Archive for the ‘letting go’ Category


I won’t see Madhu’s blue eyes again

And I won’t see her childlike pudgy fingers sit on her lap

Waiting for me to intertwine mine in hers

I won’t see her eyes fill with concern for her son

Nor the coldness that is theirs

When she speaks of her husband.

I won’t see them rest on my face

And ponder if I was a fool

To love her so.

Her eyes don’t know what I hide in mine

The dark shrouded pupil swimming in the ocean of milk

Conceal myriad memories around a pair of blue eyes

So dear to me in my childhood

Tucked away in the recesses of my mind

That pair of liquid blue eyes

So proud even behind dark glasses

Acts like a dam blocking out pulsating passion.

On the surface, my eyes are cold and dead.

Time will never erase the memory of those blue eyes

That rejected me.

But time can never stop me from seeking them

Again and again around me in friends and lovers

Those beautiful blue eyes

Just like Madhu’s blue eyes.

I won’t see Madhu’s blue eyes again

Tucked behind the wall of my cold eyes

I have stored the memory of those eyes

Which today, reflect in the coldness of the shroud

That covers my pupils

Swimming in the ocean of white milk


Photo credit 


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Long years of working have now come to an end. 2015 heralds in my decision to break free of the past working patterns and to start a new one.

Starting afresh is like starting from the bottom again. It means you stand alone and you take your own decisions which will affect you in the long run. Comfort zone is safe but a sorry state to be in. It means that you did not challenge yourself enough.

I have been thrown into this state many times and have always done well. In a jungle I have found a path, indeed many paths, every time, but when you decide to leave the past with no real goal in mind, except a few ‘must dos’ on your New Year List, you must know that the path begins where you left and no matter what the territory you visualized it to be, the path has something to gift you at the end of the road – trust in yourself! When you went with a plan, but things emerged which were not in the plan and you had to embrace them, then, at the end of the journey you know that you might have taken a different route altogether, which you did not visualize at all! And you succeeded! And what’s more you are more confident than when you started off.

You made it!

The past always has fragments of your life, which you associate with, or did associate with. But time has flown, people have changed, you have changed yourself, so isn’t it time to put that bag down from the past and move on?

My decision to take my own road sprouted from the fact that if I did not do it, then the fire that burned inside me would die and I would not be what I recognize myself to be – a living, breathing animal with vibrant colours and moods.

I wanted to go home to myself! Me, the way I know my Self!

How about you? How long will it take you to come home?

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You can’t talk to a wall, for a long time, because, it does not talk back to you. To have communication, you need interaction. You need to give and receive, both.
There are however, times when things just become something you can call a shrouded rejection. It is like a moon, that is there in the sky but you can’t see it because it is covered by a cloud. It is not as if it is not there; the truth is it is there, but it is also a truth, that you can’t see it. No matter what the reason is, there is a wall between you and the other. And you can’t talk to the cloud, the shroud, the wall. It only absorbs and gives nothing in return.
There is a deception in place. The illusion of the moon, behind the cloud, is an illusion, so long as the moon does not show up in front of it. The existence of the moon, is a supposition, the reality in the face is the cloud. So which are we to assume, is real and which false?
There is one sure reality check. Get behind the cloud. Is there really a moon, or standing in front of the cloud, there is only the illusion of an existing moon?
Get real. If there is no moon, there is no rejection, not even a shrouded one. So don’t hang out there staring at what is not there. Instead, you have a whole world on the other side, the side you are not looking at, the side which is looking at you from behind and saying –
“You can’t talk to the wall, all your life. You brain will become hollow. Exchange is like two cups of tea standing next to each other – you pour some in one and then another and you drink of both.”
*sigh* What goes out comes around! Even rejection!



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smriti62It is said that a king once came across a sage and was so deeply affected by him, that he gave up his huge kingdom, his wealth and his women to follow the sage in the search of The Truth.

