The Red Purse

Once upon a Christmas time, a little girl ran up to her mother. Making herself comfortable in her mother’s cushioned embrace, she asked “mommy who helps Santa with buying all the Christmas gifts?”. It was a crisp afternoon in December and warm light filtered through pink translucent curtains. Sipping on hot tea, her mother answered, “Well darling, Mother Mary helps Santa. She also makes hand made gifts for children who’ve been good throughout the year doing homework on time”. Amused at the prospect of receiving a hand made gift she asked “Will Mother Mary make me a red purse? Also since she lives in heaven, it will be easy for her to put a few stars from the sky onto it. I’ve been a good kid mommy”. Her mother laughed and hugged the seven year old. “Of course Mother Mary will make one for you”, she said.

Christmas was still ten days away and school holidays hadn’t begun. While the girl was off at school, her mother bought a yarn of soft red wool and knitted a small purse with embellishments of small white beads and sequined stars. On evenings preceding Christmas eve the little girl would tell her mother that she prayed at the school Chapel to Mothet Mary. On one day she also gave elaborate descriptions of the anticipated purse to Mother Mary!

On Christmas eve, once all the decorations were put up on the Christmas tree, she climbed onto the window sill hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa. It was about time and Santa would be out on the sleigh and who knew if she could also see Rudolf! With sleepy eyes staring into the night sky, she finally went to bed when her parents told her that Santa only came once children went to sleep.

The next day, the little one was up by 5am. Excited she ran up to the window to find a gift wrapped in golden glittering paper! The red purse embellished with stars peered out of the box! Her joy knew no bounds!!

Two and half decades hence as Christmas approaches, I’m nostalgic of my innocent childhood days, of my mother’s hand knitted red purse, my father who took on Santa’s role, exercise of decorating the Christmas tree, making a crib, singing Christmas carols, hymns, visiting friends and relishing tasty Goan Christmas sweets!

I clicked this picture this evening at a shopping mall close to home. I hope Santa & Mother Mary continue to answer innocent childhood prayers!

Wishing all my near and dear ones Merry Christmas and a happy festive season!

(C) DIKSHA SHAHI

Beyond Regular

How can you be a regular?
What did the regular ever find?
In bottomless pits of regular lives,
They cling to crypts in the daily grind.

You, oh dear, you’re dangerously disposed,
Diving through blue skies, swimming black holes!

Don’t always look for the shimmering light,
It may only show the glittering bay,
Look deeper for the kaleidoscopic shine,
Woven between the shades of grey!
© DIKSHA SHAHI

Being beyond the regular is simply a call to follow your heart, your passion and dreams. When you follow what you love, you aren’t in the mundane rat race, you are meaningful to yourself, to the universe, to the community. For circumstances that do not support your passion – persevere, hold on – find a way because there’s always a way – only ‘the will’ is a missing ingredient.
DREAM, BELIEVE, PERSEVERE, WORK HARD. NEVER GIVE UP. You aren’t a regular!
Happy festive season🎄

Charmed

Thrill descended upon him, causing muscles to twitch and creepy sensations ran through the skin. As the Sun disappeared below the horizon in the West, the Moon arose in the eastern sky.
Far beyond the mountains and red wood forest, there was a castle long abandoned. It’s story unknown to the strangers passing by. Clouds gathered in the dull sky and in distance he heared thunder. Sparks of light illuminated the grey sky. The dome of the castle brightened by the light attracted his attention. Thrill was now replaced with curiosity and fear alike. He stopped by to glance upward and was blinded with another flash. The horse neighed with fear as the thunder roared louder. Birds stopped singing. Cicadas disappeared from the forested patch.

“Must I visit the place that has long been feared?” He thought to himself. He shivered with the thought of the story once narrated to him by the old lady who lived at the edge of the woods in a dimly light hut with dull lanterns which hung on a branch outside. “The castle, my child” said the wrinkled woman covered in dirty clothes, “was once a home to the king and queen”. “A palace you mean?” He asked. “Yes a palace. A palace so grand in its charm, that you wouldn’t find in the netherworlds. Gold were its walls and high were the ceilings. Gardens knew no bounds. Every lily and rose adorned the palace. Fountains of sweet water and butterflies of all color would meet the eye of the visitor” said the woman. “Then what happened to its beauty?” he asked.

“Beauty my boy, is a charm. A charm that attracts. A charm that seduces. A charm that creates longing, a charm whose fragrance intoxicates, a charm that blinds the truth” said the woman. “Truth?” he asked, perplexed. “Yes the truth. A truth that you are unaware of” The boy twitched. “A truth which you seek, which has brought you to me. The curiosity that made you cross on foot this vast expanse of dark tall red woods. Weren’t you afraid?” Asked the woman. No, I’m not he said. “Although my granny once told me, never to cross the woods, as beyond them lies a cursed castle. A castle which was once our home”. Ah ha! Your home?! said the woman. “Yes, our home. Home to my ancestors, home to my grandparents”. “And what happened your home? Didn’t your granny tell you? the woman wickedly asked. “Oh yes well! Grandma tells good tales.

