Thursday, December 30, 2010


Moments of happiness, come by occasionally. The decide to drop in now and then. Just when you are engulfed in its cheer, some spark makes a quiet entry and turns everything upside down.

What do you do? Sulk and let the spark win over the good times, or after a tinge of sadness, brush aside the spark and catch on to the moment of happiness that decided to visit you?

Life is strange all the time. Just when you are getting happy, something strikes and leaves a vacuum giving you a mirage of hopeless despair. Like Life itself cannot go on. And my some wave of a magical wand, it bounces back and pushes you one step more, to follow its gait. The bouncing back is so sudden, that it does not give you any room to think. One just has to dance to the tune it plays.

Life, holds all the strings to Life. It knows when to pull the strings, when to let them loose. Life knows everything and I, a mere puppet dancing to its tunes, hoping to gain control of the reigns, so that I can pull the strings... Some distant day in the future, life will hand over the strings to me, for me to play the chords, for me to sway in its tune, for me to pull the strings, for me to let them loose.. someday..

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Memoirs from my travel

Dec 17, 2010

I pick up my suitcase, this time a big one, and make a journey again. This time from the east coast of America to the west coast. From Indiana to Arizona. From home to home. I am travelling not on a vacation, but still on a vacation. Vacation from stress. But working remotely. I will have to support the testing effort that is going on in my project. But that is not a load, when compared to the 2 weeks of time off from daily stress. I don’t have to wake up at 7 am to get the kids ready. Don’t have to drop Nitin to school, needn’t worry about cleaning the house or the laundry. It’s a time to rethink, and reinvent the me, gradually getting lost in the daily chores of life.
I am boarding the US Airways flight 639 to Phoenix. My sons sitting beside me and mother behind me. My younger brat is flapping his hands, like a bird just as the airplane wheels away to take off to the skies. He thinks his flapping made the airplane fly. Such innocence! Where are all these people going? Everyone has a story, and there are so many stories to tell.
I open my book – Danielle Steel – Family Ties. It is after many months that a book has landed in my hands. 3 hrs 45 minutes of flying time and 220 pages read. I am impressed with myself.

Dec 20, 2010
The book is over, and now I am at a different destination. Tucson. 2 days with friends at Phoenix was good. Nitin had an awesome time with his friend Diya, he was seeing after 3 years.
Kids at his age adapt so easily to new environments. It is us adults who carry this fear of change. Why do we have to move from one place to the other like nomads. Just when you have made your friends, unpacked everything and start to form bonds, it is time to leave again in search of a new destination. Wish life was still at one place.

Dec 23, 2010
I am moving again tomorrow morning to Phoenix. Another move.  Back home at Carmel, it is snowing and snowing and snowing. My backyard must be full of snow, 3 inches maybe. The Christmas tree full of lights is twinkling. There are lights adorning the trees outside my house. It must be beautiful. Am I missing home? Yes and no. Maybe. The mind always runs behind things that are not at hand. Silly mind.
Well this Christmas, is to be spent at a friend’s place. All the gifts wrapped will be placed under the tree on the night of the 24th. Like how my son told me the other day ‘There is no Santa Amma’. I asked him, then who brings the presents, he pointed his little finger at me and said ‘you’. My 6 year old understands that. My Nitin, who I often feel thinks beyond his age at times; in understanding the circumstances.
Then there’s the little brat – his new dialogue ‘it’s just not my lucky day today’.
Once a year you should take a vacation with friends close to your heart, more on the fun side. The people in this world with whom I would take such a vacation would be my dear buddies, Chichu and Renju. The threesome, oh what fun! There is absolutely no moment to frown.
There is fun all around when there are minimum expectations from you and you don’t have to worry about pleasing everyone. Why can’t everyone just take life as simple as possible, instead of complicating it with emotions and feelings and heavy words? Just sway along with the wind. Life will take its course. When there are expectations that you should behave in a certain way, and then you bring in tweaks to the ‘you’. When you bring in the tweaks, ‘you’ is in imbalance. When ‘you’ is in imbalance, the mind wavers. Then one has no idea what one is thinking or doing. If I get a magic wand and am granted three wishes, one of them would be to take away expectations one has from others around.

May the balance be with you. :-)


the simplicity of life
beckons upon me
the stress now away in the distance
the thoughts simple
the words now simple
just sway in the winds of time
leading the way for you
no thought of whys
no room for thoughts
just pass by
the sunsets
one by one
the simplicity of life
beckons upon me
and draws me
to yesteryears
where we were young
with no qualms about relationships
the simplicity of life
brings a thought
of why there was room
for all the million thoughts
for the years of a thousand sunsets
that went unnoticed
hidden behind the walls of stress.

Friday, December 3, 2010


The sunflowers around the corner of 116th St and Gray Rd at Carmel are in full bloom. As I drive by them every morning they wake up, smiling and looking at the sun, radiating the freshness of a new day. The vegetable patch behind the sunflowers are ready for harvest. In a few days the sunflowers will start looking down, losing their freshness and life; and as if by cue, the cold mist will start building up, adding a touch of hazy romance to the air. Just after that the wind will start getting colder.

This was a few months ago. Now the trees are all barren. All the leaves have fallen, every leaf that can fall has fallen and has been raked. The fir trees however are waiting, maybe pointing a little upwards, to be drenched in a white sheath.

Carmel, never fails to inspire me to write. This place has brought me closer to nature. Has taught me to appreciate the serenity of the lakes - frozen and still. The trees - in full bloom, barren and radiating colours. The houses, all from a fairy tale, maybe if I open the door, I can see a princess waiting for prince charming. Its beautiful, everything about this place is beautiful.

Just as the trees and place is waiting, I am waiting for those little flurries to touch my face. Where I will seek the warmth of my gloves and coats. The icy wind will drive a shiver through my spine, but the white winter will be a feast for my eyes.

While I write this, the flurries decide to come down and kiss the face of earth. By morning, they would have accumulated to make Carmel more beautiful.

