“Just Thinking”

A Book by one of the dear friends, I got from blogosphere, Mr. Colin Chappell. This book is a collection of poems by him and few others.

The little blurb on the cover exactly summarises about the book, while the image on the cover sets the tone for the book.. Pleasing to view, Comforting the soul and a beauty to cherish!

The book is a very short read, if you want to finish in a single siting. But it is best enjoyed, when read one at a time and pondered upon, as each of them provokes something inside.. To emote, to inspire, to laugh and sometimes create a new post!

The book is divided into Five Parts.
Part 1 -My friend Ray: It talks about thoughts that influenced the life of Ray just as Ray influenced the life of Colin!
Part 2 – Relationships: Every reader could find some connection with at least one of them. This section is a fine example of how our personal life impacts turn out to beautiful creation.
Part 3 – Life’s Journey: The largest collection of poetry falls within this section and the prelude to the section explains / justifies why very aptly!
Part 4 – Tina and other stories: This is where stories unfold as poetry. And the stories are rich!
Part 5 – Just thinking: This is a collection of random poetry, which are not falling into any of the previous categories..

When I received the book and skimmed through the titles, indeed I was drawn to the “Ripples” and I was astounded for that conveyed my exactly thoughts on why I named my blog as Ripples.

And the poem that became a favorite of mine in the collection is, “The Old man’s lament“. For this one was beautifully inspiring to start living the life right now, or lament later. It is so practical and doesn’t exclude the base of our necessity to be a social being as well as the necessity to live for one self!

There are few written by his daughter, Melanie-Anne Chappell, Dr. Phoebe Chi and Carolyn Shelton. There is some invisible thread tying those poems into the book, very much in sync with the tone and theme of the book. Especially “The Toque (Knitted Hat)! “ by Melanie and “I’m sorry I couldn’t do more” by Dr. Phoebe had a lasting impression on me.

There is an important feature laced all through the book. The poems (not all) starts with a short (or sometimes a page-length) note. It is more like setting the stage for the show. For those notes play a vital role in setting the context. As it eases understanding them on the first read and doesn’t leave any space for misinterpretation by reader, from the perspective of writer.

I have always pondered whether my writing is ever understood, the way I conceived it?! And this seems to be the best solution for that. I might be trying it in the future! Thanks for the idea!

As for acknowledgements, which was at the end of the book, I read it last and was most surprised! For Colin has included me in it, as my Header Image in the past was an inspiration for his poem, Ripples.

The joy of seeing my name in print, along with a very clear understanding of the idea behind it was one of the personal favorite moment of my life. Thank you Colin, for the understanding and the joy you created in me!

The book is a real treasure to ponder upon various facets of life and provides a good meal to the hungry of the mind!

Do grab your copy of the book is available here!

I

I am the centre of my universe,
I am a tiny speck in the universe…

I drown in guilt with deadlines,
I procrastinate like no other…

I live here in the present,
I lose myself in memories…

I believe life is beautiful,
I dread waking up in morning…

I wonder what next,
I wander into past…

I am just a caterpillar,
I am the exquisite butterfly…

I wake up earlier somedays,
I sleep in till noon at times…

I am so organised with few,
I am most chaotic at many…

I dish out counsel, as if I conquered life,
I break down and dread to pick up myself…

I laugh louder with not a care,
I cry harder when it’s needed too…

I am an introvert to speak to others,
I am an extrovert to explore places…

I chatter incessantly to few,
I measure my words as few…

I am an explosion that brightens the sky,
I bury my head like an ostrich in earth…

I am just like you,
I am as unique as you..

I am many parts of one,
I am more than sum of my parts!

I am an oxymoron!
I am an epitome!

Heights!

Do you know the queasy feeling when you look down from a high building / place?

I used to have that! Very often.. And what you define as high is highly different for me.. Because to me looking down from the first floor will give me that wretched feel..

And in my days in school, we would often visit my grandparents on the weekends, which was a very short ride on bus, but stretching over, a small bridge, just about 200 mtrs or so. And every single time I would wrangle my mother’s hand, in the name of holding her hand!

This continued for so long until few years back.. And in the years before, our vacation will mostly be to hill stations. Guess who suggests those places.. Still me.

Though I have never cared for the adrenaline rush of any activity, I still prefer the mild coldness in the hills in contrast to the scorching heat of our place. And so yes, I will go on a whole trip enjoying the growing side of mountain rather than the steep downside.

I was scared of the heights of Ooty and Kodaikanal, until I visited Manali, Shimla and Auli. The view all through was snow clad mountains as far as you could see. The roads were narrow and right next to the road flows the Ganges, few kms down the hill. But now I was not afraid, as I was mesmerised by the ethereal beauty, which can never be bound by words.

