Monday, March 31, 2008

Matter Of Heart.....

“A woman’s heart is full of secrets”, quips old Rose, in the movie Titanic. How I believe in this secret unfolded silently in the movie. Isn’t it true? Ask yourself women? I have always wondered how we all are capable of locking down our hearts with so many hidden feelings.

Our unsaid thoughts, our untouched cravings, and our undisclosed likings…….where do they lie? In our heart, the safest place in this world! Yes we have understanding and loving parents, yes we have darling and caring husband, yes we have lovely and innocent children, yes we have the sweetest grandchildren…..but yes we have desires untold too.

The secrets are too tiny and insignificant…but yes there are, and there are many. Some are everyday secrets, some rare once and some once in a lifetime kind of secrets! Only women will know what I am saying! These secrets are not harmful facts, selfish desires or scary temptations but they are sheer little sacrifices, strong wishes hidden because they maybe trifling for others or upsetting dissatisfaction.

A woman’s heart only cares for others, every single day that she barely lives for herself! Be it modern working careerist women or housewives…there is a same devoted heart deep down inside. So here is a greeting to the heart of a woman which is so vulnerable to others sadness and so strong to her own!

Beauty or Utility? Home or Office?

If I ask the question “What is more important in life? Beauty or Utility?”, 99 out of 100 will say Utility, without even thinking. This is almost as if beauty were a negative attribute.

After much thinking about a possible explanation, this is what I understand.

The adjective “beautiful” has been wrongly used to describe so many ugly creations of man, that the mention of “beauty” sometimes brings negative connotations to the mind.

Naked models dressed provocatively, walking a ramp, to offer cheap titillation to lecherous men (and women) for the sake of money, are often described as “beautiful”.

The fair complexion has been “beautified” by those who wish to sell fairness creams.
The cosmetic industry and beauty saloons are selling beauty.
Several “ugly examples of beautification for commercial purposes “can be given but the point I want to make is this.
The ulterior motive behind “beautifying” certain things is so well known to all of us that beauty is seen not as a virtue anymore but as something that is very shallow. The meaning of beauty has been reduced to something that merely pleases the senses and has no greater significance in the affairs of the world.

This can be clearly seen in certain anecdotes that you hear so often.
“Beauty is skin deep. Beauty lies in the eyes of a beholder.” That is what they have been telling us for ages. They sound so irrefutable!
In essence, the true meaning of beauty is forgotten or completely lost.

In the same way, utility or utilitarianism has been glorified and venerated; not by a particular individual or a category this time, but by people in general. The reason is, utilitarianism is caused and fuelled by greed and all of us are greedy. So the glorification was necessary if only to serve as a justification of our greed, if not anything else. In course of time, utility has been associated with necessity, with purpose, usefulness, fruitfulness, worth and with value. The result is that an entire generation is convinced that beauty is mere ornamentation and utility is purposefulness.

It took me a single reading of Tagore’s essays to realize that there has been so much misunderstanding!!! I realized that utility stands for fragmentariness and beauty stands for wholesomeness.

The open spaces, the rains, the trees, the mountains, the people stand for beauty. Harmony, goodwill, peace, cooperation and love are the traits of beauty.
On the other hand, the cluttered offices, the air conditioners, the lorries with their exhausts, the vendors with their goods, the plastic covers stand for utility. Competition, greed, shrewdness, diplomacy, hostility are the traits of utilitarianism.

All things that are wholesome, complete and one in nature are beautiful. It is needless to say therefore that all things that exist in their natural state are wholesome and therefore beautiful.
Utility happens when you break the whole into fragments.

The evergreen forests stand for beauty. The furniture and timbre made from trees cut down stand for utility.
The breeze from the open spaces stand for beauty. The artificial air conditioners stand for utility.
The waterfalls stand for beauty. The power station stands for utility.
Once again, utility happens when you break the whole into fragments.

One may ask the most expected question. Are the offices, the vendors and lorries not necessary for our survival?

Yes. As long as they are driven by need they may be inevitable.
But once they become driven by greed, they begin to destroy all beauty around them and create nothing but ugliness.

Think about this.
The trees in Bangalore are all being brought down because someone there believes that utility is more important than beauty. The lakes are being closed for gain of more lands for construction. Again because, someone thinks utility takes precedence over beauty.

In place of trees and lakes, offices are being built. More trees are cut to build apartments for the people who spend all their time in these offices. In order that the people working in these offices may spend their money to buy goods they really don’t need, some more trees are cut down to build shopping malls.

