The diwali diyas at Diwali Celebrations at Bangalore 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Still a bit high off the Kirtan at our house on Last Saturday, I was looking forward to Sunday evening’s Diwali celebration at the Buena Park Gurudwara. I was truly grateful for all that I had in my life, and for the friends and family that came to celebrate with us just because we invited them. Still, I couldn’t help being disappointed at some who didn’t come, others who didn’t bother to reply, and several others who I counted on being there but were not. And then of course, there were those who I will no longer invite, and it pricked a bit. It was that feeling I dreaded at the Gurudwara. I didn’t want to face them physically, and be reminded of their continuing betrayal, but most of all I was saddened that in my quest to become a peaceful and mindful being, there are some who will fall by the wayside…
730 am today. I ran 5 miles in 56 minutes, and it hit me that 8 months ago, I was waking up groggy from brain surgery, and I was just utterly grateful for the life I have been blessed with. I smiled as I remember the writers meetup I went to last night where the a person mentioned several times that he was an award-winning author (who does that), but again we are all on our own journeys. We make our own decisions, and what we think about them doesn’t really matter. It is a lesson that I have to remind myself as I am disappointed in others and in myself. I cannot do anything about the people in my life, but I can change how I feel about things. It is the one lesson of BK Shivani that has stuck with me. Ultimately, I am only hurting myself if I continue to focus on the negative rather than look at what the world has to offer. So I celebrate this new festival of silence rather than of mindlessness.
Bridge Over Norwalk Blvd. (Photo credit: savemejebus)
“Hey Mister” the latin accented voice loudly called out to me. I removed my headphones and glanced to my right to see 2 older gentleman in a dusty car looking at me expectantly. I leaned in towards the passenger window. “Do you know where La Mirada is?” the driver asked. I opened my mouth and drew a blank. Nothing came to mind. I wanted to say that I used to drive there daily to go see my sister and brother-in-law, but standing on Norwalk Blvd around 10am on a Saturday, it simply did not exist in my mind. I have always been bad at directions, but after my surgery, I have become TERRIBLE. I seem to now lack the mental image we create to see one’s location, and have become so heavily reliant on the navigation that even getting off an earlier exit due to traffic causes me undue stress.
The men tried so speak to me in Spanish, thinking I didn’t understand English, and after I still faltered, they gave up and moved ahead. I walked the rest of the time devastated and angry at myself for failing at this simple task. Over and over, I kept repeating to myself what I could or should have said. After 5 minutes. I realized they were headed in the wrong direction, and it seemed apt for a moment. I seem to point people in the wrong direction. At least for once, I was not at fault. Yet I oddly felt unsettled as if all my work to make my mental abilities stronger, there were some black holes that I just cannot seem to get out of. I don’t know what other challenges I will continue to face, but one thing is for sure. I am not giving up.
- Directionless (darrindbradley.wordpress.com)
- “Breathe” (elliebelfiglio.wordpress.com)
A gray morning. Perfect for my fuzzy thoughts as I pulled Bella along our 2 mile walk (the pedometer on my iphone told me so). I wondered what my obsession was with tracking all that I did lately. As if the pedometer made the walk real, or it made it more than me just being the valet for my dog to take her shits’ which I dutifully scooped up. Or perhaps it was a way to distract myself from seeing the hurt on my parent’s face as they still processed what someone close to us had done. We don’t mention their names anymore, but that doesn’t make them disappear, in fact, it makes the hurt deeper. Their recent actions now are scrutinized under new lenses, and it makes me wonder when they began resenting or perhaps even hating us to do this. I want to ask why they didn’t tell us what they wanted, but maybe they didn’t want our input or perhaps wanted to get away from our shadow to mark their own territory.
Yet I know that stepping on someone’s back to get up maybe OK occasionally, but not to break it. Each day, I want to text or email them ranting away, but really it’s just pain I want to get out. The pain of lost holidays, and the loss of seeing their faces. The number of relationships that we thought were made of love now just a shared last name. And Bella keeps tugging, the pedometer keeps recording steps, and I struggle to be grateful for the rising sun, and the slowly awakening street. I as for forgiveness for my unkind thoughts, and ask for the strength to forgive who just threw away a relationship like an empty wrapper.
