Whispering Peace and Tranquility

Light, clouds and snow

Far away in the clouds
That lit up with your memories
A fairy smiles at me
Is that you?

Far away in the sky
A streak of light oscillates,
Each time I think of you
Is that your amorphous abode?

It’s been ages but
Your chilly embrace still warms me
Your gentle kisses reassure
You haven’t changed.

Decked in white robes
Drifting down softly
Shimmering at the thoughts
Of our reclusive rendezvous

While I lie frozen in time
Your footsteps fall on my heart
Ensconced in each other we breathe
Whispering peace and tranquility.
© Balroop Singh

This poem is inspired from Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto prompt – Distant. Thank you dear friend for the inspiration.

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

Read More poetry !

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Sunrise Splendor

Sunrise amidst clouds

                        When clouds smile
               When warmth is felt within
                   Morning seems surreal.

Winter Sunrise

                         I was watching
   Your glowing love permeated around
             Trees bowed in reverence.

Sunrise

 

Sunrise

 

                  Peeping through trees
           I enlighten light that awakens
                      Your languid love.

This post was inspired from the thoughts I shared with my blogger friend arv, who is very passionate about sunrise and wonders why people share more images of sunset.  Both sunrise and sunset allure me equally and I have spoken about them in my earlier posts. You can click on the highlighted words to read those posts.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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© Balroop Singh

How Relevant Are Short Stories In Our Lives?

How relevant are short stories

Short stories are as dear as lullabies if they are introduced at the right time. While babies derive delight in looking at the illustrations and hearing the familiar voice of their parents, children love to cuddle up with a good story book.

My earliest memories of short stories are connected with my grandma, who could tell me weirest tales without a book but only at bed time. Her favorite refrain that ‘if we tell stories during the day, travelers forget their way’ was taken seriously by us. Though I chuckle at her belief now but it brings fond memories of her face whenever I think of stories.

My love for stories grew as I chose to study and later teach literature and had an easy access to all those renowned names known for writing brilliant pieces. Some of them got entrenched in my memory as they encouraged me to imbibe the values that they glowed with.

This love was recently revived by ‘What’s In A Nameby Sally Cronin, an engaging collection of twenty short stories, each story inspired from real life and emotions that every individual has to live through. Another captivating anthology ‘Twelve Tales Of Christmas’ by Cathleen Townsend infuses a spirit of togetherness and warmth through its stories of human interest. Now I am reading ‘The Story Teller Speaks’ by Annika Perry and I am amazed at her enchanting style of holding the readers.

My blogger friend Nihar whose ever-inspiring creative stories make a delightful reading, recently requested me to share the short stories that have left a mark on my personality and I got this idea of sharing these timeless classic tales.

The first one that comes to my mind is the ‘Gift of Magi’ by O.Henry. When I had read this story, I was too young  to absorb the emotion behind buying a gift, too young to understand why gifts are so important, as I had rarely received them but I learnt how important they can be and why people make sacrifices. I often wonder – could there be a better example of true love?

This value of sacrifice is further highlighted in ‘The Last Leaf by O. Henry. Old Behrman, an unsuccessful, dejected artist who was always talking about his masterpiece,  had nothing to sacrifice but he wanted to save the life of young Johnsie who had lost the desire to live. The last leaf that never fell and saved her life was actually Behrman’s masterpiece that he had painted on a snowy and windy night! How benevolence and inspiration can uplift human spirit touches my heart whenever I read this story.

‘The Model Millionaire’ by Oscar Wilde is remembered not only for the excellent prose and succinct style of Wilde’s writing but also for inserting subtle messages for humanity like… “Romance is the privilege of the rich, not the profession of the unemployed.” Generosity could be an inborn trait and a kind act never goes unnoticed. If Hughie could donate his last sovereign to the ‘poor beggar,’ the beggar didn’t disappoint him!

Saki, whose real name was H.H.Munro has written several masterpieces but ‘The Background’ appeals to me the most, as it is a satire on the hypocrisy and love of art, which is considered to be more valuable than a human being who is treated like a rare piece of art as he carried the masterpiece of a tatoo artist on his back! The story jolts you out of your slumber and makes an effort to underline what is more important – a person’s dignity and freedom or just a piece of art?

Short Stories

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo Tolstoy made a deep impact on me and I have discussed it time and again to fathom why does God wait so long, why does an innocent suffer for the crime of another person, how could forgiveness be as noble as it has been made out to be? Spiritual interpretations of this story have failed to convince me why was an innocent man used as a tool for the purgation of the soul of a hardened criminal? Isn’t God all-powerful?

