Category Archives: Uncategorized

What motivates an individual to become a parent?

“I can’t see any reason why people would want to usher a demanding, dependent, irrational new person into their already full, meaningful lives.”

 

This is what a friend of mine wrote to me during one of our endless discussions about this and that. If she is to have a child, she says, she will have to either wait for the life she wants, or watch bits of it “washed out of the window”.

 

Although I don’t have any rational answer to this enquiry, I do feel there is an answer somewhere — perhaps different for every individual. And that, on finding that answer,  the person will hopefully be able to free their spirit of ancient social stereotypes of procreation and heritage and old-age-support.

I Did It Again.

“Get me a pillow,” he said, and then added “please” with a cocky smirk designed just to annoy her. But she knew him well. “Sure,” said she, and then added “darling”. She knew she’d got right back at him. The refrigerator was getting in her way as she got up from their impromptu bed on the kitchen’s marble floor. The moments after were almost always the best part of their intimacy. They challenged each other, mussed more hair and got closer than sex ever would make them. Winding her way through the narrow space, she first went to the bathroom to wash off love, but not quite. She liked the “not quite” bit the most. Smiling, and looking at her reflection at the same time, she looked happy, contented and very comfortable right were she was. Picking up several things that would make their temporary lay-in more self-sufficient, she walked over to him and threw the pillow on his head. Gently, but surely. Opening his eyes, he looked at her and squinted against the sun from behind her back. “You’re back too soon. I was in the middle of something very engaging.” “I could go back and get you a couple of more pillows,” she said, but threw herself on him at the same time. “Or you could join me in the engagement.” “Tell me, then.” “You and I.” “Under the water.” “Of a blue ocean.” “Swimming with the fish.” “Nibbling.” “Mmm.” And so it went on, the engagement, until it was time to switch on the lights and start over. But they didn’t. They switched on the lights and got out of the tiny but stylish apartment and went for a stroll out in the cold Delhi night. Their marriage wasn’t over yet, but it seemed like it needed something more than sex and love. What could be more than that? They had been trying to find that out for some time, tacitly and politely, but kept having to start over.

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images (2)

 

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NB: Meant to be a novel, this scene was supposed to grow. But it hasn’t, so I am offering it for a quick read, reader. Read well, and tell me I am a fool to not continue writing even when I can’t. Especially when I can’t.  

Watch and Wait

Fine

Silk

Hanging,

Swaying.

We could strip

The clothes line.

Or just watch it

Carry fine silk

Until the winds blow.

*

When they do, gossamer

Mornings’ll turn powder

Sheer nights’ll blind, trembling. Winded.

Let’s beat the mistral to it.

Come, let’s spin a yarn, weave a roof.

*

Stay away, puff. Our fabric breathes.

Delicately, slowly, it breathes spry mirth.

Let it, puff. Let it inspirit itself.

*

We will sit here, and look at it breathe.

patchwork_heart_hanging_on_clothesline_plaque-r86d69fc6318e49569f3c78a82ed7e7c0_ar56b_8byvr_324

Lost

Image: Dan Pancamo
Image: Dan Pancamo

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A day gone

In the arms of

A hungry little monster

Skulking behind

A face alit with hope.

He moves with its vigour,

The hungry little monster’s.

But waits for the hope’s

Peace.

~

Another day,

Another posy of

Promising smiles.

He might get up today

With a frown finally wringing

Itself free. One with

The hungry little monster.

But he won’t.

~

The day breaks

All little armours,

Jostling through their chinks.

Light!

The armours cling and clank —

Soundlessly and noisily at once.

But there is light.

~

He likes this,

The play of light

With his chinks.

He wears

The usual smile

Like a buoy even though

The water’s paved.

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Self-Help for Dummies

Trouble troubles without prejudice. Since no one is spared, I suppose all appreciate a helping hand and a warm smile. You will perhaps not see whether their troubled times are deep or fanciful, desperate or indulgent. My experience shows that when you least expect kindness to bring you back kindness, it does so with such surprising matter-of-factness, that you wonder why you hadn’t tried venturing on that path those countless other times. Kindness heals both ways, always.

