The Forbidden Fruit

I spent a great deal of my childhood days, at the place of my grandmother and in the company of my elder sister, Romila. My sister was a plump, docile and very girlish child. She was my buddy when my best chum, my brother, Jan, was not around.

My grandmother, Nani, was a rich widow. She lived in a big wooden and shingle roofed house in the City of Curepipe. Nani’s house was nestled in the heart of a large property covered with exotic fruit trees.

A tomboy, a relentless adventurer and explorer, I loved to climb trees and hide in their leaves, playing at imaginative games. I was simply and purely fascinated by trees.

I was particularly impressed by a majestic Bell Fruit tree (also called Jamalac or Jeanbosse tree in Mauritius or Jamrul tree in India) that stood in the midst of the vast terrain. It was always laden with big, juicy and tantalizing Jamalacs. The fruits were milky white in colour whereas other fruits of the same family were comparatively smaller and either pink or red. Unfortunately, we, children were not allowed to go near this tree and were strictly forbidden from eating the milky white fruits.

‘It is possessed by a spirit’ Nani told us.

‘Leave this tree and its fruits alone!’ She severely cautioned us.

However, one fateful day when Nani was absent from home, I made up my mind to climb the Bell fruit tree and to taste the forbidden fruit. Romila was playing quietly with her dolls, in a corner of the room which we shared with our grandmother. I summoned her and asked her to join me. At first she refused and reminded me of the spirit. I insisted with dominant persuasion. She finally gave in and meekly followed me. She revered me as a leader in audacious games and dreadful adventures.

We slipped out of the house noiselessly and headed for the coveted tree. Once in close proximity, I could not help feeling an eerie atmosphere around the tree. It made my heart pound with excitement, mischievous delight and awe. Ripe, luscious jamalacs were hanging from the over laded branches. Even more so, the fruits were practically sweeping the ground that was covered with dry leaves. I looked up and my eyes caught sight of a beautiful, shiny jamalac at the top of the tree.

In no time, I frayed my way through the tangled branches and started to climb the tree with astounding agility, like a monkey. Romila yelled out at me to stop and to come back. I did not pay heed to her. My mind was set on reaching for the forbidden fruit.

I arrived at the top in a flash and, I hurriedly reached out for the fruit. All of a sudden, a branch of the tree hit me violently like a big slap in the face. I shut my eyes. Behind my closed eye lids, I saw the sun and the blue sky in an aperture between the rich green leaves.

The next thing, I knew, was that I was lying in bed, surrounded by my parents and other family members. My mother was sobbing.

To cut a long story short, Romila ran for rescue when I fell from the tree, like a bag of potatoes. I was carried unconscious to Nani’s house. When later she arrived, she phoned my mom and dad. Most importantly, she called for a local healer cum psychic, a ‘hoja’. He brought me out of what he ably qualified as a ‘trance’. I had fallen from a height of 15 feet unscathed. I had no bruise, no injury and no broken bone.

One of the worst rabble-rousers in the family, I had become a ‘miracle child’ thanks to the forbidden fruit!

Anita Bacha

In the illustration picture is my granddaughter. She has taken after me in tree- climbing.

IMG_2826.JPG

Advertisements

KRISHNA

 

KRISHNA, one of the many gods of Hinduism, is the embodiment of charismatic love, immaculate beauty, celestial joy and eternal youth. He is an incarnation of VISHNU, the Preserver in the triad of Gods Brahma Vishnu and Maheswara.

KRISHNA is so beautiful that he is often referred to as a doll. Many can’t make out from his overwhelmingly refined looks whether he is a man or a woman. Also known as being the perfect union between man and woman or between God and his devotee, he embodies the pleasure, emotion and everlasting rapture that is derived from love making.

In every incarnation, VISHNU meets up, adores and caresses his beloved wife LAKSHMI, the goddess of wealth, beauty, prosperity and knowledge. In His incarnation as KRISHNA, he finds LAKSHMI as his beloved RADHA, the embodiment of the perfect woman and lover.

KRISHNA is also known as the flute player. His enchanting music is known to make his devotees crazily fall in love with him.

KRISNA opens the heart to the pleasure of love. Wherever KRISHNA is installed, love beckons, love sings and dances; the soul is uplifted to celestial summit.

KRISNA is also known by other adorable names- Murali Gopala (the flute player), Chitchor (the stealer of hearts), and SRI (God), Shyama.

It is believed that if we see a statue of KRISHNA, we touch him, and we love him, we must take him and keep him.

