Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Catching Dust!

Something about the way you Smile, i may never know the Reason why... 

I am in the process of doing my undergraduate research project with autistic children.  Being an expressive person myself , i’m quite intrigued by the interplay of emotions. So when i was reading about autism and their ‘deficit’ of emotional understanding and attachment, it was hard to digest which is why i began my journey to explore and experiment...

Nevertheless, i shall rant less about my research and more about my new found love. Yes, I have been swept off my feet by one of such priceless ‘gem’ that I discovered during my exploration.  Her name is Muskaan which literally translates to a smile.

Muskaan is a 13 year old (extremely pretty) autistic and non verbal child. This means that apart from autistic symptoms, she has not spoken a word or a syllable or a sound since her birth. Quite evidently, being a non verbal child, I could not proceed with my ‘research design’ with her, since my activity involved at least basic communication verbal with the child. Moreover, Muskaan has also had frequent epileptic fits since the age of 2 years. She is EXTREMELY thin, with no basic human instinct to eat and drink (so practically food has to be forced into her). She also suffers from gravitational insecurity (especially an avoidance towards stairs, though she is comfortable in an elevator.)

The only time that I spent with her was 2 hours (1 hour on each day) during her session of Auditory Integration Therapy. I am told that she has made marked improvements. There was a time when Muskaan would just refuse to hear any sound or music and immediately locate it’s source to unplug it. She also has this obsession of holding pins (board pins or staple pins) in her hand, but she is not at all self injurious. She also has this constant habit of peeling... (wood paint or scratching anything that is scratch-able).

Even though I spent only 2 hours with her, her presence in my life has been bliss. That one hour with her seemed like ages of communication making time- elastic and filtering moments. The first time I met her, she did not seem scared of me at all (otherwise very atypical of her behaviour).  The second time I met her, was after a gap of 20 days. She entered the room, came towards me and held my sweater from the waist. Was she hugging me? :O *dazed* I would definitely like to assume YES! And this was one of those moments i felt i was in a trance and unable to react. She spent some time looking around in the room, locating the pin and holding it in her hand. The speech therapist and i had to forcefully make her sit down to make her listen to musical rhymes on the computer as part of her routine.

Muskaan generally has an expressionless face, with only occasional slight smiles. Her smiles are to die for... i used to literally dance whenever i would see her smile or meet her eye (as she rarely makes an eye contact). The moment of absolute bliss was when she would turn towards me, in hope that i would help her ‘escape’, by holding my hand on the last day. She held my hand soo tightly that she just wouldn’t leave me even after her session was over and she was supposed to go to the first floor in the elevator.! :O What is all this if this is not COMMUNICATION of emotions?

I am told that Muskaan is only close to her mother. She has an elder sister and father with whom there is not much of interaction. Sad...aint’t it? If Muskaan was my biological sister , i would dedicate my life to her, pamper her, LOVE her! =( [ i still would though... i’m never ever going to forget her!] she has taught me the meaning of ‘relationship’.  Muskaan loves to wander when left to herself... imagine.. she is so FREE! Can normal humans ever match this level of detachment and yet unconditional love? Can you imagine undergoing intense physical or emotional pain and not complaining about it? us, so called normal human beings just know how to crib and whine about little worries. Can you imagine talking incessantly to a person, without ever being conscious of being JUDGED in return? I spent some beautiful moments talking with Muskaan that i’ve never felt soo comfortable talking to anyone else! Muskaan teaches us the power of non verbal communication. She is not Abnormal.. she is Above-normal! =) We have so much to learn from these autistic children...that i'm overwhelmed with my every encounter with each one of them. they're far more interesting than us! =)

And all that I'm left with my encounter with Muskaan in the beginning of this journey of the ‘kind’of people i would like to interact and share my life with, are the words of wisdom by my Sir, that it doesn’t matter what kind of therapy you are practicing... because “EVERYBODY RESPONDS TO LOVE”...
I love Muskaan...

वो मासूम सी आँखें 
वो धीमी सी मुस्कान ,
वो प्यारा सा चेहरा 
भर के आकांक्षाएं हज़ार ...

वो छोटी सी पल्कें 
वो होटों की सरसराहट ,
वो मोती आसूं का 
रह गया मेरे पास ...

वो  गुनगुनाती ख़ामोशी 
वो सपने देखने की चाह 
वो मद्धम हो रही ज़िन्दगी की आहट 
 क्यों नहीं सुन पाया मैं आवाज़ ?!

वो मासूम सी आँखें 
वो धीमी सी मुस्कान ...

Don’t be so caught up in words... you’re lucky to be able to speak... so keep EXPRESSING... in any medium that you’re comfortable in! =)
Blessed be

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cosmic Dance

Only dance, and your illusions will blow in the wind
Dance, and make joyous the love around you
Dance, and your veils which hide the Light
Shall swirl in a heap at your feet…
-The Dancing Cry Of The Soul, ~Rumi

Jaya jaya shiva shambhu


Chaos to order →order to self→ self to meditation → meditation to others →others to back to self.

No wonder i love circles! I have been shaking a leg in this cosmic dance especially in the last month of 2012. Words can’t describe... but i will still try to give you a glimpse of the last few moments of 2012. I’m a strong believer in universe’s conspiracy. When you want something, it happens. It happens when you have the intent of making it happen. Oops got, philosophical there. Nevertheless, i just wanted to share my travel to Rishikesh, Tehri and New Tehri. It’s amazing how travelling, mountains, river and the chill in the air make me soo happy, at peace with myself, and this time, engaging me to make me better connected with the microcosm, my relationship with the microcosm! Damn, i love India, especially it's Geography... As rightly put by Lord Byron,There is pleasure in the pathless woods,there is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes. By deep see and music in its roar,i love not the man less...but nature more....!

Lived in an ashram along the Ganges...

The beautiful aarti, and vedic chants at the Paramarth Ashram

 Tehri and new tehri...

The deeper you go,the higher you fly,
                                                                                            The higher you fly the deeper you go

..And I dance the thousand dances of love, all returning to you....

I love new years..., newness lies in the heart, it lies in you as to how you would want to make each day as different. 2013 shall be the year of more love... Happy 2013!