A time to be born, and a time to die

As always, I was doing my nightly reading late yesterday night and came across this beauty from the Book of Ecclesiastes:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.

Read VANITY OF HUMAN TOIL from the Book of Ecclesiastes here and read my thoughts on time here.

On Giving your Word

“theerththak karaiyinilae therku moolaiyil shenbagath thoattaththilae
paarththirundhaal varuvaen vennilaavilae paanigiyoadenru sonnaay
vaarththai thavarivittaay adi kannammaa maarbu thudikkudhadi
paarththa idaththilellaam unnaip poalavae paavai theriyudhadi”
– Poet Bharathiyar

Grandpa TVS told me that my word is my bond.

Not a bond paper.
Not a signature.
Not a legal document.

My word.
That is my bond.

When I say I will try my best, I do try my best.
When I say I’ll show up at your door step, I do show up.

If I have no intention of doing it, then I never make that promise in the first place. On the rare occasion, when I have to find myself in a situation where I have to go back on a promise because of a conflicting situation, I call the party involved and apologize.

But, in this day and age, a word in not a bond.
Alas….words are often said….to just be said…not with the intention of keeping it.

So, your word…is that your bond?

On walking away from my Chariot

I don’t attach any value to material things.
So, I was completely shocked at myself today evening.

Despite our crazy evening schedule today, he didn’t rush me.

I lingered in the front and back.
I walked around.
I got in.
I ran my cold hand through the steering wheel.
I was shocked as the tears started dripping down my cheeks.

Kumar, the gentleman he always is, waited, patiently, a few hundred feet away.

How do you walk away from a decade?

How do you?

We had picked up the 8 year old minivan almost a decade ago when we were expecting Ari.

Since that moment…

Drop offs.

The list is endless.

During one of our mountain climbing trips to Yosemite, Kumar and I had parked the minivan in Tulume Meadows and slept the night in the back row… so, we could get a headstart on the long trail that lay ahead of us.

I forget the count of family members and friends who have ridden in the minivan over the years.

We have used the minivan to help friends move so many times.

My mom and Kumar’s mom have ridden in the minivan and felt proud with how their 5 foot daughter navigated the beast of a machine tactfully and speedily through traffic.

After long awaited dinner dates, many friends have sat in the passenger seat beside me after dinner… chatting away in the wee hours of the night in a well lit parking lot… catching up…. crying on my shoulder or letting me cry on their shoulder…not saying a word but just holding each other to cope with a lose…or laughing non stop about old times. All that drama in the minivan.

So much eating… laughter..singing… and partying in the minivan.

This is the minivan into which I packed bare essentials, the boys and the dog and drove 1800 miles with Kumar from CA to TX to start our life over.

So many accidents in the front, side or rear. And, I have survived those accidents and lived to tell the story.

How do you walk away from a decade?

That is why I felt compelled to linger and say goodbye…. as if the goodbye was to a very dear friend that I’ll never meet again.

Later in the night, as we were driving back home, I questioned myself. Was I cheating myself with some fake detachment mentality? If I was truly detached from material things as I think I am… why did I have such a difficult time walking away from a giant piece of metal with great horsepower.

I kept mulling.

And, finally, the answer came to me.

I am not attached to the mechanical marvel that was my chariot and served the family so well in the last decade.

I am attached to the memories of a lifetime that were made in and through the minivan.

And, I am ok with that. I should be. Should I not?

I am not a saint to detach from memories. Wouldn’t that make me inhuman? For better or worse, I have to live through this human avatar during this lifetime… so, might as well hold on and cherish the memories.

Hence, the fond goodbye to a fond friend.

On finding Peace and Strength

Sometimes, I find a shaded spot under a tree.

I sit down for just a bit.
I let the sun peak at me through the leaves on the tree.
I let the cool breeze nourish my body and soul.

I remember the days of past when I played on a swing in Thatha’s field under a shaded tamarind tree. I remember and feel gratitude for that utterly carefree days of my youth.

I find peace.
I find strength.

Then, I get up and go about my usual madness.

Anyways, it was one of those rare Sunday evenings when I got to sit down quietly for a few minutes and enjoy a hot cup of chai.

Amen to finding peace.