Monday, January 9, 2012

From ‘The Lamp is Lit. Leaves from a Journal’ by Ruskin Bond

Even today, surrounded by loved ones, I am often conscious of being alone. Every man is an island, no matter how hard he tries to paddle away. A woman may often have the comfort of a child feeding at her breast; men grow up insecure.

Punjabis like their tea with lots of milk and sugar – so much so that I often wonder why they bother to add any tea.

Blessed is the house upon whose walls
The shade of an old tree softly falls …
I remember those lines of Granny’s

… Granny wasn’t really alone. All the same, she was glad to have me. She didn’t enjoy cooking for herself, she said; she had to cook for someone. And although the cat and the dog and sometimes Uncle Ken appreciated her efforts, a good cook likes to have a boy to feed, because boys are adventurous and ready to try the most unusual dishes.

Mexican proverb: ‘Oh to do nothing, and then to rest.’

If mice could roar
And elephants soar
And trees grow up in the sky;
If tigers could dine
On biscuits and wine,
And the fattest of men could fly!
If pebbles could sing
and bells never ring
And teachers were lost in the post;
If a tortoise could run,
And losses be won,
And bullies be buttered on toast;
If a song brought a shower,
And a gun grew a flower,
This world would be nicer than most!

‘I enjoy life,’ said Seneca, ‘because I am ready to leave it.’

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