Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A pleasant Indigo experience

If you loved reading the poem above, you'd sure enjoy the story behind it. So let me be a short non-fiction story-teller for you.

Very recently I traveled through the Indigo airline. I am a frequent Indigo flier and prefer their services as they are nicer than the rest. I was on Delhi to Bangalore flight. The total air time of this particular flight is almost 2.7 hours. Not soon after the air craft took off did my son put on a show of watching a movie. I tried but all went in vein. I had to take out my laptop. Secretly I was glad for finding a way to kill the annoying boredom. We finally resorted for Angry Birds but after sometime, it appeared boring to me while my kid kept enjoying the movie with an envious concentration.

The boredom slowly started to grow on me. Even music could not offer any help. So my final savior was - Guess what? - Writing! Yes. I fished out my little pad and a pen from the purse and started a poem. I guess within ten minutes I was ready with one. But to complete it, I needed to know the height we were at. So I summoned an air hostess and put forward my query. She answered and then asked whether I was collecting some information. I said, no! I am making a poem. She was surprised and then we had a little chit chat about poems and reading habits. It was nice to hear she loved reading too. Afterwards, she went away to go about her job and I finally got to complete the poem. Not to boast myself but I was quite amused over how it had turned out. After a few minutes, the same air hostess dropped by my seat (without me pressing the call button) and asked:

Monday, 26 December 2016

My new venture - Pick'A Book Club - For Kids

This one probably will be the last blog post of this year. I am too busy to find time and write about every single event that's keeping me in a constant run but that's what I like to do - being super busy! And by speaking of it, I have got my New Year Resolution (NYR) - Being busy through out 2017. Simple, yes but highly recommended.

As the end of another year, it's getting a little worse. Terrible events one after the another are enough to drown a soul nicely and now I don't think I have anymore energy left to handle one more in the series. So let's have a merry chit-chat about a fraction of my busy life.

I have started a book club at my home. A book club is a dedicated space for the intended crowd designed majorly for Book Reading. Since I am a reader myself and the owner of a little library, it's hard for the importance of reading to escape. Hence, to encourage my society kids to get into the habit of book reading, I started this venture. It started on December 1st this year and may I dare say that it's going well! Kids and their parents are loving it. And above all, I love doing it too! It's very important to love what you do. Like I love writing, playing on my First Crush and now this book club start up. The idea is supposed to be permanent. but hey! Let's hear the name of my club. It is - Pick'A Book Club - For Kids. Nice name, isn't it? My friends and family helped me selecting it.

Click on this link Pick'A Book Club - For Kids to have a canvas of pictures taken through out the last four sessions. Fifth and the last of this month is on its way though. In those four sessions, we had multiple book readings, fun activities preceded by healthy snacks. I thought adding some fun but skilled activities will help kids learn many things viz. benefits of reading, basics of friendship, handling issues such as bullying and shyness, communication, networking, building confidence, breaking inhibitions and developing self-esteem etc. The list is endless, if you think of it. But the amazing fact about this book club is that, I too learn quite a lot in the process. It may sound simple to have a session with kids but it goes as tough as it sounds. Handling a batch of kids of different ages is a challenge! Many-a-times, you have to be sporty and thoughtful on spot. If one kid is teasing the other and the latter is not liking it, you are expected to solve the issue in a friendly way. You see, you have to be much more soft spoken, well in communication and in control than the normal. Thankfully, there are no complaints but all praise so far. My basic aim for running this book club is to consider it more as a responsibility and then I will be able to run it efficiently. I love every part of it!

Just last Thursday we had Christmas celebration. It was a total fun and an unforgettable evening for kids as well as for me.

Now that I have my writings, First Crush to strum on, and the book club - I feel blessed. They keep me amazingly busy and I have no complaints. I wouldn't know what to do/how to survive if life wasn't a sum of these activities.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

The Golden Room

The room illuminated with nothing but the glow of heater,
fixing the wall, doors, cloths and everything golden in color,
night is retreating like a tsunami wave, on back foot at first
only to come back as a hypnotic gaze but with a raging thrust;

The goldenness of the light around makes time still
letting the waves of memories enjoy the tranquil,
few days went simply by staying on back foot,
was it only to come back with a churning in loop?

the strength the power the force, everything makes it dizzy
blurred sight, devastated senses and heart so sloppy,
the wave finally takes over as it laps down the eyes,
now wet cheeks get a gentle pat of a soft smile;

a smile with no complaints but only acceptance,
droplets sliding down the face without a reason,
among all the biggies, Why stands tallest of all,
wish someone could answer it, without judging at all!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

UNICEF Tiny Stories

Recently I was invited to be a part of Tiny Stories, a worldwide initiative marking 70 years of UNICEF's social existence. For more details, please click the link: UNICEF Tiny Stories.

The initiative is about fantasizing a world for every child i.e. what kind of world I'd like for every child. It could be posted in the form of a tiny story, a poem, thoughts or a little paragraph. It just has to fulfill the need aptly. So here is the poem I created.

Picking up a Diary of a Wimpy Kid from the shelf

Priya looked beyond the book and herself,

Found two twinkling eyes shining on a hopeless face

A tiny figure looming over the bookshop’s glass pane;

Gifting the book to the needy child, she saw his emotions go wild,

Striding away with another copy of the same series,

She wished a world where there is a book for every child.

P.S. Delighted and honored to write for a platform where my all time inspiration, Paulo Coelho, as well has stepped up to. I am also glad for a big organization such as UNICEF continuing to work for the rights and benefits of children. Let's just not imagine but create a world where every child is happy, well nourished and gets what he or she deserves the best.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A brave soul

My Tau ji (uncle) got expired yesterday afternoon! The news came shocking! I was practicing on my Guitar for Dec. 31st performance when my husband called and informed me. I was taken aback! It was hard to believe. It still is.

