On the island of calm, the most beautiful birds reside

I was amidst knee deep work when I got a frantic call from one of the most dreaded person in the school, the substitution in-charge. Staying true to his image, he gave me invigilation duty for about an hour for the ongoing on-campus exams.

And I on my part, began to crib and tried my best to evade the duty. Needless to say, I was not successful and thus landed in the designated room to invigilate the students.

The students were in stress-induced-silence but my mind was abuzz with the voices of anger, resentment and endless work. I paced the room with restlessness. Somehow I remembered the tenets of Zen Buddhism, a philosophy that has influenced me immensely. I returned to my breath to calm myself.

I observed the in-breath and then the out-breath. Slowly, the feeling of calm descended upon me. Since I was able to ‘silence’ my mind from within, I could now hear the chirping of the birds in my close vicinity.

I peeped out of the window and noticed an array of birds perched on the branches of the trees growing around the outer periphery of the school. There were Bulbuls, Robins, Doves and Indian chat. Each had a different melodious voice and way of chirping. I wish I could describe the chatter and bring them alive for you with my writings, the way Gerald Durrell describes them but for that I have a long way to go.

I was delighted to hear the constant chirping of these birds and notice their antics from a distance. They were hopping from one branch to another, communicating with one another and carrying on the daily chores. Suddenly, I was distracted by the movement on the adjoining tree. To my surprise there were parrots residing in the tree hollow. One of the parrots was perched on the branch next to the tree hole. When the other parrot peeped out of its home, the first one tilted its head in to peep back in and take account of the work done by the other. For a few minutes I lost in watching their nuances.

Now that I was enjoying the moments of ‘silence within’ and connecting with the nature, I decided to explore further and take a look at the peepal tree on the other end of the room. Was I glad that I paced the room to go over to the other end, certainly yes! There were pigeons walking on the tiled floor, stopping at every step to pick on the fallen berries of peepal. Though they were busy eating nonetheless they were alert to the movements of the people in the block. They would bob their heads in the most comical manner after picking on the berry. I remained amused with their ways.

As I observed the birds fly from one tree to the other, the time flew away quickly. Soon I was to be relieved of my invigilation duty and go back to other chores. In the span of 40 minutes, I must have seen about 10-12 species of birds that included the Asian Brown Flycatcher, Jungle Babbler, Oriental Magpie Robin. (I had learnt the names of these birds during the ‘lockdown’ period when I frequently visited the nearby park. Isn’t it strange that even though we undergo minimum 18-20 years of formal education, we remain alien to our own surroundings.) I am an ardent nature lover and for once I felt fortunate to been assigned this duty in this room surrounded with trees.

These birds do not vie for attention nor do they need our assistance to carry on their chores; rather their presence can make a difference to our days. I truly feel that Nature nurtures. While performing my duty, I reached out to the inner depths and reconnected with the nature and thus, I felt relaxed…rejuvenated…chirpy!

Nature is the source of our existence and thus it has the ability to rejuvenate us when we make a conscious effort to connect with its energies.

CharutheBuddha

You too, try and find a quiet corner within yourself while running between errands. Try to silence the noise ‘within’ by observing your breath. Once you have discovered the quiet island within you, connect with the elements that heal and nourish, like the nature, the birds, the sky! Be grateful for the beautiful moment, smile a while and pass it on!!

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My tryst with COVID#19

Was I scared of CORONA Virus? Initially when it entered the Indian arena yes, I was paranoid but later it did not perturb me. I went for regular walks early in the morning during the ‘lockdown’ period. As soon as the ‘lockdown’ was over, I started pestering my friends to go on treks. We went out every weekend. A fellow trekker was found COVID+ in June and yet we continued the treks taking all the precautions.

But I must say that once I was unwell, all hell broke loose. COVID wasn’t simple to deal with.

Few facts that might come in handy if you wish to spread some ‘gyan’!!

