Friday, 17 April 2015


TS Eliot said, “April is the cruelest month.” It can be, if you are not in alignment with the planet that blooms. I myself have had many miserable springs in the past because what makes it worse is that everything around you is so happy and alive! You alone stand in the midst of such heartbreaking beauty, the sole miserable thing.

Even if you are an atheist, if you become aware of the power and beauty, the sheer aliveness of our blooming, coloring planet, the very epitome of affirmation, gladness floods your heart.

The following is translated by Nikky- Guninder Kaur Singh, a great scholar and now, a dear, dear friend. If you can get a hold of THE NAME OF MY BELOVED, VERSES OF THE SIKH GURUS, do so. I found mine on Amazon. It is lovely and contains by far the best translations I have had the good fortune to read.

Chet is glorious, the bumble bees delight in spring,
Barren woods bloom and I long for my Beloved
To come home.
If the Beloved does not come, how can a woman be happy?
Her body trembles with yearning.
The koel sings happily in the mango grove;
How can I hear the ache inside?
The bumble bee hovers around the blossom boughs.
Mother, how can I live in this deathly state?
Nanak says, in the Month of Chet, joy comes naturally,
If the woman finds the divine Groom in her house.  

Thursday, 16 April 2015



 After a month of silence in which the last thing I wanted to do was post on the blog (too much was happening), I am in the mood to make contact with words again. Publically. Getting on the plane I was so hungry for solitude and to make contact with writing that over the long flight I edited the first twelve chapters of the next book in the series of the Sikh Saga, THE DANCING GURU (by the way, have you bought a copy of THE SINGING GURU yet and posted a review on Would appreciate it! I need sales to help place the next book) and upon my return, while buying a car while in the throes of jet lag, completed two more chapters. Clearly, as my body let me know, it was too much. So I pulled way back and allowed myself some much needed rest. Life is so simple when all you do is the necessary! When the goal of your day is to make sure you straighten up your room (and I only have one room to deal with in my third life, mercifully) when you feel like it (and most of the time I take my time with it with the result that my OCD mother has anxiety attacks even if she just peeps in), brush your teeth (a must, though I let it slide some times. Most of the time I am so aware of the foul breath of others that I don’t want to subject anyone to mine), bathe, think about what food to eat.

Speaking about food, I simply adore that my eating needs are so very simplified and a little goes a long way if it is the right little. I tiny bit of kabab and veges, or an egg with cheese can sustain me for half a day.

What was I speaking about? Ah yes, posting. I had to scroll up to the top of this entry to find the connection, the mind happy to wander and fall into lapses. I want to speak a bit more about my third life and how much I love having help. This is definitely a perk I miss in the USA. I can write more here because of it. I am quite happy to let others do the things they do better than I do, and reserve for myself only the things that I can.

So, what I meant to say was that I will post as much as I can while I can, both in terms of energy and internet connection. When I return to our home in the Himalayas, the connection is always iffy till I have bugged the Internet folks enough to ensure there is an almost steady availability. It is good to get away from the compulsion to blog, and good when I want to ramble this way, here.


 I'm in India now, in the city, with my mother, my loving family all around me, embedded in the larger community of my mother’s help, maid, cook, gardener, driver, cleaning person, and teeming humanity outside, living my third life: Urban India. I hit the ground running after an extremely busy time in the US, negotiating for a new car since we had sold ours before we left for the US in October. My nephew, JD, helped with everything, and within two days I had a car and had it fitted with things I wanted, seat covers, mats, bumpers, roof rack, etc etc. Though I had so much help with it, I was so exhausted at the end of it that I spent two days in bed with a fever. Today I have to get it registered, which I am told is a long and perhaps tiresome process.

Yesterday I ran some necessary errands, stepping into the teeming bazars to get two zippers fixed on my backpack. A new development in my psyche says, don’t buy, fix. Fortunately, you can get just about everything fixed in India. My bill was about 50 cents. Another of my mottos these days: make do or do without. It’s all in the service of simplicity. Unfortunately we have to wait till our later years to learn the supreme necessity for simplification. At least, this is so in my case. But don’t let me fool you into thinking I have arrived! Instead of shopping in the stores I simply love online shopping for its convenience, and, yes, I am still shopping! My amazing discovery last year was that amazon has a branch in India,, which takes the pain out of driving around in the city buying necessary things. And don’t let me fool you here, either! I don’t always buy things that are necessary. When the shopping bug bites, I like to buy things that are not in the least necessary. I have discovered that instead of carting gifts from America, I can buy them on amazon here, which takes my American credit card and makes things so easy. I have bought a ton of books for my grandnieces, and kitchen items for my nieces who are building a new home. Though I deplore amazon for its business practices, convenience at this age of my life wins the conscience battle.

         But I had to ‘descend’ into the market place to get my zippers fixed, buy medication for myself and my mother, some delicious seekh kababs, and get my old sim card fitted into my new iphone. I marvel at the crowds, the teeming, colorful humanity that overflows in our bazaars. I can take it only in small doses now, another function of aging, I suppose. My mother at 94 rarely, if ever, leaves the house. Fortunately, she too has old contacts with stores that send her items she needs. Last year she had expressed a desire to have new curtains for her room and I thought it was a good idea. It would give her something to be involved with and it would brighten up her room in which she spends most of her waking and sleeping life. So yesterday I went looking for curtain material with pink flowers and found it in the first store I walked into just as I walked in. I clicked a photo of it, and she liked it. How very merciful when you don’t have to go looking far for what you are looking for. And doesn’t this apply also to our inmost needs for the Divine? No need to go to temple or church or gurdwara. One simply has to walk through the wide open doors of the heart.