Open the path…here comes the peace

Open the path

For here the armies come

The armies of the SAVIOR

Me at its helm…the swan, the song and the songstress

But for today, I leave you with songs of others.

Wishing you calm yuletide bliss and tranquil joyous tides

The way I experience it from moonlit Goan Raia.

This wonderment for you from some difficult sources…full of youthful verve and verse. Love the energy. May it spread.

This by a friend by amateur Indians from Dubai…just to share that calm is all we seek, and all we are. So let us look at the soul, not the body.

un-expectations

Un-expectations

follow or lead the path, every bit of the way

So in Delhi still, struck up as I am

More of these un-expectations seem to show up despite the planned

And tell me there is so much more

Of my dreams that I could not think up in finer detail, But

someone else could or does

And an eye watches over me, from somewhere to guide me

Anyhow to stick to the path chosen

So that the non-expectation

From the realm of dreams may emerge

As the un-expectation

Another Zen…

Website Hope Image

Life beginning on wasteland

 

 

Birthday matters, birthdays matter

I have woken up a little disturbed- for many reasons. Yes, one of them is the severe pain, which is also sciatica now, and of course the lower backache for which I got treated two months back. It seems the treatment did not have a lasting effect. I am trying various ways to deal with it- so now some ayurvedic painkillers, called Shalaki.

Anyways some strange things that have been happening around me have stirred me deeply and I am really saddened to see how inhuman humans have become, as though forgetting that our time in the world is limited and let us spend it wisely, gently, without hurting others and embracing their truth as a valid part of their reality, which does not require your validation.

Yesterday was the birthday of someone known to me. For the sake of this post, I will call him, Alex. Purposefully I do not disclose who it is, because it will be clear if I say just the mere word of our relationship (he is a family connection). He lives alone by himself and never shares about his life with others. So one does not know if he is happy, sad, needs anything and how he spends his life and day. I always remain concerned about him, though I never meddle or ask too many questions, because a single person is always more defensive and easily threatened, than someone who is emotionally ensconced in a family.

I always want to do a little extra for someone’s birthday, because I feel everyone’s birthday is special. I feel it more for those who live alone, for how scary festivals and birthdays can be, only those who live alone can really tell you. These are occasions one associates with sharing, family ties, food, presents and in general bonhomie, camaraderie and togetherness. For those who are alone, these days are really very lonely and never seem to end. I have been there on so many occasions, not birthday though.

In the same spirit, I invited Alex to have breakfast with me. We ate and then we parted. We had decided that he would cut his cake in my house in the evening and I would make the dinner. None of us wanted to go out (by us I mean us in the family)- I due to my pain and general irritability and Andre due to his own fatigue, due to house repairs and everyone else had their other reasons.

I did not know, but he bought two cakes- full with white chocolate icing, truffle cakes. Anyways it is not my business to ask anyone how many birthday cakes they are buying on their birthday, for who would ever do that?

Later in the day, after dinner, when we were having the cake, I told Andre to take the remaining cake with him to our village home, as my fridge is small and  usually remains full. Andre said he already had a cake with him, so he would not take the one I had.

I was surprised to hear that. I said, ” where did you get a cake from and for what?”

He told me that Alex sent it to him.

So I looked at Alex, the birthday boy, in askance.

It turned out that Alex had brought two identical cakes (no, I did not take a picture of the cake and the foto above is of a different cake, not Alex’s birthday cake). He brought one for us, and the other he took for a family that he identifies as ‘friends’.

He has never introduced his ‘friends’ to anyone, as if they were some sacred treasure that he needs to guard, or as though we, his extended family, should not know who he connects with. Naturally, it is not decent of us to demand anything about wanting to know who he moves around with or how. Whatever else has happened as a result, we have stopped showing any concern for him at least visibly, because we want to tell ourselves that he can manage on his own.

