The STALWARTS!

Stalwarts! The word resonates a feeling of inspiration every time I think about it.

Little did I know that this word would be my lifelong mojo.

I am intrigued by the way, life lays out the path ahead. But lately I find that to be quite interesting and meaningful.

At times, life brings you back to square one probably to make you look at life with altogether a different perspective. I think I am back to square one but with a renewed zest and perspective.

The time between losing  perspective and gaining a renewed one is what I call the ‘THE MOJO ODYSSEY.’

There is always a time when one feels the need to question one’s calling in life. And to introspect if we are on the right path.

Though I had figured my ‘calling’, much to my surprise, I was obviously unaware as to how to reach it. There was a inner voice which always asked me,” Are ye LIVING your life?/ Are ye living YOUR LIFE?” The question always stumped me.

Enough of my philosophical gibberish. Well lets get on to the STALWARTS…

As I mentioned earlier that life lays out the path and I must say it also chooses the right kind of people to be a part of the journey. It has always worked out beautifully well for me.

I must say over the years I have found THE inspiring people.

People with a creative bug who time and again unleashed it. People with a simple take on life which they beautifully branded. People with a funny outlook that made life seem so wonderful.

People with a strong will who broke the time tested barriers!People with lovely hearts who invoked the life’s essence.       People with intelligent thoughts who rose against ideologies.

The ones who brought on a cheer.

The ones who tread on without fear.

The ones who are my dear and near.

The ones who are my dazzling stars!

These are the people I admire and the ones I am gung-ho over. They are the STALWARTS.

I am glad I met them, for they inspired me to look at life with a whole new perspective. And made it possible for a perspective that I only envisioned, a possibility that I only wished, a path that I only dreamt, a passion that I only admired …… well thanks to them, my MOJO Odyssey worked! And went on to answer my philosophical gibberish.

Everyone has a journey of their own and there are a lot many people whom you meet on the course. For me, I have always been blessed to have the STALWARTS.

PS: Wonder if I am somebody’s STALWART too!

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Day 18- Hone Your Point of View

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Short Story

I had just had my breakfast and was waiting for my friend Jim, when I heard a car screech and it halted right in front of Mrs. Pauley’s house.

As I went outside, I could see 2 policemen at the gates. There was Mr. Frank, a tall, lean man in his late 50s talking to the policemen in a hushed manner. He always appeared to be callous and slightly held himself with an air of pretension. He was one of our neighbors.

The policemen went inside and came back a few minutes later.

One of the policemen with a  taut uniform said, “It’s sad for the woman, wonder where her kids are!”

Other says, “Hmm, I wonder where she will be going, I have called a couple of old age homes”

I am left speechless, as I don’t fathom as to what is happening at her house.

Mrs. Pauley has always been a joyous lady and every evening when we kids play around, she is out there on the porch knitting a sweater. She calls out to us sometimes and offers us cookies saying that she is expecting her children that evening. But as I head back to my house after an hour’s play, I still see her sitting by the porch under the dim light. As I finish my dinner and I look out of the window, I can see Mrs. Pauley going inside with drooping shoulders and the sweater clenched in her hands.

Mr. Frank suddenly stomped out of the house and bellowed, “The woman is not budging from her room. You have to do something officers!”

I know that after Mr. Pauley’s death, Mrs. Pauley hasn’t been herself. She rarely comes out these days.

The policemen run inside and after about 15mins I see them accompanying Mrs. Pauley. There is a ‘Sunshine old age home’ van standing outside the house. A middle-aged woman walks out of the van towards Mrs. Pauley who is now crying loudly and escorts her to the van.

“I don’t want to leave, this has been my home for 40 years.” I hear Mrs. Pauley shouting and sobbing.

I now realize that Mrs. Pauley is being evicted from the house.

I go inside to call my mother. Just as we are near the gates, I see a black car stop at the house. There is a handsome man in his early thirties accompanied by a lady dressed in white and a small girl of about 4yrs who is holding a white teddy bear in her arms. They all move towards Mrs. Pauley.

Mrs. Pauley smiles at the man and hugs him. She says.”Where have you been my son? I have been waiting for you”

The man now talks to the policemen and Mr. Frank.

“Mr. Frank, I would like to buy this house and we will be staying here.” said the man

I could see a smile on Mrs. Pauley’s face.

“Ron, we are late!, Hurry up….. we got to go”, I hear Jim screaming.

I waved at Mrs. Pauley and off I went with Jim with a broad smile on my face.

Fear!

Hmm what am I scared of?

I think its confinement!

It has always been hard to shake off

Wonder why it is my predicament!

Being bound by ideologies

Which have a traditional say.

For I have my own philosophy

Much to everyone’s dismay.

It could be sheer darkness

By a road or in a cave.

I wish to have the guiding light

If not I feel closer to the grave.

Having the freedom to dream

And to take on the world.

Sans confinement, Sans the darkness supreme

Can I travel the transworld!

Writing 101- Day 17- Your Personality on the Page

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Hmm what am I scared of?

I think its confinement!

It has always been hard to shake off

Wonder why it is my predicament!

Being bound by ideologies

Which have a traditional say.

For I have my own philosophy

Much to everyone’s dismay.

It could be sheer darkness

By a road or in a cave.

I wish to have the guiding light

If not I feel closer to the grave.

Having the freedom to dream

And to take on the world.

Sans confinement, Sans the darkness supreme

Can I travel the transworld!

Well, just a poetic version of my fear for Confinement and darkness.

 

Life- A Charisma

A Life that i knew not
Made me a zealot
For every surprise that came about
Made me take life as a maggot

A Life that i imagined
Turned sore to my visions
To God i pleaded
For making life a celebration

A Life that i tread
Seemed a roller-coaster ride
Against my view of a mead
Where i decided to abide

A Life that i live
Is an abode of knowledge
From my soul I tread
That is what i pledge

Day 16 – Third Time’s the Charm

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Just the other day, I came upon a Video prepared from my friend. The video was filled with memories of my first job. The fun, work, outings all- these memories were put across in this wonderful video.

It took me back to Kharghar, Navi Mumbai where I started my first job as an Engineer. We had 3 months of initial training. That was the time when I met a lot of people and made lifelong friends.

One thing that is still vivid in my mind is one of the training sessions we attended. The session was so close to my heart because it brought us so close to reality, life, human relationships, value of family. One of my colleagues spoke about his family, his father especially and it was touching and emotional that some of us had teary eyes by the end of the session. That day, those moments brought all of us close together and made us all realize the value of life and relationships we make along.

I still think of this session whenever I am down and am pondering on the way of life.

But one thing I have truly lost are my friends that I made along then. I am in touch with some of them but many wonderful people I met along have gone far away and I have no idea what they are doing now.

I hope we all get together some day and laugh on all the fun we had at Kharghar.

 

Writing 101- Day 8- Death to Adverbs

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I left my house at 6:10 this morning. I walked for about 5mins before I reached the crowded park. I promised myself that I have to complete 25 rounds today.

It has been a couple of weeks now and I follow the same routine every morning. A lady in pink pullover walks past me.  She strides ahead and I tend to keep pace with her. Another man brushes my arm and moves ahead jogging. He is one of the middle-aged men who jogs. He is always in his quintessential checkered shorts and yellow t-shirt. I can now see a fleet of birds flying across the sky chirping all the way. It is a wonderful sight.

I move a little further and I meet a group of men and women in pairs of two talking to each other and walking along. I squeeze myself into the space between them and I march ahead. Phew that’s such a relief and then I continue my invigorating walk. I finally complete my 25 rounds.

