“Don’t Lose The Fight!”

When the road of life seems to be thorny and rough,

When the darkness of the path seems to be endless and tough,

Don’t lose the fight.

When love ones and friends seem to be ungrateful and unkind,

When their hearts seem to be uncaring and their notions seem to be

misunderstanding yours,

Don’t lose the fight.

When the shadow of hope and the blanket of weariness abound,

When the drop of happiness seems to be pouring the lake of loneliness,

Don’t lose the fight!

When the grief of tears seems to be shedding with hopelessness,

When the deafening and outburst of your weeping seem to be unheard,

Don’t lose the fight!

When problems and trials seem to be the overflowing river,

When the ocean of solutions to your cares seems to be a desert of drought,

Don’t lose the fight!

When the flock of your neighbors turn you down,

When the deepest part of heart seems to be pierced with the knife of ridicule

and punctured by unfair judgment and unsoothing words,

Don’t you ever lose the fight!

When everybody is out there yet nobody seems to be there for you,

When you need someone to lean on yet a couch of stones and a slippery wall of uncertainty

seem to be offered to you,

Don’t damn yourself and lose the fight!

God says, “Hang on my child to the thread of hope!’

“I am the light to your winding road,

I am your Mighty Protector,

I am your FOREVER bliss,

I am your SOMEBODY standing by!”

Don’t Lose The Fight.

My humble servant,

I am just behind your fight!

REWARD OF TRUE PRAYER

One fire like afternoon

Standing in my balcony

With hands stretched under scorching sun

Eyes closed but tears rolling down

Head and heart conversing with god

To show mercy oh my lord.

Words of prayer were simple

We agree we are terrible

We have ruined your beautiful creation

Hence, we deserve punishment

However, we are your children

And hope for forgiveness.

Your heart is not tiny as ours

Please do accept our sobs

Please save us, please

Please make the dry motherland wet

Let fresh water quench our thirst .

And here here what I feel

Drop of water on my palm

With the opening of eyes

Arrives the darkest cloud

Showering their blessings

Creating miracle for each one.

Everyone’s head up to the blue

Eyes closed and lips smile

Heart thanks almighty

For forbearing their child

Souls feeling chaste

With the stroke of rain.

Spy!

One sunny afternoon I had this weird and funny thought

I slipped into your shoes to see your whereabouts

I accompanied you everywhere

As I sat quietly in that pair

The following day before you could notice

I slipped into your dress pocket

Every time you stopped by to speak to those all you met

I quietly peeped out from the pocket

As you reached the workplace

I hid on your desk

You didn’t notice me

As I was hiding behind the picture frame

I saw your files, reports and papers

All that which comprised your hard work

Back home I gave a try

And melted into butter you put onto your vegetable

I had to see how much of spice

For you is suffice

And one romantic day I slipped into your heart to see

How much of space is reserved for me!

Sometimes you hear things

Yet don’t tend to hear them…

Sometimes you see things

Yet you ignore them…

So I slipped into your eyes and ears too

To see if they were alright

And whether you turn a deaf ear and a blind’s eye

Or really can’t hear or see things through

That made me slip into your mind one day

To observe the way you think

What you think

I’d to catch my breath to run with your thoughts

I was amazed of the pace at which you think

So call me adventurous; call me a spy

I had a thrill knowing you more than just by and by

I did this all for us

Don’t ask me why……….!!

