Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Hollow

Two little eyes sparkled and
stared from the hollow
eyelids blinked in resonance
with the winter evening breeze

crawling out from the hollow
wee, came the little figure, down the slide
both tiny hands clutched on to her long black gown
sliding slow as snail, expectant eyes

wee, and down, stomping on the sand
swooshing few in air , two little foot walked
rubbing a pinch of dust off the eyes
the figure stopped moving

and out reached two big hands stroking her head
fed her expensive cookies and colourful juices
but little anxious eyes wandered
seeking something not mysterious

little eyelids blinked more now
in resonance with a flickering smile
as another little figure that lingered around
with bright florescent yellow jersey dress

"can we play together"..gleefully
made another little figure
hollow in the eyes of little figure filled up
as her lips carved out the best smile.

P.S. - I take my son outdoors playing. This poetry was written quickly during one such visit. Playing in groups is a rare scene these days. Our children are enjoying the urban play pens with parents right on their back.
Many times I notice few kids being reined in, with set of instructions.
Let them free. Let them play  with other children. in full glee and spree.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pondy Was Fine for A Woman Solo Traveler. Part 1 - Promenade Escapade

And I was going to a teeny tiny town, like a speck or dot on the google maps may be. Still tinier yet magnificent was the view from the plane. As the set of wheels rolled out, and as the images of huge sea line unfurled into of a small lump of earth, I was landing in Pondy. In an airport that resembled more like a mammoth playground where two small domestic airplanes nicely stayed.  My heartbeat was too excited. All was fine. But I was alone. That made a difference! So much wanted trip, the solo escapade.

I did not want to complain about the grumpy driver that drove me to my hotel accommodation, but I will. It was till the end of the trip that I came across  all grumpy and unfriendly male drivers. I was told the place was safe for woman travelers. Now I know why! 

A small town, a Union Territory, this White Town is connected well by good public transport including two wheeler that can be rented out at several places. This is a boon for travelers. All across the town you see plenty of cyclists. A scene I loved on the streets.

Puducherry meaning "New town" was what TamilNadu called it in Tamil. And the new town still shines out in the old architectural whelm. A mixed culture of south India and the French. Lovely wall-shared row-houses with bunches of colourful bougainvilleas on the compounds decorate the French colony streets. Most government offices seemed so untouched by the construction technology. They still existed the same as they were in the French regime. I chose to stay in the busiest place in the town. The Promenade Hotel gave me the best view of the sea at a distance of hardly 50m from my room. I would call it a leap-able distance not walk-able. 

The biggest statue of that Gandhi standing tall by the sea in the centre of the Promenade guarded by  huge pillars carved exquisitely, was almost visible form a corner window of my room. 

It is a myth to feel the sea is the same everywhere. Stepping onto the promenade stretch gives you a contrasting view of two important things you notice. 1)The serene sea and the monstrous waves. 2) Second the abundance of clutter among the rocks. I could call it one of the most cluttered beach. However the stretch still charms you.

Everyday people take their walks by the sea, religiously and probably this is the most crowded life center of the town.
Promenade should be nicknamed Promisade.

Morning scenes include some usual joggers, yoga sitters by the sea, an old man distributing cookies to street dogs. My 
morning runs were calm and undisturbed by the dogs unlike in Manipal .  Our Manipal street dogs just do not trust any runner on the roads. The dogs here seemed to be understanding. They dug up their places in sand and lazed around most times except when hungry. The quite orange dawn time is when the waves seem bit ferocious in the quietness of the surroundings. 

Evening scenes here, include a a set of artists seated on several spots with their tripods and pencils and papers. They will produce a sketch of yours in few minutes that you sit facing them. And I got mine done too! And then the sari clad ladies, sari worn high up just below the knees, beautiful wrinkles and worn out hand bag and some shady flute like stick in hands. One of such ladies smiled at my palm and promised me I would one day marry a "bright" guy and have two children. I sent her back happy with a mere 100 rupees and the lady who translated me the Tamil "forecast" into English with a thunderous laughter. 

