TWINED AND INTERTWINED

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.
—John Muir

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Twined and intertwined
broken and branched
Complex and divine
Pure as a bliss
a walk through those trails in time

The serenity’s which encapsulates you
the deafening silence which rejuvenates you
with each turn twist and bump reveals
that beauty
so sublime

Those streams and the creeks
which runs through it
those veins
which infuse love and beauty in it.
The trees which line up the mountains
curves and accentuates your beauty
So divine

It’s complicated
surreal and yet so simple
It hides the beauty
in its plain sight

A truth untold
thorough those gossamer shrubs
In the thinnest of its web
The trail I took,
To find the truth
hidden deep inside.

Picture credit: Megha Sood

ON THE BANKS OF TEESTA

On a January winter morning,

The gossamer mist engulfs me.

It carries me away in the cold air,

Above the tiny ever-growing city buildings

And gently lowers me on the banks of Teesta, the mysterious green river.

I see footsteps on the white sands,

Once they were mine,

It’s been a long time since I walked on them.

The kids blow balloons and frolic around,

The silvery water gushes past the huge boulders,

My mother warns me not to go into the water,

I am a good boy and I listen to her.

I have always been cautious of the river,

Buses have fallen into it, people washed away never to be found-

Adrenaline pumped teenagers have been drowned by its strong currents

But I never blame Teesta.

We have to respect the power of nature.

I recollect how Teesta’s beauty captivated me,

The serpentine contour, the murky green surface,

The forested hills rising on either side of it,

Rocky hills, Strong hills, Old hills.

We jump from rock to rock carefully balancing ourselves,

My curly haired-crush moves deftly on the rocks.

I am rather tentative and worried that I will fall.

I am so in love with her.

We don’t have smart phones to take selfies,

We don’t need one as we are lost in nature.

I can smell the chicken-masala wafting through the air,

My feet can’t stop tapping to the rhythm of the song,

All of us hold hands together and we dance in unison,

Our faces, look happy, all smiles, at least for a day,

A day worth the wait,

Picnicking on the banks of Teesta.

The mist disperses as the sun comes out,

I am brought back to the present.

I retain the smiles and the joy,

The times have changed, and picnics are no more regular.

People throng the malls more than the serene riverside.

I stand on the bridge and look down at the green waters,

They flow where they have to as life goes on.

THERE’S A RICH BLUE CEILING FOR ALL

People are more likely to tell you that blue is their favorite color than any other shade. That makes it a safe choice. Seeing blue also brings thoughts of trustworthiness to mind; always a good thing.Psychology Today

Blue is the most stable color. Women love seeing stable men. It is also calming and can help relax both you and your date’s nerves.Science of People

Blue is the colour of the mind and is essentially soothing; it affects us mentally, rather than the physical reaction we have to red. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Consequently it is serene and mentally calming. It is the colour of clear communication. Blue objects do not appear to be as close to us as red ones. Time and again in research, blue is the world’s favourite colour. – Colour Affects

One of the world’s favourite colours, blue is called the colour of the mind and is described as soothing, tranquil, serene and orderly. Blue is said to boost productivity and is therefore often used to paint office walls. To project an image of security, advertisement companies often use blue while marketing their products.The Daily Star

I did a research on the effects of colour BLUE in the human psyche. And I was right about it. That is why whenever I look at the blue ceiling up there over my head, I feel a soothing sense of composure transcending into me and calming down the storms raised in my heart slowly. Its encompassing nature creates a sense of security in my heart and mind. Its unending horizon gives a sense of freedom and privilege. Its soft blue colour has such serenity that fills my heart and mind with peacefulness.

I have a fascination for the Blue Wide SkyAnd whenever I get an opportunity I capture the beautiful sky as soon as possible without thinking twice. People around me usually make fun of me saying, “what you are capturing… you will get many more opportunities like this“. But they don’t understand that the beauty of sky for that particular moment is unique and might not be available for me later. 

Whenever I feel alone I look at the sky and instantly I get connected with it. The sky reminds me of God’s unlimited promises, His amazing compassion and His unfailing love. It fills my heart in gratitude and praises for Him who has been always faithful to me despite of my iniquities and follies. The sky also reminds me of His forgiveness as the serenity and width of it explains as such. The sky also reminds me of Him and His personality – He is so big, almighty, powerful and so amazingly beautiful. Only a beautiful God can create such beautiful and humongous sky.

