Sunrise

It started as thick as a strand of hair far far away on the horizon. A unique colour of bright gold dipped in the essence of orange. Finally, the stars could see what they were craving to witness all night. Their lovers whom they could never meet. Blades of grass; tiny, little but mighty, stretching themselves up, reaching out to them. The heavy dewdrops tried to bring them down, pulled them. They tried to distract them with their tempting beauty but the resolve of the blades never fluttered.

They were determined to reach out just as a lovestruck is determined to brave anything for another’s heasunrise_fields_8922914_by_stockproject1-d38k18rrt of promise, of security, of love, of tranquility.

That strand had started to widen at an even pace, pouring a blue-infused-gold all over the soft green field. It was the kind that instilled a comfortable cold silent chill everywhere. Only the music of the nightingale could be heard.

In that perfection, a silhouette could be seen. An outline so attractive it would make somebody’s heart jump with the happiness that excitement brings.
He approached me and sung some words of kindness; whispered a word or two of warmth. The right words, words that sounded like a Welcome song, a melodious invitation to be a part of his unusual life.

The sun had started to shine bright, comforting the both of us.
In that life-changing moment, I knew it was the start of something new, something great, something absolutely wonderful.

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The Escape

The nature of art is is not just beautiful, it’s complicated, contentious, deeply emotional. It’s capable of giving you wings. Art propounds not that which is superficial, not that which is obvious but that which is almost always unsaid between two lovers, two friends; between families.

It stems from the love , the pain, the laughter that moves inwards; the happiness that makes the best of memories. It’s an expression unlike any other, it’s almost always the truth.

It’s an escape that everybody craves for but very few get. The escape that makes life worthwhile. The silent escapes from where hopes are born, and dreams. The dreams that push us to keep doing what we do, each arduous day after the next. The dreams that make us pursue unrequited love, chase it after every defeat.

These escapes lend comforts of a lover’s arms, a mother’s lap, a father’s proud gaze, in the pursuit of passion, in convenience.

Its the idea of an escape that brings an art to life.

My idea of escape?

You.

-Snigs

A new beginning

He found her, he found himself

She promised him a home, he gave her a family.

They were madly in love; foolish, understanding, caring.

They were friends of the best kind,

Awaiting an unknown adventure.

They dreamt of the Earth, of songs, of growth, parents and future.

They dreamt of the ultimate happiness; love.

Embarking on a journey together lasting eternity.

Bon Voyage!

 

For Juhi Di, Aditya Jijs, Purva Di and Kartik Jijs :*

Cheers to a new family.

Vows in the Soil

The footprints had been made into the soil with turmeric paste. The Gods were being invited. The shehnai-vadaks were calling out to the heavens creating the most blessed sounds. It seemed as if they were enjoying a duet with the mighty Goddess ganga who was hopping along a rythmic gait. Today she was not fierce. Today she was calm and happy, content to be a mother, gratified to love her children.

The banana leaves in the four directions ensured that no evil spirit would linger near. The smell of the wet soil infused with the smell from mango flowers. The sky resonated the celebration and reflected back a golden-orange. The sun was bidding farewell, smiling in all its deep-red glory, making way for the stars. To match the occasion, Ganga wore a golden-red dress too, shimmery and silky. The moon bowed from the horizon. He had been waiting for 28 nights to shine upon the ceremony, upon the ganges, upon the mandap with all his handsomeness.15b10-shehnai_player

The pandit poured ghee into the crackling fire to feast the gods and goddesses above and then, he summoned the bride and groom.

This was not the big fat Indian wedding; there were no huge beautiful tents and fancy chairs but there was a rugged threadbare carpet striped maroon and black. There were no posh cars parked around but perhaps some bicycles. The feast in the afternoon did not have ‘chhappan bhog’ but the best halwai from the village had come, serving jalebi and rabri in ‘kulhadds’. It was not the most expensive affair in the city but was happily paid by those who had been saving up for this their whole life. The celebrations were not pretentious, they were pure.

The bride had donned a rich red lehenga decorated with gota and was walking slowly towards the mandap, her payal singing anxiously. She had grown on the banks of the Ganges and had always trotted faster than the river but not today. Today she was neither as confident nor as sure. She felt only the shehnai understood her. Only the shehnai could convey what she could not, the joy of finding a new life and the sorrow of leaving the old one behind. She took small steps, ‘alta’ flowering in her feet, heena flowering in her hands.

The village girls however, stared shamelessly at the groom clad in a shining white dhoti. He singled her woman out as the chinks of her payal rhymed with his heartbeat each time her feet landed on the uneven soil. They had never seen each other before yet they believed in one thing; this was meant to happen, they were meant to embark on this godly journey together. She had prayed to find her ‘Shiva’ and the goddesses had answered. Sitting by the holy fire, his torso was sheathed with a very thin layer of sweat . His well-built, muscular hands and chest glistening. Finally, the bride was seated to the right of the boy. Every time the pandit asked them to hold each other’s hands, currents ran through their veins.

