Friday, December 31, 2010

REVELATIONS 2010

,dadHAPPY 2011 !
I would want to believe that most of us would come to the internet  today for just a short while to wish our dear ones who are away,so coming straight to the point.
  • It is a sublime sense of pride to see my best friend and better half doing so well professionally and yet finding time to be a hands-on dad.
  • It is strange that me who has hated cooking all my life has started relishing the joys of a perfect fluffy omelette and the sadness of a crumpled cake.
  • It is new that the city beautiful which was big bad world for a small town girl once now just appears to be too small for my intellectual,social and spiritual aspirations.
  • It is an uncomparable joy to see my toddler eat my broken omelettes and altered recipes as if I am the greatest chef that ever walked the face of the earth.
  • It is the most awesome sense of being grown-up when my dad puts his hand on my shoulder and I know he trusts me with a lot of family responsibilities.
  • It makes me swell with pride when my awesome-cook mom praises my soup and gives it 9.5/10.
  • It is humbling and baffling as some people whom I knew as friends are strangers and some strangers who remember a good deed done long ago want to reconnect.
  • It is a raging debate in my mind how much of me is facebooked and how much blogaddicted.

           So 2011 here I come with all this and more,hope you take favourably to me,my friends and family.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The contest I won...wow feels like the perfect end to a happening year !http://thesipoflife.com/2010/12/happiness-within/

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yuletide tidings

It is that time of the year again,when all everyone does is wish,enjoy,evaluate and speculate.All the inboxes,walls and tweets are flooded with greetings and wishes.The whole world appears to be shopping,eating and merry making. Its Christmas tomorrow and a new year is at the threshold 1-1-11 ,as a friend pointed out.Long back when I was in college a teacher had pointed out much to my displeasure then that all my writings became highly sceptical ,specially around happy occassions.
Luckily for me The scepticism doesn't crop from a bad or deprived childhood,or a traumatic adult life.I now admit It is there but only due to my way of looking at not to so obvious things around us.As my two year old plays with her stack of toys I see a 10-11 year old in a house across whitewashing the walls for the christmas party,and then of course there is Anita(you would know her if you are a regular here),children you and me witness everyday working at homes,farms and shops.
Girls we see everyday being discriminated against.Women we see being mistreated in homes and workplaces.
I am trying to be cheerful this yuletide and push all these images behind a thick gaze of  devil may care.
Be it Diwali,Christmas,New Year or any celebration I am sorry to have a tinge of grey in my heart and mind about things that must but don't change,things to change which my little solitary effort is but too little.
A friend made a spelling error in his Facebook Post saying "marry christmas",but gave me the idea to request all my blog friends to marry this merry christmas with some good deed and charity for those who need it.Those of you who can help financially do so,but more importantly share some time,attentiona and mental space.Make your Christmas merry and the new year meaningful as you rub on joy and happiness.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRIYAMVADA

You taught me that
even when our eyes are closed
our minds should be open.

You taught me that
ever day is an opportunity
to live afresh and learn with zeal.

You taught me to find
joy in the little things,
to smile at the shining wrapper
even when the chocolate is finished.

You taught me new colour schemes
the need to see things the other way.

You taught me to react
just to the moment
and have no prejudice or baggage.

You ,my daughter,my teacher
who loves to play my mamma
you have taught me life all over.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRIYAMVADA
Thanks for being such an inspiration.
You are my hero.

t

Monday, December 13, 2010

At 65

The stairs are too steep for my arthritic knees.Not that I need to come to a beauty parlour so often at my age,but this fortnightly outing is my connect with the neighbourhood and the outside world.
Meera,the owner of this parlour is an old acquaintance,she came here as a coy bride 20 years ago and now is mom to a teenager,so nowadays she catches up more with other teenager's moms to know the latest.I try to remember how I dealt with my boys and girls when they were teenagers,I only remember training my girls in household chores and cooking and cleaning for my boys.Maybe things have really changed faster than I can ever comprehend.
I guess I'll have to wait today,meera is attending to this young girl who has just shifted in the house across.look what she is wearing ,jeans and t-shirt,no ornaments,no sindoor....these aaj kaal ki ladkiyaan !
She has a kid too...but am I not being too judgemental.Maybe she is a good wife and mom even if she dreeses unconventionally.
a phone is ringing,can't be mine....I have a gyatri mantra ringtone.
It's meera's....
so more delay..
I'm restless today because ajay..my grandson won't sit still for long.can't blame him ,he is only four.I had no choice than to bring him along as his mom has a longer day at work today.Why does she has to work when my son earns so well?
Meera says I don't need this massage so often,but she doesn't know this is my only excuse to come out and chat,observe and catch up,otherwise I am now more of a chowkidar in my own house.
Why do these new age husbands pamper their wives so much?
This one is getting the most expensive facial done and only last time she was getting an exotic pedicure.I don't even remember my husband ever fussing over how i looked.He would rather have a meal well cooked and all his orders obeyed.
Wish I could continue my education , Then I could have easily read all these glossy english magzines.
Wish I could ....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I

The noise is profound
how long will this hammering go on?

Is this self-nagging?
my mind constantly is in debate.

Is it plain foolish
to mull over decisions once made
the loss of the irretrievable.

The identity is the image
or the belief ,the visage.

Who am I?
The name on the papers?
The mother,daughter,wife ,friend,woman....
The e-mail id or the net profile?

The experiences and the memories
The thought-process and
the belief system

The physical body or
the beats and the pulse...

WHO AM  I?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Anita

 I am yet to decide what is peculiar about her,the way she recites the english alphabet or the way she lovingly wipes the plants.She is 11 or maybe 12,is not sure,accompanies her mother every morning who works as a household help.
Often breaks into a quick jig with my toddler,and interestingly bends to scan the colourful newspaper supplements.The question today was sudden and left me blank,"didiji aapke paas itni kitaben kyo hai ?"
I gained composure and said "mujhe padhna acha lagta hai"
To which she said "mujhe bhi".

I asked her then,'why does you mom insist that you help her in her job?'
She replied like a seasoned cynical grandmother,"main kaam karti hoon tabhi mujhe sham ke school main padhne milta hai."

