Friday, December 28, 2007

Exotic Menu

We are a group of content people, self sufficient in almost every way.
In our society there is neither religion nor caste; neither politics nor diplomacy; neither competition nor greed. To us, nature is everything. We would be happy to be left alone.

But life has been very unfair to us all the way.
People from another community seem to have taken us for granted.

Just a few hours after I came into this world, I was separated from my mother. They did not bother to tell us why. I was allowed to go near my mother only sparingly. I used to be hungry very often but with time I realized that I had to be content with a little milk that I drank whenever I was with mother.

They barged into our midst one day and took my father away to work in the fields. They sold him to a rich guy who whip lashed him all the time. He was going to be their slave forever.

I was crossing the road to reach the other side of the fields and I was hit by a speeding truck. I was badly bruised. I was moaning and groaning with pain. No crowd of people gathered around me and there was no first aid. The culprit just drove away and the cops did not have a problem with that.

The atrocity reached it’s peak last week. They tied the limbs of my mother and slaughtered her. I believe somebody was willing to pay for her flesh. They did not even try to soften her pain. She was neither given anesthesia nor any pain killer. Her wailing and weeping was heart rendering.
A tiny needle prick hurts so much! Oh! What pain and suffering she must have gone through, as they severed her body parts one by one!
She bled to death in front of my eyes. They flayed her skin and tore her into pieces. They roasted her on fire and devoured her with a smile on their faces. The gory scene is still fixed before my eyes.

There was no funeral. No last respects were paid. Nobody weeps over her death.
Life goes on as I wait for my turn.

What have we done to anyone?

I, the protagonist of this story am a cow. I could be a sheep or a pig or a chicken. The story still remains the same.

A glaring cruelty is screaming for attention. Will someone help us please?


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dwarf On a Giant

Whenever I heard the well read people talking about our great philosophers and ancestors like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in total awe and with great respect, I deduced that these people must have been larger than life. Almost anyone who had heard about them or studied about them seemed to hold their wisdom in absolute sanctity. So did I. I thought that their works must be very complex, profound and therefore incomprehensible by the ordinary minds.

When I started reading about these men and their works, I wondered what was so great about them. I found most of it very simple and ordinary. In fact I took pride in being able to criticize their works. Some writer seemed very cynical. Someone was preaching negative philosophy. Someone had written about something that is a matter of common knowledge. Some writing was totally hypothetical and not based on evidence. I concluded that most of the people who sang praises of these great men either had low standards or lacked any discretion of their own. They were blind patrons who would worship any person because the textbooks wrote about them or because they were told to do so by parents and elders. They never did an evaluation of anything themselves but simply did what hundreds of thousands of others did.

Consider Newton’s laws of physics.
The law on inertia says “An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

This simply means that a tumbler or a spoon when kept on a table will sit there until and unless you push them or move them elsewhere. Why did it require a Newton to say this? Even I know pens, spoons and tumblers don’t walk about.

All Socrates did was ask questions. “What is life?”, “What is success?”, “What is courage?”, “What is virtue?” and so on. He never bothered to answer any of those questions but left his students wondering as to what the answers were. As I can observe, all children between 2 and 3 do the same thing – ask a lot of questions, leaving the parents perplexed. Why? Socrates was even described as a fly(a gadfly) because of his irritating nature. He annoyed people by first asking them questions and then arguing both sides of those questions.

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher established the peripatetic school: peripatetic – meaning, walking or traveling about. Aristotle used to walk around and have discussions with his students, in the mornings and in the evenings. Now, how different was that from what my grandmother used to do when I was a child and refused to have food? She would walk me around and tell me stories from Panchatantra.

One of the creations of Aristotle in the field of logic was syllogism. I found it too complex to memorize. How ever it goes like this. Syllogism is an argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises. The major premise contains the major term that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the minor premise contains the minor term that is the subject of the conclusion. Common to both premises is a middle term that is excluded from the conclusion.
It means, if A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C. Was it this theory that made Aristotle a great philosopher?

I wondered thus for a very long time. Were all these men really great or was it exaggerated by those who wrote history? But an experience in the recent past opened my eyes.