Having said that, I am ready to confess that I need help from myself — that would be a win-win situation, would it not? I be kind to myself, and get kindness right back to me in return. This reminds me of an important lesson my mother tried to teach me. She still does try, but is now experienced enough to not waste her breath on it. She used to tell the little Priya that if she respected her clothes and took care of them, they would provide her respect in return; if her books and notebooks got respect, they’d furnish her with the same and more. Loving advice. But slipped right off of little Priya’s well-shampooed — sometimes very well-oiled — hair. As I prepare myself for producing my own set of memorable advices dished out unsought to my little girl when she is old enough to understand beyond “don’t poke your eye, dunderhead”,  I am at loggerheads with the little Priya, who never grew up.

Recently, during a conversation with my father, I secretly revealed to him that I know what ails me. Feeling of inadequacy is a well researched term, and it sounds gravely frivolous enough to my ears. My father, however, gave a very sage response, saying that abundant thought seems to have gone in to come up with such a conclusion, which goes to show that most of my work is already done. All I need to do now is to stop feeling inadequate. Easy for him to say, easy for me to go right back to that last stash of Diwali laddoos. The poor feeling, however, continues to languish — ready to slither out, suddenly serpent-like, and entwine my poor ego until it can no longer breathe.

And that’s what they call a vicious circle.

The idea of walking your own walk without anyone helping you is fast looking absurd and impractical. Maybe those self-help books and videos and guru-talks do the world some good, after all. Maybe it is time to make another confession and say you can’t take another step towards your goal without someone to tell you there is a path ahead, dunderhead.

Or, maybe, you just remember to be kind to yourself, and the rest will follow.

 

h

Be Restless? It has it’s benefits.

To be able to create, you need to rest after a period of being restless and awfully idiotic. I have been restless (and awfully idiotic) for quite some time, and have ‘created’ some forgettable written ‘things’. While I wait for the period of rest to rain on me, I want to maintain a feeling of being creative. Since I am afraid it’ll all be, yes, forgettable, I’ll just copy and paste from the book I published recently (which, incidentally, has sold more than 10 copies! Hardly forgettable, eh? WooHoo!)

butterfly

Eleven Etherees for you. Eleven emotions.

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Happiness

Still
Very deep.
Up it comes,
And twinkles bright.
Swishes and courses,
Curls around every wisp
In me. Bells tinkle, tink, tink.
Now deeper and yet all around,
It wafts round me, the gentle old friend.
Oh, this delightful light, it becomes me.

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Anger

Breaks,
Buries
My weak soul.
I fall, and fall.
Reach hells I knew not.
Flames claim me, mere tinder.
‘Twas not called to cause hurt,
But it has. Here, there and everywhere.
Those worried looks, these trembling sinews;
Fires ablaze, poisons stew. Where is life, pray?

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*

*

Love

Fill
My cup,
“Twill twice over.
Rush life in me.
It does, too. And more.
Skies and Earth merge afar,
Days flow into nights close here.
All’s the same, yet wonderfully new.
Picks me up and sends me adrift, reined.
Drops me. Only to prop me again. Reined. Filled.

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*

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Grief

“Bend,”
It says.
I obey.
Breaks into,
Then, it stays. Rigid.
I play its tiring game.
Seeking, buckling, pining, too.
Heart feels empty, mind so broken.
It’s tapping the loud, loud hollowness
With such indefatigability.

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Hate

Pluck
Sorry
Harmony.
It makes me do
This, and much, much more.
Rides on my ignorance,
Gallops me to deserts grey.
Such inconsequentiality.
Desolate plains, troughs and mounds meet me
As I trample this ground shivering ‘neath.

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Hope

Light
Glimmers,
Though ‘tis dark.
Colours brighten,
Even as fog fades all.
I laugh as if sky’s blue,
And so, I become the light.
Dips me in sweet liqueur, it does.
Oh, what fun! Trouble’s all gone now,
I can be again, live again! Onward!

