Saturday, April 27, 2013

NAPOWRIMO 26: Cold Eyes Pierced My Skin

Today, I challenge you to perform an erasure: you can form a whole new poem just by taking words away!

I used a long poem written by a very talented poet I discovered online, Jenny Blackford. You can read the poem HERE.

Years ago, my reputation was as yours.
A woman's not safe till she's dead
sometimes not even then
but safe enough. The young men
their tender buttocks
ne'er moved me,
however soft skinned or bright-eyed
nor worn-out older,
tired from scrabbling.

But two haunted,
when I turned eighteen
were different,

Hair curved like black waterfalls
their cold eyes pierced my skin.
I told no one.
Not even whisper it
at my mother's grave.

Two years ago, my name was clean.
These days, gossip point
at grass under trees
and the boy paying- my son.
The half they know not.

I succumbed
to the lure
of all the glossy parts. There was more
for any mountain girl like me
who has milked the cow and goat
has seen the ram or the he-goat lead them away in spring
their huge balls noticeable and prim.
The two centaurs
were lovable. They loved me as much
as they love one another.

I truly lived.
My centaurs tickled me 
wherever I wished.
And I laughed and danced with them
in the sweetness of spring
far from father and home
until came autumn.
And I saw the two, make arrows in the sky
they had to leave,
my wild-men from far somewhere.

They stoked the rounded mound
low in my abdomen
I sulked: a fool
they sang me of ruined places
and of stars fallen on Earth.
I could not go
they could not stay.

I lingered for a month
they'd return for their love
but that was a mistake.

Winter came, I had no choice
with bitter steps, I walked to my father's house

did not name the man who took my honor.
How could I?

After the longest day and night in pain
ten little fingers and toes
no curling mane, but a baby boy.
I closed my eyes. Smiled.
My baby. Our baby.

I look out 
as my son scampers around
and smile.
My boy.
My boy alone.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When There's Music, There's A Way!

I will tell you a story, but before that
Promise me, once it is over, you'll fall asleep?
The little girl nodded, and I smiled at her
Once, not very long ago
there was a little girl, just like you
her frock was pink and so were her cheeks
and yet the skies were the same blue.
Her mother by her side, swept her bangs behind
as she hum, Edelweiss Edelweiss..
Every morning you greet me..

And the little girl, crawled in and shut her eyes.
And on her last day in the fifth grade, her favorite English teacher
Ms.Saha, pinched her cheek lightly and sang for her,
Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chune, Sapne
sureele sapne..

She would miss Ms. Saha but she was excited about Senior school.
and she hugged her friends as they imitated Sheryl Crow in Soak Up the Sun
while learning dance moves from Kajra Mohabbat wala

Her first tryst with adolescence acquainted her to Bryan Adams and Celion Dion
Shania Twain with Britney's Oops I did it again featured in her walkman,
a priceless gift from her mother dear.
Cassettes became her favorite birthday gift
she collected them, while others collected
stamps, toys and pens.

She loved pens too, she dreamed of buying
a Watermann when she grew
and lusting for a gramophone,
with embedded gemstones and an autograph of Bob Marley.
Some fantasies never turn into reality.

Learning music with Do Re Mi from the Sound of Music
She learned of love and the mysteries that came along,
her first love and the next heartbreak
and the ones that were to follow,
left her tattered and almost broken
she gave up on so many, and so many simply left
the steel carriage simply kept moving.

And then she learned that it all happened
for a reason greater than her individual existence
And it was amidst all the chaos of women being
mutilated raped burned and beaten to death
songs such as Girl on Fire and Loved a Woman, comforted her.

Zzzzz...Zzzzz.. Layla's soft snore interrupted Jhilmil. She smiled at the sleeping child.. Truly, music had been that one strong wall on to which she clung on to like a creeper, whether she wanted to dance or cry, live or or crawl..Music was one lover that never betrayed her, even when there were no reasons to stay.. Layla would also learn the art of clinging on to music, which would become her only secret abode, her friend philosopher and guide...lover and companion throughout her life, just as it was for Jhilmil. She turned to sleep in her cocooned bed and plugged on her headphones,

I wish to thank  HPConnectedMusic for being the best news that's come along in a long time considering I am looking for a new laptop and I NEED music to breathe! I knew, as soon as I registered for the meet that I would not be disappointed and so it turned out to be! A bunch of friends, a new dress and a theme of Music, well there was no chance of disappointment!


We look no less glamorous don't we! :)

Here's us with Team Indi at the HP INDIBLOGGER CONNECTED MUSIC MEET ! 

While meeting your dear friends is always a bonus for us, it was a great experience learning about the HP CONNECTED MUSIC that gives you an access to a huge database of online music and unlimited downloads for an entire year at you HP PC and Ultrabooks with Windows 8. The concept is powered by Universal and Hungama and allows service such as

- Unlimited downloading for a year from the time of registration

- One can download songs and save them in their HP PCs and enjoy them offline as well

- There are more than a million songs in their database, you'll get tired searching, but not disappointed!

