Taj The Beautiful

A beautiful poem by my niece Eden.

Taj The Beautiful

A gem in white
A gift of love,
It sits amidst clouds of fog.

One will stare, in awe,
Marveled by its beauty
Fascinated by the intricate patterns that are engraved in the precious stone.

A ray of light will appear from behind
As the orange morning star emerges
It sheds light on the truth,
The reason this artistry exists,
Making her death, seem the most beautiful part of life.
Making their love seem immortal,
Which it is.

The tomb, is a symbol of passion,
The structure’s excellence, powerful enough hold it, through anything,
But not as strong as the passion that created it.

So it stands,
Unbreakable,
Protected by the everlasting devotion,
It is the Taj Mahal.

The box of seeds

A man going away on a long journey called his two grown up sons & gave them each a box of seeds, blessed them & left without any instructions on using the gift.

The younger son was so excited – for it was indeed a beautiful carved wooden box & inside it, seeds of a lovely shade of brown. He closed the box & then took it & kept it carefully in his room.

Now the older son admired the carvings on the box too but decided that he would use what was inside it. He quickly went to survey the barren land behind his house. With the help of a few people he ploughed the hard earth & when it was just right, he planted all the seeds in neat rows. He made sure it was watered regularly & nurtured it with care.

In due course the older son’s box of seeds had produced a mighty harvest. He was able to sell his crops in the village market at a profit & gather a few sacks of seeds to be planted again! This was possible because he was willing to take a risk & plant the seeds his Father had given him.

The younger son’s box of seeds remained just that – a box in a lonely room gathering dust, with seeds inside it longing to spring to life & produce a harvest if only they could be trusted, given a chance & allowed out of their box.

All of us have within us the seeds of potential & greatness. It is upto us to decide whether we will allow those seeds to grow or hide it where it will never have a chance to emerge.

We need to have the faith to believe that inside us has been placed seeds of talent, creativity, growth & opportunity.

We must do our part to recognize the seeds in our lives, nurture it & help it grow so it can produce a mighty harvest in our lives.

God’s Wondrous Ways

God's Ways

I still remember her distinctly. A stooped old woman with gnarled hands. She was a beggar who used to visit our house frequently many years ago asking for alms.

She was very fond of me & would never hesitate to display her affection by reaching out a bony finger to tap me. She loved to indulge in some light-hearted banter. Her toothy grin was infectious. I really took to her & liked her too.

Slowly, she made it a point to come more often.

Slowly, I started viewing her frequent visits with suspicion.

I began to wonder if she was taking advantage & making a fool out of me.

Almost immediately a small voice within asked me to open the Bible with a very specific command to “turn to page #_, bottom right”.

I eagerly opened my Bible to the specific page & looked to the bottom right. The words that stared back at me were “We are fools for Christ’s sake.”

I was stunned!

I was a very new Christian & not aware of too many scriptures & least of all this! It was nothing but God sharing His specific word about a person & situation He cared for.

Many years have passed since that incident, I have no idea where that old lady is…may she be blessed wherever life has taken her.

~ * ~

We are fools for Christ’s sake – 1 Corinthians 4:10

~ * ~

DPChallenge

Life is a coloured pathway

There is something about colour that always inspires me.

Colours are known to evoke moods & emotions.

Life to me is a pathway, strewn with colours from the sombre to the vibrant.

 ~  *  ~

People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and its ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.
~ Markus Zusak ~ 

The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.
~ John Ruskin ~

There is something about green that calms the soul.

Spots of orange play peekaboo to brighten our days.

Life is not all black & white. There are shades of grey. Cats were created to prove it.

In the pink of health it was said with good reason.

The flowers awaken to greet the sunlight.

 

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint. 
~ Pablo Picasso ~

The sky was swept clean & I sat to behold it.

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.
~ Oscar Wilde ~

In the many colours, I see life.

~  *  ~

 

In response to the DP Challenge, a splash of colour

The Day Earth Died

Mother Earth heaved from side to side.

And sighed.

And sighed some more.

It was a bad dream.

~ * ~

The whole earth was barren.

Green spots here & there.

The only vegetation which remained.

The remaining plants like embers in an ash heap.

Knowing the light had been put out.

Others struggled valiantly to break out of seed.

Pushing through clods of earth to see  the sunlight.