Fallen leaves

The leaves have all fallen
The trees, are they happy or sad
Happy to start anew
Sad that they lost their leaves
And the gruesome winter is going to bite them hard
The leaves have fallen
But the trees stand with open arms
To be drenched when the white rain falls
And when all the flurries are gone
The leaves will take birth
Once again, to sway in the winds.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Painted masks..

The act ends

The final bow is made
Applause starts rolling
Slowly at first
Then rises
To reverberate against the walls
Till everything is quiet again
The curtain falls
The painted mask melts
Hello says the mirror
To the real me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Heart! We will forget him! by Emily Dickinson

A beautiful one from Emily Dickinson. Liked it so much that I am posting it here -

Heart! We will forget him! by Emily Dickinson

Heart! We will forget him!
You and I -- tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave --
I will forget the light!

When you have done, pray tell me
That I may straight begin!
Haste! lest while you're lagging
I remember him!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is it about birthdays?

What is it about birthdays? Wishing someone at the stroke of midnight, watching the clock a hundred times to make sure you dont miss the moment. The please of saying those two words - Happy Birthday in n number of ways - many many happy returns of the day etc etc. The hunt for the best birthday gift. The price tag. Thinking of what the person would need. How he/she might react? Will they like it, won't they like it. Buying a card after reading a million cards and finally getting so confused that you just pick up something, which may not be perfect after all. The wrapping. Should I spend the additional currency on gift wrapping? Anyway they are going to tear it away. Or, I need to wrap it in the best possible way. Asking for a birthday treat. Constant reminders by uttering 'birthday boy' or 'birthday girl'. The cake! Who could forget that. The icing, the writing, the candles - should they be single, or numerals? Finally the moment arrives, the cake is brought out. Candles are tucked in neatly, without disturbing the icing. Lit. The 'birthday girl' or 'birthday boy' arrives with the new 'birthday dress' flashing smiles galore. The candles are blown. Boom go the flashes or the video starts recording. The singing. The same song, which our grandparents sang.. and theirs? The gifts are given, the giver with anticipation about the reaction. The receiver with anticipation of what it would be. The opening, the wows and the thanks. All in order, all perfect.

Excuse me, but what is all the hype about. Birth was an event that occured your age years ago. Something your parents celebrated that day. Do we really need all this hype year after year?

Out of words

I am out of words
To speak and to write
There are thoughts
So my mind still works
But so haphazard
That they make no sense
I tried writing them down
Oops I forgot, I am out of words!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


the flower petals all closed
a silent wind passes by
and kisses the petals
in its surge
the petals start to open
the flower begins to bloom
opening up to the sun for the first time
alas the clouds move in
hides the suns face
a drop of rain lands right on the petal
the flower droops in its weight
the petals now destute
never to bloom again

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My friend

He came into our world, because my parents were fed up of my complaint that I had no one to play. And yes he did arrive, not to play with me, but fight, till we were spanked by Ma with the red spatula from the Sumeet Mixer at home. Atleast Ma distributed them equally. From that day every chocolate bought at home was cut in between, right in between. He was always there to fight, and what a pest he was. And I always had this wrong feeling that my parents favoured him. He entered Bishop Cottons Girls for a year, after some time at a matchbox building school called St Glorious School. I enjoyed walking up there with Ma to pick him up. Then he moved on to Bishop Cotton Boys! Every marks card drew comparison, good that I did well during those years and my handwriting was way better.

He always got all the toys he wanted.. Thats how I felt then. I too got my share of toys, which I realize now. He got a Pulsar and a Santro, and the school blazer, while I cribbed. I was the older one, but he was always an equal.

Being five years younger to me, I never thought of him as a friend, but a younger sibling, until he went on to his engineering years and later. He did grow up to be an equal, a friend.

When I had my son, I came to realize what my brother meant to me, rather what I felt for him. He was like my son, or maybe, brother, or maybe friend... For all the different roles he plays, I love him dearly!!

Anand, one of my treasures for life!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


days pass into nights
nights pass into days
the moments rolling by
there is a wait for something
something would take cue and happen
not sure what
not sure where...
darkness of the night
creeps into my bedroom
moonlight smiles
through the blinds
emptiness of the room
casts a shadow
on images shaping into dreams
the candle light flickering
in the corner somewhere
is burning its last drop of wax
hoping that something would take cue
and happen
not sure what
not sure where....

Sunday, August 1, 2010


And at this point the roads diverge. The journey so far with familiar faces has been memorable. Another thousand memories etched, to linger on for a lifetime. It's time for me to make the turn and take the other route. The faces that I now see will not be there with me. They have to go down the road that leads to colorful trees and snow white winters. The road I am about to take will take me miles away, where these faces will live on in my imagination. They will make more road trips, they may play the same games, sing the same songs, share the same smiles. But I have to move on, another turn, I must make in life's journey.

So many people I have met on this leg. Friends I have made, laughters we have shared. The night outs, clanking of glasses, gazing at the stars, lazing out till the wee hours of the morning.

My new destination is not unknown to me. Going back to known faces, roads I have traveled before. Everything is known. But I have jitters about going back. It's like taking a piece of the puzzle putting it on a different puzzle and putting it back on the original one. The picture should look as perfect as earlier.

Will I miss this place that I once hated. Will I miss the cursing winters. Will I miss the weekend get togethers where so much time is spent on poking fun at me. Yes I will. I will miss dearly all the laughters, all the words, all the faces.

I can keep writing, but I can see the crossroad in the distance. Its just matter of time and I will be gone. I will make the turn soon. Whilst I am getting there, let me savor the talks, smiles and warmth...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Acquaintances, Friends and Loved Ones

Every person that walks into your life, comes in with a purpose. There are some who wave goodbye at the gates. You may remember them, or memory may put them on a scratch pad and erase them as time goes by. They are faces, if forgotten, would not really matter, to you and to the other person. There are lots of people like this. They don't have a purpose for coming into your life. Acquaintances.

