Monday, December 27, 2010

Having, Owning, Sharing and Cherishing.

A pair of makeshift sliding doors made out of MDF sit on the groove of the little cube like cupboard that houses her precious belongings. But behind the sliding doors, a very cherished bottle of nail enamel - half used, thick and slimy form all the use, sits almost like an idol meant for worship. The eleven year old's awe for painting nails makes this her most prized thing for a good year to come, till the remnants of the bottle get thinned with acetone again and again and again, and till the last drop of the varnish gets used on her tiny nail buds. "Waco" reads the name on the bottle holding the pinkish mauve nail color sprinkled with generous flecks of gold. "Waco"! - she wonders what it is supposed to mean! The sliding doors open and close numerous times in a day, Just one bottle of nail paint precedes all happy pills and potions.

*********

Candy usually means the hard candy - the hard boiled, dyed sugar marbles wrapped in cellophane paper and twisted and tied on either end. Sometimes she'd get to eat a whole one and at other times, she'd share them with her siblings - carefully wrapping the candy in a handkerchief and biting it over the kerchief so as to prevent contamination. When her dad's friend gets them a whole box of cocoa chocolates - it naturally becomes the treasure she'd waited to cherish all her life. '5 star" the golden wrapper reads - and the Advertisement she's watched all her growing years plays back in her mind reminding her of the caramel and the milk chocolate sleeve on the top. She gets to take one full bar to school - and all she does the whole day would be looking at the wrapper and thinking twice to open the bar. At long last she'd carefully cut open the chocolate, nibble on it, taking the tiniest possible bites and once the chocolate is enjoyed, she'd flatten the wrapper flat and tuck it in between the pages of her heaviest text book, much like a trophy of good times. The lucky girl lived in the times of moderation.

********


The kids flock around her humongous luggage. The festive season of Diwali shines through the high rise's numerous windows in the form of tiny electric lamps stung into breathtaking garlands. The gifts keep pouring in - Silverware, fine chocolates, dry fruits, hand poured candles and idols of Indian Gods and Goddesses. They are religiously opened and admired, and then the hoards of chocolates end up in plastic boxes, neatly stacked in the refrigerator. Most of them get distributed to maids and guests, but somehow, they seem to magically multiply. The three little girls that flock around her luggage seem oblivious to all that finery of snacks. She thoughtfully opens her luggage and takes out the gifts. "The Diary of a wimpy kid" comes out and the oldest of the girls lets out a shriek. Then the dolls, the dresses and more fine chocolates. The shrieks fade, the gifts fade too...losing their allure in no time - till the maid comes around, collects them and tucks them away in the cupboards busting at seams with all kinds of toys, crafts and art supplies. She gazes through the abundance, remembering "Waco" and "5 star" - and feels blessed to have belonged to a time of moderation and cherishing.

********


There must be a reason why women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and ages list shopping as a favorite pastime, and she is not exempt from the demograph. When she spots the hoarding announcing the "All India arts and crafts Exhibition" she silently sketches a plan to visit and convinces her sister to follow suit. The ladies drag their back sides and bags stacked with green paper, being the self proclaimed Art connoisseurs they are. The exhibition oozes promise. Hand carved wooden figures, painstakingly detailed art work on palm leaves, richly embroidered saris showcasing the dexterity of artists that never see the light of glory for their talent, hand knit bead spreads that take months to complete and still cost only as much as a couple of meals in a moderately upbeat eatery, toys made out of paper maiche, paintings of gods and goddesses, almost in a life like form, detailed by hands of mortals that struggle to fill their bellies - the whole display looks like an irony - the sad tales of artisans that are masked by the enormity and beauty of their craftsmanship. The sisters pick a thing here and a thing there - stopping at the kulfi stand to get a quick refreshment after a long shopping trip. She picks a matka - filled with kulfi and sealed on top with a bandhni printed fabri, tied together with a golden lace. Just as they step out and get ready to cross the road and head to the car - tiny little hands grab her dress and pull them downward yelling at her to give them the kulfi. "give me" give me" the shrill voice shouts and she lifts her hands up in air in reflux - confused as to what is happening. She looks at the child, perhaps a three year old boy, dresses in shorts and shirt a couple of sizes too big for his frame and sporting a dirty pile of hair pulled back into a pony tail. She realizes what he is asking for, and hands him the kulfi. The boy lumbers away with glee as a couple of little kids chase him for their share. An onlooker form an auto rickshaw looks at her and smiles - She returns it back and looks in the direction of the kid - "cute guy" she says aloud. "It's a girl" her sister adds.
She looks back thoughtfully - and feels blessed to have existed in a time of moderation - that perfect spot in between having too much and having too little;-)

********


And one more to go ....


The couple defines 'good looking' to a tee - tall and slender guy with a grin so bright, you'd think he had won the lottery and a petite, dainty lady to his side with dirty blond hair that is pulled back into a neat ponytail. The bonny little girl changed hands between her mom and dad like a victory trophy while they held her closed to their hearts and smothered her with hugs and kisses. The little girl, looking like a baby GAP model, flashed her toothless gums and traveled so well across the proverbial seven oceans. she made gurgling sounds and instantly rewarded onlookers and admirers with a smile that would drive all the stuffiness of flying in a humongous trap of an aircraft miles up the sea level. I passed by them every time I hauled my own little bundle to the loo. The baby sat there on her dad's lap with her eternal smile. We got down our flight, the couple waited ahead of us to get into the limo service to go back home - probably in a divine ploy to have their stork deliver the little one on the eve of Christmas - the most magical day of the year! My eyes met with the dad's and I couldn't resist paying my genuine compliment to the baby GAP model - "she'll walk on the ramp one day" - the dad smiled his brightest, and thanked me, reflecting the same genuineness. They got into the limo as the driver held an open door to the little lady and her daddy.

I know how it is to deliver a child - they say kids that are not delivered the biological way are delivered straight out of the parents' heart....Actually, I shouldn't say they say it, since I saw it first hand as this ebony cherub with thick knotty hair and the cutest face ever paced back and forth in her parents arms - marking the stark difference in their epidermis and displaying the invisible cord of love that bound her to their hearts - a cord so strong that it dragged them all the way from Livermore, CA, USA to some unknown, unnamed village in Ethiopia, Africa where some unfortunate mom and dad renounced a lucky little soul to enjoy the bliss of being born in some blessed parents' heart on the other side of the globe.

One child at a time - God give them all loads of love! Amen!

Second Look.

I'd been a regular to my homeland, in all these years of being an immigrant US citizen, and every time I go back, my home here ceases to exist. I go back to my childhood home, and in a strange way, I relive my young/teen years again. I marvel at the cluster of coconut palms that guard the roads, the song like accent of my native land, the enormously peaceful river Godavari and the three bridges that connect my home town with the other side of the river. It suddenly strikes me - the beauty I grew up with for a good couple of decades, which never really stuck me the way it does right now. I look at the land overlooking the river and the three bridges and suddenly have this urge to own a vacation home there - for the view beats the Golden Gate view in the sought after neighborhood of Fransisco - May be it really does, in its own right!