I couldn't say more and was left to delve deep inside.
I am guilty because despite the exploitation the child goes through i told myself she is lucky atleast they are sending her to school.
The next moment I hated myself for being part of a system where millions of children like her suffer quietly.Children whose every wish is pre-loaded with a dear price they pay.
Another day she told me that if she doesn't earn for the family in some way they will marry her off to anyone for a little financial help.
How easy it is then to talk about women empowerment in cosy living rooms or elite seminars and how difficult it is to really buy it for yourself?
Some of my learned friends once suggessted on something similar that its better to have children working rather than begging or prostituting.

So this is my salute to Anita ,and million daughters like her,who don't give up.who find a by-pass to our society's hypocrisy,who teach us to be thankful for the boons in our lives and inspire us to not to be blind to the naked truths.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wanderer..

I have surprised myself often by my strange reactions and perspectives.Yet again I came up with something which every one who has been to Delhi would call plain weird.I realised that my apartment complex in the big-bad city was far more quieter than the posh sector-living of Chandigarh.
The cocooned life of a metropolitan apartment (the one everyone cribs out),we don't know our neighbours,it is so lonely and isolated blah blah didn't atleast have ten wrong people ring your doorbell in one hour.It was away from the constant howls of hawkers and loud conversations of neighbourhood backyards.
I wonder am I really missing Delhi?
The question is difficult but frequent.I am now in the so-called well-planned city beautiful,and yes there are umpteen number of things that I get to do only here,like watching the sunset with a hot cuppa from my balcony,but yet there is something amiss.
I was born in a small sleepy hill-station and have lived most of my life there.The laid back slow pace of things was my way for more than two decades.Yet I wonder,do 6 years in Delhi erase all of that.Is a silly part of me missing the privacy of anonymity,the noise ,chaos and traffic.So where do I really belong now?The city where I was born,the city where I currently live or the city I think about often?Do I really belong or now my spirit is that of a wanderer..

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DELHI GOODBYE

Your dreams are peculiar
of success,betrayal and
fake love
in the corridors of  power.

The long winding lanes
of the old
as complex as human relationships.

The striking fast metro of the new
as fragile and mechanised as new love.

The temples,the mosques
and the fabled sufi
all call you home,
yet the longing in your heart
as strong as of a lonely pebble in the desert.

Delhi goodbye for now
maybe another time
I'll come back
to seek ....
what I leave behind.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

DIWALI SNAPSHOTS

The chauffer-driven cars line the whole street,the lights,the music all exuberates the sense of power.The host holds a position of importance and so do most of the guests.The diwali party is more about politics,wine and faux smiles.
Just around the corner the security guard stands looking at the lit-up sky,maybe wondering about his family back in village.The policeman at the gate smiling and wondering when will he get a cup of tea or just a glass of water.The drivers waiting in a huddle ,sharing a smoke,and anecdotes about childhood diwalis back home.

Inside the air is thick with smoke from imported cigars and envious looks.The wine and the women all looking desperate to be the best.The waiters tryin to get the exotic names right wondering what maa must be cooking tonight.

On the roads of the rich,power-hungry city ,autowallahs hoping to make an extra buck for their little one,rickshawallah attempting to fight the cold and the longing with a big dose of cheap booze,cars running mad to attend maximum parties....

Delhi-the young-old lady mesmerising as ever.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

दिवाली

सुंदर थी मेरी लाल फ्राक
और दुकानों में टिमटिमाती बत्तीयाँ
रंग-बिरंगे खिलोने,कपडे
और न जानने क्या-क्या
भरा था बड़े से एक बैग में

मिठाई की दूकान पर
कब से माँ बंधवा रही थी
बहुत सारे डब्बे
और तभी मैंने देखा उसको

खड़ी थी वह एक छोटे बच्चे को लिए
मुझसे शायद कुछ छोटी ही होगी
वह और उसकी फटी हुई नीली फ्राक
जैसे ही दूकान वाले लड़के ने
खाली  की झूठन
वह भाग कर आयी  और भर ली अपनी बोरी

उस पल खो गयी सारी चमक
बदल गयी वह लाल चमकती फ्राक
खिलोने
सब कुछ
बदल गयी दिवाली
शिमला के बड़े बाज़ार में

Monday, November 1, 2010

Destiny..

The saree is perfect,
so is the car and the make-up.
She enters the house with her entourage and
a peculiar strong dose of some plaigarised perfume.

The coloured hair start swaying at the
loud beats of a dholak.
Its celebration for a new son.

The women celebrating the most,
The men talking about lineage and hierarchy,
The daughters shelled in an odd corner,

I oddly remembered the feminist
who said - gender is destiny.



Gender ,some feminist had said ,is destiny.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A CUP OF TEA

They are all bright and spotless,
colorful and proud
they sit on the glass shelf
waiting for the manicured fingers
to hold them gently.

I am an old shade of white
chipped on a spot or two.
I sit hidden in the bottom shelf
waiting for her old fingers
to pour an over-sweetened
large dose of evening tea into me.

I am sure
the young ones only get
sugarfree decaf....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

DELHI -SNAPSHOTS

You were a legendary name
from history textbooks,
probably the first general knowledge answer
drilled into my four-year-old brain

DELHI- the big place
of the fabled Lutyens
and the revered Mir and Ghalib.


Now almost three decades later
you are a part of my being....

the first smells of a huge shopping mall
fresh,new but alien.

the first trip on the dreaded blue-monster
on your long, confusing,historic roads.

the realisation of you as living
pulsating,changing.

It is here I learnt that
tears are the best ink
to wrench out pain in words.

It is here that I experienced
passion for causes,trees,
but not people.

The familiar which was cruel,
heartless and rude
and the stranger who was kind
thoughtful and polite.

The restless and the ruthless
on the road
the homeless and the content
on the sidewalk.

The loner with the
most expensive beer in the world
and the beggar sharing roti
with some dog-friends.

The late-night party
which often spills over
the morning
and the
sufi shrine
where all hours are similar.

