Why Buddha Touched the Earth?


*******

On a moonlit night

Under the starry sky,

He sat under a giant fig.

He has been suffering inside longer.

Truth of life was all that he did seek.

He was born to be a king,

To elude hunger, sadness and poverty.

Yet he sat under a Fig,

Away from all his belongings,

Fighting fearsome battles inside.

He fought the battles for many a days,

Winning over all of his six enemies.

He conquered fears that the demon brought,

He placed his left hand on his lap and

Touched the earth with his right.

The earth witnessed as he defeated his demons.

On the forty ninth night he found the truth.

He set himself free from his desires,

He set himself free from the cycle of rebirth.

He touched sky even though his feet never left the earth.

Desire brings actions we regret.

The purpose of life is to make us perfect.

Until we are perfect, the cycle of endless rebirth repeats.

He broke the spell and set himself free.

The earth witnessed a miracle under the fig tree.

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আকাশের বামনেরা


মে মাসের অসহ্য গরমে উত্তর কলকাতার এক সরু গলিতে একটা ছোট পান বিড়ীর  দোকানের
সামনে দারিয়ে জীবনের প্রথম সিগারেটটা ধরাল আকাশ।

“ব্যাপার টা কি বলতো ? হটাৎ সিগারেট খাওয়া শুরু করলি কবে থেকে?” – নিজের সিগারেট টা ধরিয়ে জিগ্যেস করল অভ্র।

“চাপ লাগছে?  মেয়েটা কে তো খারাপ দেখতে না। তোর সমস্যা টা কি বলত?”

আকাশের চোখ আকাশের দিকে। মনে এক্ রাশ ভাবনা। আঙ্গুলের ফাকে ছোট হতে থাকা সিগারেট।

“ব্যাপার টা ঠিক হচ্ছেনা জানিস তো।”

“মানে? কথা বার্তা এত দূর এগোল বলেই তো পাকা দেখা করতে এলি! এখন মনে হচ্ছে তোর যে ব্যাপারটা ঠিক নয়ে! ইয়ারকি হচ্ছে নাকি?” – অভ্রর কপালে ঘামের ফোঁটা দেখা দিয়েছে। নিয়মিত মদ্যপান এবং অনিয়মিত শরীরচর্চার ফলে আজ বছর ঘানেক ধরে উচ্চ রক্তচাপের শিকার সে। এই অভ্রই কলেজে পড়ার সময় টানা তিন বছর ব্যাডমিন্টন চ্যাম্পিয়ন ছিল।

“কিন্তু এর পরে কি? বিয়ে করে ফেলবো? এমন এক জন কে যার সঙ্গে আলাপ তিন মাস আগে? মানলাম ভাল দেখতে। বুঝলাম তোর ও মনে ধরেছে। কিন্তু তার পর কি? সংসার শুরু করে দেব? ব্যাস আগামি পঁচিশ টা বছর চাকরি আর সংসার করেই কেটে যাবে? এটাই কি পরিনতি? এটাই কি সত্যি ছেয়েছিলাম চিরকাল ?”

এক নিঃশ্বাসে কথা গুলো বলে ফেলল আকাশ। ফুরিয়ে যাওয়া সিগারেট এর ফিল্টার টা ছুরে ফেলল ডাস্টবিনে।

দোকানে একটা বাচ্চা ছেলে বসেছিল। খুব সম্ভবত মালিক নিজের ছেলে কে বসিয়ে মধ্যাহ্ন্ ভোজ সারতে গেছে।

আর একটা সিগারেট চেয়ে নিল সে। জীবনের দ্বিতীয় সিগারেট। যদিও তার ফুস্ফুসের স্কোর এখনও

শুন্য।

“ভাই! তোর কি নার্ভাস ব্রেকডাউন হল শেষ পর্যন্ত? উপরে ফিরে চল ভাই। সবাই অপেক্ষা করছে। প্লিজ এরম করিস না। পিশেমশাই এখুনি না খুজতে আসে নীচে!” – অভ্রর শার্টে ঘামের দাগ স্পষ্ট।  পরিস্থিতির চাপে সে আর নতুন সিগারেট ধরায়েনি। নিজের পিসতুতো ভাই আকাশ কে সে খুব ভাল করে চেনে। উচ্চ মাধ্যমিক এবং জয়েন্ট এন্ট্রান্স এর এক মাস আগে বাড়ী থেকে পালিয়েছিল সে। পিসেমশাই এর ইচ্ছে ছিল ছেলে কে ডাক্তার বানাবার। আকাশ এর হসপিটাল এর প্রতি ছোটবেলা থেকে অনীহা। পরীক্ষার এক সপ্তাহ আগে বাড়ী ফিরে উচ্চ মাধ্যমিক এবং জয়েন্ট দুটোই ভাল করে উৎরেছিল আকাশ । শুধু মেডিকেল এর যা র‍্যাঙ্ক এসেছিল তাতে শুধু ডেনটাল হত। তো আকাশ একটা প্রথম শ্রেণীর ইঞ্জিনিয়ারিং কলেজ ভর্তি হয়ে যায়। ছেলেটা একবার কিছু ঠিক করে ফেললে আর ভাবেনা। কিন্তু আকাশ আজ ভাবছে। আর অভ্র যে খুব একটা ভাবতে পছন্দ করেনা  সেও ভাবতে বাধ্য হয়েছে।

“নীচে কেন নামলাম জানিস?”

