Young Raj Bhandari was read poetry as a child, and he carried that intense passion into adulthood. He retired from a long and very happy career in 2002 and realized it was time to not just be influenced by poetry but to invoke the written word himself. This collection of over one hundred poems encompasses a life well lived.
He writes of his many travels, his celebrations, his losses, and his own time in a sickbed. Mostly, though, he writes in the seclusion of a lake?s edge in Belmont Bay, Australia. He has been inspired by pleasure but also by pain, especially since life encompasses both. His words do not shy from the hard times but embrace them as a crucial part of life.
Writing is an outlet for this man who has been hurt deeply, loved passionately, and inspired truly. Bhandari might not follow all the literary rules, but his words bridge the distance between writer and reader. He hopes to convey his own life?s path but also share in yours as you read his pages and perhaps find a way to smile through your troubles.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Reflections from the Belmont Bay
By Raj Bhandari
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Raj Bhandari
All rights reserved.
Poems of Living and Loving
A Bolt from the Blue
In a relaxed, assured, committed routine,
My son in his shiny dark Beemer
Was exchanging pleasantries, a plan with a med rep
On a four-inch handless mobile phone
In a the plan of tomorrow, or of another world trip,
Or another routine, another scheme, or
discussion on another medical case
Was pleasantly assured in the routine of the day.
Suddenly a Toyota van, a mass of steel, alloy, and glass,
Came tumbling jumpimg across the median strip
Landing in a roaring thump over his stationary car.
Dumbfounded, stunned in body, confused in mind,
Simply amazed helplessly caught like a duck in wait.
Helplessly framed in waiting for the inevitable just to happen
Was he there in the wrong place?
Seconds trembled, stretched, like visions slow.
Impact was thunderous, loud and deafening.
The impact was thunderous, overpowering, and sudden,
Sending shivers to the spine!
Happened right they're in morning peak
traffic of Sydney's Victoria Road.
What a clash of broken glass with flesh, of steel with bones.
It happened in real, not a slow motion screen show
Was it the Beemer or his gracious mother's daily prayer?
They were two together for our luck.
They had to gas- cut twisted chassis to pull him out.
What a wreck! What a smashup was that happened there.
Dumbfounded I stood there in disbelief.
How fragile is the mortal frame, this structure of flesh and bones!
How brittle is this life we take it granted forever to live
How slippry are these prospets how uncertain are life's schedules
An eye-opener was that accident
Warning that reality is always shidden from the view!
With a divine miracle our son was saved,
So chilling was that bolt from the blue!
Friends, close to closer, uncles, cousins, and parents,
All joined to thank God to save "our son."
He was alive unhurt and doing so well!
We are here now to share, and rejoice,
We bask in the brilliance of this prodigy.
When he will tumble at the age of thirty-five,
It was prophecied to happen and it did happen
The prayers of the mother will protect him.
In the prediction of the lady made then
Gardening, It's Virtues
Grown with farming to produce, flowers for occasions
Herb to heal and aroma to please
Delightful gardens were vitually in monasteries and palaces found.
Growing plants and shrubs in the befitting place
Gardening is man's relationship with nature and its beauty
In admiration of truth appearing in growth around!
Gardening like other pursuits of creative arts is,
Ever expanding, rewarding science of horticulture
Adding the joys of creation,
Ornate gardens complement, enhancing the fortunes
Of the magnificent of mansions!
In the blazing autumn colours of delight,
They are always there to greet
In the bloom of smiling flowers,
They inspire the spirits in secluded vistas,
There is welcome message of hope, of perennial elation
The serenity of the garden inspire the spirits
In nearby city noises and rattles prevailing all sides
They offer quiet benches for lunch
And heavenly retreats for lovers to hide!
The gardens, the promenades, the themes, the fountains, the parks
Soften the dowdy, drab rows of concrete, stone, and steel.
The landscape are designed and provided to refresh.
Simple pleasures, this urban appeal
Are now in common man's reach.
Planet is studded with From Gardens of Babylon,
Butchart of Victotia Varindavan, Shalimar, and Nishat in Kashmir
Schonbrunn Palace, Peterbergs summer palaces to Versai in Paris
They are maticuously artfully craeted
To enhance the palaces for the princes, and there to please.
