Saturday, 18 November 2017

You might not be at fault.

Have you seen the movie Twilight the first part? There is a scene in it where Bella and Edward are in his car. When Edward tells her about his ability to do mind reading but he can't read hers, Bella becomes self-conscious. She hesitates and utters, "Is something wrong with me?" To which Edward chuckles and replies, "No, Bella! i can't read your mind and you think there is something wrong with you. It's more like...i catch FM and you night be AM . That's all." (Dialogues are not verbatim here)

i don't know why but the scene kinda stayed with me. The way Bella perceives herself, it reflects a human tendency. How many times have you blamed yourself when things did not turn out in your favor? How many times did you think the world is all fine and there is something wrong with you?

Sounds familiar?

Breaking the myth, that's not the case every time. Our responsibility is to be sensitive and give out the best but the results cannot be tamed. We are liable only to our actions and if you think you have maintained the calm stature, rest assured regardless of the nature of the result that you might not be at fault. In any thread, there are always involved at least two people. If you doing the best and the result turns into a haywire then hey! There is nothing wrong with you. Some times, it may be the situation, the other person, wrong expectations, bad timing, misunderstanding etc. the deciding factor too. Not all the time you are going to shake world with your actions. The world might as well has the same capability to do just the same.

So next time when things don't turn out, sit, have a cup of coffee and think! Is there another factor responsible for the unexpected result or it's just bad coffee foiling your mood? Either way, save yourself some stress. Chill! There might be more options to think about. One door closes, look for another one. It's not the end of the world. There are always more options, more ways to do what you think is to be done. 

Learn. Reach out. Think positive. Keep up the good work. Focus. Believe. Achieve.

Once you grow faith, you are seasoned to move mountains.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

How My Son Taught Me to Be A ‘Man’ He Had Become - Guest Post by Ramendra Kumar

Today we have Mr. Ramendra Kumar, a widely read author as well as a much sought after inspirational speaker. In this article, he has talked about one of the incidents of his life. It's a motivational read that shows how kids can teach us the best lessons of life. It's a bit long but well worth your time, i promise. Know more about him at the end of this post. i, once again, thank you Ramendra sir for taking out time to write for my blog.

Ramendra Kumar
 How My Son Taught Me to Be A ‘Man’ He Had Become 

Ever since I can remember, anger has been my constant companion. I am supposed to be quite a fun loving person with a great sense of humour. I write wacky satires, conduct story telling sessions with kids in which the USP is  masti and at parties I am the joker in the pack. However, when I lose my temper Dr. Jekyll morphs into Mr. Hyde and the transformation is apparently scary.

“It is like he becomes a completely different person – his eyes  start bulging, his hands begin  shaking and he screams, raves and rants. When the anger quotient climbs up he even starts smashing things. 
The eloquence is there but the sentences take on a stream of consciousness mode and after sometime he doesn’t make sense,” my wife Madhavi once told  her cousin Sharmila, who was  a practising behavioural therapist.

“Ramen you are a writer and a communications professional. I don’t have to tell you how damaging anger can be. I think you should seriously start practising meditation in the mornings and evenings,” Sharmila said.

“I followed her advice. I liked indulging in meditation and Madhavi started hoping the demon of anger had finally been annihilated. It took one incident of road rage, a few weeks later,  for the reincarnation of Ravan. A bus driver kept honking relentlessly and I leaned out of the window and questioned his parentage. At the next signal he jumped down and confronted me. Even as Madhavi tried her best to calm me down the driver and I indulged in fisticuffs and  landed in the police station.
This incident sobered me down for a few days till the next ‘agent provocateur’ happened and Mr. Hyde once again took over from Dr. Jekyll.

I neither drank  nor smoked, the only addiction I was suffering from was anger. And this addiction was frustrating me quite a bit. Apart from the fact that I was hurting people and causing fissures in my relationships, the withdrawal symptoms were painful.

My son, Aniket, probably as a reaction to my antics or because he has taken after Madhavi  who is far more calm and grounded, has grown  up to be a more composed individual.  I would sometimes even chide him for ‘tolerating’ insults and ‘not giving it back’ and he would simply answer, ‘What difference does it make papa. Why fight over little things?’

“I would even rile him that he was not assertive enough and hence would lose out in the long run.” He would simply shrug and smile.

An incident in Aniket’s life changed me from an anger monger to Papa peacenik.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Radio4Child awards Second Edition 2017 by UNICEF India in partnership with AIR and AROI

If you think India has the largest immunization base programmes in the world, you are right!

If you think radio has much more capability than to play songs, prank calls and talk shows, you are again right!

Mix both and we have an outstanding combination working towards the betterment of the society.

Mumbai, November 10, 2017: UNICEF in partnership with All India Radio (AIR) and Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI) hosted the second edition of Radio4Child awards in a fruitful endeavor to recognize and honor creative as well as effective strategies on Routine Immunization (RI). This year, a big focus was also tended to End Violence (against women and children). AROI is the industry group that brings 200 FM channels together.

Or simply said, to increase the awareness about RI through Radio. Its first edition came out in 2015: Radio4Child awards by UNICEF in association with AIR and AROI Edition One. 

UNICEF is constantly working hard to save around 26 million babies through RI every year but with only 65% of children in India getting immunized every year, the target is still to be achieved. And what better way to work at it but with the help of Radio?

But why Radio?

In the precise words of then Chief of Advocacy and Communication UNICEF India (2015), Caroline den Dulk:

"Radio, as a powerful medium, is a crucial point of contact with the remotest and hard-to-reach populations. Today as we celebrate the awesome power of this medium, it shows us how “on air” activities can creatively communicate critical health messages."

In the focus: Additional Director General All India Radio Mumbai with Mr K. G Suresh, DG IIMC, Mr Rajeev Shukla, OSD AIR, Ms Tanya Patnaik, CEO Radio Choklate, Mr Uday Chawla, Secretary AROI, Mr Nirmal Pathak, Editor, PTI Bhasha, Mr Abhay Shankar Gaur, Secretary PTC AIR Association at the inaugural ceremony of the Radio4Child awards on Routine Immunization and End Violence (2017)
A total of 120 RJs across radio stations participated this year. The special partnership between UNICEF, AIR and AROI is largely focused on using AIR journalists and RJs to come forward with innovative ideas on Routine Immunization through six categories –

  • 1.       Best jingle
  • 2.       Best PSA
  • 3.       Best creative campaign
  • 4.       Best RJ link
  • 5.       Mission Indradhanush best radio spot award,
  • 6.       Best message clarity award

Monday, 13 November 2017

On why core values are important

Fighting with and working through extreme sickness, what doctors can't mention on prescription and what family members fail to understand is that for writers, writing comes as a medicine. Make one write something and it can work more effectively than a number of tablets.

