Holi- The festival of colours

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Holi- The most fun-filled and boisterous festival of colours!

Holi is really holy; an amazingly enjoyable and enthralling festival which is celebrated with great enthusiasm and vehemence at my place. The joy of being drenched with pails of coloured water and enjoying the bash with the “gulal” or “abeer” (coloured powder), the pleasure in running here and there to splash colours on your near and dear ones and your neighbourhood gang, the joy of seeing people’s face and even your pets being smeared with colours, the “pichkaris”, the clouds and aroma of the “gulal” in the air all around, the cakes, the juice, the songs, the music from the ‘jhal and dholak’ (cymbals and drums),the lip-smacking food, the “matka-breaking time”, the bhang… all in all, Holi at my place, is celebrated with as much verve and gusto as in India.

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Mythological reasons behind the festival Holi

One of the reasons why Holi is usually celebrated is to welcome the new season, spring. Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land. The new crop refills the stores in every household and perhaps such abundance accounts for the riotous merriment during Holi.  There are several reason behind this festival and has various legends associated with it.

When it comes to Holi, Braj region is best known in international circuit beacause of its lathmar Holi. Holi in Braj is also known for its mythological significance. The region of Braj in Uttar Pradesh is traditionally connected to the Lord Krishna. This festival is believed to be a celebration of Radha’s undying love for Lord Krishna. Still another mythological tale states that when Lord Shiva destroyed Kamadeva, he later resurrected him for the sake of his wife Rati. This also explains the other names of this celebration – ‘Vasant Mahotsava’ and ‘Kama Mahotsava’.

However, the most important one is that of the legend of the demon King Hiranyakashyap who disliked his son Prahlad who worshipped Lord Vishnu instead of him. He attempts to kill his son many times but fails each time. Finally, the king’s sister Holika who is said to be immune to burning as a boon given by Lord Brahma (Creator) of Hindu Mythology sits with the boy in a huge fire. However, the prince, Prahlad, emerges unscathed, while his aunt burns to death. Holi commemorates this event from mythology, and huge bonfires are burnt on the eve of Holi as its symbolic representation. Thus, one day before Holi, a bonfire is lit to celebrate the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of the devotion towards God.

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Note:

Holi used to be celebrated with much more enthusiasm in earlier days. Local singers and musicians started ‘phaag singing’ (the traditional holi songs) one month before the actual day of the festival. Everything was on a much larger scale. It surely is on a large scale but here in my village, the “phaag  singing’ is done not for a whole month but for some days before Holi because people are busy with their work and some of the elderly people who used to organize the “holi chowtal and dhamaal” as we called it here, passed away recently and thus the  new generation taking the lead, has cut the ‘phaag singing’ short, due to some constraints.

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On the Eve of Holi

On the eve of Holi, a bonfire known as ‘Holika dahan’ (burning of Holika) is kindled and an effigy of Holika, made of bamboo and straw, is formally carried in a procession to the bonfire accompanied by local singers and musicians. The figure is placed on top of the pyre and set on fire. The whole village is thoroughly cleaned and all the rubbish is dumped into the bonfire making the flames leap and people dance to the intoxicated singing of ‘phaag’ or ‘phagua’ (traditional holi-songs) accompanied by the banging of drums and clanging of cymbals from different ‘tolis’ (groups) from  the village. And this goes on for hours and on during the night. Holi is thus an affirmation of hope that no matter how encompassing the forces of ‘adharma’ (unrighteousness) appear to be, that eventually, by divine grace, ‘dharma’ (righteousness) will prevail and be re-established.

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Holi Hai –It’s Holi!

In the morning, all the preparations for the prayers are made under the big tent that is built every year in front of my house. It is a festival full of zest celebrated for some mythological reasons but who really cares about these reasons on that day?  “Put some colours in your life” – it sure sounds like a tv commercial’s line, but not quite because this is the motto for Holi and the sprinkling of coloured powder sure symbolizes the renewal of love and brotherhood. On this day, each one of us forgets enmities and meets and greets everyone with an open heart. People forget the daily routines and mundane lives and gathered to dance and socialize with each other.  It is a festival of joy, a festival to get to know each other better and wash out old grievances.

