Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Consumed




Drawing a food chain
I look at who eats who
soul-poetry-love-soul

the vicious cycle 
the soul the first link
the last too

all predators/consumers
in between

Dearly beloved

Did you feel 
my warm heartbeat?
like you sometimes hold
your cup of chai
in both your palms

Did you taste me
as delicately as you
slip a warm roasted peanut
between your lips

I accept now
why love consumes
why you consumed me completely

But you could have done it
with love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Beauty

Representational image from Google Images



“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”

― Markus Zusak

She is a team leader
but works mostly from home
She dotes on her daughter
but sometimes misses school events

She talks so much sense
In Skype meetings
If you ignore her bad hair
And the scattered things

She has the most generous smile
and almost instant empathy
she posts inspiring quotes
and never complains about a thing

besides these she looks after
a spouse bedridden
and hopes for better things

She is beauty personified
And in the face of life’s hurdles
She never forgets to sing.






I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.

Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.


Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… http://bit.ly/naturalsOF


(I write about several women who are caregivers, sole breadwinners and more for their families.)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Bad Omen

humans are strange
they dress up graves
and coffins
just like they do brides

They won't care
unless your death can fill
their gossip inboxes

the one who might write
lofty obituaries
shall do so
to keep the superhero tag
of compassion 
for the doomed you

you will be alone
dying
drop by drop
or falling
floor by floor
images flashing by
faster than the speed of light

the little girl leaning on her father
the young teenager's first kiss
the woman in love
giving up her world for it
the mother who survived
the child who didn't

the wife hiding the scars
behind the makeup
the brave woman
who didn't let her hand
or her voice shake
even when her soul 
was falling apart

all of you
she loved
she had only soul to give
and a body
but you wanted more
so she let you go
to find your more


and let you push the dagger
deeper and deeper
into her heart
smiling


The mirror had cracked that morning
the hairdresser warned the bride
it was a bad omen!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Don't say you love me

Image : Google Images


Chooses the tenderest words



to describe a lost love


if you choose to remember me


sometime, in a rooftop cafe






whenever on a beach, if


a receding wave brings back memories 


of my impossible dreams with you


smile at the sea






the moment your newborn


clasps your finger in his palm


whisper my name in his ear


tell him he lived in my dreams






if you write an autobiography


leave a chapter blank for me


for ruins can't be mentioned


in stories about homes and families






Choose to move on


for burials must be brief


no words are ever appropriate


don't say you love me


that is the worst part !

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cenotaph




Pushing the sprained ankle
on the accelerator
she wants to speed away
from the invisible 
cage of misery 

She remembers 
his eyes, when he looked 
at her

what if she won't 
bring back the foot
to the brakes

she will die 
on a road
be buried or burnt
somewhere
but his soul will be her
cenotaph

Friday, November 16, 2018

Poison



Pin drop silences
heavy words
both rocks
tied to my ankles
in a lake

the unborn children
I bled
a wet salinity
in the corner of the eye

liquid diet for the soul
toxic like the air
of a beloved soul space

O love
you my nectar
you my poison's taste

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

DREAMS


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers




Image : Google Images


My slow fingers
draw a thick line of kohl
in which remain 
inscribed the names of 
all my lost loves

my hands shake
my heart flutters
counting the deaths
of lovers, of loves

blood-soaked dreams
I roam the corridors 
of Macbeth's mind

Did I kill my dreams?
Did my dreams kill me?




Monday, October 15, 2018

An Almost Impossible #BlindList

I am going to be 40 in 4 months and I have never taken a solo vacation. 

Yes I have traveled alone a lot, but it was mostly between cities I worked or studied to hometown and even now for work mainly but never for leisure, those trips were first with parents, then with friends ( in an only girls group too, then ex-husband, then child but never ever alone.


Being a woman in India the blueprint is set early, in my small hometown no girl ventured alone even to the school or library. I extended my limits there and learned how to be "safe" along with enjoying the long solo walks up and down the slopes of Shimla.

As I moved to bigger cities for higher education first, then for work and finally due to marriage I did travel alone a lot in jiggling roadways buses, overcrowded trains and shared taxis but there was no pleasure in those trips. Only covering the distance from point A to point B for a specific purpose.

I dressed conservatively, was always careful about my belongings, never became too friendly with a co-passenger so basically followed all the "good Indian girl" rules.

Now I have have finally arrived at writing #theblindlist , I want to #sayyestitheworld and finally let my wanderer soul roam freely.