I guess at this time of the morning, they must be taking his body to the cremation spot. I could not see him last time. Since no ticket was available for today, we have got our flight tickets done for tomorrow. Lots of family members and relatives have already arrived at my native. They must be mourning right now. I feel awful! Really terrible! How much my sister and I wanted our tau ji to come to our Bangalore homes and stay with us. His plan was almost fixed but something came in between and all our planning and shared enthusiasm went in vain. But if he had come here, at least we could have spent a little more time with him and listen to his talks and made him feel special in our ways. 

Last night before I fell asleep, memories deluged me with an unexpected force. I thought about how he cared for me and how his business and family were above everything. Tears rolled down at sweet memories while I sobbed realizing there won't be any of them anymore. I was his favorite of all my sisters and he always made sure to bring me something whenever he traveled. Now I will stay devoid of his special edition love and care much like my grandmother's. 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Ask before you go judgemental.

This evening I spent time with the President of my society regarding an issue. He is a very jovial, good natured and an extremely friendly man. He listens patiently and then responds accordingly. So I already knew my issue was going to be address in a very calm and precise manner.

I went and addressed him as Mr. President to which he laughed. I said:

'Mr. President! I have come with a society issue and I must discuss this with you right now.'

He finished his phone call and listened and then assured me the issue will addressed very promptly. I was satisfied. And then we started discussing on other issues and then I came to know how many issues are there for him and his association members to address on the daily basis. Tomorrow is a very important planting ceremony in our society. This is to make earth go more green as well as to encourage kids about the environment. For a normal resident like me, I thought it's an easy peasy task. We will just have to come and plant plants and then go back home cheery mood but when he explained the whole process, the pre-prep involved in this, I was amazed! How much effort is required just to perform a simple plantation thing! Big ones, I came to realize.

And then during the discussion it came along how some of the people get too judgemental to look at facts and basics and this inevitably creates an unpleasant stir all around. It's really difficult to acknowledge others' efforts just by sitting at home but I don't think anyone should raise hands to criticize in the first go. If you are confused about a fact then ask questions first and then come up with an apt decision. Still not satisfied? Ask again but be patient and tolerant. It's our society, a bigger home outside our little home. Even our country's PM can not solve each and every issue addressed by the public. But since such conflicts happen almost everywhere, it seems no big deal. Most of them will be resolved soon in the future. But the time, efforts and energy such problems take to solve is something to ponder about, because they cannot be gained again.

So before you go judgemental on anyone, take a step back and think whether the problem can be solved in a calmer way. This will help to grow the discussion in a healthier manner. At the end, issue might get resolved but words and actions will always be remembered.

Friday, 11 November 2016

The twinkling of hope.

I was on the terrace this evening after long time. It was almost six. I thought to carry along my Kindle but thought the better of it. It was already getting dark and reading in the dark means having company of the bunch of mosquitoes. So I went up alone, just to ponder over a few things.

I don't know why but since many days, there were no stars in the sky. The moon appears for its usual appointment but no stars could be seen. A sky with no stars somehow perplexes me, I don't like the sky without stars. But when I went up this eve, I saw one, a tiny but bright one twinkling into the vastness of sky. The moon was almost half full and hung proudly making its present quite vividly felt but that star made its presence felt too, despite of its small size.

I was submerged in a few thoughts when I looked up only to find that star and it brought a smile on my face. I stared at it wholeheartedly and felt the perseverance in the virtue of its nature regardless of its only presence in the sky. Its constant shine was an example of no matter the size of challenge, you can still shine and make your presence felt; that you have the power to turn big dreams into reality. Just keep working at it.

It felt as if it was transcending its light into me. I felt better, and nice! Exactly what I wanted at the moment. Thirty more minutes of walking, pondering and talking to the self, time had come to get back home.

I too happen to have a big dream and I intend to work hard and tirelessly to achieve it one day, and something tells me that if I keep the twinkling of hope alight, that day will surely come. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The sad story of a writer's life.

Past few days passed in a blur and tomorrow too feels to be treading the same path. It is good to be busy. Writing is a wonderful job but I must also add, a little tricky to understand as well. Thereby, I am here today to confess one thing. Being a writer is not an easy job. Not because writing is challenging. It hell is but because...people don't get it at first. They take time to understand that being an author/writer can be a job and in fact, one of the toughest jobs. Such people make me smile. Some I desperately wish to kill as they keep annoying with the same Q. over and over again.

Anyways, it still happens. If someone asks me, 'What do you do? Are you in any job or a housewife?' I smile and say, 'Yes. I am a writer,' and then they nod at me in silence but their expressions reveal what's going on in their heart. They stand as if I have spoken in an ancient language. They get confused and I bet they get desperate to bowl another Q. right away as: 'Once again, what do you do?' but much to their chagrin, they choose to stay silent. I keep smiling. Poor eyes! Reveal everything without letting its bearer know. But good souls with better I.Q.s are also there. Some of them get astonished and ask a few good Qs. about my job and say they are lucky to meet an author. Well, I appreciate that. ;)

But these people are nothing in comparison of my own mother. Some times I just feel like pulling my hair and making a mess of it whenever our telephonic conversation goes on like this:

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Steve Jobs' Last Words of Wisdom

Today I stumbled upon legendary Steve' Jobs' last words. They are full of truth and wisdom, as he must have collected through out his life span. An amazing hard worker, inspiration and a symbol of era in himself, let's cherish his last thoughts:

I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world.

In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.

However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.

At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of god of death drawing closer…

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth…

Should be something that is more important:

Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days …

Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.

God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.

The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me.

What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.

That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.

Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.

What is the most expensive bed in the world? – “Sick bed” …

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.

Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – “Life”.

