HER VALENTINE’S DAY RITUAL

Why don’t you join us?” They asked her for the hundredth time. She was exhausted from having to reject their pleas. Her friends were never tired though. “It’s just one night. It couldn’t hurt, right? Besides, just think , you might meet someone really cute.” Her best friend winked at her. She never felt the need to have male company; a man couldn’t complete her.

What would you do, shut in the house?” She didn’t see the need to answer that. They didn’t know her plan. Her Valentine’s Day ritual!

She woke up with the alarm clock ticking on the bed-stand. 4 years ago, she wouldn’t have been the only one to wake up. He was the one to wake up before her. She would stir in her sleep with him next to her. His playful and cheery self would bring him even closer to her, so she could feel his breath on her skin. Smiling, she would hug him as he’d nuzzle her cheek. 

But today, on the morning of 14th February, 4 years later, she woke up with a struggle. Lifted aside the blankets and stepped in her slippers.

What would you do, shut in the house? The thought echoed in her mind.

None of her friends were let in to share the secret – her Valentine’s Day ritual. She feared they would judge her, think that loneliness had turned her mind somehow. She will never be ready to tell them. They will never understand.

She got dressed in her black dress; the one that even today carried his smell. It was perfectly fit for the day. To some, it would seem she was out on a date, only it wasn’t so.

On the way, she bought the flowers he so loved – white daisies. And a bar of Mars, the only crunchy treat that got him out of a fit of rage or sadness. Just over a mile, she turned around the corner and walked past the gate. This was where they first met 9 years ago. This was where they always met for the past 4 years.

1st row, 2nd and 3rd… There!

“My heart is your home & there you’ll live forever!”

In loving memory of,

‘Dollar’

The Dog who still lives…

The headstone read.

Two great drops of tears washed away the dust settled on the ground where she laid the daisies and the bar of Mars. She felt the paw prints engraved on the stone. He was her friend, her companion, her love, her life. How could any man replace him?  She got up, turned and left the graveyard.

For her, this was customary. For her, this was Valentine’s Day.

~~~~~

I lost my pet German Shephard ‘Dollar’ many years ago.
But there’s not one day I don’t miss him.
I believe,

Valentine’s Day is about appreciating them
who make your life better, happier, worthwhile.
And that’s not just humans.

This post is my tribute to all our furred friends, to Dollar. ❤

That’s my idea of celebrating St. Valentine’s Day. What’s your idea?

~~~~~

©Asha Seth
www.themusingquill.com

LOVE’S TRUE GIFT

love-cubes

A spring of water in a sun-scorched land,

A pinch of salt in a dish that tastes bland,

A luminous ray in a grimy dungeon,

Thus is tender love for hearts in blanched convention.

A precious hour, a sweet smile and a kind word of understanding,

A gentle touch, a warm hug and a shoulder for all teary unburdening,

Shower heaps of invaluable valuables,

For weary dreary tempestuous fallibles.

The tangible gifts of love speak of feelings intangible –

Sapphires, rubies, emeralds or solitaires,

Castles of gold or villas manifold,

Reveal the bubbling of emotions told or untold.

But alas! Giftings such are sure superfluous,

If the heart underneath calculating and contemptuous,

With arguments contentious and words pretentious,

Serving deceit on platters for many so ingenuous.

Many a passionate kiss showing dreams of heavenly bliss,

And cozy cuddles building secure havens bereft of struggles,

Promises more than four – of a world of happiness galore,

Plummet to the ground thus unveiling the sly masquerade that was till then crowned.

Mere lovey-dovey words and philanthropic records,

Knowledgeable expeditions and ambitious renditions,

Spell emptiness in a world screaming with strife and stress

Should we still plan to simply impress?

Patient trust with doubts never unjustly thrust,

Perseverant hope lifting others from slippery slope,

Honor over dishonor and never a raging demeanor,

Unflinching faith and undying love are never empty charmers.

