Friday, September 19, 2014


It had been well over a couple of weeks since I blogged last. I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms. My head was filled with random ponders, threatening to burst. I have a confession to make. Life here is very complex - or complicated! Nothing like it is back home. You have help for practically everything - someone drives you around, someone cooks your meals, some one cleans after you and some one else presses your clothes - Ironically, you have no time. Ironically, it complicates your life. For me, personally, this 'help at all pauses you take' makes me busy in a very silly and absurd way. I lose track of my time. I lose the momentum - the feeling of 'being in control' and as a result get busy doing everything else except what I am supposed to be doing - and that includes blogging. I am yet to put a finger on the reasons behind my being 'busy' - but I swear my day zooms past like a commercial break punctuating a television program. I probably sleep walk - should consciously check on that ;-)

I'll get back. To the ponder that is. I connected with an acquaintance of mine yesterday - A woman of two beautiful children. A woman who is steadily becoming a good friend. A petit frail lady who passes off as few years younger than her age. She sports perfectly straight hair that falls bountifully around her shoulders and carries a tote bag on her slender arms. She talks in mouthfuls, smiling as she speaks, raising her thick set of brows, nodding in amusement at the most mundane of details I relate to her as she comes to pick up her kids from the art class. One looks at her life and sees harmony, perfection and perfect order. One wouldn't in the least suspect anything wrong with her life. She is a cancer survivor! After our family's own tryst with the 'elephant in the room', I saw her opening up more, sharing all her fears, battles, triumphs and wisdom with me while we cope with my Mother in Law's journey to recovery. I listen to her - imagining myself at her feet, taking notes about life and the battles it throws us into - the crap that happens, sometimes in moderation, sometimes in heaps and heaps - but is it not the courage and grace we sport during our worst times that unveils our true selves?

Challenges makes us or break us. Life is not fair. It is very easy to be fragile, cry and howl, complain, crib, whine and hold everyone and everything that crosses our path as the reason behind our turmoil. In our cares, we often manifest into miserable creatures, liberally splashing all that misery on everyone we come in contact with. It takes substance, integrity and character - like the one this brave and wise woman sports, to face our downfalls and fears with grace and poise. Just yesterday this woman said  "A person who understands others' feelings is a great human" - I paused, examined the sentiment and smiled my brightest. In a world where 'others' is quickly becoming obsolete, I found  this exemplary woman, who, in her own complications, is still strong enough to look out for others.

I feel blessed twice, to have crossed paths with my friend, and to be a part of the family my Mother in Law hails from. Everyone in the household - that includes women in their prime with perfect health, (and of course, that includes me) had so far complained about back aches, head aches, upset stomachs, lack of sleep, PMS, boredom, lack of time, lack of rest and a gazillion other cares that I can't really list out - but the woman in her sixties, battling a life altering disease, sit there with an iron clad smile that doesn't budge from her lips. She doesn't even complain about the weather. I, every once in a while, pause and reconsider if my complaining about lack of sleep because the 'street dogs had a field day in the middle of the night' qualifies as a complaint to begin with. I freeze in this moment, in awe and wonder for all those lofty souls that endure through  thick and thin with utmost integrity, gratitude, grace and love. And I do hope, I evolve into a better person just because I am fortunate enough to know, observe and interact with these heroes and fighters.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Once in a while, when one gets relatively lucky, one spots a sight on the busy road, like the one I spotted very recently. One might wonder what the said 'sight' is - if it is Shahrukh Khan zooming past a Harley davidson and waving back at me, or Narendra Modi doing a Namaste rallying on an open top vehicle. It was neither a mirage nor a was, of all the things, the brightest green hued Chameleon in the whole entire world  and perhaps the most adventerous, laid back daredevil his species had produced. He had, I assume, woken up from a well rested sleep and decided to face his fears! And  behold the way he did that. He formed a slowly crawling, unmistakable smear on the road, his color was probably the saving grace that shielded him from ruthlessly unruly traffic, announcing his presence ahead of time. How else would one explain his crossing the divider and getting to the side  my vehicle was cutting through? We slowed down and please believe me when I say that I could see an expression on his face, an obvious pride and a gait that seemed to challenge the passers by.  He was not scurrying, nor was his frightened. His four limbs moved with the symmetry and precision of a robot making me wonder if he had built in special effects that animated his movements. His rigid tail curled into a tight coil at the tip and he emulated Michael Jackson doing his slow motion walk in Billie Jean video. I looked back, cranked and creaked my perpetually sprained neck muscle and tried to trace him till the end of the road, until he reduced to a speck and disappeared into the narrowing road, saying a quick prayer and hoping he'd succesfully complete his odyssey to the other end of the road.

He was just a glorified critter so to speak but the punch he packed in his courageous adventure and the shield of fearlessness that his brought along left a bright spot in my just unfolding day, a spot as green, as positive and as unmistakable as the color of his skin :-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The white hysteria.

I did ponder upon the 'fairness' obsession of Indians a time too many, but it suddenly seems to have manifested into a white obsession that had seeped into almost every aspect of people's routine - from whiter toilet bowls to whiter shirts, sarees, suits, arm pits, bikini lines, teeth, baby soaps and the whole entire nine yards! Just the other day, when I was catching an old regional classic on TV, after a lifetime of a break, the whiteness mania jumped out of the screen, and to keep the metaphor strong enough - spat on my face and strangled my neck to suffocation.  Yes, it was insult plus injury all rolled into one, dipped into the bleach of 'collective regression' of the Indian janta and splashed all over me, its figurative pungence suffocating my brain cells to premature death! 

I gathered pieces of my scarred and shattered self to look back and ponder - not that it is going to help the 'operation white wash' in anyway - but just to purge out a little bit of that poison that was force ingested in the process of an innocent attempt to watch an old movie, walk down the childhood lane and revive some memories. The first shoker came disguised in a movie star and crickter riding an open top jeep, while the former mocks the latter about spending too much time on the pitch and getting all dark and unhappening. Then, a magical potion comes to rescue and adds the much needed glitz and glamor to the cricketer's face, and the young women of my country, being the white watchers they are, clamour after him. It was a message delivered profoundly, loudly, clearly and strongly that no matter your skill in the game or the grit in your challenges, your life is as bright as your skin tone, and nope - it is not just the women who need to be fair anymore, to get a good groom or job or just a plain old good life. We seem to have caught up on that part of gender equality. Even males need to be 'fair'! Fair enogh! Isn't it?

There was a time in the golden era of telivision when a bright white clad Lalithaji lectured the nation about the many virtues of 'Surf' detergent powder that made her win both court trials and kitty party arguments with the same aplomb. Now I see numerous manifestations of her in both genders, ages and  sizes. A whiter outfit has the potential to win you anything from jobs, contracts, romantic dates, powerful positions, leadership opportunities and even customers and clients. The same goes with smiles polished with one of those many toothpaste formulas. They make your teeth glow in the dark like florescent strips and bring the other guy's girl running to your side.  But in practical application neither the powders or the pastes add any kind of brightness to our school uniforms or molars. If there were any sort of stringent laws about false and emotional bait advertising, I am pretty sure a good number of those businesses would be sued by now.

