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Life

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sounds drift across my Consciousness
Stirring my relaxed and supine Senses
I lie back and experience the sensation
Luxuriating in just being here,now, Alive
So much to be Grateful of,to give Thanks for
So much to do,to Experience,to Share
So much to Delight in,Enjoy and Appreciate too
Each single Instance is new,Unique and Rare
The simple fact that Life is this Moment, Now and Here
Time goes by inexorably forward, never to Return
Life is a Silent River flowing on,at times Muddy, at times Clear
The Wheel of Events is irreversible in it's every Turn
Stringing together all those invaluably precious Memories
Like a myriad shimmering Jewels in my reverent Clasp
I lock these away in the Treasure Trove of my Mind
Lest they slip out like Quick Silver from my Grasp!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

*MADHU* 6/17/2010 11:02AM

    Just emoticon

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SONPARI1 6/17/2010 2:42AM

    Simply beautiful, felt like you were echoing my thoughts at the moment.

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MESSENE 6/16/2010 12:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAIN454 6/16/2010 10:18AM

    Lovely...

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EACHDAYAGIFT 6/16/2010 8:41AM

    Another great poem for my book, just printed it out. If you ever decide to publish, I'll give them back and buy your book!

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MOMM07 6/16/2010 8:20AM

  This was written very well!

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Being Comfortable in my Skin

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Basically I feel Indians specially the women are an inhibited lot.since the time we are born we are taught the "proper" etiquette and to conform----anybody who raises a question is termed a "rebel" and gradually pushed to one side-----natural impulses are either subdued or controlled.Each one of us has pet peeves---most of these are connected to our appearances and social behaviour.My parents came from a comparitively broad minded back ground and so there were not much restrictions on me till I started School----it was the Nuns who made me aware of the "Good" and "Bad" aspects of being a girl.
The word "Ladylike" applied to everything---the way one walked, stood,sat,ate----there was a ladylike way of wiping your face----you just didn't scrub it dry!!!
This new education led me to the awareness of my body---it's shape,it's bad points----which according to me far out weighed the good----and in turn this awareness led to creating inhibitions where none existed.As I grew older,the self awareness and the self criticism grew stronger.For me my body was far from perfect------I was thin,gangling and wiry,flat chested but had a paunch and heavy hips------this was my perception of my shape----therefore far from perfect!!!!I never wore Pants or Jeans or tight Dresses because I felt these accentuated my weak points----preferring instead the full gathered Skirts,flowing Kameezes teamed with tight Churidars----my legs were my plus point according to me!!!!I felt that my nose was too big for my face and my face itself too square!!!I have a cleft chin---a very pronounced one and high cheekbones----which I felt gave my eyes an almond shape----making these look small and slightly slanted---when I really wanted huge eyes----like most Indian actresses those days had!!!My hair was another cause for worry-----each hair was very fine but the growth was extremely thick and long!!!We used to plait our hair in two plaits which would then be folded and tied up with bows of Black ribbons---we called these "Cocker Spaniel's ears"!!!My up turned plaits reached my waist and would rise up an inch on both sides of my hair parting-----causing Mother Marcia-----our Mother Superior----to ask me to open my plaits and drag a comb through these---she suspected I'd back combed my hair to get that Bird's nest look!!!I looked like a witch for the remainder of the day----Mummy used to plait my hair everyday---I didn't know how to!!!!
We were taught the basic "musts" of behaving in a proper manner---the extremely traditional and conservative atmosphere surrounding the School added to the strict discipline we adhered to within it's precincts.From here I went to a Girls College--only for Girls!!!This was the place where I was initiated into the basics of personal care----waxing my arms and legs,plucking my eyebrows and mustache-----the fact that my arms and legs were unwaxed made my situation so pitiable thanks to the "smart" students surrounding me---I literally came home and wept!!!!Mummy went out and bought 3 bottles of Hair removing cream---and next day I went back to College with silky smooth hairless limbs!!!It was a painful brush with the grown up World---and I wanted to crawl back into my safe School years-----College was a pain!!!I was very dissatisfied with everything---my body,my face,my hair------and regular hair removal from my limbs was an added pain----nothing was the way I wanted it to be!!!
Marriage to Sudhir was Godsent---he was very good for my ego----he loved the way I looked,he was obsessively possesive about me and after a long time I became the central focus in someone's life again!!!His support made me start becoming comfortable with being ME------I began developing and gaining a personality of my own and though didn't lose all my awkwardness---did acquire a fair amount of polish.I have always been very inhibited while mixing in a mixed male-female crowd---I either talk too much or not at all!!!!I'm very conservative and my dress code is totally old fashioned for myself----I wear long,loose Sari blouses with lots of safety pins holding the "Pallu" of my loosely draped Sari in place----or I wear loose high necked Salwar Kameezes---loose enough to hide my sizeable paunch!!!Wearing clothes that accentuate my non-existent curves is not for me---I hate to overflow any of my garments!!I used to be very sensitive about everything---never wore Chiffons after putting on weight though I adore them because I thought these emphasised my bulges.All this changed in 2002---the Dengue put me at the mercy of the Nursing Staff----I was undressed and sponged by them without any heed being paid to my requests of needing to be covered up---some of my discomfort melted away.The next step was the Cancer Surgery-----every time I went for a check up tossing off the Kameeze was the done thing----not wearing a bra was another!!!Finally the Heart Attack melted the ice completely----today I'm a pro at doffing my clothes---I have a paunch---so what?A big butt---so what??I'm fat and chunkily chubby--so what???To the Doctors and Nurses I'm just another scrap of humanity---a very large one--- who needs their TLC and that's that as far as they're concerned!!!!
I realised that my physical side was of no consequence---it was my shell not ME---so I began to make an effort to accept and then like my physical attributes---and slowly these ceased to matter.Today my physical shortcomings are no longer a point of pondering over----I have learnt to be comfortable with myself and my appearance.Today if someone says I walk like an Elephant I tell myself that I'm majestic---I tower up above the rest of the minions down below!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRASADAF 6/17/2010 4:44AM