I have few photographs that I had captured long back. You can enjoy the slideshow those as under:

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To conclude I would like to quote few scripture portions about the sky: 

God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening,
and there was morning—the second day.

He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Stay Blessed!

IN CONVERSATION WITH AN UNINVITED GUEST

The other day as I was about to enter the house my attention was caught by an uninvited guest at my doorstep.  His presence did startle and disturb me.

Me: “Excuse me! Who are you? What are you doing here at my doorstep? You are surely not invited by anyone.

The uninvited guest with a wicked smile replied me: “Hi, I am Weed, Green Weed and always uninvited and unwanted but that never deterred me from making my presence felt. I am omnipresent 😂😂😂.

His answer was not as straight as it seemed which I discovered later. And my questions continued…

Me: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? You know that you are unwanted and still so boisterous about your identity.  People tweak you, trample over you, throw you out and still you have no self-respect that you keep coming back. Why?

Mr.Weed: “There’s a valid reason for my presence for the almighty never creates anyone without a purpose. When I put up in your garden/farms or at your doorstep, I instil a sense of fear in you – fear of weak walls of your beautiful abode, fear of brazen and unkempt garden making it sore to the eye, fear of an unhealthy crop.  Henceforth I rekindle your love and  draw your attention from time to time towards your materialistic possessions. So look at the larger picture Honey!  I am not as useless as you think, I have a purpose attached to my being….

I was amused at his unabashed boasting about himself and that’s when he revealed some secrets about his parasite siblings residing in none other than “US – The Human Beings.” And he continued…

Mr. Weed:  “See, I can clearly sense that my presence is disturbing and I will be cursed and sprayed with venom which you dearly call ‘treatment’ and my story is put to ‘Rest In Peace’ 😁 but I have step brothers and sisters who prefer to live in disguise and their habitat is the human soul. I can tell you their nicknames, by chance if you happen to meet them – Greed, Lust, Ego, Anger, Pride. They are far more dangerous than me without letting the owner realise their presence unlike me. But nevertheless they never go unnoticed by others. They kill the ability to think and reason logically. They gobble up wisdom and prudence. They shrink the world around to a single point ‘ME’. They weaken the relationships, create a unsaillable rift between people often leaving the host lonely, despised, hated and destroyed. They won’t leave you humane anymore. Our scriptures, our history are evident, need I say more?

Mr. Weed left me pondering on his lecture that he gave me while conversing with him. I realised, just the way we pay particular attention to weeding out process from our garden and building walls so as to keep them healthy and strong we must pay equal attention to weeding out of negatives from our characters. Though we all have variable traces of negative aspects, if left untreated and unattended they will (No question of probabilities but confirming surely) poison our soul beyond repair.

Friends, just give it a thought.

​DOG IS INDEED MAN’S BEST FRIEND

Those two innocent eyes, that wagging tail, all time pleasing attitude is what makes dog man’s best friend.

I was once watching a documentary that stated that dogs have an all-time pleasing attitude because this is their survival instinct. Hundreds of years ago, if dogs wouldn’t have tried to please humans and connected with human emotions so well, they would have been extinct by now. This quality of dogs, have made them survive over ages. This is good information to know and when I saw this documentary, it didn’t make a big difference to me, because till then there was no “Milo” in my life. Milo is my 6 years old female beagle and she is absolutely adorable. 

It was tough for me to agree to my husband and his brother’s decision of getting a pup at home. It would be just an additional responsibility, I thought initially. But as soon as that 35 day old pup entered my home, I fell in love with her. She was so tiny then, that all her 4 paws would rest on my palm. Her hanging ears, innocent eyes, wagging tail made me so much fall in love with her. She would struggle to walk on vitrified tiles because her paws, small as they were, would keep slipping. 

So, what did I really learn from my dog? A lot. She makes me peaceful and humble. She makes me feel so loved and wanted. She gives me a plethora of positive emotions. Of course, raising hasn’t been easy – it is equivalent of raising a child.

She taught me to love unconditionally. 

As a little pup, she used to run after kids and babies as though they would be ready to play with her. No matter how much I would scold her for pooping all over the house or running after the stray dogs, whenever I would come back from office she would welcome me every single evening with her wagging tail and her ever naughty acts. She connects with me and my emotions, she loves licking off my tears when I am in my worst moods and knows exactly how to raise my spirits. She brings in so much of happiness and fun in the house. 

