Aging is not stopping me from writing. My poetry journey continues as new wrinkles unfold on my face, my neck and my hands.
Along my journey I have come across the adorable editor of Scarlet Dragonfly Journal, Kathleen Trocmet,on the internet. Inspired by her commendable work I started to submit my haiku poems to Scarlet Dragonfly Journal.
I thank her for selecting my haiku for the month of April 2022 issue.
a person should be honest in the first instance
no matter how harsh the truth is
Once, the mother of Mahatma Gandhi, Putlibai Gandhi was fasting and she let it be known that she would break the fast only when the she heard the song of the cuckoo.
She waited a long time but, alas, the cuckoo did not sing. Gandhi Ji was a small child then and he felt very sad that his mom would not take a morsel of food.
A brilliant idea crossed the mind of the adoring child. He rushed to the back garden and imitated the song of the cuckoo. He came back to the house, went up to his mom and said- ‘Maa, you can eat now; the cuckoo has sung!’
His mom unfortunately would not be fooled and she got very angry. ‘I am ashamed to have a son like you!’ she said. ’How can you speak such a lie? A lie is a sin!’ she added.
Gandhi Ji was heartbroken. He realized that his mother was extremely upset. He also understood that he had made a big mistake by lying to his mother. From that moment, he vowed that he would never tell a lie in his whole life. He never did.
Mother is, undoubtedly, our first and most important teacher. The bond of love between mother and child is sacred. It is the purity of this relationship that makes every lesson, that we learn from our mother, a lesson for life. We may forget what the school master teaches but, not what is taught by our mother.
Gandhi believed in honesty. Trying to conceal a lie may require a person to lie even more and this becomes a vicious circle. Therefore, a person should be honest in the first instant, no matter how harsh the truth is.
A Pink Moon rises
Plum tree blossoms like ink marks
In a poetry book
Hi friends, writers, and readers,
I am glad to share with you the publication of my new book, PINK MOON, an anthology of haiku poems. I have made a random choice of 365 out of 700 three lines poems written over a space of two years, thinking fondly that you may wish to read one poem a day during the year.
What prompted me to write the book?
Haiku is traditionally a Japanese poem consisting of three short lines that do not rhyme.
The erudite consider haiku to be more than a style of poetry. It is a way of observing the physical world and seeing something beyond, more profound, close to the very nature of existence, and to an essential vision of life.
Traditional Japanese poetry consists of three lines that contain a kireji, or cutting word, 17 syllables on a 5,7,5 pattern, and a kigo, or seasonal reference.
Similar poems that do not adhere to these rules are generally classified as senryu.
Senryu is about the human heart and spirit, expressions of life, and love. It is similar to haiku except that haiku is mainly about nature.
I became enamored with haiku poetry in 2018. In that year, I was at the London Book Fair to exhibit my debut poetry book ‘Soul Poetry’. I surprisingly came across a work by the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. I fell in love with his haiku poems at first glance. I saw magic, sound, and music in his words –
Early morning walk,
Tree leaves bristling,
A lovely sunrise
Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan.
During his lifetime, Basho was recognized for his work in the collaborative hakai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku.
It took me a long time to learn the art of writing haiku. It demands faith, meditation, focus, creativity, love of nature, and mastery of words. All these, coupled with awe at the beauty of existence, I have jotted down these writing prompts in the traditional form of haiku, observing as closely as I can the syllable count, three lines, and a seasonal reference.
I hope my readers appreciate my haiku poems. A globetrotter, I write them as I soar on my quill in the open sky.
MV WAKASHIO , a Japanese- owned bulk carrier ran aground on the coral reefs, off the coast of the tropical island Mauritius, on 25 July 2020.
Wakashio was empty of cargo but had an estimated 200 tons of diesel and 3,800 tons of heavy fuel oil on board.
Little by little, with the strength of the heavy waves, cracks arose in its hull. Fuel oil started to spill on the turquoise blue sea of the coastal district, Mahebourg. In no time, the oil spill reached its shores, destroying marine life, seaweeds, and corals.
The inhabitants ran to the rescue of the lagoon. They made floating booms with sugar cane straw to absorb the oil. In the meantime, foreign help was sought by the Government of Mauritius to block the catastrophic flood of oil from the hull of Wakashio to the sea.
On Assumption Day 2020, Wakashio broke into two. The authorities estimated that it would take decades to tow the two fragmented parts of the ship. Finally, the bow part of Wakashio was sunk in the deep ocean, far from Mauritius. It was also decided that the stern part of the ship that was stuck in the reefs would take decades to tow back. It remained as the remnant of a shipwreck in the lagoon, in the southeast of the green island.
The story here is told from the perspective of two Mauritian children, Angela and Oshin.
INSPIRATION TO WRITE THE STORYBOOK.
Earlier this year, I started a campaign to urge young Mauritian children to read books.
By coincidence, MV WAKASHIO met with a terrible accident at sea and it became the talk of the town in Mauritius and in the whole world. Social media wrote about the shipwreck and posted pictures of the sinking ship.
It dawned upon me to write the story of the Wakashio for children. I felt deep inside that it was a subject that will draw the attention of children, they will pick up the book and they will start to read.
Reading books and listening to stories stimulates the imagination of children.
As Albert Einstein has wisely said-
Imagination is more important than knowledge,
For knowledge is limited,
Whereas imagination embraces the whole world,
Stimulates progress, giving birth to evolution.
I strongly believe that children of all ages should read books and good books. In this age of electronic books, it is much better for parents to encourage a child to read traditional paper books, that he can carry and read every he goes – under a tree in the garden, on the lap of his mom… even where there is no electricity or an internet connection.