Once there lived a woman at the edge of the red forest. She took a charm to our home and wanted to make it her own. Cunning that she was, she bought with her a charm of sweet fragrance in small vial, as small as a thumb. The guards were enchanted. They opened the gates, the birds sang. The lotus bloomed and lilies opened. Butterflies flew in merry drinking nectar from each flower. The woman reached the king, who was equally charmed by the magic of her potion”. And then? Asked the woman. “The king, my father was forbidden by the prophets, to accept the vile gift. The gift they said would lead to misfortune. The king would lose his kingdom and the witch would rule the his subjects. If the king accepted the gift, the only way to save his monarchy would be to seize the witch immediately and pour upon her head the blessed water from the holy river.

As the witch swiftly walked in long robes across the palace hall and reached the king, the courtiers were mesmerised by the charm. Unable to resist, the king gave in. He bent forward to accept the gift. His fingers touched the hands of the witch and in a jiffy, he found himself in the woods dark and deep. The witch! cried the young prince (the king’s only son and crown prince) and ran across the length of courtroom. Swiftly, he took out another potion containing holy water and spilled it across the robes of the witch. The witch screamed and howled. Boy, you have taken my power but only a half. My head remains untouched and I will return until I charm you with the fragrance again and turn this abandoned castle to my palace. The kingdom was lost, but the wicked witch could not rule the kingdom”. The king and queen were bewitched and lost deep into the red forest.

The old woman listened intently to the story as the boy warmed himself by the fire. “Come my boy, help yourself to some warm soup” said the woman. A strong fragrance filled the air in the room. Wolves howled outside. The boy shivered. She was the witch, who would enchant the boy, the crown prince and rule the kingdom. As the boy lept from the chair, the witch opened the fragrant vial and spilled the liquid on the his face.

Screaming, the boy woke up. Ah, a nightmare once again. His heart was pounding and beads of sweat broke out on his forehead. He was cold and ashen. The granny came in rushing to the room and sat beside him.
“What happened my child? Are you alright? she aked. “Yes, just ah! just a bad dream”, he replied. As he moved to get out from the warm bed, a glass vial rolled down from the bed onto the floor.
He watched in horror ! The vial clinkered as it touched the edge of the door. He looked up in fear to the woman in his room. She smiled. Behind her, was a garden. He saw his grandmother planting tulips outside.
Who visited? The Charm?

Copyright: DIKSHA SHAHI

The Mother

Born in the white forests of Himalayan glacier,

The Mother manifests herself, her being, the nature

Living in mighty water and pristine mountain lake,

She gently rouses her ignorant children awake.
To know her powerful sacred form,

Is knowing the soothing touch and storm,

It is like knowing the Universe unbound.

She is The Absolute in her glorified crown.
The Mother illuminates the mind into a home,

She breathes life in every earthy genome,

She personifies strength, bravery and prosperity,

Her cosmic egg seeds the universal parity.
But know not the Mother to be pliant,

Her wrath is the demon’s tyrant,

She is unconquered and invincible,

The apocalyptic world end, almost biblical.
She is Kali, the Kaal Ratri, the Dark Shine,

Killing those demons who devour mankind,

Who avenges, annihilates and destroys,

So strong, that the heavens lose their poise.
The fierce protector, the feminine, the divine,

The Universal better half, the Yin, the moonshine,

The Saraswati, Laxmi, Siddhi and Shakti,

My mother Nav Durga, my Goddess, my Prakriti.

© DIKSHA SHAHI

Written in the loving worship of Goddess Kali and Durga during the 9 day Navratri Festival in India, which celebrates the feminine divinity, power and victory of good
Navratri, September 2019

Knighthood

I let the storm pass,
I let the clouds clear,
I let the seas settle,
I let the ship steer.

I let the rays shine in,
I took refuge in Noah’s arc,
I let the grass grow again,
Until flowers grew in the park.

I learnt to breathe gently,
I learnt to look inside,
I found a way into myself,
I left the chaos outside.

I learnt the dark, too passes,
Battles of emotions clear.
I learnt the knight’s true valor,
Is fortitude, not the spear!

© DIKSHA SHAHI

Heartbeat ❤

The candle burned brightly on my desk. A small candle, almost tiny. But it’s light brightened my dull dark room as thunder roared outside and the cold hearted rain slapped my window panes. The tiny flame flickered with each heartbeat of mine, albeit much faster. As if it had a heart of it’s own. Watching the flicker downed my sorrows and magically transported me to a world of Sunshine. A Sunshine in which two hearts beat as one.

But the tiny flame didn’t last long and soon enough all that remained was the smell of molten wax and fumes of the extinguished flame. My world turned dark again.

Some events are like the tiny candle. They brighten lives and then their memories pulse through your heartbeat. To the heart that once beat as my own❤

(C) Diksha Shahi

Image copyright: http://www.pinterest.com