Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Master's Piece



He paints a stroke 
With his palette and brush
Bringing some milk whites here
And some cherry reds there 

He sings a song
With his note and tune
Bringing some sweet sparrows here
And some loud thunders there 

He writes a line
With his ink and quill
Bringing some little haiku here
And some big sonnets there

His muse I wonder 
How stirs his heart and mind
Bringing all creativity at its zest
And all versatility at its best


We will owe to him
This light for ever and for
Bringing a joy he never did cease
We call it life, our master's piece!


Prayers and wishes for you all...
Good night:-)

PS: This poem is written as a part of this week's Poetry Potluck at Jingle Poetry,this week's theme-Muse,Art,Music And Poetry.I couldn't think of any creator other than the Almighty himself or any magnum opus other than life itself.Hence the piece:-)

-R. 


Sunday, April 24, 2011

The 'I'dentity Crisis



Iamthecoolestguyonthisplanetbemyfrand’ spams your inbox with umpteen requests and follows you on all the social networking sites you are in.What do you think of and how much do you feel for this online stalker?Most of us will swing our head sideways,swear a few words and block him[who knows it maybe a ‘her’ too!]If you are an average person like me,eight out of ten times you can identify these kinds,can’t you?Unless you want to have some fun too;-)   

How do we define 'IDENTITY' at the first place before we call it false or true?To me it is a life long process of making our existence matter to the others and there is nothing static about it.There are a million facets to it,some real and some virtual.Our thoughts,feelings and actions make what we are and what we want to be for the world.Fortunately or unfortunately today the world wide web has a very important role to play in this matter.


These days relationships and important milestones of our lives are  handled by a click of the mouse or a type on the keyboard.Birthday wishes,wedding snaps,graduation photographs,reunions,break ups,travelogues,diaries,personal conversations,professional meetings,video chats,favorite songs,sport updates,weather forecast,news and gossip...you name it you have it.Through the internet we end up showing what we try to hide very unknowingly and subconsciously,the vice versa does happen too!In the name of ‘CHANGE’ we have internalized the social media way more than it was any day necessary.The  result is now in front of us,we cannot do without it anymore.Even if some amongst us can,we will be forced to get back into the groove in a span of few days to keep in touch with our people for the least.Gaye sirf roti,kapda or makan ke din…ab ek aur mangta hai-‘INTERNET’!:-)
  
Its all in the mind isn't it?;-)Yes indeed it is!According to Sigmund Freud’s model there are three components in our psyche.The ‘id’ which works like a problem child,the ‘super ego’ which works like a strict parent and the ‘ego’ which balances the two.As long as the ego does this juggling act well our identity can be considered acceptable.I made this picture to portray an example of the social network story of our world.All the give and take occurs within this intricate web or trap,whatever you prefer to make it or call it.


Click on the picture for a enlarged view


Human mind is infinitely complex.What happens inside it is sometimes not known even by the one who owns it.We all have an attention seeking behavior of different magnitudes along with a hundred other basic instincts.And depending on the time,place or person we use it smartly.But on many occasions more than discovering ourselves we are happy in inventing a picture of our life to the world the way it wants it to be.Until we do that nobody is going to inquire about us beyond their limit of interest.And therefore everybody is up to something to be loved and cared by someone continuously.There is nothing much wrong about it for nobody can lead a normal life without a network of family and friends.No man is an island after all,just that one should not lose the ground right under his feet;-)


Self clicked profile pictures,unconventional status updates,'retweetable' tweets,incalculable friends and followers on the list are the in thing of today to garner attention.So how genuine are these people?Maybe they feel they really are popular in some vacuum of their mundane existence.Also there are some disturbed souls who outpour every little problem they face on these sites expecting an ear to hear.A  comment to their update or a reply to their tweet does make them smile.Facebook asks'What's on your mind?' and Twitter asks 'What's happening?',now how many people who meet us everyday in person ask that?No wonder we find the social networks alluring!The strange fact for many of them amongst us is online presence means this and ends there.It satisfies them immensely and it is their true identity according to them.However appealing it is choose not to show any excess interest.Ignore them for it is a cue to what their identities are in reality.They reveal through their veil.You indirectly know what constitutes them.Remember what hits you back if you throw a stone into a clogged drain.You get the same thing when you click an 'ACCEPT' on that friend request.Beware!It doesn't take long to turn into their kind!


