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Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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life lessons

The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore

Genre: Fictional autobiography
Copy: Paperback
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Short Synopsis: Set on a Bengali noble’s estate in 1908, this is both a love story and a novel of political awakening. The central character, Bimala, is torn between the duties owed to her husband, Nikhil, and the demands made on her by the radical leader, Sandip. Her attempts to resolve the irreconcilable pressures of the home and world reflect the conflict in India itself, and the tragic outcome foreshadows the unrest that accompanied Partition in 1947.

What I liked:

1. The characters. Each POV from the three central characters brought me to their shoes. I struggled with Nikhil in keeping his morals, I lost my way to sensationalism and terror with Bimala, and I breathed in Sandip’s clouded fanaticism. These internal turmoil that each character go through make the story relatable.

2.The depth in this slim volume. It talks about infatuation — one that goes beyond the physical attraction. It weights the pros and cons of being infatuated with an idea. It tackles the concepts of freedom and bondage, pitting rationalism, nationalism and humanism against each other, backdropped by the political scenario of the Swadesi movement.

3. Tagore’s poetic power. I know people did not miss the faulty translations but that did not hamper Tagore’s beautiful prose.

What I didn’t like: None? Haha I’m an easy-to-please reader in general. The only thing I could wish is to be able to read and understand the novel in its orginal language. Perhaps I’m also slightly disturbed by Bimala’s representation of women (her gullibility) but I understand her chosen path of freedom and the form of redemption she received in the end.

Favorite quotes:
“I am willing to serve my country, but my worship I reserve for Right which is far greater than my country. To worship my country as a god is to bring a curse upon it.”

“To tyrannize for the country is to tyrannize over the country”

“So long as we are impervious to truth and have to be moved by some hypnotic stimulus, we must know that we lack the capacity for self-government. Whatever may be our condition, we shall either need some imaginary ghost or some actual medicine-man to terrorize over us.”

“Is there any country, sir,” pursued the history student, “where submission to Government is not due to fear?” “The freedom that exists in any country,” I replied, “may be measured by the extent of this reign of fear. Where its threat is confined to those who would hurt or plunder, there the Government may claim to have freed man from the violence of man. But if fear is to regulate how people are to dress, where they shall trade, or what they must eat, then is man’s freedom of will utterly ignored, and manhood destroyed at the root.”

“It is only when we get to the point of letting the bird out of its cage that we can realize how free the bird has set us.”

“I tell you, sir, this is just what the world has failed to understand. They all seek to reform something outside themselves. But reform is wanted only in one’s own desires, nowhere else, nowhere else!”

“To clutch hold of that which is untrue as though it were true, is only to throttle oneself.”

“Only the weak dare not be just.”

Final Thoughts: I first read this book in 2017. It is much more than a classic literary masterpiece to me. Each page is an awakening about the fragility of humanity. This book resonates deeply, especially with what is happening to my country and to the rest of the world today.

Have you read The Home and the World? Did you like it as much as I did?

Isang Linggong Pag-ibig Para Sa Mga Manggagawa

LUNES
Binukas ang mga mata sa bagong umaga
Muling umaasa sa panibagong sana
Sana mabigyan ng pansin ang mga hinaing
Pakinggan ang mga boses na humihiling

MARTES
Itong gusaling umangat sa rurok ng kalingitan
Tila biglang nakalimot na kami ang pumasan
Bawat suntok sa tagumpay kamao namin ang gumalaw
Ngayong kami’y nangangailangan bigla kang bumitaw

MYERKULES
Sadya namin ay tinapay, umulan ay bato
Hindi ka kumilos, ni hindi kumibo
Nasaan na ang bangkang sabi mong lulan natin?
Bakit kami lang nakakapit sa dulo ng patalim?

