The Most Memorable Words Anyone Said To Me…

This post is inspired from Pragalbha’s question at Infinite Living
“What are the most memorable compliments given to you?” (Thank you Pragalbha and Debby at ThoughtSmith for the inspiration.) 

Memorable words? We often forget the good ones, as they are rare. But we yearn for them. I learned the power of words very early in life. I knew they could bore unseen holes in our heart, knifing deeper hurts that keep festering.

I learned to live with them; also hurl some back at those who deserved them. Then I met some loving persons, with divine streaks. I discovered the path to positivity. My confidence doubled. I stopped paying attention to judgmental people, I steered away from toxic persons around me and decided to change my perception.

Then I learned forgiveness. It was not easy; I had to pass through the cauldron of each negative thought, each unseemly word that refused to quit the crevices of my mind. Forgiveness fairy would visit me every night to caress my hair. She taught me how a kind word sends vibes of love, if we are perceptive, if we know how love permeates and proliferates with this little gesture.

She told me: We give a little kindness when we pay attention. We give a little hope when we listen patiently.We give respect by communicating honestly. We give a gentle message with our tender touch.

I understood the power of touch when one of my colleagues said:
“When you hold hands while talking, it seems you are really listening to me. I like it so much.”
Those words stayed with me.

“You have time for everyone,” another one said. The words warmed my heart.
Who doesn’t know the paucity of time specially when you are young, you know somebody is waiting at home and rushing becomes your second nature; when you are juggling with so many roles: A home-maker, a wife, a mother, a teacher, a mentor, a colleague and a friend.

Patient listening and responding with whatever kind words I could manage became my habit.

But the best compliment that I received indirectly from a friend is: “You have to peep into her heart to know her.”
She was asked how could she be friendly with me!

Frowned at by most of my colleagues for keeping distance from them, I was considered to be “an arrogant” but only few who tried to come closer, understood the walls that I had erected around me to keep the arrows of words away.

An excerpt from one of my earlier poems:

 Words silence; they take you into deeper dumps
Words soften; they can change your outlook.
Words hurt; they can cause irreparable damage
Words guide; they give us the power to introspect.
© Balroop Singh

If you like poetry, check my latest book: Magical Whispers

Life is Like that…

This image, which I stumbled across accidentally at Pixaby defines the paths of life so well; colorful and joyous at places but an abyss in the center is always waiting to devour us. How we cross it depends on our acumen and proficiency.

As children, we only knew physical pain. We did feel hurt at times but it was absorbed within. We didn’t know it is called emotional trauma, didn’t know it could last longer and revisit us.

We didn’t know what is selfishness; probably constant reprimands helped us in refraining from any such acts. Sibling rivalry was overlooked, as we were unaware of in-depth analysis of behavior. Ignorance was bliss.

We only knew love and couldn’t discern hypocrisy of some people who exploited our emotions. Bullying was an unknown term; obedience was the answer even when hitting was intuitively disliked.

We didn’t have digital devices to quell our thirst of knowing more and believed in whatever our parents and teachers told us. Moral values were imbibed naturally through them. Stories of grandparents were enough for us.

‘Life is not a bed of roses’…this adage never seemed convincing to me when I looked around and saw from the eye of an immature, growing adolescent, with rosy dreams and soft thoughts… that all is well with the world…considering the small, protective cocoon that I lived in, formed those illusions.

The journey of life actually unfolds its reality when we step into this fiercely competitive, engulfing world; waiting to devour us, defeat all our sincere and honest efforts!

Some disappointments, some frustrations and disillusionments become a part of our journey.

Do we give up? No, we want to explore more.

As it becomes more meaningful and challenging; we learn to define our goals, snub some desires and struggle to move ahead with renewed vigor.

But it remains interesting.

Whenever we face the roadblocks, we wonder why is life so tough, why do we have to face a new challenge everyday, why can’t it be smooth sailing?

Sometimes, it seems that life is just a big vacation – when you nestle in the center of a place, surrounded by pine forests with snow covered peaks staring at you, …with whiffs of peace and contentment all around.

A serenity that coaxes us to slow down, to savor the little moments of joy.

Such a scenario changes our opinion, fills us with new enthusiasm to do something new, something different.

Have you ever felt this exhilaration? The illusionary aspect of life is a significant contributor.

Just look at the ocean, feel its vastness, sit by its side and look at the waves rushing at you. They speak to us, if we can understand the profound lesson each wave leaves for us:

Life is that simple yet seems complicated. However high the wave, it has to touch the shore and surrender. Everything meets a natural end. Every moment around us is so transient! All the hues of life merge into each other. None of them belongs to us.

Accept life as it comes, welcome all its ups and downs with resilience. Draw energy from positive thoughts and people. Dwell on your blessings. Keep your cool in the face of provocations and disappointments. Embrace your agonizing moments to exorcize them from your life.

Thank you for reading my reflections. If you liked them, please share this post at your favorite social networks.

© Balroop Singh

Serenity

Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto

Serenity is a state of mind, just like happiness. It has to be nurtured just like positivity. It is a learned emotion – if I may call it.

There is no need to search it, as it lies within us. It wears transient robes. It makes us smile when we look at a calm lake or a beautiful waterfall.

We may forget it when we get back into the competitive race of life. It recedes into the forgotten realms of mind, as it can be easily vanquished by the demands of time.

It doesn’t believe in competition yet it is a pearl that is most precious.

