Monday, 14 November 2011

The Blind Boy-Colley Cibber

A simple poem, read more than a decade back. I remember telling my Mom that I did not want to re-read it because it "made me sad". A 6-year old's view of life did not allow for people being sad without being sad myself. Cut to 2011, I find the poem beautiful. It is not an awesome piece of literature of anything. But it shows the simple, honest kind of courage in going through difficulties, which I see around me in so many forms, and have learnt to appreciate greatly.

The Blind Boy
                ~ Colley Cibber

 O say, what is that thing called light,
 Which I can ne'er enjoy?
 What is the blessing of the sight?
 O tell your poor blind boy!

 You talk of wondrous things you see,
 You say the sun shines bright;
 I feel him warm, but how can he
 Then make it day or night?

 My day or night myself I make
 Whene'er I sleep or play;
 And could I ever keep awake
 With me 'twere always day.

 With heavy sighs I often hear
 You mourn my hapless woe;
 But sure with patience I may bear
 A loss I ne'er know.

 Then let not what I cannot have
 My cheer of mind destroy;
 Whilst thus I sing, I am a king,
 Although a poor blind boy.

[photo courtesy:]

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

On Losing the Meaning

My childhood thesaurus put melancholy as a synonym for sadness. But life taught me the subtle difference. Sadness comes with tears, anger, indignation, denial. It blocks out everything else. Sadness heals. We give Time, time, and sadness heals. But melancholy? Melancholy comes with a tired acceptance. It stays. Softly, unobtrusively but it stays. It never stops anything, but like a tinted glass, it dims the brightest of sunshine.

“And everyday life loses a little bit of its meaning.”

Thus read a friend’s text message while we were philosophising on the phone. Strange how depressing observations reach across people. No one died today. No dreams were shattered. No one cried out for help. No shots were fired. There is melancholy, not sadness.

And yet there is a ever-deepening sense of loss. Each day goes by with the feeling that it left me a little bit poorer than the previous. Small, almost imperceptible, but undeniable. Every day I lose a little more and I know I will never regain it back.

For someone who grew up believing in the glory of life, the brittleness of the meaning of life in the face of the world is hard to swallow. As I pick apart all that is around me, everything unravels with an ease that is almost scary. And it all echoes emptily with a single question, “What does it matter?”
So is that it? I remember shaking my head, and thinking “Crazy fellow”, when I first read that life is something that happens to you on the way to the grave. Somehow, I don’t do that anymore. Shake my head disbelievingly, that is.

No one died, because no one lived. No dreams were shattered because we lost those long back. No one cried for help because they learnt way early that there is no one to hear. No shots were fired because there is nothing left to fight for. And there is melancholy, not sadness.

They say sorrow shared is half. Perhaps it didn’t hold good for this because as I said, there is melancholy, not sadness. There was small comfort that two people, miles apart in terms of geography, ideas, age and background, both shared this depressing (and accurate?) view. The walls the world builds between people effectively prevents any real exchange of emotions, except perhaps in rare unguarded moments. We did not talk about this anymore beyond those five minutes.

My reply was that “If everyday life loses a little bit of its meaning, and you are still not done with it, I would still call you lucky. Because it means you started out with a whole lot of it in the first place.” Old habits die hard, and the eternal optimist says perhaps, just perhaps, this is the meaning of life. That in spite of it all, we still had this conversation.

[photo courtesy:]

Friday, 30 September 2011

Forbidden Fruit

This was written on a moment of inspiration. Inspiration that is partly literature, partly certain story people whom I know, partly lonely-night-blues And a lot of other things. Unrequited love is tough. Tougher is perhaps when you cannot even speak about it. And I don't even want to go into the cases where destiny has other plans in mind. (But I am totally against people being hailed as Romeos when they kill themselves when a relation gets over.Relations do get over.And you learn to live with it.Period.) As usual with me and poems, its extremely bad poetry, but I do hope some of the emotions manage to come through.

Forbidden fruit
Nectar divine
Love of mine
But only silently can I cry.

Forbidden fruit
I’d sell my soul
And take a nibble
If only the price wasn’t so high.

Forbidden fruit
Choices and decisions.
Actions and consequences
But what do you judge by?