LIFE IS NOT A BED OF ROSES

Whoever said that life is not a bed of roses had never had an occasion to land in a bed of roses. Ask Zamu who had experienced the thorny side of the roses spiking into his posterior end when he had to jump from the window. He thought, if this is a bed of roses then thank God! My life is not a bed of roses. As it is the tumultuous events of life had brought in too much action for Zamu.
Here, the readers must be anxiously waiting for unraveling of the events that made Zamu jump from a window. Without trying the patience of readers, we would now narrate the events responsible for Zamu`s fall.
Zamu was tenant of Vyankoba. Zamu, an engineering student shared a three room flat with three other classmates. Vyankoba their landlord, who stayed on the first floor, basement being rented out to a garagewallah, had given on rent the terrace flat to these four boys. Vyankoba was a chronic miser. He would snatch even a particle of sugar from the ants mouth.
Zamu was naturally shocked when he received an invitation for lunch from Vyankoba. He was returning home from college at 2.00 pm when he met Vyankoba at the entrance.
“ Hello Zamu. College over ?”
“ Yes, Uncle !”
“ Your aunty had a mannat and promised to offer lunch to a brahmin, so please accept her invitation and come for lunch right now. Till you eat your food, your aunt and myself are not allowed to partake our lunch. You know your aunt is a diabetic. So hurry. Wash your hand and feet and sit down for lunch”.
Zamu could not resist the invitation. As it is, he was late for his lunch at the mess and by the time he reached there the mess was closed. So hungry as he was he eagerly entered Vyankoba`s house in anticipation of savoury food. Zamu was thrilled by one more prospect, that of meeting Vyankoba`s beautiful daughter Apsara. His joy was doubled when he found that Apsara was serving food and her mother was frying fresh puris for the lunch.? Vyankoba was shunting between the kitchen and the dinning room, his B.P. Becoming higher and higher with each puri consumed by Zamu.
“ Why is uncle so worried ?”
Zamu asked Apsara.
“Because you are eating more than his anticipation. Usually you come home after having your lunch. So he thought you would not eat much after you are full. So he chose you for lunch rather than your three friends who come home first and then go out for lunch”. Apsara replied candidly.
“ But I didn’t have any lunch today. The mess was closed when I went there. I was late in college because of extra lecture”.
“Don`t tell Baba. He would die of thinking the amount of food you would consume. Anyway, you eat properly. Ma would not like you to go hungry”.
Just then Vyankoba entered the dinning room. His slippers were as creaking he walked. Zamu looked at Vyankoba`s slippers with curiosity. Suddenly, his eyes widened with shock and recognition. Apsara noticed his expression and asked Zamu about it when Vyankoba was out of ear shot.
“Why were you looking at my fathers slippers with such funny expression?”
“ Project TF”
“What project TF?”
“Tracking Father”
“I don`t understand a word”.
“Well, you know how possessive your father is about you. He doesn’t like anyone of us even looking at you, leave apart talking to you. So we wait for a chance when your father is away so that we can have a tete-a-tete with you. Sonu, Monu and Tinu decided to form a full proof plan of ensuring your fathers absence. So they have planted a tracking device in your house. That way your father’s movements are known to them. And when he goes out of house they enter it”.
“Oh! That is how it is. I have always wondered, how come these three arrive on one pretext or the other when father is away. By the way where is this tracking device”?
“ I also didn’t know till today. But when I say your father`s chappal today I knew. Did you notice the black tape wound around the chappal?”
“ Yes, Monu had taken father`s slippers to mend. Father didn’t want to throw it away. When Monu offered to get it mended for him he was happy to have saved two rupees. But, why are you laughing like this ? Oh! You mean the tracking device is taped there ?”
Zamu nodded affirmatively. “ But, Zamu tell me one thing. How come you don`t come when father is away?. Don`t you like me ?”
“ No, No it is not like that. I like you very much. I even constantly dream about you, but you know, I don`t like cheating. What Monu and others are doing is invading your privacy. I don`t like that”
“Zamu, you are really a Zamu like you name. But tell me do you people get to listen to all the noises made by father?”
“Yes! All the noises. We can guess the location where he is by the noises he makes. We know when he is having his food by the chomp chomp sound. We know when he is having his siesta by his snoring”.
“What happens when I go to the loo ?” A voice came from behind.
“ Ha! Ha! The dhar…rr fuss….ssh noises are self explanatory”. Zamu stopped laughing midway when he realised that the question was asked by Vyankoba who was livid with rage. He turned and took his rifle and said to Zamu,” wait, I will shoot you, you rascal.”
“But father, listen, he hasn’t done anything.”
“Don`t you talk you wretch!. I will deal with you later. Laughing and talking to boys. I will show what happens to girls like you. But first I will deal with this thug,” saying this Vyankoba advanced towards Zamu with raised gun.
“ Run, Zamu. Jump from the window”. Apsara shouted.
Taking her advice, Zamu jumped from the window and landed in the bed of roses. That is where our readers had found him.
Vyankoba was still trying to shoot Zamu from the window. A shout came from Apsara, “ Run, Zamu. Run for your life. I can not lose a nice and decent guy like you. Will meet you soon at the first opportunity. But take to your heels now”.
Zamu didn`t need further bidding. But suddenly he found that the bed of roses was really beautiful. What if it was a bit thorny?. If you are going to get a rose like Apsara, bits of thorns in the shape of her pater won`t hurt much. Suddenly, Zamu found that life was really a bed of roses, though a bit thorny.

“If I Can Just Be…..”

If  I can just spread my arms

and embrace my students

when they need help.

If I can just see all the things

that they do to remind

them with love.

child and teacher

If I can just protect them

from the fangs of danger

and be their hero.

If  I can just be the solution

of all weariness and cares

they encounter.

If  I can just read their minds

and know what they need,

what concerns them!

If  I can be a meaningful word

that encourages them

all the time.

If I can just be their dreams

that can be easily reached

and be fulfilled.

If I can just be their footsteps

that lead them always

to the right path.

If I can just be their conscience

that prevents them of doing

unacceptable things.

If I can just their tongue

that speaks rightfully

and uncorrupted.

If I can just be their cellphone

that sends love messages

rather than hate words.

If I can just be the  internet

that will divert bad desires

to an educative websites.

What else are the effective tools

I can  just be in order for them

to be a better person

each day?

I can just be their humble teacher

to pray for them earnestly

to shield them all the time.

I can just be their prayers!

Sharing is Caring

brother-sister Its an real-life incident….

Sonu had gone to some village to meet her ailing brother. He needed an urgent kidney transplantation. Sonu thought of donating one of her kidneys to her brother, but she wanted to take the consent of her husband Vikas. Vikas’s immediate response was, “If it was me in that place of your brother, would you have thought twice? Please go ahead with your noble thought and heart.”

This was a real-life incident that Anju was sharing with her two children who were fighting over sharing a glass of juice between them. After listening about Sonu, Harsh the eldest of the two immediately said, “Mama, let Avantika have the full glass of juice.  I don’t mind, after all, she is my sister.” The little one, in all her innocence, said, “Mama I don’t mind giving brother my kidney. Let him have three.”

Listening to what Anju shared, I was touched.  It needs courage to share.  It is the one thing to share what I have in surplus, but it is completely a different thing to part with what is mine, and that needs courage. A lot of people have donated their organs. which can be used after their demise. There is no doubt that it is a Noble-hearted gesture, but it needs courage to give and share what you need when you are still alive. My respect for Sonu and many more like her turned into reverence.

Many years ago, in Stanford Hospital, a little girl named Liza was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery seemed to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and have developed the antibodies that were needed to combat that particular illness. the doctor explained the situation to the little boy and asked if he is willing to give his blood to his sister. After a momentary hesitation, the little one took a deep breath and said,  “Yes, I will do it if it will save Liza.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smile. He saw colour returning to her cheeks. Then his face turned pale and his smile faded. He looked at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?” Being young, he had thought that he was going to give her all his blood, which means he was even prepared to die to keep his sister alive.  It needs courage to share what is truly mine.

We get so possessive about the recipe of some food, We don’t want to share them with friends or neighbours. Business men call it trade secret. Yet, every leader, is very transparent of their ways. True leaders have the courage to share. Voice of  Love states that ” You are given in the trust that you will give.”

If I don’t have the courage of share 10 rupees out of my 1000 rupees today, I will never have the courage to part with 10 crores out of my 1000 crores tomorrow. It needs “Courage to Share” which is one of the greatest lessons of my life.

