On Pain

“chinnach chinna thoalvigaL kaettaen
seekkiram aaRum kaayam kaettaen”

I asked for small failures.
I asked for wounds that heal fast.

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. – Khalil Gibran

Pain is not a bad thing.
Emotional pain.
Physical pain.
None of that is bad.

For life to be birthed, there is pain involved.
For muscle to be built, there is pain involved.
For us to work through loss, there is pain involved.

We all go through life with moments when our hearts swells.
We also go through moments that break our heart.
We pull through that because we finds ways to cope through that pain.

We all deal with sadness in our one way.
Some of us seek company.
Some of us seek solitude.

Some of us mask our pain.
Some of us wear it like a badge of honor.

Some of us shed tears.
Some of us smile through it all.

Whatever method we choose, we cope through sadness and pain.

Pain gets a bad wrap. But, it is beautiful.
Pain is part of life.

Pain is what gets us through the tough challenges in life and make us stronger……physically and emotionally.

Pain always makes us to do the Phoenix Rising from the Ashes act…over and over again.

So, here is to pain.
Embrace it. And, allow it to heal you.

Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. – Walter Anderson

Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave. – Mary Tyler Moore

The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you. – Tony Robbins

There is no birth of consciousness without pain. – Carl Jung

Turn your wounds into wisdom. – Oprah Winfrey

I am just surprised with you, Oh Life!

Hindi Lyrics:
Tujhse Naaraaz Nahiin Zindagi
Hairaan Hoon Main O Hairaan Huun Main

English Translation:
I am not unhappy (or angry or upset) with you, Oh Life.
I am just surprised (or astonished) with you, Oh Life.

Poet Gulzar’s “Tujhse Naraz Nahi Zindagi” lyrics are philosophical, delicately capture the complexity of life and tug at your heart.
As I find myself at crossroads and at bridges that need to crossed, I find solace and strength in Gulzar’s words.

I hope you hear it too and find solace and strength to work through the current phase of your life.

 

On Holding your Head High

Thatha (Grandpa TVS) told me to live like Poet Bharathiyar’s Pudumhai Penn (The New Age Woman). Bharathiyar was a visionary, and amongst other notable poets who fought for women empowerment.

Here is one of Bharathiyar’s poetry:
Nimirndha nan nadai naer konda paarvaiyum
Nilathil yaarkkum anjaatha nerigalum
Thimirndha gnana cherukkum iruppadhaal
Semmai maadhar thirambuvadhu illaiyaam.

English Translation:
Her head held high, and looking straight through with piercing eyes,
Unafraid of any one because of innate integrity,
Possessing assuredness born of courage of conviction.
The New Age Woman never feels inferior to any.

On Cutting Onions

Kumar and the boys are usually the vegetable cutters in the family.
They help chop. I help cook.

I rushed home after picking up boys and gave some snacks to fend of their hunger.

Since my vegetable cutter was delayed at work, I started madly chopping the onions in a rush to get dinner started.

I hate chopping onions.
I was cursing the onions as the tears started pouring down my eyes.

The boys glanced at each other and shook their head.

I did my death stare and quipped – “Quit staring at me. Can y’all focus and study?

They both quietly walked to where my sun glasses were.
They brought it to me, placed it on my face and said – “Hope this prevents those tears.
Then, they walked away quietly after clicking a picture as I continued to madly chop the freakin’ onions.

When the boys were young, I often sang one of my favorite Bharathiyar’s song to them.
un kannil neer vazhindhaal, en nenjil udhiram kottudhadi
(Meaning: When I see tears trickling down your eyes, blood pours out of my heart)

Later in the evening, the boys joked about their own version of the song:
un kannil neer vazhindhaal, naan cooling glass koddupen
(Meaning: When I see tears trickling down your eyes, I will bring sun glasses to you)

I love how the boys are always looking out for me. What more does a gal need?

On the Spice of Life – The Story of Paruppu Podi Present

{Paruppu podi, paruppu means dhal and podi means powder in Tamil. It is also called Spiced Dhal Powder.}

I would drive home from work after a long day and start cooking. Since I didn’t want the boys to feel the void, I would go the extra mile. I would lay out an elaborate spread on the dining table.

They would show up at the table day after day and asked one question – “Where is the paruppu podi?

I seethed inside….but, would just smile, walk over to the pantry and bring out the paruppu podi box.

How could I blame the boys for looking past my elaborate spread?

They had grown up with both sets of grandparents pampering them in every away possible… including food.Before the grandparents returned to India after their frequent trips to the US, they would have made tons of paruppu podi and store them in the pantry. It was what you call “risk management” or “contingency plan” or “Plan B”. You get that, right? To save the boys from my “cooking” and ensure they are fed well….at least with paruppu podi.

So, that is what happened for over a decade.
Grandparents arrive.
Grandparents pamper.
Grandparents feed.
Grandparents make tons of paruppu podi and store them in the pantry.
Grandparents return.

I go to work.
Come back.
Cook.
Serve.
And the boys didn’t give a rat’s a** about my serving.
They wanted the freakin’ paruppu podi that their grandparents had made.

I was narrating this story to my neighbor Gita.

Guess what happened a week later?

When Gita’s mom came to visit Austin, she brought over a box of yummy paruppu podi for the boys.

I am so thankful for the bonds that bind us together…..because, such is the spice of life.