In the afternoon, a small prayer (hawan or ‘yagna’) around the fire,  is carried out remembering the God. Fire is very important in Indian ceremonies particularly in the ritual ‘yagna’ (sacrificial fire) in which all our physical desires and impulses are burnt to ashes by the pure flame of spiritual enlightenment lit within our hearts. Everybody in my village participates in the “Holi Mela” (Holi gathering). After the prayer, ‘gulal’ or ‘abeer’ (coloured powder) is distributed to each and every one (Yes! No need to buy anything) and we all gather for a mass colour throw. We convey our best wishes to each and every one and smears colour on each and everyone’s faces.

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The organizer would start a countdown and on zero, everyone would throw random colours into the air, thus pelting everyone with all colours from all directions and the colours would keep airborne with the flowing wind. We all participate in a round throughout the village accompanied by the holi toli (group). A common feature of the festival is the vigorous singing bouts performed by groups of singers. Songs, dances on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the  highlights of the day and these add to the gaiety of the occasion. Special brews (the “bhang”) are prepared of milk, almond, sugar mixed with potent herbs which had an intoxicating effect on the adults.

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The entire din and the commotion, the teasing and the drenching is taken in good spirit. All is forgiven during Holi. No one is immune from being drenched with coloured water.  As you walk along without a care in the world, a balloon filled with coloured water can hurl from a balcony, roof-top or corner may explode on your clothes, or suddenly an unseen hand squirts you with coloured water or coloured powder. The burst of colours hit you in the face. Youngsters and even the elders run here and there to smear colours on each other. It is the most exhilarating experience as everyone is transformed into a colourful explosion. People sneaking up with buckets full of water, water balloons hitting you and you have no idea where they came from and constant running to the water pipe anytime colour gets in your eyes, all make the beauty of this festival of colour and love. The youngsters’s group and elder’s group would sing and be in a competition inventing new songs, adding Bollywood flavour to them.  It is like a merry war taking place.

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After some hours of merry making, there is the “Matka breaking ceremony” at the two junctions. This is the main attraction and it is a ceremony in which a group of people will break the ‘matka’ (the earthen pot) which contains loads of coins and milk and which is hung on the long height. There is a kind of competition during the Matka breaking ceremony. There are two groups, the males and the females groups. First a group of young boys tries to break the pot(Matka) by forming a human pyramid and the girls would tease them  and even throw coloured water and prevent them from breaking the pot and the same happens with the girls. When the pot is finally broken, everyone tries to get the small coins which are scattered on the path. People believe that the coins from the earthen pot keep away negative powers from their homes and those who are able to get the coins consider themselves lucky and those who don’t, make sure they get into the funny competition the year after. HoIi is thus an expression of the ‘joie de vivre’ where each one forgets his worries and have fun and sure Holi is known for this immense enthusiasm and zeal.

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After the matka breaking ceremony, some people will continue singing and dancing, while some adults (both men and women) would prepare the evening meal.  Others will just go home to have their long baths. In the evening, everyone would gather again and we would all have a sumptuous dinner with the delicious “7 cari and ti-puri” or sometimes it’s veg briyani- a  heavy meal which is  yummy but could hurt the tummy if eaten too much. The aroma of the food would make you forget about your dieting for a while and you could feel the love of the ones preparing these amazing dishes in every bite and morsel of food you would have. I must say that you would surely, pleasantly get entangled in this foodie world for a while. You then realize-  that there is much more than a mundane life!

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Bura na mano, holi hai! (Don’t feel upset, it’s Holi !) Yayy!

Mind you, we are not from India (our ancestors are though) but we (Mauritians) do imbibe the spirit of Holi: which is playfulness and cheerfulness. The zest, spirit of freedom and exuberance that this ‘harvest festival’ stands for have gone a long way in making Holi a truly global festival. The Festival of colours sure infuses vibrancy and enthusiasm among people.  And in the end, you will need the longest bath ever, full of scrubbing and still you will be walking around with traces of colour for the next few days. But it’s totally worth it!