When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – “Book of Healthy Life”.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends…

Treat yourself well. Cherish others.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Coelho and his soulful writing.

When something keeps putting you under its spell, you know the magic is working well. The same goes with writing and when it comes to writing, Coelho is the best magician I can anytime bet.

My current circle-of-hypnotism is Brida. It's about a girl named Brida who wants to learn magic. She goes to the Magus who in turn instantly realizes she is his Soul Mate but refrains to tell her. The book is largely 'bout magic, learning Traditions of the Sun and the Moon, witches, cathedrals, previous lives and more. I have only finished ~32% of it. So there is naturally much more in the stock to mesmerize upon.

Whenever I read Coelho, I feel so real, so original. He gives invisible wings to his readers while keeping their toes perfectly on the ground; he lets the reader enjoy the two worlds, two supreme powers at once. Such as Brida, his other novels, be it The Zahir or Adultery, deserve a complete seclusion from the world. You just can't read him between a chaos or routine noise. His writings are soulful, and you can feel him writing and thinking about it at the time of reading. Of course I agree that editors do play a huge role in shaping up the final version but they cannot take the essence of narrative, spirits of words and the magic of thoughts. Only the author has the sole copyright over them. Coelho, I find, is unbeatable in his work. Some of the verses from Brida are very heart-touching because he has placed them so aptly. Like the below one:

'Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong, my dear,' said her father looking at the clock, 'Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.'


'We can also allow our Soul Mate to pass us by, without accepting him or her, or even noticing. Then we will need another incarnation in order to find that Soul Mate. And because of our selfishness, we will be condemned to the worst torture humankind ever invented for itself: loneliness.'

Or take this one:

'Judging oneself to be inferior to the other people was one of the worst acts of pride he knew, because it was the most destructive way of being different.'

And so on... There are just so many beautiful quotes and thoughts enclosed in the book. I read his books when I am completely alone, or people around me are quite at a distance. Diving in his extra-ordinary mind is a privilege. I am even thinking to put a big poster of him on one of the walls in my house.

I desire to meet him one day. Why not? He is my favorite author, after all. I want to see him thinking and writing; how he is weaving his magic and choosing to use the right spell at the right time. May be a selfie with him would be good to tuck in on the wall next to his poster. One day may be...

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The lesson from a li'l finger cut.

There is this thing 'bout writing, if you happen to be in love with it. One moment you are on the bed starin' at the ceiling thinking 'bout the latest song you have learned on the Guitar in the evening and how generous the teacher was to praise you for playing another one perfectly and then the next, the writer bug appears out of nowhere and stings you so softly that you become helpless, give up on the search over yet-to-be-sought sleep and get anxious to write s'thing up. So I (im)patiently waited for my hubby to get deep into blissful sleep, sneaked out and now feeling like happy-go-lucky soul with the world sleeping in my neighborhood. 

Just yesterday I was in my kitchen during wee hours, all groggy and desperate to shoo away the hovering sleep. Purpose? I was there to make meals intended to give away to my kid and husband for the day. I picked a lemon and started slicing it but completely failed to notice it had hardened over last few days. I was a bit stressed since the previous eve and was still in the similar demeanor. So when I grated the knife over the lemon, the blade slipped and landed on my left index just for the split of second but enough to jerk me up, waking to the best of my senses. There was li'l sight of blood. I cursed myself and immediately ran my finger under the running tap. Time was ticking so I ditched the water, sliced the lemon with the help of just nine fingers, added honey and warm water and gulped the concoction down. During the entire cooking, my finger hurt and I finally had to resort to a Handyplast which was taken off soon afterwards.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Friday fun with Grisham.

'At some point in life, everybody thinks about walking away. Life's always better on the beach or in the mountains. Problems can be left behind. It's inbred in us.' - The Partner

A day can be turned beautiful if you have right book in hands written by the author you already love. It's Friday and the day turned special with The Partner by John Grisham. When I read its last page on my Kindle, I was taken aback! The story of Patrick Lanigan has already pulled my attention enough but it was The end that got my senses mutilated and dumb for a full minute. That means it took some time to understand the kind of end Grisham has not spoke about directly. And then the whole day (still going on) kept illuminating. Because I loved the novel! The speed with which it's written between the slides of truth and deceit, I enjoyed each one of them. 

You can say that some writers have that radioactive effect in their writing style that keep the reader illuminating even when the novel is done and finalized. Grisham is one of them. I adore Coelho! His writing has this earthy feeling.And now I seem to adore Grisham as well. For his attention to details, generosity to introduce sub-plots and crisp narrative. Although I never knew my interest could be evoked to the liking of laws and criminal cases but now I like them, thanks to him. Such should be the effect of an author, to evoke new interests in the reader and opening new doors to entertainment.

And by the way, I love his blue eyes too.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The reflection of lights.

Since it's officially past twelve, Happy Diwali! The day went by in a blur and finally after four consecutive days of swipe, dusting and cleaning, everything looks sparkly clean. It is as if my house is dancing with joy and content because of cleaned shelves, organized wardrobes, fresh crisp curtains, new bed sheets, aromatic candles etc. Not only my house but I am too feeling good.

Settled now on my dining table for writing a blog post, the time seemed to have come to a halt unlike the speed it sprinted during the day with! But it feels nice and soothing, this time of night. The fragrance of those candles is still floating in the air. Some houses outside still are flickering with colorful lights. World is asleep yet it feels as if it can burst into a celebration any minute. Such is the ambiance of Diwali. Its magic hardly ends.