Forbidden fruit
Never enough
Not even close
Judgement of man, hard to defy.

Forbidden fruit
What’s the use?
I know I will lose.
Why did the songs of love lie?

Forbidden fruit
Ever in mind
Never to be mine
Still no one to hear me sigh.

Forbidden fruit
The ecstasy of pain
Like moths to the flame
But I am too young to die.

Forbidden fruit
You will never know
Perhaps neither will I
Forbidden fruit.

[photo courtesy:]

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Love and Time

This happens to be a personal favourite since a long time back. Read it in a children's magazine, but the full message did not hit me until I sat down to read it out to my kid sister who was 7 at that time. Since then, I have shared it with scores of people, mostly kids. And it never fails to cheer me up (as well as those listening).

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others including Love. However, one day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all prepared their boats and left. Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to stay until it started sinking. When Love was almost sinking, she decided to ask for help.
Richness was passing by Love in a beautiful boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?”
Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There are a lots of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”
Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by, “Vanity, please help me!” “I can’t help you Love. You are all wet and can probably damage my boat,” Vanity answered.
Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, “Sadness, let me go with you.”
“Oh, Love, I am so sad that I prefer to go alone!”
Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not listen when Love called her.
Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come Love, I will take you.” It was an elderly. Love was so happy that she even forgot to ask the name of the elderly.
When they arrived to the other side, Love asked Knowledge who the elderly was.
Knowledge said, “It was Time. The greatest and the oldest of the grand desires.”
“Time?” said Love “But why did Time help me?”
“Because only Time knows how great Love is…”

[photo courtesy:]

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Lama

  Just a laugh for today.I read this a good 12 years back,and    trust me, I have never been able to get it out of my head!Have fun,peeps.

  The Lama

The one-L lama,
He's a priest.
The two-L llama,
He's a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-L lllama.
--Ogden Nash

Apparently, Nash also appended a footnote to the poem:

"The author's attention has been called to a type of conflagration known
  as a three-alarmer. Pooh."

I think it calls for one of our typical modern expressions: ROFL!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Heaven and Earth

Nothing much to say. Woke up early, looked out of my 6th floor window with bleary eyes towards the valley.
The view is never the same two days in a row. I don't usually bother taking a snap, instead I prefer to just sit and watch the light change until its time for the day to start. A little bit of peace in all the chaos.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Dream On

Found this suddenly among my old stuff. I wrote this almost 6 years back, when I was younger and naive -er. Its bad poetry, but I felt it when I wrote it. And like many budding literati who later find out that inspiration and genius are not the same, I'm a bit embarrassed at this early(and hopeless) effort. But I think I'll share it anyway! 

It'll be a sad day sure, when we forget to dream,
Dreams for us and for ours
Dreams for others and for theirs,
Dreams of a better world, a better life,
Dreams of a promised land, or just pleasant hike,
Dreams of a new beginning, a lighter load,
Dreams of a second chance, a better effort,
Dreams that bring sweat and tear,
Dreams that also bring smiles, for that matter,
Dreams that bring love,
Dreams that carry life,
Dreams that scream, dreams that shout,
Dreams that whisper, dreams that stay put,
Dreams that show the light,
When darkness mocks the fight,
Dreams that lead those wearied,
Dreams that support the grieved,
Dreams that make you do just that- dream,
Dreams that make you act,
Dreams that make other point and say,
"That man dared to dream!"
Dreams that inspire thousands, saying
You're dead if you don't dream,
Through all of life's struggles and trials,
Go on, DREAM!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A Word against War

You do not need big guns to kill flesh and blood,

You need them only to kill dreams.

I stumbled upon an article about the brutalities in Libya yesterday. As for what I felt, I don’t really have words for that. I do not know who is in the right or who is in the wrong. Perhaps both. Perhaps none. The world where good and bad had definite demarcations has long been lost. What I do however understand, is that it simply isn’t fair.

photo courtesy:

Monday, 15 August 2011

What do you see

What do you see when you see a person?

Do you see the lined face? Or how the eyes crinkle with a smile?

Do you see beautiful eyes? Or the tears let fall at night?

Do you see the smile? Or how it brightens others’ lives?

