Lock Down Has Actually Opened Us Up – What Say?


From March 16 to April 3, 2020 Belgium is under lockdown. And now extended till 19th April which will be reviewed at the end of the period bringing the lockdown period to 5 weeks in total.  First reaction “Oh crap! Oh China what have you gifted to the world! My kids losing out on school and vacations.  Kids at home + Husband working from home = more hours in kitchen with additional cups of tea. Headaches, panic attacks concerning how things would shape up, constant fear for the family here and overseas are definite bonuses of this quarantine period and pandemic Coronavirus.  And it’s a same picture everywhere irrespective of the country we live in.

But gloom brings negativity, so thought of wearing those witty glasses on to just lighten up the mood and since everything thing under the sun has a flip side so does this quarantine period.  Why not assess them once 😁:

  • No “alarm”ing mornings for a while. Getting up at 8 AM is also a bliss.
  • You can be you, no need to doll up. Pyjamas and flip flops would do and the comfort they provide is the ultimate.
  • Since restaurants, malls and other non essential shops are closed surely you would save a lot . Don’t believe me? Check your bank statements from the time of lockdown 😁.
  • You can surely dedicate few hours revisiting the forgotten shelves of wardrobe. Our old favourites do motivate us to work out to fit in them again.
  • Sitting at home do make us hungry perhaps a little more often but then the free work out sessions in absense of the domestic help will surely make a difference. Trust me it works😁.
  • Marriage albums and CDs bring the nostalgia moments back and never underestimate their entertainment value, mind you! Why the fourth cousin to your twice removed uncle was sulking throughout the marriage, why the cameraman was obsessed with people dining in the marriage, the over excited friends of the bride and groom, the repeated plastic smiles on the dias when the guests come and say Congratulations but they actually meant “Abhi toh party shuru hui hai” (The party gas just begun, just wait and watch) – to recall those moments and stare at your partner and going back to your chores is superb fun.

Oh I am witty at it’s best 😁😎. And here comes the flying pan and BANG!!!! Bringing me down to the earth😁😁.   Let’s talk some serious stuff. No I am not going to  repeat what our news portals  and WhatsApp universities are churning out day in and day out since the outbreak of this pandemic. I am not here to present the skewed graph of economic activity during this period or the economic impact of this inactivity.  Neither I am talking about the soaring numbers of people affected directly by the virus nor I am discussing how the governments of different countries coping up with this situation etc. That anyways need deeper introspection which I am not capable of.  This lockdown period has actually opended up different viewpoints to look and tackle a situation  at the hand:

  • At the end of this period (hopefully soon) many of us would be a better person who understands the concept of Dignity Of Labour. Our domestic helps, drivers, security guards – they are working to feed their families with the utmost respect.  Poverty hasn’t made them take up wrong ways. This is what we should respect. They do work for wages but they do help us make our lives little more comfortable. Isn’t it? Treat them with respect, they aren’t our slaves.  And no words of praise are sufficient to hail the great work our frontline workers – doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police and army. A big salute to them.
  • We would be better managers.  With services and supplies limited to essentials during this lockdown period the sense of responsible spending is something which I see getting imbedded and inculcated. Leftovers can be turned into recipes but not wasted. While people are facing cuts in salaries due to many reasons wise spending is definitely on cards. And as they say any thing repeated for 21 days becomes a habit, some positives are in offering.
  • For people who are during the normal days far away from the kitchen and just fire away orders will now come to know how much hard work it takes for ingredients to be turned into an sumptuous meals which they dismiss without blinking an eyelid. Respect for those who work tirelessly at home to give us those moments of leisure and comfort – hopefully.
  • Bringing us back to the roots.  As we moved to the cities and got acquainted to the fast moving lifestyle we are accustomed to the words like “automatic”, “instant”, “readymade” and gradually alienated ourselves from our roots that required patience and preparation. This lockdown period has surely stopped us to give us sometime to ponder over many questions pertaining to our lifestyles. We are gobbling up and stopped eating; gulping down but stopped drinking; showing off and stopped celebrating. Have you ever thought why our previous generations (especially our grandparents and even earlier) were happy despite of meagre comforts at their disposal? Why we are raising up our kids with supplements to boost immunity which we never heard of as kids? Our education (read mere literacy) in the wake of being logical and questioning everything has actually made us mock everything we didn’t get a hold of. We mocked our culture, age old traditions (not all traditions are primitive and illogical), simple lifestyle of limiting the needs because scooping out more is our mantra. And this race has actually put us in the line of fire of mother nature who surely has her ways of setting the spoilt brats straight. Her warning to us this time : “Slow Down A Bit, Go Back To Your Roots”. This lockdown period is bringing out positives as now we have family meals together, cooking and eating healthy instead of buying in a jiffy, bonding between generations is building up, the importance of our traditional practices (one petty example : every house in southern India have turmeric laden doorsteps, started decades ago to check various infections from entering the house) is being realised. Surely it’s time to realise the difference between price and value!
  • When we would step out of this confinement period clear skies and waters would greet us. Ozone layer is self healing. Our race to earn has hurt the heels of mother nature really bad. She is cooling her heels now, please wait inside.
  • And yes this would actually open up new avenues of opportunities to those who can think differently. New business ideas are surely going to mark their arrival. Mark my words.

