Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My Meditation Spree

Mridula Chaudhari
Meditation has always intrigued me. I am not quite sure, even today, what actually transpires in a person while meditating. Meditation has known to have freed people of their problems. But I feel there could be only two ways of freeing oneself of problems. One is, during meditating, you think so hard about the problem that you get a solution and arrive at a eureka moment. The other could be that you are actually forgetting the problem for some time or trying to forget it. But when you are back to normal life, the problem still stares at you in your face. So the best way to tackle a problem, according to me is to take the bull by the horn and defeat it with your tact and might.

But the other day, I was actually sitting in front of a guru, who was taking us on a ‘Meditation spree’!

He made us think of a real life situation for which we were guilty. He wanted us to relive that situation and slowly erase it out of our system and forget about it completely. I was thoroughly impressed about the whole idea of cleansing our minds this way.

Such a situation is certainly part and parcel of everyone’s life. Something we are guilty of. It could be a small condition of refusing to lend a pencil to a stranger which keeps pricking our minds or stamping foot of a friend while we were children. That particular event comes to our mind like an uninvited guest and we keep feeling guilty about it all over again. Do we really need to undergo such guilt pangs and keep making our life miserable?

The worst part is there is no undo button there. However much we may try to salvage but the situation cannot be altered. As if, it was destined to happen. Thus the only thing that can be altered is how to deal with it presently.

Or rather how we deal ourselves with. In our meditation session, we were asked to remove that experience from our minds altogether. Until then, I didn’t know, we could do that. Erase something from our memories forever, not naturally but by design. And bravo! Today if you ask me what did I erase? I am unable to tell you because that part of my guilt does not live inside me anymore.

I cannot thank the person who taught me this technique, enough. I thank myself too for carrying myself to that place in the wee hours of Saturday morning leaving my warm bed and experiencing such an extraordinary event in my life.

That doesn’t mean that we should keep making mistakes, feel guilty about it and then go meditate. But the cleansing part of meditation was something that I was completely unaware of. But believe me, it works and it works wonders!! Try it to experience it!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Mridula Chaudhari
When we talk about the celebrated writers of literature, what amazes me is their quality of being relevant today even after having written hundreds of years ago. How can a person think through the human psychology to the extent where he is never defunct or his thoughts are pertinent after several hundred years later?

Today let’s browse through the pages of ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ written by Richard Bach. The story revolves around a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles and life, of merely working to eat two meals a day and with meaningless materialism. He wants to do something bigger and not live a confined life. He was done with screeching and fighting with the flock around the piers and fishing boats and diving on scraps of fish and bread.

He wanted to fly high. He wanted to learn to fly higher in the sky and learn new skills. Isn’t this what everyone of us feel from inside? We long for many things, however seldom taking the right steps to achieve them. In this pursuit, Bach’s Seagull is outcast by his own breed. His parents and other fellow seagulls completely disapprove of this bold step taken by Jonathan. This too is how typical of us always condemning someone who behaves differently and does not take the oft trodden path.

Bach’s Jonathan experiments with his flying and reaches a flock who takes him in their wings. Now they teach him new tricks of flying at an even higher speed. These gulls are a class apart and offer to teach these traits to Jonatahn. Jonathan is ecstatic and he works hard and learns to fly with immense speed thereby making best of the opportunity he stumbles upon. He makes sure to bring finesse in his pursuit.

However, once an expert at flying he thinks about his flock back home and wishes to go back to them. He wants to go back, not to show off his prowess but to make them realize the importance of better things in life. He wants to reassure them that merely catching a prey and eating it is not life, it has many facets to it.

And to my mind this was the most difficult challenge for Jonathan. Learning is one thing but teaching the thoughts that are against the common belief is the most difficult task. Jonathan needed first to forgive those who outcaste him, teach them the new tricks and ensure their progress.

This is what is called giving back to the society. All great men try to give back to the society and make it a better place to live for everyone. Life is about learning, earning and returning back.

We all have a duty towards our society to make it a better place to live for ourselves, others and for generations to come. So much has been written by the masters for us to mull on. We only have to take a step forward and make living life an extraordinary experience.

Let’s take a leaf out of Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, chew over it and work on it!!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Let's be proud of our children

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Let's be proud of our children: Mridula Chaudhari Undoubtedly women are an emotional breed. Tears trickle down their cheeks more often, though, of late, they have l...

Let's be proud of our children

Mridula Chaudhari
Undoubtedly women are an emotional breed. Tears trickle down their cheeks more often, though, of late, they have learnt to control their emotions quite well. Love and care run in their blood stream continuously. That must be the reason why God has entrusted with children’s care to women and not men. On first instance, a child also cries for his ‘Ma’ or ‘Mom’ more than his ‘Dad’ or ‘Paa’. A woman has always been taught to care for her child by her mom. For any small issue that she may face her mother has made her aware of how to deal with the situation.

