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Children of the Sea – A Glimpse and A Message

The times when the sky mirrors the sea and the sea mirrors the sky, when the horizon disappears and the sun’s reddish stroke colours both alike, at those times you get a glimpse of the whole Universe celebrating life.  

Ruka underwater. © Studio 4°C

Children of the Sea is a Japanese animation film directed by Ayumu Watanabe and is based on Daisuke Igarashi’s manga series.

The story unfolds leisurely as the protagonist Ruka, a teenager, meets two brothers – Umi and Sora – who are from the ocean.

While the grown-ups stay occupied with understanding the physiology of the two boys, hoping to know through them the secrets of the marine world, Ruka, Umi, and Sora go through a magnificent journey.  

Ready to explore the marine world. © Studio 4°C
Umi and Sora. © Studio 4°C
Blue magic. © Studio 4°C

The unseen and the unknown happen for Ruka as she sees and lives the connection… the connection of every being with the universe.

Umi and Sora tell her that every living being is waiting to be found, that the awakened bright light in one finds the other and that if you pay attention and listen, you can hear the sea and the sky talking.  

Quite depths of the ocean await the light of the comet for it is then that the celebrations begin; all the marine life gathers to be in this light of the comet.

Umi and Sora take Ruka along as a guest to witness this mystical event, themselves turning into a comet and disappearing forever.

The light of the comet is here. © Studio 4°C
Dancing round and round. © Studio 4°C
Cosmic dance. © Studio 4°C

Ruka on one hand cannot forget the surreal experience, cannot forget Umi and Sora, on the other hand, she just can not understand the meaning of it all and is not ashamed to say it out loud.

Dede, an old lady, tells Ruka that she also met a boy from the ocean when she was her age and that she did not understand things just like her, but she learned to understand the sound of the wind that carries secrets from the five oceans of the world.  

Ruka’s confusion reminds me of Arjun from the Mahabharata, he, after witnessing the supreme lord in his absolute vastness and glory and listening to him, requests the lord after winning the battle to elucidate once again the message of the Bhagwat Gita.

An unfathomable experience and a human’s forgettable nature…

Summer vacation ends and Ruka heads back to school, to the routine life, on the way she hears the ocean and looks at the sky, she feels the secret is within her and smiles.  

The times when the sky mirrors the sea and the sea mirrors the sky, when the horizon disappears and the sun’s reddish stroke colours both alike, at those times the Universe shares a message, one that is meant for you and only you.

Another Moment

Spirituality

What this moment has to say is the truth…
Image from Pixabay.

In this moment, I am a little bit of this and a little bit of that, I am complete and incomplete, I am pleased and uncertain, I wish for nothing and I know I have to wait.  

Because the distance covered reminds me of the hurdles I have crossed and the ones I could not, it reminds me of a throbbing past and a dreamy future and it reminds me of how much time is left.

Riddling the riddle, puzzling the puzzle, I walk ahead.  

The memories made, the dreams fulfilled and the forgotten ones merge to make me smile, to make me cry. The voices locked in the chamber of my heart can sing, it can make me time travel.  

The visions are laced with hopes and surprises and successes and miracles… is it not magical enough?

Promises are magical too, especially if fulfilled.  

And in this moment, I wonder how did it begin, how will it end, how much have I understood and how much have I measured, how to define and how to let go.

What this moment has to say is the truth… the truth that quietly then slips away into another moment.

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Crescent Moon Lights

“Crescent moon lights

Buckwheat flowers

This hazy earth.”  

Basho  

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The moon is being carved, I can hear the hammers, the chisels, it is raining white shimmer… the crescent shape will light up every heart soon.  

And the valley of buckwheat flowers will then dance the dance of love, soothing the eyes of a traveller.  

Intoxicated, the earth will then spin and stagger making, as always, a painter’s painting hazy.


