Nostalgia

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We were walking around a few ancient ruins of a palace in Srilanka.

Crumbling brick structures were all around us. Remnants of the Darbar, Royal Kitchen, Gurads’ quarters and a few more structures were strewn around, in a sylvan setting of giant, gnarled trees.

As we weaved our way through the maze of these buildings, we wondered how life would have been for the inhabitants a few centuries ago, when the palace was at it’s peak.

Of course, these crumbling brick walls would have been painted brightly, adorned with silks and gold.

Royal men and women would have walked through these rooms, dressed in their fineries,

Royal chefs would have prepared delectable feasts in these very kitchens…

“It would have been magnificent!” said my husband. “Imagine! Elephants and horses outside. No cars. No pollution. The air would have been super clean. Their lifestyle must have been so healthy!” he went on.

Suddenly it occurred to me. We always talk about the bygone days with so much longing.

My grandfather used to reminisce to me that a soverign of gold cost Rs. 13 when he was a young man.

My father used to recall a time when he used to go to school 8 Kms from home  in a bullock cart, accompanied only by his dog, who used to sleep under his desk. Apparently, the bull knew the way to his school and back.

I still fondly remember my lunch in the college canteen – masala dosa and a bottle of Gold Spot.

Why is nostalgia such a strong emotion?

Yes, that royal place was a haven of grandeur, but there were also the attacks, wars, conspiracies and all the uncertainties that went with it.

Yes, a soverign of gold cost Rs. 13, but there was also plague, small pox and famines that claimed the lives of thousands.

Yes, riding a bullock cart to school was fun, but there were also robberies and unreported crimes on children.

And yes, Gold Spot was wonderful, but I also faced exams, shortage of attendance and arrears.

Why do we remember only the good parts and conveniently forget the bad, uncertain, scary parts?

We have so much more now.

Satellite TV & internet!

We have Tata Sky, Netflix and Amazon Prime!

Everyone is just a whatsapp video call away.

We got rid of polio. Small pox.

Women are no longer hiding in the kitchens, pining to access their true calling.

Researching boredom is a legit job!

There is a #metoo campaign.

Anyone can broadcast thanks to Youtube and twitter.

I read an article a few years ago that now is the best time to live.

We have an advanced medical system.

Women can vote.

There’s no slavery.

Mankind is making giant steps everywhere.

Still, nostalgia has a very strong pull, viewing the past through rose-tinted glasses.

Is it because ensconced in the safe present, we can never go back to the horrors of the past?

Or is it because we can now that we view the past from a safe distance, we focus only on the good stuff and blur out the rest?

Readers’ Digest had a very positive article about how we’re in the right path to save the earth. If we keep up this mindful usage of resources, recycling, reduce plastic, etc., we can avert major environmental crisis caused by greedy mankind in a few decades.

So, yes, the past was a blast, but so is the present. I have decided to open my eyes to the present wonders and enjoy the benefits, rather than long for how things used to be. The present is richer with the lessons from the past.

Here’s to more power to mankind!

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What I want to be when I grow up…

This post has been brewing  for a really long time, but somehow the act of  putting it all together cohesively kept eluding me.

We all have role models. There are on-screen personas, leaders, writers and so many heroes inspiring our thoughts and actions everyday.

But apart from these, there are are also heroes we meet everyday who do the same thing for us, but without much fanfare…

I’d like to talk about three such heroes who have been and will be my inspiration on growing old…

Yes, it is a long way off and we hardly talk about it, but I’m sure I’ll get there one day and want to remember the lessons I’ve learnt from these fantastic people.

All three of them are seventy plus, riddled with all the ailments faced by people their age, but to me they are shining examples of humanity.

One thing all three have common is, they never retired.

They have cut down their time at work to accommodate an afternoon nap here, outing with a grandchild there, but they’re still in the thick of their careers.

The reason – their work is their passion.

If I compare them to all the other people I know in the same age group, I find a stark difference.

