Recitation of Vijayalakshmy’s Poetry

 

 

 

I have always loved reading and reciting poetry in my mother  tongue. Below, you can find  six poems  ( recited by Yours Truly ) written by my beloved poetess Vijayalekshmy.

1.Paava aka The Doll

2. Kausalya

3. Swantham and Samarpanam

4. Alakku

5. Vilpathram

6. Dosa

Hoping that her thought provoking lines would make you introspect and smile….

 

No Disclaimer

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If I could direct a short film, I will base it on  the theme ‘Respect.’  In the Canterbury tales, in her answer to what a woman truly wants, the old crone says, ‘autonomy over her life’. That is the version which has come to my notice anyway. To put it simply, ‘Respect.’

Going by my own life lessons, that was the toughest examination question that life posed: ‘how long will you stay without respect?’ It happened many times- in both personal and professional relations. Every time, the litmus test was the same.

Every time I made the fundamental mistake of being naive and expecting that the world was full of respectful people. So from one situation to another, I would march right on, without ever pausing to check the environment first: the subtle learning forgotten-‘find out what you are getting into.’

Why the Universe  had to expose me to the same  lesson multiple times has become clear to me by now. I was the  quintessential poor student, who kept failing every time and the Universe had no option but to force me to retake the examination many  more times: in different circumstances, with different characters playing in the scenes, but with one underlying core test.

‘Can you understand why you are in the midst of this drama?’

Now after a series of failures, I am confident to state the answer .

‘I know, sir! Oh, yes. Because I was dumb enough to not check the waters first. There is no respect anywhere in the treacherous vicinity, M’Lord! And every second I stay, my lifeblood will be sucked out by the negativity and pettiness. I shall now check carefully the environments where I invest my life and time and never compromise on my self respect.’

And thus I take up my pen . To write a note for those who might benefit from my mistakes.

Cardinal Rules of Life:

1. There is no love or growth without respect. It can be anything else, but disabuse yourself of the falsehood that love or growth thrives without respect. It does not.

2 . If someone gets a kick out of seeing you play small, making you look small, ensuring you stay small, either get ready to be a bonsai or step away. To grow into what you were meant to be.

3.  If you have tasted gutter water all your life- metaphorically speaking- you will find ‘respect’ a strange sort of drink at first! But get used to this heartening elixir, and you find yourself strong and alive again. For that, pick work, friends, and environments carefully. Else that old addiction to gutter water can take over and you will again find yourself in circumstances where respect is a word that is banned.

4. Nothing matters except your dignity. No one has the right to humiliate you or degrade you. No hidden agendas are powerful enough to hurt you; if you can see through the elaborate set up. The game of thrones is always at play in the friendly neighbourhood of one’s own life; but a wariness about the intentions of the other  actors might make you less vulnerable to hurt. You can step away, detached.

5. Be graceful as you step away from abusive environments. But listen!If needed, fight hard . If someone reads your quietness as weakness, and tries to harass you, do not hesitate before taking action. File a complaint.  Have your lawyer’s number on your speed dial.

**

All life’s lessons are totally my own. No disclaimer.

Letting Go

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So my daughter coloured her hair blue. I stared through the phone: trying to tell myself it was my imagination. It was not. It was a riot of blue.

Seeing me wince, she said, ‘Amma, I have been wanting to do it for a long time. And do not worry. It will wash away with every shampoo.’

I suggested dryly that she immediately take one. Her original thick black hair was so beautiful! She laughed.

Then I paused. It was her hair and her choice.

Art of letting go. Very tough for this particular mother, but it had to be done.

We talked about the philosophy lessons in the new quarter.

I decided to wait for the raven to return when it wished.

**

Having stubbornly rejected the idea of a  small, steaming chocolate cake for dessert, my daughter looked expectantly at me. Now let Amma bite the bait. I could see  in my imagination those sleeves  being rolled up for a fight. ( ‘Whatever Amma says has to be negated’! Yippee!)

Then I paused. It was her tummy and her choice.

Art of letting go. Very tough for this particular mother, but it had to be done.

I ordered  the chocolate cake for myself. Little girl ordered a milk shake. Five minutes into the eating, she scooped up the cake with her spoon. The shake was ruthlessly pushed towards me.

‘I changed my mind,’ she explained.

I tried to maintain as neutral a face as possible.

Ahhhh, there was something to this art of letting go!

As I sipped her milk shake, I reflected that I had always loved the colour blue.

***

 

 

Kishkindha Kanda-14 Ab Nadh Kari Karuna

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Ab nadh kari karuna bilokahu dehu jo bar magahu//

Jehim joni janmau karma bas tah Ram pad anuragavu//

Yeh tanay mam sam binay bal kalyanprad prabhu lijiye/

Gahi bah sur nar nah aapan das Angad kijiye//

Hey Lord! Take compassion on me and grant me a boon that I seek . In whichever womb that I shall be born again, grace me with eternal devotion to Your feet!  Hey Lord of plentiful grace! Here is my son Angad: equal to me in strength and character. Accept him as your own protege. Lord of men and gods!  Embrace him, and make him your devoted servant.

