Mr. Caterpillar.

“Mr. Funny caterpillar where are you going…

Mr. Funny caterpillar what are you doing…”

Sang my daughter as she got ready for school and the thought flashed in my mind like it did a hundred times in loop. “Had I placed the caterpillar elsewhere it would not have been alive”, I thought again.

IMG_20161207_094228A few days back after dropping off my daughter at school, I went for my walk. The pavement surrounding the apartment complex is good 500 meters, an excellent walkway. While walking I saw something moving on the pavement beside the parking lot. It was a big beautiful caterpillar wriggling towards the road from the pavement. I have never seen such a big caterpillar. I was amazed at the different ways in which the Almighty brings out life. So beautiful, so unique! I wondered how the butterfly or moth that was inside would look like. I clicked a picture of it on my phone and continued to walk. As I passed the little voice inside me said “help it reach the garden on the other side of the road”. “May be during the next round, the busy hours of traffic are over, so no worries” I replied to myself and left. As I came closer to the corner, where I found the caterpillar during the second round, I started searching for it. There it was smashed on the road. My heart broke into a million pieces. It was not far away from where I found it. Some car smashed it right after I left. I wish I had listened to the little voice. I stood there for some time as all these thoughts passed. Feeling guilty I walked towards my apartment.

While dropping my daughter off to school today, I saw another caterpillar. A cute little colourful one wriggling on the pavement going in the direction of nearby bushes. I started to search frantically for a twig or something to pick it up and place in the bushes. My daughter’s and her grandpa’s chorus stopped and the duo gave me a what-is-wrong-with-her look. I told I want to help the caterpillar. “Not needed” said grandpa, “I will tell you why, after we drop her off” he added.

On the way back, my heart was in my mouth as I neared the bushes. I searched for the caterpillar, there was no trace of it. I was worried and told my dad why I was trying to save the caterpillar. After hearing the whole episode, dad said “You do not have to feel guilty of not saving the caterpillar. The energy that kept the caterpillar alive must have gone into some other body to keep that alive. That caterpillar’s time on earth had to end, to take some other form. If it had to live, you would have just picked it up without even a thought. It was meant to die, as another form was waiting for its life energy. It is alive in some or the other form. Why worry? Lord Krishna says that in Bhagavad Gita. I think you need to read Gita again”. We both went silent thereafter. The song my daughter sang played with a very different meaning in my mind since then.

“Mr. Funny caterpillar where are you going…

Mr. Funny caterpillar what are you doing…”

Lost in the Waves…

In the quiet hours of afternoon, I stood in the balcony watching a Gerbera Daisy bud, swaying in the breeze. A light breeze blew a few strands of hair that were resting on my cheeks and it took me to something back in Alleppey, a smile blossomed on my face.

Alleppey, my hometown is an abode to all sorts of water bodies. It has lagoons, canals, backwaters and beaches. Each time I visit, I am mesmerized by the scenic waterways, and the reminiscence of what was once a well-planned hub of business and transportation. With the development of much bigger Cochin port nearby and other means of transportation like roads and railways, development of Alleppey took a back seat. Small canals, which once crowded with canoes that took goods and people in and out of the city are now covered with a layer of weeds. The city is now a major tourist location.

Whenever I visit Alleppey, I never miss an opportunity to visit the Beach. I hear Her welcomes from far. When I reach close by the welcomes become louder. When I get closer, walking in the sand, Her waves make a big thud and rush to embrace me as if they know I have stepped on her sands. The waves are carpeted with tiny white bubbles that pop at my feet as if in celebration of my return. The canvass of sky bears different hues and strokes each time. Whenever we meet, I make sure there are some quiet moments between us. I close my eyes and listen to the thunderous thud the waves make, and feel the breeze and soak in the warmth of the sun. The Beach patiently listens to the beats of my heart and feels the storm in my mind, strokes my hair with the breeze and calms the storm. As I enjoy the welcome of the waves, one after the other, they dig my feet deep in the sand without my knowledge, rooting me deep within as if they do not want me to leave. Before I get back home, I make a promise to return soon.

This is what these innocent places do to you, isn’t it? They cleanse you and connect to your heart so well that no matter how far you go, you find your heart lost in the nook and corners of those places and beating for it.

 

Romancing Loneliness…

DSC_0717Loneliness! I loved those lonely times during those younger days in which I could shrink into a shell of my own. I wanted to be away from the usuality where no one interfered no one suggested or opinionated. But then it struck in the later years of my life. Years of it. I loved it at first but it started to eat me up, slowly munching down every corners of my brain, little by little and pushing me into greater depths of it. 

It was a period of realizations, shocks and painfulness yet I loved it somehow. I loved the quietness and the stillness it had. I was cocooned, so much that years passed I did not realize what I was losing. I felt I was leading an invisible life around people who mattered to me so much.  New relationships became difficult to make, already existing relationships were floating around as expectations did not match on either sides.

I was not alone, but lonely.

Then I decided to come out of the cocoon, years passed. In an attempt to snap out of it I tried many hobbies, many desperate ideas but withdrew and as a result faced many criticisms for not finishing anything I started. Slowly life was taking all together a different turn. My relationships became more and more turbulent. Then something happened – My daughter was born. A life long commitment where I cannot be superficial. She taught me how not to run away and shrink into the shell. She helped me make friends, acquaintance at least. When she learnt to walk, I observed how much she struggled, she got frustrated, called out a few names in her own language, but she stood up on her wobbly legs finally. I too must have struggled so much just to stand on my own, and many more struggles, now I am giving it away for a cocoon?. With her baby steps, I took baby steps back to life. She brought all sort of noise in to the quietness I loved and life moved so fast that there was no stillness.

Life took a turn, it started changing…