Thursday, May 3, 2018

Homing







Recently I moved. I have moved more than a dozen times in the last two decades. And I have moved from city-to-city, country-to-country. You could call me a veteran at moving.

Except that it didn’t get easier. In fact, just the opposite. Each time I have packed up a home, I have been emotional. Each time I have unpacked, I have been either paralysed for weeks/months or distraught.

This time too I started with a feeling of dread about the oncoming move. Worse, something in my new home didn’t feel okay. I began to explore what of the new home disturbed me.

Here is what I found out – although I am highly creative, I am also ultra-logical. Which meant the rooms and their arrangement had to have a well-thought out sequence. On the other hand, the lady who built the home was more interested in keeping it Vaastu compliant. That meant a corridor was weirdly cut, the living room had a strange sit out in the corner, the kitchen was not arranged for the comfort of a cook, the bathroom was well… And where to connect the washing machine?


No, it had several positive qualities. Plenty of light and air, greenery in the backyard and it is quiet and sweet. It is close to a park and I can skip down to a popular street nearby at will.

But the strange cut-outs of the room and the impractical arrangement of fixtures bothered me.
I was getting emotional enough to end the idea of moving.

Thankfully I called friends to help me think through the situation. And the conversations helped me sit on what was happening.

This is when I realized something else.

That finding homes, settling in homes is like a relationship. It is not an exact 100% match. It is a somewhat compatible possibility.

And like relationships, one has to accept the spaces and fixtures that doesn’t match with your worldview. One has to work with it, embrace it, love it, so it grows with you.

I realized how obstinate and demanding I had been about what I wanted. That I was bothered by my own high expectations. And that it extended beyond home to other aspects of life.

What I did was to immediately take possession of the house, cleaned it and then sat lovingly in each corner of the house that bothered me. I looked at it with a different lens, wondering how I could transform that space, till that area became a place of creative possibilities.

When I finally moved my furniture, for the first time in my life, I finished unpacking and settling in by the same evening. What is more, within a day I received a guest (a close friend).

And more. It has been my best first month in any home till now. Each day I wake up so happy, even when other areas of life are not so rosy.

Because now I realized, it is not about the home, it is about how I receive and work with it in my mind.

And at long last, I homed.




Thursday, March 8, 2018

Take Back Power




This post was written on Linkedin on occasion of Women's Day 2018.

Excerpt: Own all your choices and all its consequences. I know there is a tendency to blame patriarchy and social histories. Yep they exist. However I have not seen shaming game win. You cannot change others unless they want to. You change what you can change — You and your interactions with others. Own your story.

Read more here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Travelling to be a Stranger



(This is an experimental piece on the idea of flaneur--sauntering around. There is no pre-decided purpose in such a wandering but inputs connect with unresolved traces of the past, non-linearly, from one geography to another. Social histories collapse and, instead a personal history is built. The observation finally are a very personal interpretation.

What makes this an experimental piece is the writing structure embodies the sauntering, the paras are disjointed, thoughts jump erratically and yet there is an underlying mind process of connecting one idea to another. Let me know what you think in the comments below.)

I wanted to write on this topic. That it was about me. And how I travel. But I forgot to write. And then I wrote.

Maybe because I recently discovered how to enjoy the 15 minute-navigation through heavy traffic and three signals to reach the park that is bang opposite my home. I am not allowed to cross over (you know the jaywalk), so I take a circuitous route. Not a pleasant one with horns blowing and dust from wheels and the recently inaugurated metro whizzing over old dug-out gravel. But I have learnt to enjoy it. Like I can tell you how the pavement was broken some months back and now it is fixed and a homeless gal sits there. We look at each other and I worry. I noticed she changed her clothes yesterday and her hair was combed and clean. I wonder where she bathes. And I worry. I wish I stayed home so she could live with me.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sa Ham – I am She (2017 series) – Complete links/Writing Process


The Sa Ham – I am She (2017 series) is complete. Below this article you will find the links to all the posts in the series.

As TheLightweaver, I coach folks to write. Some details on how I wrote the series:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sa Ham – I am She (2017 series) – 12 (No Visarjan/Sa Ham)

The tenth day, Dashami used to bring tears to my eyes. For in the Eastern myths, this was the day Mother left Earth and returned to Mount Kailash. For me, Her coming to Earth and leaving was real. I used to be sad and lost on this day, refusing to look at the images of Mother being immersed. In the last few years, this sadness became intensified post-Diwali/Kali Puja. After
the completion of the many celebrations of the Goddesses, I felt I had no one with me. The depressive cycle became intense.

This sense of powerlessness was because I had externalized Mother and cast Her in a story where the Divine with all Her formidable qualities came and left Earth. I was and remained a vulnerable not-good-enough human stuck to Earth.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Sa Ham – I am She (2017 series) – 11 (La Que Sabe/The Woman Who Knows)

These paintings are compiled by Babu T.N. Mukherji here

In some communities in the South, today is the day of Saraswati, the Goddess who symbolizes the act and art of learning and knowing.

We each are La Que Sabe, the Woman who Knows. Yet we spend a lifetime not believing and owning that.