Posted in Nature

My Neighbours: The Army

Their spy network is the best in world. Their eyes are everywhere looking for hidden contraband. We have tried hiding ‘stuff’ from them in places never heard of before, but without success. Somehow, they always find it, and confiscate it for further investigation, and then detain it to run the smell and taste tests to ensure they are indeed edible.

Long story short, we never see it again.

It is indeed a war of wits between me and an army of passionate foodies. Once I open a box of anything edible, I spot one of them scouting around. I try hiding the food, immediately covering it to break the spell…the smell. But it is already too late.

Within seconds, a chain reaction begins. Each of them tells another on the way, and a line begins forming around the box–sharp eyes, sharp stings, shopping bags at the ready; looking for a way to break through the barriers and reach the on-Sale items within.

The trick is to move the ‘stuff’ around so it isn’t sitting in the same place for more than a few minutes.

Sometimes I win, but mostly, I try to act like I don’t mind them gobbling down my food. As if I can stop them if I want. Just a perspective change rather then admit defeat…


Free image by Maksim Shutove on Unsplash

Posted in Random Thoughts

A Cheesy Tale

Author’s note: Here is an excerpt from Three Men in a Boat (1893) by Jerome K. Jerome. I have never been fond of Margarita Cheese in Pizzas. When my husband decided to order a Margarita pizza for daughter, I strongly refrained. Here’s the Cheesy tale that led to it…

.

I remember a friend of mine, buying a couple of cheeses at Liverpool. Splendid cheeses they were, ripe and mellow, and with a two hundred horse-power scent about them that might have been warranted to carry three miles, and knock a man over at two hundred yards. I was in Liverpool at the time, and my friend said that if I didn’t mind he would get me to take them back with me to London, as he should not be coming up for a day or two himself, and he did not think the cheeses ought to be kept much longer.
“Oh, with pleasure, dear boy,” I replied, “with pleasure.” I called for the cheeses, and took them away in a cab. It was a ramshackle affair, dragged along by a knock-kneed, broken-winded somnambulist, which
his owner, in a moment of enthusiasm, during conversation, referred to as a horse. I put the cheeses on the top, and we started off at a shamble that would have done credit to the swiftest steam-roller ever built, and all went merry as a
funeral bell, until we turned the corner. There, the wind carried a whiff from the cheeses full on to our steed. It woke him up, and, with a snort of terror, he dashed off at three miles an hour. The wind still blew in his direction, and before we reached the end of the street he was laying himself out at the rate of nearly four miles an hour, leaving the cripples and stout old ladies simply nowhere.

It took two porters as well as the driver to hold him in at the station; and I do not think they would have done it, even then, had not one of the men had the presence of mind to put a handkerchief over his nose, and to light a bit of brown paper. I took my ticket, and marched proudly up the platform, with my cheeses, the people falling back respectfully on either side. The train was crowded, and I
had to get into a carriage where there were already seven other people. One
crusty old gentleman objected, but I got in, notwithstanding; and, putting my cheeses upon the rack, squeezed down with a pleasant smile, and said it was a warm day.
A few moments passed, and then the old gentleman began to fidget.
“Very close in here,” he said.
“Quite oppressive,” said the man next him.
And then they both began sniffing, and, at the third sniff, they caught it right on the chest, and rose up without another word and went out. And then a stout lady got up, and said it was disgraceful that a respectable married woman should be harried about in this way, and gathered up a bag and eight parcels and went. The remaining four passengers sat on for a while, until a solemn-looking man in the corner, who, from his dress and general appearance, seemed to belong to the undertaker class, said it put him in mind of dead baby; and the other three passengers tried to get out of the door at the same time, and
hurt themselves.
I smiled at the black gentleman, and said I thought we were going to have the carriage to ourselves; and he laughed pleasantly, and said that some people made such a fuss over a little thing. But even he grew strangely depressed after we had started, and so, when we reached Crewe, I asked him to come and
have a drink. He accepted, and we forced our way into the buffet, where we yelled, and stamped, and waved our umbrellas for a quarter of an hour; and then a young lady came, and asked us if we wanted anything.
“What’s yours?” I said, turning to my friend.
“I’ll have half-a-crown’s worth of brandy, neat, if you please, miss,” he
responded.
And he went off quietly after he had drunk it and got into another carriage, which I thought mean.
From Crewe I had the compartment to myself, though the train was crowded.
As we drew up at the different stations, the people, seeing my empty carriage, would rush for it. “Here y’ are, Maria; come along, plenty of room.”

