Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Best Day is Today - Leelamma

Hey Guys!!!!
I can genuinely say I am a social worker, but if you had asked me 35 years back that I will become one, I would half laughed it off because it was preposterous. The way of living I had then was, one of high standards. My first memory when it opened after my birth was, I was surrounded by people who had everything and that too in excess. So I was thinking that is what the world is, everybody had everything. I remember, when I was small, I never used “please” or asked whether my parents had money to buy me things? I just said (literally ordered), I want such and such things and they buy it for me. So when I came to this quaint school in Moolamattom, I had two classmates, Leelamma and Lailamma, who helped in the kitchen and studied with us. They were given the best education free of cost.
My life, if you would like to know, was that of leisure, no work and all dreams. Whenever I think about my school life, my parents gave me the best situation one could ever get in a lifetime. Imagine!!!!! How wonderful it is? But as a human being I was not happy because I had no freedom. I couldn’t be with my parents and the list goes on… I closed myself to not get hurt. But God had plans for me, to break the shell I had created, that started at the age of 13.
Since my life was that of leisure, my study times too were spent idly, reading books and comics and whatever I could lay my hands on except for my own academic books. That is when I came to know about Leelamma and Lailamma personally. They had difficulty in understanding English because they had been in Malayalam medium school until then. So they came to me to ask doubts, which was, I explain to them what the teacher taught them that day in Malayalam. It literally was all subjects.
Looking back I wonder whether they understood anything because I for one was not well versed in Malayalam language, what an irony. Anyway, Leelamma was much more open to me than Lailamma. She would always share her fears, her dreams but her situation was drastic than mine. I had only two subjects I had no knowledge about – Malayalam and Mathematics but for L&L except for Malayalam and Hindi, they were totally blank of the other subjects.
That made me think, “thank God!!!  I had only two subjects to conquer”.(well don’t think I did anything to conquer. I think God conquered it for me.) So, I made it my life mission to help them pass by just marking for them the most important two questions of each chapter and asked them to learn it by heart because they didn’t even have a general idea to write on their own, or which words to put where.
This showed me, how God really cared me, I could write Malayalam on my own, which happened to be my mother tongue too, naturally with spelling as well as grammar mistakes and the teachers found it hilarious, believe it or not it was far better than any joke books because they brought it to class and read it.
As time went I came to know that both L&L started wearing torn and mended dresses, I asked, “Why are you wearing torn dresses, its time to replace it.” But Leelamma replied, “Meena, I have only one pair of skirt and blouse.
God I really hated myself. How insensitive can a friend be? How will I wear a good dress when my friend hadn’t any? That was the day I decided, that I will not flaunt my dresses in front of this friend or anyone for that matter and that was the first time, I too used only two dresses might be maximum three for the whole year and still does the same, wore torn uniforms too. Just because I did it doesn't mean you should do, it was my choice to contain my extravagance, which was just over the top.
So when my dad came to pick me for holidays, we had a ritual of buying dresses and all its accessories (because in the previous boardings it was like that, my parents didn’t know when they would be there for us. So the old dresses goes and new ones come). But this time, I told, “Dad, please don’t buy me any dresses for 3 years, I have more than I need.” My dad was thunderstruck, but his face was wreathed in smiles, he hugged me tight  and said, “Now you became my daughter. I am really proud of you.” (Only then, I knew, I was a first class jerk to my parents and how insensitive I was.) But mom would insist at least one.
I learned one thing in life, no matter how much we try to carve ourselves the right niche for us or for our family members, we cannot control who our friends will be or what situations we will be in. Let ourselves in the hands of God and enjoy life because we are in for a big roller coaster ride for sure. 
As the year was coming to an end, Leelamma’s brother who was also in an orphanage, met with an accident, he went and climbed a tree in the yard of the orphanage during his free time, he slipped and fell and passed away immediately. My heart was broken because she has been talking about her younger brothers whenever we met, as she was the eldest. All the siblings of Leelamma (4 of them) were in 4 different places and were planning to come together after 4 years.
I don’t know whether I will ever forget that moment. This incident opened my eyes, gave me an idea of the finiteness of life. We take life and the gifts we have been bestowed with for granted. We don’t value the people we have. We always complain for what we don't have, criticize people, etc...etc... From then on, I started consciously making an effort to respect and love the people I have and be happy for each and every good things and situations I got. It might be a small breeze or a small shade in the scorching heat. It might be a small space to sit, having friends, food to eat, roof over head during rain, a blanket to ward off cold, a chance, talent, money to help people.
The attitude of my life changed, I started living like today was my last day (My dad passed away without a moment’s notice, he had a heart attack). If this is the only moment I have with the people around me, then I will give my best. That is why when my dad passed away, I hadn’t any regrets, I was the best daughter he could ever have, he was happy with me. When my relationship with my husband broke, I hadn’t any regrets because I gave my best to the relationship. Each day was my best day.
So guys, value, what you have and cherish it. Don’t clutter yourself with “Want”, try to survive with minimum necessities, there are loads of people there who also has to use the resources we are surrounded with. But that does not mean that you shouldn’t follow your dreams… Utilize your resources wisely. If your heart says to share your resources with the needy please do so.
I don’t know where Leelamma or Lailamma is, but I really would like to know where they are and if they need any help.
To be continued…..
See you guys
Meena