It was suggested to me by someone that I should think out of the box in order to be creative or innovative. Every time I tried to think out of the box, I concluded that everything that could have been discovered had been discovered. Everything that could have been invented has already been invented. Our scientists with their telescopes have explored the mysterious skies. All planets, stars, asteroids and comets have been identified and given names. We have sent our guardian angels to fly across the skies in the form of satellites and space shuttles. Our submarines have penetrated the abyss and touched the rock bottom. They have stolen from the ocean her pearls and precious stones. The continents have all been discovered and inhabited. There is no virgin land where you will not see the flag of some nation flying high. Land, air and water have all passed through the dissection and scrutiny of human microscope. So, whenever I began to think of something, some idea or concept which had never occurred to a human being in the history of mankind, I failed miserably. The maximum I could do was come up with an idea that was a mere improvisation of what already existed.

That is when I realized that it truly takes a genius to think of something that has never been thought of before. These men whose brilliance I was skeptical about had done just that. A seed of thought had germinated in their minds. This thought was passed on from one generation to another. Each generation assimilated the idea while contributing to its growth. The seed has grown to become a huge tree. It provides shelter to all of us. Sometimes, we take the tree for granted and forget the seed or even worse laugh at its miniature size.

In the year 1903 the first plane of the Wright brothers flew for as long as 59 seconds covering a distance of 852 feet only. But that was the origin. The Boeing 757, the MIG’s and fighter planes of today are mere improvisations.

In 1876, Graham Bell in one room used a liquid transmitter to speak to his assistant Watson in another room. It was this telephone that revolutionized the daily lives of ordinary people. The cordless phones of today, the mobile devices with their blue tooth and infra red are mere improvisations.

Various branches of mathematics like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry calculus, logic, probability and statistics have converged to construct the modern civilization. This civilization would not have been possible but for the Indian who invented the zero.

Thus, the man who gives birth is superior to all those who nourish the baby. The man in whose mind an idea germinates for the first time contributes in greater magnitude than his numerous successors who improvise the idea or the concept.

A river in her place of origin is a small stream, a narrow brook, trickling down a rocky hill amidst herbs, shrubs, creepers and climbers. It takes hundreds of rivulets to contribute their waters to the river to make her a Ganges. From her origin in the Himalayas all the way to her confluence with the ocean, she is fed by melting snow, ice from glaciers, tributaries and rains from the heaven. But it is the river in her origin that is held in religious sanctity. Millions of pilgrims travel all the way to the zenith of Himalayas on a rough terrain to worship that tiny stream, not the rivulets, not the glaciers. Such is the importance of origin.

Most of the times, we believe that we are wiser or smarter than our predecessors. We believe that we have made more progress in the field of science and technology; that we are more advanced in every way.

But the truth remains that we are mere dwarfs. We see farther than the giant, not because we are taller than the giant, but because we are dwarfs seated on the shoulder of a giant.

When we come into this world, we inherit 2500 years of philosophy, science, logic, mathematics, politics, poetry and music. And if you are an Indian, you inherit 5000 years since ours is the oldest civilization on the planet.

On this day, which is a very special day, like every other day, I ask each one of you to join me as I remember with gratitude, all those great men, to whom we owe our materials and our morals, our equipment and our etiquette, our mind and our matter, our principles and our philosophies, those Socrates - Aristotles, Platos, Wright brothers, Graham bells …. And most important of all, the Indian who invented the zero.

Desiderata - Max Ehrmann

This piece of writing was given to me by my father a good 15 years ago much before this was available on the internet. But I happened to read it only recently when I found it between the leaves of an old book. :-)

"Desiderata" (Latin for "desired things", plural of desideratum) is an inspirational prose poem about attaining happiness in life. It was first copyrighted in 1927 by Max Ehrmann.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
however humble;
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Monday, December 17, 2007

As Perennial as the Grass

As I walked through the forest of life in search of the perfect flower, the first flower that I chanced upon was the rose. It was exquisite and elegant. It was rich and charismatic. It was delicate and charming. It was not meant for the ordinary. It was made for someone special. This is the flower I had been looking for all my life! My heart soared to great heights. What more could someone ask for. It could not get more perfect than this. It was my first love.
Day and night, I wove dreams of togetherness with this love. The thought that I would possess it forever made me so happy, I thought I was becoming insane. My search had come to an end.

