Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Award!!

For once words fail to describe my happiness at being conferred another Award!! First the Liebster Award from Sujana @ Dreaming in December and now this Versatile Blogger Award from Jen.@. The Butterfly Effect

Reading Jen's works is an inspiration in itself and now to get this award from her is just too much!! So here’s to you Jen.. Thank you!!

I feel really guilty not being able to post this for so long !! My dearest friend got married and the wedding festivities kept me busy all week…Nevertheless I am back and now happy to be passing on the award to other fellow bloggers… Jen has already nominated so many of my favorites, so I’ll give you some others..

 Firstly ,here are the rules.

1. Nominate 15 fellow Bloggers.
2. Inform the Blogger about nomination
3. Share 7 random things about yourself
4. Thank the Blogger who nominated you.
5. Add the Versatile Blog Award picture to your blog post.

My Nominees :)
·  Aarti Harish @
·  Lilac

Well 7 random things about here I have ranted enough about it already!!

Jen, Thanks again!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

To criticize or not to criticize!!

Sanjana was helping her 8 year old prepare for his 'spell-bee' contest. Word by word, she helped him learn the spelling, explained the meanings of words he did not understand, and assisted him in forming sentences with the words using it in its correct form. Then they reached the word that could have been the reason for the third world war to erupt.
“Now, spell  ‘Criticize’.”
“ No darling, it is spelled C-R-I-T-I-C-I-Z-E” . Do you know what it means?”
“No mamma ,I don’t”
“It means finding fault with someone. Let’s use it in a sentence now. ”
“Dad always criticizes me. He is my criticist”
She laughed.
“Beta it should be, ‘He is my critic’, not criticist.”
Hubby dearest was romancing his laptop on couch nearby. His ears tweaked at hearing this comment from his son.
“No beta, why do you think I always criticize you?”
“Dad you always find fault with everything that I do.”
She interrupted.
“Beta, people who criticize you are your well wishers.  If they tell you that you are doing something wrong, don’t take it as criticism. If I tell you about the mistake that you are making while skating, am I criticizing you or trying to improve you? If I just praise you and don’t find fault with your  technique, you will not know where to improve, isn’t it? People who just praise you may not really be your well wishers.”
He seemed to ponder over it for some time.  Then came a seemingly innocent question.
“Yesterday when we were going to Rashmi Aunty’s wedding, you asked Dad ‘Am I looking good?’ He said ‘The green sari would have looked good’. But you didn’t listen to dad’s criticism and argued with him. So if he criticized you , then he is your well wisher, so why didn’t you listen to him?”
Hubby dearest was quick to douse the fire before it broke out.
“Beta that wasn’t criticism, your mother looks beautiful in whatever she wears, I thought she would look prettier in green. It was just a suggestion,” he said with the look of a soldier who had just missed being hit by a missile.
“So if it was a suggestion why did Mom feel bad and argue with you? She said that you find fault with everything she does.”
Sanjana realized it was already quite damaging that the child was noting down every squabble they had, so she chipped in helpfully,
“Beta I didn’t realize it was just a suggestion, though I later did.”
He pondered a little more and came up with another missile.
“ In that case Dad, when you praised Sneha Aunty at the party and said she looked beautiful, you were not her well wisher and that is why you didn’t criticize her? I thought she looked pretty awful in her red sari.”
Hubby dearest wasn’t anticipating this at all. He looked at Sanjana and immediately recognized the ‘ Oh, so you were flirting with Sneha behind my back’ look. Secretly she was pleased that her son had found Sneha’s red sari obnoxious too. She stared at him and waited for him to answer, tapping her fingers impatiently on the table.
“ Err.. I was just being polite, beta,’ he explained trying to save his skin. “Now run and finish the rest of the spellings.”
“ I am confused. If Dad’s criticism was a suggestion and dad’s praise was ‘being polite’ then what is the actual meaning of criticism?”
She was wondering what to say, when he shot yet another missile, this time at her.
“ Maybe I understood what it means. Mom, criticism is what you give to Raj uncle from your office, isn’t it? Every time he comes with his report you tell him there are mistakes and he has to correct something. Then he has to correct and bring it to you and you find some more mistakes with it.”
“ Yes you can call that criticism,beta.”
“ But sometimes I wonder why you don’t tell him all his mistakes at one time. It will save him time coming to see you repeatedly.”
It was now her turn to become red-faced. ‘ This little brute had noticed THAT?’ She purposefully tried avoiding looking into hubby dearest’s eyes.
“Err…no, Raj is actually a little clumsy with his work, he makes new mistakes every time.”
Before he could continue, and the peace of the earth could be shattered by the third world war, she interrupted.
“Beta, now that you have understood criticize, let’s move on to the next word, spell Croak.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

