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Thursday, May 29, 2014

MY FIRST POEM EXPRESSED A DESIRE



"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance." CARL SANDBURG
 
I enjoyed reading Saru Singhal's first poem today and thought of sharing my first poem with you as well. This one I wrote in the first year of college. It was published in the college magazine. Hold your breath!  Long back in 1960!  I don’t know what inspired me. But I do remember one thing that I wrote a poem in my mother tongue Punjabi when I was in primary school and proudly  sent it on a post card to children’s programme which was broadcasted from All India Radio JALANDHAR in those days.The propensity to write started early in life  but somehow it got derailed on the way. 

As regards William Wordsworth’s definition   “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: It takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility.” From preface to ‘Lyrical Ballads.’ His theory of poetry is beautifully exemplified in his famous poem “THE DAFFODILS.”

I feel poetry comes from the intensity of feelings on observing something or thinking about something, which leaves a profound impression on your mind. The ideas churn in the mind for a while. Then the person longs to be left alone to recollect the effect and put it in words, which best describe the experience. Poetry to be able to touch our hearts takes its birth in the ‘sense and sensibility’ of deeply sensitive people.

I fail to recall one line.  The poem was titled: ‘MY DESIRE’

O God bless me,
           A lovely valley of flowers,
A hut of sandy earth,
         To pray thee in sad hours.
Thy is the real kingdom,
          Bless me life without hate.
Oh survivor, don’t be late.

 I really feel amused at the seriousness of mind at that young age.

Friends, your take on the first Scribble of mine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TREES


Early morning click during my walk
ABC Wednesday

'T' is for Trees     

Sentinels of peace, nature's appointees,

Aloof from the cancerous craze of monies.

 Enchanting boudoirs  of sweet symphonies,

Of bird song, bee buzz and darting butterflies.

 Blissful concourse for fun, frolic of squirrels

 A theme for quieting the leitmotif of quarrels.

 Sans hubris, shield the wealthy and the weary,

 unfailingly elevate the tottering and the teary.

Imposingly tower the earth’s skyline,

Breathe in deadly poisons from its spine.

Their drunken dance in the soft breeze,

Is the charming allure to amaze 'n' please.

Their gloss and saturation in soaking rain,

Allow us a goodly sight bereft of pain.



The bliss of green in my favorite park
 
Friends, your thoughts are awaited.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

CUCKOO THE SONGSTER

ABC Wednesday
'S' IS FOR SINGING


Friends, a purely subjective experience  constitutes my narrative here. It is the articulation of the intensity of evocative emotions, which surge within me while listening to my cherished friend cuckoo’s full-throated sweet singing.  Cuckoo has positioned itself as an icon of aspirational focus for my creative ventures. Nature’s munificence plays a great role in reconciling the inherent contradictions we face all the time. Cuckoo's singing is gift of nature.  I think that way, 'therefore I am'. (Cogito ergo sum)

Cuckoo's vibrancy is infectious.When she is somewhere in my vicinity, her sonorous melodies provide me creative stimulation, uplift my sagging spirits and bring forth a swinging nonchalance to my bearing. Having introduced her thus, could I ignore for long the lusty rendition of passion in a uniquely soulful voice of my beloved friend?

For more than a month, being engrossed in the grueling exercise of renovating our house, I was guiltily conscious of the sweet and potent refrain of her voice towering above the din of waking life. Guilty? Because I was failing to fulfill my unspoken promise to her to chronicle the highlights of her yearly visits in my neighborhood. Today in the park for my morning walk (which I’ve restarted luckily), her overflowing gutsy voice mesmerized me bringing forth old memories of her previous visits. I could not see her in the thick groove of trees; but her presence was palpable enough through her melodic notes. It resurrected that strange but robust bond of affection and kindliness, which I harbor for her.