What do these ads do to you and me apart from putting our worth and intellect down based on the shade of our skin, clothes or teeth? They induce a collective 'white' complex in all our brains - my fourteen year old nephew who is this quintessential tall dark and handsome young man with the trade mark South Indian skin tone and saucer eye balls was subjected to several brutal analyses of his 'dark' skin during his recent trip to India, even by kids his age and by family members. The American bred young  man had a disgusted look for our tribe all along. I could'nt for once, tell him the glories of our land or the virtues, cause we as a nation, didn'nt seem to have looked beyond the color of his epedermis.

Like I said, it won't change much..but my insides seem a little cleansed from all the white dirt that had piled up. I'll go back to scrubbing the kid's white uniform and cussing Ariel detergent for its underperformance - and pray that a jaded school shirt might not take away the chance of being the class monitor from my unassumingly innocent eight year old who might still not understand how her getting 'tan' after coming to India, had become a conversation starter and burning issue in the whole entire neighborhood :-) 

Here's to a fairer world and fitter screws! Screws of the brains, that is ;-)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Melodious Meanings

On a slight diversion from the ponder I intend to indulge into, I have to  admit that getting off of Facebook left a void in my routine and filled up, and did so amazingliy, some other craters that appeared in my days over a period of time. I see folks reaching out to me through the other happening app on the block. On one such 'reaching out' sessions with a friend back home that loves and misses me badly, who in return is loved and missed by me badly, sent me a link to her favorite song. Now, what are the chances that I click on links and videos sent by my friends? At a risk, I admit - few to none! Blame it on my laze, or just the short attention-span I seemed to have developed to the overload of 'shared' stuff on FB, It does take a nudge of the brutal kind from the senders to make me sit through the loading and assimilation of such shares. Last night, when I promptly clicked on the link and  unmuted my smart phone..I was greeted with the audio visual of a very articulate singer crooning a  well orchestrated number with expressions that suggested he was devoring some sort of elixir. As hard as it was to keep my brain concentrate on a song that made as much sense to me as the graffiti written in the Greek alphabet on the concretes of the narrow streets of Athens, I felt fumes of that melody making my insides stir in an unsure joy! Had it been a video of the song, I'd have contextually guessed, with the help of those lyrics,  what the words woven into those lucid notes on ranom instruments were trying to convey to me. I was done listening to it and paused for a long moment to experience the after taste of the composition only to be greeted with a blankness that startled me.

Here's my friend who nudged me the nudge that it takes to make me listen to it, claiming it makes her insides joyous, and here's me feeling slightly awkward to admit it to myself that the song did'nt speak to me. Just when I keyed in telling her that the melody  was superb and I wished  I knew what the lyrics meant, my hubby, who was unintentionally eavesdropping on the music asked me replay it exclaiming that it sounds amazing. While the husband in question didn't understand the lyric any more than I did for the same exact reason I mentioned above, he seemed to have heard the unconveyed message or it could just be that he is a better candidate to appreciate the universal language of melody. Thus, the ponderer pondered over the obvious. Am I a lesser mortal that was destined to not get the unknown but universal language of music that makes the babies, birds,beasts and even the flora and fauna respond and rejoice in its melody? How shameful, how shallow? But then it struck me, the obvious destiny that I was supposed to be meeting..the destiny of loving and living in words. To me, perhaps, it becomes very essential to understand in that many words, the meaning that breathes life into melody. It could be an obvious lack of connecting to the notes or a recklessness that refuses to make an effort to delve into those sounds, but no matter how many times I heard the song,  the desired effect eluded me with a vengeance.

And then I picked up, to test run, the requested gift for the approaching birthday - noise cancelling headphones by Bose - and played the smooth voice of Mr.Nigam lending vocals for an impossibly chiseled  Mr.Roshan. Those magical words set to a tune, whispered into my ear, almost making me imagine a set of lips sending those sound waves directly onto my eardrums and my every cell dances respondingto the   power of  language. And thus I realize, as much as I love music, the key to my joy is vested in words.

The power to stir my soul lies in the strings of familiar sounds, the sounds that translate feelings of anguish, love, helplessness, disappointment, longing, fears, gloom, joy and tears into something palpable. My world seems to be built on them, bit by bit culminating into a whole, unfolding the mystery of the universe and beyond.  As much as my feet tap and hands sway to the seven notes, my soul refuses to budge but to the power of the millions of meanings that emerge in carefully placed patterns of the alphabet. To me, nothing beats the power of words. Those words serve as an index, as a connection, as a reflection and a translation of everything that lies between the earth and space..including Music and melody - and how rediscovered I feel just wording this ponder! :)

Monday, August 11, 2014


These selfish bits..
They seek what they don't share,
Love they want..but do they care?
Lost in an indulgence
Of what they are denied
They bask in the glory of inflated pride.
Their blessings galore
Wash away in tears of want
They fight mighty wars, to get what they can't!
While all that is, lies heaped in a pile
It is neither counted, nor accounted -
For it is not worthwhile!
The trained sight looks diligently
Flaws it spots
Slotting itself into the poor havenots!
Yin and yang, these allies throw
Right in the face,
Just go with the flow!
Count the blessings,
Say a humble thanks!
Look away from the gaping blanks.
Peccadilloes, these turns and twists -
Our downfalls blur in the halos 
We imagine, exist!
This world ain't perfect,
It can never ever be..
And this world includes
You and me :-)

Thursday, August 07, 2014


It is a flight..
Although of stairs,
It still is a flight..
Launching into space!
Those careful steps
Ascending the terrace
Leaping into the divine grace!
Life shrinks when placed below
Under  the blanket of  stars aglow!
Where do these airs of existence escape?
When the soul shuns the mortal remains?
Perhaps into this vast nothingness..
Lost like a twinkle in the Sun's blaze!
These little plights, these petty fights
What are they, but flecks of dust!
Under this celestial arbor
Things fall in the right place,
Live n love , shun malice.
This flight of stairs..
This flight into the air..
Bliss unfold..saga retold!
Lift the head and  intently gaze!
Bask in the cool of  that starry haze.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Behold, the intoxication
Of being in your company!
Abundance of exuberance
Shining in your splendor!
Beautiful faces, bountyful freshness -
A vigor that can capture the world!
Tangled heartbeats,
Lustily grazing wet skins,
Akin to love? These bountiful hormones.
The universe blurs in the background -
With thruths and realities.
Rosy lens you are -
Showcasing a mirage.
Flip by, day by day..
Slipping into finelines
Of fate and the face
Unfolding the ultimate verity!
Rising emotions, overflowing sensations,
All settle down -
The blurred background comes into focus..
Once you transition into the depths of life!
Oh youth - pretty and naive -
You are something else!

Saturday, August 02, 2014


Life happens, not like it is expected to,
It serves bloody blows for me and you!
The next turn would have been
The dream come true -
But the twists we encounter
Detours to challenges anew.
Thorns sink in the skin -
Roses we desire!
Was that a happy grin
Set to fire?
Seek to smile, joyly dance-
Circumstances snatch the chance.
Dreams knock down
Like domino blocks.
The doors to bliss
Appear with locks -
But wait a blink,
Be positive when you think,
As clouds they say, have silver linings!
Poke through hurdles
Armed with smiles-
Then journey unfolds
Of joyful miles.
Those hits you endure
Of  bricks and stones-
They break the bones,
But hold in the moans!
Gather them together,
Prepare your ground,
Build your abode
In a strong rebound!
Rope in the guts,
Life does get hard -
To meet with those cares,
Hardy soul prepares - 
And sprouts fresh foliage
Of grit and dares!

(Inspired by the click above by a dear friend)

Thursday, July 31, 2014


If  the droplets could be heaped,
They would reach the skies
And puddle back in under the eyelids.
Flooding the pining insides!
If  feelings could be stacked
They would topple down in a mess -
Call it grief, call it gloom
Call it a bud, nipped in bloom!
Homeless dreams haunt the broken heart.
An orphaned hope mocks back,
Making rude faces.
Vessels we are..
Carrying  loads, being used.
Caught in a mirage..
Chasing an illusion.
Life goes on yet,
Wrapped up in lies
The ones we tell, the ones we hear
What's the purpose of crumpled hearts?
Of ripped apart feelings?
Could they heal? Could they unbreak?
Life goes on yet,
Wrapped in lies..
In the lies we pitifully live!

(picture - light sifting through the darkness of  my room)

Joy ride.

I spent a sizable amout of my life in an automobile, both behind the steering and in the passenger seat. The flow and order on a US highway baffled me to no end..the high speed cars zooming past, and the ones that changed lines did so seamlessly, as though they are weaving a tapestry of vehicles in perfect design. Looking at the traffic through my tinted window seemed near meditative. It had a soothing quality to it that lulled me into peace. Now take that scene and put it next to the roads of Hyderabad and you get  the perfect yin and yang. If there is a perfect visual antonym for order, it has to be the roads and the traffic here. A concoction of pedestrians, metro rail workers, hawkers at the signal posts, beggars, random stray animals, two wheelers, three wheelers, four wheelers, eight wheelers - you get the idea! I made it a point these days to put my camera away while soaking in the details of the road - or  else, I'd have had pictures of six passengers on a motorbike, twenty in a pick up truck with odds and ends like bundles of hay, Share autos busting at seams with people stuffed in to double the capacity - but somehow, they all seem to safely make it to their destinations. It is hard to spot people riding with helmets and toddlers sit on the back seat of bikes holding while wrapping their tiny arms to their guardians' waists.

The perfect accent to this bedlam is the sea of faces that stream through. No two faces dress, look or emote alike. The skins seem transperant with minimal decorations - mostly Bindis in random shapes and the occasional streak of vermilion in the parting of the hair in lieu of a wedding band. I recollect the overcrowd of makeup counters in our departmental stores back home and wonder what Indian women do differently to sport the clear complexions and natural beauties. Now, it is not like I want to brand myself as a bonafide foreigner, but the simple fact that I'd been away for a while now and life had drastically changed with special reference to the traffic on roads and perhaps my own angles of looking at them changed too :)

The most interesting part is the hoardings I spot. The grammar Nazi in me has a loud chuckle and the amateur shutterbugger gasps at almost every other sight. I shall make it a point to designate one of my upcoming trips to clicking just to add the visuals to my descriptions. I spotted everything from Testy Food join, Multi cushion restaurants and other linguistic marvels that escape my mind at the moment. Ironies of life clutter the road, almost unfolding a thesis of sorts into the human psyche.

The best part though, is the sheer variety - the adults, the kids, the workers, the drivers and their super unique signatures and expressions. It looks like a mini world, kind of like a Noah's arc where one of every kind is thrown in to survive - except the sheer number of specimens is overwhelming. Now it might be soothing to sit next to a window on the west bound US highway I 580 - but these lanes and roads, these twists and turns stimulate the body, mind and spirit in a way that only these paths can do - the priceless bonus is food for thought and numerous ponders that pulverize the infamous block :)

Picture - one of the many ironies, clicked with my smartphone! ;)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flash back

Her thoughts, every once in a while
Linger in the past -
Those thick braids to the side of her ears!
Those acne punctuated cheeks - 
And the flutters of first love
In her thirteen year old being!
Early bloomer, alright -
What else would one expect?
For the depth her heart carried -
For those numerous feelings,
Layered on one another!
Beyond crushes and puppy loves -
Beyond infatuations and attractions
It was Love nonetheless -
A fact that unfolds much later
Down the years 
In her intense heart -
Surfacing in her large eyes!
A smile breaks on her pouty lips.
Heart skips a beat -
No matter the untold part,
No matter the unattained bliss.
Toss images of walking hand in hand -
Of cliched  'happily ever after' endings.
True love heaps on the remnants 
But the first ever beat of the heart
Pining for a longer look - 
Those stupid smiles
That scribbles in journals - 
written in the concretes of the soul!
Did she speak up? did she pursue?
Not so, nada! 
Life happens, joys sprinkle, tears drizzle
She gets her share 
Contentment peeks through 
A happy home!
Once in a while, the gawky teens
Rise in thoughts, gather in memories.
Buried alive, her first love
Beats inside those bygone years
For, experiences are sweet - Imaginations, a tad sweeter!

(Picture - The Sun, peeking through - somewhere in CA, clicked on my smart phone:) )

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Why do I feel it?
This tremor in the gut!
These seismic waves
That swallow things as whole..
Into the crevices of rage.

Why do I feed it?
Throwing thoughts of spite
For it to munch upon.
The fiery fangs
Licking me in..
Little do I know
It consumes me,
Leaving a rubble of remorse.

Do I plough gall, sow bane 
And foresee boons of love?
Do I spread grudge
And anticipate joy?
Stroke my ego,
Nurture my loathe
And expect bliss to unfold.
How naive, how lame!

Why do I rip this out..
This livid anger
Enraged in emotion.
What do I seek? What do I sustain?


Thursday, July 24, 2014


He teases the senses..
Heart beats lighter, in anticipation.
He changes the ambience..
Invisible winds blow music in the ear,
While caressing the skin with nimble strokes!
Life's scene changes tint.
With a hazy look smeared all along!
Window panes drip sweat like droplets..
Perhaps from the sultriness he brings in tow.
Sunshine falls pale as a lesser parallel for joy
For he masks it with his cool!
They say mynahs croon, peacocks dance..
I hear those sounds! I feel that rhythm.
Trees sway like tipsy dancers in a celebration.
I draw the curtains, and open the windows
To a blast of freshness mingled
With the smell of wet earth!
Dopamine rises sans falling in love
As the soul responds to his tingling touch!
A droplet escapes and lands on the skin..
Elixir of joy infuses into the being.
Shun the guards, toss the rain coats..
Let nectar from the heavens flood the insides!
Mighty monsoon, shower your grace
On Earth and me alike.

(Picture - rain bearers in Scottish highlands - Summer 2013)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Seep in slyly..
Like a screen on my cares!
Swaddle me gently,
In your warm embrace!
Silken touch
Of your deep layers..
Camouflage the light
As my saving grace.
Sullen, sedate, your darkened gaze
Guards me from the plight of days!
Let there be no dawn to face,
Let there be no world to fight!
Melt me in your raven guise
Rest on my lashes
Lull me to sleep!
Let me escape in peace so deep.
Evoke cozy dreams,
Of calm and quiet -
Let there be no world to fight.
Dusk, alight on the horizon of my gaze
Swaddle me gently 
In your warm embrace.

(Picture - Dusk in south Mumbai, captured from a high rise - winter 2008)

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Number 6 is ruled by the planet Venus which is also 'Sukra' from the Indian Paradigm I look at. Planet Sukra is the head of fine arts and beauty and the guru of Demons. He is supposed to be talented, artistic, attractive and....LAZY. The capitalization is just for added drama and intensity and not to shout at ye all ardent readers of the blog. That being said, this particulR blog entry should'nt have happened for the capitalized reason, but is happening for the non-capitalized ones and I'll give you a moment for you can get over my egotism before you are obligated to proceed further.

