Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 6 - Wordsworth called memory the "inward eye." Are your memories more sight-based, or do they concern sound, taste, touch, or smell?

Aha, this almost feels like a personal interview, these series of prompts! I am not sure how I can justify blogging on them without getting too personal or egotistic. I shall try to keep it as general as possible :-)

Inward eye - the one that sees sans sight. The one that conjures up images, known and unknown to create a surreal world around those images and memories. Memories consist of all the senses in my inward eye. It is amusing how one thing digs out others associated with it.

My earliest memory was of touch and smell - the kindergarten English book, that looked crisp and spotless the day my parents bought it. Someone prompted me to smell it - and I opened a book to draw in the smell of God knows what! - May be it was a concoction of freshly milled paper and freshly applied printing ink. I don't quiet remember what it contained except that it had a poem about Punch and Judy - who fought for a pie - and A king that summoned up to his band of three fiddlers that played a 'Diddle diddle' kind of number for him. To this date, I inhale the smell of new books, foolishly hopeful that it would bring back memories of early childhood. Each one smells different - but I am yet to come across the exact smell of that first English text. Once I stumble upon it, I am sure it shall excavate quiet some memories.
My dad's uncle (my grand uncle) once got him a travel gift set consisting of three mini fragrances tucked into a hard plastic case. My dad used to use them all religiously. Not until early 2000s did I realize that the smell that lasted on him for so long, almost as a signature, did so because, it was a huge brand. During my initial days in the US, I spotted the same pattern on one of the trench coats I saw in a high end boutique'Burberry' The checks of black and brown, arranged so eye catchingly on a tan background - the company's signature, thus gave me truck loads of childhood images -  the side yard, my dad's rattan easy chair on the cemented surface, the smells from the adjacent kitchen, the shade of the large coconut tree, the ruffle of the news paper in my dad's hands, the froth on freshly brewed caffe latte that my dad used to sip first thing in the AM and the gaudy green door, enormous by any standards, that shut off the side yard like a solid wall once we closed it at night - all come up with one association - one really, foreign, remote association - the signature checks of Burberry London.
This summer, my husband brought home a carton of fruit, obscenely priced for just that - a carton of fruit. On the side it read "Alphonso Mangoes" product of India. One big dig into the luscious fruit and I was magically transformed into an era of tights and teased hair. Though I had tasted mangoes from far and wide during my almost decade and a half stay in the united states, this particular bite took me back into a time that seems to be more of a dream and less of an existence. Pureed fruit served in steel cups with steel spoons, 'seed wars' to claim the center part of the mango, the flesh that surrounded the huge seed. Scorching summers that made us sweat buckets, tropical fruit, sultry climate, summer break, grand mother's tamarind rice, Grandfather's 'Materia Medica' volumes, sweet and small sugar pills melting in the mouth, plastic bangles, garish bead necklaces, Hollywood pink nail polish, box pleated skirts sewn at home, snap close pencil boxes, little palettes of water color cakes, rickshaw rides to the school and back.....the list is endless.

Music consists of the most of my memories. God bless Youtube, which allows me to transform into primary school, high school, teen days of dreams and crushes - all at the punch of a few keys. Every stage of my life has a song index. It is a real boon to be able to feel 17 when you are in mid thirties, glory to the music, the musicians - the meories just sprout like an all new life, almost giving me a second chance at living those years.

Memories are really like a drug - a strong device of time travel that makes us defy age. They are truly the inward eye, the one that lets us peek into the past, sometimes bringing us to an "aha" moment. And one does not need to be 'Wordsworth' to bask in their glory, blabber in their shade.


Saturday, September 08, 2012

Day 5 - What is the coolest thing you ever saw.

This prompt makes me think. Really hard. What is the coolest thing you ever saw? - Is it just one single solitary thing you saw that you have to blog about? How is it possible for anyone to record one "coolest thing? - May be it is possible. To me, floods of "coolest things" come to mind. From early childhood memories to the ones as recent as yesterday - the laundry list keeps growing as I think. But I'll randomly rattle about a few of the things.

The first thing that comes to mind is the Peak in Alps, dubbed as 'Top of Europe"- Jungfraujoch. (I shall blog in first person singular, to accommodate ease of narration though the trip involved my family) So, on a fateful summer morning, I took a train to this out of the world place. Initially, all that met the eyes was like a verbal blessing translated into a pictorial. Every bit of land was filled with the most colorful array of flowers - wild ones, the lush green grass formed the second layer and it was topped off with icy glaciers. It was like trick photography that made me wonder if it was photo shopped to create that effect - But no - it was God's language at it's best - unfolding in the form of mesmerizing nature. Then I got to the peak. There was a place, on top of a big building - where we could walk out to experience the crisp air of Alps - the top of Europe. I walked out, and was met by an unexpected down pour of Snow, which makes me realize that this was quiet literally the coolest thing I saw,Mid summer, mid noon. - To a small, tropical town girl form the warm south of Indus the out pour of snow was like a make believe land from story books coming fluidly alive. It was too forceful to enjoy, specially since I was under dressed for the occasion. I ducked under my hooded, but 'falling short for the need' jacket and pulled my scarf tightly around my neck while cupping my palm over my eyes to accommodate vision in that thick snow fall. Instinct or pure folly made me look up to see where the magic was unfolding from and in the cloud of that haze, a single flake ended on my lips, seeping into my being. If all the 'bottled water' world boasts about mountain springs and the way they taste - they do it for a reason. That single flake flooded my inside like an elixir, making me alive with the electric connection of nature. As much as I marvel over intricately constructed towers and bridges and feel very inferior about my own creative abilities, I felt that there is no replacing, recreating, or imitating God's magnum opus - the canvas of nature, with critters and creeks, mountains and glaciers, weeds and tulips. I walked out of the enchanted world of 'blessings from the cool heavens' changed for ever. For connecting with the power of nature is a transformation for good.

This would not end anytime soon...the journey of "coolest things I saw" but I am glad that I kept the commitment and wrote about one, if not many - that, in an odd way, justifies the prompt.

Signing off in deep thought - I have quiet a few reminiscences to gather that blessed my vision and impressed my heart.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


Every time I wonder -
If my Birthday made me wiser?
If it made me grow up,
Without growing old.
Each passing year,
I cherish being here,
Being among
The near and dear.
Each candle blown,
Makes an impression of its own!
Teaching lessons tiny,
Making the world shiny!
This could be a crisis,
Hitting hard and strong-
In the form of a limerick
A few lines too long!
Loads of thanks
For all the clicks,
All the stops you make -
It breathes life
Into my doodling words.
Lifting my spirit upwards.

Thanks to all my supporters, well wishers, family and friends for all the love and encouragement. This blog is my temple of thoughts and all your blessing go a long way!- and apologies for a dud of a poem (if I may call it that! ;)

Monday, September 03, 2012

Day 1 - The object I see at this exact moment.

    Before I start off with my September blogging journey, I would like to tell you all something about the theme of this challenge. - It is all about "Eyes" and there are some really interesting prompts that could pulverize the worst of blogger blocks :-) So here goes the very first - The object that I see at this exact moment.

     Twenty years ago, I saw this object, for the first time in my life - oddly amused by the resemblance it had with the modest black and white television our family owned, and little did I realize, or predict the way this small screen would become an integral part of my everyday. Back then, the curious high schooler did all she could to meddle with the object, holding the key down to see the letter appear all over the screen. There were general opinions about how knowing how to type would help you with the object. Of course, when I first set my eyes on it, I didn't really understand the relationship it had with knowing how to type, but being the daughter of a type master, I did punch in the keys faster than the rest of my gang - a quality that made me have an 'ace Pascal progammer' air around me. It did take the computer sir's "This program will blast the computer" feedback to realize I was not yet ready to write code. Thankfully, I never aspired to write code - I did, however aspire to write, in plain old letters and words and this very object helped me realize that childhood dream of mine.

     My computer, be it the laptop I am using right now, or the ultra sexy iPad my friend gifted me, opens me up to a world I would not have discovered otherwise. I do pretty much everything once I am logged on - from connecting with friends, reading the news, listening to music to watching my favorite recipes being made by star chefs, reading reviews of the movies I plan to watch on weekends to doing what fulfills me like nothing else - Blogging! :-) One click and I connect to this magical world of words, where I write and publish all that crosses my mind, meaningful, meaningless and everything in between. It connects me to poems from grade school, with detailed critical analysis in tow, and an encyclopedia that appears and disappears as and when I summon it - unlike the cumbersome, edifice of a volume that collected dust on our antique book case in my childhood home. This object is truly a friend, a time pass, and my window to the world.

     Speaking of windows, I see another object right across the room, atop this very screen - which happens to be the other window, the real window, that somehow enhances the beauty of this virtual window. A  window with wooden blinds, faded from the fierce west sun that penetrates through the blinds. A window that showcases the neighbor's blooming cherry in all its glory - almost like a channel on TV,depicting seasons. I see the deep burgundy leaves turning a dull brown, falling all over the place, soon baring a skeleton of brittle looking branches - and when spring springs, it sprouts dainty little leaves and billions of blooms that hide those dainty little leaves - like a pink fest - then the green photoshops in nature to this wonderful wine hue. Life seems to pretty much revolve around what I see in this window to the world and that actual window that opens me up to my own world, the world I live in - my neighborhood, my surroundings and my yard. The scenes keep changing, reminding me of the change that is constant, the perspective gives me many a view,opening me up to all the different angles people see to the same thing and thus making me more sensitive to the things and visuals I might not see or choose to see from my perspective. Both these objects, enhance the life I live, hopefully making me better at living it to the fullest.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Dream and verse,
On loggerheads,
Fist fighting
To prove their worth!
Says dream to verse,
"Look at my might! -
I dwell in the mind,
Visible - with eyes shut.
A world of my own,
Unfolding mystical images,
Magical stories,
Told impromptu!"
Verse looks through
In cogitation.
Parts her lips
And says to dream.
" I flow
In visuals etched in words,
Sketched in thoughts,
Abstract, stream like,
Baring the soul
To the beholder!"
" Is it greater to see without vision,
Or feel without it?"
Together they wonder aloud.
Together their voices merge,
Creating an echo so strong
That they shudder at its strength.
Dream and verse,
Join hands,
In partnership, agreeing to share
The privilege to create,
One, a spin off of the other,
Inspiring, invoking,
Many an expression,
Scribbling scenes that
Appear in closed eyes
And open hearts,
Reaping heaps of hopes!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Sometime at the age,
Of under a decade,
Craving for little cases,
That snap open and close
To confine the many colors,
And pretty paraphernalia -
Bright hued, dainty boxes
Housing the stray beads,
Sequins, feathers
Collected from here,
Gathered from there!

Teens come in
Taking along with them,
Lemming for luxe sacs,
Bargain bags,
And all in-between.
With mirrors sewn on.
Handmade, handy,
Housing the many random things -
Hand sanitizers, Rosary beads,
Bindis, Bound note books,
Pens, Letters, abrupt stuff.

The soul slowly grows,
The tell tale signs of its aging,
Displayed in the disinterest,
Dislodged from little pleasures,
Aloof from pencil cases,
Hand sewn totes, colorful jholas.
Instead, it dwells
On thoughts of
Hauling all life's contents
Into the memory of the mind.
Away from physical spaces
That arrest tangible titbits,
Only wishing
Contentment and containment
Can come and release
The many ties to Maya.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

My Friend Ms.Madhavan

There are numerous people that walk into our days and sometimes into our lives, hearts and minds as well. This concept of unrelated, random folks adorning our mind's mantels like glowing candles, spreading fragrance and light always intrigued me to no end. I am this fortunate soul that way, to have crossed paths with some people in my life, who, enhance my very existence with their presence and love. Ms. Madhavan is the latest and 'most missed' on my list right now.
I can recollect the day I first saw her - in the line to Aarti's pre K classroom. She spoke animatedly to a fellow Malayalee mom, uttering alien words in a sing song tone. It took me sometime to figure out that they were conversing in Malayalam, a South Indian language that I got mixed up with Tamil. Yeah, it is kind of silly, since being a Southie myself, I should have guessed! So, this lady was holding her son in one hand, addressing him as "Kanna" every now and then and crooning in the same sing song language. Her tallness added a mysterious grace to her persona. Wide expressive eyes, lush, curly tresses left open casually, a painter's nose and a perfectly chiseled figure that defied  motherhood summed up Ms. Madhavan - an eye candy of a woman. The first thing that registered in my mind was her beauty. Being the 'starting troubled" I am, I didn't really attempt to converse with her until we were a few weeks into the Pre K program. She didn't talk much anyway - just smiled with wide eyes and a preoccupied expression every time our eyes met. My mind created a stereotype - "a pretty young mom, probably small towner, not much exposure to the world around her" and during our few conversations, I also slotted her as naive, quiet and slow to react.

