Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's her story?

What is your story?
A little birdie
On a stormy day
Separated from her flock
Lost her way

The time was difficult
The current was strong
Life came to a stand still
Everything seemed wrong

She flew aimlessly
In the wind and thunder
Whether she would live
She questioned deep down under

In eagerness she wondered
She looked here and there
There was neither roof nor cover
Available anywhere

Weather beaten and heart broken
She trembled in the rain
Yet help she didn’t seek
Coz others, she didn’t want to strain

As time passed
So did the storm
A ray of sun shine appeared
It made her soul warm

She woke up to a blue sky
Wondering how she survived
It could not have been luck
There were other forces that had worked

Prayers of friends
Their bribe to the Gods
To protect her and help her
Against nature’s swords

A few days later
Those winds had turned
The little lost birdie
Had recovered and returned

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I wish...

I wish...

Written from the perspective of a girl in the photograph, which was clicked in the periphery of the Kalra caves in Maharashtra

I stand on the edge of the precipice. I live in a world of abject poverty. My bare body is exposed to the elements of nature wearing it out before its time. I struggle to find my daily bread. I see everyday hundreds of visitors travelling to see an ancient ruin from distant lands. I often wonder how their world is different from my own.

My Version of the Ending:

They seem to be better off – well fed, nourished and covered. Theirs must be a better place to live in – happier and comfortable. There must be no daily struggle for life.

Nonetheless, I do not see the same curiousity in their eyes as I have in my own. Some give me a cursory glance. But I am mostly ignored. I seem to be a familiar face to them. Does their world have people like me to? Do they suffer and struggle? If the visitors are so well off, why do they not help those like me? Can they not improve the state of their own world?

Her Version of the Ending:

They seem to be well fed, nourished and covered, yet I do not see happiness in them - joie de vivre. Theirs must be a life of strife.

I may be poor but I can meet my needs and live to see another day. I may be hungry, but I am satisfied with a light meal. I may be cold, but I draw the heat of the sun because nature is my home. I may be bare, but I have nothing to conceal. I am stronger than they think. I am brighter than the darkness that engulfs my pains. I need neither help nor charity. I am content.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Blues

It is cold.

I am cold.

Ironically, my friends are cold too. In their case, the word has a metaphorical meaning.

Amidst the weather and gloomy moods surrounding me, I wonder. What do you do when they come to you seeking warmth? How do you decide who needs it the most? How do you know when to just listen and when to lend them a hand? How do you help them if they don't want you to? Should you become detached with their troubles, for the simple reason that they are their own? If yes, what do you do if you feel bound to them? Why is it so difficult to turn a cold shoulder?

I should learn to be cold.

On second thoughts, I can't.

Friday, January 08, 2010


We have all said good byes to 2009 and welcomed new year (ooops, a little late but Happy New Year folks!). I celebrated my new year's eve with a trip to Mahabaleshwar, which was the perfect culmination to a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. Amidst all the fun back home, I forgot a close friend's birthday. The friend in concern has been delightful company over the past three years, being a part of almost every high and low that I have been through. My friend is called 'Whispering Shadow'. When I started blogging, I never thought I would get this far. However, with time, I have found more reasons to keep writing on this space. Today, I cannot imagine life without a blog.

Over the past three years, my blog has come a long way. I have become much more selective in the choice of topics for my post. I have found my small group of friends in the blogging world whose blogs I have learnt a lot from. I have also tried to improve the quality of editing and language, though there is still ample room for improvement. One area which I hope to work on is a fresher look on the blog in the coming year and more categories of posts.

To mark its anniversary in my own small way, I have decided to go back in time and paste snippets of some of my favourite posts, favourite not necessarily because they make a good reading but because they had a meaning in my life. So here goes.

Blame it on the Shadows (3/1/2007)
'Darkness is not concealed in the night
It is in our hearts and minds
Once there is radiance in the soul
The night will never be baselessly blamed for our woes.'

Overwhelmed (25/3/2007)
29 people, one team, one cause, and one grand event! There are few events which are etched in your life forever, and for me Focus ‘07 is definitely going to be one of them.

The Crossroad (3/4/2007)
The best alternative or the right one
The crossroad is hazy and vision is blurred
In darkness, when the sun sets
For enlightenment, I look up to the stars.

Resistance and Tolerance (7/5/2007)
I see my grandparents telling my 5 year old cousins, not to fight when one person hits the other and rather go and complaint to one of the elders at home. Two of their favourite lines are “You don’t have the right to punish your sibling” and “Revenge doesn’t get you anywhere”. All this is forgotten when they defend the perpetrators of the riots in Gujarat or the policeman responsible for fake encounters of Muslims. Is it hypocrisy? Or is it just the post independence mind-set? Or is it just the feeling that India means Hindutva n Hindutva alone?

Just Kidding (28/6/2007)
You could cry when in pain, without having to feel embarrassed about it. You could dance in the rain and you would not have to straighten up, when you see a pedestrian staring at you. You could crack stupid jokes and laugh at the silliest of things, because a good sense of humour didn’t matter.

Ouch! (4/8/2007)
In the end, she added more instructions: "You will have to bite and hold this swab in your mouth for an hour till the bleeding stops completely. Apply ice intermittently. Your face is likely to swell. You can't eat solid food today at least, though cold milkshakes and ice-creams are allowed." If she hadn't said that last bit, I would have felt a lot worse, being a complete foodie.

I know death is painful, but I really pray I don't end my journey the way my wisdom tooth did. May it rest in pieces and let me be at peace.

Teacher Teacher (5/9/2007)
To conclude, I have compiled a potpourri of quotes by great academicians.The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. Today, however, a teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. There’s nothing happy about teacher’s day.

Viva for Dummies (2/11/2007)
Act One and only, Scene two:
(Students emerge from the room and crowds gather around them)
DX: Kya poocha?
D1: Vaat hai yaar. Lagta hai fail ho jaaoonga.
D2: Bahut kuchh poocha lekin ek bhi answer sure nahin tha. Pata nahin kya marks degi. Saala kameena examiner.

Relations Management (20/1/2008)
Pehchante ho?" Since it is not good to be asocial, I try to blink, smile, then blink again, feigning the 'I am pushing my memory hard to conjure some name' look. On a memory miss, I say a polite and soft "No". Knowing the consequences of the reply, I force myself into a trance to skip the huge chain of relations that emerges out of the conversation, more so, if the reply is in English. "I am your father's maternal uncle's wife's sister-in-law." It would have been way better on my behalf to add an " and I am not interested in knowing you" tag after the first "No" but being curt is not a trait appreciated by most.

Stalk Talk (15/2/2008)
What do you do if a stalker who had lost your trail comes back into your life? What do you do if he knows where you stay exactly and has just dropped a gift at your doorstep on your birthday? Well, something of this sort happened to my PAL. I will call her PAL itself for ease of reference throughout the rest of this blog.

It was her 20th birthday. As is usually the case with people celebrating their birthdays, she too received a number of birthday greetings. On one of this calls, she heard an unrecognizable voice and that's when her ordeal began.

Children's Tales (3/4/2008)
Another fine afternoon, around a year ago, this question was put up to me from no where, “Do you have a girlfriend?” I was speechless not because I didn’t have an answer. I was in complete awe. “No,” I answered, “I don’t have the time to look for one.” Pat came another googly, “Then what do you do in the recess? Woh to free time hai na.” Now I was speechless because I didn’t have a smart answer. So I redirected the question to him. He proudly accepted the fact that his bench-mate is his best friend and she is a girl, so he has a girlfriend. She even kissed him on the cheek. I reconfirmed and the answer was the same. My jaw dropped open. When I called my sister to inform her of where today’s kids have reached, he screams “Ullu banaya!!!” God save tomorrow’s parents!!

Melancholy (13/4/2008)
Living strong his head held high
Despite the hurts that made him cry
He continued to grow old
The soul fading faster than its abode.

The holy lights guided him
Between that period interim,
The second he stopped living
And the moment he died.

