Category Archives: LIFE

That Stairway inside you

 

Joepa prayed like he and God were thick as thieves, you didn’t argue if he said it was going to rain that day, or that you best stay away from the river a particular afternoon. He was an old school warrior kind of Prayer-er, he’d kneel and kneel straight. Not sitting sideways slumped in the floor, nor cross-legged, like a lotus. Then he’d go softer soft, till you had to lean in to hear the words that would arrive between pauses, as if he were listening.

 

brown and black wooden staircase

Joepa would listen when he prayed, That was new for me. I had heard other kinds – where you instructed God about the rains, exam results, menus, visits; requests for shoes, the right shade of lipstick, cricket matches; pleas for grand-aunt Mei to stop snoring, a certain relative to not visit that frequently, that kind of thing. When Joepa prayed he stood at a stairway, his eyes shut wide, sometimes he would tremble as if the replies that came down were too much for him, or even the Silences. As if his head or skin were too fragile for the intensity of those conversations that went on in the little room above JoseVilla where he had lived all his life, with his canes and hats, his books and shoes, his lovely wife and children.

 

On our many visits, Joepa would tell me little details about his life, about love and faith and trust. He hadn’t accumulated wealth or houses, because he gave them away. If someone wanted something he gave it to them – his radio, a piece of land.  “Some ask me don’t I have my own family. I tell them its what I had to do.”

So, it made sense to me – the way he prayed. He lived like he prayed. His words were lived at an altar, a glass altar here heaven and hell and everyone of us saw his reality.  He lived like he feared to ever hurt anyone. He saw others as if they were God’s own too. That’s what got to me. That’s why I believed that when he prayed he really was at a Stairway and it took him beyond the little room, beyond the nitty-gritty of asking, talking and not listening. Listening deep.

Today I sat with our youngest at home – he prays a few sentences or long ones, depending on the need. His needs aren’t exactly like yours or mine, unless you are visually challenged like him. He is intense, expectant. A few weeks ago he developed these motor/vocal tics twice, thrice a day, or more. All our check ups weren’t revealing much. Wait, Doc says. Go home. Relax. Let me know if there are changes, but right now, there are no signs to alarm us; 

back against the wall, we, I started praying, telling God what He had to do here. Three days ago, out of sheer fatigue I leaned back and refused to say another word, not at the powers that be, at medicines, at Docs, and flustered feelings;

leaned back and took a good look at Joh, our son. He’d changed. Changed from a restless young one, into a quiet careful human, watching the hours of the day – for “Tizzy”. We call his Tics “Tizzy”,

…we let go. Yesterday Joh woke up early (as he always does), ran to us with, “No more asking for healing. I’m thanking God….”

We did a happy dance small celebration, but here’s the news, Tizzy showed up just once so far. I don’t know how to say this without sounding over optimistic. For some reason the pressure is off. Tizzy or no, its like the floor’s changed.

If Joepa were here, he’d have understood better than us, what makes Joh pray the way he does, fearless, focused, as if there’s no veil between the spheres, as if we are a bunch of scaredy- rabbits for nothing. Papa Joe was my father- in- law, I miss him sore today. I miss how his hands trembled when he talked with his heavenly dad , there were no doubts at all between them. If there was a conversation it was about trust, about meeting each other, unconditional togetherness that placed no blame or need between that relationship to sour it,

thank you Pa.

….

 

 

 

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Filed under Blindness, Challenges, Faith, Fear, Healing, Hope, Joy, LIFE, Love, Miracles, Personal Reflections, Prayer, Writers

The Embrace of Healing.

This Post inspired by some extraordinary people

Kintsukuroi – (keen-tsoo-koo-roy) the 500 year old Japanese art of repairing smashed pottery. You’ve broken something? Fix it with gold. What a Gift in positive metaphor:

the story is told of a tea bowl that was a particular favourite of 15th century military ruler, Ashikaga Yoshimasa. One day a servant accidentally dropped the bowl. In the breathless pause (Ashikaga was known for a lethal temper), one of his guests reeled off a poem restoring Yoshimasa’s spirits, ” ..instead of its diminished appeal, the bowl is now the more beautiful for being broken. Its value was in its story. Its true life began, the moment it was dropped..”  Continue reading

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My Fantastic Stalker

woman covering her face with corn leaves

Bright scarlet buds in grass, why am I staring ?

I’ve lived in fields and wave, e’en  mountain by the sea, off a river delta, an island, a town in a valley, but today I’m standing still

flower bloom blossom red purple

Today is different; 

there are things to do, promises to keep, miles to go as I sweep through lists of chores, but I’m Stalked 

by tender new leaf & bud –

Stalked by  God’s brand-new batch of new mercies 

blade of grass blur bright close up

Yeah tho’ I go thru’ the next 24 hours of work, love, laughter, sweat, tears, fears, crowds, hope, nail biting hope, 

I fear no evil; 

man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography

my Divine Stalker is with me, His messengers of Love –these darling scarlet Reminders reinforce the next words: you are not alone. Read that –

You are not alone.

