STRICT BUT NOT HARD HEARTED

One fine day, I was sitting by my bedroom window sill and thoughts of the kiddish behaviour of me and my siblings came flowing in. It was real fun! I’m really missing those days now. My dad was just like Hitler. Then I wondered, is it really true.. is he too dangerous? The answer from my inner soul was “NO”. He seemed to be strict… as hard as a coconut shell, but had a soft heart as the tender creamy part of the coconut within. The change of perception towards my dad and his ideologies, changed the way of living my life. He used to interact with peer groups and kids too, but very less.


On Sundays, we usually had our lunch and dinner together. On the dining table itself, he asked about the day that we spent, the problems we were stuck in and how small problems can be the creator of big problems….all of these were discussed with him. The great teaching he has given us, is to be confident and be a problem solver. Though his professional life was surrounded by official problems, I have never seen him breaking down. Rather he always tried to find out a solution and a way to move on in life. “All will be fine” – was his tagline. He was head strong as rock, and soft as cotton. When he got angry, we could never stand in front of him. But when his mood was good, he used to chat with us like a friend. I have discussed my marriage wishes and about the type of groom with him. It might sound weird, but it was true.

The warmth of his love is like a blanket
and his shoulder is my pillow,
He is the teacher and a willow.
Keeps secrets like a locker,
Keeps the family happy forever.
As strong as a mountain rock,
As soft as the cream of coconut.
Always holds us so tight,
To make our life bright,
Burns himself like a candle light.
He is strong as a shield and
soft as grass on the field.

His comparison is incomparable. He is hot like sun and cool like moon. His teachings and support towards my life, is as beautiful as Rose with few thorns. It was not acceptable in the early years, but later I realised very deeply and nicely when I become a mother.


In my view, parents are always comparable with many things as they have many shades of experiences in each and every step of life. Grab the lesson from the experience and move on with positivity.

BIRD IN THE GOLDEN CAGE

A beautiful bird just commenced it’s flight in the sky. New found freedom made the bird flutter with joy. But sighting the possible dangers predators could pose the little bird was carefully put in a cage.

Cage was made of gold. It was spacious and decorated with beautiful embellishments. Food was served in a golden plate so was the water. Bird thought may be I was foolish to loiter aimlessly, may be this is my haven which is nothing less than heaven.

It flew happily within the boundaries of the cage covering every inch of it, devouring the delicacies off the plate. It began to croon happily and fearlessly. And that’s when it received it first shock.

“You are making a noise, stop it at once” boomed a thundering cane that stuck the cage, it was a mere harbinger of the problem in foresight. The bird went silent and it took no time to realize the constraints of the cage.

One day the cage was left unattended and open. The bird was in dilemma – shall I fly away? What if I fall prey to the predators outside, what if I don’t get to eat like I do here? what if ruthless winds shatter me? What if…what if…what if? And the ongoing ambiguity failed the bird as it couldn’t fly away but just fluttered hard on the threshold. And all it did was to attract the attention of the scissors that slowly clipped the feathers of the bird one by one leaving it wriggling in pain.

Now the food off the golden plate isn’t delicious nor the bling surrounding the cage kept the bird interested anymore. And one day the bird was lying motionless, it died and what was left behind was a repulsive smell.

That bird is nothing but our relationships. The cage is the name that we give to it. The embellishments are what we project on superficial surfaces – be it society or social media – everything right, beautiful and all hunky dory. Golden plate/ food – physical necessities we strive to fulfil, from bare minimums of food- cloth- shelter to sex and a charade of luxurious life. Crooning is the voice of our emotions both agreements & disagreements whereas the blow of cane is the realization that our voice is muffled and muted. Dilemma is about our innate fears and doubts about ourselves more or less like a Stockholm syndrome where we identify ourselves with the surroundings and people that we grew habituated to and in turn they grew on us finishing off our own identity. Scissors are the constant bickering, taunts, nagging and belittling of the persona and character of the person whereas the feathers are the very confidence and free will that soul possess. And when feathers of free will and confidence are slashed off what is left behind is an empty shell of monotonous routines and indifference, that is the motionless bird. And the repulsive odour is an emblematic to the core issue of lack of love and regard. To be precise it’s the hate, anger and pain.

