Wednesday, January 25, 2017

People I like

I like people
with sunshine
wiping shadows from their faces,
whose heart is aflutter
with a million dreams it chases

I like people
with clean hands
and no blood on their fingers,
on whose mind
thoughtfulness always lingers

I like people
who’ve walked the earth
yet boast cleaner shoes,
Their lives lived well
with no lies
but a hundred truths

I like people
with fine fragrance
those who always smell good,
Of humanity and virtue
and all the values
alongside they stood

I like people
who express and emote,
For; they dive in
and swim out
refusing to simply
on the surface float

I like people
who have a long sight,
People who see
beyond themselves
and for others
pick up a fight

I like people
with childlike innocence
People who are curious,
And for injustice to the underdog
or harm to the weak
they are always furious

I like People
who, with their kindness
and generosity
live in others’ hearts,
People, who like Noah
carry others big or small
with skin or fur or feather
to redemption
and for whom, like Moses
The Red sea parts

I like People
who feel the pain
that shatters other lives,
People who are bound
to man and animal
and nature alike
with love and compassion
and respect and gratitude
as the main ties

I like People
who tread upon this earth
with purpose and meaning,
With lifelong lessons
and tales of zeal and passion
and fascinating folklore upon leaving!


Picture 1 - Rokeby Manor, Landour, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India
Picture 2 - Mukhteshwar Temple, Mukhteshwar, Uttarakhand, India

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Take me!

The last year and a half
has been tough,
Peace of mind
has been shredded
The road trod upon
has been rough;

The heart has been torn
into a million pieces,
The forehead has wrinkled
with worry and woefulness
into a hundred creases;

Back about eighteen months
and a few laboured heartbeats,
I lost the biggest part of me
despite all care
and myriad medical feats;

The precious fur daughter
went away in a whisper,
Leaving me a
painfully long lifetime
to pine for her, to miss her;

Since then I trundle along
through the passage of life,
The world’s hurting becomes mine
It rips through my heart
with the sharpest of knife;

I cry a monsoon
for a stranger’s loss,
Every hurt, every tragedy, every pain
felt by someone, anyone
to bleed my weakened heart
is enough of a cause;

In this time gone by
each time a beloved
bid adieu,
I cried hoarsely, wait
it should have been me
Not you;

 A young friend
lost her partner
well before his time,
I argued with God
told Him blankly
He’d committed a sin
He’d done a crime;

Each time a young one dies
or somebody
kicks off midway,
I tell Him to take me instead
I kneel, I bow my head, I pray;

A neighbor to whom
one hardly spoke,
Took away his own life
as his grip slipped
on all his faith and hope;

I looked at
who all he had left behind,
I again lashed at God
asking about the error in His calling
when taking me
would have been more kind;

Every time I read obits
and hear of a passing on,
I urge Him
to get me to His side
before a new soul is born;

Take me, I tell Him
bring me to Your fold,
Give me peace, bring me respite
allow me the time
when my loved ones lost
I once again behold.


Isn't this what are true love and companionship all about?

A friend wrote about staying up the night to take care of his recuperating furry child, post surgery.

It has been well over a year now; that both my husband and I, and our Man Friday, have not slept for full nights. On a good night, we might catch about four and a half hours. On a bad night, we manage to get about two. In between, there are nights when we get up every hour to see whether he wants to relieve himself or has that urge to walk in circles. He, in this equation, is our precious fur son who has lit up our lives for the last decade and a half.

You see; our 15 and a half-year-old Labrador Son suffers from an acute case of Cognitive Dysfunction Disorder. The complications of this Syndrome force him to circle and pace and pant and stay restless most of his waking hours; which are now increasing more than the sleep time. The Syndrome also becomes severe during the night; but we also have been noticing that with each passing day, it is taking over even the day time.

And then, like in the case of elderly loved ones, our baby's motions are erratic. There are a million Piku moments in the course of the day - yes, the film that had constipation and its tentacled impact on normal living as the central character. We clap and rejoice at each smooth passing of both bodily secretions that tell us that the aging body is still performing to its optimal best.

Our Man Friday hand feeds our Son. The Husband still brushes him each morning, even if it is with the baby lying down on the bed. The periodic baths happen too. I make sure that his eyes, ears, mouth and rear are clean. I brush his teeth every Sunday. I am, forever, on the lookout for lumps, sores, slow-healing wounds. My babies, mercifully, have never had an issue with ticks and worms.

What has stopped are walks in the park or around the house. But we make sure that every time a guest visits us; our child is greeted with as much enthusiasm as he was given to greet everybody. A Labrador’s wild, tail-wagging, smiley face greeting is a joy to behold, as any pet parent will tell you.

