Where poppies blow…

Another time, another day,

I weep and wail

in melancholic sway.

I watch him in stealth,

Like a bride in a veil,

As he Gallops away

With reins of disdain.

Down the  fields,

Where poppies blow,

He reined his steed,

In search of his foe.

Down the fields

where poppies blow,

He galloped away

To slay his foe.

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Origamic Love

When I was 7, I lived in a little apartment with my family.It was an old building and had 3 stories, and unlike the modern times the ground floor was the best to have because you get your own yard and a white picket fence, not so much like the ones that are as clichéd as “The American dream”, but was a pretty good place to have in a poor country like India, kind of like a third-world-American dream.

Yeah! except for the fact that the fence was the most insignificant part of the dream in my poor third world country,because we actually had a lot of  “not- so -American” problems!”

There were about ten similar  apartments next to each other.

Every morning, there were three rituals my parents relentlessly performed to wake us up.

5 different alarm clocks, snoozing every 5 minutes from different locations of the bedroom.

It was awful! It was a mini treasure hunt game played by four over-sleepers.

The opening of the blinds

I would rather call this the act of blinding, because in a tropical country like India the sun is up and shining at 5 in the morning, and it can blind you through your eyelids

Turning off of the ceiling fans.

This was worse than Chinese torture especially in a hot and humid place like southern India. Additionally, from all the years of falling asleep to that faint screech from  the rusted ceiling fan , you cannot sleep without it screeching.

At the end of all this, you can either pretend like sleeping just to feel happy about  kicking your tropical countries ass, getting fried in the process and eventually losing it, or just wake up and get started with the bright humid day. The choice was easy.

The school bus arrives at 7:45 am sharp, but we never got ready on time. Everyone in India has a separate standard time Offset, which has a 5 to 15 minute deviation from the Indian standard time, so while my mom handed two steaming cups of coffee to the bus driver and conductor, my dad checked our school bags and made sure we got everything, and by the time the coffee was done, my sisters were ready to get on to the bus, I reluctantly followed them while eying the empty road for the Origami guy.

Yes! we have conductors for all buses in India

It was summer and around the time the 4 o clock rains start, just before the monsoons.  We had just started to learn to play cricket with the boys in our apartment community. There was a huge water tank which was perpetually dry and I seriously do not know why the government spent so much money and time and used all our gully cricket space to build the damn thing.

I would like to think they wanted us to have a nice place to sit and watch the gully games.

There was an elderly gentleman who sat there ever evening and watched us play. When someone was bowled-out they would join this man sitting on the water tank pedestal.  He seemed to be glad to have company and he asked me for a notebook when I got out one day and had to wait my turn by sitting under the water tank. he asked me to get an old notebook he could use, I ran and got him a notebook from my huge and heavy knapsack that was heavier than me. he tore a paper from it, and started folding it up into some weird shapes and voila,  it finally transformed into a beautiful butterfly. He sometimes even came by in the mornings to hand me and my sisters little origami birds, butterflies and angels. It was something new every day. I fell in love with his origami skills and popularized it in school by wearing it as a badge. Soon there was so much demand for his  art and my  teacher wanted to order a few of these badges for all the members of a sports club. I was so glad something I started became such a huge hit.

I didn’t know his name, I called him ” Paper thatha” . My parents knew him as the elderly gentleman who lived a block away from our apartment. He was a man of few words and in all those days, he didn’t speak a word. He just smiled and handed the little toys to me. I kept storing them in a wooden box in my closet. All I know about him was that I see him every day and he gives me and my sisters those little paper toys. That day when I got into the school bus, I expected to see him, but he didn’t come. He had shown up every single day the past week, but I didn’t see him in his usual spot under the water tank that weekend. I asked my dad where he lived and he didn’t know. I was upset that I couldn’t talk to him about the badges. I never saw him after that day. I don’t know if I will ever see him.

It has been 20 years since the last time I saw him before getting on my school bus. I still remember how he looked like and his stealthy smile. All I know is he loved children, and did his bit at making them happy. He sure understood and appreciated the beauty that lies within simple things in life.