Gardening, like any other creative artistic pursuit,
Loving profession or some creative hobby
Offers the gardener a reward wrapped in gratifying emotions
It offers him a space to create, to foster as caring parent.
It is a joy to watch that glow on the looker's face,
The pleasure that shines, in sweat of gardener's brow!
There is a message of hope in the bloom of a bud,
In the pleasing sweet sensation of aroma
Scattered around a jasmine bed.
Above all gardening in all its generosity,
In the pains and concerns of parenthood, it connects with nature,
Making the gardener a responsible boss.
What a pleasant feel is there to strole bare foot in spring
Along the flowery beds, on freshly mowed blue couch grass!
A well- intentioned person is modest and humble in speech
Bows down with load of virtue, is a fruit-laden tree
Picked up from regulated thoughts,
Polite words with good intent spoken
Bring in an air of good will, clearing the fog.
Honor this cultured attribute, this virtuous trait.
For the selections from regulated thoughts spoken,
The relationship of give and take in a natural affinity,
When nourished with mutual respect, mutual love, mutual regard,
Runs deeper in layers binding deeper and long.
It is hard for the winds on surface to shake
The citadel of friendship
On the footing firm and strong
Like an aura we wear this virtue of civil humility.
Reality, like fragrance, is hard to hide and will in time appear.
Why feign affections or barter emotions for immediate gains?
Be naturally giving and polite and habitually remain in cheer.
Befitting to the person in a protocol on opportune time,
Words when spoken with firm, polite cautious courtesy
Invoke a better chance to have a win-win situation
Without compromising the personal dignity.
It is a good manner to thank on time
With a smile, a card, with flowers, or an SMS line
For the good turn done in a good return due.
This reflects back in large returns in fields many and new.
This generosity extended and shared by cultured minds,
This virtuous tradition though taught to many,
Is followed by blessed prudent few.
It is a good manner to be kind to self
Yet feel the pain of others in need.
A well-informed person is generous in action
Humble in speech.
Marriage, a Union of Two Souls into One
Much solemn woes of morality long established, long tried,
Many mantras of chastity are recited and repeated
Before the conjugal knot by a priest is tied.
Many pledges of celibacy are taken, many rules of the game dictated
Before the two are declared as man and wife.
Bound by the romance, love, they are now morally blessed
To live without sin as a legal concubine
To let the nature play her loving part!
They begin to fly in the chariot of love
To touch the silvery moon
With the honeyed seed of intoxicated love
Planted in their heart.
In a natural drift, with incessant flow, in the continual search
Two joined to create a family in a bunch new,
Family, a crucible of culture is its melting pot.
A weft of the social fabric, is its buiding block
They are made to set sail solo in a raft ill equipped and tiny
To weather the fury of storms and blizzards ever new
Many thorns will hurt many buds will bloom to please
Eager to show their shine hiding from the view!
Many glasses will be raised in celebrations of success.
Many delights will please; many joys will dazzle.
Many failures will hurt in turn, in despair.
A process of living and learning is this life
The lived wisdom has to be earned here.
When one feels the pulse and pain of the other,
He is a father and a lover she can be mother sublime.
Two bodies when begin to sway as one together
In a play, so loving, so kind, so noble, and so benign.
Many moons will shine; many suns will set to rise.
Outer covers are peeled layer by layer,
When emotions recede stones will hurt making them wise.
Reality will dawn making the tides heavy to bear.
In a difference in values and preference of taste,
The heat of friction sadly could create a waste.
Churning in and inflicting the self-gnawing hurt,
She may drown in tears of unspoken resentment.
He gazes in the dark in a silent stare
In the separate island of his own
In the echoes of words heard and said in haste
Hurled thoughtlessly, in vehemence of rage.
Still, when dictates are smoother, edges are round.
With use of the daily rub in daily ware,
Leaf by leaf the creeper will crawl around.
The vine tightens the grip, to the trunk unaware.
When the feelings of goodwill are evoked in a mind,
Similar congenital retort in other is induced.
Like the efficacy of mantra it always works,
Similar response, similar reflections are produced.
With the easing of struggles to provide daily needs,
Shifting the moral trends in the electronic storm,
The family unit, once considered a crucible of creation,
Its nobility, its virtues even, have lost their form.
