കുരിശിന്റെ വഴി

പണ്ട് കപ്പൽ വല്യച്ഛൻ പറഞ്ഞതാണ് : ‘ ഓരോരുത്തർക്കും ഈശ്വരൻ ഓരോ കുരിശ് കൽപ്പിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. അത് ഈ ജീവിതത്തിൽ അവരവർ ചുമന്നേ തീരൂ…’ കപ്പൽ വല്യച്ഛൻ വലിയ മനുഷ്യനായിരുന്നു. അറിവിലും,
ആത്മാവിലും, ഹൃദയ വിശാലതയിലും, കാരുണ്യത്തിലും, കൊടുക്കുന്നതിലും, വഴികാട്ടുന്നതിലും, എല്ലാം, എല്ലാം… ധാരാളം അദ്ദേഹം നേടി, അതിലേറെ കൊടുത്തു, ഒത്തിരി പ്രാർത്ഥിച്ചു, ഞങ്ങളെ ഹൃദയം നിറഞ്ഞു അനുഗ്രഹിച്ചു, സ്നേഹിച്ചു; പിന്നെ അപ്രതീക്ഷിതമായി ഞങ്ങളെ വിട്ടു പോയി. (പോയിട്ടില്ല! സ്നേഹിക്കുന്നവർ എപ്പോഴും കൂടെയുണ്ടല്ലോ.)

പല രീതിയിൽ ജീവിത പരീക്ഷണങ്ങൾ നടക്കുമ്പോൾ, ചിലതിൽ പരാജയപ്പെടുകയും, ചിലതിൽ ജയിക്കുകയും ചെയുമ്പോൾ, അതെന്താ എനിക്ക് അങ്ങനെ സംഭവിച്ചത്, അല്ലെങ്കിൽ ഞാൻ എന്തിനു ആ വേദന അനുഭവിച്ചു എന്ന് സ്വയം ചോദിക്കുമ്പോൾ, വല്യച്ഛൻ പറഞ്ഞത് ഓർമ്മ വരും. ‘ വേറൊരാളുടെ കുരിശു നമുക്ക് താങ്ങാനാവില്ല. ഇല്ലെങ്കിൽ ചോദിച്ചു നോക്കൂ !’

ചോദിച്ചു നോക്കിയിട്ടുണ്ട് ഞാൻ- ചിലർ രോഗങ്ങൾ ചുമക്കുന്നു, ചിലർ സ്നേഹിച്ചവരുടെ വേർപാട്, ചിലർ ദാരിദ്ര്യം, ചിലർ സ്വപ്‌നങ്ങൾ നേടാൻ കഴിയാത്ത വേദന, ചിലർ ഏകാന്തത, ചിലർ ലക്ഷ്യമില്ലായ്മ, ചിലത് കുട്ടികളെ ചൊല്ലിയുള്ള ദുഃഖം,ചിലർ ബന്ധുക്കളെ ചൊല്ലിയുള്ള ദുഃഖം …അങ്ങനെ, അങ്ങനെ ജീവിത ഭാരം/ കുരിശ് പല രീതിയിൽ!
ബുദ്ധ ഭഗവാൻ ദുഖിതയായ സ്ത്രീയോട് ചൊല്ലിയത് പോലെ , വേദനിക്കാത്തവനായി ആരും ഇല്ല ഭൂമിയിൽ.
വ്യാപാരമേ ഹനനമാം വനവേടനുണ്ടോ
വ്യാപന്നമായത് കഴുകനെന്നും കപോതമെന്നും…എന്ന് കവി വചനം.
ദുഃഖവും, മരണവുമെല്ലാം ഈ വരികളുടെ വിവക്ഷയിൽ പെടുത്താം എന്ന് തോന്നുന്നു.

ഈയിടെ ഡേവിഡ് ലീനിന്റെ BEN HUR ഒരിക്കൽ കൂടി കണ്ടു. കാരുണ്യത്തിന്റെ നിറകുടമായ യേശു ദേവൻ, കൊടും ദ്രോഹത്തിനു വിധേയനായി ദാഹിച്ചു പരവശനായ ബെൻ ഹറിൻറെ ദാഹം തീർക്കുന്ന രംഗം കണ്ടു രോമം എഴുന്നു നിന്നു…ഒടുവിൽ ആ ദാഹജലം ബെൻ ഹർ തിരിച്ചു നൽകുന്ന ദൃശ്യവും കണ്ടു കണ്ണ് നിറഞ്ഞു!

എഴുതി തുടങ്ങിയത് കുരിശിനെ പറ്റിയാണ്. തീർക്കുന്നതും അതിലാവട്ടെ.

ഓരോ ചുവടിലും ഈശ്വരാ, നീ കാരുണ്യമായി, കൈപിടിച്ചെണീല്പിച്ചു, ദാഹജലം നൽകി കൊണ്ടേയിരിക്കേണമേ…എന്നാലാവും വിധത്തിൽ എന്റെ കൈകൊണ്ടും നന്മ മാത്രം ചെയ്യിക്കേണമേ…എന്റെ കുരിശുമായി ഞാൻ നടക്കുന്ന വഴിയിൽ, സ്നേഹസ്വരൂപാ നീ എന്നെ കാത്തുകൊള്ളേണമേ….ഒരു പക്ഷെ സ്വന്തം ജീവിതം കൊണ്ട് എന്റെ കപ്പൽ വല്യച്ഛൻ കാണിച്ചു തന്ന ഏറ്റവും വലിയ പാഠവും അത് തന്നെ ആയിരുന്നു.

