Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Does a kind word hide a hidden agenda? Do favours given mean liberties expected? Does concern hide an obsession? Does rain cloak death? And does the sun always burn?

Its a mad, unpredictable, confusing world and we live crazy, chaotic loud, screaming lives. A phone call tells you that someone is thinking of you, or does it say that someone is watching you, following you?

Someone says no and someone ignores it. Someone breaks trust and someone looks the other way. Another excuses it, justifies it. Where is trust? Where is faith? Where is the ability to believe?

Where is unconditional love? Where is the need to keep the other happy? Where is sacrifice and the unconditional joy of giving? Have we grown so old? Are our memory of such things just that... a memory?

Its a new day though... or maybe its yesterday... who can say. Age takes it toll, there is confusion, memory deserts...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I dreamt of rain last night.....

I dreamt of rain last night. Sheets and sheets of water drenching me to the skin. A storm brewing. The thrill of shattering vibrations. Strands of lightning licking the midnight sky. Splashes of sizzling electricity slicing the darkness.
The storm calms me. I like the serenity I feel inside with all the energy I feel outside. Life-giving energy, life-taking energy, violent energy. I feel a kick in me. A sudden one, a strong one and I want to move, sway, with the rhythm of the water, feel it on my body. Touching me like someone’s hands. I like how it feels on my skin, rolling and sliding.
There is profound elation. I don’t know why? Its all so real. I feel the energy transferred to me. Am I willing the heavens to open? Willing them to pour their essence into me? I can feel the energy in my sleep and I remember wanting to wake up and see the rain.
It rained this morning!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bungalow Number 9

Visiting places of your childhood can be of absolute delight. It can bring back cherished feelings and emotions of years gone by to the fore.
It was a breezy October morning last year that I arrived at bungalow number 9 of the tea estate “Tyroon”. My earliest memories of this place are of a sprawling double story bamboo structure with lush green lawns surrounding it on three sides. My family and I lived there for ten years, from 1985 till 1995
Nothing much had changed, apart from the fact that there was no sky blue “Ambassador” car parked in the porch and there no longer were a pair of Labradors barking up a tree somewhere. Even after almost twelve years the bungalow looked unchanged .The bamboo structure was still painted Cream and the wooden seams joining the blocks of woven bamboo still olive green. Everything was so unchanged that I could almost see the impish smile of my younger sister, winking at me from the far corner of the house in invitation for mischief all those years back.
The house is a beautiful example of old British bungalows built for tropical regions. A winding drive from the main gate brings you to the twin car porch, which my mother had kept surrounded by benches of beautiful seasonal flowers. On the left of the porch is the main entrance to the house that brings you to a small seating area on the left leading to the stairs for the first floor, a door to the guest bedroom on the right and a small gallery along the stairs, leading to the dining room and the pantry, followed by the kitchen. The little seating area had a pair of small white wicker chairs and a coffee table that my father used as a writing table to send off notes to the tea factory at all times of the day.
The stairs leading to the first floor open into the drawing room or the sitting room. They run parallel to the room and open with a two feet small wooden gate. It has a dainty latch to keep the dogs out and the toddlers in. The sitting room is typically British, with its huge mantle piece and an equally huge fireplace. While we were living there, my parents had these soft oversized couches with footstools and polished drift wood scattered artfully all over the room. The walls were covered in ethnic Indian painting by my mother and antique pieces gifted to us by my grandfather. My mother's prized possession was a pair of ancestral swords that he had given her when she got married. My father’s liquor bar was always at the far right corner of the room,  which my mother covered in flower arrangement despite his protests. Despite the size of the room, it was always warm and inviting, tempting you to curl up with a book or your dog. I can never dig out a memory when I felt cold in that room.
A door on the right side of the room leads to a veranda overlooking the porch in the front and the lawns on the right side. The veranda gave us a beautiful view of the lawns beyond the porch too. I can still picture the flower bed bordering the grass on all sides and my father bent down to pull out the occasional weed from his carefully landscaped and tended lawns. In fact weeding the lawns was quite a regular activity for my parents, which they went through together religiously while sharing their evening cup of tea. The veranda by the way was surrounded by mesh to keep out the ever present mosquitoes.
In the veranda my mother had a set of very comfortable cane chairs. I remember I could hide in a chair for hours. They were so big that one could disappear in them. Apart from the cane chair, my sister and I also had tall racks of our toys at the bottom of the veranda, right next to the door that led to the drawing room. My father’s writing table was placed on the right, overlooking the lawns where we had our swing.
The left side of the veranda led to the master bedroom of the house that was used by my parents and beyond that the dressing room was converted into the children’s room (used by my sister and me) with an attached bathroom, connected to the drawing room with a shaded corridor from the outside spanning the master bedroom. The same corridor also led to the servant’s staircase. It could also be called the rear exit for the first floor.
The bungalow is now surrounded by lawns on three sides. The fourth side holds a fish pond, a kitchen garden, the dairy, a chicken house, and an old cook house with a meandering path leading to it from the old pantry that has now been converted into a kitchen.
The three sides of the lawns are surrounded by a two-meter high hedge with a string of mango and litchi trees just inside the boundary. The mangoes mostly cannot be eaten since they spoil even before they ripen due to the humidity in the atmosphere. That, though,  is not the case with the litchis. They still stand witness to the hours my sister and i spent sitting under them peeling them with our hands and getting the sticky juice all over us in our hurry to eat as many as we could. Apart from eating them our other favorite pastime used to be taking revenge on the monkeys that hit our dogs with half eaten mangoes, which caused them to erupt into a barking frenzy. We would pelt the monkeys with the leechi seed till they ran away to take shelter in other trees.
Along the boundary of the bungalow grounds was a cinder lane that led to the main tea manufacturing factory. Beyond that a person could see acres and acres of green tea bushes. The greenery went as far as the eye could see. It was beautiful and it still remains unchanged.
I see that the pond still has fish, hens in the hen house and cows in the cowshed. I still see the mango and the litchi trees and there still are monkeys. The only things I don’t see are an old blue “Ambassador” car in the porch and a pack of barking Labradors.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Must be the Money!!!!

