Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Zero Gravity

I stumbled upon a place far real than a lonesome dream land
Where no cheer was made out of fairy dust or a magic wand
'If you were here O’ what fun it would be' so did thinketh me
Joys do mount more when two hearts feel and four eyes see

'Come on in stay awhile girl' said and tramped inside the rest
 Leaving me stand on this other side bracing the times of test
A sole one at this carnival I will wait here for you at this gate
Together we shall sneak in my friend even if you turn up late

The whistling train will hoot aloud when we go for a jolly ride
Our orbit new will be the whirling giant wheel filled and wide
On the roller coaster lets then spin around for a feel of the air
Ghosts in the scary house will run to meet us the good and fair

We shall climb up the stairs, slip and slide down into the pool
Hold me tight and fear not of the dizzy heights or waters cool
Lets then lift our feet of the ground to the song of a rain tree
To end spinning heads on a merry go round with candies free

Wishes these many toss me back and forth while you are away
Like a frog of storms hops in and around,follows no rules I lay
Dearest would your frisky toes drop in to make this come true
And pump my soul’s thrust up all high with your gravity its due 


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ties That Bind

He was here before but it did not really feel like long ago,the path was decorated with the most colourful lantanas and the greenest of grass on either of its side.At the end was a gurgling river on the bank of which there was someone waiting for his arrival since quite some time.As her eyes shifted from one end to the other beyond the waters seeking him, she had a strange feeling about the morning because she was hearing something different.He crawled stealthily as he came near her,she was sure it was him.She had already made up her mind to interrogate him brutally like always for he was back after almost months.She had actually lost count.So she wanted to make her anger obvious and he like always got ready for what was coming in the next few hours.

He came close and patted her back gently with his paw and said a meek “Hello”.She turned and growled as he did expect.“So where were you all these days?” asked the not so pleased tigress.He looked into her tear filled eyes,he forgot his well rehearsed answer and she forgot the rest of her queries,well this felt very scary and bizarre.

“Oh! I was out in the jungles hunting, had a good time and what about you?”.She looked back at the waters again speechless,usually she would talk for hours with him about every little event that would had happened in his absence,about every game and every rain.He would often make these kind of long trips and bring his tales of adventure to share.But when he was gone the last time she did not move from the place he left,she decided to wait.And wait she did with a gut feeling,everyday in the same place.Two seasons passed,the nights grew colder and she never felt more lonely.Most of the deers and hares were hunted down and killed by the rest of the meat devouring folks,but her hunger stayed.She survived with the stream.Looking at her bitter state he was hurt.He asked her in a roar “What made you wait this long?”.She frowned to say “He will be here anytime soon, please do not move…so said my heart”.

He walked away without a word and climbed a boulder and sat there staring at her almost till midday, the sun sailed through the skies and reached right above his thinking head.She sat there without any change in her expressions.The green, the blue and the yellow never brought this warmth ever before for both of them.The river flowed with a new rage and suddenly thinking of him she felt a burst of energy inside her.His presence made everything perfect.
"As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger 
  than those that would tear us apart, all will be well."

She chuckled and he could not ask for more.They stood up and walked towards each other, brushing their foreheads and cuddling each other they fought with their paws.He earned a well deserved rip from her claw,but now it did not hurt.When dusk set in,they strolled towards their cave on the hill top.There was work to do and a life to live.He would go again wandering in the woods and search until he found his treasures, she would wait again back making his home for him.They knew everything about each other but nothing about the day called tomorrow.They would fight again.They would love again.She was happy because he survived her hope.He was happy because she lived for him.

PS: “The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale” so said Richard Dawkins.

Yet we shall not just survive but live!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

When Ifs And Buts Were Candies And Nuts

Indian kids of the last quarter of the twentieth century [we sound quite like the historic heroes,don't we?] were gifted in a way, especially in matters of chocolates,candies and toffees.And I take great pride in saying that I belong to that fortunate group who have had the chance to relish on them, no wonder the ones of these days never match my standards.

