Friend Anything For You Except The Green Umbrella

Flash Fiction
My funky umbrella that I forgot in a bus and so I had to buy a silly raincoat.
[Source – Pixabay]


It’s a foggy day and I am walking to somewhere all alone, carrying a green umbrella pendulum-like. Rain shower won’t stop me. The blinding whiteness won’t scare me. I check my watch, it assures me time is good.

Hearing footsteps following me, I try to hasten, only then I realise it is no one, but me. These gumboots I tell you. It is all very funny, but still I cannot take a chance to laugh aloud.

Never knew the fog could trick. The fresh green plants and giant trees that till now looked painting-like, now seem spooky.

Suddenly I hear fresh footsteps running from a direction towards me. Numbly I tell myself don’t move, still I turn and find someone in a funny raincoat running towards me.

Then a voice, “Smarty pants, give me back my umbrella, don’t want this silly raincoat of yours’. It is my friend Marcia. I smile and say, “But you look good in it.”

We fight and then laughing aloud walk ahead together.

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Transient Permanence


Anicca (Impermanence).

That the dark clouds will pour heavily and ceaselessly, that the rainbow will nurture joyous moments, that a true feeling is there to stay forever, but only to forsake rudely with lessons to accept and time as a remedy, making a revelation that such is life, does this change what is transient into eternal?  

Incessant thoughts enjoying the make-believe forget what is real and adhere to what is smooth and comforting and familiar and dear and satisfying.  

Transience is a reality, but is this the reason for its permanence?

The world says a yes, the individual says a no.

This fleeting life knows the truth. It lives and dies to prove it.


Buddha in meditation forever.
Image from Pixabay.

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Vive le Tour, Vive le France

Perseverance, patience, hard work and reverence all of this and more is what one witnesses in the most prestigious of all bicycle races, the Tour de France. Twenty one days long testing journey where team work counts the most. One hundred and three year old tradition that is getting richer and stronger with every passing year.
As a viewer it has only been five years since I started watching Le Tour, sitting glued to the television sets for the two or so hours that the race is telecasted here in India, enjoying every second of it, cheering for the yellow jersey and hoping for a miracle for the ones who dare to attempt a breakaway. Not even the advertisements spoil my fun, though these ads come right when someone attacks the Peloton.

This wonderful sport, I felt, is so inspiring that one feels full of determination and positivity to achieve the life goals. That with concentration, will power and a never-say-die attitude we can fulfill all our dreams and learn – about oneself and about life.

Chris Froome, the humble supersonic rider, won his third Tour de France this year and got a place booked amongst the legends of this sport. The defending champion’s surprise attack in the eighth stage, sprinting down the descent in a strange, but apparently an aerodynamic position, got him the stage win as well as the yellow jersey, for which he and his teammates worked hard so that it stays on his shoulders throughout the race.

My favourite was the eighteenth stage, the individual time trial stage where no one, not even Richie Porte’s fabulous attempt could beat Tom Dumoulin’s time, except of course Chris Froome’s. The yellow jersey started in the last and came first, reaching twenty seconds before the best time. Seconds are precious in this sport.

I’ll leave you with Chris Froome’s words that he spoke at the podium in Paris, which reflects the true spirit behind this marvelous race.
To my teammates and support team, this is your yellow jersey too. I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for your commitment and sacrifice. A massive thank you to Dave Brailsford and my coach Tim Kerrison. This is one special team and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

To Michelle my wife and my son Kellon, your love and support make everything possible. Kellan, I dedicate this victory to you.

This Tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice and we pay our respects once again to those who lost their lives in this terrible event. Of course, this kind of event puts sport in perspective, but it also shows why the values of sport are so important to a free society.

We all love the Tour de France because it’s unpredictable, but we love the Tour more for what stays the same. The passion of the fans from every nation along the roadside, the beauty of the French countryside and the bonds of friendship, these things will never change.

Thanks again for your kindness during this difficult period in France. You have the most beautiful race in the world and it’s a great honour to wear this maillot jaune. Vive le Tour and vive la France.