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Have a colorful day on Holi (27th March 2013 this year) and onwards! ♥

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Photo courtesy: @ Google Images

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You are what you make out of yourself!

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Life is like sex or personal satisfaction driven actions like smoking a joint or sheer sex or masturbation. When life is sweet and nice, it is overwhelming, when it is dirty, hard and bad, it is again amazing and when it kicks your butt hole too, it is nice.

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You probably know this saying “No pain, no gain” and the fuck about it, is that it is sweet and utterly simple.  People are afraid to take risks, afraid to be what their inner self want them to be, they are afraid to suck and swallow, afraid to feel dirty, afraid to get hurt. Well, all those fears counter pleasures but what defines pleasure is overcoming fears and refusing to accept defeat without trying.

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Imagine, had you never tasted pizza and said it is shit, you would be wrong but look at me I tasted chocolate and I decided it was not to my taste not that everybody loves it or it is the way of the world to love chocolate that I should too. I am what I am and who I am. I can be Romeo/ Juliet, I can be Farhad/ Shirin,  I can be Majnu/ Laila but at the end of the day I am best by being me with all my flaws and my follies and I can only change if I wish to. No one changes me or moulds me.

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I shall mould my ways, define my own paths and find my own heaven. I shall brew my own drink, smoke my own grown shit and fuck like hell because I am what I am and who I am and I need no one to tell me that nor to exist for me because I am a plant of my own growth, of my own shape and of my own flowers. Imagine a rose plant with a tulip flower on it… nasty bad right? So blossom as you are because that’s the smell you want to propagate, that’s the colour you want to fill in this colourless, image-less, poetic less and senseless world!

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Life is what You make of it, so let go of the fears, be yourself, and let no one judge you because remember in every guy there is a big bastard hidden inside who wants to fuck and in every girl, there is a slut who wants to act bitchy. Why do you care about society? Is it not you and me who make society in the end? Life is beautiful with its vicissitudes, live it, love it and value it. You are a beautiful being, don’t let anyone judge you, if one does, so just let go of that. You are you and you yourself know your path and what you have been through! Self discovery is important because each one of us is a mystery to ourselves. Discover yourself and accept your new daily facets! They reveal about who you truly are! And remember you’re awesome just the way you are!

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Life is just like that joint!

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You see this paper, it is like life;  it’s a shitty paper like this life but if you know what shape to give to it, it can get you  real high with some add on like marijuana. Marijuana is like those small happiness that your heart treasures. The smoke, when you light it up and inhale, is like the knowledge that goes in and the peace that comes in and when you exhale the smoke all the bullshit goes out.

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So this Joint is like life and its components are fire, earth, the weed of course, nature, air and moist. And so does life need all these factors like this joint. Now inhale the good shit and exhale the bullshit. Well, everything happens for a reason and getting better can’t be a better reason.

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See what a joint taught you… it taught you nothing you just had to look at it and understand things because most things are better left unsaid and should be felt. Well, theories might be big, farfetched or high sounding but if its meaning is not simple, it can’t be understood for “x-z+y” is a big theorem but in real life it means nothing, just some illustrious wordings on a black board full of nothingness.The blackboard represents the mind, nothingness, emptiness. Always remember to clean the blackboard once in a while, leave space for better things to be written, bad memories are not worth keeping if they are punitive instead of inspiring.

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I have never tried smoking weeds through a joint, a spliff, nor even  a bong yet but surely it needs to be appreciated someday maybe and such is life. Life needs to be appreciated, so enjoy it through its ups and down, live it to the fullest no matter what.  Bob Marley rightly says: ” Love the life you live, and live the life you love”.

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Pains of sleep

She laid down on her bed in the deep silent of the night,

Everybody in the house, all were at rest,

Solitude invaded her; it was almost killing her,

It was calm indeed, so calm that it disturbed and vexed contemplation.