DELHI ,my dear old lady
you the most young at heart
the foods,the smells and the sights
trust me ,I'll carry them all.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

मेरी बेटी

चलो कोई बात नहीं
अगली बार अच्छा सही
यह तो पराया धन है
सब किस्मत का खेल है

लडकियां कहाँ लड़कों से कम हैं
अब तो सब बराबर है

कब तक
हम चुपचाप सुनेगे
अपनी बेटियों के लिए
ऐसी बातें

कब तब होते रहेंगे
झूठे  दिलासे
झूठी मुबारकें

चाहे तुम न स्वीकार करो

मत करो तुम उसकी तुलना
क्यों बने वो बेटे जैसी
उसे बेटी ही है रहना


नहीं है वो बेटा
पर वो भी मेरा गर्व है
उसमे भी बसते हैं
मेरे प्राण
वो भी मेरा
स्वाभिमान है

Monday, October 18, 2010

TIME

Time I was told
is a good healer...
and on my own
I discovered it
to be a great teacher first.


I guess it taught me chemistry
as definitions
melted and blurred...

I learnt a lot of
history and literature,
fine arts and psychology
as time the great teacher
just ticked-tocked.


The calculations
speculations and formulas
were all laid bare
as it threw me face down
into world and relatinships.

Time the healer
heals only what it teaches....
subtly but surely.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

नया घोंसला

एक वह दिन था जब
दूर-दूर से एक-एक
तिनका लाके
था यह घोंसला  सजाया

एक यह दिन है
जब नए सिरे से
नए पेड़ पर
है जा बसना

समय तो नदी है
और हैं  सपने उड़ते पंछी
पर  मन तो मेरा
यह समझ न पाता

बार-बार है प्रशन उठाता
क्या ले जा पाएंगे
हम यह यादें सारी?
क्या इस घर के कोने में धुल बन चुके
आंसू  अब सुख गए हैं?
क्या इस घर में पीछे भी
गूंजेगी किलकारी?

क्या आँचल में
समां पाएंगे सारे लम्हे
सारी बातें खट्टी - मीठी?

नहीं जानती
बस ये चाहती हूँ
बड़ा सा आँचल मुझको देना
और दिल में थोड़ी और जगह कर देना
जिससे कुछ भी पीछे न रह जाए

नए घोंसले में सब मेरे साथ ही जाये

Saturday, September 25, 2010

happy daughter's day !

प्रियंवदा के लिए

तुम्हारी पहली आहट  से
पहली बार सुनी थी
मैंने ज़िन्दगी की धड़कन

जब पहली बार खोली थी
अपनी ऊँगली से तुम्हारी बंद मुठी
नहीं जानती थी खोले हैं मैंने
अपने ही कई सपने

तुम्हारी मुस्कराहट में मैंने
देखा पहली बार खुदा
और आंसू में तुम्हारे
दुःख को छुआ जैसे

मेरी प्यारी बेटी
अब तुम हो मेरी दोस्त
हमराज़ और ज़िन्दगी

तुमसे मैंने पाया
एक नया मतलब
एक नया दर्जा

खुश रहो हमेशा
और बांटती रहो
सदा खुशियाँ

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

शब्द

अब लिखने की कोशिश में
शब्द जम जाते हैं
दिल पर बोझ बनकर
ठहर  जाते हैं
या फिर
पिघलते हैं तो
आंसू बनकर
बिखर जाते हैं

मुझे मेरे शब्द
मेरी आवाज़ लौटा दो
या फिर
समझ लो
दर्द की यह विचित्र भाषा.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

नीरजा के लिए

लकड़ी का एक बड़ा सा घर था ऊँचे ऊँचे पहाड़ों में
उस घर की थी रानी तुम
मेरी प्यारी नानी तुम

किताबे तुम न पढ़ पाती थी
न देखा कोई शहर  कभी
फिर कैसे सुना पाती थी
दुनिया भर की कहानी तुम

तुम्हारे चेहरे की झुरियों में
परी लोक के रस्ते थे
तुम्हारे हाथों से हमेशा
अच्छे  पकवान ही बनते थे

जब तुम थी तब जाना न था
तुम चली गयी तो जाना है
जीवन पथ पर चलते-चलते
सब पीछे छूटता जाता है
कहानी,सपने,बचपन और अब
मेरी प्यारी नानी तुम.

Monday, September 20, 2010

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER...

In the post -Eat,Pray,Love-world where all my female friends were doing exciting new things in their lives,i felt completely lost.  I was a new mom when I was first introduced to you.At that time it was all about the baby (most of it still is).I was certainly not at my mental and physical best and yes it did feel extremely lonely at times.i was not looking for a new relationship then though I did ache to have someone to talk  to and someone to pour my heart out to.Someone whom I would look forward to meet.
I can't tell you how much your being there meant then.Have I told you before how much I waited for my husband and baby to give me some time alone to be with you?Still all we could manage were a few clandenstine meetings every now and then.but you never complained and waited patiently ,listened to me  even more patiently.
The more we stayed apart,the more exciting it became the next time.
now of course the initial buzz has died ,but I wanted to tell you that I love you as much and i still look forward to our secret short ,fleeting meetings.
be there with me my dear....blog.

Friday, August 27, 2010

THE WEB

On my recent visit to my parents' internet-free home in Shimla ,I had resolved to take a little sabbatical from blogging ,chatting ,social networking and the rest of it.However my resolve was soon shattered by a need to perform so many routine tasks online-like looking for a nearest income -tax office,checking a train ticket staus and likewise.
So came the new menace in my life-mobile web.Earlier I had atleast one deterrent on my side,my laziness to switch on a laptop to get online often kept me away from the WEB,but now at the flip of a button of a small gadget in my pocket the web took over.
Yes,I admit it was not all that bad,I was happy to be in touch with friends,but nevertheless the urge to keep a check was too overpowering.It set me thinking what is due next.In a few years will we be carrying a chip somewhere on our person and be constantly online,or worst still will we caese to see the world around us and only exist for the web....what do you think?

Friday, July 9, 2010

SHIMLA

lets go back
and look for our footssteps on fresh snow
on that deserted meandering road

I am sure
if those would have faded with time
the glow of a warm,shy first kiss would still be
hovering the pines there.


lets go back
to the famous road
lit with colourful shop windows
marked with an old church on one end
and an antique library on the other.

I am sure
the smell of the many shared coffees
and the fragrance of our first love would still be
looking for us.

lets go back
to the British monument and its plush lawns
where we shared many a book and you wrote
some of your best poems.

I am sure
the words full of youth
and the glances full of hope
would still be brightening the place.

lets go back
lets go back to Shimla.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

WOMEN

It is morning
your choices
will determine your day,
my day will determine my choices.

