The Light in My Notebook

“Civilization begins with distillation said William Faulkner….” The way he wrote it on the blackboard, I first felt as if I am in a management class and I should note it down, word to word… later, I did note it down but the feeling wasn’t the same. The white chalk on the blackboard and the handwriting suddenly changed and I felt I had heard a secret that William Faulkner said long back. It happens a lot and though it’s strange, I enjoy these secrets… no I don’t understand the secrets, all of them, immediately, no, I just absorb them quietly. I generally don’t remember all of them, especially on the occasions when there is a need to quote them but nonetheless a beautiful, warm and sweet feeling stays, the secret stays, forever.

The ink on my paper also talks to me but I rarely pay attention. And when I do, the ink has nothing to say. When it has something to say and when I also listen to it, a tear falls and erases it. Yes, tears can erase and paint beautifully.

I don’t know why, but I use the word beautiful a lot. There are so many other words like charming, pretty, gorgeous, lovely, graceful, even heavenly… how does it matter anyway, every word is beautiful. I scribbled some lines on the last page, it goes – ‘how beautiful the scene was but when I tried to capture it…it died.’ On that page then, I couldn’t write anything, not a word, I just doodled. The flowers, the creepers, the sky, the moon and the sun close to each other along with the stars circling them, a small boat and a butterfly all danced their way towards what I wrote and then stopped. I darkened the moon, till it looked very deep and I have plans to colour the butterfly.

What is he saying? What are we talking about? Have I missed something important? I flip the pages and peep at someone else’s book. To confirm! Ha! It is the same page, nothing has changed, he has been talking and talking; I felt for a moment that ages have passed, time rushed some centuries back and forth for me, swinging in different worlds I almost always forget to live in the present. 
Everything is so cold for some never ending seconds, then why will I not want the warmth of the other worlds? The last page…and I float again.

Oops! The duster fell from his hand and we all smiled. I shared my smile with a guy sitting next to me. How stupid is that? Laughing without any reason…though I generally do that a lot.

I have a story in mind… it’s an image that has stayed with me for a time I can’t recall. An old man, he is tall but thin, his wrinkled hands and tattered clothes tell me something different from what his wrinkled face expresses – a smile. He is always smiling or is it because the wrinkles have taken such a shape or is it just my imagination. We are on the same bus and I never think about the bus fare because I just don’t but the old man with a wrinkled smile fixed on his face seemed to think about it a lot. For two-three minutes, he requests the conductor to allow him to travel without the bus fare and then from his invisible pocket of his torn coat, he takes out some coins and gives it to the conductor. I can’t hear the exclamations of the conductor, I am too engrossed to see the old man with a wrinkled smile fixed on his face.

The pages are turning, millions have written in it, the ink is dry and still alive… a lot has been said and there is still a lot to say… the blank page looks exciting and it says the most and aloud. I am listening. Are you listening?

‘Are you listening?’ Yes, I nod! He has written something else on the board but I didn’t see him writing again. “All truths wait in all things – Walt Whitman.”

Wait… for there is some truth waiting to get revealed in everything. I wrote this on the blank page, there I also drew a time machine, then the whole universe danced its way towards what I wrote and then stopped. I plan to colour it with light.

The Moon Is Moving

I change with the moon changing its shape. That is what someone told me, she was a palmist I guess or an aspiring one. Since then I have believed in it too, you know. Whenever I cannot understand myself or the mood I am in, I look at the moon and think, ‘where is it going now.’ And I confidently share this fact with others, my relation with the moon, nothing to hide about it.
My friends think that I am going crazy about this moon issue. They say, ‘it’s just a heavenly body’ and I say, ‘soon the moon will answer all my questions’, they then curiously ask me, ‘what do you want to know?’ Sometimes I don’t reply and most of the time they just don’t listen. I have a list, if I may speak the truth, I have a list of questions that I want to ask the moon. It goes like- what is your language other than the mellow serene white rays; do you like the blue planet or not; what if you could fly away, somewhere far; do you sing, if yes, sing one for me and some other questions, you know. Oh! I forgot to tell you about the most important question – how do you feel being the symbol of love? I find it really funny when I think that the moon might not be aware of it.
I have also composed a song, a tune basically, for the moon but I don’t feel like humming it right now. It is not complicated, there are no words, all you have to do is go ‘la…la, la, la…la’ after you are alone with the moon and then you have to meditate. It’s something very peaceful.
Once, it so happened that I was sitting and talking to the moon, I was all alone and I was speaking non-stop, you know. It was all very funny even though I was speaking my heart out and was getting emotional, when suddenly I sneezed and the moon said, ‘I bless you’. It was a superb experience. I told one of my friends about it who stupidly called the moon arrogant and silly. I lectured for an hour that it is not bad to bless someone and to bless one needs to be pure and that I think that the moon is pure. Weirdly my friend agreed with me but before I could feel happy about it, we were talking about something else.
There was another time when I tried to record the voice of the moon but I don’t feel like talking about it now. I feel strange, I think I’ll go for a walk now, I think the moon is moving and I plan to move with it.

