I, Blind

I, blind

Tell myself

How can the blind lead the blind

Being blinded

Banished from light

Yet able to hear the cries of suffering

How can I blind lead the blind?

I tell myself

Suffering in darkness

Conscious of my blindness

I search for any source of Light

Within that shall light its way

Towards Seeing

Truth as it is

One day I shall see the Light

I tell myself

Either this or next lifetime

One day

I shall see the Light

Or die in darkness trying…


Short Story: The Old Lady In The Market

This is a fictional short story. All characters and situations are imaginary. Only the locations are inspired by real places visited when travelling around the world.

“If you marry well, you will be happy,” said an old lady to a young unmarried lady savoring a homemade glutinous rice ball filled with pork, also called “zong zi” in Chinese. The old lady made this dish with love in her small room near the ‘Old’ Chinatown in Kolkata, a historical place near Tiretta Bazaar, famous for its early morning Chinese breakfast served in food stands.

The old lady owned of these small food stands. Every day, the old lady would come to the remnants of this ‘Old’ Chinatown in Kolkata and set up her own little food stand. She would place a chair and a bamboo basket on the floor and voila! She was now an independent business owner and this was her small food shop in the small busy street where the famous Chinese breakfast was served every morning. Other local Chinese Indians would also set up food stalls serving traditional Chinese breakfast foods. There were food shops selling fish and meatball soups, dumplings, steamed buns, spring rolls, sesame balls filled with red bean paste, pickled cabbage and many other traditional Chinese foods. This old lady made her special delicacies in her house, brought them to the market, and sold them to all the people visiting her stand: local Chinese Indians living in the area, Bengalis with a taste for Chinese food, migrants and tourists from other states in India or the ‘foreigner’ tourists who had heard about this exquisite place in a travel magazine or travel show. The old lady was happy to sell her delicacies to any passerby curious and brave enough to try the ‘goodies’ inside the bamboo basket. This bamboo basket showcased plastic bags filled with bamboo leaf wrapped “zong zi”, salted duck eggs, and tofu.*

*For those who haven’t heard of these foods before: “zong zi”(glutinous rice balls filled with pork and wrapped in bamboo leaves), salted duck eggs (a very salty type of preserved eggs), tofu (curd made from soybeans).

As the young lady was eating and chatting with the old lady, a middle aged man stepped in and whispered an intruding remark to the young lady, “One time I bought some eggs and tofu from this lady. The salted eggs were rotten and the tofu was sour! Be careful with what you buy from this lady.” The young lady quickly replied, “Thanks for the information but I can figure it out by myself. If you don’t mind, we were having a nice talk before you stepped in.” The man, stung by the power of the young lady’s response, backed off and went on his way. He wasn’t going to get lucky with this girl.

The old lady had very bad hearing and sight yet she fully understood what just had happened. Slowly and with a gentle smile, she leaned her wrinkled face towards the young lady’s delicate face and said with a soft voice, “These men are the worst. Never marry these kind of men.” She paused for a second. “If you marry well, you will be happy.”

The young lady nodded in agreement. In an attempt to change the topic, the young lady asked, “Do you have any sons or daughters?” The old lady replied, “Yes, I had a son and a daughter.” She glanced down and said, “My son died very young. He was only ten years old when he died of typhoid. It happened during the onset of the Sino-Indian War in 1962. Life was terrible for the Chinese living in India…” Then she looked up, and added, “My daughter moved to Hong Kong and got married there. My daughter married well, she is happy now.”

From the darkened sky above, it started raining. The old lady reached for a dark blue umbrella near the bamboo basket. She opened it and sheltered herself from the rain. Seeing the young lady without an umbrella, the old lady kindly made a gesture for the young lady to step into her blue shelter. While the old lady sat in her chair holding the umbrella, the young lady stood next to her, semi-curled, trying to dodge the incoming rain. There was a moment of silence. For a few minutes, both the old and the young lady contemplated the gently falling monsoon rain. Looking around, everything made sense, people seeking shelter from the rain, food vendors hurrying to close their shops, people eating, chatting, laughing, all under the falling rain, all in one moment, the present moment.

Once the rain slowed down, the old lady reached for her bag and from there she took out her wallet and showed an old black and white passport sized photo of a young woman. “She is my daughter”, she said. “My daughter married well, she is happy now.”

