Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pookkalam

It is Onam in my Kerala today and seeing all of the Onam wishes on facebook , made we remember the colorful pookkalams that were once an integral part of my childhood.

A basket of tiny white Thumba,
A handful of red Chembarathi,
Yellow Jamanthis , Not to forget
A dash of Orange Jendu-mallis,

All plucked and placed 
On a green plantain leaf
Ready to be transformed
Into a bright pookkalam

Ten days , it seemed to all
That flowers bloomed
With a strength of purpose
In supreme pride and glory

To beautify homes
And unify families
Over the design and creation
Of a beautiful flower carpet

Time goes by , fading 
Those colors into memory
They appear again, albeit
As wishes on my Facebook wall.

Making flowers bloom once again
White Thumba , red Chembarathi,
Yellow Jamanthi and Orange Jendu-malli
In my mind's  ona pookkalam.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda





Colors - Haiku

Blue , green , yellow , red
Laughing in silver chatter
My rainbow bangles.

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Black pen, white paper
Green eyes on teal blue sky
A colorful poem.

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Red Sindoor , black Kohl
Maroon Mailanji, gold ring
An Indian Wedding

[http://i-survive.blogspot.com/2012/02/significane-of-sindoor.html]
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I know Blog Adda takes Indian time midnight for its WOW entries , but couldn't resist writing a bunch of colorful Haikus when I saw this week's topic.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Stereotype

Be true to myself
A stereotype ? Never!
I wish, hope , pray.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Opposites - Haiku


Armed with this link http://hajku.herokuapp.com/, and inspired by BlogAdda to write about opposites , I tried my hand at writing Haiku. Here they are.

Reveal or conceal?
What the heart beat wants to say
Eye in dilemma.

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The cup of my life
Half empty or half full ?
Optimism answers.


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Rain drops drizzling down
Together , yet apart
With intertwined fates.

[Image Copyright :Eric Kamp]

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Thank You Again Blog Adda,
 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Lizard Incident - An anecdote on Friendship day


 "I don't know if you remember the card. But I haven't forgotten. I have it with me. All the best with your life."
These lines in my autograph book still trigger a memory of an incident that occurred when I was in class IX, referred to by our gang for years to come as the "Palli (Lizard)  incident." .That this incident was the first in a series of similar mid-adventures , is a topic for a different blog post , may be on another friendship day.  It was an afternoon full of boring lessons. There were six of us and a rubber lizard. Combining the rubber reptile with a surprise element , we had been trying to scare our classmates with varying degree of success. Then one of us had a brilliant idea. To try it on our Maths teacher who was a very friendly soul and liked all of us a lot. We decided on the last period of the day. As soon as she came in , we went to her desk with some questions regarding examination portions and as she was patiently explaining, out jumped the lizard , making her jump out of her skin.
The act went according to plan , but needless to say , we were at the receiving end of scoldings for better part of the next fifteen minutes. In some stupid fool's paradise, we had expected her to take it as a joke (!).

"I never expected such behavior from you, girls of all people."  She said with sadness in her voice and walked out.

We were upset that we had saddened our favorite teacher. We were scared that we'd be taken to the Principal or Vice Principal for disruptive behavior. We waited for her to come back and resume her lesson, but she did not return. None of us got much sleep that night with nightmarish images of getting expelled from school, on top of our thoughts. The next day, we decided to make a hand made card and place it on her desk. This was our way of telling her how sorry we were. With inputs from all , the card was designed , It had 6 :( in a row , each having some identifiable characteristic of one of the offenders and just one word inside it "SORRY". We placed it at her desk.



She never acknowledged that she got it , but we were were sure she had , because Math lessons from then on became the same as the ones in the "pre- Lizard Era". We were too scared to play any tricks in any class for the whole year and were so grateful that we worked extra hard in her classes to
become her best students.

Though I've had a lot of friends and fun in college and at various work places, when ever I think of friendship , my school life comes to mind first. ROFL and LOL were not invented back then , but anything and everything could make us laugh as if there was no tomorrow. Dedicating this post to my fellow conspirators in this incident, whom I haven't met or talked to for years now. When I look back , I can honestly say  " Those were the best days of my life. "

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda


Thank you BlogaAdda for choosing this as a WOW post. Made my day!.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tamarind Rice-d

Tamarind Rice , an emerging online e-zine has published my story "The Last Day"  . You can read the story and all of the super cool contributions from other authors here.