As I gingerly exit the third month in Mera Bharat Mahan, I had been examining life at a very different and interesting angle. It could be for the mere fact that I don't have a household to run, clothes to iron, or meals cook or a wheel to steer.  I came here with a suitcase of clothes..four to 5 pairs for me and the kid, inclusive of our night suits and I get startled to take a long, scrutinizing look at bales and bales of fabric that seems to multiply in the dark and flood all my storage. I live out of the suitcase, but those bales of fabric, transformed into garments of different patterns mockingly leer at me when I attempt to clean my living room. The other day, I thought I had the clutter under control when I painstakingly washed and folded the last of my clothes, but wait...I made a horrific discovery of the clothes left in the dryer for a day too long.

The flash back was devoid of was borderline moderation, with clothes in possesion having the same number as days in the week. I had an alarmingly serious fetish for Lucknow work Salwar sets, that were sewn in white over delicate pastles. The earrings were demure studs, the footwear was simple and practical confined to a pair or two. Each weekend, on my days off from work, I used to hand wash them, apply starch and send them pronto to the washerwoman who ironed them  with a coal-amber filled iron box.  These days, I seem to have clothes numbered for the days of the month..or may be a few consecutive months and the greed for new clothes never satiates. And, no sire, it does't stop goes in multiplication of bags, bindis, nail polish bottles et al..but the attention they get, or the joy they give is inversely proportionate to their number. Are we heading towards monsterous consummerism and shallow pleasure seeking!? The ponderer ponders and salutes the minimalists around..if there are any, that is!

This ponder should've been should be, infact! But the number 6 gets back into the lazy groove..but here's food for thought! Should'nt life be simpler to be happier? On long look at my wardrobe, and the answer is crystal clear. Here's to a simpler menu for Life..simplicity is beauty and moderation is merry! Bad rhyme...I know, I know :-) 

Friday, July 18, 2014


The heap...
Of broken, scattered thoughts
Like a buldozed home
Of love and dreams!

The bricks, loose and  chipped
Faling apart, from the shelter of  peace!
Was it adamence or naivety?
Was it  arrogance or folly?
That tore the nest!
The birds fly haywire
Life's joys all crumpled.

Ego..a mighty nasty thing,
That leaves just one to love!
Alone and abandoned
In our first love and last love...
Self love.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Last night, between tending to a sick child and feeling the onset of a viral inside my gut, I had a very nocturnal bout of restlessness. Normally it happens to be 'energy' instead of restlessness but tossing n turning between the sheets got a little too much when I pulled out my companion in loneliness - the screen that unfolds the world infront of me. My dependency on Google got to an alarmingly funny level that the other day I absentmindedly opened my home page to locate my wrist watch on Google search..and no, I did not make this up :-D

Now, the profoundness that strikes me usually does so post the odd hours and last night wasn't any different. I quickly got into a soul searching, spiritual mode and pondered upon how one could guage one's spiritual progress in life. According to my relegious and spiritual beliefs, the soul reincarnates and transitions from one body to another till it reaches the point of salvation. Different branches and schools of thought perceive this whole reincarnation thingie in different perspectives but they all seem to agree on a couple of things - that Salvation or Nirvana is the ultimate  destination of the soul and spiritual progress is the one that takes us towards it.

No matter how much we learn or earn, the moment our soul discards our body, we are supposed to find a new outfit and learn and earn ( unless we find ourselves in the lap of Queen Elizabeth as her great grandchild or for that matter, in the lap of the neighborhood landlord, in wich case, earning becomes optional ;-)) Spirituality, on other hand, is something that is carried forward. You make 80 percent progress til this birth, and in your next, though you start from your alphabet in worldly leaning, you start at eighty one percent in spiritual front. Cool! Isn't it?

So, in a jiffy my curiosity and google dependency all rolled up into one and I did a silly search to see if there was anyway to findout my own spiritual progress. Google doesn't disappoint. Does it? And I did get a few pages of results..primarily from Christian websites, urging me to take a quiz and gauge my  spirituality. I picked up a legitimate looking option on the first page, and clicked on it. Indeed, there was - a quiz that could tell me the miles I had travelled on my path to nirvana and I sincerely took the quiz. Now if anyone is taking one such quizes, do you guys give honest answers or the ones that might give you the result you are seeking? There were hypothetical situations and options for the way one would react to them. I picked the loftiest of the options, my guilt complex warning me that those idealistic paths might not be the ones an average human being might choose in reality.

I waited for the result page with baited breath, feeling the closest to the gates of heaven and basking in a self induced glory of being an elevated soul...but the computer asks me if I am single and want to mingle...with souls at my spiritual level of course! (Insert a wicked, helpless laughter) I chose tge 'No' option. Do you think it left me there? No freaking way!! it wanted me to enter my mobile number and email address so I can be texted or emailed my spiritual graph along with profiles of 'likeminded' spiritual sous :-)) Ironical as life gets,  So much for spirituality and its benchmark!  The wicked, helpless laughter somehow eased my nerves and shortly after shutting the iPad case clsed, I slipped into slumber tgat cared less about the spiritual growth or compatibility with like minded souls on the world wide web!

How spiritual are you!? If you are weird enough to think in my lines, Ponder upon it if you fell the urge, but shut off your screen before you indulge your soul into that thought :-))

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dis n Dat - Reloaded

It's been a good 8 weeks in India and time seems to take a new paradigm in the land of Charminar. I travel a neat 45 minutes in the four wheeler to drop off the kid at school and walk into what seems like an ocean of white ( accented with green) clad boys and girls with bright faces. Some of them spot tell tale signs of adolescence - tall lanky frames, facial hair and acne punctuated features, with endless limbs. Some linger in the threshold of babyness and childhood sporting chubby cheeks, rotund midriffs and a gait that resembles that of 'Baloo the Bear' from Jungle Book. Bright yellow school busses form serpentine lines, much like railway carriages attached with vestibules, leaving narrow crannies between  them for these endless army of children and the occasional parent like me that march in. Parents and caregivers walk past with a brisk gait and a preoccupation of getting back to work or chores, looking through the passersby in an absentminded gaze. As I drift past the huge blocks of structures that  house these bright faces, traces of sanskrit hymns sung in perfect melody travel through the senses, engulfing the being with a warmth that seeps through the ears. The vastness of the campus, the stacks of concrete, the generous ground sprinkled with random nets, poles and basket ball hoops suck me into a surreal world that seems to exist independently on its own. A little world wrapped into the coziness of  a campus, ironically, in that very expanse. Random vehicles form a bedlam and a griddle lock that never seems to melt, but somewhere, somehow, it all keeps moving ahead. I pause and fill my lungs with a greedy breath and look around. A middle school guy wishes me "Good Morning Ma'am" probably mistaking me for one of the staff members and quickly, like a fragrance penetrating into thin air, a cluster of "Good Mornings" follow. I turn back, my gaze peeping through the thick, tinted lenses of my coolers and let out a laugh and acknowledge the greeting. It would be a few minutes past the hour, and the campus with the numerous maintenance staff wrapped in fluid bottle green and black bordered sarees, accessorized with bright skins and striking bindis try and maintain the harmony while kids of all shapes, sizes and ages walk in with hopes to get armed to take over the world. I walk to the entrance and look back, enthralled at this whole arrangement that whispers inspiration into my otherwise mundane routine.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dis n Dat