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Fear

Nail
Pushed in.
Deepest yet.
But it bleeds not,
No blood’s left in me.
It’s taken hold, this claw.
It pinches, pierces deep, deep.
World’s awash with this stickered smell;
Bloodlessness, such tiresome bloodlessness.
Nothing in me, I lean on falsity.

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Wonder

Spin!
I spin,
Whoosh, float, sail
Through marvellous fluff.
Eyes mirror the light
I sense gushing in me.
So many questions, such a lure.
I marvel, gaze at things hidden,
It’s lent me knowing eyes, this journey.
All’s bright, I see so well of a sudden.

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Sadness

Raise
Buildings
From wasted
Dreams, and live there.
How heavy is their weight!
Those departed, heavy dreams.
I see healthy trees from windows,
But the panes are built of tough stone.
To break them is painful, really. Such pain.
‘Haps I’ll stay in here, and ‘twill go? The pain?

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Contentment

Give
Heartbeats
To safekeep
On rooted tree.
It’s a beginning.
And another new end.
Sense still earth, yet know ‘tis not.
I can fly yet dive, fish treasures.
Seek what? All that is here is out there.
Bells? There’s no tolling. The heart beats it all.

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Selfishness*

Tripped
My jaunt
With baubles,
Compelled my Me.
Ere I begin jaunts,
I choose the best transport.
Mirrors here, there; I see Me.
Give me love, give me more and more.
Build me a palanquin, all mine. Mine!
‘Tis not just my joy, but yours, too, I want.

*Yes, I know it’s not strictly an emotion. But I am using my artistic license. So there.

I Am, Strangely, in the Mood.

Self conscious
Taken from the Facebook page of Self Conscious

Association is a good thing. If you are the imaginative kind, association grips your hand, and guides you firmly around its landscape. If you see, for instance, the intricate weave of a Benarasi silk from the heart of India, you might want to liken it with the close weft and woof of your life — the things that inter-weave, sometime intertwine, to make you you. Continue reading I Am, Strangely, in the Mood.

Let go.

let go

 

Note: I’ve been noticing that my ability (in terms of time) to reply is reducing drastically. It bothers me when I am not able to respond to your initiatives in a timely manner, dear reader. Hence, with a heavy heart, I must keep comments closed on my posts hereafter — not to discourage you from responding, of course, but to make sure I sleep well at night. I have, however, opened up another means to lose sleep — do write me an email if you feel you must let me know something about what you read here. I’d like that very much. And as for responding in time to that, I’m going to do that, even if I have to lose sleep.

Rainbow-Gazing

Love, perhaps, is also the only entity in existence, that makes things happen without fail. Positive things, negative things. Things that make this world what it is today. How can love be a mere entity? It is an entire world.

People’s days begin and end with one or the other form of love — love for coffee, sex, wife, mother, conquest, money, painting, gardening, gun-toting, Christmas carols. Who knows the form in which it enters the mind, and indeed heart, of a person and takes over their being. When you love, you also hate. If you love a mug of coffee in the morning, you hate a morning without a mug of coffee. When you love red socks, you hate it when you find only yellow ones to buy. Such intricate web of emotional adventure it conjures!

Continue reading Rainbow-Gazing

How to make mint tea without killing its colour?

Years ago, I went to Leh via Manali. Both are beautiful towns amidst the Himalayas. Both have their own, unique charm — Manali a valley with enthusiasm, Leh a valley with intense resilience.

The drive between the two places is something out of this world. The terrain changes every 50 km, from Martian to Himalayan to more heavenly-an. Trite jokes apart, it is a trip worth taking.

Not the least for the mint tea at the roadside stalls.

Now that winter is come, I got reminded once again of this divine drink. But try as I may, I cannot make it like they did there. Bright green in colour, sweetened just right to enhance the lemon and tingly mint. Juliennes of ginger. Simply mmm. How does one get that colour without any additive? How does one steep mint without making it bitter? Do you know? Will you tell me?

And while you’re thinking, look at some of these gorgeous pictures from the region I picked up from the huge internet. Someday, when I can, I’ll post mine.