BETWEEN THE DEMON AND THE SLOW POISON

My daughter was watching her favourite cartoon series on YouTube. Suddenly an advertisement popped up. It was a scary one. With demonic figures charging up, roaring at each other and inflicting carnage on everything and everyone, she got scared and came to me. I skipped the ad and consoled her. She gathered herself and asked me, “Mom are demons real?”

I smiled and said “no darling that’s all imagination, demons don’t exist. Don’t get scared” and hugged her tightly and put her to sleep. That night I watched her closely if that advertisement would have an impact on her sleep. Night passed off well and the next day she left to the school happily. Before leaving she posed one question that engaged my thoughts for a very long time. She asked “Mom can imagination yield something so alien or a completely non existing thing? Aren’t demons real?”

I didn’t say anything but smiled and saw her off. But I had an answer so complicated that I believed it would be out of the little girl’s comprehension. Answer was “Yes demons are for real”.

Demons are not the caricatures we see onscreen but they dwell well amidst us and within us, peeping through the cracks in our character. Always on a lookout to unleash themselves upon us, commanding us to submit and surrender ourselves (souls) to the ulterior motives.

With those heavy thoughts the I tapped the phone to check out the news with my morning coffee. I tumbled over different “Viral” materials across the internet, making their way to the news portals. A group of bullies beating a lone person mercilessly; an officer abusing subordinates and general public while misusing the authority bestowed; miscreants ill treating (vis a vis torturing) animals just for fun; both the genders getting harassed on various pretexts while transgenders still getting mocked up to an extent of utter humiliation for just being a part of nature’s scheme and everything ranging from witty to atrocious. A sigh escaped my lips.

More than the brutality of the incidents the silence of spectators busy in capturing the episodes in their phones is quite bone chilling. Demons that we are acquainted with are blood thirsty creatures who thrive on the weakness, sorrow and fear of others. We had a notion that demons are unworldly and against humans. But a bird’s eye view at the times we are living in it is clear that it’s has nothing to do with a certain type of specie. It’s about humanity which is almost incessantly depleting from the human race. To worsen the woes what we are witnessing is an oscillation between apparent demons (driven by greed, lust, anger, ego) and slow poison (the mute spectators who claim to be peace loving and the law abiding people). Between the demons and slow poison, it’s the slow poison that is posing a great threat to humanity as it is gifting away the encouragement for such insidious and horrific plans of scrupulous souls to be put into action. Precisely the slow poison of the thought process called “why get involved” is ushering life into the ideology of “who will dare”. In a way the periphery system to the humanity – our value system is paralysed. We react, regret and forget but don’t act at the very first place. Over the years of evolution we have technically advanced but morally been (still) through a downward spiral. We are somehow habituated to live in a cocoon, a bubble from where we pray – to keep Us / Ourselves safe and happy; from where we have a view of everything happening around us and hope nothing unfortunate lands at our doorstep; from where we certainly talk about the cruelties of the wicked ones but don’t speak against it because we are more or less paralysed by one question “Why Get Involved?“. This illusion that our silence will save us from problems is like believing that we might save ourselves from a wild fire by simply changing our path or keep the catastrophic tornado at bay using an umbrella. Sooner or later we all will get engulfed.

To Sum it upWe are aware and woke but not awake.

Our System is infected – Since we made an incredible and unfathomable amount of technological advancements let us talk in technical terms. Considering the human society as a system say a computer that is connected to the entire ecosystem via peripherals of values and responsibilities. Time and again this system is being attacked by the virus of brutalities and over the years various technicians (leaders/ law makers) through their tireless research enabled a security for the system. Security include laws and regulations, code of conducts. But that has not been able to completely secure the system, in fact over a period of time the defense of the system has been weakened considerably. Reason – corrosion of the peripheral that made the security rather ineffective. But the technicians and the users are still turning their user manuals to find defect. It’s high time that we revive the connections with certifications of “compassion”, “gratitude”, “unity” towards the entire system.

Reboot is thy need of the hour!!

PS: Have you encountered demons or tasted slow poison????

RAGING BULBUL

The sea so serene and cool

Roared and raged with the storm Bulbul

Lashing upon land and ocean

Causing untold commotion

The trees that Fani left

Away Bulbul fiercely swept

Parts of poor men’s thatched roofs

Were blown away with whoofs

Leaving gaping holes

That welcomed in the heavy downpours

No man or beast ventured out

Fearing the fury of nature’s pout

The groan of nature is not its own

Behind it is the Creator’s leading tone

Havoc and destruction however are not His purpose

To amuse Himself with such gory circus

He calms the storm with His words

His majestic power rides over the waters

Who should men then fear – the storm or its Master?