Divorce is easy; marriage has lost its solemnity,
The first kiss its heavenly thrills.
Virginity, the thing of the past, has lost its charm.
Still what goes out come back in many a way,
Prevalent here in this daily play,
Enacted on this stage of life's drama.
One leaf turns the other in the events of the day.
External danger, disease, and common projects of parental concerns
Overtake mating instincts strenghining the bond
When one feels the other's pulse with ego left behind
Lovely becomes the merge, in body and in mind.
Watch the veiled ego that remains masked under the outward demeanor.
So to be creatively connected
To music, to sport, to faith and art
In mutually binding family projects
Love grows fonder, journey more enjoyable in the joy of togetherness.
A Letter to ML Kampani to Be Included in the Poems
On the past occasions and especially on this visit when I was in a better frame of mind and better health, I did listen with intent to the tales of valour and anecdotes of courage and prompt thinking, of perfect balance in challenging situations, of instant clear vision and instantaneous appropriate judgment, where one slip in the spontaneity of prompt judgment required on the spur of the moment was the slim difference between life and death. What a presence of mind. They were inspiring stories indeed. All these narrations were so exact, so convincing, and as if preordained yet appropriately complete, confirming their authenticity in many repeats.
I was at once inspired and felt privileged to be simply there sitting next to you.
The other regrettable events inevitably were there as part and parcel of our daily life and might be the result of some inappropriate judgments, rigidity of conviction, bigotry, or impulsive behavior and require great generosity later to admit. We might keep them aside in the present context for the time being. These very personal memories though do track us till the end. They are simply there as lessons for us. But they are very personal in nature, and I wish to omit them from the present narration.
For the time being we focus only on the praiseworthy and noteworthy experiences. There are plenty in our cases that we would love to hear and share with each other.
No doubt these incidents happened with you while you were in the army, there in the fields of actions, in the courts of law, on the higher official administrative chairs, in the corridors of political power and in its struggles, in wheeling dealings, in fair selections and unfair promotions, in the closed-door meetings rooms of national governance, in the aftermath of an air crash, and in many other similarly trying situations.
You do carry with you within your psyche those fond memories of the golden times, of those political battlefields, and of those personal achievements. The personal gratification is necessary for self-reverence, a must for self-knowledge and self-direction for the future.
There always was Mr. ML Kampani taking control, making instant spontaneous assessments, selecting and taking prompt action. In all these situation you were present with reactive, proactive, and active approaches all in the full, all at once at the same time. What a powerful instinct indeed!
The spontaneous and appropriate selection of words instantly thought and then asserted with complete control of emotions and delivered with the power of conviction in a confident daring manner were the traits you possess, and those abilities lifted you to the pedestal you are sitting on and rejoicing in now. So inspiring indeed!
Many will benefit by listening and reading about these amazing heroic tales, these experiences of lived and earned wisdom worth etching in stone on the face of time.
All of us pass through life being engaged in continuous planning, concurrently arranging hundreds of little actions to keep in focus to accomplish the tasks envisaged. This happens on a daily basis to all the effective people like us men of substance.
That a job well planned is a job half done is well documented from your narrations. You from the very early stages of life have formed the habit of doing homework, of forming a complete mental plan well before the action. A praiseworthy habit!
I do feel and review that I too have been gifted in this way.
We bring along and carry in our bags the inherited wisdom as instincts, imbedded deeply as sanskars in the inner cores of our being. These sanskars, which we inherited in our individual minds, have transgressed through our social and communal mind in an onward flow. That very social mind has evolved through Vedic, Buddhist Hindu periods through the monarchy systems during British rule. This social mind had been shattered by foreign invasions that dislodged well-established social structures. That social mind was partly revived by the Shankra Acharya, Bhromo Smaj, Aryasmaj, Ramakrishna mission, Arbindu mission, Yogananda mission, and our own national material-industrial political achievements. This social and individual mind is inspired by leaders, scientists, and inventors, by many saints, reformers, and mahatmas, and by many high achievers of latter-day India and abroad. The negativity created by social injustice, terrorism, natural calamities, political misuse of power, inequalities of social opportunities, and impacts of crime committed through greed, revenge, or fear does have deeper impacts on mind as well.