She laid there, trying to move her lips, and bend her knees,

To pray aloud in anguish and agony,

Her eye lids closed with reverential resignation,

So many things going on through her mind,

A sense of confusion invaded her, and she was there lying with supplication

She could feel her heart in a maddening brawl

She was suffering from something she could not express,

She would only feel like a sense of guilt, remorse or woe within her

Tears rolled down and she wept like a child

The photo of her lover beside and she would try to subdue her anguish to a milder mood.

The pain would drive her crazy, a pain that seemed to never cease.

And she could not stand it anymore.

She just wanted to be where she ought to be,

Maybe she had that wish of crawling into his lap, to feel his hand stroke her hair as if she was his little girl at heart.

All she was wishing for was to lose all the feelings she had for him and to breathe again

She was wishing, she could erase all the memories and try to regain the old ‘her’ back

But deep inside, she knows, this could not happen any faster for her love will always remain unrequited!

She felt pity for herself, she would sob, and she could feel all those feelings rushing through her, those feelings she was trying to kill inside her

Maybe there’ll be someone to love him more that she could,

And that least thought of him in the arms of someone else seemed to take her life.

How can she ache for someone’s love when she has never been granted it?

Yet her yearning seemed to grow more and more each day.

Thoughts of him used to make her melt into a puddle

But this time she knew that hoping will only lead her to trouble,

So she tried to ease her pain and she went on saying to herself:

“Times have changed and times are strange, move on girl just move on”

For deep inside, she knew she was depressed and could not speak up her mind.

For deep inside, she knew she will never be able to call him hers!

For her love will always be unrequited.

There she laid still on her bed, with moving lips and bended knees

Dying in slow degrees!

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Relationship is ugly, Relating is beautiful!

Since the death of my best friend (my grandfather), I was in search of love; yes, L.O.V.E! A four letter word, which was very perplexing to me.  My grandfather was the best thing that could ever happened to me as he would always provide me with “LOVE”, affection, warmth, and no matter what it takes, he used to provide me with nearly everything i wanted, wished or desired for in life. But after his death, four years back, my life has been in a total mess up. I could not relate to any one, not even to my parents. I would long for all that I was getting from my grandfather and to compensate everything that my grandfather used to give me, I fell in love with the wrong guys. That was NOT love! I realised i just wanted that security, that kind of relationship i was in with my grandfather.  I had been “in a relationship” with two guys in the past three and a half years and in the process, I have been used, abused and taken advantage of! I even had a crush for nearly three years now, and I would always believe that this is the second best thing that could happen to me. He is an awesome being, but, that exchange between us was not healthy, and I was breaking apart day by day. I was filled with insecurities that would shatter my being  and I ended up suffering from emotional distress. My mistake is that I used to love and expect to be loved back. But all I’ve been through till date is mere bullshit. Lately, I’ve started reading Osho’s explanation on life’s subjects and I have been able to grasp some of his explanations only after some months and  I believe that I have finally been able to wake up from this illusion I was in. I had to let go of this state which was not serving me positively and I sincerely don’t hope for anything now and I don’t regret anything from my past experiences as they are a factor that taught me the meaning of growing up and gaining maturity in some way.

I always used to think that I have been able to figure out the meaning of love, but in reality I have never been able to understand this concept. Reading Osho’s pieces of writing on love two days back, I felt revived again and I believe that I am now on the right track. I don’t want any relationship even though I feel everybody needs love. But now I truly believe that feeling good within oneself and feeling beautiful and enjoying the little things that life would offer, the things that would bring you a smile to your face, all of these were quite enough to lead a beautiful life. That are all that were needed. I realized all those lamenting and crying over the one you love was futile. It is good that you cry over cuts and stitches instead of bastards and bitches. But, no one can hurt you without your own permission, so enough of these lamenting, and it was high time for me to put a full stop to those excessive display of affections. In the end, you should be selfish in a healthy way, and nourish your own self with warmth, fondness, love and everything positive in order to be surrounded and to attract positive vibes.