Brothers, sisters, friends and thinkers –

Love wholly, love truly,

Love with kindness and passionate persistence,

Love without recording each others’ raves and rants.

Love with your mind, heart and soul,

If need be, lay down your life in love and your all,

This is the truest gift that love can grant,

In your hearts this do firmly implant.

❤  ❤  ❤

THE POINT CALLED, ‘LOVE’

Have you ever dared kidding your mom?

Yes, you must have! A Mama’s child often does that, because that is the loveliest fun on earth.

When I was doing my Intermediate studies, once we had organized a “First-Aid training program”. One-day we were getting trained on how to bandage someone when his/her head is hurt accidentally. In that session few of us acted as victims and few acted as the First-aid givers, I was playing the victim role and my friend who was playing the First-aid giver’s role very nicely put bandage on my forehead. Though the training program ended, I left the bandage intact on my forehead. Before going home, I requested my friend to put red ink on the bandage, so that it may look as if I had an accident. With that bandage on my forehead I entered into my house. Within a fraction of a second, my Mom with slack-jawed, loud voice and unblinking bug-eyed look, asked me, “What happened? Why is there a stitch on your forehead?” And my reply was, ‘LOL’, never laughed that much.

As every Mom does to her such mischievous kids… so did the same with me!

It’s better not to discuss on social sites!

Jokes apart, the worried questions from my Mama at that very moment are enough to say,  ‘how much she loves me’. Isn’t it?

Someone rightly said, “Mother’s love is unlimited & never fades away…”

Several times we have hurt our Mamas through our words & actions. But does their love for us change? No… It ain’t & it won’t as well! Because it’s not the love that we have with our spouse/friend/would be/pets, it is the love that carried us over 10 months in womb, over 5 years in bosom and over innumerable days in heart.

Love is the greatest gift because every other best gift is converged at the point of LOVE!

At the point of love…. There is gift of FORGIVENESS! Which we experience everyday in our mother – child relationship. I can never forget those 3 ½ yrs of my life… when I was away from my father’s love due to my wrong deeds. But in those wilderness days my Mama’s love remained as it is! It’s not her pampering but it’s her unending Forgiveness towards me.

At the point of love… There is gift of HOPE! Which we experience everyday in our mother – child relationship. Though my life was on the wrong track, still my Mama had great HOPE that, someday I will change my life’s track. It was not just her metaphysical assumption but it was her undeniable Hope wrapped in love, which is beyond any exact definition.

At the point of love… There is JOY! Which we experience everyday in our mother – child relationship. The greatest Joy for me was on 5th Sept’ 12, when my Mama smiled because I was restored back to my father’s love as he found me on the right track of my life. It’s not the JOY I & she paid for but it’s the JOY of a Restored relationship.

But the BIG QUESTION is, IS THERE ANY LOVE GREATER THAN THIS???”

Yes… there is! We can see more than the above 3 best gifts converge in One Person (JESUS) for One Relationship at One Point called “at the Cross”.

Though He is the Almighty God but still He transcended and took the form of man (Jesus), lived among us human beings, died as the ransom for our sins to set us free from the bondages of sin and resurrected from dead as God (Because death has no power over God).

His promise for you & me in the Bible is – “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you!”

Just a belief away and an experience away!

Jesus loves you!

A PROMISE MADE FOR A LIFETIME…

Moments make the most of our lives, happy or sad, they do have their share of experiences and feelings. The very next moment can be the most embarrassing moment or life can choose to throw a surprise at us. Whatever it is, we are left with no choice but face it.

What is the most important factor that makes one prepared to face a situation ? It’s the willingness to fight, better understanding of the situation and someone one who can be there for us in the up’s and downs of life. When we have a loved one who cares for us and are our support system, facing the toughest of problems seems relatively easy.

Why only toughest situations ? When I experience ecstasy and don’t have another person to share it with, I cannot enjoy that moment to the fullest. I would have loved to have had someone to hug, scream the happiness out, jump out with joy, have a good laughter, and feel much more happier at that very moment. There are times when I question myself, “What is this happiness for when I cannot share it with anyone?”, may be, it’s just there for the sake of it. It definitely makes me feel better, but you know what I mean.