“সিগারেট খেতে যে নামিসনি সেটা বুঝতেই পারছি। কিন্তু তোর মতি গতি ভাল  ঠেকছেনা ভাই।”

“একটা বামন এর যদি দেখা পেতাম তো সব সমস্যার সমাধান হয়ে যেত বুঝলি। নীচে এলাম একটা বামনের

খোঁজে।”

“বামন! দ্যাখ আকাশ ফাজলামির একটা সীমা থাকে! আমি কিন্তু এটা আর নিতে পারছিনা। তুই উপরে চ নাহলে আমি তোর বাবা কে ফোন লাগাচ্ছি এখুনি!”

অভ্র দোকানের টাকাটা মেটাতে যাবে এমন সময় একজন লোক পেছন থেকে এসে দোকানে ঢুকল।

“খোকা কি ছিল এনাদের?”

দোকানের মালিক জিগ্যেস করল বাচ্চাটাকে।

আকাশ লোকটার গলার বসা আওয়াজ শুনে পেছন ঘুরে তাকিয়ে দেখল লোকটা একটা বামন।

*

(চলবে)

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Apogee~


Enough money to buy comfort,

Enough food to feed the mouths.

Enough poverty to shatter faith,

Enough hunger killing sinner’s doubts.

Enough time to explore all,

Enough reasons for heart to beat.

Enough seasons and we don’t change,

Finding enough reasons not to leave.

Enough options to make a choice,

Enough chances to make it right.

Enough we say and stay the same,

For it’s ourselves that we need to fight.

A Kafkaesque Morning


It was another dull morning. There was nothing new about this day. Kafka woke up hearing his mom and dad shouting at each other. That was not a nice way to wake up.By now he should have been used to all this. But he was not. Kafka washed his face. He had his breakfast shouting at his parents asking if they could shut it up at least until he was gone. Kafka felt tired of all this. He was thinking about the two hour long journey to the college. The final examinations for this semester was nearing. All of it seemed very “staged” or “phoney” to him. Every year there were two semesters – students did not care. At least most of them did not. They still passed the exams in the most unimaginable ways. College education could have been about knowledge but it was not. It was about getting a job. Everyone knew it and Kafka did not have a problem with that but he did have a problem with the whole system pretending like it really was about knowledge. For all of this he needed to travel to the college to the other end of the city, bearing the scorching heat, dust, noise and people.

Kafka was standing in front of a occupied seat. The day sure started bad. Kafka was the only one standing in the bus, rest of the people were sitting. Kafka felt unwanted. He chose to stand in front of one sit. It could very well be that the two people who were sitting in that seat are the only ones except Kafka who would travel to the last bus stop and the guy with glasses, who just boarded the bus and was standing beside Kafka in front of another seat, would get to sit before the bus reached the next bus stop. Irony was that this guy could get off the bus way before the bus made even half of its journey. The system is unfair. Just like life. Those who actually need, often don’t get enough. Those who already have – get plenty more.

Kafka reflected , he never did hurt anyone in his life. If there would be a God , why could not he get a better life? He could not remember when he saw his parents smile for the last time. Kafka did not have things his friends had. He knew that what his friends had already earned by being born, he had to earn working. The guy occupying the seat in front of which the guy with glasses was standing, stood up and went to the doors to get off the bus. The guy with the glasses was looking at something through the window. Kafka turned and took the seat.

“What just happened?” – asked the guy.

“I took the seat.” – answered Kafka.

“I need to travel two hours and am not feeling very good today” – said Kafka’s eyes.

“Who is supposed to take the seat? one who is standing in front of it or one who is standing on the far right?” – asked the guy.

Kafka did not make any eye contact. He was pulling the phone out of his bag so he could put the ear plugs in his ears and pretend to listen to the FM.

Kafka looked up in his eyes plugging the headphone in his ears –

“The one standing far right” – answered Kafka and looked away calmly.

