i hear the sounds of revelry filtering across to my room as i sit down at ease finally after a hectic fortnight of entertaining guests to write my last blog of the bidding goodbye year.
There have been unpleasant happenings in the last few months ending with the skyrocketing prices of essentials and i am not very comfortable to say, " So far so good ".
i still don't know if i should count my blessings or should humbly sit thinking about the poor souls struggling to make ends meet.
But there surely is a sudden revival of hope that things should improve in the coming year.
i am not actually thinking forwards but going down memory lane backwards focussing on the positives and therefore this HOPE.
The end of the calendar year is a good time to do so.
No i am not making resolutions for the coming year.
Rather am just hopeful that things settle down to a comfortable level the coming year for everybody.
With that in mind i want to just sit back, relax and with lots of new hopes in my heart i wish that 2011 is not just another year but a special year where i roll on with enough cheerfulness which should help me transform the negatives into positives and thus enjoy a meaningful life.
Here's wishing everyone who stops by to read my blogs A Very Peaceful And Happy New Year.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Some sad truth happens and there we are, hurling imaginary bullets at ourselves. As if digesting the hard truth was not enough.
Why is it so difficult to accept the sad truth?
It's so easy to accept the happy truths and revel in it. Why then the sad truth is so hard to go through?
And why is it that we start questioning the truth and making several loose/false assumptions and dissecting the truth with painful analysis?
Why can't we just let it be and wait for time?
Nothing lasts forever and in time the sad truth too must lose it's sting.
For in time you forget and forgive. Maybe later you even laugh it out.
i have just been trying to deal with yet another betrayal by whom i thought was a friend. i questioned hundred times as to why it had to happen to me again. The betrayal was not a very serious one rather a petty one and instead of letting it pass, once again i questioned myself...felt hurt, angry, depressed in a manner as if my world has been torn apart.
Making a mountain out of a mole.
i go on a rampage hating myself...for being foolish, careless at not responding to the signals when they started happening. For being insensitive to my own inner voice that tried to warn me more than once.
i have no one to blame but myself.
i was so stupid...even after all these years...and people are able to manipulate me to get to their ends.
i am a means to their selfish ends...
i am pathetic...
Can i really ever learn to handle situations? Can i control situations and make it move into a direction that is favourable to me?
Questions battered inside and i needed answers.
These few days when i needed my answers were sorrowful where i saw myself wallowing in self pity.
Then i indulged into so many activities which i thought could pull me through this impasse.
Cleaning, decorating the house, tending to my plants, reading books, watching movies, going out for a long drive with some soothing music in the car and even going for a facial and massage as someone had suggested once.
The activities helped me during the day but at night as i lay down...the sorrow returned with a vengeance and i cried myself to sad troubled insomnia before collapsing to an exhausted slumber at the break of dawn.
When will i get better?
Or will i even get better at handling manipulation?
i got my answers only when i paused my wild thoughts and was a bit gentle to my own self.
For this is life...sometimes this could work too apart from meditation and yoga.
Being kind to oneself failed to be just words and became yet another transforming moment in my life.
When i was battling with the so many maybes...maybe this...maybe that, i wouldn't have reached my sense of equilibrium if i had not stopped from cursing myself.
It's sad but i don't know how and when this happened but i wasn't even aware that i was a victim of this debilitating disease called Self Loathing.
Loathing of the sort where i saw myself as the culprit. As the one who deserved what she got.
Things like...it's all my mistake...yeah i am responsible...i am irreparable...i am expendable... the list that looked endless was tormenting .
i look around and what do i see.
Everybody thinks they are right.
Everyone justifies their words and actions.
Each person feels his/her approach to be the best one.
And look at me...i am such a brutal critic of my own self.
And this self criticism can be so crippling.
From my own experience i should say it makes you still more annoyed...still more hurt...still more depressed and worse you start distributing this depression in a manner that it has a multiplier effect on others around you.
