Shimmer of hope…

Shimmer

Man is influenced by things that happen around him every minute. The digital revolution has wrecked a havoc on the globe and also in our mind, more so if you are endowed with a sensitive heart. Everyday we read about the conflicts of race, religion, nation, ideology, philosophy and what not. There are genocides committed in the name serving ‘misconceived idea of your faith’. Sometimes your psyche is so perturbed that doom and gloom completely envelope you and you are lost in a labyrinth of despair.

In retrospect, though, you would realise that this is on social level and you can’t do much about it. On an individual level, too, repeated failure and despondency spread shroud of pessimism and you feel that’s the end from which you can never recover.

Some serious contemplation renders itself to a realization that these are all reactions that ought to be ignored as we have no control over the events. We live in air-conditioned houses but instead we should try to condition our mind so as to be unaffected by these. Once the mind and body are under our absolute control, there is bound to be a shimmer of hope and optimism.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.

Arthur Hugh Clough

Image Source: Pexels.com

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In Defence of Approximation

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(Originally published in The Hitavada in 2014)

In  the late sixties, when I was doing MA (English)I came under the  magnetic spell of one Mr. Shekhar, an aesthete and an ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo, and the then Secretary of Sri Aurobindo Centre, Nagpur. Playing the sedulous ape to him, I wanted to  do everything perfect: studies, music, food habits, exercise etc. I professed and boasted of perfectionistic culture. Later, I started teaching English Literature at Morris College, Nagpur. I was an avid fan of Robert Browning and appreciated his poems especially his dramatic monologues. His hero, Abt Vogler, was a court chaplain, a consummate artist, who extemporized upon musical instruments and craved  to be a perfectionist. Browning’s ‘Andrea Del Sarto’ has a didactic tone,

Ah, but a man’s reach  should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven  for.”

The message is, man’s ideal should be in heaven which can never be achieved, and one should keep on striving throughout his life to reach perfection.

But now when I think retrospectively, I feel that perfectionism  is an unattainable, imaginary and a nonexistent notion. Platonic love is  a romantic idea which the youngsters create and they enjoy getting intoxicated in its reverie; it is a delusion of grandeur. So is the case with perfectionism; it is  a fleeting, artificially created evanescent concept, which doesn’t make an allowance for human frailties. If a budding writer aims to be a  Shakespeare  or a Hemingway he might die before he achieves anything of that sort. A nagging  wife always finds her husband to be a good-for-nothing-creature while she thinks her neighbour, a clerk, is a paragon of virtue, an embodiment of idealism and the quintessence of perfection. A musician, a writer, a painter, a businessman, a sportsperson, everybody feels that they lack something which the other person is endowed with. You don’t have to be  a perfectionist always. I think those who believe in the theory of approximation are a happier lot. These days  most of the so called spiritual leaders give you a heavy dose of unrealistic religious sermons which make you feel you have lost your self esteem, and that you are a sinner.

Every young girl wants to have physical attributes of Katrina Kaif, every young boy wants to exhibit muscles like Salman Khan, every businessman wants to be a Mukesh Ambani, every poet wants to be a Vikram Seth. However great you might be, you have to be smaller than somebody. Too meticulous approach in life makes life miserable,for we should realise that life itself is messy, imperfect, ill organised and haphazard.

And why should I live life the way somebody wants me to, for it is my choice.  It is  fine as long as my choice doesn’t  transgress somebody else’s freedom. Perfectionism breeds the idea of disenchantment, dissatisfaction and disillusionment to the extent  that you start condemning your  very existence. I am batting  here for the theory of approximation as against that of perfection. We have to learn to be content with whatever we have achieved, for, the idea of perfection is itself imperfect; it is a relative term whose interpretation varies from person to person. We are what we are.We can’t be really other than ourselves. Perfection consists not in doing things extraordinarily rather doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

Image courtesy: Pexels

Above n Beyond the illusion…

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Leaving the child’s world blissful
Pleasures of careless abandon galore
The adolescent’s world is fast growing
Encompassing endless dreams and more

You find a vocation and work
And the heart longs for love
The society sucks you into its tangles
Responsibilities descend from above

Raising the young
Working for the nest
Like the hero unsung
You run without any rest

On the wrong side of youth
Before you know,
The body shows wear
Where’d all the time go?

Time runs out, senescence creeps in
Like a thief in a row
With accomplices of disease, decline
N’ that looming fear of death in tow

Caged in the disobeying body – mind
Is this it? Bewildered you wonder
Your golden days, now just an illusion
Life’s treasures time did plunder

But when in a dark place
You think you are buried
But you are actually planted
A sprout in a new world freed

Push that rock bottom you hit
Reaching up for the unrevealed
Pull in the strength reserve, don’t quit
A whole new world for you unleashed

WordPress Daily Prompt: Illusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now is the time…

Dogmatic is your trust in your faith,
That others can’t relate
A religion stands on its tenets
Sans support of human hands
To prove its inherent strengths
Comparison it doesn’t demand
.
God made man, and he
Made hard regimented walls
That separate him from his kin

O fanatics! Can you unbind
From the conducts of religion
To open to the larger mankind
Away from stubborn prescription?

Instead, take a stance to serve
Not to annihilate the human race,
But to tend to it and tenderly preserve.

Stop rigid adherence to a holy book
Tangled in the loop of right and wrong
Come out of that self created nook
Mingle, and feel the suffering throng!
.
It can do without being harsh and hard
This fabric of religious belief
That the faith of the rest is marred
Resulting in aversion and disbelief

Now is the time: maim the radical creed
Leaven emotions with some compassion
Sectarianism and hate forever buried
A new world where peace is the passion!

Pearls of Wisdom

Like any animal that takes birth
It strives and it fights
All along to prove its worth.
Like nations conquer new frontiers
Not as much for real progress
But in competition with its peers
 
How different is man himself
His life is a mad race
Amassing power and pelf
This life-long struggle, to be at the top
Is all about showing it off
To friends and neighbors, never to stop.  
‘Tis not in acquisition, but in renunciation
The royal triumph is in restraint
The virtues of austerity and moderation
‘Tis not in material possessions and greed
But in giving freely away
Lies real victory indeed

Replete is history with stories and morals
But only a fool wouldn’t pay heed
Pearls of wisdom in many a life trials

Simple lifestyle and spartan trait
Diogenes created his own fate
‘N won over Alexander the Great!
WordPress Daily Prompt: Create

But what about…?

I toyed with becoming a little dapper
Got myself an impeccable Tuxedo
Joined a short course at a Finishing School
Learnt to wear a plastic smile
Joined social clubs and attended parties
Mingled with the crème de la crème
Until it dawned upon me
That I did hit the bulls eye
And was natty as I pleased
But what about cleansing that conscience of mine?
Surely, use cosmetics to fake beauty
Surgery to uplift the sagging cheeks
Wigs to conceal falling hair
Or dye the gray ones still there
But how about cleansing that conscience ?
Is there cosmetic to cleanse your mind? Alas there is none!
Polish it in, and let it shine out!

Nothing’s perennially uniform..

A seed  grows into a sapling
The sapling into a tree
Tree bears fruit
Fruit bears the seed
Seeds fall into the earth
For the circle-of-life to repeat.
This divine norm
We’re destined to live by
Nothing is perennially uniform
As much as you’d try!
If change with-out you could never bring
‘Tis time you changed from within!

WordPress Daily Prompt Challenge: Uniform