The truth is that in this vast ocean of humanity nobody can manage it alone. We all need other human beings, to live and contribute to our lives in infinite number of ways everyday. Every act of our’s is steeped in the outcomes of labours of hundreds of people. The very food we eat or the cup of tea we pick up to drink is  a testimony of our sacred connection to life around. Some people can live in ignorance of it or others can live in recognition- it does not matter. We touch and we are touched by life around everyday.

The picture that emerged was that when Alex took his second birthday cake (the first belonged to us, the family) to his ‘friends’ house, they simply told him that they were not interested in having the cake! I have never heard something so bizzare. Or unkind. First of all, a man having his birthday brings over his birthday cake, because he wants to observe his birthday with someone who he thinks are his friends…but what do the friends do?

They simply declined it! I have never thought anyone could ever do that.

Their reason was that they are no longer into eating cakes and more into a diet mode, possibly to deal with their health issues.

I became quiet, and looked at Andre. The sheer unkindness of the act did not escape either of us.

He too looked a bit stunned and trying to divert the issue said,

“Cakes are always welcome in our home.”

Cakes are welcome in our home, because people are welcome in our homes and we love to embrace life wholly, soulfully and in recognition of people’s humanity and need. We always welcome Alex, despite our strange communications with him, at times. I want to sometimes engage him in more serious conversations about his life, but he runs away at the prospect. So I never pester him or poke him with unnecessary, curious queries. I am not curious, but concerned. He is not younger to me by any standard, yet unwilling to see the writing on the wall- of his emotional marooning.

But I felt a strange eerie sadness descend upon me this morning, while I was still in bed, contemplating getting up, while from the dark hill in front, a cool autumnal breeze blew into my bedroom. Suddenly a whole lot of jackals or some other animals started to howl in the wilderness outside. I got out of bed and wore my glasses to peep out, they seemed so close.

They were not so close after all. It was pitch dark and the street lights were on. The clock showed 5:30 am. Pain shot through the sacral region and then the sciatica nerve told me of its presence. I lay down for a little longer.

The unkindness of human actions has echoes that ring into time.

Come to think of it, there is no calamity in someone declining someone’s birthday cake. May be people routinely do so, assuming that ‘birthday-people’ like to celebrate their birthdays with others.

What stands out however is the deep trust and respect one person (Alex) had for his ‘friends’ and how they showed the opposite picture – of no trust, no respect for his feelings and no recognition of his need to be loved, accepted and celebrated.

Birthdays matter to everyone.

We took birth, therefore we are here to watch the dramas of life. Can we not be part of another’s drama in kinder ways?

From morning I have been trying to think, how to think of this dilemma. Have human beings just become living beings, bereft of emotions and inclusion? Who is responsible for the millions in the world who are alone- will anyone ever love and accept them? Do they belong anywhere, or no?

Alex just sent me this message on phone- Thanks so much for everything yesterday, followed by two smilies.

I did not know what to say. But I just sent this message in return- “Live life by spreading sweetness. You sweetened our evening yesterday. Thanks for letting us be part of your birthday.”

Of course, he had brought another cake for me, a banana cake, especially because he had been wanting to share it with me for long. So he had really made the day sweet, and done so much running around. I hope, so did I- make his day nice in my little way.

Of course, I did not leave the neighbours out- I gave them a big portion of biryani, that I had made and it turned out quite nice finally, without telling them it was Alex’s birthday, so no cakes for them. And of course, I offered a piece of the same nice, too sweet truffle cake, to Haseena, who works in my home.

Better to spread sweetness, even of a cake, than to carry the sweetness within yourself and exit the stage/drama of life- cold, aloof, full of yourself, impermeable.

When age gets to you faster than your time

I have been meaning to write this post for awhile now, but due to extreme pain in my spine the time I am spending on my computer is extremely curtailed. But when I saw ideas piling up in my mind, I thought I might as well, put this down, lest…I lose it completely or all the others that seem to be wafting in my mind, of late.

I recently had to go through spinal x-rays, IMG_20150719_105931388_HDR (1) as my back has been in a lot of pain. If I would sit on the computer, I would get up and walk crooked for the next several seconds, before it would un-stiffen. The orthopedic I went to in a government hospital nearby told me it was all well, i should take some pain killers and go for physiotherapy. I know so much yogasana, but thanks to a lack of inner discipline about this one aspect of my life I have suffered irreparable loss.

