Thursday, October 29, 2015

रेत के घर

This poem is written in response to the picture prompt by Aditi Kaushiva

"कल समुद्र के किनारे जाना 
कुछ रेत के घर बनाना 
एक छोटा सा महल भी होगा 
जिसमें कहीं मेरा निशाँ भी होगा 
जब लहरें शोर मचाएंगी 
इठलाती हुई पास आएंगी 
सब कुछ ढह जाते देखना 
मुझे फिर मर जाते देखना 
लड़ तो तुम नहीं पाओगे 
लहरों से क्या टकराओगे 
खुद भी तो रेत से बने हो तुम 
एक दिन तुम भी बह जाओगे 
यही तो किया तुमने 
कमज़ोर दीवारों से घिरे 
निरर्थक व्यवहारों से पले 
उठा न पाये सर कभी 
झुके खड़े हो आज भी 
सुन न सके उन तरंगों की धुन 
नई सोच से नए सपने काश बुन देते तुम 
मेरे पिता बन जाते तुम 
कुछ गुड़िया भी घर में लाते तुम 
पर सोच तुम्हारी काँटा बन
पैरों में मेरे चुभ रही है आज 
मैं जाती हूँ अब तुमसे दूर
नहीं मुझे अब तुमपे नाज़ ...."

Image Source here

कल रात नहीं फिर सो मैं पाया
सपने ने जैसे मुझे जगाया 
आइना मुझको दिखलाया 
एक कमज़ोर शख्स से मिलवाया 
पिता हूँ कैसा मैं 
जो आती मेरे जीवन में 
मुझको भी जीना सिखलाती 
कुछ रंग गुलाबी बिखरा कर 
मेरे कुंठित काले मन को 
नित नया रूप वो दे जाती 
निर्जीव खड़ा मैं गुनहगार 
कल सुबह वहीँ पे जाऊँगा 
लहरों से न मैं लड़ पाऊँ 
मैं फिर भी महल बनाऊंगा 
एक घेरा ऐसा डालूँगा 
जो अनुचित दूषित  सोच को 
दरवाज़े से बाहर रखेगा 
तू आना मेरे घर बेटी 
इस घर को खूब सजाना तू 
और इस दोषी पिता को माफ़ी दे 
इक बार गले से लगा लेना। 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


As I sat today wondering what to write, I came across these beautiful lines shared on Carpe Diem Special #178 Michael Dylan Welch's "first day of school"

first day of school—
I eat my buckwheat pancakes
in silence

© Michael Dylan Welch

The beauty and the simplicity with which deep emotions were expressed simply blew me away. That is what makes poetry so special. It touches that inner sanctum with so much affection that it melts you away completely.

Being a mother of two children, with one being a first grader, I have felt the silence that the poet mentions here. When we get used to our kids being around so much, there absence causes a turmoil that has no words. We feel happy that they are moving on, and yet, something becomes vacant in our hearts. Isn't it? I am sure many have felt that pang. 

First day of school is so special. With jittery kids, with even more jittery but not-showing-it parents, we anxiously wait for the bus. Kisses and hugs, goodbyes and tears, pats on the shoulder and so many thumbs-up, this and much more - yes, first days are special

First day of school - 
Eyes look at clock all day long -
Waiting for the bus...

Image Source here

Written for Carpe Diem Special #178 First Day of School

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Festival

He stops not for a second - yes,  not even for a second. Lines grow longer, time runs faster, and he goes on. A mermaid is born to delight a little fancy. A bike revs up to win the race. A Minnie decides to sprinkle smiles on a princess. There is not one but many spider-men there - to save the world, just in case. A sun-flower blossoms delightfully as it is tickled by the touch of tiny fingers. Who can ignore the ready-to-quack ducklings as they waddle in petite arms. And who can remain unstirred as the little turtle gets ready to splash and send ripples of laughter all around. Oh there is so much magic going on....! I fail to take pictures - mesmerized I stand, as if hallucinated, as if under some spell, as if I have imagined my own world of fancy.

How does he do it? With such passion, and precision. His fingers ache not. He inflates, he pops, he cuts, he twists, he rolls around, he wraps, he snaps, he gives. What does he get? So many claps, so many smiles, so many screams of delightful surprise. If only everyone was so earnestly industrious like him!

In case you are still wondering who he is, he is the Balloon Man - cannot have any other name for him. That's what he is - an artist whose medium is air and balloon, that's it. 

There are pumpkins scattered everywhere in the farm, reminding us of Jack-o-lanterns. It is that time of the year again. I wonder if the Twister has any plans for the spooky day too. He must have, I am sure. Some creepy airy beings who will boo us unaware! Some chilly creatures who will swing above our head and fill us with dread and awe! 