    so nice ...really nice i simply identify with most of it some way or the other...

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ATMANI 6/15/2010 3:59PM

    lovely blog as usual. Enjoyed it. thanks for sharing.

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RAIN454 6/15/2010 2:53PM

    whoa!! sorry about that long blog comment...didnt realize as I was typing!! hehe...

Comment edited on: 6/15/2010 3:00:55 PM

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RAIN454 6/15/2010 2:53PM

    " I either talk too much or not at all!" Thats definitely my MO, as well, Komal. :) My friends will tell you...once I get started, you can't shut me up fast enough...hehe. But there are definite moments, esp. when in new surroundings or around people that look too standoffish, I can get too quiet.

Also, a little off your blog but something I've been dying to tell you....I love that you call your mom, Mummy! I do too and I never grew out of it! I remember, as a kid, we used to have to write letters to our moms on Mother's Day and then the teachers would proofread them for spelling/grammar mistakes and then mail it to our moms...EVERY single time, they would correct my spelling of Mummy to Mommy and it would bug me! I would explain but they never listened...thought I was making excuses for bad spellin...hehe, anyways. There's just something about the way "mummy" sounds that just seems more sincere and sweet...weird, probably, and maybe its just me but even when Im having an argument with my mom, somehow, screaming Mummy at the beginning of a debate makes the fight a little softer...lol.

Now to your blog..."ladylike" is a word that annoys me like crazy. Who's to say what's defined as ladylike? To each own's prerogative, I say...hehe...luckily, I was raised (as you seem to have been as well) to be treated as an equal. Anything a guy can do, a girl can do (probably just better lol). Its when you go outside your home and see the world that you realize, most people don't feel that way. Women are still treated inferior with special "rules"...etc...sorry, im a bit of a feminist so definitely could on and on and on about this. But point being, its very true...women are so much more "aware" of their appearances and such (than a guy) because we are faced with that label all the time...that need to be "ladylike". Bleh!!

