The Circle of Fire

She twirled and twisted

wrenching in the urge

to find her way

through this wilderness

the sweat and blood

not did once dissolve

the fire…

the fire kept simmering

until, until it burned

every tissue, every skin

of her layered self

until, until it flamed

every dream of hers

in her eyes, vividly..

she thought to herself

as she woke up from one

(the dream)

yes this is it…

this is my beloved

desire ..

until, until it flamed

a realisation

to her ,

that her purpose

is to burn

and be the light

of life

till eternity….

– Nithi C J

The Enso

Just Randomly

a stroll in the dust cladded pathway 

a look into the empty driveway 

my fingers wipe 

an unseen tear 

a known finger tugs you near

just randomly…

and just randomly 

I pick that book 

flipping into its leaves

I looked hooked..

the bell rings 

I rush to the door

opening my self to the cold wind 

just randomly…

and just randomly 

I ink my nib 

An extra fine sometimes 

sometimes a stub

I switch between them

as if that will make my words better 

and scribble on the sheet randomly 

and just randomly I drop my hi

leaving not much space for a why

I ask my beloved 

hope you had a good meal

and some questions randomly 

with randomness 

I sometimes express my soul 

only to make the experience of life

more precious 

leaving the others bewildered 

I just gift them a smile 

just randomly….

Resonate with what you relate to…

When was the last you walked to the top of hill and screamed in the valley that lay below, only to find your voice as an echo?

Resonance is a very interesting phenomenon… if you read the concept you would realise. It’s more than just sound…

“It is defined as the reinforcement or prolongation of sound by reflection from a surface or by the synchronous vibration of a neighbouring object.”

– Definition from the Internet

The interesting part is the synchronised vibration with the neighbouring object is not possible until both commensurate with each other..

In the world of virtual bonding , and the increasing desire for approval, we are somehow losing on connecting with people whom we relate to. Likes, dislikes in the virtual world may give momentary happiness but what about eternal solace?

“The one who socialises mindlessly , is the most lonely person.”

-Nithi CJ

With socialising becoming a trend more on our devices, we have forgotten to connect with anyone on an aim beyond few drinks and few bites. In just few minutes of any gathering, we see the dissipation of focus into individual handsets. What about the conversations and the connections you desire to create with the like minded?

It is important to select your company in such a manner… and express only to them who understand and relate; and are sensitive to your thoughts. Casual hangouts can only ‘hang’ you ‘out’ momentarily from your actual self, but the question is how long can you keep hanging?

Won’t it be better if you could resonate with someone whom you relate?

The Language that killed an Emperor

The duals fought in historical courts between poets is a tradition still revered as one of the most intellectual and literary traditions. Not just poets, musicians, educators, all strived to make a mark on the mind donned by the royal throne.

The commonality between the above historical artists is the language. Language has been the showcase for religions, regions , mindsets and different realms. Today let’s look into one such realm.

In the book titled,” Adrishya” on the greatest spies of Indian history, the mention of Bardai opens up uniquely different dimension of spy craft. Most unassuming individuals hidden with most unassuming skills often make it to this strata of warfare. And when you read about Bardai, this is more evident.

The chapter speaks of the extraordinary skills of Bardai in spy craft, but most historically significant was the use of Brij Bhasha as a secure means of communication. As we commemorate Hindi Diwas today it’s imperative to know little more about this language.

As per Britannica ,” Braj Bhasha language, also spelled Braj Bhasa, Braj Bhakha, or Brij Bhasa, language descended from Shauraseni Prakrit and commonly viewed as a western dialect of Hindi. It is spoken by some 575,000 people, primarily in India. Its purest forms are spoken in the cities of Mathura, Agra, Etah, and Aligarh.”

Who knew this dialect would carve a great part of India’s Historic Journey? So back to Bardai. Bardai had the poetic skills which made his communications with Prithviraj Chauhan more worthy to etched into a book. And none other than Chand Bardai himself wrote the epic ,” Prithviraj Raso” in Brij Bhasa.

“In the world of intelligence-gathering, jargon acts as a much needed veil of secrecy. “-Web

Brij was that veil to the association of Bardai and Prithviraj especially while executing tactical activities. When Prithviraj was imprisoned by Mohammad Ghori , Chand Bardai strategised a plan to help Prithviraj kill his enemy as escape wasn’t possible. Bardai spread this rumour that Prithviraj can aim by hearing and the sold this to Ghori , who blindly believed Bardai as by then Bardai had established his influence on Ghori. An Archery competition was organised where Bardai played this ace of spades about Prithviraj’s skill. Ghori’s curiosity about his enemy coerced him to witness this skill. And that’s when Bardai recited,

“चार बांस चौबीस गज अंगुल अष्ट प्रमाण ता ऊपर सुल्तान है मत चूके चौहान !”

-Prithiviraj Raso by Chand Bardai

The same verse and the event has been narrated in this excerpt from the Book ‘Adrishya’.

