An Encounter With L.o.v.e…?

Exploring Selfless Love…

Think of a mother, giving birth to a child. She bears a child in her womb for months together, while taking every care and precaution to protect that little life until it takes a human form.

She stays vigilant and careful throughout her pregnancy. Finally, when time beckons for her to deliver the tiny lovable, her face is full of sweat with a mark of extreme pain. She undergoes what is termed in medical science as labor pain, a type of extreme pain which is beyond words.

Eventually, the very feeling of pain is punctuated by a mark of joy. That happens when she sees her child, a miniature creature whom she embraces with a sigh of relief. For any mother, it does not matter if she is blessed with a son or a daughter, her love remains unconditional, selfless and pure forever…

An Inquiry…

Motherly love is certainly the purest form of love, however love may take many forms. Be it love for a person, be it for an animal, be it for a place, or be it that for ones self, one can find infinite forms of love.

What veteran poet Mahakavi Kalidas wrote in *Abhijñānaśākuntalam* (a classic composition in Sanskrit), what prince of English literature, William Shakespeare wrote in *Romeo & Juliet*, what tends to continue since ancient times, & what still remains a fresh idea & concept for authors, artists and filmmakers-Love.

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Painting featuring Radha-Krishna. (All rights belong to respective artist)

During my childhood, I used to think while watching movies:

“Why would anyone be so crazy for another person that in his/her presence or absence s/he remains relentless and so unpredictable?”

First Encounter…

I didn’t knew the answer until I brought a puppy. I loved it like anything. Preparing a soft bed, serving food, daily-walks and more…I used to pamper it like a baby. Let me improvise here…rather than using “it” for my dog, I think, I should better use “him” for Moti (“Pearl” in English).

Moti, a handsome dog with white and brown shades on his body. Apparently, the black coloured patches around his eyes were like Aviator sunglasses. He used to run very fast, & that used to be his workout. Indeed, he was the fastest of all the pet dogs in my neighbourhood.

When boys and girls of my age group used to go for tuition classes, I used to take Moti for a stroll in the public park called, “Company Garden” situated in the Cantonment area of Agra.

My mother and sisters did not like that I spent my precious time with Moti. They thought that I was losing my interest in studies, & since I was the youngest one in family, they had high expectations from me. They also loved Moti, but they felt his presence is a hindrance in pursuit of my learning.

Also, Moti was getting disobedient and naughtier day by day which gave my family a strong reason to transfer him to a different place away from me. I never liked this idea, but I was in no position to argue, the reason of which was his unacceptable habits that became a problem for everyone.

Finally, it was decided that Moti would be shifted to a community centre where people took care of homeless dogs. I had a heavy feeling when I, accompanied by a friend of mine managed to take him there and somehow  left him…

Virah-The Separation

I didn’t realize what I was doing until I came back and sat at my desk. I remembered the day when he first barked seeing a monkey. Seeing him barking, me and my sister were happy as if a child had uttered first words…the way he used to identify my arrival from a distance, the way he used to pretend as if he is sleeping, whilst suddenly rising up when a sweet meat was brought in the house…there were memoirs…memoirs unlimited…then, suddenly I was struck by despair and pain.

Extreme Pain…

I was wondering, who would  be feeding him. I was also afraid if other dogs would let him eat, and more than anything else, I was afraid that how he would miss me…I knew he would miss me…he might try to find me…alas!, I knew that perhaps I was destined to never see him again…

Tears went by from my eyes, I did not eat that day. I remained upset for a couple of days. Everyone from my family had tried to counsel me, but no one was successful. My situation was worse. I was not able to detach myself from Moti. I used to cry in solitude.

It continued for few more days until I decided that I will get him back. I went to my mother and said, “I won’t let my studies suffer…I promise, I will work hard, but please let me bring him back”. She agreed for she knew how important it was for me.

The Reunion…

I took my bicycle and went to the community park where I had left Moti.  As a matter of an unpleasant surprise, he wasn’t there. I asked people but no one gave me a proper answer.

