Guest author: Balroop Singh ~ Poetry And Life

Poetry tries to capture life in the most subtle manner, offering interpretations beyond the words of a poet. My guest post explores the link between life and poetry.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Image: Sue Vincent

Poetry and life seem synonyms to me. The prism of poetry reflects life and its varied colors but the spectrum of life is much wider than poetry, which tries to capture some hues and even drifts into the darker crevices to discover those emotions that lurk on the sidelines, yearning to be embraced. Poetry digs deeper into those sensitivities; it understands the finer nuances of life and offers solace.

How well has Walt Whitman summed up the connection of poetry with life:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.”  – Walt Whitman 


Most of the poets from John…

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A Page From Earthy’s Diary…

A page from a Diary

My New Shoes…

The long awaited day did come when I got the opportunity to buy new shoes. I had been waiting for this day, the day daddy would take me along and I would be able to spend some time in his company. Such delightful moments are so rare yet they add great hope to my existence.

The bike moved quite slowly and I kept chattering…knowing well that dad is the only person who would never tell me to ‘be quiet.’ I know he would have never said ‘girls don’t speak so much.’ He listens to all my stories with a twinkle in his eye. I love him so much!

Some moments are so precious. This one I was going to cherish. I could tell the story to my friends. Now they would know I have a loving dad. Now they wouldn’t make fun of my dirty, worn out shoes. Now I would run with confidence!

I chose my new shoes. I didn’t care much about the style or the color. The excitement of going out with dad and be myself was more significant than anything. My focus was dad, my hero, my savior who was always interested in my demands and only he fulfilled them.

After buying the shoes I was told to sit on a rickshaw and go home. I looked into dad’s eyes, pleading my unwillingness. Probably he didn’t understand. The words I wanted to speak stuck in my throat, out of the fear of going home alone. I pretended to be strong and didn’t utter a word of protest.

With one hand I balanced myself and held the verge of the rickshaw tightly. The other hand was holding the box of shoes tightly lest it might slip from my hand. No other journey could have been as long as this one. I hated my dad for sending me home like that. I knew he too didn’t love me.

Why didn’t he ask? Why couldn’t he go to his office late? Why is he so insensitive? I kept asking all these questions to myself, trying to analyze and now I am writing them down, hoping to get all the answers when I am big.

When I ran inside the house, put the box of shoes down in the patio and sat on it, tears were streaming down my cheeks. I tried to put myself together. As usual I didn’t want to share my feelings with Trod who would mock and tease. I don’t want to tell anyone about my insecurity, I know I can handle it alone.

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Mama didn’t ask me why I was sitting in the middle of patio. She yelled…‘Are you going to sit all day, looking at those shoes? Put them inside and come and help me in the kitchen.’

I felt like throwing that box of shoes at her. I felt like opening my mouth fully and scream loudly. I wanted to tell somebody how my heart was racing, how scared I was. I wanted a soft word of reassurance, a gentle hug and a caress.

I got that from you dear diary. Thank you so much for being my only companion, my haven of love and comfort. …Earthy.

Dedicated to all those children who have to handle their fears alone, who feel neglected or bullied and crave for parental attention.

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

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

Balroop Singh

 

 

 

 

In Case Too Much Poetry Puts You Off…

While we have been talking about our poems, I wonder whether you would enjoy an interlude and click on the following link, where I received the honor of sharing some interesting facets of my life and a childhood memory.

Please click here to read more

I have closed the comments here, please feel free to share them at my friend, Allan’s blog.

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.

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

Balroop Singh.

 

 

A Spectacular View Of Palm Islands From 52nd Floor. #Dubai

Palm Islands view from 52nd floor
View from 52nd floor of Marriott Harbour Hotel

Draped by a fearless felicity
That defines my ebullient spirit
I could tread treacherous trails
Eager to take in the gales.

Each new path beckons me
Promising joy and thrill
Of adding another folio
To the cryptic book of life.

Pages that stand out are self-written
They smile and glow with our ventures
Infusing delight all around for self-quenchers.
© Balroop Singh, Nov. 2017

The Palm Islands of Dubai, considered to be the 8th wonder of the world is one of the most popular destinations to explore. An eloquent example of superb engineering and affluence, The Palm Islands are man-made marvels, created in the Persian Gulf to expand Dubai’s coastline. They are shaped like a palm tree and their shape can only be seen from an elevated place.

We didn’t take the long route of going to the Palm Gateway Monorail Station to take the Monorail upto the top, to view the major landmarks like themed hotels, Aquaventure Waterpark, Dolphin Bay and the Aquarium because the real thrill lies in viewing the magnificence of man-made palm shape, which cannot be seen from the surface.

Palm Islands - view from 52nd floor

After much research and review reading, I came across The Observatory Bar and Grill, which is situated on the 52nd floor of Marriott Harbour Hotel. My excitement doubled to know that this restaurant offers panoramic views of The Palm Jumeriah and Dubai Marina along with delectable food.

We booked our table for lunch well in advance to be greeted with smiles and were ushered into the magnificient lobby divided into three segments. Most of the tables were laid by the massive windows through which we could look down at the astounding azure landscape, dominated by palm shape, created by incredible planning of master minds.

Palm Islands

An amateur photographer in me was too excited to take as many shots as possible but none of them could capture the whole shape of the so called islands. We couldn’t take our eyes off the serene scenario while we enjoyed the drinks of our choice. Delicious food added an extra zing to my senses! We carried another string of unforgettable memories, shimmering in our souls.

Thank you for reading this experience, special in many ways.

You can read more interesting facts about Palm Islands.

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

Balroop Singh.

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