Saturday, December 26, 2009

To a stranger

ASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

- Walt Whitman

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Food for thought..

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.

-Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Song of the Open Road

"Image : A little Earth by Neha"

AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

The earth—that is sufficient;
I do not want the constellations any nearer;
I know they are very well where they are;
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens;
I carry them, men and women—I carry them with me wherever I go;
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them;
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

2
You road I enter upon and look around! I believe you are not all that is here;
I believe that much unseen is also here.

Here the profound lesson of reception, neither preference or denial;
The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person, are not
denied;

The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar’s tramp, the drunkard’s stagger,
the laughing party of mechanics,
The escaped youth, the rich person’s carriage, the fop, the eloping couple,
The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back
from the town,
They pass—I also pass—anything passes—none can be interdicted;
None but are accepted—none but are dear to me.

3
You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings, and give them shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I think you are latent with unseen existences—you are so dear to me.

You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!
You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides! you distant ships!
You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d facades! you roofs!
You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!
From all that has been near you, I believe you have imparted to yourselves, and now would
impart the
same secretly to me;
From the living and the dead I think you have peopled your impassive surfaces, and the
spirits thereof would be evident and amicable with me.


4
The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road—the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

O highway I travel! O public road! do you say to me, Do not leave me?
Do you say, Venture not? If you leave me, you are lost?
Do you say, I am already prepared—I am well-beaten and undenied—adhere to me?

O public road! I say back, I am not afraid to leave you—yet I love you;
You express me better than I can express myself;
You shall be more to me than my poem.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all great poems also;
I think I could stop here myself, and do miracles;
(My judgments, thoughts, I henceforth try by the open air, the road;)
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like
me;
I think whoever I see must be happy.

5
From this hour, freedom!
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

I inhale great draughts of space;
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought;
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me;
I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me, I would do the same to
you.


I will recruit for myself and you as I go;
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go;
I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them;
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.

6
Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear, it would not amaze me;
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d, it would not astonish me.

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Here a great personal deed has room;
A great deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,
Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law, and mocks all authority and all argument
against
it.

Here is the test of wisdom;
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools;
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it, to another not having it;
Wisdom is of the Soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities, and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the Soul.

Now I reëxamine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds, and
along thelandscape and flowing currents.

Here is realization;
Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him;
The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

Only the kernel of every object nourishes;
Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?
Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

Here is adhesiveness—it is not previously fashion’d—it is apropos;
Do you know what it is, as you pass, to be loved by strangers?
Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?

7
Here is the efflux of the Soul;
The efflux of the Soul comes from within, through embower’d gates, ever provoking
questions:
These yearnings, why are they? These thoughts in the darkness, why are they?
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me, the sun-light expands my blood?
Why, when they leave me, do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?
Why are there trees I never walk under, but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees, and always drop fruit as I
pass;)
What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver, as I ride on the seat by his side?
What with some fisherman, drawing his seine by the shore, as I walk by, and pause?
What gives me to be free to a woman’s or man’s good-will? What gives them to be free to
mine?

8
The efflux of the Soul is happiness—here is happiness;
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times;
Now it flows unto us—we are rightly charged.

Here rises the fluid and attaching character;
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman;
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of
themselves,
than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old;
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments;
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.

9
Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me!
Traveling with me, you find what never tires.

The earth never tires;
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first—Nature is rude and incomprehensible
at
first;

Be not discouraged—keep on—there are divine things, well envelop’d;
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

Allons! we must not stop here!
However sweet these laid-up stores—however convenient this dwelling, we cannot remain
here;
However shelter’d this port, and however calm these waters, we must not anchor here;
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us, we are permitted to receive it but a
little
while.

10
Allons! the inducements shall be greater;
We will sail pathless and wild seas;
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.


Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements!
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;
Allons! from all formules!
From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests!

The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer.

Allons! yet take warning!
He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance;
None may come to the trial, till he or she bring courage and health.

Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself;
Only those may come, who come in sweet and determin’d bodies;
No diseas’d person—no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted here.

