Janmashtami is the day Hindus celebrate the birth of Krishna the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There are 10 avatars of Vishnu namely Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, (Balarama) or Buddha, and Kalki (yet to be born).
Buddha and his philosophies are followed across the world. His intellect and his way of treating life is an inspiration in itself.
Yet, Vishnu’s avatar, Krishna stands out. Why?
His adoptive mother called Him Kanha out of love. His father and his entire kingdom adored Him. This little child wore a top-knot that had a downward left slide. He wore a peacock feather in His bun. His mother, Yashoda, adorned His crown with pearls. He wore a yellow ‘dhoti’ and a pearl and gold necklace.
He is the ‘Laddoo’ Gopal the world has loved for centuries!
There is something about the child that He universally loved. Krishna is the epitome of the perfect child. Everyone wants to have a naughty, intelligent, intuitive and humane child, like Krishna. I cannot fail to mention his childhood friend Radha. Kanha’s friend Radha is synonymous with the perfect girl-child.
In India, every year, parents rejoice in the joy of parenthood by celebrating Janamashtami. Every year, a young man or woman prays for a boon – the birth of that perfect man, men dream of being and women dream of having as their partner.
Let me not get into the nuances of religion. I only want to emphasise how Krishna is beyond religion. Kanha and Radha Rani are about loving kids and revelling in their glory. It is a celebration of youth and the happiness of being alive and thriving.
That’s the beauty of Hinduism and Krishna. The philosophy and this person is beyond all boundaries that define living.
I love Kanha, aka Laddoo Gopal, aka Nadu, aka Krishna. And I love Radha Rani the epitome of a girl-child. Krishna and Radha define an inexplicable pure devotion. They define the pleasure of parenthood. They define how it is important to celebrate every child who is born irrespective of their gender. Even pets have a Krishna and Radha in them. (Kanha loved all animals and plants. He spoke to them every day and it is believed they talked back to Him)
Krishna defines the love of an adoptive mother. His love supersedes species-specific regard. Krishna is about affection as it should be. Pristine, pure and non-judgemental.
Krishna and Janmashtami are all about true love, a love that transcends all boundaries and distinctions.
I am not sure who devised the most elusive, surreptitious, disruptive and the possessor of all the negative adjectives in the world -'Headache'.
Strange as it may seem, my literary journey began at 13 years of age. After weeks of that strong ache hammering my head, I felt so emotionally and physically drained one morning, that I uncharacteristically picked up my diary and pencil and composed my first serious poetry: 'My head is a headache.' Phew!
My love and hate relationship with my aching head still continues.
There are different types of annoyances of the cranium. Some are constant, some intermittent. Some feel as if a huge mountain is strategically placed on my skull. A little tilt of the head and the neck sinks under the weight of the heavy object while the skull tries its best to adjust the weight and the twinge associated with it. Then there is that throbbing that occupies only a part of my head, it aches so much that I feel that one side of my cranial area is someone else’s, not mine. I guess my intellect tries to balance out the negatives from my positives and my deficiencies overpower my goodnesses, hence the hurt.
Yes, someone will say that medicines will work. No! 'Mind' has a mind of its own.
It works only the way it wants to. When it decides to be stubborn and unrelenting, you resign to it. This makes me think of the number of times I have said no to any reasonable advice imparted by my loved ones to me. Similar to the cephalic ignoring the plea of the sting-alleviating balm, I made it a point to turn a deaf ear to their counsels. The outcome of that wilfulness has always been my eye-opener.
My wilful head, its refusal to heed to the medicines', balm; therefore leads to my eyelids drooping in pain like a leaf succumbs to torrential rain.
A living being except some strange ones like ameba cannot exist without the cranium. Thus, a balance between the body and mind is crucial. While it is easy to train the body, it is impossible to sway a mind. Sometimes I end up accepting this pest of discomfort as a part of me, and sometimes I try my best to disown it. When nothing works, jadedly I forfeit.
I guess it is sometimes better to acknowledge weakness. It is the only door to self-improvement and development. My headaches although menacing and upsetting do fill me with astuteness. Every time it aches, it teaches me fortitude, leniency and most of all it makes me strong to fight – to have a clearer vision of life when the torment ceases.
To sum it all, let me share my first ever poem with you:
My Head is a Headache
My Head is a headache, As it always aches;
It makes my life miserable, Night and day.
It doesn’t happen once, It doesn’t happen twice;
It happens every day, Whether day or night.
I am always in a worry, That it will visit again;
But it is such a scurry, It will show up with pain.
The main problem is, The medicine doesn't work;
My head is too adapted, To the med and its dose.
