Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ever after

Why do fairy tales end with the prince and princess,
riding off into the sunset?
What happens after that,
when life, its twists and turns them beset?

muslim page / Free Photos
After beating the dragons,
and slaying the wicked witch,
after the fancy wedding,
does mundane life look dull as water in a ditch?

Do they wake up from the honeymoon,
and get back to real life?
With all the every day chores,
all the stresses and the strife?

I wonder if the prince stays charming,
and she forever sweet.
Once they know each other better,
how do they each other treat?

Do they argue over money,
about who spends more than the other?
Whose turn it is to do dishes and cook the dinner,
about the bills who does bother?

Does she get ready to throw in the towel,
when he leaves it wet on the bed?
Does she voice all she dislikes,
or just choke on every word unsaid?

Do they move to another land,
when opportunity knocks for one?
What happens when his friends visit,
and she dislikes their beer and 'boys only' fun?

Is life about kids classes and fevers,
and car-pool and day care?
Do they fight and point fingers,
and say 'you did not do your share'?

Does he remember birthdays and special days,
and give her exactly what she wants?
Do they agree on everything-
is life perfect on all fronts?

What happens with age when they grow old,
and infirmities and ill health attack?
Do they unite and fight the war,
just like in their youth, some time back?

Why does no fairy tale,
ever talk about the lives they lead together?
Is it because then you have to talk of how ,
it is not easy riding into the sunset forever.

Fairy tales always  teach us,
that dragons can be beat,
But often life's little problems,
everyday, boring, mundane, are as hard to defeat!

The prince who has never really met the princess before, rescues her from drudgery, abuse and a fate worse than death. They live happily ever after. But while we  learn that dragons and wicked witches always lose, the tale never gives us a peek into their life together. I do wonder how things go when the regular everyday life takes over and the adrenaline rush subsides. The prince may be charming to women he meets for the first time, but does the charm wear thin after a while. The princess may have beautiful feet that fit dainty glass slippers, but does she leave them lying around after every party? What do you think?

Edited to add - And here is something I came across today - Fairytales for 20somethings, that give a new, modern twist to the tales.

Photo credit: muslim page / Foter / CC BY

Sunday, October 7, 2012

As long as the sun shines and the water flows!

One of the best things about writing is that you have to find stories that you want to tell. Often you find stories that are worth telling not just because they are interesting, but also because they are inspiring.

When the lack of infrastructure frustrates us, most of us resort to complaints, whines, raving and ranting.In ex-military man Vivek Mundkur's case it lead to a whole lot of innovations that have solved not just his own problems, but also helped farmers in Bihar, Karnataka and Maharashtra. An excerpt from the piece I did on him in a daily I was writing for at the time reads "Faced with an unreliable and often non-existent power supply, he explored renewable energy sources and built a windmill to power the farmhouse. “A lot of the parts are made from recycled and waste materials, that reduce cost and make it more environment friendly”, he says.  He also built a pedal generator from an old cycle, till the problem of irrigating the farm cropped up.  The rest is history and today he has fitted only two pumps around Pune, two in Karnataka, in Chiplun and one in Pabal, besides the one in the Bihar Chief Minister’s village. The USP of his system is that all it needs is a pump and solar panels. There are no batteries or inverters involved. A 0.5 HP pump can irrigate a one acre plot and thanks to the magic of drip irrigation, use less water and consequently enable the farmer to get three crops a year from the very same land." You can read the entire story.(Read about it here.)

The world bank has been asking questions about what it will take to end poverty. While Infrastructure is essential, people helping themselves and others in the process will go a long way. Vivek Mundkur did not begin his DIY adventure with any preconcieved ideas. he is quick to admit that he did it just to solve his own problems. That they could be replicated and scaled to others and turn lives around is pure chance. 'As long as the sun shines and the water flows, land will give life to men and animals', goes a famous native American proverb. People like Col. Mundkur just do their bit.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The bucket list

What all I want to achieve and do,
before I say I'm done.
There are a few important things,
and a few that are just fun.

There are some of those standard things,
that always make every list.
The travel to exotic lands, the books to read,
playing music and being an artist.

Then there are some things on the list,
that most must think about.
And may be others get them fast,
so don't need to list them out.

Like getting through at least one day,
knowing I am exactly who I was meant to be.
I wish I do all that and more for others
that I want them to do unto me.

I hope that I can at least one day say,
that I tried my best for all.
That I helped all who asked me then,
for any help, big or small.

There are times now, I don't like myself,
for saying or doing some things sometimes.
But I do hope that by that time,
I am able to break such petty confines.

Then there are some things on the list,
that are just pure fantasy,
a trip to the moon, a day like a child's,
and that special weekend that never could be.

There is also finding my inner self,
the one who got lost in layers of fat.
oh, yes I hope by then I can handle all of life,
with a bit of wit and tact.

Bucket lists as far as I can tell,
are for things not easy to do.
Maybe the bucket list is a reminder,
of what might make you, you!

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