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Submitting to the Will of Allah.

This is a very old write, I am posting here because I remembered it after reading my friend, Marilyn’s blog post today.

It rained today, well not that rain is unusual during the monsoon, but today’s rain was different. It was very unlike the usual benign drizzles we receive, when both water and breeze play with hair and face and leave a person feeling refreshed and then the sun comes out beaming with golden laughter. No this was rain from dark gloomy, gray clouds, like the sky was hiding its face in a dull blanket and sobbing its heart out. Its grief was contagious, entering the soul and infecting it with depression and gloom. Who could feel happy on a grey day like this one? Even the sun had given up trying to squeeze any light or brightness into it. One hoped it would get over whatever was troubling it because the day was only half done and errands were pending. These required getting out of the house and facing the tearful onslaught.

After a while there was no option but to brave the rain and the gusty wind and to go out to do the chores that could not be put off. Reluctant to get wetter than was necessary; I called Michael, a rickshaw driver I had recently come across. A rickshaw is open on two sides and only shelters a person from the top. A person riding in it is not only susceptible to the rain arriving in gusts, but also to the splashes of dirty water from roadside puddles as careless drivers rushed through them. In a short while parts of me were drenched through, though I took care to sit in the centre of the rickshaw.

The traffic and exhaust fumes added to the already dull feeling and I began a desultory conversation with Michael. Michael is different from the rude, callous men who usually ply this trade and have given it a bad name. He is soft spoken, gentle and educated. It was not a good time for him; his wife was suffering from malaria he said. Having been through that particular ordeal myself, I enquired after her health. He then told me about his son. Michael’s son is paralyzed from the waist downward, since birth. I listened intently asking questions now and then to encourage him to speak, as he began telling me about his son.

When his son was born the doctors had given him a few hours to live, at the most. They told Michael not to get his hopes high. Michael is a very religious man, with a deep faith in God and he was willing to accept whatever God willed for him and his family. The boy survived more than a few hours, then a few days. The doctors then told him that even if he lived he would be a vegetable. Michael and his wife should never expect him to even recognize them. Michael had by this time made a very firm commitment to his helpless little boy. He had decided to devote his life to him and do whatever was necessary for his welfare. For this, he and his wife had to make sure that they would not have other children, for it would be impossible for them to give their first born the care he needed and also take care of other children. This decision has been very difficult for Michael’s wife, for she would like more children and sometimes she sobs into the night but with almost no help and very little money they have no other option open.

Michael lived up to the promise he had made and showered his little one with all the love and care his overflowing heart could give. As the boy grew, he taught him to read and write and once again proved the doctors wrong. He took him out in his rickshaw and showed him the world.

When foreigners began coming to Pune, Michael was in great demand for he not only spoke English but was also well mannered. He became popular with them and folks learnt about his boy and his story. A few befriended him and asked him to bring his son along when he came to pick them up.

After their son was born, Michael’s wife had given up her job and had become a stay at home mom. When he grew older though, she found it hard to lift him and take care of him. Michael now began staying at home in the mornings to wash and dress his boy and only left in the after noon for work. He drove his auto rickshaw all day, returning home at night to put his son to bed.

A year or so ago, Michaels’s son hurt his foot while playing and had to take bed rest. The poor boy developed bed sores. The bed sores spread and grew till Michael’s heart would come into his mouth each time he dressed the wounds. He was unable to talk to people and withdrew into himself. Michael has had a lot of help and support from the priests and nuns of the convents around, where he lives, though almost none from his siblings. A sister and a father used to come from a nearly school and pray over the boy. They read out from the Bible to Michael and that strengthened his faith. He thought to himself “I am giving this boy up to God to do with what he will”. He began to feel better and was able to help his son fight the bed sores that were almost taking him over. Some of the sores have healed though the biggest ones are slow to heal. He has his hope and his faith though.

Listening to Michael’s story I felt a great desire to go and visit his boy. I wanted to spend more time and learn more of his story and to befriend the little boy. There was so much pain in this world and once in a while one met a person who with true courage and forbearance, patience and love, combated the pain and misfortune. To me such a person was one who inspired and commanded respect; he was a true hero. To me this man though poor in fortune, was a true hero. 

The week-end begins on Friday here in Kuwait. Invariably we sleep late on Thursday nights and so Fridays are the days when we lie in a little longer. They are lazy days without pressure, except for the Friday prayers at noon. 

This particular Friday though was different. The first born, Daughter ‘Z’ courageously breaking with a quarter century (her entire life) of tradition, made plans with some friends to go running on the beach, around half past eight on Friday morning. Now 8 am on a Friday morning, would not be considered as an early morning by those who wake up early and exercise with religious zeal, but for us lotus eaters it was a revolutionary, in fact a most radical decision. 

Her enthusiasm was infectious and motivated me to shake off the layers of laziness that had collected upon me since October, like cobwebs and dust that covers places which have been neglected for a long time. 

