Apr 30, 2010

Day 6: Pablo Neruda

I have always been in awe of some of the greatest poets and writers. Some have been appealing to me by their portrayal of emotions into poems and in the process sketching before my eyes a picture of these emotions. Some also have been quite 'heavy' for me, quite incomprehensible for me.

My favourites include Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Kamla Das, Rabindranath Tagore, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar and Sheila Gujral. Recently I ordered a book by Pablo Neruda where he writes poems about his love for sea. I am waiting for the book to arrive and experience what it would be to fall in love with the blue sea and the waves so much that he pens so much about it. Below is one of my favourite poems by Pablo:

The Saddest Poem
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance.

"The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

Day 5: Poetry- My lost passion

RabindraNath Tagore said "Poetry is the sanctuary where the greatest truths of my life emerge". To me these words and their sounds and their meaning appear as my own. Yes, poetry is something that came to me while I was in 7th standard in school. I realized it was a medium that let me myself. I was not pretentious in these creations. They reflected pure me, away from all lies. If I was bad, it was in my poems. If I was sad or happy, my poems said that. They never pretended to be what I was not.

But as life progresses, I often think do the words mature and they start pretending? Or is it the heart that grows and fills itself with liking, dislikings, judgements and with maturity itself? Sometimes I wonder, is it the lose of innocence that has snatched the words from me? I am still searching for the answers. More than that, I am searching for the words themselves. One of my favourite poetry books is 'Silences' by Gulzar. It is a collection of his poems translated in English by Rina Singh. One of the poems (out of several) that touch my soul is 'the poet'. The poet says to his poetry to come to him and relieve him of the burden on his shoulders. (The burden here ofcourse does not imply the literal meaning). Same holds for me, I am waiting for my words to come to my soul and make me free of all the pretensions that I hold today.

One day....ya, very soon!

Apr 29, 2010

Day 4: Carrefour

I reached 'Carrefour' today in almost 2 hours as opposed to the 3 hours last week. Damn tired and head banging with all the products, I would like to post something small today. I just thought to study history of the hypermarket. Here it is (from wikipedia):

Carrefour S.A. is a French international hypermarket chain. Headquartered in Levallois-Perret, France, Carrefour is the largest hypermarket chain in the world in terms of size, the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue and third largest in profit after Wal-Mart and Tesco. Carrefour operates mainly in Europe, China, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and in the Dominican Republic, but also has shops in North Africa and other parts of Asia.

Carrefour means "crossroads" in French.

The first Carrefour store opened on June 3, 1957, in suburban Annecy near a crossroads (carrefour in French). The group was created by Marcel Fournier, Denis Defforey and Jacques Defforey and grew into a chain from this first sales outlet.The Carrefour group pioneered the concept of a hypermarket[dubious – discuss], a large supermarket and a department store under the same roof. They opened their first hypermarket June 15, 1963 in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, near Paris in France.

I think next time I visit Carrefour, I will take a few pictures and post them so that one can see its grandness. :-)

Apr 28, 2010

Day 3: The reality of reality shows- Is there any?

From last few weeks I was waiting desperately for one of my favourite shows to begin. It is 'Indian Idol'. I am just hooked to it. I am so mesmerised to see people singing so beautifully, I become happy to see so much talent and therefore, for me this show is a full entertainer. It makes me enjoy music.

Thousands of aspirants gather for the auditions and stay in the Sun & hunger just to get one chance. There are many who are hard to believe. They make such a drama of themselves that I can't just relate if they are speaking/enacting their true self. May be they just want to come on the television or meet the celebrity judges etc. I don't care about these people and simply ignore their drama before it gets to my head and I start disliking this aspect of the show.

I am touched by the lives of many talented young men and women who are there just to prove themselves if given one chance. They reach to the audition centres with a meagre money and have no air about their talent. Actually, in presence of real talent, there is no pretence and proud. The ones who are pretentious surely have something to make up for. I am amazed to see these people and listen their songs. I wait for such people on the show. These people sometimes make my heart heavy but at the same time I become so thankful to the God. Touchwood, I am in good shape and good form wrt health and I have no monetary problems. I get good food to eat everyday and good clothes to choose from. What about those who have to toil hard for all these? What is their journey just for a single day? I really wish such people get more n more chances and make some name & money for their families.

One way I am touched and the other way I am concerned too. These shows are they really 'real'? Momentary name n fame and a few opportunities, is this all it gives to the winner and the contestants? Ok, something is better than nothing and somehwere there should be a start, so it can be argued this is fine. But in the process the innocence of these people is lost. They come for auditions in simple get up and the make over on the show is so tremendous that I feel they have become so unreal. What happens to their minds backstage and background? What is the pressure? Do they become target of various publicity stunts? The few offers/opportunities (like singing in award functions??) don't they act as the bait for the fish?

I don't know what is the reality of these shows. Is the winner always the actual winner or is decided during the process based on the likings and dislikings, whims and fancies of the judges and the other related persons? What about the balance between opportunities and the innocence? I don't know the answers and probably we, the common man can never be able to get the answers or the right answers. So, I think we must sit and enjoy the talent (like I always do and pray for the right person to win and make himself a fulfilling life) and ........'let the music flow'.

