Friday, December 27, 2013

Poem of the day : The Kiss

by Robert Graves
Are you shaken, are you stirred
    By a whisper of love,
Spellbound to a word
    Does Time cease to move,
Till her calm grey eye
    Expands to a sky
And the clouds of her hair
    Like storms go by?
Then the lips that you have kissed
    Turn to frost and fire,
And a white-steaming mist
    Obscures desire:
So back to their birth
    Fade water, air, earth,
And the First Power moves
    Over void and dearth.

Is that Love? no, but Death,
    A passion, a shout,
The deep in-breath,
    The breath roaring out,
And once that is flown,
    You must lie alone,
Without hope, without life,
    Poor flesh, sad bone.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Waiting for the moon to rise

The azure horizon
is first lit up
by a white radiance
like a pale sunrise
or a sunset afterglow

I leave the drapes open
like a lovers’ signal
for a secret meeting
gazing out the window
shiny-eyed in anticipation

Clouds appear
silvery and succulent
like they have eaten the moon
are with bursting
with moonlight

An advance party
a nebulous cavalcade
pulling up the moon
from the pit of the horizon
on wispy reins

I grow impatient,
after all the moon is revolving
at this crazy speed
and yet it makes me
wait and wait

But all good things in life
take their time
when I look up there it is
all bashful, borrowed light
limpid, liquid smile

pouring into me
I understand now
why the seas heave
their forever sighs


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

To kill a grasshopper

I killed a grasshopper
it was eating my prize rose
I threw it into the Green Bin
together with the grass clippings
I thought it would be happy
in the dark
eating grass all the time
after all it has grass in its name

but it escaped

I found it on the toilet floor
so I flushed it down the drain
twice, for good measure
it must have tunneled with the turds
into the sea
to be eaten by a fish

I wonder if
tsunamis and typhoons
feel lousy like I do
sowing death in their wake
reaping the dead with their scythe

maybe not

I wonder if
I should let Nature do her job
instead off
killing grasshoppers
to let a flower bloom
killing weeds
to let fruit trees grow

in the midst of Nature
that prefers the jungle
should I be tending a garden?


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Monday, December 02, 2013

Want to be happy? Be grateful

A riveting talk by Brother David Steindl-Rast ....

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ode to a birdcall

A single call it was -
four fluid notes falling
lucid and luminous
into the silence of the valley.

Maybe the bird was declaring
the departure of daylight now
crowning the edges of leaves
in brilliant swansong.

Or maybe it was light itself
tinkling out a farewell,
a limpid promise of returning
on the wings of dawn.

The silence was somehow sweeter
as though the call after falling
had burst into a million pieces
of joy. And spread across the valley.

Into which sparrows had chirped
and other birds chattered and
the winds that chased each other
had seemed somewhat raucous.

Alas! The bird had flown,
to fill some other valley
with its luminous song.
Or just that light had died.

But even though the night
had crept up sombre with
its shroud of darkness and
promise of shady secrets,

I sat wrapt in rapture, lit
with joy, changed forever by
the touch of a beauty so
ephemeral, yet eternal.


Insight of the day

It matters little what others think
it matters not at all what you think,

the real you is not thinking
the real you is just being.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Samsara junkies

Our whole world and everything in it can be viewed, simply, as an addiction. We were born as a sentient being, addicted to this samsaric world and to its wide range of colorful emotions, dazzling scenery, and tumultuous experiences. As one of my students so aptly put it: “We are all samsara junkies.”  Excerpt from an article by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Read the full article here


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sleeping In The Forest

by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

Mary Oliver

Friday, November 22, 2013

Spring sweetly sprung

It's good to see, after a long time away from home, that spring has sprung while I was away. How else to celebrate but with a poem? :)

Where did you come from,
green buds and tender leaves?
Were you in hiding
inside gnarled trunks
and crooked branches?
Such unlikely birthplaces.

Did you know that the tree
sat dreaming of you
through the long winter?
Baring its heart’s desires
to a sun hardly seen.
Flinging your thoughts
at the wandering wind.
Did you throb warm inside it
as it stood cold and grey
in the driving rain.
Holding on to hope.

And now,
speckled with spring sunshine
your tender faces
glistening with newborn niceness,
do you see it smile back
at the October sun
and show you off
to the laughing moon.
Do you hear it singing to the wind
its songs of gratitude.
Do you hear it calling out
to faraway bees
and to butterflies still in cocoon?