We left home without pulling back the curtains to see what kind of day it was and were surprised to come out of the building and be greeted by a thick fog. Now fogs in Kuwait are just about as rare as early mornings on Fridays are for us, and so we could tell that it was going to be one of those days, with a surprise at every turn. Well we were up, we were awake, we were out and we were game for surprises and adventures. So off we went. I did expect the fog to dissipate in an hour or so but it seemed to be clinging to the atmosphere with a very determined grip and so we set off for a new experience, walking with the fog now clinging to us and droplets of water condensing on our hair. 

Daughter Z found her friends where they had planned to meet, near the fountain at Marina Crescent, which is exactly what its name conveys, a crescent shaped building besides a marina.
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The Crescent is linked to the main Marina Mall, which lies across the Gulf Road (Kuwait’s Corniche), by a covered pedestrian bridge. The Crescent itself has only restaurants, most of them with with outside seating and is a pleasant place to sit by the sea and eat. 

Food though was far away from our thoughts at this moment. As daughter Z joined her friends, I thought I would have a brisk walk along the promenade towards Scientific Centre and get some much needed exercise, which would dust away the cobwebs and my diabetes. We both were exuding zest and vigour and raring to go.

I did find it strange that the sea-side, despite its ghostly appearance, was vibrantly full of people. Perhaps they were following set routine, or then they had come out to experience the novelty of walking in a fog. I would not know, those who tend to hibernate know little of the habits of wakeful creatures. 

I began walking briskly along the promenade, avoiding cutting across the grass to take shortcuts and for a few minutes all went well, then I spied a group of date palms rising eerily out of the fog. I had left my camera behind but the trusty iphone faithfully recorded the sight. IMG_5787
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So I continued walking picking up pace and then slacking each time a new sight attracted me. The curve of the promenade,
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fishing rods waiting patiently,
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a fisherman
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The ghostly pyramid of Hard Rock Cafe looming up,
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Which normally looked liked this
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Some trees in their Halloween best
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bare trees which were sprouting new life,
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A pretty gazebo
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All seemed to attract and had to be documented.

I suddenly passed the group of my daughter’s friends, who were returning from their run. She was nowhere to be seen, not even panting in the distance as I had expected. The youngsters passed by quickly before I could decide to question them and I panicked for a moment wondering how I would find her. Turning back just a few paces away from my goal, I decided to go look for her. My battery was entering its death throes, I called my daughter but she did not answer.

I am a paranoid mom and within minutes get deluged by the scariest thoughts. As it turned out that there was no need to panic, the running group did not leave anyone alone once they had got together, till they all went their separate ways. She called back and said one of the group had stayed behind to train her and now she was living my mental image of panting but only by running in circles.

I reached a grove of date palms and was pleasantly surprised by a sweet but vociferous sparrow choir. The air was filled with their chirping. A solitary bulbul determined not to be left out, added her sweet tones to the music. Her tantalizing song seemed to come from a tree but she was well hidden and I could not spy her. I just drank in the glorious moment with all its beauty. Soon I continued walking and met up with my daughter and we walked back to the Crescent.

I decided enough was enough, we had broken with tradition we held dear for most of our life and it was now time to revert back to type and open our arms to re-embrace our hedonistic lifestyle. The restaurants with their inviting breakfasts were waiting in a row for us. Without a thought of undoing all the good done that day, we decided upon one and sat outside, enjoying both the people and the sea-side.
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In the middle of our breakfast we noticed a number of men and a couple of women wearing Harley jackets.
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By the time we had finished our breakfast, we heard a number of bikes revving up on the road close by. We hurried with the crowd that had now collected and saw the Kuwait Harley club all riding out in a row.
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It was quite a sight to see these magnificent machines in all their glory.
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Later they were exhibited by their owners. We walked around taking pictures.
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I took a picture of a Harley with roses, which was owned by a Kuwaiti lady.
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The world here is so small, I posted the picture on Facebook and one of my friends commented that she knew the lady very well and she had been riding for a very long time.

We were loathe to end the day and crossed the bridge to the mall to indulge ourselves further, with a spot of shopping. The first smell that greets a person who enters the malls from the bridge, is of cinnamon rolls, tempting hapless visitors to give in to their gooey sweetness. Fortunately I know the word ‘enough’ and resisting temptation, I let the sleeping dog called diabetes slumber on.

After more than an hour of shopping, we returned home, exhausted but happy and proceeded to fall into bed and sleep for hours.

The apt title ‘Freaky Friday’ was suggested by daughter Z.

Choices

I had been feeling hurt and let down for the past few days. I think we all feel that for the most part of our lives people let us down, lie to us, do not give us what we feel is our due, of love or respect, or attention or fidelity or whatever it may be we feel we have been deprived of. After nursing the hurt in my heart for a few days, I woke up this morning with the thought that if life had a purpose and certainly it has a purpose, than that purpose was not to wallow in unhappiness but to rise above it. 

