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WITHOUT WAX

the musings of a mellowed heart..

Thorns to flower – A short story

 

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On a fresh fragrant morning, the Bee was on its usual way. Humming a serenade and swaying to its tunes the Bee was in a pleasant mood. Zooming past all the flashing damsels, the bee directly went to the cornered Lily much to the daze of the praised beauties.

The little pretty Lily was perplexed too, ‘how come you are here, I have nothing much to offer you!’ the Lily blushed. 

‘Am sorry, I had been seeing you but I never made time for you. I don’t know, that full of life smile in you pulls me over to you today’, apologetically said the bee.

‘Oh come on, that’s the magic string you pull on everyone here. You are the playboy of this garden, aren’t you?’ winked Lily. ‘I have seen you spending most of your time with the Princess Rose here’ she added.

The Bee was baffled, ‘No no, like everyone you have mistaken me too. You think I only flatter and flirt, take out the nectar & fly away?  Taking out the nectar is my job and I must do it to the survival of my community. It is a mutual act of benefit. I help you in pollination and you help me with the nectar. In between all this, the song & flattery is to just makes the process beautiful for both”

“Now coming to the second part of your question, yes, you are right. I was attracted to the Princess Rose from the first day of my coming here. I have a heart too” the Bee confessed.

‘Then what happened between you two?’ curiously asked Lily. ‘Sorry, if it feels like am intruding into your personal matters’.

‘No no, Princess Rose undoubtedly is the show stopper. But after spending some time with her I came to know that she is the kind of beauty without brains”

‘Why do you say that? Questioned Lily

‘No, she thinks she has escaped the thorns to be what she is now. She even fails to understand what even the thorn was for her. The thorn had protected her all throughout her important growing period against her predators. She is what she is today is just because of the thorns which she fails to understand”

‘Just because of that you decided to move on?’ The Lily stooped low.

‘Dear Lily, see, in the prime times of life we tend to commit mistakes. Always we have to remember that when we had the power to make decisions, the decisions should speak of the character & not the power that one had. In case of  Princess Rose, if beauty is the character that you are trading for yourself, then that is when you start to lose who you really are. If I am not there she can definitely attract someone else. But, when she thinks her own thorn as a flaw, then how are you going to trust her in a relationship?

‘Look, as life’s beautiful moments are always short lived, everyone’s prime times are short lived too. What decisions we made then will always come back to us in proportionate to what character we had showed then.  Princess Rose will start to lose her sheen in some time. She will grow old & her friends will stop visiting her. She will only then realize that beauty is only skin deep and it is the character that really matters’

‘So what is it about me now’ I live the day & vanish by night’ smilingly cautioned the Lily.

‘I won’t mind that. You are the flower of light. You live your life with character. You inspire me & everyone who come around you that however short the life lived may be; it should be of real value & an inspiration to the other’. I would like to spend my time with you rather anyone here’ The Bee kissed Lily & they held each other for a long long time.

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Chaos in the cosmos

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The gigantic waves echoed

The myriad tongues that lived beneath

The vastness of blue waters

Mocked the milestones of the human race

The massive mighty mountains

Smirked at the test of time

Looking down from its pinnacle eyes

Furrowed its brow at the trumpets of mankind’s achievements

The colossal calm sky

Thundered an earful at the nuisances of fighting & terrorising each other

The man with his giant leaps in the field of sciences

Is just an atom among the bundle of business in the universe

Earth’s one playful jerk, wind’s one tornado game

Erases the proof of his existence in mere seconds

Man has created chaos in the scheme of cosmos

Wasting time hating, fighting and creating differences

It’s better rather he loved, shared and lived peacefully true to his heart

Before he just disappears at the flash of a lightning

kadala – chandire

 

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That crowded loneliness..