I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes;
We convince by our presence.

11
Listen! I will be honest with you;
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;
These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d—you hardly settle yourself to
satisfaction, before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you;
What beckonings of love you receive, you shall only answer with passionate kisses of
parting,
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.

12
Allons! after the GREAT COMPANIONS! and to belong to them!
They too are on the road! they are the swift and majestic men; they are the greatest
women.
Over that which hinder’d them—over that which retarded—passing impediments large or small,

Committers of crimes, committers of many beautiful virtues,
Enjoyers of calms of seas, and storms of seas,
Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,
Habitués of many distant countries, habitués of far-distant dwellings,
Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,
Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,
Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of
children,

Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers down of coffins,
Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years—the curious years, each emerging from
that
which preceded it,
Journeyers as with companions, namely, their own diverse phases,
Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,
Journeyers gayly with their own youth—Journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d
manhood,
Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d, content,
Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,
Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,
Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.

13
Allons! to that which is endless, as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys;
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you—however long, but it
stretches
and
waits for you;
To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
To see no possession but you may possess it—enjoying all without labor or
purchase—abstracting
the feast, yet not abstracting one particle of it;
To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa, and the chaste
blessings
of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them—to gather the love
out of
their hearts,
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,
To know the universe itself as a road—as many roads—as roads for traveling souls.

14
The Soul travels;
The body does not travel as much as the soul;
The body has just as great a work as the soul, and parts away at last for the journeys of
the
soul.


All parts away for the progress of souls;
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments,—all that was or is apparent upon this
globe
or
any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of Souls along the grand
roads
of
the
universe.

Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all
other
progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.

Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go;
But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great.

15
Allons! whoever you are! come forth!
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though
it
has
been built for you.

Allons! out of the dark confinement!
It is useless to protest—I know all, and expose it.

Behold, through you as bad as the rest,
Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,
Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash’d and trimm’d faces,
Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.

No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession;
Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,
In the cars of rail-roads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,
Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bed-room, everywhere,
Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones, hell
under
the
skull-bones,
Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers,
Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself,
Speaking of anything else, but never of itself.

16
Allons! through struggles and wars!
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.

Have the past struggles succeeded?
What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? nature?
Now understand me well—It is provided in the essence of things, that from any fruition of
success,
no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

My call is the call of battle—I nourish active rebellion;
He going with me must go well arm’d;
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions.

17
Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well.

Allons! be not detain’d!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge
expound
the
law.

Mon enfant! I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

- Walt Whitman

A Silly Poem

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

- Spike Milligan

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mystic and the Mysterious

Said the mystic
to the mysterious
your secret
dear mystery
I know.

So easy to grasp,
yet not seen by most
like magic which
touches everyone
I know.

Beyond isms
lies what simply is
surreal earthy
surprising surefire
I know.

-Neha


Woh subah kabhi to aayegee


" Image : Vision by Neha"

Woh Subah Kabhi To Aayegi ( that morning will come sometime)
Woh Subah Kabhi To Aayegi (
that morning will come sometime)

In Kaali Sadiyon Ke Sar Se (
after all these dark ages)
Jab Raat Ka Aanchal Dhalkega (
when shadow of night will pass)
Jab Dukh Ke Badal Pighalenge (
when the clouds of sadness will melt)
Jab Sukh Ka Sagar Chhalkega (
when ocean of happiness will flow)
Jab Ambar Jhoom Ke Nachega (
when sky will do a rain dance)
Jab Dharti Nagme Gaayegi (
when earth will sing songs )
Woh Subah Kabhi ...

Jis Subah Ki Khatir Yug Yug Se (
the morning for which since many epochs)
Hum Sab Mar Mar Kar Bhi Jeete Hain (
we all have been sacrificing )
Jis Subah Ke Amrit Ki Dhun Mein (
the morning for whose sweet music)
Hum Zehar Ke Pyaale Peete Hain (
we bear all the hardships )
In Bhooki Pyaasi Roohoan Par ( on
these hungry and thirsty souls)
Ek Din To Karam Farmayegi (
one day that morning will shine)
Woh Subah Kabhi...