Next I went to an ayurvedacharya – he recommended this treatment Churna Pinda Sweda (PODI KIZHI)- Fomentation massage by bolus of medicinal powders in hot medicIMG_20150813_121054917ated oil. Right now that is what I am getting nowadays and then sit in a bath of steam for at least ten minutes!!!

The experience is so painful, because the effort is to apply heat to my calcified vertebrae and then make the calcified portions become softer. I was a bit saddened to hear from the doctor that at age 43,  “What appears at age 50, is what you are showing already.” He wondered how it happened. I then told him that due to long illness of bipolar, I was in deep depressions for long periods of time, and remained mostly confined to my home and had a very sedentary life. I look back at those years wistfully now- how much they took away from me; a full time career in music, possibly as a performer, introversion for years of solitude with no friends to fall back on, and no networks who would one day support my music, if at all I would be able to sing someday, or have any other form of career. And now this. I am not mentioning here, the liver damage, the other bone issues or the thyroid that happened as a result of medication.

But just when you think the worst is behind, it really is not the case. So now this oil therapy and all the other ayurvedic pills I have to consume for a few more days. Right now the pain is extreme, even while sleeping I find myself in agony. I am really hoping this treatment, by increasing the pain is getting them out. What if it does not and makes it a part of my daily experience?

As it is sitting continuously is difficult, also for riyaaz. Tragically today my guru, Madhuri aunty told me that there is no way I should not become a performer. I have a throat, weight in the voice and strength that if I apply myself I will most certainly be a performer again. My heart winced in pain- if only she had said that long years ago, I would not have bothered in any other direction, trying to find a toehold. At 43, it seems late to begin. The only courage I have is to remind myself of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, who started his training at 39. I, of course, started young but to be a performer, is a different ballgame. So having done the long road of bhajan and ghazal, if there is one thing I want to now do it khayal, and that is all the current effort invested in.

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This is a view of the greenery in our village home. The slopes are part of the space of the house- a great number of trees have been grown by Andre and yet many comes down from generations ago.

What comes ahead is a mystery, but it is a great thing that I have a partner who loves my music, who is always happy to hear my tanpura playing, who demands that I do my riyaaz, even if he does not understand Hindustani music, who is creating so many kinds of spaces in a rustic village home for me to sing and work on musical ideas, that nearly all that I could have asked from a life of extreme pain seems redeemed. And yet, not really so. how can your pain be over, when humanity suffers?

What I miss most

I was just now looking at some publications by academics and non-academics from all over the world, on research gate, for it is difficult for me to look through any other data base. I suddenly felt a contraction in my heart and my head that has been a little in pain responded with an echo to the heart.

In most articles I saw the work of collaboration between many people. In fact, not a single piece of writing was done by anyone alone. That brought to me, in a flash, the sight of my own solitary road so vividly, and in such sharp contrast to these people that the heart felt the above emotion, which seemed so real.

The conditions of working shape many aspects of our work. If you work alone or if you work with someone, you work from home, or you work from an office, away from home- these things make a lot of difference to everyone. Working from home, especially if you have never been out for significant periods of time in your life, the manner I have, entail a certain disciplining of mind which is not easy to accomplish. There are no external checks and balances, there are no benchmarks and there is no certainty about anything. It seems as though one is always facing an uncertainty, interminably, infinitely and irrevocably.

In the midst of this loneliness, if any writing comes out of my pen/computer I think I owe to those days of courage when the spirit is not overwhelmed by emotional paralysis that the gaping reality of working alone for years has made a constant companion, more than any other. I am not saying that working alone has made me emotionally pDSC00934 (1)aralyzed; only socially withdrawn, though not depressed any longer, and somewhat aloof. I am quite capable of flowing in the currents of life, to a limited extent, not long, because I lose my interest in the current. This is just the way cold mountains made me feel always and no wonder I would remain quite depressed in colder months.