So finally when i am here, trying to reflect my thoughts on Core Values, the day is already warm and nice to talk about it. So core values, how do you define them? Core values are a set of traits and principles that build you into a unique personality. For example, thoughtfulness, kindness, being helpful, passion, loving, caring, dedication, commitment...these are all different faces of core values. On the basis of one or more of these gets you recognition. In other words, core values define you.

The trigger behind writing this post is actually an article i read a couple of days back, on a celebrity who refused to 'adjust' to the demands of the profession in the beginning of career and thus, had to lose out on a number of significant projects. Now after many years, the person-in-focus here is not only the single most recognized face of Indian cinema on global level but also got listed on 15th rank in Forbes Most Influential List of Women from Entertainment Industry. Forget about the loss of ten  national projects. She is now tossing with international ones. Yes. It's she. If you keep yourself updated with entertainment news as well, you will know whom i am talking about.

Mentioning her name is not as important as what we can learn from her, when she refused to compromise on her core values. In initial days, the struggle is much difficult. Limelight of success is hardly viable. Desperation is what makes people go from wanting to willing. That's where a weak link gets introduced in the series and once it starts, it can hardly stop.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

The mistrustful man and a wise woman

Slowly sipping tea this morning, i was looking out of the window. It still didn't hit me. i can still see the usual work rush by observing cars lined up on one side and a free way on its parallel. Spots in my mind are buzzing with so many things at this point and then suddenly it hit me; the memory of last evening of a mistrustful man and a wise woman

i was busy in cooking dinner and preparing for the next morning rush simultaneously. It was around seven of the evening. i shouted to my husband asking whether he'd like a cup of tea. i was craving. He said it was time for dinner and that he did not want. Okay! i filled a small pot with tea ingredients and brewed a cup for myself, hurriedly finished chopping and cleaning of the kitchen mess and by the time i was done, tea was ready too. My reward of the drudgery, you can say

i put a rusk and a couple of biscuits and tea cup on a plate and came out to sit on sofa. i looked at my husband and found him grinning with a mischievous look at my tea cup. Something nudged me telling my suspicion was about to be proven true nevertheless i stayed quite. i was about to dip a biscuit when my husband's childish, almost begging voice erupted. 'One sip'. i knew it! He could not be trusted. i asked about his refusal to tea when i had asked earlier but he kept grinning now putting forward a hand for biscuit. i held my palm upfront and said, 'Yours is in the kitchen. Go get it. You can never be trusted with ice-creams, tea and chocolates. That's why i made a cup for you too

He laughed rather devilishly knowing he is destined to have not only a couple of sips but an entire cup of tea for himself. He walked happily towards the kitchen and soon, we were laughing at how mistrustful he can get at times

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Magic of Language

When i write, it feels the best way of expression. When i play my guitar, i feel this is the best way to express. Either way, i have the benefit of both. In fact, i am trying to put together a video playing a couple of songs and upload it on my YouTube channel. It has been long since i have posted anything there. If you haven't subscribed yet, please do. i'll be happy

Just this morning, i shared a simple but powerful anecdote on my Facebook page. It is about The Magic of Language

It happened like this: Being in Kuwait, you have to get your Civil id done and for that, you have to go through medical process. So my son and i were going with a guy from my husband's office. There was another lady with us, for the same purpose of course. Now all four of us were in the car, with that arabic guy driving. Son was busy on mobile. Needless to say, two of us women started talking. Soon i found out she is basically a South Indian but have spent much time in Malaysia. Her mother tongue is also Malay. Her accent was totally different yet clear. We talked on many things. In between, the arabic guy was also pitching in or we were asking him questions. Either way, we all three were engaged in a light conversation.

Somewhere along the way, one thing mesmerized me. It was upon seeing the miracle of language that was connecting three people, altogether different from each perspective. Our accents were totally different but there we were, connecting with a language called English. It was very good to see how a language can establish instant connections with strangers, how it can turn a boring time in a chatty one in no time. We all three talked and laughed and it was a good time spent

i call my experience The Magic of Language. It was indeed a magic to see that, to feel it. Next time you are with someone altogether unknown to your dialect, see if any other language can bind you. If you can have the same experience i had yesterday, trust me! You will love it

Monday, 6 November 2017

The self-invented cocktail

Sitting by my favorite corner of the house, you know what makes it the most loved spot? When i look outside in evenings and especially at nights, i can see how lights dare, enough to mark their presence in the plethora of darkness. Shops' names, cars' lights, the sound of the high-end types whooshing occasionally, few lit balconies or windows...everything looks like a well set puzzle. Nothing looks wrong, nothing looks out place. Feels as if each one of them belongs here. Life can be so peaceful when you have the sense of belonging wherever you go. i am glad i am privileged enough to find it here. Little more time and my puzzle will be set right as well

These little things are helpful. You don't need to go elsewhere to find inspiration, do you? Look around and you will be motivated. i get inspired and motivated. Even though i sit by the same spot day and night and i don't have time to look elsewhere, it's still alright. The solace comes in knowing the sight is there, lights are there and so does the darkness. Mix all these three and you have a self-invented cocktail by your side

It's 01:22 AM in India and i am still awake. Still struggling to adjust with the time difference. But it  feels alright too. i am not in a hurry

But i am sleepy. i should sleep now. Tomorrow is calling. See you soon

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The meaning of life lies in connecting with people and experiencing things

Often we are tempted to ask questions; questions that raid our minds in deep corners, doubts that ruffle the innermost sanctuary of our naivety. And that's only justified. We are humans and we have the right to be curious and doubtful for unless you be so, how will you sleep at peace

Some questions, regardless of age and expression, are obstinate; they don't wish to get answered just by anyone or any way. They remain as a mystery but if you keep looking, they break their inhibitions and finally show the face. One of those questions is - What's the meaning of life

You must have thought about it too, haven't you? So i thought. i kept looking for the answer like a dog, smelling and sniffing in every possible way. The question can make you so unrest. Today i found it, or i think i do. While reading Aleph from Coelho, he says 

The meaning of life occurs in connecting with people and experiencing things. In his words, to live is to experience things, and not sit around pondering over the meaning of life

Makes sense? i think it does. If we keep sitting at one place and hardly/never move, we will miss out on so many things that are actually important for our inner growth and without the latter one, how do you suppose to shed the layers of naivety and gain wisdom? The author, however, also talks the other side of the coin. There are people who don't move but still attain those experiences. Now that's unfair! Here we roam like nomads and some people are gifted enough to have everything without spending an iota of effort or a dime. Now this makes up for another difficult question - Why life is unfair? But let's keep this one for later discussion

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Jewels of the day

 - i don't have much to say tonight but wanted to share the below picture. It's actually two pictures

Above is the evening view through my window. It looks simple yet it has the ability to gauze your attention. Sitting up and high, you can place two of your fingers in air and pretend to hold any car between them. Just as you do while visiting Taj Mahal or relishing evening sun. You stand at a great distance but choose to capture them between fingers. It's fascinating to observe how the world never stops and likes to be in a constant motion. It appears as if being in a motion stabilizes it, holds the crowd together and let every one of us breathe. With traffic, you are fine but imagine if there is nothing alongside. Would it not be scary? You'd bet anything just to be in crowd once again. See! How chaos brings order to us, how it allows us to breathe in peace despite of us constantly getting irritated at the big line at the signal

Now here we have is the below picture. It's today's morning's. It's hazy and dusty, a signal narrating the start of winter. i hear winter is terrific here. i am just waiting. Getting locked up in jackets inside a blanket with a warm cup of coffee/tea is far better than getting unnecessary tanned in summer, isn't it? Even though summer has its charms, winter always wins the show 

Pictures speak somehow or they make you. You end up weaving a conversation you never thought was going to occur at the beginning. That's something called the beauty of uncertainty

Sunday, 29 October 2017

All you need is a big window

You know when there is day's rush, when nights are a nuisance, dogs won't stop barking and humans won't stop complaining. You need a pause during such times. A little something that's precious enough to keep you going, keep you motivated and soul uplifted. For some, it may be a big cup of hot coffee and for some, it might be a lovely phone call to someone beloved. For me, it's a big window in my dining space

If one thing i can bet you by sitting in my favorite corner, it'd be to show you a peaceful sight of the world outside. In my new house, you will find a window that starts from floor and goes all the way up to the ceiling. It comes into the view the moment you enter the house. Sitting by it, in a corner and watch the outside world go about its regular days and nights is soothing. The sight is alike to that hot cup of coffee or the phone call. i can easily get lost into watching the sliver of the city whereas it helps me to connect with my self too. You can say the window is the medium that allows the process of osmosis. i live inside the house but the moment i look out, i find my self in precipitations. i find myself out there looking for some great meaning in life 

The big window allows me to breathe the necessary. It permits me to live in a space where nothing else matters and everything matters. i get to see the world from a different eye where each human is similar, each one of us is kind and generous. Some of them are different because they honk for longer times. But that's alright. At least they are taking their frustrations out. Unlike the others who rather attempt to keep everything inside and keep growling for the entire day in so many different ways. They also need something to soothe the aching desire 

But for me, the big window of my living space is my ally. i sit by it and can watch outside at the roads bustling with people and other activities the whole day. And i am glad i found it. i have it. We all need something that can help us to look outside that can make the connection with inside, don't we

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Jessica Parker moment

i was about to close my laptop lid when it stuck me. i wanted to write a blog post! So here is a quick post, more of a memoir of a moment this evening.

Life is busy. Sometimes busier. The same has been happening in my share of world. i even skipped my lunch today. Good plans back fire, new plans take a new's all a part of life when you are a writer. You can never say what's going to work and what's not. But that should not demotivate you to keep working hard. Keep working, leave the rest to the time.

So new things have been taking shape these days and i am frantically busy. Today also was no exception. Work is sure a good thing in disguise. Anyway, in the evening i decided to watch TV, something i hardly do. 

i switched it on, got on my swing and started watching in lovely silence. America's Got Talent was airing a good episode. When it was spent, i switched it to The Big Bang Theory. There are some tele shows that you can keep watching knowing you'd never get bored and happiness is guaranteed. TBBT is one of them.

The moment happened somewhere in first 10 mins of TBBT and i suddenly laughed! And when i did wholeheartedly, it hit me. It has been days since i have laughed unintentionally, with full curve going all the way up. And it felt so good! 

i remember a scene from Sex and The City 2. The Jessica Parker character was sad because her to-be groom grew cold feet at the day of their wedding. She was very much humiliated. Her girl friends anyway take her to the place pre-booked for their honeymoon. Theere they go but the Parker character did nothing but slept for i guess 2 days. Hardly ate, no outings. Her friends totally understood. Then on the 3rd day when Parker character finally came out and they were having a dinner, her girl friends were laughing whereas she was largely helpless doing this particualr sct - Smiling. Smiling can be so hurtful sometimes, you know. 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

रात की दरख़्त

ज़िन्दगी की हर एक शाम खूबसूरत है

नए चेहरे पुराने दोस्त पहला प्यार आखरी ख़त

रोज़ एक किस्सा नया सा सुनाते हैं ;

ज़रुरत है तो एक नए नज़र की

पुराने चश्मे पर नयी चमक की

जाने कहाँ चले गए हैं वो बीते पल ?

जो आज भी बहुत याद आते हैं ;

रात की दरख़्त पर पैर पर पैर चढ़ाये

आदत सी हो गयी है

वक़्त के समंदर में पैर छपछपाने की,

मोती ना सही एक टुकड़ा शीशा ही हाथ आ जाए

तो शायद खुद से भी मुलाक़ात हो जाए ;

कागज़ों में जाने कितने भी लफ्ज़ लिख जाएँ

कुछ बातें अनकही रह ही जाती हैं

मगर जब कहनी हो दिल की बात

याद हमेशा लफ़्ज़ों की ही आती है ;

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Monday, 25 September 2017

The tiny blabbering

at ten at night
the heart falls for the bygone;
was it a wind that blew away?
Or was it a firefly used to be 
illuminating the whole day?
whatever it was, it is not here anymore,
and i sit with sad eyes, curved down lips
sinking heart, like a heavy ship;
you may as well roll your eyes at
some of the things i say;
i apologize for this tiny blabbering
because that's about it for today!

Monday, 18 September 2017

The naivety of routine happiness

Morning comes turns into mid day, quickly slips into dusk and soon it becomes night time. How each day passes away, it needs some observation. The whole routine is changed and has thrown off-track. Although it is a necessity albeit it brings about a silent stirring that demands to be done something about it.

First there is not much time and when there is some, the absence of concentration gobbles it down. You can't just sit and start focusing on writing. Writing! yes. That's what i have been missing these days so immensely, so deeply. Have a long way to go, have to write so many books and achieve the dream i dream about everyday. The journey has started off on a good note but somehow there are potholes barring ways. i don't mind struggling with them; i don't stop when they try to haunt. i just keep up with the pace, slow or fast, depends upon the state of mind and the circumstances but i prefer to keep going. For some, the journey to their dream destination starts off with jet speed. For some, it is slow. Either way, there is a journey to travel and there is a path to unravel.

When it is slow, sometimes it brings a certain type of silent stirring. You just wish to drop everything and do what's required, what's needed to silence it. But it is not possible. So you keep waiting, until you are back in your routine, into yourself and then pull the string to re-start the routine. Often, re-starting is tougher than the start. The former needs a big one-time push and then the rest sets into place automatically. And that's when the silent chaos churning you from inside sees the face of settlement. Your hunger is satisfied, the thirst is quenched and you no longer stay a nomad in a lost island.

i am, by the way, writing this post to satisfy that silent stirring, to get away from the recognition of a nomad. i am on a lost island but there is a purpose. Once it is fulfilled, i'll be back in my sanctuary and will be able to worship the routine. There will hopefully be plethora of time to sit and write and sit and read. The mere thought is exhilarating but let's not divulge much into it. Let the time come and i'll enjoy the naivety of routine happiness.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The wailing baby

How long it has been for you to hold a month old crying baby girl and make her asleep by gentle talking, crooning and tiptoed walking?

The experience is really sweet and heart warming.

These days, i am at my native taking care of my sick mother and sleeping with my sister at nights and helping her nurse her one month old baby girl. The little one is cute beyond expressions. Though she has names yet i call her pomegranate. Her little soft cheeks are plump and she literally resembles a round red pomegranate. i enjoy being with my sister and her little baby. 

i am writing this post in very odd hours because i have just made the baby asleep. First, she drank milk like she was never fed earlier and this bottle was her last chance at survival. Yeah, babies make you look like a worst parent. Anyway, she drank the milk with Buddha sort of expressions on face but did not hesitate to spill some out during the process of burping. Another sign of being a bad caretaker. It's their fault they have over-fed themselves but the blame always goes to the parent/caretaker for not matching the amount of milk and the baby's age. Finally she took a gentle burp. Now that i am awake, why not to bother everyone around me? This thought must have caught her so she started crying despite of full tummy and no issues. i am certainly a bad baby caretaker. 

i held her in my arms and started walking. Tried to show her how good we look together in the mirror but she refused. i started walking and then added a gentle whiff of crooning her favorite lullaby. Yes. She has a liking to a particular song. Slowly she started to settle, in my arms. She was looking at me and the surroundings through big eyes. i felt i could talk to her whole night but since it'd largely be a monologue, the idea was not worth taking in. 

She looked here and there and everywhere and when she thought she had finally covered the little world around with suspicion and silent interrogation, she decided to yawn. A baby's yawn is so pretty! With my sweet singing plus gentle cradling in arms, she slowly drifted to sleep. See! i am not that bad in taking care of babies. i can score some brownie points.

i sat down on the bed with her in my lap now. Thankfully, she was still sleeping. Watching her with great affection prone eyes, i adjusted the oiled hair on her forehead, her head position, wrapped her well in the blanket, caressed her soft cheeks...all the while continuing to croon her fav. lullaby. The transformation from a wailing baby to a sleepy one was so warm that it melted my heart. i have been doing it since i am here but for the first time tonight, i decided to blog post about it. Babies are wonders and the way my little pomegranate slept peacefully in my arms, it made me happy.

You'd think that i'd have kept her down on her tiny bed where she must have continued sleeping in bliss but alas! Babies are really unpredictable (and devilish). The moment i tried to keep her on bed, she squirmed first and then her face contorted and finally, an agonized screech from her slender throat started off. She finally proved. i am not as good as her mother. Thankfully, my sister pitched in and took her from me. i said sorry because i was the one who had awaken the baby in the first place. Probably the motherhood has made my sister kinder and softer. She did not yell at me as she would have done before the baby. 

Now i am sitting on a chair in the corner of the dimly lit room and can see both of them sleeping silently. This moment is simple and happens regularly but i choose to cherish it. Being able to help my sister with her new motherhood makes me happy. i am anyway a terrible big sister. Okay! That was a lie. i can't afford to ruin my image in a single blog post at length. i am a good sister and prefer to tend to my siblings whenever they need.

So this was the little story from my side of world. Which piece you have lived in your corner today?

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Should you change in relationships?


And why would you change? To please the other person? To turn an unfavorable situation in favor? Just because what you think is anti to what the society thinks? What others would say? How would you be treated afterwards for speaking the truth, for being you? Just because ten people are doing this thing and you are the only one following the less trodden path so you should abide by it too?

If you are not causing harm, please do not change. 

You know, being original is the best gift you can give yourself? This has been repeated for millionth of times but let it be for once more. Good thoughts always have an audience. When you don't change and stay who you are, you learn to identify your own personality. You learn a few traits, a few ups and downs of your nature, you focus on how did you overcome the last failure and how not to overwhelm the recent success. When you try to mock others, the process of understanding yourself gets complicated. i guess compromised is the better word. When originality gets compromised, the result gets too. You must have faced it somewhere in life so i don't need to preach over it.

However, you can improve. Life keeps changing. What you had in breakfast today will be different tomorrow. What you are wearing today will get replaced tomorrow. Whom you have laughed with today may have his phone switched off tomorrow. These are very basic and simple examples of day to day life where you can observe changes in routine. In between these transformations, there are spaces for self-improvement, possibilities of salvation, opportunities to build something better. 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Forget and forgive

"i want to ask you one thing, pitaji. Given the fact that life is full of challenges, specially considering the present situation that's going on, how can you manage to stay practical and not get swayed away by the wrong doings of others'? How do you stay so calm and talk only what's needed and not hurl accusations like them?"

My father looked up at me from his dinner plate and started talking. 

"If i have learnt anything in my life then it'd be to forget and forgive. It is very much required for the peace of mind. i'll give you an example of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela was South Africa's first black president and was a highly influential leader. He too had fought for his country's freedom. 

When he was in jail, the appointed jailer had tortured him in every possible way. Be it mentally or physically, Mandela was tortured on a high degree but when he became the president, he summoned the same jailer and honored him. When his friends asked him, he said, 'i want to live my life in peace. For this, i need to forgive this man. i want to create some good memories so that the tortured memories won't stay with me for lifetime.'". 

My father was, of course, paraphrasing Mandela's reply. i was touched! How can a person forget the inhumane amount of torture and forgive the person who had called them upon him? Sensing my surprise, he continued.

"You can only imagine the kind of bad time Mandela must have endured as freedom fighter but since he wanted to live life peacefully, he had forgiven the torturer. This is the biggest lesson of life. Things that are disturbing and odd today will simmer only for some time. And after that, they will become normal once again. So it is utmost important to learn the habit of forgetting and forgiving what unfair things people have done to you."

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Learn to cherish little things

i sat down 30 minutes ago to paint my nails so that when i wake up tomorrow, i can find some morning happiness upon seeing my beautiful hands. It's the one little thing that i did today to feel like a princess tomorrow. 

The colors adorning my nails are orange gel nail lacquer and glazed green painted asymmetrically. The combo is quite pleasing. How much little things matter, you see. You don't need a big car or fat salary to please yourself. The real happiness lies in looking for and doing little things such as eating ice-cream at night, reading book while brewing tea, a 2 minute chat with the bestie, looking fondly at one photograph, standing in the balcony gazing out at the night sky, sipping filter coffee in Bangalore's chilly weather, or painting nails. These little things happen so secretly that you often fail to even realize that they are happening and that you are pleased. You forget to be thankful too. This evening when my husband suggested to go out and have tea there, i said, 'No. i want my handmade cup. i like my own brewed tea'. i also like holding my Kindle and read Grisham or Cecelia or Coelho. There is a magic in reading. You no longer stay a human being. You turn into a superhero, ready to plunge into a world unknown with powers undefined. 

In the same manner, there is a splash of freshness when you look fondly at a framed picture. A picture is a moment captured in time. You move on leaning onto future but pictures and videos make you stick around the happy past. You not only like the way you are dressed in it but many things line up instantly to cheer you up. Like the greenery or how the photographer had told you to stand and pose; your attempt to throw a smile that should look genuine as if you were just told you are Princess Diana or Edward Cullen; you also contemplate on the footwear and the frame within which the picture is standing proudly. One tiny frame and so many lush memories. 

Realize these little things. Be thankful for them. Learn to cherish what each moment says to you. Fly with open eyes but don't forget to kiss the reality. Reality restricts unnecessary which allows freedom. And when you are free, the mind and heart become receptive to each form of happiness however minute it may be. 

A beauty unparalleled

The lust for seclusion is luscious 
the allure is irresistible
but let's not get lost in its depth
for there is more to this world;
the beauty of this nature and the beautiful sky
look at them with fresh eyes
let the coin flip and smile for once
the world can't move on until it's done;
withdraw to your surroundings 
allow the stubbornness to melt away
close your eyes, think of a bird
assume it is you, a beauty unparalleled; 
stop worrying and start flying
take the world say a big Hi
for it is yours, to win, to lose
to embrace, to refuse;
get up from the chair and feel the wind
caressing your face, kissing your lips
eyes may look beyond the horizon
but let's not give the latter a competition
come back! to your body, to your self
breathe! if not for someone else;
life is gonna hand over a platter 69 of challenges
eat'em all while cherishing your whisky pegs;
if everything around goes crazy, makes no sense
show'em all that you are crazier, the one with lot of sense.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

We are One - skit by Kids

This Ganesha Chaturthi, i had designed a skit with eight kids titled as - We are One. The theme is to remind us once again of the fact that despite of all the differences when it comes to protect our nation, we unite, we become one. My kid in white kurta pajama has played the role of a stone that gets carved by various religions. He did splendid by holding his position so well through out the skit. Other kids who have represented other religions and the little girl who has enacted as Bharat Mata have done amazing! We received so many compliments and encouragements once the skit was over. i am glad the effort and hard work paid off so generously. 

It was the first time that i was onto design something. i have been part of various shows in my school time but never had the opportunity to direct one. This was my chance and no sooner did i start practicing with kids than i realized it was a humongous task. i mean, kids are so full of energy even though being awake since early morning for schools. They'd have their snacks and energetically would knock at my door, all set to practice. We would then run to our practice area. For first two days, kids were just running off the entire place and i could not understand how to work with them. They were just so content in playing that i literally had to shout multiple times to take their positions. In fact, once i had to threaten them by saying i am going to cancel it. i thought it'd work. It did but only for a short span of time and then they were themselves again, cheeky and naughty and stubborn. i could laugh it off but we had very little time to perfect the skit (we had started late). 

You know what worked the magic? One day out of desperation, i told if everyone does the practice right, i'll get each one of you a delicious glassful of Chocolate horlicks and if a single person strays away, no one would get. Hard to believe but it worked like a charm. All kids were suddenly attentive What nothing else could do, a glass of chocolate horlicks did. Then i realized the power of chocolate horlicks. And then it became a ritual. For three consecutive days, we'd practice and then settle at my house for snacks. i'd offer variety. They loved it. Probably that inculcated some respect for me in their kiddie hearts. Whatever worked the magic, i was content the skit practice was not a tough job anymore.Kids listened. They obeyed and followed and practiced hard. It was so wonderful to watch them working together regardless of occasional complaints with each other. Now today when i sit on my couch and relive those moments, i smile and in fact, can afford to laugh at some memories.

Monday, 21 August 2017

The special magic.

i was reading Coelho's book a few months ago. i guess it was Brida. There is a sentence in it that had caught my attention and still lingers in my thoughts till to this date. i don't remember the exact words but i can paraphrase it for sure.

The special magic is not in considering yourself special. It lies in when you think you are as ordinary as others.

So true, so genuine, such a clean mirror of human tendency.

The purpose of mentioning it here is, that i felt connected to it and yesterday i happened to convey it to one of my apartment friends (and also because, you can't finish Coelho without being impressed and certain oohs and aahs at many points. His writing is simply brilliant!).

Ganesha Chaturthi is falling this weekend and our society is celebrating it for three days. Needless to say, it is going to be grand. Talented people have been pitched in, rituals, food, water, cutlery etc. are being take care of, decoration team is fervently going back and through ideas (i am one of them by the way), meetings are happening till past midnight, there is a storm of ideas taking us all short, we are celebrating it as it should be celebrated. So last night, there is another meeting. i had not planned to go due to certain commitments but thought to join in later. As i went into the meeting and sat with my friend in focus here, she told me that she had read some of my posts on our society portal. i told her, yes. i am a writer and an author.

She was surprised, yes but looked happy, thankfully. People usually don't get what does it mean being a writer. Anyway, in the on going conversation, i gave her my detailed profile in short. She was amused listening and said that she was happy talking to a writer. That made me happy and now two happy women were talking about me and my work. Don't think we were not paying attention to the meeting. The rest were discussing the aspect of the celebration that didn't need our attention much. Regardless we tried to focus on the meeting. Then it happened.

She said, "i feel like a dumb hat here. Everyone is so talented and i feel like a dumb hat."

Yes. She repeated the word Dumb hat. i smiled and said, "No! You are not. In fact, you are honest. It takes courage to say that. Everyone thinks they are smarter than the others but the real magic lies in considering yourself simple and not special. So no. You are not dumb. You are honest and courageous. and that's an inspiration to me." She rolled her eyes at me.

True, right? Have you ever called yourself Dumb hat in front of anyone? Willingly, i mean. Anyone can say it at gun point. It's hard to accept your flaws and others' superiority but when you do, you become honest not only to others but more to yourself. After all, we are not walking Einsteins. Even Einstein had a great memory problem. He was a great forgetful person. i have read incidents about it. But that did not stop him from being a genius. He did best his nonetheless.

i admire when i see someone has the courage to accept their flaws or they think it is a flaw. It can also be a great virtue in disguise. At the end, i think i managed to impress my friend with Coelho's words.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

What a perfect life would be like?

Perfection - that's what our goal is. If you think for a minute, you will realize that every task we do, it is done basically in order to achieve perfection. Despite of being aware of the fact that human being will always remain flawed, the chase for perfection never ends.

But what if life becomes perfect? What will happen if every single wish of yours turns in reality? It'd be great, that'll probably be your first reaction. And why not? Life will certainly be great.

But for how long? Everything comes with an expiry date, isn't it? So perfection too will be no exception (and that rhymes). What i think if life becomes perfect, it'll be wonderful, yes for sometime but gradually the perfection will begin to garner boredom and monotony. i will stay happy all the time and that'd make me forget what sadness is and thus, i'll gradually lose out on the value of happiness; i will not do any work because i'll be rich (who doesn't want to travel?). It'll result in taking money for granted and thus, ignoring morals such as compassion and care. 

i don't feel like stressing over what a perfect life would look like much but i feel it will certainly be a chaos. And if something can lead to chaos, that could not be called perfection. So the final verdict here is, that perfection is a mythical concept, a mirage built only to keep us all working day and night.

Now it is like coming back to where we had started - imperfection. Now this is real, this is what required. Imperfection leads to discipline and order and efforts; it asks for emotions; it offers us our originality while keeps demanding to work on dreams and goals. Largely and squarely, imperfection is essential to be. Imperfection is alright to achieve. It brings people together. It knits relationship in a close bonding. It also develops understanding between different races, religions, and castes. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

The way i am.

Wish i could be pollen grains
embraced by soft petals,
wish i could be those tiny stars
tucked in the womb of nights,
wish i could be the heat
originating from the sun,
wish i could be anything
but just not the way i am;

Wish i could be the warmth
borne within curled fingers,
wish i could be the beautiful sight
which eyes see and lips smile at,
wish i could be the innocent laughter
of the little girl that i like so much,
wish i could be anything
but just not the way i am;

Wish i were a meteor
with a life span of two seconds,
wish i could be a sneeze
gone as soon as it comes,
wish i could be a lazy yawn
the ending of a peaceful sleep,
wish i could be anything
but just not the way i am;

Wish i could be the smile
making a sad heart alive,
wish i could be the silence
when words fail to make a sentence,
wish i could be the eraser
restructuring the destroyed,
wish i could be anything
but just not the way i am;

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Chaos on the blank

i need to fix myself some milk first. So let me get a warm glass. Will be back in a jiffy.

So where was i? O yes. On the same portion of my sofa, reclining over the same big cushion. The only difference is, the need of a glass of warm milk is now satiated. You know, milk actually helps with cravings. Not that i am having one but it's just a fact nudging me gently to be put forward. Not only milk but banana and eggs also do the same thing. If you are over-stressed or craving for something unhealthy, have either of the three. The craving will noticeably go down and you get some time before the next binge.

Now is the time to have some spiritual talk, if you aren't feeling sleepy already. Have you ever thought about The Purpose of Living? Why we live when death is inevitable? Why struggle with everything? When did we stop living and start surviving? How do we differentiate maturity or silliness? Because what's silly for me can be maturity for you. And vice versa. We all have the similar material called 'skin' but still we differ, right? Why nights are assigned for the act of sleep and days are dedicated to the task of jaywalking? 

But moreover, is there a purpose of all this? The struggle, the sleep, jaywalking, laughing, loving, fighting with each other...what lies beyond all this? 

The whole concept of life sounds like a chaos. You get up early, the morning goes through in a blink, comes the noon with lazy strides, evenings with warm cup of tea and homework and other tasks, then shows up the night...ta da! Your day has come to an end. i am here once again. The chaos comes to a pause.

The perpetual process of day and night actually seems like eternity is jogging away its routine. It too looks like it has no purpose. The big brainy people have coined the timeless zone Eternity and now we all try and search some meaning into it. You keep going on and on and on with a magnifying glass in one hand and the other hand clearing away the hurdles. We live the whole chaos but if you sit and think, this whole chaos will be found mingled with the blank. Like oil and water. They stay together with oil particles trying to occupy as much space as possible but no matter how hard it tries, it can never become the part of water. Water stays as blank, denying the mingling, refusing the chaos. It just wants to stay true to its nature - calm, clear and balance. 

Oil has the ability to corrupt its clarity though and thus, water appears now something different but it struggles to keep its other virtues in place, tightening its molecules, knitting them together to protest against oil. Although water has a legitimate fight going on, oil will never de-tangle itself. It will stay there. The chaos do not leave however pure the blank's defense against it is.

So what's the point of oil and water staying together? What's the point of living and not knowing the purpose of life? What's the point of chaos when blank can never get rid of it? 

Friday, 4 August 2017

'i love my pilot frindle'

If you have read Andrew Clements then you know what i am talkin' about with the title. But if you haven't, fret not. i will do the charity at will and spread the awareness.

Frindle - that's the name of the book written by Andrew Clements. It's a wonderful book. After a long time, i chose a kiddie read and Clements delivered a light-hearted but a thoughtfully stretched idea. Nick alias Nicholas Allan is a fifth grader and of course, a trouble-maker of the class. His bulb of ideas hardly ever dims. In order to irritate his Arts teacher, Mrs. Granger, Nick starts to fiddle with words and that's how he created the word - Frindle - as in pen. He starts using Frindle instead of Pen and slowly he worked it out enough in alliance with friends and other school mates to first scandalize it and then popularize it. And then how things roll forward, that's an interesting read. 

My parents had given us a visit last year January. My father had bought a pilot pen with him. Now pilot pen is an object attached with my childhood memories. i used to be a big fan of pilot pen. Back then, it was not only just a pen. Instead, it used to be a sophisticated object to carry; a privilege to write from it. Not that i could not afford it. My stationary box usually had the most number of pens. Say, 5-6 or sometimes more. i was very fond of having different pens but pilot pen stood tall in the herd. So when my father brought it to my home, i was instantly taken back to my little innocent years so much so that i demanded it from him. Being a father, he gave it to me at the same moment. Now i maintain my club diary with this pen only and never ever allow anyone else to even touch it. It is The pilot pen, you see.

Now coming back to the book, it is creative. Idea, i mean. How the author has picked up on the words' origin and woven a story, it is worth time spending. Through Nick and Mrs. Granger, we get to have the glimpse of the origin of few words such as Pen and QuizQuiz is actually the only word in English that has been created without a purpose. Pen is derived from the Greek word (if i remember it correctly from the book) - Pinna. We learn a few more things, yes but moreover, we learn about determination. Nick's determination brought the world to finally refer a pen as frindle

Now you know what i mean with the blog title here. i love my pilot ____ . Exactly! 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The kid's secret

People say, parents should spend some time with kids. In my case, it's reverse though. i keep askin' my kid to spend time with me but he gently refuses to do so. Reason? i could tell you if there was one. There are plenty! Clash of clans, friends, Shin Chan, Pokemon, newly bought iron man toy, board games...list is a little more longer but let's give the jury rest here.

So this evening when i went to the kitchen for some oats and cheese sandwich, i asked him to help me. After all, it was our dinner. He was supposed to help me, right? So i made him shut down his Clash of Clan and gently coaxed to not to switch to TV as well. i simply wanted to sit and talk to him, to know about his day. So this officer finally got successful in getting the kid down on the table. As we ate, i asked him about his day, routine, any new thing happened...anything that could tie him up on the table for as long as it was possible. Food should not always be the prime reason to sniff around parents.