I can come up with numerous ways how this critical moment is working the right ways for us. The prism through which we look at an issue at hand matters.  Human race has witnessed many more crucial and defining moments in the past as well – world wars, famines, catastrophes, viral outbreaks like the current one. This isn’t new and isolated. And everytime human bounced back strongly , this shall pass too. For that we need to be selfishly responsible for ourselves and our family, in that way we are serving multiple number of people and the country. And when this time passes we need to strive to bring out the better version of ourselves – compassionate, empathetic, considerate, rejuvenated!

Amidst all this chaotic tense atmosphere the irony of human nature that has come forth is : when people were supposed to go to their works they strongly wished to stay back home and relax. Now when they are supposed and obligated to stay at home for a greater cause they want to loiter outside. Not to abide, not content define us pretty much. On contrary we must be thankful that we have a roof over our head, we are safe in our haven and with people who care for us.

A Request: Wait for sometime to quench your thirst for adventure. This is not the time for all you would buy is pain and suffering in wholesale. And for the rest this quarantine period is no less than a challenge.

Are You Ready To Take Up This Challenge Thrown At You?

Is Violence Only Physical?


Originally Posted On Candles Online.

Photo source: wordpress free photo library

Violence as a weapon have distorted the face of our planet innumerable times. From road rage cases to world wars; from open wars fought on line of controls to proxy wars fought within the boundaries targeting the innocent population violence has a history as old as human civilisation.  The Charles Darwin’s Theory of (Survival Of The Fittest) Evolution found undying patronage in Man, where the sheer want to demonstrate dominance and hold onto power have influenced him over ages and centuries to use “Violence” as tool of elimination of everything and everyone opposed to his ideas, perhaps seeming threat to his survival.  Invasions, mass murders, crucifying the icons / leaders to instill fear, blood and gory – history has seen it all!

What is the purpose of resorting to Violence?  Hitting / attacking someone physically has its core agenda – to hurt, to overpower, to silence, to instill fear – though the intent, the intensity, the reason / provocation differ in every situation.  Physical wounds heal and might or might not leave scars behind apparent to the naked eyes but impact is beyond what we can see.  Petty examples:

  • A 10-year old son is beaten up by his father for being mischievous to discipline him because he believed in the saying “Spare The Rod Spoil The Child”. For few years it did discipline the son, few years later the son pretended to fear/ listen to his father and then gradually he lost both fear and respect for his father. In fact, he lost the fear of punishment for the rest of his life.
  • A child saw her mother being beaten up and insulted daily at the hands of her father so much so that she was killed one day.  Her father believed strongly in patriarchy to dominate his wife but his brutality has left his daughter fearing relationships for her life.
  • In the momentous heat of a road rage a person kills another leaving the family of the deceased bewildered and broken.
  • The brutal attacks of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have not only left generations crippled  but has blemished the history pages.

