Sunday, December 25, 2011

No resolutions – only a prayer…..

Life has strange ways of telling you things, teaching you lessons. When going through such lessons of life, the time seems to stretch beyond the horizon, never ending, everything else looks so normal and everyday that sometimes I wonder at the normalcy of things, such times looms large in front of the eyes and seems to never fade away. However, life has to go on, because you have to come above the bruises and harsh lessons and learn to let go and continue with life because that is what you need to do as per the need of the hour.

The last couple of years which went by, taught lessons after lessons, like , to learn to cope with loneliness, to learn to know that at the end you are your only best friend, you need to understand yourself better, you need to respect yourself and you need to justify your presence in this world, this year has taught me to mellow down drastically, to brace myself to make peace with situations, to try hard to rise above theory and to be practical, to try and force myself to change and at the same time to struggle to be myself..

So this year has no resolutions from my side only a prayer to the Lord Almighty to give strength to go through the tests of time….and to bestow peace and good health on my loved ones.........

Wishing a very Happy and peaceful New Year to all of you….

Monday, November 21, 2011

The dilemma

I do not know what that Chinese author said about bringing up kids, whether Indians and Chinese parents are strict and self imposing but I know for sure that there is always the age old dilemma for a parent, whether Indian or Chinese, or any other nationality, when she is posed with the age old question ‘Mamma you love me more or her’??.

This is particularly about those parents who have two children whether same gender or not. This question is sure to pop up if not today then tomorrow, irrespective of the age gap between the two children. Like every parent I am also baffled by the question every time this is put in front of me, it grows two hands too large and long to stifle me and shut the life out of me because this is exactly how I used to torment my mother. Well, what goes around, comes around, so in all fairness I have to cringe and bear the question which both my daughters one by one pops to me time and again , and each time, I want to curl up and die, what else??

I have tried to analyse if I really love one child more than the other and I must accept here that though it is not about loving a child more but the younger one definitely gets a more softer and lovey dovey approach than the elder one, the elder one by default, every time has to be right and proper and do the sacrifice and be the patient one just because he or she is elder. No matter what but they will always remain the elder one and no matter what the younger one will always remain the young and naïve and shall be allowed all the concessions just because he or she is younger.

I have seen many homes where the elder child is always at the receiving end but I have not seen many elder children who are the sacrificing, patient type, they all give it back when the right opportunity comes, yes and fair enough ! (see the elder child in me staunchly supports this) . Well , let me quote an exception here, there was a friend of mine who was so caring and so forgiving so soft and and so loving towards her younger sister that I used to feel like a devil with two horns when I was with her and her sister and can you imagine she was younger than me and had such a stream of goodness in her. The guilt which I used to feel for all the bullying I did to my sister or all the complaints and accusations I hurled at my mother was at it’s height when I used to meet this friend of mine, the after effect was that I used to make an extra effort to be nice and good to my sister and mother but this 'extra effort ' was always short lived and as any after effect, it wore off quickly bringing me back to my whining , complaining self.

Well .. I digress.. so I have decided to tell my children to decide on their own about the answer to their question as to whom I love most.. because I am still not clear as to whom my mother loves the most !!!!!(sic)

Monday, October 31, 2011

for people like me

For people like me who lose heart and patience and will this is a must read from Preeti Shenoy, Love your writings Preeti... thanks ....

http://justamotheroftwo.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

between hope and despair

Somewhere between hope and despair
Lies the river of melancholy
Every one has to cross it alone
Sometimes there is a smouldering amber in the heart
But its covered with layers of holding back
Sometimes there is a lot to talk about
But the only soothing lifeline seems to be silence, and only silence…

Thursday, September 29, 2011

In pursuit of blessings and positivity...

More than two years now, life has been on a brink, edgy and not so pleasant and things got more chaotic since last month, this month has been a long one, a painful one, an unsettling one in the real sense. I long for peace of mind, long for a cosy home where I can unwind and be myself , long for the chattering of the kids, their fights, their play and dance everything that irked me before around a home has suddenly come rushing towards the heart and knocks at it to experience it all over again. Mind does somersaults and thinks of the worst things which can happen, doesn't settle on anything, not at work, not at reading and now that a new month is going to unfold and some truly religious days are here I pray to the Goddess , Maa Shakti to bless us with peace of mind, stability and lots of happiness and a home to warm our hearts...

