Tuesday, June 29

...please do not fade.

The infant flower opens its bud and cries, "Dear World, please do not fade."

... Tagore  ('Stray Birds')


Monday, June 28

Come rain, come...

As the rain comes falling down, today is the same yesterday. The water on the grass and the leaves tells me that rains have fallen on them in the night. For some time, the drops of rain will try to stick on to the leaves. But then, it rolls down and falls on the ground.
Look at the water drops....they have travelled a lot. Having reached the beautiful resting place, they seem to be in no hurry to fall off to ground.  I found the beautiful colour formation through these water drops. Like a magnifying lens, the water drops radiated to expand the details on the leaves.
But all this will remain only for a moment: as a gentle rainy breeze shakes the leaves, all the drops will roll down to ground.  
Then...rain comes again to stay on the leaves and today is the same yesterday.

Sunday, June 20

Being Happy...

And to try to be happy being admired by men, or loved by women, or warm with liquor, or full of lust, or getting possessions and treasures: that turns you away soon, from the love of God; then men, women, and drink and lust and greed take precedence over God; and they darken His light...And then we are unhappy and afraid and angry and fierce, and impatient, and cannot talk to God, and cannot sit and be still. That is the bitter yoke of sin...  (Thomas Merton)

I only wish 'being happy' was more simple and straight forward.


Thursday, June 17

The shadows in my life...

On a rainy day, I was in my friend’s house. During the long rumblings of the falling rains, we were engrossed in chatting away the evening. Suddenly, I noticed something: the shadows in the portico. The shadow play around this first floor portico simply attracted me. The lights seem to filter through a wooden strainer to fall on the floor clay tiles. The shadow lines were taking a diversion, converging away from the centre. Having caught my attention, I thought I would ‘click’ it up.

This isn’t the first time shadows have caught my attention. I used to wonder if I have something to learn from them. Holy Bible speaks about shadows a lot. In one place, it says, “for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow” (Job 8:9). Isn’t that citation from the Bible frightening? And another citation goes like this: My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass (Psalm 102:11).

As my thoughts ran through all this and more, and as I shared them with my friend, he walked a little away. Disturbed at my sharing, he switched off the portico lights and struck his cigarette to have his smoke.  


Wednesday, June 16

Jill my friend...

She is Jill, my friend. 
She just doesn't like rain and keeps her coat dry and clean.
Rainy days are gloomy days for her... 
Come rain, she gazes out praying for a little warmth and sunshine.
 What she is frightened of is the lightning and the thunder. 
Come lightning and thunder, 
she creeps under my cot and ensures her safety.
She is Jill, my friend.

Monday, June 14

Bringing home my new camera...

Bringing home anything new always adds joy to us.

I remember my childhood when I was thrilled to have a new toy: a new train, a new car or a new bus. I used to keep these new toys with me throughout the day and even attempt to take it to school to show my friends about it. And, as the night falls and as I go to bed, I used to carry the toy with me and keep it close to my pillow to fall asleep.

Am I different today? Certainly no. The old habits have only transformed...transformed into more socially accepted behaviours. As I bring home a new car (a road worthy car), I like to ride (play) with it often. I like to take it to road and show my world my joy-train. I have seen this behaviour across every class of people, irrespective of social and educational background. Well, as grownups, this proclivity to something new can be even to nonmaterial things: like a new idea or a new ethos. The ‘new’ needn’t be something tangible. 

Bringing home a new camera was to me like getting a new toy train. For a moment there arouse the child in me. But, how can I go back to my childhood?  For a moment at least, how can I escape to my infancy? 

In his early childhood, Lev Tolstoy was told by his older brother about the legend of a magical green wand which would always keep children happy. He said that this green wand was buried in a secret place near Stary Zakaz ravine (a location in their large beautiful estate).  This green wand would bring everlasting joy to anyone who discovers it. 

Is my new camera like that of Lev Tolstoy’s magical green wand?... a new toy that would help me rediscover happiness?

Sunday, June 13

Someone writes about death...

Yesterday my friend and uncle-next-door passed away. 

I dedicate this citation for my dear uncle 
who always had a smile on his face.

