Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Christmas is almost here.
And my heart is bursting a little at the seams. With happiness and thankfulness and joy.

We have a little bundle of joy due in the family anytime now - Muzu and Tabby....we just cannot wait to see you become parents! You will be more perfect than you can imagine!

Amrith and Addy are here with us, right after their crazy fun wedding in Calcutta and just before flying back to the UK. A whirlwind stopover, just to be with all of us.
It feels like home.

Mum and Dad are coming. Soon.
And then all my angels will be in one place again.

I have girls who love me. My girls.
With their cameras and to-do lists, they are mine.
You know who you are.

I have my Leah.
I have her. She is mine.
She is my noisy place, I am her safety. She is my cheeky grin, I am her hug goodnight.

And then there's my boy.
Who this year, wholeheartedly supported one of my biggest decisions to leave a 10-year banking career and follow my heart. He knew I could before I did.
He takes off my glasses when I fall asleep with them on. He goes grocery shopping on his own when he knows my hands are full. He sings my praises when I am unsure of myself. He holds on to my feet when all the balloons I hold in my hands, tend to lift me slightly off the ground.

Ara, you made me the happiest girl in the world and you continue to do so, in so many little ways. You are my I love you.

So Christmas is here.
From a humble stable where a little boy was born, to the love it brings to all our hearts today. To quote a favourite family hymn, 'Love it was that made us and it was love that saved us.'
Love is Christmas.

This song, 'Love is Christmas by Sara Bareilles', is a favourite of mine - it says all the most important things about the season..the stuff that matters.

I am thankful for good health, friends, family, love and happiness.
And as always, we pray for these blessings to be echoed to all who need them, all around the world. May 2015 be the year that the world remembers how to live. And how to love.

Merry Christmas everyone. From me and mine, to you and yours.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Troubled times.

I do not understand anymore.

There is much happening in this world, my world. On a world stage and within my inner circle as well. Things that I do not understand, things that hurt and have left me stunned and wide-eyed and holding back tears all at the same time.

In Sydney, innocent people were held hostage when they went to get their morning coffee. In Pakistan, a school was attacked. Children were murdered. 
There is little or no tolerance for people who are considered different. LGBT, have birth defects, are victims of war syndromes, abuse, slavery...there is no tolerance. Religious or otherwise. 

I sometimes feel my faith in humanity dwindling. I regret the world I live in, the world my little girl will grow up in. I feel my temper rise when I hear people make callous judgements on rape and abuse victims. I felt my heart ache when I saw a loved one with a disease that meant no one wanted to get too close. My soul feels heavy when I am part of a crowd of people who rally together, to walk in silence, for a cause they believe in.

But these are big things.

I feel empty and hurt when in our own, daily lives – we take each other for granted. We say and do things, we cannot take back or undo. We act without thinking. Of consequences, of feelings, of people we supposedly care about.
We do not stop to think.

No, I’m nowhere close to perfect. But that isn’t the point and completely not where I’m going with any of this.

Yesterday, on a social media forum, we spoke about how the Pakistan hockey team acted rather disgracefully after a win against rivals, India. We also spoke about how the Indian spectators treated the Pakistan team during the game. Again, disgraceful.
But what stayed with me after this online conversation, was one comment - “they deserved more hostility”.

How, on any level, can this possibly be correct?
How can that be the way we think, or the way our brains are conditioned to be?

I realized that it was more than just that conversation about a hockey game. It is the way we have come to look at life, in our own little spaces. With hostility.
 Traffic, office politics, family drama, when things generally don’t go our way.

We allow ourselves the excuse, that we are human. 

This then slowly, collectively, as the human race we are, snowballs into a much bigger problem. One that rears its ugly head on a world stage. We give it many names….religious differences, social norms, tradition. And we allow ourselves these excuses.
I guess what I’m saying is that if my faith is dwindling…I’m possibly not the only one.
But thankfully, I have been blessed with moments, people, situations…that remind me of the good, no matter how seemingly insignificant – in this unfortunately fickle-minded world.

So though I know little, here are my wishes for you.

Hold on to what keeps you sane.
To the person at work who makes you smile even when it’s the shittiest kind of day. To that 30-minute run you take, that allows you to think straight. To tidying up your house, playing with a kitten, cooking up a storm, watching a movie, saying a prayer, socializing, giving someone a hug, watching a child be joyful. Hold on.

Believe that there is good in the world.
From Pope Francis telling you that all animals go to heaven, to the people of Sydney and their #illridewithyou spirit, to Secret Santa gifts that make you smile when you open them, to your mum telling you that she loves you on whats app from miles away, to photographs of forgotten moments, to friends who care about the little things, to music.

Don’t be scared. Get closer.
We haven’t been programmed to know everything or to understand everything. Be bothered to know more. About causes and things that matter. As much as we’ve heard it a 1000 times before…be the change you want to see in the world. My mum taught me that I needed to brighten my little corner …and though I didn’t always agree with her, man do I believe her.
Do not be scared of what you do not understand. Deformities, abnormalities, sexual orientation, taking a stand against injustice, being pro-choice and so much more. 
Because you do not understand it, does not necessarily mean it is wrong.

Breathe. And think.
Before you react, before you speak, before you provoke, before you cry, before you raise your voice, before you stand up for something, before you make a choice, before you criticize, before you lose your heart, before you gossip, before you believe.
Just breathe and give yourself the opportunity to rationalize.

Give a little love.
To yourself, your family, your friends, the world.
And especially to people you wouldn’t normally want to.
Pay it forward. 

Now, think of your most favorite person.

There’s got to be some good in the world. The person you thought of, is or was, a part of it.

And I’m not preaching, I promise. Just sharing my life lessons.
Merry Christmas. May you always know that you are loved.

Till later.