Liebster blog award...

Yippeeeeeeee... I got the Liebster Blog award from Sujana from A lovely valentine's gift for me!! Thanks've made my day!!

The rules to follow to accept the award:

 Link back to the person who gave you the award.
Pick 5 people deserving of the award and notify them on their blogs.
Post the award on your blog and spread the love.

 So here are my five...



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's day.

Another Valentine’s day,I thought, when couples will spend fortunes to keep each other happy. It brought to memory one couple instantly. They are not even remotely related to this day, and I doubt they know of the existence of such a day. I remember them because they stand for what this day is supposed to signify. Unending and unconditional love for each other.

Twelve years ago, Nitika had been beautiful and young. Just about 35 years of age, bubbly, vivacious, energetic, full of life. They were watching the construction of their dream house. It was almost ready, except for the painting. She had gotten Akash to promise he wouldn’t paint it without her choice of colours. It was a long day in the sun, and she felt tired. Suddenly she had collapsed and the doctor later diagonosed it as stroke caused due to rheumatic heart disease. She was paralysed neck down; their life had come to a standstill.

I had heard about the incident but distances had kept me from meeting them. Now when I was in the same town, I decided to pay them a visit. Akash was gleaming with happiness when he saw me at the door.

“Nitu, we have a surprise visitor for you,” he announced.

For a moment I thought she must have recovered in these twelve years. But nothing prepared me for when I saw her. She was now 47, the prime of her youth snatched away from her.Her beautiful face was now wrinkled and sunken, the lush black mane now all grey, the full of life Nitika lying limp on the bed in an old night gown. I could have cried. But then, I caught the glint of happiness in her eyes and smiled back. She tried to speak but I couldn’t understand because of the slur in her voice. Mercifully, Akash translated it for me. I was awed by how he could understand anything at all. As if he had read my mind, he said, “Whatever a child may blabber, the mother always understands what it is trying to say isn’t it?

I simply nodded my head in agreement. We chatted on and I learnt how Akash had been looking after her for the past twelve years, tending to her every need, giving up his high profile job and starting a daily needs shop close by and bringing up his sons who were 11 and 12 years of age at that time. The kids had grown up now and they took turns taking care of their mother. I couldn’t help but notice, that all this while, Akash had no regret on his face and Nitika had a slight smile on her lips. It was almost 1 o’clock, and Akask excused himself to feed Nitika .

“She tells me what she wants to eat and I prepare it for her,” he announced as he brought in a plate of chapatti and potato sabji , little rice and dal and fed it to her with utmost love and devotion and then lulled her to sleep. I couldn’t control my tears this time.

We chatted for some more time about what treatment was being given to her and how she was responding, when my eyes fell on the walls. Almost the entire house was still not painted. Akash saw me gaze at the empty walls and told me he was waiting for Nitika to get well and tell him what colours she wanted on the walls. They had moved into the house just as it was on the day she had been paralysed. I was visibly moved.

It was almost 4 o’clock and Nitika would be up any time now. Akash excused himself again. He wanted to make some tea for her and keep her book ‘Chimanraoanche Charhat’ , humorous short stories by Chi. Vi. Joshi , ready for reading it out to her. Not wanting to disturb them, I bid them goodbye, secretly praying and asking god to bless my Valentine couple.

read part 2 here..

