Category Archives: observation

Winter is coming

Sun sets, before the day has ended
Time sighs and then resigns
Itself to march on and ignore
Pleading eyes and shivering skin
Frozen palms beg for respite
Buried in dull grey overcoats
Sunburnt leaves breathe their last
Writhing around on merciless stone
Even the clouds have finally lost it
Tired of smiling for photographs
Sky chokes, smothered it seems
Unless this is all just for laughs
Chapped lips lament to each other
As icy drafts hiss into my ears
“Our turn now, winter is coming”

Evening Walk

My trainers have many stories
Compiled on long walks
Every step being a discovery
People, things, truths

A woman hisses into a phone
Dogs totter in absolute joy
A hippie shows off his swagger
Some men sprint to catch the bus
A cyclist whizzes by in silence
Ladies chat, carrying large bags

The sun sets behind the gates
Of a stadium, eerily empty
Of voices, faces, and cheers
I love the rays peeking through

Kids on skates, proudly
Leave me and the world behind
No shame in being happy
I love their loud cries of joy

People walking to stay fit
Under the fading lights
Of the endless golden sky
Ah, the sound of determined footsteps

As the evening melts into night
And noises die down, mostly
Some hard feelings I sense
Eyes that don’t meet mine
Or anyone else’s, faces downcast
Worried, tired, angry, resigned

Hope the miles can soothe them
Take away their fatigue
Absorb that sea of urgent steps
Make them slow down, relax
And get them home to think
Rest, rejuvenate, or just sleep

I walk past them all, quickly
Observing, then dismissing
No time to spend thinking
I have my own goals to keep
I shall return tomorrow, though
After a good night’s sleep

walk

Let Them Come

They will come for you
Brace yourself
No running, no hiding
You are better than that
Deserve to defend
The fire in your eyes
The heart in your body
The thoughts in your head
The faith in your soul
For you have done no wrong
Never a con
Never sly intent
Only innocent, naive
So you owe yourself love

Let them come for you
Embrace yourself
No whining, no crying
You are more than that
Deserve to avenge
The love you put out there
The pride you set aside
The trust you offered freely
The dream you cast adrift
You owe yourself cleansing
And then, a hero’s welcome
Loud, clear, rousing

Let them come for you
Raise yourself
No stopping, no sighing
You are stronger than that
Do not pretend
It didn’t hurt
It didn’t sting
It didn’t stun
For it threw you off balance
Snatched a moment from life
It had to happen, though
For you to see yourself
To rise and shine
Believe in the design
Of fate’s skilled hand
And meet its demand

If you were wounded
‘Twas so you could learn to heal
If you were betrayed
‘Twas so you could open your eyes
It was meant to be a hard lesson
So that, when they come for you
Again, as they plan to,
You will know better
Than to let yourself down
Let them come for you
Let them come

Lion

Finding Me

I stand at the threshold
Of a chaotic universe
I’m committed to see it
While escorting a babble
Of doubts and some blues
Like unwelcome guests
If only they were absent
But then, it’s a chance
I’m told is ‘heaven-sent’
So biting my fears down
I step into a labyrinth
Seeking some resolution
The answers to a future
I’m told I ‘certainly own’.

And what did I expect?
It is dark and muddy!
But no point hovering, so
I make my way forward
A tad gingerly around
My shattered illusions
Scraping mud and grime
Off my poor self-esteem
Often picking up hopes
Half-eaten by distrust
My clothes they tear on
Tiffs and bad thoughts
Ouch! I swallow and sigh
Stumbling on egotism,
Of this one hindrance
I was so duly warned.

Obstacles at every step
Garbage round the bend
It is far from an easy job,
This ‘incredible internship’
And then I recall, that
The brochure also said
I would learn some things
If I just applied myself
The whole of my soul
And so I… I continue
Without a guidebook
Only a heavy backpack
Of curious possibilities…

I fumble for my notes
Made the night before
In astonishing clarity
Alarmingly rare, that.
Wiggling vanity? Trample it!
Squeaky cynicism? Squash it!
Wary “what-if”? Crush it!
Aching ambition? Nurse it!
Precious memory? Save it!
Lasting love? Pick it!
Feeble faith? Cradle it!
It helps that I prepared
To give this all I had
For the mist soon clears
And I see what I need to
Though it’s not quite
What I expected it to be.