Did you know, oh tender shoots
and buds bursting into bloom
that you were once a thought
in the tree’s dreaming soul
that it called into being.

Just as everything else.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Monday, October 07, 2013


Sunday, September 29, 2013

The illusion of time

Think about this -

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday funnies

An awesome display of dexterity, coordination and control, not to mention bodies :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

The incredible lightness of being a poet

Nothing repulses the poet-weaver like 'facts' or the cultural compulsion she feels to place her feet firmly on the 'ground' - for the poet is an offspring of chaos, consciousness dissatisfied, Maya playing in an orchard of mirrors. Reality is too small for her...too stifling. She knows there is no ground. There are no facts. She believes this - in a way that defeats the very idea of belief. Leave her to glide gracefully in mid-air - her feet brushing the dancing grass, disrupting the pollination songs of the fields, disturbing the smooth surfaces of the river; leave her to build sandcastles near the ocean; leave her to stand embarrassed by a falling leaf; leave her to mock your certainty, your assured creeds, your arms-akimbo-ed heroes and their moral games. Leave her to her fatal insignificance - away from your intricate schemes and grandiose plots; leave her to her confusing ambiguity. Leave her - and in time, or out of it, she will paint you stories that shake you, songs that undo you, and myths that strip life of its cocksureness. And you will see, as if for the first time, that your feet weren't and never were on the ground either. And you are flying.

~ Adebayo Akomolafe (Keynote Speech for EU-DEEEP Global Summit, 2013)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The man (or woman) in the arena

It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs,
who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know
victory nor defeat.

- Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Thought for today

you cannot make a mistake, you can only
make a decision that will be your next best step.
There is no reason to hesitate when you know
that you have nothing to lose. And losing is not
an act of God, it is a thought in the mind of

Get rid of the thought and you get rid of doubt.
your Wisdom to Victory.


Monday, September 02, 2013

The wound is the place

I said what about my eyes

God said Keep them on the road.

I said what about my passion

God said Keep it burning.

I said what about my heart

God said Tell me what you hold inside it

I said pain and sorrow

He said… stay with it.
The wound is the place where the Light enters you. 

~ Rumi


Friday, August 30, 2013

Stop being so religious

What do sad people have in common?
It seems they have all built a shrine to the past
and often go there and do a strange wail and worship.

What is the beginning of happiness?
It is to stop being so religious like that.

~ Hafiz (translated by David Ladinsky) 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Secrets of life - haiku

despair chews
at the edges of my mind
wanted : angel


a lone dewdrop
scintillating with sunlight
rapturous me


people come and go
with various kinds of baggage
railway station life


stream of visitors
some tarry, some don’t
life is an inn


if life had wings
broken and bent they would be
but soaring still


drowned in the din
of humdrum daily life
soul waits


so many secrets
mined deep from earth-life
precious I hope


Carpe Diem prompt - Secrets of life

Bat - haiku

eerie calls
midnight mingles with moonless
bite to the neck

Haiku Heights prompt - Bat

Monday, August 26, 2013

Flow the secret to happiness

A fascinating TED talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on being in the state of flow.

Flow, the secret to happiness

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Conversation - haiku

you look at me
a poem in your glance
shining silence


lamp and light
eternal conversation
darkness flees


the widow listens
sitting on empty bed
feeling him in her bones


rain and earth
in conversational embrace
seedlings sprout


Carpe Diem prompt - Conversation

Friday, August 23, 2013

Who Says Words With My Mouth?

By Jalaluddin Rumi 

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.

Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?

I have no idea.

My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,

and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.

When I get back around to that place,

I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile,

I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.

The day is coming when I fly off,

but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?

Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?

I cannot stop asking.

If I could taste one sip of an answer,

I could break out of this prison for drunks.

I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.

Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say.

I don't plan it.

When I'm outside the saying of it,

I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

From : Essential Rumi by Rumi, Coleman Barks (Translator)


Devotion means you understand that there is a bigger intelligence and you’ve learnt to keep your little intelligence aside. Devotion does not mean performing rituals everyday. Devotion means your involvement with life is so absolute that even you don’t matter anymore. Your involvement with what you have taken up is so absolute that who you are does not matter, then you are a devotee.

Devotion means you are devoid of yourself, that’s devotion.

- Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Journey to India

deep within my soul
an ancient guru whispers oft
Brahman you are


Sunday, August 18, 2013

When Death Comes

~ A Poem by Mary Oliver ~

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened

or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Late - haiku

late afternoon light
slanting through half-shut shutters
catches me napping


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Morning celebration

the sun burns up
the remnants of the night
in unbridled glee

the curtain of sleep
parts in languid slow motion
lets in aliveness

senses awaken
in sweet celebration of
this thing called life


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Give, receive and never stop dancing

Graduation address by Nipun Mehta, on May 27, 2013

When the student body of an elite private school in Silicon Valley was given the chance to vote on who would give their graduation address this year, they chose a man named Nipun Mehta. This is the speech that Nipun Mehta delivered.

Thank you Jennifer Gargano, Chris Nikoloff and the entire faculty at Harker. To you, the class of 2013, congratulations! I’m delighted to be with you on your special day, and it is a particular honor since I know you chose your speaker.

So, graduation day is here and this once-in-a-lifetime milestone moment has arrived. In the words of Taylor Swift, I can tell how you’re feeling: “happy, free, confused, and lonely, miserable and magical at the same time.” Who would’ve thought we’d be quoting words of wisdom from Taylor Swift at your commencement.

Today, I’m here with some good news and bad news. I’ll give you the good first.

You might be surprised to hear this, but you are about to step out into a world that’s in good shape -- in fact the best shape that that it’s ever been in. The average person has never been better fed than today. Infant mortality has never been lower; on average we’re leading longer, healthier lives. Child labor, illiteracy and unsafe water have ceased to be global norms. Democracy is in, as slavery is disappearing. People don’t have to work as hard to just survive. A bicycle in 1895 used to cost 260 working hours, today we’ve gotten that number down to 7.2.

So, things are progressing. But I’m afraid that’s not the full story. You’ll want to brace yourselves, because this is the bad news part.

This week, Time Magazine’s cover story labeled you guys as the “Me, Me, Me” generation; the week before, NY Times reported that the suicide rate for Gen X went up by 30% in the last decade, and 50% for the boomer generation. We’ve just learned that atmospheric carbon levels surpassed 400 PPM for the first time in human history. Our honeybee colonies are collapsing, thereby threatening the future of our food supply. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg.

What we’re handing over to you is a world full of inspiring realities coupled with incredibly daunting ones. In other words: miserable and magical isn't just a pop-song lyric -- it's the paradox that you are inheriting from us.

So, what do you do with that? I’m going to be honest -- I don’t really know. I do know this, though:
At the core of all of today's most pressing challenges is one fundamental issue: we have become profoundly disconnected.

Rather ironic, considering that we live in an era where Facebook has spawned 150 billion “connections”, as we collectively shell out 4.5 billion likes on status updates, every single day. Yet, a growing body of science is showing what we already feel deep in our gut: we’re more isolated than ever before.

The average American adult reports having just one real friend that they can count on. Just one. And for the first time in 30 years, mental health disabilities such as ADHD outrank physical ones among American children.

Somehow we’ve allowed our relationship to gadgets and things to overtake our real-world ties. We’ve forgotten how to rescue each other. Yet, deep inside we all still have that capacity. We know we have it because we saw it at Sandy Hook, in the brave teachers who gave up their lives to save their students. We saw it during the Boston Marathon when runners completed the race and kept running to the nearest blood bank. We saw it just this week in Oklahoma when a waiter at a fast food chain decided to donate all his tips to the tornado relief efforts and triggered a chain of generosity.

So we know that we can tap into our inner goodness when crisis strikes. But can we do it on a run-of-the-mill Monday?

That’s the question in front of you. Will you, class of 2013 step up to rebuild a culture of trust, empathy and compassion? Our crisis of disconnection needs a renaissance of authentic friendship. We need you to upgrade us from Me-Me-Me to We-We-We.

Reflecting on my own journey, there have been three keys that helped me return to a place of connection. I’d like to share those with you today, in the hope that perhaps it might support your journey.

The First Key Is To Give

In the movie Wall Street -- which originally came out well before you guys were born -- there’s a character named Gordon Gekko whose credo in life reads: Greed is Good. When I was about your age, Silicon Valley was in the seductive grip of the dot-com boom. It was a time when it was easy to believe that Greed was Good. But a small group of us had a different hypothesis:

*Maybe* greed is good, but Generosity is better.

