You will die, you will get pounced by a tiger, or you will get torn by a pack of wolves, no matter how you die here. It would not be a sweet way to die in this lifetime. These grim thoughts were churning in my head.
I was exhausted, disheartened but unyielding. I have been wandering the Satpura jungle for a fortnight.
The first time I read R.K.Naryan’s book was in 10th grade. It was the Man-eater of Malgudi. I could relate to the book instantly. The reason being, its loyalty to its Indian setting. His characters are ordinary yet, they give you an extraordinary experience! It is said that a language is filled with objects and things specific to its region. And that a non-native language fails to incorporate these particular objects and things. R.K.Narayan brilliantly includes these native objects in his books through English. Lately, I finished reading two of his books. I wanted to share my experience here and maybe convince you to take up one of his books!
I stroll into a mall to buy some books. I get stopped by a young man in his early 20s. He starts explaining to me about WaterAid and how it has helped many vulnerable sections in the world to access clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene. It was the first time I heard of WaterAid. At the end of the conversation, he requested me to donate an amount to fund the NGO’s work. Apparently, after the lockdown, the companies that were supporting the NGO through their CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) in India were not able to continue it further.
In one of my previous posts, I had talked about how important connection was in 2021. So, Let me ask you a question, when do you truly connect with an artist. I instantly connect when I could feel that the artist really loves what she/he does. And shares the love with people through their work. In this post, I am going to talk about one such artist.
Once upon a time, the USA wanted to introduce tropical mangoes in the country. From India, six different mango grafts were chosen. They traveled to Florida, USA. Just like culture shock, these mango varieties faced something called climate shock!
And an astronomer said, Master, what of Time?
And he answered:
You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable.
You would adjust your conduct and even direct the course of your spirit according to hours and seasons.
Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing.
Yet the timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness,
And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.
And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space.
Who among you does not feel that his power to love is boundless?
And yet who does not feel that very love, though boundless, encompassed within the centre of his being, and moving not from love thought to love thought, nor from love deeds to other love deeds?
And is not time even as love is, undivided and spaceless?
But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons,
And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.
“Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. In self-knowledge is the whole universe, it encompasses all the conflicts of mankind”
According to Wikipedia, “Self-knowledge is a term used in psychology to describe the information that an individual draws upon when finding an answer to the question “What am I like?”. While seeking to develop the answer to this question, self-knowledge requires ongoing self-awareness and self-consciousness.” Self-knowledge allows you to arrive at a truth. You express it through the way you talk, move, write, sing, dance, touch, or paint. The important questions are ‘What is this so-called truth?’ ‘Once you find it, Is it fair to impose your truth on others?’ Here is what Kahlil Gibran has to say.
Then an old man, a keeper of an inn, said, Speak to us of Eating and Drinking.
And he said:
Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light.
But since you must kill to eat, and rob the newly born of its mother’s milk to quench your thirst, let it then be an act of worship.
And let your board stand an altar on which the pure and the innocent of forest and plain are sacrificed for that which is purer and still more innocent in man.
When you kill a beast say to him in your heart,
“By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed.
For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.
Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven.”
And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart,
“Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”
And in the autumn, when you gather the grapes of your vineyards for the winepress, say in your heart,
“I too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress,
And like new wine I shall be kept in eternal vessels.”
And in winter, when you draw the wine, let there be in your heart a song for each cup;
And let there be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepress.