Amidst the chaos of life..

rainforest

The rain pattered on the leaves, as

through the mutiny of colors, green

brown and nutmeg, blew a chilling breeze.

Drenched, dripping wet, yet

sporting a beaming smile, you stroll

through life, plush with aplomb.

The trees, the beasts, arboreal

volant, fossorial, and piscine,

stir amidst the other.

While in witness, you behold your bounding

heart, that’s beating within with relish

at this nature’s call, and grip tight

The hand, coarse tough rippled with

veins, as you stand testimony to the

chaos of life, together, in harmony.

Advertisements

Loss of Innocence

mermaid-on-nova-scotia-beachThe roar of waves breaking against the shore set a continuous polyphonic chirrup in the air. The lone fictional being, our protagonist, sat against the grainy tickle of sand. Her eyes were pinned on the horizon, where the orange-yellow gleam of the rising sun had smeared the sky and sea in shades of red. Raman Effect, she quipped in cold abandon. She was troubled by insomnia, and had come to the shore to await the break of dawn. Now it was about time to leave. But she loathe to.

For a callous observer, it might seem the rapture of dawn with waves lulling in that peaceful serenade had her drawn to the scene, locked in the moment. And had the observer’s intuition been deeply colored by a massive dose of existential angst, he might opine that she sat there, jaded, complacent, hoping to distract self from the tedium of existence. But we are neither callous, nor troubled with wistful imagination. From the vantage point of an interested perspicacious onlooker, she was waiting. For what, we wouldn’t know, nor do we venture to guess. We doubt if she knew herself what it that she awaited was. Was it akin to that age-old itch we all bear, for something incredible to happen in life? Of note, this latter is a quip; not a surmise.

As she breathed the salted breeze, she imagined the molecules flowing in turbulent eddies through her air-passages to the lung alveoli, mixing with the blood gushing just across the surfactant-lined walls, in gurgling streams of pulmonary capillaries. This stream was then churned by the constant continuous pulsations of her dear heart, that still longed for someone she could lose herself into. No, love is not a necessity. Akin to God, it is only an endearing hypothesis. But the need for the same, given the frail fragile constitution of us humans, is very palpable and real. She blinked at her single relationship status. She could undo it in a blink. But to blink for someone any less than self, would be a regretful error she didn’t want to repeat.

With fingers digging into the sand beside, she clenched her palm into a gentle fist, feeling the coarse grittiness of sand rubbing against sand. The tactile sensation seemed to add poignancy to the reality of the grainy nature of the same; just as this façade of human realm with individuals, where inter-individual interactions add weight to our individual reality. She slowly undid her fist and the grains slid down in thin streams. The weightlessness of the act seemed surreal, simple, solemnifying.

She blinked the thought away. She abhorred this metaphysical. She was through with them. Life is fun, or rather, fun could be had in life. And fun is heartening. Thus, to indulge in what’s fun is what, and all, that counts. The pleasure of the senses, the thrill of suspense, the joy of forbearance, and that enticing allure of companionship and understanding, she thought one could be drunk on life. Drunk, in every sense, with all the senses drenched in the exuberance that life has to offer.

As it became light around, she began to notice people. A young man, rippled, jogged by the shoreline, breaking a sweat. He left shoeprints in his wake that formed little pools. Slowly, with the succession of waves, these pools got filled with sand and were erased. She noticed an elderly couple, walking, with the man holding a dog, a german shepherd on a long leash. His wife who probably had put on some weight since her youth, hobbled along, beside, two steps behind, stealing a glace once every while at the horizon, and her husband. If one looked carefully, one could see boats in the sea, far off-coast. Fishermen out in open waters, gathering their days catch.

This last aspect from this near idyllic scene nudged her, our protagonist, that it was time. She need leave, and go about with her day. She lowered her torso against the sand, and slithered in the wet watery coolness. She reached the shoreline, leaving behind an unbroken trail. Once completely immersed, she flicked her tail fin, undulating her body in graceful twirls, as she swam deeper into the sea, toward her watery abode, the mythical Atlantis, at the heart of ocean.

An Orange Fruit

images (5)A dewy morning of early spring, and with the break of dawn, the scented breeze from lands afar blew to dispel the night’s mist off the trees on the plain. As the blanket of wet whiteness dwindled, an orange, ripened into the fullness of Sun, round and resplendent, could be seen hanging on the tree at the very heart of the plain.