The rain stopped. The old lady started packing up her food shop. The Chinese breakfast was over. There was no fixed time for the start and ending of Chinese breakfast but generally it started very early around 5.30am and ended around 8.30am. It flowed accordingly to the temporary transactions between the food vendors, customers, weather and other unseen factors. Or a better way to explain this would be, it just flowed. Some food vendors had already packed and left while others were staying a little longer in order to sell all their perishable foods before going home or to other jobs. Especially the middle aged men and women had to rush to other places where they held other jobs. Life was tough; only selling Chinese breakfast in the morning can’t really feed their children and parents who lived with them, all under the same roof. On the other hand, many elderly Chinese Indian food sellers could return to their lonely homes and rest because most of them didn’t do it for the money; they did for the pure joy of it, to socialize with people and to keep alive their Chinese culture and presence in Kolkata. Of course, nobody could complain about the extra income from it. The old lady was satisfied with her sales. She had managed to sell all the “zong zi” though she still had leftover salted eggs and tofu. In a slow and careful motion, she packed them up. “Will these go bad?” asked the young lady innocently. The old lady slowly turned her head up, looked into the young lady’s eyes and replied as follows:

Everything goes bad, my dear.

Eggs will root,

Tofu will turn sour.

Children die,

Hearts will turn sour.

Only Hope remains

That I will meet them again in Heaven.

My sight is blurring,

My hearing is deafening,

My Death is approaching.

Life is like the monsoon rain,

It comes quickly and disappears swiftly.

Flooding our senses

And receding into emptiness.

My advice to you my dear,

Is just Being in Love.

Not to men

But to God.

You can find Him everywhere.

Remember if you marry well, you will be happy my dear.


Saying this, the old lady bid farewell and disappeared into the busy streets of Kolkata. The young lady looked around and slowly started to realize the beauty of God in everything.



Story: A Bird Sets Flight (Part I)

A bird sets flight

From its warm, cozy family nest.

Its nest has become too small,

To fit its fully grown body.

Now its eyes can look beyond the nest.

Realizing how little it is,

And how vast is the world outside.

The bird’s heart has grown big,

Filled with illusive hopes,

Distorted dreams,

And skewed ideals.

Yet a tiny seed of enlightenment-wish slowly sprouted.

Witnessing much suffering around him,

The bird searched for a way to eternal Bliss.


Hahaha, haha, ha…

Other birds mocked and laughed at its hopes and dreams.

Labeling it as “stupid, naïve and idealistic.”

The more paternalistic bird relatives,

Told him to give up these ideals and simply go help out its bird parents.

Who labor everyday to bring nourishing food for you and your siblings.

How spoiled you are.

You haven’t experienced hardships in life, that’s why you hold these ideals.

Now go and work like all other birds.


Meanwhile the Wind gently caressed its rainbow colored feathers,

Inviting it to freely fly around the world.

Ignoring the other birds’ comments and remaining steadfast on its aspirations,

The bird contemplated:

Where shall I fly?



To the Land of Water

Where the mythical Black Tortoise resides.

With its cold winters,

And life remains dormant like glacial lakes.



To the Land of Fire

Where the legendary Vermilion Bird flies.

With its hot summers,

And life blooms like daisy flowers.



To the land of Wood

Where the mystical Azure Dragon roams.

With its windy spring seasons,

And life sprouts like scented grass covered in dew.



To the land of Metal

Where the fabled White Tiger lurks.

With its dry autumns,

And life withers like fallen leaves.


Or stay in the Center?

In the land of Earth

Where the legendary Yellow Dragon sits.

With its damp late summers,

And life ripens like sweet fruit.


Where to go?


A pure inner voice replied.


It’s all relative.


No external trip is worthwhile without an internal journey.


The purpose is to realize Being.


You little bird, like the pure hearted Tang pilgrim who journeyed West to fetch the Buddhist scriptures,

Will travel to where your Heart takes you.

Your path will not be easy.

You will face many hardships.

You will meet faithful travel companions who shall accompany you throughout your journey.

You will meet the fiery minded Monkey king,

The bodily attached Pig,

The emotional Friar Sand,

And the thinking Horse.


You will encounter and face demons,

Of all forms and shapes,

Snakes ,







All disguised and ready to trick the unmindful traveler.


When you are in distress,

Pray for help.

I, the compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Shall appear and with a gentle touch of the holy willow branch,

All negativity shall disappear;

Relieving all suffering,

Only leaving a trail of teachings on emptiness.


Get your swords of wisdom sharp!

Hold the prajna-paramita within your heart!

Morality clear!

Study the Scriptures and Sacred Texts!

Get ready for the journey!


