Such perfect presumptions
About our advancement
We have, while we continue to
Annihilate our imperfect race
© 2016 Alka Girdhar
This week, I happened to visit a nearby suburb after almost a year and a half. As we entered its periphery, the roads there seemed busier than ever before and we had to push our way through the erratic traffic.
Later as we walked along the pavement, there was no usual order in things. Actually there were precautionary boards all along the roads, while construction guys stood with their vans all over the place.
Obviously this hub of activity was a bit of a nuisance to pedestrians as well as those looking for a parking place. Continue reading
Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy. Today. Tomorrow. Everyday. Every moment. For I know I can’t change my yesterdays, with all their good and bad ways. But I can save, store and stock some happy moments, for any impending joy-starved days.
Happiness arrives each morning, soaked in a cup of tea. As I savour its flavour sip by sip, and inhale the aroma wafting from spice-laden milky masala chai; a concoction of water, milk, sugar and black tea brewed with Continue reading
Oh! It’s all so scary. Save me God! Please. I can’t bear this ordeal. I am happy where I am. Why do they want to take me out?
Now they’re pulling my head with something. It hurts badly. Please let go!
They think they should help me. That I’m stuck inside, drenched in fluids and darkness all around me.
No!! I don’t ever feel sad in here. Never did. That’s my small home. Only mine. My mom’s womb. I feel very safe here. I get food. I feel warm and hugged.
I again feel like crying. I fear so much. Where are they taking me? Such bright light! Strange sounds I can very faintly hear! What would it be like on the other end? Help me God! Don’t take me away from my mom! I will die.
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers that is hosted by Priceless Joy, and inspired by this week’s above photo prompt.
It/he/she will not die, as that is what we call ‘life’.
Is this piece a bit exaggerated? Probably🙂 Who knows what birthing bubs feel! May be some discomfort as their senses are not fully developed yet.
“Mom, why is it that we never take selfies?”, little Ivana ranted as she stomped behind her mother from one room to the other.
“Honey! We do take sometimes”, replied Savita, albeit a bit indifferently, for she was too engrossed thinking about her work project.
“Nooo…but they’re just photos. They are not selfieeees!!” Ivana’s words dragged in rebellion while her mouth pouted.
“That means the same”
“Nooo Mom! As if I don’t know!!” Then after pausing for a while to think, Ivana asked “OK! Do we ever do like this in our pictures?” She came in front of her mom and pursed her lips out in a pout, to make a duck-face. But the mom was amused. Continue reading
Stranded No More…
When seclusion callously corrodes
Every inch of your fine being
When it’s all dark and dreary
And your heart is tired and weary
Your eyes too solemn and teary.
Then lose no heart, O comrade!
The gloom will soon evaporate
The beaming rays will finally break
Through the engulfing black clouds
Compelling them to dissipate
Hang in there some more time!
For soon time will turn around
Get ready to smile and welcome
The crystal clear blue skies and
Golden happiness all around
© 2016 Alka Girdhar
Have seen it time and time again
Those who hurt us in some big way
And never feel sorry, come what may
Never realize and never acknowledge
But act as if theirs is always a superior way
They’re sure to hurt us more and more
In the same manner Continue reading
A Writer’s Heart
Choked with endless jumbled thoughts
This heart, ancient and weary
Like some stored chest of treasures
Somewhat worn, beyond its prime
Yet not worn out and passe.
Carries a lot of weight, of
Experiences and wisdom galore
Hidden in its pit, secret stories
Of precious moments gone by
Either well-lived or idly whiled
Joys achieved, some denied
Overloaded and bursting now
The crammed chest of heart
Must now be unlocked, with
Magical keys of words, words
And yet more words
A writer’s heart is indeed
A valuable treasure box
Unlatch its rusty door
Let the lock stifle it no more
Let the inner voice flow out, to
Set free the riotous thoughts
© 2016 Alka Girdhar
That was my response to this week’s photo prompt for Sue Vincent’s writephoto:
“A battered, iron-bound chest…rusted and corroded with age… Where did it come from? What does it hold…why does it need three keys to unlock its secrets…and where are they now?”
I intend to alter some words in my poem. But this will do for now.
to be or not to be
to do or not to do
to say or not to say
to go or not to go
to smile or not to smile
to cry or not to cry
to enjoy or not to enjoy
to love or not to love
to hate or not to hate
to live or not to live
to be or not to be
such issues are tricky
often tricky as can be
rest all is easy
In response to today’s one-word prompt by The Daily Prompt: Tricky
Ask her. How does it feel to be one with him?
She will have no clue. For she is now a part of him. She is him.
It’s as if they aren’t two souls, but one.
They even look like one, well if you see from the distance
Their cells have long lost their own growth
Blended into each other
They’ve found a newer meaning in this union
But it wasn’t always so…
She started out differently
So dissimilar, so distant they were
But it happened
This unison – where the lost soul merged into The One.
When a small soul meets that bigger soul, then that is what happens
Losing itself – a creeper becomes a tree; a river becomes a sea
That higher soul so pure and benign; habitually embraces tainted souls
Unenlightened souls of mere mortals
Souls that have lost all hope
Many such souls have sought and got
And many more, seeking more and more
They all will find Him
And merge into Him
© 2016 Alka Girdhar
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
My above prosaic poem was inspired by the tree Thursday photo prompt hosted by Sue Vincent of The Daily Echo.
‘She’ is our human soul…losing herself in her beloved or in God.
If you liked this tree inspired poem, then here’s another similar poem You Lose and then You Win. I’m sure you will like it.
“Hellllooo Professor! Nice to meet you!”
“Ha Ha! A long way to go still”, amused Josh laughed it away
“Well Mr Quantum! Aren’t you almost there, as you’ve started teaching at your own university?. That’s pretty much like being a professor”
“Just a quantum bit”, replied Mr Quantum, aka Joshua, a twenty-two Continue reading
On blood and debris
Her suitcase lies scattered
Stunned by smoke and screams
She sees helpless lives blown to tatters
From her heart she curses the heartless haters
She knows for sure her life is changed forever
Blessing other scapegoats who are like her
She sadly mourns the death of humankind
Whose fault it is, who pays the price
Wonders why she was victimized ever
© 2016 Alka Girdhar
Prayers for all those who were victimized at Brussels! Some flowers too…
Mom tells me fondly how, when I was little, I used to ascend the long stair-case that reached our home terrace.
“Barely ten months old, you would crawl up the stairs…all on your hands and knees with amazing speed. Half-way through, you would look back to check if mom was looking or not!”
Mom also tells that she was always scared, and she tried to stop me as I climbed but I would increase my speed while enjoying her chase.
Now too I have already climbed up a few steps, mom! This time, I’m not going to look back! For me, it is this path or no path!! I know my goals. I know where I am going. I can already see some light beyond the horizon.
As I climb more stairs, you’ll be proud of me mom! Once I reach the top, once I become a renowned ******, I’ll look back and wave at you…
~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~
That was my flash fiction/micro-story for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.
The prompt photo was by Louise of The Storyteller’s Abode.
Babies grow up to have their own unique dreams, and they need to be given a chance. You can fill in the asterisks above🙂 as per your unique child’s interests.
I paused abruptly on reaching the red bench. Something is amiss. Today again the bench is empty.
Every day, on my way to office I happen to pass by this bench. Each day I see him sitting there. Matted hair hanging on his shoulders like unwashed dreadlocks. Clothes that have not been washed for long. But how can he? He has no home. Dazed and lost, humming to himself, at times he would be playing some sad melody on his guitar while people would put coins in front of him.
The bench looks sad and deserted. I look around. Would anyone know his whereabouts? No use asking these strangers, for they’re all passers-by using this park as a passage to their destination. For him, it was home.
I see a young guy walk towards the bench, place a bouquet, say some prayer and walk away.
Of course this had to happen! Day after day, beaten by cold weather at night, he could bear it no more. I felt a lump in my throat. The first thing I’ll do on reaching home is donate to some institute for the homeless.
