Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why I Pray?


We all are aware with Valmiki’s story. How a low-born dacoit, mere by chanting Lord Rama’s name became one of the revered sages. Prayer washes away sins and can work like a very soothing balm on hurt minds and souls. Hence, not just in my religion, prayers are essential part of any good household. Prayer unites religions and people across the world.

There are various forms of praying. By the word ‘pray’ I mean not only the ritual ‘pooja’, but also the entire process of developing a heart to heart bond with the Almighty like chanting, meditation, sacred dancing etc. Here are my major reasons for praying and also the things I pray for. 
1.                 For knowledge and wisdom

For knowledge and wisdom, I sing to her,
Divine white, my holy Saraswati mother,
In reverence, I kneel with folding hands,
To her golden ‘Veena’ and sacred swan.

My day starts with the chant of Maa Saraswati, ‘Om Saraswataye Namah’. Her holy name is the first word that I utter. Knowledge is liberation. For us, a good earthy life and ‘Moksha’ can only come from right decisions that in turn come from wisdom. Hence, to Her, I always pray after getting up and before going to bed.

2.                 To face the world with confidence

When spines snap and spirits crack,
I pray to Him for a stronger back,
Not to lessen my old debt and load,
But for a tougher resolve, on to hold.

A strong will power and resolve only can keep us on the tracks of our goals. Whatever we get here, is directly related to our past life karmas, for I strongly believe in the Karmic theory. Hence, I ask for a stronger back and not for a lesser load from God.

3.                 Prayer is healing, it does heal!

When beloveds leave, never to return,
Above they shine as stars from heaven,
I pray to my God for a calmer mind,
To help arranging what’s left behind.

In such times, mediation helps regain mental and physical composure. I also pray for the departed, for the eternal peace of their souls.

4.                 For my concentration- focus is everything.

When goals seem hazy and dim,
For some more will, I pray to Him,
Walking on a path to my dreams,
I plead for Thy divine blessings.

Just like others, I too have many dreams and goals. I pray for God’s blessings so that I may never fall into snares while on my way to them.

5.                 When I have none with me- when emotions bleed.

When the world turns a brutal face,
When robbed of dignity and grace,
Only for His love and mercy I pray,
All my heart’s secrets to Him I say.

When my kin became my enemy and I had no one to derive emotional support from, prayer only kept me going as it makes me feel in a divine bond with God.

6.                 For maintaining balance and harmony.

Far from cacophony and ugly fight,
I pray deep to soak His divine light,
Floating in clouds of peace and amity,
I dip in the aura of God almighty. 

At least for the time I am praying, I am far away into a world where only positive energies are present. Hence, prayer immensely helps me to shed the dirt of everyday life.

7.                 The ultimate liberation – Moksha.

All I yearn is to dissolve in His light,
I pray for ‘Moksha’, the final flight,
When none is there, no kin, no friend,
When I am but a free soul, in the end.

A sinless soul never returns to this world and dissolves forever into God’s aura. For all souls like me trapped in earthly bodies, ‘Moksha’ is the final destination. Hence, I pray for Moksha. 

The festival of lights, sweets and gold is always fascinating! I look forward to this day the whole year. With house dressed like a bride, we pray to Goddess Lakshmi to enter our abode bringing along happiness and prosperity. May we all develop sacred and deep bonds with our Holy Creator!

A very happy and prosperous Deepawali to all of you!

(Images: Monk In Prayer sketch by me)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Platinum Soul (Play)

This is my entry to the Platinum day of Love’ contest
VISHAL       A corporate executive
RIYA            Vishal’s colleague, in love with him
TINA            Riya’s best friend and colleague
ANURAG    Riya’s college friend and colleague
(All the characters are in their mid 20’s)

 ACT I. SCENE 1: Office Cafeteria
      Riya and Vishal sitting on a corner seat, holding hands, talking softly
A man of such a sound sense,
Such grace and dignified stance;
Humor, wit, charm and manners,
What an amiable demeanor!
How many young men, tall and fair,
Can boast such talents so clear?
Painting muses to singing lyre,
Your refined tastes I so admire,
Your wise words, ring in my mind,
And depth of spirit too, is sound!

Now, reveal some more O fair one,
Secrets about thy beautiful self!
How those cheeks with pink blush!
How those manes with black flush!
How your melliferous words flow!
How thy eyes like embers glow!
All these flame my heart and soul,
You are that one girl, apart from all.

Thank you for making my day,
For all the kind words you say.
Love makes one blush and blossom;
I accept here, I sense this emotion,
My heart skipped a motion.
Sure I am, too much of the same,
I go red when I hear your name.

My pleasure, O fair one, lovely miss,
I could get a smile on thy rosy lips;
Alas, I need to leave, for work is calling,
Though, for our next meet, I’ll be waiting                          
 [Exit Vishal]

ACT I. SCENE 2: Staff/Office Bus
Riya waiting for Tina
 [Enter Tina]

O beloved friend of mine!
Where have you been?
For I am dying to disclose,
One sweet secret I behold!