For i believe that only when you are happy within yourself about your own self, can you pass the happiness around.
And this happiness would in turn have it's own multiplier effects.
So it becomes imperative that i become now more sensitive to my own self.
i am no guru but have my own experiences which are my teachers. And i believe that the experiences are amazing not to be forgotten lessons nonetheless.
So my lesson has been to accept the mysteries of life as it happens. Life happens and there will surely be the crests and the troughs. And instead of questioning...WHY ME...i should take these experiences in my stride and just move on.
Move on not with bitterness and self loathing but with appreciation of the fact that the experience is signalling me to be a new person. One who accepts life as it happens... feels the thrill and joy in all the good happenings and when things go unfavorable accept it again with a difference. Feel sorrow if you have to, maybe even cry it out but accept it just the way you would accept the joys and just move on.
True, it sounds simple and could be difficult when one actually gets to implementing it but that should not stop one from trying.
For there is no solace in torturing oneself. Awful things happen to a whole lot of people. There are no maybes. That's the way life is.
Life showers trusts and betrayals.
It's true that nothing comes out of nothing but then there are many things beyond our control. What we can control is our own self.
i can tell from my recent experience that i will learn to accept that unfairness is yet another fact of life.
Yeah maybe remind myself not to be unfair when confronted with a similar situation.
i know i have ranted...i needed to but my rant is incomplete if i do not give due credits to this article in Times Of India which just passed the enlightenment to me.
i got more of the same from these words of Elizabeth Gilbert also the writer of Eat, Pray, Love although i haven't set out on a truth seeking journey but these words provided me with the comfort i was seeking. No words from anyone could do what these words did to me.
It provided me warmth and light. It comforted me when i sat with a dark halo around myself just trying to figure out where or how did i go wrong.
The book was no doubt a good read but the words i quote are from the film with the same name and also based on the book. Elizabeth uses some very good words...words that i found suited my predicament perfectly well.
She calls her questioning , " Physics Of The Quest" which she says is, " A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity.
The rule of quest physics goes something like this:
If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting...
which could be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments...
and set out on a truth seeking journey...
either externally or internally...
and if you are truly willing to regard everything...
that happens to you on that journey as a clue...
...and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher...
And if you are prepared most of all
...to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself...
Then the truth will not be witheld from you."
She says this was what she believes based on her experience which was a journey for her quest and i feel i know my answers too.
Thank you Liz and thank you TOI.
But most of all Thank You God for making me ME.
Ok maybe in the official video Bruno Mars is singing the song for the girl in his life...and here i am trying to look at myself in the mirror and sing this song for me.
Yeah i mean it...girl you are amazing...just the way you are.
Posted by shivani singh at 2:41 AM
Monday, December 6, 2010
When i first saw her it was her armlet that first grabbed my attention. Something about her face and her neat demeanor and her long hair combed backwards and styled elegantly into a long plait that reached up to her waist, her pink sleeveless shirt and black trousers that looked stylish but simple came next. She looked like some aboriginal being who has received education and could converse in English and Hindi with the kind of a finesse that puts you at ease and also kindles a curiosity to know more about her. And then as you settle down to hear her request before she took us to the guided tour on the Ross Island, it is then at that moment when you will be amazed at the tremendous amount of confidence that she exuded...some might fidget in their seats with the kind of impatience that is typical of tourists who have limited time at their disposal...but everyone would be stilled into silence and alertness the moment she started with her introduction.
For her introductions touched all aspects starting with history...ecology...philanthropy...tsunami...ending with corruption and betrayal of the Indians and lastly a brief note about herself as the government authorised tourist guide for the Ross Island.
The heads nodded and swayed in agreement and faces frowned in regrets while her narration informed about the plunder and looting of the structures on the island by none other than the Indians themselves.