My above story is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a weekly story writing challenge held by Priceless Joy.
Photo prompt for this week was provided by Ady.
I do know “Empty Nest” is not an appropriate title for this story but somehow it’s the first word that came into my mind after writing. Words like ‘vagabond’, ‘vagrant’ and ‘wandering’ are too cliched`. How about ‘A Vagabond’s Refuge’?
It now seems to me she will never come back. Going by the quiet on her blog, it’s almost as if she has never been here before, writing all those blog posts like possessed. There was somebody writing and if she said it was her, we sincerely believed it was indeed some Elfie writing.
But then again, in this online world, how can we be sure we really know the person expressing his/her thoughts in words. The fact is, most bloggers have not met each other personally. At the same time, we do know their distinct personality, for their written words help us peep into their soul, till it seems we have known them for long. But when our fellow bloggers vanish from the scene, they become strangers. We almost do not care. In blogging world, (our) presence matters more than absence.
That’s what happened when Elfie suddenly disappeared from the Continue reading
Bearing calmly the soft suffering
The pain of letting go; eyeing its unborn
With keen anticipation and hope
2016 stands pregnant; pot-bellied
And fertile, ready to give birth
To months, days, hours, moments
Let it relax and breathe deep!
Let it be an easy birth!
Let all babies glide forth!
Would they be stillborn, or bubbling
With life; hungry and crying
For more joy, feats new evermore?
Merry months, delightful days
Happy hours, beautiful moments
The essence of our very being
Once cuddled and well-fed
They will lie peacefully, to grow
Gently cradled within our lives
© 2015 Alka Girdhar
This time last year it was my simple poem for 2015 when I was new to blogging
“Professor Dumbledore. Can I ask you something?”
“Obviously, you’ve just done so,” Dumbledore smiled. “You may ask me one more thing, however.”
“What do you see when you look in the mirror?”
“I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks.”
“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”
― from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
And of course why would a person in dire need of some everyday useful things like food and clothing be happy with too many books. Or would they? Should they? Would you?
Be it Christmas or any other festival, gifts are tricky. Ironically, you may get a doubling or tripling of same or similar things. But you may never get what you want. It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife.
That is how life also works. Too many of unwanted things but not getting what you yearn for. Happiness can only be found by liking at least some of the less wanted things.
One thing that is wanted and needed by everyone, not only by those who have very less of it, but also by those who have enough of it…is Love. Dole it out this Christmas and New Year!
You Lose, and Then You Win
When you’re broken to
your last bits though still
alive, writhing in pain
then one day, you put
piece by piece, bit by bit
become a jointed whole
moving towards smoothness.
That’s when you win!
When you learn to live
with someone then abruptly
drift apart, no hug no drug to
heal your wounds, and it
seems you’ll choke and die
but soon you see you don’t
for you’re still alive, so you
strive to move on in life.
That’s when you win!
When you fall flat on your
face, not a soul to pick you
up, no hands lend support; then
your left hand grips the right
hand, gets you back on feet, you
stagger, you’re shaken but
you shake off the dust, head held
high, you walk the new lone walk.
That’s when you win!
When most paths you take
come crashing to a dead end
you hear mocking proud voices
gleefully clapping their hands
and telling you – you’ve failed,
you force yourself up, make a
fresh start, write a new word on
a blank page; for you know
that the show must go on.
And then you win!
© 2015 Alka Girdhar
Go to Home Page for more
Listening to the zoo-keeper’s rant about leucistic white peacocks, Sheena stood looking at the strange bird pair.
She mentally speculated about the peculiar situation in what she saw. She had read that peahens are charmed only by a peacock with perfectly long blue train that opens up in a vibrant fanfare of courtship dance.
“Does it mean this peahen chose an ordinary partner while ignoring the colorful charmers? Aww! Now that’s something”, amused Sheena smiled to herself.
“And isn’t that love?”
“I think I’m over imagining. May be I too am like that peahen’, she thought as she shrugged her shoulders.
Sheena had often wondered if she was normal in not being obsessed with rich handsome guys, like most of her age-mates were. Her friends considered her views retrograde but her argument was – looks are not forever and wealth has a way of coming along if it has to. Goodness and sincere love are difficult to come by.
Feeling content and proud of her unique views, Sheena walked towards the next animal couple of the zoo.
Leucism is a kind of genetic mutation; a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal or bird resulting in white, pale coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle (Wikipedia)
This story is my response to the 40th challenge of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers held by Priceless Joy. Picture prompt by Sonya of Only 100 words.
The whole week I had forgotten about FFfAW but trying only now at the last moment. In my hurry to write I didn’t see the picture carefully. These two are probably males and not a bird couple. But…well…there it is. No other story comes to my mind right now.
Most major festivals celebrated by us humans, irrespective of faith or religion, are in some way a Festival of Light. Not all are referred to as that, but they are so because lightening up of the surrounds – to whatever degree – is an essential part of Diwali, Christmas, Gurpurab, Eid and many others that I have unintentionally not listed here.
Festivals of Light are also festivals of darkness, for they go hand in hand. But how’s it so?
Light seems bright only because of darkness. Try lighting a lamp during the day. During broad daylight in a well lit room, if we accidentally put our electric bulbs and tube-lights on, we put them off instantly…‘Oh! That was accidental. We don’t need you as yet. Let darkness arrive!.’
And when after its long and tiring work-day, as sun begins to set and darkness takes over charge…that’s when we definitely and immediately need light in any form, howsoever little.
Thus if there’s no darkness there would be no value of light. Darkness renders light indispensable to us. In moments when darkness is unbearable and fearsome, it is the illuminating light that provides everyday comfort, while taking away our fear of the unknown thus adding to our happiness.
All in all, these facts were well known to our human ancestors who thronged the earth ages ago. Hence, after their initial hit and trials of rubbing stones to produce fire (and light) they experimented in all possible ways to create light so as to make their lives easy.
In very olden days, esp. here as I talk in the contexts of India, when there was no electricity, people depended on earthen lamps, candles, lanterns to get rid of physical darkness and facilitate visibility. At the same time, they very keenly sought spiritual light in the form of ancient wisdom that’s written all over in the ancient books.
“Aum Asato ma sad gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mṛtyorma amṛtam gamaya
Aum shanti shanti shantih ”
The above lines in Sanskrit that were taken from the Upanishads textbooks mean –
“From Ignorance, lead me to Truth;
From Darkness, lead me to Light;
From Death, lead me to Immortality
Peace, peace, peace !!” –
Given the importance they gave to the very concept of light, those days in India offering ‘light’ to others in any form was considered a noble task of charity. ‘Deep-daan’, is the term used for donating or lighting a ‘deep’ or an earthen lamp for others. It’s a charity of light, and the purpose was to help others dispel darkness around them.
So, from what I’ve heard, after sunset our ancient people used to habitually and regularly go to road-crossings and light a lamp there. Numerous such lamps would become a full-fledged light system, and these groups of lamps would illuminate the pathway of every passer-by. This was esp. beneficial on the darkest of nights, and that’s what it is on every Diwali night, as it is a new moon or moon-less night.
Moreover, thus lighting up each other’s path meant not only illuminating others’ path but simultaneously radiating your own path as well.
Yes! Lighting up others’ path automatically lights up your own path as well.
But. In order to light up somebody’s path, you have to have a light of your own, even if it‘s meant to be given away to others.
So, give it a thought.
Nowadays we don’t have any dearth of man-made electronic light devices. But even now, though we really take light for granted, this same light continues its role of giving us happiness. Thousands of years later, these festivals of light still continue to be symbolic of victory of light over darkness; of goodness over evil.
On my street here in Sydney. I feel we need more street-lights as it sometimes gets too dark. Reporting this to the council has not yielded forth any positive results yet.. So everyday, at around sunset time, I make sure I put on the lights in my outer verandah and outer porch.