Slowly the treats are either not being enjoyed as they were (difficulty in chewing, handling bones and other chewies fast becoming major concerns) or are changing form. We now bring miniature chicken biscuits for our Son who could grate and sharpen his teeth on biggest bones in his younger days.

It is said that the older you get, the more you go back to your childhood ways. So it is with Pasha Baba. Since he has always slept with us on the master bed, we and he will have it no other way even now. Our bonny Master sleeps on Macintosh sheets made warm with a fluffy towel. He gets to use his baby blue, extra soft blankets that we had got especially for him from the Hills. We have become pros at inventing the use of Pampers for pet children, thanks to our Son's immediate and erratic needs.

We wipe his mouth, every time he eats or drinks water. These days water trickles down the sides of his mouth, wetting his lower jaw and leading to skin infections in the area. So we pat it dry after every drink with his own velvety face towels and apply a skin ointment each time I see the silky golden-white hair give way to black patches. We clean his paws with soft cloths and his "Tutu" or “tush” if you please, with cotton. You know, he could do all this with utmost ease when he was young. But now, when he finds it a task to lick clean the difficult to reach areas, he has us - his parents - to take care of him.

There was a time, not so long back when the thought of getting back home from the office or anywhere else was filled with the joy and anticipation of being welcomed by our over-enthusiastic fur babies. Today, he may not jump and prance and express his joy in a physical expression, but his eyes speak volumes, as does the curling up of his mouth in half a smile and the way he rests his badly fibrillating head against my chest.

In his younger days, our fur son looked after us, watching over his house with utmost attention. He didn’t like strangers crossing the front gate. He, with his own devices, would not let harm come our way. He guarded us, played away stress that we experienced, was the perfect walking companion and boy, did he bring in such extended moments of merriment into the house with his antics and adorable actions. Today, there has been a role reversal of sorts. I shoo away any fear he may feel of the inexplicable symptoms by clinching him in a tight, warm embrace. I brush off the fly even before he begins to flap his ear. We joke with him and talk to him and sing him a familiar song (there were several compositions we had created for our babies, remakes of known ditties that we would sing to them) to assure him that all is well with his fast disappearing world.

Fifteen and a half is a very unkind age for a pet child; just as a 95 or a 100 is to a human. Regardless of how good a life you may have had and however healthy you might have been, the ravages of time and the toll it would have taken on your body and mind begin to come to the fore in the most ungainly fashion. The walk becomes a limp before arthritis takes over any form of stable movement. You drop more food than you manage to gulp in. Even chewing seems like an onerous task. The daily ablutions and the need to pass out excretions is a whole together different mountain that you are wary of but must laboriously climb day after day after day.

We have always been very particular of the food we fed to our babies. Nothing but the best passed our litmus test. Now, we need to be all the more mindful; so it is a special Renal Diet that is imported into the country by Royal Canin from France mixed with a home-cooked meal of Chicken breast mince, porridge  and rotis. Upset tummy and flatulence is something that we have to frequently contend with. And yes, the mini meal of medicines that needs to be fed to him on a daily basis, four times a day to ensure as pain and discomfort free life as we possibly can.

Still, his presence in our lives, the big bag of past memories and current experiences, his positivity and unconditional love for us more than makes up for anything we may endeavour to do, to make his twilight years just that bit better.

Till the time we have together, here’s to many more of sleepless nights, missing of heartbeats each time something goes awry with him and a million prayers shot up to seek a trouble free end of time for our beautiful Son.

May we continue to share each life with you as a familyfamily; if there are six more births to come back in! And may we meet you over the Rainbow Bridge to play and bound around the heavenly grounds beyond the pearly gates.    

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Verse for 2017!

May your sky
Be bright and clear
May your heart
Be brave and
never fear

May your sea
Be calm and blue
May you stay
To yourself true

May the Sun
Always shine
on your parade
May your goodness
Never fade

May you ride
Your favourite Star
May your dreams
Take you far

May you
in yourself believe
May all your goals
You charge out
and achieve

May your heart
Be always kind
May your true purpose
You strive and find

May happiness
Always hold you
in its arms
May life besot you
With all its temptations
and charms

 May you find promise
Even in your darkest hour
May you learn rich lessons
From every hurt and every scar

May through all of
life’s tumble
And roller-coaster ride
You face it with
faith and conviction
Showcasing your
brightest, bravest side

May you fill your cup
With aims,
ambition and hope
May you always be able
And strong enough to cope

May you always lend a hand
And add sparkle to
someone’s tomorrow
May you always raise it
To smooth out even
a strange forehead’s furrow

May you find your wings
May you fly away and soar
Still, may you have roots
That tie down your very core

May love be your music
Passion your playmate
May your life remain promising
Keeping you on
the right side of fate

May the divinity in you
Rise above and shine
May you lead a wholesome life
And stay a soul always so fine! 