Chocolates to us never meant Snickers, Hershey, Lindt, Ferraro Rochers or Toblerone.We had a completely different and simple set of criteria and definitions.Dairy Milk, Amul Bar, Five Star or Milky Bar was given when we topped the class or only if we won a competition. Sometimes we were blessed with these lavish treats if we accompanied the birthday boy or girl to distribute chocolates to teachers in the school. 
Eatables in the family were considered as properties for an equal share between the number of kids at any given point of time and place.Be it with the sibling,the cousin,the friend,the neighbour’s kid or any kid staring at me and my chocolate on the road.The good sister I always have been,I remember every time someone gave me one I would keep it safely in my skirt pocket and come home to share it with my brother.We have grown up believing the ’Half-Half’ policy,you see.Dentist visits were not so very frequent, for there was an intake limit set by the maternal department and we were given a grant of an exact 2 Rs daily for chocolates after school. 
When most of the kids chose Mango Mood among the mango flavoured candies I loved the Nutrine Aam Ras, simply because it had a sweet syrup filling its core and this was my birthday toffee almost every year.The Naturo mango bar was a must after school, my Cycle Rickshaw walla Uncle used to buy it for me because he was paid an extra amount every month by my father to do so.

A box of Gems, my brother’s all time favourite was always kept hidden in the refrigerator.He could survive for a whole day eating just them, without any food and water.The addiction somehow till date prevails. Another special of the lots was Percy goli, it came in a dozen odd flavours. Mathur Uncle, my father’s close friend and our then neighbour used to take me to the corner shop down the street only to get me those.I used to sit in the shop staring at the jars until I was given one, or so my mother says.

Coffeebite, the first of its kind was loved by kids and adults alike, it shall always stay as the king of toffees for me.Ravalgon candies were every shop’s essential, I loved the red one.The most hated in my list were the Lactoking or Mahalacto and Kokanaka, because caramel and coconut in toffees were never ever any friends with my taste buds.The Kismi Bar, a cheaper version of chocolate bars which was loaded with elaichi was detested for the same reason.

While Melody was the only toffee in my father’s toffeectionary, there was an another one which tempted us.It came in a red and green wrapper, with Pan Pasand written on it in glittering gold.We were told that it contained substances which are too strong for kids and it could be eaten only by elders,the good story makers that our parents were,but it did not stop us from trying!And believe me this is one of the best toffee ever made,I am yet to find a shop which sells them here.

Swad was meant to ease digestion but we would not leave that too, for it was sold like a toffee and we would often end up with burning tongues. Also I preferred Hajmola’s Albela Aaam over Chulbuli Imli because the tangy taste of the latter made me gulp countless glasses of water.Chocolates of those times were never just sweet.

The rainbow coloured round candies of Poppins were a puzzle, every time I bought them eight out of ten in the packet were yellow and my mother always succeeded in convincing me that they come in special rolls of your favourite colour.Googly came in two flavours,lemon and orange if I am right,both equally gave a heaven feeling.And finally among the chewing gums,long before Big Babool's tortoise sailed up in the air with a balloon and boom boom Boomer's superhero could coil and twist himself there was the king of gum called Chiclet,the taste still lingers.
The twenty five paisa lemon candies, packets of jeerge mitai[fennel candies],kobri mitai[coconut burfis],groundnut chikkis,pepper mint and many more from Kakana Angdi were always in demand,they were the most devoured of all.I buy them even now when I find them.The supreme satisfier of all times for me is the home made lollipop of tamarind,jaggery and cumin seeds,every grandma’s speciality.Nothing like it.

Times have changed,and so have the toffees.Whenever I see any of these brands I make sure I buy some and give it to the children in my apartment,the 'THANK YOU' they say no cheque or card can buy.Wonder why we give up these priceless little joys as we grow older.Blood turns saccharine and bonds more bitter.Remember Mr.Forrest Gump saying "Life is like a box of chocolates.You never know what you‘re gonna get",well most of us rather chose the contradictory and can consider this funny statement I found somewhere-“Life is not like a box of chocolates, it is more like a jar of jalapenos, what you do today might burn your ass tomorrow!”.I do not refuse to agree.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Physiology Of Living - Some Matters In The End

If  life is on the edge, the day meets nothing but a colder night
And you cannot walk back home, do not wonder what to do
Stay where you are, let those roots creep and grow with might
Else dare a free fall, but rot not with storms damp and blue!