     Many a time we hear from all wise sources that we should refrain from slotting people into stereotypes based on some random experiences, and Ms. Madhavan did reinstate that same lesson deep into my heart. Probably because I was destined to learn a thing or two about life, or probably because our destinies interwove into one another, her kid and mine ended up in the same room for their first school year after being classmates for two years of pre k. Slowly and steadily, our association bloomed, from conversations about school and after school activities in general and about parents and family in particular. I saw more and more of her and every little meeting got me closer to knowing the person behind that naive expression and pretty face. She used to sum up philosophies of life in simple sentences, quoting them in her own plain words - words that spoke of universal truths in palatable bits and pieces. Random mentions about Oprah Winfrey show et al, quotes from famous women authors and little surprises like that made her a very endearing, sensible and hearty company. Her sing song voice and her strong Malayalee accent that doused every bit of English she spoke was music to ears. Never into the territory of gossip, always looking out and worrying for others and taking up little tasks assigned to her very seriously and diligently were real icing on top for a darling of a woman. I am blessed to have crossed paths with many friends who taught me lessons of life, but Ms. Madhavan's association took a special place in my heart - her very many conversations, her oversensitiveness to certain things, the way she tried to humor me when I was in a bad mood - all made a lasting impression on my heart's canvas. And the biggest of googlies was her immaculate sense of humor. A little talk to her lightened up daily challenges and put things in perspective. We have both belonged to different lands, spoke different languages and were brought up entirely differently but the common ground I share with Ms.Madhavan is of great reverence to me and I thank all my lucky star alignment that led me to cross paths with her. She shall for ever remain my beloved "weather reporter" and that bright sunshine in the garden of friendship.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

He looks away,
The taciturn,
Answering the many questions
Rising in her probing gaze,
That way!
Dousing feelings in mute, dumb moments,
Freezing in the frostbite of inexpression
Crunching words into a powder of silence!
Unsaid, untold tales of love
Thus get buried
Under the tombstone of deathly muteness
The epitaph reading
Hushed emotions
Shut up into wordless,lifeless slab
Of concrete quietness!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


The story to be told,
Dwells in the soul
Spreading dim light
In the premises of the heart,
Reminiscent of  a painful memory!

The story, that was felt,
Thrives in the tears
Spreads through the years
Singing lofty songs,
Of grief and hurt!

The story that unfolds
Tells tales of turmoil,
Tarnished hopes,
Tragic endings,
Trampled sprouts -
Terminated in the womb.

The story that sobs
Throbbing on the chests
Of the female form
While nipping many buds
For the fault lies in the forms they have taken!

Or may be, it is a blunder
In a man's world,
To be born as a
Life giving mother
To those very murderers!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Come to rescue,
Oh abstract verse,
When writing becomes a chore
Creating becomes a task!
Feigning poems,
In awkwardly chopped
Sloppy heaps
Makes the soul alive and buzzing!
The mind asks,
"What do you need"?
An unblock, an inspiration, a reason -
If nothing comes by,
Just a fusion of random words,
Words that bloom like weeds,
Spread like moss
In the garden of thoughts!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


Words strung into meaningless
Motiveless chains,
Words that clog the crevices of brains,
That struggle to escape
And emerge into sense,
words choking with emotion.
Expressionless words,
Wandering around to find a goal -
To articulate the heart's many cares
Words woven into nets,
To catch the many tears and fears,
Poking out of the abyss of soul
Words - Idle, foolish, fragile
Escape the tangled thoughts
Engulfing a senseless verse!

Friday, June 01, 2012


The touch on skin,
Cleansing, creating clarity!
The touch that generates
Ripples of fragrance,
A halo of perfume,
That of an Orchid ;
A jasmine, or wild rose.
The touch that cushions
With a luxurious feel!
A touch that glides
Adding to beauty!
A touch that awakens the senses
Adds pizzazz to every mood.
How she misses
Your sensual touch,
Oh scented bar soap!
The skin sensitivity be damned :D

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Aloneness, amid a bedlam of voices,
Smothered with the confusion of choices!
To smile - or to frown?
At this loneliness full blown!
Conscience dissecting the simplest of deeds,
Giving them a Karmic twist.
Every harsh action and word,
Emerging out of the isolation,
Redefining the perimeter
Of the heart's quarantine!
Lovelessness distorting
The many crevices of thoughts -
Your silence, your ignorance
Like slow poison
Inflict upon the lifeless heart
Many a brutal wound!
Let it reshape the very psyche -
This want to be wanted
Ah, how tangled,
In your hopeless love!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


She looks around,
The circles of sparkles -
Stacked neatly on her dainty wrist.
The henna stained palms
Forming a stark contrast
On her tender skin.
Delicate little rings,
Tracing the diameter
Of her long fingers.
Robust nail buds
In the color of health
Tipping them.
The hand knit fringe
Of her flowing dress,
Accenting the grace
Of her arms.
What looks good on my hands?
She wonders,
Twisting them in the air -
Like a ballet dancer!
He whispers,
Grabbing her wrist!

Saturday, May 05, 2012


Pitter patter rain drops
On my window pane,
Red, white swirls
Of candy cane,
Chocolate covered raisins,
Dainty finger rings,
Smell of wet earth,
Memories that are worth!
Watching cattle happily grazing
Above the hill,
On a lush expanse.
A peppy number
To sing and dance
Smiles around,
Thoughts profound!
Sparkly polish on my nails,
Choo, choo train
Travelling on  rails!
Company of dear ones,
F R I E N D S reruns,
Book to take me
In the middle of no where,
Painting, creating, killing time
Trying hard to feign a rhyme!
Words bring joy
Like nothing else,
Reading, writing, speaking as well!
Whipping up yum,
Meeting new folks,
A chilled can of Coke,
Dresses with a yoke!
Shiny little trinkets,
Though I am dated -
Kind deeds, loving buddies.
Of all the things that make me glad -
One thing reigns high above!
Nothing tangible,
But only felt -
Deep in the heart,
My cares just melt!
On your tender lips a blooming smile -
That's what makes my life worthwhile!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Withdrawals etcetera

If it is amusing that I got used to blogging on a daily basis, thanks to A-Z challenge and the little one Arpna, it is utterly amusing to experience the withdrawals like I'd been on some substance abuse ;-) So, just in desperation to keep at it as long as I have the will and the desire, I tread back into my cocoon, weaving more threads of verbal repose.
Sometimes, I sit and wonder what the purpose of life is, when we all perish one day - we take birth, grow, literally and figuratively, we accumulate wealth and knowledge, toil amid all challenges and negative emotions, and one day, we leave our body - just an other belonging, like our home, or family and our stuff - Our body! The way we address it just, ever so subtly, reinstates the fact that we are not our body. Okay, may be this would get too wet blankety, my ponder - but on a positive note - amid all this mad rush of living, I think God created us to enjoy the rest of his creations - thrive in the beauty of his nature, nurture our souls in the many positive aspects of life like loving, giving and sharing - and to realize how lucky we are to be humans that can think, act and create just like Mini mes of our Heavenly Father.

On a slightly different note, I want to confess that little things comprise of my big things. I am probably the one who is easily pleased - throw a smile my way, or just a simple gesture - I feel eternally grateful, radiantly alive and deeply moved. Also, things that show love, that are done with care and affection - be it little paper flowers, or Wonder of the world monuments all display the divine quality of love like nothing else. We shall all pass - but the truly blessed are the ones that leave behind legacies that live, and love that blossoms in the garden of many a heart! :-)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 26 - Z for Zee, Z for Zed!

Zoom - the challenge went past. It is a bitter sweet feeling to write the last entry of the series. I wanted to come up with the usual assortment of Z words. Aarti asked me last night as to what word we have to blog on today. Usually, I ask her to list the words she knows on each alphabet. She promptly listed a couple of words she knew - Zebra and then Zoop, which she obviously made up. And after a while she said - "You should blog about Zucchini" :-D

So, Z entry it is today. A few years ago, I was visiting a temple in the east coast. While removing my shoes, I over heard two little boys discussing the discomfort of being raised by first generation immigrants. "You know what the worst thing is?" one of them questioned the other - "When they say Zed for Zee" They both made a disgusting face while letting out a mockery of laughter! Zed is how I read it in my first eye exam in the united states - but before I stray too much into how it needs to be pronounced, I'll talk about a few Zs that fascinate me.

Zebra is a master piece of God I think - for the way He arranged the black and white and for the lovely asymmetrical stripes they sport. I was so fascinated by the pattern, that I had to have a zebra patterned leather tote bag trimmed in red the moment I spotted it in the locked showcases of Macy*s.

Zoya is a brand of nail polish (if you aren't aware of it already) that has a zillion polishes in every hue and every finish all named after women/ girls. I love that the company boasts of its all natural formulation and am endlessly charmed by their ability to churn out lovely colors.

Z is for Zenith - the point I feel I am at today, after the successful completion of the A-Z blog. This really broke my block into fine powder. Though, I cannot really say they are of a great quality, I am proud of the fact that this challenge kept me on the go, diverting my energies and attention to something creative, though mediocre. 

Finally, Z is for Zen - what is the image that conjures up to your mind when you think of Zen? To me, it always is a visual with glowing candle light amid earth toned surroundings, a soothing fountain and some bamboo motif all tied together with a meditative texture and quality.The word ‘Zen’ is the Japanese attempt at pronouncing the Chinese word ‘Chan’, which in turn is the Chinese attempt at pronouncing the Sanskrit word ‘Dhyana’, which translates as ‘meditation’. Zen teaches us the simplicity of focusing in the moment - since past is bygone and future is a mystery - the present, the very moment we live in, is the one that belongs to us.  Zen imparts that very fine art of living, in the moment, in day tight compartments - belonging where we are, enjoying the time we are in without too much focus on what had been or what would be - Imagine, the tranquility that would dawn upon each of us when we master the art of living in the moment, relishing it and absorbing it like a blessing, a gift bestowed upon us from the high heavens.

In conclusion, this has been the most eventful happening of my year so far - the A to Z challenge, like I said before - it opened up my world, my thoughts and my ideas to avenues that I hadn't know to be existing. 

Now, the real challenge is to keep up with the challenge of blogging when there is no challenge to obligate you. But may be, just may be - the conscious effort to live in the moment might command the source of inspiration, eternally! :-)

Much thanks to Arpna Singh - the motivation and encouragement behind this lovely journey of alphabets.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 25 - Y for You!

Yesterday, you walked into my life!
Yearning for love began.
Young heart fluttering at your thought,
Youthful dreams adorning my path!
Yahoo - my soul let out a shout!
Yodeling silly sounds of excitement,
Yelping like a overactive puppy!
Yesterday, you graced my world,
Years rolled on like moments,
Yet formed deep imprints on the heart!
You defined my life, almost like a theme
Yielding a rich crop of contentment.
Yarns of emotions woven,
Across yards of feelings.
Yesterday, you enriched
My whole entire being,
Breathing a new meaning
Into loving and giving!
Yesterday and for ever.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 24 - X for XXIV

Xemepting from spelling,
The Gen X blogger -
Makes an Xcentric entry
Xcluding rules of grammar!
Xcited about the Xecution
Xstatic for no reason,
Xploring balderdash,
Xclaiming insanity!
Xpressions stray from the path...
Xperiencing the high -
Of the mindless Xcitement.
On day XXIV!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 23 - W for World Wide Web!