I stand still and solemn
At a mirror labelled “You”
And I find myself in it
Clean and properly shiny
Not a trace of past filth
Nearby, a bin to dump trash
And a bag to carry back
My keepsakes, treasures
Things I was meant to have,
And best of all, I then find
A growing, glowing smile
I trade it for my frown
Excited at what I’ve found.

So this is what it is,
The lesson I must heed
As the clock ticks by, must
Have the time of my life
And so I turn my back
On existence I don’t need
Marching home instead
With a life I’ll proudly lead.

make-the-rest-of-you-life-the-best-of-your-life-580x200

My Lessons from Spring Blooms

Looked out one fine morning and was amused at the scene I saw. Some ways to look at it.

a) A small difference in attitude makes a big difference in results.

b) Some of us are late bloomers; the important thing is to bloom.

c) Accept that the person next to you is different; forget their treatment of you; treat them right anyway.

Food for thought, dear reader?

Spring Bloom

For I am ME

I am happy
Like the marooned sailor
Spotting a fleet of brethren

I am loved
Like swollen raindrops
Falling on a starving land

I am enduring
Like once-frosty trees
Dismissing winter’s claim

I am phenomenal
Like feisty soldiers
Heading for another mission

I am resilient
Like bent blades of grass
Surviving the worst storm

I am a mystery
Like the black void
Intriguing all who inspect

I am compassion
Like the last bread
Given away by a poor man

I am a healer
Like the circus clown
Spreading joy even while in pain

I am me
Like you never dreamed could be
Mocking your hate, untruth, vanity
I am me
Like you never thought could be
Repelling your venom with simple pity

I am me
Like you never can be
So you might as well
Watch your words
Spare your opinions
Save your face
And mind your tongue
You do not get my time
Let alone my defeat!

For I am me
Like you never can hope to be.

 

30-03-2015 12-46-42

Happily Married

So we fuss about little things

Lunch menus, clothes to wash

Yelling mad, yet managing

A kiss through all the rush

 

So we may say, sometimes

Just leave me alone, will you?

But like it just the same

When fussed over; it’s true

 

So we worry about the future

Dream about what one can do

The thing is we dream together

That’s how we make ’em true

 

So we are very different, but

Each other we complement

We laugh and learn as time goes

Even a tiff has its endearment

 

So our lives fall into a routine

Not every dinner is candlelit

But we are perfectly fine, for

The time together is worth it

 

So we see the frowns emerge

And wonder what’s happening

But laughter somehow follows

And it’s one big happy ending

 

So we have our share of blues

Like how we hate to wait, but

Through the grumbling we see

That every day’s another ‘date’

 

So may be honeymoon’s over

Why keep count of each mile?

The sweet nothings we mumble

Make the journey worthwhile

Pic courtesy tumblr_m04lisBqPG1qdlkfdo1_r2_500

Story – The Swayamvar*

Princess Shanti was on top of the world today.

She glanced at herself in the huge mirror, even as the maids fussed over her. They scampered here and there to get the essentials for the evening. “Kavita, Sulochana, why isn’t she ready yet?” demanded the queen Asha.

Shanti was the perfect picture of beauty and innocence as the maids apologized and busied themselves again. Half an hour later, she dismissed them and took time to drink in her own beauty. Flawless honey-complexioned skin peeked out through the pink silk outfit. The delicate collarbones vied for attention with the deep red lips and the cheeks touched with rouge, as if they weren’t perfect already. Her hair was tied high in a loose bun, from where stray curls slipped down the side of her oval face with those chiselled features. She looked down at her feet, eased into glittering sandals. Queen Asha stood watching the princess, whose eyes were wide with wonder. She smiled and asked, “Are you ready to greet your suitors?”

Shanti giggled; she was after all, a young girl of sixteen. Beating the nervousness aside, she decided to savour the moment. She followed the queen and her attendants gracefully down the corridor, head bowed and a shy smile radiating. The suitors were standing tall around the arena, waiting to feast their eyes on the princess.

