Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Be Content, Love what you have

Our quality or characteristic is that which is inbuilt and holds us through our entire lifetime. It defines our image and personality to the external world.

If you ask me what are my favourite characteristic about myself then probably I can run through many adjectives and the qualities I admire about myself. As Oscar Wilde said “Being in love with yourself is a start of a lifelong romance”, I am in love with myself. I suggest everyone should love themselves as pure romance does not start from outside. It starts from within. Okay now, getting to the point, one of my favourite and adorable qualities for which I am proud is “Contentment”.

Being content means being happy with what you have. Having said that, it does not mean that one is less ambitious. I am many ambitions and beautiful dreams to grow and prosper in my life. I have my own secret wish list which I revisit every 20 days to write one new wish. I am working on that and some of them have come true and real which gives me pure bliss and satisfaction. This builds more contentment in me. I am thankful for everything I have received as a result of hardwork and surprise (sometimes you need that, you may call divine intervention: P)

Gratitude acts in mysterious way. More you are thankful, more will be the opportunity thrust upon you to say thanks. Rhonda Byrne in her book Secret beautifully points out that you need to be thankful before the work gets completed so that universe listens to you and grants you the positive result. I am not in favour of or crazy about self-help books but I liked this idea and this makes me more content and in the end I feel good.

I recently read a book ' Pollyanna'. The story is about a little girl who plays glad game and teaches others to play the same. Glad game means being glad with what you have no matter what you wished for. The story eventually makes her rude and haughty aunt to change and accept Pollyanna's game. We cannot remain or play glad game always as lot of internal and external stress catches up in our busy life but atleast we can play this game in moderation.
I believe in Live and let live. We all work very hard in our own domain to establish and carve a niche in that particular arena. How content are we? What gives you satisfaction? I want to list down three beautiful things or constituents which make me feel content and help build and nourish my body or system called Life.

1.     Love is in the biosphere: I see love around me always. Its everywhere and not confined to restricted things or people.  The love between my family, partner, extended family, friends, neighbours, my students, my society and etc. Love is just not a four letter word for me but it’s a prefix to every word which I write or read. No matter what my mood is or how my state of mind is, Love is always there to protect, embrace and calm down my tensed nerves.

2.   My work, my passion:  Work is worship. Rest comes later, says my Dad. That is true as we need to respect what we do and be dedicated to it. But over the years, this concept has evolved. I find work as joy and passion because I am doing what I like and when you do it with lot of passion, you don’t feel like you are working. You have fun that’s it. Being drained in the job and not liking it is killing your own dreams with many hands. First killer is you and then comes your boss and your company. Stop doing that to your dreams which you have nurtured and secured. My work is something which I value a lot. As I always have this in my mind, I work for my work and it works for me. We have a mutual tie up which makes me feel content.

3.    Three Fs - I can clearly see your mind travelling to the dirty roads. Please stop and catch hold of it. My three Fs are Friends, Family and Fun. I come from a very closely knit family and I give priority to my family above everything. What is life without lovely friends? The ones who like to pull your leg, the 4 a.m. friends, and the ones who connect to you so easily than your own siblings, the ones who always are with you for shopping, wedding and funerals and the ones who always believe you. I have a cute and small bunch of every kind. I feel at peace and content with them and very thankful for having them in my beautiful life.

Author Heidi Grant said  in an interview that As we grow older, we find that happiness becomes more and more about being content in our current circumstances, and hanging on to what we’ve already got – working things out with your spouse, staying healthy, and being able to make your mortgage payments.

To conclude, a contented mind is a perpetual feast. The pursuit of pleasures goes on but one can enjoy the real pleasure by remaining content. As we should remember always that Contentment is the close kin of gratitude and wonder, we have to keep happy and express gratitude in order to welcome contentment in our life.    

(This post is part of the program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompt that they have provided. The Prompt for today is, " What is the quality that you admire about yourself?")