The Joy of Giving

It was my eighteenth birthday… and my most memorable one till date. I had been gifted a brand new Hero Honda CBZ by my brother. I had taken a fancy for bikes at a rather young age, about which I had made no secrets to my brother and therefore, as soon as I had reached legal driving

rsvl

age, my brother had given me one. And I was happy, to say the least. It was the morning of my birthday and I was trying to polish my already squeaky clean CBZ before hitting the road for the first time. A few feet away, a street urchin, barely twelve to thirteen years of age, stood there, admiring the piece of beauty. I had bet he wanted a ride on it. As a matter of fact, I had known the kid for some time. He was the child of the gatekeeper of the neighbouring building. I looked at him, smiled and offered him a ride on my CBZ, which is, piggybacking. He came closer, his eyes still on the bike and touched it gingerly, as if the machine had a life of its own. Then, for the first time, he turned towards me and asked, still wonderstruck, “Is it yours?” Slightly irritated that he had ignored my offer to take him for a ride on it. I proudly stated that it was a gift to me from my brother on my birthday. His eyes widened even more and turned to the bike again. Then a slight bit of sadness crept into his awestruck eyes, as he started to say, “I wish …” He paused. I knew what he wished. He wished that he had a brother like mine. But what he said, instead, jarred me from head to foot and made me learn a lesson for life. He said, in a melancholy touch, “I wish … I could be a brother like that”.

Uneducated Dream

dreamOne day I sent my dream to school,

To learn the art of survival,

A reluctant Kid, I dropped it there,

Promised to come to fetch it back,

When I returned it sat there,

Like an innocent child, ragged and tired,

After the hard day’s work,

Holding my hand, staring into my face,

It declared, “don’t educate me ”

“For I am a dream”

Since that day it sleeps  in my eyes,

Poor ignorant fellow,

Happy at its destiny.

The heroes have come home

riding motorcycleThe heroes have come home. After spending the whole day and most part of the night on the Battlefields of the city the heroes have come home. Alas! What a pity! After such triumphant return no one to welcome them! No one to do the traditional Aarti, put tika on their forehead and say, Well done! my boy, you have made the family name roshan. Such is the state of today’s parents that they do not know the accomplishments of their children. When the city is humming with their exploits, the cops are also taking notice of it, the parents are sadly ignorant of their ward’s triumphs.
The streets of the city, the battlefield of these young soldiers is sadly reminiscing about the day’s events and waiting for a fresh bout of battle by these spunky youths. Come morning, and in will zoom the battle horses of the Heroes and will start a race with time. Speeding bikes, blaring horns, cutting red lights, zig zag moving through the lanes, challenging each other for a race, circling the distance between the two squares at 120km/hr – the excitement is equal to only that on a battlefield. Lesser beings murmur that these youths should show this courage on a real battle field. These unfortunate ones do not understand that each moment in everyone’s life is spent in constant battle. Why cry about this victorious display then?
Some criticize the films like Dhoom for this craze of the youths. Why this unjust criticism? After all these are the inspiring moments for the youths. Will their life be not too dull but for these speeding trysts with the city lanes? You say that battles are won on battlefields only. What a wrong notion! Every day a new battle is won, many lives spared – what if a few injuries are inflicted on some bystanders, what if a few lives lost in the process. After all everything is fair in love and war and this is a war game played by the lover of the speed.
The Government is very sensible about the whole thing and has very judiciously made wearing helmet a compulsory act for the two wheeler riders. After all what is a warrior without his battle gears? The kahavat ‘sir salamat to pagdi pachas’ is so aptly written for these mobike riders. After a crash you will lose only a helmet but your head will be safe for more future speeding expeditions. A broken hand or leg will only enhance battle marks of these champions. The battle scars only add to the charm and beauty of the war heroes
While all the traffic is waiting for the traffic light to turn green, these daredevils jump the red light and show an extraordinary display of courage. If the pillion rider is a girl friend then even the price of challenge of encountering a spoil sport cop is worth it. These cops have no sportsman spirit. Frequently barricades put by these cops stop the speeding journey of these youngsters. Why bring end to such fine acceleration in a lad’s life? What if they do not bring laurels for your city by not participating in the Olympics or Asiads? What if they are not Karthikeyan Narayan! Karthikeyan Narayan earns money from his racing. Our Heroes do it only for sport’s sake. The ultimate destination of the PaanThela is no lesser goal in their life.
So dear ignorant parents next time your child comes home from making the city streets proud by his speeding mobike give him a Hero’s welcome. You are a proud parent of a Hero who has not only conquered fear but put fear in the minds of every other citizen of the city by his speeding actions. The Heroes have come home. Give them a warm welcome.

The Green Intruder

creepy-window-james-bavosiIt was a beautiful Saturday morning. I was all finished with my daily regime of exercise and had steamed up the morn brew. With a hot cup of tea in hand, I headed off to a good day’s start. Since the first brush with the world outside, which usually happens to be through the crisp familiar smell of the morning newspaper had to arrive at the doorstep yet, I decided to open the window of opportunity, for the fresh breeze to enter my nerves, and thus got myself ready to say Hello! to the world outside.

I routinely opened the wide glass window of my room, to absorb the rising sun and let its radiance seep through me. I already had the tea cup with me to pump up my adrenaline.

And as soon as I let the window ajar, I was stunned to see a flimsy little creeper fast growing, and soon I assimilated that in no time, it would grow furthermore, and approach my window to block the light from coming in. I have always wanted my windows clutter free. I have always wanted the freshness to come in—the fresh air, and the luminous sun-rays both are my friends. And so anybody who would try and block their path, are intruders for me. Thus the creeper in front of me, just at arm length’s below, all set to grow any time now, making way for itself up my room window, was nothing more than a green intruder for me.

My stubborn mind had already decided what to make of this intruder, the moment it touches my window. I knew it from the start what I wanted to do with it. A large garden scissor, and that’s all that I required to straighten things up.

For some more days, I awaited the creeper to climb up with its slow pace, and let it touch my window.

