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Showing posts from November, 2015

Challenge completed!

Today I write the last post of this month. Yes, I managed to successfully write a post for every day of November as part of  Yeah Write's Writing Challenge - NoMo (November Month). In spite  of the Mother of all festivals, Diwali, as well as some  health scares  by the two men in my life (hubby and baby), I managed to complete the challenge. It does feel good. Goood!

              The couple of months before November, a sloth had taken over my entire being. Typing out a word seemed arduous as it took every ounce of effort on my part to even press a key! Thinking about topics to write on seemed like a gargantuan task. In fact, the last time I read about a writing challenge, I did decide to take part, but developed cold feet at the last moment!  However, all this changed the day I read about NoMo at Yeah Write. Something clicked in my brain, and I decided that enough was enough, and that I was going to take up this challenge, and prove myself wrong about my withering…

Can we let go, please?

Our   relationships  give meaning to our lives. They add zest to what would have otherwise  been a bland menu! There are some  that we nurture along the way; relationships that give us strength and support in our time of need. There are others, that may not go that deep, but they add colour to many a  gloomy day, leaving us to wonder what we would do without them! However, there are some, that neither act as an anchor nor spread any joy in our lives, and yet we  put them up on a pedestal, to be worshipped and cherished.
             The fruitlessness of having such relationships does weave its way into our minds, showing us reasons that  we are better off without them, yet, we turn a deaf ear to our conscience and keep going. The amount of time and energy we waste caring about these relationships is enormous. Our head senses how we make no difference to these people, yet our heart fails to react, beating wildly for them day in day out. We waste copious amounts of our…

My anchors.

At times, when I reflect upon my life and count my blessings, more than anything else, I thank God for the people I have been blessed with. Along the journey of the past 4 decades, I have met some very special people, who have become an integral part of my life. And, these people are not just friends I met, but also those who are my own flesh and blood.
            My mother, to begin with, is my soul mate, my best friend and my anchor. She is the one, who, with her unconditional love and support, stands firmly by my side, offering advice when I need it, shielding me from any bitter moments that threaten to come my way. I, for sure know, that I can't exist without her. I am, after all, her reflection.
        The same holds true for my life partner and a few very close friends, whom I met in my childhood and  in my adult life. These people have stood by my side, silently (and at times, vociferously) defending me and the choices I made, lifting me when I stumbled, a…

Chikoo and friends.

Our thoughts.

As I stare at the computer screen, my mind goes blank. Just like that, as if a switch went off, the thoughts that were, moments ago, scrambling for my attention, have all vanished! Like a group of playful kids, who, on damaging someone's property, beat a hasty retreat, my thoughts did a disappearing act the moment I switched on my laptop!
            Despaired and on the verge of giving up all hope, I sit impatiently, struggling to bring some of them back and help me out in writing my post today. But, alas, none of them come to my rescue! So, in a bid to come up with something for the day's post, I begin typing one word after another, grabbing any new thought that makes an attempt to enter the labyrinth of twisty tunnels that is my  brain. However, it helps as much as the earlier thoughts. A thought comes, and before I invite it in and indulge it with my attention, it disappears and in its place comes another, and soon, a game of cat and mouse begins.

A boon.

The Net.  I never realised what an amazingly helpful place it would be  for me to meet countless people, interact with them and expand my almost non-existent friend circle.  At the click of a button, we enter into this world of social media and with another click we are there, chatting with our virtual friends like long lost buddies. Swapping stories from our personal to our professional lives, exchanging certain personal details we would much rather avoid talking about in our real world. Our conversations, at times,  go on for hours, where we don't even realise how the time flew!
            And, then, after we have strained our eyes for a long time, we step out of that virtual world and  into the real world. We step out of our homes, meet real people and after exchanging a few pleasantries, we catch ourselves getting tongue-tied! We look for an escape route to save ourselves the bother of having to 'talk', as in hold a live conversation with those live…


As I sit in the hospital lounge,  sending out prayers for the quick recovery of my loved ones, I think about each life I see around. Every soul, beating for its dear ones, toils day and night in a desperate attempt to fight against time; fighting to bring back those who now stand on the threshold of a new world. Each soul has a prayer on its lips and hope in its heart, that all's not lost, yet. That, there is still a  chance that the tides will turn, for the better. 
               We humans are blessed to be born with the ability to 'hope'. Hope. The one word on which the world survives. How aware we are, that one day it will all end; the life for which we strive so hard, will come to an end. And, yet, we keep going. No matter what. How well we know, that those holding our hands today, are as mortal as we are, and will  not be by our sides as time will whisk them away from us some day,  and yet, we shed every drop of blood and sweat for their survival, for their happiness.…

The amusing little people.

Ma, why does the AC make that whirring noise when we switch it on?

               Ma, why did God create lions and tigers? They eat us up! Doesn't God know that? 

              Ma, why does rice shape up like a cake in the cooker? 

                Umm, Maaa...if I could jump a little bit higher, would I have touched the rainbow? 

               And, Ma, why does the moon look like a banana? 

                Ma, how does  aroma  reach my nostrils?

                 Ma, what is the meaning of  'soul' ?

Ma, if the colour of the veggies we eat is green, then why is our blood red in colour?

               Why? Why? Why?

The list is still short of a hundred more mind-boggling questions I get asked every time he comes over to stay at our place. Never ending questions, add to that a countless ideas floating in the tiny  brain every minute of the day and unceasing chatter that, at times, drives me nuts...peace goes for a toss, and quietude can be experienced only in the bathroom.


Little minds!

Innocence. Purity of heart. Unvitiated minds. Where do we find these qualities in abundance? In children, of course! Who else, but these little people, who fill our worlds with happiness and laughter, and give us  hopes for a better tomorrow!

             Today, as I sat wondering about the topic to write on, my 6 year old nephew plonked himself by my side and asked me what I was up to! I showed him my blog, and told him how I wrote essays on different subjects. However, it being nearly the end of the day, I was at my wits end coming up with a topic! He promptly began shooting off things that came to his mind; things that I could write about. Being the helpful little guy that he is, he also narrated a story his teacher told him in school, and suggested I write it on my blog!

           My overwhelmed heart couldn't wrap itself around this little fellow! I was drenched to the bone with his outpouring of love through this very simple gesture. For, I very well know, h…

My love.

           You bounced into my joyless world, you tiny ball of fur,
           Your wags, your wet kisses, made me the happiest ever! 
            You were my rock, my pillar, boy,
            And, I promise, so will I, 
                 till the time comes to bid you goodbye! 


It is said,  that if we knew the power of our thoughts, we would never entertain any negative thoughts, ever.  However, in spite of this knowledge, what do we do, when scary thoughts crowd our  mind, and refuse to leave us alone, try as we might?
         A week ago, I witnessed the scariest sight of my life. A building that stands just opposite our's, had its meter room on fire.  Due to some electrical malfunction, some sparks must have gone off, causing the entire set up to catch fire. As I stood in my balcony, gaping at the black smoke that billowed out of the meter room, I felt my heart racing with all sorts of frightening thoughts. And, after a few minutes, when fire started spewing out of every gap in the room, I almost shook with fright! The fire did resemble a mini-volcano, frankly. Although scared to the core, I just stood rooted to the spot, till the time a couple of fire brigades came and put out the fire.
        The moment I retired to the comfort o…

We women, and our men.

While on the topic of husbands...

                  Hindus celebrate a festival, called Vat Pournima. It is a festival observed in the Western Indian states. Pournima,  means the full moon, and Vat is  the Banyan tree. So, this day is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of June, when women pray for the longevity and prosperity of their husbands by tying a thread around the banyan tree.
              Women observe a fast for their husbands for the entire night, till the next morning. After ending their fast, they worship the banyan tree, sprinkling water and wrapping  threads around the tree trunk, after which they go 7 times around the tree, praying for the well-being of their husbands.

             On this day, one can see many women dressed in bridal finery, gathered around a banyan tree, offering their prayers. I was not quite aware of this day, I mean, the specific date of this festival. So much was the extent of my ignorance that one fine day, I just s…

The good wife's guide.

Just happened to read a guide to being a good wife, in an article that was published in a magazine in 1950. Can't believe some things are still the same,  and some others have changed so much! Women today are independent in every sense of the word, have minds of their own and will never  take  crappy advice about how to be a good wife. Instead, they might give out a few pointers to their men on how to be good husbands!
  Nonetheless, I decided to think what might happen if I were to take a leaf out of that mag and follow some of their advice. So, here goes...

1.   Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, so you have a delicious meal ready, on time

Okay. I generally do that, but hubby is a social butterfly, who would rather spend time with his gang, and that too, when dinner is ready at home. But, no complaints here. Left over dinner becomes breakfast for the next day. One chore less on my to-do list for the next day! Yay!

2.   Prepare yourself. Take a 15 minutes rest bef…

Veg or non-veg?

Veg. V E G E T A R I A N.   I am a vegetarian. Do you have a problem with that?

               Ooh, boy! I can never imagine mouthing these lines when I stepped into my marital home nearly two decades ago!  I, born into a Brahmin family (simply put, Brahmin is a caste of people who 'apparently' stay away from non-vegetarian food and alcohol) married my hubby, who comes from the Kayastha caste (people who can't live without non-vegetarian food)! And, thus began a journey of culinary clashes, mastering the art of diplomacy and developing a taste for non-veg.

            Hubby's folks were flabbergasted to find out that  their new DIL didn't consume meat. Every time someone from the extended family came visiting, they would ask me if I had "learnt to eat non-veg."

           On our honeymoon, we had been to Shrivardhan, a coastal region in Maharashtra famous for its beaches and of course, its sea-food. So, there we were, roaming around idly, …

The tiny tots of today.

The constant chatter of kids, their endless questions, their eternal wants for this or that, often reminds me of my childhood. Of course, I belonged to a generation which asked lesser questions, was  exposed to hardly much of the world as compared to today's GenX, and was relatively docile! Today, they come into this world well-prepared. They have more grey cells, are incredulously knowledgeable about things we have no hint about, and are forever ready to prove their points in the 'family courts' with their ready retorts and quick wits!
             Are they losing  their  innocence a bit too soon? The simplicity in life, the joys in the little things in life, fail to impress today's youngsters. Their smart minds do take away a lot from their childhood. In fact, I wonder if  they even live an ideal childhood? Or, has the definition of childhood changed with time?
         I remember how, my mum would fool me and my younger brother about things we weren&…


Women: the fairer sex, the gentler beings, the tolerant ones, or, the weaker sex?
          Gentle - yes. Nurturing a human life in the womb, bringing it into the world and raising her into a beautiful human being, needs a gentle heart.  Tolerant, definitely. We put up with our society's biased mentality towards the son, who is given the larger share of everything - from a piece of chapati, to a piece of the family inheritance. But, weak?  Absolutely not! And, please, stop using 'fair'  as a prefix! It takes immense strength to live  life as a woman. Live life, and face it bravely.
          However, there is one thing that shouldn't be tolerated -  the abuse we face at the hands of our men. The mental and the physical abuse that some of us suffer from is mind-numbing. We know it's  a crime, yet we put up with it, either for the sake of our children, or for the sake of our own survival. Where would we go if we were to renounce our marital homes? is the …

Our Darling Husbands.

Husbands - the less commented on this species,  the better!  Oh! Don't get me wrong.  They aren't that bad! At least not today; it being 'Padwa', the day of the husband and wife. On this day (which falls during Diwali), the wife thanks her Man for being such a blessing in her life. In turn, the happy husband showers his grateful wife with gifts galore! And, I have yet to receive my gift, so, no, husbands aren't that bad! In fact, what would we ever  do without them?
     It is just during those rare moments (that occur almost everyday), that they say/do some such thing that invites our ire. Like yesterday, when I had been outdoors for a mere hour, and the husband was home, alone, twiddling his thumbs in sheer desperation! Well, time had to be passed, so he decided to do something useful with himself. No sooner did I enter the house than he announced with a beaming face that he had cleaned and scrubbed a couple of wash basins! This, after I had finished scrubbing t…

Just say it!

Communication. What an amazing tool we humans have been provided with to exchange  our thoughts, feelings, views, and ideas with each other! Yet, do we make use of this tool to its optimum? How often do words and  feelings stay unspoken, unexpressed! The words nearly slip out of our tongue, but the heart leaps out to push them back inside, to some farthest corner,  for fear, or anxiety, of the effect they might evoke.

              We spend our entire lives with  people we love, but seldom do we show them our true selves. Scarcely do we communicate our needs, our innermost  emotions, burying these forever under the debris of trepidation. Is it because we care for our people and their feelings to such an extent, that we find it unthinkable hurting them, albeit unintentionally? 
           How then, do we send across those little notes conveying our feelings, to the people who matter the most? It tends to stifle us, this curbing of thoughts. And, yet, holding them in…

A memory.

My earliest memory of writing is when I was in my early twenties. Although, I did enjoy writing  essays in my English exams when I was in college, writing  for someone other than my college professors, began a few years after college. I began maintaining a diary when I stepped into my twenties. But, writing serious stuff began a couple years later.
          When the heart is on its own romantic journey, and when all you think about is falling in love with that tall, dark, handsome guy, it is  writing love poems that takes  you by  storm. And, I, being a diehard romantic, took to writing little poems about finding my crazy, stupid love!
        I remember writing one such  poem and hesitantly showing it to mum, who had become a good friend after a  stormy relationship,  thanks to  my terrible teens. I whispered to her that I had attempted a poem, and would she give it a dekko?  I opened my diary to the page of the poem and hastened out of the room, blushing a deep red!

The music of sound!

Aren't we all blessed to be able to hear ?   Myriads of sounds reach our ears - some pleasant, others, not so, and yet  others,  too harsh to bear. Some remind us of  moments so beautiful, they stay embedded in our memory for an eternity. Some  bring with them a sense of calm and peace on a chaotic day. And, we all have our favourite sounds, just like we do our favourite aromas.

           Mine are a few, that instantly put me in a state of bliss. Like, the sound of two shells I picked up at a beach I had been to some months ago. The sweet pattering sound they emit when tapped against each other fills me with a kind of positivity - like, everything is going to turn out just fine! I rattle  those shells every time I open the drawer I have placed them in.

          And, the chirping of the sparrows early in the morning,  as they come to feed at  the bird feeder in my balcony - ah, sheer bliss. The peaceful calm of the dawn, stirred a bit by the soft chirping, feels lik…

From Chikoo's album.

Sharing some snapshots of Chikoo's; mostly candid ones, as he is not very camera friendly. He grumbles when I even look at my phone! So, aiming the  camera at him is something that drives him crazy.


An amusing memory from my distant past...

                It was a daily routine of the neighbourhood aunties.  Evenings would invariably find the trio planted onto a favourite bench in the park; packets of bhelpuri or sevpuri open in their laps and risque jokes spewing from their painted mouths.  With one eye on us kids,  as we played nearby, and the other eye on the young couples, who hid behind the trees, cooing sweet nothings to each other, these aunties went about their business of gossiping about all and sundry, arousing curiosity in those around. The mischievous looks they gave each other on spotting the lovebirds spoke volumes about what transpired in those grown-up minds.
              And, our ever inquisitive juvenile minds would often try to make sense of the tidbits that wafted past us; but, whom would we ask what those meant? From their sniggers and guffaws, we kids did  know their talks consisted of  the 'unmentionable' stuff, not meant for our innocent minds.…

The ways of the world.

I read this quote  on Facebook; a quote that hits home in today's world of relationships that are more superficial than meaningful. And, with the reign of technology that has supposedly brought the world closer, close relationships seem to have lost the bond that held them together.

          The quote is Anonymous.

          It  may sound a tad  negative, but it sure sounds true. Or, has it always been like this?  Is it only because of the social media that the ways of life get written about and circulated through such quotes on a large scale these days?

       I think, I need to follow what a dear friend of mine advised me to do: do things that make me happy, avoid  things that exude  negative energy and vitiate our thoughts, and to not take things personally. Maybe then, I will be at peace with myself and with the world.

All that glitters...

Last Saturday being Halloween's Day, I decided to sketch The Joker, from Batman. A character who representes the evil, I suppose, although he is said to be the actual hero of the movie. But, let's not go into those details. So, I attempted to sketch Jack Nicholson, the Joker, and was instantly reminded of the movie Batman, which I saw ages ago.
              We kids weren't the sort, who could go for movies with friends.  Permissions from our parents had to be procured, and only after the entire storyline of the movie had been narrated (and deemed fit for our naive minds) were we allowed to go watch the said film. So, one day dad came home and announced that he had booked tickets for a show the next day, which was a pleasant surprise, nay, shock, to us kids!  Finding it all too hard to believe, we left for the movie with all the enthusiasm we could wrap up around our young hearts.  The movie turned out to be  Batman, starring Michael Keaton and Kim Bass…