Because so few people talk about it, I begin by asking, “Is death an issue at all?” I realize that for most people in my circles of friends, it is not. The people I know are not entertaining thoughts about death or the fruitfulness of life after their death. My friends say things like, I see my life becoming less and less productive, but I do hope to live longer,” or “I don’t want to become a burden to those around me.” For some, thought of having to be cared for by others is almost more than they can bear. This is a big worry for many ill and aging people....
The real question is : 
How can I live so that my death will be fruitful for other?
(Rev.Henri Nouwen)

Saturday, June 12

Yet, they surprise me...

Be surprised by joy, Be surprised by the little flowers that shows its beauty to no one. 

Every morning, as we wake up and trek across the vast grasslands and the endless meadows, the sights of the Himalayan flowers that bloom across these slopes become awesome. As they come in every colour, they slow me down to observe the details. Suddenly, I become aware of the sacredness of the meadows... I become conscious of life that is embedded deep in that soil. Earth burgeons with life here. As the blooms show their beauty, no one is there to look at them, appreciate them or to encourage them. Yet they keep blooming... they keep blooming for a million years! 
Is. Ego is  may do many things showy and parade myself in front of othermy name. Nevertheless, I have a lesson in these mountain blooms. Mountain flowers are not ostentatious. They show their beauty even in an empty landscape, making their dwellings majestic and enchanting.  They come for a day... quiet and modest...dressed in their most brilliant attire...sometimes, wearing a fragrance for a lifetime. Still they go away soon...and turn to dust. They wouldn’t mind if I take no notice of them... they wouldn’t mind if I fail to appreciate them. 

Yet, they surprise me...

Photos are from Himalayan meadows on the way to Roopkunt.

Monday, June 7

Stray Birds...

The night kisses the fading day whispering to his ear, 
"I am death, your mother. I am to give you fresh birth."

... Rabindranath Tagore (Stray Birds)

Photo Location & Courtesy : 
Sunset at Trishul, Himalayas, shot by my friend Saurangshu.

Saturday, June 5

...all about this whale.

“...A day will come at Sea when ye smell land where there be no land, and on that day, Ahab will go to his grave, but he will rise again and beckon, and all, all – all save one – shall follow.”
--- Herman Melville, Moby Dick
The above quotation from the immortal American Classic reminds me of the all-dynamic change that is ever happening in the living universe.  Sometimes, as we travel through an old alley we quickly quietly tell ourselves, “Oh! I cannot recognize anything here. Everything has changed!” That is the law of the universe. Men build homes and towns only to bring them down and then to build them again...and again and it goes on and on.  
Herman Melville may like to dream of a Moby Dick that will never change... a Moby Dick that will rule the seas for a million years...a Moby Dick that is aggressive yet enigmatic ....a Moby Dick that will never heed to the call of anyone. I too want to dream a dream of that sought. 
They say there is so much romance in everything old : the vintage, the heritage, the traditional, the classic... and I love them all. The old hand-written letters that has travelled seas, the classic postage cancellations that have gone through war zones, the old songs and the poems, the gray and B&W photographs that has frozen in time and place...and my list goes on and on. 
It was about this whale... all about this whale....and, today I beckon my soul to thread a soft path through ages passed and lives lived. For a moment I wish to go into them. Then I will glorify God for all He is in my past, present and future. 

Thursday, June 3

A burgeoning earth and the city girl...

Summer is soon going to end. But I think of the summer parched earth....She is like a city girl...Lips are vibrant with light shades, hairs are straightened and shaggy, the nails all done up with metallic tints, the attire is an indigo jeans with a ‘T’ top... ears are dangling with light ear-drops and a  bracelet bright with symbols of the youth. I take the first look at this girl and thinks that the person is a sophisticated new generation brat. But then, as I open up a conversation with her, things cools down. Deep within all this makeup lays a simple soul to understand.
I think of the summer-parched earth as this city girl: simple and gay. And it takes only a couple of rains to cool her down...and to reveal her secrets.  A week into the monsoon, earth is all set anew with new life. She gives birth to the worms and the rotting leaves, the awakened trees and the swollen ponds of fishes and tadpoles.
A burgeoning earth and the city girl... what a life this is all!