Monday, October 27, 2014

Swaras - The Language of Life

Language is a universal expression. It makes one understand opposite person’s emotions and feelings. We have so many languages from old to the new evolving ones, yet why have our country failed to understand each other? The castes and community fights still exists leading to terrorism and extremism. Going to the thought of Gibran, I wonder if seven words could change our society’s thought process and thereby revolutionise our country.
Seven is a lovely number isn’t it? I don’t know if you agree or not but I find it very lucky for me. If you ask me what are the seven golden words that one needs to understand to go about in their life, then what else than seven swaras . In music, these swaras empower each and every Raga. The songs play to the tunes of these swaras. Sa,Re,Ga,Ma,Pa,Da, Ni, make us understand the meaning of life in a very simple form. The Arohanam and Avarohanam are the proper example of ups and downs that one face or confront in their life. Let me put a name to each swaras which will explain for itself.

1.     Sansar : What is life without family? A family is the nexus of emotions, feelings, warmth, fights and laughter. It is actually a picture of life and each day spent with family gives us a new short story. The story is then binded tightly to produce a big book called life. In our bad times, family never leaves our hand. It always provides us support no matter what the situation is. From Sansar comes Sanskruti and from Sanskar and Sanskruti.

2.   Rasana : Light is the essence of life. It gives the meaning to all the darkness that prevails and challenges a hope to one’s soul. For example, earth is nothing if not for sun. Sun brings in the warmth and provides its light to the biosphere. Not only plants benefit, but we as human beings do too. Light efficiently removes the dark evils and radiates its power. In life too, be with those who radiate energy and glow of their soul and not with the negative minded people who suck your energy and glow from yourself.

3.   Guna : Guna or Gun is the character that makes a person or imbibes certain values. These set of values would take him to the door of success or push him to the abyss. So Right Guna or Saatvik Guna is the one which will help a human being grow and prosper. Wrong Guna will always make him suffer.

4.      Mata : Where do you start your life? From where does your cell gets nourishment? Mother’s womb and body. The life is created and nourished or nurtured by his/her mother. Mata is the one who leads our way like a guiding light and imparts learning and development right from the birth. She stays in our life like a torch bearer and keeps on showering us with care and affection.

5.     Prakruti  : One who connect with the nature, connects with oneself. A person who appreciates the little beautiful things of nature knows the beauty of life.  As nature is the world around us, we need to know each and every element of nature and its importance as in how it helps us. In other words, one has to be aware of our mother nature and its forces (wind, eruptions, avalanches, freezes and etc.)

Nature is unfathomable
To the one who closes his/her eyes when he comes in front of it
Nature is unfathomable
To the one who goes on surviving in this planet instead of living”

6.   Daya : Mercy or kindness is the way to express ourselves towards the other. You all must have  read the saying “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. Never be harsh on anyone unless  they are to you. Your shoulders should radiate warmth in every expression of yours. I have seen  quite a few mothers and  children who treat each other in a bad manner. They speak rude that is if  they speak as larger part of the day, they are glued to their whatsapp messages and other    technological breakthroughs. Where has all the Kindness disappeared? I am pretty much active in  twitter. I remember there was a tweet from Kavya (name changed to protect identity). She had  asked everyone to post one kind deed undertaken on that whole day. I was so happy and each day  I tried to be kind and show kindness to the people in and out of the society in order to post my  tweet. I am very happy the way Kavya encouraged others to take part in this noble work and post  their act of kindness. But the sad part is why we are forced to do something. This should come as  natural to each one of us, isn’t it?  Kindness is the emotion which is slowly dying or can only be seen  in few souls. One, thanks to the technology. Two, we have stopped teaching our future generations  to be a kind hearted person. Abraham Lincoln had personally written a letter to his son’s  headmaster. In the letter, he mentioned that he wants his son to be like this and like that. In each and  every line, spark of kindness emitted. In other words, he paid little attention to how much his son  studied or secured good marks, but he wanted his son to be a kind and gentle soul. Show mercy,  let Daya prevail.

As I finished this pointer, I took a break and checked my facebook profile. And guess what? I saw a post and the person is very much irritated with the lack of kindness that she encountered. I quickly recorded it here to make you know how arrogance has covered our society hiding kindness.

Here is the post:

Arrogance seems to be the norm now a days.. Includes literates and illiterate.... Right from the roads to the roadside eateries.... People bully u and push u to the limit where either u have way to them....well disciplined people who want to maintain some decency and decorum, find it difficult to stoop to their level to argue with them.... So finally arrogance wins and they get what they want immediately where as the others who follow the rules have to wait patiently forever or return with empty hands” --------Lalitha Kishore

7.    Nisarg : Our environment is the one who speaks first about ourself to an outside person. What comes in environment? Our surroundings, our friend circle, our neighbours, our home, our society, technology, cultural factors, workplace, books and etc. We as human beings and environment are closely intertwined with each other and thereby maintain the balance or equilibrium in nature. These are the resources that we utilise in close co–ordination. Having said, we should protect our environment or Nisarg to have a healthy lifestyle and better living.