“All right, Tom; we’ll get in here,” they would shout. And they would run along, carrying heavy bags, and fight round the door to get in first. And one would open the door and mount the steps, and stagger back into the arms of the man behind him; and they would all come and have a sniff, and then droop off and squeeze into other carriages, or pay the difference and go first.
From Euston, I took the cheeses down to my friend’s house. When his wife
came into the room she smelt round for an instant. Then she said: “What is it? Tell me the worst.”
I said: “It’s cheeses. Tom bought them in Liverpool, and asked me to bring them up with me.”
And I added that I hoped she understood that it had nothing to do with me; and she said that she was sure of that, but that she would speak to Tom about it when he came back.
My friend was detained in Liverpool longer than he expected; and, three days later, as he hadn’t returned home, his wife called on me. She said:
“What did Tom say about those cheeses?”
I replied that he had directed they were to be kept in a moist place, and that nobody was to touch them.
She said: “Nobody’s likely to touch them. Had he smelt them?”
I thought he had, and added that he seemed greatly attached to them.
“You think he would be upset,” she queried, “if I gave a man a sovereign to take them away and bury them?”
I answered that I thought he would never smile again.
An idea struck her. She said: “Do you mind keeping them for him? Let me send them round to you.”
“Madam,” I replied, “for myself I like the smell of cheese, and the journey the other day with them from Liverpool I shall ever look back upon as a happy ending to a pleasant holiday. But, in this world, we must consider others. The lady under whose roof I have the honour of residing is a widow, and, for all I
know, possibly an orphan too. She has a strong, I may say an eloquent, objection to being what she terms ‘put upon.’ The presence of your husband’s
cheeses in her house she would, I instinctively feel, regard as a ‘put upon’; and it shall never be said that I put upon the widow and the orphan.”
“Very well, then,” said my friend’s wife, rising, “all I have to say is, that I
shall take the children and go to an hotel until those cheeses are eaten. I decline to live any longer in the same house with them.”


She kept her word, leaving the place in charge of the charwoman, who, when asked if she could stand the smell, replied, “What smell?” and who, when taken close to the cheeses and told to sniff hard, said she could detect a faint odour of melons. It was argued from this that little injury could result to the woman from the atmosphere, and she was left. The hotel bill came to fifteen guineas; and my friend, after reckoning everything up, found that the cheeses had cost him eight-and-sixpence a pound. He said he dearly loved a bit of cheese, but it was beyond his means; so he determined to get rid of them. He threw them into the canal; but had to
fish them out again, as the bargemen complained. They said it made them feel quite faint. And, after that, he took them one dark night and left them in the parish mortuary. But the coroner discovered them, and made a fearful fuss. He said it was a plot to deprive him of his living by waking up the corpses.
My friend got rid of them, at last, by taking them down to a sea-side town, and burying them on the beach. It gained the place quite a reputation. Visitors said they had never noticed before how strong the air was, and weak-chested and consumptive people used to throng there for years afterwards.

Posted in Life and After, Twisted Tales

Santa’s Sweatshop

This nutcase needs Psychiatric help, not a gym. He told me he needs to lose 80 pounds in three months! While I am the best gum instructor in the town, I am no magician. While the goal is herculean for a 30-something, this guy is ancient…

I asked him what the hurry was, and he said that he must be able to go down the chimneys on Christmas; that even his ‘magic’ cannot squeeze him through the too narrow chimneys in modular kitchens. Initially, I wondered whether he’s a thief, but if he is, he must be a retired one…no fitness whatsoever. His belly overflows out of his red gym pyjamas and his red shirt is the size of a picnic tent.

