Posted in uncategorized

Shattered love! lick the venom!


Twirling madness,

emotional high,

heart’s adrenaline,

called love,

destroyer of the soul,

stop languishing at the shattered heart,

caress the bruises,

had you not loved, lost and torn apart,

intensity would be alien to you!

revel in the beauty and magnitude,

pain is an ode to the soul,

swim in the sea of sorrow,

navigate through the defeats,

stormy past,

emotional hurricane,

you need it the most,

we all do!

lick the poisonous cream,

taste the venom,

a battered heart is nectar,

swirling on the tongue,

come and break the heart,

who has the courage?

one emotion that makes the soul,

immortal and seamless.

Love

V

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in uncategorized

Day 6: Postcards


Emotions are like goodbyes. Our hearts are torn into shards as we wave farewell to times and loved ones knowing fully that we cannot hold forever to moments that segued into our lives. Contrast it to the world of technology and snail mail where both are at odds with each other. The classic dak babu or postmen or postwomen spanning across the world are a pricey species who deliver love and emotions right in front of our doorsteps. At times, I not only wonder what goes inside their minds as they cycle to deliver letters and parcels but also languish the day when the post office will bow out from our world.

 

There is something fake about technology and the entire gamut of e-world which is making human interacting, sharing of deeply embedded love and connection redundant in the flick of time.  I am speaking about the world of beautifully designed Christmas and New Year cards that we once penned to our loved ones and dropped in the letterbox to travel the seas and mountains. In the advent of e-cards, this bond is lost forever and personally, I am dead against the digital greetings that we send to our loved ones, family and friends at one click. It’s not that I have never done it. But, my heart always tilts in favor of the good old postcards. a special pen to pour ink on paper and using a second pen to diligently write the address.

This year, I decided to lend my own personal touch that shall not be devoid of emotions to my loved and dear ones, the selected few who played an inherent part in my life. There was a time during the childhood or growing up days when we would be receiving cards and the entire family, Mom, Dad and me would drool over the letters sent by our phoren uncle or dosts. I remember waiting for the postman for days and would grab the letter to open with a pen or knife to show around to everyone. The early and mid-2000s was the time when I was still sending birthday and greeting cards to Mom, Dad, and friends bought from Archies the place which made one feel like a pampered kid. There was no dearth of choice in the gallery that became a sort of outing of college going kids, shopping for expensive V-Day while proposing to someone would always do the trick. We didn’t realize that technology would one day render the world of creatively and aesthetically designed cards irrelevant.

It all started with a call from my Boss last December. She is British and during a trip to her homeland, she bought pack of cards for the company’s clients which we were asked to sign for the season’s greetings. I think greeting cards are quite cheap in the UK.  I marveled at the myriad design of Santa Claus and the snow that brought me back to the childhood days. The idea clicked in the head but it didn’t really take shape until I received a tiny envelope at home which came as a pleasant surprise.  Boss has sent me a beautiful Santa card by the snail mail and I decided to renew with the joy of sending a greeting card to close friends. In fact, Mom came here much before me and sent as a surprise gift to our toddler neighbor a cute Xmas card.

It was the eve of new year and well past Christmas time when I hefted two packs of New Year cards from the supermarket and started to ping my friends on FB or WhatsApp for their postal address. Some played the game while there are quite a few who ignored or plainly refused. I dug deep from the old diary for addresses and kept pouring my heart inside the blank pages, not just wishing Merry Xmas or Happy New Year but made an effort to connect the dots in a way I was sure the ecards couldn’t replace.

There are memories, joys, bond and emotions captivated by the soul and void which no technological advancement or gadget can fill inside our hearts. I make a promise to renew with sending personalized cards to close friends and dear ones every festive season. We have lost the art of conversation, love, and bonding that we need to reclaim and in my case, greeting cards play this part in my life.