On the floor below stood my living room, with a large glass door overlooking the garden I had tended outside. Actually, honestly speaking, it wasn’t me who had for long been the garden’s care taker. It was Harikaka, our seasoned gardener, who’d toiled really hard to make the garden of what it looked today— a lush green, regularly watered, loved, and cared for garden. So my contribution in the entire beautification effort of our garden was practically nil; except that I surely was an ardent admirer of it, and an once in a while care taker, rushing out watering the plants with the blue water hose, on lazy Sunday mornings…..

But Harikaka was a regular at it. All that he used to speak about was how the Roses have nicely grown, and how the Jasmines somehow didn’t blossom this year, and how next door neighbors Patels have bought some Tulip seeds from their native place, and how even we should borrow some seeds from them,……..and on and on, he used to go about talking of nothing else but his baby—– the garden.

So needless to mention then, that definitely more than me, Harikaka was all the more excited when he came up me the morning after I had witnessed the creeper, munching my breakfast toast in the dining area below, and like a jumping lad, he remarked, “What a lovely creeper that is!, and now in not a very long time, it will touch upon your room window and adorn the beauty of your room!!” ….” He went on—“and then just see how confidently it will rise above and go up to the terrace; the whole bungalow will soon get canopied with the creepers, and a cool shade will dwell here day and night!” “Bahut badhiyaa dikhegaa!”

His keyed up words left me speechless. I reluctantly flashed him a smile, and pressed my lips, as if I wanted to say something sternly, but I relented.

Nine days later, the green intruder had climbed up my room window, and for the first time I closely observed the off shoots— so fragile, so very soft, and young, full of energy, full of abundance and chlorophyll. It had knocked my window so very tenderly; it was all determined to grow, and climb up to the terrace, rightly as Harikaka had pointed out.

The creeper reminded me of how we too were youngsters once upon a time, full of energy, full of life, all set to grow, and climb our own ladders of stability and success…..What if someone had heartlessly cut our wings too? What if destiny had decided and planned to bluntly cut open our dreams too?

Nothing of that sort had happened so far, and I was very much living my dream, and spreading my wings….And so it had to be. The garden scissor lay in the same drawer where Harikaka had left it the day before.

The scissor remained untouched.

I had changed my mind, and had decided to let the creeper breathe…..If God had wished for a life, who was I to wedge its path?

In due course, my room window got completely covered by a green curtain. But so what? When He closes one window, He does make way for another. I dusted and left open another window just next to this one, which earlier used to be more or less closed, and unused, for no particular reason whatsoever.

The morning bout of fresh air and the sublime sunrays still greet me Good Morning; and along with them, someone else obliges— the green intruder—, which by now wasn’t an intruder any more. It was a friend.

What is love?

Autumn_TreeA question that we cannot answer completely no matter how articulate we are.

Answer the following with a yes or no and find out for yourself whether you have ever grasped the essence of love.

Does your heart ache and break when the slightest pain touches the person you love?

Do your eyes flow with unspoken torment because of their anguish even when you know they are strong?

Does the rapid pace of life not stop you from pausing and remembering their words, their smile?

Do you spend hours of comfort in total silence?

Do their eyes meet yours and touch your soul so deeply it hurts?

Do you tease them mercilessly when alone, but defend them in front of the entire world?

Are you amazed at all the secrets you’ve shared with them, things you never spoke aloud to yourself?

Does their strength extend yours with unspoken consent, when you are too weak to stand up again?

Does one tear from their eyes make you want to rent the world apart so that it doesn’t hurt them anymore?

If your lips and heart say yes to all that was asked, then you have indeed experienced the most beautiful feeling, you have cried for no apparent reason, you have stretched a hand and helped the fallen to their feet, you have loved.

By the flowing river

jammu-kashmir-valleyThe clear sky without a single cloud lay above her. Except for the sound of the gurgling river, there was absolute silence in the woods. Not even a bird was chirping or a breeze disturbing the tall pine trees. Where was everyone? She wondered. But she remained motionless, too lazy and too tired to get up and search. Lying flat on her back on the rocks beside the flowing river, she was not surprised to see that twilight was already approaching. Days always seem very short in the Kashmir valley, not only because of the cold climate but also because days are usually very eventful. The dull pain on her side was receding. She had been running on rocks when she had tripped and fallen. But then, she had been running for a long time, ever since she could remember. There had been lots of falls, cuts and bruises and pain. Just another ordinary life in the valley.

Her mind was calm and weirdly, very happy. It had been a long time since she had the luxury of being lazy. There had been too much uproar in her life lately; the silence was a welcome change. Silence is golden, she thought as her eyes closed. Who had said those words? She was twelve, sitting in Miss Sheethal’s class. The entire class was chanting after their teacher, silence is golden. She couldn’t help laughing out as she thought of the next day. The classroom had been blown to smithereens. All they could find of her peach-skinned teacher had been a peach-skinned hand with a single gold band on the middle finger. She abruptly stopped laughing; the sound seemed indecently loud in the quiet surroundings and echoed eerily all around her.

Hysteria had always been a problem with her. Even in situations that commanded the gravest silence, she would burst into peals of laughter. She could go on for hours unless someone slapped her. There was a time when everyone thought she was raving mad. But that was before she started seeing a gifted doctor who had come from the United States specifically to counsel their group. He had recommended yoga. She remembered her yoga instructor’s words. Let your body relax… Let all thoughts vanish… Focus on your breathing… You are air… You are one with the ground you lie on… As the giggles of the merrily flowing river filled her entire being, she welcomed ‘shavasana’.

She had never become really good at yoga (much to the irritation of her instructor). Her thoughts wavered and predictably came to rest on Munna. Her Munna, with his grey eyes and hair the color of honey. No words had been spoken, none were needed. She had followed him from the day she met him. Fool! She thought. Went and got himself killed like many other careless idiots. She didn’t get to see even a finger of his. To her, the memory of his death had never been painful. She had seen more than enough deaths to last a lifetime. Also, her training dictated fools die easily, and Munna had been a fool. Her days with him seemed a pleasant dream now, like it had never actually happened. Folks lose their loved ones on the beautiful hills of Kashmir every day, so what’s the big deal? Heaven on earth indeed! She felt herself on the verge of laughter once again.

