Perception

Ahh!! Imagine the perspective of a seed. When does a seed first come aware of itself? That it is there? That it is? I do not know! I would like to imagine when the seed was first born! But when was the seed first born is a question for the scientists, intellectuals, philosophers, theologians, Eckhart Tolle, Dalai Lama, mothers and fathers of the world, birds, sky, water, gurus and mystics, and plane jane kind of thinkers.  But what if the seed is seeing only outside, not inside of itself, then does it know it exists or it knows of only the environment in which it exists?

What if? its a great question! What is! a great answer only if we can truly deduce what truly is.  It must be easier for some other tree to tell the seed what is! The seed will be told you will grow up to be a tree as tall as me and you will live forever like me! Or a left over bark of a tree that will tell the seed, don’t worry growing up because world outside is harsh, you will grow tall and then one day they will chop you off! It all depends on who is around the seed, and their perception of the world.  If seed is in a very diverse environment, it will look at all the different possibilities select what appeals the most, and think that is what I will be when I grow up, given the seed knows that it has the power to choose or make a decision. The best choice would be for the seed to look within and think of where it came from and enjoy the bliss of being. Each moment, the seed says, “Haha, I exist, yippie! I cannot wait to see what I will be next.”

Right now a seed is sleeping in mother earth’s womb, it is only aware of that environment. It feels like when it will open its eyes- at that moment it will sprout from the earth, breathing, a fresh little tiny green seedling. That is a new environment for it now. There is a wide open sky and other beings around this new being. What should the seed do to survive? As they say survival of the fittest and then there are some of us trying to fit everyone in the survival. Survive, survive! theorists and believers yell at the seed! and the seed says, “Yes, I am surviving!” And some of us say, “No you have to run in order to survive!”

That’s it we just told the seed that it failed the survival test! Can you see the little green seedling sad because it didn’t fit the standards because of the outside voice’s expectation of the seed, based on their own perception of what it means to survive successfully!

I feel that I exist and that I am happy that I exist should be good enough of a test. Oh but the voices! I wish the whole world would go on if not a day but on an hour of strike. Everyone stop working simultaneously, stop thinking, stop right there and then just experience their own existence for an hour, like a little baby who plays with themselves! (Hey, I got toes, and fingers and they sure do taste great!)

I tell you that hour itself is long for runners like us, may be start with 60 precious seconds! Time out for bliss!

May be don’t try harder, may be don’t try smarter, may be don’t try at all. Just be. You and me will be thankful to thee.

Retrospectively, I wish I knew that this is what is important: to be and not to not to be. I wish I could tell him that, just be. His life and after-life both remain the greatest lesson for me. He remains a guru of me and his legacy lives through me, complicating and simplifying my existence at the same time as I wait to see what will become of me.

In my brother’s name.

Amen.

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A Village It Takes

Mystery remains, but contemplation does not.  Yesterday, I drove my brother’s car to a class I am taking that I hope will be useful in the future to fulfill his dream of becoming a producer and director. My brother is fascinated by the world of movies, Bollywood and Hollywood alike. He also has a great love for music from all over the world, except I think what are called “Bhajans or Chants.”  He listens to all kinds of music and has left a vast collection for me to delve in to understand his taste better. If I compare myself, I like “Bhajans or Chants” more than anything and I like documentaries with a passion. This is where we differ.  On that note, he was listening to Will Smith’s Big Willie Style, its seems in his last hours as I saw in his car.  The cover of the CD has this quote from Will Smith, and seems to be probably one of the messages, may be my brother wanted to convey or may be not.

“It’s always hard when the time comes to do the “thank yous.” I always manage to forget somebody and then I see them on the street somewhere and they scream, “I gave you the best years of my life, and no thanks is the thanks I get!” So in the interest of time, space on the back of this album, and the avoidance of public ridicule, first and foremost, I would like to thank God. I would like to thank Mom Mom, Daddy O, GiGi and my entire family. Like the African proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I’ve been raised by a couple of villages full of people too innumerable to name. But to all of my friends, and all the “villagers” that have helped me, not only with this album, but with my career and life in general — you know who you are. And I want you to know that I’m very clear that no one becomes “The Big Williest” by themselves. And to Trey and Jada, I live, love and work, every second of every day, hoping to make you proud of who I am. I love you.

My father came from a small town, with a village like setting where news about each other spreads like wildfire, or we can say goes viral.  This is where cousins become life long friends and even neighbors are treated like uncles and aunts. May be it would have been a safe environment for him to thrive, may be not. My mother comes from a very close knit family, where every one follows their passion in living their lives fullest.  I often feel that me and my brother found ourselves at the crossroads of these two mindsets within a sub culture while often feeling burdened with as well as rejoicing in the immigration experience here in the USA.

For me the love of both countries is profound, the roots of  “Bharat” (known as India) and the branches of the “USA.” I think my brother felt the same way.  I am hoping to make a bridge for myself, for my peace, for my equilibrium across the Atlantic Ocean, flying over the Indian Ocean and landing in “Bombay Dreams,” somehow to reach over to my brother sitting next to me as I write this, but on the “Other Side.”

In my brother’s name.

Amen.

Meditation

During the course of over six months, I have learned the benefits of meditation, experienced some benefits of meditation and also often rejected meditation. Often I have wondered why we are not taught meditation in schools and universities as a very important technique to help focus the mind on positivity, peace and progress. To take a minute or two of silence when we are feeling overwhelmed, confused or even experiencing brain-fry, helps us gain inner strength to keep us going in this world of disorganization.  Much more than strength, I feel that meditation can help us get clarity and patience to take one step at a time.