Love is not something you possess and it is far from attachment. If you think of trying to possess a person you love by forcing him in some way to be in a relationship with you then, it is only a give and take business that you are engaging in, it becomes political, and this is very unhealthy. Osho appropriately says “Love is not attachment. Love is not possessiveness. When love becomes possessive and love becomes attachment it is no more love; it is simply a corpse.” Indeed, love is not a close phenomenon. Love is always greater than the lover and the beloved. It becomes an oceanic experience and before you think of loving someone and being in a relationship, it is better to relate, relate with yourself, and relate with the person. Love is not a relationship but it surely relates. You should learn to love yourself first. I think the moment two persons are in a relationship, everything ends. There is no love, no joy, no enthusiasm, everything is over and they just go on imitating the trend of the so-called lovers’ way of life.

Once you are in a relationship you start taking each other for granted. That’s what destroys all love affairs. The woman thinks she knows the man, the man thinks he knows the woman. Nobody knows either of them. It is impossible to know the other, the other remains a mystery. And to take the other for granted is insulting, disrespectful. The lovers carry on their so-called love because of the promises they make to each other, or because to show off to the world that they have achieved something, to show that they are with someone or may be because they feel there is nothing else to do to kill time, so they just carry on with this relationship. It becomes boring in the long run, with the same person, the same body, and the same routine and total boredom invading you. Nevertheless, I am not saying that you should go on changing partners, but my point is that, love yourself first, spend time with yourself, and know yourself. How on earth can a boyfriend or a girlfriend pretends to understand his or her partner when in the end he or she has been a total mystery to himself or herself?

Relate to yourself. Love is never a relationship, love is relating. It is like a river which is flowing, which is never-ending. You should be that kind of lover to yourself first. Love is not like in those story books with a happy ending, but it is an ongoing phenomenon where you are responsible to give it happiness at each step. There is no starting or ending point. Love is a continuum that you need to master for yourself. Just start loving yourself and you will see how beautiful life is in spite of its ups and downs, you will see how easy it would be to just smile easily at the one you don’t like. I have just started loving and discovering my inner self and I have to tell you that even with its vicissitudes, life has started becoming blissful for me. Always remember, happiness starts not with your relationship, not with your partner, not with your friend not even with your job but it starts with YOU.

It is futile to reduce the beauty of love, of relating to RELATIONSHIP! People are always in a hurry, they want security and so they go into a relationship, they get married legally. Foolish are we indeed! How on earth, does the law enter into your relationship? It simply shows people do not trust themselves, their love or their inner voices but they trust the law much more. The law comes into love because in the first place love is not there! If you end up loving yourself and then loving someone, then only you will see that love lasts longer and there will be no need of law to guarantee your love. The guarantee will be inner. It will be a commitment from the heart, a silent communion. Be like the flower which takes years to blossom not like the seasonal flower! The longer it takes to understand yourself and to engage in intimacy with someone, the deeper the love would be and it will not easily get the tag of ‘relationship’.

When you love someone, you should RELATE to each other instead of being in a relationship. Relating means always starting again and continuously trying to become acquainted to your lover, to explore the other him or her, because you are not the same every day neither is the case for your lover. Every day, you have to accept the new facets of personality of the one you love and this should be two-sided. There should be a kind of reciprocity to be able to go deeper into the realm of the inner feelings, into the deep recesses of your lover. Everybody is on the path of unravelling a mystery which cannot be unravelled so easily, and in the process people forget about the fact that they are a mystery to themselves and they go on taking the other for granted.

Osho says: “In relationship both persons become blind to each other.” He is so right because if you sit and ponder and ask yourself this: “How long has it been since you saw your lover?” Maybe months or years. Who looks at one’s own lover anyway? You have already taken it for granted that you know him or her. What more is there to look at? You are more interested in strangers than in the people you know because you know the whole topography of their bodies, you know how they respond, and you know everything that has happened is going to happen again and again. It is a repetitive circle.