Love

V

 

Posted in uncategorized

India’s 69th Republic Day: Upholding constitutional values, tolerance and freedom


 

Today, we celebrate India’s 69th Republic Day across the country and January 26 holds significance for us as Indians to revel in our diversity as a nation, rich history, tolerance and thousands spoken languages echoing the One People, One nation theory. Our constitution came into being on January 26, 1950, to act as the watchdog and mighty guardian against crisis. High and opportune time to reflect on present-day challenges such as freedom of expression, tolerance, the rule of law as enshrined in the Indian constitution. We must express pride as a nation and why not. After all, it’s been 50 years ago when the learned and able lawmakers framed our constitution and Article 51A(h) is one aspect that offers fodder for thought to reflect on our past and rich legacy, not just bask into glory but set the tempo to make India the country we want it to be:

It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”.
– Article 51A (h) The Indian Constitution

There is no dearth of issues in the country. Since a couple of years, we’ve been grappling with several issues right from the fringe and extremist outfits hellbent to jeopardize peace and unity in the country to showing disrespect to the Supreme Court by resorting to violence. There was a climate of fear instilled among the people and very appalling to see extremist groups gaining the upper hand.  It offered a sorry sight on the eve of the Republic Day’s celebration. The time is now to reflect on Article 51A(h) and it proves that most of us are guilty of donning the role of ignoramus on the relevance of the constitution. Educating citizens about the Indian constitution, albeit treating with the same sacredness that is lent to holy books such as Bhagwad Gita, Quran and Bible, is lacking perhaps. The last thing that we want is a constitutional crisis as we look back at recent unfortunate and ‘anti-national’ activities of fringe groups which are plaguing a nation celebrating its rich diversity, culture and identity.

Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are not just mere words or preamble in the Indian constitution but carry a very deeply rooted meaning that we must internalize religiously to make it part of our daily existence. As Indians, we have always been tolerant, open-minded and respectful towards each other’s culture or international people making India their home. This humbleness and intellect as Indians who accept criticism made us grow as a nation and is a testament to our diversity and rich legacy.

Unfortunately, the voice of reason is somehow lost in present day where the infinitesimal minority voices such as RSS leaned or non-entities Sena are choking the voice of reason, the silent majority. Our biggest asset and beauty remains our identity in celebrating Diwali, Eid, Baisakhi, Xmas, Lohri or Bihu as well as a host of festivals.

India is the land of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ which signifies treat our Guests with Godly respect. There are pressing issues slithering the country right from raging intolerance to food, culture and people coupled with open bounty to behead people, assault against women or lynching mob which has soiled the polished gold that we have become as a Republic.  The people make a nation the beacon of democracy. After all, our freedom fighters and illustrious sons and daughters of the soil toiled hard to make the country what it is today. We cannot afford to see the sacrifices that made India stand as a pillar and tower of democracy be whittled into tiny particles. It’s about us and our country. Koi desh perfect nahin hota ussko perfect banana padta hai.

Hope resides in us and is an inherent part of our DNA. We are a nation that never buckled down and has overcome all odds to make us what we are today. Tolerance, secular values, artistic and freedom of expression are not just mere words but defines the character and spirit of a nation. The dichotomy of our people lies in our habit of waking up late to realities and not spin-doctoring.  When we speak about development and putting India on a world map, it dates back to post 2002 when the country was ringing in investment, the Sensex soaring and economic liberalization that created jobs for the youth. It was the time India witnessed the boom and it’s not like economic progress happened after 2014 like some want us to believe. Of course, the issues that we faced as a nation was present in the past and no one can deny it, be it censoring of books or pandering to caste politics but it’s also true that today tolerance has hit an all-time low where freedom of expression is being muzzled. One thing that should worry us is the number of sponsored fake news mushrooming on the internet or online trolls making empty threats, threatening our secular fabric and time for all of us to stand as soldiers against things that may destroy peace.

There are so much that must be done if we want to progress as a nation, right from implementing effective laws or change in our attitudes when it comes to women, safety or thwarting of sexual violence, empowering the poor and education for all as well as overturning the state of neglect where our fellow citizens from Jammu, Kashmir or North East are treated as second-class citizens and basic nutrition for every family and no one should be denied health care in the country.

The heart bleeds with pride when we see all women BSF motor riders valiantly traipse at Janpath as part of the Republic Day parade. All is not lost. Our Jawans protecting the border and fighting for the country against foreign infiltration. We shall rise to overcome the odds for we cannot trade our freedom for anything on earth. The time is now to introspect on our established values, progress made, the freedom we take for granted and how we can turn the tide in our favor.

Jai Hind

Long live the Republic of India

Posted in uncategorized

Padmavat (i) violence: Hijacking the law and democracy


Indian Constitution:

Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution guarantees the third principle of the Rule of law (freedom of speech and Expression). No person can be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence is also very well recognized in the Indian Constitution.

