One day, but not today.

Friday 9th March 2018


Yes, It’s been a while since I broke my ‘journal a day’ commandment. Life, I have found in my 41 years of life on Earth to be the most reckoning force. It can dissolve the intentions of the most resolute person and powder the ambitions of the strongest individual.

Life gets in the way of the most sincere souls but it always wrecks havoc on mothers and people who are selfless. There is no prize for guessing who wins when there is a choice to be made between fulfilling a commitment and taking care of a sick child. As a mother I am used to putting my ambitions aside to focus on the needs of my children, even on the rare occasions I sleep in during a fever I am ravaged by guilt.

I have been known to collapse from exhaustion but you’ll see me smile and rise when I see my children call out for me. There is a power that comes from self-sacrifice, an inner strength that makes you survive with no sleep and zero rest. When I look back to those years when I raised three little children, 4,2 and 1 years of age, all on my own, I stand in awe. Divine help is not far away when the cause is noble. It doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not when you cause is worthwhile, help is always at hand. In my experience even the devil steps back when a mother cries for help, everyone respects a mama, even the demons.

Times like this I am forced to acknowledge that there is more to life than what we generally fathom. There are forces, unspoken guides, angels if you will who share our space as silent spectators. Sometimes, I wager, they even throw a few roadblocks just to let us know that they are here if only we would reach out.

But we prefer to stay cocooned in our little superficial worlds, with our little luxuries, our routines, our familiar ways that we fail to notice this other universe that coexists. When disaster strikes and jolts us out of our illusions we come face to face with the truth that we are not in control, this world is not the only truth that exists and for a brief moment in time we are vulnerable.

We see the light and we do what our seven billion-year-old mind does best, we either fight it or take flight from it, failing to grasp the truth that can literally set us free. Every successful person on earth who lives or has ever lived will attest to the fact that there is a higher power that governs, and aligning ourselves to it guarantees enlightenment.

Yet we resist the unknown, honed for survival we have incubated our freedom in the throes of ignorance. One day we will have to break through, we will have to embrace the unknown, one day.


It is time

Tuesday, 20th February 2018

Time is an unstable commodity, elusive, distracting, and chimeric almost! Almost is more to its fantastical elusive attribute than its certainty. I know that many if not all of the extremely few who do read this will scratch their heads. I have been known; to the unfortunate few who regard me as such, to vacillate from abounding in common sense to the recluse who vomits verbiage that pretends to be intelligible. I love words, as a dyslexic, my appreciation for the language is hard to understand. Perhaps I should start with the groundwork, lay the foundations of I and then perhaps we can rise together onto the summit of my viewpoint.

As a child I found that the letters in a word danced around, they flipped, changed positions and got me into lots of trouble. For a child of three learning to read the cat sat on a mat, well it was more like the act sta no a tam, to which I’d pause and try to make sense. A phonetic shout from my mom, the c-a-t s-a-t o-n a m-a-t! The letters would rearrange into the cat tas on a mat. A few more shouts and a smack later the cat (finally) sat on a mat.

So in my hyper-imaginative mind, the letters were wee little imps that loved to dance around when no one was looking. I took a fascination to Irish folk tales, I totally understood the plight of the little children who saw goblins and fairies that no one else could. I dreamt lavish dreams of magical lands where every letter had a mansion filled with objects that started with that very letter. I was forever being chased by the lowercase p and her twin sister q, b and d were the harbingers of trouble and i and e were interchangeable lovers.

I grew to view words as living collaborations between highly fickle letters. They formed in my naïve little mind beings who needed to be pleaded with, and they never settled for any offering that wasn’t sincere. My passion had to be true and burn with an urgency that threatened to drive me insane if I expected them to grace my blank page.

Which brings me to the point of time, just like words it can mean differently to different people. It demands inconsistently from different souls, it behaves illogically with different beings. Time moves fast for one, painfully slow for another, non-existent for someone with Alzheimer’s and stands still for someone in a coma. Even our minds find it hard to follow time in a linear fashion. Sometimes we are trapped in past, stuck in a horrific memory or a happy moment that runs in a loop, or in an imaginary future, but rarely in the present. We burn our food, let our coffees get cold, lose our keys, neglect our plants, but we always complain about Mr. Time. We all get the same amount and we are all granted it in the same fashion but we have such different experiences and results. Some live a lifetime in a moment, some go through an entire lifetime without living a single moment, some choose to end it abruptly, some do everything to extend theirs, and then there is me.

For me time is elastic, I often find myself neither in the past nor in the future and not even in the present. It’s like as if I am standing on top of a mountain looking down at a river, I can see where it has been, where it is at and where it is headed towards. Sometimes the indecisions of my life cloud my vision of the future, sometimes the pain of certain events blur the details in the past but one thing is consistent I feel disconnected.

The more painful the past or scary the future I find myself returning to this spot on the mountain, just watching. When things need to be done right now, I hear a whisper, it is time.

As it is right now to leave this page and to move on to living…


The greatest truth in the biggest lie

Monday, February 19, 2018

Journal writing in the most undervalued form of writing in my opinion and I do have many opinions. From my take on globalization, colonizing Mars, overcoming grief, living life and the very meaning of life, there are few and far between that I really have nothing to say or write about.

As I child I was always plagued with why, so my father brought me a book, Tell me why, then after I devoured that Here’s more tell me why, Lots more tell me why and Still more tell me why. By the time I was 18, there was very little in the world that I did not have an answer to, having read the likes of Napolean Hill’s The law of success when I was 8, I had a well-developed philosophy on life and living. I quoted Carl Jung, talked about psychosymbology, ESP, and thought Confucius was quite spot on.

There wasn’t an adult, besides my parents, who didn’t think I was destined for greatness, I even had a physics teacher who hoped I’d win a Nobel prize. Life had other lessons and plans; I discovered that reading a handful of books did not give me the life skills needed to succeed. While I could indulge in interesting, intellectual and even inspiring conversations, I could not decipher the formula for material success. I was always broke and still am. Every endeavor I make is always regaled as a great effort but it always fails to translate into monetary success.

This monologue has been discharged as a result of a movie that I watched yesterday, a grand experiment on the part of its creator to produce something that defied the norm and dared to investigate with the unknown. The result? A disaster, the masses rejected it, the resistance to be coaxed into the unknown and worse, the idea of letting go of the familiar proved fatal.

