Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The silent white dream

It is silent,
Silence is death some say,
But silence is peace as well,
Peace is beauty some say,

But peace is lonely as hell...

The beauty of death -- of those leafless trees,
The silent dream -- of the circling crow,
The flirting romance -- of those twinkling lights,
A plain white shimmering blanket of snow.

Remind us of winter, but don't take us there,
To the lifeless soul of nature, lonely and bare...
Cheer us with Christmas, keep us alive,
To witness the jingle down every drive.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The downhill swoop

As the wide green fields pass along,
French Countryside. Pic credits: Self
I smile with wonder over where I belong,
Across three continents in a few weeks,
Here I am ready with a few tweaks...

A minute of silence, a gush of wind,
Roadside sunflowers along the bend.
Endless vineyards holding hands,
As if practicing group errands.

Castles sit peacefully caressed by nature,
With sculpted patterns of many a feature,
Stories of royalty very long gone,
Remain as an impression never forgone....

Colorful cafes, fancy bridges,
Croissants, baguette, souffle' and fudges...
Streets with music, walls with art,
The Group. Pic credits: Mike Fausone
Like wine and cheese, they are never apart.

Surprises in pockets of a small little town,
Churches and houses, all golden brown.
Dance, wine, food and geese et al.
A friendly tour-guide to top it all...

Alongside a few cheerful comrades,
As the golden sunshine slowly fades,
Chugging uphill, singing a song,
Pedals pushed harder, we go very long.

As I relish the downhill swoop,
I look at our chirpy little troop,
We make our way through it all,
We make it through each day without a fall.

Of people and culture we often hear,
But, friendships through travel are very much dear.
Miles from home and miles to clear,
A downhill swoop to drive away fear...

Friday, July 22, 2016

The bird, the breeze and me. Part 1

Hey! How have you been?
Have you been happy? Have you been cheerful? Asks the cool breeze...
Nope, not really... I have been busy! I said.
Buhsy??Doeshn't being buhsy makeh you happhy? Asks the bird with a wild forest accent.
He is busy being unhappy, declares the breeze with a chuckle.

You talk of cheer as if it is easy to be so. You don't know the kind of people I know, I taunt.
Pheople? I only knoh of cheeherphul birds.Says the bird with some doubt.
Why know them at all? Know only those who make cheer grow. Those who sow seeds of joy and deeds of kindness.
Thus wisely advises the breeze to me, while I plug my ears with bird feathers and pull on my wind sheeter.
Ignorant and angry I walk on with no destination in mind...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Meghalaya - the abode of clouds

This poetry is based on a trip to the beautiful Meghalaya - A north-eastern Indian state, rich in natural beauty and culture! Explore my experience through the verses below in two interesting patterns: 

  • You can try reading the first two lines of each stanza : For a rhyming melody. (Humm in any tone you like btw ;))
  • Read the whole including the third line for some extra philosophical dose! (Coz there is always something to read between the lines!)

MEgh-aLaYa ( the abode of clouds)

The golden Mawphlang morning! (pic credits : liFe in 'mm')
A little of sunshine, a little of the valley,
Look below the bridges to find gurgling streams, these are the ones which make up dreams.
And, look afar to spot the lone backpacker, lost and found, in his own game.

A little of adventure, a little bit of thrill,
Look, as you wade through the deep dark cave, the rocks must have let someone pave.
And, look at the shimmering work of the Supreme artist, light can do only so much justice.

A little of humanity, a little play-time with kids,
Look at the innocent laughter and the smiles so warm, take a moment to soak in all the charm.
And, look at the thinning waterfall, while you remain overflowing with joy!

A little of speed, a little of the gently winding roads,
Look at the ups and downs of life and hills, both with grand golden frills.
And, look at the short speeding journey of life, make sure you craft it rather well.

A little of introspection, a little of ‘who am I’ moments,
Look at what matters and what doesn’t, look at your only chance to craft the present.
And, look at the surprising contrast of the talking machine and the silent man!

A little of clear blue waters, a little of strong root bridges,
Look at how nature evolves, struggles and sustains, finally only the strong remains.
And, look, beyond just the beauty of things, at the strong core and the soft heart!

A little of warm bright sunrises, a little of cold starry nights,
Look at the ripples on the lake, count the moments you wish to take.
And, look at the bounty of nature - quite generous, caring and strict, all like a mother!

A little of valleys and golden hues, a little of narrow never-ending roads,
Look at how nature dresses up every season, from her green gown to a golden frock without a reason!
And, look, how we humans are just decors clinging to the sides of the colossal nature!

A little of sharing, a little of caring,
Look at all the goodness around, let the best of human nature abound,
And, look at your new-found friends, while they laugh, each with a unique ship to sail!

A little of cold and of warmth, a little of peace and of longing,
A little of everything in between, and yet a rare sense of belonging.
Look, there in the abode of clouds, at that steep turn, lies a part of you which might never return,
Look, not at the loneliness of the scenic grave, for that is where we are heading with nothing to save,
Instead, look somewhere at those scenic cottages and then inside yourself, you might discover a story worth pages...

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Free Spirit....

The humming engine and the beating heart,
All in sync with nothing to part,
The winding roads and the valleys wide,
They pass along like the veil of a bride,
The gushing cold air, the frozen hands,
The short-pit stops and the little errands...
The waving kids and the surprised glances,
They add to the thrill of biking romances,
The peace of a journey and the crease of a heart,
Both need caressing to keep them apart,
The mighty man and the animal inside both remain tamed,
The revving machine does the magic, often never named,
The rights and the lefts, the dives and the drifts,
Feel them all like a bird in the sky....
Free from traditions and bondage of any kind,
Free from niceties, obligations and games of the mind,
Free from the idea of right and wrong,
Free of borders and free of mind,
Feel the free spirit like a bird in the sky....
Feel this freedom - a biker's high!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A city in deep waters

When the well's dry, we know the worth of water (Benjamin Franklin). Conversely, when the waters overflow we know the worth of people and life.

