Of Love That Uplifts

 

 

 

Love is not pretending.

It yields not to demand

or command, frowns upon

cowards, has no peers.

 

It nurtures on free and fresh

minds and hearts, on spirits untouched

by malice, jealousy and possessiveness.

Few are equal to its challenges and charms.

 

Love is the be-all and end-all

of all life, the only rationale

behind existence, the ozone

that shields from mental decay.

 

It is not easy to understand,

beats an intelligent man

to submit to its whims.

It tests our patience,

 

turns one mad and wistful.

Beautiful beyond debate,

love is irresistible even to

the time-tested cynic.

 

Pessimism melts in the warmth

of love; it cleanses the criminal,

enlivens the dull philosopher,

makes me feel like a queen of hearts.

 

 

 

Lines: 24

 

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Of Love That Uplifts

That Marvelous Smile

That Marvelous Smile


When we missed that crucial flight to Atlanta we were feeling very much depressed. We didn’t know anybody in the city, no connections what so ever. The airport authorities were unable to say when the next flight would be. It could be two hours or more, they said. The weather was cloudy and there was a fierce wind blowing out side the airport terminal.
                   
We sat down in the passenger lobby perplexed as to what to do. Of course we could check into some hotel but we were not sure for how long. 
We were supposed to attend the wedding of a close friend’s son on the next day.  A good friend of the family, Matthew attended all our family functions. We were very keen to witness this wedding. 
We were still sitting there discussing the best way to reach our destination in time.
From the corner of my eye I saw someone passing by our seats.  I however, didn’t pay much attention because airport is a big place and many people come and go. The man, who passed us by, stopped and turned towards us. I noticed he limped a bit leaning more on the right leg. As I was watching a little curiously, he came towards us and said,

‘Hi there, remember me?’ he smiled.
I looked at him searching my memory. Suddenly I knew him. 
‘Oh! Yes. I know you. We met on that flight from Boston, didn’t we?’
‘Yes my friend! We did. I have been looking for you wherever I went. I wanted to thank you for everything I am today.’

I remember this man very well. It happened about four years ago. I was going to meet my sister who lived in New Jersey. My husband stayed back with my son’s family in Boston. It was a bright morning in April. The weather was still very cold with the temperature in the fifties. The flight took off in time and we settled down to enjoy the drinks they served aboard. The young man beside me looked a little tired and most of the time kept his head buried in the newspaper or a magazine. He wasn’t anxious to talk to me.

I took out a book by that amazing man and a great physicist Stephen Hawking, ‘A Brief History of Time’. My son who loves Physics gave it to me. Even to someone like me whose first love was not math by any measure, the book was interesting. After reading a few passages, I reclined on the seat and closed my eyes.

‘Can I borrow that book please?’ asked a hesitant voice from my side. I saw this pale youth looking anything but happy. His face was shorn of any kind of feeling and his eyes wore a sad and agitated look. I felt overcome with sympathy.
‘Why, dear, certainly! You can keep it if you like.’ I said smiling into his eyes.  His young face brightened immediately. With great enthusiasm he started pouring into the contents of the book.
Before we landed at the airport, I said good-bye to the lad and asked him to keep the book. He was very happy at that. We parted ways a little later.

Now I face him again. The change is remarkable. He is no longer the callow, sad-faced youth but a dignified gentleman. Confidence and well being shone through the man. Most importantly he smiled a lot and looked happy and cheerful.
He sat beside us, my husband and I. He got some coffee for all and chatted pleasantly.

‘My name is Brian Southerland. I am the only son of my parents. The family is very rich. My parents moved in high society. I had everything except love and the feeling of being wanted. To get away from being lonely I made a lot of friends but wrong friends. It took no time to fall into the traps that money opens. I thought that was the ultimate joy of life. I paid no attention to my studies. I didn’t care. Study and hard work were not important for me. 
I met with an accident when a friend of mine in a drunken state drove the car into a ditch.’

‘‘What would you like to do?’’ asked my father after I recouped from the injury to my right leg. They didn’t know the reason for my moroseness. I felt they never cared to find out either. That made me sadder and resigned. If own parents do not know what bothers their kid how would strangers know? That was the question that bothered me. You know, even the rich are hungry for love.

That was my state in brief when I met you on the flight Ma’m. You were special from the outset. Many people smile at me, a superficial gesture mostly. I never paid much attention to them. 
On that day surprisingly, I liked your gentle way and considerateness not to bother me. I felt interested about the book you were reading. I heard about Professor Hawking though I never bothered to enquire more about his remarkable achievement.