That subtle evolution has penetrated deep into our subconscious minds, and we bring it out in our daily conscious activities. This social mind is in flux now. This is evident in electronic media and in our somewhat distorted values for self-gratification and self-entertainment. The shift in values and vastly expanded social interaction through Facebook, Facetime, Viber, Twitter, and many other electronic media is churning the social mind.
I am simply bewildered at the whirlwind of change. Aren't you? As we go along we acquire other essential formal skills and knowledge in life's institutions. They further empower us with the knowledge and zeal and confidence to complete the next mission ahead. The training provides us with proven, established, and newly added essential skills and tools to earn a daily living, to serve the society or nation. One success becomes a rung to step on. It gives us courage and confidence to reach the next. This winning attitude, this creative habit, is second nature among all the highly effective people. I find that we are fortunate enough to be counted among some of them. I have found that the bad odor of one wrong doing travels faster than the fragrance of goodwill created by hundreds of good deeds.
We have to march on with heart within and God overhead so we can face the daunting challenges. I believe that all those incidents that happened were destined to happen as the results of our ambitions and good intentions thought here or envisaged before. They were tangible effects of the cause we did create in the quantum word before.
Our guardian angel being at our side, with caution still we must tread. In right motivation with right application we rightfully generate. We create the right tangible effects; we can see, feel and touch. Achievements are then highlighted in the personal media as guides to steer us further. One successful experience becomes unique and self-gratifying to the person With an art of right thinking this can steer through the maze as personal guide. Wherever the noble deeds appear or heard I want to share, All that we admire liked to be admired, in all sincerety. I want to adopt, I want to bring in those good qualifications In my person, in the events of my daily living. Whenever such inspiring tales of courage, of conviction, of effort, of the search for justice are told, It is natural for me, natural for most of us, to be inspired, To admire, to behold! Plenty of time is there, plenty of time left, for us to avail. Still, still there is time to accomplish. Don't feel that way; don't give up. It is not the final act. Always there will be another goal to achieve, a mission to set. Always there is a hope, in this flow, an aim, and a project to select. The goal ever recedes from us. Full effort is the only right we do possess. With heart within and God overhead let us pledge. Let us be inspired; let us be active, ready in all sincerity to act. This in nutshell I wish to say and wish you to take notice, Notice of my intentions and my wish. I wish you to share your inspiring tales with the coming generation. Some of them are the unique lessons worth taking note of. So why not compile and put down all these experiences in a memoir for next generation, as legacy? It will be a worthwhile effort. I offer my services. Let us arrange some time to gather separately in peace. It is so easy in this electronic era these days. One can record, write on an iPad, sinking in the easeful comfort of the lounge chair. One can dictate to the machine for others to copy and print. Grandkids are all well versed in this technology; we can make use of it. All that is needed is a shift in our paradigm, a lift in attitude. A resolve! They say it takes six weeks and lot of motivation to make a shift. A strong motivation will override the imbedded mental inertia and lethargic indifference crept in the aging soul. Physical age has little to do with the strength of mental SANKALP (Invocation) On the other hand, I too have a personal tale to share and tell. I have tried to contain the real story to be as concise as possible. Here thus it goes.