Perhaps self doubt is a good thing, for it makes you push yourself harder or may be it is not, because one is constantly unsure about everything. Some of the things I have in me, point out to my inner inadequacy and a need to go beyond that, which makes me do anything. But at times, the inner inadequacy seems so huge that it is unbridgeable. At that time, one such as I face now, I wish I had others around who were working in similar things as me, and whose work would distract me from my own for awhile or, with who I could have discussed my work, or compared notes and talked about this and that. There isn’t any and therefore I sometimes miss what could have been, since they are only there in my mind, or in the lives of others, which could also have been my fate too.

I miss the presence of any who would go and make me a cup of tea or come and sit by my computer, taking a break from their work, while we thought things aloud. I miss a lot of life I think- because people are life.

Hermit Soul

Unusually so, I am sharing a poem today. A response to Jan Schaper’s comment on the previous post, for suddenly her’s is a voice that appears out of the silence of the internet and tells me, hey I am listening to you. Thank you Jan. In response to her comment about the bird, I just thought of the multitude of bird poems that I have written, or how much poetry I have written- thousands. Just a bit shy to bring them out.

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Woodpecker- picture taken by me, in 2014, Chandor, Goa

I always wanted to bring my poems out in a volume of poetry, with at least a hundred poems at a time. By now that dream has morphed into multiple books of poetry!! I am a true blooded fool, who never gives up on her dreams, no matter how ridiculous to another, or unreachable.

Then I got busy with writing the first book and never could find a poetry publisher (who was not snobbish) and so on and blah blah blah. I know what I have written is meant to be shared, and then I got on the bandwagon of ‘saving’ others, the rescuer I am. You know I am on the mental health axis right now, one research, one article, one book at a time. Or two maybe :(.

So then, all parts of me have taken a backseat right now and I am only focusing on the writing in mental health, my own musical practice (I feel that I am always performing in front of an invisible GOD, who is happy if I can sing a few hours a day, and so I do), my work in counseling and more writing, reading, research and all that nerdy stuff. No, I am not nerdy at all.

So this poem surfaces from the folder that I was typing to send to a publisher…I will wait for a response, and happy in case it comes. And if it does not I would know that the universe is listening to my poetry too, the way it hears my songs- quietly, musing on the images it paints and smiling.

Hermit Soul

The early hours of the day

As nature heaves in a calm repose

My hermit soul seems one with it  

While I float in an unending serenity

Coolness’n mist, dotted by birdsongs

Of varying amplitude, intensity and proximity

Here my ears conjure a different reality

Of how life could have been-

Had it not been sullied  

By avarice, desire to possess

By ambition, greed’n lust

Which seem nowhere to end,

But spiral out of control

Mid this serene orchestra, that comes from afar

Or surrounds me invisibly

Rising from infinity, with mine uniting

I think my hermit soul

Hides as a possibility in each

As part of their soul, for sure it is all but one

Yet the hermit soul

The quietest place of the universe

Where all come to rest, as last,

Is invisible to most-

Dazzled by glittering enticements

Of bodies, youth and appetites of the senses,

While mine simply seems to expand

Into another stream of consciousness

Prayerful (without a prayer)

Placid and dreaming a distant dream

That needs to a be dream- infinitely so

For a world encompassing them all

Even if they remain unaware

Of the hermit soul, that they all carry

‘N belong to.

6th November 2014

(It is always decent to acknowledge someone’s poetry. So though I do not claim any ownership, I am still the rightful author of these words. Feel free to use them, even if you do not want to acknowledge me. I am not going to take my words with me, when I die. They are your’s already, if you connect with them)

Indian magpie

I have just changed the header image- something which I do not do in a hurry. So for now from a bigger photograph that I had taken I have cropped the image of this little magpie, who sings most euphoniously, on the parapet of the balcony, outside the room where I work on this computer.