By nightfall in the burnt sky, one can still find few younger groups of youth loitering on the stretch. As for a traveler, I would suggest staying in one of the hotels facing the sea. My nights were calmer and the sound of the sea waves were soothing. Reminded me of the Colombo nights. The ocean view room and the same sounds of the waves. 

Honestly, the sprawling sea at times did frighten me. Especially when I sat staring at the sea, and every wave swelling up to the shore breaking down upon hitting the rocks of the promenade. That every swelling gave me a scare yet continued to lure me. I continue to cherish every moment spent with them

Apart from the promenade stretch there are quite a few beaches in this small Pondy and few other spots of importance. Continue to read, in the next post. post coming soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Why I Purchased Plums Today

Picture source

Where we not told stories in our childhood? I was read stories from Amar Chitra Katha, from Leo Tolstoy's books,  and those Russian magazines of  Masha. I still feel those soft strokes I gave to the A3 sized board books of "Masha And The Bears", dad would bring from his office library. Over a period, I happen to retain few stories in my mind that mom read to me and one of my childhood favourite  was the "Plum hannina vaate" meaning the seed of the plum fruit, in kannada.  The story originated from Leo Tolstoy's book but was translated in some Kannada book. Unfortunately, I can not recall the name of the book.

Plums in the eighties were those luxury fruits that made it's appearance in the fruit vendors shop once in a while. That first time when the fruit and the book with the story both arrived home together mom had read this story to us.

"One day Raju's  mom purchased some plums from the market. Plums were a rare product then. It was a big catch and a golden fruit haul by mom.  She  carefully washed them and arranged them in a basket to be eaten by entire family together after dinner. 
Raju the youngest among the 5 children, could not withhold his curiosity.  He polished his tongue every time he saw the ripe crimson red fruit in the basket. Though he had never tasted them before, mom's treatment to the fruit made him realize it indeed was something unique. Tiny inquisitive mind was soon up to mischief as he grabbed one of them and relished it alone hiding in  a corner of the house. Then gleefully hiding all his euphoria he sat at the dinner table. 
Now dad noticed the count of the golden fruit and  immediately announced "children, who ever has stolen the fruit, please tell me urgently. Because the seed that you have swallowed will grow into a tree in your stomach and branch out of your ears and nose next morning. We must not let it happen".
Dad had nailed it. Soon Raju admitted his mistake and the family laughed out aloud but with a lesson for Raju and all the children on not to be greedy and also honesty is best policy. "
How cute. We had a big fancy for the fruit as well as the stories my mom narrated to us in childhood. Also I have to pass on the legacy to my children and stories are one thing that keeps my hyper active four year old son quite on a couch. He can listen to a dozen of them at once and blink at me and his books constantly. While I picked a few plums this morning from the hyper-market it unexpectedly brought back my memories and also added a story onto my cart for my son. 
Gone are the days of grandpa, grandma stories. We have gadgets replacing them to my dismay. We often end up in this discussion of bookish education and those of values of humanities. And I give a thumbs up to reading books to the children or narrating them stories from life. 
This is a flash post today. Anybody having good suggestion for story books for my kid please do leave a comment with title of book and the author.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Converses With My Moments

Puffing away the day's chores
that I count down with all my will
sometimes against, but with affection

running length and breadth with the tick-tocks
marking down unending to-do lists
cheering everyone I love, and then me

smiling at gale of chatters that matters
calls , talks, blue ticks, for every soul touched
with every cup of coffee, every plate meal

just dawn to dusk is not my call
pretty odd  reverse way too, work to work
charging away tough jiffs

every job accomplished, fulfilled promises
every concluding day, fuels my brain and brawn
stimulates every nerve and my bone

living thousand moments, cuddled up in me
looking away from chores into open pages of life
as I write and write and write, love you, I tell my moments.....

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Best Practices - Being A Good Husband

To all the lol-yal husbands out there, here is your free hand book of how to make your wife feel "at the top of the world"

Dear Husbands, I know you are all busy taking instructions from your wives. Now you can be free from all this trouble. This Rule Book will free you from all worries. All for free. 
Just follow golden rule "let them (the wives) free and they will come back".
Do not worry, this is a very short reading. I have been advised by other wives, we have plenty of reading to do on Whattsapp, so I keep this rule book short and sweet.