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The sunset..

An idyllic evening.

A picturesque boathouse.

Calming backwaters.

As the boathouse gently wades through the waters making a slurring sound it has a calming effect on my mind.

Seems more like a paradox, a troubled mind and the calming waters.

The boathouse itself giving the feeling of being encapsuled in a cocoon, hidden from view yet with an open window to the world outside. The waters slowly hit the cocoon in orchestrated motion, as if trying to beckon the worm inside to venture out.

Water hyacinth scattered everywhere.

Clogging the water, making survival for other life forms difficult. Neither fish nor other plants,none can really win the battle with the weed.

Beautiful purple flowers on the exterior, could deceive anyone. Appearances are deceitful, I thought, or are they? I thought of the weed that clogged my mind. The thoughts that had made survival of other nobler thoughts difficult.

Contemplation was leading me nowhere, so I dropped the idea and decided to concentrate on the serenity outside.

The boatman decided to dock, he had no permission to row beyond sunset.

Ahh! sunset, it first caught my eye only after the boatman had made a mention of it.

I alighted from the boat and walked to end of the groove nearby. And then I saw it. The huge ball of flame. Just as it was about to drown itself into the serene waters below.

A vibrant orange colour, the igniter of passion, signifying zest for life, enthusiasm, unending energy, fun, informality, friendship, open-mindedness. It drew my attention to being liberal and unconventional. And all that I thought it to be was going down. It slowly began its descent downwards, till I saw the last of it.

The orange sky with its jewel was all but gone, and was now growing pink and purple. Ominous as it seemed, it reflected the colour of the flowers of the water hyacinth I had seen all around.

But there was something ethereal about what I was seeing. It was beautiful to the level of intoxication. It almost took my breath away. It seemed to say, that beauty and nobility will remain even after everything has faded into nothingness.

I sat on the moist grass below and cogitated on the events that had unfolded that day. The reason why God had chosen for me to be here rather than anywhere else. On this boathouse, wading through the backwaters, among mats of water hyacinth and finally bringing it to a climax, the pristine sunset with all its after glow.

I suddenly felt light as if I had drowned all the complexities into those very waters. Light dawned on me before it could on the dark horizon. And I walked back to the boathouse with a proverbial 'spring in my step and song in my heart'.

It was yet another new morning and the sky was blue again.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One morning....

It was 7am already. Nita was getting late for work. She hurried to the shower and switched on the light.


The bulb burst and broke into a thousand pieces. Suddenly there was complete darkness and Nita stood stunned. She cleaned the mess, lit a candle and turned the shower knob.


The shower nozzle fell down and landed on her feet.


She jumped in pain and fright.

‘What a way to start the morning!’, she thought.

When she finally got ready, she realized she had very little time for breakfast.

‘Let me make a quick omlette.’

She poured the beaten egg into the pan and lo! the omelette flew out of the pan like Mexican jumping beans!

‘Is this some kind of a joke?’, she asked the pan in a stern voice.

The pan just seemed to smile and say,

‘Don’t give me that look. It’s your bad day, darling!’

, she said with a resigned look.

She limped (‘grrr.. the shower nozzle be cursed!’) to the doorway with an empty growling stomach.

‘Let me pick up something to eat on the way to work.’


‘Now what? You have decide to conspire too, Mr. Car? Why won’t you start?’

She got down and kicked the tyre with her feet forgetting it was already hurt.


She limped to the taxi stand and tried to hail down a cab. There was none in sight. She limped further hoping to find one. She had almost walked to the main road. Vehicles were whizzing past and she tried to protect her precious hair and face from the smoke and pollution using her scarf.

‘Watch where you are going, lady!’

She turned around to see a man in a car that had swerved just in time to avoid hitting her.


