Beauty is in our lives if we stop comparing with others,
especially our outward appearance.
People might pull you down on that matter,
however, let us remember-
we all are beautiful in God’s eyes who created us and said,
“…Behold, it was very good…”

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SIMMERING SUMMERS

Illumination in passionate animation,

Lashing out in sweltering oppression,

Merciless and without showing consideration,

The sun’s rays are spread out as if with a vengeful ambition,

Penalizing the earth for perfecting its annual routine of revolution.

 

Year after year as the temperatures soar,

The lush green earth becomes parched and sore,

Disrobing itself of all its glamour and décor,

It yearns feebly for a cumulonimbus thunder roar,

Hoping to quench its thirst from a heavy downpour.

 

Poor farmers sigh deep with hands on their heads,

Wherefrom would they make provisions for their daily bread?

Loaners’ knocks they frightfully dread,

Painful tears they wistfully shed,

With deep chagrin they find no way but to hang their heads.

 

Shady trees with their boughs weighing with fruits,

Have been plucked up from their very roots,

Humans with their ambitious pursuits,

Have contributed to making the global climate so very acute,

As if not enough, the environment we continue to pollute.

 

The affluent in their air conditioned homes, offices and cars,

May not get many of the scorching heat’s scars,

Just thinking of the slum dwellers and daily wagers,

One wish arises – can there not be any climate changers,

To bring respite to all despite their financial statuses?

 

The result of man’s ill-deed or a curse from God,

Or both it seems would get the responsibility nod,

Doling out summer freebies with a wand and a rod,

Continuous perspiration along with dry lips and throat,

Whacking the life out of men and beast both.

 

No matter how hard we now campaign,

Climate change poses an irreversible pain,

Melting glaciers and rising sea levels,

Make the earth look pale and disheveled,

Threatening to create havocs – much to the glee of the devil.

 

As we bask in the luscious shades of our homes,

May we not forget to show kindness to the hapless vagabonds,

The vehemence of the summer we cannot reduce,

But we can surely hand them over a glass of juice,

To douse their thirst and to relief induce!

 

Summers are blessings in the seasonal wheel,

So that no one does moist and frozen reel,

The beauty of it however is now under a seal,

With languishing calls to relief feel,

And for the body mind and soul to rise and heal.

(P.S. Written as a reflection on Indian summers)

MY LOVE FOR MAPLE LEAVES !!!

People get confused well when they try to establish a pattern of my liking for colors with the way I dress to work .. Silly, isn’t it ? I love all the colors alike, life just gets boring with just black and white. May be, it is just a relevance of my love for colors that I like maple leaves. Maple tree is so special, a very well known species, the colors of the leaves range from green to bright red to burgundy.

For my love and madness for maple, I’ve got to travel at the right time of the year, fall season, to a country filled with loads of maple trees. Is there any thing more I can ask for ? Nopes. I was so enthusiastically waiting to get a glance of them. When I landed there it was only September, but fall has already started, most of the leaves have started turning yellow.

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The continual display of shades of green and yellow was so soothing to eyes. I have started to eagerly wait for the time to pass by for the leaves to blossom into different colors. It took a couple of weeks more for that to happen..

Hurray! I was literally jumping out of joy seeing all those colors and the transformations happen. How can anyone not fall in love with mother nature ?

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Early morning when I wake up the sun wishes me a warm “GOOD MORNING

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In the evening it rains damn heavily, with wind that can swirl me along with it, after all the drama of nature, this is how it looks.

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It’s getting so damn difficult for me to choose only a few pics from the whole lot of pics, but the exercise is all worth it. It has brought back tons of memories and made me refreshed in no time.

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See the reflection of the trees in the water, it looks so so so very beautiful. I spent a whole lot of time sitting on the banks of those lakes doing nothing but staring at them. It just teleports me into a different world and lets me enjoy the pleasure of the beauty of this nature. Probably we, the humans are very much blessed to be living on this earth, which is so very mesmerisingly beautiful.

I like space travel.. If I get a chance to travel and if I have to choose between earth or another planet, then the choice is very obvious, I would choose my home planet. Not because my friends and family live here but any other planet ( as far as I have seen in pictures) is not as beautiful as earth… 

I also find maple very interesting because of the analogy I derive between the maple leaf cycle and human life. Along with seasons, maple leaves grow, change their color and whither. So is our life, according to the situation we adapt, change, sacrifice. But in all this, one thing of maple that inspires me is the happiness it creates in all of us, just by the outward appearance.