That was a true heavenly sight to behold and an experience to nourish for life. For not everyone realises the exact moment they let go of their fear. And that feel gives a better mushy feel! 😉

Good Night or Good Knight?!

There is a secret handshake or something unique, each kid creates when they are young, and few sustain the time and others are lost. Those lost memories, when revived add a smile to the self and sometimes may earn the awkward reaction, from the listener.

My mother tongue is Tamizh, a language which doesn’t have the concept of ‘silent’ characters as much as English. And for a kid starting to spell the words, that is a bit complicated concept to grasp. One such complicated word for me was “Knight”. The word was introduced by the brand name “Good Knight”, the mosquito coil, before it was introduced to me by school.

So on that day of introduction, at night, I said, “Good Knight.”
But how do you differentiate between the night and knight, while saying it out aloud?
Hence, Good night was followed by “Gooduk night” (Yeah, that’s how the toddler me pronounced it!)

And from then on the following became my father’s and my Good night routine.

Good Night
Gooduk Night
GK
GN

And for years it was exchanged daily and with time it was forgotten, until my sister was in school. And by then, she knew how to pronounce “Knight” and lots more. Also, we have changed the brand of our mosquito repellent to “All Out”

So when we narrated this story, she asked why stop with one brand and created a new big series for exchange and she tells them in the same order every single time without any interchange. The List grew into…

Good Night
Gooduk Night
GK
GN
Good Knight
All Out
Mortein
Martin Cooper
Albert Einstein
Issac Newton
GOOD NIGHT

Wondering from where did all those people come? Or have you guessed it rightly that was the day, she learnt the name of those scientists and she started linking with the phonetics of Mortein-Martin…

And thus Newton and Einstein came into our everyday lives! Who would have guessed.. 😉

Spare a minute?

I would like to know what do you like to read more from me. Can you please spare a minute to vote on this poll?

For the First time in Forever..

We were living in a concrete jungle, popularly known as apartments. There were many kids to hang out with and the terrace is always under lock due to us. They said it’s for our safety. One day, one of the wooden door bucked under climatic influences. And that’s when a new horizon opened to us, literally.

We, the gang, were school going kids, in a generation, when the kids aren’t actually burdened with too much of schoolwork and parents let their kids play along with others. It was those golden days, when we would play till we are drenched in sweat, our tummies ache with laughter, air is filled with happiness, our cheerfulness an inherent identity of the neighbourhood.

Though we have played our hearts out on the ground, the information that the door was cracked open, invited to explore us more. And the opening was good enough for us, the kids to get in, but very hard for grownups to follow us in there. And of course, it became our secret spot for playing.

We were playing there and it was on one of those days that we happened to stop our games, just to enjoy a moment around us, when the sky was painted with the myriad of colors of the sunset. So far, sunset only meant that it was time to end or games and return home. Now it was a whole different thing.

We started noticing it when the Sun takes a glorious shade of light yellow, bordering orange and we stood near the outer wall and silently watched as it turned into all those shades before it buried itself into the outlines of what lied ahead. And we continued to watch in silence, till the sky has lost its lighter color and started to darken. It was a wonderful moment and all of us fell for it. And we kept returning to the terrace simply for that moment.

Like all good times, it too came to an end, when one day one of our parent started searching for us and with all the usual ruckus around getting caught, we were forbidden to the terrace and the view of sunset wasn’t the same when watched from ground of a concrete jungle.

But I am smitten forever with sunsets and the golden hour forever. And I still watch the sunsets with the same curiosity and wonder we had then..(and at times I get stared at for being so curious over sunset :/ )

Do you remember the first time you stood memserised by the magical colors of that golden hour?

Everlasting friendship..

It’s said that if a friendship survives for seven years, it will last a lifetime.

Yes, it’s true for me.

Our friendship started when we were seven and now we are decades stronger.

How it started?

When I moved to a new neighborhood in apartments. Contests were being held as part of their annual celebrations and there is only one competitor for mein every contestI entered into. In later years, we teamed up and the association always got very similar prizes for both of us, irrespective of the first and second places we would get.

Also, we were mostly considered twins, due to our facial similarities and also the way we were always found together almost at all times, despite attending different schools.

How did it survive?

After five wonderful years, we had to shift and it was the first time, I experienced the pain of parting ways. It was the time when telephone digits were just three or four and existed only in certain offices and such.

But the pen pals were in rage, by then. And yes, we wrote to each other occasionally and shared few cards, though the times we remembered each other were much more than that.

Later, we connected over phone after years, and the teenage years went busy in our own separate ways. When we met again after almost a decade, nothing much has changed between us and now the technology keeps us connected!

Our story together alone could take up much space and few of them might be coming up in this series.

How about sharing your longest friendship story?