IS LOVE A TABOO?

Is love a taboo? Isn’t this too strong, a statement for a fragile and most beautiful feeling in the universe? Well may be yes, but ironically it is so true for a society that we live in. Since my childhood there have been quite a few relationships in which I wanted to pour out my heart and soul. But I didn’t or I would rather say I wasn’t allowed as I was preached since early age to give my love only to my children, to my parents, my future husband and probably of own status. And these unspoken boundaries limited my capability to express what’s inherent inside each of us.

Love is often hidden in layers or cramped in boxes and as a word is most hard to speak or talk about. Don’t believe me? Look at these statements:

“Think with your head not with your heart”, this propagates you to be logical and not sensitive. Why is it that bad a thing? What do Abraham Lincon, Thomas Alva Edison, Jim Carey and Nicole Kidman have in common, they all were noted a having highly sensitive characteristics and they did phenomenally well in their field and are admired and recognized as leading through caring for humanity, positive change movements, and self-discovery practices, something that sensitive people are good at!

Let’s take a look at this statement, “This is not your age to fall in love”. Well, what does it even mean? I guess the moment child is born; it develops an emotional bond with its mother. Have you ever noticed how when a child crawls it keeps coming back to its mother? That is Love! So guess, the above statement by ‘experts of society’ remain flawed.

Not agreed yet?

How many of you watch the daily News? Most of you, ever heard of love being talked about in the news channels? Forget about News channels in our own social media accounts how many times do we share thoughts or tweets about love. Remember that couple that we all have on our facebook friends list, so much in love and are always posting romantic pictures. After some point in time, we start criticizing them, start getting annoyed or sometimes even block them. “They were show-offs.” Really? Aren’t we dealing our own fears here?

As a young girl, we had a maid and she had a daughter just my age. As kids, we are the purest soul and never care about the classic obstacle in our mind ‘What will they think! I remember when her mother used to do the daily chores, I used to play with her daughter, and we slowly became best friends, completely unknown to my mother, who was a working woman.

I used to share all my toys with her and she used to get me ice candies from local ice cream shops all the way from her home, most of the time I consumed my ice candy in the form of colored water. But what matters is the gesture!

It was my Birthday and I had all my friends at my place, dressed in colorful and expensive clothes. As my mother, held my hand and took me to cut the cake, I told her I am waiting for my best friend. “Did I miss calling someone dear? As far as I know all your friends are here?”  “No, I am waiting for Meena”, it was my maid’s daughter name. “You and she can’t be friends, her mother works for us and that is the only relation you have with her, let’s cut the cake.”

As I was cutting the cake, I saw her standing in the corner, she was easy to notice as she was the only one in that party with faded frock, messed up hairs but that always welcoming smile and today she was holding two ice candies as my Birthday gift. I so wanted to go up to her, give her a bite from my cake and tell her how much I love her but couldn’t. The societal block overcame me that day. I lost a friend over a taboo!

Years passed and now Meena has taken over the responsibility of her mother. Whenever I look at her, she still greets me with same loving warm smile and makes me wonder; maybe we could have been friends if society rule of love was not based on our socioeconomic strata. Today as I sit here and think, how can love ever be inappropriate? Shouldn’t we say “I love you” to anyone we want, simply because we feel that way. Shouldn’t we deny the internal and external pressure to hide our feelings because they’re somehow inappropriate?

It all starts early; in schools and colleges we get teased by our friends for falling in love and are often mocked. Why, is it such a bad thing?

How many times have you felt uncomfortable when someone told you “I love you”, be at school, at college, a work, at our own homes. Sometimes we freak out when our parent come and tell us “I love you”. You have thousands questions running your mind, when all that is needed is a simple “I love you.”

Guess we don’t have much choice here either we can continue to live in a guarded way to feel suspicious of love and or we can work to reduce the taboo that love is for us!

(Image Source: Google Inc.)

