To Be As Clean As Can Be

The Daily Post’s writing prompt Sweeping Motions has asked us:
‘What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.’

~~~~

cleaning-clip-art-clip-art-cleaning-385513

My computer table is messy. No No, my room is messier. No No, it’s my table….

Both are slightly messy. Both are clean.  But there’s a reason to why they are like that?  I mean, c’mon, what else do you expect?  Unlike India, here in Australia we’ve to do most of the work by ourselves. Moreover, with more than half of my family of three enjoying their trips, currently I’m doing all the work by myself.  It’s a different issue that less family members also means less work.

In general, if there is a long list of work to be done all the time – say cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing etc. etc – what will happen?  We’ll have to prioritize, innit?  We’ll do only that which is absolutely necessary.

Cooking is vital, followed by cleaning of the kitchen. Hygiene in kitchen is more important than that of the rest of the house. Cleaning of toilets is also necessary but this week, with most of my family away, I’m using  only one toilet. When the sole person using the bathroom and toilet is a woman, it doesn’t get much dirty anyway.

Ok.  Next task?  We need clothes every day.  At the most I can forego the ironing of each and every washed piece, but washing of clothes is still a necessary chore to be done every alternate day.

Only after these vital chores are over, comes a need for room cleaning and yard cleaning. Bedroom cleaning involves carpet cleaning every other day. Currently I do not see a dire need for it, so the floor looks fine. The bedroom wardrobe always seems to have a room for cleaning. Also exists the task of changing of bedsheets but not every single day as I use my bed only for sleeping, not for watching TV or casual sitting around.  Hence sometimes, when I’m in a hurry, I avoid making my bed. But it’s Okkkk!!!

My computer table is currently within my bedroom. Other than the laptop and another big screen computer, right now it has some scattered pens, random visiting cards, letters and envelopes, some coasters, phones being charged. Is that a mess?  Thanks to my deteriorating eye-sight, I can’t clearly spot the dust even if it is there. A dressing table, that sits next to the computer table, has a drawer full of charging wires, ear-phones, head phones, diaries and writing stuff but it hardly has any makeup or beauty items that it ‘s supposed to have. Any fines for that?

But Hey Word Press!! Why am I telling you all this? And why are you asking?

Other than busy schedules, the way we all are addicted to blogging as well as to the rest of the online media, you can’t expect us to be cleaner than we are. There’s so much information overload online that I spend more time reading about ‘How to use lemon or vinegar to clean the house’, rather than on actual cleaning.  There’s no dearth of sites that inform about ‘How olive oil can help clean leather items’, or ‘How to use baking soda to clean your face as well as your house’. Organic cleaning is the best, they say. But just reading about all this information is not going to automate the cleaning of our homes.

To conclude it all as a poem….

 The amount of time we spend online
 Messy rooms and tables are not a crime.
 Please do not track our rooms
 Go home and clean your own room.
(no offense meant)

The one you’re ‘Meant To Be With’

My poem defines a ‘soul-mate’ as not someone we pine for, but one your soul learns to live with and knows him/her well.