We tested that hypothesis. When I startedServiceSpace, our first project was to build websites for nonprofits at no charge. We ended up building and gifting away thousands of sites, but that wasn’t our main goal. Our real purpose was to practice generosity.

In the early days, the media was pretty sure we had a hidden agenda. "We're doing this just to practice giving with no strings attached," we said. The few who actually believed us didn’t think we could sustain it. The thing is -- we did. A decade later, when our work started attracting millions of viewers, entrepreneurs told us that we'd be crazy to not slap on ads or try to monetize our services.

The thing is -- we didn't. We probably *were* a bit crazy. And when we started Karma Kitchen, people really thought "No way!" It was a restaurant where your check always read zero, with this note: "Your meal is paid for by someone before you, and now it’s your chance to pay it forward." The thing is -- 25 thousand meals later, the chain continues in several cities around the globe.

People consistently underestimate generosity, but human beings are simply wired to give.

In one study at Harvard, scientists surprised a couple hundred volunteers with an unexpected monetary reward and gave them the choice of keeping it or giving it away. The only catch was that they had to make the decision spontaneously. Lo and behold, the majority chose --- to give away the money! Greed, it turns out, is a calculated after-thought. Our natural instinct is, and always has been, to give.

When you take Economics 101 in college, you will learn that all of economics is rooted in the assumption that people aim to maximize self-interest. I hope you don’t just take that for granted. I hope you challenge it. Consider the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa, who have rocked the history of our planet with the exact opposite assumption, with the belief in the goodness of our human nature.

Or consider Ruby Bridges:

Six-year-old Ruby was the first African American girl to go to an all-white school on Nov 14, 1960. All the teachers refused to teach her, except for one Mrs. Henry. Ruby received constant death threats and on the way to class every day, people would line up to shout and throw things. Mrs. Henry instructed Ruby to not speak to anyone, as she crossed the jeering crowds every day. But one day, she saw Ruby saying something, so she said, “Ruby, I told you not to speak to anyone.” “No, Mrs. Henry, I didn’t say anything to them.” “Ruby, I saw you talking. I saw your lips moving.” “Oh, I was just praying. I was praying for them,” Ruby responded. Then she recited her prayer, and I quote “Please, God, try to forgive these people. Because even if they say those bad things, they don’t know what they’re doing.”

A six year old! Wishing well for those who were wishing her harm. How generous is that? And what does it say about the power of the human heart?

Our capacity to love is a currency that never runs out.

May each of you tap into that generous ocean and discover every day, what it means to give.


The Second Key Is To Receive

When we give, we think we are helping others. That's true, but we are also helping ourselves. With any act of unconditional service, no matter how small, our biochemistry changes, our mind quietens, and we feel a sense of gratefulness. This inner transformation fundamentally shifts the direction of our lives.

A couple summers ago, we had two 14-year-olds, Neil and Dillan, interning at ServiceSpace. One of their projects was a 30-day kindness challenge -- they had to come up with and do a different act of kindness every day for a month. In the beginning they had to plan "kindness activities", but slowly they learned how to spontaneously turn their daily life into a canvas for giving. Doing the dishes for mom without her asking, stopping to help a stranger with a flat tire, standing up for a bullied kid, gifting all their winnings at the arcade to a child.

Very quickly, kindness shifted from being an activity -- to a way of life.

It wasn't just about who they were helping; it was about who they themselves were becoming through the process. Last weekend, I happened to see Neil after a while, the day after Senior Prom, and he had a story to share, "Last night I noticed that the dance floor was too small and a few of the special needs students just couldn't get on. So I grabbed a bunch of my friends, and we started dancing in a little circle around them. Everyone had a great time." Then, he paused for a reflective moment, and asked me, "But I felt so good about doing that. Do you think I was being selfish?"

What a profound question. What Neil experienced was the fact that when we give, we receive many times over.

Or as the Dalai Lama once put it, "Be Selfish, Be Generous.” It is in giving that we receive.

When we think of generosity, we typically think of it as a zero sum game. If I give you a dollar, that’s one less dollar for me. The inner world, though, operates with an entirely different set of rules. The boundaries aren’t so easy to decipher. Your state of being inherently affects my state of being. This isn’t feel-good talk. It’s actual science. Research shows that, in close proximity, when people feel connected, their individual heartbeats actually start to synchronize -- even with zero physical contact. In neuroscience, the discovery of mirror neurons has shown us that we literally do feel each other’s pain -- and joy.