Friday, June 29, 2018

Respect Personal Space - Sini C Joseph


Hey Guys!!!!

You might know by now, that I have been shuttling from boarding to boarding. I was adept in all the nuances of boarding life. Actually I was bit jaded in the perspective of life, parents, children,  teachers, the atmosphere of school, boarding or whatever. You might wonder what I am talking about.

You know boarders are kids where they are away from home, given the best of facilities, food, accommodation and no house work except eat, sleep, study, pray and go to school. The only drawback, they are deprived of the warmth, love and care of their parents.

 As a seasoned boarder, I surely knew what to expect. And I think my heart was hardened by the battering I received until then. So I was prepared to face all the hurts dished out to me fro this new school. But I was proved wrong.

What was different in this school which was not found in others? For sure it was not any grand gestures.  I don’t know whether you guys would believe it, most of the students in my class were filthy rich but nobody boasted about it as in big town schools.

As a new student and a cynic to the core, I don’t barge in on anybody to make friends, I would rather have none. So naturally I tend to get alienated, but luckily I had one classmate, Sini who had one year experience in staying in the boarding and she could relate my situation. She was tall, beautiful and intelligent. She was the best  in both curricular as well as extra curricular activities and the most popular student of the school. She was humble and down-to-earth person.  But we had one thing in common, we both were back benchers, she, because of her height and me because I want to be invisible and less questions asked. Relationship wise, the back bench bond is a lifelong bond, never underestimate its strength because we both are still in contact despite my nomadic existence.

She never barged into my personal space, that is very important to note, we all have personal space, personal etiquette and personal ethics. If you can respect that of others, then be sure, the relationship is more stronger than iron.

Sini used to bring special foods or sweets from home for me. Sini has been studying in this school from kindergarten, so everybody knew her and she knew them too, but she always consciously made sure that I be included when there is a gathering of old friends, extra curricular activities,  etc…etc...

She taught me several lessons in the process, I don’t know whether she knew about it, but I got the feeling that

  • can make any choice whether I want to be with her or not. She is fine with all my decisions, whether I want her to be my friend or not.
  • She has never been angry with me. (I don’t know whether I was good or despite my being a total jerk, she forgave me. I will have to ask her about it.)
  •  She connects with people easily.
  • She never crosses anyone’s personal space.
  • She made me feel special and made me feel her best friend, if you ask any of my classmates, they would also say that they too are Sini's best friend. (Its a rarity in itself)
  • and much much more.....

 Sini was an integral part in my growing up and making my school life a memorable and special one. She added the much needed  lustre with her simple behaviour. That is how I learnt, it  is not necessary to be home with family to be happy. It’s the people who makes us happy, who makes the difference and its not necessary for any grand gestures, just simple simple acts of care is what makes it special. Now I know why parents ensure that their children have good friends. 

By the grace of the almighty, my friends were bestowed on me and believe it, they were the best and all came from this small quaint school. Don't you think I am lucky????