I could’ve been happy If it would’ve been mild;
But it isn’t so friendly, As it wants me to die,
It's always been acute, Sure to drive me mad;
But now I find it cute; ‘Coz I don’t care a damn!
Author: Kleio B'wti
In high school, a day before school recommenced after the summer break, my friend called me. She sounded sad and soon started sobbing. One of our classmates, one who was in section C of class 9th had left us forever. I staggered to silence for a while. Hearing my friend still sniveling on the other line, I tried to find an explanation for it all.
Finally, I came up with an inane version that God loved her enough to avoid the anxieties of exams, college, job-life. It calmed my friend a little.
The cause of her demise was a mystery. It was later declared an accidental death due to a reaction to some fizzy drink (I am not sharing the name of the brand of the drink because I haven't seen the official postmortem report. Being a responsible person, I'd like to keep the name under wraps).
I still remember her twinkling eyes, her enthusiasm. How she greeted anyone she met with warmth and acceptance. We were never in the same section in school; however, I always felt she was a part of my own notorious section-A.
Such wonderful people meet us in life, to teach us how to live. They themselves lead a very short life, yet they inspire us to lead our comparatively longer ones with inspiration.
Then, in Class 11, a girl, a couple of years junior to me, and a family friend's daughter committed suicide. I still can see her sunny personality and joy de vive.
Her irrational, crazy end still haunts me.
Someday, when I die, I will meet them. We will again sing and clap in merry-go-rounds, swing up to the sky, chat on a see-saw, play basketball and dance for cultural programs. I guess the place for all the fun will be in heaven this time.
To all those who have lost a friend or loved one, remember we are here to carry on the plans they made, succeed in what they started. Don't give up. Don't let go, don't say goodbye, just try, because they are watching over us, egging us to make our dreams come true.
To sum it all, I quote George Elliot, “Only in the agony of parting so we look into the depths of love.”
Poet: Kleio B'wti
I stand all alone,
Staring at the sea;
I see the waves rise,
I see the waves sway,
With more vigor, this time,
Like a man who rises,
And then falls from his prime
Just as one sits by the ocean to listen to the waves crashing about, life too is roughened up by situations. The waves sometimes portray smothered dreams; aspirations drowned in dejection. The salty water that's unable to drench the quest for triumphs or quench the thirst for knowledge. Yet, looking at a water body, with the waves dashing about, the cacophony of the aqua is mesmerizing. The noise of maritime crams one with a strange harmony- therapeutic stillness.
What is the enigma? How is it that the noise brings tranquillity?
How is it that the world around seems a teeny bit meaningless when the water body dances about its witnesses? Why do the waves capture the gazes of the appraisers into a hypnotic rhythm? How do they riot a samba of emotions hitherto never fails to hold one's attention to absoluteness? The answer perhaps lies in the fact that the human body is composed of about 60% of water. More so, it is a womb full of liquid that a child first develops from a fetus to a living being. It is thus impossible to shy away from one's source of existence- water.
Another version is the strange magnetism that the water bodies create in its onlookers. Just as a wave starts in a small mold, and rises up to a crescendo on its seventh run to the land, our lives move in a similar pattern. A small wave of apprehension can probably lead to a second bout of sadness, then a third round of guilt, a fourth bout of detachment, a fifth hiccup of depression, and a sixth swing of abject failure. Yet like the seventh wave which is the largest, the sad times also change with a huge bang. They hurtle and splinter on the rocks of circumstances; they pull back the debris of nothingness and fill one's heart with a renewed hope, and finally the courage to stand up and fight.
Geoffrey Chaucer, who is the Father of English Literature said; 'Time and Tide wait for none.'
According to Chaucer time and tide follows a pattern of change. Time and tide are both ironically numb to the very process of change itself. They go about doing their job, ticking away, splashing about. They never fail to edify ‘hope’. Like everything else, challenges will be subdued. Just like the tide, the time of sorrow, trouble, insecurity or anxiety will metamorphosis into happiness, victory, smile and satisfaction. To fearing for the worst is never a wise way of living.
It is important to strive with 100% conviction and optimism. Good things will come. It will come to the one who always alert. It's made for the one who nabs that silent huge wave with determination, the presence of mind and poise.
Nature is here to teach us the ways of life. The water bodies, waves, whirlpools, river currents teach us that life is never consistent or constant. Change is the second nature of life. Good things will always come. They will stay as bank balance, photographs, memories and most importantly self-assurance and valor. Ghastly will transform, all misfortunes will vanish, poison will turn into medicine, the roller coaster of verve ricochets prevalence. Existence never fails to swim along our share to succeed.