Excerpted from Reflections from the Belmont Bay by Raj Bhandari. Copyright © 2014 Raj Bhandari. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsForeword: In the Words of Rumi, xiii,
Foreword: Kamal Kampani, xv,
Foreword: Poets Are Special, xvii,
Foreword: Ravi Pullareddy, xix,
Consolation of Poetry, 1,
Poems of Living and Loving, 3,
A Bolt from the Blue, 5,
Gardening, It's Virtues, 7,
Good Manners, 9,
Marriage, a Union of Two Souls into One, 10,
A Letter to ML Kampani to Be Included in the Poems, 13,
When Writing Becomes Compulsion, 24,
Amit Verma: A Hero Indeed!, 25,
Love and Attachment Two names of the same supreme feelings!, 26,
Bruce's Shirts, 29,
No Room for Error, 30,
Family Meet in India 2006, 31,
Flip Flap on the Lake, 33,
Fear Is a Good Motivator, 35,
Forty Hours of Hurt, 36,
Give Me Room to Move, 38,
Here both Ns Join: On Neena and Nicholas Wedding, 41,
The House we live in, 42,
This body is the house we live in!, 44,
Unruffled by external Noise, 46,
In Pain We Evolve, 49,
It is Time: On Seventy-Fifth Birthday, 50,
Leaders Are Here Always to Lead, 52,
Not an Unsung Hero Our Manohar Kampani, 54,
Morning Dew, 55,
On Greenwich Home Entry, 56,
Through Pain We Evolve, 57,
Party Noises, 59,
Poets Are the Makers; They Are the Shakers, 60,
Song of a Cuckoo Bird, 63,
Sorry: An Apology for the Stolen Generation, 65,
Those Tears Did Speak, 69,
Emotional Recharge in Motherland, 70,
Time Watched in Silence, 71,
Topiary Bushes of Kim: Poem Written on Neighbor's Topiary Bushes, 73,
Facilitation on Home Entry, 74,
On daughters Birthday in New York, 75,
Work Is Worship in All Affairs, 77,
Words Have the Power, 80,
Poems of Travel, 83,
Some Notes of Travel, 85,
Our beautiful world, 88,
Wasteful Extravagance, 89,
I Wonder In (Auschwitz), 90,
A Wonderful Journey, Arunachal, 95,
Egypt Visit, September 2008, With a Warm Welcome, 97,
From the Heart of Russia, 103,
Iguazu Falls, 107,
I Am Your Lake Macquarie, 109,
Misplaced Bags, 110,
On a South African Safari, 111,
Russian Baltic Tour, 113,
Saved from the Jaws of Death to Form a Group, 115,
The Balloon Rides in Cappadocia, 117,
Through the Confines of a Room, 118,
Travel Report September 25, 2012 6:00 am; modified on June 29, 2013, '120,
Trees, Our Eternal Friends, 122,
When We Travel, 125,
Poems of Demise, 127,
In Those Days of Bereavement, 129,
Death of a Bully Ant, 131,
Good-bye Little Sister Kamala, 133,
My Sister Krishna, My Childhood Mate, Is No More, 134,
At a Time Like This on Vijay's Deathbed, 136,
A Star Has Set; Balkrishan Is No More, 138,
She Is No More, Sister Sataya, 140,
The Day After, 142,
Poems of Reflection, 143,
Promise of the Day, 145,
Take a Deep Breath and Pause to Reflect, 146,
Work: The Perpetual Movement to Level the Imbalanced, 147,
Perpetual Quest, 148,
A Stable State of Mind, 150,
Morning at Belmont Bay, 151,
Alone Today, Not Lonely but, 154,
Alone Today, 156,
Pleasant Surprise, 159,
A Stable Exalted State of Mind, 160,
Power of Thought, 161,
When Writing Becomes Compulsion, 163,
Pleasant Surprise, 164,
My Simple Sincerity, 165,
Thin Veil Separates, 166,
Always Hope, 167,
Ode to Love: Attachment, 168,
Be Here; Try to Lift the Veil, 170,
Be Still; Be There, 171,
Blessed Are the Innocent, 173,
Bright, Rosy, Brilliant Dawn, 175,
I Can Hear a Call, 181,
I Am Your Soul, 182,
I Need You (A Prayer), 183,
In the Core of My Being, 185,
In the Inner Core of My Heart, 186,
Inner Glow in My Heart, 188,
Like a Window It Opens, 189,
My Virtual World, 190,
No Name Is Needed for That State, 192,
Love is a Melody a Lover Longs to hear and Sing, 194,
Right Intentions, 197,
Supreme Feeling of Love, 198,
The Moment I Ask, 199,
This is My Studio, My Lab, 200,
Urge to Reach Up There, 201,
We Are Here, So Be Here in Full, 202,
What a Brilliance was there!, 203,
What Makes the Tear Flow?, 204,
When I Don't Feel the Pulse in Me, 205,
Perfectly, Consciously at Ease, 206,
When My Real Is with Me, 208,
Then I Appear Again, 209,
Why Are We Here?, 210,
You've got to Be Here, 211,
Earned Wisdom, 212,
A Natural Quest, 217,