Choices lie in our hands, there is the choice to do something right or something wrong. Then there are the choices of a number of paths open to us but there is just one we can walk on. 

When there is a choice of right and wrong and one chooses the wrong, the result at some point is unhappiness, misery, grief, either to that person, their family, someone else, or even society. The actions are considered wrong because their end result is harm, to someone in some way. The person who brings pain due to their wrong choice, may shoulder the responsibility, feel guilty and remorseful, blame themselves or then they may not and they may make little of it. This however is not the case when their pain is the result of someone else’s actions or omissions. Then they are ready to blame the responsible person for a long time, holding grudges, hating, not forgiving. Most times even if the person who has wronged has done many good things, everything is forgotten in that hard “I hate you, I will never forgive you” stance.

When the choice of a number of paths opens up before us and we have the choice to take one path or another, all paths being right, then I believe that life is designed in such a way that each path will yield a similar degree of both rewards and difficulties. They may be totally dissimilar in how they appear but their degree will be the same. 

 

Therefore there is no point in regretting the results of one’s choice and thinking that “I should have chosen that instead”. For example if a person chooses marriage and kids over a higher education or a career, both will bring them rewards and heartache and pain. One may think that the pain a career can bring would not be as intense as say that a marriage might bring, but if the person has concentrated all his emotions and faculties on that career, then any pain resulting through that career choice would be intense. I know that people of pure logic would argue with me on this point, but I do believe in destiny and that whatever path we follow, destiny gives us our share of rewards and pain.

The choice then is on handling it. One can drown in it or one can rise above it. One can show patience or fortitude or even pigheadedness and refuse to allow it to get to them. The second choice is extremely hard, for eg if someone is being constantly abused or belittled then how do they rise above it? That is where the realization that ‘one created for a purpose and that purpose was not to wallow in misery’ comes in.

Changes

I had written once about change and promised to continue, I have been pondering on change since the past few days. what brings change and how much control do we have over it.
Change comes into our lives due to many things but there are two main categories of change, change brought about by God, nature, or what you will call it and change brought about by man.

Change that is brought about by God is for the most predictable, not because we can predict what God is going to do but because most of it is ruled by certain laws of nature that pre-date humanity. God’s laws are neither fickle nor capricious and they hold everything in balance. Most things are held in cycles, the cycle of birth growth and death, the cycle of erosion, weathering and subduction, the cycles of rotations and revolutions of the Earth giving us days and seasons, the same of the moon which gives us the phases of the moon. Most of the Natural Phenomena can be studied because it has set laws and patterns which are governed by knowledge and wisdom and which hold true over eons of time. If it had all come accidentally together like many like to think, would it not have all ended in chaos. Why would the seasons follow one another for example, or why would would all the planets revolve in their own orbits without crashing into each other. Why would trees flower in spring after they had withered in winter?

The cycle of birth, growth and death holds true for all species including plants. What is unfortunate is that we do not reflect upon the amazing powers of the governing body which controls not just the ever expanding universe, but the smallest thing like providing sustenance to even the minute unicellular organisms. The changes that the natural world around goes through are so set and regular that we take them for granted and do not spend a single moment in reflecting how miraculous they are. If water would have been evaporated by the heat of the sun just once and formed a cloud and then come down as rain or if on feeling that rain a single seed buried deep within the ground would have germinated and a single tiny stem would have forced its way through the hard earth and had stood small but straight and tall, the whole world would have come to a standstill to witness this miracle but the miracles take place around us day in and day out and we, so used to them fail to look at them with the open mouthed amazement they deserve, fail even to reflect upon the one who has made such perfect laws and subjected everything in creation to obey those laws so perfectly. The very fact that order and not chaos reigns in Nature is the proof of a unique and mighty authority that creates and rules everything.
The thing that amazes me most is the change from living to non living and back to living as gases like carbon dioxide, oxygen, water vapour and nitrogen go from the atmosphere to being part of living things and then escaping back into the atmosphere. How living things break down and mix back into the earth and atmosphere from which they came as non living materials and then once more become part of another life cycle.

There are of course those changes, terrible changes, which are brought about by the forces of Nature, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons. These too for the most can be predicted, followed, and people know the seasons when the disastrous winds will blow or the what areas of earth are prone to earthquakes or what mountains are dormant or existing volcanoes. It has taken man a long time and centuries of observation to be able to comprehend the effects of the Natural forces, that is true, but he has been able to do it only because nature follows its laws and patterns. There are those changes which might come with a warning, or which might catch one unawares. Like illness or death, or loss due to unexpected events one is not prepared for.

On the other hand, man follows no such laws and set patterns. Therefore they are subject to the nature of the man who brings them about. A man can be ruled by foresight, wisdom, intelligence, knowledge, and bring about changes which will last for centuries. He can build buildings or bridges or places of worship or homes that will stand the test of time. He can respect the land and use it to grow food so that no one will starve. Man can bring about changes like discovering new places and settling down there in a way that respects both the land and any other people who have been previously occupying it. With respect for each other, the people old and new can teach each other what they know and become enriched in the process and enrich the land and protect it and its environment.