And joy is *definitely* not a zero-sum game. The law of abundance says that if I give you a smile, that's not one less smile for me.

The more I smile, the more I *do* smile. The more I love, the more love I have to give. So, when you give externally, you receive internally. How do the two compare? That's a question only you can answer for yourself, and that answer will keep changing as your awareness deepens.

Yet this much is clear: if you only focus on the externals, you’ll live your life in the deadening pursuit of power and products. But if you stay in touch with your inner truth, you will come alive with joy, purpose, and gratitude. You will tap into the law of abundance.

May you discover that to be truly selfish, you must be generous. In giving, may you fully experience what it means to receive.

The Third Key Is To Dance

Our biggest problem with giving and receiving is that we try and track it. And when we do that, we lose the beat.

The best dancers are never singularly focused on the mechanics of their movements. They know how to let go, tune into the rhythm and synchronize with their partners.

It’s like that with giving too. It's a futile exercise to track who is getting what. We just have to dance.

Take one of my friends for example, a very successful entrepreneur.

Along his journey, he realized that it’s not just enough, as the cliché goes, to find your gifts. Gifts are actually meant to be *given*.

In his daily life, he started cultivating some beautiful practices of generosity. For instance, every time he walked into a fancy restaurant, he told the waiter to find a couple that is most madly in love. "Put their tab on my bill, and tell them a stranger paid for their meal, with the hope that they pay it forward somewhere somehow," he would say. Being a fan of Batman, he took his anonymity seriously: "If anyone finds out it was me, the deal is off."

Many restaurants, and waiters, knew him for this. And as a food connoisseur, some of his favorite places were also quite pricey -- upwards of a couple hundred bucks per person.

On one such day, he walks into a nice restaurant and does his usual drill. The person serving him obliges. However, this time, the waiter comes back with a counter request. "Sir, I know you like to be anonymous, but when I told that couple about the tab being covered, the woman just started sobbing. In fact, it’s been ten minutes and she's still tearing up. I think it would make her feel better if you were to just introduce yourself, just this once."

Seeing this, he agrees to break his own cardinal rule and walks over to introduce himself. "M'aam, I was only trying to make your day. If it has brought up something, I'm so sorry." The woman excitedly says, "Oh no, not at all. You’ve just made my year, maybe my life. My husband and I, well, we work at a small nonprofit with physically challenged kids, and we have been saving up all year to have this meal here. It is our one year marriage anniversary today.” After a pause, she continues, “We always serve others in small ways, but to receive a kind act like this on our special day, well, it’s just an overwhelming testimonial that what goes around comes around. It renews our faith in humanity. Thank you. Thank you *SO* much."

All of them were in tears. They kept in touch, he joined their board and they are friends to this day.

Now, in that scenario, who was the giver? Who was the receiver? And more importantly, does it even matter? Dancing tells us to stop keeping track.

Sometimes you're giving and sometimes you're receiving, but it doesn't really matter because the real reward of that give and take doesn’t lie in the value of what’s being exchanged. The real reward lies in what flows between us – our connection.


So, my dear friends, there you have it. The bad news is that we're in the middle of a crisis of disconnection, and the good news is that each and every one of you has the capacity to repair the web -- to give, to receive and to dance.

Sometime last year, I spontaneously treated a homeless woman to something she really wanted -- ice-cream. We walked into a nearby 7-11, she got her ice-cream and I paid for it. Along the way, though, we had a great 3-minute chat about generosity and as we’re leaving the store, she said something remarkable: "I'd like to buy you something. Can I buy you something?" She empties her pockets and holds up a nickel. The cashier looks on, as we all share a beautiful, awkward, empathy-filled moment of silence. Then I hear my voice responding, “That’s so kind of you. I would be delighted to receive your offering. What if we pay-it-forward by tipping this kind cashier who has just helped us?” Her face breaks into a huge smile. “Good idea,” she says while dropping the nickel into the tip-jar.