Mana ki abhi terey merey (
our dreams might not be valued by the world)
Armaanon Ki Keemat Kuchh Bhi Nahin
Mitti Ka Bhi Hai Kuchh Mol Magar (
where mud also has a value)
Insaanon Ki Keemat Kuchh Bhi Nahin (
but human life is not valued sometimes )
Insaanon Ki Izzat Jab Jhoote (
when the value of human dignity )
Sikkon Mein Na Toli Jayegi (
will not be measured in money)
Woh Subah Kabhi...

Daulat Ke Liye Jab Aurat Ki (
when for money)
Asmat Bechi Na Jayegi (
woman's respect won't be sold)
Chaahat Ko Na Kuchla Jayega (
love will not be suppressed)
Gairat ko Na Becha Jayega (
humility will not be sold)
Apni Kaaley Kartuton Par (
when for its wrong doings )
Jab Yeh Duniya Sharmayegi (
the world will be embarrassed)
Woh Subah Kabhi...

Beetenge Kabhi To Din Aakhir (
such days will pass)
Yeh Bhook Ke Aur Bekaari Ke ( such days of hunger and unemployment)
Tootenge Kabhi To But Aakhir ( some days such false idols will break)
Daulat Ki Ijaradaari Ke (
when money is worshipped)
Jab Ek Anokhi Duniya Ki (
when for a new wonderful world)
Buniyaad Uthayi Jayegi (
a foundation will be laid)
Woh Subah Kabhi...

Majboor Budhapa Jab Sooni (
when helpless old age)
Rahon Ki Dhool Na Phekega (
will not be struggling on dusty roads)
Masoom Ladakpan Jab Gandi (
when innocent childhood)
Galiyon Mein Bheekh Na Maangega ( w
on't have to beg on dirty streets)
Hum Mangne Walo Ko Jis Din (
when the ones who demand this vision)
Sooli Na Dikhayi Jayegi (
will not be sacrificed)
Woh Subah Kabhi...

Faankon Ki Chitaon Par Jis Din
Insaan Jalaye Jayenge
Seene Ke Dehakte Dozakh Mein
Armaan Jalaye Jayenge
Yahan Nark Se Gandi Duniya
Jab Swarg Banai Jayegi (
when there will be heaven on this earth)
Woh Subah Kabhi...

Jab Dharti Karvat Badlegi (
when earth will turn its course)
Jab Qaid Se Qaidi Chhootenge (
when from such bondage we will be freed)
Jab Paap Ke Gharonde Phootenge (
when there will be no wrong)
Jab Zulm Ke Badal Chhootenge (
when clouds of oppression will pass)
Us Subah Ko Hum Hi Layenge (
that morning we will bring)
Woh Subah Hum Hi Se Aayegi (
such morning can come only with our efforts)

Manhoos Samaj Ke Dhache Mein
Jab Zulm Na Paale Jayenge
Jab Haath Na Kaate Jayenge
Jab Sar Na Uchhale Jaayenge
Maelon Ke Bina Jab Duniya Ki
Sarkar Chalayi Jayegi
Woh Subah Hum Hi Se Aayegi

Sansar Ke Saare Mehnat Kash
Kheton Se Millon Se Niklenge
Beghar Beghar Insaan Sabhi
Tareeq Dilon Se Niklenge
Duniya Aur Khushali Ke (
a much more happy world)
Phoolon Se Sajayi Jayegi (
will be decorated with flowers)
Woh Subah Hum Hi Se Aayegi (
such morning can come only with our efforts)


- This lovely song is from the hindi movie " Phir subah hogi "(meaning Morning will come again). The song is a vision about a better, more just and more equitable tomorrow for all.

- Listen to this beautiful song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd5pPTcoDSs

* Note: The lyrics of this song will strike a cord with anyone from any part of the globe who dreams of a better future for all. The English translation is not verbatim but tries to capture the spirit of this beautiful composition.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face

Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you'd be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place--
be glad your nose is on your face!

