Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry

A Fine Regard

It was one of those evenings, wherein the dusk settles and the household has the chance to hear the proverbial pin drop. This happens not because all are busy on their media devices and accounts, neither the young nor the old; for each device has their own “fashionable noise”. This was one of those evenings, as all were gathered in the den, from a busy crochet pattern to reading the daily grind with the young ones engrossed in their creativity (surprisingly noiseless for a change). Evenings like these bring to mind, the days of my own childhood; devoid of all the “social fanfare, entertainment and modern knowledge of today”; though surprisingly rich in it’s own share of happy moments.

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.” Nicholas Sparks ( from The Notebook)

Many a time, the quietness around us is what gives the balm to the restless soul or aching heart. The sooner we learn to stop and live in the moment; taking comfort in just being there and around, the more we get to add to the treasure trove of “good moments”.

Life is not always about being on the move or turning all the pages of the book at once. The gifts or even opportunities lie, in learning to savour the moments and just stop for a couple of seconds. As always known emptiness makes a lot of noise. Instead enrich it with the quiet moments scattered throughout the day. or scenes like “these quiet evenings” is what makes the soul through the passage of time.

Keeping Quiet
Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about;

I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Posted in Personal Musings, Photography Art, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Seasons, Phases and Shades

“I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.” Anne of Green Gables

While attending the biennial workshop held as a part of the company policy on updating their employees, many of us signed up mainly for the chance to visit another interesting place. In fact the venue itself was one of the appealing factors of this time’s workshop. Based on the recommendations of the previous city visitors (though it was three years old) we had decided to visit the local famous haunts. To our surprise, while most tourist places had stayed on(or even updated), some of the local popular places like the delis, square gardens as well as city walks had changed quite significantly.

While the entire week went in a whirlwind of various sessions, trips to the local areas, experimenting with new dishes; our experiences were a little different from the previous accounts we were told. Though our experiences were different, it was a lovely stay for the season we were in.

“Even seasonal situations can bring with them lessons that last a lifetime. If the love doesn’t last, it prepares you for the one that will.” Mandy Hale

Each of our days brings in a lot of scenes, flavours and experiences. Our own experiences may be seen in a different light by others. While one may have a good memory, the others may share a not so good or sad memory. To pass judgement too quickly based on a single happening would be to deprive oneself of the whole picture.

Each event or person has their own phases. While one phase mayn’t turn out to be well, it doesn’t mean that it is a lost cause. Instead give it some time, for then one would discover that things weren’t so bad but an interesting experience  seen so in the due course of time.

The Seasons of Life 
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn to not judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said no – it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfilment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are – and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life – can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up. If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don’t judge a life by one difficult season. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts

Beyond the Wish

“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” Oprah Winfrey

When an invitation for an evening performance of classical music and dance had landed in the mail, it perked my interest. One reason being that in the digital age, almost everything is through email or phone messaging applications. The second reason was that why the mail to the residential address. On reading the entire programme detials, the name of one the dancers being familiar lead to the call home. The confirmation of the details came as a shocker. Yes, my fifty plus year old cousin who runs a boutique, children at university has decided to fulfill her childhood dream of performing a classical dance. The entire preparation was kept as a surprise.

“When you’re not sure if you’re following the right path, when you’ve been knocked down a few too many times, it’s completely fine to get discouraged, hell even defeated. What’s not okay is to stop.” Gary John Bishop

Age never as a limit on our dreams, neither has time. During childhood, all of us may have wanted to do that one art or hobby; but were constrained by limitations of time, academics, co-curricular or other priorities. Yet as the age matures and responsibilities change, it is up to one self to make he cherished dreams or desires happen, if feasible. It takes courage to do something new, especially when the world around as well as society put plenty of tags and labels. The truth is it all lies in oneself. If had wanted to do something with great desire from within, follow up on that dream and make it happen. For one can never be too late to fulfill own dreams, no matter how much the time or the age flies.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” Francis Scott Fitzgerald

