Sunday, November 27, 2016

Random thoughts on a sleepless night

Amusing it is how a father is often concerned with how the child will make the ends meet while the mother has sleepless nights pondering whether the child will forever able to meet her eye in the mirror.

There must be stories of role reversal.

I wish I had the resources to say to my children, "Go on. Live. Don't follow the masses. See the world. Witness the miracles that exist in a day."

Wo kaun se log hote hain who know what they want to make of their life. How do they know it? Where do they get the strength to do what the heart wishes for?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The story of the seven 'surs'

I am always in awe of any kind of music that I hear. To me music remains the magic paintbrush with which the child painted what he wished for.

I have grown up listening to film music and very old English numbers which when I go to hunt online I don't find. I can't lay any sort of claim to classical music or instrumental music of great repute but I like to think that I do have discerning ear.

But the post isn't about my musical ability or inclination. It is about what I felt today as I listened to some song being played on the TV as I was busy pushing some khichdi down my son's throat.

I don't now remember whether it was a nice song or something terrible but I do remember feeling goosebumps.

I realized that the seven notes were all that it took to create an array of emotions. Joy, love, horror, terror, fun, funny, childish, serious, beautiful, awful, fast paced, slow and delicious, and much much more.

I also realised that the world over people have used these seven notes in so many combinations already to produce music and will keep on doing  so. There is seemingly no end to what can be accomplished by just these seven notes.

This further made me ponder and realise that maybe this is a sign to us that we don't need much to create abundance. We don't need many to feel fulfilled or successful or whatever is the new thing that is making the world go round these days.

The thought filled me with great peace and so much enthusiasm and wonder that I am writing it down on a blog that I have rarely visited in years.

If the magnificent seven are sufficient I am sure we can also find enough within.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016


Exasperated mothers
Trying mothers

Mothers who have too much on their mind.
Mothers who think cake counts as a meal.
Mothers who worry too much.
Mothers who fly away so that their kids might follow.
Mothers who stay put so that that their kids might get a solid platform.
Mothers who love without being ever seen or heard.
Mothers who let their children know they are there and theirs.
Mothers who feed. Mothers who eat. Mothers who bleed. Mothers who get readily cut up.
Mothers who become fathers, storytellers, advisors and sounding boards.
Mothers who never get asked for their preferences or opinions.
Mothers who are teachers. Mothers who are learners.
Mothers who mother and mothers who smother.

Tired mothers. Fresh as  a daisy mothers
Yummy mummies, sporty mummies
Mummies with tummies
Tummy filling mummies

every girl who becomes a mother lives life on the edge of a sword
always on the verge of forgetting who she is and yet not having that luxury of forgetting because then what will she pass on 

Friday, July 15, 2016

What do you write?

What do you write when you want to write?
When there are precious moments of solitude
And no distractions

When there is a story bubbling inside of you
And the ending lures you into reading those of others

When days have passed without having had a conversation
Though there are plenty of subjects
But there is a dearth of subjects that  matter

What do you write when your memory fails
And you can't recall exactly whether it was the month of June or July
The 20th or the 22nd
The tale of which you want to relate

What do you write when you want to write
About the burning desires
And glorious goals
Of which you have little knowledge left

What do you write when
there is stillness all around you
But you yearn for some noise

Life in a metro

Whenever people, especially us north Indians and those not from the IT industry, think of moving up in the work ladder and look at cities we might have to relocate you can be sure that it would either be Delhi or Mumbai. I could have even forgotten that there was a city named Kolkata. And while we were leading a comfortable life in the country's most planned city, the city of gardens aka Chandigarh, Calcutta made way in to our lives and today after four years I wonder if it would be wrong to say that all hell broke lose.

So it happened and within fifteen days we went from living in the most planned city to probably the most chaotic city.

Relocation is a real bummer. You are more alone than you could have bargained for, for many reasons. Initially when the stuff is in transit and there is no house to clean, co-ordinate and run, you are wowed but the wow soon turns in to a painful aoowwww. The spouse is busy, more busy than usual in getting acquainted with the work place and taking charge. The child wants  to sleep in as she has no school as yet and thus no interesting stories to recount but only a question 'Ab main kya karoon?' If this wasn't enough, you are suddenly faced with a friend-deficiency that does not ebb away even with trips to the malls. These, rather make things worse!

So it is under such circumstances that I found myself in Kolkata- an alien city, with a language I did not comprehend, no friends to turn to, a busy husband and a young, energetic and playful child.
Its been four years now, like I said and the only things that have changed are the stats regarding friends. More importantly in this time span I have come to gradually fall for the city.