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He had soft eyes

That would crack open

At the behest of a stranger’s pain

 

He had a cheerful soul

That made him fall in love with his own life

Rejoicing his ups n downs

 

He had a kind heart

Giving max to the world around

Than asking for alms n palms

 

He was independent

Living his life

Troubling himself, rather others

 

He loved silence

More than the words

He revered Buddha

He loved peace

 

Yet, his moments of silence

At times, were those

Of that crowded loneliness

 

He made great friends and

It was his those moments

That he wondered

If he had failed to hold on to the ones

He could trust with everything in his life

 

He had a wonderful family and

It was his those moments

That he wondered

If someone could walk an extra mile

To pull him up from his toughest times

When he failed to handle all by himself

 

He made beautiful relationships and

It was his those moments

That he wondered

If he had failed

To keep those footprints

Somehow not being dried up half way on the journey

 

He had everything in life

For which he thanked God everyday

Still, it was his those moments

Of feeling that crowded loneliness!

If ‘The Alchemist’ was an Indian Novel

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‘The Alchemist’, a novel by a Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho became one of the bestselling books in history, setting a record for the most translated book by a living author. ‘The Alchemist’, follows the journey of a shepherd boy believing in a recurring dream, in search of a fortune.

The theme of the books is that ‘when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream’. The book teaches you to follow your heart, ‘Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure’. The treasure here is abundance in wealth, relationships, happiness or whatever your heart really craves for.

It is good that Coelho wasn’t born in India. If at all if he was born here and if he had written ‘The Alchemist’, the theme of the book could have got slightly changed; ‘when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to see that the person’s dreams are put down! He would have taught us ‘Never to follow your heart, but to follow your society’!

Now, don’t raise your eyebrows, let’s look at the society we have built around us. May be ‘India’ is the only word that is the symbol of our unity. Oh! Sorry, we fought on that too, we have a registered dual name for our country, India, that is Bharat. May be this itself is a symbol for how badly we are divided as a society. Divided by caste, creed, language, religion, region, culture, beliefs and what not?

We are not very much in love with the word ‘progress’. Our pride is not in joining hands and moving forward, rather in putting the other down & rising above him. Even if one has succeeded though his sheer hard work, we have reasons not to like his growth. The reason can be anything, that he is a muslim(a different religion) or a Tamilian(a different language and a region), in the absence of the two, he may be a dalit(a different caste). If it is neither of the above, he may be a junior, or he had been a classmate or a friend & in cases a brother.

This culture that we have inculcated in ourselves is may be the reason for most of the problem we are facing as a country. May be this is why we don’t find any breathtaking innovations happening here or may be this is why we can’t even rub shoulders with China in the medals tally at the Olympics. We don’t cheer each other’s success impartially without finding a caste, language, region, or religion in someone’s success.

In India, it is easy to follow the society rather follow your heart. It is easy to follow the passion of the society like being an engineer or a doctor rather than your own, like being a sportsman, an artist, a theatre person. It is easy to follow the society even in getting married. In India, we get married to a caste and not to a girl. In most of the cases, these ‘exact’ matches may be the greatest mis-matches which makes each other ‘adjust’ and drag a life rather than ‘live’ a life together.

As Indians we have lots to change. We are not able to find solution to issues dragging for decades together, may it be the water sharing issues or the Kashmir issue etc. We need to have a more opened up or liberal mindset to issues and solutions from the highest decision making levels to the lowest level and not to just flare up issues.  No individual, Chief Minister, or a Prime Minister has a solution to these problems, it is only though consensus we should come to an amicable solution. If we stop arguing, bickering and fighting and start discussing, any such issue is not very far from resolution.

We need to start forgetting or neglecting our divisions. In a mixed group of population, it is very easy to see people getting grouped themselves based on language, region, religion, caste etc. Never think about which caste the other belongs, learn the language if the other has a different tongue, get to know about their beautiful culture, festivals if he belongs to a different region, ask what the Bible, Geetha or the Quran teaches if he belongs to a different religion. Only India can provide you with such wonderful world of differences. It is only that we should develop a heart to celebrate our differences. We should make our circles on our interests and our thought processes rather than our great grandfather set divisions. Even in 21st century we can’t keep acting like we are in Vedic times.

We are all the same human beings caste into different divisions. No person is lower or higher by his caste, tongue, region or religion and no religion teaches bad things. If it does, it is not sacred at all. If God himself has created divisions, then he is not God at all.