 
Happy and excited !
You can also read it here The Last Day

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Last Day

I walked with a brisk pace to my cubicle. I was already late and Today was the day I had chosen to present my new algorithm to my boss. In my hurry, I almost bumped into a couple of people on the stairs. What was up with everyone, trying to bump straight into me (?). I had no time for that. What with all the talk of mass layoffs and the big boss's knowing glances, I didn't want any more reason for them to take me out.

When I finally reached my cubicle, something made me stop on my tracks. My team lead Akshay was asking a facilities worker to take away all my belongings and put them in a box. All my nightmares since I overheard that conversation between my managers last week had suddenly come alive. This is what it felt like, being told to go. Being told that the place I frequented or even haunted if you count the number of midnights spent here, was no longer mine. I looked at him closely. There was more than a twinge of sadness on  Akshay's face. It must be the big boss, who's making him do it. Akshay always liked me.  Maybe, they sent me a mail this morning. I'd heard that’s how it was for a bunch of people in the customer care department when they got fired.

I decided to wait, to compose myself before meeting any of them- my (ex) team mates. Then I saw them all huddled together in the conference room. Not a single person had a smile on their face. It was obvious even from a distance that usually cheerful banter was completely absent. Reena and Shashank almost looked like they had been crying. I wondered if they were all being fired.

As soon as I saw Akshay get into the meeting room, I decided to go to my seat unseen, one last time, before they cleared it out. I looked at my cubicle with wistful eyes. “Good Bye, my Second Home“. My gaze shifted to my locked computer screen and realized that more than anything; I wanted to log in and see my layoff email. Maybe I should delete my personal stuff too before somebody realizes how many copyrighted Bollywood songs I have downloaded. I sat down on my chair and typed the password. Nothing happened. The ever familiar key board and mouse were refusing to do my bidding. I bent down and verified that the cables were connected. Then the unthinkable happened. The two facilities people walked right through me and picked up the chair I was sitting on, as if I didn't exist.

Then it hit me, precisely like the bus that hit my bike as I was rushing through peak traffic to reach the office. I was not solid anymore, only a meager spirit that lacked even the power of touch, which people walked right through, someone of no earthly consequence. As I was walking despondently away towards the exit door wondering what was ahead, I noticed my notepad on the floor. My algorithms ... my designs...my solutions. I wished there was some way I could save them from certain death at the jaws of the paper shredder.

It  was only inches from Vineeth's' cubicle. Vineeth, my best friend, who had worked with me on this project. I’d overheard the bosses talking last week that he'd be laid off in a week if he didn't present a working algorithm by then. He was absently walking back to his cube with some print outs, sense of direction obscured by the mist in his eyes. I wished, with all my might, that he would see my book. On perfect cue, a wind blew out of nowhere knocking down the print outs in his hand. As he bent down and examined my notes, I could almost see him smiling through his tears.

With one final glance back, I made my exit. It was my last day after all.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happiness

The happiness  butterfly,
It would not just stand by
With a butterfly kiss and a perky flap,
Take off it did , not wait on my lap.
Chasing after its elusive scent
Captivated by the sights en-route I went
In the crowded beaches,
Making castles of sand and dreams
On the platform , enjoying the rain
While waiting for an unduly late train
In the park , having fun
Blowing a bubble or two in the sun
Staring up, filling my eyes,
With orange-blue oils in the skies.
Walking across crowded street,
With a spicy roasted peanut treat
Looking in awe at the full moon sky
Enchanted night that stars twinkle by.
As I sit down and pause
To enjoy little things with out a cause
With a butterfly kiss and flutter of wings
Happiness , my little butterfly brings.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

When you say nothing at all..55 Fiction Again


I had forged a thousand reasons in my mind , a million justifications , why she could be the only woman in my life. Why I wouldn't surrender to your wishes this time.
But you just looked at me with those wistful eyes in silence.
When you say nothing at all, how can I defy you , mother?