Your stories of India, remind me of my visits...all the guys would walk on one side of the street, girls on the other...girls usually looking down or not making eye contact with the guys...whats up with that? i remember thinking, "Wow, if they saw how I acted back home in the US...they'd probably think I was screwd up" but I've noticed those times have changed more or less...which is good...maybe after another 20 years, the men/women equality meter will have balanced out a little bit more :)

As for you, I WOULD LOVE LOVE LOVE thick hair and high cheekbones! But definitely understand what you're saying. I was so insecure as a kid, even now sometimes but definitely loosens up with age...but as a kid, it wasnt that I was shy...it was just that I was always uncomfortable in my own skin that i didnt have time to be outspoken and friendly because I was too focused on myself...I wish I could go back in time and tell people...its not that I was shy or rude...i was just extremely self-conscious and insecure.

Very true about just being another body (like to the docs and nurses in the hospital). We focus so much on wearing that one outfit that hides that one bulge when in all honestly...9 out of 10 times no one notices but the person in the mirror! :)

Thanks for another awesome and interesting blog. You are truly an inspiration, Komal!

lots of love
rainey

Comment edited on: 6/15/2010 2:58:06 PM

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SHRUTI23 6/15/2010 2:24PM

  Haha..Komal ji..Truely reminded me of the past ! Seriously being called "Moti" was a norm. I was tall and broad then most of the gals around. For me my height was always my plus point. But few guys didnt wanna make friend with a gal taller than them, few didnt wanna mess around with me(I was the so called body builder!!) and few though had crushes on me kept away due to my personality!! I still have inhibitions with my body but as you write..with days they are loosening up! With this body I still feel I am out of place between all the thin/short Indian gals ..lol.. Lovely blog!

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SAASHA17 6/15/2010 11:51AM

    I hear ya Komal...COllege is tough..and I have noticed that people get meaner when they come to college..lol...but there were a few guys who liked me the way i was but many would bug me to no end...and having short hair i faced the wrath of professors in my college...they would think i was north indian..

Lol in the South , if ur termed being from the north. then u r fast, broad minded and also an easy target for men....rolling eyes..whatever...

but yes i did struggle to appreciate my body and still do but definitely happier that i am not judged every second ...that is simply crazy..

there were even a few who wouldnt talk to me coz i was fat...i know sounds silly now but i had a nervous breakdown back then...and u wud think i wud stop eating when i heard that but I took another big friend of mine to a bakery and we binged on pizzas and doughnuts...:D

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EACHDAYAGIFT 6/15/2010 8:31AM

    Who would dare to say you walk like an Elephant????Surely no one who ever encountered the wrath of Little Komal when you were growing up? I personally have had boys yell "fat @ss" and several times have been barked at,(which sounds odd, but I took it as a way of insinuating that I was a "dog", which in our culture was synonymous with "ugly girl". I will take a page out of your book if it happens again...I adore dogs of all kinds, so I will take it as a compliment. Actually, though, it's been about 10 years since anyone did one of these drive by insults. It was probably a compliment, in a way... they still thought I was young enough to be worth rating on their attractiveness scale! Now, it appears I am disqualified from the competition. Thank goodness!