Many of us do this mistake of believing that “providing” is enough and sole responsibility to be fulfilled in a relationship. Yes it is but our understanding has been restricted to tangible things. Providing time, love, regard, respect somehow and sadly diminishing from our ambit of reasoning as we are evolving. It is like you are gifting a pair of earrings but not ready to listen to what your partner has to say; gifting a watch and not giving time; providing a roof and not embracing the grieving person & say “I have your back”

If the bird you are nursing is fluttering hard, why not give it a window of freedom. It might like to enter the beautiful cage again if it believes it’s a bond and not a bondage!!!

I DON’T WANT TO FLY NOW

I remember, when we were small we used get fascinated seeing a feather of a bird flying around. Many used to collect many different feathers as their hobbies. I have seen kids running after it to catch it. I used to raise my hands up to catch them as it hits the ceiling of the room and used to go round and round with the force of the wind that an electric fan produces. A feather is one thing that flies around freely everywhere as the wind blows it away with its force. It never struggles or protest in and against the wind saying, “I don’t want to fly now.” A bird has a choice to fly but its feather doesn’t have that liberty. The reason being the weight of a feather which is no negligible. I was curious so Googled it and found out that, on average, a feather weighs just 0.000289 ounces (0.0082 grams). So even when the little force of the wind hits it surface, it takes a flight above the ground and travel wherever the wind takes it away.

Today, when I look at myself and my life, I see a feather like quality in me, lately. If I look into my past life, I have been a depressive young man, day dreaming of things that were not possible on my part at all. I had grumbled about my health, my position in my family, my family financial conditions and so on. But one time came, when I let God mould me into a feather, slowly but gradually. And I literally accepted and acknowledged whatever came in my ways. I didn’t grumble or shout back at God asking, “Why me, why this and that?”

Am I great? No, not at all. I have follies that no one else has but one thing that I have become or still learning to be is ‘fly like a feather’ without asking the Wind – the Author of our lives – “I don’t want to fly now”.

Is it really difficult to be a feather? Yes, it is. Crushing all my desires, my pride, my ego and going through a uncomfortable life condition is not at all easy. But flying like a feather helped me to be a happy and jovial person which inspired many to accept life, the way God allows it for me and them.

I received a hand written letter from a young girl who calls me uncle. And I wanted to show all, a part of it:

If I could impact her by just having a couple of feather-like characteristics, then I am ready to adopt all the characteristics of it and let myself be blown away by Him all the more.

The Bible also instructs to be like a feather: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Friends! Not leaning on our own understanding, our own desires and wishes and acknowledging God in every walks of our life are all feather like qualities. Are you ready to be blown away by Him wherever He takes you away or you want to compel Him by saying, “I don’t want to fly now, come later to blow me away”. Think about it.

Stay Blessed!

MY FLAWS

“If my flaws make me humble, receptive and compassionate as compared to your perfection that made you indifferent and rude towards a fellow being then I would proudly embrace my flaws.”

Kalpana Vogeti

REST WITH ZEST

Rest with zest,
Keep yourself calm and cool,
Take a break from your schedule
Don’t behave old school.

Work will be completed
with all its glorious parts,
Help your mind with little zest,
And think about your heart.

Just chill and take rest and
give time to take life’s test.
When heart, body and mind
balance is done,
Soul shows its ecstatic shades.

– Lopamudra Pal

REST – simple word, but very complicated. It has many meanings with prefixes and suffixes. But REST means to keep time for yourself, maintain body and mind balance. ME time fixes the problem and rejuvenates you. It is the perfect time for resting the body and testing the mind for creating new ideas. We in our daily lives don’t take out time for ourselves and then starts the blame-game. Sometimes we indulge into the problems so badly that we don’t realise what we get and what we lose. We try to satisfy each and everyone, professionally and personally. But it’s not always possible. Still we try harder and harder to get it done. We get really tired of being perfect. Perfection and being perfect is good, but not always.

We as human beings, get frustrated and take wrong steps. At times, some of us go to the verge of breaking relationships too. But we don’t realise the main problem. We don’t look at the angle, that we actually need a break and want to take rest with zest. We need to get a break from everything we do starting from what we think, we plan, we cook, we read, we write… everything. ” Just being with self”, that should be the essence of being in rest.

The heart is a very small thing, but very precious. It understands all the feelings, situations, emotions, good, bad … everything. Resting the heart means rejuvenating it with more good and positive thoughts. The longevity increases. Now, everyone is overloaded with work and the pressure is burdened with bad impact on heart and mind. It affects family members and other relations as well. Keeping yourself cool for all situations is the only solution. It can be taken by taking a break for resting. Divide the works among family members and spread equality. Work is a never ending thread. It’s a continuous process. We need to take rest for making the future bonding strong enough to handle all the odds.

“Stop overthinking.
You cannot control or change everything.
Let things go with the flow.”

An understanding heart is always a tired one. It takes out positivity from negativity. It too gets tired. It too needs rest for a while. But actually we don’t take. We should go for the break for our heart, mind, body and soul. Close your eyes, think nothing. Leave the worries behind. Keep your mind cool with low volume soothing music. Take long breathe, exhale and inhale. Feel the power of the heart and the brain syncing together. Then the nerves of your brain will run in a supersonic way.

Taking a break in any way, is to get yourself in a Restart Mode. Sit in the balcony and look around nature with a deep breath. Feel serenity and calmness within. That’s the result of rest with zest!

A STORY OF DECEMBER

The snow has put autumn to sleep
luring people to the
shop of antiques
to greet the Christmas’s bliss
bidding adieu to
autumn departing in divine abyss
as if a pleasure to remember
that comes with each December
Gathers a choir of red Robin
sitting on the dusty hemlocks
singing a mystical winter song
While the flock of Bohemian
teases the pansies and willows
spread across the snow banks
for trespassing their winsome land
A gem of a nature
for some an unwanted stranger
A muse to the lost
amidst the snow frost
A shroud for the dead,
while a scenery for the painter ahead.

Saniya Firdaus

REST LIKE YOU MEAN IT

“Sometimes the best solution is to REST, RELAX and RECHARGE. It’s hard to be your best on empty.”

But with the new normal the office has entered into our homes. It has systematically eaten into our relaxation time. Office never ends. Calls and emails keep on going from evening to late into the night trying to accommodate all the different time zones in the world. The company says – anyways you have nowhere else to go to so might as well utilize the time. 

There is a kind of buzzing in the house all the time – enter one room and you realize it’s a classroom for the time being. Enter the second room and you have accidentally entered a meeting room with your hubby’s eyes transmitting a huge ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ Board. 

My mixer grinder, cooker and even TV are not allowed to create their usual racket. So what do I do? I blot out the buzz sit on the sofa plug in my earphones and login to my favorite OTT channel.

This was my relaxation. My little world inside this bigger world. I was really enjoying it. I get transported to another world, comfortably lounging on my sofa and the headphones whispering into my ear and time just flies..

Yes it flies and how.. Gone are the good old days of weekly soaps or even daily soaps. Now is the time for series. I am sure no one has dutifully stopped after one episode. One episode leads to the second and then the third and so on.. minutes turn into hours.. 

I have watched entire seasons in matter of days. Just completed the series ‘Sherlock’ which has 7 seasons. 

But seriously I have come to realize that is not rest and surely not relaxation. My body is lying for hours in an awkward angle trying to balance my phone or remote. Binge watching and binge eating go hand in hand. And then most importantly my eyes are not getting any rest. Work also means I am staring at the screen for long hours and fun also means the same. Brain is also buzzing with the non-stop watching. There is a sense of satisfaction that I completed so and so series in such less time but then again it’s a race to complete it not relaxation.

I am trying to kick this habit. Or at least reduce the binging time. 

Do share what is the kind of relaxation you are into. And does it really give rest to your body?