Even in the blazing summer The world has frozen over Splattered with blood Of swindled innocents Loss of generations Unconsoled lamentations Our souls so cold Hearts so numb; When Gods are at war Men matter no more? Just marionettes, petty In the playbook of destiny!
I have a Rumi Pocketbook in my desk, since more than two decades, and once upon a time it gave me much succour. That was before the age of the madness of devices. It moved around with me one house to another, packed in boxes. Then, it lay quietly in a drawer, waiting, holding words of wisdom in it’s bosom, until my 11-year old son retrieved it and asked if it was age-appropriate for him to read! My heart overflowed with joy!
It is important to have books in the house – hardcovers, paperbacks; diaries, 📒 notebooks and stationery – little treasures, waiting to be discovered. Let your children unearth the bounty, find solace and refuge in the power of the written word. My son writes in his little Harry Potter themed journal or blogs only after jotting down ideas in a notebook. He loves glitter pens and gel pens, and no batch of bookmarks🔖 or post-it notes are ever enough. We share our love for stationery and to his credit I have introduced him to the indulgence. I blogged about this earlier also.
The first story in this collection by William W. Chan, reminded me of Oliver Sack’s work – The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Deeper into the book, a Kafkaesque feeling emerged. It is the nature of man to always seek. Some seek answers in science, trying to decipher the mysterious functioning of the brain. Many lean towards metaphysical ponderings on the functioning of the heart, soul, and mind.
The Nonchalant Man Between Worlds: And Other Stories are based on this quest, chasing the pertinent question of what’s real in our world and what may lie beyond in other realms. Dreams can be derived from realities and perturb us as much as illusions in waking hours.
June 8, 2017 – Winding up our site-seeing, we reached our cosy hotel-with-a-view in Gangtok from Lachung in Sikkim. Our intent was to shop, laze around, relax in the night, devour a leisurely breakfast buffet the next morning, drive down back to Bagdogra, and fly back home in the evening. In Gangtok, we heard murmurs of violence in Darjeeling, West Bengal. An agitation was brewing against the alleged imposition of Bengali language on the locals.
We were advised to leave early the next day to catch our flight from Bagdogra. Later that evening, at MG Road, jam packed with tourists, the atmosphere was tense. People enquired about the proclaimed bandh on June 9, and asked if they should drive back to Bagdogra in the night, instead of the morning. Tourists queued up at ATMs. It was difficult to get into the narrow offices of any of the cab-services providers.
Literally, the last frontier for civilian vehicles, the Zero Point, Yumthang in North Sikkim, just 15 km from the China border, is your chance to see and touch remnants of the winter snow, in the month of June. The area is barren but the treacherous journey is picturesque, the eternal romance of the mountains and clouds changing colors and tactics on alpine slopes. Sometimes you can see the blush of pink mountain flowers, many times the rugged energy of a river breaking down the mountain, rock by rock, stone by stone!
Tourists follow the serpentine rugged roads to reach the cold altitude of 15000 feet. They stand in awe at what is the edge of a certain part of the country and they cross a rickety plank bridge to touch the crumbling snow. In winter months, travelers engage in snow ball fights in rented gear!
Photo highlight – Freezing temperature and the husband carrying snow across the plank bridge, in his hands so that the children could hold it!
The month of June brings back memories of summer vacations and travels to lands far and fair. In June 2017, our family of 3 went to Sikkim with family friends and relatives. I took notes on my phone, posting them along with pictures on my Facebook page. I bring them out here to share impressions that stay forever.
Lachen Monastery, Sikkim
We were soaking in the blue skies, admiring the mountains, and the peace, letting our prayers flutter in the wind, along with the prayer flags.
Our world is made up of stories and most have already been told. It takes an exemplary storyteller to bring life to the mundane and the inconspicuous. Unabashed rendering of exotic yearnings, sensitive descriptions of romantic longings, intense emotions of despair, the gravity of age, trappings of secrets, and a gamut of vast emotions, and scenes flow through the pages of Bombay Hangovers by Rochelle Potkar. The book title is reminiscent of a city, clinging to a past, delving in intoxicating memories of humans, with all their flaws and follies, oft succumbing to the power play of destiny.
I walked the obscure path Traversed distances, alone I doubted myself, lonely Craving for company; At the end of the rainbow I searched high and low Magical messages to know “It is okay to be on your own To make choices, unknown For in silence, grows The strength of souls!”
I sieved the stars Through my fingers They fell on the ground Now, sparkling dust! The mist from my eyes Mingled in the glass The shimmer flowed Into oceans and seas Luminescence washed To the silver beach, I picked up the shards Of the broken stars. One with the sand By the shores I stand Crystal dreams in my hand I clutch them to the bosom, The roaring skies demand The glitter be returned For they carry visions, Of a thousand Earths!
A surge in my veins Throbbing temples Burning sensation Of rising resentment Helpless, I see Men in power be Reckless, remorseless Stirring uprisings Where anger is Directed to fellows Without folly, sans flaw So, fingers do not point, To merchants of war!