It’s real life story; yes I am alive . . .

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I peeped into the Oxford Dictionary to answer a question of my grandson Darsh. He asks one question every day and I need to find answers that cope with his inquisitive mind. It was to give meaning of ‘transformer’ – his new toy.

I looked into the words on alphabet “T” and those that connect to my life’s experiences. One word that caught me by instinct was “transverse” and found the meaning as: – Trans, meaning “across,” and verse, meaning “to turn”. In my life a similar episode happened with a twist and a turn!

The second word with alphabet “T” that I stumbled upon was “transmute”. It means a major abrupt, startling change induced by a magic or a supernatural power.

I looked for the word with letter “T” – “transform”. The meaning is –to change in form, appearance or structure. That was to answer his question.

Having answered him, I sat back and recollected how meaning of these three words influenced me? I remembered Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist”. Lesson from this book is “when you want something, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”.

Now I connect you to my personal story – a real life experience. How the meaning of words transverse; transmute and transform synthesized in the alchemy process within me.

I was consulted by doctors to identify after I went through a traumatic painful experience on my back bone. Doctors confirmed that I had no heart or brain damages. They opined my disease needed further diagnosis. I was at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai. Thirteen years back I moved in there clutching on shoulders of my brother-in-law Hemraj. Our family friend Dr. Alva spoke with Dr. Asok Iyer. I was in the MRI scanning machine for over one hour and nerve specialists analyzed I contacted TRANSVERSE MYELITIS. Tests revealed that 99.99% I may not survive, with spinal cord injuries.

TM is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord that damage myelin. Damage causes nervous system that interrupt communications between spinal cord, rest of body and brain. Symptoms of TM include paralysis of body, urinary retention, and loss of bowel control. Tests indicated that sense elements from down under my stomach had ceased and paralyzed my lower part of body. I was handicapped. A condition that set me paralyzed in few hours. The trauma and pain on my back with crucial pain followed by numbness of body and mind! I became helpless and surrendered with prayers. A tiny virus enters body through breath and I am half dead.

Steroids and physiotherapy helped me lift limbs millimeter by millimeter. Sensory mechanism and nervous system improved responses from toe to brain. Technology and medical profession along with prayers from near and dear ones helped improve conditions.

After many days I walked within corridors of hospital. It took time to come out and back into life. Time that I spent understanding life and games we play. Every one learns lessons from life’s experiences. Some times from painful and unfortunate incidents and at times from cheerful exposures.

Doctors as well internet data say that 99.99% is casualty rate of serious TM patients. I tried to manage half of the success rate with prayers. We had no clue to influence the situation. The other 0.005% was in the hands of medical profession.

The invisible % came as a miracle from someplace else. The un-known!

Lesson from TM (transverse to transmute to transform) is of great value. It took a process of alchemy within heart and mind. Alchemy is a magic of transmuting things of lesser to a greater value. I underwent alchemy to transform!

I revisited to understand who I am? Looked at purpose of life – Tried to appreciate how little I knew. Tried to overcome anger; tried to develop feelings of empathy and gratitude. I tried to befriend myself to find who the savior is? It’s within – the power is within, you need to understand who you are? That makes us one.

Lesson TM taught me through alchemy – “Inhale confidence and love and exhale doubt and anxiety – rest in His hands”.

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Life – No explanations needed …. Just smile.

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31st October, 2015. Some reflections enriched my way of looking at life on this day. We were at our grandson’s school as grandparents for a celebration. The function well organized had music, dance and speeches and ended up with a game for grandparents! Age plays, when energy wanes and enthusiasm dies, but this get together reset my mood. I asked “when did I last behave like a child” – as I watched my wife play the game for grandparents. That gave me a chance to peep back.

Later I was at the beach watching our grandson play with the waves. Waves and tides have their own rhythm not set by anyone’s directives. I listened to the roar of the waves. I watched sea gulls flying above trying to catch their feed and almost immersed into myself looking at my grandson getting wet in the sea. Over a time, I stretched my thoughts listening to myself. Standing at the beach, I realized the vastness of the universe and the insignificant me. I felt it’s nice to grow down rather than growing up. I listened intensely to my inner self.

A bit later, I applied “reverse gear” on my life. I etched and browsed into my past. Times have really changed. I thought of my grandparents both from paternal and maternal side. They both taught immense lessons. For a while I closed my eyes and dipped into my young days. I recollected times when my parents held my little finger as we walked to the beach. All of a sudden I recalled watching an aircraft in the sky as a child. I wanted to fly. My parents said that it was not possible, because we did not have enough! Later, I flew to continents. I realized then contentment or “enough is enough” feeling is needed to curtail excessive desires. Like the tides and waves; opportunities keep knocking at your doorstep to create destiny. Not to worry – much! Abundance persists but we need to find that in us and around us.

Aren’t we adults, obsolete children?

Standing at the beach side I probed? Did I set priorities in context while growing up to be a good grandparent?

As a school child, I studied at a convent school and moved to a nearby German Missionary initiated High School. The first year in College opened up as a gift. Then I had exposure to work and to learn. I remembered writing a story watching the stars rising during one of those sun-set as a student. The stars will rise and the sun will set as a routine. Priorities keep shifting. But we need to play with times. Our childhood may be over; that does not mean play time is over.

On 31st October watching my wife playing the game, I remembered the book “Games People Play” – written by Eric Berne. We need to switch between child – parent and adult. That helps us to appreciate the never ending child in us, to reinvent ourselves as we grow.

We need to be happy – to be happy for no particular reason. If we identify and seek happiness for a reason we may be in trouble. Live the moments. Otherwise that particular reason that we identified for our happiness may be taken away from us.

As I went for my usual morning walk, I observed a number of grandparents, either taking their grand children to school bus, holding their hands and playing with them, watching them play hide and seek or just gracing the greens in the garden.

I looked at them. That lit my inner self. It was possible after I listened intensely to myself, introspected on life and reset my priorities to feel good. Now I find I need not have a particular reason to be happy.

I smiled at all those grandparents who returned their smiles. Grand children also smiled – No reasons assigned!