There are other changes too that man brings, these are unfortunately more common and as time goes on many parts of the Earth are paying huge prices for these. These are changes that directly affect people who are unknown strangers to the person responsible for bringing about the change. These are changes that destroy lives and land, pollute and destroy the environment, bankrupt people, bring civilizations to the edge of death and destruction. Changes which are brought about by greed and power seeking, by short sighted selfish goals, by fickleness and caprice. Changes that bring all kinds of pollution and diseases that result from that pollution. That destroy the environment by indiscriminate development for short term personal gain. That start wars and ethnic cleansing and make the world unsafe for people. There are people who, for their own power seeking, instigate and incite weak minded individuals, by using tools like nationalism, religion, casteism, tribal loyalties, etc, to spread war and terror. People blame religion for the spread of terror, but it is not religion that spreads hatred, but people who use it among other tools, to spread hatred to minds which cannot think for themselves, minds which may already be discontent with their lot and therefore are fertile soils for seeds of discord and destruction.

There are other harmful and destructive changes too that man brings about, changes which may affect smaller groups of people, changes which may send shock waves through a family, or a community, or even the world.
These changes can be a heartbreak that can shatter one life, or divorce that shatters a family, or something even more grievous like a person randomly shooting a group of strangers, or murder, kidnapping, rape, death or maiming as a result of accidents. Whether these things affect one person or a family or a community, the people who have been affected by it will never be the same again. Those who have read about it or watched it on television too, will be touched by its evil and will have its imprint on their consciousness forever.

There are those changes man brings though, which can also leave a permanent imprint on both the receiver and those who learn about it. These are the small and big kindnesses which people do for each other, either for those who they know or strangers. I never fail to be touched by the kindness of strangers and I try to be one of those strangers who spreads kindness and good will. This is one of the things that makes it possible for each one of us to wake up each day and go about our day with hope and a smile. it is in each of our hands to change someone’s life or just their day or even a few minutes with an act of caring and kindness, lets not stint from doing it

I have some writings on another blog and I thought I would post here just to keep it in one place. A few lines may have been repeated.

1. How is it that something that came about by accident, without any application of fore planning, knowledge, intelligence or wisdom needs centuries of the application of human intelligence, wisdom and knowledge to be understood.

2. A sunset of molten gold, cool drizzle on the face, a flower blooming in the wilderness, a child’s innocent smile, a rainbow across the sky… so many wonderful events to which we are fortunate enough to receive an invitation.

3. Whatever you do there will be people who will object, deride or find fault, as long as your actions are ruled by your conscience don’t worry about them

4. Why can’t we enjoy moments just by themselves, moments suspended in time without past or future, why is every moment of beauty discoloured by fear of a future when it will not exist

5.Why do we think an inexhaustible Creation would limit itself only to elements we can see

6. Grievances are chains that shackle us to the past…only forgiveness can set us free… Forgive and move on, your future awaits..

7. If only men and women would celebrate each others presence in their lives each day we might have a happier world

8. Life usually writes more between the lines than on them and we are usually in too much of a hurry to read everything.

9. So you think you are generous? When did you last give someone the benefit of the doubt???

10. To be strong you have to know and master all your weaknesses

11. How sweet and simple would life be if only it wasn’t so complicated

12. Would be wonderful if we could google our memory

13. One generations excesses lead to another generation’s deprivations.

14. How can there be peace in the world when there is so much conflict in the homes

15. The world should be full of ‘Happily Divorced People’ as divorce seems to be the alternative to an ‘Unhappy’ marriage

16. Between the breath we take and the breath we will never take lies death

17. A contented heart and smiling face are better at defying age than anything in a tube, bottle or jar.

18. If words will result in hurt feelings, it is better to refrain from speaking

19. Its not about what you look at but what you see, it is not about the object but our perception of it

20.Like we spring clean our homes, once in a while we should spring clean our lives and rid it of bad habits

21. Would we appreciate blue skies if it wasn’t for grey ones

22. Why should a hurdle in the path be a deterrent and not a reason to jump higher till finally we can find our wings and soar high

23. Difficulties, setbacks and adversities probably come to teach us patience, fortitude and forbearance and not to disappoint, disillusion and discourage.

24. Everything that happens to us is to equip us to find our place in the grand design of things and finally fit into it.

25. Through art, writing, photography and other creative mediums, we pass on our vision of our world to those in the future, as those in the past have left their vision for us and for the future generations.

26 No occupation, hobby, relationship, addiction or even pain should become such an obsession that it blinds us to the gifts that life is continuously offering.

27.The purpose of life lies not in attaining distant goals in some unforeseeable future, but in living each day to the fullest in a way that is enriching for us and for others, by loving, learning, teaching, giving, caring, sharing and laughing as much as we can.