Do you see the upheld head? Or the battles fought to keep it that way?

Do you see the faded jeans? Or the memories of a romance long over?

Do you see the awkward shoulders? Or the workload of ten people?

Do you see chapped hands? Or how quickly they are extended to others?

Do you see the upraised fist? Or the feisty spirit?

Do you see the ready laughter? Or the warmth that comes of it?

Do you see that the nice shoes? Or the steps taken willingly for others?

Do you see the composed air? Or the personal demons defeated?

Do you see the rolling gait? Or the ease with which it adjusts to yours?

Do you see the folded hands? Or the prayers whispered in solitude?

What do you see when you see a person?
Do you see a person? Or do you see their stories?

feel free to leave a comment, what do you see?
photo courtesy:

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
But make allowance for their doubting too; 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, 
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating, 
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; 
If you can meet with triumph and disaster 
And treat those two imposters just the same; 
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, 
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
And never breath a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, 
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch; 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; 
If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - 
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

A personal favourite. For the days when things just go wrong. When all I want is to break down and let go, and I can't because to give up was never an option. 

Friday, 5 August 2011

Purple Clouds

I look out of my window and see the dawn breaking behind the purple clouds over the distant hills and I realize that this pen of mine will not run for ever. There is so much I have yet to say, so much I have yet to put to words, and so little time.

A lifetime seems too small to write and say all that I need to. There are questions I have to ask, answers that I need to give, stories that I need to share.

There are a hundred little things that I want to show you. Dragonflies dancing in the rain, the rainbow across the valley, seagulls  flying across the early evening moon. And the purple clouds over the distant hills.

There is so much I want to write about. Love, friendship, good times, smiles. You.

There are things I hope to share with you. John Denver songs, heartbreaks, coffee on a rainy afternoon, laughter. And the purple clouds over the hills.

There is so much I want to tell you. The secrets of this world, and of the worlds beyond that.  That a wise man summed up life in three words, “It goes on”.
That the world works in ways you and I know nothing of. That it is better that way.
That some people come into your lives, and you are never, never the same again. That everybody has a story, if only we are willing to listen.
That the world is not always kind to dreamers. That all dogs do go to heaven.
That you can die a thousand times over, but you live only once.

There are so many answers I need to find. Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why are somethings best left unsaid? Why does the world follow straight lines and twisted logic? Why is it, that sometimes, you can give all and more, and still lose?

There is so much I want to do with you. Jump puddles, pillow fight, taste the rain. Stargaze, cry, ride into the sunset.

There is so much I want to leave in your care, when I am not there tomorrow.
The laughter of children. The faith in people, no matter what. The love for freedom.
The strength to do good. The first spring leaves.
The belief that all of us, no matter how small, can make the world a better place. The power to say truthfully, “I’m happy”.
The world, ‘cause “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world”.
My words, for all that I may never have time to share with you. And the purple clouds over the distant hills.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Dead . Calm .

It’s not that I have never been in doubt before. I have doubted myself, I have doubted the people around me, I have doubted God. I have doubted the world, and its people, and their actions. I have doubted the purpose of existence. I have doubted everything until all seemed to curl up like the dot beneath the question mark. I have lived with doubt long enough to lose my dread of it. Doubt doesn’t scare me anymore. At least not much, anyway.

Anger doesn’t scare me either. I have been so angry that I could have killed those around me. . I have been angry enough to get into fights.  I have felt angry enough to destroy the world. Or perhaps destroy myself. But I know my anger doesn’t last long. One flash, and then gone. I can forgive my enemies, even if I don’t forget them. I am not afraid of anger.

I haven’t been much scared in the time I have been around. I have taken on things with a juvenile audacity, and sometimes naivety. Que Sera Sera have always tided me through.

But I am scared now. Not because of doubt, or anger or sadness or any of those things. But rather of the lack of the aforesaid. I am almost not angry anymore. I accept more than I doubt. And most of all, I am afraid that I am not crazy any more. I am not mad at the world or at myself.

They said this would be the best. That when you stop bothering, you will be safe. But that is not me. To be safe, to be calm. That is not me. I want to cry, to rage about. I want to question. I want to go down fighting. Good or bad, I still want to care. I want to dream. I want to tear down the walls that enclose. I want to break the lines that conform.  

