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Therefore, nighttime…

burning diya at an altar

Night brings its companion darkness along with it. Darkness like a moaning beauty, all dressed in black, walks elegantly through the space.

moon in the sky

Moon, the wizard of night, peeps out of the sky along with its luminary friends.

shadows

Shadows start to creep in the ally, corridors and homes.

a white mushroom in the night

Perfect time to mushroom our creativity and let out the imaginative little monsters.

I like the day, who doesn’t like the sunshine. The light forces one to see things even when ignoring them. But I also like night as it encloses darkness in it. It is the perfect time to loosen out those dark monster which are chained during the day. It frees the mind as it plunges into the darkness and plays with the unimaginative forces that do or do not exist in the world. Therefore, you might see plain stories in the daytime but in the nighttime they turn into wild magical beasts.

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Sharing and Respecting

The statement – too much of everything is as bad as too little, has always confused me. I mean – too much is as bad a thing as too little- how can that be possible. More is good and less is bad, that makes sense. As a child (soon enough)I was intelligent enough to understand that if you have too much of sweets you are bound to have tooth decay. Thus proving that too much is bad for health or you.

My father was the sole earner of the family and my mother – a housewife. The money was sufficient enough for us but we could not spend it lavishly. My father being the eldest son had to support his mum and sisters by sending them some money home. I somehow felt the money that was brought home was little. I was constantly reminded not to spend foolishly as money doesn’t grow on trees. This proved… that too little was bad. But my mum was intelligent enough to make me understand that if you have little you’ll respect the things and not waste it. That’s true; if there is less automatically there will be no room for wastage.

Over the years it doesn’t matter if I have too much or too less of something. It is simple too much is to share and too little is to respect and value (it more). More means sharing and less means respecting thus completing the purpose of our existence as a human and contributing to the community as a whole.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/no-excess/

Revealing the hidden

“You can’t do this,” is a self explanatory statement. Even a child could understand and obey to such a command. But what lies beneath this statement is an ugly truth.

So, what does one mean when they say this. Firstly, they don’t believe in you or your capabilities and so they stand in your way like a watch dog, they pretend to guard you but will bite you if you take even a step closer to your dreams. Secondly, they think what if by some luck you actually succeed in your endeavors and prove them wrong. It would be a total disaster for them. Thirdly, what if it works and you prove to be better than them.

In all the cases, only one thing is common – they don’t want you to succeed.

Your friends might say: we don’t want you to be hurt or you are not suited for this kind of job. Sounds genuine! You can trust your friends. Well, what are friends for? When you can’t think straight they’ll do the thinking for you.

Whether it is your friend or some stranger or neighbours or relatives – listen – ears have a purpose. God gave two of them to everyone – listen from one ear, retain, analyze in the head and dump the garbage talk from the other ear. When these insincere people speak – listen – listen to yourself first and then to them.

Why listen? Listening ascertains the tone which is the best judge of feelings. A friend’s tone will show concern and a genuine feeling for your safety. They would not want you to get hurt. But you could sense an envious tone in the insincere people who do not want you to succeed. This tone will be sufficient to prove their desperation to prove you wrong. Hence, you can just listen to them, analyze, watch their tone – which is fake- and dump whatever they are saying.

The concerned people like your friends would want you to succeed. They would want to help you out as your happiness is of prime importance to them.

The unconcerned lot would not want you to succeed because at some point in their life they would have tried (or not) and they failed. It’s human nature to envy and pull the others down in the mud when they are trying to climb up (by doing something new or hard). They were pricked with pain and choose the same path and feel an obligation towards self to do the same to others. It is here, that they could be productive and share their insights of a failed mission with the ones who are trying.

I think it is some quality in them – jealousy- that makes them see who you could be. You might me ignorant of your success but they are not, as they have experienced failure. And the only reason that you should try once is because these experienced people are not only trying to stop you but are somehow aware of your capabilities. To me they are the secret symbols telling me to go ahead and pursue my dreams.