This is the full picture-

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You can pretty much see the corner of the ledge and this little birdie, is so peculiar in its behaviour that it sits here for hours and hours. Sometimes I have seen it around for at least four five hours at a stretch. This place is quite beautiful in a city-like way- and I have a little mountain facing my home, on the other side of the house.

I wonder what the little bird sits and meditates about- is it only its food on the ground below? Or does it engage in any more complex thought? Such as the nature of the universe, the change of seasons or the climate change. Its ability to sit by itself is really quite an inspiration- that too without doing anything, without getting restless, without breaking its heart about being lonely or having a partner who it is missing, any concerns about food, shelter or safety. Is it really not a sage in some winged form, giving me a lesson?

A little ‘thank you’ changes so much

I just got a copy of the following book-

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Written by my friend Saikat…am so happy and happily jealous of it- because my own seems struck in some sort of a labyrinth that all books at that stage have to be. But I am honestly speaking, really happy- it is so different when you see someone you know well going through the agony of writing, editing, thinking aloud, structuring and then going over the rounds with publishers, rejections and then acceptance and whatnot…it is a long haul. Very few are so lucky that their books will be accepted by a publisher easily or even commissioned from the word go. But they have to be in the right place at the right time for that perhaps- not always easy for first time authors. Or of course, if we see it fatalistically, their stars have to be so!

In the last para of the acknowledgements, he has been kind enough to slip in my name. A small gesture, yet so kind and thoughtful – it is just that. I have not made any significant contribution, except hear his ideas enthusiastically and on one occasion seen a bit of the manuscript, in fact only the first chapter, to comment on some parts of it; which he vehemently shot down! Of course it is his prerogative, or I do not know if he incorporated anything I said, but that is it- my contribution is very minuscule. Who can contribute into a huge thing like that, but someone who knows the subject well?

Saikat’s gesture of sending me a copy, by signing it and reaching it faraway, wherever I am, ensuring the correct address and mechanism of postage (I suggested speed post over any private courier, as it reaches me for sure), and the acknowledgement of my two penny bit- is nothing but plain kindness and a gentleman’s behaviour, which brought to mind a similar occurence a few years ago, from another friend- of an experience which was entirely of a different order, yet similar in hue.

This is Her Story

There was a friend who was, once upon a time, very close to me, or so I thought. We would see so much synchronicity and proximity in our lives, that I would often think she was like another sister. We got to know one another in the course of a playwright’s workshop and remained friends for many years thereafter. She got married, I got out of my marriage and we moved into the same neighbourhoods- on two occasions and with no prior planning, but sheer accident. We would often see a ‘grand design’ of the universe in this conspiracy to bring us together. She was even kind enough to become my first student of classical music when I wanted to start teaching it.

She wanted to be a writer, and she had got married with the objective, of quitting her work, to become one. She even married with it- everything centered around her one objective. But after marrying, suddenly she came into some sort of a spiritual vacuum, for reasons I do not need to discuss as part of this post. Life is that way, many twists bring unexpected outcomes. She suffered immensely for it and wrote little stories to express her writing-ability. Once she invited me to read some and comment- I was quite scathing in my criticism, because I was so drunk on Doesteoyevsky- I told her also to read him, and lent my own copies too. May be it hurt her- my criticism. But it was not done with any malice. Only much later, when I would invite serious criticism, from seniors whose scholarship I valued, I understood where I stood, as compared to where my friend would have been.

Much later, I figured it hurt her. It need not have. I was not being jealous, I only wanted my friend to become better! But then like an idiot I just told her to become better, and possibly even pointed the path- idiotic again. I do not know politically correct behaviour; I only know honest feedback.

Over the years, I always egged her on. During a certain phase she faced a sense of loss, having become a homemaker, instead of working woman. I told her to see it as having become a writer, even if nobody understood that. I suggested to her to re-conceptualize her self-concept. She accepted the idea, yet did not acknowledge it to me- not that I wanted anything in return.