Having said that, isn't it healthy to hold onto a few things sometimes? Like Diwali. It brings lights. A glowing Diya can enlighten any face. Like those colorful lights. They show how many rainbows life has hidden in its utility room and clicks the right color on right time only. Look at those beautifully lit houses. No matter the shade of paint, put a streamline of lights and there you go! Everything turns into a beauty. Does a smile not do such a job? Put it on and even the dullest face can go the most beautiful. Like those fresh crisp curtains, a sense of newness give a freshness to the mind. Cleaned and organized shelves say to stay tidy and precise. Tough but possible. Bursting crackers bring laughter and deliver more oxygen to the blood. Diverse Rangolis add creativity and bring people together. Sweets and delicacies are little crackles being enjoyed the most. And how come we can forget the actual message it is based upon:

Friday, 28 October 2016

Memories make you good, just like love.

There is an old movie made in 1998 named Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha starring Kajol and Ajay Devgan. The movie is the remake of French Kiss. There is this dialogue in the movie delivered by a police inspector (enacted by legendary Om Puri) that is still fresh in my mind:

हर इंसान को ज़िन्दगी में एक बार प्यार ज़रूर करना चाहिए।  ये उसे अच्छा  बना देता है।

Which, if translated in English, will come as:

Every person should fall in love at least once in life. It makes him good!

Makes sense, right? Yes. Love makes you good. It gently pushes you to do good deeds as well as reminds to not to do anything that can hurt your beloved. After all, the heart matters!

Since that time, I too believed love is the only thing that makes you good, makes you feel angelic. But today...another thing got listed -  Memories. Well, I didn't know there was a list!

Let's go for a roller coaster ride and let me explain you this there. Buckle up, brace yourself and here we go...

Thursday, 27 October 2016

No steel bridge in the city!

When the world goes to sleep, a writer's heart slowly opens...to new ideas, adventures and to a place where no one exists except the writer.

I am looking at the moon hung out of my window on the wall of sky. Stars too are there, a few ones but they are there. May be they are the friends of moon, not ready to leave him alone in the play ground. And that can be one of the purest examples of friendship: to stay as well as to never let go.

Anyway, this morning when I was watching news, I got to know about the steel bridge the government wants to make in the city. And not only wants to but it is desperate! Two things:

  • Just to save 7 minutes out of the traffic jam, ~1800 cr. INR will be the expenditure, and
  • Around 800 trees will sacrifice themselves to pave way for VVIPs. 

And I thought our government was brainy and sensitive!

Clearly, this project is unhealthy! So I am also as much against the creation of such ultra-expensive nature-killing project as much the rest of Bangalore junta. And why steel? It will get hot during summers and will also slurp more money. Truly speaking, this steel bridge project should be abandoned and a skilled plan for a better transport must be introduced instead. Four people on four bikes can accommodate into a car or more buses and cabs can be introduced. More option are there that can turn our beloved city more beautiful and pollution free.

Anything but this steel bridge.

Thousands of people have signed the petition to prevent the project. I am also thinking to find the website and file my own. This post is also a contribution to the ongoing protest. Because I genuinely believe that the steel bridge will do much harm to our city and its people than to provide some comfort. And when something hogs more than it gives, well, I don't need to tell what one should do.

Stop it!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

What is PINK? And BLUE?

(P.S. It's eleven at night and I feel like cooking Maggi but I refrain, waiting for the hunger to become its own complimentary.)

There is this news that my husband told me a few hours ago. He did not mention the place and other details but said this:

'A teenage girl had a fight with her mother and then she left the house, thinking to live independently somewhere away. She took a train to some place where two auto-rickshaw drivers cajoled and consoled her aching soul and promised her to get a job and good life. She agreed.'

The moment I heard that she had accepted the offer, I knew what was coming next nevertheless let my husband complete himself.

'46 days!! They kept doing it with her for 46 days!!'

In spite of knowing the upcoming my mouth fell open. Every time a girl is being handled in an unacceptable way, it never ceases to stun me.

A movie has also been released a few weeks ago titled PINK. It's a very powerful creation. I haven't watched it but intend to do it some time. Initially and like many, I took the title as in girls' favorite color because the movie is based on crime against women. But later upon reading an article (click to read), I came to know what PINK actually means and that stunned me too. Here is the definition, in case you get curious. I am using it from the article:

'Slang – the various urban dictionaries online define “pink” as a reference to forced and often cruel or threat-based occupation of a vagina by an unwelcome penis.'

Friday, 21 October 2016

The slowest jog.

Today I had the slowest jog of my life.

This morning when I sat down to work, suddenly there was a change of constellations in the universe and I could not concentrate anymore. My legs started to itch and decided to ditch the four walls of comfort and roam somewhere, anywhere. For an aimless outing. I put on jeans t-shirt with my favorite denim jacket and crossed little bag, donned the goggle and revved the car engine. Somehow doing something unexpected pulled me into a hypnotic state and I was out in as less as fifteen minutes.

Since there is no big fancy mall around my house (but soon there will be), I decided to explore the locals. After parking the car, I headed for the direction that asked nothing but a long trip to walk. Since the time has changed on the name of ease and comfort, people hardly use legs to cover distances. Bikes, cars etc. have squeezed life into the click of fingers. Having a long walk felt really good. It was 10.30 and I just kept walking. After some time, legs felt a little discomfort but stopping wasn't the solution. I kept going on and on. Then I noticed a lot of things. The shops and residential units that I had seen mostly from inside the car actually belong to this world. Passing them by taught me that 'Okay! This road connects here.' or 'So this is the shop from where we have bought our bathroom accessories'. My compass needle improved by the means of direction. I was satisfied. After around 30 minutes I decided to head into another direction.