This light overflows to the street beyond my house and possibly helps people coming home late, esp. as many university students do that. Possibly it deters thieves as well. I do this for few hours each day, particularly on a dark new-moon nights that have no moonlight of its own.
Help those who have no light of their own, no hope and love; those who have lost their inner light and brightness. That’s the true essence of every festival. That is, other than wearing good clothes and eating lots of sweets.
It’s very simple. The reason why I blog.
It’s the reason why cave-men wrote their scripts on cave walls. And the reason why a graffiti-artist takes it out on roadside walls. And the reason why a toddler speaks his first words at mother’s call.
It’s the reason why a dancer cannot stop herself from dancing. And the reason why a fine voice just cannot restrain from singing. And the reason why a foodie hogs on food to the point of binging.
It’s the reason why sun comes out each day, to bless and kiss us all. And the reason why the morning birds chirp and pour out their heart. And the reason why I feel a need to talk, talk and talk.
It’s the reason a social-activist fights for a cause, giving her all. And the reason why a scientist seeks truth and light, renouncing wealth and all. And the reason people fall in love, doesn’t matter if it makes them fall, consumes their all.
It’s the reason I have a craving for my morning cup of tea. And the reason why my sweet-tooth for words, brings me here to my blog. And the reason God sent me here to meet you all, to know you all.
For where else and who else would bear and like my writing, like you do all?
My poem was written in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt Million-Dollar Question: Why do you blog?
Also shared for Writer’s Quote Wednesday.
© 2015 Alka Girdhar
Read my simple short story till the end…
Today, Jimmy has been barking more than usual. Much more. In fact he’s not stopping at all. As I work in my backyard – raking leaves, watering the plants and collecting lemons – Jimmy barks non-stop.
That is unusual given that he is quite used to seeing me around working the way I’m doing today. On most days, as I go about my little tasks, I can see the big dog looking affectionately towards me from over the fence that divides my house and his house. I mean, his master’s house.
It’s as if Jimmy knows me well. Many a times I have thought that they tie him up here at their backyard and forget him, therefore he feels happy to see me. Less lonely. But today, he’s been behaving like a stranger. Or is it that today I seem to be a stranger to him?
Just as Jimmy barks continuously and I speculate on all possible reasons for his weird behavior, I see my neighbor come out of the house. I pause the hosing of plants and take a step forward in a gesture of hello, waving my hand slightly and uttering a soft ‘hi’. But it seemed as if she didn’t see me.
Hence I move further ahead near the fence while Jimmy continues to go berserk. My neighbor too now steps forward, seems to be coming towards her side of our common fence. Has she seen me now? But all she does is spread out the washed laundry on her clothesline. She’s situated almost face-to-face but literally ignores me. Possibly she blames her dog’s barking on me, I think to myself.
I shrug my shoulders and get back to the task of shearing a plant. Upset mood means less focus and I cut my hand. Not a huge cut, and luckily it didn’t hurt at all. Surprising that there’s no bleeding either. But it’s time to go indoors as the weather is getting hot.
As I step inside my house, I remember something. Today was one of the very rare days when I woke up quite late. So much so that my son had already left home for his day. He must have taken whatever lunch or snacks he could thin of. Thus feeling guilty I think to myself, that at least he could wake up me up. I suddenly have warm feelings for him. I had not seen him this morning so I try to call him on his mobile.
As I get connected, he says “Hello!”. I can hear his voice saying repeatedly “Hello!…Hello!!”… but why can’t he hear me as I say hello?
“Who’s there?”, he asks.
“It’s me…mom! Can’t you hear me?”
I raise my voice, almost shouting. But no. He cannot hear. A bit upset over this too, I decide to call later.
What kind of day is this? May be a face-wash or a bath will refresh me. I walk listlessly towards the washroom, and as I open the tap on the hot water side, I touch the flowing water but cannot feel the hot water. Now, please don’t tell me the water heater is also playing up!
No warmth or coldness there as water slips between, or rather through my fingers and palm. Surprised and still washing my face, I suddenly look at the mirror. I can’t locate myself! Where am I? Nowhere. I can’t see myself. I can’t! I’m not in the mirror!!
Dazed, I thump down on the bathroom floor. What’s this? I suddenly know what it is. I had ceased to exist. I didn’t wake up in the morning. I touch my arms, my legs and my face in frenzy. I am real. No. I am not real.
I sit there for long. Finally, as I gather my calm, I decide. For now I’ll continue to work in the kitchen, finish the meals I was preparing for my boy. He’s now a big boy. My little boy. My baby. I will cook his favorite dish. He may not be able to see me when he comes back but hopefully he can eat it.
Tears roll down my eyes and my vision gets blurred as I think of the days ahead when he won’t ever get any food made by his mama. And one day he will get married but I won’t be able to attend it. Thinking thus I drop the cooking pot.
The bin man outside had banged the empty rubbish bin on the ground with a loud bang. I wake up with a jerk. Too baffled, I look around. I’m on my bed. I can hear my own heartbeat while my both hands are clutched together on my chest. Sweat dripping down my burning forehead, and streaks of tears down my cheeks. I am crying. I cry even more on getting back my life. I thank God. I thank God a million times for this precious life.
Life is precious. Every moment is a treat. But…you never know for how long this benevolent life is going to treat us with its goodies and when it’s going to trick us by suddenly deciding to withdraw its treats all at once.
“Taste life…touch it…smell it…see it…and hear it!! That is life supposed to be for us flesh and blood beings. Even a ghost can do all the thinking and brooding”, I find myself uttering out aloud.
My voice fascinates me. The sound of it seems so melodious now.
I jump out of the bed with enthusiasm of a new-found life and peep into my son’s room. He’s still asleep. I walk up to his bed and lovingly touch his head and tangled hair. I now know for sure that today at least I’ll be able to treat him with one of his favorites…veg-rice. Who knows about tomorrow?
© Alka Girdhar 2015
Living with Abandoned Truths and Pleasant Lies
She left me, this mother mine
But fills my whole world
Leaves no place untouched
No moment unharmed
Oh my perturbed mind!
Come with me to a realm
That’s beyond Continue reading
My little Smiles and Laughter
Lucrative gems that sparkle
Happiness they scatter
Alter moods, of one and all.
Memories – good and bad
Jewels that forever shine
Childhood, youth, family, friends
Homes and precious faces gone
Creative moments spent
Writing fine words and rhymes
Listening to and singing
Favorite classy golden songs
‘Life’ – a necklace of pearls
Each life-breath counts
For as life seconds tick by
All valuables are gone
My response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Pride and Joy
‘What’s your most prized possession?’
Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar
Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest. But I feel this was nothing unusual and very much aligned with his childhood escape pattern.
As a child his escape cocoons were weirder. If some sibling got a wonderful birthday present, then locking himself inside his cupboard was a sure way to compel his parents to buy him a better gift. Hiding under the bed for hours was also his favorite; leaving his pampering mom with no choice but to cook the food he loved. Once he deliberately got lost in a big supermarket till his anxious parents reported to the police, only to find their teenager just around the corner.
The family escaped the tantrums when he got married. Let his wife bear the brunt! Since he could no more fit under his bed, if offended, he would vanish into his garage tool-room or sports club for hours and hours.
The couple’s new house is close to a forest so after their latest tiff, he went to the forest, threatening to never come back.
Possibly it was only a threat and due to fear of wild animals he returned back soon. Possibly he never returned. I’m not sure.
This was my flash fiction/short story for ‘Mondays Finish the Story’ challenge by Barbara Beacham. We are provided with a photo prompt as well as the first sentence to begin the story, after which we finish it.
Are you an escapist?
I wish to move and keep moving on
There comes a comma, makes me pause.
I relax to rest, but the ellipses retort:
“The journey’s not over yet…c’mon trot…”
The journey resumes full force when
There comes a full-stop, makes me halt.
Halting when I want to run
Moving when I wish to halt
Life’s gone doing and undoing
All the commas and the full stops.