Image Source here

Image Source here

On a trip to the Von Thun Farms in Monmouth Junction, NJ, I came across this great artist. My words have hardly done justice to the talent of Mr. Jason Secoda. A dedicated artist, he went on making one balloon art after another. Kids were losing patience as they wanted to grab the flawless creations Mr. Secoda made. And yet, he went on calmly, talking a bit about this, and a bit about that, modestly thanking us to have waited. I was amazed by his speed and precision. He faltered not a bit, and gave in his 100% to each and every art he created. Hats off to you Sir. I hope more and more people see your talent and I hope your talent gets due appreciation wherever you go.

Check out the Facebook Page of Mr. Secoda Airheads Entertainment !

Sunday, October 18, 2015

He Drove All Night....

He drove all night
Wondering in the stormy weather
How silent would be the wife's anger
How stern would be his mother's temper
Thoughts like those might have slowed him down
But he went on......
For one more person waiting at home
Whose smile was true
Whose anger was cute
Who waited not for the gifts he would bring
But for the warmth and the love that would spring
From his eyes and his hugs....

Image Source

He drove all night
Fearing she might have slept by now
But he drove and he drove
To reach to her fast....
Gifts tumbled, dolls rolled
In the backseat....
Speedy highways posed a safety threat
With mile-long trucks in the side-lanes
Rains made it tougher
Winds made it harder -
Sleep tried to ensnare
But he fell not in its trap...
He cared not...
He had only one thought
To reach to her fast
So he drove all night...

He could see his house from a distance now
He could see all lights switched off
The darkness of the inside
Told him he had been late...
So he reached the doorstep quietly
And unlocked the entrance door
He put the gifts aside and sat down on the floor
He wanted to relax
But he knew that he had missed it
But work was demanding, deadlines inflexible
How would he explain it all to her?
How would he tell her he drove all night
But still couldn't make it in time?

Lost in thoughts, feeling quite blue
A touch startled her...
He looked up and saw those beautiful eyes
Happy to see her Papa come home
She hugged her as he lifted her up
And not a word passed between the two
Love has its way to send across the message
Nothing else was needed....

Image Source

The prompt He Drove All Night made me feel very nostalgic. I remembered the times my father would travel in the night to come home. There were times when work kept him busy and he was late. It was always a delight and a relief to see him reach safely.What else would a daughter want? As I write this poem, I miss him badly. He is gone so far that there is no return from there. But his laughter and his happy spirit touch my heart always making me feel he is close. This poem is for him, and for all the loving fathers in the world. 

Image Source

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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Happy Birthday Mummy

Friday, October 16, 2015

It's Halloween!!!

Pumpkin O Pumpkin
Let me scoop you from within
A shape I have that's right for you
To make a spooky scary you

When night it is on Halloween
And it is time to convene
A party of all ghouls and ghosts
You will play the perfect host

Let me gather my carving knife
And let me set the table right
Let me draw a creepy face
For a glowing candle make some space

A spider crawling on your back
Spider-man rising from the cracks
A jack-o-lantern with hollow eyes
Or is it some monster in disguise?

All this and more and all set we are
Let us now keep our doors ajar
We dare to scare, and hoot and howl
A naughty team out on the prowl.....

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Boo Grams!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One Year of Blogging Completed and Still Going On....!

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One year back, I started a journey. It had no destination. It had no prescribed path. It was just an act - an act resulting from a will to break free from all negativity, to come out of pain. And in this journey, I learnt a lot. I made new acquaintances, new friends. Some inspired me with their warmth, some believed in me, some filled me with awe with their modesty and unpretentious knowledge. All in all, the journey taught me to just keep going on. The journey made me realize that the more I learn, the less I know. I learnt to be humble and persevering. I want to thank all my friends on facebook who read me and supported me. I want to thank BlogAdda which provided wonderful prompts every week, and IndiBlogger where I made lot of friends. I want to thank all the fellow bloggers who read me and provided valuable feedback. There are so many of you that I cannot name all here. So, a heartfelt thanks to all of you.

Last but not the least, I want to thank my Mom, who has been my light, my support always. She stands by me like a strong pillar, although to tell you the truth, she is barely five feet tall! Her spirit is so strong that she never fails to motivate me.

