Friday, March 24, 2017


They say we are all so different
Different species
Different colours
Different sizes and shapes
Different life spans.

We say we are all so similar
The same rain to bathe us
The same earth to nourish us
The same air to sustain us
The same sun to feed us.

They wonder at our coexistence
We wonder at their separation.

They fight for identity
To celebrate their existence.
We blend our identities
To celebrate ours.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The 'locker room' speaks...

The US presidential election has been stirring something in me for a long while now. I was struggling to put a finger on it, till it distilled, with Trump's so-called 'locker room' talk. I wondered, earlier, if the election stands for what seems rather obvious: Democrat versus Republican ideologies, man versus woman and so on, till the 'locker room' stuff laid it bare. In his own obnoxious way, Trump served to haul out of the closet, for the world at large, what was deemed unspeakable. Under the guise of equality, education, social and political correctness, we have feared to name some inner wars that have raged in our minds and therefore on our planet. 
There is the ubiquitous rage of girls and women - and boys and men - against their molesters and rapists. But there is also the silent simmering of those that allow sex willingly, for the sake of money, convenience or simply because they believe they do not have a choice.
There is the overt anger of the poor against the rich, protesting the inequity of things. But there is also the imploding frustration of having lived with one's poverty (of money, love or anything else) and having spent a lifetime fighting against those that have, instead of fighting for what one could create.
There is the stress and breakdown and burnout after living a professional corporate life that does not permit emotion and softness. But there is also the wrecking guilt of not having challenged that reality and not questioning what is deemed to be professionally acceptable.
There is the numbing fear and anger about the destruction caused by terrorism. But there is also the deep shame of the weaponless terrorist in us that manipulates the world around us, unless they give in to our demands.
There is the sorrow and depression and fear connected with being a failure in the eyes of the world. But there is also the overpowering sense of truth in knowing that success is different for everyone, and yet, not standing up for oneself and voicing it.
Trump has brought out for the world, the primal nature of our universe in all its glorious nakedness: wearing only its polarities. In trying to be 'good', 'moderate', 'politically correct', 'diplomatic'... and all the other things we try to be, to be socially acceptable, we collectively pushed into the shadows the overarching truth, that the universe as we experience it in the human form has a dual nature. There is positive and negative, minus and plus, male and female, bad and good. In the name of tolerance, shame and social correctness we pretended to walk the middle ground for a long time, trying to transcend the polarities, 'fitting in'.
And now, it is laid bare. And we are asked to vote. Good or bad? Right or wrong? Judgmental or non-judgmental? 
It is not just about the President of the US. It is about what will preside in us. And it is not a one-time vote. It is a vote we need to cast every moment of our existence. Are we ready to engage our polarities, and not transcend them? Are we willing to acknowledge all that we are - a fascinating mess of possibilities - and consciously choose a stance for every moment of our lives? Sometimes it serves to be good and sometimes the bad helps too. To some I am an angel, others learn from the devil in me.
This is way beyond the elections. Are we, as humanity, ready to vote for conscious living, over and over again?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Light and Dark - In Union

When the candle dwindled
And began to merge
With where it began
The floor lit up in union.
The darkest place
Was no longer under the candle.
In oneness
There is only rejoicing light.
And then
The satiated dark
That no longer fights
The light it was born out of.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

An Intent for Freedom and Oneness

Taking off from Rabindranath Tagore, on India's 70th Independence Day on 15 Aug 2016... The beauty in the verse is his, the blemishes are mine...
Where the mind needs no borders and the planet is free
Where passports are no longer in existence
Because we belong everywhere
Where families come about through the depths of our hearts
And not because there are institutions that tie us together
Where the clear voice of oneness guides our way
As we labour, in love of our world
To create beauty, simply to celebrate who we are
Into that home of freedom,
Let my being awake.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Happy Women's Day, Man!

In the last few months, I have heard men communicate through media their expectations about us Indian women, including:

- The number of children we must produce
- What we ought to wear
- When must we return home in the evening
- The technology we should not use
- The gender we could be friends with
- The ideal response in case we are in the process of being raped

Once I overcome my initial judgment of disdain and disgust towards the men who make these statements (and the women who support them), I am aware of the huge sense of powerlessness in these men. This lack of power is so overwhelming that it makes them beg, borrow and steal it from the women around them, who in their eyes, is supremely powerful. And why not: she can give life, nurture it, be beautiful, be professional, celebrate her myriad roles and her sexuality and rule the world. The power of her womb fuels humanity.

Yes, man, I understand your powerlessness. You have no womb. However, you were formed in one. You will always have the womb energy of your mother available to you, should you choose to access your power. 

If you want to feel powerful, have the courage to nurture those around you, knowing that one day they will force their way out of this nurturing womb, tearing you in the process; but you will have co-created life.

If you want to experience power, accept the cycle of the womb and be brave enough to welcome pleasant emotions and unpleasant feelings. The womb is wise, it flows with the rhythm of the universe and knows that destruction is the first step of creation.

If you want to know your power, learn to respect choices. The womb does not grudge the choice of an unfertilised egg; it purges it and relentlessly moves on to release another egg in the next cycle. When a woman says no to you, man, learn to respect it. Rejection of your overtures does not make you small. What makes you small is your inability to accept the response.

No matter how much you try to control and force us, man, you will not be powerful. We women are powerful because we celebrate the woman in us by claiming our power, as much as we express the man in us through love. You, man, need to claim yourself first. Be man enough to love. And then, access the woman in you and dare to nurture, trust and respect. You will then know power.

Here’s to the woman in you, man… Happy women’s day! You need this day more than we do.

Friday, January 30, 2015

What did you die for, soldier?

This poem is a tribute to Col MN Rai of the Indian Army, and thousands of others soldiers who die around the world, hopefully believing a worthy cause. Col Rai’s daughter bid him farewell with the battle cry of his regiment. It made me wonder, will she grow up wanting revenge, or peace?

What did you die for, soldier?
Was it for your daughter
Who bid you farewell
With the battle cry of your regiment?
Was it for your fellow soldiers
Who responded to your daughter’s cry
And stood with her in solidarity?
Was it for the country
That decorated you with a medal
For guarding its borders?
Was it for me
A citizen you never knew,
Who wonders where her loyalties lie?
Am I disloyal to you soldier,
If I have friends across the border
And whose children are dear to me as my own?
Am I disrespecting you soldier,
For sharing a dream with these friends
For a borderless world?
I applaud your commitment soldier
But forgive me, I do not understand
What you were committed to.
Was it for a concept called India
Or against an idea called Pakistan?
I am proud of the land I come from
I am grateful to the Earth and her resources here
For making us who we are.
I am a product of the people of this land,
Cradled in its culture and nurtured in its values.
I am proud to claim my Indianness.
But forgive me, soldier
If my Indianness does not reject other identities.
I am sorry, soldier
But my loyalties do not lie
With two governments keeping a war alive
For reasons I cannot comprehend.
Did you die for the India in me, soldier
Or for the idea of India that is at war
Against a concept called Pakistan?
Countries are but notions
We created to embody ideas we reject in us
Are we a race that glorifies killing each other
Over mere ideas we do not accept?
I have a conundrum in me and no answers
But I pray that you rest in peace, soldier.
I hope, in your death,
You have given life to an idea of peace
In your daughter who cries for you.
I hope she learns to overcome
The idea of borders that killed you.