I offer my obeisance to you Rev. Sri. Om Swamiji🙏🕉🌺

As the year dawns, it makes me brim with nostalgia on this humble platform offered by you Rev. Sri. Om Swamiji.Even before you opened this platform I did try my best reaching you but I guess my mails never got through as the team did not feel it was that important 😊 and I kept bothering my Lord Ganesha to make it happen anyhow, and very soon I see your post on the site that we could share our bit here. I was all smiles. To the best of my ability I could share my Truth.   Keep showering your Blessings that I remain undeterred on my path of Sadhna  and bhakti with complete passion, compassion and peace and attain the marg that only merges in Sri Hari’s Divine Grace . 🙏🕉 Keep guiding me and thank you immensely for everything.

Being grateful each time for the understanding and compassion I got from the Spiritual family here and came up expressing my deep seated experiences of life. A very special thanks to Saadhvi Vrinda Ji for her unconditional love 🙏 Too simple are my words amongst  great, prolific writers with an equal great  control on their pen, from  every topic intense or light,  with immense vastness of knowledge and profound learnings, whereas I just managed to doodle and blend a bit of the hue of  colours of my experiences in the most simplistic words amongst you, for that’s the only way I know. To every writer here, thank you for sharing a world of bigness, for each of you were simply amazing and inspiring. Without being biased and pardon me for the same as I hold immense respect for each one of you, I was extremely touched and moved  by the post of Sushree Diya Om Ji. Sushree Ji you are so closely associated with the Gaushala and the strays at Sri Bhadrika and understanding their emotions on daily basis is pure Divinity in disguise alongside healing and keeping aside your inner battles is something supremely commendable . I have already visualised my time with you with the Cows someday by Divine Sri Hari’s Grace. To the whole big team of os.me for your efforts in creating such a big roof for all of us.  Pranaams to all of you🙏

My experience yet again, year 2017 
It feels good to share with my spiritual family here a beautiful experience of my New Year celebrations with some very special friends as they invited me to live some moments of joy with them in their abodes and I wholeheartedly and joyfully joined them.

My connection with a sweet Soul Rajni Didi  which I mentioned in one of my earlier posts just happened and so did it happen with  one of my good friend Jayshree . One day she dropped over the weekend before the new year, for lunch at my place. She would always would take extra efforts and make home made theplas ( a Gujarati chappati )  for me and carry it whenever she met me. A sweet soul who struggled to make both ends meet in her house, as she was out of job for quite some time. In her mid forty’s, riding on her scooty , she would be too happy to spend the time with me and I made sure she was relaxed at my place.  The best bit of her persona was she  was looking  after the stray animals of Pune. I met her through one of my friend who was funding her and I too offered to fund her every month for medication, blankets and food for the mutes that continued till the time I was in Pune.

Each day her early morning discipline was looking after her old parents, cooking breakfast and meal and then cooking for the strays  and according to her the seva ( service) of feeding almost a 100 dogs ( cooking chapatis, rice , carrying pedigree , biscuits and milk) and providing medication for them  each day after finishing her household chores was her only mission.  She choose to not marry, for the simple reason as her work may not be approved by the man she would settle down with. Loved her clarity as she chose her passion over everything else, though her parents were worried for her all the time.  It was a very emotional time last year though, as she lost her dear father who was suffering from a prolonged illness. It saddened me to see this girl missing her father immensely as his only dream was to see her settled in life, and that haunted her for many days at a go. Only when she shared her innermost feelings with me  I could help her settle and she could eventually heal her emotions and feel better. Inspite of all the turmoil not even a single day she missed  feeding the strays.

Where does she get the spirit from?  most of the time on the rustic roads, be it the sweltering heat or for that matter heavy rains, puddled or thickly polluted routes, covering her face with her scarf, picking up wounded strays , feeding and treating them with medication from her hands, it was not an easy work for a woman. There were endless moments of anxiety, emotional upheavals ( I know she would keep sending me pictures of the strays lying on the road suffering, asking for immediate help and I too would cater immediately to my capacity render help monetarily, thanks to paytm which was the easiest option). She would discuss how she had sleepless nights , getting visions of the expressions of the suffering animals and that would prepare her like a warrior or a saviour on job each day. Her sharing would echo in my system too for days.

I know I had and could never experience that rustic lifestyle for even the vision of polluted areas  is enough to make me sick. Strange how every being is so different , raised different, act and respond different. Though I always carried the flair and love to communicate and understand pets, strays,animals , birds so well.

