Finding God

Cover girl magic

The last few months have been nothing short of a series of miracles for me. I started my own company, then launched my own women’s magazine with a full-time employee strength of one (me). Then became media partner for one of the world’s most prestigious all-women conferences. Now I’m all set to tie up with one event every 30 days, while bringing out my magazine like clockwork on the 1st of every month, writing freelance for other publications, and running a fledgling business by myself. All from the corner table in my bedroom working 16 hours a day.

And just now such a wonderful miracle happened that I thought, I MUST write this down.

I had WhatsApped a very old colleague of mine, who is now a powerful name in the media, about certain challenges I was facing, and asked him for some help. I mentioned a woman I was trying to interview for my magazine cover but hadn’t yet managed to find a contact or solid reference to approach her with. He didn’t have it either but he did give me plenty of other ideas. He said his boss was impressed with my work. All good, I thanked him and closed the chat window.

Right then, at exactly the same time, another media acquaintance, someone I haven’t even met, sent me a mail offering me an interview with the same woman! Abracadabra!!!

I did a little mad dance around my room just now.

You know, sometimes, as a bootstrapped entrepreneur, you do get a bit deflated. Just this morning, I was feeling somewhat exhausted about the effort of doing everything by myself. I felt unsupported, broke and helpless about how I was going to pull through with this crazy mission of mine.

But the idea of giving it up is unacceptable to me too. It is my entire life’s meaning in one package. This is what I have to do, what I was built to do.

And imagine, on just one such day when I felt a bit low, when I finally reached out for help from an old friend, I got this affirmation from the universe: “You’re on the right track. Don’t give up. Have faith. The resources will come.”

I’m all teary-eyed as I type this. My faith is renewed.

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Finding God

Everyday mystical experience

My husband, his friend and I were having a discussion on ‘mystical’ experiences.

“I have never had one,” our friend said, half regretfully.

“I’ve never had one either,” my husband added, without a trace of regret.

“I have one almost every day,” I said. “It depends on your definition of ‘mystical’.”

Let me describe one day in June this year, when I decided to quit my job.

I had just returned from a family holiday abroad, and had made up my mind ‘to be happy’, even if it meant giving up on so-called professional success. It was a Monday morning, boss wasn’t in. Random thoughts flitted across my mind, insecurity about the future topping the list. Suddenly, I got a call — it was a job offer. A light went on my head; God was telling me, “It’s okay. There’s plenty of work out there. Don’t worry about the money.”

Then began another kind of anxiety: boss was in a nasty mood (as usual). Should I wait another day, I wondered. I fretted, walked about, drank coffee, chatted inconsequentially with colleagues. While I was dilly-dallying over my decision, I got this mail:

Untitled

Look at the choice of words – “more letting it go to you”.

I was bowled over. What were the chances of a random mail like this from a total stranger at the very moment I needed to read it? If this wasn’t a sign from the Universe, from my Krishna, I don’t know what was. (Heartfelt gratitude to reader Priyanka. You’re my angel.)

Of course, my mind was now made up. I did the deed. As I walked to my car later in the day, I felt lightheaded, a bit wonky, a bit free.

I opened the door to the driver’s seat and saw an unlikely sight.

All senior employees at my ex-company are given a wireless gate operator so that they can access the parking lot any time of day. Mine was stuck to the windshield on the top right. It had been stuck there for as long as I had been with this company. I had never noticed its presence except on some mornings when I used it to buzz open the gate if the guards were in a lazy mood.

The day I expressed my intention to leave the company, that very evening, this erstwhile boring, static device decided to fly down to the floor of the car and lie there in a silly, drunken way.

I laughed out loud — the connection was finished. Matter followed mind.

“Three signs!” I said to myself. Three signs that I was on the right path. It’s always been my lucky number.

When’s the last time you had a mystical experience?

Finding God

God at home

It doesn’t take much, really.

Doesn’t take much to find happiness or joy or God in everyday life.

Just caught the daughter’s eyes: she’s watching Keeping up with the Kardashians on her laptop on the sofa, and she looks up at me just as I look up from mine. My eyes are full of love, which of course she immediately announces ‘creepy’. We both laugh, and I add creepily that the blue of her blouse matches the blue of the tumbler cap lying next to her. She rolls her eyes and goes back to Kim and Khloe.