No matter what you have, or don’t have, we can all give. The good news is that generosity is not a luxury sport.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, when he said, "Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve." He didn't say, "You have to be smart to serve." Or "You have to be famous to serve." Or "You have to be rich to serve." No, he said, "*Everybody* can be great, because *everybody* can serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don't need to know the second law of thermodynamics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

Harker Class of 2013, may you ALL find greatness in service to life. May you all give, receive -- and never, ever, stop dancing.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The day begins

breaking through the shell
of night, dawn peeps, tremulous
at prisoner me

trying to break free
from a self-built prison
yet another day

as sleep fades like mist
and I wake yet again
into illusion


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ocean - haiku

you had stood there
looking away, face closed
an ocean between us


our watery birthplace
that hums through our veins
and springs from our eyes


infinite tides wash up
little haiku pebbles


ocean breeze stirs up
brittle nests of memories
sand in my eyes


Haiku Heights #269 - Ocean

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


There's a dam near where I live that overflows in the most beautiful manner....

What are you full of and what overflows .... joy, bitterness, love, hate, resentment, peace, cheerfulness?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I slide into the wormhole
of nothingness. Escaping
from the debris of actions,
shards of emotions and the
startling unexpectedness
of consequences. It’s the
bottom of a lake. Unmoving.
The surface, still. Undented.
Thundering clouds and
twittering birds fly across
its glassy eye. All-seeing. 
I wait. The sky looms, puckers
and fades, impotent and wasted.
I wait some more. Civilizations
rise with clamouring intensity.
And fall. And scatter.
Bare-boned and bleached white.
Sinking into the obliterating sands
of obscurity. Eons pass. I wait
no more. Time has tunneled
into a pinprick of silence.
Tiny and vast. Like a tree
that has collapsed into a seed
and then some more until
there remains only
a possibility.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Orchids at Singapore

I spent a pleasant hour at Singapore Airport shooting the orchids.

(click on the image to view the album)

Orchids at Singapore

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Amazing Grace

Amazing everything!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Look at yourself and remember me

You have no idea how hard I've looked
for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What's the point of bringing gold to
the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
Everything I came up with was like
taking spices to the Orient.
It's no good giving my heart and my
soul because you already have these.
So I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.

~ Rumi

Monday, July 01, 2013

Fireflies -haiku

in a cold heart stirs
flickering fireflies of hope
defeat slinks away


fireflies penning
arabesques for the night
only it can read


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Oranges, anyone?

Just showing off my orange tree :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

dusk in rain - haiku

alone we come
alone we fade like autumn rain
into the dusk


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Watch A Teacher Make Her 3rd-Grade Kids Hate Each Other For The Best Reason Imaginable

This video will teach you so many things, it's quite path-breaking ....

And please share :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crescendo - haiku

super large full moon
crawls through night peaking with pain
incandescent dawn


Monday, June 24, 2013

Fireworks - haiku

blackbird in bird bath
splashing sparkling water drops
silvery fireworks


After a lot of missed ops, I finally got to photograph a bird bathing scene :)


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Green paddy - haiku

under rain washed sky
emerald gleams the paddy
bending to the wind


paddy fields alive
birds amongst the ripened rice
scrumptious  pickings


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cool of the wind - haiku

burning summer day
it must be a savior wind
that brought the coolness


was it the cool breeze
that made your skin tingle, girl
or was it my gaze?


Friday, June 21, 2013

Evening lull - haiku

light is loath to leave
dusk stands with bated breath
as day and night face-off


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Enigma - haiku

so strange it may seem
we joy beings trying so hard
to conceal our light


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kingfisher - haiku

flash of flying blue
gasping flashes of silver
river mourns its loss


The cry from within

"Introverts are constantly told that we must change.

The world shouts, 'Speak up! Loosen up! Lighten up! Be someone you’re not, or be left behind.'

And so, that is precisely what we do; we wear the mask of extroversion in hopes that we won’t be cast aside and forgotten.

We turn outward when we should be looking within.

We banish our true selves to a deep dark dungeon and throw away the key.

"That is, until we realize that we have caged our most valuable assets.

Then something begins to stir, itch and cry out from within.

Our soul claws impatiently at the gates of our hollow persona."