I can guess like other friends,
Yours and Vishal’s new romance,
You are with him much in love,
But can’t say if he the same does.

He has conveyed through his eyes,
All the passions my heart desires,
And, he makes me smile ear to ear,
I disregard all, when he is to me near.

Is that so, Oh naive friend of mine!
Whose eyes glow, cheeks blush each time!
Though love is knocking at the door,
Do not open till you know a bit more.

Your words seem to say much,
Clear the mystery and open up.
Why don’t you trust that man?
He is suave, polite and urbane.
What else can a maiden desire?
On his side too, there’s a fire.

What’s inside him, time only may tell,
Trust not dear, everyone so well.
O friend! Lovely alleys too, can lead to hell.

Relax, my beloved well-wisher.
O tender and loving soul-sister,
I know you are always there,
For your love, is as untainted,
As platinum, diamond encrusted.   

 ACT II. SCENE 1: A High End Restaurant
 Riya and Vishal on another date
(Soft music playing in the background)
Such gorgeous lady on my side,
O Lord! I am feeling so proud!

To you only my merit extends, love,
You’re what my dreams are made of
My prince today is by my side,
In shining armor, my brave knight.

My love for you I would confess,
Your body and beauty I possess,
Your heart is mine and only mine,
Be my lady for the eternal time.

My good fortune seems is shining,
This very moment is life defining,
My eyes laden with maiden shame,
My lips quiver to whisper your name.

Hold my hand; do not let it go,
You’re my girl; I’ll let the world know!
But as I said you are ‘my’ girl,
My emotions have taken a swirl.
I wish to take our love a bit far,
You’ll get my surprise at a ‘5-Star’!
Your innocence is necessary too,
And that’s what I like in you!
A week later is my birthday,
We are one, to all I’ll so say.                        
    ACT II. SCENE 2: Riya’s Office Cubicle
 [Enter Anurag]

Dear lady, may I enter your space?
Ah! I see smiles on thy lovely face!

Do friends ever need to knock?
Come in dear, for we are old stock.

I came here to discuss that project,
The slides and file if I could get,
To ensure it more once, each page,
Before we go up the corporate stage.

Well, I am not going up there.
I have withdrawn pal, I fear.
My Vishal now is going to make,
This presentation in my place.

Oh! Maiden, you blind romantic,
How you not realize, didn’t notice,
That your ‘love’ stole your labor,
Please think twice to grant one favor.

No question of stealing my work,
I gave happily myself and not as a favor.

[Enter Tina]

As you wish, my love-struck Juliet,
How many you’ll happily grant next?

I really wish you were there,
I will leave now, take care.                                                    

ACT II. SCENE 3: Sea Shore (Evening)
 Riya and Tina strolling.
(Sound of waves)
In what style Oh! Waves kiss the shore,
What a nerve! What a thunderous roar!

But roaring waves wash off the signs,
On sand that one lovingly designs,
Leaving the shore uneven and bare,
Like innocents fooled in charming snare.

Now, look at the ocean, calm and wide,
See! It’s much like my man, so dignified!

Oceans too on full moon nights,
Shed dignities and cross heights,
And long to kiss the bright moon,
As howling wolves’ you may see soon.

Oh dear, express openly and straight,
Such petty riddles, you know I hate.

(Thinking) Let me now keep mum;
This, Riya herself needs to fathom.

 ACT III. SCENE 1: Hospital
Riya admitted
[Enter Anurag]

Lady! How come you here landed?
Withering in such pains and aches;
My heart breaks to see you as this,
Take care and get well soon, miss.

Incident was unfortunate indeed;
While on my way back I slipped.
I think I did not the road signs read,
I tripped, so landed on hospital bed.
Skin peeled and in mud I soaked,
Broke arm, leg and breath chocked;
But I went to buy that ‘perfect’ gift,
For my love who deserves this,

That’s all fine but can’t see you twinge,
Your slender frame so weary and thin,
Will give me many a sleepless night,
For I deeply feel the pain of this sight.                                            

ACT III. SCENE 2: Riya’s House
Riya on telephone with Vishal 
(A Fortnight later)

Where have you been my dear?
Did my cries not reach your ear?
On gloomy nights, lying so lonely,
All I pined was your sight only.

I know thy state, dull and adverse;
Long time till we last did converse;
Gloomy face and sore moans, I know.
The pain you must be going through,
Apologies, can’t attend to you there;
Sadly, for I too am stuck elsewhere.

Hug me tight, on this full moon night.
Darling, I demand your presence,
You decide, is it not my right?

‘Right’ or wrong I know not, O lady;
Try catching hints tossed already,
From glossy dreams, enter reality.