And then I recall yesterday night when we took the dogs for a walk. For the first time, Miyake (our five-year-old female golden retriever) sneaked out of the park with Kalu, the black street mutt who lives in our lane (he has been in love with her ever since we moved here). We spotted them leave through the gate and I rushed behind them, scolding her. She stopped guiltily while Kalu ran away further. Admonishing her like a wayward child, I leashed her and brought her back to the park, her eyes downcast in shame. “The girl has become naughty,” hubby and I agreed. “Badmaash.” The kids went ballistic laughing when I told them about the episode.

And then I look back a few nights ago. It was close to midnight and hubby and I were both sleepy. We usually talk a lot in the dark, or staring up at the ceiling. For a change, that night, we talked facing each other, making eye contact even when drowsy. It was delicious. We laughed and teased each other, everyday squabbles dissipating in knowing gazes. “Small pleasures are such big pleasures for you,” hubby joked tenderly the next morning when I told him I had woken up high.

And then just now, when the daughter studying Sociology shows me her textbook and points at a name: Stolypin. “How can anyone remember a name like that?” she says, adding, “Shouldn’t it be Stoly-Polly?” I laugh out loud: “Hahaha, why on earth should it be Stoly-Polly and not Stolypin???” “Duh,” she responds in her typical teen way of ending a statement with a question mark: “Because it rhymes?”

I am laughing even as I type this.

No, it really doesn’t take much to find God.

Finding God

The presence of love

I’ve been working from home the past couple of weeks, managing a magazine from 2,160 km away (thank God for technology). Instead of a stuffy, airless cubicle, I now look out at an expansive manicured garden as I work from my younger one’s bedroom (and it’s grinning lush green in the rain today). Instead of fixed timings of signing in and lunch hour, I work, eat, read, write and rest at my own sweet pace. Instead of giving housekeeping or parenting orders in a frustrated voice over the phone, and then coming home to disappointment that none have been carried out, I never lose my temper at all. It’s all real-time here. I am no longer living two lives — one at the office, the other at home. Work-life is rolled into one big bundle I’d call peace.

In the mornings, everyone’s away and the new domestic help gets busy watching Hindi soaps on TV. The house is quiet. I have no one to tell me what to do, I must self-motivate. In all this new work-life routine, an unexpected relationship has taken center-stage — my two dogs have become closer to me than ever.

They sit on both sides of my mat when I do yoga, until I shoo them away — and then they come back and sit a few inches further in compromise. They sleep at my feet when I work in the bedroom, and move with me when I shift to the dining table. I cannot scrape my chair for hurting them, or move my feet about too much; I must stir gently, carefully. Even if they are snoring away, they immediately sense when I tiptoe out of the room to take a shower, and are sitting outside the bathroom door when I come out squeaky clean. At lunchtime, they are my face-gazers, especially Ronnie who is always up for a bite. When I lie down on the sofa to read a book, they align themselves alongside, tilting up their chins so that I can stroke them before they settle back down to sleep. Never do their eyes leave me.

I am not more loving than I was before. I hug them and cuddle them about the same. I scold and cajole and tease them just as I used to. But my sheer presence has endeared them to me (and me to them) in a way that absence can only aspire to. Something’s new. They have become addicted to me, my love. They cannot resist sticking close if I am around. And as the days go by, I am becoming addicted too.

It’s not just the dogs, of course. I am suddenly closer to the kids after years of being an office-going mom. I am suddenly the wife-waiting-back-home after years of being a busy girlfriend. There’s a whole lot of equations being altered, a whole lot of priorities shifting across space and time zones, new kinds of love addictions going on. I am glad I have the silence and ease to absorb it all, to allow it to grow on me instead of being forced into it.

Things change, and they change you. And then you change things because you can’t imagine it being any other way. Then one day, you work for a few hours on the computer and then look down at your feet and see two content big goofy dogs sleeping there with their paws spread out in front, and you realise that no matter how much you do or achieve or transform or desire, it’s really always about just one thing.

Love.

Everything else is either just an expression of it, or a distraction.