Just a thought – Expand

The moment, neither in past or future, never in emotions nor even in thoughts, when I inhale and exhale rhythmically, and just be…! When I watch the trees move, cars pass and grasses sway and…I just be…! That moment is precious to me. Because there in lies the key to the new element that makes me actually see. That is when I expand and smile for no reason at all… that is when life blooms!

(Image courtesy Google)

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Different Hues of the Lake

Every dusk looks dreamy, every dawn is magic… there is something about the lake at backside of my house. Today it is the colour of Krishna! So blue, so ethereal, so serene, took my breath away. Behold the hues!

And a few days back… it was like this charming reddish-yellow. Where does it get the colours from?

If only we had the time to look… we would see wonders everyday!

Ubering Around!

A glamorous chick, an old senator wannabe, a navy veteran, one fatherly figure, few obnoxious drivers and today, an enchanting healer…. I have met them all while picking kids from school through Uber. Diverse driving styles, different energies, ethnicities, opinions, approach, attitude and behaviors – I mostly enjoyed varied experiences of interacting with Uber drivers. However, today was even more special as I was sitting with a healer.

I mostly know about healers through the Cate Blanchett’s film, The Gift (Hindi film ‘Gunaah’ starring Bipasha Basu seems to be inspired by it) and have known many Indian spiritual practitioners. However, sitting with this enchanting healer was truly fascinating. There was nothing different about her appearance except for a black headgear.

She started off with telling that she had been a farm girl. Her eyes were extraordinarily bright and exuded abundance of energy and warmth. She was chirpy and asked about my nationality. On learning that I am an Indian, she asked about Osho. She had read a lot of books by him. We interacted about Osho and other spiritual gurus in that short span of time. She talked about her being a healer. I knew it was a difficult task as healers tend to carry a lot of emotional burden and she confirmed that healers do feel overwhelming emotions sometimes!

She asked whether I was an empathizer but I had no idea about it. The truth is I am just a seeker so I couldn’t give her a clear answer. She said she likes to hug every rider at the end of the ride and also gave a little note of love to me… it was a truly amazing experience. Small wonder then that she is a highly rated driver on Uber.

Today was special, but Ubering around has been challenging too. I have met a few very rude drivers but pleasant drivers hugely outnumber them. I am mostly grateful for the rides. Almost all of the drivers are good to kids and would remark about weather.

Although I am a proud holder of driver’s license now, I still need to use Uber now and then. And surprisingly, unlike before when I would be skeptical, I look forward to ‘ubering around’. Back in India, I have taken innumerable rides with mostly silent ‘autowallah’ bhaiyas but don’t have much experience riding through Ola – transportation cabs of India.

Driving around in Uber is an experience in itself. There are so many uncertainties about the attitude of the driver, the car, the journey and the destination and yet all fall into place… just like life itself! How have your experiences been with Uber ?

(Image courtesy Google)

Small Things#20 – Treasures on Mother’s Day

Little gestures of love – a word here, a kiss there, laborious touch of paint, wonderful whiff of dandelion’s scent, naughty feet imprint, moving words in print, small arms around my neck, sweet and lovely cheek peck, heart lit in a blue bottle, everything so vibrant and yet so subtle…

…These are my incredible, cherished treasures this Mother’s day, created by my kids! I am sure you are making memories too if you are or have a mom. Both ways, a big and happy Mother’s Day❤️

Just a Thought – Control

The more we try to control people, thoughts or circumstances, the greater we are controlled by them. It is always a two way arrest game. Handcuffs are on both the arrester and arrested. But if we let go of control, it’s not that we will be at inactive mode but we would do our jobs blissfully, freely without thinking of controlling the ‘result’. The RESULT is anyway, NEVER in our hands. No?

Some people try to control in a positive way, out of concern but some use negativity as their power. This quote explains the negative types.

But flow is always more powerful than control. Hope we learn to let go, because there is nothing blissful, joyful and liberating than complete surrender! Exhale…!