Note 1 - Top Picture - Mukhteshwar, Uttarakhand, India
Note 2 - Bottom Picture - Half-Moon, Landour, Uttarakhand, India 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Last Christmas - Rest in Peace George!

It, indeed, is Last Christmas of sorts, in a heart-wrenching way. George Michael was the Rock star lover boy who made our heartbeats race with his silky, smooth voice and Greek God good looks. His irresistibly attractive swag (shades better than Andrew, though the latter was no less good looking) always made us swoon and sweat.

Friends, who know me since the 80s, would recall my unabashed love for George and my tribute to him through the way I wore my hair for years. My shaggy, messy-top hairstyle was a collective homage to my Pop idols of that time - George Michael, Cyndi Lauper and Janet Jackson.

Besides grabbing a huge chunk of space in our hearts, George Michael helped us feel, emote and express the teenage and early 20s love we wore on our sleeves. I remember being pulled in for a New Year's Eve dance by one of the most sexilicious of Doon boys at that time, the hunk a lot of us girls crushed over. With a pounding heart and the white fear that he would listen to the loud sound my heart was making over louder music, I crumbled into the luscious dude's arms as we danced cheek to cheek in dimmed lights on "Careless Whisper."

During one of my longest infatuation periods, George's mellifluously sung Love Ballads kept me company as I teared up at the thought of unrequited love. In the absence of a real boyfriend and engulfed in the mushily imagined phase of romance, I cried copiously into the pillow with the strains of "Last Christmas" causing the right effect on my weak nerves.

Back in the day, fed on the "boy chases girl" diet of Bollywood flirtations, I often looked out the window into the Farmhouse Orchard to imagine George Michael tease and tempt me with his "Edge of Heaven."

With his golden voice belting out tempting lyrics in the background, I would time and again sit by my bedroom window and either watch the rain falling on the garden swing or count dew drops on the summer grape vine or look at frosticles on the edges of the fir tree leaves. The seasons would change but what would stay constant was my love and intense admiration for this blonde bombshell.

In my late teens, early twenties, without the experience of a real-life boyfriend, George filled the gap admirably. My fertile imagination was all I had to reach into to have a rollicking affair in my mind with the hottest Pop star; the deep sense and craving for passion making me go to places I did not know existed within me and feel such sensations that brought only pure joy. Song after song, from "Father Figure" to "A Different Corner" to "I Can't Make you Love Me" he made me relish the gamut of amorous feelings that every girl or boy should; and more importantly, he made me feel those without the baggage of guilt, secrecy, hurt and heartbreak.

For a large part of my life, dance has been a big segment of my exercise routine. More than walking and cycling, what I have really enjoyed is an hour long dancercise to pulsating music in the cozy confines of my house. Whenever I have done that, Wake me up before you go-go, Club Tropicana, Young Guns, Come On and Bad Boys have always been on the playlist.

Even today, at my heaviest, sedentary worst, it is Faith that makes me get up and wear my blue Suede shoes!

Well the thing is; first loves never disappear, reappearing in some corner of the heart with the slightest nudge from nostalgia. They, like an autumn rash, flare up at the faintest teasing of the memory, coming alive as if they never went into a deep recess buried in the life that existed in another time. And great musicians never really die. They are as immortal as the music they have created; rising up in our consciousness with just a turn of the knob.

George Michael, you were an essential part of my youth. That stage of life that one never lets go of, even when one advances in age. So, as long as I am young at heart, you will always reside in my mind.

I love you George! I will always miss you for all the music you could still have made, George Michael.

For now, go and do the jitterbug with God!

Picture courtesy - Joost Hogervorst

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The ‘uniquely’ Indian Olympics!

The Honourable Sports Minister of India, upon his return from the recently held Olympic Games 2016, has taken stock of the remarkable infrastructure, facilities, opportunities, fund allocation (for players and not personal betterment of those involved in the chain of funds disbursement) and collective Government and bureaucratic apathy towards Indians who may have even the slightest interest in sports.

After intense dialogue, discussions and discernment of what is and what should be, Minister GOAL has listed out the following list of Games for official Indian entry –

1.     Wrestling – more the Freestyle kind that a lot of Indians indulge in while mounting and alighting metros, buses, trains, planes. Also seen at malls, halls and bazaars.

2.     Archery – for chucking garbage into designated and non-designated places. Special events for those who excel in aiming from moving vehicles.

3.     Athletics – with rising cases in chain, wallet, laptop, mobiles snatching, the sporty-spirits engaged in such activities must have world class training.

4.     Badminton – barring isolated genius of a Nehwal here and a Sindhu there, we as a species excel in putting the ball (or cock; pun intended) in the other court.

5.     Swimming (with special attention to breast stroke) – with a collective male interest in any skin showing by Indian or Foreign women and the pronounced Indian male interest in the woman breast. As a female of the species, get into a crowded transport or area and personally experience how adept Indian men are at breaststroke.

