'Enough is Enough'

Pic Src:Indian Flag

Anna Hazare has been into a war of sorts for the past many days. Patriotism spilled onto the roads. Indian flags could be seen everywhere. It was as if the atmosphere was coloured in the colours of the tricolor of India. The spirit of revolution was infused in various forms. How could literature remain untouched!
I wrote a poem on the theme ‘Enough is Enough’ recited at Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, Siri Fort Institutional Area, New Delhi on 27 August, 2011. Here it goes:

We have been ruled ruthlessly
we have lost our brothers and sisters
we have been made to inherit deaths
but our hearts died not.
We have been beaten black and blue
but we did not let out a sigh.
We have been tortured and trampled upon
but we raised not our head high.
We have been looted
we have been robbed off our sweat and blood
but we whimpered not.
We have been forced to empty our pockets
but we protested not.

Enough is enough now
we’ve slept enough
now we wake up and rise
march ahead
only ahead with courage
towards a new dawn
to answer the reckoning call
of the emerging horizons.

Independence Day defined!!!

With India's independence day (August 15, 2011)gone, forgotten is the concept of independence. Have you ever wondered what independence means to you?
Independence is:
* when you have freedom to say what you fee
* when you are allowed to exhibit the courage to follow your convictions
* when you have the freedom of words and your words speak the language of truth
* when you say what it is and not what you are told to
* when you yourself control the reigns of your life, nobody else does it for you
* when you can move freely from one place to another without someone imposing any restrictions

The list can be endless. But do you what freedom means in reality?

So now we can safely conclude that you can do anything and everything at any point of time. After all, we live India, an independent country. We have come a long way since India gained its independence on 15 August, 1947.
Next time somebody calls you names, you can beat him black and blue in retaliation because you have the freedom of action. You can bunk your classes whenever you like because it is your life and nobody else will decide what you do. You don't have to obey to what your parents tell you as it is you who has to control the reigns of your own life in an independent country and that too in the twentieth century.

Wait a minute! Are you taking all this too seriously??? I bet you can't. Let's imagine some more things and amusing situations. The next time you don't complete your homework, you teacher can beat you with a stick for a long while. Your boss can humiliate and belittle you in front of the whole office because he has the right and freedom to say whatever he wants to.

By now you must have realised what I mean to convey. The next time you think of exercising your freedom, just keep in mind the other person too has equal and the same kind of freedom as you do. So watch what you say and do. This restraint is a part and parcel of freedom and it has to be that way. Otherwise, the result would be utter chaos and disorder. Nothing would change and improve.

Here are a few Independence Day quotes that I hope you would like:

"Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge... At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom."
 Jawaharlal Nehru
Indian Declaration of Independence, on eve of independence, August 15 1947

At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength.
Jawaharlal Nehru
Indian Declaration of Independence, on eve of independence, August 15 1947

"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most artistic materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!"
Mark Twain (Writer, America)

"If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India." 
Max Mueller (German Scholar)
[This post would be incomplete without the following:]

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. 
Rabindra Nath Tagore

So friends just say it with confidence, 'I am proud to be an Indian'. And work towards  making our country an India of Tagore's dreams!

Celebrating Raksha Bandhan in India

Pic src: Raksha Bandhan

India celebrates Raksha Bandhan today, that is, 13 August. The festival of Raksha Bandhan has been celebrated since times immemorial. But things have undergone a sea change. Raksha Bandhan is a festival that celebrates the sacred bond of brother and sister. It is a symbol of love, affection and bond of togetherness of brother and sister. ‘Rakhi’ is a thread that a sister ties to the wrist of her brother. Now we no longer have just the simple, good-old rakhi, they are much more fancy ones that attract the buyer’s attention. Zardosi Rakhi, Pearl Rakhis, Diamond Rakhi, Rakhi in gold and silver; not only this we also have Rakhi with chocolates, rakhi with dry fruits etc.
Now my question is: Are we giving more weightage to the sanctity of this affectionate relationship by increasing the monetary value of the Rakhis. Shouldn’t we be giving more value to the affectionate feelings, love and togetherness?
Festivals are, after all, to celebrate togetherness…think about it…