Remember we are all hungry for "Appreciation". All. You and us, we wives. Bingo. You got it.
There's a trick to it. Simple "hey darling you are so beautiful" will turn you into so predictable. Be genuine is the trick. Mother is God. It will strike right. Just touch her shoulders and say, you are my next mother darling. You take so good care of me and kids. (For those who do not have kids, it will  still make your job more easy).

Please make note, to listen between the lines. Or make your notes to read between those activities. There is a pattern with all housewives especially. We are super thrilled and proud about our skill full capabilities of multitasking. Less said is better. We will smilingly complete all chores. We will become the Cinderella for a while. We will do the laundry. But there is a pattern. Somewhere, you get a signal when we might throw out that raged tantrum. "Taken for granted" tantrum. "Hell-O we can't be taken for granted okay?" Have you all heard this first time in life today? Liars. 
Polish your  comprehensive skills to note those details that give out signals of taken for granted tantrum. Moments before you feel the tremor, get into your househusband mode. Your duty begins now. Get  on to job right then. And side by side, keep your notes handy in the pocket.

  • Do not even think of picking phone calls while you are ironing your laundry.
  • When the washing machine and the dishwasher are side by side, remember where things land will decide where you will land that evening.
  • Set your goals and convey it to her. She will decide how to award you. Hence, do not overdo stuff or offer to accomplish more than your capability.
  • If your wife still watched K- serials on television, please maintain double hand distance from her while holding verbal communication.  Don't take this lightly. I have read in newspapers, about divorce cases filed after wife slapped husband hard inspired by Ekta Maata soaps.

Small things create big joys in life. Apply this as Best Practices in your daily life. At 5AM in the morning, if you try shouting "darling toilet tissue is over, care getting new roll?", you are for sure in deep trouble. Take up small tasks to do. Do not create such blunders by over loading Cinderella with such small tasks. She will not run all errands singing happy song, then wait for the magic fairy at the night in the backyard. She can turn insane and give you a piece of her mind right served hot with your morning tea. And in case you happen to be tea maker of the morning, kudos. Good job. You have acquired a star for yourself. Remember one cup of that refreshing tea or coffee when brewed and served by the husband,  her eyes would swoon sipping it. And ignore her early morning jibes for toilet tissue paper. She can be insane at times, but remember you would have called her your next mother, so technically ignore wife jibes. They are short lived till you get the next set of diamonds from Kalyan Jewellers or movie tickets for the two of you.

Last but not least, the CCC rule. Criticism, Controls and Comparison. They are precisely inter related too.
Criticism should be showered only when demanded genuinely. Do not get obsessed with your superior qualities and start evaluating her skills in the house. Or, try doing that when you are fully confident you can cook your dinner for the day or standing on your own feet in your own house. On flip side, also do not shower unnecessary compliments on us. We have mammoth patience levels for benefits of doubts. For us too much is too bad, we believe in earning what we deserve.

Well, criticism does not put her off at least but comparison surely does. Committing that blunder and it may land you in trouble. She may posses all hands on information of your colleagues salary. Beware, comparisons are traps. To yourselves.

Who do you think is the control of the house? Never brush aside opportunities available to share the authority management in the house. It rests on both your shoulders. However, golden rule applied, hand over controls to her as when required. She very well believes in balancing life. Never underestimate her EQ/IQ or touch that feminist soft spot. You may lose all your future opportunities to lecture her in case she needs help or fails, and you might yourself end up in soup. Listening from her, about your ego filled authoritative male self.  Why burn your fingers. Be wise. Let her drive. Let her go work, watch movies with friends. Let her be what she wants. She takes turn to hold the upper hand, and you wait prudently for yours.