The sky had turned an unhealthy murky brown, announcing the arrival of a cold cold night. She was not worried though; she was a local and knew the area like the back of her hand. But why were the others taking so long? She wondered, feeling sleepy.

A bitterly cold wind swept through the forest. But, the two silent men in their expensive leather jackets did not feel the cold. Their flashlights moving purposefully from place to place, they darted noiselessly from one rock to the other searching for something. One of them stopped suddenly. She is here, he said in a hoarse voice. As his comrade approached, he kicked her body aside to show him. They stooped beside her; one checked her pulse while the other her breathing. Must have been dead for hours, said the former. Without replying, the other man switched on the walkie-talkie. News on the missing group… news on the missing group… All five found, no survivors… Repeat… NO survivors, over. The machine replied, leave them, take the guns… New group arrives tomorrow… New group arrives tomorrow… Over and out.

Post script: The story happens on a deceptively quiet winter afternoon somewhere on the banks of Jhelum in the Kashmir valley. Cut the climatic and geographic details, can’t the story happen anywhere in India in the very near future?

Letter writing-Archaic ?

letters-you-keepWe are fast forwarding so swiftly, getting ahead with technology and shedding many things terming them archaic. Communication has risen to an entirely different level now and is still crossing all set limits day by day. None of us are alien to these up-gradations, the wave of technological revolutions hit our shores in no time. Things become outdated at the drop of a hat. In no time, advanced technologies become available in the market. Perhaps humans are in a frenzy, to communicate more effectively, to enjoy to the fullest or to find that ultimate comfort. But no matter what, the thirst remains; we do communicate, but we don’t touch hearts. Just like an email won’t do what a letter does, though both serve the same purpose. The question is how much value gets attached to everything.  A childhood friend of mine and I had promised each other that no matter what, we would always write letters to each other, let the technology go its way. We decided to go by the Indian Postal way. So though we don’t pen every other day, we do once in a while. Writing a letter has many advantages that emails or text messages can’t even envisage about. The personal element is what makes a letter so very special. Further more, writing a letter is much time consuming, so you sit down to really think and ponder. In a fast life, that might be a waste of time, but in  life we should take time to think about what we would write about ourselves at a particular point in time.  There is also nothing as therapeutic as writing a letter to a loved one.

The smell of old paper plays on our emotions and we store them as souvenirs of a relationship. Now that intimacy is something that no tech messages can give. No matter how busy we all are, receiving a letter has something special attached to it. The handwriting of a loved one always brings us an intimacy that makes them feel close. In a time when we have multiple modes of communication, there is nothing like what a piece of  paper can do. My uncle, a retired  Postmaster always tells us, telephones and other instant equipments are to communicate urgent messages. To communicate love, it is best to write it down on a piece of paper and send it with some of our prayers and even fragrance. A letter has a personal signature that no technology can deliver.

Small Packages

WhiteWoollen scarfAs a child, she was conditioned that Bigger the Better. So she grew up on the notion BIG is Beautiful. She stressed on the idea- Size Matters.

Her visibly simple calculations thus evolved on this very belief.

Hence every time for her birthdays, when she received those meticulously wrapped presents in jazzy presentation papers, her eyes shone bright. She blushed to no end. She agreeably accepted her present, because she perceived that she “deserved” to get that BIG present.

Any tiny present, unnoticed, lying around the stack of those BIG obvious looking presents weren’t a welcome for her. She used to get subtly disappointed when those small time presents came her way.

But a BIG present always made her happy. With an overtone of excitement, she used to go up to her mother and gleam in delight, “look mummy, look what I got. Such a BIG, nice gift this is.”  And then her mummy used to offer “Why don’t you open it and then decide, if the present inside is really BIG and nice?”

But back then, her child mind never used to bother to find out as to why mummy had such a thing to say, because for her, BIG was always beautiful, no matter what.

One Diwali, as she gingerly and eagerly got to work opening her gifts, one at a time, her eyes struck upon a very colorful, uncannily packed gift. She went over to mother, asking her to open it for her. As it got unpacked, she saw in a little box, a very beautiful, lovingly woven woolen scarf, which was gifted by Granny. She simply loved the white scarf. In fact she admitted to mummy that evening, that the scarf was the one gift she had liked of all. And then she exclaimed to her mother “Vow! Look. This present was packed in such a small wrapping paper, but now as I opened it, I am so happy receiving it. I really liked it, even if it was packed in a little wrapping”.

Hence gradually, but surely, she understood and learned to brush aside her pre- conceived notions.

And then, she grew up, and one fine day, fell in love.

Her future fiancée proposed her in marriage. He put his hand in his Jeans pocket, and carefully removed a neatly packed small square shaped box, with a red gleaming ribbon tied upon it. She turned pink, and couldn’t stop blushing. With a twinkle in her eyes, she delicately opened the present—a beautiful stone studded finger ring. And it was awesome.

That was when she revisited the fact, she had learned years back, when her granny had gifted her that white scarf in a small package.

And she slid off to sleep that night, with only one strong conviction— BIG things, BIG surprises and SPECIAL somethings indeed do come to us, wrapped in small packages….

Time , the future currency ?

CB033838Many of us have often said how time flies . “ Time is money” is an old phrase and  time management, spending quality time with kids  have been cliche  phases of the past few decades.   Is concept of time changing  in our everyday life?

We are surrounded by numerous clocks day and night. From body clock to each of our gadgets like cell phone, Black berry, TV,  CD players, cars, radios, to  wall clocks, wrist watches.  Our endeavor with help of  so many clocks each day is to manage our 24 hours.  Distance between Bombay to Frankfurt is now measured as 8 hours flight not so many kilometres.   Kids school bags contain pack of chips or cookies that lasts for his journey time from school back home of 45 minutes.  Do it in a Jiffy (1/100’th of the second)  is a common term in many advertisements today.  Gyms talk about workout of 45 minutes and not 500 calories. If you read one of the popular books don’t lose your mind , loose weight, she recommends eating at intervals of each 2 to 2.5 hours.  Maggie 2 minutes is still  favorites of mothers /kids

Time has always been an important dimension, but I think it has  become  as important as  currency.   Most consumers are willing to spend money to save time.