     It is ironical that I start my ponder with SMS lingo in tow, while I have a hodge podge of inspirations rummaging my greys (not the variety that should have occurred here in there in the crowning glory by now, but were safely eluded thus far with some streak of lucky genes, me thinks) but the ones that shimmer and shine (figuratively) inside the head. Ever since I set my foot on the land of Ganges and the mighty Himalayan ranges, inspiration struck me from all eight directions, and without any Ruth (which, by the way is not a female as the capitalized name would suggest - but a certain feeling of compassion and pity) Ironically, yet again - the writer in me got flustered by the chronic onset of inspirations. While any other self proclaimed writer worth his or her salt would have been ecstatic at the prospect of ruthless bludgeoning by blog worthy ideas, Moi was lost and lonely amid the tempest in this tea pot sized brain chambers. Ask me why and I'd tell you that it was a sheer lack of time. Ironically, once more - though my current routine had cut off a major chunk of scrubbing and rubbing, mopping and chopping in and around the kitchen and the rest of the house, I continue to feel a certain time crunch that feels sorer than the abdominal flab, post numerous crunches of the physical kind.
     I tried to record the bits and pieces to chew the cud at a more appropriate time, while the crunch of time eased into a more relaxed wasting state - but nothing like that looked even remotely possible in the immediate future. Elated at the mile stone of a decade of chronic thinker chronicles, better known as Blog Blah Blah, the moniker,  by the way, sounds pathetic (for the lack of a better or brutal word) I have taken a vow to punch in few keys and use the keypad like a punch bag to let it go, let it go, don't hold it back any more (in Elsa and Ana style! And pardon my lack of knowledge in Frozen, except for these two names and the bits and pieces of lyrics caught from the vocals of my eight year old, singing in full throated falsetto, trying to sound like Adel Dazeem.) Ohh...It isn't Adel Dazeem, is it? Aha, and can't vertigo be quoted a reason for murdering names? - Anyhow (saying which reminds me of a certain petite lady that taught us Math and Physics in high school in the dark ages) What's in a name after all? A rose is a rose is a rose and a blog is a blog is a blog - unless it is a blog that lacks Ruth (not  a lady, mind you! - just a reminder) and calls itself with the most absurd of names in the history of blogs. Now, does being a decade younger while naming it qualify for a wee bit of stupidity in nomenclature? - May be, may be not! - So, off I go, all in the middle of a mind blowing balderdash of a blog post, vowing to keep the ball rolling and the blog growling!

    And thus, a decade almost flips past! - The few of you who breath the life into my head and give me the reason to keep at this silly exercise (at the risk of sounding like a cryptic FB status - you all know who you are! ;-) Let me assure you, I am here to stay for a long long way. And don't worry, as one of you opined - I don't have a keen observation like my blog seemingly suggests - cause, I pretty much sleep walk through the rest of it, and no, I kid you not! ;-)

  Just when you think that it couldn't get any more pointless, I'll put the cherry on top!

Tum agar saath dene ka waada karo, Main younhi mast nagme lutaata rahoon!
(If you promise me your company, I'd throw around profound (ahem ahem) verses just this way!

Okay, okay...artistic liberties taken - but the point is, it is all open for debate!

Taking a bow...stay with me for a couple of days as my 10 year land mark arrives!

Long live Blog Blah Blah....


Monday, May 12, 2014


As I age, the one thing that constantly amazes me is the institution of marriage. The more years I put behind me, the more couples I see around me and the more ponders of matrimony that cross my mind - the more intrigued I become. I had the good fortune of crossing paths with a pair in the past few days. When I walk into the oncology department of the speciality hospital over here, assisting my MIL, I see a pair in such harmony that no matter what I do, my eyes constantly graze their chemistry. Their bond overtakes the whole ambience around me. The emaciated man, dressed in a dhoti and bare chested, walks out of the radiation facility sporting a sculpted ribcage. He grabs the piece of cloth and wraps it around his head in an immaculate turban with the dexterity of a young man.

      It is hard to guess their age but they should be well over the wrong side of sixty - both the man and the wife. She has stacks of red glass bangles on her thin wrists - proudly displaying her marital status. Her lined face is anchored with a  precise nose and elaborate nose pins on either side. Her salt and pepper hair is neatly rolled into a tight bun on the nape of her neck. It is hard to say which of them is thinner - or taller. They both look lean and stretched. I search her face now and then, to look for signs of emotion. She looks back at me nonchalantly while waiting for her husband, staring into my eyes with carefully concealed pain. I gather they come in for treatment through  government aided medicare and wonder if they had eaten. The moment I enter into the waiting area, I trace my eyes around the length and breadth to spot them. Her sari, tied a few inches above her ankles, her pallu tightly wrapped around those twigs of shoulders. The other day we walked into a fully occupied room and she scooted up her seat and asked my MIL if she wanted to take her seat :-) I often wondered why young men and women never got up and offered seats to seniors or patients - but was pleasantly surprised to see this old lady graciously offer her seat. We walked past her politely asking her to sit and I held my gaze into hers, for once hoping to see a sign of warming up to me. There was that very nonchalance holding my eye contact. 

     There were many instances when I took my smart phone out to click a pic of them but tucked it back promptly cause I didn't want to breach their privacy. I wanted to reach out to them, give them a hug or convey in some way my awe for their bond, for her dutiful companionship, for their unmistakable love but I held myself back feeling overpowered by their sheer presence. 
Today I was determined to say something to her, or him or both! I didn't see them when I walked in. I tried to capture their traces in my sketch and their spirit in my words. Life is so pretty that even in the face of illness and poverty there are things that stretch beyond 'stuff' - things like loving and being loved, things like grace and courage. If I could, I would put their picture as a definition of marriage :)

Friday, May 09, 2014


Found a little time to kill this noon. With due apologies to Georgia O'Keeffe. Soft pastels on sketch pad.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

is for Zenith

There is a strange satisfaction in keeping up the word. Well, deadlines in other words. As much as I claim to be laid back, I seem to have an unsettled restlessness when it comes to keeping up commitments.  It acts as a saving grace to my routine, devoid of a routine. The past few days had enough challenges thrown my way - while my stiff emotional joints grappled hard to jump over the hurdles of life happening around me, I reveled in the fact that challenges are a good thing. They are an indication of the life left in us, of the fighting spirit, of our inner capacity that lies unearthed under our own inhibitions and self doubts. Challenges bring out the best in us - the forgotten components of strength, grace and creation of a force that enables us to stream through them. I look back and smile at the thought of not taking up A to Zee this year - kicked off in my foster motherland with that moniker and smoothly halted as A to Zed, right here in the land of Karma!

A pat on the back! - and a tired smile, that is the best of its kind!


Y is for You

Where's the invisible leash?
I wonder -
That you nimbly hold on your fingers!
Gently tugging me
Everywhere you go...
The world of mine
Doing a rotation, and a revolution
Around your thoughts and memories
Like a greed that never satiates.
Days roll into years, years into decades.
But the heart and its hopeless emotion
Tangled in your web of allure
Now where, I pray - is the invisible leash!??

