THE PRESENT OF PRESENCE

Click . . . click click . . .
Click . . . click click . . .
Went my fingers on the mouse,
As I browsed to select the perfect bunch of roses for my aunt’s house.

A call in the morning to wish her a happy wedding anniversary,
And a bouquet of lovely flowers in the evening to end the day’s story,
Seemed the perfect greeting on my inventory,
In place of climbing up the stairs to their house on the third-storey.

All done, I was waiting for the thank-you call,
And praises for my thoughtfulness from one and all,
The happiness caused by a gesture small,
Would surely me a great deal enthrall!

‘Hello’ . . . said I at the very first ring,
Hoping that my aunt would in joy, dance and sing,
Expressing the pleasure that the flowers did bring,
Striking afresh love’s new melodious string.

Truly joyful were the couple with the bouquet in their hands,
As they resolved to forever with each other stand,
No matter if the days ahead were stormy or bland,
They would rejoice and make their lives a warm love land.

As happy as I was to hear the tinkle in their voices,
I remembered over the years their smart intelligent choices,
And lo came my aunt’s sweet enchanting voice,
‘Your selection was a good choice!

Thrilled we’d have been to see you at our door,
With those lovely flowers in your hand and nothing more,
To see you would have been a loving gesture of care,
That’s all we need in this old age nightmare!’

Stunned was I at the humble revelation,
Crashed down from heights of glory to the rock foundation,
Indeed the warm touch of a human hand,
Means so much more than gifts so grand!

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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.

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.

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…

IN THE SOLITUDE OF TREES…

Nature has always been my best friend. It has amazed me many times, inspired me in numerous ways. There are many lessons we can learn from each and every element of nature.

Gardening was always my thing. I vaguely remember, may be I was 8 years old when I first started making pits, sowing seeds, covering them with leaves so that birds don’t eat them off, feel happy when they bud, water them, feel pride when they grow up to become big plants. In my childhood we had a big garden with a variety of plants and trees. A stroll through the garden was not just making my lungs healthier but was soothing my soul too.

Plants are the first and foremost from the beautiful nature around us, where I get most inspired from. I can spend hours and hours staring at them, don’t ask me why.

featured-seeds
(Image Sources: Google Inc.)

It is very interesting how plants teach us valuable truth of life. A seed to germinate requires perfect moisture and temperature. Adverse climatic conditions or due to seasons, or natural calamities, if the seed could not germinate, it would do so when the conditions are right. In life if we wait with patience and look around for opportunities, there is always a new beginning. Post germination, a plant needs nutrients and minerals, likewise as humans we need nourishment and care. There may be many obstacles in our path, fight through them.

When plants are young, they are very tender, they also suffer from pests at this stage, utmost care is needed during this phase. When we are re-bouncing from pain or grief, we are weak too, this is the stage where we have to hold ourselves and grow stronger. Remember, it is the struggle for existence that makes us stronger.

pruning-garden-1521648761
(Image Sources: Google Inc.)

If a plant is infected, we cut off the branch to not infect the other branches, similarly we have to recognise what is bad and get rid of it at the budding stage. That reminds me of pruning, every gardener knows the importance of pruning, in life it is some times very important to pause or take a back step, this helps us in attaining a better understanding and clarity. We may be cut back by others, see the positive side of it.

Every day, when I see the plants in my balcony I do not see much change in them, in fact the change is non noticeable. Over a month or so, when I see new flower buds, new branches is when the progress becomes evident. In life we may not see progress everyday. Over a period of time when we look back in life, there are achievements, new stages of life, changing careers, we would have lived through many hardships and yet are surviving. That’s progress !!!

There are a variety of plants, ornamental plants, fruits, nuts, root vegetables, aromatics and spices. Each one is unique and is there for a designated purpose. We are made to serve a unique purpose, never compare yourself with others, they are serving their purpose which may be different from ours.

Do you remember the tree which offered shade last summer? Do you know from which grape yard the delicious grapes you had for supper came from? or the tree from which the wood used in your house is made of? All of our basic amenities including air we breath, food, toilet paper comes from plants. Selflessly plants are serving us, yes, they are completely self less, they never demand or ask us anything in return before helping or even afterwards. I do not think we value them as much. Even when others do not value the love or care we give them it is important to continue to give. Being able to give selflessly is the best gift ever. Don’t be greedy.

As seasons change, circumstances in life change. Being able to endure and adapt is the key. We may not be the driver of the change or in control of it, in which case the best thing to do is to accept, if not agree to it.

When I travel to other countries, I try to study the life cycle of plants specific to that region. The climatic conditions of the region aid to the survival and growth of the plants. Especially in countries where there are 4 seasons, some types of plants start withering earlier than others, but by the time it’s winter they are ready to embrace the snow. I wonder if plants have a kind of conscious that we aren’t aware of, which helps them adapt so well with conditions of the climate.

40-window-and-balcony-flower-box-ideas-photos-flowers-for-balcony-planters
(Image Sources: Google Inc.)

In Europe, during summer they grow colourful flowering plants, they look so beautiful hanging in the patios, on the railing of balconies and in the parks. They are seasonal, so they cease to exist by the time it’s winter. We are in this world for a limited period of time, when it’s our turn to make someone happy we should, in deed we should look forward to such opportunities everyday.

So, plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

-Jorge Luis Borges