Trying has proven to be beneficial as it eases out the pain of not attempting at all or even a tested failure. “You’ve got to try at least once,” is what I say when someone tells me that I can’t do something. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen…I’ll fail…and I’ll try or may be not or try again and again and fail and try and succeed or not…I don’t care. I don’t care if someone laughs at me. The worst is: I’ll fail, I’ll not succeed, I’ll look for options but I’ll learn and this will help in determining some concealed qualities and capabilities in me. It is for these insincere people who help us to reveal who we truly are or can be.

Criticism: Builds Stronger Bones in You

There are certain things in life that you don’t ask for and yet you receive them. One such thing is – criticism. Does it matter if someone criticizes you in the kindest of tone or brings agonizing pain in every word they offer.

If you have said or done something that attracts criticism then you should be happy about it for a simple acts will not gather much attention. The words or actions – good or bad are to be decided by the people. Each will receive it differently, according to their taste in belief, values and attitude.

If your actions or words bring criticism then beware of your friends and enemies. For it is only the friends and few who would be gentle in their criticism; they are not to be worried about. It is the others who would rip your heart out using words as sharp as shards of glasses. This will only give them pleasure. They will smile, as you cry in pain wounded by their words. It is these people who are worrisome.

If you are good with reasoning skills; you can buy “the friend type” or the gentler ones but not “the enemy kinds”. The hard ones or the enemy kinds would want to listen to your reasons, but be sure that they are only listening to bury you deeper in their criticism. Their sole aim would be to insult you – your understanding – inflict you with pain. They are the same people who would want to see you cry, as they speak, and would be satisfied by bringing defeat to the idea for which you stood up. They will make sure that they’ll crush your bones and leave you crippled so that you don’t ever stand up or stand against them.

Criticism brings great opportunities and greater responsibilities with it. Opportunities, that people’s voice will stick with yours for one cause or a true cause. Responsibilities would lie in your actions as you will need to protect the ones that follow you, not to mention yourself and your ideas too. But all this will come later only if you survive the stage one criticism.

What is stage one criticism, then? Well, if you are able to survive the insulting lashes and suppress your pain – you have survived stage one of criticism. Then comes stage two which is playing reasons. Although, be sure that reasons will not win the hearts of those who are already criticizing you. This is a crucial stage as there would be many others and these others would want to flock their feathers for you – depending on the reason you give.

Therefore, if you decide to bring criticism onto yourself – be ready. The kind ones would not hurt you – much – but the ruthless would. So for these ruthless build a stone heart which is impenetrable and a steel body which conceals your emotions or feelings.

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Transformed into glory

On the way to Chang La Pass in Ladakh, India, which is the third highest motorable road in the world. It was a pretty exhausting journey for me sitting inside  the car but for these commuters on the road- was a journey of forbearance.

walking on narrow strip of road

This is a picture of Triund Hills which is located in the Dauladhar Range of Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India – at an elevation of 9,800 feet (2975 meters). The mountains and the valley was absolutely astounding; I could be a bird and glide in these mountains for eternity. I could see shades of blue as they melted away into the open vastness and – time – stood still. Suddenly the distance collected as pain was transformed into glory.

Triund hills, at a local guides place

 

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Healthy way

“It is good to stay healthy,” I say this to myself and wear my jogging shoes.

“Staying healthy is no option it is mandatory,” another statement that my mom says and my doctor agrees with her. I on the other hand am not so health conscious but I do believe in keeping my body fit and mind healthy. I also believe that one should work- inward outward, and not the other way round.

By working your ways from inward to outward you not only maintain a healthy mind but a healthy body as well. I think it is a must to cleanse your mind and by doing so you inadvertently keep the body healthy too. However, by focusing on the body we forget to keep track of the mind. Some people believe that a healthy body doesn’t need a healthy mind or it is the one and the same thing. Every person can think independently for him/her self and work accordingly which is best suited for their body and mind.