X for Xerox

Sometime in mid eightees, my dad and his brother-in- law joined hands in a venture with the tag line Ram & Rao - the business introduced my uncle and an edifice of a xerox machine into the expanse of my dad's office space. My siblings and I flocked around what looked like a cargo vessel with finer details magically produced copies of documents in a hazy shades of grey. The unit that occupied most of a 12x12 room stood like a land mark in dad's office, drawing eyes and feet to it like a focal point. Each time a customer came in with a mark sheet, property deed or a birth certificate that needed to be copied, we used to cautiously stand out of the boundary of the room and watch without batting the eyelids. There were several steps involved - it almost looked like a woman going through gestation, forming and nurturing an independent being in her womb. There were seeds of the leafy vegetable Amaranthus and a soot like fine powder in jet black that was sprinkled into one of the retracting drawers before the final copy slid through the opening that had a tray which caught the end result. The xerox machine was a promise of the technology in the offing and the pride of our home business. Time rolled out into decades and we saw the automatic counterparts of the very machine spring into being, that occupied only a fraction of the space and were a 1 2 3 easy operation. Now when I look at the copier, printer, scanner and fax machine we have in our home I fondly trace back to the childhood days where small things were big and big things were small :)

W for Want!

Take me back,
To that distant dusk
Where sun sinks into the earth!
Engulfing the air
With cool chills..
Just when I miss the fire ball
And his melting warmth
The soul takes a different form
Thawing to the moonlight!

Picture - Sunset in Santorini, Greece - summer 2013 ( Clicked on my iPad)

Day 23 - V for Vigor

On vines of my lashes,
Bloom dreams of love!
Vibrant, vigorous, robust, bright!
Until you set your peepers
On these budding emotions,
They lie in vain..
Pining for your longing glance!

U for Under

Miles of nerves
Vials of  blood
Heaps of thoughts
Deep down those veins!
Streaming through the being
Your sweet reminiscences
Unearth with every breath!
Under but not over with..
The bond bound to your cords
Strangles my dreams
Crushing them below
The weight of this wait! 

Day 22 - T is for Tea

Taking a chance,
Tinkering with atypical topics...
Translucent waters
Tampered with pouches of
Tiny granules.
Taste the brew,
Traveling through unseen insides..
Tepid warmth, engulfing the gut!
Take over the day
Timed perfectly with the morning cuppa:-)

Day 21 - S for Silence

There was the faint sound
Of a pin dropping on the marble floor.
Feather weight feet
Gliding on...
The rustle of leaves, lulling the mind,
The distant chirping, the dearly lub dub
Amplifying into the ears...
As the crazy heart thumps
Agitatedly onto the chest!
Mum surroundings
Maddeningly loud..
Shattering the silence.  

Day 20 - R is For Rhapsody

Randomly, it happened!
Rapture encircled her thoughts.
The first ever bloom
Of tipsy enamor.
Tender, silly
Though intense and mad!
Crushed in those dew drops
Melted by dawn.
The very first spell
Of a magic called love!
It dissipates..
Ruefully, into molten ashes
Of eternal loss.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Q is for Quiet

Lull them to sleep,
The numerous voices
Drowning your peace!
The day that dawns,
Brings cares and cures!
Fret not.
Those commotions
Of catching up -
Of egos and Ambitions.
Lead you no where,
Pout not!
The noises of arguments
Within and without -
Pray where do they lead?
But into the abyss of havoc.
Grieve not!
Life lies in the Quiet
Of absolute calm
The passing moment
Of dusk and dawn.
Let the silence
Fill your soul -
To the brims of bliss!
                                          Picture - A view of Arabian sea from Taj, Goa.

Day 18 - P is for Parenting

Of all the tasks given to me so far, the task of being a Parent has by far been the toughest and the trickiest one. I rate myself as a good parent for the most part - until the introspection kicks in and I analyze my parenting methods and choices. Things get further complicated as I see as many methods and choices as I see parents and each one seems alarmingly different from my own. I do all I can to raise a responsible and reasonable child so the world is not burdened by a self centered, ungrateful grown up by the time I am done with my job. In the process, I administer time outs and disciplining acts just so my child doesn't get all messed up and heart broken at the next instance when a teacher, spouse or boss shows her a mirror when need be. I also realize, that I cannot be the best parent in the whole world, but strive as much as I can to do my personal best. When I look back at my own childhood and upbringing, I cherish the fact that my parents kept me grounded and always kept my expectations in check. They both were task masters but the beauty of their parenting lay in the fact that they gave us the right kind of attitude and approach towards life. The ground rules were iron clad but the freedom of thought and action we had really helped my sibling and me turn into responsible and reasonable adults or so I firmly believe.

I look back and think of what worked and didn't work for me in their parenting but it could be God's grace or good luck that I would not change anything from how it had been, just because I find my life so simplified today. I don't get into tangles of ego, comparison or expectations form others. It is saddening to see parents who are too pampering or disciplining. Life is about dealing with joys and heart breaks, successes and disappointments. If  children are not taught to deal with the cons of life when they are kids, they grow up in bubbles that are soon popped, leaving them vulnerable and hurt. 

I'd also heard form a wise mom, that no matter how we deal with our kids and raise them, there comes a time when each parent has a regret when they look back to reflect upon their jobs as parents and hope that they had done somethings better. For me, parenting is a lot more than it is made up to be - it is this selfless role one steps into that demands putting the kid before oneself and I hope more and more parents understand that 'stuff' and providing it doesn't comprise of parenting. The biggest gifts we can give our offsprings is our time and setting good examples. No matter what we teach, our children end up emulating us and that is where our 'lessons' should be focused - In leading by the right example and living the way expect our children to live.

Day 17 - 0 Is for Oh wow!

Sometimes all you need is just one picture! - The Scottish Highlands.

Day 16 - N is for Nature

Nurture the soul,
In your layers!
The mossy, intricate ones
Peeling through the woods.
The trees, the creeks,
And pretty beaks
Crooning Idylls.
Bathe in the froth
Of Sapphire oceans
Licking the salt off lips!
Frolicking in waves
Of perfect bliss.
Feasting the senses
On saturated hues
The reds, the muds
The greens the seas!

Day 15 - M is for Marriage

     Of all the bonds we form, Marriage seems to be the most intricate one. Whether it is arranged by elders, chanced upon at Matchdotcom or a true love culminating into 'till death do us part', Marriage is the big boss of all relationships. Parents come and go, kids come and go, even friends come and go at different junctures of our life...spouses remain in our lives to keep up with our ups and downs. Or do they? Growing up, I had been exposed marriages that 'worked'. It is not an exaggeration to say that I'd not heard of failed marriages in my childhood or early adulthood. Hence, the "Happily ever after" was so embedded into my psyche until later into my twenties, when I started looking at the nuances of failed or 'glued together' marriages.

     Come 2000s and my actual coming of age, I started looking at matrimony from close quarters. It probably helped me understand it better, cause I got into the institution barely after attaining legal adulthood. All the emotional and mental growth I'd gone through, was with my better half, haggling to adjust to the concept of individual opinions, differences and preferences. I learned it very early that a harmonious marriage takes work and an especially patient and tactful talent of knowing when to hold on and when to let go. When to give space and when to smother the spouse with attention. I thank my lucky stars for finding the guy that keeps similar sentiments about the 'wedding' paradigm.

     As I aged, I saw people gluing together pieces of broken hearts and feelings in hopes of making the spirit of marriage shine through and on the other hand, I'd also witnessed mindless battles of ego that made potentially wonderful marriages bite the dust. And then I heard theories of 'Why marriage kills love" and why 'live in' is the way to go. For me especially, Marriage is a wonderful bond that helps us accept someone else as the crux of our lives while loving them with all their pluses and minuses and being loved in return, in the same exact spirit. A perfect union is a myth - but the beauty of matrimony is the fact that a couple works as 'Us' and does the delicate balancing act of being and letting be. As long as we look at the possibility of an exit, we never really give our best shot at making things work - the workable things at least. I hope we shall preserve the holiness of this union for the coming generations cause pretty much the whole society sprouts form a balanced and happy marriage.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 14 - L is for Laze.

