Thursday, May 28, 2009

Count The Blessings!

Penned on 26th June 2003
Published on the Blog on 28th May 2009

I mourned the death of an unborn baby,
But failed to rejoice the survival of
an ailing woman who had almost been a mother;

I wailed at a thorn pricking my flesh,
But ignored the scent of jasmine that
stayed on my hands for lingering moments;

I was angered by the war of words with my soul mate,
And glazed over the unspoken language of love;

I lamented the loss of one opportunity,
And shut my eye to other doors that fell open;

I rued my weakness in wit,
And refused to recognize the strength of spirit;

I craved for what might have been,
And overlooked to thank the Almighty for what was;

I crouched in fear with irrational nightmares,
And blinded myself to dreams that would set me free;

I sought and demanded, wished and desired,
Rusting my tools that I could create with;

I pined for that exciting turn in life,
While killing time with disinterest and ennui;

I aspired to be exalted,
Without realizing that I was missing the human in me;

I dreamt of reaching out and touching the sky,
While losing the ground beneath my feet;

I cried shamelessly for my despondency,
And forgot to smile and count my blessings.

Picture courtesy -

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


And in my case, Pati too.

I recently posted a query on Indians on a professional networking site, by way of research for a non-fiction that I am, kind of, working on. Kind of, because the pace is abysmal, the sense of discipline completely lacking and the effort downright shameful. But that's another matter.

Back to the question on Indians. What I asked was non-controversially true but definitely offensive. I, to my innocent mind, felt the points cited were more offensive to the eyes and the sensibilities than to the ears.

While a lot of the responses were intelligent and gave comparable data from other nations; the others wrote back as if they have been struck across the face, personally affronted and belittled. Now, I really wasn't expecting this.

One respondent said that while he agrees that Indians are all this and more, I should not talk about it openly on a global and public forum such as the internet.

However, one Gujju Bhai out of Oklahoma took the cake. If I were to translate his response into Hindi, this is what he said - "Aur tere Baap, Bhai, Bete ka kya?"

Here is my question that is raising hackles with many -

As an Indian I have conflicting emotions for my country and my fellow countrymen. While I am extremely proud on one end, I am sorely ashamed on the other. I invite comments from Indians and the international set on what happens in their country and why?

I am extremely proud of India's history, culture, heritage, democracy, tolerance, festivals, religiosity or rather spirituality, languages, unity in diversity, natural endowments, colours, cuisines, pot pourri of different influences that have confluenced into an unique amalgamation we call India and the other usual suspects.

I am quite ashamed of the other, darker side of the continuum. Sample this -

1. A high percentage of Indians are illiterate or ill educated.
2. A lot of Indian men urinate in public.
3. Poor India defecates in the open.
4. Most Indian men spit in public.
5. A lot of Indians lack civic sense.
6. A lot of hypocrisy besets our attitude.
7. In our general bazaars, there is no honest price. We all need to haggle. But not in branded shops.
8. Most young urban and semi-urban India is rude, impolite and misses on basic etiquette.
9. Many of us deface our historical monuments.
10. We Indians litter our streets and public places.
11. Several Indian men are lecherous and have little respect for women.
12. Most Indian places are not safe for women, particularly in the night.
13. Eve teasing and other forms of harassment against women is rampant in India.
14. We do not preserve their culture and legacy well.
15. We have no driving etiquette.
16. We don't like the concept of queues.
17. We love to break the rules.
18. A lot of Indian offices thrive on politics.

I could add more...............

But at this stage, I'd like to understand from my fellow, literate brethren why we are like this only. And I would appreciate if the global community could give examples from their geographical region.

Further, I am of the strong view that Indians weren't always to be accused of the things I have in my list of 18. Yes, India has had a checkered history - British, Mughals, Aryans, Turks and so on. The young today, blindly ape the West. My agenda is to hold a mirror to ourselves, admit what is wrong (and what was not, traditionally, always so) and rectify it lest we be labelled a race and culture that is known for these very attributes.

India is an emerging democracy with its economy on an upswing and its democratic government going strong. I feel it is up to every individual to make a positive contribution.

And what you do not recognise or accept, you cannot change.

