Are You a Teacher?

I have often encountered  people living in my housing complex and even strangers asking me out of the blue if I am a teacher. Earlier it would fill me with pride. I would find it heartening that despite being ‘just a housewife’ people thought I was working! 

When it happened one time too many, I started wondering if there was label on my forehead which screamed “Teacher”. For more often than not it sounded a bit demeaning, you know… with looks conveying I am “behenji” type.

I asked a few why they thought so, but they never did say anything, just shrugged their shoulder with a self-deprecating smile. Gradually I became wary of the question. Now when someone asks me if I am a teacher, I don’t know whether to take it as an insult or a compliment.

I have tried to analyse how they jump to the conclusion.

It could be the stern expression on my face which makes me look schoolmarmish, it could be the large voluminous tote I lug around everywhere or maybe my glasses and my hair tied in a bun. 

It could also be my sartorial choices. I am almost always clad in a salwar/ churidar suit or a saree.  And not to forget flat, sensible shoes or sandals. Maybe the entire look screams “Schoolmarm”

Perhaps if I let my hair lose, wore pant suit or a dress and high heels,I would be considered a professional from other field.

But then I see teachers today, who look nothing like I do and wonder… why???

I left teaching 24 yrs ago. Those of you who are still in the profession maybe able to tell me, why without even opening my mouth I am always identified as a teacher?

P.S – Interestingly when I met my husband for the first time( I had been teaching for 6 yrs then), he said I looked anything but a school teacher! 😳


Dear Children…

Dedicated to all the mothers world over.

Today, don’t eulogise me,

Don’t put me on a pedestal

Don’t expect the moon from me,

Don’t tell me I am exceptional

I know my correcting you

Is the core issue of contention

Today it may have been set aside by you

But tomorrow you will be back with allegation

All the nice things you say and do today,

You will forget, as tomorrow dawns

You will be back to your own way,

In social media blitzkrieg, moms are mere pawns.

I am not the forever suffering and sacrificing mom,

Nor am I a cleanliness freak as I am made out to be

I admit I come across sometimes like a tiger mom

At other times I am nagging, I agree.

We all have our foibles and strengths

I am a harridan one day and an angel on another

For you I can go to any lengths,

I will also step back to let you find your metier.

I can be goofy,

I can be sexy,

I can be quirky,

I can be slovenly!

Respect me for the person I am,

Don’t treat me like one of your friends,

For I am your one and only mom,

Whereas you have a plethora of friends!

Don’t gush for one day and then disappear

Don’t pay lip service to motherhood strand

Just live by the values I treasure

What I feel for you, one day you will perhaps understand!

When you have your own offspring

And your feelings will churn

When love for your child in your heart will spring

Mother’s value, perhaps you will learn.


Forgiveness may be divine,

But divinity doesn’t come easy to me!

Small trespasses we all forgive and forget,

But some transgressions keep troubling me.

To maintain peace you try to forget and move on,

But forgiveness doesn’t come so  easily!

So I always try to get even,

When I am cut to the quick, intentionally.

I leave the job of forgiving all,

To those who are blessed with spirituality.

I am a mere mortal with a heart,

I take offence when it is directed at me.

Perhaps when I grow older it may be easy to forgive,

For then I won’t remember who did/ said what to me!


A thank you note to all my school friends who are part of the class whatsapp group.