And a special word to all the readers who come to my blog and do not leave a word, I do not mind your silence at all, even I am a blog hopper and not everytime I am in a mood to leave a comment, but I request all of you to leave behind your good wishes and positive vibes .. for we are truly in need of it.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Shradhanjali

Once in a lifetime you become lucky enough to meet someone who changes your life forever, for the better. Our beloved Chairman man was such a person in my life, he might not have ever realized while he graced this earth with his benign presence the kind of influence he had on many people’s lives. He passed away on Wednesday, September 14th,2011, evening, leaving us all grief stricken. When a few years ago he directly interviewed me and I had the privilege to report to him for a year, what I learned from him was attention to details, to be proactive and to have answers to all his questions which were always direct and in turn he always demanded a precise, to the point and direct answer, which made me know my work better. Just a glance from him was sufficient to put even the mightiest person in place, his sharp mind and Engineers logic made him superior to all and sundry, his tall and broad frame overshadowed most of the average people. Inspite of being on medication for the last two decades, he fought so many battles with his health and won, it was his sheer determination and will power which always brought him back to all of us with renewed vigour and vitality. However, this time we did not have luck on our side and he bid goodbye to us after being in hospital for over a week and fighting it out every day, but towards the end he had realized that the time was up and he himself with his own will left for his heavenly abode.

I am using this private space of mine to say thank you to him for making me whatever little I am today, and making my life better in so many ways with the way he shaped up my career, I also seek forgiveness from his soul for anything I have ever done inadvertently that ever made him unhappy or upset.

Dear Sir, Rest In Peace

Monday, July 18, 2011

just some thoughts

Why is it that certain childhood memories never seem to fade away, no matter how many times I think about it or write about it or visualize it or go back in time.. I do not seem to get enough of it. I know I am on the wrong side of thirty but surely I have not reached an age where my life’s sequences have taken a tumbling and the bottom most has come to the top and vice versa. Not that I hate anything about my childhood ,at least not about the part which I spent in Kerala, with my grandparents, thinking about it makes me realize time and again that I am a loner, even those days I liked to sit alone with a book or my box full of toys playing alone. or just to loiter around the house or sit on the verandah and gaze at the green paddy fields which stretched beyond….
Even today when I am sitting amidst a crowd I feel alone.. I have friends but I always long for someone to whom I could talk freely, without being judged and somehow I always end up talking to myself and yearning to write it out to myself , to read and wallow in self pity later on.. what kind of a feeling is this.. I have no idea.. is it age.. but then age is just a number , I do not feel any different than what I felt 10 years ago.. may be it’s some loneliness streak in me..
When I was in 7th or 8th I was provided with thick rough books, which had yellow pages, more than doing my revisions and study and rough works in it , I used to fill it up with drawings and poems, which I never showed to any one, I read it again and again.. then some close friends came to read a few of them accidentally and they started demanding small little poems to be jotted on birthday cards which they had to gift to their parents or friends or boyfriends

The burning ambition to become a journalist was at its strongest during this time, but then fate took such twists and turns that the writings, the poems, the aspiring journalist disappeared somewhere, but did not die down, well I digress… every time the urge to write comes over me.. this feeling of loneliness also grips me and the words which pour out of this gives me satisfaction.. it make me long for that house amidst the paddy field beyond the railway line, with a small little temple at its backyard.. everytime I go to Kerala I have this immense desire to visit this place where I have absolutely no body to visit to , but it pulls me to it.. and I want to visit this place alone.. and … talk to myself and gaze into the paddy fields and beyond like I used to.. but I don not know, if this house exists any more.. any one lives there, or it still stands there alone.. for me to visit and dissolve into its loneliness…..

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ruskin Bond

Just finished reading a collection of short stories of Ruskin Bond. He is such a natural and perfect writer, he takes you along on his trips through the hills, amidst the oak trees and deodar trees which he seems to love so much. The rains in the hills and the blue zig zag lightnings, the pine trees, the small ponds and the slippery roads after a good rain gives such a pretty picture of nature in its full glory for people like us who are always thirsty for greenery as we are living our lives in midst of concrete jungles.

