The start...or the end?

Author: Rifka Bose /

With only a few days left for the new year, i keep thinking of this one quote i read somewhere "Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account."

Why is it that we wait for the new year to make a new resolution? How are we so sure that this is a new beginning, can it not be the end?
As i look back on this year, i realise how swiftly time has passed. Even though there were ups and downs, it's a great solace to know that come what may, time will move swiftly.

Whether its the start or the end, it will move, for time is the only constant clock that keeps ticking and won't stop of anything or anyone.

Listen to your heart

Author: Rifka Bose /


Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights…

Kahlil Gibran said that, and he was right. Listen, therefore, to your heart. Cultivate the ability to do this. Practice it. Produce it. Perfect it.

It is not that difficult. Just be quiet with yourself. And for heaven's sake, stop listening to your mind. You will not find the truth there. You may find the answer, but it will not be the truth unless it coincides with the answer in your heart.

You think there is more to know about life than this, but there is not. Your heart holds the key. Your heart holds the wisdom. Your heart holds the future. Your mind knows nothing but the past. It imagines the future will be just like yesterday, so it makes it decisions based on that. Only your heart can see beyond memory's horizon.

This sounds quite easy but is one of the toughest things to do. The constant conflict between the heart and mind has been one of my greatest concerns, but I know if I keep at it, I will come through and be able to hear that little voice, loud and clear.

An Uphill Task

Author: Rifka Bose /

I have always wanted to go trekking but somehow never got down to doing it. Caught up in the usual humdrum of life and a list of never ending chores!

Finally, i made it to the fort i have been meaning to trek for ages... Lohgad. This fort is still intact and was built about 2500 years ago! Now which builder would give us that kind of a guarantee!!

The whole experience of walking through the rambling hills, lush green all around, wild flowers bouncing in the breeze, each one telling its own story and of course, the scorpion’s tail standing tall at a distance.

The scorpion’s tail also known as Vinchukata is a significant part of the fort. The 360 degree view from here is breathtaking where one can see the Pavana on one side and the Indrayani on the other.

However, from the base of the village, where i was at, it seemed like a herculean task and i wondered if i would really make it up there, 3500 ft high!!

But guess what, I did. A feat accomplished. Something I thought I’d never be able to do. So i guess the moral of the story is to always push yourself beyond that threshold point and surprise yourself, like i did.

"Invictus"

Author: Rifka Bose /

A poem that has become a part of my special repository – Invictus

"Invictus" is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley which he wrote from a hospital bed. It is truly inspiring and knocks sense back in to me each time I stumble.

Here goes:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul
.


The last two lines of poem, sum it all for me - I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

Yet why is it that one allows petty thoughts, emotions, difficult and trying situations, to get the better of us?

For if we truly are the masters of our fate, then no one, has the right to clean our slate!

Memories

Author: Rifka Bose /

Memories are ideally supposed to be positive happy thoughts that one tucks away in the pockets of one’s brain and comes back too as a pleasant feeling when we come across things that make us peek-a-boo into those very pockets.

However, what does one do with the bad negative ones? Can we not dig them 6 feet under and hope that they would fade away in time? That awful feeling of the ears turning warm, feet going cold, tummy curling and the heart racing 200 miles per hour!

If only, one could carve out those memories and toss it in the deep blue ocean hoping it doesn’t find its way back some day through the wash of the waves....if only...

En Route

Author: Rifka Bose /

It was her birthday and she really wanted to visit the Sai Baba Temple at Alandi. So I decided to leave work early and take her in the car. Another friend also came along. While we were driving down the Alandi road, i see this small black scrap in the middle of the road. It looked like a curled piece of tyre. As i drove closer, i noticed it was a small black pup that had just been hit!

I slammed the breaks. I could see its little heart beating and its eyes twitching. The three of us sprang out of the car. By then a villager walking by had picked up the pup and lay him down on the side of the road. The little pups brothers and sisters were running about not knowing what had happened. I also saw this big brown dog barking away. I wish I understood doggy language! I am sure he had some story to tell!

The sight was so pathetic. That poor little might fighting its last breath. How i hate being in such a situation where one feels so helpless not knowing how to relieve this poor little mite of it pain.

I frantically made calls to a few people I knew. My vet said we could save him and to rush him as soon as possible to him. So we wrapped him up in a scrap of cloth and placed him in the car. I drove like a bat out of hell but as luck would have it I had all the traffic snarls and jams en route. Swearing, cussing, and blaring the horn was all I could do but do you think it made any difference?

What does one do in such a situation where you know both life and time is running out at the same time? It’s really sad and pathetic. I guess the shot from 3 Idiots makes sense now. We need one chap in front of the car moving the ‘heartless machines’ if i may call them, aside and another captain steering through the tumultuous waves of traffic. How much help that would be too is a question mark as we live in a country where people follow an ambulance thinking they will get past traffic faster!

Anyways, we got past all of that hoping and praying we make it in time. We reached the clinic and dashed in with the pup. Alas! We had lost him. The sadness i felt reduced me to tears even now. There lay this lifeless pup on the doctor’s table. Though somehow with a look of peace on his face. I guess the pain had finally ended and he was released.

However, my emotional tsunami was not yet over. The next question was, what do we do with the body of this little pup? So once again, we started making calls. I called an animal hospital, the Blue Cross, hoping for some help. However, i as told that they don’t know what to do with dead animals. I was told to take the “carcass” and dump it in a bin where other dead animals were dumped!!!
I was appalled, shocked and deeply hurt. I could not just throw that pup into a dustbin!!