I then sat on one of the benches ahead across the side of the pathway. I see the sun rising in all its glory. It is beautiful. The sky changed from greyish to yellow-orange and the flowers and trees were now lit brightly from the rays of the sun. The rays of the sun fell on my face and I basked in it for sometime before I got on the move back home.

Writing 101 – Day 15 Your Voice Will Find You

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My heart was thumping. I wanted to start in a jiffy. I so wanted to complete it. I heard the firing shot. And off I ran along with other runners.

I had been preparing for this day for a month now. It was the TCS World Open 10k Marathon in Bangalore. And I was excited as usual because I love marathons. Along with the sense of achievement, it brings in an amazing feeling of exuberance, strength, will power to the fore.

So, I ran with all my might,  the crowd which had gathered were cheering all us runners. I could hear some music bands playing rocking songs which increased our enthusiasm. After about 3.5kms I was a little exhausted, I was running slowly but held on to a good pace. I think the people around, their enthusiasm, their cheer gets you going the extra mile when you feel that it can’t be done any more. I did carry on with the run and it was an amazing sunny day with the weather being cool because of the showers the previous night. After about 1hr 20mins I had completed the run, took quite a bit of time but the feeling of completing the run made it one of my achievements.

Well I cannot imagine the event being stalled. It is this event over the past few years that brings in people from all walks of life to participate, enjoy and also contribute to charitable organizations. The  fervor of the city is to the max on the event day, youngsters who want to achieve something, aficionados who want to break records, old people who want to experience and still want to know if they still have the strength to go the extra mile, people who just want to have fun and of course the crowd gathered to cheer on their friends, family members. Last but not the least cheering the runners from all over the world to give in their best!

I would not be able to fathom the reasons if the event is cancelled and I sure hope it is not ever.

 

Writing 101- Day 12 Dark Clouds on the(Virtual) Horizon

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It was the mark of a lifelong friendship, little did any one of us realize it then. All it seemed was just becoming friends and be gung-ho about having a friend in the class.

The holidays had just ended and I had to start school. I had the butterflies in my stomach, it was going to be yet another year and I was starting off my third grade.

The first day of school was all about going to a new classroom, asking each other about the places they had been to, who would be the new teachers and new students joining in.

We had all settled down when the first class commenced with English/Math, I don’t remember much now. After about 15mins or so we had a group of 4-5 of them coming inside our classroom. They were the newbies! The day passed on with our introduction to the teachers and the subjects.

The next day I was sitting all alone when,

” Can I sit here?” one of the new girls asked me.

I quipped:”Yes, sure”

After about 10mins of silence, she asks ” Will you be my friend?”

Then the teacher walks in and we all stand to greet her.

It was as though I could not hear the question she asked or I was just too shy to answer.

12 Years passed by and one fine day, I tell Su that ….. “Yes.. Yes I want to be your friend for all the years we have in this world” . That’s when we have a good laugh about the old times, her question and me not answering it for whatever reasons.

Su and I have been friends to this day and have been the best of friends since the 8th grade.

This is one of the best conversations I have had and it is surely the one closest to my heart!

 

 

Writing 101 -Day 5 Be Brief

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Dear Rose,

“Love is when I feel you,

Love is when I hear your voice,

Love is when I see you across the path,

Love is when you are there in my every breath!

Love-M

My heart skipped a beat reading this note which was by the bench in the park. I looked around but there was not a soul around. But there was an old woman standing by the bridge. I went up to her and asked whether she had seen anyone by the bench. She denied seeing anyone and her eyes caught sight of the note I had in my hands. She immediately snatched it, before I could ask her anything, her eyes welled up with tears.

I gave her a moment to collect herself and then she thanked me for the note.

She said that this was the last note from her husband Martin before he passed away yesterday. She also mentioned that he was suffering from dementia. He used to write notes to his lover everyday and leave it on the bench with the hope that his lover may come by as that was there meeting spot.

It started raining and the lady left and there was a woman in white who came up to her with an umbrella and said

” He will always love you, Rose!”