November 22, 2017

Queen of Katwe

Posted in Inspiration, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:39 pm by Venus Viswambharan

Image result for queen of katwe playing chess

Oh yes this movie has moved me sufficiently to include it into my blog. Yes its a plain simple review but Something that needed to be shared.

 An award-winning documentary that Bollywood director Mira Nair weaves with inspiring true life characters and their personal experiences to leave a lasting impression on our souls, infusing us with valuable lessons all along the length of the movie.
It’s about Phiona Mutesi a Ugandan Chess player.  She was born in Katwe, the largest of Kampala’s eight slums.
I have always been intrigued by watching people play chess, it is the brilliant agility of the mind of the players that draws me to the game like a bee to honey,  but no I can’t play strategically well at all…at this point and space of time(no, that statement is not to bind me).
All through the movie… we see Phiona and her family (Her two younger brothers and her single mom) struggling to live and have a roof over their heads (not figuratively!).  You must know what it feels like to get splattered with a few drops of rain – it has joy and mirth en-wrapped in that vision for most of us. Well then picture-  a house caving in, under torrential rain and the house filling up to its brim . How comfortable would it be to be drenched to one’s bone, when all one wants to do is sleep in the warmth of one’s bed?
Mira piercingly portrays the misery through her characters and they in turn very naturally and profoundly depict the galvanizing tale (completely naked of any glamour akin to the movies). The strongest thread of the story is – the idea “that losing is not failure”.
But what is success ?
That is another lesson we glean from this movie…
Success is the ablity to keep your head up… Not give up..
And search for that small lamp or flicker of light which burns up a new strategy…. a new way out of the distinctly desolate times – Here Phiona begins to believe that she is not her circumstances.  She is trained by her coach to figure out a new way out of the challenging maybe even trapping move of her opponent on not just the chess board , but on the board of life!
One of Robert Katende (her coach’s) dialogues :

Sometimes the place you are used to is not the place you belong. You belong where you believe you belong. Where is that for you?

Oh she does give up…
And she almost believes she has no way out of the heart wrenching poverty.
One of Phiona’s dialogues :

Coach, you told us to make a plan but I fear things will never change.

and Robert Katende’s reply :

“What matters is when you reset the pieces and play a game.”

… Which is when she knows that chess is definitely her way out !
So she grits her teeth and decides to find a new way, a new move, every time she plays chess ….
another dialogue of Phiona :

“Losing teaches me to play better.

Oh but her mother  Nakku Harriet, is the first beacon not flicker, nor lamp ,  but a mammoth beacon, who teaches her the biggest lesson- with her spirit of steel just by being who she is – a mother, who does not give up on her children no matter how wretched their circumstances were! Who embodies the principle-  “Never get bitter, But try …just once more in a new way!!” We see the steel melt and bend and provide intelligently for her children. This is very apparent when – she cleverly but discreetly furnishes more paraffin, to facilitate the learning of chess in darkness of the night for the love of her life, her daughter Phiona. A love that is apparent merely by the actions of this simple but resolutely improvising mom.
And her little girl writes history for not just herself but her own brothers and her weary mother!!
Phiona Mutesi has won the Ugandan Women’s Junior Championship of three times, has represented Uganda at four chess olympiads, and is one of the first titled female players in Ugandan chess history.
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June 20, 2017

Do I only see a flat tyre?

Posted in Introspection, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 10:52 am by Venus Viswambharan

On driving halfway to my yoga class, this morning I realized my car tyre was punctured. I drove back depressed and a tad bit angry.

 

Image result for woman angry with punctured tyre
My younger daughter did remind me of the option of going for a walk but I refused thinking my day had just started out wrong and its going to go all wrong…Image result for bad day

I’m sure you too might have had such days where things start of wrong and you feel like believing everything from this point on is just going to roll down south.
Or you may feel “This is one of those bad days”

Pause right there…
Remember these thoughts are magnetic and will draw more such thoughts and events to make it heavier, smellier and more depressing.

Look at it as a single moment and let it go, don’t hold on to it , don’t!

How does one let go? Listen to your favorite music, Listen to your favorite motivational person, read what you love to, talk to little babies or puppies or talk to plants, write or paint or photograph or even just dance.  Do something crazy, dancing in the rain. Do something new. Do whatever you know has the power to irresistibly draw you! What makes you smile no matter what !

