రవి కాంచని నవకవి

హితవుగా స్నేహితుడవుగా, మంచి పెంచు
సరదాల పరదాల ‌వెనుకు ఆపదల పదాలు పలుకు.
గెలుపు, నలుపు, తెలుపు కాదు
మంచి మనసుకున్న హంగు తెలుపు.
పదంతో, నీ ప్రతిపాదంతో, నీ ప్రతిపాదనతో అందరి ఆమోదంతో,
నీ దేహంతో, శ్రమతో, మదిలో మెదిలే ప్రతి సందేహంతో,
ప్రశ్నించు, విమర్శించు, పరామర్శించు, హర్షించు, పరాశక్తిని పరిశోధించు.
నీ వాక్కుతో, వికృతిపై అవాక్కుతో,
కలంతో కలవరించు, కలతల ఝరిని ఛేదించు, కల వరించు.
చింతనువీడి రచించు,తప్పును నిరసించు.
కృతిని వీడు, ఆకృతిని వీడు,
కృత్రిమం లేని సహజత్వంతో, తత్వంతో
కృతజ్ఞతతో ప్రకృతిని ఆహ్వానించు, ఆస్వాదించు.
ప్రేమతో, క్షమతో, మమతతో, ప్రతిమతో మతితో, సమతతో, ప్రతిమతంతో‌, సమ్మతంతో, సంస్కృతిని పాడు,
ప్రతి పాటతో సాహితిని కాపాడు.
నీవృత్తి ధర్మంలోనే నివృత్తి మర్మం వెతుకు,
అర్థ సముపార్జనలోనే పరమార్థాన్ని పరిశీలించు.
మానవ సృష్టి అదృష్టాన్ని మదినుంచు
దృష్టిని వీడి దృష్టని గమనించు.
ధ్యానంలో ఆత్మవిలీనమై రమించు,
తన్మయత్వంలో పరమాత్మను పరికీలించు,
అప్రయత్నమై మరలజనియించు,
వినూత్నమై, నవోదయమై, నవఉద్యమమై,
రవివై, కవివై, రవికాంచని కాంచనమై!

_ Sailaja Anand

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Composting and Contentment

Ripened Banana
Blackened brinjal
Wasted Okra
Or Orange peel
Burnt Roti
Or rotten apple
Spoiled rice,
Or excess Dal
Pooja flowers
Or leaves that fall
Nothing that’s Green
Goes waste in a bin;
All is used to make
A tasty, healthy meal
For all my plants tall or small.
Composting is good for soil
Composting fertiles Earth Composting cleans atmosphere
Composting satisfies my Soul!

*To know how to make your own compost with kitchen waste:

Click the below link

https://sailajanand.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/composting-a-beginners-guide/

సరదాకి ఓ గొడుగు కథ (do read English translation to the same story)

Original & Translation both are done by me! 😁

ఆంటీ:
అరే! చినుకులు ‌పడుతున్నాయే. నడుచుకుంటూ వెళ్తున్నావు.
ఇంటికి వెళ్ళే సరికి మొత్తం తడిసి పోతావు. జలుబు చేస్తే తల నోప్పి మరి.
ఇందా, గొడుగు తీస్కో.

అబ్బాయి: చాలా థ్యాంక్స్ ఆంటీ!

ఆంటీ:
జాగ్రత్త. గుర్తు పెట్టుకో.
అక్కడా, ఇక్కడా వదిలి ‌మర్చి పోకు. రేపొచ్చి ఇచ్చేయమ్మా‌ .‌
తడిగా తగిలించి ‌పెట్టకు.
బాగా ఎండాక‌ పెట్టేం. మీ ఇంట్లో ఎలుకలు ఉన్నాయీ? ఎక్కడైనా జాగ్రత్తగా ఎత్తులో తగిలించి ‌పెట్టు. బంగారం లాంటి గొడుగు, పనికి రాకుండా పోతుంది…

అబ్బాయి: పర్లేదాంటీ, మీ గొడుగు తలనొప్పి కన్నా, జలుబు తలనొప్పి బెటర్,
గొడుగు వద్దు లెండి.
బాయ్!

English translation:

Rain, Umbrella and Headache

Lady: Oh! Its raining so heavily. You have to go back home all the way walking and you will get drenched. You might get a head ache. Take my umbrella.

Boy: Thank you so much aunty.

Lady: Welcome beta!
Don’t leave it somewhere and forget to take it back. It happens so many times with an umbrella. Return it tomorrow morning without fail. Don’t keep the wet umbrella folded overnight. It gets spoiled. Dry it completely before folding. Hope there are no rats in your house. Even otherwise hang it at a place where no rats can reach. A small hole would be enough to make such a wonderful umbrella non usable..blah ..blah…

Boy: No need of your umbrella aunty. Keep it with you.
Headache after dreanching in rain is better than headache with your umbrella. Bye!