At this point of time I am looking forward to intelligent responses that put into perspective whys and wherefroms of these issues that I have raised. I am not concerned whether it happens in other countries or not. I am hotly bothered about why my country is afflicted with these malaise. Have we, traditionally been so, or have been a victim of myriad influences that have shaped our history. What can we as individuals do to make a difference? Are there positive examples from other countries that we can emulate?

I am proud of India, you see, but ashamed of what Indians have turned it into.

I would welcome your insight on the following -

1. Why do we have these issues in India?
2. What is the genesis of these issues?
3. What are the solutions - education, awareness, government, NGO, individual support etc.?
4. Which other countries have had similar issues and how have they tackled it? For instance, one of the respondents advises me that UK used to have the problem of men urinating in public and they have passed a law against it.

Picture courtesy -


Friday, May 22, 2009


I’ve been soaking in the Sun
I’ve been dancing with the Moon;
I’ve been lazing around
I’ve been, cosily, home bound;
But one of these days I’ll get up and get going...............

I’ve been sleeping on the pill
I’ve been waking up at will;
I’ve been pottering away
I’ve been putting off to December, what I could do in May;
But one of these days I’ll get up and get going...............

I’ve been making excuses
With simple ingenuity, oh how me it amazes;
Rainy day, grainy day, gaming day, taming day,
Sunny day, funny day, grouchy day, slouchy day
I while away time as I may;
But one of these days I’ll get up and get going...............

A large to-do list to work on
Of banal and blah, of insipid and ho-hum
I’d like my days to be shorn;
But one of these days I’ll get up and get going...............

Many a responsibility to shoulder, many duties to take upon
The hideous, the heinous, the beastly, the basal, the villainous, the vicious
With measures of goodness and honesty, I wish to con;
But one of these days I’ll get up and get going...............

Square up my shoulders for people to lean on
Extend a hand or two to help the desolate, the lovelorn
Get run off my feet to run an errand for someone
Lend a patient ear for grief, for problems, for fun;
But one of these days I’ll get up and get going...............

Think fast on my toes to make decisions
Look the trouble in the eye and work out solutions,
Strive to have answers on my fingertips to satisfy the curious mind
Infuse the spirit of harmony, with which relationships to bind;
But one of these days I’ll get up and get going...............

Comb out the tangles from a messy mop of a loved one’s head
Crease out lines of worry and wipe out the sweat,
Sniff out chaos and commotion before they grow in proportion
Comfort a forlorn soul with a kind heart and compassion;
But one of these days I’ll get up and get going...............


Sunday, May 10, 2009


Penned on 16th March 2005 and re-published on the blog on 10th May 2009 as a tribute to 'MA' on Mother's Day!

I cradled in her arms
blissfully ignorant of the ravages around
into a faraway land of calm and comfort;

I rocked to the lullaby of her heartbeat
reassuring and divine
long before my ears got attuned to the cacophony
of care and concern;

My small, groping hands
pulled and tugged at her face, hair, clothing, whatever
latching on to the lifeline that gave me life;

I drank from her bosom
the elixir of life
long before my palate discerned between
myriad tastes and aromas;

My feet kicked her when I was within
and kicked her again when I found ground
yet, she gave me in return love with no conditions
and an identity I would call my own;

She brought joy, eased off pain
and ushered in rays of hope
she nurtured me with patience and passion
often making several, unnoticed sacrifices along the way;

I took her for granted
blamed her for what was not
and showed no gratitude for what was
yet she called me her own, a piece of her
content with precious little that I returned to her;

Now she is gone
and I will never get her back
I crave for the moments
when I could repay if only a little bit
love back till it hurt
share my life till the end of time;

All I am left with
is memories so treasured
of a woman who created me
of a mother who brought me to life
and stood for all that I AM.

Picture courtesy -

Friday, May 08, 2009


The Rescue Mission Secretariat at +6012 378 3730 (Janet) or +6012 320 8090 (Zalina)
The Sec's E-mail is (see updates page for info)

Fellow bloggers, you can also help by embedding this appeal poster on your blog and linking to

You can follow the progress of the rescue via the updates here.

We are aware it is a monumental task and appreciate all forms of support, assistance, suggestions, encouragement and your prayers.

Thank you.