As I moved closer to it, the rose eluded me. I eventually realized that the rose was not made for me. What a disappointment it was. How would I live without it? I wept in grief at my loss. I wept for several days. I had loved and lost.
It left behind a void in my life which no one else could ever fill. First love is never forgotten. I would never love again with this intensity for no one else could be as perfect as this one. It was the only one of its kind…

Holding on to my dream with utmost tenacity, I continued walking through the forest, not caring to notice my surroundings, but imagining that I would find the rose again. I said to myself consolingly “The rose and I have a future together, for otherwise, the encounter would never have happened”.

After several miles of journey, when my memory of the rose had faded, when my wounds had healed, when the blood had dried, I met another flower. The Jasmine. The fragrance of it permeated the air, filling the surroundings with a sweet scent. Yet it did not stand out, but merged in perfect harmony with its environment. I was drawn towards it.
It contained enough sweetness in it’s womb to diffuse it’s aroma throughout the forest, and yet it practiced a quiet reticence. It could afford to be loud and proud but it practiced such humility, lending itself as a string of flowers to a youthful maiden who would decorate her hair with it and at the same time, offering itself in innocent submission to a priest, who would place it at the feet of a deity in a temple. I had not known anyone so modest. I was in love again.

How mistaken had I been in thinking I would never love again. Not only did love happen but the intensity was the same this time. I knew, for I had experienced it before. My heart soared once again. It could not get more perfect than this. It was the only one of its kind. My search had come to an end this time.

But as I moved close to it, it eluded me. I moved closer and it was gone. My heart bled. It hurt with the same intensity, but this time it was a familiar pain. I had gone through it before. Ah! What a tantalization! There is no greater cause of distress in life than the cause of unrequited love. My faith in the permanence of my hard luck was restored. I would never love again for no one would replace the love of jasmine in my heart.

I moved on. It was a tiring expedition through a rough terrain of thorns and shrubs, creepers and climbers. There was no sign of respite, no fountains and no springs. As I walked, I saw a flower the name of which I do not know. It was a wild flower. There was nothing remarkable about it. It was neither rich in colour not did it have a fragrance. It simply existed in a natural uncultivated state. What I liked about it was that it did not care to defend its position. It did not try to give a justification. It had an untamed, undomesticated, unbashful disposition which I found very intoxicating. It was simple, candid and uncomplicated. Living in abandon, carefree as the winds, it drew me towards itself.

Now I was annoyed at myself for feeling this way about something so primitive and uncultured. What had happened to my taste? Was it desperation that led to this feeling? Should I settle for something so unrefined?

When I look back at the journey, I am surprised at myself. When I began my journey I was looking for something spectacular, I was looking for aristocracy, exquisiteness which I found in the rose, but as I moved on, I valued the humility and modesty of the jasmine. I was impressed with the care freeness of the wild flower. Have I lost the very purpose of the search that I had begun? Have I become less choosy or have I matured as a human, and has my perspective changed?

I became introspective. I looked back in retrospection. A realization was the outcome of my contemplation.

On an impulse when I compare the rose and the jasmine and the wild flower, I observe, not that one was better than the other but that, each one was as perfect and as complete as the other. Loving one was as ecstatic as loving the other. The loss of one was as painful as the loss of another.

The roots of my beliefs are now shaken. They say that love happens only once and they say that first love is never forgotten. I believed them. But now I wonder. Is there any truth in these? Perhaps they are nothing more than seeds of thoughts implanted in the society by wise men with ulterior motives.

There are no wounds that time cannot heal, nothing that cannot be forgotten. Time does not forgive anything or anyone.

Perhaps the only truth is that love is unconditional. You don’t need a reason to love. You don’t need a perfect flower either. It never really is the last time. For the heart is an inexhaustible resource of an endless supply of love. It needs to bestow this love upon someone. If it contains or withholds this love within itself, then it suffers. It dies under its own weight.

I now stand disillusioned.
The heart will soar and plunge again and again. It will explode in ecstasy, weep in despondency, go through silent suffering, rejoice in fulfillment, wriggle (squirm) in desperation again and again not because the flowers of the forest are irresistible, but because love itself is perpetual, like the seasons that come and go, year after year.

Love may elude you once but it will beckon you again. Do not be cynical about love for it is as perennial as the grass. It can happen to anyone, at any time and many times. And every time it is as fulfilling, as refreshing, as perfect as it was the last time. You will love the rose, the jasmine, the wild flower and many more cause love is perennial and perpetual.

Love prevails as long as the journey. You cannot define it’s boundaries. You cannot describe it using parameters. You don’t know when the search began and you cannot say that it has come to an end. For all you know just around the corner there may be that special flower waiting for you.

As I continue my walk through the forest of life, I now find myself standing before the sacred Lotus in the midst of sparkling waters!
My heart soars once again. Even though I try hard not to, I cannot help believing that this is the most perfect of them all. This is the flower I was looking for. It is unlike anything I have seen before and there never will be anything like this ever after.

My search has come to an end and I find myself moving close to it!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I beg for forgiveness

Forgive me
For I blushed at the thought of someone
And flushed at the sight of someone

Forgive me
For my heart skipped a beat
And my pulse raced
As I caught him stealing glances at me

Forgive me
For I stood before my reflection
For many hours
Grooming myself
In silk and chiffon
Choosing pearls and crystals
For embellishments
So he would not take his eyes off me

Forgive me
For I dreamt
Of togetherness with him
Whenever the full moon
Filled my courtyard
For I yearned for his company
When the cool breeze
Carrying the smell of jasmines
Blew against my face
For I wept in his longing
When the first showers of rain
Drenched my body
For I burned in his separation
As I walked by the sea shores alone

I beg for forgiveness
I should have been that drop of rain
That descends upon the ocean…
Sent from the heaven,
Pure in her form
She is intercepted by no one
But the ocean Himself
Fie upon my choice to flow through land
In the form of a river
Only to be fed by tributaries and glaciers
Only to be received by kingdoms and empires
Even before her wedding with the ocean

I should have saved all of myself
My mind and my soul
To offer to you,
The God of my dreams
For it was your prerogative
To initiate love in my life

But rest assured, my last love
There shall be no one after you
In this lifetime

I have thrown away the flowers of wilderness
That I had once gathered
For my search has now come to an end
With the finding of the Sacred Lotus


Smruti - A Sanskrit word. Meaning, memory. As I write this, I recall the memories of a good friend. A friend in need and a friend indeed.

A project assignment took me to a faraway land in the recent past. We were a team of people who went there. Certainly, we were not birds of the same feathers. Needless to say, we did not flock together.

To my good fortune there was one colleague who kept me company throughout my stay there. I shall refer to this colleague as Friend.

I am told that every relationship is for a reason or for a season or for a lifetime.

When Friend came into my life, I thought it was for a reason, because Friend came into my life at a time when I was away from home, friends, near and dear ones. I was in a land where there was an abundance of consumer items, shopping malls, electronic goods and cars among other things. But there was a scarcity of people.
As I mentioned before, we, the team, were not birds of the same feathers (although half of them had very weird feathers and kept me quite entertained for three months).

Just when I had started to worry about how I would live for 3 months all alone, Friend placed a hand on my shoulder, gave a warm smile and said “Main Hoon Na”(meaning, “Don’t worry, I am there”).

My face lightened up at once. And the journey began.

From then on, we were together in everything we did.
We used to take long walks in the evening. We would have conversations about subjects covering a whole spectrum. Food, drinking, music, family, marriage, destiny versus freewill, project work, confused managers, child psychology, parenting, west versus east, astrology, mind reading and the art of listening among other things.

He would chop vegetables everyday very religiously and I would cook.
We would both relish what we cooked and praise each other for possessing such culinary skills. Over a quiet meal we would continue what was left of the evening conversation or start a new conversation.

We would listen to music for hours till late in the night; Ghazals, melodious old songs, the new releases depending on my mood. I say my mood, (not our mood) intentionally because Friend was very considerate and being a few years older than me, allowed me the advantage of being younger.
I, being short tempered and stubborn would be difficult at times. But Friend was most patient with me, putting up with my tantrums, pacifying me, consoling me and advising me.
And then both us would loose it, argue and sometimes fight. After a few hours, everything would be alright again.

