Matters of the heart- The New Indian Express

Matters of the heart- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

Oormi was the name of my grandparents’ home in Bhubaneshwar. A rambling, slightly mad house set in the middle of fruit orchards. The first sight to greet my sleepy five-year-old eyes would be the fluorescent pink bottom of a langur on a guava tree. And the heavily tattooed face of Jaba, the gorgeous tribal woman who had a hut near the banana tree-canopied section of the garden, near the well. She would stick a beedi in her teeth and grin at me…ear to ear. A tangle of tattoos, chunky silver jewellery and white teeth in a cloud of beedi smoke… I thought Jaba was the coolest woman I knew. Soon, I would walk into the other rooms of the house and get enveloped in the cacophony of Bangla, Odia and English. Courtyards, kitchens, puja rooms, verandahs. Fish, flowers, Purohits, paans and my crisply dandy grandfather.

Anyway, ‘Oormi’ is now the name of a WhatsApp group for all the descendants of Oormi. I am an almost non-active member doing just enough token emoji birthday greetings to retain my membership. One day, I idly watched some tense messaging between younger male cousins. There is stress around jobs. Interviews and such like. Merits and demerits of companies and pay checks. I sense utter professional  existential confusion. I cannot resist adding my two cents. I text “follow the indefinable summons of your heart. It will lead you well”.

There is a flurry of texts from the young men. Mostly what does she mean by following your heart, how are we supposed to know what the heart wants.I don’t reply but this makes me sad. The heart is a rock solid guide. It is the most accurate computing mechanism. How and why have we distanced ourselves from its incomparable leadership. Instead of honing our intuition and innate intelligence we learn to suppress. Instead of celebrating our eccentricities and uniqueness, we practise ‘fitting in’.  We trade priceless creative freedom for an increase in monies!

And the answer to ‘how will I know what my heart wants?’ Keep loving. The more you love, the more you will know your heart. And the more you know your heart, the more you will love. Love… that’s all there is to life.

Anupamaa Dayal
This fashion designer is about happy clothes and happy homes for happy women

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