~~~

The one you are with, day and night
Is the one you are Born to Be With

To (not) take you to moon and back
To help your life gain ground on earth

Together buy food and groceries
To cook all the family meals

To remind each other about
The day for the rubbish bin

Together watch soap-operas
To fight for the remote control

To converse about bank balance
To get home renovations done

Together plan your child’s future
To worry about his/her career

The mate you share your life with
The mate who cares for your little needs

Soul-mate is not the one you pine for
But the mate your soul learns to live with

'Will these glasses help him see things my way?'

~~~~
.
Take Me to the Moon

Also for the daily prompt  Born to Be With You:  Got a soul-mate and/or a best friend? What is it about that person that you love best?

Yin to My Yang

To Love the Coming and Going of Seasons

If we want, we can be happy in every season.

A heart full of love is the prime reason, that even when all seasons turn, turn, turn they still carry a special beautiful meaning for us. Here, by love I mean love between young or old lovers, between happily married couples or love within your family, friends and general humanity.

Our age and vitality is another reason. By age, I do not mean just physically young age with its plentiful energy and zeal to live, but also the youthfulness of heart in people who are ‘young at heart’.

Which means, to a generally happy and content heart, all seasons seem good.  An unhappy heart will not even notice the change in seasons. Thus, abundant love and youthful feelings at any age can make us look forward to any season.

When love sprouts in our heart early on, everything is romantic and wears a rosy sheen.P1050651 Spring flowers and bird songs carry a special meaning for a heart in love.

Likewise, heavy rain that is at its worst during a full-swing rainy season, may often be abhorred by others around you, but if you are in a desirable company of someone you love, you won’t mind walking in the rain for miles, even without umbrella. Similarly, a group of youthful (young at heart) friends in a mood to enjoy rainy season will love every drop of water falling on their fresh faces. For the same reason, sitting indoors in our home and hearth with our families, even when wild rain thuds and creates noise, is far from scary. Rainy season becomes a family occasion for special food being cooked, a charming fun event.

For a person with heart full of love, dry autumn leaves seem to sway and fall gracefully; and walking on crunchy leaves hand-in-hand with your loved one creates a rustling music like in no other season does.

Likewise, winters too seem unpleasantly cold only if our hearts have gone cold and frozen. Oh for the love that melts ice in our hearts, the chill within relationships!  These clichéd thoughts remind me of the song ‘Frozen’ by Madonna, and the lyrics ‘you’re frozen, when your heart’s not open

Oh well! That was one way of viewing seasons, that is, accepting the reality that it is our personal feelings that make seasons influence us positively or negatively. Too much happiness and too much unhappiness render us oblivious to any good or bad changes around us.

And yet, other than our personal moods, there is also a certain practical and physical side to it. The hard facts. On seeing myriad colorful flowers and after inhaling sudden fragrances of spring, even a very sad unloved person is liable to cheer up for the time being. That is the power of nature and flowers. To a person in a normal mood, most fruit and flower trees anyway give greater joy during spring season.

Some time ago, during late spring, this fig tree in my yard was lush green and full of figs, but now so barren, with every fruit and leaf gone. Few days ago, in early winters, on seeing a few off-season figs, I felt sudden joy and delight, more than on seeing a tree full of figs in their full season.

Which means, other than love in our hearts that makes us sensitive towards seasons, there is some definite impact of seasonal changes via physical beauty of nature, as also through other physical consequences of changing seasons, esp. the extremes of heat and cold.  Ask a homeless and poor person which season he/she likes the best. Can’t be winters. And even a rich person, who is badly susceptible to catching flu in winters, cannot be in love with this season, even though he/she can afford best possible medical help.

Moreover, shorter winter days seem to be generally less productive. Physical mobility is also less if one finds it hard to wake up early and go to work. But that means, winters provide plenty of rest and warm snug sleep. Now that too is a blessing if not carried too far! Other than that if and when sun comes out during winters, which is plentiful in Australia, it is highly welcome.

That way, summers get many things done what with their longer sunny hours. But then again summers produce scorching heat accompanied by physical exhaustion throughout the day. Nature counteracts this by providing treasures of summer fruits, that we can top up with drinks and ice-creams.

P1050741

Rain drops today – from my front door

See, I can go on and on and justify that all seasons are good if we have open hearts, and as for our comfort, well nature shows a balancing act in all seasons.

Personally speaking, at all times in life, whether there is abundant love or no love around me, extreme happiness or no happiness, I have no complaint with any season. For I am lucky that I am not homeless during severe heat, cold or rain. I count my blessings, that I still have many reasons to be happy in life, irrespective of seasonal tantrums and turnovers.

~~~ ~~~

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Turn, Turn, Turn
Seasons change so quickly! Which one do you most look forward to? Which is your least favorite?

. Also for WPC photo prompt Seasons

 

Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar

Wish you a very safe journey, my GPS thief!

Yesterday, you entered the boundary of my house at midnight. You stealthily opened all the doors of my car that was parked on the driveway and took away so many of my favorite things.

Wow!  How cool the whole process!  You could open my car without a key. What fun it must have been to search the car for valuables!!

It seems to me you did not like any of the goodies that were inside the big bag on the back seat. You had carelessly scanned and scattered them on the seat as well as thrown them outside the car. The sun caps, the shopping bag and trolley, water bottles and some documents – all of these were of no interest to you.

But you sure did find some humble luxuries on the front seat and took them home.  My GPS, my favourite music CDs, along with a few sunglasses. Possibly something else too that I’m not aware of.