In summary, man’s preoccupation with utility has converted this entire world into a gigantic office to which the home has become a mere appendix.

What has all this to do with the subject of women?
The connection I am trying to establish is that...
Utility is a man’s preoccupation and beauty, a woman’s.

Nurturing a plant in the garden, cooking for a family, bringing up a baby, decorating a home are all a woman’s preoccupation….. in all of these one can see a woman’s unconscious preoccupation with beauty and wholesomeness.

The cars, the factories, the chimneys, the concrete jungles and their wooden furniture that stand for utility are the production of a man.
Whereas the home, the people in living in them, the love that’s binds them, the paintings decorating the walls, the flowers in the vases, the carefully tended gardens and their plants, the aroma in the kitchen that stand for beauty are the creation of a woman.

Having understood that the office represents fragmentariness and home represents wholesomeness, I am flattered to know, to realize that our society endowed women with the responsibility of home and men with the responsibility of office. The more important one entrusted in the custody of more able hands.

This is not to say that a woman’s place is at home although I am not very sure sometimes. But surely a woman’s priority should be the home over the office. Her job is more important, more difficult and she alone is capable of doing it. I am simply saying that the home is a woman’s prerogative.

In today’s world characterized by hostile competition, greed, consumption of materials, mistrustfulness and a struggle for survival, perhaps women’s participation in office is somewhat necessary if not indispensable. The above fact notwithstanding, women need to prioritize. They are often faced with the question Home or Office?

The torch bearers of feminism, the custodians of liberation, the advocators of equality, all short sighted, shallow thinking people, are sending out the wrong messages. If a man can do it, why not a woman?

It is very difficult to escape the influence of the rhetoric, but one must understand that men and women are inclined to different things by nature. There is inequality in nature which must be preserved.
If men and women were meant to equal one another and had a common purpose to fulfill, there would not have been two sexes in nature. Nature would have created just one sex and there would have been uniformity.

The very fact that the creator has created two different sexes should tell us that we have different reasons for coming into the world, that we have different interests to pursue and that we are unequal.

By aiming at equality, by attempting to do all those things that a man does, a woman only succeeds in relinquishing those special qualities and special rights that nature has bestowed upon her to create beauty and wholesomeness all around her. She is also shirking from the responsibilities that nature had endowed her with.

Every society, every home, every situation calls for some kind of sacrifice to be made for its sustenance, well being and progress.

To substantiate this, I will use Bangalore as an example. If the beauty of this city has to be restored, what should be done? People should stop driving one man cars and use public transport instead, thus preventing the necessity to construct more roads, thus preserving greenery.
People should walk as much as they can and not drive everywhere thus refraining from polluting the atmosphere. In other words, certain sacrifices will have to be made to sustain the environment of the city.
The conclusion is that, the virtue of sacrifice or abstinence preserves beauty and wholesomeness, whereas indulgence necessitates utilitarianism and results in fragments.

This was an example from the environment scene. But this holds true in every facet of life. Every home, every society asks for sacrifice (mostly in the form of abstinence from indulgence) for its well being, sustenance and progress.

From time immemorial women have found themselves expected to make this sacrifice while men indulge. (This too has evoked much rhetoric from our feminists). This may seem unfair at the first glance and but if you look carefully, you will understand it is a woman who has the more difficult task at hand of creating a home, of creating wholesomeness and it is a woman who has the self control to make the necessary sacrifices.

The biggest challenge that a woman is faced with today is not a man, not discrimination, not oppression.
The challenge is to understand that she has a greater purpose to fulfill in this world than a man and to discover her purpose.
It is to understand that the almighty meant the man and the woman to complement each other and not compete with each other.
It is to understand that her place in the family, in the society is that of someone who holds the reins to unbridled horses.
The challenge is to decide for herself who she is and what she wants even as the feminists try hard to tell her who she is and what she should want.

I would like to conclude by quoting George Bernard Shaw. “If women were as fastidious as men morally or physically, then, that would be the end of the human race”.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Feb 22, 2006

2 Women, 2 Conversation

Watching Music and Lyrics… & Pop, goes my heart………………

As I stand in the queue to get some popcorn for N in the interval, I see this girl... Standing right next to me in the cafĂ© queue…

Epic Proportions: I exclaim!


I mean, those proportions could start off an epic… I… I didn’t mean they are ‘epic’… As in, no… yes, they are huge… but, that’s not what I probably meant in the first place… or, meant… but…

All you guyz are the same…

Come on…

What? Aren’t you?