Image credit: Google/http://images.indianexpress.com/2018/01/padmaavat-protests.jpg

Karni Sena is no fringe element in the country. Lynch mob is the new normal in modern India. It’s appalling, horrifying and disgusting as we prepare ourselves to celebrate our 69th Republic Day to see the extremist group, I weigh my words, Karni Sena is a terrorist organization, to hijack the entire country.

We should hang our head in shame to see an outfit spreading terror in the country, torching buses, attacking school children and roaming free and with impunity carrying weapons to vandalize theaters. It is a dark day to our democracy. A blot to freedom of expression and artistic liberty. I really don’t care about the merit of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavat(i) or its box office fate. It may set the cash register ringing to emerge as the biggest blockbuster hit or became a debacle and masterpiece or the crappiest movie ever made. Our concern should be to preserve our democratic values as a nation, the right to protect our citizens from violence and uphold the rule of law. Thuggery at its best and showing the scant disregard for our constitutional and secular values.

The kind of cowardice violence wrecking havoc in the country and jeopardizing the rule of law  is shameful. It’s thuggery, terrorism and religious extremist on the part of a group hellbent to spoil the name of their own culture or religion. So much for Rajput bravery. We shall not call them a fringe element but a dreaded terrorist organization who claim that they are above the Supreme Court. The worse in the whole scheme of thing is the non-functional State Governments in Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat who has no moral or legal right to stay in power. It is more than a tragedy to see a Government failing its people and lacking the gall to maintain law and order. Only cowards and thugs can attack innocent children in school buses. Let’s not speak about India Shining, Davos or FDI when a Government cannot uphold the rule of law and lack clout to disperse a terror organization. The image of our country has taken a serious dent and a beating on international forums. It’s about high time we acknowledge that India  ‘hailed’ as the biggest democracy through its institutions judiciary and freedom of expression is cutting a sorry figure. It’s a mockery of democratic institutions. We cannot play with the future of the country like that and pretend business as usual.

The worse is the so-called Rajasthani women organizations making violent protests and threatening to commit Jauhar. Where were they when every single day an innocent girl or woman is being sexually assaulted or raped on the roads? It is beyond me to see the Karni Sena and its ilk cocking a snook at the State, judiciary or at large the democracy when the elected representatives remain mute or are emasculated spectators to violence in broad daylight.

It’s beyond horrifying. I never thought that our country whom we take pride in being called the biggest democracy in the world to reach such a state. Beyond shameful to see one extremist group calling the shots and not the Government. As a ruling party, the BJP is sitting on a fence and behaving like Khap Panchayat, absolutely stripped of its power and conversely, the Congress as an opposition party whose sole aim should be to defend the country and hold the Government for accountability, start playing the political card by pandering to the Rajput vote in a diplomatic manner. Both the Government and the Opposition are guilty as charged. It’s a real shame for India as a country who has such political masters. The people don’t deserve such a treatment. We are in a shambolic state.

We are living in dangerous times. In the past, there has been a mockery of reasonable voices who hit at the level of intolerance raging in the country with the ruthless murder of Gauri Lankesh and the violence against Padmavat (i) is certainly not the last straw in the cup. In the name of vote bank politics, caste or religious equations, it is harrowing to see what we are becoming as a nation. In the name of a movie with fiction and imaginary characters, a country is being whittled into tiny pieces. Cry my beloved country. Hope tomorrow will be another day where sense will be knocked into the head of State Governments and the Central Government to ensure that the rule of law prevail and there shall be no place for bigotry, or religious extremism. A country like India doesn’t need such extremism or terrorism. There is nothing that can be bigger than the Indian Constitution and its our final-cum-last resort as a civilized society.

 

Love

V

Posted in uncategorized

Day 5


I have never been gung-ho about smart phone apps. The innumerable apps on the smart phone seem like rocket science to my eyes and being a tech illiterati, I get the feeling of trudging the heinous mountains and battling the hilly slopes.  It came as a surprise when I found myself hooked the calm app on the iPhone. It is cherry on cake. Trust me, I clicked on it out of sheer curiosity and it opened a pot of gold for me.

A beautifully adorned world and soothing music to the sound of sea breeze, waterfall or tales of Lavender Valley to relax the senses, instill focus far away from life’s vagaries and taking the self on a nature trip or putting the body to sleep. Nowadays, I hit the sack early but there is dreadful number of times, mulling over issues that plague the wandering mind like a hurricane jostling the body in the wild stream.

