Please click this link to hear the background score for this short, mental, 'film'. Now imagine yourself for a few minutes as if you are in an ocean, drifting along, floating on waves of pure joy... Now read on...
I really feel you and Kaka will have a great time together after many years!! I still smile to myself whenever I think of the two of you TOGETHER, as the first image that comes to my mind is like a flash of a fast forward movie- the kind of visuals my mind has always been able to relive of the times Kaka visited us and vice versa. THE BEST image in that 'flash forward' is an imaginary one, of course- !! - it is the image which you 'made' for me!! When you narrated the times you & Kaka were slogging and sweating in Dilli ka Ghar room, trying to make your own water-air cooler as young boys!! The fact that Bapuji and Ba gave you all children ample chance to explore, learn and grow is a testament to the wonderful and well-rounded individuals you grew up to be. It is one of my favourite 'family movies' to 'watch' when I miss you, Daddy, and its all the more special because in those days you and Mummy consciously decided to keep our lives simple- so we had none of the overwhelming technology (which, at the time meant Black&White T.V's, VCRs imported from Sri Lanka, Radio etc) in short, any thing and everything that was fondly referred to as Idiot Box- to distract us.
We did have cassette tape players, LPs, 45 RPMs, and other kinds of influences, which one can 'stream' or 'control' by choosing the one suitable for the mood, atmosphere, feelings of others.....Pesky mosquitoes hummed and sang in my seven or ten year-old ears, stinging the legs and arms. We all sat in the IAF home front or back gardens. Being kids, we would drift outside to sit with you & Mummy, and often fall asleep in those chairs! We sat in the semi-darkness as a family and you talked to us. A lot of parents today (and I am guilty of it too) seldom find time to interact with children. We all have our stock of inexcusable 'excuses' like mine- lack of 'time' with kids being at school all day, and me always working afternoons and evenings and returning long after the kids are in bed already... and weekends at work too...)
A whole generation is growing up on iPad Apps and super-fast broadband and we have all but lost the time to enjoy TIME. TOGETHER... Life is like a sherbet drink; keep the flavour basic and simple, stick to what you really like and you will always enjoy it! Mix in too many different flavours and you might end up with something you don't want to drink, but cannot waste, either. Cos its life, and you MADE it- adding the flavours you consciously chose.
With my own children, I try to give them a positive, lifelong experience of the simple joys. My daughters love walks, and their amazement and delight at all of nature- be it forests, hills or parks, the changes in the seasons, or the frost on the ground, the snow on the streets and the first signs of spring- are wonderful to experience as a parent. My husband plays with them, looks after them and makes us all laugh with glee. He is muscular, and yet makes a mean dish of Potato Curry and rice. One day last week, I was rushing to get things done, cooking alu Parathas for the family dinner before I shooted off to work at midday. I had spent the morning with my daughter's school team, and after an emotional rollercoaster, I was finally home. As soon as Raj realized I was rushed, he started helping me- doing the dishes, minding the parathas and We go for walks as a family, collecting resinous gum off Cherry Tree bark in the Summer and visit the forest in all seasons, really!
We try to teach them the values we both hold dear- like being honest and kind. Sometimes, we do fall off the path ourselves and we do make mistakes too. I 'react' but the good thing is that I apologise to them respectfully and explain that my 'reaction' was sudden, and just a re-action. That, given the chance, I would ensure that the next time we would both have learned our lesson. I try to talk to them and we interact and spend more and more quality time together as we do things like go fora walk, run, dance, play, sing, laugh. Daily chores like cooking and cleaning become interesting- and Shivangi and Rani help me if I request them to hand me something from the fridge or freezer, or peel garlic, potatoes, and I slice up vegetables and they wash them.... This 'quality' time is the only 'Viraasat' I can give them, as I am enriched by my interactions and learning from you and mummy... Memories these children will carry will shape their whole future lives, existence, emotions and the way they cope with life itself.
See, Dad, the way I look at it is life is a series of events. Some of these 'events' are not in our control. A bit like a bus where we are a passenger, not the driver!! (The driver, I feel is God!) So, whether the journey takes half an hour of going through heavy traffic that slows it down to take one hour, its not for us to change/ control (unless we get off the bus physically, which is NOT an option!!) Or unless the driver says, look guys, the bus journey is to be terminated here, so would all of you people please get 'off' the bus here??! You can catch the next bus coming in, or ask for a refund and your time wasted is regrettable, but not in MY control either....!
So, like a passenger on THAT kind of bus, I can choose to watch the things flash by, smiling at the good, quirky memories/ places/ etc or choose to ignore things 'outside' the bus, just observe my fellow passengers, maybe chat with them/ respond if they start chatting with me!!? Or, like I do when 'alone' on a bus (i.e, when my kids are at school and not part of the journey with me), I think of them, pray for them, send loving vibes to my loved ones, or listen to music on my headphones!!
So many various 'reactions' to one same, recurrent journey (the cyclical rhythm of birth and death, that a soul undertakes in order to attain nirvaana.... (for example, if I go to town on the same bus on the same route for a meeting/appointment very regularly, I will still meet 'different' people, 'have' the same old 'different' experiences each time.... but what remains constant each time??! It is the 'I' myself. my SELF.) The journey that the Self undertakes each time may be different, and , that 'experience' of the journey will depend on:
My frame of mind,
My 'inner' peace, and how low/high are the reserves at that moment,(like bhai and you often used to say, life a sinus wave- कभी ऊपर तो कभी नीचे।
आप सोच रहे होगे की मैं क्या बोलती जा रही हूँ।।?? (You must be wondering , "What is she talking about, exactly"??!)
Simply, that events, interactions, reactions from people may have affected how I feel on that day....
but when the journey is going on, or the destination (foreseen or unforeseen, as the case may be!) is near, one prepares to leave to bus. taking their 'I' ness with them, off the bus!
All that, then, remains to be said is a polite and heartfelt Thank You to your driver (God) for the journey...
Yesterday, early in the morning, I woke up and felt like 'talking' to God. After more than three restless, sleepless nights, I was physically and mentally drained and my silent musings had travelled, predictably, on the path. So beginning with " I'm OK, you're OK" (remember imok-youreok, Dad!!??) to, very briefly,I must say-" I'm not O.K, You're not O.K", I had finally reached the realisation that I'm (probably) not O.K, but my I (soul) is O.K. I was ready to open my arms and say " I'm O.K, You're O.K" He appeared to me and blessed me so that all my anxiety, worries, stress and fears were wiped out and I was left with a feeling of total peace and resignation to His will, As it says in the Lord's Prayer, worldwide-
...Thy will be done: on earth as it is in heaven.
These days, in my darkest hour, my spirit is revived by prayer and prayer alone.
One day, early this week, when my husband asked me, "What do you want??!" (he was talking about this marriage- whether we should be together/get a divorce... What would be my 'needs' financially, materialistically, emotionally etc)....I said, simply, that I want you to be happy, and our children to be happy. I said and I feel I 'want' nothing other than for the children to grow up 'whole' and that I would not like their innocence to be destroyed, faith to be lost or love to be divided. Because LOVE can never, EVER be DIVIDED... It can only be given and it only multiplies....
O.K, Daddy, I am going to get ready for my 0700 Hrs shift, as the kids sleep silently, contentedly with their Dad, or PAPA WOLF (from Alpha n Omega) as they call him!!
All is Well...
Love and hugs,