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I said a prayer for you, July

That you and I would find Wings, that we would fly beyond the limitations of dreams and desire. That we could finally shut our eye wide, to human frailty, and breathe, as it were not ours to play gods, nor revert to being babes of wrath,

image

Vi’s pastel angel

Oh July, I prayed a prayer that you and I would leave our skin behind and fly out of cocoons we’ve refused to leave; that we would let the process hurt if it must, that we would not be suspicious of skies no matter how high it appears to the little iris in our eye

July, stretch me our Wing, this Thing on my ‘blades I’ve thought was shadows in my shoulder; fly me out 31 days every minute, flung wide with grace, reckless grace in the sapphire of heaven around us, that we might see with shut-less eyes, our Wings

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The Age of Rude ?

She stared through my face as if she never saw me –  stunned, I waited. Maybe there was a mistake. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the woman wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t acknowledge my presence. It was as if I did not exist.

The next day we met again, this time in an auditorium. She talked to everyone else, but not even a nodding good-morning hint at me, as if I weren’t there.  These were new family friends, not even distant relatives, no histories exchanged. No I hadn’t stolen her best dress at school, no I wasn’t an artist rival, nothing. She was a mom like me, a citizen of this same earth, but she wouldn’t look at me.

Its possible she was just tired, or thought I had nothing of use to say to her, or be. Is possible she was having a bad day, is possible she was ill, is possible she didn’t like my face, or hairstyle, or work.

But the question followed me all day and night, it stood there between my mirror and me the next morning, it sat in my toothpaste and hair brush, my shoes and sandwich.

 

This morning, I looked at images from around the world images of waiting….
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What made something as beautiful as a human heart, such a refugee

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Just a wee planet

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So we talked another hour after the movie ‘Cliffhanger’ a needless re-run, but it provoked Maji to ask, “What keeps humans warm when everything out there is cold frost” ( see movie, a perfect ‘signs of the times’ movie ha:) 

To which Noe answered, “The heart.”

Maji, “What keeps the heart going?”

Noe, “Life.”  (Maji rolls eyes and starts to ask ‘ what is life..’ but gives up).

Which got me thinking out loud about how the earth is just a wee planet going on and on in space with nothing to support her and how gravity is limited to us, and how day and night does not matter in calendars outside the sun, but here we are going on and on about human issues, fashions, passions, all temporary pursuits, but out there, I mean get on a space bus, and there’s a whole University out there that has other agenda, and one lil rock from some place has to hit Earth‘s forehead to get us into non – gravity agenda – that is the essence of Life… .. ?

Maji kind of liked that. This morning the sky grinned down at me and asked a few questions, which was my heart thumping new pulse into fingers that I never knew I had. It feels good somehow to know how temporary, how permanent, how transient, how eternal we are ; it feels good to know the heart listens to an order  it bows to,

why do I like that …

 

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A Human being with heart and Poetry : ‘Hariharan Balakrishnan’

” … for diamonds and rubies I do not care, all I have is for others to share, I crave for just a glimpse of Light, for peace and rest in that after-Life..” Hariharan Balakrishnan

Innerdialects : I am in awe of the creative fraternity, especially when they are there for the sheer passion of expression. H. Balakrishnan  says it like it is, without too much ‘modesty’ or ‘ guilt’ –  tracing Lost Horizons, the safety  of ‘Stars‘, of  moments,mementoes, of memories that never left, and of Dancing Diamonds and Volcanoes. The Equipoise of Silence …

His Works reflect a Universe waiting to be understood. They provoke the writer in me, silently reminding me of the human being perhaps neglected, within. Of secrets that wait to be told; of what Words can do in a Time that is more devious than ever before. Here is a human being that must be read, for he is more than a dad, husband, writer,traveller, lover of good food and music. He is an Indian with Spirit, heart and soul.

 ” Poetry, comes out of inner thoughts at some particular moments in time. I don’t see any need to feel guilty.It is the capacity to absorb things differs from people to people and also, in the same person, time to time. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be human. ” Hariharan Balakrishnan

SINGULAR

The silent man came in to this world                                                                                                 With a lusty cry, the wail for peace                                                                                                   He shouted screamed and swam about                                                                                               He saw he heard he smelt and stood

The silent man grew up and watched                                                                                                 The world around him go down in size                                                                                               His loudest wail of no avail                                                                                                             He chose to grow up, not capsize

The silent man too had his moments                                                                                               Of standing- and of understanding                                                                                                   People who had something to say                                                                                                With mere presence, now gone away

The silent man has chosen silence                                                                                                    He has his silence for company                                                                                                      He has no use for fools or falsehood                                                                                                 He is happy in his path of silence

The silent man too sometimes shouts                                                                                             He wants his voice once to be heard                                                                                                   He sometimes loses sight, his voice                                                                                                   And also, anon his equipoise

The silent man too tries to teach                                                                                                        The world that is within his reach                                                                                                  He came in shouting, wailing, crying                                                                                                  He wants to go out smiling laughing

The silent man sees, thinks and learns                                                                                               He has something to teach in turn                                                                                                     But chose to keep his thoughts inside                                                                                                 Like the volcano that never spewed.

