God

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In times of despair

When darkness clouds my mind

Filling it with hopeless fear

A flicker of light I find

 In moments of solitude

When bitterness overwhelms my heart

Enslaving my grit and fortitude

A   prayer I say makes my loneliness depart

In times of  fame and success galore

When my heart swells with pride

Yet my greedy self yearns for more

‘Stop’ says a voice somewhere deep inside

In times of love and happiness

when my haughty mind begins to ignore

my beautiful friends and loved ones

A nightmare reminds me of the solitude before

You have been in my journey

You have seen me through

You have guided me sternly

Yet I never saw you !

You were the light that I saw

You were the prayer that I said

You were the voice  shouting no

You were the nightmare  in  my bed

You led me to my today

You lead me to my tomorrow

You cleared the thorns in my way

You remove me from sorrow

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From Robot to human ! ( Technological De-addicition complete)

These days I am in a ‘technology de-addiction’ (don’t refer the lexicon, I just made it up !) mode , not so much by choice as by lack of it . The place I am in  right now (and will continue to be for a month or more) as I  have written before is a little far away from civilization ( alright, perhaps ‘little’ is an understatement. It is very far from anything close to civilization !).

There is no mobile connectivity, and even land phones are out  most of the time, owing to the wind, rain and sometimes neither of these. My accessibility to the internet is restricted to weekends. Needless to say, I am unavailable on my Whatsapp account as well .

But that is what has made me experience this life, as it was before; before any of this had ever come to exist , a life as it was meant to be !

I have discovered that living without facebook or whatspp does not kill. I am living and I have never felt more alive before. Well, alright perhaps, that was a bit of exaggeration , but the essence is the same, I am definitely feeling more human these days ( though I am so addicited to these technological innovations now, that I cannot survive being human for too long! ).

So I await my robotic existence , where I type more than I talk, I see more than I listen and I chat with far away people more than I do with my own family members and emote more with emoticons than with my own face. Wow, what a life !

And here I am, breathing in fresh mountain air as I take my morning walks, feeling the breeze, watching the snow capped peaks, listening to the rustle of the leaves and the cawing the raven ; when I could have just slouched on my couch and exercised my fingers instead (typing on my phone I meant !).

I spend precious mornings and evenings painting flowers and butterflies with my little one, watching animated movies on the laptop together , dancing like crazy to rocking numbers , swinging together in the garden, playing with the little puppy we have got here, watching the bees and the ducks ….. when I could have just handed her a tablet and let her be !

I read more, I write more, I click more pictures and definitely appreciate nature more. I feel so much like a ‘human’ again…a ‘boring’ human who will be a complete and utter misfit in a techno-savvy world.

But am I happy…? Yes. Do I feel good and healthy? I feel refreshed and rejuvenated ! Am I exaggerating again? No, this is honest :P. So I guess, I needed this forced de-addicition to start seeing things as they were before , to start enjoying  the simple pleasures of life we take so much for granted otherwise. I needed this, to realize the time I was giving away to these socio-technological innovations , for free. I needed this to let me know that I am supposed to control them and not vice versa.

Well, have I learnt my lessons? I think I have. I cannot and will not wean away completely from any of these , the internet in particular( for how else will I run my precious blog..?) , but I will not go back to being a robot again.

I want to stay human, for this is how God meant us to be !

Weekly Photo Challenge – Wall

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I am  the  Wall , built by you

not of bricks,  stones or hay

I am  the  Wall, built by you

made of hatred,  prejudice and perceptions lay

I am the Wall,  built by you

not to protect , nor shelter from sun or rain

I am the Wall , built by you

to divide  lands and spread pain.

I am the  Wall , built by you

not to strengthen or support your home

I am the  Wall built by you

to weaken humanity, inviting a storm.

I am the Wall of narrow fragmentations

of caste and class , color and religion

I ruin lives ,  shatter nations

bring misery and despair beyond recognition

Destroy me today , bring me to the ground

Spread love , spread cheer

Let there be  no boundaries  around

Free this world from hatred and fear

Weekly photo challenge – Wall

Women’s day everyday ….

Today is the International Women’s day or so they say . Leaves me a little perplexed . Does that mean , the other days don’t belong to us , women or is it just a consolation prize for the otherwise forgotten ‘greatness’ of  women !

I am a woman , and equally , if not any more , sane as my male counterpart , and I think celebrating your existence should be an everyday affair . The social media today , is overflowing with status messages and dedications to this lovely species , called ‘Women’ , telling us about their super powers ,  elevating them to the status of a goddess , describing in varied detail , the hardships faced by them , respecting the women in our family and so on .

