The significance of the seemingly insignificant

I hold a button in my  hand

I am thinking of the person who had it on his shirt or pant

what did he think

what did she dream

I hold a button in my hand

small round and white

I found it lying on the ground

a little thing from long ago

with stories I will never know- AMY LV

Steve Jobs apparently hated them and hence  apple products do not have  them . This rather tiny winy little thing – the button that acts as a fastener , holding pieces of fabric together .. the seemingly insignificant something you notice only when you lose it ,like the love and care of  that special someone in your life  , like the air you breathe, like those numerous  little things you and I always take for granted .

The use of buttons has been recorded as early as some 5000 years ago , during the Indus valley civilization when they were carved out of sea shells.  And there are many kinds  of buttons .. the covered ones .. you will find on dresses, the mandarin buttons which have springs attached to them and of course , the campaign buttons .

Campaign buttons are a regular feature of the U S presidential elections . One of the most famous uses of campaign buttons occurred during the 1940 U.S. presidential election, when Wendell Wilikie’s campaign brought out  slogan buttons to counter the  popularity of  President  Franklin D Roosevelt.Legal limits on expenditure has however ensured that  these buttons are  cheap and  disposable these days.

Well, there is literally so much more to buttons – more than the fifty shades… white, azure, amber …

Freida Warther collected 73,000 buttons  with which she created intricate patterns  to decorate the ceilings and walls of her button house . Today Warther Museum in Dover , Ohio is  a testimony to what little things can achieve.

Why buttons ? Because of what they do so much for so little.

Buttons as dice, buttons as toys , buttons are eyes  of toys , buttons to decorate , to open, to close, to create patterns and what not?

I move on to some buttonsque usages:

I saw her perform the other day and exclaimed “You are as bright as a button” .” Isn’t she as  cute as a button?”, my daughter cried .My friend hit the panic button when she was locked in the lift. She suffers from Claustrophobia.

A seemingly insignificant  button holds the key  to a fashion faux paux , to a wardrobe malfunction.. it has its functional roles to play as a fastener of fabric but  can also be  decorative.

As I begin to button up – to stop speaking and be silent, I will share with you another trivia about buttons , have you ever wondered why buttons are found on the right side on men’s shirts and on the left side on the ladies shirts? In the 16th century when the buttons came into use , they were rather expensive and only the rich could afford them . Men dressed themselves so had the buttons on the right hand side but as women were dressed by their maids they had it on the left hand side.

While  looking the larger picture , that better career , the bigger vehicle , that enviable life style ,we  tend to miss those smaller details  that make life  so meaningful.

The smaller details like the

The applause you are about to begin

the smile that  has begun in the corners of your eyes

the  loving concern you showed your mother

the pat on the back of your junior

all these and more add a lot of colour and fun to our lives

The Torah,commands  the believers to perform  the mitzvah, a small act of kindness , an action that helps the believer to connect to the almighty. It is significant to realize the power of small deeds of kindness and what impact it can have on our lives.

Like the button which has so much more to it ,so do our actions , thoughts and deeds, so let’s focus on those small seemingly insignificant actions  and be conscious of their larger implications .

The book , Superhuman by Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time by Tynan   is a case  in the point.

Swami Sivanand said: “A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth, an ocean is made up of tiny drops of water, even so , life is but an endless series of little details , actions, speeches and thoughts and the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them is far- reaching”.

 What you focus on  expands  alternatively, what you ignore shrivels!

It’s time to focus on the seemingly insignificant aspects of life , thereby making it more meaningful.

Beyond otherness lies ourness

The otherness !  A man from a different company, one who speaks a different language, one who lives in another city, a man who likes different things … A woman who looks different, one who loves differently, lives differently ,is friends with different people , likes to eat different things , wears different costumes, walks differently …There are ‘others’ everywhere.

Where does the ‘otherness’ end and ‘ourness’ begin?  Who  is the other?  What defines him?

Constantly we club people around us into some group or the other . Perhaps its our natural tendency to sort out , for ease of remembering! Sometimes,this otherness blinds us altogether! For instance, if he is one of us , well ! he should be pardoned! But if he is other, he be damned!

Life teaches us at every turn how the ‘other’  braves the odds to lend a hand, befriend  or  just be there . Yet, the segregation continues the white , the black , the brown, the  tall , the short, the physically challenged….This man of that religion, that girl speaking that language, this short person , those poor people, this wonderful man , that beauty and it goes on endlessly . From food to fashion , to way of living, to way of writing or way of seeing , labels await all!

Categorizing individuals  into tight little boxes , with boundaries that are seemingly unbreakable seems an easy thing to do.

When the boundaries are breached , when  confronted with someone who does not fit the expectations, anger surfaces, a sense of feeling cheated arises!!!

But who drew the boundary? Who set up that little box?

If only we could see beyond ‘otherness’ !!!

j o y o f t h r e e

Lovely picturisation!!!

K e n P o r n i l l o s P h o t o g r a p h y

Nothing is more joyous! ! ! ! !

It rained joy
splashed laughter
sparkled delight
when my love smiled at me.

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The crank of a tree
shook its branches carefree
showering flowers
crackling up at her jokes.

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The pretty butterfly, a passerby
stopped to watch the sight
settling down on her pink dress
sucked in some honey of her chest.

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The bright and handsome sun
glowering from above
thought it fit to soften his glare
for he too fell in love with my beloved.

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The breeze breezing by
held on to the end
of her tapering gown
as if maddened by lust.

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And I stood transfixed
love’s ecstasy paralysing my senses
for I know nothing more joyous
than just to watch her be.

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I know nothing more joyous
than just to watch her be.

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 sreelekha premjit

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Tread softly because you tread on my dreams… W.B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I , being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. – W.B.Yeats
 If there was ever a magic weaver of words , it has to be Yeats.  Yeats , the die hard romantic who proposed 4 times to the woman of his dreams, Maud Gonne and who was summarily rejected as many times. It is recorded  that he even proposed to Iseult , Maud Gonne’s daughter who also rejected him. Yeats met Maud Gonne when the Irish Nationalist Revolution was at its peak . Maud Gonne was a  revolutionary who combined her beauty with a fierce support  for Irish freedom struggle. Yeats, on the other hand was content with a promise by the British government of a moderate independence for Ireland . Maud Gonne went on to marry fellow nationalist John Macbride who Yeats refers to in his poem Easter 1916.
The Second Coming by Yeats still rings in my ears in the booming voice of  Professor Gita Atmaram.  These lines
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre ,
The falcon  cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart , the centre cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world ” ..make a lot of sense even out of the context of the poem.
For those who revel in using harsh words under the pretext of boldness, there’s just one little thing to say …use your words carefully because hearts are tender and can break easily. Watch your words!