As my car passes the school I attended, the picture folds and unfolds a lanky, awkward teenager in long braids and bright acne. I relive the days in a flash and something inside my soul stirs. As I look out of the window of my car, I see numerous pictures flashing before me, a couple of dogs sitting high on a bale of hay, crows landing on buffaloes, bright smiles of kids from the slums with matted hair and soiled clothes - but the smiles obliterate all the dullness of their existence. Vegetable vendors that hawk their goods in high pitched voices and house wives that flock around them bargaining, handpicking the veggies that satisfy their pallettes. Loud hymns from the nearby temples that amalgam with traffic noises, trying to drown them in the sounds of stupid devotion. In all this bedlam, the peace of being in a small town prevails. The breeze from the river makes it mark with the humidity. My skin renounces moisturizer and embraces an unmistakable glow making people wonder if I'd had an expensive facial, my hair bounces with vitality, just from getting rinsed in the elixir of the river water and my whole being responds to the land of my birth- my destiny!

As the renowned poet urged - Ye Desamegina, yendu kaalindina, Ye Peethamekkina, Yevvreduraina...pogadaraa nee talli bhoomi Bharati ni! - It only comes naturally here, without wanting to do it for the sake of doing it~!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ga ga for Grisham.

I was always intrigued by fiction - but somewhere down the line I stumbled upon Short stories in my teen years - I think a one named "Cyclone" By the Indian author Raja Rao and ever since, my love affair with short stories had continued. In a fiction writing class a few years ago, I'd churned out some pathetic short stories and actually believed that they were "The New Yorker" material. Anyway, in the process of writing stories, I was introduced to the annual volume - BASS, short for Best American Short stories. During that class, I might not have really learnt how to make it to the New Yorker - but have come to appreciate short works of fiction more that their longish counterparts. I was selective, actually, I am selective about what I read - since I have this allegedly offbeat and upbeat taste if my friends and siblings are to be believed - and I am convinced that they substitute these adjectives for "weird" and "strange" to keep me happy. The opinions are opened for debate.
Back on track, I think Jumpha Lahari earned not just the Pulitzer, but my immense respect for her short story series "The interpreter of Maladies" while I opine that Chitra Divakaruni is more a mediocre writer. For my weird and strange taste, I need the author to charm me with his/her insight and observation into human hearts, minds and psyches.
Now, when I explore my leisure with a book in hand, seated in the huge window of a high rise, while my senses gaze through the infinite skyscrapers in South Mumbai - I feel kind of blessed, to have a chance to look at human ways through the eyes of John Grisham. I crossed paths with him a few years ago, when I read a book named "The Client" that I chanced upon. I remember the graphic of the cover, the place I read it (in a plane form NJ to SFO) and many other things surrounding the experience - but I sadly forgot about the plot, the characters and the author. John Grisham, this tall, lanky, shrewd looking lawyer didn't really charm me with his brains up until now. The only lukewarm thing about reading his book was he made it a cake walk for me. It was a book about some legal battle- and that's what I thought he wrote all that time and conveniently crossed him off of my ga ga list.
Grisham's Stories of Ford County lets my mind romance with the often overlooked, ugly, naive,sly, stupid and manipulative side of the human mind. he kind of reminds me that beneath all the barriers, skin colors and languages - there is one thing that binds us all humans - and it is that way we are from the inside - the pretty and pretty ugly sides we have that are camouflaged in glorious outsides and stories. I'd not read enough to say this is his best work - but this series of stories remind me of a native movie director cum author that wrote short stories in a regional language - that I again chanced upon during my last visit to my country. Just like Grisham, the local talent Vamsi worte unforgettable stories around scarily real characters hailing form the Lower Godavari region that I hail from. Though these series are set a world apart form the Ford County in southern US, they speak the same language of human nature.
I kind of feel overwhelmed to write all that is passing through my mind as I cross path with Grisham again - but I felt the necessity to record this awe while it is fresh. Mr. Grisham took my admiration for writers, observers and short stories to another level - so much so that I feel a twang of pride in this silly blah blah as well.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Welcome Home!

This little dude - probably a year old?, was shaking his backside and clapping to a bhajan that was being played in my sister's apt lobby. The proud daddy leaned on the wall of the lift and smiled away to glory as I stopped and paid complementing attention. The mom came out and called the little one "Vivan - c0me back" but our mini govinda paid no heed. I said in my most genuinely smitten tone "He is adorable" The mom gave a quick glance at me and turned away.
I tried not to grin too much - the lift opened and I jumped into it - the doors shut as if to protect me from the humiliation.
What's up with people? Can't they smile and say thanks to a kind word??

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sign language!


Aarti is very very inquisitive about a lot of things - from why Dog mommies give up their puppies to human mommies to why the moon stalks us every where we go. In this process of q and a - she spots the tiniest possible signs on all things from crayola boxes to car seats. "amma - what does that sign say?" she asks me - and I'd say, it says - keep it away form eyes (the sign on my straightening iron)

This afternoon she came up with a sign - she grabbed the first crayon from her art box, pulled a paper out of her daddy's copier and quickly swiped her hand across the paper. Then she got some tape and glued it on all sides to the door of her room.

No prizes for guessing what she banned from her room!

:-))

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sounding like Suess (Dr)

Candy Brigandy is a gal with cool,
She's the homecoming queen of senior high school!
But as her name suggests she's not really sweet
That's the reason why her title is a cheat!
Not the title of "Home Coming Queen"
But the one that is given in the naming routine
While she shut her eyes and cried with her might
In the hospital located south of McBright.

Candy Brigandy is pretty but sly
She broke the hearts of many a guy
That fell flat for her outward charms
Blissfully unaware of her inward Alarms!
Alarms of being fully in love
With her own self deeming herself above
All the earthly creatures falling for her charms-
Blissfully unaware of her inward Alarms!!

Enter Randy Fernandy, the guy with guts
Who called Candy Brigandy a total klutz.
A kluts with words and numbers and hearts,
a klutz as well at science and Arts!
For Randy Fernandy was a total nerd
Complete with Glasses, looking absurd!
But Randy Fernandy didn't care for looks
His world was bright with stacks of books!

Candy-Randy war began with a bang
With either party forming a gang.
Candy's gang had bangs and high heels
Randy's gang loved automobiles
Not the ones that are fancy and fast
But the physics of the autos - fancy and fast!
Randy called Candy a brainless Bimbo
Candy called Randy a Geeky Robo
Candy's gang called Randy's a bunch of Whacko
And Randy's gang called Candy's IQ lacko!

The town of McBright which was normally dull
The town of McBright that slept to a Lull,
Got a nice big makeover over Candy-Randy war,
The news spread like fire, wide and far!
The whole town looked like taking sides
And fighting the war of Beauty-Brain divides.
The town of McBright that was normally dull
Sprang to life like a hunting seagull.
The war of beauty and brains took off
And the McBright town had its buttons to on from Off!

...To be continued!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Loving

Loving -
The skin I am in.
The acne scars,
Redness!
The sun tan,
Fine lines
Leaving the evidence
Of Expression.
Loving -
The thoughts that generate
In the grey matter.
Lofty and silly ones alike.
Loving -
Being a daughter, wife and mom
A reliable friend
A reliable person,
For that matter!
Loving love handles,
Ponch - that protrudes
Like a trophy of motherhood.
Loving everything within and without!
For it is one action
That makes the journey worthwhile
The Pains and pleasures memorable!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The pursuit of -----?