I usually find myself alone in most of the situations I face. Not that, I don’t have people who care for me, but it’s just that the circumstances are so and it’s totally unavoidable. Everyone is busy with their own lives and have priorities that are more than me, it’s understandable. I don’t have complaints with anyone of them. 

I agree that it’s not easy to face anything alone unless, it’s very minor. It may at times lead to depression when it has to be dealt for a longer time making one feel very lonely. It can make one feel completely lost and feel totally unworthy of life. The fear of facing life alone is something that cannot be expressed in words because every second is a struggle, a battle that is within you, bothering you in ways that you may not be ready for. 

What ever the superficial relationship may be, my parents, my cousins, my sister, my friends, my soul sisters and brothers, we are friends. Somewhere deep within we are best friends, we share so many things and have a fair understanding of each other. For each and everyone of them, all I can give is my love and extended support.

My dears,

I promise to be with you through thick and thin, I promise to be available for you in time of need, I promise to love you with all my heart, I promise to be your support system, your go-to person for everything, I promise to be trustworthy and to understand you in all possible ways and have patience to listen to even the stupidest of ideas you may be getting. All in all, I promise to be with you in every situation where my presence would make you feel better. Loads of love and lots of hugs is all I can afford to give you..

Love you !!!

LOVE BEGETS LOVE IN THE FORMS OF GIFTS

“What have they given? They have so much money yet they gave such a cheap Saree to me?” She said.

He smiled and replied, “Some people have that kind of mindset… they don’t know how to give a gift.”

………………………….

“Look at this shirt? If they can’t give a choice-able gift then why they give in the first place?” He was irritated.

She smiled and replied, “Don’t worry we can give this to our driver.”

………………………..

“It was not needed… What will I do with this expensive Jewellery when we are struggling for paying our rent?” She asked.

“May be we can sell it off… some people don’t understand the need but just give for the sake of giving.” He replied comforting her.

…………………………

If we keep overhearing the funny discussions between this husband and wife we will keep laughing holding our stomachs. So let’s leave them alone and get into a serious discussion on the ‘Gift of Love’. 😉

THREE very important factors that I found in the above conversation which makes a gift, a gift in the real sense.

  • It has a cost or value
  • It is choice-able
  • It is meeting the need

Sometimes when we decide to give something out of our stock we tamper with one of the above three factors. When we give a gift to someone which we had received earlier we don’t ‘pay the cost’ whether the receiver knows it or not. Here I want to mention an important thing. When we give something which is very precious to me that we had received earlier we do pay a cost… How? We pay it because we never wanted to give that gift to anybody else but we gift it to somebody whom we love… We wanted him/her to enjoy that precious gift. That’s how we pay a cost by giving that gift.

A gift is not always materialistic. Sometimes we gift our valuable time. When somebody is grieving we go and spend little time with her or him. We pay a cost for it, our presence is desirable or choice able for the person for whom we spend our time and the time we spend meets the need of that particular person. I have gifted my time, my presence, and my listening ears to many those whom I love unconditionally.

The other day my wife Asmita was talking to Saak over the phone and she told Saak that her husband despite of his physical inability had given her that encouragement and freedom for which she moves ahead easily in life though the troubles never ends.

There is a catch here…

If you guys have marked my Whatsapp status then you will see it reads: “Soaked with Jesus’ love”.

So the catch is, if I don’t have that love then I won’t be able to provide that to others. Let me give you an example.

Remember the time when you sprain your ankle while playing and you limp back to your home in pain. Your mother would come running to see what has happened to you. She would quickly bring some warm water in a tub with a thick towel and let you sit on the bed hanging your leg down on her thigh as she keep soaking the towel in the warm water and give the hot fomentation to soothe your pain. And when the towel get cold she would soak it in the hot water again to keep that as warm as possible to comfort you.