- Jack Prelutsky

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lost and Found

" Image: Jigsaw by Neha"

I looked around
and the search went on ,
Hoping to ask the question
which would have
the true answer.

Hoping to find the question
I looked around
Inside and out
Near and far
and the search went on.

The search went on
till I was lost in a big jigsaw
And in this losing I finally found
The question, the answer
and more than sum of all I ever lost

-Neha

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The cup of your life..

"Image: Beholder by Neha"

Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.
Grant a great dignity, my friend, to the cup of your life;
Love has designed it to hold eternal wine

- Rumi

Generations have passed

" Image : Transient by Neha"

Generations have passed and this is a new generation. The moon is always the same, only the water changes. Justice remains the same justice, learning the same learning, as people and nations change.

Generations have passed; the true meanings stay constant and are eternal. The water in the stream may have changed a million times – the reflection of the moon and stars stays the same.

- Rumi

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Eternal Idea

You may seem to be the microcosm;
In fact, you are the macrocosm.
The branch might seem like the fruit's origin:
In fact, the branch exists because of the fruit.
Would the gardener have planted the tree at all
Without a desire and hope for fruit?
That's why the tree is really born from the fruit
Even if it seems the fruit is created by the tree.
The idea which comes first comes last in realization—
Particularly that idea which is eternal.

- Rumi

Sunday, October 04, 2009

On Intelligence and Marriage


Jeff: No, she's just not the girl for me.
Stella: Yeah, she's only perfect.
Jeff: She's too perfect. She's too talented, she's too beautiful. She's too sophisticated. She's too everything but what I want.
Stella: Is, um, what you want something you can discuss?
Jeff: Well, it's very simple, Stella. She belongs to that rarified atmosphere of Park Avenue, you know. Expensive restaurants, literary cocktail parties...Can you imagine her tramping around the world with a camera bum who never has more than a week's salary in the bank? If she was only ordinary.
Stella: You ever gonna get married?
Jeff: I'll probably get married one of these days, and when I do, it's gonna be to someone who thinks of life not just as a new dress, and a lobster dinner, the latest scandal. I need a woman who's willing...to go anywhere and do anything and love it. So the honest thing for me to do is just to call the whole thing off and let her find somebody else.
Stella: Yeah, I can hear you now. Get out of my life. You're a perfectly wonderful woman - you're too good for me. Look, Mr. Jefferies, I'm not an educated woman, but I can tell you one thing. When a man and a woman see each other and like each other they ought to come together - wham! Like a couple of taxis on Broadway, not sit around analyzing each other like two specimens in a bottle.
Jeff: There's an intelligent way to approach marriage.
Stella: Intelligence! Nothing has caused the human race so much trouble as intelligence. Hah! Modern marriage!
Jeff: Now we've progressed emotionally.
Stella: Baloney! Once, it was see somebody, get excited, get married. Now, it's read a lot of books, fence with a lot of four-syllable words, psychoanalyze each other until you can't tell the difference between a petting party and a civil service exam.
Jeff: People have different emotional levels.
Stella: When I married Miles, we were both a couple of maladjusted misfits. We are still maladjusted misfits, and we have loved every minute of it.
Jeff: Well, that's fine, Stella. Now would you fix me a sandwich please?
Stella: Yes, I will. And I'll spread a little common sense on the bread. Lisa's loaded to her fingertips with love for you - I got two words of advice for you - Marry her!
Jeff (jokingly): Did she pay you much?