Complement this haiku post with similar ones –

Basho’s Haiku Pond

Violets

Fetching Water from a Haiku-Well


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The Life of Jane Eyre

A zealous soul!
[Image from Pixabay]

Jane in her simple jade dress stood out in that mahogany room. The splendour surrounding her could not match the spark in her eyes, knowing this the chandelier, humbled, dimmed its light.

Jane in her efforts to live freely always broke barriers and always lived freely. The shackles, when not shown any fear of, never dared to grab the fire named Jane Eyre.

She walked towards the window and half opened it; the gushing wind reminded her of a folk tale, of the times when a princess stared at the moon through a half open window, shared a secret and smiled. Jane Eyre could not help but smile then.

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Title page of the first Jane Eyre edition.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is a marvellous, striking Victorian novel which was originally published under a pseudonym ‘Currer Bell’. Many female writers in that era opted for a pen name, occasionally for anonymity, but mostly for their work to get a wider audience (if it is accepted for publication at all).

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We do not know who ‘Currer Bell’ might be, but his name will stand very high in literature.

The Weekly Chronicle

While all the reviewers praised the powerful story and imagination of the author, no one expected it to be a woman.

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Charlotte Bronte, portrait by George Richmond.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

One great merit of the work unquestionably is its originality. The author deserves no slight credit for the ingenuity and success with which fact and fiction, reality and romance, have been intermingled and made to serve conjointly in maintaining deep and unflagging interest.

Morning Advertiser

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Have you lived the life of Jane Eyre? If not, then you must.  


Also read – Enshrined in Double Retirement – a short write-up inspired by the novel Jane Eyre.

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Ambitious? Yes.

Flash Fiction

The flowers are ambitious by nature.
Image by Marisa04 from Pixabay

Gori knows not where the path leads to, the wet air, the dusky flora, and the mysterious tunes do not guide either.

Soaking in the newness she walks forward.

And why is it that we always choose to walk ahead, why does not the uncertainty collapse us?

If we stop to rest, if we feel defeated, if we turn back embarrassed and ashamed, we still reach, in some time, at the glorious hour of a beginning.

The tired, wounded, and sullen eyes once again look up, once again fathom the depth, once again find the path.


Taking the rope bridge, climbing the echoing mountains, crossing the glassy rainbows, Gori saw that valley where her loved one awaited her.

The gush of wind cheered her, the dew heavy leaves blessed her, the clouds played the drums for her.

And why does it seem that the whole world dances when we dance and the whole world moans when we moan?

How come we hear the call when there is a concrete silence around us, when facts dispel hope and when dejection raises a toast?

In anger the head is alone, when rejoicing the heart holds it all.


The illusion rudely reveals the reality and Gori faces the brazen cold marshland.

What happened to the beautiful valley, to the lover’s promise, to the perfect dream? Hush! The monster rises, its shadow darkens Gori’s faith.

Thundering sky strikes with lightening that Gori catches with her bare hands. Heaving, she runs towards the monster.  

Why is life so epic, so grand, so ambitious? Why do the storytellers talk about ‘once upon a time’?

If the legends appear amused by the mundane, then how many of us are at folly for it is the ordinary that becomes extraordinary?

The tales have never ceased to be melodious, we live perpetually enchanted.  


Gori starts walking, leaving behind the triumphant air, gravity shining on her forehead.

She resumes the journey as a narrow track becomes visible to her now, a solo night jasmine tree on the way, showers her with its flowers, Gori takes its fragrance along.

Gori knows not where the path leads to, soaking in the passionate silence she walks forward.  

Are the night jasmines very ambitious to wait for and shower a victorious warrior and not anyone else? Yes, they are.  

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Shine-shine, you two!
[Source – Pixabay]

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Red Stories

Red stones, red walls, red stories started it all. A simple drawing spoke about Time. Whispers passed the tale further, expressing and mixing their own self in it. Even when the tale got complex, even when the sound differed, the story kept flowing.
 
