Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Photography Art, poetry, Random Thoughts

Peril of the Chase

An unexpected turn of events lead to an intense manhunt for the “hardware store”. Unfortunately the regular route was marred by pieces of fallen trees, repair barriers on the road as well as plenty of water logged areas, all courtesy of the rains due to the cyclonic effect. While driving around, we had reached back to the starting point not once, but twice. Whether the told directions were wrong or our Google guide was sifting us through the varied routs, all we knew was that we were in a big circle. Eventually we did find the shop, to get the distilled water for the invertor; but being caught in that loop was one of the nightmare we wished that wouldn’t repeat.

“The thing I’m most afraid of is me. Of not knowing what I’m going to do. Of not knowing what I’m doing right now.” Haruki Murakami

Ironically we do chase a lot of circles in life. Some of the chases may seem meaningful then, bu then lose their appeal as one gets closer. Other circles entice one, but one gets mired in their trap, sinking faster than quicksand. Some circles are those that lead us downhill with it’s subtle turns; driving ourselves to the breaking point. Whether the latter is the end-point or not; only circumstances, time and ourselves can tell. Yet the best circles are wherein we have a little of the best things of life, in doses such that we get to sweat it out as well as enjoy the feel of life. The catch is in what one defines as the “things to achieve in life”.

“Oh what we find, when we stop searching. Oh what we feel, when we stop forcing. Oh what we receive, when we stop fearing. Oh what we become, when we just love.” Creig Crippen

All of us have a chase to do or encounter. While some hunts are worth all the effort, other mayn’t be so. The trick is knowing when to stop, review and reconsider. Doing so will help to redirect oneself, especially when the path is way off the intended course or causes more grief and sorrows, that the flickers of happiness that we want at the least. As life always says that she isn’t made of glitter alone. The pretty things lie in her simplicity and her riches are aplenty for all.

As we cry and chase the baubles, one should make sure that if the price of it is worth the effort or not. For these meaningless novelties may fade away, losing their charm and luster; leaving behind a void made of nothing but emptiness. To be caught is such a bind, is devastating not just to the mind and heart, but also to the soul. On the other hand, when one stops by the road once in a while to just see, feel and observe, the joys of living as such are ascertained and experienced for sure. And the chase for the latter is what brings those special smile on the faces around us as well as in the soul. The question lies in what are we waiting for, and the answers lies with us alone.

Of The Boy and Butterfly

Behold, how eager this our little boy
Is for a butterfly, as if all joy,
All profits, honours, yea, and lasting pleasures,
Were wrapped up in her, or the richest treasures
Found in her would be bundled up together,
When all her all is lighter than a feather.

He halloos, runs, and cries out, ‘Here, boys, here!’
Nor doth he brambles or the nettles fear:
He stumbles at the molehills, up he gets,
And runs again, as one bereft of wits;
And all his labour and his large outcry
Is only for a silly butterfly.

Comparison

This little boy an emblem is of those
Whose hearts are wholly at the world’s dispose.
The butterfly doth represent to me
The world’s best things at best but fading be.
All are but painted nothings and false joys,
Like this poor butterfly to these our boys.

His running through nettles, thorns, and briers,
To gratify his boyish fond desires,
His tumbling over molehills to attain
His end, namely, his butterfly to gain,
Doth plainly show what hazards some men run
To get what will be lost as soon as won
.

-John Bunyan

Posted in Daily, Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, poetry, Reflections

To Fear, or Risk

Watching the late noon sky darkening with an unprecedented vengeance, the sudden disappearance of the bright rays likened to the hidden uneasiness present around us, most of these days. Certain days, those dark depressing thoughts come unbidden tot he mind, turning out the inner exuberance, either in a subtle manner or with all lights blaring. Some days, one is able to stamp out those thoughts. Yet on other days, we fall prey to them. What one should know, the fight is always between the fear and the risk.

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” C.S. Lewis

Whether it be the current scenario or not, there would have been many situations when we had to do away with the fear and take that chance. On few occasions it may have been the other way around; when we lost the chance thanks to the fear. The funny thing about fer, is that it always a part of life. The wise thing is not to do away with it, but to address it.

