Which Is More Enchanting…Sunrise Or Sunset?

Winter Sunset

I have always found sunsets more alluring as I could watch them without making any special effort and I had some time to spare in the evening. I saw most of the sunrises from the windshield of my car, while driving to work and that too only in winters.

When I rummage through my childhood memories, none of them is connected with sunrise but I remember walking with the moon and wondering how it could accompany me everywhere!

While on a vacation I have always found the warmth of my bed and early morning sleep more charming than stepping out to see the sun!

The first real sunrise that I saw at Kasauni (a hill station and village situated in Bageshwar district in the state of Uttarakhand, India) is still embedded in my memory.

It is the most memorable one not because we were told that we must visit Kasauni, “the Switzerland of India” and watch the sunrise and inspired by the exuberance of our youth we took it more like an adventure!

It is memorable because of getting up before dawn in freezing cold, with a little baby of six months in my hands, all bundled up with a cute cap and watching the panoramic view of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, slowly changing color seemed like a dream in those days. One of my albums holds this beautiful memory but it belongs to that era of cameras, which were not digital.

“Saw the sun rise. A lovely apricot sky with flames in it and then solemn pink. Heavens, how beautiful…I feel so full of love to-day after having seen the sun rise.” – Katherine Mansfield

sunset

Despite that heavenly view none of the vacations to picturesque places could impel me to move my butt out of my balmy bed to watch the clouds turning soft pink to peach.

It is blessing to catch an early morning flight because the hues of yellow, ochre and orange reveal themselves with all their glory, which can be watched effortlessly from the window seat, I love to occupy.

I may whine a lot about why is the flight so early but all those words melt and merge into the hues of spectacular sunrise.

Sun peeping into my living room
Sun peeping into my living room!

But I love sunsets and nature has conspired so lovingly to place me here. Now the direction of my little abode is such that the sun peeps through my French windows before going down.

The golden hour extends as the orange and the golden glow lingers longer for me to capture its mesmerizing charm and I watch it from my couch everyday, deriving unfathomable pleasure of lifetime.

The window of my bedroom presents the view of sunrise. Since I befriended eight, I hardly ever see it.

Colors of sunset
“A sunset is the sun’s fiery kiss to the night.” ― Crystal Woods

All the pictures of sunset have been taken from one place, the patio of my home. I have many more!

Do you like sunsets? Do they evoke any memories?

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

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Balroop Singh.

Sunset hues
Sunset hues!

 

Is Affection An Offshoot Of Love?

Affection

Affection comes naturally but it has to be nurtured in the impressionable years of growth. If it is rebuffed in the earlier stages of childhood, it recedes to the remotest corners of our heart, difficult to reignite.

People who grow up to be reticent and unemotional have probably been denied this affection. They have never been told that it is natural to hug and speak in clear words about their emotions. When emotions are snubbed, we learn to disregard them.

My earliest recollections about affection are connected with my grandma but she didn’t live in our house and she died when I was quite young. Out of all my aunts, I felt drawn towards only one, probably because she was kind, soft-spoken and listened calmly.

Besides this I didn’t know what is affection till I became a mother…why it doesn’t come naturally to all mothers is the biggest mystery!

Affection is different from love, which can be selfish and demanding though understanding love is more challenging than understanding affection!

Affection is a much profound emotion, which is inexplicable but can be fathomed through our pores. It percolates down our skin slowly. It exposes us to some finer emotions. It can mold us into caring and understanding persons.

Though the synonyms of affection are: fondness, liking, feeling, love, care, desire, passion, warmth, attachment, goodwill, devotion, kindness, inclination, tenderness, propensity, friendliness, amity

But…Affection is not passion; it is not love albeit love may later develop due to this sublime emotion.

Affection is not transient; it grows even when it is not reciprocated.

Affection is not a desire; it cannot be commanded. It is earned.

Affection is not ‘liking’; it doesn’t change with seasons.affection-quote

I had a colleague who was very affectionate. She could win many hearts with her way of approaching people and her words, even those, which carried an unsolicited advice could affect! I felt drawn toward her due to her kindness but I won’t say I loved her.

