That Winter night felt icy,
Touch of your hands kept me warm;
My Summer had finally arrived!
That Winter night felt icy,
Touch of your hands kept me warm;
My Summer had finally arrived!
It was the last day of my New Zealand holiday. I was in Queenstown and already quite mesmerised by the beauty of the place and the country. Since my flight was in the afternoon, I had booked myself in the TSS Earnslaw Vintage Cruise in the morning, so I can spend some relaxed time and also enjoy sailing on the lake Wakatipu. I checked out of my hotel after breakfast and reached the Steamer Wharf by 9.30am. The boarding had already commenced, so I queued to board.
The vintage steamship is 105 years old and one of the oldest one in the Southern hemisphere. The ship was quite big, and the crowd was mostly kids and families. It was freezing that morning in Queenstown, more so because I was near the lake. After I boarded and found myself a nice window seat in the upper deck, I realised that the kids had started opening the windows and were enjoying the icy wind. I was feeling cold and got some coffee from the onboard café. The cruise started with a classic hoot, the surroundings were breathtaking, snow-clad mountains, the beautiful lake and small houses across the lake. While I was enjoying the view, I was also a bit pricky by the cold and feeling a bit lonely in the crowd =(
To my surprise, after the ship sailed, I could hear a beautiful music of somebody playing the piano! Never thought there could be a piano onboard, so I started walking towards the music. There was not only a vintage piano onboard but also an old lady playing the instrument with ease and beauty! She was lost in her own world and had a beautiful smile while she entertained the crowd. I was charmed at once and went and sat near her. She looked at me and smiled and immediately I felt a bond as well as found the companion I was probably seeking! I was lost in her music and forgot about the cold or the icy wind. She played old songs one after the other and after a while took a break when the ship docked at Walter Peak. Most of the people got down in this port making the ship almost empty.
The piano player asked about me and where I had come from, we started talking and I got to know that she had started playing the piano as a teen and as she grew up, she had to give up her love for sustenance. She has been a farmer and her life were all hard work for family. When she retired from farming, she decided to get back to her lost love for playing the piano and here she was, playing the piano onboard, in the oldest cruise of the Southern Hemisphere! She said she will quickly grab a bite before her next session starts.
I kept observing her, she must be in her 90s, old, yet so elegant and graceful in her manners. She walked very slowly holding a stick, the fingers of her hand had bandages, may be due to playing the piano every day, her hands were shaky when she walked or when she made her tea but not when she played the piano, like magic! She sat and looked at the lake and the mountains while having a bite. Wonder what she was thinking, maybe she was thinking that she had a gratified life or maybe she was thinking what she will cook for her grandchildren whom she was meeting that evening for dinner!
She could say if it will snow or not looking at the sky, her favourite season was Summer since as a farmer it was tough for her to work in the fields in the winter months. She told me how March, April and May are the most beautiful months in Queenstown and also how much she enjoys meeting new people every day in the cruise and playing the piano for them! I could have listened to her all day but soon we reached the marina and it was time for me to say goodbye. She gave me a song book and said I can keep this as a souvenir. I took my pen out and requested her to autograph the song book for me =) She was quite surprised by this request and seemed quite pleased too and smiled at me and then scribbled some words with her quivering, soft and elderly hands. I took the autographed song book and gave her a hug before I said goodbye, she said “The world is very small, we will meet again very soon!”
I disembarked from the cruise, took the song book out and read what she had written, “Best wishes from Elenor, Queenstown, NZ”. My heart melted by her kind words and the beautiful memory Elenor gifted me which will be with me forever. Suddenly there was a gust of icy wind that hit my face but this time I smiled and felt wonderful, life was good. Will miss you Elenor but like you said, we will meet very soon! =)
Sometimes when I walk on the road, I suddenly look back, as if some known one is looking at me. But then I find no one. Sometimes someone crosses me in the crowd and I sense a known smell, but then I can’t find anyone. I question myself, what am I looking for? Whom am I looking for? But I don’t get an answer.
One day, while I was in a deep colloquy with myself, I realised that I must be waiting for someone, someone from the past. While I should enjoy my present, am still living in the past. I tell myself that while I walk on the road, instead of looking back, what if I bump onto someone interesting at the next turn! That person might be a new friend and much more interesting than the unknown person am waiting for! This thought makes me feel happy for the moment.
Life is like an ice cream, the more you have, the more you crave for. We don’t acknowledge the things we have, we don’t treasure the people we have, instead we all are running for the mysterious happiness hidden in some horizon. There is no end and we always shape up a new horizon. Why does some things and some people leave such an unfathomable mark? Sometimes a good memory and sometimes a bad one but then the word memory itself is a past tense! What we have now is a moment, a precious moment. The search of happiness in the past or in that unknown horizon is much more painful than even the worst present day.