Did I tell you, he has a fetish for red colour–red gym clothes, red cap, red shoes and red overcoat. I even got a glimpse of his red underwear while he was tying shoelaces one day. Seriously, who does he think he is? Santa Claus?

Maybe he’s Schizophrenic…he even registered his name as Nicholas, you know Santa Claus’s real name…and no ID to go with it. And the first day, he came on a sleigh with a reindeer that caused a traffic jam. Thankfully, he comes in a car now…a red car with reindeer print.

With his white flowing beard tucked into his pockets, so it wouldn’t get stuck in the Treadmill, he walks at a snail’s pace. And begins complaining of the ‘strenuous regime’ after five minutes. He says he is too old for cardio, and doesn’t have the muscles for weights.

Not sure how he’s going to lose weight before I lose it. Yesterday, I had to take him aside and clarify that he should either up his game or go for a weight-loss surgery.

That didn’t improve his walking, but at least, he is not complaining anymore.

Thank god for small mercies!


Free photo by Jack Hunter on Unsplash

Posted in Nature

My Neighbours: The Shopping Spree

It is 12.02 IST. I just saw around fifty buttery-yellow-white butterflies and several bees flying in the same direction.

It wasn’t a Let’s-go-on-a-community-picnic flying…

It was Gucci-has-90%-off-on-all-products and Hugh-Jackman’s-in-the-shop-signing-autographs flying…

There was a race in small groups with a lot of jostling and I was wondering where the party is. I saw it all in a couple of minutes at the window.

I wanted to stay longer and to see if there are more butterflies in the area and wait for them to return with bags of autographed merchandise, but I had a virtual meeting exactly at the moment. Sigh!


Free Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash

Posted in My life, Twisted Tales

The Hare, the Tortise, and the Storysmith’s Daughter

My three-year old daughter demands me stories nearly all day. I try to wave off the requests most of the times, since it means overusing my brain, which is already fried by listening and singing nursery rhymes, and dealing with petty quarrels regarding property rights over various animals, dolls, lego blocks and kitchen set, apart from building the training courses for clients.

My favourite way to wave off the request is to ask my daughter to tell me a story before I tell her one. Usually, she asks me to excuse her to deal with an ‘important matter’ and leaves the vicinity until I had forgotten the request (my daughter through and through). A few days back, though, after multiple requests, she acquised to tell me a story of the Hare and the Tortoise.

As most of you would know, the original story was about a race between a vain but fast Hare and a humble but slow Tortoise. The vain Hare underestimates his competitor and sleeps off half way through the race and wakes up to find that the Tortoise has reached the finish line. I was expecting a retelling of the same tale.

However, this is the tale she told me (in Hindi).

There was a Hare 🐰 who was going to market to buy some carrots 🥕(?), because all Hare love carrots 🐰💕🥕.

He met a Tortoise 🐢 on the way who asked him nicely if he could join him–he needed to buy some carrots too 🥕 (??), because all Tortoise love carrots too 🐢💕🥕.

So, off they went merrily 🐇🐢. (Not sure when the race will begin!)

On the way, they met an Elephant 🐘 (???) who asked them not so nicely to carry him to the market because he wanted to buy some carrots too (because, obviously, all elephants love carrots too, 🐘 💕🥕). Or else he will step on them 😡.

So the Hare punched him 👊 (That was one strong Hare!), and then, he pulled the Tortoise on his back and ran to the market. 🐇🐢💨 (AHA!!!)

Then, they, bought carrots🥕, and happily ate them.

Author’s mother’s note: Well, what can I say,  I love carrots too…🤣🤣🤣

Posted in Life and After, Love

The Day of Reunions

Author’s note: The story doesn’t intend to disrespect anyone based on their parentage. It just speaks of a person who has been raised in the society that gives more credit to birth than ability.