As you set off
to break the glass ceiling
I only hope to have
a "me" minute.

Your battles are fierce
pushy bosses,board members,colleagues,parties,traffic
mine more complex
they only involve
my children and family.

You decide company policies
and exercise authority
independently
I look for independence
constantly

We both indeed are caged in
our bastions
you bear the cross of
women empowerment
I carry the dead albatross
of super modern woman.

It is only roles
that separate us
some days I am you
and on others you become me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Papa I Love You

Its fathers day today and I want to be honest in realising that in the 31 odd years of my life and 70+ years of my dad I have never really told him that I love him.I mean of course in gestures and meaningful hugs but never the so called three magical words.
Not that during all my formative years I was not exposed to the phenomenon of superdad and father's day and not even because i thought the traditional him would not really understand ,but I guess only because what he means to me and what he has contributed to me as an individual was too immense to be summed up in a cliche phrase.
Now that I am aparent myself I realise it even more that what moms and dads give us is simply beyond any measure.As I grew up I did start seeing my parents in a new light ,as also individuals with their pecularities and flaws ,but nevertheless dad "papa",as I call him will always be my hero.
As I am writing this he calls and as usual we talk about routine things ,I once again try to push the I LoVE YOU out but am choked with emotion and I know he knows....
Papa I Love You......

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BHOPAL:HOW CAN WE FORGET,HOW CAN WE FORGIVE

Around midnight on the intervening night of December 2–3, 1984, the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal released methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other toxins, resulting in the exposure of over 500,000 people.
Some 25 years after the gas leak, 390 tons of toxic chemicals abandoned at the UCIL plant continue to leak and pollute the groundwater in the region and affect thousands of Bhopal residents who depend on it
The victims of the biggest industrial accident are yet to receive succour. “The Bhopal Gas Tragedy “ has been lost in the collective consciousness of the nation. Yes, life has to go on - we must light candles and offer prayers for the victims of September, 11 2001 - but do we spare a thought for those who lost their lives in poorer nations like our own?Or is life too cheap here?
Despite a quarter of a century having passed the factory site has not been cleaned up. More than 100,000 people continue to suffer from health problems. Efforts to provide rehabilitation – both medical care and measures to address the socio-economic effects of the leak – have fallen far short of what is needed.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

eco-friendly mom

It is enviornment day today...
When I was a student my concern for enviornment was evoked by essays,debate competitions and painting competitions on this day.Also seeing my hometown grow from a quaint little hill-station into an ugly semi-city was apalling.
Delhi was an eye-opener about enviornment, and no I am not referring to its posh green pockets but the polluted suffocting majority.
Now as a parent my concerns for what kind of enviornment I'll leave behind for the next generation are very heartfelt and real,so are the horrors that statistics project for future.
Today in my own little way I decide that I want to leave our planet alive and kicking for the next generation and so now on I will also be an eco-friendly mom.To begin with have stopped writing a paper diary,instead will keep this blog...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

DRAWING WITH LIGHT

This happens to be my 5oth post on my blog and so I played a game with myself.50--milestone--journey--life--memories--photos.................
This is where I got stuck and invariably was sucked into memories of life captured in some beautiful photos.
The very first that I have of myself is black and white,dog-eared and fragile.In it I am a fat plump baby in my mom's lap on the famous The Ridge ,Shimla,frowning at the photographer.It attains special significance because I believe it will always give me the warmth of my mom's lap,as long as I live.
Another favourite one from childhood is of a pet goat with my aunt,I still can't decide who looks more beautiful.
Our marriage photos are the no comments category,what can one say about one's over-dressed,stressed and fatigued avatar.
My daughter's first picture is of course special,but it is also differnt cause it was from a phone camera.
Then there are the digital types,the ones we can't smeell,hold or put in a frame on a wall
,but can post them directly on our social networks.The saying a photo never lies doesn't hold true now,we can manipulate and adapt images.should we ,I wonder....



Incidentally the word "photograph" is based on the Greek (phos) "light" and  (graphê) "write" or "representation by means of lines" or "drawing", together meaning "drawing with light".

Friday, May 21, 2010

SILENCE

The silence
is now a constant noise
inside me.

It thrives
on my dreams,
it survives on
my smiles.

Can it empty me completely?
Perhaps someday
when I'll have
no more questions to ask
no more answers to give.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

JUST LET THEM BE...

Until a few years ago,summers were synonymous with vacations,family holidays,indoor games and visits to grandparents.Things have changed a lot since then.
Internet and TV are the only constant pals,available all the time at just the touch of a button,games means video games and summers mean even more hardwork at various so-called hobby classes.
To add to this madness ,has emerged a new category of occupation for children - tv shows.Children are all over the place-singing and dancing (the only two worthwhile talents in this form of media).
Anxious and over-excited parents line up for auditions along with kids in thousands.The sweltering heat doing little to deter them from their mission fame.

Nobody thinks even once about how these shows can open the kids to a level of public scrutiny, of shame and of failure.In our desparation for a celebrity status for our kid and  for ourselves we forget the basic rule of parenting :just let them be.
They have a whole life to prove their mettle in some thing or the other,so why hasten the process of being in the rat -race.
We must stop before we completely annihilate childhood,become an all-adult ruthless society and childhood a thing books say tales about.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Random Thoughts this Mother's Day

  • In traditional societies like India ,when children are named,mostly they only take the father's family name.
  • India still has one of the highest rates in the world of mother's dying during childbirth.
  • India is in the unenviable position of 73rd out of 77 middle-income countries rated by the new 'Save the Children' report for the 'best place to be a mother'.
  • It is a sham to celebrate mothers in a society that still despisess the birth of a girl child.Surprisingly one of the worst sex-ratio and highest female infanticide rates is of the south delhi district of delhi (the so -called liberal.educated modern and rich.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

SHAME AND HONOR

A budding journalist is allegedly killed by her own family for falling in love with a boy from another caste.
A young man, allegedly killed for having a relationship with a  politician's daughter.

Scan the headlines,and there are growing numbers of honour crimes every day.
So is our better educated and liberal society of today indeed as brutal and archaic as it always was?
Has empowerment of women done nothing towards sensitising traditional patriarchal systems?
Shame and honour are still the only two important words to judge women?