Reading books starts at home. First by a mother or a grandmother reading to a child, then by an elder brother or sister reading to a child and finally by a child reading a book by himself.
Salman Rushdie, the world acclaimed bestseller author says –
When a child is born, there are two things that he requires – LOVE AND SAFETY;
The next thing the child says is –
TELL ME A STORY.
Undoubtedly stories are an important part of our adult life; without them life is boring. Most of all, children love stories as dearly as they love toys and games.
My mother was an excellent storyteller. I vividly remember the story of Cinderella and Prince Charming as concocted and told by her when I was a kid. I bemused at her facial expressions and her body movements. I traveled to fairyland, wonderland, to faraway places; I fought with dragons; I talked to birds, rats, rabbits, and other animals.
Mostly, I started to daydream of Prince Charming. Often I took a broom, bigger than myself and arduously swept the kitchen. All the time, I kept an eye on the big pumpkin that mom kept in a corner of the kitchen, wishing that it would explode and Prince Charming would jump out.
From listening to stories, and putting myself in the shoes of Cinderella, I very rapidly developed a fondness for books. From reading books, I gradually started to write stories.
WAKASHIO is my new storybook for children and my first book in French. Mauritian children are more familiar with the French language, oral and written; I have written this book primarily for them.
It is legitimate for writers to remember that children are the adults of tomorrow. They should be made aware of the important happenings of their country and the consequences of their acts from an early age. Wakashio is a tale that relates the story of the wreck of MV Wakashio in pure and simple prose, illustrated by amazing color pictures.
Many have lost a loved one, a family member or a friend as a virus reigns supreme in the world. As all bad things have a good side, human beings realize that we are all one,irrespective of our faith, religion, color of skin,likes and dislikes. COVID-19 does not choose; it doesn’t prefer one to the other. It’s a killer. It destroys all humans.
With the above in mind, I woke up this Saturday morning and picked up my pen , a piece of paper and I wrote my new year resolution. Yes, I have only one resolution. I recall when I was a kid, my mom would ask, every new year day –
Ani, have you written your new year resolutions, my child ?
Writing the new year resolutions was a tradition in our family, among the other traditions which we followed ceremoniously, too many to mention here. The only family tradition that remains after I adopted modern thoughts and life style is to jot down the new year resolutions.
A new year resolution is a traditional custom in which we resolve to continue good practices, change a bad habit or behavior, decide to achieve a personal goal, or improve family relationships and lead a happy life.
My new year resolution comes straight from my heart. It is to continue to see beauty in all things and god in all beings.
After the immense success of the first edition in the French language, my audience started to ask for a version of my illustrated children’s book in the Kreole language and in English.The French version was launched and immediately put for sale in December 2020.
I contacted many translators and publishers in Mauritius to translate and publish the book in Kreole. I did not get any response mainly because Mauritius was under confinement for a long time.
As all things have a good and a bad side, I spent my time in confinement to translate the book in English.
The Mitsui O.S.K Lines (Mauritius) Ltd, the Japanese Company, owner of the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio that ran aground on the coral reefs and spilled oil off the coast of Mauritius, collaborated in the printing and publishing of the new book.
On Tuesday 10 August 2021 , Mitsui O.S.K Lines Mauritius Ltd organized the launch ceremony of the English Edition in the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan in Mauritius, Mr. Kawaguchi.
The launch ceremony was held in the office of the Mitsui O.S.K Mauritius Ltd at Pointe D’Esny in Grand Port, Mauritius. We could see with binoculars the remaining part of the wreck of MV Wakashio. A sad sight!
I am overjoyed with the progress of my illustrated children’s book Wakashio. Je souhaite partager avec mon audience cet élan de bonheur.
Je remercie mes lecteurs pour leur soutien.
‘To have a great book, we must have a great audience’. C.S.Lewis.
In traditional Japanese poetry a kigo is a word associated with a season. Nowadays poets mostly outside Japan do not use a kigo as a must when writing haiku poetry. I think that a kigo adds a streak of romanticism in haiku poems for the simple reason that we and our moods are ruled by seasons.
Lord Shiva is the All- Compassionate Hindu God, who swallowed the deadly poison ‘halahala’ to save the world from annihilation.
It is told, by munis (wise men) and sages, that when creation was complete, Lord Shiva and His Consort, Goddess Parvati went to live on the top of the Kailash Mountain in the Himalayas. Parvati Devi, one day, asked Lord Shiva- “O Lord! Which of the many rituals observed by your devotees please you most?” Lord Shiva replied- “The fourteenth night of the new moon in the dark fortnight, during the month of Phalgun, is My Favorite Day. It is called Shivratri. My devotees give me greater happiness by fasting rather than ceremonial offerings of flowers, sweets and incense. They observe strict spiritual discipline in the day and worship me in four different forms during each of the four successive three-hour periods of the night. The offering of a few bael leaves is more precious to me than the most fragrant flower and the most expensive jewel. They bathe me in milk in the first period, in curd in the second, in clarified butter in the third and in honey, in the fourth and last period. In the morning, after the prescribed ceremonies, they break the fast. No ritual can compare with this simple routine in sanctity.”
It is interesting to note that the bael leaf that we offer in the ceremonial rituals to Lord Shiva is considered sacred as the bael tree grows near the Shiva temple and the leaf has the particularity of blossoming in the shape of a trishul- three small leaves in a tiny twig, one in the middle and, one on each side. -Anita Bacha-