In the beginning; love is just a passing thought, a mirage that allures us.

Love grows if it is nurtured. It evolves itself but withers if it is not watered with affection, care, respect and kindness. Romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand what is love.

We attach so many emotions and expectations to love that its real visage gets sidelined. It’s illusionary aspect carries us far into the world of unknown…obviously we wander and drift away!

While the perception of love changes with time and depends on culture and conditioning, affection is more reliable.

“Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our natural lives.” – C. S. Lewis

Affection can be nurtured:

  • Respond to your child’s demands with soft words
  • Make bedtime a memorable and loving moment
  • Read good stories with the right emotion and intonation
  • Hug your child lovingly and speak endearing words calmly
  • Be gentle and soft, as a child can understand the caresses more than a usual touch
  • Be positive and honest in your dealings
  • Avoid manipulations as a child can understand them quite well
  • Be sensitive to the thoughts and fears of your child
  • Never ever yell at or nag them for their imperfections
  • Be emotionally present and empathize with their frustrations
  • Always use positive words to encourage them.

The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed, there is no winter and no night; all tragedies, all ennui s, vanish, all duties even. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

How do you show affection? Does it affect love?

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

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Balroop Singh.

 

The Joys of Celebration

Joys Of Celebration

Today I was rummaging through my archives to look for something connected with celebrations and realized that I haven’t written anything about the joys of celebration. But I never considered myself to be a serious writer when I took part in ecstatic celebrations.

I didn’t bother to record those exquisite moments. Life just passed by like a whirlwind, so did the moments of joy but memories do percolate within us and I am glad they keep coming back.

Do joys drown in the years that pass by? Do we get jaded with celebrations? Some serene faces loom on the canvas of my mind, reminding me of the calm pleasure, which could only be seen and felt. Have I joined that band?

Have I understood the difference between getting charmed or entertained and deriving eternal pleasure from moments of celebration?

While we celebrate with fireworks, wine, food, hugs, gifts… what stays with us is the feeling, the emotion, the reverence we had experienced at that moment.

Realities and reflections merge to infuse new light and energy into us…we look forward to more occasions, more such moments.

A true celebration is that wondrous moment, which we had been yearning for, standing before us, beaming at us and asking what now…that sweet melody we hear within us when we accomplish our goal, that song which erupts in our heart when we see a dream fulfilled, that shimmer we see at the face of our little one when we smile at her little feats and big endeavors.

All the magnificently wrapped gifts fade in front of emotional joys we experience in the company of family, friends and a life brimming with contentment.

Do you value the gifts that come free with life?

Read more about such gifts…683 words

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

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Balroop Singh.


 

Dealing With My Dearest Buddy And Reprimanding Bully

creativity

The hangover of travel still lurks around me though I am back on my favorite couch, trying to wake up my creative critter, which seems to have gone into hibernation. Having failed to fuel my imagination for almost a month, I know I can’t pass on the responsibility to my dearest muse who responds spontaneously to stimulus.

When I struggle with self-doubt, Maya Angelou’s words reverberate around me
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Lately I have been spending too much time with the antagonists of creativity, seeking pleasure in the festivities, lounging around with family and friends and gathering some golden moments of delight.

‘Do you want to stay in your self-obsessed boundaries?’ I ask my creative buddy.
She just looks at me irately and closes her eyes.

‘You are my only love, my solace, my dearest confidant.’
She eyed me with a sneering satisfaction and dug deeper into its acrimonious abode.

‘Please come and sit with me, I have some interesting escapades to share.’
‘You have been selfish and unkind. You got mired in self-doubt. You are a procrastinator.’

I was taken aback but I knew she was right. I nodded a little, refusing to agree whole-heartedly with the indictments, trying to keep my vacillating valor intact within me.

‘Your complacency irritates me, your attitude is so annoying and your priorities are paradoxical. I have failed to understand you.’

‘But I love you. You are my only island of amity and tranquility.’
‘Love is not enough. You have to be consistent. You must know that love means ‘loyalty’, ‘obeisance’, ‘venerating’ and ‘eloquence.’