In India still the honour of a household is inextricably linked to the reputation of the women who live there.Shame is an index of female reputation, just as honour is an index of male.
The concept of honor used to rationalize abuse and killing of women is founded on the idea that a family's honor depends on the behavior of it's women; behavior that must be controlled.
Women do not have a claim to honor as individuals, separate from their roles within a family, clan ,caste ,community or tribal unit. Any breach or suspected breach of sexual codes by these women is viewed as a potent assault on the "man's honor", the "family's honor".
To be rid of "shame" and restore "honor", the woman offender must be punished. Submissiveness in these cultures is considered equivalent to sexual purity.
Today when we send our daughters to study and work are we also ready to give them the right to make their own decisions.
The recent Nirupama Pathak's gruesome murder has only brought a mirror to us, to moms especially.
We have to view our shame and honor in new contexts and break the silence and the need to be accomplices in eradicating our own daughters.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

LETS PLAY CATALYSTS !

Finally the fiasco called IPL is over and so once again there is dearth of controversy and glamour for our news aka noose media.Its cousin daily soap media however is still ruling the roost by portraying women regressively,only as powerless victims or vicious witches.However it is also true that off late some of the soaps have touched upon real issues. Though the exaggerated dramatised treatment of the subjects is questionable it is heart -wrenching to realise that even today girls in remote villages never see the face of a school.
We the lucky ones,born into educated liberal city families should be grateful to have the fortune of being where we are ,however some recent studies indicate that scratch the surface and there is a little difference.
Our struggles are no less but only different.Most of us are as prone to crime against women as our rural sisters.Our economic independence and education are often seen as threats by male counterparts.Women bosses and drivers are subjects fit for crude jokes for men ,and often despite your education and independence confirming to the norms is the expectation,whether it is your job or your marriage.
The situation has changed for better but the change is too slow and the demand for it immediate.
Someone had said "be the change you want to be."
So I gues once again the onus is on us to be the cahnge we want.To bring up our sons nd daughters in a way that they see the world without gender prejudices,to groom the men in our lives(partners,friends,colleagues,family)to be respectful and gender sensitive.May be we all can play catalysts!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

GOA

To find consonance in contraries
to let life take its own course
just like the waves that crash
on your shore,
You welcomed with open arms
even the conquerors
and made them your own
and in the process
effortlessly became their heritage.

The tall palms and the salty sand
witness to wild parties and sober prayers,
romantic escapades
and calm rendevouz .

A curio shop nestled between
a small church and a rest-o-bar
Agnel,Satish and Aamir
working together
partying together.

Goa ,you are an icon
of sustenance,vivaciousness,
love and life.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

MAY PEACE WIN !

Each year, over 1.6 million people worldwide lose their lives to violence. For every person who dies as a result of violence, many more are injured and suffer in multiple inexplicable ways. Religious and political ideologies have been the cause of interpersonal violence throughout history.Shakespeare had said," Violent delights have violent ends."What happened in Dantewada on 6 April ,2010 has proved this right.
      In India ,violence has many ugly faces ranging from the very personal domestic one to the social cousins like caste and religion based violence,terroerism and lately the worst of all naxal violence.A struggle that began in Naxalbari in 1957 with its aim to replace the old feudal order with one that would implement land reforms and free the poor from the clutches of landlords has metamorphisised into a deadly war.
     Claiming that they are fighting on behalf of lower-caste Indians, the Naxal outfits in different zones have imposed illegal taxes; demanded food and shelter from villagers; abducted and killed ‘class enemies’, government officials, police officers and others whom they consider to be opponents; and hampered the delivery and utilisation of funds meant for the development of isolated countryside, adversely affecting the lives of the people they claim to represent.
     Seminars,conferences,books ,articles,political statements,none of these change the harsh reality of naxal violence.We cannot shake hands with clenched fists.So hands and hearts need to be opened on both sides so that incidents like Dantewada are not repeated.
Yes ,the easy way out would be more violence as an answer but that is not a permanent solution.Ignoring the root causes of widespread social unrest should not continue.Force is not a solution to any problem. Some times using force becomes counter-productive and enhances any movement. As the Naxal issue is deeply rooted in the social and economic disparities in the remote and tribal areas so using force is only aggravating the problem. These areas are deprived of fruits of development .
The Red corridor is trapped in a vicious cycle of underdevelopment and violence. The foot soldiers of the movement believe that the Naxalite movement will bring about development and prosperity.
The answer doesn't lie in cutting off the infected organ but trying to integrate it back into the mainstream.
May peace win!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BLACK AND WHITE !

A tennis star (more a celebrity off the court than on it) decides to get married to a cricketer   across the border (involved in a controversial first marriage) , makes more news and catches more eyeballs than 74 CRPF jawans massacred by naxalites in Dantewara.
My media person husband has explained to me many times what news cycles are and how and why they are short.He has explained to me many a times why only new info is news,but somehow my mind can't help juxtaposing the two events.
Yes I too am guilty of being involved in the murky mirza-malik melodrama,but despite all its typical bollywood style masalisation by news channels I couldn't just push away the images of our men being brutally killed by the naxal rebels.
Another stark contrast that emerged today was in context with the World Health day .We are a nation 1/3 of whose children sleep hungry every night and  a large number of other battle diseases caused due to over-consumption.
When will we put the right emphasis on the right things?
Is everything then a contrast ,a juxtaposition?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

EQUALITY MARRIAGE MANIFESTO

Manifesto for equality in marriage (advertised by a popular matrimonials service)
  1. Personal preferences including those related to dress,food and hobbies will be respected with no pressure from in-laws or relatives.
  2. The couple would share the responsibility of caring for each other's parents--while each would remain the primary caregiver for their own parents.
  3. Both partners have an equal rightto pursue--or not pursue--a career and play the role of primary breadwinner.
  4. If both choose to work,the responsibility of  child rearing and home management will be shared equally.
  5. Together,the couple will resolve to overcome attempts by extended family to interfere in their key life choices.
  6. The bride does not leave her home to merge seamlessly or fit into her in-laws scheme of things:she now has another home that she might choose to call her own in addittion to the home she comes from.
Would like to hear opinions from all quarters.please share your viewpoint.

Monday, March 29, 2010

GIRLS !

