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 (http://my.fakingnews.firstpost.com/sports/uniquely-indian-olympics-27578) and 
on Unboxed Writers 
(http://unboxedwriters.com/the-national-sports-we-already-excel-in/#.WCcF4NJ961s) 

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.

**********


Friday, May 13, 2016

She now lives inside me!


As they laid her into the ground,
I said, be gentle
That is a piece of my heart!

As they pulled over the shroud,
I said, wait a while
I need memories for a life time!

As they threw fistfuls of mud,
Be careful, I yelled
There rests a jewel most precious!

As they shoveled up,
Be mindful, I chided
That is a part of me you bury!

As they leveled the ground,
No reason for sorrow, I reaffirmed
For our souls were entwined
And they would never fall apart!

As we turned away
From the resting place,
With unceasing tears, I smiled
She now lives inside me
Of my every breath
She is now a part.  

**********


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Since you’ve gone.....



Since you’ve gone
a lot has changed
about me and around me

Smile refuses to
curve up my lips
The twinkle in the eye
soon dissipates into tears
that roll down my face

Now that you’re not there
I’ll never get back to
what I was
having lost myself
in the debris
of sorrow and solitude

That place in the heart
where you resided
aches yearningly
craving your presence
in its warm embrace

The mass in my mind
that you occupied
has gone derelict
wandering from
moments steeped in bleakness
to days soaked
in bewildered banefulness

The corner of the bed
That favourite spot
on the rug
The slight indentation
on the sofa
that was yours
lie vacant

Since you’ve gone
Time comes with the day
and leaves to take
another form
after each night

Yet I stay there
still and stunned
redundant as a rock
unmoved by what goes around
Lifeless to all the living
that happens around me

Since you’ve gone
the state of being happy
seems to be a far-flung world
Detached from my grip
distanced from my mind

Since you’ve gone
The cycle of
wake and unawake
go through their
necessary motions
But life has come to a point
Where it has ceased to live!


 *******


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

IF YOU EVER CAME BACK TO ME.......


If you ever came back to me
I will love you so much, so much more,
But I did love you with all my heart
And you still walked out of it
Calmly, quietly, indefinitely!

If you ever came back to me
I will not let pain touch you,
God knows when you were here
I tried, tried hard to keep pain at bay
Yet, the cruel devil crept in
Sometimes with force,
Other times with stealth!

If you ever came back to me
I would make our days more fun
With you there
Even little struggles were a plaything
And big challenges
Brought in a rush of excitement!

If you ever came back to me
You’ll find that your home
Is now an empty nest
Its’ vacuousness hits
Against the walls of my mind!

When you were there
You filled my time
With love and luck
Now the clock
Stares into the vast unknown
With no peace or passion or promise!

If you ever came back to me
You’ll notice the small and big things
That went away too
Joy walked out with you
Faith has fallen into
A deep abyss of doubt
Beliefs have taken a battering
Contentment fails to climb out
Of the cavity of miserable chaos!

If you ever came back to me
You’ll see that
Living itself has become so hard
The mundane seems monumental
Even the tiniest seem impossible!

If you ever came back to me
I would relive all the happy things
We did together,
With you gone
Hope lurks behind
Dark clouds of despair
And happiness plays truant!

If you ever came back to me
I will keep you by my side
Night and day, and months and years,
But I did live my moments and minutes
And hours and all my days with you

Still when the time came
I stood there helpless, handicapped
Wishing for you to stay
Yet watching you slip away!




**********


BUT SHE WAS JUST A DOG!




She entered my life
like a beacon of light,
Brightening up my dour days
and shining over
the starkness of night
But she was just a dog!

She became a part of me
feeling my angst and my pain,
She fell on the parched
portions of my heart
like the relief of the summer rain
But she was just a dog!

She hurt with me
twitching at my slightest grimace,
Laughing with me
on the silliest of things
she was the pleasure on my face
But she was just a dog!

She stood by my side
when the mighty earth quaked,
She read me like a book
despite all the roles I faked
But she was just a dog!

When the floodgates
of my emotions
broke away,
With her gentleness
she held me in her sway
But she was just a dog!

When my mind numbed out
and the body
surrendered to stress,
She put her wet nose
against my cheek
and gave me her
refreshing caress
But she was just a dog!


Every time the clouds
overhead burst
or the skies raged,
In ways most selfless
she freed up my spirit
when all else attempted to
keep it caged
But she was just a Dog!

She filled up the void
I may have felt for a child,
She became the daughter
I could ever hope to find
But she was just a dog!

Now she’s gone
to another land
of all things happy and great,
I muster courage
to amble along my life
and face all there is in my fate;

I will miss her
till my end of time,
In my heart
her spirit
will forever shine
But she was just a dog!

She was my child, my friend,
my companion,
There couldn’t have been
a more divine union
But she was just a dog!

She will continue
to live in my heart,
Of my life she will always
be an exceptional part
But she was just a dog!

She held a special
meaning for me,
She was my whole world
as far as I could see
Even if she was just a Dog!



**********