Yes, v r!

Earlier in the day, called up D…

D (Panting) (waise, I luv the word… wonder watz its origin?!) :)

‘Oops… Guess I’ll call up later…’

‘Shut up! Am in the gym’

Oh! … Yeah, thought so…

Of course! U did…

Wazzup with u?

I’ll like to stick to what the elders say… One round in the bed is equivalent to six in the park! Ha Ha Ha... No gym whim for me.

(Nah, if you are looking for a 'start' and a logical 'end' to this piece, not quite like it. It's like those intellectual Malayalam movies. As soon as you just start understanding what's going on, in all that darkness... The End symbol flashes. When deeply pondered though, these movies have a lot to say, and eventually go on to win a lot of awards... True masterpieces that they are! ;) :) )


Cooks, Crooks... Or, Musicians

I know the theme is 'Women'. And how awe-struck I am. Reading serious poems and abortion posts in this forum - I questioned which of their traits do I miss the most. The answer - Cooking. I miss my mom's great culinary skills, or my girlfriend cooking a simple daal-sabji for me. Today, as I was cooking all alone, I thought of sharing this great secret recipe as a tribute to all the women in my life, who've fed me for the past twenty odd years.

And of course, to bring some smile to the grim we've managed to create this month!


Cooks, Crooks... Or, Musicians.

As T.N Seshan learnt that I was from Pallakad (southern tip of the Western Ghats in Kerala), he asked me which one am i? I replied, am an MBA - you figure it out!

However, your genes leave you seldom. My great granddad had a restaurant in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar). When Burma and India officially split, a partition not talked about often, as the other infamous one - many families including mine had to leave our flourishing establishments in Rangoon and return to our native in and around Pallakad. Coimbatore, Erode, Gobichettypalayam in today's Tamil Nadu; and Pallakad, Guruvayur in Kerala.

Boundaries hardly matter. Your skills stay with you no matter where you head. So, as I spend my time posing as a consultant in the Silicon Valley, am secretly doing what my destiny has in store for me. I cook, and I sing. (The crook part of it is synonymous with the consultant part of it). Today I'm here to share with you The Secret, through a chosen recipe. A Secret which has been protected by Gods (remember, I'm from God's Own Country!?! ;) It has traveled through war and peace, through countries and continents; by air, sea or on elephant-backs. Today, ladies and gentlemen - Is a historic occasion. Not only because a secret is being revealed, but also because a rebel, a Buddha - is born. As you read ahead, traditions will be tattered, and conventions, broken. Free will, a soaring soul shall unleash the power of human choice - a choice which prostrates ancient wisdom, but not without a salman-khan twist.

Recipe of the Day: Corn, Tomato and Spinach curry

(A list of ingredients and quantities can be obtained by posting a comment to the author below. For now, the procedure follows).

Put some tel in a non-stick container with two ears. (Warning: Please note All the minutest details, any miss could lead to a potential disaster. Follow to the T)

Turn on the heat. (Oh ho... come on... don’t always think about 'that thing'. We're cooking here, as in a 'real meal'... As in... ufff... every statement has a loop & a hole it seems... Ohh... Cant help it, perverts!)

Put jeera, heeng (asafoetida, or whatever the angrez call it); red chili powder (of mizo mirchi fame, the kinds which Professor Pillai threatened to put in our arse if we acted naughty in school); haldi (harmless haldi, I like haldi - innocent haldi, not pungent, not sweet, not sour, not hot... helps you recover from cold when mixed with milk, or helps your roop to nikhrao if applied as vicco turmeric ayurvedic cream - twacha kee raksha kare antiseptic cream).

Mix well. Add onions, till brown. (The kind of brown which matches your skin color. Oh ho, No offence. Oh, Who said that that, who used that 'racist' term... Sa%*la.. Fuck#@.. Be@#$@#od, dare you not call me a 'racist'! Abusive, shameless! Using fowl remarks... #$@@#$ (The last word was 'badwaa rascal' - a common malayali swear word, not used anymore in English language)

Add beer (preferably cheap Heineken - Budweiser will make the dish more salty, Corona if you prefer a pungent taste. Trust me, Heineken is mild)

Tip: Take a few sips yourself, as the next part of the journey is darn tough.

Add a can of corn, a can of sliced tomatoes.

Parallely put palak (spinach) in a bowl. (Use of 'palak' was for the poetic effect, alliteration). Add some water, and put the palak (ha ha again, i like it! :) in a microwave for 1 min.