A friend was blessed with a baby girl a few days ago,his second ,and was quite distressed by sympathy calls.
Its navratra time,and almost every household worships little girls as kanjaks (little devis).
In a casual chat during an odd job,our old electrician tells me that the marriage proposal of his son (class 3 dropout,unemployed)did not materialise.because though the girl was ok (12th pass,working) ,her complexion was wheatish!
A few kms. away the same evening,at a farewell party at a friend's place,much to the amusement of all the guests,his old mother confronts his boss in crackling bhojpuri,about the office policy of not allowing more than two kids.
The much embarrased friend admits that due to her constant nagging about his two daughters and  the need to have a son ,he had cooked up the entire office policy story !

I hate to think this is India 2010,where daughters are still considered not good enough to complete a family.A son is still the ticket to salvation and pride,because daughters will go away to another family.
Yes to another good family only if they are fair ,slim,tall and beautiful !
Why ?why?
Will it ever change?
The need is not to worship little girls as devi ,but to give all girls a warm welcome in our lives and society,to treat them with equal love and respect .
Our girls don't need validation of their existence but acceptance of their being.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LOVE , *** aur bahut kuch !

I am no film critic and generally also I avoid passing judgements on other people's creative outputs.So whatever opinion I have about a poem,a book, a film or any other art piece I try keeping it to myself.However ,I do feel like absolving Ekta Kapoor of some of her saas-bahu sins for producing a film called Love,Sex aur Dhoka.Not that its a masterpiece,but Dibakar Banerjee does raise some relevant questions for the Youtube generation.
  • We are liberated enough to send our daughters to film schools ,but are we ready to accept their decisions about their own life?
  • Our society was always ridden with class and caste problems,but why are honour killings rising faster than our literacy rate?
  • We take pride in the globalisation of our country but what about the productification(my word!) of women in our media?
  • It is nice to have cameras in our phones,safety cameras in our stores,nanny cams in our homes,but are we mature enough to handle the voyeur in our mind?
  • When we have hundreds of friends on ****book and 1000000+ scraps in **kut ,aren't we stealing away time from our real life relationships?
  • Is privacy only a kind of setting online ?
  • Are we a society of scopophiliacs,so hungry for entertainment that we can sell our own private moments for it?
The quest to find these answers is on,atleast till I get the gory image of the brutal honour killing in the film out of my mind,and I am sure it will be a long time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I SALUTE THE MARTYRS

It is 23 March today,and because it is not valentines day,mothers day,fathers day,uncles day or any other such archies endorsed day we choose to forget that it is Martyrs' day- the day three young men ,Bhagat Singh,Sukhdev and Rajguru were martyred.
I won't be self-righteous and so have to admit that I am ashamed of myself that I also had no clue till I saw an Ad in the paper.
I have always believed that Bhagat Singh, had he lived more,would have surely been one of India's most learned and insightful leaders.In his short life-span he exhibited unmatched determination,sparkling intellect and a broad vision for a bright future for his motherland,qualities that any nation would be proud to have in their young leaders.
He was a self-proclaimed atheist who believed in himself more than God.
Lets pray and hope that his spirit lives on and inspires all of us to do whatever little we can for a better society and a stronger nation.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

FRIENDS HELP ME TRACE THE SOURCE OF THIS WONDERFUL PIECE !

The game we play
is let's pretend ans pretend
we're not pretending.

We choose to forget who we are
and then forget that
we have forgotten
who are we really?

The centre that watches
and runs the show
that can choose
which way it will go.

Thinga just happened or
that we were being controlled
taken over
we put ourselves down
and have become
used to this masochisticposture
this weakness
this indecisiveness.

Then I am consciousness
that powerful,loving,perfect
reflection of the cosmos.

But in our attempt
to cope with early situations
we choose or were
hypnotised into a passive position.

To avoid punishment
or the loss of love
we choose to deny our
response/ability
pretending that
but we are in reality
free,a centre of cosmic energy.

Your will
is your power.

Don't prtend
you don't have it
or you won't.

                    -from A FEMINIST

Thursday, March 18, 2010

TV TALES !

It was one of the most eventful days of my early childhood in early 80s ,when my father brought home a TV.It was not the brand which was neighbours envy and our pride,but still it changed my life forever.
Other than my mom and dad , a few more people became part of my life - Spiderman and Superman on weekends took me to a far off place called America,and Vikram Baital to an imaginary country every week.
The adults too gave plenty of time to their relationship with this new member . My dad watched the asian games with a lot of interest wheras mom and my aaya used to eagerly wait for Chitrahaar.
A few years later things changed dramatically.Now we had our own TVs in our respective bedrooms,but growing up strangely left me with a little time for it.
When I moved to a university hostel I rarely went to the TV room,except for this one lazy afternoon as I sat flipping channels I saw 9/11 live.
It surely robbed me of peaceful sleep for many nights to come and so did some more damage to my already weakening connect with the idiot box.
When I got married to my movie-buff husband,TV was used only to watch movies on dvd and otherwise.
A few months ago as a new mom with a young baby who would sleep only during the day my relationship with TV had re-started,but sadly we are again at crossroads.
Obviously I have to be careful lest this idiot monster tries to play baby-sitter to my toddler and also there are 100+ channels but rarely things worth spending my precious time on.
I had some problems with the idiotic tendencies of the idiot box,but now it is no longer idiot.The luminous screen has become a sadasitic,voyueristic window ,in which we enjoy other people's pains and humiliations.Reality shows (what a misnomer !) are distorting all reality and most facts to tittilate and abuse rather entertain and amuse.
So today I decide that I'll treat my TV now as an Ex.I'll respect it for the good times it gave me,look forward to a few fruitful meetings now and then, and will be kept at a safe distance from Sonee.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My reservations about women's reservation

  1. When will the clowns of the great indian circus,popularly known as our parliament ,learn to respect national time and money?
  2. Is reservation an intelligent solution?
  3. Does having more women MPs improve the lot of a common indian woman?
  4. How will we prevent proxy-politics that this kind of reservation usually leads to?
  5. Isn't it more essential to have more gender-sensitive legislators , irrespective of their own gender?
  6. If all political parties were so pro-women(as they all claim now), why did it take 12 long years to get this bill passed?
  7. Doesn't this whole fiasco make women feel like mere pawns in the dirty games of politics?
  8. What about the majority of indian women who are still illiterate and more so what about those literate ones who are on the exploiter's side?
  9. Don't we need only an attitude change as far as status of women in india is concerned?
  10. Finally ,does anyone seem to care about the more than 50000 girls being killed in india every year?


