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

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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

Life is short. Time is fleeting. Stop Procrastinating.

My poems on fleeting Time:

Fleeting Time

Time hurries

Time hastens

Time flies on wings

Time races

Time rushes

Time merrily sings. 

Time darts

Time dashes

Time dear memories hold

Time freezes

Time breezes

Time’s more precious than gold. 

Time captures

Time captivates

Time cherished moments unfold

Time whizzesTime zips

Time tells stories untold. 

We try to clasp it and grasp it

With all our powers

Elusive time slips away

By seconds, by minutes, by hours.

Flow of Time

Like green leaves that turn yellow and wither away

Like buds that blossom and fade away

Like white clouds that turn sullen gray

Like lengthening shadows darken the day.

The whirligig of time brings forth

Mysteries hidden in time’s womb

The only certain destiny death

That stone cold tomb.

Like a flickering flame blown out by the wind

Life’s breath is soon extinguished.

So we too shall pass away

And while on this journey, we may

In this deepening gloom, shine a bright ray

Love, help, encourage, pray

A new beginning every day.

 

Life is short. Time is fleeting. There is so much to do. So many desires and wishes unfulfilled. So many to-do lists. So many bucket lists. I have my own list but I will leave that for the next post. Making up a list is easy. But to make it happen, the first thing to do is to stop procrastinating. And start doing.

Well, here are a few quotes I found, on procrastination,  which may spur you on.

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted…Do it now.”: Paulo Coelho

“Procrastination is my sin

It brings me naught but sorrow

I know that I should stop it

In fact, I will—-tomorrow! “: Gloria Pitzer

(This one resonates with me)

 

And the definition for “Tomorrow”?

“Tomorrow: A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored”.

“Procrastination is the thief of time”.

“Remember, time lost can never be regained”.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today”: Karen Lamb

So start today. Now.

Life is short and time is fleeting. Stop procrastinating.

 

 

 

POETRY

“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

  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:

  BELOVED 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?

Poetry Contests 2016

A visitor to a certain college paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall that had been built on campus.

“It’s a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway,” he said.

“Actually,” said his guide, “it’s named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation.”

The visitor was astonished. “Was Joshua Hemingway a writer, also?”

“Yes, indeed,” said his guide. “He wrote a check.” 🙂

 

A few poetry contest links for readers. Just copy and paste the link  into your browser. Take the plunge.

 

Deadline: 1st April 2016: Funny Poems: (No entry fee)

https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free

 

31st March 2016: Foley’s Poetry Award

http://americamagazine.org/foley-poetry

 

Deadline: 10th March 2016: Poems about Nantucket

http://nantucketdirectory.com/poetry/index.php

 

Deadline: 18th March 2016: Scottish landscape poetry

http://www.scottishgeology.com/hughmiller/

 

Deadline: 15th march 2016: flash fiction

https://brilliantflashfictionmag.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/springtime-fiction-writing-contest/#more-1138

 

Deadline: 1st April 2016: Poetry and short fiction on the theme of Dreams

https://bopdeadcity.com/contests

 

 

Deadline: 1st April: Christian poetry theme of The Great Beyond

http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/submissions.html

 

Deadline: 30th March 2016: Fairytales inspired poems on the theme of Rain

http://www.fairytalemagazine.com

 

Poetry on the theme of Shakespeare: http://shenandoah.submittable.com/submit

 

http://litbreak.com/submissions/

 

Deadline: 31st March 2016: Poetry and fiction on the theme of Conflict

http://sunstruckmag.com/submission/

 

Deadline July 1st, 2016: Nano fiction: June 1st, 2016 to July 1st, 2016: story in 16 words

Deadline: 7th July 2016 Ledbury poetry competitions 2016

www.poetry-festival.co.uk/ledbury-poetry-competition/

 

 

Deadline: 7th March 2016: Wenlock Poetry

www.wenlockpoetryfestival.org/competitions/

 

Nano Prize 2016:

www.nanofiction.org/submit

 

Deadline: 30th June 2016 Poetry Space

www.poetryspace.co.uk/poetry-space-competition/

The World of Books

This is my first post. So let me introduce myself through my bio-poem.

I am my own person

A non-conformist to the core

If all of us were replicas

Life then would be a bore.

I never confine myself to rules

I do pretty much as I please

I listen to my inner voice

Rules make me ill at ease.

I am the shy type

I am fine, it’s me

I love lonely contemplation

I delight in my company, you see.

Rules on how to eat right, speak right, dress right

A disaster to me spells

Follow all these I might

If only I were someone else.

Reading is my passion

Books my greatest treasure

Books are my addiction

Oh what endless pleasure.

I never insist others conform to such and such

I have tolerance for others differences

Let others be themselves pretty much

Happy with their own preferences.

Married to a man divinely blessed

Kind, humble, down-to-earth

Home is filled with happiness

Contentment, joy and mirth.

Live and let live, my motto in life

Happiness and contentment my goal

Greatly fear war and strife

I am myself, the unique human soul.

My favorite memory of my childhood is the pleasure of reading books.I loved living in the world of books. Books are rich treasures which transport you to distant lands. Books have given wings to my imagination, books widened my horizons and increased my knowledge, giving me insights into other minds, other lands and other cultures. Books enrich my mind, provide knowledge, entertainment and pleasure. Reading inspires imagination and fuels creativity. As Henry Ward Beecher said, “Nowhere is human nature so weak as in the bookstore”, something I can vouch for, being an avid reader.
One of my favorite books is “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. I also love “The Post Office” by Rabindranath Tagore, which I read as an 11-year old. The memory of Amal, the child still lingers on, to this day. A very poignant write.

Which is your favorite book? Why?