Open your facebook or twitter account tomorrow , and these would have disappeared without a sign , ‘poof’ ! ,  back into the same graves , from which they had arisen , much  like ‘zombies’  , only twenty four hours ago .

Today , each one of us think that out social and moral responsibility begins and ends with a social media status (Guilty as charged ! )

What one needs to think is that a ‘Woman’ , is a human being , with slightly different functions ( I am referring to the physical aspects , the social functions are of course , man made !  ) .  We do not celebrate a ‘Man’s day’ (not that I know of  !) , then why this particular bias towards  women ?

Agreed a woman does many things worth a (or perhaps a zillion ! ) mention (s) , but don’t men have their share of duties to fulfill …?

Are we as women , any less human , or inferior to the men , that we require such special days and special dedications ? Women are strong , perhaps , mentally even stronger than men . Such special days , according to me , only go to belittle their hard work and position as an active member of society .

A woman’s contribution to society , just like the men’s   can not   , be  packed into  a single day of the year . That will just not be enough . She deserves love , respect , appreciation and acknowledgement , round the clock , through out the year !

No amount of protests and movements in favor of women emancipation , will work , if the total ‘mind set’ does not change .  Women are not special , perhaps a little physically fragile , but that doesn’t make them the ‘Weaker section of society’ .

In fact if this whole outlook towards women , and the way they are looked at by the society has to change , it has to start from a woman itself ; a mother , who fails to discriminate her children right from their toddler years , who teaches her sons to respect women , in the family and outside , and her daughter to blossom into a real woman , capable of standing her ground , if the need arises.

Don’t wait for others to set examples . Set your own .

As a woman , you need to love and respect yourself , for others to do the same . Be beautiful , on the outside and the inside . Let’s make it our day , everyday  . And this goes for the men folk too . The love and regard is mutual ; our men need some appreciation as well !

Life should a celebration of humanity , every hour of the day , and every day of an year .

We are the masters of our own destiny !

Ten points to prove that shifting places and new postings can be fun !

Life of an army wife is no different from a nomad’s . We literally live off suitcases . No home is our home forever . We move . We stay . And just as we fall in love with a place , we pack up and leave again .

Life is not stable , never static . It is action packed for life , or at least till we choose for it to be . 

There are many of us , who enjoy it , while a few of us don’t . This shifting of base , every two or three years comes with a lot of benefits and unfortunately with a few negatives as well . But then , it depends on you , whether you want to see the glass half full or half empty .

Here are TEN   points to prove that new postings and constant shifts have their benefits :

1. Getting to see new places : This of course  may sound like a cliché , but it is indeed the truth . A defence life is the best way to travel across the length and breadth of the country and sometimes even , abroad , without much of an effort or expense . Defence wives , particularly Army wives , can boast of a rich travel experience , including in depth knowledge about the culture and cuisine , of different places , sometimes , the most uninhabited and  far off lands too ! So if you are looking for new adventures everyday , get married to an army officer , and you are sure to have one !

2. Collection of handicrafts  from across the country : Visit an army house , and it will prove this. Whether it is the artifacts , local handicrafts , an exquisitely furnished center  table or a leather bean bag ! We have it all . Each time you visit a new place , or get posted to one , it provides one with ample opportunities to make a collection of  the unique cultural exhibits of that place .

3. A unique collection of Sarees and other dress materials : Every army wife makes it a point to shop for  clothes , especially handcrafted sarees , specially designed dress materials etc from the place where they are posted . India , being a country rich in  a variety of colors and crafts , offers  a wonderful shopping opportunity to one and all . The need is to explore these places and crafts ,  and as far as army wives are concerned , it all all ready made for them !

4. Ready made vacations : Every new place you get posted to ,  has a list of weekend getaways already tried and tested by your predecessors  ( army officers and families have the unique ability to find spots for picnics , even in the most inhospitable areas ! ) and you just need to follow the ready made itinerary and

have fun .

5. Tension free schooling : In most places , there are Army schools and Central schools that enable your kids to continue their education hassle free , even in a ‘middle of the year’ posting .

6. Adaptable kids : Most parents in the defence life , are often worried about their kid’s education and the fact that their child’s overall development may be hampered when they travel so often  , and get into the ‘not -so-good’ schools . But , if one does  look around , it goes without a doubt that Army kids are smarter , more flexible and adaptable than their civil counterparts . They adjust to new surroundings faster and also cope better with stress in school and outside , owing to the unpredictable nature of their father’s occupation .

