A Million Voices Inside


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A new beginning

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He stood next to me, silent and still

Staring at me with those perplexed eyes

I told him I have to leave,

Else I will miss the last train that departs.

I told him I cannot wait for an hour more,

I have to reach the site for my interview on time.

We shook hands, kissed each other goodbye

Looked each other in the eye, I had to leave for good.

Tears won’t stop running from my eyes,

I did not look back.

It’s been 12 years since then…

That was the last time I met him!

Or bumped into someone like him!

That was the first time I have ever loved a man.

It’s raining in my vicinity today, I am lonely.

The sky is full of the immobile black clouds

I am all by myself, the thunder don’t startle me anymore!

I remember you now.

I recollect every word you said.

Sometime back, when in the green valley I walked

I met an old friend, we laughed at the memories we made,

We talked for hours.

She spoke so well of you

That you live a peaceful life and people in the neighborhood love you

And that you still spoke fondly of me!

Even when I was the one to break our bond

The bond of love, faith and alliance.

My heart won’t stop pounding at your thoughts

You have been the reason of my pulse,

You are keeping me alive

This I can no longer deny.

I gather the strength to drive to your place

I am now eager to hear your voice

I talk to myself while I am about to knock the door

Wonder if you would remember me,

My cold heart is colder now, I am nervous.

Someone seems to open the door

My heart starts beating faster than ever, and soon,

Those same eyes are staring back at mine.

“I am sorry for what I did to you” I said

“Will you take me back?”

His eyes smiled

As if that’s all he wanted to hear

“Welcome home, my beloved, I knew you would”

He hugged me, I smiled and whispered into his ears,

“I will never let you go!!!”

-Shanta (2014)

Photograph: 2013, New Delhi


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Rishikesh: The place that talks to me!!!

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Many times in life, you feel a little out of place and need a boost to bring your life back on track. I go through such phases too, and mostly, they are for “no reason” and I just need to spend some time with myself. I was going through the downs of life, and that’s when Mr. Husband offered to take me to Rishikesh. There was something in the air that made me smile. And then the moment I dipped my toes in the chilly waters of the Holy Ganga (The Ganges), it felt magical. And then the dip into the mighty river, I felt my troubles are all washed away and I was alive again. That was my first visit to Rishikesh, 4 years back.

Since then, we have visited Rishikesh every year. My friends often ask me why I visit that place every year and not go to some other place? Maybe it’s because, I feel Rishikesh is my home and you don’t mind visiting home often, do you? There are people who stay in Rishikesh for months, while others end up being there often. I belong to the second category.

As per wiki, “Rishikesh is a city, municipal board and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state, Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas.”

The best thing that I like about Rishikesh is the relaxed life I live there, the proximity to nature and the fresh mountain air. There is something in the air out there. Watching the Ganga Aarti is a dream come true. I can’t even tell you how beautiful the reflection of the lamps in the water looks, accompanied by the Classical Spiritual music. I am not a religious fellow, but I love moments that make you acknowledge the power that has been packed within you.

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                                                                  “The beautiful sunset”

While in Rishikesh, I love to spend hours sitting on the beach doing what I always love- Clicking Photographs, lying in the cafes with the view of the river and with some soft pious music playing from beyond, watch the sun go down, eating the beautifully presented food and savoring  the fresh fruit juices. How can I forget the shopping activities? I have always loved the flowing skirts and the colorful kurtis sold there. The best buys from Rishikesh include flowing clothes, devotional music, semi-precious gemstone jewelry, accessories and books. Also, though it’s a common thing out there, I always buy fish-food from the boys selling them and pass it to the fishes. The moment the food touches the water, you can see several fishes jumping out of nowhere to eat it. Such a moment!

Rishikesh is also famous for its adventurous events like river rafting, trekking, bungee jumping, cliff jumping etc. You would find many youngsters driving from the vicinity to Rishikesh during the on-season, to take a break from the fast forward stressful life of the cities.

I can go on and on about Rishikesh, but I think it would be best if I stop now and show you some pictures that I have collected over the years. Hope you like them all.

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                                      “The white sand beach-That’s where I am usually found”

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                                                                                            “The view”

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                                                     “Colors are a bit more colorful in Rishikesh”

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                                                  “The final rays of the sun lighting up the atmosphere”

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                                           “My T-shirt needs some tan too :P

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                                                   “Time for the HOOO-HAAA-HOOOO-HAAAA”

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                                                                     “Lost in nothingness”

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                                                                                      “I will…SOON”

Such is my love for Rishikesh that I end up imagining the white sand beach filled with the sound of the river, whenever I need peace. I close my eyes and my wonderful memories of that divine place take me there.

Love,

Shanta


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:( Tears and Smiles :)

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I was never that kind of girl who cried a thousand rivers

whenever my heart broke,

I thought I was stronger than the rest!

There used to be an ache inside my heart, I never showed you that

I thought I would be mistaken for the weaker kind,

and be taken for granted, badly mistaken.

 

Now that I have grown in time, seen the bad and the bitter

Good and the sweeter,

I don’t stop myself from shedding a tear or two

Mostly in a dark empty room

To let go of the pain in my heart, to breathe in peace,

when life turns out to be like an ugly plot in the movies!

Slowly and silently

Tears roll down my cheeks,

Shrinking the heaviness in me.

 

No longer I am afraid to show you that part of me

I know I won’t be judged, or misunderstood

I have changed for good,

And have realized it well

That, it’s a wonderful world

where,

Tears and smiles together dwell.

 

-Shanta (2014)

Photograph: Taken in Rishikesh

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