When I was young, I really battled to make friends. People were scary - kids even scarier - and most of the time, I'd only manage to overcome my social anxiety if the situation was particularly appealing. I had many embarrassments, though, because even when I was brave enough to join in with kids who were doing something awesome, I'd inevitably back out halfway through and go for a convenient walk. Or hide in the school library, pretending to choose a new Nancy Drew book. I felt too small (I was) and I was quite certain that everyone would think I was weird if I spoke. I was as zen as a lotus pose on the outside, but on the inside, I felt underwater, completely disconnected, one hundred percent alien. When high school loomed, I did not know how I was going to make it through that first year.
And then along came Shelley. She was half my weight, two inches shorter and in the first week of high school, managed to get herself hung from a locker room hook by her blazer collar. I'm not even saying she didn't deserve it. My heart has immediately jumped to the words 'That's my best friend'.
They say opposites attract and whoever said it first was thinking about romantic relationships, but this is a story that applies to my lifelong friendship with Shelley. From now on, I'm going to call her Pixie Girl - that's my name for her. In truth, I was far too shy to present nicknames to the few friends I cared for, but I needn't have worried with Shelley, as she provided the name herself (shew!). She was Pixie Girl and I was Fairy Girl. These names represented wild and fearless creatures who, although petite, had wolf hearts and could face any mountain together. We needn't speak about how old we were when we came to this conclusion; what matters is that I found the most enduring and profound friendship of my life in this tiny scrap of a girl who had a big mouth and a devil-may-care attitude. Also, she was sweet, had a beautiful smile and thought I was cool. Because of my Pixie, I didn't have to be the only girl who did not fit in.
We discovered similarities between us that were sufficient to base a friendship on: despite our awkwardness and completely different personalities, we were both cute blondes who the other kids actually liked; our moms shared the same pretty name and the same 'outrageous' rules; our dads both played the guitar. We came from the same faith and in the nearby primary school, our younger sisters had met and were planning sleepovers.
As the quintessential 'little angel' in school, myself, I could not fathom why this pixie-sized girl could not control her mischievous cheek that resulted in all sorts of punishments - such as being stuffed in a locker by Zak - but it fascinated and thrilled me. I came to realise that Pixie embodied my secret yearning to be a rebel. Because of my morbid fear of teachers, I didn't dare behave with her good-natured recklessness at school, but she gave me the courage to start thinking of ways to challenge my own restrictions. This is the first thing I want to thank her for: making me braver.
Pixie Girl and I balanced each other and it was very sad for us when life separated us for a while. She came to my wedding when I was just 18, but then I took off into the wilds to be adventurous with my new husband. I lost touch and wasn't at her wedding. Seven years later, we were both single mothers and found our way back together again. To our amazement, we had led parallel lives during those missing years. I would say that this post-divorce stage was the most painful and difficult time of my youth and I really battled depression, but once again, Pixie was there to give me strength. The years had completely transformed her physically - she now towered over me and looked like a ramp model - but her sass, positivity and confidence remained.
My entire adult life had been about my kids and I was very awkward with suddenly meeting new people, but she was the one who took my hand, dragged me out and made me look normal in public! Anything I needed to talk about, Pixie was the one who sat without judgement and gave counsel that actually made practical sense. When I'd been hurt and sat at work feeling depleted, Pixie was a comforting voice on the phone - not the sympathetic voice of my mom, but a voice that suggested outrageous solutions, making me burst into happy laughter. When that didn't work, she e-mailed me pictures of firemen. She was my superhero.
Many years have passed and we've both seen our share of tragedy. When I met the love of my life and he passed away less than two years after our wedding, there was only one person I trusted to identify the frozen body. I knew it was him - he had died in my arms - but I was as destroyed as a person can be and needed to be told that I wasn't imagining it all. I loved my mom dearly and she was there, but I needed Pixie to perform this sacred deed for me. Pixie loved my husband and she was distraught, too, but she loved me more. I made a request of her that few would have been able to go through with: cut a lock of his hair and bring it to me. She did it. She endured the subsequent nightmares and never once told me it was my fault.
Pixie and I do not live in the same city now, but we are still as close as we ever were after more than two decades. She has saved me countless times when my social awkwardness has landed me in hot water, or when I've had my heart broken, or when I was falling apart over something my child was going through. I'm still waiting to be brave enough to sing at a karaoke bar, but I know she's going to be at my side when I do it. After all, she overcame her own fear of singing completely alone: she just drove herself to a karaoke bar, chose a song, faced the blood-draining terror of an audience and started singing. She's like that: she just does it. I guess I'm still trying to figure out why she needs me, but I know that she does. I'm the one she calls when something amazing happens and I'm the one she calls when things are rough. That this woman trusts me enough to actually believe I have any answers at all, makes her wonderful to me!