Sometimes it does get overboard and evade your personal space.It definitely becomes a matter of concern then.Your right and responsibility is to give them back in the right manner.It is neither easy nor hard to survive using the internet.The ones we meet through it cannot be expected to be true or false.Our reflections are completely relative.It is wrong to be judgmental about people unless they themselves claim that we know them well.Everything has a purpose,but the problem with the internet is it has many!Undeniably there are many good odd sheep who use it for the right reasons and settle for nothing but the evens.They are true in the truest sense making the best of the fictitious but fabulous world.This post of mine is dedicated  to each one of them:-)

"The internet is a reflection of our society and that mirror is going to be reflecting what we see.If we do not like what we see in that mirror the problem is not to fix the mirror,we have to fix society"

-Vint Cerf-


On a lighter note see this Peter Steiner's famous cartoon:

PS:A dog is a man's best friend,do you get that?;-)

Have a good Sunday!

-R.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Seeds Of Nostalgia

Occasionally life does give us a chance to relive our past.I was given one last evening.Bangalore for the past few days is being blessed with the kind of rain called Mango Showers which has always been special to me.I have had strong desires and many reasons to get drenched under it.Despite my apartment watchman’s weather predictions and repeated warnings I set out for a walk.

The Saga Tree
The drizzle had just begun.Two streets away I stopped under this tree not because I needed some shelter but I had found something after years.A strange nostalgia crept in,the kind of happy feeling what Ali Baba might have had while he opened the cave.But I did not have to say ‘Khul ja Sim Sim’for all my treasures where at my feet;-)

The Dried And Cracked Pods With Seeds
Tiny red jewel like seeds lay scattered on the road.Memories of my summer holidays in Mangalore came flashing by when I saw them.The evening walks to Kadri Park,the many deers munching grass behind the fences in the zoo,the toy train ride,the coconut oiled Churmuri with extra spice and most of all these seeds which I used to fill my skirt pockets with!Me and my brother used to collect them all the way back to Bejai.This activity was more like a competition between us!

And this time too it was hard to resist,I started picking them up.People on the road were giving me curious looks but I could not care any less.And in fact a lady joined me and said “When I was a kid I used to collect these too,aren't they beautiful?”.I gave her a smile.Clenching as many as I could in both my fists and dripping wet head to toe I rushed back home more than happy with my loot .These gems are now staying in this box and in my heart for life:-)



Here in Karnataka these seeds are called 'gulaganji'.They are used to play a traditional board game called 'Chenne mane'.It is said that in olden days because of their standard weight the seeds were used to weigh gold.Their vibrant red color attracts kids and sometimes they do end up as foreign bodies in their nostrils[my mother's childhood experience:-P].In some parts of the world these seeds are the symbol of love owing to the color maybe.If you are the crafty kind like me you can use them for decorative purposes or you can fill them in a nice bottle or cup and let it adore a corner of your home.Let me know if you find and like them too:-)

For some beautiful botany and a not so heavy history about these seeds visit:
And some wonderful lines to make you smile:

Earth teach me to forget myself 
as melted snow forgets its life. 
Earth teach me resignation 
as the leaves which die in the fall. 
Earth teach me courage 
as the tree which stands all alone. 
Earth teach me regeneration 
as the seed which rises in the spring.

-William Alexander- 

I am off to collect them again today.
Aah bless this town's weather!
Good evening everyone:-)

-R.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Challenge #4-Complex


Complex By 'Nature'

If you can approach the world's complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things."
-Daniell Dennett-

This picture is of the aerial roots of The Great Banyan Tree in the Botanical Garden of Howrah,the widest tree in the world.Take a few steps under its canopy and you will feel like you are amongst a hundred trees in a forest.Need anything more complex and yet beautiful?:-)

Have a good day!
-R.

PS: Get more complex at this week's Thursday Challenge here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Favorite Life



Whistling tunes at sunrise wake me up like a mellowed alarm
The birds in my heart flutter their wings stunned by its charm
One cup of coffee brimmed with a spoonful of saccharine care
As the rays of light dance with the curtains, sip by sip we share

Footprints wet and sparkling all over the floors match our feet
After we bathe under the showers,ready for the world to greet
Burnt toasts and raw omelettes,a perfect breakfast on our plate
For these are a few foods we never together cannot eat or hate

A pain in your eyes when I go to work and you wave a goodbye
So much love and so much care for a simple man I wonder why
A smile on your face while you stand to wait for me at the door
Like the orchids and primroses you grow in our gardens galore

Songs and laughter as we dine with silver stars in the moonlight
Spread like ripples in a tranquil when you whisper‘Good Night’
An old blanket that we later snuggle and to the other side pull
Those prayers we make to Lord for keeping our blessings full

While I snore and soar in my slumber a soft slap that you give
Hugs that you hold me tight with and my dreams that you live
A kiss you plant on my cheek thinking am in sleep Oh my wife
These are my favorites,well besides the above you are my life!