I cannot understand why we human beings use the word “dog” as an abuse. I feel dogs are the most beautiful creatures. They know how to connect with human beings unlike any other animal. They love to please us. No matter how you treat them, they would love to do things to make you feel special. They are extremely playful which makes them so much fun. And the best part is that they are the most loyal of all animals. It is very strange but the very basic emotion of unconditional love that we human beings struggle to show is so very well exhibited by the dogs. And this is what I learn from Milo every single day. 

She taught me how to trust and be there for someone you love

Dogs are supposed to be guards for our homes. This fact is based on a single quality that dogs have – ability to trust their master completely. They amplify the emotion that dog’s owner feels. If a stranger like a plumber or carpenter enters the house, I am cautious of this stranger and just want to get the work done. Milo then keeps barking at this stranger and is far more cautious than me. She will keep running around the house till this person leaves our premises. If a loved one visits my place who I happily welcome inside, Milo showers that person with all the more love. She would sit around the guest and wag her tail indefinitely. No barking and no anger is visible in her behavior. 

When I was pregnant and I used to take Milo out for walks, I noticed that she started walking ahead of me. Sometime later I realized that she not letting anybody come closer to me – animal or human being. She was being protective. She somehow knew that I should be helped and she did it in her own special way. Though later on I had to control her protective behavior because it was getting dangerous but I totally got her concern for me.

NATURE AT ITS BEST

As the darkness surrenders, the sun rises as a canopy of gold
Bluebirds snuggle into their hay nest
Clouds rolled in like wispy curls of hair hints me the approaching weather
Dew brings brightness upon the new day’s grass
Eager for the day, nocturnal owls return to their dwell
Forest which was playing one symphony after another now chills me
Green everywhere, full of promises and hope
Hills that lie friendly in the day are darkly ominous by dusk
Illuminating the sky firefly sliced through the dark atmosphere
Jubilant I am viewing the evening sky
Kissed by spring shades of green clothed the naked tree
Levitating to the heavens, the night was like being hailed by the angels
Mother’s of the nocturnal world lead their offspring
Nature rests her rainbow palette
Omnipresence is twofold, by nature and by grace
Poetry of the earth is never dead
Quietly the first drop falls quenching the soil and life
Rustling leaves talk
Sacred earth caught everything in her spell
Twilight wraps the vibrant greens
Untamed lightning frantic to escape the dark grey clouds
Vibrating the sky thunder seemed to crack the air
Whipping wind roared like a chaotic dance
Xenon and oxygen react and scream
Yet forest beauties enjoy their peaceful sleep
Zzzz- Nature – the Elixir of Life

a profound and a wise teacher
nature has many
beautiful things to teach
however dark and eerie the night
there is always a brightness to engulf the past
like a sky without a
star and moon
is unfinished
nature has taught
a life without
someone is incomplete
the majestic mountains
discover
impossible is nothing
green reminds
to fall in love with thee
while
seasons indirectly
unfold the mystery
a profound and a wise teacher…
nature has many
beautiful things to teach…

THE LACK – LUSTRE BAY LEAVES

The flora and fauna around us, stand as the tallest witnesses of the Creator God.

“Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”

A few weeks before as I was enjoying a bowlful of delicious kheer (porridge) prepared by my mother, I took a spoonful into my mouth with half a bay leaf (commonly known as tej patta in India) hidden within. As I removed it from my mouth hoping to enjoy the delicacy without any hindrance, I began thinking of the lack-lustre aromatic bay leaf.

And these are some of the things I learnt from nature, without any technology being involved in the process –

  1. STIFF, YET FRAGRANT

The bay leaves – natural or processed, are stiff. No doubt about it. You can break them only with a crack sound. However, the aroma they impart to the delicacies they are added to, is indisputable.

How many times have we written ourselves or someone else off as being stiff-necked or as hard as a nutshell? The lesson bay leaves teach us is that no matter how stiff you may be, you are capable of imparting fragrance to those around you. Discover your hidden fragrance and help others discover theirs.

  1. BEHIND THE SCENES, YET MAKING A DIFFERENCE

After a dish is cooked, the bay leaves added to it are generally removed. The leaves being coarse in texture cannot be eaten. They can neither be chewed, nor swallowed. Hence, they are best removed. Yet the difference that the bay leaves cause to the dish they are added to, is remarkable.