Internet, the biggest of inventions of the modern times, the medium that concised the world into a three lettered protocol, the wagon of knowledge, the source of entertainment, the treasure of communication and connection, the window that unfolds an- abyss of information right on the illuminated screen you are reading this weird blog entry - is what charms me the most about my day to day life. I neither have a very rocking social life, nor do I meet a lot of people on a daily basis, but thanks to the world wide web, I'd discovered friends from another decade, made in the school campus and temporarily forgotten in the mad rush of growing up, I'd gathered a lot of information on the free encyclopedia that lists any darn thing you can think of, and grooved to the Michael Buble number on youtube and brought alive many memories of childhood while watching videos form the past. I weaved a world of my own, feeling like a time traveler.I grew up without growing old, I honed my many hobbies looking for recipes of international cuisines that I'd only heard names of in my growing years, and learned many a form of art form reading tutorials of accomplished people in their respective fields. The world wide web, that let me have my own little space, my own little cocoon as I call it - that takes me on a metamorphosis into a better person in this little speck of a blog is what enhances my life like no other worldly connection. They say that a book can take us anywhere, but with the world wide web, I get to experience a rich audio visual that tickles my imagination, answers my many questions and sweetens my life with its presence.
If it were not for the internet, I'd have probably been scribbling these lines on my journal, like I used to do as a young adult - or may be, I'd have not had a chance to say the things I just said or experience the many joys of life that take me into the universe of a web, a wonder, a wilderness that contributes to my life in a very profound way.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 22 - V for very.

Very! - a word denoting too much. Very happy, very angry, very vain, very silly! Well, very seems to enhance all the words that it is prefaced with. I just wanted to put here a run down of the verys in my life.
I am very lazy! Yeah, I am. I have bouts of energy hitting me - but I think my ruling planet, Venus, the very creative one - also happens to be very lazy - so the 'Very" before "lazy" is thus justified.

I live in a very pretty town - a true American town - very diverse, very nice weather (for the most part) very friendly - like the rest of the land of Liberty - and of course, Very much home now after living here for a decade.

I feel very blessed for the love that crossed my path - I have the best of friends out there - touch wood, that make my life very special.

I have a very good quality - I forget and forgive very easily. I think it my biggest strength - that nothing negative stays in my mind for too long. I don't grind axes, nurture grudges and stress my life out on who put me down or treated me bad. I think it is a very important quality to have - to forgive and forget. It makes my life very simplified.

I believe in God, Very much - call Him or Her with the name you want - I'd still believe in him. I think He is the one that keeps the world going - we can progress in science, technology, communication etc....but the very best connection we can ever establish is the one with our Heavenly father.

Lastly, I am very glad to be a part of this challenge - it opened up my life to very many avenues of thought, talent and expression.

Very thankful to all the clicks, comments, kind words, appreciations, brickbats (that make me better at what I do) and just for your mere presence on my cyber space.

Very gratefully,
Aarti's mom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 21 - U for Utopia.

Unravel, the  dream -
United into a reality!
Under the umbrella of
Unity, peace and quiet!
Unfold an ecstasy,
Universal brotherhood,
Ultimate locale,
Uplifted by perfection.
Utopia - let the Earth be,
For you and me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 20 - T for time, T for truth, T for trust.

Tricks of time,
Teaching us lessons.
Throwing tough challenges,
Thorns and tortures.
Tricks of time,
Healing wounds, fading nightmares,
Taking us on tomorrow's road.

Truth - dare to say it!
|Truth - abide by it
The one thing, that stands the test of time,
Trade it not - for tiny pleasures,
Take its side,
In trails and tribulations.

Tough to come by, tougher to keep
Trust is a treasure, a true blessing.
Throw it not, treat it well
Trample it not, Nor tamper with it!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day off - A look back at A-Z Challenge.

I was not a part of A-Z challenge because I wanted to be. My friend, the little one, as I call her - put much pressure on me, to a point where she logged into my blog to enter me into the contest. Regular followers of my blog would know how I blame my inactivity on writer's block. I often tend to write in bouts - while spasms of inspirations hit me at the most inconvenient time to blog - which is usually past midnight. A-Z blog opened me to a whole new world, a world inside me that I discovered on the journey so far, and to the outside world of talent, creativity and intellect that unfolds in the many fellow bloggers participating in the challenge. I was surprised how easy it was to write when I had a prompt to write upon, even though the prompt in question was a single, solitary letter. I have only a few more days to successfully complete this challenge, but I do hope this journey into blogging breaks my block for ever and inspires me to write about all that I think. And due to some personal challenges  I am facing at this time, I find it hard to visit all the blogs in the list, but I am sure, once the time constraint is lifted, this journey shall make me more regular at discovering the very many talented writers out there. Little one, thank you for this gift of thought and creativity! :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 19 - S for Smile

Smile! Shining through
Sad situations -
Simmering hope!
Smile, singing songs of joy
Seeping through disappointments,
Sinister attacks,
Savoring life with a spark and sizzle.
Saluting the inner self to be a believer!
Sweet smile, fading shadows of cares,
Showing way to satisfaction,
Success and showers of happiness.
Step into the shoes of a smile,
Shun hurdles, Spread love!
Shimmer in the shade of a sincere smile!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 18 - R for Rhythm, R for Rhyme!

Rhythm and rhyme!
Rummaging through the thoughts,
Running in the mind!
Rhythm and rhyme,
Like a ray of light,
Illuminating restless visions!
Like a river running through the woods,
Creating ripples of inspirations,
Rediscovering the many hues
Of creating and recreating!
Rhythm and rhyme,
Resting in one another's arms,
Recording recurring hopes.
Refining ideas.
Refreshing, reforming, rejuvenating,
The many feigned verses,
And rhapsodies of love.
Rhythm and rhyme -
Real bliss to the mind's eye,
Remarkably relaxing the soul
Repairing the many bludgeoning,
Of Ruthless life.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 17 - Q for Quiet!

Quietly, without a sound,
Without a Quiver!
Quaintly conquering,
Quickly capturing!
Quiet swiftly!
Your thoughts,
Sprout in my heart!
Quietly, quaking my world!
Quipping about your innocence,
Quitting to admit,
But -Your every quality
Qualifies my life as blissful!
Queen of my heart,
Quench my thirst for your love!
Quietly, quit tormenting me
With this distance!
Quote me on this -
My life resonates in the melody
Of your quietness.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 16 - P for Parenting.

Parenting is probably the most influential aspect of a human being's life. Parents mold or scar their kids with their parenting choices. When on the wrong side of thirty, I'd finally mapped most of my thought process and personality to my childhood and the influence of my parents. The most I see in my day to day life is the fellow parents at my kid's school. Each one unique, with their exceptional strong points. I observe all the parenting techniques around me, probably because I am sub consciously aware of the impact of my every word and action on my child. I read parenting horror stories, come across some reckless parenting choices and wonder if  parenting should be indeed licensed like one of my learned friends opined in a social discussion. Children are all reflections of God they say - but parents are the ones who obliterate those reflection and replace it with their own. There is a lot that goes into raising a child - patience, love, responsibility and sacrifice. Having the biological ability to produce children shall not make a parent a parent. It is the ability to understand the impact they make on their off springs with their every thought, word and action that counts into the tough art of parenting. Whether we choose to spoil our kids or raise them like soldiers, we do leave our footprints on their psyche for the rest of their lives. I wish every person who produces a kid realizes this fact! Parents can really make the world a better place by doing their jobs sincerely. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 15 - O for Opinions.

Opting to  condemn
Other's point of view.
Obsessing with one's own options!
Often omitting our flaws.
Onslaught of attacks,
Overflowing with prejudice,
Overlooking the positives in others - as
Ordinary, or overrated.
Opinions, like outbreaks,
Outlets to our frustrations,
Or narrow outlooks.
Opinions - self centered,
Overwhelmingly rigid!
Opposing things we won't approve,
One track thinking that,
Our way is the right way!
Offensive, odd, Obstructions
Of empathy!
Obstinate, outrageous,
Obtrusions of openness!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 14 - N for Nature

Nurturing green fields,
Naughtly sweeping,
Through branches and leaves,
Numbing daily cares
With nifty sceneries,
Nursing worldly wounds
With soothing surroundings!
In Nature's womb,
Lie numerous joys,
Novel bliss,
Never ending happiness!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 13 - M for Memories!

Memories, Mingling with the present!
Mighty connections to the past,
Magical, mystical,
Merging into todays,
Mapping the bygone,
Making moments eternal!
Mundane and maddening!
Merry and meaningful,
Melancholic as well!
Memories through meadows of thoughts
Metamorphosis into souvenirs,
Moving our beings,
Like mother's love!
Mosaic of moments,
Grouted with emotions,
Form the memento
On the mantle of the mind.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 12 - L for Love

Love! Lend your hand,
Let Love grab it!
Lifting you away gently,
Landing on the clouds.
Love, Let it increase,
Leaps and bounds -
Losing yourself in its longing.
Love! Learn to live,
Lying in its lap.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 11 - K for knack!

Kindling hopes,
Kind thoughts,
Keeping positive,
Kneeling to pray!
Knotting hearts
With threads of love,
Knitting dreams,
Knocking off the bad,
Knowledge of things,
Knowing good from evil,
Knack for life, Lies in these.
Kudos to the souls
Who follow this road,
Who kill all vices
And lead their lives!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J for Jealousy - Day 10

We probably experience It as little children, when our parents attend to our siblings or praise a cousin. And then it grows with us, day bay day, slowly and surely! Jealousy is the resident evil of all the vices. As they say, all the deadly sins have some pleasure attached to them, except jealousy! When we are consumed with it, we lose our reason, judgement and peace of mind. We become a torment to ourselves! We spread the torment to the object of our jealousy as well, by making sly or rude remarks. It could be difficult to come to a point where we renounce it completely, but as long as we are making sure that we are not inflicting the wounds on others as well, we can save the world and make it a better place to live for ourselves and the people around us!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 9 - I for inspiration.

Inducing ideas,
In this tiny little mind!
Imparting blessings,
Nudging the heart to create!
Improves insight,
Into challenges,
Inculcated on daily sights.
Inviting thoughts,
Increasing intelligence,
Imbibing a power.
Into the soul of a silly poet,
Sows seeds of imagination,
Inflicting insight
Into Infinite identities,
Adding a new meaning, To existence!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Day 8 - H for happiness

Hopping heartily,
Hovering around smiles,
Heading toward laughter,
Hanging on to hopes,
Healing hurts,
Hushin hidden joys,
Over hindrances.
Happiness delicately
Hangs on in the heart.
Hear it out -
Seek Help,
Happiness, they say
Hails from within,
Honors positives,
Houses hopes,
Hoards hundereds of
Blissful Halos
Hooding disappointments,
Humming Hymns,
High and mighty
Above all emotions.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Day 7 - (G) - God, Give me!

Glittering stars in my sky,
Great friends that standby!
 Gleeful days, good and bright!
Gorgeous nature in my sight!
Giant belief that you shall stay
Guiding me by night and day!
 Generous blessings, sent my way,
Gentle breeze, genuine smiles,
Glorious paths, golden hearts,
 Gurgling streams to quench my thirst!
Greener pastures all along,
Gifts of giving, sharing, caring!
 Gems galore of lofty thoughts!
 Grab my hand, hug me tight!
 Glow your light in days of plight!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Day 6 - F for forgiving, forgetting.

