August 27, 2015

Two people and two milestones

High above the sky stands Swarga, paradise, abode of the gods. 
Still above is Vaikuntha, heaven, abode of God. 
The doorkeepers of Vaikuntha are the twins, Jaya and Vijaya, 
both whose names mean, 'victory'. 
One keeps you in Swarga; the other raises you into Vaikuntha. 
In Vaikuntha there is bliss forever, in Swarga there is pleasure 
for only as long as you deserve. 
What is the difference between Jaya and Vijaya? 
Solve this puzzle and you will solve the mystery of Mahabharata.

Devdutt Pattanaik in "'Jaya': An illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata"


 My mother is Jaya and my husband is Vijay. My mother has always fiercely protected me, especially during my growing up years when I was not exactly in the best of health. Her positivity was almost forceful and sometimes unrealistic. But someone, somewhere listened, and I crossed the speed breakers one after another and came this far. She still stands by my side and protects my family and me with the same faith and positivity. I have imbibed these qualities from her, but I feel many a time, that I am not as brave as she is.

Vijay has been by my side for 27 years, although I have known him for 30. Steady, patient, kind, mature...he gives me the emotional security I need, to handle the various roles I have chosen to play. I have learnt much from him, and the journey has been interesting and enlightening - with many a spicy fight thrown in - for better or worse.

Another thing common between the two of them, apart from their names, is that they are both karma yogis. Being there for everyone around them, not desiring anything for themselves. Both brilliant, yet unambitious.

And this is a milestone year for both. My mother is 80, and Vijay is 60. 

I am not flattering myself, but when I read Pattanaik's description, I felt really special, fortunate and protected!

After all, how many people have a mom called Jaya and a husband called Vijay? How cool is that!

And how many people have a mom like Jaya and a companion like Vijay?!

Thank you, ma.
Thank you, Vijay...
for being who you are. 

I confess, I would be just a paper tiger without your support.

Many more birthdays to you...wish both of you everything you desire (read: more people to help), and (in the process) plenty of joy and happiness. 

August 22, 2015


Today I want to pour out my angst here. I feel terrible discrimination and I am very hurt and angry about it. I am tired of ignoring it, I am tired of being above these human emotions and feelings. I want to complain like a child in a school.

I grew a garden in my apartment complex all on my own. It was disputed land and no one wanted to touch it. When Big House was there, there was  an Alphonso tree and two chikoo trees in that spot These were there even after we moved in...we used to see large bats hanging from them. Then the buyer of that bit of land decided to cut these trees...he couldn't build up so he cut down the trees simply because he could. After that, over some years, it turned into a garbage dump.

I was scared of taking the initiative but I got together with some of the children of this building, and with the help of Narasimha who helped us unquestioningly, we planted trees, flowering plants, etc. I bought each of the trees myself, I spent my money on soil, manure, etc. - not just during the making of the garden, but ever since then. I also maintain that space with my money. Every plant and tree there therefore belongs to me.

Nagesh, the gardener from the Public Gardens helps me every other month - whether it is too dig up around the trees, or re-potting, or to trim the trees that are now all grown up. I pay him Rs 600 per visit. I pay him from my pocket.

I have never received any help from the committee of our building. They always ignored me. They never once ventured into the garden even when I told them excitedly to go and see the passion flowers or the marvellous blooms of the clock vine. The garden never existed for many of them.

Slowly, things became very difficult for me to handle on my own and I decided to just let the big trees grow and not bother to plant anything else. There was no one to water the plants and everything was difficult. And no one cared.

Until now...

An important person in the committee is suddenly interested in growing organic vegetables.  I am supporting this, of course, because I love gardening and I am stupid. I called Nagesh and he helped us sow seeds of five vegetables, and we also appointed a gardener. Suddenly the committee allocated funds for the garden. This evening the important person told me that they had ordered for a fence with two doors all along the garden, and there will be a tap to make watering easy, and they were also exploring drip irrigation.

Why this discrimination? Why are some people more important than others? Why am I ignored all the time? They could've helped me with the garden. They could have helped to keep the table tennis table and make an attractive place for children to play, as I always dreamed of doing. Now my children are grown up and don't need a place to play. Why are other people's children more important than mine?

I feel really tired of all this nonsense.  I want to move to Bhutan.