Month: Apr 2021

Our Roots are made from Days as These

The silence is eerie. Listen careful, you might hear the street below, a siren, another siren. My friend Shalitha had a quiet wedding, we blest them virtually. None of us wore silks and perfume. Just a prayer for the best.

Pic Credit: Stephane Hermellin.

By 10 am, the stores are shut, the clutter gone. There is a certain boldness in our fear. A nation crouching, afraid, strangers to each other. I want to pray but the words are new. These are not prayers we prayed before. These are words within words. Yea from days as these, our roots grow. Here is no pretense

No awkward. Here we are real. Like in a Titanic sinking. We grab life boats, we run, stall, leap. The writing on the wall is not a debate anymore: there is the good, the bad, the ugly. There’s the sinner, the sin & the saint. The Giver, the Recipient. The Gift. In between is a silence that denies nothing.

There is God and the devil. And the deep blue sea. A Red sea. Some of us believe it will part when we pray. Some of us cannot believe in the next warm meal. Ay, our Roots are grown from days as these

Ashwini Choudhary Unsplash.

Days as these, are in our books of war, of floods and cities buried in sands. Careful what you do, every move unwinds on the Pages of Time. We are now those walls of caves that told stories of hate and love, of the birth of civilizations, and those that fell.

These are the days we will be known by. Not just sweet sagas of survival, but too, of how we fell each other, or do not. Of rise in prices that need not have happened, of hoardings and anti- social leanings. Where are we? What happened to all our poet- ministries, our movie stars and heroes…. we are here, equally yoked in the silence between each new day,

each breath, every deed, these are what our children’s children will know us by…

these ways we reach out to one another, these ways we turn away or say nothing, or say/ do something: these are the days, the things that grow us,

and what we become/ what we are: our core, our minds, our physical soul….

these days be-tell all; whether we will step out of comfort zones to look across our walls at the other…

or look away,

we can rage at parliaments and virus, we can wrap our sensitivities in our cooking pots and shut our doors to our own shoes for fear of death and the dying,

but what new news is that? We will all die one day, it is the manner of our deaths that vary. And when in the Chapters of our History they will write of these Times, I pray..

I pray they will recognise us as humans, unafraid of each others’ dis – ease; that we knocked doors and went extra miles, that we did not wait for kings and parliaments for sweet salvation. There’s more people dying of fear than lack of a vaccine.

When they tell of this Decade’s doings, I pray they will hear and report that we at least tried to think of each other,

(cuz who knows what becomes of what we think, when we think in each other: when we pray, as individuals, as nations, as a planet)-

we will never know: till we know what we know when we expend ourselves for one another,

In these days..

It is that time …

The rain last night left puddles and a ‘Bird of Paradise’ bud! Life goes on as we scramble for Oxygen, literally. India hurts, prays, vaccinates. Every Breath is a miracle no one’s taking for granted. Nor food, shelter, job. The Earth continues to deliver her grass, bird and foliage. It is that Time of Life. We crawl into our insides, we gaze out at the stars. Aye, this too shall pass. Till then we wait. And watch. And pray.

This is that time of Life, when strong men and weak pray.

Vaccine!!!

Ahhhhm! We did it. Covaxin. Indian bred, off Bharat Biotech. After tiny zing in left arm, a 0.01% lightheaded wooshiness. One numb finger for 2 secs. Nothing in the next three hours. Then a mini wave thru’ head,

At our Vaccine Centre

assisted by tingles. One tweak in left shoulder. What was going on? I felt a few rhesus monkey bro/ guinea pigs nodding. They’d been thru the thing. Was ok. We are recipients of ‘inactivated covid cells’. Eeeek, what?

Yes,’ nods Rhesus shadow.

I lie very still in bed. My doc sis Li asks me to lie prone. To breathe better. Its like sweet iron clasping all lungs.

Gabriel standing near by with unused wing grins. Nope my time mayn’t be near yet, what was I thinking? He is amused. I had the vaccine. I’d gotten the nerve to get it.

NJ my husband’s steel nerve was kind of contagious. Him and my sis’s. These people are fearless creations. They walk casually into vaccine centers with PPE people that’d make a Goliath gulp😅. These folk only fear God, they eat Psalms and mutate prayers that can kill Covid. I mean why can’t they just pray?

They say that they prayed for a vaccine, so.

In the aftermath of Dose 1, no fevers to report, day 3 still is loll- tongued – fatigue – gratitude.

We joke about it- what if we’d gotten some unspellable superpower; like Spiderman did from a spider…

Sigh. I think we are getting a power from it all: a certain brotherhood that never was there even last year this time.

At the vaccine Centre, we nodded at strangers, eyes connecting. Since last year we have earned eyebrow lifts and head waggings. We have understood the patterns of eyes crinkling at smiles, we care some.