The affair started with the Victoria, Hogg's Market, Burra Bazar, Esplanade, Park Street and that is also where the affair somewhat began. Well planned it may be, but Chandigarh has no public transport system to talk of. Kolkata boasts of the first ever metro! An underground one was even better and the fact that it was ancient gave it a regalia which was soon taken over by the trams, the first ride on a tram proving to be an adventure in itself.
Kolkata is where the past, present and future look each other in the eye. It is easy and only probable in this city to breathe in the 19th century and the 21st century together.

Commuting is convenient and I love this fact about Kolkata. Kolkata's metro network though not as vast as it should have been by now is enviable. It is affordable which makes it a preferred choice of many. The trams though have been under radar for being expensive but just after two years of living in the city, I can't imagine the traffic without a tram criss-crossing paths with other vehicles. Then there are the buses and the autos. If your aren't a public-transport-person then the humble ambassador- the yellow cab- will surely take your breath away simply for being pocket friendly. I don't know if anywhere else in the country a taxi runs that cheap.

Kolkata stinks. Ask anyone. The tourist. The visitor. Or a localite. Oh man and when you are away you miss the stench. There is so much personality in this stench. Yes. I treat this as a life form now. The city is alive if nothing else. And it stinks because it is so much alive. There is an amalgamation of the various smells that you might associate with living. The smells of food being cooked, the smells of animal and human excreta, the smells of our household waste, the smells emanating from rotting water bodies, the smell of fish being sold off the TCR bridge. Yeah! the city's liveliness presents itself strongly in all the smells that ride the air here.

To me Kolkata actually gives the word metropolis its exact meaning. The dictionary defines the word as any busy, large city. Take my word for it. Kolkata is large. It is expansive. There are lanes running into lanes which run into more lanes. I don't see boundaries to the city, an end to its limits. And it is busy. People are going and coming from everywhere to somewhere. They are busy living. I haven't much seen this awareness for living now, in the moment, with passion, all my adult life which I largely spent in the most planned city or amongst all the people I have known in my life. To witness this in one colourful burst you have to attend maybe just one day of the Pujo. It is as simple and easy.

Kolkata, as is a well accepted fact is also the chief city- a sort of mother city- for the arts. This is where the metropolis gets another meaning. The arts flourish here because they are nurtured. Young minds are fed to them or vice versa in forms as varied as singing-dancing and drawing. Here art is a way of life and being artsy isn't an additional or even an acquired qualification. It is something that flows in their veins as naturally as blood.

Kolkata gives everyone a chance for being the person that they really are. It is a big city with distances and maybe that gives you the freedom to be in one corner or the other of the city.

There is chaos. Yes. There are long queues. Yes queues. People understand that everyone needs to get where they are headed and not just them. In this sense again, the quality of people in better than many other places.

(This was published with edits in The Indian Trumpet)

Whats the news?

There is no structure to the days. Was there one ever, I ask myself? I have never been the one for structure, a time table, a way of doing things. This has been a source of joy and distress at one and the same time.


Dard. Pain. This word in English language doesn't probably deliver the force which a parent feels when the child is hurt.
Moving on. Physical pain goes away but the memory of many such physical episodes lingers. There are times when this memory hits you with a surprising ferocity like the way I just now remembered Netra's ear incident wherein the lock part of her earring had lodged itself in the pierced part of the ear, stretching the skin and how she screamed when the doctor had to make an incision and took it out with tweezers.


Dard. Pain. This word in English language doesn't probably deliver the force which a parent feels when the child is hurt.
Moving on. Physical pain goes away but the memory of many such physical episodes lingers. There are times when this memory hits you with a surprising ferocity like the way I just now remembered Netra's ear incident wherein the lock part of her earring had lodged itself in the pierced part of the ear, stretching the skin and how she screamed when the doctor had to make an incision and took it out with tweezers.


To begin to like your own cooking is also a way of evolving. You are your own best judge and you are very well conversant with your graph. The ups and the downs. The highs and the burnt lows. Acceptance from family members is definitely a bonus but not an assured one.

So I cook for myself now and the others in the house have to go along with it. I am liking what I am making more and more (like yesterday night's paneer paranthas) and that is quite a happy place to be in.


I went to the loo. Before I sat down on the pot Abir followed me in with 2 Peppa Pig books and sat down on the floor. Rather settled down comfortably in his striped pajamas. Then he gave me one book and asked me to read it to him. He never tires of these. So again we did Peppa's family loves different things. And we did them again in the morning when he was following me incessantly with those two again while I had to do Netra's tiffin and lunch and breakfast related cooking.