Thursday, March 30, 2006


Why suddenly Estonia? :-) Well, I had a visitor at my home from Estonia who left yesterday. She told me that most people she has met do not know about the existence of her country. She sure did add on to my knowledge of world geography. Without sounding complicated, let me see what I remember.

For starters I found this great explanatory map. You can click on it for an enlarged view.

So this little country is on the northern tip of Europe. Estonia was part of the former Soviet Union and when it disintegrated in 1991, Estonia alongwith two other countries got back their independent status. Back, because Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia had always been part of Europe before they were annexed and brought under the Soviet Union. Estonia is also a member of the European Union.

It is a peaceful little country, with 1/3 rd of its population living in the capital, Tallinn. However, not entirely peaceful. Although in many ways, independence is being enjoyed by the people, yet with the end of the communist regime, many people have become homeless and live on the streets. My friend says that many men have lost their jobs, taken to alcoholism, and therefore a lot of households are headed by women. The life expectancy ratio of women is more than men, by at least ten years.

Not to mention the under currants of ethnic strife. Estonia shares its borders with Russia. About 30% of the population constitute of Russian speakers who have been living in Estonia before 1991. Many of these people do not have citizenship of any country! After 1991, those who could speak the Estonian language (who included the original Estonians of course and some Russians) were given Estonian citizenship. But Russian people who are old do not have the capacity to learn the Estonian language and pass a test in order to get the citizenship of Estonia. They do not want to move to Russia as they have been there all along. So many people are deprived of citizenship rights. The State of Estonia has its reasons for not awarding citizenship to non-Estonian speakers as they do not wish that the Parliament should at any point of time get dominated by Russian speakers.

The world with its myriad made problems... is it as simple as that? On one level yes, on another level no. Yes it is simple because the politics is so clear – it repeats everywhere in the world with an amazing resemblance in the pattern (have'nt we heard the expression "ethnic strife" much too often), well no, because I wonder how long the wait would be before all people in this world can have a basic minimum for living. I wonder when there would be no borders and boundaries in the minds. I also wonder when money would lose all the sinful power it weilds.

Anyway, I wonder why I have to remember the depressing elements of everything. Do I? I don’t know why. Except that they are not depressing for me. I am consumed by the lovely picture book my guest presented. It is called “Eestimaa” (that is how Estonia is pronounced in the Estonian language) by Ann Tenno.

Even then I must look at the old structures in Tallinn which remind me so much of the ones I have seen in the World War II movies and I must think what must have gone on there during that time…

Also I am in a reflective mood today.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Isn’t she beautiful... she is Kamla di’s daughter, Meeto. Meeto “passed away” in Oxford on the 6th of January, two months ago. You know, I have never met her, only seen her from a distance at various gatherings. Yet I feel I know her enough to make a post in her honor. I have known her in these last two months through her mother’s eyes and through the eyes of her close friends, of not-so-close-friends, of well wishers, of people who attended to her, her teachers and every other person who came in touch with her. So I have come to know her through the many letters, poems and the heart felt pieces of writing especially composed by people speaking of their love and admiration for her. The volume and the content of the communications have been just too overwhelming. They seem to come from an unbounded reservoir of love and compassion somewhere in the Universe.

At different points of time I have paused and thought, what do we give that becomes so special, for others, to others, such that we are remembered in the most extraordinary way after we have left our space in the physical realm? What is it that we send out, such that what is received becomes a treasure for people who know us…

Meeto seems to have left some clues for us here. Everyone has spoken about her compassionate nature and about her generosity and humility. For love it is said, “If you choose more love in your life, cause another to have more love in theirs.” For many people Meeto has known closely, she made herself available in their happiness, pain, confusion – the mark of a true friend. In giving, she achieved the highest refinement of love: Compassion. Generosity is a part and parcel of compassion. Perhaps Meeto knew the Divine Law – that resources, be it material, emotional, intellectual – do not diminish when you share them – coz the Universe takes care of you and it gives you back what you give to it – to nurture it, to help it grow and make it a beautiful place. Kamla tells us about how Meeto used to brush aside compliments… all at 27 years, she had so much to give.

Needless to say, Meeto has been a brilliant student, her Oxford credentials say it all. But I somehow think that we are remembered in special ways for the quality we are able to add to life and to this existence through our behaviors and the way we relate to others more than our academic laurels or any other measure for that matter.

