My Fluffy Blanket

She hid my distress to herself,
Consoled my grieving heart while I wept,
Soaked in my tears with her warm,coarse hands,
Sheltered my dreams under her angelic wings,
Fenced my dull, dark-some days and nights,
Shielded my worries when aggravated,
Fended me while I was sick,
Safeguarded my fanciful fantasies;
About the man of my dreams,
She chuckled with me when I did,
Vowed to canopy our nights together;
Concealed from the world and cradle 
My tender emotions,
         
            Safe, unhurt and intact.

Vanishing Walls

Remember Mending Wall from North of Boston? Eighty-six long years and still we are in the Stone Age. When small doses of vaccinations weren’t enough for the humanity to learn the inevitable s, heavy booster doses are being injected, inducing us to Think Beyond. A respiratory illness incurable, to cure many man-made illnesses at a time! Browsing through the vague thoughts of my crazy mind, a while’s second thought took me directly to 1914 and Robert Frost. All that’s said stands wholesomely true! A reanalysis through the ideas he articulated in his Mending Wall would definitely help the ultra modern,within- the- four- walls kinda human kind to sail through.

The recurring floods in the state of Kerala to which my close family relatives were victims, shared their horrible moments of anxiety and the lessons it taught them, while I visited them. Evacuated from their homes, hundreds of people were pooled and put together in relief centers, which had only a tiny room. First few days they had to survive with a glass of gruel, with a single bedspread for many to rest upon. My eyes welled up when my sister-in-law said, “we didn’t use those, there were aged among us, we gave it to them as they couldn’t withstand the deadly cold winds.” These are real experiences, the impact of which stays with some of them forever. The rest? We teach our children , the virtues of learning and sharing. What do we ask them to share? A candy? How do we set ourselves as examples? By buying an ice-cream for their friends? Sharing can still have a vast expanse, comprising intellectual and emotional realms!

Back to Frost- The walls between our neighbors are built on our own will, it actually acts as a barrier. A barrier which prevents the passage of good , friendly air. “Good fences make good neighbors” is the irony he uses just to tell us that good relations can’t flourish with a wall right in the middle of it. Let us not occasionally mend those walls, let us transmit good thoughts. Let’s not gossip behind the wall, let us spread smiles. Let the apples of our orchard give fruits to the occupants next door. And finally, let’s learn the present menace would help vanish those man-made barriers, let’s learn to live together, with happiness!

Predestination

On seeing a vague figure,
With eyes facing upright,
With arms wide open,
Amidst my upset sleep,
I dared to inquire much vaguely,
Who the figure is...

She whispered while grinning,
Her roaring voice waved into my ears,
"I play with your unfeigned self,
Seize your thoughts, 
Change the directions of your fortune.

I let your spirits never rise,
Make you feel desolate and desperate,
Kill your morality and godliness,
Me, destiny, your destiny!"

Again  I murmured, much firmly,
"You,  dark destiny of mine,
You're my unwanted guest,
You're never invited to peer in,
Go  miles away, afar... and never return" 

Noisy Friends

Endlessly I have yearned for crazy, messy friends of my own who would irritate me for no reason, stay with me whenever I desired them to,eat with me, sing for me, but not follow me. My prayers have been answered, for I have plenty of these one- of- a- kind hyper-active Andaman Nicobar Bulbuls( the list finally gets longer) as my friends. It all started with these guests of mine(a pair of them) building a nest in the hanging pot right in front of my front door, years back. My daughter affectionately named them as Mama Bird and Papa Bird when she was a school going kid and now all of us address them either by that name or yet another modern name which she excavated from her pretty big brain,’ Whistley’🤦‍♀️ . To say,even before, I had noticed her around , rather I was addicted to the amazing musical notes of her beautiful song which traverse in varied pitches and her graceful neck movements, when she twists and turns. To be very true, they are elegantly beautiful. The crown, the small stream lined body, the light orange shade below the seed shaped bulging eyes and also on the interior part of her beautiful tail, oh! they are just lovely! As they were my permanent guests who often would fly in pairs, I kept serving them with food and water.

On early mornings, they would sit on my mango tree or guava and would call out on top of their voice for food. Fruits, especially bananas are their personal favourite. They also relished a noon delight, rice. The Mama bird would bring dried leaves and grass, sticks on her tiny beak, adjust it so carefully that it fits in the pot and the Papa bird would assist her do that and monitor. Once it’s done, she would sit to lay eggs and further later she would sit until it’s hatched. The next stage is she feeding her young ones until they are capable of flying. The young ones, even after growing up, would come to feed on my food and water trays. I exactly do not remember how many younger generations are there together, grandparents, parents and children, all of them look alike to me though my little devil😂 can slightly differentiate some. These days Mama Bird preferred for a change while building her nest, instead of pots, she has built as many nests as there are cups in the big fancy light on my first floor. Perhaps she prefers a less disturbed environment.

I have many visitors since morning till late evening , none of them are humans . Magpies, squirrels, cuckoos, greater coucals, crows, sometimes butterflies too savour my food. They share food and believe in the theory of co-existence, habitually. Never did I see her fly in single, she peeked in with her mate by her side. Lessons for humans! No wonder I feel loved with them by my side…

A Memoir

Calling off her oblivious days of the past , Kamala always loved to go for yet another trek, with a little load of memories on her back. Tomorrow is April 14th,she sighed. Yet another Vishu without her Father. As she returned from the office, a day before, her mother had called her to remind her of the upcoming celebratory event. She couldn’t tell her mother that all these, now appears pointless to her. Kamala always had reasons of her own to justify her insane mind.

Kamala had an elder brother, who was settled abroad. As a young girl, Kamala was accustomed to her mother’s injudicious, apparent inclination towards her brother. She finally thought of a day when her mother would realise her integrity and reliability. ‘Never would such a thing happen’…she had let it go, long before itself. Though her brother had liking towards his family, except towards his daughter, he was always egoistic, too much, rather. He always ordered, and others, unless obeyed, was kept away from his vision. Of late, Kamala found it really difficult to be submissive always, nobody can continue to be so, constantly…

He had stopped talking to Kamala last year itself. She had questions on what led her brother to take such a decision, now she didn’t even care. She recalled how he regularly called her and spoke so authoritatively, especially on family matters. He had sent his daughter to Kamala’s place, last year, on Kamala’s request, to coach her clear her 12th grade. Being a gadget addict, also due to lack of proper guidance, she had failed in her first attempt to clear the examinations. kamala had real difficulties in mending the girl’s routine and character to finally help her sail through her syllabus and pass her compartment examination.

Kamala again called off her brother’s vocal tone when he called to inform her of the news of declaration of 12th grade compartment results of his daughter. But nothing went beyond it…soon he stopped calling her or talking to her. She smelt something fishy in the behaviour of her mother and her brother too, but never bothered much. Kamala had seen both of them whispering, plotting enough since her childhood, she wasn’t oblivious, but was indifferent. One need not be over worried, she knew unless they have not done anything…time is the best teacher, it will replace everything in its own place. But she realised the greatest truth, not even blood relations prove to be one’s comrade forever.

Unwillingly though, Kamala searched through her phone contacts to find out the number of her friend who always brings Golden Shower Tree Flowers. She wished those bright golden yellowish flowers, to brighten up the egoistic minds…

Hazily…

Being pretty to look at and beautiful on her acts and thoughts, Priya felt she could have been way better than what she feels her to be right now. She is an excellent teacher, had good looks, a good dancer , a voracious reader and scratched too, pretty well. Twisting, turning and rolling herself on her not-so-soft bed on yet another sleepless night, she was quite restless on her conclusion that she misspent her youth.

Plunging into the thought of her good, old, teenage days, Priya felt painfully nostalgic. What a romantic approach she had towards her life! One day, like any other central government officers, she too would have handful of pennies at the end of every month, like any other beautiful young girls, she dreampt of her prince Charming, who would affectionately love her, amorously caress her, motivate her for higher studies, so on and so forth…

She was hardly three and twenty when her alliance was fixed with Aman. Though not as well-educated as Priya, her parents thought it to be an ideal alliance, for, Aman’s family and he himself had a well-established, deep-rooted history. Moreover, they all were down to earth and humane. And Priya’s parents were absolutely right, they all were so good to Priya and her family. Aman could not become Priya’s Prince Charming. Right from the early days of their marriage, they had attitudinal, behavioural differences . Priya couldn’t tolerate Aman’s one-sided , judgmental views on the opposite sex, how well educated a lady is, she should settle at home serving her husband and children kinda attitude. As months went by, Priya and perhaps Aman too, realised that they are standing just at opposite poles on many issues.

She wanted to chase her dreams, was not ready to surrender soon. Her decision to secure a job at a place different from her native town, had erupting reactions. She was stern though…Alone, she secured a job for herself in an English medium school. That’s the place where Priya learnt the difference between one’s appearance and the ultimate reality…

Recalling all the pressing moments of her life, she once again passed on the baton to what she always called Destiny…swiftly she fell asleep.

The Ultimate God

Enough is spoken and written about the outbreak of the pandemic and the lessons of life it imparted to the entire human race. I wouldn’t be frittering away your time, if I attempt to bring out this truth, which I haven’t seen many doing…

The season of summer bears seeds of happiness, pollinate it through wind and carry it all along. I hope it’s the same everywhere. These are months of feasts and fairs and fests and carnivals. People in some Indian suburbs work the entire year and spend a huge portion of their saving on such local temple or church fairs.

We have in our region,an ancient temple, believed to be built in the 12th century, situated near Mangalore, Karnataka. Lord Shiva is the main deity of the temple, to be precise, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, called as Lord Mahalingeshwar. The temple’s annual fair commence on April 10 and lasts about 10 days,till 19th of April. The deity here,on all days of the fair, visit his subjects of different localities in the late evenings, with a huge following. The entire street wear a festive look on these days. The same street wear a deserted look now.

On this Easter day, I would wish to see Jesus resurrect, embrace the entire humanity and hold us so tight and close to him…The churches too seem to be isolated and empty. The church bells which echoes optimism , the chorus of prayers, nothing is no longer heard!

Religion, which actually is a faith , has become a pompous show to many of them. Huge processions causing heavy traffic block for hours together has become an inevitable scene to every religion. Do we actually need this? What are we trying to establish? Your God is superior than mine, powerful than mine is the notion that some amongst us carry.

Rather, all of our Gods in union proclaim ‘Hey human, we don’t need you anymore with us, We are fine without you!’ Or is it the Nature proclaiming,’All human-made things including Gods and religions are secondary, I AM THE ONLY POWER, I AM THE ONLY GOD YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR…THIS IS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH!

Ode to the Champions

O human, see through your eye,
 What needs to be seen,and sense,
Crucial times are up and the country 
Needs you to be sensible and judicious.

Ill-health and dashing you come,
With a smiling face and a few medicines,
I cure you with care and  love,
I surrender my happiness right before you,
Don't you watch me risking my life just for you?

Devoted to safeguard the nation,
We die for you, to let you sleep,
Vigilant and sleepless we remain,
We miss everything so dear to us, 
To make sure you ever miss none.
Don't you watch us risking my life just for you?

We stand to enforce law ,order and justice,
In the sunny, polluted and sick air,
Order, plead and then chase you away,
With a growling stomach and dry throat,
Don't you watch us toil to ensure your safety?

Upon the instructions of your doctor, 
We nurse you so warmly for, you;
Feel healthy ,safe and pleasant,
Your scent of happiness is ours too,
Don't you watch us risking our lives, just for you?

O human, true is our effort, 
Genuine is our emotions,
Don't doubt our integrity,
At times we fail, believe us,
You have our heart and support!

Don't spit venomous words, 
Don't let go our spirits,
Come, let's face tough times together,
For we need to SAVE THE WORLD!
 

The Smell of the First Rain

Since a week, the sky was cloudy giving symptoms of a possible rain, even then quite humid and in breaks, the blazing Sun showed his victory over the hesitating clouds. It may rain soon, Priya murmured to herself. She had just got back from her work, lazily completing her chores that always waited only for her to complete them.

‘Today I must sleep at least an hour early than as late as midnight,’ she once again whispered. She prepared tea for her kids and for herself, asking the whining kids to have it along with biscuits. She sometimes found it too troublesome to meet the never ending demands of her epicurean husband and equally gluttonous children.

Had they offered a helping hand to her while she overworks, she would not have felt offended…’what’s for dinner Mama’, the children kept trying her patience for the nth time. To avoid the irritating kids, she said she would prepare Chapathi(wheat flour circles) and Paneer(frozen cubes made of milk) by 8 pm. Sounds of glee came out of their mouth, the moment she had said that.

Cleaning the stove and the kitchen top, she chopped vegetables for next day early morning, before- going- to- work cooking exercises. Then , sitting on the kitchen floor, she kneaded the wheat flour to prepare Chapathis, kept aside for the dough to settle and again chopped onions and tomatoes for the spicy Paneer gravy. Then, applying oil on her hair for a bath, she sensed that she was earlier than usual.

When she had finished her evening prayers, she asked her kids to finish with their school assignments hurriedly, without keeping them for late hours. She succeeded in making them do it, on her way back to kitchen, she heard something dropping on the asbestos sheets of their front yard,roofed to resist the sunlight. She ran outside, leaving the children to mind themselves.

Might be the some prank of the children of the neighbouring houses , she thought to herself. But it’s too dark now, that they might have returned their homes. On reaching the balcony she suddenly felt elated to see cloudburst and ice pellets hitting her roof. Her mind danced like a peacock and she ran out to pick those pellets. Rubbing it against her face, she spoke to the rain drops. All her worries ebbed away and merrily she stood under the rain, how long, she didn’t know.

Priya never got a chance to pet her emotions. As it is, her emotions had no place in that house. No one ever cared to notice the existence of such a human with natural human instinct, in that house, they all thought she should show more generosity and set herself as an example of self-sacrifice. For a moment, Priya felt nauseous.

‘Mama, its’ almost eight and we’re done with our homework. And hungry too…’ the children started throwing tantrums. Unwillingly, Priya, still drenching out, packing all her emotions of romance and merriment, rushed inside. She doubted if she flushed while recalling her passionate thoughts.