As days passed, I began to think that this relationship started with a reason but lasted for a season.

As our conversations progressed, I began to realize how wise, sensible and thoughtful Friend was! The following are some of the pearls of wisdom I gathered from my friend, philosopher and guide.

1. Nothing unites a group of people better than a common enemy. If you see such a group of people where there is no true cohesion but there is unity because of a common hatred, then beware of such a group. If YOU happen to be the common enemy, then get out of their way, and the group will break immediately.

2. The greatest learning in life is to unlearn whatever you have learnt so far. From time to time, format your system and start afresh.

3. When someone you don’t know very well is talking to you about someone/something, then, listen carefully. Do not pay attention to what is being told. You can always ask them to repeat it later. But try to judge their motive. That will tell you if you should believe them or not.

4. Life presents battles before you every now and then. Fight the battles. But once a battle ends, throw away the weapons immediately. If you carry the weapons, then your struggle will never end and you will be your own opponent.

5. All those people who are finicky about minute details, the perfectionists, this is for you.
“If it is GOOD ENOUGH, then it is GOOD ENOUGH”.

6. It is very important to have a high level of self esteem. If you want to succeed in life, raise your self esteem. All the people who are struggling to make an impression, eager to please others are lacking self esteem.

7. Whenever it is important to win an argument and prove that you are right, talk less. The chances of misinterpretation are less. When you talk less, your opponent will find it most difficult to argue with you. When you talk more, you are giving your opponent more time to prepare a counter argument. Also, by divulging more information than necessary, you are giving your opponent several points any of which he can counter. Narrow their option by talking very little.

8. Most important of all learning was the Law of Attraction – you can get all you want in life. All you have to do is ask for it earnestly. When you want something genuinely, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it.

9. Take a sheet of paper. Draw 2 small concentric circles at the bottom of the paper. The inner circle represents all that you know. The out circle represents all that you know you don’t know. The rest of the empty space on the paper represents all that you don’t even know that you don’t know!!!! First thing, be aware of this. Next thing, try to increase the circles in size, such that, the empty space on the paper outside the circles, becomes less and less.

The day of departure arrived. Friend left to India.
Today, I have returned to India too. I and Friend are together once again.

I am hoping this relationship which began with a reason and withstood a season, will last for a lifetime!

Thank you Friend for the Smruti. Thank you for giving me a friend, philosopher and guide.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Counting my Blessings

Soon after I returned from my trip to the US, Melvit, my roommate hugged me, cried and said “Don’t ever leave me and go again”. It is so wonderful to be loved. And to be missed!

I attended the Toastmasters club after a long time. But I managed to win a ribbon for the best table topic speaker. My communication skills are sharp enough even though I have not been speaking for a long time now. I can handle impromptu speaking with more ease and less struggle than before.

I met Garima, after so long. She said every time she has a bleeding heart, she thinks of me. It feels so good to have strong shoulders on which people in distress can lean.

I feel young at 28. I was eagerly photographing every tall building in Seattle. I also pictured every tree in Seattle that had fall colours on it. Barbara saw this and she calls me a kid in a candy store. I have kept the child in me alive, long after the effervescence has died in other people my age.

Melvit once called me “Alice in Wonderland” for she saw the same excitement and effervescence in me. Manju who is four years younger than me once said “I wonder sometimes if you are younger than me”. I have been laughing so much.

My problem of hair loss has gradually subsided and I keep looking at my long lustrous lashes in the mirror all the time. My skin feels better too.

Insomnia is no longer a cause of distress in life. Those nightmares don’t haunt me anymore. I sleep really well at night and wake up in the morning feeling fresh.

I keep good health for most part of the year. It has been ages since I visited the doctor. Touchwood.

Everybody said I would never find the man of my dreams for such perfect men don’t exist in reality. Just when I was about to let go of my dream, I met Justin. Now I know such men exist. My dream is alive. I am alive.

On the 2nd December 1998, in the innocent town of Mysore, I met Srikumar for the first time. Recently we celebrated our 9th friendship anniversary. He says “It was worth the relationship”. That brings a smile on my face. I fondly think of those days and of how we nurtured and nourished a friendship. It was a smaller world and we meant a lot to each other. Times have changed today and we are in different worlds but I am happy we came as far as this.