Are you worried that you are often relegated to the background, despite the efforts you put in? Do you feel that it’s not worth being there in the first place and that it wouldn’t matter much after all? Sorry, you are mistaken. You are capable of making a difference by your presence. Bay leaves don’t show any signs of prominence. They just make a difference and step out. And that leaves an impact for the dish!

  1. NOT AFFECTED BY CIRCUMSTANCES

Bay leaves being hard and stiff, are not affected by the extreme heat and cold temperatures they are exposed to in the process of cooking. In the course of adding their aroma to the dish, at times they turn blackish. But, their properties remain intact.

When faced with extreme circumstances, most of us feel as if we are almost near the edge. As humans blessed with a plethora of feelings and emotions, it is impossible to remain unfazed by our situations. We laugh, weep, rage, plead, become frustrated and rightly so, else we would become robots. However the lesson here is not, to harden oneself in the face of delirious circumstances, rather to strive to keep our basic nature unaltered.

  1. ADDED TO A VARIETY OF DISHES

What amazes me is the variety of dishes that these leaves can be added to. They can be added to sweet dishes, to savouries and to spicy dishes as well. And in all these cases, they impart their aroma with equal finesse. Be it briyani, kheer, halwa or some types of soups and stews, their presence is very much needed. Moreover, bay leaves are used in cuisines in many parts of the world – Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, Brazilian, Indonesian and many other cuisines of the world.


Thinking of our multiple roles in this world, a woman maybe a daughter, a sister, a wife, a co-sister, a mother, a sister-in-law, a friend, a job-holder with a particular position. Similarly, a man maybe a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a co-brother, a brother-in-law, a friend, a job-holder with a particular position. Apart from these basic roles, there are times when one has to switch roles. For instance, a single parent has to fulfill the roles of the absent-parent as well, to the best of his/her ability. Parents have to take on the mantle of teachers, nurses, counsellors to their children. In fulfilling all these responsibilities and roles are we able to do justice, just as bay leaves impart their aroma to all types of dishes with equal finesse?

  1. REMOVES ANY UNWANTED ODOUR

Those of us who prepare and have non-vegetarian dishes, know the importance of bay leaves in those dishes for sure. In order to make the dish palatable and remove any unwanted odour, bay leaves along with certain other condiments are a must. Along with imparting their aroma, bay leaves absorb the repulsive odour that at times accompanies non-vegetarian preparations.

How adept are we to remove negative forces from around us? In the social world that we live in, we are exposed to gossips, back-biting, depressive statements, angry and frustrating words, malicious discussions, and such other things. Are we party to them all or do our aroma, positive words and righteous behaviour absorb these unwanted foul-smells, thus leaving the family or group a better place to be in?

  1. MEDICINAL PROPERTIES

Bay leaves have multiple medicinal properties. One handy tip – Boil a few bay leaves, a few pods of cloves, a few black cardamoms, a few basil leaves in melted rock sugar (commonly known as mishri in India). Strain the solids and have a cup of the concoction once a day, when having a stubborn cold with accumulated phlegm. It works really well. As it warms up the body from within, be sure to keep your stomach cool by having plenty of water and other fluids at room temperature at other times. Bay leaves are also good at detoxifying the body, optimizing digestion, reducing bacterial infections and the many more.

Like the bay leaves, let us strive to be the balms for others during their times of inconvenience. Just being there for a person is the best medicine for his /her difficult time.

  1. PUNGENT, YET AROMATIC

Bay leaves cannot be chewed. They are very pungent. Any attempt to eat them would result in immediately spitting them out of our mouths. Yet, they impart a welcome aroma to the dishes they are added.

Life isn’t always fair. At times, events in our life weigh us down. I met a lady some time back, whose company no one wanted. When I got to speak to her, she confided how life situations and difficult people in her life had made her that way. She sighed very sadly, “I used to be a chirpy, happy-go-lucky person, full of positivity – but, I have lost all those traits now. I have become hard to myself and to others.” It is never easy to be sweet to others and self, when the heart is breaking within. Yet, it’s not impossible. Bay leaves teach us that.

How do the bay leaves teach us so many things?

Had God not blessed the bay leaves with such extravagant qualities, it wouldn’t have been possible for them to impart those. I marvelled at God’s creation! These leaves that are found in almost every house, possessing such culinary and medicinal properties have so much to teach us. Praise be to the Creator who has designed these leaves this way.

God has endowed each of us with multifarious potentials of the head and the heart – definitely much more than the bay leaves. Let us not keep our aroma hidden. Let’s add flavour to the world around us.