Then there are some who walk in, stay a while, maybe years. You share your thoughts, feelings, ideas with them. Maybe yes, maybe not. You learn some things from them. They learn some things from you. When it is time to move on, they leave. Memory may remember them for a long time, finally it fades. They too have a share in making your life a better place. They usually add an element of fun to your life. Laughter is generally the order of the day. Friends.

Then there are very few who walk into your inner circle of life. They never leave from your heart or mind or soul. Whatever you want to call it. They may move on, they may be part of your everydays. But they are on your mind all the time. You share your innermost fears, secrets with them. They come in with a definite purpose. They teach you something for sure. And you learn very easily from them, because they are closest to you. You would do anything for them, so their life is a better place because you are in it. They may not always tell you the right thing, they may just listen to you. Or laugh with you. But they always do what makes you feel comfortable. And this feeling is mutual. You would also always do things that makes them happy. They may also leave, but the heart is always fond of them. They know you, just like you know them. Loved ones.

Life needs acquaintances, friends and loved ones to strike a balance. Even if one element is missing, you lose balance.. May you have all three in life, like me. God Bless.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yesterday and Tomorrow

आधी ज़िन्दगी कट गयी
ज़िन्दगी बनाते हुए
अब पलटकर देखती हूँ
तो सूना आसमान दिखाई दे
रेत पर बनाया होगा शायद
शायद बनाया ही नहीं
गुज़रे हुए कल पे क्या रोना
वोह कल फिर आया नहीं
आगे की ज़िन्दगी बनाने चली
पर कुछ कम दिखाई दे रही है
अँधेरे  से भरी राह है सामने
मंजिल भी अपना रास्ता ढूंढ चुकी
अकेली सी एक राह है शायद
शायद तन्हाई साथ है
यह सूरज डूब रहा है
फिर जाने उगेगा या नहीं !!

Friday, July 23, 2010


The sun is setting again in my backyard today. The crimson sky awes me. The dark shade of the trees, adding its touch to the canvas view. Bird are flying back. Everything is so calm. I drive by the perfect roads, neatly lines by tall trees, trimmed to perfection. Every now and then I pass by a lake, reflection a shadow of the houses around. The houses, so geometrically perfect, all in a line, making silent conversations. The fountain in the center of the lake, erupting with a joy of falling. People walking by for an evening stroll, talking, laughing... happy. The vast spance of green grass, not a golf course but just plain land laid out in impressive green.
This drive which scared me the first time in the dark, now embraces me with both hands. The darkness now a blessing. The house which seemed to big, but now a home. Where my kids grew from babies to kids.
The laughter of people echoes in the kitchen, the clanking of glasses filled with spirits. The barbeque grill hot outside. The backyard lay wide open for me to stretch out and gaze at the stars or see the sinking sun.
This is Carmel. This is home. A place that gradually, over time grew on me. Another thousand memories weaved by a single thread, flutter in the wind, to be relived once again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reappearing smile..

oh thou cruelest dark clouds
conspiring against mine wishes
may you pour down
with your mightiest strength
do not adorn my face
do not drench me
i am sailing past griefs
cast by your evil thoughts
leave me alone for now
and let me dry my tears
for tomorrow is another day
and i need to grow a smile
the face should look happy
and the world should be
just as it was today...

Friday, July 2, 2010


the sense of boredom sets in
way before the activity starts
there is anticipiation that something will start
yet there is no hope that it will
it may be lazy
it may be good
full of life
fulfilling your eagerness towards life
there are a list of things
that the mind wishes 'if'
there is a list of events
that the mind pushes back
its all a confusion
when you know where you want to be
but cannot.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Playing you...

you unlock the doors to your heart
give the keys to the person who enters
and dissolve in some portion of it
to let the person play you like a harp
till the music stops
and the silence deafens
the eyes open then
to let out a stream
you go look for the keys
and find them strewn in some corner
the person who entered has been long gone
so where were you till this moment
in a trance or mute
this should make you lock up the doors
and melt the keys away
or would you unlock them again
to be played to perfection, yet again?

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The words inside me are on a rampage. Wanting to come out in some shape or form. My official engagement these days is pushing down the words. But they bounce back at me, telling me to pen them down. They vividly form sentences and instigate me to write. But the next thought of work rushes back in and blurrs the sentence away. After days of going through this turmoil, my words got the better of me. So here I am.
An evening spent with the kids, a reunion of sorts after a week's 'magic' disapperance from their life. Physically present, but absent. After a round of burrito bowls from Chipotle, chasing the sun and hot air balloons in the sky to the loud singing of 'jaane kyun dil jaantha hai, tu hai tho i'll be alright'. I was as eager as the kids to see the hot air balloon from close proximity. We saw it land on grassy land and the balloon losing its shape.
Today's life, today's world, its so easy to get the kids on a hot air balloon, but the fun in chasing it on the ground, while it floats in the air; the excitement when we finally see it touch the ground is priceless. Bittering and bantering about a week's complaints of amma you didnt do this, you didnt do that. And stories from daycare about time outs and shouting. The setting sun in the distant sky adds sparks to the words in my mind, waiting to gush out.
Friends visiting and the usual debates of, no not Mohanlal Mammotty this time, instead Vayalar and Rahman. Words flowing galore, but the words in my mind waiting patiently.
Finally I sit down to pen my new story. Finally a sense of freedom to me, like the words... words.. words..

