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Times are tough. For everyone.

Stuck indoors.

No fault of ours.

Lockdown here.

And also there.

Modern times, seem like another era from the past.

Parents so so far.

So are siblings. Three of us, in three different parts of the world.

Helplessness turning into sadness.

No guarantees. No certainty.

Will we live! Will we not!

What beyond?

Will we meet in next life?

Will we stay together then?

No foreign land we shall explore.

Or we do it together.

Promise?

Do you like me so to make me a part of your life again?

Have I been a good person for you?

Or just a burden for all?

No Regression. No Stagnation.

It’s right – “The only constant in life is change”. No change feels good to start with, but it becomes a part of us sooner than we think. It’s bound to. That’s how we survive and even thrive.

Change is sometimes voluntary (e.g. holiday, foods, friends), but sometimes enforced (e.g. jobs, illness, accidents, deaths, breakups) sometimes pleasing, other times painful. But all of these feelings are transient. They pass.

The things we woke up, looked forward to, slept with, no longer remain important. They are not part of our routine post change. The change becomes the routine. It starts to feel normal. Before long, the old routine is forgotten. The things we had to try very hard to forget become very hard to remember, and then they become a distant memory. We thrive under those new changes, exactly how we did when life threw the past change at us and we never wanted that to change. But it did. Like every other change before that. It made us stronger, better and flexible.

We shouldn’t become too comfortable in a situation, I think. So when change is imposed, we make the most of it and move on to another temporary phase.

We must remain ready to embrace the change. A time comes when we no longer want to step back into the past phase. We have to look forward to the future and the many changes yet to come.

Life Is Short, But Can Still Be Worthwhile

This morning I had stopped outside a shop when I saw a hearse carrying a coffin. It read “brother” on the funeral wreath. I felt sad seeing someone’s brother being taken for funeral that early in the morning. I paused to pay my respects (out of childhood habit) like my father taught me, “Say my hello to God.”

As I drove home a couple of minutes later, I saw a gathering of people outside a house. The hearse parked in their drive. I knew the people in the house. The lady’s children attended the same school as my girls. At first I thought her father-in-law must have passed away. We all have to go one day, I thought. I paid my respects again and continued driving.

But why “brother”?! I’ve usually not seen a really old sister requesting that when there are several family members in the man’s own family – wife, son, daughter-in-law, one grandson and two granddaughters.

Oh my!!! Is it possible that it was her husband? Absolutely possible, as I don’t even remember seeing her father-in-law ever. Maybe he’d gone long ago. Not sure. But her husband was not that old. He looked stressed though. Affluent guy, but stressed. He never smiled when our paths crossed. His stress probably killed him. I won’t know until I meet the lady again. There is only one kid of hers in school, and the kid is not a friend of my daughter. Kids usually don’t approach other kids to enquire such things. Never. Her other two kids are slightly older, and at university.

Oh my God, it later struck me!! Could it be the young boy? The “brother” of the sisters? Why not, some said! Anything is possible.

Of course, anything is possible.

Life is indeed very short. It gives no chance for goodbyes and yet there are people who would hold grudges, agendas, hang-ups, excuses. Many value monetary success over a successful relationship. I’m sure such people are built differently. They must surely find contentment in their actions, or they won’t take them. Until their chase for the kind of success they valued more consumes them. Like it did in this man’s case, if it’s him who died. Chances are, it is him. He took nothing he worked for with him in the end. None of us will. After some time, people tend to forget them too. That’s how the world is designed or one cannot move on in life. If we can forget people when they are alive, then so much easier when they are gone.

This is why I’m glad to be the way I am. My madness is for the people I love, not for what I can gain from them. In return, those who can appreciate my passion own me. I don’t want to die miserably like that man. I want people to say upon my death – “Sapna had plenty of time for us and she never made false promises.” This will make my life, and also my death, worthwhile.

Continue reading “Life Is Short, But Can Still Be Worthwhile”

We Forget How Good The Beatles Were

Waterloo Station, London

Waterloo Station, London. Time: 22 hrs GMT.

Thousands of people pouring in and out of London. Escalators, like conveyor belts, transporting people in all directions. Men, women, transgenders, children, all looking only ahead. Some carry coffee/tea mugs in one hand and Metro in the other. The modelling continues throughout the journey. There is absolutely no eye contact but every person is aware of their surrounding and the presence of others as they glide, wriggle, dodge, walk past without knocking into anyone. The whole scene looks like an alien experiment designed to study human behaviour after being injected with a soul-sucking drug. We seem to be all alone together. I am dispassionately humming Abba and switching to The Kinks’ eponymous number.

A piano busker comes into my view. He is playing and singing The Long and Winding Road that echoes in the tunnel. And as if the alien drug injected in me wore off just then….I feel a stabbing pain in my heart. My soul wakes up and moistens my eyes. Tears roll down my cheeks like broken string of pearls. McCartney wrote every single word for me, it seems. I walk past the pianist, mouthing the song as it peters out…

Many times I’ve been alone, and many times I’ve cried.

Anyway, you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried.

You left me standing here…..

La la la, lalla laaaa…ta ta taaaah…hmmmmm..hmmm

– Sapna Dhandh-Sharma

Spiritual Encounter

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

Car journeys usually start at the break of dawn. London to Wiltshire was one such. Food, music, conversations, family – a potent mix of jollity. Few hours went by in a jiffy.

Stonehenge, a disappointment at first sight, but mesmerising on closer experience.

There is nothing instantly obvious to admire. Couple of very large stones erected in an English countryside. But you stand still for a while. Stare straight at the stones. You suddenly begin to feel them transcending their physical outfit to provide a spiritual encounter.

For thousands of years, Stonehenge has remained an enigma.

According to folklore, Merlin, wizard of the Arthurian legend, created the site with the help of giants who transported the stones from Ireland. There are some fascinating modern-day interpretations of the structure, from it being a site built by aliens, probably as their landing site, to it being a place of Druid worship. Some see the stones laid in the shape of female genitalia – as a giant symbol of fertility.

“Stonehenge” — whatever the reality, however it came into existence, wherever it came from, whoever built it – the less we can substantiate its origin, the more we will be drawn to its mysteriousness.

If stared at long enough, the spirits start to communicate. They possesses you.

– Sapna Dhandh-Sharma