Looking at the bigger picture yes , we are all playing our respective roles assigned. Some are good at feeding, others good at spreading awareness and some come forward with monetarily helping. But out of the three the one who offers service on ground level , indeed is the most applaudable. For it requires endless hours of seva ( service and care from the heart) like Sadhna towards the Divine indeed. Catering to their sufferings, them being left abandoned on highways or rushing the hit and run cases the ailing  ones to the Red Cross or  vet hospitals , giving a shout out to calling the ambulance in the groups , to getting them vaccinated, to deworming and above all finding and providing them shelter. The prayer of service is on all the time. Kudos to these ground warriors that I call them, for their unconditional love. I know till the time I stayed in Pune atleast the first thing I would habitually do is open the wats app animal group and check on any serious cases and then work accordingly. Not that I was too rich a person, for years my dear son is looking after me, but I would prioritise that certain amount must go every month where it was needed the most to helping the needy or to the need of the strays. And that would mean cutting out venturing too much ( which was easy for me ) cutting down on anything too lavish and I was happy and sorted. 

Trust me, the gratification one gets in helping and giving is very humbling a deed or rather Supreme deed.

The adventure begins…

The exciting bit of conversation over lunch at my place took a beautiful turn  , when I hit on the idea that I along with Jayshree and Nasreen ( another sweet stray feeder and also known to us) would celebrate New Year with the furrys, the strays of different areas in Pune.
Since both Jayshree and Nasreen  were too rugged as it was their lifestyle, they were young , and they never could  imagine I would offer to sit behind on their scooter owing to my polish status my given age ( 57 years) and living. So they wanted me to shelve the thought altogether.

But I  was hell bent on breaking all the rules for good and told them that I shall be with Jayshree on her scooter with my backpack that would consist of 6 litres of milk, and around 5 big jumbo size packs of Parle -G biscuits and pedigree. And they too would be carrying their respective backpacks and necessary stuff like bowls paper sheets etc. Jayshree and Nasreen would buy what they wanted to for the sweet strays. And we could keep buying more milk and stuff if we fell short of anything, as we could carry only as much. 

On the 31st night I was supposed to meet them near a big mall at around 8 p.m. sharp as that was mid way for us , for their homes were pretty far off from my place. I knew that I might catch a cold as the scooter journey/ trip would take us hours, to move in different areas. So I took the Uber cab and reached the mall. With my backpack full of stuff, I felt so great about myself ( but obvious, it felt I was on a big exciting mission) and reached just before time, which was almost 8 pm. only to find that both the madams had not arrived as yet. It couldn’t get better than this! Waiting at the bus stop, with that big backpack, it was quite an experience to be getting that rugged feel , for  I was prepared for anything , anything for my celebrating New Year  with the stray furries.

After good 15 mins both the ladies arrived on their respective scooters, with bigger backpacks . They always addressed me as Maa out of love and respect.  Immediately they unloaded much of the stuff from my back pack , stuffing them into their bags , even though I pretended that I was perfectly okay , also I did not want them to keep catering to how I was feeling or even make it evidently awkward as we were all one on this sweet adventure irrespective of the status.

The big task came sitting crossed legged on the  scooter and I had to be careful because of my back issue, but once seated it did not take me long to get comfortable and Jayshree drove carefully too.The first stop was  just few mins away, we stopped around an area, adjoining just a couple of societies, there were few strays and Nasreen and Jayshree were quick enough to offer pedigree and milk . After another few mins ride we ventured into an area which was very  dingy and dark. We had torch lights with us. All I could see was that whole massive lane  full of dirt. The stench was unbearable, it seemed like a garbage dump yard, with piles of litter on both sides of the road, seemed like the whole city’s garbage was dumped there for ages, nobody was visible , and my classy weird self starting questioning within, “ how come they come daily to such a place ? Are they not scared at night? Don’t they feel uncomfortable feeding food to strays amidst heaps of garbage of the town. The stench of that spot was enough to literally kill me. But didn’t I promise the mutes that I would be celebrating with them? And the celebration has only begun! I literally was gulping down breath at that moment. The energies were heavy out there.

Parking the scooters on one side of the road, both the girls chalked quickly ( as it was their daily job) how they would start feeding once the strays were there.Though I could barely even see a single dog there.