I can take the punishment of seeing my dreams being broken, a hundred times over. I can take the challenge of starting over, every single time. I can take the ridicule of my peers and admonishment of my elders. I can take the burden of fighting a lost war to stand up for what I believe in. But I cannot take this darkness. I cannot take this tiredness, this hopelessness, that threatens to overwhelm me. I cannot take this calm.

Because as long as I am angry, or doubtful, or cynical, or hurting, I know I will make it through. And right now, I am scared. That I might not.

photo source:

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Bitter Homecoming

Homecomings aren’t always as rosy as the movies paint them to be. “The greatest journeys are those that bring us home”, went the tagline of a movie I had seen a few years back. True, I know of homecomings that totally justify it. But then again, I also know of the other kind of homecomings.

I left my home of 14 years in defiance of the wishes of almost every person I know and love. I went to a college 3000kms away. Single child of my parents, it was tough to leave. My best friends all decided to make their futures in the city where we had grown up together. In a class of 150, I was one of the five or six people who decided to fly the nest. But I had my reasons, and I stuck to my guns. Even though it meant tearing myself apart.

But I still come back twice a year. Comeback to everything that had sent me away in the first place. It’s almost funny, in a twisted, sadistic kind of a way. 

Here’s the thing. I like coming back. And I hate coming back.

I will be honest.
There are lots of good things. I have always been a well-loved person. And I am still welcomed back with open arms, by friends and family alike. It feels good to know that I am missed at least by a few people. Truth be told, I miss my people too, specially the kids. Who doesn’t? 
And I love the city. For better or for worse, it is an indelible part of me. Anyone who has been to Calcutta for a single day will agree that for all its drawbacks, it still is a very different metro. And I am fiercely proud to be a part of it. Maybe it’s a different story that I find it claustrophobic. The people, the ideas, the buildings, the apathy. It all makes me retch mentally.

I don’t think I ever got it right. The entire “man is a social animal” thing. While I was never a disappointment to my parents, I haven’t exactly been the dutiful daughter too. I have taken a lot of shit from a lot of people. I have messed up things with my friends countless times. I was a lousy girlfriend. I haven’t been of mortal use to anyone till now. I never really ‘belonged’. When I left, my 17 year old naivety convinced me that a new place would mean a fresh start, new people and perhaps I would go better this time. Now when I come back, my 19 year old experience tells me that people don’t change, only the faces and names do. And the new start is an Utopian dream that only a lucky few achieve.

For me, to come home is to be reminded of all that I have failed at, of all that I love and cannot have, of broken dreams and disillusionment, of that torturous feeling of being torn between love and hate.

I learnt long back a harsh truth of the world. That wishes don’t come true, and no matter how many shooting stars you whisper upon, you are wasting your breath. Perhaps all I need now is someone who can tell me otherwise. Because I need to make a wish. I need to wish that one day, I can call a place home, in the bestest sense of the term, without anything of past and future to haunt me. I want to be free. I want to belong. I want to come home.

photo courtesy:

Friday, 17 June 2011

A Few Good Men

"To be called a daughter...that's the biggest honour a girl ever
receives, even if it is from a stranger."

My father.A coach. Two or three uncles. A professor in one city. One more in another. A neighbour. The list is not endless, but it is impressive, at least in my eyes.

They understand me for who I am. Understand that while I am ‘officially’ nineteen, I am also thirty-five, and at time even five. Understand that I need a semblance of order in chaos. That I need periodic confirmation that my beloved ideas and ideals,do hold true.

It is from them that I learnt that respect is not demanded, it is commanded. That men can be gods, and even the gods are not infallible. That we do not stop dreaming even if the dreams do not come true. That honesty, integrity and honour may go out of fashion, but will never go out of favour among people who really understand the world.

I learnt that that there is greatness in the everyday work, beauty in the plainest face, wisdom in the strangest of places and a story behind every person. I learnt that everything happens for a reason, even though we may not understand it right away. That the world works in ways you and I know nothing of.
I learnt to have faith. In me, and in those around me.