This sage was not any ordinary man. For years he had been practicing a silent meditation. Thus, when the king, often questioned him and pleaded for spiritual guidance and direction, the sage answered nothing. However, when the queries got deeper and more persistent, the sage snapped – Be Silent!

That was it. For years the king sat at the feet of his Master, in total silence, from sunrise to sunset, day in, day out. Until one day, a little dog found his home and came to live with him.The king tried to shoo him away, but it would not go. Hence, despite his efforts, the king was forced to look after the dog – feed him and watch on him.

It so happened that a few months from then, a man wandered along and seeing the sage went up to him and fell at his feet.

“ Guru”, he pleaded, “give me something to eat. I am so hungry…”

The sage looked at him and said –

“ There is no food here, as you can see. But you can go to that sansari who live below and he will give you the food you want.”

Hearing this, the king felt a terrible sense of disdain. He loathed to be addressed as a sansari. Was it not he, who many years ago left everything to follow this sage? His kingdom, wealth and women, all renounces for a search? So why was he being called a sansari? However, his thoughts took him to his habits in the recent years and he knew why the sage had called him a sansari.

It was the dog and his attachment to the dog that made him a sansari. Having left everything in his world as a king, he still had not left his attachment to things, be it a dog even. Suddenly, it hit him like a bolt from the blue – it is not what you leave behind materially outside, what you need to leave behind is attachment itself. If one is not free of the bandhans inside, no matter what one leaves outside, new things will only replace it again. So if one has to be really free, then, one has to cut off the very threads that bind us to the things outside.

A great realization struck him and in that moment, he left, now even knowing where he was going to. He left the dog, the house and the sage, all in one stroke.

When the moment is ripe, all things fall into place themselves. The rest of the time is spent, only preparing for that moment.

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Dear Stephie,


We have not been in touch for years. Neither you wished to reach out to me nor did I want to bridge the gap of silence between us. However, the reasons were different for both of us.


We carried the burden of loving the same man. 


I had lost him to you and you lost him to eternity. What a cruel joke! Pity, neither you nor me could keep him forever. Yet, we do live on with guilt – I, for hating you for your act of theft and you for having stolen my love treasure.


Ours is not a triangle. Ours is a direct fight between two women, over the rights of one body. And both of us have played out our game of violence over his body.


But if either of us were to be confronted with the fact, we would both deny it.

Was it our love or our egos? Was it our hatred or our gaming minds? Was it our super-ego or our extreme desire to fool ourselves to believe that one of us is greater than the other? Or, was it our fatal desire to prove that one was better than the other? What was it we were trying to establish by playing this game with each other over him?

 But what the hell! The right to be ourselves is ours – vile, wicked, malicious, and angry that we are. Yet, we must deceive each other and our own selves and hide our real selves – we are bitches, both of us.

I have chosen to write this letter to you in order to  tell you once and for all I despised you for your courage to steal him away from right under my nose. I tried to break you up but was convinced that he wanted to be with you, only when you were around. But, when you were away, out of town, it is me he returned to. Our passion for each other doubled during those times….



Then how can you say, he was yours? And even if he was, you have lost him just as I have, to eternity.


What is over is over. What remains is here and now…. A moment pregnant with the curse of closure.


I want to tell you I have purposely kept away from you, from sending a condolence letter as well when I came to know of his passing away. Who ever condones the death of a whore’s  husband?


But, today I need to close the chapter with you too….I need to end this story of hate, not for your sake but for mine. It is purely a selfish reason.


I am pretty certain that if ever you receive this letter, you will in turn say, “Who is Usha?” It will be the same for you as well – selfish, you before me. And that is why I call both of us, bitches. Our egos are bigger than our selves. It has always been so.


I am not sorry for the past, nor for the feelings I havefor you. But I do need to ask permission to close this chapter with you, these pageswe have both written with tears, jealousy, anger and venom for each other. And I hope with that, we will have both, finally moved on, knowing there is nothing more to share between us….