When I was in fourth grade, we were asked to write about an essay titled "Myself". Our class teacher, sister Mercy gave us some tips on how to approach the subject on hand. It was amusing how all of us followed her instructions to the last tee and just now, while writing this, I had realized how alike we all sounded. Anyway, the grand finale of divulging all about myself was what I wanted to become when I grow up. In simpler words, we were asked to write about our ambition. I don't very well recollect what every one else aspired to be, but I wanted to "Go to Space" - It was probably the influence of a certain astronaut of Indian origin that made me think so - but I most certainly wanted to "Go to Space" LOL. Then, a few years down the line, I was asked to write exclusively about my ambition in a second language class. I came up with the punchline ending first, before I really thought what I wanted to become when I grow up - I was probably a writer already, but I said I wanted to be a Lawyer - just because I had this cheesy line ending all the blabber - " ....and I'll prove that Justice is not something that could be bought!" (Grin) So anyway, I was on the road to manipulate my ambition for getting an applause or a few extra marks that would make me the class topper. Or, may be - just may be, I did not really know what to become. On another occasion, I said I wanted to be a mathematician when my math teacher asked the billion dollar question. I didn't know why I said it, since I could not make peace with numbers and equations if you'd threaten me of third degree torture. Then for the best part of my middle and high school, I wanted to be a surgeon. My best pal got so influenced by me that she wanted to be a surgeon too.
Reflecting back, I realize that I never really wanted to be what I am now. It was just destiny or lack thereof that I feel so awfully comfortable and content in my 'homemaker' cloak of invisibility form planet ambition. There is one thing that I consistently did all these years - write and then think and then some write - so, though I want to be a hundred things from a photographer to a chef, I have this one passion that followed me from my childhood and that is what I am doing as we speak. While my peers make hefty pay packages and join themselves in the 'power couple' club, I, for the love of God, sit at my dining table and write - a job that doesn't pay me a single shilling - but gives me this immense satisfaction, and the more I think about people who work in the jobs they don't enjoy to make the money they don't need - the more I feel proud of my choice of doing what I love. I feel that having the opportunity to do what you want is a luxury. Like some one said, if your passion becomes your job and you get paid for it, you are God's own child. So what is all this mad rush about making to world class universities or employers? What is the pursuit? How many of us really do what we like without bothering about what we get paid for it? Some of us do for sure - that explains the fire fighters and preschool teachers because both are among those over worked, underpaid, "labor of love" jobs. But how many of the parents applaud a kid if he/she says she'd want to be a preschool teacher or a fire fighter?
I recently asked a couple of high school kids in my social circle as to what they'd want to be. They both wanted to be Doctors. Why highschoolers? The KG kid I know, who doesn't yet know what being a Doc is except for wearing a fancy white coat and looking down childrens' nostrils and throats also wants to be a - you guessed it right - Doctor! With the highschoolers, I'd asked - "So none of you wants to a lawyer?" and the dad of one of the kids replied - "Yeah, Lawyers! - they get paid exorbitant amounts" - I smiled and nodded my head in two three four directions and inwardly pitying the kids who'd probably choose pay over a pay off. That probably explains why every body and their neighbor's family tree wants to be in the well paying Engineering and Medical fields. I am yet to meet a kid who wants to be a teacher or a Librarian.
The other day Aarti came to me and announced that she wants to be an artist. I said "you can be what ever you want to be" - and I meant every word of it. Research shows that people with the least salaries are the happiest. So happiness is not directly proportional to the pay check. It is one thing to be a doc and enjoy doing what you do and another thing to be a doc for the fiscal benefit it offers. They say the state of AP, India, has more Engineering colleges than students who could fill them - so technically, all you need to get an engineering degree is sources who could fund you. How many of these people really like what they are pursuing? or know what they are pursuing for that matter? This trend probably explains all the frustrated, unemployed, mediocre professionals we have in our country. Why is it that no one wants to be an archaeologist, or a curator - or may be a stock broker? May be, they are being guided by guardians who, like primary school kids, manipulate their ambitions to impress with a punch line business card or a hefty bank balance. Everyone in this word from life giving doctors to grave digging undertakers pursue one thing in life - Happiness, contentment or security - and the only way to get to it is really, wholeheartedly, thoroughly enjoy what they do to fill their stomachs.
I am happy doing what I do - whether I get paid in currency or not - and I am blessed to realize that what I do makes me happy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Butterfly



Our little critter-
Is a friend of the flowers,
She comes with her dainty wings
Fluttering like the lashes of a baby!
Someone shut me
From traffic, people and chores
I need is a tete-e-tete
With the queen of colors.
she lifts herself, with a pro like ease!
Glides in the air
Oblivious, triumphant -
About her life changing journey
From creepy and crawling
To Pretty and startling!
She devours the blooms
Letting me devour
Her beauty in return.
Our little critter
She is the friend of meadows
Punctuated with creeks
And lush green bushes.
Someone shut me
From thoughts, tasks and duties -
All I need is one long look
At Freedom on wings
At the magic of metamorphosis!

Coming back.

I'd been hopelessly horrible in keeping up with blogging but you just have to believe me that I write in my mind- ALL THE TIME! - yeah, it is worth yelling that I do ;-) Some of the topics I'd pondered upon in my mind's blog ranged form very profound to utterly shallow. For instance, recently one of my uncles turned 60 and he wrote to all his well wishers saying he doesn't feel a day older than sixteen. I kind of relate to him now. A decade ago, I'd not have understood the downsides of aging, thankfully or otherwise, now I do. I kind of know why people stick to being 16 and don't understand why they are treated as old, ancient, uncool or dated. The person inside remains the same - the outward appearance changes and so does the way people look at you.
Age seems to be a ubiquitous topic every where. From peers wanting to know who among them is the youngest or oldest and feeling like they'd conquered Mt.Everest if they are young, to people saying Aishwarya rai looks old and ragged in Robot, opposite the ever young Rajnikanth - the talk about aging is everywhere reminding us that we are younger or older or just plain 'past prime.' I had the pleasure of meeting a particularly proud young thing in the recent past who seems to not get over how young she is - (she is legally old enough to consume alcohol BTW)
and I wonder why being young entitles oneself to feel so proud and accomplished. At twenty one, I was running a house hold and wondering if my future son would look like Aftab Shivdasani and don't recollect being proud of being twenty one. In fact, I was oblivious to my age. I think a decade passes in a flash and only a couple of flashes ago I was this language loving school girl with an endless fascination to strap sandals. Somewhere, somehow, I don't think I'd aged over sixteen from within though I seem to be more at peace with myself now than I was then. That being said, I feel like a very sane, sensible and savvy sixteen year old with stray grays in my crowning glory. So why is the stigma of age attached to Homo Sapience? Is it because age comes and kicks collagen out of your epidermis and makes you look a lot different from how you feel or is it because you are not just as fast or as healthy or as active? Is looking good everything in life and staying young the only way of looking good?I don't know answers for these though many women are probably seeking answers in their Derm's office with the aid of Botox and face lifts!
Say, we have no concept of age and no one acknowledges the outer signs of aging - will the world still want to hide their numbers and wrinkles under potentially harmful procedures? One can only wonder!

In my highschool days, I read a poem written by a very famous poet and social reformer that hailed from my home town in India. He grieved -
valibharmukha makrantham
Phalitenam Kitam siraha
Gatrani Sidhilayente
Trishnaika Tarunayathe.

Loosely translated from Sanskrit to English this means -

The face is conquered by wrinkles
The hair has succumbed to greying
The body is in ruins
But The Yearning stays youthful.

The poem got me very deep in thought. Here, the poet talks about how his yearning to be beneficial to the society is still in its prime while all his body shows intense signs of aging. Yearning - which more of a mental thing stays eternally youthful. So, though I was at a ridiculously young age to even admit to the fact that aging is the inevitable destiny of all living beings, I did drive home the fact that the heart goes beyond aging. Into my thirties, I am now aware of it more than I ever was since I see little shadows forming on my alleged 'million dollar smile' a few years ago. I count the years pass by and in a way, mourn the steady loss of youthfulness, but I still give a double take at a cute guy, or get all worked about painting my nails and going on a shopping trip. So, technically, I cannot put an age on my heart. I can just say, the my heart has no age and so does my mom's who will be sixty next year or my Grand uncle's who's one of the most handsome men I'd seen and is a good half century older to me.

