My seriousness and black ants

My mother would keep a check on my studies till 7th grade. We had minimum of six subjects in my school.  Mathematics, Social Science (which included History, Geography, Civics and Economics), Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and the languages English, Kannada and Hindi. . Before monthly tests and annual examinations, she would ask me to go through a couple of chapters in a particular subject. Later, she would ask questions given in the end of each chapter from the text book and from the Class notes we maintained at school. We called it, Class work. Our teachers at school would dictate questions in each Lessons and give us answers as well. We were supposed to study these questions and answers for the exam.

My mother would be very strict during the question answer session. She kept a wooden ruler with her which she used to punish me for my pranks during ‘Question Answer Session’. She would hit me on my hand and knuckles or whichever body part she could instantly reach. I would not have seriousness most of the times and would lose seriousness soon, especially when I would not know answer for some questions. Things I did which showed my lack of seriousness would irritate her. For instance, I had a sharpener, which had a glass cover. And then there were black ants crawling on the floor. They usually form a line and carry sugar or food chunks in their mouth. I would take the glass sharpener case and trap one of the ants going in the line. I then watched the perplexed ant inside. I would giggle looking at it get confused and run in all directions to find an exit. Probably the ant would see its friends and family outside the glass case and wondered where the hell this case came from? I would watch for 2-3 minutes and then set it free removing the glass case. I never liked to suffocate it. The ant would run to it’s folks grabbing the food in it’s mouth and join the line.

My mother who by now had noticed the long silence for her question, would finally look at me distracted and giggling, and give me one tight slap with the wooden ruler. Some of the days my grand mother would come to stay with us. Seeing my little play and get beaten, she would cover her mouth with her hand and laugh holding her breath, suppressing any sound. She was scared of my mother and more than my mother, she was scared of me. Getting beaten in front of my granny would embarrass me a lot. She would later come to appease and caress me with fruits and delicacies.

After I went to 8th grade I was on my own to study and had hence got some sense of seriousness.

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The Solitary Reaper

Two days ago I was reading an old email my father wrote to me. He had written that he and my mother had been to Talkaveri in Kodagu district. The spot was beautiful and it reminded him of the poem ‘The Solitary Reaper’ by Wordsworth. He had even quoted a few lines from the poem.We had it in school to memorize. One of the several poems I loved back then.

After reading the poem, I imagined a  girl engrossed in her work, singing a song  in lush green farm. Her tunes echo in the valley. This picture I created in my mind stayed for several hours.

What I like in this poem is a simple thought beautifully put in words. The whole poem is nothing but about a lonely girl who sings in a farm while she carries out her chore. Poet tries to understand the song and her emotions. Was she singing out of sorrow or about a day-to-day matter? Or about a battle long gone? Whatever she sings her voice, like a cuckoo bird, breaks the surrounding silence, it appears as if the tunes are overflowing from the valley. For a minute the poet stops and listens to the song. He stays motionless and listens. The song appears endless. He continues to climb up the hill as he listens to her song. He carries the tunes in his heart for a very long time even after he hears the tune no more.

As I read the lines, I paint a picture in my mind. The poet knows the tune and he carries in his heart forever. I carry the picture I painted forever. The best part is to imagine the tune. How beautiful the tune would have been to make Wordsworth write this beautiful poem. I only wish he could describe the tune somehow!

‘The Solitary Reaper’ by Wordsworth

BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?—
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;—
I listen’d, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

Everyday of my life

First attempt on Haiku. Written for Weekly Writing Challenge: Haiku Catchoo

YOUR CHALLENGE, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT

In the words of Ray Bradbury, “Just write every day of your life…”. Your mission is to write five haikus — one for each of the five days leading up to this Friday.

waking up like a
snail, slowly crawling, lazy
mind, a lazy day

feeling little good,
like a tortoise, moving
relatively faster

two days to Friday
something to cheer me up, like
a Sloth, walking fast

come Thursday, hopping
like a frog, jumping hyper
all around my world

holiday begins
from mid Firday, running home
Sweet home, like Emu

An Award and an interview

This week I received Liebster Award from Jyothi – http://jyothisdayout.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/the-liebster-award/

She gave me the award and has ten questions for me to answer. It was nice of her to first give me an award and then interview me with a bunch of questions!! I was thrilled since this is the first time a fellow blogger has asked me what I like and so on. Thank You for the award and great questions!! I thought of combining with today’s Blogher prompt, they are more or less the same, about blogging.

Blogher prompt: Tell us what you’ve learned so far about daily blogging.

Over to Jyothi’s questions:

1.  Who is it that inspired you to blog or who got you interested in blogging?
2.  How does blogging help you in your daily life?
3.  Which blogging platform do you prefer? And why?

My answers for all four questions:

  • I have been blogging here for about six months now, I am fairly new to blogging. My inspiration to have this blog were many, like I mentioned in my first post, I read several blogs of my friends and other people. A few months before I created this blog, I discovered a friend of mine who had been blogging for many years without letting anybody know. She accidentally posted her blog in an open group on Facebook, that’s how I caught her!(Glad I did – I like reading her blog) She was my inspiration to create this blog. I thought it was fun to have one of my own and write about my experiences.
  • She had a WordPress blog. I had heard about WordPress before but hadn’t used this blogging platform. I like WordPress for they bring writers, poets, photographers and all others together. They share several writing tips every week which helps a lot. Freshly Pressed is one other feature I like about WordPress. Really interesting articles of people in a different and unique point of view are highlighted. Through Freshly Pressed I came across several writers, authors and other fellow bloggers. I enjoy reading their articles and several times agree with their point of view.  WordPress has several themes but there’s not much option for customization like Blogger, unless one upgrades. I don’t get everything I want in one theme. It is also hard to get a uniform font sometimes, when I am copy pasting, it gets messed up. That’s my only complaint. But it feels completely different to be in writers world. People playing with words, praising others and having a healthy competition and fun.
  • Daily blogging has brought creativity and imagination out of me. It has helped me discover and define myself. The best thing of all is I have met new people and made new friends.
  • What have I learned so far from blogging? Writing doesn’t come easy. A writer is an artist. He/she brings out the creativity, imagination , ideas and views about almost everything. It’s easy to express while we speak, with facial expression, tone variation, eye contact and other gestures. Writing is plain. Words ALONE has to do the magic with may be one or two picture prompts. Nevertheless, with proper selection of words, writing can be powerful than spoken words. Spoken words can be forgotten but not written words. No wonder they say “Pen is mightier than sword”
  • When I listen to music concerts, some of the days how ever great the musician may be, he/she might be technically right, but audience may feel “Today there was something missing in the voice, there was no charm”. Being a singer myself (just a small time – not a big one – HA!!), when I am asked to sing, by family and friends, some days I will be tired and be in bad mood, I cannot sing a happy song at that time,if at all I sing,  I can’t express myself well or it won’t turn out excellent like other days. There’s charm missing in my voice. Similarly to write something daily is no joke, there should be great deal of inspiration, mood and material. This is my experience. I like this quote by Maya Angelou

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song

  • I am not a writer and I don’t have answer for everything but I have an opinion, a point to make, which is why I write.

5.  Who would you like to be stranded with in an unknown island for two days?

  • Al Pacino – Now the question is, would he like to be with me? Stranded in an unknown island for TWO long days? For me just the island is unknown, for Al Pacino both I and island are unknown!!

6.  What the three things that we do not know about you?

  • I am horrible at putting make up on.
  • I love Mathematics
  • Now I hate if you are thinking I am a Nerd!!

7.  It is said that we should be grateful in life. What are the 5 things you are grateful for at this point in time?

  • I am just grateful to God for giving me ‘TODAY’.

8.  What are the three places that you would like to visit in 2014?

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • India — and all three in one year won’t fall in our budget!!!

9.  If you could suggest any family member or non blogging friend to blog, who would it be? And why?

  • My husband – let’s see how he writes!!!

10.  Is there a place you visited recently, that you would love to go back to ? If yes, then tell us why.

  • India to visit my parents

11.  If I were to ask you which book/movie has influenced you the most this year, which one would it be?

  • I read a book Dharmashree – it influenced me a lot this year.

Happy Deepavali

English: Deepavali (or Diwali), the festival o...

English: Deepavali (or Diwali), the festival of lights. ಕನ್ನಡ: ದೀಪಾವಳಿ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A tiny candle kills darkness,
Sound of bell shoos away evil spirits,
A prayer drives away ignorance,
Sound of fireworks scare daemons faraway,
Here comes Deepavali, The festival of lights!
Bringing people together!

Wishing everybody a very happy Deepavali

——–

In The Scorpio Races, author Maggie Stiefvater writes, “It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”  Give us the next thirty-three words of this story, as you imagine it.  Take it wherever you like, but make it original and make it 33 words exactly.

Back in The U.S.

Ever since I came back from India, I was feeling home sick. Days were depressing and gloomy. There’s no shouting of vegetable vendors or of street sweepers in the morning. Everything is so quiet. Adding to the monotony was the weather, it’s become cold, foggy and dark, doesn’t feel so energetic. I even became philosophic and these lines haunted me like never before.

ಯಾವ ಮೋಹನ ಮುರಳಿ ಕರೆಯಿತೋ ದೂರ ತೀರಕೆ ನಿನ್ನನು
ಯಾವ ಬೃಂದಾವನವು ಸೆಳೆಯಿತೋ ನಿನ್ನ ಮಣ್ಣಿನ ಕಣ್ಣನು

I sang this song several times in my school days. These lines are from a poem by Gopalakrishna Adiga. Lord Krishna is a great flutist, people get engrossed and forget themselves when He plays. The music that comes from his flute is so beautiful and magnetic that one can’t help but get attracted to it. The poet says, what was that as great as music from Lord Krishna’s flute that took you to a distant place? What beautiful garden (Brindavana) attracted your eyes?

ಇರುವುದೆಲ್ಲವ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಇರದುದರೆಡೆಗೆ ತುಡಿವುದೆ ಜೀವನ

Life is leaving everything that you have and going towards nothing.

Ahhh!! how much it haunted me every day. To get myself out of this gloominess, my husband suggested me to read Beechi’s “Bullets-u Bombs-u Bhagavadgeete”, well the title is misleading but it’s a humorous book written by B.S. Keshava Rao about puns and articles written by Beechi himself. It also includes humorous incidents as told by people close to Beechi. Beechi’s complete name is Raayasam Bheemasen Rao, he is very well known as Karnataka’s George Bernard Shaw.

I liked an article I read yesterday. Beechi who is die hard fan of D.V.Gundappa/DVG especially DVG’s book – Mankutimmana Kagga – has written some poems appreciating Mankutimma – in the words of a fictional character -Timma.

One day Timma wins 2 lakh Rupees. Timma is a good Samaritan, wants to help people from this money. He thinks of building a temple and realizes only Hindus will visit. He then thinks of building a mosque, but only Muslims are allowed. He thinks of building a Church, but then only Christians will visit. Timma is confused, he thinks of building something that everybody will visit. He then builds six ‘toilets’ in a row!! Purpose served 🙂 Isn’t that beautiful?

I have finished half the book, already in love with Beechi. I bought this book and one more ‘Medammana GanDa’ and two books of my favorite author S.L.Bhairappa – kavalu – daaTu – Can’t wait to read them.

There is some kind of joy in reading books written in mother-tongue.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
Nelson Mandela