The question marks are all that I have
With answers none, not even sought
(Answers lie in joyous exclamation marks
Within this hyphened life lived by the dots)
Added the last two lines to avoid pessimistic dark thoughts.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: By the Dots
“We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!”
© 2015 Alka Girdhar
Sheena looked at the mirror a millionth time and scrutinized her face. The curled hair lock looks better on the cheek. She loved her spiky winged eye-liner that added to her mysterious eyes; kind of waking them up. Hope the mascara is not overdone! Is the dress too loud and flowery?
Flowers! This reminded her that she needs roses – real or fake – for it was a theme party. She went out to pluck a rose but stood watching the pretty butterfly sitting on flowery cacti.
Butterfly! The word rang a bell. Only yesterday somebody had commented on her ‘Sheena, the social butterfly!”. She sensed a hint of jeering in the remark.
Why! What’s wrong if she likes parties and loves colorful clothes? She stood pondering. This world loves beauty. A plain Jane is quite like this butterfly that was once ignored for being a creepy worm till she developed pretty wings in brilliant hues. Nature’s fashionista is never ridiculed for her transformation!
Thus emboldened by the tiny butterfly, Sheena confidently headed towards her college party. She heard her mom’s voice from behind, “Come back before it gets too dark! Will you?”
That was my flash fiction/short story in response to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy
Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar
If some bad buddy hurts me…
What do I do? No, I don’t weep
I immerse their head in water
And enjoy their cool dip dip dip
I put them in a fruit juicer
And squeeze them till they drip
I grind them into fine flour
And knead, thump and beat
I turn them into a long stick
And break it into little twigs
I write their name on a paper
And cut it up into tiny bits
I crumple them with my fist
And put them under my feet
I hardly ever do all this
As I mostly ‘forget and forgive’
I like to hold my head high
And quietly…quit quit quit!!
That was my evil poem in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt Wicked Witch
Actually if somebody hurts me, I do none of the above evil acts. I do forgive and forget to whatever extent I can. When I find it difficult to quit, I try to win their heart and change them although that’s very exhausting and comes with its own risks.
For the last two days, my mood has been strangely introspective. My son’s friend, who was with him at the same university, committed suicide. Thereafter, we also heard news about campus killing in Oregon, America.
Although the real reason can never be known, people deduce all sorts of reasons for a young person’s suicide. One reason given was “Parental pressure”. Also, that the day he took his life, he had said to one of the girls in his class, “I feel empty inside.”
Parents. Oh but isn’t this a question being raised all the time, that ‘parental pressure’, which itself is derived from ‘societal pressure’, lies heavy on many students’ head when they do not come up to their expectations? Most deal with it, some can’t cope.
He is/was actually the older brother of my son’s class-mate, the age gap of only an year, they studied together. Although both brothers are/were academically brilliant, both got along well, but in a way the younger of the two was doing better. When something like this happens, people are quick to deduce that the older brother was probably not happy with his academic career howsoever good it was.
That said, I couldn’t help probing further reasons for this unfortunate incident. Why did he feel “empty inside”? I am informed that he has/had three loving siblings and both parents too. Then where and why was the parental pressure? Is it that the child assumed there is pressure? Is it that the younger sibling was out-performing him and he felt left out? Probably, day-to-day comments and harmless little nagging within the families is not so harmless after all. A growing child/youth being consciously or unconsciously compared to others loses his self-esteem and self-worth. I feel like hugging his soul. How lonely he must have been during his last hour or so!
Essentially, loneliness is a part of growing up. Late teens to early twenties – this is the phase when children are no more considered children, even if most of them continue to be a child at heart due to their lack of life experience and not much exposure to the world. As they leave their teens behind, they are full of anxiety. Anxiety of behaving sensibly like a new adult, of being a role model for younger siblings, of doing well as per the societal or parental expectations, of getting admission in best possible courses, of out-performing others so as to secure a great job, of issues related to a girl-friend or lack of one; all this while out doing many others who themselves have similar mind-set. Each young person trying to excel in this rat race because eventually the fittest will survive.
While I was deeply brooding on all this, I shifted my thoughts to the other news, that of mass killing at the community college at Oregon campus. News about campus carnage in America is no more news for the international community. This time too, the culprit’s age-group is the same as in most other campus killings, and the victims too are mostly young students or else teachers.
Oregon massacre, as the news slowly reveals, was based on hatred for organised religion, and quite like previous campus killings it’s also related to frustrated youth – an acrimonious revenge of some sort, for the shooter was at some stage enrolled in the same college. So it was about rebellion; about getting noticed. This too is about perceived or real societal pressure to conform (to religion), and it’s about retaliating and giving back pressure to the society. It’s about saying: Look you mean society!! I don’t believe in your dictatorial religious dogmas and pseudo-principles. I shun you. I have the power to kill you all.
As I mentally compare a young man’s self-killing to that of another young man’s mass-killing of others; both have similarities as well as differences.
A suicidal youth has lost all hopes from life. Their needs are not being met, they’re crying for help but unable to say it, or else they try to convey but no one pays enough attention to their feelings. Eventually, when they feel life is more unbearable than death would be, that’s when they escape life via one impulsive step. Likewise, the youth who finally resorts to a killing spree also conveys or protests spitefully via media and other means till one day he decides to take some rebellious action. As the Oregon killer said ‘He did not like his lot in life”.
Youth on the verge of a suicide assume they haven’t found their rightful place in the society and can never get it, hence they finish their life. Aggressive young men who kill others also feel the same, except that killers try to get their place forcibly, by leaving a larger statement behind. Both seek attention, one does it passively and the other aggressively. A suicidal introvert passively punishes the family and society by withdrawing from it; whereas the shooter does so aggressively by taking lives within unsuspecting campuses.
Taking one’s life via suicide, or that of many others…these are angry, unhappy, lonely, frustrated youth, not born that way but possibly they had been seeking attention since their early age as clearly visible from the early life of this campus killer. Their mental tension and loneliness took root long before they culminated their anger or anguish in this extreme manner.
This amazes me as a parent, as I wonder at what stage do parents mentally lose contact with their child and why does that happen. Is it from early childhood that some odd behavior goes ignored, or else at the age of 10, 12 or 15? Possibly more so after they turn 16 or 17, as that’s when they start to go out on their own. In a nuclear family, which is a norm these days, there’s no support from extended families, hence the pressurized parents are either busy in balancing their career with family life; or busy looking after their younger kids while getting more and more detached from the older kids. The older ones thus grow distant from their families and soon their lonely voices go unheard.
Here the problem is, there are parents who would like to be forever involved in their children’s life, but they face another ‘societal pressure’ that reminds them that parents should let their kids be; should set them free, let them grow up on their own. Over-caring parents are considered helicopter parents – over-anxious and too fussy about their grown-up child or new adult.
Well of course, good parents need not be helicopter parents but they should not be so unobtrusive or unavailable that if their child is feeling “empty inside” they don’t even know it. Likewise, parents of a teen, who is soon going to to evolve into a monster with head full of bloody ideas like mass massacre, are either parents who are themselves party to such things or totally ignorant about it. Either way, they are not playing any positive role in the lives of humans they gave birth to.
Throughout the life of their child, parents need to constantly sow seeds of ethical, moral and righteous living in their children. There’s no age for that. Parents need to be present in their kids’ lives forever. There’s no age for that. Parents need of watch out for signs of killer instincts in their growing children and youth. There’s no age for that.
Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar
with a sterile needle
you pierce my soul
seal the gaps
heal the holes
engrave your love
etch your kindness
leave a mark
some indelible stain
hard to rub off
I’ll pass it on
Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Tattoo….You?
Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin?
These days, any occasional blogging that I do, somehow ends up becoming oriented towards music rather than proper writing. Am I running short of inspiration and ideas for writing, or is it that music is my inner calling? In fact both are.
Today I see a music-related Daily Prompt Always Something There to Remind Me. It’s about getting us transported to some other time via music, and as this prompt asks:
“A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.”