It also happened to be my late grandmother's birthday when I wrote my first post last year.  I realized it only after I had published the post. The discovery made me smile. It gave me a feeling of joy. I had been dilly-dallying on the idea of creating a blog since a very long time but it was bound to happen on such a special day. My mom's mom....she was a fascinating lady. Full of charm, graceful, and oh my...what a temper. As children, me and my brother were scared of her anger but we loved her a lot. She loved us a lot too. She would often make nice, yummy Indian delicacies for us. Her laddoos, shakkar-paras, her maththis.....I cannot forget how wonderful she was with whatever she did. I feel blessed to have started a new venture and I feel that she is watching me. Wherever you are, Badi mummy, guide me and help me sail on. My blog will be my feelings, my thoughts as they come to me. They will be stories from my heart, ponderings of my soul. They will be my therapy in times when I feel sad. And I hope that whosoever reads them will smile too. 

I am posting a link below of a story I wrote earlier last year which I don't think I have shared with my fellow bloggers. Please enjoy when you can and leave your feedback on the story if it touches your heart.

Nanna's Corner


Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Silent Cry... 
Heard it
Saved her....

Image Source

The least that one can do to save a person from falling into the deadly trap of depression is LISTEN.

Listening plays a key role in meaningful communication. People who are sad often feel that they cannot make the other person understand. This results in a withdrawal, which only aggravates negative feelings. 

If you suspect that there is something amiss with your friend or your loved one, please do not ignore the sign. Depression is a silent killer, out on rampage in this world, on a large scale. Help your friend by lending a listening ear. Be there for him or her when they need you the most. Do not overlook. Do not remain so busy in your own life that you are completely cut off from those who need you NOW. 


Also linking it to Six Word Story Challenge - Help

Disobedient Wife...

Indian Bloggers

It is a sad reality in many places in India that a girl child is not given the right to live. Seen as a burden, many opt for illegal sex determination of the fetus and then secretly kill their unborn daughters. There are times when women are complicitous with men in this regard, and there are times when the wife's please remain unheard. Keeping this scenario in my mind, I have written my six word story :

Image Source

Disobedient Wife - Girl Child was born......

Linking it to Six Word Stories : Help

Similar posts, relating to the girl child/female foeticide that I wrote earlier

बेटी की शादी

Winds of Change : Embracing the Girl Child

I am Born Again

What is Potential but a Life full of Possibilities

Monday, October 12, 2015


Image Source here

Hearts divide
over Religion
Where is God?....

Over and above
all prejudices -
He resides....

Image Source here

Written for Haiku Horizons prompt 'Over'

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It's October....!!!

A leaf - crimson and solitary falls near my feet as I stand in my balcony. There is slight chill in the air that makes me shiver a bit. The weather that was warm a few days back has changed and brought a cool breeze with a muddy scent as rains drench the earth. The changing color of leaves makes everything outside a breath-taking spectacle. The vibrant hues on the trees speak of the frost that will settle in the air soon. What is colorful today will turn bitter white and make us sit indoors and sip hearty soups and hot teas. Yes, it is that time of the year again when warm beds and snug blankets will tempt us to become lazy. It is October again.

Image Source here

Image Source here

Trips to farms, baskets full of lush apples, juicy beets, luscious berries, hay-rides, race through the pumpkin patch to grab the best candidate for jack-o-lantern - October has all that here in US. Kids get ready to be at their spookiest best as they choose their favorite costume to wear on Halloween. Stores welcome us with an abundance of candies and chocolates. Witches are wanted, houses are haunted, bats are in, spiders crawl around, and skeletons play the host. A whiff of sweet aroma emanates from the kitchen corners, reminding us of pumpkin pies, and the warmth of the scent of cinnamon-pumpkin cakes makes us all sugary sweet. Yes, October has it all.

Is it a wonder that October has celebrations in India too? The festival of lights, Diwali and the slaying of the demon-king Ravana happens around October. Even Durga, the principal goddess in Hindu mythology, chose to destroy the demon Mahisasura during this time which is commemorated by her ardent followers during Durga Puja. It seems that October is the demon-defeating month too....!

Image Source here
Image Source here

Image Source here

It was our nation's serendipity that a great luminary was born in October. Gandhi, the father of our nation, the Messiah of peace and non-violence, who sought to win one's right by non-violent persuasion left a legacy of pacifism that the whole world follows. It is surprising that as a school boy, Gandhi had a tough time. He is known to have done only moderately well in school. His report card had a note that he was "good in English, fair in Arithmetic, bad in geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting.."   Was it not the man's own serendipity that made him travel in that train in Pretoria where he tasted racial prejudice and was thrown out on account of his color? Perhaps. From a shy boy at home, to a leader of organized revolution abroad, Gandhi came a long way, and showed us the light at the end of the tunnel, when all that we could see was darkness.

Image Source here

It sure is a great time of the year. A time of beginnings and endings, a time of celebrations, a time of togetherness, a preparation to bid farewell to another year - a time for some nostalgia and some new hopes.

