Between the mind and body…

Who wins the obedience medal between the mind and body? I am thinking only of normal people. People whose lives are controlled by the two mischievous brats they have raised. It’s an odd combination if the two don’t age correspondingly. That we can control neither is the biggest truth and life’s most important feature. Wisdom lies in gracefully accepting this enlightenment, and also our limitations. All we can do is channelize the energies of the mind and body and churn a healthy brew.

A good fitness regime, as much as our health and age permit, is a basic necessity of our body. Likewise we must have a custom made regime to flush out the toxins of the mind. There’s a way to keep a watch on the body. There are sure tell-tale signs. But it’s the mind that takes a beating. The whole process is abstract. We will never know how, where, when these toxins royally march into our mind. Isn’t it strange that our mind knows how to keep our body fit? It tells us how much we must eat and when we must stop eating and when it’s time to exercise etc. But when it comes to keeping itself fit, it’s rather casual. I am tempted to compare the mind to a slightly older sibling who gets away with a little sermonizing over the younger one, a little monitoring and perhaps some bossing.

The mind too needs to be cornered. The mind needs to know that we cannot play favoritism. The mind needs to find the regime that works best to flush out the toxins. Meditation is one way to drive away the crazy calories of the mind and restore some sanity and peace. It’s quite challenging to bring our mind to behave itself. A proven vagabond that it is, holding its reins takes some real effort. I wonder how such vulnerable mind is tough and ruthless when it comes to overseeing the physical fitness activity. But we are at least half done if our mind doesn’t tempt our body into an unhealthy lifestyle.

The other half is a difficult mile to run. Some days the mind begins to run amok even before the net is cast. It’s such an instinct of the mind to escape knowing well that we are out to fix it. There’s lot of action, hide and seek, and luring, happening behind the closed eyes. That’s the time I realize I haven’t been able to tame my mind one bit. What an embarrassment contradicting the calm and serene outward appearance! I let it wander aimlessly and wait for it to be tired and get home. When it finally happens I feel like a winner.

In the poem, which was published in Strange Horizons, I am being courteous and large-hearted by calling the mind a pilgrim.

My comfort niche recedes
into the mogra mist
homeless, unhinged
within myself
I grow a pilgrim’s feet.
chakra to chakra
greys to gleams
apogees to perigees.
An aberrant sixth demon
has carved her nest
peeled three layers of bark
blued the veins of rootless trees.
In her maya
mazes in mazes
I’m lost
I’m lost.

A restless frog
breaks the pond moon
a thousand times!
I can’t escape
the allure
of the water mirror
It’s not a myth
of the sepia pond
that faces are epicenters
of brewing storms
ripples moving outward
from the ajna chakra
reaching for the ashwatha,
Mired in delphic ponds
I wander
I wander
cities of glyphs

Cosmic drifts
of a pin head universe
frank the homecoming
of the conqueror.
A lotus
of folded palms
for my acharyaa.

Just enough is good enough for the elderly

Enough has been said about how parents spoil their kids, overloading them with tech gadgets, for whatever reasons. At times to compensate their inability to spend as much time with kids, or simply because technology has crippled us so much that we are compelled to fall for them. Most of us thankfully know how much is good enough and necessary to stay connected. Thanks to the kind of world we have created for ourselves, we cannot think of a day without cell phones, internet, laptops and a host of other members of this family. This tech family is the next best thing to being surrounded by real family. Not shooting off on a tangent here and defending how technology has become an inevitable part of our lifestyle. We must accept the reality that we revolve around technology, though technically we are still revolving around the Sun.

But I’ve been thinking of the reverse situation. Children equally spoiling their parents, stuffing them with tech gadgets they cannot adapt to. Again reasons being varied, ranging from providing them safety, connectivity and recreation, or simply to make up for the fact that they aren’t around to give their ageing parents the company they need.

Gifting the elderly a Smartphone while they are more comfortable with a basic phone is still an understandable excitement. But burdening them with devices that are complicated in usage is equal to punishing them. Give them only as much as they can enjoy. Give them only as much as they can take. Anything more will only make them feel miserable. Our idea is to make them happy rather than making them feel inadequate. With depleting energy and memory all they need is a peaceful life and helping hands. The next best thing to being around them is surrounding them with simple tools, things that will make their life easier. If you have done that then that’s all there is to do. The rest might just boost your conscience.It’s a good thing to take the help of technology to improve the lifestyle of the elderly. It’s all fine if you or someone is around to help them out of sticky situations. Else it’s like pushing them into an unwarranted adventure. Your time is the best gift you can give to the elderly.

Not a yacht
bring me a rowboat
sit beside me and hold my hands
let’s gently sail down the memory lake.
My little boy
not a yacht
bring me a rowboat.