A Growing Voice

“What do you want to be when you grow older?”, she was asked
“A pilot”, “a teacher”, “a doctor”, the five year old said
“You can do whatever you set your mind to”, she was told
This opened up for her, every possibility ahead

With time, her dreams grew wings and they were let to fly
Allowed were they, during the times into which she was hurled
Her kind were out, learning, working and leading
After all, they only had one extra ability, than the rest of the world

Power comes with knowledge and independence
Something that was held for a long time from this gender
With the ability to stand for what she believed in
She didn’t have to care for any offender or defender

What she did not know, was that her times were only half ready for her
They said she could dream, but not be misled
“Who will raise the children?”, “who will tidy the home?”, they asked
“How can we be led by those, who until now, only bred and fed?”

She reasoned that the domestic and social responsibilities were shared
Efforts and skills determined capability, and from their masculine ego, she be spared
They turned to religion and traditions, “you forget your role”, they opined
“We may have advanced in other ways, but in these interpretations, we will remain ancient”, they determined

She knows her sentiments resonate with many
But to the systemic arguments against her, she must hold her own
She may be alone in fighting now, but there are many like her
You better prepare fully for her, the seeds of change have been sown

Don’t take her compassion for granted, it comes from great care
Don’t take her silence for meekness, it comes from great strength
You do not comprehend her fierceness, she is the energy that sustains you
You do not comprehend her power, she is the fire that can keep you warm or burn you.

The loyal companion

Cold and sharp as icicles
Heavy as a stone
Deep and dark as sea
Pricky as thorns

The loyal pain residing in my heart,
Is it disappointments or hopes that hurt more?
There is still a smile on my lips
Knowing I will always have a companion

Love and Dare

A young love fired my virgin heart
We held hands under the summer sun
There was passion and great promise
But the differences and inexperience won

Split between different worlds
I went with everything but my heart
But when promises meant nothing
Hope too left me at last

I have met my questions and shaken hands with my fears
The heart knows no more bottoms and it soars high
When the heart never dreamt small in rooms dark
Why will it limit when all I can see is sky

A true short story!

It was one of those moments; the surprise from coincidence and sheer helplessness made me LOL!

I am generally a grateful person but it is not everyday that I thank the warm water in my shower. Today being an especially cold day, the warm water with good water pressure in the shower made me wonder about people who didn’t have such luxury in the past. Why, many still don’t have it today. Gratitude enveloped me along with the warm water and I was thankful for it! Then suddenly, I realized, the water pressure didn’t seem as good as what it was. I stared at the water coming out of the hose and noticed that the water had actually reduced.

New wonders entered my thoughts; it’s my first winter in this house, have the pipes frozen? Should I proceed to use the soap or just step out? Will the water continue at this pressure or stop? Unlike many profound questions in life, these were going to be answered very soon. I, being my adventurous and optimistic self, proceeded with the idea of the soap. And alas, as soon as I was fully lathered up, the water stopped. I continued with the drops coming out of the hose, really trying to make them count. At this point, water is all I wanted – cold would also do. But here I was, the mild soap drying on my skin, almost into a moisturizer I thought.

I did what we always do in situations not to our liking before we accept them. I prayed. I prayed for water from the hose. After acceptance hit me, I tried one last practical solution. I rushed to the other bathroom, but this was the state of every tap in the house. All I had was a few glasses of drinking water at home. So being economical, I decided to just pat myself dry and get into warm clothes. My dad had managed to get out of showers with some lurking lathers on so many occasions, and he has been fine. I thought to myself, I will be fine too. 

After prodding the neighbors, I learned that the water in this locality is sometimes briefly shut during weekday afternoons because of a factory close by, that sometimes needs to add new water pipelines. Having usually been at work during those times, I was never aware of it. Now, I was aware (along with being quite clean) and still grateful for the warm water that sometimes stops.

Reflection

Courtesy: The dog on the Beach

ज़िन्दगी भर का सहारा नहीं, दो वक्त के हमसफ़र तो बन सकते हैं।
Not forever, but we can be companions for the brief moments we share!

We are all so engrossed in our own world
In our needs, desires and ambitions
In feeling afraid, fatigued or alone
That we forget everyone else is a universe of their own
That everyone else is a varied reflection of our own!

Earth: What we all have in common.

