Tuesday, 29 March 2016

March Madness- of a different kind!!

Life is beautiful. Being a mom to a three year doll has been a delight. Been blessed with a baby boy this January and life never seemed so incredible before. While it does take a lot to manage two kids, being home on a six month long paid maternity leave is also an opportunity that presents itself only twice in a working woman's career in my part of the world. And to add to these wonderful circumstances, living in a place away from the trappings of city life and close to nature, is an experience of sorts.

For someone who has spent nine long years in government service, March in India only means a month of meeting financial targets and reconciling funds and expenditures. Needless to mention, in my recent memory, March has always been an immensely stressful time of the year when office work takes precedence over everything else and life in general is put on hold. As our colleagues and friends in most professions too follow the rigors of financial year closing, there have hardly ever been any memories built around this time of the year.

While most of the above is till true, this particular March for me has been a rather memorable and personally satisfying one. It is perhaps for the first time in life that I have been able to immerse myself into any number of hobbies without any constraint of time and space. The entire experience of endless reading-poetry-painting-bird watching-photography-cooking-listening to music and so on has been a thoroughly refreshing one and renewed hopes and energies alike.

While I wish I could write every aspect of this phase of my life and read and reread it later in life whenever the going seems to be tough, certain things are too beautiful to be left un-shared. Being somebody who can not sleep without reading, I do not know if I never paid attention to the beauty of certain words before or if these three books (whose passages I reproduce below) were exceptionally well written, but certain books definitely take the reader to an entirely different level altogether.

“The more you love someone, he came to think, the harder it is to tell them. It surprised him that strangers didn't stop each other on the street to say I love you.” 
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

“Because we see only what we already know. We project our own capacities—for good as well as evil—onto the other person. Then we acknowledge as love primarily those things that correspond to our own image thereof. We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love. Any other way makes us uncomfortable. We respond with doubt and suspicion. We misinterpret the signs. We do not understand the language. We accuse. We assert that the other person does not love us. But perhaps he merely loves us in some idiosyncratic way that we fail to recognize.” 
― Jan-Philipp Sendker, The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats

“Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.” 
                          ― Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

While I was caught up in the web of these exquisite words, even more words flowed in. As I started reading about World Poetry Day,(which happens to be on 21 March,) while I revisited some of my favourite poems, I discovered the poetry of Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali and in the order of precedence of my all time favourites, he currently tops the list.

  1. Tonight by Agha Shahid Ali
  2. I Will Meet You Yet Again by Amrita Pritam
  3. Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore
  4. Jo Beet Gayi Woh Baat Gayi by Harivanshrai Bachchan
  5. Bullah Ki Jaana by Bulleh Shah

Talking of books and poems, can songs and images be left behind. While I love to fill the rooms of our (current) colonial era house with varied music and sunlight, the house too presents small joys to elate our hearts in the form of chirping of birds, dappled sunshine, long shadows in the afternoon, the sound of wind in the trees, and so much more. The house and the place provide ample opportunities for experiments in art and photography and the results are often deeply gratifying. These multiple pursuits interspersed with the visits of loved ones and rounds of endless banter have only added to the charms. 

While one does miss the comfort and convenience of own house and the freedom and choices of city life and also while sometimes the professional hazards become too much to bear, our stay in Pratapgarh and the pursuits have shrunk these longings and troubles to a mere trifle. Once we leave this place, we may or may not get to see this place ever again. The house (more than a century old) itself may not be around in a few years time but the air around this place will always contain a few molecules of our precious memories of one of the happiest times of our lives. I do not know what future holds for us but this place will definitely be etched in our minds for all times to come. If this is not happiness, then nothing else can be...

Sunset over the Ganges at Kalakankar


  1. Respected Ma'am,
    It's really very nice always to read ur blogs.All the literary pieces written by u are worth readable n interesting.You write so well.I always get immersed whenever get time to read.Keep on writing as u do usually and make ur readers delighted.
    Thanks n Regards.

  2. That made a lovely read. The regular madness of march prevented me from reading when I asked you for the invite. :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by. Hope 'May Mellowness' will permit us to hear more 'Cosmic Voices'!!