On the trail of “that lost thought /idea that could have changed the world”

FeaturedOn the trail of “that lost thought /idea that could have changed the world”

Have you ever experienced this? A sudden idea strikes you.  A thought.  The spark of a brilliant inspiration. It descends on you in the middle of nowhere, when you least expect it when you are simply going about your daily life, unprepared for that great insight, that brainwave to strike you. You want to capture it. On paper. Write it down, before it escapes your memory. Make it your plot. Your story. Your book. Your magnum opus, so to speak. You realise in an instant that this is no passing thought. Not an average, common, garden-variety one. But a great illuminating flash, an epiphany, no less.

And right there, your sleep-laden mind works on that vague idea and converts it into a plot for your story and how beautifully the plot unfolds and flows seamlessly into a captivating story.

Well, it happened with me. Last night, just as I was falling asleep, I had this brilliant flash. A great plot. A sequence. I plotted the entire novel in my sleep and even went as far as the second and third book in the series. All in that half-asleep state.

But amazingly, when I woke up at the break of dawn, much to my dismay, I found that brilliant, inspirational intuition, that great idea had escaped without a trace, along with plot, story, book, series and all. It was as if it was a dream and no such thought had crossed my mind., when in fact, although asleep,  I had spent the better part of the night, building up my idea into story lines, chapters and books.

I even remember screaming “Eureka”, in my sleep, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you discover something of great significance, that will have a great bearing on this world. Change the world, impact the world, if you will.

But thoughts and ideas are slippery entities. They escape into another world. So, where do all these thoughts go? You can’t expect to retain them unless you capture them on paper. Or if you have a photographic memory, you could capture them on the canvas of your mind.

Maybe, I thought, if I just lay down again and pretended to be asleep, it would return contrite, begging for my forgiveness, for having thus escaped, without notice. So after a long futile chase, on the trail of my lost thought, down memory lane, I decided to rest awhile. Because the law of expectation states that things or people are more likely to appear when you least expect them. I can’t vouch for this, though. So, my plan was to lie in wait, allow the big thought to revisit, not knowing that I am right there lurking in the corner, waiting to pounce upon it and capture it, before it could elude my grasp again.

But try as I might, it was like a mirage, shining at a distance, shimmering, beckoning me, but as I approached it stealthily, it disappeared into oblivion, floating in the sub-conscious,  diving deeper into the mists of my clouded mind, always eluding my grasp.

No gun can capture, no net can ensnare a “thought” that has escaped the mind. It needs to return of its own free will.

So, here am I, still on its trail. Sadly, the world will have to wait for that magnum opus.


Treasures of the mind


Misty memories
Of moth eaten moments
Of an enchanted evening
A nostalgic night
In a haze
Floats to mind
A vivid vision
So elusive and ephemeral
Slip out of memory's clasp
Into an illusory world.
Oh! Give me back
Those moth- eaten moments
Those misty memories
Those memorable moments
Those meditative musings.


Thoughts, images, impressions, musings
 Churning, whirling, spinning, swirling 
In the inner sanctum of the mind 
Dwelling, screening, sheltering, nurturing
Yearning for expression
 Passions, emotions, sentiments, feelings
 Aching, pining, craving, seeking
 On the canvas of the mind 
Sprouting, budding, blooming, blossoming
 Bursting in a riot of expressions. 




“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”: Robert Frost

“I would define in brief, the Poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty”: Edgar Allen Poe.

Poetry is timeless. Poetry is art. Poetry transforms lives. Poetry enriches. Poetry brings joy. Poetry brings healing, peace, hope and love.

Earliest poetry began with Indian Sanskrit epics. Did you know that the longest epic poem ever written was the Mahabharata? It has more than 220000 verses (100000 shlokas or couplets).

Poetry evokes memories and emotions. Poetry paints images on the canvas of our mind.

Here’s my poem on Poetry


Thoughts, images, impressions, musings

Churning, whirling, spinning, swirling

In the inner sanctum of the mind

Dwelling, screening, sheltering, nurturing

Thoughts, images, impressions, musings

Yearning for expression

Passions, emotions, sentiments, feelings

Aching, pining, craving, seeking

Thoughts, images, impressions, musings

On the canvas of the mind

 Sprouting, budding, blooming, blossoming

Bursting in a riot of expressions.

Some poems live on in memory. They burn an image in our heart. Or evoke deep emotions.

Here is my poem on some of my favorite poets:


These are a few poets I love and greatly adore

Just a short list, there are so many more

Wordsworth writes praising beautiful nature

You can’t find many of Shakespeare’s stature.

Tennyson’s thoughts are poetry in motion

Milton’s poetry captures our emotions.

