Back to the grind.

The Durga Puja festivities are over. More than a month long preparation and then five days of frenzy, food, family, friends, fun and then total silence. The sound of the dhaak at the crack of dawn will be at bay until next year. The urge to indulge in unlimited amounts of calorie will now be put to check. The mind will be relieved to find the hand not digging holes in the pockets everytime the eye fancied something. And with all the lights, sounds and actions put to rest my mind becomes pensive. It is again the usual, moribund routine of the day. It makes me moody, irritable. The five days of fun become bracketed and i am again thrown into the world of daily responsibilities.  I am glum.

The festivities are over but there are other things too that makes the mind pensive. Sometimes a lost memory revisiting,  or a word spoken carelessly by somebody, or a sense of loneliness amongst all the buzz. Whatever the case, it nestles in the core of the heart like an unwarranted guest. Diversion in any form like cooking up a new dessert, or baking a cake, or attempting a new make up or nail art might perhaps help. One could also go for a walk but there are no jungles here and how i hate the city at times like this. Dust here, smoke there, too many cars, too many people.

What happens next? The cloud within you returns full throttle to haunt your being again. Perhaps these are symptoms of stepping into the middle ages when children are away from home, thus very less to do and lots to ponder on. An empty mind is a devil’s workshop. Well , i don’t believe so. It doesn’t have to be true just because people keep saying it. No, never. When will Bill Bryson, Jerome k Jerome or John Steinbeck be of any help.

But the addiction to stay grumpy is like keeping a demon for a pet. The more you strain to get rid of it,  the more it chases you. Should i visit the museum?  Perhaps a movie might cheer me up. Okay, my mind is made. Here’s to cheerfulness with a bowl of slurping maggi and a movie , um, um,”Goosebumps”. Hope it works.

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The shore and the wave.

The stubborn shore,

It is he,

Constant and firm,

Non compromising.

But ever patient,

Like the enlightened hermit.

Always there

With warm embrace,

Like the silent lover.

The restless wave,

It is she.

Ever changing,

Cheerful and bubbly,

Infuriatingly impatient,

Like a pampered child.

Now here, now gone.

Now within reach,

Now giving the slip.

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Two infinite lovers,

The shore and the wave.

He so tolerant,

And she so restive,

Rushing to him

With unconcealed passion.

He awaits hèr

With love and sunshine.

She full of glee

Tests his patience.

Rushes away to appear again.

So goes on their play

Of love and care.

Without one,

The other would not be there.

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Twilight.

A few days back i happened to pass by a house on whose front steps sat two elderly ladies. They were either friends or two very close relatives who happened to know each other very well and had seen a lot in life. I wondered what they were talking about. Perhaps about the life they’ve been through.  Childhood, husbands, children, grandchildren,  their happy and sad moments.  Or perhaps I’m being too pensive. Perhaps they were just talking about the lack of sufficient zing in the lunch they had that afteroon. Whatever , it did put me to think about this phase of life they were into now. Frail, toothless, full of memories,  perhaps waiting or fearing the inevitable that happens to everybody who comes to world. Were they going through a happy day in the twilight of their lives?  Everything sort of made me thoughtful and i penned the following lines.

 

 

Silent is the noon,

Tired is the mind,

Fatigued is the soul.

But the light hasn’t died

Out of the eyes.

Tirelessly and bravely

They dare to dream.

Futile is not

The trudging footsteps,

So goes on the journey.

 

O friend, so dear to me,

Hold my hand.

Open up your soul,

Hear mine too.

Miles have we travelled

Through ups and downs.

And i have stories to tell

More than I can remember.

Remind me of moments forgotten,

To laugh and cry over.

 

Many times have we

Loved and fought

Over matters grave and trivial.

But rain and sunshine

Held us together

When we were young,

And now, when old.

Futile is not

The trudging footsteps.

So goes on our journey.

♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

 

 

Image courtesy : Google Images

Learning.

Learning today has achieved a totally different meaning. Gone are the days when the teacher looked into the need of every child. Today it is the jet age and nobody has any time to spare . Life is an ever learning process and i came acros this experience when my daughter was just in standard two. Since they were very small the teacher would write all the questions and answers on the black board. The children would take them down in their subject copy to learn at home. The general trend and the teacher’s expectation was that children should rote memorise them for their exams.

It so happened thst my daughter’s class was given notes on photosynthesis.  Very basic questions they were as they should be for such little ones.  And the answers were good too. At home we have encouraged our child to understand her studies carefully and then express the answers in her own words.

Exam time came and we as parents saw to it that she was well prepared. All went well. Results were declared. She had done good in all the subjects except Science. We requested for the answer sheets to be shown where we discovered that she had been awarded zero in an answer which was absolutely correct. The question was,”What is photosynthesis? “. When we met the concerned teacher she explained that the answer was not what was given in class. We were confused. Then came the explanation that my daughter was expected to write the exact sentence that the teacher had given her instead of using her own words. We were speechless.  I blurted out, didn’t she want the child to express herself instead of rote memorising. She answered that all the children were not of the same intelligence. So if all the answers were the same then all would get good marks. Now, what do you say to that? I was thankful that she at least changed the marks in my daughter’s paper and awarded her what she deserved. It was indeed a great learning for me.

