All things beautiful…

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“In short, all good things are wild and free.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

It rained.
Just a drizzle, but enough to settle the dust and the dry dead leaves that the March wind raises up in a flurry…
Sunday morning dawned nice and clear, a cool breeze ushering in the smell of the wet earth through the open window..

In the midst of the concrete jungle we live and work in it is the simple little things in life that keep us sane.

One of them is this..the smell of the earth after a splash of rain has pierced its parched surface…

The flowers are looking prettier, more colourful, and the leaves greener now that the dust layer has been washed off of them.

We all, however, seem to have slept through a dust storm of sorts preceding the rains last night, usual at this time of the year here in Delhi.

The tell tale signs were everywhere – pigeon feathers, dry leaves and twigs flown in by the wind all over my balcony now soggy from the drizzle, muddy shoe prints on the corridors leading to the lifts and pawprints on the parapet alongside the stairs.
The resident ginger-cat enjoying a nightly prowl!

My thoughts flew to the enchanting tree of red flowers in that nursery I had discovered the other day!

A pretty little place alongside the busy highway! I had never noticed it earlier till P mentioned it the other day. It’s at the corner of an intersection I always zoom past ! (the red lights have been out of order for a while now and the police apparently makes a rare appearance, for I haven’t encountered any yet!! )

This tree – there were hardly any leaves on any of its branches. Instead it had burst forth into a brilliant shade of red with innumerable closely knit large flowers !!

It was taller than all others around it. And as if this was its cue to protect all smaller trees around, it had spread it’s branches above them all like an enchanting red umbrella embracing them in it’s shade.

They were everywhere, these flowers…
All over the grass, on the pots below, on the flower beds and even on the branches of other trees….they seemed to let go their hold and fall down to their death ever so easily.

As I had walked about the nursery that evening trying to make up my mind about which plants I wanted to bring home, I found myself repeatedly getting distracted by these lovely red flowers.

They made me sad..so lovely, yet so short lived.
Maybe like all things beautiful, they chose to be ephemeral..

‘Are they still holding on?’, I wondered as I took in the remainder of last night’s storm, ‘ Or did they yield ever so easily to it’s devastation?’

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Without Rain

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WET, WITHOUT RAIN…..….

P.S.
Do you know what a wink is? In a story, book or a poem, I mean.
A wink is a private message or joke inside a story that the writer shares with that person who’ll get it immediately!

I learnt this from a movie about a writer, the other day.
This, and many more intoxicating takes on writing…

One of my serious new year resolutions this year was to invest more time to learn writing.
And write more.
Better.
Courageously.

The year is into the middle of the first quarter and I still feel as motivated as I was that winter morning when I had written down ‘Read more about writing, and write more’ at the top of my list of “Stuff I’m gonna do this new year”.

Which, apparently statistically, means I’m far likelier to stick with this resolution well into the months ahead!

It, however, remains to be seen how bravely I manage to put my inspiration into words.

Talking of inspiration…there have been many.
Moments, words, gestures, a look, a touch, an unmindful comment, a letter…

Oftentimes the simplest of them all can prove to be the strongest, I believe….

GO ON….

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Go on…live your life just the way you want to…

Find warm friendships, smile a lot, laugh out loud, do happy things..

Drive fast, feel the wind rushing past on your face, feel free, find beautiful moments, make lovely memories…

Get angry, scream, cry…

Make wild love, sing along, dance freely, create something beautiful, find challenges and enjoy winning them all…

Enjoy feeling handsome & attractive…

Feel proud, look up to yourself, find inspiration in unusual places, wear beautiful clothes…

Write those poems if only in your head, look at yourself in the mirror and smile…

Fall in love, adore, let the movies make you cry, relish your popcorn, play, run, let someone else win…

Hug tighter, love fiercely, kiss deeply, wish earnestly, give freely….

GO ON, My Friend..Live your life just the way YOU want to…

ANSWERS

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“DOGS” is the answer.
Who cares what the question is!

YES! Dogs and Chocolates!

…and a new book
…and a cup of lemon tea

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…and a new fountain pen
…and learning a new song
…and the smell of freshly ground cocoa beans
…and walking around by myself under a clear starry sky at midnight

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…and night driving
…and the phone buzzing your favourite person’s ringtone
…and a real conversation
…and a letter
…and making a beautiful photograph
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…and binge shopping at 2 am
…and a pile of freshly pressed clothes
…and tiny new leaves on my potted plant

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…and that great movie I’ve been waiting for, since ages
…and finding THAT ceramic coffee cup

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In between getting lost trying to understand the questions and finding the answers, life rushes by, till one day one realises the original questions donot matter any more.

It’s not about understanding the questions.
It’s about fitting the answers to them. Answers that have always been there……

In this vastness….

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It is a wondrous feeling…..
To be able to love someone or something with utmost conviction and an entirety that is stronger and all encompassing than if the world was rolled into one tiny ball that fitted into your cupped hands…..

No whys, no whens..

Isn’t that in reality an utter unshakeable belief in a Golden heart..?