As they began to circle the fire, the pandit recited the holy vows but they made vows of their own. He vowed to make her the dream in every dream he will ever have. She vowed to love him with a gentle strength as Ganga loved her shores; supporting him, shaping him, inspiring him. He vowed to love her fiercely as he loved the fields he ploughed all day to keep them green; vowed to keep her full and abundant. They vowed to partake the adventures of making a family and of raising one too. He vowed to want her and worship her as the keeper of his family and she vowed to worship him as the keeper of her house. They vowed not just to grow with each other but toward each other. He would be her wind and she would sway with him like a pliable tree. He vowed to be tougher on the plough and ever more soft on her. He vowed to bear more calluses and more blood on his feet for her and she vowed to let her hands burn day and night over the ‘choolha’, all done with a contented smile. They vowed to love each other’s spirits and demons, fears and hopes. They promised over the soil in which they had grown up, a promise too divine to be broken.

The feast of the Gods was over, the job was well done. They smiled down at the mandap, satisfied to see two souls they had crafted for each other, vying to be the one true happiness of each other’s lives. The shehnai no longer sounded wistful. It blowed raag bhairavi out to the universe, to welcome a new dawn, a new day, an exciting beginning…

 

The article was sown by Ustad Bismillah Khan’s Raga Shankara (The Eternal Spirit)

Idealism Over Love? Really?

I have been trying to address this issue for many months now, though I have never been able to articulate it well. I keep asking everybody else’s opinion so that I can achieve some clarity on my own.Rama and Sita

It started when I began re-interpreting the Ramayana after reading its multitudinous renditions. The character of Rama draws me like no other and all my life I have tried to justify his deeds towards Sita. Of course we might not know the whole story but what people do construe from different renditions is that Rama’s acts towards his wife cannot be pardoned. “Why was Agnipariksha necessary? Did he not trust his wife enough? Was he insecure of Ravana’s wealth, charm, majesty and intelligence? Or was his urge to please the society so dominating that it made him blind?”

Sita’s aspect of Ramayana has been propounded, elaborated and extrapolated by many authors, directors, philosophers and theatre-artists. What most scholars have missed out is Rama’s aspect of it.

Well, Rama chose idealism over love. The fact is, he would have chosen idealism over himself and his family on any given day. This was the only principle that made the world around him sane. Everything else was chaos to him. Was Rama happy about the decision he made to send Sita away or allow her to go (if it happened through consent) when she was pregnant? No, he definitely can’t be. But was he satisfied by his decision as a king? Chances are really high that he was. But how did he feel about it as an individual? He was a man who loved his wife very much, who gave up polygamy when it was rampant in the society, a tendency that science says comes naturally to men. No matter how satisfied he was as a king, he could never have found peace again, or perhaps the same amount of happiness because we must acknowledge that no matter how idealistic he was, he was after all a human. A human with an exception, somebody who preferred indulgence of much loftier texture than ours.

However the big question that pierces us every now and then is how much can we learn from his point of view. “Does it even make sense in our present world where things like “Rajdharma” have essentially become a ghost, where love and happiness are considered supreme? How correct is it to weigh a person through the eye of cold logic, as Rama did, than that of the heart? Should happiness, love and heart be considered more sacred than a duty or a principle one has vowed to? Of course a man is born for many reasons, but he is also born to be happy and loved. Denying yourself these basic pleasures takes away a lot of  what it means to be human.twinflames1

Shouldn’t principles change with our experiences? After all, principles are almost always formed by our private perceptions of the world and most often than not by the perceptions of our parents which are in-turn formed by deep experiences, events, history, stories and literature.

The next question that comes up in this chain-reaction is how flexible one must be? The answer stems from just one sentence- it depends on what you are willing to DO to be happy with the cards you are dealt with.

So, whether you choose idealism or you choose love, you are actually looking for a private gratification. That gratification may come from loving others unconditionally like a mother loves all her children; it could come from passionately loving that one special person, as Amish’s Shiva loves Sati in his trilogy; it could come from sticking to your principles as Mahatma Gandhi or Lord Rama do (which sometimes can also be obsolete); it could come from being compassionate and then serving others from a certain distance ( as Lord Krishna explains in his philosophy of detached attachment); it could come from fulfilling your carnal wishes;  it could come from turning your love into servitude as Mother Teresa did; it could come from renouncing everything to seek enlightenment as Gautam Buddha did; it could come from pushing your logic as Einstein did; or it could come from sticking around and spending time with your family as most of us do.

No one particular way is greater than the other in an individualistic system until you become directionless or your ways harm the good of other people.  Everything else is right for you as long as it is successful in answering your questions and is providing you with constant gratification.

