Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Driving my way into Spirituality

I was not aware if Driving and Spirituality are connected, but the way I started with driving, I was pretty sure it was.

In the initial days of my driving alone to office, I stood in front of our altar at home everyday, begging Jesus to come with me in the car. I guess he obliged, and I also believe he was the one who drove the car instead of me. Sounds funny right? Before turning on the ignition, I tell Jesus that I am not going to drive, it is he who is driving, so take the complete responsibility.

Every move, every turn, every maneuver, was prefixed with a mild Jesus (which sounded like Jeez) and in crowded and some difficult areas, it became multiples of 2 or 3 or 5 depending on how scared I was. I don’t know if anyone would understand this, but those initial days I was shitting bricks. And then there are times when the difficulty levels were so high, on the road that calling Jesus in multiples of 5 would not suffice and I had to resort to the Malayalam version of the Lords Name, “Eeshoye” which meant I reached my saturation point after which I will lose all control of myself.

I used to call Jesus so much that I truly believed at one point, that out of frustration, he will appear and shock the daylights out of me.

Having not got used to listening to music in the car yet, for obvious reasons like not losing control of the important sounds ( read honking and other noises that need my attention) the music system is normally not switched on. Though I am fine with people talking while in the car, thanks to my driving instructor, Mohan Master, who spoke dime a dozen, to a point that his conversations were a distraction while driving.

Oh and this needs a special mention - I have a particular pair of shoes that I normally drive in, which is flat and something that I cannot wear with most of my clothes that I go to office in, and the car at times looks like a shoe godown, I might end up having more than a few pairs of other shoes that I change into when I get off the car. That’s beside the point though.

So within the confines of the car, I am alone and the only thing that I focus on are my conversations with my Lord. And I think the conversations that I have with Jesus during the drive are the most honest, most intense and that’s why I probably been able to drive, and am able to get out of the fear of driving.

The first week of driving, and my fear was at its peak, the only thing that I kept coming to me once I reached office was, I have to drive back home and once back home, the whole night I was petrified about driving to work the next day. I continued my dialogue with God and continuously conversed with Him to get over this fear. As usual I went to church that Sunday, In fact, Joe made me drive to Church.

My prayers were intense than usual and I in all earnestness laid down in front of Altar all the doubts and fears that I had and told him He has to help me get over the fear of driving.

During the Eucharistic ceremony of the mass, this is where the bread and wine are distributed to the congregation as the body and blood of Christ and the song played by choir was one of my favorite.

The song begins like this,

                      O the word of my Lord
                      Deep within my being,
                      Oh the word of my Lord,
                      You have filled my mind.

As usual I was singing this song along with the choir, of course loudly, and then there was this para where the Lord spoke to me directly. He couldn’t have said this any more directly than this and the para goes like this.

                       And everywhere you are to go
                       My hand will follow you;
                       You will not be alone.
                       In all the danger that you fear
                       You’ll find me very near,
                       Your words my own.

By the time I reached the last line of this para, I was crying. I do not know if this makes sense, but I felt that while I called out to him in my helplessness, He strengthened me through these words.

Glad that Driving has helped me get one step closer to God.

I am gotten over the fear of driving now, well almost.
I still pray before I drive.
I still converse with Jesus during the drive.
I still do not switch on any music. Yet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In tribute of the love you guys show me dear Ramesh and Rekha

I am such a lousy blogger and yet the love I get from my blog friends, especially Ramesh and Rekha has been tremendous.  I read your comments for the earlier post and I thought I should put this down for you :-)

This one is for the encouragement you give me to blog more :-) 

There is a recent, new found Joy in my life, which has been pending to be a post for a while :-) as usual.

Infact, from the day one, of finding this out, I have been planning on writing a post about this, but by now, you must be quite aware of my skills in procrastination and my wayward ways of coming up with a post.

Every morning for the last three or four months, I wake up at 5.30 am – yes I know it is an ungodly hour, but if there is a will there is a way :)

In around 10 – 12 minutes I am all ready to go for my Morning Walk , a time I spend with my own thoughts, converse with myself, thank god for all the mercies I have received in life and generally do some introspection.

It all started when J and I thought whatever we little we ate was just accumulating in the wrong places on our bodies and our lack of exercise was showing up much more than ever. We decided to go for brisk morning walks everyday.

And then we went around for almost a month trying out different routes around our place for a peaceful walk and from where our house was located to anywhere close to 6 – 7 kms was chaotic traffic, narrow roads and walking was a herculean task. And this was at around 5.45 am in the morning. 300 meters from our home is a national highway where vehicles in their maddening rush to reach destinations, and also taking advantage of the lean traffic in the morning, speed past creating a racing scene. Coming back home alive and in one piece was becoming an every day achievement. And moreover we felt more hassled than relaxed. We continued our pursuit for a quieter place for a walk and then we found this blissful route completely out of the blue.

Somehow, with all his reviews / intermittent official trips that he takes, J lost interest and dropped off from this routine, but will join me once in a while. now and then.

This place where I go for a walk now is approximately little over a kilometer from my place and once I enter the route it is pure Joy. Peace takes over, allowing me to linger on some natural sounds of some unknown birds and insects, warm sunshine, and fragrance of a variety of wild flowers along the path, setting in serenity and giving the much needed replenishment to continue through the day.

I guess this walk way comes under the jurisdiction of the Officers Training Academy, Chennai as I hear the soliders shouting in cadence while marching, as I walk along, and I also see some of the uniformed officers in bikes, sometimes in horses and sometimes they ride together in bicycles / motorcycles as part of their daily routine in a road perpendicular to the road that I take.

It is so amazing, for a while I forget that i live in a Metropolitan city. I will stop here and put up some pictures  to do further talking.

River on my right side, thick grwoth of tress and bushes on the left side, thats how this path starts and this is how the skyline is on some days.

My feet - enjoying the walk

The rustic walking track
Isnt this place asking you walk more?

The picture says it all!!

Wild flowers on a particular strech in the walkway

Most part of the walk way is lined with this wild flowers - miles and miles of it.

a close up shot of these wild flowers - arent they pretty?