Fears and Prayers

Hospitals scare me,
For someone who,
Has spent a lot of time,
In hospitals being a patient,
And being patient and attending others,
Hospitals scare me!

There is a deep sense,
Of dread within me,
I cannot put a name,
Or an emotion,
To this morbid fear,
That haunts me.

I am in awe of doctors,
Learned women and men,
With their white coats,
Stethoscopes dangling down,
Nurses attired prim and proper,
Walking up and down!

I am not scared of injections,
Bitter medicines or surgeries,
It is just the realization,
That one by one,
All those who mattered to me,
Bid me goodbye in hospitals!

As Mum and I battle,
Ghosts from the past,
And the demons of the present,
I wake up in the middle,
Of the night, a cold sweat breaking out!
I walk up to the bed!

And look at Mum,
Lost in the drug-induced sleep,
And I see her rhythmic breathing,
And catch my breath,
Pinching myself to make sure,
Everything is fine.

I say a small prayer,
And lie down on the mattress,
On the floor, chanting an incantation,
Forcing myself to go to sleep again.
This continues every night.
At times, sleep evades me.

I just sit cross-legged,
Staring into space,
Looking at the night-lamp.
The inevitable is the truth,
Life is but a gift,
And death a chance for redemption.

As visions and dreams haunt me,
I just cannot seem to come to terms,
To the brutal truth,
That I will have to bid – “Good Bye”
I am scared that it will be yet another painful
Heart-wrenching visit to the hospital!

Dear God! My only prayer to you!
If such an event,
Is pre-destined and in my destiny,
Please be kind my Creator,
Let the end be painless and peaceful!
Prayers, prayers, prayers – My Lord!!

What If????

I had a thought today,
A nagging doubt,
Fuelled my thought!

What if today?
Today was my last day,
In this mortal form.

Living this life,
On Planet Earth.
What if today was my last day?

If this poem,
Or attempt at poetry,
Would be my last piece of writing.

The meal that I shall partake tonight,
Be my Last Supper,
The “hi, hello, bye and see you!”

Are all uttered just one final time,
Never to be repeated again.
What if I never wake up tomorrow?

These are very troubling thoughts!
I have not been able to focus at work,
All through the day – death seems to envelop my thoughts!

Was this life worth living?
Did I use my talents and skills?
Did I touch any lives?

Did I make a difference as a human being?
Other than being a friend, son and brother,
What else did I achieve?

I am deeply troubled!
I do not have answers,
To many pertinent questions.

Will I meet you again friends?
Will I write again?
Will I live to die and be reborn, and live and die again!

What if today?
Today was my last day,
I wonder if I will……

S.H.E. is my – by Mohit Jain – Book Review

I received this book as a birthday gift from the novelist Mohit Jain. Mohit sir is an acclaimed teacher, motivational speaker and writer of academic books that are quite popular among students aspiring to study Business or join the Civil Services.

This blogger has reviewed a few of his earlier books, which were non-fiction and when I learnt that Mohit sir was writing his first book of fiction, I was quite intrigued.

Now moving on to the book. This has a fascinating protagonist, Eklavya. The book narrates his tale alongwith other characters like Krishna, Panchali, Menaka, Aayushi, Arjun and others.

Going back and forth in time, tracing days in college and afterwards, essentially the tale is a story of love, failure, success, redemption, failure and defeat, sacrifice and hypocrisy.

Why do we behave as we behave?
Can true love conquer all?
Does success in life and success in love mean the same? Does it give the same high? Are they inter-connected?
What is the chief purpose of life?

The book examines a lot of questions inner and outer at a deeper level, on the surface it may be a simple tale. But when you read the book more than once, you realise that you see a bit of yourselves in the characters in the book.

Published by Petals Publishers and priced at INR 225; the book has 335 pages and is not a romantic clone of novels that have flooded the market in the past two years. It definitely is different and requires a bit of patience and dedicated reading as you lose yourself into the characters in the book and root for Eklavya.

Koi hota mera apna,
Jisko hum apna,
Hum apna keh lete yaaron,
Pass nahin to door hi hota,
Par koi mera apna hota!

Fascinating lines from the epic movie Mere Apne by Gulzar saab! I guess that is an apt way to end the review.

Do buy the book and read!