Our Post/ pre- vaccine- strangers and Medics were the nicest I’ve ever seen, social distancing et al.

The world is perhaps morphing into a place with Power: the kind of power that understands Time? And the Space between each other?

We apologize for that seat between; share notes about how we registered to get here. Yea. Token numbers, and “How are you feeling?” after the jab.

Never have I experienced such meeting of eyes at anywhere!

😳Never held a dead killer in my veins, never before have we tread the vale of shadows like now, and felt the cover of Superior Intelligence kick in.

All those nudges and antibody- smirks @ Sars-Cov😨 ……… are Reminders that we live in a Time like never before. Its a World War Three, and we are in cross fire.

As I write this, India reels. I’m not looking at the numbers today, at the oxygen tanks not available, the hospital beds not there, the cemeteries too full to take in anymore.

Yes, an Earth reeling, breaking, broken, hurting, hurling into the next month, its curves & spikes scream.

If we’re there a day, we happy, grateful. We eat, pray, hold on to each other across distances.

Yeah. We wish each, the best. We seriously love each other. We aren’t shy to know that. We care. I pray these vaccines work. That they also immunize us from Fear, and that we can seriously go out and make friends and be friends to some serious loneliness out there, and within.

With my NJ

****

Wishing you safety and the peace of God which surpasses human understanding.

With my NJ at the Center

For FMF Writers.

Permit to park

How long before Parks too will close down again? This Lil guy did not want to be seen, but few moments later he shimmied down that tree, his eyes brilliant with joy.

Burst of Summer.
the Light never fails
Cubbon Park rocks and few walkers. Notice boy hunched over on Centre rock,in front of boy with red sneakers? I should’ve asked him how he was, but unused to that kind of thing, we didn’t. What if he needed help? What if he was praying someone would help….?

Why didn’t I give myself permission to talk to him? Courtesy- protocol. Sigh. I’ll never be able to walk past that rock without wondering if he’s ok.

As our State looks to more Lock down and vaccines, know what? For sure we have never peered closer at God. We as nations and homes, haven’t gazed deeper into each others eyes, haven’t admired nature, faces, leaves, skies, rocks, people;

As a race, we’ve not lingered as much at each other, socially distanced and all,

today as I read my Bible, the words came out and wrapped themselves around my head. “Give thanks..” And I had to stop beating myself over that boy I walked past at the Park. Gave myself permission to pray that he’s alright. Yes we can pray, right? My atheist friend ‘ll wag his head. Thats ok. In the end we will know for sure what we stutter at now.

For FMF Writers

A year of ‘uneasy’

It has been a 365 of the Unusual. When Lockdown and Covid began its agenda on us all, I prepared for a season of quiet, introspection.

But that changed. It was a year of meeting new people in all kinds of places. There were women with burns’ accounts that broke me before I could put that in stories for them, there was the young man who called at 12 midnight about his dad with the virus, and we watched that dad get better! Yeah Faith walked in with wide arms and I had to be held, had to be taken where I’ve never been before. The Govt said ‘Stay home’, we shivered, sanitized, then followed the call outdoors, whenever. A funeral, a wedding, a prayer meet, a birthday. Veggie stalls and Mall, nothing looked the same again. Not even WhatsApp. Not Gmail. Instagram. Our words were changing like our worlds. Overnight we feared the same thing, the same way.

Blindness didn’t seem as daunting. Education and fashion trends took a Lil walk someplace else. Protocols changed. We wore pajamas to zoom meets, lipstick ‘neath mask? Ugh. We stared at leaf and sunrise. Sunsets and rain. Everything seemed changed, re- arranged. We met loneliness on new terms. We became beggars for blessings, for Grace. Praying happened with acceptance from people who shirked its very stance. We thought about existence, pain,humanity. We wouldn’t forget George Floyd, we couldn’t look past emotional and other poverties. And Isolation. We became old and young at the same time: we were sifted like wheat in sieves that did not stop.

What is,life?” The Poet asked. A Sparrow replied,”Transient, like I.” “Us!We!” Said the Atheist. “Aha.” Cried the Preacher. “Ouch.” Wept the sinner. “Amen.” Said the Prayerer, before we all sat down to sanitize our psyche, nodding heads and elbows for the high 5s we could not high 5.

Somewhere in that, I found Josh Garrels whom I absolutely fan!

Have not been much of a ‘fan’ ever, must confess. Except for ice cream, and the plant kingdom. Heard his ‘Freedom,’ & Born again if you haven’t please do. This one that screamed for Cover👇🏼in a day, happened so fast, hadn’t time to even know i could be videoed (pardon spatial mess, uncombed-ness, and son Joh sit/rocking like a lotus in yellow Tee:) he continues to inspire with his brand of innocent fire. I thank You Lord for every reminder that Your arms work via my feeble ones, if am willing.

