Friday, July 26, 2013

Poetry: If I Could Only

If I could only
touch you, once;
I'd thrust my words so deep
the insinuation wouldn't be seen,
but only felt within.

If you could
rest on my placidity;
and hear the roaring of my heart,
you'd be in tears.
Such is the courage it takes.

If I could only
hear you gasp and grasp the tips of my fingers
swooning into a slow dance in no particular sway
your veins and mine
would intertwine and find their roots
somewhere in between the air we breathe at once.

If you could only
say the words to me,
with the shrapnel it threatens to shoot
at you when you betray them,
and squeeze your soul out.
Until you can hold the words I long to hear
in a certain firmness that makes it
excruciatingly difficult for you to breathe
and say them; all at once.

If only I could 
find absence, from the little part in me
that rises with your absence.
The little gasps of breath in between
the sound of your laughter
and the warmth of your smile,
is where I'd live
If  I only could.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We See. We Learn. We Do.

This is about an experience I had about a year ago when one fine afternoon, my sister returned from school, sweaty and panting with fever. Living in the most polluted city in the Indian sub-continent, I assumed it to be an inured case of viral or some infection. However, chaos filtered in after two days of high fever and vomiting. My eleven-year old sibling, is a very bubbly cheerful and healthy kid, who in the course of the fever, had then become frail and exhausted.

We finally decided to make a move to the Ganga ram hospital which is about 3 kms away from our home. The next 40 minutes resulted in my sister getting admitted to the Emergency Pediatrics Ward, nurses with blank faces and blunt responses, coming in and going out of the Hall that had about 15 more kids, some in delirious state.
   I have developed some sort of a phobia ever since I was admitted to the hospital few years back. From the painstaking intravenous injections and multiple failed attempts at syringe insertions to the dozens of blood, urine, stool tests- the colored and pale liquids to the bland hospital food, the very proximity to the hospital was something I despised. Add to it, that my sister was being admitted and I was to stay with her, not knowing the crucial ‘why’s’ and ‘what’s’.

However, Dad came in later to tell me that the doctors suspected her to have developed Typhoid and that she needs immediate medical care. My sister was waiting to hear this and she started shivering. I cuddled her in my arms and told her I’d be there with her and that she had nothing to fear, but within me, I was a bundle of knotted nerves. I wanted to run away and puke but I had to sit there, acting brave.
But what startled me was the efficiency our mother had all this while! From recording her temperature, trying on medicines, communicating with the doctors, and managing to get my sister admitted at such short period– it was nothing less than an extra-ordinary achievement. And as if she read my thoughts, she was standing in front of me, as I broke out of my thoughts about her. She, post my sister’s birth has not been too well. Thyroid, Sugar, Blood Pressure….you name it, she has it!

However, when I looked at her in the past two days, I saw a woman who was undeterred. She is a dutiful mother, but minus the drama. Pari was impatient and wanted extra attention, but my other-wise dramatic, reacting mother transformed into calm, in-total-control woman and handled Pari, myself and the doctors and Dad, so well that it left me flummoxed! I on the other hand, was exasperating. I was scared, I have had bad experience of losing a friend to a treatable disease, and all of it clustered together, I was on the verge of having a nervous break-down. As hilarious as it may sound to some, I dread blood. The very sight of blood makes me go haywire. And in this situation, Pari was being tested for a 1001 disease list it seemed!

I kept massaging her hand, kept irritating the nurses for complete 14 days, day in and day out! Pari on the other hand, played games on my mobile, watched TV, befriended the male nurses, chatted about Bollywood with the female nurses in the all-night long sessions, and even prepared a card for them while leaving the hospital after she was discharged.

My mother is 50 years old and my sister is 11 and I am 22. And I seem to be the black sheep of the family in all possible ways. While the two females are so strong-willed, determined and completely personify the “tough exterior-soft interior” kind, I am one of the characters from the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Confused... Whimsical and highly irritating!

Nonetheless, from them I learned the sense of Courage and Acting when the time comes. We in our daily lives, speak so much and comment a lot on a variety of issues. But when it comes to these little things in life, from not throwing litter to standing in queues… from donating blood to spending some hours at an NGO… What we see, we learn. And what we do, others see. And they are thus inclined and inspired to emulate these practices in their lives.