- They have internet radio as well, which has channels divided, genre wise as well as era-wise..So you'll find Pop as well as 70's music there too.

- Their Search feature is sleek and very useful, with the categories that open up as you keep typing and I am sure you won't have finished typing by the time you've got your result already!


I think the ‘70s was a watershed era for music and music lovers because of the sheer volume and quality of music produced in the period. Music that was not just enjoyed then, but that is still thoroughly enjoyed. Music that people call “classic” and attach adjectives such as “evergreen”, “timeless” and so on.
If I were to pick my top 20 choices of the lot, they’d be


Johny and June Carter Cash- If I were a Carpenter (1970)
Simon and Garfunkel- Bridge Over Troubled Waters (1970)
James Taylor- Fire and Rain(1970)
The Carpenters- Close To You (1970)
George Harrison- What Is Life (1970)
John Lennon- Imagine (1971)
Beatles- Let It Be (1971)
Don McLean- American Pie (1971)
Led Zeppelin- Stairway To Heaven (1971)
Carole King- It’s Too Late (1971)
Marvin Gaye- Mercy, Mercy Me (1971) 
T.Rex- Bang A Gong (1971)
Randy Newman- Political Science (1972)
Billy Preston- Nothing from Nothing (1974)
 Big Star- September Gurls (1974)
 Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here (1975)
Bruce Springsteen- Born To Run (1975)
 Bob Dylan- Tangled Up In Blue (1976)
 ABBA- Dancing Queen (1977)
Billy Joel- She’s Always A Woman (1977)
Bee Gees- Stayin’ Alive (1977)

Had a great time compiling the songs, and am sure you'll have a wonderful time listening to them..


Kishore Kumar- Ae Bhai, Zara Dekh ke
Lata Mangeshkar- Baahon Me Chale Aa
Lata Mangeshkar- Bhore Bhaye Panghat Pe
Bhupinder, Lata Mangeshkar- Dil Dhundta Hai
Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar- Teri Bindiya Re
Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan- Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Me
Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar- Salaam-e-Ishq
Asha Bhosle- Koi Shehri Babu
Kishore Kumar- Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se
Kishore Kumar, Mohd. Rafi- Saamne Yeh Kaun Aaya
Asha Bhosle- O Meri Jaan
 Kishore Kumar- O Mere Dil Ke Chaen
 Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar- Tere Bina Zindagi Se
Moh.d Rafi, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar- Humko Tumse
Kishore Kumar- Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai
Lata Mangeshkar- Dafli Wale Dafli Baja
Mukesh, Kanchan- Kya Khoob Lagti Ho
Asha Bhosle, Mohd. Rafi- Chura Liya Hai Tumne
Mukesh- Maine Tere Liye Hi
Kishore Kumar- Chingaari koi Bhadke


This is a special playlist because it has more songs than the ones I've mentioned above. Put the playlist on Shuffle and sit back and enjoy!

Of course Bollywood experienced more of a spurt in terms of the kind of films that were made, which was further stimulated by the music that was a flux of both Indian as well as western music, that was blended beautifully by music directors such as Kalyan-Anand, Ravindar Jain, Mohammad Rafi, S.D.Burman and R.D.Burman amongst others while this era saw the rise of the ultimate singing pair, Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, the 1970s and the ‘80s saw the rise of Asha Bhosle who was a beautiful conduit of both Indian and western styles of music.

Films such as


ANAND (1971)


BOBBY (1973)


ANKUR (1974)


SHOLAY (1975)

NISHANT (1975)

DEEWAR (1975)




Were revolutionary in terms of their concepts, themes, quality of production and the magnum opus film-making that Indian film industry  achieved can be credited to this period. 

Posted as an entry to The HP Indiblogger Connected Music Meet Experience, powered by HP Connected Music

Monday, April 22, 2013

Overcoming Loss with Microsoft Office 365

It is so easy to die for a person and name it 'sacrifice'. We idealise such forms of love where one can spendthrift everything that he/she has and scatter it all over the floor for the person they love. How lovely...I say, How Convenient!
It is difficult, very very difficult to live for the person you love. Be accountable for every fleeting moment of grief and joy, both. Take her/him in your arms and find your world right there, and when he/she is not there with you, you do not close your world in isolation but spread the love all around you, like a flower in a bunch does; it knows it is wilting and yet it never stops to be as fragrant as it can.
We speak of grief so often, so casually now that grief sounds different from the tongues of those who utter it, every time. And yet, one cannot exactly pin point on one to say, This is it.
Well today I wish to define it, it is the Loss, the death of someone that is irrevocable, that stares at you for every moment, so why not celebrate the person as he/she was rather than keep mourning and make the remembrance an asset, rather than a liability?