Then once in order to encourage her, I even suggested her co-write a book with someone else. She did somehow find a co-author, a foreigner. I do not know how this happened, nor remembered that I had suggested this to her in the first place, but a few days ago, I came across one of my old emails to her. In that I, who was then subscribed to a newsletter to egg me to write further, had forwarded a particular edition of it to her, in which the newsletter writer, who  promised that everyone could write a book, if they followed his ideas, had mooted the idea of co-authorship. So the seed came from there. She followed up with the idea, because it would give her an impetus.I also pushed it further.

It helped her mitigate her suffering of doing a writing alone, as the other thread of it was held by another distantly. I knew all the while the book was in progress and would sometimes hear from her about it’s progress or how the other author would keep holding on and write in a slothful manner. And then she went to look for an editor, landing up with someone also known to me- a very idiosyncratic woman. Upon handing her the manuscript, she not only touched it up with her deft editorial suggestions, but also pointed out to a publisher- who gladly published the book.

But while the book got accepted, she did not tell me! I only got to know much later, when the book cover got ready and was sent for approval. I was a bit shaken about this, because I did not think that I would be one of the last people to get to know about something like that. On hindsight, with Saikat’s book, almost at most stages I was talking to him, including at one stage suggesting to publish some of the work as a journal article first- just to bring more weight into his scholarship. That he did not was not a personal setback to me, I was only a friend suggesting something with a good intention, that is all.

Anyhow, coming to my friend’s book. The book suddenly came out- the egg hatched. I was engrossed in writing my own book- neck deep, half the time in great depressions, reading the mental illness narratives of so many and trying to make sense out of them. I somehow got a copy- it was not an expensive book (only a little over Rs 100/-).I happily opened the book and though it is a bit unusual to have an acknowledgement section in a novel, there was one.

When you have known someone for such a long time that in no part of your life, you see them as separate from you, suddenly where they see you can become clear in a little gesture. She had thanked three or four people in that section- and my name was not there…

I was so shell shocked…that I was benumbed- for days.

It is not about the thanks, but the sudden realization that I did not matter – it stunned the life out of me. Okay not exactly, or else I would not be writing this post- but I was just …STUNNED and deeply pained. When I had been married, and only five people had been invited, she was among them. When she had got married, I had gone with her to buy her clothes. Whenever I had any program in my home, or professionally, she was the first person who I invited and took her with me physically, knowing she would not be able to drive or go alone, or why simply because I loved her.

But her book just told me that I did not matter…I did not even appear in any count in her life.

I wept inconsolably. I was so wrong. I had loved my friend, without any concern, invited her into my home innumerably, went out on vacations with her, in a very simple straight-forward manner, openhearted, the way I am with everyone, but more so with her. All my friends knew her, all my relatives knew her, everything in my home was known to her, and I thought so was her’s. Even today if we see our common friends on facebook, most people in common are my friends/relatives first. I only know some two of her’s. I always remained open- never a thing to hide.

Then she told me that she was going to have a book launch and invited me. I was happy to go. But then, unlike the way I always invited her, by tying up to drive her to any location with me, she told me that many of her other friends were going in the car, and possibly I would not be able to go with them. In other words, I would have to go alone. I stayed in one faraway place, alone and never went out after 6pm, because the distance would be too much. I was just touched  by the unkindness, yet again.

But in any case the joy of sharing her book was already over, in having found that I did not matter to her at all- just for want of a little kindness, we lost one another. A writer writes so many words in a book- the name of a friend is only a very few words, but they mean so much. I do not think I contributed so much to Saikat’s life, as I would have shared with my other friend, yet he sent me his book for free (price: Rs.1500/- approx.) Life is full of all sorts of experiences, but some leave you really shaken and some so pleased- you are deeply happy in the success of a friend, even without his personal and public thank you. Yet if your name is left out…you are just left in the cold. No, no, it just tells you, you have been wrong in your choices.

I know, there are no comebacks in life. A little thank you is very small indeed- but it goes a very long way. She taught me that.

Finding a meaning to live for

There are many sorts of interventions needed before someone can recover completely from serious mental illness and their damning consequences. However, everyone can be supported by a whole array of resources- some of which must come from the knowledge domain.

