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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

OK.. so I’ve ditched Martin Lindstrom‘s book Buyology in favor of the book titled Rumi’s Daughter by Muriel Maufroy. Don’t get me wrong. Nothing against Lindstrom or his book but the circumstance in which I was ‘reunited‘ with the latter book convinced me to pick it up. Here goes the story:

My sister (a teacher) is enjoying the 15-day summer break these days. Two days ago, she decided to clean the three cabinets where we have dumped all sorts of things. Old network cables, phone set, audio cassettes from 80’s, VHS cassettes from 80’s and 90’s, dad’s old documents and beautiful pen sets (which he never used and didn’t let anyone use either!), old cassette players, and books.. lots of books. The ‘cleaning spree’ continued till last night. This spontaneous cleaning spree has brought back so many memories from childhood days. It also made me wonder if there are coincidences in life or if it’s all a big plan..

Case-in-Point: My sister was rummaging through all the books, deciding which ones to keep and which to donate.. and where to donate. This is when we found some books that I had bought years ago (from the date on price tags, I can deduce that it was sometime in 2006/2007). The book Rumi’s Daughter is one of those books. I remember the cover page very well. Remember seeing it in the bookshop. From my tiny, makeshift paper mark I can deduct that I had read this book about half way through before I stopped reading it. However, I have no recollection whatsoever about this book’s contents. It was interesting to learn that this book is about the story of Rumi‘s adopted daughter Kimya. Now, it is nothing extraordinary. However, what is interesting is the timing and the way I was reunited with this book. I have just finished reading ‘The Forty Rules of Love‘ which is the story of Rumi and his spiritual companion Shams Tabriz. That book also presented some part of the story from Kimya‘s perspective; however, the main storyline revolved around Rumi & Shams. I was empathizing with Kimya while reading that book. So, it was quite surprising to be reunited with a book that revolves around her story. A book I bought years ago when The Forty Rules book wasn’t even published! And a book I found again, by coincidence (?), a day after finishing The Forty Rules book! At a time when I had already read 20+ pages of Buyology. Now, I find it quite difficult to take these as coincidences. To me, they are more like ‘signs’. A sign that I should read this book, and leave the Buyology book for later.

There were other great things that we found during my sister’s cleaning spree. Will write about it later. So.. Rumi’s Daughter wins!

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.. takes you to the door, but it doesn’t take you into the house.

Shams Tabrizi

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Without doubt, The Fifth Mountain is my most favorite book of all time! And, the best one from Paulo Coelho. This is the 4th time that I’ve read this book. Actually, to-date, I’ve read it a total of 3.5 times. This book NEVER fails to inspire me. I’ve read it at various points in my life. From the time I was trying to find my own path to the time when I struggled on my chosen path, all the way to the current time when I am continuing with my journey. Elijah‘s story has been an inspiration, and has helped me make sense of my life experiences. I love the fact that even though he’s a prophet, he still faces doubt and confusion, and questions his own beliefs. As a young prophet, he goes through the divine training and comes a full circle at the end. This human characteristic makes him my favorite character of all times. The story and the writing is simple. The book’s title cover, format, size, and fonts help the reader move with the flow of the story. I have so many lines and, at times, multiple paragraphs marked in this book. It’s one of those books that you hold on to.. for reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading!

I had thought about listing down my favorite quotes from this book. However, there’s just too many of them to put here. At some places, I’ve marked multiple consecutive paragraphs! If I list all of them, I’ll actually have to put nearly the whole book here!

Anyway, here are a few of the quotes:

  1. ELIJAH REMEMBERED. She had come to ask him to make some trays. While Elijah was doing as she asked, he heard her say that her work was a way of expressing the presence of God. “From the way you make the trays, I can see that you have the same feeling,” she had continued. “Because you smile as you work.”
  2. Everything in life demands training.” “Even being a prophet?” “Even to understand angels. We so want to talk with them that we don’t listen to what they’re saying. It’s not easy to listen: in our prayers we always try to say where we have erred, and what we should like to happen to us. But the Lord already knows all of this, and sometimes asks us only to hear what the Universe is telling us. And to be patient.”
  3. “Even if it comes to pass, I have doubted myself. I am no longer worthy of my task,” answered Elijah. “Every man hath the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time; but what he must not do is forget it. Whoever doubteth not himself is unworthy–for in his unquestioning belief in his ability, he commiteth the sin of pride. Blessed are they who go through moments of indecision.”
  4. “The Lord needeth thee to rebuild Israel,” said the angel. “Thou wilt tread thy land when thou hast learned to rebuild.”
Prophet Elijah in the Desert

Prophet Elijah in the Desert

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“In the house of lovers, the music never stops, the walls are made of songs & the floor dances.”

