He is always ahead of me. ALWAYS.

Adi is always ahead of me. ALWAYS.

Here are the questions that I had to field in today’s Ambal-Adi summer 2013 bootcamp.

What is the truth?
Does life exist after death?
Are we alone on this solar system?
Are we just energy sources?
Is this all a dream?
What is the meaning of life?
What is the Karma Yoga you are always telling me about?
I see…there are other Yogas – Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga
Does God exist?
History of religions?
Are we in a dream?
It is all your perception, mom, really?
It is all in the mind, is it?
Does free-will exist?
Is everything predestined?
Why do you perceive purple during meditation?
Really, You and I might have energy and light transfer..and perhaps nothing else, really?

How do I feed his curiosity?
Seriously, how do I?
I don’t have answers…just more questions for him.

I told him what I always tell myself “Be open to all ideas. Be open to every thought. But, also be skeptical. Don’t accept anything as true. Look for what is not obvious. Keep seeking.”

I felt the urge to discuss Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle with him.
But, that has to wait until later.

2 Jasmine Flowers from My Backyard

I had some of the best middle school English teachers. They didn’t just teach me. They imparted love for the language and poetry. I also grew up with a great love for Tamil poetry.

I plucked these 2 fragrant jasmine flowers from the backyard. These flowers remind me of a beautiful poem from Poet Valli.

Here is part of the poem transliterated in English:

Kadavul thandha iru malargal kanmalarndha pon malargal
Onru paavai koondhalilae onru paadhai oaraththilae

Alaiyil midhandha malar kandu adhanmael karunai manam kondu
Thalaiyil iraivan soodikkondaan thaanae adhanai saerththukkondaan
Kuzhalil soodiya oru malarum koayil saerndha oru malarum
Irandum vaazhvil perumai perum idhayam engum amaidhi perum

Here is part of the poem in Tamil with English translation:

கடவுள் தந்த இரு மலர்கள் கண் மலர்ந்த பொண் மலர்கள்
ஒன்று பாவை கூந்தலிலே ஒன்று பாதை ஓரத்திலே
Two precious flowers given by God;
One fortunate enough to adorn a charming girl while other floated by placid water.
அலையில் மிதந்த மலர் கண்டு அதன்மேல் கருனை மனம் கொண்டு
தலையில் இறைவன் சூடிக்கொண்டான் தானே அதனை சேர்த்துக்கொண்டான்
Seeing the plight of the floating flower, the Creator with grace adorned Himself with that.
குழலில் சூடிய ஒரு மலரும் கோயில் சேர்ந்த ஒரு மலரும்
இரண்டும் வாழ்வில் பெருமை பெறும் இதயம் எங்கும் அமைதி பெறும்
Both the flowers get their glory by adorning;
So will the heart get filled with peace (for everyone)

English Translation was provided by my friend Daisy whose love for Tamil exceeds mine by many fold.

Random Acts of Kindness

I had told my buddy that I would bring my camera along to capture all the lovely moments at her son graduation celebration.

On graduation day, parking was a nightmare.

I saw a family pulling into their garage (just about 1/4 mile from the high school) and asked “I am rushing to my friend’s son graduation. Can you please let me park in your driveway?” Guess what. They smiled and said “Yes”.

I thanked them, parked the car in a super-fast-James-Bond-style-turn and ran towards the soccer field to spot my friend’s son.

The boys and I went through a sea of people cheering for grads. I started clicking pictures.

That is when I spotted him. A stranger. He had a large zoom lens on his camera.

I rushed up to him and said “Can you please loan me your zoom lens for a couple of minutes to click some pictures of my friend’s son?”

He said “Sorry…this lens won’t fit on your camera. But, tell me when he walks up to the podium and I will click some pictures.”

When my friend’s son walked up to the podium, I clicked pictures and so did he.

I got his email address. That night, I emailed him my email address and asked him to send me the pictures. Just a few days later, he sent me several great close-up-shots of the newly minted graduate.

Sometimes, all it takes is just an ASK.

Spring Planting

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.” – Buddha

Spring Planting - Ambal Balakrishnan

The boys helped me plant some flowers in the front yard.