Saturday, November 8, 2014

Farewell to a kindred spirit

I have always believed that people’s lives converge for a reason. Sometimes it’s an obvious one, however many times the ‘AHA’ moment comes years later. Then it suddenly dawns upon you “So that is the reason why the Universe made our paths cross!”

I have known Sheetal for nearly 20 years of which majority of the time, rather unfortunately, we were not in touch. I moved out of India within the first few years of knowing her and during my trips back over the years, we met on some occasions, but not all.

And then the link snapped. Sheetal was my ‘friend my marriage’ i.e. she was my husband’s childhood friend. When my marriage came to an end, I felt it would be hypocritical to keep my friends by marriage. I felt it was unfair to put them on a spot or make them feel compelled to pick a side. So I withdrew. And I would've stayed that way had it not been for another lovely person, Namrata, who took it upon herself to reconnect. When she was in Singapore a few months ago, she called me. So simple. It’s almost inexcusable that none of us did it sooner.

We met. We spoke. We shared our life stories. It was like no time had passed. Let alone over five years. It was so amazing! Namrata told me that Sheetal and the other friends still thought of me but were afraid that I wanted nothing to do with them. I was shocked! I explained how I thought that they would not have wanted to stay in touch with me. Oh the time lost in this fruitless misconception!

Namrata reintroduced me to Sheetal and over the last few months we were in touch very regularly. Thanks to Facebook and WhatsApp we were aware of the various moments in each other’s lives. I saw her kid’s photos. She commented on my son’s pictures. I observed the things that annoyed her. She noticed when I was disappointed. We discovered things we had in common that we had not known before. Like our love for writing and books. Our challenges as single mums bought us closer. Our desire to breakthrough and pen new chapters of our life stories was apparent. Except Sheetal will not have a chance to complete her story. It has been halted midway leaving us all bereft and utterly devastated.

We had decided to meet when I would be in Bombay in December and were debating whether it should be over coffee, lunch or perhaps a girl’s night out. I remember saying “I really don’t care. I just can’t wait to see you all!” And now I won’t. The truth knocked me in the stomach so violently that I physically felt sick.

My last contact with Sheetal was earlier this week when she messaged me on my birthday. I received over a hundred wishes that day. However I was obsessing about that one who forgot. In that state of mind, I replied to Sheetal’s message with a banal thank you. I feel so ashamed and distraught that I missed my last chance of having a conversation with her! And now I never can!

Sheetal was a kindred spirit whose smile enthralled all who came in her present. Her eyes always shined, almost luminous and one could not help but feel joy when around her.

None of us have seen heaven, but I fervently hope (for my sake, as much as yours) that it looks like this. 

You had once mentioned that you wanted to visit this book store. I wish you are there now, in spirit, if not in flesh.

A rustling leaf, a silent breeze,
A humming bird, a bumble bee,
Will remind me that you are around

A river bend, a tidal wave,
A mountain peak, a musty cave
Will remind me that obstacles must be faced

A pink rose, a white veil
Blushing cheeks, a fairy tale
Will remind me that love exists

A throaty laugh, sweet sounding chimes
A whistling tune, a forgotten rhyme
Will remind me that you can hear us

A temple bell, a silent prayer
An unspoken blessing, an angel somewhere
Will remind me that life is fragile

You will be the inspiration
To count my blessings daily
You will be my reason
To live my life fully
Rest in peace my dearest
You will be missed… and you cannot even imagine how much.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Romantic Legends vs. Me

I am no Desdemona
To your Othello
I am no Chandramukhi
To the Devdas in you
I surely can't be a Juliet
As life is too precious to me

I am not your Drupadi
Steeped in anger and revenge
I have never been a Sita
Untouched, pious, forgiving

I am not a Jenny
And neither you an Oliver Barrett IV
I can so be a Carrie
But you are no Mr. Big
I am such a Lizzie Bennet
But who can possibly live up to Mr. Darcy?

