Bright Side of Things

“Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of a waking man”
~ Pliny the Elder

Early Bird

Happy bird sings
Caught a worm and golden sun
Hopes blossomed

©Alka

images (7)

Here’s some more:

Give It All
Flowers sing and die

Unheard, their beck and call
‘Give it all’

©Alka

     ~~~

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
~~Desmond Tutu

Wishful Thinking

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

©Alka

d2f210eebb4ddfc22fbc7bd747adc78b

~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~

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!

‘It’s All Within Us’ – A short story

It’s All Within Us

(The Drunk)

“Cuckooooo!!! Look who’s here!” I heard Jake’s jeering voice as I climbed up the few stairs leading up to our local club’s front door.

Two years my senior in school, Jake was a feared bully when he was in our school, and now in university he’s with my older sister Tisha. His long drawn slang ‘cuckoo’ was well-known within our school circles. He is still the same, I concluded.

I had not seen Jake for two years and here I was face to face, as he stood leaning against the wall, with his overlapping legs crossed towards the feet, while his one arm was way up the wall. A defiant pose with head tilted upwards.

All the courage that I had gathered to reach up to this club, only to see Jake, now seemed to be vanishing as I heard his gruff voice.

“Care to have a drink, ehh?” Looking penetratingly at me in the eye, he twitched his lower lip.

With bent head, I found myself awkwardly fumbling inside my school bag that hung from my shoulder. I gulped nervously and heard myself think “No thanks! I don’t drink alcohol.” Except that I didn’t say this. Even if it was true that I had never tasted any beer before, I didn’t want this pseudo to think of me as any less of a man.

“Bah!! You still a chicken? Bet you don’t drink!” Jake seemed to have read my mind. So I replied promptly “I do! Let’s go”

Jake straightened his posture. Yawning upright till his arms stretched upwards, he deliberately made a crackling sound with his hands that were knuckled together.

“Follow me!” he gestured with one hand as he took big strides ahead to enter the bar room. I had no choice. After all, I needed to talk to him about why he had been chasing my sister for a month now.

As we sat, he asked “Mixed or neat?”

His question made no sense to me but I dared not ask what he meant. Pretending unperturbed I replied, “Neat”

He whistled some peppy tune before he signalled the waiter to fetch drinks. With my ignorance about drink names, I heard him mention ‘malt’ and I wondered what’s ahead.

…….

Staring sheepishly at the plush wine glass placed elegantly on the silken tablecloth, I held it shakily with both hands, quite like a child holds a glass of milk. To boost my nerves, I consciously pulled myself upright.

With him staring at me, I had no choice but to start sipping. A bit of this dark fluid will not harm me, I convinced myself. After all, even as a kid I never got tipsy with strongest of cough syrups that mom gave me.

The first sip was ok. The taste was overwhelming while I felt burning sensation inside my food pipe, just as my stomach knotted. Starting to feel strange, I decided to bring up the issue.

“What do you want from Tisha?”

Dear me! I should have asked “Why are you after Tisha?” Obviously I had put my question wrong, so the answer came out more obscene than probably Jake ever intended to.

“Cuckoooo! What da ya mean I want? Hah plentiful. But what a bomb of a sis you have!”

Fuming with rage, I picked the glass. I felt like throwing the bitter brown syrup on his face, but instead I gulped it all in one go. Within minutes I was up from my seat, staggering up the nearby podium as I faced the microphone.

“Helllloo!!! Listen! Listen! Let’s meet Jake, the biggest lout you will ever come across….”

The usual continuous murmur of the well-behaved gentry turned into silence as everyone looked up to pay attention. Actually ours is a small cosy town so I knew many of the faces sitting down there.

cartoon-drunk-man-champagne-bottle-isolated-37246067After that, God knows what (or who) came over me, that I spoke full throttle, attributing all possible vile adjectives to Jake, while disclosing all his actions, his eve-teasing, his bullying….

The crowd listened rapt. Enraged Jake, who was more boozed up than I was, came up to me and slapped me hard, right there in front of everyone. I retaliated more vigorously but soon I was beginning to sink.

At that very moment things took a different turn. Lucky for me, Uncle Tim, my neighbourhood constable was watching it all. He came to my defense. Soon a huge drama unfolded that I watched with hazy eyes and groggy mind.

After Jake got the bashing that he would remember his whole life, he left the place. Uncle Tim dropped me home, much to my mom’s dismay on seeing me in that state. But she didn’t ask anything.

……

In the coming weeks, I feared the worst. Without any emboldening liquor, I would be no match if burly Jake were to corner me on a lonely road.

But it was all quiet for the whole week, and surprisingly Jake was nowhere around my sister. Just to ensure her safety, I decided to drop her and pick her up from her university each day.

Then one day, I saw him. He was coming towards us as we walked. He stopped.

“Hello Bob! Hi Tisha ”

Tisha ducked behind me and before I could reply, Jake apologized to me for the whole episode. He also said sorry to Tisha while we both looked at him in disbelief. Never did he misbehave after that day.

I’m still figuring out what brought this change in Jake, and what was it that worked for me that day at the club? But I learnt for sure that the world takes us just the way we present ourselves to it. If we are scared of someone, he or she will not be scared of us.

Bold, scared, funny, beautiful, happy – we can be what we want to be. It’s all within us. We don’t need a drink for that, do we?

©2016 Alka Girdhar

~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

For: Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes Prompt Challenge #31. The prompt word given was “Have a Drink

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/friday-fiction-with-ronovan-writes-prompt-challenge-31-have-a-drink/

Orbs of Light – Sun & Moon

Borrowed Glory

Shining in my glory
You charm the lovesick couples?
Thus spoke sun to moon

*

Hopegivers

As big star goes down
Little bro moon shows its face
Keeping our hopes alive

(sunset from my backyard and moon coming up from the front)

© 2016 Alka Girdhar

~~~ ~~~

These are my two haiku written for Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge 93
The two words provided were: Sun & Moon

Today I attempted haiku poems after a long time. I’m not very good at it, I thought.
But then what am I good at? I wondered. I wrote. I let it be…

Quantum Professors

Featured

illustration-nutty-science-professor-7676296

 

Quantum Professors

“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

Liking the Unwanted Gifts of Life

Featured

“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.”

Harry stared.

“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”

tree-of-books

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!

tumblr_luvptjj4Eh1r59i9yo1_500

 

~~~ .~~~ 
For: Silver Threading’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday & Ronovan Writes’ BeWoW

Red, White and Blue

 

1

Huge Solidarity

Opera House roofed
In blue, white and red hues
Lighted compassion

For two days, the sails of Sydney’s iconic Opera House displayed blue, white and red, the colors of the national flag of France. See more pictures from around the world here.

***

 

Jacaranda-Tree

picture credit: ireport

Crying Jacaranda

Purple blossoms rain
From canopy of branches
A beautiful mess

Sydney streets are commonly lined with Jacaranda trees and in late spring to early summer that it is now, trees display magnificent purple flowers. There are carpets of blue all around and from a distance, the flowers blooming above and the ones fallen below, kind of look synchronized.
But stale fallen flowers soon become a messy risk for pedestrians who have been known to slip on these.
Jacaranda is very much a dream tree of Sydney-siders who kind of measure time with the arrival of flowers on street side Jacaranda trees.

~~~~ ~~~~

These were my two Haiku for Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 71
The two prompts provided were Cover & Color.

The featured header image is Mumbai’s main railway station, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus lit up in the colors of the French national flag.

To drown in Wine and Poetry

$_35

Woman and Wine

Ditched by a bad hen
He immersed not in his tears
Soused himself in wine

*

Hooked to Tears

Poetry that pours out
From the core of a weeping heart
Addictive as wine

(addictive to the writer as well as the reader)

~~~

These were my two Haiku poems for:  Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 61. Have a look at Ronovan’s site. You too can take part in Haiku Challenge.

Words provided this week:  Wine & Tears

Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar

Hands Up!!

mqdefault

“Hands up!!  Young Lady!
Give me whatever you have!
Save your future”

I have often imagined this scenario esp. after that GPS incident.  If faced with something like this, better not argue with the goon/s. Better give them all that you have – for your life’s sake, for your future. And theirs.

Sounds easy. But the reality is, if somebody does this to me, I’ll be horrified.  I may swoon.

