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.

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

Balroop Singh

 

 

 

 

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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.

Transient Beauty

Snow on mountains
Image: ©Alok Singhal

Draped in pristine white robes
I watched the adventurers
Gathering to admire my attire
And feel the fetish of my fire

Some stood frozen in awe
Angelic messages showering through
Blue, gray and silvery gear
Momentous moments to cheer!

Silvery sky soaked me entirely
With his wondrous frescoes
Painted with natural hues
To match my ensemble cues

I smile as they ski down the slopes
Once a year such fun ensues
Only when I change my dress
To gaze at some signs of progress

I blessed those who just stood there
To commemorate my transient beauty
Along with digital trophies they depart
And carry exquisite memories in their heart.
© Balroop Singh

Many thanks to Alok Singhal, my blogger cum photographer friend whose breathtaking picture inspired this poem. You can visit his blog to see many more amazing shots of Mother Nature.

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

Click here to read more such poetry.

Love You When You Move Slowly

Dear time, I love you when you move slowly

Dear old vagabond…
I love you when you move slowly
And let me listen to my heart
To count moments of bliss
To sit by the brook for hours
Savoring soft sounds

I love you when you choose to sit down
Weaving priceless webs with me
Watching my fingers trying to hold you
And trust your magic
Of erasing emotional hurts
Of creating memories

Not that I didn’t appreciate
When you ran ahead
And taught me to compete with you
Without any rules
Offering me the best benchmarks
Smiling at my whirlpools

Not that I detested your game
Of turning tables on me
Changing at will, ticking away
Robbing me of my dreams
Stealing my momentous moments
Impelling me to follow your schemes

Dear drifter…now I understand you
You are just a wave that gushes forth
Just a whiff of wind that passes by
Just a moment that slips away
Just a powerful tyrant
Obliterating all… whenever you want!
© Balroop Singh

Read more such poems here.

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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.