……

Hariharan Balakrishnan 21.06.2001 With the Prime Minister of Bhutan , our INTACH Chapter decided to present him with a memento.

Lost Horizons

Lost horizons on the way                                                                   Of a lonely traveler on his road                                                           To some place somewhere                                                                 He knows not, does not care

A wayfarer in Eternity                                                                                                                 Without an inn- or an out                                                                                                             Only his thoughts- and dreams                                                                                                        Of someone else’s tomorrow

Horizons lost by one                                                                                                                         Can they be gained by another?

……………………..

The author here .. ? After father died, she read out to me some of the life experiences she noted down in Tamil. I told her if she writes a few more to make 100 pages in print, I’ll publish them in English. And that’s precisely what we did- on her 80th birthday. Only I know what went into the final product. The original mss was ‘lost’ for a few years etc. But the launch was really a ‘launch’. The book was released on a real launch which floated on the Husain Sagar in Hyderabad with some 200 people. Newspapers were competing to take her interview and outdo one another. The Hindu Friday Review did a story, and it was followed with a remarkable commentary by Eric Shackle of Sydney in his “Life Begins at 80”. Eric has since become a dear friend and now lives in Big Pond- still writing an occasional column. He is maybe 93 now. If I send him a mail, I can bet he’d reply within 48 hrs. That’s the kind of man he is. God bless him.

Hariharan Balakrishnan Poetry is subjective, and is often written in reflection- of events and moments that have passed long since.

Hariharan Balakrishnan

Came back a few hours ago after a trip to Greece and Turkey. Met a lot of people to understand these countries, saw a few memorable places and have already spun a few stories in the mind. In the next week and more, maybe I’ll be bale to put at least two or three of them in words, ably supported by some pictures that seem to have come out well. I promise to give you all a few glimpses soon.
There is also a series of humorous anecdotes that I can share only over a cup of coffee in a group. Who knows? Once I start writing, this idea may bloom as a book!
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In conversation with Hariharan Balakrishnan, a Poet and a Humanbeing to reckon with. 
Innerdialects

Photo: Kalpu, Nargis, Bhavani and Sanjeev. Good to heer that you want to read what I write. But first things first. Here is the picture of the doorway to the Palace where the last six Sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived. Mustafa Kamal Pasha also lived here for a while and breathed his last in one of the rooms. From what I heard from people, it is not for nothing that this great reformer was called the Ataturk (Father of the Turk Nation). There was universal adulation- even after 90 years since his time.

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Beautiful Bloggers

( This Post utterly inspired by a fun 20 mins ?  with Sakshi Nanda,Sfurti SinhaRekha Vikesh :
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thank you for responding to my Post yesterday OH – AM JUST A MOM    on Real Fiction. People like you remind me that there  is only one race : Humanity. That we must never stop being friendly, though we live in an age of Indifference, a time of suspicion and some chaos. Thank you for being downright brilliant-silly with me. I so needed a dose of that kind of decent madness, rare among people that never met before now. God Bless and may your tribe increase !!!)
We shared little words yesterday
and in that moment, we were not just moms,
or even women ;
were just people,
ageless, unlimited ;
strangers,
with this common thread :
homes, kids, husbands, work, words, life, likes
blogs,cupboards,fertile spaces, or infertile,
raves and rants, moms and 
places, profile pic.faces,
traces of lives we lived, and
live, and will ;
I saw your Will, to not just survive,
but do well,
to not just get by, but
excel –
and I need to thank you for the reminder
that when humans get together,
talk,
can laugh at self and each other
somethings beautiful
begin to make all things well…
so much happens when the human spirit within,
rears Its Head to
yell shout whisper
hey everything just shut up- downright proper – and just
get well :))
….
( I love your blogs – may they like you, live forever… 🙂 KUDOS!
( NOT TO FORGET ALL THE GREAT PEOPLE THAT WROTE IN WITH VALUABLE INSIGHTS…NEVER CEASES TO THRILL ME. THANK YOU SO MUCH).
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Image of You

I am a portrait 

in Your image,

a photograph,

growing, edge-less,

how could I be a picture of  You ?

 

Deep within, its true, I know

I am a breathing testament

of You..

dear God,

what a reminder …

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Seeing with ears ECHO LOCATION

i HAVE POSTED THIS VIDEO ON ANOTHER BLOG OF MINE LYRIX&LIFE, but am fascinated by this one and needed to re-post, for I see my own son in it. This whole thing of Echo vision and sounds bouncing off objects, walls. People have asked how Johann moves without assistance of the cane or a guide. I am sure all blind people can use sound – do check this one out. Am crying LAUGHTER… …

when we re-located, from Mumbai to Bangalore, a rented house for few years, then a home of our own, it was so tough. But those were the years he grew, and learnt to talk, ask , vibe…

oh dear God, the problem was our answer :))))))))))))))))

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