.Author: Kleio B'wti
Sometimes I feel I’m a sad and lonely girl. Walking on shingles, barefoot, with bleeding soles.
Maybe my soles are where my soul rests, paining-bleeding. I remember walking by faith, undeterred.
My life has crashed in debris yet the ruins are still bearing saplings. For those germinating lives of aspirations- as leaves and roots grow, I live. I live to water them into smiling trees.
Happy or not, reluctant and broke, I water those sprigs of hope, I live. Coz depression, fear, bruise, and pain are not the options for life.
Life is living; life is pushing others to meet their aim- to live- to win. And I’m the gardener. I’ll see the leaves of new beginnings transform the lives they touch. And I’ll live, live to protect those dreams.
Author: Kleio B'wti
Your world is shaking, fissuring the dreams.
The blood of failure dribs -- drop by drop, shielding your bruised ego in its translucent, soggy film. Yet you are unable to hide the shame.
With every glance of the stranger’s voyeuristic eyes, you feel the nakedness of your soul, peeping through. Persistently endeavoring to hide under your skin it fails. The spaces in between your ruptured hide are now miles long, your body is tattered and your soul exposed.
It's not in your hands; your self-respect has bleached itself into a gray, crumpled, and defeated slugger. It refuses to move, even creep, crawl or shake. Lying inert it is dying, moaning, and begging to be dismissed. The dejection is too deep and so concentrated that it covers your sight as well as your hindsight in unflattering dark glasses that block anything good from your vision.
You are in the lowest of all lows. Your entity feels smaller than an iota -- the tiniest grain of sand. You are no more a living being, nor a plant, nor a seed, not even ash- unaware of who you are, or what you can be. You are a bygone chord in the universe of the breathing many.
It is when this wave of awfulness covers all the colors of your rainbow into soot; something in you awakens.
This something slashes through your nothingness, breaks the sad film blinding your sight, accumulates your boons and dismembers your banes. You suddenly stop wriggling in the dirt of loss; pull yourself to your full height – upright! Arm yourself for another bout at your quest. Apply the learnings and wisdom. This slayer is the sword of your hope.
Never think you have lost, recollect your assets, and remember the fight is not yet over. Your breath is the talisman of your triumphs.
Author: Kleio B'wti
Some believe that the soul chooses the body it will take at the time of rebirth. It is also believed that the soul chooses the family and the environment it will be born to. The belief is that the soul makes this choice so as to absolve its past mistakes and work towards attaining enlightenment- the final route to God Realization.
God Realization is the soul’s final goal.
After various life encounters, I have realized that we, who choose a human form are escapists. We choose the easy way out to work towards the journey of the soul’s journey towards its goal. On the other hand, the souls who choose to be born in any other form of the beast but Homo sapiens, are the courageous ones. They live on the streets, get abused by the higher animal-man, they go through perils, are abandoned-killed.
But whatever they are inflicted with, they remember to create value by a slobbery lick to the sad, companionship to the lonely, inspiration for soul searching to the seeker. Even a carnivorous animal kills only for the sake of sustenance. Never do we see a tendency of hoarding among animals. With limited medical facilities as compared to human beings, even without the protection of their rights that a person enjoys, they still strive to maintain the eco-system and in their own way strive to let their soul’s learn and transform.
But look at us! We kill for no reason. Even when we go vacationing to a foreign land as tourists; or we enter a safe country as refugees- fleeing persecution of nature or humans. Instead of showing our gratitude, we decide to bomb the country of shelter, gun down the citizens who support us needy visitors by paying taxes. We violate human rights and consider it an act of glory. And when we cannot justify our actions, we term it as a religious decree.
The biggest religion in the world is humanity. Humanity brings peace in the environment and land. Retribution, on the contrary, brings anarchy. The total intolerance and hatred we have for others will never allow us to achieve our utmost potential. Thus, our soul will not move towards God Realization. It’s time we check ourselves before priding ourselves as higher mammals. We are actually reducing to a heap of dust of distressed mortals.
This suffering imposed on our globe could lead to permanent damage- an irrevocable injury that will be beyond repair. Let’s try to heal the land and the people with love, respect and acceptance for each one’s miscellany. Let us at least think, visualize and actually walk towards world peace. Our world does not deserve another Brussels Attack, Paris Attack, Ukraine Attack, 9/11 mishap, Iraq War, North Korea, Ethnic Wars and World Wars.
The Dalai Lama has rightly said, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
So, let us discard ammunitions, hatred, retribution and aggressive tendencies- to build a safe and tranquil Earth.
Author: Kleio B'wti