(Written on the cyclone BULBUL that struck Odisha in November 2019.)

THOUGHTLESSNESS > FULL OF THOUGHTS > THOUGHTFULNESS

Two days back at the time of dropping my daughter at school I had a brief conversation with her. She demanded extra biscuits and Yakult in her bag. When I asked the reason she said that her friends take all the snacks she takes to the school. She gets to eat from little to none. I told her though sharing is caring but she also must have her lunch. To this, she naively replied “Mom I know that but my friend Shalbi cries a lot and quite loud too. If I don’t give her Yakult she will continue crying and the teacher will punish her and I don’t want anyone to get punished, that’s why I make her drink my portion and anyways I have water with me”. On the same night as I was preparing my kids for sleep, I cuddled a bit with my son and went to my daughter. She asked if I was “Siddharth’s (my son) love of life”. To this I said yes and not only his but hers’s and their father’s too. She asked me “and what about yours, aren’t you love of your life? Everyone is the love of their own life”. I was amazed and amused at the fact how she is stating the more or less Crux of human life at such a tender age. What might have actually got into her thoughts and does she actually understand the deep meaning hidden in her innocent talks. She inspired me to think hard and given a perspective to work with.

Though the above situations and the statements seem to be convoluted and opposing each other per se – self-love and sacrifice are parallels and don’t coincide. But that’s simply because our prism of looking and understanding things is quite micro where our definition of self-love is somehow confined to the concepts of comfort, luxury and hollow happiness. But isn’t the ultimate motive of self-love is attaining happiness and peace of mind? Unfortunately, we forgot about the ultimate while chasing the illusions.

Let’s dive a bit deeper: Human by nature have three inbuilt characteristic traits (Guna) and in the due course of life depending upon evolution, choices made, assimilation of knowledge – spiritually and otherwise these three traits can be arranged like a pyramid ascending which leads to the ultimate destination – self-awareness uniting the soul with the supreme power. Those three traits are –

  • Tamo Guna – Tamas means darkness. This trait in a human being is marked by laziness, lethargy and inactivity. If a person is inactive by the virtue of being a lazy person or by the fear of the result of activity there’s no way he can escape the darkness surrounding him and within him. It’s like sitting in a dark room and too afraid to move a finger lest it would get hurt in the darkness yet waiting for someone to switch on the light. Isn’t it foolishness? It can also be the different vices a man lets breed in him blinding him of his purpose in life both materialistic and spiritual. This is the lowest pedestal – thoughtlessness.
  • Rajo Guna – This represents the active nature of a man as in where he Acts. We are in a race, to secure a good life for our loved ones, for ourselves, to ensure the safety of family, to prosper, to succeed (definition varies for everyone), precisely we want nothing less than the world to ourselves. It isn’t bad because this drive is keeping the nations going. What else is an economy then if not billions of zealous people working to fulfil their dreams. This is a higher pedestal than the above-mentioned trait. This delivers results for there’s an action. But the problem isn’t with the action but the emotion driving it. When our actions are a result of insatiable hunger for power, money, fame, love (emotional bondage) often fueled by our egos, false pride, greed etc. our mind is a restless churning wheel of thoughts. Most of us are standing at this juncture reeking of agony, dissatisfaction, pain – Full of Thoughts
  • Satva Guna – This is the zenith of the pyramid of human nature. Satva means good and pure. As the name itself suggests a person having this trait is in a frame of mind where the realisation actually dawns upon – our concoction has been done in his light – righteous, happy and peaceful. That’s the ultimate destination to be reached on this earth. It is earmarked by virtues like being able to part without clinging on to it, be one’s own company yet maintain the serenity of mind, unaffected by the praise or abuse (not getting carried away, levelheadedness), keeping the mind free of clusters of unnecessary thoughts – both good and bad (in his constant company). Reaching that pinnacle is the true meaning of Self Love, a peaceful being, isn’t it? This is being thoughtful.

When a human is born these three traits are interwoven. As his journey begins the traits acquire the shape of a pyramid and the inspiration should be to reach the pinnacle !!

There may be tiring times,
There may be troubled times,
There may be worst of times,
But remember that time won’t be the same
Just like a water wave.

DON’T TAKE PEOPLE FOR GRANTED!

You are not allowed to enter
Everytime you see an open-door.

Every person that meets you with a grin
Doesn’t make him your friend or kin.

You can’t bother someone relentlessly
Just because they allow you access selflessly.

It’s not always right to ask for help
When you can do things yourself.

We tend to forget the very essence of life,
That is to live peaceably, without causing any harm or strife.

Life requires codependency for sure,
But not at the cost of people’s freedom at all.


