'Recollections' - a poem




pic src: PhotoSchool

I relishingly recollect
the much cherished moments,
those that have stayed back
those that never did backtrack;
when I only had skinned knees
when dreams were stringed to toys
when nothing in the world was bad
when all I had around were joys…
The time of innocent wisdom
and not of wise deprivation
nothing of the chains that bind
nothing of that long silence;
the time I heard myself prattle:
didn’t have to unravel my silence.
It’s that time I was reminded …
Something that’s not yet detached,
no matter how far away
a memory in mind that forever will stay.
Sitting, I travel far a mile
and I smile for a while…

© Amritbir Kaur

Words are all I have...


pic src: Words

Words are all I have…I consider them to be my best friend. The term ‘best friend’ says it all.
•The words never make me feel lonely.
•They are always loyal.
•They don’t fail me when I need them the most.
•They help me to be just myself.
•I feel at home when I am in the company of my own words.
•They help me to express my innermost thoughts.
•They help me to unlock the mysteries of life that surround.
•They help me to free myself from the ties and the chains that always do bind.
•They are a means of protecting myself from the onslaught of the cruel world around me.
•They lend me a shoulder when I need support the most.
•They don’t change with time, they are always constant and ever unchanging.
•They are a silent promise that they’ll always be there when I need them the most.
•They are something that’ll be always present even if they are absent.
•They are always there when all others abandon.
•They don’t demand an explanation.
•They have full faith that whatever I say is correct and should not be doubted.

The list seems to be endless. I felt as if I could go on and on. But then had to stop somewhere… else my words could get out of my control and I would never want that to happen. After all, best friends are a promise that they’ll there forever and ever, no matter what…

'That Place' - a poem

There’s something amiss:
I don’t know where,
but the completeness is lacking…
The soul yearns, yet,
cannot be there;
that much coveted place –
a place I relinquished long ago.
And now is the nothingness
of being and existing.
If life could be relived,
if time rewinds itself,
if fate could be written afresh,
I would have achieved
of which now I am deprived.
Alas! the moving finger continues
to ink on new marks,
on the pages of my life.
And I strive and strife,
against fate:
O! to be myself,
just to be myself.



© Amritbir Kaur

The film '2012' and me...



Watched the film ‘2012’ yesterday – I found it to be quite an interesting and a brilliant film (P.S. This is totally my personal opinion as I have read reviews that have totally rubbished this film.). And I say this not just because of the breath-taking graphics of the film but also from the point of view of the story and most importantly the way things have been portrayed. What added weight to the story line is, the touch of humanness.
What first came to my mind was that what if we know we are going to die in some specific time period, how would we react to it? That’s a question I asked myself. In the film we have instances of those who resign to their fate, those who fight for survival and those who live even after their death because they gave their life so that others could live.
Out of all the memorable ones, one incident stands out prominently. The one where the pilot carrying the protagonist of the film and his family…after saving them, prays just before his plane hangs from a cliff. For a fraction of a second, the plane stands still before falling down. For that fraction it seems that the prayer worked and pilot has a smile on his face…only to be condemned to death the very next moment.
Then there was the moment when the general public was to be allowed to board the spaceship…and the man (Jackson’s boss), who by hook or crook got entry to the ship (had got the passes and kept it as a secret…the height of selfishnes has been portrayed through his character)..but what happens in the end he could not be on that ship…I was reminded of the saying ‘Man proposes and God disposes’…how true!!! We all make efforts, but we don’t know whether they’ll turn out to be just the way we want them to be. Nevertheless, we have to play our part. And also as they say, when you can’t have what you want it is time to start wanting what you have...Isn’t it? So we have make time, as the President in this film says.
Moreover, it was very well said that the apocalypse is when we stop fighting for each other…because that is the death of humanity. We should all unite when faced with a challenging situation…then in the fight between life and death, we’ll surely be able to defeat death.
What I learnt was that death is not to be feared, it is just a moment..we should live life to its fullest, so that we don’t have any regrets. And as Abraham Lincoln has rightly said, “And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”
So overall I thoroughly enjoyed the film.. I always believe we should not only consider a film in totality. I say this because later on when we recall a film or anything else it is not the whole thing…we remember the particular scenes or some meaningful dialogues that stand apart from the rest of the film.

P.S. May be I’ll add some more inputs in this post later on….

An Honest Confession


img src:Photobucket

Nobody says a word,
voices are hushed
my dreams subdued.
I made a mute appeal
to vent the tongueless grief;
and then…
the barriers broken,
silence speaks out
when the words refused:
it’s the heart that listens.
Dreams don’t die then,
they come back to me
with a rejuvenating strength.
Waters flow down the dried stream
and I begin to sail along…

© Amritbir Kaur

The Mantra of Successful Relationships - part I

“The moment you think of giving up any relation, think of the reason why you held it so long.”