~Michaela Chung

(excerpted from the original article at 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Always been here

Always been here

how many species have to vanish
how many life forms do we banish

before we finally begin to see
how violent we are, how greedy

tearing up our home in plunder,
raping the earth, our mother

what are we teaching our children?
to sow greed, reap destruction?

after we’ve lost the polar bear
laid all the lush forests bare

after the last whale is gone
animal habitats have been shorn

maybe we will begin to see
when it’s not too late, hopefully

the earth is not a chattel
to barter, buy and resell

the forest, the mangrove, the lake
is not ours to pillage and take

the earth is a home we share
with those who have always been here


Monday, June 17, 2013

Lotus - haiku

an angel it must be
rising spotless from the mud
wings blooming fragrant


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Branch meeting - haiku

treetop meeting place
blackbirds pondering over
the day’s agenda

Saturday, June 15, 2013

tulip - haiku

light lay laughing lithe
in the tulip bulb, transformed
into glowing orb


Friday, June 14, 2013

Let there be light

through the leaf filigree
a playful sunbeam sparkles

on spotting me

and I
just grateful

on being spotted
and splashed upon

by wayward strands
of light


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

From the mouth of babes

Best argument in support of vegetarianism I've ever heard....

Baby vegetarian speaks some hard truths here.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

All in white

White hot raging fury.
Age looks back at youth
memories pale and misty.

Crisp white cotton sheets.
A lone white cloud
in the shape of your lips.

Black boots, white lace.
Clouds of white hair
around a wrinkled face.

In aqua sea, a white sail.
All in white people carry
a body minus soul.

Swans in the sky, sailing.
endangered polar bears
hoping against hope, waiting.

Mogra chains in braids.
The full moon emerging
from the arms of clouds.

Bright fluorescent light.
Tuberoses in clusters
serenading the night.

Two tiny baby teeth.
Thick layer of cream
sweet lassi underneath.

Starlight and angel-dust.
Bride’s white to widow’s white
a single death betwixt.

Crystal sugar jar.
A dove’s tentative flight
in a world of war.

White confetti rain.
Snowy autumn blooms
lie under snow slain.


(for a fun prompt 'White' from a FB friend :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The War on Consciousness

The War on Consciousness - another banned (and then unbanned) TED Talk

The Science Delusion

TED (can you believe it?) has been censoring talks. But word got out and there was a furore and they were uncensored. This is one of them - The Science Delusion

Friday, May 17, 2013

Simple truths

Watch a young girl talk about her awe-inspiring work helping others.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This being human

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be cleaning you out
For some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from the beyond. 

~ Rumi

Friday, May 03, 2013

Kerala Kaleidoscope

These last two months that I have been in Kerala, I have been taking lots of photos. I finally managed to put them into an album (of sorts)

Kerala kaleidoscope

Even though the photos were high quality, uploading the movie on to YouTube compromised the quality somewhat, Even so, view in full-screen, if possible.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spoken word poetry

Three amazing spoken poems ....

Friday, April 12, 2013


"Aloneness and silence are two aspects of one experience, two sides of the same coin. If one wants to experience silence one has to go into one´s total aloneness. It is there.

We are born alone, we die alone. Between these two realities we create a thousand and one illusions of being together - all kinds of relationships, friends and enemies, loves and hates, nations, races, religions. We create all kinds of hallucinations just to avoid one fact: that we are alone. But whatsoever we do, the truth cannot be changed. It is so, and rather than trying to escape from it, the best way is to rejoice in it.

Rejoicing in your own aloneness is what meditation is all about. The meditator is one who dives deep into one´s aloneness, knowing that we are born alone, we will be dying alone, and deep down we are living alone. So why not experience what this aloneness is? It is our very nature, our very being." 



Saturday, April 06, 2013

Wake up. Day calls you

Today is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me :) And I got this wonderful poem sent to me. What a wonderful gift and an awesome way to start the rest of my life ....

Wake up. Day calls you
to your life: your duty.
And to live, nothing more.
Root it out of the glum
night and the darkness
that covered your body
for which light waited
on tiptoe in the dawn.
Stand up, affirm the straight
simple will to be
a pure slender virgin.
Test your body's metal.
cold, heat? Your blood
will tell against the snow,
or behind the window.
The colour
in your cheeks will tell.
And look at people. Rest
doing no more than adding
your perfection to another
day. Your task
is to carry your life high,
and play with it, hurl it
like a voice to the clouds
so it may retrieve the light
already gone from us.
That is your fate: to live
Do nothing.
Your work is you, nothing more

by Pedro Salinas

Translated by Willis Barnstone