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 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

In the Reflector

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” Michel de Montaigne

One of the benefits of having a little of self-time (with a couple of hours of commute transferred in), is one gets to “lose the cloak”. The cloak of conformity, that is. Not to get completely on the other side, we all need a little of those rules, standards or laws in our lives. A little of “that formalism” is needed. But once we cross-over the lines and things will get blurred, the way be lost in the course of time.

“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” Rita Mae Brown

Whether they be rules or not, being comfortable and right within our own skin is a must. For the heart that beats within, it is the balance of the soul and mind which gives the former, a rhythm to beat to. More irregularities in that beat will cause frequent falls. Yet, when the balance is struck right, the beats fall into place. For all this, to be true to own self is foremost along with being kind and be humane. Once when the inner conscience and self is clear, the rest will settle in. As the mirror on the wall always says, to stay happy, smile from with with a clear heart, mind and soul, always.

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

The Man In The Glass
Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, poetry, Reflections

Add them Up

For one to realize the frailty of life versus time given to one, scanning the first few pages of the newspaper is enough, or just listen to the morning news hour. For some who thought they had time, there wasn’t any. Whereas others have been blessed with a second chance, good or bad, only time knows the final outcome. Through all this one realizes how blessed one has been. In fact, these thought bring out the true meaning of what “we have never realized”.

One never realizes how blessed one has been with a job or any form of employment, till the day the wages stop coming and the money is out of hand. One never knows the gift of a family, unless they come back to an empty set of rooms with no voices, but only those of the media. One never realizes how much they were blessed with their own path to walk and friends to visit, until they are forced to confine within. Instead of realizing the simple gifts of time and life as a whole, we crib that theatres are shut, malls are out and we are all stuck.

“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.” Mike Dooley

True that life may put one in a bind at times. Yet for every things there aren’t just one or two but many sides which can be explored. While we crib about what we may have missed out on, learn not to lose out on what we have right now. if one had to truly measure up the gifts we have been blessed with, the list made would put out the “so called better things” out with a whiff. As time shows us how fickle she can be with life, let each day be a highlight of the gifts that she offers us, put to use and not left behind in the chase for the perceived better.

How Much Would This Cost?
Courtland W. Sayers

One midnight deep in starlight still
I dreamed that I received this bill:
…………..In account with life:
Five thousand breathless dawns all new;
Five thousand flowers fresh in dew;
Five thousand sunsets wrapped in gold;
One million snowflakes served ice cold,
Five quiet friends; one baby’s love;
One white-mad sea with clouds above;
One hundred music-haunted dreams
Of moon drenched roads and hurrying streams,
One June night in a fragrant wood;
One heart that loved and understood.
I wondered when I woke that day
‘How much this would cost if I had to pay?’

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, Photography Art

Of Import

Hindsight is often a painful thing, but in retrospect a gift in disguise. Unfortunately, the latter bit is well appreciated years later.

The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What one needs to remember that the thoughts running through, song whistled or felt in the morning, doesn’t mean much in what is it. Instead it holds a special place for it gave wings to fly for the whole day.

Whether it be a big house or a small one, as long as it is a “home”, it is indeed a blessing to feel so.

If it follows that one is alone or by self for now, or enfolded by family and friends, more than the style or way we live, embracing life as a harmony of sensations. Of the sparkling moments evened out by the more mundane, dull or unsavoury ones; life is to be lived and felt as a whole.

More than the words that float about us around us, unless one deeply knows who they are from within; life along with her best parts and gifts may be lost in the wind.

More than that, over time, one realizes that we are a part of a bigger fabric. Each of us holds a special song, a tune or a turn; part of a special thread. This is felt by the heart and soul living within each of us. All this is what makes one, every now and then, be able to thaw out the iciness and bring in the gentleness in the world that surrounds us. As time refines us, one realizes that these are the things that really matter the most.

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 Family and Society, Life, poetry, Reflections

After the Stay

Switching by-lanes while on the long awaited drive to the office, courtesy of the slow lock-down restrictions being eased; the traffic queues were no longer an impatient. To see various expressions through the eyes, behind the masks, movement across the roads as well as the small flow of people, the feeling of belonging to a social structure was there. One never realizes how relevant each minute of our life is, unless we have been deprived of the routine. While the lock-down had seen the start of new routines, techniques and ventures; it has also opened up a whole new meaning to being complete from within.

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” Anne Frank

Staying in a place, and trying to phase out the schedule between work and home was no mean feat. Bringing the benefit of being closer as a family, exploring new interests or simply picking where one had left off like a project started years ago, brought back the essence of family and helped to re tune ourselves. On the other hand, the camaraderie at the work place, the weekly meet-up between local friends and interacting with the local townsfolk were some events which weren’t the same, even when done through video-conferencing or through social media. Fact is, those were some of the things sorely missed.

Human Interactions. It is what makes each of our days special and complete. As we hear and watch the experiences of others, we learn not just a lot about them, but also open up a fresh insight into ourselves and things to ponder about. While the past few weeks have been a time of finding oneself, setting new challenges as well as getting back in touch with ourselves; donning the masks and learning to blend in with the situation and re-enter society within the limits of the new guidelines teaches us how fragile and precious each second of the day is.

Slowly reentering back into the routine, the changes brought on will stay; but they have also taught us a lot about being human. Which is why, to be gracious and being kind should be always a part of our innate nature. And as we try to do so, we heal within and start off each bend in the road, with courage and stength with the promise of an experience worth our while in the world that we live in.

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

And People Stayed Home

And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and stopped
and listened deeper
someone meditated
someone prayed
someone danced
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended

and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.

Kathleen O’Meara (1839–1888)
(This poem was written by an Irish-French Catholic writer, Kathleen O’Meara (Dublin 1839 – Paris 1888), who also wrote under the pen name of Grace Ramsay, and is to be found in her novel Iza’s Story, set against the background of the Polish struggle against the occupation and partition of their country in various stages by Russia, Austria and Prussia from 1772 onwards. She compares the Polish-Russian situation to the Irish-British situation. For the present, this poem when set against the background of present makes way for a thought provoking read.)