28. How many world leaders actually choose to lead their country out of an honest desire to serve it and its people and to improve their lot in life. Lets face it most world leaders are power and wealth hungry individuals who think leadership is the best way to attain all their selfish goals.

T29. he purpose of life of those who achieve the unachievable, is not just their personal achievement but also the inspiration it gives others to reach out for their own seemingly unattainable goals.

30. Every so often take stock of life, remember where you were when you began and where you were going and then see how far you have come. You will realise a few things, either the destination you were heading towards has changed as you took a diversion for a while and forgot your way back , or then you passed it a long time back and you are moving on to bigger things, or that the goal is not one you wish to reach any more, or you were forced due to circumstances out of your hands to take another path. You will also realise that if you have not reached the destination you chose for yourself, the journey itself has been rewarding and you have managed to gather much treasure along the way; either in love, success, knowledge, enlightenment, friends or other things.

31. While taking stock of your life do not forget to take into account all the compensations that life and destiny have handed you for dreams left unfulfilled

32. Dream dreams, which are your own, which rise from your innermost being and its desires. Basing your dreams on the achievements of others will leave you feeling unfulfilled even after you realise them.

33. Everyone has some special gift,often we cannot see it as we are not looking for it

34.Injustice angers me, pain and agony I witness breaks my heart, environmental destruction does both

35. My heart breaks for wonderful people who are worth so much and yet think that money is the most important thing in life

36.Its time to stop wasting the resources of the earth and replace materialism with minimalism

37. Feed your need, not your greed

37. he capacity to love despite the faults of another is a great gift

38. Sometimes there is a defining moment in life that crystallizes the meaning of one’s entire existence

39. Life is so short, let’s ensure that we use it well, giving only happiness to others and are never responsible for another’s pain.

40. Nothing in life is more important than to cherish the moments spent with those we love

41. We can’t have everything, so we have to realise what is most important and aim for that. There is no perfect situation, so do not let go of any potential happiness waiting for things to be just right.

42. Art and Beauty need no language

43. People chase their dream of wealth and fame, spending not a single moment to reflect on the fact that if success, money and fame were the things we really needed, then why would so many performers die of overdose after reaching the zenith in their chosen field.

44. What wisdom’s lost when thoughts gallop with speed,
through the mind like untamed steeds.
Lasso your thoughts write them down,
or you may lose some wisdom profound

45. There is nothing I regret more than the missed chances of doing good

46. Don’t indulge the moment of pleasure that comes with a lifetime of regret

47. Movies, tv and computer games are insidious mind controlling devices

48. In a heart where rancour is kept alive, no joy or happiness can ever thrive

50. Loneliness is mankind’s greatest fear

51. If recognition of talent was left to families many a genius would die in anonymity

52. Those who thought the Spanish Inquisition was bad were never questioned by their teenagers

53. The world may think you’re an idol
but your teen will no doubt say
Yeah sure you are an idol
I can see your feet of clay

54. Peace based on harmony should be the goal of every society, which can be achieved by acceptance and respect of each other’s differences. Art, philosophy, literature, poetry, dance and music, reflect the zenith any civilization has reached. If any of these expressions are used to deride or mock another’s deepest beliefs under the guise of freedom of expression, it will only lead to total chaos.

55. how blind are we that we cant see
the anguished hearts within our midst
eyes full of barely veiled sorrow
that forced smiles can never reach
lonely souls appearing to draw
happy, contented fulfilled breaths
while in truth they are awaiting
grim yet liberating death

56. Cute is irresistible, so beware of cute things that may have a more devious design behind them

57. As fire engulfs and consumes whatever feeds it, so does anger engulf and consume the minds and heart it feeds upon.

58. True development would take into consideration the needs of every species we share the planet with and not just the increased profits of a few greedy and short-sighted individuals

59. Trees are the first casualty of any development

60. We do not desecrate the sanctity of Churches, temples and mosques that we build for God yet how easily and thoughtlessly we destroy, desecrate and defile the beauty and sanctity of the wonders that HE has built for us.
It is this World’s tragedy that voices of sense and reason have often been overpowered by sheer brute force

61.If we just pass or fill time then we invalidate the fact that there are a number of purposes for our existence. Find and fulfill the purposes for your being, to justify your presence here.

62. Our lives are not worth what we get but what we give and share, for that is all that remains behind, sometimes a long time after we are gone.

‎63. ‘Impossible’ is the result of the limitations of human knowledge, imagination and experience; for a God who says “Be” and It is, everything is in the realm of possibilities.

64. One of the reasons that unnecessarily complicates relationships is the false idea that if someone loves us they should sacrifice all their happiness, pleasure and even comfort to prove that love to us.

65. Observation at a shopping mall: “Constantly changing fashions are proof of the fickleness of the human race”.

66. People who think their worth is based solely on their purchasing power, grossly underrate themselves

67. We often bring about the very circumstances that realize our deepest fears.

68. We begin to identify ourselves with races, religions, ethnic groups, cultures, traditions as we grow and our perceptions and understanding of differences develop. At birth all of us are only human.

