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…

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Beyond the Glimpse

“Look beneath the surface; let not the several quality of a thing nor its worth escape thee.” Marcus Aurelius

The neighbourhood had seen a new couple settling into their recently bought villa. Like all small town neighbourhood, this one was no different. Next door neighbours had visited the new couple, pleasantries were exchanged and information was relayed on to the rest of the community. With the husband’s regular job being certified at the town hall office; the two of them were enfolded into the community social gatherings. A little later, few neighbours as well as the police had observed that lights were always on at the far east corner of the house at wee hours of the night. Follow this up with a moving van making an appearance on their lawn with no adverts on them. When this instance was observed by many over the next couple of weeks; the curiously, speculation and gossip grew leaps and bounds. Yet no one directly discussed it with them. Finally with the boss of the young man came to know about this, questions were asked. Imagine the local neighbourhood surprise to know that his wife was an upcoming artist with her first gallery viewing to be set up in the state capital shortly. With the curiosity abated, the neighbourhood became quiet again.

“Supposing is good, but finding out is better.” Mark Twain

The above neighbourhood scenario was from one of my siblings’ account. Neighborhoods like these are quite common, though happening in various degrees or shades. The adult mind tends to speculate, exaggerate and judge a lot. From people to cars, houses, furniture and many more, opinion are tossed around without any prior research or knowledge. Many a time, these opinions are what is taken for the hard truth. Little does one break the “shell of supposed view” to discover the reality hidden beneath. When these myopic view is perpetually transferred to how one views people, then social life becomes difficult. Each person has their own reason or story to say. It is only when the various versions are heard, does the story have a complete ending. Live and let live. Going by the cover of the presumed and assumed, very often hides the exact reality. When the error made is discovered and rectified, it may be too late to set things back on the right track.

“It’s easy to look back and see it, and it’s easy to give the advice. But the sad fact is, most people don’t look beneath the surface until it’s too late.” Wendelin Van Draanen

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay vessels. It was like someone had rolled balls of clay and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone! Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay vessels. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
Author Unknown

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Random Thoughts

Remembrances over Time

“I believe that without memories there is no life, and that our memories should be of happy times.” Lee Radziwill

With a long weekend break round the corner, it was time to pack off for the stay at the family homestead, where the original family farm was still running strong and where the golden memories of childhood lay. One of the reasons for planning this long overdue stay was for the children to bond with their extended family, spend some time away from the city and live simple, minus the video games, mobile phones, laptops and the like. Although there was an initial resistance, they loved their time spent outdoors with the cattle, gardening, late summer berry picking, early morning fishing and the quiet evening of family games. Seeing their carefree laughter and fun, at times one wishes that they could live their best moments of life once again. That weekend reminded me of the fact that, time only moves forward and ahead, but never backwards.

“Don’t you wish you could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever?” Sarah Addison Allen

Most of us have our own cache of memories, some meant for bringing the inner peace during troubled times, some as a solace during the trying days and some that just pop up randomly during self doubt. Like the seasons that change, each one of us make memories every single moment. The innocent “don’t forget to call when you reach”, “take care “, “travel safe” and so on, echo the presence of pleasant feelings when these words surface in the memory. At times, even when the scenarios have changed, these instant memories and candid moments are those which stay on. It doesn’t take much to make each day memorable. A lot of kindness, dash of love, attention and peace, laced with a fresh sense of humour, humaneness and honesty makes treasured moments from each day of life, changing our own lives and those around us subtly and silently.

“Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.” Willa Cather

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”
J.R.R. Tolkien

I Sit Beside the Fire and Think is a song by Bilbo Baggins, which he sang softly in Rivendell on 24 December T.A. 3018, the evening before the Fellowship of the Ring set out upon their quest. Bilbo sang the song in the presence of Frodo, after giving Frodo the mithril-coat and Sting. The song is a contemplative piece, sung by a now-aging hobbit recalling past events that ends in anticipation of hearing returning friends.

“Long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” Helen Keller

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World, Work

Stay on the Course

“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” C. S. Lewis

The seventh rejection is often hard. Especially for a young couple who want to start their own bakery and chocolatier. Though ideas are plenty, talent is present; getting a bank loan as well as rental premises in the right place for a start-up is as important as skill and talent. In addition to it, getting funds for the best raw ingredients is what matters the most. When approaching for a loan, the few initial rejections may sting a bit; yet when it happens too frequently it takes courage to stick on to the plan and find alternatives. At times, in those moments, it is the family, neighbourhood and community that help initially till better options become available. Yet, even in their absence, finding alternate jobs as well as using available resources for starting small scale is what later makes the big dreams feasible.