Brahma Kamal : ब्रह्मकमल

Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Dutchman’s pipe cactus)

Brahmakamalam is a species of cactus is also commonly known as Night blooming Cereus, Queen of the night, Lady of the night as its buds blooms during night times and wilt before dawn.

Very often these flowers are confused with Saussurea obvallata which is a species of flowering plant that grows only once in year found only in Himalayas.

Saussurea obvallata

The confusion is may be because this rare flower is too named after Brahma and lotus.

Once there was a special news coverage in TV9, of five Brahma Kamals blossoming in somebody’s house. Residents were performing special pooja and arti to the plant. ( Video is still available in the Google.) My guess is that the news correspondent must have been misguided.😁

The Brahma Kamal that I’m referring to here is not that rare though not commonly found in many homes/gardens. Nevertheless these are unique and are priced possessions for many garden enthusiasts that includes me. Brahmakamalam plant can be grown in most of the Indian weather conditions with minimal care. I don’t know the reason but not many nurseries (at least in Hyderabad) have these plants for sale. Online nurseries do have them but they are highly priced.

Years ago, a gardener friend had shared a leaf of Brahma Kamal. Ever since it’s been with me and growing prosperously.

Yes, you read it right. One of the unique qualities of this plant is that it propagates through leaf cuttings.
If you insert a matured leaf cutting into a wet soil, it develops roots soon. Propogating a Brahma Kamal plant is as simple as that.

The uniqueness of this plant doesn’t end there. Unlike other plants, buds doesn’t develop from stems. Buds develop from leaf nods. Flowers will have long tube like stems and hang from leaves.

A fully blossomed Brahma Kamal resembles that Lotus which had come out from the Nabhi of Lord Narayana ( Padmanabha), on which Lord Brahama sits. May be this is why these awesome flowers are called Brahma Kamal.

Brahmakamalam plants are easy to grow. They have thick leaves and have heavy rooting system. Hence they need good Sun and less water. These plants grow heavy and look unruly. So it’s good idea to grow them in heavy pots. A healthy plant needs good support to hold the pot in place. Regular feed of organic compost do wonders to the plant.

A leaf that had rooted into a new plant

Brahma Kamal plants are active between June and September. During their active season, a healthy Brahmakamalam plant will bear buds several times.

Blossoming of a Brahama Kamal is considered as auspicious by many. It’s considered as a good offering to lord Shiva. Though for a nature lover like me all flowers are divine and I’m not happy about plucking flowers.
These flowers do have a subtle fragrance and are very delicate to touch. We need to keep an eye on matured buds lest we may miss their blossoming. Usually a mature bud blossoms fully between 8.30 pm to 10 pm and by dawn they wilt. We can pluck a fully blossomed flower and store it in a air tight container to extend its life.

Divine Blossoming

My plant usually develops buds several times during active season.
This time it had developed as many as twenty buds at one go. Among them around fifteen flowers chose one particular night to blossom.

Do watch the amateur video attached. It’s beautiful and a rare sight.

MAA MEERA

She was introduced to my colleagues and me by the Housekeeping Contractor as Meera – a helper who would do the housekeeping work at the office.

A 30-odd aged lady that she was, she bore an attractive smile and eyes that always welcomed any requirement. She ensured an orderly office space, a tidy lounge and a beautiful garden that stretched against the two sides of the staircase that took to the entrance of our office.

Above all, she was known for the best coffee that she made which many elite customers longed to have and would ask for if not offered for any reason.

For unknown reasons, she had special fondness for me, I presume, this was because I was in my second trimester of pregnancy at that time. It was a medically assisted conception and I was required to take lot of care of my prenatal health. Though my gynecologist suggested complete bed rest, I could not afford the same for pecuniary reasons prevailed at that time and preferred to go to work.

Every morning Meera would greet me with her aromatic coffee and her affectionate smile. She searched the entire office and found a plank like thing and placed it as a foot rest to my comfort. I never realized that the foot rest would bring so much of ease and relaxation. Before I could realize it was lunch time, she would take out my lunch pack (exactly at 1.30 pm) and make it warm in the oven that is available in the small cafeteria of our office and serve it in a platter and keep ready for me to consume. While I used to eat, she would stand there enquiring about my health and would give some desi tips to avoid mild discomforts that I used to complain. Just before I finished eating, she would be ready with a mug of water near the sink to help me have a hand wash, so that I can avoid bending to fetch water from the pail (it was mid-summer and due to severe water problem there was no running water and a bucket of water was placed near sink for use).

Then comes the second part of the day when sharp at 3.00 she would make lemonade for me from the half part of lemon that she managed to preserve from that she used to bring from market to make lemon tea for our Head. At the close of the day when she left around 5.00 pm, she would ensure to serve the last tea to me and enquired if I am going to sit late and if I would need something to munch so that she can bring from the bakers next door.

Over and above all the chores that I have narrated above, she vowed her offerings to Sammakka-saarakka, to ensure a safe childbirth for me.

