Saturday, 1 August 2009

Life turned Upside Down!

I’ve been missing the kids heaps, but the nursery set up is keeping me busy and testing my faith more than I can express. As with the lessons of Pingawlara to let go is the most important thing, Well even more so as I have no control of my life - its bizarre the life I left is no longer mine, my brother sold the BMW I was driving before India, my beautiful Tigra of 10 years also wasn’t well (didn’t have a car for 6 weeks) thank god for friends and brothers, I’m not earning a decent salary (just supply work as and when) so finances are scarce and top it all off I have the pressure of getting married. I’m even getting comments like:

“You’re a lot worse of”
“You’ve gone 10 steps backwards”
“You’ve lost everything you worked for”
“Your going to be 30 what do you have to show for it?”
How can one explain in words that there are no regrets on my side leaving and going to India, I will not allow anyone else to make me feel as though I made a mistake… because it wasn’t, what the kids gave to me was priceless and if the same decision to pack my bags and leave was to be made I would do it not once but a million times over.
You can’t put a price on unconditional love, hugs or kisses…to be loved for possession of nothing is truly remarkable…. To be loved for being there, just being there!

How does one explain my souls cry?

Ever since I’ve been back life has been so difficult God has turned my life upside down and there is no light, in fact I don’t really know what to write about! The nursery is under way I’m also doing a course but it’s not what I want to do… to say I’m unhappy is an under statement. To have material things taken away one can accept Gods will but to have the children taken away from you, where your life is to work with them - That hurts more than anything else, I’m not asking for riches or for materialistic value! All I want is to be with special needs children and surrounded by those who have nothing and no one else wants to touch… is this so wrong?

Is it so wrong to want for another?
So wrong to not want to be married, have a car, a house and a boring 9-5 job at this moment in time!

I’m being judged for what I haven’t got... but only GOD and my dad knows what I truly possess and that’s not even worth sharing for those who judge me without hesitation.

There is nothing for me to write about anymore…

Monday, 25 May 2009

To us shopping is no longer a luxury, we have money and we can purchase what we want when we want! Our lives are no longer dependent on working for our cash with credit cards and other credit facilities.

We purchase without a moments hesitation. From the days of having a platinum card and dining with friends every other day the swiping of cards became 2nd nature without realising the true meaning of money and shopping. Since I been back from India its about what I need rather than want, personally I feel we no longer appreciate what we have, gone are the days when families sat together and played board games as they had no TV’s so spending time with one another, talking about each others lives spread a lot more happiness and love. I guess when you go to the remote villages they still have the homely ambience, the family feel and most important the principles, morals and values of loyalty, honesty, trust, togetherness and most importantly LOVE! Here in this country and in the more developed areas of India brothers have become enemies, family are torn, parents abandoned and people just want more and more. Why? When the whole essence of life is share with another who is less fortunate even if its without your own home. Its crazy seeing values brushed under the carpet and the drive & passion is all about money, status and materialistic items.

If you want to know the real meaning of shopping take our children. The spark in their eyes just choosing an outfit, or a hair band or any other little things is out of this world. Taking Ram and Jyoti was such a blast as they knew what they wanted…

I pray to God those who have much may your share to really reap the rewards of your wealth as you don’t take it with YOU!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

30th in India

Looking back at the photos I remember celebrating my 30th with the kids, it was so much fun! In fact I was so blessed that my mum was there too, apart from my friends back home all those who loved me dearly were there, my children, Biji and my family from home! My Nanny Ma is so cool, she too came to join in the fun, the kids decorated the hall, balloons and ribbons everywhere and dance we did!

Sharing such moments are pictures for life, instilled in your heart which no one can ever take away. Having memories such as these, children running to you to see you, to be missed when your not there is so warming to the heart! For those wanting meaning in their lives and a break from the vicious cycle of what we call LIFE, SIMPLE! touch someone’s heart. If it’s building a bridge with a sibling the so be it, smiling to a cashier at the supermarket or telling your mum and dad you love them without reason!
Anything that you do for someone else selflessly can really touch another’s heart and TRUST ME when I say no one can ever take away the amazing feel and the residue left for many years!

After celebrating my birthday my cousins from Canada fancied Dominos pizza so off we went, it was such a laugh! There were some games which we all played… trying to beat your cousins on a bike with a suit on was a mission but it was great fun!