I can go on and on like this.  The mental impact of physical violence is something we rarely discuss or just brush and forget. Irony is that all the laws around the world are formed to curb violence as in the physical nature of it and since the mental assaults are unaccounted for, rarely laws are formulated to address the issue. Even if few are chalked out, the onus of proving the cause and effect relationship is quite a job for a person already hit.

Another Angle: Well since we all care about “Materialistic, Tangible, Physical” dimensions of things we completely undermine and underestimate or sometimes ignore the murderous impact one’s Words can have. The greatest asset a human being possesses is his ability to communicate, and words as a part of that process are really powerful. They can build and destroy with equal magnitude. An instance from lives of innumerable women pinned down by patriarchy: A well educated man who believes he is liberal in his thoughts, boasts of never raising his hands on his wife but would constantly pick on her  -criticising her, demeaning her, mocking her, abusing her verbally and always getting away with, “I was only angry but you know how much I love you.  And I am not like other husbands who hit their wives”.  But his constant banter would leave the poor soul depleted in confidence and shattered. And his behaviour influences others as well to take her for granted, for instance children, in-laws and she herself.  This is murder of the zeal, courage and enthusiasm of the person turning a soul into a lifeless machine. Depression, suicidal tendencies, anxieties and many more mental health complications are a result of such mental assaults.   And since assault is not physical in nature it goes unnoticed, unreported most of the times. In India which is a patriarchal society laws are framed to curb domestic violence cases but the mental assault done by degrading banter is conveniently sidelined.

That was just a drop from the ocean of brutalities words have caused/ could cause.

How not to inflict “mental” violence:  As much as you hate to be a victim of someone’s angst you must be careful enough not to inflict the same pain onto others:

  • If words are silver, silence is golden. Don’t speak when not fit to, lest you put many things/ relationships at stake.
  • Walking out of the heated or uncomfortable moments momentarily might save the day for good.
  • Just put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Don’t spew the venom even if it is  in humour, if you yourself can’t take it.

The mental impact of violence – physical or otherwise needs much more deep rooted discussion. I just tried to bring the required focus on the neglected issue. It requires much more introspection, doesn’t it?

What Is Your Struggle?


Originally Posted On Candles Online

“Life is a book – read it!

Life is a journey – go through it!

Life is a feeling – experience it!

Life is a theory – prove it!

Life is an examination – pass it!”

This is the crap I used to write / practice in the initial days of learning Ms Word of Ms Office package (basic computer knowledge for everyone 😁) and used to feel so great about myself 🤣🤣. And seriously show it to the trainer in the disguise of getting my learnings checked – Look at the hidden writer in me, how philosophical I am (now I am realizing what a fool I was🤣). Well that was back in 2004-05, I was just 19 then. Now you know my age 😉. Old enough to understand what life is about? May be 😊.

It is a struggle for sure that is designed to check your temperament. The magnitude of struggle differ from person to person; situation to situation; day to day.

Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy – macro struggles (countries / economies are in constant face offs with these issues).

Anger, greed, lust, materialistic attachments – struggles of every soul.

But I am not educated enough to discuss anything so deep, serious and profound. So why not open up about our struggles that are no less serious than these 😁.