**

 

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!

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stringing Words Together With Love

Excerpt from my daughter Sandra Nair’s novel, to be published in 2018.

ScientiaThe Knowing Link’

Dedication:

Richard Mitchell
A beautiful diamond among teachers.
An inspiration for generations of students.

Author’s Note (TO BE READ FIRST!)

I’m sure most readers would notice something familiar about the names of the characters- each of them is named after multiple scientists. I used more from the field of (theoretical) physics and mathematics than others. Call it a personal bias. After all, those are the two subjects I’m pursuing degrees in 🙂

My dear Dr. Richard Mitchell, I borrowed your name for one character (Who, btw, is nothing at all like you. After all, you love cats and cats love you!), and your personality for another. The character that I put the most emotional effort into, who also happens to be my personal favorite, Isaac Sklodowski, is (very loosely) based on you. I remember how fond you are of Mr. Isaac Newton (as seen in the first problem set for Math 20B, Winter Quarter 2016,  UCSC). I hope I did justice to your dedication as a teacher. Oh, FYI, readers can picture Isaac as David Tennant in the role of the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, albeit with black hair and eyes.

This work is a fictionalized account of what happens when physics and spirituality encounter the first year of college in the US. I admit, quite a few characters and incidents were inspired by real life. If you recognize yourselves, but feel bad for whatever reason, please keep in mind that the only reason you are there to begin with is cuz I ❤ you guys. Every one of you. Yes, I suppose that includes my eleven-year-old sister, who is, believe it or not, an even more outrageous version of Julia the bionic cat.

Finally, the real girl behind Scientia has a very important message for the real boy behind Richard. She says, and I quote: “The theoretical physics you put in so much effort over the last couple of years, be it QFT or various mathematical methods, would be completely wasted in a corporate environment. Do a favor to yourself as well as future generations of scientists. Consider continuing in academia. We need more of those who are willing and able to share the knowledge they acquire.” She really means it sincerely.

Sandra Nair

****

Kathu, I am so proud of you! For not only being a good student, creative writer and a loving daughter (affectionate sister? Cough, cough! A cat got my nose:) but also a lovely, beautiful human being.

Life is a mixed bag. You might end up with  certain people and circumstances who do everything they can to laugh at your dreams and go out of their way to harm your interests. However, for each such person and set back, there will be a wonderful human being on the path ahead: an unexpected friend, a great teacher, a caring mentor…all from the Universe’s never ending bounty.

Stay rooted, stay creative, stay happy. Never under estimate your own inner light. It might kindle much needed light and warmth in many sensitive hearts.

Happy New Year. Happy New Book!

**

 

Thank You, Grace!

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http://penguin.co.in/book/uncategorized/the-poison-of-love/

And thus Penguin presents my dear friend and talented writer K.R.Meera’s latest book. By a great series of serendipitous events, I became a translator too:)

I will paste a quote of  the inimitable Mary Oliver for explaining how I feel!

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Miracles

My elder daughter loves Rhonda Byrne. She follows most of the principles of Byrne’s great book, The Secret, and advises me to do the same.Her mother being an old curmudgeon ( yeah, she will tell me now- ma, you are making yourself into one  by spelling it out so! ), ok middle aged curmudgeon , with her own take on realities of life, is often half sceptical.

But recently, just a few episodes have confluenced so beautifully that I am re-reading Byrne’s latest: Hero. It uses Jospeh Campbell’s great metaphor of the Hero’s Quest and “Following Your Bliss” principle. It also has Liz Murray, among others, sharing her  fantastic  journey from the streets as a homeless orphan to  excelling at Harvard University.

On a particularly trying day, I found myself staring at an article in the newspaper’s spiritual column about different forms of service: physical, intellectual, spiritual, et al. An Aha moment happened to me.

Here was the answer of a deep query in my mind. Of why, it is so important to answer your true calling.

It all started making sense. Because, only service leads to peace. And if you do not serve, when given the calling of service-well, trouble starts brewing. Until you realise that your inner truth is stronger than any prejudice the world might be having. And you step right back to your original path.

“Try practising Gratitude ma. It is a free pass through life’s obstacles, ” my young adult advised.”Miracles happen, if you visualise goodness and say thanks,” she smiled. She had “Hero” in her arms.

My daughter switched on Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger..”What doesn’t kill you , makes you stronger,  stand a little taller, foot steps lighter, what doesn’t kill you…” I rather liked the lyrics.

Recently when I talked with my friend, he said the same: ‘I feel so thankful most of the time, for what life has given me! ‘

“Imagine you are sitting on the moon and looking down, and look at your own little troubles from that perspective…”, advised a mentor lately.

All of what they were saying, were like guideposts for me.

Yes, thank you for what I already have.

Frankly, You have been very kind towards me!

May I never lose the faith to whisper a thanks , at least once a day…

For truly my cup runneth over with love, joy, opportunities and grace…only make me a more deserving receptacle of thy blessings.

****