It is very unfortunate that age and maturity are not proportional. I'd feel proud of being mentally mature than physically young notwithstanding how old or young I am - and that should be the hallmark of a beautiful person. The robust complexions and great metabolisms can take a chill pill since they don't really make a difference to any person in the long run. They'll all pass - but the inside will remain, the creases on the mind and heart - the creases of jealousy, selfishness and vanity are the ones that undermine our worth - not the ones that form on our bodies.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Never a Superstar

Here's a link to Harsha Bhogle's write up on V V S Laxman - info that threw light on the artist and the muse - the artist of Words and the muse who's lauded as an artist. An impressive work - either way!
www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/480388.html

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Child.

Great Things
Come in little packages?
Pin straight, stark black Hair
Cascading onto the forehead,
Framing a tiny face.
Little hands and feet,
Almost dangling
Out of over sized tees and shorts.
Power packed attitude
That punches in the palm
With a puny twist,
When asked for a Hi Five.
Sorrow filled tiny eyes
When the discovery
Of not bringing the lunch Dawns.
Monkey like gait,
Laughing, screaming,
Making havoc on the way
Sly, sassy, little kid
That touches the heart
With his lack of manners
And abundance of mischief.
Great thing, tiny package
A tot that is hard to be missed!

Monday, September 06, 2010

One more.

Birthdays were always fun - and this one is no different. I'm taking a deep breath and thanking God for all the blessings and great friends he sent my way:-)
Happy B'day to me~!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Number

The day I was ten and six
I loved sparkly things,
Lady bugs, drops of rain
Painting nails
reading books.
The day I was ten and six
I sang in the shower
loved splashes of color
collected earrings
wrote love notes to my lover.
The day I was ten and six
I stopped to watch the world pass by
I laughed and cried
watching comedy and tragedy
on screen and off of it.
The day I was ten and six
I was a girl woman.
I dreamed of my home
my kids, my chores
I wrote poetry and prose
and loved solitude
as much as I loved crowds.

Time passed, I became ten and six
twice over.
I am a woman girl
still loving bumble bees and lady bugs
sparkly trinkets
nail lacquer, well written books
Still smitten by my lover
Still singing in my shower.

ten and six or thirty and two
You just stay you.
The count-up of age is just a number
It might apply to your laugh lines
and hair density.
But
The inside remains the same.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Ponder

Ten years ago, when I was a newcomer into adulthood, marriage and this country, I was looking at things in a different paradigm - by things, I mean all things in general and kids in particular. I'd always been more compatible with people out of my age group and the older group of friends I have in my friends' dads and moms is evidence. My vibe with kids was great too. The curly haired, dimpled cutie that lived in our neighborhood was an instant draw towards me. I used to babysit her while her mom grappled with a younger kid and a career path. So, this little one, let's call her Farah, was like a roommate of sorts, sharing my living space and the secret to the stash of treats in my pantry (that existed to cater to all the little ones that I baby sat, out of sheer admiration for kids) Farah's personality was as vibrant as the color of her auburn tresses that cascaded down into Shierly Temple curls. Her middle Eastern descend contributed to her glowing complexion and soulful dark eyes. She was a very confident kid, that was not afraid of speaking her mind out. Once I let her into my house, she'd walk into the kitchen, open the pantry door and demand for a cookie or a candy. "Give me a treat" she'd command, and I'd follow her cues and give her what she wanted. Her confidence came with a fearless streak of curiosity. She'd look around the house and touch and hold everything, including my fine china that was displayed with pride in my "easily accessible by a five year old" kitchen Island shelf. Little did I know about the concept of child proofing.
Farah was an easy definition of a brat for all the neighbors. I was probably too young and immature myself that I'd actually expected a five year old to have impeccable manners and 'under-wraps' curiosity. I was borderline judging her and joining force with the 'holier than thou' mothers around me. For a good couple of years, I'd expected kids to listen, not yell, not demand and not throw tantrums when things don't go their way. It was probably the product of the influence of moms who either thought of kids in two categories, namely - their kids and bad kids, or moms whose child raising experiences went to college along with their kids, or young women like me who weren't moms yet.
And then, one day, in a telephone conversation with a relative about some bratty kid, I said it. "Kids are not dolls - how can we expect them to stay at one place?" I was far from being a mom, but the wisdom dawned upon me that Farah wasn't a brat- she was a kid and kids don't understand the concept of impressing others with their best behavior at all times. If I'd want a cookie at someone's place, I'd not ask them for it - I'll probably wait and get disappointed but would not ask, since I am aware. Since I am an adult and probably since I know how to pretend to not want something.
I say one thing to all moms that label kids - That " It is never a kid's fault. If a certain kid in the school comes and says an utterly rude thing to someone - firstly it might not be what is sounds like. Secondly, the kid is probably parrot talking from what falls in her ear shot. And from my own experience, I had realized that, more often than not, it is not the parent's fault either. In the process of growing up and assimilating all the data dumped onto their tender brains throuh what they see and hear - kids say or do inappropriate things. If an older kid is particularly pesky, I'd probably point fingers at too much pampering, but we never know why they say what they say. So my golden rule with kids is "Never Judge" I'd heard adults who brand kids as manipulative or attention seeking. If a little girl shows interest in dress up or feigns a bottle brush as a mascara wand, it doesn't mean that she'd grow up to be an attention seeking man eater. It is just an innocent process of growing up or at the most, the double Xs in her chromosomes.Many of us probably look it it as the latter if it is the fruit of our love - Sad but true!
In my early years of education, I was a pathetic student. I remember a teacher branding me as a ' lazy fool'. I was too young to understand what it meant then, but those words ring in my ears after a good quarter century. I grew up to be a school topper, but somehow, the "lazy fool" managed to stay fresh in my memory. They didn't cause me any damage - They could have.

If someone wise had opined that children are like God, they had meant it in the same exact sense that children are free of malice, pretense and presumptions. So, the ones that are all grown should step out of their malicious, pretentious, presumptuous shoes and take a second glance at what they are evaluating.

Farah moved out of our neighborhood a few years later - for many, she might be the bratty, ill mannered child. For me, thankfully, she'll always be this exceptionally pretty angel in a child's disguise.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This and That!

These are really individual blogworthy, thought worthy topics - but I'm determined to put these across before they fade just as soon as they emerged - so here goes the ponder hodgepodge.


After a long long, really long, ( did I mention that it was very long?) time, I actually got to watch a full length bollywood movie, in all it's mushy glory. The movie - named "Pyaar Impossible" means "Love Impossible" in literal translation, dwells upon the thought that people just get attracted to each other based on looks and love cannot actually happen if someone doesn't have the first recommendation in the form of looks. While the though on which the movie is built sounds pretty convincing, I beg humbly to differ and not attach the stigma of looks to love, since, in my own radar, I'd come across men and women who were not conventionally handsome or pretty, but still managed to attract a whole bunch of the opposite sex towards them. Any relationship cannot sustain upon the foundation of good looks (for long!) So unless you are a teenager, or mentally a teenager, you should not take the thought very seriously. Whether you are a babe loitering around in scandalously short dress (to work) or a dude with over sized geeky glasses and overgreased hair - Love is never possible nor impossible based on the length of your dress or the thickness of your glasses, Period. So, the thought the movie is based on is semi flawed. Priyanka's character is totally flawed. She is shown as a self made, successful professional but fails to reprimand her six year old daughter when she puts her nannies through borderline torture too good to tolerated even when it comes form a light eyed, cute little girl. May be it is the mom in me over reacting, but I'd lose my credibility as a person if I let my little girl get away with calling someone "froggy" or "my slave".