Sylvia Plath”s confessions are truly heartfelt

Dickinson’s poignant writes make our heart melt.

 Ogden Nash is full of pun and humour

Ezra Pound’s insanity is no rumour

Shelley’s lyrics have a gentle flow

Tagore’s song offerings make hearts glow.

 Pope is popular for epigrams and verse

Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” is nonsense words.

Maya Angelou, a “Phenomenal Woman”

Many of Poe’s poems were inspired by women.

William Blake’s intensely spiritual writes

In Keats poetry every heart delights

Dante’s moral philosophy is a bit daunting

I must stop here, the list keeps mounting.

One of my favorite poets is Henry Derozio. His poem, “To India, my native land” is one of my favorite poems. Every word in this poem takes me to that bygone world of those glorious days.

My country! In thy days of glory past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow
and worshipped as a deity thou wast—
Where is thy glory, where the reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,
And grovelling in the lowly dust art thou,
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee
Save the sad story of thy misery!
Well—let me dive into the depths of time
And bring from out the ages, that have rolled
A few small fragments of these wrecks sublime
Which human eye may never more behold
And let the guerdon of my labour be,
My fallen country! One kind wish for thee!

                       Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

Inspired by his beautiful poem, here is my own poem on my motherland India.

INDIA, my motherland.

Where the sun sets the sky aflame painting it vermilion gold

Where golden green grass glows in soft sunlight, oh behold

Where the stars like golden lamps light up the sky

Where at the beautiful horizon earth meets with the sky

Where the first golden sunrays softly kiss the earth

Where the earth awakens from slumber in joyful mirth

Where bejeweled rays of moon cast its golden glow

Where cascading waters into clear, sparkling streams flow

Where gleaming sunlight through treetops cast magical spell

Where in the land of dreams my sweet thoughts dwell

Where wisps of soft white clouds gently sail past

Where softly floating they merge into dreams at last

Where from the seashore to the distance rolls golden sand

This India, my blessed, beautiful motherland.

Who is your favorite poet? What’s your favorite poem?

A Tribute To My Alma Mater

A Tribute To My Alma Mater


Our school was an Elysium. I can never truly describe or express my deep gratitude, love, and appreciation for our school’s commitment to excellence, for helping us in our growth, molding our lives and shaping our destiny.

Whatever we are today, we owe it to our school and our teachers. I am grateful that we had the right mentors at the right moment, in our growing-up years. I hold our school and teachers in the highest esteem, they have most influenced and changed our lives. They have imparted to us life’s most valuable lessons. Truly, our school was a fount of knowledge and experience.

Thank you, Lowry Memorial School for teaching us, guiding us,  inspiring us and making us good citizens of this country and good individuals in society and this world.

We stepped out of the hallowed portals of Lowry Memorial School into a world which is now increasingly being polarized with religion, hatred, and politics. But our school has imparted good values in our lives. We had SUPW (Social Useful Productive Work) classes. Our classes began with Moral education every day, which has instilled in us, discipline and moral values, helping us to be kind, caring, good individuals contributing to society. I can proudly say we have been taught to uplift the weak, help the needy and build up our society, our country.

Lowry Memorial School was a small world in itself, adorned by red Gul Mohur and purple Jacaranda trees and beautiful Bougainvilleas of all hues, pink, purple, white, orange and yellow. Like a rainbow of colors, our school was a delight to the eyes. The school had acres of farms, vineyards, vegetable farms of cabbage, cauliflower, Etc. A dairy farm which produced fresh milk, butter, and other dairy products. Healthy cows grazed along the green fields. A bakery which served delicious bread on the Sabbath eve. The school had a well-stocked library. (Oh, What rich treasures of books!) There was a printing press. A boys hostel and a girls hostel where boarders resided. A Chapel with beautiful colored stained glass windows. A Dining Hall, a dispensary where we had our health check-up, storerooms, Vacation Training classes, Basketball courts, Volleyball/Throwball and Baseball courts. We had a sports room with all sports equipment. The school had Four Houses, Red, Blue, Yellow and Green, all competing for Sports Day honors. The wonderful March Past on the Republic Day, where the School Captain led the four houses marching to the drumbeats. The Annual Sports Meet which was a three-day event was always eagerly awaited. The competitive inter-house relay races. The Republic Day Floats depicting different states and culture. We had students from all across India. From northern states of India and Southern states. It was a true representation of unity in diversity. Full of fun, frolic, competitions, games, and sportsmanship. I remember the annual cultural competitions, the song, and dance practice, the talent hunts, the debates, the temperance contests, speech competitions, quiz competitions, the Taluk & District Level Sports Championship and the Bangalore Schools Sports Meet at the Kanteerava Stadium. We participated in all these with full zeal and enthusiasm.

