Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dear Zindagi!

How is life?
That is the most frequently asked question. And perhaps the most thoughtlessly answered, too.
I snooze the alarm, wake up with a start, get ready in hurry burry, work like a robot, and check the phone almost every 5 minutes during all the awake hours. That’s life. Is it?
I have taken life for granted, to a great extent.
I stepped back, switched off my phone, and looked at life. And realised, this is the greatest gift I have ever gotten, rest all has just followed.
Dear Life,
Hope you are doing well. I am good too.
I am sorry. Now and then, I have belittled you. I have cursed you, swore on you, and gave up on with the slightest of trouble. But you stayed calm. You did not leave me, held on to me like a patient father hugging his child who is mad at him for not getting his favourite chocolate. How does the kid realise that too much chocolate is not good for him!
What are you made of, you have always loved me back with a greater intensity!
I often wonder, what is life? A story? Pictures? Memories? Experiences?
Or is it relationships? Or ambitions? Is it a journey? Or is it the destination?
For me, you are my constant companion, who becomes what I need.
When I was dejected after flunking those final semester exams, I almost decided to give up. But you were there, sitting by me, with your steady warm hand wrapped around my shoulder, listening to my sobs and silence. I wanted to leave you, but you did not leave me. And see, today where I stand. Nobody even cares about that scorecard. You were a friend then. The best friend one could ever ask for.
When I am elated, I forget to thank you. I scold you, I curse you, I push you away, but you are always patient like my mom. She always knew that I had to swallow that bitter medicine, if I were to get well. You too would put me to tests, being aware that I would hate you for that.
You are the best teacher. They taught me so much in all those books. But do I remember them unless you reiterate them for me? No. You have your own ways to teach, and the most effective ones. Sometimes hard, but you got be tough with stubborn kids, don’t you!
You bring along different people in the course. Some stay, some leave. Those who stay, make living beautiful. Those who leave, leave me wiser. And that’s what you are, you beauty!
Only if I could express all that I want to.
Dear Life, thank you,
For the friends who stood by me
For the foes who helped find me
For the victories that give me confidence
For the failures that make me strong
For the dream that keeps me going
For the uphill that test my strengths
For the stars that brighten my sky
For the sun that fills my days
For the smiles that make me smile
For the faith that gives me light
For the love that makes me lucky
For the defeats that give me experience
For the hatred that teaches me love
For the new day that gives me hope

You leave no choice for me, all I can do is love you, live you.

P.S: “I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda
Please watch the teaser here: Dear Zindagi