    Maybe it is just too little too late , but then better late than never.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Women's Day Thoughts !

PHENOMENAL WOMAN

                    -Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

Now you understand
just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

@31

Today I know for sure that Robert Frost,one of my favourite poets was wrong when he said,"Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty."
Yes I am sure about this because today I am no longer 30 ,I am 31.
The 30th birthday was sure a milestone of sorts.There was a new awareness of the meaning of time,as it was my first as a mom.
I started looking at the world differently but it was not as different as it seems today.I had just stepped into the thirties and so it took a while to sink in.Now that I am 31,it has set in with an indelible impression.
Some important things I have learnt in last one year:
1: LET IT GO !
2:LIFE IS LIKE A RIVER : A RIVER NEVER PASSES THE SAME PLACE TWICE.
3:SOME PAGES TURNED,SOME BRIDGES BURNED,BUT ALL ARE LESSONS LEARNED.
4:LIFE IS DIVINE CHAOS.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

GRANDMOTHER....

I often wonder
how old were you,
or what was your name.

From the carefully draped cotton duppataas
I could see your grandmother eyes
watching the maneouvers of the little one
in the balcony.

Or sometimes on
exceptionally quiet summer afternoons
hear you sing softly some old devotional song.

You smiled at me once
as you fed some pigeons
and the little one played alongside.

Yesterday it was another lady
probably a daughter or a daughter-in-law
doing the same,
and then it hit me some where
where it did hurt

That you had passed away a few days ago
and for me now
you will always remain
the old lady in flat 1-B.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DEFINITIONS.....

:the noise of birds ,rushing together ,just before sunset.
:the small piece of burfi a rickshaw-puller keeps wrapped in his pocket,for his son.
:the odds and ends a pigeon collects at a window sill.
:the pride in the young soldier's eyes as he sends his mother some money.
:the fragrance of tea,and its warmth in a glass.
:the passport-size photo of a coy bride in a wallet.
:the last train one has to catch to be there.
:the small purse hidden on a kitchen shelve,to save for a birthday celeberation.
:the wrongly spelt words on a card coloured with old crayons.
:the old photos in an old cupboard.
:the clutter with sentimental value.
:the anticipation of a festival.
:the funny tales of friends and relatives.
:the longing for a familiar flavour.
:the shared sorrows and loss.
all of this and much more means HOME.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FUTURE

In your shaky steps
is the assertion
of a confident life

In your weird sounds
a promise of
meaningful words

In your toothless smiles
the beginning of
enchanting laughter...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A letter ....from Moshe....

Hello Friend ,
We have never met,but your father met me once.I am sure you miss him as much as I miss my father and mother.
I remember it was a bright evening,and as almost always we had some guests over.There was some nice music playing in the background,my mother was cooking in the kitchen ,the conversations didn't make much meaning to my two years old mind,so I was busy engaging Sandra to play with me.Sandra is my caretaker,and I like her a lot.
As long as I can stretch my memory,my home had always been like that - my loving parents welcoming guests with a warm smile and hugs.Ever since they moved here to Mumbai it has been like that.
I like it here,the sun ,the sea and the people.There are festivals all year round.People play drums and dance on the streets,they distribute sweets and burst crackers.It is lot of fun.
That evening too,it seemed like some festival.There were loud crackers being burst but suddenly something went wrong.Every one panicked as a man walked into our room with a big toy - it looked like a gun.
I looked around,all guests were lying down,so were mamma and papa.Sandra was not there.The huge man with the gun had gone up the stairs.There was a lot of red liquid thing on the floor.It scared me and that is when I started crying.
There were footsteps on the staircase,coming down towards me and the loud noise of crackers.It was your dad on the stairs ,I guess.
Suddenly Sandra rushed from the store room,picked me up in a flash and ran towards the main door.Outside also people were firing crackers.
Three days later,Sandra dressed me in my favourite bright green T-shirt and carried me to the synagogue.I cried for mamma,I had not seen her after that evening.She didn't come.
The next day we sat in a plane and came to this place,my granparents' home.They tell me that my parents and your dad and all of the people there went to meet god.I believe them.I thought I should tell you too,in case you don't know.
When I grow up I'll go back to Mumbai .Hope to see you there as a friend and a guest.Till then take care.
Your friend,
Moshe

(This is just an imaginary reproduction of the events of 26/11 Mumbai terror strike.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

MY NAME IS KHAN.............KHANNA......KHURANA,KURIEN,KURESHI...

It is the Valentine weekend and there is so much to talk about other than love.If you are in Delhi it is about terrorism,naxalism,what the government is doing and expensive parties ,which have to happen valentines day or otherwise.If you are in Bombay or Mumbai(as they would want everyone to call it)it is about the Sena which is mad about a comment made by a film star.He the Roman God of Indian cinema and his closest friend have ended up laughing to the bank ,courtesy partly to all the slogan-shouting and poster-tearing, and partly to the iconic declaration "My name is khan and I am not a terrorist."
So what is the common man? A mere spectator to all this happening around us.At the recieving end always,the faceless ,the nameless,the stakeless.Is it?
No,I am important because Sena - I can vote,Rizwan Khan - I watch your movies,and news channels - I rule TRP.My name is .....it doesn't matter,but Please all of you stars,leaders,parties,movies,channels ,don't presume I'll take everything you send my way lying down.
My name is....khan,khanna,kharbanda.....whatever ,but I am not stupid.I can understand all the dynamics and most importantly on all of you I have the final word.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ibn Battuta ....

Ibn Battuta
Pehen ke joota
Nikal pade toofan mein
Thodi hawa naak mein ghus gayi
Thodi ghus gayi kaan mein
Kabhi naak ko
Kabhi kaan ko
Malte Ibn Battuta
Isi beech mein nikal pada
Unke pairon ka joota
Udte udte unka joota
Pahunch gaya Japan mein
Ibn Battuta khade reh gaye
Mochi ki dukan mein
- Sarveshwar dayal saxena

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Love is in the air....