शायद कुछ अच्छा किया होगा

जो इतनी दुआएँ साथ हैं

इस मोड़ पर तुम सब हो पास

तो सफर बहुत आसान है।

अलका, अलोका और अंजू

किन शब्दों में धन्यवाद कहूँ,


खुशी हुई है बहुत ही ज्यादा,

अरुण,बेजी और भावना

इसी तरह दुआएँ भेजना।

बीना, रवि और चैताली

मैं तो हूँ किस्मतवाली,

चित्रा,दीपक और देवयानी

मधुर लगे तुम सब की वाणी,

दीप्ति, दीपा और डी एस

बचपन के हैं साथी सब।

देबाशीश, जोस़फ और फरहत

ईश्वर ने पूरी कर दीं सब हसरत,

गीतू, गुरप्रीत और हासुली

यह जिंदगी साथ- साथ चली।

 ज्योति,कथु और कवल,

प्रेम की धारा बहे अविरल,

लतिका, ममता और मोउ

मैं कुछ भावुक हो रही हूँ।

मेधा, मुकुन्द और नंदा 

याराना बना रहे हमारा सदा,

 नवनीत,नीलम और प्रभा 

तुम्हारे प्यार की है यह छटा,

प्रमोद, राजश्री और फोतेदार

शुक्रिया करूँ बारम्बार।

मल्लिक, राजेश और राजू

साथ रहे सदा, यही आरज़ू,

राकेश, रंजेश, रेड्डी, रश्मि

है दोस्ती अनूठी अपनी।

रोहित, संध्या, संगीता, संदीप 

जलते रहें यूहीं दोस्ती के दीप,

संजय, संजय और संजय

बना रहे हम में सामंजस्य।

सीमा,सुधा,शाबू और शर्बरी

दोस्ती हमारी प्यारी सी,

सत्या, शर्मीला और शिबाशीष

दोस्ती है रब्ब की आशीष।

शिबू, शोभा, शुभा, सोमिला

यह प्यार कभी न कम होगा,

सुजाता,सुजित, सुजु, सुरंजन

यह दोस्ती करे भरपूर मनोरंजन,

सुब्रतो, सुशील  और विनीत 

सदा बनी रहे हम सब में प्रीत।।

Love, Longing and Learning

To be engulfed in the warmth of childhood friends,
To step back in time every now and then,

To be able to demolish old prejudices,

To be able to take life with spoonfuls of salt,

To have enough to sustain soul and body,

To wake up everyday to a new day,

I am loving being where I am today.

I wish my days were longer by a couple of hours,

I wish I had bothered a bit about scoring more marks,

I wish I could relive my childhood again,

I wish I had learnt to let go earlier in life,

I wish I had less choices to make,

I wish relationships were less complicated,

I wish people would stop reading between lines,

I still long for quite a few things.

I have shed my shyness and timidness,

I have become more open than ever before,

I have become less judgemental but more opinionated,

I am trying hard to be more accepting and embracing,

I am trying to be less attached to material things,

I am learning so much everyday.

And realise that loving, longing and learning

Are not taught in any school.

Its an ongoing process that life’s knocks teach you.

So I am an almost incomplete work, still in progress,

You all are helping me become better and better.

No better day than today to acknowledge I am a sum of a bit from each of you.

Thank you ever so much for being a part of this ride.

Soul Searching

We are so wrapped up in our body,

We often tend to forget, 

Its just a covering for our core, our soul.

We are so busy starving our body,

It slips our mind,

To properly feed our soul.

We are afraid of those who shame our body,

That we overlook,

Those who wilfully scar our soul.

We often resort to various means to perfect our body

So that we can flaunt it,

But do we ever try to find a balm to soothe our soul?

It is not boldness to reveal body,

Anyone can do it.

It requires courage to reveal your soul.

Everything is ephemeral, including this body

Yet we keep tending to it,

Often forgetting the eternal nature of our soul.

Nourish and take care of your body,

For it houses life force

But never forget to ensure you have a well-fed soul.

#NaPoWriMo# Day 30

Finally, I present my final offering. I know I am late as we are already a couple of hours into 1st of May. Since I am participating in #napowrimo for the first time, I hope my transgression will be overlooked. It has been a rollercoaster ride and I often hit roadblocks like weddings, visitors, illness, travel and of course the mind going completely blank.

But on the whole it has been a fun ride and I hope these 30 poems will provide you with some reading pleasure.


(Something that happens again and again)

Finally it is that time of the year

When it is time to put away summer gear.

As the last blush of autumn gradually wanes

I start packing and boxing to move to plains.

The hills are a pristine white during the winters

But my old bones ache as if caught in pincers.

The warmth of a fire place invitingly beckons

To get away from bone chilling cold I take out the trunks.

Carefully labelling and boxing summer things

At the same time taking out warm woollen clothings

Each pair of socks is carefully matched

My beloved tattered shorts lovingly packed.

Taking languid tea breaks every once in a while

Caressing softly the soft cashmere pile.

So many memories I pack away every year

At the same time unravelling some old ones this year.

This annual ritual every time I wait for longingly

The familiarity and sameness embrace me comfortingly.


#NAPoWriMo# Day 28


(A child said, what is the grass? By  Walt Whitman. Today’s poem grass is inspired by the noun ‘grass’ in this poem)

As I lay on top of the green grass of the field

I felt the embrace of mother nature.

I could hear the soft rustling leaves

And murmurs of far away brooks

The gurgling streams made wondrous music

The birds in the tree, melodious symphony.

The azure sky smiled benignly at me

White clouds played hide and seek

Sun kept a watch over me

The mountains guarded me from afar.

With all this loveliness surrounding me

I fell into a deep comforting slumber.


#NaPoWriMo# Day 27


(Sense of taste)

If there is one thing that takes me back to childhood

It is the pungent taste of coriander- garlic chutney.

Lovingly pounded in pestle and mortar,

With generous lashings of sharp green chillies

And a dash of tangy lime.

As I write this my mouth tingles with remembered taste

Of grandma’s recipes and my mom’s cooking.

A versatile accompaniment to simple home cooked lentil and rice

Elevating it to a truly culinary heaven!

A must have with onion and potato fritters,

Turning the bland risotto lookalike khichdi

Into comfort food on rainy, lonely days!

A one shot cure for  tasteless meals.

I remember licking it sparingly

With taste buds  tingling and eyes watering.

Umm! The pungency of chutney!