Nasreen took out papers and started to spread on the side of the road. Jayshree handed some plastic bowls to me to keep it on the side of the paper so that milk could be poured in them. Everything spread in different spaces keeping in mind to avoid scuffle amongst the furrys, which also comprised of bullys having territorial issues too, I was made aware of.

Suddenly I heard Jayshree, making some snoopy sound from her mouth and one by one the dogs started to come out of nowhere. All sorts, big and small. It was a little scary for me as some of them appeared like big hounds and I actually shielded myself initially behind the two scooters. But mustered courage looking at the two brave girls.

We quickly started to cut the milk packets, Jayshree took out pieces of cakes ( crumbled before hand) and started serving on the spaced newspaper cuttings, Nasreen started to fill the bowls with milk and I quickly  started to put biscuits on the paper sheets . Happy New Year! Happy New Year! was all that my head was singing. There was this sudden adrenaline rush, as everything was timed and done in a jiffy. Plus the big bullies were to be smartly handled . It was not easy ( for me, phew!)for the wintry night appeared full of heat , running around.

One area after the other we covered, the shortest lanes to the wide roads comprising of big societies to heaped garbage  areas , but yes we all smiled through.

Few of the dogs strangely were not drinking milk, as they tasted it for the first time, and it was so evident from their faces that they were deprived of good food . We were very patient with them and sweetly patted them to drink the milk from their bowls , which eventually they did.

I became a pro in dealing with the flow of their energy. Sometimes the dogs would friendly approach me , to be cuddled and patted. We sat on the roads to feed them, and I thoroughly enjoyed mingling with them.

In the midst of all we also made a stopover at a roadside dhaba (tea and snacks resto) had idli and chai, put on our mittens and scarves and set ahead to feed. It was sheer joy the hearts experienced as we saw innumerable eyes glinting and smiling each time we sat on the road to serve and feed some  little pups and a pregnant furry with our hands. They were moments of unadulterated joy.

Finally it was time for hugs and sweet goodbyes. I parted with some surprise gifts which I had got for both Jayshree and Nasreen and that was icing on the cake for me to see the joy on both these girls faces, the real heroes. They were and shall always remain true role models for me, in letting me experience the biggest joy that day.  It was almost  3 a.m and Jayshree dropped me back home as it was quite an odd time for me to go back  alone in the cab. But poor thing had to go back to her house which was almost double the route for she had to wake up early and cater to cooking for her old parents .

Indeed the best New Year it was for me! It felt like With a more open and giving heart, we  create a ripple of kindness and love in the universe. For there were tears end no of times esp. when I looked at the pregnant female stray and I kept bothering Jayshree that we need to find her a shelter. I carried with me not my emotions but their emotions their sufferings, their dilemma and prayed that each one on this planet is Blessed with food, water, clothing and shelter.

Reminds me of the idea of bucket list which was not prevalent during our times , unlike today. But  isn’t the bucket to be sheerly filled with inner kindness and  joy which we share in giving love, time and feel to the self and others.

a beautiful quote by Gary Zukov…

P.S. The bigger Joy… for good 3-4 days I was unwell all thanks to the venturing at garbage dump yard  areas I to celebrate with my furries. Trust me it is not easy out there for many in the world and all we can do is be kind and in gratitude for the Divine has Blessed us abundantly in many ways for even making us capable  to lend a hand to the one who truly need it unconditionally.  ( I realised that these girls were bigger monks than me) and  it was worth stepping into their shoes and the shoes of my furries, who did enjoy my company too ☺️I did it! and I am all hearts for them even the more 😊

I know and still remember lot of my friends approaching me after they heard my way of celebration and that why I did not plan and take them along. Good thought! We all must do it not just on New Year but on any random day make it a spontaneous New Year for the furries. 

Salute you, Jayshree and Nasreen and all those warriors who serve and take care of their needs.

Sitting abroad as I pen down my experience, we still keep talking to each other through calls and plan  to relive those moments once back . I will!

Blessed Blessed Blessed New Year 2021 to each one of you with good health, joy  peace and kindness abundant😊🙏🕉🌲


Some moments of the captured New Year celebrations with the furries, along with dear  Jayshree and Nasreen 🌲


The picture Of our Swamiji at the Gaushala I aspire to spend enough time here🙏🍃🐄

Thank you my Spiritual family for dropping by and reading the simple doodling of the moments of my journey 🙏

Jai Sri Hari

Siddhika Umesh