As a child, I used to be endlessly charmed by the daily prayer we said in our school assembly, that was addressed to Our Father in heaven - which said, "And forgive us our sins - as we forgive those who hurt us, Oh, Forgive us our sins! When I heard those lines, it stuck to my immature, evolving sense of right and wrong that "Forgiving" is more divine than anything else in the world. And then I grew up. I saw a fair share of forgivers, non forgivers. I saw vengeful behavior that was pretty understandable. But more often than not, being vengeful is a two edged sword - when you seek revenge, you also inflict a part of that hurt on you. There are people who lead enemy centered lives, changing their course based more on how it would effect the enemy than it would effect them. I recently read a quote which said - "By forgiving, I give up my right to hate the person who had hurt me." But the point is, what would we achieve by hating? May be solace, may be just a satisfaction that we're undoing the damage done to us. I had to reply to the message saying "Forgiving saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred and the waste of energy" - it is not an original quote but one that I'd read as a child and I'd held on for a long time. I did cross paths with people who I despised. I probably led an enemy centered life for a few days - trying to do things based on what the other person was doing. I nurtured the hatred with a steady supply of negative emotions, anger and loathe. But then it dawned upon me that when we let it go, we are free in a whole new sense of the word free.
A few years ago, I'd followed a news that shook the nation - a gunman that entered a school and shot innocent children in a Parish community. I was moved to no end to read that Parish folks that interpret the bible literally, the very parents who'd lost their children to this mindless, senseless act of a suicidal gunman, actually forgave him and attended his funeral on the side of their own off springs. Now, this is an exemplary event - something that most of us would not have the courage or will to do. But on a smaller scale, there are things that people do to us - cheating, lying, robbing etc. These acts seed in us the same negativity that they are born from. It is very tempting to retaliate to an insult and I think it is human nature. But when we make that retaliation the center of our universe, we miss out majorly on enjoying the better things in life. Yes, it is a prerogative of the wronged to avenge for it - but it becomes a parody when our own instinct to avenge for it poisons us from within to a point where we become mentally equal to the ones that wrong us. When you love someone, you house them in your heart and when you hate someone, you house them in your mind. In your mind that lets you discriminate from good to bad, the one that distinguishes us from other species in the world. Forgiving is an enormous feat, divine - easier said than done - but blessed are the ones who, forgive, forget and move on with the positives in life.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Day 5 - E for emotions.

Emotions enter,
Each one engulfing
Exciting, excruciating,
Empty and Envious,
Evolving, encompassing
Eccentric, endearing.
Emotions capturing
Eternal souls.
Entourage of emotions
Enduring, enlightening,
Elegantly etched,
Enormously felt
Enigmatic, energetic,
Embarrassed, ecstatic.
Enjoy them, enthrall in them
Eschewing the bad
Embracing the good.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Day 4 - D Dreams

Dreams, dancing daintily,
On Drooping eyelids,
Dreams, like destiny,
Dangling divinely
Divulging destiny.
Like destinations dim
Decorated with dazzle
Defining Delight.
Dreams, dear dreams
Delightful, Dramatic
Disclosing Desire.
Dead Dreams
Dragging on Dungeons
Dark and Deep!
Dreams decked,
Devotedly delusional
Daring to defend
Delicate dilemmas.
Delightful, deceitful,
Drawing lines
Draping danger,
Down they land
On windows to the soul.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

(Day 3) C - Confession

My dearest Girl in the pink scarf -
Call it stupid, or just plain cuckoo - but from the moment I set my eyes on you - I am lost in a world of my own. I seem to think about you all the time, tangled in the fringe of your pink linen scarf. When you were walking on the side walk, with the leash held daintily in your hand - I for once, wanted to be the poodle - that cute, cuddly poodle of yours. I wonder what name you fancied for him! But to me he looked like Luke - Don't ask me why he did look like Luke and not like Buddy or Max. I followed you all along, trying to not make it too obvious that I was stalking you - Kind of!
Geez - I did actually stalk you? Shame on me. Only the other day, I proclaimed to my gang of friends that I am my own person and can never fall in love. Lo and behold, I find myself - like I said - tangled in that lush fringe of the pink scarf - appliqued with white organza flowers. By God, you have got some taste. The baby pink of the fabric brought out the same robust, healthy hue in your cheeks - making me wonder if the scarf added beauty to you, or you did to the scarf.
You are quiet a fashionista though - I thought of myself as a rock star with the Medusa tattoo and the piercing on my right eye brow - but I just wonder how you achieved that look of yours without piercing any needles into your epidermis. You'd rewritten a couple of things for me - Style and then my own destiny that was not too long ago, written in bold italics the way my maverick mind deemed fit.
And then again, in all the nineteen long years I'd walked on this Earth, and breathed its air, I never ever dreamed that this day would dawn upon me - sneaking in on me like a reality slap. All the guys that hovered around their girl friends made me sick to a point where I wondered why mating is so over rated - and then the magic happened - as much shallow as the concept of 'Love at first sight' seemed - I feel I am a victim of it. And I am not complaining.
If you find this confession any sincere or any serious, I would be much honored if you meet me at the coffee shop. I shall show up in my ragged jeans and the Medusa tattoo on my right arm showing - I hope you do not have a pet aversion to piercings and also hope that you think of me as much a rock star as I think of myself. I promise to you though - that you'll not regret it if you chose to give me a chance.
Please wear the pink scarf when you come to meet me - I just need to untangle myself off of it - or wait a minute - may be I'd love to be tangled there - always and for ever.
Hope to see you soon.
Much Love
The Boy with the tattoo, piercings and electric blue hair :-)

Sunday, April 01, 2012


Aspirations align in the ally,
Achievements await ahead.
Allure of ambitions,
Accelerating to reach the acme
Almighty awakening,
Aiming to attain !
Abstract adventures,
Attack in ambiguity.
Altruistic attitude,
Absolute affirmations
All walking away
Alighting with aplomb
Adorning the abyss
Appealing to the Alternate,
Aimless arousal -
Artlessly arranged!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Through thick and thin,
You were friends with me,
Imparting your wisdom
To help me lead my life.
Through sorrows and joys,
I held you in my hands -
Always engrossed
Into what you were unfolding before me.
Through rain and shine,
I settled down with you
In the cozy nook of my home
While sipping herbal tea
Or Coke zero!
Through childhood and adulthood
You shared your stories with me
Once about princesses and demons
Once about rags to riches tales
And once again,
About "once upon a time" fantasies.
You never failed me -
You measured up
As a friend, philosopher, guide -
My precious companion
Once hard bound, once a paper back
Or just a inexpensive print
On recycled paper.
Your many forms adorn my shelves
And most importantly, my grey cells! :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Puzzler - 2

The door opens with an awkward creek while the harsh florescent light from the corridor seeps into the dark room. He walks in to fumble on the side of the wall to find the light - he takes time to locate it. The room bathes in the softly lit desk lamps on either side of the bed. He walks in and places his bags on one side of the room.

"Ananda, come in." He calls out softly. Her head still reeling from the rush of events, her eyes hiding the welling up tears of helplessness. She walks into the room in a trance and settles on one side of the bed. He could not say anything to keep her from sobbing. He lets her wash out her emotions for a good five minutes, walks to her, places his hand on her back and rubs it gently.
"It is all going to be fine" He assures her though he doesn't know how it is going to be fine when she looks like she'd lost everything she had on the way to the hotel.

He opens up his bottle of water and offers her a drink. She gulps it down wiping her tears. She takes a few minutes settling her emotions down while he looks at her nonchalantly, not knowing what to do, not knowing how to take her pain away.

"Is there anything you want to share with me?" he asks her softly. "I can talk, I can listen, I can - I can" he searches for words to comfort her.
She lifts her head, looks him in the eye and smiles. He doesn't ask any more questions.
She suddenly realizes that she is stuck in this room with a perfect stranger, for the whole night. What choice did she have anyway? Her mind travels from one bizarre thought to anoter.
'I hope you are comfortable sharing the room with me" He asks her.
She nods her head in agreement. "I hope you are comfortable sharing the room with me" She says in return, flashing a mischievous smile. "I am a little scared, but I think I shall manage" He plays along.

She gets up to freshen up and he lets out a sigh of relief to see her joke around.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This and That!

I just wanted to attempt to get over the block and make a hodge podge of doodling with words, more like catching all the stray thoughts and recording them.

My short story Puzzler is left there to linger without a completion - Believe me, I am working on it day and night - in my head. I feel that it is running more descriptive like a novel, so hoping to get it back on the short story track by chopping off the detail and dialogue. I shall most likely start off a part 2 in a different since the tone of narration is going to change.

I feel that I am currently a bonded slave - to my smart phone. Ever since the mobile technology kicked in, my dear husband tried to persuade me to maintain a cell phone. After numerous numbers and futile attempts to make me charge the phone on time or make me answer it when it rings - he gave up. Until recently where he got me the latest iPhone - now I seem to be ubiquitous on FB, and is there anything like irritating with over promptness? I am probably guilty of it. I switch off my technology, struggling to set my body clock to the lost hour in the "Daylight saving" fiasco - but the little monster in white grunts like a hungry pig - alerting me every time I get an offline FB message or a mail update. What do you expect from a night owl just set on the reforming path of being an early bird? I promptly reach for the phone on my night stand, squint my way in the darkness through the emergency message of my friend asking me if I am free to join her for a lunch date 10- days from now:-) As much as I want to love it, I am at the verge of getting scarred for life. Now, does it help that I am semi addicted to "Delicious - Emily's true love" game app? Somehow, it reminds me of my farmville days where I used to obsess over the crop and fertilizer like they exist in real.

Amid all these time killers, I do manage to life a decent, productive life. My kitchen sports a new, sleek, professional series stand up mixer! ;) I am keeping busy with the cooking and for those of you who are following me for long and wondering what happened to my "no dirty dishes in the sink" resolve - I am glad to inform, that probably for the first time in my life, I kept a new year resolution past Valentine's day! :-)

I often cross paths with a veteran sports personality of 70s India - It just stuck me in my last meeting with him, that I wanted to do a "In conversation with" kind of a blog. I shall work it out for sure - This man is built so strong - the strength of his character shines through every word he utters. I am sure we can all benefit from his life's experiences and wisdom. I'll stop it here before I divulge too much info.

My art students are currently working with water colors - which made me realize that there is a strange satisfaction in messing up things around us to create harmony. It is a task that makes me shake my head in disbelief at the sheer courage of attempting to teach little ones the use of messy colors - but on a totally different note, I think I might emerge with a few ponders on life and probably some eye candy art work to share.

As always, to all the people who kindly accommodate my mediocrity into their lives by visiting my blog - I am greatly indebted. I am an ordinary person, living an ordinary life - but each click my blog gets, each pair of eyes that read what I say makes my life amusingly extra ordinary. For all the love, support and sheer tolerance to my work - here's a sincere thanks! :-)

I shall strive to be worthy of it ;-)

Saturday, March 03, 2012


When I was in 6th grade, I fought with a boy in my class - I cannot recollect what it exactly was, but in the fight, the boy said something rude to me. Now, fighting and getting upset were both rare occurrences for me so I remember what followed, in great detail. To show my condemn for how the guy behaved with me, I skipped eating my lunch. When my science teacher walked into the class post lunch break - someone broke the news to him that I was on a hunger strike. What my teacher told me that day stuck to me till this very moment. He walked to me and asked me a series of questions. I answered all of them and so he could gather who was at fault. The boy volunteered to come and apologize to me and all was about to be forgotten when my teacher told me - "If someone upsets you, why do you have to go hungry? You should have snatched that boy's lunch and eaten it so that he could go hungry!" His humor worked - I laughed out loud and so did every one around me. It was all one happy class of middle schoolers. I am sure he did not mean to tell me the 'eye for eye' philosophy but it probably was how I instantly lightened up after that, or the very fact that if one person hurts you, your hurting yourself will not help, dawned upon me that afternoon.