(This post is part of the program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompt that they have provided. The Prompt for today is, " Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?")

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Letters to Charlotte

Hello everyone, If you are being asked who is your favourite author? Would you think for long or the name is on your tongue tip( that is my version of finger tip)? Well, my answer was, is and will remain the same. I am quick to respond the question. Very quick that the pop ups in the web sites will fail and cannot match up to my pace. Okay I declare. It is none other than my Jane. Yes the very famous and witty author - JANE AUSTEN. I adore her writings. She is the one who instilled the interest of reading in me. The writing always followed after that. To talk about her qualities and style, She writes fiction drama. The character always centers around a female. All her females possess adorable qualities like being high in intellectual capacity, the resentment towards foolishness, the social inclination, love towards dance, pride on oneself and other behavioural aspects that only Jane could bring in her novel or writings. But the prompt did not stop there. It asked me to develop a plot or write any post in Jane's style. This is something very difficult yet it gave me an opportunity to think and act like Jane. So I sat in a  sofa with a pen and book on my hand. I adjusted my hat. I am always fascinated towards 17th and 18th century. Partly because those were the eras when Jane established her own mark and rose to fame. The other thing is I love the style and the way women carried themselves. The tight fitted long gowns, the hats with different colours and beautiful jewels. I am too fond of HATS. Ohh, I have many in my closet. Multi coloured, one with beads and coloured threads, one with satin ribbons and the plain ones. I took the one with ribbons and sat with my writing materials. Ohh I can see someone roll their eyes. Okay I will not digress anymore and will start my story.

Letters to Charlotte

"Letters do not have only words but they have the compilation of those emotions that eyes and mouth failed to convey"

The story is set in Riverwood, a fictional town in South England.
      It was that time of the year when lovers meet and celebrate their togetherness. The day marked the relationship and comfort that the lovers shared amongst each other. Charlotte Altman, handsome and clever with a happy disposition, saw that Valentine's day celebration had been on in a full swing. She was twenty and nine and in her long white skirt and blue blouse, she looked impeccably beautiful. The clock in her book store showed five and she had to hurry to get the supplies for tonight's party. The absence of Robert enveloped her into a cloud of sadness and she only knew how she missed him. The emotions swirled and she refused to make friends and had been socially isolated for a while. But soon, her loss gave her enough strength to fight and live her life. And that was Charlotte. A girl who is very obstinate and strong hearted. She had attained the strength from Robert. All the strength which was left in her, she pulled that and focussed on her book store. Her store was her dream and Charlotte succeeded in working on her passion. Her book store not only housed many books but also had book club. The book club organized reading every month and celebrated their friendship. Charlotte was very much part of the book club and everyone was fond of her. As she herself was a voracious reader, her book store gave her enough time to immerse herself in a ocean of books. She thought it gave her a relief from Robert's loss. Also the customers and a  busy day in book store moved her thoughts away from her beloved.

Charlotte switched off the lights of the book store and started to walk for the market. She had invited few of her friends and Robert's friends tonight to celebrate Valentine's day. Robert always liked to meet his friends on this day and the party was filled with conversations, dance and good food. Charlotte had kept this tradition as a tribute to Robert. As she entered the market center, she saw many red ribbons and red coloured bands, pillows with hearts, soft toys having a sign of love, and many more love filled artefacts. The past glared at her. She could remember the blow which hit her like a sucker punch. She wanted to erase everything and go back to that year. The hard blow of the wind woke Charlotte up from the reverie. The sand dunes were formed making the pattern of hearts and she could see Robert's image in each of them.