My biggest struggles: I am sure the list might seem and sound funny but definitely not easy to fight and even sure that all of us without any exception have such interesting struggles:

  • I struggle to keep my eyes wide open from the moment I enter any vehicle be it car, auto rickshaw, train, bus – just name it. This is the reason I refrain from sitting next to my husband in our car because as they say if you sleep sitting next to the driver you will surely rub off your yawning spirit on to him and driving needs utmost concentration.
  • I struggle to keep my diet on track. My taste buds accustomed to Dilli style spicy food (for Delhites its never Delhi but Dilli) salads and health drinks are too bland and boring. And sweet tooth is only aggravating my fight to keep a check on calories intake. But the only solace in this battle is that I am not alone 😉. There’s an entire army of food lovers who are finding it difficult to switch to alternative choices 😁.
  • I struggle to strictly stick to the list of “To Do Things” in a day. Yes, you call it Procrastination and I chose to term it laziness. Being blunt might give enough impetus to fight it😁.
  • I struggle to call a spade A Spade and that got me into soup lot many times.
  • Keeping things and forgetting them and worrying about the things ensuing.

That was just a glimpse into my mundane yet not trivial struggles. We all have such struggles that are laughed off, ridiculed but they have their own place in making our lives interesting, give us few memories. Won’t you agree? If yes open up about your “Struggles”.

I am Bound Till….


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I am bound till the time I test the strength of last strand of bond between us. When it gives away I am free.

I am bound till the time my fingers are engulfed by even a single bleak ray of hope. When it is shut down I am free.

I am bound till the time I garner strength to carry on in this lone battle every time I falter. When weakness embraces me I am free.

I am bound till the time I care to repair and iron out the creases from our worn out relationship. When indifference sets in I am free.

I am bound till the time I choose to suffer to make you win in front of the world. When I chose to make my own victory stride I am free.

I am bound till the time I decide……

***This is applicable to everyone who is making silent contributions in their lives yet never credited sans any gender bias ****

Recipe For Being A Good Neighbour


 

smiling man and woman sitting beside door
Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com

Originally posted on Candles Online

When we talk about the delicate issue of RELATIONSHIPS our discussions hover around bonds between spouses, friends, lovers, parents, in-laws too. But the most immediate relationship is often given a miss or rarely finds a mention in that list – Neighbours.

I think I don’t have to reiterate the importance of neighbours when there’s a commandment  in the Bible itself- Love Thy Neighbour!

Who are Neighbours? Rather who are good neighbours? Or what are default neighbour settings? Door bell rings, ding dong- “Hello can I borrow one cup of sugar? Do you have a glass of milk? We have guests at our home can we send them over? What is your son doing? When is your daughter getting married? Hope we haven’t disturbed you. Hope you were not busy.  How dare you let the speck of dust from your home flew to our gate?”  Yeah this is how a standard neighbour behaves 😁. Yeah I grew up among such amazing neighbourhood where people’s interest always lied in other’s business. In fact during my 10 years stay in Belgium I missed such intervening neighbours (😉 pun intended). And whenever I visit my brother in India the same void is fulfilled by his neighbours who always make sure that they never miss an update from what is happening within the four walls of his home 😁. I love that, I enjoy that.

Well, this was a dose of humour. But relationship with neighbours has a serious tone to it.  My father used to say “Neighbours are very important in our lives. Our friends, our relatives all stay away from us. It takes time for any information  to reach them and eventually for them to reach us. When problems, traumas, disasters strike us it’s our neighbour that attends us first”. This made a mark on my mind permanently. We often talk about Society but that’s our neighbhours and a cluster of neighbourhoods that comprise  our society, isn’t it? So cordial relationships are so important for a robust society.

On innumerable occasions I have seen my father reaching out to help neighbours without holding grudges (also fortunate enough to have had neighbours who stood by us in our thick and thins). Having seen him take a stand for others I understood that relationship between neighbours is as delicate as any other relationship that we cherish and vouch for.

How to be a good neighbour?