You choose idealism or love according to the person you wish to be and are meant to be; the person that you already are deep down inside but don’t know how to be.

Love, Victory, Forever

What makes a movie tick? Or perhaps makes a novel as addictive as an obsessive drug? What are those abstract intangible things that humans would persistently strive to acquire, cherish and consume? What are the essential ingredients that would make the readers and viewers’ tongues loll out but would also strike deep reverence and admiration in their eyes and when the experience is, unfortunately, over; make them draw inspiration from it for the rest of their lives?Victory

It is simple. I think, the pivotal ingredients are three- to be loved beyond measure, to hold your integrity and honour in the toughest of times known to the face of the earth and still manage to emerge although bloody and wounded, but righteously victorious and; to betray time, to make these astral feelings last for immortality. Allow me to be a skeptic and label these as “particularly hard-to-get” and “romantic”. However, the truth is that even though most people are convinced that they are unachievable, we still sweat to get just an inch closer to them everyday. Only this can explain the popularity of  ‘The Twilight Series’, for it harnesses the  “forever” and “generally inconceivable love” very cleverly; or The Harry Potter series (a curious mix of extreme human emotions, love, courage and victory), The lord Of the Rings, P.S. I love You, Armageddon, The Matrix Series, the works of Charles Dickens, Steven Speilberg… The list goes on but I think I made my point.

do_you_really_want_immortality_by_chryssalis-d30m221Small traces of these feelings keep us alive, make us move and most often then not, become the reason of our very existence.
To see greatness rise from the common, to see superhuman feats being achieved by people from amongst us, fire us and, make us believe in the worth of this life. To see compassion and love hitherto not-at-all-pragmatic in today’s scenario stir the deepest recesses of our heart and make us hopeful that we might receive it someday too. However, an unusual truth is that the consequent and subsequent of these ‘three’ is fundamentally, passion.

Seriousness apart, and well, child-like enthusiasm in, I know these things do not follow a logical trail but still draw us, maybe as fleece are drawn to the dogs or the sunflower to the sun. It can both be a burden, something to shun as the ascetics do, or something to be enjoyed tremendously. For all of us who are firmly addicted to the shackles of this mundane yet alluring world, creating and living this romance of love and victory is all we want to do every day. We do get a choice, either to renounce or to embrace. The tragedy of our world, of commoners like us, is that we are generally able to do neither. Love-Addiction_0

So this April, I say, PICK A SIDE. TIME is daring you to. Take a side that defines you. For even though some of us may get lucky and get our romance but I am sure that we are not going to get it forever!!

New Age Love

I, luckily, live in the corner most room on the top floor of my hostel which means that all the girls circle around my room chit-chatting with their boyfriends for hours as the corridor in front of my room provides both privacy and hard-to-catch mobile signals.

Due to my inability to do some constructive work the other day, I started staring outside my door at the entertaining scene beyond and my mind started to chase a train of thought that I initially thought was utterly useless. It was something like this….

Relationships today, base themselves and blossom upon the new age phenomenon of Facebook, message chats and prepaid mobile services which consequentially lead to night time calling vouchers, call rate discounts and what not but it is all a part of make-believe virtual world where reality is long gone by.

The truth is that the kind of intimacy that two people can experience just after a few meets, it can never come through even a thousand message chats  or talking over the phone for three to four hours each day.

I see my friends confused about what kind of relationship they really have. Its difficult now to decide upon what true love is.

In yester years, lovers didn’t talk much but experienced eternal love; they experienced eternal joy in just a few moments of togetherness. Today, short message services are far easier than beautiful dialogues. I am, believe it or not, a believer of this old school kind of love. The thing that I have noticed in everybody is that the so called gen X does not surrender itself to its feelings and emotions and hence fail to experience the wondrous magic of deep love and attachment that comes from it. True love is slowly dying, it seems.

Practicality has become the new antonym of love in recent times.

I also fail to understand why today’s youth pays so much heed to Facebook (which is a huge culprit in bringing about this new kind of romance). Just a few minutes ago, my room-mate was complaining in her typical tone “This guy is sending me friend requests again and again, all from different accounts; this friend did not comment on my photo, that’s really bad; I got 25 likes on my recent picture”. Youth is so engrossed in the activities on their “wall” that they forget to live and love in the actual world. Love is care, contentment, wonder and growth; all entwined together to become a unique and satisfying feeling radiating infinite happiness and joy.

I really wish to witness at least one example of that old school romance here in my college where there is ever-pursuing eagerness and surprises, that display of toothy, broad grin on catching just a glimpse of the one you love and a couple that compliments and completes each other both emotionally and intellectually. These things were a commonplace once but are now seldom seen in this fast world of break-ups and patch-ups.

Welcome to the new era of virtual world and virtual relationships!!

Please note: Yours truly has been single all her life, thus she writes without much experience… 😉