I realized the greatest truth in the biggest lie touted in today’s world, Think different, be innovative. What they, the narrators of the world trends, are actually telling you is that we are bored of the same plot lines, impress us but don’t get too different lest we lose the tethers that still determine our identities. For what would society be if in a split second they could let go of all the walls that enclosed their lives and actually stepped out into the Free world of unregulated creativity?

Look at how we see beauty, in lines of symmetry, a mirror image of what we accept repeated to coax us into the comfort of the familiar. I remember staring into the face a beautiful woman troubled that her eyebrows were too large and disproportionate to her delicate face. I was seeking beauty within the confines of what I had categorized as beautiful.

The most beautiful are often a standardized version of the classic beauty with one feature, just one for two is too much, that is different. The typical dark-skinned beauty with striking blue eyes, a typical white beauty with an African hairdo, we seek different within the confines of the familiar.

It brought to mind how the evil masterminds groom their victims, one aspect at a time, they start on a common ground and slowly drip feed their agenda until the victim is a perpetrator.

Even inspirational or motivational thinking has to be based on the familiar, it needs the ladder of common sense or at the very least a promise of a better life, for the mind to accept it.

So where does that leave me? Nowhere, I am where I always was; lost in awe of the human mind that is complex yet stupid.

Superman’s got nothing on you Ma!

18th Sunday, the day of the Lord in the year 2018.


Photo on 18-2-18 at 1.56 pm
Enter a caption


This journal writing has brought to light something very disturbing, 24 hours is not very long. Worse, we don’t get much done by the way of achieving life’s milestones. As I try to recollect the past 24 hours, sieving through chores, incidents and living life, nothing much has been retained. Considering I am 41 years old and have lived the better part of my life trying to tick my to-do list, I am disappointed.

While I was high on my dopamine getting all my jobs done, and ticking them off the list, there wasn’t much room for realization. No awareness of the self as I rushed to do laundry, homework assignments for my kids, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yes, I was doing my children’s projects, I know I’m just ‘helping’ but it sure feels like I am in school. Sometimes I feel as if homework assignments and projects are a parent’s Karma. All the half a$$%^ attempts that I put in school has come back with a vengeance.

I now have the answer to the question I always posed to my mum as I did algebra, “When will I ever have use for this mum?”

Now, you will have a use for them, now, as you sit down with your child getting them through their homework. As you cut up the pizza that you serve your kids for lunch and explain to them how Maths solves everyday problems, is exactly the time when you will need to remember fractions.

As I stand in my mom’s shoes and mouth the very words I had rolled my eyes at, I stand humbled.

As I stare into the eyes of my son as he moans, “This is so dumb mum! I rather do a million things besides times tables.”

I am reminded that life is very short but long enough to make you come a full circle. As I sigh and hug my son and tell him that I understand his frustrations having felt it myself, and urge him to trudge on, “You’ll thank me one day son, as I did my mom.”

So this journal entry is a tribute to my mum, a salutation for all her hard work, her perseverance against great odds, a spunky irritable me at 9 must have been nothing short of torture. Motherhood can be a thankless job, where you slave on amidst hostility from the very souls whose life you are trying to improve.

I know what she must have felt as she stood there being brandished as heartless, mean and a punisher for trying to get me to do an extra page of Maths, for those are the very things my son accuses me of. Karma, there is no escaping it and experiencing it makes me so ashamed but so honored to have a mother who cared enough to overlook the hostility and still soldier on.

For after an hour of hostile banter I give up and allow my son to run off into the garden to enjoy his time in the sun. My mother never did, so today despite being a dyslexic I am an author, and I passed my 10th maths exam with a decent percentage.

Thanks, mum, today I realize how strong and noble you truly are. How, it takes a lot more than love to be a good mother, it takes courage to brave the anger of a rebellious teenager and still do what needs to be done. Thanks mum for being so strong, to quote my son’s favorite song, ‘superman’s got nothing on you Ma!’

I, Me and Myself.

pexels-photo-774866.jpegSaturday, February 17, 2018

Writing a daily journal is tedious, it forces me into examining the previous day. It ambushes me into corners I have been blindsided to, either by choice or by some subliminal neural programming. I have been forced into acknowledging the fragmented personality that is I, me, and myself.

I never quite understood the subtle connotations of that phrase, I, me and myself. Three days of introspection and I have been plated that realization. I realize, much to my disdain, that there are many versions of me. There is an I, the lively, generous, optimistic, industrious, ambitious individual that you would most likely bump into when you cross paths with me. There is a me, she is reserved, suspicious, judgmental, pessimistic, intuitive, cautious, and forever alert. Her you will never meet but she is there lurking behind the surface, quick to the rescue should either persona cajole me into a predicament. There is myself, a daydreamer, introspective, forgiving, slow, patient, painfully slow, trusting and innocent. She is the creative one, the writer, the artist, the culinary prodigy, and the one who is in command when I suffer a heartbreak or meltdown.

Each version of me, not to be confused with the judgmental me, is intense and deep-seated in my psyche. There are no blurring of the lines, no shaded area where one personality overlaps with the other and herein lies the conundrum that befalls me, as a whole. For I can, with the jarring ease of a schizophrenic, transfer control to either personality and there is no smooth transition. Like Sodium being cut, the new exposed me is bright and shiny for all to notice and a stark contrast to what was.

It explains much of my life, the comments of those closest to me, ‘you flip! This is not how I expected you to react!’ begins to make complete sense. The sagacity of my need and desire to live a life that is compartmentalized is dawning on me. I have always had tastes that were polar opposites, classical music, hip-hop, trance, dance, and Catholic chants all feature in my playlist. The books I devour range from academic, self-help, motivational, thrillers, classic or children’s fiction. I can stay riveted watching a documentary, quantum physics, comedy, action, or children’s cartoons.

So the point of this journal entry? Nothing, I am beginning to try to live life without a focus on the point, I find it very stressful, very demanding like a perpetual carrot that dangles forever beyond reach. It’s purpose to tantalize and nudge you into being manipulated for another’s benefit. I am making that brave attempt to live life by my own rules, to throw away those markers handed down to me by society in their bid to make me conform.

Maybe the purpose of life is to have no purpose, at least not the ones that society thrusts upon us but to discover new ones that are liberating and not restricting.

The miracle of life is every second, starting now.

Friday, 16 February 2018.

Group of childrenIt’s two days since my last journal entry, I gave up on my self-promise, a promise I make to myself, within 24 hours that I would write every day, no matter what. I decided to publish my journal entries as a public reprimand should I fail, which I did, invariably, despite my better judgment and firm resolution.