Kafka was feeling depressed. The guy with glasses got a sit in next five minutes and got off the bus after ten more minutes. Kafka was not feeling depressed about that. He was feeling depressed about his life, his existence. As the bus was making slow progress through the unbearable traffic and noise, Kafka sat still on the hard seat. He felt like he did not have any energy left in him already. He had a day to survive yet. Kafka looked left as he felt something was wrong inside the bus. A dwarfish man had just boarded the bus. He was less then 4 feet in height, had a thick mustache and had short hands and short bent legs. Kafka felt sick looking at him. The man walked to the end of the bus to take a sit. He had to climb up to the seat using his hands. Kafka felt sorry for the man. It was not his fault that he was born like that. Kafka felt sorry thinking how much harder life could be for this man.

The bus was passing by Kafka’s school. Kafka looked at the temple beside the school. He used to touch his forehead and chest with his hands to show respect to the God before entering the school hoping he would not get beaten by the teachers or bullied by his classmates. It was a Hindu custom. Kafka did not choose to be a Hindu but the habit stayed with him as he grew up and the classmates became friends. The teachers remained the same but Kafka stopped caring about them. Today he did not feel like continuing this habit anymore. “If God existed things would have been better. ” – thought Kafka, feeling defiant- “I would have a happy life and there would be no dwarfs”.

Kafka noticed some movement behind him. He turned around and saw the dwarf touching his forehead and his chest devotedly. Kafka felt a pain inside him. Strangely this pain was pulling him out of his depression.

Random # 132


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One seeks something big inside.

When one doesn’t find it there,

One looks outside-

To find something big enough

To cast a shadow on one’s self.

One seeks something big,

A mountain or a sea

To make ones self realize-

How little and fragile One’s existence is.

One does not realize

Finding in the flashing lights of a club

or inside a glass of wine-

Hardly a fix,

Never a cure.

One tries to find something big,

only to make one’s self

Realize how little and fragile

One’s existence is.

~Things We Do For Love~


5

***************************************************************

For more than five months I have posted nothing. Because I could not write anything in those months. I did not finish reading a single book in 2014. I almost stopped listening to music. I paid less attention to my work. I was not and am not the same person I used to be.

This is an unusual tale that I am going to write here. An extra ordinary tale from an ordinary person’s life. All this time I was preparing for something. It was like I was surviving reality barely and preparing my spirit to make a dream come true. A dream  so big that at times I have myself doubted if it would ever come true.

But it did.

I met a girl on the internet. We became friends. We have been talking for like a year now…and we want to meet. Her family knows about me too. That is why I want to go there..to meet her and her family.”  – That is what I told the officer to whom I submitted my visa application.

It got rejected for the first time.

Not many people decide to travel 6,500 Kilometers to meet a girl they have met on the internet.

I met her on Facebook. She saw my photo on her friends suggestion and felt like she should open my profile and check it. As per her words when she saw my photo, it was like, she could only see that photo on the page and rest was a blur. She was not sure if I would accept friend request from unknown persons. So all she did , she opened up my picture and liked it.

I thought that the recent like that I got from an unknown “foreign” girl – was definitely from a fake profile.

I ignored it.

A few days after I noticed that there was nothing more – no friend requests or likes from this girl, I felt like there was a possibility of this girl being a genuine one. I opened her profile and liked her profile picture too. It was a nice one. Not hot and cheeky rather pretty & graceful. The way I like girls.

She sent me a friend request and we started talking. We became good friends.

We would talk each other all the time. I would wake up to her messages and she would go to sleep reading my messages. We would share pictures and stories.

Then she told me she wants to meet me. She knows meeting in person would not be possible right now but she wanted to see me on Skype.

I have never Skyped with a person I have not met personally before. I was scared thinking about how awkward it will be, I was scared of many things. How I would look, how my voice would sound, if I would be able to understand what she speaks or not.

So we skyped for the first time. I was awkward as usual. She was smiling and laughing like a happy little girl!

I was awkward but I was happy.

That was the first of our many Skype encounters. We would catch up every weekend and on the middle of the week too if I would have a day off.  We would never feel bored while talking to each other and with time we became more and more free with each other. I have never felt this free with any of my friends before. I have always been a distant, strange and weird guy to the girls and I believe even to those few girls I have dated, my image remains same.

Then we decided to meet. First we were thinking about meeting in a country which is in between our countries. I was thinking how awkward it would be to go meet her and her family at the same time. I was free with her but I saw her family for a few times on Skype. I am not the kind of person who speaks a lot and gets along very well with people who they have met recently.

But then I decided I should travel to her country. I imagined myself at her parent’s situation. Its not a easy decision to let your daughter go to a different country to meet a guy who she has met on the internet. I thought if I would go there I could meet her and her family at the same time. I could see her place. I wanted to do all of these. If I meet her someplace else then I would again have to buy tickets and travel to meet her family.