Shanti entered the hall and gasps escaped from the spectators. Of course, the jasmine-rose garland in her soft palms would only grace the strong chest of one man. There he was, confident and striking in regal splendor. Within the hour, he had defeated them all, and stood proudly before the king, asking for the girl’s hand in marriage. The queen smiled gently at Shanti, whose heart thudded with joy. She stepped forward slowly, and blushed as she slipped the garland around Vamshi’s neck. The young man was beaming in pride. The spectators rose to applaud the couple. Shanti was lost in her own world. Ah, this was bliss; this was the culmination, wasn’t it?

The king and queen came forward with the princess and her husband, and acknowledged the crowd. The beloved daughter was wed. Amidst loud applause and blessings, the attendants rushed to usher the royal family to their chambers, leaving the satin curtains swaying behind them.

Suddenly, the ‘queen’ was all business. “Don’t forget to take back all the costumes. These street children can be such thieves you know. Such a budget sanctioned by the trust, all for this petty event with slum kids. I need to get to the evening party and meet the press. Hurry”, she ordered about. Shanti was back in her Cinderella-before-the-fairytale garb within minutes, like the rest of the kids, a samosa (Indian snack) in her hand, shown out by the peon. Some things were simply too good to be true after all, she mused, as she headed back to her shanty.

princess

 

 

*In ancient India and Nepal, Swayamvar was a practice of choosing a husband, from among a list of suitors, by a girl of marriageable age. ‘Swayam’ in Sanskrit means self and ‘vara’ means bridegroom in this context.

Things I do on Sunday

Fridays and Saturdays have been thanked enough, this post is for dear old Sunday! Let me list out what I love doing on Sundays.

Champi: Ah, I miss that routine (need to stay at home on weekends for this special work). Granny or mom used to give me the typical oil massage before a long bath. Come Sunday noon (which is when I wake up sometimes!), I settle lazily on the floor while one of these adorable ladies begin the Champi. Slowly but steadily, nimble fingers move through my hair, patting my head so that the warm oil reaches every pore on the scalp. It’s impossible not to smile in contentment with eyes closed, under the influence of warm oil. I have an hour to laze, after which comes the long, soapy bath.*bliss*

Newspaper: Aich, the Sunday paper is one I seldom miss. The newspaperwallah throws the bundle in projectile motion at about 7 a.m, aiming at the doorstep. I rub sleepy eyes and pick it up eagerly. The colorful assortment of supplements is enough to assure at least an hour of time pass in the morning when Rangoli is playing long-forgotten songs on Doordarshan. Cartoons, interiors and real estate, lifestyle, gyan, gossip, puzzles, editorial, horoscopes, around the world trivia- who would look up from the sheaf of sheets? Oh,I know a few people who are avid paper-readers-in-the-loo! 😀

T.V: The good old idiot box transforms into a home theatre on Sundays. If I get it all to myself, I’d probably watch English/Hindi movies from a.m to p.m.  But mostly, it is Amitabh/Rajesh Khanna movies on Zee Cinema if mom or dad feels like it, or a Kannada afternoon show movie starring Dr.Rajkumar or Vishnuvardhan (old favorites) with my granny wielding my precious remote!

Music: Somehow, Sunday is the one day I feel retro-ish. Maybe it’s because I am at home when mom puts on those ancient cassettes with Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi duets with the Mangeshkar sisters. I hardly tolerate my own choice of western music on that day. How better can it get than to lie in bed and doze off under a warm blanket with the tape recorder playing soft music? For once, I can make sense of lyrics and comfortable rhythm, and actually feel the emotion behind the song itself. The shy serenades, the suppressed naughtiness, the tortured renditions of longing, ah. Bhoole bisre geet indeed. AIR FM Rainbow shows, with those Vicco turmeric ads are most welcome!

Family talk-time: Sundays have this quality of bringing back time into hurried lives, na? I honestly prefer to stay home in the evenings because Monday blues are not far off. I just want to hold on to that Sunday evening time, minute by minute. The lazy family banter in the living room often continues even as snacks fill the belly.  At times, my overworked mom may get indulgent and dish up halwa even! It is on a Sunday that I actually sit cross-legged and blabber to my folks about life, friends, problems, and everything under the sun.  It is then that I get the gyan from them – the ‘When I was your age’ or ‘Why don’t you?’ type of talk that actually is comforting for a change! If nothing, I end up getting the ‘Don’t worry everything will be okay’ statement which soothes my nerves like nothing. Don’t I cherish it or what!

The weekend’s a day away, but I seem to be missing Sunday!

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