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Love and Laughter

1st February, 2011, one week into our first meeting.
“Do you think we are falling in love?” I asked, my heart pounding.
Silence from the other side. I could hear his accelerated breath over the phone.
After a few moments that seemed like eternity, “I think, yes”, he spoke.
And we confessed. Februaries never remained the same thereafter.
It was love in the air, the festival of love was approaching. And the first one for both of us.
As new love birds, that mushy feeling occupied our minds all the time. We were preparing for the Valentine’s Day more religiously than we would have ever studied for our JEE entrances.
We have celebrated 6 valentines together till now, but the first one remains the special, and each time we remember that, we laugh our hearts out.
Being a methodical person, I had prepared a project plan.
Gifts every hour. Card. Candies. The special dress that I would wear. A beauty parlour session the previous day.
I was quite sure he also had his plans to make me feel special. Our excitement knew no bounds.
14th February, 6 am. My doorbell rang. I anyway hadn’t slept, thanks to the excitement.
I looked at myself in the mirror, smiled and ran to the door. I looked from the peep hole, expecting him standing outside with roses in hand, but my face dropped like a deflated balloon when I saw the milkman.
I kept checking my phone, as if looking at it would make it ring. I wonder if this feeling has a name: the one which makes you smile to yourself, makes your heart gallop like a horse, tickles your stomach.
I was ready by 7 a.m. When the doorbell rang again, it was him.
“Happy Valentine’s day”, he said as I opened the door, presenting a bunch of red roses.
“Same to you”, I blushed.
“Can we go for a ride now?”
“Mmm…yes. I have a surprise.”
My joy was uncontrollable. I nodded a big yes.
I sat with him on his bike for the first time. He asked me to put my hand on his shoulder, lest I should fall. That butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling is perhaps the most delicate and beautiful feeling in the world.
“Where are we going?”
“That is a surprise.”
He pressed his hand against mine and I saw him smiling in the rear view mirror.
As he turned the bike, I suddenly felt a jerk and fell off the bike near a heap of garbage and saw him fall on the other side. An autowallah had rammed into us.
He rose up from the ground, dusting himself off and while I was expecting him to come towards me and pull me up, he walked past me and went straight towards the auto driver and gave him a tight slap. And the public that is ever ready to vent their frustration out on any damn road fight, gathered to do the rest of the fighting.
I felt so stupid to get up on my own. Even the crowd ignored me. All that valentine fever was gone. I felt a lump on my head, while he was twisting his wrist. He gave me a hand, and I jerked it away!
“What kind of a man are you! I am lying here on the ground you have to show your stunts first!” and tears started rolling down my cheeks.
“Sorry, that fellow would have run away…I am sorry…are you alright? Did you get hurt?”
I scratched my head, it was hurting.
“Are you okay? You hurt your wrist, is it?”
“Seems so, its paining bad”.
While the bike stood on the sidewalk, we both walked to my place again to evaluate our wounds. There were a few minor scratches on our elbows. My valentine red dress was brown with mud now.
We cleaned ourselves up, and by now we both has swellings.
No more date. No more surprise. We decided to head to the doctor’s clinic.
The elderly doctor looked at both of us squarely.  We felt like we were sitting in the police station, as criminals. Valentine’s Day, girl and a boy on the bike. What does one expect?
“What happened, how did you fall?”
“The auto came from the wrong side of the road”, he said.
“I see.” the doctor said, perhaps trying to suppress a crooked smile.
“I have a shooting pain here…” I said pointing to the lump, “and he is not able to move his wrist.”
We both were nervous. As if our families were sitting on the opposite side of the table, asking us “what do you think you are doing behind our backs?”
Looking at our pale faces, probably the doctor had a sudden surge of pity and he gave us a “aww-you-kids” smile.
He looked at me and asked “Do you remember this guy well?”
I was startled. “Yes”, I said blankly.
He then looked at him and asked, “Can you still hold her hand for the dance tonight?”
And we both breathed a sigh of relief. He said “Yes.” And smiled.
The doctor gave us some medicines and asked us not to worry.
 We walked out of the clinic, perhaps both thinking the same. The surprises, the date, the flowers. No more.
The painkillers put us to sleep as soon as we popped them.
The next morning I woke up to his SMS that said, “That was the most different Valentine one could ever celebrate.” And I smiled.

Till date, the memories of that Valentine are the funniest and the sweetest.

This post is a part of #LoveAndLaughter activity at BlogAdda in association with Caratlane.
Love is better when you laugh together: caratlane

Monday, October 12, 2015

To Bond, with Love

It was my dream to see Mr.Ruskin Bond in person. I had written this poem as a present for him. I did give it to him, hoping he would read it some day. May he live long and healthy!

I keep a Bond book by my pillow every night
It brings pretty dreams, it makes me feel light
The garden, the pool, the banyan, and the deodar
My mouth waters for the chaat in the bazaar

The stories of Dehra and Landour
Always take me on a virtual tour
Lal Tibba, Pari Tibba, clock tower, the old church
To the places where Rusty roamed so much…

Whenever I feel sad, low, and melancholy
I pick up a Bond book and read slowly
The “cheer up tonic” takes away the gloom
Brings a smile – like your flower pot in full bloom…

Nature is prettier through your eyes
You paintings of words simply mesmerize
Even a python looks cute and lovely
Touch of moss and grass seems heavenly

Amidst all complexes, Bond books are a respite
In Ruskin’s world, all is soothing and bright
Simple is pretty and small is beautiful
Ruskin can make anything look wonderful!

To see the world that I have seen through your stories
I have come from far, leaving behind all worries
Seeing you in person is a dream come true
One wish remains, is to be like you!

From so many of your fans, I am just one
I relate to your works, like I do to none,
Lady Bond- I call myself in secret, and smile
Be a writer like you, and make life worthwhile

Here I wish you from the core of my heart,
Health and happiness, and all that you want
You live forever, and may you never rest the quill,
Love and regards, to the Writer from the Hills.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Home is where the heart is..