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He looked for her every where . Flew high and low. Called out her name . No tweet came back.
"When you say nothing at all, something is not right". He worried.
He understood the ominous, as he heard the light footed hunter walk away and an anguished sage say "Ma Nishada Prathishta Twam gamaha".

*********************************************************************************
"I love you. Will you Marry Me ". He said kneeling down .
She did not reply. In fact she gave him the same playful smile as always.
"Say something , sweetheart ", he coaxed. "It kills me when you say nothing at all."
"Are you proposing to her photo again , you moron? When will you grow a spine!"

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Another set of tiny stories , this time for the topic "When you Say nothing at all " for BloggAdda.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda and has been selected as a WOW Post

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rain Snippets - My attempts at 55 Fiction

"On a rainy day , Incy Wincy spider climbed that water spout. But the rain came down and washed him out. " Chanted my son.

"Will the spider be able to climb up again when the sun comes up?" He asked.

"Oh Yes". I said, smiling, as I kicked the dead spider out of the puddle.

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On a rainy day , she got into the bus as usual , and sat on a  window seat.
Feeling the beauty and romance of the rain on her face, she fell into a contented sleep, oblivious of her co-passenger, who got down before she woke up.
She was happy , until she found her umbrella missing.

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On a rainy day, he was making paper-boats to sail in the puddles.
He hoped the rains would continue tomorrow , so he could play them with his grandpa.
He didn't understand why his parents were anxiously scouring news and making frantic inquiries.
All he knew was that grandpa was supposed to return from Kedarnath today.

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On a rainy day , she saw him . As she did every time it rained.
He offered her his umbrella and they walked away together in the rain.
One day she asked . "Who are you? ". He smiled showing off his vampire teeth.
She reciprocated..her fangs making her wickedly beautiful. And they faded into the rain.

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On a rainy day , I saw her for the first time.
It was raining too the day she became mine.
On another rainy day , I lost her for ever.

I was distressed beyond words. I had to think of another excuse for losing my third umbrella in a month.

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My first attempt at writing stories under 55 words. And I wanted to stray from the usual Rain/Romance saga.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda


Yeah!

Rain Fury

On a Rainy day, my heart skips a beat
Relishing a respite from the heat
[Source :http://wallpaper2021.blogspot.com/2011/05/rain.html]
As raindrops on my cheek
Murmur a gushing sweet speak
The wind pulls my hair , teasing
As it splatters droplets ,  adorning
Spring's white  flower bequest
With a pearl ornate chest

As the wind , changes its tone,
From a treble to a baritone ,
Rhythm of the falling rain
Picks up beats, quickens again
Watching the skies rapidly shift hue
Washing a dark grey blue
Colors from my rain speckled cheeks drain,
I try to protect my flowers in vain.

Rain , Wind , I beseech , I pray ,
Do not take my spring flowers away.
Thunder guffawed , mocking me anew
With strength and vigor , the thunderstorm blew.
With vengeance it crushed my flowers to ground.
In to the sea of mud where everything drowned.
"Your flowers are mine" , it seemed to say
"As is everything that stands in my way."

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Road to Success


If you want the thrill and excitement
Of roads seldom traveled,
Of novelty, ambition ,
May be a  morsel of fame

In paths un-traversed by men.
Foot prints , mark your own
Reach for the stars , the sky,
The end of the blue horizon.

It will be a long journey ,
I must warn you though.
And it is not for quitters
Who stop when things get rough.

May perseverance be your virtue
And hard work be your friend
The fairy tale will come true
You will succeed in the end.

Adulation , admiration , will follow.
Future will , in awe look
But you will be the pioneer
Of a route that no one took.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Words - A Haiku Trial..

Verse , rhyme I wait for
Why do they take so much time?
From a (writer's) block away.


My first trial  at Haiku. Not even sure if I got my syllables right.. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monsoon Memories - A Thunderstorm Saga

"Sun , it has come . Finally..". Her eyes were shining in excitement.
I looked up from my book and smiled
"Perfect. And it is Friday too".
"Did you ask if it is available?" I asked , slightly doubtful now.
"It is bound to be. If we don't get it today , some one else will and we won't get it for a week."
"Let's go now then. ". I said , discarding my Famous Five on the wicker chair in the porch.