Thursday, May 27, 2010


She woke up at probably 6.30am, I don't know. I have never been awake before she woke up. She always woke me up, guess that is the reason why, alarms are not my cup of tea. 'Indu..' she calls out, 'time to go to school'. By the time I am ready, the tumbler of horlicks and something to eat is ready. When lunch bell rings, the orange basket with the steel tiffin, plastic waterbottle, folded towel and stainless steel spoon are ready at the school gate. When I get back home after a long day (yes.. at school :)) she is ready with something for me to eat. It may be snacks, or lunch. She let me play for a while, with the neighbours kids, or do whatever I want. After that she called me back, strictly, to do homework. English, Hindi, Maths, Science, she taught them all. She built a foundation, so that in the higher classes, I could do my work on my own, with little help from her. She made me independent. When my results came, she cried with tears, and hugged me with a 'very good'. Her smiles had no boundaries. She taught me happiness. When I was heartbroken, she quietly understood. She let me cry my sadness out, instead of carrying it as a burden in my heart. When it was time to move on to yonder lands, she let me go, with no strings attached. She let me learn the ways of the world the hard way. She let me look for myself, meet people, understand them, and figure out my way through the woods. She gave me the freedom. When I asked for things that money could buy, she let me buy some and said 'no' to others. She taught the value for money. When things were not going right, she bowed down and said her prayers to keep her child safe. She taught me to go on, and be bold enough to face every obstacle in life. She gave me the courage. When I am miles away, I know she misses me. She misses the smiles on my face. She misses the fact that she is not part of my everydays.
My inner strength. Ma... 

Mamma and rain..

the pitter patter of raindrops
echoes in my backyard
the grass is in a puddle
jumping to the tune of the rain
i stand outside
stretch my arms out wide
look up to the sky
and close my eyes
my face wet now
my emotions let down
i am a child again
waiting for ma's call
to get back inside.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Music - that which restores the soul. How true! That which has the ability to sway your mind from one emotion to the other, one mood to another. No matter in what form it is delivered to you - be it the do-re-mi or sa-re-ga or anything else, it can do magic. Gifted are those people who can make music, put words into the music, and sing them. Blessed are those souls who can take in the essense of this wonder and let it cast its spell on them.
Imagine a world without music... Would it still be this colourful? Maybe yes. The colors will be there, but probably they will lose their vibrance. A rhythmless world? Where you cannot place a tune in the chirping of birds, where you cannot see the rhythm in the swishing of trees. Silence, when there are no words. Or would it be eternal noise? I dont know, because I belong to the blessed strata of this world. If there were no music, would there be any music instruments? Would the untouched strings of a guitar, yearn to be struck. Would the untouched keys of a piano, wait for a touch to come to life?
It is so hard to concieve... Music is one of the colours of my life. Would you call a rainbow, a rainbow, if one of the colors were absent? Every feeling, every emotion, every mood finds a place in one or the other lyrical webs weaved by gifted people. Driving on a rainy day, amidst green pastures, with the raindrops hitting your windshield, playing 'rhim jhim gire saawan, sulagh sulagh jaaye man, bheege aaj is mausam mein, lagi kaisi yeh agan..' - bliss!! Days when God takes a vacation and somehow forgets to turn the page of your book, a little encouragement from 'aye zindagi gale laga le, hum ne bhi tere har ek gham ko gale se lagaaya hai, hai na...' hope!! When you lose something and feel that there is no end to this pain - 'itni shakti humen dena daata, man ka vishwas kamzor ho na..' - inspiring!! Romance in the air spreading out its sheath of love - 'pudhu vellai mazhai, ingu pozhiginrathu, intha kollai nila, udal nanaiginrathu, ingu sollatha idam kooda kulirginrathu, manam soodaana idam thedi alaiginrathu...'!! When you are too grown up and taken afar by the wings of life - 'yeh daulat bhi lelo, yeh shaurat bhi lelo, bhale cheen lo mujhse meri jawaani, magar mujhko loutado bachpan ka saawan, woh kaagaz ki kashti, woh baarish ka paani...' - Nostalgia!! Something that preserves child-like innocence 'Thumbivaa thumbakudathin...'!!
The list is endless, because the melodies are endless. Blessed is the soul who can understand the words, sway to the tune, humm the melody and dwell in this world of magic called - MUSIC!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


dark clouds come gushing in
whiteness of the sky recedes onto yonder skies
the clouds will soon open up
to drench me
with its tear drops
every being on earth with bloom
when touched by the drops from heaven
when the clouds tears dry up
they will move to yonder skies
awaiting another sorrow
to rain down on me..

No title..

मुद्दतों के बाद लिखने बैठे हैं
आज भी ग़म का खज़ाना खोल बैठें हैं
चारों और हसी है, मुस्कुराहटें हैं
पर दिल न जाने क्यों ग़मगीन है
पता नहीं लगा पा रहा है एक ऐसी वजाह
जिसके सुलझाने से मुस्कान खिल उठे
न जाने वोह क्या बात है
जो नैनों में आंसू ले आई है
चुपके से क्या हम रो लें?
शायद आंसुओं के बह जाने पर
ये ग़म का खज़ाना कुछ देर के लिया अनजाना हो जाये
या फिर कुछ ऐसी बात हो जाए
जो चेहरे पर मुस्कान खिलादे.. ?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Saturday evening..

The boredom of a Saturday evening
Lingering in the air
The lack of doing something
Makes the world so unfair
The movie on the television
Fails to keep my interest
The scarcity of conversation
Makes the silence echo in the room
I wish there were conversations
To move this cloud away
The cloud of leaving
The cloud of the obvious pain.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saturation point

The thoughts are running wild
Racing against each other
They hit against blank walls
And seem to bounce back at me
I try to decipher them
But the waves are playing their own tune
These are my thoughts,
My very own
But they want to wander today
Away from me
Leaving me clueless
The more I try to make sense of them
The more they leave me confused
People around me are saying a thousand things
A thousand thoughts clashing
Against the blank walls of my mind
Nothing makes sense
Nothing I can decipher
Just an endless wait
Till I get my arms around them..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Birds in the backyard..

There are a hundred blackbirds in my backyard
Each one picking grains
Are they free to fly the direction they want
Or does somebody control that
Are they free to feel the wind in their wings
Or is the flapping of their wings restricted
My breath is creating a haze on the glass door
The image blurs
The door to my backyard is locked
The keys..
I run my fingers over the glass door
The birds have flown, flapping their wings away...

Heights of Badmaashi

I was showered upon the honour of watching the movie 'Badmaash Company' last night. Considering the quality of cinema today, I should say that it was an honour. I look for three things as the essence of a movie - the story, the actors and music. Would you consider a movie a hit, if the movie failed on all three accounts, but left you in splits for one hundred and fifty minutes of your day/week/month?

