Thursday, March 13, 2008

Growing happier

I have grown happier with every year of life as though gradually conquering something in myself, for certainly my miseries were not made by others but were a part of my own mind.

- W. B. Yeats

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hug O' War

I will not play at tug o'war.
I'd rather play at hug o'war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

- Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends


Friendship is not a condition that naturally arises because people are in contact with one another; rather, it is a bond of trust and love that must evolve according to mutually agreed-upon standards of interaction.

- Mick Fedullo, Light of the Feather

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Peace begins with a smile.

- Mother Teresa

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Previous Occupant

The landlady says he lived here
for years. There’s enough missing
for me to know him. In the empty shelves,
absent books gather dust: Neruda. Cavafy.
I know he knew their poetry, by heart
the lines I love.

From a half-torn horoscope I learn
his sign: Aquarius, just like me.
A half-empty Flexsol in the cabinet:
he wore soft lenses. Yes, Aquarians are vain.
And no anthems on their lips, they travel
great distances. He came from some country
as far as Chile.

She says the apartment
will be cleaned by the 1st:

But no detergent will rub his voice from the air
though he has disappeared in some country
as far as Chile.
The stains of his thoughts still cling
in phrases to the frost on the windows.

And though he is blinded in some prison,
though he is dying in some country
as far as Chile,
no spray will get inside the mirror
from where his brown eyes,
brown, yes, brown,
stare as if for years he’d been
searching for me.

Now that he’s found me,
my body casts his shadow everywhere.
He’ll never, never, move out of here.

- Agha Shahid Ali

Islands of Integrity

I don't believe that the solutions in society will come from the left or the right or the north or the south. They will come from islands within those organizations, islands of people with integrity who want to do something.

- Karl-Henrik Robert

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the Earth
let's not speak in any language,
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the Earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

- Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

With all of me

After the evening meal was finished and all the bits and pieces put away, Anna and I would settle down to some activity, generally of her choosing. Fairy stories were dismissed as mere pretend stories; living was real and living was interesting, and by and large, fun. Reading the Bible wasn't a great success. She tended to regard it as a primer, strictly for the infants. The message of the Bible was simple and any half-wit could grasp it in thirty minutes flat! Religion was for doing things, not for reading about doing things. Once you had got the message there wasn't much point in going over and over the same old ground. Our local parson was taken aback when he asked her about God. The conversation went as follows:

"Do you believe in God?"
"Do you know what God is?"
"What is God then?"
"He's God!"
"Do you go to church?"
"Why not?"
"Because I know it all!"
"What do you know?"
"I know to love Mister God and to love people and cats and dogs and spiders and flowers and trees" -- and the catalog went on -- "with all of me."

Carol grinned at me, Stan made a face, and I hurriedly put a cigarette in my mouth and indulged in a bout of coughing. There's nothing much you can do in the face of that kind of accusation, for that's what it amounted to. ("Out of the mouth of babes...") Anna had bypassed all the nonessentials and distilled centuries of learning into one sentence: "And God said love me, love them, and love it, and don't forget to love yourself."

Note: The above passage is from a heartwarming book called 'Mister God, This is Anna' by Fynn. Do read it.