Mrs Nobody

I know a funny little woman,

As quiet as a mouse,

Who does the mischief that is done,

In my humble house!

Oh, how she loves to scatter things,

When I’m on a cleaning spree.

And makes sure the phone rings,

To watch me harrowed, with glee!

She makes the utensils jump down,

From the cupboards up overhead,

Startling my new guests in town,

Who rush to save my head.

She likes to haunt my closets too,

And ransacks it into a mess.

Therefore, It’s a terrible woe,

To find a fine, decent dress!

The monster laundry glares at me,

For she piles it high and mighty!

And makes sure I’m never free

To blog or chat away idly!

She drops hair and stains the kitchen,

For me to clean and fix.

Oh how I curse the naughty vixen,

But she loves her little tricks.

As I try to make the chapati round,

She leaves the tap running.

At times, I hear the alarm’s sound,

And rush to see what’s burning!

I don’t know how she does that,

But the house key goes missing,

Whenever we have to go out,

For some fun and fishing.

Despite, all the trouble folks,

I kinda love the dear lady.

She sure knows how to make us laugh,

And things often end in comedy.

“Oh, o, you must be better organized,”

Remarks my loving Honey,

But he doesn’t believe when I say,

“It isn’t me, it’s MRS NOBODY.”

(Inspired by the great poem – Mr Nobody, one of my favorites, written by an anonymous poet. Do you also have a Mrs Nobody in your house?)

Images courtesy Google

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The Sound of One Hand

If you have sensitive ears, this post is for you! While reading Rajneesh Osho’s ‘The Book of Secrets’ in which he discusses around 112 techniques to meditate, I came across a wonderful story – The Sound of One Hand. I can not help sharing it!

The master of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protege, Toyo, who was around twelve years old. Toyo used to run errands for the master and everyday he would observe seekers visit the master’s room to receive instruction in sanzen or personal guidance in which they were given koans to stop mind-wandering.

Toyo wished to do the same so one day, he put his head at the master’s feet and asked him for a Koan. 

Mokurai refused initially but the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented.

Mokurai said – “Try to hear the sound of one hand. And when you have heard it, then come and tell me.”

Toyo bowed and went to his room. He tried and tried to listen to the sound of one hand but all he could hear was the music of the geishas, coming theough the window. “Ah, I have it!” he thought.

The next evening, when his teacher asked him about the sound of one hand, Toyo began to play the music of the geishas.
“No, no,” said Mokurai. “That will never do. That is not the sound of one hand. You’ve not got it at all.”

Toyo did not give up, every now and then he would find some sound but the master would object -“This is also not it. Go on trying, go on trying.”

Then one day, the boy didn’t come. The master waited and waited, and finally told his disciples to find Toyo. They found him sitting under a tree, absorbed – just like a newborn Buddha. They returned and told the master – “But we are afraid to disturb the boy. He is looking just like a newborn Buddha. It seems he has heard the sound.”

So, the master came, put his head at the boy’s feet and asked him, “Have you heard? It seems you have heard.” Toyo had entered true meditation and transcended all sounds. “I could collect no more,” the boy said, “so I reached the soundless sound.”


Osho goes on to explain as to what had happened to the boy, “The boy had tried since he was a simple boy and had complete faith in his master. Actually, there is no sound of one hand, but just an indirect method to create sensitivity, awareness. And one day, suddenly, everything disappeared for him. He was so attentive that only attention was there, so sensitive that only sensitivity was there, so aware – not of something, but simply aware! 

This is a method to make you very delicately aware of the subtle nuances of sound. Center on the word ‘aum’ – a-u-m without any a or m. Just the u remains. You have to intone aum and feel it in three different sounds. Gradually, you will forget ‘aum’. Not only a and m will drop but there will be a state of soundlessness! The state of bliss!”

Images courtesy google

The Poetry of Earth is not dead yet!

As we drove into the gorgeous Arboretum, one of the top visitor attractions of Minnesota, US, my heart skipped a beat. It was a beautiful sunny day to explore gardens, sculptures, woodlands, walkways and trails. 


Smell, touch, feel, sights and sounds of nature filled our senses as all shades of green interspersed with colours dominated the landscape. Minnesota is more than glorious in Summers after savage and challenging winters, it is stunning!


Such sublime sights always inspires poetry in a lover of literature. Therefore, I couldn’t help chanting some famous lines by great nature poets.

Do check out the pictures, dear confidantes, and may be you can recite the poetic lines too…


When I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy’s been swinging down…. Robert Frost


Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung, A virgin scene!–A little while I stood… William Wordsworth


Never mind silent fields— Here is a little forest, Whose leaf is ever green; Here is a brighter garden, Where not a frost has been… Emily Dickinson


Yet, if you enter the woods, Of a summer evening late, When the night-air cools on the trout-ring’d pools ,Where the otter whistles his mate… Rudyard Kipling


Hot midsummer’s petted crone, Sweet to me thy drowsy tune, Telling of countless sunny hours, Long days, and solid banks of flowers… RW Emerson

The poetry of earth is never dead: When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run, From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead… John Keats


I couldn’t help thinking as we took the exit to Arboretum that nature still dwells in some places on Earth. It hasn’t taken leave of mankind as yet!

The Solitary Reaper sang of Loneliness!

  

Dear Mr William Wordsworth,

If you were alive today, I would present this letter to you in person. It concerns your timeless ballad, “The Solitary Reaper”. I gather that you created this classic wonder while observing a farm girl reaping  in the fields and singing a Gaelic song. 

The poem says that you were not able to decipher the content of her song because of the language but you could feel the ‘melancholic strain’ in the lyrics. 