With Myself

The green pond and the green trees can be so different. I was sitting on the stairs and looking at the thick and the pleasing green water when I realised that I am looking through the image in front of me. Everything was hazy for some time and I felt light. A concrete thought broke my imagination and I heaved a sigh. A sigh that meant nothing except the realisation that I am sitting and watching the green water in the pond. The trees were welcoming me and soon I was lost again. Did the time float away or swayed with the leaves? Time, that the people complain about and love and cherish at the same time. But at that moment I was’nt time bound, I was free. Just then or after some time, something musical fell in the pond and I enjoyed it. I started humming and playing with the stick in my hand. Then I dipped it in the pond and swirled it around. The green trees were watching all the time. I was in my own company and the time went by beautifully.

A Painting That Sways

Paint and sway.
Image by Pixabay.

Delicately touched

Touched only to sway

Swayed with love

And loved just to say

To say it loud enough

Enough of the artificial blue light

Pure blue light of the sky and the moon

The sky and the moon that play a harmony together

Together they sing to me

Me, who breathes quite often,

Often they sing and I dance

Dance like I am a cloud close to them

A cloud close to them that is me

Me, who dreams to be free,

Free like the painting of a moonlit night

And a moonlit night will always say

‘Hey, paint well and remember to sway.’

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Two Photographs

Granny’s smile has lots of secrets and lots of memories in it. She is always smiling, beaming; we can also count her wrinkles rising from her cheeks to her closed eyes; eyes shining with childlike brightness, watery eyes speaking the language of love.
It is early morning and everyone in the house is running hither and thither. Mummy is cooking food and packing the tiffin-boxes. The children are late once again and Daddy is going to give them a lift to the school. But Daddy himself cannot find his tie and the green file and somehow Mummy is managing everything right from the kitchen. In this daily drama we see Granny sitting in the balcony, she is combing her grand-daughter’s plaits; Granny talks about her late grandmother who use to tie her plaits, to which her little granddaughter giggles up and says, ‘Granny you also had a Granny?’ Mummy shouts from the kitchen as the clock declares it is 8. Everyone is late once again.
In this riley race, this cute family is asked to stop and pose for a photograph. Daddy says no but the children agree and Mummy is caught between them; while everyone else hesitates only to agree in the end, the granddaughter brings Granny inside and both of them settle comfortably on the sofa for the photograph.
Say Cheese! Click!
Daddy is awkwardly smiling with a bad tie-shirt combination making him look funny; Mummy is smiling nicely and is hiding her apron behind her; the children are looking full of life and sleepy at the same time; the granddaughter is hugging her Granny and saying cheese loudly; Granny is smiling peacefully.
Daddy, Mummy and the children wish Granny a good bye, she waves back at them from the balcony. They leave in their car and get mixed with the ‘bhroom-honk-honk-bhroom’ crowd on the road.
When Granny is asked about the brightness in her eyes and the secret behind her smile, she laughs musically and says, ‘thank you very much’. Enjoying the scene from her gallery she seems to be waiting for somebody. She walks slowly to the kitchen like there is no need to hurry, this is how blessed she is, maybe this the reason behind her smile.
When we are about to leave the house, she calls us and asks us to meet her friend. Back in the gallery, Granny is feeding a stale roti to a crow with extreme joy in her eyes. She indicates us to take her photograph with the crow. She is already saying cheese. Click!

The Keyhole Trend

If you peep through the keyhole
The small world you see
Might look real and free
The sky, the bird, the tree
The building, the street and me
All with the round edge and incomplete
Half of the shine and half of the night
Half of the smile and half of the ride

When the journey ends, it ends
Though the keyholes are in trend
Laughing loudly at yourself you’ll see
One can open the door without any fee

I Can See Mountains from the Window, I’ll take this Window Along

The mountains are so grand; I realised it that day when I climbed one. The green velvety zigzag stretch left me overwhelmed.

A thought caught my attention and told me how beautiful and majestic the mountains were, how incredibly small I was, how peacefully colourful the surroundings were and how sublime the music played by the wind was.