At the end, we are all are missing out on a beautiful life, just by timidly following a society without even questioning the rights & wrongs of it. No society is perfect and it will never move towards becoming one if we stop correcting the wrongs or the teachings or practises which seemed correct then but not to this century.  We all have a responsibility being born into this world to live our life and gift a world to our children which is far better than what we lived in.

Let’s open our minds. Let’s start listening to our hearts. Let what ‘The Alchemist’ has taught to the world; let it apply to My Country too.

April showers

India Daily Life

The bereaved earth

Cracked open its dried up heart

The wide eyed son of the soil

Wondered over the counted days of delay

Rising mercury looked down

Fearful of its own altitude

Saddened winds wailed the

Burning flames on its own wings

Cradled baby sprouts cried for the

Milk of the Mother Earth

Grumpy coffee plants

Didn’t even smile for a Rajanikanth joke

The pulpy mangoes held high a placard

Say no to ripening

Hiding winged ants grumbled

Over the terrific traffic jam

Grounded water lily

Took to the streets for their upliftment

Clouds complained of the overload

Called for a strike on the last day

 

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The unnerved Majesty

Took his own cooling time

Playing his master tricks of distraction

Mesmerised with his brilliant morning and evening shows

As the uncontrolled clouds swelled on the street

He ordered for silencing the charged up clouds

 

Marching on the Majesties orders

The cold winds tied up the clouds forcing them to surrender

The Majesty thundered and lightened

Instantly firing the numerous striking clouds

The clouds gave in

And poured out overloaded grievances

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The drops moistened the

Barren hearts of the land

The son of the soil

Danced with his muddied bare foot

The scent of the soil

Healed the burnt wings of the winds

The raised up mercury

Had a chilling ride back home

Delivered baby sprouts

Cried out till they were fed

The coffee cherry blossoms

went for a colgate smile even for an Alia joke

The pulpy mangoes now

Didn’t even bother about an early ripening

Winged ants were booked for

Jumping the signal

Water lilies made a beeline

For performing a backstroke

The jobless clouds

Went for a lazy float

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The windows hid behind the misty veil

Eavesdropping the romance on a rainy song

Tip tip tip tip

Tip tip tip tip

The first day of the first showers

It was the April showers

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Manu’s Seeds of Poison

Manu’s seeds of poison

I sowed in all good season

But, never thrived on the path of reason.

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Naive the minds were

Prepared with the seeds of poison

He made the ground with perfect care

It was a maze, a caste maze, a varna maze

Once in it, it was all haze

 

At the centre of the maze

He kept his own people with a conniving gaze

Surrounded all around,

Each of the ‘others’ thought they held the ‘upper’ stage

 

At the centre of this great maze

The Manu’s men already laid the seize

Played the tricks, changed the boundaries

Rewrote the rules of the game

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‘Others’ fought for centuries,

Within them, with others

To be that ‘upper’

And they were never so ‘lower’

And the Manu’s men

Enjoyed the game

 

Minds are no more naive

Hearts are burnt with the truth so grave

The flame is all bright and brave

To burn down the centuries maze

That is standing so naked and alive

 

Without Wax

Ash

 

Navodaya Vidyalaya, My school, My memories..

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The richness of Western Ghats is better experienced than explained. Inside the womb of this nature’s beauty lies the sleeping city of Chikmagalur. Like an embryo inside, the city doesn’t hustle & bustle. All you experience is its tiny movements. The sound of breezy winds, a sticky rain that doesn’t get detached easily once it embraces the earth, chirp of creepy creatures,  rustle of few vehicles & rarely seen people, nothing more.

Here, in one of the remote villages stood like an old fortress, my institution, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya. Like other similar schools in each district all around India, it was the brainchild of Rajiv Gandhi, the erstwhile Prime Minister of India. It is where I spent most of my educational years and is where I have space in my mind for its strongest memories.

 

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I was just 11 when I voluntarily and proudly entered, for, I was the only one to be selected from my school! It wasn’t the best of the beginnings. I felt similar to a calf being driven away from its mother. I missed everything, my small village school, my friends who would treat me nothing less than to a king & most importantly, the pampering of my parents. Every night I covered my blanket till my head and cried. In every pause between my sobbing I heard cries from different directions! Only then I knew that I wasn’t the only one who was crying! It wasn’t easy to jump into a world of unknown faces, strange rules.