Karna is a central character in Mahabharata, the longest and most revered epic in Sanskrit. He is the illegitimate son of the Sun God and Princess Kunti. He faces too many caste-based prejudices because he is raised by a low-caste Charioteer. Visit Wikipedia to know more about him. This story is set in the morning of the longest day of his life–when he joins the greatest war of ancient history.

Karna was fuming after his conversation with the Sun God–his real father. His entire life was a lie.

For nearly seventy years, he had believed he was the son of a lowly Charioteer. He had struggled with casteism for every privilege reserved for higher castes: education, power and rightful recognition as the world’s best warrior. But the world had jeered at him, declining him a single chance to show his true mettle, simply because he wasn’t born in a Kshatriya family. If it wasn’t for Prince Duryodhan who made him the king of Angadesh, he would be scrubbing horses and sleeping in stables.

And today, when Prince Duryodhan has given him the chance to lead his army in the greatest of all wars against his illegitimate cousins–the Pandavas, the war that may finally give him the recognition he had always craved for…

He had arrived at the river to pray to the Sun God as usual, and there he was, standing in all his glory, to tell him that he was a Prince, a Kshatriya, a demi-god…

And a bastard!

He couldn’t remember how many times in his life had he wished to have the royal blood, so that he could be an equal of his best friend. Now he did–as the eldest son of Rajmata Kunti, born while she was still unmarried. She still has a brood of five similar sons, the Pandavas, ‘blessings’ from five gods after her marriage to the impotent King Pandu. Her husband had approved of them. He, on the other hand, was born before marriage and she had cast him away in the river.

He had never hated Arjun so much before–his arch-enemy was now his step-brother. She had kept him and the other four sons, raised them as kind princes and capable warriors who were respected and loved by all, while he lived his life as Duryodhan’s lapdog. He might be a king, but his subjects clearly didn’t approve.

The number of times he had jeered at Pandavas because of their many fathers…it all came back to him. Now, he was one of them. What would his best friend think of him now? Will he still let him lead his army?

As he finished his daily prayers, he could see Kunti at a distance, hesitating from approaching him. He gave the customary bow and waited for her to speak.

“How are you, Son?” She had always addressed him as “Son”. But today, he could understand the true meaning of the word.

“My lady, how can I serve you today?”

“I came to see my son today.”

He could see her steeling herself for the onslaught. He had no pity for her. “There is none here. You should perhaps look a little further in the Pandavas’ camp.”

Undeterred, she continued, “I’ve come to see my first-born, the son of the Sun God, born with the fiery temper of his father–who will be the next King of Hastinapur (Delhi).”

“Hastinapur belongs to the true descendants of King Shantanu. It is not up to a woman to give it away to those who have the blood of several unknown men”, he dealt a low blow.

She stood strong though, “The true descendant of Shantanu do not deserve to be kings. They are vain and self-serving. They do not know justice and their subjects are mere means to fulfill their ends. They keep vile company that advises them to destroy their people and businesses. Their best men are hog-tied by oath to serve the king, incapable of stopping injustice, and they stand by watching women being raped in public.”

“And am I not one of the vile company? As far as I remember, I am Duryodhan’s best friend.”

“You are, but Pandavas–your brothers–are capable administrators and advisors. They had given 26 years of their lives to make Hastinapur a land of opportunity–converting arid lands to fertile farms, and dense forests infested by demons into fruit orchards. They had invited farmers, tradesmen and craftsmen from different kingdoms with a promise of a peaceful and luxurios life–a promise they had fullfilled as long as they ruled. They can do it again, with you on the throne.”

“Ah! Bribing me into changing sides. So that I won’t kill your precious sons…”

“I am not afraid of my sons dying. They are Kshatriyas–born to fight. They have lived a long life. A death in the battle field will only bring them further glory. It is you that I am afraid for. Will you be able to look yourself in the mirror, knowing that you killed able and just kings who were the best chance their subjects had? Knowing they were your younger brothers?”