This time, the direction was lined with verity of shops and restaurants. I looked upon some furniture shops and entered inside to inquire about this and that. Nothing really special. Then I entered into some apparels shops with a careless remark, 'Just browsing'. I anyway had a plenty of time to kill. In one of the furniture shops while talking to its owner, I realized he belonged to North. I was glad and got into a little chit chat with him. He was Muslim and friendly. I talked about a little more bit and then left. Usually shopping lifts my mood up but today I did not purchase a single item. I just walked and looked upon things and browsed and nodded. At near 12, I was standing by a coconut water seller. After one coconut, I felt the need for one more but I was skeptical of the nature's call but to hell with it! I went for another one. I missed my mother that time. She loves coconut water! After two, I was relaxed and then continued with my jaunt. 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Coins to make you rich!

Blogging has become a bit of on and off thing for me lately. Not that I have lost my focus on writing. Instead, I have gained on it. It's just I have been riding back and forth with some unexpected things lately. That's all. But I assume myself to be more regular here from now. Wish me luck!

In recent times, I went through an interesting experience over the span of a week; a week where learning came along as well as I was relieved of a certain kind of issue. If we talk about the first bit, the learning, I got to share a few coins that can possibly make you rich as well:

  • Be with people who actually love you. You will feel heavenly.
  • Always always and always have your ground. No matter how much weird or nonsensical  your belief looks to others, have confidence in you!
  • Never lose focus! Take valuable souvenirs from the past and decorate a better future. Or at least, try it.
  • And the most important: Learn to be alone. Accept it that one day, if no one is with you, loneliness will be just fine. Do not break over it. Do not sweat over it. But do the preparation from today. Inhale and accept the possibility.

Over the last few days, I also got rid of a certain kind of fear. And I never felt freer this way! I just had to keep my head light, not to stress 'bout the issue much and say it the way things have bygone. And that did the job. So let go of the fear that burdens your soul, eats you from inside and that never allows you to breathe in its presence. After all, we live in a country that owned freedom by integrity, courage and precise thinking.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A Minute of Struggle.

How many darts could one pull
over the board of a tiny heart?
Step back for a minute
let it breathe, 
let it stay alive for a li'l while;

Each face has a story to tell
something to hide, s'thing to expel
Pause for a minute
read the unwritten
let it speak and unwind; 

Not that life has a meaning on each turn
some are lost, some are gravely defined
Stop for a minute
look at the roads
let it walk down to an unseen aisle.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Until I happily die!

A million things to say, a zillion thoughts to listen
A warm hug to embrace, a soft laughter to trickle;
A hundred books to read, a thousand books to write
Let's keep talking, until I happily die!

An abundance of silence, no dearth of human patience
Countless empty stares to cherish, and a sigh to the end;
Endless paths for the mind to roam, with a destined naught
Let's keep breathing, until I am free and brought!

Flowing days, sliding nights,
Shiny moon blessed with warm skies,
Stars to look at and the sun to enjoy life,
Let's keep living, until death gives me a high-five!

A bucket of memories, with li'l sprinkles of smiles
An unwritten book of expectations, the invisible ink to inscribe;
The magic of present, with the crux of incredible life
Let's keep looking, until I have nothing to hide!

               -by Priyanka Baranwal

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The God I believe in.

Right now I feel so sleepy but can't hit the shack. Maid is about to knock in a few minutes and I'd rather get my house cleaned than to have a nap (which, of course, can be done later).

I look at the ceiling and find the fan running. Then I look at the tube light. It is lit. I turn my attention to their power source: the switchboard. One source with several connections. One. And that's what seeds an idea and still germinating into a fully grown thought. We are all scattered and distributed, in abundance and in sparse; in a dot and in a complete sentence; over the ground and under the sky. Moving, talking, smiling...we all are somehow interconnected to the other. The lost energy is channelized and finally found into something constructive; broken is healed somewhere; tear turns into a smile somewhere; unsaid gets spoken and pure hatred evolves ecstatic love out there. Don't you think it is all linked? That we are a part of big humongous family even though we walk as strangers? This world is actually a big family and the sky is our protector? And we live, walk, work under the same roof, over the same ground?

But if we all are connected then there must be a switch board as a unit of source? There must be a tip to these millions of people binding them together and keeping side by side. They say, it is God. That it is He who binds us all and prompts us according to his plans. I don't know about it much because I am a no-believer in god. Yeah, I am a bit different. I am an atheist. For me, it is not the faces and the royal presentation of what you call God but it is Human Beings and our Karma that I firmly believe in. It is Nature (trees, sky, birds, and anything naturally existing and growing) that I find my god in. Because I can see a seed planted, germinating and then finally growing into a tall symbolic structure that provides nurture, hope, and the continuation of life. I can see the sky stretched all over my head and your head. It is endless. No one has given birth to it yet it is there...like a Big Daddy protecting all of us from every harsh thing possible. The ground beneath mirrors the infinity of the sky. Our Earth is like a Loving Mother letting each of us have a little piece of stability to walk on. The Sky provides fiction while The Earth gives non-fiction. One lets you dream while the other keeps you connected with the truth. Such balance!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Do not be reactive.

Last night, we were watching a tele show where a celebrity was invited. The show is basically about asking its guest a few questions. There is always a moderate amount of crowd on the show and they are also allowed to ask questions, if they have any.

So the guest on the yesterday show was questioned based on one of the remarks he had delivered at the time when the issue of Intolerant India was ablaze which is not a very long before. With certain grace and clarity, the celebrity guest said his answer to the journalist on the aforementioned issue was different and how it got twisted and turned against his beloved country i.e. India, he himself has been unable to understand. He sounded pretty frustrated over the mess and requested such things should not happen and that he is hurt.

A piece of his reply stuck with me. He said,

'We should not be reactive. These days whenever something happens, we are almost instant to react, probably without giving much thought over the sensitivity of the issue. So we should more be perceptive, and not reactive.' (Words may be in different order here but the essence is same.)

I agree with him. Given the much sung song of Freedom of Speech, anybody and everybody thinks it is prerogative to speak, to express on the issues tinkling around. Without giving much thoughts, we troll facebook, twitter, and other SNS with our instant reactions. And then another issue gets set on fire.