Unless we are soaked with that love it is difficult for us to express that love to others. To love it is necessary to be loved first. And that love motivates us to give a gift for which we pay a cost or which is valuable, it is choice able and it will definitely meet the need who receives it. We get a confirmation when we get a response like, “Oh my… it’s so beautiful and I needed it so much… How did you know my need so well?”

I don’t know how many gifts or how much time or love I have given away as gifts to my loved ones till now but I know what I received few years ago when my sin-stricken soul felt God’s love poured on me in the forms of Jesus who never judged me but made an eternal peace treaty with me. And actually that fact prompts me to love the people I stumble upon unconditionally without being judgmental.

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Are you ready with your gifts of love? What’s your motivation? Who is your object of love? What is your gift?

Keep thinking and keep sharing…

Stay Blessed!!!

HOW YOU GIVE MATTERS!

The Greek term for the word “Giving” is “dosis,” which literal meaning is “Gift.” I believe this truly justifies the meaning and sense of the word. Giving should be in terms of gift, which never carries the policy of return (Payback) and is always maintained in contentment, only to sense someone worthy in relation to us. But let’s keep this definition aside for a while and look into the present terms of giving.

Before writing this article I found four attitude of giving. I believe everyone under the sun will fall somewhere among these four attitudes of giving.

  1. 1BusinessBusiness – Class Giving: In our life when we give something to someone, we often tune into the game of pure business. Our attitude of giving is mostly sketched on balance sheet of “Profit & Loss”. We give something to someone in order to take four fold profits out of that. Here we are not giving, we are investing, so that we can earn later on. Those who thinks it’s good to be Business class giver and giving is an investment, for them I have two questions – ‘What have you invested for your birth?’ and ‘What have you invested for your culture?’
  2. Advertisement – Class Giving: In this class of giving attitude, we give so that our name will be advertised. All will know that I have contributed for so and so cause. My name will be flashed and I will be praised by others as a generous personality.self-promotion

I remember few years back, we few youths from our church went to a man for donation for a social activity. Immediately that man gave us a positive reply. But before giving donation he wanted to check our Money Receipt book, so that he can become the highest donor in the donors list.

That was truly an embarrassment for us. The Bible says, “When we are giving, our left hand should not know what our right hand is giving.” This standard of secrecy we need to maintain when we are giving something to someone. But are we up to this standard of giving? Are we giving or doing an advertisement?

  1. PAFF_093014_CalculativeMindsetMFB_newsfeatureEconomy – Class Giving: In this class of giving attitude, we become very economical. It’s like we are going on a trip in the month end. This we often see during festival or celebration time. During festivals the sweet packet from our family goes after a cross-check of the sweet packets from our relative’s family. During marriage days we often keep records of the gifts given by our dear ones, so that in future we will also gift them the same amount of gift what we receive from them. Are we giving or doing a comparative study of giving and proving ourselves better? “God loves a cheerful giver” – The Bible says. Let’s not forget that.
  2. 19231913-mmmainGratitude – Class Giving: Givers belong to this class always consider their ‘attitude of giving’ as ‘an attitude of gratitude’ towards God. They always consider their possessions on earth as a blessing from God, which they don’t deserve. I would like to stand with them. Because our birth, our culture, our language, our race, our earthly possession etc., all we have since our birth for which we had not invested at all. Do we deserve that or it’s a grace from God our our Parents?

Yesterday someone shared me the story of an old man from Chennai whom Rajnikant, The Thalaiva adopted as father. That old man spent his earnings for the cause of poor and destitute people. Even he spent his pension in giving to poor on street.

Many people like such old man are around us, who never comes to limelight but they always consider their life and possession as God’s grace and by giving it to needy is accomplishing the attitude of gratitude towards God.

Every human being is into the attitude of giving from some point of reference but the matter is what about our attitude to the person/sect whom we are giving.

“How you are giving matters more than what you are giving!”