An old kitchen tray…

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Recently, I’ve been thinking about the presence of some old things in my home. There’s this silver ladel of my great grandmother on which the year 1941 is inscribed.

There are also some old pictures which are hanging on the walls of my home but my association with this tray in kitchen is different.

With made in England inscription on its backside, the tray is more than thirty years old. It is a long time but the colors of this village looking scene are still bright.

In these past thirty years the tray along with other things in my home made frequent travels with us. First we were living abroad then here in this city we moved quite a lot. During this time when most of the things lost their strength this tray along with a picture hanging on the wall of my lounge retained their vigour.

My association with this tray is different.

For me it’s a reminisence of my carefree time. As a child I would look at the scenery and would think about the presence of people inside the homes. I very much liked to think about what was happening in those homes, I would imagine the presence of rooms with beds and kitchen inside.

There’s lot of work going on in this picture, as rooster and hens are busy in eating so do men and woman are busy in their work for living.

I admit, I have almost neglected this tray for some new trays have replaced it and it’s not in use much unless we have to place some ten to fifteen cups on it which is not a usual occurrence but yesterday when I was reading ode on a gracian urn by John Keats, I thought about the scenery on this tray.

Keats’s in his poetry asserts that art is permanent while human life is mortal. In his poem, the beautiful image of a boy playing music for his lover remains unchanged on urn and so does this scene of village on this tray in my home.

These days the tray is not much in use and for the sake of taking this picture, I scrubbed it hard. There were some tea stains and once they were removed, I hold it in front of my eyes and looked at the busy people in scene.

In these past years lot has been changed in my life. I’ve lost some people who were closed to me. Though, in their lives I didn’t realized their importance but once they were gone I understood the importance of relations in life.

From all good and bad experiences of my life, I’ve learned that though life is about work and struggle but at the end of the day we can’t ignore our loved ones. This is what this picture tells me for I can assume that during the day men and women remained busy doing their work and once on getting back home they’ll find relief in the company of their loved ones…

Before we’re able to understand the importance of people in our lives, sometimes life ends. There’s nothing more beautiful than to end my post with these beautiful words of Valadimir Nabokov, he writes

“The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”

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You’re the captain of your ship

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Today, father while talking to my younger sister about her studies advised her to remember that in no case person has any right to blame others for his failures in life.

These days when my sister is facing problems in her school, my father is busy in motivating her in her studies. I heard him saying that if you’re not succeeding then remember you’re doing something wrong, so instead of blaming others you must try to find faults in yourself.

While hearing conversation between father and my sister, I remember reading Gifted Hands, in the beginning of the book Sonya Carson, mother of Ben Carson, writes a letter in which she shares a poem named “Yourself to Blame” by Mayme White Miller. I like the message of this poem

If things go bad for you

And make you a bit ashamed,

Often you will find out that

You have yourself to blame…

 

Swiftly we ran to mischief

And then the bad luck came.

Why do we fault others?

We have ourselves to blame…

 

Whatever happens to us,

Here are the words to say,

“Had it not been for so-and-so

Things wouldn’t have gone that way.”

 

And if you’re short of friends,

I’ll tell you what to do

Make an examination,

You’ll find that fault’s in you…

 

You’re the captain of your ship,

So agree with the same

If you travel downward,

You have yourself to blame.

She further writes that remember this as you go through life. The person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you! You make the choices; you decide whether you’re going to give up or ante up when the going gets tough. Ultimately, it’s you who decides whether you will be a success or not, by doing what is legally necessary to get you where you want to go. You are the captain of your own ship.If you don’t succeed, you only have yourself to blame.

Morning newspaper

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When I was in school a weekly page in newspaper was reserved for kids. All week, we kids remained excited about reading stories in it and on Wednesday when the page was published, I and my sisters used to argue that who’ll read it first.

Those were the days when my father without reading newspaper couldn’t finish eating his breakfast and as routine become habit, this practice of taking breakfast along with reading newspaper becomes a norm and much like a morning dose, it is necessary to start a day in my home.

I remember that special bamboo stick magazine rack that was placed in our drawing room.

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I wish I could have an original picture but this Google image is very close in resemblence

It served us for nearly seventeen years and it’s only been lately that my mother like most of women who find it hard to get rid of old trash, mustered up her courage and let go off that crippled magazine rack, for the worn out rack lost one of its leg and when a new magazine rack replaced it, a debate erupted in my home.

In the presence of high speed internet, my parents are of the view that there’s no need to purchase printed edition of newspaper but every time when the idea is proposed, my younger sister, who after getting from school lies on couch and enjoy reading newspaper gets angry and, we all agree that as internet connection is not always reliable so it’s better not to stop the routine.

Now, it’s been some time that nothing has been said on this topic and yesterday while dusting off the furniture, I noticed the magazine rack which was filled up to its brim with papers. I sat on my knees and as I got myself busied in arranging newspapers, I recalled these lines from Wilbur’s poem

Richard Wilbur  in his poem “After the last bulletin” writes

After the last bulletins the windows darken

And the whole city founders readily and deep,

Sliding on all its pillows

To the thronged Atlantis of personal sleep,

 

And the wind rises. The wind rises and bowls

The day’s litter of news in the alleys. Trash

Tears itself on the railings,

Soars and falls with a soft crash,

When Wilbur talks about the worthlessness of news that become a litter on next day, I can recall reading that the Independent newspaper has called an end to its print edition after three decades and had gone online only and while arranging the messed up pile of old newspapers, I feel sorry about the loss of all news which has been arranged and published with great effort but it only took fraction of time before the most prominent news in the paper lost its vigor.

And, when daily Independent has decided to put an end to its printed edition, there are still newspapers which are getting published and despite the fact that morning news becomes worthless in evening, the same effort of gathering and publishing news is performed the other day.

To cap it all, I can say that when news is collected and fresh papers are published, it depicts the very fact of life that as new order replace the old one,life continues to move on.

Let’s explore the world

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“Cut it out,” he said firmly, rubbing the scar as the pain receded again… Harry ignored it. He felt older than he had ever felt in his life, and it seemed extraordinary to him that barely an hour ago he had been worried about a joke shop and who had gotten a prefect’s badge.

An imaginary land of witches and wizards is sure a piece of fiction but it can also offer lot for its reader to learn. Above mentioned lines are taken from “Harry Potter and the order of Phoenix”, Harry was worried that why he didn’t receive the prefect’s badge and he was thinking about the joke shop but the moment his scar started to pain, he wondered that how could he be worried about such trivial issues.

Reading these lines and while writing the draft for this post, I was thinking that world is big and there’s so much to explore but petty issues, tensions and worries won’t give us much free time and as William Henry Davies describes in his poem “Leisure”

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

 

 

The things that do attain love

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The love of parents for their children is unconditional. There’s no jealousy involve in this relationship and my mother never forgets to mention it. She’s very right in reminding us this message again and again, for we the children often forget it.

The other day, I was reading the poem the things that do attain love which somehow reminds me of a large collection of pictures in my home. There’s this vivid memory from my childhood when my mother would dress us in nice and colorful clothes. Those were the days of photographic film cameras. Mother didn’t want to waste that film. So, she asked us to clap or laugh.

The whole exercise was meant to make the picture memorable and when all the pictures were taken, the film was sent to develop and then the long hours of wait started.

That was the pure and unconditional love and “Henry Howard” explains it in these words

MY friend, the things that do attain

The happy life be these, I find:

The riches left, not got with pain;

The fruitful ground; the quiet mind;

 

The equal friend; no grudge; no strife;

No charge of rule, nor governance;

Without disease, the healthy life;

The household of continuance;

 

The mean diet, no dainty fare;

Wisdom joined with simpleness;

The night discharged of all care,

Where wine the wit may not oppress:

 

The faithful wife, without debate;

Such sleeps as may beguile the night;

Content thyself with thine estate,

Neither wish death, nor fear his might.

Neither wish death nor fear his might: this is the most beautiful message here. Do you feel the same? What other message in the poem do you like?