"I know the names of all those people who took out the bricks, yanked the Padauk wood, Burma teak and reduced this place to the ruins that it has become", she continued with her voice that conveyed much more than only disgust. Her delivery conveyed anger, pain, remorse, pity... and last but not the least some sense of pride and protection that one should have for the heritage that belongs to the motherland and so is meant for everybody.
" Hamare hee apnon ne isko loota aur apna ashiana banaya, yeh bhi nahi socha ke yeh desh ki milkiyat hai kisi ek ka nahin."
But before all this her opening sentence was, " Namaste ! (Salutations) Ross Island welcomes you and before anything I will be saying, I have a request to all you beautiful people who have come so far to see this place...while I take you around please do not interrupt me when I am explaining and please do not look at your watches and signal me to hurry up...for until I am done with my job I can say with experience that there is no way your ship/ ferry is going to move out leaving you stranded here with me. My name is Anuradha and i am your guide for this island tour...Thank You . " All this in a very impressive clear Hindi that sounded partly from Delhi and partly from UP (Uttar Pradesh) .
i was still eyeing her armlet which had figures of our Indian Gods and Goddesses and was both in admiration of the craft and curious about knowing as to whether it was a fashion statement by her signalling her free spirited and spiritual self or was she wearing it just as a talisman of some sort.
And before she could start, i rattled off my curiosity, '' Madam Guide will you mind if i ask you something first."
Her smile with the most polite," Jee puchheye kya janana chahti hain aap ", ( Do ask whatever you want to know) spread warmth in me and unhesitatingly i asked her about the armlet.
She asked, " Have you come alone or is there someone with you? "
i gestured towards my husband who was sitting right next to me and answered, '' He is my husband and i have come with him."
She closed her eyes for a second, opened and looked at me with a smile and answered, '' Just like you have your husband next to you, i have them next to me, for i lost my husband some years back and the last of my family 12 years ago."
She didn't say more and i couldn't ask more for i did not want to delay the tourists as we had just limited time and not the whole day for the island. Rather just 45 minutes before our ferry/ cruise that brought us to the island would depart.
She then turned to face the entire group of say about 20 or more tourists and started with the history of the island with the precise dates, names and all the happenings associated with the dates and the names.
Introductions over, she asked us to get up from our seats and follow her as she took us around the island. Yet another set of requests about not to push each other or hurry up as she would go slow and would allow us sufficient time to take snaps.
Casually getting ready to take us around she then said something in her lifting voice about the creatures on the island, the animals, the birds and most of us doubted her when she mentioned about the exact numbers.
We disbelieved her when she said she could speak to them and they understood her and would attend her calls. She mentioned that they were her babies and all of them were trained by her and till she existed she would not allow anyone to be killed for satisfying human greed.
We thought she was bragging about the deer listening to her, about the myna who would come fluttering and perch on the branch and that there were two of them who were known to her and that she knew the precise hour when they would be around, then the squirrel who although could not be spotted would materialise and will allow her along with others to feed her, also about the bulbuls who are busy making their nests...Oh yes we thought it was yet another marketing skill of an ambitious tourist guide.
But as we moved around the island along with her and as she explained the ruins and the brilliant craftsmanship of the structures, we were proved wrong of our judgement of her.
For while she explained about the iron washers and the nuts that held the structures she did call out to Rani, and the tiny squirrel arrived and stood in a receiving stance to grab the bits of all we had to offer. We had none but our enigmatic guide was prepared. The yellow sling bag that she carried was her food bag which stocked a huge fresh packet of bread and few packets of biscuits and her few meagre belongings.
'' Sonaalee !, Sonaalee ! aa jaaa baccha, Mamma ke paas aa jaa", (Sonaalee !, Sonalaee! come child come to mommy) her voice travelled and a female deer arrived followed by her stag and her calf, and slowly but steadily the rest of the herd grazing around the island arrived too. She addressed them all by their names and they looked expectantly to her with longing and adoration. i was too taken aback to register all their names and so all i can remember is of one among them called Sonaalee.
