Sunday, 31 May 2015


Love In No Smoking Times



Going down on his knees, a rose in hand, he proposed shyly, "Will you marry me, Radhika?
"Yes, i will!" She replied with an equally shy peck on his cheek.
"Oh my my! This is your first gift to me in one year of our togetherness.....i am honored!"
"Thank you, thank you, the pleasure is all mine!" Recovering quickly from a sudden burst of emotions, Radhika bantered lightly," But where is my first gift?"
He just smiled, enigmatically, "You will get it soon!"
What Radhika had not noticed was an unopened pack of Marlboro, discarded in the wastebin beside his study table.


#WorldNoTobaccoDay 

Friday, 29 May 2015

बेटियाँ 

  
कुछ शक्कर सी मीठी,
कुछ नींबू सी खट्टी,
कभी नीम सी कड़वी,
तो कभी मिर्ची सी तीख़ी, 
अभी फूलों सी इठलाती,
और अभी शेरनी सी दहाड़ती,
एक पल बच्ची सी मुस्काती,
दूसरे ही पल दादी सी डाँटती,
कभी भाई से लड़ती,
कभी पापा से लड़ियाती,
अम्मा के भजन पे कान बंद करती,
मम्मा के संग रॉक एंड रौल करती,
नानू को कंप्यूटर सिखाती,
दद्दू को चैस में चेैकमेट करती,
गली क्रिकेट में छक्के लगाती,
कॉलेज तक कार भगाती,
गुंडों को सबक सिखाती,
नन्हें पंछी के पंख सहलाती,
एक ही ज़िंदगी में कितने रंग दिखा जाती,
पर फिर भी हर जगह पानी में शहद सी घुल जातीं,
बेटियाँ !
A Nano Tale

Finally, I convinced myself to do it. Tonight it had to be sacrificed. Picking up the knife, I inserted the gleaming pointed steel into its voluminous abdomen and sliced out a big chunk off its juicy flesh. A heady smell made my nostrils flutter with happy anticipation ...with an obvious tinge of sadness, too. As I scooped out the golden flesh, a sigh escaped my lips.
The mixer whirred and minced the perfect cubes to a gooey slush. A dash of honey, a pinch of saffron and a glass of milk....and it is whipped to perfection.
A glass of enticing mango shake.....with the last mango from the last remaining mango tree in our garden.

   
                                       Image courtesy: tumblr.com

Thursday, 28 May 2015

ODE TO NIGHT


A warm still night,
A pale, waning moon,
With its dull, restless light,
Engines buzzing on like some loon,
The lone warbler crooning in mid-flight,
And a sonneteer, still bright eyed as if it's noon,
Putting the stamp of his ink on paper, clean and white,
Far away, a solitary lover trills a song, although not in tune,
Hope of reconcilliation with his beloved, in his heart burning bright,
Lady Luck, Lady Love and her lofty laughter will again be his, very soon.

Monday, 25 May 2015

What's Your Spirituality Quotient
As a kid, i often saw people organizing religious rituals at home and a bhandara-a community kitchen after that. The practice has become even more prevalent today. Tuesdays, thursdays, saturdays....you will find poor people thronging temples in long snaking queues to get their share of poori-sabzi, bread pakora, khichri, halwa etc. Random festivals and special days also ensure distribution of food. And this is not limited to Hindus only. A few weeks ago i happened to pass by a mazaar and noticed devotees and poor people partaking of food in the bhandara there also. Perhaps my knowledge about existence of this practice among Muslims is limited but this was something that broadened my spiritual horizon and set me thinking.
Is it a genuine sense of sharing and caring for the poor and needy? Or is it the fear of suffering in the next birth duly inculcated by their respective religions, just an easy attempt to get rid of the impact of their misdeeds in their present life and a desire to attain salvation and heaven in their afterlife that makes people involve themselves in some philanthropy?
And then, today i received this daily message from a spiritual messages app that i follow.
"You can only give away what you already have inside yourself.
True giving happens when you are overflowing from the inside, and cannot help but share. When there is so much love within you that it has to flow to others or you would burst open. There is no thinking involved, no willpower in such sharing. It just flows out. If you have to force yourself to be kind, to love, to feel compassion, you've missed the first step of filling in your own self with these emotions."
My personal belief is to live in the moment, in sharing whatever little you can, irrespective of what is going to happen in my afterlife.
What's your spirituality quotient?
Please share your thoughts..

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Conversation

As i waited for the long line of peak office time cars, bikes, rickshaws, chartered buses to recede so that i could cross the road to the shopping complex on the other side, i noticed her.
A frail old woman trying to cross the road, then hobbling back as a biker almost drove over her. Instinctively and inconspicously, i moved to her side to protect her from the surging traffic and help her cross over. She noticed me by her side and asked if i was also going to the market and if i could help her cross. As the traffic slackened a couple of minutes later, i held her by the shoulders and indicated to the car drivers on both sides to slow down. On the other side of the road as i gave her my hand to get on the footpath, she thanked me gratefully. I asked her if she wanted to buy some milk from the Mother Dairy and offered to buy it for her. Panting due to the effort of walking, she told me that she had to get milk as well as vegetables. As we crossed another road, i held her steady on the potholed road and gestured to the car drivers to wait a few seconds.
Very politely, i queried why she didn't get grocery, milk and veggies etc delivered from the store inside the society itself, she said that she didn't have any phone. I don't know what came over the lady suddenly, she started confiding in me how her son and daughter-in-law were troubling her. In a feeble voice, she spoke about her illnesses, her childhood, her parents and her happy and comfortable life with her husband of 48 years. She told me how loving and caring her son was in his childhood and what hopes they had from him. But after his marriage, circumstances changed.....he started pestering the mother for disposing off their properties and giving him the money. Her thoughts were all muddled up.....but she spoke quite coherently.
I was a bit embarrassed to hear all this, a stranger as i was for the lady although we happen to reside in the same society. With vehicles screeching and honking all around, i couldn't hear all that she kept on babbling but her tearfilled eyes conveyed her inner turmoil and predicament. I wished to move away, having reached her till the Mother Dairy booth, but the despondence in her eyes held me back. I stayed with her a few more minutes till she fell silent, except for the heavy breathing. Gently, i asked her if she wanted me to wait for her, but she politely declined my offer. 'It is my destiny, i have to bear it.' I told her to take a rickshaw home and moved towards the market in a pensive mood.
Generation gap, communication gap, lack of mutual understanding and tolerance, too many expectations from children, different aspirations and lifestyle, acceptance of disagreements as part of life.......that brief conversation with the gloomy lady-or rather her monologue left me wondering........what is it that makes parents and children drift so far apart that life becomes hell.....perhaps for both!