water

In the scent of the earth as she bathes,
and the roar of the sea when she waves
In the stillness of the river as oars strike,
and the wetness of dew as sun awakes
In the thirst of a man lost at sea,
and the farmer’s smile as spells break
In the dreams that set sail as boats float,
and the splash in mudplies as kids play
In the soft tryst with snow as it fades,
and the sweet sound of drops as trees sway
In the fate of the leaves as seasons change,
and the wells of joy ‘n sorrow that tears make
You are.
Therefore I am

ALIVE.

 

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This love – hate relationship has gone on far too long, don’t you think ?

“You are disturbing the democratic process . You are the only one complaining.”,
says a political party supporter during their campaign for the local elections happening currently in Bangalore.
My problem – a rickshaw right next to our house in a residential area, was shouting out the party songs and promotional speech through two massive speakers. He said he had government permission. I asked if he had permission to play it so loudly  in a residential area. His reply ” only you have a problem.”
Irony – they were distributing ‘vote for us’ brochures .

Yes sir, I am the one disturbing the democratic process. Thank you for the respect you are showing us citizens. Your empathy to our problems , however ‘insignificant’, is greatly appreciated .

This event is significant because it raises two very important issues according to me –
1 – Why is our tolerance to pain so high in this country ? Why is it wrong to stand up for oneself , even if one in number ? Is it a pessimistic attitude of ‘ humse kuch nahi hoga’ ? And why still this attitude ? Or do people actually not find anything wrong in disturbing and disrespecting another person ?
2 – We need stringent noise pollution laws in this country. Period.

India, I want to love you. Let’s put an end to this love-hate relationship please. Let it be one of love-respect. This is my prayer on our Independence day. Let us be free from hate and non-thought.
Amen.

Freedom from In-dependence

Today, as we celebrate Independence Day, and freedom, the question that keeps popping up in my head is if we really are independent, and more ‘’pinchingly’’, are we really free?

Freedom from a foreign power, in India’s case? Yes.

Freedom from Prejudice, narrow / close – mindedness? How about Freedom from Ego and the illusion of Power and control? What about freedom to question / debate?

I read these beautiful words “I’m more concerned with retreading ideas” – (from Paul Salopek’s masterful series of dispatches from his incredible expedition – ‘’ http://outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/22/lets-walk/’’) – and I wonder if we all, as a nation, as a people, are free to retread ideas? Or will we be blocked by something or someone? Legislation, regulation, religion, bias, inertia, something else? Will we want to invest our ‘non-renewable’ time into something so long-term not knowing whether it might become a success? Will we be free from the restraints of poverty and illiteracy?

A lot of questions remain unanswered. Some of them are new, and not yet understood; a lot of them- much older. The solutions seem to be coming in quickly now. A lot of things are improving, slowly maybe, but certainly. I think all across the world, people have never been this awake and vocal. Loads of campaigns, lots of petitions, discussions in forums, debates on social media, and so on are somehow managing to turn negative and frustration-inducing energy into ideas, into ‘wanting-to-do’, harmonizing scores of people slowly, but surely.

Maybe, if things continue like this towards a positive trend, in a few years we will see a tipping point, a point where the masses do, not dream of. The myopic introspection we all seem to suffer from, at some point of time or other, will be corrected.

On this Independence Day, let’s take a pledge to be become free, not just in a political sense, but at individual level; not just at the national level, but at a global level; not just for humans, but for all of nature and the intricate Ecosystem; not just in words, but also in action.

All freedom struggles have been wanted badly enough, have been tough and long-fought. How about a collective struggle for our planet, and the incredibly varied and diverse life forms that inhabit it?

To Freedom!

“Hey! You want to take Selfie?”

Continuing on our train ride to Goa (part 1: https://gabbartrip.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/go-goa/), we saw a girl and a boy sitting together on the doorstep of the train – Indian trains have doors which can be opened anytime (The Ticket-checker, or any other person from the Railways, may or may not frown). I knew we would be entering the hilly Western Ghat region soon, which is home to some extraordinary scenery. We took our place, standing behind the above-mentioned, below-seated couple. Peeping out of a moving door-shaped-slit at the immense vastness in front of us, we saw the typical lush green valleys and the dense vegetation around.

Soon, tunnels started lining up; the train chugged through them serially, alternating between bright Indian summer sunshine and dark tunnel darkness.

The two of them in front of us, fired their cameras furiously, and that’s when the memorable question was asked: “Hey, You want to take selfie?” I think the shot in demand was them as the subject with half of the train in a tunnel, and maybe the mouth of the tunnel in the frame too. Come to think of it, a frame like that can indeed make a good photograph.

A strange and funny thing happens when trains go through tunnels here – people start howling and screaming! The bogies in front could be heard first, the wave moving to our bogie and increasing in pitch as the bogie behind us followed ours into the tunnel. Suddenly, the train is abuzz, innocent smiles all around, and people start moving towards one side of the train. The reason for all this was the famous Dudhsagar waterfalls (https://gabbartrip.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/freefalling/), and everyone, including us, wanted to take a look.

The train slithered around a bend, and there it was. Lots of cheering, and then another memorable dialog, the girl in front (the one sitting at the doorstep) telling a guy friend of hers: “Hey, don’t be shy, ra! Come, sit on my lap”!

In a few minutes, we were speeding through the flat plains and crossed fields with deep red soil. The tracks seemed to be rural highways, as school kids walked on them, people sat on them while chatting on their mobiles – the elevated rails with the inclined stone ballast making it comfortable for the knees and the back.

Soon, the train pulled in at Margao, and the sea beckoned, stronger than ever.

 

Wish me luck universe !

It’s been quite an incredible 4 months, I would not know from where to begin penning it all down. So many events, both outside and inside ; feels like I have been on a self – spun merry-go-round , slowing down only to be spun faster, and feeling dizzy each time I slowed down. The trick, as I am slowly figuring out, to enjoying the merry-go-round – which was the intention behind getting on it in the first place, is to find my own rate of spinning – a self-sustainable joyful pace. And as I find that pace, the views become calming and exciting, instead of distressing and fleeting.

One of the views has been of working with differently-abled children at a local NGO which addresses the needs of children from the lower income groups. When I started volunteering a month back, I was overwhelmed – overwhelmed by the disturbing stories of emotional and physical abuse behind a lot of the kids , overwhelmed at the same time by their incredible and indomitable capacities of happiness and love. Now that the amplitude and the period of my pendulum-like emotions have decided to move towards a state of equilibrium, I find myself face-to-face with an explosion of facts.

This is my first experience of working with an NGO, first experience as an art educator/therapist, first experience of working with children, first experience of potentially getting involved in the running of an NGO, basically a lot of firsts. I am extremely excited and nervous of the unknowns here, trillions of butterflies multiplying billions of times in my stomach, and I have ideas and thoughts flooding my mind every second.

Ironically, the children are proving to be my pacemakers, helping me find that self-sustainable joyful pace I find so extremely crucial, my personal elixir concocted from the extensive talks with Rp.

photograph

I pray that I will be the best version of myself daily, and that my views will be those of smiling faces. Here’s also to the realization of yet another dream! And in case I haven’t thanked you enough universe, THANK YOU!