Each person is in fact an infinite mystery and it is pathetic to say “I have known her/him,” or, “I know him/ her best.” This is mere crap! Love is a constant adventure and I shall end on saying, relationship is ugly, relating is beautiful.

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Laughing is a mundane affair but weeping gives you a deep spiritual experience.

 “Why are you crying, what’s wrong dear? Tell me.” “It’s nothing, I am just okay.” Naturally when you are crying, everyone will come running to you to console you, to ask “what’s wrong, what’s the matter?” and things like that. But at that moment, don’t you feel to tell everybody: “Please leave me alone because you want to cry and cry and make yourself feel better and lighter. Because you know that only tears are your sole support on which you can rely. As such tears (though people hate shedding them) really help in many cases in alleviating sorrow and suffering. Not only that, tears also help in overcoming vomiting and stiff necks. Shedding tears is a natural flow of emotions and hence should never be checked. After a bout of crying, one feels relieved of expressive emotions and calm descends leading to peace and relaxation. One feels invigorated after a gush for a few minutes.

Alexander Fleming has proved that tears can kill germs. Tear shedding should form part of eye care. All the dust particles and dirt embedded in the eyes get cleared away through tears and eye soars also get eliminated. If laughter is the best medicine so is shedding of tears as both relieve tensions, depressions and pent up emotions. We have tears of joy, grief, anger or fear which result from psychic emotions. Shedding tears is effective in putting an end to emotion, stress arising out of sadness, rancor, anger and shocks. It provides a comprehensive cleansing of the mind taking out all impurities.

I believe that tears are one of the most beautiful things. They unburden you and they cleanse your vision. Just as thoughts are the language of the mind, tears are the language of the heart. Tears are the poetry of the heart. It does not matter whether you are crying in sadness or happiness. What matters is that you are crying that you are totally in it. And do not hold them! Do not hesitate, do not feel embarrassed, and do not feel shy. You just need to become like a small child and let the tears rolled down, let it go. Do not judge, and soon the tears will be coming out like a flood  and with their coming your heart will start getting warmth, it will become alive and in the shadow, love will grow.

Those who laugh for health should learn to shed tears for others or for themselves in order to retain health. Well, laughing is a mundane affair but weeping gives you a deep spiritual experience.  I shall end with a quote from Master Osho who is indeed right in pointing out that “very few people know the secret of crying because it is more repressed than laughter”:

 

“Everybody knows from his own experience that after laughter, good laughter, a belly laugh, you almost feel that you have taken an ice-cold shower; a peace, a silence, a freshness… The same is true about crying, but very few people know the secret of crying because it is more repressed than laughter.”

Source: Osho

 

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My idea of blogging

Some went on saying that blogging is no picnic,

But I shall say, hey why do you panic?

Well, some people blog to (be) B.L.O.G. (Better Listed On Google)

I certainly chose it to satiate my thirst for writing,

Surely, for me, it is cathartic this issue of blogging.

A whole experience it surely is,

I don’t blog because I need to get out what inside my mind  and not even to please!

As my dear friend would say, and he is definitely correct in what he says:

“Writing as therapy and personal empowerment is a food channel for your creative energies”

Blogging, it surely gives me a high during lethargic days.

You surely get a thrill reading comments and other articles published with so much exquisiteness and ease.

Being able to share what is there in your mind indubitably brings so much relief.

I love blogging because there is so much of freedom and it makes writing more enjoyable as you type down without judgement  your own belief!

If I blog, some will say I am copying them,

And if I don’t, they will surely take me as a silly creature always creating mayhem!

If I write on my personal life or on things that interest the mass or on a touchy topic,

They’ll say these appear too mundane and lack logic!

I write not to please, but it surely brings me peace when you read with ease

For I am here only to share what I feel is good and not to tease!

But let me say that I do not form part of the intelligentsia and I am surely far from the madding crowd, nor am I promoting my creed!

Now, most likely someone may say that what I wrote here makes me appear  too candid,

You may think the way it pleases you but this is what I did!

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