These Lyrics have me forever. Origin: Teresa of Avila who survived epilepsy till she succumbed at 67- notorious for her wit and joie de vivre….

https://youtu.be/hbH8dRjAS8o

Sermons from my ‘Jacquemontia’!

Years ago my husband NJ had gifted me a bouquet of blue silk roses for our anniversary, but later a relative wanted it for her wedding bouquet. I didn’t have the heart to say No, nor could find another just like it. What followed was an endless search for the blue roses, in every shop and city we could think of, yes even after Amazon happened but no sign of any blue beauties.

Then this year as we dropped our daughter off at a lane across from nice shop called Green Tag complete with Einstein looking Owner who could sniff out our need; “What exactly d’you want?” Einstein asked his serious eyes lit up with joy. We mumbled. He understood and left us to ourselves and his collections of fern, ZZ, Water babies, Palm giants & dwarves, Bird of paradise wild stalk and then I saw her, clustered at the roof of Einstein’s green house. Not one bloom on her but she called at me.

Jacquemontia.” Einstein whispered with reverent awe.

Back home I looked up the name. Oh my. Such a big name for wee creeper in my tiny balcony. Then the flowers arrived. Blue yeah. Not roses, not silk, but real. One, then two, three, four. And every bud a promise of restoration. Not just make believe but the real thing. A real planting of the Creators Words coming to Life. Our daughter Vihan took this pic and with every new bud I’m thinking on how He restores, with no limits, in ways we cannot imagine. I’m staring at His fingers writing sermons in little Jacquemontia, all for my tiny window on heaven.

Christ never ceases to stun me. Never.

ACH ‘pressure’!

For FMF Writers

“Yes. Bowling!

That is what I want to do on my birthday!” I said.

NJ smiled slow. I hadn’t been near the thing, it couldn’t be that hard. No pressure. Let’s just go …

“Ma, you sure? Its what you want for you ‘day’..?

Sure, I’m sure. Hypothyroid & everything. Doc had said to work out, and what was a lil bowling for few silly pins in a row. I’m 59 today sweetheart, I know what am asking for. No sweat!!!

Ok. Long sweet story and much laughter. Johann our visually challenged son did way better than I could even haul that thing in a straight line to where bowling does what it does.

My score reached a staggering 7, with everyone watching even the jacketted girl by sanitizer, she wasn’t even grinning. Main man in navy blue blazer went by twice thrice with worried momma hen eyes, before walking away to turn around as if casually!

When I scored my first everyone exhaled, Johann hooted for joy. Then another few, and one last parting accomplishment….

husband NJ asked if I’d like another whole round, he’s like that. Positive. Thought I was just warming up. Had to tell him. I’d had enough, was time to see other things…anything else

(He himself was flying. Like Bowling were nothing except sending wee plastic light headed darlings into gravity less space).

We walk out that Alley and life went on somehow better for all that pressure. Its the way it is; is why we have valleys and mountain steeps. Pressure isn’t always such a bad thing, now I know. God knew. He made me walk that alley to understand some of that. Yea, happy sigh.

Ouch hallelujah! 😅

For Friday Five minute writers

April beauty

My April flower – Jacque- montia, big name for a bushling, already a favorite in our tiny balcony garden. It is war with local pigeon though, that want to nest here. One feather head, Tina born here, now tries tag her brood in, every season along with speckled partner. They are a mess, and we’ve told them that. They need to get independent. Get a tree. They won’t listen. Now there’s Jacquemont– found her at a local shop, she loves the sun. Reminds me of India. Teeming with survival.

Indoors for a closer capture of tiny blossom. (Painting is by Kitsy Ruth: Waterfall/blossom).

Wrapt in a good Friday

It is that kind of day. Two months ago, at a local farm I made this wreath from moist root, dead branch and thorn tails. I left it to dry, wrapt in gauze tissue, then forgot all about it. Today my husband NJ put it on the mantel. It was still fragrant with raw bark, and tree tang. And some softened thorn sting.

Good Friday is that kind of day. Life at Crossbeams. In the raw. Decibels of disbelief. The chaos of Belief! I gawk at it all hang jaw.

Thank You Yeshuva.

Wrapt.

This Good Friday

Yep, did it. A tribute I always wanted to offer to the One & only Yeshuva!

Wasn’t easy doing “Via Dolarosa” but for a still moment, I felt me standing there on that deadly route, watching as the gory trek uphill happened….. for you, for me:

this One who would do all that for a planet full of us. A Saviour to savor! A word to mull in this week, while we each go through changing life styles, in an earth season like never before. Am so grateful for the Cross and how It changes me, every single day, every single day, redeeming my time, life, existence. Am trusting you get that too. This need to savor the cross, relish cherish the Friend that’d lay His life down ‘for you, for me…’

https://youtu.be/4qBQ9JuOYZo

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