Friendship Day Contest Results

Pic Src: Friends Forever
 I was more than glad when I read the entries that I received in response to the Friendship Day contest announced on Literary Jewels a few days back. Friends, today I am going to announce the winner of this contest. Hold your breath, he is Vikas from Gurgaon 

Here is what Vikas  wrote in his email:
“I came across the contest that you had announced on your website ‘Literary Jewels’. At once I was reminded of my school time friend Vishal. We both had parted after we had a fight over a very small reason. It was because of our ego that we both didn’t talk to each other after that. Neither I called him nor did he call me. Inspired by your post I thought of tracing him and meeting him on this friendship day on 7th August, 11.  I typed his name on Google and found his profile on Facebook. I was very happy. It was on 5th August that I left a message for him. And to my surprise he replied within a few hours. We decided to meet on 7th August at an eating joint that we used to frequent during our school time. It was a real treat going there once again and that too with a friend, whom I had needed the most each day after he had gone. But I didn’t have the courage to contact him to patch up. May be my ego was the barrier. Probably the same was the case with him, as I came to know when he came. I’ll skip the details because it was too emotional a meeting. I had the best time of my life.”
P.S. The best part was that both of them were planning to send their story to Literary Jewels as they both had come across the Friendship Day contest organized by the website. Both were inspired by this contest to make up and be friends again.
And I was on cloud nine when I read their story.

NOTE: Photos of the two friends are not being published to protect their privacy as requested by them. 
The prize for Vikas is being readied and will be posted to him in a day or two. A picture will be posted here too...keep watching this space for updates.
Also I would be publishing the three best entries here.


HIMANSHU says, "I'll clean my mirror because he is my best friend."

SAHIL WADHWA wrote, "A great way to celebrate Friendship Day in a memorable way I would make an album of your most intimate and special moments spent together. This can also be the most touching Friendship Day activity for me and my friend as it will help me to rewind and relive our time-tested bonding."

PUNEET BHATTHAL had this to say:
"earlier I used to send friendship day wishes to my close friends through an occasional phone call but mostly through SMSs. Sometimes such messages were touching , hillarious , taunting and teasing etc etc. Sending and receiving these messages meant a lot to me. This was my idea of a FRIENDSHIP DAY . But this time it was different and it was all because of you Amrit...yes you. And today I wanna thank you for that from the core of my heart. Actually what happened, when I read about your contest , I got very much trepped by the idea and started thinking about novel and creative ideas about celebrating the frienship day , calling for a reunion of schooltime friends , planning a small but rocking party with university frnds who are in Ludhiana was another one , a warm get together with colleagues and my mind went from here to there . One night when I was checking my facebook account , I was going through an album by my friend , in which there were many school time pictures. I stopped on one picture - our class 7 picture. Looking at that picture was like reliving those moments , then I had tears in my eyes. I saw ritika , my childhood friend , Ritika Bhandari was her name n she was gem of a person , I cant write mch about her right now because my eyes are moistening by her 'zikar ' only. She died in class 8 when the car, her papa were driving, met with an accident near ropar .it was a great loss to her family but greater loss to me. I was very small to understand all that but I cried and cried and cried , because she was never going to come again. Later on Bhandari uncle got transferred to Panchkula and we lost touch. At that moment ,I decided that I am going to find out Bhandari uncle and aunty and meet them and lo !!! After a few tries the next day I found their number. I dialled the number with trembling fingers and somebody spoke from the other side. Oh my god that was aunty, same voice. I recognised that voice at once. I told her " aunty , I am puneet , from ropar" she paused , I think she cdnt recognise my name , then I told her " aunty I am puneet bhathal , ritika's friend" she recognised me and instead of talking to me, I think in excitement and I don't know whatshe started calling uncle ," bhandari sahab , jaldi aao , dekho puneet da phone hai , bhathal sahab di beti , Riti di friend" n tears were rolling frm my eyes....we talked and cried and talked and cried. It was after 19 years we were talking.(we planned to meet in near future) ...by the time i disconnected the phone. I was contented. I couldn't speak to any body for next about 2 hours ,I had goosebumps. I was happy from deep inside , tears were rolling from my eyes and I was smiling at the same time this was all because of you Amrit . Your idea of friendship day contest triggered it....love you for that."