One thing I’ve realized is … you can live your life to maximum, have good things and work hard along with being content and doing what you loved most!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Balwinder & Pooja

When I first met Pooja she heard a lot about me from other people and asked whether she could hug me… that’s it from there! There was no going back, she poured her heart out and began to tell me her heart wrenching story, originally from Haryana her husband Balwinder was given acid which as a result blocked his wind pipe and since not been able to eat or drink via his mouth. He has a tube fitted into his stomach and hasn’t had any solid food for the past 6 years, to say they’ve been to hell and back in a under statement. When they left Haryana they came to Darbar Sahib for solace and prayer, and someone mentioned Pingalwara – there they met with Biji who sent them to hospital after hearing his story and examining him she sent him to hospital immediately. He was admitted in hospital for 6 months and after all the tests and check ups, received a 16 hour operation after three days this proved to be unsuccessful. His food pipe and tube for breathing had amalgamated together making it impossible to operate which could result in death.
So when Pooja told us the great news of her pregnancy last year you’d think they’d be overjoyed that a life would bring light and happiness into their dark lives…

But to my horror she had been advised to abort the baby as she would not be able to support or look after as she has a sick husband. When a person is at such a cross road God introduces and cements relationships which we don’t know about at the time. With the right guidance and advice, she kept the baby and it was a beautiful moment to be part of! To know your part of a decision that could have been so detrimental and painful!
To see the baby born into this world… was truly heart warming; this is what I call life! To help another in their time of need! Like dad always said:

“Be the 1st to give your hand when someone needs help”

When I arrived at the hospital there were many women but Pooja’s journey has been that of pain and a lot of heartache and seeing the twinkle in both their eyes was a memory to be cherished for life!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Who is Paul Parji?

Well… let me tell you, he is the most gentle, warming and compassionate man you can ever come across. He gave me strength when I was weak, picked me up when I was down and yet says I was the one who gave him reason to live. When they say you attract only what you put out, Parji (brother) is most definitely a person I would want to attract lifetime after lifetime, he has served with Bhagat Ji for many years and is still a loyal worker at Pingalwara. He is has many roles but for me he was god sent for our children, he did all the painting and art work without any hesitation, the kids also love him and they run to him shouting PAUL PARJI, PAUL PARJI!

People were shocked to why he did all the work as when they wanted to get things done from him it was impossible…well my first encounter with him was at Baba Ji’s barsi in August 2008, I was being interviewed by an journalist and when mentioning my upbringing and dads love & guidance Parji was melted. With tears in his eyes he didn’t need to say anything else, I knew our relationship was to be for life and my place is in his heart had been cemented.

Time and time again I see pain in his eyes and he has many stories and heart wrenching situations to tell but he loves the children and keeps himself to himself. Many a time I told him to get a phone as I wanted to talk and touch base his response:

“Does God have a mobile phone?”

That melted me, and when I was in the UK he dreamt about me telling him off for not finishing the painting…so I guess we can still communicate without phones, computers and modern technologies – we at times forget there is a high consciousnesses above all else, which delivers messages from many different planes.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Haveli Jalandhar

Taking the children to Haveli was amazing, we had such a blast! They loved every second of it; the staff were incredible they remembered me from the year before! They were both helpful and understanding, so much so they made additional provisions for us, they put on a couple of shows (puppet & monkey) for us which was out of hours for them.
I would like to think by bringing our children out in the open people are more receptive and welcoming, although it’s a long shot not being stared at or given dirty looks. But I think we are well on the way to showing society at large that our children do exist and we are no longer ashamed or hiding them away, if you have a problem TOUGH!

Being from the UK we have more back bone and confidence to get our own way, with determination and effort we don’t accept defeat so easily and I think this is one of the attributes that has lead to both intimidation and intrigue. People want to know who I am and where I’m from and then ultimately who my children are and where they are from…

That is society - my children…Well they just loved to be out! Have a nice meal and then to top it off have an ice cream at Ansel Mall! To my amazement there was an incident with the teacher where a shopper yelled ‘URGH’ they smell (to my children) without being confrontational I approached this particular woman very well groomed and educated, politely asked her if she had anything to say about my children… DUMBSTRUCK that I approached her she was silenced! She will I’m sure think twice before she utters such words about anyone’s child.

It is such a shame how some educated people frown and look down upon those who are less fortunate than themselves…They forget the one thing that I was taught:


No matter if you’re a High profile business person or a maid.

I’ve also known those with little are the most happiest so the question arises:

Who really has the pot of gold?

