Oct 31, 2010

Getting him talking!

This is something I wrote a year ago...

Today is a significant day. A revelation has been made to me that could alter the course of my future happiness. I’ve managed to make a discovery of something that has eluded me for some time now and probably many other women as well.

It’s true. I’ve finally been able to figure out what it takes to get a man talking about his feelings. Tried, tested, and it works. Surprisingly, it turned out to be something that I never expected, and something that women are not used to at all. Silence.

Yes, silence. And that’s all there is to it. Just give them a dose of their own behavior and you wouldn’t believe how much they can talk. Agreed, it’s not easy. It’s nothing like talking with your girlfriend. It’s easy to get us girls talking about problems and feelings. We just ooh and aah at the right places, empathize or sympathize with each other and we’re feeling so good in no time at all. Apparently doing this to a man is nothing short of murdering any little inclination that he might have in him to talk.

Ever seen in movies how men are able to pour out their guts to bartenders who serve them a drink and say nothing at all? Well I just found out that all we have to do is be that bartender. Want to get a man talking? Then be a man, not a woman.

Men don’t appreciate empathy. And they certainly don’t want any measure of our sympathy. They don’t want any of that ‘Oh my poor baby’.. or ‘you could have done that, you should have said that’.. or ‘I understand what you’re going through’.. All they need is someone to listen silently with no advice or judgment and they will be more than happy to share everything that’s inside of them.

And once they’re done sharing, we must not start with.. ‘so how did that make you feel?’ type questions. Such statements confuse them because they really are not as in touch with their feelings as girls are. So they try to give an answer and fail, then get put off and stop talking completely. Men share in bits and pieces, as and when it comes to them. And the interim needs to be filled with drinks, or a watching a game, or a filler conversation about technology, gadgets or current affairs. And so, one by one, we need to collect the pieces of the puzzle, put them together and there we have it, the whole picture.

So it all sounds good. But does it really work, you wonder. Well, it does. It does! I tried it today and it worked beautifully. I was on the phone with my partner and asked him how his day was. He said it was all fine except for one small incident where he lost his temper at some random annoying character. I asked him what had happened and there was silence.

Normally, in such a case I would have asked him if he wanted to talk about it, assured and reassured him that I would understand, that I was on his side no matter what. I would have made a little speech about how concerned I am about his health and temperament. By the end of that, all I would get was a ‘I don’t want to talk about it right now.’ So dejecting right? But not today. Today was different. Today I said nothing. He said there was a minor incident at work and all I gave him was an extended ‘Ohh!’ and then silence.

I waited, even though I was quite skeptical about the whole thing. I was sorely tempted to start persuading him to talk but I resisted. And then finally, out of nowhere he started to tell me what had happened. He told me everything. Every. Single. Thing. It was just awesome. I know I should have been feeling bad for his little incident but I was secretly rejoicing my wonderful discovery and newfound success. It was the most wonderful feeling I had had in a while. So then he was done sharing. And what did I do? I did not give him my 2 cents. I did not judge. I did not comment. Just kept silent for a while and then started discussing the launch of Windows 7. Now if I was talking to a girl this would have been a terrible, heartless thing to do. But to my amazement, he jumped topics instantly and was with me. It was incredible. I could tell that he was enjoying talking to me. I could make out the difference.

22nd October, 2009. I finally figured how to talk to my man. And how to get him talking.

Oct 28, 2010

some words to myself...

you think you're sane but are you really?

you think you've got it all figured out... but have you really?

wake up, wake up.
don't you sense the urgency?
don't you smell the ecological disaster in the brewing?
do you really think this comfortable life goes on forever?
do you really think this lasts until the end of time?

don't you see that you are in denial?

what can i do to break your dream?
what can i do to burst your bubble?

this is not a time to reproduce.
this is the time to save those who have been reproduced and left to rot...

think, think.
sleep not.
awake and think.

Oct 23, 2010

Khalil Gibran

On Giving

You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?

There are those who give little of the much which they have--and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall some day be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.

You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."
The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights, is worthy of all else from you.
And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.
And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?
And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?
See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.
For in truth it is life that gives unto life while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

And you receivers... and you are all receivers... assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.
Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;
For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the freehearted earth for mother, and God for father.

Oct 16, 2010

Life at the Ashram

A couple of years ago if I had been told about a place in this world where I could find some people who were always happy, some people who haven’t gotten angry for years and some people who work tirelessly expecting no rewards, incentives or recognition, I would not have believed it.

For me, today, this place is a reality near the city of Coimbatore, at the foothills of the Velliangiri Mountains. I am torn between the temptation of wanting to pen down every single experience I have had in this wonderful place, and not doing so in the interest of people who haven’t been there yet.

You see, the first time I went there, I did so with no expectations whatsoever. I did not know what I was to experience at all. I went there neither excited, nor skeptical and made it a point not to form judgments on anything I saw. When a force of great magnitude hits and you least expect it, when you are unprepared, its impact is the hardest. It is only when you let yourself loose and drop all your resistance, that something can truly shake you up.

Maybe this is what worked for me. I was completely bowled over by every sight and smell that met my senses. Sheer tranquility in the midst of intense action… what can I say, except that I was rendered speechless. I always am when I am there. I either want to work till I drop, or sit and stare at the hills forever. I am not myself. I am not anything I have known.

As much as I want to, I think I will refrain from writing about details on the ashram life. I really don’t know how many people would care either way. But for the sake of those who someday hold the possibility of being touched by something profound, I choose to put a stopper on my words. I would like to say this: If you do, by any chance, decide to experience what Isha Yoga is all about, please do so without any research, without any questions. Don’t ask around. Don’t believe what you hear. Experience, first hand. And may that experience live within you forever.