Monday, May 25, 2009

The Shelter

The cyclone hit the garden and the leaf was torn
And was carried by the ruthless wind,
Far away from the leaf's home.
As she tried to resist, knowing how useless it was,
She wept for her friends lost: other leaves, flowers and birds.

Why was she cruelly torn away from the place she loved?
Oh, why were her friends all taken away?
No one answered her questions as she was tossed
From here to there, by the cruel wind.

Was there no place where she could rest?
Was there none to give her refuge?
She felt that she was about to die, her dreams dying with her.

Amidst all the roaring of the wind,
She dared open her eyes, and saw closed doors in front.
Feeling all hope was lost, she cried out, a piteous cry;
And, the door opened with the wind pushing against it;
The leaf shut her eyes as she was carried in.

No longer having the strength to cry,
She opened her eyes once more
Even as the wind dropped her and she came to rest,
And saw the beauty of the place.

The trembling leaf looked up
And saw the golden dress, the smiling face.
The torn leaf, the homeless leaf
Had found shelter at the feet of Vaasudev.
( jag se aankhe band kare to, Surdas ne dars(n) kiye )
(only after Surdas lost his earthly eyes, did he see the Lord)
I am taking a break from blogging; will be back in July, Krishna-willing.
May you stay happy and in good health.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Choice

They say that I should not be independent;
Like themselves they want me to crawl.
I am lectured by them that every act of mine is wrong,
When all I do is follow the inner voice I hear in me.

They come in various names and
Under the guise of some relationships;
But each one of them is what I call
Defeat-incarnate, and they try to enfeeble me.

Much have I cried while fighting them
And now the tears have all dried up;
The defeatists are still there, talking foul
But I have shut my ears to them,
As I hear now, only what I choose to hear:
Words of love and words of truth
Etched in this soul eternal.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Holding On To Faith

As I look at this drama called life
Trying to make sense of all the chaos,
I see that life goes on, and there is joy too.
If there come hurt and betrayal from some
Who I had thought were my friends,
Some others come along to heal my heart
And I feel whole again.
This losing and this gaining have taught me
To hold on to dear faith;
If on one side we are robbed,
On the other side is God's grace.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

There is nothing called the final goodbye

Often people feel that death snatches away their dear ones. This becomes one of the reasons why some people are afraid of deep emotional attachments. If being born is something natural, so is death. What is the point in mourning something that is inevitable?

Yet people cry when someone dear to them dies. I cried when my mother passed away. Once more, death made me cry when I saw my former-student, Shayaan's body in the coffin. We cry primarily because with death we lose tangible contact with the departed and we think we will not be able to share our feelings and experiences with him or her ever again. Then we cry because we feel the departed person did not get enough of this life.

Yes, it hurts to be separated by death, but I personally believe that there is a joyous reunion beyond this life. The supreme mastermind of the universe is kind; He would not play any cruel game with anyone. Thus, death is just a temporary separation between the living and the dead. If this life is unfair to a person, he gets compensation in the hereafter. Those who love always have faith and their faith manifests as reality.

(This post is dedicated to the memory of Shayaan Chowdhury who passed away on 24 May 2008. It was a cruel experience for me to see my former-student's lifeless body. The photo at the top of the post, is Shayaan's.)
(The views expressed in this post are my own and I have no intention here to propagate or denounce any school of thought on death, religious or otherwise.)

Quoting the poem, Death Be Not Proud, by John Donne:

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

And, it stopped burning

The page torn away from the painting-book,
Was in my hand and I was burning it;
As the paper was in flames and I, in tears
Something happened and, the page stopped burning.

Torn and half-burnt, it has survived,
To tell a tale of love and woe;
The page asks me if love is all woe,
How did it survive the scorching flames!

No answer have I to the question asked;
And in my silence the page found victory;
Sheer joy it is to be in love,
And it is love in us that survives all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How much can a parent do?

Usually when a child is born, his parents are filled with joy and it seems that they would do almost anything to save the child from the trials of life. However, even with the most well-meaning of parents, situations can arise where they can do little to help their child. In spite of their best efforts to protect him, he has to go through much hardship and pain in life, and the parents become helpless witnesses to the agony.

What is a parent to do then? Does he accept it as the result of the child's previous lives' karma? Does he bear it as an exceptional test by God? Whatever his philosophy of life, seeing his child suffer is usually unbearable for a good parent.

The only thing a parent can do in such a case, is, in my opinion, give extra love and attention to his child. It is through love that even the unbearable is tolerated with a little less pain.

Hiding his own tears, a parent has to smile for his child.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The significance of a birthday

A birthday is an occasion to celebrate because it marks the day of someone's entry in this world. Family and friends usually throw a birthday-party to show how much the person is loved and appreciated by them.

The person whose birthday it is, looks upon the day depending on how old he becomes. If he is a child, the birthday means more toys. If a young teenager, he feels happy to be nearing adulthood and what he considers to be freedom. For a middle-aged person, the birthday is a time to introspect and evaluate his life. If the person happens to be a senior citizen, he probably looks back at life with all his achievements and disappointments, and is usually able to look beyond the hurt and pain and see the hand of God in all that happens.

Today is the birthday of someone very dear to me and I hope God gives him peace and joy. My friend, whose birthday it is today, deserves all the happiness in the world. The cake above is eggless, since both my friend and I are vegetarians. All my blogger-friends are being requested to help themselves to a piece each :)

"Happy Birthday to....."

Dated: 12 May, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Will I dare?

"Looking into myself I see
A great void where once joy lived;
With every step I took to become a success
I ended up losing my very own.
The time has come and
Dear, dear life is calling me, once more.
Will I give her a chance to own me
And fill me with joy?
Will I dare let me be myself? "
(The question someone is asking...)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The River Gushing Forth

All the boulders near the river,
Cannot stop it from gushing forth;
How is it possible for the world
To stop love from being love?

The risk of being hurt on the rocks
Hinders not the one who ventures
On the mighty river full of foam:
The call is clear and he responds.

The river and the rocks together
Tell the story of love perennial;
What happens is bound to happen:
True love gives life to the soul.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Child's Question

The little child asks herself why she was born
To a mother who has no love for her;
She has a friend in her doting father,
But he is busy working all the time.
The little child needs someone to play with,
But there is no one to listen to her;
She waits for her grandparents to come
From a city far, far away.
The little child knows not why
She has been left all alone;
Not a soul has the courage or time
To answer her innocent question.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A breath of fresh air

"The unnamed relationship in my life
Caught me unawares and I found out
How hollow the life I was leading;
She came, but had no place in my world.

Yet I could not shut her out,
Not turn a deaf ear to her words
Spoken and unuttered as well,
Nor be blind to her joy in me.

In my set life with all its success,
I was choking, dying in my soul;
Her unstated love, her quiet surrender,
Is a breath of fresh air; and I let her be in me. "

(The words are of my choice but the experience is of a dear friend.)