Many of such nostalgic songs that transport me to bygone times, hail from my birth country as well as that from Australia or other parts of the world. Thus there are many Hindi and Punjabi songs I connect to my childhood or youth but here, I’ll stick to English numbers.
One song ‘Fernando’ reminds me of the time my dad brought home a video of ABBA songs that had a vibrant display of the two charming couples singing all their popular numbers. Of course ‘Dancing Queen’ was good for dancing but I somehow liked ‘Fernando’ a lot. Wonder why, because at that age I must not have known the real meaning of this song. Whether this song is about love and pining, or about war and liberation, it is of course about nostalgia. Today I found some more relevant information on this song.
Another song is ‘Yesterday once more’ by Carpenters. It reminds me of late teens in India in the 80s when I used to take my small battery-operated radio/transistor to bed at night and, covering myself up from head-to-toe inside the quilt, would listen to the radio. One such late night program was ‘Forces Request’ that played English songs requested by families of defense personal. I was charmed by the way army couples dedicated their songs to their husband, wife, children or others. Other than all the songs by Carpenters, ‘Funky town’ was another song popular on this channel.
Coming back to more recent times, there are a few songs that remind me of our very early migration days to Australia.
‘Sweet Dreams are made of this‘ by Eurythmics is one of them. The lyrics ‘I travel the world and seven seas, everybody is looking for something‘ is a voice of every migrant. When we just migrated, all the songs by La Bouche were also very popular on the radio as well as MTV hits. Anytime I listen to this song, which is not often, I’m reminded of the old times.
When she says ‘want to be my lover’, my boy who was very little at that time, used to go round and round singing in his melodious girly voice ‘wombie my lava’..’wombie my lava’. That was many years ago when he was learning to speak his first .words. Hope he doesn’t do that anymore🙂
Thereafter, there have been many such time-connecting songs that represent or remind of a phase of my life. But I’ll leave my musical journeys here, or else I’ll have to rename my blog title as ‘Magnanimous Music’. Not a bad name for a second blog though.
Here are my Haiku poems for this week’s Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge 50.
The words provided were ‘gain’ and ‘hound’. My hounding brain, yielded forth some gain.
lovers hound forever
pining love at all wrong places
gain, a wild-goose-chase
molesters hound forever
groping for petty physical gain
oh what sick life!
newshounds sniff forever
hoping to gain a sassy story
beware! they may catch you
life is a hound
life hounds forever
for true happiness and joy
gain is a mirage
Continuing this mood, here’s a very wise quote by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834):
“Happiness is a hound dog in the sun. We are not here to be happy, but to experience great and wonderful things”
So we shouldn’t perpetually try to be happy but we should look for ‘great and wonderful things’.
But Coleridge also said: “The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.”
Which means we should hound to gain ‘little’, ‘great’, ‘wonderful’ things. Now what are these ‘little’ things that are ‘great’ and ‘wonderful’, or ‘great’ and ‘wonderful’ things that are ‘little’ and yet ‘great’? Do you know?
Copyright © 2015 Written by Alka Girdhar ~ All rights reserved
My university days
The last class finished
The course was over
The final day farewell
Well cried and rejoiced.
The vacation commenced
But we refused to accept!!
We ‘Three Musketeers’
Lingered on and on
For many days to come
We three friends
Like ghosts hovering
Around empty campus
Inside the vacant rooms
Sat on the benches
Laughing and eating
Though sad in our hearts
Searching for all that was
Days later, vacation over
Once again, we got together
Same campus, same rooms
But what we observed soon
Was some hustle and bustle
Whole lot of fresh new people
New students happy and chirpy
Their introductory Open Day
Their freshers’ Welcome Party
The roles had been transferred
The place was taken over
We could not be in denial.
“The place is all theirs
What are we doing here?”
“We can no more linger on
We are students dethroned”
Demoted to be ex-students
Years down the track
Till now we are ex-students
the respected Alumnus.
But that’s not a problem
Alumni do have permission
to linger on, and linger on.
In their minds and memories
they can forever linger on.
This poem is about how we girls felt in those days, how we lingered on…but I don’t dwell on my university, college or school days anymore. These days, coming across heaps of very old time friends on social media gives us sudden elation followed by confusion and mixed feelings – how much and how long to live in our younger days? It’s quite an effort to assimilate them in your current life hence a balance is needed.
As P G Wodehouse said, “Memories are like mulligatawny soup in a cheap restaurant. It is best not to stir them”
Do you also have some memories about campus days? Please share as it’s always fun to remember and read about youthful times.
~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~
Previously in response to The Daily Prompt: Linger
“Tell us about times in which you linger – when you don’t want an event, or a day to end. What is it you love about these times? Why do you wish you could linger forever?”
Also for Writer’s Quote Wednesday #WQWWC This week’s theme is Memories
Two women in tatters
One for the want of needed clothes
Other wants tattered clothes.
Ripped jeans are in vogue. Those peek-a-boo type that reveal just a little to create the desired effect (or so the wearer thinks). The concept is that of straying away from perfection to look rustic yet glamorous. Rubbed and smudged smokey eyes instead of perfectly lined eyeliner, tousled unruly hair instead of a prim bob or perfect blunt. All this teamed with torn jeans or tees. And still not look like a beggar. Now that’s creativity!!
Compare this to a poor girl/woman. Someone who wears clothes with a sole purpose of covering herself because she has to – to protect her body from weather. She can’t afford good clothes, she wears same few clothes over and over till they start to look torn and tattered. No glamour, no creativity there.
So. It makes sense if all the fashionistas donate their unused clothes as much as they can, esp. those which are like-new but not used any more as they are ‘no more in vogue’. After all, what’s the point of holding on to them if they have already been deemed out-of-fashion by our snooty branded friends and relatives, isn’t it? Give them away and let some poor woman/girl wear a complete and whole untattered dress, which she can call her own.
That was my Haiku for this week’s Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge 41.
The poem was composed using two words that were given to us: want & tatter
My above Haiku poem was awarded with A Ronovan Writes Serious Haiku Choice
Copyright © 2015 Written by Alka Girdhar ~ All rights reserved
Two Karmic Poems…
Karma, I learnt, is a real thing
You pay off all the debts you owe
You shall reap all that you sow
It all comes back, out that goes
History repeats itself
Till lessons are learnt.
If we don’t focus
Our toast will be burnt
Everyday, karma shows its ways
The day I sleep late, I wake up late.
If I give love, I get love
They give me hate, I give hate
To improve my karma
I will have to change.
They may give hate or disdain
I should give love and care
If others hurt me, I instantly cry
If I hurt others then also I cry.
To change my karma, I’ll now change
If others hurt me, I’ll never cry
Law of Karma sets me free
I have free-will to create my life.
If I change my habits now
It can improve my future life
Karma says, you do things
but aren’t the doer, He does it all.
Stay detached, work without desires
And you shall never fall…
Karma chameleon changes colour
As per your own karma.
Presence of good deeds is good karma
Presence of bad deeds is bad karma
Absence of bad deeds, good karma?
Absence of good deeds, bad karma?
Doing no deeds, is also karma
Thoughts and intentions also karma
Good thoughts are good karma
Bad thoughts are bad karma
Your karmic blunders ripple
to your children’s karma.
As they pay and emulate
the exemplar of your karma
So you agree with my above thoughts? Feel free to comment and share your views.
© All rights reserved by alkagirdhar.wordpress.com 2015
Have you ever seen an angry young man? You have? I have. No no, not one of the disillusioned middle-class angry writers who were called Angry Young Men. Not even the authoritative and super-rich hero of Mills and Boon novels, an angry young man with an attitude problem that makes girls swoon.
I’m talking about a real angry man, the everyday type who goes crazy if his bank statement from the remote year 2004 goes missing from the house. Now, how in the world is the lady of the house supposed to know whether the document has run away from home, gone for a walk or is merely playing hide-and-seek? She already has tough time keeping Continue reading
Have ill will towards none
Rest all will fall into place
You will rise high.