It was not just a creative exercise; writers are encouraged to write every day, but a ‘note to self’ cathartic process. It was an experiment to find out my state of mind, the state of my soul, was I looking at things objectively? Am I truly living life, experiencing every moment or have I turned this once in a lifetime experience into a monotonous grind? Do I allocate enough time to myself, for reflection, for peace of mind, for the sheer joy of being me?

My instantaneous response was to admonish myself for being too busy to ‘stand and stare’, a memorable line from “Leisure” a poem by Welsh poet W. H. Davies. After a cup of aromatic coffee, I ruminated over the past two days, the events that tore me away from my self-promise. Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, a day to be reminded that we are dust, from dust we are born and unto dust, we shall return. After a frantic morning getting kids, lunch boxes and myself ready, we headed off to mass.

During mass Ann, a delightful woman managed to giggle and spill ash all over her trousers. She was meant to carry it to the nursing home to mark the foreheads of the ill with ash. I reached out into my handbag, the bag I had meant to leave in the car and pulled out quite a wad of kitchen paper towels, the ones I shoved in my bag as I wondered, ‘why was I shoving kitchen towels in my bag when all I needed was a single tissue?’ My sister-in-law, Agnes, reached out into her bag and pulled out a KFC wipe, the one that never makes it into her handbag but did today.

The effervescent woman was grateful and cheekily quipped as Aggi handed over the KFC wipe, “where’s the chicken?”

Yes, that’s Catholics for you, we find humor always, especially when things go awry. On the ride back I decided to spend time with my brother and Aggi. Aggi and I kept remarking about how both of us, in the midst of the madness that is a school run, we both managed to put into our bags the very thing Ann would need.

‘The Lord looks after his own!’

That revelation stayed with me and brought me comfort, it caused me to smile whenever I washed my hands and looked in the mirror and saw my face marked with a cross of ash. I may be born of dust and I will return to it but I am loved by the maker of the universe and that is plenty.

I was so ecstatic by the revelation that I hadn’t thought of jotting it down. I was too preoccupied with living in the moment to actually transcribe the events.

Wednesday, was a revelation, how would Thursday hold up?

I sipped more of my glorious warm coffee and as it swirled in my mouth and filled my nostrils with the aroma of roasted cocoa beans, I found myself on Thursday. I spent the majority of the morning cooking, determined to give my children a good vegetarian meal, it’s lent after all. I was also multitasking doing the church newsletter; I read a few books online to keep my eyes from going askew fixing the formatting.

The kids rolled, yelled and whined their way back home by 3:30 pm. After that it was one chaotic event that is mostly a blur, there are sporadic memory flashes of yelling, threatening, bribing and pleas, all from me. It was study time with the kids and for once it wasn’t marked by pleas for the torture to stop, that would also be me! Instead, we were talking about the first word uttered by my children. Frohar, my oldest, had to do a history project, a personal timeline. The question, to write something memorable from the time you were a baby, got the entire family in guffaws.

“Mom, what was my first word?”

I paused, shrugged and after a long silent mental debate relented, “Dada.”

“You wish it was Mama, don’t you?” Frohar reached out and hugged me, the kind you give a sick puppy when you know there is nothing that can make them feel better but you try anyway.

“Actually it was MAMA!” I screech as loudly and terribly as a parakeet squawking when it chokes on a nut. Not that I have ever witnessed one but I do remember a cartoon that depicted it quite vividly, hence the enactment.

“What? Why did he say that?” asked my girls rushing to find out what the commotion was all about. I catch Fravashi’s eyes gleaming with mischievous theories. Freny has that sly look, the one she gets when she feels she might be able to blackmail someone at a late date.

“Well, Frohar was a possessive little boy and he always felt that I was going to abandon him for another baby. He never let me carry another baby. So there was this one time that I had gone out to bid farewell and he was convinced I was abandoning him so he screamed, MAMA!” I squawked again like a parakeet in distress and my three children fell on the floor laughing. A unified chorus of, ‘again, again‘ got me to squawk three more times.

“That was the only time he ever said Mama and then when he started talking he said Dada first and then Mama. So I guess we better record his first word as Dada.”

“Nah! I’m writing this down and I’ll tell the whole class, this is awesome!!!” Frohar started writing frantically on his project.

That was an awesome memory that we created reliving an old one and I couldn’t help but go to bed that night with a smile. It brought to mind that happiness is found not in lavish homes but warm hearts, not in exotic locations but in the company of loved ones and it’s not bought with gifts but with the currency of time that we choose to spend with the ones we love.

Yes, Thursday carried on the high note that Wednesday had left off on. Which begs the question how many more little miracles, joys have we in our busy lives forgotten to jot down, enjoy and relish? Yes, this journal-writing endeavor is a good one, one that I hope to carry forward to the end of my days.



Notes to self, how to live beyond a tragedy?

Sad womanTuesday, 13th February 2018.

It is bright and sunny here in Seaford Rise, Adelaide. A soft wind dances across the room being granted entry by the large windows in my study. The curtains, ruffled by the lack of respect offered by the impolite wind, try to maintain their dignified silence as sentries to the large window.

I can hear birds chirping, there is strange rhythmic insect call and I try to scan my memories to figure out the species. Realizing that I am no botanist and too lazy to Google native South Australian fauna, I relent to ignoring it. I’ve labelled the collective ‘noise’ of the outdoors to ‘background music of life in suburban South Australia’.

Yes, it is important to label, it gives one a sense of proprietary, of control. So desperately needed in my life, at this stage of my journey towards my end. I am 41 and though I don’t look haggled, dishevelled and middle-aged, I truly am. Yes, haggled not haggard, it’s not a typo; after all, I do have autocorrect, spell check, thesaurus. And no, you may not lecture me on the wrong usage of words, or throw a style guide at me, it is a free world. If my writing is an eyesore then please feel free to look away. After all, even ancient Sumerian teachers complained about the deteriorating writing skills of their young, as discovered when deciphering ancient clay tablets.

Haggled, yes, I feel as if I have been bartered, negotiated, or bargained with. I feel I have been given a peace meal offering in exchange for my rights, my integrity, and my self-worth. As a single mom of three kids all less than 10 years of age, I have made compromises, settled for far less than what I’m entitled to and agreed to the very basic that is on offer. It is a choice made by my free will but it’s not to my liking. Hence, that’s how I feel, haggled.

Disheveled, no I am not dressed as if an orangutan is my stylist, nor does my sense of style match the frenzied taste of an orangutan, but it is how I feel like I’m wearing my insides out. Nothing is where it’s meant to be, my heart breaks as I chance upon a withered plant in my herb garden. I hear it’s lament at being rejected and forgotten; it’s life not worth a sprinkle ever so often. My tears roll down when I see a neglected signpost, beaten down by the weather, barely standing still and yet dutifully proclaiming the location.