‘Those who worship gods, become gods; those who worship ancestors become ancestors; those who worship the elements master the elements; and THOSE WHO WORSHIP ME GAIN ME!’- Bhagavad Gita 9.25

11026134_1617053815183307_2656911716730373804_n

 

ODE TO MY BELOVED

You are born again and again

Like a flame in my heart, my Beloved!

My eyes marvel and rejoice at your sight

In the darkness you are my light!

In the void your voice is rapturous music

When you are with me nothing is amiss

Every droplet of rain is a cup of bliss

Every thorn is a budding lotus flower

Every woe is over and done forever!

 

http://poetryofanitabacha.com/

 

 

WHO IS RICHARD PARKER?

FOR THOSE BLOGGERS WHO HAVE SEEN THE ENGLISH MOVIE ‘LIFE OF PI’ 2013, THE CHARACTER ‘RICHARD PARKER’IS NOT UNFAMILIAR TO THEM. HE IS THE FEROCIOUS BENGAL TIGER, CAGED IN A ZOO IN INDIA AND LATER BY PROVIDENCE, HE FINDS HIS ‘FREEDOM’ AFTER A CATASTROPHIC SHIPWRECK BUT HE IS STRANDED AT SEA ON A LIFE BOAT WITH A YOUNG INDIAN BOY, PISCINE PATEL AKA ‘PI.’ TOGETHER, THEY FACE NATURE’S MAJESTIC SPLENDOUR AND FURY ON AN EPIC JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY.

THE MOVIE ‘LIFE OF PI’, THE WINNER OF 4 ACADEMY AWARDS, IS BASED ON THE NOVEL OF THE CANADIAN AUTHOR YANN MARTEL.’LIFE OF PI’. ACCORDING TO YANN MARTEL,THE STORY CAN BE SUMMARIZED IN THREE STATEMENTS-

  1. LIFE IS A STORY
  2. YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR OWN STORY
  3. A STORY WITH GOD IS THE BETTER STORY

Life_of_Pi_cover.png

I HAVE READ THE BOOK AND I HAVE WATCHED THE MOVIE MANY TIMES. I CONTINUE TO BE TOTALLY IMPRESSED BY THE BENGAL TIGER, RICHARD PARKER. HE MADE MANY ATTEMPTS TO DEVOUR THE YOUNG BOY, PI ,BUT THE LATTER FOUGHT HIM, FED HIM AND KEPT HIM ALIVE. IN THE END, WHEN THEY DRIFTED ON AN ISLAND, RICHARD PARKER TURNED HIS BACK ON PI AND LEFT HIM WITHOUT SAYING GOOD BYE.

Processed with MOLDIV

LIFE IS A WHEEL

My maid passed away just after I left Mauritius for the London Book Fair 2016

 There is a line, though not a straight one, between the people who serve us and the success of our career.

 How much they contribute by their service cannot be grossly overestimated.

The adage ‘the servant is the master of the house’ suddenly found its meaning under my bewildered eyes when I opened the main entrance door of my domicile.

 Heavy festoons of cobweb, rat pooh littered like black seeds of grapes on the floor layered with a carpet of thick dust greeted me.

I breathed in the foul smell of decayed garbage and dead bodies of rats putrefying under the teak furniture.

My nostrils and my throat smarted. I turned back. I rushed out for a breath of fresh air.

 Rats were her nightmares.

She laid traps for them.

Death laid a trap for her when an oncoming car knocked her down on the road.

 Ironically, Buddha says: Life is a wheel.

In the olden days, to keep them subservient, house maids were not allowed to use their minds creatively. My maid, a stout Creole woman in her forties, had a good education and she followed a course in housekeeping. She ran my house as her own. I was totally lost without her. She was the mistress of the house. My sense of humanity allowed this.

Anita Bacha

 buddha-n-lotus-gregoire

Picture/Source/Internet

THE EXPIRED THONGS

I embarked on a spiritual journey last spring and headed towards an ashram in search of self enquiry. My destination was India, a country known for its vast spiritual heritage. I carried in my luggage the minimal personal effects including a pair of old thongs. This search for the Truth of Oneself will, in my mind, be restrictive on personal wants and needs.

Two days after I had rambled around in my old thongs, I noticed that part of the right sole was coming off; I brought it closer to my eyes to have a microscopic view of the damage; I then perceived that there was another problem; the strap which run from between the big toe and the second toe to the right side of the sandal was threading off and thinning. I sadly told myself that the thongs had expired due to old age, wear and tear. It was essential for me to look for new thongs before the expired ones left me half-way. Opportunity knocked when the next morning I walked into a store to buy fruit juice. An array of attractive and colorful thongs was displayed on a self. I tried a few pairs until I fell on one which fitted perfectly.