Although we say that there’s no age for learning, we take children to be learners only. We forget that children, with their pure souls and sheer innocence, teach us these little lessons of life that we, as grown-ups often forget. So the next time your kid tells you something– be it stopping the vehicle when the signal is red, not smoking or eating healthy; listen to her. And whatever you do, know that they’re watching. And what they See…they Do! What they do, they Learn. And that’s what the society becomes like, and each of us play a significant role in this exchange of acts of goodness or otherwise.

I am sharing what 'I Saw and I Learnt' at in association with

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I glanced over
Her smile resurrected my courage.
I was about to speak up when
her big black eyes looked at the music system
and she chose a classic- "Raindrops keep falling on my head."
The red Beats looked beautiful in the rains.
The road was almost deserted, with couples chirruping here and there
in their bikes, romancing the air.
I halted the car in front of the 'Raju Special Chai and Shai' confectionary shop.
It was my sister's favorite halt on the highway.
We settled at our favorite spot and ordered for
Truck Driver ki Chai and mixed pakode, which also had egg pakodas.
Every special shop has some speciality.

She sensed my uneasiness, and snapped up.

What is it Didibhai, why are we here?
I gulped. Nothing, just wanted to take you out.
she rolled her eyes. She knows me too well.

It was still pouring as we stood to leave
and we saw little kids dancing naked, jumping into the puddles
and we looked at each other, and broke into smiles.
We ran into the rain and jumped into the puddles,
holding each other tight.
Haven't laughed this much in ages, I remarked.

We were soaked and had another round of 
Chai. And ran back to our car.
A misty fragrance enveloped our minds.
In my car resides a fresh world.
Inside, as I started the engine., my phone buzzed.
It managed to take the smile away from my face. 

 The way back home was only adsorption
the surfaces ebbed, while deep inside I was lost.
I applied the brakes. We'd reached home.
She spoke, "Didibhai, I like him. 
If you love him. I love him.
Come, lets get you married!"

Somewhere someone's listening
To the sound of a record spinning

Sing to me now
Right out your window..         

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi.. Inspire!

I am part of a group of Indian women bloggers, called Indiblogeshwaris and it had turned One this year. To celebrate that and welcome the website, a competition has been hosted and thus, here I am, participating in this awesomely creative exercise wherein I was to listen to Rahul Sharma’s Time Traveler and write how it stimulates me…

So as I heard the song and seconds after the music began, I realized I had closed my eyes and was swaying my head and smiling. At someone…  I tried concentrating on the object of fascination in front of me that had made me smile. And a name resonated along with the gliding music… Anand..and he smiled again, tilting his head sideways and said, Babumoshai…

"Hairaan hoon ki - wo maut pe has raha tha, ya zindagi pe?
Jab tak zinda hoon, mara nahin...
Jan mar gaya, sala main hi nahin...
To dar kiss baat ka ?

The thing about Bollywood is how it manages to churn out characters so effervescent that they bear their names in our hearts forever. Like timeless prophecies, these characters inspire us, push us and nudge us with their life-size images and emotions… Life size because nothing can be bigger and brighter than what life is and has to offer us.

Which made me wonder.. What was it about Anand that made him so memorable? What is it about his smile that makes you stand up after you’ve fallen.. And then I recalled some comments from friends and people I have met as strangers and how they looked up at me and broke into smiles. How many times we’ve actually stood up for ourselves, dared to speak out when we had the choice not to and suffer , we developed choices and chances for ourselves and not just for ourselves but for people around us.

That’s what we do. That’s the power we possess and yet, we forget. The innumerable times we forget to tell ourselves that we affect people. We matter, whether they tell us or they don’t. Why look at Anand and smile and not become the ray of hope for the person next to you? In real life, we find people who inspire us. And those who grow on us like creepers. I pray that we see the difference and at times, we need to choose to be happy rather than making others happy. Because only a happy person can make others happy.
Which is a realization that has dawned upon me, very recently.

So, as I fling my hands in the air, and reach for the sky…I free you and myself.
The sky is blue and I see your eyes are too.
So here’s what I have to say.
Go Go Go
And I shall stay
With or Without You.
For I shall still move ahead.
For life shall belong to me like I belong to it,
Whether you belong to me or not.