Look, it could have been luck
Light, or Love!
Let them be - cause Laze it is!
The one that lets backlogs pileup
Taking forms of blogs 
Or Laundry Piles.
Lurking in kitchen sinks sometimes,
Stinking to high heavens -
Loads of dirty dishes.
Lost thoughts, hanging on to vague strings
Lamenting to come out -
But Laze takes lead,
Lulling them to slumber.
Laughing out loud,
It drowns the limbs
In dreadful sloth!
Leap up, let go!
Learn to lash it out
Cleanse the haze...Cause,
Laurels await, lauding the efforts!

Day 13 - K is for Karma

Blame the roots, Karma is such a main course in the Indian subcontinent. The world is supposed to run on one principle - and yes, you guessed it right - it's got to be Karma! We sometimes wonder why God lets bad things happen in the world. The karma theory believes that God doesn't let things happen per say - He has bestowed upon us, the unparalleled gift of 'free will' - At every fork on the road, we are greeted with choices - the good ones, the bad ones, the blatantly ugly ones. "As you sow, shall you reap' in short! When we sow seeds of selfishness, hatred and ego, the harvest would definitely be the sprouts of those very seeds. Let us exercise our free wills to build and not to destroy, to love and not to loathe, to give and not to snatch, to understand and not to judge - Sounds euphoric, right? But the bottom line is that every action has and equal and opposite reaction and the world is evidence.

Here's to responsible choices and deeds :-)

Day 12 - J for Joy

Squealing with glee,
You flood the crevices of the heart!
Nimbly tiptoeing in morning dew,
Butterfly wings
And dandelions.
The quest to discover 
Your volatile presence
Is carried in the complicated world
Alas - how naive?
For  your presence graces
In the wee pleasures!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 11 - I for I - The all consuming.

There are things that amuse me about human beings - but nothing amuses me, more than that little 'I' - the manifestation, the ego, the self that consumes people across all ages, shapes, races and sizes. Hope I'll be cut a little slack - cause this is recycled from sometime in 2010 :-)

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

Day 10 - H is for Hanging in there :)

It had been a week confined in bed - there was this nasty bug that pulled me down from all sides - result was NyQuil in wine glasses (just kidding) and camping in the bed twenty four by seven. While it feels wonderful to feel vital and energetic, there is a certain comfort in having a reason to laze about, without attending to the routine that is expected of you. Come Friday, and I was kind of sick of being sick - I said "enough" out loud and got out of the sheets - A dull pressure still veils the sinuses, the voice is all husky (which I absolutely love) and for some reason, I look well rested - well, I was rested, wasn't I? - All along that slumber - the AZ challenge kept haunting me. I for one, am very slack when it comes to taking life seriously, but a commitment is a commitment is a commitment. So, H it is - after the halt, for hope, happiness and  hanging in there when the odds play against you. :-)

Hopping away to I - momentarily! :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

G is for Getting back

Have you noticed, or is it just me - that we have a tough time with getting back to things that are halted? It had been a very Springy month, to a point where I see pollen rising before me in the air like special effects in a song sequence of a Bollywood movie. Yeah, looks drop dead gorgeous but the problem is that it clogs the sinuses, irritates the nasal passages and burns the eyes. I had a little catalyst going on this year, along with the annual spring allergy fest...some kind a bug that makes me not want to eat! (Yay! *Raises a fist and pulls it down in triumph*) The not eating part sounds okay, cause the jeans get on without having to breath too much...but the problem arose when there was no energy to do the stuff that comprised a routine - I nursed on meticulously measured doses of random over the counter remedies and engaged in a sloth that would put sloth to shame. As a result, the 'paranoid about not keeping up' dame skips a day in the A-Z challenge - On the flip side, it some times feels good to be under the weather - when you have absolutely nothing to do - or when you are exempt of doing what you are expected to do, it becomes a break of sorts.  Thank God for little joys and little ailments - The flip side is that I slept and made up for all the insomnia and had my best friend deliver me home cooked food, rightly seasoned and piping hot! All while doing an encore babysitting act!

          A friend in need is a friend indeed, they say! - Some adages don't make sense till much later in life. On that note - G it is, for Grit, Getting back and Going on! :-)                            And On! :-)

Monday, April 07, 2014

F for Flashback

Frankly, the pattern of writing verses with the letter of the day haunts me time and time again - so, for old time's sake, I wanted to attempt a verse today, with the F words ;-) It might just be funny (like something to laugh at) or Fab - you be the judge, and pass the verdict too! Sometimes, even a recluse, loner blogger could use some feedback comment love :-)

Flipping between thought and silence,

Faded ideas drip down,

For the heart wants a recreation.

Far off muses beckon to be tried,

Fragrancing the mind's ambience!

Fail, falter or fumble to manage?

Fate of these flapping words

Fall at your grace!

Phew, that was a close call with 'under the weather' condition today! :-)  Well, tomorrow - God makes another day! :-)

Saturday, April 05, 2014

E is for Everness

Now, don't ask me why I would call this post 'Everness' - it might kind of tie up in the end, like it does sometimes, when I write without a definite path - more like driving in the dark. You see enough to keep going, but not enough to know where you are going. Everness should mean perpetuity- right? and that kind of represented what I thought of, when I thought of the letter E. A perpetual flow of ideas that begged for my attention. Enigma, Epicure, Energy...the list went on. Finally I thought, what better thing to blog about than the language I blog in? - I know, I is still going to be called 'Everness' but the catch is that I am going to rattle about English, my foster mother tongue.

I learned the English alphabet, long before I did my mother tongue. It was a lovely, large setting, my school - along a railway line. I didn't go to that school long enough to read Shakespeare and Shelly in my middle and high school, but I did go there long enough to fall in love with the letters and words of the language. Right around sixth grade, I smuggled an old diary of my dad and started jotting limericks of sort, taking extra pains and detours in the form of artistic liberties to rhyme. Some of them were okay, some were horrid - but I found a little following in my classroom and was very tempted to write a poem in the algebra paper after reading about Sarajoni Naidu's childhood. Somehow, though my ego was still hazy, unformed and raw, I lived in a belief that I was churning out masterpieces for that short span of time when I actually started to write. It took me some time, to understand and reevaluate my own halo effect that went with me where ever I went. Thankfully, I don't seem to love myself so much that I continued in that haze - or may be, just may be, I love the language more than I love myself and I don't mean it as a hyperbole.

An English speaking nation welcomed me with open arms, at the threshold of adulthood. I always wrote, even before this blog took shape a decade ago. I have pages of words, tumbling all over, tucked into my most precious possessions. "What language do you blog in?" People used to ask me - fooled by my tan skin and ethnic features. It was a miracle of sorts that a small town lass from the middle of nowhere in coastal Andhra Pradesh could actually blog in English. The fact is that for people in India, English is sort of a foster mother tongue - I didn't have English as my medium of instruction for the better part of my humble education - but I consider profusely blessed to have known and loved another language as much as I love myself and my mother tongue.