Add palak to the potent dish. (I know, potent was totally not-needed here, but - It starts with a 'P'! - remember, palak, potent - alliteration!)

Stir well, while adding some garam masala.

The art of cooking lies in being on the brim. Not too far, not too close. Not very confident, not too unsure. It's as nimble as a ballet, balancing a thousand stars around a sun in the platform not-as-vast as the universe! Chances of collision are huge, and a spoon of salt more could kill the entire effort. Especially, if you are on the verge of the third Heineken heading towards this last phase. Read on, carefully.

Add water with a bit of tomato puree. Mix well. For the truly brave souls, put some vodka (Absolut, and nothing else). Just a spoon is enough, to give that sparkling effect.

Mix more. (Alliteration with 'M')

Add some cheese. (This twist is not mentioned in the ancient scriptures, it is a direct result of an earlier experiment gone wrong with tortillas, which led us to a surplus of cheese, half micro waved, ready to be rescued)

Mix more. (Ah, I've done it again)

Any dish which is so 'liquid' in nature, needs some binder. Use 'sattu'. Add 1 spoon of sattu to half a glass of water, and pour the concoction to the dish. A healthy alternative to using besan, trust me!

Mix more. (I'm a genius, where's my Nobel!?!)

Put the knob of the burner to Mid-Low, and cover the non-stick container with two ears with its lid.

Let it cook itself for 2 minutes. (My ancient uncle said - The cook feeds himself. What he meant was - The food cooks itself. Burma being closer to China, South Indians of yore were poor in grammar once upon a time) Ah, no.. how dare you bring on the 'racist' comment again! You racist, you #$@@#$

('badwaa rascal').

Ok, now comes the final cut, the last stop. Adding salt. The trickiest part of the art, it’s filled with tension; a la tendulkar in his nervous nineties. You can score 99, but the last 1 run will put your name amongst the greats or the goats. Either you are heard, or you are a part of the herd. That's why, the most expert of cooks too will not give you a measure. Add salt to taste, is all they can say. Cheapsters. When I was a novice, training under the one who cannot be named (you don’t take the name of your ustaads, do you? Just put a hand to your ear, and you know the ustaad was a great soul.) Likewise, when my ustaad used to teach me how to cook, I would put my left hand to my right ear - and always bungle this one. Lifelong, his only comments were - More salt, less salt. Or - less salt, more salt. Never, no more salt, or no less salt. Over the years though, partially as a gift of the gods, as a legacy of the great genes - and partially through my own sweat - I've mastered this art. The secret, literally is to drop two, exactly two drops of sweat into the dish. It's watery-salty nature, lends a perfect blend, the aforementioned balance!

So, there you go. Serve the sabji/curry or whatever 'names' you need to give to the heavenly art - with hot rice. Or roti. Or tortilla-de-patatas. Or devour as soup (If you're too lazy like my room-mates to cook anything more).

The secret, or rather 'secrets' are out. All over the place, through this recipe. For more, please do drop in a 'fan' mail or a comment below.

May peace prevail. (Alliteration with 'P', I cannot believe I don’t have the FedEx # for my Nobel yet!)


Friday, March 28, 2008

Be my Woman

Be my Mother woman,
Borne me in thy womb.
Hold me in thy tender
Bossom, help me pass
The troubled times.

Be my Sister woman,
Hold my tiny body
Above your head.Dance
With joy for the reason
That you have a brother.

Be my Wife woman,
Love me till the end
Of time.Bear me my
Progeny so that I can
Become a proud father.

Be my Forgiver woman,
Cause slay I would
In your foetus,given
Half the chance
For a scion of man.


Rewind with Music.Try this.Just the other day I was listening to the song ‘Making love out of nothing at all’ and I flew into my past…when I used to chat with Amit. We used to chat on the mobile for hours together. The whole bunch of those sweet and sour days mingled in my mind. It was like I was watching a movie in which I and him played the lead roles and the song was the director. That song did wonders. It actually rewound a particular time in my life which I can relate to strongly with that song because I used to listen to that song a lot around that time!When I listen to the songs of Dil Toh Pagal Hai…..they take me back to my 10th standard year…..they take me back to those times when we all so called 10th standard grown ups used to watch this movie again and again…..the songs were by heart known to all of us!!The fun we all had at that time was flashed back into my senses.When ever I listen to the songs of Mukesh……I go back to the time when I and my brother were young and we used to travel a lot with our parents in our Maruti 800. My dad used to play these songs which I did not enjoy much back then…Me and my brother hardly listened actually…we were busy giggling and teasing and having fun. But now when those songs are played anywhere they automatically take to me to that period of my life. Its so wonderful! I don’t even have to close my eyes or anything… eyed yet not looking ahead…I am enjoying peeping in that time of my life without any efforts….!!Does it happen with you folks?? The songs lyrics may not even be relevant to your life or any situation particularly…..just the feel and the tune and the mood of the song gives your emotions a lift! Its absolute FUN…..:)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sad State of Bangla Rock

