Life is but not an empty dream!

I was often caught off guard with this line! Tell me not in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream! More often than less, I preferred the predicate than the subject itself! And today, a very dear one gave me an eye opener by making me read the complete verse. I see the subject now, with much clarity and bliss.

To my soul and my soulmate, for making me relate to this, and giving me those silent smiles of understanding, over the long long seven-eight or nine-ten years!

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the worlds broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howeer pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God oerhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing oer lifes solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

– H W Longfellow (Long sighted and large hearted indeed!)


# “Search this in your dictionary..”, says my ever intriguing ‘periyappa’, (Dad’s elder brother), – “Caparisoned”! His ever continuing teasers and sarcasm! I was sure he was playing around again, only to drive us out of our minds. However though, I ran an MS-Word thesaurus search. Nothing turned up and that obviously called out for the obvious – Google search! An ‘elite’ group of a few of us cousins who deemed ourselves as ‘good’ in English – we just had to admit our ignorance! What English knowledge if not its caparisoned ‘elegance’!

# Time is past midnight. A group of people hustled around a Kindle – eyes glued to the screen. The group mostly of young people, had one ‘senior citizen’ there. And that was our ‘kunjakka’ – my ‘kunjathai’ (Dad’s elder sister). The group was engrossed in ‘Chain Reaction’ – the Android extravaganza! And the old being stayed so late up into the night, determined to identify the strategy of the game.

# Sitting around her in one big circle, stretching out of for the tastiest food – that’s one thing I missed out for a huge part of my childhood. ‘Pappekka’ aka our ‘mummy’ aka my ‘Padma periyammai’, (Intriguing periyappa’s better-half indeed!). The ‘group’ dining of all cousins, as periyammai passes on the tastiest morsels of rice!

# After, say 4 years, I ran. And ran. And ran. Chasing. Being chased. With that age old fear of being the ‘catcher’ in the next round of game. It was like school again. Running and chasing, and playing ‘biscuit’. With my 12 year old nephew as well with my 27 year old cousin, and my younger sister, and all the people inside that age group.

Does all these mean anything to anyone? I am not very sure. Unlike my other ramblings, this one is a peculiar kind. A bit strange. A bit personal. Not possibly interesting at all. But I still have to write. This moment. This undeniable moment of my life. Sitting amidst a great range of people (age-wise and otherwise!) – my 60+ periyappa and 12 year nephew and all the people in between! Almost an hour past midnight, and still here with them on one eventful verandah – sipping black coffee, playing cards, random conversations, and my moribund blogging episodes with the ‘slate’!

I dare not call this moment perfect. Coz this totally isn’t anywhere near perfection. There’s chaos. There’s strife. There’s gossip. There’s ego. There’s misunderstanding. But so is understanding. Harmony. Frolic. Conversations, if not communcation. Discussions, if not conviction. There’s life here, if not a perfect Utopian existence. Here, in this extravaganza of emotions, conversations, engagements, sleeplessness and finally food, I feel special. Like my days here are ‘caparisoned’ with people!

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