All in all, marital bliss is not about marriages are made in haven. Hell no. They are run on the earth.
 And golden rules are to be applicable to run it successfully. I am not at all quoting the traditional rule  of "always listen to your wife". NO. Do not talk hyperbolic fiction and show her stars on sky. leave that to Salman Khan or Akshay Kumar. You husbands cant handle it.
Husband -wife are like the Tom-Jerry and almost hilariously are based on "I scratch your back, you scratch mine".
In fact, be rational, read this rule book and stay enlightened. All cats are out of the bag here. You have most secrets of wives, so you know how to handle yourself.
After all, wives are supreme power and they guide you well throughout.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Like It Or Not

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers
Honestly I do not need a reason to write. I manage to find a topic. So this one almost goes like a semi rant post may be if that term exists but themed on something. You figure it out. I can crib on anything and at times wait to see who would read it at all and at times go in hideout, scared why would someone read it too.

Don't we always look back with fond love as we move ahead in life. We tend to look back at the path that lead us, at some nostalgic memories, people we encountered, places we lived in and many more things.

Today, I experienced a similar thing. I had begun my blogging journey in the year 2010. (though many posts are taken off the site for a reason now). And like we attend a school, I too was inclined to blogger platform then. The Indiblogger. Fostering most bloggers. Am sure  many writers began their journey here like me. For the past 4 years I had been off the platform, though I posed few stuff on my blog off and on and also visited Indiblogger in brief.

I adhere to my old school  methods. Last evening, I visited the site rather leisurely, and tried to look for most old faces, old bloggers I read. Found a few. Lost few. Few results showed not found/ error.
And a few had stopped posting after 2016 or so too.

I somehow felt creepy. As if I missed a train. 

Now, few days back my old apprentice, as we met in a forum, welcomed me there by saying 'Blogger lady is back". In an attempt not to show my thrill, I smiled and responded easily "you remember this from like 4 plus years". And another friend around praised him for his elephant memory.

Nevertheless, I kept pondering. Why do people remember other people. Definitely they like something in them. And if you have to be liked, you sure have been sending out positive friendly vibes. Also, why would someone remember a blogger? I thought it was something that put people off. No? You blog? And their mind is a puddle like " she blogs lol" and someone went to the extent of saying "anybody can write". So it was clear. huh. Like, is there something you actually do?. Hey, listen, I just love writing okay. And I run too. I am a speaker too. Now. Yes.

So I stuck to my couch, with the itch to write again. Like an analysis of what I was thinking.

Like I said earlier, I do not need a reason  to start writing. To me writing is a learning. Baby step each day, is what keeps me  going. 

In one of the recent Toastmasters meetings, we discussed Likability. It was brought forth by a person whom I love and look upon always. Not the Facebook  likes alone. But serious one. Many agreed that being likable is something you can aim at and few decided to remain confused and few like me gave it a negative nod. I was even frightened to know there is a whole book on how to be likable. Now, the entire subject is a loop. While the term likable itself is too generic. Going by the 11 laws of likability in the book, it is clear that we need to be straight and genuine and so on. It no where says we need to try to please people.
Yes, being likable here becomes a tough question again. No matter how genuine and good you are, at times there are numerous people who "chose" not to like you. And there is no reason for this.  It is freedom of expression. May be another book can be written on this too.

When this happens, you just need to log out of those thoughts and log into positive ones. And continue being genuine.

Keep yourself surrounded by everybody you love. Give your love and your sure will receive some in return.

Now, my nice readers,  keep the company of good thoughts.  Good things will automatically happen to you.

There's cute number by Madonna. Try listening to this on YouTube. Meanwhile here is a part of the lyrics. Like me or hate me, she says:
You can call me a sinner
Or you can call me a saint
Celebrate me for who I am
Dislike me for what I ain't
Put me up on a pedestal
Or drag me down in the dirt
Sticks and stones will break my bones
But your names will never hurt
This is who I am
You can like it or not
You can love me
Or leave me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop
No no, you know
No no, you know

Monday, April 30, 2018

When CBSE School Children Celebrate Independence Day

PC - Google School
Independence Day precisely for a CBSE [Central Board Of Secondary Education] school going child is the day they are liberated from their main exams. That only holy day basically. That one day when exam ends is when they breathe in full lungs, full out without choking hindrances like homework, projects, tests or so on. Their academic sessions begin with hands tied in hand cuffs called books and pens with eyes rolling like truck tyre over the books. This definition was introduced to me by my high school going child and her friends. These children actually go through this elaborate technique called CBSE board exams. 
How I wish they grew up as easily as in just one song, like in the Bollywood movies. 

