Monday, October 24, 2016

Tsk, tsk! Poor grandpa!

Dreams are such interesting entities.  Many people that I have talked to believe that one’s dreams are basically repressed desires buried within our subconscious minds.  I am not sure I agree with that because if you go by that logic, I am in serious trouble. 

In a recent dream, I was crawling alongside a giant slug in the land of Mordor. Hmmm!  It annoys me to no end that I was so slow even in my dreams.  When you are trying to stay clear of the scorching Eye of Sauron and the morbid orcs that roam the land, crawling around with a buddy in leisure is not the brightest idea.  If I could shake my head disapprovingly at that slow-crawling Meena, trust me, I would.

All my dreams are not messed up.  There are some that are relatively normal.
In one dream, I was the prosecuting attorney arguing a murder case against a Colombian drug dealer. I can’t seem to remember any of the arguments but the sweat that broke out on the accused’s upper lip is etched in my mind.  I must have been a terror in that court.  

My mom was proud of me when I told her about this dream.  She said that she always knew that one of us in the family would become a lawyer as my grandfather was a lawyer and his brother was the justice of the Supreme Court.  I can’t help but feel bad for my grandfathers though.  They had to go to law school and pass the bar and everything unlike me. Poor grandpas!

I really must have lawyer in my blood.  Last week, I woke up from an intense courtroom drama that had my heart racing wildly.  I was the defense attorney this time grilling an eye witness on the stand.  I am glad that I took the time to watch Law and Order episodes in the 90s.  It sure came in handy in that dream.  I took the witness apart and tore through his lies just like Sam Waterston does in L&O.  I do hope that as I age, my dreams will mellow down to mere misdemeanor, traffic violation and family court cases because my heart may not survive the adrenaline kick of the criminal ones. 

I must have been Irish in a previous birth for how else can I explain the dreams where I cast a circle, spin charms and whip up thunderstorms atop a cliff?  I have a magic wand, pixie dust and the whole magic package in these dreams.  I confess I cheated in a couple of them.  I once used magic to get groceries home without going to the store and another time, I made the weighing scale lose 20 pounds when I was on it.  I know it is wrong, okay?  I know that using magic for personal gain is against the code of honor for all sorcerers.  Power and vanity are not mutually exclusive, I found out.  Magic can be very pretty too. One time I cast a spell that had a dying plant come alive with young blooms.  In a dream of course. Sadly, in real life, plants and I are at war.  They die when I walk within half a mile radius.  

The night when we watched the re-run of the Jaws movie, I found myself in shark-infested waters watching creepy shark fins closing in on me.  You would think that after watching Jaws, Jaws 2 and Jaws 3 movies, I would know better than to kick furiously in the water.  Everyone knows sharks are attracted to sound waves. Duh!  Dreams have sound effects too, by the way, because I heard the same music that instilled fear in the hearts of millions when Jaws was released. I woke up just before a freaky great white snapped off my feet.  That was good timing all around.

This is my favorite one so far.  I was walking into Kohl’s and get this - I went directly to the regular-priced merchandise.  Oh wow!  That was so cool but even when I was in the dream, I realized that something was not right because come on, everyone knows that all Desis go only to the clearance section first.  But wait.  That is not the best part.  Guess where I was?   I was browsing through clothes in the petite department.  Hah!  Talk about wild dreams! 

How colorful are your dreams?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Meditation for dummies!

Next to those who eat a bunch of leaves with an abundant topping of 8 nuts for a meal, I have a healthy respect for those that can meditate.  Meditation seems to be the new hot social topic these days.  Yoga, muscle-tearing exercises and zero-carb diets have stepped aside for this new champion.  When my friends were ready to swear on a stack of invisible Gitas to convince me of the power of meditation, I was convinced enough to give it a shot.

I confess that I was a bit smug going into this business.  After all, how hard could it be?  If dumping all thoughts from the mind and being in a zombie-like state is meditation, I felt pretty confident about it.   If you are acquainted with me, you would know that I walk around in exactly that state most days anyway.   So one day, I warned my family to not disturb me for a while, rolled my shoulders and closed my eyes.  Just so you know that I was not fooling around, I even switched off the TV.

Thus began my personal epic journey.  Well, more of a mini trip to the kitchen pantry, if you must know.  Who knew I had so many active gray cells in my brain?  My mind, apparently, was a giant monkey on steroids.  It jumped up and down, side to side, upside down and any other direction I have neglected to mention. 

Okay, so it was not going to be as easy as I thought which only meant that I had to try harder next time.