May be I am a Shakuntala? 
Lost  and forgotten in time
Or perhaps a Radha? 
Loved but never belonged

I am most certainly no Simran
Coz there are simply no Rajs
And am no Mumtaz
Who will get very own Taj

I am not a Rose
Who has to watch Jack die
I want to so be an Allie
But Noahs only reside in Notebooks

I am merely an ordinary girl
With extraordinary powers
Because I still believe
You are out there...
For the Scarlett
To your Rhett...
And you do give a damn

Monday, November 3, 2014

Turning 40

Now that I am turning 40 I should learn…

That if you have given it a fair shot with no result, it’s time to give it the boot
That in raising kids you oscillate between complete insanity and boundless love
That all that glitters, in all probability, belongs to someone else
That if he is handsome, charming and funny…he has removed his wedding ring
Or is a nut job

That just when you think someone is normal, they will turn around and gobsmack you...and  how
That eating cake can never be guilt-free, even if its birthday cake
That under no circumstances can you drink a Jacob’s Creek
That everyone has some eccentricities
And when you accept those in others as they accept in you…it’s called friendship
That there are certain types of people you will never relate to

That long walks on the beach actually work
And long naps are a luxury that you must indulge in
That being politically correct is totally overrated
That only way to love is simply unconditionally
And expecting love in return is like wishing the horse were a unicorn
That you can’t fix people, no matter how much you try
And others can’t fill your emptiness, no matter how much they desire

That you can only change yourself and its bloody hard work
That living beyond yourself is needed for yourself
That family and food are the cornerstones of happiness
And when friends are added in the mix, the picture is complete

That surrendering is winning and fighting is…well…losing
That accepting things as they are is the only way to go
And your life will only be as good as you think it is

That 40 is just another number...and if I put my mind to it…I might even believe it

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diwali Wishes

Lord Ram retuned home
Greeted by lamps and lights
Triumph of Gods over demons
After days of bloody fights

Today we have glamorous parties
And perfunctory puja over YouTube
It's time to show off designer saris
And sip champagne from fancy flutes

Instead of smoke free (hopefully!) sparklers
Let the warmth shine from inside
Be kinder, be nicer, show gratitude 
And happiness will never leave your side

Happy Diwali.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Were we in the same relationship? A Short Story

A love story in a woman's Facebook updates and a man's thoughts.

Spoiler alert: This is a love story between Raj and Simran but it's completely unlike the original. With the exception of the character names, nothing is as it should be.

Simran- 10 July: Were we in the same relationship???

Raj- 10 July: she did mean it. I don't get it? Thought we both wanted similar things. It was so good, why did she want to break up? I miss her...

Raj- 30 June: she has announced that we have 'officially broken up'. That does not mean its permanent right? Am sure she will come around....

Simran- 30 June: is heartbroken...

Raj- 29 June: we were clearly not on the same page when about 'taking it slow'. Why can't this be simple? We meet occasionally, have fun, go on with our lives...why these expectations of an ideal relationship? It's frustrating

Simran- 29 June: feeling stupid! Nothing changes...pattern continues...

Raj- 23 June: good talk. Explained to her that we should take it slow...feeling positive...

Simran- 22 June: had a good 'moving forward' talk...feeling positive...

Simran- 21 June: why do men come back when you pull away? And stay away when you come forward? Men are complicated creatures! 

Raj- 21 June: wow! She was serious about the goodbye. This does suck! I don't want her to leave. I want her. Now. 

Raj- 19 June: why do girls need closure for every situation? What's with farewells and good byes? Why can't we just take this easy and chill a bit? Why so serious? 

Simran- 19 June: it's goodbye time....tearing up...

Simran- 12 June: trying to reclaim my old life

Raj- 8 June: communication actually works. Why haven't I thought of this before? She has backed off and now I can finally breathe

Simran- 6 June: if you love someone you would give them the time and space they need, right? 

Raj- 5 June: damn! She wants to 'talk'. Why delay the inevitable? Will tell her what I think.

Simran- 5 June: gearing up for the dreaded 'talk'

Raj- 4 June: May be I should tell her I am feeling stifled...but she would have got my hints right?

Simran- 30 May: watching 'He's just not that into you'...again...story of my life! Without the happy ending...

Raj- 29 May: why can't she understand that I need some space? Am trying to back off and have given enough hints

Simran- 29 May: AWOL for a week...getting tired of this...

Raj- 22 May: that should buy me at least a week of peace

Simran- 22 May: whisking me off from office in middle of the day to a wine bar. Soft kisses and long embraces. What a lovely surprise date!

Raj- 18 May: and here we go again. The needy tone. Gets rather annoying.

Simran- 18 May: he's behaving like old landline phones that always have a busy signal

Simran- 15 May: is learning to be at peace with herself

Raj- 11 May: how could she think I would not call? I missed her! She ought go know that I would miss her?