I also recollect the dramas and plays. Our seniors enacted Shakespeare’s play The Taming Of The Shrew, at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, which is still etched in my memory. What a classic performance! This inspired me to perform in a few plays, representing our zone at the Interzonal Drama Competition at Rail Nilayam. Hyderabad.

There’s a saying that a good teacher inspires hope, ignites the imagination and instills a love of learning. This saying is so apt for our teachers at Lowry Memorial School. Our teachers always put in their best efforts and helped us generously, with their time and knowledge.

I am indebted to all my teachers. My teachers instilled in me a love for reading, and I recollect that Ms. Geeta Chandies, my English teacher presented me a Junior Statesman magazine, which had excellent poetry, while I was in 8th standard. My passion for poetry thus took root in my school, and it helped me win a prize at the  University Poetry competition conducted by Poets International Organization and subsequently publish my poetry book, Colors of Delight. I owe this to my school and my teachers.

Our school fostered our love for sports. Baseball games and practice helped my sister represent Karnataka at the National Softball Championships, where Karnataka won the championship. All credit goes to our school.

We were able to successfully get through competitive exams because of the excellent education that we received at Lowry Memorial School. My sister who is now an Inspector of Income Tax will vouch for this.

Recently, in January 2016, we had the good fortune of meeting our beloved teachers and friends at the Lowry Memorial School Centenary Celebrations. It was as if time rolled back. We were overwhelmed with deep affection and gratitude to our school and our teachers. I am filled with a deep sense of nostalgia for those beautiful bygone days, and sweet reflections, reminiscences, and memories created there in my beloved Lowry Memorial School.

“A teacher affects eternity. You can never tell where a teacher’s influence stops”-Henry Adam

This quote aptly sums it up. Truly, our school-Lowry Memorial High School and our teachers influenced us and will continue to inspire us till eternity.

My Poem Newton’s Law

Newton’s Law

I was inattentive in Science class one day
When the teacher at random looked my way
I didn't look up, I wouldn't dare
There's no escaping that intense glare.

Asked me to explain to the class
Newton's Law of Gravity and mass
My mind was a blank, heartbeats louder
For an answer I started to flounder.

I stood before the class trembling with fear
"Gravity" I said...and then oh dear!!!
I fell off the stage on to the floor
How the class with laughter did roar.

The children tittered in great amusement
They didn't know my sad predicament
The teacher said, "You've demonstrated gravity"
"Although you did it with much levity".

At length I returned to my seat
With many applause did they greet
Now I look back upon this and ponder
I decide to listen and not let my mind wander.

Copyright © Nandita Das

Memories of A Misty Morning by The Lake

Memories of A Misty Morning by The Lake

Memories Of A Misty Morning By The Lake

A misty morning by the lake is enchantingly beautiful. It casts a magical spell over you. You are surrounded by the beauty of nature, enveloped in peace. No storms of disquiet or restlessness brewing within you, but a profound peace that descends on you, unless you let mundane thoughts intrude into your blissful world.

The lakes, the rivers, the seas and the oceans have always held a deep fascination for mankind. From the Greek mythology, where Narcissus, the son of river god Cephissus, looked into a pool and fell in love with his reflection in the water to the reality of the drowning of Virginia Woolf (a beautiful mind!) who quietly walked into the River Ouse, near her home to end it all. From the earliest seafarers who sailed across seas and oceans, across continents,  to the poets who sang paeans to the seas. Thomas Campbell’s Lord Ullin’s Daughter is poignant, the tragic drowning in the turbulent seas pulls at our heartstrings. Sarojini Naidu’s Coromandel Fishers frolic in the “kiss of the spray” and the “dance of the wild foam’s glee” at the sea. The call of the sea is irresistible, an endless fascination!

I believe we are wanderers at heart.

Here are quotes by Carl Sagan and Paulo Coelho. Reflect on these.


“Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.”
― Carl SaganCosmos

“We are all souls wandering the cosmos and, at the same time, living our lives, but with a sense that we are passing from one incarnation to another. If something touches to the core of our soul, it is remembered forever and affects whatever comes afterward.”
― Paulo Coelho


Here are my poems and my painting (beginner)

The Wandering Soul

 Here under waters blue, dark, deep

My soul  lies imprisoned in eternal  sleep

Freeing myself from walls, high and steep

Forlorn I keep still and silently weep.


My soul clings to hope, yearns for light

Darkness descends, light no more in sight

Long to soar on wings and take flight

Merge with the moon and stars at night.