I remember your warm smile. It reached out to me with great love and power. I felt for the first time I must do something worthy of that smile. It ignited energy and enthusiasm in me. I kept your smile on my mind as a loving keepsake and a motivator.

Everything changed from then onwards. I went back to school. If Stephen Hawking could do wonders with his crippling health condition, as a young man of twenty I should be doing better.!  I felt charged with energy and a thirst for a new beginning, kindled in me.’

‘‘Son are you sure of what you are opting for?’’ my father asked when I was preparing for admission into Carnegie Mellon college for a Master’s in Computer Science. 
‘Yes Dad. I am interested in the subject’ I replied with my eyes on the notes I was preparing for the entrance exams.
‘’All the best son. I am happy at your choice.’’ I felt a new closeness with my parents, which I never knew before. I understood that if I think positively everybody appears close. 

My attitude to people in general had changed. I stopped talking down to them. Paying attention to what they said, I observed, never failed to please them. I discovered a new pleasure in simple things such as exchanging a pleasant word. 

My teachers and my parents helped me in my preparation by doing their best.

‘‘Brian darling, you got a registered letter. Come on down dear,’’ called my mom from the patio.
I came down eagerly and opened the envelop with the crest of the Carnegie Mellon on it.
‘Mom! Dad! I got it! Thank you God!’ I said at the height of excitement.
My parents hugged me and celebrated the event by throwing a small party in the evening. I owe all this to your smile Ma’m. Your kind words kept echoing in my ears and stayed with me.

The next four years were the happiest in my life. I found my forte. My pleasure of studies, my passion for math and my binding interest in computers – everything came to me like a dream coming true. I was lucky to have got a great adviser, selfless and committed. Last month I finished the final year. I got a seat in PhD at the MIT.
I am going to Atlanta. My adviser is now a professor in Georgia Tech. I wanted his blessing before I join the PhD program.

We were listening to this amazing account of the young man so engrossed, that we were unaware of time. There was a bright sun shining through the glass partitions. Its rays shone on the marble floor and the light deflected on all of us. There was no trace of gray and the wind changed to a gentle breeze. 

‘Brian, that was the most wonderful thing I ever heard.’ I said with tears in my eyes. It was impossible not to become emotional at such a true to life experience.
‘Our hearty Congratulations Brian, for making it to the great MIT,’ said my husband smiling at the young man.

‘Your attention please! Passengers bound for Atlanta can now proceed to gate four for security check before boarding flight no 239’. The announcement sounded sweet to our worried selves.
‘Wow! That’s wonderful! Now we will reach the wedding avenue well before time.’ I exclaimed in joy. We told Brian of our earlier concern regarding the flight.

‘Oh, Come on folks it is time to go. By the way I will be with you on the flight. I will drop you guys wherever it is you want to go,’ Brian said cheerfully as he led the way.
In those golden moments of joy I discovered that my happy and honest smile went far in changing the life of a lonely and misguided boy. That simple smile aroused feelings of joy and happiness in both the giver and the receiver.  It resulted in his harmonious growth and development in the path he chose and directed him to his goals.

That Marvelous Smile

A Snowy world of joy

 

 

In a winter world of buttery snow

stands a dream house of long ago.

The twilight luminescence in the sky

its white glow on creek’s water lies.

 

Ruby sunset filters through the pine leaves,

glistening snow covers the land, a giant sheet.

Lavender dusk dims the day light; stars flicker,

lamps burn, hearths kindle; a cat curls in a wicker.

 

Voices float from the casements fine,

fragrance of roses and lilies in prime

rises in the airy current to embalm

the dreary world with peaceful calm.

 

Boys and girls get set to the village fair

charge in a one-horse-open-sleigh dare.

Their faces fresh, their hearts young and so free,

Christmas cheer fills the world; all the cares flee.

 

 

 

A Snowy world of joy

Night of the White Hallows

 

 

The little ninja skipped all the way to Miss Hazel’s house with Hermione by his side. Pale moonlight started spreading across the sky, and the wooded neighborhood. October chill sent shivers through the kids, thrilling them in a way, known only to them.

“Do you think Miss Hazel would like us dressed this way?”Asked six-year-old Pablo, enjoying his just acquired new identity, albeit for just a night.

“Don’t be dumb Pablo. All this is fun, and she knows it is Halloween,” replied Sofia, with the wisdom of all her eight years, rightly impatient with her curious brother. Pablo started swishing his lancer enjoying the sound of the light metal attachments sewn into his costume. Ever since he had watched “Ninja go” on the TV, he longed to be the part of the group. He loved his “sword of fire.” Yes, Kai is his role model.

“You are supposed to be a witch, aren’t you?” Pablo looked at Sofia with laughter lurking behind his big brown eyes.

“That’s silly, really. All this is just make-believe.”

“Can’t make-believe become true?” asked Pablo with real curiosity.

 

May be it could turn out to be so, with the night known to bring out the spirits of all regions to earth.

 

There are a number of cotton trees ahead of the duo. White flowers covered their branches, and it seemed as though they were entering a field of white hallows. They stopped to watch the whiteness and felt somewhat giddy. It is like a wonderland with clouds spread around them.

Suddenly, there are four ninjas walking from the opposite side.

“Oh my God, Akka!(older sister in Telugu) who are they?”

“Come on Pablo, you can do better than that. They are just like us, dressed in costumes for the Halloween.”

“But they are much bigger than me. ‘Ninja go’ are not that big,” observed Pablo, quite concerned.

Then he heard Sofia gasp, and stop as if she saw something magical.

“Look Pablo! I can’t believe this! Harry Potter and his friend are coming this way!”

 

“Akka, they are coming! I’m scared.” Pablo’s eyes filled with unshed tears.  He clutched his sister’s hand.

Soon two teenage guys stopped before them. Harry looked amused at Sofia’s appearance. His eyes twinkled behind the glasses.

“Sofia, would like some magic? Hermione couldn’t come as she had to go to an advanced course in vanishing acts.”

Sofia looked up hesitantly at the guy who fascinated her through the large volumes she’s been reading for months, with his adventures, good deeds and courage. It is absolutely a dream, she thought.

“Yes, Mr. Potter, if you don’t mind.”

“Call me Harry,” he said, putting his hand up in the air.

“What would you like?” asked, Harry.

“Oh, more of your books and more fun,” came up her response promptly.

“I want some really interesting Lego sets,” Pablo said, tugging at Harry’s sleeve.

“Sure, young man. Be a little patient.”

 

Suddenly, the kids realized they were in the air. They flew over Atlanta, and as Harry pointed out, saw their friends’ houses in different locations. They were moving at a slow speed, spotted Georgia Tech, their school, their principal Miss. Brown’s pretty house, the aquarium and the big public park. They laughed with excitement enjoying every moment.

 

They didn’t realize when exactly they reached home. They simply walked through the front porch into the living room.

“Oh, there you are. Where on earth have you been? We just rang up Miss. Hazel.  She said you didn’t turn up at her house,” said their mom, worry creasing her eyebrows.

“Mom, you won’t believe it; we met Harry Potter,” said the kids in unison.

Their parents looked at each other incomprehensively.

“Go wash your feet, change into pajamas and get into bed. we can talk about it in the morning,” said their dad.

 

Next morning, Sofia woke up and was tossing about in her bed.

“Sofia! Come down this minute,” her mom’s voice drove her out of the bedroom. She looked at Pablo’s bed, and found it empty. She walked into the kitchen with sleepy eyes.

“Akka, look what you got,” Pablo raced to his sister.

“I got this Lego set with instructions; all the designs are easy to follow. Actually, I can make a plane, a train and a submarine and a number of other machines I can think of,” said Pablo, excitement making him stammer.

Sofia found her mom and dad looking at them rather incredulously.

On the table before them lay, four volumes of Rowling’s latest Harry Potter adventures.

 

To this day, the family has no idea who sent them those gifts. There is no clue of the sender’s address. It simply said, “Anonymous.”

Can wonders happen in this scientific era?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night of the White Hallows

A Reason To Live

 

When at the break of the day,

I start walking towards the hills,

their cascading green soothes my senses.

I hug the emerald ranges in my mind.

 

My heart glows at the vocal silence

enveloping the earth, the sky and me!

The gently flowing stream, the song

of a parakeet from the dense forest,

 

praise the grandeur of God’s creation.

In those golden moments when nature

relaxes, as the soft sun slowly awakens her,

I see I have a glorious reason to live.

 

The beauty and blessing of Mother Nature,

her indwelling peace and her fathomless patience,

her love and affection for my fellow beings, and me

provide me with a singular reason to live.

 

A Reason To Live