Memsaab, Usha heard a voice behind her. It was her driver. She turned to look at him.


“The gates will close Madam. You have been sitting here for last two hours”.


Usha gathered herself, bringing herself to the present moment. She stared at the stone walls of the Monkey Point, trying to fix her mind on the face of one stone that resembled a monkey. Yes, she had come here to look for the monkey among the stones, but what she got engaged in was the monkey in her mind. At last she had written the long awaited letter to her ex-husband’s  wife.


A deep sigh escaped her mouth as she lifted herself to walk in slow steps towards her car.


“Let’s go”, she said simply, “the gates have closed.”







NB Art By Smriti Vohra 





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When a fruit is ripe, it drops by itself. So does our attachment to things, persons and ideas.


Theory after theory, talk after talk, book after book has been written on this subject – how to overcome attachment, for attachment brings pain, self-inflicted pain. But the mind of man is hungry. It thrives on desire. And it is the desire for things, persons, ideas, that finally brings pain. The same thing, that causes, pleasure in the beginning, is responsible for bringing pain afterwards.


Saints and holy men, thinkers and philosophers have given their own theories on how to overcome desire. J Krishnamurthy says – look at desire like wind passing through the leaves and branches of trees. However, for a spiritual person, on the path, it is an increasingly disturbing realization that no matter what s/he tries, desire does not leave his mind. These forms of desire keep surfacing in one form or the other.

I have heard a story of a man, who, having taken the permission of his whole family, left home of his last journey – vanaprashtha ashrama. He stayed away for many years in the forest, trying in the process to forget the world he had been in and all that came with it, to find God. Naturally, he wrote no letters, made no phone calls, nor sent any telegrams to his family. Slowly, the memory of his family left him and so did the attachment he had to the images and feelings he had in his mind, for them.


Then one day, a young boy arrived. Distressed from a broken love, he wanted peace of mind.

” Show me the way by which I can find peace of mind ”, he pleaded.


Suddenly a great flush of feelings rushed out of some corner of the man’s mind. His whole face lit up. Someone had heard of him. Someone had recognized that he had overcome desire. He was at peace. Someone had approached him, for their peace of mind!


And the man’s head swelled up.


Realizing the bloated attitude of the man, the young boy left. There was nothing to learn from him, he thought. He could see the disturbing characteristics of a man full of vanity and pride over his achievements.


The devices of the mind are cunning and numerous. It is therefore called bhavasagar –  the sea of thoughts which one must cross to realize the Eternal. It’s ways are myriad and it is a many headed serpent. Which one will raise it’s when, is difficult to know. Indeed, impossible too.


Even if apparently the man had forgotten his family and the attachment he had to the images and memory of them, actually, the attachment had only taken a round about turn. He had become the whole family himself. His attachment to them had become attachment to himself and his achievements, instead. And it only required the young boy to come, to show it up.


Indeed, nothing had been gained.


When the fruit is ripe, it drops by itself. There is nothing to do but watch.


A sea of thoughts occupies our minds at all times. All these thoughts have an electric charge. Some are strong and dominant, some aren’t. All thoughts give rise to action. Dominant thoughts arise again and again and force us to act upon them. But, just in case, we break the pattern and stop to act on them, then, they will keep arising again and again, getting stronger and stronger every time till finally, they lose their charge on us, because only when we act on these thoughts, we recharge them so to say. If we don’t they will ultimately, drop.


Not easy to do however. A persistent thought comes to my mind about my ex-boy friend. The thought compels me to act. Make contact. Check out if I am still on his mind; has he really forgotten me; and even if he has, my reappearance will bring back in his mind, thoughts about me. He will begin to think of me; he will act; he will return to me…..etc, etc.


All games of the mind. The more we are attached to our thoughts, the more games the mind will play. The more will be our misery.


