July 24, 2016

R for 'Red'

There was a time when ‘Red’ was synonymous with love. 

Heart shaped balloons you bought for your sweetheart on her birthday, the touch of vermilion adorning the forehead of a newly wed woman, the ruby ring that he slipped onto your finger when he proposed, the first crayon your child proudly identified at play school, the evening sky with the setting sun, gorgeous patterns of henna on the fair palms of beautiful brides at weddings, the auspicious crimson border of the traditional Kolkata Sari that must constitute the wardrobe of every Bengali woman, Ganesh ji's favorite hibiscus flower--a must have at every Ganesh puja, red bangles that stand out amidst the alternate white ones in the wedding chura, the color of your favorite wine, 'red medicine' or Mercurochrome---a fond memory from every childhood; school sports leading to grazed knees et al, the deep reddish brown of scrumptious Gulab jamuns--a deep fried sweetmeat and renowned Indian dessert, red roses that are quintessential for every 'Valentine's Day' celebration, your bridal sari in rich zardosi silk that is carefully wrapped in butter paper after being laundered and dry-cleaned taking care that the color does not run off, those lip smacking 'Rooh Afza' memories reminiscent of an era gone by.

There was a time when 'Red' was synonymous with love. But not anymore! 

Today, 'Red' has changed meaning. It has become polluted, putrid, rabid. It now reminds us of danger, carnage, blood spilled, lives lost. Everyday, there are headlines screaming of terror attacks, mass shootings, wars, communal conflicts and disharmony. Senseless attacks at Orlando, Dhaka, Nice, Munich, Afghanistan etc, horrific cases of females like Swathi and Qandil being hacked to death, the atrocities committed on Dalits in India, gang rapes, ruthless murders spreading hostility and viciousness with every attack, thus ensuring that the circle never ends.
'Red' no longer possesses that same sweet scent of love, that music of unity, that warmth of nostalgia we once enjoyed. Instead it now reeks of anger, hatred, disgust and disappointment.
Is this temporary insanity making us see the same color differently? Is it a type of contagious madness spreading like the plague, making us take notice what we once ignored and forcing us to ignore what we once cherished? Or is this the first sign of an impending doom---the beginning of the end?
There was a time when 'Red' was synonymous with love. But everything seems different now.
Oh, how do we go back to the 'Red' of old? How do we go back to that 'Red' of gold? 
R for 'Red' is the eighteenth post in the 'A-Z Series' of posts, a chain of scribbles by me on topics starting with each alphabet of the English language. Read back and forth for the other posts, and please feel free to contribute your thoughts on the subject.

July 04, 2016

Q for 'Quotes I love'

There are days when I love to google up famous (or at times, not so famous) words of wise people. pearls of wisdom they have left behind for us to delve upon, bask in, appreciate, and benefit from.

Favorite quotes, don't we all have them? Someone says something, and you wonder how it can fit so perfectly, how do they know exactly what you are feeling. There is an invincible truth, a certain sadness, an utter joy you experience all at once. And you realize those words will never leave you...at least not until you can help it.

Below are ten of my favorite quotes (in no particular order of preference).

1) "There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice." ~ F Scott Fitzgerald.

2) "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ " 
 ~~Jack Kerouac

3) "We are as forlorn as children lost in the wood. When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours? And if I were to cast myself down before you and tell you, what more would you know about me than you know about Hell when someone tells you it is hot and dreadful?” ~~~Franz Kafka

4) "Our lives disconnect and reconnect, we move on, and later we may again touch one another, again bounce away. This is the felt shape of a human life, neither simply linear nor wholly disjunctive nor endlessly bifurcating, but rather this bouncey-castle sequence of bumpings-into and tumblings-apart." ---Salman Rushdie

5)  "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

 6) "I like dead end signs. I think they're kind. They at least have the decency to let you know you're going nowhere." ~ Bugs Bunny

7) "If there's just one piece of advice I can give you, it's this – when there's something you really want, fight for it – don't give up no matter how hopeless it seems. And when you've lost hope...ask yourself in 10 years from now...you're gonna wish you gave it just one more shot. Because the best things in life, they don't come free." ~ Meredith Grey ('Grey's Anatomy')

8) "Without an appreciation for grace and beauty, there's no pleasure in creating things and no pleasure in having them." ~ Calvin ('Calvin and Hobbes')

9) "Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten." ~ Neil Gaiman

10) "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." ~ Robin Williams

I could go on endlessly. Choosing quotes is like picking jewels from the treasure chest of the universe. They are never enough. And people keep coming up with wonderfully smart, witty, and intelligent things to say and impress you with.

So go right ahead. Feel free and add to the list. Embellish my world with your favorite words. I am waiting! :)

Q for 'Quotes I love' is the seventeenth post in the 'A-Z Series' of posts, a chain of scribbles by me on topics starting with each alphabet of the English language. Read back and forth for the other posts, and please feel free to contribute your thoughts on the subject.