Few other shrubs & dwarfed trees.

Here & there.

~ * ~

Plastic, pollutants & other solid waste had clogged the pores of the earth.

Till the earth became nothing but a vast landfill.

Choked any growth from beneath & strangled  their growth.

Degraded the waters.

Filthified the airs.

~ * ~

Man.

A species from the past.

Had advanced & become too smart for his own good.

Extracted from Earth all her treasures.

Repaid her with garbage unlimited.

Wet. Dry. Mixed.

The toxified Earth.

~ * ~

Gradually the waste man generated, consumed the species.

Wiped them off the earth.

For good.

~ * ~

Man.

He had polluted the air. He had polluted the water. He had polluted the earth.

A shrieking scream & Earth awoke from her slumber.

To discover, the dream was true.

~ * ~

Earth had finally died.

She had become a ghost.

~ * ~

Sow waste. Reap waste.

Poetree

While my name means poetry in Sanskrit, the talent in this sphere has been found to be severely wanting.

I stumbled upon this poem I had scribbled  years ago on the evil of dowry &… I was impressed.

There was hope to live up to my name.

So what if there’s no rhyme or meter & all other things the literati define?

Beautiful ornaments
Around my neck,
Based on which they
Decided my worth.

*

How miserable
That the sheen
Of the heart,
Judged by the glitter
Of a diamond’s art.

*     *     *

Short Story by Eden

My niece Eden loves to write. At the age of 12 her thoughts are unique & rather deep. Here goes one of her short stories.

Defense is the Best Form of Attack

By

Eden

The drum was beating. The horn was sound.

“The king is coming! The king is coming!” shouted the people of the village.

The king hadn’t visited in a long time, and did not inform anyone about his visit. Nothing was prepared.

So the bakers rushed to get him fresh pastries, and the tailors rushed to get new clothes to gift him. Yet when the king got out of his chariot he said: “I want no gifts or sweets or anything as such. All I want is a brave man to help me.”

Many boys and men stepped out. Too many for the king to choose. So he asked them to battle to see who the three strongest men were. The battle took place then and there. Finally the three men were chosen.

The king still did not reveal what he needed them for. But the men did not question the king; they simply did what they were told.

The king took them on his chariot and invited them to come with him to the palace. When they reached the palace the king explained to them that he had three tigers. Each of the men were to battle with one tiger and make it surrender to them.

The first man battled furiously with force, bravery and strength. The tiger had tried to defend itself but it was too late. The man hit and beat it until it was dead.

The second man, too fought bravely, but did not kill the tiger. He tossed it around and severely injured it. The man soon could not fight anymore. He began to feel sorry for the tiger. He walked away in shame.

The third man did not fight. He simply defended himself from the tiger’s actions. Soon the tiger began to calm down, as he knew the man meant no harm. It soon stopped attacking the man. The man came out without a scar or wound and so did the tiger.

Seeing both the man and the tiger without injury, the king was surprised. He decided that the tiger had surrendered to the man. He then declared the man, the strongest and most respected man in the kingdom and asked him to protect his daughter while he was away. He said all this not knowing that the man did not fight, but just defended himself.

       *                *              *

The Bread Knife

A poem by my dear 12 year old niece, Eden.

The Bread Knife

A bread knife I was,

A bread knife I am.

I sat there on the shelf,

Of the Winchester’s store.

*   *   *

A man walked in,

One fine day.

He took me, and made me,

Cut all the bread.

*   *   *

I cut hard bread and soft bread.

Fresh bread and stale bread.

Wheat bread and flour bread,

Until one day I could cut,

No more bread.

*   *   *

He tried to sharpen me,

But I could not be sharpened.

He tried to shape me,

But I could not be shaped.

*   *   *

He hadn’t taken care of me,

He had to throw me away.

*   *   *

A bread knife I was,

A bread knife I no longer am.

*   *   *

How to draw more traffic to your Blog

Once upon a time, there was a huge bunch of people who started blogging because they each had a story to tell, found it an ideal creative outlet & on the nobler level, found it a great platform to serve society (h’mmm) by sharing their knowledge & experiences.

To that end it served its purpose.