The city is drowning in its own water. Choking on filth leaving the gutters. Life in the city of the sultans is crawling on its underbelly. And why? Just because the beauty of a downpour was lost in the maze of unhealthy sanitation in this beautiful city of mine.

I can see the drain on my balcony clogged. No matter how hard I try I cant keep the water running.Its accumulating....slowly...but steadily. If it carries on for another hour, I know it will start seeping into my room. I cant help it! There is no slope in the drain. It just runs under my flat's floor.

Every year its the same old story. Illegal constructions, pitiful sanitation. In a spurt of action, the MCD demolished a few buildings in strategic areas so that their work was noticed. And now- no more. The supreme court has stayed the demolitions for a year. Why?? So that all incomplete, illegal construction can be completed? I don't get it. Why does it come to demolition? Why cant the papers just not be cleared when these illegal buildings are built?

I know. It boils down to one simple thing. Money. That is what drives our country. No matter what we do we cant clear it of people who cant think beyond filling their pockets. Show them the greens and the officials are ready to dance.

So when I wonder what is causing all this destruction all around me, someone in my peripheral vision mutters...." Must be the money!"

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hazzards of Love

Its one O clock in the morning and I am an aspiring writer. Deciding to write is an unusual decision for me. I am not quite sure if I’d like to put me feelings out there in the open for all to see. But this is the first time I am seriously writing and its interesting that I've decided to start with the topic of love.

Love drives us all.  Most would say that I feel that because I am a woman. I don't know. What I do know is that I am exceptionally attached to the idea of it. And since cliches are cliches are cliches, its not surprising that I choose to write about the romantic kind.

So what is so terrible about falling in love? The insecurities? The fear of it love not being returned? What is it about love that keeps us so uncertain yet tangled in it??

I met a friend yesterday. A girl. We got to talking and I just couldn't help wondering… So many years of being with someone and you start doubting your judgment. The giddy, romantic, overtaking haze of love clears and you become aware of YOURSELF suddenly. YOUR needs, YOUR hopes, YOUR desires

The first time you let a man talk you into believing that you love him - you are a goner. From then on he needs no further effort to keep you by his side. A woman’s nature you see!!(she will always think from the heart first). You will close your eyes to the fact that he is human with his set of faults and failings. From that first moment, he is your hero, your price. The one who will pull out jars from the top most shelf for you, carry the heavy boxes, hold you in the night when he talks about HIS dreams and the places HE’D like to take you.

You are his lover, his mate – the love is young. Then years pass – he still loves you, still cares. But now you are his companion, someone who’ll always be there when he wants to talk.
You wish he’d make you melt against him, make you feel like loved passionately - but the years have passed!! You are no longer his lover, his mate - you are his companion, his partner.
You feel betrayed, disappointed, cheated. You question your femininity. Why doesn’t he want me anymore? Why don’t I want to dress up anymore? Why do I have more sneakers than stilettos? When was the last time I wore a dress? When was the last time he said I was breathtaking? Am i still beautiful? I know I am still beautiful. But then why don't I feel beautiful?

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Magnificent One.

For I am the First and the Last,
I am the Venerated and the Despised,
I am the Prostitute and the Saint,
I am the Wife and the Virgin,
I am the Mother and the Daughter,
I am the arms of my Mother,
I am Barren and my Children are amny,
I am the Married Woman and I am the Spinster,
I am the woman who gives birth and
She who never procreated,
I am the Consolation for the Pain of birth,
I am the Wife and the Husband,
And it was my Man who created Me,
I am the Mother of my Father,
I am the Sister of my Husband,
And He is my Rejected Son,
Always Respect Me,
For I am the Shameful and,
The Magnificent One.

Hymn to Isis, 3rd or 4th Century B.C, Discovered in Nag Hammadi

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's raining and my heart yearns for the lost homes and lost innocence. The tender days of yesteryears when rain still was a source of joy - not just a nuisance.
Delhi is my latest home, has been so for the past five years. Even though I had never lived in a city like this before, its wet virgin glimpses on a rainy day in the month of June pulled me into a haze of surreal love. I have been passionate about Delhi and its rainy days ever since.