As much as I hate to admit, and given my hard to please criticism, I should give the credit where it belongs and agree that Uday Chopra, for once, came across as talented. After all, he has the same genes as his dad and older bro. It seems the dialogues and script were written by him and that's where the amateurish streak comes into play. May be I should just let the compliment be and not dilute it.

Finally, I cannot believe, that I actually watched the movie, squinting and oblivious to the six course meal that was being prepared in the background while I watched away at my friend's place. The Hollywood type chick flick was all I needed to call my weekend relaxing - thanks to the gang who took care of Aarti while I forgot my surroundings.

On a different note, I did get a chance to feel 25 again since Aarti went on an extended playdate which actually became a sleep over/live over for a couple of days. Sarat and I had our usual spiritual talk on the way to a friend's - which happens every time we get a chance to be alone. So the topic this time around was 'Karma"

The concept of Karma baffles me. While on one hand we say kids are like God, on the other, countless kids across the globe are put through abuse I cannot fathom or put in words. This was my question for the spiritually enlightened other half - "why does God put kids through this?" Why cannot someone bare the fruits of his or her Karma once they are grown and actually understand the profoundity of the ways of the world as we perceive them. The answer was pretty convincing - God does not put anyone through anything. It is just the choices we make that put us in situations. So, the person who is harming a child does it out of his free will - and God doesn't have control over someone's will. So folks, Choices it is - Between Good and Bad and Evil and Divine. So may be, if each of us is more introspective about the choices we make, may be the world can be a place free of child abuse.

I was also a bit creative, dusted my SLR and took some pics that might revive my pic blog, if I can get past the inertia.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ego

I, Me, Myself
Oblivious to all else!
Making the world revolve
Around one little "I"
Or what I like
And What I believe!
I, Me, Myself
And my religion.
My love for power
And loathe for all else.
My little self
Occupying the center stage
While there are wails
Of pain and hunger-
Of plight and Fear.
I, Me, myself
And what benefits me
Me and Myself alone.
Love and lust
All for myself -
Shunning all else.
One day, this I, Me, Myself
and My love for power
Shall probably be replaced
By the power of love
That looks beyond
I, Me, Myself
And embraces all else
As my own!

Friday, April 16, 2010

JLT

Clusters, bunches, collection
Of thoughts
To ponder upon
No will to write
In sight!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

iFad

I saw this being touted in our hallway, my kid brother showing it off like Heidi Klum would walk in the Angels ensemble, complete with wings ;-0
I must admit, it was smaller and lighter than I thought and I could dump my idea to buy a kindle for this hot new dude on the block.
The iPad could be at these finggertips pretty soon.
To buy or not to buy!
Decisions, Decisions!! ;-)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Versatile

You step into the world
Eyes cringed form the bright light around.
One look at me,
And my emotions flow
Unveiling my inmost joys
From the windows to my soul.
You wail from the slightest pain
Your routine shots
Or the piercings that I vainly put you through
To dangle little diamonds of joy
On your earlobes.
The hurt from your wounds
Inflict onto my heart
And my emotions flow yet again
Unveiling my inmost discomfort.
Ah, the dual role of tears!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Ginger Spring Angel


The weather around the bay was perfect. I, for the first time had to get rid of my hoodie in three bitterly long winter months when I ventured into buying seedlings for our vegetable patch. The surroundings looked like Thomas Kinkade's suburban work of art, with the pleasantly shining sun creating a halo like effect on all the buds and blooms around. I walked into the Nursery section of the humongous home improvement store - only to stop without my notice to watch a little angel run past me to the floral display in the front of the nursery - A lanky little figure with red curly hair which was a shade darker than her bright orange spring dress that flowed around her svelte frame. Fuchsia sleeves and sash around her outfit matched perfectly with her rosebud like lips. Little freckles, more like smudges than spots formed arches on either side of the bridge of her nose that was as chiseled as it could get with a slightly upward tip. Her eyes were the most dazzling Azure blue and if she weren't as young, I'd not have, in a million years, believed that the color was naturally occurring.
This was an Angel - her spirits as fiery and wonderfully wild as the color and curl of her bright hued hair. If I wasn't imagining it, I think I saw a whisper soft halo moving with her like a focus light. At one point, the Angel bestowed upon me the chance of meeting her eyes - I smiled - probably in awe - and she smiled back, flashing a row of perfectly imperfect pearly whites. A smile so genuine could only come of Angels. Thank god Tinker Bell is a Disney creation. If she were real, she'd have turned as green as her outfit with one glance at this work of art. There wasn't anything missing here - except, perhaps a pair of translucent wings - thanks to my appetite for imagination, I could see them right there - placed perfectly on either side of her cascading tresses.
The creator is so thoughtful, he let me have a glance at one of his masterpieces, not just a glance - but a glance with a hint that came in the form of a blue and green butterfly pained on her left cheek bone. She probably didn't need that black cord and the dangling fuchsia heart pendant, or it was another cue from the creator as to how she got my heart tangled onto her, or those animal print accented boots that made a tinker like noise when she ran around the nursery. Her whole family was there - but none of them seemed as divine or as smitten or aware as I was of this little Angel's aura. May be, the ability to spot Angels among humans is as rare as Angels themselves.
She got on to the pile of foul smelling potting soil bags and threw her hands up in the air - shouting " I am the Queen"
Indeed, she is the Queen of free spirit and pure innocence - and The fairy that came to me holding the torch of God's unmatched talent. Sometimes He acts silly. He outdoes himself and confuses me with where I should focus my attention. I walked back amid the Scenery like afternoon, blind to all else, except the divine charm of the little girl that crossed my way and blessed me with the joy of beholding, admiring and appreciating my heavenly Dad's creation.
Depicted above is a raw sketch on microsoft paint - I know I can never ever imitate Him - but I do hope I made my emotions reflect in my ponder!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Prayer

Let me have you in my heart
Not just when I need you
To solve a problem.
Let me think about you
And feel your presence
In every moment of my life -
Not just when I need your presence!
Let me feel you and your saving hand
On my back - not just when I need to be saved!
My father in Heaven
Let me be close to you
Not just when I need to be held close!

Craziness

Even if feelings are plucked out
and crushed under the shoe.
If sentiments are mocked
and looked down upon with rediclue -
Between being happy and being together
I choose being with you!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Verse

Do you see someone Smiling at you?
May be someone is shedding a tear
In some inexplicable pain.
Do you feel it??

The tender hand that shines your shoe
Or the table of the street side cafe
That you just sipped your Masala Chai at -
Munching hot samosas and giggling with your friends!
Do you notice the callouses on the hands
That need to actually practice Alphabet?

The plea of a dainty tone
High pitched, almost like a cry!
Begging for food -
Or just begging you to buy
The magazine, the trinket bag
Or the bunch of greens!
Do you hear? Or do they fall
Into a deaf ear
Stuffed with the plug-ins
of your sleek iPod??