I find the connection between Kamla and Meeto quite wondrous. Kamla has always believed that every person who knew Meeto - all of her friends, all of Meeto’s friends, family, colleagues, friendly strangers, and the people who tended to her – had something to contribute to her growth and development and towards making Meeto what she is. She believes that Meeto absorbed the Goodness into herself from every other person who crossed her path. Her personality was allowed to flower unhindered with her mother’s support. Their connection touches, inspires, liberates – it is a connection that lives beyond space and time.

Here is a little poem sent by a friend for Meeto, written by Raymond Carver which I find is so endearing and lovely. It goes-

And did you get what
You wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
Beloved on the earth.

“Meeto” in Hindi means “friend”. My previous post was about Kamla di and I had indicated the weblogs created in Meeto’s honor by both of their friends. It is my pleasure to copy them here once more.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kamla di

She is someone who has been in my thoughts every single day since one day in January this year. She is Kamla Bhasin, Kamla di to me. “Di”, the short for “didi” is a term used to mean “elder sister” in quite a few Indian languages. I like calling her Kamla di.

She is someone who is dearly loved by the Creator and by everyone else who has crossed her path or whose path she has crossed. She has a warm hug, an encouraging smile, a forgiving nature and loads of wisdom to offer. She inspires one to dance and to sing. She can lead people to wonderful discoveries about their own selves, about the society they live in, about the Universe… wonder then that she has a huge fan following! Positivity moves with her like a constant companion taking her radiance to wherever she goes.

She is someone who works for social change, especially in the South-Asian region in the countries of Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and India. She also works with people in Turkey.

She has other amazing qualities as well. She can appear as a beacon of wondrous strength and be as compassionate as ever in intense personal grief. She has the capacity to give meaning to deep personal grief and channelise it towards new learning, positive learning, higher learning…...for herself and the hundreds of others whose lives she has touched and continues to touch.

Her dearest daughter, Meeto, 27 years old, a student of Oxford "died" two months ago. She chose to leave her physical body. Kamla di has withstood her daughter’s decision bravely and with indomitable strength. Because of the love she radiates and the compassion she shows, she is surrounded by friends, relatives and well-wishers from different parts of the world at this time in her life. She says that the love is helping her to heal; she is receptive to this outpour of love. From the give and take of this highest form of energy, has emerged some wondrous connections and deep and positive revelations about the soul, about life, most importantly about the eternity of life and about the immorality of soul connections.

Meeto has her own galaxy. One of her friends in Oxford wrote about Meeto in her blog in January and this gave a chance to many more to write in – heart felt pieces of writing which just shows how much she, like her mother, influenced others. These are the links to the spaces devoted to Meeto on her friend’s blog.

One of Kamla’s friends has created a separate blog in Meeto’s memory and honor.

I have known Kamla di since the past four years now. I have had the chance to spend more time with her than ever before since last month. I feel extremely graced.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Protests in the Air!

My sister K, who works and lives in Bangkok has inspired me to take interest in the present political scenario in Thailand through her constant emails and commentaries on chat since the past one month…. now I am on my own sustaining the interest. Well what is happening there is quite incredible. More than 2,00,000 people have taken to the streets of Bangkok and are demanding the resignation of the present Prime Minister, Thaksin. Many corruption charges have been alleged against Thaksin, and in the beginning of this year he and his family played with the legal system and sold their stock in a telecom company earning 76 billion bath in profits - all tax free. A no-confidence motion in Parliament is out of question coz his party enjoys 2/3rds majority. Also, he has a fan following in the country because of his populist policies (that has led to the deterioration of the health system and primary schools, of course). He has escaped the numerous efforts made through lawful institutions to bring him to books… leading to a civil society uprising.

Protest by the masses have been continuing for sometime but day before yesterday, in an overwhelming move, the people converged in the largest numbers ever. The demonstration continues... it can be viewed live at

Even though I can’t understand a word of Thai, it is just wonderful to see the organized manner of the protesters, the voice intonations of the speakers from the civil society, the beats of the live music and the songs….I also marvel at the technology that enables me to see it live on internet!
For more news on the situation, is where a lot of impartial updates are to be found.

My First Post - My Special

Thank you L.

L is a talented photographer, this photograph titled, "Lovely for You" describes my mood of now, and is a wonderful way to begin...

My mood... sentimental, thinking, creative, imaginative, chatty, deffering (understood as lazy), inspired... name is Amrita, a wonderful woman I met recently told me that my name translated in Greek means, "Ambrosia". I instantly loved it and it gave me the final push to open my own blog with the name - Ambrosia!