Category Archives: Slices of life


Now being summer, days are extra long and also being ‘at home’ the days seem longer. While it helps being connected via the internet, it has its vices too. The number of rumours that circulate and which increase my anxiety levels can make for a series of blog posts in itself. I don’t know what is more ominous; getting the virus or the non-availability of provisions.

From the day the exams were postponed, to the day when the lock-down was announced, I have seen people stuffing provisions in their cart which might be enough for their entire apartment complex or maybe they really live in joint family, who knows? Though I had stock for a fortnight, vegetables could be stretched for a week but when I saw from my balcony people carrying loaded bags, it made me anxious. ‘What will happen, if the shops are closed?’, ‘what will happen if I don’t get fruits’; were the numerous doubts that I had in my mind. It’s not that we live in an island. There are neighbours and relatives close by. But the point is that the husband is far away and I am responsible for me and my son. When you have a growing son the least you want to do is to provide ample nutrition every day.

Now that the streets are empty, the dogs and the birds have their own routine. While the dogs never had any limits on the timing of their exercising their vocal cords, the birds are behaving erratically too. I get up sometimes as early as 3.30 am hearing the birds quarrel violently. I do not know whether they want to announce something ominous or the silence makes them irritable. But I get up and cannot sleep again.  And then the brain goes on overdrive and inevitably, I will think, ‘Will I get milk today?’ And that question will assume a monstrous proportion that by the time I go and collect the milk packets; I will not be at peace.

And then three days of complete curfew was announced in our district.

You can imagine what happened to me. I broke my record of anxiety level. I fought with the husband over phone. I cut vegetables that they lost all recognition of genus and I swept as if the virus would have run away by itself.

After three days the curfew was relaxed, I ran out with all available bags for vegetables and fruits but only to encounter lines and lines of people and no availability of fruits or vegetables. I came back crestfallen with a bad temper. It was not that the fridge was empty. I had vegetables for some days but what if from now on we do not get any vegetables was my doubt. What to feed the son and most important what will I offer as bhoga? (We have a habit of offering whatever we eat, first to the Lord and then partaking it as Prasad).

Every year during summer vacation me and my son  read a few Bhagavad Gita shlokas every day. That day we were reading the seventh chapter and the seventh shloka is

mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani-gana iva


O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

 Somehow after reading this I was peaceful. There was a shift but at that point I did not understand what

 And then in the middle of my slumber the wheels of my brain turned and it struck me as to why I am so anxious, when He has to be fed, He will see to it that I have everything for Him, Why am I worrying so much. And then I slept. A blissful, dreamless restful sleep.


Filed under free writing, personal, Slices of life

Assessment !!

From time to time it is necessary to evaluate ourselves. It helps to know what we have learned and how much we have evolved.

With this objective in mind every year around the end of February or beginning of March, I conduct some form of assessment for the children of the school where I take weekly Bhagavad Gita class. Last year I had taken a quiz on the Bhagavad Gita for only two standard ie. Children of the fourth and fifth standard. The children had performed exceedingly well. And I was so proud that day.

This year the plan was to make it bigger and better. The assessment would have to be enjoyable and yet quantifiable. After a lot of brainstorming and consultations with my seniors, a format was prepared.

While the first 2 standard would get just colouring sheets, for the others it would be more elaborate. And the way they coloured… jaw touched the ground.

For the others we started with complete the shloka. I would give a part of the shloka and children were asked the preceding or succeeding part. That was the icebreaker and the children participated enthusiastically.

Then children were divided into groups of 10 and given jumbled shlokas. They had to arrange it in proper order. Out of the 20 teams only one did a minor mistake. After they arranged it they were supposed to illustrate the shloka according to their understanding. Initially they panicked. It was something very new to them. I had called some friends and my son to help me out that day. So we allayed their fears and boosted their morale. And the way they opened their minds was .. just wonderful.

This illustrates about how the soul progresses from infancy to youth to old age to death and then to a new body.

Some more pictures

The immense joy that the day gave me as a teacher/preacher cannot be explained in words. In actuality it was my assessment as to whether my children had understood me or not.

Definitely the memories of that day will be etched in our memories forever.


Filed under free writing, short musings, Slices of life

I shall NEVER run away

Continued from here

Harish spent the whole night tossing and turning. What would Suresh do, would his wife return were his prime concern. It was only in the early  morning that he could finally sleep.

When he woke it was to find that it was bright and sunny. He checked his watch and got a shock, it was 8.30 am. He jumped. He had thought of waking at least by 6 and opening the shop for his milk customers.