Middle-aged, I am squarely in the middle of my life and I have no inkling of which side is worst. I wish I could say I’m stuck or frozen, but the truth is, life carries you forward, like a leaf bobbing on an ocean, the current transports you. You can swim along and reach your destination quicker, fight it and drown in the inevitable or be passive and pretend that nothing has changed. Move you will, the stars will change their positions and no one seeks your permission or even cares whether you disapprove.

The thing is when you are born you watch the world with wide-eyed curiosity, and believe that you are the centre of the universe. Even though your parents and educators are constantly reprimanding you and are consistently disappointed in you, the fact that your performance can give them so much grief convinces you that you are indeed important, that you matter. You go through life, being sought after by the opposite sex or same, depending on your preference and still the impression continues. Then you have children or pets and then you are thoroughly convinced that not only are you the centre of the universe but you are the architect.

Then life throws you a crisis, you lose your job, or marriage, or health or loved one and you realize that it was all a dream. In an instant you lose your identity, If you are a manager and you are fired and can’t find a job, what are you? If your marriage breaks down then in an instant you no longer are a wife or a husband. If you get diagnosed with cancer and it’s terminal your dying. If you lose someone dear to you, a person who coloured every moment of your existence with their presence who are you without them?

Suddenly in a split second, you are changed, the life you lived until then is no longer valid, just a memory, your identity is changed forever. Confident to clueless, in a matter of seconds, but what really cuts, is that life goes on. The sun still shines like a happy day, the birds still chirp in delight and people still plan for births, weddings, and parties. The clock keeps ticking, the chores need doing, the bills need paying, you can pause and take a breath but then you need to get going.

And then it hits you, what was the purpose of my life? Why do I exist? You reach out to Epictetus and you get stoic. You begin to embrace your vulnerability and live fearlessly. You start to let go of your identities, the real cause of your misery, after all, it is not the event that shatters you but your perception of the tragedy. The drama that we endure in our minds and the imagined anguish we feel in our hearts is what really torments.

But if you stay in the moment, take a deep breath, let the smells carry you, let the noises transport you, then in that moment you can either choose to be broken and lost or you could start to truly live. In that moment you are enlightened, as a human you are granted a glorious mind that can travel through space and time, coupled with a body that can make every imagination feel as real as can be. You uncover an unexplored realm of human consciousness, where you can choose your own existence, exploration or imagination.

So I say, ‘Go forth and live, to infinity and beyond!’

Broken crayons still colour!

Broken crayons still colour!

There is a lot in this statement, the words broken and colour have nothing in common, but a crayon does. That summarises our lives, we can be broken and we can still excel, the two characteristics have nothing to do with each other unless we empower them to. We are authors of our own lives, protagonists of our life stories, we can either write a bestseller that is motivational or a horror story that leaves one, with nothing but despair.

Too easily we surrender our power of thought, emotion and mostly action to our circumstances, the whims of people, society, or to our vices. We forget that while the past is real and often painful and crippling, it is over. The present, right here and now, is where we are and where we should be designing, moulding, and creating our future. And if need be the present is where we rewrite our past so that we can be in control.

Yes, we can rewrite our past, after all, it is only a memory that we feed with our emotions, fears, and our energies. A harrowing incident that left us scarred and broken can be rewritten and thousands have done it to great effect. A mother who lost her child to a drunk driver can rewrite her loss as a mission to save other children from similar fates. A rape survivor can take a stand to bring criminals to justice and help others like her.

Broken crayons colour, for the simple reason that being broken doesn’t make you any less but more, much more. You see life from a different perspective and whilst painful you have the unique opportunity to own it, to command it. Or it can rule you, determine your future by controlling your present.

It’s a choice, there is always a choice.




But of course.

Will it ever be easy?

If it has to be worthwhile then the payment is sweat, tears, and blood, always blood.

While we may not choose to be broken, we can choose if we wish to colour twice as much, because broken crayons still colour.broken crayons

Language of Love

     I was scanning some pics for my mum, she has written her autobiography and wants it in a pictorial format, showcasing her life with thoughts and images. As I was digitally documenting her life from the marriage of her parents to her youth, I couldn’t help noticing the gentle souls who had perfumed her life with memories. At 75 she seemed to remember clearly and often fondly her educators, employers, friends, family, and yes off course her loves but most importantly, places.
     Now I know that as an Australian the nomadic gene is quite strong, I mean we are all offspring’s of travelers, but somehow the thrill of discovery resonates strongly in her life accomplishments. She is keen to dedicate pages and pages to her travels, for upon those dusty roads I think she discovered herself. While I might disagree why she wants to put in pictures of café’s and famous landmarks, after all, better quality photos exist on the internet, I think I understand.
     These landmarks aren’t just witnesses of mankind’s urge to celebrate milestones, they are an ancient need to remind oneself of where we came from, what we have overcome and more importantly to leave a marker to be remembered by. Together they form a shared heritage, the town’s accomplishments, and my mother’s journey, from birth to form.
     As I rummage through old school magazines, tattered and frayed, they offer me a peek into the world, not unlike my own, their views as relevant today as they were sixty years ago. The headmistress takes it upon herself to exhort the students, “From community, we have our livelihood, culture, and protection in a reign of law: to the community we owe a just return of loyalty and service!”
     Whatever the adage or style the message is clear, be not takers but givers. This is what our culture of obligation is based upon to find meaning and purpose in life through service to society. Sadly we have failed to impart that onto the younger generation and some of us are sadly drifting away from that concept that shaped our progress and saw us explore the moon and beyond.
     As I rummage through vintage satin printed cards deciding which one to immortalise in her book I am enthralled by the detail and labour that went into making a company Christmas card. The irony isn’t lost on me as I have just returned from purchasing a $3 birthday card from the shops. The fact that she has treasured them for over fifty-six years tells a lot about how little acts can imprint itself onto one’s heart and mind. How integrity isn’t in the grandiose but sometimes in the littlest of things.
     As I plough through scanning black and white photos, I glance at a few, noticing that they have faded and succumbed to the realities of time. As I touch them up, easing the crease lines, filling up blank spots, one feature stands out that hasn’t faded, the commonality of us humans. Even in pictures seventy years old, we lived, laughed, loved, cared and most importantly held onto memories.
     One of those pictures spoke to me, a happy bloke, with his dog and a giggling little girl clutching a freshly cut bouquet of succulents. It’s her smile that captured my soul, that euphoric grin and the gay abandon with which she pointed her left feet, with her toes barely touching the ground as she leaned towards the equally blissful gentleman. Not a fan of ballet I suddenly discovered a new appreciation for the art. Captured in that moment was the unspoken bond between a Father and his first born, the circle of life so beautifully encompassed.
     All of our toil, our achievements, our aspirations lead us to an end where we leave behind a legacy, for those embarking on what we have spent a lifetime discovering. While most of us hope the best for the generation starting out, mostly, we pray that they don’t repeat our mistakes but mainly we want to inform them that it will be alright. Don’t beat yourself over a mistake, you’ll make worse ones along the way; no heartbreak lasts forever; no matter what anyone says it’s never the end of the world; love yourself especially if no one else will; aim for the stars, don’t live a life of regrets it passes quick enough; and look to the heavens ever so often, it’s too late when your time is up, you’ve missed the whole point of living.
     That’s what Mum’s book is all about, the journey of January’s child, the journey of a sixties girl, raw and undiluted. Along the way we meet kind family members, inspirational people, fun loving souls, charming men, pretty girls, and we discover life in Australia sixty odd years ago.