Everyone has a crux of their life. Mine was my sixth and seventh grade - I had a teacher - a demure Malayalee woman, who defined professionalism to the tee. She taught us bits and pieces of R L Stevenson, O Henry, Anton Chekov and Alexander Dumas and a little bit of unabridged Shakespeare. She inspired me more than anything else in my life all put together. She instilled in me the love for language and literature that doesn't fail me ever! I streamed through my humble challenges, finding solace in the womb of a language that wasn't my own. Today, my biggest defining moment in life is that I  teach and subconsciously mimic my teacher, hoping that one day, one kid somewhere, would find the same life long companion in words. "What language do you teach?" People ask me - I say "English" - "As a second language?" I smile and say "No"! - I smile, because, it startles me when I look back - the journey I had made with just those couple of defining years in my whole entire life. The rest, I learned - or may be - the rest came to me, without ever having to set a footstep into a university. I look back and an unmistakable joy and sense of achievement floods my insides - My words, my companions for Everness! :-)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Day 4 - D for Description

As a part of the the D day - I attempt to describe - so D is for description :)

 Drop dead Gorgeous - Her wide forehead frames the best of features - Doe shaped eyes, dipping sensuously in the corners, drawing the most exotic of shapes. Her irises, looking like saucers, dyed in deep brown, sport a glassy twinkle that makes one wonder if the color is naturally occurring. The whites of those peepers, accentuate the depth of her eyeballs, like fluffy clouds around deep  skies. Her nose, defined and pointy, stands like a landmark on a heritage site. Her full mouth with a slightly plumper upper lip makes her face wear the look of a perpetual pout - enticing as a woman's and endearing as a child's. The tanned skin akin to delicious caramel, like a flawless canvas, compliments those huge eyes. Locks of wavy black hair, like cascades of silk, ready to be woven, dangle heavily, framing her high cheekbones. Perfectly aligned teeth flash and hurriedly bring in those dimples for company, every time she graces a smile. Delicate long limbs sway, making the mundane mud path a ramp that ravishes her divine beauty. She is, indeed - a design done at leisure, a sketch that defines grace and drips elegance.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Day 3 - C for a Cluster

This got me thinking. Really hard! I thank and then thunk some more. It wasn't just one C that came to mind - from California to Closet, from Clutter to Cleanliness, form Create to Crush (as in near antonym of Create and the kind I had (and continue to have) for Sachin (Tendulkar) :-) Before you Cringe form my abuse of Capitals, I'll call in the content of this day's blog.

For those who had not followed me in the last year's challenge, and the year before that, I did a series of  verses starting with the alphabet of the day and then I made it a little hardcore and used the given letter over and over, in the beginning of a sentence and everywhere possible to key in my verse - on that lines, or by sheer habit (could habits be formed over a couple of years of doing the same thing for 4 weeks at a stretch, casue they add up to the said eight weeks ;-) ?) This year, I am really going to do an abstract one but for today, I shall punch in a little bit of this and that.

My friend S, the really fun one that has come very close to matching my wit and timing has this canny (not uncanny, mind you) ability of telling life's simple truths in unplanned, un complicated dialogue. "I feel like cleaning others' mess" her pearl of wisdom unfolded from our oyster of conversation - "But I let me house be. I somehow cannot stand other's clutter as much as I can stand mine" - Bingo! Does that ring bells? A few of them? For me, it does - not just for me alone but for many people that surround me. I think human beings have this uncanny (yes, uncanny this time) ability of somehow shutting themselves to their own faults - more often than not! " I cannot stand my own clutter" said no one - ever! Atleast, not aloud and not in my ear shot - ever! If you bar me that is - I did say it to myself in the recent past - and no, not aloud - not until now. And what resulted was a revamp of sorts that was like a little tempest in a tea pot - the tea pot in question, being our walk in closet.

For over a decade now - ever since we'd called this humble abode our home, we tried to metamorphoses and alchemize out clutter into something presentable. Make shift shelving was welcomed into the space as a result and was sprinkled with a generous dose of 'lack of handyman' skills by the darling hubby! (And how I am loving that he never reads stuff out of here unless I held him on gun point - even then, he only listens, or pretends perhaps, to be listening while I read it out) So, the pseudo Mr.Vila and Ms.Stewart did all they could to add space, cubes, shelves, shoe racks, hat boxes, rattan baskets and random lucite bins to declutter and organize. Years passed and piles added to the pointless possessions and the door was promptly closed for any curious onlookers - sometimes it was bad, sometimes it was worse almost making moi mimic the event of searching for a needle in a haystack if I had to look for a certain scarf or a clutch. I went into bouts of 'getting it under control' letting out frustrating cusses, purging, pruning and everything in between. I went to the verge of renouncing hand bags, silk, leather and even nail polish just in silly hopes of having the clutter in check - and we finally, one bright spring morning, decided to take professional help and in that process, each and every pin to party dress came out of the place. we did a demolition of what ever silly stuff we hung in there and had a prim and proper custom shelving built.

The end result was reveling - to see the clutter melt into order and the taupe walls beyond the crisp white cabinets promised years of organizing and arranging. For now atleast, it looks like it! But the whole point here is not the closet, or the clutter or even the cleanness that came out - it is just that we have our baggage, hidden or in display, disclosed or concealed and it is a nice thing if we start noticing what we shove under our own carpets before rallying around with a magnifying glass into our neighbors' living rooms.


Tomorrow would be the D day! Do come back.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Day 2 - B for Blogging

Baby steps, a decade ago!
Borne with utter love for words.
Lumbering around, etching Ponders,
Feint verses - gauche and graceless.
Building blocks of petty thoughts,
Scribbling senseless heaps of utterance.
Chronicles of progress,
Aging and ailing!
Records of hopes, and hopeless wailing.
Sonnets of the soul, Idylls of the spirit -
Heartfelt works of color and art.
Doodling words, tugging strings of feelings,
Jotting many a pieces of the heart!
Baby steps, still pitter and patter,
Emerging, evolving, warmly embracing,
Drafting dreams and dabbing reflections.

Day 1 - Letter A

This wasn't something that I saw coming - the A to Z challenge this year. In the recent past, My blogging had become kind of sporadic and I thought this might help me get regular at posting and therefore pondering often. I hope I have it in me to keep at it till the end! :)

I do not have a theme - as of now - so it is safe to assume that this is going to be an asymmetrical attempt at achieving the goal...

A is for many things that speak to me and touch my heart. My kid Aarti, my art, my attempts at writing poetry, prose and everything in between. A is also for arbitrary, amateur and attempt! So I'll wrap it off with a little verse, an absolutely awkward one at that.


The moment, you see askance
Those amber irises flicker with amor.
Heart skips a beat, thumps in the chest!
Having a life of its own.

The flash, you reach of for my hand
Holding it tight in your firm fist -
Time freezes in your brawny grip
Somersaulting in glee!

Your auburn tresses, ruffling in the air
Makes me gasp for breath..
In those eyes, that grip  
Those locks of curls
Lies my eternal bliss - 
My undying admiration.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Does it happen to you? Like it does to me?

The hovering between fears and hopes?

Suspended mid air - the heart flutters,

Searching for a source to feed the soul.

Daintily I pick, the nectar of experience

Nourishing my puny being!

In the process, perhaps some pollination - 

Of new sprouts promising glee!

My sleek body flickers

Prancing around between panic and prospect!

Big or small, Mammoth or minute - 

Are you like me? 

Quivering between rapture and regret -

You are like me! Are you ?