Tuesday, 16 August 2011


We were physically drawn to the Brahma Kumari centre near us by a large hoarding bearing the proclamation that Rajyoga was taught there. Both my husband and I were keen to learn yoga, and this seemed a bonafide place to go to. On actually visiting the centre, however, we were met by an elderly lady who said that the yoga referred to was mental yoga, or meditation. Yoga, she said, meant ‘connection’, and Raj referred to the supreme force or Parmahatma – the highest soul in the Universe.
The centre, she added, conducted a free seven day course on the art and act of meditation beginning every Monday. The duration was for an hour, between 5.30 and 6.30pm every day, for the week. A smart young lady clad in jeans and tee shirt explained to us the concept of the Universe in a simple and lay manner, and she looked so pleased with life and the act of being alive, that we feel compelled to join the course in the near future.
Meditation is indeed an art. Most of us, yours truly included, have a tendency to balk at such cerebral talk. Thoughts are so random that the idea of collecting and collating them even for short spells sends us into spasms of agony. Our minds jump on to their own rails and steer off on auto pilot at breakneck speed, catapulting simultaneously into different directions, carrying their proprietors away with them!
At other times, when the outer eyes close to begin meditating, all other senses join in the shutdown and we find ourselves blissfully asleep! This happened recently to a friend of my student from Japan. Keen to learn all aspects and forms of yoga while in India, she began to meditate in her guru’s classroom only to find herself rudely awakened by her own snores!
However, we do want to delve into the realm of the unknown, and sooner rather than later we will join the course to explore our inner selves, our souls, the core of our being. Child has agreed to come with us too, surprisingly without duress. I hope we find ourselves in the metaphysical world and learn to shape ourselves into better human beings, thus enriching ourselves and our karmas, and the lives of those around us.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Wedding of the Dolls

The house was only a stone’s throw away from our own, but it felt a lot further trotting there on my little legs. It was a hotbed of girls, a kind of sorority, vibrant, sparkling and full of beans. Four femme fatales were aunts, two married and two very young bachelor-girls, and the rest a bevy of girl cousins.
I lucidly remember an afternoon party at the house, arranged by the two youngest aunts, Badi and Chhoti. It was, purportedly, a wedding between my beautiful, buxom and blonde Angela, and Kiko, Cousin Raju’s large baby doll with rubbery curls embossed on his skull.
Clearly decorated as a venue for a wedding, there was a priest and a miniscule fire around which the nuptials were to be solemnized. Hordes of underage wedding guests milled around, bearing gifts and clutching glasses of ‘sherbet’; and a banquet of sorts was laid on the large dining table.
Raju and I took our places around the fire as mothers of the dolls as the wedding got underway. It was so real and so fantastic!
As the guests began to troop out with little farewell gifts after the revelry, Badi and Chhoti produced two identical packages for Raju and me. These were supposedly gifts from our fictional fiancé-brothers, Sunil and Sagar. Sagar, always portrayed as steady and earnest by the aunts, had gifted Raju, senior to me by two years, a beautiful piece of jewellery.
The illusory Sunil was apparently another kettle of fish altogether, so I should actually have known what to expect when I excitedly tore the wrapping from the box and flung it open. Nestling within the expensive tissue was a larger than life cockroach – in plastic, thank God.
The mother of the bride, in classic, time-honoured tradition, sobbed all the way home....!