Posture could be the key to this, I figured, and tried to sit crisscross on the floor like I had seen sages do in the old movies.  Let’s just say that I had to ad lib the plan at the last minute and forego both the floor and the crisscross sitting.  One challenge at a time seemed wise.  Next, I dug into my treasure box, unearthed a couple of sandal incense sticks and lit them.  Ambience is half the battle, after all. There, I really felt ready this time.  Finally, sitting comfortably in my very red, very designer settee, I closed my eyes and tried again. 

I brought to my mind a white jasmine flower that I had seen in a pot in the back yard the previous day.  Did I tell you that I had decided to use a prop to focus my mind on?  A secret weapon to tame my monkey mind, so to speak.  I had a good feeling about this already.

I remembered the day a dear friend brought a cutting from her jasmine plant for me saying that it thrived in her garden and gave her many blooms.  I wanted it to live and thrive in my garden too so I gave it to my husband to plant and water.  If you would stop being judgmental for a second, I will tell you why.   He is the protector of plants in my house.  The one that who shields them from my very black thumb. 

When I peeked in yesterday, it had so many buds ready to bloom.  I wish I had learnt how to string a garland out of flowers.  It would be nice to wear a string on the hair one evening.  The last time I wore a string of jasmine on my hair was last year when I had gone to India.  Both my mother and mother-in-law would insist that I keep flowers in my hair whenever I visit home.  I am eternally grateful for having those two in my life.  They are such kind people.  I remember going to a wedding when I was there last year wearing more flowers than what my fragile head had called for.  It was funny how people kept asking if age had mellowed me into a shy person since I had my head down most of the time from the weight of the flowers.  Hah!  

Wow, wait a minute!  That’s not meditating!  I just took the fastest trip to India and back and still managed to make a few gigantic detours to LaLa land.  Okay, may be that prop was a bit too stimulating for the mind.  Time to zoom in on something dull that is bound to not kick start my mind into overdrive.  What could be duller than a bowl of oats, I thought and went in search of a new room, a new chair to begin my next mini epic journey.

If you are thinking that focusing on a bowl of bland oats would put any mind to sleep, you would be entirely wrong.  My monkey mind jumped up and down with excitement and decided to devise many recipes that would spice up the dull oats into a culinary pleasure.  Oats mixed in a coconut, vegetables and green chilies gravy; oats slow-cooked in almond milk and sweetened with a dollop of honey; oats mixed in a hot cup of pepper rasam and more.  I realize that I don’t have a full handle on meditation yet but I do know that one is not supposed to drool in the process. 

Do you possess the ability to rein in your mind so it is not bouncing all over the place, even if it is only for a few minutes a day?  If so, you are my new hero replacing an elderly uncle with no teeth that I once met who could still eat a plate of murukkus with gusto. 

I always whine to my husband (because he lets me) that I haven’t gotten ‘THE CALL’ yet.  May be, if I tame my mind enough to listen, I might hear Him call.

How do you  meditate?  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What's in your bread basket today?

We were watching a magic show on TV recently.  The magician looked fierce in his all-black attire and was a stark contrast to the scantily-clad assistants surrounding him. 

It reminded me of an Indian movie’s dream scene where the hero and the heroine close their eyes in their middle class homes separately and magically appear together in a snow-capped mountain breaking out an intense, calorie-burning dance and song number in the midst of heaps of snow.   He, in denim jeans, sweater and boots and she, in a wafer-thin saree and glass slippers.  I can’t help but feel pride that this world sees a woman as the stronger of the genders.  Strong enough to purr and shake her naked hips in the freezing snow.   

Anyway, coming back to the magic show, it was basically 4 assistants and 1 magician pulling weird things out of a box on that stage.  And to watch this, you have to pay? What a heap of cow-dung!  Next time you want to watch a magic show, just come over to my place and I’ll do it for free. 

I have a bread basket in my kitchen.  It has never been known to contain just bread any day.  It routinely houses missing homework assignments, insurance papers, car keys, sunglasses, coconut oil, candles for birthday cakes, highlighters, hair dryer, stamp sheets, staplers and Bluetooth headphones, among other items.

I don’t know how you go about searching for missing items in your home.  Our family, at one point, had this tried and tested plan full of theatrical effects.  It included a systematic search from room to room, starting from the bedroom all the way to the refrigerator in the kitchen.  If you had ever heard the muffled mutterings and the desperate wailings mixed in with the sounds of a room being tossed, you would have known that there was a search in progress at my home.  Those were the days when we totally believed that drama was the answer to life’s everyday pesky problems. 

Today, we just dive for the kitchen basket first because more often than not, we find what we are looking for in there.  I once pulled out a couple of laundered underwear items on a desperate Monday morning from this basket. 

Someone wise once said that we are surrounded by magic every day and have to only look to find it.  I may never pull out a bunny from my basket ever but I think that a pair of clean underwear on a school day beats a bunny hands down.

What have you pulled out of your basket recently?