Small Things #8 – The Legend of Latu Bhai

“Latu Bhai hid Vava’s glasses,” declared my Little One as we were rushing to find my Older One’s glasses this crazy morning. I was lecturing the older one on his carelessness as he was getting late for school. But my three year old came to his rescue. “It is Latu Bhai!,” he said with conviction.

So, it was Latu Bhai again! Latu Bhai and his ‘partner in crime’ Undistynx are responsible for all the mishap in my house. They hide things, make the closet messy, drop water bottles and even tickle kids. We have been hearing about Latu Bhai for quite sometime now.

And surprisingly, Latu Bhai sounds so similar to my ‘Paper Bunny’, a character I had created when I was 6 or perhaps 7 year old. He was a naughty person who would throw paper all over the house. How kids recreate their parents’ second childhood! I had created another character called ‘Ms Jealousy’, who was jealous of everything and would chase everyone.

This legendary Latu Bhai (I don’t know how he comes up with these names) brought back so many beautiful memories of us kids running all over the house, wildly and happily, being chased by ‘my’ imaginary characters.

I am not done with Latu Bhai yet! It does not matter how many mischiefs are done in his name! All that matters is he brings innocence, story, creativity and magic in my house. I want Latu Bhai to stay because the day he leaves, my kids will grow up!

(Art by Adiraj)

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Warmth After the Storm

Yesterday, the Twin Cities had largest single day snowfall recorded since 2010. About 12.4 inches of snow covered the grounds and the authorities sought help of the National Guards for rescue purposes. But our family experienced unexpected warmth despite the savage, stormy blizzard.

We have moved to a single family home, which means fun but little more hard work. I usually find shoveling the driveway a happy task but yesterday after the storm, it seemed Gargantuan. My husband, who was working from home, wore his winter gear (no less than a space suit) to begin. But when he went outside, a warm surprise awaited him. Our American neighbor was already at it. He was already blowing away the snow. And had almost cleaned our driveway. My husband thanked him profusely.

After a while the continuous snowfall filled our driveway again. My husband once again got ready to go outside. But this time, our Russian neighbors were blowing away the snow off our driveway.

So, an American and a Russian helped an Indian on a stormy day! The beauty of this democratic country!

Also yesterday, I realized why residents here are called Minnesota Nice. The weather here may be bitterly cold but people are extraordinarily warm! Such unexpected gestures of warmth keep the spirit up. No wonder, the Sun is shining brightly today.

Small Things # 5 – Why do moms stare?

When we were small, I would often feel my mother’s eyes on us during gatherings and functions. In between chats and chores, she would stop and look at me and my siblings.

When I grew up a little, I would get irritated and ask her why she keeps checking on us. “To see whether you look fine,” she would answer with a smile.

Today, I caught myself doing the same thing. The older one looked at me, perplexed. I stopped staring and asked myself the same question – Why was I staring? The mom in me answered – “To see whether they are growing up fine. And to assure myself that I am taking good care of them.” I perfectly understood my mother then!

Images courtesy Google

The Sound of One Hand

If you have sensitive ears, this post is for you! While reading Rajneesh Osho’s ‘The Book of Secrets’ in which he discusses around 112 techniques to meditate, I came across a wonderful story – The Sound of One Hand. I can not help sharing it!

The master of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protege, Toyo, who was around twelve years old. Toyo used to run errands for the master and everyday he would observe seekers visit the master’s room to receive instruction in sanzen or personal guidance in which they were given koans to stop mind-wandering.

Toyo wished to do the same so one day, he put his head at the master’s feet and asked him for a Koan. 

Mokurai refused initially but the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented.

Mokurai said – “Try to hear the sound of one hand. And when you have heard it, then come and tell me.”

Toyo bowed and went to his room. He tried and tried to listen to the sound of one hand but all he could hear was the music of the geishas, coming theough the window. “Ah, I have it!” he thought.

The next evening, when his teacher asked him about the sound of one hand, Toyo began to play the music of the geishas.
“No, no,” said Mokurai. “That will never do. That is not the sound of one hand. You’ve not got it at all.”

Toyo did not give up, every now and then he would find some sound but the master would object -“This is also not it. Go on trying, go on trying.”

Then one day, the boy didn’t come. The master waited and waited, and finally told his disciples to find Toyo. They found him sitting under a tree, absorbed – just like a newborn Buddha. They returned and told the master – “But we are afraid to disturb the boy. He is looking just like a newborn Buddha. It seems he has heard the sound.”

So, the master came, put his head at the boy’s feet and asked him, “Have you heard? It seems you have heard.” Toyo had entered true meditation and transcended all sounds. “I could collect no more,” the boy said, “so I reached the soundless sound.”


Osho goes on to explain as to what had happened to the boy, “The boy had tried since he was a simple boy and had complete faith in his master. Actually, there is no sound of one hand, but just an indirect method to create sensitivity, awareness. And one day, suddenly, everything disappeared for him. He was so attentive that only attention was there, so sensitive that only sensitivity was there, so aware – not of something, but simply aware! 

This is a method to make you very delicately aware of the subtle nuances of sound. Center on the word ‘aum’ – a-u-m without any a or m. Just the u remains. You have to intone aum and feel it in three different sounds. Gradually, you will forget ‘aum’. Not only a and m will drop but there will be a state of soundlessness! The state of bliss!”

Images courtesy google

The Big Brother

He knew it was late. His mother would be anxiously waiting for him but he wanted to dilly dally. He wished, she could come down to receive him at the bus stop just like she used to do! But these days she was always busy with the whining little thing, they brought from the hospital. 

It was his dream to be a big brother but now he realised how challenging it was. The baby was a cranky one. If only they could replace her with a sweet, sleepy baby! He no longer liked being a big brother. He wanted constant attention from his parents more than ever.

Dragging his feet, he went home. His mother was at the door with the baby. She reproached him for loitering around. But the cranky one smiled. He ignored her. But she cooed again and held out her baby hand. 

His feelings changed from dejection to exhilaration! She was quite cute, after all!

(This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Thank you Jessica Haines for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)