#1 I had no symptom of COVID19. Just a low grade fever (99-101) for about 12 days that would erupt in the evening and stay till late in the night. The physician was sure that it was just viral fever (once I got all my other tests for Typhoid, malaria as negative). He never prescribed a COVID test for me but I got it done on my own instinct.

#2 I healed with Homeopathy. I did not take any allopathy medicine except Crocin and multi-Vitamins. Yes, I was in doubt but with assurances from my two trusted homeopaths, I was cured and feel much stronger post COVID.

#3 The Gurugram administration officials were in regular touch with me. They called to know my condition. They also called to provide medication or medical assistance, if required. Though scary but I also got a call from the police Station enquiring about my period of Isolation.

#4 The District Administration Gurugram hosted a daily Zoom meeting with the medical officials on board. There was a doctor, a psychologist, and an Ayurveda doctor everyday, to reply to the queries of COVID positive patients who were home quarantined. This meeting helped me a lot. They insisted on NOT taking any medication. Only multi-vitamins, Ayurveda tablets to boost immunity, gargling and steam inhalation. It reinforced my belief in naturopathy and its benefits.

#5 Buy an oximeter. Though it is optional even for a person suffering with COVID, it serves a psychological purpose. Every time you feel breathless which is generally due to anxiety, you can get a statistical assurance of your oxygen level which rarely falls below 94-93.

#6 The period of isolation is extremely depressing and nerve wrecking. Even though I was mentally prepared and self-isolated myself the very first day I had fever but the isolation had a very detrimental impact on me. I was extremely lonely and didn’t know how to pass the time. The anxiety created by COVID also takes a toll while alone.

#7 COVID can play havoc on your mind. After I was done with the fever and started to recover, I was extremely restless and confused. I was not at peace lying down, pacing the room or even talking on the phone. Nothing gave me respite. Later I spoke to 2-3 people who had been COVID positive in the past. They confirmed, they too had become a nervous wreck. Am I glad that the ordeal is over? …certainly!!

#8 For days together, I was not ready to talk about COVID. I would put my phone frequently on ‘Air plane’ mode. I also set a rule: “If you call me, talk anything other than my health issues.” This rule worked wonders.

#9 I was anxious for my mother and daughter’s health. Thankfully they remained unscathed and took very good care of me.

#10 My friends and family eagerly waited in anticipation for my next blog. Their plea was that being ‘room quarantined’ I had all the time in the world to weave the words and write a perfect blog. And here I was lost…and confused…and anxious…waiting for my day when I could break free of the oppressive authority of COVID 😡

#11 The ‘untouchability’ element breaks your spirit. Though it was just Ma and Aamya who were in the house and had to maintain the distance for everyone’s good but it was hard to accept that I had become an ‘untouchable’. It hurt!!

#12 Till yesterday, I was ‘room quarantined’ yet I ventured out alone in my car! Felt the cool breeze on my face, felt the freedom of space and thought!! It was pure bliss. I have learnt to value the simple things in life. The car drive was also an act of defiance against the unwanted authority of COVID.

#13 I am glad that I am through with my ordeal and I will surely be a plasma donor very soon!

#14 The trees are calling out to me…will be climbing one, very soon!!

As of now, I am dealing with exhaustion. But I will come out stronger than before 😊

The taste of freedom…

I have tasted freedom and I felt the urge to experience it once again. I want freedom from thoughts of you, I want freedom from your afflictions, I want to free myself of my dependency on you.

Am I done with you? Do I detest you? Am I angry with you? No…all the answers are in the negative. I am as the saying goes ‘truly, madly, deeply in love with you!!’

Then why do I wish to detach myself from you? Well, I wanna be mentally free. I don’t want to be tied down by the weight of this love affair which will never be vocalised between us. It can never take flight. Why wither away in agony?

Even the thought of your going away is a reason for distress. As though the destiny had snatched away something that was mine. But you are not mine. We can’t be together. Then why go through this rigmarole of love, lust, detachment, agony and pain.

I want detachment….and more than that I want you!!