Before she could turn back and continue walking, a huge truck came out of nowhere and crashed into her.

‘Hello good morning,
Let’s go, let’s rock,
Yeah, come on,
good morning.’

Nita got up with a start soaked in her own sweat.

‘Darn, the alarm! It’s 7am already. But thank god! It was just a dream!’

She hurried to the shower and switched on the light.


The bulb burst and broke into a thousand pieces. Suddenly there was complete darkness.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It was cold and chilly outside. The entire family was huddled around the fire in the living room. Sandeep knocked repeatedly on the front door, but no one opened it for a long time. He had so much tell his parents, he could hardly wait.

Where could everybody have gone on a cold winter night like this?’ he thought.

There was a hidden ladder on the backside of the house that he and his brother had built using rope and bamboo sticks. It hung secretly from the window of their room covered by the foliage of a Virginia creeper. The ladder was visible partially now, the leaves having withered away. Sandeep climbed the ladder and found he could do so easily without any effort. He had never been able to climb this ladder before.

 'Strange', he thought. As he stepped onto his room he could hear noises from below.

‘Everyone is at home? Why didn’t they open the door for me?’

He went down and sat on the last step of the staircase. He was hidden from view though he could hear everybody. His mother was weeping inconsolably.

“You should never have told Sandeep that he was adopted. The poor child must have gone through such turmoil being told at his age that we are not his biological parents. If you could have just kept it a secret, he would never have left home like that.”

“Sarika, forgive me, but couldn’t he ever feel our love and affection for him? Just one truth was enough for him to give up everything? All these years of growing up, all these years of a mother’s love, all these years of a father’s warmth, all these years of a brother’s support, all meant nothing to him? I decided to tell him the truth, so that he would not learn of it from someone else. Did his being adopted make him any less our son than Santosh? Have we ever differentiated between both of them ever?”

“A mother’s heart weeps for her son. I want him back, and I cannot imagine my life without him. Bring him back Sagar. Bring my son back.”

“Pa, I don’t understand who could ever have told bhaiyya that he was adopted. No one told him that all these years. I didn’t know it too.”

“Santosh, let me tell one truth today. Both I and your mother are old now and who knows how long we will live? So I decided to will our assets to both of you. But your uncle was against my decision. He felt that if anyone deserved a share it would be him and not Sandeep since he was adopted. We had a war of words and he threatened to tell Sandeep that he was not our son. So I decided to tell that to your brother myself before he learnt it from someone else.”

“ Pa, don’t say such things. What will I do without you? Bhaiyya why did you leave us and go? ”

Sandeep realized how foolish he had been, listening to his uncle and not trusting his parents. His uncle had told him how he had been adopted because his parents did not have children and when Santosh had come into their life a couple of years later, they had stopped loving him. He had highlighted all the little instances where his parents had supported Santosh because he was their son. When he thought of it now, he realized that it was not true at all. His parents had loved him unconditionally and instead of being grateful to them he had brought tears to their eyes. And now they were at the fag end of their lives. How could he have been so insensitive? He should never have listened to his uncle. He got up and walked towards his parents. He stood directly facing them.

“Ma, Pa, I am so sorry for causing you this hurt. I want to thank you for bringing me into your life and loving me so much. I promise you that I will keep you happy always. I promise you that I will always look after my little brother. Forgive me please, I beg you. I love you all so much.”

He walked closer to them wanting to give them both a warm hug. They seemed to be looking in his direction, yet there was no warmth on their faces, just tears streaming down.

He was about to wipe his mother's tears when there was a knock on the door. Santosh opened the door and saw policemen standing there.

“Mr. Sagar, we have finally managed to break your brother. He has admitted that he had tampered with the brakes of Sandeep’s car and had called up Sandeep asking him to come over to his house so that he would help him find his real parents. We have booked him under Sec 299 of the IPC, culpable homicide amounting to murder. The hospital has finished with the autopsy. You can come and collect Sandeep’s body tomorrow.”

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