Apr 27, 2010

Day 2: Persistence/Consistency

Day 2 where I have to produce words! Whole day I was thinking do I feel anything strongly today that needs to be penned down. Late in the evening, I realized I didn't have something substantial. But then I thought, I should start with this inability to write something the very 2nd day of my 365 days goal...."long way to go dear!" I said to myself. Also, somewhere in my heart I knew when I sit to write, I would have lots of ideas, so why to try to escape?

Consistency is so much the essence of life. We often talk about consistency in respect of bigger things in life. Don't we realise loving our life partner/family, liking our hobby/passion is also an act where consistency steps in, though subconsciously. Even love is not effortless state of being. It is one sentiment where things can not be taken for granted, just as when pursuing a hobby- say music can not be done without putting your heart n soul into it.

When consistency is so much or should be so much the ingredient of life, why do I try to escape or leave things in between (may be to hold something that becomes more interesting/important)? Persistence is so much at the heart of success, and success so much the necessity of life, then why not? I think with the next sunrise I should try to be a bit more persistent and consistent in my actions and even in my thoughts.

I like these words, so true:
"The most essential factor is persistence-the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitable come."

Apr 26, 2010

Day 1: This is me! Vs. I can't or don't want to be this.

I don't know why I am starting my project 365 with this topic. But it is not about writing only the goodie things, it is about writing honesty and expression. That's the path I have to tread on and find myself.

I do not understand myself when I say 'This is me!'. Is it an attitude statement or a mark of sttuborness or acceptance of defeat?. Or is it an acknowledgement of my strengths and weaknesses and therefore I want to close the doors of further hardwork & growth. What is it for me?

During varied discussions with my family n friends, I often repeat 'this is me!'. When I sit to analyze why it is so often said by me, I think I am trying to put my point loud by showing anger/irritation/other such feelings. But it is in no way an attitude statement (Do I have an attitude?.....I think I will come back on this some day, for sure).

In today's world, we all live in a constantly changing environment. We move on, our friends move on, even our immediate family moves on. This movement is more often intellectual/mental/emotional and as a result we keep changing, our behaviour keeps changing. With time, we are surrounded by different people. These people will most of the times differ from what we are. In such situations, I think I tend to get very careful. Well, 'careful' is not the right word, I mean to say I start looking inside like a snail puts his neck inside his shell. I become quiet and I am not that outgoing type and do not connect (Connection....I would like to talk to myself about this, in one of these days)with new people easily. It is due to these different personalities around me, I ask myself 'am I fit here'? But how many times one should ask this question in his/her life? This is because atleast once in lifetime, he/she would be surrounded by new group/people which would make him/her look inside him/her and ask this question.

This fitness issue makes waves in my minds much more times than I actually think or know. I look around to all people-known and unknown and I ask myself how do I present myself/how do I behave? Is it according to the mode here or I appear foreigner? In short, do I fit in here? For the unknown ones, my mind may stop exploding but for the known ones- the questions, the anaylsis goes on and on. After so much self-brainstorming or I should say, after so many thunderous bombarding, when I say to myself, "no, I do not want to be this or I can not be like this, it is just not in my value system/or it's just not the part of my personality"....is it the mark of appreciating my individuality or a mark of going inside my shell (when this is seen as an excuse).

It is funny and may be interesting too, that while writing (or well, also while speaking sometimes) a person may find himself confused. Exactly, to achieve this clarity of my own thoughts and make my own opinions (based on these convictions), I have started this project 365.

When I say "this is me", it is attitude or confidence?
When I say "I do not want to be this or I can not be like this", is it not the other way of saying the former? It is confidence or the lack of confidence or again a sign of stuborn attitude?

I think in many more days of expressions, I would be able to understand where lies my attitude and where lies my confidence. Right now I am happy and very much glowing with hope about my life because I acknowledge or at least aware of the fact that-

"Happiness is that which is ever lasting, which depends on no external factor, which is one's own possession, which is unvarying and which constitutes one's very self. That alone is real happiness." (Hanumanprasad Poddar in 'Beyond the Veil' )

Project 365

Recently I happened to see Julie & Julia. The story of two ladies: one is a young lady, passionate about cooking and the other one, a renowned cook and famous personality. The former one starts a project 365 where she tries one recipe each day of the year and hopes she meets the latter at the end of her project when she has improved and made many many recipes of the latter.

This project has inspired me to do something I lost long back on my journey of being a student after marriage, then a mother and for n number of reasons all of which seem trivial and irrelevant if just I had the tenacity to chase my passion-my writing, my words, my poetry.

This project is aimed at myself for finding my passion once again and start living life as I used to live it-creatively, confidently, cheerfully, and above all, BEING MYSELF. This is a promise to myself to be honest and write from heart each day, bringing out all that's store inside and may be caged/shivering to come out.

My Day 1 starts today-26th April 2010, Monday. In French- le 26 Avril, 2010, lundi.