Thursday, February 27, 2014

Festival Musings : The prayer might not influence God,but it changes the one who prays.

  • What we give is always less than what we get from life. ALWAYS.
  • Being a good human being is the essence, the rest are all decoration in every religion.
  • Rituals should share the joy not highlight the differences.
Years ago in a small village in Himachal year after year I would celebrate Shivratri the way it is done in the hills. Each family is Parvati's house and each year the Neelkanth, Ishaan, SHIVA comes to them as a groom.

No fancy lights, no artificial decoration.
home cooked delicacies
shared goodies and love.
singing ,dancing in mud kitchens kept warm and dimly lighted by a fire.

SIMPLICITY the order of the day.

Now just another day.


Monday, February 24, 2014


If it was not for a reminder on my old phone I would have completely forgotten about THIS baby's 5th birthday today and regretted it for the rest of the year until next time at least.
Unlike my biological one this one cannot be gifted a toy, a book or even XOXO and the only way to make it feel celebrated and loved is to feed its tummy with my home-cooked posts.

So today I answer some of the questions this baby asks me often and like #Priyamvadaisms I name them #blogisms.

Q : Why did you decide to have me?
ME: Well I have always had a journal ( the hard bound diaries that was our generation's secret keeper) but when I had P there was no time or inclination to even comb my hair so keeping a journal was out of question and that's when I happened to read some wonderful blogs online.
Although admiring other people's babies biological or creative is one thing and having your own the other I took the plunge. I guess it was a parenting over drive.

Q: How was I as a child?
ME: Almost as devilish and as pleasing like P. Sometimes a whole 500 words would be made to do the Houdini act by you and I would pull at my hair even strongly than I did when P would soil a fresh diaper within 5 minutes of changing. At other times I would find friends and much needed shoulder to cry upon in you and rejoice.

Q:What do you want me to become when I grow up?
ME: I wish you grow in years but never really grow up in the grown up way which means stay grounded, honest, straightforward and happy go lucky. As a parent I will try to be there showing you the path but the walking, falling, getting up and the learning has to be your own.

Q: Parting thoughts
ME: Glad to be the single parent of a wonderful blog like you. Keep growing. HAPPY BIRTHDAY  !!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

This isn't a post-5

"I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.", said one of my all time favourite poets Sylvia Plath.
But this interaction with people that we have not in their voices, or with their faces but only with their online personas is this really conversation? will human interaction eventually squeeze into screens?

Truth and lies
hide and seek
black and white

What color is money? some say green. I say money is colorless yet it can color your vision and perception.

what is madness? walking like a herd with the majority and what is madness asking questions? breaking away?

Black sheep

But isn't being different rare? isn't rare good or is it the odd one out?


Wednesday, February 12, 2014


  • A grey-haired caretaker lady from nursery school who walked in a wobbly manner
  • A lanky classmate in a pre-primary classroom who always had the yummiest tiffin
  • The only pet I ever had- Jackie, who was not just a German Shepherd but was my first ever best friend.
  • Many childhood friends from our old neighbourhood with whom I played hopscotch, hide and seek, snow games.
  • The bespectacled librarian in the library beside the church who would sit on her desk in the mild winter sun and always have a reading recommendation for me.
  • The blind beggar who would play Pahari tunes in his flute in the market when we went for evening strolls
  • The junior doctor who would talk to me about Shakespeare as she changed the dressing everyday on a painful surgery scar.
  • A friend, fellow researcher and a wonderful person who chose to break all ties with me on quite a bitter note. Hope she knows I still wish her well.
  • So many of my wonderful students whose notes and gestures of kindness were always in excess of any of my talents or efforts.
  • Some extremely learned colleagues, seniors and bosses who were open to learning and sharing their experiences and knowledge.
LIFE let me be grateful always no matter what !!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Triumphs and tribulations are the same situations in different lights. sometimes we relish a moment and at others we just wait for it to pass but there is no escape from this passing. This non-permanent is the only permanent thing about life.

