Thursday, December 21, 2006

Teach me How...

Teach me Lord, How…

To pray, when words fail;
To seek strength and not wail…

To lose the battle with grace;
To look failure in the face…

To shed pride and give in;
To rejoice when others win…

To tell the truth even as it stings;
To kill the fear that clings…

To trust, as the future twirls;
To smile at life’s varied curls…

To give, when I don’t get;
To take the hurt denials beget…

To love the 'unlovable';
To forgive the 'unforgivable'….........

Monday, December 11, 2006

An 'evolved' Indian speaking...

Elizabeth's spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her.

"How could you begin?" said she.
"I can
comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?"

"I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."

-Pride and Prejudice

In fond memory of Prom Night, TISS, 2005

It shudders me to realise how fast we've evolved into global Indians celebrating Prom Nights and Halloweens and Valentine's...

I don't blame us, or the media which sell such once-upon-a-time-alien concepts so brilliantly well, making them a part of our very culture...

I don't want to join Shiv Sena and wage a bloody war against the 'mindless westernization' our generation has fallen prey to…

I'm not apolegetic...

Nor do I feel enraged in my spirit...

Just that, I wish we showed the same enthusiasm to attend the Flag hoisting ceremony on our Independence Day, the way we did when we were still in school…

I wish we could remember the oft-treaded paths of the past when we choose to walk the road not taken!

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Friday, December 8, 2006

I love tears!!!

There was a time when I hated to cry. Even then, tears were something I was never able to resist. I would cry at the drop of a hat! The reason was insignificant- hurt, joy, anger, beauty- anything that moved my heart seemed to excite my tear glands. I thought tears rendered me a ‘delicate darling’ image as that of the female characters in the soap operas, which I don’t have high regard for. Still, all my efforts to look ‘strong’ by not crying were in vain!

Then came a time, when I realized that it is a blessing to be able to cry! By then, I had met a lot of people- some, mere acquaintances and some, close friends- who were not able to cry, even if they wanted to. “How I wish I could cry it all out…tears wouldn’t just come!”, some used to say! That was a phenomenon I could hardly relate to.

And, slowly and steadily, I realized that I had grown selective as to when I shed tears. I wouldn’t cry when I felt helpless; instead I would have a wry smile on my face! When I faced impossible situations, I would rather think how to maneuver through them, than cry in self pity. At times, I would pause in the middle of the mad rush, to see a ‘bold and beautiful’ me, and would say in my heart “Girl, you’ve become tough!” I tried to be unaffected by the misery around me and acted fearless, as I believed that I was conditioned to be strong! But the drama would end in a couple of days- I would succumb to tears on my pillow- far from the madding crowd- and cease to be alien to the real me! That’s when I seek God, and would be vulnerable, only to Him!

Today, I don’t care if I cry…I don’t resist tears anymore…I no longer feel weak when I cry, because I know that Jesus wept, and He was the manliest man ever, to live on this earth!!!

As the nature, God’s workmanship, elicits in me an irresistible awe for my Creator King; As my heart wells up in thanksgiving to Him for His grace that sustains me; As I feel so undeserving for the awesome people in my life; As I am challenged by the selfless act of a friend; As I feel one with the pain of a dear one; As I begin to believe, all over again, in the inherent goodness of man- my eyes glisten with tears, and boy, these tears- they sure look good on me!!!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Funeral versus Feasting!!

“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:2

My father quoted this verse the other day, when I was whining and trying all kinds of tactics not to go for a funeral, early this week. He said that in a light vein, but it struck me with a force that dragged me to the decision to accompany my parents to the funeral of the departed, my grandfather’s sister.

I could recollect only two funerals where I have been to before- my grand parents’. I was in high school when my grand mom passed away, and that was the first time I saw my dad break down. She had fractured her leg and was bed ridden for two years. I remember making good friends with all the home nurses who stayed with us to take care of her. I even used to write to some of them after they left! We used to pray that she’d be able to walk some day, and my dad kept his faith till five minutes before she died. He told us later that, one day, as he came out of her room, he felt as if she deserved something better than this misery on earth. He went straight to his room, and asked God for the first time to take her to Him, and in minutes she was gone!

My grand dad passed away two years later. I had my 10th Board Math exam that day. I went to sleep late the previous day and early next morning, at around 3 o’clock, I heard my mom calling out my name in desperation. I was still half asleep, when I ran to my appachan’s bedroom next to ours. My mom was holding him and he was trying hard to catch his breath. I figured it was a heart attack again (he had survived two massive ones earlier) and in no time I was in my senses. My mom ran to the neighbour (my dad wasn’t in station, then) and I sat on the bed holding him, wondering how I could comfort him, as his face convulsed in pain. The next moment, he fell back onto the bed and I was holding his head in the palm of my left hand, and he gasped thrice for breath… and never moved again…that was death, in front of my eyes! The intellect of the fifteen year old could not discern what had happened. I went for my exam (I couldn’t have missed it!) and stayed at my friend’s for two days (the subsequent days also I had exams) and kept praying hard for him, as I was told that he’s in the I.C.U. Finally, when the news of his death was disclosed to me, with utmost sensitivity, I replayed in my mind how it had happened, and was horrified! I felt a lump in my throat that refused to subside in spite of my swallowing hard!.... I remember his funeral quite vividly…I was in my school uniform (I came straight from the exam hall) and my dad held me as I walked towards my grand father’s body…looking at his ever graceful face, I whispered in my heart, as tears rolled down my cheeks, “I didn’t know you were dying in my arms!”