I believe in working from inward to outward. That’s why I focus on a workout to keep my mind healthy first and then focus on the body. I might not be jogging or walking everyday in the park but my mind has to follow a regime every morning. I start my day with meditation which is later followed by a yoga session. I keep the sessions short or long, depending on my schedule. But that certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t like to go on walks or jogging. I absolutely love these activities as well as they help you to be out in the nature. It is during this time that you see, hear and feel the invisible whispering in your ears that opens your eye of creativity.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done/

A slice of bread

With a slice of bread in one hand and a butter knife in the other, I sit like a king to eat. The butter knife dives into the butter. In a quick second… nice, white, fresh butter sits at the mouth of the knife. With gentle hands, I smear it all over the bread. On top of the fresh, salted, white butter I spread some goat cheese and then I further decorate it with some shards of dark chocolate. I free my hand of the metallic knife.

Now, it’ll all be senses as I take a bite. The best way will be, to close my eyes and savour the taste which is just so divine.

Waited for you here

What was the point in coming here today was a question that I asked myself and no matter how many times I asked… the answer was: nothing. Nothing had changed about this place. A tea stall stood at the corner unmoved by an inch for the past 20 yrs. Right beside it was a small book stall.  It had limited collection of books and few morning editions were neatly decorated in a wooden stand.

Normally this place is not very crowded, but today it seemed the entire town’s population had doubled. Our small town had been a humble population of few old people. But today anyone could see the difference as there were young children, teenagers, newlywed couples and old people who were storming in and out of the station incessantly. My old eyes wondered, “Why were they swarming like bees to this place, today?”

I felt like a roast turkey as today’s temperature was a record high 42 degrees. The shade of my umbrella was not enough to protect me from the burning heat. An announcement was made, “Royal Blue is ready to depart from platform no.1 in 5 minutes.”

I stood like an iron statue on the ground, unmoved by the sea of people. I could see my life reeling back like a film in front of me as I stood there. Me with Luit…married, waving, hugging relatives who stood to greet us at this railway station. We were married for our entire life. It was 10 yrs ago that he died. Now I was all alone and too old to venture out. But it was not for him that I was here…then, why was I here?

Above me was a metallic board with an inscription of “Greens Valley Railway Station”. Everytime I heard the screeching sound of iron wheels against the tracks, my heart raced faster than the engines attached to the trains. I was scared of the screeching noise…people pushing to make their way…trains coming to a halt…trains starting with a jolt, so basically everything scared the poor old 68 year old me. Thank god! A few trains had left by now and I could feel the gentle breeze embracing me.

I had shifted to an old age home last year and wondered how long my life’s scroll was written. I was happy in my new home. I had a couple of oldie friends. We talked, cracked jokes on each other, laughed, cooked, did yoga, played cards and chess and sometimes fought. These activities were meant to keep us busy but we seldom had mood swings and went into a lone island. When I was hit by sadness, I went on long walks remembering…visiting old places…sitting on a park bench and smiling at things and sometimes crying.

I was happy that Maggie was my caretaker. Her bright smile made my days less miserable. This was my new home and its people my new family.

Yesterday night when we were walking after dinner I laid my eyes on the super moon and stood in silence. It was not the awe that made me silent but a dark sadness. I was sad because I remembered her…my best friend …Irinee.

I know you had to leave town. I know it was not your decision as your father had taken a job somewhere else. With the address that you had given me, we corresponded without fail for three years. I wrote, you responded…I wrote again and you responded again. Suddenly it stopped. I don’t know if I was too lazy or you were too busy. Whatever the reason was, I stopped writing. You stopped responding or you stopped writing and I stopped responding. I now regret had I pushed my tiny ego or anger aside and kept communicating with you I would still be in contact with you. But the reality is you are somewhere else and I just hope that you remember me as much as I do.

I don’t have much around me but I’m still hanging around. There is something funny about the old people they are deeply connected to people, places and things. When I was young I could not comprehend their attachment with relations to people, places and things. I was thinking about the lovely relationship that we shared and was getting to understand why the old people cherished this bondage of attachment. What seemed like a stupid idea to me when I was young was now drawing me towards itself.