“The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.” Dale Carnegie

Many of us, have similar plans or ventures, whether they be setting a shop with known or innate talents, building a new skill (like tapestry, crocheting) or exploring new ventures; obstacles are bound to be there. Staying on, despite the constant brick walls popping up, the hidden taunts, open criticism and judgmental nods, makes the final achievement more sweet. Keeping the latter alone in the forefront won’t make a difference. Being dedicated and focused on the dream itself and not the glory, reward or fame of succeeding is what makes most dreams come true. Success is secondary to mental and emotional satisfaction.

Inspiring stories are always there to be seen from the lives of the people around us, of the present and the past. As William S. Banowsky stated, the story behind one of the greatest leaders of the 19th century is one of dogged persistence in the face of repeated setbacks.
In 1831 he failed in business.
In 1832 he was defeated for the state legislature.
In 1833 he failed again in business.
In 1834 he was elected to the state legislature.
In 1835 his sweetheart died.
In 1836 he had a nervous breakdown.
In 1838 he was defeated for Speaker.
In 1840 he was defeated for Elector.
In 1843 he was defeated for Congress.
In 1846 he was elected for one term to Congress.
In 1848 he was defeated again for Congress.
In 1855 he was defeated for the Senate.
In 1856 he was defeated for Vice President.
In 1858 he was defeated again for the Senate.
In 1860 he, finally, was elected President of the United States. And these are just a few of the rough spots in the life of Abraham Lincoln.

“If God closes a door AND a window, consider the fact that it might be time to build a whole new house.” Mandy Hale

Sitting back and just brooding over the setbacks with pessimism, dejected and down-heartened mood will not make things better. Instead try to improvise, find alternative means, work hard, keep the faith and try again from a different angle. Learning from mistakes isn’t easy for self-correction clashes with the ego. However with constructive criticism, corrective measures may be made for a better outcome. It is never the occasional rain than makes the stones smooth but the running water which flows making a path for itself, keeping the odds, feasibility and practicality in mind.

“The harder you fall, the heavier your heart; the heavier your heart, the stronger you climb; the stronger you climb, the higher your pedestal.” Criss Jami


Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections

Power within Self

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa

Unlike the monsoon rains of each year, this time the town had witnessed less amount of water clogging on the roads. May be the reason can be attributed to the spaced out rains as compared to the previous years or less plastic logging the drains, non clogged roadside drain outlets and the like. Whatever the reason maybe, the final result was better for all. Who was responsible for this difference? Whether it was the awareness combined with effort and environment humaneness, of the municipal workers to keep the roads clean and drains unclogged or less dumping of plastic roadside by the public, numerous cleanliness drives by schools, organizations, town corporations; better road maintenance by the public works or other campaigns; each one had a role to play. Each one made a difference in their own way. Ultimately, each one of us has the power to make a difference.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Very often, one undermines their own power, potential and ability to make a vast impact in the future outcome. A little child who is taught and does throw their trash in the proper bin subtly teaches a host of unseen observers environmental humaneness. An adolescent who is polite at the grocers’ brightens the day for the cashier and the customers in queue. A simple thank you to the waitress or the security manning the apartment block entrance brings a lightness to their weary burdens.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

One doesn’t need to start big or huge, need a huge barrage of resources, conveniences, fortunes or luck their way to make a difference. Being nice, doing the right and just thing doesn’t require a lot of effort or hurt the doer. Instead it sets off a chain of events which brightens the days of those around them.

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.” R. Buckminster Fuller

The Power of One
One SONG can spark a moment
One FLOWER can wake the dream
One TREE can start a forest
One BIRD can herald spring
One SMILE begins a friendship
One HANDCLASP lifts a soul
One STAR can guide a ship at sea
One WORD can frame the goal
One VOTE can change a nation
One SUNBEAM lights a room
One CANDLE wipes out darkness
One LAUGH will conquer gloom
One STEP must start each journey
One WORD must start a prayer
One HOPE will raise our spirits
One TOUCH can show you care
One VOICE can speak with wisdom
One HEART can know what is true
One LIFE can make a difference
– Author Unknown