Bonus and penalties in IT services contract (which is money) talks about meeting slas, that is ability to turn around a request in defined minutes.  They talk of 5 9’s uptime, which again means computers have to be up almost all the time.  ATM network that allows convenience of drawing money anytime / any where and  mobile network connecting the remote villages  (which is actually reducing distance between markets and products or cities and villages) have been two most amazing and impactful changes in India of this decade. It is not a  co-incidence that both of them are about saving time to get convenience……………..

I think soon time will no more be  source of stress  and pressure, but it will be a  currency at our hands.

Like cloud computing or grid  computing  which talks about using all available computer resources conveniently, there may be time machine, or barter system which will allow us give some of our time and get some thing 🙂

Cups full of nostalgia

chai in kulladThe steam, the aroma, the taste—all summon. Remember all those hot cups of tea we enjoyed during our nostalgic college days? As if an era just passed by stealthily, but it left behind that mesmerizing taste, lingering around some corner of our irresistible taste buds, along with some refreshing memories, just like that hot cup of tea we all savored during those mystical youthful days.

The nukkad on the road had some really visitable restaurants, but feet used to drag knowingly or unknowingly to just that one Tea Stall located in some insignificant corner, canopied by some shaded trees, where the whole college used to be buzzing during their lecture break.

Even today, if I’m given a choice whether I would like to have an expensive cup of Mint tea or Green tea in some peppy cafe, or creep around that one tea stall, you bet I’d opt for the latter. Tea is going to be Tea after all, but the enriching experience is what stays on.

Come monsoons and winters– the tea stall owner used to generously mix a dash of ginger in the tea and serve…….And voila! Every sip used to do its magical bit to beat away all the stress associated with college studies/ completions/ assignments/ lectures/ exams tension et al. It all used to just come on you—the taste and the experience.

Two- three cups down in your system, and you’re back to your classroom, all set to take whatever that was to follow…whatever that you were fated to receive!

A quick visit a couple of months back to that very Tea Joint was sufficient enough to bring back those fond memories—and the best part is that nothing had changed—neither the stall, nor the location, nor the sleepy headed shade of trees under which is still canopied that insignificant yet so very popular tea joint, of which, we during college days were so fascinated by.

And the most enthralling part of this nostalgic visit was when eyes saw the tea stall owner who was the same chap, an old fellow now. It was wonderful having met him after such a long time span. It would have been quite an unrealistic thing to expect that he would recognize me. But know what? He did. He obviously didn’t recollect the name, but he remembered the face, he said, and that was indeed a nice thing to say. His wrinkles had multiplied, his health had deteriorated a bit, but the taste of the tea he made, hadn’t. It was the very same magical taste, which brought back some really sweet memories.

The entire experience was so much like reliving the past, and especially splendid it all seemed because I had visited in winter, and that was when the famous Ginger Tea used to graciously be served, in the half cutting chai glass!

And the day I visited, I was overcome by the hospitality of the chai owner with his superbly enriching and ever so refreshing ginger tea.

Three cups down, I signed off the stall, having basked in the reminiscences of the charming college years. I was slightly taken aback when the fellow refused to let me pay him for the tea. He remarked only one thing, which after having said, I was helpless. He said” Mehmanose kabhi paise nahi liye jate”. I just gave my host one last look, thanked him and led myself back home after having felt utterly elated with the cups full of nostalgia.

The story of the Dancing Couple…

When I saw the dancing couple,  they at once attracted me.   What a wonderful stance they had  and the beautiful chemistry they shared. The man held his beau close to his heart while she turned her body like a slender reed in a pose which would make many a hearts stop.  They both were dressed in white with the lady wearing a diamond studded skirt.  I kept looking at them for sometime, awestruck at their beauty and then decided to bring them home….I had to do it because even if I left without them they would have eternally been  in my mind.  Everything was so perfect about them, just as if they were for real.

modifiedI asked the store in-charge to pack it for me taking special pain in instructing him further on how to drape the thermocol strips across the statue so that I can take them home safe.  As the store in-charge got busy maneuvering his way in packing the statue… I kept thinking about us.  You would be so happy to see the dancing couple at home.

You and me once lived in the age of  “love”  like that of the dancing couple. An age when all that mattered was the sublime feeling  that we felt for each other, enjoying each others company in perfect camaraderie . For me, all that mattered was you.  The aura of this age was however short lived for us and very glaringly in front of our eyes,  we saw this age becoming foggy and distant.  Life is ruthless in its ways and in this grind of life, we have become nothing but cold.  There were distances to be handled, emotions not expressed, frustrations turning our hearts bitter and everything went so awfully  wrong that the age of love that we were into just faded or withered out.  Our hearts did beat for each other but our expressions were cold and stiff.   We were like two people in two glass cabins where we could see each other but not touch.  We just posed but weren’t real.  Wish we could forever pose like the dancing couple,  as happily in love and stay like that forever.   A huge bridge got  built between us and when we called each other from either side,  even the loudest of voice seemed  the faintest. We knew not how to cross this bridge, how to reach up to each other, yet we stood there on each side,  waiting for a day when we could bridge this distance between us.

I had decided to make our home beautiful for you.  If we had to start afresh then we have to also make things around us beautiful.   The dancing couple would just be the cherry on the cake.  It would remind us what we could have been and  give us an inspiration to be happy and perfect like them.

The packing was done and the store in-charge happily handed me the packet.  I smiled mentally visualizing the couple on the raised platform  built in the corner of our room with yellow lights, gleaming at them from above.

When I entered home, You sat quietly at one side busy working in your system.  We had not been talking to each other properly for the last few days.  When we were together alone, we preferred being silent, busy in our own work . Possibly,  both of us realised that the bridge between us was growing longer day by day and we knew not a way to walk up to each other to bridge the distance.

Are you very busy?”, I asked and you looked up at me from the laptop that you were busy in.