The fun and laughter rose and Charlotte's house was filled with Robert and her close friends. Shan, a man with handsome features and wealthy background, had come with his wife Haley. Michael - though he looked disagreeable at first sight to Charlotte, her opinion grew high in  regards to him. He was very loyal to his friends and always stood for them. Robert talked high of him. Jamie firefox, a woman of easy fortune and gentle character, smiled more and had come with her kids and her long time boyfriend Harry. The kids had pleasant manners and talked very little. Caroline and Teddy, who were more like sisters than friends, accompanied each other for the party. Robert was fond of these small set and they were more like family than friends. They all missed him so much and often conversations glided over to the past. Charlotte's sisters were also present in the party to give her support and company. Her sisters were the only family as her parents had died only a year ago. Though she shared and confided with her sisters, they were removed by matrimony and were settled far off South England. Charlotte wondered why William did not turn up for the party. Robert was his best friend. Charlotte had called him to invite but he was unreachable. She thought she will call him up again and check on him the next day.


The event had every promise of happiness. Following morning, Charlotte cleaned the house and visited her garden full of different and colourful flowers. The garden reminded her marriage to Robert. She thought how well they had settled and having their merry time when a call came to Robert. The call of war or call of death, she couldn't say. Robert was a army man and he had to fight for the gruelling war that had set on the country. He lost himself and made the country win. As Charlotte waited for his return, only his belongings returned. The sorrow came and enveloped her with its misery. Charlotte's eyes grew moist and she went inside the kitchen to get herself a cup of tea. She heard a door bell. The post had come for her. A wrapped box with a handwritten name. Robert. It was like he himself had come to her and gave her a surprise. The tears were running and emotions gripped her. It was a box full of letters. The letters that Robert himself had written for her. The feelings that he had poured in each and every word spoke volumes.

It was 21 letters and she read one by one. Each letter was embodiment of love that she wanted to frame it. Happiness, sorrow, loneliness, expectations, fun and jokes, memories was etched in each letters. Two souls were re united through written words. Charlotte closed her eyes and wanted to take in every word. She took in the air and warmth of the paper at a stretch that after a point of time, her lungs ached. But she wanted to breathe the smell of paper that Robert had held close. Each moment was beautifully captured in the letter which made a unforgettable memory for Charlotte. Two letters which stirred her soul and she wanted to make something to offset the disappointment that had caused in Robert's mind.


Olivia was stunned for a while after listening to the story and reading those letters. She listened to her mother and father but could not resist her thoughts that had already drifted away to Robert and Charlotte. Jessica shook her and Olivia cried. The urge to meet her uncle and aunt shrouded her with a grief and sadness. William and Jessica continued the story.

Charlotte called William that same evening to check on him. Robert had mentioned the dispute of William and his relatives towards the family property. William answered the call and they talked nearly for an hour. William was very decent man who never got into troubles. She told him that she would like to help him get rid of this chaos. Charlotte went to the court and was with William throughout the case hearings. It was nearly one year that the case went in for judgement. Charlotte was the only moral support and family and she stood with him in his rainy days. William was very much pleased and thankful for Charlotte's heart.  Tears stood in the corner of his eyes when he spoke. Olivia saw her father who was known for his strong heart and powerful countenance, cried like a small baby. She though how her aunt and uncle had a strong hold on their life. She saw Jessica stepped forward to tell the remaining part of the story.

Jessica was not a real sister but a half sister of Robert. Robert adored her and she was looked after by him like a baby in the family. He fulfilled all her wishes and dreams but while on war, he couldnt communicate frequently with her. Jessica was running a art gallery and her business slowed down due to the poor economy. She suffered huge losses and almost became bankrupt. That is when, Charlotte traced her and advised her to come and stay with her. At first, she hesitated but Charlotte was the only one to whom Jessica could lean on. She had no one. She lost her brother and a best companion. Charlotte helped pay all her debts and helped bring her out of the mess. Slowly, Jessica rose again and started a small gallery which fetched her sufficient profits. In the same year, William and Jessica tied the knot.

Jessica wiped her wet tears and hugged Olivia and William. The sun made its path and shone on three of them. It was not mere sun but the blessings that was bestowed on them by Charlotte and Robert. Olivia winked at the photo frame that had her uncle and aunt smiling merrily.  

The following day, Olivia went to the cemetery and stood by Charlotte's grave. She kept the flowers one by one. The breeze came gushing and touched Olivia's cheeks. She felt her aunt's presence and breathed in the air. Their family was an example of nexus of harmony.