69. People may not understand each other’s language, even have differing interpretations of various gestures but no one can ever misunderstand the meaning of a genuine smile

70. This year began with the promise of great possibilities, which may not be realized, but it would be stupid to waste the beauty and happiness of the here and now, mourning over what could have been.

71. The pleasures of the present evaporate unnoticed like cool dew on fresh green grass, when we are trying to recapture the fragrance of yesterdays faded roses or dream about an unknown tomorrow veiled in mystery.

72. If only one of a number of paths leads to the truth, the real seeker will examine each of them minutely; to be closed minded or to reject any as impossible or false without giving them their due attention and thought might lead to the truth never being discovered.

73. We humans may have a hundred different names for ‘WATER’ in a hundred different languages, but we all drink it to quench our thirst.

74. How blithely we say “and that’s the truth!” When in reality the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth can be affirmed only after it has been examined from all perspectives, all its facets have been looked at and everything known about it has been delved into; even then there is often spacious room for human error.

75. People who cheat, lie and take advantage of me think I am a loser and a fool but I feel that I will really be a loser if I lose my innocence that makes me believe deeply in the basic goodness of people and become a hard cynic.

76. History and archaeology have amply proved to us, if ever there was any doubt, that successive generations of humans are only caretakers and trustees on Earth; one may have a million land deeds or deeds to millions of acres but in truth nothing on the earth truly belongs to anyone one. So lets concentrate on preservation and conservation and not on willful destruction based on short term profit making.

77. Envy and jealousy are born with one’s discontent with one’s own possessions, talents, and achievements; those who are happy with their lot in life, however little it may be and confident of who they are, never care how much anyone else has or achieves.

78. Man puts any price he thinks fit on what he builds or creates yet he thoughtlessly destroys without a twinge of regret or scruples the priceless creations of nature

79. Ignorance gives rise to distrust which births fear and finally hatred. Only true knowledge and understanding lead to acceptance and respect.

80. Fleeting though the present may be, it continues to please for a long time, when woven in the rich tapestry of memories

81. True freedom is freedom from wants as wants shackle the mind with chains of desires

82. If only one of a number of paths leads to the truth, the real seeker will examine each of them minutely; to be closed minded or to reject any as impossible or false without giving them their due attention and thought might lead to the truth never being discovered.

83. We humans may have a hundred different names for ‘WATER’ in a hundred different languages, but we all drink it to quench our thirst.

84. How blithely we say “and that’s the truth!” When in reality the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, can be affirmed only after it has been examined from all perspectives, all its facets have been looked at and everything known about it has been delved into; even then there is often spacious room for human error.

85. Nothing on Creation is as arrogant as those whose ultimate earthly destiny is to be food for either worms or the fire.

86. good just for the sake of doing good, not for expectations of praise, gratitude or reciprocation, for those tarnish the act of doing good and if not met could spoil relations with the person who has been on the receiving end of your goodness.

87. If one good thing is coming to an end it doesn’t mean another is not waiting just around the corner to begin.

88. Walls, pillars and roofs house the body, while trees, rivers, mountains, lakes, valleys and all the wonders of nature house the soul. Lets be careful that in our quest for housing the bodies we do not make the souls homeless.

89. As man uses his limited foresight and imagination to reshape the Earth, replacing living green with dead greys, nature laughs because despite how strong and how high man builds a day comes when nature claims its own.

90. Don’t always seek company of others, sometimes seek the silence and solitude where you can listen to your inner voice, so you can get acquainted with your true self.

91. We are body and soul. The conflict that rages within us is the conflict between their different needs. The body is dazzled by what it can see and yearns for it, whereas the needs of the soul lie beyond the earth, in eternity and infinity. The body wishes to cram as much as it can into its limited existence, the soul knows all Eternity is waiting for it. Who should win, the perishable body or the immortal soul?

92. The kindness of friends, acquaintances and strangers, continues to touch me deeply and always reaffirms my faith in human nature when it is at its lowest.

93. The avarice I witness in the world, makes me appreciate even more deeply the millions of unknown people who upload books, lessons, advice, music, photographs, movies, etc, online, just for the satisfaction of sharing with others and for no expectations of any monetary consideration whatsoever

94. A good teacher knows that their true reward is the mind that blossoms and grows under their careful tutelage. Giving mercenary considerations priority, tarnishes and belittles their eminent calling.

95. For my many photographer friends: How fortunate the photographer, to spy moments of beauty and wonder and with a click be able to share them and preserve them forever, to see the smallest detail in their world ‘through the lens’ and to be able to share their perspective with the whole world.

96. A good friend will listen to your woes and sympathize a few times, but at one point they will wish you would let go and move on and they would be right, for life awaits to embrace us all with gifts we cannot begin to dream of, but we have to let go the pain, the disillusionment, the disappointments and move on to find them.