Sini, if ever you read this blog, I would like to say “Thank You for being my bench mate”. You are my role model and the best friend I could ever have in this lifetime. 

To be continued about my other friends....

See you guys.

Meena


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Plough Through Life


Hey Guys!!!!

I don’t know when a change happens whether  it happens physically too. To be frank, the first time I wore glasses or you can say I needed glasses to see clearly happened when I was 13. I literally couldn’t see what the teacher was writing on the board. And I was wondering, why nobody was complaining about the seeing part.

Now when I think about it, that is what we do in our everyday  lives, when we have a problem, we think for all the others too, that it’s a problem for them too, but in fact its not true. Each has his or her own problem created by oneself. Anyway, I bought a new pair of glasses during my annual medical check up and Lo Behold!!! I could see, in fact too clearly if you wanted to know what I felt, “My breath caught in my lungs” That was the first time I got to experience the beauty of the place.

I don’t know about you but when I have a problem, my whole focus was on it and that made me miserable day and night. Do you know what my problem was at 13? I didn’t know Malayalam, the second language which I had to compulsorily master it. And the whole class was really good at it and I for one didn’t even talk properly, then how was I going to fare in a very upper grade  reading and writing? Well I didn’t in the grammatical sense of the language. When I am writing it now reliving the emotions I had then, I really feel ridiculous. But for a teenager, it was a monumental task.

  I really hated to go to school. I really wanted to burrow myself in the cocoon of the blanket, but that will not happen in a boarding right? So fearing the worst I went to class and the Malayalam period  arrived and an old, soft centered nun stepped in. I was relieved, thanked the Lord, at least she would not force me to do what I am not comfortable with. But there is a twist to the story, when I was enrolled in this school, they usually ask a question “Why did you leave the last school?” and my dad answered in two parts.

  1. My brother is studying in that school (whose younger to me.)
  2. My best mark in Malayalam is 1. (Since its strength is less, they could personally help)
Luckily I didn’t know about it, but the Malayalam teacher was briefed about it and the first day, she asked me to read a paragraph and it was the most hilarious class than a comedy show and it took an whole class hour and still it was not sufficient to finish the paragraph. Imagine my humiliation being the butt of jokes. At that time, I was really miserable, but when I see it now, I remember, that my classmates made sure that I was not hurt by their laughter. They made sure I was included in all activities, jokes, games, etc….etc…. after class. Usually in other schools, there are so many students that we are really a needle in a haystack, nobody cares, that was the atmosphere I was used to, but this school  had only 13 students in my class because we were the first batch seniors. All were friends, not just friends but best friends. There were no enemies. Imagine!!!!! Its unimaginable, right? All being friends?  Yes, it was a fact, which really brought a new perspective of life. (But that doesn't mean that they used me for getting free time during class by asking teacher to do reading by Meena). Even now I wonder how come these guys became so sensitive to other people's feelings and became so caring because they are my age 13 year olds. Its no kidding!!! They were the best.


Even though I was terrible in Malayalam, it paved way to learn a new language in the most clear and perfect way, no slangs or lingos, just the original language. When people hear me talk now in Malayalam, they say I have no slangs and that is thanks to my classmates. Hats off to you guys!!!!

But I had one thing to do, to choose whether I be angry with my friends and my situation and be angry with my parents and the people around me or just use the friends and the situation to my benefit and help me grow. Anyway, I was not angry but one thing is for sure, I tried to plough through my life. It was not easy believe it.

To be continued….

See you guys

Meena


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Compromise? Not a Chance


Hey Guys!!!!

Yesterday I watched a movie and in that, the groom’s father gives a toast to the newlyweds. The gist of the message was “Be Happy, Be in Love and always be ready to compromise only then married  life will be successful.” For me the first thought was “Oh not again!!!!!.”