******** *** The End ***********

(This post is part of the program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompt that they have provided. The Prompt for today is, " Write a post in the style of (or simply inspired by) a favorite author" )



Friday, October 10, 2014

The Dark Closet

Hi everyone, Come join me. I am going to tell a tale based on Fright night. No not here in the open. Please come with me to a dark closet. A place where no one exist except our friends. Do you know them. Come let us meet them. The dark one is G. The sharp toothed one is H. The one with blister faced is  O. The one with twisted head is S and the last little one who does not have legs is T. As we like to be creative, we are using Shaina aunty's closet to talk on our stories. Shaina aunty, our neighbour, has troubled us a lot and always blamed us for many things. Time for a payback.

Every love story includes watching romantic films in its purview but we as a couple love to watch spine chilling horror films. As a child I grew up watching Aahat, Zee horror show and other thriller serials with my brother. We used to wait for different horror stories to appear on screen.  The haunted noises that any palace would give, the distorted faces, ugly looking aunties, one eyed monster that a ghost would have, a mirror that lay broken with a name written across in blood , 13 numbered room and many such ghost stories were the enjoyable sessions that my brother and I shared. My parents never supported  us  but we used to watch during our dinner hours or hours after our study time. The story did not stop there. After the end of the episode, we used to discuss endlessly about what would come next. We used to make our own stories and share with each other. We would  even scare one another in the middle of the night by singing and whispering odd noises from the show. That was then and after that we gradually progressed to watch some of the spooky films of Hollywood. We would watch it on TV or Internet hiding from the eyes of our parents. The movies like The Entity, The Waking Dead and The Haunting at Connecticut, All parts of movie 'The Grudge' , The Ring (to mention some) amazed me with its eerie premises and wanted to know more about what lay behind the curtains.

What I love most in Horror films?

How often did you get scared by seeing any spooky images or listening to tales of a desperate and unsatisfied ghosts? As a child one fears hearing a ghost stories and seeing the images of the walking ghosts. But I always found it fascinating. I have never read any horror novels yet as I loved watching them in real. The visuals made it more enjoyable than reading them in any fiction novel. In this genre, I don't feel that any author does much justice to the story as well as a role played by a ghosts. Films always scored more than any book in a sphere of horror. The feeling that it keeps on an edge, the reaction that any viewer is about to experience, the aspects like wind turning a candle off, haunted mansion, a painting or a portrait of a person, the  missed call of an unknown stranger, the shadow in the basement, the non operating elevator or the elevator missing one floor, the storage room with a strange doll, the lonely corridor and other such deadly stories interested and attracted me.

What I never liked about Horror films in Hindi Cinema?

The Hindi Cinema failed to portray the correct image of Horror world. It always ran over the peripheries and forgot to focus on the main core. Also, the horror stories often meandered to the world of A-rated cinema and lot of bodyshow. I really think that the directors and the movie makers did not get the right definition of the genre and failed to understand the concept of it and often made horrendous horror dramas with cheap porn. It failed to create a distinct image in our minds and therefore lost royally in the chartbusters.

The Ghosts of our pasts

There are not only the ghosts which we see in the films carry weight in my life. Also there are others. We all know that our pasts haunt us in various forms and puts a brake in our daily functioning of our lives. These are the ghosts which gives one a tough time. One is always scared of these ghosts and would say that he/she never fully gets over from these pasts. Though these ghosts come as a thief at night and steal oneself from themselves, these ghosts give us a hope and gives us an experience so that one does not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. These ghosts will remain a part of our lives and will make us strong in our walks of our lives.

At the outset, I am in awe of the ghosts. They give life to the films. As I said, I liked fright nights, I like it now and I will like it in future.

(As I finish the story, I see my friends' eyes and ears glued to my face. They are happy as well as tired. Time to go home and sleep under the warm blanket.)

Shaina Aunty comes in. She gets a call from her neighbour. Her daughter died due to some unnatural reasons. Shaina Aunty cried and opened her dark closet to get something. She saw a book and a broken knife with blood on its blade. She flipped the pages and saw something written in the middle of the book. It read " YOU ARE NEXT, BE READY FOR YOUR DEATH"

This post is part of the program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompt that they have provided. The Prompt for today is, " Do you like being scared by books, films, and surprises? Describe the sensation of being scared, and why you love it — or don’t."