Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The postman and a bagful of memories

A brilliant post by a fellow blogger has had its resonating tune playing with my mind.
( To read the original :-- Our Nomadic Future )
A tranquil subterranean flow of thoughts has suddenly felt a hidden desire to emerge and seek pleasures of presence of those glowing rays of sun, kisses of sweet gentle breeze and whispers of those mirthful trees. It yearns to revisit the ruins of a civilised mind that has its confined existence in a dungeon of connectivity of this modern world.
This world has numerous languages; some are dialects, some have broader realms and some are at deathbeds. Still each has a glorious past; a past that once comforted souls of some of our ancestors, sweetened their lips and conveyed their love, anxiety, concern and wisdom, which has nourished tender saplings of humanity.
As human endeavour to reign in time and labour has prospered indisputably during the last few decades, it also brought forth an unappeasable insolvency in defraying on for peace and contentment. And, the society and its citizens are afloat on a vast pool of time with no time to spend for its own.
Life has broadened, connectivity has drawn the remotest horizon to an atomic distance, and time has endowed humankind with all its opulence; yet the string that binds souls has slowly slacken off. Words have learned to shed its feathers, one by one, to clothe in newer forms. Messages have learned to clip its wings and adorn itself in SMSs. Those short signs still communicate, sometimes they connects hearts with passion, emotion and love; yet it fail to get warm cuddling of unfamiliar souls, to connect people beyond in process and to enliven the social environment. Sharing of human expressions remains a disconnected beat in the sweet rhythm of melodious social harmony.
The postman who had carried bagful of emotions for so long years has now had enough fertile time to seek pleasure of a trance, which will lead to a quick end of his duty. And, for me? Closer to end of my journey, I have ample time to reminisce—to reminisce about those postbags, those letters, those simple toiling lives and those precious moments that time offered generously to me. I wish to share the excerpt of one recent post in my travel blog........
( To read the original :-- here )........
…………Next morning, when we boarded the first bus to Ukhimath, it was just three quarters past four. The darkness of a dead night had still not silenced its dirge. A faint glow on the eastern sky was a promise only. The stand had a leisurely gaze on its sleepy eyes. The bus would start sharp at 5 for being in mail service. With us there were only six other passengers.
It moved on laden with a few of juddering lives and a bagful of human expressions in sharing love, pain, concern, anxiety, and wishes. As soon as it left the main town, we were left with a road to run and mirthful Mandakini to accompany of the left. Soon we were joined by a pool of tiny tots—nicely dressed for school—at the next village. And mailbags were dropped and some fresh bags were collected. Abundant beauty of nature, laughter of those innocent kids, and occasional trysts with some known, some unknown villages carried me to a state, where I had longed so long to belong, yet it never sustained in the melee of brutal city life. I could feel pure efforts of so many souls that make us convey a single line of love or pain or else to our loved ones—it takes aids of so many hands, meet so many bright innocuous faces, listens to so many intimate exchanges, runs so many miles softly caring the seeds within, and observes expressions so closely of both the writer and the reader. Someone whispered to me, “Each of us is only one such message”. I was lost somewhere and woke up to sense when someone again whispered, “It is where you wish to reach”…………



I wish to live on with memories of my postman, my society, my long letters and my useless, yet soulful life.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

KIDS' ZONE---A divine gift

[ It has not been a long past when all my confidence over this blog got a crushing before the valuation of some sweet little kids, who found it as boring as their grammar books. I was literally hurt but soon got to reason while my youngest son advised me to post some stories I had written for him only. I do it now to honour their wishes..
This is purely in the Kids’ zone….This is about "A divine gift".......]


First tunes of few just—awakened birds echo from hills to forest to welcome the first morning glow of the Easter Sunday. Soon the ridges that look like long walls on the east will reveal an orange sun. Its very first rays will kiss crests of those slender trees, and, fast everything will get its luminous touch.
Joe gets up. Folding palms near to his chest, he whispers the morning prayer and leaves the bed. Sunday is always a different day in his residential school. It doesn’t have scheduled classes and home studies. Moreover, it is the Easter Sunday. So, daily errands are faster done than on any other day. Soon Joe is neatly dressed up and joins friends and teachers for ceremonial service. Although the spring has already arrived the morning breeze is still pretty chill in this hill town. Candles gently held between tiny trembling hands the big queue of innocent souls walks on towards St. Mary’s Grotto.
For Joe this walk has ever been fascinating. He loves the road silently laid in an idle morning with fogs hovering above. The busy market seems asleep deep with dreams of prosperity. The toy train tracks appear narrower and Joe loves to see how local lads use real toys to carry water-pots from source to dwelling places. But, the most enjoyable tract is where it runs a steady ascent through the pine forest. Joe can distinctly hear whispers of each of those trees. It finally reaches the Grotto where Joe puts his candle. More candles are placed, one after another, by his friends. Its smooth flames tremble with relaxing touch of the morning breeze. Soon gentle light and trusting souls illuminate the semi-dark cave and the smiling face of Mother holding her baby Jesus fills Joe’s heart with innocent joy. He can see somewhere in her face, ever smiling face of his sweet mother. And, instantaneously a few bundles of white fogs start swirling around and Joe can smell soothing fragrance of his mother. The Grotto has been nicely decorated with colourful ribbons, white roses, long pine leaves and some freshly bloomed rhododendrons.
Together they walk back singing beautiful tunes of hymns all the way. Joe offers a part of his breakfast and neatly finishes the rest. The environment takes him so floatingly away from the world of dins and funs that Joe finds peace more in sitting just by the side of his pet window. None knows but Joe talks to the window when alone; he even calls it by a name—“little world”—and, he loves clear long glasses it holds so wide to cover the most distant fading lines of the horizon. It is open to the south-east and Joe can see part of the plains long below where rivers and brooks have drawn numerous interesting designs. Here Joe has seen how birds build their nests in early Spring—they do not ask any one else to help, they just do it together, picking twigs, one by one, and put them neatly to make a warm place to stay for a few more months till their babies grow enough to fly on their own; and some day before winter, they will move out to some other place joe never knows. All these together make it the most trusting companion of Joe.
Joe opens it up wide and gazes beyond. His vision jumps upon, hills after hills, treetops to treetops, swings around a few mounds where tea plants have freshly been trimmed and again it soars high to catch up mountain eagles and soon glides down sweepingly near to the valley where some woodpeckers are engaged in playing a repetitive melody.
But, when it finally ends its journey, Joe is taken aback to find someone’s presence so near to him, yet unbelievingly he turns around to take no notice of it. Still, he hears some long—known’s sound, a musical one; and, soon he is called by name. He can no longer ignore it as a matter of past, as a matter of dream or a matter of fiction. He is sure of her sweet voice and it cannot be of anyone else.
“But, how can Minie come after so long time?”, Joe wonders.
Minie, a brightly coloured butterfly, has been a friend of Joe since his childhood and, to be more specific, since Minie was a caterpillar. She is the most talkative living being Joe has ever seen or met any during his not very long life. Despite all these facts, Joe used to enjoy presence of Minie for two reasons—firstly, she used to smile and smile even while speaking; and secondly, although she had a nature to carp on everyone’s action and find something amiss in anyone’s quality, she never doubted so of Joe ever. But, Joe hasn’t seen Minie since the last two springs. He honestly hoped for her coming back during the first season and sincerely believed that she would never come back for the next.
A very thought of Minie’s presence fills Joe’s soul with much nostalgic air, and memories start appearing, one after another, so fast as if it has been a child’s play of turning pages of a picture book. Joe recalls Tod also. Tod is tadpole; rather was a tadpole. He must have become a proud frog hopefully since Joe has not met Tod for more than a year. But, those days had been so rejoicing to remember when he and his two little friends had had all funs and freedom to get closer to the nature.