The world is going to get older again very soon! As a year ends it brings a bag of mixed feelings and signals. I do not believe in celebrating the start of the next with much ado but this season definitely makes me look back at the time that I have lost and things that I haven’t done! One fact I woudn’t regret about is that I have spent most of the months with just myself with things I love doing [reading]. Reality comes tagged with a price and I do not mind paying.There is so much more that I have missed, simply because I did not have choice.Life is much harder when there is so much thrown on us and we have to make one choice.

I just hope the days and nights get better.When I think of the times to come the first thing that creeps like an irritating worm in my mind is the idea of resolutions,and this year I have strongly resolved not to make any.Every year is full of possibilities and any time is the right time!

So this is what I am going to say to myself…

"Eat your share of cherry on the cake and get drunk[the latter does not apply to the author;-)], make new friends and remember to love the old ones, read a good book and learn a new song, say a kind word and spread a big smile, make no promise that turns you weak and build no fence that you cannot break, make mistakes but learn.Wander away on your road and fill up that one little empty spot in your sky with your favourite colour and rejoice!"

This chap never makes me feel worse!:)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Share Of Life

  A plate of morsel seasoned with a little love and care
A teacher I call mine, no blackboards empty to stare
Is all I wish in school, without having to give any fare
Is this any treasure of millions that I seek as my share?

Take a bird’s eye view and it will look like our nation is crossing enormous milestones in various fields despite the scams and rackets that flourish in our administrative systems,or so our records say.And all that we are good at doing is,patting our back ourselves.Tragically when we [try] and look at the ground level,the scenario is completely different.We all know that our children are our country’s wealth,what we do not remember is that they are a vulnerable group.They compromise around 31 percent of our Indian population,but the attention their issues receive is not any close to what those which hit our daily headlines.

Malnutrition and illiteracy are amongst the many social issues that hinders a child’s progress.Sadly these are not due to diseases,illnesses or lack of resources.These are problems because we as citizens do not care enough.There are multiple matters intertwined,the causes and reasons,the results and effects which have brought this failure.Undernourishment starts right from the womb of the mother,after birth the prevailing poverty makes it worse.Most of the children do not even get to know that food and education are basic rights.

Many organisations, people and a part of the governance are striving and helping to meet these critical demands.Amongst them a noteworthy effort comes from The Akshaya Patra Foundation an initiative initially begun in Bangalore by ISCKON.I remember those days when we used to first sight their vans on Chord Road near the temple in Bangalore.The pictures of joyful kids on the van never failed to make us smile.Their motto“No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”,with which they have grown on a magnanimous scale with teachers,volunteers,missionaries and the governments working to reach children across the country.

Hunger or poverty should never be a reason for a child to turn into a school dropout.As they say a fed child can learn better,children with filled stomachs now can concentrate more in the class. But for most of these kids food is not a mere incentive for attending school,it is their only nutritious meal of the day,such is their plight.And therefore they invariably attend.These problems cannot be made better overnight,they need efforts from each one of us.

If you see a poor hungry kid on the road and offer no help,do not blame the state of affairs.Do think for a while if there is anything that you can do to make his life better.Some food or money might do for a day but if you care to look beyond and can really help,make sure that he joins a school.Believe me you will be a special someone whom the child will always for his life remember.

Do visit and care to contribute:

This was around an year ago,a wonderful bunch of kiddo gangsters in a government school put up this act only because I agreed to take a video,hope this makes you smile!

