A Prayer for Two Girls…

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Two bright young women: one graduating in both Computational Mathematics and Astro Physics, another securing her dual degrees in Pure Mathematics and Physics. The former looking forward to starting her doctoral studies in Machine Learning and the latter, her PhD in Mathematics… Both love the colour of the seas, the taste of fish and their mothers’ cooking.  They are good friends who hail from two opposite corners of a country- across the globe- far from where their University is situated.

This is a toast to youth and their dreams. Their love and their kindness. Their indomitable spirits and sense of being  inclusive.  Their beauty of hearts. Their brilliance and hard work. Their loveliness.

Children, I am so proud of you! I pen my prayers for you:

 

Be yourself every day :

Like the skies and seas, unconquerable;

Like the Nile, (remember the holy words,)

Overflow with understanding.

 

Remember your inheritance:

The alert beauty of a jaguar’s eyes,

The effortless charm of a spring afternoon

The deep comfort of a yellowing book’s fragrance

The sturdy support of a friend’s heart

Solid like teak , unbreakable.

 

Be brilliant like sunshine-

Warming, cheering, uplifting

Shimmering hope all around.

 

Be  wild like the wind:

Storm and thunder, rage and howl;

Also hum like a gentle breeze

And  do return home to rest.

 

Be universal in spirit:

Look beyond appearances

The blood flows red and deep

In everything that walks.

The head bows low and true

In every canticle uttered.

 

Be a seeker of joy:

In the humblest things of life,

Find the precious legacy

Of clean, fresh, simplicity.

 

Be a breath of fresh air:

Renew yourself with music

Dance, laughter, stories

Told and untold, heard and unheard.

 

Be a bringer of bliss:

Enjoy pouring water,

Touching the earth,

Creating value,

Holding a child

Embracing your love.

 

Know this, remember this:

Each journey is solitary

Every step belongs to you.

No one else determines

Your dreams or destiny.

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The Secret of Resilience

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It is human nature- indeed animal nature- to protect one’s own turf. Whether it is threat to family, home environs, or one’s physical or emotional well being. Since the world we live in manifests all the laws of the jungle, survival becomes a strategic imperative often.

We all have our favourite dreams: a Tolkienesque escape world of peace and tranquility. We would be puttering around dreamily, away from the harsh realities:even as the  armies of dark menace starts gathering faraway. We  yearn for poetry and peace, theatre and music; tasty meals and wonderful books. Who cares about the turmoil anyway? But as the newspaper arrives, we are jolted back to the darkness, the heaviness of depression setting down on one’s sensibilities yet again.

I have come to cherish moments of calm, knowing that what the morrow brings would be beyond my control. To enjoy the sunshine when it falls on my chair as I sit near the patio, and breathe. As simple as that. A day in which my loved ones are safe and sound, and there are no pressing worries, is indeed a day of bliss.

Gratitude for what we have, I have realized, is a prayer worth chanting. It is on days of stress that we need to count the blessings more.

Once I read a sentence: ‘God runs a beauty parlour’. It hinted that the ‘inner’ beauty is vital to well being.

If the heart were a home, what would be inside it?

The dark curtains of dank frustration, the green stinking floors of envy, the poisonous fumes of hatred and wrath ensconcing everything, and the dirt of malicious gossip staining the walls? The sofas piled with tonnes of greed, the book racks filled with volumes on viciousness and manipulation?

or

Beauty, order, cleanliness, peace and joy?

Filling our inner selves with happiness, is a choice which is totally dependent on us. We are the owners of that precious turf and have to defend our own!

Whatever be the plotting of the metaphorical armies of Mordor, the heart of every human being can be defended against the deadly glance of the Saurons of the world. We have to guard fiercely our inner reserves of joy, delight, beautiful thoughts, love, compassion, strength….Strangely, the reservoir of all delightful words which bring in a rush of happiness also can be interpreted as the manifestation of the Divine.

We have to visit God’s beauty parlour frequently. And come back, truly strong. The secret source of resilience to combat the worldly duels of every day? Now you know too.

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