I watch a lot of movies and my intent is to come out feeling entertained. Thats what I pay for. Not life messages, lessons, how-to-be-a-good-*** kind of movies. Life in itself teaches you a thousand lessons a day, whether you learn them is a different story altogether, but movies are for entertainment and leaving it there, helps.

This movie entertained me right from the first shot till the end. The crew of the movie probably tried to create another masterpiece which would find its place in the laurels of quality cinema, but to me it was a brilliant comedy. The story was baseless - Imagine Michael Jackson wearing a shirt for his concert, that Shahid Kapoor sells to get his uncles stocks up. And Michael Jackson actually wears it. And the brand of the shirt 'Bleeding Madras'. And thats because the shirts are bleeding in the washer. He washes a shirt 7 times and each time it loses color, it becomes a new shirt!! So you pay the price of one shirt for 7 shirts!! I was WOW-ed!! And top American companies actually believe this bullshit and order for thousands of shirts. What brilliance!!!

Anushka kisses Shahid for the first time and says 'This is not serious, ok'. But towards the end of the movie she understands, coz she ends up with a round belly, six months!! Thats when the seriousness hits her!!!

Movie previews proudly announce the number of liplocks between the lead actor and actress. 2 long ones, one short one.. But they need to start announcing the number of times, the lead actor cries. Three times, Shahid Kapoor.. Somebody please pass him some tissues. 1 long cry and 2 short cries..

Music was simply brilliant.. Like the chicken egg question I really wonder if the music came first or the lyrics. Jingle Jingle was simply out of this world.. Here are the lyrics.. and you should read each line to get a grasp of the brilliance of indian music. Where Rahman is getting oscars and grammy's the same music industry is creating such masterpieces -

Kabhi to kismat hi-fi hamari ho
Kabhi to t-shirt se matching ferrari ho
Kabhi to bank mein currency karari ho
Kabhi to apni madonna se yaari ho
Kabhi kabhi aisa lagey, yeh bhi kum hai khwaishein
Khuda mera poocha kare, raza meri and he'll pay the bill
Jingle jingle sabki jebein, jingle jingle bell
Apne paas to sikka single, so what the hell

Jingle jingle sabki jebein, jingle jingle bell
Apne paas to sikka single, so what the hell

Jahan bhi jaye ek spotlight upar ho
Sensex niche phir bhi hum upar ho
007 James Bond wali gadi ho
USA mein dus baaran kothiyan padi ho
Kabhi kabhi aisa lagey, yeh bhi kum hai khwaishein
Khuda mera poocha kare, raza meri and he'll pay the bill
Jingle jingle sabki jebein, jingle jingle bell
Apne paas to sikka single, so what the hell

Jingle jingle sabki jebein, jingle jingle bell
Apne paas to sikka single, so what the hell

Mera check book leke aao, they don't accept cards
What to do, Dinar, Dollar, Euros, Francs
What's with the money of the world in bank
Crorepati but my pocket is khaali
Pretending that I'm living on milk and honey
Clothes and cars, diamonds and gold bars
I'm living off love but I'm looking like a star

Hazratein hai badi, full full hai tadi
Qaynaat chahiye, taaron se jo ho jadi
So what if sab chahiye (chahiye), muthi bar sahi
Jo seedhay se haasil na ho, chheen lo
One day jacuzzi wale do teen hotel ho
Apne bhi naam ki beer ki bottle ho
One day versace ka wardrobe total ho
Foreign ki ladki par rate yaar local ho
Kabhi kabhi aisa lagey, yeh bhi kum hai khwaishein
Khuda mera poocha kare, raza meri I don't take a pill
Jingle jingle sabki deve, jingle jingle de
Apne paas to sikka single, sau baata hai
Jingle jingle sabki deve, jingle jingle de
Apne paas to sikka single, sau baata hai
Jingle jingle sabki deve, jingle jingle de
Apne paas to sikka single, sau baata hai

I couldn't resist clapping, hooting and rolling on the floor with laughter for such exceptional comedy! I have not enjoyed another movie like this.

Recommended - 100% for those who need a good laugh.


the mind is saturated today
lost its ability to think
running towards a state of blankness
leaving behind all the thoughts
but still the mind is thinking
what will get me there first
to the state of blankness
leaving all the thoughts behind
never a moment without a thought
the mind never rests
even in sleep it dreams
thinking of what will happen next
what will get me to a state of blankness
tete-a-tete with friends
or laughs like there is no end
thoughts are deep in thoughts
to take me to a state of blankness..
the loop never ends
the mind never sleeps
coz each thought is thinking of the next one

a storm..

the storm is picking up outside my window
the wind rejuvenated today after some rest
determined to blow away tiny beings
alas its strength will soon be hushed
the clouds will open up
and express their joy
showering upon the land its strongest drops
the winds will go back then
to their old resting place
waiting in line
till the end of the clouds celebration..

the thin line..

the thin line between friendship and love
crossed by yound minds a million times
where do the boundaries begin
where do the boundaries end
you never get an inkling when the act is performed
a few steps across the line, hits you on the face
looking back the line has vanished
but for the fear of crossing
would you stop making friends?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

People we meet..

So many people in life's journey
some share a laugh
and some tears
some giving dreams, hopes and promises
some just passing by on their way
some we meet yet once again
some fade never to return
the heart rejoices at familiar faces
yet at other times, it rejoices at new faces
people who spread laughs
making our journey lighter
so many people etched in the memory
so many more yet to be seen
what does one do with all these memories
stack them up in the corners of the mind
not to be woken till the face meets again..

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In need of quality cinema..

Every Keralite knows who the two M's of the Malayalam Industry are - Mohanlal and Mamootty. Most people opine that we do not get to see quality cinema like the 80's. And I too belong to this strata of people. Quality cinema is of a rare thing now. Some blame it on script, some on the story, director etc. One argument goes that there are no stories to match the caliber of these two actors. But, why is the enacting of the role so bad in whatever roles they get. If they are indeed exceptional actors then why is it that I feel they are acting on screen, as opposed to the feeling one got from the older movies - where you wouldn't be able to make out that they are acting. They were performing.