Of Parenting and Pampering …

When I was little, my parents made a lot of sacrifices so I can be happy. The sacrifices they have made are not small and mentionable, they are countless, but they never regretted those sacrifices, oh wait, at least that is what I thought, when it suddenly occurred to me that it is not something I would say because, even if they did regret it, It did not last long and it was overcome by the amount of happiness I got from what they have sacrificed.They did it happily and never thought about what their life could have been. Yes they are great parents, and this is a tribute to those numerous parents who still are sacrificing major things for their little ones, financially, emotionally and physically. I would like to tell them –  “take it easy, pamper yourself now and then”. It is not just your kids who need pampering. Parenting is hard, and you all need a treat once in a while.

My dad knew this well and I am so proud of him for that. The impulsive stuff he got home when I was little, the clandestine  shopping errands that my dad and I went on with my mom having no idea whatsoever, The big brown leather couch and the Beautiful bookshelf that my dad bought home one summer evening are all still etched in my memory. It is true they are  all material stuff, very prone to destruction and may not mean a thing, but they are still around decorating every corner of my house with some beautiful memory associated with them. Even though my mom enjoy the luxury of having them she still complains about my dad’s over spending.  Money was tight back then but I was happy and blissfully unaware of the financial situation even though I knew I had to go to college on a student loan. I turned out OK, didn’t I?

Ahem ! Alright, alright! Don’t judge me….!

I wanted to share this with all the new parents so it could make a small difference in their lives and they can feel good about spending some money on themselves. There is one more twist to this and this is how it goes. Let us say, you are shopping for a pair of shoes for your little one and then you walk across this designer store and find a pair of skinny jeans you always wanted, and you decide to try it on. It almost always so happens that you will not buy it right away and you just would want to convince yourself that all the dieting worked and you are finally in much better shape than before. Then comes the “Price-tag Conundrum”.  You look at it and there, this can never go into your wardrobe because you start mentally calculating the worth of the new pair of jeans in terms of Baby stuff on x axis and time on y axis. Trust me the graph never looks good.

I may be wrong, you see, I am not good at Math , wait a minute or am I, I know graphs, x axis and y axis, ah forget about what I said earlier I am a math Guru, take my word for it

When you do that it is time for you to stop thinking and hit the registers in the store.

Run my friend Run with the jeans

I say this because, If I were your kid, I would feel really guilty that my mom couldn’t have a pair of jeans that she really liked. Now would you want to put your kids through this sorrow? This will scar them for life. So buy away once in a while, If you are a good parent, you will never make your kid feel bad, and guess what? Pampering yourself actually helps the kids in a sort of twisted way . It is OK they will understand if they cannot go for summer camp when they are 3 and they will be glad to stay home with you or their grandparents. In fact the major chunk of the childhood I remember was when I was with my grandparents. I bet it is true with most of you.

And yeah, all dads hurry and get yourself a nice and cozy barcalounger, you don’t want your son feeling bad about this later.

You have a good reason, father’s day is around the corner

Life is short, for both you and your kids. It is important to have a balance in terms of things you give up for your family, and that is what makes family the most important in the world.

Spare the rod and spoil yourself

Desert blues

Every other dusk,

when the sun went down

He stood there at the gate

His arms stretched out

pink she blushed and out she ran

breaking the shackles

-the hesitant lass

He looked her in the eye

put his arms around,

The orange desert sun gleamed

on her pink face

She smiled like an angel

Of divine grace

The moon shone

on her pale white face

He left her behind

Until the sun

would go down again.

And so she waited everyday

For the day to close in, So he would come,

Until one bleak dusk

When the sun went down,

She stood at the gate

Lo behold!

for the old familiar

happy face

but he never came down

from the desert sun

Not even once

Not even at all

Love and War

As the oars part the shore

And my lips part his,

The tides leave behind,

A world of peace

Under the benign sky,

On a silent land,

Begins my lore,

Of war and love.


The tanks grunted,

The rifles roared,

The long twilight

faded into the night,

The moon shone

Through the fleecy clouds,

Sans love, Sans Remorse,

The lust for battle ,

took its derisive course.