‘If you are not loyal to your words, they become elusive. If you lack obeisance, reflections fritter away. If you don’t revere your ephemeral ideas, they lack coherence and if you are not eloquent enough, your touch with your subtle self becomes feeble.’creativity-quote

The daunting discourse didn’t die down till I agreed to hold the hands of my reprimanding bully, nodding to all her diktats and flying away with her to cross the boundaries of horizon.

She reminded me…‘You have to be intrepid to jump off the cliffs, quit rational thinking and develop wings whenever wanted. You have to keep the fire burning and redefine your priorities.’

I didn’t like her preconditions because family has always been my priority. I have never looked beyond my practical responsibilities but I agreed, as I wanted to win her confidence. I know she is just cross. I know she too knows me well. She appreciates space but when it starts creating wedges, she possesses the potential to bridge the breach.

I sincerely hope I would come up to the expectations of my dearest buddy.

Have you ever been admonished by your creative self?
Thank you for reading this amalgamation of emotions. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

I Don’t Like Her Yet She Taught Me Gratitude

gratitude

She came too early, poking me with her icy finger but I snuggled deeper into my bed, ignoring her presence. She kept creeping slowly into my bones till I was wide-awake. In no mood to pay any attention to her, I closed my eyes tightly, covered my ears sideways and pretended sleep.

I lay awake for almost an hour, opened my eyes and saw her lurking near my feet. It was still dark outside. I couldn’t fall asleep. Random thoughts and memories reminded me I must get hold of my book to shut them off. At last I had to surrender, grab my Kindle to calm my leaping mind.

I had hardly read a page when she froze my fingers, demonstrating her power and grip. Now was the time to seal her out! I could no longer be kind. I was amazed at the energetic reaction of my body, gathering immediate momentum. I got up with a jerk, throwing my comforter aside and closed the window.

When she refused to back off I walked out of the room to switch on the heat and felt triumphant for an instant. I jumped back into my side of the bed but by now my husband was awake, wondering what was going on.

He chuckled off my explanation and went back to his snoring mate.

I couldn’t concentrate on the book I was reading, an old classic. Provoked by the curiosity to know how people kept themselves warm in ancient times, I got up to retrieve my laptop from my study. She sat there, pounced on me instantly and wreaked her vengeance. I have been sneezing since then, with watery eyes and rivulets of water dripping from my nose.

She spoke to me in a very credible manner! My oldest foe, she reminded me how she had always wielded her power over me, how her advent had to be respected with caution or she could tip-toe into my life the moment I woke up to put my foot on the floor and how her sneezing gift was always ready for me.cold-quote

She vanished into thin air as I settled cozily on my couch, with my tea.

If an Early Man could jump out of the time machine, he would be bewildered at the comforts we have today…the central heating, the T.V. blaring out our favorite shows, ready-made foods on our shelves and endless other devices that connect us with the world in the fraction of a second!

Gratitude overwhelmed me at this moment and in my heart I thanked all those

  • Who had harnessed electricity
  • Who thought chimneys were messy and smoky
  • Who thought there could be better ways to keep us warm
  • Who worked industriously to create comforts around us
  • Who could design such well-equipped homes, in which the flip of a button could create warmth

We take many things for granted and comforts are one of them.

Modern children in metropolis can’t imagine a life without central air-conditioning. My nephew’s son visits his grandpa’s home in India every year. Once he happened to visit during the scorching heat of May and had an interesting question each time he had to go to the bathroom… “Why is the rest room so heated when the bedroom is so cool?”

He was too little to understand the meaning of gratitude and therefore his innocent queries were laughed off.

I think Thanksgiving is a good tradition to remind us that Mother Earth gives us most of all…light, love, water – the elixir of life, beauty and colors. Family get-togethers on this day emphasize the importance of love, relationships and harmony in our lives. Gratitude is a very small word to use for all the blessings around us, which make our life worth living.

Many such small incidents, which we dismiss as insignificant remind us of how thankful we should be. What are you grateful for?

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

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

Balroop Singh.