You may feel you are too little
To actually bring about a change -
To lend a hand or an ear
Or just flash a smile to
mock that tear!
Feel not that you can't change
For Change comes
Slowly, surely
Like the seasons -
From Cold to warmth!
Once you learn to
Stop and see
Or hear or feel -
You start to heal!
Stop to notice - to step out of yourself
Your selfish self!!
You'll probably touch a life
Save a childhood
Or Just
Spread a hope!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Memories

This one is stuck in my head from my childhood days. Don't know where I first read it or how it is so strongly embedded into my memory - Weird!

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

2. Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

3. I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

4. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

5. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Belief

When all else shun support
You come and stand by me
You take my cares away
And guide me with your light.
My Heavenly Father -
Be my friend
My guide!
My greatest strength
And hope .

Saturday, February 20, 2010

When Life throws a Lemon at you -

Get a magarita (virgin one if you are a teetotaler) , cut the lemon into half - and enjoy away! - Aarti's mom

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Losin resolutin

They say that just around V'day, the resoultions go to the dogs ....sometimes what they say is true!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This records

The best birthday yet - celebrated according to Aarti's specification. Am hopelessly tired and dizzy to blog further - Here's a promise of a revisit!

Double Promise - as Aarti puts it.

And I have

Backlogs that I'll clear with a LOVE theme!
Pretty soon ;-)

Growing Up!


The apple of my, the joy of my life - My little princess with dimples and shampoo commercial hair, my sunshine, my moonlight - answer to all my prayers, Our daughter Aarti turns four - I turn a year too as a mom!

:-)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Bliss called Swiss.


Open the window -
The world around is one big
Effortless, ubiquitous scenery.
Waterfalls entwine into mountains
Making love to the lush foliage
Punctuating every other view
That feasts the eye.
Lakes are friends with meadows
Hanging around together
And gurgling with glee.
Green is a different shade,
A brighter shade, a livelier shade!
Who says he is not partial??
Open the window
Look through it.
The world there is one big Canvas
Painted with loads of love,
Perfection unfolds
In every blade of grass,
In every bump of the land.
The air feels crispier, the wind swifter
Lulling the mind into an eternal bliss -
A vision so pretty
That Angels should dwell there -
Fairies should toil there
Sculpting every detail.
No human invention
Can ever recreate the magic
No human heart
Can ever forget the magnificence
Of God's own country -
If there is one, this should be it!



Friday, February 05, 2010

Giving, getting and every thing in between.

As a child, It felt like winning a bumper lottery when I received gifts from my family and friends. That's probably why I vividly remember the neon yellow snap clips my neighbor decorated in my oil doused braids when I went to give her candy for my Birthday. It was a tradition I looked forward to, distributing candy in school and in the neighborhood on my birthday and whenever someone gave me something, even it was as trivial as a pair of trinkets, It made my day. Getting gifts was a joy to the highest degree. My older cousin, who came and stayed with us for over a year to complete her teacher's training, used to get me little rhinestone studs, flip flops and nail polishes when she came back from her home town. Receiving them made me so happy that, a couple of decades after getting them, I still remember the joy my cousin brought me with those little stuff.
As a little girl, the gifts fascinated me - but as I grew up, the thought and the effort surrounding the event of buying and receiving gifts shifted to the front seat. This day, my daughter got some of the most expensive gifts whose value would be a thousand times more than all the gifts I'd gotten through my childhood and early adulthood. The sorry part is that she might not remember any of them this very day, let alone remembering how she felt receiving them.
Gifting is not about the expense involved - it is a very emotional experience sine it takes a lot of thought and effort to think of something for someone in a world paced at light speed. Unfortunately, many of us fail to understand this. That is perhaps why we see even grown ups throwing tantrums and complain about how something they'd received was cheap, easily available or downright crass. Since giving does not have anything to do with the value, it does not in the least mean that you could gift a pack of glue-on Hollywood pink plastic nails to a couple of grown up, autistic guys - no I did not imagine this, it was an actual happening in my aunt's friend circle a few years ago. A thoughtful relative of the guys went back to India from a visit to the US and lovingly brought them a pack of glue on nails, in Hollywood pink. I would not have believed this if I'd not seen them being handed over to my aunt's daughter by the guys' mother, along with the story of how she got her hands on them.
Thinking of gifting is like thinking of loving. I once sent some strands of fresh water pearls to a lady I know. When I sent them, I thought about the recipient with lots of love and wanted to send her something as a token of my thought. I later on learned that the person's daughter made fun of those pearls as the cheapest thing I could have sent them since pearls are available in abundance in their city. I was not angered listening to that - I was hurt. I did not have an occasion or a need to send it, I just had a reason - my love.
On an other occasion, I opened a gift for one of my nieces - a Hodge podge of things - used pencil cases, crayons, yes - used snack boxes - thrown into a careless pile, much like we throw things into a waste basket. This is not a person that cannot afford a few rupees to buy a box of crayons. She lived in a upscale neighborhood and was well off. And not being able to afford doesn't entitle us to gift used items when we are not at a charity drive. A simple card with an honest wish costs and means a lot more than the most expensive of gifts we can ever receive.

To be continued.








Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dated

My blog address is way too cryptic and twentyish. I actually named it after how my hubby and I were called by two little toddlers in our group. Now the toddlers are young girls and Teteet and Uffu are past twenties. LOL. Last night in my insomnia, I thought of some alternates.

www.pronetogoodfortune.com

This has a history. I am better known as lucky in my cyber friend group. Urbandictonary.com has a lot of filthy meanings for that but the above phrase stuck as very cool to me.

www.randomwrites.com - since I don't seem to write about anything in particular.

www.wordcocoon.com - yeah, I said I am metamorphosizing in my blog. So this has to be a cocoon.

www.madcapmusings.com - Self derogatory - not trying to be overly modest or anything - but I sometimes get startled at my own audacity of actually writing crap and inviting people to read it:-))

www.hundredlittlehopes.com - I think of a hundred things to be - the latest one is wanting to be a teacher.

www.boredword.com - I see that I write a lot when I am bored.

www.doodlinletters.com - mindless drawing like blogs - kind of like doodling in alphabets instead of lines.

I think that teteet and Uffu (distorted forms of Sarat and bushu) need to retire - they are way too
cheesy, childish and dated!)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Fine Font

A conversation between me and my little girl in the isles of walmart.

She:" I want to get out of the shopping cart."

Me: "You can get down if you won't run here and there and not ask me to carry you."

She: "I won't run away and I will walk by myself."

I pull her out of the cart.

Not long afterward, she asks me to carry her on my hip.

Me: "You agreed to walk by yourself. I'll have to put you back in the cart."

She: With a panicked expression on her face, arguing in her most questioning voice "When did I agree? I did not agree. What does agree mean amma - is it something bad??"

Me: - No words.

