Ukraine v/s Russia for Dummies

Grapes of Putin, by Clay Jones

Clay Jones tries to explain the highly “complicated” situation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. One may scour umpteen websites, collecting the nitty-gritty of the conflict. Still, Clay has summarized it rather well – without a single word.

Considering the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words,” critics may say he used one too many words.

Original Post: Grapes of Putin, by Clay Jones


Where do you go when you don’t go anywhere?


Weather Report

This dull morning I stood in my garden, surveying the earth and the sky. Report follows.

After two days of good lashing by the rain, the wind too joined the party last night.

Trees are in a sorry state – the wind has plucked them clean of their foliage. Few tiny but resilient leaves cling for dear life to thin branch endings. One tree in our garden is an exception – all leaves are still intact. Swaying to and fro, it seems to be enjoying the chill. Mom tells me that the tree is called “haar shingar”, meaning to adorn or beautify oneself, which sits pretty well with its current mood.

The sea of clouds is in a hurry. They are moving eastward, and at this speed, they may cross the China border by the evening. Now, that is “news” because usually, China manufactures dark and ominous clouds for its neighbors. But I am getting distracted here – the weather does not bother about politics.

The wind is picking up pace. I am no “haar shingar” – better to get back indoors.

So much for the weather report.


Pondering on Perfection

Recently, I took a journey to the land of the dark. I asked the good folks there, “Which is the perfect color?” Without a pause, I got the reply, “Black, of course.”

After that, I visited the valley of the lights. On meeting one bright-looking fellow, I made the same inquiry. “No doubt, white is the perfect color,” he answered.

I asked the monkey mind (my monkey mind) whether we should solicit another opinion – from those living in the grey zones. The monkey said, “If they offer good pizzas, I don’t mind the trip.”

To save me the trip, I ordered a Neopolitan. It is a Naples-style pizza made with tomatoes (grown near Mount Vesuvius) and mozzarella cheese (from Campania). Now we are talking “perfection.”


Complainers Club INC.

It takes a hard winter
to appreciate the summers.
It takes days and days of blazing sun
to appreciate the winters.
When the conditions are harsh
we complain
and then complain some more.

Safe and snug in our bones
do we reflect, do we feel

What is “Life”

Today, I am pondering the question, “What is Life?”

If we ask Adolf Hitler, what would he say? Most probably, “Let me squeeze dear life out of your guts, and you’ll know.” Something like … न रहेगा बांस, न बजेगी बांसुरी No thanks, Mr. Hitler.

I tried putting this question to a group of tiny ants crawling on the floor. They shot back, “We don’t have time for philosophy, you dummy.”

I have heard that when someone would go to Gautama the Buddha with this question, he would reply, “Stay with me for a while, and you’ll know.”

I think I’ll ponder on this a bit more—a perfect excuse for a cup of tea and a doughnut.


Nocturnal Report

Last night, as I looked out the window, a lazy breeze appeared. It nudged the jasmine bush, held her for a while, and left her in a swaying dance.

The quiet night, and I, looked on.


Another Haiku

Lately, its been raining poems. Being the monsoon season, maybe that’s expected. Haiku for today:

this evening,
moon is aloof and pale ...
       miss the sun, my friend?

Midnight Watch

A haiku (short poem):

on front porch
upright i stand, balancing --
a million stars

Haiku (a short poem)

About Haiku

Haiku is a type of short poetry form. Although originally practiced in Japan, now it is popular all over the world. In the English language, you will mostly come across 3-line haikus.

Sample a haiku penned by me:

tulsi bush sways
left and right
music, by crickets

Why don’t you try one? It is not difficult to get started.

For a good summary, see the Haiku page on Wikipedia. To get a broader perspective from practicing haiku poets, see some excellent articles at Defining Haiku (Living Haiku Anthology).