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Holi - Festival of Colours

It was my first ever Holi, the festival of colour. I was under the impression that the kids played with lots of colour every year this however wasn’t the case! They were given some colour and played within their individual hostels! Well that was about to change, we ordered bags of colour, water pistols, water balloons and not to forget the big tubs! It was crazy and so fun to be part of!

The best of it was the kids expressions, smiles, laughter – Is was beautiful and to top it all off it was so heart warming t o see the special needs kids playing with everyone else, this again for the 1st time coming together without hesitation! It feels so good to be part of breaking the divide between the kids from the hostel and my special needs. Its not at all their fault but their environment and the staff that are employed from outside Pingalwara, they need to be de-sensitised to the fact that our children with special needs too do what all the other children do, from playing with colour, to dancing, from singing to playing games.

I remember the time when Gopi from the special needs school was going to give Gagan a hug, Gagan moved so fast and her face pale, when asked why she reacted in such a manner her response: “I was scared?”

But scared of what? This is what results are achieved when children are not exposed and educated.

My reply : She's smiling and so are there is NOTHING AT ALL to be afraid of!

Friday, 20 March 2009

1st time EVER!

Their first ever view of Darbar Sahib In six years Sona and Mona have not once been to Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) even when I was here for 6 months but to convince Biji but it was so difficult, she knows better than anyone about the crowds and their reactions. So after the 4th request I stopped asking, but in my hearts of hearts I wished I could take them. Then after more persistence I was allowed and my wish granted although they weren’t allowed Inside the main hall, that was good enough for me, at least they were able to come. They were so excited and spirits lifted they were on top of the world and it was my blessing to be part of…they actually said:

“Didi everyone has promised for years and years but you were the only one who took us”

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Back with the Kidz

What a feeling to be with the kids especially when they didn’t have a clue I was coming, it was so so touching. My cousins from Canada were down too and they were totally blown away by the kids reaction. I’m staying at the guesthouse this time it felt it was the right thing to do and the girls also have exams. Haven’t really spent much time with them most of my time has been spent with Sona, Mona and Chetan naturally as they too reside here in the guest house. The work has continued and the teachers are so great they are eager to help and develop these children which so vital. To have the right staff is absolutely imperative, so it was a true blessing to see the work being carried out. Biji even has them working extra hours in the sensory rooms for the little ones from the children ward, they love it in there. I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart my dear friend Sandeep and the Philadelphia Gurudwara who sent the tactile tub from the USA. It was so cool to see such toys and that will aide the kids senses too. Its amazing what a piece of foil can do – we’ve sown the seeds and time will tell how they will blossom…Cant wait!

Well my main reason for coming back was to make sure the kids knew I wasn’t another person who was NOT coming back, loving them for set amount of time and never returning back to see them. I know its cleche’ to say I told them ample times I am in their hearts forever but it’s the truth and they needed to know I would be back and I am.

If I’m honest I do feel disappointed that I wasn’t given the chance to go back for good but then God has a plan and its not always according to what we want and think we need. Guess God has a much greater advantage than us mere mortals who are just trying to makes ends meet.
I can only thank him from the depth of my soul for giving me this opportunity in the first place, for allowing me to experience unconditional love to its rawest form that I can cherish for the rest of my life.
Another huge life long lesson and been about (trying to) surrender to his WILL, at times this is very difficult and I’d be lying if I said it was mastered… far from it! The mind creeps in and becomes normal rather than spiritual and then questions everything about life and its direction.

I am trying to use this back home too but it’s a lot more difficult especially being in the environment I am and the people I am working with. The only way forward is I am doing HIS work and if he chooses to put obstacles in front then so be it. Its also made me think about my perspective about life, whilst here it was as though I’d accepted my life and not wish to settle into a married life and giving my whole life to the kids. Taking Chetan away for the few days the realization was I wanted the motherly feeling permanently not just a few months in the year but I still don’t know what the plan is.

That said I remember the kids running as fast as they could when they saw me again, had to tell them all to calm down make a queue and that hugs, kisses and love are never ending and enough to go round. Giving them hair clips gave them so much happiness it was crazy – what seems a little gesture to us means so much to them.
It was crazy Gagan is so obsessed by me, it so funny she has my photos plastered all over her walls in her room, she kept so many little things I gave her, empty chocolate boxes and boots witch hazel bottles, body and hair products MAD, but it means so much to her which maybe I will never be able to appreciate.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

My 30th and new Job!