Simran- 11 May: he had called! Dad forgot to me the message. Twice. But who cares?? He called...and was miffed that I didn't call back. Likes this feeling of being missed ;)

Raj- 9 May: how long was she going to be away? Seems rather long. And she has not even bothered to call. May be I will call. Am missing her.

Simran- 3 May: being teased by sisters about new bf (who has not called). Sad beyond words :(

Raj- 2 May: no one expecting me to be anywhere. This is good. Am going to sleep all day and drink all night. Let's hope Karan's wife is out of town. A weekend with mates is long overdue.

Simran- 30 April: off for ten days holiday to see my family! Super excited! 

Simran- 26 April: hard to get. A game I never learned to play. Too late for an old dog to learn new tricks?

Raj- 26 April: she acts like she does not care, but if I choose to spend the weekend with my mates she gets all passive aggressive. Jeez...don't have time for this. 

Simran- 24 April: came across this book 'Why men love bitches'. So have to read it! And apply its teachings...

Raj- 22 April- did she notice when I eyed the girl in the figure hugging dress?  

Simran- 22 April: one can't be on the roller coaster forever right? Every relationship moves to the merry-go-round stage no?

Simran- 21 April: thinks she melts too easily

Raj- 21 April: she is giving me such a cold shoulder. A guy can forget can't he? Flowers? Nah. Flowers means admitting to a mistake. Will give her a surprise visit after work and take her for a quiet dinner. That should do the trick. 

Simran- 20 April: a day out with my girlfriends....just what I need...cheered up immensely

Simran- 19 April: is shocked at being stood up!

Raj- 19 April: forgot about Adam's farewell. She will understand. Shit! Did I tell her I can't go over tonight? Rather late now. She should be cool.

Simran- 16 April: first weekend apart...missing him sorely...heartache :(

Raj- 11 April: looking forward to Phuket conference. Need some time apart.

Simran- 10 April: impromptu lunch date. Feeling lightheaded. Blame the Prosecco. 

Raj- 10 April: can't focus on work. Just want to see her. I actually miss her. WTF is wrong with me? 

Simran- 6 April: is feeling invincible! four glorious days! A lovely, romantic n passionate holiday. Silly princess, nonsense curse, stupid legend! 

Raj- 5 April: great holiday. The Booze, the company, the sex, the food, the sex, the sex...

Simran- 3 April: kyon ki tum hi ho...haan tum hi ho...

Raj- 31 March: she's obsessing over some silly curse. It's going to take a lot more for us to be apart. Must reassure her.

Simran- 31 March: Ok so who all have heard about the legend of Bali being break-up island for unmarried couples???? And why I am the only one who has never hears of this?? Will be stupid to cancel an all expense paid holiday...but should we tempt fate??

Raj- 30 March- she does jump onto to things very quickly. Now she has gone ahead and booked tickets to Bali. She is refusing to let me pay them. Have never really had such a generous and rather fuss-free girlfriend before.

Simran- 30 March: booked a holiday to Bali. First vacation together! Excited beyond words...

Simran- 28 March: what does "I am so into you" really mean?? Obsessing again....

Raj- 28 March- have this urge to whisk her off to an island. Just the two of us. Lots of sex. May be on the beach...but it's not just that. Kinda in love with her. Kinda only. 

Simran- 27 March: in his arms, by the ocean, with a bottle of champagne and bags of chips. Bliss!

Raj- 27 March- she is rather easy to please. Did not even have to buy her an expensive dinner. She is so content with simple things. It's kinda simplistic, but adorable. 

Simran- 26 March: "You are a homely girl" errrrr is that a compliment or a brush off??

Simran- 25 March: surreptitiously holding hands under the table when with a bunch of friends and quietly mouthing 'are you ok?' feels tons better than a banal sorry

Raj- 25 March: she is really hurt. I don't like leaving things like that with her. She's simply too sweet and I can't bear to see her sad.

Simran- 24 March: and there it is! Our first fight. Wonder if we will survive it??

Raj- 24 March: F@!? Have no patience for tantrums! She is getting too demanding. I don't have to spend every weekend with her do I? What's with these expectations?

Simran- 24 March: he got a doze of my temper! Bet he is still reeling from it! 

Simran- 22 March: a homing device that gets him back to me no matter the that a good thing? Or am I being taken for granted??

Raj- 22 March: I want to see her. It's past midnight. Too late to call? Will she think its a booty call? It is partly that. But it's also that I want sleep with her in my arms. WTH! Will just ring the doorbell. Something tells me she will open the door

Simran- 20 March: is super pissed!!