HUWEBES
Simpleng mangagawang binulag mo ng pangako
Pinaasa, pinabayaan, pinagkanulo
Dukhang marapat sana’y dakilain at itanghal
Tinanggalan ng pag-asa at natitirang dangal

BYERNES
Kaya ‘wag mong sasabihing pantay ang ating halaga
Kung hindi ka kaisa sa hirap, dusa’t luha
Kung hindi ka nangambang mawalan ng tirahan
At naranasang matakot para sa kinabukasan

SABADO
Ipikit ang mga matang pagod nang umaasa
Tama na ang paghihintay sa malinaw na wala
Panahon nang isigaw ang aming bulong
Hindi na aasam sa iyo ng tulong

LINGGO
Sa mapanghamong buhay makikipaglaro
Ang sistemang baluktot dudurugin ng pino
Liwayway ng paglaya ay darating din
Pag-unlad at tagumpay sa iyong inalipin


For a long while I chose not to write poetry because, with what I’m carrying in my heart, I know nothing positive will come out of it. And I didn’t want that. I would love if my words can inspire or bring a smile to the few readers who take time to notice my writings. So I chose silence for the meantime. Until, perhaps, I genuinely feel happy about life and living again. But the struggle is real. And I need to unload it, even just this one. </3

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Life

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It is never quite safe to think we have done with life. When we imagine we have finished our story, fate has a trick of turning the page and showing us yet another chapter.

 L.M. Montgomery, Rainbow Valley

Here is a great reminder from L.M. Montgomery in these trying times. When all seems lost and hopeless, when nothing seems to go right, when giving up is a lot easier than holding on, may we be reminded to seek and see life’s magic and endless surprises. In a child’s eyes, in a stranger’s smile, in the colors of the sky, in moonlit nights. May these not-so-little things give us reasons to carry on. One day at a time. 🌻💛

Fallin’ Down South: A weekend of feast, fog and falls

With the world in utter chaos today due to COVID-19, we are reminded of our mortality — our vulnerability despite having played like gods over other creatures. As death threatens to knock on our doorsteps, we realize the value of living.

To live, not merely exist. But have we made the most of life?

Continue reading “Fallin’ Down South: A weekend of feast, fog and falls”

Beginnings

“Was I?”

I look at him hoping to see mischief in those Houdini eyes. Perhaps ten years have blurred my memory. It wasn’t I who followed a stranger to that bookstore along Rue de la Bûcherie. What was it called? Ah, Shakespeare and Company.

I did not go out of my way pretending to eye those weather-beaten shelves, fingering book spines, thinking of a way to start a conversation.

“James Joyce lies buried in the cellar” was your desperate did-you-know. I can’t believe how I fell for that—

How I fell for you.

Paris is indeed full of exotic swindlers.

Word Count: 100


Written for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields where a photo is used as a prompt for a hundred-word piece of fiction. The photo prompt this week is a courtesy of C.E. Ayr.

It has been a while since I’ve written for Friday Fictioneers and I am happy to be back this week. This one is inspired by Ali’s micro story titled Endings. As I have said (am I’m sure I’m not the only one), it’s rare to see him write about love and heartbreak. My hopeless romantic muse got thrilled and so here’s a prequel to his tale.. 😉

Head over here to join the prompt!

 

Hope is an illusion

Hope is an illusion
A lie behind the blinds
It walks you into the wind—
Points you to distant bergs
Where refuge hides

Ask a child from Quneitra
Or the slums of Manila
And both will give you a laugh
For life has taught them what hope is
A vanishing mirage, not an oasis

No food, no water
Not a breath left for a dream
For a deserter trapped in the desert
Does hope even matter?
Does anybody cares?

Tilt those heads slightly
Perhaps, from a different angle, you’ll see
The lives of the lost, last, and least
Trampled down by privilege, indifference, and greed
A scene less click-worthy
Uninteresting for the media frenzy


Day 2 of NaPoWriMo and I am not feeling well. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually – I feel drained. Whenever I mull over something that strikes a chord within me, I experience a relapse of depressive episodes. Now, the obvious reason is the global pandemic COVID-19. And I am not only saddened by the number of deaths it brings but by the extent of hatred and greed it ignites. I need not zoom out because my country itself is thrown in disarray. It hurts. 💔