Recent Read


I have a problem choosing books to read, like I have a problem choosing movies to watch. I have become a very non adventurous reader and movie goer of late as I don't want to spend time on what I might not like. Yeah, complicated! But once in a while when I stumble upon something and mindlessly pick it up, and enjoy it - it is a cue for me to go back to being adventurous with my book choices. Pieces of Happily Ever After is one such book that I picked up from the new arrivals section of the library. It is the first piece of fiction I'd read since late summer. A perfect, chick book, very down to earth without being Mills and Boon(ey)

I love the cover graphic as much as the book. And the title and the flow, and the believable protagonist. It is time I get back to my adventures in book reading.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Invasion

I am a vegetarian by choice - I emphasize the "choice" part all the time as my being raised as a vegetarian or being born into the brahmin community doesn't really play a part in my being a vegetarian. I had umpteen opportunities to bite into pieces of artistically marinated hens and lambs but they never enticed me enough and I wear my semi animal activist, herbivore badge quite pompously. I say "semi" since I am not yet in the league of Maneka Gandhi or Amala Akkineni. That reminds me of the time when I caught Ms. Akkineni being interviewed for her contribution towards blue cross, Hyderabad. I was at a friend's place and her dad immediately opined that organizations like blue cross make no sense in a place like India since we have a lot of people dying of hunger and Amala should focus on people and not low life animals - he didn't say low life but it was so strongly implied in the way he emphasized the word animals. His statement shocked me then, but as I grew older and wiser, I realized that in a place where the life of a person has no value - God save the animals. Anyway, I traveled across the oceans and came to a different world and started looking at animals through a different paradigm. Animals are living beings - not human beings - but they live, they experience pain and are limited by their bodily functions when compared to their human counterparts. Here animal right activists take their passion to a different extreme but hundreds of animals are still abused and left to die, or killed for sport. I condemn all kinds of killings, be it animals or humans or fetuses - but what about the pests? The insects? The ants, mosquitoes and the roaches and rodents?? Can they be killed? Is it not violence to spray insecticide on the robust little wormy things that camouflage so well onto my freshly sprouted rose stalks and distort my flowers? Should "all out" be banned? Okay, may be they cause and spread diseases the mosquitoes, so killing them might not necessarily be covered under animal/insect violence. How about Ants? The tiny black things that epitomize to humans the virtues of team work and hard work? How about hundreds of them in every nook and cranny of your pantry, invading every possible food container, penetrating magically into jars that allegedly keep even the air out?? How about ants on your kitchen towels - parading under the warmth and moisture of a wet kitchen towel? You get the idea - so these hundreds of ants marched into my pantry for the first time in years of living i n this house, and made me a non- animal activist. I still exercised 'options' such as the ones below.

1) Vacuum them and empty them into the trees.
2) Use a broom and a dust pan and sweep them out.
3) Transfer all food items into air tight jars - including the ones that come in storable cartons.
4) Re-caulk all hair line cracks in the shelving where colonies could be established.

I lost my battle with ANTS.

I did not have a choice. I had to empty each and every container in the pantry - that was all the three hundred and thirty three of them and spray some evil thing that claimed to smell like roses and kill ants on contact. I had to rip off my old contact paper on the shelves, re line the shelving, clean and disinfect the whole area and rearrange the groceries, condiments and spices the true legacy of an epicure. It took me 48 hours, two trips to Walmart, a day of allowing triple bonus TV time to my over manipulative toddler and arthritis like pain in my knees, ankles and knuckles to possibly win a battle over a mob of black ants.

I am still an animal activist - "semi" that is - which allows me the right to fight a laborious battle to drive away an invasion.

:-)











Friday, January 29, 2010

Steel Unicorn - part 2

One thing about the Unicorn awed to me to no end - he was the perfect contradiction to the whole entire family. Tatha was as cheerful as it gets and so was grandma. My own mom, Half a decade older to the Unicorn, wasn't bad either when it came to words like humor and cheerfulness. I sometimes wondered if Unicorn was found in some village fair, abandoned by an unwed mother? - The only thing that made me believe that he was indeed blood, was his nose - which looked every bit my nose's predecessor. The resemblance was so obvious that I'd noticed it the moment I could make sense of the things around me.

Tatha's house consisted of a cart load of characters - good, not so good and in between. Dammu (short form for Damayanthi) was a radiant young woman in her early twenties. She had the complexion that matched dad's extra strong filter coffee and eyes that bent ever so slightly upward, giving her the animated "bambi" look. Her braid was wholesome. It had the circumference of a grown up wrist. her waist tapered and peeked out of her Sari folds, showing off her perfectly chiseled midriff. Dammu was every bit a beauty, I could not help but wonder why she washed dishes and clothes in Tatha's house instead of taking the next train to tollywood - Dammu's fairy land. She used to tell me stories of the films she used to watch, which were too many to keep count. Sridevi was her favourite movie star. She often used to match her velvet bindi with her saree - kind of like a tribute to her matinee idol, she once told me. Dammu was liked by one and all looked thru by the Unicorn and loathed by a couple of people that frequented to tatha's house - Kamalamma the crooked smiled cook and Seethalu the retired maid in her late sixties for personal and professional reasons respectively.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Environmentalist.

I tread on the leaf laden side walk -
Feet tucked into my Birkenstocks.
Carrying a bag that proclaims
" I am not a plastic bag either!"
Toting locally produced
Organic greens.
As I tread along, I pass by
A pretty little thing, with spidery long legs,
Sherly Temple waves
And Victoria Secret bod.
I turn back and look askance
giving 'Going Green' a whole new meaning!




25/01 - What really matters??

So much for creative publicity - A recent publicity stint for a leading cosmetic brand previewed a seemingly thought provoking question. to rethink "What Really Matters?"

Many things crossed my mind. Friends, health, family, peace of mind, reaching out to others, giving our one hundred percent to things that we take up, sharing our fortune - the list went on.

I promptly logged into the link after a lot of soul searching.

here's what the questionnaire was about!

1) What do you think about public nudity?

2)What's your favorite body part?

3) Ever gone skinny dipping?

4)Make up or clothing?

5)Ever dreamed you were naked in public?

So what is the rethinking all about anyway?? Just a way of making much about nothing? ahem...wearing nothing???






For 24/01

Over heard by Moi
"It takes a lot of immaturity to fall in love. Once you are all grown and mature, you are looking at someone more in terms of how they fit you than how beautiful their eyes are!"


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thought of the day

the sincere devotee loves God deeply whether he is nonactive and silently meditating on God, or in the midst of a whirl of outer activities. He is awake in God during all hours and in all walks of life. He does not become so deeply engrossed in material duties as to be oblivious to the inner state of divine bliss.

Paramahansa Yogananda : India, scholar of Vedic religion, philosophy, created new translation of Bhagavad-Gita
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893 - 1952)



Saturday, January 23, 2010

It takes an undying passion

Passion for cleanliness - to keep the house clean at all times.
Passion for family time - to keep the kid away from TV.
Passion for fitness - to fit into the pre-preg jeans.
Passion for devotion - to not miss daily prayers.
Passion for Love - to understand the significant other's schedule.
Passion for laughter - to keep the funny side up at all times.

It takes a lot of passion to keep up New Year resolutions:-))

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Appearance.

I have a thicker saturation of melanin

Under my epidermis.

That doesn't change me

From being the human I am.

I was held the way you were

By my heavenly father

Before he dropped me into my mother's womb.

I have not the painter's nose you sport.

But my features are not the benchmark

Of the person I am.

The iris of my eyes are a deeper shade

But I see the world just as well as you can.

My Hair might not be tresses of silk

But the frizz does not distort my brain.

Give me a chance

For I might not have the first recommendation

That comes disguised as beauty.

Look in and take a glance

My inside is lighted with a clear conscience.

Your appraisal is only as deep as my skin.

My character has unfathomable depths.

My integrity does not get tarnished

By my dark skin.

I still am the same species as you are.

Judge not, because I appear ugly.

My soul shall still live

Long after the beauty you care about perishes.






Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This day - a gift from the heavens.