Speaking is good, expressing on a concerned matter is admirable but the content should be well channelized before doing so and if, sometimes, one can refrain from expressing views, this might be better. Silence too is a powerful and constructive reply.

Friday, 2 September 2016

The Intern, a movie.

Today I watched a movie, The Intern, in the morning slot. Kid is having holidays. We were settled on the sofa and he had laid out Chess when I stumbled on the movie. The movie is very nice actually. I enjoyed it, somehow doing my best to make my pawns and soldiers and the queen to jump here and there on the black and white board just to save the most precious one, the king. 

Anna Hathaway is the lead character and runs a company. Her husband is stay-at-home dad and takes care of their little daughter. The movie moves around how Anna is busy in maintaining work-life balance. Robert De Niro, the one she has recruited as an intern, does all sort of odd jobs for her. He is her chauffeur, friend, advisor, her daughter's friend, 2 Am buddy and above all, he is forty two or something. Yes. He is Old. But the way he handles Anna and the complications of her life is appeasing. He watches her struggling with chores and sleep and food everyday and does his best to help her through, minding his intern position of course. I don't know why he is intern at this age because I had missed the some of the initial portions of the starting but rest is interesting. Worth a one time watch.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Serial and Adnan Syed.

Do you listen to Podcasts? I do too. Recently I have become the fan of this amazing digital service. In case you don't know what a Podcast is, click here: Podcast on Wiki.

I am at the end of Serial's first season which is about Adnan Syed and him being convicted in year 2000 based on the murder of his ex-girlfriend and classmate, Hae Min Lee in Baltimore in 1999. He is serving life sentence plus 30 years. The series is being presented by the American journalist and public radio personality, Sarah Koenig, in a pretty comprehensive way. I love her clear voice and precise narration. Adnan has been in prison for 16 years now. He says he is innocent but others say no, he is not. This can be the case of a wrong person trapped in a first degree murder. Or, the opposite.

Adnan Syed (16 yrs back) and Hae Min Lee

Sarah gives a detailed podcasts about her research on Adnan and his case. So many people have so many different Adnans. Some say he is the golden boy of the community while others say he has a 'dark' side. By the time I was done with episode 4, I was getting convinced that Adnan is innocent. He has just got screwed up by weak defense and the baffling inability of his lawyers to collect sufficient evidences. And now that I am through the final episode, I am totally convinced that he is innocent. There are a lot of pros and cons of his and others' stories but somehow everything leads me to see him as a person unable to commit such a horrendous crime. One more important thing, that Sarah has never ever, even for once, said Adnan is guilty or non-guilty. She just portrays facts and evidences in front of you. It's up to you what to make out of'em.

Adnan Syed (now) in prison
On episode 10, Sarah talked about asking Adnan how does he feel after so long living in prison. Before I reveal what he said, I want to remind you that he believes that he is innocent and that he has not killed Hae. Now assume yourself on his position. If someone asks you how do you feel in prison, what would your reaction be? You'd probably be frustrated and angry because of the injustice and probably curse everyone for ruining your life, isn't it? Even I'd have said so. But Adnan is different! And his reply touched me so deep that I had tears in my eyes by the time he was done talking. He said:

I have a life. It is not exactly what I had planned but at least I have a life.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Broken Trust.

This morning going through one of the rituals i.e. browsing Facebook absentmindedly, a news link woke me up. I straightened my spine and even though I could not stop wincing, I clicked nevertheless and read the gory details.

The article was about a seven year old boy and it started with some function at his school. How he was a champion in his class and how eagerly he was waiting for her mother to fly down to the city to attend this specific function. She had missed the previous sport one but the boy really wanted her mother to be there, especially because he had something urgent to share. He waited and waited but his mother could only manage to appear when he was just done with his skit where he played the lead role of the prince. Both of his parents were top notch in their fields in other cities and hardly ever have the time to visit their little boy. So they had appointed a full time nanny to take care of him. There was also a male servant, middle aged and serving them since ten years! Could easily be trustworthy, isn't he?

Now that the world is grappling with so many of grotesque cases, the middle-aged male servant using a little boy for his sexual gratification actually does not pop eyes out of the sockets anymore. Humanity is also being molested with each of such cases and still we are walking, minus the heart and spine.

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Invisible Hope.

The snap I took during those silent moments
I was in my balcony this eve
something I did after a long time
looked at those hovering grey clouds;
dispersing, floating, gathering
covering the whole sky sheet of beauty!

and then all of a sudden I witnessed
a li'l blue patch, a clear glimpse of heavens
behind those shady cloud swimmers;
and I realized there is Hope somewhere
even though it is invisible from my chair!

                                                                           - Priyanka Baranwal

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Practice makes a (wo)man perfect.

The day has been melodious. Working out with the pain through the first half of the day, second half proved to be much as an effective pain killer. Because I had my Guitar class and I have some good news to share.

Remember I talked in one of my recent posts about how my Guitar trainer has taken a sudden test last Saturday and today was going to be the Result Day and that was the reason I had planned to mark my presence with my absence? But today I did go, for the sake of left over courage, shredded hope and to know where I stand in theory. I bit my nails so much during the test that if the result day turned out to be my judgment day, that would not be much of a surprise. I was so terrified! But finally when my trainer handed over the answer sheet, I found it was rather a happy day today. Because I scored an 8 out of 10! And that's still incredible! Where I was trembling with the fear of earning the lowest scores in my batch, there I rose like a star! Only two students got an 8 and I am one of'em. I am still thrilled! I did good, isn't it?