Raj- 20 March: has been great hanging out with the guys. I missed this. Why haven't I done it for so long? Simran is taking up a bit too much of my time. 

Simran- 19 March: how do you relate to someone who does not get your TV show references? 

Simran- 18 March: ...all your perfect imperfections...

Simran- 16 March: meat was not as more than..everyone got along splendidly...I call it a successful BBQ 

Raj- 15 March- her friends are pretty cool. And they all seem to adore her. Why does the tall guy look at me menacingly? I will put my arms around her waist to piss him off. There! His scowl just deepened. Where are the chicken tikkas? 

Simran- 15 March: is feeling a nervous teenager. Will my friends like him? 

Raj- 12 March: if once more she reminds me about her friends BBQ... I will have to ask her to take it easy. I don't know why it's all such a big deal? 

Simran- 11 March: when day dreams are like floating on a cloud....and night dreams are like falling from a cliff...

Simran- 8 March: do the words 'I love you' count when said in a drunken state? Obsessing big time on the authenticity of the three little words...

Raj- 7 March: Simran I love you. Did I say that aloud or just think that? Think it's the latter. But who the hell remembers after the umpteenth tequila shot? 

Simran- 6 March: thinks she has received the seal of approval. Gloating smile! :)

Raj- 5 March: it was cute to see her nervous. And even a little guarded. Didi was so sweet to her. Think she wanted to jump up and down as this is the first time I had got a girl home to meet her. 

Simran- 5 March: invited for dinner at his sister's...should be afraid at things moving so fast....instead stressing over what to wear

Simran- 4 March: kebabs and whiskey?! Gawd! How 'dalhi' can anyone be!

Raj- 4 March: you can take a girl out of Bombay...but...she will still prefer pau bhaji to dal makhani. Sigh! 

Simran- 4 March: loves long soft kisses....especially when they are in the embrace of long, strong arms

Raj- 3 March: introduced her to my friend. He was rather baffled. First chic I have ever introduced him to in awhile. They seemed to take to each other. Perhaps a little too much. Must talk with him. She is my girlfriend after all. Damn! Don't think I have ever thought of her like that before.

Simran- 1 March: Shaadi ke side-effects as the first movie watched together. What a crap film! Will he ever call back? 

Simran- 28 Feb: 3 stars of the chicken curry, 5 stars for the effort. A man who beyond words...

Raj 27 Feb: Friday night and I wanted to have a night in. Seldom happens. Ended up watching old hindi film with her head nested in my lap. It strangely felt very nice. 

Simran- 26 Feb: so this is what a whirlwind romance's just like in the rom-coms :)))

Raj- 22 Feb: can't believe we are meeting almost everyday. I am not usually like this with other girls. What's so special about her? I love the fact that I can talk to her about anything. And how she nods when she listens. And how she strokes my arm when I am not in a good mood. And when she cooks my favourite food even without me asking. And just how she makes me feel..not had this feeling for a long time. It might just be what others call happiness

Simran- 21 Feb: Me- wearing a long white dress
He- "Why are you dressed like a character from a Bronte?"
Me (in my head)- He quotes Bronte! Shoot! He was probably making fun of me...but who cares? He quotes Bronte!

Raj- 19 Feb: loves how she calls me 'aap' and when she says my name in soft tones when I am kissing her neck

Simran- 18 Feb: wonders if you can you downgrade someone from an 'aap' to a 'tum'?

Raj 14 Feb: am I forgetting something today? 

Simran- 14 Feb: is trying not to read too much into not receiving flowers at work

Raj 12 Feb: four times in one night. This is freaking awesome. She is freaking awesome. And so so so sexy. Especially in the black lace we go again 

Simran- 12 Feb: yes it's better in the morning!

Raj- 10 Feb: Tumko dekha toh yeh khayal aaya

Simran- 8 Feb: and he has the most appropriate Hindi movie dialogues for the right moments. Have I hit the jackpot this time?

Raj- 6 Feb: I can always make her laugh. And when she doesn't, I just want to try harder. Her face lights up when she smiles. Her eyes twinkle. And when she throws her head back, I can catch a glimpse of her cleavage...and then I forget about the laughter

Simran- 6 Feb: always knew the anti-establishment guy is the one for her

Simran- 3 Feb: an Indian man who does the dishes. Have I stumbled upon a unicorn??

Raj- 3 Feb: think she is suitably impressed. I was a true gentleman. She makes me want to be one. I can't possibly be falling for someone this soon. Let me go out for beer with friends to shake this feeling off.

