Sun & Dark clouds

When the dark clouds came

Sun beat a hasty retreat

‘Sorry, I should not have come

It’s your day to shine and pour

or vice versa’

It looked as if the dark clouds

did not take it kindly

and soon filled the sky

with their own light

somewhere though

the earth lay dreaming

awash with tears of joy

drenched in love

soothing her pains

bringing her pleasures

she smiled in sleep

‘they are mine’

she murmured softly

the Sun and the dark clouds’

fancy fantasises filled her thoughts

she dreamt of love

smiles curled

around her lips

eyes grew heavy

in painful pleasure

and the sky poured

down hasty, pounding

pulsating with life.

grief

It must be how grief feels

tastless bland dull against

salivary glands

no smell whatsoever

just a dampness in the soul

old enough to grow mould

and turn dreary dumb

it must be how grief feels

salty on the lips

wet on the cheeks

a sharp nudge

on the spine

a weary thud on the floor

it must be how grief feels

numbing smell

of joy of living

sore throating you for life

and the steam sort of

aggravating the ambush

over steam, I mean

some say solitude is good

but what of grief in solitude

that kills slowly,

dulling out light

what of it?

Opulent pauper

The  crowd has done nothing to reduce loneliness in the hearts.

The abundance of food,the numerous innovative delicacies have not yet satisfied the hungry stomachs.

The variety of  liquids, colored,uncolored, spiked and simple have failed to  quench the thirst.

The newest of fabrics and the cheapest of them have still not reached the naked.

All the sky scrapers in the world have not yet found home for the homeless.

Packed schedules and tight timelines have not yet killed boredom.

All the prayers and the rituals have not yet brought peace.

Nor has he the spiritual found his island of happiness.

And wealth has not yet earned  true love and respect.

Yet,no man is an island.

And he is.

Come, Said the Sky

‘Come’ said Sky for a change

and I followed dazed

we walked the clouds

jumped the rainbows

touched the stars

caressed the moon

showered earth

with our palms

holding it close

careful of each drop

‘Nurture with care

Give love and life springs’

he murmured as he

looked down at earth

and I saw her smile

curl and stretch

to catch his gaze

I stood silent

watching in awe

of a love affair

I had never noticed

and sighed

at my folly!

Angel’s PAssing

I think of how it was to come back from work and lie down,when I saw in front of me a figure of a little girl rising up next to my bed. I sit up and as if in a trance, I pick up the address book and frantically search and find my best friend’s number and call.

After much ringing, a sage voice replied, ‘She is in mourning. She lost her child’.

I am shocked and sit back. A few days later I gather courage to call again and she tells me her ordeal of having to take a sick child quivering in fever to the nearest hospital. The doctor asked her to wait and she did hold her girl in her hand. By the time her turn came, there was nothing to do. The young mother shared and I listened, knowing no way to console. Our friendship of many many years had no balm just deep listening.

The vision stays with me and I cannot explain how and why this happened because I have not seen the child. It was good 10 years after me and my friend met briefly that this happened.

Loss of dear ones impact us deeply. The passing of Balraj.k left a deep vacuum in our lives. The blank space of someone who had time for everyone and was perpetually interested in our lives, my life and had time to listen everytime.

Eversince one looks to be heard, heard and finds no ears willing but then such are lessons of living.

So I listen now when I get a call, and keep aside everything and focus on that conversation from parents, child, friends because there is something beautiful about listening and being heard.

All the communication devices however faster and smarter can still not compensate for great listening, say, mindful listening.

As I learn to listen better, I remember my young teacher, my brother and his beautiful ways of showing care everytime.

So stop to sit down and listen to a dear one, anyone and you would not know what wealth you have just bestowed!

Truth box

Truth comes in bits and pieces

in little boxes waiting to be unpacked

scattered around corners of living

and the child of life

has to search, fall and rise

again and again

and get lost often

before the little bubble gums

are open for tasting

much mastication

of thought foxes

hiding behind intelligence

logical reasoning and customary wisdom

reveal snippets of truth pearls

blooming now

wear them

or

ingest them

do as you please!

The long hallways of life

stand quiet watching, watching, watching!

Sugar and spice

‘Come to me in my dreams’

I implored the sky

who was hesitant

‘It must be long

It must be hard

It must be far

It must be uneasy

You and I are sugar and spice!’

He hid beneath hollow words

Then coz he could not ignore

his own calling

he looked for answers.

He reached out to the clouds

who fluffed a loud yes

He looked at the moon

who turned a sharper sheen

He searched for the stars

who twinkled on brighter smiles

He landed light in the corner

of the eye and travelled to the lips

where a smile greeted him

and he decided to stay.

‘I kinda lost the way’, he added meekly.

Mam!!!YOU GOTTA SING!

As we were windin up the semester, the class was euphoric. There were sharing of what they learned and how. The class also talked about the peers, and how others rooted for them and how this transformed them literally. In the general atmosphere of bonhomie and with the satisfaction of having completed the work assigned, I stood relaxed in front of the class of 100 students, 50 online and the rest offline.

Suddenly, a noise broke out from the back benchers, ‘ Mam, we want you to sing!’

I looked up strangely as that was not part of the agenda and smiled it off as a meaningless blabber.

But the call caught on and soon, the entire class was rooting .. we want sreelekha mam to sing!

sing! goodness! not if I have to die in front of you!!!

I thought to myself when someone reasoned, ‘ You always ask us to do so many things and we do. When we don’t know you encourage us, now it is your turn’.

I sweated a bit at this. There seemed to be no escape. I still tried my best and said, ‘Listen, I have no sense of rhythm, I have no sense of music itself’.

‘No problem’, shouted the class to me.

‘We want to hear you sing!’

Ohk, said I after much failed negotiation, I will recite a few sanskrit shlokas for you!

No! No! ‘Ok! anything!

The class cried out their thoughts to me.

Then caught in a corner , way out of my comfort zone, I went ahead and recited the sanskrit shlokas for the first time in my life in front a crowd that big.

When I stopped the class applauded my performance with enthusiasm.

That left me thinking of the mentors and trainers , who have so much to learn and unlearn and so many barriers to cross before we start to lecture others on coming out of the comfort zone!

Speeches are not difficult for me, but songs are a different ball game altogether.The learning from the event is that one has to constantly test oneself to continue to grow and evolve into better mentors, trainers and teachers!

Be thou spirit fierce

Be thou spirit fierce

be thou free like the wild wind

cruising by

Be thou the rage of the skies

the height of the waves

be thou fierce and free

kind and compassionate

all at once

be thy thirst for life

ever so insatiable

be thy love for living

ever thy guiding spirit

chase the dreams

hold the world in thy palms

igniting wild dreams on the way

paving path for all creatures of imagination

may thy wishes come true

and may the heavens sing paeans to thee

Amen!

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