And maybe an overwhelming veneration….?

Middle aged nights

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2:41 AM, 10 Jan 2016

The night is ‘middle aged’.. .slipping into a comfortable peace and quietitude that’s missing in its  youth..

Our city nights…the occasional airplane flying past, distant whistle of a train passing, nightly trucks picking up speed they’re denied during the day, soulful music floating from afar…someone finding a lost love story on the radio or just the night guard  trying to keep himself awake..

These are vulnerable, these hours….
But it is an honest vulnerability. ..peaceful, naked, truthful like a child..

I don’t  like our ‘young nights’. Here in this concrete jungle, there’s  nothing like a young night. They’re just extended busy evenings…noisy, rushed, squeezed into hours before ‘sleep time’.
Busy hours trying to accomodate everything that was lost during the day’s rush to achieve whatever everyone’s out to achieve – every single day..!

I don’t  like the ‘old nights’ either.
They’re too close to dawn…too close to light and the fear of revelation.
Too close to the hours everyone pulls out their masks. …including me.

May be, finally, I’ve deciphered why I’m a 3 AM person!

Musings

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2:23 AM, 6th Jan 2016

“Sometimes little things that someone says, by way of regular conversation, sticks to the subconscious mind. And then at some unconnected time, space and context, resurfaces with a new meaning.
It often helps, guides, calms and inspires”.
…I was in a reminiscent mood,when I told K this today.

We were in yet another one of what we label
‘spiritual discourses above the comprehension of many around us’, with an arrogance that we instantly agreed only proved how far we still had to travel before leaving ‘the Id and self’ behind!

But then, isn’t the very fact that one realises this, the first step towards whatever?
We are certainly at least scratching the surface of a spiritual transformation.

Anyway, I can’t quite recall what exactly it was K had said at some point in the past that came back as the answer I was seeking last week.
It was something he had uttered quite unmindfully.
So much so that I didn’t myself realise I had stored it in my “subconscious drawer”!

And on a note of déjà vu, I realised today I was finding yet another answer in yet another one of such unmindful comments my mind had fished out of my “S.drawer” !

” We have all the answers we seek inside us”,  he had said. ” You just have to be quiet enough to hear them”.

Practicing being quiet…Easier said than done!! Enlightenment under a Banyan tree, or otherwise, can’t be that easy! But then one must try.

Maybe today’s highly spirited discussion will one day be the source of an answer. Maybe I have added many answers to my “S. Drawer”.

There’s this book that he mentioned…he had been guided to it by someone..the stories and legends associated with Sage Vashisth’s advice to Rama. The more we delved into its teachings, the more it led us deeper into the similarities with Zen philosophy and Sufi Tasawwuf.
And how every philosophy, religion and belief system, though designed for peace can only lead to it by renouncing the fixed mindless ritual systems for spirituality …
The only true way to peace..the practice of Mindfulness, Living in the NOW, the Power of the present.

If only this was as easy….

One whole week of the new year is passé…in a blink!
As I turned the leaf of my daily calender today, I realized how much has changed between now and 365 days ago.

For a moment I wondered if,given a chance, I’d chose to erase and restart at 31 Dec 2014. Or maybe earlier.

My very own “back to the future time machine” !
What exactly would I do differently, at what decisive moments or would I even realise those were decisive moments?
And at what cost?

And wouldn’t going back to the future to restart defeat the very notion of mindful living..the Power of Now?

Is that why we are designed to live forwards, without a rewind, pause and erase button?

Tangerine

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Have you ever looked at the number plate of the car in front of you and thought, “Will I ever meet this car again, here, in the exact same conditions as now?”
“Will I remember I was thinking about this car in this setting today, if I actually happen to see it in front of me again?
“Will I ever know the story inside that car?”
“Will it have changed between today and that day I see it again?”

May be life is as ephemeral as the car right in front of you on the highway.
The right thing to do is to feel how you feel now. And remember it.

So how warm does a sunset feel?
Warm enough…the way it blankets the familiar evening universe in it’s tangerine glow, making everything magical.

The dusty roads, the glare off the windows of those familiar wayside buildings, even the pesky homeward traffic…Yes, everything looks kind of an ethereal Tangerine.

Tangerine – Yes, I think that must be the colour of warmth.

Tangerine – Joel and Clementine’s colour !
Clementine: [Clementine has dyed her hair orange] You like? To match my sweatshirt, exactly.
Joel: Ahaaahhhhh! Ohhhhhh! I like it!
Clementine: You do?
Joel: You look like a tangerine!
Clementine: Hmmm, Clementine the tangerine.
Joel: Juicy… ‘n seedless.
Clementine: I like that.

(Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind : 2004)

Poignancy

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That poignancy at the remembrance of bygone days….a moment, a touch, a hug, a kiss, a look, shared laughter, confessions, promises, giggles, …

If only one would learn to live the present with as much love as one does a memory…..

………………………………….

Note to self: My mindful meditation practice needs just THAT – more practice!!

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