Joe remembers and smile makes his lips wider and bubbles of laughter starts brewing inside. He recollects when on fine morning he introduced Minie to Tod. It was near his beautiful home—a space with numerous trees, flowers, and bushes surrounding a saffron bungalow and a placid pool on its south. Tod was a cute tadpole with a shining skin, as dark as Joe’s naughty boy shoe. His eyes were as big as the gem on the ring that Joe wears on his right index finger. But, Tod had been pretty polite except when someone asked him anything about his somewhat awkward tail.
Minie had been too conscious of her beautiful wings. On seeing Tod, she started laughing so much that it was about to choke her ever-resonating voice. Finally, when settled, Minie asked, “Joe, that’s your new friend with neither a pair of wings nor a pair of legs? That’s so funny a creature!”
Joe did not like Tod to be so crudely described, and that too by one of his closest friends. He immediately rebutted Minie as furiously as his polite nature could permit. Yet, it didn’t discourage Minie to engage in further questioning.
“Tell me Joe, how could one spend his life just by swimming throughout?”, Minie queried.
“No, I will soon have legs, Minie. I will soon be hopping around all over the earth, even farther what your little feeble wings will ever carry you with!”, Tod retorted.
Even before Joe could intervene, Minie, as ever forthcoming, took a swift glide with fluttering of wings so nicely that even a foe would not fail to get tempt to appreciate her beauty. She finally sat upon the spectacles safely rest upon Joe’s slender nose and spoke musically, “Tod, how could you hope for a pair of legs while you don’t have even a faint sign of it on your body, and what will you do with your tail then? You will look like a Kangaroo then, Ha Ha !”
“How could you get those wings with so many colourful rings on it and only a few pairs of legs while you had had so many legs as a worm? It is as simple as that.”, Tod asked pretty intelligently.
“Hey, I had never been a dull colourless worm, Tod. Joe knows how green silky skin I had had then. Yes, I didn’t have wings, but had millions of thin hairs on my body to bear enough sign of having wings one day.”, Minie replied.
Joe found the debate going beyond its usual place and put a full stop with all assertiveness, and said, “Dear friends, we are all friends here. We should not discuss about how a worm can transform into a butterfly, or how a tadpole can become a frog, or how legs could change into wings or a tail could turn into legs.” Joe was quite satisfied to end this long sentence for it had silenced both his arguing friends and truly suppressed his own hidden desire to know how really those things happen. Nevertheless, he felt to drop the idea of knowing about it for in weighing the benefits of not knowing about it. Although there was the least possibility of those arguments leading to battle ( or fight in a qualitative term ) as neither minie would surely plunge into the pool to get drenched nor Tod would fly in the air to get dried up alike a wafer, still Joe didn’t like to be a witness to friends in conflict. That was not his nature. So, he bunged up all with as much authority as the bangs of the Jury’s hammer would bear.
A rather persistent call brings Joe back from the dream—walk down the memory lane. It is truly Minie saying something to Joe. She, in the meanwhile, has perched nicely upon her favourite place, the golden circular frame of Joe’s new spectacles.
“Joe, just forgotten me? So serious are you in studies and of a composed presence in those Harry-like specs that you haven’t wished me back, friend!”, said Minie seemingly hurt.
“I’m so sorry, Minie! I can’t believe that you really are here. Where have you been for so long, dear friend?”, Joe said quite apologetically.
“It’s a long story, Joe. I never wished to leave you all; still it was to happen and it happened when I was supposed to sleep for days and nights during winter—for us a long winter!”
“That must be a couple of years back when I had been enjoying my winter vacation. I had so much of fun with my parents while roaming around in Sikkim, laden in snow and fun. Was it not the winter you are talking about?”
“Yes, Joe! It was absolutely that season. It was a week hence since you had moved on your family trip and the moonlit X-Mas eve night had found me gently laid on a fragrant Basrai rose. I couldn’t feel sure whether I’d been awake or asleep, and my dreams seemed as real as were my realities. I fondly kept my wings folded and was felt to be smoothly swayed in gentle wintry breeze. Not afar, Christmas trees stood dazzled with tiny twinkling lights all over and a soft tune of holy air pervaded the world.
It was then I heard a sweet melodious tune—sweeter than anything I had ever listened to before—and while I gazed on, I could see a sleigh sliding down the way up from the hills. I had never seen him before but his smiling face—whatever little space it could hold uncovered within flourishing white beards—and a concerned call poured in enough vigour to let me rise up and see what was happening. I get awed in hearing so beautiful a song he sang….