Often, we forget how to deal with our hurts. We brood in the sorrow and immerse ourselves in the wrong doings of others. We also pay way too much value and attention to what people think or say about us- be it approval or disapproval. If we'd all put aside the reactions of the world and do what makes us happy - if we come to that level of comfort with ourselves where we don't seek approval from other sources, we have arrived.
Last night, Leslie Blodgett, The CEO of Bare Escentuals, a makeup revolution that hit the USA with it's break through natural products put a status message on her FB page reacting to the message alerts she received form a shopping channel's community forum, dissecting her Stella McCartney dress, I just had to go to the website and see a video of her presentation just to see what was so scandalous about her dress - This 49 year old woman who looks no bigger than a size 2 and no older than 35, carried the figure hugging black and white number with great aplomb. She further went on urging her fans to tell her why they did rude remarks about her dress - if it was that she was too old to wear the dress or if it was too revealing. Actually, it was not any of those things at all - as a conservative dresser myself, I found Leslie's outfit very appropriate for a Beauty guru hawking her products on a renowned teleshop. This woman who had built on a 'non existent on the make up map' company making it a phenomenon with her Mineral mantra - to the extent of making Estee Lauder, MAC and other make up giants flatter her most sincerely by imitating her producrt philosophy, succumbed to the pressures of people who take it upon themselves to keep others grounded - so one can only imagine what such attacks do to lesser mortals . A couple of years ago, she'd sold BE to the Japanese giant Shiseido for a whooping 1.7 billion dollars. She is still the creative and business head bringing in her unique way of marketing and products to millions of loyal fans that are now expanding to all parts of the globe. This success personified woman, easily the most famous business women in the present day  make up arena succumbed to the hurtful words of a few haters or just cynics that exercise their prerogative of freedom of speech to put someone down. As I grew older, I'd learned one thing - or actually I should say, that by observing a friend of mine that always turned criticism and mean remarks made against her to ashes, I learned a very valuable lesson of life. She didn't fight, or argue or explain herself - instead, she just used to ignore what was being said to a point where I wondered if she had hearing impairment. Most people around us rub us the wrong way because they get sadistic pleasure to see us get hassled and react in a defensive way. When we keep quiet, it rains on their parade of ridicule. As a young adult, I heard my father's cousin say it once - that "Ignoring is the biggest insult"

I look back upon my own insult and criticism handling history and I must say, I do the occasional succumb to them like most human beings do - but, there were instances when I'd shut up the meanest of them with one weapon - silence. I reflect upon my middle school teacher's wisdom on handling bullies - there are two ways, the one that requires some elbow grease in the form of retaliatory action or the other, effective, fool proof and peaceful way - Silence. When we don't cry - it is not fun for them to keep at the attempts to make us cry. Keeping a straight face when faced with such situations in life is the best policy of all.

Friday, March 02, 2012


(Revisiting a saved draft - there might be a change of tone in the latter part:-)

My childhood existed in the peace and quiet of nature and outdoor play - entertainment wasn't sought in Pods, Pads or Touches that precede with a insignificant small case 'i". In fact, my introduction to the TV happened when my dad bought home a cube like portable black and white television to catch the world cup action in 1983. I still remember how the wired tape cord that made the TV portable in our vast home was coiled in the diameter of a small hoola hoop and the width of a cumbersome hard bound encyclopedia, secured with country twine and hung obnoxiously on the tip of one of the doors that opened our bedroom into the open roofed living room that housed the elements. The television was used very sparingly - and aired a language that was as foreign to me as the ancient Latin - but to the wonder of many city bred, cosmopolitan people I come across on a day to day basis - I being the small town south Indian girl I am - somehow managed to learn the National language - thanks to DD1 that introduced the purest form of Hindi to my little, undeveloped language palette.
Back on track - i fondly remember running around in the streets, lip syncing to the latest Telugu numbers that were played in a static bearing music system that resonated in the whole neighborhood. The bedlam of random hawkers selling wares and the occasional honks form the traffic nearby added so much of layer to the background score. Movie watchings were few and far between. It is during those days that gaudy colored hoardings of pretty women dressed in florescent leotards and ring masters in longs hats and asymmetrical Abraham Lincoln like coats blinged with sequins the size of a old rupee coins adorned the concrete municipality garbage bins. The speculation started among the rickshaw mates - a gang of six, 7 years and under kids that commuted to the school and back in a manually pulled wagon - "The lions dance it seems!" - added a six year old with dilated eyes while her older brother went on and on about the gig of the clowns who pull their pants off trying to perform trapeze after the trained artists. This was enough information to tickle our collective imagination and thus the canvassing for going to the ostentatiously named "New Grand Circus" launched in the household.
The circus tent was humongous - at least to the 8 year old's eye. There was a stench that lingered in - probably from the droppings of the animals that were left in cages around the tent - much as a display for curious children. The opening act was the Lion show - where the ring master makes ferocious looking beasts behave like tame cats - jumping through hoops of fire - and then the clowns enter - dancing to the then famous disco numbers while a not-so-well built guy holds a bycycle, a table and then a ladder on his lips when the audience applaud in awe. Then the gymnasts enter - the young women glistened in azure glittered eyes and leotards to match.

A couple of decades down the lane I'd been to the "Circus Vargas" show that came to the town, just around the block at the end of my street. Needless to say, it magically transformed me into a time and place that I'd often wish that I had frozen in. The experience hadn't changed much - except that this Circus I went to didn't have any four legged performers. May be it is the new PETA regulations, could be the increasing overhead costs - but it was a good thing that there were no animals. There was cotton candy being peddled along with Coke and nachos and there was an intermission where the clowns sat for a chat with the children in the audience. To my utter amusement, most of the acts were repetitions of the shows I'd seen as a child in a different time and place. At the end, the performers lined up for a meet and greet with the audience outside the gate. There is something magical about entertainers - I remember, that as a child, when I was in awe with the circus show, I used to envision myself as a child in the troop, travelling from one place to another leading a nomadic life. The experience brought back a glimpse of my childhood in a very endearing way - I could not but wonder how such performing arts are faring in the generation of internet entertainment at the punch of a few buttons. Ironically, the seats were sparsely occupied and the IMax complex opposite to the tent on the other side of the road was busting at seams with cars that looked like a car factory had thrown up there. I know, I know - it is a graphic description - but my ever thinking mind could not but wonder if these performances would stand the test of time. No matter how we advance in communication and technology - the old world charm of snail mails, circus performances and county fairs are an experience every child should go through. I would totally date myself but it just startles me the kind of insight I got into the world when I watched puppet shows and small time bands performing movie songs in the neighborhood temple. It was like a glimpse of the world, animated, full of life, real - I sometimes sit and wonder if the future generations would miss out on the hands on experience I had as a child.

Circus Vargas represented life to me - a constant struggle to survive, fighting against odds, Laughing, thrill and fear all amalgamated into a show that is painstakingly prepared - all to cater to one means - the stomach. I walked out of the tent rejuvenated, in a reminiscent mode feeling a tad bit happier and maturer.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A link to my new born FB page. Much thanks to the Admin Arpna Singh :)


Being the quote collector I am, I look for thought provoking ones all around me from famous quotes to the ones that I encounter on a daily basis. Many years ago, in my language class, my teacher wrote a quote on the black board which read - "The end of education is Character." I was a little too young to understand the depth of the quote but it came back to me in my evolving years. And then I came across the quote which told me that 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration makes a genius. I remember getting very influenced by that saying in my middle school. As I grew up, I realized that most talents in life thrive on encouragement. Encourage a child and he would reach his potential  - and most importantly a word of encouragement during a failure matters more than a day of praise after a success. Life becomes lovely when we have people around us that notice us for what we are, show interest and give encouragement in the little things we do. And then, I stumbled upon the quote that said nine tenths of education is encouragement. So, most human successes depend heavily on the encouragement and support they get from people around them.

A wonderful well wisher of mine had taken it into her tender hands the expedition to encourage my banter and doodling words. She created a FB page for my blog and invited all her friends to come read my work. I am not sure - and I don't say this in false humility - if I deserve all this and if my work is really worth people's time, but I am immensely touched by this gesture. I'd written all my life. I'd thought all my life and I'd blogged for long enough. I get some really uplifting feedback from complete strangers about my work. Not once do I feel that I deserve it but every time a kind gesture comes my way, my head bows in gratitude and my heart gets the encouragement to keep at my writing. I want to welcome all my new friends into my blogging world and take this as an opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the time and encouragement. I am sure this shall make me realize, all the more, the importance of kind words and kind gestures in life. Each one of you shall keep my love for writing alive with each click you make on my blog. While you are at it, please feel free to tell what you think about my work. I am always on the look out for suggestions and ideas to improve myself.

Encouragement is to the soul what water is to plants. To all the wonderful friends and family that believed and stood by me, cheered me - Here's a humongous Thank you. :) Actually, Thank you seems to be a very little word - but words are my world :)

God Bless.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Her eye balls trace the scene that flashes past her through the moving train. She slips into deep thought, her characteristic deep thought and almost looks through everything that passes in front of her eyes. Her brain works incessantly, spinning one thought after the other. The train comes to a gradual halt and the doors open to let passengers in and out. She doesn't seem to notice it. She's still looking out of the window. The lush cushion on her seat lets out a ruffle as some weight compresses it. Her thoughts come back to reality. She hears a rustle of the news paper from beside her. Reluctantly, she looks askance to catch a glimpse of the person parked next to her. She almost turns back to gaze out of the window - but her brain starts registering the features of the person next to her. Deep, hypnotic gaze and a smile that flashes perfectly aligned teeth. Lush blonde hair, gelled and combed back to reveal a broad forehead that frames perfect features. She realizes she's staring at him and in embarrassment, flashes an unsure smile - not the one that she usually gives. She somehow suspects that he wouldn't smile back.

But he does - his full lips part to reveal the perfect set of teeth again - his skin, a rugged red and some tan on the sides of his cheeks manifests tiny little light brown freckles with the clarity of a HD television. Visions of her colleague photo-shopping models flash in her mind - but doesn't imperfection have it's own charm? May be it does - her own teeth for instance - one of her front teeth ever so slightly overlaps the other giving her smile a character. Her thoughts drift back to reality and she realizes he's till smiling, looking at her and she keeps guessing if he'd had veneers to make his teeth look so perfect.

"Metro sexual?" - "Nada - may be not! - look at the faded jeans, wrinkled plaid shirt - probably bought off the clearance rack of Old Navy" - her mind starts spinning the usual tales about the people she comes across.

"Lovely day outside" - the usual conversation starter is thrown her way.

'Oh, yeah!" - after  yesterday's 40 degree Fahrenheit, who'd have thunk?" she replies.

He lets out a chuckle and repeats "who'd have thunk really?"

"That's one thing I'd learned about bay area weather" - as unpredictable as the alignment on a slot machine"

As the comparison she just made registers in her mind, she lets out an unexpected sigh. Her words again - her thoughts and her words, a hopeless tangle of confusion except for her.

"Slot machines?" - interesting comparison. My dealer days hunt me where ever I go - no escaping Nevada and the casinos I guess" He prolongs the conversation.

" You are a dealer?"  she questions, with a slightly raised left eyebrow trying to recollect where she'd heard the word first.

"I was"


"In Vegas - Excalibur!"

"Ever been to Vegas?" he questions her.

She nods her head in a negation.

'I disdain gambling! - all sorts of gambling"

"Ouch" he mocks - "then you must be disdaining dealers as well?"

All she could let out was a nod of the head in negation - "nope - all professions are created equal" she quips.

She makes mental notes again - look at him and tries to guess his age.

Thirty two, Thirty one, twenty nine???  figures keep shuffling in her mind like those scrolling numbers on the display of a gas pump and finally settle at thirty three.

He must be thirty three.

He 'used' to be a dealer - which means that he is in a different profession now. He seems to know the meaning of "disdain" - the word that committed to her memory since her high school days, and he reads the "Wall Street Journal" - the newspaper that clashes with the faded jeans, wrinkled plaid slacks and the braided tan leather belt he is wearing.

