Monday, May 31, 2021

March Ahead

When you feel your independence

It is a major remembrance

Your freedom, your wish

That was subdued and pushed

Your liking, your earning

Long forgotten and missing

Your wings of liberation

You had in your imagination

That were cut

or you shed it

Grow them back

The time has come

Nature is in your kin

Make it a win 

No one can stop you

And if they do, bid adieu

Live for yourself

For once in your life

Ignore others

Believe in your creator

Don't you ever stop

Even if you have to hop

The road may not be smooth

But who cares when the driver is good 

Others may try to put you down

But talent would always win

You must stride ahead

Don't look at what you left behind

Bonds and ties remain

Truth will always prevail

March Ahead

Because, the time won't move behind!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A woman's value

I find myself aghast, dumb founded and before I recover, I manage to just utter a timid ‘Ille’ meaning No in Tamil, not being sure why it was timid. I am fresh and clean after my morning bath and dressed in a loose purple T shirt paired with a khaki colour cargo pant that falls well below my knees. I ponder, question and re question my mind if it does not look decent.  Well, I feel super comfortable and quiet covered.

I am in Thiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu in Central University campus where my Dad is the VC, an eminent VC. I have come from the busy city of Mumbai with my not yet 2 year old toddler to spend some time with my Dad and laze around in the serene city of Thiruvarur, if that is at all possible with a super active toddler. I am in the VC bungalow in my bedroom with my toddler who is sitting on the bed all dressed up but pant less, to attend his play school in campus. I try to save his dignity from the eyes of the maids in my room who have just arrived for cleaning, by covering him up with a diaper. Oh, but I was mistaken because the eyes were on me and thank God not the toddler. The elderly aunt asks me in Tamil about the whereabouts of my ‘dupatta’. At first, I do not understand and at the second, I pretend not to understand and at the third or final, I say ‘Ille’ meaning No. Meanwhile, the other lady, not so elderly, with an ostensibly irritated look asks me if they can clean the bathroom and I agree trying to interpret if the lady is attempting to safely close the just initiated discussion or taking a side. I am unable to answer them anything else because of lack of knowledge in Tamil language.

I mentally plan of googling up an apt reply in Tamil, discussing it with my mother, calling up my Tamil friend from college, and what not. I think of asking her if we as women should be ashamed of our body and keep covering it with layers and layers. I step down the stairs to proceed with my daily activities with my thoughts also stepping down in its intensity. Oh, there were so many thoughts and even contradictory ones. Should I have got ‘salwar kameez’ and ‘dupatta’ with me? Would that have been better?

However, I know that I am aware of the exact dressing for mostly every occasion and place and I need not take such petty things to heart but somewhere within I am alert that these things which we can ignore and proceed with life are not as petty as we may make it appear or rather prefer making it appear. It is the mentality that is inbuilt in many people and actually may take a lifetime to change.

I carry on with life with disbelief of the incident today. I meet the ladies everyday choosing to ignore the incident every single day.      

Everyday struggles

As I struggle to get up from my bed not so early in the morning, I drag myself to the kitchen to prepare food to satiate the hungry souls in my house including myself. I switch on the light and exhaust fan as if seeking company from the brightness and noise of man made conveniences. I clumsily slide the glass window to take a peep into the so called nature consisting of tall buildings in Mumbai, with trees playing hide and seek and without wasting a minute, I am ready to shoo away the unwanted pigeon sitting peacefully on the tip of the pole by throwing a glass of water. Yes, at least pigeons in Mumbai do not mind the general ‘Shoo Shoo’ making me think of other practical ways to keep them away. Then, I begin to cook for the ‘Bade Sahab’ and the ‘Chote Sahab’, my husband and my toddler respectively comprehending whether my husband would come back from work today with a new sarcastic complaint of the lunch and if my toddler would relish his meal thus asking for more or distaste it leaving me with no other option but hastily prepare ‘fishie’ for him, his favourite.

