Posts Tagged ‘life’

I choose to love you in silence

For in silence, I find no rejection.

I choose to love you in loneliness

For in loneliness, no one owns you but me.

I choose to adore you from a distance

For distance will shield me from pain.

I choose to hold you in my dreams

For in my dreams, you have no end.

-Jalaluddin Rumi

Endings are always painful & difficult. Be it anything. Any relationship, habit, time, custom, tradition, thing or trend that ends has once been a living, thriving part of our life, growth or routine. A definitive conclusion or how things play out is, thus, a significant part of our lives and needs to be written about.

It would be the most logical assumption that the end of another year has brought about such ruminative notions to the fore. In a way it is correct. One tends to sit and contemplate on the year gone by and the trials and triumphs that it brought along in its wake. Yet again, year ends are neither times to lament nor celebrate, as a year is just Time, it is constant, eternal. Time doesn’t end. It is just our reactions to the situations it presents that constitute the very framework of our being.

There were so many different thoughts running about in my mind for this year-end blog that a few weeks back I did something I had never done before. I jotted down some notes with the intent of using them for channelizing my erratic ideas into a fairly coherent piece of writing. But some things are just not meant to be. I just couldn’t piece them together into a write up. I have always written spontaneously. Planned writing has never been my forte. I write in the moment yet I am going to share my notes here.👇

I am a firm believer in the power of grey. In my humble opinion, nothing is always ever completely white or black. Our lives cannot be classified or arranged in clear spaces or brackets of right or wrong, loss or gain, happiness or pain. Such gradation is just not justified. Yet so fickle is the human mind that we tend to forget the happy moments and concentrate on the losses.

The biggest loss that I had to endure this year was the parting of ways with an important person in my life. It was hard giving up on a relationship that I had come to value more than most. Never before had I fought so hard to retain someone in my life but then, never before had anyone called me Maa and gifted me with an overwhelming feeling of immense love and fulfillment while it lasted. His life choices took him away from me. We drifted apart before it became too ugly for him. But, love still remains. I hope & pray that his choice brings him love, peace & happiness and that the ensuing years guide him to the path of contentment and success. Although he has been a regular, inseparable part of my life and writings for the past many years, this is the last time he will find reference in my blogs because I am of the resolute opinion that if one cannot stay & if it has to be distant, it better not be. No use flogging a dead horse or watering a dead plant, the language is replete with metaphors.


This year, I witnessed some of my very close friends and acquaintances suffering irreparable losses at the hands of fate, destiny, Providence. The void that such a bereavement or misfortune leaves, is hard to be replenished by anything this world has to offer. No words of solace, acts of kindness or passing of time can completely heal the hurt. Yes, with time people get used to living in a certain way because this is life and if nothing else, it is never short on distractions. Yet the emptiness and gaping wounds cannot be palliated by any prescription. Even then, as they say, life is for the living and one has to move on and keep on living for the people who are and who care. None of us has the luxury to sit back and nurse our broken hearts and spirits. There is life to be lived, responsibilities to be carried out and people to be loved & supported. I hope & pray that the coming years give them reasons to rejoice, sooner rather than later- reasons that have the subtlety to soothe these troubled and shattered souls.

Recently, I had occasion to visit my native place and spend some days with my extended family. I always believed that life in the countryside is much simpler, relationships more pure and innocent than their counterparts in the cities. The rustic grandeur of stone paved pathways and dusty lanes crammed with cattle & livestock along with playing, laughing, screaming children held a special attraction for me. The sights, sounds, smells of the rural kind never ceased to amaze me. Their lifestyle, their food and the thought they put into each relationship by dint of being always in each others’ touch, drew me magnetically towards them. Many of these rosy-eyed beliefs of mine were in for a rude shock when I got a chance to spend some time with the rural folk. My mind initially refused to register the terrible intrigues & internal feuds, the constant back-stabbing & back- biting, the ubiquitous plotting & scheming of sub-urban people. It was worse than the neglect most city people come across at the hands of their fellow city-dwellers, on a daily basis because it wasn’t expected in a close knit community spread a little over three kilometers. The degeneration of morals and family values opened my eyes to new vistas of country life. My trust in the concept of family, filial & community obligations and the significance of kith & kin, that my father has brought me up with, was shaken to its very core. To say that the visit was a disappointment is an understatement of giant proportions. It was downright vulgar to behold such deterioration of human character in our own backyard. I hope & pray that in the year ahead, people, there, would realize the flaws, fallacy, laxity & errors of their ways and work towards restoring the bucolic charm of the village.