I would wish to make others happy even when I am literally dying inside. To see that one smile on the face of a loved one I would go to any extent, to cheer-up my buddy I am always there irrespective of the storm inside me and the smile on my face would never fade away …

THE PERFECT GIFT

Love is just a four letter word but I think it is the most misused and misunderstood word in the world. And when we talk about the “Gift of Love” – that turns out to be even more misunderstood. The real meaning of love is different for each one of us. I might show my love to another person by giving expensive gifts and making that person the center of my universe, but maybe s/he might feel a bit strangled by my love. There is a concept of “Love Languages” that was born just because for each individual the meaning of love is different.

Wife 1 – “He got me an expensive diamond ring yesterday. Can you imagine? Why can’t he understand that we need to save for our daughter’s higher education. Why does he have to spend a bomb on a diamond ring? And then he wonders why I wasn’t happy during our anniversary celebration yesterday.”

Wife 2 – “Wow, solitaire diamond ring! What is wrong with you? I wish my husband could even dream of gifting me something like this. All he thinks of is “making the future” for our kids.”

Wife 3 – “But at least your husband helps you with the household chores. I don’t care about a diamond ring but I would love him a million times more if he could share the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning.”

These are not very uncommon conversation. And it is very true – grass is always greener on the other side. Why does this happen? Why do some people like expensive gifts and exotic vacations whereas others like to be served, some people like to speak out their love in words and others show their love by being physically close to the person? Well, because we all are created differently and brought up in different environments. 

Based on this, there are 5 love languages that are identified and these are very broad categories but can help you in a big way in understanding your loved ones.

Gift giving – Some people just love giving gifts. No occasion or every occasion – they are ready with their gift packed item. This is their way of showing love for other people. 

Quality time – There are other people who like to go on vacations with their families, spend evenings with their kids, go out with friends and just talk over drinks. For them, the most important thing is to connect with the people they love. They can never get bored of spending good time with the ones they love.

Words of affirmation – Some people just can never get tired of saying “I love you”. Every phone call and conversation needs to end with this. Not just this – they also keep saying it different ways. 

Acts of service – There are other people who like to serve their loved ones. They like to cook for them, clean for them, do their work to share the load etc. That is how they show their love.

Physical touch – Some people just need to hug their friends every time they meet, they just need to hold hands of their friends, they need to be physically intimate and close to show their love. 

Each one of us has a dominant language. And remember not only do you show your love in your dominant language, you also expect love in your language. 

My dominant love language is “Words of affirmation” and my husband’s dominant language is “Gift Giving”. Guess what happened in first year of our marriage. He got tired of my words because not only did I say them, I also wrote about my love for him in lengthy emails and greeting cards. I got hurt when he stopped paying attention to them. He kept gifting me nice dresses and fancy dates in expensive (hired) cars and I could not appreciate that as much as he wanted. In the end, both of us felt unloved and got frustrated with our attempts to show love to each other. 

Over the years, we have understood our love languages and now I don’t write to him as much and he doesn’t gift me as much. We instead do it other way round. I try my best to give him gifts on specific occasions and he tries his best with words of love.

So, do some work with your loved ones to understand what is language that both of you talk in. Once you do that – life becomes way easier. Instead of feeling unloved and frustrated you would just realize that you were conversing in different languages. 

Once you understand the power of Love Languages – then it takes no time to find out the Perfect Gift for your loved one.perfect-gift-the_t

PRAISE FOR PITY

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‘Pity me’, ‘pity me’, said the thorny cactus,

‘No beauty no charm,

The only job I seem to do is to harm.

Full of thorns,

I always earn people’s scorns.

Smooth glistening surface I wish I had,

Perhaps then would I have made all so glad.

Pity me, Ah! Pity me.’

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‘Poor me’, ‘poor me’, said the lovely rose

‘As soon as I bloom,

I welcome my doom,

Plucked and woven into garlands,

Pinned on the hair and pasted to the welcome chair.

Beauty and fragrance I wish I had none,

Only perhaps then would I live long.

Poor me, Oh! Poor me.’

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‘Pity me’, ‘pity me’, said the mammoth hippo

‘So difficult for me to establish a rapport.

Hardly can I move with ease,

No one can I easily please.

