Life

Ode to the Elements

Short Poem

Twinkling eyes, twinkling elements.
[Source – Pixabay]

It begins and ends, life does,

In nothing but elements,

It shines and multiplies, life does

With nothing but elements.


An atom when quiet and alone

Holds secrets and miracles,

Once it unites, once it tones,

Once the harmony writes a lyrical,

Planets and stars are born.


A star twinkled, its elements

Present in a child’s eyes,

Such a magic never dies

For it is made of elements.

*


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Leela Remembers

Life means movement and life means change where time is determined to achieve its aim.
Image from Pixabay.

With the intense, ceaseless process of contemplating it all, fitting it into an invisible box, Leela stayed both certain and uncertain. This was no secret to her and yet it was.  

Leela smiled, she played the game and enjoyed the Ferris Wheel ride. Leela preferred coffee to tea when she felt blue.  

Life means movement and life means change where time is determined to achieve its aim. And so in the ocean of life, Leela sailed to the horizon and back to the shore.  

One day when Leela sat down at the shore, sure of not going anywhere, sure about not waiting, partially quiet and calm, she realised that moment’s magic and thought ‘it is alright’. That is it, that is what she thought.  

It is alright, the pace, the degree, the twists and turns, the faults and failures, the tiny victories, the awesomeness and overpowering nature of life is just alright.  

This acceptance, this vision has often helped Leela to fly and touch the sky, and on those gloomy days, it has helped her to be herself.

All she does is to remember that it is alright.


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Trance

Eyes could see that the mind was dreaming, yet it stayed attuned. The soft, glowing place might be the reason. And colours, crayon colours, water colours flowing smoothly. Glory ruled the place.

Such were the wonderfully true sights that my eyes beamed with pleasure. I then was beyond time and space, happy in the present.

Breathing deeply, quietly, I knew it all and I knew nothing. Bliss!

*

I woke up and with a quick, strong rush, lively sounds reached me all at once. It was time to live another true dream… it was time to be.

Ah life!

Sri Aurobindo

A way of life that knows simplicity and truth, that values every living thing, that changes with the changing time, staying focused all the while on the one who is beyond time, beyond space, the one who is eternal.


A life where every second is a celebration, where the soul sees the divine and dances with it, where the mind witnesses birth and death and yet continues. The drama of this wonderful life goes on.

A life that sees beauty all around, that values beauty, that breathes in beauty, that prays to spread beauty, understanding that the beautiful is the perfection is the divine… the divine which is within.

A life of action.

A life of responsibilities.

A life of renunciation.

A life of freedom.

The man who lived such a life was called Sri Aurobindo.

Both!

Feature Article
In Bloom.
[Source – Pixabay]

‘Kaun Buddha Si?’ (Who was Buddha?) by the wonderful Punjabi Poet Amar Jyoti.

*

Who was Buddha?

Whose tale is it?

It’s left for you to decide;

Whether of Yashodhara or Siddhartha

Who repaired to the peace of jungle

Leaving Yashodhara behind

To bring up Rahul

Congruent with the royal

Customs and traditions,

Who made the glittering glass-house of her life a ruin

Behind the portals of a palace,

Where the seasons didn’t change,

Where life resided in silence,

Where her sight turned into an unending path

Waiting for Siddhartha.

*

And when he returned from the quiet of the peaceful abode

As Buddha the wise,

Who was the wise one,

Siddhartha or Yashodhara?  

*

English translation of the Punjabi poem by Jagriti Rumi.


Yashodhara, a princess, was Prince Siddhartha’s wife, who was born on the same date and year as that of her husband. According to a Chinese legend, Yashodhara had met Siddhartha in their past life where she took a promise from him that they will be husband and wife in all their next births.  

This beautiful poem asks a simple question and gives a concealed answer. Quietly it is telling a forgotten story, forgotten but real, real and empowering.    


The journey inwards was taken by both, Siddhartha as well as Yashodhara. While one left the world of attachment behind, the other stayed in the midst of it all and grew like a lotus. In waiting for her dearest, in bringing up her only son, Yashodhara knew trance, living every moment and trusting herself, comprehending spontaneously.  

After she met the enlightened Buddha, after her Rahul became a monk, Yashodhara did what she had prepared for, she become a Bhikkhuni (Buddhist nun); then the lotus shone brightly.  

Yashodhara didn’t search for peace, she gently nurtured it within, she didn’t live in seclusion, she found herself in the celebrations. Not in a ruin, she lived in every effort of hers to learn.  

Yashodhara, which means ‘bearer of glory’, got enlightened not once, but many times.    

*

Buddha with Yashodhara and Rahul 
[Source – speakingtree.in]

To read the original poem (in Gurumukhi), please click here.


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Crossing The Bridge To Complete The Circle

…to bridge the circle.
[Image by David Mark from Pixabay]

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.

George Herbert

For it is a circle and you must learn to remember.  

The stored memories, the cherished ideas, the endless thoughts, the proud emotions, the stubborn beliefs, the intuitive steps and the unknown, all of it nurtured by time. You learn to watch for the twists and turns, you accept the changes, sooner or later. You experience the journey.  

And when those eyes are old enough, when that smile is true, that is when you are able to see another’s journey and that is when you are able to forgive… for life is a circle and you must learn to remember.


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Fear of Fear

The parched land did give me an answer, but how? Doesn’t it fear barrenness? It answered me though I had to wait for hours and hours as I walked ahead, crossed that skeletal shape of an animal and at last saw a cactus flower blooming.