I learnt to listen, because I got listened to.
I learnt to see people for what they are, not what they have.
I learnt to value opinions, because mine were valued.
I learnt to stop complaining, because I saw greater burdens cheerfully carried.
I learnt to believe in miracles, because I saw them refuse to acknowledge life any other way.

I learnt that success can have many forms. That a quiet “well-done” can mean more than all the marks in the world. That the good opinion of honest people is as satisfyingly earned as the shiniest of medals.  That laying up blessings instead of money is a rewarding investment.

I learnt that no matter what the world tries to convince otherwise, at the end of the day the only person answerable for me, is me.

It didn’t matter where they were from. It didn’t matter that they were busy, or it was simply not their job. It didn’t matter that I haven’t been able to give them anything in return, except perhaps reverence.
If kindness could kill, I would have been long dead by now, many times over. Each of them was inexplicably kind, each in his own style. Not because they had to, not because they needed to. But simply because they could. That’s one more thing that I learnt.

And most importantly, I learnt that no matter how full the world is of jackals and jackasses, there still will be a few good men. To know, revere and work under some of them, has been a delight and an honour. To be their “little girl” is a privilege. So to all those who prove that the race of father-figures is not dead, thank you, and wish you a very happy Fathers’ Day.

Dedicated to all those father figures who have made me who I am today, and who will always be there for me, no matter what road I walk on.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Don't We All

The woman parked in front of the mall, wiping off her car. She had just come from the car wash and was waiting for her friend to get out of work. Coming her way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money.

There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don't want to be bothered. For him, it was one of those "I don't want to be bothered times." "I hope he doesn't ask me for any money," she thought. He didn't. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn't look like he had enough money to even ride the bus. 

After a few minutes he spoke. "That's a very pretty car," he said. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard kept more than his face warm. She said, "thanks," and continued sitting quietly inside the car. He sat there quietly too. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between them widened, something inside her said, "Ask him if he needs any help." She was sure that he would say "yes" but still she yielded to the inner voice. 

"Do you need any help?" she asked. 

He answered in three simple but profound words. She had expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand, instead, he spoke the three words that shook her (and me, when I first read this story)

"Don't we all?" he said. 

We feel high and mighty, successful and important, above the bums in the street. Until someone reminds us those three words. Don't we all? We all need help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but we still do need help. She reached into her wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. 

We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments.But sometimes we stumble upon the most profound of thoughts from the most unexpected of sources.Five years after I heard this story from our school janitor, those three little words still ring true.

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Story of Moths

Moths never arouse in us the same feeling of happiness as butterflies do, do they? And why so? Because they are plain, and grey and brown, and do not look pretty. Right? Here is a story about moths that I read long back and has stayed with me ever since.

Moths are the most beautiful animals in the animal kingdom. At one time they were more colourful than the butterflies. They have always been helpful, kind, and generous creatures. One day the angels up in heaven were crying. They were sad because it was cloudy and they couldn’t look down upon the people on earth. Their tears fell down to the earth as rain. The sweet little moths hated to see everyone so sad. They decided to make a rainbow. The moths figured that if they asked their cousins, the butterflies, to help, they could all give up just a little bit of their colours and they could make a beautiful rainbow. 

One of the littlest moths flew to ask the queen of the butterflies for help. The butterflies were too vain and selfish to give up any of their colours for neither the people nor the angels. So, the moths decided to try to make the rainbow themselves. They beat their wings very hard and the powder on them formed little clouds that the winds smoothed over like glass. Unfortunately, the rainbow wasn’t big enough so the moths kept giving a little more and a little more until the rainbow stretched all the way across the sky. They had given away all their colour except brown, which didn’t fit into their beautiful rainbow.

Now the once colourful moths were plain and brown. The angels up in heaven saw the rainbow, and became joyous. They smiled and the warmth of their smiles shown down on the earth as sunshine. The warm sunshine made the people on earth happy and they smiled, too. Now every time it rains the baby moths, who still have their colours, spread them across the sky to make more rainbows.

There are many moths around us, who do there bit to make others’ lives colourful, and never ask for anything in return. We, on our part, hardly notice them, until the helpful presence is gone and the small things that made the days pleasant add up and show the magnamity of the work done.