How did I let go you may ask?I listened to Doreen virtue. Strangely in today’s video – She asked us to pray  “Give your worries to your creator , and no don’t ask for it to be handled in a particular way. But trust that it will be handled in the best way.”

Its the tiny steps that you take to make things get better, which amazingly make the right things appear to you, and strangely you listen or read or even see the most appropriate things!

What we sometimes fail to see is that : Maybe the universe wants to disrupt the normal motions of your day so that you open your senses to observe or notice something new. To maybe slow down give time to things that you would not normally give to. To maybe even be quiet and notice yourself.

Today surprisingly I found the time to speak to two of my friends and both gave me warm comforting news from their worlds, they made me smile and even tear up joyously listening to little pieces of magics occurring in their worlds.

So today I ask you to ask the universe “What is right about this whole episode that I’m not getting?” If something is not going right. What if it is right there but I don’t see it ? What if I just need to look with new eyes?

“What would it take for more glitter, sparkle and magic to show up in my life right away?” Again maybe the magic is right there in the moment I just need to be more aware?

Image result for magic

Do share the beauty the magic you experienced or how your awareness has opened up today.

September 25, 2016

Really?

Posted in Introspection, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 9:33 am by Venus Viswambharan

She listens, She understands,
When unable to understand she gives silence and space,
For the other person to fill , whether they understand themselves or not,
She is pushing, encouraging, lifting so many up,
She learns to be the other person- may it be her husband, her kids, her parent in laws, her sibling in laws…

hands-ready1.jpg
Learning a new language, to cook the way they like , to dress like the new family wants..
She borrows new likes, new joys, new adventures, from all around her.. Never saying she doesn’t know how to do something, To reach harmony, to roll smoothly connecting so many lives…

She is changing, tweaking , sometimes with resistance, but mostly not even conscious of the huge metamorphosis that happens within herself..

And she Changes !

Becomes someone else…

She leaves behind who she knew she was,
Not even barely remembering what she liked, what she enjoyed, what made her heart sing…

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Not hating a bit the process, she does it without realising, something the society has taught her, every woman before her has done, has taught her by being themselves a woman.

That is who a woman is….

I see them daily around me…
My ma, my mom in law, my cousin, my daughter, my friend my neighbour the lady that works at my home, the lady who works with me…

Until she can’t take it no more…

Then she is labelled
As bold!
As uncompromising
As a person who doesn’t understand
As a rude/ mean person
A loose character
A home wrecker…

But then there are men look around you..

Who help,
Appreciate,
Push her to be more than she is …
To be who she truly is
Giving her wings to fly..

dad family.jpg

 

I see him too as my husband, my father, my brother, my father in law, my friend , my cousin…

This wife, daughter , sister , daughter in law, friend or cousin is strong, She is who she is because of them…

I have witnessed the lady that works in our home too is so strong, so confident because of that man who values her, who stands by her, handling their home their kids together! Their low income status or sparse education did not prevent this – he too “wanted” to contribute.. He felt the need.

So many women are who they are because of them…!

And then there are men who believe
Raising kids,
Cleaning the home,
Cooking,
Caring for and understanding the husbands parents and her own,
Caring for the husband’s range of needs, from sex,  feeding him wholesome food , ironing their clothes punctually and clearing after them  (when he is an adult himself?)
Expecting no appreciation.
Changing ,
“IS NORMAL”

As it is expected of her,
As it Is a mandate!
It just Should be done!
Cause as per society
As per the natural law of nature
They are supposed to do so?

Really?
I ask you really?
I ask you men, really?

 

May 8, 2016

My very being…

Posted in Inspiration, Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:52 am by Venus Viswambharan

imageWe have felt her heart beating next to ours, no matter how engaged we may be, if we quietened the noise inside, we could strangely feel it comforting us even today.

We know the warmth of her grasping our fingers when we ran our first free steps imto this new exciting world…indescribably, they still seem to be interlaced today…

She has looked patiently into our eyes trying to understand us..
Held us close in times that we were unsure..hold still, today too her eyes seek… And she is close..

She has raised her voice in fear… In exasperation … And oh in glee echoing just what we felt..today too each sound that leaves your voice box, has hers..

We have heard her move quietly and briskly at unearthly hours for those warm delicious meals…and the clean comfort of our home…today do you think you move alone?