The Nataraja!
[Image from Pixabay]

A static symbol of the dynamic universe, an illusion, Maya, moving rhythmically, revealing in an instant the unfathomable divine, the perfect balance that creates, preserves, destroys, incarnates and liberates, the Nataraja, performing the ultimate dance, is a magnificent work of art that reflects the cosmos – the beginning and the end of the cosmos, the music of the cosmos and the soul of the cosmos.

The Nataraja sculpture represents all – the destined journey, the tragic fall, the glorious victory, the dance in time and timelessness, the poise and elegance, overwhelming stillness, reverberating brightness, brilliance, power and enlightenment. In a single spectacle, it shows what was, what is and what will be.


Blissful perfection.
[Image from Pixabay]


Shiva Nataraja, the King of Dance, dances on Apasmara, a dwarf, crushing not him, but his ignorance, forgetfulness and limited vision of self, hence freeing his soul from bondage. Four armed – with Agni (flame) to demolish in one, with Damru (drum) playing the tune of time in second, making the Abhaya Mudra (the sign of fearlessness) in the third, thus bestowing power to be without fear, and the fourth in the Gahahasta (elephant trunk) Mudra signifying supremacy over ignorance – Nataraja is the embodiment of all the vigorous flux in the outer world and the serenity in the inner world as he dances the dance of bliss, Ananda Tandava, continuing the harmony of life and death in the cosmos.

Prahabhamandala, the arch of flames within which Nataraja dances, is the manifest universe, making the cycle of birth and death, burning with sufferings and illusions, apparent.

Also, a ring of consciousness that is in agony as it’s blinded by temporary ideas, unaware about the permanent dance of bliss. Oblivious of the Kundalini Shakti (the cosmic power) – that the cobra around Nataraja’s waist represents and is believed to reside in all – the unconscious mind walks cyclically.

Lotus flower, representing the creative power of the universe, forms the pedestal on which the Nataraja dances, celebrating in full zest the dance of true freedom.

Omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, the Nataraja does a dance that occurs ceaselessly in every atom, sending waves in the cosmos, waking everyone from the dream world to witness reality and truth, destroying the phantom world full of phantom pains.

Neutrality and peace on Nataraja’s face – the One dancing in frenzy – mirrors the magic of the master who dances within the universe of illusion, but stays beyond that universe. In a palpable language, the Nataraja declares the way the soul can rise from its bonded life and with equality seeping within, can see and participate in the cosmic dance.


Wall relief of dancing Shiva at cave temple no.1 in Badami, Karnataka, India.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

This marvellous sculpture amalgamates supreme power and action with absolute bliss and beauty, radiates the delicate balance of the cosmos and magnifies the close connection between the One and the many.   Nataraja, Mahakala (the Lord of Time), with continuity and change flowing throughout becomes an opportunity to understand the sublimity of Maya and work a way out to reach the immutable Presence.

The Nataraja is excellence. Meditating on it is achieving its essence. Its essence is pure excellence.


Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of Dance at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.    

Fritjof Capra


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Now Is Forever

Walking ahead, though the past was slightly askew, she unlearned many things for good, sighing and laughing at her funny plans, she heard the silence completely and asked herself to stop feigning.

Tiresome, but still hopeful, she accepted the confusion. Forgetting fear on the way, she dreamed about the mountains with her eyes wide open. Dense fog passed by, saying nothing, approving nothing, just making her smile a little.

The tall pine trees reverberated with continuity and change, thus affecting her. Rocks, stones, pebbles all are very jolly, she wrote in her notebook.

And now she sees the stairs. Her question is not whether she will or will not, it’s how truly. Walking, but how truly?

This is to be realised on the way, she tells herself.

She stopped as her mind was moving too fast. The air she breathed deftly hushed her talkative self and so she listened… listened truly, completely.

Now is the time to live, now is the time to act, now is forever, at least till I am.
Point taken, she walked ahead humming a soft tune.

Ethos Pathos Logos


The Queen, clearing her throat soundlessly, said to the ministers, in a poised tone, that she cannot care less about De Mallow’s missing dog. Disappointed, she roared sophisticatedly that pivotal issues like taxes, status of the palace treasury and the upcoming royal party should have been ranked higher than the issue of a missing dog.

