Book Talk – Sublime Shadows Of Life

KC BOOKS & MUSIC

At the outset, I would like to Thank Kev, for offering me this wonderful opportunity of talking about my first poetry book, which is very dear to my heart.

Shadows look fascinating when we follow them, try to catch them as children or when we revel around in the prime of youth, oblivious of their darker aspects. They unfold their sombre side as we try to understand life.

sublime-shadows-of-lifeSublime Shadows Of Life

Here I am, in conversation with my mentors, the shadows of life.

Hi Shadows, I always found you sublime. Come let’s celebrate the sunshine.

Why only sunshine? We like darkness too. Need we remind you?

I know, you sway; you scare yet your messages are sublime. You are transitory, you feed on our weaknesses. The day I understood you, your reverence grew within me. You reconnect me to the past, the bruised emotions and the lost passions. You linger…

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Why don’t I set a target?

books

I know you are surprised and curious! I know you are thinking that targets or goals form an imperative part of our lives and without them we may seem like a rudderless boat, which would never reach anywhere.

There are some targets, which seem inevitable, which are like milestones and refuse to move till we accept them as realities. I know! I too had to honor them but I would call them compulsive cahoots, gnawing at our minds everyday, challenging our abilities and pushing us closer to the curve of compliance.

Setting goals for reading? Really?

What confounds me is setting targets for joy, happiness, travel, leisure and above all reading! I have heard many times…‘this year I am going to focus on happiness’…as if our focus on this fleeting emotion ever wavers!

Setting targets for pleasure trivializes the term ‘goal,’ which inspires vision and success in the chosen field. Unconditional commitments do make us determined but isn’t it better to reserve them for more important achievements?

I have always encouraged my students to set academic goals to reach the pinnacle of glorious pedestal they would like to perch on and many of them have accomplished them.

I have never set a target of reading books, as I believe we read for pleasure, not for meeting goals and invite unnecessary stress. There are many other triggers around us to cause stress.

I have never kept a count of books I have read for all these years. Completing a book and starting another one is as normal for me as changing an outfit.

While Goodreads keeps nudging me to set a target, I remind myself …’If you take a book like a medicine, it loses its charm.’ I had learnt this lesson long ago when I could not read the specified number of books for my Literature discussions! The more I tried to keep up the pace; my concentration grew less and less.

Pledging to read a book within a specified time is like a noose hanging before me, depriving me of all the joy connected with the style of the author and language of a book.

Is it all about numbers?

Reading is not just about numbers and being able to say… ‘I have read 25 books this year.’ It is more about absorbing the thoughts, savoring the words, imagining and connecting with the places. It is a breezy journey to enjoy, not a whirlwind to escape! Quality of reading enriches our experiences, not the quantity.

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adlerreading-quote

It is more rewarding to read a book slowly so that we can absorb the virtuousness of our favorite character…to drench in the feelings of people around us…so that we can become a part of their world.

Is it about emotions?

Some people don’t get emotionally engaged in a book, they read it very fast, without actually stepping into the realm of fantasy, without identifying with the characters and their thoughts.

One of my friends had this habit of reading the books very fast. Whenever we would mention a book or share it, she would come out with this reply… ‘Oh! I have read that!’ At that juncture of life, as a young and immature reader, I would envy her speed. I even tried to read in her manner but honestly speaking, I could hardly enjoy the book and felt guilty too.

Shallow reading seems to be the norm of the day just to complete the resolution of reading a specified number of pages during the day. If the book is a cheap romance or a thrilling mystery, delving deep into it may be inconceivable but we get out of such books quite early in life.

Reading without any distractions around us – another challenge of modern times!

The other day I happened to be at a hospital, waiting for a procedure of a dear one to be over and to keep my thoughts positive, I had taken my kindle along with me.

I tried very hard to concentrate with chit chat going all around, two ladies talking continuously, exchanging their views on every possible topic from hair styling to cooking!

I had read 20% of the book but I want to start it again for the pure pleasure of soaking in the beautiful words, which got lost in the crescendo around me.

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” – Oscar Wilde

Do you set targets for reading? Do you read faster to reach those targets? I am waiting eagerly for your perspective on commercialization of reading for pleasure.

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.

 

The Day I Escaped…#writephoto

flame

Dismal darkness around the flames recedes
When exquisite images ingrained within
Leap out to attract lovers
With dreams of ebullient elation

Flickering embers inflame your thoughts
Each one burning brightly… crackling crisp
Reminding me why I keep away
Darkness dares to break boundaries

Remember the day?
The yearning leapt up in flames
Onlookers looked at the mysterious mound
Growing red with sardonic smolder

The lure of licking embers drew closer
Consuming all…now you live within them
My gratitude for letting in the freedom
Fiery love burns brighter!

The day I escaped those embers
Enlightenment revealed itself
Love is but a distant dream
An ephemeral enticement!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Flame #writephoto photo prompt.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more poems.

If you have liked this poem, please share it at your favorite social networks.
Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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.

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

Balroop Singh.

 

Trapped In Time.. #Waiting

waiting

Trapped in time
I stood there, crouching behind the pillar
Suppressing the urge to climb up
Resisting the little light
My only link to the outside world

If you call me a coward…you may
I wouldn’t defend myself
As I was guarding peace
I was shielding secrets
Spilling them could have doomed us

Keeping myself away was the only hope
Waiting for the hour to pass
Longing for cataclysm to cease
Hoping to see the love and light
Of the new world

Trapped in time
I froze…But…
Some issues remain unresolved
Some sores keep festering
My whispers to self still reverberate

In our palace of plaintive peace
Eerie sounds of strife shake me
Self-doubts stir me out of slumber
Challenges of the new world
Stare at us, sardonically!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

Inspired from Sue Vincent’s Waiting #writephoto photo prompt.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more poems.

If you have liked this poem, don’t forget share it at your favorite social networks.

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