  • Don’t try to peep in their lives through the creeks in the walls: We all have encountered such neighbours I am sure.  But too much intervention in personal spaces serves only irritation and agitation. We live in times where people need space from parents and spouses then neighbours should behave accordingly 😁. Please don’t worry too much about the gold your neighbour buys or their kids’ education or marriage. They can take care of that.
  • Don’t hold grudges: Ususally people hold grudges for trivial issues like ” they didn’t invite us to their son’s first birthday party, we were not informed about the promotion Mr.XYZ got” and this comic list goes on.  This is human nature. But you will be called human only when you act human. When something goes wrong with your neighbour, when the need for help arises in your proximity you should act instead of taunting.  You might not be able to offer financial assistance often but then your presence also counts amidst the crises situation.  Think about it!
  • Use your tongue wisely:  Tongue is a powerful weapon. It can heal, it can hurt. We all know how and what I mean so won’t go into an explanation mode. Spreading rumours, gossiping, using foul language, talking nonsense and inflicting pain and fear are signs of the rotten mentality. Stay clear of this in both directions – neither be a spectator/ recipient nor a participant.  Use your words to soothe a person’s grief, to boost confidence, to support.  Be a good person, period! And remember Karma always catches up.

A warm greeting, a gentle smile, a sound advice (only when asked 😁), a steady hand stretched out to help – And here you are  –  A good neighbour.  Be it, Be the change you want to see and people will not only love you but might possibly follow your footsteps.

And not to miss cordial relationships with neighbours is important at all levels be it buildings or countries – just saying 😁😉.

Too Much Dwelling On Past, How Helpful Is It?


Originally posted on Candles Online:

Time – an omnipresent factor that runs our entire life. Birth is recorded so is death in measuring units called hours, minutes and seconds which is basically Time. Past, present and future all have yardstick of years, months and days, it’s nothing but Time. We have bad times and good times, registered as moments and memories but Time nonetheless. Time never stops and ceases. If every matter is made up of cells then every matter is run by Time. Anyone from 1980’s era in India and who have seen Mahabharat on national television would understand and relate to “Main Samay Hoon” (I am The Time) pretty much summarising what I said 😁.

There’s a saying “Time once spent can’t be earned back unlike money” and it’s a fact to the core. We all have moments in our lives, where we dwell on our past and constantly wish how different the course of events could have been. A different action, a different desicion, a timely intervention, sometimes a delay perhaps could have chalked out an entire different picture to be enjoyed or cherished now.

Certain incidents/ desicions I regret the most in my life : I could have chosen computer science over commerce and that would have helped me fetch a job here in this foreign land, something I dearly yearn for. I could have done a certified professional course that could have added some volume to my dull CV. I could have had a bit prolonged career before I my wedding.

More or less I have more regrets concerning my professional decisions for I am unemployed for a decade now, something I have mentioned time and again in my write ups. Pondering over and over on those moments over a period of time now (see Time, I told you 😁) haven’t brought me any solace but some sense to say the least. Wondering how?

When I am lost in my search for answers in my past, my idleness in present questions me “you can’t anyways undo your past, what is your stand in present to make you stand in future? Why you are unearthing melancholy when your smiles and peace lie in discovery and exploration. When you have ideas, share them. When you have plans put them into action and see the drama unfold.”

Sounds too preachy right? But this is a reality I am living in. My tussle with time is on a different level. Every morning while busy in chores I think about my past, when done with morning routines my urge to relax myself overpowers my will to write blogs (in this context I thank Candles Online to give me impetus strong enough to write at least once a week 😁), paint or at least finish cleaning up of house (😁 but don’t jump to the conclusion that we love in shabby and unhygienic conditions, its just that it might not be presentable round the clock) to an extent that I end up procrastinating things on more than one occasion and by the evening I participate in a race against time to finish off pending chores before hitting the bed and on bed I toss planning to start a fresh day with renewed determination to make my own identity and announce it to the world and my family and again I loiter in the past (recent one though 🤣🤣) thinking I shouldn’t have wasted My Precious Time for once it’s gone it’s gone forever. It’s a cycle you see!

And it’s much vicious than that of poverty and complicated than that of a life cycle. Once you are a “procrastinator” then you certainly need a greater push to get out of that habit. Not yearly resolutions but we need a daily resolution to keep our “regret” mode at bay. And trust me my run is so on! 😁.

