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 Life, Personal Musings, poetry

Beyond the “Why”

“At times, more important that the “whys and hows” of the situation, is the “what” which can be done only when one buckles down and get the “doing” part switched over to the active mode.” June Ann

One of the highlights of this year, compared to the previous, is the immense amount of challenges it has thrown in front of each one of us. Some were doable, other not so much and quite a few put us through the wringer. Picking oneself and sorting through the tide, often lead to the question of self doubt and whether one would survive the onslaught. Surprisingly when one reaches the other side, in retrospect, all these challenges seem doable once we buckle up and break them down bit by bit. To get to that finale, all it takes is the courage to responsible for self and then deal with it.

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” Adrienne Rich

Many a time we may know not why did it happen so, now or the ever famous line of “why me?”. Reality shows that the answers to all these doubts that assail us don’t really make a difference, except to cause more internal mayhem. Each of us add a tiny part to the complete whole. The joy of that contribution happens only when one learns to count their blessings and use own talents or even acquired ones, irrespective of the adversaries that one comes across. Like the view from the highest peaks is enjoyed after an arduous trek; the pleasure,joy with the feeling of peace and happiness is what makes it all worthwhile. In light of all this, going beyond the “why” maybe what is needed to bring back the light into our hearts and soul. As long as we are here in this world, we need to “get set and go”. If the way gets too distorted or broken; redirect own self and journey on, for to find own self we may need to do so.

I Am
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I know not whence I came,
I know not whither I go
But the fact stands clear that I am here
In this world of pleasure and woe.
And out of the mist and murk,
Another truth shines plain.
It is in my power each day and hour
To add to its joy or its pain.

I know that the earth exists,
It is none of my business why.
I cannot find out what it’s all about,
I would but waste time to try.
My life is a brief, brief thing,
I am here for a little space.
And while I stay I would like, if I may,
To brighten and better the place.

The trouble, I think, with us all
Is the lack of a high conceit.
If each man thought he was sent to this spot
To make it a bit more sweet,
How soon we could gladden the world,
How easily right all wrong.
If nobody shirked, and each one worked
To help his fellows along.

Cease wondering why you came–
Stop looking for faults and flaws.
Rise up to day in your pride and say,
“I am part of the First Great Cause!
However full the world
There is room for an earnest man.
It had need of me or I would not be,
I am here to strengthen the plan.”

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, poetry, Reflections

Shades of Red

Gazing out at the fiery evening sky brings to mind the words of Francis Bacon, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Reality wise, it mayn’t be so. Even as the sun rises or sets, we carry over the fury to the next hour, knowing or not. Only when the dust settles quite late, does one realize the futility of holding onto that strong emotion of “anger”. Truth is then, at the moment of restless and fury, that anger was what felt right.

Certain scenarios in life justify expression of “anger”. Own credit transferred to the senior or colleague, inability of the other person to listen, the same error going on complete loop are just a couple of many scenarios that eventually trigger the anger wire. Sometimes it is this anger and injustice that keeps the inner flame burning, allowing one to move on. Yet this “anger” can cause one to combust and burn own self to embers. Such is the power of anger. Contrary to what most say, as per the writing as by experts in this field, often express the opinion that anger should never be stored away or stewed away. It needs to addressed and expressed in the right manner. And finally it needs to settle down, so that one regains the normal balance of own.

“26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Like the two edged sword that it is, anger needs to be used in the right manner and also let gone back into the folds of time. Dragging these shades of red, over and over again, makes one lose out on the brilliance and vibrancy of the other colours around us. True that being humane, things happen and one feels the anger. One needs to acknowledge, address it, reason it, use it to better own self but never to feed it, so this beast consumes us from within. If and when this anger festers, give vent to it in private, journal it and pray for strength and patience for the soul to calm down. For taunts and rebukes never help but self-destructs. Hold fast and hold true to the soul, for this phase of “anger” shall too pass. As the anger fades into the night, the next morning shines clear and bright, for a better tomorrow.

How Clear, How Lovely Bright
A.E.Houseman

How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.

To-day I shall be strong,
No more shall yield to wrong,
Shall squander life no more;
Days lost, I know not how,
I shall retrieve them now;
Now I shall keep the vow
I never kept before.

Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Photography Art, poetry

Out of the “State”

When in the mood for a stress release, the all-time favourite is to lose own self in books or literature of any kind, from novels to online reads and the like. Though on some days, it mayn’t work, among the options of Netflix, Spotify and so on; one of them is to observe the toddlers and above at play. From trying to make buildings to antics of monkeys to get the kite stuck in the low branches of the tree or the swing, the tedious hours gets a fresh turn. As far as perseverance is concerned, children to do know quite a bit about it, especially when the cookie jar is placed way up the top shelf or the aren’t in the usual place. They don’t stop till they get those delicious crumbs on their dress.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates

Bad days will come, but how long they stay, the impact they leave and their effect, all depends on own thinking and state of the gray cells within. If and when those “bad times” govern our thoughts, all hell breaks loose. And when they don’t get the upper hand, the rays of light filter trough the breaks among the black clouds and eventually the brightness stays on and spreads ahead. The point lies in how eager one is to get the cookie jar. When one falters, learn to pick up own-self with help and inspiration from the world around us. Eventually we do get to it, no matter how hidden or how high the jar is placed. It all boils down to what, how and when we think and in doing so, just believe and charge ahead.

“It’s All In A State Of Mind”

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It’s almost a “cinch” you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world you find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.

Full many a race is lost
Ere ever a step is run;
And many a coward fails
Ere ever his work’s begun.

Think big and your deeds will grow,
Think small and you’ll fall behind,
Think that you can and you will;
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins,
Is the fellow who thinks he can.

-Walter D. Wintle

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections

Solace of the Rain

“ Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Vivian Greene

There’s something about rains that brings out the liveliness in each one of us. Whether from the smell of fresh earth, the sound of the raindrops hitting the windowpanes, the cool air around each of us, the warmth of the hot cup of Joe to the maddening rush at the market, the splash of the tyres against the puddles and so on; the rains brings out a number of emotions and memories in many of us. With the monsoons still going on strong, the rains bring back memories of childhood, of paper boats to bigger sailboats; games of stepping into the puddles and the walk back from school, getting drenched and later warmed with hot chocolate and biscuits.

“I love when rain falls like wet curtains, layer after layer of perfectly shaped individual drops. It’s so easy to think of rain as a collective unit, one consistent and omnipresent mass. It’s so easy to forget that each raindrop is falling alone to meet the earth for the first time. So too are we. Always falling alone, but part of something so much bigger, so much more beautiful than we could ever be alone.” Tyler Knott Gregson

As the childhood days get left behind; rain brings out a range of emotions in an adult with the hassles of downpour running foremost in the mind. Yet amidst the clamorous thoughts, these rains remind the adult mind of the earth being washed clean and given a new lease of fresh life.

Rains brings to focus of new beginnings, days of freshness, rivulets of eater forming their own stream, the coming together of the various animals under the shelter to keep dry and above all, fills up the streams for the joys of swimming. Rains, one of the elemental pillars of nature brings with the joys of the rainbow.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” Ashley Smith

Let’s live, love and wonder,
Let’s believe, remember and regret,
From happiness to cry, laugh heartily
Let’s live, so as not to grow old in our hearts

Let’s just admire the
Fields, the sky, the silver of the dew,
And if it is difficult, still do not give up –
Go ahead without lowering your head.

Let’s be sincere in communication,
Honest in words, deeds and deeds,
Let’s believe, holy, without doubts
To live in waking life, openly, not in dreams!

Let’s honestly admit
In your mistakes, envy and lies,
Let’s live, love and admire –
Spread your wings with your soul!
Rus Svyataya

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 Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections

Challenge of the Dare

Surprises are always a part of life; whether they be good or bad. While the former variety is well received and brings about beaming smiles on the faces of many; the latter surprise does have it’s own benefits, though they may be hidden. With the local henchman unable to make the usual rounds or repair work, the sudden spurts of gales saw the old chicken coop falling down as well as the barn floor being home to mini ponds. The problem is repairs aren’t the same when there are less number of people at hand to help.

Nevertheless with the hammer and saw, we had managed to make an odd fashioned set of repairs, not pretty but viable. Then came the good old cans of leftover but fresh paints. The final end-result was five vibrant homo-sapiens bearing the colours of the rainbow. While it would have been easy to treat this unfortunate incident as another hurdle; throwing aside such an attitude and embracing things as they came, made way for another set of beautiful moments to be captured.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela

One of the instinct traits of man, is to deal with the downside in an air of worry, wariness and despondency. While for some of us, most of the apprehension and fear is washed away slowly as we approach the task at hand; for some of us it colours the way we approach the task. The strength lies in not calculating all the downsides and upside alone, but to keep the practical eye and will at hand. True that one needs to have a fair share of caution and apprehension; to let them colour the day would mean another day not worth the memory.

“Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

The dare lies in keeping an open mind and approaching any given situation, blessed or an upheaval with the attitude to persist and prevail. For things do eventually work out, as long as we rise to the challenge and hope for a better try at every given attempt over time. Thus will then one appreciate the real treasures that life has in store for each one of us.

“When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.
When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.
Dare to be the best you can.
At all times, Dare to be!”
― Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)