What a young mother is never told is what happens when the child grows up. You can find umpteen number of books on teenage problems. Answers and solution to any teenage problem is available on the click of a button. So much so that a mother can preempt such problems and even is two steps ahead of her teenage child. She can make sure that no emergency arises and her child can come out of adolescent age unscathed.

What the young mother is never told or made aware of is, what happens when the children grow up. How to tackle the situation when the birds leave their nests to experience new pastures? How to come to terms with the situation of emptiness? How to change lifestyle to suit the new situation? How to remain busy while the children are too engrossed with their lives to think of their moms? How to make peace with thyself? How to bring joy to her life and open new opportunities for herself?

Yes, most moms find tackling this situation very difficult. But that’s the truth of life and one must accept this very gracefully. Keeping busy with our hobbies, learning new skills and keeping occupied helps overcome this feeling of loneliness. Though it does surface time and again but to overcome it is the art that one must learn.

Most importantly it is very important to realize that the children haven’t forgotten us, they are trying to cope with life without our support. They are trying to make a mark of their own and eventually make us proud. If this feeling is understood, feeling of depression will never be felt.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Hamari Amrita!

Mrs Pinkcheeks: Hamari Amrita!: Amrita Pritam is a towering name in Hindi and Punjabi literature! Hats off to the women that she portrays in her stories! In her openin...

Hamari Amrita!

Amrita Pritam is a towering name in Hindi and Punjabi literature! Hats off to the women that she portrays in her stories! In her opening lines she writes, every story has a protagonist and the second character is either the circumstances or the lover. The peripherals could be the other supporting characters, doors, windows, house or even the stairs. However there is a third character also, the one who writes the story. But Amrita Pritam refuses to become the third character because she says that a writer lives the protagonist’s life. She takes the burns and brunt on her chest and she even cries along with the main character.

How true it is! A writer is the shadow of the protagonist and with every calamity that the protagonist faces, she herself undergoes the trauma, calm or joy. There is one more angle to a story, and that is the reader. A reader is the sound board and a mirror. It is for the readers that a writer writes and takes her inspiration from.

Pritam’s protagonists are women of grit and valour. They have chosen to be independent and resilient and reject those who try to bully them. In the days of partition when women had no voice, Pritam portrayed gritty women who never compromised on self esteem.

They all had beautiful dreams in their hearts. They came from various strata of society but they were all the same in their mind, never compromising on their goals and beliefs. They were intense and never let their demure down. They were all lovable.
They would believe in a person very easily and hence were an easy prey.  When they realized their mistakes they never took any revenge but chose to live their life on their own terms. Whether it’s Angoori or Lachcho or Amkadi all of them are equally lovable. You cannot choose Pritam’s one protagonist over another. It’s a proof enough how deeply Pritam must have felt about all of them and how much care she must have taken to pen them one by one. Each one with equal zest and depth!

When today we talk about feminism and fight over more powers for women, Pritam’s protagonists come to my mind as the most forward thinking women. There was nothing going right for them. They worked hard in most difficult conditions, they were overpowered by men, they had no say in any matter but they still kept up their individuality. They did not fight for their rights, they fought their own emotions. They never made any attempt to change the society but they never let their hearts change even in the adverse conditions.

Amrita Pritam has given us a treasure that is very precious. Her writings are fresh even in the days of Facebook and Google. I salute to her and her pen which is immortal!!!
Let us all make an attempt to glance through the minds of these women, at least once! 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Finding the ME time

By - Mridula Chaudhari
When my dear friend told me that she was on a rejuvenating vacation, I was literally thrilled. I loved that idea of going to an exotic place, all by myself with the cell phone switched off and taking in the beauty of the surroundings. Exploring the new place and living all by myself.

How do you find this idea? Does it scare you or excite you? For there will be only these two extreme reactions to this idea of a vacation. For me it’s a perfect vacation.

Don’t you think, all of us over 40 have actually forgotten to spend time by ourselves? Our minds are so tuned to work on the given direction that seldom do we really live our life for our own self. Always trying to accommodate others and being helpful takes a toll. This accommodating for everyone else whether its office, office collegues, friends, family is so trying that you want to break all the shackles and fly like a free bird.

Trust me when you feel like it and can’t take off to an ‘exotic’ location just take your two wheeler, kick start it and take off on a lonely road. Let the cool air brush your cheeks and hair and enjoy the feeling. It is heartening to take a long drive like this. It beats the whole experience of driving in an air conditioned car with closed windows. Let the teenager come out of you and let your heart feel the thrill and your mind young. For few hours forget who you are and what responsibilities you need to discharge. Be childlike and be yourself.

These are some small tips to remain happy and young. It beats the monotony set in due to drudgery of routine. Reading a book all alone in the house also is a good stress buster. Or doing all those things that you’ve been doing as a girl, and cannot find time for them makes life energetic. Polishing nails, going to the spa, soaking in warm water, visiting an old friend, watching a hilarious movie all by yourselves are few other ways of keeping young.

Try this and you will get new wings to recharge yourself!