Song - Hurricane
Year Released - November 1975
Singer - Bob Dylan
Genre - Folk Rock

A protest-song sung by Bob Dylan which was co-written by Jacques Levy, about the imprisonment of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. Here Dylan makes his voice heard about the false trail and conviction of Rubin, describing it as an act of racism.

Song - ?
Year Released - Was to be released on 2007
Singer - ?
Genre - Bangla Rock

A man named Rizwanoor Rehman was murdered in 2007, there was lots of controversies related to his death. Till date numerous questions remains unanswered. But the saddest part is that the so-called Bangla Rock genre could not produce a singer who could create one Hurrican out of Rizwanoor.

Many of the post-modern Bengalis swear by the names of these so-called Bangla Rock bands as if they are the Gods of Rock. Here too a burning question remains unanswered. Why are these self-proclaimed Gods of Rock incapable of producing a song which would even remotely touch the passion of Hurricane? Are they too afraid to raise their voice?

If thats the case then why should we call it Bangla Rock? Cause Rock as we know is not just a genre of music. It's a way of life. But Bangla Rock, as its singers portray it, is a bunch of long haired punks trying to play a metal guitar producing something which dont have a remote resemblance with Rock but can be easily termed as utter cacophony.

Is this what Bangla Rock is all about? Is this what we have made out of Rock?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

She is Eighteen.

"...all crumbled she laid, on the holy bed,
shivers woke her up ,as her lips laid dead,
she found her angel walk, through the open door,
she saw the halo fade,as the nails marked the floor,

spatters of blood on the naked,bare sheet,
tears and confessions, I say,made it so complete,
the echoes of her screams,keeping her alive,
the puff of ecstasy she breathes-a placebo to survive?

the silence of her cries and few broken promises ,
the lingering smell of sanity in her hollow premises,
the so called rules to follow,the so called call of the society,
smothered complains,I say,the meaningless, so called dignity,

life?huh !
a razor blade and some pills,
some pictures and some stills,
a phone book and some friends,
sorry starts and the dead ends,

she is a girl,she is eighteen and turning,
she should play with the rain but she is already burning..."

My Flesh, My Blood

Have you ever seen a ship drowning in the sea? When the violent sea tries to drown the ship, the ship protests. It pleads with the sea to give it another chance, just one more. The cries of the people aboard the ship drowned by the tempestuos fury of the lightning. Rain lashing out on the deck as the violent sea steers the ship in random directions. For an instant, it seems the angry sea is moved by the cries and has decided to let the ship live. But then the next moment, the surface of the sea swirls violently drawing the ship into it. The ship goes down silently, with everything it holds within, as if melting like ice into the mysterious icy depths and then it is lost forever. As it lies on the bed lifeless, what does the ship think about? What does it feel now that its saviour has destroyed it? The one for whom it existed is the reason it does not exist now. Does it ever forgive the sea? And does the sea ever forgive itself?

These are the thoughts that run past by mind as I am sitting in this isolated clinic looking at the vast blue sky through the small window. I have killed my child. Yes, my own child who had thought that the warm womb she was sleeping in was the safest place on earth. Her quivering lips which would have called me 'Ma' one day are now silent forever. Her tiny hands which would have held my hand and learnt to walk will now no longer move. Her tiny fluttering heart which beat in rythm with my heartbeat are now silent forever.

When the nurse came and asked me how I felt, what could I have told her? I didnt feel angry at myself for having given into that sonovabitch. I didnt feel weak having succumbed to the society. There was like an invisible barrier between me and my emotions. It was like emotions had left my body with my child. All I felt was a pain. A pain, as pure as moonlight, arising somewhere deep inside my abdomen. No painkiller could alleviate this pain. It was as if somebody was poking my wounds with a knife so that it hurt more and more. As if the remnants of the unborn child were cursing me from inside.The pain crawled through the spine into my head and was trying to burst it open. But I was not crying. Tears had dried long before.