YOU ARE MY GLIMPSES OF HOPE …

My mom asked me a few years ago, “How do you stay so long without talking to anyone? I was happy, I could get your father out of that world, but now you seem to enjoy it more than he used to”. All of my friends (close and not so close) had the same complaint. I don’t text or call anyone and very rarely reply back to messages.  It is very hard to get hold of my time. Hardly, only one or two of my closest pals can engage me in conversations that last for more than 10 minutes… I can go silent for days together without talking unless otherwise it is absolutely necessary.  Does that sound strange? That’s fine even if that is so. That’s precisely me.

Things changed a bit after I have attached myself to an acquaintance (it is not important who that person is), out of fear I started to keep a close track on my calls and messages. At least I had a person back home to fight with, shell my anger on and to share very minute things of no importance. But still there was a living person sharing an apartment with me for a few years who I can talk with when I want to…

If everything is only getting better and things are smooth, it’s not life. One fine morning, my life turned upside down. I was not expecting that it would happen, but it did. I had a feeling of standing on a boat amid of a sea,  infinite on all sides, completely directionless and clueless of what my future would be, left with no option but to live alone.

A firefly during a damn dark night still gives us a hope, that there is a way out of that darkness. During those dark times when I was feeling very lost, I got to know about candles. Prabhjot introduced me to Candles. Chiradeep, for the person he is took the lead in getting me engaged in conversations. The very first week in the journey of candles, two of my articles got published. I don’t know if I really did good with those articles, or Chiradeep was just encouraging me.

From then till date there is no looking back. I have found so many fireflies… Can you guess whom am I talking about ?? Each and every one of you !!! You not only make the writer in me happy, but as a person I am more happier. You may be wondering how ?

Let me explain, I have already stated that I don’t talk much, but I need people always in the house. I cannot really live in a place, where I am not communicating at all, where I am not heard. It has been an year, I started living my life all alone, but for a girl who loves solitude this journey must be easy, at least that is what I thought, but it turned out to be very difficult than I thought it would be.

Sharing the most unimportant stuff like, “I am not feeling so well” or “I have tried a new flavor of ice-cream” also needs a ping to another person. Even if I shout, it won’t be heard by anyone. The situation was getting worse, in totality I was experiencing loneliness, may be,  for the very first time. I understood life has been preparing me for so long to face this, but it was killing me.

Heard of Monday blues ?? For me, Monday was a bliss. I get to see people, talk, smile. I found myself talking and getting hyper to talk on Monday’s more than any other day, reason – two days I haven’t seen a human being nor I talked with anyone. I no more like Fridays but Mondays… 

I changed the way I am.. I started pinging people, which I never did in my entire life.. Regularly, day in and out. But, there is a part of me that really doesn’t like doing this everyday. It is almost like asking, “Can you please talk with me? I need somebody to talk to …” and I am very apprehensive to be doing that. Thanks to those people who still keep the patience to talk with me, but sometimes they wonder why am I telling them all those things. Naturally, I can’t blame them, I should learn to manage everything with myself.

After I started writing for candles in May 2016, not only writing kept me engaged, all of you did. Your love and encouragement makes me think more and more on what I can share with you. Neither you know me personally nor I do, but I remember most of your names and blogs. If someone who regularly likes my articles, doesn’t like the recent one, I wonder whether he or she never read it or I did not do a good job. 

I don’t have to request you to read my articles, I don’t have to ping you, or bother you in any way, all of you do it at your free time and your will. Your comments talk to me. I no more feel lonely friends. All of you are part of my little world. You give me food for thought and happiness that I really can’t explain in words. My fellow writers on candles and all you readers make my life more beautiful, meaningful and worth living.

I am getting very emotional penning this, but the truth is, you make me what I am .. You saved me from breaking down, you helped me fight my grief,  I don’t think I would have bounced back to life so gracefully without all of you.