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Positivity

Monday, June 14, 2010

When I read about how Folks get disheartened by small setbacks----I'm amazed!!!Life is challenging and turning things around the way YOU want them is the answer to that challenge.Life has taught me to come to terms with my strengths and weaknesses----from being a powerhouse of Energy to a shell of my former glory---there have been plenty of instances where I could have thrown in the towel---it was my basic Nature and the capacity to see my glass of Life as"half full not half empty" that helped me to come to terms with my changed physical needs.
Despite my positivity,Life has not been easy for me.The Indian way of Life is tortous to say the least-----there are a million expectations to live upto----and very little satisfaction in fulfilling them!!!The woman of the home is supposed to be the rock ---the foundation on which the home rests---and cannot expect any slack from any member of the family----the home has to run on well oiled wheels at all times----whether or not the wife is a working woman!!!Indian husbands are brought up to believe that they are God's gifts to their mothers and wives and that they deserve being catered to hand and foot just because they are male!!!Another nail in the lot of my generation is that Indian women have been considered the "Izzat" or the Honour of their families---both the one they are born into and the one they marry into and thanks to this are a very protected and in some cases an oppressed lot.Indian Society is a patrilineal one and whatever the Indian woman has gained,it has been through sheer hard work and fortitude-----fighting against he odds to come this far---where to put it mildly---she has gained a large measure of Equality with the Male Sex by proving her Merit--time and again----slowly the scene is changing for the better!!!I am a classic example of the muddled Indian Woman of my generation----I belong to neither the Old nor the New---stuck in between I am considered too forward by the old school---a doormat by the new!!!!!
As a young,newly married Bride I proceeded to follow in the footsteps of the older generation----taking care to see that even the tiniest demand that Sudhir made was fulfilled instantly---literally his wish was my command------and this continued till I fell really sick with a bad bout of Dengue Fever in December 2002.My biggest vanity was my Stamina---and though I had hired help I hated relying on anybody.I was very proud of the fact that I could do all my work myself----cooking Dinner for 40-50 people from scratch was a breeze for me--I'd be done by late afternoon after which I'd rest and refresh my energy----looking fresh as a Daisy when the guests arrived!!!
It took me six months after Dengue to recover my strength after which my ego forced me to push the Clock back to square one----I resumed all my old routines once again.I refused to acknowledge even to myself that I couldn't recover my old vim and vigour----having been very strong since childhood my physical stamina was something I was proud of----and admitting to a failure of that was beneath my dignity!!!!Gradually i succeeded and my Stamina and Strength returned-----only to be challenged again 4 years later.The successive encroachments on my Health by Breast Cancer and Heart Attack just hardened my resolve----Life had to go on as it always had---admitting to physical weakness was a defeat I would not concede to!!!Brave words----which I was forced to rescind by the end of the next six months----my poor hard driven body had developed a mind of it's own!!!!It refused to fuse with my "never say die" spirit once again and forced me to alter my pace----a highly frustrating and bitter truth to swallow!!!.Living with Pain has become an accepted part of my life---I think I'll miss it if it leaves me even for a minute!!!
Here again it was my positivity that saw me through-----I re-evaluated my daily routine and began relying on my domestic Staff-------who were more than willing to lend me their support.I still like being totally independent as far as possible------ on Sundays I cook early in the morning so as to spend greater Time relaxing----I pride myself on my organising capacity---planning ahead to minimise my labour and maximise my gains.My being homebound all day is something I use to keep my home running smoothly---I like cooking my own meals because that way I can personally monitor every calorie I eat----each day I allot time for various jobs in the House----straightening and cleaning out Cupboards,taking stock of my Pantry,replenishing my stocks of Spices---both whole and powdered----making my own Masalas since these are not available outside-----all this keeps me both mentally and physically busy.There is another plus point to this besides the fact that there is no time to brood----I sleep like a baby 90% of the time----sometimes physical discomfort keeps me up some nights---but very rarely!!!The most invaluable lesson that Life has taught me is to acknowledge your weaknesses and work around these to remain at peace,happy and satisfied!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MESSENE 6/16/2010 7:48AM

    emoticon emoticonBlog! Wish you the best! emoticon emoticon

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SONPARI1 6/15/2010 12:55AM

    Loved your positivity. You truly are an inspiration. Why don't you post the recipes of your masala powders, I would love to make smtng diffrnt all the time.

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ATMANI 6/14/2010 5:15PM

    Hey Amazing lady, you are a true inspiration. Life is definitely a challenge, but being able to look at it as Half full and not half empty is indeed a great boon! Thanks for sharing!

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CYCLINGGIRL1 6/14/2010 5:15AM

    Wow! This is interesting thank you so much for sharing your culture with us.

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Do I need Motivation?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm totally disgusted with myself----I just don't motivate myself enough!!!Thinking about my day I've noticed certain quirks which I'd like to share here----maybe I'll find something that will help motivate me into a better Life!!!
My day begins early------around 6----6.15 a.m. with a glass of warm Water.Next I do my Morning Walker routine and then Yoga----I'm done for the morning by 7.30 a.m.This over I down another glass of warm Water, heat up the Milk,retrieve the Newspaper from the Front Door,make Tea for my husband and down 1 tsp.Wheat Grass Powder with a third glass of water by 7.45 a.m.-----after which I read the Newspaper,check my e-mail and run around answering the Doorbell---which rings every 5 minutes---the Bread Wallah,Garbage Disposal lady and the Dhobi(the guy responsible for ironing the washed clothes),the Vegetable Wallah----all these arrive at the door one by one.
By now it is 8.45 a.m. and I start the Breakfast after downing a glassfull of freshly made mixed Juices---Indian Gooseberry(Aamla) ,Bottle Gourd,Holy Basil and Mint Leaves with a pinch of Black Rock Salt and Black Pepper Powder----by the time I serve Breakfast it is 9 a.m.In between I take my Insulin injection and swallow my numerable Pills as well.After Breakfast,I bathe and by 9.45 a.m. have completed these morning chores.My husband leaves for Court by 10.15---10.30 a.m.---while he's getting ready to leave the 'Phone rings umpteen number of times---so does the Door Bell!!!Scurrying in between the two keeps me occupied till Hubby leaves----after that I sit down with two cold glasses of home made Mangosteen Juice-----and relax for the next 45-30 minutes with my feet up and my CD Player playing my favourite old Songs---English or Hindi/Marathi---depending on my mood that day---- my Me Time!!!
At precisely 11 a.m. my house hold help -----Chhaya Bai,Vanita and Hira Bai--- arrive in quick succession of each other---and my day begins in earnest!!!The next hour or two is spent cooking the Meals for the Day---sometimes excess time is lost----thanks to the arrival of the Fisher woman-----but generally I'm all set for Lunch by 1.15---1.30 p.m. after my Insulin injection and the next batch of Pills.Now is my Computer time-----spent at my Computer inter acting with my Friends on SP,checking my mail,Tracking etc.By 3.45 p.m. Hubby's back and I make his Tea.I drink my evening cup of warm Milk and eat a small snack---some Fruit or Whole Grain Biscuits----by 5.00 p.m. I'm on the Terrace with a few of my Friends for the next 1 hour 45 minutes---doing Yoga.After Yoga I have my regular evening get together with my Friends(Cronies!!!) in the Building Compound----the next one hour is spent chatting and generally having a good time--eating healthy Snacks, exchanging Jokes,Recipes and News---we have an unwritten Rule--NO GOSSIPING!!Thus the Conversation flows unabated---as the circle of regulars grows wider daily!!!
At precisely 7 p.m. Vanita comes back to cook fresh Chappatis and Soup and reheat and serve the Dinner.I return home by 7.45 p.m.---Hubby's ensconced in front of the Idiot Box engrossed in his favourite Serial----at exact 8 p.m. we eat Dinner and are done by 8.45 p.m.------the Kitchen is cleared,dishes done and Vanita has left for the day.By now my batteries are slowly running down and by 9.30---10 p.m. I'm fast asleep!!!This Friends is my routine-----it changes very little---except when people 'Phone me---I'm not really fond of talking on the 'Phone---preferring face to face conversations or written contact----but can chit chat for some time before searching for topics to talk about!!!Sometimes my close Friends drop by for Lunch----we've known each other for 35 years---thanks to my Health constraints I like eating at home these days----those days I have a great time----all of us have grown old together,have chldren who are each other's friends too----so the Topics just crop up thick and fast----and while mostly I cook they too carry some of our favourite dishes----the Menu becomes sumptuously extravagant----but these days are truly FUN!!!
Now I'm coming to the crux of the matter----and here I need your help---is there something missing in my Life that I can't see????I'm basically a happy person and my best quality is accepting the situations Life deals me and adjusting to the circumstances I am in.I quickly adapt and learn to live within the given frame and thanks to my positivity keep myself busy,amused and happy.I have never hankered for or envied anything on my neighbour's plate---I believe each person is alloted his/her share of Luck,Success and Prosperity----and am truly grateful to The Almighty for having bestowed so many of His Blessings on me!!!
I AM truly happy and content----so do I really need Motivation????

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRASADAF 6/17/2010 4:56AM

    no you are not missing anything...its the similar kind of life my mother lives too and i simply adore each part of it..u r so lucky so complete u dont need anything else now...u know its the kind of lif all of us want to live...
Also u r a motivation for me...i really adore ur comments of encouragement .......thankyou..
emoticon

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SONPARI1 6/14/2010 1:08AM

    You are perrfect the way u r .You are content with what you have and what more can you ask for? All for us crave for a life where we dont have to go through unwanted emotional upheavals. On the other hand, I think your stories motivate others.