Thunder rumbled in the distance.
"Amma , I'm going out with Deeps. We will be back soon. ".
"Don't get wet." she called out . "It looks like a thunderstorm is on its way."
"Don't worry Amma , we 'll be back in no time.". I called out, starting to get ready.

We looked for our black umbrellas , but could only find one. The other remained stubbornly out of sight. "Fine , let's just go with one then." I said as I put on my Verlon sandals. We started walking. A cool breeze was blowing . The rain had left the ground wet with an aroma of freshness that made me happy.We walked faster than usual , taking the shortest route possible to reach our destination. We made it just in time before the shop closed.

"I was about to close the store , but here, I have placed it in a plastic bag , take good care as it is the only copy I have."  He said as he pulled down the shutters and got on his bike to go home before the rain started.

As soon as we started on our way back , it started drizzling. Suddenly with the sound of exploding fireworks, thunder boomed , and a streak of lightening seemed to hit a tree  nearby. Rain was falling by the buckets and the roads were flooding. Walking through puddles and water filled potholes, our return journey was slow. And then the wind decided to play naughty and take our umbrella away. Now completely wet , we tried to chase down the umbrella which had overturned and was collecting water inside like a huge bowl. Deeps covered the plastic bag with her dupatta while I chased the umbrella that the wind was moving away from us.

"Got it . "I said as I caught up with the flying umbrella and desperately tried to put it  back in shape. We were almost home now. "Let us make a run for it , We are wet anyway". She said , and I agreed.
Photo Courtsey (http://www.kerala-holidays-and-hotels.com/images/Kerala-Monsoon.jpg)
We dashed down the mud road, into our houses , completely drenched , right into my Amma and Valiyamma (aunt) who immediately started scolding us for our escapade in the rain. But we knew that no scolding could take away the happiness of the possession in the plastic bag that
we had so jealously guarded. "Let's go change into something dry first .We'll watch it when the rain stops. " Deeps said. Her words were drowned by the bang of the next thunder bolt . Electric sparks flew from the electric post nearby and then all went dark. "The transformer was hit. It will probably be a day before it gets repaired and power is restored."  Our hearts sank as we heard this oft heard proclamation from my uncle who had gone out with his torch to investigate.

 We looked sadly at each other. For all the trouble we had gone to get the video cassette of Baazigar , we wouldn't be able to watch it after all..

In the candlelight , we sat on the verandah , staring at the dark moonless sky playing Antakshari as there was nothing else to do.

"Oh Mera ...Baazigar O.. Baazigar Tu hai Bada Jadugar". I sang  ."Your turn , sing with Ja".

N.B : This post tried to picture a typical monsoon incident in my childhood.  While all of it may not have happened in one single incident , it happend some time and chasing umbrellas , getting wet in thunderstorms , and playing Antakshari during power outages were part of my childhood monsoon memories in Kerala. Hope you like it.

N.B: This  was written as an entry for discussion topic Monsoon Memories in Darlings Of Venus


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One Last Game

Come on my friend,
Run along with me
There is still time
For one last game

Short words I catch on
And conspiring looks
I realize that time's less
Before we part

But before we are forced,
To go separate ways
There is still time
For one last tag

Run along far,
Before they call us back
May be we can have
A little hide and seek

Until they find us
And take us back ,
There is still time
For  that one last game



I know they have plans
That have nothing to do
With letting us play
All day today

But may be we can coax
For just a little while
So there's  still time
For some more play

Run along my friend
Let us hold hands too
See who's fast
and who'll be last

Pick up some sand
Pull a blade of grass
Watch the world go by
With curious eyes

Until those adult voices call
Time's up , let's go home
There's still time to run along
For one last game of play

P.S :Dedicated to all the times I saw Manu and  Samyukta play.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lost Verses


The rustle of fresh leaves,
The white spring flowers..
The breeze that brushes
my hair against my cheek
With an ever gentle swish

The calm solitude of pleasure
I try to hold on to for ever
As words dance to their 
Sweet melodious music
Across my mind's 
Green windy wilderness

Woken into reality
From my distant dreams
Pleasure turns into anger
As my verses get lost
Falling into the vortex of my 
Tumbling thoughts
Again..

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Give NRIs a break!

After having seen at least 3 variations of the same post bashing NRIs on my Facebook ,  I decided to take things to my own hand and answer to some of these common allegations against NRIs from USA by the so called perfect people back in India.

21. Tries to use credit card in road side hotel -

It is very rarely that I have to carry cash in my purse when I'm in the US, so excuse me if I make that mistake in some road side hotels. And yes times have changed now in India so much since the first time some one wrote this piece that many road side hotels actually accept credit cards these days.

20. Drinks and carries mineral water and always speaks of health conscious.

My family drinks tap water in our Minneapolis home But I would like the Desi who wrote this and all those who laugh and nod in ascent at the cleanliness of the NRI to swear that they never buy mineral water, not even in railway stations where the tap spews brown colored water ,  or even in urine stench filled road side rest areas that the private buses from Bangalore stop, or when the water that the tanker brought to your Rs 15000 monthly rent paid apartment looks yellow and smells bad. Do that and I'll agree about who is being health conscious and who's being obnoxious.

19. Sprays deodorant such so that he doesn't need to take bath.

I could say that about almost every alternate youngster in the country , so please..

18. Sneezes and says 'Excuse me'.

      OK, the next time I sneeze in your presence , I will sneeze a whole menagerie of germs unto you and walk away as if nothing happened. Will that make me a good resident Indian?

17. Says "Hey" instead of "Hi".

says "Yogurt" instead says "Curds".
Says "Cab" instead of "Taxi".
Says "Candy" instead of "Chocolate".
Says "Cookie" instead of "Biscuit".
Says "Free Way" instead of "Highway".
Says "got to go" instead of "Have to go".
Says "Oh" instead of "Zero", (for 704, says Seven Oh Four Instead of
Seven Zero Four)

The next time somebody returns from Delhi and says "Yaar" at the end of every word, or when someone returns from Bangalore saying "madi" at every second sentence , I will start calling branding them as being different from the rest of the herd. English is a language that has been butchered by every nation in the world. Getting an American accent is as natural as getting a North Indian accent in Delhi and a Tamil accent in Chennai. Accept it if you can.


16. Doesn't forget to crib about air pollution. Keeps cribbing every
time he steps out.
As if you don't.

15. Says all the distances in Miles (Not in Kilo Meters), and counts
in Millions. (Not in Lakhs)

Wait till you are here and people look at you with a puzzled expression and ask you what the heck a lack(!) is.

14. Tries to figure all the prices in Dollars as far as possible
(but deep down the heart multiplies by 43 times).

Might have been true a couple of years back , but with growing inflation , it is cheaper to think in dollars these days.

13. Tries to see the % of fat on the cover of a milk packet.

Who doesn't like to be optimistic and think that Indian products would start doing it some day. I also look at products hoping to see an expiration date.

12. When need to say Z (zed), never says Z (Zed), repeats "Zee"
several times, if the other person unable to get, then says X, Y
Zee(but never says Zed)

It took me 3 years  to change myself from Zed to Zee.
Wonder how many it will take for me to go back.

11. Writes date as MM/DD/YYYY, on watching traditional DD/MM/YYYY,
says "Oh! British Style!!!!" 

Ditto.After having forced oneself to say dates in MM/DD/YYYY to every other customer service call it is really difficult to get back to the other format. I almost resort to saying the months in words to avoid format confusions.

10. Makes fun of Indian Standard Time and Indian Road Conditions.

Come on, just because I lived for a while in  another country , you are not mean enough to keep me out of joking about the two things every Indian jokes about. It is a habit we grew up with. Our culture  and our upbringing.

9. Even after 2 months, complains about "Jet Lag".

Dear "Person who has never stepped out of your house ", Jet lag wasn't an invention of some moron who wanted extra sleep on his vacation.Though I'm certainly jealous of the person who gets to stay 2 months on vacation in India to complain about Jet Lag for that long . But it does last a week in some cases , air plane journeys being what they are today and granted that all of us aren't rich enough to afford business class.