Which is why I wish to design a portal wherein we can discuss the idea of loss and grief. Be it that of a lover who left, or a pet that ran away or a daughter who died. Anything and everything that we wish to grieve over. Yes, we 'wish' and not 'need' to. Because it is going to be a conscious act that we need to do for ourselves. This portal will help connect people with each other, those who've experienced loss closely.

The features that I look forward to benefit from with the use of Microsoft Office 365 are

The new Office provides 25GB mailbox space which is much more than what my previous mailbox at Gmail provided me! Having a wider mailbox would make it easier for me to post the confessions and the articles as they are submitted by the people who sign up at my portal. Moreover, it has a Malware protection too, which means I am hassle-free when it comes to simply checking mails to be posted, not whether they are from spammers or not.

The mother father and Godfather of Instant Messaging and the service that is mostly required for businesses that require a great deal of wireless communication and what better than to have a service that lets you connect to your customers and your clients directly from your mailbox! Be it flaunting your presence by updating your status on your IM Profile or initiating a video-conferencing and meetings or having telephonic conversations or messages- all over your mailbox, Microsoft 365 will be aiding in all these, for no additional charges!

Microsoft 365 comes with an array of applications and software programmes that can be used to make the experience of communication an easier process. Thus, while writing an administrator post on the portal or while writing a blog post, apps such as the Dictionary will surely come handy. One can use it at the right sidebar itself, which immensely helps even while scripting a post.

One very interesting feature is  The Visio, a service that enables us to set up complex analysis and data and processes into simple diagrams and structures such as data-linked diagrams, collaboration tools etc. It can help me transform my business by helping me reach out to potential sponsors for my website portal as finding a sponsor is as important, as my passion to help those who are grieving. Because this is a platform and they'd look up to it, and I as the owner of this business need to make it work, which would inevitably involve some amount of capital, that I do not have at present. But with a professional approach and aesthetics, I am confident about my passion, my audience and thus, my portal.

The Project and Project Portfolio Management services of Microsoft 365 will also ensure that my documents are scripted in the most professional manner with the tools it consists of which will help me collaborate with my team and deliver quick and successful projects.

Cloud Storage is the new invention on the face of our virtual existence, giving us the opportunity to save all our important files, in a space that does not actually take up any space! How cool does it sound? Not just that! I can actually share it with my team who can then edit the document with me. This will be helpful in the coming future as I plan on publishing an anthology of the experiences that the people post on the portal. Editing of a manuscript requires a whole lot of communication and if all of my team and sit and edit it at one time, one place and make it happen, it would be nothing short of a Miracle!

This is possible with a feature called the SharePoint, that allows us to share our documents and mails with our friends and colleagues, keeping in mind that we are in control of who gets to view it and who gets to edit it. Moreover, with the features such as integration with social networking sites such as Facebook, Orkut and Yammer, one can always stay in touch and communicate more, the two things, I need to do with my organisation. Moreover, I get the option of posting a document directly to my blog! So imagine that you are travelling and you write a post in Microsoft 365 Online Document and then publish it directly! It is available for Blogger, Wordpress and other portals too.

Microsoft 365 has exclusive association with Yammer, one of the first Enterprise Social Networking Site which aides collaborations between different networks, geographies and types of businesses.

With so many applications infused into this one programme, it is one of the most efficient and promising things one the virtual existence that Mankind has invented. This appeals to me, because it is a programme that I can customise according to the ethos of my own as well as my business, which has a strong emotional tinge to it, that Microsoft 365 seems to contain effortlessly.

I look forward to the amazing work-structure and group-effort and dedication that it promises to bring out in my team.

Moreover, it is a one-time buy and future upgrades would be absolutely free of cost. The name Microsoft itself gives a sense of guarantee, considering I have for ever, only used Microsoft- be it Word or Excel.
The biggest comfort is to work from home or while travelling which is a pre-requisite for my business. Thus, I can be wherever I need to be, but work never stops! This has to be the best news ever for all businesses!

Attending the Indiblogger Meet organised along with Microsoft 365 was a gift in every sense of the word! Got an Arc Mouse and a T-shirt but most importantly, when I walked out of the room, I saw my dreams turning into reality, with the all new Microsoft Office 365, that is surely going to change the way Workers Work!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Be it the December 16th Gangrape case of a 23-yr old woman or the recent kidnapping and rape of a 5-yr old by her neighbour... Nowadays it is the latest trendy thing to say "..Oh, I know how terrible it must feel."

Well, this may sound aggressive and emotional to a few or many, but trust me when I say, No, You Don't.

You do not know how it feels when the auto driver looks at the rear view mirror and his gaze revolves from the cars to your breasts. 