Look… I have got something for us. I have been dreaming to get something like this for a long time and deciding on different places to keep it but today,  I just came across what I was looking for so many days. Believe me, they are beautiful and you’d love it.”,  my eyes were glistening in anticipation to your reaction and I slowly opened the packet containing the dancing couple.

Here it is.”, I said,  as I took out the statue from inside the packet.  But… To my dismay the statue came out of the box with a broken hand of the lady.

For  a few minutes, I went blank. How could this happen? The hand of the lady had come out. Within another minute the entire statue came out of the stand in which it was standing. The statue now fell on the ground.  I could do nothing but look at them helplessly knowing  not how to make things picture perfect again.  You looked at me and ran out of words possibly at the dismay that my face carried.

I couldn’t see that scene anymore. I went to my room and hit the bed weeping. I could see our love world fading but I couldn’t see the ugliness that the dancing couple  now carried,  ruined of their perfect state. May be happiness didn’t suit me. May be I ruined their world, so much so that they would never dance together again.  Why does everything I try to mend get spoilt?  What more do I need to do to set the picture straight? I was weeping imagining that like us,  now the dancing couple also no longer lived in its world of love. May be in a day or two they would also build a bridge  between each other and know not a way to cross it.

It was for hours that I wept. Whenever I looked at the little raised dais that I had built in the corner of the room where I had thought to keep the statue, my heart felt like bursting.  The dais was empty now  with  only the yellow lights glistening .  I didn’t realise but I slowly fell asleep weeping,  clinging the pillow to my bosom.

It was quite late when I woke up.  I sat up reclining on the back rest of the bed.  It was then that I remembered of the loss of the dancing statue and I looked at the dais.

It was unimaginable. Like a dream come true. For sometime I could not believe my own eyes. I rubbed them again, thinking I was still sleeping…. but It was real. In the raised dais to the corner of our room, stood the dancing couple with white dress and  diamond studded skirt. The yellow lights glistening from the  above gave a mesmerizing,  heavenly feel to it. I jumped up from the bed to stand near the statue. How was it possible? I almost had tears of happiness in my eyes when I felt your hands in mine.

I turned around to look at you. ” Did you do this magic?”, I asked…

I glued it and fixed it up. Nothing is damaged forever…nothing which is so close to your heart. “, you looked at me and continued……..” I tried to fix it up so that they look beautiful together again.

I know it’s hard but we should not damage anything which is so close to our heart.”, you said.

You took my hands and looked at me..” For all the bygone bad days of our lives,  could we not start things afresh? Could we not look picture perfect again like this dancing couple…like how we looked once?

I had no words as my voice was choked in emotion. I hugged you and we decided to write a new story of our life again… To start walking  towards each other and bridge the distances between us, to be each others’ once again.

Ever since that night we made a new beginning….

The dancing couple had broken,  to glue us forever in life.

100 Things That Make Me Happy

100 Things That Make Me Happy

Today I decided to put aside all the sadness, all the hatred and all the moments that have caused pain. And so I made a list of all the things that bring a smile to my face, the small things that make my days and my life meaningful…

happiness1. Receiving an unexpected compliment
2. Reconnecting with an old friend
3. Amusement Parks
4. Driving with the windows down and singing out loud
5. Snow
6. Being alone and still not feeling alone
7. Reading a book and immersing myself in it
8. Watching sappy romantic movies with happy endings
9. Taking long walks on the beach
10.  Cuddling
11.  Being silly
12.  Camping
13.  Dancing in the rain
14.  Flowers
15.  Hugs and Kisses
16.  Getting to know someone new
17.  Meeting and ‘clicking’
18.  Being independent
19.  Getting an unexpected gift
20.  Giving an unexpected gift
21.  Staying in bed all day
22.  Working hard and succeeding
23.  Simplifying things
24.  Waking up and finding a new text message
25.  Baking a cake for someone
26.  Giving sappy nicknames to friends
27.  Watching sitcoms
28.  Being alone at home
29.  Attending a concert
30.  Surprising someone
31.  Just sitting and watching the rain outside
32.  Wearing a new dress and getting complimented
33.  Having a really productive day
34.  Swimming in a lake
35.  Helping others and getting that satisfaction that comes from within
36.  Getting things done on time
37.  Impromptu road trips with friends
38.  Making people laugh
39.  Getting things done exactly the way I want them
40.  Smell of the ground after it has rained
41.  Lying on the grass and watching the stars twinkle
42.  Giving my mother a dozen of flowers and telling her I love her
43.  Taking pictures
44.  The night sky
45.  Being pampered for a day
46.  Being liked and appreciated
47.  Facing challenges successfully
48.  Feeling loved and desired
49.  Learning something completely new
50.  Knowing I did something right and the feeling of achievement after doing so
51.  Laughing so hard until my cheeks hurt
52.  Meditating
53.  Being able to understand others
54.  Birthdays spent with loved ones
55.  Reading fairytales
56.  Breathing the fresh mountain air
57.  Getting a massage
58.  Reading old letters
59.  Knowing that I could do everything I could
60.  Getting a good pedicure
61.  Sunshine
62.  Finding cash that I hid from myself and forgot about
63.  Deep discussions
64.  Genuine smiles from genuine people
65.  Checking things off a to-do list
66.  Gossiping over a cup of coffee
67.  Fixing and solving problems
68.  Soft pillows
69.  Jumping so high on trampolines that I feel I’m nearly flying
70.  Reminiscing the good old days
71.  Asking for a raise and getting it
72.  Reflecting on my greatest weakness and realizing how it is my greatest strength
73.  When I’m dancing and ‘he’ holds me really close and tight- like he doesn’t want to let me go.
74.  Being alone at home when it’s nice and quiet
75.  Aromatherapy and spas
76.  A nice, long, relaxing, steamy, hot shower
77.   Sitting in the dark listening to music
78.  Waking up without an alarm and feeling totally refreshed
79.  Big, wonderfully colourful balloons
80.  The expressions on kids faces
81.  The feeling of invincibility
82.  Being impulsive
83.  When my laptop battery lasts 5 hours without charging
84.  Seeing less weight on the scale
85.  Remembering a really good dream
86.  Being told I’m pretty by an unfamiliar person
87.  Playing a computer game all day
88.  Not feeling even little worry, doubt or stress
89.  Scent of a good cologne
90.  Cooking a great dish
91.  Reading exceptionally long emails from long distance friends
92.   Driving exceptionally long distances
93.  Looking back at elementary school art projects and thinking about how I had more talent and creativity back then than I do now
94.  Writing my own journal and reading it after a few years
95.  Being able to whole-heartedly confide in someone
96.  Knowing I conquered a fear
97.  Knowing the end is just a new beginning
98.  The snooze button (for the extra 10 minutes)
99.  Being an inspiration to someone
100. Being allowed to just be me…