Breakfast and lunch are ready, neatly kept on the dining table along with the packed lunch box for the husband as he comes dressed in business formals, without speaking a word only to gobble up his breakfast and rush to work facing the mad Mumbai traffic before that, somehow managing a Good bye and a very quick peck on my cheek and sometimes the toddler as well, if he is lucky. It makes me sigh with relief that the husband is off to office thus finishing half of my work but soon I realise that the toddler is up and I must run to him.

The whole day passes away in a jiffy with me running behind the toddler who thinks he is an adult and has his own say in each and everything which if not followed leads to a serious tantrum show where I am left with no choice but accept defeat at the end before losing my entire sanity, that makes me ponder a lot of times about why I did not accept defeat at the first go. I decide to carve some ‘Me’ time while the toddler dozes away but I eventually realise that making him sleep takes me two whole hours that leaves me so exhausted that I too soundly sleep with toddler. The day ends with making a good dinner to compensate for any wrong in the lunch and feeding the fussy and just awake toddler at the same time.  I question God that why is my toddler grumpy and I get the answer when I take him out to the park in the evening to quench his never ending energy and his hungry mind. I return home exhausted and he returns charged up to greet the just arrived bread winner of the family who has a long face, sweaty formals and a huge laptop bag hung to his front, to save his hard earned money from pick pocketers, as if just returned home from Kargil war. I diligently serve him ‘adrak wali chai’ and I assume that he is re energised but surprisingly his face remains quite long without a smile for the rest of the day seemingly catering to office tension. ‘Family who eats together, stays together’, so I insist that three of us at least have dinner together and finally few pleasantries are exchanged. The toddler, as if accumulated all his energy, wants to play with his father past midnight which doesn’t go so well with the husband and somehow all of us crash to bed with I reciting endless stories, poems and lullabies with intermittent breast feeding sessions.

With all of this mundane drama of life, I find myself rushing the next morning to pursue the same activities hurriedly and again throwing water at the pigeon but instantly missing it after it flies away as if it gave me great company, only to find it back at the pole and finding myself shooing it away again. Such is life. One is never happy or satisfied with the existing state in life. One who is content is either a sage or a moron. This is the story of a working mother who has taken a break from her career to spend some quality time with the toddler before he stops needing me. Was I happy as a working Mom balancing work and home or never being able to balance both? Am I happy as a stay at home Mom attending to baby duties and house hold work and missing my professional work, freedom and independence? The society always points fingers. We are the ones who need to stop caring about the society and try to be happy and enjoy each phase before it’s over.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Going back to childhood

I wish to be a child again
to go back to my mother's arms
to cuddle up with her
to sleep till woken up
to be scolded for being messy
to be fed till stomach bursts

Oh how I wish to be a child again
to be with her always
to wake by her side every morning
to worry about nothing but studies
to look good to please her
to achieve milestones to impress her

I wish to be a child again
to see the world through her eyes
to feel the joy of everyday life
to relish the love of blooming flowers
to enjoy every moment as it comes by
to live my life for her

God, please make me a child again!

Friday, July 5, 2013


I had just parked my sparky blue i10 in the parking lot of my apartment. I was climbing the stairs leisurely to reach my house. Suddenly, a very familiar smell filled the air. I recognized the smell but was not able to identify it clearly. As I concentrated on the odor, I started feeling it and knew it was the nostalgic aroma of my grand mother’s home back in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. To be more specific, it resembled Mami’s (this is what I call my grand mom) bed room and more so of her saris. I don’t know how I could smell the same odor right here in Mumbai. With a smile, I reached home and started thinking. The more I thought, the increased urge I had to revisit the stairway. Spontaneously, I climbed down the stairs and sensed it again and yet again. Still, I couldn't get satisfied and wanted to be there at my grand parent’s place. However, I had no option but to go back home.
As I lied down on my bed, a series of sweet memories played in my mind. I recalled how we used to visit the Sahidnagar home of my grand parents every single day after school. Homework would be completed and we would speed away to Sahidnagar. It was our daily outing. All my cousins would be waiting for us to arrive and a game would start straightaway. We would indulge ourselves in games such as ‘house house’, ‘doctor doctor’, ‘chor police’, ‘running race’ and the list goes on. Then there would be a call from my grand mother to have food. I and my brother would relish the finger licking food served there, very conveniently ignoring my mother’s annoyance as we wasted the same food served at home. A loud burp of satisfaction from me would make Aja (my grand father) laugh and I would leave the dining table for yet another game. After a good nap resulting from the rice we would have had at lunch, all cousins would reunite and watch TV or play. Our vacations would be spent this way. There were also the frequent visits to the ‘Kandura Jharana’ park (meaning Crying Fountain Park) and other stop overs. By late evening, our Dad would drag Mom, Bhai and me to get back home which we used to do very hesitantly.
Now, I realize that those were the best days of my life. I wish I could relive my childhood days. Even now, when all cousins get together, we share the same bonding and feel good about it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


The day starts with a very strong resolution to stay healthy and remain healthy for ever and ever. I get up early in the morning and check my weight right after the morning ablution with an entirely empty stomach. I instantly get shocked and want to throw away the bloody weighing machine. I hate myself the most at this stage. Thereafter I prepare myself and set my mind to eat right and exercise. This goes on day after day. After repeated attempts to succeed which results only in failure, my husband and me get ourselves enrolled in a gym nearby. We thought it is enough to keep us motivated. So, we start hitting the gym along with an everyday attempt of trying to eat right. The attempt starts every morning, is almost overcome during the noon and actually ends by the night. The very next morning, the stupid weighing machine makes me feel guilty. I want to blame everyone around me for my weight. Why did God create people who eat and eat but do not put on at all? Why is God being unfair to me? At the night, I make up my mind to change my life. I remind myself of what I believe in. Life is what you make out of it. Hence, I promise myself to restart the next morning, to turn into a new leaf and to change for better.
Hey you may be thinking that this is an endless process, but wait and kindly hold on. I have done it in the past. I have lost a whole lot of stubborn pounds for my marriage. That’s different that I have gained some of it back. But, all over again I pledge to shed it off all. Now, don’t you dare think that this is going to be a cyclic process from morning till night. Well, this blog was to share my everyday guilt with you.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oriya me!

Though my marriage doesn't let me be an Oriya, I am an Oriya by birth, by heart and will ever remain so. Also, this makes me an Oriya food lover. However, I do not get much of a chance to cook Oriya food at home as my hubby is fond of north Indian cuisine only. Now, it's a different thing that making north Indian food is a lot easier compared to Oriya food. :) :) Since some days or rather months, I was craving for it. Recently, one of my colleagues pointed me to a good Bengali restaurant. So, this Sunday, I somehow persuaded my husband to take me there for dinner. It was either for love, sacrifice or sympathy that my husband willingly took me there. I had accidentally burnt my hand in the afternoon while working in the kitchen. So, I assume that the sympathy would have come from there. Whatever the reason might be, I was super excited.

So, we landed at the restaurant called Iti. It was an orange and green themed restaurant which was quite nicely done. It looked so Bengali and so authentic. There was this nice Bengali music being played at the background. The waiters talked only in Bengali unless you ask them not to. There was the nostalgic aroma of fish which I still loved even though I had become a vegetarian. I felt I was close to home. At least, I liked the feeling of being in east India. I kept admiring the restaurant in my mind not daring to share it with my husband. Suddenly, a thought came to me out of jealousy or I don't know what. I thought, why not an Oriya restaurant with an Oriya theme. How about having postures of Sambalpuri and Odissi dance in the background and some carvings in clay too? Why not some Pipili hangings and Patachitra paintings? With typical Oriya food being served followed by our special Chenapoda sweet, it would literally be heaven on earth. I kept on imagining only to be pleasantly interrupted by the Bengali waiter. So my double egg roll had arrived. I liked it even though it was oily. My hubby had his paneer roll with utter distaste. It was followed by deserts such as raskadam and mishti dohi. I enjoyed both of them and my husband had no option but to eat it with dissatisfaction. While I liked the food, I didn't feel very happy about it as I felt I had dragged my hubby boy here. Then, I decided to close my eyes and just concentrate on the food I had been craving for. It felt awesome. Finally, I concluded that I would share my joy by writing a blog. All the foodies out there would definitely understand me. :) :) :) Isn't it?