Thank you everyone for being my fireflies, glimpses of hope, angels from the heavens, you make a difference to my life in a very positive way. With wonderful people like you around, I am able to take life with ease.. Love you all !!

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES ON VALENTINE’S DAY

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”

This scripture portion always makes me think, ‘How can I reach the standard of love?’ It seems so daunting and simply impossible.

“Who can forgive his/her enemies…?” No… I think the commandment is asking little more from us. “Who can forgive his/her enemies and love him or her?”

If we observe or celebrate ‘Love’ on Valentine’s day setting that kind of standard then its worth celebrating it or it is just waste of time and money.

Stay blessed!!!

WAVE OF MARRIAGE

Before I got married, I often heard my colleagues talking about their spouses and usually joking about how love disappears after a couple of years of marriage. I often heard that once honeymoon period is gone, all the excitement of marriage is also gone. I was eager to find out why this really happens.

Then in 2010 I got married to my college sweetheart. And it was all beautiful in the beginning few months. As we approached our first anniversary, misunderstandings had started to creep in. The reality of living together dawned on us. Earlier we used to meet once in a while and used to give our full attention to each other in those few hours or even days. Now living together months went past and we hardly gave each other our full attention. And then came a period of darkest time in our relationship. Once we crossed that, our relationship seem to stabilize. Of course, both of us made efforts towards it – but it was that one dark period that we had to just hold on.

After 5 years of being married I have realized that marital relationship is much like a “Damped Sine Wave”. A Sine wave is the one that oscillates between highest high and lowest low and a damped sine wave reduces the intensity of highest high and lowest low with time.

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A marriage always starts at the highest point of happiness and togetherness. It is all fancy and beautiful then. With time the happiness goes down and down and it reaches the lowest low ever. This is time when you really have to hold on. Most of the divorces and breakups happen at this point. If you somehow manage to cross it, you again get a high but it won’t be as high as the previous – and there will be a low again which won’t be as low as the previous one. And with time highs and lows becomes almost a single line of stability.

When I look at my parents, I know that they have achieved that stable line since a long time. They love each other yet they have their own disagreements. They have figured out how to respect one another without judgmental attitude.

So, where do you think your marriage is? If it is in one of the lows – just hold on and stick together, there is bound to be a high. If it is one of the highs – make most of it so that it is easier to pass the next low. And as you will grow older together, you will get more and more stabilized.

 

A CALL TO THROW, RESHAPE & DECORATE

Relationship is so very important today. Whether it’s a family relationship or marriage relationship or brother & sister relationship or parents & children relationship or relationships between colleagues, all are very important and needs perfect attention and care of the individuals involved.

Today, with the advancement of technology and human civilization, the tolerance level of individuals are going down and down. That’s why we find more divorce cases, separation from parents, brothers and sisters are not in talking terms, jealousy among the colleagues and so on.

I have always tried to help people to build and maintain new or existing relationships. I never say, that’s it even in my own relationship with others. I keep pushing my brothers, sisters, relatives, friends to reconcile, to mend a strained relationship. It doesn’t mean that I don’t face problems in my own relationship but after the strained phase I tried to find out where I made a mistake which troubled me. I may thing why in the first place I am in the relationship but when I cool down I think how to solve it and rearrange it.

As we are approaching Valentines day, a reason to mend and manage our friendships, relationships I have few steps to rearrange a strained or disarranged relationship as follows:

  1. Search for waste materials & THROW them: When we rearrange our homes, we first try to search for the wastes which are occupying unnecessary space in the home.  Then we simply discard them or throw them out forever. Once we do this the home looks cleaner. In the same way we have to do in our disarranged relationships. Jealousy, ego, hatred, lies, pride, prejudices, selfishness etc. are wastes in all relationships. We need to Google search all of them and then press the delete button once for all. Once we do this the relationship looks clean and easier to breath in and out.   
  2. RESHAPE the existing qualities & bring newness in them: Then the next step would be appreciating and reshaping of each others as well as our own good qualities. This is a very crucial moment. Sometimes what happens is, when we try to reshape ourselves but don’t get to see the other party in the same action then we again start bringing our old nature in. we get angry and ask ‘why are you not reshaping yourself’, then again the relationship takes a step back. So we need to take real care at this phase and give each other ample time to reshape and readjust to bring newness to their persona.
  3. DECORATE with new characters and habits: Finally, after rearrangement of our house we think of buying some new decoration items like, paintings etc. to decorate our reorganized house.We have to decorate our freshly arranged relationship in the same manner. We need to adopt and learn more good qualities or habits or behaviors that keep others happy and in peace. For learning new traits in relationship we need to give time to each other instead of our own work. We need to join relationship training programmes, take examples of others who are good at it. This is how we can decorate our relationship once again new, beautiful and attractive.

Do we have a disarranged relationship? Let’s rearrange it with TRD (Throw, Reshape & Decorate) while celebrating Valentines day this year.

Get to ready to respond to the TRD call.

Stay Blessed!!!

MIRACLES OF LOVE EXCHANGED BETWEEN A MOTHER AND A CHILD

newborn-659685_1280The expression ‘miracles of love’ is best understood by a woman who has just become a mother. The world just turns topsy-turvy for a woman when her baby arrives. Her schedule changes and everything she does is directly related to the care of her baby. This is the time of the building up of an unbreakable bond between the mother and child. I am sure those who have and have not experienced the joy of motherhood have gone through the delight of watching a child develop different skills as they grow up. It is definitely miraculous to watch a child develop and grow regardless of him/her being your own.

Given the status of our standard of living, women have nowadays stepped out beyond the thresholds of their houses to make a mark in this world. There has been an increase in the number of working women which according to me is a wonderful thing. But this also has its disadvantages. Often we hear ultra modern married working women saying, “I do not have time for kids” or “we have planned not to have kids”. I do not want to hurt the sentiments of any individual reading this article by refuting these statements but what I mean when I pick up such a topic is that the gift of having a baby is one of the most amazing blessings one can receive. I think the arrival of a baby into a couple’s world is God’s way of saying to mankind, “I still love you in spite of your hatred and indifference”.

On the other hand there is a spate of working mothers who tend to leave their infants under the care of nannies and creches while they are out earning for the family. There is seriously no harm in doing so but you don’t know what you are missing out. The words from a little boy struck me so hard that I had the urge to convey my message through this. He asked his mother, ” Mommy would you leave your purse with all money in it and your jewellery with the maid?” The mother answered, “Of course not”. To this the boy asked again, “Then why do you leave me with her?”

This was an epiphany. Children are the most precious possessions given to us. This also explains the issue of killing a foetus in a womb under various grounds as female infanticide and pre-marital abortions.

Therefore my friends, it is time each one of us acknowledges the miracles that have happened to us or which are going to occur in our lives. These ‘miracles of love’ don’t demand anything else but our love and care. Let us acknowledge it by sharing these words of grace to those who need it.

Ruth

LOVE REQUIRES A COST TO LET THE MIRACLE HAPPEN

window-700770_1280A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

The above story of the Good Samaritan makes me really think of the price we need to pay in response to our feeling of love towards people – even towards strangers. Coming to our own loved ones, the price would be even higher.

The Samaritan man had to expend his EMOTIONS as the victim was a total stranger; his TIME as he took him to the inn and promised to come back again; his MONEY as he paid the charges of inn for the victim and also used his belongings; his COMFORT as he put the victim on the donkey and walked along with it to the inn.  

If just one act of love cost him so much, then think of our daily lives… We meet so many people, we discuss so many issues with them. When we are needed to show our love in action towards them, we have to pay the price of our love. On the contrary when we receive the love acts from others, we need to remember that they also pay a price to display their love towards us.

Remember! Love requires a price to be paid. And when we pay the price, we see miracles happening around us.

Stay Blessed!