When Nature Beckons……

HillsThe hills call out my name; they call for me

but I’m too busy, I tell them, excuse me

The lush green trees beckon me

I’m sorry I didn’t hear, did you call me?

On the summit of the mountains the sun throws light

They invite me delightfully to see this sight

But what do I do with my schedule so tight?

The beaches, the exotic palms extend invitation

Where’s the time for that cool relaxation?

Snow capped bushes throw open their arms

What do I do with the work already up in the arms?

Cow bells and jingle bells summon me

Spare me this time around, please forgive me

Next to invite are winding paths; zigzag roads

How do I tell them, I have work load

An outcry comes from some far away hidden valley

“you can’t do this” she says, “this is a folly”.

So one day I gave in to Nature’s beckoning

And believe me, I had a ball

I was full of zeal and zest

Renewed and revived I returned to my nest….

Who perhaps killed Raavan?

ravan“Ram killed Raavan’; ‘Raavan was killed by Ram’…we have been learning this since our schooldays. Now read the following interesting story:

When the final phase of battle between Sri Ram and Raavan was suppose to take place in Lanka, people on the earth who were suffering mercilessly under the arrogance of Raavan, rushed to Lord Bramha and appealed HIM to put an end to the nuisance of Raavan. Accepting the request from the suffering people, Lord Bramha immediately summoned an emergency meeting with all the Devthas and discussed the matter seriously with them. Lord Bramha directed all the Devthas to prepare a ‘master plan’ to help Sri Ram in eliminating Raavan once for all in the battle field.  Almost all the Devthas agreed to consider Lord Bramha’s suggestion but one among the Devthas in the meeting reminded Lord Bramha that Raavan possessed the title called Ishwar hence that would be not be so easy for Sri Ram to kill Raavan!

In those days there were only two personalities on the earth who held the prestigious Supreme tile known as Ishwar and they were Lord Parameshwar (Maha Dev) and Raavan (Lankeshwar). No other Devthas were ever conferred with the title Ishwar, hence all the Devthas were puzzled when Lord Brahma asked them to prepare a master plan to put an end to Lankeshwar’s life, because they knew well that Raavan also possessed a powerful horoscope and the planet Shani been well positioned in the sixth house in his horoscope; thus giving him easy victory over his enemies; further, the eighth house (indicating death) from Raavan’s ascendant (in his horoscope) was free from any affliction, therefore, Ravaan could not be killed so easily unless the eighth house in his Birth-Chart got afflicted by any malefic planet.

Understanding the mystifying situation of the Devthas, Lord Bramha summoned all the nine planets in to His court to seek their opinion in ‘finishing’ Raavan. All the nine Grahas collectively said that they were well placed with fullest directional strength in the in the horoscope of Raavan hence they expressed their inability in participating in the ‘assignment’ of “killing” Lankeshwar at the battlefield! Finally when the planets were about to leave the court, Lord Bramha called Shani and whispered something into his ears and told him to do something concretely to save the world from the hands of Ravaan!

Meanwhile, in Lanka, it was the D-day for Raavan because the final face-to-face meeting between him and Sri Ram was about to take place in the battlefield the next day. Nevertheless, Raavan came to know about the meeting of Devthas and Nav Grahas with Lord Bramha. Raavan did not want to take any chance hence he immediately summoned all the Nav Grahas to his court and placed all of them under ‘house’ arrest. Raavan trusted all the Grahas but except Shani. Raavan knew Shani was cruelly aspecting his eighth house (house indicating death) but he had fullest confidence on his longevity because there was no malefic planet in his eighth house; therefore, he thought that Shani’s aspect over the eighth house in  his horoscope did not had any serious impact on him.

Although Raavan knew that Shani was well placed in the sixth house in his horoscope, but he did not trust Shani, therefore, he put Shani into a deep and dark cell due to its natural mischief character. He also knew that Shani would never go against the wishes of Lord Bramha; hence Raavan gave strict warning to Shani before leaving for the battlefield.

A fierce battle broke out between Sri Ram and Raavan…. all the Devthas were eagerly waiting for Shani to do some ‘miracle’ in order to close the chapter of Raavan once for all…. In the meantime Shani under the house arrest started rubbing his body slowly with his two hands and made a small ‘ball’ out of the dirt that came from his body …next moment the small ‘ball’ turned into a small planet, Shani threw the new ‘born’ planet into the eighth house in Raavan’s horoscope and cruelly aspected that new-born malefic planet………that was during the time when Sri Ram’s Bhaan entered deep into the body of Raavan…thus the ever great Lankeshwar was killed by Sri Ram’s Bhaan.!

The newborn malefic planet was named as Shani-Putra or Maandi (son of Manda -Shani); some Devthas called the new born planet as Gulika due to its shape……..all the Devthas enjoyed the moments with great joy and congratulated Shani for its role in helping Sri Ram killing Raavan. Thereafter, in order to honour Shani for its great task in killing Ravaan, Lord Bramha withdrew the title of Ishwar from Raavan and conferred that title to Shani and thereupon Shani came to known as Shani Ishwar or Shanishwar Devta.

Astrologically speaking, it was perhaps Shanewshwar who ‘helped’ Sri Ram in winning over Raavan!!

Visit website www.astrologicalguidence.com for more interesting atricles.

N P Krishnan Iyer