“You speak as if you know me, as if you care for me…you let me deal with seventy years of humiliation. You knew who I was, and yet, you let your sons disrespect me by calling me a ‘Charioteer’s son’. You never spoke up for me, and yet, you dare to call me ‘Son’? You bribe me with throne and family, respect and metarnal love, and expect me to forget that all this has been denied to me for seventy years?”

“Son…disowning you was a mistake. But I was only fourteen and scared of society. I wanted to own you up later when I saw you at the Royal games fifty years back.”

“Then, why didn’t you?”

“Arjun had called you a Charioteer’s son, but you had held your head up. In return, Duryodhan had called Arjun a “Bastard”. The look of disgrace you gave Arjun at that moment…I realised that it was better for you to never share the fate of being my son.”


Illustrated by Ammpryt ART

Posted in Random Thoughts

Calling a Man in

Author’s note: My father and husband refrain from calling a man in to do ‘simple stuff’. Here is an accurate description of the scene that ensues when they ‘get at it’. This excerpt from Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, written in 1889, has really nailed it.

You never saw such a commotion up and down a house, in all your life, as when my Uncle Podger undertook to do a job. A picture would have come home from the frame- maker’s, and be standing in the dining-room, waiting to be put up; and Aunt Podger would ask what was to be done with it, and Uncle Podger would say:

“Oh, you leave that to ME. Don’t you, any of you, worry yourselves about that.
I’LL do all that.”

And then he would take off his coat, and begin. He would send the girl out for sixpen’orth of nails, and then one of the boys after her to tell her what size to get; and, from that, he would gradually work down, and start the whole house.

“Now you go and get me my hammer, Will,” he would shout; “and you bring me the rule, Tom; and I shall want the step-ladder, and I had better have a kitchen-chair, too; and, Jim! you run round to Mr. Goggles, and tell him, `Pa’s kind regards, and hopes his leg’s better; and will he lend him his spirit-level?’ And don’t you go, Maria, because I shall want somebody to hold me the light; and when the girl comes back, she must go out again for a bit of picture-cord; and Tom! – where’s Tom? – Tom, you come here; I shall want you to hand me up the picture.”

And then he would lift up the picture, and drop it, and it would come out of the frame, and he would try to save the glass, and cut himself; and then he would spring round the room, looking for his handkerchief. He could not find his handkerchief, because it was in the pocket of the coat he had taken off, and he did not know where he had put the coat, and all the house had to leave off looking for his tools, and start looking for his coat; while he would dance round and hinder them.

“Doesn’t anybody in the whole house know where my coat is? I never came across such a set in all my life – upon my word I didn’t. Six of you! – and you can’t find a coat that I put down not five minutes ago! Well, of all the – “Then he’d get up, and find that he had been sitting on it, and would call out: “Oh, you can give it up! I’ve found it myself now. Might just as well ask the cat to find anything as expect you people to find it.”

And, when half an hour had been spent in tying up his finger, and a new glass had been got, and the tools, and the ladder, and the chair, and the candle had been brought, he would have another go, the whole family, including the girl and the charwoman, standing round in a semi-circle, ready to help. Two people would have to hold the chair, and a third would help him up on it, and hold him there, and a fourth would hand him a nail, and a fifth would pass him up the hammer, and he would take hold of the nail, and drop it.

“There!” he would say, in an injured tone, “now the nail’s gone.”

And we would all have to go down on our knees and grovel for it, while he would stand on the chair, and grunt, and want to know if he was to be kept there all the evening.

The nail would be found at last, but by that time he would have lost the hammer. “Where’s the hammer? What did I do with the hammer? Great heavens! Seven of you, gaping round there, and you don’t know what I did with the hammer!”

We would find the hammer for him, and then he would have lost sight of the mark he had made on the wall, where the nail was to go in, and each of us had to get up on the chair, beside him, and see if we could find it; and we would each discover it in a different place, and he would call us all fools, one after another, and tell us to get down. And he would take the rule, and re-measure, and find that he wanted half thirty-one and three-eighths inches from the corner, and would try to do it in his head, and go mad. And we would all try to do it in our heads, and all arrive at different results, and sneer at one another. And in the general row, the original number would be forgotten, and Uncle Podger would have to measure it again.