-R-
PS1: Dear hubbies of the world,you are free to dedicate this poem to your respective wives.Let me know if they like it;-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Million Dollar Quiz


I must admit that I am not a trivia or quiz person.Answers have always been easy for me and questions always difficult;-)That is pretty normal I guess!But few days ago I came across a wonderful one by Charles Schulz of the Peanuts fame.It left me more than impressed.As soon as I was done reading I felt that I have to share it with you.I am quite sure that you will like it too irrespective of your degree of affinity with quizzes.So here it is:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners. 

How did you do?

The point is,none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.These are no second-rate achievers.They are the best in their fields.But the applause dies.Awards tarnish.Achievements are forgotten.Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners . 

Here's another quiz.See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3 Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? 

THE LESSON:


The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials,the most money,or the most awards.They are the ones that care."


Now isn't that a million dollar worth quiz?:-)

In this rat race behind success,fame,money,power and peace in no particular order we sometimes end up paying little or no attention to people who form our support system.Why do not we consider or respond to the ones who make our world with the same passion and intensity?Is it the lack of time,lack of thoughts or lack of feelings?

A few universal grievances:
-My husband is bad at remembering dates.
-My wife is bad at saving money.
-My kid is bad at solving math.
-My mother is bad at cooking food.
-My father is bad at giving permissions.
-My friend is bad at being on time.
-My boss is bad at sanctioning leaves.
-My teacher is bad at approving assignments...

The list is messy,overlapping and endless.There is at least one thing or one person in our lives not matching our standards and satisfying our expectations.We want them to better,we want them to be the best.All this is not because we do not like them,there is much more to it.We crib,complain,worry and wonder about a hundred possibilities with or without them.In the process we tumble and rise,but we forget to live with and for them.At most of the times for most of us the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence and we end up comparing which is the most pointless thing to do!

No life is perfect,people who make ours are neither.They are not superstars,they are those silent angels whom we take for granted.They stay with us not because they expect something from us,they stay because they are just meant to.They may hurt or fight with us but they are also the only ones who will always be with us come what may!Life feels too long if we try forgetting people who are destined to deserve our attention.No wonder the second part of the quiz is as easy as rattling ABC unless one happens to be a aphasic loner.

Our world is a not so wide web where only a few out of the millions are entangled with each other by strong bonds of likeness and kinship.It is our responsibility to nurture it and make the web big.God has a plan and  we have to make it work.Before we reach for the stars in the sky for light lets look around and hold the fireflies that burn for us in our darkness.Lets stop now and then and show them that we care,let us show them that we love:-)

Because...

A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay,
Love isn’t love
'Til you give it away.

-Oscar Hammerstein II 
in 'The Sound Of Music'-

Today I showed my Dad a little of that,I told him that apart from the fact that no one can irritate me like he does there is another-"No one can love me like he does".He was more than happy and I was too for he was:-)So whom are you showing some today?Let me know...

Have a great week...
Hasta la vista:-)

-R.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Of Colour And Canvas


"Life is a blank canvas,and you need to throw all the paint on it you can"

-Danny Kaye-

Certain things, places, people and pastimes can always give us a life’s worth pleasure.It is funny how we forget them in our daily humdrum.It happens to me very often:-(Few days ago I had a strange feeling,I wanted to do something which I used to do years ago-PAINTING.I checked my paint tubes,bottles and brushes.They were in a sorry state.I could not help but curse myself for abandoning them for so long.I then thought”So what made me stop painting!?!”Surprisingly I did not have a genuine answer.

Off I was to the stationary shop to buy all what I needed to begin.And now from the past couple of days I am spending almost all my time with colors.I am glad that I started afresh with this self discovery.I hope to put up a picture of the piece that I am working on here on my blog soon.If and only if it comes out as satisfactory as I am expecting it to be.For now I am enjoying this hobby of mine,totally!

Apart from books,if there is anything that anyone can gift me it rather be paints;-)I have always been at solace with art.Painting to me is like healing.Colour soothes my senses.Each stroke that I make reminds me that I should be thankful to the Almighty for lighting up all our lives with a million hues and shades.Else how dull and boring everything would have been?


I believe that creating something beautiful is like experiencing a divine power.It  demands patience and perseverance which at times I lack.Painting helps me develop them.It gives me one of the those times when I like being alone.It strengthens my imagination and gives me an inner peace,the most necessary of all.And this is something which I would like to carry through this and to my next life.

There are various qualities and emotions that we associate with each colour.Green stands for jealousy but it represents prosperity too!Likewise is the red,the colour of love,it  warns us of danger as well;-)Every colour has something to tell.I came across this wonderful website today-Colors In Motion by Claudia Cortes.I like the way  in which all colors are portrayed here.I can relate more to the YELLOW.Do check it out and let me know which colour describes you the best:)

Is there any place,anything or anyone you want to get back to?Then go do it and let me know how you feel.Trust me when I say 'Nothing like it!'.Before you go watch this video I made.I just CANNOT stop tapping my feet to this song.Let me know if you find it nice too:-)

video

Have a colourful day:-)

-R.