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At the end of the long road

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Let it be where winds may sweep
Through forest trees soft and deep
The murmur of the giggling brook
Calm every head that shook
And the thriving eastern wood-pewee
Bring broken hearts with glee

Let it be where a bluebird freely flies
Verdant meadows lie before our eyes
Harvest fields reaped and trod
To farmers a gift from God
And falling raindrops sing
For a family hopeful for spring

Let it be where stars may shine
O’er creatures living, peaceful and fine
Where the crescent moon watches over
Longing hearts that look yonder
And the rain once again
Heal the world in pain

Let it be where men breathe with love
And intent is as pure as a dove
Into each life rain must fall
But the sun still shines upon all
At the end of the long road is peace
Let it be where hatred and greed cease


Wordsmiths and poets make a sound, it’s National Poetry Writing Month everyone! Kicking off Day 1 with rhymes instead of today’s optional prompt. What are your  April plans? 🙂

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A recipe to start the day

Take a cup of patience
Stir it with respect
Add a dash of wit
And a pinch of praise
No grilling or [pry]ing
Season with the spice of life
Top with love and kindness
And you’re all set—
Serve with the warmth of sunshine.


In response to dVerse’s Quadrille: Poems Stirred, Not Shaken hosted by De who asks us to stir up a poem of exactly 44 words inspired by the word “stir.”Head over here to join the prompt!dverse

SUKDANAN [A Visayan spoken word poem]

Subo pamalandongon nga ang pagtan-aw sa mga kabayhanan karon sama sa usa ka value meal. Usa ka mabaw ng sukdanan nga giuyonan sa katilingban. Nila, niya, nimo.
Pero dili ako.

Wala koy mga legs ug thighs nga magpanghinam ka og paak, aduna koy duha ka bagtak nga gipagahi na sa panahon. Mga tuhod nga dili na daling mangurog. Mga tiil nga nanggamot– usa ka timailhan nga dili ko daling mamiya. Pero andam sad mudagan palayo sa mga way pulos.

Wala koy breast nga imong gipangita kay, sa tinood lang, ang akong atubangan mura ra sad og nagtalikod. Ug kanang white meat? Ayaw nalang jud. Kay sa pila ka adlaw nga pagbabad sa ilawom sa kainit sa adlaw, mapa-bukid man o dagat, dugay ra kong nasunog. Sorry na, dili sad ko ka-afford ug gluta. Apan aduna koy dakong kasingkasing. Andam maghigugma sa isigkatawo. Kanila, kaniya, kanimo. Puno sa kalipay ug kasakit sa mga kaagi pero nagpabiling naay lugar para sa mga bag-ong higayon, sa mga bag-ong hagikhik.

Ug bisan paborito ni nako kaayo, wala sad koy wings nga ikadalit. Adunay koy mga braso nga bisan dili kaayo kusgan pwede ra masaligan. Aduna koy mga kamot nga andam mugunit, musuporta, mutabang taliwala sa kahayahay ug kalisod. Mga kamot nga niagi nag samad ug paso gikan sa mga sayop. Mga kamot nga gikubal na sa kakugi sa pagsuwat, sa pagtrabaho.

Maong ayaw ko isama sa usa ka value meal. Dili ko chicken. Ug dili sad ko chicks. Kay ang bili sa usa ka babaye dili ra taman sa makita sa mga mata.

Ang kada usa ka babaye adunay bili ug walay sukdanang gikinahanglan.


As we march into a new month, we are reminded of a very important celebration. That is, Women’s Month. It is a time for commemorating the history of women’s impact to the world, raising awareness of issues women are facing worldwide, and uplifting women’s dignity. And though this should not only be a month-long celebration but a daily one, we are given a special chance honor the women of the past, present and future every March.

I wrote this Visayan spoken word poem for last year’s International Women’s Day. I did not publish it on this blog because I was planning to have it translated to English. But language really does have magic. No matter how grammatically correct we interpret it with another tongue, the feeling and conviction won’t be the same. In the end, I gave up. I just hope we have a way of understanding each other beyond words…

Here’s to all beautiful women out there. Stand tall!

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