My Personal Realization: How I acted in past have strong reasons underlining them and thus they were apt then. My constant rant now can only earn me some sympathy sometimes but not useful anyways 😊. And I am not taking any or requisite amount of steps as an amendment, does it make sense?

So how often do you Procrastinate and regret?  If you are like me, then join the club not to boast but to fight our bad habit and put our Time to a better use other than for dwelling and digging past for if its bitter it won’t be better now either.

Thumb Rule For  Procrastination: You lose your right to complain if you don’t act on time or at all.

Remember this and march forward for past is so over, let it rest in peace 😁.

You Can Never Be “Nothing”


fea-nothing

Originally posted on Candles Online

May not be the chime in rain drops,
But you might be the rainbow hidden in the water prisms,
just waiting for the beams to shine upon.

May not be the fragrance of freshly sprinkled earth,
But you might be the pot hidden in those particles,
just waiting for the hands to carve you.

May not be the breeze on a moonlit night,
But you might be the power of wind shattering the barriers,
just need the right direction for your flow.

May not be the apparent shine of gold,
But you might be the strength and value of a diamond,
just need fingers to polish and brush away the dust on you.

May not be everyone’s dream,
But you might be the music in someone’s life,
just need to usher the tunes of smile.

May not be everything you wanted to be,
But you might be something,
better and destined to be for you can never be “Nothing“.

I Don’t Want To Look Dumb


Originally posted on Candles Online

woman-learning-to-drive

Image Credit: Google Inc.

Year 2016, I failed my first ever examination.  And by examination I mean literally examination where candidates sit in a room and test their knowledge about a particular subject. (My conscience is knocking me at this moment “Are you sure FIRST TIME? What about the one or two competitive exams you appeared for 🤔?”  Pat comes my answer when the results are unknown I can easily state conspiracy theories😎).  But in this situation results were out instantly and I flanked. What an embarrassment! My head hung in shame and searching for excuses or you can solace in answers like “you are not alone, relax! Out of 20 people present there only one or two cleared the test. And there was one candidate who got it all wrong. And you were just 2 points away from the passing mark” and many points in the same league just to console my hurt heart which was crying deep inside “Ab kaise muh dikhaaoge gharwaalo ko” (how would you face your family now?).

Why I was ashamed? Is it because I had to shell out more money (I forgot to tell that it was a driving theory test) I preferred to give my test in English? Is it because my husband had to skip many lunches at home as I was preparing hard for this 🙈?  Probably because I was taking myself too seriously, trying too hard to keep up my image of a “topper”.  My failure in that exam was a result of my fear, pressure to prove myself, in short my insecurity (My good friend Rajnandini mentioned in her article “No Insecurity when God is your Security“. Result could have been different if I would have concentrated a little bit more on logic of driving lessons, just saying.

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(Image Credit – Google Inc.)

Coming to the current year, 2019. I finally cleared my driving theory test with an excellent score. And comes the next stage, I am finally at the steering wheel. Thought practical will be easy but it’s been 16 hours, 4 hours per week but I am still at gear 2 and my instructor continuing his high pitched shrilled voice “Kalpana – what about maintaining your right? Look how close we are to the edge; look how far we are from the edge; Why is your car trembling? You can’t change the gear without handling clutch” and he continues.  At the end of every session he repeats himself “don’t drive with hesitations, pressure and fear. Driving isn’t that difficult.”

And a deep introspection of his words again puts me in the dock asking myself  “why do you fear so much? Why do you want to prove yourself ? Why not relax and let it sink?” Answer is probably  I am still in control of my insecurities instead of my car 😁 – I don’t want to look and sound dumb. I have the pressure of learning how to drive for my kids but the pressure of proving myself is greater than anything else.

All said and done I don’t have any inhibitions to accept that yes I am an insecure person. My insecurities stem from the fact that I want to guard my image, I fear people’s perception about me. To put it simply – I don’t want to look dumb. I am sure there are many more people with me on the same page, sailing the same boat. We take up things to prove ourselves, we hesitate to clarify our doubts because we fear mockery, we hesitate to say NO because we don’t want to come across as rude, in short we are too indulged in ourselves or take ourselves too seriously.