8. Avoids eating more chili (hot) stuff.

I'm not sure where you got that from , but people like us crave chilli and pickle when we come on vacations. Although our kids who are used to American cuisine may be a different subject altogether.

7. Tries to drink "Diet Coke", instead of Normal Coke. 

   If something is available , what's wrong with watching your weight. It is not like normal Coke is some special nectar in any case.

6. Tries to complain about any thing in India as if he is
experiencing it for the first time.

When you are in India , you don't have a yardstick to compare with , and you still complain. Do you wonder that people who have seen better things do the same albeit a little more? Mind you, I'm not saying it is right , but just saying we are like ninety percent of the population who complain and offer no solutions.

5. Pronounces "schedule" as "skejule", and "module" as "mojule". 

   Same as point 17 though I 'm not sure if the second part is right, may be it is another dialect that I'm ignorant of.

4. Looks suspiciously towards Hotel/Dhaba food.

    May be some people do , but people like me make a list of hotels/dhabas to eat during a much awaited 3 week vacation , only to be ddiscouraged by people at home citing horror stories like the Shawarma that killed someone in Trivandrum.

Few more important

3. From the luggage bag, does not remove the stickers of Airways by
which he traveled back to India, even after 4 months of arrival. 

People are lazy and believe me , if Indian Railways or KPN travels ever had luggage tags , a huge majority of the travelling public would we walking around with luggage tags.

2. Takes the cabin luggage bag to short visits in India, tries to
roll the bag on Indian Roads.

Do you expect me to buy specific smaller bags to travel ingenuously during a 3 week vacation? Or carry my stuff in plastic bags titled "Pinky Textiles" and the like? And what's wrong with giving more preference to your back over your bag, by rolling it as much as possible?

Ultimate one

1. Tries to begin conversation with
"In US ...." or "When I was in US..."

Reminds me of the Malayalam movie in which the character played by veteran actor Thilakan starts every other sentence with "Pandu njan vardhayilayirunnappol..." (When I was in Wardha.. ). Boasting is not the monopoly of NRIs. There are inflated airbags every where , but staying abroad does provide a major catalyst , as does foreign travel , money and any number of factors which provide their own unique tag line.

Think about this before you make fun of us NRIs . The chances are you might end up working for one. Or more likely depend on one as a customer or financier for your completely Desi enterprise.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Snow Times

We stepped over the frozen snow.
Making foot prints in glee
I was so happy then
Like a child of three

In the cold and in the rain
We held together strong
We were one , you and I
We could do no wrong

In your joy, that knew no bounds,
I saw my world go round
Until one day I gave away
And you fell down the ground

Since that day , I wait and wait
For another snowy day
May be play one last time
Before you throw me away

Love,
Snow Boots



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lunch Nostalgia

I went up the familiar vendor in the cafeteria and stood in line , thinking about the meeting I had to rush to afterwards. 'Two soft tacos as usual' . I said 'and No meat' ,I added as an afterthought. I looked around and found an empty table for myself.  As I looked out of the fourth floor window into the snow covered grounds, I was struck by a wave of nostalgia .

I remembered the school lunches , where it was a race as to who would finish eating first and rush out to play catch catch , police and thief, run and touch the coconut tree and so on.

I remembered the lunch breaks in high school and 12th grade where we would gather around a cycle shed , post lunch , gossiping , and planning mischief until the rendezvous point had to be abandoned because of an allegation that we punctured the tyre of a teacher's son's bike.

In to my mind came the lunch times in college , where we would go out to the canteen to buy a vada or sit for hours at stretch at the Indian coffee house with just a coffee or a lime juice. And the awesome times we had at birthday treats where you gorged like you'd never seen food before and then with out batting an eyelid gave the name of the rival college , when some disgruntled restaurant owners asked us where we were from.

At Infosys , my first company , we had a small gang of friends who always had lunch together despite being in different projects and located all over the huge sprawling campus. As more people got busy with personal lives , the number in the gang dwindled , but the ones who remained followed the request acknowledge mechanism using emails and missed calls to have lunch together wasting minimum time.

As life took me through different jobs and different places , lunches became more of a time of introspection . A time to be with myself in my busy schedule. No missed calls told me that it was time to have food any more. My current routine was to rush to the canteen , usually minutes before they closed , get my usual food and find an empty table overlooking the window.

Wistfully , I longed for those lunch times when there was laughter and fun and jokes on the table alongside food. And friends to share them with.  I was jolted back into reality by the phone of the person at a nearby table and as I rushed through the rest of  my meal , I made a mental note to myself to call some of my friends from school soon.

I hope this time , it will not buried once again in the continuous monotony of life.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Out of this World


Amber was walking aimlessly along a narrow winding path to a beach. There had been nothing other than discussions of Armageddon and world end all day. She was tired of it all. "What if the world ended ? Would she really care? Should she confess her love to him before it was too late? Now , that's stupid." She chided herself. "What if I told him and the world did not end. His ridicule would be the end of the world in itself." She walked on., as a storm prepared to brew overhead.

***************
Shekar was working on a top secret mission at NASA. It needed only one more approval. The space craft was ready to take off into the outer space. At the first sign of catastrophe , it would take off and orbit the solar system . The name on the space shuttle read 'Noah's ark'. "Are you ready for adventure?" He asked his  young friends. They nodded.
***************
Adam was working at his usual shift in the meteorological department. They had seen a number of weird things going on this past week . Flash floods, Tsunamis , Torrential rains, large blocks of ice floating around in oceans. Enough and more for a panic reaction if the public came to know. But he wasn't sure if all these were some weird climatic aberration that would go away (may be not without claiming thousands of lives) or something more sinister that would destroy everything in its path wiping out life from the entire planet. Suddenly his face drained of all color as he watched the blood red alert dots spreading across the map on his screen.

***************
Samuel suddenly realized he was not reading a word of the book in front of him. His thoughts had wandered off in a tangent from when he read that word 'Amber' scribbled across the page footer. May be he should put an end to her suspense. He thought of how he had tormented her , kept her waiting ,secretly rejoicing in the fact that she loved him. He didn't for a moment believe in the rumors of world ending. That was just another myth invented by worthless people. He tried to call her on her cell phone and got her voice message instead.The phone connections are bad in Hawaii. He thought wryly. At that moment , a television weather alert caught his attention.

***************
In another dimension, two scientists in lab coats were watching the clock. It could be called a clock only in the sense it showed a measure of time. Other than that it was another piece of sophisticated lab equipment. One of them looked into the microscope and sighed,

"You know , there is a panic reaction down there. "
"Yeah , this was bound to happen when we experiment with intelligent beings. "

"Is it time yet?"
"On count of three ", said the other.

On count of three the experiment container was destroyed.

"Too bad this one got itself into this state and couldn't be repaired. It will take millions of years to get one half as good. "
"Not if the Noah's Ark makes it to the new culture.I'm 99.9% sure it would ".
" I have to admit that it was a brilliant plan".
The two men exchanged smiles and walked out of the laboratory.


***************
10, 9, 8 ,7, 6,5,4,3,2,1,0 ... Blast Off..
Noah's Ark flew into the orbit taking with it animals , plants and four children specially chosen for the task.The color of their skin or the language they spoke did not matter any more. They were the future of the world. The only future.


***************

P.S : I started writing this in December when the world was rumored to end .. This write is totally fiction and any I categorically deny any involvement with Aliens or  Mayans or Mad scientists for that matter.

P.P.S : After I wrote the story , I found that there is a book called Noah's Ark Rocket by Tony Frais. I have to read it now.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Parenting - in the Super Hero age

I ran up and down the store calling out his name aloud , all sorts of horrible images of missing children and  kidnappers to accidents floating in my mind. Just as I stopped for breath , I heard a familiar laugh from behind a huge aisle of clearance apparel .
"You can't find me , You can't find me!"

"Mom , I was hiding here" , he crooned as I hugged him close , while still pretending to be angry with him for the scare he had caused me.

Later , safe at home , I started a discussion with him about the dangers of going off by himself in public places.

" Darling , you should not go off by yourself in stores. You might get lost."

" Lost? I won't get lost. I was only hiding..Playing hide n Seek. It is so much fun in the store."

" But what if you hide somewhere , and I can't find you?"

" Hmm..But I know you'll find me. You always find me when I hide."

"What if somebody takes you way, you know , like bad guys?"

He thought for  a while ,before saying in a whisper

 "You mean real bad  guys might attack me? "

I nodded.

He looked really serious for a while and I thought he had got the gist of what I wanted to say. Then he piped up with a smile on his face.

"When real bad guys come and catch me , Spider Man will shoot webs and rescue me. "

I thought really hard what to say to this. I couldn't very well say that his idol doesn't exist. Not when that's the one hero who is omnipresent in all his personal belongings.

Cautiously I started

"But , my dear , Spider Man is in New York city , and we are very far from there. Even if he wanted to save you , he would have to first book a flight , and fly for 3 hours before he can reach here and fight the bad guys ."
and slowly looked at him to see if my words had hit their mark.

He seemed lost in thought as he realized the gravity of the situation.

Then he looked down at his Spider Man t-shirt and excitedly shouted :
"I have a Spider Man shirt, I can shoot web from my gloves and get away from the bad guys.. Can't I Mommy? And I ate all my veggies today and am really really strong."

I could only laugh helplessly till my sides ached and hug him tight , as I said,

"That's all true , but you have to stay with me so you can save me from the bad guys too , if they come? Will you?"

And he agreed.

Monday, February 18, 2013

കേരള വനിത

 നീതിപാലകര്‍ , രാഷ്ട്ര നായകര്‍ ,പിന്നെ
മൂല്യ ശിക്ഷകര്‍ ദൈവത്തിന്‍ ദൂതന്മാര്‍
മത്സരിചീടുന്നു സ്ത്രീയെ തരാം താഴ്ത്താന്‍
പുരുഷന്റെ തെറ്റുകള്‍ മൂടി വെചീടുവാന്‍

കപട സദാചാര കണ്ണാടിയാല്‍ ജനം
പെണ്ണിന്‍റെ ചെയ്തിയെ തെറ്റെന്നു കാണുന്നു
മതവും , പുരാണ ഗ്രന്ഥഅങ്ങളും പോരാഞ്ഞു
ശാസ്ത്രത്തെയും വളച്ചൊടിചീടുന്നു

 ആകാശ-ബഹിരകാശത്തിന്‍  ഉയരങ്ങള്‍
പുരുഷനൊപ്പം കടന്നെതും വനിതയെ
അബലയായ്  വീട്ടിന്ടെ  കോണില്‍ തളച്ചീടാന്‍
വെമ്പല്‍ കൊള്ളൂ ന്നതെന്തിനീ അധമന്മാര്‍

കാമാര്‍ത്തരാം   മൃഗങ്ങള്‍ പതിയിരിക്കുന്നൊരു
നഗര വനത്തില്‍ വസിക്കും  മാന്‍ പേടയെ
ക്രൂരമായി വേട്ടയാടി ഭക്ഷിച്ചു രസിച്ചിട്ടു
ഒളിക്കാന്‍ കഴിയാത്തോളെ  പഴിക്കുന്നതോ ശരി ?

പണ്ടൊരു പര പുരുഷ ദൃഷ്ടി ദോഷം പെട്ട
പെണ്ണിന്‍ രക്തക്കറ  പുരണ്ടൊരു പരശുവിന്‍
വരദാനമാം മണ്ണില്‍ പെണ്ണായി പിറന്നോള്‍ക്ക്
നീതി കൊടുക്കുവാന്‍ നൂറ്റാണ്ടുകള്‍ക്കാകുമോ ?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Paperless

An idea lights up,
Words come together
Expressions seek a vent
And I open my computer

Willing my fingertips to caress
Those alphabets to motion
Arranging and re-arranging words
Sans life.Sans emotion.

For those words of yore I yearn
Words on paper with a pen
Crossed , scribbled ,doodled, torn
Lovingly caressed with a hand forlorn

A neat cursive here.A scribble there.
Ink blots ,Those little dots
Marks left by an unfriendly eraser
On the pristine white of paper

Longingly I reach for a pen.
My fingers stop with a quiver..
Writing a few illegible lines
Hard it is to please my jilted lover.

Weary I put the pen aside
Placing my thoughts umpteen
Into the tangles of the web
And call it Going Green.