Yesterday night, my eyes curled open and saw myself tossing on bed past one a.m in the morning. I was convinced that it was a do-or-die situation to put the hyper body to rest. I toggled with the app and randomly clicked on Sleep Stories to find myself listening to the session Blue Gold. It is a beautiful 24 minutes narration by Stephen Fry for 20 minutes meandering to the South of France, taking the lush route of Lavender field and the sleepy village of Florence. The story written by Phoebe Smith gently takes the mind into a sleep lullaby and breath in and out, you feel being swayed into a trance.  I didn’t sleep immediately after the story ended but rather took a long breath and in no time, the eyes closed to venture into the world of sleep.

You should try the calm app that help one gain focus, soothes the nerve and going into a relaxed mode. I am loving every moment of this treasure, the calm app and the perks of using an i-phone. The best thing about it is there are many inbuilt free stories and the Seven days session which is pure bliss and several guided paid meditation sessions.

It is magical to wake up in the morning with the belief that one don’t need to battle between waking up at night, staring at the clock or struggling to close the eyes. The sound of birds and silent waves sashaying inside the mind evokes a feeling of stillness that helps during the workout, a nap or yoga. Calm is a balm to the soul. Never in my wildest imagination, I would imagine being swayed by a phone app giving comfort and making a sea of change in life.

Quite a lazy Monday morning between listening to a song penned by a friend, Rashmi and Sung by Nawal Pathak, beautifully shot in the beautiful and sprawling FTII campus in Pune. The huge 80-year old Ailanthus trees, Gulmohar, peepal, and jamun is spotted easily as the video brought me back to those days, the huge stairs and green cover transporting the visitor in fantasy world spurning an intriguing tale beyond the earth’s reality. The song is the recreation of Lag Jaa gale in a beautiful manner and the composed voice of Nawal. It’s pure beauty. Do check the song on YouTube.

I am learning to take things at a slow pace since there is no point being an efficient multi-tasker or zombie and ending up doing zilch. It can be frustrating at the day’s end and better to flesh out efficient tasks.

Love

V

 

 

 

 

Posted in uncategorized

Day 4


Dappled sun wafted through the air on Sunday and glimmering shade brightened faces serenaded under the shadow of sprawling trees at the park. The rain bowed down to the mighty sunlight percolated in the air. A fulfilling day to exert the body doing the various yoga postures in the morning at home. I felt light. Brisk walking interspersed with running at the park made the day. Go fit, go for the kill.

Five rounds at the park between stretching the body standing within inches of the rail and bar pushing the self to flexible level. Yoga, jogging, and regular walking round soothed the body till the sun bowed out. Night crept in. I walked back home to a hot shower and wilfully earned dinner plus wine to reward the body. What a beautiful day!

Thoughts filtered and gyrating inside the mind like a gentle breeze. I am amazed how fast our mind work verging on the emotions or memories left behind. It dawns on me that life has not been such a smooth ride, verging between the so and so moments, the high and low points to slowly pick up or the ups that skittered past me in the distant past. My life has always been about unplanned battles, victories or defeats that never ceased to surprise me. Every day is a new battle. So many things lurch inside the grey cells. At times, I really wonder whether going with the flow and ease out is the solution. Maybe not!

Yesterday, I was telling Mom that I badly need a break and read holiday in India. But, the question remains whether should I opt for a personal loan and commit myself for another 3 years to pay the EMI. I am pondering on the idea. In the morning, I read an article by a friend on the idealist versus realist versus opportunist which you can read here.

It makes for an interesting debate on the various roles playing that a person can be at various inflection points in time or a day. You can be both, the author argues. Personally, I really don’t know and prefer to be an idealist which doesn’t snatch away the person who I am, the values that define me in this ruthless world. I am battling for years with so many things that keep cropping up and feel time to shut the fuck with my relocation plan to India which is getting forever postponed. I need to take the plunge and push myself towards gravity. There is something not clicking. It’s me not making enough effort as time has flickered right in front of my eyes. I am still figuring out things. Till I don’t do anything about it, nothing will happen. I know! High time to stop putting all blame on the lack of money. Cowards do that right.