This year, I was a silent onlooker of the changes my sisters brought about in their lives. I saw my younger sister fight her inner demons and come out victorious at the end. I witnessed her transformation from a broken, tottering person to a strong, self-assured, assertive individual who doesn’t  pay heed to the censure of society. Societal norms and age-old patriarchal maxims don’t govern her life and decisions. No one, but she, regulates what is right or wrong for her and her child. I salute her tenacity in the face of adversity. I, also, greatly admire the never-say-die attitude of my elder sister. She dared to brave and confront life at its lowest and ventured into areas she had never dreamt she would have to go into, with extreme patience and grace. I hope & pray the coming years be kind to them and theirs. I pray for more strength, perseverance, tolerance and courage for these two indomitable, indefatigable and earnest women.

Last but not the least, a special mention needs to be made of two people who don’t  want to be cited in any of my write-ups and yet read them all, word by word. I know the written word doesn’t mean much to you. You are both assured & confident of the bond we share and yet here I am, being grateful to God that I got to know you better and that we have had such good years together. I am much obliged by the love and constant care you accord me. It is, indeed, a privilege knowing you. I hope & pray that you, my confidantes, receive all that you seek in life and that the next year or the years ahead would never leave you wanting in any aspect of your existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

✨Happy New Year to all readers!!✨

Auld Lang Syne

 

Diwali festivities over, I had a wonderful day today with guests and relatives, friends and loved ones turning up to meet us. Yet another gentle reminder that life is worth living and celebrating only when you have your people around to share it with you and rejoice in it. 

The day started going downhill when I had this weird feeling of loss and emotional emptiness after we had all turned in for the night. While going through my Facebook timeline,  I came across a dedication , a condolence message from one of my friends in memory of one of his. 

I had tears in my eyes at the sheer helplessness & ineptitude of man when faced with fate. The young, handsome face of that unknown individual shook me to the core. Dedications ranged from calling him a hearty, jovial, ambitious, full of life person to his keen interest in photography and a general zest for life. Some of his friends had mentioned how he refused to get married before he made something of his life, how he wanted to become someone for his family- his parents before he embarked on a journey of marital bliss. He wanted to make them proud. 

To be taken away so cruelly in an accident on a day when most of us were celebrating the festival of lights, left everyone of his friends speechless. All the posts dedicated to him, tagging him carried his smiling, dashing pictures and all of them invariably wanted him back because so much was left unsaid, unspoken, unfinished… I was moved beyond belief. Tears came unbidden. 

We take so much for granted. We forget that this life we have is so uncertain. Just like Navdeep, we may be celebrating one moment, devouring ladoos, and be gone the next, leaving dazed family members and loved ones to pick up the pieces of shattered lives, dashed hopes and unfulfilled dreams. There is just so much riding on us, we fail to notice. 

We do not acknowledge that the final frontier may come to us sooner than we expect. Instead we while away our lives fighting with our loved ones, keeping grudges, leaving things unsaid, loving people and not letting them know. We think we have all the time in the world but we don’t. 

We need to re-prioritize our lives. Know what is important, acknowledge the people who are there for us- no matter what, stop fighting, shelf our egos, love without restraint, be thankful, commit to life & people and stop hurting the ones who have been there and who promise to stay. Believe me, nothing is more important than earning love and respect in your lifetime. After all, it is meaningless if people just praise you when you are gone. It is the difference you make in lives, while you are still alive and kicking, that counts

It may be a naive attempt at writing but my message is clear. Apologise if you are wrong, help if you can, try to understand the perception of others, be tolerant, save relationships, say it if you care, quit hurting people & be grateful for all that you have. Making money is important but at the end of the day , it isn’t everything. Judge what brings you happiness, true heartfelt pleasure. Is it the idea of being rich, of finding solace in temporary people or things, of validation from your peers or is it being blessed with people who love you, who are permanent in life, that brings true richness and meaning to your ordinary existence? 