Picture Courtesy : Picjumbo


The odds still stand, even greater may be- single parenting, Fibromyalgia, the horror of #MeToo stories and yet I want to give the world and myself a chance to do the following:


  • Go on a trek in a group of strangers
  • Go river rafting and feel the river touch me like a passionate lover
  • Go Bungee jumping and feel the blood rush
  • Drive with my limited driving skills to a forgotten castle, a secluded monastery
  • Take a long train journey, through places where I learn new languages
  • Meet a stranger somewhere on a journey and make a friend
  • Look at countless sunrises and sunsets from an uninhabited island
  • Visit the indigenous people somewhere and live their way for some days
  • Wear what I want to wear for once while travelling
  • Be on a flight without knowing my destination

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

MORSELS OF MEMORIES



A wooden elevator
his arm ensuring
she is cushioned

****************
Tea- one sweet, one bland
She takes the first sip
from both cups
he smiles

*******************
 "Your plate looks 
like a painting!"
She smiled and
wiped his lips.

********************
He was in the pool
feeling the gentle rain 
on her face
Their hearts were moist

*****************

She looked at the skyline-
"I want to go away from this city"
He wanted to keep coming back
they were looking for each other

*******************

bodies felt so insignificant
when souls merged
all their curves


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Typhoon








the moon they say
affects the waves

The raging sea
a longing lover,maybe

I am the coast
you my typhoon

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

How THE ALCHEMIST altered me !


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers






Those were the days of a heady pen-friendship that was gradually taking a romantic turn. In late teens in small town Shimla the keen reader me had access to books available only in the rustic, colonial State Library where new titles were rare and arrived couple of years later when they were no longer new.
And there it came as a birthday gift from the mystery pen-friend I was falling in love with – Paulo Coelho’s THE ALCHEMIST.




The inscription read- So that you believe in your dreams!

The shepherd boy’s story had me hooked right from the word go. It connected directly to my wanderlust and traveller’s soul and I was also mesmerised that how a distant friend knew what would grasp my attention firmly.

I loved the way this tale was not just ancient wisdom/folklore turned into modern day motivational and inspirational story but at its core it was essentially a love story.

I was battling with depression; the book uplifted my spirit in magical ways and helped me see light. It made me believe in love and the miracles we simple humans could achieve in love for someone whom we love deeply.

Over the years I bought several copies of this book to gift to almost everyone I knew. This is one book I always recommend for self-help and motivation. It also got me hooked on to Paulo Coelho's blog which led me to become a blogger too a few years down the line.


I today possess several editions of the book, including my favorite of the entire lot is the illustrated one that I often read snippets from to my young daughter.

This is one book that has reinforced my belief that books are the best legacy, the best gift and the most precious unending joy.

The Alchemist has surely altered my chemistry as a reader forever!


THIS POST IS WRITTEN FOR NOVEMBERSCHILD IN ASSOCIATION WITH KALAMPEDIA – QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE”

Thursday, August 23, 2018

India - Her Home #AllForKerala




the blanket looks hand woven
from fresh sheep wool from Himalayas
the cotton sheets bear the fragrance 
of the fields of northern plains
the jaggery, the rice and the pulses
neatly packed in transparent compassion

her younger one wears sandals
with smiling mickey mouse
older one wears salwar kameez
like she never had before
She wrapped the benarasi pallu 
closer to her chest and bent down


the village was still under water
home, childhood, fields, all of it
and yet in this small corner
she had a found 
Some solace- a new family
She thought of love
brothers and sisters 
who had poured love

unseen, unknown before
who had sent warmth and prayers
India was indeed her home !



Monday, August 20, 2018

An Infant's grave





The cursor throbs in pain
of aborting a word
that was a dream

A writer's heart 
is a tender womb
where life hope plants a seed

and life's forceps
pull out forcibly
the last remains of 
a half-formed love

they say an infant's grave
often glows
that's the light
you see in my eyes !

Sunday, August 12, 2018

TIME



Time isn't the same river
I am crossing
I ain't the same person I was

And yet rituals 
repeat themselves
like the rotating prayer wheels
kissing Mcleodganj breeze

with shaking hands
and fluttering heart
a soul holds onto life
that looks like coffee

words, noise, smiles
to drown the ache
of an old scar love left
the waterproof Kajal
won't smudge for sure?

the tip of the index finger
pressed at the tip of the eye
she looks at a past
mourning a future !

