Thursday, October 13, 2016


You left me behind like
A snake that sheds its skin
To move ahead callously
Crawling to a new hole
A new terrain, a new prey
While I lay kaput like a diadem
Crushed under enemy’s wagon
Like a sad note, half discernible
Coming from a broken violin
Like that mild reek that springs
From stale forgotten bouquets

I was your skin once, intimate and attached
Now, I am mere an object of odd curiosity
Of strangers with greed gleaming in ice cold eyes,
All bitter gazes and silent taunts that rip as a knife
I know, I know Love, that I will be loved by none
But I also know, I understand that you are a snake
Indeed one…

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Tree Called Friendship!

It was the very first semester of my graduation when I could feel a whole new world opening up- a world of ambitions, aspirations and dreams, and of course, new friendships. College presents a whole new world where you experience camaraderie that could actually last lifetime or can become an integral part of your years to come. So, if I can recall correctly, I met my closest friend Megha, the subject of this post, on a rainy afternoon in August when I was sitting in my classroom with my new found group. She joined our college late as she had joined another course in some other college. However, for the first three semesters we were not close buddies, I had another bestie with whom I had bitter fallout for some reason. Then we, Megha and I, became close friends, and then the best friends. A college trip to Goa was an unforgettable moment that in a way sealed our friendship for lifetime. It was actually a cherished trip; some pics have been attached here. Although it has been a decade now, we enjoy discussing it often.

We both love travelling and I can recall, amongst many of our trips to various areas of Delhi, the one at random. It was to Daryaganj in Old Delhi, and nearby areas. Even in the crowded streets, where typical smell of roasting meat fills your nostrils, and the shrill noise of traffic your ears, you feel comfortable because with closest friend, each minute turns into a lifetime of joy and laughter. We purchased clothes, artificial jewelry and much more that I still have with me. We then visited many other areas like Lajpat Nagar, Janpath and yes, the iconic British Library to inquire about the membership. Those were the days of bliss and comfort. In 2009, while dancing on one MJ number, Megha unfortunately broke her ligaments and got a fracture. It was this time, I presented her a hand-painted card made with much love and visited her.

Seeing a friend in pain is the ugliest sight to behold. I prayed for her well being. Times always change and when mine was at a low after a tragic loss of a dear one some years back, she supported me like anything; she stood like the Rock of Gibraltar and constantly made me realize the value of thinking positive and looking ahead. Those days were filled with tears and darkness but my best friend’s helping hand pulled me out of the clutch of gloominess. I have learned a lot from her. Such is the power and magic of the panacea call friendship; it heals every wound, no matter how deep it has cut you. Before she got married and moved to a different part of the country, we used to talk a lot, many times every day for hours (seriously!) and now when I think of that time, it comes like a happy memory. I still pest her to read all my poems and posts and we still share our half-mad opinions and craziness without thinking twice!

An old snap!

I find her courage, independence and positive outlook towards life to be amazing but no human is born without follies so on the flip side, I think she gets obstinate sometimes. I did my further studies from a different university but those days of graduation gave me the most precious gift, a lovely sapling of friendship that we have nurtured and is now a flowering tree, under whose shade we can talk our hearts out!

Watch all wonderful experiences of friendships of your favorite stars only on Zee TV’s new show ‘Yaaron Ki Baraat’ starting Saturday, October 8th, 2016 @ 8 PM.

Just click on http://www.ozee.com/shows/yaaron-ki-baraat to enjoy non-stop fun!

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Haiku Horizons - Carry

This is for Haiku Horizons and this week's prompt is 'Carry'

Winds carry your cologne

Far across from seven seas

I can feel your touch

  • 5-7-5 pattern
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bits & Pieces 7

What’s Your Dope?

A dashing cousin once confessed that his love for bikes and racing had surpassed his love for any other thing in the world. He got a peculiar kick by speeding his motorcycle on dimly lit Delhi roads late at nights with his biker gang. More than three fourths of his salary went into maintenance and accessories for this passion. I said that this was his dope. Another friend of mine enjoys watching movies and all of her time goes in browsing through IMDB and watching them like a sincere student, sometimes up to three in a row. This is her dope. We all have our own dopes. The word ‘dope’ that immediately reminds us someone high on drugs lying upturned in the middle of the road, actually is derived from the word ‘dopamine’ a chemical secreted by human brain that induces the feeling of happiness and bliss. My neighbor’s dope is gardening. Even when she is sick herself, I can spot her tending to her plants like they were infants, crying for her. To be happy, we just need to spot something that can give us innate happiness, an inextinguishable source of bliss. So, what’s your dope?
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Myopic on Biopic

The recent spurt in the graph of biopics in Indian cinema points towards a few things. Firstly, it is evident that fame and popularity scores over content and work. That is why notorious Charles Shobhraj can boast of a biopic made upon his wayward life and not Kailash Sathyarthi or such people who have put delinquent and painful lives back to track, who have gathered pieces together to make many a life worth living again. The recent biopic made in Hollywood upon the great Indian mathematician Ramanujan indicates how short sighted we have become when it comes to choosing subjects for this genre. Secondly, it is as if we have run out of new ideas, and people’s lives, no matter how banal they have been, are being turned into money grosser movies. I do not think some celebs whose lives have been captured on the wide screen deserve that much. No one has yet bothered to make a biopic on Hockey Wizard Dhyan Chand who impressed even Hitler first with his game and then with his loyalty towards his country. The next biopic, I read somewhere, is going to be on Late Kamala Das, the great Indian writer, and Vidya Balan is going to portray her feminist and enigmatic life. This is fine; she can motivate many women but still, there have been celebs who clearly did not deserve even a short docu-drama. We need to think and be more creative with story lines and plots and yes, music as well.
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Miss Attitude

I have noticed that for most people, esp girls, being rude and sarcastic means being modern. They have this deep rooted perception that not asking or replying politely, throwing weight around, snubbing acquaintances and loudly conversing in English with modern slangs thrown liberally is a clear recipe to become attractive, desirable and ‘hot’. It is a stupidity, a sheer one I dare say. No one can look lovely with an acerbic tongue and useless attitude that has roots nowhere in concrete. Attitude means having a spine and confidence to stand up for one self, the maturity to draw the line between friendliness and harassment, the courtesy and gravity to accept one’s mistakes. However, every other girl (even school going ones) is throwing dollops of attitude without even realizing how idiotic and insolent it makes her appear to others. 
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Some Stories...

There was once a boy in love with a lass
Whose smile was pretty, words were verse
One day she left without a hint or goodbye
His world pale and dismal turned the sky
His days darker and restless became nights
He left a part of himself and moved ahead
Incomplete and wrecked, a breathing gash

Some stories are not cute, no kisses no rain
They are made up of soreness, hurt and pain
And some questions that always come along
Why did it all happen? What went so wrong?

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Review: Night

Title:         Night
Author:    Elie Wiesel
Publ.:       Grapevine
ISBN:       978-9381841891
MRP:        Rs 125
Pages:      173

This book starts with describing the spread of anti-semitic feelings and the subsequent seize of that small town where Elie Wiesel, the author lived with his family, by the Nazi troops. The Jews of his town are taken overnight to a concentration camp, leaving everything behind. He and his father are separated from rest of the family and endure torture, beatings, violence and constant fear of being thrown alive in a furnace. The author describes how the old, sick, infants and little children were thrown alive by truckloads in a furnace (with a tall chimney) that exuded a stinking black smoke all the time. 

The author and his father are made to shift between various camps in stifling rail carriages and on long foot marching and he watches his father die a very slow and painful death. This book does not describe other macabre conditions (like gas chambers) of the Auschwitz camp but focuses on an emotional relationship between a father and a son in adverse times. Wiesel was rescued by Americans with other inmates of the camp. 

It is difficult to believe how cruel man can become. One will surely start hating Nazis for their atrocities on Jews. Elie Wiesel (1928-2016) won the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize. This book has been translated from French (originally written in Kiddish) by author's wife, Marion Wiesel.

Rating 4/5

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Book Review: Lajja

Title:         Lajja (Shame)
Author:    Taslima Nasrin
Publ.:        Penguin India
ISBN:        978-0-140-24051-1
MRP:         Rs 250
Pages:       216

The Sanskrit word ‘Lajja’ literally means ‘Shame’. This book makes one think about the basic tenets upon which a nation must be built. The firebrand writer Taslima Nasrin shot to fame with this novel that first came out in Bengali language in 1993 and was banned by the Bangladesh government after a few months of release. Since then Ms. Nasrin has come in the hate-radar of Islamic clergy and fundamentalists. This novel is more of a mirror that shows the society and the government of Bangladesh their real faces that are indescribably ugly. However, despite getting numerous death threats and after years of exile, the author still refuses to apologize or to be silenced. I think Ms. Nasrin can be called a writer in the truest sense because her work is powerful and deep enough to bring a change in thinking, to show a whole nation its ugliness and to make a dent in the rotten perceptions, changing their track to some extent. That is why Lajja is considered an important book.
Through a fictional story, the disastrous effects of the ‘Babri Masjid’ demolition upon Bangladeshi Hindus are shown. Many true-life incidents and census analyses have been provided so that each point made has a factual backing.

The story revolves around one Dutta family that resides in a place called ‘Tikatuli’ in Bangladesh. Dr. Sudhamoy Dutta, the head, I think, represents the ideal fundamentals upon which the country was conceived. A true patriot and honest to the core, Dr. Sudhamoy fervently takes part in all the national movements but is left alone, ill and paralyzed in his later years; his idealism fails him and he gets reduced to a mute spectator to the crumbling principles, increasing hate-crimes and death of secularism in his beloved country after its liberation. This is what Bangladesh has been shown to become after gaining independence- weakened by injustice, stripped of idealism and paralyzed by genocide.  

His son Suranjan Dutta represents the educated and optimistic Hindu youth. At 33, he remains unemployed because of hatred and unfriendly laws against Hindus and thus unmarried as well. He is somewhat of an idealist too and loves his country ardently. However, just like most Hindu youths, he gets nothing but discrimination and antipathy. Finally, his spirit of secularism dies out leading to depression. The way he takes his revenge on a street-worker Shamima, is heart rendering.

Kironmoyee Dutta, Suranjan’s mother is a silent, religious, sacrificing, but unhappy woman who broods in the background throughout the novel, though she puts up in any and every situation stoically with her family, esp. her husband. She represents the under-privileged Bangladeshi Hindu masses that love their country but desire to leave for a ‘safe’ place like Calcutta. After a point, her tears dry out and she submits to her husband and her fate.

Twenty-one years old Maya, the youngest child of Duttas’, is a beautiful and educated young woman and represents the dignity of Hindu women that gets brutalized and lost in the sacrilege and torture inflicted upon the Hindus by their own Muslim brethren.

The family keeps holding on to its idealism, loyalty, and patriotism even when they face poverty and destruction by Muslims enraged over the Babri demotion. However, when the old bonds get strained by bias and intolerance, their hopes hit a hard ground and start cracking up. Apprehensively, Duttas arrive upon a decision they could not even think of earlier.

It is surprising that the book has been written by a Muslim as the author rips apart the hypocrisy of the Bangladeshi government, hell-bent upon Islamizing the entire country and their apathetic and barbaric behavior towards the very same Hindus who once stood by their side in various movements against the oppressors. She openly accuses the religious fundamentalists and even the common Muslim citizens of a prejudiced behavior. There are no purple passages because the purpose of the book is altogether different. Interestingly, Ms. Nasrin completed this book in seven days.

Lajja is not only revealing because of the facts and figures given but it makes one think about the disastrous effects of power going in the hands of fundamentalists. It shows how intolerance, fanaticism and bigotry eat-up secularism and peace in such a nation. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Book Review: Far From The Madding Crowd

Title:         Far From The Madding Crowd
Author:     Thomas Hardy

I have my late grandpa’s 1952 unabridged, printed in Great Britain HB copy of this novel published by Macmillan & Co, that I really cherish. The story is set in late 1800s in a fictional place named Whetherbury and revolves around a beautiful, strong-willed and independent girl named Bathsheba Everdene who has three men in love with and chasing her. An orphan Bathsheba’s life gets transformed when she inherits her heirless uncle’s farm and becomes a rich farm-owner. 

The three men –simple and diligent Gabriel Oak, rich and passionate Boldwood and smart and temperamental Francis Troy, fancy Bathsheba and she chooses one of them as her husband. However, things take a turn for the worst when a juvenile valentine-card prank goes wrong and after her marriage, old skeletons along with a horrible secret, tumble out and create an emotional mayhem leading to a fitful murder. 

The story is well woven and keeps the reader glued. The metaphors are lovely but long descriptions of how farms, sheep-rearing and farm-markets operate seem to be over-stretched. Overall, the book is wonderful! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Catch-Up Kid!

It is no secret that children who are healthy are often the brightest, for a healthy body is the foundation of a healthy mind. A tired body can never make a child participate in activities that develop physical fitness and alertness, like games and other sports. It is now a norm to make a kid a complete bookworm. I agree that studying is indeed a good thing and every parent wants his/her child to be well versed in some foreign language like French, to know beautiful verses by heart and to top in all subjects in school but no one bothers to check what is put up on stake for all this. A stunted physical growth is caused by many factors; it may be a heavy school bag. According to a study done, an average schoolbag weighs around six kilos and we cannot even imagine how a child with a poor health carries it every day. Another thing is too much time spent in studying and that too becomes inevitable sometimes as the exams approach or the child approaches higher classes. However, the good news is that it is not too late, especially when we have something that can revive the growth as well as make up for the lost growth for a child. It is Horlicks Growth +. This product has been designed by specialist doctors for children aged 3-9, a time where most of the growth takes place.

A child with low weigh and height factor will always feel inferior and this complex will definitely spill to other compartments and thus in the long run he will be alone, down with a deep complex. Such children often develop suicidal tendencies; self-torture becomes one of their many behavioral issues. In our efforts to prevent all that the phrase ‘long run’ is rather not appropriate because children grow up really fast and the time we have in their growing up years is short. Here, we can rely upon one thing very easily and that is Horlicks Growth + that has a high protein quality essential to maintain an appropriate height-weight ratio and which gives visible and measurable results in mere six months. Parents who keep very busy can give Horlicks Growth + to their children and ensure that their growth and development takes place according to the standards of a healthy body.

It is however a problem that children are often moody and choosy in matters of food, especially health drinks and supplements. But there is nothing to worry as this drink comes in two delicious flavors of chocolate and vanilla that are commonly liked by all children. Those who have no time or no good shops in their vicinity, can order this online too with a click! There are few things that should not be compromised and the growth of your child is one of them. After all, what can be a greater gift parents can give than a good health & fitness? It is the best gift indeed sans an iota of doubt!

Please visit the website for much more info and height-weight calculator @ https://growthplus.horlicks.in/

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Waves- A Haiku

Waves wash names on sand
Mortal fingers proudly carve
Sea chuckles on our inanity


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