I have just finished reading The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee. The book took me on a fascinating journey. The blurb of the book reads, “It is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function. The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856, where a monk stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’.” The story continues through the decades, even up to now. The author has made all those years and the works of so many scientists come alive.
We have always known the term gene and have used it casually to describe some characteristic in the family. In Mukherjee’s book we learn a lot about what makes us who we are. But this knowledge is scary too. It is as if there are so many universes within us just as there are universes out there in space. They are unknown to us, and these universes within us are in many ways unknown. It is as if they have a life of their own. A single mutation or a change and everything changes. Most of the time we cannot do anything to stop the chain of events resulting from the mutation.
Reading about cancer in the book my thoughts went back to the days when I used to visit the children’s ward of the cancer hospital. I met some very brave people, one of them a lady from the northern part of our state. She and her family were agriculturists. In the normal course of life we would never have met. But we did meet, and there was an instant rapport. She had come with her youngest daughter who had cancer. Her eldest daughter had insisted on this treatment. She wanted to do her best for her little one. Her husband wanted her to return home and let nature take its course.
That lady fascinated me. In spite of her problems, she was so enthusiastic. She had never been to school, and I would often see her with a pen and paper, learning to write her name. She told me how to make ‘jowar roti’, though my first attempt was a flop. But, she encouraged me and said that everything comes with practice. Once the little girl was given colouring books and crayons, but she was reluctant to accept them. She did not want charity. When it was explained to her that they were given by a young man, who wanted to help children in some way, she was happy to accept them. It was so inspiring to see that self-respect. They had so less in material terms, but were so rich in right values. That little girl was lucky to have such a mother and the mother was lucky too. One day when I went to the hospital I learnt they had left. I don’t know what has happened to them, but they will always be a part of my life
The Universe Within (Slice of Life)
Our eyes do show us.
But the heart should be touched too,
To behold beauty,
Not only out in the world
But in the hearts of people.
A small wild weed 🙂
RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #146 Behold&Eye
“The flowing river
Sun setting over the sea
Trees in the distance
Breeze from the sea touching us.
There is peace and harmony.”
The Daily Prompt : Harmony
Seems to be a great blessing.
Sometimes it is not.
Beauty may invite trouble.
That blessing becomes a curse.
( In the same way, in our country we depend upon rains and
rains are welcome. But in many parts of our country excess rain
makes life miserable and people suffer so much loss.)
RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #145 Beautiful&Curse
This week the topic is Harvest – Earth.You can take photos of anything that relates to the seasons of Harvest (Late Summer) or anything to do with Earth (dirt or untouched land). Have fun with this challenge. Use your imagination for this theme. The thing is to have a lot of fun with this challenge.
Cucumber, which is usually cooked to make side-dishes
All these photos are in our village home.
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Harvest – Earth
I feel that the two saddest words, or the two most pathetic words, in any language are “if only”. They reveal a sadness, a regret, a sense of loss or of disillusionment. Some time ago I heard someone say with regret that they should have maintained a more affectionate relationship with a close relative. They had not done so. They understood what they had lost only after the relative passed away. So, if only…
We take our decisions based on what we think at a particular moment. We are convinced then that we are right. It is only later that we come to know whether we are right or wrong. A senior relative once said to me with great regret that the decisions he had taken five decades earlier seem to him now to be wrong. Life in India has changed drastically in the last twenty years. Before that life went on in the same way as it had done for generations. No one in their wildest dreams would have imagined the changes that would come. I feel that his decisions were correct for those times and when he took them. But still, he sometimes experiences a deep sense of regret.
Very often we place an individual upon a pedestal. But, at some moment in life we realize they are not what we thought them to be. When we like a person, their negative points do not really matter to us. We all have plus and minus points. When we become disillusioned about that person the negative points become more important. There is a saying in my language which goes, “all colours were swallowed up by soot.” Many a time we move away from people who had once been close to us. We move on, and they are left far behind. If only…
Then, what about accidents? We always say “if only we had not done this or that.” Last November, our son slipped and fell just outside the entrance of his college. He suffered three fractures in his ankle. It had to be operated upon. He is fine now, but the after-effects are still present. We used to think, if only he had not walked down the steps or if only my husband had reached there a little earlier, life would have been different. At least he has recovered. Many a time accidents happen, and life changes drastically. Nothing is the same any more. That is a terrible situation. There is no consolation at all for the people involved. If only they had been more careful. But accidents continue to happen.
Here, in our land, our belief that “what has to happen will happen” helps us to face many difficult situations in life. We do our best and leave the rest to God or whatever or whoever we believe in.
“In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”
If only (Slice of Life)
Coconut fronds part
And sun rays touch the vessel.
I spy the wonder
Of light that gives us this life
And makes our Earth what it is.
RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #144 Wonder&Spy
The Champaka (Magnolia Champaca) tree in our neighbour’s garden is blooming once again. In our language, Kannada, we call the flower, sampige. Here, yellow flowers are more common than the off-white ones. They are beautiful and very fragrant. Some people find the smell a little too much to bear. But I like them. When I open the kitchen windows in the morning their fragrance adds a special warmth to everyday tasks.
We have been neighbours for more than ten years, and this young tree has been here for a much longer time. It reminds me of the two Champaka trees in the courtyard of a temple in a small village about two hours from our home. We came to know of this place many years ago and have loved going there. The temple is nestled in serene surroundings. The trees are giants, more than seven hundred years old. The chief priest of the temple told us that the two trees bear flowers all through the year.
Just imagine, seven hundred years old!! If they could talk they would have so much to tell us. Those trees bring home to us that we are here for a very brief while. The many who saw these trees as saplings are no longer in this world. They are gone. And those many generations who saw the trees grow slowly are also no more. We are now seeing them living their lives in those serene surroundings. We too will soon be gone. We are but ‘the ships that pass in the night’ in the life of our planet.
Nature gives us so much. It is really sad when people with wealth and power believe they own this planet. They think that it is theirs to destroy. Nature’s wealth and gifts are snuffed out without a second thought. What are we leaving behind for the future generations? Maybe people in every age have asked themselves this question.
Thank God those old trees are in a place far away from the main roads and in a temple courtyard. They will never be cut down in the name of development.
“Nature’s special gifts,
Beautiful, fragrant flowers
Add beauty to Life.”
Trees give life and so much more
Is it right to destroy them?”
Fragrance of flowers (Slice of Life)
“Meeting and talking
Chagrin turns to joy.” (Peace)
RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #143 Chagrin&Joy
This is the third week of my current series, which I call The Seasons and Elements. Hopefully this series will bring out our creative side with some unique perspectives and ways of looking at things. This week the topic is Spring – Wood.
We had stopped in a small town, this tree trunk fascinated me 🙂
The wooden ceiling of a temple.
The wooden door of a temple.
The wooden temple chariot in our town.
Firewood piled in the shape of a chariot, ours is a temple town.
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Spring – Wood