- From " Rear Window" by Alfred Hitchcock Starring James Stewart and Gracy Kelly

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My here, now, forever

A scene by NJ..
( See image information below)

How many times have I taken your name
How many times have you heard my voice

How many moments have I looked in your eyes
How many moments have you met my soul

How many days have I been on the road with you
How many days have you taken me places

How many nights have I danced away with you
How many nights have you picked me from free fall

How many words can tell just how you
Have been, are and will be my here, now and forever

-Neha

Image information: This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nishanthjois/4308754134/sizes/m/in/photostream/

The beauty of things

Image: Garden of life by Neha

Edges and the rounds,
textures and colors
Not speaking but being
such is the beauty of things

Merging with the odds
loving the evens
Root of all squares
such is the beauty of things

Packed, stacked, unpacked
used, reused, recycled
Passing diferent lands and hands
such is the beauty of things

Easy come, easy go
or seldom come but there you go
Play, pause, stop on your way
see the beauty of things

-Neha

Ode to the foot soldiers..

Shoes by heather

Where will the great leaders go
without the nameless followers?

How will the battles be won
without hundreds of unsung heroes?

Who will march up for our glorious rights
without the inglorious masses?

What will the world become
without the foot soldiers ?

-Neha

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Gazing at the Light

"Image: Eternal flame by Neha"


The lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.
So many garish lamps in the dying brain’s lamp-show,
Forget about them.
Concentrate on the essence, concentrate on the Light.
In lucid bliss, calmly smoking off its own holy fire,
The Light streams towards you from all things,
All people, all possible permutations of good, evil, thought, passion.
The lamps are different,
but the Light is the same.
One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind,
Endlessly emanating all things.
One turning and burning diamond,
One, one, one.
Ground yourself, strip yourself down,
To blind loving silence.
Stay there, until you see
You are gazing at the Light
With its own ageless eyes.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I met life..

Image: The token by Neha

Let me tell you a secret
how I met life. I met life.
sometimes on the main pavements
under neon lights,
but then in dark nooks and corners
she said this is also where I stay

Let me tell you a secret.
how I tasted life. I tasted life.
sometimes on the sumptuous plates
filled with hors d'œuvres,
but then in hungry mouths waiting for next meal
she said this is also where I stay

Let me tell you a secret.
how I touched life. I touched life.
sometimes on fine expensive silk
brushing against my skin,
but then in hands roughed by daily toll.
she said this is also where I stay.

Let me tell you a secret
how I smelled life. I smelled life.
sometimes in summer mornings
with smiling daisy and marigold
but then in aftermath of a stormy thunderstorm
she said this is also where I stay.

Let me tell you a secret
how I heard life. I heard life.
sometimes in the bird chirping
by my window to say I'm here,
but then in unsung songs of heroes who silently fly.
she said this is also where I stay

I told life yes I know you now.
I know you now. I feel you now.
Come by my side as you may like
I am here to hold you in my warm caress
Just as you are come by my side.

- Neha

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It just came to me..

"Image: Pixi dust by Neha"

Silence between the words
Commas between the lines,

Words between the pauses
Loving between the wanting

Islands between the streams
Living between existing

Shimmering between burning
Rising between falling

The poetry came to me
Just as I came to it

-Neha

Every poem doesn't have to rhyme

" Image: Within or without by Neha"

Have you wondered at the endless sky
with its falling stars, sun, moon,
birds and clouds
Endless canvas splashed like a
child's strokes
Some day it rains
Some day is lightening
Some nights are studded
So full of sounds
Some silent as if life had paused.

A distant light
Real or a mirage of eyes
Someone somewhere must be yearning
For the could have should have would have.
Some rushing, some slowing, some just watching
Soft breeze brushing against your skin
Jasmine's fragrance stirring
the very being.
Do you see the beauty of the night
or get stunned by the mystery
in its endless arms,
Is the day scorching or soothing
to your inner voice.

Silence, sounds, light and dark.
Stars, sun, emptiness
firefly, butterfly or some ordinary guise
Embrace it all in your soul
Every poem doesn't have to rhyme
Within or without, life is as is
beauty , splendour , adrenaline or the mundane
Let sun shine or there be endless cloudy sky
Be the eternity and the infinity.Be
when you are not at mercy of any rhyme
you will find a song in every line.

-Neha

Song of Myself

" Image: Eternity by Neha"

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you...

Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now....

Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and
city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss
or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait....

Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain or halt in the leafy shade, what
is that you express in your eyes?
It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life...

