Memories, Entwined in Music… 

It was a perfect moment in time. 

My mom was visiting and I had cancelled all commitments to be with her without rushing around and stressing unnecessarily. She noticed this and conveyed her appreciation through a gentle smile. 

As I booked tickets for a movie followed by a leisurely lunch and discussed our day with her, she couldn’t help beaming. I hugged her and expressed my pleasure at having her home. She hugged me back with a tightness that surprised me. It held in it so much…. Love, pride, gratitude, blessings… Suddenly, my eyes brimmed with tears… My mom had given me everything she thought I might need to manage my adult life with equipoise and now she stood within my arms, frail and delicate, straight – backed and proud. 

As we headed home after our ‘date’, soft music filtered from the music system in the car that cocooned us from the outside traffic. Then that song started playing, the one my dad used to sing ever so beautifully…”Chain se hum ko kabhi..aap ne jeene na deeya…” I cast a sideways glance at my mom and saw a small tear form at the corner of her eye…. I skipped it, to the next one… But she requested me to put it back on… By this time a huge lump had formed in my throat too. 

“It’s been thirty-seven years… ” Mom said, “so much was taken away from us that day… But his music? That no one can can take away… Let it play…” 

We reached home, the sound of my dads singing reverberating in our individual memories… Rich, mellifluous, so him, so me, so mom, so Us…. 

That can never be taken away….. Ever…

Fight or Flight or Freedom

Sometimes, for no fault of ours, we feel trapped. Stuck and entangled into complications not of our making. It seems that the harder we work to release ourself, the tighter we get stuck.

Occasionally, a passing breeze reminds us of what freedom tasted like… What movement felt like…and we long for that time when the shackles that bind us, shall release their stranglehold.

It might help to remember that if an errant breeze cut short our flight, it might be a storm that will bring our salvation… Let’s keep our eyes pinned on the lively blue sky, that awaits our dance with the breeze again… 😊

#Morningmusings #morningwalkwonders #lifelessons #justathought

Memories of Dehradoon 

I remember fireflies and moonrise. 

These were the two things that I would wait for, make time for. I would look at the exact direction from where the moon would rise and judging by the soft glow emanating from behind the thickly forested hills, know exactly when it would make a glowing appearance. In the darkness of those times, where the perfection of night could be observed in all its splendor, when the hills were not inhabitated and street lights didn’t exist, it was the perfect setting to observe natures night life, especially stars and fireflies. 


Surrounded by night sounds of crickets and distant cries of jackals, I would settle myself on the corner of the railing and support my back against the wall. Floating life forms, glowing, would glide by, they would congregate near some self-chosen bush or tree and do their magical dance, mesmerising me completely. 

It was an isolated setting, yet one never felt alone. I made a lasting bond with my self during those silent obervations of nature. It was like the body ceased to have a boundary and just merged with its surroundings. And therein, I became the very breeze that moved the leaves on the trees at will or the moonlight that painted the landscape in a surreal silver hue.

Between the rising moon and the lively fireflies, the pressure cooker would whistle its lonesome call. Bringing images of a steam engine rolling through a desolate landscape, reminding me that dinner would not be too long now… I would get down from my perch and head downstairs after having inhaled a huge dose of solitude and beauty that would last a life time….

Todays glorious moonrise still reminds me of this…Of course, the only constant is the beauty of the moon in the distant sky. The setting from which I observe it now is altered beyond recognition…..

The Pressed Rose

Remember the joy of coming across a forgotten pressed Rose? A first Valentine memory or a beauty that one wanted to always remember….So one found a book of poetry or whatever it is that one was reading at that time and placed it between the pages and shut the book gently…
And there it lay, a pressed rose, exuding its fragrance and coaxing it into the aging pages of your cherished book, till one day, years later, you chance upon it once again and you drop everything to just sit and reminisce about that small yet beautiful moment in life…

One that came back on the delicate wings of a pressed rose.

  

I Remember…..

I remember fireflies and moonrise. 

These were the two things that I would wait for, make time for. I would look at the exact direction from where the moon would rise and judging by the soft glow emanating from behind the thickly forested hills, know exactly when it would make an appearance. In the darkness of those times when the hills were not inhabitated and street lights didn’t exist, it was the perfect setting to observe natures night life, especially stars and fireflies. 

Surrounded by night sounds of crickets and distant cries of jackals, I would settle myself on the corner of the railing and support my back against the wall. Floating life, in the form of fireflies would glide by, they would congregate near some self-chosen bush or tree and do their magical dance, mesmerising me completely. 

Between the rising moon and the lively fireflies, the pressure cooker would release it’s steam, reminding me that dinner would not be too long now… I would get down from my perch and head downstairs after having inhaled a huge dose of solitude and beauty that would last a life time….

Todays glorious moonrise reminded me of this…Of course, the only constant was the beauty of the moon. The scene is altered beyond recognition…..

Memories of Dehradoon

Samay ki Ret…Sands of Time

Samay ki Ret…

Sitting on a new bench under an old, gracefully ageing tree, breathing timeless air…. surrounded by light that is softly filtering through the leaves…an unforgettable atmosphere is created… everything contributes to its uniqueness… cobwebs that have missed the gardener’s vigilant eye and thrive in forgotten corners…a delicate abandoned nest, still secure amidst branches, but empty. Wind that rustles and talks to the leaves like long lost friends. There is sheer poetry in the way colour fades from ancient walls and iron rusts on huge hinges. Ivy climbs and moss grows. Brave, little flowers push their way out of cobble stoned paths. These are not processes that follow any rules. They take their leisurely time to bring inimitable character to the surroundings where they exist. The gloss of newness fades into colours of immense character and depth.

Joining this timelessness is the sound of a hundred fresh young voices, soaring uniformly into a crescendo, like a flock of birds taking flight… singing an ancient hymn. I feel goose bumps rise on my arms. It feels as if the chorus is echoed by the walls that have been witness to thousands of such mornings, over the years…

The desks tell forgotten stories… new students carve out fresh tales of their own on it…each one adding their imprint on that which existed before….

Our life is not in isolation, it is a super imposition on an existing design. We all leave our mark on it…changing it forever…. for better or for worse.

The Doon School

Dehradun 

Photo credit: Raunak Bawa

October, 2015

  

The Open Album

I have a sepia tinted photograph of myself as a little baby sitting on my mother`s lap. It is stuck on the inside wall of my cupboard, its edges curling with the burden of the many decades that it has witnessed. It is the first thing I see when I open my cupboard to select my outfit for the day. I peer into the baby’s face to observe if it has any resemblance to the woman that it has now become. Similarly, I look into my young mothers beautiful face to capture what she has carried forward from her youth. The emotion that fills my heart is quite powerful. It is a mix of nostalgia, gratitude and love. The photograph reasserts to me how many years my mother nourished my body and soul and made me the person I am. It is not something that should ever be forgotten. The presence of the photograph in my cupboard helps me reprioritises my goals in life. It shows me the relentless motion of time and what all it changes in its wake. It also teaches me patience…patience to hold my tongue when my mother slows her speech to choose the right word. Wisdom to tame my impatient hands as she works at her pace to finish a job…My mindbecomes clearer, as I mull over what to wear..

Alongside this photograph is one of my fathers, who, in passing away in his forties, remained frozen in all the vitality of youth, smiling his beautiful smile, he looks at me benevolently. I remember so many things about him because of that one photograph. His absence feels less stark, his face not a hazy memory but a clear picture. I remember his love for me and meticulous dressing, his penchant for always being on time, his love for a good joke and a hearty laugh…in his own silent way he still guides me..

The others who form this open album on the side of my cupboard are my immediate and extended family. In looking at their photos I remember to thank God for their presence in my life. I smile at the monkey face my son used to enjoy making and the certain angle my daughter always prefers when being clicked….the photograph of my brothers with their arms protectively around me shows me that the most precious thing in my cupboard is also the most intangible….