The three of us racked our brains and decide to bury the pup ourselves. We bought loads of salt and went hunting for a shovel. Somehow we got everything with great ease and even found the perfect spot to bury the pup.

So there we were three women, a shovel and this little pup. Another friend joined and helped us dig the pit where we lay this little lifeless creature.
We all felt sad but also relived that we were able to give this little might a proper send off. The brighter side to it is that if he lived, he would have maybe had some kind of deformity which no one would have understood. He would have had to struggle for survival. As harsh as this sounds, i guess death was the best gift to him.

This day will always be a memorable one as i learned and experienced so many things about life and people around me!

Thunder

Author: Rifka Bose /

Boom…crash…and the lights go out...I almost sprang out of my chair!

Is it the generator or the final revolt of the rain gods, venting out its fury to this outrageous heat?

Well, the latter is what it is…I heard it again.

I look out to see the trees prancing in the wind, while the wind blows various sounds, some quite eerie I might say; more like ghosts telling me their evening itinerary.

However, the sweet fragrance of wet soil surrounds me and I look up to see the dark grey Nimbus clouds swaying by.

It’s here....i can sense the monsoons on hand!

How I love this time of the year where all the trees and plants get their annual bath and glisten in the morning sun. This sudden burst of new colour is so pleasing to the eyes.

I guess all the prayers to the rain Gods have worked :)

Premonition

Author: Rifka Bose /

Why is it that there is more than meets the eye; why do i feel that something is amiss..
Is it just me or something I don't see...

The underlying sensation that whirls in my tummy, makes me think and wonder, is it a foreboding of troubled waters or a germ in my tummy...

Why this restlessness and uneasiness...i hate these premonitions, why don't they just go away and leave me to my loneliness.

Comfortably Numb

Author: Rifka Bose /

This feeling of numbness surrounds every cell of my body. Is it a good or bad thing?
There seems to be a sense of comfort in this listlessness. Being oblivious to emotions, sentiments and feelings is a good escape route but how long can one escape from oneself?

It’s these very feelings and emotions that make each one of us unique individuals.

But if I feel numb, I don’t feel anymore, and if I don’t feel then how do I feel numb? The “feeling” still exists; I should feel nothing at all, shouldn’t I?

Could being numb be equated to being dead? If so am i comfortably dead then?

1st of April

Author: Rifka Bose /

The first of April or all fools day as known world over is day to pull a fast one on all your friends and dear ones.

Some say that this day had its origin when Noah sent his dove off too early, before the waters had receded. It was the first day of the Hebrew month that corresponds with April. There are different takes for this day.

However, for me, this day holds a very special meaning for it’s the birthday of a very special person in my life... someone whom i love more than anything else in this big wide world...my grandfather...

I was the apple of his eye and he the center of my little world. The moments we shared will be etched in my memory forever...be it the walks with him down Dhondy Road with the loony dogs, spotting the guavas together on the tree, running to the pump house to turn the water on, swinging on his lungi, climbing all over him like he were Mount Everest, or just sitting and listening to his stories of the war and army...

I will always miss my grizzly bear. Happy Birthday Dada :)

NOW

Author: Rifka Bose /

"Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have; so spend it wisely."

Every word in this quote is so true...we only have NOW, this moment. Are we doing justice to the NOW?

We are already 4 months into 2010, and another month, another day, another hour will go by, but what are we doing about the now? Are we making the NOW a memory we can treasure forever or are we letting the moments pass by like drops of water in an ocean...

Love...

Author: Rifka Bose /

One of my all time favorite quotes:
"Across the gateway of heart, i wrote "No thoroughfare"...
But love came passing by and cried..."I enter everywhere".

Love is such a complicated emotion and yet such a simple one. This one emotion pushes you to highs and lows you would never experience otherwise. You can feel like the king or queen of the world or a lone pauper on the streets...

There is no escape from this feeling...

What lies ahead

Author: Rifka Bose /

The stillness and darkness of the night...the flickering lamp light....and no one in sight...

The solitude embraces me...

I am aware that I am unaware of what lies ahead but yet i traverse..
Is being aware of being unaware a conscious choice one makes? Why does one want to take that plunge not knowing where one will land...or does one intrinsically know what the outcome will be...

Relationships

Author: Rifka Bose /

Relationships are like Rome.
Difficult to start out,
incredible during the prosperity of the ‘Golden Age’,
and unbearable during the fall.

Then, a new kingdom will come along
and the whole process will repeat itself
until you come across a kingdom like Egypt…
that thrives, and continues to flourish.
This kingdom will become your best friend, your soul mate, and your love.

---- Helen Adams Keller

Train Journey

Author: Rifka Bose /


I love this poem “From a railway carriage” by Robert Louis Stevenson. It a part of A Child's Garden of Verses.

Here goes:

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging alone like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river;
Each a glimpse and gone for ever.


This poem brings back old memories of my train journeys to the farm to see my grandparents. The only holiday destination I ever knew existed. How I would long to get on that bogie and start ordering my cheese toast and hot chocolate. However, I must admit, it never ever stopped at that, there always room for more in that little tummy. It’s weird how the appetite seems to increase two fold while travelling, mine sure did. I had to have my hands full and my mouth moving while gazing out of that big train window. Big black round eyes, peering out hoping to catch a glimpse of something new, how naive was i. Though it was the same old the route and even the bogie most of the times, the thrill of sitting by the window was an emotion indescribable.
Those fleeting moments that i captured all formed the base of my little stories that i had to tell my granddad, who i so eagerly awaited to see at the farm.

Oh those train journeys...i’d do anything to go back there again...