He would use a bit of string this time, and at the critical moment, when the old fool was leaning over the chair at an angle of forty-five, and trying to reach a point three inches beyond what was possible for him to reach, the string would slip, and down he would slide on to the piano, a really fine musical effect being produced by the suddenness with which his head and body struck all the notes at the same time.

And Aunt Maria would say that she would not allow the children to stand round and hear such language.

At last, Uncle Podger would get the spot fixed again, and put the point of the nail on it with his left hand, and take the hammer in his right hand. And, with the first blow, he would smash his thumb, and drop the hammer, with a yell, on somebody’s toes.

Aunt Maria would mildly observe that, next time Uncle Podger was going to hammer a nail into the wall, she hoped he’d let her know in time, so that she could make arrangements to go and spend a week with her mother while it was being done.

“Oh! you women, you make such a fuss over everything,” Uncle Podger would reply, picking himself up. “Why, I LIKE doing a little job of this sort.”

And then he would have another try, and, at the second blow, the nail would go clean through the plaster, and half the hammer after it, and Uncle Podger be precipitated against the wall with force nearly sufficient to flatten his nose. Then we had to find the rule and the string again, and a new hole was made; and, about midnight, the picture would be up – very crooked and insecure, the wall for yards round looking as if it had been smoothed down with a rake, and everybody dead beat and wretched – except Uncle Podger.

“There you are,” he would say, stepping heavily off the chair on to the charwoman’s corns, and surveying the mess he had made with evident pride. “Why, some people would have had a man in to do a little thing like that!”

Posted in Random Thoughts

The Collar Around My Neck

I’ve a collar around my neck

though I can’t see it.

I feel it every time

my master, the Time,

pulls the leash.

I wag my invisible tail then

and run around

doing tricks, expecting treats.

The smallest of delay

tightens the collar

around my neck

as Time pulls me

towards the next task,

reminding me

how little I mean to him.

I am just a means to the end.

Author’s note: Do you ever feel the same?

Posted in Random Thoughts

Ignoring the Elephant in the Room

Elephant on wheels for the freedom of movement

My daughter is big on animals. She owns a huge assortment of wild and farm animals in her 1 square meter ranch. Lions, Tigers, Leopards accompany her wherever she goes, when they are not hunting Zebras, Horses, Sheep, Goats and Girraffes, or having random scuffles with Elephants, Hippos and Rhinos. The Dog, the Cat, the Monkey and the many Bears are rather soft and don’t get into the matters of these lesser beings.

Whatever is lacking in this assortment, she makes up for it through lego blocks.

After getting through the Horses, Hens and Birds suggested by the Lego booklet, she moved into unchartered waters–the stuff that was clearly beyond the imagination of the game designer. She started from mammals like Giraffes and Elephants, went on to build Flamingoes, Snakes and Crocodiles. She hasn’t forgotten insects and has created houseflies and bees. Spiders are next on the list.

And now she has begun resurrecting Dinosaurs and Dragons.

As I try to ignore the dragons flying around the house and the dinosaurs chomping down the wooden furniture, and step around the many elephants and giraffes, I fear of what I’ve unleashed on the world when I decided to buy Lego for my daughter.

I hope my love for my daughter does not return the world to Jurassic Age.

A pair of dragons currently nursing a fresh brood of babies in our backyard
Posted in Love, Nature

My Neighbours: The Guy in Tailcoat

Sometimes, you just don’t know what to say to a uninvited guest, specially someone who is all decked up for the occasion.

When this guy showed up on the pretext of ‘just being around and curious of the huge doll house’, it was clear that things were not as they seem to be.

Our cue: He was wearing a tailcoat. I hadn’t invited him to my marriage’s dinner celebration, did I?

