Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lessons from the Children's Park

Everyone gets to play with everything. There's no minimum or maximum age. If you like it, you play with it.

There is no embarrassment, if you cannot hang from the rings or you fell down from one of those things or you are afraid to come down the long, twisting slide. You just give up after a few tries and move on to the next one that you can tackle.

If they laugh at you, you laugh with them.

You hang from the bar and try to rotate a log with your feet. You can't get it right. Then another child comes along, says "that's not how it's done, here let me show you." Then he shows the child and he goes away to something else he likes to play with. There is no excessive show or expectation of gratitude. Who has the time?

The toddler takes a long time to climb the steps of the slide. The bigger ones wait till he scampers up, or they jump up and carefully climb over him, and no one complains.

Sometimes the bigger children help the little ones to play with something that's a little tricky. They don't even think much of it, they don't pretend they have done something magnanimous, and they forget it soon enough.

If the hurdle is too high for you, you crawl under it to the other side and you're happy. Then you jump over a smaller one, and you're more happy.

If you knock a child down in your hurry, you wait a micro-second to make sure he is okay, he isn't screaming, and then you run on. The fallen one dusts himself up and goes on with whatever he was doing. If he screams, you are a little delayed, but nothing else happens.

You applaud in real enthusiasm when you see someone else rising up the bars and hanging upside down effortlessly. "Dude, that was great," you say. And you mean it.

The bigger kids like to swing high in the swing, but when they see the wide-eyed, excited infants approaching the swing eagerly, they just let it go and go climb up the slide instead.

Because everyone gets a chance at the slide.

(Things are a little different when it's a question of a game like Uno or a team game like cricket or football, and it's a post for another day.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Night birds

I remember the night birds
Squealing in their pursuits;
With hours and hours to go
Until the sun arose.

Nights of pain unbearable
Day after week after month,
Minutes passed me by but
The darkness never did end.

I hear now the night birds
Squealing as they did
once, dashing after prey
Or living nights in glee.

They still send up a chill
The screams of the night birds;
Do they know their voices
Are heard and felt by us?

My book of poems is now available on Kindle: Lonely Journeys

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


There are signs everywhere: signs that inspire you, motivate you; sometimes even those that disappoint and frustrate you. They keeping appearing and disappearing. You miss some, you catch some. One could say they reside in your head. Or you could believe that they were planted before your eyes by someone else.

I have some real ridiculous stories to share, but you're going to call me nuts so I won't. In a few short words, I have been inspired at different times by something I read in the paper (that reminded me of something I had to do), the shape of a shadow in the night (very complicated to explain, but the next day I got an email I was waiting for), a name that keeps popping up (the name of a character in my story), a message or a call at the precise moment (with words that held a deeper meaning), a person who turns up for no reason at all (and said something that made me work harder), things that all of a sudden seem to mean a certain thing, oh the list is endless. Too long to be called a list of coincidences.

Someone once told me that it's merely an 'association' - the signs (as I call them) were there all the time, but only at one point in time would I have made the connection. For instance, I was reading a book, in which the climax was supposed to take place on a certain date in September. I was jolted out of reading and I looked at my calendar. It was a day or two before the date in the book. (Different years, of course.) So if I were reading the book a couple of months later, I would not have even noticed it. I was just associating it with today. A pure coincidence. The name is quite common, it is all over the place, but because I have named my character so, it holds a special meaning to me, and only to me. It's probably just a case of things crossing paths by accident. Get what I mean?

Everyone has them - these short moments when you're startled at something that has tickled your memory; you could choose to ignore them, or take them as signs. I choose to believe they are indicators. Because they inspire me, they motivate me, they encourage me, they make me rise from my seat of procrastination and get something done.

Anything that motivates us must be good. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Giving credit where it's due

The little one turned the basket upside down and began showing off the toys and dolls that fell all around her.
"Now who will clean this up?"
"My mother will."
"Won't you help her?"
"My friend K- always helps my mother to clean up."
"K- sounds like a good child."
The little girl frowned a bit as she pondered over that piece of news, for a second. Then she said, "I help my mother clean up too. Sometimes."
"You are a good child."
A small smile of pride and satisfaction spread across her face.

Everyone loves to be credited for something they did, even though it appears insignificant to others.

