BEAUTY OF NATURE

BEAUTY OF NATURE

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

Advertisements

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.

 

 

     GLANCE (ACROSTIC)

 

Gazing out the windows

    Landscapes flash past

    As in a picture book

    Nature beckons with

    Captivating charms

    Enthralled, I look…

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

On 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. 

 

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.

 

A Poem & School Days Memories

A Poem & School Days Memories

Yesterday, Lathika my best friend from school days, who is now in London, called up. We had a great time conversing, taking a trip down memory lane as we lost track of time. It was as if the years rolled back and the miles melted away and there we were sitting beside each other reminiscing the sweet memories of our school days. Our school was an Elysium. I remember the beautiful red Gul Mohar and purple Jacaranda adorning our school campus. We had great teachers. Our school moulded our lives, our destinies. 

Here’s my poem, “Newton’s Law” reminiscent of school days.

 

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, heart beats 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 onto 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 much 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

Women Empowerment

                                               

Women empowerment is a subject close to my heart.

There is a drastic increase in crime against women. Newspapers and TV channels are full of occurrences of violence against women like dowry death, rape, domestic violence, moral policing, assault cases and sexual harassment Our political leaders fail to ensure a safe India for women. India is now considered the fourth most dangerous country for women. This is the harsh reality of India. What has made India so unsafe for women? Why can’t women be made to feel more secure in our country? It’s because women are not considered a priority.  The dismal record of surging crimes against women attests to this.

 In most homes in India, equal rights and benefits for women are simply a myth.

 

Here’s my short story (flash fiction-“Silence Is Not Always Golden” by Nandita Das.

SILENCE IS NOT ALWAYS GOLDEN (flash fiction)

 

Neena talked twenty to the dozen. She was the Mistress of repartee, wordplay, and witty rejoinders.

So, on this June afternoon, it was rather surprising to see a quiet Neena.

No Neena-esque witticisms. All was quiet on the Neena-front. Her parents wondered what could have caused this spell of silence? When nothing could compel her to speak, her friends wondered if she had lost her faculties of speech.

Towards evening, in came Dev, her best friend. All heaved a sigh of relief. Surely, Neena would speak now. With Neena and Dev around, you couldn’t get in a word edgeways. Their conversation flowed. No full stops. No commas. Like a waterfall, you never knew where it began or ended.

But Dev’s appearance did little to alter the glum silence. The family began to despair when Dev spoke up. “Well, it’s almost seven now. Neena’s reticence is admirable. She wins the bet. Silence until  7pm. I better give her the Rs.400”, saying which he drew the money from his wallet.

“Neena burst out, “It’s 500, and not a rupee less.”

“Well, technically, you lose the bet, Neena. It’s still 4 minutes to 7, and I did deliberately say 400. But you win, anyway. Here’s your 500. Well done!”

“Oh! I shall never again keep silent. Even if I am paid to.” Neena countered.

“It’s sheer torture. Just think. Women in our country are silenced. Not allowed to speak up against the injustice of gender discrimination they face every day. They are silenced into conforming to society’s dictates.  Silenced in the name of culture and traditions. They are forced into silence when they face oppression in our patriarchal society. If they speak up, they are considered rebels and worse. They are violently silenced. Silence is not always golden.”

(For more on the subject of Women Empowerment please order your copy of  “Girl On A Mission: A Long Walk To Equality” which is on pre-release now on Amazon.com. Releasing on 2nd July 2016.)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GW1B6CQ

 

Happiness

Happiness

“Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness” : Buddha

Here is my poem.

Let Go

Are sad thoughts stealing your joy?

While others with your feelings toy? 

Is your mind filled with fear?

While you weep silent tears?

 Is there no hope in sight?

Seeming a dark endless night? 

Have others been unfaithful to you?

While you have always remained true? 

Played with your emotions and your feelings?

Or been petty with you in their dealings? 

Did others hurt you beyond endurance?

Or have they slighted you in ignorance? 

Are you disconsolate and also forlorn?

Then surely it’s time for you to move on 

Is discontented restlessness in you brewing?

Happiness, joy, peace and serenity stealing?

 Let go, only then there is peace and healing

Life will have meaning and a true new beginning.

The key to happiness is indeed in learning to let go.

“It isn’t what you have or what you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about” : Dale Carnegie

This is so true. Consider this.You can sit by the lakeside and admire the blue lake, the beautiful reflection of the moon, the sweet scent of blossoms and the beauty that uplifts the soul. or you could think melancholy thoughts, feel a sense of sadness and loss, lament your misfortune, plunge into sad thoughts and feel dark cloud of foreboding looming,a sense of gloom and depression.

Same place. Different thoughts. It’s what our mind dwells on.It’s how we condition our mind to think. In the Diary of Anne Frank, we find she was happy even under terrible circumstances.

Happiness is in our minds. It is our attitude to life and to our circumstances. We can brighten up our day by doing the smallest and simple things in life. A smile brings joy to the giver and the receiver.

Check out my inspiring and helpful book on how to be happy, filled with inspiring quotes and anecdotes. Live a happier life.

How To Be Happy, Healthy & Successful In Life

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C8BTOGO

BE HAPPY. SPREAD HAPPINESS.

 

 

 

6.        BELOVED POETS

These are a few poets I love and greatly adoreJust a short list, there are so many moreWordsworth writes praising beautiful natureYou can’t find many of Shakespeare’s stature. Tennyson’s thoughts are poetry in motionMilton’s poetry captures our emotions.Sylvia Plath”s confessions are truly heartfeltDickinson’s poignant writes make our heart melt. Ogden Nash is full of pun and humourEzra Pound’s insanity is no rumourShelley’s lyrics have a gentle flowTagore’s song offerings make hearts glow. Pope is popular for epigrams and verse