Gradually as with all things human, those people started getting greedy. (And I was never one of those people)

They started asking themselves, “Heck, is it really true, that I’m the only one who’s reading, mentally liking, mentally commenting (read applauding) this brilliant piece of mine? Where’s everybody else????” (Greed hath no limits, how depraved could they be?)

*     *     *     *     *

If we are honest we will admit that after submitting that fantastic piece on our trip to Europe or Antarctica or wherever , we thought that  anyone with a quart pound o sense would have bookmarked our blog, considered himself/herself lucky for this priceless pearl we shared at no cost & that they would have made it a priority to follow our blog.

We imagine the profuse thanks, likes, comments & subscribers flowing in. Yes hope never disappoints. It is profuse for sure, just in the world of our own imagination. We come back to reality with a thud when we get that  1 Like + that short comment, which almost did not make it through.

*     *     *     *     *

So here are some tips to drive traffic to your Blog –

1.Titles

Write blog posts with titles such as this – okay poor joke.

Jokes apart, captivating titles bring people in, but remember it’s the value of the content that make people return. The equivalent of judging the book by its cover  is a blog post with a great title & not much value.

2. Content

I follow blogs which have valuable content. Some blogs have great names but it’s the content which makes me want to follow.

3.Variety

I personally find blogs which cover a variety of topics a whole lot more interesting than those confined to the straight & narrow path of a singular theme.

Variety is the spice of life & all that jazz. A modicum of truth in there.

4. Sample

Get a page upfront with your favourite posts or photo blogs for people to sample. This is the era of the discerning follower.

5. Social Presence

Create a digital or social presence. You represent your blog so you need to socialise your blog by making it visible.

If you want more hits on your blog you better be out there hitting other blogs – be it liking, commenting, following or re-blogging.

It’s interesting, but the traffic to your blog could be almost directly proportional to your presence & participation in other blogs!

Yes, getting traffic is hard work.

Interestingly there are two types of people –

1. those who will visit your blog anyway because they derive value

2. those who will visit your blog based on whether you visit theirs with the same frequency

*     *     *     *     *

It was called social networking with a purpose.

The socially oblivious will get by. But it’s the well & truly socially networked that will have great success.

So where do you start?

1. Hit Like – on good posts you’ve read

2. Hit Comments – & write something meaningful

3. Hit Follow – the chances of people visiting your blog are increased with your own social presence by following theirs!

4. Hit Reply – when someone responds to your post

5. Hit Publish – once you have a photo submission ready for the Weekly Photo Challenge or any other contest aimed at helping you increase visibility

As you can see, it’s in the Hit, Hit, Hit that your blog will be a HIT.

Another priceless pearl with a profuse response…I’d imagine.

The lost art of handwriting

 

Growing up, I used to love writing letters  & sending greeting cards to family & friends.

What was even more thrilling was to receive cards, letters & replies by post.

It was a sheer delight to come home from school or college & see 1 or 2 letters or greeting cards waiting to be opened & read.

It was great.

We had a post-lady  – I would eagerly look out for her, to see if she had any letters for me in her bag. And then that down cast feeling when she would just smile & carry on. No letters that day.

There was such excitement to just receive a letter by post.

Today I stand guilty.

I have become terrible at writing. All the typing has got me so out of touch with handwriting.

In fact it requires some effort to get my writing to be fairly legible.

I am guilty of not writing letters anymore.

Other than the rare card that comes by once a year around Christmas, no letters come in either.

As with all of us hooked onto the trappings of the socially networked world, ‘updates’ are through short text messages via the mobile or Facebook status updates, replying to someone else’s  status message or an e-card in bulk using bcc.

What a radical shift from the doodle filled, detail  rich letters we used to send & receive. And postcards when someone went abroad.

Collecting stamps I’m sure will soon be so out-dated as to appear as the hobby of the ancients. 

Today we are digitally enabled but it’s about the spread of your contacts & the count not so much the depth. The ‘Hp all well, tk care.” msg while quicker & faster, lacks any emotional content whatsoever. And so it is.

Today you possibly need to see a Wikipedia page to understand this ancient pre-historic form of communication called letter writing using implements such as pen  or pencil & paper (wotdat?)

Ask a child to write you a letter when they go on vacation & pat comes the reply “I’ll send you an email”.

Talk to little children today about letter writing  & they will look at you aghast as if they just heard about a snake in the vicinity.