Saturday, September 05, 2009

Seventeen Dresses

Red and yellow
On a creme background
Definitely a frock
Perhaps a butterfly print
Young enough not to remember in detail
Just old enough to remember.

I thought I had this in
Till a moment ago,
Now my grey cells need some boost.
May be I shall come back
Once the memory does.

A chocolate brown skirt
with tiny flowers
Really tiny.
A creme shirt
With a collar??

Navy blue satin
Piped with off white
Cut into an umbrella pattern.
White shirt with pin stipes
Birthdays were a perpetual countdown
and loads of fun!

This one's a traditional number
Aquamarine garden silk
With self brocade
in endless frills
the perfect long skirt
with a monochromatic blouse.

Dress again - in a pale olive print
with a black contrast yoke
and pin tuck detail.

A very unusual lavender
with blue orchid kind of flowers
A mock over coat
and a crisscross thread across the chest.

This one blanks out too..
Just blanks out.
Shall come back once it unblanks:-)

The most glamorous one of all
and may be the costliest
a jeans skirt with suspenders
and a cherry red blouse
I remember being called
Princess Diana!

Fuchsia skirt
With a black and Fuchsia top.
Mandarin collar
cute as a button.

Navy blue again,
this time a kurta and salwar
15th it was
proud and tall.

Sweet sixteen
in an over flowing hot pink number
traditional, modern
utterly 90s.
Geeky, gaudy
Hopefully pretty!

purple Georgette
The color of cadbury's dairy milk
Painstakingly smocked
one of a kind
Made me feel as delicious
as the chocolate itself.

Eighteen - coming of age
well almost
In a yellow silk saree
with a hot pink detail
And gold border.
light as a feather
Proud as a lion
young, alive
and full of promise.

Nineteen in an understated
Khadi cotton salwar kameez
with kutch work detail
black on whitish grey
The taste, the personality
and the person evolving.

Twenty came with a
tobacco hued outfit.
tone on tone
as sophisticate as it could get
expensive and utterly delightful
and that should sum up the seventeen dresses.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


When you and I were busy
Counting our monies
Fighting our ego battles
And scheming our ploys
He felt the plight
And the pain
Of a virgin widow -
A little girl yet to celebrate her first decade
That had her head shaved
And covered with a white shroud like muslin veil
Mourning the death of an unknown husband
That could have been her granddad.
He raised his voice
And steered his conviction
To make a difference.

When you and I
Were educating ourselves
To equip our lives with degrees
To feed our little tummies
He thought about us as humans
Surpassing color and creed
And fought our wars
For a world
Where We'd be judged by the content of our character
And not by the color of our skin.

When you and I were fooling around
living our childhoods and adolescence
In flying kites and dreaming about crushes
He stood up for our freedom
With non-violence as a weapon
And bared his chest
To bullets of hatred
And shed his blood
For a free nation.

They lived their lives
Like they were not theirs
But ours.
They fought, they thought beyond themselves.
They come and go in all places and nations
Like guardian angels
Like Knights in shining armours
To make fairy tales out of our selfish lives.
They walk on our earth like beacons of hope
They reform.
You and I rejoice.


I walk on endless expanse of silver sands
That unfold before me like dreams
Creeping into a relaxed being's slumber
Creating and recreating infinite images
Happy, sad, mystical and magical.

The weightless froth embraces my feet
And licks my toes, stinging me
With its electric cold fangs
Much like the pain of a saddened vision
That penetrates into an innocent snooze
In the form of those endless images.

The waves overlap one another
Confusing me with their endlessness
I falter to gather
Which one begins and which one ends.
Thoughts come and go
Like those vicious waves
Dazed, I look around
not knowing where to start - or to stop.
Thoughts - like waves, like their froth
And the sand that surrounds them.
In an ironical existence
That shall perish.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Closing doors.

I visited the website this afternoon to see what is left of my favourite business after our local store at the plaza was closed. The website said that it was thankful of my interest in their brand but with the recent economic uncertainties, they had to make the difficult decision of closing their doors forever. Strange as it might sound, I felt a weird sadness creep in though it had been a while since I grew out of the Illuminations shopping syndrome.

As a young bride and home owner, Illuminations seemed to be an alter ego to my off beat taste. I found the whole philosophy, product range and great customer service very attractive. I used to follow their sale patterns and buy loads of sconces, candles and other unique knick knacks. Lot of my friends used to ask me about my shopping finds and I'd slowly and surely acquired the status of an interior decorator in my own right. The candlescapes and the accessories the store carried were like none other and they inspired me endlessly to build my own creativity around what the store had to offer. Later on when I shifted focus form being a homeowner to a mom, I weaned off my Illuminations habit, but every time I was in the mall, I used to go to the store and check out their cool interiors and always desire to make my home smell like their shop. In a way, Illuminations helped me find my own voice, expression and aesthetics and spread its fame far and wide when I made it a point to gift their startlingly life like floating candles (often shaped like flowers and leaves) to my mom and aunts. Even to this day, I pride my collection of candles shaped like slices of watermelons and fall leaves. Now that I might not be able to replace them, I am sure I'll cherish them a little more.

As I ponder further I realise that closing doors is more like losing something more than a lucrative business. Just like Illuminations came to represent a lot more than a brick and mortar store, many businesses that find form out of some one's vision and passion, are more like human beings than money churning ideas. When I was a teenager, my family had to take a difficult decision to shut down the local newspaper our family owned. I knew from the day it took form, that it was my dad's way of realising his love for writing, journalism and making a difference in a little way than to make money out of advertisements and subscriptions. True to his passion, he ran the paper more like a charity than a business and at some point, the costs raised and the profits sank and we had to close doors on a very precious and passionate dream. From then on, I kind of mourned every business failure as they came to represent more than loss of dough, they were loss of dreams.

Just recently, a cozy little restaurant that served authentic north Indian food closed its doors owing to some lease issues. We went there frequently and four months after the doors are closed, I still miss Jeet's fluffly naans and yummy vegetable sides as much as I miss my mom's food.

Be it large corporations or little cottage industries, closing doors have a lot more to them than making a difficult decision in tiring economic times. They leave back the same void and pain a person would leave back when they exit the stage of this world. So Illuminations that advocated the idea of 'living by candle light' would always represent to me a light source that bought me joys of simple beauty and accomplishments. And just as with every closed door, I hope another window of hope is opened to illuminate the darkness to its Founders and employees and all forcefully and tearfully closed doors across the globe.