Life in Moments / By Lily Swarn



Life in Moments





By Lily Swarn



Life is all about the simple joys in many moments that make it enchantingly beautiful. Lily, the quintessential Bohemian, the wandering gypsy drinking the ambrosia of life, seeks simple joys in nature; a ghazal or a Bryan Adams love song; the smile of her newborn daughter or the self-conscious ten-year son. It’s also in the glorious sunset in Sikkim and the reassurance from her husband when she has been low. The author walks down the memory lane to celebrate many moments of her joys. An exclusive for Different Truths.



“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore


Somehow, there will always be, certain moments, which will lie embedded, in the safest nook of your heart. There will be some memories that will be embossed in golden letters on your soul. The vision of a precious, summer dawn, which held fragrant promises, will come wafting by, from the hallowed precincts, of your own personal sanctum sanctorum. The whiff of a perfume, long forgotten, will ignite a thousand images. The sound of a ditty or ghazal will make the eyes brim over all because we counted life in those special gilded moments.


It’s the ‘life in the moments’, we are told that matters.


Well, it seems as if they were right, after all. The moments of happiness, often take us by surprise. It is as if they have tip toed from behind our unsuspecting backs and grabbed us with a steely clasp. We don’t seize them.

The moment when your first born opened her eyes and gave you a lopsided smile. The adoration and trust in those crystal clear pools will live with you forever. The umbilical cord will tighten with silken knots as you gaze, enraptured by this bundle of joy. Or that tender vision of your little man, all of ten, in his first bow tie for the school concert. He was gawky and achingly self-conscious, for the teacher had put red lipstick on his lips for the school concert. The endearing sight of his discomfiture is locked inside my heart.




Moments crystallised into sound clouds that waft in and out of my stream of consciousness are instant triggers to bliss. The wordings of the school anthem to which one marched brings with it a world of girlish glee and giggly pranks. The tune and lyrics are an instant pick me up, perking up a bleak day.

The cassettes of love songs that played on rickety tape recorders, dishing out caressing whispers of music in seductive voices are the tonic for rainy afternoons. A single note from a Bryan Adams favourite can recall a time where stars lived in one’s eyes and not in the sky.

How about the sunset from that mountain peak in Sikkim? The fire that became an inferno as it licked and lapped at the icy peaks of the stark mountains? How can it ever be erased from the mind’s eye? An inflammable vista in shades of orange, scarlet and crimson slashing through the ranges like a bloodthirsty warrior.

The first glimpse of the ethereal contours of a lavender shaded orchid swaying precariously from a fern clad tree. The satiny soft feel of its exquisite petals proclaiming divinity in each fold comes back to me with a joyous smile.

Of course one moment that never fails to gladden the cockles of my heart is the toothless grin of the nutmeg skinned lady, who sells vegetables in our neighbourhood. Her visage is like ancient parchment and her hands are gnarled but when she laughs uproariously at a random joke, a million suns rise and shine. I am entranced by her spirit for life in her tough circumstances. Her laugh teaches me a lesson every time.

What also lives with me is the dramatic though truthful phrase that my husband of over thirty years said to me in a tough moment, “hum hain na aap ke liye,” (I am there for you, right?) That resounds with conviction whenever a low hits me. It empowers and strengthens.


The real bond, between two people who love, truly strengthens when they, make connections between minds, hearts and souls. Those are the moments that will remain precious. Moments to relive, savour and cherish. There are schools of thought that lay emphasis on the memory of touch. They feel that even after numerous incarnations and millions of years, our consciousness retains the memory of another’s touch. The feeling of that sacred pinnacle in time, immortalised for posterity. The effervescence of how he or she made you feel!

The thrill of a special moment, carves itself, into a solid rock masterpiece, in your heart. No milestone can ever replace that tingling joy. Life is fleeting, so are our joys. It would be perfectly delightful, to be a carefree butterfly, not bothered about accumulating years, only thrilled in collecting joys, the ambrosial nectar of life; the amrit dhara (the stream of nectar ) the aaj (today), the yahaan (here ), the abhi (now). A famous Urdu couplet cajoles us thus ‘Maut ka ik din muayyan hai, neend kyon raat bhar nahi aati?’ (There is a day and time destined for death. Why, then, do we lie awake all night?)


©Lily Swarn


Lily has published English poems in three anthologies. She was awarded Reuel international prize for poetry 2016. A postgraduate in English from Punjab University, she was awarded a gold medal for best all-round student and academics. She edited her college magazine and wrote middles for newspapers. Poetry blossomed after her young son’s sudden demise. She writes in Hindi and English. Hailing from a defence family, she is settled in Chandigarh.