The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
It is the irresistible Queen of Sheba who is for Q of #atozchallenge.
I first knew “Queen of Sheba” as a game which is played when you are in a group. A game which requires some intelligence to do what the queen is asking the participants to do. And then came the mythical character of Queen of Sheba in Bible, in jewish scriptures and also in Islam. One more instance of a strong powerful women who is known for her beauty, and more so for her intelligence. The story is that Sheba traveled to meet King Solomon of Israel to check his knowledge through her riddles. It is a very interesting story where Sheba is finally tricked by King Solomon and they have a son together – who becomes an important mythical character in ensuring the Ark (container of the sacred ten commandments ) is brought into Ethiopia. Lot of interesting stuff to read about mythology and Queen of Sheeba is one of those interesting characters.
This is for those history buffs for a weekend read on Sheeba – http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/cultures/sheba_01.shtml
P is for Padma Subrahmanyam in #atozchallenge
Almost every year in my junior and middle school, i have witnessed minimum of one Bharatha natyam performance by Padma Subrahmanyam – it is like part of my growing up memories – watching her dance gracefully on the stage, listening to her intelligent sessions about the history of Bharatha natyam, hanging around the green room to see that lovely glimpses of her laughter with her group, following her closely on the way in and way out to the stage – wow!!!
Dr. Padma is one such accomplished women who made a little ignorant girl in me appreciate how rich a culture and heritage is bestowed in the temple town of Chidambaram – she was the one who introduced the 108 karanas (karanas are synchronized movement of hands and feet – the basis of Bharatha natyam) and their relevance. Even now when i get to the temple in Chidambarm, i have to think of Dr.Padma when i see those sculptures on the temple walls. I owe much to her – just now for her great dance performances, but also for the knowledge she shared during her demonstration sessions.
Read more about Bharatha natyam and karanas here – http://bharatanatyam.voila.net/natya_karanas.html
O is for Oprah Winfrey in #atozchallenge
Here is another women who created a brand for herself – media proprietor, talk show host, actor, etc, etc. She has come a long way from her childhood – she was born in a poor family of a single mother, underwent hardship including child abuse with hardly much support from any of her close family.
She could have ended up as another woman with lot of bitterness in life – instead, she conquered her weaknesses , struggled and survived to be what she is today. She is one typical role model for little girls when it comes to courage in facing life and making the best of what is available. More details on Oprah here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey
N is for Nadia Comaneci for atozchallenge.
Watching gymnastics is wonderful nostalgia – the first memories were the gymnasts who were part of the big Russian circus which was in town when I was a little girl. It was a mix of thrill and fear and happiness – seeing them hanging graciously on those bars and swinging and flying over the nets like a areoplane. And their short skirts was the reason for secret giggly discussion among the little girls :)
In the days were TV was not something which is a common fare, we were dependent on newspapers for the world news. When the Olympics were played, the newspapers carried those details and I was surprised to learn that gymnastics is a famous sport with the little girls of Europe. It immediately became very intriguing for me to observe the gymnasts – and that is how i started learning about Nadia – the romanian little girl, who was the first girl to get a perfect 10 score.
Later I learnt more about her focus and dedication – how she handled her defection from her country and her dual citizenship (America and Romania), her modelling career, various accolades , etc.
Obviously, Nadia is a role model for all the young girls for the years to come.
M is for Maya Angelou in #atoz challenge.
My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry To get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return – Maya Angelou
There are millions of reasons why Maya is regarded as one of the best authors who will continue to influence more and more individuals in all the generations yet to come. You can read through them in these web pages
My one single reason is the wonderful poem by her….
L is for Love in atozchallenge.
GOD is LOVE / LOVE is GOD
This is the eternal truth preached by all religions and cultures across the world. So, when you get disillusioned about the way the world is going inhumane, we start looking for the reaffirmations through facts/data.
The recent one which I happened to come across was the Rice experiment conducted by onlysuccess team.
Some of the beautiful quotes of Mother Teresa on Love ….
When i think of alphabet K for #AtoZ challenge, i cant ignore the mythical character Krishna!!
