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Falling Leaves

May 30, 2014

rupamahindraanand

Falling
Falling
Falling
Fallen Leaves
In all hues
Mostly yellow
Ochre, dull gold, brown, yellow again
Not a place where a fallen leaf has not
Fallen
Dropping
Shedding
Replacing
Piled high on street corners
In parks and on side-walks
Under-foot and in my face
Rustle
Rustle
Rustle
Tender Crumpled Delicate
Each different from its sibling
The building blocks of forests
The laboratory of trees
Houses, furniture
Books, comforts
Conveniences
Built by leaves
Now falling
Falling
Fallen
Have you ever lain on a bed of fallen leaves?

April 12th 2011

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Ticketless

May 28, 2014

rupamahindraanand

DSC_0503
Ticketless I arrived
And ticketless I travel
This continuous journey of
Existence –
The conductor waves me on
As if in acknowledgment
Of my ticketless travel!

I traverse the stations
Each interesting and more colourful
Than the previous –

Off loading baggage at each stop –
Unable to resist adding some too!
Each station – a compartment
Of my life with its occupants
Whose faces shine and smile
And beckon –

I try to keep going
Ticketless –

If I am not caught
Till now –
Then it is Infinity
That protects –
And keeps me humble

I try to not to hurry –
Lest I stumble and fall flat
That will be lesson enough
To keep pride at bay and
To understand that this
Ticketless travel is prearranged
A gift voucher of sorts –

I wonder how many more
Trains to catch and
Stations to visit –
When will I dispense
With the entire luggage?
And how much more time
Till the next travel is initiated?

Ticketless, of course!

Sept 15th 2012

At the feet of the Master

The Bulbul Story

May 27, 2014

rupamahindraanand

DSC_1060In the evening, the garden comes alive with birdsong. The sun’s slanting rays casts shadows over ferns and bushes, one minute there and gone the next! The movement of light over the little expanse seems to dance to the music of bulbuls. A pair frequents the garden. Their warbles and chuckles lull and soothe as they flit and fly fanning their tail-ends, alighting on top of a swaying leaf or stem. Resting a bit and giving out a gurgle, they fly off again. I envy their flight as I do their apparent freedom!       Bulbuls are known to be monogamous. This red-vented pair, I notice, has tried its best to nest in whatever is available in the little garden. A month ago, they had nested in the wicker basket that hangs over the front porch of the drive way. Soon enough, three eggs appeared which days later hatched into three baby bulbuls. I wondered how they would manage to survive the big-bad- world at large and decided to play grandmother bulbul! Asking the Mali to put green netting around the nest that would protect them, I imagined it would do the job! Kuldip and other staff kept an eye on the nursery. Toby and Tinker Bell the Siamese pair were forbidden to venture out on the porch overhead! Even the Mali refused to water the fern that housed them. The chicks seemed to be doing just fine. And I looked forward to the addition of new members to the bird orchestra in the garden very soon.Alas! Early one morning, as I stepped out of the front door, I saw the fern and lumps of moss in a heap before me. In a flash I knew what had happened, recalling that I had seen two stray cats lurking outside the evening before!

And yet the warbles and chuckles of the bulbuls continue. I am quite certain it is the same pair re-making their nest. They hover near the hibiscus bushes often. Four evenings ago I saw a stray cat roaming on the boundary wall. Tinker Bell, my crafty and thoroughly spoilt Siamese cat repeatedly visits the same spot on the wall.

018 Repeatedly I go out and bring her down. I am sure the bulbuls’ story isn’t over just yet. I instruct Kuldip to investigate and locate their nest. He peers and prods around in the bushes for a while but can’t find anything. I intuitively know he is wrong! The next day he informs me that he has located the nursery. It is in the hedge that overhangs the boundary wall but on the outside of it. I am delighted. Tinker Bell is forbidden to amble on the wall.

Bricks are brought in and the area on top of the wall to the left and to the right of the nest is cordoned off from the cats. Mr Crow knows something is up. He swoops down often enough and the pair flies about frenetically keeping up their shrill calls. We shoo the big black crow.DSC_0852 The rain comes down heavily. A calm descends. I visit the outer periphery and take a peek. I see three glorious little ones covered in their fluffy down feathers huddled together. The parents seem to understand my concern and watch a little cautiously giving out a rather nervous chuckle now and then. The Mali decides to hang a bit of green netting on the outside in the hope of keeping them safe. I ask the Universe to lend its whole-hearted support to this little family. I trust that this time my prayers will be answered. Sure enough in a few days, the glorious fledglings abandon their nest to take their perch in the neighbouring branches, testing their wings to soon fly away into the universe.DSC_1142 DSC_1096

Meditation with a Cat

May 25, 2014

rupamahindraanand

Unmoving, she sits, majestic and resplendent –
Eyes closed, whiskers fanned, ears perked, tail tucked –
Statuesque and perfectly still

 

Impatiently, I move, unable to ease neither body, nor mind into stillness –
Eyes fluttering, muscles tense, ears alert, legs restless –
Un-stately and agitated.

Silent and serene, she maintains his pose –
Aware of external sounds, yet disregarding them

Read more

The Cat nobody Wanted

May 25, 2014

rupamahindraanand

Born in an alley, her birth, a mystery,
Broken leg and sliced tail, her brief history
Imbedded in feline memory so vivid,
Anyone approaching, the kitten got livid

Abandoned and rescued, she was alive,
Put up for adoption so she may survive.
Scratched and meowed at those that called,
Nobody wanted this mongrel at all.

Till along came a soul with a heart of gold
Saw the pain behind big eyes so bold;
Lifted her up and took her home
As simple as that, she need never roam.

Read more

To Toby, the Cherub

May 24, 2014

rupamahindraanand

On the other hand
Master Tobias, the Cat
Sits with fat cheeks
Whiskers intact

Under his nook
The coffee table he waits
For Madame Curie
To evacuate her place

Cherub is he with
An expression divine
Destined to be always
Second in line

Read more

To Tinkerbell, the Cat who rides the Rocking Chair

May 22, 2014

rupamahindraanand


Tinkerbell, her Majesty
Rides the cane chair
Asking to be rocked
By anyone there

Pink tongue out
Limbs wriggling in glee
Imploring to be rocked
Should you dare flee

Purring in happiness
Such love abounds
Looking up to you
Blue eyes so round

How can you not
Submit to the plea
To be rocked & rocked
From Madame Curie?

September 6th 2009

Tell Me How?

May 21, 2014

rupamahindraanand

Tell me how not to be pliant like a willow
When winds of deceit and subterfuge blow?

To stand correct and straight amidst
Overwhelming corruption and hate?

Tell me how to fight war and strife
With a white glove and no knife?

To cry a little more now and then
On seeing killing, riots and mayhem?

Tell me how to tolerate and bear
The mindless destruction of Life everywhere?

How to feel a wrenching pain
As hunters shoot down for profit and gain?

Tell me how not to turn my face away
From gnawing poverty and hunger every day?

Tell me how to experience the same
Of those tortured and maimed?

Tell me how to be a lotus in the lagoon
Despite muddy waters, in full bloom?

Tell me how to revere and hold sublime
All Life in its variety Divine?

Tell me how, O Sage, to pray,
Bringing Compassion, Awareness and Oneness
Into our lives each day?

Feb 15th 2011
Written after the riots and chaos in Egypt, January 2011 and the multitude of scams breaking out in India.
Yet it seems perennially valid ….

To Love

May 20, 2014

rupamahindraanand

Love is nothing to go blah-blah or shout
Rather it is something deep and unspoken about

Love is trust in an animal’s eyes
It is beauty in a morning sunrise

It is strength in a friend’s support
Solid and perennial like an ancient fort

Read more

Bengali Dreams

May 19, 2014

rupamahindraanand

A true friendship allows many things. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be true. It allows camaraderie without having to try to fit in; it allows listening and sharing when the going gets tough; it allows asking, knowing you will receive (hopefully most of the times); it allows the silence of unspoken words; it allows you to just be. My friend, Nita, has the most amazing laugh. The sound of her laughter attracts you to her immediately. The laugh begins somewhere in her belly, moves slowly up her throat, gathers momentum and gurgles out musically, reminding you of the tinkling of many bells. I wish I could laugh like that.I tease Nita about her weight.
She nods and teases me about mine. It is a two-way circus.

We struggle with middle-age flab, or is it late-age cellulite? I vow to lose the extra fat, promise to diet, and endeavour in whatever way possible to shed the excess load. I gently and firmly remind her to off-load hers too. Encouraged she embarks on a plan that shows results. Secretly, I do the same. We share tips and smile at the pants that now fit. But have we really conquered the fight with the flab? We enjoy luncheons together at interesting places that cater fat-free-food. Read more

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