The relations are given the last priority in today’s modern materialistic world. A good relationship lies actually not in understanding a person thoroughly but in how well we avoid misunderstandings. The success lies not in moulding the other person according to your own choices, ideas and interests; it lies rather in accepting the differences and respecting the individuality of other person. Even in the closest of the relationships, a breathing space should be there. Don’t try to suffocate the other person with all your worries and don’t smother him with twenty hour care…give him/her the much-needed breathing space and you’ll have a healthy and flourishing relationship.

One more thing that needs to be kept in mind is that we should be open to suggestion. Nobody is perfect, we should always accept it. Controlling our anger is also of utmost importance. The best way to avoid a fight is that the person who is giving vent to his anger should be allowed to do so even when it is unjustified sometimes. The other person should keep his cool during that downpour. The things can be explained later on when things have cooled down. And then the mind can understand the logic behind the wrong arguments that had taken place earlier.

Having given a serious thought to all these factors (there are many more actually, I’ll keep on adding them…), the moment we decide to break off a relationship we must recollect all the beautiful memories associated with it. The result will be that from amongst the heap of the bitter moments, those cherished moments will shine bright and stand above the rest…and we’ll never ever walk away…it’s worth trying!

Identity


pic src:I am?


Who am I?
I don’t know.
Nobody recognizes me!
An ordinary being
am I to look at,
but carry a world inside me.
With a fa├žade of disguised feelings,
I chase a thousand desires:
may be a day’ll come
when my boat crosses the sea.
Waiting for the cherished dawn –
when I won’t be struggling at sea,
when I see the sought after shores,
when I glance around and find
I have arrived somewhere:
at a place where I can be myself,
just myself…

© Amritbir Kaur

This Life that is...

Various philosophers have tried to define life in their own unique way. But when we try to analyze the concept deeply, we find there are certain ideas that simply don’t go with each other. It is these very contradictions that we try to reconcile to all through our life. Let’s take for instance,the thought that we need to live in our present. Even H.W. Longfellow in his ‘A Psalm of Life’ wrote:

“Trust no future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead past bury its dead!
Act – act in the living present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!”

But is it possible to completely detach ourselves completely from our past?
We often say, we should live life by each passing moment. At the same time isn’t life a collection of moments chained together?
Life is a book. In my words, “Life is a book that contains various chapters and each chapter is an important part. We cannot simply do away with that or tear off the pages just like that…they stay there and keep cropping up like the obscure traces
What I wrote above was just a spontaneous overflow…What do you have to say?

The Obscure Traces



 pic src: Deviant Art

 I follow the traces
in my mind:
some faces lingering there I find,
they have no names,
no voice, no visage;
forgiven but not forgotten
they hang on to haunt.
I try not to cast a glance
to come out of the momentary trance
but they continue to stay on:
as a faceless, nameless
obscure identity.
Mindful of those I move on,
swear not to turn back ever
yet being wary of their eerie existence.

© Amritbir Kaur

Character of Macbeth in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'


‘Macbeth’ is universally recognized as the tragedy of ambition. It is a tragedy, which revolves around the ambitions of a great, noble Macbeth, who aimed at becoming the King of Scotland and succeeded in achieving his objective by killing almost all of those who stood in his way, as well as many innocent persons. Macbeth is the Thane of Glamis, whom King Duncan has sent to fight against his enemies and rebels. One of them is the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth fights against him bravely. Cawdor is defeated and captured. When this news reaches King Duncan the latter not only praises him profusely but also confers on him the title of the Thane of Cawdor. In the second scene of Act One of the play, the author Shakespeare shows how brave and loyal Macbeth is to the King. When Duncan hears about Macbeth’s bravery, he calls him “noble Macbeth” and “valiant cousin”. Even the sergeant, who brings the news of the victory of Macbeth over Cawdor calls him “brave Macbeth”.
In the third scene of the opening act, Macbeth, returning from the battlefield meets three witches who hail him as the Thane of Slamis and Cawdor as well as the future King. Macbeth knows that as a birthright he cannot become the King of Scotland but, by and by an ambition to become the monarch becomes stronger when he is told by Ross that the King has conferred the title of ‘Thane of Cawdor’ on him. This news confirms the truth of the predictions made by the witches. But being gentle Macbeth cannot think of any treachery against the King. He argues the forebodings of the supernatural beings (the witches) cannot be either “ill or good”. Then he argues, in an aside “If chance will have me King, why chance may crown me, without my stir.” Then, in next aside he resigns to fate saying “Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. After saying so he and Banquo go to the King, who hails him as a trusted subject. Macbeth returns the King’s compliment saying: “The service and loyalty I owe, / In doing it, pays itself.” The King calls him “my worthy Cawdor” and expresses the desire to be his guest that night.
Macbeth who has been stung by the bug of ambition is unable to decide upon the evil course of murdering his King who has been kind and generous towards her. When his wife Lady Macbeth suggests to him that after dinner the King should be killed he tells her not to even think of it. His argument is that the King has come to his home in “double trust”. Firstly, he is the King’s relative. Secondly,
“…as his
Who should against his murderer shut the door
Not bear the knife myself.”