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Blind Love





At the onset
battling the awkward sea
of silence and unfamiliarity
we drifted towards each other

saving the best
of ourselves 
from the world
to exhibit, serve
to get love

once the facade of novelty
wore out
and you saw the scars

you retreated

and I stood there
naked, like a fool
displaying my soul
to someone
who couldn't see 
beyond my cleavage

Who says
love is blind
it is selective delusion !



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Roles We Play #FlashFiction

Niru was accompanying him to one of his creative workshops. She was no resource person or anything but just to travel with him, hear him speak. Yes, she was completely smitten by Hiten.

The venue was abuzz with the participants, all young people, some fairly attractive and there he was the cynosure of all eyes, the muse, the mentor , the artist.

Hiten was punctual, he started the workshop in time. Niru was still busy observing people, one young man in particular, reminded her of Hiten years ago, paint on his shirt, pencils scattered before him, completely lost in his creation.

Almost instinctively Niru walked up to him, put her hand on his shoulder and in a confident voice that surprised even herself , she said, " Please be careful about the intensity of your strokes, they define your depth. I am Niru , your Hiten sir's trainer years ago, now wife!"

Hiten just smiled. Niru had finally succumbed to her seven year itch and was back to painting.

This post is part of a blogathon/ BarAthon at Blogarhythm

Friday, July 13, 2018

Fame #FlashFiction

Shyamu sold cigarettes, matches, and tit-bits near a busy crossing in Delhi. He had been here since a decade and now proudly called himself a shop owner in Delhi whenever he visited his village, courtesy his small paan-shack on the pavement.

But the fact was life was as mundane as it could be, between the shop and his small 8 feet by 8 feet jhuugi in a nearby slum cluster, he was lonely and frustrated as hell. Often he visited GB road for cheap sex but that didn't resolve the loneliness part.

One late night as Shyamu was about to shut shop and go back to his room, the pavement dwellers had squattered their skimpy beddings all over the pavement near his shack, Shyamu was hit by a loud thud.....

He opened his eyes in what seemed like a government hospital, flashes clicking and TV cameras and mikes being thrust on to him from every corner....

Shyamu finally had his six minutes of fame , the lone survivor of a road rage accident involving a famous politician's son.... Shyamu was struggling with his words.

This post is part of a blogathon/BarAThon at Blogarhythm

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fight #Flashfiction

Roohi was the most promising child in the karate club. Just 13 she had already won several championships and was now a purple belt holder. Walking back from the class every evening with her mom she saw the kids selling fruits and flowers on the pavement.

One evening she gave the banana she had in her bag to the little girl selling flowers and got to know her name was Radha, she was just seven. The friendship gradually developed, Radha was fascinated by the Karate uniform and displayed some moves she had seen peeping into the Club compound sometimes.

Roohi told her mom that she was old enough not to have fancy birthday parties any more can that money be given as Radha's fees for a basic kaarte course. her mother agreed reluctantly.

Three months later winning her first fight radha ran up to Roohi, "Give me five didi ! WHat do you say - what your teacher told you- hail sisterhoods !"

This was Roohi's proudest win ever.


This post is part of a blogathon/ BarAThon at Blogarhythm

Monday, July 9, 2018

Credentials #FlashFiction

Rosa was in the middle of one of her relationship-coaching sessions when one of the participants raised his hand for a query. The young man looked perturbed and asked, "Ma'am, sorry to say but your profiles says this is your fourth marriage, if you actually knew so much about man-woman relationship, why would your three marriages fail?"


Rosa shifted a little in her seat, suddenly she knew a 100 pairs of eyes and ears were completely focussed on her answer, she smiled and maintaining her composure said, "Good question there! Actually a relationship is two people you see, no matter how much one person works on it or two people do in different directions won't help, it works only when two people work at ot together."

She continued, "Now coming to the first part of your question. Yes I am currently in my fourth marriage, the first was back home in India, a traditional arranged marriage. Next in UK where I went for my doctorate, he was German and this was via a dating service. The third was down under in Australia where I was teaching, he was a native and my teacher, several decades older, and now this fourth one is a decade younger, and Afro-American."

"So as I see it I have seen man-woman relationship from four corners of the world and hence I am a bit over-qualified, over-experienced here."

The conference hall was filled with peals of loud laughter.

This post is part of a Blogathon/BarAthon at Blogarhythm.


Friday, July 6, 2018

The Other #FlashFiction

Sandeep waited all day for Priti to return home. She was a journalist and he was a freelance photographer. He was thus by default the housekeeping too, as they often joked. 

