Thursday, October 8, 2015

do unto others...

Today was a bit different. I woke up with a headache in the back of my head- prolly the result of sleeping on one side for hours- actually sleeping like a log colloquially speaking.
So I had one crocin and then went back to bed for  a bit before getting ready for work. The maid came to my room woke me up and told me that last night someone entered her house and took away her Rs 6000 plus her mobile phone. What a shame! And you know what i did? I just said "Oh? Thats really awful" and turned over. She lives in a makeshift tenement and exists hand to mouth. But she is a very very happy individual and brings a certain kind of dignity with her that we have grown to respect.
I am ashamed and so I am writing this just to assuage my guilt. For her losing Rs 6000 is like me losing Rs 6 laks if not 6 crores- and i have been so insensitive.
Sometimes, time and circumstance weighs you down so much so that it becomes difficult to be human, to commiserate, to lend a shoulder.
But its not fair- its apalling to say the least. I should have asked her how she will manage the month since that must have been her livelihood money. Had a friend called me in the dead of the night saying  someone or something was bothering her, I would have picked up my car and rushed over, out of concern and a bit of social pressure. But this  poor woman reached out and I did not live up to her expectations. What am I becoming? A selfish insensitive old woman?
Today is a wake up call for me- I will never forget this feeling of guilt and it will prevent me from ignoring the needs of others- not out of compulsion but out of the belief that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.Until it happens to us we are unable to understand any pain or pleasure- empathize they call it. But if someone is reaching out, the least I can do is heed their need and apply myself appropriately. Notwithstanding that I have a heavy head and a churning mind. Today when I get home I am going to apologize to her and extend help.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rose buds....

I was getting late for work- i run a kitchen called My My Kitchen which cooks Mum in a Box meal every morning to start with, and then in the course of the day, graduates to the finer traditional and modern recipes to tickle the gourmet palate. As in, you can have the mum in a box for lunch and you can order a la carte for lunch or dinner or both.
It keeps me busy and happy. Its more a hobby than a profession for me, but the chef team at My My Kitchen is totally professional and qualified and often give me such amazing output that I get mesmerized; and so do my customers sometimes.They are so young and so hard working and so positive! Its a pleasure to spend the days at My My Kitchen.
So as I was saying I ran into the premise at 11.38 this morning and started with the first action i usually do- offer fresh flowers to Sai baba, Ganesha, Lakshmi, and in the process worship all.
I found rosebuds in the packet that the flower boy delivers here every morning. And those rosebuds smelt so much like the ones from my childhood- desi gulab we call it and it smells royal- you just have to touch it once and your palm smells so fresh and lovely. So royal. I always think rose smell is so royal- it takes me back to historic descriptions of rose petals in the bathtubs of princesses, or strewn on the beds of kings who came back from battle with a new princess as his wife whom he had won in the war. While this idea of winning princesses in wars may sound very feudal and  parochial, which it certainly is, but when stated as a ruler's strategy to consolidate his empire by bonding with another family, it also sounds cold and heartless... and loveless. I dont like it but they all did so way back then. ' If you can't lick them, join them"..... thats where this lesson was learnt, I guess.
So the rosebuds...
You know, I had an elder brother whom I never met- he passed away before I was born. But his memory as painted by my mother is so vivid that I almost met him I feel.And we had his pictures on the mantelpiece. So I know how he looked and smiled. My father never ever spoke about him but this I do know that he was insane with grief at losing him. He stopped going for New Years Eve parties ever since (my brother's birthday was Dec 31st) and stopped using perfume and would not share his grief with anyone.
So my brother was only one and a half years old when small pox took him away, due to sepsis and kidney failure. Such a baby he must have been and how he must have suffered. And how my parents must have suffered to see him go.
My mother had a garden always wherever she lived and she has a green thumb- everything she touches or plants, grows. Even without soil, in just water, she puts in croton stems and they grow roots. I sometimes wish she could have touched him thus and brought him back? But I also know that the number of breaths one takes are destined- no more no less.
Back to the rosebuds now. As a sister who met her elder brother through my mother's memories, I would go out into the garden every morning, pluck the bestest rose buds and offer them to my brother Nikki. It was to tell him that I love him and will always look up to him for help and care. The rosebuds would dissipate their fragrance around him and make me feel so warm and so loved.And he would be there smiling at me from his photoframe, waving a squiggly pudgy finger at something or someone.