PS:
Music courtesy:Tune Up!Vs Italobrothers-Colours Of The Rainbow
Images courtesy:Google Search

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Challenge #3-Happy


It is God who brings us together,it is God who keeps us together.

Wedding is a grand celebration for the others more than the bride and the groom.The test of life starts once they say 'I do',and one needs a million strengths to pass and live through.Even the Gods did not have it easy.To read a story visit Srinivasa Kalyanam.This was clicked at a friend's wedding reception few months back.I like the radiant happiness in these idols,they truly look like the newlyweds:)

-R.

PS: For this weeks TC:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sharing Is A Bliss



A condensed speck of matter begot from a giant explode
With skies,waters and land that made a wonderful abode
Journeyed around the burning sun through day and night
Holding a treasure called life with all its heart and might

Eons back in its kingdom a little cell with a spark arose
Wonder what good goad did God have,for this he chose
Green planktons bred,fishes swam and insects crawled
White birds soared,reptiles slithered and frogs croaked

Mighty dinosaurs lived and tramped with all their pride
Ivory tusks of mammoths not under any fossils did hide
Every blood and seed grew with a hundred heaven's hue
For from cradle to grave was a bond of kinship truly true

One fateful day came to power a man,the supreme beast
He left not a fruit or grass,a bone or meat after his feast
Now scraped and sucked is its tiny terrain and fiery core
Bereft of fear he still does ask“Is there anything more?”

A tyranny of extinction cloaked in the name of evolution
Is his rule,for this problem will he try and find a solution?
Or sleep in a fathomless darkness of his self made abyss?
Hope he remembers,not surviving but sharing is a bliss!

-R-


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Of Corruption Weeds And Conscience Seeds



Only if every Indian had followed Bapu's words with a tad bit of seriousness we would not have reached this sorry state post independence.Sigh!Of all the issues that have hindered our progress corruption tops the list.It has grown through ages and now has deep roots in our system.A change therefore cannot be brought overnight.Also there is a large section of our society which is unaware of any matter of individual or national importance,for whom meeting daily needs is a strife by itself.These are the ones who are an object of misuse for those who are in power.The rest are we,the ones stuck in between who are unfortunately always ready to let go anything and everything.

While we have lived with a hundred discontentment of this kind all these years,in the past few days we have awakened with a new voice.A seventy two year old had the strength to step forward and the determination to bring in some change.People throughout the nation have supported Anna Hazare in this endeavour against corruption.Non governmental organizations,corporates,NRIs,film industry,media,social networking sites and most of all the common man.Political parties and our their leaders have also expressed their solidarity for reasons else.Despite being criticized for its very idealistic approach,the Jan Lokpal Bill has finally been considered by the Indian Government to be passed in the monsoon session of 2011.

So what makes this movement extraordinary?Definitely no other cause would have seen the same uproar.Today the frustration of citizens is more than evident.Although we do not wholly understand the constitution and legal procedures,we have realized that there are no stringent law to whip the corrupt.What we must know is that this bill is not targeted against any government,political leader or party in particular.It is meant to be applied by and for every citizen of this country.If there are loopholes,we are surely sufficient to correct them.Something is always better than nothing.



"To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism"

-G Edward Griffin-


But there are some questions that we need to answer while we wait for this bill to come into force.What after India Against Corruption?Can every demand of ours be met by hunger strikes?How long will this furor last?Will corruption ever end?What is our role?Add a few more-

How many of us can stand in a queue and go by the rules without complaining?
How many of us do not give bribe in a government office to get work done?
How many of us do not tip the traffic police if we violate a traffic rule?
How many of us do not evade tax on things that we own and buy?
How many of us vote during the elections?
How many of us can say this with pride?
-Yes I am not corrupt,nor is my leader!


We need to correct ourselves first.We must stop watering the weeds in our backyard.Revolution in the truest sense begins from within.Apart from water,food,home,electricity,petrol,roads and employment,we need integrity and security.We need prosperity on an equal scale not scandals and scams.We need responsible citizens more than leaders.We need duties as much as rights.Helplessness and ignorance cannot be a reason for our lack of concern and action.If they are then there is nothing that can save us from this moral more than monetary misery.

The world may laugh at our our freedom and democracy now or in a few years down the lane.If there is something that we can do to stop now,why not do it?Agreed that there is no shortage of rules and regulations,there is  no dearth of people who break them too.Isn't it in our hands to make this one count?When we see anything or anyone working against the law let us make an effort to question and curtail.Let us make ourselves accountable and put our Indianness to a prudent use.Let us begin!