Simran- 2 Feb: is seriously considering breaking the third date rule...

Raj- 2 Feb: hates Cosmo and their stupid rules!!

Simran- 2 Feb: a stay at home second date? Don't diss it till you try it...

Raj- 2 Feb: so excited to see her kiss her hold her again...and who knows...may be a lot more?

Simran- 31 Jan: Gong Xi Fa Cai. The year of the horse is off to a galloping start!

Raj- 29 Jan: can't believe I had to go home alone. But only makes me want her more. Have not had such a great time in the longest time

Simran- 29 Jan: what do you call a first date that starts at 7 pm, ends at 2 am and then both individuals go to their own homes? MAGIC that's what!

Raj- 28 Jan: she has expensive taste in wine, but she is exquisite! And so so sexy...I want her so bad...

Simran- 28 Jan: checked in at Level 33, MBFC Tower 1. Wonders if the view was always this good? Or is it the charming company? 

Raj- 27 Jan: why is she being so elusive?  Damn! I really want to see her

Simran- 26 Jan: discovered she likes being pursued...butterflies in the tummy...there goes the empowered woman notion...

Raj- 25 Jan: she is busy again today? WTF! May be she is not interested? Nah! Just need to chase harder...

Raj- 24 Jan: she is playing hard to get. Need to turn on the charm

Simran- 24 Jan: is confused when a man calls as he said he would. Is he not from this earth?

Raj- 22 Jan: it's been six it too soon to call? Who cares? I can't wait to see her again.

Raj- 22 Jan: she has a nice ass and pretty face. Fun to talk to. Feeling something...

Simran- 22 Jan: shared cab with an exciting stranger. This so never happens to me!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tears from the heart

A wounded heart that cries no more
Doe-like eyes that tear up daily
A silent spectator, the astute mind
Entreats the value of forgetting

But forgetting is something the heart can't
And eyes, even when closed have your picture trapped
The fingers grope the empty bed every night
The feet has so much more space under the duvet

Even my shadow feels so lonely
When it sees it's hand not holding yours
Tears fall and the heart aches
Or sometimes the tears ache and the heart falls
From a slow motion....

The mind intervenes yet again
Stop...stop..stop... it implores
'There will be others. Love is not lost'

But the eyes look baffled
And the heart is confounded
What does 'others' mean?
And love IS truly gone
It may exist in the world outside
But it's missing from the heart
A hollow ache remains
Where you once resided

'You are being silly' scolds the mind
'End of one relationship is not end of the world
There are friendly ties and family bonds
There are movies and books and parties galore'

But my eyes just crave your sight
My skin simply desires your touch
My ears ache for your sweet nothing's
And the mouth longs for your lips
Even my nose is bereft without your scent

No one else can fill this void
Not for awhile at least
May be someday
But that day is not today

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Are you truly free?

India celebrated its Independence Day yesterday. It's the day British gave the reign of India into Indian hands. Indians got their freedom. We became our own rulers. We opted for a democratic form of government on the principles of secularism and equality. 

Over the last 67 years we have come a long way. I am not going to list our accomplishments as there are too many to state and am sure you know about all of them. However even I am not naive or patriotic enough to deny that there are too many grave issues that still plague this so called great nation of hours. Infrastructure, cleanliness and women's safety are paramount in my opinion. As these form the basis of any civilized society. 

But there is no denying that Indians are free today. We are free to:

- Follow the religion of our choice, at our place of worship, with our community, celebrating our festivals
- To speak our minds without having to register at a speakers corner
- To travel to most parts of the country without the threat of being in midst of a civil war
- To have access to technology and uncensored information that enables us to learn and grow
- To be entrepreneurial and pursue a vocation of our choice whether it's a bar dancer or a doctor
- To think big. To aspire. To dream. And have tremendous opportunities to make it all come true

It's the freedom such as above that we take for granted as we have always had it. Freedom is one of the values that is recognized only when it's taken away from you. 

Question is what are YOU doing with this freedom? 

- Are you using it put others down in the name of religion?
- Or to constantly complain about issues and 'participate' in TV debates without actually taking simple steps towards change?
- Or to separate ourselves from each other on the basis of our language and state?
- May be utilizing technology to becoming more selfish  and self glorifying? 
- Are you really capitalizing on this freedom when you are chained to a desk for a job you despise?
- Are you merely at the beck and call of every materialistic acquisition which you feel will make your life fuller?

