Being Indian

It all started innocuously when the husband was going to buy kites and manjha* before 15th Aug. The patriot in me raised her head and reminded him not to buy Chinese manjha, for buying it would not only be downright unpatriotic but it could cause injury to birds and children.

The dutiful husband did as I bade and lost 20 kites in 20 minutes as the Indian manjha was no match for the Chinese! The thunderous expression told me the tale I did not want hear and I quickly retreated into the kitchen to prepare peace offerings.

Thus sated, he groused, he had never in his life lost any kites being a consummate kite flyer.

‘All for the country,’ I murmured soothingly.

In a fortnight it was the son’s birthday and we were looking for a gift for him online. But all his favourite action figures were made in China! Even the Lego set, he had set his heart on, was made in China. So we finally settled for a box set of books. My heart brimming with a sense of fulfillment I handed the gift to him. When he opened it he was aghast.

‘Who gifts books on birthday!’ he wailed. The husband looked at me and since then I am the biggest villain in my son’s life.

As luck would have it our old box type TV decided to down its antenna one fine evening. There was excitement in the air for that meant we would finally buy a flat screen LED. But the brand we had decided on manufactured in China only. So after much heartburn and heated arguments I had my way and we got an India manufactured brand. I was so proud of my resolve. But it did waver when the picture quality proved to be even worse than our previous TV.

The kids pointedly avoid watching TV, preferring to watch their favourite cartoon shows on computer and so does the husband. I finally have the remote to myself but the victory is not so sweet.

And since Sunday my poor phone has been giving trouble. I have scoured the internet but am unable to find the phones I have shortlisted being manufactured in India. Yes, a few brands are being assembled here but the phone I have set my heart on is made in China. My resolve, I think needs a rethink.

Let’s stick to not buying Chinese Holi colours, manjha, ganpati, lights, crackers etc. Chinese have no right to intrude upon our religious practices. For everything else Chinese is fine. After all globalization should be encouraged!

You ponder on this weighty issue while I get in touch with OLX to get rid of my new TV, for if I don’t, I won’t get my new phone!!

manjha – kite string coated with crushed glass.


The Group

Being part of a group 

Is like being married.

Initially we are solicitous 

Caring and euphoric.

We enquire about each other,

Applaud and appreciate.

We are quick to praise and loathe to censure.

Information is exchanged

And one to one contact renewed.

We feel it is our duty

 To make each other comfortable.

And just like in matrimony,

We gradually start to take

 Each other for granted.

Absences are not noticed,

Comments dissipate and 

Appreciation is hard to come by.

We know the others are there,

And that is a comforting thought.

Then over time, silence becomes a norm.

We are no longer perturbed by it.

We take solace in the days when messages are few

And there are no forwards.

We are past the mutual back patting.

At present we are like a married middle aged couple,

Whose kids have flown the coop,

Who derive comfort from

The mundane and ordinary routine.

A few will wish good morning,

A few others will forward posts,

Some will pour their so called creativity,

Others their misplaced angst,

Some will come out with nuggets of knowledge,

Whereas some do irritate with their platitudes.

There will be an occasional conflagration,

But generally there is just companionable silence.

Just knowing the others are there

Is reason enough to continue this alliance.

Don’t Try to Read What’s Not Written

I laugh hard and loud,

But that does not mean I like crass.

I smile often and spontaneously,

But it is not inviting.

I look at you directly when I talk,

It does not say, ” Come hither”.

If I go out for lunch with you,

It is just a meal together.

An invitation for drinks,

Should end at just that.

If I accept your compliment graciously,

I am taking it at face value.

You too do that.

Life is too complicated.

Don’t complicate it further,

By reading meaning 

Where there is none.

I am tired of games,

Lets play it straight for a while.

आजकल हम बात नही करते

शुरू में आँखों से बातें होती थीं
फूलों से गुलदस्तों से,
इशारों ही इशारों में
दिल की बात कहते थे।

चाँद तारे तोड़ लाने की,
खुशियों से दामन भरने की,
बिन कहे इक दूजे के,
वो दिन थे मन की बात सुनने के।

फिर आटे दाल की बातें होने लगी
महंगाई पर चर्चा भी होती थी
बच्चों के खर्चे बढ़ने लगे तो
पैसों को ले बहस होने लगी।

सास ससुर, भाई बंधु और सगे
कई रिश्ते फिर खलने लगे
प्यार के खुशनुमा माहौल में
अवसाद के रंग घुलने लगे।

रोना रूठना इक रिवाज़ सा बन गया
मनाने में भी कोई मजा न रह गया
जब तू तू मैं मैं कुछ ज्यादा ही बढ़ने लगी
तब प्यार कहीं इक कोने में दुबक गया।

इस कटुता को कम करने का
फिर हमने इक रस्ता ढूँढ लिया
कोई बात गर नागवार गुज़रे
हमने चुप रहना सीख लिया।

जब भी किसी विषय पर लगता था
कि अब तो लड़ाई ही छिड़ेगी
हमने उस विषय को ताक पर रख
आगे बढ़ने की अकलमन्दी की।

इस बात का नतीजा यह निकला
कि आजकल हम बात नही करते
लड़ने के डर से, सच्चाई से छिपते हैं
आजकल हम कई कई दिनों तक बात नही करते हैं।


A tribute to all the teachers in our lives, from our parents to all those who influence our thinking in so many ways…

To be able to touch many a life,
To be able to mould impressionable minds,
To make boring lessons come alive,
To be surrounded by the eager, the inquisitive as well as the sullen.
To inspire the uninspired,
To cajole, goad and threaten.
To not give up even when tired,
To wipe runny noses and teary eyes,
To try not to be partial but fair,
To fill lives with awe and surprise.
Most importantly to give children wings to fly,
Teachers do this and much more
In a job which is lowly paid
But the dividends earned are beyond compare.

A Tribute to Wagglelance

Love is blind, said the bard

So I decided in love, not to fall!

For what use these eyes would be

If, in love I could see none at all!

To top it, the course of love is never smooth

So why take a road

Which is doomed from the beginning?

( Though many did goad)

My name was misspelt by one too many

But since he said whats in a name

I heeded the bard and nagged no one

For certainly it was no crying shame!

To be or not to be was the question

When I had the weighty matter to ponder

Job or home, after matrimony?

I stayed at home, it is no wonder!

Now don’t you say et tu Brute

Cos I didn’t flutter the feminist flag

What‘s done is done

And now I am left with the dishwashing rag!

It may seem all Greek to you

Don’t let the green eyed monster overtake you

I have tried to write a paean to Shakespeare

But in the process, thoroughly bored you!

Defying Death

As I draw one laboured breath after another hereafter,
I want to give up, my heart no longer into breathing any more!
Then as the irony hits, I double up with silent laughter!
Its my heart, you see, which has stopped doing its chore!

I had filled my life with friends and family,
Love and laughter, the sunshine of my life.
My entire being a testimony of bonhomie
But unbeknown, dark clouds were rife.
Illness comes unbidden and catches unaware,
I was down the abyss before I knew.
Struggling to survive each day is a nightmare,
I would rather lay supine and give the devil his due.
But loving faces exhort me to give my best shot,
To not give in but come back from the brink,
I wish it were so easy, but its not.
If only to the lees, life I could drink!
So I labour along breath after breath,
For life at times is all about not giving up.
I try hard to live, defying death
And hope fervently that my time is not up.