Saturday, September 03, 2016

Open Mind

Often, sometimes I think too often, I have reached out to the willing, the reluctant, the reclusive, the inconsiderate and tried to weave in my place in their lives. By keeping the communication channels always open, I was closing myself in. Somewhere it became my crutch, my lean-to. It became impossibly important to know I belonged, had an active part to play in everyone’s life.

I was wrong.

I did not need communication with others to be connected.

All I need is one line. One connection. With myself.

I learnt.

The insane shackles I welded on to my own feet are broken.


I am free.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monkey does as Monkey sees

I do not remember having as many toys, books, gadgets and games as my daughter does, but I do not remember asking my mother what to do when I was bored.

Because I was never bored. In fact, I always thought the day lacked hours because I always seemed to have so much to do. We played every chance we got, with dolls, with blocks, with the resident stray. We rolled on the ground, we sat in abandoned pipes, we climbed trees, we hid under blankets and called them tents. On school days we finished our homework and were outside at 5 o’clock sharp and we got home two hours later to a family sit down. We played carom and Ludo, we read books and we had discussions over dinner. We were a nuclear family of four during the weekdays and a joint family of around 16 over the weekends because that was ritual too… visiting and spending time with family.
So what’s with kids these days? I could easily blame it on the gadgets, because once I let my girl use the iPad or kindle, the hours fly by. Once the gadget is put away, I see an immediate slump in the mood or a spike in the temper. Yes, I could very happily blame technology and its evil spawn.

But I won’t. Because it is me, the parent who is at the core of it all. Not because I got her the gadget but because I did not teach her, did not show her how to use it sensibly. I did not teach her to think beyond the next prompt.

Monkey does as Monkey sees.

I am addicted to the internet. I love everything about it, from the information it has to offer to the people it connects me to… and I do not know when to stop accessing it. For a while, when I was technologically challenged enough to not look at buying a smartphone, we were okay, since over and above everything, I was too lazy to switch on the laptop after I got home. Now things stand differently. Even though I do not read every joke, motivational message, dire warning about a new virus… I still check the phone compulsively all the time and if a headline catches my eye, then God help me, I forget the existence of everything save what is happening in Bulgaria.

For the past couple of months, I put the phone away once I get home from work. For about two hours, I am just mamma who does regular stuff, like holler about the state of the house, the food that has not been consumed, the incomplete classwork and the reason behind why she thought it appropriate to stuff clay in all the keyholes. One would think she would be glad to have me go back to my smartphone. But strange things happen and she is okay with monster mamma person as long as she is the point of hundred percent focus.

And she is okay when I limit her access to the gadgets.

Because Monkey does as Monkey sees.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Magical Land

Everyone said Spiti was a beautiful place. A place that would dazzle the eye and soothe the soul. No one warned me about how it would seep through my pores and get permanently etched in my imagination. And certainly, no one prepared me for the people who live there. The true meaning of the word ‘Sonder’ came into existence in Spiti Valley.

Everyone I came across, from a local to a visitor, from the very young to the very old, from the settled to the nomad… every single person had a story to share. And that, more than the mind numbingly brilliant scenery reached in and grabbed my heart. Hence, the people of Spiti will be the first in a series of posts. A jumble of words, images, expressions and feelings. Sometimes unstructured, but always poetic because its people deserve it and the place commands it.

I could only manage some pictures. I missed clicking snaps of:
The ‘Amchi’ –local medicine man (practitioner of Tibetan medicine also known as the Amchi System of Medicine)

The ‘Chouwa’ – local shaman who fed us yak cheese and tea in his house and then proceeded to try and answer our questions on our past and future

The Garhis – nomadic sheep herders who move from one terrain to another based on the availability of food for their herd

‘Angdui’ – Our local guide who teaches in a local school and is capable of cooking up a storm
Vishakha, a Mumbai girl who runs the Himalayan Café at Kaza

Siddharta, an ‘almost nine-year-old’ boy near Dhankar Monastery who loves math and who nodded sagely and said, I had to study hard to get past grades I, 2 and 3. Now I am in grade 4, I will have to study harder.

 Should post the next update in a while. Meanwhile, I will wallow in a state of semi-existence.
#Bikers

#Spiti


#monks

#oldman

#oldwoman

#sarahkashyap









Thursday, July 21, 2016

Spooked.

We have been talking of graveyards and ghosts
Of the mysteries and the intangibles
Of fear and dark thoughts

And I somehow end up thinking
Of you, 
who left too early
And of you, 
who left it for too late
But most of all,
I think of you
Who didn't know you were gone
And I wonder
About what could have been
If our places were swapped
And I cannot but think
You think it too.


Monday, May 16, 2016

That elusive future

Wrote this way back in 2003 and strangely, future is still being as elusive as ever.

Across the distance, far far away
I view my future
Sitting on the highest branch
Of a mango tree

It stares at passing birds
Wishing on falling stars
Dangling its legs fearlessly
It weaves my tomorrow

The other day it hung upside down
I missed a heartbeat
A smile lifted my shoulders
My future steadied itself

Sometimes it has company
The animals, the stars… the others
Nothing seems to affect it
As the wind continues to blow

I waved to it today
Hoping in vain to catch its eye
As it plucked another cloud
To make a warm quilt

I tried crying out its name
Sent a message in a vinegar bottle
It chooses to ignore me

Doesn’t it know it belongs to me?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Doing right is not always easy

For years and years I put the memory of this place behind
And avoided its people.
For years and years I tried to get over one incident
And one person.

And now, after years and years
I volunteer to go and meet those very people in that very same place.
Because it is the anniversary of a question
And it is time to let go of baggage.

I wish I could say I was being brave.
I wish, I could be.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Finding a purpose

At 18:
I wish for a career that would let me fly

At 28:
I wish for a career where I work work work and grow grow grow

At 38:
I wish for a career that would let me fly

The twenties were clearly about misplaced aspirations.
Oh wait, forties are just around the corner. What are you going to bring me?