Off to the mountains

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24 degrees C..!

Fresh cool breeze still carrying the smell of the wet earth awash from last night’s shower…

Waking up to the songs of the cuckoo and three fat squirrels squabbling in the bedroom balcony over what looked liked an abandoned pigeon egg in one of my flower pots is a rarity in Delhi, particularly at this time of the year.

It was only yesterday afternoon that I was making morose entries into my journal about the lack of blueness in our city skies and the din of air-conditioners, honking cars and noisy whirring of those perinneal construction machines.

A hangover of sorts, I suppose, from ‘meeting’ the mountains last week…

The sky is still a pale grey – for a stray bout of rain, the layer of dust and smog we’ve created above our cities is impossible to wash away..
But it has done wonders for morose moods!

What a little rain can do, a thousand air-conditioners cannot!

The ‘If Only’s of daily life

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The city is dry, parched, thirsty for rain.  The colours of March are long gone.

The red, pink and the occasional purple geraniums and the orange nasturtiums have given way to greyish green leaves that fall ever too soon to the ground only to be raised by the hot winds from the west in a dusty swirl.

The Met department had predicted rains on Thursday evening. The clouds dutifuly gathered on the horizon darkening the evening skies and encouraging many a hopeful city dweller. But like the promises that are made but never kept, they floated away almost as quickly as they had come.

And we woke up Friday morning to yet another dry, dusty, hot day looming ahead of us.

This doesn’t seem to have deterred the forever hopeful met department from cheerfully making more enthusiastic predictions of rain for the weekend!

 

I often wonder how many of us are actually thankful for the constant supply of cool fresh water that (still!!) flow out of our taps all throughout the 24 hours of the day. And the electricity that keeps our air-conditioning running.

There are hundreds and thousands out there for whom these are  luxuries they can only dare imagine.

Like that group of impish little children at the inetersection a little distance away from my hospital. On regular days, they’d diligently pester each driver to buy whatever trinklet they were taking turns to sell in the few minutes till the light turned green or they got shooed away. Since the past two weeks, however, they’ve taken to asking for cold water.

It makes me incredibly sad….

 

It is amazing how cruel as a race we humans have become!

The other day I had a passionate verbal altercation with Mr.X ( For the lack of a better term, I call him my colony-mate)

X is of the opinion that the water bowls that the likes of me leave on the footpath outside our colony gates attract stray dogs, which are a menace to the humans. According to X, helping animals is ‘ fine and fashionable’ but humans are a far superior race and when it comes to the interests of humans, animal needs are to be sacrificed.

Hence the water bowls must go!

 

To say that the likes of him awakens my primitive destructivel instincts would be an understatement!

Leaving aside water bowls and stray dogs, it escapes me how a person can go through life living with a notion of such audacious superiority!

Of course it is entirely a wastage of one’s energies to reason with such a man about the number of thirsty living creatures ( in addition to the dogs that he hates) that would drink out of a small bowl of water – the small squirrels, birds, a line of bees that always line the rim and sip water unmindful of the crow that drinks from the same bowl, perched on the other side of the rim.

But I being me, did not let the opportunity pass by and mercilessly imparted a good amount of education on the necessity of being kind to ‘all living creatures great and small’, much to the chagrin of X.

The result?

He now pretends to be busy with his phone, the button on his cuff or the imaginary speck of dust on his shirt  whenever I ( or anyone remotely resembling me, I’m sure) cross his path..!

Instead he has taken to admonishing the security guards for filling the water bowls!

I wonder if it is the kindness that these simple uneducated men carry in their hearts, or my threat that I’ll call animal-abuse groups if anyone dares hurt these dogs that make them ignore Mr.X.

Anyway, for now, the arrangement is working!

The bowls have remained where they are. In spite of Mr.X!

 

 

 

22 Zen Wisdom You can laugh at!

Zen Laughter

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

3. It’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.

4. Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

5. Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

12. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

13. Some days you’re the bug; some days you’re the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like ‘The Force’. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night

Of Books, Sonnets and such like amusements

 

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What is in a Date? It would be just as mundane as any other.

Or would it?

23 April

 

UNESCO declared this date in 1996 as World Book and Copyright Day to pay worldwide tribute to books, authors, publishers and to collectively encourage ‘discovery of The Pleasure of Reading’ !

But it is only now that the world is largely waking up to discover why!!

23rd April 2016

The hashtags of social media spread far more rapidly than a wild fire!! The google logo stimulates speedier research than frontpage news headlines in conventional newspapers!

400 years since the 23rd of April 1616.

400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. And less famously of Cervantes and Garcilaso de la Vega !

Have you wondered what Shakespeare would have to say had he been around to see himself trending on social media ?

Something to this effect, I’m sure…..

“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.”
―  The Merchant of Venice

 

 

 

Another Life

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‘There’s no tomorrow. There’s no ‘another life’. I want everything now. In this life’, his words snapped her out of her reverie. But she still did not speak.

They were sitting cooped up in his car, watching the world buzz past them in that same familiar frenzied hurry.
It had started to drizzle….

The pitter patter of raindrops on the car and the sound of the evening traffic made her head play her favorite rain song, like from a distant radio.

She started counting the tiny droplets of rain that were making patterns on the windshield. In between that fraction of moment when they fell and dissolved away, she willed them to fall in the patterns she wished to see them make.

But they did not.

Each little wilful drop fell exactly where it wanted to. Each one stayed whole for exactly as long as it felt like or splattered away like the paint flicked away carelessly from a painter’s brush.

 

‘I donot believe in a second life. Do you hear me?’, he spoke with the innocent adorable conviction and impatience of a seven year old used to getting yeses for his demands instantly.

It made her smile, like always.

She continued to stare at the windshield. The rain was getting stronger now, the raindrops bigger. She reached over and began tracing the drops on the glass as they continued making their patterns on the outside..

‘ You need to get out there, you know? ‘, she finally said.

‘What?’, he said impatiently, like he was pulled out of a deep meditative trance..!

‘ Those drops’, she turned away from the windshield and looked at his earnest face.

‘If you want to change the patterns those drops are making, you need to get out there into THAT world and get wet. You can’t be doing that sitting inside here’.

‘That’s like another life, isn’t it ?’

…………………….

Magic!

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“Your bonsai is growing new leaves!”
K’s text made me smile.

Sometimes, even a tiny little fresh leaf on a table plant in a nondescript pot can so warm the heart, it is almost magical!

But then, profound magic exists in these simple things in life…
The trick, which isn’t easy, is to never get lost in the unending melee and lose sight of them..!