6.     Steeplechase – A common man’s delight, each time he has to get to work on time, get an emergency patient past the hospital gate to the OT, or take a pregnant wife to the OB-GYN just as a VIP cavalcade is passing by.

7.     Shooting – This one has a special significance for the Subcontinent. Getting away from the traditional game, we in India and the subcontinent practice this fine game by spitting into potholes, wall corners and lamp posts. Also Indian men, at large, seem to need more practice in shooting their own piss into the man piss pot (as men themselves admit) and on trees and boundary walls (barring those with Hindu Gods’ tiles plastered on them).

8.     Rhythmic Gymnastics – while dancing, stooping, bending backwards to the tune of our modern day lords and masters.

9.     Boxing – God alone knows if we need anything less to wriggle our way out of packed-like-sardines public transport.

10.  Cycling – not just to get away from being / becoming the World Diabetic Capital but also because very soon the roads will be / have been taken over by potholes and Venice like canals on main roads and highways.

11.  Water Polo – As the Monsoon of 2016 (and many monsoons before this) has depicted, our main roads in several cities are naturally ready to host this grand sport, as a special shout back to our royal past.

12.  Rowing – We are perpetually in a ‘row’ with neighbours, the system, the policy implementers, our own family, the other religion, other man’s politics and their life. What’s more! Cross-border real or fabricated rows keep all our political parties busy without much else to accomplish.

13.  Relay race – for all the multitude of hands the money (or palm grease, if you will) and favours change, all in a day’s life.

14.   Fencing – this refers to only figurative poking of people around with the sharp edge of the fence and actually involves one’s personal fenced area to encroach upon the other man’s (or the public / government) land.

15.   Handball – I almost didn’t write about it; but it is such a rampant practice that I just had to include it in. Seen prolifically in public areas, on buses, behind office desks and practiced solely by men on their own body part.

16.   Surfing – While Sweden is cutting down its work day to six sharp hours and prohibiting any kind of social media surfing during work hours, we on the other hand, in India, are increasingly spending more hours in office, but half of them surfing the Net for personal entertainment. What’s worse, we have taken the nasty habit into our Parliament too, and there in its haloed precincts for primal pleasures.

17.   Basque pelota – the Minister, in a rare expression of empathy, calls for a revival of this game played officially only in the 1900 Olympics. Given the number of times we ourselves and our documents are tossed against the bureaucratic wall, we seem to have a natural predilection towards the sport.

18.   Tug of War – between our general demands and the crippled supply; between our expectations and the lack of deliverables from those who ought to deliver; between what is and what should be; between the haves and have-nots; between the public and the politicians; between our rights and duties; between the fact of life and our faiths; between life and the difficult cost of living. We definitely would be medal winners here.

19.   Rappelling – While Climbing is, apparently, coming up in Summer Olympics of 2020; we back home have been excelling at our homegrown version of Rappelling for years – each time we
take an onerous, uphill task and then attempt to make it easy by kissing the ass of the guy on top and kicking the head of one at the bottom.

While we, the general India and our ruling bunch of voted pack of some-deserving but mostly undeserving political fiefdom, engage in this abysmal juggernaut, may the truly meritorious and zealous continue to dream, train, perform and win; in spite of all of us!!!

Note 1 - This article may not be reproduced without the permission of the author.

Note 2 - This article has appeared on Faking News ( and 
on Unboxed Writers 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wish list!

I want to sky dive.
I want to write.

I want to go walking along the mountain trails
with cold air combing through my hair.
I want to sit and ruminate.

I want to toast my face with the clear heat from the Sun 
on a chilly winter day.
I want to dip my toes in an azure blue ocean
on a balmy afternoon.

I want to write.

I want to journey on train
and watch people and places
and read the stories on their faces.

I want to catch calm by its collar
in the stillness of a Chapel.
I want to close my eyes
and flip through the album of memories.

I want to write.

I want to drench my soul with my beloved
in the first showers of monsoon
like all those summers back
when our hearts danced to the same tune.

I want to hold on to
some moments from the past.
I want to once again travel through life
with some of those that did not last.

I want to write.

I want to find quiet corners
in the house, and in my mind.
I want to read and see places
which are otherwise hard to find.

I want to watch a garden bloom.
I want to stare at squirrels
scurrying away on business on
the giant Neem tree.

I want to speak with the Peacock
as he perches himself just outside my window.

I want to write.

I want to once again taste the warmth of joy.
I want to relearn innocence and curiosity
from every little girl and boy.

I want to let some things be.
Some things I want to change.
I want to set free the spirited.
Just as much I wish to rein in the mad.

I want to make peace with myself.
I want to be in rhythm with nature.
I want to leave luck to itself.
I want to take my own stand.

I want to write.