Well after getting my guidance from Baba Ji, I’m both shocked and pleased to say that I am now helping to set up the nursery for the Guru Nanak Nishkam Education Trust (GNNET). It was so refreshing to hear the vision about what Baba Ji’s wish for the Nursery and the Education for our littlens, a care provision with a Universal Sikh ethos. A nursery which instill values and nurtures qualities such as compassion. Duty, Strength, a sense of community and Leadership & Nobility. This nursery will be the first of its kind based upon the Sikh principles.

Baba Ji teaches us:

“It is only through elevating the mind of the individual that it is possible to transform human society itself. The mind is an immensely powerful took with the capacity to be either one’s best friend or indeed one’s worst enemy. The mind is both the nucleus of the Divine power with infinite capability as well as the site of the hidden enemy that can propel one towards greed, cruelty, lies, selfishness, arrogance, hate and condemnation. It is the cultivation and empowerment of the spiritual mind that creates inner peace which, when collectively marshaled, can lead to peace in the family, the community, the nation-state and the entire world. A spiritual mind is conditioned to undertake self-analysis which entails a process of self-regulation and accountability. It does not have to be subjected to policing and external forms of regulation. It seeks an alliance with the Divine that helps champion the cause of sustainable peace.
Unconditional heartfelt prayer, with utter humility, is the greatest tool available to assist the mind. When imbued with godly attributes, a connection between the Creator and the creation is established. This allow us to realise that, in diversity, there is unity”

With such teaching and guidance I feel blessed to be part of such a project…

Although it my birthday on the 24th we celebrated on the 21st and Gurudwara celebration on the 28th as I’m leaving the country to see my babies on the 2nd march. The party was so cool, like me best mate bally said it was different parts of my personality sitting on the table, 25 of my closet friends and family were there and I wanted something intimate! It was so nice as my friend Anne came from London too, we went to the gurudwara too where she advised me to carry with the blog. I didn’t know what to write as I was no longer with the kids… but let’s see what the year has in store.

My beautiful mum shes my strength and courage to be able to what needs to be done, Dad being inspiration mum has supported my decisions even at times raged about them but always come through for me…

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Patience and Acceptance

All my previous students and work got allocated to different tutors so work is very slow, but thank god I have the agencies. I’ve only been back 10 days but it feels so long without my kids, it has been so difficult I even got my first letter from Gagan and few days ago, what a little beauty she is – giving the bollywood dialogues about trying to live without me and she cant cope without me… kids LOL!!!!

Her words took me back in the moment of her head on my lap whilst I was reading my books, teaching her to mail, putting oil in her hair - I first got there her hair felt like straw very rough and dry it was so funni I used half a bottle of baby oil and her uniform had a huge oil stain when she got back from school the following day, then she looked me straight in the eyes and said:
“Didi you know for the 1st time in my life I know what its like to have a mother, you have given me so much love I LOVE YOU”

I too know the true meaning of unconditional love and being a mother to many…

It’s been fantastic being surrounded by kids with special needs, in a school with structure – but I remember my own kids more and how different the education system is here. I’ve been thinking about setting up projects and placements in Pingalwara with student and the younger generation from the USA and UK, think the younger lot need to realise how fortunate and blessed they - Nowadays (sound like an old bat) well kids take everything for granted. After everything I witnessed they should thank god for a loving home and loving parents and everything else is a MASSIVE BONUS ..It truly is!

I’m still awaiting for direction on every aspect of my life, its feels that acceptance and patience are the qualities God has me practicing at the moment which is really hard to swallow. Thank god for brothers they been helping me out big time, I’ve noticed when god wishes to teach you a thing or two he will also give you the tools to utilize to help you along the way, so as much as its been tough its also been a time of reflection and an opportunity to accept my current predicament.

I’m turning 30 on the 24th before I left, me and the girls had discussed going to celebrate in Europe somewhere, my good school mate sarb also turned 30 in December, so she wanted to do something too… My heart however is going back to India, my mums making plans to meet with her brother from Canada so YES you’ve guessed I am going to meet my babies… I cant wait and it give me something to hold on to, its gonna be brilliant and the best part if I’m not telling them at all!

I’ve also been in touch with all my friends and Biji, they are my extended family, I cannot believe how people can love and embrace you like they’ve known you all you life.

