The curtain of clouds has cleared
The sun lights the stage
A new day, a new act will be staged
All of us are wearing masks
The show has begun
Acting is our forte
Sometimes we are a child
Crying out for attention
In another scene we are parents
Teaching our children
An employee at the office
Or a spouse at home
The show is a thriller
With a host of surprises
It has action and emotion
Humour and suspense
You can have popcorn
and coke during the show too
We get carried away in our roles
An emotional roller-coaster
The scenes keep changing
And new actors appear
Time just fleets by
And we have grown old
When will you throw that mask away?
How long can you hide behind that shadow?
Suppressing your true self
The curtains will soon fall
And the sun will set
Come out of that cocoon
And live life carefree
© copyright skm, 27th June, 2011
An outlet for creativity
A creative flow from the deep recesses of your mind. An outlet to express your emotions. An expression of love, a celebration of success, an inspiration on the joys of life and a search for the truth.
Write to inspire
We can write to inspire and motivate and develop the leaders of tomorrow. To instill values that stand the test of time. To inspire people to live a life of value based on simplicity, truth and courage. To stop the mad rat-race and greed that is leading to our downfall. To seek to know the true purpose of our life.
A stand against injustice
Writing also enables us to take a stand against injustices prevailing in society like corruption, child labour, rape, terrorism, atrocities against women, racial distinctions etc. By writing we can take little steps to enlighten and educate people of the ills in our society.
A fight for a noble cause
It helps us to undertake and mobilise people to work for noble causes like education for the poor, the fight against poverty, environmental causes, food and water for poor etc.
The recognition of the oneness in us
Writing opens our heart to the world. It recognises the oneness in all of us. And by sharing our joys, sorrows and successes we recognise and re-inforce the belief that a community effort is more successful than a lone voice that cannot be heard. It helps us to mobilise people towards a noble cause.
We can write to inform, to educate, to share, to lift the spirits, to lighten the mood, to seek the truth, to inspire with poetry, stories, art, travel and photography.
Other bloggers on this wonderful tour are:
1. Paula - http://hardlineselfhelp.com/
2. Stuart - http://bornstoryteller.wordpress.com/
3. Karen - http://karenvwasylowski.blogspot.com/
4. DK Levick - http://dklevick.wordpress.com/
5. Shannon - http://reflectionandreview.com/
6. Corinne - http://www.everydaygyaan.com/
7. Sonia - http://soniarumzi.com/
8. Sulekha - http://sulekkha.blogspot.com/
9. Dora - http://peacefrompieces.blogspot.com/
10. Sarah - http://sarahbutland.com/blog/
11. Marcia - http://insidejourneys.com/
12. Roy - http://royd-spiltmilk.blogspot.com/
13. Janki - http://janukulkarni.blogspot.com/
14. Tina - http://tinahoggatt.wordpress.com/
15. Thelma - http://widowsphere.blogspot.com/
16. Muriel - http://mumugb.blogspot.com/
17. Nolan - http://nolanwilsonfreelance.com/blog
18. Deborah - http://www.deborahswift.blogspot.com/
19. Jennifer - http://remembernewvember.blogspot.com/
20. Grace - http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com/
21. Dora - http://blogaliciousblogs.blogspot.com/
Do visit their blogs and read their wonderful posts.
Man has soared into space
Built giant skyscrapers
Harnessed the power of the tides
Built roads and highways
robots and supercomputers,
Resorts and theme parks
And understood artificial intelligence
He flies in jets
Drives a porsche
And lives in palatial bungalows
He has made billions
Servants at his beck and call
Yet why is there a void?
In the countryside
Time stands still
Cattle graze listlessly in the green pasture
Farmers sing an invocation to nature
while they plough the field
And when its harvest time
They’re content with what they reap
© copyright skm, 22nd June, 2011
(Pix courtesy: http://bookbuilder.cast.org)
Nature is full of examples of animals that help each other to co-exist. This is termed symbiosis.
1) Hermit crab and sea anemone:
Sea anemones hitchhike on the back of hermit crabs, scoring a ride across the seabed and extending their tentacles to eat the crab’s leftovers. Crabs actively recruit these passengers. After poking an anemone with its pincers – causing it to release its grip from its current home – the crab holds it in place so the anemone can reattach to the crab’s own shell. In return, the anemones fend off hungry octopuses and other predators using their barbed tentacles. The crabs return the favour by driving away creatures that eat anemones, such as starfish and fireworms.
2) Bees and orchids:
Male orchid bees collect perfume from a wide variety of South- and Central American neotropical orchids, and turn this into chemical signals called pheromones. In the process, orchid pollen is conveniently attached to the bee’s back, where it can subsequently rub off onto female parts of other flowers. The process is vital for orchid reproduction. Scientists aren’t yet sure what orchid bees do with their perfume-based pheromones. The potent concoction may attract females, be used to mark territories, or it may just smell awfully good.
