I tell ya.  And John Denver… well, wasn’t he who predicted that he’d be leaving on a jet plane?

 

So music to me meant, until now, listening to old country and classic rock on the drive to work and back home.  That hasn’t lasted.  Junior has a job in the same area as my work place.  That means that he travels with me  …. rather he drives, dumps me at my office, takes the car away and picks me up on the way back.  Yayy for mother and son bonding!  But the generation gap shows.  My choice of music is not his cup of tea, and his choice of music is my cup of poison.

 

Compromise has been achieved.  We listen to this new-fangled stuff called Podcasts.  Bill Mahr and other wonderful guys entertain us and educate us.  Over the month of so we’ve listened to why religion is totally redundant,  and how stupid the Boston bombers were and now the son has graduated to history lessons.   I know more of the history of Anabaptists and Ghenghis Khan than I ever did.  And guess what?  I don’t even have to write an exam on them!

 

But then music, I miss the music …

 

I listen to 9XM and stuff like that when I work out.  It never disappoints.  The beats are so much exercise and pump up the adrenaline kind of stuff.

 

Until now …

 

Now we have Babaji Ki Booti and another one called

 

Raat hai ik whore

Ye maange more

To lut ja slowly slowly

 

I am willing to experiment … ya think stretches can be done to these tunes?

Woodstock, Rock Music and Me

So what do aging rockers do?

I like to think they have a Woodstock festival up in ether somewhere, where they heckle the police, call them Pigs and make awesome music.

They also smoke bongs and the air is heavy with the sweet smell of marijuana, the heavenly weed…. and of course the great music. Nothing like music to make the experience complete.

Yeah, I am at heart and always will be a hippie. In my opinion the best thing that happened to music and the youth was the Woodstock festival in 1969 and its ripples were felt world wide – also in the north campus of Delhi University where I studied. It happened in 1969 and I joined the univ. in 1976 – but what the hell? It was rebellion, sweet sweet rebellion and we jumped on to the music+rebellion bandwagon.

href=”http://phoenixritu.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Woodstock-1969.jpg”>Woodstock 1969

I am now on the wrong side of fifty, but the memories are still fresh in my mind. Memories of Joan Baez (six months pregnant at that time) Swami Sachidananda’s introductory speech, Ravi Shankar’s performance, Santana, Janis Joplin ….

It rained, people 450,000 of them stood for hours in ankle deep slush, through power failures, artists performed in rain even braved electric shocks because of wet electrical fittings, the organizers lost money … and yet, it became bigger than all that.

woodstock2025

It became a celebration of music, of the power of music to transcend the mundane and become a celebration of personal freedom and a dream of global community.

It was history in the making. A history of rebellion, the biggest event in music history.

I read about it avidly, I owned the LP (yes I am that old that I can recall LPs and Woodstock 1969. And I am old enough to remember of it being called the biggest Hippie Music Festival.)

We saw images of half naked doped out hippies sitting on the grounds covered in mud, we heard about one and a half hour waits to use the portable loos, we heard of the rain and how Ravi Shankar played 6 sets of music in the drizzle. We heard how the gathering was illegal and the police was waiting for it to turn unruly so that they could arrest someone and break it up. We also heard of people on stage exhorting the audience to

“Make Love Not War”

and not provoke the pigs waiting to arrest them.

woodstockpicturemainfieldafterconcertM

How I wished I was there, a part of that event, how I wished I could relive it. We had similar events in the university – minus the semi naked humans and the dope …

The cops did not show up either. But we sang Joplin, Baez and Dylan. We tried to make do, pretend it had the same intensity but it did not. Then I saw the movie … and realized how wishfully and romantically inept we were, I give us 100% for effort, -350% for the feel.

How I wish it happened here and now, and we could experience it. As a part of #HPConnectedMusic, we can. Just share an event happening some place in the world with a person located elsewhere. Music is global, without borders, with #HPConnectedMusic it is just as it should be.

Maybe aging rockers go live on a virtual cloud to play and enjoy the music from all lands – truly a world beyond borders …

When the movie was released, I saw it many times.

But I could not live it, experience it first hand, technology had not come into its own then. If it had, I would not be dancing with Prateek Shah in Sunny Deol style. Or even Gangnam style … I would have been rocking, roach in mouth, guitar in hand, singing along to Motherless Child or Hey Jude. Or Bobby McGee. Prateek Shah could join me if he wished 😉

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Music is global in its appeal and that is what it means to me. I can enjoy Kolaveri, Gangnam Style, Santana and Anoushka Shankar’s sitar recital.

So what do aging Rockers do?

They do not do this …

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They continue rocking!

And what do their fans do? We listen to them, stamping our feet, even though our aged knees protest, our heads moving in rhythm to their music with the help of #HPConnectedMusic

Rape of a minor

The recent Delhi rape of a minor reminded me of what happened in December, both in Delhi and also close to my house when Damini was struggling for her life  ….