The train comes to a sudden halt this time, almost with a jerk. Her right wrist slightly rubs on his hand as she tilts forward and then back - reacting to the sudden stop, and looks at the contrast of their skin tone - like a beautiful painting in the palest of flesh tones and a light brown tan.  She pulls her hand away and apologizes.

"phew - that was a nasty halt" - and then he adds - "I hope you are okay" - "my back seems to ache ever so slightly from the jerk"

"I am fine" she manages - and then, for the first time, notices the color of his eyes!

Her mind goes back to her thoughts again - "the perfect color!" "Eureka - it yells - like it had made the next ground breaking discovery in physics" - and then she lets out a mental sigh - Only if she could swatch the color and hunt it down for her bed room.

Her mind lets out a mental laugh! - "I am mental" she professes to herself the millionth Time.

Could they get any greener? She is suddenly reminded of the lush fields in the Alps - a scene that haunts her ever so often, Alps! Her favorite place on earth.  The lights go off in the cabin and come back on in a couple of seconds bringing her back to this world.
"Oh My God" I hope it is not a break down - and looks like we are stuck in the tunnel" She hopes aloud.
As if to answer her question, the public announcement system kicks off with static, and the whole lot of what is being announced flies right over her head. "What about the appointment?" "What about the flight I need to catch in the evening?" Her mind keeps shooting worrisome questions to herself.

"Hey there" - his gentle tap on her shoulder gets her back to the situation.

While slapping  her forehead with her palm, she rests her elbow in her lap and lets out a deep breath.

"So what as the driver announcing?" She asks him in a mutter, with her palm still on her forehead.

"Is your head okay?, do you have a headache?" his questions seem ignorant and irritating.

"I am holding my forehead for my bad karma - the bad karma that got me stuck here in the middle of an underwater tunnel. You know, we as a culture believe in karma for every single thing in life and then, we believe our fortune is written on the foreheads"

"Well, relax hon" He adds, it is a technical glitch with the engine and they are working on it and hoping it would not take too long"
"So it is going to take long?" she questions, her eyes dilated to the size of goldfish he has in his aquarium back home. Her deep brown pupils have a much lighter ring inside them that makes her eyes look like they are lit from within.  He takes his time to study her face as she was not completely facing him so far. He could only glimpse at her profile. Her lush black hair frames a broad forehead - her painter's nose anchors high cheek bones and ends right above a pair of plump lips. Her skin has no imperfections - just stray fine lines under her eyes. Her skin tone has a  warmth and a coolness with shades of yellow and pink contrasting on her lighter tan complexion.

"Mediterranean?" "Spanish?" "Armenian?" He lets out the series of question words without meaning to.

"But is it going to take really long?" she cuts him off.

"My guess is as good as yours" he grins - trying to lighten the situation.

She goes back to cupping her forehead with both her palms now - resting the elbows on her messenger bag that she pulls onto her lap from the side of the seat.

"Are you not up to any time sensitive stuff in the city?, I mean, are you heading to the city or elsewhere"

He smiles again - reminding her that she's not really gotten over how perfect his teeth are.

"How does it matter?" "What is!" he purses his lips now with a sly smile dancing on them.

"What do you mean by what is?" She wonders.

"It is what it is - why worry about things that are out of my control?" I'll see what I can do about stuff when I know for sure that I can do something about them"

"Aha" she says in a sing song way. "How do people end up with such cool nerves?"

A wailing baby's cries fill the whole compartment - that is when she looks around it - there aren't many people in here. It is not the rush morning hour when the suburbia travels to work in the city. Except for the mom with the crying baby on the other end of the compartment, an old couple opposite to her and two young men sitting two rows in front of her in seats facing hers - there isn't anyone else.

And then she hears a low snore right behind her - she looks back to see a heavy, middle aged man with a pot belly and shiny bald head bent to one side of the seat in deep and noisy slumber.

"Everyone around me has calm nerves - how can someone sleep when the train is halted and a baby is crying and the air is filled with a vacuum cleaner like buzz coming from one end of the train?, Lord, you gave me the step mom treatment with these thoughts and tangles" She drifts away into another viscous circle of worry. Worry - her second nature.

He looks at her fingers that are poking through her hair showing off tips of perfect nails painted nude, her palms still cupping her forehead. There is no sight of jewelry on  her anywhere - except the huge pearl studs on her ear lobes and a juvenile looking watch on her right wrist with some weird hand signs painted in primary colors and florescent accents. She catches him staring at her watch, rather amused.

"I know what you are thinking - this is not a toy watch. Do you know Swatch? - the Swiss brand? This one is designed by Manish Arora for Swatch. The graphics of hands are actually "mudras" - hand work done in a classical Indian dance"

"Indian" He says with great confidence in his guess.

"If what all people thought I am is to be believed, I have a very common and universal face" She adds. But, I am from the sub continent - yes!"

"You resemble the actress in Slumdog Millionaire -what's her name again?" He asks!

Her full throated laughter resonates in the whole compartment. The baby starts wailing yet again. She bites her tongue and shrugs her shoulders, turning back to the mom across the compartment and mouthing a "I am sorry"

"That is the lamest comparison I'd heard in my life" She turns to him and says. 'How many Indian actresses do you know anyway?" Or Indian people for that matter?"

" I met a lot of Indians as a dealer in Excalibur - once a lady about fifty - looked like a socialite, decked in diamonds the size of pebbles on pebble beach even offered to take me back home" He pauses and clears his throat - "as an employee in her husband's hotel venture in Kolkata, I suppose. My colleagues even joked around saying that she looked like she had a thing for me" he mentions.

"Hmm..." she pauses - not knowing where the conversation is treading. " I could shift to the other seat if you want room for yourself" She adds - the compartment is practically empty.

He smiles again - flashing his impossibly perfect teeth. "Do you have a book to read?, game to play or a cell phone to speak to someone while you wait?"

"No such luck" she sighs. The book I have in my bag, I'd read only two hundred times, I don't really look up to playing games on my seldom charged cell and we are stuck in the tunnel - which means we are strangled on a desert island with no contact to the outer world"

"Aha" he mocks - " no looking up to two things already in twenty minutes of knowing you"

"I don't look up to a lot of hyped things in life"


"Relationships, wealth, ambition"

He looks at her, a long, lost look - not knowing what to decipher from her statement.

"So how long have you been dumped?" he fishes.

"Excuse me?" her face becomes stern and her lips purse in concealed irritation.

"My bad - sorry! - as you are, so you see! A dumped soul but cannot help rejoicing in the assumption that the whole world is dumped alongside!"

His statement, ever so slightly tickles her curiosity but she refrains from asking questions and appearing interested. Instead she ignores him and pulls out a pad from her messenger  along with a ball point pen with the little click mechanism in the bottom that makes the point appear for writing. She holds the pen in her right  hand and clicks on it's end with her thumb in lost thought.

Then she scribbles something in beautiful, small cursive.

He peeks in to see what she has written.

"A dumped soul but cannot help rejoicing in the assumption that the whole world is dumped alongside!"

" I hope you acknowledge the source where ever you reproduce it! - the statement is my intellectual property"

She looks at him and flashes a delicate, heart warming smile.

"If and where ever I use it, I'll acknowledge it. I also look down upon people who steal - and that includes stealing of intellectual property"

"There goes number three in the hit list" he teases - "so apart from disdaining things - what else do you do in life?"

"I think, I dream and I worry!"

"and you look down upon stuff!" he adds seriously.

"Don't we all look down upon one thing or another in life? - Don't you look down upon anything?"

"Hmm...let's see! Do I look down upon things? Of course, I do!, If you want to know what things I look down upon, you need to know me better. I am one of those men of few words you see - I like being discovered instead of flashing red lights for attention."

"Very funny" she says - frowning. "I need to do something and can use an empty seat for myself"

She gets up swiftly with the messenger and moves to the empty seat on the other side of the isle, the one aligned with the seat she just left. He looks surprised seeing her in her full length. Somehow he assumes she is petite. His gaze quickly shifts to her feet - small dainty ones on her tall and toned frame with feminine curves, tucked into flat strap sandals. Her toes painted the same nude color on her fingernails peep through the straps. A dainty toe ring on her her second toe adds the unexpected twist in the plain Jane sandals.

"Thanks for the window seat" he smiles playfully and scoots towards the window only realizing that it is pitch dark outside and there is no use for a window really.

The snoring of the man behind his seat amplifies in his ears. The conversation with the 'slumdog' lady didn't really make him hear the sound effect from behind. Now it interrupts his trail of thought.

Unknowingly he looks at her side and finds her scribbling something on the note pad. She is lost in her world and doesn't notice him looking at her.

He remembers her laughter when he compares her to the slumdog star. Now he sees why. She's is lighter, much taller, slightly plumper and probably older then the actress. She probably looks like a tan, ethnic Meryl streep - the same cheekbones and broad forehead, with expressive, smiling eyes.

Five feet seven? Twenty nine?, Thirty two? - his guesswork goes in circles.

Definitely five feet seven. May be thirtyish - give or take a couple of years. Or may be she has a deceptive way of dressing - her conservative navy pull over and dark indigo jeans cover every inch of her skin, leaving only her wrists exposed. The lack of makeup adds an unusual freshness to her face. Almost like a compliment to her completely covered body, her bare skin gives out clues about her. Easy going, confident and simple.

He scoots to this end of the seat now and leaning over to her he says softly "That was a ridiculous comparison"

She looks at him questioningly and then smiles ever so slightly. "Thank God" she says in her softest voice, conscious of the other passengers- you seem to agree with me alright!" and digs her face right into the note pad, scribbling away!

The compartment resonates with a sudden bang. She shudders at the sound looking scared. She looks at him in helplessness, and he senses the mistiness in her eyes. "What could that be?" she questions in a whisper, looking like a petrified toddler that heard a monster story. He suppresses the urge to tease her by saying something funny. "I think we are okay - may be we are being delayed, but we are okay" he pauses and adds "I suppose." He bends over to her and says it would be better if he were next to her to answer all her questions and if she'd mind joining him on his seat. "I am not going to harm you - I promise!" he says pinching on his neck with thumb and pointer. She looks lost for a second and then shifts to his seat. The young men sitting in the opposite seats facing them give her curious looks. She gets a little conscious in their gaze but ignores them.

"I can go to the front car and check to see what is happening" he offers. may be there is a delay. The train is halted past forty minutes and according to the announcement it was estimated to be fixed in half hour.
"Thank you" she replies - "But don't bother going all the way to the front of the train now, may be they'll announce something soon. Let's wait and watch!"

"As you please" he agrees like a obedient child.

"If you don't mind me asking and if you don't plan on answering in abstract sentences, I'd like to ask you something - may I?" he inquires playfully.

She forces a smile on her face. "Only if I want to but please ask" she adds.

"So are you getting late for something?"
"Yeah - an appointment with a friend in Union square - I need to pick my bags from her apartment a few blocks away and catch a flight to Canada at night - I need to attend for something very important  there"

"Work?" his curiosity increases.
"It's actually personal" she cuts him off. Sensing her discomfort in sharing her information and slightly worried that she might shift back to the other seat, leaving him in solitude with the snoring sound from behind him, he purses his lips into a smile.

He lifts his right hand up, crosses his fingers and says - "You believe in prayers?" "Yes I do, completely"
"So here's a prayer for the Indian maiden" He says, deepening his voice like a radio commercial, closes his eyes and murmurs something peacefully. She looks at his serene face and closed eyes - lush lashes framing the eyelids like a fringe on a curtain and smiles gently. "This man is something else" she says to herself.

Her face brightens to see the static in the announcement system. The technician's voice apologizing for the inconvenience, briefing about the drinking water available in the first car. He announces the predicted delay in perfect ambiguity - "We are doing all we can to quickly and safely transport you all to your destinations" the voice rattles - "But in the current situation, it might take at least a couple of hours to be on track - or hopefully less" and then with more profuse apologies the announcement shuts off.