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” Og Mandino

When we learn to just put one step ahead of the present foot print, we move ahead. But stay still or look back, the prints ahead don’t happen. It is natural to develop the sense of trepidation and fer, if everything will be alright. Yet dwelling in it for too long, doesn’t really help. It is only we gather the courage to just put one step in front of the other, that fear takes a backseat. Then we move ahead.

On looking back, one discovers that this was what “taking a risk all about”; the imperative to not let fear get the upper hand. Address our fears, but don’t let them hold us back. Time never stays still, neither should man with the huge potential and the gift of life that he has been fortunate to hold within each one of us, and be a part of.

Fear
Khalil Gibran

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

Posted in Family and Society, Photography Art, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World

Set by Own Standards

Restoring old family furniture involves plenty of planning. Depending on the requirement, design and the budget; the type of wood is selected and work starts at full swing. While some may be a “do-it-yourself” project, others require help from the experts. Which is why two weeks later, we had stopped by the local furniture centre to pick up our refurbished pieces. Imagine to our surprise when not only was the underlying rotting wood removed and replaced keeping the design and base structure intact, the upholstery was redone and the polish shining to reflect. While we didn’t expect such a beautiful restoration. The work they had done spoke volumes about their work ethics and principles. Regardless of the expense or the pay received, the work done went beyond it.

“What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.” Jason Fried

To do any task entrusted to one, requires one to be willing to work and see it through. Yet along the way, there may be unexpected glitches which may take one by complete surprise or they may be as or beyond the anticipated. The battle then ranges between completion of target deadlines to doing the project in the complete manner in the time available. Doing the job may be as per the required but the choice of going that extra mile depends on oneself alone.

“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.” Criss Jami

Not just as work projects alone; but whatever one does, one should learn to enjoy those little motions. Be it in making that single cup of morning coffee, washing the car, mowing the elderly neighbour’s lawn or giving a hand at the local fundraising garage sale, do it because one wants to help and do their best when in action. For while words and thoughts may fade away with time, the emotions left behind and the actions effected by them stay embedded for the years ahead. The care we have for another is shown not through words or deeds, but heartfelt actions or work that brings a smile on the faces around us.

“Even though your time on the job is temporary, if you do a good enough job, your work there will last forever.” Idowu Koyenikan

One day a man was asked to paint a boat by an owner of boat. He brought with him paint and brushes and began to paint the boat a bright red, as the owner asked him. While painting, he realized there was a hole in the hull and decided to repair it. When he finished painting, he received his money and left. The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice check, much higher than the payment for painting. The painter was surprised.”You’ve already paid me for painting the boat!”, he said.
– But this is not for the paint job. It’s for having repaired the hole in the boat.
– Ah! But it was such a small service, certainly it’s not worth paying me such a high amount for something so insignificant!

“My dear friend, you do not understand. Let me tell you what happened. When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention about the hole. When the boat dried, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip. They did not know that there was a hole. I was not at home at that time. When I returned and noticed they had taken the boat, I was desperate because I remembered that the boat had a hole. Imagine my relief and joy when I saw them returning from fishing. Then, I examined the boat and found that you had repaired the hole! You see, now, what you did? You saved the life of my children! I do not have enough money to pay your “small” good deed.”
Source: Social Media (The Internet)

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Stories Around the World

The Flight to Catch

“All our sweetest hours fly fastest.” Virgil

Every now and then, when school isn’t there between the turn of the academic sessions, we take a day off in the middle of the week. Nothing exclusive or exciting is planned. With the weather being nice, we just pack off a picnic lunch, couple of snack meals and then head off for a local park, hill top or just the beach. The purpose was always to just set the ball rolling and have some downtime with the kids. For the impromptu rainy days, it would be spent outdoor with paper boats, in the tree house or just a family camp-out in the fields.