I settled my bill, removed the new thongs from the box, glided my feet into them and placed the expired ones into the carton, to throw away. Strangely, I could not find a dustbin and the expired thongs slept in the box, under my bed, almost forgotten.

Time passed by. For the festival of Mahashivaratri, innumerable pilgrims arrived at the ashram from all over the world. One night, I misplaced my new thongs. I immediately run for the rescue of the expired ones. I had been advised by a physician to walk barefoot which was supposedly a good exercise for different types of inflammation and beneficial for my sore knees, but accustomed to the western way of life, I found it hard to hop around like a grasshopper without footwear.

Eventually, the expired thongs silently resumed their job of transporting me. Every time I came out of a hall or canteen where footwear was not allowed, my eyes fell on them, waiting for me, tattered yet so warm. They were serving submissively and devotedly like old wives. I left them here and there, under the nose of everyone but nobody touched them. They were too old to draw attention or to be stolen. Expired they were, in the eyes of all except in mine. What a startling spiritual lesson to learn! Respect and hold on to the old; in times of need, they are the most helpful.

Further, nothing ever happens accidently or mysteriously, spiritual life shows us. For every happening, there is a proper reason. Moreover we are taught that inanimate objects too have feelings and emotions. For instance, it is told in the sacred Hindu book ‘The Ramayana’ that when Lord Rama, The Avatar of the Treta Yuga went to rescue his wife Sita from the demon King Ravana, an army of monkeys came to his help. They built a bridge by plucking mountains from the Himalayas and throwing them into the seas to allow Rama to walk from his land to the realm of Ravana. When the bridge was done, one mountain cried because it was plucked from its original place but not used. Lord Rama then promised the mountain that in his next incarnation, it will receive his blessings. This very mountain was the Govardhana Peak which Rama as the Avatar Krishna in the Dwarpa Yuga lifted on his finger and held aloft for seven days in order to save the inhabitants of Gokul from the devastation of torrential rain.

Illustrating the words of wisdom of my Guru, ‘there is nothing in this world which has no heart, which is incapable of feeing of joy and grief; only, you must have the eye to see, the ear to listen and the heart to respond’, here is another example of emotion expressed by inanimate objects is the more recent case of ‘the weeping saris’.  At Anantapur, the Kaliyuga Avatar, Sri Sathya Sai Baba asked that a box of new saris be brought to his room; they were to be distributed to women workers who were helping in the construction of the Sathya Sai College. He chose 96 saris out of one hundred and disregarded four, which were returned to the box. After he distributed the saris, his attention was drawn to a trickle of water flowing from the bottom of the box. Baba later explained to a gathering at Dharmakshera that the saris had feelings just like humans and similar to the mountain that was set aside by him in the Treta Yuga, the saris were aggrieved; they were weeping because they had been set aside by him. He immediately removed the saddened saris from the box and distributed them.

To cut a long story short, I returned home with the expired thongs, having learnt that self enquiry leads one to detach from people, mundane life and worldly affairs by opening one’s eyes to the deficiencies in them.

Anita Bacha

 

Dream of Sai Baba

Sharing the dream story of Sai Devotee Ankit.

Reproduced in the own words of Ankit, this write-up is overwhelmingly sweet and packed with innocence and purity.Treat your eyes!

10896917_1598551190366903_2043731532211999882_n

 Sharing a Sai Dream

Courtesy of Ankit Sharma

 On Thursday 08 January 2015, I had an exceptionally beautiful dream of Sri Sathya Baba which I am sharing with all our friends and Sai devotees.

In the dream I see my friend and I with so many devotees standing in a very big hall of a temple. This temple is surrounded by so many trees and is situate in a jungle. We are feeling so much peace and sacred vibes all around the temple.

 In this big hall of temple there is a big tree and under the tree there is a very beautiful statue of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Near the tree and the statue there is room that is closed from inside. 
All the devotees are standing there with so much impatience and waiting for someone who is inside the room. Only my friend and I don’t know who is inside the room but other devotees know who is inside.