…..In icy cold and wintry breeze
When all nice kids just shiver and freeze;
Here is Santa! Come, dear, come!
Brought these cakes, rich and warm.

With fun and love and wishing good
For your joyful dancing mood;
Here is Santa! Come, dear, come!
Take these gifts and share friends some.

I have only a day to roam
Till I return to my heavenly home;
Here is Santa! Here I go,
With lots of kisses and loving glow.

……And, I could not stay unmoved and sprang up and fluttered close to him. I stayed hypnotized over his sacred appearance and soon neared to find myself sitting on one of the railings of his toboggan.
He softly touched me and I could feel the warmth so full and comforting that it left me wondering what a bliss it would to be ever blessed with his eternal presence. I took no shame in saying so to him candidly and wished to roam around in his heavenly abode.
He looked at me, closely held me within his warm palms and whispered, “Minie, if you really want to go, I will surely take you there for a brief visit. But, you little dear, should love the place, feel peace, and shed all desires for own beauty and luxury. Will you and can you?”
I felt all shame in my soul for being so much boastful for what he meant, and soon my heart swelled in a strong sense of penitence for sins I had so long committed. I could realise that it all meant nothing in face of what sacredly peaceful and loving gesture of that great old man. Weeping I said, “Yes, I shed all. I love to be in peace, feel blessed with such heavenly bliss even for a moment, just to be back again here with a refined soul. Dear Holy man ! For me, no much time is left to live. I want to end it meaningfully. Please bless me so.”
He took me along. We rode miles on his sleigh. Deep imprints on ice it left looked like puzzling lines to the horizon. And, he took me there, the place up above in the sky, with twinkling stars so jolly and near. And, the air so refreshing in the paradise. The flowers I chose to sleep over had no sweet nectars to tempt, but had so relaxing taste that it quenched my thirst for long. They had no dazzling colours to get amazed; but its warm cosy embrace offered me the nicest dreams on my eyes in ease of my slumber. There was no cause to hurry, no pause to worry, none to remain unloved and none to envy.
When it was time to bid adieu, Santa kissed my temple and wished me a piece of gift. My old yet renewed soul did not crave for any, friend. I really did not wish to seek anything. His gentle voice then murmured, “Minie, say not “No” to what I like to give you. If you wish, give it to the finest soul you know down in the earth. This is not a gift but a true blessing of HIM.”
I had always missed you a lot and I had never known of any better soul than of my dear friend. I said, “Santa, I have a friend, Joe, who is as loving and caring as you are. I truly wish to carry such a divine gift for him, if you so bless me.”
Here is this tiny star for you, Joe. I wish you keep it on your pendant for ever. This ever shining little star of the Heaven will forever fill your soul with all holy feelings. This is what your friend, Minie, has brought for you, Joe. I have a very little time left now. Our life is not so long like humans. My journey will end soon. I wish you accept it and let me go. This will keep us together for ever, friend.”
Tears rolls down the cheeks of Joe. It is not for that Minie has brought one of the most precious gifts for him, but to witness how godly changes Minie has undergone with a sacred touch of Santa.
Joe, for the last time, holds Minie within his soft palms, loved her and gently rubbed her wings. Minie smilingly takes leave. She vanishes into smiling white clouds loosely hanging from the bright blue sky.
Joe finds himself alone again by his pet window, “little world”. The tiny star hangs on his pendant down from his long neck. He could see its shining face, and could feel Minie’s presence too. He feels presence of someone else—his mother, his God and an ever-pervading peace in soul.
Few repetitive calls of Brother Roberts rebounds inside Joe’s mind-lanes. “Yes, dear, it is now time for Lunch ! Come soon, Joe !”
Joe cannot discern whether he has so far been dreaming or not. But, his heart is so full of mirth and peace that he joins up others soon in the Dining Hall.
Some of his friends surrounds him and get so close to Joe that he can listen to the beats of their fast-running hearts. With awed eyes, one of them asks, “Joe, how sweet is the pendant with that twinkling star! Where have you got it?”
All queries remain answered within a gentle silent smile of Joe. Together they all smile…smile for ever…

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

An idle brain and some stupid thoughts

Imagination stretches the realm of intellectual competence of mind; but also attempts to sail wistfully afar towards some illusory horizons and mislays the anchor where it finally loses power to govern the whole anymore.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

In the name of the Father !

