A door open, forever.

The world is filled with people who talk an awful lot but only to conceal who they really are. Walking around them with an open heart often feels like an aberration.

The heart has the ability to see the truth invisible to the eyes.It fathoms the heaviness of the secrets one struggle to keep.This lack of openness often hurts my simplistic expectations about the other.It then gets challenging to stop the heart from shutting down.However, often, in those moments of holding onto the finest threads of faith, magic occurs.

Today, while returning from the office, on the bus,I met a little girl. Peeping out from a navy blue jacket hood,her big eyes kept wandering,curiously observing everyone around her.She became visibly happy when her mother gave her the bus tickets she had bought.A thousand white birds took flight within me seeing her eyes light up.In an instant, I fished mine out of the wallet and gave it to her. Few other women standing around noticed and followed suit.

Elated at this unexpected rain of gifts, she started counting them, practicing the numerals she has recently learnt.Her joy multiplied after a few rounds of counting, “Ki moja, Ki moja”, “What fun!” she kept saying. My heart had leaped out already. A conversation ensued.
 She enjoyed talking to me,it seems. With a name as poetic as I found her to be, Mekhla responded to my spontaneous banter with utmost enthusiasm.At some point, I uttered the word “Anondo” meaning joy and it amused her. Mekhla then wanted to correctly pronounce it.

From ‘aando, aaa oo ndo, aaa non do, ah nondo to anondo, it was such fun to listen to her repeat till she could perfectly say it. Her accomplishment brought a huge smile and I got high-fives after.  My heart throbbed with joy, love, and wonder.

It is often shattering to encounter people with closed hearts, people who probably don’t know how to better cope with their hurt; but the gifts of an open heart are marvellous.

Besides brightening up what could have been a dull ending to a long exhausting day, this experience got me so many lessons.

  Healthy children are probably masters of joy, openness and simplicity; the nourishing ways of being we often miss to appreciate and embody.
   Thereby, I made an internal promise. Through pain, healing, grief, happiness, joy, and hurt, I would choose the path of walking with an open heart, whatever it takes, forever.

Raga Reverie

It was my first time attending a home classical music concert. I tend to slip into a closed eye imagination portal when I relish good music.

But this time, Bickram Ghosh had pointed out in the beginning that the beauty of the home concert or a ‘Darbar’ as opposed to a stage, is the intimacy between the performer and the listeners. He said how he enjoys it even more as the audience can see the hands of the musician.

So, I observed keenly when Tarun Bhattacharya tuned his santoor. As he plucked the strings, hammered the sides and turned the knobs, all with a smile on his face, I got a flash of insight; in fact, two.

First made me realise how my morning rituals and practices are like fine tuning myself before I put myself out into the world. As I went deeper, I wondered if we are but instruments in the hand of the Divine and the Creator keeps fine tuning us everytime we are out of tune.

With a slight hammering here, a gentle pluck there and a turn of knobs when needed, isn’t the Supreme Artist always working on us to bring out the music that we are meant to gift to the world?

We were drunk with the play of Santoor and Tabla based on Raga Charukeshi and Bhatiali. As the concert ended and we slowly made our way to the exit, someone endearingly asked Bickram Ghosh, “How do you play like that for so long?”.”Oh, it’s an habit now to sit for so long. My legs and backs are used to it”, He replied smiling. “Oh, no, no not that. Your hands, don’t they hurt? “, the woman’s voice now gave out genuine concern.
He smirked, ” Yes, sometimes they bleed. That’s all. But I tell you, it’s all in the mind”.

I don’t know how much I learnt about appreciating classical music that evening, but I surely learnt some lessons in mastery, passion and persistent practice.

However, the heart of the evening for me remains in the moment where I caught Bikram Ghosh asking his wife Jaya Seal sitting next to me, through eye gestures, if he is playing all right and she nodded back. My heart turned into a marshmallow in an instant and I have still not stopped tasting the sweetness of it.