But as days passed when jumping out looked difficult- thanks to the broken glass pieces that was spread on the compound wall- it was necessary to make friends, wash your own clothes, and wash rooms & toilets on periodical basis. Human life is so amazing that it can get accustomed to anything, otherwise who expected us to do all this and get up at 5:30 in the morning & run for miles together in that shivering winter?

As new friends emerged, cries subsided. As I got older, I saw my friends grow. As my uniform changed from shorts to pants I saw the feeling of superiority grow. As I saw hairs grow above my upper lips, I felt the feelings of adolescence root in me. As subjects changed 8 times in a day, from history to science and from art to music, without much of a realization I was intellectually growing, I was slowly sliding into the beauty of art & music.

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I think and I strongly believe that one of the most valuable assets of the school is its teachers. Where else can you find such a bunch of dedicated souls who can oblige to throw away their personal time to come during the ‘silent’ reading hours and take pain to watch around and clear the doubts. I feel so proud of all the teachers. Same time I pity them. Pity is for, at that age we neither understood the importance of those study hours, nor the sacrifice of the teachers. We found ways to tease girls, we found time to discuss Gandhi to Hitler to saturday night’s puliyoagare and we made all plans, teams for the Sunday cricket match.

Such was the life at that wonderful institution. I can write hundred more pages and still think that a hundred more can go. As I repeat, it was with pride I entered. The next 7 years, we called it a jail; we cursed our P E teacher Kurugund Sir every morning for the sin of disturbing our lazy sleep. We fought with our teachers to gain access to little more freedom and got sincerely punished at every instant. We broke rules whenever we had chance to. Finally when it was time to leave, tears rolled, I cried again. I didn’t want to go! I didn’t want to miss a bit of what I had for seven long years!

Now when I sit back and think what exactly I gained from those seven long years of struggle, I end up with this. It has taught me an independent life. It has helped me to develop a creative mind. It has given me a body fit and fine; thanks to Kurugund Sir (your belt treatments have really worked sir!). It has taught me punctuality, it has taught me sincerity. It has taught me art & music and now I know how to find peace for my soul. It has given me great friends. Moreover, it has given me a foundation on which I realize the dreams I dreamt. It has given me everything to carve out a beautiful life where there is no space for mediocrity. Now, with all that I have borrowed from this institution, I try to excel every day, scale new heights and dream for the highest.

(The article was written for school magazine, on the eve of Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2012. Republishing here with little editing!)

Without Wax

Ash

 

 

To my mother, with lots of love..

Ma, the umbilical cord connected you and me

You fed me your food

You shared me your blood

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You brought me into a shape

Inside your safe heaven

From mere blood and flesh

Rather, from just a single cell

 

You went through a lot ma

As I grew up

I made tiny movements

With my tiny hands & legs

I even kicked u in my sleep

But still you found happiness in your pain

 

I don’t know why I wanted to come out

But I cried ma

When he cut me from you

In my rush to see the world,

I gave you a world of pain as I came out

 

I pestered you throughout my childhood

You fed me, u cleaned me

You sang me lullabies

You taught me to walk

You taught me to speak

You were the world to me

 

When darkness frightened me

You sat by my side till I fell asleep

When I was running with a temperature

You kept awake the whole night

In every bit that was to be shared

You always took the last bite

 

You balanced a complete family

A work till late evening, a husband,

A mother in law, children

Everyone had complaints

But ma, like the mother earth

Silently you went through everything satisfying everyone

 

 

However independent I grew from you

You still always thought about my well being

Even when you were a thousand miles away

You had nightmares when I was under some stress

I thought I was cut off from you ma

But I think I will never be

 

Ma, you are so special

How I could never write about you?

I wrote so much on love

But ma, can any of that ever match yours?

Ma, I am so indebted in your love

And how I think, I can repay you ever?

 

When I was a child, I used to be so happy

When I could bring a smile on your face

For all the difficulties you went through

I have always tried to bring a meaning to that

Though I will never be able to repay you

I will be striving ma, to make you more proud

To keep that smile, always on your face..

 

Your’s loving son..

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