Winds ….

Blistering summer days, when the sun gives his widest grin.

When sweat is dripping down your back and chin.

The wind is a sweet, charming lady, who rushes to soothe,

she blows gentle, soft, caressing and smooth.

 

What a relief, what a wonderful balm,

the wind aims to please, she tries to calm.

the itching, burning sweaty eyes and bodies

She tries to transport you to an air conditioned lobby.

 

On other days, when the rain god is out,

Showering us and laughing with his thunderous shouts.

The wind is his ally, his friend in arms.

she blows mischievous, adds an element to the storms.

 

A small prank here, a practical joke there,

She likes to bluster, she likes to scare.

She is just playing with you, she means no harm.

With her friend, the rain god arm in arm.

 

In the icy peaks of the handsome mountains,

Where the snow and ice are all-surrounding.

The wind, sometimes, is the frigid, cold woman,

Biting at you, stinging your skin, making your limbs wooden.

 

She will want to take small bites of your skin,

Will try her best to wriggle her way in.

It is better to be completely covered and protected,

Snow suit, goggles, thermals will make you feel less tormented.

 

Oh ! But then if you want to see her in all her glory,

when she is in her peaks of anger and fury.

Hurricanes, gales, tornadoes and cyclones.

She is a very angry woman, out to break your bones.

 

She is like a wronged woman, out for revenge,

very difficult to understand or comprehend.

Spewing destruction and chaos everywhere,

causing pain, loss, devastation and despair.

 

Just as a lady had many faces and moods,

the wind plays sometimes, other times she broods.

She throws a tantrum yet other times,

Is gentle and calm now and then, acts just fine.

 

Though to give her the credit that is due,

Just before she roars, shouts or coos,

She does give you warnings, all the indications,

It is up to you to take suitable precautions and protection.

 

 

 

 

 

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Layers

via Daily Prompt: Cloaked

Fragile and delicate things need to be protected.

Else they may break or shatter into many pieces.

It seems to be the law if nature has also accepted,

The soft sap has barks with its folds and creases.

 

The seed is almost always protected with a hard cover,

the delicate creeper takes shelter and support from the mighty tree.

The chicks have parent birds who hover,

the strong honeycomb is the homes of the bees.

 

In the human context, although we are born naked,

guileless, ego free, humble and sweet.

There are so many occasions when we fake it.

Why, oh why do we pretend and cheat?

 

I think of this huge dressing room that each of us owns.

With all types of cloaks that are labelled.

Arrogance, deceit, pride, superiority all the feelings known.

Share the same room with others like humility, caring, love & enabled.

 

The negative emotions are all brightly lit and garish,

attracting the attention, enticing us with there glossy feel.

The positive emotions stand bare, with just its merit.

their solid hues and strong statements – say with silence rather than squeal.

 

Before we reach out, interact, talk and speak with others.

We reach into this room and pick out as many cloaks as we can.

It could be parents,  siblings, friends, people of any culture.

We wear one or more layers – be it woman or man.

 

I have wondered what would happen,

if this dressing room with the negative emotions was destroyed.

Would we use our acting talents?

Would we accept it or become paranoid?

 

Would we meet people without the cloaks over our emotions?

Would we be open to everyone and not cover up?

Or would we be shattered and just go through the motions?

Or would it help us restart by emptying the cup?

 

So many thought, so many ideas swirling around.

At times, it seems that things are very fanciful.

We should be happy, free and not bound.

without the layers and cloaks or anything to stifle.

 

 

 

 

Tiptoeing or Stomping

I am trying to understand which approach would be better – the subtle tiptoeing through the problem at hand or the Big Bang blow out approach. By tiptoeing, I mean pussyfooting though the problem. If we consider the issue at hand to be like the swimming pool, then the approach to entering the pool is two ways – one is getting the feet wet sitting on the edges, then stepping down in the narrow end of the pool getting wet uptown the waist and then slowly easing into the water, the second one is to take a flying dive right into the pool. The  first approach is what I call the tiptoeing approach and the second one is the stomping one.

This simile can be extended to life in general and any problems in particular. It would be interesting to understand the type of. people who choose one approach over the other. Is there a mix of both the personalities in the same person and does one personality dominate?

The first type of person walks a circumference around the problem, gauging the size and extent, looking at places where there are some leeways to get in, pondering and thunking, gathering strength and ammunition and then sneaking in and starting the assault.

The second type doesn’t have the patience for all this. When they see something in their path, they want to just blast it off. If they cannot, they just wade right in and then try to puncture it from the inside.

We see the different approaches in the animal kingdom too. There are some animals that are stealthy and clever and others that pounce before they think. I guess both approaches are good depending on what you need to face. If you were answering a dare, I guess the stomping approach is best to beat any fear or apprehension. However if you are looking at resolving some particularly complex life puzzle, the tiptoeing approach is going to work better.

Of course there is a third type of people – the do-nothing-and-the-problem-will-go-away people. You know them – right? In the first case, they may even deny that there is an issue and even if they acknowledge it, they would not do anything to try to resolve or fix it. This unfortunately is not a minority and compared to them, I would prefer approach 1 or 2 anytime. And did you realize there was a corporate lesson in there? 🙂

 

Birds

I wonder what the life of a bird is like.

Any bird actually – be it a sparrow, a penguin or a parrot.

Does it have any aspirations and desires?

Does it think – about an action – its’ merits and demerits?

 

Does it dream when it goes to sleep?

About a wonderful day with easy food and water, maybe.

Or about a heaven filled with worms and stuff to eat.

Or whether it is correctly bringing up its baby.

 

Do you think a bird thinks about the next day, the next meal?

Does it aim for anything better, a superior nest?

Does it compare with other birds, friends, brothers or sisters?

Try to see if it could be the best?

 

I am sure that birds feel emotion – pain, loss and grief.

Do they feel happiness too, as well as peace?

Do they learn from their lessons, process the information?

Do they worry about things or take things with ease?

 

Ever noticed how we have never seen a really fat or a skinny bird.

How do they manage to eat and exercise right?

A survey said that these creatures are extremely intelligent.

They find their ways to their homes every night.

 

They obviously know how to communicate.

Their special language is something that is not yet understood.

Every species has their own language.

Which the chicks learn right for their own good.

 

There was a wonderful article that I read recently.

Talked about how we never see a bird’s dead body.

Explained that birds knew when they were going to die.

So flew above the ether to disintegrate – says somebody.

 

A fantastic thought occurs to me just now.

What if the birds were super intelligent creatures,

Capable of understanding us and our lives,

Our languages and all the other features?

 

Do you think they are laughing at us,

Wasting our lives fretting at this and that?

When they being so much smaller in size,

act so much better and not as brats.

 

The calls that we hear and regard as musical.

Are they just laughter or chuckles at our expense?

Are they controlling their urge to speak our language

and give us two bits of common sense?

 

Just as we are studying their behavior.

Trying to understand their habits and evolution.

Are they also quietly studying us,

making their own decisions and conclusions?

 

 

 

 

 

Giving up….

“Striving for excellence.”

“Go for it.”

“Sweat it out. ”

“Keep moving.”

“If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. Giving up is not an option.”

We keep hearing these exhortations and motivational quotes all the time from everybody around. Makes me think a little bit differently. When can we say that giving up is an option? Some cases where I would exhort the challenger to walk away are:

  • when you realize that you are not enjoying the ride any further. The fun has gone out of the competition – whatever it is – career, sports, adventure, etc.
  • when you realize that the end prize is not worth the effort. That promotion you were aiming and working towards – you suddenly realize that it means more travel than the current crazy schedule and even more time away from your family.
  • when you realize that you would be causing irreparable damage to your physical or mental health or psyche if you continue.
  • when you realize that you are moving forward only because you don’t want to look like a loser, when the prudent thing would be to be wise and let go.
  • when you realize that this was not your dream at all but something that you unconsciously adopted because of either peer or parental influence.
  • when you realize that it is going to hurt a lot of people. That need for automation to bring in more profits will cause sorrow to so many families when their breadwinners lose their jobs – to give a random example.

This can extend to mean how many people get affected by your decision to give up too. If putting in that extra effort even when you don’t want to to going to help, support and make a large number of people happy, then it may not be a wise decision to give up.

Notice how it is mostly about what you want. At that point in time, it doesn’t matter how near the summit you are, how close to the finishing line you are, it simply doesn’t make sense to carry on.

There is no need to continue running a race where your heart isn’t in it. There is no use of climbing a mountain when you would rather raft down the river. There really is no point in spending 12 hours a day at a job that doesn’t feed your sense of worth. We should not have to pander to our false sense of pride or live up to somebody else’s expectations about us. What should matter to us is our feeling of self worth and happiness. This is then tempered and balanced with the impact on our connections – our family and friends.

In an ideal world, changes would be easy – there would not be worries about rent and food and EMIs. However, since we have only started making a better world, we need to take care of our basic needs before we take life changing decisions.

However the point I am trying to make here is that it is okay to give up. It is okay to change directions mid way. And it is definitely okay to listen to our hearts and just close our ears to whatever others say, and take a decision which may be completely contradictory to what you had taken some time ago. It is okay. Yes, it is.

 

Separation

We have always been taught and told,

Union or unity is the mainstay of life.

We can achieve anything together,

Live in peace and avoid strife.

 

Examples are given, tales are narrated.

Of the many beasts and animals that stay in packs.

You all know about baboons, wolves and elephants.

They have someone always to watch their backs.

 

We have heard the story about the difficulty faced

in breaking a bundle of sticks as opposed to a single one.

Yet another story about how all the birds caught in a net,

flew away with the net because they acted as one.

 

Many such stories and moral lectures abound,

extolling the virtues of cooperation and unity.

Not very flattering tales are told

about the singleton or staying away from the community.

 

Sometimes, don’t you think, separation is better?

Birth happens when the child separates from the mother.

Creativity flows in the mind that is alone and undisturbed.

Lives improve when mismatched couples separate from one another.

 

Self-esteem and confidence get a boost when one stands alone.

Decisions are better thought of when there is no intervention or advice.

Survival becomes easier, life becomes mindful,

A loner has the time and the wits build his own paradise.

 

A seed needs to move away from the tree, its parent.

To take root, grow, flourish and bloom.

Wheat needs to be separated from the chaff.

Separation is what gives us more room.

 

Room to grow, room to excel and shine.

Room to move away from the warm shadows.

Room to stand apart, tall and strong and dignified,

and not fall down with others – like a pack of dominos.

 

Isn’t this case strong enough for separation?

What we really need is a very fine balance, an equality.

Between solitude and crowds, one and many.

developing the society as well as our individual personality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My concept of space

No – this is not about the great beyond and the galaxies there. This is more about the concept of personal space. That small probable one-foot of space around our bodies that we would like to claim as ours. I like to think of this space as a cylinder in which our bodies are cocooned. You know – something similar to a spacesuit.

Ever notice how many people just don’t realize that this is yours? How they try to just barge in uninvited and take up the air and matter there? I wonder if they would barge into a closed door, uninvited. Is the reason for their disrespect because they cannot see this invisible barrier that exists around us?

This problem is not just contained with the people who are known to you – your friends, acquaintances and family. You can still be a private person and a small physical distance away and still be sociable and civil. Although we can find it in us to accept people we know into our circle, what bugs me most are the strangers. You know – those random people who breathe on the nape of your neck in queues, the curious guys who want to read your texts on the mobile phone, the shopper who wants to see what is in your hand, the cashier who blows hot air on you while giving out change, the co-passenger in buses or trains and so on and so forth.So, do we accept that they cannot see the barrier and so they move in.

However it is not just the physical space that is violated, although that is the major one. It is also about your emotional and mental space that people encroach on. Have you heard – Tell me about what you were thinking, How are you feeling now? Why do you look sad / depressed / …. (fill in the current state of mind)?

What can we do to let them know gently that they are in an unwanted area? Better still – how can we make them stay out? Stopping short of being extremely rude, which is something that I find very difficult to do, the only way out that I follow is to slip away – moving and squirming. Some people get the hint but most don’t. Some get the hint and take it upon themselves to enjoy watching me squirming. These all to frequent episodes leave a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Is there a sure shot way to stop this happening? I know that India’s population is huge but the area that we have is gigantic too and I am sure that the country is big enough to hold everybody without stepping all over somebody else. Would it help if we teach this to our kids, so that the next generation at least respects the concept of space? Or do we have to be brash and create a scene the next time it happens?

Any thoughts?