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A six year old was gangraped and left in our neighboring colony – left to die.  Some good Samaritans from our area collected whatever was left of her, a bleeding scrap of womanhood, torn from cunt to ass, stomach badly injured (yes, I will not gloss over facts), and deposited that pitiful heap at the hospital.

Then the tamasha started …

The girl came from a very poor family – surprise surprise!

The boys were from a village close by, and they were unpleasantly shocked that the girl still clung to life.  Why did she not oblige them and die?  Worse – she recognized them.

They were even more intimidated that citizens, the educated and comparatively well off ones cared.

So they looked around and got some local neta (belonging to their caste) into the picture.

The neta tried to bully the doctors into listing the child as a patient who was 22 years old.  Apparently child protection laws are not as lax as the woman protection laws.  The doctors (it was a government hospital) refused, stating that they could not justify the treatment that they were providing the child as the same they would have given a 22 year old in this case.

The neta bullied …

The doctor went on leave rather than argue with the politician.

The child fought for her life, clung on to it grimly, though even a small movement from her made her pee, though some of the intravenous meant to feed her oozed out of her stomach.

Women activists that I had contacted wanted to start a morcha – create a noise.

Backdoor negotiations were going on to hush up the case.  A price was being settled upon.  A price for the life of that abused girl child.  I even heard someone say, “What is left of her, anyway?”

Within a few days of her being taken to the hospital … she was found in the hospital dustbin, dead.

Her parents, migrant labour, were nowhere to be seen.

A janitor told me  with a shrug: “She would have required constant medical help as long as she lived.  Gareeb aadmi, (poor people), how can they afford it?”  I opened my mouth to say something nasty and saw that stony look in his eyes.  How many times had he faced the tyranny of the rich or well connected? And how many times had he been forced to cut his losses in a similar way?

I went out, sat in the car trying to come to terms with what I had seen, just been a part of.  The cold December morning seemed colder, dead, horribly so, like that small thing that had once been a six year old girl playing in the colony… before she was raped.  There was nothing left to do but ring the women activists who had planned a dharna.  There was nothing left to fight for.

It jolted me out of my upper middle class complacency.  We take our safety for granted, we girls/women who belong to the upper classes.  I know we are not safe – but we are much safer than our poor sisters, who have no recourse to “political connections” and the law.

I talked to a cousin who is a family counselor, a psychiatrist, trying to come to terms with something so grim.  She explained that to some men, women are objects.  I knew that!

But did I?  I knew it, like every woman in this country knows it – but we somehow do not want to admit it.  An artist’s representation of what men view women as – yes even a six year old child ….

I have removed the picture since I have no copyright to it, and the owner of the picture objected to the usage without permission.

What was done to that child and the child who was found recently in Delhi is complete objectification.  Use, abuse, throw.  If the girl survives, bad luck.  It will cost some money – which can be paid, and the abusers walk away with impunity.

The police will try to hush up the case – even slap a woman if she protests.  And why should they not?  They have been brought up to think of us as stupid cunts.  How dare a woman raise her voice?  How dare she look me in the eye and challenge me?  If she does, she deserves to be slapped and shown her proper place in the society!

Scene from the protest in Delhi in December

 Anti_RapeProtests_Delhi_AP1

 

 Nothing has changed ….

We are human and have the right to live lives of dignity. 

A post I had to link here, thanks Priyanka Dey for this very powerful post

 

To She Who Must Not be Named

A poetic challenge to someone who is trying time and again to make me feel uncomfortable … I affectionately call her “She Who Must Not Be Named”

Feel free to guess who :

 

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Let us not beat around the bush

I did you wrong when I did you a favour

Instead of help I should’ve given you a push

Into the widest and deepest river

 

 

Some people do not like gratitude,

They think it is a canine emotion

Envy is more suited to their attitude

And now I’ve become your obsession

 

 

Oh you’re itching to pull me down

Somehow I make you feel inferior

But then, I am so important to you

On my defeat you’d build your career

 

 

I’m on to you, you silly clown

I’m on to every low down trick

Fighting you would slow me down

So I’d rather use my wit

 

 

Bring it on, girl, give it all you have

A fight has to be fought to the finish

Embarrassing photos, pointless bitching

Too pathetic, not worthy of the skirmish

 

Yes I am a fighter, combat is in my nature

And confrontation is my game

I hereby call you out for an open war

Sneaky tricks are boring, too tame

Motherhood and Grown Up Sons

When I was not yet twenty, I brought my first-born son home. I sat the whole night watching him sleep, get up, stretch, yawn, poop and pee, simply fascinated. I was in love, and how! No one, nothing mattered. It was just me and the little man! I decided that everything could wait, life could wait, I could wait until he turned into an adult and then parenting would be over.

Parenting Grown-Up Kids - Parent-Adult Son Relationship - mom and kids

 

Oh, how wrong that was!

Now first-born is almost 30, the second one is right now on his very first tour in his very first job. The train is about 7 hours late and I am sitting at work agonizing about his safety, praying that his first tour is wildly successful and that he nails the work he has gone for. I also pray that he gets a good hotel room and can sleep well at night.

The life of a mother with grown up kids.

Read the rest here