They were a very bonded couple, weekends were spent partying and longer ones hiking around Hongkong. Vacations were usually to exotic places and were frequent, yet often Sandeep had started noticing the odd presence between them. 

Even in their most intimate moments he would find Priti pre-occupied sometimes with the other, or he would find her completely disinterested and she would quickly rush back to this new temptation in her life.

Priti was literally addicted to candy crush, and Sandeep was feeling that three's a crowd.


This post is part of a blogathon/BarAthon at Blogarhythm

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Lists #FlashFiction

Kevin felt drowsy and tired as he walked to the parking lot. Taking out the car keys from his trouser pockets his fingers touched the sticky note Paula had written the grocery list on.

Oh no ! Not again.

he had completely forgotten about the groceries during his lunch hour and now at 11 pm after a tiring day at office was in no mood to take a diversion to the supermarket or face the wrath of his cranky pregnant wife.

Regan had stopped taking his calls about a week back. She said if he loved her enough he would do anything to live with her and had given him a long list of do's and don'ts as her lover.

Stuck between two lists, he dialled Regan, the lesser of the two evils.

This post is part of a blogathon/BarAthon at Blogarhythm

Monday, July 2, 2018

Hangover (Bar-a-thon) #Flashfiction



As he opened his eyes, his head was thumping, this was one of his worst hangovers for sure. The sunlight filtering from the drapes was hurting his eyes.he extended his arm to grab the water bottle from the side table, it was missing. The lamp was fallen on the floor, the bulb broken.

Where was Sara?

He called out, "Sara ! Sara !"

No response.

As he dragged himself out from the bed and reached the fridge, he suddenly stepped on something wet. The carpet was soaking in somethin crimson, looked like blood. The trail was leading to the kitchen....

He was now scared, their loud arguments from last night ringing in his ears, Sara....?

Did he have one too many last night?

Enough to.....







This post is a part of a blogathon/Bar-A-thon here at Blogarhythm

Monday, June 4, 2018

Forest Fire




An angst that simmers
embers cause burns too
loneliness is a gas chamber
you know it's choking you
no escape

flashes
of smiles, touch and tears
scavenger time
feeds on memories

outside the window
a forest's green heart is ablaze
flames and smoke

you won't know
how my soul burns
don't tell me 
you'll love even my ashes

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Period Pride with Papa

I grew up in small town India in the 80s, and in the 90s during my teenage years PERIODS was considered one of the dirtiest words ever. There were horrendous incidents of my friends spotting their school skirts and then walking (yes walking, we lived in a hill station) with great difficulty to home covering the spot with a sweater or a blazer, the school’s small infirmary didn’t have any ready to use sanitary pads back then and most mothers and older sisters still living in their time wrap to even talk about it. At homes those four-five days meant isolation and untouchability (girls were considered impure during periods.)



I was almost 13 plus and awaiting my periods to begin still when my father (yes you read it right) my father- papa sat me down to talk to me about periods. He first asked me what I knew about my body and anatomy and the changes happening to me as a young girl. I told him my sketchy know-how garnered from biology chapters and library books and even a sanitary pad company sponsored workshop in school about periods but I also told him about my fears about periods and how most of my friends use what they called “rough cloth” and how it kept them discomforted those 4-5 days.






He talked to me in a very technical and non- evasive way about periods, asked me what I would prefer using the new belted sanitary napkins that were the norm then or we can make our own disposable ones using cotton gauze and cotton, because he didn’t want me to use “rough cloth” like the other girls.






I loved making things with my engineer dad so I said okay let’s make our own, and that’s how I was taught to made my first disposable cotton gauze sanitary napkins by my father. A few months later I also got used to sometimes using the commercial ones and then came another major hurdle- I had a major leg surgery for which one of my full legs was in plaster. Two days later I got my periods. Lying straight in a bed with a wet pad wasn’t a good feeling at all, that’s when my father in the pre-internet days did some research and found about tampons. He bought me some and not only advised me to use those but helped me change them too, I was 15.







That one parent-child moment changed my perception of body image, sexuality, menstruation and gender forever. I passed on my new-found knowledge, confidence and ease about periods to many friends though both me and my father got labelled as "strange" as a result most of the time.



Ever since I was always eloquent about menstruation awareness and related issues and now that my father is no more and I am myself a parent to a pre-teen girl I realize in that one moment my father gave me that voice and that confidence.






He never allowed anyone in the family including my religious mother to put any menstruation related restrictions on me regarding going to the temple/kitchen in the house or touching the pickle. I could tell him I am having menstrual cramps and he would make the best hot chocolate ever and give me a hot water bag to place on my tummy.