The thought channeled into a reflective mood. How does Cuckoo’s melodious ditties empower me to go on with life, in spite of vicious negativities floating around.  Listen to her intently! Her voice conveys either pure placidity or childlike exuberance. It has the sacredness of a ritual of purification.  It purifies the genuine admirer out of the ensnaring cobwebs of daily life.

She seems to be a reservoir of persistence. Nothing can defuse the focus of her vibrant music. She perhaps urges us to delve deep into finding the stimulating radiance of life under man made shadows. Listening to the magic of her cooing, all doubts disappear and sunshine of hope and happiness takes over.

The unrequited passion and pain, which sometimes pours forth from her singing never, seems to sign off as brooding but an act of shedding all sorrows and picking the baubles of hope scattered here and there. 

The mildly blowing cool breeze of the morning is the time for her best musical treat. When the gentle wind ruffles her soft, slender frame and her glossy plumage, she breaks into no holds barred performance.

The chirps, tweets and squeaks of other birds and cacophony of human noises seem insignificant before her high-pitched genuine refrains.

She’ll continue to regale us through the monsoon rains and then disappear to the confines of some remote borough somewhere to seek peace and solitude once again.

 Friends, your thoughts on the subject are welcome!
 Image courtesy Google

Sunday, May 18, 2014

FLOWERING GULMOHAR





SUNDAY MORNING CLICK DURING MY WALK!

Two gulmohar trees resplendent with orange hued delicate blossoms on the outside of the park railing, where I take my morning walk, at a stone's throw from  my house.

Friends: Have a look!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WHOLESOME GOODNESS OF RAISINS

ABC Wednesday

'R' is for Raisins
Google image
I admit that I belong to the community of people who flaunt having a sweet tooth. However, as I age, I keep, parting ways with most of the sweets for health reasons, but the energy packed raisins are one of the dry fruits, which always adorn my pantry. 

My love for raisins goes back to my younger days, when I’d watch my dad breakfasting on almonds (which had been soaked in water over night) after removing skin along with some large sized sultanas. Afterwards, he’d drink a cup of hot milk. My dear mother was also fond of raisins and munched them while doing chores. She believed that the practice kept her throat hydrated with constant flow of saliva and helped her in controlling acidity. 

No wonder with their simple eating habits and home remedies they were able to live a sufficiently active life until the last days of their lives. Their intuitions and pure living sheltered them from unnecessary visits to the doctors.

When I was a student in the university and prone to constipation, my mom’d boil milk with raisins thrown in, and make me drink a cupful last thing at night before going to bed. This sweet gesture helped me ease my constipation.

My memories kept alive my interest in consuming raisins all along. However, now I am a lot more aware of the health benefits of this wonderful dry fruit.

Raisins are dried grapes (I became conscious of this fact quite late) and are produced in many parts of the world. Grapes are either sun dried or dried through chemical processes.
  
The word raisin originated from Latin word loaned from French.  In French raisin means a grape. Raisins are of various sizes, shapes and colors: from small, long, yellow, golden and dark to thick and large purple ones. When I was in the US last summer, I loved those sun-dried dark colored California raisins.
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LET me share with you some of the benefits established through relevant studies, which accrue from their consumption.

Raisins are a reservoir of concentrated energy. These contain plenty of anti-oxidants, which neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. Raisins boost immunity to enable the body to fight disease-causing microbes.

Raisins are fiber rich and create bulk to literally sweep out all the toxins from the body via well- formed stool. They promote smooth bowel movement cleaning the anal canal.

Raisins act to relieve acidic conditions in the body. After ingestion, they swell and absorb acid and provide immense relief. During diarrhea raisins, absorb excess fluids thereby easing the symptoms.

Raisins are a rich source of potassium, zinc, iron and magnesium. Potassium promotes heart health by regulating heartbeat. They’re said to reduce hypertension by their calming effect on the blood vessels.  Iron promotes the formation of red blood cells in the body, which fight anemia.

Phytonutrients in raisins have anti-bacterial properties to help reduce fever and act against viral infections.

Raisins promote bone health by helping in bone formation because they contain good amounts of calcium. Eating raisins contribute in slowing and warding off osteoporosis.

In India we add a fair amount of raisins to our desserts e.g. the most sought after pudding in North India Kheer- rice cooked in whole milk on slow heat – is garnished generously with raisins, almonds and small chunks of coconut. Green cardamom seeds coarsely grounded are added for flavor.

While preparing fruit cream we substitute raisins for grapes when grapes are out of season.

Fruit custard’s deliciousness and presentation is enhanced if glazed with half a fistful of tangy raisins.

Raisins always form a part of the preferred snack in winters along with almonds, cashew nuts and groundnuts.

In our part of the country, mothers prepare special panjiri or pinnis(sweet and healthy delicacies) for their daughters after delivery and add ample amounts of dry fruits including raisins to help them regain their health and energy to take  on increased responsibilities.

There is liberal presence of raisins in certain type of cookies and other confectionery goodies? When in the US I enjoy eating raisin bread from COSTCO. Slightly toasted and buttered it is like a treat and most fulfilling.

Raisins are popular addition in cereals and muesli, which make them a wholesome part of breakfast.

Whenever I approach the particular shelf where raisins are stored in a jar I instinctively reach for some to satisfy my in built craving.

Since raisins contain enough fructose and glucose, their consumption needs to be regulated especially for Diabetics.

Raisins surely have beneficial properties for better health.

Friends, what do you have to say about raisins?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Q IS FOR QUEASY



Interestingly, the word ‘queasy’ attracted me because, its peculiar phonetic articulation seems to mimic the feelings associated with its meaning. Apart from this, it can also boast of some secondary semantics attached to it. In other words, it has precisely one denotation but several connotations.
sorry the cat has headache and upset stomach

For one, it simply expresses the physical feeling of nausea due to multiple reasons. It is a health condition wherein a person has a sick feeling in the stomach after consuming a big, greasy meal, junk food, contaminated food or excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages or hard drinks. The after effects of overeating or meals on the go, gulped down without proper chewing also lead to unpleasant sensations inside. Such symptoms sometimes precede serious problems of acid formation, burning feelings in the esophagus and many other health concerns.

People suffering from migraine often experience debilitating headaches and nausea.

Pregnant woman usually suffer from queasy feelings in the mornings, which sometimes result in cold vomits.

Often use of antibiotics cause squeamish feelings. While eliminating disease-causing pathogens in the body, antibiotics kill good bacteria in the gut, disturbing the digestive processes.

Chemotherapy and other strong drugs are said to lead to intense nausea and extreme discomfort.
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However, let me narrate some funny everyday occurrences, where feeling queasy provide the humorous touch.

Well, there are some people especially women professing strict vegetarianism, inured to show disgusting expressions at the sight of  non-vegetarian dishes even at parties.So much so that they will walk past such counters hastily as if trying to escape some perceived or imagined pollution.

It is for these die-hard vegetarians perhaps, the confectioners bake egg-less cakes and cookies.

There is also a practice among some of the above category to screw up their noses and have changed expressions on their faces while passing by a meat shop where skinned lambs are hung to attract buyers.

It is an observable fact that the sight of lizards and crawling cockroaches nauseate some into making all sorts of weird faces. Both these creatures are my beta noir as well and I’m prepared to do anything to get rid of them for good. Not even Internet research has helped me to find a solution to eliminate lizards so far.

I love all birds with one exception of the crow. I can’t stand its jarring caw caw, its predatory attributes (it attacks the nests of small birds and spoils their eggs) and its filthy scavenging propensity. I loathe its unpleasant bearing.

The sight of a snake causes so much fright that the poor creature suffers death because of perceived notions of enmity towards it, embedded in our psyches traditionally. Though it is proved that it bites only when it senses some danger to itself.
In fact, the  semantic landscape of this word profiles a variety of human emotions.

However, to feel queasy is certainly not a pleasant feeling to have!

Friends, share the things which make you queasy.
cartoon courtesy: Google