Book Reviewing Service

Dear Friends

Literary Jewels is happy to announce a Book Reviewing Service. We will help you get loads of exposure and the right kind of audience. Drop a mail at : theliteraryjewels@gmail.com with details of the book and about the author. We'll get back to you within few days.
We assure you the best quality of writing and a comprehensive review that will include all the aspects of writing.
 Enjoy writing...

SMS...Techy Food for Thought

Pic src: Life's Canvas

I have often been asked as to what my source of writing is. My spontaneous answer is, “I write whatever enters into the realm of my silly little mind and heart.” Having been confronted with question once again, I glanced within myself to look for a more satisfactory answer.

Life has been called a huge canvas. This statement could be interpreted in two ways. In one sense, life is a blank canvas onto which we are to splash colours according to our ideas, thoughts and aspirations. In another sense of the term, life is a canvas that presents before us a host of hues to ponder upon. It is a chain reaction actually – picking up one colour from life’s broad canvas and creating one’s picture with it.

Experiences are also a major source of creations. But we need not experience all the things themselves. What is required is a heart that can feel what a human might feel in a particular situation, may be a painful or a joyful experience. Instead of a thinking head, it is the thinking heart that is likely to result in a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings recollected in tranquility”, as Wordsworth rightly remarked about poetry.

A common that all parents must be having with their kids these days is that they waste so much time over ‘SMSing’. True! Time is spent but I feel it is not totally wasted – now you might consider it as an attempt to save myself :) But many a times it has happened that an SMS has proved to be food for thought for my ideas starved mind.

So it all depends on your insight where you get your ideas from. You could get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere…so just look around and get going!

Friendship Day contest

Valentines' Day long gone, here knocks at our doors another happening day, that is, Friendship Day (that falls on 7 August this year). It was on 30 July when World Friendship Day was celebrated. Basically, on the twenty seventh day of April this year, United Nations declared that the day of 30 July would be officially celebrated as the International Friendship Day. The age-old tradition has been that it is the first Sunday of August that is marked as Friendship Day.
It is a celebration of the bond of friendship. It is not just about saying things with flowers, friendship day messages, gifts and chocolates, special friendship day bouquets, friendship day cards etc. but it has a lot more to do with feelings of friendship. Ideally, friendship day should be a day of expression of genuine and heartfelt feelings.
Entangled in the web of the modern complexities of life we have forgotten the real essence of this relationship. It is nowadays when we need to ask a person: "Is your friendship with that person a hi-bye kind?" Can somebody tell me since when have we begun categorizing friendship in this way? It is the gift of so called 'modernity'. We might find time to offer a Friendship Day chocolate, a Friendship Day flower or some other gift but we do not have enough time to lend a concerned ear to the others' problems or simply give a lending ear to the venting out of pent-up feelings of your friend.
This year celebrate Friendship Day in a different style...in your own unique style. Do share your thoughts here how you plan to celebrate it or how you celebrated it.
The most unique entry will win a surprise gift.
Last day for entries is 9 August. You can post your entries to:
Email: theliteraryjewels@gmail.com
Mention 'Friendship Day' as the subject of your mail.

Launching of exclusive website of 'The Literary Jewels'

Hello Friends
I feel elated to announce the launch of an exclusive website devoted to the online journal 'The Literary Jewels', a venture of Literary Jewels (www.literaryjewels.com). 'The Literary Jewels' is a journal of Art, Culture and Education. The inaugural issue would be released very soon. Keep visiting and do send in your suggestions along  with your contributions.
You can also connect on Facebook at:The Literary Jewels