Before I present today’s poem, a little background on the theme.. Karvachauth is a celebrated festival in India and is celebrated with a feverish zeal by married Indian women all across. Popularly, the festival is about the wives fasting the whole day, without consuming any water or food, all for the well being and long life of their husband. At day end, they break their fast, only after seeing a pretty full moon in the sky, and praying for the lives of their husbands to be as long as that of the moon. I feel, that interestingly enough, the moon on this particular day, looks even more beautiful than the other days :) Now here I write today, a poem on this warm sentiment, that somehow renews the faith and bond of these couples.
Pretty as she is,
She gets ready in the morning, like any other morning.
But today is special they say,
For it’s the day she will dress up and fast all day, for him.
With a zeal she shares with no other day she fasts on,
She wears her favourite reds-
Nail paint, saree, lip colour, and finally, on her head,
A red line of that vermillion powder called sindoor.
Patiently, she spends her day fasting,
Blushing every once in a while,
Cursing the next moment out of hunger,
And then suddenly again, smiling at her own self and plight!
It’s evening, and now she begins to get impatient,
Enjoying it nonetheless, she waits eagerly for the moon to show itself,
And enchant her with its beauty,
For it’s the moon that she will pray to, for his long life.
At half past ten that night, when she finally does see it there in the sky,
She can’t but stop looking at this orange white beauty.
When suddenly she is very aware of her husband looking at her,
Admiring her beauty in turn, appreciating her dedication, smiling lovingly.
Forgetting everything and anything unpleasant, if any,
He makes her drink her first drop of water in the day,
And then makes her eat her first morsel in the day,
And so ends the day, faith renewed somehow, LOVE STRENGTHENED IN ITS OWN BEAUTIFUL WAY.
She learnt a new word every single day,
But today was different in a different way.
She played time all the time,
And now time seemed to have strung a chime.
The coordinated notes of life and world,
Unplanned roads, no story unheard.
A leaf so green, it looked pale now,
An answer so obvious, with no question, oh how!
So many colours, the rainbow seemed confused,
She picked a colour, though they all missed the classic hues.
She looked left, then right, and danced the road,
Not realising in the slight, that she carried but some load.
What added zing though, and some angle too,
Was a hope, a story, a reality – blessed and true.
Life is a melodrama, with notes high, low, and fake all at once,
To dance to them, and not shy away, is the trick, a choice, a NOTEWORTHY NUANCE.
What gave her confidence, was a smile.
A confidence fuelled by a promise:
The promise though really, was only a big fat hope,
Eh! And no one actually told her that!
She hoped the promise would work,
She promised herself, a confidence in the planned.
So once sorted with her hopes of a good plan and promises of confidence,
She was there- ready to set out in that world they called a ‘stage':
She was going to play all characters, or at least help others play their roles,
She would hand them their props appropriate to the scene and theme,
She would wear make-up and masks to animate the shows too.
All to make sure, that people who mattered, all smiled.
All to make sure, that there were enough people who mattered.
All to make sure, that the enough had been a good number, and was enough too;
All to make sure, that she could sign off peaceful, happy, and CONFIDENT.
There she sits,
In a state of confusion, and suppressed panic.
There she sits,
Ruffled, shaken, jolted, broken.
She sulks for a day or two,
Then takes to crying.
Her vision blurred with pain and tears,
What remains it seemed, was only dying.
They wonder what it is,
But can only wonder.
They probe a little further, and then a little more,
Getting but no answers, only bemused parents, sisters, brothers.
All’s well, she assures them,
And that is that, and all that she will say.
They aren’t convinced, but they leave her to herself,
Trying to retreat to the normal, trusting now only their prayers.
Time, as they say, heals fast and plays its cards,
Her smile is now back- wide, and pretty, beating the pricks.
They say no lie, when they call her a warrior, fighting the odds, battling the evens,
Falling, but rising later nonetheless- smooth as glass, sure as a PHOENIX.
Though I myself and in my head, knew the definition of ‘nostalgia’, I still decided to refer to a dictionary for a better direction in writing this here. Surprisingly enough, it explained the word in just the same manner as I had thought it to be-“ wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time”. And in a more human, sentimental, and expression-ist manner, it can be defined as that sentiment or feeling that gives you the same shiver that it gave you at the time that incident happened. When attacked by this beautiful beast called nostalgia, you can suddenly feel the warmth of that hand on your hand, you smile at the joke that was cracked probably an year ago, your eyes become moist thinking of that broken pencil which but broke when you were in primary school, you feel the goosebumps of the declaration of your graduation results, and the sadness of the first job rejection! Such is the power of this one word sentiment, that it can suddenly send you on a roller coaster of events that moved you in your life, without that much debated invention of the time machine, and yet a travel back in time, only with respect to feelings and emotions.