How I wish I could lay hands on every single piece of literature written by him, just enjoy the books leisurely, imagining each scene described by him , understanding the simple, rustic characters in the book .

I have given the collection of short stories to my daughter to read, I hope she would enjoy it equally..

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rajdhani Ramblings…

My first train journey was when I was 5 years old and traveled from a small sleepy village of South to the national capital of India decades ago and it was a first class travel, I remember it vaguely and I do not remember having come across any discomfort during the journey, and that was the only train journey which I remember and do not cringe….

After my first train journey, I traveled many times in train during vacations to get to down south, well, those journeys were terrible, for one we used to travel by general sleeper class, and I for one totally abstained my self from visiting the dirty toilets all the two and half days we had to sit in the train.. and believe me it was a tough job…then time fled I grew up , got married and started traveling in AC coach and in vain I thought we will have good facilities… it was not that bad.. but bad enough…

Then one fine day I traveled by Shatabdi to chandigarh and near by areas of Delhi, and was thrilled, not only did I like the short and sweet journeys.. I even could visit the toilet with out a scare..

And then I heard that Rajdhanis (Trains) were at par with Shatabdi’s service and cleanliness, so this vacation we took Bangalore Rajdhani from Delhi to Bangalore and to say that I was totally taken aback would be an understatement. The Train was plain dirty, the bed sheets which were given to us were having big stain marks , looked dirty and the blanket had at least a kilo of dust on it, I really thought my small children might get ill because of all this dirt. Then came the service of the food, tea was served only twice a day and that too the tea was pathetic, the sugar and tea tasted like saw dust., the meals were a welcome change and we really relished it but the moment we saw how they were arranging it and where all of us wanted to forget what we had eaten .. our seats where the first 3 seats just near the toilets and we saw these service guys dumping the trays of meal and even tea and snacks on the floor almost towards the toilet, though they had been provided with a large area near the toilet for this purpose, where they could have arranged it with out dumping it on the floor and scattering it near the toilet, it was an unsightly sight to see so much of food spilled near the toilets… argh.. We could have still managed all this if the service guys would have been a bit more cooperative and forthcoming, they looked angry and unhappy and did not like any questions being asked to them, did not like children it seemed and they looked dirty and unkempt.

An equally unkempt man used to come to clean the floors with a broom cum mop which belonged to the last century and he had a bottle of phenoil in his hand which he sprinkled on the floor and swoosh… everything was clean… supposedly.. and also there was at least a cupful of broken glass pieces on the window sill of our seats which was quite dangerous for the kids, we had to call this person specially to clean it, it seems no one had seen it while cleaning the train before the passengers board it.. The only time we saw a smile on the face of these service boys were when the came for ‘sevapani’ when we were about to get down at Bangalore…..



Wait.. the story doesn’t end here,, I had thought that New Delhi Railway station was the worst station I have ever seen.. with new sparkling exterior now it looks like a beautifully wrapped gift which has may be a dustbin inside it… well the corners near the stairs already has pan stains.. you can see cat sized rats feasting on all kinds of wastes on the tracks… the smell of urine and filth will make any body throw up then and there.. the amount of dirt on tracks including human excreta will put any ‘slumdog millionaire’ scene to shame.. It becomes difficult to have eye contact with the foreigners on the station , it makes me curl up and die.. thinking what they would be conjuring up about our cleanliness and hygiene standards….eekkksss….

Shockingly.. the same kind of dirt I saw on Bangalore Railway station, I had a misconception that south Indian Railway stations where much cleaner.. and yes one must give credit to Secunderabad station which looked clean and green with potted plants, clean floors and I even saw people spitting in to the ‘Use me’ bins… but Bangalore was an exception.. the tracks were in such a condition that I really had my sympathies for the cleaning staff who were struggling there.. the basement which takes us out of the station to the bus station.. is in dilapidated condition, with seepage, dirts and wastes and with unpleasant smells…


Would it be possible for us to ever come to the level of world class Railway service and Railway stations, it really breaks my heart when I think about the amount of tax we salaried people shell out every month after month year after year which supposedly goes in to building these services for us.. where does it actually go..??? why cant we get decent and hygienic , clean train travel.. good food.. clean stations.. service with a smile.. why cant we???