She explained about the depth to which the island has sunk...or the places that have drifted apart.
Gesticulating with the help of her hands and explaining about the island cracking into two when the fault caused one part of the island to sink low while the other remained, she explained that the portion where we were standing was once that high. She pointed towards that part of the island that looked like a hillock to help us gauge the height.
All this explanation as we passed a pond like structure and she calls out ," Kaalee ! Kaalee ! aa jaa baccha mamma aa gayee." ( Kaalee! Kaalee ! come baby momma is here.)
And what do we see, a paddling of ducks that were wading in the pond turning and moving to where she stood. And one of them who was all brown was Kaalee. While the other huddled quite close to her but stayed in the pond it was Kaalee who actually came out of the water to be very near to her and looked at her mom with longing. She then gave me a piece of bread to feed Kaalee, while she kept talking to the others and throwing them pieces of bread and biscuits. Affectionately reprimanding them and calling them terrorists.
i asked her why she called them terrorists, she explained how they terrorize her when all of them start quacking all at once demanding her attention. Sometimes their quack quack caused headaches as they would not relent and would be very possessive about her.
And with the expression that conveyed fairness she said, '' I have other kids too apart from them but these are the most demanding and very naughty.''
The 45 minutes on the island happened just too soon and i could not know more about this free spirit who had many kids, and was an integral part of the island. Not much than that her name was Anuradha. And her final words to us was, '' Thank you very much and have a memorable stay at Andamans. Before saying goodbye i would make yet another plea, and that is that please do take care of your parents if they are old and invalid. Do not turn away or dump them in some ashram. This is my humble request for if it was not for their love and unconditional love all of you would not be what you are today. You would not even be standing on this island here with me. Please please do remember to at least love them back."
As we bid our goodbyes one by one, some lingering a wee bit longer to hear more of her, i found it too difficult to go next to her and bid my goodbye.
For i wanted to be with her and know her story...
i wanted to know more of this mysterious lady who was alone but not lonely.
- who was regardless of the situation she was in and was living life to the full ;
-was living according to her own wish and beliefs unconstrained by the society's conventions...fearless ;
-who looked detached and yet so passionate about her feelings towards the Island and it's creatures who were members of her warm loving family ;
- who was finding courage even when everything was so unsure ;
- and was having no qualms about reminding us about our duties...towards our motherland and towards our own biological parents.
She knew that we needn't be told because we were educated and smart enough but even then just like that last bit from our parents and loved ones when the train starts rolling from the station, she chugged along with her goodbyes and sound words of advice.
My passage to yet another island on the cruise was spent in silence with her thoughts and the movie Australia. Also about the writings of Paul Coelho.
The aborigines in Australia have a belief as shown in the movie 'Australia' that they can sing someone to them. Through their chants and songs they are able to sense, reach out and even make things happen. Like the video clip in the beginning of my post showing Nulla that aboriginal boy stopping the flock of cattle, ' Them fat cheeky bulls' (as he called them) from running him over the cliff, through his singing. His grandfather watching from a nearby cliff and chanting his own to stop the bulls.
Then i had thoughts of free spirited female characters in Paul Coelho novels, who are born somewhere, raised elsewhere and lived their lives unfettered by any attachments navigating some land where destiny might have placed them.
Somehow what i read about the female archetypes in one of his book came rushing in.
Normally a woman can be identified with one of the four classic archetypes:
- The Virgin...not about the sexual virgin but one who through her independence searches and learns to face challenges alone.
- The Martyr who finds self knowledge through pain, suffering and surrender.
- The Saint whose sole motive for living is to give without asking in return.
- Finally the Witch who justifies her existence by going in search of complete and limitless pleasure.
She could be a witch too so far as keeping me entranced is concerned.