Now a few days back, I met this gentleman, who I would like to term as, a nostalgia- critic. He said he believed in living only in the present, and that nostalgia made one weak. He claimed to be living only in the present, and that his life had no place for nostalgia or any emotion of the like. I respect his position as he put it, and yet do not agree with his line of thought. In my opinion, it is totally upon the person travelling into nostalgia, to make such feeling his strength. It is in fact a privilege that we have the opportunity to go back in time, and once again feel those moments, even if it sometimes means that we will re-live a fear. For me, nostalgia as I see it, is a feeling that strengthens, and not many can brave the emotion with a smile. For those who can, I call them- ‘Nostaligic-ans’ ;)
So here we go, my happy message to this world- Enjoy each moment you live, smile when you can and cry when you must, and just every now and then, do soak in that moment of nostalgia, for it will give you the strength to go that extra mile and create another moment to be nostalgic about!
A shade that somehow pushes me to an area of ‘nostalgia’
P.S. I hope my experiments by my own life translate into many moments of nostalgia in the future :)
They called her strong,
For she smiled through the tears.
They called her weak,
For she smiled, but she cried.
They said she was brave,
For she smiled when catastrophe struck.
They said she was a coward,
For she only smiled when catastrophe struck.
They said she was happy,
For she smiled all the time.
They said she was sad deep inside,
And her smiles were only a cover- up.
Confused, I asked her how she felt,
Why she smiled, and that too at everything.
Her reply baffled me, and still echoes my heart-
“ I smile because its beautiful, in the hope that it will touch hearts. And this is how I play life- fooling it at its own GAME, TACTIC, AND ART.”
The topic I decided to write on today is a rather complex one, and yet it is the simplest of the subjects most people claim to be experts on. So I will not be judging whether they’re good judges, or whether they can’t judge on even the most basic of the criteria, and what I will present here, is my own view on this!
LOVE. Luckily, I opened my eyes in this world to be greeted with this superb emotion called LOVE. Surprisingly though, beginning with not knowing what it meant, even today, a good more than twenty years from that day, I haven’t been able to settle on one definition of this word.
As a child, I was sure this word meant something very comfortable, something very nice, and something I could take for granted in my happy world. Growing up, teacher gave it several meanings, even tried to define it, and this is when friends taught me meanings they alone thought were right. It meant everything from a feeling of mushiness, to affection, to attachment, to something that brought joy, and also something movies seemed to give a lot of importance to. My dictionary today lists 28 meanings of this word! Oh God, who wouldn’t get confused?! Most movies seemed to be revolving around the sole subject of love. Every song I liked seemed to be about love. My friends were busy falling in love with some other people, my dad was in love with me and his work, my mom said she loved me, I loved my sister, and my small neighbour kid loved his bicycle, while that little child I knew down the street loved only his chocolate (or so I thought!). So up until a good number of years, love seemed to be those rose tinted glasses which were meant to make everything happy.
And then one day, I read the papers wide eyed, to see that just because this man in the news loved this woman, who wouldn’t agree on marrying him, he killed her! That day, love gave itself one more meaning in my head. Something very contrary to what it had been so far. I thought about it for several days, and finally decided that this too involved the happy love I’d known so far, only ending bad. I felt better.
Each day after that day, I tried to look for love in lives. I was surprised the way I’d missed these nuances so far! How could I have not seen that love in that my maid showed to me when she cleaned my table everyday? It never crossed my mind to thank my mother for the love she showed to me each day, by cooking the most amazing food, and making sure I ate healthy. It surprised me when I realized that I’d never made an attempt to appreciate all the love my father gave me every day all day, by doing what was best for me, and making me do the best too. My sister – how could I not acknowledge her love in pampering me even though she is the younger one? Wasn’t it love when my friends laughed at even my not-so-funny jokes?
Today life patiently still goes on to teach me what love is. Almost every day I see love in newer forms. Surprisingly, I don’t realize it’s love when I see it, but thankfully, I understand it if not then, a little later. And it makes me smile, each time I understand it. Now what amuses me, is that if this emotion is so pretty, why do some people deny its existence? So much so, that they will frown when told that they are loved? Or that they should love?
There isn’t enough love in this world, they say. And yet, embracing love can bring you the happiest feeling ever. To love isn’t easy, but it is definitely easier than to hate! Here, I come to the most important part of my post today- expressing love! When you know that love is magic, and that it makes things easy, why not express it? Most people I know, hesitate in expressing their love, even though I’m pretty certain that they intend to love. I wonder why it’s so difficult for some. Your manner of expression could vary, your style could be one never used before, but expressing love nonetheless makes sense. Anything from a simple smile, to a tight hug is a brilliant expression of love. For some, exchanging silence could be an expression of love, while for others, blabbering all the time could mean love. A friend i know, simply drops in little ‘I love you’ notes to his people when he feels love for them. Why wait for a perfect moment to express it? Go all out. Express your love where you feel it. Paint the world in tinted colours, for expressing love is probably the simplest way of showing it, and also probably the easiest way of minimizing hatred.
Love isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Love. And how I see it.
P.s. I have been working on this post for the longest time, and as surprising this is to me myself, this was not one of the easy posts that I have published here. A thousand thoughts run in my mind as I write here today, and a million people and their way of expressing love crosses my mind. I’m unable to augment all, but I really hope this is a beginning of understanding this complex emotion, and lays a foundation stone to start a discussion here on this beauty.