Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Change - Not always for the better?

Two Eastern India states got battered by the Cyclone Aila...widespread devastation, 60 dead and still counting..A newspaper called it a 'perfect storm'. Rural and urban life disrupted, villages marooned, large areas without electricity, flights cancelled, trains stranded, public transport ground to a halt, made for a perfect South Asian coastal story.

Climate change has now become a part of our real lives. Summer which normally starts from April, started this year from mid-February, ending in an unusually hot April. We had no winter to speak of. Earlier, winter used to linger till mid-March and we would have sultry, scorching weekly stretches interspersed with welcome nor'westers and this pattern would continue till the first week of June when the long awaited monsoon would come down with all its fury.

However, this year, its all changed. Man, bird and beast are confused. The cyclone which left a trail of devastation in Gangetic West Bengal and Orissa also left a trail of landslides in the Darjeeling Hills, has also pulled the South West Monsoons ahead of schedule. It is the last week of May and we are already in monsoon zone. Wonder what else is in store later this year.

I feel now that enough time has been spent pontificating about how the weather is changing and how it will affect us adversely. It is now time to think how to implement eco-friendly measures in our lifestyles through a mix of radical and gradual changes.

In climate change, we must read the fine print written by God himself. It should urge us to think and act more responsibly. Surely, the religious scriptures mean the ultimate disastrous effects of climate change when they talk about the end of the world. Have they prescribed preventives?

We need to recognise this subtle message and act. The time is now!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Tough Mind and Matters

Tough babe, hard and aggressive b***ch and a new Mother's Day epithet...'Kickass Mom' by my proud daughters..are some of the nicknames I have gathered over the years. Other remarks like tactless, undiplomatic or calling a spade a spade, not mincing words have been used to describe me since childhood. Wonder what is wrong in being straight and simple? But at first glance or second meetings no one yet has got this impression. Its only people who know me really well have this opinion.

Sometimes life puts you through the shredder. And the only way you recover is to build a wall around you, because you want to protect soft, hurting self that is really you?

Here is something that happened last evening which made me seriously question whether I was tough by any stretch of imagination...

Every evening 6:30 to 7:45 is my walk and exercise hour. I walk on this nice grassy field behind my flat as my mornings are usually rushed with sending kids to school and getting ready for office. Normally I see familiar walkers and it has been quite safe to be out at hat time. Yesterday however, the place was uncharacteristically deserted. Storm clouds were gathering and a strong breeze was beginning to blow. Just then, I saw a character walking his dog. He could have been a servant of someone in the extended neighbourhood. The aura around him seemed peculiar, with the gait of someone who is either an addict or of unsound mind.

I saw him tie his dog to a nearby fence and head straight towards me. I can't remember when I was last in this sort of a panic!

Not wanting to show that I was in any way affected, I assumed my most stud-like, aggressive walk, held up my hand and rotated my wrist, clenched it into a fist and looked him straight in the eye! Seeing him closely I understood he was decidedly puny and I would win hands down if a fisticuff or a physical fight ensued!

My body language had the desired effect and he changed his direction and went off to lie face down on the field while I continued my walk, still v alert for any movement from his direction!!

On hindsight it was quite amusing, but on second thoughts I was wondering, what if my strategy did not work? What if he was a strong thug and not a puny idiot? Next time I ever go to my friendly-neighbourhood field for my walk, I must not forget to reach for the pepper spray!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Trivia, Tattle and Tra La La

A gap in posts and this is a post after long. Actually many posts within a post.
Last few days have gone past at a breakneck pace. An e-fight with an old school pal and a brand new blog to work on...

I fell prey to a writer's block, alternating tra la la moments with nosediving spirits. A fancy new way to describe mood swings?

Elections and the Indian Premier League took up most of my mindshare and both had their own share of hangamas and tamashas. . Well such is the Indian zeitgeist. Ah...how I love this word. It describes almost everything one wants to say!

Elections...in India just the heat, dust and horse trading are enough masala for an Indian reality show (as someone really dear once described).

The best two things about the IPL have so far been the blog www.fakeiplplayer.blogspot.com and the new Vodafone ads created for the game introducing new creatures called the 'Zoozoos'. Adorable and so funny, they have the whole nation in their grip. 29 ads, one introduced everyday makes the chemistry between Vidya Balan and Madhavan in rival Airtel ads lose their sizzle completely!
Those who have not seen them have missed something.

Soon IPL will be over and I guess this will be followed by some new decision to start releasing new Bollywood movies in multiplexes..an impasse spanning more than a month has led to no new pictures being released at multiplexes. And soon a new government will also take over.

This is going to be a season of new beginnings. And that is why I have decided that somewhere down the line I was wallowing in self pity. That I need to get a handle on life and move on? And to a new beginning I shall work for and that will be less self-pity and more tra la la moments (but some poems will continue!)? Easier said than done. But worth a try?


Ciao till the next post

Monday, 4 May 2009

The hand of God




Sometimes, you feel God's presence when you see perfection. And perfection is what I see when I go through the young Iranian painter Iman Maleki's works. Being creative is human but being perfect is God-like. Have uploaded some pictures produced by this extraordinary young man and you can get to see more of him at www.imanmaleki.com

Iman was born on 1976 in Tehran. He has been fascinated by the art of Painting since he was a child. At the age of 15, he started to learn painting under the mastery of his first and only teacher - Morteza Katouzian - who is the greatest realist painter of Iran. Meanwhile, he began to paint professionally. In 1999 he graduated in Graphic Design from the Art University of Tehran. Since 1998, he has participated in several exhibitions. In the year 2000, he got married and in the following year he established ARA Painting Studio and started to teach painting, considering classical and traditional values.

Most of the people who visit this blog are really dear to me. And I want all my dear ones to experience the joy of seeing these paintings. The painting with the two small girls reading a book, remind me of my own two daughters....

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Saturday, 2 May 2009

The lyrics

In case you have never heard the song and don't know the lyrics, here they are. At this moment in time, cannot be truer for me...hope this joy lasts forever...

Such a feelin's comin' over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I won't be surprised if it's a dream

Everything I want the world to be
Is now coming true especially for me
And the reason is clear
It's because you are here
You're the nearest thing to heaven that I've seen

I'm on the top of the world lookin' down on creation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I've found ever since you've been around
Your love's put me at the top of the world

Something in the wind has learned my name
And it's tellin' me that things are not the same
In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze
There's a pleasin' sense of happiness for me

There is only one wish on my mind
When this day is through I hope that I will find
That tomorrow will be just the same for you and me
All I need will be mine if you are here

I'm on the top of the world lookin' down on creation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I've found ever since you've been around
Your love's put me at the top of the world

Soulmate...this one is for you

Friday, 1 May 2009

Top of the World

Did not quite understand the lyrics, but I sang it all the same. The top favourite sung brilliantly by Karen Carpenter, this song was an integral part of my childhood. Won many song competitions in school and college, hummed it all the way during my trip to Rajasthan as a university student, but never quite gave a thought to the lyrics...Till now!

Sometimes things happen without realising. A stranger you meet perhaps once or twice in your life, but a difference is made all the same. At the cost of making this post sound crappy or corny, this is something I must relate. I had this wonderful conversation with someone yesterday and came out of it healed, relaxed and therapied. Only this person does not realise the effect. Which is fine with me... Its a probably a quality possessed by spiritual healers, which is why they are so sought after. This person therefore does not realise the power possesseed...

Part of the conversation veered around the 'Paradoxical Commandments' ...Something so lovely, so true but yet so difficult. Even Mother Teresa borrowed from this...


The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith


1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
10. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.