Let's greet it
Prospect of joy - It's

Image Source here
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Also linking in to Blog-A-Rhythm Wordy Wednesdays Word Prompt Serendipity

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dutch Tulips....

Image Source here

Dutch tulips
I would, if I could
buy for you

They blossom
like my beating heart - 
You in sight

Take my heart -
together we shall
reap a bed

Of tulips -  
vibrant valley of
our true love....

This haiku is inspired by the historical occurrence in 17th century Holland when tulip prices rose very high and tulips are said to have become the world's most coveted flower. In this haiku, a lover woos his beloved stating he is not rich enough to buy tulips but assures her that his love is true. 

Linking it to Carpe Diem Tulip Festival

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dutiful Daughter

Image Source here

Red lanterns -
filial daughter

This Haiku is based on the legend of Yuan Xiao, a maid who worked for the emperor during the Han dynasty. She was sad as she had never had a chance to meet her parents as she was busy performing her duties. A man heard her crying and decided to help her. He set up a prophecy booth and told everyone that a fairy was coming from heavens to set a fire. Everyone in the city came to see this. The girl Yuan pretended to be that fairy and told the emperor that the entire city would be set ablaze. The emperor asked the man how to avert this and the man suggested that everyone make beautiful red lanterns and decorate the city. All the people came to see the spectacle on that special day, including Yuan's parents, who was only too happy to be reunited.

Filial Piety is a very important part of Chinese culture. I wrote briefly on the topic a few months back. To read that post, click on the link below:
Linking this post to Carpe Diem Haiku Lantern Festival

Missing Smiles.....!!!

This matter is no small potato. This isn't even something that will turn you into a couch potato as you will be running away from grabbing hands. If you have it, no one can throw you out like a hot potato since everyone will want a bite....ahem.....I mean a mouthful! In case you are wondering what this potato talk is all about, well put on your thinking caps on your potato, I mean head, and head straight to the kitchen for some delightfully deliciously yummy snack....Smiles.....Yes yes, I mean business. This is just meat and potatoes talk now - no beating about the bush. We grab McCain's SMILES!!!!

Image Source here

I have used so many idioms related to potatoes in the above paragraph just to highlight the fact that the love of potatoes is universal and goes beyond the plate. I remember eating french fries, we used to call them finger chips, with such pleasure. It seems that not just children, but adults too could not resist the temptation of those potato delights. And as if they were not enough, MaCain came and conquered our hearts. Those little round smiles on our plates are enough to uplift our moods, to fill our tummies and to ask for more.

We can NEVER EVER let go of the potato.....No I don't mean this as an idiom. I mean it LITERALLY!!! 

Be it a party, be it snack-time, be it time to add some spice to our life, all we need is SMILES.

As little children, the first thing we recognize or are able to understand is the emotions on the human faces. Babies can understand what being happy means because they can identify smiles on the faces. And when Smiles are on the platter, what more is needed, right?!!! 

And who could deny the goodness of a potato? Rich in phytonutrients, a good source of B6, potassium and even Vitamin C, what more reason do we need to eat them? Fried, well, yes....but a little frying won't hurt, right? One can bake them too, if one has some health concerns. There you go.......! Grab a pack of those frozen yummmies and you are all set for the party.

Can you believe that potatoes were once considered a bad food, even poisonous! Gosh, that sure sounds silly. But it's true. In the sixteenth century, when it was introduced in Europe, people thought that it was the food of the devil and would cause leprosy! Hard to digest that, now!

Thank God that those talks were all false and we have the fortune to enjoy our Smiles!

Oh my, oh my....I am feeling hungry. My kids too.....Wish I had McCain Smiles here in New Jersey too....!!!!!

Linking the post to

Written for Let’s Put A Smile On That Face contest by IndiBlogger.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It Infects...!!!

Image Source here

I caught it
unexpected - it
was your smile!!!

Linking it to Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Technique #13 RIDDLE

Birth of Storm

Image Source here

Rock for son
Zeus is born - curse
for Cronus

Birth of Storm
Powerless Rhea

Legend has it that when Greek God Zeus was born, mother Rhea secretly sent him away from killer father Cronus, who had been eating his own kids after a prophecy told him that he would be overthrown by his own child. Rhea was defenseless before Cronus. When Zeus took birth, she gave Cronus a rock swaddled as a baby to deceive Cronus. I have narrated the story in the form of Haiku. Zeus is often associated with storm, thunder and lightning. He is a major sky deity in Greek mythology, apart from being the ruler of all other gods.

Do share your thoughts on the Haiku. 