The falling sky did give me an answer, but how? Doesn’t it fear horizon? It answered me to just look up at it and smile. I felt like I was falling back or was I flying… The night sky presented me with a mystery, with the sparkling mystery. I smiled and realised that I have been smiling the answer all the while.

The elixir of life presents itself to me, but why? Doesn’t it fear absorption? It answered me by flowing and gushing and filling up the planet and mankind alike. By giving itself up, it prospered in all forms and all life. Every glass of water now tells me why.

The sun’s fire doesn’t burn anyone, but why? Doesn’t it fear the cold end? It answered me ferociously by reaching every nook and corner and nurturing every universe. The epitome of supreme action and fiery hope, it burned all the questions and answers, leaving a pure residue alive.

The wind carries all life on its shoulders, but how? Doesn’t it fear burden? It answered me not, rather played with kites, the dry leaves, someone’s scarf, whistling in the woods, chiming music all around, lightly o lightly giving life, life.

The grand truths, moulded in Nature, by Nature, don’t know any fear.

*

They support answers and questions, I support fear. Silently walking down the approved pathway, I never dare to face a fear. Walls of doubts, plastic wallpapers, radio playing endless talks in a loop, I sit and I walk at the same time in my automatic red shoes. When I stay absolutely quiet, I count it as a good conversation. Fear of everything rules a life.

But when death strikes, in the end or the beginning, it surpasses everything. Death comes without any motive or desire.

*

Fear of fear confuses me, shackles me, blindfolds me, stupefies me, breaks me… but oddly, never stops me to act.

If fear fears anything, it is action. Action requires knowledge. Knowledge gives you experience, experience makes you wise and a wise person fears nothing.

(This post is written in remembrance of Gin Gin Bandri, a little kitten.) 

My Sunglasses

A journey by air, by road, by rail to reach the ocean started with me sitting cross-legged, looking through the window, and thinking about myriad things.

While the world around me appeared to be the same – it smiled when I did, it passed a dull nod when I did – it was secretly weaving a plot.

I got to know about it when I wore my sunglasses.  

The unbiased tracks.
Image – Jagriti Rumi
Live wave-like.
Image – Jagriti Rumi

Everything then moved in a wave, including me.

Immersed in one colour, we were all attuned to do the Samba, and Samba we did.

When the ocean wind joined us, it enthralled us, we chased the beats faster to match its incessant flow.

A heavy old bridge tried the same, corroding swiftly, meeting the ocean wind in rhythm.  

Standing steel solid until…
Image – Jagriti Rumi

I saw the iron steel heavy ocean wind, dancing, through my sunglasses.

The fishermen left their boats, swung their nets, and summoned all the others to sing and dance, to be one with the wave.  

Rowing is knowing life.
Image – Jagriti Rumi

 I hopped and tapped along and beamed, my smile touching my sunglasses.  

At night or was it at dawn, what did the quaint temple said to me? It spoke of its time, the artisans ritual of worshiping their tools, shared an epic tale and sang good old folk songs.

What they say about its static avatar is not true, for the temple sways with wind and sings and adds to the music.

Luckily to see this, you do not have to stand at the ticket counter or wait for hours in serpentine lines.    

The alive architecture.
Image – Jagriti Rumi
Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai.
Image – Jagriti Rumi
The grand parade, Rameshwaram.
Image – Jagriti Rumi

In my company no one did, but I saw a monkey, no, a langur, happy at the top of the temple, playing with the waves… all thanks to my sunglasses.  

Back from the journey, lying upside down on the bed, staring at the funny trees outside the window, I think about Time in general and yawn.

But before those lazy dilemmas hit me, I get up, yes, I sit up straight and plunge forward to look for my sunglasses.  

Namaste!
Image – Jagriti Rumi

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These Red, Blue Jeeps Are The Same Or Are They Not?

Absurd Prose
In Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Image by Aditya Thakur

The Red Jeep said to the Blue Jeep that it was late. What is the point of hurrying if you don’t know where you are going, replied the Blue Jeep.

*  

Sure the circle is round and the track is wide, beautiful vistas stretched within and beyond me, prints are taken, but the journey is not free. 

What is the price you ask? It is different for everybody. Though ultimately all agree to pay, and thus the journey begins. 

But someone must know where I have reached. This guy in blue safety helmet might reveal. 

Hey! Hey! Hey-hey! The man replied not, real the man was not, it was all plastic, just an image. It bounced off voices and that was enough for many. Still is.  

*

The Red Jeep asked the Blue Jeep that if it followed the echoes or not. What is the point of following an echo when you can’t hear your own voice, replied the Blue Jeep.  


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Coffee and Cigarettes

Short Note
Coffee and Cigarettes, an anthology.
[Source – JustWatch]

*

On screen the reality is often dramatized, over emphasised, sometimes underplayed and made loudly fictitious… it is also murdered and often what we see is already dead. To be alive and stay real is not easy; on screen it is tougher. Yet we come across something true all the time.

Coffee and Cigarettes by Jim Jarmusch is one of such films that I find overwhelmingly true. So real and simple that it is difficult, like we all are. I am not talking about the technicalities or even about the film’s theme. I am just happy to feel whatever the film says…

For me it is true and abstract and nonsense and completely real. Just like life is.


8

P.S.- The blogger wrote this short note back in 2014 when she was studying in the film school.


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