‘Amma pack my breakfast,I will have it in the shop’, he yelled.

‘But why?’, she yelled back.

‘I have to open the shop, customers will be waiting  for milk.But wait if the shop is closed where the vendor will keep the crates’, he yelled

‘Whatt…..why you want to go. Suresh is already there’, said Amma.

Harish stopped and went to the dining area where his mother was having breakfast and reading newspaper. ‘Anna came?’, he asked

‘Yes, he came at 4, had his bath and left.Your father has gone there now to give him breakfast.’, she said

‘Vanhi??’, he asked

‘I didn’t ask Harish, didn’t want to bother him early in the morning’, she said.

Harish went to the shop around 11.30. There weren’t any customers. Suresh was taking stock of the milk packets sold that day. He looked at Harish and smiled.

‘How are you Anna’, he asked

‘I am perfectly fine’, he said and looking at him said, ‘You are asking about yesterday right’.

Harish nodded.

‘Sumati felt that all are ganging up together to keep me and her separate’. he said.

‘We never had that intention’, Harish said

‘That is what I told her. I told her how I had lost my job and how after numerous trials I didn’t get another. And how you got the idea of operating this shop. I told her how for our future I had to work hard now. And when we save a little we can go for vacations….’

‘She listened/’, Asked Harish.

‘She had to. I also told her that for amma she is like a daughter, so if she too treats amma like her mother, all will be fine’, said Suresh.

Harish looked at Suresh in wonder. ‘So much change’, Harish thought, ‘God is merciful upon me.’

‘I think all this is because we haven’t given any responsibility to her. As we know idle mind is a devils workshop. So I am going to ask amma to involve her at home. Also, I am going to ask her to bring breakfast for me. There is so much rush in the morning, she will help me. What do you think? Am I right?’, asked Harish

‘Yes, you are’, said Harish. At that moment some customers came. As Suresh was taking their order, his phone rang, he signalled to Harish to take over. By the time the customers left, Suresh had finished with the call.

‘Amma’s call’, he said, ‘Sumati’s parents have brought her back. I will go home now’, he said.

Harish looked on happily. ‘Is this an end or a beginning’, he thought,’I always wanted to run away, afraid of problems. But then the sweetness of success is it because we overcome our problems or is it because we tried and didn’t buckle under pressure. But most important, would I have this feeling of achievement if I were alone.  Would I have the love and blessings of everyone if I were alone. No. Sure being together has a lot of problems but much more than that is this feeling of love and togetherness’.


karmany evadhikaras te ma phalesu kadacana
ma karma-phala-hetur bhur ma te sango ‘stv akarmani
You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.

As this very famous shloka says we have to perform our prescribed duty and not bother about our result. Or in other words, don’t bother about the destination but enjoy the journey. Life will never be without problems face them. Running away  whether to another place or in some cases taking away one’s life is never a solution.


I am taking part in BAR-A-THON Edition 3
The theme is RUN. I hope you enjoyed this yatra as much as I enjoyed writing it.



Filed under Short sotyr, Slices of life

I should have run away

Continued from here

Suresh came by 5 and told,’You can leave now Harish I can manage, go watch a movie with friends.’

‘I am going to meet Guruji’, he said.

‘Too matured for his age’, muttered Suresh under his breath.

When Harish reached Guruji’s place, Guruji was watering his plants. When he saw Harish he was happy and immediately hugged him.

‘You know Harish when I first met you, you were like a wild flower. Tempestuous, angry and rebellious. Then slowly you became receptive, just like this plant. You know this shrub was wild; then I pruned it, gave some manure, watered it and it began flowering.  Looking at you I feel so proud Harish and definitely your parents feel so too.’

Harish was uncomfortable, he didn’t know how to receive compliments. And then he said, ‘All because of you Guruji or else I would be roaming around in some street smoking ganja and what not.’

Guruji looked at him closely and said, ‘the storm is over, is it?’

‘Seems so’, answered Harish and explained the events of the past few days.

‘My good Lord….are you hurt Harish……’

‘I am perfectly fine Guruji, I escaped unharmed’, replied Harish,’ But Guruji, so much anger that you want to hurt someone else without thinking about the consequences?’

‘When we want something very badly, we develop an attachment to it, and eventually when such attachments do not materialise anger generates. It is all very logical. Have you seen a child demanding for candy in a supermarket?’

Harish nodded.

‘First it will look at the candy, then he declares that he wants it, then when he doesn’t see his parents relenting, he will roll on the floor and eventually when still his parents don’t yield, then he will scream to pull everyone’s attention and even then if he is not heard then he will start punching his parents. We never grow up really. Only our desires change and maybe our methodology of acquiring our desires………When there is anger your sense of judgement deserts you’.