As I went into the bathroom, the foetus was lying wrapped in a blood soaked white cloth on the floor. A tiny mass of flesh and blood, my flesh, my blood. Its tiny hands were suspended in air as if it wanted a hug from me. Would she ever forgive me? I would never forgive myself.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Fast moving cars

Going down
Street lamp glaring with all might
Girls. Girls on a selling spree
Neons, busy.

Dogs from the other car looking at me
People busy to go
Ambitions, fulfillment.
People going far away
Where are they going?
Saw Anna, long time no see!
Where art thou?

Phone, talking endless gibberish
No point talking!
Sarees, mela of colours.
All of us,

Monday, March 17, 2008

Her chronicle!

At 5, she loved her mother.
At 7, they wished they had a son...

At 10, she loved her father.
At 12, they prayed to have a son...

At 15, she loved her best friend.
At 17, they thought they have had enough of her...

At 20, she loved him.
At 22, they said, ‘She’s gone! Ah! Finally, we’re done!’...

At 25, she loved his family.
At 27, there wasn’t a sign of her...

At 30, her father was queer, her mother looked wretched, her friend sought justice, he loved his new bride, his family was counting money...

All what remained of her was a broken, melted bangle, a charred piece of her sari maybe, a little ash and lots of dust in that barren, burnt, ruined house, struggling with loneliness.

Friday, March 14, 2008

What Women Want - A Poem

Women are shallow
Women are vain
Women, men feel
Are often a pain.

Now if that’s true
What’re you to do?
I must ask then
What’s a woman to you?

A mother, a wife;
Or a sister beside
Here are some women
Men walk alongside.

We say we are equal,
We say we are strong
Truth of the matter is;
We are rarely wrong!

What do we want?
You ask us today,
Will you ask again tomorrow?
What happened to yesterday?

Are you ready to listen?
That list runs long
No expense necessary
But you must be strong.

We want love & respect
Not be spoken down to
Some understanding $ compassion
For the work that we do.

We play many roles
We try not to hurt,
We pretend to be strong
Whenever you are curt.

We say we are equal
We say we are strong
Truth of the matter is
We are sometimes wrong.

We want to be cherished
Thought of as wise
A compliment from you
Will be really nice.

Treat us sweet
Treat us kind
Treat us like Queens
We don’t mind!

Be nice to a lady
For how lovely she is
Her smile & her warmth
Is one you will miss.

Buy her some flowers
A trinket or two
A bar of chocolate
And she’s closer to you.

A call in the day
‘Hi! How do you do?’
A hug in the night
To say ‘I love you’

Hold our hand
Please, make us laugh
Listen to our woes
They will divide by half

Let me end my rambling
Let me stop this jaunt
I have answered the question
Of what women want!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I just watched.

The newspaper laid limp in my hands as my eyes ran through the lines in a hurry.
The first page flashed a big ad from some fairness cream-"International Women's Day".
"Ya alright! You surely will be happy.",I smiled.
"Ting tong."
The doorbell rang like it had woken up from a deep slumber.
It was Sandhya.The little girl ,daughter of the maid.
"Bhaiyya ! Why is there so much crowd in that shop?".
I looked in the direction where her tiny fingers were pointing.It was a CCD(Cafe ` Coffee Day) and it was packed with girls,jeans and tops and skirts and polka dots and all the latest wardrobe hits.
They all wore coloured caps,and were shouting and hollering and hugging each other.There was no birthday cake.
"Celebrating Women's Day.",I replied.
"What's that?Is it like our Independence Day?",she asked.
"Yes.Its something like that.On Independence day people salute the national flag and today they salute the woman.",I pompously said.
"Will they salute my ma too?"
I laughed,"Yes."

"Then she should be happy.Why is so unhappy?Why does she cry every time she comes back home after work?
My daddy never salutes her.He beats her up instead and when he does that ma asks me to run away.So I run away to Malti's house.She bleeds in her feet ,her hands are no more soft now.She wakes up early and comes late.Father comes home late and leaves early too.Sometimes he stays away for 3 to 4 days.My mother cries then.I don't understand.I know that father will come back after few days.

I have been to so many places today morning.No one saluted me.I played with girls from the school and they showed me their new books.I read a few lines but even after reading twice they didn't cuddle me as ma used to do.I go to school no more coz we don't have money.Ma says that I should start washing my own clothes and dishes.She wants me to come with her and watch her work.
I dry the clothes and wipe the plates in every bhaiyya's house she works.I love doing that.I love staying with her.I have also learned to broom.
See? Now you should salute me."

