We have been reading in the newspapers about refugees in different parts of the world. They are forced to flee from their homes hoping for a better life elsewhere. But they are not welcomed anywhere. They can neither find asylum in foreign countries nor go back home. All that is familiar to them is lost forever. This thought haunts me and the images of slaves through the ages come to mind.

I have just finished reading a fascinating book by Sanjeev Sanyal called The Ocean of Churn. It is about lives of peoples through the ages in lands on the rim of the Indian ocean. The author writes about slave trade. Those people were snatched from their homes, taken to different parts of the world and sold as commodities. They were not treated as individuals but just as possessions. Stolen from their familiar worlds. One wonders what horrors they must they have gone through. It is difficult to imagine the condition of their minds, their utter helplessness. Humans have always been cruel to one another. Some months ago, we read about a son abandoning his father who was suffering from dementia on a state highway. That old man must have been frantic with worry after his familiar world was snatched away from. To this day I cannot understand how the son could be so cruel.

Thoughts of the old man came to mind one evening when I saw many bees inside our house after sunset. We could not make them go out as they were hovering near bright lights. We turned the lights out, and the insects flew to one side of the room. But the moment we turned the lights back on, the bees flew up to them. Maybe when it is dark they cluster together in their hives and feel safe in their familiar world. But that evening they were separated from the others and appeared frantic. They happened to see bright lights when they were expecting darkness in the night. We keep a dim light switched on at night and the bees gathered around it. The next morning with the appearance of sunlight they flew way. But some had died. We have not seen them since. They have moved on.

Light and darkness reminds me of the story, Nightfall. It is one of my favourite stories by Isaac Asimov. I have read it many times and each time it fascinates me. The story is set in a world which has six suns. The people there have no idea of day and night. But, once in two thousand years, the alignment of the suns is such that there is darkness, there is nightfall. People see stars for the first time. The story is all about what happens during and after nightfall. It is about what happens to people and other animals when they lose all that is familiar to them.


By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. Due to the pandemic I could not go to the Home for the mentally challenged for two years. I had been going there since 2011. I have started going again. I was happy that some members remembered me :) All of them are an important part of my life. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made our lives richer.


  1. My Mother had dementia and my Dad had a terrible time looking after her on his own. She stopped being who she was, and she might as well have been a zombie for all the meaningful conversation we had with her. I lived too far away to help my Dad and eventually, after months and months with very little real sleep, my Dad refused to have her back from a short stay in hospital. He was married to her for over fifty years and he wouldn’t have made that decision lightly. But dementia and Alzheimer’s can cause appalling changes in the people you love. Sadly, not everybody just grows old and frail but stays the same mentally. More’s the pity!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Sir. My father too had dementia and was bedridden for 8 months before he passed away in September 2016. My parents were with my brother and family. My father was surrounded by love. But it is really terrible to see people change so much and I wonder what will happen in the future.


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