But, if we stop to “give energy” to these rising thoughts, one day they will die out and fall into the vast sea of thoughts that have no electric charge at all. In fact, they will cease.


Both thoughts of good, bad, anger, jealousy, thoughts of rejection, bitterness, happiness, indeed all thoughts keep us attached to the objects of our desire. But, one day, when the time is ripe, the object of our thought drops and with it our desire for it.


The tree is never in a hurry to see its fruits ripen. It knows that the flower has come and will be followed by the fruit. And just as the petals of the flower fell when the fruit came, so will the fruit, grow and ripen with age and time. And when it is fully ripe, its own weight will pull it down by the force of gravity. It will fall effortlessly, leaving the branch on which it grew.


The tree is not in a hurry. It is intrinsically stable and grounded. It has been a spectator of events when the flower came. It remains a spectator when the fruit falls. It is neither attached to the flower nor the fruit. Neither to the flowers that will come again, nor to the fruits which will follow. And never to the fruits that will finally fall, for it knows that – when a fruit is ripe, it drops by itself.


So does our attachment to things, persons and ideas.





Art By Smriti Vohra 

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                                                        One-Handed Basket Weaving


There was a dervish who lived alone in the mountains,

who made a vow never to pick fruit from the trees,

or to shake them down,

or to ask anyone to pick fruit from him.


“Only what the wind makes fall.”

This was his way

of giving in to God’s will.


There is a traditional saying from the Prophet

that a human being is like a feather in the desert

being blown about wherever the wind takes it.


So for a while in the joy of this surrender

he woke each dawn with a new direction to follow.


But then came five days with no wind,

and no pears fell.


He patiently restrained himself,

until a breeze blew just strong enough

to lower a bough full of ripe pears

close to his hand, but not strong enough

to detach the pears.


He reached out and picked one.


Nearby, a band of thieves were dividing

what they had stolen.


The authorities surprised them and immediately

began the punishments: the severing

of right hands and left feet.


The hermit was seized by mistake

and his hand cut off,

But before his foot could be severed also,

he was recognised.


The prefect came. “Forgive these men.

They did not know. Forgive us all!”


The sheikh said, “This is not your fault.

I broke my vow, and the Beloved

has punished me.”


He became known as Sheikh Aqta,

which means, ‘the teacher

whose hand has been cut off’.


One day a visitor entered his hut without knocking

and saw him weaving palm-leaf baskets.

It takes two hands to weave!


“Why have you entered without warning?”


“Out of love for you.”


“Then keep this secret which you see

has been given to me.”


But others began to know about this,

and many came to the hut to watch.


The hand that helped

when he was weaving palm leaves

came because he no longer had any fear

of dismemberment or death.


When those anxious, self-protecting

imaginations leave, the real,

cooperative work begins.


        Jalaluddin Rumi, Mathnawi, III



At last, the walls that were full of stories written of you and me have left their hold on me. They have just dropped away. For years I held in the crevices of my mind, indeed all the empty spaces inside, words, thoughts, acts, memories…


Suddenly, the walls are no more. They have vanished. Not even whitewashed! They have no colour; not even the absence of colour. The stories have just vanished. There is no rubble to retrieve the stories from, even if I wanted to. Just nothing! All is gone!

Chor aaye hum, woh galiya…..said Gulzar. He was right. I too have left the gallis and the roads. Even, those rooms in my mind full of your fragrance. I know I held on to them as long as I needed them. These stories had their purpose. They took me on a journey to my Self. They broke my resistance and they brought the flood to my eyes. They seasoned me, molded me, twisted me like you turn an iron rod in the furnace to make it steel…and when that is done, neither the iron knows itself, nor is the furnace any more needed.


Suddenly the walls that were full of stories of you and me are no more. They have disappeared. As long as I was insecure without them, they were with me.


When those anxious, self-protecting

imaginations leave, the real,

cooperative work begins.


Goodbye Devashish! Our work together is over. I must be on my Way…..



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