7. New homes : The main change that comes with every new posting is a new house , different , similar , inferior or superior to the previous one . This has its advantage in the fact that , you tend to ‘de-clutter’ your home every two years , (each time you shift ! ) and try to avoid collecting junk at home , compared to your civil counterparts , who while living a stable life , tend to keep collecting unwanted stuff , over the years .

8.New neighbors and new friends : Every new posting comes with a lot of new neighbors and friends , which adds more fun to life . Besides , the fact that we would leave in a few year’s time , makes us more tolerant to ‘bad’ neighbors too !

9. New Jobs :Though a lot of women complain  about the instability ,  in the lives of their army men , to be the main cause for them not being able to pursue their respective careers , I personally feel that a lot of  these places do provide ample job opportunities , and the short service period prevents you from getting bored with your job .  Besides , these days online jobs and freelancing can be carried on uninterrupted  , in all areas with a stable net connection .  Teaching is ,  without doubt the best career option of Army wives , and most army cantonments have a school , where you can do so , conveniently .

10.Variety is the spice of life : A new place removes the monotony from our life and adds spice to our romantic lives too .

With new places to explore each time and new adventures to indulge in , life can be anything but boring .

So cheer up !

Be proud of yourself !

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‘Pride’…. the word itself has its complications. In fact , it is very much like common salt .  The excess of salt ruins the whole palette , while  less of it , doesn’t let us enjoy  the flavors of the food . Sprinkle just the right amount , and it can work wonders !

Similarly  if you have too much ‘Pride’ packed into your personality  ,  you will bloat and collapse under the weight of it .

 ‘Pride hath a fall’ , is a moral lesson infused into us right from our kindergarten days . Remember the story of  ‘The hare and the tortoise’ ?

Yet , without this  ‘Pride’  ,  you are left with a deflated ego and a low self esteem. Not a good thing to have either…..

But just the ‘right’ amount will let you flower and touch new heights …

Pride , is a feeling of ‘worth’ , that one may feel for one’s own self  or for another person .

Throughout our lives , we are searching for this ‘self worth’ in the eyes of another person. As a child we crave for that one approving look from our mom or that one motivating pat from our dad .

Sometimes we get it in abundance , sometimes we do not . Even when we grow up , we do the same . Just that,  now  it is not our parental  approval  that we seek but that of our peers .

A word of praise , a nod of agreement , and sometimes even hugs .  As we move on in life , no matter how much we achieve , a thumbs up from our better half ,  a kiss from our little one ,  can still go on to make a lot of difference in our life !

A few times , verbal  and  a few times in gestures , your close ones do tell you how proud they are of you . And sometimes , there are occasions when you may not receive these magical words for something you expect , but then that is life , bear with it !

However ,  life does not end there . I believe , each one of us , is the best judge of our own  ‘self worth’.  When one becomes aware of one’s own strengths and weaknesses ,  is the time one learns to live  with both ; to coexist in happiness.

Realizing one’s problem areas and trying to rectify them , is a sign of maturity . Also , a person who accepts his skills and good qualities , without letting them hamper his sensibilities  , is a socially mature individual .

Taking pride in oneself is a very good way of staying happy and content . Of course , as I have stated before , this pride should only encourage one to improve upon themselves , rather than demean others .

People who put down others or try to humiliate them are those who , in reality have a poor self worth . In fact , these poor humans are victims of insecurities and frustrated egos , that they try to boost incorrectly by being pompous and disapproving towards others .

I have heard a lot of homemakers forever crib about their better halves or kids never appreciating them or being verbal with their feelings .

But what I would like to say is  that the deepest feelings are felt , not told . Besides , learn to be proud of your own self first and the world will follow. A person content in himself , will not have to seek happiness and approval from others .

Of course , we all love to hear somebody tell us ,  ‘I am so proud of you.’  But your worth shouldn’t be a matter  to be judged at the whims of  your family and peers.  Never let their opinions about you change the way you perceive  yourself .  Your worth  should be judged by you and you alone  – you , who is deserving and  beautiful ,  in every which way……….

So tonight before you go to bed , look at yourself in the mirror and say , ‘I am so proud of you !’.

Love yourself . Be proud of the unique person you are , yet modest in your attitude towards others . Do things that will make you proud about yourself , improve yourself everyday and the world will applaud , sooner or later !

Weekly Photo Challenge – Daily post – Scale

Weekly Photo Challenge – Scale

This week, share an image that highlights a size relationship — make us pause and take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in your photo.

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‘Sometimes you may believe you are the  biggest influence on this world , till you venture out of your comfort zone , only to realize that you are but a speck in the mighty universe , and there are others far stronger , far more powerful , and yet you should continue your journey , only this time , a little more modest , a little more grounded………and see how you come to conquer the world !’