Have felt our tears blend, hers and mine, in times of despair, in times of joy… No matter where she is today, the drops trickling from our eyes still seem to blend..

“Alone”? – She has tried so hard so that we never knew what that word meant.

Is it her smell, her eyes or her touch that makes us feel unbeatable…
Or does solely her thought accomplish all of that?

Mother a word…
That embraces her breath, the strength of her, the softness of her self, the beat of her heart, the tenaciousness of her spirit, the expansive reach of her being.

Am i just me? Is she just her….?

September 6, 2013

Being Naked..

Posted in Empowering, Overcoming obstacles, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 1:12 pm by Venus Viswambharan

image I was taking a brisk morning walk and I saw a water puddle that was in the middle of the road. There was no way out … I wanted to avoid the wet dirty puddle. I climbed the tiled pathway which was inclined in a slope bordering the puddle. Yes you guessed right since it was a slope and it was wet due to the rain I slipped and I fell badly bruising my knee. Now In retrospect I wonder,  was it not better to go through the puddle and  get wet instead of avoiding that little unpleasantness and getting hurt ? It was a gash that took a few days to heal.

It is strange we do it in most circumstances trying to save ourselves, to protect ourselves even from people and our relationships…. We talk safely, we behave safely (we tread on an illusory safe path )

Personal examples:

  • When I hold off calling someone as I just don’t know what to say.
  • Imagining why people say or behave the way they do. ( oh and we are sure that what I think is perfectly calculated by the very intelligent me and just can intuitively read anyone and their manipulations right on target)  and go ahead and imagine the worst about them.
  • The minute someone says anything , we imagine they do so to hurt us , to malign us, to get us.
  • Holding back communicating something for fear of upsetting a person and the relationship.
  • Not sharing our opinions, or not sharing ourselves, having a guarded demeanor as we fear that we would be ridiculed.
  • Explaining oneself all the time again to save ourselves from being – “ wrong”
  • Not being able to say no.
  • Not being able to cry , grieve or show any form of  “weakness”

What are we saving ourselves from: From feeling?  From experiencing?  From learning?

What if we just were raw in each situation… just naked and vulnerable what then?

From the last few days Im taking chances, allowing my vulnerabilities to be there right in the open and in the process feeling :

I debated a whole day calling my 10th grade class teacher who I haven’t spoken to or met since the last 24 years  . But finally decided to take the plunge!

I began voicing my requirements to my kids instead of  : holding it in hoping they’d “understand”my expectations of them, by reading my mind and then when they eventually were unable to do it by powers of  telepathy , I’d just loose it!

A girlfriend made a comment though I cannot deny there were some preconceived ideas  and a desire to  retaliate at first . I took the courage to face her with compassion, I STARED straight into my defensiveness  and instead prodded her with an open mind ,to truly understand  what she was trying to convey.

My Hubby thanked me on teachers day for being an amazing teacher to my kids and him,with genuine incidences, I was touched and in normal circumstances I would fight back the tears or turn my face away to hide the tears , this time I let them roll…unabashedly

I let another friend see me shouting at my kids and not be a prefect mom, I did not go to make her understand with an explanation, I held on to  the courage to accept the fact that we are not all prefect but do make slip-ups, not trying to put up a facade of a mom who never errs – I too am only human and at this time I too stumbled.

And you know what amazed me was that there wasn’t any unpleasantness or any disasters that I would have saved myself from  ….

My teacher Mrs Berry was so warm and echoed my excitement. And the fear that she wouldn’t remember me – was unfounded! We talked a lot about our families and I was happy that I did call her.

The kids were thrilled i was not shouting ! what’s more my work was getting done.

My friend responded just as warmly and honestly and I became aware that when we have no defenses up but just openness- the story is actually different. We essentially give space for the other person to be naked too. I only then grasped the fact that” she” actually needed some help .

My other friend continued being a friend but I think we are closer and she also is freed to be who she is without any pretenses or a façade

My hubby too shed tears, I had permitted him to be open and naked too!

These outcomes may have been positive there could have been negative ones. But being free , being “ME” with no restraints, no asphyxiation of the real me , With no façades was not just light it was oh so freeing, I could actually feel myself expand. I was swollen with so much of energy and I found myself smiling more often !

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