It's so hard to say good-bye... (24/4/2008)
This was a bunch of people who would never hesitate to tell me, “Dude, you are wrong” and who would also say “Man, go for it!!” both with equal forthrightness. We have debated over petty issues, but always in the healthiest spirit. I doubt the walls of diplomacy will ever lower to such a level again, as they had in this last year.
I can go on and on about them and what they mean to me, but of all the feelings, I can now identify the most overpowering one. Their presence may have mattered, but their absence surely will. It is a matter of great pride to have been in their company.

The End (6/6/2008)
But you don't want to get cover. You want to stand up, raise hands and feel the rain. It gives you the impression that you are standing on the edge of the world with no one else around you. The thunder overshadowing all the sounds of a busy city and the lightning giving a cosmic feel to the surroundings. You feel free, you feel powerful, you feel overwhelmed, all at the same time. That is all until the shower becomes so heavy that it hits you on your face and you start feeling like a damp sponge.

ग्रीन सूप फॉर मोब्स्टर्स इंक (25/9/2008)
I thought of calling it chicken soup but then I didn’t want to offend the vegetarians in any group. I didn’t even use a name of a Chinese variant of the soup because there might be members from the Jain community whose sentiments I might hurt unintentionally. So here I am labeling my next post “Green Soup for Mobster’s Inc” Do I need to tell you why? I do not want to be the next person beaten to death with iron rods by a mob of 60 men in broad day light in a buzzing corporate complex for doing what is required of my job. Lastly, as an added precaution, I will write the title of this post in Devnagri script to prevent the MNS hackers from tearing my blog down. Since all measures are in place, I guess I can start with the recipe now.

While I was Sleeping (27/11/2008)
While I was sleeping
While I was dreaming
Mumbai was burning
Mumbai was bleeding
At those very places I have once been
I can imagine how it would have been
If imagining the ordeal is so painful
I will be lying if I told you
“I know how it feels.”

Sorry (6/2/2009)
Seeing the bread in my bag, the other one asked, “bread milegi.” I told her “Yeah ghar ke liye hai. Sorry.” I don’t think I needed to explain to her, but I felt obliged. I don’t think I said sorry because I was sorry for what I did, but because I felt sorry for them. “Sorry is a funny word”, I said to myself. Once again, my mind was brimming with thoughts.

What are friends for? (31/3/2009)
  • To confide in you how cute they found that girl who just passed by to be which was exactly what you were going to tell them.
  • To fuel your imagination. "Imagine Salma Hayek is standing right here in my bedroom" "Yeah, and she is naked."
  • To reinstate faith when you think you are being sucked in a black hole. "No it's ok. They won't touch your arm. They will only chop your finger"
  • To call you up and ask for "instant tips on how to start a convo with a girl you have seen on your morning walks" when standing next to her!
  • To cry without the fear of being mocked, unless its for a lost sock.

Why God Exists? (9/7/2009)
''...I have never asked anyone for help in my whole life, not even my children. I can't change my way of living as a result of a handicap...If you have faith in God and he will take care of you." There was an inkling of truth in this considering he has been living like this for the past 10 years and living well.

As cliched as it sounded, there were forces up there that were at work, an invisible hand guiding the ones who believed, ones in need. 'God'da take Him seriously!

In My Blue Pyjamas (17/8/2009)
As soon as the lecture got over, I rushed back to my room. Had a look in the mirror and realized why I managed to capture everyone's attention for a few minutes. I couldn't stop laughing!! I was a total mess. It was only natural of the others to be so 'nice' to me. But then there are always firsts in lives. Today was my first lecture in pyjamas. I hope it is the last.

I still don't know why I wrote this on my blog. Do you?

Whether Forecast? (13/11/2009)
The winter season is here
The search for reason is here
Are you cold under the feeble sun?
Did my heart unfold a story unsung?

Embrace me
Once again be strong
The divine light beckons
To eternity you will belong.

Yonder lies a world
The abode of the soul
End the battle within
Let the pieces form a whole.

That was the last snippet in the super long flashback post. Phewww!! I should do this annually. It was fun to once again go through everything I had written. Now I will let the birthday party begin.