If others do not note it, some would be tempted to drop a subtle hint or two. Sometimes not so subtle, sometimes not too casual.
"Oh, I just patted the baby like this and she stopped crying and quietly went back to sleep."
"I initiated it, you know, I went around asking everyone to do it. No one had ever thought of it before."
"It wasn't all me, the team did support. A bit."
"She never used to do it until I told her to."
"I just tried it and was very surprised at the wonderful result."
"Everyone was over the moon about what I did."

Even the ones who say the credit goes to the rest of the world could do with a word of appreciation. And none of us would lose anything by offering it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lonely Journeys

"Lonely Journeys" is a collection of my poems published on Kindle. You are all invited to take a look and purchase and read !

Here is the link:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Is it possible?

Is it possible to even imagine a life without a passion ?

To rise every morning without having lost your heart to a dream ?

To think no further than tomorrow, to live no further than today ?

Is it possible to not wrestle with a theme, an idea, a thought, a masterpiece until it is out of your head and into the canvas of creativity ?

Is it possible to not experience frustration from failing multiple times and trying again until you get it right, even after you get it right ?

Is it possible to not have dreams at all that keep you awake, and you are afraid to sleep lest you keep them from taking shape ?

Is it possible to be content with the monotony of daily life ?

To lead such a simple life as to hope for nothing more than good food to eat, good movies to watch and a good happy day spent with loved ones ?

To not be continuously in battle with the pain of creativity that every minute struggles to find a release ?

Is it possible to not be creative or find excitement (and misery) in creativity, in performance, in discovery, in persistence ?

Is it possible to live without experiencing the torment and pain and hope and distress and relief and hard-work and longing and loneliness and optimism and pessimism - and happiness - every day?

Is it possible that people exist who wake up every morning without experiencing the thrill of their life and the infinite possibilities it holds ?

Is it possible that people exist who do not know what it is like to forget about food and sleep, and to not take your eyes off your work even when very important others are calling out to you ?

Is it possible that there are people who have not experienced the thrill of a new thought, then the distress of having forgotten it, and then the unbearable, head-banging-on-the-wall frustration of trying to recall it ?

Is it possible they have not ever experienced the temporary satisfaction of completion, of bringing an idea to life, until the next one comes to haunt ?

Is it possible to get through each dull day without looking forward to anything, without finding passion in family or career or anything at all?

Is it possible at all that human beings do exist who do not have passion for anything in life ?

Is it possible that such people can even continue living ?

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Silence they say
speaks a thousand words
a thousand languages
a thousand thoughts
a thousand emotions...

A long phase of silence
takes on hues
imaginary, contrived;
unspoken words
take fearsome shapes...

Long and dreary
and dark and weary
moments of silence
filled with anxiety,
terrifying quietly...

What may come forth
when the silence breaks
a piece of news
good or sad
The anticipation continues...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Brink of Extinction

We're the rogue generation of our species.

The ones that came after us learnt it from us, the ones before us are appalled at us. We claim to be standing on the shoulders of our ancestors so as to place the blame heavily and easily on them.

We are the group that lost its way and was separated from its own. We are also the ones who learned to stand on our feet and trample our past.

We're the final chip that broke off from nature, the ones who took the wrong turns at the crossroads. We have experimented with ourselves, and we have taken it on others. 

We call ourselves the intelligent generation, the intelligent species, the intelligent race, but the lessons we take come from the 'lesser' intelligent ones who still follow the rules of nature.

We fight ourselves and we fight others. Humans have become beasts and the beasts, humane.

We battle just for the sake of battling, and not for need, existence or survival. We're the ones who battle for no cause and need no cause for battle.

We forsake the weak and pamper the powerful. We rip the world into two and we rush to join the latter, for the weak are too weak and the strong are too strong.

We have untangled ourselves from the ground and the trees and the rivers and the sky, and we call ourselves independent.

We terminate a bee and its family for their crime of daring to create a buzz.

We try to take pride in our achievements even as we know the foundations on which they were built are crumbling to dust.

We have reached the point where we take the world and the galaxy and the universe for granted and expect them all to rotate to our needs.

We know what we do, but we cannot change.

We are aware of the harm but we still continue causing harm.

We fear to look back lest we see our own past accusing us.

We're the ones who have signed our own death warrant...
... as we sway on the brink of extinction.