The way the creatures of the island answered her calls one could say that they were trained by her. But isn't that something amazing. In this world when reaching out to the same species, sometimes even to the same gender seems to be getting more and more complicated, isn't it wonderful that one is able to reach out and connect. Even if these could be the ones who do not have the same sentences as ours.
i don't really care or wish to know what others thought but for me Anuradha was totally mind blowing.
And if she was not camera shy i could have taken a clear picture of her to keep with me forever.
In any case the biggest shutter of them all is in my heart.
And even now i see her, with a faint floral fragrance perhaps of her hair oil , her casual, simple yet stylish attire, her joie de vivre which made her an instant friend of one and all, charged with an energy and passing on this energy to all around her, roaming the Ross Island and monitoring her babies. Also enlightening the tourists about the headquarters of the British in the Andaman Islands. How the house was built with reinforced fittings of nuts and bolts and screwed with washers with a difference. For even the circular washers that looked like discs were made of iron.
The residence of the island Commissioner, and office, the bakery, the church and the tennis courts, she would be moving around and explaining.
How they prepared sweet drinking water in those huge steam boilers that were bought all the way from England and how it was distributed to all parts of the island in three canals.With the help of a twig and markings she would be showing all. Her kids following her and answering to her calls much to the amazement and the thrill of her new bunch of guests.
Anuradha ! in you i saw that the extraordinay occurs in the lives of ordinary people.
And i am singing you to me through this post of mine.
Posted by shivani singh at 7:08 AM
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Large stretches of white sand, coral reefs teeming with marine life and tropical rain forests combine to make the Andaman islands a veritable Xanadu.
Although our holiday was a short one and a special one too as we chose Andamans to be that place where we would go down memory lane to 25 years earlier on the 27th November 1985, the day we got married, we came back feeling unsatiated and hungry for more.
-Really soak in the beauty of the shimmering sea at it's best
-Figure out the different shades of blue, actually the turquoise blue sea
-Delight in the solitary virgin nature
-Feel the sincerity and serenity of village life
-lose yourself in the tropical lush green forests
-Venture into lush green mangrove creeks
-Enjoy the thrill of actually spotting one of the various primitive tribal groups that has strongly resisted any efforts at civilization and are still hunters and food gatherers
-Discover the species of birds, insects endemic to the island
-Get totally floored by unusual beautiful tropical flowers and orchids
-Savour the local delicacies and a wide array of seafood
-Learn scuba diving and indulge into the various water sports including para- sailing
-Finally to sense history and feel gratitude for all the hardships/torture endured bravely by our freedom fighters,who with their indomitable spirit got us the independence which we are so easily and carelessly enjoying,
one would require a minimum of 10 days at least and so it is natural to feel the way we do now as our 4 days in a paradise that also is historical was just so minimal.
What we did manage to catch up, all in a hurry was a kaleidoscopic view of the picturesque island, in between finding just some time to feel intrigued by nature's artistry as an unbeatable painter, sculptor, musician and even a lissome dancer.
Finally i was calm enough and at the time of my life when i could appreciate nature as the best original painter beyond human imagination as i watched the sea and tried to figure out the various shades of blue-green. Sometimes jade green as it shimmered like molten jade and at other times a cool refreshing turquoise blue.
The brilliant colours of the school of fishes as they swam past so close to my snorkeling goggles rather too close that it felt as if they are sliding past the glass and i wondered how nature mixed and matched those colours . Some looked flourescent of the kind as if they radiated light.
The amazing array of huge, tall trees in all possible shades of green with artistic canopy as if it was topiared by nature and just in the middle of all this green a passionate splash of red. There among the greens would be a tall tree with scarlet red leaves. A close perusal of this red tree on my way to the beach on Havelock island led to an eureka moment of the sort that educated me that all the leaves had uniformly reached a mature stage...when the leaves would first turn crimson red...then scarlet before finally dropping off. i picked up a couple of these leaves to bring it back home only to discover much to my chagrin that it would finally turn a dull red and perhaps brown and would cease to be scarlet forever. Just so typical of nature...effervescent but transitory.