Flap your wings o little bird!

And may you find the answers you seek and share them with all beings!


Guided by this pure voice,

The bird bid farewell to beloved family and friends.

It embarked in its prescribed journey.

Setting out into the cold, chaotic world.


The bird flapped its wings and its body took flight.

A body well fed and protected from physical suffering.

As it gained momentum,

The little bird was soon engulfed by the vast morning indigo sky.

The sun rose in the horizon,

The whole world seemed to be dancing in joy and excitement,

As bird’s life story slowly unfolded as if waking up from a dream.


This is the story of the bird that began its journey towards the other shore.


(To Be Continued…) Stay updated for the next blog entry. A heartfelt thank you for reading this. Hope you enjoyed it.

Waking Up / Awakening Up

Pipiipiiipi, pipiipiiipi,

Alarm clock ringing,

Banging my head,

Shattering it into shards of broken thoughts,

To do lists…

Worries, fears and temptations.


A voice within says,


“I need to wake up”.


My body says,

“Why should I wake up?”

“I am warm and numb under these layers of blankets.”

“Covering me, protecting me from all chaos outside.”

“It’s cold and I don’t feel like moving. ”

“I am fine right here.”

So I remain numb and warm.


Dreaming, constructing and experiencing illusive worlds of

Comfort, temptations and pleasures.

But I still suffer somehow.

I am still unhappy,

While dream worlds arise and vanish,

Its process speeds up in an attempt to cover its own system flaws.

These flaws I notice yet I remain in this dreamlike world.

Numb, warm and lost.


Tired of cycling through bubble like dreams,

A voice whispers,

“It’s enough. I’m done with this! I am going to count down from ten and WAKE UP!”

Time passed as follows:

TEN years took Ulysses on his journey back home.

NINE muses needed to appear to inspire this poem.

EIGHT Immortals had to cross the sea together for a heavenly banquet.

SEVEN Pleiades sisters had to escape Orion to become stars.

SIX spheres of samsara one has to cycle through to plant the seed of liberation,

FIVE elements one needs to harmonize to grasp the Way,

FOUR Noble Truths one needs to internalize to find Nirvana,

THREE to understand Trinity,

TWO opposites to balance Ying Yang,

ONE to make sense of it All under God.


And I get out of bed!

It’s freezing cold outside.

I shake and tremble,

I mumble,

“Why did I do this?”

Then I go outside for a walk.

Light comes and dances with me,

Looking up,

The Dharma Sun shines

And warms me up,

From the heart,

Inside out,

Re-igniting the long lost spirit fire

That will light its way to true Awakening.

Parents Endmiration


Majestically standing,

Glamorously dressed,

Shining tears into my eyes.

Filling my heart with honor and gratefulness

For being born as their child.


So hard-working,


Filled with parental love

That I cannot understand nor grasp.

For I have no kids,

No mouths to feed,

No dirty clothes to wash,

No business to keep,

No burdens to carry until

I fall flat on the floor.

Stripped naked of all accumulated wealth.

Pillaged by flesh eating worms.


Dear beloved parents,

Thank you for giving part of yourselves to create me,

Raise me into the person I am today,

For softening the crusted earth around me

So a tiny sprout can grow and joyfully dance with the wind.


It might be that you expect me to

Grow tall and big

To give you shade as you age,

as your skin wrinkles and peels itself burned by the Dharma Sun.


Desperately, you tried to shelter me from the skin burning Sun.

In darkness I stayed yet its rays would always sneak through the curtain covered windows

And tickle me little by little until I realized Its Existence.


As I grew upwards into the clouds,

Always striving to fulfill your expectations

To become that utopian perfect child that I imagined I could become,

I lost my self-image.

Until I decided to find myself in the mirror,

All I saw in the reflection was a rag doll mended with hand sewn patches.

Rebelling, I decided to break the mirror and pull up the curtains,

So I could see my own true reflection through the glass window.


Zas! Curtains up! Blinded. Skin burned by the sun.

In the midst of suffering,

I looked outside into the window and saw no reflection of myself,

Only children joyfully playing,

Emerald trees dancing in the wind.

Birds feeding from the earth.

Transparent rivers strolling in zig-zag.

All under the Dharma Sun in the sky.


Majestically standing,

Glamorously dressed in gold.

Shinning tears into my eyes.

Filling my heart with love  and gratefulness

For being born as Its child.


I bow to you Dharma Sun. If I ever find the path out of worldly suffering, may I return and liberate you my beloved parents!