I will miss my music collection but it is the loss of the GPS that will directly impact my life. May be it won’t.  Actually I did not value my GPS as much as I should have. Still, how did you come to know that I do not treasure it and you decided to take it away?

I now miss its presence in my car, but as long as it was with me, I hardly ever put it on.  Her voice telling me to  “Turn left”, “Turn right at the third intersection“, “Keep going for another 2 km then turn left” kind of irritated me. She used to put me under tension. During my journey I could either listen to her or use my brain. I always chose the latter.

I happen to have a sharp memory. I easily remember names of the streets. I like to find my own way, by hit and trial.  So I did not use my GPS as often as most people do.

And yet, the fact remains that it was mine.  I paid for this intelligent machine.  And you took it away so unashamedly?

Moreover, I did use it under dire circumstances. In any case I always avoid driving very long and unsafe distances, and now with my GPS gone, I will totally stop doing that, till I get another one, if at all.  Which means, much as I say I didn’t like it, it was my friend during my difficult times when I feared getting lost along the way. Hence I will miss its presence.  We can do without our friends who make merry with us but not without those who help us in our hours of need.

All in all, one thing is clear to me.  Even with my minor or major dependency on it, I did not love having a GPS to this extent, that I would have ever dared to venture out in the dark of the night, that too in this current chilly Sydney winter weather only to get a GPS from somebody’s car. But you did exactly that.

How unsafe it must have been for you to enter someone’s territory at midnight, and use unscrupulous means to open the doors before using either car-light or your own search light to scan around!!  You left the doors open and quietly vanished away with your booty. Were you scared of the noise it would make if you close the doors?

My heart feels bad for you as I realize how desperate you must have been and how needy that you had no other way to get these goodies except break open my car.  Therefore, I conclude you needed my GPS much more than I ever did.

And that’s what the police said, “This is a job of someone too needy.
But the cops also reiterated, “They do that all the time, they sell them away.

Indeed if a person decides to sell his/her conscience, then selling a GPS is not such a big issue, isn’t it?  So go ahead.  Let my loss be your big gain.

As for me, it’s not as much about the loss of the GPS, or that of music CDs and the sunglasses as it is about loss of faith in people living around my area; it’s about the loss of feeling of security.  It’s the scare you have caused in my heart that will linger on.  I may overcome it with time as will I forget my GPS.  Hopefully it may also make my family stronger as we further learn to keep our possessions secure and safe.

But I might still not keep my car in my garage every day, as quite a task it is to take it out of the narrow driveway. P1060189Therefore from now on, I will start using a car-cover that I always had but never used. The cover will keep my car dust free.  Good outcome!  It will be difficult for you to take off the car-cover and run away with it.

Also, the police has now updated me that you (and probably your pals) had raided many cars in our area. Which means there will now be increased police vigilance in our suburb. They said they will also get the street lights working. Some good does come out of all bad things.

Life will move on and so will your journey as you either use my GPS in your own car or sell it.  You needed it badly, so you better use it for your good.  But in general, no good ever comes out of eyeing other people’s possessions. No one can ever become a millionaire by stealing.

If you did not have any agenda of becoming rich via my GPS, and if you genuinely needed money for your ailing family, then it’s a matter of immense shame that we have a society where the poor and needy are too embarrassed to ask others for some humble amount of money, and they prefer, rather they are compelled to steal in the middle of night.

But if it is not poverty and rather it was your own addiction to stealing that compelled you to opt for this burglary, then all I can do is pray for you,  “May this GPS open the doors of your conscience!! May it show you a right direction and a ‘right’ way in life!!!”

I can almost hear my GPS speaking to you:  “Move right to go towards the right (eous) path in life. Keep driving forever…and ever…”

~~~

My car was actually broken into at night, two days ago.  

After reading The Daily Prompt Do Not Disturb  I was not sure I was supposed to share this incident here or not.  Sometimes we just feel like sharing. I can make it ‘private’ if and when I feel uncomfortable with it.
Responding to the prompt now, well in general, one should be careful about sharing. When in doubt have no doubt. If there is something you won’t tell to a random stranger, unknown neighbor or your enemy, then do not put it online.
But as it happens, with offline or online theft – ill-intentioned people will find a way. All you can do is be cautious.

a gratitude 

a tremor
an earthquake
a catastrophe far-flung
a house tumbling down
a city gone down
a stink of death
a bane

*

a look around
a home I own
a flower blooms
a kitchen warm
a burning fire
a sanctuary
a blessing

DSCN0005m

.

The poem was a response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Fearful Symmetry
“Pick a letter, any letter. Now, write a story, poem, or post in which every line starts with that letter.”

© All rights reserved 2015

My poems at Poetree Creations

Quote


1) My poem was published/promoted at the site Poetree Creations:

    Walls – good and bad – Promote Yourself.

 If you like the poem, then please do appreciate the peom at the above site too, just as you  did here at Magnanimous Word: Walls

  https://alkagirdhar.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/walls-good-and-bad/

2). Another poem published/promoted by Poetree Creations:  

Born again – promote yourself  

 This one is for Mother’s Day. All mothers, young and old, can relate to it

 My poem at Magnanimous Word site:  Born Again

Site URL for this poem:     https://alkagirdhar.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/born-again/

 Thanks for reading this and for liking any of my works.

Alka

~~~~~~~~~

All About Walls

 Walls – good and bad 

walls not good
ones that grow
amid friends
never fall down
friendships drown

low wall not bad
amid two houses
a place for tete-a-tete
builds friendship
as strong as high wall

high wall not good
between neighbours
icy-cold hearts
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:

http://poetreecreations.org/2015/03/03/walls-good-and-bad-promote-yourself/

pic

© All rights reserved by alkagirdhar.wordpress.com 2015

Wall to Wall

India(n) Land Monsoons

Yesterday was Australia Day as well as India’s Republic Day and I happened to hear Australian national songs on TV, one of them I still call Australia home…”  is very sentimental in its tune and nostalgic in its lyrics.

“I’ve been to cities that never close down
From New York to Rio and old London town
But no matter how far or how wide I roam
I still call Australia home”

Thus, any native Australians who are born and brought up in Australia but move to another part of the world, they ‘still call Australia home’.   

Which raises a question in my mind as I respond to the The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Free Association.”
Which place should a non-resident Indian like me I call home?

‘India is my native country’, this statement I have used too often without thinking but today google-searched its meaning and found that ‘native’ means natural, inborn, intrinsic and deep-down.   Basically, everything that is real.  So should I say, India is my home?

But I live in Australia so this too is ‘home’, albeit the practical real one – where I have my ‘house’ as well.  But that way I have many houses in India too where I hardly get to reside and that’s why I am a non-resident Indian.

It hurts me as I recollect that when growing up in India, I used to be sarcastic towards my fellow Indians who opted to go abroad and settle in a foreign land. How can they even think of leaving India and settling elsewhere?  Didn’t make sense to me. Hence, a patriot like me should have never left India as I am not in favor of divided loyalties. India was my motherland and we can’t have two mothers, I used to debate with my foreign-crazy female friends who desperately wanted to settle in Canada or U.S.

But a couple of years later when we as a family impulsively ended up taking that very action which I always criticized in others, then there was no way out but to go with the flow. Soon the magnanimous-hearted Australia gave us shelter, jobs, house, opportunities, and in all the years to follow gave us an abundant life. Whether I wanted to migrate or not is a different thing, whether I wanted to live in Australia for this long or not is a different issue. But I actually did and that makes Australia my home.

And yet, home is where the heart is. This heart keeps going back to India often, now please don’t ask me how many times a day.  All this may sound like cheating and bigotry as I live in wonderful Australia. But India is in my blood, my inner soul and I can’t change this fact, can I?  Should I?? That is a dilemma of being a migrant.  We, the people with divided loyalties.

All in all, if I have two homes now, that again means India too is my home of which I have soft memories of childhood, parents and siblings, remembrance of various houses I lived in, just as there are memories of settling down in Australia, the initial struggle and memories of various Australian homes and overall Australian cities, the Australian land.

I’m talking about land of these countries and land is soil. That will make me move on to the next ‘soil’ part of the daily prompt. Once again I find myself talking about India, the Indian soil and its land mass, which is the actual geographical land of India that occupies a vast portion of our planet earth.  It used to occupy much more than that in its long history, but lands get transferred when a new country is formed out of the big old country…quite like a new home, a new family is formed out of the big joint family home when people in the same family move out of the family house.  All this proves that man-made land boundaries, that enclose our countries, are changeable and do not mean as much as we think they do.