Think and act now because what we can’t achieve before death knocks us down, remains as regret in one heart or the other. Choose well what you wish your life to be. 

I am not a huge fan of pop music from the 50s and the 60s. The first time I heard this beautiful song was in the movie Love Actually, some 9 years back. And,  about four years after that a very dear student gave me this song to listen. Since then, Joni Mitchell’s version of this masterpiece has always remained on my playlist and I have delighted in its cadence thousands of times. I have always admired the raspy timbre of her voice. The gruff, scratchy sound goes perfectly well with the cover of the album, with her holding a cigarette in one hand and a glass of red wine lying in wait.  

Both Sides Now- Joni Mitchell

It is only recently that I got to know that Frank Sinatra, considered by music enthusiasts as one of the most iconic & influential 20th century artists, also rendered his voice to a version of the same song during his reprise years. Although his voice is timeless but I would still go with Joni Mitchell’s version any given day. 

Both Sides Now – Frank Sinatra 

The sublimity of this song lies not only in her rendition but also the soul stirring lyrics. It’s the words that resonate with me every time I listen to this song. I have posted the lyrics in hope that even if readers don’t click on the links above, they can atleast read the exalting text.

Rows and flows of angel hair

And ice cream castles in the air

And feather canyons everywhere

I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone

So many things I would have done

But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow

It’s cloud illusions I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all


Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels

The dizzy dancing way you feel

As every fairy tale comes real

I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go

And if you care, don’t let them know

Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow

It’s love’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know love at all


Tears and fears and feeling proud

To say “I love you” right out loud

Dreams and schemes and circus crowds

I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed

Well something’s lost, but something’s gained

In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all

There are quite a few songs that can make the list if I start writing about them but my purpose today is to convey a message of love and hope to a very dear, affectionate person who needs it today. I am sure he will peruse this write up as he always does with my blogs. I think he’ll recognize the song and appreciate why I chose it, in the first place. 

To him I want to say- Whatever trials and confusion you are going through are temporary. It is just a phase. Love and life are illusions to most people even if they gain intimate knowledge of them. No one can claim to understand them completely. There is no fixed recipe for happiness. Not all our desires are fulfilled. That said, we still live our lives and find happiness in whatever blessings we already have. I hope you find peace and happiness too. 

May you come back stronger and better. 

I’ve looked at life from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all


This, right here right now, is the nicest time of the year weather wise. The long grueling summers finally give way to cool breeze and purple skies, a welcome reprieve.  Mornings and evenings witness to pinkish cold & people slumber induced. But it is not the cool weather or the purple skies that attract me to these months of pure bliss, it is the trees and the leaves. 

There is something magical in the falling of golden leaves. A magic only nature can create. No artist, however proficient, can bring the vivid & vivacious colours of Autumn to his canvas, no writer, however gifted, can ever express the beauty and symbolism of falling leaves in well- strung words, no camera can capture the ethereal quality of nature’s bounty in its limited pixels. And I am not even that gifted with words, so I would leave the description of the sublimity of Autumn’s splendor to more practiced hands and sharper minds. 

I would rather speak about the symbolism of Fall. As in nature, so it is in life. After the harshness of summer months and some tender care of the rainy season, comes a time when the leaves dry up and can no longer hold on to the life giving tentacles of their trees. Nothing changes, per se. The tree stands tall in all its majesty still rooted to its earth but for the leaf it is the end of time, end of a journey which started with it bursting into life, all young and eager.

As it grows, it has to endure the tests of time and nature. Come rain or thunderstorms, hail or high water, it stands its ground, fulfilling its life’s purpose, funneling vitality into the very tree that holds it. It is torn and drawn and weathered but it still holds on – Fights and wins. And finally when the time approaches, it dessicates shrinking to a wrinkly texture, proud and elegant, connoting a life,  well-lived. Its grace does not end with it falling down. Once there, it enriches the soil, thus aiding in the springing up of new life, new leaves.

Such close resemblance to human life. The difference these days is that, people in the autumn of their lives try to pass on the wisdom of  their years to often uncomprehending, unheeding, unapologetic youth who always always think that they, themselves know better. 

The human race is sadly missing out on the mysticism and sorcery,  that the sagacity of the elderly, can bring about.

Unfortunately, the Autumn of their lives cannot stem the tide of falling values.