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Like The Flowing River

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Go ahead and snigger a little if you must, a mother of two and a compulsive HARRY POTTER fan? Well I must attribute that to the need (I hope universal) of wanting to cling on to that tiny bit of belief in the Supernatural – the Khulja Sim Sim.  Which is why when a well-read and well-versed person handed me a non-fiction book, I was skeptical.

Look usually, I would out of politeness, take the book with a smile and a promise to read it cover to cover and go dump it in the book case which holds a revered place in our home. But this time because the person is a very special friend to me, I could not give in to the hypocrisy.  I did albeit let him know that I am a pure fiction reader and probably would not do justice to the book.  I can give you a good grown up reason for it, because come on in the world of grown ups everything needs to have a reasoning behind it.  I love to get lost in the make believe word, the characters become personal, and the situations real.  I have even known of dreaming, continuing the story on my own, once in a while.

Coming back to the book, it was beautifully titled "Like the Flowing River" authored by none other than Paulo Coelho, who as I have recently discovered is a well known writer of acclaim (author of The Alchemist), as confirmed by my intelligent brother at home, who apparently though a co-fiction reader, sometimes also divulges in non-fiction.  I opened the book doing a Doubting Thomas sure that a couple of pages in to it, and I am sure to lay it down to gather dust, or probably give it to somebody who could do it justice.  However, for the second time in my life, I was in for a pleasant surprise (will surely tell you about the first time in a bit).

Not really wanting this piece of writing to be mistaken as a promotion for the book, I’ll get to the point I am trying to make.  The author has simply captured the parable of the "seeds" as narrated by the Rabbi Jesus to his disciples.  The one where some seeds fall on rocky terrain and are eaten away, some which try to grow but can not withstand the obstacles, some who take a root only to be weakened by the unforeseen…..hope that rang some bells!

Wonder what makes the great people great?  From what little I have grasped in my life, it is their learning from experience, we all go through a lot of episodes, but I guess not all of us learn from them.  Like the author so rightly put, just five minutes of time on our hands with nothing to do is unacceptable to our intelligent being.  We want to be occupied (if not pre-occupied) every waking minute of our life, doing meaningless things, rather than spending those 5 minutes of quality time listening to our inner selves.

…just five minutes of time on our hands with nothing to do is unacceptable to our intelligent being….

Contemplation, is the word that comes to mind here, when we hear sermons, when we read a good book, hear wise men speak, witness a miracle, or simply hear the innocent laugh of a child.  We all at some point of time or the other, pause to reflect, find our inner selves, and decide to do things that are spiritually important and essential to our souls.  Putting these self-reflections into actions however, is a different story altogether, there, comes a time for excuses.  If only we could personify our contemplations, give them life – our lives would surely be so much different.

Please do not get me wrong, like somebody I know said, if you tell somebody they are judgmental, aren’t you being judgmental yourself  – Contradictions aren’t they all? Every single one of them.  There isn’t a single day that goes by when I promise myself, this is it, I won’t gossip anymore or will not give in to a materialistic whim, or similar such resolutions, but I guess I am more human than I think.  I fail and fall every single day.

Soul Sounds (a Srilankan Choir Group) – the first experience that surprised and awed me, a rendition of nothing less than soul moving music, as pure as it gets with the minimum of accompaniments.  The evening was a gift from a friend, and I accompanied my husband, all the while thinking we were in for a jarring unfathomable songs.  Once again, the experience is impossible to be described, but I got a feel of why Sydney Operas were so famous, and what takes so many patrons there.

I learned something that day though, that spiritual experiences could not be shared and that life can surprise you, if you are ready and open to be awed.

Wonder what it takes?

To discover something more beautiful than our surrounding affluence, or not to get carried away with material wealth, or our need to accumulate, to count and treasure our real blessings.  An email forward brought along a picture with a simple line that read – HAPPINESS! I found it true enough to be etched, the next time I felt I don’t have enough, or I have less than my neighbour or relatives. I am attempting to describe it – showing a family of six children, a cat, a dog, asleep on a four poster bed, with a smile on each of their faces blissfully covered by a single quilt.

I guess I am just a novice to the treasure hunt – the hunt of HAPPINESS.

Author: Tina Miranda- Kuwait

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