One bleak day,

As tears leave my eyes

And the  sun fades out,

On a barren land,

Under the smoky clouds,

My lips part his

And he leaves me alone

To end my lore

Of Love and War.

Inspired by Xenia Simonov

Bliss…

Kutti was tied to the little brown log that was firmly rooted to the ground and locked with a chain as always. I was sitting on the flight of stairs just outside the house waiting for my grandma to leave. she is always careful about every little thing even if it is of no Significance and she was today, with the little shiny key that locked kutti. she wouldn’t give it to us not if we were lying on the bed waiting for our last wish of possessing the key come true.

She got ready to leave saying “Stay safe. Don’t forget to wear your shoes when you go out” I saw her leave and sat there thinking what I was going to do for the rest of the day while I longingly looked at kutti who was still tied, wishing he was free to take me somewhere around the country side.

It was boring and almost mid-morning. It was beautiful. The birds were chirping and the  squirrels were fighting for the cashew nuts strewn all over the  tiny not-so-symmetric bunch of stairs made of mountain rocks which take you down the hill to the narrow muddy road roofed by the thick green foliage preventing any kind of light from hitting the mud.

Maya came running once my grandma went out of sight, showing me something that was glimmering in the mild sun peeping out of the clouds.It was Kutti’s key. She was haughtily  grinning away to glory while she said “I stole it from grandma! what a dream come true” . Her voice set  a vibe of troubled pleasure. We slyly went near the beautiful white pony and Maya was just about to open it.The lock was little rusted and I bent down to help her open it up.

Suddenly kutti got a little restless and I heard some boots dashing  against the stone staircase. I turned back and I saw a couple of Cops walking up hurriedly.I asked them what the matter was and he questioned us and then all I did was flirt with the officer to get rid of him.Don’t really know if the officers were real or I was hallucinating or how they knew that we were up to some mischief.

Soon we opened up Kutti and I went to wear my shoes. There was something that pricked me inside the shoe. I put my hand in and took out a little rusted key. I took it out and smiled to myself.I had a familiar feeling,  that of troubled pleasure and I understood what Maya my little sister felt when she showed it to me, though it was for a completely different reason. My gran trusted me.

The alarm screamed. There was No white Pony, No staircase,No narrow road and No grandma.I had to get up get ready and get to work. The thought of this made me just lie down again and close my eyes and remember the beautiful countryside and the beautiful white Pony once again. I did it and It was Bliss indeed to have a perfect dream even when you know it can never come true.

Lost Love ?!

It was 6 in the morning and I was waiting for the only train that can take me to some place where, there could be some civilization little advanced than the Mohanjadaro. I decided I’m done with giving my time to nature and trees and forests that I just want to get back to the city. There was a lonely bench next to the bright yellow board which read ‘Paikkarappatti’.

A patch of green grass with little dew drops covered the leg of the yellow board. It was as if the grass was lovelorn but was still waiting for the sun to hug it with its bright smile. I was too bored staring at the lovelorn patch of grass and waiting for its beloved, which was mildly trying to make its presence felt. I left them behind to kiss and make up.

I followed the stream which seemed to be indomitably armed with persistence to reach somewhere; someplace bigger; some place where it can sit back and relax. I reached a slightly big river which was calmer than the stream.

A little boy was standing on a small rock and bathing an old elephant. He was lying on down lazily in the middle of the river.”Turn Gaja… I need to scrub your other ear … Now turn!!!” I heard him shout. The elephant slowly changed his position, so the little boy can do what he wanted. After the whole ritual he put lots of sacred ash on his forehead, tied the little bell around his neck and walked him slowly to the temple on the shore. I went behind them. The little boy turned to me handed a candy and said ” It is his Birthday Saab… he is as old as my Father ” and smiled. I took the candy and walked till the temple. Then I realized I had a train to catch, so I reluctantly walked back to the lonely bench below the yellow board. It was getting late. Someone who looked remotely like the station master came to me and said the train was not coming and it has been canceled because of some riots. I looked around to find the not- so- dirty lonely bench again, this time it wasn’t lonely. There was a couple sitting on it and from the looks of it seemed like they were having a deep emotional conversation. I was pretty sure they wouldn’t appreciate my presence around them so I started trotting along the stream.

