Sreenath Sreenivasan

Thriving Mindfully

Tag: Love (page 1 of 2)

Getting in touch with motherhood

Cheeks are pale , Not rosy
A product of a sin

For her fingers touch a display
And not her baby’s skin

As a mother’s halo eclipses
By the glow and sheen of a screen

The child, lonely and forlorn
A complex grows deep within

Do we need a rosy cheek, a dimple?
A motherhood pure and simple?

A childhood filled with bliss?
With no gaze, no touch, ever amiss?

Don’t trade your time and touch
And save yourself loneliness much

Keep screens aside,
Slow down your pace
And accept your motherhood
With joy and grace

For every child
Should beam and smile,
On the journey of life
Every mile

Touch
Hold
Cuddle
Kiss

And leave behind
moments to reminisce

For Mother and child
Shall realise soon after

That life is an echo
of all your childhood laughter.

When Faiths Unite

Situated side by side
Sharing a wall
There stand
Two shrines

In the morning
The temple prays
In the shadow of the mosque

In the evening
The mosque prays
In the shadow of the temple

At night
Both shrines, they hum
And watch each other’s back
For they share,
The same spine

The temple’s bell
A muezzin’s call
How elegantly
Do faiths entwine

We wear different caps
But should we ever fight
For what’s yours
And what’s mine?

So shall we stand
In each other’s shadow
When tomorrow,
The sun shines?

Caps aside,
Can sing a few lines?
In a rhythm divine
Of this elegant design?

 


 

The Sky is Blue and Love is Blind

All day, Every day,
Ever since time,
The sky has been saying
That it is not the color blue
Yet,
Have your eyes ever listened?
Can they?

And one fine day,
Ever since our fight,
You have been saying,
‘I do not love you anymore’
Yet, would my eyes ever listen?
Would they?

That’s the blindness man is blessed with,

The sky is not blue,
The love has gone sour,
Yet,
All we would see is Blue
And I would see is Love…

Riddled in riddles of reality
Removed from rationalisation

How do I explain this blindness?

If the sky is blue to you,
Why is my love such a surprise?

Perhaps, you will only know,
When you look into your eyes,
Through my eyes.

 


Photo : By Na Inho via Unsplash

Life on Earth 2.0

It must be the love for life,

That the Sun and Earth Swirl,

At  just the right distance.

 


Photo : Anthony Rossbach via Unsplash

 

Silence is the witness

That day,

When you looked into my eyes
There was no need to speak,
The silence affirmed,
To our love so blind.

But today,

Our eyes don’t meet,
Over years, love grows weak,
And we are led apart by a silence,
Of a different kind.

 

———

Photo : Hose Chamoli via Unsplash

 

Love in a Cemetary

In a cemetery I found
A love, lasting and true
A dog sleeps
Next to his master’s grave.

 


Photo :Ryan Walton

 

A Poem for all Mothers

Conception winds
A mother’s clock
To care for life.

Lola and the River

In summertime, the river is a channel narrow,
A trickle, it flows, as if in deep sorrow

And even though the river bank turns into a desert,
The river remains a friend she would never ever desert.

In monsoon, it floods, as clouds cry a river,
It flows with a fury, she hadn’t seen ever

And even though for safety, she has to run away,
For the river, she would kneel down and silently pray.

In winter, the river freezes to ice,
It’s a miracle of nature, a superb surprise,

From her warm company and the songs she would sing,
The ice melted slowly, to the arrival of spring.

In springtime the river has a gentle flow,
She’s ecstatic and so is her water buffalo

And nature responds to her love and deep wish
The river is full of flowers and fish.

Seasons change but to the river she is always nice,
Her life is a sign, a subtle advice,

For Little Lola she knew,
A truth simple,
That people are rivers,
And rivers are people.

Image : Delphi De La Rua via Unsplash

 

Who is a friend?

How we define a friend changes with age doesn’t it?
I remember when I was little, anyone who would choose to share time and space with me was my friend. And what an eclectic mix of friends did I have !
The carpenter working at home was my friend, so was the lady selling Jamun berries on the street. The scientist uncle who introduced me to the wonderous night sky to the toddler rocking in the pram next door,
The immediate world around me was full of friends!

But over time, as it happens to all of us, the group of friends narrowed down to a chosen few. We had limited time on our hands and had only so much of our attention we could give to people around.
Friends became our world but that world also shrunk considerably as compared to childhood.

We share a mysterious friendship with a childhood friend. Even if we haven’t talked to them in years, the moment we hear their voice over a phone call, we feel a profound camaraderie.
Why is that?

A few reason I can think of that could explain it :

1) A childhood friend reminds us of our roots, of who we were,
Of where we’re coming from. (Past)

2) They not only serve as a repository of nostalgia but also a messenger that informs us how much we’ve grown from who we used to be. (Present)

3) And most importantly, they care about our growth, about where we are headed. (Future)

It is a precious bond indeed.

Over the course of my bicycle journey I experienced an emotion I had never experienced before.
I felt a deep sense of friendship towards people who I was meeting for the first time. It almost felt as if they were all similar to a childhood friend in some mysterious way.