The soul thus chained is free at last

Hovering over lands and oceans vast

Moving around  in swirling waters  fast

A  brilliant light on earth to cast.



My heart craves for moments 

To indulge my soul in bliss

Away from toils and cares of this world

To eternity and immeasurable peace. 


My mind delves into depths of time

Seeking treasures sublime

Hold moments captive in memory’s realms

Recollections like fragments of shattered dreams. 


My soul weary sailing turbulent storms of life

Swirling in life’s discord and strife

Longing for that bright day dawning

To merge with infinity yearning.


Copyright@Nandita Das 2015




I love poetry. I love painting. I love nature. The breathtaking beauty of nature. The wisps of soft white clouds floating by, the blue skies, the beautiful hills in the horizon waving and beckoning us, the babbling brook, the trees, the fragrant flowers, the scented blossoms.

Here’s my poem Beauty of Nature. And my painting. (Just a beginner)

Nature’s Beauty

I see the beauty of nature in

The majestic mountains
The soft, gentle breeze
The sailing of clouds
The green, sheltering trees.

The splendour of the sun
The fragrance of flowers
The beauty of blossoms
The sweetly passing hours.

The ripples of rivers
The harmony of heaven
The melody of music
Like sweet dreams woven.

Copyright © Nandita Das 2015

When The Stars Aligned

When The Stars Aligned

Do you believe in fate? Do you think events are pre-destined by God or some supernatural power? Is the future pre-destined?

What do you think?

I remember reading a gripping short story ‘The Fatalist‘ by Isaac Bashevis Singer, (winner of the Nobel prize for literature, in 1978.)

My poem on fate, ‘When The Stars Aligned’

 When the stars aligned

Is life predestined? I ponder
Gazing up at the blue sky yonder
The alignment of stars in a certain way
Do a favor and fortune our way sway? 

Does Fate spin the thread of destiny?
Leo, Virgo, Scorpio or Gemini?
The constellation, the galaxy, the celestial sphere
Star gazing raptly with hope, awe and fear.

 Heaven benignly smiles on the blessed few
Yet frowns on the rest. Unfair!! You argue
For Fate rages against this unfortunate lot
In a web of inevitability they are caught. 

They toil and toil away in vain
Only to despair in sorrow and pain
Fighting their battles over and over again
Woe is life! Just to remain sane. 

But oh for the favored lot, on luck they ride
Fate gently carries them across the tide.
What then befalls a person's lot
If against Fate he valiantly fought? 

Fate, kismet, karma and kind
Astral influences of soul and mind?
Does Fate then our life destine?
To each an inevitable part assign?


Trip to Goa

Trip to Goa

We booked a Goa Holiday tour last Xmas-New Year season and what a memorable trip that was!  I have been to Goa many times and Goa always casts a magical spell over me. Goa instantly sets you in a lazy, vacation mood.

We traveled to Goa from Bangalore by train. The beautiful scenic route is a real delight. The train passes through the Castle Rock forests and the Dudh Sagar waterfalls is a stunning sight to behold. Lush green vegetation, teeming forests,  tunnels, curving rail lines, mountain slopes,  gushing waterfalls,  picturesque villages, people sitting outside in the courtyard of quaint houses, under the shade of green coconut trees, flash past like a gorgeous gallery. We visited the golden beaches along the Arabian Sea coastline, the blazing Sun, the golden sand and the aquamarine blue sea are irresistibly attractive. The beautiful Portuguese architecture, the old world charm, the clean roads and tropical spice plantations, the lovely churches., the spectacular beaches are exquisitely fascinating. We had lots of Feni to raise our spirits, we enjoyed the fresh seafood, the heavenly cuisine.

Goa is truly a traveler’s delight. We saw many charming ancestral homes, splendid mansions, forts and grand cathedrals, the lovely palm-fringed beaches, the beautiful Mandovi river on which we enjoyed a boat party, the emerald green fields, in the background.  We enjoyed shopping at the colorful, bustling markets.  We visited a spice farm. We visited the Aguada fort and Candolim beach, where we took a trip on a boat and spotted many dolphins at Dolphin point. On the other side is the Sinquerim beach which I found to be the cleanest beach, quiet and serene, we were held spellbound by the sheer beauty of the place.  The magnificent Candolim Church and Chapel of St. Lawrence. We visited the Calangute beach which was rather crowded.

Next, we travelled to Ponda to visit the Spice gardens, where we were given aromatic lemongrass ginger tea. The guide explained to us the various spices in the gardens like vanilla, nutmeg, pepper, bay leaves, cashew nut cinnamon, cardamom and other spices. Included in the tour was a buffet lunch of fish and other dishes.