I soon reached the river. There were a few of those catamarans. I sat on the shore leaning against one of them and watching the river flow down, the oars Romancing with the river and fighting with it, but they never stopped being together.

The day went by … and It was time for me to get ready for my travel once again. Most of the catamarans were shored and oars were kept away from the water. I went back to the abandoned bench. The grass was lovelorn again covered with tears of dew.

I suddenly happened to remember a verse by Wordsworth

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man

I Went in search of nature to forget the love I thought I lost. Like the oars that keep coming back to the water and like the sun that comes back to shine on the tiny blades of grass every dawn, It is going to come back to me. Hope springs eternal and  So does Love. And So I wait- Until I’m put to rest under the benign sky when night closes in on me forever.

The Knight in Shining Armour?!?!

You see a dark rugged guy, wearing a bemused expression, Naughtily grinning at a guy wearing a red color t shirt with flower prints, or glued to anything that remotely resembles a TV (even the OOH media thingi is good), always wearing a pair of earphones even though he is not actually listening to anything,  and occasionally letting out a few words that are  insanely sane, walking like he owns the road, it COULD be HIM 🙂

The Woods… The City… And Love…

The sky was the early orange and the sun was young and beautiful. He got up and picked up his axe while nonchalantly humming a rustic meloncholy. He had to walk 5 kms from his little hut in the middle of a forest clearing. His son and daughter were in deep sleep under a bedsheet that covered them like a shroud. He started trotting his way to the destination, while he heard the sparrows chirp and see the sun get old, yet wholehearted and happy. He thought to himself “Im going to earn enough today to stay home with my kids tomorrow”.

The evening was as pleasant as ever. Kids were playing in the park and there were couples sitting in all the benches. There was a mild drizzle and the 4 o clock sun was just not ready to go behind the clouds. It was just trying to show itself off in front of the clouds so there had to be a rainbow now. A little kid was learning to fly a kite, the kite just wouldn’t budge. his dad showed him how to deceive the kite and he picked it up so fast and was running around the park with the kite just flying about 5 feet above him. he was still too happy, to let go off his childishly haughty grin.

It was a warm winter night. The staircase was as abandoned as ever. The moon was shining on the abandoned staircase through the leaves of the huge tree, the soft wind hustled through the leaves brushed against the both of them.Her hair flew and fell on her cheeks. His fingers softly caressed her cheeks to set her hair right. she turned pink and blushed like never before. He just took her in both his arms and kissed her for the first time.

Spare the Rod ….

He should learn to live. Surrounded by hatred and negligence. Uncared and Alone in the blend of this monotonous world.

But sometimes it feels good to spare the rod.
ah !! now you must be wondering what I’m talking about !! 🙂  a couple of years ago,  something very insignificant happened about which I had written down on my little journal. I was flipping through it and felt I should put it down here.
It was a cool winter afternoon, the weather was fine and you could not wish there were a better day than that in the middle of the desert. I was coming back to my hostel from the insti with a friend of mine, wheeling my cycle. Something seemed to be interested in following me. It was a cute little puppy with a black patch around it’s snout. It bore an expression of untold Sorrow -something that struck too close to home. It was as if he did not know what to do next, where to go, what to do? I would have picked him up and given him a hug but  i didn’t want to.  for No Reason.
I gazed at him for sometime and started walking again. he followed. I stopped,  he stopped too. I didn’t know what he expected. I started riding, he started running behind me. I wanted to give him something to eat but something stopped me.  Something in my head kept saying why spoil him.he should learn to live alone in the blend of this monotonous world.
I rode faster and kept thinking about the little one.
Somehow the reason I told myself to escape from doing something for the puppy was not something even I would buy. so I decided to get  my cycle and go back there. I did not have to look for him. He was standing right there near my cycle. Then i got some biscuits for him and he ate it like a little kid. then I took him out and left him near the temple wishing someone will take care of him. Then wheeled back to the hostel. I heard some sniffing so I turned around. The puppy came behind me and went ahead to the dumpster and started sniffing something .. it was a dead dog !