I often used to wonder….. I don’t belong to her family, she is not my domestic help, I never gave her any valuable things, except a few of my old sarees and may be a small contribution of the tips that all staff used to give her, alongwith other housekeeping staff, for Diwali………….but what could be the reason of her unconditional affection and attention towards me ?

Being one among the three siblings born in a lower middle class family and married to a man of equal status, I was never entitled to so much of attention. I felt pampered ……. I was truly overwhelmed and elated……. I relished her affection and her attention and felt pampered .

Can I call it some connection of past life……. Can it be some divine hand helping me in her form …….. can it be some cosmic power in my horoscope (which I seldom believed)……….. can it be the grace of the child that I am bearing that attracted her towards me.

I am still not sure what she has found in me, but I found MEERA in Meera. I conclude …….. it was MEERA, the epitome of dedication ……. the unconditional lover ………… the zealous admirer ………….. the stubborn believer. A primitive thing that I am, cannot be her Krishna, but she is my maa MEERA.

– Kanaka Durga

INSPIRED

It was my first day to college, I was extremely nervous, was feeling like a fish out of water. Or rather I say was feeling like a fish that was taken out of a fish bowl and left into sea waters to swim. It was also my first independent travel in a bus to the city college.
Until that time I totally lived in a protective environment. A school at a walkable distance from home, almost same set of friends for many years, my life was simple and non adventurous. My anxiety continued even after reaching the college.
I was sitting in a ladies room flipping through a magazine. A girl similar to my stature walked up to me and asked if I were a fresher. As we got to introduce, we realised that we were classmates. The nervousness I felt until then was now replaced by a sense of comfort.
Usually I would take time to make friends with someone. But when I met Durga for the first time, I felt as though I already knew her.

We were about fifteen girls in our class of around sixty students. Among the girls there were three groups who always hanged out together. One group consisted of Hindi speaking girls, second group was of Telugu girls. Me and Durga belonged to the third group of English speaking girls. To be honest, I rarely opened my mouth. The reason was not because I was an introvert by nature. It was my inability to communicate in English was what made me to be in a silent mode most of the time. Being educated in a vernacular medium until that time, I lacked the confidence in spoken English. I knew that unless I force myself to converse in English, my language wouldn’t improve. My zeal to overcome my problem, made me hang around with these girls. I never made it public about my inability to talk in English. Yet Durga ensured that I’m involved, and am comfortable. Durga’s presence was a blessing to me during those early college days, where everything was a learning experience. I loved all aspects of her. She was intelligent, smart and independent thinking. She was always positive. Overall she was a sweetheart. She spoke good English. She wrote beautiful poems and letters. I admired her writings. ( Her letters I have preserved till date.)

Whatever qualities I wanted to imbibe, were present in her.
We were of same age yet I idolized her. Infact she was the one who initiated me into reading English novels and books. Whatever I’m today somewhere she was also one of the reasons.

We remained classmates for two years. We were in touch with each other for another three years. After my marriage, I got shifted to a new house. I wrote my last letter to her with my new address for which I never got a reply. Life continued with zero communication between us.

After twenty years, I searched for her with the help of an addressed envelope she had sent to me years back. After persistent efforts, I got in touch with her again. During our first meeting after our reunion, I felt pained to know that she had stopped writing.

When she wrote something recently, inspired by my own blog, I felt WOW!

In her own words

“Inspired by you, I have just scribbled something, about Meera. Sharing with you”

Today is Durga’s birthday, as a token of love, through this blog I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to my dear friend.

“It is you who sowed beautiful seeds inside me years ago which have started to sprout now. Keep inspired. Keep inspiring. Keep writing.”

Below is the link of the blog article my friend Durga had penned down.

https://sailajanand.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/maa-meera/

రెక్కలు

My own water colour work.

రెక్కాడితే గానీ డొక్కాడని బతుకు రాములమ్మ ది.
నెల జీతం నేనిచ్చేది ఓ వెయ్యి,
తనకది “వెయ్యియ్యి రూపాయలు”.

నిన్నే జీతం తీసుకుంది.
ఈ రోజు పని‌మధ్యలో అంది,
” జీతం డబ్బులు నిన్న కొంగుకు‌ముడేసి పెట్టుకున్నా! వెళ్లే దారిలో ఎక్కడో పడిపోయాయమ్మా”
మాటల్లో, ముఖంలో ఎలాంటి చింత లేకుండా

“అయ్యో!” అన్నా కంగారుగా, బాధతో

“పోవాల్సింది, పోయిందమ్మా. ఏంచేస్తాం.
కష్టపడితే మళ్లీ సంపాదించు కోవచ్చు.
పొద్దున లేస్తే కొత్త రెక్కలు.”
అన్నది రాములమ్మ.

అక్షరం ముక్క రాని రాములమ్మ కి తన రెక్కల మీద ఎంత భరోసా.

జోనాథన్ సీగల్స్ లాంటి పుస్తకాలు ఎన్నో చదివా,
నాకుందా ఆమెకున్న ధీమా!