I had no answer.

Women's Day !I watched them celebrate.They were shoulder to shoulder,hand in hand.I watched them stand proud and walk high.I watched them smell the air of freedom,I watched them love themselves.They sang and danced to the tunes they liked,they loved.I watched them speak whatever they wanted to,they pipped the boys in every race and I watch them alighting the stairs to heavenly success.

I also watched her cry,watched her hide her bruises and work hard,just for few morsels,watched her scrub the dirt with her tiny hands, eyes teared coz her baby cried somewhere under the sun as she lifted bricks on her head;I watched her thrown around like a piece of flesh,she being stabbed before even she smiled at her mother.I watched her beat her breasts in agony ,I watched her mark the walls with her thumbnails in pain and I watch her drown in blood and despair.

Just watched her.I was happy.I was sad.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Feminist | Resurrection. Reverberation

I am the voice of a woman,
The vital race for existence of human.
Behind the success of every man,

Lies my presence as a talisman!

I am born as a daughter,

Mostly caressed, like the clay by a potter,
Sometimes the victim of a man slaughter,
Life of a woman is an opera of falters!

I adolesce into a wanted dame,
Become an arm candy for all his fame,
Words of wisdom sound all lame,

The time was now to put my horses to tame!

I groom into a caring wife,

Give up everything to acclimatise with his life,

Lived by orders at the edge of a knife,

The glamors of a fairytale is no more rife!

I pregnate into the life of a mother,
Lactate my newborn genes to grow further,
The fairytale endings are here to smother,
Flair of effeminism is now trivial to bother!

I now senesce my presence into an old age home,
After his death, life became a hysterical syndrome,
Story of my life is no more an epitome,

In as much, my'self' has lost all it's chrome!

I now lay on a bed of roses,

My soul sails over the sea of life's dozes.

I am the lady on a flying dutchman,

Hear me out, I am the voice of a woman!


"...the rivulet was singing a melancholy,the sky was spotless but for a flock of gulls striking a line on its easel,the trees being caressed by the wind as the leaves frolicked on their twigs.
She didn't care.She once cared though.
She looked at her reflection-her eyes filled with prejudice,asking a thousand questions .
"Why did I do that?He is my father and he spent his whole life making my dreams come true.Just a simple "Yes" and I would have made him happy."

"All that he wanted me to do is to marry Ravi.I can spend a life with a stranger.I will surely like him.Pa gave so many sacrifices and I just have to give one.I will do it.I will marry him."

And she stood up.Walking slowly ,she tried something that she never had done.She tried forcing the gratitudes over her dreams,she let her father's tears drown away her screams,she nailed his picture in front of her eyes to ease her bothering conscience.

Suddenly she stopped.A piece of glass had slit her toe.The pain had pushed her out of the delirium that was walking with her.

"Why ?Why should I do this to myself?",from no where a stream of voices barged on her.
"No.I have to say "yes"."
"No .I can't.How can I let him do that?I just can't."
"But he is my father.My FATHER !."

A battle she fought with her self.The blood streamed from her toe,tainting the wet stones ,the cold pebbles sent a chilling sting down her spine and the cut was the ingress.But she ignored it.

"Yes .He is my father.My father and as a father he should understand me.I have my dreams ,my desires,even I can "demand" something from life.I am not some piece of flesh to be thrown around.I breathe the same air he breathes so why can't I live the same way he lives?Don't have I right to live free?
He never stopped me from making the smallest of decisions then how can he not let me make such an important one?I know myself better than him,I know when I want to marry and I will tell him what I think."

And again, everything went blank.
"What was that?Where did that come from?How can I think like that about my father,about the man I admire the most?I am not a worthy daughter."

She looked up.The door gaped,the house seemed to bear a look of anger.
She slowly stepped into the house.With specs on his eyes,he sunk his face between the leaves of the newspaper.
Sidling along the sofa ,she stood in front of him.Like a child she bore the guilt on her face.The same way she used to say "Sorry" when dad had found out her lie.

"Pa...",she choked.Tears broke waves in her eyes but sh stopped them.
"What?Arre Shilpa did you hear,these U.S. people have made it even more tougher to get a VISA !I wonder how will I get you in U.S.", he chuckled.
Her heart pounded like a drum.She was surprise but a sweet shock it was.
She muttered,"Pa.Ravi..."

"Arre I have talked with Sharma.Bol diya usse,meri beti badi ho gayi hai.Aaj kal meri baat sunti hi nahin.Aakhir beti kiski hai?", a laughter filled the room.