Today is her birthday and this tribute is to say thank you. Thank you for a lifetime of being there, whether we lived close-by or in different states. Pixie is the most faithful friend I have ever had; the most fun, the least judgmental, the bravest, the most thoughtful, and if I ever have to run a race of atonement, she is the one I will trust to pull me over the finish line with dignity. I love you, friend. Happy birthday!
Thank you for surviving the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Your service in the 11th Hussars and Mounted Police makes me feel proud and want to help others.
I am grateful that upon calling your descendant Diana Beeson it was possible to have memories that evening of your descendant Ursula Beeson that I cherish.
In your memory, I have done my best to fulfill a request I received in Stratford upon Avon from a grandfather 'take care of Alice' which I have interpreted as 'All'.
From a young age, I have been more interested in defence than attack and this links to Individuals who with a team, including your descendant Tom, acheived great things:
We can be proud and thankful of 'Stuffy' and 'Skipper' as designer and implementer, with the team in the air and on the ground, of a key defensive force in making the world a better place, for even members of the attacking force.
Visionary Poet of the Millennium
An Indian poet Prophet
October 20th, 1927 - May 30th, 2007
Seshendra Sharma is one of the most outstanding minds of modern Asia. He is the foremost of the Telugu poets today who has turned poetry to the gigantic strides of human history and embellished literature with the thrills and triumphs of the 20th century. A revolutionary poet who spurned the pedestrian and pedantic poetry equally, a brilliant critic and a scholar of Sanskrit, this versatile poet has breathed a new vision of modernity to his vernacular.Such minds place Telugu on the world map of intellectualism. Readers conversant with names like Paul Valery, Gauguin, and Dag Hammarskjold will have to add the name of Seshendra Sharma the writer from India to that dynasty of intellectuals.
Rivers and poets
Are veins and arteries
Of a country.
Rivers flow like poems
For animals, for birds
And for human beings-
The dreams that rivers dream
Bear fruit in the fields
The dreams that poets dream
Bear fruit in the people-
* * * * * *
The sunshine of my thought fell on the word
And its long shadow fell upon the century
Sun was playing with the early morning flowers
Time was frightened at the sight of the martyr-
B.A: Andhra Christian College: Guntur: A.P: India
B.L : Madras University: Madras
Deputy Municipal Commissioner (37 Years)
Dept of Municipal Administration, Government of Andhra Pradesh
Parents: G.Subrahmanyam (Father) ,Ammayamma (Mother)
Siblings: Anasuya,Devasena (Sisters),Rajasekharam(Younger brother)
Wife: Mrs.Janaki Sharma
Children: Vasundhara , Revathi (Daughters),
Vanamaali ,Saatyaki (Sons)
Seshendra Sharma better known as Seshendra is
a colossus of Modern Indian poetry.
His literature is a unique blend of the best of poetry and poetics.
Diversity and depth of his literary interests and his works
are perhaps hitherto unknown in Indian literature.
From poetry to poetics, from Mantra Sastra to Marxist Politics his writings bear an unnerving pprint of his rare genius.
His scholar ship and command over Sanskrit , English and Telugu Languages has facilitated his emergence as a towering personality of comparative literature in the 20th century world literature.
T.S.Eliot ,ArchbaldMacleish and Seshendra Sharma are trinity of world poetry and Poetics.
His sense of dedication to the genre of art he chooses to express himself and
the determination to reach the depths of subject he undertakes to explore
place him in the galaxy of world poets / world intellectuals.
Seshendra Sharma’s Writings Copyright © Saatyaki S/o Seshendra Sharma
GunturuSeshendraSarma: an extraordinary poet-scholar
One of the ironies in literature is that
he came to be known more as a critic than a poet
HYDERABAD: An era of scholastic excellence and poetic grandeur has come to an end in the passing away of GunturuSeshendraSarma, one of the foremost poets and critics in Telugu literature. His mastery over western literature and Indian `AlankaraSastra' gave his works a stunning imagery, unparalleled in modern Indian works. One of the ironies in literature is that he came to be known more as a critic than a poet. The Central SahityaAkademi award was conferred on him for his work `KaalaRekha' and not for his poetic excellence. The genius in him made him explore `Kundalini Yoga' in his treatise on Ramayana in `Shodasi' convincingly. His intellectual quest further made him probe `NaishadhaKaavya' in the backdrop of `LalitaSahasraNaamavali', `SoundaryaLahari' and `Kama Kala Vilasam' in `SwarnaHamsa', Seshendra saw the entire universe as a storehouse of images and signs to which imagination was to make value-addition. Like Stephene Mallarme who was considered a prophet of symbolism in French literature, SeshendraSarma too believed that art alone would survive in the universe along with poetry. He believed that the main vocation of human beings was to be artists and poets. His `Kavisena Manifesto' gave a new direction to modern criticism making it a landmark work in poetics. Telugus would rue the intellectual impoverishment they suffered in maintaining a `distance' from him. Seshendra could have given us more, but we did not deserve it! The denial of the Jnanpeeth Award to him proves it
India's National Newspaper
Friday, Jun 01, 2007
'Aunty Judy', that's the name I grew up calling her. Her real name is Judith Elisabeth Cochran, an American woman with a heart of gold.