In the rush to reach destinations the fun of the journey is lost. Like horses with blinkers we keep looking at how it will be ten years from now, missing this moment completely. Everyday living takes its toll on life and most of us grow only in years while our souls keep shrinking in the prisons of what ifs.

Sometimes the loss is irreparable but there is no need to keep trying to fill the void. Everything is not for us to make right, to change or amend. Expert opinions are also opinions, some situations should be allowed to be untouched by analysis.

If Eliot was born in Delhi or Manto in NewYork would they still be the same? Would The Love song of Alfred J Prufrock become The Love Song of Anand Janardhan Puri? Would it make any difference?

Each moment is the slave of its context and each context of its perception and we the biggest slaves of everything because freedom is scary, because operating without set instructions is risky.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Like toddlers of all generations singing the same or similar nursery rhymes without actually even understanding what most of them mean, we go through the motions of life generation after generation. Women grow up to believe love is selfless service like the legendary mother India and men grow up with the entitlement to that service as fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and lovers.

When I read DAFFODILS by Wordsworth as a student and much later when taught the same ( how can we ever TEACH poetry?) to my students on my first job in a college I realised I had never ever seen a real daffodil and yet here I was propagating the farce. Why can't we instead/also talk about the flowers that are more close to us like the humble Delia or the sunflower?

The ghazal on a loop in my mind has a line " जो बीत गया है वो गुज़र क्यूँ नहीं जाता " ( what has passed why doesn't it pass ". If all that has passed was really past us none of us would be burdened by the invisible baggage and the tinted glasses with which we see the world and others.

Fault finding the easiest of activities of  being "holier than thou", none of us let go of that wonderful opportunity of mud slinging without realising its our hands that get muddy even before the mud reaches the other's reputation. Sometimes letting out the venom helps but write it down and hit delete or better still write it down on a real paper and flush it down. breathe and without doing any damage LET IT ALL JUST GO.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


All the monsters, each one of them known as "I" live in an ivory tower, up above the real life on the ground. the life that does not accept or need boundary walls and wired fences, the life whose activity is not small enough to be captured in the security cams.

It is so easy to limit and so difficult to set free ,freedom is threatening because in letting go you could fall, bruise or go through an irreparable loss but boundaries are toxic when they are imposed for too long or too severely. Expression always contains the risk of being in the wrong but repression would the never be right.

Maps and routes and more maps and more routes, the destination is always within, the journey inwards into the troublesome landscapes of the past and into the challenging cliffs of future. The cacophony of instructions ,directions is often deafening and in the noise the innermost voice called instinct gets killed.

Each one of us intoxicated in our own personal opium ,your opium works for only you mine sometimes doesn't work even for me. Poetry is such an elusive opium sometimes it may churn your guts and at others just black tic-tac on a white screen- absolutely nothing.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014


why do I write? why do I need to write this, that or anything?
Why I commit poetry?
Why I commit life or why life committed me about 35 years ago?

Are why's the most important questions or are the hows and wheres important too?
I ask and words tumble out as if a dam of sanity has been pushing them back to the subconscious for long where they wait as a pool of experiences bubbling, stagnant but pushing at its seams to find that one moment of letting go of insane carefreeness.
when I coin my own words or I use a few for the first time and many for the infinite time do I make sense?
I am looking for meaning of all this of the cosmos in chaos. Why it doesn't pause and just like the constantly revolving and rotating earth it gives us only a semblance of being the same each day.
the learning is fun but sometimes when the lessons bruise and wound ,when there are weak moments of giving up, of disillusion, the mind wanders to the mundane- the lonely plant on my window sill or a perfect cup of tea that is sweet without sugar only because it has been waited for and cherished.
The bearings of being the beginning of being, all a never ending wasteland. The old copy somewhere in this clutter, the one with my younger handwriting of notes around it oblivious of what Eliot would mean to me many years later.
life is fond of me it seems it chooses the grind for me afresh every day so that I become a chiselled student , who writes and has a voice and isn't afraid of this madness.

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To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!