Then nature as a sculptor as i watched all types of corals...from the ones commonly seen to the most rare. Brain coral that resembled the convoluted structure of a human brain, mushroom corals, finger corals, staghorn corals, boulder corals, flower corals, fan corals and still many others that our guide could point out but didn't know the names of.
If we had been there earlier than this we would be able to see another of nature's marvels in the form of the limestone caves at Baratang which unfortunately had closed for visitors and no more bookings could be made.
The sound of the surf as it crashed into a foamy white mixed with the balmy breeze and the chirping of birds produce some kind of a panorama for the senses that cajole and sometimes one can't help but get mesmerised/hypnotised when nature plays it's music in such sylvan surroundings.
To know how lithe a dancer could be one should just watch the waves as it sometimes takes sinuous long strides, before breaking into feathery small ripples. The mudras of a dancer flashes before you as you gaze at the waves, the crests and the troughs and see the infinite peaks merging and re- emerging and then you begin to appreciate nature's magnificent dance. We had plenty of time to watch the waves as we cruised from one island to the other, some 90 minutes apart and some even more.
A loving husband who took all the pains and efforts to take me to an exotic locale and even surprised me with a beautiful card;
A blogdost who now is our dear new friend and thanks to his efforts and warm thoughts about our special day, we were wished pleasantly by the hotel staff with a fresh bunch of roses, all of different colours, the first thing on the 27th morning;
A dreamy destination in the lap of luxury by my standards and lots of comfort in the way i felt;
A quarter century rarely gets better than this.
However in the midst of all this what we sure could manage was soft loving looks, a cheery, non-argumentative but very accomodating temperament, an occassional holding of hands as we moved together trying our best not to miss out on anything that the island promised for the day, before taking a warm shower and then crashing into a happily tired slumber when we returned to our hotel.
Whatever happened to all our plans of having cocktail drinks and exotic seafood candlelit dinner and going down the memory lane reviving the wedding smell of rajnigandhas (tuberoses)...
Well we only laughed it out the next day as we woke up to a late and fully bright sunlit morning.
So we made another best plan sipping our fresh cuppa...that for the entire week to be our anniversary week and maybe manage the candlelit dinner and revive the memories of when we were so shy and total strangers sitting awkwardly on the bed decorated elaborately with rajnigandha garlands and rose petals strewn all over the satin sheets...laters.
If not in the Emerald islands then in Chennai definitely.
Right now as we are back home, we look at all my collections for which i had to get special permission at the airport as picking any item from the shore which may slightly resemble a part of a coral is strictly banned, we feel quite happy if not fully satisfied that we did manage to make it a unique day in an island which has the ever changing blue waters, explored some marine life, walked hand in hand on the beach with velvety silvery sands feeling so soft under our feet, where the palm trees cast slender shadows and the crystal waters cajoled us in for a swim.And in the most mellow but reflective moments actually spent in silence, sincerely paid tributes and saluted our freedom fighters who were sent to Kala Pani never to be seen again.
Thankful to the Andaman Islands, we see them now with that never say die demeanor in that 3ft x 7ft cell braving the odds and singing, " Sarfaroshi ki tammanna ab hamare dil mein hai
Dekhna hai jor kitna bajuye kaatil mein hai..."
Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna with English Translation
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mai.N hai
Dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qaatil mai.N hai
Karta nahin kyun doosra kuch baat-cheet
Dekhta hun main jisey woh chup teri mehfil mein hai
Aye shaheed-e-mulk-o-millat mai.N tere oopar nisaar
Ab teri himmat ka charcha Ghair ki mehfil mai.N hai
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mai.N hai
Waqt aanay dey bata dai.Ngay tujhe aye aasman
Hum abhi se kya batai.N kya hamare dil mai.N hai
Khainch kar layee hai sab ko qatl hone ki ummeed
Aashiqon ka aaj jumghat koocha-e-qaatil mai.N hai
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mai.N hai
Hai liye hathiyaar dushman taak mein baiTha udhar
Aur hum taiyyaar hai.N seena liye apna idhar
Khoon se khelai.Ngay holi gur vatan muskhil mai.N hai
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mai.N hai
Haath jin mein ho junoon cuTtay nahi talvaar say
Sar jo uTh jaatay hai.N voh jhukte nahi lalkaar say
Aur bhad.rkega jo shola-saa humaare dil mai.N hai
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mai.N hai
Hum to ghar se niklay hi the baandhkar sar pe kafan
Jaan hatheli par liye lo bhar chale hain ye qadam
Zindagi to apni mehmaan maut ki mehfil mein hai
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mai.N hai
Yuu.N Khad.raa maqtal mai.N qaatil keh rahaa hai baar baar
Kya tamannaa-e-shahaadat bhi kisi ke dil mai.N hai
Dil mein tuufaanoo.N ki Tolee aur nasoo.N mai.N inqilaab
Hosh dushman ke ud.raa dai.Ngay humai.N rokoo na aaj
duur reh paaye jo humse dum kahaan manzil mai.N hai
voh jism bhi kya jism hai jis mai.N na ho Khoon-e-junoon
toofaanon say kya lad.re jo kashti-e-saahil mein hai
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai.
Dekhna hai zor kitna baazuay qaatil mein hai.
Poet: Bismil Azimabadi
The desire for struggle is in our hearts
We shall now see what strength there is in the boughs of the enemy
Why do you remain silent thus?
Whoever I see, is gathered quiet so...
O martyr of country, of nation, I submit myself to thee
For yet even the enemy speaks of thy courage
The desire for struggle is in our hearts...
When the time comes, we shall show thee, O heaven
For why should we tell thee now, what lurks in our hearts?
We have been dragged to service, by the hope of blood, of vengeance
Yea, by our love for nation divine, we go to the streets of the enemy
The desire for struggle is in our hearts...
Armed does the enemy sit, ready to open fire
Ready too are we, our bosoms thrust out to him
With blood we shall play Holi, if our nation need us
The desire for struggle is in our hearts...
No sword can sever hands that have the heat of battle within,
No threat can bow heads that have risen so...
Yea, for in our insides has risen a flame,
and the desire for struggle is in our hearts...
Set we out from our homes, our heads shrouded with cloth,
Taking our lives in our hands, do we march so...
In our assembly of death, life is now but a guest
The desire for struggle is in our hearts...
Stands the enemy in the gallows thus, asking,
Does anyone wish to bear testimony?...
With a host of storms in our heart, and with revolution in our breath,
We shall knock the enemy cold, and no one shall stop us...
What is that body that does not have hot blood in it,
How can a person conquer a Typhoon while sitting in a boat near the shore.
The desire for struggle is in our hearts,
We shall now see what strength there is in the boughs of the enemy.
It surely was togetherness at it's best.
Posted by shivani singh at 1:49 PM
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sometimes it's just passion for something and while indulging in that passion, driven by self interest one is able to contribute in a way that the passion of the self becomes an object of admiration and adoration of others too.
Like for this Officer i know although not very closely but yes, am familiar with, to a certain extent. This gentleman i am told is passionate about gardening and health and here by health i don't mean about the workouts in the gym or following a monotonous exercise routine coupled with diet but something that is obtained naturally.
Following a good healthy vegetarian diet, attending office regularly and actually working before using the leisure and the resources at his disposal for indulging in gardening. That's how i would describe from what i know of Mr G Narayanan, the Principal Chief Engineer with Southern Railway.
i don't know much cause i have not interviewed him about how he got to do what he just did to a small patch of derelict land, which was used by passers by either just as a connecting shortcut to the club and by many as place to relieve themselves when nature called, into an oasis of sorts. Not any common oasis with fragrant and ornamental plants but an oasis that is supposed to HEAL.