A seemingly conservative mostly hot south-Indian city has seen many-a-days of drought and dryness. Here, many households do not have direct water-supply lines and rely on deep bore-wells and paid tankers for water. Mineral drinking water in cans is a big business in itself here. But then as they say, literally, when it rains it pours! In the last two weeks, Chennai has seen the heaviest rainfall in over a 100 years! Some reports claim that Chennai has been lashed with several normal/dry years' worth of rain in just a couple of days! Now, nature has a peculiar way of settings things straight. It answered a question - why would a generally hot city with limited rainfall need sparkling silt-free drainage? (Brr..) Lets save the city-planning and Municipal efforts; money is better utilized in distributing 'essential' freebies - TVs, grinders, laptops...Shall we?

The initial few days of slightly heavy rain did not fret the rain-hardened Mumbaikar in me. But, when it continued battering, leading to several feets of water across the city, followed by a pre-cautious power outage across the city, 'panic' was not just a word! I had a Deja-vu from 2005 of wading through waist deep waters in Mumbai - that was just one day.

Auto rickshaws and other vehicles submerged in the flood waters in Kotturpuram area of Chennai. R Senthil Kumar/PTI via AP
Source: Indian Express
Thousands were stranded across the city. With several parts of the city with over 4 to 10 ft of water, some even with 18 ft. Those living in slums had nowhere to go, holding on to the little they could salvage they moved to temporary shelters in government schools. Families living on ground floors of various apartments sought refuge in flats on higher floors. With no functional mobile networks and no electricity - communication was completely cut off for more than two days. Hundreds of cars, auto-rickshaws, bikes were wading in water or broke-down mid-way. Airport runway got flooded, railway tracks were flooded - cutting off the city from the rest of the country. And most depressingly, over 250 lives were lost - several due to electrocution and gushing water current.

The heaviest rainfall in over a century caused massive flooding across the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, driving thousands from their homes, shutting auto factories and paralysing the airport in Chennai. Reuters
Source: Indian Express
Only prayers could be heard amidst the late-night pattering incessant rainfall. Basics of food, water and a roof to sleep under was the only biggest worry to many. Thanks to numerous contributors and volunteers, the city witnessed the power of philanthropy and the good side of human nature. Together with the rescue operations by the Army, Navy, NDRF etc. hundreds of volunteers waded through waist deep water and reached out to hungry and distressed souls. Rescue on boats plying through the streets, helicopters dropping food packets, etc. showed that hope is alive to those stranded. Many individuals opened up their houses to accommodate others. Some theaters and malls opened up too. Many small institutions (surprisingly some political institutions as well) and organisations worked in full swing cooking and packing food packets for distributions. Lakhs of food and water packets were and are still being passed on, especially to isolated areas. Support from neighboring states and their residents pour out overwhelmingly. This crisis has bought out mutual care and compassion beyond the superficiality of class/religious divide. Reinforcing this were the social media platforms effectively being leveraged to reach out and help in time (#ChennaiRainsHelp). Now, with Indians even tolerating extremes of nature while helping others, where does the debate on Intolerance of ideas stand?
Patients being shifted from a flooded hospital after heavy rains in Chennai on Tuesday. PTI Photo
Source: Indian Express

The Hindu - A visit to the flood affected areas (Tamil):

NDTV – People stranded across the city, Rescue begins

This was a city where several did not carry an umbrella for most days of the year, except for protection from the sun in peak summer. Climate change is not a newly coined word, but may be now many in Chennai would relate to it. We have just one solution to save us - making peace with raging nature.We could start by living in an non-intrusive and non-deploring manner with water bodies and forested areas. Also we could go back to our textbooks and learn our lessons on drainage planning from atleast the ancient Harappan civilization- even that was Indian, wasn't it?

In the meanwhile back in Chennai, water has receded in most parts leaving behind gaping potholes and cracks on roads. While temporary filling & construction is on, municipal workers have started cleaning up the mess. Fear of epidemics loom large and hospitals are preparing for the same. Volunteers are being offered tetanus doses. People in temporary shelters remain worried about what next, while those with damaged homes and vehicles are counting their loses and thanking those who helped. Several areas like Kotturpuram are still in the dark, with resources reaching slowly owing to persistent water levels.

Chennai might not see any tourists or visitors for quite sometime. Several migrants are also planning to catch the next flight/train home. But nature has bought several new rare visitors to Chennai lakes - Migrant birds! With the birds, let us hope and pray that the sun shines and the city rises to a better dawn.

Note: All videos and pictures are attributed to the respective news channels/websites from which they have been sourced. None of the images/videos are my own.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The best of me

Alive, I am,
but for a few hours, dead asleep,
Alive, I am,
but for a few hours, watching the screen,
Alive, I am,
but for the couple of hours, commuting away,
Alive, I am,
but for the cacophony all around,
Alive I am,
but for the routine of a day,

Well, alive am I? I am obliged to ask....
Yes, I affirm, for the wanderer in me travels miles together,
Just looking at the moon she leaps altogether.
The wayfarer in me, doesn't tire so easy,
She does go on forever & is never so lazy...
She smiles at a kid, not wanting to disappoint,
She smiles like a kid, not so much in control,
Travel is her passion, close & quaint,
Travel keeps her humming, light & faint,
She sees the world in a lens of her own,
She takes those moments to her world, when alone,
She carries those pictures for her to show,
She shares them with the world for them to know,
That the little we have between sunrise & sunset,
Is the little we can to end up with no regret,

I like her in me, for she is more of me.
I call her back & forth, for she is the best of me!!