When I come back to an empty house, I miss home.

When I reach home after a long day, I wish the lights were already on.
I wish someone opened the door for me, I hate to open it with the keys..

If I reach late, I look for a Dad who would say " What took you so long dear..?"
I miss the smell of fresh food filling the rooms, the whistles of the pressure cooker.
I hate cooking just for myself, mostly instant noodles, or oats. 

When I come back to an empty house, I miss home.

A sister who does not stop chattering about her day in college.
A brother who fights for the TV remote.
When I am tired, I look for Mum, to caresses my hair.

The cold room with empty walls makes me feel lonely.
When I come back to an empty house, I miss home.

I miss the home which is warm with love and care.
The home, where I enter and I am completely myself. 
Leaving behind the world of competition, pursuits and chases.
Shut the door behind to fear and commotion.

When I come back to an empty house, I miss home.

I miss being called by my pet name. 
Sometimes, I wish to be taken care of. 
Like a small kid.
Tired of being independent, and alone.
Going back to my house everyday, I miss going home.

The dreadful dilemma.

Children grow up with their parents.
And parents grow old without their children.

A lonely mother.
She is left with just stories and memories.
of her children.
who stay far away, in some metro city, or in a foreign land.

She happily tells all her relatives,
that her son lives in America, works in a Big company.
Owns a flat, a car, and what not.

She happily says that her children live a life of abundance.

But, at night, when she eats alone, with no one but the TV talking to her, she longs for her son.
When she struggles to change the settings of the Air Conditioner,
she wishes her daughter was around.

She misses them. She wants them to be with her.
She was all along when her children were growing up.
But, now, she is alone, when she is growing old.

She has a smart phone in her hand, with her son's picture on it.
She longs to hug him. But she can only touch the touch screen of the iphone her son sent her from the US.

When she needs a hand to climb up the stairs, she sheds a silent tear,
She does not cook a lavish spread, just few loafs of bread.
For whom shall she cook, she thinks.
But she tells the next door aunty very happily that her son's visa has been renewed.
And the daughter in law also has gotten a job there.

And within her, her heart sinks that her children might never come home,
except for a week in a year.
And may be, she will have to eat her food with the TV, till the last day of her life.

But she says nothing.

P.S : No intentions to hurt anyone, or judge one's choices in life. Purely personal thoughts.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Share the Load. We do.

We share our life with each other. We share passwords. We share the ice cream, so, do we share the household work. And that’s what keeps us all the more close and attached. Sharing the domestic responsibilities is perhaps one of the best ways to tell your partner that, whatever life has to offer, we are together- to enjoy it, to bear it, and to live it.

We make walking in the departmental store to buy groceries, as romantic as sitting on the beach, hand in hand, watching the sunset.
He knows what flavor of Rasna I like, and I make sure I do not forget to get those orange candies he loves. While I select the best shaving gel for him, he picks up the best shampoo according to my hair type. Buying groceries for the month cannot be a mundane affair if the partners consider this otherwise boring activity, a way to show how much they care about each other’s like and dislike.

When the maid does not show up, it is fun to divide the cleaning up tasks. I scrub the utensils, and he washes them. Because he says that my nails are too delicate to bear the harsh dish wash soap. And I know, he likes playing with soap bubbles, so scrubbing the dishes is kinda play for him, so I let him do that. And the playful splashing of water and bubbles on each other is all that makes dish washing so much fun and enjoyable.

While I wash the clothes in the washing machine, he dries them on the clothesline. Because that requires more physical strength, according to him. He is Man of the house, he says J So, he chooses to do the difficult jobs himself.
Cooking is not just a routine business. He is fond of eating, as well as cooking. And I know the fact well that the way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach. So, if I surprise him with his favorite dinner on a Friday evening, when he is late from work, he is ready with my favorite breakfast on the Sunday morning. So, there are culinary surprises for each other at least a couple of times in a week. We add the most important ingredient to all the food we cook- Love. And that makes everything just yummy.

And how can I forget that if he is at home, and we need chopped onions, he never lets me do it. He would do it himself, always. He says, he cannot see me in tears.