Now look at this picture.

syrian_child_photoThis little girl, in war-ridden parts of Syria, also looks awe-struck. But it seems like she’s quite familiar with this concept of ‘putting your hands-up’ when faced by anyone who’s carrying a mechanical thing that looks like a gun. The picture was taken by a photojournalist and shows how this child mistook the camera for gun and impulsively held her hands up in surrender.

Soon after that, a Red Cross worker had also shared a picture of another Syrian girl child raising her hands in surrender because she too thought the camera was a gun.

No chirpy childhood for such children. No play schools full of colorful toys, no school bags, no fun schooling with playful age-mates, no bright future. Their lives are on a knife-edge where at any moment they may have to ‘put their hands up’ – only to survive, only to keep themselves alive. Quality of life is not even their immediate worry.

Can we give them something? Can anyone save their future?

This pathetic situation exists in many if not most parts of the world, in some form or the other – little kids not living a life of a child.  In the egotistic power games and political rivalries of adults, these budding lives are sacrificed.

~~~~~

For: Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge 51
Words provided: Future & Give

We Are Hounds Forever

Featured

Here are my Haiku poems for Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge 50.

The words provided were ‘gain’ and ‘hound’.  My hounding brain, yielded forth some gain.


love hounds
lovers hound forever
pining love at all wrong places
gain, a wild-goose-chase

lust hounds
molesters hound forever
groping for petty physical gain
oh what sick life!

newshounds
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

One, Two, Three!

Purge your heart and mind

Purge your heart

The Bard and his tragedies
Expel salt water from our eyes
What catharsis this!

Everyone wants to be happy. To this end, we sometimes try to avoid encountering anything that could make us sad and serious. We shun weepy people. We avoid sad movies and heavy tragic literature. But it is these tragedies in other people’s lives, as depicted in some tragic work of art or literature, that may eventually bring about real and more ‘lasting’ happiness in our lives.

Comedies (and jokes) give instant laughter and happiness but this might be temporary if you are internally very unhappy. In comparison, viewing or reading great tragedies initially brings up emotional tension, along with feelings of pity and fear, till we get too emotional after which we may end up crying, esp. if we can relate to the sad story. It is this emotional release that has many positive effects.

The release of our pent-up emotions is Catharsis. The term catharsis, that was first used by Aristotle in his Poetics, explains the impact of tragedy on audiences – that is purification and cleansing that can lead to renewal of self.

Psychologists also use catharsis, as they want to encourage discharge of built-up feelings in their clients. Weeping or feeling sad is thus not so bad for us if it results in sound mind which leads to improved physical health. That is why, a person who sheds tears off and on is possibly happier than someone who never cries. We all have seen relatives within our families who were known for their jovial laughter and yet had sudden heart-attack – gone in a jiffy. Because they didn’t know how to cry.

Tragedies help in this. But one must learn to learn from tragedies, real or fiction. How much optimum dose of tragic reading/viewing is good for us and how to get the most from it.

William Shakespeare’s dense tragedies like Macbeth, Hamlet  as also Romeo & Juliet leave deep impact on us readers/viewers as they cause catharsis and purgation.  We empathize with the characters caught in conflicts. We pity Macbeth for his ambition.  In Hamlet, we can relate to the dilemma of indecision faced by the main character. That’s because most of our lives we also face this situation –  ‘To be, or not to be, that is the question.’

Often, after exposure to such tragedies our self-evaluation becomes more forgiving.  We tell ourselves –  ‘Hey! It’s ok.  There are others like us who suffer, others who have tragic flaws, who face downfall in life. That’s life. Same for all mortal humans.’
Such thoughts ease our mind. What catharsis this!

After your heart is purged enough, you can strengthen it further by finding ways to laugh. Since we talked about Shakespearean tragedies, here’s a poem that I wrote on Sir Shakespeare is also in good humor:  Request Denied.

Is this post getting too lengthy for a Haiku challenge? See, that’s the problem with writers and poets. Once we start writing, we get so absorbed that we are unable to stop.

The bard in me
gets me too immersed in writing
No need for food or water

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

My Haiku poems and thoughts for Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge
Words given: Bard & Water

Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar

.