Coming back to Indian land, the subcontinent struggled or suffered so much in history that reading about it or actually visiting the self-speaking historical places gives shudders, though not as much as reading about holocaust or Auschwitz does, whose 70th Anniversary falls today, that is on the  27th of January as I write this article.  Basically, the inclusive and gentle Indian culture embraced every foreigner, irrespective of their religion or race, only to be duped by these invaders in its own land.

People who have gone through struggle and bad times, esp. at the hands of others, can relate to the pain India went through. But time and again, India not only survived the worst but moved on with head held high.  I feel, it is due to the strength and resilience developed by such struggles, that it is now forever marching towards bringing back its lost glory, greater heights and vast achievements.

Besides the land size, the second aspect of this Indian land is that it is truly beautiful, its gigantic mountain ranges are one of the highest on earth, its mighty rivers always swelled with lush waters. One single country has been blessed so abundantly by God almighty that Indians living in India need to see their own country entirely before they venture out towards foreign lands.

And of course this beautiful Indian land is very multicultural with its wide variety of cuisines, languages, festivals and religions.  Yesterday only, after seeing India’s 66th Republic Day parade, I had salty water in my eyes (as usual).  But with years of experience I know that this sombre ‘migrant’ mood stays for a day and then there is the beautiful reality of Australia which is very much my ‘home’ too.

I may or may not be able to go back to India forever, but God bless India – my ancestral land, my birth place, my first homeland. Possibly, at some stage it may become real homeland again if I go and reside there forever, but till then my feet will remain on two lands. And I thank God that “lands are not boats”.  Now this is a quote I created just now.
But nothing wrong with the Australian land too.  Like my India, my Australia too has a wonderful glorious land mass like no other.  I need to write more about beautiful Australia in a separate article.  My both countries are vast and big, and awesome.

Now, moving on to the third part of the prompt, the ‘rain’.  I simply love rain in all shapes, forms and moods.  If you have heard of Indian Monsoons or have experienced them in real, you would know what they are. Of course, monsoons are not the same all over India but I can only relate to my experience during almost three decades of growing up in India. Sheer beauty…but a bit of mess too.  After hot and humid summer weather, the much-awaited monsoons come as a relief…and it’s like “Ahhhhh!!  Here they are. At laaast!!!”. We embrace them full-heartedly.

For one and all, monsoons are a cause of merry-making and dancing in the rain. For festive Indians, who make a full-fledged festival out of every occasion big or small, rainy season too has many colorful festivals, each with its own dance, own food and fancy clothes.

My adopted mother (land) Sydney too has rains like no other but they are different from Indian rains. Indian monsoons were/are a balm to my senses. They caress the heart as we inhale the fragrance of wet soil and deliberately or accidentally soak in water that cools the perspiring body.  But often this slow and dull incessant rainfall during monsoon season can act like a numbing rhythm that slows everything down. This is when continual rains become boring and cumbersome, a hindrance rather than an inspiration, not even for poets and musicians.

Compare this to Australian rains, whose near regular feature is that they come with sudden dark raging noisy clouds and lightning, scary and awe-inspiring wild thunderstorms. Such rains have a waking effect, as if they create an urgency and tell us to move on and live life to its fullest.  That’s the very Australian spirit. Once they have vented out their energy full-force, the thundering clouds become quieter and the downpour slowly becomes more mellowed.  At this stage, Indian monsoons and Aussie rains become the same.   No difference.

Yes, no difference really. No difference in various nations or their lands, our various homes and various rains. The whole world is our home, the whole of mother earth is our shelter. All lands are good, and what about rain? Rain is rain after all…same the whole world over.  Not my rain or your rain. Mother nature is beautiful wherever we live.

Yesterday, my emotions were wayward and confused as it was a special day for India as well as Australia.  But now I have had a healthy rant by writing it all.  If Sigmund Freud is reading my article from above, he will be happy to see my inner feelings pour out and his psycho-analytic therapy of “Free Association.” working right here at Word Press, and that too in the hands of some ‘Happiness Engineer’ acting as a doctor/psychologist for a day by throwing three simple words at us unsuspecting prompt-addicts.

 

© All rights reserved 2015