Last month I was part of a small debate. "Exam fear- Is it the children who bear the pressure or the parents"? Damn. I was the first speaker to confess the children were the victims. The parents are the  moral inspectors and support systems. Supporting, guiding, mentoring, with all our capabilities, from their induction to school, towards their career plans, and beyond too. But the children who actually actively involve in the learning process feel the shake. We had lengthy discussion on why and how the parents were the passive victims. An argument of a child disinterested in studies too was not a reason. Even that child would still have to undergo his tests ultimately. Hence, I was resting my case. The children are constantly under this "Exam fear". 
Exam is one entity.  Consider the overall effects!

One of the stand up comedian once took upon hilariously on  the Kendriya Vidyalayas to be the torture technique house.  These CBSE students will get into trouble even because of their parents. Ask me how? You can't forget to notice the torn or worn out sock and  replace it with a new pair, for your child. The child would then have to go through the long lecture of discipline in the school and pass it on to you too. Trust me, when it comes to discipline our CBSE children  will beat the so called matured adult leaders of our country that make the most noise in the parliaments. Even the Kindergarten children of our CBSE school march in a line in corridors of school with fingers on their zipped lips.

We Indian's are the most empowered in this world. We believe in hard work. Hard working produces fruitful outcomes. Hard work means donkey work. That in turn applies to countless writing and reading exercises, trick and treat your memory with numerous formulae that don't work in real life but only in laboratories. We are spell bound. Spell of "studies". Many children get beaten like drums, sometimes with sticks or brooms. Because we parents believe in bringing out the beast out of us  to produce the best out of our children. All this for the greed of creating the wonder kids. Like we polish our shoes shining, we create wonder children called toppers. They top the hoardings in the school which contains a picture of them with medals around their neck. 

Last year, I was overwhelmed when Tulsi Mata of the mini screen had been appointed the Education Minister. Somewhere in this world there is justice. And that she gives it a dramatic slap and changes everything. Just like in her Television soaps. One year and so many changes. And everything is so good in the end. What a lovely fairy tale. But in few months that followed, neither did Tulsi maata stick to her profile nor did life change for CBSE. Yet many things did. In last year and till now these schools witnessed major changeover in assessments and in curriculum. Trial and error basis. 

Recently heard the board welcomes opinions from public stake holders in process of rationalising the curriculum. - Serious readers are welcome to click on the link and do needful.  Now, this may be a welcome change. May be. Wonders seldom happen. On serious note, yes, I do see welcome changes over my perceptions.  

The burden system has to overturn. One thing required on priority. Give me that one thing dear god- Bollywood style.

Board will hopefully re-consider not the evaluation system alone but the teaching pattern to: accommodate project oriented learning-centered activities; de-emphasis on excessive memorization ; relaxation on writing and flexibility on comprehending and presentation of knowledge. Most of all, the education pattern supported by the curriculum would be able to aid a child build and boost it's confidence. Caning has stopped now. That was a breather. But much more awaited. Looking away from books alone. And by far the most important, CBSE schools are not meant to produce only Engineers or Doctors by hierarchy. This is for all the faculty, parents and children.

Just today, happened to read a viral piece of news that some school in Tamil Nadu has progressed and proposed homework to parents based on sociology. Link Here - . Including relation building with their own children! I am aghast over the biases. What a injustice to the teachers. They deserve some homework too on the  same lines. Relation building with the children included! 

We are constantly in love with "phoren" studies while we still have the best of the best within us. There's everything, yet something amiss. Probably we have the oasis of knowledge but no breathing space.  

All said and done. I embrace the holy truth of a fact that diamond shines brilliantly after that vigorous brushing and polishing. Remember it is these students that make and have been making the "bright India" and few "India bright" outside the country. These polished gems and pearls have decorated farthest of the world's corner. Starting with the brain drain, to the Make In India now, to the CEO of top most IT firms, it is these Indians. These CBSE brats that are twinkling all over. 

They end up paying this price for making it to top. Ain't it true?