Indeed, Macbeth is too noble to perform this criminal act. His wife knows that her husband is a person with “full of the milk of human kindness.” Therefore, she taunts him in every possible manner to suggest that he is a coward. He can only imagine and fancy, but cannot act when the time comes. At last, Macbeth, after her taunts determines


“Whilst I threat he lives
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.”

When the truth of Duncan’s murder comes to light Macbeth pretends to be innocent in the whole matter. He is made the King of Scotland as foretold by the witches. But because Macbeth has achieved this throne by evil and unlawful means he feels insecure in his position. Now one after the other visions appear before him and he imagines that everybody may play false to him. He knows that the same super-powers which predicted kingship for the sons of Banquo. Therefore, his first enemy becomes Banquo with his son Fleanes. He goes still lower and hires murderers to kill Banquo and Fleanes. Banquo is killed but the latter escapes. After this when he learns that Macduff may be a trouble spot for him he takes help of murderers to kill not only Macbeth but also his whole family. Infact, the sense of insecurity and the sense of guilt from which Macbeth suffers after Duncan’s murder lie heavy upon his mind and soul and he feels that now as there is no turning back, therefore, he must go forward with his plans of murders. He says:
…I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
returning were as tedious as go over.

Macbeth is in a state of mental conflict which is reflected in his words: “Strange things I have in head, that till to hand.”
In other words, for Macbeth nothing is evil or unlawful if it gives him a sense of security and safety.
Macbeth is brave and successful warrior. His bravery continues to accompany him till the end of his life when face to face with his inevitable death in battle with Macbeth he determines “Yet I will try thee last”.
He is a person with enough philosophical musings. When the news of his wife’s death reaches him he finds himself bereft of that voice of insipiration which could have helped him in his present circumstances also. He says “she should have died hereafter.” Then in one of his philosophical moods he contemplates:
“Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.”
In conclusion we may say that Macbeth is, inspite of his Kingship of Scotland a villain. He succumbs to temptations and taunts of his forgetting all the niceties and virtues of life. His cruelty and terror becomes so strong and mean that everybody begins to hate him. When Malcolm and Macduff meet, they talk of Macbeth’s meanness and cruelty. Macduff says:
…each new morn
New windows howl, new orphans cry…

Malcolm refers to Macbeth as “this tyrant”. He further confirms Macbeth’s view by saying that his country:
“Weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
Is added to the wounds.”

All this shows the villainy of coupled with cruelty and meanness. The terror and horror created by Macbeth. We conclude this discussion about Macbeth’s character with the words of D.F. Macae:
“We hear from his own heart of his ambition, his weakness, the wrongness of his behaviour, his deceits and his own evil.”

The Greater Pain


Photo copyright: Kevin Carter

“I wish I were a child again because skinned knees are better than broken hearts.” It often happens that our pain seems to be unjustified and too much to ourselves. This situation arises when we give too much importance to our own self. Even a casual glance around us is sufficient to shake us out of the self-centred approach towards pain and suffering. The above photo by Kevin Carter serves as an alarm bell. It forces us to shake ourselves out of the personal grief. Silence prevails there but often silence is just another word for pain. It was O Henry in his story ‘Grief’ who wrote “To whom shall I tell my grief!”
But then by seeing things in larger perspective, we often see our personal grief dwarfed and even vanished after a while. I am reminded of an incident I heard long ago. There was a poor boy, who used to grumble about the condition of his school shoes. But a day came when he stopped whining because he had seen a boy, who had not feet...
So while handling grief we should not stretch it that it covers the whole of our life. Instead, learn to live with it because forgetting is not that easy. Living with it means keeping in mind the troubles of the world. But one thing which needs to be kept in mind here is that focussing too much on the greater cause too might lead to creeping in of depressing tendencies. In that case the shift from personal grief to the suffering of humanity would be like jumping from frying pan into fire. It’s just that we have to accept the state of things (no matter how difficult the task is!). Acceptance means giving in to the incompetence of life. It is this sense of lacking that moves us forward...we learn to put up with what life offers...instead of wanting to have something, we learn to want what we have. And the caravan marches on....