It’s time to break shackles of our insecurities and to breathe free.  Reason – our “image” is not of tad importance to anyone.  It isn’t a picture of  Mona Lisa decorating the Louvre Museum, distortion of which would make a huge difference to anyone. what say? Do share your experiences and start breaking and  breathing free because every iota of world’s creation and creature have it’s own importance. Just bask and soak yourself in that glory. Meanwhile I will try the same 😁.

Act And Avoid Regrets


Originally posted on Candles online:

If a survey is conducted and people are asked “If God grants you one wish what would you pick?”, undoubtedly “A chance to revisit or relive the past (simply put a as Time Travel)” will the take the cake hands down.  “Being invisible”“Being filthy rich”“Stay young forever” are few close contenders though 😁.  What makes people cling to the past so much?  Happy moments of past and regrets in present to say the least often make people wish badly if they could just once walk down the memory lane and relive & cherish and change the course of incidents if possible.

And I am no exception.  I want to enjoy my childhood once again with my siblings, wish badly to be in school once again with my best pals, seek blessings of my revered teachers, pursue my hobbies more rigorously, be with my father when he needed me, take up science instead of commerce that could have helped me land in a job at this moment 😁😁 and I regret that decision till this date.  Many more regrets and joys!  Don’t worry, not going to list every minute detail lest it will be damn boring for you all 😉.

But two incidents, one from distant past and the other from recent past that still linger on my mind,  while conscience always questions me – Why you were silent then? At this moment while mentioning about them I am imagining myself in those situations as a person who did something in her capacity that could have made at least a trivial change, but a change nevertheless:

  • I was in college (2003), boarded a bus back to home.  Three men boarded the same bus.  The bus was already crowded. They stood next to me.  Far from being decent or civilised as they looked and sounded, asked me about a particular destination and when I answered them, they started making fun of me.  I was numb.  Not a word uttered.  And I was not the only one they were taking digs at, they poked few more people in an obnoxious manner.  But everyone was silent till they got down. And “Everyone” included me too and that’s my REGRET.
  • When I was in India this year, enjoying my vacations I witnessed a horrific incident of child abduction. As I was leaving a market premise along with my brother, his wife and my daughter we saw a Banjara (nomad) lady handing over a kid to a man who was waiting on a scooter.  At the very first sight it was clear that that the child doesn’t belong to her and our doubts were more less confirmed when we saw the number plate of the vehicle. It was blank for obvious reasons.  It all happened in a fraction of seconds and I was left pondering over ” shall I confront them”, ” shall I alert the police patrol team in that area”.  But alas I just kept thinking instead of initiating the action and that’s my REGRET.

I am sure we all have such regrets in our lives where a small voice made might have been heard, a petty action taken might have made the difference and our sheer incapacity or inaction forced the world trend the improper ways it is already on. Think about it! Well that brings to my mind one my friend’s important quote:

FB Caption Championship -6

(A Candles Online Property)

We are living in times when our silence is taken as our acceptance, our decency is taken as our incapacity or weakness, our inaction is a registered Yes and encouragement to the wrongdoers.  We are living in times where a concrete demarcation is necessary between “Apparently ” and “Certainly ” for people to understand ” Clearly“.  Hence it is important to Act for what you believe and avoid Regrets and your journey to old memory lanes should be a joyful ride 😊.

Appearance Can Be Deceptive


Originally posted on Candles Online:

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Earthworms – Ketchuain (Hindi), Vaanapaamulu (Telugu), we used to call them. Have seen a lot of them during my childhood and their sticky, slippery, slender structure sent jitters and made me go Ewwww 😖. I have a few memories too associated with them.  My mother used to compare noodles (not the instant ones) to earthworms, especially when we used to demand during the rainy season. Creepy isn’t it? And when we kids used to spot them in parks we used to huddle around them just to ascertain the direction they were moving – coming or going 🤣🤣. Their bodies are such.