You do not know how it feels when you feel trampled upon by people, being touched by them and  not being actually done so. Their stares do that to you. When you walk past a busy market, people rush past you intentionally so as to brush their hands against your boobs or some even grope them in a crowd. 

You do not how it feels to be a teenager going out shopping in a street market and while trying out a top, the shopkeeper grabs your boobs to "help" you wear the top. And all this while, four other men stand there, looking at the way the man gropes the left boob under the top, and then puts his other hand on the right boob to pull the shirt down. I see innocence evaporate out of the child, right there.

You do not have any freaking idea how it feels to be brushed against at all the time, in the bus. It is so common and so disturbing that I have stopped travelling in the buses at all. If you are sitting a man will come and sit beside you, even if it is a Ladies seat. And the next thing you know is he will attach his thigh to yours, and if you are unlucky, then his bag comes up on to his lap and his hand behind the bag that slowly touches the side of your breast. If you look at the person, he'd look like he has folded his hands, but behind that veil, the man attempts to grope your breast.

If you happen to be standing, you witness a mini-porn right there, too bad if it happens to star you in it though. You just got into a crowded bus and before you realise, men have "strategically" positioned themselves around you, almost in a silent understanding between them. Thus, you find the main culprits, standing one ahead, one behind you, stacking themselves against you while two three men stand right at the sides so that you don't find an escape. Blocked from all sides, one brushes his penis from behind at your buttocks while the other brushes his butt on to you from the front. Do Not mistake it to be Unintentional because believe me,a gentleman knows how to maintain the 'necessary distance'. 

Yes, of course we move away, and no body stops us. But, the smirk on their faces reveal that they have achieved what they wanted to- simply make the woman conscious of her physical vulnerability. So, you may begin to harp the noises and bring out the flags, but when it actually happens, so shamelessly in front of you and when you look into their eyes to make them realise their mistake, you face this beastly stare back, the one that promises to ravish you down, a sexual hunger that is so scary that you do nothing but turn away, silently. Because even if you make a hue and cry about it, you know that the man with a hurt ego will hunt you down and make sure you are 'severely punished' for 'humiliating' him.

You do not know how terrible it feels, when people make passes at you, how while men at a passing motorbike whistle at you, telling you what they want to do with you. How he will fuck you till you cry for his mercy or perhaps till you die. How he will finger your vagina out or fill your oesophagus with his semen.


Shaming the woman of her sexuality is the new Agenda, or so it seems. A man in the auto or bus next to you looks at you in a traffic jam. You happen to look that ways too, to see him lick his lips to suggest that he wants to do the same to you, and the traffic signal goes green and he is off in the other direction.

You do not know how it feels when a dear friend comes to you sobbing about how two bikers came and harassed her, and then followed her to her house and kept stalking her, calling out names. Or how someone she did not like, proposed to her and when she declined, he posted maligning information about her on the net, created her fake profiles or posted her as a prostitute on some adult site, revealing all her personal information including her landline number and address.

You do not know how it feels to feel bad for her, and at the same time imagine these things happening to you too. Just because you dared to slap the fellow to tried to grope you or ask someone why he was staring at your cleavage. Just because you shouted back at the men who whistled at you or you filed a complaint against a person for sexual harassment who might send his friends to trouble you even further.

And what if the police never took your case seriously and the man, with his hurt ego comes after you, because you reported about him!

You do not know how it feels when you need to cancel a meet or a girls day out, only because the world out there isn't 'safe' enough, and parents do not allow us to go out because they cannot change the system, or the men but can protect us, thereby not letting us go to far away places or going out after 7pm. You do not know how unsafe you feel when you are in a cab, returning from a far flung place and the cab driver steals glances at your breasts and how they shake every time he intentionally hurdles the car into the potholes and speed breakers.
You do not know how it feels to be bullied around by a sibling or a boyfriend, simply because he is a man. How you are told to take off pictures, not talk to certain people on the social networking sites and how you have to ask for permission a hundred times, and give assurances of every kind, to simply go out for a friend's birthday party.
You do not know how it feels to be told what to do or what not to, what to wear and what not to, what to say and what not to. You do not know how scary it gets to hear news of rapes, molestations and harassments all around. You do not know how it feels to be mocked at, at every step of your life for being a woman who is aware of her sexuality and who protests at every sexist comment that comes her way, on some joke on PMS or her being fat and thus unattractive, her being a feminist and so on.
You clearly do not know how it feels to be a woman in the 21st Century where at one hand she is said to be independent strong-willed and fierce, but on the other hand, she is shamed about her sexuality, and somehow masculinity takes pride in subjugating femininity.

The power relations throughout our histories have shown gender relations as power relations wherein how strong a power is, is depicted in how weak the other power is made to be. But it isn't so. The power-relations in case of gender are complementary. We benefit each other and by each other. A home, companionship is incomplete without the feminine and without the masculine; the house cannot become a home.