We started this trend once we realized that each of us have our own tight morning schedules. With the kids being in school and we both, as parents having our own work environment, the family ground was just reduced to evening hours, domestic chores, dinner and Sundays. The effect was the feel of drifting away, even though evenings were there. Which is why, when things are light, we all pack off to make our own memories. For while our independent days are important with a mix of choice and necessity, these special days are occasions for us o bond better with each other, help us find our even footing in the paths of life and keep us connected for the later days in life.

Reflecting back on own childhood days, the personal cache of recalls not relate to travels alone but also of the impromptu baking or art sessions in my mother’s studio, going for long treks, camp-outs and the days on the farm especially during summer. Those days never had any fancy restaurants, social media applications or instant transfer of media, commentary or comparisons. Those days were spent on the moments. As the wise of those days knew, that was the gift of life and time.

All of us have our own hectic schedules, whether as students, professionals, part-time employees, entrepreneurs, homemakers and the like. While some of may be able to prioritize between friends and family, sometimes the distribution of time is way off the ideal for our own personal balance. While one may try to shorten everything to what is necessary and important based on social requirements; know that time is of a fleeing essence. It may be there one minute, but gone the next. Realization of this little fact works wonders in helping us balance out and regroup the priorities in their required manner.

Man only lives once, but creates memories and moments, meant for lifetime. When those of regret linger longer, it tends to wipe out the best parts of life, besides draining one internally. Looking back on those moments, when one tries to set their priorities right, the days become sweet, full of life, rich with laughter and treasured moments.

“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.” Margaret Peters

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground. “That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide. “He’s a fine looking boy”, the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.” Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?” Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.” The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?” Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.” The man smiled and said, “OK.” “My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa. She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get five more minutes to watch her play.”
Source: Social Media (via The Internet)

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Photography Art, poetry, Random Thoughts

To Live By

During my childhood years, we had an assortment of pets. From the farm dog Racer, our first adopted furry stray cat Straw, Goldetta’s ducklings whom we all had named and trailed around them to the couple of horses and cows who had stayed on. As the years went by, some of them we lost back to nature, few we had sold off and few new ones had become a part of our new family. Each of them gave us precious memories to laugh and smile about. Being sorely homesick in first year of college; I had gotten my first goldfish Angel. While she had lasted through couple of months beyond two years, her presence had lit up the unsettling days. She was someone who was there giving her colour to the dull days and swimming her lively greeting in circles while she was around.

As we enter the real-life working world, one realizes that school and college were just camping grounds. Entering into the arena of office politics, work ribbing and general chaos; one discovers that unless one holds true to own self, one could themselves dissolve into complete chaos.

“You gotta find your best self and when you do, you gotta hold on to it for dear life.” Cheryl Strayed

Regardless of circumstances, life teaches us to live through the situation, adapting with fine changes and make the best of our days. While one may never reach the heights or society defined pinnacle of success, staying happy is what matters. Holding onto the inner faith, honour and principle is what makes the best guilt-free and priceless memories. Instead of holding each day by the list of to-do’s or the projects to achieve alone; each day should be embraced with the promise to just enjoy the hours.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt

Each of us have our own colour to add to the canvas. While for sometimes they may be dull, other days those are the very colours that may brighten up the days for those around us. When all the colours come together and the canvas unrolled, that painting leaves a mark in each of the lives that surround us.

My Creed
by Edgar A. Guest

To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honor still;

To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory.

To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I’m alone
As when my every deed is known;

To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.

To leave some simple mark behind
To keep my having lived in mind;
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,

To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.
This, I believe, is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.

 

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World

Correct the Curve

With the option of working from home for a couple of days a week going into effect this month, somehow we had ended up being in-charge for my niece and nephews along with our own. The reason being that the social isolation, especially from parks and grounds, would be best observed here with us. Thus with their school break starting here, home now equates to managing a playground while working in shifts. So when cries of “he took my car” versus “the girls broke into our tree-house” , it’s like holding the court at home.

Along the way, while trying to be fair, one realizes that one doesn’t need to take sides to meet out their version of justice. For while they may be in the wrong, it mayn’t be a truly wrong thing at work. For it’s all about relative thoughts.

“Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” Paulo Coelho

Putting the concept of “righting the wrong“, sometimes focusing only on the person who did it doesn’t serve the purpose. All of us make mistakes. While at times, it may be a willful default that needs a severe addressal; other times it may be just a wrong turn of events or the never ending situation of trying to do good but falling out along the way. For instance, the pair of children who broke the window pane during their ball game, need to know what went wrong. But meeting out harrowing punishment, verbal or emotional doesn’t help to teach them. Instead dealing with the situation without trying to pull down the morale of anyone, but not wearing those blinders help to bring out the right thoughts of behaviour, consequence and actions in those young minds.

“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” Maya Angelou

Being just, is not about me being right and the other being wrong. It involves being able to listen to others’ with respect along with their versions, claims and opinions; keeping the facts in check and seeking for the evidence. To right the wrong, corrective measures doesn’t require one to always highlight the wrong doer; though they should be able to comprehend their mistake. For education with wisdom and insight is meaningless. For society to move ahead, it’s not just literacy, progress and strong work ethics that matter, but also a civic sense and the insight to strength and teach the future in a manner worth emulation and imparting the right morale, ethics as well as the code of social and personal conduct.

A young man saw his primary school teacher on a wedding. He went to greet him with all the respect and admiration. He said to him: “Do you remember me, Teacher?”
The teacher said: “No, please introduce yourself.”
The student said: “I was your student in the 3rd Grade, I am the one who stole the watch of a child in the classroom. I will remind you but I am sure you remember the story.”

One of the boys in my class had a beautiful watch, so I decided to steal it. He came to you crying that someone had stolen his watch. You asked us to stand so as to search our pockets. I realized that my action would be exposed in front of the Students and Teachers. I will be called a thief, a liar and my character will be shattered forever.
You asked us to stand and face the wall and close our eyes completely. You went searching from pocket to pocket, and when you reached my pocket you pulled the watch out of my pocket, and you continued until you searched the last student. After you finished you asked us to open our eyes and to sit on our chairs. I was afraid you will expose me in front of the students. You showed the watch to the class, and gave it back to the boy, and you never mentioned the name of the one who stole the watch.
You never said a word to me, and you never mentioned the story to anyone. Throughout my school life, none of the teachers nor the students talked about me stealing the watch. I thought to myself you saved my dignity that day.

The teacher said: “I can’t remember who stole the watch that day, because I searched the pockets of all of you while my eyes were also closed.”

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Photography Art, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Being Civilized

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

The last couple of weeks or even months saw subtle to drastic changes in the world around. From being quarantined to social distancing, restricted movements, early school holidays and “work from home” days or few spending more “at-home” time. Throughout all these weeks, numerous thoughts, worries and emotions have been flitting through the mind. The worries of being affected or quarantined to the economic implications of the changes brought about and the trouble in keeping the domestic front active as well as purchase of essentials. All in all, these weeks required plenty of common sense, restraint, social consideration and etiquette.

“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Charles Darwin

Though the initial impact based studies showed it was the outlying ages who were primarily at risk, as documented by epidemiological and disease experts; later it was the chain of transmission that was under focus for it caused more harm. Technical details and contact tracing were done. Then the most difficult part was convincing the need to restrict and make an effort to break the chain. One of the lessons learned from the society where the epidemiological disease curve had flattened out, was the collective effort of those who were part of the chain.

When each and every member of the social strata, be it the young or the old, the healthy or those with underlying diseases came together to support each other; the curve began to flatten out. Each one knew the role they played and strove to protect the other. It was the humane concern that underlined their activity over the next few weeks.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr

Being civilized is defined not by how many degrees one has or the per-capita income alone. the civilized society is defined how each member of the herd contributes to keeping the network strong, safe and protected for all. When one vested group sticks tot heir interests of their own, it harms the social fabric. While the harm may seem to be to one side; on the long run the harm caused may directly or indirectly affect all the social levels. The worth of the civilization lies in how all the members face any crisis on their respective fronts. For that is what makes the human different, from not being blinded by their inherent and primal instinct; but to bring together and forward their social structure as a whole.

“Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.

But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.
A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.”

We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.”

Ira Byock, in his book The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life (Avery, 2012)