97. There are times in life when nothing of any great consequence is happening, either good or bad; These are the times of calm, times to rest and rejuvenate mind, body, heart and soul.

98. Time is not an enemy to be killed nor is it available to us in such great abundance that we pass it in frivolous pursuits. Time is valuable, because it is the most perishable and absolutely irreplaceable thing we know. it’s a wealth that cannot be saved and is running out moment by moment. The only way to utilise it to the best, is to make the maximum use of each moment.

99. Does anything make us realize the ephemeral nature of all things more than a flower that blooms briefly and dies.

100. In its short life a flower gives not just nectar but enriches our lives with its colour, fragrance and beauty,’
teaching us that it is not how long one lives that is important but how well.

101. When we enjoy the beauty of a newly blossomed flower we never give a thought to how soon it will fade and die, so
why can’t we enjoy each moment in life without the worry that it will pass.

102. The amounts the rich spend on self gratification could well feed, house, clothe and educate a million or more
poor.

103. Standard of living should only be improved till it is actually improving the quality of life anything beyond that
leads to decadence

104. Treat strangers well you have no idea what they may mean to you someday

105. Every interaction can be a learning and teaching experience

106. Each of us is a book, full of short stories, at least a couple of novels and some drama.

107. We are given friends so we can fly and relatives so we stay grounded

108. I would any day prefer to be the well thought out, perfectly planned and executed design of a Creator, with infinite oceans of knowledge and wisdom, rather than a chemical accident

109. Life takes us to places new, memories keep us pinned to the past.

110. If life is full of problems we have to be full of solutions.

111. When I was younger I wished I was a man, till I realised I was something so much better…. A Woman! Thank God!

112.In its short life the butterfly has drunk nectar from flowers, basked in the sunshine, flown free in the wind,glided on the soft breezes, pollinated flowers, added beauty to the world, and shown us that living and giving can all be done despite the shortness of life

113. Everyone has some special gift,often we cannot see it as we are not looking for it.

114. Injustice angers me, pain and agony I witness breaks my heart, environmental destruction does both.

115.My heart breaks for wonderful people who are worth so much and yet think that money is the most important thing in life

116. Its time to stop wasting the resources of the earth and replace materialism with minimalism

117. Feed your need, not your greed

118.The capacity to love despite the faults of another is a great gift

119. Sometimes there is a defining moment in life that crystallizes the meaning of one’s entire existence

120. Life is so short, let’s ensure that we use it well, giving only happiness to others and are never responsible for
another’s pain.

121. Nothing in life is more important than to cherish the moments spent with those we love

122. We can’t have everything, so we have to realise what is most important and aim for that. There is no perfect
situation, so do not let go of any potential happiness waiting for things to be just right.

123. Art and Beauty need no language

124. People chase their dream of wealth and fame, spending not a single moment to reflect on the fact that if success,
money and fame were the things we really needed, then why would so many performers die of overdose after reaching
the zenith in their chosen field.

125. What wisdom’s lost when thoughts gallop with speed,
through the mind like untamed steeds.
Lasso your thoughts write them down,
or you may lose some wisdom profound

126. There is nothing I regret more than the missed chances of doing good

126. Don’t indulge the moment of pleasure that comes with a lifetime of regret

127. Movies, tv and computer games are insidious mind controlling devices

128. In a heart where rancour is kept alive, no joy or happiness can ever thrive

129. Loneliness is mankind’s greatest fear

130. If recognition of talent was left to families many a genius would die in anonymity

131. hose who thought the Spanish Inquisition was bad were never questioned by their teenagers

132.The world may think you’re an idol
but your teen will no doubt say
Yeah sure you are an idol
I can see your feet of clay

133. Peace based on harmony should be the goal of every society, which can be achieved by acceptance and respect of each other’s differences. Art, philosophy, literature, poetry, dance and music, reflect the zenith any civilization has reached. If any of these expressions are used to deride or mock another’s deepest beliefs under the guise of freedom of expression, it will only lead to total chaos.

134. Cute is irresistible, so beware of cute things that may have a more devious design behind them

135. As fire engulfs and consumes whatever feeds it, so does anger engulf and consume the minds and heart it feel
upon.

136. True development would take into consideration the needs of every species we share the planet with and not just
the increased profits of a few greedy and short-sighted individuals

137. Trees are the first casualty of any development

138. We do not desecrate the sanctity of Churches, temples and mosques that we build for God yet how easily and
thoughtlessly we destroy, desecrate and defile the beauty and sanctity of the wonders that HE has built for us.

139. It is this World’s tragedy that voices of sense and reason have often been overpowered by sheer brute force.

140. If we just pass or fill time then we invalidate the fact that there are a number of purposes for our existence.
Find and fulfill the purposes for your being, to justify your presence here.

141. Throughout history, tyrants have been able to not just perpetrate horrible crimes on humanity under the garb of righteousness, but also incite others who were blind to their hypocrisy, to follow, aid and abet them.