I turn on the app TuhiTuhi, and I get lost in the voice of Veer Manpreet Singh, and for the next 15 minutes I just listen with an open heart and express my gratitude for being still being on this earth, still having the ability to walk my dog just 9 months after brain surgery. It hits me that I am recording everything because I wish to remember that I am not sitting idle. I am not letting life pass by, but am trying to live it each day to the best of my ability. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
Japji Sahib Wallpaper (Photo credit: Gurumustuk Singh)
As I was doing my Japji Sahib today, I couldn’t help thinking about this video that I sent to my dear friends and family. What is it about doing my prayers that makes me want to do things for others? Inherently, I seem to review all the things that I could and probably should have done differently. It sometimes feel as if the words disappear on my Gurbani Anywhere app, and I am reading and thinking of all that has transpired in my life the last few days. It strikes me as almost disrespectful that I am a thousand miles away as I pray. Yet the thoughts keep coming, and I have to work on ensuring that I am present as I pray. It occurs to me that praying and meditating are the only times I am by myself and Him, and I this is my way of connecting with the one above.
It struck me as telling that I forwarded the video to over 2 dozen people and I received only 3 replies so a 2% conversion rate (I am not that great at math so that could be wrong). I have become that annoying person who constantly puts uplifting messages on his timeline as well as is always sharing wisdom that affects him. I felt a bit helpless this time around because I REALLY wanted the people to watch the video I sent. In it, BK Shivani discusses how we constantly demand respect from others while continually not giving it ourselves. We always want people to do what we want them to do, which in turn is what everyone else wants so until we begin the process of separating from souls from their thoughts, feelings and actions, we will continue to DISRESPECT them. We will fail to see the close people around us as emotionally disturbed. We will not see things from their perspective so we will continue to send negative vibrations to them.
These past few days. I managed to spend some quality time with one of my dear friends and his family. It really effected me to see them struggle with each other. They are the most loving people I know, yet their environment has become toxic as each of them demand respect from other. Rather than accepting each other as they were, they were embroiled in a battle to change each other. And then there are people in my life who will go months not talking to each other because they feel they are both right. What if everyone was right in their own way? What if we, instead of wasting time demanding respect from each other, they accepted everything faults and all. To many of us, this sounds impossible. Yet, it is also that simple. If we just gave up demanding respect, and accepted each other souls with different ways of doing things, we would be so much happier. Wish us luck!
On a totally random note, I have become obsessed with this song.
English: Indian actor Shahrukh Khan, arrival for press conference of “Om Shanti Om” at the Hyatt Hotel, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mild Spoilers ahead. Also for those who don’t watch Bollywood, most of this will go over your head.
Preeti and I had the misfortune to go see Chennai Express. Within minutes of the movie starting, I knew it was going to be a steaming pile of shit. However, we sat through the overacting by Shahrukh Khan and Deepika whatever her last name is (I am too lazy to go look it up), and I couldn’t help listening to the audience that was in the same theater with us. They were giggling and laughing away like it was the funniest movie they had ever seen. It hit me that perhaps they are such huge fans of SRK that seeing him in a comedy made more than worth their time. While I couldn’t help noticing how old he looked, and the fact that he had to quote his older movies to constantly remind us what a huge superstar he was, I couldn’t quite get over how disrespectful us North Indians are towards South Indians. The movie is full of every South Indian stereotype there is (idli anyone?), with a bare nod towards Rajnikanth at the end with a song dedicated to him since he is a huge star there.
A quick glance at reviews online and I kept seeing the word escapism, visually arresting, blah blah. If you want to wade through glistening shit, this is the movie for you. No matter what, with a big blockbuster like this, you can count on one or 2 songs being interesting especially the “masala” song which involves a girl with some flimsy clothes gyrating away as she has never gyrated before. It’s all in good nah. Never mind that it shows women nothing than sexual objects and things to look at. God forbid, a Bollywood movie such as this show women as more than showpieces. Nope! Not happening. Instead we get a mishmash of horrible songs, even worse dancing, and me wondering why the hell did I sit through 2 hours of utter bullshit.
I know that we all have different opinions, and perhaps I just couldn’t get past the over acting, but what really offended me is how we continue to watch Bollywood movies that are broadly stereotypical (a tamil speaking punjabi guy anyone?) and promote the idea that only particular north Indians are the true Indians. What a load of bullshit. We are better than this. Bollywood needs to get better before it truly become irrelevant to the next generation of South Asians. [Rant done. Drops mike.]