The rain drops hit the window pane and slither down in asymmetrical curves, obstructing the view of the outside. The weather becomes dark but the chill from the down pour warms your heart as you try and look through the haze. The air is filled with a crispness as sharp smells linger around - smells of nature, diffusing into the electric atmosphere - and how many time have you listened to people mentioning the smell of wet earth? It is no surprise - since the essence of the life giving mother earth penetrates so well into the nature when cold drops pierce into her chest with needle like precision. She doesn't seem to mind though, since they infuse into her the elixir of life. Every thing looks magical with crystal clear drops of water playing the balancing game on them - on the leaves, in the grass and even on the patio furniture. The whole image springs to life. The soothing sound of water running through the gutter adds the perfect audio to a divine visual. No wonder peacocks dance at the sight of clouds and the plants and trees rejoice in full-hearted ease as they wash themselves and show off their gleaming greenery. Little puddles collect on the pathway, tempting kids to jump and splash the water - rain seems to inspire people and nature alike. Leave the umbrellas in the holder, take your hoodies off, let the chill shake your spine and the showers from heaven drench you wet in their allure. Practically or just in thought - showers transform the inner self and take nature lovers to a state of ecstacy. Keep the Prosaic away and just let the creation be the cure.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back log - 18-01-10

Go away,
Let me rest.
Let me get you
Off my chest.
Leave me alone
Let me calm down
Don't laugh at me
Let me not drown -
In the heat you generate
In the plight you create
Go away
The restlessness -
Go away.

The Audience

This could as well be titled 'The Appreciation' since the whole point of having an audience is wanting an appreciation or in other words, applause. If we didn't have people to look at our homes and ooh and aah about our dresses and accessories, we'd probably not own any decorations or embellishments ruling them out as waste of time, money and effort. There are things we do for ourselves - like wearing pretty undergarments that we don't particularly parade in - but when we wear flashy jewelry, drive luxury cars and carry brand name bags, we are looking for a lot more than just a 'feel good factor' and that dear people, is an audience, and an appreciation from them. Blogging, more or less, is like wearing "your attention please" kind of clothes - kind of like the fire engine red paired with bright plaid patterned Salwar that I owned as a teenager. Eventually, I realised it's shock value and handed it down to a five year younger cousin. If I wanted to feel good and record my numerous feelings, I'd as well do it in one of those journals that come with tiny locks and keys. Instead, I chose to write my journal and invite strangers into my world of thoughts - because I want to be appreciated and applauded. An artist paints - if no one ever tells him how good his art is, he would lose interest and give up his craft. Same goes with teachers, singers, bloggers' and anyone who wants people around them to tell them how wonderful they are. That's probably why the celebrity blogger wrote how excited he gets when the comments keep coming. Whether they are good, bad or ugly, getting a feedback always excites people. That's probably the reason why preschool teacher constantly shriek in high pitched voices and compliment generously when they are around their pupils.
My little girl performs her songs when I tell her that our visitors are going to clap for her. Much like I blog more the day I find comments when I log in. But if wanting compliments is human, looking around and complimenting is something beyond being human - as much as we like getting noticed, we disdain drooling over some one's work and being vocal about how inspired we are about the dish someone made or the picture someone clicked - that's probably why they say limitation is the best form of flattery. You like something, you put a poker face and act like you can do it in your sleep and turn your back and copy it. That is the biggest compliment we give to someone without letting them ever realize it. It is sad and in a way funny. So when everyone and their neighbors' whole family tree is blogging, who actually goes and reads all this overload of crap generated and who actually has the time and the thought to say something nice?? Some folks have it in them, the generosity to bestow their compliments upon the things they see around them notwithstanding the mediocrity of what they see - that probably makes so many bloggers, singers, artists, film directors and each one of us who look for an approval. I think appreciating creates creativity and that's the reason why an inspiration is always, in my book of judgement, rated high and above the creation. Even a super human like Hanuman needed a reminder of how strong he was when he ventured to fly over the ocean to seek Sita. They say that God created human beings since he wanted someone to appreciate what he created. He wanted someone to sing his hymns and marvel over his workmanship. That being said, we mortals are just a chip of the good ole block. The other day I had my cousin come over, who took me to many of her favorite blogs and appreciated all their creations and pictures with genuine awe. Had the bloggers known how much their work is appreciated, they 'd most definitely fly over the oceans and seek all their writing or whatever aspirations.

We put up a show - we should however, stop and notice the shows that our peers put around us and vocalize our awe. Then appreciation would be an epidemic and creation would be abundant!




Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Look.

It was about time to change the blue/gray background to something more soothing in blue/gray.
For regulars who are used to my previous template, pl feel at home. I despise change but something about trying to be a morning person wants me to change the template - okay, that was a crappy explanation - do I even need to explain?? LOL.

WANTED


What do you want? Can you answer this question in a blink? The answer that comes out in a blink is probably what you really want. Or do you feel so content that you don't feel the need of anything? Okay, Let me ask the question to myself. Do I feel so content that I don't feel the need of anything?? Hmm....let's see - I am well fed, well clothed, well decked in my closet which has only a handful of "I feel and look comfy in this" outfits, handbags big and small and no, thankfully no shoes since I am not a shoe and car fanatic. Spending money on these two is a Nah, Nah, no no. Anything comfortable and convenient(ly priced) serves the purpose. I might want some eyeliner since it spruces up my non existent eyes - but I love my pale mountain dweller eyes since I am too lazy to put on the liner. So anyway, what do I want?
It might sound crazy, but I want more concentration in my prayers. It should be the planetary movement in my natal chart that I am intensely spiritual these days. The other day I spotted the most unusual sight in Macy*s - an idol of Lord Krishna hand created by Lladro, which had a price tag that felt like a hand grenade dropped onto my head. Okay, Lladro, 'The Lladro' figurines that the idle and the idle rich hoard in their led lighted showcases and curios. I think I recollect reading in a gossip mag (in my teenage years, borrowed from Higgin Botthams, while working with the Indian Railways) that our own SriDevi (from Bollywood) collects Lladro figurines. A few years down the line, I had my first brush with the figurines - ofcourse I did not notice the prices as I was busy fascinated by the detail of the figurines - I probably noticed the price tag on the Lord and Saviour, the narrator of Bhagwatgita and the inspiration behind thousands of Annamacharya songs because I wanted him in my Mandir.

So what do I want?? Materially, Lord Krishna, mesmerizingly sculpted by some mightily talented unknown Spaniard - and spiritually an imaged etched on my soul - etched with devotion that rises above all material stuff.

What Irony!!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Jan 15th

Makara Sankranthi is a south Indian festival that marks many things. The most important one being the entry of Sun into Capricorn. This event is considered particularly auspicious and it is supposed to bring along with it loads of prosperity and peace to everyone - here's hoping there will be no more calamities or mishaps in the world. Here's hoping peace to all the victims and survivors of Haiti and here's also hoping the world will rise and reach out.

Make donations - cash, kind, any kind! Keep the world in your prayers. GIVE - that is the only thing you take with you when you leave the world - what you GIVE. What you don't shall stay back right where you left it!

Peace to All.


For Jan 14th

I was caught up with people in Planet Pandora in a never before 3D experience.

More about that shortly, in todays's blog entry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Follower

" Please don't follow me this way" I gently snapped at my little girl who stalks me form the bathroom to the kitchen to the living room, tracing my footsteps. As much as I love her, her clinginess gets to extremes sometimes - specially on days like these when her Baba is out of town.
" I need my space" I added - like she'd understand what I meant. And when I went upstairs to get something, the lil brat over took me - knotted her eyebrows and snapped back quiet triumphantly - "Why do you follow me all the time? I need my space"

I smiled, since I couldn't cry!

:-)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010