142. Only forgiveness frees the mind heart and soul from the fetters of pain inflicted by others.

143 Fears change with age.

145. Mother nature makes wonders
Human beings make blunders

146. Actions have more than reactions, they have chain reactions, they have repercussions which can reverberate
sometimes for centuries affecting generations.

147. if life has a purpose then that purpose is certainly not to wallow in the unhappiness of my circumstances but to
rise above them.

148. Few things are as dangerous as half truths.

149. Peer pressure exerted by youngsters, with limited exposure to the world outside their immediate world, which is
related to dress, books, music, television, behaviour and even who to choose as friends, has to be one of the
most dangerous and repressive elements of modern society.

All day I peeped out from the corner of the window, which is now the last vantage point in our apartment, from where we can still catch a glimpse of the sea. The broad marine vista, that same window had afforded us fourteen years back, when we had first moved into this apartment, was now just a fading memory. All we could see now, when we looked directly out of it, was the parking lot and a row of buildings. My blues and greens, were now definitely greys and browns. There was however, one little grace still left; From my chair by the window, I could see diagonally to the left and catch an undisturbed view, of both trees and sea, and this is where I sat, especially on good days, and enjoyed the view.

Through the day I had admired its myriad shades of beautiful blues. But by the time we finally made it to its shore, it had lost its glorious promise of beauty and looked dull and listless, as the sun began descending. Nevertheless, we sat down in the spot we seem to have claimed now as our own, as no one ever comes there, though people do picnic nearby. But that particular bit of green, bordered by bougainvillea seems to have been left exclusively for us. We come here by unspoken agreement whenever we decide to go out at the week-end or sometimes even during the week-day, when it is especially beautiful.

It is a pretty spot; the ground is covered by a creeper that has begun to turn yellow in places, but whose verdure we have enjoyed for many months. People walk or ride cycles on the curving promenade that circles Green island right around, but few glance up, to where we sit. There is a wall above us that encloses a small piece of ground, which can be used for bar-be-cues or picnics, but rarely is. Tables and chairs are plentiful all over the island and we just have to pick a couple for ourselves and carry them here.

As we sit here while the evening grows, the setting sun turns the sea behind us to rich gold. Behind us is the city, with its skyline of monolithic sky scrapers; hungry to gobble up the sky greedily. Before us, touching the horizon, lies the sea, so often beautifully clad in regal blues, that we feel we can stare at it tirelessly, for hours. The promenade is lined by trees, and rows of trees grow everywhere, to justify the island’s name.

It is a quiet sea, that speaks often in hushed, respectful tones to the shore. It is a rare day when it rushes in blue green waves, to spill its excitement and exuberance upon the sand. We sit in the shade of a tree, the whisper of its leaves in the breeze, plays a soft, soothing note on our consciousness. Busy sparrows chirp in the boughs above. Once in a while, one of the numerous bulbuls, bursts suddenly into the sweetest song. The only other companions here are the cats, lying stretched out on the ground, or walking through the bougainvillea bushes, or mewling pitifully besides us, if we have brought food for that rare picnic.

Once in a while, the peace is disturbed, not unpleasantly by a jet ski or two, or by a motorboat going past, close to the Island. some times we smile as we hear laughter of unseen children playing close by somewhere. Huge container ships, sail gracefully in the distance. Sometimes we can spy a white sail of a boat, that is content to drift languidly, with the breeze. The gulls and cormorants fly past us, swooping down to the sea. No conversation is required, and we can sit here for hours in a companionable silence, that drains off completely the tensions of the work week.

The bougainvillea bushes that lie just a little ahead from where we sit, are almost bare now but just a month back they were a riot of pinks, reds, oranges and magenta, a rare and brilliant sight in a place that is mostly desert. The bulbuls like it here and many can be found inside them or sitting on the branches.

Beyond them is the tree with twisted arms yet a strange beauty. Another stands close to it. It is hidden from where we sit but when we walk down, we can spy it. It is always bare, empty arms outstretched towards the sky. Its brown branches, silhouetted against a deep blue sky, glow orange as the evening grows, and sometimes as night appears we can see the moon shining bright, through them. A stranger in this, all surrounding green beauty, it still holds a fascination all its own.

The idyll is so perfect, it is hard to tear ourselves away as the evening grows and the wind increases bringing with it an unwelcome chill.

Note: I have many pictures of this place but wished to paint the picture simply with words.

I have reclined ‘neath trees
woven with yellow green leaves
or silhouetted bare and stark
against deep cerulaen skies
besides undecided waves
changing shades constantly

I have watched gulls dip and rise
and fly off into the distance
heard sparrows sing in harmony
with melodious bulbuls
in late afternoons
as the sun warmed our backs
and lavishly gilted dancing waves
so they chuckled with golden laughter

I have imbibed contentment
from slow crafts sailing lazily
from the whisper of the breeze
the soft answers of the leaves
the sage nodding of the boughs
the blushing of the blooms

I have heard I have seen I have felt
I have been content
I have been happy
I have lived