_20160506_151712When we first arrived at my aunt’s place on B.C. Road, it was a clear, sunlit morning. As we wandered around the grounds surrounding the house, I marveled at how verdant it all looked. Rows of swaying coconut palms, mangoes dangling from overburdened trees, the nonchalant munching of the cows, the raucous cackling of the chickens; it was all very nice. But the real fascination for me came after night fell. Life stilled to a whisper, except for the chirping of the nocturnal crickets and the warm glow of fireflies. I perched myself on the low wall that marked the boundary, just sitting there in the twilight, my whole being alive and one with the magnetic silence of the balmy darkness. It’s only when a panicked search party came looking for me that I realized I’d been sitting there for over an hour. It was an allegorical night and later in bed, I remember jotting down three words in my journal: Wander more often. Pretty insightful for a 14-year-old, I daresay.

Recently, a Facebook post on spin tops triggered the above memory. I’ve always been fascinated by this humble toy but never been good at actually making one spin. But now I started thinking about the mechanics of it. The way it spins and the motion of which causes it to remain perfectly balanced on its tip because of inertia. The balanced languor of that inert night in an otherwise rapidly spinning world was quite akin to the spin top theory.

When my yoga teacher taught me meditation a few years ago, this is what he had said: “Relax and breathe. Watch your thoughts as they come and let them go. Be the passive outsider. Eventually you will reach a point of total clarity. That’s when you will feel awake”. In the words of Jigar Gor, “Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down”. This is exactly what my guru was trying to teach me. Clearly, ‘awakening’ is not limited to ten minutes in a lotus position. You come to your yoga mat to feel, not to accomplish. His words resound in my mind now with a fortified meaning. Meaning that extends to all of life. Now as I lie wide awake at nights, I realize that somewhere along the way I seem to have relinquished all that I’d learnt. Balance begs to be restored. Lost ideas float around like confetti in the brain. These aren’t the delusions of an insomniac mind but colossal blunders that needed to be dealt with.


Like any child, growing up I’ve had my moments of open-mouthed wonder. One such event was a magic show I attended. Gaping at the magician’s every trick, I was drawn into a kind of parallel universe. It was like moving in and out of real and magical worlds all at once. The experience was beyond anything I’d experienced thus far. The witnessing of such a feat was to me, nothing short of a gift. But the actual gift was hidden, lost in translation and too nebulous for an infantile mind to comprehend. I’ve tried a lot of stuff since but it’s only now, well into my fourth decade, that I grasped the full meaning of an idea that seemed simple enough to be radical.

All the yoga and meditation had so far come to naught just because I had missed one little point – Unmitigated letting go. I had assumed that my guru wanted me to let go of the negative thoughts, but now I realized that he hadn’t really specified that. How radical! Our minds (and thus our lives) are like that magic show. It’s all about perception. What we believe becomes real.

Quite suddenly, ‘being in the moment’ took on a new meaning. It takes a bit of effort and courage to peel away the layers that have gathered over time. And unless you’re Archimedes, it’s certainly never a mind-blowing eureka moment in a bathtub when you finally discover what really works. It’s an uphill climb with constant landslides that hurl you back where you began.


As is slowly becoming evident, I’m certainly not as utopian as my poetic temperament indicates. When there is an inherent need to put every idea into practice and make it work, the flotsam of idealism ploddingly gives way to sparkling reality. The mental back and forth, the search for experiences, the spiritual connections, the craving to taste life turns one into a nomad without ever traveling much. You grow adept at ruminating with your eyes wide open. Not unlike the cow in my aunt’s barn who chewed on its cud all day long, the crunch of impassioned musings can keep you going most times.

As I step into my 45th year, the physical journey moves in tandem with the spiritual one. Regardless of the maturity that comes in spurts, life doesn’t cease to be ambivalent. Even then, with each passing year, I come closer to my inner nomad. And for that I am eternally grateful. The lack of ostentation in a nomadic life appeals to me. For a nomad, even a stationary one, the truth is not really in the wandering, it is in the ‘unmitigated letting go’.


27 thoughts on “WANDER MORE OFTEN

  1. My efforts to read this blog at one go failed me a tad 7 times….. I then realised I am reading the mind declutter project… …indeed a project and the recipe to it ain’t be any simple…… Amidst the many blog by ren….. I now realise her blogs are making deeper and deeper sense to me….. …sure something to do with my improved mind declutter state….. 🙂
    My first reflection stays…. ..the pictures used are highly relevant and sets the mood to absorb the contents easily….
    Par excellence are your thoughts ren …and I need a couple of reads to enjoy it’s beauty completely….
    The life gurus today are hammering their subscribers to maintain daily journals to achieve our goals… …I am surprised you maintained one at 14……
    U write…. Balanced languor of that inert note in an otherwise spinning world was quite akin to spin top theory……. U take a high flite into spirituality with such an observation n drawing analogies ren….
    …..Yoga is not about touching the toes …. Awakening not limited to 10 mins of lotus position…. You haven’t let your gurus precious words just fly off in oblivion… …these have stayed with you until you made good sense of them for yourself and others…. ……Balance begs to be restored…. ….my moments of open -mouthed wonder….. ….simple enuff to be radical…. ….eureka moment….. …these are more than just wonderful phrases in English….. U drive down a deep meaning to all these thoughts…….

    My take away in this one, if one may ask…. … Being in the moment….. Living in the moment……

    Thanks buddy….. U are my life coach for sure…….


  2. Life is like the mango tree. Burdened with memories. Some good some bad. A wandering nomad letting go off the bad mangoes will find the inner self.

    Beautifully written as always. Stay Blessed.


  3. As rightly put by you the stage of meditation is the stage where you do nothing. It takes sometimes months, years to get that AHA moment. You got it at a very young age, something that is rare. Even sitting at a place doing nothing is a stage, I feel known as ‘Samyama’ where there’s nothing. Joy and sorrows, hot and cold is same. What else does one need to decutter the mind ?
    Renica now I am able to understand where you are taking us. Great going.


  4. Renica,
    Your posts are like a breath of fresh air.

    Relaxing comfortable reads and at the same time / simultaneously getting to the essence of being.

    Keep up your insightful thinking!


  5. Hello aunty! It’s been a while since I came across what you’ve written. But this piece helps me relate with my course at present where I’ve let go off of what outcomes the future would bring for me me. But just live in the moment. I really liked the way you kept moving from your past to the present and vice versa. Really linked it all so well! 🙂


  6. Excellent article. An awe inspiring one as always.

    Just days back, I did realise what it means of ‘letting go’, the concept or essence of it.
    We, in reality, do not possess anything, in literal or physical sense! We do not even possess what we own.

    Its all in the mind, ‘the thoughts’ . When we let go of those thoughts, we enter into a domain, where we don’t possess anything.

    Life is that simple, we all know it, but ‘letting go’ was harder to decode, that we never ‘let go’.
    For me it had taken umpteen years to realise this concept !

    Great article and always an eye-opener, your explorations, learning and expressions.
    Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

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