– Rumi

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This post has been overdue now. Back in Sep 2013, I wrote a post about my mother’s brain tumor (meningioma) and her surgery. I have been meaning to write a post with an update about her health but kept on delaying it. After I posted the initial message, one of the bloggers, itiskatrina, wrote back to me and shared the experience about her husband whom she lost to a brain tumor. To know that there were other people who had gone through what our family was going through gave me a sense of support. Thank you, itiskatrina, for your message of support for a complete stranger (i.e. me). It meant a lot!

I am happy to share that my mom’s meningioma turned out to be benign. It was quite big, in the front right side of her brain. She underwent the surgery two days after her initial visit to ER. The hours spent at the hospital’s waiting room while she was in surgery felt like eons. Thankfully, her surgery was successful but resulted in a lot of muscle weakness especially in the left side of her body (the side controlled by the right side of the brain). She ended up being bed-bound and all of us, especially my mom, were under a lot of stress. This is because we did not expect her left side to not move post surgery. There was no indication, from the surgeon and his team, of such a possibility. All of us were scared that her condition might be permanent. I did a lot of online research and found out that this was not unexpected after such a surgery. Knowing that there was reason to be hopeful gave us hope. I wish the surgeon and his team had been more forthcoming and had explained the situation to us instead of just telling us that everything was OK. Instead of the 3 to 5 days’ estimated stay, my mother was in hospital for 12 days. She had physiotherapy at the hospital before moving back to home. Overall, the morale at home was quite low and all of us were scared and under a lot of stress. Back then, our friends and long-time neighbors proved to be a major source of support. Our neighbor’s kids helped bring everyone’s morale up. Daily home-based physiotherapy sessions followed and the therapist was extremely helpful and understanding. He engaged my mother in conversations when she had gone quiet. We also hired 24×7 nursing assistants who encouraged my mom to take small steps to her recovery. Even lifting a finger or grasping a spoon became a huge task for my mom. But, with the help from the professional team, my mother was able to stand on her feet and walk with support 10 days after returning from the hospital. A month after the surgery, she was walking without any support and the nursing assistants were not needed anymore. After another month’s physiotherapy, and by the grace of God, she is able to continue with the activities of daily life without any support, just as she did before the surgery. This includes walking down a couple of flights of stairs and going to the market for groceries. She now has a house help whom she supervises instead of doing all the household chores herself.

We can’t thank the Lord enough for His blessings. Thanks are due also to all the family members and friends who came forward in time of need. The situation also taught us that running a house is like running a business. You need to put systems in place instead of making everything dependent on one person (my mom, in this case). Hiring professional help (nursing assistants and physiotherapist) was another good decision. It ensured that my mom had the best possible care which resulted in her early recovery and avoided any post-surgery complications, while enabling us to resume our professional commitments and have the time and space to recharge on a daily basis. Without that, some of us would have had a breakdown! My experience also gave my an insight into the challenges facing those in need who do not have the financial resource and/or access to quality healthcare services. How do we help these individuals? Since my work involves working with such poor, differently abled, and vulnerable individuals, this insight has given me a better and personal understanding of these issues.

I end this post with a prayer for all the people who made this experience bearable for our family. Also, a prayer for all those who are currently undergoing a similar situation. May God help you and your loved ones in these trying times (amen).

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May It Be..

For all those who are walking a lonely road.. May you find peace (amen)

May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh! How far you are from home

Mornie utulie (Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantie (Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now

May it be the shadow’s call
Will fly away
May it be your journey on
To light the day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun

Mornie utulie (Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantie (Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now

A promise lives within you now

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Save a prayer..

My mother will undergo a brain tumor removal surgery on Monday. If you’re reading this, please save a prayer for her.

I was doing some research on her medical condition and found this blog: My Life with a Cyst on My Brain

God bless my mom, God bless this kid, God bless people facing a challenge in life – God bless all of us (amen).

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