You know I learn my lessons from nature. There are two places which is my favourite – the sea and the forest. So I got to wonder why do I like those places, now I know why, they make compromises for the other. There is no division of territory, if there is no division, then there will be harmony. That is what that old man whom we say as the father of the  groom meant, when you get married, your partner is an extension of you. You shouldn’t be able to decide where you end and your partner begins. I know it’s a tall order to think as such but that is the only way to co exist or else you sure are doomed guys because you wouldn’t know when you got exited.  You don’t differentiate your own body parts which looks ugly and which looks good, do you?  It’s the same in life too and that goes with society too. A harmonious society is hard to come by and it can happen when we stop differentiating each and every nuance of others lives instead of focusing on the flaws that has to be rectified from within ourselves, were we are able to create a better world. And I learned to create my world when I turned 12. Where my shell was ripped off me.

My life was beautiful in the sense that I could be invisible with the number of students around me. I was good at it too. But unfortunately, God had several plans in store for me, which I don’t know I am comfortable with it still now. My life changed when I pleaded with my father, “Dad can we cut ties with Kerala? I don’t want to come to Kerala. I really hate that place”. I was 9 yrs old when I blurted out this monumental cry. I think my father’s heart might have broken, anyway he decided to educate me in Kerala.  That is how I came to Kerala and put me in another boarding. Until then both my brother and myself were together in the boarding but here we had to separate. Uprooting is not easy and in a place where we are the butt of all jokes tend to get nasty and that was the case with my brother. He used to get angry when somebody jokes at me or him. Well, personally I have more experience in the boarding than him, so I never bothered to reply, if you want to know, I didn’t know how to talk, what words to use. In boarding or in school, there is one single word which is in use often - “Silence”. And I really loved that word too because I didn’t need to talk with so many children both in school and boarding.

But my rambunctious brother was shuttled from school to school ending him in a small town school surrounded by hills and rivers and the songs of birds. He really loved the place, the students, the teachers and seeing that he was staying there, my dad enrolled me there, so that we be together. And that is how I stepped into this quaint school where the simplicity of life was intact. The name of the school - The Sacred Heart English Medium School, Moolamattom.

To be continued…..

See you.

Meena



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How Do You Love You?

Hey Guys!!!

How do you love you? Its actually simple, but as a human being we complicate it. How???? By not acknowledging.

First and foremost thing,

1. Enjoy the gifts we have been bestowed with - you can see, hear, taste, feel, walk, run, sleep, eat anything you like, have a roof over your head, dresses to wear, parents who brought you up, (lucky they didn't leave you on the streets), a good normal brain and there are loads of things you have been gifted with and you live daily with all these and much more. Be happy about it and thank the super power - God who gave it and cherish it with all your heart.(Tomorrow we might not know whether we will have these). Live consciously.


2. This is the most important factor which you should read carefully, you have all the faculties and how do you use it? Is it only for your own good or do you extend it to help others too? I will give an example, when we have to pick a very heavy object, we use two hands instead of one hand. When we need to walk we use two legs instead of one. Its the way of nature, look at the trees they have one big bark and from there several branches and from there several leaves but all these parts make only one tree. Which means, we are unique but we can’t make it as such unless we have outside help which has to come from within.

We are not who we are because we are kind and loving and intelligent and beautiful and whatever…. We are here because there were several people who helped us and broke us. Likewise we have a very big duty to help others and it takes greater courage to extend oneself to help others and very greater humiliation to ask help. But no matter what, we should go through that.

When you help others we feel a fullness within ourselves – a happiness, love and respect to our own self because we were able to make a small difference in another person, (Believe it or not, its addictive – this helping thing, if you start giving,  you would never stop. You would really be happy to give your last set of clothes and still you will be happy, very happy)

Now, when you need help, just send that message from your very being to the Universe, where the super power resides and be clear about it, what you need and that is when it comes to you. Have faith and when that happens, I would say it’s a miracle. When a miracle happens, how do we feel???? – Elated????? Yes that is when we know the power of life. The power of existence and the power of God. That means, don’t ask people for help, the Universe will send the right people at the right time at the right place. (believe it, this too is addictive – living by faith alone, you don’t need to worry about money or food or clothing or touring or home or whatever). So please don’t go beg from anyone.

In short, we are not keeping back anything we have, we share. We get what we want on our doorstep without raising a finger. Its the angels who surrounded us,  surrounding us and who will be surrounding us, who make this happen for us (PS :- angels doesn’t mean only good people, kind people or friends. Angels include our enemies and the people we really hate so badly too). Respect them, love them, thank them and cherish them. They are here only for our growth and not for our death. They are the best. That means you are the best. So is there an option of not to love you? – Nah!!!!