‘FakeNews’ and its repercussion


I wake up every morning, wishing it wasn’t and as I mentally grumble about how tired I am of being tired, I have a little gratitude mantra that I do for 30 minutes that gets my grumbling to stop and my foot on the floor. I reach out for my mobile and go through my news feeds, this world gives me an endless supply of SMH (shake my head) news feeds that make me realise how petty my problems are.

Today’s news feed got me especially stirred up, and my next cathartic step is to blog about it. It was about how America is in the paroxysm of ‘FakeNews’ conspiracy psychosis. On the fateful day of December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members of The Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, U.S.A.

This sickening news was the deadliest mass shooting at either a high school or grade school in U.S. history and the third-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history. It triggered massive debates on gun control and thankfully stirred the country to rethink its gun laws.

What it brought along with it was the unmasking of conspiracy theorists who would go to ugly lengths just to prove their belief. While conspiracy theories like ‘whether we actually landed on the Moon’ and ‘Obama was not born in America’ makes for light-hearted humour, asking the father of one of the six-year-old victims to exhume the body to prove that the child existed or is, in fact, dead is downright despicable.

As a mother of three the thought of grieving for a child is unbearable in itself, and to have barbarians troll the internet insisting that my child never existed and is ‘FakeNews’ orchestrated by the government is just appalling. People are reaching a new level of low and it is disturbing, to say the least.

Conspiracy theorists can no longer be ignored, as they are the secret force behind the election of the world’s greatest bigot as the most powerful man on Earth. Systematically tracking the trending conspiracy theories that had the greatest support, he concurred with it and thereby drove throngs to the polling booth that had previously shunned the elections. Trump even appeared on the Sandy Hook massacre denier, Alex Jones’s Infowars during his presidential campaign and lavished praise on its presenter, saying that the conspiracy theorist had an “amazing” reputation and pledging not to let him down.

Not only has the President of America by his support of the conspiracy theorists vilified the memories of those lost but also shattered the ability of those left behind to heal. It sickens me to think that victims are the latest targets for acrimony and a growing brood of loud and angry haters are assailing those that dare to speak up.

Haters is a group because quite literally all they do it hate, they loathe free speech except when they use it as an excuse to hurl insults and debase. They abhor progressive thinking because it forces them to acknowledge their ignorance and malevolence. They despise the truth because it forces them to admit that they are wrong and holds them accountable.

Sadly they are not restricted to the borders of U.S.A. but they populate the entire earth, in fact, chances are there is one in your extended family. The one person who scoffs at your hardest attempts, ridicules your dress, your weight, your children, your spouse, your job, your beliefs, and quite often leaves you feeling miserable in your own skin.

They are a viral epidemic that is more life threatening than the Ebola, they are the superbugs of humanity. Left unchecked they will consume every last hope, dream, and aspiration until all that will be left behind is shattered dreams, broken spirits, despair, and uncontrollable odium.

Internet trolling is providing these toxic people with more power and the ability to persist, after all the written word is hard to erase and harder still to ignore. A mother posted a picture of her son holding a chook (chicken) and it garnered haters to comment that if she was a ‘good mother’ she would teach her child to be vegan!? She deleted her post.

“A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender” by Aranya Johar is a poem where she, an 18-year-old speaks about misogyny and touches on a very serious topic of how men justify rape through women’s clothing and cleavage. It’s a plea of a young girl in India voicing what women all over echo in their silence and the hate comments that have inundated her youtube video and facebook page are appalling. They called her poem a misandry towards men, told her to stop her whining and crying, called her crazy, said it was all a publicity stunt and the list goes on.

When did we as a civilized world think it was our right to belittle an 18-year-old girl talking about her experiences in a poem? Which is why now more than ever we need to encourage each other, we need to shut those haters with all our positivity and mostly by refusing to let them bog us down. At every opportunity we need to make our voices heard; we need to laud those who dare to be positive, who speak the truth and we need to look to our right and our left and let our loved ones know that we are with them. We need to curb our own anger and replace it with peace, love, and understanding because this world is already overflowing with hate. We need to celebrate every last drop of creativity, inspiration, and beauty. We need to spread cheer and good will, we don’t need to talk about all that is wrong but about all that is right and good.

Let us fight the good fight, the one that leads to a victory of love and peace because if we don’t then no one else will.

Do we deserve to kill?

I was watching a TED talk by Bryan Stevenson


TED TALKS:bryan_stevenson :we need to talk about injustice

His opening statements made me sit back and breathe deeply.

Bryan Stevenson: It’s interesting, this question of the death penalty. In many ways, we’ve been taught to think that the real question is, do people deserve to die for the crimes they’ve committed? And that’s a very sensible question. But there’s another way of thinking about where we are in our identity. The other way of thinking about it is not, do people deserve to die for the crimes they commit, but do we deserve to kill?

Do we deserve to kill?

Echoes from the bible resound in my ear, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” I have received a lot of flak from people who have derided my pacifist attitude. My husband is a strong proponent of an eye for an eye, which he is quick to point out, is also in the bible. As I stood explaining to my then seven-year-old son to forgive those who bully him and to avoid mean kids, my husband interjected showing him how to land a left hook. As a child with Autism he was greatly disturbed and emotionally scared by his experiences but I have tried my best to make him understand that there are only two kinds of people, good and bad. We empower the good and we pray for the bad to turn good.