The orange was as brightly orange as any orange could ever be. Spilling with the exuberance of youth, it was lulling in the breeze and making merry. From its site up on the tree, it could gaze above the lush green of the canopy, expanding over vast expanse, the very sight of prosperity, with its spotting of buds, flowers and fruits in their multivariate shades and shadows. The orange was as happy as anyone could, consumed in its own sweet pulp, radiant, ripe, it was living a life of beauty.

Pity all happy stories need come to an end, and so did that of the orange fruit. It was done on the tree and the stalk was sticking by its last bit of might. One gush and pluck! split the pedicle of the fruit leaving it under the guardianship of gravity.

The orange, blinked, tearful that its spot over above the canopy was gone. The misty morns, the breezy noon, the eve as the Sun slid behind the hills spewing red, yellow and orange over the horizon, and the quiet peaceful nights when under the shade of the moon, it would rest and dream, they where all to be had no more. It was to lose all these beauties it got to savour up above.

As its mind fretted, fidgeting over its lost privileges, the descent to the ground propelled by the interminable laws of gravity continued. As the ground came to sight, the smell of mud, wet, musky, steamed up into the air around. Air was rushing up past it, mirroring its fall down. The sky with its vast blueness and a touch of white from clouds, the lush lavish green of the canopy, they went further and further away. The brown of the branches with swirls of green from the many creeping guest on them surrounded the orange, as it was going down, down to the ground.

The smell of musk set fear thunder through the heart of the fruit. It meant for it, decay. It now could see its fate, and it realised with pain its purpose. It carried within it’s self, seeds of life which it was to nourish, at its own cost. It was to let self be destroyed, degraded by the zymes the seed may secrete, aided by the warm moist environ down there in the mud and the multitudinous miniscule unlikely mates. It was to slowly dissolve, letting its beauty give way to fluid, its exuberance give way to nutrients, and its youth give way to death for the sake of another life. It was to soon disappear from existence, to finish its short sweet journey with an ending stroke of decay and death.

It wondered first with pain, then with remorse at the similar fate of the countless oranges still lulling up in the breeze some looking down at it with pity, some with sympathy and some completely oblivious to its end. It felt bitter at being used, at falling into the ploy of this pointless game called life. How just is it to cause a death to bring about a birth?! It was to end to nourish another beginning, and if the whole purpose is just the beginning, then what point is there in the interim from the beginning to the end but a mindless meaningless preparation for the end so as to bring about another beginning?! Is the purpose of life ‘life’ itself, nothing more?!

It looked back at its days of youth, at its sweet pulp, its exuberant wine flowing in it and thought, what was it all about? What for? Was it a bribe to make the interim bearable so that it would play its part?!

The orange was nearing the ground through the fall. It could see the crystals of sand, with the mat of moss and a carpet of herbs blanketing the floor. It knew soon, very soon it would be gone, and from it will grow another orange tree, no, through it will grow another orange tree. And though it would be through it, it will not be the same as it. Lives’ end it thought, but life remains. Though no two lives’ are the same, they are always replaced. But in each life, there seem to be a pattern with three indelible truths, birth, procreation, death. It knew this, but what made it painful now is that it used to think there was more to life than just these. It wanted there to be meaning, significance, importance, but it could see there wasn’t.

There were days of happiness and moments of sorrow in its transient past. And when it looks again, it sees they were so innate. Anything that promoted its survival and seed-bearing made it happy and caused it to like it while that which threatened them brought pain and aversion. Scented breeze of the hills, oxygen, survival, happy. Delightful daylight after dawn, light, survival, happy. Countless pearls of rain breaking down from the sky, water, survival, happy. Mother’s stories of Gaya, the Goddess of Nature looking over, protection, actually the pretention of protection, survival, happy. Grandma’s stories of Zeus, the God of Everything, with lists of do’s and do not’s, presumption of survival, survival, happy. Grandpa’s stories of afterlife, imagination as to survival, survival, happy. Bees, birds and butterflies in their many colours and clamour, pollination, seed-bearing, happy. Come on now, give me a break said it!

It wondered if its search for meaning was of any meaning?! Was there indeed any meaning?! If someone even claims to have found, how to separate an appearance of meaning from meaning indeed?! How could anyone ever find meaning if there exists none in first case?!

While the orange had heard of stories that in the end there is peace, but it seems to be otherwise. Either they were lies, built on the promise that the dead won’t return to contest, or maybe it’s was a case apart, san the apparence, the pretension and the presumptions of lives’. Its view was that of the life. And though it could, it chose not to lighten its heart with lies many. For it thought, why need it aim for happiness, peace and significance? What makes the state san these feelings any less meaningful? When there is no meaning at all, what makes any state any less meaningful but for the personal preference?  Or is it really a personal preference, or a program as to preference fed inside since before birth or from after birth through social conditioning?!