It was also wonderful meeting my old school friend who came down from Bardez to meet us. We enjoyed the delicious Goan dishes. Goan cuisine is simply divine. We had juicy prawns cooked in coconut milk and other seafood that were heavenly. We enjoyed our beach holiday and returned to Bangalore by train, drinking in the wonderful scenic beauty of the place. A lovely, captivating place that will stay on in memory for its breathtaking beauty.

Goa: A Memorable Vacation

Goa was a memorable vacation for me

It had all, the sun, the sand and the sea

Colorful blossoms and cashew nut trees on both sides

The guide on the tour bus pointed out all the beautiful sights.

Golden sands rolled before us in the distant horizon

Beautiful beaches, oceans of sand, we had great fun.

Sprawling heritage house where they offered us Feni

We were high on those as we had one too many.

The boat party in the middle of the river Mandovi was memorable

The song and dance fascinating blend of Goan music truly adorable.

We returned by train, the beautiful sights and sounds filled my mind

When I overheard someone saying that the Guide was actually blind.

Many years have passed,  yet I often recall this with a sigh

How he described all the beauty, seeing it all with his mind’s eye.





Gazing out the windows

    Landscapes flash past

    As in a picture book

    Nature beckons with

    Captivating charms

    Enthralled, I look…

What Is This World Coming To?

What Is This World Coming To?

Why is everyone busy, in today’s world? Why this frantic pace, this mad race? What’s all the hustle and bustle about?  We hurry to the office hoping to reach on time, dash to meet deadlines, rush to meet an important client, race to catch the last flight. In our great haste, some of us don’t find the time for breakfast. Deluged with work, we skip lunch gulping down cups of tea trying to catch up with endless pending assignments. Preoccupied with files, data, graphs, reports… head buried in work. We have no time for family and friends, leave alone getting to know our neighbor. We are unable to get out of this race. We are zooming through life accelerating faster and faster. It’s like we are caught up in a wheel that’s spinning ever faster carrying us to dizzying heights, rapidly hurtling to uncertainty. Wait! Stop! Pause! Reflect! Why must our lives be so demanding? Why has everyone become so ambitious? Why this burning need to be a success at everything?  Why is it not acceptable in today’s world to be laid-back, relaxed and “not perfect”? Why is today’s world all about “My career’, “My goals”, “My ambition”, “My life”, even if that means treading on others and crushing their hopes and dreams? This world is now all about, “I, me, mine and myself”.  There is an intense focus on self. Not the internal self which ought to be about being compassionate, kind, loving and empathetic. Believe me, those virtues don’t exist in today’s world. They’re long dead; killed by our selfishness. What really matters is my next promotion, my pay packet, my vacation, my party pictures, my house, my car. All about one’s own self. A friend of mine, who I wished to meet for old times’ sake said she couldn’t meet up with me as she had no time to breathe. She had an office assignment deadline she had to meet. No time to breathe, indeed!  Now that’s what this world has come to. Pause and reflect. When was the last time you watched the beautiful silver moon gliding across the starlit sky or watched raindrops fall like pearls on green leaves?

We need to really step back and question our actions, ambitions, motives, our thoughts and goals. After this rushing about we are exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. We don’t find peace. Full of worries, troubles, anxiety and stress. We fall asleep tired and wake up exhausted. Not refreshed.  We are always distracted in this digital world, with millions of thoughts racing through our mind, unable to concentrate. Unable to wind down. Students are burdened with studies, parental pressure and expectations. Parents and peers, society pressurise children to succeed in exams at all costs. Consequently, children are stressed. Even though we have so many conveniences in today’s world like  we don’t have to trudge miles to reach the nearest school or Post office. We can shop from home, work from home. We have all services at our doorstep just by a click of the mouse. From information to every service. So where does all that time saved go?  Yet we don’t find the time to indulge ourselves in pursuing what is truly worthwhile. We yearn for solitude and peace in this hectic, chaotic life. We need to detox our body and mind. Read a book, paint, walk, enjoy the beauty of nature. Our body and mind will be refreshed. Practice kindness, compassion.  Starting now.  I am determined to practice regularly. This will make us better persons and make this a better world. Just take it easy. Be happy.


Here’s my poem  Heart, Mind & Soul

My heart craves for moments
To indulge my soul in bliss
Away from toils and cares of this world
To eternity and immeasurable peace.

My mind delves into depths of time
Seeking treasures sublime
Hold moments captive in memory's realms
Recollections like fragments of shattered dreams.

My soul weary sailing turbulent streams of life
Swirling in life's discord and strife
Longing for that bright day dawning
To merge with infinity yearning.