Learn more – http://www.flipkart.com/author/mohit-jain

April-23

It is the 23rd of April today; William Shakespeare’s birthday, Satyajit Ray’s death anniversary and in the past few years in India; gaining prominence as World Book Day. A lot has been said about Shakespeare and we will let it rest at that! Satyajit Ray well definitely a series of posts are lined up soon. An icon, a master magician with the camera, a poet, writer, musician and artist. For someone like me who spent his childhood in Calcutta, Ray and his creations were a part of life! I digress again, another day we will look at Ray Moshai in earnest.

Coming to the crux of this post – BOOKS – Yup, books that created a life-long love affair with books and characters; this post is going to be about books. The few friends that I have and the fewer friends that have visited my house know the state of my house. Shelves stacked with books, cartons full of books, bags full of books, you get the drift! With my mother constantly threatening me to drive me out if I don’t stop buying books, I seriously think I might have to rent a small office/godown space to stock my books. In a world of e-books and e-pub files and Amazon Kindles; I guess I am still an old fashioned romantic who has to hold a printed book in his hands! Sorry, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks :)

Like most youngsters around the world Enid Blyton formed an inevitable part of growing up! Famous Five, Five Find-Outers, Secret Seven, The Adventurous Four, Mystery Series were all devoured and one longed for picnics and adventures with sumptuous spreads of scones, buns, sandwiches, jams and ginger ale!

As one grew up the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Three Investigators garnered interest. How many of you remember the S.E.Paces series of abridged classics that would be a part of the English syllabus. They opened our eyes to classic tales of adventure and history. Gokulam and Chandamama played a big role as well. Tinkle was surprisingly something that did not captivate me much then. The few Indrajal comics that somehow I got and Target magazine were real fun as well. How many of you remember Gardhab Das the donkey-singer and Detective Tegrat?

Jaico abridged illustrated classics were safe and sound birthday gifts and I recollect receiving a few of them one year. By the time I was 12, I had moved to Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse and Shakespeare’s first full length play – ‘The Merchant of Venice’ part of Class Eight English lessons. At this juncture one has to mention ‘The Abridged Shakespeare Tales’ by Charles and Mary Lamb with some lovely line sketches that offered a clear insight into Shakespeare’s plays.

The first Sherlock Holmes story that I read was ‘The Red-Headed League’ a single tale hardbound cover in blue and a love for Sherlock Holmes and the science of detection commenced. One of my treasure possessions for a long time was a Jaico book – ‘The Hound of Baskervilles’. Years later I bought the ‘Complete Sherlock Holmes’ it was by a small-time Calcutta-based printing press and nothing fancy. But the book still remains safe and is very close to my heart. I think it was the first book that I bought on my own at a book fair in Chennai. The princely sum of Rs 200 after discount was paid for the book – 16 years ago.

Other authors whose books created an impact include:

  • Jules Verne – for two very treasured books – ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ and ‘The Journey to the Center of the Earth’.
  • Alexandre Dumas – ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ and ‘The Three Musketters’.
  • Anthony Hope – ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’
  • Satyajit Ray – ‘The Complete Feluda Stories’ – Penguin’s two volume set is again a special book!

But the one character who will always be special is —-???? – Guess???

It will always be Tintin :)

tintin

Herge and Tintin taught me a lot about the world, values, human nature and loyalty and friendship than all my teachers combined!

‘The Blue Lotus’ was the first Tintin book I got. My sister’s friend had the entire collection and thanks to her, every vacation I would go to her house and read the comics again and again. The greed of these publishers Methuen/Egmont has grown to unimaginable heights as they charge a premium price for these beautiful comics. Thanks to the internet old scanned copies are available and Tintin and Snowy will always remain close to my heart. I always hoped someday like Tintin, I would be a reporter, travel the world and have adventures. Instead, I have become a cross between the bungling Thompson twins, the forgetful Professor Calculus and the angry Captain Haddock. The closest that I had to Snowy was my dear Brownie, who now lives on a farm, I visit her once in a while.

The years have been gentle and kind at least in letting me buy and read books, I do not have too many vices, I splurge on books and movies, I am thankful for a job that lets me indulge in these two interests. Over the years novelists like Jo Nesbo, Ian Rankin, Stieg Larrsson, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, U.R. Ananthamurthy, and the translated works of Sivasankari, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Jeyakanthan, O. Vijayan, Basheer have created a strange sense of longing in the heart.