That was some nostalgia. Nostalgia because now it seems as ages have passed when I last saw them.  Not enough time for me to spend outside as well as no more open spaces available for them to thrive (at least in my knowledge). Connect the dots please 😁. So when the weekly topic was tossed I thought why not remember “Earthworms” in this week dedicated to “Creepy,Crawley creatures”.

Some Wikipedia Information as to what are Earthworms:

An earthworm is a tube-shaped, segmented wormfound in the phylum Annelida. They have a world-wide distribution and are commonly found living in soil, feeding on live and dead organic matter. An earthworm’s digestive system runs through the length of its body. It conducts respiration through its skin. It has a double transport system composed of coelomic fluid that moves within the fluid-filled coelom and a simple, closed blood circulatory system. It has a central and a peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of two ganglia above the mouth, one on either side, connected to a nerve cord running back along its length to motor neurons and sensory cells in each segment. Large numbers of chemoreceptors are concentrated near its mouth. Circumferential and longitudinal muscles on the periphery of each segment enable the worm to move. Similar sets of muscles line the gut, and their actions move the digesting food toward the worm’s anus.[1]

Earthworms are hermaphrodites: each individual carries both male and female sex organs. As invertebrates, they lack either an internal skeleton or exoskeleton, but maintain their structure with fluid-filled coelom chambers that function as a hydrostatic skeleton.”

(Source: Google.Inc)

That was some basic information, anatomy you can say.  Now coming to the point that out of innumerable tiny little creatures what made me choose this literally two-dimensional reptile – my choice was simple considering the amount of good they do for the ecosystem, in short for us.

  • Earthworms help improve the drainage system of soil. When they burrow deep into the soil, they aerate the soil thus helping it to retain more water and hence enriching it.
  • Earthworms eat the dried up leaves, dead roots and break down the organic matter leaving behind the casts that work as natural fertilizers for the soil.   They are rich in minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium. They are farm friendly, to say the least.
  • Their digestive juices and even dead bodies are a rich compost for the soil.

That was a bird’s eye view of what enormous amount of good these tiny creatures do. And I hope there’s no need to explain how soil is related to plants and farm and how they, in turn, are related to the balance of the ecosystem.  Basic science folks that we all have learned in school 😁😁.

What Earthworms have taught me? Looks are not at all in relation to the good qualities and character embedded inside – this was basic and cliched but a truth nevertheless.  Well, that reminds me of one particular incident where I misjudged and feared a person, though just for a few seconds but I am guilty, no shame in accepting that. As I have already mentioned so many times in the past that my son is autistic and meltdowns are our daily visitors. I was out with him along with my daughter in a crowded area. And BAAM, meltdown knocked my son and he was lying down on road throwing his legs and hands here and there, not letting me get a hold of him and was very aggressive.  People were watching me, crossing by me, few stopped to inquire as well but no one lent a helping hand. And I was perplexed and perspiring. A homeless man, with his rugged dirty clothes, a beer can in hand, unkempt hair and nails, all sorts of tacky accessories all over him, swaying to the music walked up to me. I was apprehensive now “Why he is walking towards me?“. I just held my daughter, stood close to my son trying to relax at that moment. But it didn’t take me long to realize that he only meant to help me. He spoke to my son, caressed his hair, his presence calmed down the little one and he stood up and agreed to walk with me again.  I thanked him and left but this incident never left my mind. Appearances can be deceptive, period!

Parallels to be drawn: I always found earthworms repulsive for the way they looked – sticky and creepy, but that’s just the way they LOOK, meanwhile doing so much good for others in their short lifespan. In the same way, I  feared that man solely based on the way he LOOKED but he did come forward to help me. The flaw lies within me, simple.

For me, it’s more clear now – Appearance Can Be Deceptive. Think beyond that. And in the meantime let the earthworms grow 😊.