Have you had a meal? Do you have a family? Do you have shelter? Are you grateful for you are living the day? I keep asking all these questions. The answer comes, “Yes”. Then what am I looking for if I have everything. Why can’t I be happy? Maybe I am looking for happiness in wrong places, in wrong people, in mistaken memories. Happiness is when I wake up every morning and realise that all the people I love are with me and are healthy and alive. Happiness is believing that I can spend the rest of my life with myself.
I need to stop waiting, stop looking back at that stranger who doesn’t exist and realise that more than one person can smell the same! I need to look forward, make new friends, talk to strangers who smile back at me, search for happiness inside my soul than in someone else’s life. That horizon, that known smell, that someone looking at me…does not exist. We all wait for that sunrise when the sky would look the best, but we forget that even in the cloudy days, the sun rises as usual but is just shadowed by the clouds. The sun doesn’t leave us, just hide sometimes and shines bright again. Is it that challenging to acknowledge the moment and live a content life? I don’t have the answer, but I would continue to walk till I bump onto the more interesting ‘someone’! 🙂 Keep walking and soon the sun will shine brighter! 🙂
Few days ago, India celebrated the ‘festival of colours’ called ‘Holi’. When I was a kid, all year through I would wait for this day when we would play with colours. All the kids were just exhilarated with the impression of throwing colours at each other and getting a colourful face themselves. We would blend the colours in water and splash each other with the coloured water. Life felt good after playing with colours while the parents didn’t discipline us!
I grew up, the colours of Holi turned into colours of life. Bright colours for bright days and grey for the shaded ones. The sky has always been my companion and I felt that the sky also transformed colours and guided our moods. A blue sky for a beautiful sunny day and grey sky for cloudy and gloomy days. The kid who only knew colours are fun, now had a significance of the colours associating to time.
I grew up more, now I could relate the colours to my life, to the people and to my surroundings. I kept thinking, how as a kid, I never realised that colours of life meant so much. People can add colours to your life and in the same way people can make your life colourless and ‘grey’. Some people make every day colourful and they keep you happy, we should treasure them. The ones who add the grey shades, teach us how beautiful the other colours are, like the night makes us appreciate the day or the hard time makes us appreciate the good times. Everyone comes to our life for a reason, either they make life beautiful or teach us a lesson!
As I grew, my mind found resemblance of colours to our surrounding. A beautiful red rose or a bright blue sky or a lovely green field! Colours, they are everywhere! Red symbolise love and it also symbolises danger, Blue symbolise the colour of sky and sea and is associated with depth and stability, similarly Green is the colour of nature and White is for peace.
The colours of my life have always changed with time and age. While childhood days were the most colourful, as we grew up there were frequent shades of grey. Pain, sadness, misery and again a splash of joy, that’s life. I have some amazing people in my life who adds colour to my sky, they make life worth living. Occasionally I also bump onto some darker shades but it’s the darker shades who makes me realise how beautiful the brighter shades are! Add colour to your life and add colours to other’s life. If as a kid, we could easily splash others with colours then why not as adults. No one minds when you make their day brighter! If as a kid, we played with colours with other kids, then why be self-centred as adults. Go out, and you will see an arena waiting for you, where you can play with everyone with the colours of life. While be cautious to select the right colours, the wrong colours can also be blended to make them right! As a famous poet says, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there!” Stay colourful, stay blessed.
I am quite a lazy person when it comes to regular exercise or workouts. However, one fine afternoon I decide to go for a walk and make my life a little better or at least get over the guilt of being lazy.
I put my headphones on and play my favourite playlist, get into my walking shoes after dusting them a bit and just go out along the walking tracks near my place. Initially I come across quite a busy area with some nice shops around and I feel this urge of going for shopping instead and get a coffee, but I voice myself to focus and keep walking. The beats of my music is slowing giving me a rhythm and I am feeling better already. I cross the hustle of the city and slowly get into a more residential area.
This area is leafy and full of trees which have lost their leaves in Winter. I come across many oldies who smile warmly at me and some moms who are busy attending their kids while they walk holding hands. Reminded me of my mom and how I used to go for walks with her as a kid. I keep walking. I see an old lady trying to cross the road but is scared. I stop by and hold her hand and help her cross the road, she smiles and says “God bless ya child”. I smile back and feel at peace, I keep walking. I can smell the air around, the strange smell of the bark of the leafless trees, the smell of grass, or some seasonal flowers and the smell of winter in this part of the world. I can see a church a bit further up, I am quite exhausted for my low stamina but my lure towards old churches kept me going.
The Sun is about to set, the last rays of the Sun is falling on the Church and making it look so beautiful. There is no one around, but I decide to go inside the Church. I slowly push the Church door and it opens with a squeak. I am scared if am barging in. I see no one inside the Church, no wait, there is someone, an old lady. I walk towards her and then take a seat in one of the front rows and smile at her. I have to appreciate the old piece of architecture and how well it has been maintained over the years. I pray for a while closing my eyes and open my eyes to find that the old lady is decorating the church with some beautiful white lilies. She was picking every flower as if it was her child and then very carefully placing them on the wall.
When I told her that the flowers are beautiful, she said there is a funeral later for which she is setting them up. Does white symbolise death, it certainly symbolises peace, so maybe its for the peace of the departed soul. I was suddenly feeling very small compared to everything around. Death, that’s such a nonpareil truth. All we congregate in this world, all the wealth, possessions, relationships everything is perishable…someday. What will remain in this world will be the bonds we make and the memories in the heart of the near ones. I felt an unanticipated tear in my eye. While immersed in such deep thoughts, I didn’t realise I was being observed by the old lady.
She looked at me and asked my name. She said she has been coming to this Church since years and to her, birth and death are like best friends who are inseparable. They go hand in hand and make a complete life cycle. How easily she explained it. She walked towards me and gave me a hug and said was great meeting me and that her name was Bevillé. I wanted to say the same but my voice was chocked. I ran on the way back, happy, fit and realising that the true fitness mantra is to be nice to others, smile and just live a healthy life.
Fitness is not only to have a healthy body but also to have a healthy soul. Mental health is as important as physical health. Everyone has their own battles, help others in need and smile when you see a sad face on the street, maybe all they need from you is a Smile 🙂
They say, “Everyone has their own song”. A song that connects them to eternity, to love, to life and to themselves. Similarly, every relationship has its own song. A song that is reminiscent of time immemorial or of something exceptional. A song is your own because it relates to some specific personal event, it is own because our life finds its rhythm and music in that song. Whenever we hear that song, we remember the event or the person to which this song is allied and treasure our solace at heart.
Some songs remind us of a journey, some remind us of home, some of our parents or grand parents, some songs remind us of friendship and some of love. Sometimes the tune of an old song takes you back to the memory lane and you even land up making a call to an old friend or a lost love. Some songs make you cry while some make you smile but every song stirs a feeling inside your heart. The tears are the witness of some painful incident with which this song was concomitant. The smile on the other hand is the evidence that this song is part of some happy memory. A song reflects the state of your heart at that instance of time and that in turn makes a song your own. You hum the tune when ever you want to revisit that occurrence of time.
Humans are very possessive. They don’t want to let go of time. They want to cling on to time either in form of a photograph or a song or a video or something tangible that takes them back to the memory lane. A song is a way to capture a moment forever. Sometimes on a gloomy day, I remember the lullaby my mom used to sing for me when I was a child, it’s a vent to revisit my childhood days. When I miss my best friend, I remember the songs we sang together on our journeys and in many of our memorable trips. My favourite songs have changed over time. Some new ones have become my favourite now and some old ones are slowly fading away from my memory with time.
I guess life is also like a song. People come and go, some stay forever and some fade with time. Lucky are those who find their song and for the rest, have you tried finding your song yet? 🙂
The Rebel Tears
Suddenly felt it is raining,
Looked out, but it was not;
Are these some tears
Trying to be Rebel?
This music is known,
The symphony Old;
Does music bring tears;
Are the tears known?
Can’t recall the time,
When there was a smile;
Time is only prevalent
To make me rebel awhile!
Hope has a price attached,
To smile is expensive;
Life has never been so detached,
Is it so unscrupulous to be possessive?
Another year ends. A year full of moments, full of journeys, smiles, tears, memories, love and pain. A year which will never come back. A time, which is now past.
Did I learn something new, did I loose someone, love someone or did I just breathe? Did I make a new friend? Saw a new place? Did I laugh this year? Or did I just live each day as it happened. Did I see the Sunrise or the Sunset..did I let my feet touch the water of the sea..did I feel the softness of the wet grass..did I remember to look up at the sky and see the birds fly to their nest? Did I help someone..did I make someone Smile..did I remember to say Thank You to the loved ones and mention that I love them too? Did I give mom a tight Hug? Did I spend some time with my best friend and tell her that she means the world to me? Did I gift someone flowers? Did I pamper myself..did I dream of a better tomorrow..did I forgive and forget? Did I thank God for being there?
Life changed each day, I grew up another year, saw a new daylight each day, met new people, learned to smile. Loved each moment and loved life every second. The mystery, the mist, the moments and the moon…life’s good. Thanks Time!
When you feel lonely,
And need a friend to share,
When you are in your blues,
And wanna have a beer..
I’ll be around….
When the days are long,
And the nights are quick,
When work is more,
Six days a week..
I’ll be around….
When the rains are heavy,
And the sky is full of clouds,
When the house is all empty,
And you await a sound..
I’ll be around…
I’ll be around in the times dark & grey,
I’ll keep you in my prayers every time I pray,
I’ll hold you tight and not let you fall,
I’ll make you alright and let no one harm you at all..
Is that you?
I can feel it’s you;
But why can’t I see,
Are you too close to me!
I know your touch,
I can feel your breath,
I can sense your smell,
Are you trying to hide!
Every time I feel you,
You become a part of my soul;
Even if I try to escape,
Your shadow plays your role;
These hide and seek,
The cold moments of bleak,
Why don’t we just end the game?
And let us both get rid of the pain!