Our forefathers fought and died to give us a free nation. Yet today we are trapped in the world of our own making. A world where connections are more important than connecting. Where we have jobs but no passion. Passion but no love. Love but only on our terms. We have big houses and smaller hearts. Gourmet meals but low appetites. Exotic travels but no discovery. Penthouses with panoramic views but a tunneled vision. Lesser kids and even lesser time for them. We are surrounded by treasured objected but disposable people. We exist, but do we really live? 

As India struggles with its innumerable problems at multiple levels, you can do one of two things. Get involved and make a difference to our country's future. Or simply change yourself for the better. The freedom that you believe you have complete entitlement over, put it to some good use. Improve yourself by looking beyond your restrictive view of yourself and your immediate family. Take small steps towards your own growth. If we all do the same India will be taken care of by itself.

As Mahatma Gandhi said "Be the change you want to see in the world".

Jai Hind! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A child's plea

Give me the gift of stories
Present me the power of dreams
Grant me the blessing of imagination 
Mother then you'll see me succeed

Don't tell me what to fear
Stop me from fleeing away
Don't wrap me up in cotton wool
And mother see me play

Forget about tomorrow
The present is so much more
Let's live in the here and now
Then mother watch me soar

Let us begin to be confidantes
The ones who comfort and care
Let us share our secrets
Tell me one mother, can you dare?

Watch me blossom
Watch me bloom
Join me in my triumphs
Hold me in my doom

I am no longer frail
I am small no more
Treat me like you would a friend
And mother watch me grow

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Karmic Entanglements

It's said that any person who crosses paths with us, however brief or passing the meeting is- has a past karmic connection with us.

Think back to random strangers you have encountered who uplifted your day in some manner. A funny cabbie who made you laugh when you were getting antsy about the traffic jam. A generous bus passenger who bought you a ticket when you were grappling for change. The lady in the grocery store who let you get ahead in line when you were struggling with your toddler in the trolley. The cute guy who sent you the drink at the bar. The teacher who made you look at History differently. Each of these occurrences were fated. Every person was one you were meant to meet. 

Then what about the people who burst into our lives as a gust of joy and then leave behind a torrent of tears? Who make fairy tales come alive and then forget that there should be a happily ever after. Whose smiles turn our world around and whose pain stops the same world. Who give us wings, then clip them. Who clasp our hands tightly, then let go of them effortlessly. Who forget about the love that once existed and now lies lifeless.

Is there some karmic debt that we owed them? Was this a payback of some sort? 

Or is that they came into our life to remind us that nothing lasts forever. To make us realise that we should relish the present, without setting expectations for the future. To show us that short-lived happiness of the past does not mean long-lasting pain in the present. To warn us that both joy and sorrow have a shelf life. 

The perhaps come into our lives to fill it with what was missing. And once we have that, they release us  to embrace other experiences. May be they are meant to teach us to be brave. Brave enough to put ourselves out there and brave enough to deal with disappointment of sometimes being alone there. 

Our paths perhaps cross to remind us the greatest truth of all. We need to set people free. We have to let go. Release them for their next adventure. Bid them adieu on their journey. Because ultimately they too, like us, are seeking. And if we don't let them go, we are keeping  away from our destinies. 

It's terribly scary. There will be constant doubts. Temptation to call them back will be rampant. Desire to hold on to them tightly will be intense. 

But only in setting them free can we be free ourselves. Free from fear. Free from expectations. Free from skepticism. Free from being stifled. 

So imagine you are holding a helium balloon string. Open up your fingers slowly. Release the balloon in to the open skies. Look up. Watch it soar. Run behind it for awhile if you really need to. But once it disappears from sight, close your eyes, open your arms and welcome the freedom. The freedom to let other magical things happen to you.

Friday, June 13, 2014

6 word stories. Vol 1

Life beyond heartbreak. Love beyond life.

Child's cry. Mum's dream. Shattered night.

Lost his job. Found his passion.

She was heartbroken. He was guilt-ridden.

Red stilettos. Red lipstick. Black eye.

Fake boobs. Plastic face. Real smile. 

Speedy car. Yuppie driver. Dead girlfriend.

Grey tombstone. Fresh flowers. Stolen kisses.

Kitchen knife. Opened wound. Woman scorned.

Always a mum. Never a wife.

Makeup sex. Pillow talk. Dreamless slumber.

Gained degree. Lost wisdom. Hoodwinked success.

Blonde Scientist. Redhead Accountant. Brunette Model.

Jilted at altar. Reclaimed at morgue. 

Love lost. Memories revisited. Truth revealed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fairy Tale Jargon

Prince - an imaginary creature who is handsome, brave, chivalrous, charming and rich

Castle - Prison

Fairy Godmother - Girlfriends

Ball gown - Cocktail dress

Evil witches - Mother-in-laws

Once upon a time - This happened to my friend

Fire-breathing dragons - Bitchy colleagues

White horse - Orange Lamborghini 

Enchanted sleep - Afternoon nap (with no kids at home)

Dwarf - Lord Tyrion

Balls - Girls night out

Evil step sisters - Mean girls from high school/ Ladies at kitty party

The One - The one of many

Frogs - Dates

True love's kiss - Hopefully-this-is-true-love's kiss

Happily ever after - Illusion

Qualifier- I am a hopeless romantic. I adore fairy tales and am a sucker for love stories. Over the years I may have become a lot more cynical and skeptical. But all it's takes is seeing a couple walk hand in hand in the grocery store smiling at each other, to make me melt. I am the most the naive person I know. Naive enough to still believe in true love. I am surrounded with couples who embody it, which keeps the faith alive. Though every once in awhile I roll my eyes and question it all. This post is a product of one such time. And also because I love being flippant and making people smile with my writing :) 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What it means to be a mom. Happy Mother's Day all!

I live in movies
I live in songs
I live in memories
I don't live very long

I die thousand deaths
I cry uncountable tears 
I laugh million laughs
I throttle many a fears

I sing a long sonnet
I dance a tiny jig
I climb a high mountain
I take part in a gig

I explore the horizons
I swim the oceans 
I rustle up banquets
I create magic potions

Is there anything I can't do?
Is there anything I don't do?
Probably I don't take credit
Where credit is due

I take on stress
I build on worries
I add to the tensions
I am always in a hurry

I should laugh at the frivolous
I must enjoy the trivial
I need remember this
Motherhood is not merely about survival

It's a journey like none other
It's a lifetime of treasures
It's an excitement unsurpassed
Its sheer happiness unmeasured 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Childhood Home

Childhood homes are a special place. Mine I think is almost magical. It's where I grew up and I wish someday I could grow old. It's not a big house, but it has a big heart. It has embraced various family members, old and new. And continues to do so. Over the years the noise levels around have gone up, long ago we had to bid adieu to the sea view and the building now appears in a state of disarray. However once you step inside B-42 Dakshina Park, you enter a different world. A world where my childhood is still awaits me. A world where time stands still. A world where I always breathe easier. This is home. 

It's the home of summer, where sea breezes visit
It's the calmness of palm trees, where hammocks swing
It's bears the joy of untold tales
And the smiles of secrets shared
It's where bonds of friendships grow tighter
And where family ties get stronger 

It belongs to my childhood nostalgia
Which is re-visited every year
It's where my children rediscover me
And build memories of their own

It's mine and mine alone, now I can't say
It lives in the hearts of all those whom it's touched
It now belongs to Sanil, to Myrah, to Kabir
But in my heart it feels like it speaks to me alone 

It's a sanctuary where I am reborn
It's my home where a part of me still lives

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Give n Take

Let's go here
No we will go there
You come to me
And why would that be?

We will watch a movie
And then grab a bite
Nah ha, we will stay in
And cuddle all night

A bottle of wine
A keg of beer
Rom-com it is
Did I see you sneer?

I have a headache darling
Come on not again
What if we start with foreplay
Or will that just be in vain? 

May be you should shave?
You planning to wear that?
If you can't walk in heels...
What's wrong with flats?

Forgotten bouquet of Valentine roses
An expensive watch for him
Will she forgive me?
The chances seem slim

Lazy to party
Painting the town red
Dancing till 3 am
No way, by 10 in bed

Celebrate the differences
Give the space
Take a pause, hold hands
Remember this is not a race

There's a little of give
And some amount of take
Some sugar and pinch of spice
Together a beautiful relationship make

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Leap of faith

When day dreams are like walking on clouds
And night dreams are like falling from a cliff
When hidden smiles have meanings sweet
And visible frowns are signs of lovers tiff

When sunrise greets with fuzzy warmth
And moonrise leads to starry eyes
When walking feels like dancing on tippy toes
And the stomach is fluttered with butterflies

When every door opens to something new
And every window is a sight into the glorious
When logs are ablaze with fires amber
And the heart simply feels victorious