Bowed heads, the ministers, said in a rehearsed chorus that De Mallow’s missing dog’s issue was chosen by the chit system that Her Highness had herself started for providing a fair chance to everyone during these sessions. The Queen raised her gloved hand and her voice simultaneously, which made the quiet and meek looking ministers, quieter and meeker. The Queen politely, in a high pitch, suggested that they should pick another chit; everyone agreed unanimously.

With a picture perfect smile on her face the Queen picked up another chit and with an expression best caught in an old ugly portrait, she brusquely said, ‘Mary’s missing lamb’. Someone among the ministers gasped in horror.


Little Mary loved her little lamb Pufo and refused to accept that his sudden absence meant that he was dead… probably it was the fox. She garbled many stories, which didn’t make any sense unless one also looked in her big blue eyes.

Mary’s blue eyes could hypnotise everyone without even intending to and thus, every day, every new fellow hypnotised, heard a new tale about Pufo’s absence. To me she told that her Pufo had gone to get her starry wand with which she will make this grey land glitter.

I believed her… her big blue eyes can’t lie. I too will wait for Pufo, I told her. She smiled through her eyes and said that the night Pufo left, both of them were watching the sparkling night sky and relishing the thought of a glittering land.

She asked me not to cry, because by then I was, and gave me some freshly made carrot cake. It was delicious, but still I couldn’t stop crying… maybe because she said that she had kept some for Pufo also. Oh little Mary!


I went to meet De Mallow, he too had lost his dog, can’t remember his name, nevertheless, like Pufo, he too deserved to be mourned for. My eyes were still glistening.

Me:  Ello, De Mallow, old chap! Am sorry to hear about… about… your dog.

De Mallow:  Hmm!

Me:  When… how… a… so he is missing… Little Mary’s lamb is also missing.

De Mallow:  My dog is not missing, he is dead.

Me:  Now, now, don’t you say so De Mallow, cheer up, I heard that your case was discussed in the royal palace and the Queen will definitely…

De Mallow:  I found the carcass yesterday night near my farm; eaten by a big animal.

I stood there stupidly with an awkward expression, gaping idiotically when De Mallow closed the door on my face.

The Wonderful Mr. Tambourine Man Song

A Short Fictive Take
A true seeker.
[Source – Pixabay]


A melody that sinks within and fades, ever so melodiously. A rhythm you follow till the end and beyond. Dreaming with open eyes, smiling and savouring it, singing along at times. Welcoming whole of it, embracing it silently.

Harmonic waves, from deep to a crescendo, spread its radiance. Transcending the terrific time, for one and all, it becomes ineffable and divine.

Meeting and merging, loving and caring, thoughtfully waiting to take the form of its true seeker.

Mr. Tambourine Man

– Bob Dylan

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

 Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand

 Vanished from my hand

 Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping

 My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet

 I have no one to meet

 And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

 Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship

 My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip

 My toes too numb to step

 Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin’

 I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade

 Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way

 I promise to go under it

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

 Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly across the sun

 It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run

 And but for the sky there are no fences facin’

 And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme

 To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind

 I wouldn’t pay it any mind

 It’s just a shadow you’re seein’ that he’s chasing

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

 Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind

 Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves

 The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach

 Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow

 Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free

 Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands

 With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves

 Let me forget about today until tomorrow

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to

 Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

 In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Listen to this wonderful song {a live performance that I love}

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Opposite the Nadir

Short Lyrical Prose
White cloudy raga plays… and I am still walking.
[Source – Pixabay]

The igneous surface I am walking on has a tremendous sound stored in it, but in a dense state so that the land appears dead.

The colour is thick black; it stains me anew with every step that I take, entering breath by breath within.

Smog-heavy mood, like heavy chains, has made me hunchbacked. Hollow quietude stays along, walking next to my faint shadow.

I utter nothing, nothing at all – all noise is of the wind; the wind ruffles around greasily, overwhelming me with dullness.

The mind is whimsical, I tell myself after some days’ journey; I continue ahead.

Where to, I ask, am I going?

That was the last I heard from myself.

But I am still walking, walking towards what lies opposite the nadir.

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Meetin’ WA

There is humour for sure, there is drama, fun-action, romance, a great thrill, you’re enthused, lost and found, the questions tickle you and the answers leave you wondering, beautiful images absorbed consciously/ subconsciously, you agree with the characters, grinning at the revelations, all in all a Woody Allen film shows how deluded and smitten we are with this one thing called life.
Each film of his, that I have seen till now, talks about life – a journey his characters embark upon, going through myriad emotions, dreaming and deceiving themselves, somehow finding a way back… or perhaps not, and in the end reaching a new place, different and changed… or perhaps not. Life like!
The story completes a circle every time… for the viewer at least. Certain scenes stay glued in the mind, we play them back repeatedly. The witty, satirical, punned dialogues make his films an absolute hoot.
My all-time favourite, Annie Hall, begins with Woody Allen as Alvy Singer telling a Groucho Marx’s joke –
“I never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.”
And this is exactly what we experience throughout the film. He feels unsatisfied if he gets a slight feeling of satisfaction. But the film is very much about Annie Hall. Steadily, through a character who is narrating the story (Alvy) we drift towards Annie Hall; his relationship with her, his ideas about life, what Annie should do and not do –

Annie – You don’t think I am smart enough to be serious about.

Alvy – Don’t be ridiculous!

Annie – Then why are you always pushing me to take college courses like I was dumb?

Alvy – Because adult education is a wonderful thing! You meet a lot of interesting professors. It’s stimulating!


Alvy – Adult education is such a junk, the professors are so phony… how can you do it?
By the end of the film, Annie Hall becomes a real person, a friend and so does Alvy Singer. So simple and perfect is the story that the viewer never feels as if it was woven to be so.
Woody Allen’s films also celebrate cinema as a medium, Midnight in Paris is the crowning illustration of this point. Midnight in Paris – a film like a novel like a painting like a song like a memory.
Along with the protagonist, Gil Pender, we travel back in time and have an encounter with Ernest Hemmingway, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Henri Matisse, T.S Eliot, Cole Porter, Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, Pablo Picasso and many glorious others. A fantasy lived in the magical, ‘the most beautiful in the rain’ Paris.
And definitely, the reigning emotion in the film is that of nostalgia, making us ponder whether or not –

‘Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name of this denial is “golden age thinking” – erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in…’

I think life is simple, funny and lovely, full of constant reminders of death and trauma. Contradictions rule us, often making life a miss-match of countless emotions. Everyone’s a magician who lives, often with one or million complex thoughts nicely daubed with understandable set of ideas and rules, with a smile on the face, doing what is supposed to be done, wondering ‘what is happening?’
Woody Allen is one such “magician”, in fact a master, watch any of his films and you’ll know what I mean. If not an answer, the question will definitely get clearer and it’ll be great fun.
Here is the list, in random order, of the Woody Allen films that I have watched and enjoyed –
Annie Hall 1977
Play It Again Sam 1972
Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989
Manhattan Murder Mystery 1993
Manhattan 1979
Take the Money and Run 1969
The Purple Rose of Cairo 1985
Cassandra’s Dream 2007
Zelig 1983
Hannah and her Sisters 1986
Midnight in Paris 2011
Blue Jasmine 2013
Match Point 2005
Vicky Cristina Barcelona 2008
Bananas 1971
{Next in line – Husbands and Wives 1992}
[The title – Meetin’ WA – is taken from the 1986 short film/ documentary by Jean-Luc Godard where he interviews Woody Allen.] 

Life-Affirming Pair of Socks with Three Holes in It

Literary Nonsense

Eddy told me, spiritedly, after watching a documentary on how the cells function in our body, that he has found his long lost faith in life.

I could sense his words were imbued with this newly found faith.

Great, I thought. Just then he saw my socks and before I could utter a single word to appreciate his metamorphosis, he politely questioned and shockingly answered, “three holes in this pair of your socks?!”

Eddy went back to his room; I wonder how many months will he take this time to recuperate fully.  

Anyway, so I checked my socks and somehow the holes in it made me believe that if this can work, anything can.  

Dears, today I am working with this positivity in life. Thanks to the pair of socks with three holes in it.  

Who, Eddy? Oh! No, he is still in the room. But that’s life.


Only one hole, not my pair of socks. 🙂 Image – Pixabay.

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