Will there be someone with whom I can sit together and read a book, share a coffee and a hug and hold hands and listen to the birds chirp as the sun sets, letting the breeze kiss us gently as I slowly part the strands of her hair and smile. The sweetest love story that I have enjoyed is a 10-minute introduction of the beautiful movie ‘UP’. I hope I will find someone with whom I can share my books, my life, my movies, my music and my dreams!

Where art thou my Queen of Hearts? Where art thou???

#ShareTheLoad – Or a Series of Unfortunate Incidents

This is a fascinating initiative by Ariel and BlogAdda to promote men also taking on the chore of washing. In my case I have been washing my own clothes since I was in Class Eight in School and it is nothing novel or unique for me. I wash my clothes every weekend and then spend time ironing the clothes.

This post narrates the ironical twists when I attempted to take pics of myself, the washing machine and the Ariel packet that I received. After adding the powder, water and clothes within the machine, I attempted to position myself to click a proper picture on my phone. I use a phone which has no front-facing camera and I have to use my wits to take a selfie with the rear camera.

It was precisely at this instant that I slipped and fell and in an attempt to balance myself dropped my phone and that in essence explains why there are no actual pics clicked by me for this post :(

pics ariel

For the sake of the rules and instructions I have taken pics from the Internet, no copy-righted images no cyber-bullying please. The washing machine is the same model as the one that I have at home.

Share the load my dear brothers, uncles, and members of the male clan. Help your family-members was the clothes, with Ariel’s super fragrance, powerful chemical stain removers, washing clothes will be a breeze and not something to worry about.

I am a regular user of Tide detergent for as long as I can remember, Ariel gave me a chance to try something different and I am happy with the results of the clothes being washed well.

The phone will be back from the service centre in a few days and my fingers are crossed!

But let us focus on the main topic here. Washing is not a gender-specific job, wash your clothes – #ShareTheLoad. I still feel it is idiotic to expect the woman of the house to wash the clothes of the entire family. With most modern families having both the husband and wife working and leading a busy life in the tough cities across the country; washing becomes a weekend job. The washing machine and dryer come to the rescue of families. So help your partner wash the clothes. Share the task, spread love and see the smiles and warmth that overflows.

This post is a part of the #WashBucketChallenge activity at BlogAdda.com is association with Ariel India.

NaPoWriMo-2 – In Search of What?

The sun is setting,
The long shadows,
And the gentle orange glow,
Creates a strange
Kaleidoscope of colours,
Enchanting and mysterious.

The office window pane,
Hidden by curtains,
Parts once in a while,
To offer a peek,
Into the busy lives,
Of people on the street.

Everyone seems to be in a rush,
Be it the high school boys,
Who pour out around 430 PM
Or the auto-rickshaws that,
Race with each other,
The fruit-seller pushing the cart.

In search of what?
At times, I look at myself,
In the mirror, the mirror looks,
Back at me and taunts me,
Three degrees to your name,
To what effect and joy?

The grass always seems green,
On the other side,
But when I speak to friends,
Everyone, at least most of them,
Seem to be sailing,
In the same boat.

Without a rudder, without a direction,
In pursuit of what?
Money, Love, Attention,
Admiration, Respect, Grandeur,
What exactly are we all doing?
Where are we headed?

Where, where, where?
Too many questions,
Hardly any answers,
Life meanders in all its crowning glory,
It is time to leave office,
And head home to seek solace in the ones we love!

Perhaps all that we need,
Is a little bit of love,
A dash of sunshine,
A cup full of joy,
To savour the gift of life!
All we need is love!!!

NaPoWriMo – 1 – What is the Meaning of Life

It is April 1 today,
As the world celebrates,
All Fools Day.
As trolls keep posting,
Funny memes and crack jokes.

I sit in a corner,
Wondering what is the,
Meaning of Life.
A question that has-
Flummoxed sages since eternity.

I ask you my friends,
What is the meaning of Life?
Born, grow, study, job,
Love, marry, procreate,
Save, spend, borrow, repay.

A cycle of illusions,
That continues endlessly,
Is that all that there is,
To this gift called Life?
What is the meaning of Life?

God, devil, saint, sinner,
Father, brother, husband, friend,
Mother, sister, wife, friend,
Roles that we are all forced to play.
For what reason and why?

What is the meaning of Life?