True. But it’s not as if you just have good intentions and you are sure to rise high. If that was the case then what about all those who are at the top echelons, but have had their share of ill will, one sort or the other. Not that simple, right? There are many other permutations and combinations in life.
Factors like the intensity of ambition, motivation, hard work, persistence, patience and luck ( that gives or takes) plus external support – all these play their role as well. And yet, if your own account, your conscience is clear then there will be fewer obstacles in your path to success, less things going wrong from your side at least. Even if others create obstacles, you will be able to face them.
Sounds ok. Moreover, the reality is that rising high in worldly sense is not even important. There are even greater benefits of goodwill.
With feelings of ill will towards none, you will be guaranteed inner happiness, your soul elevating high as you become a better human being.
That was my haiku poem and thoughts in response to Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge.
Key words given: Ill & Rest
My second Haiku poem using words ill and rest: Peaceful Sunday
© All rights reserved by alkagirdhar.wordpress.com 2015
So. The Happiness Engineers at Word Press want us to laugh and go Ha Ha Ha. They want us to share jokes with fellow bloggers. After writing my previous serious article, I myself needed to clear up the heavy air looming over my blog.
Indeed, one should laugh and make others laugh. As the saying goes, ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone’. Going by the quote, it’s so easy to make (real or fake) friends. All you have to do is, just don’t share your problems too much but make others laugh as much as you can. That’s what a clown does. He might be crying inside his heart but he makes the whole world laugh. As also said by Charlie Chaplin, ‘Mirror is my best friend, because when I cry it never laughs’.
Laughing is good for other reasons too. Say, if smoking a cigarette reduces life by 5 minutes and laughing increases life by 10 minutes, then a laughing smoker never dies. That was a stale joke that came into my mind. But hope you got the message. Laughter increases your longevity. The bigger the dose, the better.
The problem is, having a full-hearted open laugh is not so easy. People who have not laughed out loud for a long time, find it very hard to do so. To open one’s mouth wide, show one’s teeth, make a ha ha ha sound, to everyone’s hearing. For a woman it can even be a greater challenge to decide how much to laugh, a question of looking dainty as well as a pleasant personality. But we do come across men and women who laugh full-throttle, quite like our good-humored Australian Laughing Kookaburra does (see the birdie laughing video). In any gathering we can see such happy men and women get popular because of their hearty laugh while the demure humans go unnoticed. So you see – there are many advantages of laughing.
Moreover, such laughter is contagious. If one Kookaburra laughs, others join in, informs Wikipedia: ‘One bird starts with a low, hiccuping chuckle, then throws its head back in raucous laughter: often several others join in’. Likewise, if one human laughs, can others be far behind? That is how Laughter Yoga and Laughter Clubs work.
Laughing may not come easy to everyone but smiling is not hard, for one and all. ‘If a loser smiles after losing the game, the winner loses the thrill of his victory‘. That’s the power of a Smile ! If you don’t even look like a loser, rather you look happy despite your loss, then you have almost won the game. Even those who were happy to see you losing, who were kind of putting you down, will feel challenged and are left wondering – ‘Huh! The game was easy but this person is not an easy game’.
Moreover, after losing, if you look happy instead of crying, people will consider you a large-hearted sportsman spirit. Maybe you are not. Maybe not at all. But what’s the point telling it to the whole world?
Bah!! What’s wrong with me? Why do I have to be philosophic even about a simple prompt like ‘Ha Ha Ha‘. All they had asked for is a joke or a funny anecdote. I’ll try this time.
Behind every successful man there is a woman……
Because women don’t run behind unsuccessful men!!
Hah! Again, that was not really a joke. Was it? Here’s a real one, straight out of my poor-jokes wardrobe:
Someone asked a ninety-five year old man: “Even after 70 years of marriage, you still refer to your wife as…Darling…Sweety…Baby…Honey…Luv….!!!! What is the secret of such love between you two???
The man replied: “I forgot her name 10 yrs ago……and I’m scared to ask her.”
Did this joke make you laugh? Well, I tried. Watch this laughing baby and try joining him in his hahaha.
Animals and children do take it easy. If laughing out loud still doesn’t come easy, at least keep smiling, and sooner or later life will be tired of upsetting you…
No offense was meant by my joke/s towards any age-group or gender. We all have to inevitably go through various phases of life, maybe suffer things worse than Dementia, that too only if we happen to live that long.
Header: Art by Hazel Bowman – Blessed Is The Gift Of Laughter
We clicked this picture while bush-walking in Carlingford area of Sydney and captured this insect being trapped and the spider eating it. The overall blurred picture shows the hues of this spider and insect duo quite vividly
Inspired me to write a poem:
She spins a web
But means no harm
Just wants her feast
Her daily dinner.
A gullible fly
Flies into this web
Of sticky threads
With no exit.
For her it’s a prey
But also a reward
Of her clever labor
She’s so happy!!!
It is creepy. And it might seem like merciless killing. In our eyes, this insect is a victim but it’s a reward for this spider for all her smart hard-work. Weird ways of nature!!
By the look of it, this spider seems to be Andrew’s Cross Spider. They construct a large web and are common during summers in the bush and gardens around homes. Living in Australia, we need to be able to identify spiders, esp. the Australian Funnel Web spider which is extremely venomous.
For more information on these spiders: AustralianMuseum
© Copyright Alka Girdhar
When I need to fight
I take a flight
When I need to flee
I start to fight
Happiness in life
is all about knowing,
When to flee
And when to fight
How much to flee
How much to fight
The above poem and picture were in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fight or Flight.”
When putting up the above picture for my poem for the writing prompt, I felt that these pictures are also good for Weekly Photo Challenge – Rule of Thirds.
The subject is off-center, the focus is more on certain parts. The rest is somewhat blurred out, though not exactly. Possibly not the best attempt but almost there.
I took these random pictures when going overseas.
Picture source for all pics: self-clicked
© All rights reserved 2015
I’ll plot a plot
to undo their plot
to give me a plot
I will not accept it
I will not take it
coz I never take anything
but suppose if
I pay its price, and
suppose it is mine, then
what will I do with it?
If it is big, will serve
all my purposes big
build a home for the aged
an orphanage, a school for free
but a smallish plot
will have a cute nursery
of health giving herbs
fruits and flower bulbs
big or small, whatever
this Plot of Earth yields
will open it to public
to use for free
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Plot of Earth.”
pic credit: land
© All rights reserved 2015
Walls – good and bad
walls not good
ones that grow
never fall down
low wall not bad
amid two houses
a place for tete-a-tete
as strong as high wall
high wall not good
stony dead silence
such walls develop ears
‘wall-to-wall’ walls not bad
such walls build houses
if hearts build a home
without house no home
hug such Wall to Wall walls
strong walls of a house
keep inmates warm
and secure, weak walls
of a house soon come down
till the home drowns
shaky walls of an old house
broken and mouldy
such walls weep and such
walls speak, tell sad tales of a
home that once was
This poem was also published at Poetree Creations web-site:
© All rights reserved by alkagirdhar.wordpress.com 2015
I am hungry
what do I do?
Cook my food
and relish my meal
or sit watch others enjoy?
I wanna dance
my feet are tapping
Can I be happy
just looking at the crowd
go hyper mad and wild?
Words in my mind
Do I pen them down
or just be content
to read what others write?
I’ll wear my shoes
and go for a walk
Not sit near the window
while the joggers pass me by
My poem was in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Morton’s Fork.”:
If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why?
What is Morton’s Fork? Read here
Morton’s Fork is a logical dilemma in which a person faces two equally bad options.
Between devil and the deep sea.
But Reading vs Writing…aren’t both these supposed to be equally good options??
© Alka Girdhar 2015
Our friends from virtual world play a significant role in our lives but in such a subtle manner that we do not even realize. When we read about other people’s life stories or see their online pictures, we too transform, either negatively or positively. Negatively when we start assuming that every other person’s life is better than ours, which may not be the case. Mostly it is a positive change because we learn so much from our online friends, without even stepping out of our house.