And so appropriately it is called THE HEALING GARDEN.
Sandwiched between the Railway apartments and the Railway Club this patch of land which i would judge to be something like 50 feet x 100 feet, is now one of the spots that i take my guests to, first and foremost as soon as they arrive and have shown the slightest inclination of taking a look around.
What i have to say to them with some sense of pride, this time i'd like the pictures from my cyber shot to convey.
As you pass the calming shade of the huge canopied trees along the cobblestone pathway you would be greeted with the aroma of the various herbs that border the fence of the garden. The most striking being that of Basil...not only of Holy basil but the basil used for flavouring food.
Instructions on the board which give you an idea about the gradient and how to walk the garden is next.
For novices like me this was helpful because i thought the entire garden was created at the same level and could not sense with my distracted mind, the gentle gradient that suits walkers of all age.
The walking pathway is so designed to encompass the entire garden while absorbing all the benefits be it the energy emanating from the trees and shrubs or the added knowledge about the so many herbs...the name...it's uses...curative powers...and last but not the least about the procedure to use these herbs.
The garden is a melange of more than 25 varieties of herbs some of which i have just given the pictures of. In fact one of these days i am planning to take a slow stroll to actually count the varieties and try and go through each one of them. Most probably Giloy ( Tinospora ) should be one among them. Now that i know that this particular herb is so useful when one is down with Dengue fever.
The entire garden is not only a haven of herbs but has a few very important spots that should relieve one of stress if at all you believe in the therapy that nature provides.
For sitting on the neem (Margosa) plank you can allow colour therapy to work on you. Each colour supposed to energise a particular gland. The instructions on the board should tell you as to how long you should view the colours and which one will activate your pineal, pituitary or thyroid gland...
Sitting at the same place you can relieve yourself of stress...emotional or otherwise by acupressure on palms.
And when you feel like walking you might want to give at least one try at acupressure on your soles. It is easy for not only are all instructions given but also that you can choose from the the two patches of gravel. Choose the one that you feel comfortable with and there you are with some healing done through the soles of your feet.
Then another slightly raised platform deserves a mention here of that area facing east where you can let the energy of the sun work through your eyes into your entire system. The exact spot...the specific time and the duration for which you should look at the sun directly as it appears in the early morning sky.
The entire area is a rich splash of manicured greens that heal and if not for anything i love to walk around and am quite entertained although in a very special way with the panorama of heavy traffic passing by and the new knowledge that slowly is finding it's way into my brain without much effort on my part. For looking around and casually sitting on the neem plank i don't even hear the sound of traffic sometimes. At other times i get quite taken aback with beautiful creatures like these.
At the outset i would like to make an observation. i've seen many officers come and go but this gentleman who i know not much of, will be one inspiring one. While many use their hobbies and resources to indulge for self recreation this gentleman gave our six apartments something which shall be cherished by all the residents. This particular busy man used his post and privileges to create a haven on a small dull and dark piece of land which once emanated the smell of urine and garbage. It was also an area where cheap rascals congregated to indulge into their vices and sometimes make the path feel very unsafe.
His hobby proved to be a boon to all of us and that's the way it should be.
Just like everyone else he could've used his knowledge, skill and resources to beautify the bungalow he was inhabiting but instead worked relentlessly with his bevy of not so many trained workers and the others under him for more than six months to create a clean, well maintained, herbal garden where all of us see ourselves into, once in a while. Although the best benefits could only be had if we are more disciplined like him to get up early and take the stipulated 30 minutes walk around the garden, nevertheless it is there; rich and resplendent getting more and more attractive each day...beckoning us to shake our lazy bones and rush into it's healing, and comforting hug .
Anne Frank said this somewhere in her diary about making a difference and there is a ton of wisdom in what that very young girl said.
And it was Tolstoy who said that
Posted by shivani singh at 6:58 AM