Others, long retired, seem to thrive on pastimes like how-to-drive-daughter/son-in-law-up-the-wall, watch all the soaps back to back everyday (and pick up useful tips for the afore mentioned pastime!), complain endlessly about their health issues, lecture grand children on how life used be so meaningful during their times, call/video chat with their peers to complain about how they’re treated by their families, etc, etc.

After observing hordes of them, I came to a logical conclusion.

All these people are reasonably energetic, mentally alert but have no purpose to their days. There are no deadlines to work for, no jobs to finish by the end of the day and since they’re reasonably well off, they don’t have to earn their daily bread.

So their days are pretty aimless. Just imagine. We relish our holidays and vacations for their utter joblessness only because they’re contrasted by our jam-packed schedules on a normal working day.

I took a sabbatical for a year from work. My son wasn’t even thought of then, so I had endless hours all to myself once my husband left for work.  And this was before I had a mobile phone and was connected to the world wide web.

I loved it in the beginning. I could really appreciate the lull after those hectic years in advertising with absolutely no personal life. But after a month or so, I started getting restless.

To get over it, I started painting again, enrolled myself in a pottery class twice a week, threw elaborate lunches for my friends, watched lot of TV, but I just couldn’t shake off the restlessness. My self esteem was hitting an all-time low and my fuse was getting shorter by the day. Things worsened after a year, when we moved in with my in laws. Now I had no household responsibility whatsoever and not much of cooking since my mother-in-law is phenomenal in the kitchen. So I ended up doing nothing but eat and sleep away most of my days.

Then one fine day, thanks to my husband’s insistence I took up a chance offer by a friend in a just-started ad agency and I was back in action after almost 2 years. The adrenaline flowed once more in my blood and I was suddenly oh-so-busy even to have a proper meal during the day.

In hind sight, a lot of things became clear. By going back to work, I was connecting with lot of like-minded people on an everyday basis. And during those 2 years, I had been kind of isolated. Sure, I caught up with lots of friends and family, but it felt so different to have purposeful interactions with people. Exchange of ideas, working as a team towards a common gaol, why even bitching about an irritating colleague to a friend during a break made me so alive. I guess we need a healthy dose of both professional and personal interactions to have a meaningful day.

Now let’s get back to those retired senior citizens. They’re facing what I faced for 2 years for the rest of their lives!

But sadly, some of them have never had a profession. And most of them looked at their professions as just a means to earn and never had a passion for their work. They seldom had friends. Most lost touch with their classmates after marriage and didn’t bother to make new friends. They met their siblings, cousins, etc only during a wedding or any other family function. They preferred to spend on their children and neglected themselves. They never connected with their kids like we do these days. They were more the authority figures than friends.

So once the children flew off the nests, they were lost. Hell, I’ve seen couples who could hardly relate to each other after their kids moved out!

So they turn into bitter, insecure individuals who feel the need to assert themselves in someway. Either to assert their dwindling dominance or sheer usefulness in some cases they resort to all the pastimes I referred to earlier.

In contrast, the three heroes I worship are so full of life, they have no time to indulge in petty politics. One still works full time and is so full of energy. On a regular day, he injects his daily dose of insulin, goes to work, catches up with friends and family over  some fabulous dinner parties he throws often &  chats with his grandchildren in various locales around the world regularly. A few years ago, he single handedly brought together a warring couple who were on the verge of a separation by meeting them often, ordered them to talk to each other everyday and he’d call both of them every night just to make sure they did. His commitment to his profession and family only seem to grow with his age!

The other gentleman just turned 80. He’s passionate about the environment and is still consulted or many projects. He’s involved with NGOs dealing with environmental issues and meets them regularly. Oh,and he joined facebook recently and keeps in touch with all of us too.

The third is a lovely lady in her seventies who is a design consultant. She is very creative, an avid reader, globe-trotter, keeps an impeccable house with all her art collections from around the world and can talk for hours on any subject with great clarity. And I love the way she dresses. I have seen a lot of women who so violently refuse to grow old gracefully, but this lady has done so with so much panache. She pins up her snowy hair with a gypsy pin, wears such lovely sarees, co-ordinates them with various simple, but breath-taking jewelry that I find it so hard not to gape at her every time I meet her.

