I was away for a while, traveling with the Book Council Singapore to the New Delhi World Book Fair 2016 as a featured author with four others: Conoor Kripalani, Nur-el-Hudaa Jaffar, Kamaladevi Aravindhan, and Susanna Goho-Quek. More about that here, and I’m grateful to the Book Council represented in Delhi by Kenneth Quek and Celine Chow for the brilliant opportunity to interact with editors, publishers, school kids and teachers. Book-lovers, all of them.
It also opened up the possibility for another fabulous experience, more about which in the rest of my post, an entry for the Lost & Found: Valentine’s Edition blog hop hosted by Guilie Castillo-Oriard, Alex J Cavanaugh, Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Elizabeth Seckman, and the one and only Arlee Bird. (Be sure to visit all of the hosts for this event. To find the full list of participants visit the list on Tossing It Out or any of the host sites.)
This is what they needed: In honor of an upcoming Valentine’s Day, we want you to write about love lost or found. Share the highs and lows that only matters of the heart can bring. As such, our question for this month is just that: “When have you lost or found love?”
Love knows no boundaries, so when i think of lost loves I think of two women: they weren’t my biological moms, but in losing them, I lost my loves. One of them was my aunt Namita Ghosh, who helped bring me up, had the voice of a songbird, and the fierce protectiveness of a she-bear. She remained a spinster, and at her death-bed, learning to let her go was one of the profoundest experiences of my life. The other one was my mother in law, Anuradha Biswas, joy, positivity and kindness personified, who we lost untimely to a random accident.
Both their deaths affected me. Both blocked my writing for months, if not years. But in recent times, I’ve found a way to a measure of their love: by loving those who have no reason or cause to love me. It is true that opening your heart to compassion gives you more peace and fulfillment than any other activity or emotion. I still haven’t been able to give of myself to the point that giving hurts, but I hope to get there some day. After all, isn’t that part of what love is all about?
Which brings us to the second part of my Delhi trip, at the Project Why nonprofit, set up by Anouradha Bakshi. I’ve written about her before, here and here. What I’ve lost of my family in the past years, I think Project Why is now helping me find, in terms of love, joy, positivity, songs, laughter. Above are some pictures of my Dehli trip, where I taught spoken English to the teachers, most of them halting speakers of the language. They laughed at me and with me, followed vocal exercises and learned to breathe, and finished it off with an afternoon of stories, song and laughter. More details about these remarkable teachers, here.
My Valentines this year are all the kids, teachers, staff and the inimitable founder of Project Why, Anouradha Bakshi, who has done so much for so many and never asked for a thing in return. For more details on this excellent organization check their Facebook page and website.
What about you? What loves have you lost? Have you ever found your way back to them? How did you do it?
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