Why is this Texan woman so important to me?
Because I couldn't be where I am today without her. She lit up my world. Saw greatness and goodness where most people saw mediocrity. She gave me an unconditional love I once thought was humanly impossible. And through her, most of my childhood experiences are worth reminiscing.
I first met Judy in 1997. She had come to Mbita, a small town in the shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya, to volunteer at the school where I went to. I was only 5 years old then. Before her, I had only seen two white people. She was the third, and my teacher. To say I was fascinated may be an understatement.
My fascination was a little to the extreme and she reminded me many years later about how mesmerized by her foreign accent, I would imitate every word she spoke as she taught. All the other students would just stare at her in awe. Confusion maybe. My confidence, childish naughtiness, and eagerness to learn made her take a liking to me.
Over the years, Judy has been like a mother to me-protective, helpful, always wanting the best for me. Growing up in a chaotic household where I was subjected to a lot of bullying, she became the refuge I would run to. When the bullying continued into my adult years, I still ran to her. She listened, she advised, she stood by me and most importantly, she loved me through it all.
Growing up, my parents never paid a shilling towards my education. Not because they were irresponsible, but because Judy took up that responsibility. From kindergarten right through high school, she paid every shilling of my school fees without ever mentioning it. I am ashamed to say that I wasn't as grateful as I should have been. Several times, I took her for granted. Do you know what her response was to my teenage arrogance? More love, more patience, more forgiveness. Sometimes I think she might have contemplated dropping all the support she was giving me. I have never asked her. One day I will.
In the most recent years, Aunty Judy has remained the wonderful, gracious and loving woman that she was when I met her 22 years ago. She is amongst the first people I call with good or bad news. I am convinced now more than ever that her love for me is as pure and genuine as can ever be.
When my new friends ask me about her. I tell them she is my mentor. However, my old friends know her as my second mother. They call her "my white lady" sometimes. I don't mind that. And I'm sure she won't if she finds out. Over the years Judy's presence in my life has been a breath of fresh air. I look up to her and I am convinced now more than ever that when I grow up, I want to turn out just like her.
My little sister Jasmine is getting married this weekend.
Sisters are special, regardless of their age. They hold our hands and drive us to be better every day. I cherish the relationship I have with you, my little sister. I remember how excited I was when my mother came back home, holding you in her arms. I threw away all my dolls because I had gotten a sibling to play with. We have grown together and created a bond that cannot be broken no matter what. The things we have gone through have made us closer and tighter than before. I still cannot believe it that my little sister is getting married. The little girl I used to torture and tease around now has a new last name. We are both getting old Jasmine!
We played behind the small incomplete building with our friends, making mud pancakes and houses. We shared our little secrets that we could not even tell mummy while holding our little hands. As we grew older, we shared the growing pains and challenges of boarding and high school. How can I forget the times we clashed with each other during the holidays when you wanted to watch your favorite cartoons. Remember the days when daddy punished us for fighting over the remote? And we would take our porridge or tea without sugar for fighting? It taught us to agree even when our opinions or desires varied. I believe this has contributed to our strong bond even in our adult years. I cannot forget the library days when I got hungry as soon as we entered the library doors, and you used to get angry at me. I would force you to go out for lunch a few hours after.
Remember the hours in your campus days when we sat in the night talking about our lives and dreams. About the guy, you would want to get married to and the number of children you wanted. And, we would laugh at the many kids you wanted to have. We imagined a focused, kind, caring, and loving man to share your wedding day and marriage. My little sister, I am so happy that you got the kind of man you have always dreamed and prayed for. Your wedding is an indication that some things will eventually end. But, you are excited and happy, and I cannot help but extend my sincere best wishes to you two. I love you, my little sister, and I am thankful to God for blessing me with a sister like you!
Tears run down my chin today when I saw you in your wedding dress. And, as you walked slowly towards your husband, I saw you walking into your next life sister. I want to say that I am happier for you than you can imagine. My little sister, I want you to know that marriage works as long as you commit to working through the small or big fights. You are going to argue over little things as you get used to the new arrangement of marriage. But, that does not mean that you are doomed; it is normal. Remember to practice empathy and avoid going to bed angry at each other. You should never forget the things that made your husband fall in love with you and work towards making them better by the day.