Google Images

A long overdue post to potentially curb the itching on my hands with the overwhelming emotion in my heart. It is all over social media, it is in every person’s compassionate thoughts. Many weep within, concerned and many more do what they can- adding drops of life into what is becoming a dark, smoky, and human-only inhabited world. We as a species act in a considerably more reckless and negligent way than any other life form out there. We take nature’s abundance for granted and are arrogant with power. We have become far too comfortable in trying to live as per our will that we have forgotten to be gracious to leave things as we find them. We have forgotten to be kind towards fellow living beings and understand that the luxury of will is a big responsibility.

As humans, we imagine, explore, build, mobilize and seek more. However, a lot of times, we perform these actions, neglecting to pause on its potential impact on nature and resources, other humans, animals and plants. Sometimes we do try to address our ethical and moral duties, but even then, the balance we reach is skewed to our end for the most part. It took us thousands of years before we acknowledged that all humans were equally worthy and deserving. How long is it going to take us to realize that nature is equally worthy and deserving? What good is it if we are the ones to lose? Yes, we won’t know the answers to begin with, but we can certainly learn!

Predation in nature is vital for survival. We predate not just plants and animals, but even air, ground and materials. We do this – neither in harmony nor to survive, but for greed, and to an extent of wastage beyond consumption. The more we afford to consume, the higher is our responsibility toward life and existence. If we are capable of excess, why not leave the world better than when we received it? If we are proud of our abilities, why not recognize survival instinct in another human or animal? And if we can will, why not will a world where the surroundings are still lush and green, with streams and waterfalls flowing into rivers and oceans, and where all life forms can breathe, eat and live a healthy life.

Google Images

We have to be accountable for our actions. Period.

Time and Women

Peculiar Bengali homes, rustic wooden furniture, tea, lush village settings, men in their cotton kurtas and dhotis. I have always enjoyed Rabindranath Tagore’s short stories. What defines them singularly though are his women. Their elaborate white and red sarees, beautiful big red bindis, Victorian style blouses and traditional ornaments. As colorfully as he painted them on canvas, the real beauty is in how he captured their emotions in hues and shades that are a perceptive rarity.

We humans, have lived for thousands of years now. We have advanced in phases over time. We learned to put down our roots, we established societies, we defined some borders that nevertheless we have been fighting about since, we developed faith out of fear and we explored philosophy in the midst of darkness. We are at the height of our scientific achievements. Yet, we have gone on for so long ignoring fundamental basics and enduring such injustices. While we aim to balance our own lives with our careers, relationships and saving money for our future, there are still fellow humans struggling for safety, security, warmth and food. There are people who are more deserving with fewer opportunities. There are people who are still oppressed and forced, let alone out in the big bad world, but in their homes by their own people. When I think of women and all the rules of the societies they have played by all these years, I ponder if it is really a slighter issue than say basic health care or savaging wars.

I have come to feel that society and the world at large is a bigger being, just like each one of us, going through its own imbalances, disappointments, hurt, joys, pleasures and triumphs. Everything is connected. And everything goes up and down in its own time. When I see our world with this view, I get to an understanding, not of a tired acceptance, but a curious, passionate, patient wonder of our existence. It is true that each race, gender, society and species have their legitimate complaints and rightfully so. It is the ones that have cut through their own waves, withstood their opposing tides that know what it took to cross. But there is a piercing beauty in perceiving the battles of others. In realizing the strength behind someone’s patience, in reading someone’s silence and in seeing the joy in someone’s eyes. In knowing someone’s small pleasures and the little gestures that could make all the difference in the world.

At the peak of the independence movement struggle in India, Tagore observed the beauty and struggle of women of his times. He was able to empathize with women’s desires, restrictions and individuality. Let alone then, these are somethings that most still strive for today. The houses, attire, and lush surroundings have changed. We have modernized and opened our minds, yet women struggle to satisfy the same desires, break free of the same restrictions and demand recognition of their individuality. In what sense have we advanced then? We are so blinded by habit and insecure of change, that we are unable to welcome new things even if they may be better.

The resistance is always from those who aren’t directly impacted or rather those who benefit from it. The change is always from those it affects the most. They do not rise from courage but from necessity, they demand change not to ruffle feathers but for peace. There is so much to learn and be aware of, we all just pick up a few pieces, and so much of what we have learned gets left behind. And that’s why history repeats itself. But there is always hope too. That we will do better. We may wonder, how difficult it is to be and let be. I guess that nature feels most comfortable at the equilibrium of harmony and chaos. But even if that may be, chaos could be so much more meaningful. Chaos is the sound of all the birds chirping away together, chaos is all the trees shedding their leaves in fall and chaos is kids at play. And so we hope. Hope that we can fight together instead of each other, hope that we can love more fiercely than expect of someone, and make new mistakes and find new problems to solve.