I am not blaming only the Government here, I am blaming each of us also who contribute to the filth on the stations, when it is clearly mentioned in every train lavatory not to use toilet when the train is stationary.. why cant we obey.. it ??? why oh why??? I Wish one day we would also have world class travel arrangements in our country especially with regard to Train travel and maintenance and cleanliess on Railway stations…..

I wish.. I wish.. I really really wish…..for all of us…..

Jai Hind

Monday, April 11, 2011

Please dont be judgmental

“Why some people have it easy without having to choose, while others suffer no matter how hard they try to make it better is beyond me”

These are the words of a financially independent but emotionally scarred and vulnerable woman who wrote on IHMs blog and there was a plethora of people advising, sympathising, empathising, admonishing. Well, the easiest job one can ever dream of is advising others, and asking innumerable, hard hitting questions. It is very well taken that all these questions are asked in allegiance, as in showing a solidarity to the victims suffering. But as this girl rightly asks above, some people has it easy and some people never make it inspite of trying hard till they crumble and wither away. Not every woman is born with the power to resist domestic violence or to revolt against the daily sufferings, for every bold decision taken by a woman it has to have to the support of three things, all together or just one of it would suffice and that is Money, education, family support. A woman who is not lucky enough sometimes is deprived of all the three.. I have personally seen very own blood relatives walking away from ghastly scenes of domestic violence without an iota of resistance, rebellion, questioning or even plain sympathy because a show of sympathy might lead to lending out a helping hand or finances or just a shelter for a few nights.

The best thing a woman who is neither educated nor well off and does not have family support does as per her own sensibilities is to suffer and sacrifice for her children, the children also suffers the trauma… life goes on ever so slowly till the time these children are on their own and find their own share of earth in this universe and then they try to break away and try to save their mother .. but then by the time she has her own children and for them she can not think of rotting her life in prison for killing the person who ruined her and her mothers life .. so people just let her be… just let her be in peace.. please do not be judgemental..she wrote it for her own comfort , to confide and breathe easy to take off the burden .. not for any of this , that’s what I presume. God has been so kind to many of us that you or me may not know the intensity or depth of such sufferings.. so please let her be….

And yes a man does not have to be mentally imbalanced to get his whole family suffer through domestic violence, it is one of the many reasons…..

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

a leaf from the past

Long ago in a faraway place
Loneliness crowded around
It stifled on the two stairs
It teased the jasmine flowers
And it cornered and huddled
Around a tall coconut tree
Bearing orange coconuts
Tender and attractive
Hot wind blew below it
And the sleepy afternoon bled green
The pineapple bushes swayed
Light tender parrot green
Spread on to the paddy field
Across the paddy field
Lay the railway line
Bringing along a goods train
Sometimes coughing sometimes running
And the odd passenger train
Brought along a bounty of colours
Brown of the train, colours of the clothes
Of the strangers who waved from afar
Happy and sad , may be at a reunion
Or a separation
Bringing along a tinge of excitement
And a flurry of hands waving
Stopping midway of planting saplings
Or mending the field
As dusk falls, lanterns glow a burnt yellow
Lamps adorn the front yard
Bells of cycles fade away
Croaking of frogs building into a crescendo
Pitch darkens envelopes the well and the surroundings
A lone tortoise slowly drags itself
With the pain of a candle lit on its shell
By some cruel naughty boys
Sound of chants and prayers of the evening prayer fills the air
Driving the loneliness across the paddy field
Along the railway line
On to some unknown destination
Only to return the next sleepy afternoon

void

Sometimes I yearn to shrink into nothingess
To become a void, non existent
Or to become something or somebody
Who can pretend not to be there
Just let things go by just as it is
Not to ponder, not to ruminate, not to plan
And not to feel good or bad
Not to wallow in self pity and not to shine
In a self induced halo
Where is the balancing act
Has it disappeared or is it a very difficult task
I do not know, I just wish to disappear
Into nothingess or let something cover me up
From head to toe and block my ears
Seal my eyes and ask that heart to stop
Just stop pinning up hopes, holding on to broken things
Hanging on to a thread , yet daring to look below
To frightening gorges and dark deep valleys
And looking above, finding nothing,
Only scattered blue and white
Sometimes turning into monstrous grey
Will power, what is that, is that a myth
Or just a concocted story
Made up by people who had to go through
Hell and never look at hope and still could never
Shrink, shrink back to nothingness
Could never yearn for the warmth and innocence of
Those days in the womb
What about those to whom you gave shelter
Of your womb and then should they be left to fend for the light
Do not know, sometimes it is raining hard , opaque and dark
Sometimes lightning strikes
Sun shines bright then disappears into the wood
Or the roaring ocean engulfs it, not even a glimpse visible to the eyes
What is it.. what does it take to control
And dissolve and disappear into a void
Or just shrink.. shrink into nothingness