So I hope you are happy with you.

Hey today, I was able to talk to my friends, well some of my old classmates, who were my best friends, I will talk of them tomorrow, my memories of them. I hope they will not know I am writing of them. To be frank, they were the best. If I think of school life I think of them. So you know how special these guys are.

See you tomorrow.

Take care.

Meena





Friday, June 22, 2018

Love is Filling

Hey Guys!!!!

You know, I am happy writing this blog, not because anybody reads it, its because I get to hear my own thoughts, its actually a sounding board where I like to see who I am, how I answer my questions, how I feel about my situation, etc..etc... So yesterday, I told I will explain what is meant by  Love is Filling. This I am saying because I want you to be consciously living your life.


As I told you yesterday, I am a romantic at heart, it has a connection to what I say.


When I told Love is Filling. It is not a joke. Its a fact. There is a void or emptiness within every human being when we are born. The first cry of the baby is the signal that we are born with this void or the emptiness. A void which we cannot see or hear or taste  or perceive. So unknowingly we try to fill this void through the holes of our physical body which includes the five senses too.

For example, take my case, I love to watch happily ever after movies, read happily ending books that consists of romances, spiritual books, any books that does end in happiness. In short I am filling my void with happiness through my eyes.

Some watch porn movies, some eat sweets (I do) or ice cream or food, some would like to go into nature, just walk in the woods or trek mountains, some go to the beach or to the club or drink or party, some have sex, fall in love, playing video games, watching movies, reading books, some get married expecting the other half is what fills the void (what a joke!!!!) etc....etc....Its a galore of activities.

Unknowingly we are filling our void which is within each and every one of us, thinking that it will make us happy, but will it? The answer is "No". Yes for sure you will be happy, but only until the act ends, afterwards its again back to the beginning, you feel alone and unhappy.

I want to say, you cannot fill the void from outside, it should come from within, I know it sounds weird, but its true.

If you love you, then you can be happy, lifelong happiness. How do you love you?

How about tomorrow, I talk about it? Until then be conscious, why you are doing whatever you are doing. why you are thinking whatever you are thinking.

See you soon.

Meena

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Definition of Love

Hey Guys!!!

I know you might be thinking I am crazy, but let me ask a question to whoever reads this blog, "What is the definition of love?" I know you are rolling your eyes, believe it, I am also doing the same.

I am a fan of anything romantic, romantic books, movies, situations and happily ever after, etc...etc... Yesterday I was watching a movie, really a beautiful movie of Julie Andrews - "One Special Night".

Both the hero and the heroine are seniors. Their acting sup..erb. We can feel their attraction, but ultimately in the end for a happily ever after movie, they kiss till eternity - that is what I call the seal of Love.

When my younger son was 5 yrs old, he was watching an english movie, my husband was there at that time in front of the television, (In India, in the remote villages, they don't do kissings privately, so you can imagine how they will react when a public display presents itself. So keep this situation in mind and read the rest. My husband is a very very conservative and traditional person, so keep that in mind too.)

Now, back to the movie, it really was a great movie, anyway, there came a scene when the hero and the heroine was facing each other, it was that moment when the audience feels that love coming out from both the characters..... my son spoke loudly, "All of you, close your eyes, now its going to be a kissing scene." My husband looked at me and said, "If a 5 year old knows when a kissing scene is about to take place, how much you might have exposed him to these types of movies. (Eye Roll)" 

Quite frankly is there any Hollywood movies, which has no kissing? 

So kissing is a part of love (naturally) and that goes with sex too (naturally) and etc.. and etc....(naturally) But after all these things, in real life, there are more separation than one could contain. Why is that?

My explanation of Love.

Love is filling (Eye Roll). Have you heard about the organ called heart? It is there we should fill that filling and the name of the filling- Love. Please Note :- Not other people's love but yours and only yours can it be filled with. "Love is an expression of giving your whole without conditions, without expectations, without stipulations.

See you tomorrow to read the balance of Love is Filling (ha...ha...ha..).

Meena