Congratulations on your wedding, my little sister! I cherish you!
Today is my mother’s 53rd birthday, and I wish nothing but more blessings and good health in her golden years. God blessed me with a loving and supportive mother, and I could not ask for more. Even if I am married and with children of my own, she still supports and advices me like her little girl.
Fifty-three years ago, a little girl was born in Meru, Kenya. The little girl was hardworking and brilliant in school. Her father invested in her educated for her empowerment, and though she did not join her dream career-law, she became a teacher. She met and married my father while working as an intern, and she soon bore her firstborn daughter. It was no longer about you the moment you welcomed your first daughter. The little girl born 53 years ago is my beloved my mother! No words can match up the sacrifices she has made to bring up her three daughters. We love you, mum!
I am a woman of 28 years, and I owe everything that I have and am to my mother, who today will be turning 53. Raising your three daughters besides all the hardships meant working twice, if not thrice as hard. My mother hurts when you hurt, and she prays the rosary each day for her two grandchildren and us. My mother’s love is beautifully irrational. She looks beyond my mistakes and flaws, seeing the best version of not only me but all her three daughters. She has always been there for all of us, day and night. Mum, Ma. She has taken this role dearly and never relented, no matter what. No one shapes lives than our mothers. You have taught us to work harder beyond our current circumstances to become a better version of ourselves. It is from you mum that I have learned to love my babies selfless and dedicate my life to them.
I cannot go without acknowledging the challenges you have gone through mum. I look back at the events, and I am sure beyond doubt that you are the strongest species on earth. The biggest challenge being the loss of your father. It was tough for you mum. How you gathered the strength to pick us from school to attend the funeral, without saying a word to us about it, and coming up with a lie to protect us from the emotions is something I still do not understand. You remained calm throughout the 3 hours’ drive, without getting emotional. I know the divorce was draining, emotionally, and financially. I am still baffled by your strength throughout this trying and stressful time of your life. This was a hard time for us as a family, financially and emotionally, but you still held our hands.
I thank God for blessing me with a mother in my childhood. I enjoyed the new clothes you bought us during Christmas and New Year’s Day, the road trips, the holidays and your delicious pilau and chapos. I will do my best each day to say, “Thank you, Mummy” I want you to know that I could not be anywhere close to where and who I am today, were it not for your love, support, and counsel.
Thank you for being strong in broken circumstances. I love you! Happy 53rd birthday mummy.
There are very few people who you come across who help you gain a clear insight in your life. There is always something going on at a personal level in one's mind where the person is suffering or having some issues. Well, all this was true for me but through one channel or another my life coach Azeelia Fialho changed my life for the better. Prior to talking to her, the world was a weird chaotic place for me where i used to depend on others for guidance. Someone would guide something and the other person contradicting it, leaving you forever doubting everything and yourself.
But, all of that changed after i talked to Mrs. Azeelia and she helped me get the self awareness and guidance i needed to move forward in life. I was in a place in my life where i had so many issues it is hard to know unless you get out of that mental space. She helped me get out of that dark place onto something better where i am more self dependent and i wouldn't go back. Sure, i still have things to figure out but who doesn't? Relatives, friends and everyone else has something to say about your life and judge and "guide" to what they think is best. But, with Azeelia, she helped me find out what i really want from my life and how best i can manage my environments. Becoming the best version of myself through what i want rather than environmental expectations is something i realized at the age of 22.
When i think back to all of the support she has given me and the hours invested to make me think clear, it fills me with immense gratitude. Coming to know of an entire different side to life which might not be possible without her, is nothing short of a blessing. It is as if i was living underneath a dark blanket shielding me from the best things in life. Thanks to Mrs. Azeelia, i can do so much on my own, which i used to depend on others for. Now i guide others to the same when i can see they're in similar troubles. No one wants to live their lives just going through the flow of listening to relatives, false mentors. But finding my guidance to life in Azeelia has helped me in so many areas, i find it hard to put it all together.
I am a different version of myself who has healed through so much trauma, issues and bad habits. Even though there are relapses, i can count on myself to get right back up and continue to evolve in the way Azeelia has taught me. Thanks to her, i do not have many regrets in my life now and everything has turned out to be so much better than i could have imagined. Sure, life is not all roses now, but from where i have come to where i am now today, it is a drastic difference that i see in myself and i owe a major part of that to Azeelia ma'am.
This is my tribute to her for helping me through so much in my life it is hard to put into words and hard to convey. Some day i am going to call her and say "I made it" after achieving what i need to be self dependent and most importantly happy where i am at any point of my life. That is what she is for me and i honestly could not see myself in the happy place that i am in today without her guidance. Having the willpower to push through and keep on moving towards better while being happy where i am today is something i am incredibly proud and grateful for.