Eight out of ten people like me. It is a good score. I am happy. The remaining two are either jealous or intimidated. I am happy about that too!

I took part in a singing contest. I did not win but everyone loved my voice.

I can prepare wonderful rice and sambhar. I can also prepare tomato rice, vegetable rice, rasam, dhahi puri, mushroom curry, aloo and gobhi parantha, yummy vegetable upma, curd rice, Dal Roti, pasta, noodles, Dosa among many other things. My guests in California relished what I cooked. I make sure people around me are well fed. Cooking is a talent and blessed am I to possess it.

Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, epidemics, dowry deaths, female infanticide, permanent widowhood and scarcity are things of the past.

They say a huge comet or meteor will collide with earth and destroy most of life. Water will become a scarcity! Global warming will cause sea level to rise and coastal cities will submerge. Radiation due to mobile phones will begin to cause genetic disorders. But these are things of the future.

I live today. An age where there is an abundance of food, a profusion of clothes, toys, electronic gadgets, cars, houses and money among other things. I live in an age where women have become empowered and men are becoming sensible. Society is permissive. It allows you to choose how you want to live your life and almost everything is nobody’s business. How convenient!! It seems like this is the right time to live your life. What a perfect timing!

Everybody complains about Bangalore traffic. They swear all the time. I feel emotional when I look at the state of Bangalore. I don’t feel angry or frustrated. I feel emotional. I am very pleased with my compassionate attitude.

I have made a decision. Not to buy a four wheeler. I have decided to use the public transportation system. I firmly believe that one man cars are solely responsible for the state of Bangalore roads. And as a responsible citizen, I will not drive a one man car. I believe that I can make a difference. Yes, I believe. That makes me one among those who don’t just talk, but act.

I used to be such a cynic just a few years ago. Now I am an incorrigible optimist. All the blue in life has turned green! Don’t know if life has changed or my perspective!

Had been hearing about it forever from people all around me. The big Indian dream of going to America. Recently I visited America myself. Finally.

I received very good feedback for my performance in the Legacy Modernisation project of Blue Shield of California. I did the kind of work I always wanted to do. I had the opportunity to work with subject matter experts having twenty years of experience. The fact that THEY were impressed with me proves that I am not a success among the mediocre. I am a success among the successful. I see my career progressing. At last. The biggest uncertainty of my life is removed.

I traveled all alone to the beautiful Yosemite valley, the tall and giant redwood trees of California. I visited Seattle at the right time and caught beautiful fall colours. I saw sunset over waters of the Pacific. I saw lush green vegetation at the foothills of the snow covered Mount Pilchuck near Seattle.

I am in a happy state of mind for no particular reason. Unconditional happiness.

I am at peace with myself and at peace with life. I declare that Life is beautiful. There is a lot in wanting but I don’t complain any more.
There is a prayer on my lips and gratitude in my heart for all I have and all I am going to receive. I am fully aware of how fortunate I am.
In summary, I count my blessings. And the good thing is, I can’t use my fingers for counting. I don’t have that many fingers!!!

An Autumn

Whenever autumn is referenced in Indian literature, music, poetry or any work of art, it is always in the context of a tragedy. Never in any other context.

The lush green fades into a pale yellow, then a brown and then grey in colour. The leaves detach themselves from the branches and bury themselves in the soil below. Forever.

When a man grows old and regret takes the place of hope, he uses the phrase “the autumn of my life” often.
When two people in love get separated even before uniting, they say “The autumn arrived even before Spring”. The autumn inspires poetry in many a poetic soul; poetry carrying the sentiments of despair, gloom, desolation and despondency.
Nobody looks forward to the arrival of autumn. Such are the connotations attached with autumn in India.

But there is a land, faraway, beyond the horizon, at the other end of the diameter where autumn is the most beautiful of them all. The green turns in to a brilliant yellow, then to a sunset orange to crimson to a flaming red. Forests and forests are embellished with colours as if celebrating the departure. The autumn of this land inspires poetry too, but the sentiment carried is so different. The contrast is unbelievable!

There is no farewell on earth as grand as this one.
There is no man on earth luckier than he who has seen the maple during the season of the fall.

Find more pictures in their original size at Fall in Love with the Fall