Portable Window! [Image by AnnaliseArt from Pixabay]

I saw the clouds and they saw me; I blushed quietly. With my feet in the wet green grass, I stood there enjoying the drizzle. I sat on a calm rock calmly and opened the notebook. I couldn’t write for some reason, so I drew the scene instead.    

Have you ever felt the same? Like when you feel something you cannot describe in words or otherwise? When the smell of an old book takes you back in a different century?

As if the leaf that fell near you was meant to fall there so that you could pick it up and feel it? And that the glamorous city lights were talking to each other and the moon was talking to you?

What about the smiley face drawn by a passer-by on a dusty car that reminds you of the one you had drawn? Have you ever felt the still mind?

The drawing that I made took the shape of yin-yang without my knowledge. Opposites complement each other. I sat near the window and thought about it; the sun passed by and the moon came with white light very quickly and in the shadow, I saw light and immediately, I agreed.

I again looked at that drawing, in gratitude but the drawing was no longer the same…there were dark green mountains and blue sky, white clouds and green grass and me, sitting on the calm rock calmly. And I looked through the window…

I can see mountains from the window, I’ll take this window along.

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Hum Along

That feeling of sadness when you realise that you could have done something else, something better but you cannot because time has defeated you, leaving you alone with the mighty Fate.

That moment when your heart is full of love and your mind full of confusion and you hesitate to take a step forward; sometimes you console yourself and sometimes you scold yourself…all you are left with is pain.  

Pain is known to everyone who knows love, hope, desire and ego.

Why don’t we get rid of this pain and live happily ever after?

Maybe because we need pain…just to understand the importance of everything around us, to learn to value every little thing.

Maybe because pain teaches us to move forward, it gives us only one choice which is to change with time.

If seen in this light, pain helps us to realise our transient nature but not to lament over it, rather cherish every second of it and to make the best of it.

Yes, this will mean to be ALIVE always but this is just how we should live, shouldn’t we?

Why be in grief when neither the reason for the grief nor you, the sufferer, will stay forever? What stays is the wish to live life to the fullest.  

Keep walking, keep humming.
Image from Pixabay.

I am walking on a mysterious road… what passes me enters me and then it vanishes, leaving a feeling within me, giving me pain and hope… I walk ahead in the search of love… I cannot see the path, just one step after the other… it is thrilling… the silky air around me is what I can feel and the music of the cosmos that whispers in my ears, telling me to hum along.

So be it! Hum…. 

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The Science of Character (a new 8 min “Cloud Film”)


It is so beautiful and true…we all deserve beauty and truth.

“Everybody is a star… they just need to learn how to shine”, said a kid with a bright smile.

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Just like the fading fog, that fragrant memory faded away.

Summer holidays and not so hot day, lying under the tree I peeped endlessly to see the sky. There were no clouds but now and then few birds crossed my vision. As the sun made me close my eyes, I tried to concentrate on the green leaves of the tree but instead I fell asleep. I dreamt happy and bizarre dreams, Alice like dreams. My dreams were colourful, the child’s world.

Just like the fading fog, that fragrant memory faded away.

Sitting on the study table and with the dull words stubbornly standing in front of me, my mind’s eye tricked each word and I soon reached the future. My future was always perfect – my clothes, my career, my life – everything just smooth and beautiful; boundless time to have fun with friends, family and a special someone. But when my mind’s eye met the alarm clock on the table, I quickly re-entered the tedious world of the textbooks, giving in and apologising, only to trick this world once again.

Just like the fading fog, that fragrant memory faded away.

It is raining and I am standing near the window, watching droplets join each other and run away. My mind is full of umpteenth things but I am lost, lost as I look at someone walking with an umbrella, fighting the rain and the mud on the road and I think about this unknown person. Though the unknown person has left but the thought remains. I take a sigh and decide to get back to work but I keep standing there.

Just like the fading fog, that fragrant memory faded away.

Living far away from my loved ones, I feel empty. Before tears fall, my mother calls and I say hello with a smile.

A funny incident that happened in college and how it became the topic of every discussion in my friend circle makes my eyes wide and I joyfully jump back in time.

Also, when I think about the moment when I said ‘Ciao’ to others and their comments and walked on my path, doodling something on the notebook and then closing it feeling my ears getting hot. At this moment someone definitely calls, someone definitely comes and talks and talks and I forget. I simply forget! But it comes to me every time I am alone and every time I just move forward.

Just like the fading fog, that fragrant memory faded away.