We sat in solemn silence as we drove down to this funeral. No one spoke and it felt like all of us were lost in our own worlds. The recorder was playing the collection of selected hymns that reminded us of our roots. Hymns are a part of me and so are they for my parents. I doubt if my younger siblings relate to them so much as we do.

When we reached the place, people had started moving to the church. The service wasn’t long…the close relatives were looking sad and some were weeping, while others were busy catching up with each other… I could see a sea of grey heads, and faces I wouldn’t recognize…people were sharing good things about the one who’s no more…I began feeling uncomfortable…I drifted away into my own thoughts…what would people say of me, if I die today?…Even if they would want to say nice things about me, what can they possibly say?…That I had a nice smile? That I was a good friend? That I lived a respectable life?...What would God say?.........

“You were two years old when I saw you last!!”, a very elderly woman was telling my dad! That brought a smile to my face and I was back to the real world.

After all the “It’s been so long since we saw each other!” and “Your daughter has grown so big!” and “So, you are staying at the same place?” and “Remember, when…..” etc, from different people, we started from there. I was thinking then, I came back with enough food for thought than when I came back from a wedding!

In my opinion, funerals mean much more than giving an honorable farewell to the departed. It leaves the attendees enough to munch on and digest before it is time for theirs! (Apart from being a quiet reminder of the inevitability called death that might knock at your door any time!!) Most importantly, it humbles us a great deal- if it doesn’t, nothing else would!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

As I melt away…

I look at you as I have before;


Yet this time, I seem to see more of you…

More than what my eyes could reach…

Beyond what the world could see…

I wonder if that was what God saw

When He looked at you;


As I melt away…

And the I in me fades away…

I see you the way God sees you…

And I love you the way God loves you;


They call me ‘names’!!!

Sarah, Divya, Diya, Divi, Divs, DJ- different people call me differently!

Well, as per church records, my name is Divya Sarah John. (They say, the child is officially named at the Baptism ceremony, and the name goes down on record for the first time, then!)

I never liked my first name much, the only reason being it was just too common for an uncommon specimen like me! Throughout my school education, I invariably had one or more classmates by the same name (Divya Nair, Divya Joseph, Divya Bhaskar…the list goes on…) One thing that stood different about my name was the Sarah in the middle, which I hated with a passion! The reason for that was quite irrational- I didn’t like the way people pronounced it! Well, one can’t expect to be called “Ms. John”, when one’s born and reared and educated in an obscure town in God’s own country!

In school, they called me “Divya Sarah”, in all premeditation of possible confusion. I wasn’t happy with that either!! It almost sounded like “Divya Sir” pronounced with formidable Mal accent, and the undue ‘respect’ the sound of it brought made me uncomfortable. I personally find the Mal twang we Malayalees give to whatever we talk in- English or Arabic (the second most popular language in Kerala, for obvious reasons) or Hindi, quite remarkable! It gives us quite an identity!

When I reached college (I did my graduation from Chennai), they started callin’ me Sarah, and most of them pronounced it right, and hence I liked it. But lo, there were too many Sarah’s on campus- Sarah John, Sarah Ninan, Sarah Thomas (this list is also as long as the previous one!) and needless to say, they switched to Divya, soon. I continued to be called Divya on my campus in Mumbai too, where I did my post graduation.

On my arrival to Bangalore on my first job, I decided to religiously put down my feet and reiterate to everyone that I prefer being addressed by my middle name. Look up my company ID card and you’d find my call name as Sarah, and you would not even by mistake call me by my first name!

It is funny how I make sound and fury signifying nothing about things which hardly matter! The other day, to my surprise, I told one of my friends when he immediately corrected himself after callin me Divya, “What’s in a name, afterall?!” That got me thinking why I used to be so particular about what people called me. Was it the sense of power that I felt when I seemed to dictate what others should address me as? Was it just childish adamancy that I should feel pleased, at the end of it all? Nevertheless, I know for a matter of fact that I love it when my father calls me ‘Divya’, or when my mother calls me ‘Divi’ or when my special friend calls me ‘Diya’. That’s because, I know that they feel pleased when they call me what they want! At some vulnerable point, I seemed to realize that that’s what counts at the end of the day…so, u r free to call me names- any of these existing ones or newly coined ones, as long as it makes you happy!

Welcome to my world of words!

To have my own space on blog was something I was interested in, long back. I can’t remember when that thought faded, or rather, was put aside as one of those things that did not require immediate attention or action!

Well, I’m glad I’m finally tryin’ my hand at it, and I must thank Savio for it. I stumbled upon his blog a coupla days ago and thoroughly enjoyed readin’ it, and found myself goin’ thro’ some of my other friends’ blogs, soon after. May be, then, it occurred to me that it’s time that I let my words get wings and fly their flight into a wider horizon!

You are welcome to visit my space and leave your comments, however disheartening or flattering they be, and considering that I’m not quite a writer, I expect a lot of the former!

Thank you!