After few hours of waiting the door is opened by someone who is inside the room. My friend and I feel that this person is sitting in a deep meditation from long times. When he opens the room from the room so much sacred smoke of ‘dhoop’ or smoke of ‘agarbatti’ comes out from the room with this man.
However we do not see very well this man’s face. We are still trying to recognize who is this man when this man completely comes out from the room.
We see his face and this is what we see … He is our Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba himself in orange color robe looking so sweet and beautiful.  In his one hand there is ‘aarti  thali’ and he starts to do ‘aarti’   facing to the room door . Then one person, who is standing near to us, says that Baba is doing ‘aarti’ of his own guru first. 
After this ‘aarti’, Baba faces to the tree and his own statue Sri Sathya Sai Baba and starting to do ‘aarti’  and Baba is singing  the aarti  song and all the devotees are following to Baba in chorus and all are singing the ‘ aarti’ song.
Then a man who is very small in height took a “ganti’ (cymbal) in his hand and start to play the “ganti’ with a  stick and same time he is dancing from left to right in ecstasy.
After completing the ‘aarti’, Baba comes near to the tree and statue. He starts to talk to the statue. We are looking to the Baba. Then Baba says to all of devotees:

“Yes I can talk to my statue!”

 We can also hear the voice which is coming from the statue when Baba is talking to the statue.  Baba says so many times to us that Yes I can talk to my statue! Yes I can talk to my statue! Yes I can talk to my statue! After this, Baba turned to face His devotees and blessed us all with one hand raised. Then my friend and I look into the eyes of Baba and we see a wonderful vision of Baba. We see the whole world in His eyes! For us, it is a very special darshan of the Lord!

Sairam!

Dharmakshetra – The Abode of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

dharmakshetra

KRISHNA IS YOU AND ME, AND FIRE AND WATER

In my search for God I visited India for the first time in 1982. I was accompanying my husband Anil on a business trip to Delhi. Deep inside I was cherishing the dream of meeting  Sri Sathya Sai Baba! But  Baba lived in the South of India, I was bluntly told. My dream was shattered. I was distraught and inconsolable. Our hosts then suggested that we visit the shrine and temple of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba, situate on the outskirts of Poona! –

‘The journey to Shirdi was infinitely long, tedious and lamentable, but my spirit changed completely when we reached our destination; we devoutly prayed to  Shirdi Sai Baba. Satisfied and pleased, we took the coach to return to Bombay. Soon after, overcome by the heat and by exhaustion and lulled by the roaring sound of the coach engine, I started to doze off. When lo! Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba appeared before me in a vision. His face only was visible; he was smiling. The image persisted under my closed eyelids. I opened my eyes and shook my head to brush aside the apparition, but I could see him everywhere. I thought I was going bonkers!’ – quote at p15, chapter two ‘A Holy Vision’ from the book ‘The Maker of Miracles’ 2006 by the author Anita Bacha.

‘Twenty –four hours later we were flying Indian Airlines to Bangalore, a travel agent having told us that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba lived in Bangalore, in the south of India.’ Quote at p16 of the same tome.

On the 05 December 1982, I had my first and most touching ‘darshan’ of Our Beautiful Lord and He graced me with the much coveted ‘eye contact’.

To cut a long story short, last year, for no apparent reason, I planned to visit the Shirdi Baba Temple again. After a resourceful spiritual journey to Vrindavan, I returned to Mumbai to catch the International Flight to Mauritius. I was accompanied by a few friends and family members including Ankit Sharma, who had been enthusiastically ‘adopted’ by us.

 However, for an unforeseen and weird reason, I could not go to Shirdi. I went to bed with a heavy heart. In the night, I dreamt of Sri Baba in His Mumbai Ashram, the Dharmakshetra. The next day, more exactly, on the 05 December 2013, I precipitated to the Dharmakshetra, eager to unfold the mystery of the dream. Ankit Sharma alone was willing to follow me; the others were too weary to do so! We learnt that, as it was Thursday, there was a ‘bhajan satsang’ at 16.30 hours. There, in the bhajan hall of unparalleled beauty, expressive vibrations and magic spells, I learnt the profound concept of ‘dharma’ as expounded by Lord SRI KRISHNA, in the Bhagavath Gita, as from the darkness of ignorance I was led by a magnetic force to the realm of understanding!

 Extraordinarily enough, the Dharmakshetra symbolizes the core message of Bhagawan Baba to mankind to embark upon the path of Righteous Conduct, ‘Dharma’. It is the spiritual lighthouse of architectural breathtaking beauty established by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in May 1968, on the eve of the First World Conference of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization. Magnificently built on a hillock in exactly 108 days, it stands as a miracle of Baba’s Divine Sankalpa.