"We make a living by what we get,but we make a life by what we give"
-Winston Churchill


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Roots And Wings

"There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In the forest and frost drifting through many empty miles
Over thunder skies with a parched throat and filled eyes
O’ little ones to fill your hunger for food set on a search
We better earn a bit before can return home and perch

On barren soils,in naked streams under a scorching sun
Of berries,insects,flies,grains and seeds we found none
Fates ill like our frail nest trembles in the thinness of air
Hope wails in vapour when our hearts cry in all despair

Fight we shall to bring you up against a grave evil wrath
In a world great where no soul lends a thing wee it hath
Goodness of his soul stirred by the sounds of our song
A brave wriggling worm waived thy self to come along

Holding him gentle with our beaks in turns here we flew
He yearned of being a timbre or flesh in your cords new
For on one day like mighty birds you shall grow and sing
And a bliss true and pure on this plundered plains bring

We will build your life,we will gift you our wisdoms wild
A promise to protect you forever we keep now O’child
But our feathers may turn blue,our visions blind and old
Hills may raise high or rusty winds may run aloof in cold

Remember ergo the green anthems this mother taught
Learn from the wangles of weathers your father fought
Go out there to make your own living a wondrous feat
Our blessings unlike our breath will never an end meet

PS:No matter what species of nature they belong to,which land they come from or how much they can give of themselves to their children,the love in their hearts will be the same.They are called PARENTS,and this poem from me to them.

Cheers and good night,


Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Tooth Sickly Sweet

While the world was sleeping in a temporary repose and the clock struck two,she came inside my room saying "Ouch!My tooth,it hurts".And thus began the trouble in the house last night and this toothy story.The afflicted subject my mother and here is one of her old and famous takes on life"Delivering babies is better than having a sore tooth rotting in your mouth,no pain like the latter".This was an unintended compliment for her two kids,now that she had finally found something worse we wondered if we are now free to be happy.
"Some tortures are physical
and some are mental,
the one that is both is dental"
-Ogden Nash

She refused to lie down,the inertia and silence made the pain worse.Home remedies like garlic and clove oil  all were tried,nothing seemed to work.Even drinking water seemed impossible.A pain killer was the only saviour left but gulping tablets for anything and everything is against her rule book, this is something which features in mine too.She did not budge thinking she might as well bear the pain than have a burning stomach later.And then is when her daughter doctor stepped into action,with a tablet in hand I said" Amma take this,it will make you better in a while,you can sleep".She looked at me with an amusing helplessness and said "What if I go dizzy and fall?".Not any surprised I replied" Trust me".Maybe this pinched the ailing root and she had no choice but to take it.

Brushing teeth is considered a daily ritual in the family which is beyond my brother's ability follow,to make him understand the importance of it she found this crisis ideal!When the pain settled down she looked at him and started her sermon”Look this is what happens when you do not brush your teeth!”.The smart one that he is,my brother shot back” Now who is the
blessed one with the caries,me or you?".

Imagining the icy possibilities and creamy prospects of the next morning he added “I am taking you to the dentist tomorrow, you better get that devil pulled out,and then we shall have lots of ice cream,now go sleep.”That sounded like some plan indeed.

After a sleepless night and a visit to the dentist this morning she is back with a numb pumpkin sized cheek,courtesy an extraction.So here is a prayer from her kids for the tooth “Forgive our mother for keeping you in blight,a heartfelt thanks for the strawberry ice cream and may your roots rest in peace!”.

And this for the one tooth less lady, hoping the dentures do not arrive any soon:


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Under The Greenwood Tree

Our mud hut is quite close to the forests,my mother often sends me there to get wood so that we can make fire.This happened once when I did go for some.The winter months had begun.We needed extra logs to keep us warm in the coldness and it would make her happy if I could get ourselves more, thinking so I walked away making my own path in the thickets deep.The clouds grew darker and the light stopped filtering through them.Dusk crawled in and I finally realized that I was lost.I forgot to look back since I was busy making my stack more huge all the way.

Pitter patter, I heard the rain fall in a hundred drops.It made me think of home.For a moment I stood there in a freeze unaware of what to do in the pitch darkness that surrounded me.But surprisingly fear did not invade me, there was something alluring about the place.I decided to walk more, wherever it took me.My feet turned wet and dirty while my heart was cleaned of all its uneasiness.I knew not where I was, but I was thrilled to become a part of the place.

I reached an open hillock in the middle of which was a towering tree, the greenest I did ever see.She called me with a pleasing stare and pulled me into her light breeze.I ran and stood under her,admiring the welcoming grandeur.When the storms of the skies grew in rage she seemed to lend me all her shade to keep me safe and sound.

Suddenly I heard a whisper in the air saying”Oh little girl, what brings you here?”.I wondered if I heard it right, yes I did.Good heavens she could talk!No wonder her stupefying calmness made me feel special right from the moment my eyes fell on her.I replied”Here for some wood,I did not make many and looks like I have lost my way!But why are you here in the middle of nowhere?".She gave me a smirk and said “Maybe to help you”.

Somehow the drizzling tempest seemed to last, so she let me stay with her through the night and said”Worry not when I am here.You can take my twigs and branches and sleep here till morning.I am a home to many,you are free to make me yours too!”

In relief I sat there on the grass beneath with my back resting on her.We talked about the old tales of the wild and the many weathers that she met in a year.She told me about the lions,the deers,the peacocks,the owls,the butterflies and the many men who rested in her bosom.I was more than glad for having been stranded with her.I heard things that nobody ever could share and I absorbed all that she said.She was content with simple pleasures,nothing of nature troubled her because all her life there was were she belonged. 

Picking the crimson florets I asked her in a bewilderment”What keeps you so fresh,so green,so supple yet so strong?”.She replied with a twinkling smile,

"A pinch of white from your frock O’ pretty dame
Rays of a light yellow from our sun’s fiery flame
A red from my fruits that in the springs do crop
Grey from the clouds that travel on my roof top
A heap of brown from the soil holding my earth
Colors these bring in my life the greenest mirth"

It felt like she knew that I would come one day,for her I was not just another passerby.It made me love her more.Like long lost friends of the forests we sang in the silence of the night making tunes that could wake up the sleeping heaven,hell and the world in between.Time passed like the flowing stream and a beacon of light arrived with the dawn.I could see the way back to my hut,a home I would never want to lose.And touch wood I now had two!I hugged her for the delightful peace and time we spent together.I so wished I could listen and be with her for more.I left thinking in glee and promised her to be back when I am not just lost sooner than some day again.  


Monday, December 6, 2010

Little Things

I am head over heels with this one,I mumble this tune like a bee all day!It makes me remember all those little fun filled moments with all the wonderful people who have come my way.

Music and songs more spread feel good waves in the middle of all the rawness in this weather.Little birds perch during the day on my window sill and an annoying silence tells me secrets and stories of the dark nights at bedtime.Cups of hot tea feels the cold skin of my hand while my many books wanting answers spill their questions all around.An old peach colored sweater of my mother warms up my heart while socks thick and white layer my numb and still feet.A mind works at its best for in great good it is left alone while a heart in tranquil waits for blooms of the next spring.A fear that keeps me going and a hope that makes my living.

These are some good little things spending their time with me this lovely winter to keep me happy.
What keeps you?

He is adorable!:-)


Friday, December 3, 2010

This Day Forever

Grow a sap in your palm for it is a birthday and you,follow your heart and I shall fly in eternity with you…

I laid there with the iced stars looking at a winter sky
A six and twenty days passed as the leaves turned dry
The pixies in aisle then took his name in a sprightly cry
And said thy angel is here ‘round now O’ goodness my!

I walked into him,then a boy just another my next door
A silent something said he brings life and a vision more
Dreams bare waited in a heart for years twelve and four
To meet this pirate who sailed home to reach my shore

I laid there in his arms looking at those fireworks rain
A moon less night and his shivers warmed up my vein
Colors of my skin turned wee scarlet and canary plain                       
Like his whispering bird I flew on those shoulders fain

I saw his happy feet jump on the puddled hill road
A world of mine gleamed in his eyes my only abode
With a river of dreams wild by his side in joy flowed
In the thickets green in search of treasures he strode

I laid there on mallows pink looking at my boy learn
A vow I made to hold his hands in every steep turn
Beyond and after the sun bursts in his last fiery burn
For a light at the end of a tunnel he always did yearn

I shall hold his blessings in my plume if all vile threw
Let the wild sweat on his forehead like drops of dew
An angel of no magic spells is he who made me new
'This day forever' is all I wish him in my prayers few



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Straight From Heart

  This post is on the winner's list of YOUR LIFE CHANGING DEVICE CONTEST at Blogadda.

This one just mine!

"Give me your steth” so says the consultant to his junior doctors to examine the patients during the ward rounds.And then does rest of the hospital come to know that if a doctor does not have his stethoscope hanging around his neck or is not wearing his apron he has to be a consultant.Exceptions are those in a few specialities which rarely require one.When in the undergraduate period we start learning with a basic model which cost a few hundred bucks,there will be two or three elite ones in the class carrying a Littman’s which either is a gift from someone who is mighty proud seeing them become a doctor or they are those lucky kids of awesomely rich parents.

These days this little device comes with varied features possible,thank technology.Something what we people of this globe eat,sleep,talk,work and live with today.The elders have accepted it with some hesitation but keenness to keep in pace with their young peers whose life is totally dependent on it.From love letters to salary slips,all are mails in our inbox.We all have turned tech savvy,most of us will agree that life no more feels so very boring and same.

People who attach their emotions to objects are not to be considered materialistic always,their reasons can be manifold which may even seem peculiar to the rest of the world.We value things for the person who gifted it,or because it is one of the first ones we bought from our salary,or for the memories it carries,or the experience and learning it has given us,or simply that we liked it at the first instance and bought it.Everyone owns at least one product of technology which has brought a difference and made our lives easy.

Doctors are not any far behind,there are innumerable advancements in the field of medicine which has made our work complicated yet beautifully precise.Robotic surgeries,PET scans,painless needles,genetic therapy;you name it and we have begun it all. But there are some things which we cannot afford to do,even more are things that come under the ‘not to dos’.Such confusingly difficult decisions and actions may be pardonable by law or it may even escape punishment but no technology would satisfy one’s conscience,though not many own it.

Amongst the many gadgets and gizmos that make living a pleasure,this might be a weird choice but for a doctor like me the first stethoscope will always stay special for a lot of reasons.It has made me listen to a newborn’s heart beat and a frail heart stop,and now I have learnt to respect death as much as life.

During houseman ship it has made me hear many lungs breathe and bowels rumble.It has helped me measure blood pressure of countless patients every five or ten minutes in the ICU and post operative wards.There were days when we had to pay the chronically admitted patients in the free wards just to auscultate their chest and listen to all sorts of murmurs their hearts carried,sadly their disease was the only way left to earn a living.At the other end the kids in pediatric wards detested the presence of  us monsters who carried the big rubber tubing in their ears and went close,no amount of chocolates could help us make a deal with them!Sometimes it was given on a free rent to a senior and more than often it was lost and found in the nursing station,operation theatre,intern's room,canteen,dressing trolley or the patient’s bed.Frankly it has been in every nook and corner of the hospital and seen it all. 

The traditional ones make just heart to ear conversation.There are polished versions now in the market,the electronic and digital kinds which are acoustically sophisticated but more than helpful.But they are not worth owning until there is knowledge enough which deserves them.I remember one of my professor saying in a clinics class “What the mind does not know the stethoscope does not make you hear,auscultation is an art and you all have to practise” which I guess has to be done all through a doctor's life.I sometimes am amazed how little things help us with diagnosing life saving conditions,provided one knows how to use it well at the right time.And a stethoscope is one of them,the woooooosh” and “clickkk” between the lub and dub” and a myriad of other sounds are the most difficult to catch but they have so much to tell.

With whatever little technology it works,my stethoscope is my life changing and saving device for it has made me listen to one of life’s most wonderful calls that say  “I need some help”, “I am feeling alright” ,“Thanks for listening”and more,straight from many a heart.

Even Old Uncle Santa might need some help from one,after all the travel in the cold this Christmas!

A merry one to all!


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Book So Amber

Summers of childhood were always special for I spent a whole of two months in and around my hometown Mangalore doing what I liked the most.Clouds hovered over damp and tiled roofs amidst many arecanut and coconut trees,once they started sweating to fight the heat it would rain incessantly forcing us children to stay indoors for the rest of the day.It was then that I used to dig Grandpa’s old cupboard and my mother’s rusting metal trunks in the attic and the little dungeon behind the staircase,giving some company to the bandicoots and rats .

During one such excavation on a silent afternoon when the rest of the members of the house were catching a nap after a sumptuous meal,I rolled out a sack from the store room in the backyard.To my surprise what fell on the floor were a pile of old books, papers and letters.I must admit that till then I never knew how much my mother loved words and writing.Picking up a dusty amber coloured  book and a diary of hers with loose sheets I ran towards the living room where she was sleeping.I woke her up to show what I had found.Despite my irritation,she read a few poems penned in her diary.It made me happy and proud.She looked at the book in my hand and asked me where on earth I found all this,and when I told her about it she found my adventure a little impish but nice.She told me that the book was a teacher’s gift during her college days,for he appreciated her writing skills.And even before I asked her she said with a smile‘You can keep the book’.
As a kid tales fascinated me,the likes of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘Alice In Wonderland’,so much so that I dreamed of being stranded on an isle building ships or getting lost in the wild jungles chasing butterflies.Books made me live stories which could never happen in my life.My  mother was happy too,not because it kept me quiet but for coming to know that I had inherited her passion for reading.My father and brother are losers in this regard.You never know what does and what does not run in those genes!

I kept the amber book safe,my loot after all.It made a difficult read in those younger days I must say, thank my lack of comprehension.After many years I chanced upon it during a routine cleaning and then I made up my mind to give it a try.When I flipped through the moth eaten and tanned pages,a sweet smell of old papers welcomed and took me to a different world altogether,Russia precisely!The book titled ‘Anton Chekhov, Volume One, Stories’,a compilation of Russian classics by an English author has each story narrating something fresh and fragrant.My favourites being ‘The Grasshopper’ and ‘Gooseberries’.The seal inside the book said it was picked up from Navakarnataka Publications way back in 1982.My mother tells me that in those times Russian literature was a great thing happening in India.

In a matter of few days I was familiar with the wagons, orchards, gowns, suits, quills,paintings,lamps and the tongue twisting Russian names.I read the book with a curious admiration because it gave me a connection,especially the three signatures in the initial pages; my mother’s, her teacher’s and mine [mine at the age of ten! Probably I felt I was gifted with a grand inheritance!].You can see them in the picture.

Some passages are underlined in a pink ink,the same with which her teacher has put his signature.They made me wonder what thoughts would have arisen in his mind and what made them so beautifully important, and this very feeling made me smile.What is different about the book is the dramatic environment it creates which makes the characters in the plot very palpable.Little events of life are described in a captivating detail.There are no heroes in these stories,all characters have a fair share of weaknesses and strengths.Every day human pursuits are crafted and layered with simple words.The book is magnet.It portrays emotions with a strange tenderness,happiness and grief alike.It can force a reader into a Russian shoe's and make him live his life,completely different from his own.Unlike a coffee table book,the stories need subtle attention or else one can see stars in the day.

There is an amazing thing in common with all writers,no matter which land they come from,their love for expressing what they feel is priceless.Here are a few lines from the book,I think they make a lot of sense when we talk about the world be it of the past,the present or the future. 

“We are accustomed to live in hopes of good weather,a good harvest,a nice love affair hopes of becoming rich or getting the office of chief of police,but I’ve never noticed anyone hoping to get wiser.We say to ourselves,it’ll be better under a new tsar,and in two hundred years it’ll still be better,and nobody tries to make this good time come tomorrow.”
If there is one book that will pinch my heart when it shall part is this.For now it is lying safe with the others in my closet waiting for its next heir,the book shall go to the ones to whom it rightfully belongs when time comes.I will not really mind if I have to give it to someone for a read [with a hope that they return it back!] because I believe that even a line small yet sensible has knowledge worth sharing.I do read these stories at ofttimes in the night because someone has rightly said about friends,books and wine;the older they are...the better.

On an ending is a poem I wrote a month back...

Paper And Ink

 "These are not books,lumps of lifeless paper,but minds alive on the shelves.From each of them goes out its own voice and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music,so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it,one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space,and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind,heart to heart"~Gilbert Highet.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Open At The Close

                                   Wings of golden in earnest raise up and fly
And on my bolt of fire I follow you all high 
Walls many invisible I push with this heart  
       Shadows dark chase to seek your wee part         

Friends best a two are my world my folk
    My master left past light without a cloak    
A wand in his hands in peace deep sown
His gift is you a hallow I know not I own

Memories of my flesh you store and shine
Lost and away is all that once stayed mine
I kiss and watch you say I open at the close
Fight I shall for am the one evil vice chose

PS: Inspired  by a tale I grew up with and which has made me believe that 'It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.'


Sunday, November 21, 2010

*Conditions Apply

Being on one side of the biological fence I think it is tough to figure out the wants and needs of the other half of population for men and women alike.We tend to generalize issues and qualities based on gender more than often.We all are born and built different and that is the way everything works.We claim to hail from different planets but do we know what really impels us to live together here.Do remember no matter how many hitches we face with the opposites,this world runs on a plan.

What men want is not a difficult question, neither easy.There is no common denominator and each man is unique in his own way it is hard to make a list of their requirements and demands. I don't know quite what is wrong or right with men being happy with materialistic, physical and emotional pursuits so I am not going to make a stereotyped list of things here,from ‘sleep,food and wine with a woman at home to call mine’,we all know them.And every lady has her own too.

So much is said and little is done about what women want, but when it comes to men little is said and more than that little is done.This thought is from no soft corner of anybody's heart, because we all are blindly in affirmation of a man’s power and strength.But men are vulnerable,very much like women.The general tendency of the universe is to move from order to disorder and since God and we all know when,most of the men dominate many scenarios and take life's really big decisions.So how much it can make or break a man’s character stays relative and is dependent on a variety of factors.With all the brains,muscles and hormones they can handle pressure and cope with the stress and live a life well,close to their expectations*conditions apply.

Men hang in a balance like all.With time their dreams and desires change,a toy gun at the age of five to the world’s most expensive car at the age of twenty five.But unless bonded emotionally men can be complete strangers,for most of them fail or do not feel the need to express unlike women;be he a son,brother,father,husband or a friend.If you look closely into a man's eyes for the first few seconds during a conversation you can see what he actually has to tell you,catch it at the right moment or else see it fade away with his other wayward expressions.An observation that I have made being with my dearest friend fellows is that although they are messy each one is weirdly lovable,and I will never want them to be anyone different.

If devastating prettiness can woo them,gadgets and repairs can keep them simply occupied.Men are meant to be out in the open,and by natural tendency all of them hate being caged in any manner against their will.Most of the men are not comfortable discussing their personal inadequacies and flaws,they need someone who makes them realize and helps to work on them.They need a sense of belonging and acceptance.In a life of ordinariness and day to day struggles that wears them down they need someone and something to get back to.

Sometimes they can be extremely sensitive and easily embarrassed.Not all men appreciate constructive criticism and not all women always give.Minor conflicts make life interesting as they leave us with something to learn about them.Men can confuse and get confused,they do remember the kinkiest of things amongst the many dates they forget.Many of us have this conventional opinion of men being terrified of commitment.But if a man found someone who genuinely brings completeness he would not want to let her go.Maybe he might not want to get married,but he will be madly in love with her and will never risk losing her.Men think different,behave more different.They are not perfect,they are just real like everything else.

Some things among the musts while handling a man are,never compare[they own a jealous bone too!]and let him stay independent,if possible do help.Let a man do something that he likes to do,something that he can do and something that is fun to do.Even more good if you let him do something that makes him feel like a 'man'.

“Men are simple things.They can survive a whole weekend with only three things:Beer,boxer shorts and batteries for the remote control”-Diana Jordan.


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