What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me,
Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns,
Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me,
Not asking the sky to come down to my good will,
Scattering it freely forever...

These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they
are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next to
nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are
nothing,
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.

This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
This the common air that bathes the globe...

With music strong I come, with my cornets and my drums,
I play not marches for accepted victors only, I play marches for
conquer'd and slain persons.

Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?
I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit
in which they are won.

I beat and pound for the dead,
I blow through my embouchures my loudest and gayest for them.

Vivas to those who have fail'd!
And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea!
And to those themselves who sank in the sea!
And to all generals that lost engagements, and all overcome heroes!
And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes
known!

This is the meal equally set, this the meat for natural hunger,
It is for the wicked just same as the righteous, I make appointments
with all,
I will not have a single person slighted or left away,
The kept-woman, sponger, thief, are hereby invited,
The heavy-lipp'd slave is invited, the venerealee is invited;
There shall be no difference between them and the rest.

exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.

One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten
million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait....

I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul,
The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with
me,
The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate
into new tongue.

I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,
And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,
And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.

I chant the chant of dilation or pride,
We have had ducking and deprecating about enough,
I show that size is only development.

Have you outstript the rest? are you the President?
It is a trifle, they will more than arrive there every one, and
still pass on.

I am he that walks with the tender and growing night,
I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night...

I am not the poet of goodness only, I do not decline to be the poet
of wickedness also.

What blurt is this about virtue and about vice?
Evil propels me and reform of evil propels me, I stand indifferent,
My gait is no fault-finder's or rejecter's gait,
I moisten the roots of all that has grown.

I dote on myself, there is that lot of me and all so luscious,
Each moment and whatever happens thrills me with joy,
I cannot tell how my ankles bend, nor whence the cause of my
faintest wish,
Nor the cause of the friendship I emit, nor the cause of the
friendship I take again.

That I walk up my stoop, I pause to consider if it really be,
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics
of books.

To behold the day-break!
The little light fades the immense and diaphanous shadows,
The air tastes good to my palate.

I know I have the best of time and space, and was never measured and
never will be measured.

I tramp a perpetual journey, (come listen all!)
My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods,
No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair,
I have no chair, no church, no philosophy,
I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange,
But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll,
My left hand hooking you round the waist,
My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road.

Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you,
You must travel it for yourself.

It is not far, it is within reach,
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know,
Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land.

Shoulder your duds dear son, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth,
Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go....

You are also asking me questions and I hear you,
I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself...

have said that the soul is not more than the body,
And I have said that the body is not more than the soul,
And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one's self is,
And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud,
And I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick of the earth,
And to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times,
And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero,
And there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheel'd universe,
And I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes....

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you...

- Walt Whitman

Note: Read the unabridged version of "Song of Myself" at http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/logr/log_026.html

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Revolutionary Road

" Image: Quiet Revolution by Neha"

Joseph Conrad wrote in ‘an anarchist’... “On the whole, my idea is that he was much more of an anarchist than he confessed to me or to himself; and that, the special features of his case apart, he was very much like many other anarchists. Warm heart and weak head--that is the word of the riddle; and it is a fact that the bitterest contradictions and the deadliest conflicts of the world are carried on in every individual breast capable of feeling and passion” And so is the case with all revolutionary roads . I loved the Wheeler's revolutionary road for April Wheeler .For her dream to dream a dream. Loved it for Frank Wheeler for atleast opening to the possibility of touching that dream. After all hoping and wishing, all revolutions take resolution.What's your revolutionary road?

Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are:

April Wheeler:

"If being crazy means living life as if it matters then I don't care if we are completely insane "

" Tell me the truth, Frank, remember that? We used to live by it. And you know what's so good about the truth? Everyone knows what it is however long they've lived without it. No one forgets the truth, Frank, they just get better at lying"

" I wanted IN. I just wanted us to live again"

Frank Wheeler:

" I want to feel things. Really feel them."