Images courtesy Google

Small Things#19 – Mona Lisa through a Kid’s Eyes

The art room in my kids’ school has a Mona Lisa painting. The little one especially has great interest in the famous lady as he feels that her eyes moves around. So, a little conversation took place between us to decode Mona Lisa and here is what the four-year-old thinks of the painting.

Me – Is Mona Lisa happy or sad in the painting?

LO – She is creepy… no… wait, creepy-smiley. She is happy but looks creepy too. She is not sad at all.

Me – What do you think is her age?

LO – She is 56 year old grown up.

Me – What is the best part of her face.

LO – Her lips! It’s just a line. And her eyebrows are down touching her eyes. She is always staring but if there is a staring contest, I will win.

Me – What else?

LO – She is wearing black and has a dupatta (veil) and her skin is yellow. See, mine is tan. She is standing by a mountain.

Me – What is she thinking about?

LO – She is thinking of herself.

Me (showing the painting of Mona Lisa on phone) – Do you want her painting in your room?

LO – (Runs away) She is creepy…nooooooo!

Images courtesy Google

Listening to Sonu Nigam at Minneapolis concert!

PAGE-SANKARA-SONU-NIGAM-SAN-JOSE-CONCERT-03-DSC_0721Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin – when Sonu Nigam crooned this song at a concert in Minnesota, the crowd went still. The singer’s voice had an amazing melody and depth that soothed the over enthusiastic, frenzied crowd and made them listen, intently. Before the singer’s entry, the concert was average, where upcoming singers mostly performed on the latest, peppy Bollywood remixes, but he transformed it into something special. When he sang, it was clear, he did not need additional accompaniments, suggestive dance moves and props to spice up his performance, his voice had it all!

Even when not singing, his voice, carried the same melody. And he did miracles with his song – lifting, lowering, extending, shortening, pausing – unpredictable twists that made the audience respond with thunderous applause. At one point of time, during the concert, the audience went so overboard that they blocked the fire exit, the singer had to make a request to restore order. The security had a tough time containing the crowd who had come to listen to one of the most well loved singers in Bollywood.

Sonu Nigam and Neha Kakkar, the two biggies of Indian Music Industry, are currently performing in a number of cities in the US and Canada. And we had the good fortune of attending one of those concerts in Minneapolis on Saturday, with our lovely family friends. It was a night to remember in amazing company!

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Now talking about remix queen Neha Kakkar –  she definitely had the crowd eating out of her hand, as she wriggled and danced akin to Shakira, but was not melodious. She had a shrill and powerful voice, that entertained, but did not really touch the heart. It was her latkas and jhatkas that entertained more!

Coming back to Sonu Nigam, his dedication to music seemed real, palpable and fame seems to be just one part of it. Small wonder then that he has held his own for decades despite a crowd of eager, fresh singers striving in Bollywood and changes in music style. Plus the guy doesn’t seem to age at all! To my great joy, someone in the audience requested to sing ‘Bijuriya’, and he sang with an amazing alacrity, giving it a perfect end with the famous ‘Moonwalk’ step!

If you ask for my personal favourite from his bunch of songs that included – Suraj Hua Madham and Hans Mat Pagli, I would say the song mentioned in the opening line of this post – Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin. That song was sublime!

As I watched the singer’s performance, one thing seemed sure. He did not belong to that rising group of people, who do passable work for instant fame. Unfortunately, the ‘chalu’ type of work has invaded all arts across the world. Integrity, dedication and hard work increasingly replaced by quick something for social media fame. Thankfully, the singer seems to belong to a select, small group of people, who practice art for sake of art!

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I have been listening to Sonu Nigam’s songs right from my teenage years and have always liked him. But it was a different experience to hear him live. In between the songs, the singer paused and remarked – ‘when I’ll die, this song will be played for sure.’ And he sang – Har Ghadi Badal Rahi Hai Roop Zindagi from ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’. Well, none of us would like that to happen, ever. May he continue to enthrall us all with his soulful singing!

(First Two Images courtesy Google)