Literary Pursuits

My last blog at the turn of this year was invaluable as I gained an insightful self-realisation. I have since taken Amit’s Renaissance path seriously and am loving this Winter Quarter with a primary course concentration in Art, History and Language. Appreciation of art is helping me capture the sense of the moment. I studied quintessentially Impressionist paintings and have since travelled further to Seurat & Pointillism, Van Gogh, then on to Matisse & Fauvism and further on to Picasso, Braque & Cubism. All this is greatly helping me gain perspectives and myriad points of view. I had a delightful Saturday Museum class trip, my first such visit where I actually lamented at how short the day was!

While this post seems to be shaping out to be one, it will be a relief to the readers that it is not an exposition on my newly gained high-brow knowledge. That may be for another day.

I am also enjoying learning techniques for Memoir Writing from an erudite scholar. This activity is both skill-enriching as well as hugely cathartic as I retrieve memories locked deep within the recesses of the mind, or pen more recent ones! We write in class in addition to regular homework assignments. Given my limited writing prowess, these weekly submissions have been threatening to cannibalise this blog. Instead, this morning, a brainwave hit me. I share below one such class submission. It is penned at Stanford and therefore contemporary enough to qualify as a musing, I trust.

PORTRAIT : My Little Star

The week before she arrived on this earth, the heavens had opened up and we had witnessed the most frightening thunderstorms of the season. It was the end of June and the monsoon had set in with unquiet determination. Fierce waves from the Arabian Sea lashed the seashore by the side of Breach Candy hospital. Hours before she was born, suddenly the storm subsided. Looking back, I am convinced it was Sharmishtha’s birth that played a role in abating the tempest. In the ancient Sanskrit language, ‘Sharmishtha’ means ‘serene tranquility’ and its also the name of a constellation.

A few decades later, the young lady still exudes tranquility and brings a calming presence to people in her life. In fact, she has found her calling in helping people fight and resolve storms in their minds.

As a baby, she was cherubic and mostly full of toothless smiles. She was a mischievous toddler, always full of life. I remember her regularly breaking into peals of giggles which were music to my ears. Now, her face lights up with her smile which extends to her eyes that twinkle behind Potteresque glasses. I am proud of her fashionable hairstyles and marvel at how she manages to so regularly match its color with her outfits.

She has very good judgement about most things although sometimes I am left scratching my head at her movie recommendations. Normally level headed, she has her dramatic moments. She has stormed out of family conversations in a huff leaving everyone nonplussed and a little taken aback. A scene not dissimilar to the headstrong days of her childhood when she would threaten to hold her breath when her demands were not met. 

Sharmishtha has been a protective elder sister always ready to jump in and face any fires. The baby twins came near her fifth birthday and she has always treated them as her most cherished gift. She matured well beyond her years to be like a parent who became a confidante in their teenage years. She has always been a responsible friend, philosopher and guide to them.

She has been fiercely independent making her own decisions in life. She selected her path for higher education and self financed her Masters at Columbia University. Since she had left home several years ago, we thought she had flown the nest for good. When our stable and secure world was rocked by me getting diagnosed with a life threatening ailment, Sharmishtha spontaneously announced that she would come back to look after me for however long the treatment took. She quit her new job, packed up her New York life and flew across 6000 miles to be a support to her parents. The cherubic smile and twinkling eyes were back and helped see me though the storms in my life!

5 thoughts on “Literary Pursuits

  1. Pingback: Literature and the Brain – Amit's Second Innings

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