I happened to see Ividam Swargamaanu last night. Mohanlal looks so artificial, even in the climax scenes. It feels like he is putting an effort to act. If you pick any of his movies from the 80's you will be able to mark a clear difference, between performing and acting. Same is the case for Mamooty, his short-length role in Kerala Cafe leaves you surprised. I am not an ardent follower of Mamooty movies, but still the attempt to act is clear in the recent movies.

There may be a lot of external factors like, story, script, director etc, but if the delivery on screen is bad, then how can viewers expect quality cinema?

It is obvious to any viewer, that a movie like Ividam Swargamaanu has been written to bring back the quality that existed in Malayalam cinema 30 years back. I found, Lalu Alex, Thilakan, Kaviyoor Ponamma more natural than Mohanlal.

Paleri Manickyam, was a good story, Mamooty bagged the State Award for best actor, because he was better among the lot. If you compare his old movies to Paleri Manickyam, you would award him 10 state awards for his performance.

Fans associations of these highest paid actors in Malayalam cinema, may give them the returns for their investment, but quality performance from these actors is strongly missing. I would rather watch a move like Neelathamara for entertainment, where the expectations are low and will not fail to entertain me.

There are a few movies out of the blue that actually catch your attention. One such movie was Kaiyoppu. Everything was neat. Another example was Kerala Cafe - Island Express, the one with Siddique and a few others. Awaiting more quality cinema like these.

- An ardent movie viewer!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Dreams, there is no scarcity of you,
Hopes adding its touch of bliss
Tears blossom from the heart
Fading the dreams away

Silence which deafened me
My ears yearned for voices
The wind chimes Oh so loud now
Are disturbing my solitude

Rules and bonds so strong
Nothing can break them
Looking with magnified eyes
Maybe there is a crevice somewhere

Dreams and hopes again
Of staying away from norms
Tears beginning to bloom again
Fading the dreams away..

Monday, April 5, 2010

Unkept promises

Word uttered from the heart
Assured that they will be made to happen
Scenes from an unknown future
Promises never to be kept
A walk under dark clouds
With the pitter patter of raindrops
A day out in the wild
Carefree, whistling away the fears
Promises, or just words
Utterances to be forgotten..

Thursday, April 1, 2010

W kisses..

People who know my younger son, will instantly know what 'W' prefix means. When my little guy asks for something, we ask him, how many you want, coz he is never satisfied, he keeps saying 'cann-i have some more?' So when we ask him 'how many' his instant reply is 'w' and he looks at his hand, brings the thumb and little finger together and opens up the other three fingers, meaning he wants three. If it is something that he 'lubs' (loves) then he recounts the same three fingers to usually ten or twenty, the biggest numbers he knows and says, 'I mean, I want ten'.

This little brat wakes up at the crack of sunlight seeping into my room and starts shaking me up, even on a weekend and says 'amma wake up, its mornin time, see the sun is out'.. this happens even when there is no daylight sometimes. I tell him, 'no kevi, its night, go back to sleep' and this is at 9am sometimes on weekends :)..

He has to brush by himself, even on days when I miss the alarm. 'I wannto do it all myself'.. and he takes ages to squeeze the teeny weeny amount of toothpaste from his train picture flouride-free toothpaste tube to his little Diego toothbrush. He brushes the same set of eight front teeth, over and over again for the next three minutes and spits out at regular intervals. After he's sure that he's wasted enough of my time, he says 'ok, now its your turn'.

The first thing after brushing is his boon of life - paaa.. (Milk). And for this too, he has to pick his own straw, the straw I pick from the same pack of straws finds its place in the trash can. 

Then he's ready to watch some cartoon till I get ready to work. Mickey mouse, umizoomi, dora, diego, max and ruby, everything possible on Nick Jr and Playhouse Disney. He has his share of cornflakes from my bowl, picks up his show and tell toy and he's ready to go to Grandma George - his daycare.

On the way, he wants either Chak de from Salaam Namaste or Zoobi Doobi from 3 idiots to play on the car stereo. These are the hot favourites now. If the sun falls in his eyes he says 'amma, tooo sunny'.

Getting down from the car at Grandma George's place, ends up in my arms and I ask him for W kisses, followed by more, more and more, till Grandma George opens the door. He waves bye and goes inside.

I wonder what he does in there. Eats, plays, sleeps, again plays and wait and waits till his mommy is back to pick him up. I feel so grateful to him, for spending his days at a childcare, longer than the hours I spend at work, silently understanding the fact that I need to work and he needs to be at someone else's place with other kids, while I am gone. 

The gleam in his eyes in the evening when I pick him up lights up the whole room. He comes running, hugs my legs and says 'amma', meaning to say, 'i am so glad that you came back to pick me'. Does he have a fear that I may not come back? 

Once home, he is all set to fight with his brother, making up for all the hours of the day followed by 'I dont wanto tak-a baath..' 'Can I eat maamu (food)..' 'Can I watch a CD..' 'Can I have some appe joos..' or complaints like 'amma, i didnot find the remot, and you were making maamu, u did not come, and that is baad..' 

After a lot of irritating everyone in the house, around 9pm, this guy lands up in the bed. He turns and rolls for sometime and asks 'amma can i hav some wather (water)..' and makes me go downstairs and get him water.. everyday.. After another 20 to 30 minutes of turning around, jumping, playing, talking, he finally rolls over wrapped in a 5feet by 5feet comforter and sleeps. Before he closes his eyes, he says 'i lub u amma' gives me w kisses and says 'i dont want to sleep..'

A thousand expressions on his face, this huggable, lovable, little brat of mine .. 


Sunday, March 28, 2010

I care..

This piece is an old thought, which was in my draft.. publishing it now..