This body so huge,

Gives me no refuge,

From punters, poachers and ravenous hunters.

If only were I slender and small,

Could I hop, jump, skip and maul.

Pity me, Ah! Pity me.’

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‘Poor me’, ‘poor me’ said the tiny ant

‘Small, puny and insignificant am I.

No efficiency, no proficiency,

No talents to boast, no beauty to behold.

Endless trips to gather my daily bread,

Makes me stare at my life with dread.

So easily crushed underfoot,

I’m easily overlooked.

Not even will you find me in a zoo,

Where there are animals and birds of all colours and hue.

What a wretched existence! Poor me, Oh! Poor me.’

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‘Beauty I lack – how I wish for the looks of a diva!

Luxury so badly I miss – Oh! For that crowning glory of bliss,

Love I desperately seek – for the warmth of an embrace, a hug and a kiss,

Success eludes me to my disgrace,

All that is left is to stare at empty space,

Seeking solace to run this race.

Pity me, Ah! Pity me’, cried the fair maiden.

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Out came a bunch of jolly little kids,

Smelling the roses, the lilies and the orchids.

Chasing butterflies, uttering no sighs,

Hopping and laughing, running and singing.

Said one to the other, “I thank the Lord for my dark hue,

I praise Him for the cool drops of dew.

I thank Him for the blood in my veins,

I praise Him for His mercy never ends.”

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Said the other in reply, “I thank the Lord for my blind eyes,

For keeping me guarded from all things unwise,

I praise the Lord for the breeze so cool,

When I sit by the blue waters of the pool.

There is no time to pout in self-pity,

When you witness nature’s bounty.

So, I just thank God for making me Me.”

AFTER THE DARK NIGHT THERE IS A BEAUTIFUL DAWN AWAITING

Butterflies are things of beauty. But there life starts with a struggle – when the butterfly tries to break through the cocoon to enter into this world its a fight of its life; it has to break its way out. But its this fight that helps it get stronger. When it breaks the cocoon with its legs it makes its wings stronger and this makes the butterfly more agile.

As my brother mentioned in his article, ‘What does not kill us makes us stronger.’ And that is true. Everybody has to face a time of trial and tribulation. They have to go through that period of inevitable change. Because as they say “Change is the only Constant.” 

The thing which we need to do during this is persevere and believe that when we come out on the other side as survivors we are stronger – that we have evolved into a better version of ourselves. It’s our troubled times that keep us grounded, that makes us validate the existence of a higher power at work. Yeah! You are right… I am talking about God. And that thought keeps us humble and human.

A transition also helps in keeping the faith alive that everything that is happening is for the best and that after this dark night there is a beautiful dawn awaiting … And its going to be the best …

LESSON FROM THE BIRTH OF A PEARL

A process or the transition period is best understood when we study how a pearl is created in an Oyster. God’s creation is so beautiful and when we study each one of them we learn new lessons from them.

Other precious stones or metals are cut, shaped and polished to look precious and good but the pearls are different and they don’t need any such treatment. Pearls are beautiful naturally.

A pearl begins its life when an alien object, like a parasite or a piece of shell accidentally sticks itself in an oyster’s soft inner body. That is a kind of irritant and to ease this irritant, the oyster’s body secretes a smooth, hard crystalline substance around the irritant in order to protect itself. The oyster will continue to secrete as long as the irritant remains within its body and creates layer upon layer.

Over a period of time, the irritant will be completely sheathed with the silky crystalline coatings. The result of which is a lustrous and beautiful pearl.

The irritant is definitely a pain to the Oyster and when the defense mechanism of its body reacts to the pain, it creates a beautiful little thing. This happens after that period of transition. 

More interestingly, there are two ways to know the difference between a fake and real pearl.

Firstly, if we rub the real pearls together a small spec of the pearls will come off and it would end up having scratches. But when we rub over the scratch area of the pearl the scratch marks would go, and the pearls would be as if nothing happened.

Secondly, real pearls are fire resistant; they will never melt – to put it that way. But the burn marks disappear just like that when we rub over it.

A thorough process or a difficult transition period makes a pearl BEAUTIFUL, FIRE RESISTANT & STRONG. jewellery-509342_1920

Friends, do not be disheartened when you go through pain and suffering. Stay cool and endure the hardship to come out BEAUTIFUL, FIRE RESISTANT & STRONG after the transition.

Stay Blessed!