Posted in Daily, Reflections, Stories Around the World, Work

Merge the Angles

“An ant can’t define shape of an elephant solely from its’ point of view. They have to unify all views. It’s a way for ant to understand elephant. In order to understand true realities, men need to do mental blending.” Toba Beta

Prior to starting off another major project, there was the brain-storming session in the office. As the ideas got exchanged, details considered and outcomes were contemplated; there were open disagreements on whether the said plan would work out. Although the fist fight had never happened, the flurried exchange of words was close to a verbal war. Eventually the project details were finalized and set in motion, though the entire discourse reminded one of the importance of bringing the different viewpoints together to bring a consensus to the decision.

“The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.” Brooks Atkinson

Starting from elementary school, there would have been many similar scenarios wherein a squabble breaks out on who is right. The hard part is when both arguing parties are right but not in entirety. That is when reaching the middle ground is important. Finding a consensus and appreciating the other viewpoint teaches one that each person has their different set of experiences. These differences tracks help to bring out the common goal when different views are contemplated and merged together with the understanding that each perspective is important in its own right. As the different notes get harmonized, only then the play can be set to music. Life is never made of a single angle or plane, but an amalgam of varied panorama, angles and slants. Unless viewed as a whole, each of us may miss out on the compete picture.

“We don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note. Only notes that are different can harmonize. The same is true with people.” Steve Goodier

When I was in elementary school, I got into a major argument with a boy in my class. I have forgotten what the argument was about, but I have never forgotten the lesson I learned that day. I was convinced that “I” was right and “he” was wrong – and he was just as convinced that “I” was wrong and “he” was right. The teacher decided to teach us a very important lesson.
She brought us up to the front of the class and placed him on one side of her desk and me on the other. In the middle of her desk was a large, round object. I could clearly see that it was black. She asked the boy what color the object was. “White,” he answered. I couldn’t believe he said the object was white, when it was obviously black! Another argument started between my classmate and me, this time about the color of the object. The teacher told me to go stand where the boy was standing and told him to come stand where I had been. We changed places, and now she asked me what the color of the object was. I had to answer, “White.”
It was an object with two differently colored sides, and from his viewpoint it was white. Only from my side it was black.
Sometimes we need to look at the problem from the other person’s view in order to truly understand his/her perspective.
Author Unknown

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts

To Catch the “Now”

After school hours saw pairs of little legs running in the ground near home. An unexpected cloud burst resulted in these tiny legs scampering back into the shelter, while frantic adults made their way to the clothesline to grab and rush the dry linen back to safety. As the hours had passed and the sun had decided for an early night, the little legs balanced themselves cross-legged on the porch making little boats, listening for the croaking of frogs and catch a few droplets on the little palms. As the night grew stronger, the night meal was in tune with the stories of the stars above. The entire evening had a feeling of completeness, contentment and unclouded happiness.

“I always think of each night as a song. Or each moment as a song. But now I’m seeing we don’t live in a single song. We move from song to song, from lyric to lyric, from chord to chord. There is no ending here. It’s an infinite playlist.” David Levithan

Happiness arises from the simple things of life. Seeing through those little eyes, on learns to appreciate the simple pleasures, gifts as well as beauty of the present day, in those basic minutes. From grumbles of early rising to their joy in discovering that one can make a bridge with their forks to make milk bubbles to their unfettered joy on catching the lady bug on the leaf before the bus arrives, all these moments while taken in a hurry by the adult mind, later in silence acknowledge that these memories are quite priceless.

Be it the blooming buds and chirping of birds, to the tune of Spring, the hot summer days of lush green and impromptu picnics or lemonade runs, the colured piles of autumn leaves to jump into and the wintry snowfalls with decoration of the trees with multicolored lights, paper chains and pocketfuls of ginger snaps, these captured moments are what grace the memories of childhood as well as lighten the adult mind.

One doesn’t need to go far to be happy. As one learns from children, happiness is always there in their own backyard. It may be in a form far from expected, but it will always be there waiting to be experienced and added to the treasure chest of memories. Isn’t it a blessing to watch it all, just to be in it and to feel the warmth of life ? To work for the love of family and prepare for the future is important. Yet the most important thing is to appreciate the present.

“Close your eyes, imagine that you are five years old, and look out the window again. Imagine that you still do not need to choose what to believe, because there is no choice – everything is one, everything is indivisible. There is no need to search for meanings, endow anything else. You still confuse “yesterday” and “tomorrow” simply because time has no cuts, it does not even last, it just is. And you just are, and this is practically invulnerable and categorically immortal. And a slice An amber melon or a mug of fresh raspberries makes you absolutely, absolutely happy … ”  E. Kasyan

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Stories Around the World

Travel with Faith

“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.” Paulo Coelho

Uncertainty has always been a part of our lives. No matter how many calculations, predictions, foretelling or insights may be given or done, things may still run out of hand. Through all those clamouring thoughts and echoes, finding a way out at times may seem near impossible especially when advice is poured out aplenty.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James1:5)

The young man was driving with his wife in a car along a dangerous road. When they drove into a very narrow stretch of road, his wife got scared and grabbed the wheel. The husband let go of the wheel, allowing her to drive. Then she was even more frightened and begged, “Please do not let the steering wheel go!” The husband replied:” Two can not simultaneously drive a car. Or you lead, or I.” Then the woman let go of the wheel, trusting her husband, and he safely drove the car through a dangerous place.

“He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”” (Luke 11:28)

Each of us have our own share of experiences through turbulent times. During those moments seeking direction would be easier if one learns to put their trust in a secure place. As likened to the mustard seed, faith can work well when the control is transferred into His Hands. No one can foretell with exact precision. Yet what keeps one going through all this fracas, is the inner hope in His Faith and His Guidance that things will eventually work out.

“I have faith that God will show you the answer. But you have to understand that sometimes it takes a while to be able to recognize what God wants you to do. That’s how it often is. God’s voice is usually nothing more than a whisper, and you have to listen very carefully to hear it. But other times, in those rarest of moments, the answer is obvious and rings as loud as a church bell.” Nicholas Sparks (excerpt and author of The Last Song)

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections

Rainbow of the Day

“When I set a glass prism on a windowsill and allow the sun to flood through it, a spectrum of colors dances on the floor. What we call “white” is a rainbow of colored rays packed into a small space. The prism sets them free. Love is the white light of emotion.” Diane Ackerman

One of the most important tasks as mother to a toddler is finding space for the innumerable handiwork with the colours either on the cupboards, kitchen cabinets, door or the refrigerator door (walls aren’t an option). Just the other day, there was a struggle to find space for “the rainbow” which eventually displaced the “dog and cat” on the fridge door.

Taking a close look at the rainbow, there are more than the scientific seven colours lined up. More than the aesthetic and art sense, what makes it more important is the love behind the drawing and to acknowledge the skills of the child, learning to appreciate them and let them grow by themselves, just guiding them and not pointing out or training them. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow depends on how one views it.

“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” Douglas Pagels

I’ll Paint You A Rainbow
Grace E. Easley

I’ll paint you a rainbow to hang on the wall,
to brighten your heart when the gray shadows fall.
On a canvas of joy outlasting the years,
with a soft brush of sweetness to dry all your tears.
I’ll paint you a rainbow with colors of smiles
That glow with sincerity over the miles.
On a palette of words I will tenderly blend
Tones into treasures of sunlight and wind.

I’ll paint you a rainbow that reaches so wide,
Your sights and your sorrows will vanish inside,
And deep in the center of each different hue,
A memory fashioned especially for you.
So lift up your eyes, for suspended above,
A rainbow designed by the fingers of love…