"I love you Pa."she was in his lap.
"I am proud of you my angel."

He was still the man she admired the most.

She was proud that she was his daughter.she was proud she was a daughter.

"The world respects her.She can no more be chained.She can no more be forced .She is understood.She will make them understand.Coz she knows ,she is everything.She is a woman."

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Ultimate Greed

To and fro, To and fro, her fingers go, round the candle’s wick.
“This is fun.” she thinks, “Ohh! What a trick!”

Her saree well draped,
The flow of fire, liquid.
Her delicate anklets tinkling,
The burning feet.

To and fro, To and fro, her fingers go, round the candle’s wick.
“This is fun.” she thinks, “Ohh! What a trick!”

The tongue of fire,
Her lush dark hair;
The jasmine fragrance fading;
The overpowering reek.

To and fro, To and fro, her fingers go, round the candle’s wick.
“This is fun.” she thinks, “Ohh! What a trick!”

Her lovely face, melting,
Her teary eyes, sparkling.
Her gasps for breath, heaving,
Her cries for relief.

To and fro, To and fro, her fingers go, round the candle’s wick.
“This is fun.” she thinks, “Ohh! What a trick!”

Women, both of them,
The killer and the victim.
One plays with the candle,
The other is the wick.

To and fro, To and fro, her fingers go, round the candle’s wick.
“This is fun.” she thinks, “Ohh! What a trick!”

Her smile, smug, contorted
Her gaze, intense hatred.
Her eyes eager, hungry;
The ultimate greed.

To and fro, To and fro, her fingers go, round the candle’s wick.
“This is fun.” she thinks, “Ohh! What a trick!”

A voice against Dowry Deaths, on Women's day.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

For Dad!

You must be wondering why I am writing to you now? You must be wondering why I haven’t remembered you for more than a minute in all these years, why I haven’t dreamt of you, why I haven’t shed a single tear after you were gone…

The answer is simple-and it is ‘Mom’! When you passed away, though little I was but my ears heard everything they said. They said…what she will do…a mother of three small children! They said…how she will survive…with three small children! They said…how she will work; she has no job at this time! They said…what will happen to them...within poverty and its stinging bite! They said…who will provide for them…a poor lady and her three small children! They said…a young lady…it’s so tough to do without her man…and they said many more things and their banter, I heard for a long time.

Today I tell them…the poor lady survived and so did her three small children. They aren’t small anymore neither poor. No angel touched their lives, nor did God take a look down, it was the will of that lady alone and now they have been seeing happier times. She worked hard, she worked day and night, she worked without stopping for a breath, she worked when she was ill and when there were dreaded times. She looked after the three, she send them to school, she made sure to pack their lunches even when she hadn’t a morsel anymore. She would cry alone at times but saw to it that the three never had a tear in the eye, in all the hard and rough times, all alone she did strife. She stood like a wall between troubles and her three yet she never forgot to tell them how to lead a life that was guilt-free. She loved them unselfishly like a mother, she cared for them like friends, she stood by them like dad and she taught them life’s lesson with a dedication of a teacher.

I am sure you know all the answers …I am sure you understand all of it by now, I am sure you know why I haven’t missed you much all these years…I am sure you are proud of her…your beautiful wife and our adorable mom!!!

#dedicated to my mother, yours and everyone’s!!!

Now Your Woman...Now A Witch

She’s the daughter, mother, sister, the wife…’ they say

And isn’t she an erring human, too, pray?

As long as she’s sweet she’s a princess beyond compare

When reality gets her good side she’s but an ugly bear

Beware of women’ they say

And what brings all the bitter hurt, the hateful dismay?

The invisibility of love, practicality, or a voice as high as yours?

‘Equality’ they talk of, and offer warnings & barbs for cures!

All heart and no brain’ they say

And what’s not right in their childlike way?

Wrong to feel when everyone thinks?

To gaze aimlessly when the world’s short on time for blinks?

They’re only fooling around’ they say

And what’s wrong with harmless play?

Without a care you glance and flirt around…

But their platonic conversations call for fury & surround sound.

Superwoman, superhealer’ they say

But fail at it once, and there, you betray!

No room for second chances, no forgiveness, no ma’am

Can’t live up to expectations? ‘You’re all sham!’

We salute women’ they say

Condolences & praises for a whole long day!

Notwithstanding that she feels lucky to be one

Because being a woman blessed her with your heart that she once won.