They have all have had their fair share of struggles and heart breaks in their lives. But they’re always ready with a smile only because they found themselves through the passion in their lives. No experience have left traces of insecurity or bitterness in the evening of their lives. They’re basically very content with themselves and welcome each day with a lot of enthusiasm.

So if you ever see me when I’m in my seventies griping about my life, hit me on the head with this post!

Mythology & more mythology

Long ago, when I was about eleven, I went on  a trek through a nearby forest with my brother, uncle and his friend from college. All we carried with us was a back pack with a water bottle and a box of bajjis my grandmother had made especially for the trek. Once we reached a clearing, my uncle and his friend plonked themselves on a rock to do some catching up on their lives. My uncle strictly instructed us to explore the forest on our own but only within his field of vision. He visually marked the boundaries and told us to stay within.

Eagerly my brother started looking for exotic insects and wild animals. (Considering the sparse forest, I don’t think it housed any!) But me, I was on another mission. High on all the Enid Blyton stories I’d been reading, I was in search of pixies. Once I met them, I wanted to ask one of them kindly to accompany me back home.

I started speaking softly to the bushes and plants, sure that pixies were hiding inside them. I tempted them with various treats if only they’ll come out and show themselves.

My brother slowly stopped what he was doing and began to notice me. Once he came closer and realised what I was doing, he started begging me to stop. He had a panicky edge to his voice. He was sure that I had totally lost it. “There are no such things as pixies, ” he pleaded. ” Its only a story… Will you please stop this nonsense at once?”

“Go away!” I snapped at him. “You’re scaring my pixies.”

Giving up he wandered back to my uncle casting nervous glances towards me.

After a while I gave up too and plonked myself on another rock and began to devour the bajjis.

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Last week I finished two books based on Indian mythology back to back.

One was Ashok Banker’s Prince of Ayodhya (I know, I know, it came out ages ago, but just got my hands on it!) and the other was The Pregnant King by Devdutt Patnaik.

The former was Valmiki’s Ramayana retold and the latter was a fiction based on one of the branch stories from the Mahabharatha.

And both were just brilliant.

How could Banker make the Ramayana, which we all have heard a hundred times from our grandmothers to Amar Chthra Kathas to the good old Ramanand Sagar Productions so gripping?

He has got into the pyschies of each individual character and not just stereo-typed them. He’s just taken them from the 2 dimensional level we’ve been used to and re-presented them in 3 dimension. I never knew what went on Rama’s or Laksmana’s mind when they followed Vishwamitra to the forest. Nor about the relationships between Dhasaratha’s three queens. This book is full of the emotional struggle they went through when faced with various situations. We all know Rama and Lashmana were inseparable. But what Banker does is also explore the comaraderie  between Bharatha & Shatrukuna. We read about Bharatha’s emotions when he’s torn between his loyalties towards his mother on one side and his father and brothers on the other.

To all this add Banker’s brilliant picturesque descriptions of Ayodya and Mithila, the dark forces, Asuras and thier dark powers, the Brahmans and their powers and all the magical stuff that Indian mythology is made of.

You get the unfolding of this mind-blowing drama of jealous queens, brave sons, all-powerful sages and a Dark Master.

The Pregnant King, though a fiction, is made up of almost the same things. But this is more about a king yearning for an offspring. And his inner turmoils of not being man enough for his mother to hand over the reigns of his kingdom (because he has no heir apparent) in the beginning.

He drinks the magic potion from a yagna conducted to give him an heir by mistake becomes pregnant with his son. He is later torn between his maternal instincts towards his son and his outward, stern and dutiful appearanace of a kingly father.

Brilliantly written, this book too has no slack in the story and travels fast from one incident to another through the minds of the king, his mother, his queens and others.

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Now having  had a heavy dose of occult, ancestors watching us from the other side, various yakshas floating around humans without their knowledge, I’m seriously thinking even if an iota of all this is true, I may have some yaksha or demigod smack next to me and I may not even realise it!