He indeed was settled and told me about his day. i asked about his group in the school. The tiny version of what unfolded next is narrated below. Let's call his friend in the focus here 'N', okay?

Son: Today N shared one of his secrets with me.

i (munching, amused, thinking): Okay. That's good.

Boys and girls around this age are primarily pretty secretive about their secrets. i didn't bother to ask knowing he wouldn't tell me.

Son: Do you want to know?

Do you want a pot of gold? Yes, please.

i (smiling): Sure.

Son: N has a crush on a girl.

Trust me! i wanted to laugh louder than you just did but i did not dare fearing that might trigger my son to drop the details. Gold with gems are always welcome.

Son: The girl too has a crush on him.

i: How do you know she too has a crush on N?

Son: Because one of my friends act as a messenger between them. What N says, he passes that along to the girl and what she has to say in return, he passes that along too to N.

Boy! i wanted to guffaw at this but refrained. Let's not allow the kid to think whether it was the right move to tell his friend's secret to his mother. Then the conversation rolled onto other interesting things but i mentioned here the most fun part.

As i write this narrative, i am smiling thinking about N and his crush. It reminds me of mine. It had happened when i was in 6th std. Hey! My kid too is in the same grade right now but i can chill. He does not have any crush. How do i know? After N's story, this happened:

i: So? You too have got any girl to crush on?

Son: Nah! Never!

Happy mother!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Something is wrong here!

i don't know what's wrong with my blog link. i am not able to reach it on my laptop. It's such a worrying issue. Every time i click, the below message is coming up.

It has never happened before and i don't know what to do? 

Friday, 21 July 2017

The need of introduction - writing nuances

There are several nuances about writing that often make the narration crisp and gripping. Like skipping too much details of a particular character unless it's deemed necessary. Also, the mention of festivals, colleges, certain countries and their tourist spots is usually expected to come and go as guest appearances. People really would prefer visiting to Paris and sit by its river Seine than reading about it between the pages for too long. The right usage of characters, little routine things that are easily relatable, imperfect characters, the unanticipated but apt twist, nagging neighbors...these and many more make the story free flowing. Reader should not feel he is being kept from divulging into the main plot. 

In short, writing is supposed to be more suggestive than descriptive. 

Prolonged formal introduction of characters too is being frowned upon. It gives more of a feeling of being told a story than feel the story. So it would be an added charm if you just put the characters on work and choose to introduce their life style, likes and dislikes, past experiences and future expectations, thought process and the rest as the story progresses on. This is actually a likable trait. It makes the story run on more efficient fuel. 

i am reading this novel written by a Canadian female writer. The book is quite fat but that did not stop me from borrowing it. It's crime thriller. So as i am divulging into the plot, i find too many characters ambling its corridors. A fat book cannot run on three or four characters, certainly. But there has to be a smooth transition between characters. The reader should not feel who's this and how come she came into the picture while the other lady was cleaning in the kitchen? sort of thing. Sometimes, introductions are needed. Once they are made even as a quick glance, that actually helps the story line. i am still reading my pick by the way and the more i am getting on further pages, the picture seems to get more entangled. It's a struggle to juggle between too many names too. Some of them are confusing. The one you thought is Erik turns out after two sentences is Erica. However, the story is now picking the pace. The mystery of letters and its sender is getting intense. So i have to make all the characters to sit around a big round table and then label them with their names to attain a better grip on the story. i have read fat books earlier but this one needs more attention. And probably brain nerves too.

If the writer had chosen to introduce the characters just in the beginning of their mornings, that'd have made the act of reading more pleasant. Sometimes, we need to have basics to be able to build a well grounded spiral staircase, to get around the story without any map or fuss.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The power of acceptance.

After thinking for ten consecutive minutes, i don't know how to start today. So let's just begin with me saying - i am a dreamer. i believe in dreams. And with dreams this time, i mean the ones that come during sleep time.

So last night i dreamed i have dandruff in my hair. i was combing and appalled to see the heap of dust continued to gather on the floor. i was worried, of course as i don't have dandruff. i was thinking how much dandruff do i have? It's horrible! 

Then i woke up. The dream continued to haunt me. i don't have dandruff but since i believe that certain dreams choose a way to tell the dreamer a specific something, to indicate a meaning in particular, i tapped on my favorite dream app that i have been using since a long time and had it downloaded on my mobile a couple of days back. And i was right. The dream did symbolize something that i could relate so damn well. And no. It did not say i may have dandruff. So i am a dreamer and a believer. 

Stress, load, worries...these actually say that your life is going well. After all, what it would be like if none of these were there? You can not possibly stay happy and positive all the time, can you? You have to have the gravity pulling you down at times. That's only fair being human (and) wise. But when one of these gets too much, you just fail to think or start over-thinking and don't know what to do, what possibly can be done to change what's gone and what's done. Things can be so confusing and the mixed bag of emotions can be too consuming at the moment. The load wasn't too much initially but somehow you got successful turning it into an over-load.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

The best seller day

i am supposed to be fast asleep at this time, you know. This whole week has been cruel on me, never sparing a minute extra of morning time. Every damn single morning my alarm had gone off either at 5.00 or 5.45 however i am perfectly okay to abide by responsibilities though i feel one lazy morning could have been a blessing. An extra hour or two of rejuvenation or mind spa or the state of both k/as Nirvana would be highly appreciated.

Today too was spent as if it was a best seller book and the reader was trying to finish it earnestly. Sometimes it comes as a wonder. You didn't get the chance to sit and write a single word (except this post), didn't pick the Guitar (except for in the class) and it was not even the book club day and lie down at the end of the day and think - Where did all the time go? i had thought of reading the newspaper, start a new book on Kindle, had decided to learn a few new tough songs on Guitar, have a stress free walk but... What an amazing day it had been because none of it came close to touch even the hemline of the possibility. i stared at the ceiling and could not find the answer. Not that i was looking for it there. But the saving grace is, that a few other important tasks got to see the light of completion. So i will snooze on it for the sake of my peace of mind.

Today i ran a bit late into my Guitar class. It was almost half n hour late. Though i was speeding yet could not put a pin on time. As i got out of my car, a little girl greeted me with 'Hi, Priyanka Aunty!' i turned and although i was late already, i decided to have a 2 minutes chit chat with her. Truly speaking, i was surprised she remembered me. i can be such horrible experience to people to be remembered, you see. i asked about her Bharatnatyam class and she said she left it. i asked Why and she said, she did not like it. She had now joined Music class i.e. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa one. Co-incidentally, her name is also Priyanka. So we are basically namesake. i talked to her for 2-3 minutes and i could feel the genuine connection made out of, if i recall correctly, some time spent together in my Guitar class the previous year. i remember reaching to my Guitar class one day only to find myself the first one of the group to arrive. there were a few little girls sitting there. They were looking more curiously at my red and black Guitar than at me. i had allowed them to touch it. They were hesitant but took the full benefit of the opportunity. They had touched the strings, strummed it naively. One of them had even asked to hold it. How could i deny a kid holding my Guitar? i told them to handle it nicely though. And they had found such delight in touching the instrument and getting a hold on it. It's hard to forget.