The Bet by Anton Chekhov delves deeper into human psychology, bringing out the frailties of human beings on one hand and nobility that one can acquire if one wishes to. The argument over what kind of punishment is better – life imprisonment or death penalty culminates in proving that life imprisonment could be more humane as it offers an opportunity to the criminal to change. The lawyer who chose to accept solitary confinement, just for the bet, slowly rose above ordinary human beings and understood how immaterial is the lust for money and luxury.

A Man Who Had No Eyes by MacKinlay Kantor has stayed in my memory for the outstanding style of narration, style and a sudden unexpected twist that leaves the reader spellbound. It is not just a short story… it is a comment on life, how we approach it positively and move on. A must read to change your outlook on life.

Sparrows by K.A. Abbas brilliantly highlights some harsh realities of life, which had hardened a man. But a streak of kindness, so natural to human instincts, didn’t die and it could be ignited by loving birds, without even a word. A man, presumed to be devoid of emotions, shunned by villagers and even his own family is transformed into a loving and kind human being by the love of sparrows for their own young ones.

God Is Near by James Herriot convinced me that love could be found in furry friends too. If we love His creation, we can feel the presence of God around us even without visiting any religious places. Dr. Herriot’s unspoken commitment to the dogs and cats of Miss Stubbs was no less than her housekeeper.

Short stories lay bare various facets of life. They are more effectual in conveying the values without sermonizing about them. Each emotion can be felt through short stories if they are told in their true spirit.

Have you read any of these stories? Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

 

New Year Greetings With Flowers #MiracleGarden

Happy 2018

I had saved this post for New Year Greetings!

When I entered the Miracle garden, (Dubai) I asked myself: ‘am I dreaming?’ An incredible haven of tranquility, a fiesta of flowers, a riot of colors all around in astonishing shapes and sizes and an innovative display dazzled me!

Miracle Garden

As I was trying to brace myself, William Wordsworth’s lyrics from “The Daffodils” flashed across my mind “ten thousand I saw at a glance, tossing their heads in sprightly dance”… “I gazed and gazed but little thought, what wealth the show to me had brought…”

Miracle Garden

Actually this garden has 45 million blooming flowers and the captivating shapes in which they grow are amazing. I have seen Tulip gardens but their grandeur didn’t enrapture me as much as this one.

Miracle Garden

When I was looking up the options to visit this garden, I came across online booking of tours, which offered a five-hour trip to Global Village and Miracle Garden in $80.00 per person, which included hotel pick up and entrance fees. I thought we would be stuck up for five hours and since I was not very keen to visit Global Village, I chose to work it out myself.

Miracle Garden

We took a taxi from our hotel and reached the garden within half an hour. The entry ticket costs 30 AED per person. After spending an hour at the garden, admiring those who could create this wonder in the middle of a desert and marveling at the maintenance, we walked across the road to visit Butterfly Garden, which was a huge disappointment.

IMG_4874

I would never recommend a visit to Butterfly Garden due to the exorbitantly priced ticket (60 AED per person) to enter and find a few butterflies, in an oppressive humid atmosphere. I think this so called Butterfly Garden is a misnomer! It should be called ‘Test your Patience at a high price.’ I bet nobody would enter!! The moment I entered, I wanted to rush out. It was disgusting!

I had clicked some pictures but didn’t find them worth sharing as there are hardly any butterflies to be seen!

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Since the sun was about to set, we thought let’s visit Global Village too and capture the sunset there. So we took another taxi and reached there within minutes. The entry ticket to this place is just 15 AED.

Designed to attract tourists, this village, as the name suggests showcases the culture and wares of different countries through pavilions, which have been set up to sell their local products and seem to be doing a roaring business. There is too much to see…stroll around, watch the shows, take the rides, try global cuisine, shop the souvenirs. We spent an hour there and were in no mood to stay longer. We clicked some memorable pictures.

Sunset at Global Village
Sunset at Global Village

The whole trip cost us half the amount as compared to the online trip advisors, with the choice of how much time we wanted to spend at each place. Planning skills are indeed rewarding!

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing all my readers a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful 2018.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

Love And Christmas Cheer

Christmas Cheer for all

If you are warm and loved this winter
If you can watch the gray sky
From your French windows
Or see the snow falling softly

If you can shut that cold out
Yet watch and enjoy it
With that fireplace glowing
And spreading radiant joy

If you have a loved one to hug you
With music of your choice
Yours is the day and this world
Full of Christmas cheer!
© Balroop Singh

Wishing all my readers Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2018.

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