We always make the mistake of taking people for granted but that is not good at all. When it came to me, I realised how annoying and disturbing it is when people take me for granted. The above poem expresses what I actually feel for myself and for others.

WHOSE STRUGGLE IS BIGGER?

She came to our family as our daughter-in-law in her early twenties. Being an Indian village girl, she was very kind, loving, hospitable, shy, submissive, traditional, and naïve in nature. For her, our family was her entire world. But who knew that her happiness of marriage won’t last long? She lost her husband just after 7years of her marriage. Being the elder and only daughter-in-law of the family, she had to take responsibility of her aged mother & father-in-law and her two baby girls (one 3years old & one 5months old). She had to deal with all these when she was just a 26-year-old, typical Indian village girl. Words will always fall sort to explain the pain & struggle she went through. Often all our encouraging words and comforts were just momentary. We were just able to wipe her moist eyes but undoubtedly none of us was there with her in those uncountable dark nights when she soaked her pillow with tears. But hats-off to her courage and maturity, the way she dusted and rose up from each of her pain is incredible. Dealing alone with her struggle she reflected the crown of glory she wore. She bagged it all and we witnessed.

In the beginning probably, some of such perspectives in mind the LORD God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So, the LORD caused to the man to fall into a deep sleep and took out one of the man’s ribs and made the woman. And the man exclaimed, “this is the bone from my bone and flesh from my flesh!”

As growing kids, one of the sincerest prayers my Dad always taught us – “God, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the bread of my portion. Otherwise, I may have too much and deny You, saying, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, profaning the name of my God. If you want strength in your struggle, learn from those who are in the worst situation than yours.” Well, such a prayer was contrary to my ambitious teen mind at that time.

At comfort zone, some good advice often sound sanctimonious.

We only realize when being squared by suffering.

One night while on the way back from that cousin’s place the LORD God was loud & clear questioning in my heart, “ARE YOUR STRUGGLES BIGGER THAN HER?”

That’s the reason, Jesus (the God of the Bible) said,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

ARE YOU A PRISONER?

Imagine you are in a jail and you are desperate to get out of it. You try really hard. You cry. You beg. You scream. You hit your fists on bars. You shake the bars with all your energy. But nothing happens. Nobody comes to help you. Nobody even acknowledges your presence. You see people around you but they are totally oblivious to your situation. You are exhausted. You can smell urine around yourself. The jail is filthy. You don’t even want to eat at a horrible place like this. However, there is no help that you are getting.

Doesn’t it sound like a worst nightmare?

What if I tell you that in spite of your desperation, you haven’t chosen to walk around the jail. You haven’t chosen to look to your left and right. If you do, you will see that there are wide open doors in left and right side of the walls and if you take those openings and go out – you will be free forever.

Sounds crazy, isn’t it?

What if I tell you that maybe you did look at the openings on the left and right side walls but you ignored them. You know it very well that path will lead you to freedom but you don’t take it because you are scared of dealing with freedom. The jail, however filthy, is comfortable for you. And worst case is that your misery and crying is dear to you. You don’t want to give that up. You blame the whole world for imprisoning you but you still don’t find any jailors who could free you from this jail.

Well. You must be thinking what sort of weird story is this? Why would anybody want to be imprisoned in a filthy place and live a life of misery?

Let me tell you that a lot of people do. They imprison themselves. They are their own jailors. They love to live in misery and self-pity. Not willing to see the doors that lead them to freedom. The doors are just there, wide open. All they have to do is to take steps towards it and feel the fresh air.

Still not believing me?

Have you ever been chronically sad or depressed or anxious or stressed? Might be because some relationship that is not working, relationship with spouse, parents, siblings, and friends. Stressed because there is hell lot of work and you are not able cope with work-life balance. Sad because your in-laws aren’t treating you well. Anxious because you feel horribly guilty of the mistakes that you have done. Worried because your kids are growing up and have their freedom – you know that they can get into trouble. Grieving because your loved one died unexpectedly. Angry because a colleague is being a complete idiot and doesn’t listen to you. Jealous because your neighbors go on an international vacation twice a year and you are not able to save enough money for even one. Frustrated because even when you are putting in a lot of hard work, your management or customer doesn’t appreciate you or the money is not flowing into your business.

There are plenty of such situations in and around us. Frankly I have been guilty of almost all the above scenarios one time or the other. These feelings are the prison. They are filthy and you are always desperate to get out of them. You blame the rest of the world for imprisoning you. But the reality is that you are your own jailor. You have imprisoned yourself and you expect rest of the world to get punished. You are the only one getting punished by suffering. All you have to do is to look around you and you will find a door wide open, just walk out. World will be beautiful again.

This blog is inspired by the book “Maybe you should talk to someone”