Every person who is in any way linked to Indian subcontinent is always influenced and intrigued by Krishna in some way or other
- As Lord Krishna who is an incarnation of the powerful Hindu God Vishnu
- As the profound mythical character who established the sacred Bhagvath Gita which stands the test of time over centuries and provides philosophical guidance to everyone across geographies, culture, religion, caste.
- As the soulful romantic leader of the yadhava clan who enchants everyone
- As the naughty beautiful bubbly child which no mother can refuse to adore – Balakrishna
- As a friend in need to whom we can share our every thought and feel comforted – he goes with his own flaws and never takes moral high grounds unlike the other famous Vinshu’s incarnation – Ayodha’s King, the righteous Rama
For me, it is the naughty child which captivated me by his stories about how much he likes to eat. I always have imagined this mythical character as an adorable child who will win over anyone – may be some of the influence I attribute to the fact that I hail from an orthodox Hindu family background.
You have very little choice than falling for Krishna if you have grown up listening to Oothukadu Venkatsubaiyar’s songs and experiencing the great form of south indian dance “Bharathnatyam” in Pandanallur style
If you need more reasons to find out why krishna can be a strong influencer in one’s life, check out the following resources
J is for Joanne Rowling or JK Rowling in atozchallenge.
We all grew up listening to lot of fairy tales – magic world is always intriguing with the witches and wizards when we were kids. And i was convinced that I grew up over years and matured and transitioned from the fairy tales to fiction and finally to non fiction and philosophy. I was reading Paulo Cohelo and extracts of Bhagvat Geetha and bingo…. i was again pulled into the magic world of wizards by the great HARRY POTTER series of JK !!
The intelligence which is built by her into the Harry Potter series is astounding!!! The characters, the little details, the locations, the incidents, the good over evil – she wowed me!! She just made sure an entire generation of kids returned back to their reading habits and probably the so-called grown ups (like me!) went back to their world of fairy tales where the good triumphs over evil and got the hope back in life!!!
Goes without saying that her personal life is also an inspiration – where she faced multiple disappointments before she became the current famous version of herself – JK Rowling!!
JK – my vote for her in bringing back the hope of good over evil in millions of children and the grown-ups!! And then it made me realize that she has subtly included lot of philosophy into her wrriting – some samples below.
Read more about her and her works in these two links
I is for Indira Gandhi in AtoZ challenge. Anyone who lived in India during the period of Indira Gandhi will agree to the fact that she is one of the most charismatic political leader ever in the subcontinent!
If I have to pick up one quality of her, then it is her courage which impresses me – the courage with which she went ahead and made those major decisions in Indian politics, Indian Government and in turn in the lives of Indians. While I am neutral politically, it goes without saying that she comes on top of my list if i look at all the prime minsters who held post in India in the past.
There are multiple views on how the Nehru family and especially Indira patronized the monarchy model in the so-called democratic India – her dad Jawaharlal Nehru, she and her son Rajiv Gandhi all held the post of prime ministers of India.
Still, when it comes to looking at that one women political leader across the world in all these years, Indira still is as impressive as she can get. If you need to read the life of an individual, who conquered her own demons and reached the pinnacle of power in politics in a developing country like India, INDIRA it is!!! For starters, to know more about Indira Gandhi Wiki is a good place http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indira_Gandhi !!
Check out the few sample pictures if you want to find out what it means to be a Charismatic leader….i was tough to stop adding more pictures to this post!! Indira = Charisma !!!!
H on #AtoZ challenge is Hillary, and obviously i never knew this is going to be a topical post when I decided it was Hillary for H.
While there are many famous women who happen to be the wives of very famous individuals, Hillary was someone I noticed closely for one single reason.The reason was her strong clarity when the famous Bill clinton – Lewinsky episode happen.
East or West, it is always a challenge to handle personal matters in the eye of media and that too, if it is a spicy extra marital affair of high profile. Hillary handled that phase of her life well. In the whole episode, all i was wondering was how will Hillary will really feel about it and how much she can acknowledge about it. And, definitely, she wowed me with her confidence through this episode.
And now, here is she – “Hillary for America” and it will be of great interest to watch her emerge as the first American women president – while we at the east had multiple women political leaders, it is time the world’s super power gets ready for women power ! And her first video on her presidential campaign is likeable!!
H for Hillary and Hillary for America