The Sun Shifts

sun-2445456

the sun shifts, ever so subtle
only a shadow shall recognise
…. and destiny

and destiny is mischievous

embrace the change
befriend your destiny

***

 

The sun has entered a new phase, the arrival of spring, abundance of harvest, new beginnings.

May your ego be as insignificant as a tiny sesame seed and may your life spread the sweetness of jaggery.

My life seems to be entering a new phase as well and I need all the blessings and wishes I can get :)

I haven’t been writing as regularly as I used to. 2017 was a tough year :( Though I must say that I did try out quite a few new ideas.

I am looking for a job and in the meanwhile I taught myself to set up an online shop. Please do visit Rekindle

If you live in Kenya and you like it, then share it! If you live outside of Kenya and have any friends here (apart from me!) please do share it with them.

 

***

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in India with kite flying, eating ladoos made of sesame seed and jaggery.

 

finding forever

just because you couldn’t hear me
didn’t mean I was silent

hear my silence

(if I searched forever,
I couldn’t have found a better image)

***

and that would have been it until @coldtusker (CT) asked me
“Did you search?”
instantaneously the answer came to me
“I found my forever”

Which got me thinking that forever is not of time nor of a place, it is more like something we become. The more subtle we are, the closer to becoming forever.

I believe that double the respect should go to the questioner than to the one who provides the answers.

May we all find our forevers in the coming year!

***

Image credit

the end of waiting

girl-with-red-rose-3006434_1920

you said “wait”
and so i did
and so i realised
that you were right
waiting is not a choice

it is all i can do
and if it is all i can do

then at the least,
i must do it well

well enough
for the waiting to finally end

***

I have always struggled with patience.
More about it here Just One Request
and I wondered how to wait in Pratiksha – the Wait.

What you resist, shall persist.

I have done my best not to resist,
and I hope the manner in which I waited
shall now reward me with the end of waiting.

***

Inspiration: Sadhguru

 

my breath and i

meditation

to be in that space
long disregarded by time
untouched by memory
spiralling in unimagination
even god should not dare
my breath and i
or even not i

***

I have completed over a year of my daily breathing/meditation practise. It has surprised me…pleasantly :) never imagined I could be disciplined enough. I gifted my meditation chair a new cover. Have a look

IMG_20171113_193753 (1)

Image credit

Ancient Connections

(for the teachers who found me
some came, taught, left
others still grace my life)

~Ancient Connections~

with a voice that melts lyrics like warm honey
reminds of the gentle fragrance of incense
what higher form of devotion
than the offering of eternal music
that echoes in every heart

unseen are ancient connections
unbroken though lifetimes have passed
may our paths be entwined forever
the way a melody is bound to rhythm
and the soul exists within vibration

seek…
…and you shall be found
that is the bond of your master

***

I was inspired to write this poem after constantly listening to this beautiful dedication Guru Meri Pooja by Nitin Dawar.

 

Nitinji is not only a talented and soulful singer/musician, but he is also an inspiring Art of Living teacher. I had the good fortune to volunteer for the Happiness program conducted in Kawangware, Nairobi last month. The course was made available at a special low rate to make it accessible to as many people as possible. Working with him as he facilitated this huge project, yet made it seem so effortless was fascinating. Nitinji engaged with people from all walks of life so naturally.

The Happiness course was a 2 day event. The difference I saw in the participants by the second day was phenomenal. Lot more stillness and silence … and plenty of smiles! Participants had such positive experiences.

Here are some photos of the Happiness program. Nitinji, Asante sana! And we hope to have many such programs to create a Stress-free Violence-free society. 🙏

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where are you?

if i was born at a different time
lived in a different place
if i could experience a different dimension
found at the edge of space…
would i fall over?
or would i find myself back to here

and would now hold any meaning
if tomorrow was irrelevant
if yesterday never remained

i still wished i existed then
but i am here now
… where are you?

***

“There is no past or future
But only the present
Or not even that
Because without the past and future
It is meaningless to call it the present”
~ Osho

seek…

Here is a thoughtful interaction between myself and @DeDarkPassenger on Twitter. It is all about seeking, and I for one learnt a lot from it.

He who seeks, finds…

He who seeks
Shall be found

Found by whom?

Himself….
?

Either it is too deep or it is quite complicated.

(I think the answers lie within ourselves)
and we searched
and we prayed
… but it was ourselves we found

Agreed!

Glad you understood what I was trying to say 😊

You are good at explaining complex philosophies.

I have good teachers 🙏

That’s it.

***

Yep, that’s it. Thanks so much @DeDarkPassenger for this interaction and for allowing me to share it here.

seek

seek…
…and you shall be found

 

Image Credit

The Padre’s Shroud

This is a follow up to my mythical figure assignment The Mystic of Mackinnon Road and here I had to be an object in the myth.

The Padre’s Shroud

beside my bold silk of silver finery
they kneel, murmur, plead, chant

bargaining with elaborate promises
hope drenched whispers, ituri
filters through to your kaburi

do you hear their prayer, i wonder
at the blush of dawn, life so still
i feel, a stirring beneath me

awaken my pir, my padre
upon tracks
devoured by rust
seasoned with dust
the early train nears. decelerates.

***

ituri – perfume
kaburi – grave
pir – holy man

Mackinnon road

***

Previous poetry workshop assignments are:
Do You Remember?
A Land, Broken
Rearranged
The Importance of Being an Object
Red Stilettos, and a Pair of Shoes
Wallowing

The Mystic of Mackinnon Road

Mackinnon Road train station lies along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway near Mariakani town. The most outstanding landmark here is the Mackinnon Road Mosque that was built as a result of the tomb of Seyyid Baghali, who was a foreman at the time of building the railway fabled for his tremendous strength and according to many, charmed lifestyle.

Travellers, regardless of religion or colour have been making stop overs at the shrine long before independence and are pulling up at the sight to this day.

Legend has it that Baghali was a saint whose family tree traced back to the Holy Prophet, a fact that he tried to conceal from the public to no avail. For when he got tired of carrying stones, his ‘laden karai’ (vessel) would float above his head to the consternation of many.

By 1940s, when the grave was still covered in bushes, travellers would stop there and ask for boons and generally attribute their safety during their journey to the holy man buried at the tomb. The news spread, a legend started and a reputation of the place grew.

People later claimed that Baghali would communicate with man-eaters (lions) who were terrorising the Indian workers and order them to relocate saving the lives of his colleagues.

Read more at: The Mosque that Serves all

 

The Mystic of Mackinnon Road

veiled by bougainvillea within sacred alabastrine walls
travellers pause, seek fragrant blessings for onward journeys

the iron snake tracks through unforgiving terrains
yet you walk as though treading on rose petals
stone laden karai floats over you in reverence, a halo?
the python consents to your prayers
even the man-eaters daren’t cross perimeters

forgive my impertinence
my persistence, my obstinance
O Mystic of Mackinnon Road, I discovered

a secret divine within the Lunatic Line’s shrine…
those who dare transcend the limits of possibility
remain indifferent to accusations of insanity

***

This was a very difficult poem to write. Would have never considered writing it, except that it was an assignment which was due for our workshop of creating poetry with local content. In researching, I came across interesting new stories and people.

I remember stopping at Mackinnon rd mosque whenever we travelled to Mombasa by road, even the public buses and train would hoot or whistle and slow down to pay their respects and be assured of a safe journey.

Syed Baghali was known to understand and speak the language of animals. On one occasion, when the working party was around the area of Mackinnon,  a huge python appeared. It was ready to strike at anyone who dared to approach it. Some of the labourers and one of the Englishmen got ready with their lathis (sticks) and gun to shoot it.

Pir Baghali begged them not to harm the python. He faced the snake and pleaded with it to leave. The snake stood for a while, poised to attack, but shortly after, it gradually backed down and slithered away.

It is said he also kept the lions away and the labourers in his camp remained safe.

~Excerpt from the book Oral Literature of the Asians in East Africa by Mubina Hassanali Kirmani and Sanaullah Kirmani

Read also about The strange history of the man-eating lions of Tsavo

You will enjoy this wonderful Photo Essay on the Lunatic Express

When I remember Kenya, I will think of trains. Not because I saw so many of them and not because I travelled in one. But the Kenya the world knows today would not exist except for a rail line that, during its design and construction, was considered such a bad idea it was dubbed the Lunatic Line.

Maybe it was crazy and maybe it was not.

~ A Train Called the Lunatic Express

I just wanted to say a little more about the final couplet in my poem

those who dare transcend the limits of possibility
remain indifferent to accusations of insanity

To break through the self-imposed limits of possibility, to create new possibilities we must step away from our inhibitions and embrace a touch of madness, for

only the insane are truly liberated

And to sign off, here is a delightful song by the very talented and versatile Rahi Bains. I had the pleasure to come across Rahi ji and his music during my research. You will get to see the quaint Mackinnon road mosque in this video, enjoy the song.

 

( Continuation The Padre’s Shroud )

i do not write

i do not write
i imagine on paper
i do not think
my mind relates tales
i do not dream
my existence is maya
i do not share
i speak to myself
you happen to overhear

i do not write
you do not read
you see…
you see only what you want to see

i do not write
i only pray
i only pray to soothe like balm
an antidote to reality’s bite

i am not a writer
i do not write…

***

maya – illusion

About this poem:

I came across an email about Self-Doubt as a Writer and this poem was my spontaneous response….it took about 5 minutes, and those 5 minutes made me feel like I was floating.