It trickled once to form a rivulet, never imagined of becoming an ocean… an ocean that defies gravity.
 
The story about a drawing in a cave, about a lost civilisation, about the pyramids, about the iron idols, about the farms and wheels, about smoke engines and machines, about the moon and the first man… a never-ending saga that teaches and preaches and reveals and warns to remember it all.
 
Every day begins an untold story and every day ends an old story.
 
Red stories, you are moulding and folding time beautifully… and I am listening.

Red stones, red walls, red stories started it all.
San rock paintings from the Western Cape in South Africa. [Source – Wikipedia Commons]
Cave painting at the Tassili n’Ajjer UNESCO World Heritage Site in southeast Algeria. [Source – Wikipedia Commons]

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The Broken Nest and Other Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

Coverage

A painting by Rabindranath Tagore.
[Source- V&A Museum]

The Broken Nest  

Charu and Amal didn’t understand their heart’s secret, but how could it be that their own heart hid something from them, well it did. Maybe, Charu’s binoculars didn’t work properly.

And Mr. Bhupati, a lost editor, busy sketching the details of a busy world, had no time for keeping secrets.

Why did they give their secrets to Time for safekeeping?

Time always travels light, thus, it naturally left their secrets behind, visible for them all to see, casting a spell. The spell didn’t kill, it broke hearts.  


The Ghat’s Tale  

Vasant… Grishm… Varsha… Sharad… Hemant… Shishir…   Six seasons talked to the Ghat near the Ganga River. The seasons brought green moss at times and dry leaves at others, dipping the Ghat into sunlight and rain shower with love, the seasons spoke less, but heard sincerely.

What did the Ghat tell them? It shared stories… yours and mine.  


Notebook  

Let her be, why torment her, why read her notebook without her consent? She is little, just a girl, a child bride, she has left her world behind, she has carried some in her notebook.  


Postmaster  

Love is all-powerful and yet it blooms slowly in every soul, taking time for the realisation to sink in and sync with it completely.

A shade of love wrote a letter to the Postmaster who, tricked by mind, read it too late. Oh! That feeling…  


A happy poet.
[Source- Poetry Foundation]

The Broken Nest is a novella, while the other three are short stories; each one holds a complete universe and touches you deeply.

Rabindranath Tagore beautifully writes in the language of love, his characters always express something which stays usually hidden within a heart, sidelined by the talkative world.

Every story of his is like a time machine, it unfolds the past keeping it alive and magical at the same time.

The birds sing sweetest of songs in his stories, the earth dances the best to his tunes, the colour red blushes flamboyantly in his paintings and tears take time to dry up when he narrates.

Know his work and you will know.


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Both!

Feature Article
In Bloom.
[Source – Pixabay]

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

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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.

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And when he returned from the quiet of the peaceful abode

As Buddha the wise,

Who was the wise one,

Siddhartha or Yashodhara?  

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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.    

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

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


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Not Alone

Forever glowing, the light within.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

 

You are not alone.
 
Know this and take the way home,
Not to the concrete walls,
Or to those fairy dolls,
For Time is playing an old game,
New Faustus, but the end will be the same.
The dim light that you see within,
Which is wavy, translucent as linen,
Is there to guide you through it all,
To help you rise when you fall.
Forever glowing and reaching,
The peaceful piece in you.
 
So remember, you are not alone,
Know this and take the way home.
 

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Papyrus Talks

Literary Nonsense
Turn the hourglass over.
[Source – Pixabay]

Yes, all your talks are papyrus talks; that is why your breath smells of quaint urns. You’re still trying to sell old gossips that were packed and preserved in those canopic jars.

I have seen you dancing your fingers on the rock faces. And you hold that old text so dear to you. Don’t try to hide your love for it only confuses you and the listener.

Oh, that beautiful Nile song of yours, it shimmers and shines and colours the time into desert gold.

But mystery remains says the hourglass… probably that is why all your talks are papyrus talks.


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