I have had a turbulent life, filled with mean girls, cruel women, evil men, scheming friends, manipulative family members, and the racists few. I know too well the perils of trusting a friend only to be betrayed, repercussions of being a guarantee for a loan, helping someone only to be accused of having ulterior motives, being called pathetic and weak for not joining in, and the list of hurts goes on. However, what I’d like to add is that I too have committed the same crimes albeit in different contexts.

In my forty years of life, can I truly say that I haven’t been at some point in my life mean, cruel, evil or schemed and manipulated to get my way? Have I never made a sweeping blanket statement that might have been sexist or racist? When we sit with our girlfriends sipping coffee hearing how their husband/boyfriend cheated on them and remark, “All men are pigs!” Reading about the atrocities against the slaves by the wealthy American cotton barons, I must confess my thoughts were quite racist. When I despised my brother’s girlfriend for taking advantage of him, I shamefully admit many schemes and emotional manipulations. When I hear of a pedophile, human trafficker, or a rapist, I can assure you my desire of vengeance can be downright evil not just cruel or mean.

The point being just because we can justify our wrongs with good intent, does it exempt our actions? If so then why can we not afford that same leverage to criminals that commit crimes due to poverty, drug addiction, etc.? Let me stress strongly that I am talking of the death penalty and not in any way advocating parole or shorter sentences. There are some mentally diseased humans that need to be locked away forever but what I question is the right to take away human life.

When did we as a society think that we could decide who lived and who didn’t? I am all for consequences and incarceration for the guilty but a death penalty for me is a downward spiral in our evolution. I cannot understand how we as a technologically advanced human race, wherein we have learnt to land on planets and study them, fail to appreciate human life. For me the only way forward is together but these cultural silos that we have created have now bifurcated even further into smaller isolated mobs of common goals, view points etc.

It is getting increasingly hard to have a discussion with anyone with a different point of view. All statements are emotional coupled with a myopic view that only they are right, reason and logic has been abandoned, compassion and empathy buried deep in the sands of self-preservation and personal comfort. I have never been more scared of voicing my opinions or of expressing them passionately for fear of being labeled a zealot. The world is getting increasingly corroded with hate and fear.

The words of Thomas Paine ring true today more than they ever did, “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture. Enjoy, sir, your insensibility of feeling and reflecting. It is the prerogative of animals.”

I am dumbfounded when I discover the need to argue the case of saving human lives, with a history of slavery, genocide, oppression, tsunami, hurricanes, natural disasters and a nuclear bomb, we should know better. In the year 2017 we should not have prejudices based on religion, race, cast, gender, disability, or background, we should not have prejudices period. Before we plot a path to the stars and raise our flags on alien soil let us first nurture tolerance, justice and mercy.

There are a few statements that Bryan Stevenson makes that strike a chord in me that I cannot help but resound.

Our humanity depends on everyone’s humanity.

The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.

You judge the character of a society, not by how they treat their rich and the powerful and the privileged, but by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated.

My journey of Faith

faithPresently in my life I have been engaged in a constant discussion about faith, my father’s insights often touch my soul. I am blessed that I am considered a good friend by people of different faiths and those without. My own personal journey has been quite colourful, born a catholic, turned atheist, then joined a Hindu cult, then a protestant group and now finally a Catholic.

I still cherish the sound teachings that had first attracted me to each faith and the lack of it. As an atheist I thoroughly enjoyed the responsibility aspect, we are in charge of our own lives and most importantly our choices. Unless someone puts a gun on your head and makes you do something, it’s a choice no matter how hard you disliked it. Accountability, I really liked that part.

In the Hindu cult, I enjoyed the concept of deriving meaning from mythological stories. Somehow it touched a chord; it triggered an ancient evolutionary process. The story itself was colourful and mesmerising and then the art of deriving hidden messages that gave you the ‘Aha moment!” was just splendid. The religion itself is steeped in ancient customs that somehow still managed to energise the chakras, and left you feeling exhilarated.

The Protestants on the other hand were an energetic bunch, so dedicated and passionate about their faith that I couldn’t help getting attracted to a life filled with purpose. Every morning was a new day; a new discovery to be made, a constant goal that kept evolving and I loved the whole momentum. The fact that we could feed off each other’s energy whilst generating our own and seeding others was just brilliant.

I decided to finally follow the catholic faith after researching other faiths, Buddhism, Islam, etc. I must admit that my research wasn’t extensive but enough to help me finally make up my mind. I realized that faith is a gift from God, providing you are willing to receive and nurture it, but religion is man made and highly dependent on your family, friend circle, society, culture and upbringing.

Let me elaborate using my own journey as an example, It was easy for me to be an atheist as I was a young science student and filled with questions that no one could answer. The concept that there was a God that allowed misery and we the blind sheep were supposed to entreat this unfeeling God with prayerful supplications basically defied common sense.

As a college student who was going through a rough patch at the hands of educated peers purely out of spite, I found refuge in the welcoming embrace of a new age Hindu cult group that spoke of tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness. Their love for life and every living being was such a welcoming change to the snooty cruel self-absorbed attitude I was accustomed to at my hostel. My disdain for money and those who valued it more than anything took root during this phase of my life.

As a young woman setting out to make my career I returned to live with my parents in Dubai, U.A.E. Muslim colleagues soon bombarded me with literature to facilitate my conversion. As an advanced member of my cult group I entered the organizational committee and soon discovered that money was indeed the core of everything. The love speech halted and turned into strategy and financial planning, albeit very transparent and honorable. I saw the stark reality of the romantic picture I had painted in my mind’s eye.

People were told exactly what they wanted to hear in order to lure them into a group that generated income by selling meditation, camaraderie, yoga lessons and supposedly enlightenment. All in all it is a good business, nothing wrong with teaching people to let go, live, sing and dance albeit for a reasonable fee that supported a community. Life coaches do the same thing on a smaller scale and charge astronomical amounts and benefit only themselves with the income. However, it wasn’t for me as I was looking for the truth, the path to self-evolution, not a song and dance distraction to help me live out my years on planet earth.

I spoke to a few Islamic friends and heard what they had to say about their religion and whilst I developed a deep respect for them, it didn’t take me home. That’s when I met a protestant evangelist, a powerful psychic who could read minds, see the past and foretell the future, gifts from the Holy Spirit he assured me. I was intrigued and more importantly lured by the promise that perhaps if found worthy I too could be blessed with such graces.