Linking it with Haiku Horizons Prompt - STORM

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Good Thoughts Lead to Good Deeds....

Image Source here

When I was little, my grandpa always used to ask me to read newspapers. Every morning, reading the newspaper with the morning tea, was like a ritual. He would point out interesting things from history and would even pinpoint the mistakes, if the newspaper writer had made. Then he would write a letter to the editor to make corrections. This habit of his was passed on to my mom and from my mom to me. My mom would insist during my college days, to read the editorial column as the language written would help me improve my vocabulary and style of writing.

Speaking of the editorial column, I remember sifting through the newspaper to read the 'Thought for the Day' and contemplate on the topic or the thought it generated. It was a great mental exercise. These days, I have always liked the small articles on spirituality like those by The Speaking Tree. Some newspapers have also vowed to make one day a No Negative News Day and on that day, the issue that comes out is filled with positive, promising news. The articles that are included in such editions help the reader think more constructively and develop a habit of appreciation for all that is good in society.

This notion of avoiding negativity and dwelling more on the inspirational matter is something very interesting. In an age where we see lot of social evils, when we stop and focus on the admirable aspects of the same society, our mind starts to function differently encouraging us to become better in many ways. When a desire to become better enters an individual mind, it helps create an aura of wonder, gratitude and excellence that like ripples in an ocean, creates a long-lasting effect on those around that person. It is just like when we smile, the other person will reciprocate in a similar fashion.

For the society's betterment, I strongly feel, that snippets of spiritual wisdom ought to become the first page of every newspaper column. Short stories that teach by example help the reader make connections and question the prejudices s/he may have harbored. I also feel that these snippets need not be religion-based. They can be stories from great personalities of any faith. The prime aim ought to be to teach some basic ethical values.

What do you feel, my friends? Do you have any story or wisdom to share here?

I remember reading a short story in the Speaking Tree column where a student tries to fight the darkness in his hut by attempting to shoo it away with a broom. When his teacher sees him doing that, he tells the student that in order to dispel darkness, you need to light up the room. The message is so simple, and yet so deep. When we illumine our inner sanctum, the outside gets lit up with bright, positive thoughts too. And good thoughts lead to good deeds. Isn't it?

Do share your thoughts too. Thanks!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Also linking it to #MondayMusings on Write Tribe. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Without Empathy, can there be Equality?

Indian Bloggers
Linking to IndiSpire #85

The ability to identify one with the 'other' and becoming one with his/her pain is true Empathy. Image Source here

What does a woman need - equality or empathy? The question really set me thinking as it is so valid in the present day scenario. It made me think of the entire discourse surrounding womanhood. It made me think of religion and of cultural standards setup in a civilized society. And it also reminded me of the 'construction' of the female in response to an already available 'male' principle. Simone de Beauvoir, the leading French feminist, had argued in her seminal book, The Second Sex, that woman came into being only in relation to the male, and that man became the 'Absolute' while woman became the 'Other'. In her cogently argued analysis, she rightly pointed out that 'humanity is male'. 

Beauvoir's point is so crucial in view of the question on equality and empathy. What is empathy? Empathy is a state of mind where one can psychologically identify with the feelings and thoughts of the other. Ronald E Riggio, in an essay on Empathy (which you can read here) describes psychologist Mark Davis's understanding of three different types of empathy - 

a) Pespective-taking Emapthy - It is the ability to think of the other's feelings and to be able to understand what the other person's point of view is. It is kind of receptive and observant in nature.

b) Personal Distress Empathy - This springs from one's own pain and helps him/her identify with the other's sorrows.

c) Empathic Concern - This kind of feeling is actually the true ability to not only feel the pain of the other, but to be also able to identify with it and act upon it in order to rectify it. This is affirmative, engaged, and committed. It strives to 'perform' in a positive manner whereas the other two exist in thoughts and the second one is disabling in its nature.

An understanding of these kinds of empathy again leads us to the question of women.

As far I have understood the concept, I feel that without empathy or 'Empathic Concern', equality for women is a distant dream. Keeping in mind the idea of the 'second sex', and the lack of empathy on the part of society at large, one can clearly comprehend the state of affairs. To be able to be put on the same pedestal as men, women first need a deeper understanding of their identities and their unique selves. Only then can equality be possible. But then again even women need to feel one with their true inner beings because they too have been attuned to societal norms and expectations. When they become 'subject-effects' (and here I am reminded of Gayatri Spivak's Can the Subaltern Speak?), i.e., when they speak from a standpoint where they have modeled themselves on normative behaviors, it becomes impossible for them to advocate their cause. They too need to break free from those shackles if they want to be honest to their cause.

What do you think of my argument here?

Do share your thoughts!