*

Doha:

Ram charan drid preeti kari Bali keenh tanu tyag/

Suman mal jimi kand te girat na jaanayi naag//

As effortlessly as a flower garland slips off the neck of an elephant, Bali’s life spirit became wholly attached to the Lord and he relinquished his mortal body.

*

Ram Bali nij dham padava/ Nagar log sab byakul dhava//

Nana bidhi bilaap kar Tara/ Choote kes na deh sambhaala//

Sriramji send Bali to Param Dham: The abode of Vishnu. All the citizens, hearing news of their Raja’s demise, raced towards the spot. Queen Tara, was wailing desperately; her hair was loose and her body was trembling…( She was not in control of her own senses due to her intense grief)

*

Tara bikal dekhi Raghuraya/ Deenh gyan hari leenhi maya//

Chiti jal paavak gagan sameera/ Panch rachit ati adham sareera//

Seeing the grief of Tara, Sriramji guided her with wise words and helped her to overcome her ignorance. ( The Lord pointed out the illusionary nature of the universe)

He said: This extremely vulnerable body has been made from five elements- earth,water,fire,sky and air.

*

Pragat so tanu tav aagem sova/ Jeev nitya kehi lagi tumh rova//

Upja gyan charan tab laagi/Leenhesi param bhagati bar maagi//

The body  (of Bali) is seemingly sleeping in front of you but his soul is eternal. So what are you wailing for? When Tara’s inner eyes opened, she cast herself onto the Lord’s feet and prayed for unending devotion to the Lord.

*

Uma daru joshit ki naayi/ Sabahi nachavat Ramu gosayi//

Tab Sugreevahi aayasu deenha/ Mritak karma bidhivat sab keenha//

Lord Shiv says: Hey Uma! See how the Lord makes everyone dance like a puppet!

Afterwards, SreeRamji ordered Sugreev to conduct all rites of death of his brother Bali.

*

 

Listening to The Way

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I was listening to the great Wayne Dyer recently. He was espousing the beauty of Tao Te Ching by Laozi. ‘The Way’, as he explained, seemed so beautiful.

Then it struck me. Who better epitomises all that than my own beloved Hanumanji?

Bhoot Pisach Nikat Nahi Aave

Mahaveer Jab Naam Sunaave

1. To live with integrity, joy, peace and balance…I can think of none but Hanumanji.

2. Learn to die when you live… Live without fear of death…I think of Hanuman offering himself as food to Sursa, telling her that he would accomplish SriRamji’s task first!

3. Have your own sacred space…Trust in your own nature… If you knew who walked by your side, you will never know fear!

Haanumanji always carried his Lord in his heart and offered every action as an offering at Sriramji’s feet.

4. Be radically humble…

I think of Hanumanji telling SreeRamji….I am just a monkey….jumping from one branch to another itself is an achievement! Whatever I do, Lord, is because you make me do it! How can I take credit for my actions?

5. Non resistance and detachment….flow like the water and accept uncertainty

Tough but so true! Hanumanji’s journey to Lanka is a perfect example of that. He met enemies and friends in that journey. He stayed calm and cool. He was so accepting of every situation and never lost his sense of humour! When Ravan ordered his tail to be set on fire, Hanumanji grinned to himself that the Goddess Sarada has helped in the nick of time: by  making him order such a strange punishment!

6.Be soft and pliable and do not be hard  and brittle….Flexibility in approach

Ah, who better to teach that than Hanumanji? He changes from humble follower to ferocious warrior to loving colleague to respectful family member….so calmly. He is unforgiving to the wicked ( the killing of the water demoness) and playful with the good hearted ( the tricking of Sursa), fair to the kind ( respecting Vibheeshan) and ruthless with the foes ( killing of the rakshasas)… He counsels Ravan and is so humble in his approach…

7. Living by not interefering…. Never trying to control anything….

Hanumanji could have easily taken Sitaji back with him from Asokavan.. But he never tries to control the situation. He is aware of the bigger design of the Master Planner at all times.

8.  Be generous, be strong by bending, living Oneness…

Jai Hanuman gyangunasaagar….

**

Probably it is human nature to relate whatever one reads or hears to what one knows in one’s own sphere.

The lesson of detachment, the ability to feel comfortable in a situation over which you have no control, to be flexible…all these are so tough in real life. But how truthful they are!

I now know that every one we meet comes to teach us some lessons…If we do not learn, then we shall endure the same experience in a different form…names and forms and situations might change but the lesson remains the same!

How blessed to listen to wise words and wise counsel. How important to trust ourselves…and the God above. How important to know that when HE walks by your side, nothing can make you afraid.

Jai Hanumanji!

**