It is that time of the year again.Come February,markets,malls,coffee shops,homes and now social networking all is abuzz with the words love and valentines day.
So what is it about really?is it about following an ancient tradition which has a variety of versions or is it about the Americans making the rest of the world buy cards ,candies ,gifts ,and flowers?Is it just a matter of a heated debate every year on a popular show on tv,or is it the day some senas wait for the year around to harrass some lovers and grab their i5 minutes of prime time?
In the past few years a lot has changed in the world around us and I believe so has love.
It is no longer the old world letters-fixed line phones-photos hidden in books- type love for a lifetime.It is the hallmarked-fbooked-orkuted love which may last only as long as it is safe and convenient.
But thankfully all is not lost ,LOVE remains only forms change,and then there are a few of us who still have kept the once in a lifetime kind of love alive too.
So if it is actually so layered and complex, what does the word valentine mean?Wikipedia says ,valentine is an expression of affection usually in the form of greeting card, gift, or message given to a person the object of affection, especially on February 14th.
We all know that,but do you know,(I didn't) that there are four places named valentine in US and one in Australia,and that there are rock bands ,pop songs ,resturants and even a race course by that name.
Wow good going Valentine!
But where was he love lost?
As it is love is unusually difficult to consistently define ,so let us let it remain the only international language,and lets celebrate it in whatever form it is in our lives

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

baby steps...

A few months ago,wrapped tightly in a blanket
you were a little fragile fairy,

One bright morning a bigger and stronger you
decided to change how you looked at the world
or how the world looked at you.

You mustered all your strength to get up,
and standing confidently,
basked in the glory of your new status.

Now you stood on your own little feet,
and the pride in your eyes was complimented by your smile.

The anticipation now sizzled,
shoes of different hues,
toys to lure you to take the plunge,
and jokes about wobbly legs filled the air.

Then it happened...
you took your giant leap,
your first shaky steps.

and as you looked up to me
for acknowledgement,
my pride filled my eyes,
and a prayer escaped my lips.

May you walk all avenues of life
with faith and confidence,
and whenever you falter or fail
may HE hold your hand!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Delhi Metro

On a misty cold white sleepy winter morning in Delhi afterI shared the wooly fog blanket with many others ,I stepped into a wonderland.Every one was in a rush as if the world was about to end and there were multitude of things to accomplish before that.
Looked around,the wall across had a huge map with destinations marked and named.I quickly spotted mine and went ahead.The elderly lady sitting next to me looked at me so curiously that I was almost forced to look at myself critically and check what was wrong.Though apparently nothing was,she was just a curious old lady whose curiousity in me or my attire died as quickly as it had been engaged.
She was now looking at the young couple on the seat across,holding hands,wearing a little less than delhi winters require and basking in the warmth of love.They were engrossed in each other and were loudly debating about a new fb friend.
The old lady didn't seem to be too happy about their attires or conversation and so she shifted her gaze outside the window behind them.And lo! we were no longer in the earth's lap but back in our fog blanket.
I was awakened from my blankness by a familiar baritone announcing a list of do's and don'ts.
It felt good,this voice was from a thing from the yester years called doordarshan.
Was it time travel for me again!
No,it wasn't .
I was back to present ,the journey was over,the wonderland of Delhi metro was telling me to exit so that I could come back again to enjoy being blank.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the windo w could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue:

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
"Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."

Friday, January 22, 2010

For old times sake..........

"Life is a race,If you do not run fast you will be like a broken anda",says Aamir in his latest flick 3 idiots.A broken anda that is what I have been feeling like recently. I realised that in this mad race called life I have lost touch with the harsh truths of estranged relationships.I did not understand the class system of modern relationships,where regular status updates are not only required on your facebook wall,but also in real life.
As I enthusiastically tried to get in touch and eagerly searched for phone numbers and addresses,I forgot that we had been separated rather abruptly a few years ago and since then a lot had come between us--time ,space and status.I was following only my heart which did not see any other reason or logic other than re-connecting with an old friend.Every time my satanic mind tried to put forth the question "what if",I lulled it to silence and was hopeful of a warm embrace.
I am happy for your success friend,and I will always be proud to associate myself with you as your old college/hostel mate.You will always be a part of my friendlore which I pass on to my daughter,and despite the fact that you think I am no longer worthy of being in touch I will always send prayers your way,I will always wish you will.
I will always hope that since you didn't live my life you you would not judge the rights and wrongs of it and some day you will call me ,hug me and we will walk down the memory lane together for old times sake.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

winter and friends.....

It is queer,how our mind functions.How the simplest of things get us flagged onto the maze of memories,relationships and the intricacies of life and how the most weird and complex things leave us numb and blank.
Winters in Delhi ,and all the paraphrenalia associated with it (hot cuppas ,steaming momos,rajaais,peanuts and FOG)are a very complex event at times.At other times it just means mercury moving further north and it is very cold.
"COLD" a word that gets stuck in my mind nowadays,every time I sit to 'meet' my online friends on social networking.I ask myself ,is this winter the coldest as all the news channels are screaming or is it because most of the faces one meets in virtual space are as cold as ice.All of us derive a lot of pleasure in looking at peoples profiles and don't hesitate to give the cold shoulder if a "friend"t tries to come too close for comfort.
I am lucky ,because most of my friends are people I know or knew in real at some point in time.But I get a
cold shudder when I think about you Sonee.A few years from now ,when you will be able to use the word and understand the feeling FRIEND,will there be time and space available to have real and true friends.
I'll pray for you and hope that none of your winters are as cold and the warmth of glowing friendship will extend beyond an electronic screen in your life.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A lesson in friendship

 I once had a friend, a soulmate

with whom I walked a long lovely patch of life .

We parted ways , as time went by....

rather abrutly....still don't know why....




Days went by and weeks rushed,

And before I know it, a year was gone.

And I never saw my friend again.


Years rolled on....

and all I had was memories bright,

refusing to be worn

by the tides of time.




Every day as I went to bed

I resolved to call my friend the very next day,


But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,

And distance between us grows and grows.


Today I am a lonely soul

reaching out and crying in vain....

Wish I had seized the day

and before a friend became a stranger,

wish I had made that call

and saved myself all this pain.

Orange Flower Awards

@IAmSufiZen

COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind
}

I WILL RING THE BELL.WILL YOU?

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!