On the 6th of September, 2007, we made our way to Toronto, Canada, full of hope, plus with a little apprehension for Sasha’s next phase in life – her tertiary education.
She was among the first batch of seven students who received a scholarship from the Cuban government to do medicine. It was one of the first collaborative ventures between the Malaysian and Cuban government.
We decided to go with her to Havana to get a firsthand look at Cuba and its medical fraternity, having heard so much about their excellence in the field of medicine.
We landed in Toronto on the 7th and having family there, they arranged a trip for us to the Niagara Falls.
Needless to say, we were so excited to see one of the magnificent wonders of the world.
It was late when we arrived at the Niagara Falls, but I can still remember how awestruck I was with the mesmerizing colorful tirade of the waterfalls and its lit up surroundings. One can never put a finger to the exact words describing its beauty.
A little tired, we headed back to the hotel, looking forward to the next day.
Very early the next morning, the 8th of September, I received a call that my youngest brother had passed away.
It was the worst nightmare that I went through after hearing that horrible news. I have still not got over the feeling of numbed loss that day.
Just before we left, we had all gathered in my house and he stayed back to spend the night with us.
I was broken, shattered, and cried non-stop. I couldn’t imagine what Sasha, who was very close to her uncle, was going through.
She was to begin a new life far away from family, and this was mind-shattering.
How do you deal with a loss of a loved one when so far away. I couldn’t make it back for the funeral. I was totally broken. All I wanted to do was to return home and be with the rest of the family.
Crestfallen, unable to express my feelings of devastation, I started writing poetry, hence, began my writing journey.
His death gave me an avenue to an unfulfilled dream, directed me to a passion that I never knew existed within me. I am sure it was a gift to me from him. I owe him for charting a new direction in my life, a very noble and satisfying path for me, I should say. Just like him, I learned to inspire others around me with words,(I hope to, that is..)
Today, is his 13th death anniversary, and it is still so hard to come to terms with not having him with us.
Rest in peace, Des. I love you.
You, the luminescence,
the tireless light that leads me,
I have walked through dark passages,
You were there, as always with your gentle smile,
Awaking me from depths of despair.
I love you.
All rights reserved. Copyright@shobana2020
Do you remember this song by Simon & Garfunkel?
It has a beautiful story behind it. A friend of mine shared it with me this morning, and since I have always been fascinated with the lyrics and the song, I thought I would share it with all of you.
The story goes like this;
The song is a touching tribute to Art Garfunkel’s undying bond to
Sanford (Sandy) Greenberg, and the singer’s sacrifice that saved Sandy’s
life when Sandy unexpectedly lost his sight..
Sandy and Art met during their first week at the prestigious Columbia University in New York.
They became best friends and roommates having the same taste in books,
poetry and music. Art would play his guitar while Sandy would DJ.
Music filled the air whenever they were together.
They made a pact to always be there for each other in case of trouble,
and had no inclination that the pact they made to each other would soon
Sandy was at a baseball game when his eyes grew cloudy, and darkness
descended upon his vision. The doctors thought it was conjunctivitis but
Sandy became blind days later.
He refused to see or talk to anyone.
He gave up his dream of becoming a lawyer having no money to finance his
education, and he became depressed, returning to his home in New York.
Art flew down to see Sandy, reminding him of the pact they made.
Together they returned to Columbia University. Art supported Sandy.
Art would often speak about Sandy to Paul Simon.
Simon wrote the lyrics to the Sound of Silence, infusing Garfunkel’s compassion as Darkness, Sandy’s old friend.
Sandy graduated with a master’s degree from Harvard and Oxford.
When Art needed $400 to get started to record his first album, Sandy
gave him the money for it. He had the chance to keep to his end of the
pact. Art taught Sandy the most important lesson of his life, to be an independent man in his own right.
Isn’t that just awesome!
Sandy married his high school sweetheart, and they had only $404 in their account, but he didn’t think twice about helping his best-friend,
Art. He gave Art the money.
That’s such a great bond to have!
The Sound of Silence hit the No.1 charts across the world, topping the US charts and going platinum in the UK. It was the soundtrack for the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” and was named among the 20 most performed songs of the 20th century.
This a story of good-hearted men. Men who inspired the world without knowing it and expecting anything in return!
All it took was kindness, compassion, with no regard for quite anything else in this case. It is how friendships are forged for a lifetime- one helping the other to reach their ultimate dream.
This world needs to learn from sacrifices like this, to wake up to the need for love, hope and cherish the peace that is slowly evaporating from our lives.
It takes a lot to gain peace and independence. It takes a lot to live dignified lives. Have a great week ahead everyone.