I desperately want to see you before I die. My eyes…are waiting to see your smiling face. I want to hug you as you stood by my side. I need to hold your hands as it filled me with courage.

It has been 20 yrs and more that I came to see you off at this historic railway station. I was happy for you but some kind of grief filled my lungs and made it hard for me to breathe. I was a sealed container ready to burst into tears any moment, but I had controlled it then. I was not sure if I could do the same now. I wonder, if old age actually makes you strong or weak….

I have been remembering you too much lately and that’s why I’m here today. I know it would be a miracle if you come but if not… this place would be a shrine to our friendship. Until then I’ll come here everyday…waiting for you…wanting to see you until my life parts away. I will remember you always, you know that, right. But just in case if you come and I’m not here ask the tea stall, the platform, the board, the tracks or anything… they’ll all say, “An old lady once waited for you here”.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/editing-challenge/

It’s what you have that counts

I didn’t have a pen, so I used a stick to write

I didn’t have a paper, so I wrote on the mud

I didn’t have a toy to play, so I added wheels to a matchbox

I didn’t have a phone, so I pretended to talk over a toy phone instead

I didn’t have a canvas, so I used the sky to paint with my eyes closed

I didn’t have friends to talk, so I spoke to birds, trees and sometimes walls

I didn’t have a melodious voice, so I sang along with a cassette playing

I didn’t have money, so I worked hard day and night to have an account balance

I didn’t find peace in me, so I lit a candle in a church

I didn’t have a smile on my face, so I looked at flowers

I didn’t have an encouraging and supporting father, so I rested all my responsibility on my Heavenly Father

I didn’t have an advising companion, so I called for the guidance of guardian angels

In life I found that I sometimes didn’t have the things that I wanted, so I did whatever I could with whatever I did have

Finally it’s what you have that counts, keeping a bigger perspective in mind

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Life is full of adventures

Life is full of adventures only if we step out of our comfort zone. Only if I was so certain as to think that tomorrow things will happen exactly the same way I had thought and planned, I would have never known what adventure is? Only if I had to take a step born out of an uncertain situation I would be facing adventure in my life.

Adventure is a part of life. For rich adventure means- horse riding, car racing, gambling and many more. For a poor adventure is- looking for a job, getting a meal may be two times a day, shopping for a new pair of shoes, staying under a roof that partially provides protection from the sun, rain or snow. For a wild animal adventure is-jungle, survival, being a prey, becoming a predator. For a pet adventure would be- going on a walk, playing with someone, running around the house all alone, a chase with a vet.

place on top of a hill

This a temporary house of Gaddi people (locals of Himachal Pradesh, India). It is said that during winter months they make such houses for their cattle like sheep and goats to stay. They would stay there throughout winter as the sun is direct and is helpful for the survival of their cattle in terms of more green pastures and warmth. Once winter is over they come down with their cattle. I was fortunate enough to capture this as they mostly get damaged during thunderstorms. Life for any person living in the mountains is full of adventure, even their everyday routine is full of adventure. As I stood here I kept thinking how their life would have been and how they would have spend their time staying at such a great height where the normal mode of transportation is only walking.

imaginary unicorn

The sun was setting and this poor thing was running up and down for at least five minutes (long enough for me to take a click)making some noise. It was a white mule I guess against the white snow that stirred up some thoughts in my mind. I thought what if it was playing hide and seek calling for the other friends of it. What if it was looking for its partner or calling its child. Apart from this, the sun was about to set and since it was moving frantically it reminded me of Cinderella trying to leave the party at midnight. What if this animal had a power and could turn into a white unicorn or had a home beyond a waterfall. All my answers still left unanswered I could see it disappearing in the white snow mysteriously as it had appeared in front of me. Perhaps I could have gone after it, I’m sure it would have been an adventure of its kind.

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