"I care.." where does the boundarry line start for this statement.. where does it end? Is there a boundary somewhere? Some people make such an explicit statement of this, and some have subtle expressions. And the rest don't care. How much of showing will actually pass on the message? Does it always have to be expressed in words? What if one had caring thoughts, but never said it or expressed it, would any value be attached to it or would that be equivalent to 'don't care'? Expressions! The true soul of existence.. ?
What do you say to a person who tells you that you don't care? Would you reiterate "No I really do" or cite examples from everyday happenings to demonstrate how you cared for the person? Or would you rethink, do I really care? But if you do care then why was the question posed to you in the first place? And thats exactly where you start going in circles...
Go figure out, do you really care for the people who you ought to care for? Or the people who think that you care about them? Or are you really passing the message to the people whom you care for? The answer is simple, as long as you don't show your affection in the way the receiver percieves the word 'care', you simply don't care... whatever you do doesn't matter.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Looking for some calmness on a Sunday afternoon..

My small kitchen window, paints a picturesque image of a small sub-urban city somewhere in the north-eastern part of this mass of land. The winter has receeded to hibernate for another nine months. Spring is waiting to be born. The grass is back in its vibrant green hue. The sun is radiant again and I can feel the heat once again. It is so beautiful outside. My eyes capture the serenity through the window. The winds seems to be blowing ever so gently, the trees are dancing to its tune. The clouds are taking a stroll enjoying the leisure of a Sunday afternoon, trying to decide if they should pour down or hold on. Beyond this canvas are there people walking, children playing, grandma's and grandpa's sitting on the porch enjoying this canvas of nature, like me? I could tell, if only my wings would move a little, then I could fly and feel the air hit against my wings. I could breathe in the freshness and maybe then my mind would learn to let down all its chores, worries, thoughts and calm down a little....
My wings are finally beginning to move, but my fingers are turning on the ignition of my car. I can feel the wind of my air conditioner. I can see miles of grey roads. The tune of the winds has changed to a Bollywood song added with humming from two children in the rear seats. As I drive, I take in this image, trying to be aloof from everything happening inside. Alas, the list of chores keeps running like the numbers on a slot machine, stopping occasionally to tell me what to do next... I look outside my car window and yearn, yet once again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A dream of a sleep-deprived soul

My eyes are tired, longing for plenty hours of sleep. I wouldn't say a night, because that wouldn't satisfy a sleep-to-death person like me. Alone in this huge house, in a corner somewhere. A place, where I can curl up, with the oldest blue quilt in the house. With no sounds of the children, no calls of 'Ammaaaaaa'.. or 'Induuuuuu'. Where I can shut off from everything, and doze till my eyes are tired again, from an overdose of sleep.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Smile..1..2..3..Click! This was the sequence of events that I heard, when my father snapped my picture during my childhood. He had a Nikon camera, of which I don't know the configuration. Before going there, let me tell you, my father is a photographer, by profession. He spent all his years of service at the Visweswaraya Technological Museum, a part of the National Council of Museums. Many exhibits in the Bangalore Museum are his work of art. Something, I am proud about.

My father owned two Nikon cameras. The film one of course, because this is the 1970s and 80's. For some extra income he clicked pictures at a friend's or friend's friend's wedding. There would be ten rolls of film used, sometimes fifteen, sometimes even twenty. If a few films were remaining after the bride and groom left on their honeymoon, my brother and I would be asked to pose to finish the roll. Fresh rolls were no doubt spent on us for birthdays, Lalbagh flower show, Cubbon park visits, school events or sometimes even without a reason, for photo sessions on our terrace.

These cameras were the most precious treasures that my father cared for with his dear life, apart from my brother and I. They were kept in the dark green Godrej almirah's shelf which came with a lock. We called it 'appa's secret shelf' :) His cameras, lens, flash and I don't know what else was kept in that shelf, coz we were never allowed to open it. As we grew, we knew where the keys were kept, but never touched them unless asked  to, under supervision. The only other thing I know that was kept in the shelf was his salary in an orange envelope with the amount written in blue ink on the cover.

On photo session days, we wore our 'newest' dress, touched up my face a little bit with Cuticura powder, combed my hair and wore my best smile. The 'locations' were usually the terrace or inside the house, sometimes a red shawl, or rajasthani print bedsheet put up on the wall to serve as background. He instructed every pose. The angle of our body, where to look, how much to lift the chin, stand straight, how much to smile, how to put the hair, etc. Finally he would say, Ready and the flash would shine bright into my eyes. The films were expensive, so wasting them was no option at all.

My brother and I have a collection of photographs from our childhood, to savour and reminisice all those wonderful years. As we grew into adulthood, our educational demands forced our dad to sell his cameras. Now, I can understand how sad he must have felt doing it, just one of the sacrifices for us.

Today he owns a Nikon D300, couple of lenses, flash etc, of which I still dont know the configuration details :). His precious treasure today, apart from my brother, my kids and me. The camera and other accessories are locked up in the secret shelf of the same dark green Godrej Almirah, which I got to open recently to pick up the camera before we headed for brother's wedding.

From my father's collection, taken in his old Nikon camera - My brother, Anand and I.

My brother capture of my son - treading our father's footsteps.

My father's clicks of my kids.

My father and two of his treasures!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Lately, it seems like the only time I get to sit back, relax and think is when I drive to office and drive back home. Those stretched 35 miles of my day, is when Maya can lose sight of the world around and delve into dreams and the world of imagination. My best company during these hours is my Ipod and my collection of melodies.

This evening, while returning from work, my Ipod decided to pick 'Valai osai', a tamil song set to tune by Ilayaraja. The song teared me up. The familiar feeling of loneliness sprung upon me opening up the void left by my friends - Chichu, Renju and Priya. When Chichu and me shared an apartment, about ten years ago, she being a classical singer, owned a casette of Ilayaraja hits. It was then that I was introduced to Ilayaraja and his music. On "amazing" never-to-return, lazy Sundays, we would crawl out of bed when neighbours rang the lunch bell. Either a casette was played on her fancy stereo system or Rosebowl on TV, the only electronic gadget in our apartment.

