The bench

It is 5 pm in the evening, and I head out for a walk. The rain has spent itself, and puddles have formed everywhere. Silver water drops hang precariously on leaves and branches. Some droplets catch the evening sun and sparkle.

I walk down the trail, taking in the scents of flowers, rain-soaked leaves and wet soil. I can hear some birds calling out, but I can’t see them. There are beautiful flowers and buds. There is this group of mynas in front of me, their attention drawn to something in the bushes.

I click some pictures, trying to capture the beauty that I am experiencing. Ants on leaves, star jasmine flowers, buds filled with promise and hope, a flower that has fallen down on the trail – totally unmarred – and dried leaves that make squelching sounds when I walk through them.

It is an idyllic evening, and I stop frequently to observe the plants. And then, at about the midpoint of my walk, I see this – a beautiful wooden bench, surrounded by green foliage.

This bench is my pit stop. I sit and close my eyes, and focus on the sounds of the rustling leaves. I focus on my breath, I take long, deep breaths, and life seems perfect just the way it is.

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow seems faraway. I am in the here and the now, and a feeling of peace envelopes me.

Sitting on this bench, I ponder over the mysteries of life and its purpose. I am grateful for this moment that is totally mine, to look within.

The birds are heading home, the plants are settling down for the day, and I leave this beautiful bench, totally rejuvenated.


Smart meditation

I have recently experienced the benefits of guided meditation. My smartphone’s appstore offers a wide range of meditation apps to choose from.

I settle down on my bed, lying on my back, consciously switching off the sounds around me, and retreating into the deeper recesses of my mind, my ears capturing the instructions from the phone. I breathe in, and let out my breath.

                                  Courtesy –
I tense my body, breathe in, relax and breathe out. I follow all the instructions and have started feeling really good.

The voice says, “Let go…and relax.”

I relax a bit too much; by stretching my arms more than they should.

 I feel it before I hear it. My outsretched left arm has sent my smartphone flying through the railings at the head of my bed and down to the floor below.

Where there were no thoughts, dozens of thoughts come invading. 

” My phone, it is new, has the screen cracked? ”

The guided voice resumes. “Take a deep breath.”

 I try to relax my mind, which is repeatedly conjuring up images of a shattered screen.

I am tempted to jump down and look under the cot. My mind reasons, “If the screen is already shattered, there’s nothing to be done. So why not complete the meditation, given the fact that my guide seems to be doing his job.”

I settle down to continue this two-level meditation. I manage to finish it.

After relaxing for a few minutes, I allow my body to leap out of the bed and crawl under it.

My phone lies out of reach. I bring a stick to gently draw it towards me. I pray and hope for the best.

My phone comes out intact. I breathe out in relief and relax truly!

The calm and the storm !

The forties have rolled around, and my husband and I are increasingly conscious about our health and its maintenance.

From cardio to healthy eating, and ‘working out’ the steps walked, and our heart rates and all kinds of statistics, we have all the gadgets to track our progress, and to gently boost our egos.

And no, we have not forgotten the ‘taming of our minds’ or our inner well being. We are working on these too!

However, this post is not about all this. This post is about why husbands should not meditate in the mornings.

So, a few days ago, my husband learnt a new technique of meditation.  He loved what it did for him during the training, and weekend practice sessions.

And on a crazy Monday morning, when the house was torn in two, and I buzzed from room to room, cooking, waking kids up and finding lost papers and socks, my sprint from the kitchen to the master bedroom came to a sudden halt – for, in the middle of the room, resting on the floor in a lotus pose, was hubby dear, breathing deep and inhaling peace and calm and feeding them to his every pore. He was oblivious to the world and needless to say, my presence.


   Courtesy –

I crept behind him to open the wardrobe. It let out a mild creaking sound. I closed it and rushed out. My breath  came out in short bursts as my annoyance bubbled. Here I was rushing like a whirlwind and….

At the breakfast table, I hinted to my husband to take his meditative efforts to the guest room, so that he would not be in my way. He complied.

The next morning, as the whirlwind swept me from chore to chore, I realized that I needed some handtowels that I had stored in the guest room.

I gatecrashed the meditation. I slunk behind the calm, and opened the drawer to take the towels. I made various thudding and scraping sounds as I opened and closed the drawers..

I looked at my husband. He did not show any signs of having heard me.

At breakfast, I asked him if he could move to the living room, facing the balcony.

He tried that too…but the phone rang, the door bell rang, and the kitchen sounds probably got to him.

Haven’t seen him meditate in a while. Hmmm.