Eat well! Eat happily! Eat gratefully!

Every time you eat a meal, eat it heartily and happily, and please do remember to thank the Universe for it!
Last night we dined at Rajdhani – a Rajasthani thali restaurant. At the end of the meal, when the check arrived, I was amazed to see what they call their thali. They call it the Happiness Thali! It made me think. Isn’t every meal an opportunity to be happy and grateful to the Universe and its wonderful creations? Haven’t so many people toiled to make the meal possible for you? Isn’t the ability to have a meal, and digest it, a miracle – for, aren’t there so many people who are sleeping hungry or are having digestive disorders or are, sadly, dying of starvation?
The problem with most of humanity that is able to have a meal whenever they want – which includes you and me – is that they take the meal for granted. These days, even at meal-time, we don’t spare our mobile phones. Our meals are had with no or inadequate attention to the food. It is almost as if eating is a chore. Which is why there are so many lifestyle-led health complications that people face.
The right way to eat is to be mindful of each morsel, to enjoy the flavor and taste of what you are imbibing, to chew each mouthful and take it in slowly. As you do this, remain completely grateful for what you have. Even if you can’t count your blessings for all that you have in the other departments of your Life, feel humbled and grateful that you have this meal in front of you now. Know that unless an entire army of people – from the farmers who grew the crop to the workers who processed it in factories to the traders who sold it to you to your employer who pays you wages to be able to buy your groceries monthly to your family which gives you reason to have beautiful mealtimes to the person that cooked your meal to your parents who brought you into this world – had worked for you, you won’t be having food on your table.

Having food to eat is a miracle. Every time you witness it, be aware, and celebrate it. Eat well. Eat happily. Eat gratefully! 

Being sensible with a Life that you can’t make sense of

Don’t try to make sense of Life. It is the way it is with a reason. If you realize what the reason is, it will cease to be a mystery. And just as a reminder, ever since the Universe was created, no one has been able to solve this mystery called Life!

But, yes, you can be sensible with Life. At least, with your Life.

A friend sent me this SMS last week.

Zindagi ko badalne mein waqt nahin lagta, lekin waqt ko badalne mein, kabhie kabhie, saari zindagi lag jaati hai.

Translated it means: “It doesn’t take too much time for Life to change. But sometimes for (your) time to change, it takes an entire lifetime.

We are all a product of the time we go through. Those who don’t believe in the concept of time and karma may find this simple point of view difficult to accept. But even they will attest to Life’s enduring mysterious nature.

In a way, to take a telecom analogy, we are all like pre-paid SIM cards, launched into this world with a pre-ordained set of features and a design we are not aware of. It is when we try to seek certain features that we are not designed with that we suffer. Without realizing the pre-paid nature of our existence, we punish ourselves by cursing our fate, blaming (a) God for being partisan or even non-existent, and compare ourselves with the features endowed in other creations. Just as a pre-paid SIM card can be recharged or re-equipped only if the Operator allows it and never by the customer alone desiring it, so it is with Life. We will do well to embrace, appreciate and celebrate this truth.

You and I are just a part of a larger, inscrutable cosmic design. Our roles are both inconsequential and crucial at the same time. This paradox is again part of Life’s mysterious design. At one level, we cause nothing to happen on this planet, because we are pre-ordained to live in a certain way. Yet, we are part of whatever happens, to us, around us, in our lifetime__be it success or failure. We also have a huge responsibility towards (our) Life. Which is toward action, toward doing what we can, in any given situation, dutifully. It is, for all these reasons, and more, as the Bhagavad Gita reminds us, we must stay detached from the outcome while willing to be accountable on our actions. Again paradoxical. But such is Life. Revisiting this truism on a daily basis, helps us stay anchored and humble.

This, interestingly, is the only sensible way to live a Life that you can’t ever make sense of!