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

straight from a daughter's heart

Some warm homes resonate with laughter
Warmed by a mothers care
And awakened by peals of a daughters laughter
Some homes remain dry
In anticipation of a son
Ignoring a daughter and her worth
They spend their years waiting
Talking, planning and hoarding sympathies
Looking yonder while ignoring the treasure on lap
The mother too weighed down by tradition,
Expectation and her own worth at stake
Mulls away her time waiting for the hour to arrive,
When a male child would adorn her crown
And make her life worthwhile

Is it you or me or all of them
Who have made this thorny way
Ignoring the steely determination of so many mothers
So many wives and so many sisters
Who provide for their children, their husband and their brother
So many daughters flocking to their parents in old age
Providing for them, loving them and being with them

Every day you are eve teased,
Sometimes raped, sometimes murdered
Put in a bag or pushed from a train
Hungry eyes tear you apart
Lonely nights lurking in pain
but still the next day
you wake up to life and brave the rain

Let us shed the tradition
Toss away the indecision
Let us be ourselves
Pursue our passion
Love our sons, and our daughters
Our brothers, and our sisters
And hug our mother and tell her
It’s okay not having a son,
Laugh and forget your pain
I am there, I am your daughter , I am your son
I shall be there with you in shade and sun
All through the valleys and the gorges
I shall hold your hand
And I shall fight my own battles
With my will power
My education
My self respect and my love for you
And above all your love for me..

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Freezing moment

Freezing moment

This happened almost a year back. During my daily commute to office along with my colleague in his vehicle I used to see some daily sights and people, who became a daily part of the 50 minutes drive to office. One of the sights was of a beggar woman along with her old mother (seemed like) and two little children , one a girl of almost 4 years and the little boy was always on her hip and he was almost 1. I used to see her at the traffic light every day, and it seemed she slept on the nearby pavement, this was a busy road and by the time we reached the spot, we used to see her begging for some money and then bringing tea and biscuits for her mother and children, by the look of the pavement and things strewn around there I could make out that she lived there itself, maybe. I was really upset to see her everyday in this condition, her clothes were torn and tattered, the boy did not have any clothes below his waist, the little girl also wore a torn frock, the mother was also in rags.

This sight of this hapless woman, in her prime youth, struggling with life to sustain an old woman and two kids disturbed me a lot. Every day as we passed by this traffic light , I used to discuss with my colleague about how I felt, and then we left it at that. But since it was our daily route and this was a daily thing, my mornings started becoming disturbed and upset, I wanted to do something desperately for this woman , especially for the children and the old woman. The weather was about to change, there was already a nip in the air, the plight of the children was unbearable. One day I took out all the clothes of my children and mine which we had stopped using or was about to discard, some were brand new but my younger one could not wear it because she had outgrown it. I made a huge bundle of all the clothes, I took out some good salwar suits which I could give to her. I discussed with my husband and then my colleague about wanting to give this to this woman, with my colleague, because after all I had to use his car to carry this huge bundle. For a good 4 days this bundle was kept in his car but could not be given to her as she had just disappeared, or sometimes she was on the other side of the road and because the location was such that we could not stop the car and wait for her to come to our side.

Finally one day, we started a bit early and caught her sitting sleepily by the side of her children on the pavement, I called her from the car, she came running, suddenly from nowhere two or three other girls also followed, these girls were younger than her, in same kind of attire, but I had never seen them early. They came to the car window and said, paisa de do, when I said paisa nahi hai, kapde le lo, her face fell she turned back , the other girls asked for food, I said I will get it for you next time, you keep the clothes and give it to her. They went after her and she came back to the car, she took the bundle hesitantly, I asked her to give the kid clothes to her boy and girl, she looked at me blankly. There was no feeling on her face,no happiness, no excitement, nothing. She took the bundle and walked back.