There was a mattress on the floor for me, and old folding cot for her, a bamboo mat in the living room to sit and a stand for the 21inch BPL TV. This was all the furniture we owned, apart from a plastic bucket each. The gas stove was on loan from her aunt. The most meagre furniture, but those were the best days of life. Happy, carefree, do-what-you-want-to-do!!

I feel blessed that these three people walked into my life. Each one had their own timing. Renju, outside a training institute in Pulimoodu, apparently thinking the same thing, I was thinking 'Where do we stay, in this unknown place?'. The fearless, think-straight, do-the-right-thing, cant-cook-for-nuts girl. 'I am Renju Pillai, from Kozhikode, did my Engineering in Kuttipuram College', we had heard that enough, so didn't need formal introductions. Then walked in Chichu with the question 'May I join you?' ever so politely, probably for the fear of rejection. (Laughs). This round, rolly-polly, cute, looks-like-me glasses-clad girl from namma Madras. Jain Engineering College. Priya entered last, the sophisticated, pretty-pretty, rides-in-a-car-with-a-driver girl. I wonder what brought us so close, probably the no-nonsense attitude that all of us shared?

In all the time we lived together, I lived with Chichu for the longest period of time. My bum-pal!! Renju sneaked out pretty soon, to go out with her fiance, Subu. She ever so smartly moved away from the topic when we asked about their whereabouts. A referee in all my fights with others. Priya and I, grew into girl-friends with our daily lunch to Kalavara hotel, while all our other batchmates went to the not-looking-nice-from-outside hotel, Sopanam. A million memories weaved into this thread of friendship, only if we could relive those years again.

I don't think I can go up again to a complete stranger (lady) and ask 'May I share a room with you'? But for the one time I had the guts, I sure did hit upon some treasure.

Love you girls and miss you loads!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

White trees

Have you seen white trees? I have, I hadn't noticed their beauty in such depth until today.. when I saw them turning white. Brown "leaf-less" trees turning white, so radiant, and so much more beautiful than when they bloom in green hues. When white, each tree looks so different, as if for the first time, you are admiring the trunk and its branches alone. Bare yet brilliant! 

Today I stood out in the open and felt the snow falling on me. Like the rains, I closed my eyes, opened my mouth wide, and faced the sky. The snow flakes kissed my face ever so lightly and drenched me. They glowed like glitter on my brown fur coat. They made me cold, yet the beauty of the world around me, glorified by the flakes. 

When you go to the beach, and look out into the distant water, the horizon is so unclear. You cannot say where exactly the sea ends and the blue sky begins. That is how it is when it snows. The ground is white, the purest form of white, the sky is white. You cannot say where land ends and the sky begins. 

I haven't seen my day so bright without a touch of the sun's rays. I haven't seen my night glow more on a full moon light. The sky reflects the snow from the ground, the ground reflects the brightness of the sky. As pure as an angel, as shining as the twinkle in a baby's eyes.

I told my son 'Did you see the white trees?' He corrected me 'Amma, don't tell anyone that they are white trees, its just snow on the branches' :)

Let it snow.. let it snow... let it snow. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I belong to that section of this world, which moves from the surroundings they were born in, to distant places either for pleasure, experience, and money or for advancement of something, yet to be defined. During this move, we leave a lot behind – parents, home, family, culture, food… the list is endless. It is like uprooting a live tree and re-planting it in new soil, with the hope that its roots will attach just like it had, it will get sunshine and water, just like it used to, and it will grow with no difference. It will grow no doubt, but in an alien land, inhabited by people just like us, but who seem to belong to a different world.

Work permits, resident status, L1, H1, B1, Green card, and Citizenship will make the other side of the world accessible to you, but will it accept you? Will you be able to become a part of them? Or, will you always be made to feel that you are on alien grounds?

The proximity of acceptance from the other end depends on how much you are able to give up and adapt to their ways of life. This is one perspective. How much you can leave behind of what you were taught in your growing years, like all your other people and belongings. The sacrifice could encompass values, attitude, behavior, culture, rituals, food and a host of other things. But even after sacrificing everything and trying to be one of them, how close can you get to actually being one of them.

From another dimension, you could try to establish your roots firmly in the new soil, without any sacrifices, upholding every little thing that was dear to you back home. It is definitely no way to become one of them, but the diversity could earn their respect and classify you as a dignified stratum of Indian society on alien land.

After treading for six years on alien soil, the acceptance is much more important now to me, because of my children. I leave them at 8 in the morning, at school, at daycare, and the next time I see them is after a whole nine or ten hours. The thought that comes instantly to my mind is, are they struggling to be a part of this circus, that I have pushed them into, without their consent. Are they waiting for acceptance? Being born in the country, has naturally given them citizenship rights, but because they are born to Indian parents, would they still struggle to bridge that little gap?

Do I want them to learn to bridge the gap, or take them away to lands that are familiar to me, not so quite to them? They will be accepted no doubt, but this time around, will they be able to accept?

Would it have been better if I had not created all this confusion in the first place, if I had not pulled out the roots? But then wouldn’t I have lost the chance of seeing this part of the world in this only once lifetime? Life is again playing its game and me merely a pawn.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Surface beneath her feet is frozen
Wind hitting her face is cold
Layers of clothing make her stoop
Branches on the trees are barren
Bitter cold make her legs numb
She looks for a room somewhere
Distant from the freezing air
The heat of which will rejuvenate her blood
Make her feel alive
Like her the surface beneath waits
For a kiss from the powerful rays of the sun
Like her, the trees wait
To bloom and come to life
Like her, the birds wait
To spread out and fly in warmer skies
Like her, the wind waits
To kiss her and embrace her in its warmth
Oh so nice, oh so warm
The heat of the burning sun
Oh so cold, oh so bitter
The curse of this painful winter.
Like the ground, like the trees
Like the birds, like the wind
She waits, for the kiss of a ray
She waits, to bloom
She waits, to spread out and fly
She waits, to be alive again.