And all it could see before was webs of questions, breaking paradigms, withering assumptions, it realised it had taken so many assumptions for granted. It hadn’t challenged then and took them for either the obvious or as the unquestionable truth. And the realisation of the folly, all added to the muddle, meddled with the fret in it as the orange finally hit the ground, paving self into the mud, spewing flecks of moss and moisture up into the air, and blurted in its last breath, ‘what the f***!

Evolution of Thought

images (8) We are all curious why we are here. Thoughts along this line curiously are sidetracked to the realms of religion, philosophy and metaphysics. And we have such a veritable bedlam of variegated possibilities as answers. What if there was an answer that was testable, rigorous and objective. In a word, which was scientific. Well, we have. And it is surprisingly simple.

The earliest hypothesis to explain our origin, as our purpose and position in this grand scheme was the God hypothesis. It simply stated that we were created by a human God. That He affects the course of our lives by answering prayers or punishing for our fallings. And after when we are done living, decides whether we live in a fabled place of happy ease or hot tortured unease.

It held sway for eons. Partly because it went unchallenged for want of a better answer, and partly because it seemed a very satisfying and heartening an explanation to the ‘existential crisis’ that we pass through. But with Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection, we saw ourselves as never before.

random-thoughtsIt was a dawn of a new era. An era of scientific enquiry, that made us humble amidst every other living and non-living thing in existence. The theory was simple, subtle and infallible. It speaks of how within a population of individuals, some, due to an inherent variability, have traits different from else. Over time, those in possession of traits that left them more adapted to their environment lived, and passed on their legacy, while the unfit, rather more aptly the misfits, perished and were forgotten. Thus, species evolved, diverged, and went on to occupy the different available niches in biosphere.

It’s a theory that is logically consistent. That is, to a rational mind, convincingly true. And beyond that, experimentally it has been proven. The very fact that we have to throw some antibiotics and go search new one’s every couple years is because the pathogen evolved to resist them. Well, if a trait as defining as antibiotic resistance can evolve in such short a span, given four and a half billion years, which I assure you is a really long span of time, the likes of humans can spring forth!

But this is no news. The book On the Origin was published was back in 1859. Then Harold and Haldane gave a theory for abiogenesis, which gave a possible answer to the Origin of life, something that Darwin missed out on. It says how by random combination, simple chemical molecules can form molecules with life-like characters. This was experimentally verified by Harold and Urey in round-bottom flask and with electric spark electrodes. It’s something which as well could happen, but whether it did is yet to be established, for there is another very competing theory, the one of Pangenes, wherein it’s asserted that life came as spores from outer space. Now if it indeed were so, and if these spores came from some planet where life was first to originate, then undoubtedly, the Harold and Haldane theory of abiogenesis must and would explain how life originated there. In this sense, it’s a possible answer.

So as the story stands, from a bunch of simple molecules, over time, primitive forms of life originated. These evolved over time, to form diverse, complex and sophisticated forms of life.

But the good thing about us humans is, in our continuing endeavor to refine our theories and models, Richard Dawkins hit gold with The Selfish Gene. Here, as against the unit of evolution being a species acting at the level of an individual, here the unit is an individual acting at the level of a gene. According to this model, humans just as other life forms are machines, akin to robots, built by the genes in DNA, to further their own goal of survival and propagation. Its not that genes have brains and are purposeful. Rather, it’s in their nature, just as its in the nature of hydrogen, to go pop in presence of oxygen and form steam.

Hero-Image-LifeSciences-GeneralSome may say, well but it’s all just theory. But it’s the best theory in town. And it’s a scientific theory, something which is objective and thus unbiased by our human inclinations and temptations. And the standards of science before a hypothesis is established as a theory are really high. Beyond all the petty bickering that goes on, what we have now is a paradigm that is empowering and humbling at the same time. And as is the purpose of models in science, it gives perspective. And such refreshing and encompassing a perspective it is.

The Flow of Life

Image

 

The quiet was complete

the pond, still n unrippled

the trees, stood unruffled

the soil, hid moisture

the pebbles,  lay as laid

 

I wondered,

is quiet and calm the same?

is quiet calm or the way round

the calm quiet, or

do they ever relate?

 

I recollected,

when in spite of noise

when despite the crowd

while all seemed busy

there reigned a calm

 

but now, i see

on this island with

the pond, its trees,

the soil and pebbles

though its quiet, calm

it isn’t

 

I know what’s amiss

though it wil set ripples

cause a ruffle

steam up the moisture

and shake the pebbles

 

the breeze, without it

the quiet disquietens

the calm allures

for calm is not

in the standstill

 

its in the flow of life.

The Lively Little- One

loving-nature-12902157In the early hours of morning, when the grass is still wet with the dew of the night before and the mud moist, I saw the impressions of two small little paws. The paw-prints of a young little kid early up from his bed. The imprints formed a track, with the kid definitely not walking with a pre-set destination in mind.

I let my eyes follow the trail. It went straight for a few yards, then slowly turned left, a few paces, a sharp turn right, another couple steps, a slight turn to right, a few paces… And it was not very long after when I spotted the kid himself.

He was sitting on the grass under a tree. The Sun had just crossed the horizon and the pond beside glistened with rays as the beings inside stirred to life. The kid had his legs stretched, and was peacefully plucking some blades of grass from between his knees. He then took one fleshy blade, and bit it between his pearly white teeth, and the succulence inside sprinkled forth into his mouth.

He was busy alone. All the while speaking to himself and to the inanimate things around. After a while he went to the pond and sat at its bank. He let a finger into the water and a wave of chill passed over his body and he gasped in pleasant cheer. Then he slowly let his legs inside, knee deep and beamed a big wonderful smile as he felt the chill lick against his skin.

The fishes inside did not, it seems, feel afraid. They started zooming around his legs and the kid started conversing with them. He put a few pebbles into the pond and the still surface split into lively ripples, each following the other in circles of increasing size. And at one time, as if by an impulse of enthusiasm, he put a big stone to form a big ripple and it fell in with a heavy sound that put him to giggle.

frog-lotus-leaf-19623594The ripples had set the lotus leaves afloat on the surface of the pond into a stroll. As one green leaf with beads of water drifted near within reach, the kid tried to catch hold of it. As he was about to clasp it in his palm, he saw something moving. He hesitated. Then he saw something again on the leaf move, but could not decide what it had been. Not bothering much he touched the big leaf, and just then a small but fat green frog which had been perching on the leaf all the while dived off. And the kid clapped in amazement.

With the heat of the day building, the fishes retreated to cooler bottoms. So bored alone our kid sets in search of things more interesting. He goes to the tree beside and sits under, resting his back against its trunk, leaning comfortably against a root of the big green tree that had grown over-ground.

He took up a rock and started drawing lines in the mud. He intersected the lines. Made circles. Squares. Triangles. Then he tried a free hand drawing of the fish he had seen. Having made one, he made a couple more to give the lonely fish some company. Satisfied, he then drew that leaf and tried to draw something which may resemble the frog. Slowly and slowly, as he kept scribbling, his scribbles, went from lines to figures then into bizarre and curvy caricatures as he slipped down and down and fell into a nice sleep.

I looked down at the wonderful kid, curled up, sleeping in the tree’s lap, under its soothing shade. A slick of his hair bent over his forehead as a breeze blew through. He was sleeping so content. I could see a calm smile on his lips all the while. It felt like the whole nature kept a natural quiet peppered with the occasional cooing of the birds and the diving of frogs into the pond beside.

I know not when that the sky started growing dim. The evening twilight. The kid slowly wakes up. He stretches his arms with his fist clenched and yawns a mighty yawn making a childish squeak. Then he stands up. He slowly dusts his pants and goes up to the pond. He looks in and beams a smile at his own reflection. Then he takes a palm full of water and splashes it against his face. He feels a slight rumble in his stomach and he then takes a palm full of water, slowly and carefully, trying not to spill them, to his lips, and tilts his head back and the palm up letting the water pour into his mouth. He has a couple more and then stands up.

___family_by_SAMLIMHe knows he must leave. He is afraid of dark, that gloomy part of the day that caps the beautiful day to close. Just as he waves the pond a longing goodbye he hears a flutter of wings. He jumps with joy. He sees a pair of birds fly past and make a big circle of the tree that he had slept under and they then settle upon a branch. He now notices a brown cosy nest. He had not seen it before. As the mama bird perches at the edge of the nest, cute little birdlings start squeaking and jumping about, pushing and bouncing against each other. The mama bird gives them a sweet caring look, that tells how much she loves them and how much she missed them all day.

Then she slowly brings out the worms she had stored in her crop and holds them out as the birdlings suck them in into their tummy. Our kid looks at it all and smiles. In his heart, at some little corner, he feels a patch moisten. A slick of tear forms on his eyes. His ramble seems not to cross the knot in his throat. He just looks on, longingly.