Harish was engrossed but then his phone rang. It was Suresh, he took the call.

‘Harish, I know I asked you to take a break but you have to come to the shop now. It is urgent’, and before Harish could say anything the call was disconnected.

Harish took leave from Guruji and rushed.

‘As soon as he reached the shop Suresh started to leave, Harish asked what the matter was and he replied…’Sumati has left home’.

The rest of the evening was spent in a haze, ‘God……. is there any end to our troubles. Just now Anna was becoming serious and now this. If God forbid Anna falls back to his old ways, then what…’ A hundred questions battled in his mind and yet he went on working mechanically.

When he reached home he saw his parents in a sullen mood. Suresh was at his in-law’s place.

‘What happened amma’. he asked.

‘Nothing much actually. As you know Sumati doesn’t do any work at home. The whole day she would be lazing around, playing on her mobile and watching Television. Today Mrs. Shetty had come to visit, I just asked Sumati to bring a glass of water. She just got up and went to her room. Later on I asked her why she didn’t get water and she started screaming that all we thought of was to make her a maidservant just as we had made Suresh our servant. I told her that Suresh had improved and in fact become responsible. She said that, that was our plan to make Suresh busy in the shop so that he would be far from her……Next I saw her packing her bags and leave. I asked her to stop but she didn’t listen. Then I called Suresh. Now he has gone to talk to her, most probably he will stay there. i just hope he doesn’t stay there only from now on…’

‘Don’t talk nonsense, give food to Harish and then let us sleep. Out staying awake will not change anything’, said his father.

Harish lay awake thinking. relationships are so complex difficult to handle, better to run away and stay alone somewhere.

to be continued

We all need a Guruji, in our lives, someone who can guide us and lead us to the right path. It is very important to have an inquisitive mind to ask the right question to the right person. Then only we will find answers to life’s secrets.

tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth. (BG 4.34)

Harish is fortunate to have a Guruji who is always there to answer his questions and to guide him but the thought of running away is always in his mind. Maybe he longs for a Utopian world where there is no rife. He has to understand that there are going to be problems but as long as there are solutions. life is fine.

I am taking part in BAR-A-THON Edition 3
The theme is RUN



Filed under short story, Slices of life

Run….who Me?

Continued from here

Harish felt some movement so he ducked. As soon as he ducked, the assailant  lost his balance and fell on Harish’s right shoulder. Suresh who had been observing Harish came and pounced on the assailant taking care that his knife didn’t hurt him. The neighbouring shop fellow also came and both nabbed him. They then dragged him to the shop and pulled off his mask.

It was Dinesh.

Meanwhile the neighbour had called for the police. The police arrested Dinesh. And they all went to the police station. Harish called Mr. Ranga too.

There was no escape for Dinesh, there were enough witnesses.

Under the police coercion Dinesh confessed. From a long time,he had been duping gullible retailers. Some calculation mistake, some extra packets and he would make some money on the side. All because he had the habit of gambling. It was a matter of irritation for Dinesh when Harish insisted on cheque payments and receipts.He was losing both ways.Otherwise he could have made some money at least while paying commission. That day when he saw Suresh at the shop, he had thought that he could fool him. But thanks to Harish, Suresh had written the amount in a book and it had not matched with the receipt. Not only that Harish told about this to Mr.Ranga which had eventually led to online payments. And that is why Dinesh felt angry. And he wanted to take revenge.

By the time the investigation was over it was quite late. Dinesh was locked up. Mr. Ranga offered to drop everyone home in his car. ‘Mr.Ranga, is Dinesh married’, asked Harish.

‘Yes, he is, he has two kids too’, answered Mr. Ranga

‘I wonder what will happen to them’, said Harish.

‘Yes, One person commits crime, the family suffers’, answered Mr. Ranga. And he continued, ‘But don’t worry, I will see how I can help. I heard that his wife is working somewhere but I will sponsor the kids school fees, it will be a little help to them’.

Both brothers spent the night in quiet contemplation.

Next afternoon when Harish went to the shop, he saw an agile Suresh. His brother was calm but you could feel that there was a shift in his attitude.

After sometime Suresh got ready to leave. Harish asked, ‘You are different today, what happened?’

Suresh gave a sheepish grin and then send, ‘Whole night I have been thinking. I want my family to be proud of me. I don’t want to be like Dinesh. So I will work hard and learn everything’. And he left.