So, responding to the prompt FiresideChat, I can very well say that after reading such inspiring blogs by sensitive caring writers, it would be a privilege to meet them in real. There are two emphatic female bloggers I particularly felt affinity to but I may never get to see them.
My conclusion is, that if at all we wish to see our virtual-world friends in real life, then it is better to do so at the earliest possible because if we do not meet them for a long time, then seeing them face-to-face at some later stage turns out to be a case of either faulty perceptions and impressions, or else the rapport doesn’t build up. They may seem very different in reality and thereafter we lose them off-line as well as online. So, if at all you wish to see them for real, never leave it for too long. Otherwise be happy being online friends.
And yes, while there are many people in my life whom I would like to know better, would like to have a personal chat with them by the fire-side…there is specifically one person I heartily wish to know better. Today, as I talk about her, I feel I do know her very well and yet do not know her enough.
What happens is that as soon as I am sure I know her, and have formed a confirmed opinion about her that she is like this, or she is like that…then soon she seems very different. Confuses me. Drives me crazy. The very issues and habits in her that appeal me today, do not appeal me the very next day. Sometimes she is totally feminine, like some insecure girl rather than being a woman. And then she is changed the next day, confident as can be, beyond recognition.
That is why I want her to tell me about her inner fears, hidden wishes and desires that she doesn’t tell anyone. I want to sit and listen to what she has to say as only I can be her best friend. This much I know. This heart-to-heart chat will also improve our relation.
The fact is, I see her every day. She’s there with me very often though sometimes even when she’s physically with me, she’s away in her her own world, her cocoon.
Have you guessed by now that I am talking about myself? I would like to meet myself face-to-face and talk. I would like to observe myself, by going outside of me…judge myself objectively in a detached way. I want to communicate with myself to get the inner self-realization about my purpose in life.
I want to know myself more than what others know about me. Mostly, others define who I am. My childhood friends and siblings remind me that I was like this or that, and I believe them. My mother tells me I am like this and I completely trust that she knows much more about me than I myself do. Thus I get approvals and certificates from everyone known so as to conveniently define my behavior and adapt my future goals as per their previous set expectations.
Till now, my community and society defined my life for me. What was charted out for me by the capitalist materialistic world was meant to be followed during my teens and younger age. Now, as a mature woman, I would like to sit with myself and have a heart-to-heart chat about her (my) life that she had till now. I want to know what she (me) wants to do with the rest of her life, so as to make the most of it. I want to know her (me) through my eyes not this world’s eyes. I want her to re-discover her hopes, her strengths, her passions, her beauty, her inner truth. I want to heal her of any hurt that I myself have given to her.
I will soon chat with my bestest friend and share it with you all.
My above thoughts are for my own self-realization but they need to be applied by all human beings at various stages of life. And as said by one Doris Mortman, ‘Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have.’
“What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?”
© All rights reserved 2015
Are you real?
Or we humans
Hallucinate you are there?
I was born
Have lived on till now
Wake up alive each day.
Your little marvels
I get to live
Each day – a good life
Eat, drink and smile.
Your little miracles
Time and time again
I get myself into strife
And you – my life’s boatman
Come from nowhere
To reset my life.
Have more than I deserve
Each day I encounter you
Each day I bow –
to you and your wonderful
gift of life.
© All rights reserved 2014
My poem was in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Good Faith.”
“Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.”
Wrote this poem for the writing prompt: “All Grown Up.” that had asked “When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever).”
I am stuck in time
My age-mates pass me by
I look in the mirror
Not much change I find
Yes I haven’t changed
Yet I surely have
I was born an old soul
Now so young I am
Getting younger day by day
Prime of youth came so late
Now I refuse to grow up
Have vowed to die young
To be old, to be a grown up
I’ll have to be born again
~~ Alka Girdhar ~~
© All rights reserved 2014
So you think you are smart, don’t you?
Yeah sure you live in your pipe dreams
Wow!! You are real men, aren’t you?
With power to thunder and create havoc
You want to scare us, want to terrorize
How desperately you seek our hatred!
We don’t hate you, but we do pity
Pity your sickness, your pathetic mind
You disgust us but we don’t hate you
No time to hate, we’re too full of love
You kill, we embrace our dead like never before
Million bouquets united us all at Martin Place
The heroes you killed, will live on in our hearts
And you? You lived alone, died alone, to be forgotten
You loner! You loser! Can’t you see?
You became weak, we became strong!!
You killed school kids in Peshawar, fragile and sweet
In our love for these kids, we forgot to hate you
We tender humans cried freely for the departed
You macho cowards made us cry, then run and hide
You hide your face before killing, and after killing
You live a cloaked and masked dead life
You give terror, we become strength
You give hatred, we become love
You’ll lose your games!! We will win!!!
It’s that simple…
I wrote this poem after Sydney Terror Seige in December, 2014 and soon after that massacre of innocent children inside Peshawar school
Who would not be moved by such videos: school children and bodies
My feelings are now apt for current France Terror Attack. Sadly nothing’s changed….
© All rights reserved 2014
“That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain
The happy highways where I went and cannot come again”
(…excerpt from a poem by A. E. Housman)
Men and women in 40 plus age group, esp. those who live far away from their birth place or homeland, have seen it all. A sudden rediscovery of old-time friends (and sometimes old relatives) on social media, followed by emotional reunions and confused reliving of all our old selves. It’s as if we have gone back in time. The dead characters come alive after 20 or 30 long years. These people are special to us. They are our old friends and hold value for us.
Old friends, like old swords, still are trusted best, said John Webster. Old friends can also be compared to old wine, old rice or even old jaggery. All these are reputed to be of best quality as they have ripened slowly, while standing the test of time before they became fine. They do not go rancid and serve their purpose at all times. So it seems and so we want to believe. Other than this, very old friends bring back memories of a precious phase of our life – our childhood and early youth, our aimless giggling, fights and reconciliations, our sharing of life dreams and goals. Meeting these pals again in life is like looking into a mirror and we come face to face with our raw self.
All this may be true but there is other side to it. We can also compare old friends to old coins or to some very old piece of jewellery; items best used only for their vintage value, meant to be treasured and to be kept in one’s safe wallet or a locker. We never use old coins and we can’t wear very old-fashioned jewellery every day. Keep aside the antiques and relish as per time and will. As per this logic, very old-time friendships are valuable but not real as they are not current, not hands-on. They exist more in our imagination. Harshly speaking, they are somewhat like some used paper napkin that was once fresh and very useful but having served its purpose, it has gone limp. After the initial mutual exchange of personalities during childhood days, after seeking each other’s company during youth, we may or may not be useful for each other in all times to come.
But deep in our hearts, we still want to believe that old friends are always better than the new. Even after all the years gone, we want to remember only the good in them. The problem with nostalgia is its selectivity. It is a file that removes rough edges from the good old days, thus goes the saying. In reality, quite often old friends as well as our old-time relatives we haven’t met for a long time, may continue to be more demanding and less giving, so what if we now met them after many years. There may be too many expectations of loyalty from old timers whereas these values might have died long time back, at the time when we parted from them. Rather, there could be new feelings of insecurity, eg; female friends who get married around the same time, now meeting after say twenty years may end up mutually comparing their marriage or motherhood status, as well as their financial status. Only if their partners and their children get along well can their friendship revive again. Old feelings thus dampen or get deformed.
There are other external factors that may influence our old friendships. When we come across our school time best friends after say two to three decades, we expect them to still be our best friend but possibly they now feel closer to another common friend of ours, or to other members of our family. Even if these new buddies share no common past but suppose they have common present, and if they all are currently residing in the same city or working in the same institute, their friendship will be more real whereas you are just a part of their memories of bygone times. Eventually, physical proximity maintains old friendships while distance can sadly kill these friendships once again even if we desperately try to revive them. Thus, most equations change after so many years.