Love, I know you are in the city.
Please spare some time for me,
Come to me wherever you are,
Hold me tight, don’t be so far.

Oh! Still hanging over that thin rope!!
Open eyes girl, still you see a hope?

Ah, do not be so gross and cruel,
Thy poison arrows pierce my soul.
My love is the same as before,
Longs for you every hour, even more.
Did you not swear on God Almighty?
Did you not promise to tell society?
That we are both in love now.
Tables have turned so fast, how?

Look at yourself, your limping gait,
At your glance the mirrors break.
There’re better things to do, I say,
Spare me, and get out of my way.

You broke my heart in pieces million,
You ruthless wolf, hideous chameleon,
Now, I am glad not to have such a one,
A man so thankless and friend to none.
From my little world, however it is,
‘You’ get the hell out and that it is!

ACT IV. SCENE 1: Same Setting
(Two days later)

[Enter Tina]

Did you not see the melting shades?
How fake concern quickly fades!
Someone is praying deep for you,
While other is anything but true.

For he who turned a ruthless face,
I thank God, rather, for His grace.
My real love was there on my side.
Clutter is clear and eyes open wide,
One who prays for me night and day,
Never once he ever did stray.
He is here, and to him I’ll declare,
That he only deserves the gift rare.

[Enter Anurag]

Today too, roses for my dear,
Look! How they bloom and cheer.
Droplets dance to make you smile,
Oh! Lady, did you weep all the while?                                             
[Exit Tina]
Weep I did and for true love,
For, I am no longer a cute dove.
Body and face marred of mine,
Only thy love keeps sanity fine.
Today, say it all dear, just confess,
Only few mortals, real love possess.

No love mere on beauty survived.
Depth of soul is what’s so desired
To love you each moment was all I did,
That from you and all, I always hid.
I love you like moths love the flame,
And thy sweet nature is only to blame.
Thy radiant beaming face exudes joy,
Which, I can’t resist seeing each day.

Now, everything is set all right,
I can tell black from white;
You’re so loving, rare and pure
Splendor, love, simplicity, rarity, beauty-
Like platinum, all you too, are made of!
A living Platinum, I am sure
As that rare metal, purest of the pure!
What better a wish, can I ask for!!
Today! I have found true love,
Please accept what you deserve!!
Riya gifts Anurag a Platinum Ring and both hug each other.

[Enter Tina and dancing chorus from opposite sides]

“Cheer for the lady and her handsome!!
Their love, divine and chaste as platinum;
Cheer for their Platinum Day of Love
Happy union of this couple love-struck.
May their bond go on and on and on,
Like dazzling platinum in purest form!!”


‘My Dream Platinum Day of Love’

The play presented above is my entry to the Platinum day of Love’ contest wherein I have described the idea of my ‘day of love’. Here, through the character ‘Riya’, I have tried to show that for me, pure love is unconditional. One who accepts you in totality, with your merits as well as flaws is a true lover. There are people who are quite lovable but I think when you are looking for real love for a lifetime, trustworthiness stands on a higher pedestal.
A real lover is one who would be more into ‘accepting’ all ‘aspects’ and less into ‘expecting’ me to be his clone. If love is golden, then in its most true form, it become rare to find and hence is comparable only to Platinum.
Here, Riya meets with an accident that dents her physical beauty. Such mishaps can happen to anyone of us. In such a time, it is important to keep eyes open and feel who has been holding your hands through the rough weather.
My ideal day of love would be when I’ll get someone who is in love with me, the complete ‘me’ and not with any aspect he may be enamored with. Such a rare and pure hearted person is indeed a ‘Platinum Soul’ and the day I will discover him (like Riya did), will be my  Dream Platinum Day of Love’! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dog Trilogy!

I am a big dog lover and I believe dogs are the best creation of God! These three 55 fictions deal with various shades of canine love :)

  My Son!
A Mercedes stopped and old suitcases, his late wife's photo along with his frail self were kicked out. He requested with painful eyes but the black window glasses rose up in arrogance. The car sped away, leaving only dust, behind which he saw that furry tail wagging lovingly. Chocking in throat, he cried ‘my son!’   

 Again, as he entered after a tiring day, the silence was haunting. Two sullen women pottering around like black clouds ready to burst! He knew of their daily drama hence avoided his mother and wife’s dirty fights and constant grumblings. Pretending to sleep till dinner; lying alone cuddling his dog, he muttered...
‘oh buddy!’

The girl was mere a hideous worm or dirty baggage for ‘nai mummy’ whom papa was much enamored with. Weeping alone all afternoon, she pressed a photograph to her chest and recalled evenings’ playing with her mother in park. It entered excitedly holding her ball in its jaw. Hugging her dog tightly she cried ‘mammaaa’!  
('nai' means new)

 "Heaven is the place where all the dogs go"
Can't agree more!