I found this interesting article through Google Search, that makes analogies between driving a car and meditation. Most religions will tell us to meditate on the “Most High,” often we call “God.”  Being part of a Brahmin family (Brahmin means one who seeks the truth), raised in Sanātana Dharma (The Eternal Law), also popularly known as Hinduism, mistakenly considered a religion, I have been given an “open sky” to choose from and find the “one” to meditate on. I am aware of my “shovel,” that I have a “path,” and that I have to lay my “bricks,’ one by one with patience.

Oh what a burden! Do I want a “Purpose Driven Life?” Isn’t purpose, purposeful? Shouldn’t our deeds be purposeless or not focused on the outcome itself. As they say, enjoy the journey more than the destination?

What purpose then philosophy serves, except the ifs and buts? What purpose then planning for your life serves? What purpose then dreaming up your desires serve? What purpose even then achieving goals serves? Other than the only purpose should be the purpose not of you but the one who “created” us!

Sounds all confusing, but this is just a start of revelations to come!! Would “Hallelujah” be appropriate to say here?

It is much easier to meditate on my brother’s life, to remember his little toes, unique design of his hands, his smiles when he was tickled, the easy sunny life that he deserved always and forever. There was no race, no color, no boundaries, no us vs. them in my brother’s life, it was all together. All the puzzles fit together for him naturally, yet not so much for others outside of him.

He was working on his method, and from a little bit I know of his internal universe, I try to connect the pieces together, hoping to create a method for me, in my brother’s name.

Amen.

Rosary

If moments are like dew drops, holding memories in them, then definitely my time on earth could look like a rosary made of memories.  We often think that we will not be able to survive a loved one’s passing away, that we would never remain the same, and actually we never even ever imagine that we will ever lose a loved one in our life time. Coping skills become necessary for the survival of the ones left behind.  People who have gone through stress, loss, trauma, abuse, rape, bullying, and experienced their own “ground zero” in their lifetime, may cope differently or use the same method for everything. And then there is grieving, and sometimes time becomes an important factor.  We often hear, “Time will heal you,” or “It will get better with time,” or “Time is the biggest healer.”

Just like a Rosary, helps us remember the “divine memory,” my moments now and then, remind me of my deceased brother.  He may have passed away, leaving us with his memories, but with each memory that reminds me of him, I become strong willed, in my faith.  This is my faith in my existence, that which is related to him profoundly. I see my brother in a lot more people now, he is in the green leaves, he is in the water, he is in the air, and as a matter of fact, he could now be anywhere or everywhere.

He was universal in his thoughts, a simpleton by nature, yet who understood things that I could not. To me life was always with him, not without him. Since I cannot refute the fact, I can definitely defy living without him. I have received strength from my friends during periods in my life where I was struggling, coping with loss, shame, discontentment, and disappointments, but most of all the foundations of my striving in life was due to my brother’s graceful endurance of pain.

And when I think about his pain, that which I cannot fathom, even though I saw him go through it everyday, all I can do is stop for a moment in my life, remember his pain, before mine, be humbled by his strength and then strive on, in my brother’s name.

Amen.

Prayer

There is a great mystery, that a lot of us seek, and then there is a great mystery that I seek. Everyday, as I eat, I walk, sit, and sleep, as I breathe and as I see, I remember more and more memories of my brother, and yet more memories revealed to me through others. Together, these like pearls of a necklace, helping me see my brother, from his past, to what his future would have been, to that one moment….that forever remains his never ending present, the last moment when I saw him. This last moment was very much alive, breathing, even though his body was not, and then it all snapped…like a gush of ocean wave larger and more powerful than you, engulfing you with the truth of your own body.

The clock has stopped, but it is still ticking. It is illusion, its maya. Its senseless sensation. Its nothing in everything and everything in nothing. Sense of time, but now…its endless and eternal. There is no rush, for there is eternity at my hand, and yet, I cannot afford to loose time, because I wish to finish my work while I can. To learn what I came here to learn, to inherently ingrain it in my conciousness, so I can learn more and more, until it snaps again, like a gush of ocean wave larger and more powerful than you, engulfing you and reducing your body to absolutely nothing. Zero.

In the past, I was feeding myself for future sometimes, sometime for the present. Today, I had a Strawberry Banana Smoothie, in my brother’s name.

Amen.

Two Weeks Since…

It has been two weeks, since I last saw my brother alive…and last time. We realized by Thursday that he was missing. He did not return his calls and we grew worried. We filed a report on Thursday night, and he went into missing person directory that night itself. Next day, a detective was assigned to the file and by Sunday, my parents were told that his body was found in a river in Virginia, where he had left his car.

For about two weeks, now, our family’s fate has been revealed to be something we can never imagine. For me, it is a void that no one ever can fill. I spent most of my lifetime with my brother sharing, laughing, playing, dreaming and sometimes fighting together.

No words, money, ransom, tears, laugh, joy and prayers could possibly bring him back in the form he was born.  He is a special sensitive soul who cared for everyone deeply and yet would rarely express his own pain. I cannot say that may his soul rest in peace, as I would not like him to rest until he has finished figuring out how we can approach his dreams and fulfill them. I cannot say good bye to my one and only younger brother. Yet, I cannot stop searching for him either. Out of all of this, we do not know why exactly my brother went missing and why we all had to experience this fate together as a family.

With this, past, present and future have amalgamated into one….moment, this moment is now….this passing moment and each moment is right here in its vast emptiness, in its hollowness, in its silent echo, in its wide space, ever shrinking and expanding universe. It is in my head, in my subconcious and everywhere around me: every single minute in his memory. I write this blog as I search for meaning of life after him, taking it as a pilgrimage, thinking of him, and doing my part in my brother’s name. Amen.