What beauty ... BEAUTY in its truest form

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Human Spirit - my message

Since being back it’s been difficult trying to adapt to the pre India life that I left behind, again it feels like the same people, same life and mundane routine. Missing the kids so so much especially when I got home last week, miss them more than I missed my family when in India. What does that say? How difficult is it to feel your not part of the family you left behind, have no job and no car (brother sold the car) even no home if you look beyond the bricks and water.

I was really emotional 1st week even joined a couple a agencies 2 days later simply to be surrounded by kids, LOVE EM, their energy, that said think I was forcing the will of God to hurry up as nothing is happening for me at the moment. I’m waiting to see Baba Ji and see where my life will go…which direction…which path, but not allowed to know the answers just yet. I’m not a on downer but very alone and subdued… so low and behold just when you need a lift or a message from God my brother sent me a link. I think I don’t need to say anymore…

This guy is amazing, makes us reflect and truly believe that there is a bigger purpose to life. It’s just trying to understand what, when, how and why …

What an inspirational person with a soul immersed in the love for god and Jesus.

This is an amazing video on the power, courage and sheer determination of the Human Spirit. If you ever thought you had difficulty in your life, if you ever felt disadvantaged in some way, take a few moments to watch this. It's sure to be an uplifting inspiration...

God bless Nick, he is a reality check for every person on this planet.

I gifted his picture to my mummy and brothers… to remind us if he has fall and get up a 100 times why cant we????

Sunday, 11 January 2009

What do I say?

Good bye is a word which fills the heart with sadness and ends a chapter of my life at Pingalwara. I cannot afford to think like this as this is most definitely the start of a new journey, the beginning of new relationships and the start of something beautiful ready to blossom.
The kids were very emotional, they hugged and cried with the thought I would never come back. My friend Mandeep from the USA donated some money, it was the last outing of my beautiful six months and did the kids love it, I’d promised these girls and they thought I’d forgotten … how could I have? When they didn’t.

On my last day we gave out chocolates with the money so it wasn’t all tears, thank god for shades!!!

Guess it only hit me when I reached the airport when Navneet gave me an emotional farewell… so much so I was overweight by 30 kilos and they didn’t charge me because I was filled with tears, couldn’t even speak… (great way to not pay)

My life is very much a plain canvas paper to where god wishes to place me. Don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. But by god does my mind wish to take control and send signals all over the place. Sometimes trying to be still can be challenging when every direction of you life is not in your control.

I have to admit coming back here to the UK it feels so out of sync, everyone seems to be stuck in this rat race of life and this is not what its about, SURELY NOT!

It cannot be after everything I have experienced, miss my kids so dearly its only been a week but I’m ready to head back especially with Biji’s proposal but I need Baba Jis guidance and blessing to see where I need to be placed. Life is hard without my kids, my mum is even finding it hard to deal with it! I feel so disconnected and torn between two worlds.
Who knows where my life is going now, He has written my next chapter, we just don’t know till it happens. Nothing more to say …
I know in my heart of hearts this is not the END


Saturday, 10 January 2009

Love you and Goodbye ...for now!

You could really say I have adopted a new life here, a huge extended family with crazy little kids, the sewadars as mothers and the God sent friends here. Its been so great, I’ve been eating out a lot too so probably put all my weight I lost back on! Having friends from back home, USA and Africa was a true blessing, it was so cool to them my world and life here.
Pooja (expectant mother) and her husband!
I can see myself living between here and the UK and my life here has become more meaningful in terms of what I want from my friends, you need people with positive vibrations who lift you when your down and help you towards the light and not to mention when you need a shoulder to cry on.

Sandeep who provided the light and sound for the sensory rooms - GOD SENT!

My very close mate in india NAV!

Love you guys!

This dear friend is both deaf and mute always at the Darbar Sahib giving out paper bags, I used to take Parshad (holy food) for the kids. Never did a day go by where he did not shower me with his love and hug! WOW...

So blessed to have such friends both here and back home!

I’m sitting at the airport and filled with different emotions, How crazy! When I left England I cried and now when leave here in tears, the girls were really emotional too and a friend came to give them chocolates and sweets and sent me the following text:

“U are da richest gal on da earth, being loved by children who have neva been loved by ne 1 is the biggest earning to me, children who don’t even care 4 parents are crying 4 you”

My biggest blessing is I came to pingalwara as a SISTER and leave as a MOTHER. What more can be said of the relationship I share with my babies?

No one can ever take that away from us – just going to miss them so much.