And finally as the forthcoming night urges him to retreat, he just brings his palms close and cups his mouth, like when someone tells something into others ears. And in an airy voice, the kid tells to the birdlings, “Your mother is so sweet. Don’t lose her, Ok!”. And then winks. And starts back on his jumpy gait homewards. Where he knows, food, bed and a heater to warm the room awaits. A heater to warm the room. Wish he had mom to warm his heart. Wish. Wish he had her…

Leaves of Autumn

19628414-young-blonde-woman-sitting-alone-on-a-bench-enjoying-the-warmth-of-the-spring-sunA gush of wind blew from the east and caused another yellowing leaf to tumble down the maple tree. It fell, rocking slowly along its course, becoming part of the blanket of golden leaves strewn at the floor of the clearing. Seated there is Anamika, silent, solemn and still. It is a quiet and serene place with towering trees lining around, grass and leaves carpeting the ground while a couple of benches were set about. Anamika is sitting on one of the benches and it happened that the clearing was feebly populated then with only a couple of children playing with a ball and a girl hugging and kissing her pup.

Anamika is all to herself. She sits calm, composed and quiet. Her black locks lay neatly straightened behind and her yellow dress blending gradually with the fair brown of her skin, giving her a tranquil charm. She leans back on the back-rest and her eyes float up, slowly above the canopy of the trees to the blue of the sky and the memory of that day blinks within. That sweet lovely day when she had met him.

A year must have passed since. It was another pleasant evening and Anamika was there, sitting on the same bench and admiring the children playing around. There were many that day. A pair of them were playing Frisbee, two toddlers were trying a tri-cycle, a girl was holding a big ball, about as big as self and bumping about while another kid was throwing stick for his dog to fetch back. She was so involved into the lively scene playing in front that maybe she did not spot him sitting right opposite, far behind the beaming kids and resting his gaze upon her.

The first time she saw him, she said to self that he was handsome indeed. He did not flinch his gaze when their’s locked and Anamika cut her’s. The quiet was thrilling. She here, conscious of his soft gaze drenching her being and he there, casting an unblinking admiration upon her. The seconds ticked for a while, then the minutes. And the notion just hung in the air that, what next!

And he stood up. Still looking in her direction and strolled straight towards her. Her heart started bouncing within. She could feel her breath heaving. He came to her and sat beside, and gazed in front at the children. Anamika did not know what to do. She just held her ground, her bench, her seat. But the feel of his presence so close, so near was steaming her skin with a persistent blush!

It was he who spoke first. He said, yes, he had said, “Will you marry me lady.” It felt not like a question, not even a request. It felt rather like a statement. Bold crisp and touching. And it had her aghast! It was quite more than unexpected. She sees a guy a moment and the very next he comes to propose her for a life together! She is too baffled to word anything. She remains quiet.

The guy speaks again, “Shall I take that for a yes”. Now the girl looks into him, his bold beaming being. He definitely was any girls dream prince. A strong figure, broad shoulders, tough chin with a soft lightness in his eyes and a subtle smile on his lips. She looked into his eyes, which looked back with admiration and charm, and she said, “but you know nothing of me.” He said, “there remains nothing to be known which shall need consideration”. She was thrilled.

She could feel something within, which she hadn’t felt all her life thus and she knew this had to be it. That this had to be her prince charming and that with him, she shall live that happy and content life, suffused with love and care that is the dream of every girl. She looks down, her eye-lids with their curved lashed veiling her eyes from this man’s view. Then Anamika says, “I shall like to marry you too.”

Then he touched her hand and held her soft palm within his two big strong ones. And he said, “Thank you”.

Something stirred within her then. It shook her being, and welled her eyes. And a sense of confidence in him filled her heart that she had never felt for anyone. She said, “There is one thing that you should know of, though. My work! I give men carnal pleasure to earn my living.” As she said this, the strong palms that held her’s lightened. He looked frozen for a moment. It appeared like he was there but yet not. Not a muscle twitched and nor his gaze flinched. Then he slowly let her hand go and walked away, not looking back.

She remained behind, lone, alone, then since on. She has often wondered if its wrong to exploit ones resources. She was beautiful, charming, sensual and she banked on it. She would make men happy and earn her bread. She could not see anything wrong about the scheme. She still couldn’t.

But from that day, she never let any man near her. She had been chaste. She kept her physical being to self. Not in guilt, not in self-reproach. But in hope! In genuine heart-felt hope that may be, someday he shall return to that park, to that bench, to her and marry her. May he shall. He should!