Next day, I was excited to go to office, so that I can see her and the kids wearing those clothes, at least they would be protected from the cold, I thought. Again I was disappointed, I could not see her, no sign of any one. After two days I saw her in the same tattered clothes, her boy was wearing a t-shirt which I had given , but she was in the same tattered clothes, so was her daughter and mother. Next day came the big jolt, I saw all the clothes which I had given to her, well most of them, strewn on the street , well not strewn, thrown on the streets !! This moment was freezed in my mind !

I was taken aback, well jolted at this you can say, but my colleague told me “nothing surprising about this, tell me how will she succeed in begging if she wears such nice clothes, no one will give her or any of her family any alms , so what will she do with the clothes, it is of no use to her, it is only a deterrent for her daily earnings, so she had only one option and that is to throw it away” !!!! He had warned me of this earlier, giving the same logic, but I did not consider it and when it actually happened I was totally shaken.

I know she wants money and food only, I did not know what to do , I was not in a position to feed four of them everyday , or even if I fed them, I could not do it for long.. This whole episode, the sight of clothes thrown on the streets brought in two entirely opposite emotions in me, anger on one hand that she did not keep the clothers to atleast protect her children and mother if not for herself , sympathy and helplessness on the other on the supposed reason behind this act, I was at a loss of words and wit!!

NB: This is also my post for the Indibloggers 'close up fire and Freeze Contest'. You can also post your story on

http://www.facebook.com/closeupindia

or put as comment on this post.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Time does wonders

Time does wonders. It mellows down people, it hardens hearts, it brings dreams crashing down, it pushes hopes soaring high, it brings life to grinding halt, but it never stops and never looks back.

It is me and you who are caught up in the sands of time who travels down the memory lane or builds castles in the air about a few years into future, it is so funny but the speed of time , whether it is going fast or is crawling by, totally depends on the situation we are in , when we are happy time flies, when we are sad time just hovers around refusing to move.

All those happy days in school and college when we had no care in the world seems to have zoomed past, the courtship days filled with rosy excitement and sweetness of chocolate on every meeting has just disappeared so fast.

When the day of marriage dawned it filled the tummy with rainbow coloured butterflies, by the evening the fragrance of jasmine filled the air, time whizzed past and now on this day of my twelfth wedding anniversary I wish time would slow down and let me smell the jasmine and the roses , let me look at my wedding sari lovingly , let me relive those rainbow coloured butterflies , admire the turmeric stained white thread which embraced my neck so lightly but so beautifully with the pendant of love on it... oh .. how time flies..sometimes stops..and sometimes pushes us back into a whirlwind of emotions…Time does wonders..

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to my daughter

The wails got louder
As the nurse bathed you
9 years ago
It was a cloudy, cold day
And the new born you resisted the bath your own way


I gathered you in my arms
Kept you close to me
It felt so strange having to look after ,
A frail little baby depended so much on me
I was scared to take you in my arms
You looked so red and so angry
That you had to come out early
My stitches hurt and I was tired
All I wanted was to sleep some more
But you wanted so much of attention


Now you have grown up baby
You have your own likes and dislikes
Sometimes you are so funny
You like to read only when you are in the mood
You write well and you remember your lessons so well
Only you want to play some more
And also to watch tv some more
Especially Barbie and her stories

You have grown so tall
And you look so beautiful
Your hair is much longer than mine
And I am so proud of you
Soon you would become a little lady
Beautiful and graceful
Soon I ‘d be graying and aging
But I shall see my own reflection in you
You look like your father but you are so much like me
In a few years from now you shall be on your own
A few years from now you shall be gone
May be for study or work ,may be with the love of your life
Then this mother shall await your visits by the door step
Just to hug you and look at you long
I will wait by the phone for you to call me
And update me on your happy life
Tears well up thinking of you being away from me
Today on your birthday I wish you love, luck and laughter baby, all along..


Today on your birthday ,
I wish you so much love
And so much blessings
That it would last you your whole life
You shall never be short of good luck,
Good friends and a warm hearth
These are my wishes for you today
I Love you my daughter ... happy birthday