It was one monsoon day. The morning could reveal itself only through some grey patches on the overcast sky. The previous night was spent amidst angry shouts and flashes of thunders and I could only hear occasional beats of a faintly tuned music of falling raindrops. It was still a busy morning for me—to get ready by eight and set off. In a few seconds, I was seen walking towards the Bus stand. It was not raining, yet it had its presence deep in my thoughts and surely, in apprehension of its arrival at any moment. Such a pensive countenance of nature had a strong reflection upon the mirror of the city life of some twenty-five years back. And, I was left in the emptiness of the world with sky, sun and rain all veiled in uncertainty.
While in the midway to my destination, the nature could not hold its suspense any further, and it started raining furiously, as if to lay bare its anguish hidden so far and so long for to share with someone who never came. I hoped to comfort, console and hear, but I was left ignored with myself.
The bus dropped me at Mayo’s crossing and was soon vanished. Like a spoonful detergent in the eddy of washtub, I melted into dense walls of rain. Before I could decide whether to take shelter or not, I had almost run a few hundred metres. My glasses were weeping. I crossed the road with all confidence in mind of getting smashed under moving cars. When I got myself settled comfortably, I could realise that I was still alive, drenched completely from head to toe and had fifteen minutes before the first lecture was scheduled to start.
It was for that lecture only I had taken all troubles to reach my college. Within a few minutes, I was knocking at the dark brown door of a first floor room in St. Xavier’s. “Come in” sounded instantaneously and I rushed inside to find him fully dressed for the class.
“Hey, Shishu ! You’re soaked ! Put on that shirt, quick !”—he spoke as hurriedly as his nature could allow him to do. While I changed, he lit a galloise ( a French navy brand of cigar) and put it between my lips. I enjoyed its strong gust running through narrow avenues of my lungs and puffed out a grey cloud of smoke.
It was time for lecture to start, and together we entered the classroom—a meagrely represented—to be soon greeted by bursting laughter of my friends. When it mellowed down to silence, my septuagenarian companion said, “Kids, today we will discuss how meaningful is the spontaneity of joy over experiencing a new piece of knowledge, as you have felt in observing Shishu having put on my shirt, and what is its functional relevance as explained in mathematical philosophy.” He went on explaining a new facet and traversed from nature, rain, life, mind, expression, and finally to its reflections through mathematical functions. What he taught was what he was scheduled to teach on that day; but he began and ended with a new event all together to make learning a joyous soulful learning.
The man, I was talking about, was Reverend Fr. Goreaux, a great mathematician, philosopher, physicist and a superb human being. He was twice honoured with Doctorate in Science for his outstanding contribution to both Mathematics and Physics, latter one while working under one of the greatest Scientists of modern world, Albert Einstein. My words and thoughts will never be able to measure the magnitude of his vast knowledge, the profundity of his spiritual and philosophical opulence, and the devotion towards advancement of learning. In one single sentence, he was an idol to whoever had come to his proximity.
And, for me, he had been more than anything that could describe of an individual and a human being with similar flesh and blood like us, but so enriched in every aspect of human expressions. It was he, for me, who stood as an altar where I could have no sins left with me, no thoughts unexpressed and no pains uncomforted.
His lips were as pink as that of an infant, despite withstanding heavy smoking. For me and my closest friend (who is a renowned professor in PenSU), his prefect’s room was a world where our ideas, ideals, and expressions had taken refuge.
One day, after the morning lecture, he invited two of us to meet him in the afternoon. “I have a great surprise to share with you, kids!” We had quite anxiously passed through the day expecting a new discovery, a miracle of Science to be revealed before our eyes (quite naturally from a man of his character) and rolled into his room as soon as the classes had its end. We all sat together, cigarettes dangling involuntarily on our lips and anxieties frothing inside, and his soft voice conveyed, “ Here are those keys, I have added to my typewriter, and, you see, how perfect their strokes are !”. Those type-keys were all manually set against riders to get mathematical symbols to be typewritten. It might seem to be an anti-climax, but we were maimed by his innocent joy of exploring at an age of seventy plus and its richness in sharing so joyously. We learnt that only true knowledge could contribute to such innocence.
It did transform our life. We could not transform ourselves alike him; it can never be imitated; but it richly contributed to transform our views of life. We could learn to feel why those men were great, and why they had been so godly.
Father, endow me with strength just to embrace this much of faith and belief till I live in this beautiful world.
I miss you Father, I miss your warm off-white shirt. May God feel ever satiated for having created such a perfect being.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Funny thoughts....

It is so encouraging that there is so much of fun and laughter in this beautiful world. Still, it is disheartening to experience when it resides elsewhere than in a joyous soul…