Excerpt of the Chapter on Chand Bardai from the book ‘Adrishya’

This excerpt clearly brings out that how Brij was used as a secret language akin to signal codes of the modern era. The explanation of the enemy’s location in Brij gave Prithviraj the exact clarity which he needed to aim at Ghori. This brings out the need to have a very in depth understanding of the language.

This historical account of Chand Bardai and Prithviraj Chauhan is only one drop as a witness to the advancement and vision already seen by the ancient India in terms of how evolution of language can exceed beyond the spheres of mundane human communication to significant military craftsmanship!

The Symbolism-Paradox of Womanhood

Flash back to “Kuchh kuchh hota hai”, Kajol who was a tomboy in college , walks in wearing a saree and makes Shahrukh fall for her. Suddenly, “he feels that he is in love”. It’s nothing but idiotic infatuation glorified. We all suffer from this OCD even when it comes to our personalities. We get into defining people … she’s a tomboy, yaar she’s so girly… oh god isn’t she too bold ??? And the list never ends.

Then comes in symbolism. It can be seen being sympathised for ‘short hair’ to “Oh Nithi, you’re in the Army ? But u don’t look like ?”

This is a never ending psychological controversy. The main reason for this is our emotionally exaggerating selves.

Isn’t it possible for a soldier to where a cocktail dress and yet maintain her professional demeanour? She very well can! (Disclaimer: please don’t drag the uniform this !!! Because the sanctity of the uniform should not be experimented with..) So what if she wants to feel solemn by wearing a saree for an occasion? You will then see sarcasm knocking there.

At the same time there are people who are over concerned about “oh my god how do you wear those heavy boots?!! Poor girl!!”

We reach nowhere in this! Actually!!

Interesting is what we are left with as identities especially women? Either one who’s portraying to be a non conformist by ‘equating’ men through their appearances or one who portrays as an idealist by being conventional and socially acceptable.

I am reminded of Sadhguru’s quote that the believer and the non believer are on the same side… they both believe in something. Beliefs make us shallow , rather, we must endeavour for experience!! Want to sport a western dress do it !! Want to be ethnic the next day, do it!!! Let the superficialities of our attires don’t affect your identities, let them be cherished only as recreation for oneself, just to feel good , feel happy for yourself, cherish culture , not for portraying it to people!!

I hope this made sense to you!!! Simply enjoy what you want to be today !!!

No More in the Night Shine

I no more gaze into the glitter of the darkness..

I no more silence myself in the cosmetic laughs..

Yes I still relish few musical notes

with my intoxication..

But I no more ache myself into a drunken farce..

I be with people who are my own..

I no more smile at faces unknown..

I no more cloak my true self..

For ticking my social presence..

I have shredded that skin..

That skin we wear before we step out of our homes..

To mingle in the glitter and glamour..

To be accepted,

acknowledged

and ‘adored’..

And satiate ourselves

with temporary happiness..

I am happy..

I no more have to do that..

My space looks akin to solitude ..

But we are never alone!!

What about your soul ?

Which accompanies you..

In sadness and galore..

Tonight I sit peacefully

with a soul bonded to mine..

His calm presence comforts

more than wine..

Many a ‘-demics’

will come and go

Nothing can kill the joy..

Cherish it till you breathe..

Because you are the hero,

in this ploy!!

– Nithi CJ

Trivial Delights

Choking souls

and stifled voices

Roam this world

sobbing in silence

Preachers

and followers of More

Push and hustle

around the content

Aching whispers

are pushed hard here

By the merchants

atop the rampart

The fumes rise high

from pyres of hope

Darkening the very source of light

Obesiance to the wallets and purse

Pull out some paper or plastic

Watch it manifest into trivial delights…

Verses by Philomath

Fifteen minutes of Patriotism

Patriotism holds different meanings to each one of us.. even at different times within each of us…. And over these years independent India has definitely seen the changing hues…some bright and some dark… but has it lost the spark???

When anyone packs bags for their visit to Amritsar, Harpreet was the first one to get a ping on her mobile. “Hi, We are coming!” This phrase meant more than what it sounds like. The meaning often varied depending on how close they were. Friends? Relatives? Or acquaintances? Because the visit could transform from anything between fun to formality.

Harpreet Kaur was a soldier in the Border Security Force which was responsible for the famous Parade at the Wagah Border in Amritsar, Punjab. And her present posting at the same place , was the reason her phone mostly rang. Except one, that of Biji (referring to Mother in Punjabi language). Biji’s call involved queries related to having proper meals, safety, situation between the two countries vis a vis the requests by people to visit Golden Temple ( famous temple of Sikhs) , or witness the Wagah Parade. Calls for passes to see the parade might shadow that of well wishers in number but cannot weaken their blessings.

