The memory of the poet, orator, politician, statesman, India’s favourite former Prime Minister will live on…
As a child, I was interested in politics. I sat with my family to hear politicians speak in the Lok Sabha. And I always waited to hear him speak.
His words made my blood rush with a patriotic fervour. His poems were my personal favourite. As a poet, I wondered if I could ever write like him. Or if my words would affect the mass with the fervent desire to uplift the world. His words did that. He made people think. His words always ensured positive and progressive thoughts in one and all. That was the power of his words.
His smile to me was the balm of the early morning sun. It brightened me. His winsome smile motivated me. It made me want to contribute in the building a stronger society that was bound by values and traditions. Yet, it drove me to think differently, to break from the dead norms. It made me learn to be modern while respecting my roots.
It was when I saw him in those sunglasses that I wondered if I had got it all wrong. That simple man had an evergreen suave. It made me confident that he was a modern man with a traditional heart.
I remember Pokhran. I remember the Kargil war. Most importantly, I remember his poise when the going got tough. I remember his peaceful countenance when India achieved its national goals.
Today, it is tough to trust politicians. He on the other hand looked and sounded trustworthy. He was a man who had friends, advisors and probably detractors. However, this man had no adversaries. No enemies! How did he manage that? But he did! That was because he was extraordinary. His strong character stood out at times of crisis and at times of joy.
Born on Christmas, call him 93 or just a man in his early 20s. The truth is, he was such a young person at heart. The sparkle in his eyes, the serenity of his smile and his salt n pepper look. I liked it all.
The only politician I ever admired and look up to is gone. He has left a void that no one can fill.
There is plenty of reason why I hold him in such a high regard. The primary reason is that it easy to get carried away when one is powerful. It is easy to get swayed when the stakes are high. Only the strongest person can forgo all the trappings of the world to toil for the nation and its’ people.
This man did. He was as his name suggested. He was strong, uncompromising, generous and unmoved by temptations. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, my favourite statesman, poet and orator will always live in my memory. He will consistently inspire me. He will forever push me to be a better poet.
The poem of Indian politics has become quiet. But we will spread his lyrics throughout the world by building a strong nation.
RIP Mr Vajpayee. You will be missed by the nation.
The battered woman swayed down the street elegantly.
With her hair flying around, she strategically hid the wounds. She was a vision in black, the modern day muse of Byron’s ‘She walks in beauty’.
With her hair flying around, she strategically hid the wounds. She was a vision in black, the modern day muse of Byron’s ‘She walks in beauty’.
She turned heads with her poise. But one look at her tear-drenched face would give her beholders sleepless nights. She was a dream for many. But in her home, she was the object that was whipped, kicked, abused and banged against the wall…
She was oblivious to the concerned passersby who looked and re-looked at her tortured beauty. The people took a measure of her condition but she was suffering too much to notice. Her painful strides were purposeful. With each step, she evaluated her life.
What was her fate? Was her courage failing? Or was she just that drifting wind that people closed their windows on? Who was she? Why was she broken and bruised? Why was the vision so helpless, a putty in the hands of that Satan?
Who would rescue her, someone asked. She overheard the question. She wiped the ceaseless tears and said to herself, ‘ I will save her. Because I love her. And I won’t be assaulted and disparaged anymore. I’ll stand up for myself. But I won’t lose my compassion. I’m not weak because I am constantly tortured. I’m strong. I’ve learned from my past. And I’m equipped for the future.’
Her statement acted like a magical prayer. She grew wings of pastel pristine shades. The wings flapped. With each flap of her wings, all her bruises vanished. Her pinions swayed and buzzed with courage. With each move, she found a new purpose. She soon felt the sunshine soothe her torn soul. She flew and with that, she freed herself of further doom.
“No woman has to be a victim of physical abuse. Women have to feel like they are not alone.” – Salma Hayek
Did Mahatma Gandhi promote violence? Did the man who promoted non-violence in the modern era, actually promote an act of violence?
These thoughts have been nagging me since I read an article on Facebook on Nathuram Godse.
The World Health Organization defines violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation…” (Refer Wikipedia)
Mahatma Gandhi promoted non-violence by fasting. He also said that if a person slaps you, present him with your other cheek. He urged people to do Satyagraha by sitting out in the sun and protest against the British regime. Honesty, is that what non-violence means? Isn’t harming oneself a form of violence?
Mahatma Gandhi promoted masochism as a way of non-violence. But violence is not always external. It can also be internal. As a person who is born in a different era, and who has never met Mahatma Gandhi, it would be wrong on my part to blame Gandhi. He might not have realised what repercussions his conceptions would have on the nation as a whole. His method was effective enough to get India freedom. But at what cost?
There is a lot that India lost. But mostly, it came up with a generation that likes to shout slogans and waste time fighting over nothing. Agitation is a great way to go about making a change. But how about constructive agitation like they follow in Japan? What is better, to stop production in a shoe factory completely and sit outside the factory and shout slogans? Or is it more productive to make only the left shoe while agitating? In the first case, the workers waste time and sweat to get their demands fulfilled. In the second example, the workers never stop production. Therefore, when the shoe factory resumes functioning, the factory that has no shoes suffers huger loss than the factory that only produced the left foot of shoes.
It is possible, Gandhi never wanted the agitators to stop being productive. But that’s what his non-violent struggle has taught Indians. His kind of non-violence is a violence to the self (like fasting or going through the physical ordeal for a particular cause). It is a violence to the nation (where workers waste time and agitate) and violence to the whole democratic system. It’s time we review our concept of non-violence in India.
What appalled me the most, however, was what Gandhi’s assassination on 30 January 1948 did to the nation. The man who assassinated Gandhi was Nathuram Godse. His ideas were different from Gandhi’s. He shot Gandhi and surrendered, did not fight arrest. He did not fight ridicule. Godse accepted what came to him. He accepted it as his fate. Here are the excerpts on his final statement in 1948–
.I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me… I did fire shots at Gandhiji in open daylight. I did not make any attempt to run away; in fact, I never entertained any idea of running away. I did not try to shoot myself… for, it was my ardent desire to give vent to my thoughts in an open Court. My confidence about the moral side of my action has not been shaken even by the criticism levelled against it on all sides. I have no doubt, honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof some day in future.”
Nathuram Godse didn’t question the court’s decision. He did make an appeal against his death sentence. That’s all he did. As a citizen of free India, he exercised his right. I am sure he knew his death sentence wouldn’t be reversed. But he wanted to exercise his rights. Every citizen has that right.
It is 2018 now. Even after 70 years of Gandhi’s death, Nathuram Godse’s autobiography is banned. He is still disregarded by the people. People only remember him as a murderer. People have forgotten what a strong person he was. We have refused to learn from his honesty. Is Nathuram Godse given any importance in India? He only gets derision.
Sadly, the man who stood for non-violence could not preach non-violence. If he had done so, Nathuram Godse would not have been killed by law. He would have got a life sentence along with counselling.
The symbol of non-violence was the most violent man. Because he could not preach the goodness, compassion and forgiveness he so boasted of. Gandhi’s assassination led to riots. After his death, the one who assassinated him was hung to death. His books were banned. He was treated as a villain. Even after decades of the incident’s passing, we are as violent to Nathuram Godse as we were in 1948. Does any person deserve such aggression? I don’t think so.
Would Mahatma Gandhi agree with me?
There is a voice within that natters to us. Occasionally it’s a persistent prattle that jars our nerves. At other times, it is the voice that guides us through troubled times.
What is this inner voice? Is it actually the divine talking to us? Or is it the celestial that is within us? Does this voice exist among the terrorists, murderers, and other anti-social elements?
Sigmund Freud called it the Super Ego chatting with us. Some call it the God within. Others say it’s a 'gut feeling'. Sadly, there are plenty in the world today who are hard of hearing their inner voice.
The voice of reason essentially means that every person has some goodness and astuteness in them. Even before committing an act of crime for a split second, the heart stops, the mind recoils, the blood recedes from even those who are deaf to the inner voice. Just like we get habituated to narcotics, alcohol and other substance of dependence, people tend to under-hear the tune within as a habit. Those who are deaf need to overhaul their spiritual self.
Why? Because being hearing-impaired by choice to the power of self-reasoning is preposterous!
Every learned man, all spiritual or religious text requests its readers to look deep within where all the answers rest- the answer to illness, grief, triumph, and harmony. Let's try to take note of that little voice within. I am sure it is whispering the happiest and purest phrases into our spirits, hearts, and intellect.
Our Song Recommendation for this Blog Post!
There is a small anecdote that really got me thinking. Here it goes:
One day the Buddha was walking through a village. A person walked up to him and started shouting invectives at him. The man was a stranger that the Buddha did not know.
Buddha looked at the angry man and asked him a hypothetical question. "If you buy a gift for a friend who refuses to accept it, then to whom will the gift belong?"
The confused villager replied, "If I had bought the gift, it would belong to me!"
The Buddha said with a serene smile, "I do not accept the anger and aspersions you have thrown at me. I guess you know now whom they belong to."
Life throws several stones of negativity at us. Not accepting them as obstacles will allow the situation to not affect us. Considering problems as propellers of self-advancement remodels problems into the catalyst for transformation. Getting cowered by snags; livid at contrary situations, spur the challenges to absorb pessimism in our lives. We live in a free world.
The onus of every decision we take is our own.
Whatever comes our way is for us to acknowledge. We can ignore them; throw them away; keep them in a cupboard, or display them in our life. This can create value in our own lives and others. Every day is a gift. Each present is precious. Any prospect is an invitation of goodness. It’s all a matter of perspective. It is all up to us, how we treat the various stimuli that we collide with.
Self-conviction can confront trouble head-on.
“A little gift of trust is all it takes.” – Kleio B’wti
The conversation took a turn towards spiritual treasures, while my friend and I were having a conversation.
He said, "We don't need a ruler anymore. Today our world needs a guide to amalgamate mankind, to give them something good." I realized after a ponder. that he was talking about humanity!
Our world is segregated. The great divide separates our race, religion, choice of food and even the choice of dressing! To gain acceptance its compulsory to fit in with the beliefs of the majority. Variably those who flout doctored characteristics are condemned!
Man+Kindness = Mankind
The word 'Mankind' only signifies benevolence. Those who possess great compassion belong to the elite group called Mankind.
Life isn’t about social adherence, financial abundance, and superfluous beliefs!
We have the caliber to not judge. Receptiveness to varied choices made by others is what tolerance is all about. Who are we to judge right from wrong? Why do we consider people with different choices unloved by the Almighty? Who are we to boycott them as the residents of hell after they die?
Without the blessings of the Great one, would they have had the courage to stand up? Children are innocent mudpies. They have the potential to take their own beautiful shape, provided they are not cramped with the potter's expectations. Every individual likewise has the capability to be their own self and succeed.
The Bible quotes, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." Matthew 7:1
Life is actually about recognition of diversity and admiration of each entity. People who follow this mantra are the guides. They integrate mankind into a striking tapestry of cohesiveness. Why can't we live like children, carefree? Can’t we have the childlike wonder for multifariousness? Why can't we view a naive life- an extravagant assortment of heterogeneity?
Yes, we can. It's effortless- just a sprinkle of unwavering warmth, for the living kind- the humankind- the humane kind.
Author: Kleio B'wti
Artists are artists because they have a knack of feeling ‘more’.
How human mind dissects a situation may differ (even for artists). But because their threshold is much higher than normal, they feel more, emote more, express more and sometimes cry more.
A normal news to us or an ever so worldly tv show is very evocative. It makes us cry, laugh, depressed, or rejuvenated. It’s difficult to understand us. Being one like him, I heard his plea for help when he wrote a message on one of the online community that we are both a part of.
He wrote, "Help me!"
Hope he is alright. As all you other artists are. We have a very short life. There is a story in each one of us. The more we live and suffer, better we are at storytelling.
I feel that Jhon Keats, Sylvia Plath, Robin Williams, Freddy Mercury, Ernest Hemmingway or Perry Moore would have been able to do more had they not been gone. They had mysteries to discover. Many stories to reveal. Infinite beauty to create. Yet, the sudden stroke of death took them away. With them gone, their talents vanished.
Left behind are crumbs of possibilities- the genius of their talent in shards.
Dear, fellow artists fight this hopelessness. Fight this pain. We are a community. Technology has made our world smaller and you will find a compatriot.
Don’t give up. We will make this world better. Let's strive to stay alive. We have to fight with our swords of creativity for as long as we can. Let's stand together and as one.
We are the soldiers with no ammunition or arms. Fortified with a simple pen, ink, and imagination we fight on and on.
On Christmas this year, ie 25 December 2016 this personal blog 'Damsel Outraged' took shape.
I took a public bus on my way back from a little adventure I had planned for myself. A sleazy man sat next to me and started pressing his body to mine. I kept scuttling towards the left corner but when I could no longer do so, I asked the man very politely to move a wee bit to his right.
The man exploded with invectives. He started threatening me.
A lady was sitting with her daughter just opposite us. She avoided glancing at me a support! I luckily found a seat in the next row where a girl was sitting uninterested in the old man's rudeness. I sat next to her, I shook my head in resignation, the girl looked at me with disgust and then looked away. The old shoddy man said the worst things possible about my character, my family, my upbringing and more. He did not even fall short of calling me base! No one stood up for me.
Finally, a priest, our fellow passenger on the bus asked the man, "Forgive her bro, she is a child. She made a mistake!" Is standing up for one's self-respect and security a mistake?
There are men who publically violate a female irrespective of her age. It is also imperative to remember that abuse can happen in many forms and in different degrees. Any kind of abuse is condemnable.
It was not the first time I endured such an ordeal. Every Indian girl will agree with me! Even as an infant I faced worse trouble in public places in India! The first abuse I was inflicted with was at the age of four. I remember I started crying on the street. My parents picked me up but I was too little to explain how some strange, unknown hand had violated me! Recalcitrant, many-a-times I have courageously stood up for my own protection from filthy words and deeds.
I realized that no one ever stands up for a girl, even the females themselves!
The chilling case of Nirbhaya never rests. Unfortunately, some people blamed her. They tried to dilute the level of devilry that was involved in the attack. Strangely, the youngest and the cruelest of the rapists was set free, not executed for raping and killing a promising citizen of the country.
This recent incident was again a proof of how insensitive we are to women issues. There was no outrage.
No one stood up for me. The only one who could not take the sick man's rot blamed me for the incident! There were women, who saw what happened. There was a lady who was with her daughter and it was evident she doted on her child. Yet, she did not ask the man to stop or move away. She preferred looking the other way, holding her daughter tight. We had the film #Pink starring Amitabh Bachchan that released this year and showed a similar predicament accurately.
Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi had rightly mentioned in a speech how imperative it is to bring up well-behaved sons.
He pointed out why a child becomes a rapist as he grows up. Most male children in India are not taught to value women, stand by them and protect them. Unfortunately, a mother stops her daughter from staying out with her friends till late. Yet, she is unperturbed when the son decides to stay out at night. We bring up a girl differently from a boy even in the most democratic households.
The latest blockbuster movie #Dangal stars Aamir Khan with an assorted star cast. The movie showcases that a daughter is the pride of her family. A girl needs to be brought up to be mentally and physically superior or as capable as any other man.
No damsel is ever in distress if she knows how to fight and protect herself.
I knew how to protect myself. I did it most non-violently. After addressing him politely, I moved away. I did not reciprocate to his insinuations. I remembered to enlighten him the reason he was losing his temper. He was the guilty one! I did not budge, I did not cry. An empowered female, I stood up for myself.
I urge every woman to be stand up to be a strong, each day.
Author: Kleio B'wti
That sneeze shattered the room with its powerhouse sound! The violence with which it dissonated the eardrums was criminal! A wave of sound traveled faster than light to overpower the audience into surrender. All in that sneeze- that one powerful fireball of all sounds!
The drum rolls in the newspapers, on television, social media are opinions opposing one another. Everybody wants to have a say. Everyone wants to be heard. A universal desire to sneeze out opinion is overwhelming. Strangely, the germs, sometimes saliva that a sneeze carries are often ignored in the matter of public opinion. Yet again, every viewpoint infects people's minds enough to think and sometimes becomes an anomaly that leads to stringent actions. Some such reactions act as antivirus that finds ways to cure society of its illnesses while at other times they are harmful enough to infiltrate an infected society into a social famine.
No talk is ever loose, no story a false tale. It makes sense to some listener or the other. At least it does make sense to the speaker! Nevertheless, in actuality, the sharing of viewpoints is solely a continuous un-rhythmic bout of sneezes!Was Cinderella actually dwelling unhappily in cinders near the kitchen oven, or had she burnt her house down into cinders?
One of the most loved tales around the world has various versions from folklore to a futuristic tale! We all go with the happy endings. We are however, unaware if they actually happened, and when they did, if the happiness was longterm? Sounds more like sugar coated reality! Cinderella's household fairy tale chronicles various interpretations, since at least 510 AD. It was first documented by the Chinese around 860 AD by the name of 'Ye Xian'. Definitely, it's Literature's way of telling the world,
"Hey! Open your eyes and ears, keep them open forever! Never let your opinions shut the voice of reason, the heart of exploring the unknown."
Coughing out viewpoints and sneezing through opinions may seem like a harmless pastime. Unfortunately, they play a major role in defining the lives we live. An opinion formation leads to perception making that leads to creating judgments- to be judgemental. It's always better to check, recheck and double check; to hear as many versions of the same story before coming to a conclusion.
Let words, thoughts, beliefs and convictions not remain mere sneezes that shake the stage of their foundation. May it not be a bullet that murders reason. Let it not be the foot that squishes the sapling of advancement. Change the way how the world sees a sneeze. Allow words not to be solely public embarrassment. Let the utterance be a harbinger that communicates a new direction of ideas and thoughts for greater good.
Let sneeze be musical and life a dance of progressive thoughts.
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Author: Kleio B'wti