Sad to say money too was at the heart of his propaganda, and he literally thrived off the ‘donations’ made by generous followers. My tenure with him taught me a startling fact about the future, it is not set in stone. A person’s ability to choose brings about the biggest uncertainty to the possible time lines. I began to understand the question that drove me to atheism, why does God not interfere and stop the suffering? God’s gift of choice to mankind binds him and restricts him in making any changes or supernatural effects that could override mankind’s right to choose.

Suddenly the Lord’s Prayer made perfect sense, Our Father, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. We need to choose God’s will over our own, collectively to allow God to enact his miracles. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with love and respect for this unseen God, what a sense of justice, to stop oneself from interfering just because you have given your word not to.

For a split second I was transported to a world where honor, integrity, justice, and love was valued so highly. My head bowed with the realization that this unfeeling God was an honorable, ever-loving God of justice and suddenly I felt so worthless and regretted ever daring to question his righteousness. The verse from the bible resounded in my head, ‘Can the pot ask the potter what have you made?’

Long story short, I turned catholic after a brief experimentation with another protestant group that was more like a Christian rock concert, once again money being the central theme of everything. As I entered the Catholic Church after a sabbatical of five years, I felt as if I had come home. It felt familiar even though I had stepped into it for the very first time. That’s when I understood that everyone has a home, for some it’s a temple, to another it’s a mosque, to some a synagogue, but to me it’s a catholic church.

I felt my burdens lift away, I felt comfortable like I was returning home after a long trip. In many ways I had.

A new way forward

I was watching the gorgeous and ever graceful Meryl Streep give her speech at the now famous Golden Globes awards of 2017. I watched and listened as her voice faltered with raw emotion as she spoke of a very powerful man who mocked a disabled reporter who dared to disagree with him. Even though I am an Australian of Indo-Burmese descent living in a bubble that is not affected by America’s President Elect, I could not help but absorb her fear. The fear that this world is angry and is taking it out on the defenceless, the very ones who need our support and empathy. I am beginning to sense the Jungle law being silently enforced and I fear deeply for the weak, the disabled and the meek.

My entire life I have seen the stronger prey on the weak, my mother’s family had suffered financially at at hands of a greedy cousin who stole the family’s wealth as my hapless widowed grandmother stood alone in a male dominated cruel world. I too inherited my family penchant for tragedies and in college the mean girls club took it upon themselves to alienate me and systematically ostracized me for daring to be different, sounding different and being opinionated, and these were educated women from respectable families. My father had visited the United States of America in the early 1980’s and he was refused service in an ordinary cafe because he wasn’t white. He had a lot of respect for American’s right up until that time. I still remember him telling me, they (the whites) pretend to be very evolved but deep inside racism is still deeply rooted in their hearts, never mistake their tolerance for acceptance.

My Mother had a different understanding she believed that money transcends colour, race and background. She spoke of how people were very happy to trade their deepest sentiments for the jingle of money in their pockets. She spoke of how a crazy person turned into a respected eccentric, an ugly woman into uniquely featured, an arrogant man into a straight talking individual, blood enemies would bury the hatchet all because they get coloured with money. Have enough money and offer it to people and they will follow you no matter what your colour, background or ideology.

Years later I read a narrative by Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, in it he mentioned a paraphrased story about Stalin by Soviet novelist Chingiz Aitmatov that resonated with my mother’s reasoning. The story goes that in order to make a point to his henchman Stalin called for a live chicken which he then grabbed and proceeded to pluck it’s feathers one by one. He then placed the traumatised chicken on the floor and threw a few breadcrumbs at it and astonishingly it hobbled towards it and followed him around. “This is the way to rule the people. Did you see how that chicken followed me for food, even though I had caused it such torture? People are like that chicken. If you inflict inordinate pain on them they will follow you for food the rest of their lives.”

Self-sustenance is mankind’s primary goal along with resisting change. People are scared of those who are different especially those who are bold enough to voice their views because they pose a threat to the status quo. They respond the only way they know how, with mean and cruel taunts in the shelter of like minded people. Change, whether it’s circumstances or opinions, scare people and the only time they are willing to accept it is if it offers a better safer future.

This innate behaviour stems from the primitive need of humans to survive. This pack mentality where there is one leader  who forcibly vanquishes any alternative thinking has sustained mankind for centuries. The weak  were weeded out allowing only strong bloodlines to survive and this survival instinct to systematically eradicate non compliant humans has been etched in the DNA of humans for far too long to let one speech abate it. Augmenting this is the sheep mentality, the followers who without question rally behind the powerful, the strong in the hope that they will be favoured, once again ensuring their survival.

The comment section for the video featuring Meryl Streep’s speech was inundated with hateful remarks by Trump supporters. They insulted her, attacked her credibility as a decent human, questioned her right to comment about their glorious leader, one even likened her and all those in the entertainment industry to a monkey whose sole purpose was to entertain him, all because she said it was wrong to mock a disabled person. It reminded me of a racist comment by a woman on Facebook who called Michelle Obama a monkey in heels that was responded with a , ‘You just made my day.’ by a woman who held a government job in a predominantly white upper-class neighbourhood.

I shuddered with fear and disgust as I digested the stark reality that haters are now an overwhelming majority and with their leader holding one of the most powerful positions in this world we the minority better be scared. They are consolidating and encouraging each other and they are getting bolder, louder and more dangerous.

We the different, the quirky, the weird, the strange, the odd ones, need to follow suit. We need to gang up but instead of attacking them the way they do us, we need to respond with love, compassion, logic and most of all patience. We need to inspire these primitive minded people into realizing that food and shelter isn’t everything, but honour, integrity, and most of all our humanity is. Let us forge a new way of evolution, the one that involves everyone and no one gets left behind. The future is a sum total of all our actions, let’s make ours count. meryl

What it is like to be an oversensitive parent

Young girl indoors crying

Is it just me that when I see a child cry my heart melts? Where everyone else sees tantrums and manipulation I see an unhappy child, and apparently I have been reprimanded for feeling such emotions. I feel like my 8 year old self again, being told that my emotions don’t matter, that my feelings are invalid and I deserve to be told what to do because I am incapable of seeing reality for what it is.

I thought being a parent would at least give me the right to parent my child with all the love and understanding I wish my parents had showed me. Apparently this wise world knows better, and I am a weak oversensitive emotional individual who shouldn’t be in charge of child who is equally emotional, sensitive and obviously not allowed to feel the emotions he does.

Apparently Autism is just an excuse for indiscipline and a good smack is required to shake the child out of his delusions. So while my child feels inadequate, different and all wrong, a strong hand is what is required to snap him into being normal. Someone should really let the professionals know, especially my sons’ wonderful Occupational therapist, she should just swap her sensory kit developed after years of research for a good sturdy cane, no need for those college courses. Oh and my son’s speech therapist, silly woman she should no longer spend her time developing social stories to explain social nuances to my son, apparently a cane is a magical transmuter that imbibes knowledge with one stroke, literally.

What begs the question is why am I still so inadequate? Apparently at the receiving end of quite rigorous canning, belting and the works, how did this magic fail me? Why did it not magically heal me of my dyslexia that still plagues me especially when I’m stressed?

What breaks my heart and makes me loose my faith in humanity, apart from Donald Trump winning the election, is also how we rationalise the use of the cane. I am a big proponent of love and understanding, and honestly believe that children are pure of heart and only act out when their little worlds are troubled. While it may be stressful for many parents to handle the emotional outbursts of children especially those with special needs, I am not such a parent.

I spend hours researching the latest breakthroughs, I read books by reputable authors and try as much as I can to assimilate all that I can to help my little man. I am actively involved with his therapists and teachers to see how best I can help him navigate this life. So when my 8 year old starts talking about how miserable he is, how different he is to everyone, what an idiot he is and how he can’t seem to do anything right and mostly doesn’t deserve to be happy, the last thing I expect from a psychologist to say is that all he needs is a firm hand and discipline in his life.

What’s funny is that a parenting course I did, circle of security, says parents should help their children to understand why they are experiencing strong emotions rather than trying to repress them. Made total sense to me but that is molly coddling, apparently a good smack should settle that emotional outburst, never mind trying to explain to a child to regulate his emotions. I am beginning to understand why so many adults behave like children; they are still waiting for their parents to discipline them since they never learnt to parent themselves.

We should ask ourselves are we trying to raise individuals who fear punishment or thinkers who reason for themselves the best course of action? This firm hand ideology is what led to an assembly line individual that led to a sheep like herd that obeyed dictators without question. Where free thinkers were ridiculed and often met with violent opposition.

Treat a child and his emotions with contempt and how will you get an individual that is sympathetic and kind? Punish a child for expressing himself and you will get a bitter adult who will resent anyone who dares to question the norm. Our world needs to evolve and go past our archaic ideologies that stemmed from a master and slave mentality. Reasoning with a child and giving them consequences that are not so delightful can get far better results than a dictatorship that refuses to even acknowledge one’s emotions.

After all in the real world we have all seen what happens when you try to thwart people’s right to feel and be happy, a revolution, war and the ugly winds of change. Just as a revolution can be violent and messy, so can a rebellious teenager who has been suppressed for far too long. We reap what we sow and I intend to sow, love, understanding and compassion.

sad lonely boy on street

Why I like being an artist

As a child my mom used to deride my artistic ambitions, I wanted to be important; I wanted to be an artist. Writer, painter, singer, fashion designer, movie star… anything that involved creating art. My fashion sense is at best weird so that was the end of that dream, I am tone deaf so that was a no go for singing, my acting skills are ok and in college I realised I made a better director than an actor so that was that, while I render a decent copy I lack the passion of a painter and it is more of a chore than a delight, which left me with writing. Mind you, coupled with my dyslexia it does make for a rather hard task but what is art if not marked with the sweat of adversity?

Praying with violin

While it might seem like I settled for writing as an expression of the creative spirit in me, I must stress that writing is what liberated me. I shudder to think where I’d be without my passion for writing, after all it is this very love that helped me overcome my dyslexia, helped me get an education, increased my vocabulary and truly schooled me in the art of being a human being.

There are many failed individuals who could not aspire to much on account of the cumbersome task of reading and writing, I have dodged that outcome purely out of my love of writing. Taming the runaway letters was indeed a mammoth task but I learnt a very important lesson about being a human being, we are not without our strengths especially our will to overcome. When we set our minds to do something and most importantly struggle towards it with bitter tears, help comes our way.

I still remember starring at my history books with tears welling up in my eyes as I starred at the jumbled words in front of me, wondering how I would ever pass my test the next day, surely my father would be ready with his belt to let me know the consequence of being mediocre. I called out to heaven and the angels, but none came and as I stared into my history textbook that looked more like a crossword puzzle, words popped in front of me. Just like a crossword puzzle that was being solved, I saw words pop that made a sentence; they summed up what the paragraphs were all about.

I began to jot them down, from then on I began to write all my answers in point form, not a great talent given that the Indian education system relied on rambling on and on but for me it was a breakthrough.  I had a wonderful history teacher, Mrs. Banerjee, who didn’t mind my point form answers as long as I mentioned all the points it was ok for her.

Future Word On Abstract Map Showing Forecasting And Prediction

This followed me into college and everyone marvelled as to how I could pull out such key points from pages of discourse that left everyone else confused. My weakness became my strength. My teachers noted that though I bunked my classes, failed to submit my journals, my reports/projects/seminars were always succinct, and simplified beyond belief, many suggested I take up teaching.

The point I am trying to make is that this world has us conditioned into thinking in terms of success versus failure, ability versus disability, what if we stepped away from that model of thinking? As  a mother of a child with autism I am amazed at his sense of logic and baffled by his inability to comprehend a joke. The world tells me that my child has a problem, his teachers tell me that he is very intelligent but unable to translate that into paper, I get that, I was in that very same boat, albeit for a different disability. However, I know something they don’t, he can get over it just as long as people don’t keep shouting in his ears that he can’t do it and never will.

As I struggle to get him to learn and discover ways to overcome his hurdles, I realised why I overcame and he is struggling. I am an artist, I am fuelled with this love for drama, the poignant story of an underdog that overcomes uplifts my soul and charges me to break all barriers. Sadly, not everyone is born an artist, and hence life’s struggles are just that struggles, how depressing! While I am on an epic adventure to discover myself and get quite bored if life doesn’t throw a hurdle at me, others are quite heartbroken with their pain and brood over their scars.

It is truly a blessing to be born an artist, to see pain as an instrument to delve deeper into one’s soul, to see hurdles as an opportunity to know what you are truly made of, to see betrayal and treachery as lessons to grow and evolve. I thank my miserable life that has been riddled with pain and trauma of the most unbelievable sorts, like my mom says, ‘anything that can go wrong goes wrong in your life, still you laugh.’  I thank all the pain and the lessons because they have led me to discover what I’m truly made up of, what I truly stand for and who I truly am and the best part, I love myself, every scar, mistake, idiotic idiosyncrasy, past, present and future.