Without new sets of knowledge nobody can break out of patterns of the past. Suppose there was an old knowledge that mental illness needs to be treated via pharmaceutical methods. But new knowledge tells us that no matter what length of time you consume psychiatric medicines for, you will never recover if you just leave it to medicines alone: you need to do a lot else.

Anyways, having recovered myself, it is not enough to write your own story down by making newer analyses of it, because people still cannot garner the spirit and verve to take ideas, from whatever you offer. The knowledge one offers is only meant for the likes of researchers and peer reviewers. In other words, it is all a waste!

Of course I would not want to think that my recovery from bipolar can have no other social outcomes than my own triumph, and therefore that much individualistic, non-repeatable and unique. I do not think I am any more special than the person next door (notwithstanding how much my ego wants me to believe that). So I decided that one of the key things that I must do, while there is still life in me, is to help more people recover, from the likes of bipolar and schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

After a slow process of blundering and getting kicked around, I have finally come to a point where I can share the first of my offerings from my enterprise, and here it is– oh dear, am I relieved! There can be no meaning, if one only lives for oneself, and I am grateful for the suffering of bipolar disorder, without which I would never have steered in the direction of thinking about helping people recover. Isn’t it?

Simple pleasures of being alive

Nothing in the world tempts me anymore, than books as presents. Let me re-phrase it: nothing in the world makes my heart expand in gladness than books that I have requested from someone, and the receipt of the same.

My younger brother, upon my request earlier this year, sent books from the US and today finally I got them. It was a long process of changing hands, travelling from California to Delhi to Goa. But ever since I have got them I am just greedily reading them and the most interesting aspect is that all the work that I have been doing of late, seems to be aligning in a very complex yet wonderful way.

Since late morning I have read good parts of Coping With Uncertainty, The Systems View of the World, and Conversation, Language and Possibilities. Of course in the greed to sample them I started them one after another, like a greedy pig or a hungry person who sees a feast laid down in front, and does not know where to begin.

The important ideas going on in my mind about psychosis as a state of internal chaos, that I want to see in the context of complexity theory as well as the book about postmodern therapy (a great book really) is looking quite good in this light. But of course there have to be huge levels of integration of ideas, before something new can emerge. But what is making me feel good is that these books are all looking as though they are part of a  continuum- however much they may seem to be coming from different domains.

Before I wind off this little post which is about the simple pleasures of getting things long awaited, I feel like sharing the joy I am experiencing and the important idea that whatever chaos we are experiencing as an entire world right now, percolates to the smallest level- is basically systemic. That reminds me recently when I was having a dialogue with a girl who lives with a schizophrenia diagnosis. I told her she is just fine and she needs to believe that. I suggested to her to go look for a job for herself and even if the job not be found, not to take it as a personal failure, because this is part of a larger social phenomenon, the global recession, that the world is experiencing and nobody wants to talk about.

My hope is that more people will start seeing that their sufferings do not come from personal failures but the failure of modern civilization to take care of the people around, to not having created enough possibilities for a majority of people to find happiness in things they do or pursue, and if we have to change anything about the world, we have to first  begin with ourselves. If I cannot change my own worldview or the way I behave, in what manner can I really change the world? Everyone needs to examine that about themselves first. Like that song from the Hindi film went- hum ko mann ki shakti dena, mann vijaya karein, doosron ki jaye se pehle, khud ko jaye karein. (Grant me a courageous heart, so that I can be victorious over my own self instead of triumphing over another). Needless to say,  a simply worded song, the meaning of which runs deep indeed. (I used to sing this song in a small group with five women who had schizophrenia, that I worked with for eight weeks, long years ago.)

In a situation where there is more production that consumption, because people do not have the incomes to buy things from the market and production of inane, insignificant products is high, while a whole world is reeling under malnutrition and even lack of potable drinking water- to look at any phenomenon purely at a personal level is nothing but a blinkered worldview which we can ill afford as a human race. We need greater sensitivity to the world as a whole, not as nations, as races or as any possible denomination created by the human mind.