So I traveled 6,500 kilometers to meet a girl I have met on Facebook.

Getting the tickets, visa and traveling alone were not easy tasks. This was the first time I got a visa and traveled to another country – my first international flight. I was scared to do all of this.

But I was more scared of the idea of not seeing her, not being with her.

Never in my life I have ever wanted something so bad.

All of the journey and my time spent there with her is a story that will take a lot more words. I think I will write about that too. Because our story is unusual and at times it is far more interesting than reality.

Now I am back in  my country. She will be coming to visit my place soon. People are asking whats next. How we plan to stay together.

When I added her on Skype, I noticed there was written something in her language at her Skype status field. I learned what was written there. She told that she put those words as her status a year before or so. I felt that we have been waiting for each other all our lives and we always knew that we existed in our minds.

Ja tu necīnies par to, ko vēlies, tad neraudi par to, ko zaudē.

“If you don’t try hard for what you want, why do you cry then?”

This journey has taught me one thing – sometimes you need to make a choice and prepare yourself to pay any price to life in order to stick to your choice.

We have made our choices. We want to stay together.

The things we will have to do for love will pay the price that we have to pay in order to stick to our choice.

Taken with Nokia Glam Me

~Things We Know~


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We did not choose –

Where we were born

And What we were born with.

Not the colors of our skins,

Not the names & surnames.

Not the Gods we prayed.

Not the flags we saluted.

***

We grow up-

Learn to expect

maximum out of minimum

And want to spend

more hours dreaming and take

only a few hard minutes

To give up on our dreams.

***

We grow old-

We judge our time spent

By what all we did

That seems right

Because the outcome

Is always familiar.

Never knowing what else was there, too.

***

It was one in a million-

chance that I met you.

Could not have as

We did not know what separated us.

Now there is space & time,

Now there is money & Gods.

Things we know we can overcome.

~ How to Avoid Making Some Common Mistakes While Working Out~


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Let me begin with telling you that , this piece .is going to be my first post on WordPress which is not going to get tagged in the Poetry/Poem category.

I started working out in the second year of my college. I weighed around 76 Kgs and I was around 5’7″ tall. I was a bit on the heavier side but I had weak muscles. One of my friends wanted to join the Army so he wanted to get in shape. He wanted to join a gym and he needed a companion. (Eventually he quit after an year due to an injury that he did not get in the gym). I have been working out for around 5 years. I have never taken a break for more than 15 days at a stretch from the gym but yes, I was more regular and could spend more time working out back in my college days.

In the following paragraph I will be writing about the mistakes that I made in the early days of my time in the gym. I hope , some of you find it helpful.

I loved training my biceps and never paid more attention to my triceps-

1. Choosing some of the exercises as your favorites and giving you 100% to those exercises and choosing some of the exercises as the ones you never want to do and doing them halfheartedly.

I ignored my back and leg muscle groups for quite some time-

2. Completely ignoring some muscle groups because doing them does not give you the kick.

I tried to lift more weight while doing biceps rather than changing the pattern of my exercise regularly and doing a variety of exercises with utmost precision

3. Quality beats quantity in the gym too! You must challenge your muscle groups with a variety of different exercise routines. Doing the exercises properly will pump your muscles in a short time and it will also reduce the risk of getting hurt.

I did not do sprints on the treadmill. I went for long cardio sessions-

4. Long cardio sessions can help you to reduce weight. But once you have lost the fat, in order to get toned muscles , you need to do sprints. Sprints are more effective. Just google the images of athletes who have won the marathon and those who have won 100m races!

I exercises and continued with my regular meal-

5. If you start working hard and keep eating your regular meal that you used to eat before joining the gym it will not help you much. In order to get muscles you need more nutritious food. In order to lose fat you need to stop having junk foods. The bottom line is you diet has got to change.

I developed a natural aversion towards food supplements-

6. I developed this aversion early in my gym days and I got rid of it only a few months ago. The reason I did not like food supplement is that I used to think taking artificial lab made stuff is bad for health and also I did not prefer to put muscles on this way. But truth is that food supplements are not steroids! If you cannot eat a lot of “natural” food then you must compensate your body’s demand with food supplements for quick and better results.

I never get myself enough sleep-

7. This one is a critical mistake and whats more wrong about it that I still cannot fix this one. I am sure most of you guys make this mistake too. If you get sleep less than 6 hours a day you can have your body screwed up by introducing hormonal imbalance problem. Your testosterone level can drop and cortisol level can go up dramatically. In short you will find it harder to burn the fat and put muscles on.

I paid less attention to body weight resistance training-

8. Body weight resistance exercises like push ups, pull ups, chin ups, parallel bars are a great way to shape your muscles as well as to increase strength. Its not a good thing to get obsessed with iron at the start.