"Holy $&!T!"  one of the young men swear from in front of them and punches the seat before him - "This effing $&1t gotta roll on". She avoids looking in that direction but notices that they sound a little intoxicated. She observes from the side of her eyes and sees sinewy arms with   a colorful Medusa tattoo and multiple piercings on the face of one of the men and thanks God for making her shift back to this seat next to him.

"Couple more hours, or less - who knows how it is going to unfold?" She says to him.
"When is your flight?"
"right before Midnight tonight - but I need to be there by 9 pm to check in" she says.
He peeps into her bright Swatch to catch the time - 11:30 am.

He looks a long, hard look at her and chuckles like a child. "Missy, you have a whole half day of time ahead of you - even if we reach the city in close to three hours, calculating the delay and the journey time, you'd still be there by 2:30 pm. Thankfully, we have the washrooms here - so what are you so worried about?" he questions.
"About the unforeseen - who knows how long it takes - it is of paramount importance that I reach Canada by tomorrow" she mutters sadly, her eyes tearing up again.

"Now - it would not be very gentlemanly of me to coax you to tell me all your agenda - so, let's make the best of the wait - aren't you glad you have me beside, just to keep company? - Imagine being alone in the seat with the tipsy hot dudes with seeming anger management issues sitting across you, the man snoring behind and the baby wailing at the end of the compartment - and oh yeah - the pretty looking old couple holding hands while the lady sleeps on her man's shoulder - How would being alone here amid all this action would have made you feel?"

"Lonely" she answers, looking through him. Suddenly realizing that he is probably the proverbial window that opens  in a dark room.

"So how do you want to kill these three hours?" - "May I suggest a visit to the wash room to water down the frown on your face? and then some refreshments" - he pulls out a carton of saltine crackers, a couple of apples and a Caprisun pouch from what looks like a slightly over sized back pack perched next to him. "May be he has a flight to catch as well?" she wonders but refrains form asking questions.

Her body seems to get down with the fatigue of all the mental thought and gives into the pursuit of washing down the frown. " Shall be back in a jiffy!" she announces and leaves for the wash room.

She finds him with a book as she returns back. He sees her approaching, closes his book and stuffs it into his backpack. "Now that the frown is gone - wait a minute" He pauses and examines her face in mock seriousness. "Oh Yeah - it is!, and hope it stays gone" Her face lits up with a genuine smile. "Thank you so much for suggesting the fresh upping". "My pleasure" He interrupts and hands over the pouch of Caprisun to her.  She unglues the straw off of the pouch, pokes it through and starts sipping on the straw. She looks at the pouch and smiles"

"Tell me you love it" He says. "Actually you look your happiest best sipping on that drink - or is it looking at that drink" - She lets out a smile and says it just reminded me of the tote bag I saw the other day - made out of these pouches, talk about taking recycling to the other level"
"So you are an environmentalist?" he questions playfully.
She smiles in response. "How I wish?" I am a little bit of everything - a feminist, a environmentalist and a animal activist - just a little bit of everything and nothing beyond scratching the surface."

"I was just looking to see what else you disdain" he says, stretching the last word for emphasis.
"You want to know?" she asks and throws a look towards the wasted young men.
"Gettoutta here" He whispers with wide eyes - "You look down upon men? - so really, are you a feminist or just play your own team?"
"Excuse me?" she questions. "If that is a joke, it the foulest one I'd heard till date!"
"Oh sorry, sorry", he places his hands on her closed wrists and asks her if she'd decided to shift places again. She doesn't know why she smiles - but she does.

"So - tell me! What do you look down upon?"
"Intoxication ofcourse" she says - since it renders your senses useless"
"One more bites the dust!" He flashes his pearlies. "Actually, most of them bite the dust. I am as boring as I can get. Actually, I am the poster child for boring!"
"I have more than one reason to believe that you are not boring" She looks questioningly at him - "He points to her flashy wrist watch and to her feet.
"Those Birkenstocks are ancient - they make me Not boring?" She wonders aloud.
"The toe rings missy - not the sandals. These two things give the pop for an otherwise boring self"
"Ha ha" she lets out a laughter. "So you do agree that I am partially boring, If you discount my Swatch and toe rings that is!"

Their conversation is punctuated with another loud bang. "We need to go check out what's happening" He gets alert. And she nods. Without much ado, they grab their bags and walk past the vestibule. She realizes that theirs is the last car in the six car train. They walk past moderately filled cars. A toddler running in the isles, a pair of teenagers holding hands and talking away and the middle aged, leisurely women knitting and reading. They walk past an overweight young woman that sits in one end of one car,busy dolling up her face. Her thoughts keep racing again - no one seemed to be in any rush, except the toddler that was in a frenzy to run out of the car to escape the clutches of his chasing grandmother. She takes long steps and gets hold of the little guy. The grandmother thanks her while panting and they keep walking past. They meet the driver in the engine car. One look at the scene and she has jitters in her mind. "OH my GOD - what a mess, what a mess!" It is pitch dark outside, the bright tubes of fluorescent lights give the extra visibility to a stocky old man in jumpers meddling with some part of the engine.

"How long is it gonna take?" He questions the driver.
Positively not more than an hour, hour and a half. If all else fails, we have plans for emergency evacuation underway - but it looks very hopeful right now!"
As much as she'd want to not believe what he'd said - those words brought her some solace. "I'll not perish here atleast" she concludes. In a little over a couple of hours she can set her feet out onto Union square and then on her way.

"Want to settle down somewhere here?" He asks her looking at the barely full first car.
" I have noise sensitivity" I think I need to stay away from that buzzing sound if I don't want to invite a chronic migraine"

"Hmm...let's see" he says. May be go all the way back to the last car? - would that work?"
"Looks like it would" she says, plugging her ears with her fingers.

They walk to the last car again. The snoring man is now awake, his fat cheek sporting the upholstery brocade stamped onto his cheek in pressure marks, his eyes swollen and lethargic.

"Any news about when it'll move?" the old man a few seats away from them asks.
"Less than couple of hours Sire" he replies.

They settle down in the middle of the car - spacing themselves as away as possible from the rest of the passengers. He bends down to pull out something from his backpack. A book.

He holds the protruding bookmark and opens the page - as the book opens up, something falls out of it - right onto the messenger bag on her lap.

She picks it with her hand and while stretching to give it to him looks at what it is.
A photograph. Of a woman. pin straight platinum blonde hair, freckles that tell numerous stories, a sharp nose and thin, pale lips the color of a rose bud. "Beautiful" she exclaims unexpectedly and bites her tongue, suppressing her curiosity about the woman in the picture.

He lets out a sad, sarcastic smile. "Beautiful alright! But Lethal!"
She looks at him questioningly, getting a little uncomfortable wondering it she is intruding into his privacy.
"That is the dumper" he says - she probably imagines it, but senses his throat going sore for a second. Then he clears his throat as to make it evident to her that he is indeed choking on some emotional turmoil.

"Scarlett" he says the name out loud in the same soreness - "I did all I could to hold it together, she was not ready to commit to marriage - or even a partnership. I tried all I could to make her stay, Make her feel loved" - "I did all I could to not end up being like my father, and All I could ever do to hold on to the lesson my mom taught me - to respect the woman in my life" He whispers in pain while still looking at the picture. And then he tucks it back into the book and closes it.

She looks at him in a new light. His present state of being almost feels like a satire at the playful and happy disposition he had so far.
"I am sorry" she manages.

He opens his mouth to say something. The train moves forward with a jerk. There is a mass sigh of relief heard in the compartment. He stops and looks ahead - the train starts lumbering forward lazily. The public announcement system goes on with a loud screech and static and the driver apologizes for the commotion in the back and announces that the train is bound toward the city.

She gazes at her watch - "Five minutes past twelve" she says aloud. They did it before time. She looks at him and smiles. He smiles back just stretching his lips. His eyes remain emotionless.
The rocking from the high speed movement of the train gently shakes the seat. She takes a deep breath and goes into her deep thought. She looks back at him after what seems to be a long time. He is still not in the world - the power of his love perhaps that stirs itself with just a glance at the picture.

"Hello" she calls out. No response.
She gently pokes him with her elbow and says Hello again.
"Oh, yeah?" he springs back into a smile. "What can I do for you?"
She raises her eyebrows ever so slightly - smiles and says "Keep that smile intact - morose expressions don't suit you that much really!" He smiles but there is no magic as before. "Can I get a little curious?" she enquirers. "Not because I want to intrude but just because it would help me get a better understanding of love and life" she adds. "I just love to peep into people's hearts and souls, you know what I mean?"
"Well" he adds - "I'd be glad to satiate your curiosity - he says with a twinkle in his eyes - "If you promise to get off with me at Embarcedaro and have a cup of coffee. I'll walk you to Union Square and can even accompany you to the air port if you'd not mind- and then of course, You'd need to answer a few of my questions as well - about yourself" "By the way - I have a flight to Vegas at 9 pm" He adds. I was supposed to drive there, but decided against it since it is boring to go six seven hours all alone with just the FM keeping me company"

She thinks for a few seconds making a mental mapping of  his proposition. She badly wants to know his story - the depth of his love and heart ache. It just intrigues her to see how a man reacts to the matters of the heart. Her curiosity in the opposite sex is more about the psychology than anything else. "There is a pain in your eyes that I'd just want to take away if I can" She cannot believe that she just said that aloud. But it had been her brooding nature all along - to react to the other person's sorrow like it is her own. "Empathy a little too much" - her best friend's judgement about her rings in her ears.
"I think you can - I can use a listener to unload all the burden on my heart - an interesting and pretty listener would just be the icing on the cake" he adds. 'So, strike a deal - Get off at Embarcedaro, cup of coffee and you'll get the copyrights to my love story". She resists the urge to jump to a loud verbal conclusion that he is hitting on her. This man is in love. Evidently, hopeless love. What does she have to fear? He seemed to have a flirty air all along so she refrains from making any wrong impressions - besides, she is overconfident about no one wanting to show interest in her. "Look at me" she thinks. "What mad man would want to woo me anyway?"

She nods her head in an affirmation and adds "Deal". He stares at her for a second and lets out his toothpaste ad grin. "I promise you, you won't regret giving in to my demands" He assures.
"I won't" she seems to know it already. "I love doing the unexpected - I am way too spontaneous for my own good" She wants to start off about Scarlett - but is hesitant to make that smile of his go away. His eyes cringe into little slits when he smiles and his irritatingly perfect teeth shine through. She steers the topic away from Scarlett instead. "So, you have family in Vegas?" "Yeah - mom lives there, been living there ever since I was a child. She was separated from my dad when they were into a ten year marriage. I was nine at that time. I had to move away with her to Vegas from New England - Connecticut. I grew up seeing my mom suffer through the pain of abusive true love. She loved my dad and no one else but his alcoholism posed a serious threat to their relationship. He had issues - depression, anger and a brief history of substance abuse. The sorry thing is that he loved her dearly as well but the man had way too many demons residing in his head. One day, I remember - he came home drunk and hit my mom pulling out his belt from his trousers - just like that. Dad had bouts of ups and downs and mom endured through them without as much as a sigh."

She looks at him mesmerized as he rattles away his past without any inhibitions. Her full lips bloom into a faint smile. She has this unique and heart warming trait of taking trust very seriously. This man, a perfect stranger that she met an hour and a half ago has pretty much invested his trust in her in the first few hours of meeting her. He pauses, swallows air and purses his lips. She senses that this flashback is tensing him up. "Emotional scars - they never heal" she thinks.