I was moving here and there like an airplane that has lost contact with the airbase, like a ship that has no idea of direction, like a kite, floating in the air with no thread. I sat down and prayed that no matter where he was, God would be with him.

It was a terrible day for me, & I was returning home, while riding the bicycle along the Agra Fort. It was then, I noticed Moti was slowly wandering by the side of a boundary wall that stretches around the Fort. I rushed towards him, riding as fast as I could.

When I reached, our meeting was equally emotional. He came to me, bending towards my feet, making a sound that he is sorry for his mistakes & was begging me to embrace him again like I used to. I took him with myself, whereupon, he continued to behave well…rest is just history… 🙂

When we love…

When we love someone, we create an image of that person in our mind. Irrespective of changes taking place in the loved person and in ourselves, that image tends to remain stationary because we feel too close to it, we want to protect it and we don’t want to separate from it.

Sometimes we reach a state when we lose our touch with reality. We hover on brink of expecting rain from imaginary clouds, making castles of sand on the banks of river, and we even don’t listen to our self as if our senses are numb. This state is very dangerous, especially for those who are not strong enough to accept failures. For many, it happens to become a recipe for disaster.

Learning From A Wolf…

Image Courtesy: Nationalgeographic.com

Image Courtesy: Nationalgeographic.com

Have you heard of an old way employed by hunters to kill wolves in snow regions? They used a two faced dagger, sharp and pointed at both ends. They dipped it in lamb’s blood, dried it so that the blood was frozen, and repeated the process until a thick coat of blood was deposited around the dagger. Then, they would hide it somewhere on the grounds covered with snow. The wolf, belonging to the family of dogs is gifted with a marvelous sense to smell and identify elements.

The wolf would find the dagger. Wolves love blood, & therefore, having found something that has lamb’s blood, the wolf felt lucky, but he did not know it is a trap full of shackles may cost him his life.

Paths of Self Destruction …

Naturally, the wolf would start licking the blood. Drowned in a great feeling of satisfaction, he would continue licking blood without realizing that his tongue tends to make contact with the sharp blade.

Due to extremely low temperature, he could not feel the pain. His senses were numb. Very slowly, he had finished eating the coat of blood, and then, he would lick drops of his own blood that were flowing and deposited on the blade. Without his notice, his tongue got cut by the blade, & he would still lick. This tragic scene would end when his tongue would completely fell down, & he was be dead…, had he knew what was destined, he would certainly refrain for the dagger…but that’s the complexity, it often takes you on paths of self destruction…

Finally…

Love is not about need for a person or an object or an entity in real world. That apart, it is not about what you want to posses. It is not neither about acquisition nor about separation. It is an experience that naturally comes in our lives. It is up to us, how we take it.

Most great love stories have tragic endings but that is not the case always. It all begins when we enter this world and make our first encounter with the sacred motherly love, and love continues to find place in our lives in different forms and proportions until we bid a final farewell…

Whenever you receive love or you find crops of love are cultivating in your hearts, please don’t rush to harvest…slowly enjoy the crops, nourish the crops, & try to spend time in the farm…rest is up to you…you’ll see for yourself… 🙂

~S_S

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Running with a *Paper_Windmill*!

I pine to those days, thinking of my ancestral home that stood underneath the shadows of a beautiful duet made of intermingled Neem & Peepal trees. Summer vacations were always special for every kid who would spend his time mostly on muddy fields playing some game that demanded much running and chasing one another. I was no exception but a part of such games.

While playing with children of my age, I often used to notice a peculiar sound made by a hawker who sold modest toys made of colourful paper and wooden sticks in my neighbourhood. Swords, goggles, bows & arrows, miniature windmills and several other toys that were more than enough to become our centre of attraction.

We went drooling around that basket full of toys, carried by the hawker on a turban placed on his head. I was usually fortunate enough to convince my family to buy at least one toy for me. I felt happy by getting just one toy because they were strictly particular that I don’t misuse freedom. At the same time, I felt bad for the urchins who used to look at me with curiosity. They were devoid of such pleasures for their families were not in a situation to afford such amusements.

No electronic gadgets & no digital games, yet it was an utter delight to run with the wind and see the paper windmill rotating on a thin stick.

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{Photo by Mr Ketan Parmar}

 

 

Today, when I look back, it brings delight, and I’m naturally struck by nostalgia for my princely childhood that I enjoyed. Now-a-days, it is difficult to see such toys. Kids have developed new interests. Fancy tablets and smartphones have been in the air for a while, and urban children spend more time playing indoor games for the classical outdoor games demand natural surroundings rather than any kind of controlled environment in midst of high rising buildings.

One may occasionally notice an “Ek-Tara”, a classic musical instrument made of a thin metal wire, bamboo stick and a clay goblet. Likewise, I don’t remember when was the last time I saw any hawker selling the kinds of toys we played with. Technology has improved our lifestyle, but somehow we fail to disconnect our touch with nature and that with objects which are closer to nature.

I’ll like to conclude by post with a couplet from “If” by veteran poet Rudyard Kipling’s work:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

Wish we never lose that common touch in our lives.

~S_S

Glimmer of rising

It was the very first day of 2013.
Early in the morning, I noticed a fresh glimmer while sitting in a public park which is not far away from where I live. It occurred to me as if the sun was playing hide and seek through the branches of a nearby tree.
I rushed to my apartment. On my way, I saw a tiny child who was half-naked, combing the hair of a healthy street-dog that did no harm to the tiny boy. That site brought utter delight.

When touch has warmth of feelings, even animals understand!

I took my camera, and came back to capture such an amazing glimmer of the rising sun.

glimmer

When time beckons new beginnings, our heart is full of hope.
In dilemma of choosing between saying farewell to the year that went by and welcoming what has just arrived at the same time, we are affected by a strange feeling, and that is a special moment indeed.

We!, don’t want to let it go, but we have to! 

And keep moving forward with this glimmer of rising…

~S_S

Wah! Taj

When you look at the Taj Mahal, it is difficult to express the feelings you get.
Taj

Photo by ~S_S

When I was young, I used to visit the Taj merely for amusement and joy, and as I grew older my feelings changed. Now as I look at the Taj, I feel as if I am looking at a lady so beautiful and refreshing, but she is mourning on someone’s death like a young widow. Clad in a white saree, her black hair and eyes look so beautiful.

May be for this reason someone said, “Let it be black & white, don’t pour colour on the Taj…” And famous poet Rabindranath Tagore once expressed for the Taj-“A tear drop of love on the cheek of time“.

It is not another monument but a memento that gives a recurring feeling- “Love is selfless, love is sacred, love is divine, love is eternal, and love is wonderful-Wah (Wow) Taj!”

I grew up, playing in the neighborhood of Taj in Agra, & I shall always have nostalgia for my place & the beautiful Taj 🙂

-Shubhankar “a boy from the city of Taj”

Posted from Ahmedabad, Gujarat,

India.

*The_Kite_Festival*

We need to know of directions in our lives. Without directions, we tend to become like ships sailing in big oceans after losing contact with radar, or like a kite floating freely in air when its thin controller thread is broken.

In India, *Makar Sankranti* or *Uttarayan* is celebrated by flying kites and/or distributing sweets to beckon good luck for our near & dear ones.

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(Photo Courtesy: Official Gujarat State Portal)

Today, I’m in Ahmedabad, Gujarat which  can be termed as the best place to be in on Uttarayan. Yesterday & today,  thousands of  fingers were holding the strings in order to control kites, while the reels kept rolling as kites rose higher towards the limitless skies. Really interesting indeed.

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Colorful reels used for kite flying

To all those who find delight in the kite festival, I love to see you binding your troublesome and burdensome moments full of turmoil and tribulation with the threads so that it gets released as soon as you fly your kites.

May all your worries disappear when your kites perish verily . Let there be a clear sky, & let their be ubiquitous warmth of humanity.

Consider the kite festival as an occasion for pacification & spreading  kindness.

~S_S

Ahmedabad, Gujarat,

India.