All rights reserved. Copyright@shobana2020
Some days when I think of all the blessings in our lives, I give thanks and praise to the Lord, especially for the gift of life.
There is a reason why prayers become part of our lives, to give us direction and peace of mind.
The most important lesson your learn in life is to do good unto others.
Words become your cornerstone.
Every religion teaches us the same thing, the way we worship may differ, but humanity lives within the boundaries of compassion, love, understanding, and kindness.
If all these things come together – there good will prevail.
I listened to mass today, and Father asked a very pertinent question – Who are you? How do you define yourself? It is one of those questions that need deep reflection before you answer.
Have a blessed Sunday, everyone.
Is it already Friday?? Well, there goes AUGUST in its august way, breezing past us into a new foray:)
I was just thinking how life throws us some inevitable questions? And, here are a few of mine I want to share with you.
Mom says I speak my mother tongue, Malayalam like English. I studied intermediary French and am still trying to speak French like the French do, though it has gotten rusty over the years because I never had a chance to practice it with a real life person! When I worked with the French years ago, I was still in the infancy stage. The only one I could trust to speak/listen were those internet tutorials! And, that has also taken a back seat for the longest time due to my interest in writing and stuff like that…I am still trying to get somewhere with the writing!
So then, would you laugh at Malayalam spoken the English way? My mom says that it is better to keep quiet than try to speak it that way. “Just say what you want to say in English, please, mola. But mom, how do I improve then?”
Have you had people come up to you and tell you that they are not really sure what you want to say in your poem, but, they preferred your book better. That was clear cut – whatever was written in the book, I mean!!
But then, poems are not meant to be fully understood – or are they?
Where did you learn how to write poetry? The Bible – it is all in there.
I swear I don’t know the full text of the bible, but I read verses and passages, and it has been years and I still haven’t nearly completed the whole text of the bible. But, I do read Psalms, Solomon’s Songs, Job’s laments, and I believe it teaches me how to write poetry my way!
The answer I get:- Really?? Gosh! I think I will stick to the conventional way of learning how to write a poem! They walk away looking at me funny!
Having said that, I read a lot of famous poets and learned how to write poetry the conventional way online, and am still learning…
3. Do you fear for your life in any way?
Of course, but who cares! I can fear for my life all I want, no-one will know or take an interest in it, and anyway isn’t it my battle to be won.
Then again, being fearful taught me to become fearless. Yes, it does get to that point, someday!
4. Do you believe that your life is your own?
Well, hmmm, NO! I think I have lived all my life for the sake of others! You need to live for/with others in order to live – period!
Is that correct? – any comments.
Have a great Friday everyone! Don’t forget to read my story and vote for it by liking it or leaving a review. It is a short story. Contest ends 31/08/2020 – just a couple of days to go.
Here’s the link: https://www.inkitt.com/stories/fantasy/562248
Thank you for reading!
In every color, I see a little of you,
Blue – in the serenity of your face,
Red – the flaming fire of love in your eyes,
Yellow – Brightness that magnifies your laughter,
Orange – that shade where flames of love kindled with the yellow of sunshine merge,
White – the effervescent spirit of purity that prevails in you,
Black – Your eyes of ebony that mesmerizes the world around you,
Grey – As you ponder a little of your melancholy flits across your face,
Brown – The shade reminiscent of the Earth colors, befitting you,
Pink – A naivety that is so becoming,
Green – Each time you think that I have forgotten about you.
In every color I see a little of you.
-shobana- All rights reserved. Copyright@shobana2020
Not even the dark clouds that gathered ahead of me, deterred me. There were the known among the unknown, and I knew I had the choice of an ant, when its crosses the borders between bark and leaves, it had to sprint, or lag behind, trying to keep up, trying to work harder to arrive at a destination, with its friends, so that none loses the other, so that the load on their backs, though heavy,
I thought about the destination, where and how it would present itself, if ever I made it alive, Some said I would die a cruel death by the sword of an evil’s eye. Not I, I thrived among the fearless. No evil could take hold of a child like me. I belonged to the warriors of another world. It is there I learnt how to live fearless, and be feared for my courage. To be seen as the fearless.
Some whispered that I was not of sound mind. But, how could I tell the difference then? Between saboteurs and killers, between backlashes and hoards of mean men and women, pretending to be good, trying to portray an image of innocence. Why were they trying to kill me off then? It was them trying to portray something I was not! I now rise as the victor.
I could tell the difference between the good and bad. I was gifted that way, even through my tortures.
While I lived a fearful life, I learnt how to be fearless, and rise to be the eclipse of the Sun.
-shobana- All rights reserved. Copyright@shobana2020