Priyanka, the little girl of today's 2 min conversation, was one of those girls. May be because of my kindness (??) and generosity (????), she remembers me still. i felt glad and then i said sorry and rushed to my class.

Now that i am writing all of it, it feels great to tell you. Those 2 minutes are the example of how an instrument, the music can bring people together; how you can be remembered fondly for doing a trivial thing that could possibly not possess much importance to you.

It's 11:08 now and with the absolute fascinating silence ambling around, i can hear the ticking of not one but two clocks, ticking individually at regular intervals, in a rhythmic pattern. Sometimes i stop and listen to them intently. Because i know, after some ticks, their ticking will find a sync and they will tick together. And when they do, i smile. It's a little but cute experience.

Two clocks finding sync with each other and then breaking the rhythm on their own. Time did not change its pace, batteries did not die, neither did the listener stopped paying attention yet those two different clocks ticked for one tiny fraction and then moved on. Rhythm between the two gets lost so easily, so quickly, as if they are not destined to face even a single sliver of agreement together.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

रात की क़ब्रगाह

यह स्याह सी काली रात 
किसी कब्र से कम नहीं 
साँसों का ही फरक है, दोस्त 
वरना मृत्यु से मुलाक़ात हर रोज़ होती। 

दिन भर चलते रहते पांवों की थकान 
कर्त्तव्यों की अनगिनत फेहरिस्त 
दूर हो जाती है, ग़ुम सी कहीं चली जाती है 
बिस्तर की कब्रगाह में जब आँखें मूंद सी जाती हैं। 

बंद आखों के पीछे कौन जाने क्या देखता है 
कौन सी सुनहरी दुनिया छिपी है,
मुर्दों से कभी बयां ना हो सका  
और इंसानों को भला नींद ही कहाँ आती है!

दुश्चिंताओं का भंवर, आने वाले कल की फ़िकर 
लिपटे हुए से हैं ये साये बदन पे, 
मोती सी सफ़ेद हो या रात सी काली घनी 
बीते वक़्त की अग्नि में सांसें यूँ ही जलती रहीं। 

फिर भी, कहीं तो दीवार है कफ़न की गहराई 
और जीवन की सच्चाई में,
कुछ तो पर्दा है राख़ की रोशनाई,
और नयी सुबह की दस्तक़ में 
जाने क्यों लगता है जाने वाला ही खुशनसीब है 
आँखें जो नहीं खुलतीं फिर से इसी दुनिया 
की दहलीज़ पे। 

- प्रियंका बरनवाल 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The guy at the till

So this evening i finally stopped working everything else and started my car. The grocery shopping had turned from a necessity to a big urgency. Fridge was gone all empty. When i reached to my usual grocery store which houses everything, starting from fruits and veggies to cosmetics and biscuits, i found some of the things i needed was out of stock. Finally when i made it to the till, i found there was a guy about 5.8" tall, fair complexion, dressed as a corporate. He looked exhausted but still manageable in public. While my trolley was filled with fruits, veggies, milk and egg cartons etc., his' was empty. In fact, he didn't have any trolley with him. He just placed four packets of ready made parathas (Indian breads) on the till and took it away once the billing was done. It wasn't hard to guess he either lives alone or his wife is out of station and he does not know how to cook, if he is married at all.

i usually don't pay this much attention to the people before me standing and waiting by the tills. i just focus on my trolley and that's pretty much i do while waiting for my turn but this guy today actually had my fleeting attention. Somewhere i felt bad for him for he can't afford home made food and has to rely on preservatives infused market based items. You could totally feel he was hungry and the moment he'd reach to his apartment, he would tear open the packet, take out parathas and heat it on the tava for a minute (as per the directions written on the pack) and then have it with probably market based just-heat-it-in-the-oven sabjis (MTR range types) while watching television or something on mobile. i'd rather prefer while reading a book. The latter is better and makes me happier. Anyone with a book looks good, after all. i felt bad for him, and also thought, it;d be so great if men learned cooking. This way, they would not have to rely on Maggi or such ready made staples. My father and brother both do not know how to cook but since we have been living in a joint family since the beginning, there is always someone who knows how to turn on the stove knob and make tea. Neither of them had to bother about cooking even for a single meal at any day. They get lucky in the department.

i think men should cook, or at least, learn to cook. It makes life so much easier. i am not judging that guy on the till but the moment has just evoked a sentiment, an understanding towards men species. If they know how to cook, 4 things will happen:

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Going back to the roots/my latest Guitar performance

In this era of fast developing technology and the desperation of creating ways for better communication, human kind has sure come a long way. i hold my new phone with these amazing features and solid infra structure built within, it feels like i have taken a big leap. Talking about its 6 GB RAM and 64 GB memory, it simply sweeps me off my feet. i know. There are much bigger inventions being done these days but i am sticking to a simple example. Because humans may have evolved drastically but it only understands simple things said in a simple language.

Having said that, my friend with that frown on your face, i intend to share a very simple thought. Often i feel like going to places alone and sit there and write, just write, and play my Guitar. When i see those beautiful HD wallpapers of nature's beauty, i tempt to enter directly into the screen, in those stunning landscapes and stay there. Here i am talking as a writer and a musician. As an artist. To live your art, you have to stay aloof in order to find more of yourself, to discover more of your abilities, to unchain inhibitions. i often hear people saying how much they could just use a sight of their old home or grand mother. Some even say they'd give anything to be a child once again and play with marbles and wooden sticks with friends. i often wish to lie under the sheet of a perfectly starlit sky and gaze at it for as long as it is possible. A cup of chai, old books and photo albums, clear blue sky, music, the sound of ocean waves making way through the hotel room, the creaking of shoes made when embarking a boat, homemade food, ink pens, handwritten letters, fancy lanterns, trips to village, dairy farm, and places with the abundance of nature beauty, mutkas (earthen pots used to store water), planetariums, gardens...all these say that no matter where we go, we will always come to our roots, the place from where we started.

During the recent trip to Yercaud, a place laden heavily with nature and its serene beauty, i told my husband that despite of the length and magnitude of latest technology and discoveries, we human will always go back to our roots. In fact, we are creating new inventions just so that we can go back where we belong. He asked and i explained. And it's true! i have never ever heard anyone wishing to lie down under a sky made of tweets and FB posts. No one has ever committed that they'd like to have gadgets and new cars as their family and friends. i'd never prefer drones and satellites over fireflies and butterflies. i would never want to keep staring at the highest building (Burj Khalifa it is, as far as my knowledge takes me) forever. Would you like to?