But then he returned and said,’yesterday I had asked you to take a break but it was interrupted. You need not come in the night, I will handle, you go out somewhere’

Harish smiled. All his efforts for the past so many months was fructifying now.Who wants to run away from such a loving brother, he thought

He too had been thinking a lot. Why does man become so greedy. So greedy that they want to take advantage of others. Whereas  the truth is that there is no shortcut to success. It is only hard work all the way. ‘Today evening I will go to Guruji’s place and discuss with him’, thought Harish.

The afternoon passed quickly and Harish was excited to be again going to meet his beloved Guruji. Everything looked better now. Suresh had changed and was taking responsibility, ‘now everything would be alright’, thought Harish.

But then universe always has some other plans.

to be continued

The Bhagavad Gita tells us how our desires trap us. Our desires ultimately lead us to anger.

dhyayato visayan pumsah sangas tesupajayate
sangat sanjayate kamah kamat krodho ‘bhijayate
While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.(BG 2.62)
Here Dinesh has an excessive desire for money because he wants to gamble. And when he sees that because his desire will not be fulfilled from now on because of Harish, he  is angry and wants to take revenge.

So does that mean we have to  be desireless. No,not at all. But one should know what kind of desires you can have and to what extent.

I am taking part in BAR-A-THON Edition 3
The theme is RUN




Filed under short story, Slices of life

Why did I want to run away

Continued from here

It was late in the night. Harish had asked his brother not to come to the shop. He wanted some alone time.It was better to be in the shop than to be at home.

‘Take this Rs 100 balance from morning’,  it was Manoj.

‘What balance?’ asked Harish

‘Morning I had wanted some provisions urgently but didn’t have enough cash. So the balance of Rs. 100…your brother had noted it down in the red book’, said Manoj.

And indeed Suresh had noted that Rs 100 was outstanding from Manoj. Harish  was satisfied that slowly Suresh was learning. He used to tell him repeatedly to note things down as our mind tends to forget. Suddenly something clicked and he asked, ‘ Manoj were you here when Dinesh came?’

‘Who Dinesh?’, asked Manoj

The one who comes for collection from dairy’, said Harish.

‘I don’t know that but yes when I came in Suresh was handing over money to a man’, said Manoj.

‘Were you there when that person said no to cheque and asked for cash?’, asked Harish.

‘Err…no, I was there when Suresh was handing money and then he said, here take this six thousand eight hundred eighty Rupees’, said Manoj

Harish was beaming widely

‘Why are you grinning like that?’, asked Manoj

Harish explained everything and then asked, ‘Will you come with me to the dairy tomorrow morning Manoj?’

‘Of course, I will’,said Manoj

Harish closed down in a happy mood.

Next day both Harish and Manoj went to the dairy at 10 am. Harish explained that Manoj had seen Dinesh in the shop the previous day. Mr Ranga immediately called Dinesh.

Upon Dinesh’s arrival it was explained that Manoj  had seen Dinesh in the shop and heard the conversation between him and Suresh.

‘So?’, asked Dinesh,’ Has he seen me asking for cash and not cheque. I say that Suresh insisted on giving cash and I obliged. As to me taking RS.6880 instead of 5880, what proof does this person have? This person is your friend Harish, so he must be helping you.’

There were lot of accusations back and forth. And all the while Mr. Ranga was silently observing Dinesh. Then ultimately he said,’Harish, nothing can be done now, just ask Suresh to be careful now onwards’.

There was nothing else to be done. Manoj and Harish returned.

After sometime there was a message from Mr. Ranga. ‘I understand that Dinesh is lying but at present I cannot do anything. Don’t be disheartened Harish but be more cautious from now on.’


But from that day on Harish was disheartened. His faith in people has reduced. On the other hand Suresh has turned for the better. He is much more serious. It is as if the episode  was the bitter pill that Suresh needed.

And  another good turn was that Mr. Ranga announced that from now they will get fortnightly bill by email, which they could check and then pay online.

Harish’s mood improved.

Next Sunday ,it was raining heavily. There were not much customers when Suresh stepped into the shop,  Harish was surprised because generally he saw to it that his Anna and Vanhi spend Sunday evenings together.

‘Harish Go take a break.’, said Suresh and then on seeing the surprised look on his face he continued,’You have been working too hard, go relax, I will handle today’

Harish was truly happy and thought ‘And I was thinking to run away from such a brother’.