I got this pearl just by luck. Impulsive by nature, I could be easily provoked when I was young. I happened to marry a man whom I named Mr. Serene. I didn’t know him before marriage and had met him just once and that too after insisting upon the fact that I need to see the man I was expected to marry! I don’t belong to medieval times but my cultural background encouraged arranged marriage and I was too young and naïve to protest.

I discovered that my husband had been gilded in serenity. He reminded me of King Midas! Come what may, he would remain calm. My outbursts wouldn’t affect him; his smiling response could put a wall to shame. I may break his favorite vase, I may lose gold, I may spend whatever amount of money…he would never express any dissent. My mom calls him as gentle as a cow but I also discovered the ways to escape his horns.

Slowly I adapted to the colors around me. I too draped serenity. Though I love to spend time in the company of Nature, I’ve found calmness within my thoughts. I know how to evoke positivity, how to accept life as it comes and believe that all situations of life are transitory. Love life and be calm.

 ©Balroop Singh

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #photoprompt Serenity

You can click here for poetry.

Check my latest book: Moments We Love

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The Horizon

causeway
Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto

This image reminds me of a real story of two kids who thought that the sky and the earth meet and they would be able to touch the horizon. Everyday they watched in awe and yearned to go there. The day their moms left them in the care of their grandma, they got the opportunity. Holding each other’s hand they walked toward their favorite place. Grandma thought they must be playing with the ducks near the pond. Adventure ran through their blood.

They quickened their pace as the sun shone brighter. They walked and walked, far away to touch the horizon. When moms returned home in the afternoon to discover the missing kids, they were blamed for being careless and irresponsible. A frantic search ensued. Grandma rushed into neighboring houses, hoping the kids must be playing with their friends.

The big news was delivered to Mr. J. Singh, an authoritarian man with haughty demeanor who considered talking to women a waste of time. He was furious and thundered: “These women can’t even take care of two kids!” Only grandma could face his wrath and order him to send men all around the village. No success!

Having realized the gravity of the situation, Mr. Singh took his bike out and told grandma that the kids must have fallen in the canal. Mumbling some obscenities at the women of the house, he drove away to request the local authorities to stop the discharge of water so that the bodies could be retrieved.

Never could anyone imagine the delight at the face of Mr. Singh as he returned home with us, chatting away to glory! Grandma ran to the storehouse to carry round blocks of Gur (jaggery) to be distributed to all those who came to congratulate!

Nobody was interested in their story and who saved them!

Within hours, Mr. autocrat announced: “Catch the morning bus and go back to the city. I’ve had enough of your adventures.” Nobody dare argue with him but we tried. Still our vacation was cut short.

I was one of those kids and the other, my cousin.children-1586249__340

Balroop Singh.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for a lovely Thursday #writephoto Causeway.

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Traditions, Conservatism and Giving

I had written this post in 2014, after attending a wedding. I need to refresh it, as nothing has changed.

Indian weddings are a spectacular show of wealth, wedged in traditions, rituals and extravagant customs.

They appear to be blissful happy occasions of celebration…till you peep behind the drapes!

Recently I had to be an obligatory part of all this razzmatazz, watching and wondering…when will we get out of these age-old cultural compulsions, which have been imposed on us.

“Sometimes tradition and habit are just that, comfortable excuses to leave things be, even when they are unjust and unworthy.”—Matthew Scully.

Traditions are woven into the web of our life, I know, but I always thought and convinced myself that they evolve with time.

How utterly, extremely erroneous were my thoughts, in hoping for brighter times!

The brides in India still belong to antiquity!

They may be highly educated, having the best of job placements, sometimes even earning more than the prospective grooms BUT…

They HAVE to bring along unlimited amount of gifts, which are all given by her father, rich or poor, all have to follow this tradition.

On the receiving end are the brazen parents of the bridegroom, whose mouths, as wide open as that of a crocodile, remain open!

They don’t have to give anything in return.

Traditions blind us, compel us to keep honoring them due to societal pressures but aren’t we part of the society?

Isn’t it our responsibility, especially that of the younger generation to break away from those norms which almost choke us, make us bankrupt, kill and burn our brides?

Yes, the youngsters do break some norms only when they want to!

But they remain mute spectators to the age-old system of giving and giving and giving….when they receive along with the bride!!

The Indian tradition of giving a daughter away is, in itself, an incomparable generosity in global history. She is expected to be a part of groom’s family, perform all household chores, bear and rear children, respect all the whims and fancies of her in-laws and stay away from her own parents and siblings.

She has to become a channel of continuous flow of money and gifts from her parents, who are expected to keep on giving, all their life!

All this in the name of traditions!

“Tradition is the prison where change is detained… To make a change, you need to agree that you are not going with the statement “this is how we do it”! Yes, that was how it was done, but what next? Agree to change!”—Israelmore Ayivor

When will we free ourselves from these age-old shackles?

When will we free ourselves from the fear of such a despotic society?

The historical significance of the so-called dowry should have faded long ago when laws were framed against this system.

“Dowry was prohibited by law in 1961 with the purpose of banning the demanding, giving and taking of dowry. Although providing dowry is illegal, it is still common in many parts of India for a husband to seek a dowry from the wife’s family, in some cases leading to extortion or violence against the wife.”

Not that I was unaware of this, not that I have never complained or criticized this type of blatant one-sided giving.

Recently I witnessed this tradition of giving and expecting unlimited gifts, which gave me a feeling of revulsion, almost to the point of revolt.

Shouldn’t educated and socially aware couples rise against this?

Isn’t it discrimination to expect gifts only from the bride’s family?

Why are we so helpless? Why are we enslaved by traditions?

Why are we expected to follow such an oppressive dogma of giving a daughter away?

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

Balroop Singh.