3) Goby fish and snapping shrimp:
In a crafty collaboration, snapping shrimps construct and maintain burrows in the seabed, while the fish stands guard. Sighting potential threats, the fish waggles its tail against the shrimps’ antennae or into the burrow entrance, warning the shrimp of the danger. In return, the fish can call the burrow home, sleeping in it with the shrimp at night and using it as a convenient bolthole in the face of peril.
4) Cleaner fish:
Cleaner fish then gorge themselves on parasites, mucous and dead tissues from the surface of their client. In addition to a spick and span skin, client fish enjoy a good tickle. It’s partly this rewarding sensation that stops the client fish gobbling up the cleaner fish
There are numerous examples of such type of symbiosis in nature.
Man is supposed to be the most evolved when compared to such animals in that he is gifted with an intellect to reason and think. However, in his greed he forgets even his fellow men and exhibits the trait of selfishness. If we can imbibe a few lessons from this marvellous co-existence among animals in nature for mutual benefit – wouldn’t this world be a better place?
Luxurious and resplendent
Like a damsel in a green gown
Unexplored and unknown
A haven for all life
A canopy of towering trees
Umbrella for plants and shrubs
Fresh waters of the stream
Trickle melodiously through rocks
Where animals of the wild wander free -
As the sun sets
Owls, bats and creatures of the night
Take refuge in your bosom
Dark, dangerous and deep
What secrets do you keep?
As you welcome
Seekers of thrill and adventure
Axes and bulldozers
Cut and plunder mercilessly-
As the green cover disappears
I hear the moan, I hear your cries
What was once
Beautiful and green
Dense rainforest and woods
Is today a concrete jungle
© copyright skm, 13th June, 2011
Once in a while we need to take stock of the things that we collect in our store-rooms and in various corners of our home and work place (an inventory check). Today, morning was one such day. I set about clearing some of the things that we had just kept over the years and did not really use. Such things keep on accumulating and it can become quite a mess. It can be your workdesk or the kitchen table or the cupboard or the bookshelf. We look at it and postpone the cleaning until after a few weeks it becomes a mess. Some of the stuff can be recycled, some can be given to charity and some books can be sold to second-hand bookshops.
The Japanese did a regular inventory check as part of their work. They termed this as 5S – Seiri (sorting), Seiton (arrangement), Seiso (cleaning), Seiketsu (standardisation) and Shitsuke (self-discipline). A well-organized workplace results in a safer, more efficient, and more productive operation. It boosts the morale of the workers, promoting a sense of pride and ownership in their work.
We also need to do a regular spring cleaning of our mind. This can be done by reducing the quantity of our thoughts, improving the quality of our thoughts and directing our thoughts towards a higher ideal. This clears the dirt on the mirror of our mind and we are able to see a clearer reflection of our inner selves. Contemplation and meditation also help us to keep our focus and to dispel distracting negative thoughts. All this helps us to live in the present without wasting time brooding on the past or worrying about the future.
A spring cleaning can help us to think about our goals, align our energies towards these goals, plan, let go of self-limiting thoughts by letting go of the old and bringing in the new. Sometimes, a weekend retreat is a good time to take a break from the chores and recharge.
So, when are you starting your spring cleaning?
The television is a big source of distraction for our children. They are attracted by the bright colours and sounds that it captures all their attention. The problem is that they cannot focus on other tasks like doing their homework, art, music, craft and even eating their food.
The main problem is in moderating how much they sit in front of the idiot box. We have numerous interesting programmes for children on Disney channel, National Geographic, Discovery channel, and cartoon channels. Children can learn a lot about science, art, craft and general knowledge through these programmes. But in this process they are glued to the set and miss out on games, books and other activities.
At home, I used to restrict TV time to one hour so that my child could find time for lot of other interesting activities , games, music etc. To encourage this, spending some time together with the child helps as you could do an activity together with them like playing board games with them or building a project together . The purpose it to divert their attention from the idiot box.
Also children should not be allowed to watch shows with excessive violence and unsuitable content. There are also harmful effects of consumerism and advertising that targets children. Children have another bad habit of watching TV from a close range and this significantly increases the risk of myopia. Some children need a snack like potato chips to constantly munch while watching TV and this increases the risk of obesity in children.
This verse by Roald Dahl in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate factory’ just about sums about all what we have said above in a humorous way:
Today, enjoyed a game of chess with my daughter. She has improved and is now understanding the moves better. Chess is a great way of unwinding and relaxing. The object of the game is to capture the other player’s king. When the king is checkmated, the game is over. The opening game, the line of defence, the middle game and the end game are important in a game of chess. Chess also has important life lessons:
- It is important to have a goal in mind: The objective of the game is to capture the other players king. It is important to focus on this goal while planning your moves
- Analyse before making a decision: It is important to analyse your moves with respect to the position of the opponents pieces before executing a move. Every possibility has to be weighed and the outcome has to be analysed. This teaches us to be patient and not to be too hasty when making important choices.
- Live according to your core values: In chess it helps to develop and centralize your pieces to give you an advantage. This is akin to our core values in life by which we live.
- Independence: Chess teaches children to become independent in making decisions. They have to plan and think on every move.