He took an umbrella  crossed the road and turned right when suddenly he felt a movement….

to be continued

In life sometimes we have to keep on endeavouring even though we do not see any end or any success in our endeavours. Sometimes it is just important to keep on working without worrying about the outcome and then suddenly like a streak of lightening there will be a ray of hope

yoga-sthah kuru karmani sangam tyaktva dhananjaya
siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutvasamatvam yoga ucyate
Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.(BG 2.48)

The shock of loss had been too much for Suresh and he turned  for the better and that was the ray of hope for Harish who had been working tirelessly and hoping for such a change

I am taking part in BAR-A-THON Edition 3
The theme is RUN





Filed under short story, Slices of life

Run?? Where to?

Continued from here

Harish parked his bike in the parking lot at the dairy. Mr. Ranga was busy. So he had to wait for sometime. As soon as he saw Harish, he came towards him saying, ‘What happened today Harish, we had agreed that we would deal only in cheque.Why did you give cash today?’

The throbbing in his head had worsened, Harish sat down heavily. Mr. Ranga was worried now.’What happened Harish, why are you so worried?’

In a low voice Harish told him everything and concluded by saying,’ It is not about Rupees 1000 Mr. Ranga. We had agreed on cheque payments then why did Dinesh ask for cash. I know my brother did a mistake but we are hoping to be in this business for a long time. Honesty and integrity are vital for any business. Why did Dinesh say that you asked for cash and if my brother did a mistake,why didn’t he correct my brother?’

Mr. Ranga heard quietly and then after sometime said,’You are right,Harish. I have to ask Dinesh why he did this. Wait, I will call him’. Mr. Ranga kept on calling Dinesh but he didn’t pick the call.

And with each successive ring, Harish’s heart sank a little more.

Mr. Ranga then said.’Harish, Dinesh was supposed to go to some villages to collect money.He was supposed to go by bus maybe that is why he cannot hear the phone ring. You go home now. As soon as he returns, I will ask him.’

With a heavy heart,he returned home. Lying in the bed he felt disappointed with life in general. He had heard that elder brothers are just like surrogate parents, they care for you, nurture you but in his case, it was different. He had to be the guide and after that there was no gratitude. Only complaints.’I have neglected my own business so that anna can settle down nicely and here  ,messing up with everything’. At that time Suresh entered the room,’Harish I remember what had happened when Dinesh was there, someone had come for some urgent provisions, so I didn’t see the receipt…..’

‘Anna, what are you doing here so early….is our father there in the shop?’, asked Harish.

‘Errr, No. I was so disturbed that I closed the shop and came’, Suresh said.

‘Anna someone may come for some urgent provisions, then? Nowadays we have cut throat competition. Customer once gone, does not return..

Suresh was uncomfortable.

Harish just picked his bike keys and left.

It was 5.30 in the evening when Harish’s mobile rang. It was Mr. Ranga.’Harish, Dinesh swears that Suresh gave him Rs,5880 only. I don’t know who is right and who is wrong? I really don’t know what to do?’

Harish had anticipated that. Dinesh might have understood Suresh’s nature. He had asked for cash deliberately. But what to do now?

‘Deep in thought dear’,someone said.

Harish looked up to see his father standing, ‘I heard that there is some trouble, so I came to meet you’.

Harish told his father the entire episode and even what Mr. Ranga had told him.

‘Hmmm’,said his father

‘No hope father…it is not just about the money. I believe  in fair business but what Dinesh did was crooked. Taking advantage of a gullible person….’, said Harish,

‘All sorts of people in this world, Harish’, said his father. ‘But wait, we still have an option left…if we have any witness then maybe we have some hope’

Harish brightened up and immediately called his brother,’Anna,you had said that when Dinesh came, there was a customer.Do you remember who it was?’

‘Err….no that is what I was thinking buttt there were so many customers in the morning that I don’t remember’, he said.

Harish disconnected the line. At present he just wanted to dig a tunnel deep inside the earth and live there,He didn’t want to worry about payments or money or to search for witnesses. Maybe, he thought, I should take sannyasa…enough of this life.

to be continued


All of us commit mistakes. That is one of our qualities which differentiate us from parmatma or the supersoul. But just because we do not want to commit mistakes, we cannot run away from our duties or responsibilities. Suresh is trying hard, the shop is his only hope now….even if he is faulty, there is no go, he has to learn from his mistakes

saha-jam karma kaunteya sa-dosam api na tyajet
sarvarambha hi dosena dhumenagnir ivavrtah
Every endeavour is covered by some sort of fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work which is born of his nature, O son of Kunti, even if such work is full of fault.( BG 18.48)

So Suresh has to keep on endeavouring and Harish has to keep on with ‘his’ endeavours

I am taking part in BAR-A-THON Edition 3
The theme is RUN



Filed under short story, Slices of life