When sand teases with naughty tickling 
And ships set sail to lands afar
When the breeze flirts and sometimes mocks 
And sky is fiery with kites galore

It's a time of change, a time to change
Where life is that the brink of the uncharted
And luck can change with every roll of a dice
Get up, risk it, even if you may falter

Coz life brings you the pleasures unknown
To tempt to you to take that fleeting chance
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Take the leap of faith without a second glance

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Looking back at childhood

Nostalgia comes in various forms. Sometimes it's a gradual and lovely stroll down the memory lane. This usually happens when you are pouring over old photo albums, or meeting a childhood friend after awhile or reminiscing growing up with your siblings or cousins.

At other times nostalgia has a fucking weird way of smacking you right out of nowhere. I was sitting by my condo poolside today and saw some little girls play with a skipping rope. I did not realize kids these days still skipped rope. And suddenly I had this gush of memories engulf me. I immediately picked my phone and messaged my closest childhood friend who I have not seen or spoken to in last five years.

And when she said that she misses me and I replied that I think of her very often too, I started tearing up. Now as crying alone by the pool side with an empty glass of wine on the table was simply not an option, I decided to pen my nostalgic thoughts. And of course by 'pen' I mean fly my fingers on the iPad touch screen keyboard.

For God knows what reason we played on the staircase on the third floor of our building. I lived on the 4th floor of the B wing of Dakshina Park and two of my best friends lived on the 3rd. We each got our toys to the staircase which comprised of tea sets, miniature kitchen utensils, adhoc dolls (we never grew up with gorgeous Barbies and their fancy accessories) and other random stuff like beads, mums old costume jewelry, etc. It was a weird ensemble of toys and knick-knacks, but we knew better than to ask for more. Our parents did not given into our demands as easily as we do nowadays. Yet we were content. Almost blissful.

We rode bikes, they were rusty and most of the time borrowed. We played games like sankli, kho-kho and lagori (which iPad auto corrects to algorithm). I was never the sporty one, but my friend Monika always made sure I was picked in her team so I would not feel left out. We played till the sun went down and the moon came up and our mums yelled from the windows for us to come up for dinner. 

As we grew up we went for walks to the beach or around the building. We sat on the 'tanky' (water tank) and gossiped about everyone who walked by. And when we wanted some privacy we went up to our secret spot on the terrace- by far still one of my most favorite places in the whole wide world.

We ate street food everyday during the holidays- roadside sandwich, bhel puri, dosa with suspicious looking white chutney. But we could never tell our mums that we would skip dinner. 

During summer holidays we went swimming at Juhu gym and ate chicken club sandwich after. We would the leisurely walk back but never go home. We would get end up in another friends house and simply continue playing, chatting, giggling. 

Our parents didn't keep tabs on us. As long as we were home by 8 pm, there were no questions. A minute later and it would be completely a different conversation.

Friends covered each other's back. No matter what. "Yes Aunty, she was with me all the time" was recited in utmost sincerity, even though the friend in question was actually holding hands with the boy from the next building for the past one hour. 

We grew up with one channel on TV and one TV in the house. We learnt to share. 

There was one phone line for the longest time. We learnt to exchange hellos with our parents and siblings friends.

Family dinner meant eating with the family. On the same table. And usually a friend who decided to stay as her mum was not home or just because she fancied mums dahi vadas. We learnt to open our homes to others.

Picnics meant an entourage of 8 or 10 Marutis and Fiats and food enough to feed an army. My favorite picnic food till date is aloo-puri. We learnt to accommodate each other's preferences.

Movies were watched in big groups in front of a small TV. We got chips and Thums up when mums were in a good mood. We learnt to bond over the frivolous. 

Holi meant the whole building would get together and have fun. We learnt to party! 

Diwali meant visiting pretty much every relative alive and each house in the building. We learnt to give our time to others. 

Friends siblings were treated like your siblings, unless they were of the opposite gender, appropriate number of years older and you had a crush on them. We learnt to protect and be protected. 

They were times when rainy season meant paper boats and summer days meant kala ghatta golas. When joys were sought in the little and shared with many. When life was lived in carefree abandon. Where the biggest worry was...well there were no big worries. When laughter filled the air and loved filled the senses. When you cared enough that when decades later you missed your childhood friends, you knew they have been missing you right back! 

It's ironic that we better understand the value of the childhood we've had only when we are older. Because when we were growing up, we never gave a seconds thought to growing old.