Yes I was so blessed to have such an evolved parent who moved beyond the pre-defined boundaries of "masculinity", fatherhood and motherhood and dis all he could to raise a strong, confident, feminist-humanist who is committed for life to keep using her voice and agency to pass on the favor to as many young girls as I can.


My late father with my daughter




Kadam Chhota, Change Bada!


Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country!

On 11th May, is the digital premiere of India’s Hero, Padman, on ZEE5. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe now. For every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.







Thursday, May 3, 2018

Reflections Posts #LifeLessons #SocialMedia #FlashFiction #AtoZ






It’s but befitting that my reflections post is also 100 words just like my Flash Fiction theme. This year I stepped out of my comfort zone of poetry into fiction and chose an unusual theme of life lessons from social media.

It was an enriching process as always, I see more and more new bloggers join in and bring newer knowledge while some of us so called veterans can share wisdom of experience.

I also tried working with Blogchatter this time, met a lot of new bloggers, did some fun secret activities and twitter kept the team like feeling abuzz. 





Though this year I felt the fatigue, couldn’t read much. May be this is my last AtoZ, but as they say never say never. Adios until next time.

Here is my most read post : Appearances are Deceptive

Here is my least read post : Viciousness of Viral

Here is a complete list of all my a to Z Challenge post 2018

Here are is a complete list of my previous challenges

2015

2016

2017

Monday, April 30, 2018

Zillion Sins (#LifeLessons #SociaLMedia) #FlashFiction #AtoZ



As new and new social media networks mushroomed for some reason or the other I got on to several of them, all the apps intact on my smartphone.

Now these have become a daily habit just like tea and Parle-G in the morning, but just like I can’t eat that for all my meals, I do keep checks and balances on my social media presence too.

If there is after life and there is an account of social media sins, I think my good deeds might still outweigh the zillion social media sins, I hope. How about you?


Saturday, April 28, 2018

whY Youtuber ? (#Lifelessons #SocialMedia) #FlashFiction #AtoZ








Richa was happy that in Advik’s new school they were doing everything the multimedia way. Kids were encouraged to use the internet and online material. 

She’d boast to her friends and relatives living in smaller towns how Advik had almost given up writing and reading paper books and did almost everything online on his own.

Before Richa knew Advik’s dependence on online media had grown manifold, to understand anything he would just Google it and look for a video on Youtube for the same.

She looked at kids playing cricket downstairs while Advik sat watching a match on Youtube.



Here is a complete list of all my A to Z Challenge posts 2018

Friday, April 27, 2018

Ex Excitement (#LifeLessons #SocialMedia) #FlashFiction #AtoZ










Ayaz had four serious relationships before he got engaged to Saina, his university bestie. She was a researcher, completely off social media and spent most nights at the lab. 

During one such sleepless night scrolling through old school and college groups he found Aima’s profile- his first girlfriend.

They weren’t in touch; she was in the Gulf now, married. Soon the conversations started. A few months later they met in Mumbai. He hadn’t told her that he was engaged and committed.

She told him her husband Ahmed was having an affair with his college junior some Dr. Saina in Mumbai!


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Whataboutery Whatsapp Way (#LifeLessons #SocialMedia) #FlashFiction #AtoZ






The first thing Shirin checked every morning was Whatsapp. There were dozens of messages waiting for her usually because she was a part of several groups in her housing society, her family, friends, extended family, old neighbors etc.

There was so much knowledge to be gathered there she felt, everything from home remedies to politics to social issues like “what can girls do not to get raped”! She would read some and without fail forward a few others without reading.

As Shirin was hospitalised after consuming a self-made home remedy for greying hair, her son deleted whatsapp from her phone.



here is a complete list of my A to Z Challenge posts 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Viciousness of Viral (#LifeLessons #SocialMedia) #FlashFiction #AtoZ










Samrath was a tastemaker on social media, a leading freelance journalist and author, he was amongst the most influential people from India who introduced average users to interesting things and helped focus the minute-to-minute spotlight on a certain concept or happening.

His mom who was a school teacher back in their native place didn’t understand social media much.

The first time she heard, “Samrath had gone viral” , she thought it was some kind of disease you get from internet, many years later she was sure it was, it changed her son forever, all she saw on his profile was abuses and misogyny.



Here is a complete list of my A to Z Challenge post 2018

COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
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
}

Orange Flower Awards

I WILL RING THE BELL.WILL YOU?

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

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