There comes a long silence between both of them. She tries not to look at him but takes a glance to see his expressions. She lets out a gasp looking at him. His green eyes all misty and painful. She instinctively places her hand on his - gives  it a squeeze in an attempt to offer support and stays quiet for a minute. He gets slightly startled at the warm and tender grasp of her dainty fingers. She is lost in her own thought. "Why do we suffer for someone else's faults?" her mind questions her. She absentmindedly looks at her hand upping his - "United Colors Of Benetton"  an image from the AD flashes in her mind and brightens her face ever so slightly.The warmth of her tan complexion contrasts with his cool pink skin. She quickly withdraws her hand realizing that she's held it for more than a few minutes and his hand beneath hers wasn't really grasping her hand. She thinks of possible diversions from the topic and pulls out her notepad from the messenger. "It is weird how life functions and how we hold on to one incident of our past and let it mold our every day" Her scribbling makes no sense to her at that moment but it is her reflex to jot down deep thoughts. The silence between them is accentuated with the swift buzz of the moving train. He clears his throat and starts speaking.

"I hope you are not offended!"
"What for?" her face brightens with a questioning smile.
"For not holding back your hand when you offered your silent support - I knew you held it with lots of concern and empathy - I didn't want to grasp your hand and make you think I am hitting on you or taking advantage of the physical contact you initiated"
She smiles not knowing what to say. "Actually - I liked that you didn't hold my hand back. Not because holding it would have made you a maverick trying to woo a strange woman a few hours into meeting her but because it just gives me a peek into the way you think. You see - most people I'd crossed paths with don't think deep. They are consumed in a shallow process of jealousy, comparisons with their peers, self centered thoughts and most importantly drawing conclusions from innocent gestures and reading in between lines. I am glad you did not think the other way around - that I am hitting on you"
He smiles playfully. "Look at you - you look like a nun in meditation - which man in his right mind would think that you would hit on him - like hit at first sight?"
"Aha!" she exclaims - I'd been told that I look like a lot of things but your comparison kind of makes my day! Oh, I'm loving it - a nun in meditation" on that note - you know what? I'd be a nun in my next birth - renounce the world, never marry or bare offspring but just  spend my time in self realization"
"Lofty thoughts" he chuckles. On the flip side, I am relieved that you are willing to give marriage and children a chance this time around - and by relieved, I have to acknowledge that I do not plan on taking advantage of that conclusion. I am taken - he mocks"

"Me too - I am taken!"
"Why am I not surprised?" he questions playfully. "You have a pleasant and a positive vibe,  you seem to make interesting conversations, you are not that awful on the eye either - so, why would the man kind spare you from its advances? Women like you are a rare species these days so I am sure you are taken!"

"Okay - so that clears the air for both of us - we don't have any agendas, our hearts are taken, our lives had just crossed paths for a few moments, we'll make the best of them and move on"- She lets out a faint whistle. "I'd never really gotten to whistle the way it is supposed to be". He whistles. The young men from across look at them for a second too long. She avoids looking at the men.

"By the way, do you consider yourself taken even after being dumped?" She realizes the gravity of the question she just asked and bites her tongue. "I am sorry" she manages. I should not have phrased it that way - well, I should not have asked it in the first place"
"Don't worry" he says - "You did nothing wrong. Yeah, it is ironical that I am dumped but my heart is taken - for good I guess. I cannot come to love anyone like I loved Scarlett. She chose to dump me, I cannot choose to do the same to her memory if I wanted to"
"This Scarlett is one pretty lucky woman - I wonder if she realizes it"
"Well - I am lucky, lucky to have crossed paths with her, lucky to have been a part of her world"
His face turns pale.

"Embarcedaro station approaching" the PAS announces. "Looks like we get to alight the train finally and walk on earth" He lifts his backpack and stands up. She follows him and stands near the door, right next to him.
"Heading to Motel 6?" It is one of those young men.
"On an expedition to pop out some mongrels?" The other one adds.
Just then the train stops and the door opens. He clenches his fist and grinds his teeth to go speak to them. She swiftly holds his hand and pulls him out of the compartment. The door closes in a few seconds - He still looks at the men through the window. They mock back at him making faces and obscene gestures.

His face is flushed a beet red. She looks at him and realizes she is still holding his hand and lets go of it. "Your skin is almost bleeding - don't get so worked about random things random people say - not good for your being. Unfortunately, this is the kind of world we live in. A man and a woman talk and people cannot think anything else than the thought of them jumping into the sack. Speaks more about their mindsets than anything else" Her mind wanders to the Poetry lesson she'd learned in high school. Her English teacher explaining the process of "Blushing" to the youngsters. Being one among the brown skinned students - she never really saw or heard of the event of "Blushing" - bits and pieces of her English sir's words come back to her mind. "Blushing - something only fair skins can show"
His lovely features still arranged in a stern rage evident on his flushed skin, he walks briskly - she almost runs after him to keep the pace.

"You remind me of someone" she says in a desperate attempt to ease his expression.
His frown slowly transforms into a soft smile - "I hope it is someone nice and good looking"
"Not sure - since I am not sure whom you remind me of"
"Daffy duck?" "Goofy?"
"Very funy! - Not cartoon characters okay? A person. But let me not strain my grey matter too much'
He suddenly stops walking. She stops beside him and looks questioningly.
He walks away from her to the seats on the platform and settles down in the center. He taps on the seat next to him gesturing her to come and join him.
"We need to talk"
"Oh, yeah - we need to - where do we head for coffee?" She settles down right next to him. A passerby gives them a curious glance.
"Yeah - where do we head to? and now please stop glancing at your watch every couple of seconds - I have a flight before you do and I am not worried. Rest assured, we'll get to the airport in time. It is still Noon missy!"
The platform looks pretty deserted except a person here and there waiting for the trains to arrive.
"I suppose we need to go grab some lunch - it is not coffee time after all - but then again, this is not a ploy. It just didn't occur to me when proposing the coffee that we'd get off at lunch time"
"I am a vegan" she announces with unmistakable pride on her face. "I was raised a vegetarian and now I renounced all animal products"
"I am a carnivore" he growls. I need my meat every single day" He announces chopping the last three words for emphasis. "But I shall renounce my meat for one day"
He pulls out his smart phone, punches a few buttons and comes up with a Vegan, Korean restaurant.
"HanGawi" He pronounces with a humor laden tone.
She claps her hand in glee. "You found a vegan restaurant? - it is my lucky day or what? - Let's roll on then!"
They both stand up in unison and walk towards the escalator.
Suddenly the brightness of the busy street dims her vision. "It is eerie to be in a city"she thinks, the small town girl that she'd been all her life.
They walk briskly amid tidily dressed bunch of people., mostly dressed in black and beige, mostly talking into their Bluetooth.The city scared and intrigued her. It was like the proverbial "life stage" depicting many facets of life from weirdos to homeless folks to beggars and peddlers and sharp looking professionals dressed in best jackets with cleanly shaven faces and an air of confidence.
He leads the way and they take some twists and turns around the blocks and finally arrive at their destination.
The outside of the restaurant looks deceptively inconspicuous. She steps in lets out a gasp.
The insides were reminiscent of the meditation retreat she visited as a child. Short bamboo dining tables, stoneware bowls, softly lit, smelling of patchouli and cedar wood. She gets lost in the zen like tranquility of the place.
She notices that they are the only customers in there. A waitress dressed in ethnic grab comes and welcomes them to be seated. They find a cozy corner and settle down on the cushions laid on the stone tiled floor, crisscross applesauce. She quickly skims through the menu letting out Oohs and Aahs every now and then and settles to try a seaweed garnished noodles and steamed vegetable dumplings. He puts in an order for some wine and a Ginseng salad and organic brown rice porridge.
They hand over the menus to the waitress and look at each other.
Suddenly, he offers his hand over the table to shake hands and introduce himself.
"Hi, my name is Michael Kirby - Michael Leonard Kirby,  - Nice to meet you Miss?"
"Ananda - Ananda Mayi Rao"
"Ananda - what does it mean? I mean Michael doesn't mean anything if my knowledge serves me right - but your name sounds so exotic, almost like a statement. "Ananda Mayi Rao" he repeats.
"It means full of bliss"
He smiles - "May you always justify the name you were christened with" He raises the goblet of water and proposes a toast - 'To the ever blissful maiden of happiness - may your smile stay intact always and forever"
She smiles shyly. "Thanks and wishing you all the joys and happiness life can offer as well"
"My stomach is growling - do you hear it? Are you hungry as well?" He asks.
"I am actually not that hungry but I am notorious for getting hungry all of a sudden and then getting cranky from that hunger"
He lets out a laugh. "Cranky! cranky?"
"Well, getting cranky is a luxury when  you have people around that pacify you back to peace - not when you just get more miserable realizing that there is no one around to acknowledge the pain you are in" She seems to say it off topic.
He listens silently, his forlorn look coming back on his face. Flashes of scarlett, his mom, his dad come to his mind. "Tell me about being alone - I had been alone almost all my life till I found Scarlett. Before that, the dad was in his intoxicated world and mom was in her sad and lonely world for the best part of my childhood. Sometimes, I hold it against her for being so selfishly sad and in her own self pity whole time, but then as I grew older I'd realized that it becomes difficult for most people to give love when they don't  get it themselves - Mom was never happy - she always walked around with a burden on her heart that weighed her down and consumed her - I used to feel helpless, almost guilty for her state. There were a million times when I thought that if she'd not had me, she'd have had an escape from that marriage. Eventually she did - but how?"

She listens to him in utter silence and concentration - her eyes welling up with tears.
"Excuse me" She lifts the napkin and blots her eyes. "Tears come very easily to me - it is just that it stirred some unknown pain in the abyss of my heart - the things that you said"

"How?" her curiosity peaks. "I mean, I didn't mean to ask how - I mean, Well..." She stumbles with her words - the usually articulate, very expressive Ananda stumbles on her words.

"Ananda" He addresses her with tenderness - "Will you really listen to it? Do  you have it in you to listen to it - may be I would blame myself for making you all teary again and again"
"Go on" She prompts him. "I am all ears if you want to tell me about it - actually tears are an integral part of my being. I think I love being sad - how else can you justify the brooding, worrying, thinking in circles disposition I have?"

"Ironical Ananda" He opines. "The being supposed to be full of bliss is a thorn bird in reality?"
"Well - a peculiar thorn bird I'd say- that is a parody of her own name" she grins.
There comes a momentary and awkward silence. The food arrives.

The atmosphere lightens. She marvels over the stone ware and bamboo chop sticks. She attempts to eat with them.
"Wait - here!" he demonstrates the use of chop sticks to her. "Wow - you use them like a pro"
She attempts to eat with them aping him but slips her food on her pullover.
"The klutz - what can I say? - now I get to go out with noodle sauce stains on my dress? - God,  you are great" She looks up at the ceiling as if talking to God making a silly sarcastic face.
'Use the napkin, clean it and once you are done we'll have a lesson on chopsticks One O One"
She sprinkles little water on her napkin and cleans her hoodie with precision.
'Now for the honors"
He reaches out and holds her hand wrapping her fingers on the chopsticks and moves it the way it is supposed to be moved. Her skintone's warmth seems to radiate in her body"
"Think I got it' - she gently shakes her hand out of his clasp avoiding looking in his eye.
Another blob of noodles lands on her clothes.
She lets out a gasp, cleans it up again and promptly puts down the chopsticks and lifts the fork placed next to the noodle bowl. "No teaching old dog new tricks"
They both laugh out loud.
Suddenly, he starts off his story the place he left. "I want to tell you the whole thing - I know my time with you is limited and I want to share some things with you"
She smiles back in reply. "But let's work on our lunch - someone's stomach was growling a few minutes ago"

He shrugs his shoulders in agreement and rises his hand - "Mine"
They giggle like school kids and get back to munching on the lunch.
"I think we should keep at it - OMG, this is so yummy!" she advises munching on a choke full of noodles.
He smiles in reply.

The waitress clears the tables and hands them out a dessert menu.
"I think I am full" she politely refuses dessert.
A few more smiles, loud chuckles and moments later they pay the bill and walk out with their bag and baggage.

From a distance, they look like someone who'd known each other for ever.