I never felt that since I am the woman, so it is just my duty to manage the household.
Maintaining the wardrobe is one task we both despise. So, we take turns. If we need a plumber, I call and get things done. He hates calling people. But when it comes to paying the bills, it is his department. So, I hardly worry about the savings and the spending.
I make the bed at night, he folds the bed sheets in the morning. And I being the obsessed one to decorate the house with stuff, he just plays the role of a critic. Yes, take this, this is good. Not this one, not that great. Even that is fun.

We make house a home - out of love.

Love is not just telling each other the three words. I see deep love in my husband’s eyes, when he makes me coffee in the morning. We respect each other’s role in making life easy and comfortable for one another.

As many of my friends dread that being  a mother will only squeeze out energy and time out of life, and it would be more trouble than joy. But, I am quite sure, that the bundle of joy in our life, will bring in more love, and togetherness. Because, we share every responsibility equally. It's not only me who will have to change diapers or rock the cradle all night. 

Marriage is a lovely journey. And each moment, each activity, when done together, can be joyful. Imagining the wife does all the household chores, and the husband does his part of the duties, would make life so boring. Sharing the load makes each other feel cared for. It unites the two. It strengthens the bond. Makes both the partners feel equal. Feel respectful for each other. And, in fact, the load does not seem a load at all. All of it becomes memories worth cherishing.

P.S; I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at in association with Ariel.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Dil ki Deal!

A mother-in-law can be a great friend. Doing something for her can be so gratifying, I realised only after I did it for the first time.
A few months after my wedding, she came to stay with us for a few months. There were multiple layers of formalities and hesitation between me and her. She was quite affectionate and loving and we had a cordial relation, but still, there was an invisible wall between us, thin though. We were not very expressive with each other. Something was there, unwanted, which had to be removed.
From all that I had come to know of her from my husband, she had had a very sacrificing life, drudging for the family, side-lining her wishes and desires. And as any woman would have, she had a secret wish to wear a diamond. But given the financial constraints and responsibilities, she could never have one. Decades of struggle and penury had killed her dreams. Her life revolved around her children and their wellbeing.
At times, she would say that all her friends have so much abundance, I could never have anything. But never did she look sad. She seemed eternally content. Looking at her, I would always feel that mothers are indeed divine beings.
I started working after a month of my wedding. I decided I will give her a present from my first salary. A surprise. A diamond!
My salary arrived. I had never been to a jewelry store. Let alone buy a diamond.
My husband and I gathered all information we could and fixed a date and went to the store. We both felt like little kids walking into an adult-goods store.
We finally selected a pair of earrings. A bit higher than our budget. And made the purchase.
Maa was away on a trip and there was still a week left for her to return. I was way too excited to surprise her.
I would keep imagining the situation all the time. …”I will place the gift in her cupboard with a note, before I go to office, and then let her find out for herself….. “No, I will give it to her myself, and see her expressions when she opens it…” I was waiting for her. And was praying that she likes it.
We went to the railway station to pick her up.  We reached home and by no means could I hold the excitement.
I asked her to close her eyes. Confused, she did. I stood before her with the gift box in my hand.
My heart was beating fast. Waiting to see her reaction.
She opened her eyes, and was amused! She took the present, but kept on asking what was inside. I asked her to open it. She did, and perhaps my eyes said something that she understood. She was overwhelmed with emotions.
I said, “Maa, these are the first diamonds of your life. Many more to come”.
She looked at the diamonds, and I saw tiny little diamonds at the corner of her eyes. May be, the memories of the good old days, when my late father-in-law would have promised her diamonds, came fresh.
She hugged me tight and said, “I had always longed for a daughter, and I have got one now. I have the most precious jewel now, which is you. More than these diamonds, the feelings and thoughts you have for me, is just priceless.  No one has ever made me feel so special.  I wish your father-in-law was amongst us today, he would have been so proud of you.”
And I saw us shedding a few drops of love and joy from our eyes. And that was the moment we ceased being a mom-in-law and daughter-in-law pair. We were just mom and daughter.
And also, that same moment, that invisible wall of hesitation and formality just disappeared.
Now, I share almost everything with her, and she does the same. This was my dil ki deal. And what followed was indeed magical.

I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal