Wild and Free!!

The ropes to the harness snap,

A surge of excitement,

Freedom to be wild and free.

A thought comes to the my mind,

“I do not belong in the wild;

Will I survive?”

I will!”, says the heart;

“For I am the sentient being,

Firm in my belief – I was born to be Wild and free!!”

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The Recluse and the Squirrels

My grandma’s house bustles with activity during festivals. We gather their to spend time together and rejuvenate our souls with the love and affection of the elders. The days are lazy days that leave us high on gup-shup time; interspersed with games like pittho, corner-corner, ludo, putting jigsaw puzzle together, table tennis, hide and seek, etc. Or in other words, we regress into time and progress in our relationships. The bonds are nurtured and deepened with the valuable time spent to nourish them.

There too, a recluse like me, needs a dose of solitude once in a while. So, I started hunting for a solitary spot and entered the quiet corner of the backyard. The sunlight was streaming through the neem tree. Though it seemed like a quiet corner, nevertheless it too, was bustling with activity. There were squirrels, ants and insects moving around in carefree abandon.

As I strolled into the open space, the squirrels ran for their dear life. While on the run, some of them alerted their counterparts with the swift thumping of their tails. There was movement all over the place. A few ran up the trunk of the neem tree, the others gathered speed and settled on the ber-ka-pedh. And the one nearest the dilapidated cowshed climbed the old broken stairs.

I quickly settled myself in a corner lest I disturb their daily chores. The squirrels started eyeing me from the branches of the trees. As I slowly melted into the surroundings, they gained confidence and were back on the earthen floor. They started foraging through the foliage for seeds and nibbled at them with the swift movements. Now that’s exactly the moment when one wishes to capture the activity either in words or in a picture. The cute movement can’t be stored away for eternity with a click of a button. Maybe with words I can try to preserve them and relive the amusing time spent amongst the cutest creations of the Almighty!

As much as I tried not to reach out for my phone, I involuntarily picked it up and clicked a few pictures (though I didn’t have time to focus the lens and thus the bad picture quality). Through the lens, I noticed a squirrel leap up to hold the branch of a brinjal plant. It picked on the violet flower, while balancing the body on the haunches. The sunlight was glistening on its head. It reminded me of the perfect pictures of squirrels on Archies cards of the bygone era. The squirrels looked amazing on the cards but they look even better in the backyard, in their own country.

I am suddenly distracted by a spurt of activity in the distant corner. There were two squirrels chasing each other. The bigger one caught up and snatched the seed, and the smaller one squeaked in dismay. Annoyed, the smaller squirrel chased the bigger one. They run up the tree trunk and vanished for a while only to be seen later on the wire connecting the electricity pillars; balancing with their tails and joined by a third one.

The other squirrels were chattering in the open space, racing up and down the area, collecting seeds. Squirrels always seem to be in a hurry, always running around waging their bushy tails, making swift movements of the head, watching with their expressive eyes and enticing the observer with their innocent looks. I was completely smitten.

There wasn’t a dull moment while I sat glued to my place. I was in the backyard for almost an hour and a not a moment to spare for the book in my hand or the solitude on my mind. For a change, the recluse in me enjoyed company…the company of squirrels!!

The taste of freedom…

I have tasted freedom and I felt the urge to experience it once again. I want freedom from thoughts of you, I want freedom from your afflictions, I want to free myself of my dependency on you.

Am I done with you? Do I detest you? Am I angry with you? No…all the answers are in the negative. I am as the saying goes ‘truly, madly, deeply in love with you!!’

Then why do I wish to detach myself from you? Well, I wanna be mentally free. I don’t want to be tied down by the weight of this love affair which will never be vocalised between us. It can never take flight. Why wither away in agony?

Even the thought of your going away is a reason for distress. As though the destiny had snatched away something that was mine. But you are not mine. We can’t be together. Then why go through this rigmarole of love, lust, detachment, agony and pain.

I want detachment….and more than that I want you!!

Karamyogi: A biography of E. Shreedharan by M.S. Ashokan

Sreedharan the Metro Man of India!! There is so much to learn from the man who changed the look, thought and pace of Delhi.

– All his working life he had a firm conviction in working 9 to 5: only 8 hours of undisturbed and dedicated productive working hours in the office. Inspite of only 8 working hours, his team was able to deliver the BEST before time.

– Before starting a project, he would spend the max time hiring people. The biggest asset a prospective employee had was his/her integrity, discipline and dedication.

– Even though he handled projects ranging in 4000-5000 crores, neither he nor his corporation has been alleged of corruption.

– He would have weekly meetings with his officials BUT the minutes of the meetings were not documented. He reasoned that it was wastage of time and money. He trusted his colleagues and never found the need to document such meetings.

– He took awards because he wanted to use all the money for charity. He donated it to the fund started in his mother’s name.

Proud of him….!!

I am another you…!

On 9 November 2019, we heard the verdict on the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid issue. Most of the people had their own opinion about it. And then there were few like me who weren’t bothered by the nuances of such an irrelevant issue.

Anyways, I asked the opinion of my students aged 12-13 years. By then the decision was pronounced and the students knew about the verdict. My question was, “What according to them was the ideal solution for this issue? Whether the Ram Mandir should be constructed or the Babri Masjid should be there?”

Some of the answers of my students are here:

A: We should have a hospital constructed there so that people of all faiths can come together and forget about their differences on this issue.

B: Either a library or a Wildlife Sanctuary should be made on this ground.

C: Both, the mandir and masjid should be constructed side-by-side!!

If you think that the children spoke this to impress me, then you are mistaken. The present generation ‘gamma’ doesn’t believe in impressing people. Moreover, we had a lengthy discussion and they gave their arguments in support of their stand. These are the uncorrupted-unbiased-innocent answers to resolve complicated issues. Let’s pay heed to the them too.

Also, these opinions also reflect the thought process of their parents who influenced the formation of this view point. So, the people in society at large are peaceful and want to live with compassion.

And I am one of them…!