The guy was unapologetic as he leaned on one wall and made small talk about the ‘nice green walls’ and improving ecology, clearly not in a hurry to leave anytime soon. I wondered what had actually brought him here, until I found his attention wavering towards the wall behind me too often and his smile becoming too charming…where Stella, the Spider, was weaving her new house that sparkled like a rainbow in the sunlight. It had also caught some cute dew drops from the night before–pearls of finest quality.

The guy dropped all pretence of making a conversation, looking at her unblinking. He had stopped breathing, I think.

I could clearly see where it would all lead. All I can say is that Stella has got herself a very willing catch!

Someone call a priest!

Posted in Random Thoughts

Blunt

I’m blunt. It saves me the effort of remembering what I said to whom, and when and why. Having said that, I am also a blunt knife–I take what people say in the face value, believing their honesty even when the stakes are rather high.

Every time, a rather sharp part of my brain shrieks in despair–Liar! Liar! I ignore it like a ditched boyfriend, and move on with the said “Liar’s” version of truth. The habit has costed me a lot of money, tears and immeasurable heartache. But I haven’t learnt yet. As I said, I am not the sharpest knife in the kitchen.

My previous job as a recruiter is an example of how easy it is to fool me. A candidate could tell me that he didn’t make it to the interview since his mother-in-law has died…twice in a week…and I will give him a benefit of doubt.

It is easy to hoodwink me and run away with any loans you can take from me and any valuables I have on my person at that point of time. It is also easy to feign friendship with me only to break my heart later–it has too many dents to count.

Still, I am none the wiser from the experience, simply because it hurts to remember that the world, in general, cannot be believed.

Posted in My life, Random Thoughts

A Personal Grudge

For many months, COVID 19 had been a faraway nightmare, stalking closer everyday but never really touching.

A week back, I got news that a family that is very dear to me was suffering from COVID 19. One of my father’s oldest friends and his wife were hospitalised and their health was deteriorating. His elder son, daughter-in-law and grandson had symptoms too with constant fever, hence they were quarantined at their house and not able to meet him. His younger son was halfway across the country.

He died a couple of days back in ICU without meeting his children–people he had loved and raised with care. His wife was in another ward, and didn’t see him in his last minutes of struggle. I, whom he had accepted and loved with all my eccentricities, wasn’t able to see him, because he was quarantined. He made his last journey to electric Crematorium without any rites. He did not deserve this.

Before you assume that he had risked it and taken a long vacation in Goa or went clubbing… No, he did not venture out of his house, nor did his wife, daughter-in-law or grandson. The disease came to him from his son’s office where he had to go because he had to keep his job–the office where two other colleagues were found COVID positive.

COVID 19 is officially a personal enemy now. It has taken away a part of my childhood. I am usually not the one to cry, but tears keep falling as I can’t stop thinking of the time I had spent in his house sitting, cracking jokes and watching Tennis matches. He was a sweet person who cared for those around him; one person I could trust completely. He certainly did not deserve this. His family did not deserve this.

So, any of us who think that COVID 19 happens only to others and that we can run around being wild while other people are stuck at home–this is a wake-up call. It is your family you are risking, or your neighbours, or your best friend’s family…

So, please, follow the rules:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Wash the stuff from outside with soap and water, including green grocery.
  • Use electronic payments wherever you can, so you don’t have to touch money, which is one of the biggest contributor in the disease.
  • Most importantly, if your business can be run from home, please don’t make employees come to office. They too have elderly parents and children at home.

Stay safe. Help keep others safe.

Posted in Life and After

Bound and Gagged

We found her drenched in the street,
trying to hide her face,
blue in places,
red in others,
puffy eyes, puffy lips,
wincing when her daughter
hugged her,
crying when we helped her
out of wet clothes
to reveal the blacks and blues.

Denied sanctuary by her parents,
she sought refuge in her progeny,
only to return the next day
to the monster
who would never learn.

Posted in Love

Dewdrop’s One Night Stand

Spent the night

wrapped in his arms,

his scent enveloping my senses.

believing in true love,

that moulds his soul into my tiny being.

Cocooned, I willed myself immortality.