The CV needs to be updated. It’s probably the first step towards gauging the response and weigh the India bound options. Another idea is to go there and stay for three months which is the most practical or feasible thing to do, trying for job applications and looking at rent in the outskirt regions or tapping proper channels to get things rolling. I feel it’s better to be in a place that makes one happy rather than cribbing or whining about things. The plunge has to be taken somewhere and perhaps I am close yet far in taking the decision. It’s not even a state of confusion and I know where the heart lies. Mumbai, of course, remains the first option but it’s not bad at all an idea to be back to Pune to start all over again. Did I tell you that there is a huge book suitcase lying with my friend M? I have left the bag, the time I left Mumbai in 2008. A decision to leave the city was taken in a rush but I feel there are so many unfulfilled dreams or redesigning happiness, a gap between the time I left and now.

I have started reading the second book this year, Chitra Banerjee Divyakaruni’s Before we visit the Goddess and she is one author who injects a unique shade in the characters and stories. An amazing storyteller who unveils an intriguing world and touching the lives of women or relationships that we make in life. It is dark, gritty and liberal at the same time.

Good night and love

V

Posted in uncategorized

Day 3


What’s in a day?!  Happy birthday to Mom. Wreathe of sun blistering in the smoky and billowing cloud to ring cheers after three days of dullness and mood afflicted by anhedonia. Blame it on the cyclone wrecking havoc for three days and splinter of rain squawking on the window. The worse is to sit by the window like a prisoner locked behind bars and hesitant to venture far with the fear to be assailed by gun water shots.

The cyclone ban lifted. I sidled on the deserted road splayed by tree branches crushed in mound and treading to besieged by electric wires splattered all over the surface.  A sense of snatched freedom and liberation to see the deserted road and streets. I miss the Indian monsoon. Every grain of rain harkens me to the years of bliss in Mumbai and Pune, the joy of wading in the rain and drenched completely, sticky jean and tee fitting me like glue. I cannot sit at home glowering with pain and constantly whine about the weather. The laptop for company and work occupy the mind’s space.

I started to read the Sequel to Shantaram, The Mountain Shadow in the start of January which took me two weeks plus to wrap the book which is a big let down and tedious writing with the expansive length not helping it at all. It’s nothing like the epic and heart-pounding Shantaram and in this one, David Gregory Roberts attempted to inject the same old scenario of underworld marrying spirituality. The book is good only in its description of places like Colaba, Worli and Haji Ali in Mumbai.

Speaking about Mumbai. The place that I love to death and someone wrote in the comment in the earlier post on how I am staying far away despite my writing is influenced by both Mumbai and Pune. Time is skittering away from me. Truth is that I am weighing on India’s option but one dampener is the exorbitant rent in the city. How I wish to be back! There are so many things constantly raging in my head and one would be to be back in the city for three months on an observant mode of where I stand, networking-wise, connecting and reconnecting with people and sorting out opportunities to see how things pan out.  The best friend is back in the city from Australia to be with his wife and feeling a sliver of jealousy on how he is in the city while I am not.

Carpe diem! It just surfaced inside my mind and amazed how our brain pushes things with force for a good reason to challenge the self. How I have changed over time! There was a point where I would follow my heart unwary of consequences. Circumstances make you a bit too wise after events to live in sense of comfort which is a big human flaw.  The moment fear cripples us, we stop evolving or experiment with life. The usual old self-lingering on the borderline is what makes us real and one needs to put a break on being dead chuffed with our plate and better go hungry than stare at the morsels.

I cannot do without my agenda diary and tried to shop at some places but options didn’t sate the appetite. The finicky and obsessive person in me needs a big diary beyond the normal size to fill in the huge space. I visited a bookshop yesterday and gleamed at an executive diary. I flipped it open to see the daily agenda pages printed in a single column. Bad luck!  There are so many things that will happen on the work front, one after the other and the diary is my only solace to sit, plan and to sieve through. Those agenda applications on i-phone or smart phone don’t really work for me.

A cup of strong chai can do wonder for me and the best gift for someone to give is a bundle of teabags. A friend from UK sent a box of Typhoo tea bag for me which is filling my body like serum since the start of the week. I also got two packs of Masala Chai which someone brought from India. Bout of tiredness got the better of me yesterday and gulped a cup of tea before crashing on bed. Dinner went for a toss. Mom kept knocking on the door to jostle me out of my dreams for food. It never happened. I slept like a baby after aeon to squint the eyes open and harrumph with physical and spiritual triumph. Yoga and late lunch followed. Thanks to the universe for wine and whisky stored at home.  Swill of alcohol  will be hot company at night and cuddle myself with a book, lazy around in peace. I did a guest post last week on Balaka’s blog. You can check it here.

Have a lovely weekend

V