So people, don’t be surprised if I start talking to my comp, my shelf or just the wall…

I think I’ve come a full circle!

The Disapprover….

I have this person living in my head. She disapproves of many things I do. She clucks and shakes her head disapprovingly at most of my thoughts and actions.

Hardly aware of her presence, I usually mistake her for just another opposing thought in my head.

I think she was created by my parents and teachers when I was still finding my feet in thinking independently. To be precise, I think phrases like ‘why can’t you be more like him/her?’ or ‘you stupid child!’ sowed the seeds for her existence.

Nurtured by things like bad report cards, jealous words, sharp reprimands, conditional love by people around, she slowly began taking shape.

By the time I was a teenager, desperately seeking my identity, she had rooted herself firmly in my mind, posing as another self. Steadily growing and gathering strength by planting a doubt here, bringing down my self esteem there.

In school and college, she made sure I was always in the background so I’ll never know what it is like to be confident and self assured.

As the years went by, my own independent spirit began rebelling. Looking back, the times I’ve ignored her voice completely and just went with what I call gut-feel has been more fruitful to me than the time I’ve held back with self-doubt.

Another cunning strategy she adopts is to make me comfortable around people who think like her. I’m always attracted to people who judge me harshly, who bully their way so I please them and ignore my own emotional growth.

Not just that, the constant struggle between her and my free spirit leads to constant stress. That stress strangely manifests as a myriad of physical discomforts…

Sometimes it’s a headache which starts at the base of my neck with all the bunched up muscles, sometimes it is a severe stomach pain and indigestion… and a few times just plain fatigue.

Now this whole reflection makes me wonder if in fact the mind is the root cause for all diseases?

In people who are totally a slave to their personal ‘disapprover’ for many many years, do the physical discomfitures slowly turn into malicious and life threatening illnesses?

After all, if stress can interfere and play havoc with the nervous system, the digestive system, immunity, et al, it can easily lead to their break down too, isn’t it?

The good news is, the only thing she knows is to disapprove. She has no ego nor is she evil or malicious.

When faced with a strong faith in oneself and love for oneself, she simply disappears…

Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight – Book Review

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I was listening to a friend drone on about her dietician… Another friend had just asked her how she managed to lose so much weight from the last time she’d seen her…

I politely interrupted to ask her if she’d read this book by Rujuta Diwekar.

“Pooh!” spat my friend. “My dietician told me that book is nothing but trash!”

Having read that book and totally taken in by it, I was a bit mortified by her strong reaction.

But in retrospect I always wondered how the regular dieticians would react to this book which attacks dieticians who use startvation to reduce weight so vehemently.

There, I got my answer!

Infact, I’m surprised why they all didn’t gang up together and sue her or something!

I,  for starters, have totally changed my perceptions on eating, after reading this book.

Its fantabulous!

The author, whose claim to fame is that she got Kareena Kapoor to achieve size ‘0’ tells all in this book. She even got Ms. Kapoor to write the foreward.

If a friend hadn’t recommended it so highly, I’d have just dismissed it as another filmy, hyped-up book…

Thank god I didn’t!

Because there’s nothing filmy about this book. Its more like the collective wisdom of all I used to hear from my grandmother, aunts and not to mention my own mother! With simple educational information on how to treat your body right and feel good about yourself.

She breaks down the most complexly percieved notions on the most simple process in our lives – feeding ourselves.

She educates us in a very simple language the processes involved in building a healthy body and how we punish ourselves by denying our bodies in the name of fad diets – nutrients.

I learnt that there are types of weights we carry. Lean body weight; which are the bones and muscles. And fat: which is just fat.

How those diets which tells us to avoid carbs or sugar or whatever reduces our lean body weight which is so essential to being healthy and not our fat…

She gives lots of examples from real life too, to make her point. For instance,  how a man went to weighing 68 kilos from 116 kilos after he joined a centre which promised rapid weight loss. But never felt energetic. His hair was falling at a rapid rate. His skin sagged around him. He tripped over a speed breaker while walking and ended up with multiple fractures in his arm. Why? Because his bones had lost their density due to starvation.

‘Don’t ever hold your body ransom to the weighing machine’ she cautions. ‘Weight is just a number. Once you start eating healthy and cultivate good fitness routines, you’ll automatically lose your fat’.

Along with all that we’ve heard and never paid much attention to.

Like chew your food, swallow and then take the next spoon (I was amazed that I was eating only 60% of what I normally eat to feel full!), think positive thoughts while eating, no TV or phone calls while eating, (this is the hardest! Istill haven’t mastered this!) eat something every 2 hours, eat your dinner maximum 2 hours after sunset, sleep early, never have alcohol on empty stomach, exercise regularly… all this and more.

She has a chapter dedicated to the four basic principles of eating right, which blows up a lot of myths on eating.

I was so floored by this book I was a zealous follower for about 2 weeks.

I could actually see my cheek bones at the end of 10 days and even my tummy had visibly reduced. Excited I got  a lot of copies and distributed it to all my friends.

But once the enthusiasm waned I’m back to my usual sins! And gained my weight back.

But since I have seen the results of  this book first hand, I’m making this my bible. I read a few pages everyday to drill it into my head.

I push myself to practice Yoga even when I can think of a million excuses….

Maybe  now I need a book for self discipline!

In sickness and in health…

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Whenever I fell ill as a child, (which was quite often!) the whole household revolved around me. Ditto for my brother too. Whenever one of us, or both of us (most of the time) fell ill, my mom stayed home and had a perpetually worried face. Dad called every hour to check on us. Everyone joined forces to make sure I swallowed my medicines.

This pattern continued well in to my late teens.

Once I came down down with a viral when I’d just started working.

“You go to work” I told my worried mother. “I’m old enough to take care of myself”

Reluctantly, she left me with instructions on what I should eat and what medicines I should take, still with a worried face.

I dozed off into a fitful sleep.

I woke up at lunch time. Tried to get up and walk to the dining room a few feet away. But my feet just didn’t co-operate…

Wobbly, I held on to the wall and staggered to the table. I fed myself and staggered back to bed.

Now I had a horrible headache plus a raging fever. The tablets lessened the fever, but the headache refused to go away.

After much tossing and turning, I drifted off to another bout of fitful sleep.

I woke up to my mother opening the front door.

She came straight to my room to check on me.

“Don’t ever leave me when I have fever again!” I croaked.

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Years later I fell ill when I myself had became a mother. My husband just couldn’t take off from work, but he did his bit by dropping off my 2 year old at his parents’ during the day and picking him up after work.  My dad brought me my lunch. (perks of living within an 8km radius of one’s parents and in-laws!)

Again my raging fever and headache stopped me from reading or doing anything remotely enjoyable. But surprisingly, I didn’t falter when I had to walk around the house.

My rest lasted only 2 days, since my son spent his second day whimpering & crying for me alternatively and refused any nourishment.

So the third day  I had no choice but get up and take care of him!

A few months ago, I was sick again, but never had the luxury of a  lie in. Armed with paracetamols, I drove my son to school, did all my usual chores for the day. Only difference was I napped for an hour in the morning and again in the afternoon.  And went to bed early.

But what surprised me was, I somehow had the strength to do all my chores.

So it brings me to an essential question… Is illness merely a state of mind? If I have responsibilities, my body gets the energy to perform the chores and when I don’t, it runs totally out of it?

Or is it just one of the curses of motherhood?!!

My tummy woes

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I don’t blame men who’ll get bored with this post. Its all about a losing battle I’ve been waging with my own tummy. So if you really don’t want to listen to me raving and ranting, please feel free to skip this! (I know a certain zen monk in disguise who’ll gladly do that!)

I used to be rail thin in my school and college days.

I used to hate most veggies and sit for hours and dream on the table while pecking at my food. And throw away most of it uneaten.

None of my mother’s gentle persuasions or my grandmother’s major- general-like strictness worked with me.

I was the sloth of the family. (Devaangu in pure tambrahm lingo)

Anyway, my tummy crept up on me during my late twenties and has been there with me ever since. It has seen me through marriage, pregnancy, child birth and now child rearing.

Deep down I really don’t care much, but once in a while  some concerned friend or the gym-manic husband pushed me to do something about it.

Once I took heed to a friend and did tummy crunches for a month.

I was ecstatic when it visibly reduced.

I grew slack with accomplishment. The crunches slowly tapered off. And after a month, my tummy was back. Now double in size.

Friends tried not to stare at my tummy. Aunties started giving me meaningful looks. Some asked me with a gleam in their eyes, ‘ Any good news?’

Totally flustered, I went back to my crunches. And it hardly made any difference, since I was never regular.

Then I had a valid reason for my tummy. I was pregnant.

The next two years went by without me even thinking about it.

Again, friends cast furtive, curious glances at my middle. Aunties tactfully changed their question. “So your son is getting a baby sister?” But their eyes still had their gleam.

This time I enrolled in a gym. To my surprise I realised I quite enjoyed it. I was more energetic and not only lost my tummy but some unwanted weight as well.

After a year, however my enthusiasm waned off. I became irregular. And the tummy came back with a bang. And needless to say,  double in size.

So I decided do something about my diet. I consulted a fitness freak friend who lectured me on carbs, fats and proteins. Most of it went over my head, though I nodded sagely and tried to ask him intelligent questions. (He quit being my nutritionist once he caught me having buttered toast and jam just before hitting the gym! What?! You don’t expect me to work out on an empty stomach, do you?!)

I stopped eating rice for dinner. My stomach growled in protest by 11 pm. Then someone said you can eat whatever you want before sunset. Its what you eat after sunset which gives you a tummy. So I gleefully had my full meal before sunset for a few days. But I got hungry by  11 and had a second (light) dinner. (Blame it on the husband who works late most days)

So my dear friend was back.

A few months ago, I bumped into my neighbour on my way home. After exchanging woes of  child rearing and such, she offered to carry my laptop to my apartment. “No! I shooed her off.  “Its not that heavy!” .

“But… aren’t you expecting a baby?” She asked, looking at my tummy. And went red in the face with embarrassment when I told her I wasn’t. Poor thing…

After that I went back to being more regular in working out and watch what I eat. I still do rice for dinner, but only a handful for thayir saadham.

When I met friends for dinner last week wearing a clingy chiffon top, no one said anything about my tummy!

I came back home and took a hard look at myself in the mirror.

The tummy was definitely receding. Ecstatic, I vowed to myself that I’ll adhere strictly to a routine of gym, low fat and eating right. And will have a tummy that’s as flat as a washboard.

Next day, I came back after an eventful work out. Imagine my shock when the ironing lady asked me, “Maasama irukkeengla ma?” (Are you pregnant, madam?)

After some head-banging I’ve decided. Liposuction, here I come!

Long time, no blog…

I’ve been tied up with work for a while and the school has been closed too. So there has been absolutely no time to blog for the past two weeks. Nontheless, I’ve been reading, rather hurrying along all the blogs on my roll…

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I just started on a book of short stories by Ranjit Lal. The first story is a must-read for women like me who yearns for a pencil-thin figure! Its called ‘The caterpillar who went on a diet’. Lal is a great story teller, and almost all his stories are about animals. But with remarkably human characteristics. The last book I read of his is ‘The life and times of Altu Faltu’. Its about a monkey called Altu Faltu, a son of a Brigadier monkey who regularly scavenges for cough syrup bottles in the dustbin, gets stoned all day .. His life takes a dramatic turn when he meets his ladylove. The book was hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Coming back to ‘The caterpillar…’, the story is about a caterpillar called Nimbu who gets brainwashed by Ms. Twiggy, a stick insect to lose weight. Twiggy advices Nimbu to eat less and even start an aerobic programme. After a while, another caterpillar enlightens Nimbu about Ms. Twiggy’s ulterior motive. To cripple Nimbu while she becomes a butterfly, so that she can eat her up without a chase.

Though it sounded like a fairy tale, the story had a deeper meaning for me. Why am I obsessed with being as thin I was years ago? I’ll just accept the fact that I’ve gained weight as I’ve grown older. I’m not that virginal 20 year old anymore. Marriage and motherhood has given me a few kilos, so what? Maybe the extra fat is to cushion me from all the crises the men in my life’ll keep throwing my way!!

I will keep up with my gym & yoga for health reasons, more stamina, etc. But will not lament about my weight-gain anymore! I’ll just buy my clothes 2 sizes larger!!!

My mind, the monkey!

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A long time ago, I listened intently to a speech on the part played by the mind in an illness. I was fascinated. Till then I’d never connected both. It was amazing that your mind was the culprit which gave you a headache, tooth ache, bellyache, heartburns, even tumors.

“Especially tumors and arthritis!” the speaker had emphasized.

So, if you can control your mind, you can heal yourself completely from any illness.

“Any?” someone asked.

“Yes” she stressed.

Apparently there was this person who’d cured himself of AIDS, by simply making positive affirmations everyday and ordered his immune cells to multiply. And after a few months it just happened.

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Your mind has immense potential, it seems. While without control, it can give you innumerable ailments, but with control, it can make you a healthy, strong and loving person capable of miracles.

The talk was so impressive, I enrolled myself in a Reiki class the same weekend.

Did you know that our bodies have a glow of light around us, which cannot be seen by the naked eye? It’s called an aura. All of us are born with the capabilities to heal ourselves. Our ancestors did. But we’re so caught in the stresses of modern world, which we seem to have lost touch with that side of us. After the class I read extensively on every book I could on Reiki. It was fantastic. My migraine headaches vanished without a trace.

Then I came across a book on mind & body. It also preached almost the same thing my Reiki master had taught me, but this was simpler. Every negative thought you have produces acidic substances in your body, it claimed. And every positive thought calms your mind and encourages soothing chemical reactions inside. So if you think positive, you become happier and healthier. And the book also recommended various forms of visualizations. For instance, a woman with stiff knee-joints used to sit quietly for about half an hour every morning, close her eyes and visualize a warm and golden liquid, being poured on her knee joints.

And her knee was totally healed in a month!

Books on mind-body-healing drew me like a magnet. I spent hours browsing books. Ended up spending a fortune on such books.

I picked up this book on charkas. Your aura has seven energy points called chakras. And as long as energy flows through these chakras without a break, you’re safe. But once there’s block anywhere, an illness manifests. And the book shows how to deal with such blocks. It was so intense, I decided to save it for a rainy day.

Then came a book which taught me to be a witch. Not in a bad way, but according to the book, a witch is some one intuitive and compassionate, who listened to people with her heart. She is the nourisher of her loved ones. Someone who identifies and connects with the good energies around her. But during the middle ages, they got such bad publicity that they were hunted and killed and had a lot of stigma. This book teaches women to get in touch with their intuitive sides and develop their own capabilities to heal themselves and others through a series of exercises. I found this book extremely riveting, but once I finished it, I never got around to actually try anything from it…

 

Then a friend told me about Tai-Chi. I was impressed as usual and looked around for a place close home where I can enroll.

My husband put his foot down. “You will not join”, he thundered. “But, why?” I asked him feeling very annoyed.

“I’ve been watching you going from Reiki to meditating to crazy visualizations to chanting to being a witch to what not!” He roared. “Enough is enough. From now on I do not want to hear another word about your crazy obsessions. Why can’t you be happy with what you are?!” And went on to lecture me about being at peace with myself and being happy with just what I have.

“Ok.” I agreed sheepishly.

bby.jpg

And then baby happened. My mind constantly occupied with all the harrowing baby-things, I had no time for any introspection after that.

Though I’ve been observing the various mind-body stuff from a distance, I’m waiting for my son to start full time school.

Then I can try that Art of Living class. Catch up on Yoga.

Maybe I’ll join an aerobics class.

And yes, definitely Tai-Chi!taichi.jpg