More often than not, coming face-to-face with very old friends again may feel like we never ever parted, but sometimes we may instinctively not feel close to them like we did in the past or when we met them first in life. Some of these old timers will be overjoyed to see us while others feel strange and awkward, esp. on social media where we see them again, and also if we ever meet them in real. That’s because each friendship has a tenure. As if, whatever role they were destined to play in our lives is already over. As if, humans meet to fulfill some karma of give and take, of learning certain life lessons from each other, that of influencing each other’s lives, after which we move on.
Did that sound too heavy? So much for our ‘stale’ mates. Let’s analyse ‘new’ friendships.
New friendships begin on a blank slate. This slate has nothing good or bad already written about our fresh friends; no history, no nostalgia, no fixed impressions from our previously preconceived memories hence no expectations and no possible disillusionments or heartaches.
New friends are like freshly minted coins, useful in our current day-to-day life. They fit into our immediate environment where we live – our city, our neighborhood, our common children. These are friendships of convenience. There is a practical value sans any real or fake emotions or sentimentalism (as yet).
New friends may in fact end up valuing us more than our old friends. They are happy to have found us, as if we are some new rare discovery. They still have to prove their worth in our eyes so they try hard and never take us for granted. What begins as a budding curiosity about each other may slowly open up to unfold like a beautiful fragrant flower.
Another issue is, when we meet people at a very young age, as it happens with our very old time friends, our perceptions might have been somewhat faulty though friendships cute and open. For this reason, when we meet them after a long time, we find them changed beyond recognition. In comparison, mature-age new friendships happen when we have seen enough life, when do not open up easily to everyone, so we tend to automatically and instinctively draw only those people into our lives who are good for us and more similar to us. It is due to our life long experience in dealing with people, that we immediately know whom we want or don’t want.
So dear friends (and acquaintances)!! Old will always remain precious, like diamonds and rare gold. But we also need other metals so as to live in our real world rather than continue to live in a make-believe world of memories. Let bygones be safely kept in the mind’s precious closet! Do meet them occasionally but not at the cost of your current life, or else you will be living in the past while they have moved on.
And yet, for all practical reasons, if old friends can become a part of your ‘current’ world, your city, your new family. Plus if you happen to get along well in current times, then that’s the best combination where old timers continue to be our antique treasure but one that is usable and practical. But here’s the risk! This new process of re-assessing, re-assimilating and re-defining old friendships may seem like starting another round of friendship experiment with the same people. And experiment that may or may not succeed this time in life.
Do you agree with my post? Feel free to express your views on this topic, even if you totally disagree with my views.
We all have lost touch with somebody or the other.
Reconnect to make more time for the people who matter.
Why? If you initiate the conversations, it can break the ice.
You never know, it can save someone’s life
Start a conversation. Ask “Are you ok?”
Listen. Pay attention. Do not judge
Encourage action, in the right direction.
Help people around you feel ok.
~~ Alka 2016 ~~
Today, the 8th of September, is R U OK Day. In Australia, it’s a national day of action and a reminder to regularly check in with family, friends and workmates.
So here I am asking my readers: Are you ok? You are free to share your problems with me, either via your comments here, or contact me. You never know, some reader may come up with a solution to your problem.
Young moms are moms. Sure!
Are older moms moms too?
Seen it all. Been there. Done that.
Rotund tummy, birthing nerves, joy at the new-born
Ones, who once changed far more nappies
And soothed their colicky babies
Have now left teethers and rattles behind
Disposed them, barring a few…for sweet memories.
Arriving in an alien land, landing double-shift jobs
No extended families ever, lonely media-less times.
Walked their toddlers to child-care, settled them in a kindy
Initiated their primary schooler’s A, B, Cs and Ds
Exhausted weekends at (selective-school) coaching centres
Helped their prodigies with high-school projects
Made secure their future, saw them soar high
Empty handed moms – from their nest the kids fly
Soft-hearted moms become hardened moms
Young moms, still learning about motherhood?
Older mommies, the walking encyclopaedias
Been there. Done that. Seen it all.
Kind of still young, but growing older
Preparing for another dose of mom-hood
Booster shot, of becoming a grand(er) mom.
Some already are content grand-moms
Older moms, not less of a mom, if not more.
Not exactly passé, definitely not past
©Alka Girdhar 2016
While writing this poem I had in my mind women friends who once arrived here in Australia as newly weds, or pregnant with their first child, while some has a toddler or two. Over the years I have seen many of them undergo most of the above experiences as a busy mother, and now some of them are getting their children settled in jobs or marriage, while other moms would probably join them sometime in the coming years.
Recently I joined a mothers club. Most women there are young mothers discussing problems faced by very new moms. So many problems in an easy era of social media, and nowadays most of them have plenty of helping hands around. Hence, I felt a need to remember the evolving role of the older, or should I say more experienced, mothers as well. Because the joys as well as responsibilities that come with motherhood continue for the whole life..
Saare Jahan se Achcha…Hindustan Hamara
Happy Independence Day to all the people of Indian origin, wherever you are in this world, and of whatever faith, religion, color, caste or creed. Be One!! The country you hail from is one of its kind – a land of beautiful culture, strong values, spiritualism, linguistic and religious diversity.
It’s a day to value your freedom, to remember that it was attained after huge sacrifices, to not take it for granted and to constantly work towards maintaining this freedom so that our future generations can thank us, just as we thank our ancestors for the hard work they did to give us this day. A free country gives us all roots and belonging, it’s a prerogative but also an onus.
This poem by Rabindranath Tagore sums it up:
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
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Losing one’s writing voice. Not that big a crisis this. But if something goes missing, we do wonder. Wonder about its whereabouts.
Where are you my writing muse!
Come back dear!!!
Come! Come here!!
Come hither…hither hither hither
Don’t be scared. Sit near. Come!!!
Promise! I won’t bind you. Won’t tie you down to a lamp post.
You know. I never tried to tame you like a pet.
In fact I did try once.
To call you as and when I wanted, and not when you wanted to come.
But no success. Could never have set days or hours apart, for writing or publishing.
This non-rhythm worked for me. Never let strategy kill the true spirit.
“…as immediately I stopped disciplining the muse,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald, “she trotted obediently around and became an erratic mistress if not a steady wife.”
So! That’s what you always were. Untamed and free to come and go.
And that is the reason you always followed me around. Vibrant. Liberated. Uninhibited.
Sitting on my shoulder, whispering sweet nothings.
We two were happy. Till life occurred.
Yes, life occurs, and raises questions and doubts. To live life, or to listen to one’s writing voice. Life or Muse? Muse or Life? Sometimes life wins.
Till one day we again find ourselves using this very life, to embed it within our writing. Provided that by then our writing muse is not so annoyed that it refuses to come back.
Crisis teaches us
Lessons we must learn
So as to grow
If we live on
After what seems
We either love life
more, or we do not
Love it anymore
Crisis changes us
For better or worse
It’s up to us
© 2016 Alka Girdhar
Good things happen slowly
Wait for them
Reckless drivers risk their hold
Lose their way
The first-sight love washes away
Step-by-step work for your goal
Slow and steady wins the race
At a uniform pace
Things will come to you slowly
If they are for you
If not, they will leave your path
Slowly, move away
© 2016 Alka Girdhar
“Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of a waking man”
~ Pliny the Elder
Happy bird sings
Caught a worm and golden sun
Here’s some more:
Give It All
Flowers sing and die
Unheard, their beck and call
‘Give it all’
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
We always see the bright side
We’re keeping our hopes alive
That the day will never come
When birds stop singing
When flowers forget to bloom
As the earth burns down
As we bring on our doom
~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~
I wrote the above haiku and the short poem for two challenges.
Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge 106 hosted by Ronovan Writes. The two words for this week were Flower & Sing.
Also for Writer’s Quote Wednesday Weekly Challenge hosted by Colleen of The Silver Threading. This week’s theme was: Hope
Hope you enjoyed my poems!
Driving my life, now
Wheels unstuck from the daily rut
Towards all things fine
© 2016 Alka Girdhar
For the daily prompt Drive