In the course of your poem, you make guesses regarding her deep melancholy. 
Was she sad for old…far-off…unhappy things? Or was it for battles, familiar matters? Or perhaps for natural sorrow, loss or pain…?

But you overlooked one big reason for her sadness that was so evident – her solitude! In that big corn field, she was intimidated by her job of reaping, overwhelmed by the enveloping solitude, and helpless due to the lack of human companionship.

The highland lass was so alone… doing cutting and reaping, all by herself. I could not help suggesting Sir, that if you would have stopped and not ‘gently passed’ by her, she would have felt better in your company. But I think you have had your reasons.

  
Her melancholic song resonates even today everywhere…because most of us are solitary. We look for friends in the big virtual world but all is artificial there. The touch, feel and presence of family and friends cannot be compensated with messages, jokes and ‘connectivity’. 
In the real world, we are growing private, we have trust issues while making friends and we have embraced isolation rather than staying ‘in touch’ physically. We are afraid of going out in order to save ourselves from hurt. We are trapped trying to ‘touch’ others through mobile screens rather than fingers.

Even if we summon our courage and cry out, very few hear as everyone is looking and listening to their phones.

Alone we are “cutting and binding the grain”, and there is no one to listen to our “melancholy strain”. So guess, our plight is worst than the solitary reaper! She had you to applaud her Sir, we have no one.

If I were to meet you in person, I would urge you to write on “our solitary generation” too. But this time you would know the reason for the ‘melancholic strain’ in our lives. I really and truly wish you were here today to sing of our solitude.

I thank you profusely for this poem and applaud its relevance even in our world.

I beg to remain, Sir, your most humble and obedient admirer.
Images courtesy google

Leave Off Your Works, Bride – Relive the romance of yore!

  
  
Today, as I sat reading poetry, I came across this sublime love poem by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The beauty of “Leave off Your Works, Bride” is such that it took me back in time…in the days of our grandparents, when it was not easy for couples to meet or romance. There were customs, family traditions, disapproving elders and unwritten rules that were to be observed before the consummation of an arranged marriage. Love marriage was out of question!

The poem talks about the period of anticipation that precedes the onset of romance between newly weds in a traditional arranged marriage set up.

It is a part of ‘The Gardener’, a lesser known love poem collection than the spiritual ‘Gitanjali'(1913), for which Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. Both were published in the same year – 1913, but ‘Gitanjali’ received an overwhelming response and the latter got overshadowed. Nevertheless, ‘The Gardener’ is great in its own way. And “Leave off Your Works, Bride” underscores my observation.

  
The verses evoke gentle and deep romance of the yore. It takes us into one of those ancient Bengali households, where a bride awaits her guest ( husband). The poet is encouraging her to welcome the guest (husband) but the bride seems shy, reluctant and nervous. The poet gives well meaning advices to her, asking her to leave all work and win over him. He is trying to lessen the awkwardness of first meeting between husband and wife in their first meeting. The poem abounds in imagery. It is as if Tagore, the artist-poet, is painting with words.

What made me fall in love with this song is one particular imagery – a veiled beautiul bride, holding a lamp, consumed with contrasting emotions, getting ready to meet her unknown husband!

Enjoy the poem and interpret this classic in your own way!

  
Leave off Your Works Bride – RABINDRANATH TAGORE

Leave off your works, bride. Listen, the guest has come.
Do you hear, he is gently shaking the fastening chain of the door?

Let not your anklets be loud, and your steps be too hurried to meet him.

Leave off your works, bride, the guest has come, in the evening.
No, it is not the wind, bride. Do not be frightened.

It is the full-moon night of April, shadows are pale in the court-yard, the sky overhead is bright.

Draw your veil over your face if you must, take the lamp from your room if you fear.

No, it is not the wind, bride; do not be frightened.         
Have no word with him if you are shy, stand aside by the door when you meet him.

If he asks you questions, lower your eyes in silence, if you wish.

Do not let your bracelets jingle, when, lamp in hand, you lead him in.

Have no word with him if you are shy.
Have you not finished your works yet, bride? Listen, the guest has come.            

Have you not lit the lamp in the cowshed?

Have you not got ready the offering basket for the evening service?

Have you not put the auspicious red mark at the parting of your hair, and done your toilet for the night?

         O bride, do you hear, the guest has come?

         Have you not finished your works yet?

Images courtesy Google

The blessed soul of Lucy Gray

image

“The cemetery spread along the area known as Devils Abode.” People believed that the entire stretch was haunted.

But actually, the Devil lived there!

Contrary to popular belief, the devil was a perfect gentleman. His task was to aid God in finding pure souls by luring away the sinners. It was his duty to be mean and conniving, so that only the best could reach God.

In the last few centuries, Hell had been a crowded place. And the good-bad balance was going haywire. And then along came Lucy Gray!

The child had died in a snowstorm while looking for her mother. The seven deadly sins had failed to lure her soul into hell for her faith was deep.

Now, it was His duty to tempt her.

But He felt He was fighting a lost battle for a change. To His relief, He was no match to the simple little girl’s pure soul. Lucy belonged to nature and God.

(This week’s response to Mondays Finish the Story is a tribute to one of my favourite poems Lucy Gray or Solitude by William Wordsworth. It is a great work in ballad form emanating purity and devotion. The poem is about Lucy Gray who got lost in snow storm while looking for her mother. My story is a fictionalised account of her life after death. You can read the poem here – Lucy Gray )

This story is a part of the wonderful ‘Mondays Finish The Story Challenge’ by Barbara Beacham. She provides us with a photo prompt, the first sentence, and approximately 150 words with which we are to use to write our story. To take up the challenge click here – MFtS