But bigger news is, that I am now able to play songs on Chords. No. I am not perfect. In fact, I am nowhere near perfect but I have sure outdone my expectations that I had with myself at the joining of classes. I remember how I used to gawk at people on TV holding and playing the instrument so flawlessly that put me into a hypnotic state, hard to break. And when my trainer used to play songs on Chords (those were the days when we students were learning Tabs. Chords were still a far cry), it felt so perfect, so musical. In fact, I gawked at him (secretly) with double attention thinking, My! Would I ever be able to master like that? Or, play something like that? And now when I see myself being able to form notes, play the strumming pattern almost perfectly and switch to one chord to another, gosh! Does that satisfy me? It does more than that! After class at my home, I practiced today's songs like a psycho until my husband gave me a time out. How I wish I could play the whole night! But my neighbors would probably give us a final notice to abandon this house as soon as possible.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Behind every smile, there is pain.

I just read this wonderfully done chat session which is actually more than a chat by a Bollywood celebrity, Tisca Chopra. To get that wholesome feeling about the article, I request you to watch the video as well clipped at the end:

Tisca Chopra on escaping casting couch

It's been said in the article (and it's quite true) that girls and women usually do not speak about the issues they face. And when it comes down to public figures, the pressure gets more and mouths are sealed tighter. It is not possible to dodge and reply to each comment public crafts about you. But the veil is lifting and who could be another spectacular illustration of bravery, other than Tisca, to talk about than the gorgeous Deepika Padukone. Not long ago, she talked about the issue Depression and immediately afterwards, it was never the same again. It clawed its way to millions of people, raging them, urging them to open eyes and take itelf as a serious damage to the overall personality. Suddenly all over the internet and in real life, people started ticking Depression as a serious problem to deal with and this could not be possible without the courageous step that Deepika chose to embrace. Initially she resisted the medication (which is very normal with people suffering with anxiety, depression and such things) but once she extended the wings of acceptance, she is now doing much better. Read about her journey: Deepika Padukone on Depression.

What amazed me more about this lady is the fact that she did not just cured herself but also launched a venture to spread the awareness by the name of Live Love Laugh Foundation.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Finding Yourself is more engaging than finding Nemo.

Life is busy. Who said that, by the way? You'd probably be gentle and reply with 'It's not a saying, dear. It's an experience instead.' If you are trying to make me look like a person with nothing-to-do in her list, well, then your joke is hilarious. I am laughing my heart out. May be kidneys and lungs too jump along.

After I stop laughing, I am supposed to mumble my defense with 'I am an author, writer, freelancer, blogger, poet and now a future top star Guitarist, not to mention a mother, wife and the prime-minister of my house.' All these big responsibilities are on my shoulders. But I will not do that! Instead, I will accept your question in silence and keep it for later analysis.

So what makes a person busy? Work? Family? Friends and gossip? Trips? Food? Asylum? Hobbies? Pugnacity? Or, lazying around?

Yes, these things are helpful in keeping one busy but do you think that if you have none of these, you still can be busy? You still have that one thing to do which can be enough for a lifetime for a brain drain? And if you are now curious, now will be the perfect time to smirk my reply:

Finding Yourself.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

It's in the shadow of night that a wandering soul finds peace.

They say best ideas come in the shower but they usually attack me when I am having my routine tea. Writer's curse, you can say. So at the moment, I am having my tea that came Free with my Women's Horlicks. The need to mention one of my favorite mugs is little small quotes printed on it. In case you have forgotten to wear glasses, lemme re-quote them here:

  • Think positively.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Eat healthy, Work hard.
  • Worry less. Dance more.
  • Women's Horlicks. Stay strong.

My Horlicks Mug

So the mug is all about fitness and working hard at it and then sticking to it. Like it's so easy! But just for the mirror's sake, I try my best to stick to the fitness routine. Just yesterday (don't ask after how long, alright?!), I resumed my jogging. As usual, I was being lazy again but one tryst in the balcony with that chilly breeze rocking the dark evening, I found back the hijacked motivation and put on running shoes and the outfit and hopped downstairs. Running/ jogging/walking is such a good way to keep the spirit uplifted. And if the weather is chilly and all to yourself, you will be more than willing to open arms and welcome the change.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Free like a fire-fly.

It's 10:45 PM and millions of my Nation fellows must be sleeping but here I am! Just finished watching a movie What If starring Daniel Radcliffe (as Wallace) and Zoe Kazan (as Chantry) and both of them happen to have blue eyes. The movie was a special premier by the channel and I liked it. It is mostly like other sweet romantics but with a bit of twist sort of tale but still it is a good watch. Not all the time I prefer complicated or a sci-fi movies. Sunday nights can, well, be dedicated for softer shades of human directions. Actors did good and I don't know why but every time I see Daniel Radcliffe, I feel as if he is about to chant a magical spell with his black robe. Well, this is the defect of being a Harry Potter fan and a great reward to its author, Ms. Rowling. Anyway, the movie ended on, as expected, a sweet romantic note and I, this time, struggled over not to cry. I am not sure but these days I cry over all types of endings. If hero-heroines meet, I cry and if they depart, I cry again. Today I volunteered to be my own teacher and instructed myself to behave sober and I obliged. Who wants to mess up with a teacher, huh?

Do you like watching movies alone? tucked in the blanket or shivering with cold, never mind? eating popcorn or some chips and drinking cold drinks? Well, I did not indulge into any of these edibles tonight but I like watching movies alone. It sort of fits perfectly with my loner-self. I don't mind being alone so watching movies all alone like a creep is fine to me. Besides, I get to do fun things along. like I painted my nails with two colors in alternate manner. Lemme see their exact names. It's Atomic Orange and Shimmer Peacock. And my fingers are looking pretty nice. And I do this too when I am writing and typing gets interesting, you see. I thought to share clips of my painted nails but I am not sure how'd they look here. May be they would help me dwindle down the number of my fans, if any, here. So I choose to refrain.