" Knowing what you've got, knowing what you need, knowing what you can do without - That's inventory control"

-
The Revolutionary Road script is available at http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Revolutionary-Road.html
- Listen to the beautiful soundtrack at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuUkGT2WU-E&feature=related

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

" Image : Time Capsule by Neha"


Saw the Curious Case of Benjamin Button in an open air film festival yesterday with a big wide air screen on a beautiful starry night amidst helicopters passing above us like a buzzing firefly every once in a while, children giggling away in a distance and the beautiful sounds and smell of the night time all around. The setting was as perfect as it could be. I loved it. I loved it so much that I have to ( happily )add it to my list of all time favorite movies for its simple yet profound message and the moving characters. Benjamin Button is an adaptation of a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man born old and aging backwards. The story was first published in 1921 and according to good ol' wikipedia, it was anthologized in the collection " Tales of the Jazz Age". I didn't know the movie's connection to F Scott Fitzgerald until after I saw it but it doesn't surprise me as an avid lover of Fitzgerald's story telling , especially the Great Gatsby ( which was published in 1925 ) . And as soon I remember this...the last words of Great Gatsby flash by me - So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past..the theme of timeless time being the intersection between Button and Gatsby ( though the movie adapation differs from the short story in many ways - the diversions only add to the story than taking away from it)

The story begins with an 81 year old Daisy ( Cate Blanchett) on her deathbed with her 37-year-old daughter Caroline ( Julia Ormond)in a New Orleans hospital as Hurricane Katrina is approaching. Caroline tells daisy how much she is going to miss her, saying that one of her friends' never got a chance to say goodbye to her mother. Which happens so often - we think we are timeless or rather should say that we are not even aware of our mortal spans which sooner or later would end- in the process missing the chance to tell people how much they are loved. The picture of ailing Daisy on the bed and Caroline seems so familiar to me in the first few shots till it comes back ...the English Patient with an ailing man ( Ralph Fiennes) sharing his story with beautiful Hana ( played by younger Julia Ormond ) who was taking care of the English Patient. Another interesting overlap between Button and the English Patient being the backdrop of war...Benjamin Button is born as World War 1 is ending while the backdrop to the English Patient is World World war 2. And so - in the non linear story telling style of the English Patient ( as also Forrest Gump in some ways), the story unfolds taking us through Benjamin's beautiful life. Some of my favorite scenes of the movie are :

1) The story of blind clock maker Monsier Gateau who lost his son in the war :

“Mr. Cake” winds the clock, which chimes a glorious chime... Pushed by an angel, the second-hand begins its eternal journey...going around... Everyone cheers... until they realize the clock is going the wrong way... traveling backwards in time... A man shouts, “It’s running backwards!” MONSIEUR GATEAU I made it this way... so that perhaps, the boys who were lost in the war might stand and go home again...

2) On Accident or destiny :

Sometimes we're on a collision course, and we just don't know it. Whether it's by accident or by design, there's not a thing we can do about it. If only one thing had happened differently: if that shoelace hadn't broken; or that delivery truck had moved moments earlier; or that package had been wrapped and ready, because the girl hadn't broken up with her boyfriend; or that man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier; or that taxi driver hadn't stopped for a cup of coffee; or that woman had remembered her coat, and got into an earlier cab, Daisy and her friend would've crossed the street, and the taxi would've driven by. But life being what it is — a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone's control — that taxi did not go by, and that driver was momentarily distracted, and that taxi hit Daisy, and her leg was crushed.

3) The humming bird : While in the sea in the midst of war :

Benjamin’s quiet. When suddenly a HUMMINGBIRD comes flying across the water... It circles the wreath, the way Hummingbirds do... and then flies off...

Benjamin says : ...I’d never seen a hummingbird that far out to sea before...

( just before her own end ) Daisy nods. Caroline goes out of the room... It’s quiet. Daisy’s alone now... looking out the window... at the howling, hurricane... a hundred mile an hour fury... And fighting against the wind, trying to reach the window is a hummingbird... it almost makes it and is pushed back by the gale... but undaunted, its wings doing a figure eight... the symbol for infinity... it fights its way through the wind to the window... tapping at the window... and the hummingbird flies away... she watches it go... and after some moments she says...Goodnight Benjamin..