Wagah and Attari are the bordering villages between Indian and Pakistan, wherein Wagah is part of Pakistan and Attari is in India. The two nations are geographically connected here through railways as well as bus services, all taking place under the vigilant eyes of both nations. The parade conducted at Wagah between the border forces of the two nations, Border Security Force (BSF) of India and Pakistan Rangers is a melodramatic spectacle most sought after by the general public. ‘The Retreat‘ as it is referred to is a formal ceremony conducted by the parading contingent for lowering their National flags for the day. The main parade is an approximately 15 mins event , but the public conglomerates much before time for witnessing the cultural activities and also participating in the same. The parade epitomises many things, the historical relations between the two countries, the competition, the hatred , the love, inquisitiveness and the Patriotic demeanour.

It was time for the retreat. Harpreet was in the marching contingent again. As she got ready in the ceremonial uniform, she could hear the cheers of “Hindustan Zindabad” (Long live India) and “Vande Mataram” (Hail Motherland) , filling the air. She peeped out to see people gathered in thousands with the tricolour Indian flag fluttering in their hands. She gently smiled thinking of the fates of these flags in an hour from now. She looked at the gleaming faces of innocent youth painted with saffron, white and green. Each pair of eyes on both sides , filled with pride and anticipation that their country’s parade will be the best. Her thoughts dissolved when a colleague called,”It’s time!”

The master of the ceremonies dressed in white, made the announcement and signalled the public to welcome the contingent with cheers and war cries. The drums rolled and the parade commander gave them command. With one smart jerk the contingent marched towards the Border gate and took positions. Next followed Harpreet and her partner marching towards their positions near the gate. Cheers for the Women soldiers filled the air. Stamping the last step Harpreet faced her Pakistani counter part with show of anger and pride which was also part of the drill , and what actually gave the viewers the adrenaline rush.

Lastly, the parade commander marched smartly to his position near the gate. There were gates on both the sides painted in their respective national colours. As contingents of both sides smartly stood for further orders to retreat the flags from the hoist, the decibels of the patriotic cheers increased with the setting of the Sun.

Just when the Sun reached the point between the flags, the parade commander gave the command for lowering the flag. The contingent held on to the ropes strongly and brought down the flag slowly and gently , as it still proudly fluttered. The public had already stood in respect as is customary. As the flag further swirled down, the contingent formed itself in a manner to hold the flag and prevent it from touching the ground. In a military order they folded the flag. One of the soldiers marched back with the folded flag, which received salutes and standing ovations.

Rest of the contingent reeled back into a pre-rehearsed formation and marched back to the place of origin of the parade. Applause, appreciation and amazed expressions accompanied the contingent as they marched.

“It was again a good show,” Harpreet thought to herself but soon returned to the usual composure. This was all not new to her she told herself as she gazed at the fading public. Few clicked pictures with the soldiers on guard, few with the contingent. A dreamy Harpreet was also pulled for a picture by few where she grinned with plasticity. And as dusk fell, silence and darkness cladded the place. The waved flags now lay on the dust like any other plastic trash lying there.

As people started their retreat, Harpreet viewed the changed souls, not struck by instilled patriotism but by their usual selves! Unruliness won over patriotic discipline as people refused to move in a line when requested by the BSF soldiers. Few even got into heated arguments.

Honking of vehicles replaced patriotic cheers. At a distance, two groups of youths got into a tussle over some parking issue. The laughter of few girls echoed who discussed about what movie they should go and watch now. Few mothers spanked their kids demanding them to walk faster as they had domestic chores waiting at home. Vendors greeted the dispersing public to earn their living through the patriotic mileage.

But the fence gazed quietly at the schemozzle. The civil volunteers started their job of cleaning up the place to prepare it for the next day and Harpreet and others prepared for their turns of night duty on the fence. Whatever may be the situation, the vigil at the fence was uncompromising.

Some important activities were to be finished. Representatives of both countries completed the formalities of few people who were being repatriated to both sides. Few had families to receive them and few had solitude.

And so all human souls got back to their routines, few by keeping the parade as a good travel memory and few falling back to their true duties. As for patriotism…well that continued having its 15 minutes fame.

Episode One: Why Hate Fountain Pens with Vishal Singhi, Founder The India Pen Show

January at Majorly talks is all about interesting conversations on everything about fountain pens. A fountain pen enthusiast myself it is intriguing to see how people have used this simple writing tool to spread messages on sustainability. How in this simple writing instrument the found their life’s purpose…

Episode 1:Why I hate Fountain Pens with Vishal Singhi, Founder , The India Pen Show

Let’s be honest , fountain pens have gathered as much hatred as much they’re loved. Ink leaks, stains, high maintenance, not for the commons , are few allegations on Fountain Pens. Are these true ? How much ? And how can they all be resolved?

Listen to this candid conversation with Vishal who busts popular myths about fountain pens and gives excellent insight into this world of nibs and inks!!!

Links for the podcast are given below

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