Tragedy and Hope

Posted by on Mar 12, 2011 in Blog, Life |

I sent an email to a friend from Japan. Hoping it would reach her and a reply would confirm she is well. But the message was returned undelivered “unable to make a connection” it said. The devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan makes one sit up and take notice of nature. Can we call it cruelties of nature? Or is it just  normal behaviour? How do we define cruelty when events occur because nature follows its own laws, the elements of nature follow the principles of physics that affect the geography and through it all devastate lives of human beings, creating tragic history.
Watch and endure. Wait and endure. In sometime, normalcy will be restored. Bridges fallen will be rebuilt. Property damaged can be restored again. Lives lost… lives lost are lost forever. Each one of those lost may have loved ones left behind to mourn. Would the survivors value their own lives more now? Did the people who lost their lives deserve to die in such a hard way? Is it all a matter of chance or was it nature’s careful selection? How bad are the damages? What is the impact on nuclear power plants? Will there be radiation leakage? How bad will it be? After sometime, the questions stop and one can only hope for the dawn of better times.
  
When the mind is numbed by thought, work is a good relief. As I watered plants in the balcony, I noticed the autumn-dried brown stems of my favourite creeper. One had broken out a green shoot and a rush of green leaves. And there were more green shoots and newer green leaves. Soon it will bloom and white Jui flowers will sparkle their beauty, spreading a faint fragrance. There is hope. Yes, there is hope for better times.

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Happy Women’s Day!

Posted by on Mar 8, 2011 in Blog, Life |

Why is it called so? International Women’s Day?
Because on the eighth day of March we want to remind everyone –
Women perform 66% of the world’s work, earn 10% of world’s income and own 1% of the world’s property.

Next year on this day, I hope the percentages will be better. That women the world over will have a better deal in life. We need men on our side to achieve it. But more importantly, we need women to be the biggest champions and support for women.

I end this brief post with three poems written years ago one short and two long (no pun intended).  Stashed away in my writing folders they have travelled from pc to pc and laptop to laptop. Today I remembered them and want to share them. They are raw, unedited. I chose to leave them that way.

Let me be

Don’t play in the sun
Your skin will darken
And then, who will marry you?
Sit straight, cover your knees
Look down, don’t speak
You are grown up now,
So behave
Don’t stay out after dark
For what will people say.
Let me be.
Just let me be myself.

Rage within me

There is this rage within me
Which rises every now and then
Like a storm it remains unabated
For a while, then subsides again
like waves noisily
rushing on to the shore
then going back to the sea
quietly,
helplessly
God must be a man I think
Why else would he
Make the man so free
To do what he wants
And go where he would
To rule and decide
While the woman
cleans and cooks
and trails behind
To march and conquer
While the woman
Waits, suffers, sheds a tear
To work and achieve fame
While the woman
Only gets his name
To hold the right,
the means to perpetuate
While the woman
Carries and brings forth
New life, bearing all the pain
God must be a man I think
Why else would he
Make the man always the achiever,
the saint,
prophet and avatar
to be revered and worshipped
far and wide by all
For was Moses not a man
And Spitama Zarathustra,
And so was Jesus, the son of God
So also Mohammed the prophet
And Buddha and Mahavir
Guru Nanak and other saints Sikh
And what of the Hindu Goddesses
Lakshmi, Saraswati and Shakti
Of Wealth, Knowledge and Strength
all wives of Gods more powerful than them.
While Lakshmi gives wealth,
she sits at Vishnu’s feet
Saraswati  gives knowledge like a mother and teacher
Is married to Brahma, the creator
While Shakti is none other
but Shiva’s wife Parvati
But the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer
The Trinity : Brahma, Vishnu,  Shiva
Are all men.
So are all the ten incarnations
a few of them are even part animal
But no, not a woman, not one of them
And while a man could be bought and sold
for silver, for its fifty pieces 
A woman, could be transacted
For only twenty pieces
Is it any wonder then,
That God is a man I think ?
And now you know why ….
There is this rage within me
Which rises every now and then
Like a storm it remains unabated
For a while, then subsides again
like waves noisily
rushing on to the shore
then going back to the sea
quietly,
helplessly.




A woman, a sari

 

A sari,
sometimes red,
for a newly-wedded bride
sometimes green,
like fertile, for a wife
but white for a widow
when left alone, forlorn
a married woman dead
is more fortunate
as dressed for her cremation is she
in a sari thats fresh, new and green
as if fertile even though
lifeless, no more  alive.
A sari,
a rope to escape
from a window upstairs, bravely
to a passionate lover waiting
somewhere patiently
A sari,
a cover to hide the breasts
and to uncover them sometimes
A sari,
for a baby to nestle behind
suckling, in comfort,
holding with one hand,
clutching its silken edge, tight
A sari,
damp with water seeping
from wiping hands and faces
from perspiration after cleaning
and cooking on kitchen fires
from tears of fighting,
crying children
and often unseen, untold,
unknown even,
from tears of the wearer
the woman,
quietly weeping away her troubles,
away from the eyes of everyone
A sari,
a hammock tied to cradle
a child, when she,
the mother, struggles on construction sites
to make ends meet
with loads on her head
of concrete and rubble
A sari,
Like a backpack 
with her child held within
when she, the mother, sells
bangles, bindies, rubber-bands
in crowded local train compartments
walking back and forth
traveling up and down
while the child sleeps
clutching onto her back
A sari,
Old and unworn now
Though still very much in use :
To wash and dry rice on
to make sweets from, for Diwali.
To hold curds, and hang up tied
to strain water from,
for making sweet shrikhand
To four-fold and sew a quilt
soft now with use and fragrance
of scents and touches of mother’s love
What child would not long
To clutch on or go under it
To shield the cold breeze
And sleep peacefully
In its soft cool warmth
into a deep slumber.
The sari,
too old and worn out now
torn all over
but wait, don’t throw,
it may be of use yet
to fold up and roll
into a ball
to cover something
maybe a rat hole.
Draped or undraped
the sari
and the woman who wears it,
their lives so deeply
woven and entwined
soon it is difficult
to distinguish
one from

the other.  

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