And she closes her eyes for the very last time... and it’s dark... where it’s peaceful, even safe...

4) Some people ( Benjamin's Last lines ) ( see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvTJAtehxWs&feature=related )

“I figured out one thing. If you’re growing older or getting younger it really doesn’t make any
difference. Whichever way you’re going you have to make the most of what this is.”

Some people were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people — dance.


- The script is available at : http://www.paramountguilds.com/movies/script/CCBB_Screenplay_WGA.pdf

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pretend

" Image : Magic by Neha"

Pretend you're happy when you're blue
It isn't very hard to do
And you'll find happiness without an end
Whenever you pretend

Remember anyone can dream
And nothing's bad as it may seem
The little things you haven't got
Could be a lot if you pretend

You'll find a love you can share
One you can call all your own
Just close your eyes, she'll be there
You'll never be alone

And if you sing this melody
You'll be pretending just like me
The world is mine, it can be yours, my friend
So why don't you pretend?

And if you sing this melody
You'll be pretending just like me
The world is mine, it can be yours, my friend
So why don't you pretend?

- Sung by Nat King Cole in 1953

- Listen to this amazingly profound song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FAW2MMI-AY&feature=PlayList&p=FCAA2EF84B2D10F3&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=21

Thursday, July 30, 2009

As time goes by..

" Image : Moments by Neha"

[This day and age we're living in
Gives cause for apprehension
With speed and new invention
And things like fourth dimension.

Yet we get a trifle weary
With Mr. Einstein's theory.
So we must get down to earth at times
Relax relieve the tension

And no matter what the progress
Or what may yet be proved
The simple facts of life are such
They cannot be removed.]

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you."
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by.

Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date.
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate.
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny.

It's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

Oh yes, the world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

- Casablanca

-Music and lyrics for this beautiful song are by Herman Hupfeld

- Listen to this song at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIiAdHGi3AI&feature=related


Friday, July 24, 2009

If only I had a heart

" Tin man parts by Valerie Everett"
( See information below)

When a man's an empty kettle
He should be on his mettle
And yet I'm torn apart
Just because I'm presumin'
That I could be a human
If I only had a heart

I'd be tender, I'd be gentle
And awful sentimental
Regarding love and art
I'd be friends with the sparrows
And the boy that shoots the arrows
If I only had a heart

Picture me a balcony
Above a voice sings low

(Snow White)
Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

(Tin Man)
I hear a beat, how sweet!

Just to register emotion, jealousy, devotion
And really feel the part
I could stay young and chipper
And I'd lock it with a zipper
If I only had a heart


- the Tin man, Wizard of Oz


- Listen to " If I Only had a heart at" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc5DeJevhWA&feature=related
- Image information : this image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/valeriebb/

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What are you doing the rest of your life?

" Image : Summer eyes by Neha"

What are you doing the rest of your life?
North and south and east and west of your life?
I have only one request of your life
That you spend it all with me.
All the seasons and the times of your days.
All the nickels and the dimes of your days.
Let the reasons and the rhymes of your days.
All begin and end with me.
I want to see your face,
In every kind of light,
In fields of gold and
Forests of the night;
And when you stand before
The candles on a cake.
Oh let me be the one to hear
The silent wish you make.
Those tomorrows waiting deep in your eyes
In the world of love you keep in your eyes,
Ill awaken whats asleep in your eyes,
It may take a kiss or two..
Through all of my life..
Summer, winter, spring and fall of my life,
All I ever will recall of my life
Is all of my life with you.


- This lovely song with lyrics written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman and original music written by Michel Legrand for the 1969 film The Happy Ending and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. ( source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Are_You_Doing_the_Rest_of_Your_Life%3F)

- Listen on youtube at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZU4Wd8Iuj0

- I also love this arrangement - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgV9yGLU2_I&feature=related