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Daily word prompt:Learning. Learning.

Fifty

So many years of togetherness!

One, two, three, and suddenly fifty.

Some came with joy, some brought stress,

Sometimes extravagant and at times thrifty.

 

You survived how through your fights,

And warmed up to each other’s smiles.

Memories watered the plant of your love,

Hopes and dreams took you miles.

 

Now bones and wrinkles say you’re old,

But with a family that hold you tight.

You’re who they,  with their heart adore,

And hold on to you with all their might.

 

They’d like to give you all they have,

But nothing compared to what you give.

So make the most of your golden years.

May you be strong and forever live.

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Recently my parents-in-law completed fifty years of their married life. I dedicate this poem to them . They’re one of the best things that has happened to me.

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Daily promt: Fifty.Fifty

Image courtesy : Google Images

 

Baby buzz

The moment that announces that there is going to be someone new in your world,  the most excited people are the newcomer’s grandparents. What follows is primarily a list of food advices, which i must say, very few can be followed.  I for instance, spent the first seven months puking and throwing up whatever i took in , and then gorged in seven months worth of food in the last two months.  Then there were exercise advices which mostly constitutes of rest, which was not very difficult,  because you can do very little else if you are throwing up whenever you see food.

Then there was the advice of seeing and listening to good and beautiful things. I decided, nothing can be better than the music and National Geographic channels. Music was fine but Nat Geo? My mother raised her eyebrows. I loved watching the lions, tigers, zebras, elephants, and all other kinds of animals and their acrobatics. I would have these bouts of insane desires to cuddle tiger cubs. I remember i once cried watching a giraffe giving birth to its baby. I should have seen sense when my mother warned me against it. I am now the constantly worried mother of one outrageously rebellious monkey of a daughter. But then at times, she shines as a gem of a daughter too. Perhaps the music did its bit . What say? Lol.😀

As the date neared relatives, near and dear ones gathered on the slightest petext and their favourite topic of conversation or rather contest would be whether the new little one would be a boy or a girl. Well guys, it’s just a matter of a few days now. The mystery would be unravelled.  There’s no need to raise up a riot over your evening cup of tea, i would surmise tiredly.

And when my girl arrived the whole family went into a frenzy. Everyone needed to do something or the other for the tiny wee bit of a human being. Sewing clothes for her, making loads of nappies, (no store nappies, for you never know how long they’ve been on the shelves), cleaning the room where i was going to be put up with my baby, sterilising everything, (if possible, the whole house), cooking loads of sweetmeats and distributing them and what not. A tsunami of joy seemed to have culminated on the household.

I was of course oblivious to all these happenings.  I was unconscious on the hospital bed as the doctors had to do a caesarean section on me because it was past my due date and my baby had decided, it preferred staying inside me for a while longer rather than come to join the family on the stipulated date. You see how she had a mind of her own from the very beginning.I was later told how she vehemently protested and yelled her lungs out as soon as she was introduced to the world and her fellow beings.

Little feet that wriggled most of the time, little fingers that she’d wrap around my finger, black eyes that stared in wonder at her surroundings, she yawned,  she sneezed, she slept, she would know me at my slightest touch, she cried, she crooned, she smiled and i would look at her in wonder. And of course she would sleep during the major portion of the day and stay gleefully awake all through the night only to fall asleep again with the coming out of the first rays of sunlight. Understandably there was no sleep for me as a result. And this was just the beginning of a series of busy days and sleepless nights. My bundle of joy was driving me crazy. But perhaps we’ll talk about that some other day.

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Daily prompt:Reach

I’d love you to reach out for me, my love, as i  would love to reach out for you.  I’d love us to be drowned in each other in such intensity as the sky and ocean become one at the horizon.  They cannot be driven or told apart.  The waves, the roar, the wind , the clouds, the sun, moon, stars, nothing seem to be able to intervene in their oneness. I’d love us to be like the song whose melody and rhythm become one in emotion. Without one the other is non-existent. I’d love our togetherness to be like the meditation that brings peace and calmness to the soul. Nothing else matters. I’d love to echo Walt Whitman, “We were together, I forget the rest.”

 

 

Image courtesy : Google ImagesDaily prompt:Reach

Soul Search.

Whose shadow are you?

Whose image do you hold?

This existence of yours,

Is it true or a mirage?

I relentlessly explore you,

To find my  own self.

Only to discover mystery.

I return injured, wounded, murdered.

 

But i am adamant.

I hide my helplessness behind a smile.

I keep on searching deep and within.

I do not want to give in.

I hug myself with a sigh.

I cannot find myself,  why?

 

 

Image courtesy : Google Images

Joke

JokeMany years ago, when my daughter had just started going to her preparatory school or play school, as we popularly call those institutions,  i  started thinking, perhaps it was time for me to start thinking about doing something while my daughter would be away for a major portion of the day. I applied for the post of a teacher of English with all my certificates,  in a nearby school as i didn’t want to go very far off from my daughter’s school just yet.

After a few days i was pleased to find a call-letter for an interview from the school. On the stipulated day i readily went and appeared for my interview which went very well. I was happy with my performance. I was informed that there would be a final interview and the selected candidates would be notified on phone.

Two days later my phone rang to inform me that I have been selected for the final interview.  I could not contain myself with excitement.  I duly reached the venue on the mentioned date and punctually too.

After a while I was summoned to the Principal’s office where i faced about five board members.  I was again asked various questions which I answered quite well.  I was very sure that i was to get the post.

Next came the surprise. I was told that, at the end of each month, when salaries would be distributed,  my salary would not be straight away sent to my account as is the custom, but that i would be paid in cash. I asked the reason. The answer was that i would have to put my signature on the amount that had been mentioned in the advertisement but i would actually be paid one-fourth of the amount. And i was not to talk about it anywhere,  upon which I would be sacked.

I was stunned. Is this some kind of a joke? Then why am i not laughing?

Seduced by the Saree.

Once upon a time when I was nine, my grandpa came home with a wrapped parcel and handed it to me. I was intrigued.  This had never happened before.  Always new things, whether clothes or books, would come in paper or jute bags. The parcel did not have anything firm inside.  So no books for sure. It was soft to the touch. So it must be a new dress or two. After all the Durga puja was just a few days away. I eagerly cut away the strings that held the parcel together and held it up eagerly. Something very colourful dropped softly to the floor. I picked it up. To my awe it was a Batik silk saree in a combination of mustard yellow and dark maroon. It was extremely beautiful and like butter to the touch. I eagerly asked grandpa,”Is this for mother? She will look beautiful in it.” Grandpa laughed aloud and said to my surprise, “No, it is for you. Do you like it?”  I loved it.

That was my first saree and i fell in love with the attire which is unique in the world. Henceforth,  every year during Durga puja and Saraswati puja my grandpa would gift me with sarees and my collection grew over the years.

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Although my regular wear would be a salwar kameez, or a dress, sometimes a skirt with a matching top, a saree would be the desired garment for any festival . But i never liked it when my conservative and very strict mother would insist that i wear a saree whenever we visited a relative after i reached the age of fourteen. After all every other girl of my age would be in dresses.

But i must admit this did not bring any aversion in me towards the saree. Rather my love for it grew over the years.

My first grand saree was a Pochampally which i had worn at my uncle’s wedding. I treasured it for many years, worn it at many occasions and still treasure it , though it can’t be worn anymore.Screenshot_2016-08-08-22-59-30-1

Though i received many more sarees over my growing up years, my next grand sarees were a magenta and bottle green Benarosi,  which i wore on my wedding day , and an olive green Brocade Benarosi, which i wore at my wedding reception. Both the sarees were so heavy that i had to keep on pulling them up at my waist to prevent myself from tripping down on the front pleats, thus avoiding the catastrophe it would have resulted in.

After my marriage I discovered my husband to be very liberal minded. He encouraged me to wear all kinds of clothes, western and eastern. And he also indulged me with sarees whenever I fancied one. So now i possess quite a number of traditional Indian sarees, sarees from various regions of the country, sarees of various hues and patterns.  Whenever I wear one, it makes me feel very good, confident and beautiful.

A beautiful saree can lift up my spirit  even when i am in the foulest of moods. I remember one occasion when i was miserable with cold, fever and migraine.  It was one of those days when you feel the whole world conspiring against you. My husband found me lying in bed, clutching my hair to release the pain, when he came back home from office. He said,”I can make you feel good right now. Your fever will go down and your migraine will also subside gradually. But then you must make me that good cup of tea you do everyday.” Ofcourse i didn’t have the strength to show any enthusiasm. He handed me a big packet and asked me to look inside. Out came an exquisite Mooga silk saree. Its golden colour and the red, green and black patterns,  typical to Assam, was so intricate and beautiful.

My husband was right. Out flew my fever through the door through which the saree had come in and my head also throbbed less. It cheered me up instantly , i did away with the folds immediately and wrapped the gorgeous thing around me. Ofcourse after that i folded the saree again nicely and went to make that tea for my dear husband.

Saree is one of the most graceful attire in the whole world. This six to nine yard long, one strip of cloth, with no stitch or zip or button converts any girl to a sensuous and beautiful woman. The biggest advantage of the saree is that it suits all body types, whether tall or short, slim or voluptuous, dark or fair.  Anyone can wear it. Think of any saree, Tant, Jamdani, Byomkai, Sambhalpuri,  Bichitrapuri, Kanjeevaram, Gadwal, Kantha, Chanderi, Tussar, Kosa, Baluchari, Bhagalpuri, Uppada, Kalamkari, Mekhola Chhador,  Maheshwari, all are exquisite, beautiful and sensuous. There are over a hundred various types of sarees in my country and i have indeed been smitten by this garment. I wonder whether i will be able to possess at least one of each variety in my lifetime.Screenshot_2016-08-08-22-55-25-1

 

 

Image courtesy : Google Images