Come morning,

his arms will leave me

and the sunlight will break the spell.

Dry will I

and leave this world to become a cloud.

But I will rain down upon him,

only to stay the night in his arms again

and again

till eternity…

Posted in Random Thoughts

I would rather be…

I would rather be

A cloud–eternally free

Unlike the Sun bound to the Earth

taking a set path each day;

Unlike the Moon bound to the Earth

Showing the same side of its face;

Unlike the stars bound to the Earth

By their place in the sky,

Open to prying eye;

Unlike the birds bound to the Earth

By their desire to come home each night.

A cloud I would rather be–

Eternally free

To fly with the wind;

To be whatever I want,

Not bound to the limits of a form;

Unbound to the Earth…


Photo by Ammpryt ART

Posted in Nature

I am Ron Weasley

Some of you might have heard of my post about the rebellion amongst the minions in my castle. Bees, wasps and spiders had taken over the place as a revenge for Eid-cleaning. We had been hiding out in the tunnel that Matthew, the rat, had built last year. In return, we had to promise to never use the not-so-poisonous rat poison that his kids were addicted to. He said it was disgraceful in extreme to find his kids rolling around the drains, and the new rats–that were moving in to try the ‘stuff’–were bad influence!

Well! So, we hid there for around a fortnight, until we were able to sign a peace treaty with the rebels. It includes the No Wall Cleaning, No Honey Usage and No Destruction of Web/Nest/Hive clauses.

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I can finally truly empathize with Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter book. The way he confessed his fear for spiders. Remember the scene of Aragog’s lair? Spiders roughly the size of a car covering every inch of the space and crowding around the heroes clicking their pincers. It is my recurring dream now.

My three-year old daughter decided to commemorate the occasion(?) of treaty with the following painting.

You can see three humans–Me in the front, baby in the middle and W covering our backs– as we run away from the spiders that surround us.

And we end up running right into them, like a zombie horror show, alien attack or End-of-World movie. The pictures came too close for comfort!

If you find too many legs on each spider in the picture, I must remind you, my daughter is a pro, and takes creative liberty in her pieces. Moreover, it is the thought that counts. Eeeek!

Posted in My life

The Curious Case of M&S

We were born to different mothers 22 days apart in different cities, so we can’t be twins. M is Snow White, I am Pocahontas–both in looks and in attitude. Still, it feels like we share the same soul…not in a romantic way, but the way twins do–we feel each other’s pain and happiness miles apart.

Twenty years back, I met this pretty girl outside our Bachelor’s Painting class. She was a girly-girl who managed household responsibilities and fed the four dwarfs. I was a tom-boyish adventurer who would rather run around than cook. Roughly, you can call it love at first sight. I say ‘roughly’ because our relationship didn’t have a romantic angle. It is the comradery; friendship that belied all logic; the deep need to stick together without reason; and the empathy that crosses the border of sanity.

I remember instances like the sudden pain in my toe while sleeping and limping to college next day, only to meet her limping outside college having stubbed the same toe at the same moment at her home.

It became a habit. Some days, I would feel a sudden urge to laugh. Then, I’d call her to ask what’s the joke. Or I’d be feeling down over some matter and get a call from her to ask why I was sad.

We liked the same things. Her friends were forced to accept me as an unavoidable menace.

We had both behaved like grown ups during childhood. Together, at 18, we found our childhood. Our opinion was always different. But we agreed to fist fight over it and then laugh it off. No hard feelings ever. Our classmates often asked us if we had come from the same school. Some even suspected us to be sisters.

We fit beautifully together like pieces of jigsaw puzzle. We didn’t know what we were missing until we found each other. Life has pulled us apart for a long time, but every time I feel an emotion that didn’t fit the context, I think of her. Every laughter, every pain, every itch, every mood that isn’t really mine, reminds me of the other part of my soul–the one that will return to me once our bodies are gone.

Heathcliff waits for Katherine. Wuthering Heights gives me hope and solace.


Photo by Briana Tozour on Unsplash