The plainest among us have the brightest of colours inside, and there are many who give it away to those whose days are dark. Remember it the next time, show your appreciation. And do the same for people around you. Add a little bit of colour to the lives of those around you, and you will find your own suffused with multitudinal hues.Thanks for stopping by, and see you again!

p.s. I have nothing against butterflies! but this story just warms my heart :-)

Monday, 2 May 2011

A small celebration

"The more you celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate."
And today, you celebrate.

Dance in the rain and sing in the shower. Skip stones and chase squirrels.

Play hopscotch on the pavement. Turn somersaults on the bed.

Get flowers. For yourself. For your best friend. For the girl in the flat above yours.

Smile at a stranger on the road. Say thank you to the cab driver.

Laugh at yourself. Never repeat mistakes. There are too many new ones to be made anyway.

Treat yourself to the double sundae that your diet does not allow. Buy the candy you haven’t had since 6th grade. Try out the new Korean food shack at the street corner five blocks away.

The guy at work you find cute? Tell him. The weekend holiday you wanted to take? Get the tickets.

Feed the pigeons in the park. Adopt a stray. 

Dream. Don't just smile, grin. Ear to ear. Fall in love all over again.

Remember you can die a thousand times, but you live only once. And for one day, live to the fullest. One day, when you are not scared to make a fool of yourself, because no matter what other’s say, you are having fun. One day, where you keep aside the darkness and the hurt and pain and simply be happy.

You can go back to "normal" tomorrow. Or perhaps never again.

Let it be today. Today, that you celebrate yourself.

Celebrate that you are a limited-edition, one and only version of you. Celebrate that you are alive.

In this celebration called life, join in. Today. 

Monday, 25 April 2011

Making a Difference

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.  
-William James 
The Starfish Thrower is a famous adaptation of a story written by American anthropologist and nature writer Loren Eiseley. I feel in love with the story ever since my father read it to me a long ten years back. Most of you probably know it already. But I can say from personal experience, this is one story where it does not matter if you have read it previously or not.

“One day, a man walking down a beach early in the morning, saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of another man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" he asked, somewhat startled.

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

"But, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are thousands of starfish all along every mile? Then there are beaches all over the world. You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it sailed in one wide arc and met the water, he simply commented, "Well, it made a difference to that one."

Every time I read it, I get new courage to move on in life. Because I understand what it means to make a difference to a life. I do not need to change the world. But if can positively affect a single person in my lifetime, in a way no one else could have, I think will die a happy person.
Touch someone’s life today. You never know how small a gesture can have how big an impact. Stay happy and thank you for stopping by. See you again! 

Friday, 22 April 2011


 Passion  /ˈʃən/ noun  strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

A learned friend recently gave me a Latin word to translate. Ardate. A little bit of thought lead me to the word ardent. And a little bit of research showed that I was pretty close. The Latin word root is ard, and ‘ardate’ literally translates as “to burn”.

As in to have passion. To be passionate.

Passion is to love something so much that it becomes a part of you. Something, which plays the rhythm of your heart beats and the music of your soul. It is something you will die for.

Passionate means you will live for it, as well.

Passion is something, which gives you heaven and hell in equal measure. Heaven, because it’s who you are. Hell, because you will always be left with an insatiable craving for more.

Passionate means to be unable to decide which is it, your sweetest dream or your worst nightmare.

Passion is to realise what you are passionate about. Then go out there and give your heart and soul to it.

Passionate means to know you can give some more when you have nothing else to give.

Passion is to live a lifetime in the space of a few moments. Because your passion is the reason for you existence. Not because you are the only one. Not because you are the best in it. But simply because you would not have been complete without it.

Passionate means to know neither would it have been complete without you.

Passion is to know that your number one enemy is Ridicule. And number two is You. It is to know that sometimes one and two can even swap places.

Passionate is to know how to ignore one of them, and reassure the other.

Passion is to realise that you are among a handful of blessed people lucky to have a passion. It is to realise that there is a majority who do not believe in passion, mainly because they don’t have one themselves.

Passionate to know that you can be simple with a passion, but you will be mediocre without one.

Passion is your shot at insanity in a world that is too cruelly sane.

Passion is to inspire others. And yourself.

Be passionate.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

In Love

"Come, Philander, let us be a marching, Every one his true love a searching..."
                                                                   -Louisa May Alcott
An Old Fashioned Girl

A friend of mine is walking around dreamy-eyed. Yes, it’s the usual diagnosis. He’s is in love. Literally drowning in it. Well, almost. Considering the minor details such as he does not know whether the lady in question is even aware of his existence or not. And the fact that given his current state in the affairs (he blushes violently at the mention of her name), he will probably need a few shots from the bottle just to have enough courage to say hi to her.

Being “responsible” friends, we gave him a verbal douche bath. To bring him back to earth, we said. And to remind him of those small, afore mentioned details. I liked the way he took our words with infantile meekness, turned around, and went on mooning over “his girl” with undampened ardour. We gave up after 30 minutes of hearing him praise her. Actually, it was when she walked past our group lounging on the stairs, that we knew that we had lost the battle.

Looking at the beatific expression that that suffused his face suddenly made me realise a very hard fact. I miss being in love. I miss the heady feeling that comes with it. The automatic gut-wrench when the object of your admiration is near. My last encounter with this aspect of human emotions had not really been a great one. We had ended with a lot less love than what we had started out with and from then I had been on a self-imposed sabbatical from the pink-heart-shaped stuff. That is why perhaps it took me by surprise. The fact that I actually miss it, that is. The plans, the dreams (and the merciless ribbing, yes, that too!). The intricate designs and last minute change of routes just so you can catch a glimpse or have a word. I miss the utter silliness of it. I miss going around with a stupid grin on my face, as if the entire sunshine of existence is on my shoulders.  But most of all, I think I miss the fact that it takes you out of yourself into some other plane that people in love (like my friend right now) seem to exist in. The wonderful way it beautifies everything around you. The warm fuzzy feeling that seems to tell you, that everything’s all right with the world.

My friend is suddenly finding the April skies bluer than usual. For his sake, I hope that they don’t turn grey for a long, long time to come. For mine, I am kind of hoping my turn comes again, soon. Blue skies and pretty flowers or not, I just want to get back to the times when the world seems to revolve around a single person. And as of now, I must go and see to a hapless Romeo who wants to know how to ask a girl for her number.

(Oh, one more thing, when she passed us on the stairs, she waved, which solved the million dollar question on whether she knew that he existed or not.)

Stay in love, people, nothing beats it. In the meantime, stay happy. See you again!

Thursday, 31 March 2011


"And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe."

I stood watching the ocean with my toes digging into the moist sand. The waves crashed onto the shore a few feet away from where I was. The water sometimes came up and swirled around my ankles. As it flowed back, it took the sand from beneath my feet, disbalancing me slightly.

I stood watching the ocean carry on in the same way as it had been for millions of years.

I stood there watching the ocean as millions before me had done, and millions more would do.

I stood there watching the ocean and felt the melancholy of the world bear down on me. I heard the smash of broken dreams and unfulfilled promises. The wind that ruffled my hair brought with it the stench of dead ambition and the sigh of unlived moments. I felt the wings of flight fettered by the chains of habit. I saw the seething rage in the white billows in front of me. And I knew that the rage would forever be bottled up inside the hearts of men, burning them, tormenting them, destroying them inside, while they go on placidly with their lives on the outside. I felt stifled by the darkness of fear which threatens to draw out the life from everything that men hold dear. For a time, it left me broken. The defeat, the humiliation, the unfairness of it all. The overwhelming mediocrity of existence. The utter helplessness that came with being human. It made me cringe.

I stood there watching the ocean and was redeemed by the ancient wisdom of that unending stretch of water in front of me. The roaring waves echoed back my very words to me. Being human. That was what mattered. To have the power to choose. Choose to be bigger than what pulls down, to be greater than what opposes.In spite of all the despair, men will still forge on. What I had mistaken as useless rage is actually what keeps the wheels of the world moving. Moving to higher, better, stronger. Extraordinary rises from the ashes of mediocrity. Because the only time Man is mediocre, is when he has nothing to fight against. As long as the tussle is there between living and existence, so long mankind is great. It takes a man to feel the helplessness. And it requires of the same man to rise above it.
I was reminded of something I had read long back.  This you may say of man—when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back. This you may say and know it and know it. This you may know when the bombs plummet out of the black planes on the market place, when prisoners are stuck like pigs, when the crushed bodies drain filthily in the dust. You may know it in this way. If the step were not being taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall, the throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live—for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live—for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.” (John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)

There may come a day when man will not rise up any more. When he forgets love, despair, anger and everything else that made him who he is throughout the ages. But that will not come to pass, as long as there is someone who stands there watching the ocean.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Across the sunset

This is something I snapped recently while on holiday with my family.

Somehow it reminds me of our lives : the journey across an endless space and
time, where we are merely tiny specks of existence. And yet, yet....the picture
would not be half as beautiful if the people in it did not exist.

And yes, it reminded me of this too:
"Row, row , row your boat,
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily. merrily,
Life is but a dream."

We actually learn such beautiful philosophy as soon as we are able to lisp!

Location : Murudeshwara, Karnataka, India.

Soak in the serenity people. In the meantime, catch a smile and hold a heart.
Thank you.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Date a girl who reads

I found this as a post shared by my sister. Being myself a "girl who reads", I know each of the sentiments mentioned, and the post struck a chord in me.

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

Friday, 25 March 2011

Live in the Moment

My teacher told me this story once. I was a 14 year old back then, and the enormity of the message was, frankly speaking, lost on me at that point of time. I have seen a bit of this world (including its ugly side) since that fateful day, and somehow, the story has grown in significance within me.

"A Zen master was walking through a forest.

Suddenly, looking back, he saw a tiger stalking him. He ran for his life, as the tiger chased him through the jungle. He came to a cliff with the tiger hot on his heels. Finding no other way, he jumped off from the cliff.

While falling, he caught an overhanging strawberry bush and dangled from it, trying to figure out how to climb down, as the angry tiger was still there at the top of the cliff, and he could not hang on for ever.

Looking down, his last hope was dashed, as he saw another tiger almost waiting for him at the bottom of the cliff."

(At this point in the story, the teacher asked me "What do you think happened next?" My reply was, maybe he got the tigers to fight each other and escaped or something equally heroic like that. I was not prepared for what came next.My teacher smiled, and continued - )

"He picked a strawberry from the bush he was hanging on to for dear life, and he said, "Ah! What lovely strawberries!""

The story has more to it than what meets the eye at first glance.Think about it.In the meantime, catch a smile and hold a heart.Thank you.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Story People

It’s the story of survivors.

Those who fell in love. Those who fell in love and had their hearts broken. Who picked up the pieces and put them back together, so that they could fall in love again.

Those who repeated the aforesaid many a times .

Those who sang in the shower. Who saw colour in grey.

Those who built their world knowing it won’t last, but built it any way. Those who quietly started over when it all came crashing.

Those who did the small things which no one notices, but remembers when there’s no one to do them anymore.

Those who made the days a little brighter, unconsciously.

Those who believed in the good of the world, even though, deep down, they realised they might just be wrong. Who refused to think otherwise, even when proved otherwise.

Those who told you it was ok to cry. Who never wanted let you see their tears. Those who went through times when even tears were not enough.

Those who smelt the rain on parched soil. Those who dragged you out, sleepy eyed, to watch a sunrise. Who saw life as a beautiful, heart breaking orchestra. Yes, beautiful. Yes, heart breaking.

Those who never thought they were worth very much in the world. Who sent up a prayer every night, never asking for anything for themselves, except the courage to be good.

Those who played the fool. Along with a thousand other roles.

Those who never spoke of their loss. Who never gave a hint that deep inside, they were as lost as a little kid. 

Those who smiled when they saw a baby. Those who made everyone around them feel big.

Those who just did their job. Who never did anything great or stunning. Or get into the papers.  

Those who scorned at anything sentimental. Who got sentimental when you gave them a lollipop. Who got sentimental when you didn’t give them a lollipop, and had it yourself.

Those never an empty hand go un-held. Those who will leave a bigger legacy than the shiniest treasure, the legacy of an honest name.

Those who made this life worth living. Who proved it was worth, by living it themselves.

Its the story of everyone.

It’s the story of you.

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