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SRITHI97 6/13/2010 9:13PM

    Dear komal ji,
As Aruna, has rightly mentioned, you are a power house of motivation and inspiration for us, I am amazed at your schedule and i am really happy to see how well you have sketched out every single detail. you are doing wonderful, and really wish we can can keep up with all our day to day routine, like you with so much zeal. emoticon
vidya.

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RATIONAL_EATER 6/13/2010 8:05PM

    You are a special person and with so much you had gone through life,you are a motivation powerhouse to others for having such a positive outlook towards life but if I had your talent with words ,I would have loved to write something and get it published.Believe me,you have it in you.I am assuming that you have not gotten published till now. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/13/2010 8:07:34 PM

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RAGGARWALAX 6/13/2010 7:22PM

    Komalji - OMG - I was getting exhausted just reading about your routine emoticon IMHO one only needs to look for motivation if they are desiring something which they do not have and it does not sound like you are lacking or wanting something that you don't already have. In fact, it sounds like you are content and that is the perfect place to be emoticon emoticon
btw - thanks for your good wishes and thoughts, mom is doing pretty well and she should hopefully be home in a couple of days. Then the real work starts :-)
Reeta

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NICE125 6/13/2010 11:50AM

  Those mornings in India!!! Its so noisy! You described it perfectly, the bell rings so many times, and add to that the cacophony of the crows and dogs, the rickshawwallas, the subzi walla hawking his wares, the raddi walla or the carpet walla, kids going to school in autorickshaws. It all starts at 5 Am and doesnt end till 10pm. I miss that noise, theoretically. Last year we were in India and felt so irritated for the first few days at being woken up at 5AM on a vacation day, but quickly got used to it.Here its so quiet that as soon as I turn on the tap to make the morning cup of tea, I hear 'stop it'!!! from the kids and their dad!
But I love your routine, I remember my mom used to have a similar one when I was growing up and I have been unable to recreate that here in the States. Leave alone the Shanti bai and Vimla bai, I dont even have any friend who can spend an afternoon with me, we are all busy playing chauffer to our kids!
Anyway, thats life too!No complaints! emoticon

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EACHDAYAGIFT 6/13/2010 10:06AM

    It doesn't sound as if you feel that anything is missing! And it doesn't sound as if there is any down time or wasted time, either. If you do feel there is something missing, I think God can be counted on to help you get insight into what that might be and give his assistance guiding you along that path, whatever it might be. He is the only one who knows you even better than you know yourself... the rest of us might guess wrong! You have a lot of positive contact with people daily, and that is the mark of a successful life, I think. While the running of an Indian household sounds markedly different than a present day American one, with many outsiders involved in things that you need to oversee, it sounds as if, even with outside help, a lot of time is required for that. I think, as the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" So if your sense that you are missing something comes from comparing your life to other people, forget it because you are unique. If it is coming from inside yourself, and you figure out what it is, just incorporate the new thing in little baby steps while continuing to enjoy the full life you are blessed with! That's my two cents!

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The First Showers

Saturday, June 12, 2010

White hot Lightning streaks across the sullen Sky
Lighting up the dark leaden Clouds with silvery flash
While the Wind gusts up making Trees toss and sigh
And Thunder rolls it's drums in a resounding crash
A coolness creeps into the sultry, humid Heat
The irresistable scent of Rain spikes the Atmosphere
As with a sudden staccato rhythm and steady beat
The Heavens open to release a welcome flood below
Large pellets of Water spatter through the Air
Hitting the parched Earth with a steady clatter
Answering every living creature's heartfelt Prayer
Giving the Earth the kiss of precious Life---- Water
As suddenly as it came the Rain stops
Leaving the Trees,Shrubs and Grass washed and aglow
While Nature glistens festooned with Diamond drops
The Horizon wears an iridiscent Rainbow!!!

This is what I love and what I'm waiting for with bated breath----a scene though oft repeated and familiar is replayed with different nuances each year!!!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EACHDAYAGIFT 6/12/2010 10:58AM

    Another beautiful poem that I printed for my collection!

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*MADHU* 6/12/2010 10:36AM

    Beautiful....I love the rainy season in Mumbai emoticon

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SRITHI97 6/12/2010 8:31AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MESSENE 6/12/2010 7:41AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NWLIFESRC 6/12/2010 7:16AM

    Yep

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