I realised that most of the people I met on the road exhibited one of the three above mentioned qualities

For instance, a little Thai kid on Phuket beach who lit a bonfire for me reminded me of my playful and exuberant childhood. He reminded me of where I came from. (Past)

A sister teaching her brother how to ride a bicycle on the street reminded of how difficult it was for me to learn to do the same. It had taken me several months.
And today, I’m fearlessly Bicycling into the unknown.
They reminded me of how far I’ve come.(Present)

Or an old Thai grandma who on realising that I had a long uphill ride to finish before sundown, chose to push my bicycle while I was riding to help me get to the destination.
She helped in whatever way she could because my growth, my progress mattered to her at some level. (Future)

These experiences only opened up my mind to consider everyone I meet as a friend.
Every beginner reminds me of who I was, where I started, where I’m coming from.

Every expert, through his work, helps me yearn for betterment. Despite not knowing me personally, I still see a friend in them because I’m sure my growth would matter to them if they came to know how much they inspire me.

Every contemporary guides me about my growth over the course of time I’ve known them.

I am of the firm belief that we can only design a better world if we all grow together, collectively.

For the growth of the world, personal growth is indispensable.

How do I see the growth of the world in the light of friendship?

To me, a friend is someone whose growth matters to me.
If I wish to see positive growth in the world, I need to see the same in the individual, in each human being.

In the interest of engineering a better world, we ought to care about each other’s growth, even that of a stranger’s.

Having this worldview helps to cultivate compassion towards everyone around us.

Your growth matters to me,
And hence, You are a friend in my heart.

I hope, in your heart,
I too am a friend.

And I believe,
Our collective growth,
Our collective friendship and brotherhood
Will engineer the change in the world we all wish to see.

What do you think, my friend ?

 

How to open up your heart

I had the fortune of volunteering at  ‘Mindful Farm’, a little community nestled among hillocks in North Chiang Mai, Thailand.

One of the things I liked most about being there was the nutritious breakfast we used to eat, seated on the floor, in complete silence, mindfully.

After breakfast, one of us would read a little story about mindfulness in daily life to everyone else. The founder, Pi Nan, had a wonderful collection of stories to be read out loud every morning.

On a particular morning, my friend Alice was reading out a story. She read the story with such an endearing cadence that all of us just wanted to keep on listening. Giving space and emphasis as it deemed fit, she beckoned us all on a journey, like Pied Piper would with his pipe.
After she finished reading the story, we all were secretly wishing that she kept on reading !

We got up from our places and continued on to work on the farm.
While we were busy working, I took a moment to compliment her about the way she read the story.

‘Alice, how did you learn to read like that?’

‘Ah, did you enjoy it?’ she asked.

‘Yes, indeed. It was read with such empathy and emotion. I felt as if I was a kid in a nursery and my teacher was reading a gripping little tale to me.’

‘Well, I am a teacher back in Myanmar. I teach kids. I have to be able to read engagingly, don’t I?’

‘Ah, that explains it!’

‘You know, I feel that we assume that we no longer need to be read to once we learn how to read. But isn’t it a joy to be be listening to a story read with the right emotion and flow?’

‘By all means !’ I assented.

And we carried on our work in the little patch of the garden.

Yesterday, my friend’s father and I sat down to share time and space. I narrated a short story to him I had written a few days ago. He recited a few of the couplets he had composed.
He had such joy in his spirit when he recited his own poetry composed in an agreeable melody.

Once he was done reciting he spoke,

‘You know, my wife has insomnia. When she cannot fall asleep at night, I sing my poetry as a lullaby to her. Before she knows, she falls asleep like a content baby.’

‘How do you think that works Uncle?’ I asked.

‘You know, I think we all feel that only little babies need lullabies to fall asleep. But, we could all use a lullaby in our life.’

Smiling gently to his wise observation, we enjoyed the evening breeze.

These two experiences with Alice and my friend’s father got me thinking about the things we do away with as we grow up.

Most experiences we consider so precious as kids are deemed to be childish.

Who doesn’t remember sleeping to a lullaby? Or a short story performed by Granny in the dark theatre of the night, that soothed us into a dream filled sleep?
The caressing on our ruffled hair by Mom, when we were down with fever? Her peculiar scent that made you feel you’re home in her arms?

As we grow up we do not let these experiences into our lives. We dare not to sleep in our mother’s lap, rationalizing our fear, fooling ourselves out of what we might truly need.

After an age, subconsciously we seek the same feelings as we did as a child, from a partner.

Yes, we need to listen to someone with deep anticipation and intent, just how we used to listen to those childhood stories.
We need to listen to them whisper in our ear, to lead us to a sound sleep, just how a lullaby used to do back in the day. We need to be touched, lovingly, like we allowed our mother to once upon a time. We need that embracing scent of our beloved, to feel home, no matter where we are, just like our mother’s scent made us feel.

Our adulthood comes with a baggage. The inertia of all those walls that we build between us and our guileless heart.
Our heart was open to love as children.
But as we grew up, we even started feeling awkward when embracing our own parents, something that used to be so natural !
How is this growth in any sense of the word?

Sometimes, growth means to retreat.
Retreat to a state of pure being,
Of having an open heart,
An all embracing soul,
That touches and let’s itself be touched.
That seeks out an embrace,a lullaby, a story, the scent of home…

 

 

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