My Guitar class happened for two hours today and at the end, I was elated! Because I now can twist and turn my fingers into ghastly chord settings such as C or D minor. Forming F Major and then to switch over to G Major now is less intimidating. I am also getting a bit better with timings while playing a song, if you know what I mean. Our trainer got us a beautiful song - Show me the meaning of being lonely by Backstreet Boys. It's a lovely song and also a challenge. Because this is the song with maximum number of chord swipes with a whooshing speed. In a single line, you have to change, mind you, five times! So far, I can roughly manage to play a few songs with different strumming patterns but this Backstreet Boys' song is a challenge. I will just try to hold onto it until I get done with it. I know my trainer will be happy if the slowest learner of his class can play this song. Just today he took a surprise test and will get the results next weekend. I am pretty sure I am gonna be absent on that day.

Friday, 29 July 2016

The girl with the sweetest voice.

It's been raining since last night and there is no sign clouds are going to run out of their buckets very soon. Anyway, with such nice weather and all peace at home, no complaints. In fact, they have urged me to think about the best days of my life and here I am...with one.

I studied std. 7th and 8th in a Punjabi school. Our Punjabi teacher, Miss. Harjeet Kaur, was a very lovely and kind lady. I loved her and admired her and I still do. Her subject period used to be the last, the 8th period. She was such a free mind teacher that she never had the time to fuss over studies and all that. She made us do serious study as well as have fun by playing games at times. Games happened once in a while but that once was enough to keep us recharge and wide awake during her class. I always count her name whenever I pay regards to my favorite teachers.

So one day, she said, 'We are not going to study. We will play Antaakshari'. All students went dead happy and we closed our books and copies and settled for the game. If you don't know what Antaakshari is, please go Google or Bing it. You will know about this extremely popular game.

In our class, there were three rows of desks. Two of them were  occupied by the boys and one by the girls (more muscle in the class, eh!). Students were supposed to sing in turns starting from the first desk. By the time my turn came, all girls had already sang their hearts out. Being the tallest, I always had to sit at the last bench and I really didn't mind. Anything to help me with snooze.

So naturally, I was the last girl from the row to sing and by the time I was done, I was nervous. I simply sat down only to receive the first ever complement of my life. Miss. Harjeet said,

"Priyanka has the sweetest voice in the class."

At first, I gawked at her like a fool because I thought I had heard it wrong but slowly the reality hit me and pulled me out of the trance. She had really complemented me and let me tell you, reader that it was huge for me! I will tell you why. Till the 7th period that day, I took myself as a little ordinary girl with no special talents hidden or seen whatsoever but after the 8th period, I was totally a different personality with a good plunge in self-belief. I was suddenly a girl with sweet voice and if I am allowed to boast about it a little, the girl with the sweetest voice in the herd. The only thing lacked that day was The Speech after winning The Best Voice award but I could give it a pass.

As you can imagine, I was on Cloud 9. That day and for the whole day, I couldn't stop smiling at myself. I had realized that everyone is given/gifted with at least one talent. I thought I was a very simple girl and had no talents at all but I was vindicated! And I was so glad to be! Miss Harjeet Kaur (wherever she is today) has no idea that she has given me one of the best days of my life. Her compliment still makes me smile, it showcases me into a super-happy singing soul minus the mic. I hope she is doing all well and leading a happy melodious life.

That's one good memory, isn't it? Some memories never fade away never mind the time lapse, the age, or the change of places and faces. Whenever you think of them, they give you happiness and an amazing power to feel special. Baz Luhrmann in The Sunscreen has said it so right:

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements, stretch
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what to do with your life.

P.S. If you are planning to hear me singing the next time you meet, forget that! The day happened centuries ago and I am sure you will not be as gentle on me as my teacher was. I just got lucky that day, you see.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Death By Beach.

Time: 6 PM; Date: Today.

Warning: Do Not read this post because it's very very depressing, especially if 1). you are on a suicide mission (and I hope you are not), and 2). or unless you are as depressed as I am.

Sticking eyes to the laptop screen for three consecutive days can be hazardous to health and perhaps that's why I am a bit fatigued at the moment. After my evening tea when I again procured my seat to work, I felt I needed some rest, may be a bit of nap. So I paused my story and ventured to lie down for sometime. Sleep, as casual as it sounds, is actually not very casual to come when one is tired. With closed eyes, my mind wandered over several thoughts until I got hooked up to one.

How would I like to die?

The thought fascinated me. So far, my knowledge says all of us prefer to think and plan about the kind of life we would like to spend, the vacations, luxurious hotels, good food, partying, writing, living a grand life and similar stuff. Know what I mean? I too was riding the same track till the above thought caught me in its captivity. I never had thought about how would I like to die never mind the surroundings, people I'd love to have by my side, the time of my final exhale and the other details. So with my eyes still tight shut, I thought to give some attention to my death.

Important Disclaimer: I don't have any fatal disease i.e. I am perfectly healthy (I just lack sufficient Vit. D in my body and if that worries you then I'll say you are very kind). I also lead a perfect happy life. No troubles there as well. It's just a simple plain thought. That's all. So I plunged to plan my death and hence, acquiring the position of The Death Planner (much like The Wedding Planner but basically in a morbid sense).

I'll confess that at first, it was hard to plan the details. I had never done that and some things can not just click so easily but I kept pace with the virtue of perseverance. Finally bells of little things started gathering around in strings of my final moments. At the end, I decided I would like to die like this -

Drifting Soul.

Lying on my sofa
legs dangling over the hand rest,
hands clasped together, 
I stared at the smooth ceiling;
that spoke of human nature!
smooth when close
rough when closer!

I stared and thought
until eyes dropped shut
drifted to little piece of sleep
not a routine hard to keep,
woke up but only to realize
this was the only time
I could have some peace!